The Lemming Leap

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

The Lemming Leap dan skognes motivation blogger speaker“Practice what you preach.” I heard those words come out of the mouth of a wife of a preacher…speaking to her husband.  My wife put it to me a different way.  She said, “You give good advice.  You just need to take it.”

I am not sure why it is hard to take my own advice except we all have blind spots.  It is a good thing to have someone in your life that will shine the light on the blind spots so we can see them.  I am fortunate to have several people in my life that do that freely and frequently.

The older I have become the more open I am to hearing the truth.  There was a time when my feelings would get hurt or I would become defensive.  The thing is, when someone loves you, they owe it to you to speak the truth, so receive it!

Advice is easy to give and can be hard to take.  Here are a few things to think about if you are on the giving or receiving end of advice:

  • Don’t give advice on something you know nothing about. The truth always comes out in the end.
  • When you give advice, always speak the truth…just remember to speak it in love.
  • Be aware that many people don’t want your advice.  Ask if it is OK if you are unsure of how they feel. They are more likely to listen if you ask permission.
  • Don’t give advice if you are angry.  It will come out as sarcasm.
  • If someone gives you advice, listen.  Just listen without argument and without becoming defensive.  They just might have something worth considering.
  • Don’t assume you know WHY someone is giving you advice.  If you question their motive, ask them.

There are two things to be aware of:

  • Some people who give advice are hypocrites.  They do not believe what they are saying and will never take their own advice.
  • Other people give advice from the school of hard knocks.  They are trying to help you avoid the pitfalls they have taken.  Listen to THEM.  They are open to taking their own advice. They just need help getting there.

Your challenge is to discern between the two.  If you get a serious gut-check when someone gives you advice, listen to it.  It might keep you from doing the lemming leap off the cliff.  You are better off listening to a lemming that leapt…and survived.


Dan Skognes

Motives Matter

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Motives Matter dan skognes motivation blogger speaker

Why you and I do what we do does matter, doesn’t it?  People do things basically for two reasons:

  1. Selfish reasons. They do something because it will benefit them.  They don’t care what the outcome is as long as they win.  They are not concerned with the potential side effects and who might be hurt.  A selfish person says, “What’s in it for me?”  They think win – lose. Their conscience is seared.
  2. Self-less reasons. They do something because it will benefit others.  They care about how it affects everyone.  While they want to win, their motive is not at any cost.  They consider the ethics, morals, and common sense of the situation and if it goes against one of those, they won’t do it. A self-less person says, “What can I do to serve you?” They think win – win. Their conscience is clear.

You may be thinking, “I am definitely not in the first category.”  Well, I hope that you don’t dwell there and I hope it is not part of your character, but I think we all have a natural tendency to fall into the selfish trap if we are not careful.  Be honest, who does not like to have things go their own way?  We all like people to do what we want, when we want it.

So what motivates people?  Some people would say the carrot, and some would say the stick.  Some would say money, and some would say they motivate themselves.  All of those are true, but they are all rooted in two things.  We are either motivated by fear, or we are motivated by love.

If you are motivated by fear, your selfish ambitions take over.  You lose sight of your own humanity when fear takes over.  Love, on the other hand, is liberating.  Love is like turning on the light in a dark room. Love gives. Love heals.  Love creates, builds, and strengthens.  Fear takes.  Fear makes us sick.  Fear tears down, destroys, and weakens us.

Next time you find yourself feeling or acting selfish about something, ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”  One thing I know for sure about fear.  If you don’t confront it, it won’t go away.  Fear will continue to advance and take over your life and crush it if you let it.  It can destroy you, your family, your business, and your relationships. In the words of the now famous song….Let It Go.

I know that getting rid of fear can be hard and even seem impossible, but the cure to fear is actually pretty simple, embrace love.  There is a proverb that says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”  Embrace love, and fear will flee.  Fear dwells in darkness.  Love dwells in light.  It is up to you where you will live. I am encouraging you to step into the light.  It sure beats the alternative.


Dan Skognes

What a Difference A Day Makes

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

What A Difference A Day Makes dan skognes motivation blogger speaker


You may have heard this saying before. There is a lot of truth to it. We tend to forget this statement when we are in the frying pan and the heat is getting turned up on us. Circumstances in life can be overwhelming at times, and that goes for everyone on this planet. It rains on the just and the unjust alike.

Next time you are feeling overwhelmed with life and the walls seem to be crashing in on you, there are some things you can do to get perspective:

• Many of the things we worry about simply never come to pass. Quit worrying about the “what ifs.”
• Remind yourself that this too shall pass. Tomorrow is another day and circumstances can change dramatically in an instant. Expect good things to happen instead of bad things. We tend to get what we expect.
• If you are in a situation that was caused by a bad decision you made, first of all, own it. Quit blaming others for your bad decisions. Secondly, take steps to correct the mistake if at all possible. It may take an apology or humbling yourself to set things straight, but a positive outcome and peace are well worth the effort.
• Talk with someone who is close to you that has a positive can-do attitude. They need to help you see the positive in the situation, but they also need to be able to tell you the truth in love.
• If you insist on having a pity party, put a limit on it and do it alone. Don’t drag others down just because you are having a bad day.
• If you have a relationship with the Lord, pray. People underestimate the power of prayer, but prayer changes things! If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, this would be a good time to get to know Him.
• Along with praying, read the Bible. It is full of wisdom and is a guide to help you through the darkest hours. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.”
• If you have been in the slump for a prolonged period of time, it is probably time for you to get some professional help. Nobody wants to admit they need therapy, but the truth is….most of us do at some point in our lives. You are not the only person who is having trouble coping. If you are in that river in Egypt…denial, it is time to get out of it and get some help.

Holidays seem to heighten anxiety and depression in people. Don’t be the Grinch. He may have been funny in the book and in the movie, but he is someone that nobody wants to be around in real life.

I know this last bit of advice sounds contrary to what you feel….and it is. Find something every day to give thanks for, and find someone who is worse off than you to do something nice for them. That grateful attitude will change the way you see things and serving someone who is worse off than you will help you put everything in perspective.

P.S. If you have someone in your life that is a thorn in your side, pray for them and bless them. They won’t expect that, and you will be better for it.


Dan Skognes