Tag Archives: Inspiration

Inspiration is the section of MeetTheMcKinneys.com that has the “makes me tick” stuff. What books I’m reading, what things I’m doing, what food I’m cooking, and what ever else gets keeps me going 100mph like I do.

Yoga Balance

20110919-040656.jpgBalance, as you know, is very important to me. Kind of an obsession really. The balance between work and play, family time and me time, and salty and sweet. They are all important to me.

So what does yoga have to do with any of that? Those of you that are yoga veterans already know. Yoga IS balance and stretching and breathing and sweating. Yes sweating.

Let’s clear a few things up. Yoga the exercise is not Yoga the religion. There is a huge difference.

Wikipedia Says:
Wikipedia Yoga

That being said, I cannot kick myself enough for not doing yoga more often. I feel much better afterwards and the pain in my neck, shoulders, and lower back subsides for a while. The only Yoga Video I have is P90X YOGAX and it is longer and intended for use along with the P90X program.

Does anyone know of a 45 minute Yoga Exercise Video that is good or should I just mark 90 minutes off on my calendar and go with it? Tell me what you think?

Cats and Dogs

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Your day started just like everyone else’s day. Just like mine… We woke up. That is probably the last thing any of our days have in common. After that we all head in different directions guided by different thoughts, influences, and of course deadlines.

Taking a moment to think about all that happens during a day is crazy sometimes.

Moments like hearing your daughter’s Kindergarten Teacher tell you your child is amazing, but she needs to live a little. That’s the stuff to soak up. And if you’re realizing that you travel a road so often that you don’t think about how fast you’re going on it until your stopped for 2 hours because of a ten-car-pile-up.

Like these rain drops on my windshield while Gabby has her piano lesson and Evan and I hang out in the car. God is blessing us with these kids. That is obvious, but without stopping to soak it up once and a while it can seem like you are chasing your tail.

Thank you God for the rain drops to make me stop and think for a while.

Restored Faith

20110823-050645.jpg Today my faith in the youth of America was restored a little…

As I was walking Gabby into school at Cedar Ridge Elementary in Grovetown, we passed the flag pole and two young kids holding flags. I listened keenly to them with one ear as an eves-dropper while I tuned into Gabby’s question with the other.

Gabby asked, “What are they doing Daddy?”
I told her they must be really good students and very responsible, because it is an honor to be chosen to raise the flag of the United States of America. Gabby agreed and her eyes widened at the thought of it for just a second.

She held my hand and turned over her shoulder to watch as I kept that other ear on the two kids raising the flag. I kissed Gabby goodbye and opened the school door. She shuffled in and turned back with that cute little wave and smile.

As I walked back by the kids, another had joined them. The boy that was there before said to the girl who had just arrived,
“Careful… Don’t let it touch the ground! This flag can NEVER touch the ground.”

He wasn’t being mean nor did he say it meanly. It may look that way when you read it. What I saw though, was a young honorable man passing on the respect our Great Nation deserves to another citizen.

That gives me hope. Indeed he IS an honorable soul.

Be Still

20110709-074802.jpgYou probably have other things to do right now. You probably came here while goofing off on Facebook or catching up on the McKinneys.

But… Recently after listening to the prayer requests on the podcast DailyAudioBible.com I heard someone mention having so much going on that they were overwhelmed.

I too know a little about being overwhelmed from time to time. Reading the word (or listening to it) daily helps me to remember “Be Still”.

Be Still and Listen is something I try to do when I can. It’s not easy to do this “Be Still”.
Totally not in the Bible, but definitely worth mentioning is what Jacki Chan tells Willow Smith in the Karate Kid (new version). “Being still and not moving are too different things” paraphrasing of course. You get the idea though.

Being Still takes real work. You have to be able to clear your head. Deal with all of the thoughts that are on our mind by taking them captive and choosing to deal with them later.

Try being still for 5 minutes. I bet you will struggle at first, but as you get better at it stretch it to longer and longer each day. Soon you will be able to Be Still AND Listen.

Never Eat Alone Review

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Keith Ferrazzi, the author of Never Eat Alone believes that relationships and networks are like muscles. The more you work them the stronger and healthier they become. Never Eat Alone is perfect for anyone that owns a business and realizes how important a good network is, but aren’t sure how to build that network “the right way”.

Not only does Keith Ferrazzi provide an easy blueprint for building foundational relationships with people, he also provides tactile ways to make meaningful, lasting connections with the right people. The people you need to do business with or just people you’d like to get to know. No. Not in a smarmy, networking jerk kind of way. In a real meaningful and lasting way.

In Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi demonstrates the difference between “networking” practices that really work and the ones that make you look like the business card collecting idiot at a function. The difference, surprisingly enough, are only minor tweaks to the things that most people do and what the people that are successful do.

Personally, I liked the step by step instructions on how to warm a cold call. I have used Keith’s cold call road-map and it amazed me at how much easier making cold introductions calls got for me. Several of the key relationships I now have, both business and personal, come from using this “technique”. Another favorite was “how to be a conference commando”.

I believe Never Eat Alone belongs on your reference shelf because there are too many good things in it to miss. Make sure you get a highlighter when you buy the book. You’ll need it. . I recommend you get Never Eat Alone today.

No time to read? Listen to it FREE with this.

1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible

How Leaders Inspire People to Act – Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is a brilliant speaker and this particular talk shows it. This TED Talk cuts leadership to the core. It seems a little long, but it’s totally worth the time spent watching it.

Look back in your life and think about a time that you did well at something. You will undoubtedly see that it was because you believed in what you were doing. Not only that, but your conveyed that energy to the people around you.

