Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

Broken1 dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorI have been broken many times in life. Sometimes it came as a result of my own pride getting in the way and sometimes it just rolled over me for no apparent reason. Being broken is a strange phenomenon in that God created us with a strong self-will. In fact, the original sin was pride. It was pride that caused the Devil and one third of the Angels in Heaven to be cast out.

So, why would God give us this will that seems to be in constant conflict with His perfect will? It is complicated, but I think that these factors play a significant part in the process of being broken:

  • Being broken by God is not a bad thing. Part of our problem is we see brokenness as a plague instead of a path. When you are broken of your own self-will, you can get on the path that God intended. God will direct us only if we submit ourselves and seek His will above our own. He will not force us to submit, but he will continually break us to re-make us…and that is for our own good and His glory.
  • When we are broken there is a sense of clarity that becomes evident. When we realize that only God has the solution, it drives us to our knees…a place we probably should have been before everything hit the fan.
  • When we let God be God, life takes on a deeper meaning. If we walk in God’s way and we get OUT of the way, we find something that everyone on the planet is desperate for….peace and meaning. That is Shalom in its purest form.
  • Laying down our “rights” does not mean we sacrifice our dignity, our happiness, or our sanity. In fact, it is just the opposite. It does not make sense to us, but our ways are not God’s ways. When we submit, we win!

If you find yourself in a time of brokenness, don’t despair. There is hope and there is good that can come out of this. Let God show you His way and you will find peace that passes understanding.


Dan Skognes

Q Tip

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Q Tip dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorQuit Taking It Personal. Great advice when it comes to responding to people and situations. Not everything is a slam at you, your character, your gender, your appearance, your ethnicity, your intelligence, your authority, etc. Have you noticed how some people are ready to explode on anyone who crosses them? It seems as everything and everyone offends them.

Flip the script. If you find yourself being offended constantly, try this:

  • Start with empathy. Try looking at life through the eyes of those that offend you. As the lyrics of the song goes: “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. Nobody knows but Jesus.” We need to learn to see people through the eyes of Jesus. It takes conscious effort, but it can dramatically change the outcomes when you learn to love those who offend you.
  • Be willing to apologize when you make a mistake. Apologies go a long way in letting people know you are human and no offence was intended. This is vitally important in maintaining healthy relationships and is particularly critical in relationships with kids.
  • Try not to drive when you are upset. Road rage incidents don’t typically start on the highway…they tend to begin at home or on the job.

There are three negative responses to a conflict:

  • Fight – verbal or physical confrontation ensues. This is dangerous and potentially fatal.
  • Flight – passive / aggressive behavior which solves nothing. Running away from a conflict never makes it go away and may in fact escalate the situation when you return. You may need to get away to calm down, but don’t let that time away be spent fuming and plotting revenge.
  • Freeze – doing nothing. The deer in the headlights syndrome is not healthy…especially for the deer.

Learn to RSVP. We would do ourselves a huge favor if we would expect conflicts and be prepared in advance on how to respond. Take the chip off your shoulder and do what Otis Redding recommended: “Try a Little Tenderness.”

Life is tough for most people. Remember to Q Tip.


Dan Skognes

Love Changes Everything

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Love Changes Everything dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorDo you want to change your life? Put a little love in your heart…as the song goes. Love is probably the most misunderstood and least utilized weapon we have at our disposal.

Love is pretty phenomenal in that it conquers evil, eliminates fears, gives meaning to life, heals broken hearts, and restores relationships. It always gives, never takes, believes the best, always hopes, encourages, never discriminates, and is always just. Love protects the defenseless, gives to those in need, and expects nothing in return. No wonder we yearn for it!

Love makes the world go around. It is like the warmth of sunshine to our soul. It soothes, heals, and revives us. It nourishes, inspires, and instructs us. Love is the ultimate teacher, the ultimate leader, and the ultimate glue that binds us all together. It never fails. Love is more than just words. Let’s face it, words are cheap. Love will cost you. Love is an action verb. If there are no actions to follow the words, your words are hollow and meaningless.

The Bible says that God is love. That is the ultimate source and evidence in the power of love. All the commandments of the Bible can be summed up in this: Love God, and love each other. If we would just do those two things, we could put an end to war, hatred, discrimination, poverty, abuse, and a host of other problems that we face throughout the world. I don’t think it is possible to know love without first knowing God intimately. If God is love, then we must truly know Him if we ever hope to know what love means.

