Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Desire vs. Motivation

I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference between Desire and Motivation.  Being a Marketing Major, I believe my degree could be summed up in one simple phrase:

Marketing: Defining and capitalizing on what motivates people to do what they do.

Of course that's a gross over-simplification and possibly selling myself short.  I do think about the topic often however.



1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
2. the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.


1. a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.

While I've not rounded out the idea fully yet in my own head, I have determined that desire will often be the cause of motivation.  Before you can be motivated to do anything, you must first have a desire for the end result of having done it.  Otherwise, why do it? 

This is a tricky one for me so I'll try to explain why this is on my mind so much:

"Find Balance You Must"

(to paraphrase Master Yoda)

I have a friend for whom I have diminishing respect.  Why is my opinion in decline?  Because her desire outweighs her motivation.  She's a nice enough gal.  She cares for her family/friends, tries to be a good person, works hard at what is in front of her, etc. but she is constantly talking about the next big thing and complains (to me) when it doesn't happen.  Of course we all do this from time to time.  But it's beginning to rule her life and her personality.  All she does is complain that she isn't where she would like to be in life, finds fault in everything around her, and consistently brings me down when I am around her.  Sure, she'll call me when she's excited about the next big thing that's on her mind and I love seeing the passion and excitement at that stage.  But give it a day or two and it will simply be another regret because she failed to act .  What's worse, the fun/new/exciting thing will end up fueling her downward spiral with regret.

 Desire Without Motivation is Toxic

Obviously motivation isn't inherently "good" per se.  We can be motivated to do bad things.  Duh.  But I feel desire without motivation is inherently bad and is leaking in to our lives at an alarming rate. 

My 4 year old is learning this lesson now.  He has the desire to play with toys but lacks the desire (and the motivation that follows) to pick them up when finished.  I fear I am teaching him the wrong lesson here.  What finally motivates him to pick up his toys is his desire for me to stop telling him to pick up his toys or threatening lost privileges.  My question as a parent: Am I teaching him the right lesson?  Am I teaching him to be motivated to do the right thing or am I teaching him how to simply get me to shut up?  Or is him learning how to get me to can-it a valuable step toward learning the true desired end result? 

Fast forward 26 years: I read an article about a 30 year old man that refuses to leave his parents' home.  He refuses to help with living expenses, rent, utilities, food, etc.  His parents have served him with eviction notices and have even offered him copious amounts of money to use as a deposit/down-payment for a new place.  He refuses to leave and so the parents have retained an attorney and are taking him to court (Forehead-Smack).  Bringing this back to my original topic, this dude has a desire to live in a nice, comfortable place but lacks the motivation to obtain that goal for himself.  How sad is this?  What is going to happen when he is finally required by law or by force to leave?  Where will he go?  More importantly-what is he going to be able to accomplish when all he has is desire but no motivation in his tool-kit to get it done?  This is toxic.  For himself, his parents, the judicial system that is being tied up having to tell Mr. Man-Baby to grow up and get out, and for all of us as tax-paying citizens. 

Moving On

I could beat the proverbial dead-horse for hours.  But I won't.  (You're welcome.)  The bottom line is that one of the most frustrating things for me in life is when I have a desire to get something done but I am lacking the motivation.  Normally this happens when I am sick.  I want to work, to get the lawn mowed, to clean the bathroom, or to make dinner.... 


It's so frustrating!  That's a good thing!  It should be frustrating.  If it ceases to be frustrating, you may have a problem. 

I will continue to round-out this idea and may make changes/additions to this post.

Too long....

I've decided that going back and fixing the past posts (see previous post for details) is taking too long to complete before starting to work on new posts.  I have too many things bouncing around in my noggin to not move on.  I will go back and fix previous posts as I have time but will focus more on new posts. 

With that being said....

As an update to my previous post:  I have realized that there truly is a time and a season to everything in life.  I know this sounds obvious and at the ripe age of 34 I should have learned this already; however, it is a very valuable lesson I have recently learned. 

I loved my time serving the youth.  It helped me with many things such as...

1. Getting Out of My Box:  I am a very status-quo person.  Hanging out with teenagers taught me that status-quo is dumb...most the time.