What you didn’t do was only tell people the “what” or the “how” you did it. If that is all you did then It would have failed. People need to know what you believe or “why” before they care about “how” or “what” you do.

I believe this TED Talk illustrates that point well!

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Bloom Where You’re Planted

I heard a lady say this on the prayer section of the DailyAudioBible.com podcast a while back. This little saying was no doubt meant for me to hear. It may have been meant for a lot of people to hear, but I’m glad I did.

Always looking to the horizon for what is coming or always peeking over the fence at that greener grass keeps you from realizing the potential you have to positively affect your environment. “Bloom where you’re planted” says a lot.

Don’t forget about the horizon or that greener grass, but go for it. Go for it by being the best at what you are doing right now.
If you are given only a “little” job to do, do it better than anyone else could possibly conceive.

Here’s a little story for you:
Jan became a librarian quite by accident. She was looking for a job and the library was looking for someone to do a job. She complained a lot early on in her job that there were no “good” jobs left out there. The economy was bad and no one would hire her to do “important” work. Granted, the economy was awful, but she was missing it. She did have a job. A very important one at that. Maybe it wasn’t important to her at the time, because it wasn’t what she expected to be doing.

It was very important to the kids that came in the library during the evening hours. Turns out she had previous teaching assistant experience and 2 of the kids coming to the library were there to help each other get better at algebra (her specialty). The kids were not very good at the concepts, but that didn’t stop them from asking for help.

After finding out what the two students needed help with she was delighted to help them. She spent the next few weeks helping the students grasp the concepts in ways they hadn’t been able to before. She realized that when she was helping them she wasn’t bellyaching or griping about the jobs she couldn’t find. She decided that day to give it all she had and help those two students get A’s in there classes.

Because of her efforts and the kids eagerness to learn from their new-found tutor the kids did indeed get A’s on their next exams. Now remember, these kids were awful at algebra. That’s why it raised the eyebrows of the students algebra teacher.
“How did you two improve so much in so little time?” the teacher asked the students skeptically.
“We had a tutor. The librarian.”

The teacher didn’t believe that these two “problem” learners really had help learning and paid a visit to the library to see the source.
Jan was surprised that the teacher paid a visit to her and the teacher was surprised she actually existed!

The teacher was so impressed that he brought Jan to meet his boss and recommended her for the teaching assistant position that would be coming open the following year. She got the job because she put her efforts into what she was doing now, not what she would be doing in the future.

Leave a comment telling about a time when you or someone you know bloomed where they were planted.

J.J. Abrams Mystery Box


Lost is one of my all-time television shows.  The mystery that surrounds the show in every episode has to come from somewhere right?  J.J. Abrams is the creator of Lost and he reveals a little more of that mystery in this TED talk.

If you are not familiar with TED Talks, you should be.  One of the best ways to get the knowledge of today’s great thinkers without all of the restraining orders…;)

Never Under Estimate Small Packages

dogs-56Never Under Estimate Small Packages
Amber hates this picture.  She says the dogs look silly because their tongues are hanging out.  I kinda like them that way.  When I think of “The Boys” this is the picture that pops into my head.
This was the last time we went to play ball.  It was almost 4 years ago as of this post’s writing.
I’d get my keys on Saturday morning and they KNEW we were going to the park.  The park I took them to in Evans GA wasn’t actually a park at all.  It’s the open field behind Kroger.
We’d throw the ball for what seemed like forever.  Chase would do what he’d done for years before… run down the ball as fast as he could.  That dog was like lightning.  Butler would do what he’s always done.  Run after Chase and play defense like an NFL Safety barking at Chase for his entire return.
Chase would chomp, chomp, chomp on the ball then drop the slobber ridden mass on the ground.  That was his way of asking me to
“Do it again, daddy”.
Chase had explosive speed.  I guess that’s why I think of him as a “Small Package” like dynamite.  At times it seemed as if his legs were fully extended front and back and his hatchet-shaped chest was only an inch or so off the ground.  Fully stretched into a sprint with pin-point eyesight that could follow a green racket ball’s every move in the flowing grasses of and Augusta Summer.
Chase was the runt of the litter and no one’s first pick.  That’s why he was MY first pick.  (I have a soft spot for underdogs).  When I got him, he had to walk AROUND pine cones in my yard because he was to small to step over them.  Rat Terriers are pretty common now, but people still ask me, “Now what kind of Jack Russel is he?”  Kinda like saying “What kinda Coke is it?”.
Born January 30, 1993, Chase was a scrawny, lean, and a little strange looking.  You don’t need to do math to know he’s old.  This picture is my last memory of “The Boys” doing their little game of you get it and I’ll bark at you (that’s what Butler calls it anyway).  Chase would fetch a beer from the cooler, bring me my hat, and he even climbed a 22ft extension ladder to join me on my mother’s roof once. (no kidding… and no I didn’t ask him to.  He just did it to be with me)
The lesson I’ve learned from Chase and Butler in all of these years is to never under estimate small packages.  I’ve been blown away by how much these little critters know.  The are very smart and very adaptive.
In recent years, Chase’s health is declining.  He’s not in any pain or at least he doesn’t show it.  However, he doesn’t run… at all.  He has forgotten (or so it seems) his house training.  He can’t see because of his cataracts so there’s no pin-pointing green racket balls in the Augusta Summer any more.  He’s not the dog he used to be, but he surprises me everyday with his love and ability to stick around.

Thank you, Chase and Butler for teaching me that just because someone is small doesn’t mean they are only capable of small things.  You both have changed the lives of every human you’ve met.  Here’s to you “Little Man” and “Booshé”.