Is it realistic to think that this can be accomplished? Well, if I do my part and you do yours, who knows what sparks will be ignited in the lives of those within our spheres of influence. We may not be able to change the whole world, but we can change OUR world.


Dan Skognes

Truth and Consequences

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

Truth and Consequences dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator1I have a feeling that everyone reading this will identify with at least one of the points I am making. Are you a “too” person? Too is defined as: to a higher degree than is desirable, permissible, or possible; excessively. Are you:

  • Too tired? You will make poor decisions and mistakes that you normally would not make.
  • Too angry? You will say and do things that you will regret and could cost you your life.
  • Too trusting? You will get burned by people who are more than willing to take advantage of your gullibility.
  • Too lazy? You will miss out on your purpose and the rewards that come from hard work.
  • Too lonely? You will compromise your morals, self-esteem, and values to fill that void.
  • Too sick? You will not be able to function normally and you will live in pain and suffering.
  • Too stingy? You will miss the blessing that comes from putting others before self.
  • Too free with your spending? You will discover the painful lesson taught by living in debt to others and being a slave to credit.
  • Too self-reliant? You will miss the opportunity to learn from others and have them learn from you, plus you will not accomplish as much on your own as with a team. Leaders have to learn to delegate and collaborate…and everyone is a leader in some capacity.
  • Too reliant on others? You will miss growing as an individual and lose the sense of accomplishment if you rely on others for things that you should be doing.
  • Too judgmental? You will miss the opportunity to make friends from different races and religions.
  • Too arrogant? You will have the misfortune of being humbled by others.
  • Too worried? You will waste time on things that don’t matter or things that you can’t control.
  • Too controlling? You will destroy your relationships and live a lonely life.
  • Too fearful? You will not attempt things that challenge you and miss out on accomplishing anything great.
  • Too unforgiving? You will be shackled to your past and poison both present and future relationships.

There are probably a thousand other “too” examples, but you get the idea. Look in the mirror and you fill in the blank. “I am too ____________________________.” Then ask yourself, “What price have I paid for thinking that way?” (I.E. what were the consequences?)

This is good news / bad news. The bad news is that you have to suffer the consequences of the decisions you have made. The good news is that you can change this behavior and have more favorable outcomes from this point forward. Anything taken to the extreme is typically going to have results that are disappointing, costly, and can cause you to miss out on the secret of happiness. Want to know what it is? Balance. When you live a balanced life you will make better decisions, have better outcomes, and you can actually enjoy the journey we call life. You will also experience two things that I know you are seeking: peace and meaning. I pray you find both.


Dan Skognes

Blessed or Cursed

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

Blessed or Cursed dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator

As we come to the end of another year, it is a good time to reflect on all that has happened. I think if everyone is honest with themselves, it is probably a combination of both that we have experienced. It was neither all good, nor was it all bad…simply a mixture of the two.

The funny thing about life is: we do get to determine which one controls us. If we concentrate on the blessings, we become thankful people who look for the good in what happens. If you are full of hope, then you expect good to come out of circumstances…no matter if they are good or bad. If we concentrate on the curses, we become bitter and resent people, circumstances, and ultimately…even life itself.

You might be thinking, “Dan, you don’t know what kind of year I’ve had! It was AWFUL!” And you know what? You would be right. I don’t know. However, I do know that often what we think is a curse is a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you have to go through the loss of something or someone to see the blessing of the loss.

What it takes to understand this is pretty simple. It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed. It takes trusting God when nothing makes sense. It takes praising Him in the midst of the storm. It takes following Him when you can’t see the point and believing that He will be with you and guide you through it.

If you had a rough year, you can believe me when I tell you that I have had very rough years in the past and survived. So, I know a little of the pain and confusion that you are going through. Here is the good news if you had a rough year. We all have a new year ahead of us. This gives us new beginnings, new opportunities, and most of all renewed hope.

May God bless you throughout the new year. May you have a renewed sense of His presence, His power, and His peace in your life. May you find joy in the journey, and may you fulfill your purpose in His perfect will for your life. Happy New Year!


Dan Skognes