MiiR Growler. Connecting us.

Growler (MiiR)

MiiR Growler. Connecting us.

Reading time: 2 minutes

As many of you know I am a big advocate for buying with purpose, even if it is something you do not need, it may help someone else in need. A while back, I came up with a mission for one of my business ideas, “Produce to Live, Purchase to Empower.” To me this phrase captured everything that I wanted to accomplish when starting my own organization. In fact, it was the cornerstone of my idea. MiiR has a slogan similar to the one I came up with that also makes up the foundation of their organization, “Designed to Empower,” I absolutly dig this mission.

I recently backed MiiR’s latest design, the MiiR Growler. Who would pass up an opportunity to carry around and/or store 64 ounces of delicious beer or coffee! Realistically, I do not need a growler, but I do enjoy both beer and coffee so it will be easy for me to put it to good use. The purpose of backing the growler was not to get such an amazing deal on a high-quality product, instead it was to see how well they track “Impact.” Tracking impact is something many organizations, both for-profit and non-profit,  have done poorly since the beginning of time. Many organizations do a phenomenal job asking for your money, but do a dismal job at showing you how they have put that money to work and how it is positively impacting those they seek to serve. MiiR is trying to bridge that gap by providing everyone that purchases a growler a bracelet with a tracking number to the clean water project that is being supported by your purchase. By entering your tracking number into their website you will be able to track the progress of the project and see the impact firsthand. This by no means is an easy task, and because of that, I respect the organization even more for going above and beyond to not only provide clean water to someone in need, but for also trying to build a personal relationship between you and the beneficiary.

Choosing to remain emotionally, physically, and electronically disconnected from the rest of the world has led our society to inadvertantly dehumanize and devalue other people. It is almost as if it is a defense mechanism for keeping our minds from believing there are a lot of bad things happening outside of the USA. Personally, I have to constantly remind myself that people do not choose the environments in which they are originally planted. And because of that simple fact, I must strive to remain educated and connected in an effort to try and understand all aspects of their present situation, and help out where I can.

I challenge you to find a way to connect yourself. Whether it is globally or to your local community. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much more “human” everyone else is.

– You have 4 days left to back the MiiR Growler, so check it out! I will keep you updated on how MiiR’s clean water project is impacting those in need once I receive the bracelet.


Be Industrious, not a SLACKER.

Reading time: 3 minutes.


I recently read an interesting blog post. Dave Ramsey reposted a bunch of statistics from a best selling author Tom Corely at Richhabits.net.

Proverbs 10:4 says, A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. ESV

To be diligent means being industrious with steadfast application, and a showing of care and conscientiousness in one’s work.

Slack means to be loose and limp.

The Tom Corely blog post:

1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% for poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make happy birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor.

12. 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% for poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs. 3% for poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% for poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% for poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% for poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% for poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for poor.

———————————————————-End of Corely’s post ————————————————-

There is a lot to think on here, and even more to talk about concerning the income gap between the rich and the poor. But I am not going to write on that today, rather I am going to take the list and look at it objectively.

Reading through the list, I found that I do about 3/4 of what Tom Corely has listed as the things the wealthy do every day (some do not apply to me because I do not have kids). So what does that mean? Does it mean I am not wealthy…or does it put me in the middle-class? Or does it prove my hand is slack at times…I will be honest, my hand has a tendency to be slack at times, but regardless I am still rich…in happiness.

It’s not my goal to be wealthy, but it is my goal to be successful at everything I pursue, when I earn success, I am happy. The great thing about success is that it is subjective, and the best thing we can do is define it for ourselves and not let others define it for us. If obtaining some wealth is a part of that journey,  then so be it; the more I have the more I can give (financially). If it is your goal to be “wealthy” then what is listed above are all great ways to help yourself achieve the goal of being financially stable. The list can also act as a great resource to use when building balanced checklist for your life. The actions cover a portion of the Physical, Mental, Spiritual, and Social balance I believe everyone should strive for.

To attain balance and achieve success in anything we choose to pursue, we must remain diligent. The endurance it takes to accomplish goals can be tiring. But I can guarantee it is not as enervating as what someone in poverty or that has unbounded debt experiences daily.  We do not choose where we are planted or how fruitful the soil in which we are planted in can be, but we do have choice when it comes to making the daily decision to continually get better. If you are not working to get better you are getting worse! 

One final thought: In no way am I trying to say all who are poor are slackers. The majority of poor people are not slackers, just planted in tough environments of cyclical poverty and poor decisions. However, there are a lot people who are poor because they are slackers, that see no problem with being lazy (limp) and/or taking hands-outs. Nevertheless, it is not my job to sit and judge them for the reason they are poor. It is however my duty to serve them, unconditionally, not matter my present financial situation. 

Deuteronomy 15 says, You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land. ESV

Sometimes the process of getting better involves sacrificing things you believe you are entitled to. Be industrious (like your great Grandpap was), do not be a let your hand have any slack, even if it means surrendering things you enjoy (i.e., comforts) for an extended period of time. Do not forget to remain balanced.

Everest is not everyone’s mountain.

You hear stories about it. Maybe you even know someone that has done it. Every two to three years a new film comes out about it. And if you have enough physical strength, money, time, and crazy you can do it too. Months of training, years of planning, all to say, “I’ve summited Mt. Everest.”
There are a lot of reasons people decide to climb Mt. Everest. Some reasons are pure and selfless while others are purely selfish. Nevertheless, whatever the reason, the experience and the journey to the top is something that will challenge and change a person (hopefully for the good).
I have never climbed Everest (I am lacking the “crazy”) nor do I think I know anyone that has. But there have been challenges I have purposefully pursued with the goal of getting to the top. Most of the time I never make it, and when I have, I was surely not the fastest, strongest, smartest, or wisest to make it to the summit.

