Stopping to Smell The Roses…

…and reflect on a few lessons learned since the inception of my blog.

Many Requests…Many Fears…17 Years.  It’s Time!

That was the title of my first post.  I was nervous.  Would anyone want to read this stuff?  I was surely going to alert people, some of who I didn’t even know, about the inner workings of my being, my insecurtites, my story, and my view on life and leadership.  And, that was unnerving to say the least.  I said to my wife, “It would be cool if one day I had 100 people plugged in.”   Well, this is my 20th post and some folks have plugged in…blog stats from today.


22,000 hits!  I am humbled and pause to “smell the roses”.  My “roses” today are you, my readers.  The ones who have shared it, I thank you for I have not promoted this on Facebook.  But mostly I want to simply say thank you for traveling this journey with me.  I have received coutnless e-mails with deep insights and thought provoking additions to my posts.  While I still would like to see more interaction from all of you on the comments section (you all have so much richness to add to this platform), I fully appreciate the ones that have commented and e-mailed directly.  While my intent has and always will be to promote change and spark deep thought,  I selfishly have learned some things in this short 6 months.  I wanted to share a few of these lessons with you today.

~  I have been challenged to Stay True several times in the past 6 months. How?  Several people have approached me about monetizing the blog.  Was I intrigued? Yes.  Was I flattered that they thought it was good enouph to monetize?  Yes.  Will I monetize this blog?  No.  Something like this was a test of my mantra for me.  What has been presented to you in the past months that may seem sexy at first glance but ultimately would take you astray from your deeper goals/purpose and true intent?

~  I am not a celebrity.  I don’t have a marketing team.  Not a pro athlete.  I am just a dude.  A dude with something to say with the right intent. Look, I am not here to tell you that you can be the next president or that you can change the world (remember the starfish story).  I am telling you that you can have an impact on people if you choose to.  I am also telling you to define what your “stars” are before you start reaching for anything.  My “stars” were simply to get people to think about some deeper things concerning life and leadership…maybe 100 people 🙂 This blog has allowed me to remind myself of my core beliefs and values.  It was an unintented result that I am extremely grateful for.  Social media folks would laugh at 22,000 hits.  I bet they wouldn’t lauph at the deep e-mails I have received letting me know how my words have lifted them up or affirmed what is inside of them. My point, go out there and find your voice and share with one or many.  We all have something to say that some set of ears needs to hear.

~  It ain’t easy going vulnerable but it is healing.  I have had knots in my stomach sending out many of these posts (My wife would verify this).  But by the end of each day there was a feeling of relief.  A weight lifted.  A sense of healing.  I was one step closer to my truth.   I know for a fact that being vulnerable is something many of us struggle with because I still address it almost daily in my work.  Lesson, allow yourself to be vulnerable.  I think you will be surprised with the results.  I have been.

~  This last one is very real and deep for me.  So deep that I may have trouble articulating it, but I will try.  I have referenced my Dad in several posts.  I have let you know that his death was the worst thing and the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I can’t put into words how much I miss him.  How much I honor him.  How much I wish I could see him hold my sons.  How much I still feel like his young son wanting to hear him say he is proud of me.  He is and always will be a guiding force in my life.  In my first post I said I can only hope he is proud of me.  Today I know he would be.  Why?  Because I realized through writing this blog that I have been giving him too much credit.  You probably are reacting the way I felt when I first realized this.  Like, damn that was rude, dishonoring, arrogant.  Let me explain.  I often preface things I say to people with “As my father told me…”   Only to realize later that he never said that…that was actually my original thought.  My father instilled many deep lessons in me but he also challenged me to think for myself, be powerful and to Stay True.  However, because I haven’t thought my words were good enouph, I have qualified them by inserting my Dad’s name….a loving family man and brilliant college president.  Therefore making my words worthy of listening to.  He taught me how to ride a bike, and now, at 44 years old, having lost him 17 years ago, need to take off the training wheels and ride own my own.  Even if it means I feel scared, unbalanced and eventually skin my knee.


