Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs fame, has created a scholarship program geared toward high school seniors who want to learn a technical trade.

He’s also asking folks to take this pledge. This is something we all should read and apply to our work and lives. It’s solid stuff.

1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.




As a military veteran, my heart broke when I read this report in a recently published AP story:

“Suicides are surging among America’s troops, averaging nearly one a day this year…The military also is struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other misbehavior.”

According to the Wounded Warrior Project, “an estimated 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment”. Add to that the 48,000 servicemen and women who’ve been physically injured, and it’s easy to see how this could affect soldiers.

American troops are heroic, but they are also human.  And they need our help.

Most citizens want to express our appreciation in real and tangible ways, but what can we do?

Here are five practical ways to support our troops:

1. Give honor

It’s almost become cliché to thank the troops for their sacrifice. But knowing that your country stands with you reminds you that you’re working for something bigger than yourself. Whether we’re in conflict or not, never, ever stop giving honor where honor is due.

2. Befriend them

The best support comes from relationships. This is also true of the men and women in our armed forces. By building friendships with those who serve, you not only gain a solid friend, you help improve the morale of our military.  Trust me, that gives those who serve a much-needed boost of encouragement.

3. Love their families

Military families need our love and support, too. Think about it. Who pays the heaviest price when our troops are deployed? Their loved ones. Who has their lives disrupted frequently when a military member is relocated? Their loved ones. Who does it affect the most when a soldier, airman, marine, or sailor returns from conflict with injury, stress, depression, or death? Their loved ones. Some of the best ways to show your care for our military is to love on their families.

4. Donate to them

Serving your country comes at a price. Sometimes, the cost is your well-being. And since you don’t enter the military to be rich, sometimes the cost is financial. For a number of veterans, sometimes the cost is a scar that hasn’t quite healed. Thankfully, there are a handful of great organizations doing good work to help and support active-duty military and veterans. In your generosity, consider giving to a reputable military organization.

5. Pray for them

As we read in the report, we need to keep our troops and their families in our prayers. A suicide a day is heartbreaking. Not to mention the divorce rates, increased abuse, injury, depression, and other struggles. For people of faith, we believe that prayer can reach places no person ever could. We trust God to know where it hurts and where healing needs to take place. Never discount the power of a heartfelt prayer.

Every time you meet a member of the military or veteran, know you are standing in the presence of greatness. These warriors deserve our support, love, friendship, and sincere appreciation.

I, for one, am very proud of those who have the courage to serve. They are true heroes.

How will you help support our troops?
For those of you who’ve served, what other suggestions do you have?



How to survive a grizzly bear attack, according to National Geographic. If you were caught in this situation, would you play dead or try to fight back


In the aftermath of the recent tornado that ripped through Oklahoma, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson offers a simple prayer of hope.

It’s inspiring to see these folks use their influence for good.


There’s something magical about roasting marshmallows around a campfire, fishing on a quiet morning, taking a hike in the woods, playing in the water, lounging in a hammock, and enjoying some laughs with those you care about.

As you prepare for your next family camping outing, here’s a comprehensive checklist to help ensure you’ve got everything you need for a memorable time. Keep in mind, this isn’t a list for intense backpacking, it’s meant for good, ol’ fashioned campsite camping with family or friends. In fact, this pdf resource contains over 300 items, so you likely won’t need everything listed. But hopefully, it will help you be better prepared for your time in the great outdoors.



My 10-year-old daughter was being questioned by police. Not for anything she did, but for what she witnessed. She recounted what she saw:

I was in front of the school when I saw this red car back up and crash right into the side of a car in the parking lot. The girl standing next to me said, ‘Oh no, my mom just hit a car!’ And then I said, ‘Oh no, your mom just hit MY mom’s car!’ We thought it was kind of funny.”

After giving her statement to police, my daughter looked back to my wife and mouthed, “This is SO cool!”

We didn’t think it was so funny or cool, though. It turns out the driver was uninsured and on oxycontin following a recent surgical procedure. Opting not to pursue legal action, we were left holding the bill for the damages.  Thankfully, no one was in the parked car.

At dinner that night, I asked my daughter why she thought it was cool. With exuberance she revealed, “Because I have an exciting story to tell my friends at school tomorrow!”

In the midst of our frustration, we couldn’t help but chuckle at how whimsical she was about it all.


Actually, everyone loves stories. It’s ingrained in us. From bedtime tales, to motion pictures, to video games, we are constantly seeking out stories in various forms.


As a parent, you get to direct life experiences your child will never forget. You are the chief memory maker of your family. You hold the incredible responsibility to provide memories that will last a lifetime. Stories your children will tell their children and grandchildren about.


It’s been said, “Kid’s don’t remember what you told them, but they do remember how you made them feel.” And people feel by immersing themselves in an experience that activates the senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound). Add in something unexpected, remarkable, or fun and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable memory.


…is to be an active participate in the lives of our children. Give them stories they can’t wait to tell their friends about. Take them on adventures, have them try something new, serve others in need, do a fun project, be creative. It doesn’t take much. It just takes time.

The John Crudele quote rings true, “Kids spell love, T-I-M-E.”  As chief memory makers, we need to remember that and live it out.

Do things together, experience stories together, and make memories together.


My teenage son recently revealed that one of his best memories was when he and I played light saber wars in the dark in our backyard with nothing but the glow and distinct sounds of the light sabers. Who knew something so simple would be so memorable? He added, “None of my friends dads would do something like that.” I want to create more memories like this for my kids.

I’m far from a perfect dad. For a variety of reasons, I’ve missed out on some opportunities I wished I could get back. But rather than live with regrets of what could have been, I’m making it my mission to live with a vision of what could be.

Because here’s what I know…


You don’t want to be left with time you wished you could get back. It doesn’t work that way. And it seems the older your kids get, the quicker the years fly by. As the Trace Adkins song goes, “You may not know it now, but you’re gonna miss this.” You will. So take the time to be there, soak it all in, and enjoy it.

May your family remember it was you who was with them during their most thrilling tales and unforgettable moments.

Go, and give ‘em stories to tell!

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