I have never regretted not reaching a summit.

The reason I like this video is that it never shows anyone on the summit of the mountain, jumping for joy with arms raised high, wallowing in the victory; only scattered tents and specks of people encompassed by the majesty of God’s creation on the side of a “hill.”

The focus in the film is about the journey to the top, the challenges that make you who you are along the way, and the people and environment that surrounds you.

Even though Everest my not be your mountain, you should never cease attempting to summit your own, the outing is worth it.


Continue to Explore

sReading Time: 1 minute 30 seconds

There is no reason to ever stop exploring. The ignorant might argue by saying, “everything has already been discovered, so why should I even bother?”

And to that you would chime, “Not so good fellow, just yesterday it was reported that 441 new species of plants and animals were discovered in Amazonia!”

The opportunity to explore and discover new things is available to anyone, and it will never run out. Whether it is uncovering that single curly fry mixed into your french fries or  revealing the revolutionary combination of natural ingredients to end balding (fingers crossed), discovery fuels us.

Exploration is meant to push us to our limits, challenge us, and sometimes even break us. It is how we grow. Learn from our youth! Toddlers and babies are great explorers, and willing to take risks; falling off the edge of a sofa just to reach the one Cheerio that got away. This hunger to discover often continues for the next 10-20 years and then…

At some point in life we lose the passion to explore. Sure we like the idea of exploration, but where did our passion go? I believe we suffocate our passion and the ability to take risks by becoming more “responsible.” Being responsible is just another excuse to be lazy! Now, do not misinterpret what I am trying to say. It is very important to become more responsible as we mature especially when trust and credibility are on the line. Nevertheless, one should not use responsibility as an excuse to be idle when Annapurna is calling.

Take calculated risks, but do not become so consumed by the calculations that you fail to act.  We never want to find ourselves in a situation where we end up saying it is too late to accomplish something. Because at that moment the statement, “it’s never too late to________ (you fill in the blank),” becomes false.

One of the most real tragedies in life is losing out on an opportunity to explore, because you will never know what you would have discovered on the other side.


Shop Class as Soulcraft and Renaissance Men.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What does it mean to be a Renaissance Man? When looking for examples,  I stumbled upon former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Here is some of what he did in his 60 years of life:

State legislator, rancher, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, New York Governor,  police commissioner, Medal of Honor recipient, served two terms as President, author of over 30 books, was the first President to drive a car, and pilot a plane, read over 10,000 books (in multiple languages), explored the Amazon (not the website, the rainforest), started the U.S. Forest Service, and volunteered to lead an infantry unit in WWI at 59 years old. 

Once, Roosevelt was shot by a man on a Railway car, and pressed on to give a speech to over 10,000 people. Before his speech he stated, “I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.”  He continued to speak to the crowd for over 90 minutes, and then decided to go to the hospital. 

I believe it is good to strive to accomplish as much a Roosevelt did in his life-time. It is apparent renaissance men are a dying breed in today’s day and age. Can you think of one? Our country needs more to come out of the woodwork and rise to the top, leading by example along the way. I will be the first to admit this was something I committed myself to before entering the Air Force Academy. It has been a humbling experience, and obviously not as fruitful as Roosevelt’s journey. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the adventure and have 30 more years to catch up!


I challenge anyone who may be interested, to push yourself to become a jack/jane of all trades and master of none, like President Roosevelt (although he was probably a master of some). 

In other news, I have started reading a book titled, Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford. You can read it with me if you would like. I think Crawford’s message will fall in line well with this post. 

“On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a “knowledge worker,” based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.” – MatthewBCrawford.com


Why not get up early, and pray?

Reading time: 2:00 min

Mornings are tough for me. I think this is true for most, but I know a handful of people that “own” the morning. Up between 4:30 am – 5:30 am (or 7 am on the weekends) to get stuff done! Over the years I have battled with what has been what I can describe as a calling to rise and shine early.  More often than not I ignore what I believe is my soul’s desire, and close my eyes pulling the covers tighter around me. Sooner or later I’ll get around to getting up.

It takes me awhile to get the ball rolling, or at least that is what I tell myself.

Whenever I do get up early, however, I have never regretted it. The mornings are peacefully fresh. Those of you that have kids may think otherwise, but if you get up early enough I am sure you will find it; a cup of coffee doesn’t hurt either. Once you do find that freshness, it is off to the races. For me it often comes in the form or a renewed appreciation for life and the unbounded craving to create and explore.

Today, the actions of creation and exploration for most people does not come in the form of building a shed or going on out to expose uncharted landscape. For most it will likely come in the form of something, that would seem to most, as less fulfilling. Creating a good egg, hash, and bacon breakfast, working out, feeding the cat, or exploring the classified section of the local newspaper. If you are a progressive vegetarian type (like my wife) you’re probably waking everyone up in your quest to make your kale smoothie delight in your extremely quiet VitaMix. And if you don’t read the paper, you are most likely looking at Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or some other form of social media feed.

Whatever sparks your morning do not stifle it. Even if it seems less fulfilling than what you think others are doing or have done in the past. Instead, feed it and make sure to keep it diverse. Sooner or later you may come to the realization you actually love what you are doing, or find out what you truly love to do. Furthermore, throughout the day others around you will surely benefit from your choice to seize the day!

Today I prayed, read the Good Book, went fishing, and drank a some very black coffee. Tomorrow it will be different. It may be more, it may be less, it will include coffee, but it won’t be stifled.