As this blog fills up with more and more posts I thought it might be helpful to have a table of contents that shows the different topics and subjects covered in my internet ramblings. Below you will see a list of blogs organized by topics/series. Simply click on the title of the blog to read the post.


  1. The Power of Ideas/Creativity/Innovation

    • Do You Have the Time: One of the many reasons our children are becoming less creative is that it simply takes time to develop creativity skills. Our children today have so much of their time filled up with activities, places to go, things to do, that many of them have schedules that rival many CEO’s of the world.
    • You Can Change the World: The fact of the matter is that everything around you is an expression of an idea — someone’s idea: the clothes you wear, the watch you use to tell time, the phone ringing in your purse, the car you drive, even the key chain that the car keys are attached to.
    • Sometimes You Just Have to Hit the Showers: This is why so many great ideas happen in the shower. It is the one point in your day where you are not juggling many different tasks or responsibilities, you are alone to think to yourself, you are relaxed, and you are in an environment where you can dream, connect, and be inspired. 
    • How Coffee Can Change the World: All you coffee lovers out there (who probably went to get a cup of coffee after seeing the picture for this blog) already know that coffee can be an important ingredient in making thinking possible. But that is not what this blog is about.
    • The Change of a Lifetime: But here is the ironic thing, for the most part, the system and the way that we do education has not changed much since 1917. 
    • Quote Unquote: Today I am posting quotes from my time researching and reading about the power of ideas. Here are ones that have stood out to me and have made it into my quote book:
    • Five Monkeys and a Banana:  When the new monkey saw the bananas he started up the ladder and the other four monkeys proceeded to stop him. 
    • Life Hacks: Essentially a “life hack” is an idea. Someone came up with a way to do something more easily or solve an everyday problem with an idea. All of us at some point have used a life hack in our car, or home, or even at work.
    • The Next Popsicle: Over the generations you have to wonder how many amazing ideas never happened because an adult dismissed it because it came from a young person.
    • Innovation is Believing (Guest Blog – Elizabeth Chapman): Innovation is risky because you’re always leaving the comfortable known.  Whether it’s changing jobs or blog hosts,  the new can be scary or frustrating even if the old was boring or quirky.
  2. The Power of Passion

    • The Power of Boredom: Interestingly enough, the World Economic Forum is saying that if you want to be a good parent let your children be bored?
    • The Right Kind of Addiction: So why are we talking about passion? Because passion is a part of a fulfilling, successful, and purpose-filled life. As parents and educators we need to help our children/students find their passion(s). 
    • The Pain of Passion: Many people do not know that the word “passion” actually comes from the Latin root word “passio” which means “suffering”. The word passion in Old English was actually used to describe suffering. 
  3. The Power of Priorities

    • If I had to do it All Over Again: If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?
    • Brace for Impact: As the plane glided down close to the river the pilot came over the intercom and said “brace for impact.” Little did Rick know that this would be prophetic statement in his life in more than one way.
    • The Clock and the Compass: Time has been called “the great equalizer.” Whether you are a rich man on a yacht, or a homeless person on the street, you get the same amount of hours and minutes each day. 
    • Part of the Crowd: When our day gets filled up with so many other things, it is the quiet ones, the ones not screaming for our attention, that get crowded out.
    • Time To Defrag: The thing is, much like a computer, you will not “defrag” all that has happened this last semester by accident.
  4.  The Power of Failure

    • Failure – The Path to Success: Admittedly, modern, western education does not do a good job of teaching kids how to handle failure. In fact, for the most part, we do the opposite. 
    • Successful Failures: Unfortunately our current educational system has evolved into one that avoids failure and presents failure to our students, not as a part of life or a process of growth, but instead as something that defines who you are.
    • I Fail Therefore I am: In the 4th century Saint Augustine made the statement “fallor ergo sum,” which means “I err therefore I am.”
    • Where Failure Becomes Success: How do we create an environment for our kids where failure is a positive part of growing up? How do we let them fail but not become failures?
    • Failure is Always an OptionAs NASA and its engineers frantically tried to figure out how to solve all the issues resulting from the explosion, Gene Kranz the mission commander in Houston, is credited with making the famous statement “Failure is not an option!
  5. The Power of Grit

    • Got Grit: Most of us know what grit is or at least know when we see it but most of us would possibly struggle trying to define it, explain it, or teach it.
    • Hitting the Wall: “If our kids have graduated from here with nothing but success, then we have failed them, because they haven’t learned how to respond to frustration and failure.”
    • Let’s Go To The Movies: In light of that I thought I could suggest some movies that do a great job of modeling grit and would encourage you to watch them with your own kids.
    • The Epitome of Grit: Never, ever give up.
    • G is For Growth (mindset): The “G” was for growth, the “R” was for resilience, the “I” was for integrity, and the “T” was for tenacity.
    • Get Grit: How do I develop or enhance a growth mindset in my life?
    • The Power of Not Yet: How are we raising our children? Are we raising them for now or not yet? Are grades their biggest goal in life? Is getting an A the biggest form of validation for them?
    • Life Lessons From a New Delhi Taxi ManWhat we can learn about a growth mindset from a taxi driver in New Delhi, India?
    • Throwing Darts at the Dartboard: Will Ferrell’s commencement speech at USC this last month does a great job of illustrating a growth mindset and grit.
    • Be a Bungy Jumper: The first thing we need to do is to define “resilience.” At an initial glance, many might think that grit and resilience are the same thing, or at least similar. 
    • Raising Resilient Kids: The bigger question for us is whether or not we, the adults, will have the courage, guts, and grit to make it happen.
    • Resilient Turkey: Researchers have found that people who practice gratitude consistently experience more positive emotions, are more likely to accomplish personal goals, are more energetic, sleep better, have lower blood pressure, and live an average of seven to nine years longer. Wow! That is quite a list.
    • inteGRITy: Integrity and grit have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship. You need grit to have integrity and you need integrity to have grit.
    • inteGRITy Pt Deux: Recently I came across the picture below on a coaching website and felt that within this picture is a great visual representation of the relationship between grit and integrity.
    • The Journey: The story of Jared Mollenkopf who perseveres and reaches the goal of losing a large amount of weight and the integrity he had to have to accomplish it
    • The Lonely Work: What we don’t see, and often forget, is the tens of thousands of hours they have worked on their craft alone and by themselves, sometimes early in the morning or late at night when we are all asleep.
    • Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?: A question someone might ask is what is the difference between tenacity and stubbornness?
    • Tenacity Muscles: But unfortunately many of us have actually hindered the growth of grit in our kids. What steps can we take to develop tenacious children?
    • He Got Back Up:  Many were surprised when Buster made it through the first few rounds expecting the fight to end quickly . . . .
  6. The Power of Habits

  7. The Power of Kindness

    • It’s in Our DNA: Scientific research has shown that kindness is something that is innate, that we are born with it.
    • Harvard Said SoHarvard backs this up and is telling people that kindness is an important part of a life that can make a difference.
    • Not Just Taught but Caught: . . . how do we develop and encourage kindness in our children. The good news is that it can be taught, or rather can be caught.
    • Kindness & the Common Cold: Kindness and the common cold actually have a lot in common… Let me explain.
    • What is a RAK?: If I asked you what a “RAK” is many of you might say, “oh it’s an animal in central asia.”
  8.  The Power of Gratitude (future topic)