Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What do you think?

I read the following today...written by Peter Arnell in his book, Shift.

"When you have the most on the line and the least going for you, you learn the most about yourself."

When you read this what is your reaction?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

The post a comment button is just a few lines below.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Monday, June 28, 2010


Our daughter plays in a U8 soccer league in the summer, for which I am the coach. It is a great time to watch young kids develop their soccer skills, have a ton of fun, and make a lot of new friends in the process.

As coaches we actually stay on the field with the kids, instructing them as the game is going on. Tonight...as the game was nearing the end, one of the girls on our team looked at me and said...

"Coach...how many more innings are left?"

Funny stuff...from the mouth of a young child, in a soccer league where score is not kept...and the focus is on getting the kids excited about the game as the main deal.

As adults...how many times have we asked a question, in the pursuit of our calling, that showed that we didn't have any idea what "game" we were even playing?

Stop being happy thinking you are just "in the game" today.

Because its possible...

You aren't even playing the game you think you signed up for!

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pancake Philosophy...

How do you eat a 10 inch pancake?

We had a great family brunch today at a local sugar shack that makes pancakes on Sundays to showcase their 20-some flavors of maple syrup.

We had never been there before...and as I ordered I somehow thought that 10 inches seemed like a doable size pancake to devour. ( Made it through about 25 percent...the rest came home in a take out container to be worked on later.)

When it came I could hardly see the plate it was resting on.

Sometimes when we have a really big thing to do in front of us...we need to remember that its done one bite at a time.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Friday, June 25, 2010

Who are you?

While driving the other day I noticed something interesting. A mini-van with lettering on it declaring that it was a "Courtesy Shuttle" for a car dealership.

I know...that isn't very interesting in and of itself. But the next part raised my eyebrows...

The make of the van was not the same as the cars the dealership sells. (The make of the cars they sell is actually in their dealership name!)

Courtesy Shuttle = Great Idea.

Missed Opportunity to protect their brand = Lame.

Are you saying one thing and showing everyone something else by your actions/words today?

Stop thinking that no one notices it when you cut corners.

It is so obvious...it hurts.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Short, sweet and to the point.

What is the most creative idea you have heard in the last year?

Is it yours?

Why are you still sitting on it?

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Your break...

You might be living under a rock if you have not at least been passing someone else talking about the amazing finish to the USA World Cup Game today.

In soccer, the clock continues to run despite anything else that may be taking place on the field, from a slow restart, to players getting injured and the time it takes to get them off the field. In the final minute, an official on the sideline will hold up a sign that indicates how much "stoppage" time will be added on to the 45 minute half to make up for this.

Today...by technical time the game was over...90 minutes...0-0...USA go home.

But...alas...4 minutes of stoppage time was put on the clock to continue play. In the 91st minute they did it. The last couple of minutes ticked away, and the USA advanced into 1 of 16 teams left...the knockout round...1 and done is up next.

Sometimes the break you need doesn't come "in regulation". It doesn't come when you think it should. You point to a crazy number of times when it was so close it was unreal...but you got turned away.

And then it comes...in stoppage time.

The take away?

The USA team fought 90 minutes with 0 goals to show for it. They took chances, took risks...and almost got it done. They didn't sit back and hope their opponent would make a mistake. They didn't wait for someone else to get it done for them. ( An England tie would have advanced the USA team if the USA also tied their game ).

So if you are looking for a break today as you pursue whatever it is that your heart beats out of your chest for...well...it won't come because you want it to, wish it would, or wait for its arrival.

You have to fight for it.

Keep after it. You will never regret giving your best effort.

You will regret waiting to get lucky.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fed Ex and UPS aren't the only ones...

The 4 year old says to me today...

"I love the next day!"

I ask what he means by that and through a little back and forth I learn that he meant today. He was excited for his teacher to come visit.

It made me wonder how many times we have been so focused on "the next day" that we miss the chance to be excited for this day?

Been there, done that.

Tomorrow will be there when you get there, and there will be a tomorrow after that one, everyday, until your last day.

It would be a shame to never take advantage of being able to say...

"I love this day!"

Give it a try...better yet, slap a post up and share something you tackled today that you might have normally let slide into "Next Day" territory.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The EBS...

You know the drill...you are watching TV and all of a sudden a voice comes on, along with the visual of lots of colorful stripes on the screen...

"This is a test of the emergency broadcast system..."

It doesn't really alarm us...because the whole thing comes packaged with a disclaimer that they are just checking to be sure that the system that needs to be in place to communicate with us should there be an emergency is alive and well.

When was the last time you ran a little check on you?

You know...to be sure that you had everything in place, ready to go should you have the opportunity to show the world what you had to offer.

Drop an idea off at the water cooler today. See if the ears around you "at work" are open to hearing from you.

You never know when the situation around you might call for your ability to lead others away from danger and into a better place.

