Hey Nikki, where are you?

ER rotation is going to be tough on Nikki and Kelty

Insecure but I know I am right?

Sometimes a simple phrase will hit you like a ton a bricks. I have seen it happen in various situations and these phrases have been constructed by various people, including myself. It’s normally a situation where everything seems to be normal and moving along, but then something is said and it just takes a second or two to digest what was actually said.

The truth is that I can be a master a playing devil’s advocate in a conversation, so I’ve had my share of pauses after statements. But it doesn’t always have to be in conversations that this happens, it can be in a song, in a movie or … as happened this morning, it happened in church.

Our church just started a series on Relationship Wreckers, which I’m eager to work through over the coming weeks. The first week was about defining boundaries in a relationship. Today’s message was delivered by Grif Ray, he had a line in his message that was one that stopped me cold and made me spend most of the day reflecting:

An insecure person can’t be wrong.

He obviously didn’t mean that they can’t actually be wrong, but that they will never admit they are wrong. He joked that he would be called out about being defensive and he’d actually be defensive in attitude about being defensive (or something similar to that).

Just recently I was in a discussion with my boss and the topic of self confidence came up. I believe it was in response to the fact that I shared why I sometimes where a heart rate monitor when I get in front of people to speak. I love to get up and present, especially about things I’m passionate about – but I’m often scared shitless. Sharing this with my boss, she said something to the affect, “I would have never guessed that.”

The perception is that I have self confidence, the reality is not quite that clear cut. There are many times that I think that my self confidence is a sign of my feelings of inferiority and doubt. I know that one of the common thoughts I have and struggle with is: “What if I screw up? Will they think everything I’ve done is a fraud?”

Some of that comes from a belief that my worth is a reflection of my reputation. The problem with that is that you don’t own your reputation, everyone else does. That’s a lonely and miserable existence if you are always trying to make the world happy to keep a reputation.

My step father used to always say, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” And then it would be followed by some lesson similar to this line of thought: that doing what you know to be right is always a better way to make a decision then trying to decide what others think is right for you.

When I look back on my life, I think that I can relate most of my poor choices to feelings of insecurity, wanting to “prove” myself worthy and feeling like I needed to do what others thought would be the best decision (or would look the best).

The weirdest thing about that is almost all of the pressure is an internal pressure. I’ve never had a lot of external pressures: my parents were never demanding of my success, Nikki is about as easy going as a spouse can get …

… it’s entirely a self constructed pressure.

Being insecure can be a real downward spiral. It takes a lot of effort to live up to everyone’s expectations and sadly we live in a world where we love to build people up, just to enjoy watching them fail. I think of Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong to name an obvious two.

There was a period of about 3 years that I felt really secure in who I was. It came at a time that I spent an exceptional amount of time developing my spiritual awareness, may not coincidence it was also a time that I spent a lot of time in nature and almost no time considering what my next paycheck, gadget or social engagement was going to be. I really didn’t give a fuck about much, other than being happy and helping others find a little happiness to.

I happened to meet Nikki during that period. That is a good thing, today I’d never have the confidence to try and take her on a date.

If you are interested in Grif’s message you can find it here: xroadschurch.org

Book Review: How will you measure your life?

If you would have told me 20 years ago that I’d be interested in owning a business, I would had said you are freaking crazy. I saw my parents work days, nights, weekends, holidays and year round to make A-1 Air Care a viable enterprise that could keep the family’s bills paid. I had a love for being active, playing sports, bouncing basketballs and running down the runway to time my mile time (if you ever tried to land a plane at the Broken Bow, NE airport you likely saw me running around somewhere).

By the time I was heading to college, I thought I’d likely be a physical therapist or coach high school sports and become a teacher. I don’t know when, where or how it happened but somewhere around my junior year of college I got the idea that I wanted to start an internet business that pulled together different allied health professionals and serve people (it was 1999 / 2000 that year so I wasn’t alone in this thought). My drive to create a really great business started there and hasn’t stopped. The fact is that I’ve become really good at some things, but really bad at some things too.

The book, “How will you measure your life?” is a very interesting book because it takes business theories that Clayton Christensen has developed and then takes those theories and applies them to your life. It’s a positive way to approach the question, for me, because at this moment in time I appear to be more keen to view things through a business lens than a personal self actualization process. There are some interesting, almost Lean Startup, concepts in the book that are then taken to the personal level.

My best thoughts after reflecting on the book a little are this: In business when things don’t work out, what happens? For those of us that love the idea of creating, we start again. In our personal lives, at least at the end, there’s not the same ‘do over’ we may get in business; therefore use the same keen awareness and evaluation processes that you may dedicate to a business and at least be that diligent and intentional when managing your life.

Here are my top ten highlights taken from my Kindle notes:


People often think that the best way to predict the future is by collecting as much data as possible before making a decision. But this is like driving a car looking only at the rearview mirror—because data is only available about the past.


But so much of what’s become popular thinking isn’t grounded in anything more than a series of anecdotes. Solving the challenges in your life requires a deep understanding of what causes what to happen.


The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. —Steve Jobs


All of these factors—priorities, balancing plans with opportunities, and allocating your resources—combine to create your strategy.


“What about doing something important, or something you really love? Isn’t that why you came here?” “Don’t worry,” came back the answer. “This is just for a couple of years. I’ll pay off my loans, get myself in a good financial position, then I’ll go chase my real dreams.

