Category Archives: Time's a wastin'…

Fathers Need to Die

I’m a dad and I need to die.  In fact, I think all fathers should die.  We’d all be better off for it.

I don’t mean that we should all literally die, of course.  But in a sense, good fathers kill themselves.

I’m not getting any clearer, am I?

How about this:  My selfishness needs to die.

In any relationship, there is a constant battle of what-I-want VS. what-you-want.  That kid (hopefully not mine) throwing a tantrum in the toy aisle?  Selfishness.  He wants the toy, you want your dignity.

The problem is that while our tantrums (hopefully) decrease as we grow older, the root of the tantrum often hangs around much longer.  To be a great dad, I need to kill this root of selfishness.

Break out the Roundup.

I’m not merely talking about sharing your ice cream with your little one.  That’s easy and mostly inconsequential.  It’s exceedingly more difficult to be selfless with our time.

Is your hobby killing your family?

A tremendous young pastor, Josh Lindstrom, spoke some wise words for dads.  Between his job and his family, he doesn’t have time for hobbies.  Truthfully, I don’t either.  Do you?

Do you have kids at home but play golf every weekend?  Why?  Shouldn’t your family be your hobby?

If I took the time for hobbies, something would suffer.  But it wouldn’t be my work duties.  Family often gets the short end of the stick.

I love to go mountain biking with my friend.  But when I go, half of my Saturday is gone – prime time to chill with the family.

So you’re saying I can’t ever have any fun?

Nope.  But I have three suggestions for dads:

1.  Consider changing your idea of “fun”.  Sure (insert activity) is fun, but find something you can do with your family.  Spending time hiking or just being outside together has been great for my family.  Find what works for yours.

2.  “I’ve earned the right to ____________.”  Get over yourself.  You have a family.  Therefore, you have earned the right to lead them courageously.  One of the greatest ways you can do that is to…

3. …be intentional with your time.  I don’t know about your home, but with my kids, the days are often long but the years are way too short.  Spend time doing things that matter with people that matter.

And who matters more than those little people who buy you ties every June?



4 hours and 49 minutes

trending the wrong way...

I don’t know about you, but the graph above is a combination of shocking, troubling, and a little bit scary.

I could lecture, give facts, opinions, cite studies, and more. Instead, I’ll just ask two questions:

1. What would your home be like if the TV wasn’t on for an average of 8 hours and 21 minutes a day?

2. What could you do with an extra 4 hours and 49 minutes a day?

If we can keep these questions in mind as we make our 2011 goals and resolutions, I think we’ll be much more productive, happy, healthy, and blessed.

Wishing you a TV-free 2011!

Maybe later…

I’m not too good at math sometimes, but procrastination is a four-letter word.

I read something the other day by David McCasland where he wrote, “…it takes as much energy to avoid a task as it does to do it. Procrastination saps power; completion gives relief.”

Dang it. He’s right.

Procrastination saps every part of our lives, from work, to leisure, to relationships, and to contributing to the greater good.

This made me think about Clay Shirky.Mr. Shirky writes about the social and economic effects of Internet technology and has a book that I’d like to get a hold of. At any rate, a reviewer of this book on Amazon, Alyson had this to say:

Shirky suggests that the historical barriers to collaboration (principally time, expense, and the ability to easily find like-minded people) have been largely stripped away, enabling us to make better use of the unused brain cells (our cognitive surplus) made dormant by TV addiction.

Not only do we have a cognitive surplus, we also have a surplus of time! Many will call me crazy for writing that last sentence, but if we strip away the unnecessary things we’ve added to our lives, we probably have more “free time” than we realize.

Marriage in the crapper? Make time to make it better.
Kids growing up too quickly? Stop and spend the evening with them.
Have friends you haven’t seen in 25 years? Go see them!
Always say, “We should go there.”? Go there!
Want to volunteer somewhere? What’s stopping you?

We have the time and resources to do what was unheard of less than a generation ago. What will you do with it?

Are you softly addicted?

When you think of being addicted, images of a non-functioning drunk, druggie, or porn-driven man come to mind. And while these addictions are absolutely destructive to people and society, there are more subtle and socially-accepted addictions that can take you down.

Judith Wright writes about so-called “soft addictions” where “seemingly harmless habits like over-shopping, overeating, watching too much TV, endlessly surfing the internet, and procrastinating actually keep us from the life we want. They cost us money, rob us of time, numb us from our feelings, mute our consciousness, and drain our energy. And we all have them.” The challenge for all of us is recognize the traps that trap us and avoid them. That’s one reason why my family doesn’t have a television.

Take Judith’s quiz (see link above) to see if you have a soft addiction. Then, if you do, write down some steps to move beyond that and make a positive change in your life’s direction.


2010 – now with 2 months FREE!

What would you do if I said you could have more free time than you can imagine in 2010? Would you go back to school? Spend more time with your family? Start a business on the side? (Right, Pamela Slim?) Get a good night’s sleep?

I don’t have time for anything else. How often do we say that? It’s a pretty lame excuse that we give for not doing something to step out of our comfort zone for a little self-improvement. Our day seems to fill up with all the trivialities of life and there seems to be no time.

If you’re like the average American, however, the time killer is most likely your TV. Americans spend an average of four hours a day in front of the TV. Four hours of sitting and not doing. We don’t make resolutions to sit more. We make resolutions to do more. Four hours is 1/6 of a day. One-sixth of a year is TWO MONTHS. I’ll write that again because it’s so crazy: TWO MONTHS!

Want sixty more days in 2010 than you’ve ever had? Put your TV in a closet and leave it there. Sell it to some poor chap who doesn’t have the gumption to stop sitting and start doing. Get out of the rut you’re in, change the dynamics of your family, and begin to find life away from the television.

P.S. If you’re crazy enough to try this little (admittedly) non-conforming experiment, let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you and offer encouragement to keep it up!