I’m Co-Leading a Financial Peace University Class this September!

Hello hello!

I’m pretty excited to share that in September, I will be co-leading a Financial Peace University class at our church! For those who don’t know, FPU is a 9-week class created by Ramsey Solutions. They designed it to help people pay off their debt, build wealth, become financially independent and be unbelievably generous.

A lot of the writing on this blog revolves around pursuing passion in a responsible way. Master the Simple to Become the Expert. That’s partly why I’m so excited about this class — I have passion for this.

Shortly after Bailey and I got married, we took Financial Peace University online and learned a lot about finances, budgeting, retirement, insurances, real estate, and mortgages. I’ve also listened to well over 100 hours of the Dave Ramsey Podcast. So I’m very familiar with the organization and the financial principles they teach.

To anyone who has read my book or followed this blog, it’s no surprise that I like Dave Ramsey and the resources his team has built to help people.

Here’s why I like Financial Peace University and why you should take the class.

1. It aligns with my beliefs

What FPU teaches it biblically based. Stewardship is a significant theme in the Bible and Ramsey’s program focuses on that as a goal.

What God calls us to do with our finances is to be stewards of the money He has given us to manage. Just take the parable of the talents. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus calls people to be wise with what God has given them.

Plus, the Bible clearly states in Proverbs 22:7 that “the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

2. It’s not a Get-rich-quick scheme

What Ramsey teaches is not a get-rich-quick scheme — he literally says it’s slow and steady that wins the race. He teaches that becoming wealthy comes from consistent saving and investment through intentional decision making.

This means taking responsibility for personal choices. No one can make your money behave but you.

3. It focuses on generosity

Something I love about the Ramsey plan is that it doesn’t focus on becoming filthy rich for the sake of having money. FPU focuses on creating flexibility in your life while being unbelievably generous.

Generosity is one way how we show God that we trust in his provision for our lives. And with wealth and no debt, you can do a lot of good through giving to others.

Live like no one else so that later you can live and give like no one else.

Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace Univeristy

4. It creates hope

One of the most inspiring parts of Dave Ramsey’s show is the “Debt Free Screams.” In these, normal people come into the headquarters and tell Dave about their story and how they worked their ways out of debt. In the last 17 years, people who have done the screams have paid off a combined half of a billion dollars. That’s just the people who have told Dave about it in studio. That’s inspiring and hopeful.

And that’s why I’m excited to help teach this class.

If you live near Columbus, Ohio, consider joining our class. I would absolutely LOVE to see you there!

Plus, if you use this link to sign up, you’ll get $20 off your registration!

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or you can email me at cbtiger1@gmail.com!

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From a Millennial: We Aren’t Entitled

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to someone how I wanted more than 2 weeks of vacation from my job. I wanted more flexibility so I could help on youth group trips and still participate in family trips throughout the year.

This individual who knows me well was like, “I think that’s about the most millennial thing I’ve ever heard you say!”

Now, I know more vacation sounds very millennial of me to want, but I’m not entitled about it. I know that it takes a lot of work and preparation to create that kind of flexibility in my life.

Which brought up an excellent topic for this blog.

Entitlement: What is it?

Millennials are notorious for being the “entitled generation.” The word “Entitled” is what older generations tend to use when describing bratty and lazy youngsters.

“He thinks he’s entitled to free college. In my day, we had to work hard and pay for it ourselves!”

Being a millennial myself, I understand the frustration with the thinking of my generation. I suppose you could call me an old soul. I’m annoyed when someone says they “deserve” something great when they’re entirely average.

As a millennial, I’m here to say something:

Entitlement isn’t a real thing. At least not yet.

Entitlement is, however, a perceived thing.

Let me explain.

You don’t deserve anything.

Entitlement is real but only when you actually do something great. Aside from that, it’s entirely a perception of anyone who thinks they deserve anything.

I am not entitled to anything. I’m not entitled to a good job because I have an engineering degree. I’m not entitled to free education because I live in America and the student loan program is broken. I’m not entitled to a leadership position just because I’ve worked somewhere for ten years. I’m not entitled to salvation from hell because of good things I’ve done.