If you never check to be sure you have the ability to communicate effectively and in a way that reaches your audience...your wisdom...well...isn't very helpful is it?

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy thoughts...

Just a short post tonight to pass on a few thoughts...

While at a soccer tournament today...I overheard a mother say to her son, just before his match started...

"Good Luck, Play Hard and Have Fun."

What a perfect outlook that we could all take to heart. Life comes at us fast, and remembering to give it everything we have and smile all the way through...a little luck tends to find us along the way just when we need it the most.

Enjoy your family tonight...they are a treasure.

Call an old friend just to say hello.

Pay for someone's bill in the car behind you at the drive through.

Sing really loud to your favorite song.

Take your kids to the dollar store and tell them they can have one treat...and they can pick from anything in the store.

Give church a try tomorrow...even if it's just to sit next to your dad.

Smile...it looks good on you.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Split...

He says..."Dad, I love the split!" I have no clue what he is talking about...only thinking that he has become a gymnast overnight.

I question what "The Split" is...and he shows me his Yogos dispenser. For those of you not familiar with Yogos...the sticker on it says, and I quote..."Yogurt Covered Fruity Dots". With that in mind I ask for some clarification...

He gets 2 of the dots to drop out of the dispenser, placing one each between his thumb and pointer finger in each hand. He bites both...in half...at once. He devours the first set and proudly displays in this fingers the somewhat mangled other half of each.

Here it comes...

He puts them together to come up with a multi-flavored, multi-colored Yogo called...

"The Split".

Wearing the grin only an inventor of such a creation could, he pops it in his mouth and finishes with...

"See Dad!"

Most of the world takes what is given to them for what it is...as is.

Every once in a while we get creative and take it one step further...

Creativity is a beautiful thing.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Au Jus please...

It started as me grabbing a quick lunch before getting back to the yard work calling my name today.

Ever notice how great moments start rather inconspicuously? But I digress...

The roast beef sandwich, hot off the pizza stone, with a few guacamole flavored tortilla chips...and yes, the Au Jus.

I sat down on our porch next to guess who...yup...our 4 year old. It was in one of those tiny little chairs that makes you feel like the Jolly Green Giant when you sit in it, and wishing you had one of those medical alert necklaces you could pull for immediate help when you realize how hard it is to get out of them after 15 minutes.

I was eating my sandwich, took the first dip of the Au Jus and he says..."What's that?"

I reply...(everyone together now) "It's Au Jus". (Like that would clear things up)

He asks a bit more about what it is...I tell him it's for the sandwich...he tries it and likes it.

Now that is where the story ends...


You are my 4 year old.

He proceeds to try his tortilla chip in it.

Then his cheese that momma cut into little squares for him.

And the best part?

Despite several attempts by me to avoid trying it...he insists that for everything he tries, I must also follow suit. We agree that the chip wasn't bad in it...but the cheese was a little funny tasting.

So the next time you want to stick with Wikipedia to keep within the strictest of definitions for something...( Roast Beef in Au Jus...something we all understand), be willing to take a risk(Guacamole flavored tortilla chip in the Au Jus).

You never know...you just might like it.

And if you like it you might share the idea with others.

Then they might like it.

And they tell their friends to try it.

They like it too.

That is what they call taking a risk...see how fun that is!

And you thought it would be better to just go through the motions where you are at?

You have a talent to use...go use it.

I can't wait to hear your stories...In the meantime...could you do me a favor?

Please pass the Au Jus.


With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What do Moses, you, and boogie boards have in common?

A room full of 4 year olds in a Sunday School class is the setting. The teacher poses the question that seems simple enough...simple enough to stump this room full of toddlers. That is, of course, assuming that said room doesn't have my son in there.

In that case...you hear the following Q & A...

Teacher..."How do you think Moses and his people would get across the Red Sea?"

My Son..."He would just get a boogie board and boogie board across."

Are there times when the answer to your dilemma is obvious and the waters part before your very eyes? You betcha.

The rest of the time?

It's simple...you just grab a boogie board and go for it!

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The 4 year old strikes again...As he devours his cheese quesadilla, he looks up at me and says...

"I'm gonna give myself a wedgie." (Seriously...I couldn't make this up if I tried to) So, as any parent would do I asked the question..."What did you just say?"

He proceeds with the most sincere look he can offer as he clears things up, at least from his point of view..."Remember, how those guys on TV did that."

Figuring that I have just been bumped out of the running for parent of the year, I try to rescue this conversation with logic...

"You shouldn't do that because it would hurt."

He doesn't skip a beat...

"I'll be gentle."

OK...after you pick yourself up off the floor laughing at how badly this dialogue is going for me at this point, I want you to shift gears a little.

Why in the world do we consider doing something just because someone else got "a reaction" by doing it?...and how do we manage to convince ourselves that being "gentle" will make it not hurt so bad?

Bottom line...sometimes a dumb idea is a dumb idea.

