Thinking Willis is moving…

For those of you who have followed and read my blog here at Thinking Willis, please come find me at It is still a WordPress blog, but one under my own domain name. I would love to continue the conversation with you there. Thanks for reading. Hope to see you on the other site.

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Is This My Best?

The best is yet to come. I love this Frank Sinatra tune. Love it. Not so much for the love song aspect. No. I like it because it is a good mantra for life. The best is yet to come. Yeah. Things may be good now, but that doesn’t mean that can’t get better. Or, things suck now. The best is definitely yet to come. For 2011, that is the way it’s gonna be.

I have been thinking back across 2010 and the years before it. I am not where I want to be right now. I have come a long way, yes. But, I am not where I want to end up. Why is that? I have some thoughts on the subject, but the one overriding thought is this: I haven’t given my best effort.

Why is this post titled Is This My Best? This is the lens I am looking through for 2011 and beyond. I have decided I don’t have to be the best in the world at anything. That is not a realistic goal. The world is too big and there are many many talented people out there. It just ain’t happening.

I can, however, be the best I can be at any given endevor. If I chose the most important areas of my life and committed to be the best I can be at them, what will it do? It will leave me with no excuses. It will leave me with very few regrets. I will have done what I can with what I have. If I succeed, awesome. If I fail, I choose to do something different. I will succeed much more than I fail.

A mediocre life is not an acceptable choice. The best is yet to come. I choose to be the best I can be.

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I Believe in Christmas

For the past couple of months I have not posted to my blog with much regularity. It is not because I have stopped blogging. Much the contrary. I have been blogging on a different site. I will return to making regular Thinking Willis posts when the New Year rolls around, but for now I am working hard promoting my book, I Believe: A Christmas Story, in that other platform. If you have the chance please check the site out. I would love to have you stop by and would love to hear what you think on the subjects I present.

For those of you who have kept up with this blog. I appreciate you more than you know. I look forward to the future and to the good that is to come. Have a Merry Christmas. See you on this blog when the New Year rolls around…and at until then!

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A Quiet Room.

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. – Blaise Pascal

What are your thoughts on this statement? Can you sit in a quiet room alone. No TV. No book. Nothing. Just quiet?

The quiet bothers me more than I like to admit. When everything is quiet I am left alone with myself. Who I really am starts to surface. Wait. Is this a bad thing?

I am going to try this. I challenge you to do the same. Set aside an hour. Sit alone in a room where you are less likely to be distracted. No cell phones. No nothing. Totally unplug. Can you make it an hour? I don’t know if I can, but I am curious at what will happen.

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Piles. All around. That seems to be the way my office ends up. I would like to be able to smile and say that it was my filing system (and that I knew what was in each pile). Sadly this is not the case. Most of the stuff that is in the piles I don’t need. Some of it is stuff I want to look at later (whenever that is). The smaller portion of it is actually important, but because it is buried it often gets overlooked.

Life is a lot like this too. We get so much stuff going on. So many things we are committed (or used) to doing. Most of it is stuff that is not beneficial. Some of it could be, but we need time to work on it. The smaller portion is what really matters. There are many days that the important stuff gets lost in all of the noise.

Stephen Covey said it this way, “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” Do I really need all the piles I have in my office? No. I can say the same thing about some of the stuff going on in life as well. How many times do I bury the important things and keep the stuff that doesn’t matter up where it doesn’t belong?

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I love being a dad.

Yesterday we were driving across town. My wife was sitting beside me and our 2 year old son was in the back seat enjoying himself. I looked in the rearview and told him I loved him. He very boisterously answered, “I love you daddy!” I love being this boy’s dad. It is one of the coolest things one earth.

We didn’t know if we would ever get to this stage of our lives. Five years ago I was diagnosed with stage 2 testicular cancer. After the tumor was removed and 20 chemo session later, we didn’t know if it would ever be possible to conceive. The doctors gave us some hope, but told us that it might take several years before it happened. Fortunately for us several years only took 2. The day we found out that we were going to have a baby was one of the happiest days of my life.

I know one of the reasons that I love being a dad is because I have perspective. My son is a blessing. Truthfully, all children are a blessing. Unfortunately not everyone views life this way. I remember this every day. I get to share life with this little guy. I get to love him and hug him and he tells me he loves me. So, when he throws fits I am thankful…frustrated too…but thankful all the while.

Have you taken time lately to be thankful for the little ones you have been entrusted with? Take time today. This being a dad thing is one of the best things going.

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Do you fear the unknown?

What do you do when you find yourself where you haven’t been? Or, where you have refused to go? Is your first reaction to panic? Freeze? Or, turn around and go back? I have a feeling you know what I am talking about. Sam had that feeling in the Lord of the Rings. They are leaving the Shire and he looks at Frodo and say, “If I take one more step, that will be the furthest away from home I have ever been.” They were both heading off into the unknown.

I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and asked myself, “What is the worst that could happen?” In major decision, that is the question I am faced with. Once I have decided what that is, then I can face it. And perhaps even move past it. Things only stay unknown until we explore them. I tend to freeze when the outcome it uncertain.

But there is more to the story. If bad things can happen, it must mean that there could be good things happen as well. I don’t automatically gravitate to thinking the best will happen, but when I look for it, it sometimes does. Actually, when I look for the good I usually find it. It may not always look like I first imagined it to be, but it is usually there waiting from me.

When we are in uncharted territory we have the opportunity to discover a world we have never known. We have the chance to look upon wonders we have never seen. However, we do have to get our eyes off of ourselves and start looking around. Something awesome may be right there in front of our faces.

The unknown is not the enemy. The fear of it is.

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So I shouldn’t share my goals???

I just saw this short video from the TED conference. Blew my mind. Had to share:

Whether this is absolute, I have no clue. It does raise an interesting question though. Why do most people share the goals they have? I would assume to gain motivation. I do think that instead of motivation they sometimes receive satisfaction instead. They become satisfied with sharing the goal, and no longer feel the need to avidly pursue the goal. I have seen this in my own life.

How do we counter this? Where is the balance between setting the goal and finding support, or ruining the goal because by spreading the message you have diffused your urgency?

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Life Lessons Learned from my Daschund

I have a pal named Shorty. This little dog has been my buddy for over 10 years. He has been a good dog. He is the most loyal thing I have ever seen. He still follows me around the house. He still has to run in the house first thing and come looking for me. He isn’t satisfied until he finds me and gets his back scratched. He is the picture of devotion.

It makes me wonder what my life would look like if I applied even a 10th of the devotion to things that he gives to me. It is an interesting thought exercise. What would my relationship with God look like if I was that devoted? What would my marriage look like? How would my friendships be affected? What goals would I accomplish and how fast?

I am amazed at the devotion he shows me. Yep. Here he is. He just walked in the room. He is not even done chewing his food. He had to come find me.

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The power of choice.

I looked in the mirror not too long ago and was disgusted with what I saw. I weighed over 280 pounds. My face was puffy. I felt horrible. I looked horrible. It felt like it was something I couldn’t control.

We all know that this is not the truth. One of our most basic freedoms is the freedom to choose. I had the freedom to stop putting bad food in my mouth. I also had the freedom to exercise like a maniac, though I wasn’t. The problem was this: It was something I couldn’t control then, because I thought I couldn’t control it. Perception became reality.

Then, one day I woke up. Somewhere deep inside I made the choice to change. I am 40 pounds lighter now, and I am still a work in progress. I know that if I want to make the long term goal I have set I have to break it down into smaller goals. What I want to do five years from now is affected by what I do today. So, I simply have to make sure I have a goal for today. That goal has to be a part of my goal for the week, which are a part of my goals for the month, for the year, and for five years out. If I choose to what is right today, I can choose the same tomorrow and for the time to come. The goal will become a reality.

I am proof of this. I look in the mirror now and then back at pictures of me from then. The power of choice is quite evident.

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