To start, you don’t deserve anything either. In America, you get life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s about it.

Now, I’m a sucker for free stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll spend more money in fuel to get free food than what it’s actually worth. However, the perception that we should be given things for free is ludicrous.

I am here to call out those who say they are entitled.

You’re ruining my generation.

You may think you’re entitled, but you aren’t.

Take responsibility and earn it.

You don’t deserve your family’s money. You don’t deserve the same size house as your parents because they’ve been working 30 years longer than you.

The way to get past this entitlement mentality is to work. Take responsibility for your life. Work hard at your job so you can provide value to your employer. Make something great that other people want and sell it. No one’s going to give you anything just because you think you’re different.

No one’s going to read this blog just because I like to write it. I have to earn readership.

You’re only entitled to what you’ve earned, so take responsibility for your life and go earn something.

And please Don’t play the victim.

When you play the victim, you rob yourself of your own dignity because you create an excuse for failure.

One of the simplest and yet profound things I have read was from a book called Building a Storybrand. In it, author Donald Miller made note of the victim in every story. He pointed out that heroes change because they have to. Victims don’t change at all. They only wait to be rescued.

Is that who you want to be? Are you merely waiting to be rescued?

There is hope for millennials!

Millennials are notoriously known for being the entitled generation and I don’t like it. In fact, I see a lot of hope for our generation. The majority of the millennials I know are go-getters. They don’t expect something solely because of their age, color, or beliefs. They know they have to work hard. They don’t make excuses. There is a lot to be hopeful about.

Yeah, I want more vacation. I want a perfect job that’s flexible and fun. But I’m not entitled about it. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. It takes a long time of hard work to create that kind of job for myself. But I’m willing to put in the time and effort. I’m willing to take responsibility for that dream.

How about you?

-Caleb

Goal Planning and Strengths Finding

This planning round we camped! Lots of mosquitos and humidity

This past weekend, my family had another goal planning day! We looked over the goals we made at the beginning of the year and talked about our successes and failures.

I had some pretty lofty goals and work ended up being more demanding than I had anticipated. Because of this, many of mine are way off and require some rework in order to make them attainable by the end of the year. But that’s why we look at them during the year.

I’ve talked about our planning weekend in January before. Basically, we reserved an Airbnb and spent an evening and morning asking some pretty deep questions about ourselves, our goals and how we can move forward with them.

We set new goals and prepared for the coming year. Some goals were personal, business, spiritual, and financial. It really helped by getting some dreams and strategies for achieving said dreams down on paper.

personality test time

This weekend, we changed it up a bit. After we analyzed our goals, we looked at the our personality types based on the Clifton Strengths Finder Test. Here were my top 5 strengths:

  • 1. Individualization (which means I am good at looking at people as individuals)
  • 2. Empathy (which means I am good at getting on the same level with people)
  • 3. Developer (which means I love leading and developing people)
  • 4. Harmony (which means I like to resolve problems with as little of conflict as possible)
  • 5. Futuristic (which means I like to look ahead at what is possible in the future)

No surprise there on any of those! As a family, we’re talking about how we can make use of the knowledge about our strengths to help us in our goals.

Overall, it was an awesome weekend. Very insightful to say the least.

Goal planning is able to be done alone, for sure. However, I am finding more and more, if you do it with others and actually follow up on all of your goals together, it makes planning a lot easier. It adds in an extra level of accountability and I highly recommend it.

What are your strengths? How are your goals going this year?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And as always, if you found this post was valuable in any way, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Get Your Side Hustle Going in 27 Days

I’ve talked about Chris Guillebeau before, specifically in my recent post about 8 audiobooks I listened to in 2018. He has a book called Side Hustle in which he outlines the process for taking an idea you have and developing a profitable side hustle in a mere 27 days.

And he’s got stories of person after person who have done exactly that.

From sidehustleschool.com

Chris also has a daily podcast where he tells a story about a real person who brought their side hustle idea to a profitable business and how they did it. Through all these stories, he tackles strategies for developing extra income as well as common struggles and how to combat them.

