Follow Me

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Spiritual

Follow Me dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorSpringtime is the season for terrible storms in Texas. It is a roofer’s dream and a homeowner’s nightmare. We recently had a severe thunderstorm watch and they were predicting SOFTBALL size hail!

Our garage only has room for one car…so we had to do something to prepare for the coming storm. We decided to take my wife’s van to the local hospital and park it in their garage. Apparently half of Grapevine does the same thing as it was already getting crowded when we got there.

We were getting ready to leave and my wife said, “I’ll just follow you.” We start down the road towards the hospital and I look and see that my wife is not in the turn lane…she is going straight through the light!  She did not have a cell phone and I had no way of contacting her to see what she was doing.

I got to the hospital and there she was…coming from a different direction. After we got her parked in the garage, I asked her why she didn’t follow me and she said, “I did not like the direction you were going.”  LOL. It all worked out, but it could have been a real pickle to deal with. I told her, “If you tell me you are going to follow me…then follow me.” She said, “Well, I won’t tell you that again.”  LOL. Um-hmmm.

When we went back to pick up her car the next day, I dropped her off and she asked me, “How do I get out of here?”  I told her, “You are on your own!”  LOL. Of course, I got a good laugh as I was driving DOWN the ramp to get out and I see her driving UP the ramp! I pointed to go MY direction and I waited for her to catch up.

All kidding aside, don’t we do this with God? Don’t we say, “I’ll follow You,” and then we do our own thing because we don’t like the direction He is taking us? We need to follow God. He never makes mistakes. He always knows what to do and where to go. If you are not going to follow Him, don’t tell Him you are going to. He does not take vows lightly. Trust Him. Follow Him…and you will get to the destination you need to be.

P.S. The terrible hail that was predicted never came. God spared us.


Dan Skognes

What Leaders Could Learn From Kids

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

What Leaders Could Learn From Kids dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorI am constantly amazed at the wisdom that comes from the mouths of kids. Here are just a few things I have heard them say and seen them do that would be great examples for leaders to incorporate in their companies:

  • I had some little 2nd grade girls ask me one day, “Are you happy?”  I laughed and said, “Yes, I am!” To which they replied, “Then keep doing what you’re doing!” Then they said, “Do you know what we would have said if you said no?” I shook my head. “We would have said, Then change what you’re doing!” Wow. How deep is that???
  • Kids have an enthusiasm for learning. Many adults and leaders in particular have lost their love for learning. We need to be life-long students. There is ALWAYS something we can learn. Nobody knows it all, right? With the technology we have, there is always something we can improve upon because technology is constantly evolving…and if you snooze you lose. As a side note, if you need help with an IPad, ask a kid. I remember telling my granddaughter a few years ago how impressed I was with her knowledge of the IPad. She put her hands on her hips and said, “Well, I AM 5 years old!”  LOL.
  • Kids find things they love to do and go after it with reckless abandon. Have you ever seen kids going to recess? All you have to do is tell them it is time for recess and open the doors. They find ways to have fun. Why don’t adults do that? Why have they lost the ability to find great joy in their work? Perhaps it because too many people are doing jobs they hate. They are working just for the money…and that brings no lasting satisfaction or joy. Everyone needs to identify the thing that lights them up when they do it. A way to figure this out is to ask yourself: What would I do if I could do anything I wanted, but I had to do it for free? Do that thing and the rewards will follow.
  • I have noticed when one kid is hurting or crying, their classmates gather around them to console them. Wouldn’t it be great if adults had that type of compassion? Some do…but many are so caught up in their own world that they don’t even see the hurting people around them. We need to pay attention to those around us that are hurting. Some people are good at masking their hurt, but you can always see it in their eyes if you look closely. Encourage them…tomorrow it may be you that needs consoling.

My hope is that we learn from the kids in our lives. They have a lot to teach us if we are willing to humble ourselves and learn from them.


Dan Skognes


Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Forgiveness dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorForgiving other people can be tough if not downright impossible it seems. Let’s be honest, some folks are hateful, mean, cruel, and abusive. How do you ever get to the point where the mention of their name does not send chills up your spine and make you want to go “Postal” on them?

Here are a few reasons why forgiveness is so hard to do:

  • What they did to you wounded you so deeply that it has never truly healed.
  • Perhaps they refuse to take any responsibility, much less apologize for what they did to you.
  • Maybe this has become a habit and they continue to hurt you over and over.
  • Vengeance seems to be a viable option.