2. Having Fun Is Ok: I am also a very "letter of the law" kind of guy when I feel like I am in charge.  For example, I feel like if something were to go wrong I would be held responsible.  This often got in the way of me letting down and having fun with the boys.  I'm sure being an insurance adjuster and always looking at potential liabilities didn't help placate the "risk-goblins" running around in my brain.  Being around the boys helped me realize that sometimes you just have to chill and have fun. 

3.  Being Young is Tough:  I had one youth look at me recently and tell me that adults felt the youth were naive.  I looked right back at them and said "I don't feel you are naive. If anybody is naive it's the adults.  We have no idea what you have to deal with on a daily basis and the ways the adversary has access to you has increased 10 fold since we were your age."  And it's true!  Of course, the youth are naive in ways.  So are the adults.  So are the old timers.  Once we accept that age has little bearing on how much control we feel we have in life we can begin to accept the short-comings of others and work together to make life better all the way around.

I have also learned (or remembered) many things no longer being involved with the youth...

1. Family is #1:  I got lost a bit in my service to the youth.  It was SO BUSY all the time.  I enjoyed it most the time but I didn't realize how much time I was robbing from my family.  In the last several weeks my relationship with my kiddos has improved greatly and I am actually having fun with my wife again!  Before, even if I was present physically I wasn't present mentally.  My bad...

2.  It's OK to Miss Things:  Of course I miss being involved with the youth and I miss having that relationship with them; however, I have passed the torch and in the spirit of being selfless, I strongly believe the youth got all they were going to get from me.  By the end, I was going through the motions on auto-pilot.  It was time for new leadership with a fresh perspective and new tactics to keep them engaged. 

3. My Wife Rocks: Of course I ALWAYS knew this one.  Since being released, my wife has gotten a new calling that takes her away from home once or twice a week in the evenings.  What she is doing is extremely important and it has given me a minor glimpse in to what she dealt with while I was gone consistently for the last 10 years.  I don't know how anybody can say women are not as strong as men.  She is my rock/anchor/Incredible Hulk that swoops in and saves my sorry butt every dang time. 

Another added bonus that I'm enjoying greatly in having more time is I'm able to ponder and think about topics for myself vs. having topics/ideas fed to me and needing to move on to the next thing before appreciating the depth of what was happening around me.  I am sure this is why I've started writing this blog again.  I'm not sure if anybody reads this but for me, it's helpful to get these things out so I can more fully develop them. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I'm back baby!!!

I'm sure nobody reads this blog anymore.  It's my fault!  I haven't posted for almost 5 years! 

Ironically I have an almost 5 year old.  You do the math.  

I am also posting this the same day that I have been released from serving as the President of the Young Men's Program for church.  If you don't know what this is, it's a church calling/responsibility that over-sees the male youth ages 12 to graduation and includes the Boy Scout program. 

In January of this year I crossed the 10 year mark for serving with the youth...a decade!  Wowza.  I was scared to death and incredibly intimidated when I was first asked to participate in this program.  After 10 years I have come to love and respect the youth that ARE this program and their parents.  And I will miss it terribly!  It's been just over 7 hours since I was officially released but I feel an odd vacancy inside already!  It's almost like I'm not sure what to do with myself. 

To give you an idea:

 My average Sunday responsibilities included a meeting before church, then 3 hours of normal church (3 Hours?!?  Mormons are weird...), then often times a meeting after.  I was often at church starting at 9:30am, and wouldn't leave until 3:00pm...ish.  Yikes.  Then there were our weekly activity nights that would take me away from my family for 2-3 hours (normally on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening).  Then our weekend activities such as camp-outs, bike rides, hikes, etc.  So in an average week, I'd spend as many as 4 days out of 7 away from my family.  

Side Note: Shout out to my amazing wife!  She has loved and supported me in these responsibilities.  She has gotten our boys ready for church by herself, taken them herself, for over 4 years now.  To put THAT in perspective, you try lugging a church bag, a toy bag, a 30 pound purse that has enough provisions inside to support a small country,  a 4 year old, and a baby carrier with a baby in it across a church parking lot, in a dress, on your own and still look as hot as she does by the time she gets inside...  My wife rocks and I don't deserve her! 