I love his podcast because listening to a different story every day is super motivational. And understanding the shear vastness of side hustle possibilities helps get the ideas flowing. Chris has decades of experience in living off of side hustles and understands the process.

I highly recommend his podcast!

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My own side hustle

I have a side hustle, though I didn’t know about Chris and his resources until well after I started mine.

Mine is filmmaking.

I actually have a business called Hearthstone Films. The process of getting a video together for a client and them being excited about it makes me really enjoy the projects. This past weekend, I filmed a wedding! I actually figured out this was my 9th wedding I have filmed. Pretty cool!

I also finished another project this past weekend for a golf course. It’s a promotional video about Fling Golf. Here’s the video right here.

The thing I like about my hustle is it gives me a space for me to exercise my creativity. Sure, engineering needs creativity as well! It’s just not the same type in my opinion.

Do you have a side hustle? If so, what is it?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 2)

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Happy Resource Friday!

Recently, I wrote a post titled 8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 1). This is a continuation of that post with 8 more books I listened to in 2018! It’s very similar to the one I made about the 21 impactful books I read last year. Because of my 45 minute drive to and from work, I have lots of time to learn in the car from audiobooks. I use Libby (which I have reviewed here on the blog), a library app that allows you to borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free.

Here are 8 of the books I listened to last year and the reasons I liked or disliked them.

Click on the title in order to find out more information on each book.

1. Crush it! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is an incredibly intelligent marketer and an entertaining author. In his book Crush It!, he talks passionately about the new economy in which we live and how the markets change. It’s chock full of pointers for following your passion by working unbelievably hard and taking advantage of the tools we now have.

One thing I really like about his books is that he fills them with his own experiences selling wine online when no one else was. He speaks from experience and helps the reader (or listener for that matter) avoid the issues he faced.

2. One Nation by Dr. ben Carson

Ben Carson is an incredibly thoughtful individual and it’s made clear through his book One Nation. Carson tackles multiple aspects of American society and how we can all do little things to benefit the nation. Some of the topics include the government, health care, taxes, and the economy,

This was a particularly interesting book to listen to because of Dr. Carson’s presidential run back in 2016. It convinced me that Carson had a thoughtful and knowledgeable plan when he ran for president. From his book, I got to learn a bit more about his proposed strategies at the time.

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3. sprint by jake Knapp

I absolutely love business strategy. Jack Knapp’s book Sprint covers just that. Knapp argues that if companies complete a “sprint” for their new product or service before actually offering it, they’ll find out if the idea is actually viable or not very quickly.

Then time and resources won’t have to be wasted on a project. But the idea may move forward if the sprint reveals ways in which the product or service can be made better.

I got this book recommendation from my pastor who participates in a monthly book club. Right now, I’m using these principles with my sister to test some ideas for a business we want to run.

4. Onward by howard Schultz

I love coffee. I don’t think the caffeine does much for me because I can drink coffee in the evening and it doesn’t affect me. But I still love the coffee. That’s where my interest in this book came from.

Written by the founder of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, Onward is a captivating story about the difficult choices that had to be made to grow the brand, especially through the 2008 recession. I find books like this give me a special affinity to a particular brand because it connects me to their story. This book was no exception.

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5. Killing Kennedy by Bill O’reilly

I picked up this book partly due to my fascination with history and partly because of how much I’ve heard about the Killing ____ series by Bill O’Reilly. Whether you like O’Reilly or not, he’s an excellent historian who has a knack for telling historical narratives with as much accuracy as possible.

Killing Kennedy was a fascinating look at everything that was going on during Kennedy’s presidential term civil rights, the space race, etc. That’s what I like about books like this. It gives reasons for why certain events happened and how they connected to other events. I enjoyed this listen. I’m not a big fan of Kennedy’s character, but there’s no question that he was an incredibly dynamic and well-liked leader at the time.

6. killing Lincoln by Bill O’reilly

As I began this book (and consequently when I listened to many other O’Reilly books), I realized how bad it would look if the NSA was watching me.