I'm sure we have all made a wedgie of a decision from time to time...but here is to hoping this little reminder encourages us to remember that standing out doesn't have to be synonymous with lack of good judgment.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Monday, June 14, 2010

There was this time when...

The ball left my foot.

I hope you don't think that the purpose of this blog is to tell you all the ways that you can go after your passions as I sit somewhere with my feet propped up in a recliner not going after mine.

I have had the incredible opportunity to coach soccer off and on, when I could squeeze it in, over the years. But none more than this past year.

You know how that happened? I drove in my driveway at a little after 5pm on a Friday afternoon in late August of last year...after a long day at a job that was draining the very life from me. ( story for another day ) I walked to the backyard where my wife and kids were...and told her I had an errand to run.

I got right back in my car...and drove to our local college athletic facility, where I hoped to see the head coach of the men's soccer team.

To apply for a job?...No.

I told him I needed to coach...I was good at it, had experience playing and coaching...and before he could finish his sentence about how he couldn't pay me...I let him know quickly...I wasn't there for money...just to coach.

Long story short...he was out a goalkeepers coach.

Guess who was a college goalkeeper?

You are catching on.

I am going into my second season there now...and my passion has an outlet.

So what door are you going to knock on today, because you can't take it anymore...because you have something that you are great at that you need to share with others.

Still nervous?

That's OK...A little edge is a good thing...but don't let it be the excuse not to knock on the door.

And if they are not there today? ( see: "excuse" )

Go back tomorrow.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Focus on what matters.

Take a trip to:

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba (Click on the story "On Call")

to a short article about Doc Rivers, the coach of the Boston Celtics. Whether or not you are a fan of the NBA, basketball or sports...the lesson he teaches here translates.

Then come back and read the rest of this post :

My favorite take away...

"If you believe in something that will help your team, as rash as it might seem, do it."

When everyone around him shook their heads because he was losing games, Doc put a laser beam focus to what he felt mattered. He knew his team, the personalities, health and needs of the players on this team. He did not waver in his approach.

He was willing to "fail" in the short term knowing it was the best, if not the only, way to succeed in the long term.

End result?

2 more wins to an NBA Championship.

Will they win it? Time will tell.


Like I said before, it's not the win that is the take away...

Doc gave his team the opportunity to be in the conversation at the end of it all.

What are you doing to be in the mix?

Do you need to sacrifice the immediate praise of critics that are missing the point?

What is it that truly matters in your task right now?


Make a tough decision...even an unpopular decision.

You just might end up liking the outcome.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You can't score if the ball never leaves your foot!

Would you rather have your name in lights on something that was known ahead of time would be a success, even if you had little to no true impact on its outcome...


Take a shot at something that could fail just as easily as it could succeed, knowing you stood to receive all the blame/all the credit when it was over?

From here on out lets park the term "job search"...say, in a lot somewhere near a large scrap yard.

I have no interest in finding just a job...I want to find a challenge.

At halftime of a soccer friendly, ( that is a non league, scrimmage type format for those not into the most beautiful game on earth ) I asked our team today, up 4-0, what mattered the most to them coming into the day.

Quickly a predictable response came..."To Win." ( wrong answer )

So here is my question for you.

If you "win" a game, or get a "job" does that define success?

Try these on...

"A win is a win", ""Winning ugly is still winning", "You play to win the game".


"A job is a job", "A bad job is still a job", "The goal is to get the job".

If this is your approach you are going to get exactly what you are looking for...a J-O-B.

Do yourself a favor today.

Pull up a chair and watch the USA vs. England World Cup Game at 2:30pm. 90 minutes of risk, chances taken, willingness to fail and missed shots.

If the score ends up 1-0 USA, will anyone care about the missed shots along the way?


And if the USA loses, will some say it was a failure? Yeah, and those are the same people that would rather sit back on the defense, play it safe, and hope to get lucky at some point in the match. ( AKA..."Job getters" )

Stop looking for just a job, and pursue greatness...a challenge...your calling.

So take the shot already!

When it's all said and done you might just look up and find the score...

You = 1
Your competition = 0

With Expectancy,

The Zuke

Friday, June 11, 2010

Own It.

This is for all of you who are out there looking for a job.

If you find yourself in the less than employed circuit these days, it's time to put down your glass of "whine" and own the next step.

I'll be the first to say that this "process" is about as much fun as admitting you liked Vanilla Ice as a teenager. ( no, not me on that one. )

Here comes the but...


It doesn't have to be that way.

I am going to run with the recent fan favorite in our house these days...

"Of course I can!"

When our 4 year old is told no to just about anything...his response is all we need to know about pursuing the passion that has long since been shoved aside in all of us...

"Of course I can."

I am going to leave you with a simple thought tonight...

Would you rather think about "that thing" you have always wanted to pursue as "I can't" or "I can."

Yeah...me too...

I can, and I will.

With Expectancy,

The Zuke