Here is the downside to not forgiving other people who have wronged you:

  • If you never forgive them, you cannot get better. You get bitter. That poison will be carried with you and taint any relationship it touches. Is it worth ruining other relationships in your life because you can’t let it go and forgive them?
  • Realize that you cannot force someone to accept responsibility. Only the law can do that, and if they broke the law then they will be held accountable by the law.
  • If you have been in an abusive relationship and the apologies are empty air, realize what you are dealing with and get out of there. You still need to forgive them…for your sake, not theirs.
  • Vengeance is never a valid solution to an offence. Don’t take the law into your own hands or the one that offended you might very well get the last laugh as you are carted off in handcuffs or a body bag.

If you refuse to forgive someone, it does not mean you totally forget it (although I do believe that can happen). What it means is:

  • You refuse to give them control over your life anymore, so you forgive them.
  • You refuse to talk about them negatively to other people because once you have forgiven them, you can let it go and never bring it up again.
  • You have come to the point that not only have you declared that you forgive them…but you ask God to bless them! This is by far the most difficult thing to do, but you KNOW you have forgiven them if you can bless them. It does not matter if they ever admit anything. What matters is that you, once you have truly forgiven them, have moved back into the land of the living…free from the chains that have held you prisoner to the past.

I pray that you learn to forgive others. If you are a Christian, pay attention to Mark 11:26 which says: “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in Heaven forgive your transgressions.”  That is a pretty sobering thought. Even if you are not a Christian, you understand that what goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. Learn to bestow grace on the ones that have offended you and you will see God doing incredible things in your life and theirs.


Dan Skognes

Don’t Burn Bridges

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Dont Burn Bridges dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorHere is a bit of practical advice if you are leaving a job or a relationship. Don’t burn bridges….build them. You never know when you are going to have to go back across that bridge, and if you left it burning in flames….good luck getting back across.

Why is it when people leave a difficult job or relationship, so many feel that it is their RIGHT to take vengeance and spew venom on anyone in shouting distance? What does that really accomplish? Who wins in that situation? Nobody. Everyone is damaged in the fallout…and any chance of you ever re-crossing the bridge in that job or relationship is pretty much gone.

After observing many people who have burned their bridges, here is some simple advice:

  • Don’t burn the bridge. I don’t care how bad you feel or how bad you were treated. Take the high road and treat them kindly and leave with some dignity intact (assuming that leaving is the only option). You be the adult and do the right thing regardless of how they act.
  • Remember the old adage that what goes around comes around. People reap what they sow…eventually. It is not your responsibility or obligation to make them pay for what they did. They will pay for what they did to you, just don’t wait for it to happen, and don’t gloat when it does.
  • Forgive people that wrong you. Forgiveness is for you…not for them. If you DON’T forgive people it will make you bitter….not better. Let it go…for your own sake. Don’t carry that bitterness into your next job or your next relationship.
  • If you have burned bridges in the past, for Pete’s sake…learn the lesson. If you keep doing what you are doing, how can you expect different results? I know people who have burned bridge after bridge…and then they are crying that nobody will help them. Hmmmmm….I wonder why? Stop burning the bridges.

Everybody messes up. We all have made mistakes and I am not trying to cast stones. I live in a glass house. My hope and prayer is that as you are reading this, it strikes a cord and helps you move forward and build, not burn bridges.


Dan Skognes



21 Little Things That Matter

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

21 Little Things That Matter dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer educator

  1. Be grateful.
  2. Say thank you.
  3. Say I’m sorry.
  4. Put the needs of others ahead of yourself.
  5. Be humble.
  6. Compliment others sincerely.
  7. Be willing to forgive others.
  8. Be willing to forgive yourself.
  9. Control your tongue.
  10. Keep yourself healthy spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
  11. Quit worrying.
  12. Express your love in word and deed.
  13. Remember birthdays and anniversaries.
  14. Stay positive.
  15. Be teachable.
  16. Learn from your mistakes and your successes.
  17. Don’t assume you know everything.
  18. Value relationships over being right.
  19. Practice being kind daily.
  20. Be willing to change.
  21. Don’t compromise your morals.

It doesn’t cost anything to do the little things, but it can cost you everything if you don’t do them.


Dan Skognes

Dead Poets Society

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

Dead Poets Society dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorThis movie was probably one of Robin William’s best movies, in my humble opinion. In the movie, he played his eccentric self, but in the role of a teacher in a posh private school. He worked with kids that had all sorts of hang-ups and problems. What I loved about his character is how is managed to break through to them on both a group and individual level. That took time, trust, a lot of work, and patience.  He did this through totally unconventional means. He worked on building relationship relentlessly.

If you ever taught kids, you probably fall into one of two groups:

1. Those who think outside the box and bend the rules where need be, or

2. Those who believe in following the rules come what may. (In case you were wondering, I fall into the first group. Not that I believe in breaking the rules…it is just that some rules are outdated and not relevant to today’s education environment.)

I think one of the reasons I can relate to kids so well is that I am not the “typical” teacher commanding them to step in line, keep quiet, and beating them emotionally into submission. I teach both groups and individually, but I always try to relate to each student one on one. Every child in my class is my responsibility. I am there to serve them, help them, and teach them. I am there to model what to do and advise them what NOT to do. I am paid to instruct them, but I am responsible to love them.

Robin Williams, true to his own character, played a professor that was zany and crazy to some, but inspiring and encouraging to his students. He taught them to embrace their imagination and not shrink from doing things that others said were weird, crazy, or impossible. He broke the fear factor in his students.

Robin used the term Carpe Diem in the movie. It is Latin for “Seize the Day.” What a great motto for us as parents, educators, adults, and everyone that takes a breath. If we could learn the secret of seizing the day, think of what COULD be accomplished. What barriers would be broken? What opportunities would be embraced? What treaties would be penned? What offences would be forgiven? Etc., etc.

Seize the day should be our mantra every day. We only have a short time on this earth. We need to seize it, live it, and give back. It is not about the getting…it is about growing, learning, and giving back to all those we encounter. It is about us being fully alive. God does not hold us accountable for everyone on the planet, only those he puts in our sphere of influence. That includes your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, and your acquaintances, and your students.

Use your time wisely. We are not promised tomorrow.  Carpe Diem.


Dan Skognes

Catch 22

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

Catch 22 dan skognes motivation speaker teacher trainer coach educatorMany years ago there was a book and movie called Catch 22. Not that many people remember the movie (unless you are really old…LOL), but it coined a phrase that most people have come to understand, remember, and often quote.  Catch 22 has come to mean a no win situation…where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

We have all had times where we felt we were in a Catch 22 situation. Here is the little secret that you need to know: there may be a viable solution that you have not thought of!  The problem with stress is that when we become fearful, we simply don’t think of the options that are available to us. Fear tends to maximize the worst case scenario and limit our options. It does not have to be that way.

When you find facing a Catch 22 problem, try doing this:

  • Ask two or three close friends what they would do if they were in your shoes. Just make sure they are positive, can-do people that you can trust to give you solid advice.
  • Get help from an expert. If you are facing legal problems, talk to a Lawyer. If it is health related, talk to a Doctor. If it is spiritual, talk to a Pastor. If it is financial, talk to a qualified Financial Planner. Get the picture? Talk to someone that is an expert in the area in which you need help. Friend’s advice is good, but expert advice is critical.
  • Don’t let pride keep you from letting people know what your circumstances are. I am not suggesting you air all your dirty laundry, but let folks know what struggles you are facing. It is OK to be human. We all have our problems to overcome. Just be willing to admit it.
  • Finally, pray about what you are facing and ask God to give you direction. The key to this point is to TRUST Him for an answer….and then listen and obey Him. If you don’t have the faith you need, ask God for it. He WILL give it to you. Hearing and trusting God is something we should be doing on a daily basis. What you are facing did not catch God off-guard! He knows what you are going through. He knows what you need to do and He will help you if you ask Him and fully trust Him. Getting into God’s Word (the Bible) is a must if you want to hear from Him. It is one of the most powerful and clear ways that God talks to us. Read your Bible. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

I hope that you will not give up when you are in a Catch 22 situation. When all the doors are closed that you are knocking on…look for the open window. The answer might very well be right there in front of you. Be open to going through the window, finding the key to one of the doors that are locked…or creating a brand new door to go through.

P.S. If you have a gut-check about doing or not doing something, listen to that. While it might be fear based, it very well could be God tapping you on the shoulder to take a different direction. Take the time to figure out which it is. If it is fear, ignore it. If it is God, stop and re-direct your efforts.


Dan Skognes