They’d managed to expand their lifestyle to fit the salaries they were bringing in, and it was really difficult to wind that back. They’d made choices early on because of the hygiene factors, not true motivators, and they couldn’t find their way out of that trap.


In my assessment, it is frightfully easy for us to lose our sense of the difference between what brings money and what causes happiness. You must be careful not to confuse correlation with causality in assessing the happiness we can find in different jobs.


This is another way of saying that if you are in these circumstances, experiment in life. As you learn from each experience, adjust. Then iterate quickly. Keep going through this process until your strategy begins to click.


Because if the decisions you make about where you invest your blood, sweat, and tears are not consistent with the person you aspire to be, you’ll never become that person.

A string of quotes, not taken in perfect sequence but fitting a nice theme

The same is true in our relationships: we go into them thinking about what we want rather than what is important to the other person. Changing your perspective is a powerful way to deepen your relationships.
More important, the jobs that your spouse is trying to do are often very different from the jobs that you think she should want to do.

A husband may be convinced that he is the selfless one, and also convinced that his wife is being self-centered because she doesn’t even notice everything he is giving her—and vice versa. This is exactly the interaction between the customers and the marketers of so many companies, too.

I deeply believe that the path to happiness in a relationship is not just about finding someone who you think is going to make you happy. Rather, the reverse is equally true: the path to happiness is about finding someone who you want to make happy, someone whose happiness is worth devoting yourself to.

But you have to go beyond understanding what job your spouse needs you to do. You have to do that job. You’ll have to devote your time and energy to the effort, be willing to suppress your own priorities and desires, and focus on doing what is required to make the other person happy.


The marginal cost of doing something “just this once” always seems to be negligible, but the full cost will typically be much higher. Yet unconsciously, we will naturally employ the marginal-cost doctrine in our personal lives. A voice in our head says, “Look, I know that as a general rule, most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s okay.”

Interview he did with Forbes

Here’s a Tedx presentation that he did presenting these ideas:

Quantified Self Measurements – Q2 2013

Potential things I want to add / do in second quarter of 2013:

– blood sugars (at least for 1 week, multiple times throughout day)
– books read
– lectures listened to / watched (subjects reviewed)
– research articles read
– amount of coffee (because I know that the binary data for each day is ‘yes’)

Also need to get outcomes page created, which will include information I already collect
– weight
– body comp
– body measurements
– run mileage / duration / ctl / tss
– possibly break out steps on treadmill desk (don’t currently track individually)

Tracking 2013 – Important Data and Patterns

This year I have decided to set forth on a journey that is a little different then almost every year for the past 14 years. I have become accustom to setting goals for the upcoming year on January 1st, or soon after. This year I have decided to make a little bit of change in that pattern, primarily because I wanted to start tracking something different – but also because the past two years have not been exceptionally successful for me on a personal level.

They say that stupidity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting to get different results. Therefore rather than setting big goals (like Ironman, sub 3 hour marathon, being debt free) and creating a plan to meet those goals, I’ve decided to take a daily commitment approach.

What does this mean?

I am going to track my daily commitment to the behaviors that I believe are the key to a successful year. The thought being that commitment to the these behaviors are going to propel me towards the things I’d like to accomplish. I’ve discussed this idea previously over at Endurance Base Camp, talking about “process goals” versus “outcome goals”.

I (and our culture) am often committed to outcomes. I want to be a successful runner; which I’ve defined as getting my marathon time under 3 hours. I want to be an individual that lives with financial freedom; which I’ve defined as having zero debt. I want to ….

The point is that it is easy to commit to the outcomes we want to have, but it’s a completely different level of commitment to live into the daily patterns that are necessary to make those outcomes become a reality.

What am I committing to?

As I work out what I want my “future self” to be, I’ve come up with a few behaviors I am confident will help that desire become a reality:

  • 30min of Aerobic Exercise – this is a minimum acceptable duration, 4 days a week for Q1 2013
  • Strength Training – the specifics are not as valuable as getting it done twice a week for Q1 2013
  • Yoga, Animal Flow & Daily Steps – supplemental physical parameters that I believe will help
  • 9 Servings of Fruits & Veges, eating breakfast (60min of waking), protein with breakfast
  • Alcohol, water, diet soda and soda – it’s clear that what I drink is bigger need for change than what I eat
  • Bed by 10:30pm and 7.5 hours of sleep – it become incredibly obvious in 2012 that my poor sleep derailed my ability manage stress and train the way I wanted.
  • Meditation & Scripture Reading – two behaviors that are consistently present when I am happy

Those are the behaviors that I have identified for the first quarter of 2013. Some other things that I have identified that are not necessarily daily behaviors, yet I have decided to look at adding them to my 2013 schedule of behaviors:

  1. 4 backpacking, hiking and camping trips — primitive camping always makes me happy
  2. Quarterly long weekends — taking a little bit of a lead from Brad Feld, I’m scheduling a 4 day weekend each quarter.
  3. 1 personal get-a-way — no idea what this means yet, maybe a long camping trip by myself, possibly getting away for a week long bike touring trip (solo of course), who knows?

There are some other things that I’ll look at adding in the second quarter of 2013, depending on how this goes.  I need to add intellectual habits, such as reading books and taking online courses.  I also need to add some financial behaviors, but just don’t want to overload myself right now.

I created a page to share the graphs from my spreadsheet that I’m using to track this data, you can find it here:  Gary’s Behavior Tracking Dashboard

PS, I just noticed that it is 10:33pm EST.  This means that I’m not meeting that behavior for today.  It’s a process.