I am positive I made things more difficult than I should have...which I often do.  And when I was asked (by my wife) why I was always gone (physically or mentally), all I could think of to tell her was that I was trying to be the youth leader I hope my boys will have when they grow up and start this program. 

I know it sounds like I'm whining.  I am actually honored that I had this opportunity to learn from the the youth.  I was constantly learning from them and felt close to them in many ways.  And my successors are well equipped and amazing people.  So I have no reason but to feel thankful for the time I had and realize that, while I enjoyed serving in this capacity, I now get to spend some much anticipated time with the family!

Thus the blog!  Now that I have thoroughly over-explained the situation, I am hoping to dedicate time to document the great things that are happening around me. 

But first, I need to go back and fix my blog!  You'll notice (depending on at what point you read this post) most of the previous posts have lost their pictures.  Funny story-I deleted them.  See, when I was a youngster newb, and I got my first Android phone, and I synced my blog to my phone, and the pictures from my blog showed up on my phone, and my mild OCD was bothering me having pictures on said phone that I wasn't interested in having on there, and so I deleted deleted it from my blog as well.  Stupid?  Yes.  So I'd like to go back and try to fix it! 

With that, I will leave you with this quote from the famous Andy Bernard: 

"I wish there was a way to know you're in 
"the good old days", before you've actually left them."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer

       Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer

From: Gardena, CA
Started: Apparently 420 years ago
Tagline: Better Dead Red than just plain dead!
Tagline 2: Once you've had Jack Black, you'll never go back.
Tagline 3: Third time available in 420 years.
Steve-o-Meter: 3 out of 10

Review: I was actually really disappointed in this root beer.  I was really excited about this one from the presentation of it.  I mean, come on, who doesn't want to drink a root beer from a pirate bottle?  My initial thought after reading the label was "Wow, this recipe is 420 years old, it must be really good."  And of course with the pirate theme, I thought about Pirates of the Caribbean and captain Jack Sparrow's tag line "Why is the rum gone?"  I had high expectations...until I cracked this baby open.  

The taste was bland for a root beer.  It was almost bitter and there was no aftertaste.  The drink was pretty low on the carbonation spectrum so the belch-o-meter was also pretty low as well.  The ingredients list Caffeine and Brazilian Guarana.  (I guess the fact that it's Brazilian Guarana vs. normal Guarana makes it more fancy?)  Either way, I don't like drinking either of those ingredients and the taste definitely does not tempt me to come back from seconds.  Ingredients also list Red #40 which is I guess why they call it "Dead Red" root beer, but it wasn't even red so again, I think it's a wasted ingredient.

I tried to do some research on the recipe or origin and all I could find was several vendors that will sell it and the website that is apparently the bottling company for it.  I was hoping to find some good history behind it with the whole pirate theme but again was left wanting....

Overall, I would not suggest this beverage. I would recommend banking the calories and eating a piece of chocolate cake instead.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dad's Root Beer

        Dad's Root Beer

From: Jasper, Indiana
Started: 1937
Tagline: America's Premium Root Beer
Steve-o-Meter: 7 out of 10

Review: This was a pretty good root beer.  It reminded me most of MY dad's home-made root beer.  It's got a medium fizz level-not too overbearing but not smooth like a draft root beer.  The first taste on your tongue may be a bit bitter but the aftertaste is nice and sweet.  I enjoy the bitter/sweet but some may find it less desirable.  The bitter dies down the more you drink.  Amanda said she thought it had a hint of bubble gum flavor.  Overall I gave this bottle a 7 out of 10 because other than reminding me of my dad's recipe, I didn't find it to be anything out of the ordinary.  It's a good tasting root beer but I wouldn't special order it.  I would recommend it to somebody wanting an old fashioned root beer experience.

Father's Day

So, my amazing wife sure spoiled me for father's day this year!  I expected nothing less from her as she is always so good to me.

