White Piano on Water

Mistakes Fuel Growth (The Pianist Who Almost Wasn’t)

Hate making mistakes? Me too.
But unless you never attempt anything hard, making mistakes comes with living a full life. I've made a lot of them, but I'm lucky to have a daily reminder of the importance of being free to...

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Procrastination Paradox: Why Done is Better than Great

Procrastination sucks. If there is one thing that has slowed me down in life more than I care to admit, even though I’m doing so now, it’s procrastination.
It’s not as much an issue for activities I feel I must do, like earning a living or making an effort to stay healthy. But for lofty pursuits I want to do...

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Fun break blowing bubbles in a field

Talk Some Nonsense Into Me

For readers who know me only from the blog, in my other life I run an information technology firm that helps multi-billion dollar organizations make better software. If you’ve ever wanted to smack your forehead in frustration over a company’s glitch-ridden website or mobile app, that company could use our help. You could say we are...

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notebook, pen, and coffee mug on table

Three Concepts Aspiring Writers Should Know (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)

More people than you’d think harbor dreams of writing. This is apparent to me because when someone learns about my experience, I often hear...

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staircase going upward into a cloudy, blue sky

How to Rise Above the Storm Clouds in Life

How do you feel when you walk outside to a bright blue sky? Good? I do.

What if the day is dark, with rainclouds hanging low? Different feeling, right? I like it sometimes if we need rain or a break from the heat. But too many days in a row like that messes with me. My energy gets low. The world doesn’t have the same sparkle to it.

What about the...


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Large Shark Fin Gliding in Blue Water

The Best Ways to Find Shark Teeth at the Beach

I’ve been addicted to hunting shark teeth on beaches for a long time. The activity is meditative and helps clears my mind, at least until exhilaration spikes when I see the perfect tooth and snatch it up seconds before a wave surges in. The popularity of searching for shark teeth seems to have increased over the years. I come across more people actively looking for them than when I started almost twenty years ago. During our week-long beach vacations, my family and I usually find over five-hundred shark teeth. There have been some weeks we’ve found close to a thousand. After seeing some of our more treasured examples, people often ask how they can find more while others express frustration that they never find any at all. This post is for those who are new to shark teeth hunting as well as those who want to increase their hauls. What follows are the best ways I've discovered to spot shark teeth on a beach. If you have your own tips, please leave them in the comments so this post will truly include the best advice to help everyone find more of these prized fossils.

As an aside, I don't work aviation into every post, but something I learned during flying lessons helped me become a better shark tooth hunter. I love when flying skills spill over to life on the ground.  

Know what to look for - Teeth still in a shark’s mouth are white. I’d recommend...

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A notebook with a drawing of a cloud with the words

Why You Should Keep a Journal and How It Will Change Your Life

If there is one activity that has vastly improved my life in multiple ways, it’s journaling. I’ve mentioned this to numerous people who’ve asked me for success advice over the years and the reactions are varied. Some stare back like I’ve spoken a word in a foreign tongue while others downright wince. Maybe it’s not sexy enough for some or sounds like too much effort for others. Truth is, succeeding at anything does take effort, and whatever sex appeal any endeavor radiates is often the aftereffects of an extreme amount of hard work. But journaling is nowhere near an extreme effort, and the rewards are great. At the end of this post, I’ll tell you how to do it with minimal effort.

So why is journaling life-changing? The reasons are many but here are my top five:

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Beautiful spring weather, three balloons flying over the field. The huge field of white, red and yellow buttercups (Ranunculus asiaticus).

What Fills Your World?

I sometimes envy people who travel the world with everything they own slung over their shoulders in a backpack. How carefree it must be to only keep up with whatever is packed in that modest canvas bag. While I don’t consider myself someone who craves material possessions, I’m often taken aback when I look around me to see an overwhelming amount of stuff collected through the years.

It’s not the big ticket material possessions that weigh on me. I kept my previous vehicle twelve years before getting a replacement. My wife’s car is well over a decade old and still running strong. We’ve lived in the same house—the only one we’ve ever owned—for eighteen years. But the small stuff seems out of control. We’ve given mounds of possessions to charity over many years, but I’m hard-pressed to tell it. 

What would I save in a fire given my family and pets were safe? Truth is, not much. Family photos and important files are synced to the cloud, so no worries there. I would grab the 140-year old journal my great, great, great grandfather kept, 254 pages of handwritten prose and beautiful color sketches of his multi-year adventure exploring the pacific northwest. I’d also save my...

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A sand castle on the beach on a sunny day

A Course in Nature

From the deck of our oceanfront rental, I watched my boys play in the sand. “Play” is probably the wrong word. Looked more like work to me. Shovels and elbows moved in unison to pile sand beside widening holes. Feet carried bodies with arms and hands that carried buckets to the low tide line and back, over and over, to bring ocean water that helped shape sand into castles. Nearly every day of our week’s vacation, a new sand castle emerged from the smooth beach right below the high tide line. Each time the boys put great effort into their creations, only to watch the ocean reclaim them, bit by bit, until the sand was flat once more.

You’d think watching nature level something you spent hours building would be difficult, depressing even. But for my boys, it was...

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A tree stump resting in front of a lake with mountains in the background

When a Flaw Becomes a Strength

I drive through an old neighborhood on my way to the office and back every day. It’s the highlight of my commute because I like to pass under the sprawling canopy created by massive trees that meet above the street.

Last year, a For Sale sign appeared in front of one of the houses. It’s a modest thing, fairly small, but the yard is full of great trees. One morning, the tree closest to the street was gone. Storms had moved through a few days before so I guessed it had been one of the casualties. Too bad. It had been a majestic fellow. Now, only a massive stump remained.

When I passed the house again on the way home, I felt bad for the owner. A stump that large would cost a lot to grind down. But what choice did the person have? Who wants to buy a house then pay for stump removal? Yet, the stumped stayed as I passed the house each day.

At some point, a huge pot with colorful flowers appeared atop the stump. Red and yellow petals stretched toward the sky to...

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