Affirmations – 05.29.18

Today I wait for the Lord. I resist going ahead without Him because of impatience, impulse, fear, or thinking I know better. He always has perfect timing; and it’s faith – not works – that achieve success.

Today I am on a killing spree. I eliminate everything that doesn’t spark joy, doesn’t energize me, isn’t truly necessary, doesn’t need to be done by me, distracts me from honoring my goals, and sucks my effectiveness.


A powerful statement by Mister Rogers

Thanks to Kevin Rose’s newsletter, I was able to read this note by Mister Rogers that is so relevant and habit-changing. Hope this fuels your Sabbath and changes your life.

“I don’t think we give that gift anymore (the gift of silence). I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information than wonder. In noise, rather than silence…how do we encourage reflection? Oh my, this is a noisy world.”

“I get up every morning at least by 5AM. I have a couple hours of quiet time, reflect about what is important.”

“What can we do, to encourage people to have more quiet in their lives, more silence? Real revelation comes through silence.”

~Mister Rogers

Affirmations – 05.24.18

I am a top-down, macro thinker. I consider the big picture issues and allow them to dominate my preferences and decisions. Minute details are important, but they are lower down the importance scale, and can be ignored, ignored temporarily, delegated, automated, and/or removed from my strategic capacities. I do not stress about the small stuff.

I am ready for conflict – whether they be undesired outcomes, bad news, arguments, accusations, confusions, negative self-talk, misunderstandings, and things that irritate me. These are common; these are opportunities to switch to healthier perspectives, make better decisions, and increase wisdom; and these conflicts are successful if God is on my side. I pause, consult with Him first and throughout, and respond in a godlier way.

I am excited for new today. New people I’m meeting, new things I’m learning, new opportunities to vet, and new initiatives I’m incorporating. I have a healthy ratio of routine and growth.

Operation Christmas Child 2018

It’s time again to start planning for Operation Christmas Child – our annual family commitment to serving our poorest brothers and sisters around the globe with needed supplies and toys for their children.
You can read background on our initiative, here.
Christmas isn’t coming for seven more months; but for those who have volunteered in the past and/or know about this initiative – a lot of fundraising, supply gathering (we’ve lost our garage to this cause, lol!), box assembling, and shipping logistics to hard-to-reach countries need to start NOW! And having holiday spirit early isn’t such a bad thing =)
We’d love your help making global and long-term impact for Operation Christmas Child this year in two ways:
1. You can make 100% tax-deductible donations to us (most preferred, since we can get better deals with bulk/wholesale purchasing); and
2. Time (we’ve learned over the years that doing this selfless work as a family builds stronger bonds and teaches our kids to think of others).
With your help, we will be buying and processing hygiene items (toothbrushes, towels, socks, etc.) and toys (pencils, pens, notepads, crayons, tinker items like Legos and dolls) for 2,400 kids from villages around the world that don’t have access to education and amenities (things we take for granted) due of violence, politics, poverty, inaccessibility, or just plain neglect.
2,400 kids and their families will not feel alone or forgotten, but be shown love; they will have a chance at experiencing joy; and hopefully they will be inspired and empowered to pay it forward and use our gesture as a means to propel their communities upward. This is what you can make happen!
You can gather some background on this initiative here:
You can donate/tithe funds in a few ways:
1. PREFERRED – Sending an electronic payment to Venmo (@shaftfoundation) or Chase QuickPay (
2. Writing a check or sending a BillPay to SHAFT Foundation, Inc. (please email me at for details)
3. Depositing funds directly into to our bank account at Chase Bank – Our account number is 136626535 and routing number is 322271627
4. If you are interested in a monthly donation/tithe, you can set it up on Chase QuickPay or BillPay (this is free, and we can give you instructions).
After you donate, please let us know so that we can make sure to send you a tax-deductible receipt and personally THANK YOU for the work you’re doing and the work you’re allowing us to do!
Please think about whether this is the right thing for your family; and please forward this to any one or company whom you think might want to participate as well. It’s all we ask; and we appreciate those two gestures!
Thank you for being supportive of this cause through the years; we’ve gone so far and the world has more hope because of you and will continue to do be so.
The TranDa Family (Paul, Christine, Deion, Ethan, and our dogs Bobby and Sugar Lucy)

Business idea – positive news channel

The news industry is incentivized by sharing doom and gloom most of the time – most of them being exaggerated, unnecessary, debilitating, and unhealthy.

What about creating a news channel that only shares good news? News that educates, inspires, makes people feel good, and stirs people to take positive action – all while being entertaining, real-time, and worthy of a conversation?

How can we make this type of news convenient – to the point where it reaches consumers before bad news does and doesn’t give it a chance to poison the mind?

How can we give audiences a sense that they are in-the-know with true information, but gives a perspective that is deep, intelligent, and productive?

How can we change conversation topics at the coffee shop from gossip and messed up situations, to incredible stories that are contagious in a delightful way?

Affirmations – 05.22.18

Today I am aware of, and maximize, my self-talk. Before, after, and in between batches of work sessions – especially boring or challenging peaks and valleys – I remind myself that I’ll be super proud of my self when I think smart, push hard, give it 110%, see how this contributes to long-term success, and see my tasks to completion. I also utilize fear in my favor, and warn myself of how impacted my schedule will be, how it would suck not to reach my goals, and how the world would be missing out on my important work.

Today I embody the fruit of the spirit – self-control; joy; love; gentleness; peace; faithfulness; generosity; patience; and kindness – in all that I do.

Today I crank up the sensitivity radar to hear what God wants to say to me. He is whispering; He speaks through the people I interact with today; and He reveals messages through my circumstances. And with that knowledge, I am minimizing busyness, I am careful about what I work on, I consult with Him before, after, and throughout.

Affirmations – 05.21.18

Today I do not worry about anything. Instead, I will pray about everything and thank the Lord for all that He has done and will continue to do. 92% of my worries never happen or are inconsequential; 8% of my legitimate fears don’t require the debilitating and unhelpful act of worrying; worry cannibalizes 100% of my joy, mind, effectiveness; and focusing on God has a success and effectiveness rate of 100%.

Today I am not focused on what I SHOULD be doing, but what I am obsessed with – either by God’s inspiration, what I know about myself, and what God places in front of me today without feeling pushed.

Today I am mindful of my self-talk. I’m not concerned with technique and visible effort, but my psychology. I can easily fall into the trap of “I’m not good enough, I don’t belong, it’s not time yet, I don’t have the resources, etc.” when pursuing things I am called to do but are afraid of. But I am replacing those thoughts with reminders that I am operating out of His power and resources; the size of my God is much larger than all of my fears combined; and the most important, transformative moments in my life were always on the other side of stepping out in faith.

Affirmations – 05.17.18

Today I pursue doing the right things and doing all things in love – in my interactions with other people, and with myself. This includes giving more value than I can capture at work – regardless of whether or not I benefit directly; being patient, kind, disciplining, present, and encouraging to my kids; helping my wife without complaining, and supporting all of her endeavors in self-care and business; and sleeping adequately tonight, exercising, living with integrity, eliminating self-imposed fears and stress, and doing what You built me to do.

Today I am focused on attacking the core of problems and opportunities, and not being distracted or misled into quick fixes, reactively addressing only what I can see, putting bandaids on wounds, or nurturing things on shallow/unhealthy ground. I am thoughtful and serious about change from the inside out.

Today I am refraining from sending emails until I ask myself if I truly need to respond to it, if I can make a phone call to solve this, and if I respond in a way that eliminates ever having to deal with it ever again – in that order.

Deep in the trenches & nuthin’ wrong w/ being ol skool

Pictured: Not sure this was legal or socially acceptable…but my son Ethan at the park, digging through bark all the way to the bottom. Perfect parallel to the first part of today’s message lol!

“When I first started my career…I mistakenly believed that there was an engineering fix for every problem. With the right design and engineering, all problems associated with moving animals could be solved…

What I learned from this design disaster was that I had attempted to treat the symptom of a problem instead of its cause. From that point forward in my career, I was careful to differentiate between problems that can be fixed with new equipment and problems that should be fixed by other means. Later in my career, I have observed that people want the magic new thing more than they want improved management to fix problems. Managers need to carefully determine the areas in their business where new technology is the right choice and other areas where a back-to-basics management approach may be more effective.”

This was a great insight from Temple Grandin inside Tim Ferris‘ book Tribe of Mentors. I am encouraged to go below the surface and see if there is a root cause I need to address that goes beyond the surface-level, face-value, and “tip of the iceberg” of symptoms.

I also need to be careful of the bright shiny object that may be sexy – not because of its effectiveness but only because it’s new.

And what comes to mind?

Handling issues by phone instead of emails. I have a tendency to avoid making and taking phone calls. A small portion of it is because receiving phone calls is annoying when I’m trying to focus on work; and I’m slightly antisocial, believe it or not lol!

But getting on the phone helps establish a real connection, I can understand tone and immediate clarification where email doesn’t provide that, there is less distraction, I can stand out more, and I can probably handle a bulk of the task instead of sending emails, waiting for a response, following up if there is no response, putting out fires because I missed the context of the message, etc.

I love Boomerang and email in general – because I hate paper, and I live on my electronics – but they do become a devastating crutch if I over-dependent on those tools.

Using the Reminders app on my iphone instead of MeMail, Trello and the multiple follow-up folders between my many company email inboxes (personal, The Halal Guys, Cauldron Ice Cream, my nonprofit, Christine’s @ohsugargrove account; and this doesn’t include social media, voice mails, text messages, etc.). It’s minimal and simple to where I can’t hide my workload inside task management programs with fancy bells and whistles. It’s refreshingly minimal, and forces me to keep it simple, focused, and actionable.

Refraining from sending a proposal to potential clients until I have a clear signal that a deal can happen. My over-excitement and rush to help people, anti-social tendencies, inability to say NO and admission that someone might not be an ideal client/partner, and discomfort in asking difficult questions all make me less effective in my work.

If I just slow down and ask questions to really qualify a deal, build boundaries to reject opportunities that don’t honor my goals, and truly know whether I can truly add tremendous value and that the partner/client is willing to pay for or invest in the deal…my impact on the world would be so much more powerful.

Are there any stories you’d like to share about eliminating roots of problems instead of treating symptoms? And/Or are there any back-to-basics initiatives that you do instead of new technologies that are more effective?