Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Is it possible for two people of opposing views to both have positive outcomes? Well, yes and no.

Winning and losing is important to keep track of in sports, but in relationships it can be the beginning of the end if you are keeping score.

I found a simple correlation this week: Disagreements are mathematical! When I am tutoring kids in math, I try to get them to get and understand ALL the facts before they draw a conclusion. How can you get the right answer if you don’t have all the facts or you don’t understand them? It is impossible…just like it is in relationships. Jumping to conclusions is dangerous because it is like jumping off a cliff in the dark. You may be destroying a relationship if you proceed.

Our Principal gave a good analogy recently in a training session. He said when you have someone that is in disagreement with you, you bring either water or gasoline to the table. If you throw gasoline on the situation it becomes volatile and can spin out of control quickly. If you bring water (stay calm), you can extinguish the flame and seek to understand the other person.

If you want Win-Win outcomes, do the following things:

  • Stay calm.
  • Truly listen to the other person rather than forming your argument in your head while they are still speaking.
  • Make sure you have ALL the facts and UNDERSTAND them.
  • Don’t assume you know someone’s motives. Ask them and seek to understand.
  • Avoid the words “Always” and “Never” when describing someone’s behavior. Most of the time it is simply untrue and used to drive a point rather than be truthful.

We have all had situations where we were 1,000% sure that we were right only to find out later that we either misunderstood the situation or we did not have all the facts…and WE were wrong. Humble pie is awful hard to swallow because it is filled with pride, and swallowing your pride never goes down easy.

There is an exception to seeking a Win-Win outcome: If you are arguing with a fool, walk away. You will never win the argument because they don’t care about the facts or the truth and they have had more experience than you will ever have, so let it go and let them learn the hard way. Their mindset is: “Don’t confuse me with the facts!” You won’t change their mind. Arguing with a fool is foolish. Don’t be the fool.

There is power in forgiveness, so forgive freely. Remember that love covers a multitude of sins, so love completely.

“Justice is giving someone what they deserve. Mercy is not giving them what they deserve, and grace is giving them what they don’t deserve.” Robert Morris.

Give others the mercy and grace that you yourself so desperately need. That results in a Win-Win most of the time. Shalom!

Daniel Skognes


Posted in Motivational, Relationships

Is it any coincidence that “encourage” sounds a lot like “in courage?” I think not. Look at the definition of encourage: Give support, confidence, or hope to someone. The definition of courage is: The ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief.

When you encourage someone, you give them courage. When you encourage, you “in” courage them. How cool is that? It is like emotional surgery, or maybe giving a transfusion to someone. Here is the truth: Everyone needs to be encouraged! There is nobody walking this planet that does not face a moment of doubt, fear, or insecurity. We all have to face those moments and we all need to know that there is hope for us and what we are facing.

Sometimes we have to encourage ourselves! Self talk is powerful and can either propel us or hinder us from fulfilling our destiny. Encourage yourself every day to face your fears, overcome the obstacles which have held you back, and reach for your goals. Just because you have failed does not make you a failure, Amigo. Learn from the pain, and go for the gain. The game is not over.

I hope that you will encourage yourself as well as others. It is like giving water to a thirsty soul, and we are all thirsty.


Daniel Skognes

When Nothing’s Going Right, What’s Left?

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

We have all had times where it seems like the sky is falling, everything you do is blowing up in your face, and the stress level is off the charts. Ever feel that way? Hopefully you don’t allow yourself to live in the stress zone. Stress is a killer. It will zap your strength and literally can take your life. It can make you focus on the negatives if you let it.

Don’t do that. There is nothing productive with whining, griping, and letting negative thoughts rule your life. When nothing’s going right, what’s left is trusting God. It should not be the last resort to turn to God, but sometimes we ARE trusting God along the way and things STILL blow up in our face. What is up with that? Well, I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t know why God allows things like that to happen to us, but I still trust Him. I know God has our back even when it seems like there is no hope. He is still there…working for us. If He is for us, who can be against us?

Our feelings often get in the way of our faith. If we don’t “feel” the presence of God, we might think that He has abandoned us. That is a lie from the Devil himself. He wants us to believe that God does not love us and is not there for us. Don’t ever let that thought enter your head.

Life is hard for most people. I believe that we have a choice when we hit the wall in our finances, our relationships, or even in our faith. We can give up or we can get up. Don’t allow feelings to rule your faith. Trust God. Believe in Him and His Word. Surround yourself with positive God-fearing people. Pray…pray…pray. Praise God in the storm. Let Him help you navigate your way.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He WILL direct your paths.

Remember the lyrics from the song Waymaker: “Waymaker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness. My God…that is who YOU ARE!

Believe it, receive it, then live it.


Dan Skognes

The Good That Came Out Of Amber Guyger’s Trial

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

The jury was only out for a short time before the verdict came down: Murder. The jury only took a short time to come to sentencing: 10 years. This verdict not only surprised most of us but it angered many who felt like justice was not served. People were already trying to stir up the public with the injustice that they felt they had witnessed.

Here is the miracle that unfolded before our eyes: Brandt, the brother of Botham Jean got on the witness stand to talk to Amber about the victim’s impact. He looked Amber Guyger in the eye and told her that he forgave her and only wished her well. He did not even want her to go to jail. He wanted her to know that the love of Christ was there for her, and he loved her as he did anyone. He then asked the judge if he could hug Amber Guyger. She said he could, and it was incredible! The two of them embraced and the tears flowed.

The miracle was not over. After the trial, Judge Kemp did something unconventional: she went to the family members of Botham Jean and consoled each of them and hugged them. She then went to Amber Guyger and did the same thing. She gave her Bible to Amber and told her that she needed Christ and to read the Bible starting with John 3:16. She then hugged Amber. It was an incredible moment in legal history. I don’t think anyone can recall such a moment of healing in a murder trial.

This is what grace looks like. This is what forgiveness looks like.


Daniel Skognes