The Lost Art of Active Listening

Our life is made up of a broad series of interactions and relationships. Each one is an opportunity to make a situation better, or leave a bad impression.

Personal relationships are no different. We want those around us to listen when we have a problem or a concern. It is our hope, that person can provide support, direction, and understanding. However, when the roles are reversed or when two people have competing interest, the art of active listening can get lost through our own selfishness to make sure our needs are met. In turn, we make things worse than better, and both parties end up leaving the conversation disappointed.

Active listening can be accomplished by repeating the points the person talking is saying to you. In doing so, it lets the other person know you clearly understand what they are saying. Remember, it is not about you. They are talking so keep your mouth shut and listen. If you need clarity, just ask them to explain. Finally, be respectful. It is easy to come across as not caring. Make sure you look them in the eyes, provide feedback when asked, and actively listen.

After they have expressed their concerns, do not complain, or even express you need more from them because it is a very vulnerable time. It could come across as what they are doing is not good enough. Thus, it could hurt them.

In the end, active listening is a lost art. Take the time to show them you sincerely care by listening and following thru with what they need from you.


A little white lie is still a lie…… it hurts.

So… I screwed up. My wife and I are trying to have a baby, and I had to get some testing done at the Urologist. Now as you know, I love my wife dearly, she is my world, and I would never hurt her on purpose. Well, I f#%k#% up. I paid $250 for my initial fertility consult and couldn’t afford the lab work because it costs so much. At that moment I did not have insurance to pay for it. She asked about it and I told her they took blood when they didn’t.

This week my insurance kicks in and for my second visit all fertility lab work will be done. Hopefully they will have the results before the appointment. I have to go by and pick up a kit.

I would never cheat on my wife as I love her and the kids more than my own life. I have not been dishonest about anything and I am very proud of that fact. This tiny white lie is still a lie no less. It hurt her a lot. I know I messed up, but I did it bc I was ashamed I couldn’t afford the test until I had my insurance. This baby means so much to us both and I just wanted to do more than I could. We have been trying for a few months. My heart was in the right place but the actions were wrong. I admitted to it and accepted responsibility for it. I only hope she will see what I was trying to do.

So my point is this, no matter how insignificant it may be, or how embarrassed you might be, there is never a reason to tell the smallest of lies. Always, always be honest. Lesson learned.

As always, to my wife and kids, I love you. I made a huge error in judgement. I was an idiot, now the world knows as well. Thank you for making me better.

New Years Resolutions, Are They Unrealistic?

One of the great things about the New Year for most people is that it brings about a fresh start. Many people want to get into better shape physically or financially. Maybe it is to be a better spouse, or to hold yourself more accountable. Whatever your motivation, do not lose sight of accomplishing your goals.

It could be argued that resolutions are unrealistic. Look at any gym for instance. The first three months are the best time for gym owners because they will have such a huge influx of new memberships. Come March, most have lost their direction and given up. Maybe it is because of a bad diet, stress, work, or boredom.

The key is to set your goals for the year. Instead of resolutions, make them goals. They need to be tough enough for you to work at them, but not easy enough for you to barely do anything to accomplish them. If you have a significant other, do them together. It is nice to have someone who will hold you accountable. Plus, you are aligning your relationship and making it stronger. My wife and I did it this weekend, and it was awesome to see we were thinking along the same lines.

Next, build a plan. Use the SMART method. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. I like to use mind mapping as well, to make sure I am visualizing things the way I need to, to accomplish my goals. Do whatever works for you though. Write them down. No more than 10 a year. If you accomplish those 10, then make another list. If you write so many down early on, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Once you have the plan you want to follow, it is time to put it into action. Hold yourself accountable. At the same time, make sure there are consequences if you do not stay on track. My wife and I love to eat, (that is a huge problem, especially since she is a such a great cook!), but we have decided if we have a cheat meal before the end of the month, we will ruin our date nights by not having dinner out. This is enough motivation for us. Who wants to have a date night out on the town with no food?!!!!

Record. I cannot express enough how important it is to log everything each day. That way you can see what is working and what is not working. Seeing it is much better than trying to remember it. For example, why did I feel so much stronger on this day, than another day? Was it supplementation, breakfast, or pre-workout?

Finally, re-evaluate. Be flexible and constantly strive to improve. If you hit a wall, so be it. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means, you need to adjust. As Jocko Willink says, “some good will come from it.”