“What the heck? Now he’s listening to a bunch of books about historical leaders being assassinated. We better keep a better eye on him.”

Having said that, I wasn’t so much interested in the fact that these leaders were assassinated as I was in the events leading up to these assassinations. What events caused the assassins to break and how do all the pieces fit together? Killing Lincoln certainly did not disappoint as O’Reilly gave much background about the end of the civil war and the effect on the presidency.

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7. The Aviators by Winston Groom

I’m guessing it’s obvious I got into a history funk. This book was highly recommended to me by my cousin. Since I like airplanes, I was easily convinced.

I absolutely LOVED The Aviators. I loved it so much I listened to it twice. Groom covers in great detail the major impact each of three pilots had on aviation — Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, and Charles Lindbergh.

The reason I loved this book so much is because it not only tells a story about each pilot as they flew through the world wars — it helps the reader understand the significance of each contribution and how it affected other industries and events. The Aviators is a MUST read.

8. Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau has a podcast called The Side Hustle School where he talks about the side hustles of thousands of people and how these hustles transformed the lives of their owners. I like variety in my work, so I like talking side hustles.

This book is practical if you are working a normal job but want to get into another space — maybe one in which you have a lot more passion. As the subtitle suggests, Guillebeau will help you start up your side hustle and create income in 27 days. I recommend it if you want to spice up life and gather some small business ideas!

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Learn every day

I want you to make an effort to learn every day. It takes work, it really does. Unfortunately for me, I am not able to read the number of physical books this year that I did last year. So audiobooks have become a necessary supplement. Plus, on 1.5x speed, you can blow through books like never before!

Check out Libby today and listen to these books for free!

What is your favorite book you’ve read?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And if you found any value in this post, give it a like and me a follow!

-Caleb

this free email gives you an entertaining look into what’s happening every day

This is an email that I get every morning that updates me in an entertaining way of the happenings in the world. It’s a long form email but it’s easy to skim and pick up the information you find interesting or relevant. Plus it’s a great way to support the blog and won’t cost you anything!


 

The Truth About Marriage Two Years Later

Ok, ok, I’m going off script just a bit today. Why?

Because Bailey and I have been married for two full years as of today!

First of all, it’s been so much fun being married to Bailey. She’s funny and quirky but also so caring and considerate. We’ve done all the cliched things together.

We’ve laughed together, cried together, fought together and learned together. So that’s cool.

I love her so much. Happy anniversary, Bailey Bug!

Throwback to our wedding day

In honor of today, I looked back at the post that I wrote on our wedding day. In my post “A Letter To My Bride On Our Wedding Day,” I love getting to see what was going on in my head just hours before we got hitched. Here are a couple of my favorite paragraphs:

Bailey, I love your heart. How you love the Lord and seek to follow him with your life. How you interact with people and truly show God’s love in how you treat them. I love your giggle but I love it best when I make it come out. You’re so thoughtful, mature and humble in your normal life. You are a true treasure! 

This is still true. She is still a true treasure.

Bailey, I know I’m not perfect and I’m confident you’ll realize this more and more as we go into marriage! I pray that as your husband, I can learn to serve you and give myself to you as Christ has done for the church. When I hurt you, tell me. When I fail, forgive me. When I’m discouraged, uplift me. When I lose track of the goal, point me back to Christ. That’s what I ask. 

This is also still true. I want Bailey and I to continually go back to Christ for the perfect example of a perfect marriage.

That day was so special. Bailey and I finally got to get married with all the people we love around us. We were surrounded by prayer (as you can see in the photo above) and I know that people still pray for us. It was awesome and a day to be remembered (though it was blazing hot outside).

Marriage is a promotor of growth

And here’s the connection to this blog — there’s been a lot of personal and relational growth in the past two years. I say this rather facetiously, but if you want to grow a lot, get married. Man, I’ll tell you what.

Marriage reminds you that you’ve got someone else to look after, not just yourself. It teaches you selflessness beyond what you may have expected (and I have not perfected this).

