Power of Pattern Interrupt


Every day, you get up at 6am.

Every day, you show up at  to the office at 7:59am, and leave at 4:59pm (yup, one minute early!) STICK IT TO THE MAN!

Every day, you eat the same thing for lunch.

Every meeting…is in the same office.

Every day, you drive the same exact way to work, and the same exact way home.

Every night at precisely 6:30pm, you sink deeper into the couch…zoning out.

Deep in Pattern.


Keep in mind. None of what I’m outlining above constitutes laziness. It may, but it very well may not. There are many motivated people doing the same thing every day… but in pursuit, not experiencing major changes in results.

It’s time to pattern interrupt.

I have this wonderful obligation, partly, this is my job. Travel, is one pattern interrupt. I Live in Iowa, but travel to: NYC, travel to San Diego, off to Dallas, then Florida. Now Las Vegas and then San Francisco. Doesn’t really matter where. As Jimmy Buffett says, “Changes in latitude, changes in attitude.”

Each is a new opportunity, and not necessarily a business opportunity (although that usually exists on the surface). It’s an opportunity for pattern interrupt. New scenery. New faces to meet. New points of view to engage and debate.

Put quite simply, a new (or newer) look at the world around us. Or at least a new way to see it. If you’ve ever flown, think about the freedom you feel looking out seat 14A. Peering down 10,000 feet as the plane roars toward the clouds. The people become specks. Cars become micro machines. Buildings are well thought out LEGO configurations. Suddenly you can see EVERYTHING. The prism of God’s creation right in front of you.

NEWSFLASH, you don’t need to spend $1,000 on a plane ticket to Europe to pattern interrupt.

  • You can go for a long walk, when you pattern is to sit down after breakfast or dinner.
  • Ask your boss if you can work “remotely” for the afternoon. Same work, fresh location. Fresh perspective.
  • Instead of eating lunch alone like most days, engage a long-time friend for some thoughtful discussion.
  • Chose writing in a journal for 20 minutes for a break between binge watching episodes of Ozark
  • You can venture to a Starbucks, or a Panera to people watch, and literally THINK.
  • If you live in Dallas, hit up Austin for the weekend. Talk to a stranger

I literally started writing this from a Panera, because I needed some new scenery to explore this thought. Nothing major, but yet, still different from the island in my kitchen (where much of the magic happens ;-).

How can you think about pattern interrupt today?

The holidays provide a built-in [pattern interrupt] scenario. Many of us will have a day, or days, and maybe even a couple of weeks off.

Yes, please take your foot off the gas…but not too far, lest losing all the stream and momentum built up over 2017. See where you fall into pattern ruts, and where you can build in “interruptions” to your 2018.

Merry Christmas!


Pay Attention to your Intentional Day

Be intentional with your time. Be very intentional with your energy.

In doing so, happiness and fulfillment are sure to follow.

What is an intentional day? It’s the name I gave to a day complete with all the things that make me better. Scripted from morning to evening. Encompassing all aspects: from diet, to where I spend my time, who I spend it with, to what I consume.

Thriving. Intentional Days —> Lead to Thriving

It is the one word I’d choose to describe how I feel when I’m being 100% intentional. 

Here’s a peek into my intentional day. I’d invite you to craft your own.

When I’m feeling really great and I’m at my peak performance, I do the following:

  1. Rise Early. 6am preferably..sometimes earlier. Awake fully rested. Like a toddler ready to tackle his presents on Christmas day. More on how I get here at the end of my intentional day, because one fuels the next.
  2. Time to think/strategize my day. If I don’t get control of my day early, someone else is guaranteed to take it back by 7:30 or 8am.
  3. Exercise. Usually for me in the morning this is a combination of push ups, pull ups, some abs and air squats at home. If in the evening, I’m running or shooting hoops to get the heart moving. Growing up the basketball gym was my sanctuary. It still is when I need time to think.
  4. Food = Fuel. I like to start my day with a smoothie. Ingredients: frozen strawberries and blueberries, a splash of milk, organic honey greek yogurt (probiotic), a scoop of peanut butter, about 20g of protein powder, and a pile of spinach. Good for my gut. Good for me. Great source of energy. I’d also add here I drink 8 glasses of water. It’s amazing how much better the body (and brain) operates when hydrated.
  5. Inspiration – Every morning I try to consume at least 15-20 minutes of content before heading out the door. YouTube is my go-to. Simple, free, and thousands of options. Inspiration is like bathing. It needs to be done frequently to be effective. Every day. Monday – Friday to get my mind in the right place and in a position of gratitude.
  6. Notecard of Targets –  To-do lists steaming 20+ items lack focus and instead pile on the trivial. I try to never leave the house without 3-5 MUST MOVE items on my list. So that if I did nothing else for the day…I’d accomplished something that was vital. Key here is separating the trivial from the vital.
  7. Lunch = Salad. When I’m eating well, I’m making a salad. Greens, some protein, sprouts, peppers, etc. Not to bore you. Why salad? I know it is fuel and it’s great for me. All the energy I need to get through the afternoon and most importantly no crash.
  8. Day at Work – I can simply sum this up as collaboration. I thrive being with people. Vetting new ideas, tackling challenges, presenting solutions. Too much solitude and I get a little gray and maybe a tab grumpy. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in getting alone to think…just not for hours on end.
  9. Pick up my son from daycare. Always a terrific bookend to my day. Good days are made that much better.  Bad days, I get a dose of what’s really important. The 3-year old in my backseat doesn’t care about the unruly client or lost pitch.
  10. Evening Reading – Daily goal is to knock out 20-30 pages. Done every day, week, month…I can consume 20+ books a year.  I’ll admit this ebbs and flows greatly with travel time and other needs, but this is all about “Intention” and using daily [slight edge principles] to tackle bigger objectives. Small efforts, magnified with consistency over time —> yield big results.
  11. Evening Meditation – It may be an understatement that I have a very active mind. My hamster wheel spins even at the thought of an idea. I must eliminate the noise.  My most intentional days end with 30+ minutes of silence and stretching. Clearing my mind of any fears, stresses, anxieties, thoughts and ending with gratitude.  When done sequentially, I sleep better (deep sleep), I’m sharper, wittier, funnier (my own opinion), and my memory feels much deeper. If you’re looking for more detail on the HOW, here is a post I wrote a while back.  20 Minutes of Silence.

That’s it. 11 items.

When done with intention and executed with frequency, I am no doubt my Best Self.

I would even bet my better half could tell you when I’m on point…and when I’m failing to execute my intentions.

ACTION ITEM: You’ve got to know (and write down) what really makes you operate at peak levels. Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually. There is a pattern. Use mine as a starting point or guide, but know every one reading this has their own operating system. Find what works. <— Do that!


Personal Value & Personality Flaws

I have a personality flaw.

Ok, let me be honest with the church here…I have many. That said, one I’m noticing more and more is the connection of my business and personal life, based on RESULTS. Join me, if you will, on this flow of consciousness

If the business is good and successful, life is good. Life is great! But this can also lead to an over-inflated sense of SELF. Not the direction I’m looking for.

If the business isn’t going the way I want it to (how could such a thing happen?!?!?), I reflect it personally. Beating myself up over every detail. As you can probably understand, this event, or ebb and flow, happens many times over the days, weeks, and years. I’m only starting to rationalize with it more now after reflecting back.

I figured I write so often about personal improvement, mindset, and strategies to be more successful, I didn’t want the audience thinking I’m without fault or flaw. It’s probably just the opposite.

But the internet isn’t a place for that really is it?

The social sharing world of today is “filtered” – literally. I’m great. We’re great. Look at where we are!! We see only the 5% of what people want us to see.

Well, here’s where I am, and it comes from a position of vulnerability.

There is so much happening to the world largely out of my control. I need to get better at not letting it impact my day-to-day, and week-to-week attitude. Good or bad. Control what can be controlled.  The rest…just happens.

Our society is in a speed it up, speed it up race. Same goes for results. Get in, or get out…and even when you’re in, it is only “what have you done for me lately,” get in. Then you’re —–> OUT.

<Insert Suggestions from the audience>  How does one get better at this?

Here’s what I can say. I’m getting more in tune with loving THE PROCESS. Nick Saban preaches it daily with his Alabama football program. Here is a terrific excerpt from a Business Insider article,

 “The players would concentrate only on winning those seconds, take a rest between plays, then do it all over again. There would be no focus at all on the scoreboard or on the end results.”

This Business Insider video on the Samurai Process is a wonderful follow up to Saban’s focus on the process.

It’s working every rep, every drill, finishing every practice in athletics. It’s about the every day efforts leading up to the collective wins in mass. Doing the work with championship consistency and letting the results speak for themselves.

My thought on this is simple. If all I (or anyone) ever focused on is the final result, the end feeling will be extremely empty. Even if the wins largely outweigh the losses. I liken it to having an endless appetite and no meal will fill the emptiness that exists. Just keep eating.

No matter what, when you’re wired like I am, no amount of winning will never be enough, and losses all suck. Really really suck. There is a massive lack of appreciation there.

This is not where happiness and thriving live.

The greats. The pros. The all-timers. All were in love with the process. It’s the only thing keeping them from quitting, when the results inevitably don’t go their way, or the flip side…when they’ve been to the mountain top, and still search for more.

ACTION ITEM: This one’s on me. I’m working on my mindset. I’m working on loosening the connection. Work in progress.

Thanks for listening.