In the end, whatever the label you decide to use, write it down, plan it, put it into action, record it, and constantly re-evaluate.

I suggest you watch these videos. Things go bad for all of us. It is about perspective, and it can prevent you from reaching your goals. These are my favorite. The mind is a very powerful tool, so use it to your advantage.

As always, thank you.




Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, we wish each of you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

~Chris, Stefanie, Adysen, & Hailey



I have been on sabbatical for some time now, and I thought this would be a great way to get back into things. 2018 will be a year when I am more consistent in my writing on the blog, and I will share some of my experiences while incorporating real world issues involving conflict. Since conflict is in everything we do, this coming year will bring a wide variety of topics.

That being said…. since my last post, I got married. This is my second marriage, but we went all out, as she deserved nothing less than the best. It was a perfect day in December. We even hoped it would snow when we were planning the wedding, and sure enough, it poured Friday and Saturday. Midafternoon Saturday, the skies opened, and it was blue skies the rest of the day. It was a perfect storm of Christmas, chaos, and wedding vows. Chaos? Why chaos, it is a wedding?! Well, the photographer cancelled, the Reverend cancelled rehearsal, then wanted a room the next night, and the DJ wanted to cancel as well, all due to weather. It all fell into place. The celebration lasted for hours. Dancing, drinking, laughing, and celebrating. In the end, our friends took pictures, we have well over 700, and I married my best friend.

The ceremony was beautiful. I have never seen a woman as beautiful as she was when she came down the aisle. She melted my heart. Just when I didn’t think she could ever be more perfect, I was wrong. Standing in front of her, with family and friends watching, I couldn’t help but keep telling her just how hot she looked. Christmas tree directly in front of us, while everyone sat in a semi-circle behind us, with snow in the background on the ground and mountain tops. I was in heaven. We couldn’t have planned a better day.

I chose this topic because I was thinking about my vows. I am finally doing things in my life the right way, every day. I always strive to be better than the day before, and there is one thing I will never do, and that is fail her. She loved me enough to marry me. With that comes a huge responsibility. There are on average 800,000 divorces a year. That is astonishing. We talked about the wedding and what it meant to each of us. During our talk, I made it a point to tell her, I will not fail her or the kids. It is something I take very seriously. People are so eager to give up, and they do not fight for the things that are worth fighting for in life. They forget why they fell in love in the first place. Stef taught me the meaning of family, and the meaning of being devoted to one another for the rest of our lives. We are better together.

People can change for the greater good, as I am living proof of it. She is the single most important person in my life. I live for her, not for myself.

I now live with three women, and I deal constantly with the pre-teen drama that unfolds at the adult age of 11 and 12 years old. Yes, I said adult, because they are 11 and 12 going on 21! They know everything about everything. I must admit I love them very much, and they have shown me how to be patient, to think outside the box, be quick on my feet in my response, while trying not to laugh at the most inappropriate time. I look forward to watching them grow up and become young adults. They have softened and won the heart of this man, though I would not tell them for fear of repercussion.

In the end, marriage is great thing. I will make it my life’s work to study her, grow with her, and learn about her as we grow older. Hopefully, we will have an addition to our family soon. A classmate of mine gave me three pieces of advice for a long lasting marriage:

1.     She is always right

2.     She is always right

3.     Even when you think you are right, she is always right

 Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be safe.







Today might be the last day you are on this earth. Make sure you tell your significant other how much you love them, appreciate them, and adore them. Look them in the eyes with love and passion, and tell them how much they mean to you. Never be afraid to share your emotions. Kiss them passionately, wrap your arms around them, and do not let go. Rekindle the relationship, and remember why you love them. The next minute, hour, or day is not promised.


The Simple Things

Stef sent me a picture tonight after she got her hair done. It was one of the most loving and beautiful pictures yet. I fell in love with her all over again. It is the simple things in life we seem to forget to appreciate. A touch on the shoulder, holding hands in the car, the way she gets undressed, the way she brushes her teeth, eats her food, her walk, when she drops gas bombs in the bed, or holding hands after feeding the animals to name a few. 

Dale Partridge believes men need to be men, not boys, step up and love your wives and always fall back in love with them every day. Let them know you adore them. 

In the end, simple really is not simple. They are the most complex, speechless,  and humbling things we encounter. Suck them up, breathe, and adore them. 

To the love of my life. Thank you for being the most strong and courageous woman I have ever known. Thank you for loving me. I will always take care of your heart. As always, I love you….


%d bloggers like this: