Drive By Wisdom: Ask For What You Need














It’s hard for us to get our needs met if we are not willing or brave enough to ask for what we need. In this episode of Drive By Wisdom, we’ll explore how asking for help can improve your life.  Click on the video below:

The Push Toward Courage


Last month I went a rock climbing camp with the Boy Scouts in Taylors Falls, MN.  The boys got to learn about rock climbing gear, safety, and climbing techniques.  They also got to climb on real rock vs. the man made climbing walls they tried in rock climbing gyms.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to climb up the face of a cliff with a rope tied to a harness and one of your peers who has the other end of the rope to keeping you from falling.

The kids managing the safety rope (a technique called belaying) were just as nervous as the climbers because they knew their friends’ safety was in their hands.

Some of the group had climbed before and this was just another challenge in their rock climbing experience. For others this was a new experience and you could see their apprehension and fear.  A few boys made it to the top of the rock face, but most made it  half or maybe two thirds up the face.  Regardless it took some kids as much courage to go up 30 feet as those who made it to the summit.

At the end of the day the kids had the option of rappelling off the summit of the cliff to the ground 50 to 70 feet below.  While climbing up the face of a cliff is daunting, stepping off the top of a cliff while leaning back is frightening.

I watched from below as each boy received guidance from the instructors and then proceed to the edge. Most of the boys took at least 10 minutes of looking over the edge and contemplating that first step.

The challenge of rappelling is that once you’ve stepped over that edge there is only one way off that cliff: down.

They had to push themselves toward courage. I’ve rappelled before and everything in your brain says, “This isn’t normal. You are not supposed to lean back over the edge of a cliff and walk down”. To rappel you have to push through those thoughts and have enough courage to take that first step.

Once they landed on the ground they were filled with relief and excitement as they accomplished something they were afraid to do. Some boys will never try rappelling again, but they pushed themselves toward courage and that will benefit them throughout their lives.


My guess is that if you look back in life you will see times where you had to push yourself toward courage. You’ve done things that your brain has said, “This isn’t normal, you shouldn’t be doing this”, and you went ahead anyway.

You may be at a time now where you know you need to push towards courage. What that is, I don’t know but here are some things I’ve seen other people push themselves to:

  • writing a book
  • running a marathon
  • starting a business
  • starting a new relationship
  • leaving a relationship
  • going back to school
  • getting a new job
  • losing weight

The challenge is that there are times where the direction we want to take in life does not have  a clear path or ending. Just like these young boys didn’t know if they could walk off the face of a cliff many of us don’t know if we can succeed in doing something new.

My encouragement to you is let go of the outcome and focus on each step that will get you closer to your goal.

Push yourself toward courage and become the person you are.


Working With The Gravitational Pull Of Life

Not Me

Downhill skiing reveals the pull of  gravity that many other activities don’t.  When you are at the top of the mountain and point your skis downhill, gravity takes over.

It’s an exhilarating experience and sometimes frightening, but I’m learning that if I work with gravity by adjusting my weight and skis I can make my way down the slope mostly in one piece.

What’s exciting (and sometimes frightening) about going down a more challenging run for the first time is that you don’t altogether know what the run will be like. A trail map can give you some information, but it can’t replace experience.

This week I stood at the top of the tallest mountain peak I have ever been on. As I rode up the gondola I got more and more anxious as we approached the 11,166ft summit.  For a few minutes we walked around the summit and took in a view that stretched from Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. That alone was the worth the trip to the peak.

This was the most daunting run that I and my wife have attempted and for a few minutes we both thought about turning back. Had it not been for the encouragement of our 13 year old son, we might have.

I entered the course and worked hard to maintain my speed and not get out of control. After a couple of falls and a few swear words I got past the most difficult part of the hill and made my way to the bottom with more confidence. It was awesome and I will most likely never do it again.

It takes courage to try something new and to venture into an experience where you feel drawn but where the outcome is unknown.  This the gravitational pull of life.

Sometimes we feel pulled in certain directions or to certain peopleWe feel drawn to move into a new venture or feel called to pursue an option we haven’t tried before. These experiences can be fun, exhilarating, and frightening.

If we fight this pull we often miss out on opportunities for growth. We miss on meeting  people who will expand our understanding of ourselves or our world.  We miss the opportunities to move our careers in a direction that’s in better alignment with our values, skills, and strengths.  We may also miss an opportunity to expand our sense of what we are capable of.

Sometimes we feel pulled to move in a new direction but are unsure of if we can be successful or who we will become in the process.  Here some gravitational pulls I’ve had and seen other people go through:

  • to start a relationship
  • to end a relationship
  • to go back to school
  • to start a business
  • to travel
  • to engage a social cause
  • to transform their health
  • to transform their minds
  • to rework their beliefs
  • to shift in their career

What I’ve learned as a I’ve evolved as person is that if we are doing our best to live a life of awareness we will understand more about what is pulling us. I’ve learned  if I trust my internal sense that a new direction is the right path to take, then I can also trust that I will figure out how to work with that pull.

When you are wresting with a pull in your life and are unsure about it, it’s time to call on the people you trust. Enlist the wisdom of people around you and be open to their feedback and advice. Take advice but  you get to decide what is right for you because you are the author of your life.

I’ve had times in my life where I knew I was being pulled in a certain direction and I ignored it.  Like trying to fight the gravitation pull of the earth I  wasted a huge amount of time and energy resisting the call to live life differently.

I’ve learned that if I work with what is pulling me life is more rewarding. I’ve also learned is that if you work with the gravitational pull of life, you may not always know how it will turn out. That is what makes life both daunting and exciting. Let go of the outcome and engage in the process.

What gravitational pull of life is pulling you?  Are you working with it or trying to fight it?


Life Lessons From A 4th Grade Violin Recital


My youngest son had his first violin recital this week and I couldn’t be prouder. As adults we often overlook the monumental lessons our kids learn during these events. I think we can learn from them too. Here a few life lessons I pulled out of a 4th grade music recital.

  • It takes courage to do something new. This was my son’s first recital and he was brave enough to do a duet with another student and a solo accompanied by his teacher. It’s takes courage to try something new, especially in front of an audience of people.

Take on that new project. Volunteer to speak at your next conference. Post an                    article on LinkedIn. Kids are doing new things all the time. We can too.

  • Sometimes it’s best to stop and start over from the beginning. At a recital you will often see a child stop because they are confused and then start over. When did we unlearn how to do this?

I’ve done presentations where I could feel I wasn’t communicating what I  wanted. Instead of trudging on I’ve learned to stop and restart the concept I was  working on. It’s uncomfortable but it’s better than confusing your audience. If  you get stuck mid stream on a project, stop and start over until you find your way again.

  • It’s OK to ask for help. There were many moments where  students would look up at their teacher for guidance on the right note or tempo for the song. With a little help they often got back on track.

In the big boy/big girl world we live in I see too many people struggle in their jobs and lives when all they need to do is ask for help. You will be amazed at how willing people are to help you.

  • You don’t need to be in perfect tune to understand the music. In a grade school recital there are a lot of squawks and squeaks, but in the end we all know it’s Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Perfection is often the enemy of the good. I’ve seen too many people get  stuck or spend an enormous amount of energy trying to perfect what ever they are working on. Unless you are working on a implantable device, most of the time good enough is fine and is quicker to get to.


If you have a kid or know a kid, take some time to observe what they are doing. You’ll be surprised at how often they are trying something new, emerging with more confidence and courage as a result. Unleash the kid in you and try something new today.