It causes you to realize that you’re not the only one losing out on hopes and dreams if you don’t work towards them now. It makes you more responsible because, once again, you aren’t the only one you have to look out for now.

Marriage is an incredibly humbling journey.

I joke about getting married for boosting growth. Of course that would be a horrible primary reason. But marriage will promote growth because when you get married, you can’t stay the same.

Trust me.

In what ways has marriage caused you to change and grow?

I want to hear from you in the comments! And as always, if you found any value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

click here for our wedding Music Video

I love our music video of our wedding day. A buddy of mine shot it and I edited it. I thought I’d share it here.

Work Life with Adam Grant (Podcast Review)

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Happy Resource Friday!

Today we look at another podcast! This podcast will help you master the simpler aspects of your job so you can become an expert in your field — all through the podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant.

Adam Grant is a psychology professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. If you’ve ever binge-watched TED Talks on You Tube, you might have watched his viral talk about what makes someone an original thinker. It’s a very entertaining watch.

Grant’s a multiple New York Times bestselling author. I have read one of his books, Originals, and thought his perspective and his research on what makes someone an original thinker was incredibly applicable. He not only breaks down original thinkers at their core, but he also gives his readers a list of ways they can become original thinkers themselves.

This all sets the groundwork for an excellent podcast.

WorkLife with Adam Grant

Photo credit http://www.ted.com

Grant’s podcast is called WorkLife with Adam Grant and tackles the how-to of loving the career you have. Here’s the introduction to the podcast straight from TED’s podcast page.

You spend a quarter of your life at work. You should enjoy it! Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to discover the keys to better work life. From learning how to love your rivals to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again.

From http://www.ted.com

In this podcast, Grant leads the listener through topics like “How to trust people you don’t like” to “Networking for people who hate networking.” He invites experts to give their opinions and research on the topics. He also gives the listeners specific action points for improving themselves in that area.

You won’t be bored

Grant is a researcher at heart, but the way he communicates his findings is just as important to him. I found his book, his TED talk, and his podcast very entertaining! He is certainly an original thinker himself and it shows through his creative method of communication.

The podcast is also in an easily-consumable format — around 30 minutes and perfect for the commute to work!

I highly recommend his podcast!

what podcasts do you listen to?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And as always, if you found this post to have value in it, give it a like and give me a follow. I really appreciate it!

-Caleb

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this free email gives you an entertaining look into what’s happening every day

This is an email that I get every morning that updates me in an entertaining way of the happenings in the world. It’s a long form email but it’s easy to skim and pick up the information you find interesting or relevant. Plus it’s a great way to support the blog and won’t cost you anything!


The best way to get physical books

If you like to read, I highly recommend Thriftbooks—and you can get Adam Grant’s book Originals there!. It’s a great way to get discounted books for a fraction of what you might pay on Amazon. I’ve bought over $150 of books from them in the past two years and have had zero complaints! Plus you can get 15% off your first order!


Perfect graduation gift

I’m really liking my Panda Planner. I’m learning how to use it to make my time more productive. It would make a great gift for a new graduate! Especially those who are heading into college and don’t know how to plan out their time accordingly.

8 Audiobooks I Listened to in 2018 (Part 1)

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Happy Resource Friday!

Today I thought I would give a short outline of some of the books I listened to in 2018 in a similar post to the one I made about the 21 impactful books I read last year. Because of my 45 minute drive to and from work, I have lots of time to learn in the car from audiobooks. I use Libby (which I have reviewed here on the blog), a library app that allows you to borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free.

Here are 8 of the books I listened to last year and the reasons I liked or disliked them.

Click on the title in order to find out more information on each book.

1. Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

I’ve talked about this book several times. I loved this book because it helped me and Bailey develop life plans that give direction for the future. It takes the reader through a process that helps them write their eulogy (really? yes) and create “Life Accounts” to make priorities.

You can read my full review here!

2. The 4-hour workweek by Tim Ferriss

Ferriss puts a ton of information in his book with some good tips for automation within business, allowing someone to make passive income and work very little. I found that it was interesting because it shows what is possible in today’s age of technology.