I have always enjoyed Root Beer.  I think it's because my dad has a recipe for making home-made root beer and he made it quite often while I was growing up.  He is, by default, "the root beer guy" in charge of bringing root beer to all the family gatherings, church activities, BBQ's, etc...  I'm not going to lie, his root beer is pretty dang good.  He has since passed the recipe to me and I am now able to carry on the legacy.  Granted, the recipe is super simple and uses Root Beer Extract bought from the store; however, it is still tasty all the same.  Some day I hope to graduate to actually brewing my own root beer from scratch but it makes me nervous because I don't want to start a hill-billy moonshine operation on accident if I do it wrong.
Pretty sure this is how I would look if I ever started living the hillbilly life!

So my obsession with root beer has only grown since I was a kiddo.  In high school, I found the deliciousness of Henry Weinhard's Root Beer.  It's an amazing draft style root beer that accompanied me to many late night high school movie nights with friends and camping trips with the scouts.  Word of Caution: Drink it cold!  Because it is draft style, it will spew like a boy on the tilt-o-whirl after eating nachos if you're not careful.

Then for Christmas this last year, Amanda got me some eclectic root beer bottles she found at Ace Hardware.  These flavors included the following:

Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer
Frostie's Vanilla Root Beer
Dang! That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer

It was fun to branch out and try different types of Root Beer and also learn more about each brewery and their history.  It was a really neat gift.  So it got me to thinking, "I wonder how many other root beer brands are out there."  

So I Google searched it and and HOLY COW!  There are hundreds of different Root Beer breweries across the country (and some international) all claiming to have the best root beer out there.  It was pretty amazing and definitely overwhelming looking at all of them.

While surfing the web, I found a pretty cool website,, where you can find a lot of these root beers and have them delivered directly to your door.  And my favorite part?  The 24-Pack Sampler!  This site has probably 50-60 different kinds of root beer and the sampler pack will let you try many different flavors and brands in one case.  The only two draw backs I've found with this so far is:  1.The company randomly selects the 24 root beer bottles they send you.  This means you could run into repeats if you order more than one.  2.It's kind of spendy averaging out to about $2.00/bottle.  

So getting back to subject, guess what Steven got for Father's Day?  You betcha'!  The 24-Pack Sampler!

I display my Root Beer collection with pride!

So I've decided to start a series of blog posts (maybe this will motivate me to be more consistent with posting things) that will evaluate each root beer as I drink them.  Even though I really like root beer, I'm not much of a soda drinker SO don't expect this to roll out very fast.  But at least it gives me something else to talk about other than garden and politics.  I've decided to try them randomly, asking Amanda to pick a number between 1-24 and counting from the back forward I tried Dad's Root Beer first.



Sunday, May 5, 2013


I know, I've been kind of lame posting but:

A: I will try to be better at posting more frequently.
B: This news is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

I'm sure most of you reading this are aware of this but for those of you who aren't, Amanda and I have been trying to adopt a baby for a while now.  We found out several years ago that we are unable to have babies and so, after much prayer and research, we decided our best option to start our family would be to adopt a baby.  The journey has been humbling and hard at times but always so fulfilling knowing we are going to start our family.  Well, after some waiting and prayer and much anticipation, I am pleased to announce that....


That is right ladies and gentlemen, Steven is going to be a daddy!!!!  

We were contacted a few weeks ago by an awesome birth-mom who viewed our profile on an on-line database.  After much prayer from her and the birth-father (and from Amanda and I), we were chosen to be the adoptive couple for their baby!  

We also had the opportunity to meet the birth mother today and I have to say, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect experience!  I was so impressed by her and her mother.  I had to leave for a work commitment so I only got to hang out with them for about 40 minutes.  I look forward to getting to know them more in the months and years to come!  

As for the baby, we don't know much other than he/she is healthy and due October 17th.  That means I'm going to be a daddy in:

164 Days, 3 Hours, 23 Minutes

Without further adieu, presenting for the first time ever in semi-full color, our baby, also known (for the time being) as Baby S!

I know what you're thinking and I couldn't agree more...that is one good lookin' noggin!

Thank you to all for the prayers and thoughts on our behalf.  We are truly blessed to have such great family and friends in our lives!