Fueling Your Heart

Each day we are given opportunities to choose the influences we want in our lives.  The videos we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read, and the people we spend our time with.  Each decision we make fuels our hearts with a worldview that will ultimately impact the way we carry ourselves.  So, the question is, what is fueling your heart?

It’s easy to gravitate towards popular content the world is selling to us daily, but it’s important to understand what those stories are telling us.  Just because something is portrayed as “cool” or “relevant,” doesn’t mean we should be consuming it.  We need to be intentional about fueling our hearts with substance, promoting growth and excellence in all we do. 

Here’s a few examples of what I mean:

Spotify has over 140 million users that consume over 1.7 billion hours of music each month.  Currently, the song that is streamed the most and sits at #2 on the Billboard Top 100, is “Rockstar” by Post Malone (Feat. 21 Savage).  The first lyrics that millions of people are actively choosing to put into their hearts when they listen to this song are, 

Ayy, I’ve been f****** hoes and poppin’ pillies. Man I feel just like a rockstar.
— Post Malone


Last month, the top grossing movie at the box office was “It,” earning $290,775,232.  It has played in over 4,000 theaters countless times, entertaining millions of people across the globe.  I understand the thrill and excitement that comes along with horror movies, but at what cost?  The description that lures people to buy a ticket to this movie is, “A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.”  Really?


In 2016, 68% of high school seniors said that they tried alcohol with their friends.  Their friends claimed they were going to harmless parties and having “fun” participating in drinking games.  Statistics also say that alcohol causes the most harm in people under the age of 21 and is responsible for over 4,300 deaths each year. 


The point of this article is not to tell you what not to do.  However, I think it’s important for us to ask ourselves the question, “what is fueling my heart?”  If we think about it, the shows we watch, the music we listen to, the content we read, and the people we spend our time with, influences our lives in a huge way.  If we want to be the best we can be, why wouldn’t we fuel our hearts with content that is positive and full of truth?  For me, it’s a battle every day.  I want to have fun and satisfy my need for entertainment, but I constantly need to examine what I’m fueling my heart with.  I encourage you to think about the influences you allow into your life every day and ask yourself if the fuel you’re putting into your heart is the fuel that will get you to your desired destination. 

3 Essentials To Overcome Adversity

Adversity is simply defined as 'a difficult situation'.  Overcoming is as simple as 'prevailing in success'.  Both are easy to understand on their own, but together they are a contradiction opposed to one another.  

When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with a rare heart disease, Ebstein's anomaly.  Without getting into the entire lengthy story (you can read more in depth here if you'd like: Heart of a Coach), I was faced with a lot of adversity throughout my life.  Some adversity is very minor, such as fatigue or limited participation, but some adversity was more serious like open heart surgeries gone wrong.  This week marks the 13th anniversary of my heart surgeries, so I've been thinking about how grateful I am.  I want to use my story as an example and encouragement to you and your players if you are facing the challenge of overcoming adversity.  Here are three simple things that I've learned:


Adversity will present itself in your life at some point or another.  Sometimes you will have an opportunity to prepare for it and other times you will not.  Either way, it is wise for you to prepare yourself mentally for when that time comes.   Think about how you want to deal with adversity when it comes.  What will you say?  How will you say it?  Who will you be?  If you wait until adversity strikes to prepare yourself, you will find yourself being reactive.  Typically, your reactions will be negative.  Be proactive!


If you are proactive in your preparation mentally, you will find it much easier to be positive.  It's natural for negativity to creep in and no one will think you're wrong for being frustrated, but it's how you respond to those feelings that will allow you to overcome.  You have a choice to respond negatively or positively, and whatever road you choose will ultimately lead you to your destination.  Sometimes you will make the wrong turn, but it will be in your best interest to re-route as soon as possible.  If you stay focused on the positives, you will overcome adversity!


Sometimes it's hard, but find the opportunity in every situation.  Although adversity sucks in the moment, it is often a prerequisite for success.  If you prepare mentally and stay positive through the adversity, chances are good that you will get through it and be better for it.  It will be a constant battle in your mind, but keep making the right choices when it comes to your attitude.  Establish a vision, devise a plan, and see the opportunity at the end of the road!

Everybody has their own way of dealing with adversity, but I hope that these basic thoughts will encourage you to keep going!  I believe that God has a plan and he is sovereign in my life.  Because I believe that truth, I am able to live out the gospel through adversity.  It's not always easy and I don't always succeed, but I know that God is in control! I am thankful for the adversity in my life.

The big time is not a place, it’s the state of your heart.
— Frosty Westering

Can You Do It?

Success is something that all of us want to obtain.  Hard work, long hours, and an undying determination to be the best are all components necessary to achieve it.  However, what do you do once you reach a certain level of success?  How do you maintain your foothold at the top?


One of the worst things that can often happen to a team and/or a business is success.  Elation overcomes team members and it's a natural tendency for people to boast about what they've done.  They focus on their recent efforts and forget to pursue continual growth.  Social media also presents an easy and tempting platform to showcase pride in our accomplishments.  If boasting and arrogant pride isn't the proper way to handle success, then what is?

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
— Proverbs 16:18


Handling success is a constant battle.  It takes a conscious effort to fight off pride when it tries to creep into your heart and mind.  Team members need to understand that their success is the byproduct of trusting each other to do their jobs.  The pathway to success requires individuals to put away their selfish ambitions for the greater good of the team.  Each person is required to fulfill a specific role to make the team great.  Unfortunately, once success is obtained, it isn't unusual for individuals to think that they did something special. The best teams will understand that they still aren't perfect and success actually drives them to focus more.  They strive for continual growth and look to improve in all aspects.  They continue to lift each other up and perform their role to the best of their ability as a service to their teammates.  When praise is deserved, they allow others to build them up as opposed to lifting themselves up for the world to see.  

The key to handling success is maintaining a humble spirit with confidence and trust.  Fight away prideful and arrogant thoughts before they penetrate your heart, or they will bring you down in an instant.  The best teams only become the best after they learn how to handle success!  Can you do it?