This is not one of my favorite books mainly because of how it’s written. Though Ferriss gives a lot of information about how to automate your own business, I just didn’t find the way the content was conveyed particularly engaging.

3. necessary endings by Dr. Henry Cloud

I’ve heard Dr. Henry Cloud talk on many occasions mostly through You Tube videos and podcasts. Cloud is a deep thinker when it comes to human psychology and really puts ideas into simple-to-understand writing.

Necessary Endings covers the ways we can end things in our lives. It focuses on how these endings can help us grow into healthier individuals. Any number of things can require necessary endings — chapters of life, careers, toxic relationships, etc. Cloud does an excellent job of covering these topics in great depth.

4. When by Daniel Pink

Staying in the vein of psychology, I have several books by Daniel Pink, a behavioral psychologist and proficient author. When is a book that tackles the idea that when we do things actually matters. He uses tons of examples to paint a clear picture of how most of us don’t do things at the right times, making our professional and personal lives far less efficient and enjoyable.

Something as simple as the kind of work we do at different times of the day. One example he used was talking about the natural highs and lows of concentration throughout someone’s day. Most people are going to be able to focus on analytical tasks better in the morning, then will have to tackle more menial tasks like email in the slump of the afternoon. I loved this book and I think you will too!

5. Permission to screw up by Kristen Hadeed

Some books are made up of information about how to do something (like the first four books in this blog post). Permission to Screw Up is not one, following more of a narrative through the author’s mistakes of growing a business. Books like this are easy to listen to because it’s made up almost entirely of stories.

Hadeed follows her business from the very beginning to the point she is now, emphasizing her mistakes in leadership, finances, scaling and many other topics. Books about experience, not just theory, are particularly memorable to me and this one was no exception.

6. economics in one lesson by henry hazlitt

I am fascinated by economics. Normally, I check reviews about books before reading or listening to them but I just tried this one for the heck of it. It’s more than 50 years old and it’s about economics so it definitely has a different type of language in it.

Having said that, if you want to learn more about economics and how even a minor change in government or society can affect the economy, read this book! Hazlitt does an excellent job of organizing this book so it makes sense. Thus, it’s an easy one to follow. And it gives some great points on economy that you can use to impress your friends at the next political discussion.

7. Never split the difference by chris voss

This is a mindblowingly simple book to follow and understand which is why I love it so much! We all understand the necessity of good negotiating skills and this book will make you far more confident in your ability to negotiate better pay, a car sale or even just day to day interactions.

Voss’s book is incredibly entertaining because, being an ex-FBI hostage negotiator, he has story after story of their team saving hostage lives, not through force but through psychological intelligence. I loved this book so much that I listened to it twice!

8. crucial conversations by various authors

I read another book by these same authors last year called Influencer and liked it a lot (can you tell I only read books I think I will like a lot? I have a limited amount of time so what can I say..). This book uses many examples to convey simple strategies for hitting the home run when communicating with people during awkward or tough conversations.

It’s a practical book that will give you more confidence about how to not avoid confrontation when confrontation is what will move a relationship forward (or create a necessary ending!).

Learn every day

I want you to make an effort to learn every day. It takes work, it really does. Unfortunately for me, I am not able to read the number of physical books this year that I did last year. So audiobooks have become a necessary supplement. Plus, on 1.5x speed, you can blow through books like never before!

Check out Libby today and listen to these books for free!

What is your favorite book you’ve read?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And if you found any value in this post, give it a like and me a follow!

-Caleb

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this free email gives you an entertaining look into what’s happening every day

This is an email that I get every morning that updates me in an entertaining way of the happenings in the world. It’s a long form email but it’s easy to skim and pick up the information you find interesting or relevant. Plus it’s a great way to support the blog and won’t cost you anything!


No Free Lunch

Monday’s my normal day to post on the blog but Memorial Monday? What do you write on a day like today? I was kinda dreading it. I had no idea what to write. I’ll start by telling you the other title I considered for this post:

This is My Memorial.