Dad, I am going to ride on my own a little bit more.  I have come to believe this is what you would truly want.  I appreciate your light continuing to guide me but I can’t give you the credit for my evolution as a father, husband, trusted advisor and friend.  If I continue to do so I will not fully evolve into the authentic man you want me to be. This is not easy for me. It’s almost like I feel like I am letting a piece of you go or not honoring you the way I should.  However, I will honor you by continuing to evolve and never will I shed your light.  I will forever reach for the “stars”…the ones you taught me were worth reaching for.  And one day, when my work as a husband, father, and trusted advisor is done, one of those stars will carry me to you.  I love you.


I no longer hope my father is proud.  I know he is.  No arrogance behind that….pure humility.  I have been humbled by this blog and the experience it has given me.

I thank you for plugging in and only have one request… Take the lessons above to heart and add more comments to this platform so we can all learn from you.  I know I want too.

P.S.  Talk about Ted’s Truth…I told my wife to read my draft, as I always do, and we just shared a deep cry in our kitchen with our boys running around.  She gets the gravity of my above words and I love and appreciate her for that.

Stay True,





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  1. I started to tear up half way thru and by the end I was in full crying mode … Which is OK/good thing. It’s been two years and 16 days since my dad passed and I miss him terribly all the time. But I too honor him by being true to myself .. Staying true to the qualities he instilled in me. Lead by example and live by love.
    I really enjoy reading your blog — however this is my first time commenting. Being vulnerable can lead to courage — as long as you believe and stay true. Thank you my friend for sharing and encouraging others to share and reminding us to stop n smell the roses 🙂

  2. Thank you for this. So much of this hit me. I’ll start with vulnerability. I have never posted anything with my full name. Why? I always thought it was just a way to stay private. I mean the internet can be a dangerous place. As I started thinking about vulnerability its really that I wanted to remain unseen. I am slowly embracing that vulnerability and having the courage to let myself be seen will help build the true connections we all look for. Second comment is thank you for your insights with your father. Ever since my father in law passed away on my birthday a few years ago, I have dreaded my birthday and never want to celebrate it. Always felt like I was taking something away from his memory by celebrating. He was an amazing man full of compassion. Not easy to flip the script but feeling now that me not celebrating is actually taking away from his memory as this is not how he would want me to spend the day.

    1. Should have waited for Teds Truth to sink in as I have more to say…

      Somebody once asked me what song best represented me. I was always proud to say “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd. Proud because nothing bothered me. I could always put emotion aside and get it done. I was the no drama fixer. As I have thought more about how I have been feeling vulnerable I have realized that my numbing of vulnerability for the bad ultimately made me numb to all. By being numb I have lost touch with my soul impacting my feeling of self-worth. I am scared of being vulnerable. I have realized some things. I push my kids too hard. They are not perfect. Nobody is. They just need to know they are enough, worthy of belonging and love. Fact is, I need to feel the same way about me. I need to let myself be seen – (like your mantra – stay true). I need to practice joy and gratitude. It’s tough because I always related self-worth to the words ego and humility so I need to definitely figure that out.

      Have a great weekend! I am actually looking forward to it. My son is turning 7. I want to stop and smell the roses…

  3. I’ll never get tired of reading your posts. Please know that your thoughts, beliefs, and values are shared by so many….2,000+! Congratulations! Keep it coming, my friend!

    I have always known that your words are your own. And Dad would be proud of that!

  4. Your posts are always thought provoking. You provide real tools that people can use to make real changes for positive growth moving forward. The authenticity of this blog is one that I applaud. You do a remarkable job of “staying true” which is why I am glad we are friends and that I can read your words. I look forward to seeing Ted’s Truth in my inbox. Great work Ted! I’m glad you faced your fears and chose to be vulnerable to others in this forum.

  5. This was spot on as I read this and reflected during my morning ritual. I’ve been on a recovery journey for the last 16 years, today is my anniversary. I celebrate this moment with those around me who have helped me along this path, my Wife, my Kids and my Friends. When looking back on the journey I look back on one of my favorite excerpts. “Instead of just fretting until we reach our destination, the horizon stays there. Sometimes, it pays to stand still and gaze at it, for the refreshment of the long look”.

    1. Congratulations on your anniversary. You must have a ton to reflect on but I will tell you that knowing you gives me hope for you surely live out my mantra, Stay True…good man, John.

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