A thing used in an occupation or pursuit.
Equip or be equipped with tools for industrial production
You may not know this, but we Henderson boys (that goes for my dad and brother) lack a certain trait that most humans with a Y chromosome possess. Something that is vital for the human species to grow and prosper…a little thing called “man-skills”. In prehistoric times, man-skills were very important to survive and continue your namesake , but in the 21st century one can survive just fine by buying new (or calling your neighbor Jeff – God bless that man). The word Ikea is not in my vocabulary. For this single reason I married Kendra. Not because she is the most beautiful woman inside and out, or is an amazing cook, or has a sense of humor that would rival Kevin Hart; the reason I married her is because she is handy with a drill.
Our first big purchase as a married couple was a brand new 4 burner barbeque. This baby was amazing! I couldn’t wait to get my steaks on it (maybe the one man-skill I possess is working the BBQ). This was a defining moment in our marriage. The first year is full of discovery and defining of roles. The inaugural year of marital bliss is where a couple discovers what the term “filling in each other’s gaps” is all about. Well, putting together a BBQ from scratch is not a gap I was willing to fill (hey a guy sometimes has to draw a line in the sand). So we problem solved like most loving couples do and compromised, I let her put this beast together while I wrote all the thank you notes for our wedding gifts. It may have taken us 5 hours, a few shots of whiskey, and a few chosen words, but we got both tasks done. Oh, and 6 years later that grill still works like a charm (and I swear I have carpel tunnel from writing thank you’s to over 300 guests). Love you babe!
Like putting together this BBQ, life is often times all about having the right tools. Without Kendra’s drill (let me emphasize it’s KENDRA’S drill…that’s definitely not my tool), she could never have assembled our BBQ grill so efficiently. While navigating and making sense of life, we need tools just the same. Surgeons, architects, carpenters, and plumbers are only as good as their tools. The same can be said for building a life filled with meaningful relationships, success, happiness, and purpose. The tools we use are not like a scalpel, ruler, hammer, or drill; but how we think, dream, learn, talk to ourselves, the habits we form, and eventually choose to act each day are the tools we use. Some can access these tools much easier than others. Some were naturally born to possess the skills necessary manage these tools. Others it takes many years, not until they are beyond middle age to fully utilize these skills.
Just like learning any new skill, it takes time. I’ve often times dreamt of being able to strum a guitar like Eric Clapton, but it took him years of studying, practicing and performing to be one of the greatest guitarists of all-time. I haven’t put in the time, thus the only thing I can play is one chord of Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty #ladykiller. If you want real change and to see a transformation in how you see yourself, others, and your realization of your dreams, you need to put in the time and effort.
Check back in for my next post, as I lay out a 30 day plan that will encourage and inspire you to find something inside you that you didn’t even know existed. These are the tools that I have studied, practiced, and applied for the last 2 years, which have fostered a joy and peace that I have been searching for my entire life. The core pieces of this philosophy revolve around two things: 1. recognizing all the things we have been given and making the choice to be thankful everyday, and 2. Making it our mission to serve and love others every single day.
Hence, Project Rise – 30 Days of Gratitude and Service was born.
I’ll lay out a step by step daily process that covers a variety of levels we must tackle and climb, to ultimately reach the top.
Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! Kendra says skip the red roses and opt for something out of the ordinary, like hydrangeas, ranunculus or a big bouquet of mixed flowers! And Starbucks. Always Starbucks.