Photo by Aaron Schwartz from Pexels

Growing up, I saw Memorial Day as a patriotic family day — almost a secondary July 4th. I saw it as a day off work for my dad and a good excuse to get grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins together for some grilling, watermelon and lemonade. It was the kickoff of summer — the first time those who didn’t own a pool could feel that cool water hit their skin on the first cannonball.

Memorial Day had a feeling of freedom ingrained in it. Freedom from work. Freedom from school. Yeah, classes may have been done by then but Memorial Day officially made no-school a frequent summer term.

And, of course, the biggest freedom was the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a memorial to the soldiers who made the ultimate act of love by Jesus’ own definition (John 15:13). Giving up one’s own life has no minor price tag.

America remembers

Photo by Veronika Valdova from Pexels

I get on Facebook today and there are posts all over reminding of the freedoms we get to experience in the United States. I’ve seen many heartfelt posts, many from people who have actually lost a serviceman or servicewoman. One post was a simple share giving some direction for today. It said,

If you want to be a good American, be the kind of person worth dying for.

I actually don’t have anyone in my family who has died serving their country. I don’t understand the magnitude of pain that must be experienced from a tragedy like that. It’s probably why I have never felt I understood the seriousness of today. I understand the freedom but how can I understand the price?

America doesn’t need my reminder of what Memorial Day means. It’s doing pretty well at remembering today. But this is my memorial. It’s my memorial to those who died for my freedom even when I’m not the kind of person worth dying for. It’s my memorial for letting me pursue the dreams I have. It’s my memorial for making me a more patriotic and caring person.

Nothing’s Free

Here’s the relevance to this blog. We all want to become experts at something. Some may want to climb the corporate ladder. Some want the freedom to work for themselves.

Whatever it is, it stems from the freedom to make our lives and careers into whatever we want. But there’s a price to pay. As the well-known saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

How do you normally celebrate Memorial Day?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

Journaling is Hard. Here’s a Great Tool to Start.

Happy Wednesday!

Early this year, I posted about two simple goals I made for this year (click here to read it). One was journaling at least once per week. This has proven to be a struggle for me all my life.

John Maxwell, the well-known leadership teacher, talks extensively in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth about the Law of Reflection. He argues that this is one of the ways that successful people grow. Every day, they reflect on their lives and learn from their experiences.

Recently, however, I snagged a new journal to help me in this goal (up to that point, I just used a notebook). It’s called the Full Focus Journal and essentially is a souped-up Five Minute Journal for those who like to write more. Here’s a quick look at both.

The Full Focus Journal asks specific questions every day that helps you reflect on life and how you can learn from your experiences.

Image from FullFocusJournal.com

Image from FullFocusJournal.com

Image from FullFocusJournal.com

Tons of people love the Five Minute Journal. It’s an easy way to write down the highs and lows of the day as well as observations made. I may try one at some point. The thing that is attractive to me about this journal is the fact that it has a few lines to fill out, not extensive sections. I want to keep a journal but the larger sections honestly intimidate me.

Five Minute Journal
Image from intelligentchange.com

Five Minute Journal
Image from intelligentchange.com

I’ll be honest, I got the Full Focus Journal because I had a discount code for it and wanted to check it out. Updates to come!

What’s your favorite way to journal? How do you reflect?

I want to hear from you in the comments below! And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

this free email gives you an entertaining look into what’s happening every day

This is an email that I get every morning that updates me in an entertaining way of the happenings in the world. It’s a long form email but it’s easy to skim and pick up the information you find interesting or relevant. Plus it’s a great way to support the blog and won’t cost you anything!


The best way to get physical books

If you like to read, I highly recommend Thriftbooks. It’s a great way to get discounted books for a fraction of what you might pay on Amazon. I’ve bought over $150 of books from them in the past two years and have had zero complaints! Plus you can get 15% off your first order!


Perfect graduation gift

I’m really liking my Panda Planner. I’m learning how to use it to make my time more productive. It would make a great gift for a new graduate! Especially those who are heading into college and don’t know how to plan out their time accordingly.