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Category Archives: Blog

leap

Worry About Your Own Leap

There I was on a bridge. Train tracks a few feet behind me, water 50 feet below me, and nothing but fear ahead of me. “You’re sure you’ve jumped off this bridge before? The river is deep enough?”

“Ya man. Me and some friends have totally done this before.” I was expecting him to take the leap first, because he’d obviously already jumped. But he was very hesitant. In fact, I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to do it.

Screw it, I thought. I’ll jump first. So I climbed over the railing on the bridge. I could have climbed back down to the floor of the bridge on the other side, but I figured a few extra feet wouldn’t matter too much. I steadied myself, and before I had the chance to overthink it, I jumped. (more…)

pain-is-an-opportunity

Pain is an Opportunity

I had just been fired. Now I had to go home and share what happened with my wife.

When I opened my front door, I was greeted by the maintenance guy from my apartment complex fixing my dishwasher disposal. I tried to be polite and cheerful to him. I was waiting for him to leave so I could sit in silence for a few hours—before my wife got home. I wanted to process it all before telling her. I felt ashamed. Plus I wanted to present it in a way that wouldn’t cause her to worry about our finances.

Then my wife walked in the door. She was home early from school.

“Hey babe!” she greeted me cheerily. It was awkward with the maintenance guy in the room to be too expressive. “You’re home early. How’d you swing that?” (more…)

no

One Word Dreamers Can’t Afford to Fear

Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will cut you deeper. At least that’s what the Bible indicates when it says there’s both life and death in the power of the tongue.

One idle word or sentence at the wrong time can discourage you. Dissuade you. Destroy you. But there’s one word that seems to scare dreamers more than anything. This one word keeps many from following their dream or for asking for help. It’s the word “no”.

No matter what you’re asking or how you phrase your question, there’s a good chance you’ll hear no quite a bit. I’ve even learned to say no to those pesky salesmen who seem to know how to trick you into saying yes. “Would you like to learn how to save some money today?” “What if I told you there was a way to get 2,000 more cable channels and save $20/month. Would you be interested in that?” No. (more…)

happiness

Comparison, Economics, and Pizza

Every child understands one economic principle. It’s the principle of scarcity of resources. I learned this as it applies to pizza.

Whenever my parents would order pizza, it seemed like there was never quite enough for each of us Malm children to have our fill. So in order for me to get as much pizza as I wanted, I had to make sure I got it before my brother did. Or if I wanted the pieces that had the most pepperoni, I had to go for those first or trick my siblings into grabbing the cheese-only slices.

Scarcity of resources is the principle that in order for me to have something, it means that you can’t have it. If there are only a million dollars in the world, and I want to be a millionaire, nobody else can have any money. Depressing, no? (more…)

kindergarten

If you don’t have something nice to say…

“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’m not sure when it happened. But that’s no longer the adage people live by. Now it’s, “If you don’t have something nice to say, spread your negativity all over social media.”

We learned the first truth about holding our tongue in elementary school. We learned to be nice to others. We learned that if you want friends, you have to be kind and encourage people.

But later on in life, we get rewarded for rudeness and negativity. People laugh at our cruel jokes. Followers retweet our criticisms of the Osteens. Cynical bloggers gain page views. So we drift away from the “don’t say anything negative” philosophy to the “spew all your negativity” approach. (more…)

your-value

Writing a Book Won’t Make You Famous

It’s funny. Before I had a book published, I’d tell people I was a writer, and people would look at me like, “Yeah, right.” I know they secretly pitied my wife, knowing she must live in abject poverty.

But now that I have a book published, people seem to think I’m famous. They think I’m doing well financially. They even ask for my scrawl of a signature if they buy a copy of my book. It’s weird.

People think that getting a book published makes you something. But the truth is, that means absolutely nothing if nobody buys it. It only means I had the right connections and was easy to work with. Monetarily, I’ll probably make less money per hour of work than I do on any of my other projects. This took far too long to put together for the probable return on investment. Yet this little published book somehow gives me new credibility. (more…)

creative

3 Reasons You’re More Creative than You Think

One of the big struggles in editing Created for More was making it a book that would appeal to people who don’t consider themselves creative. A lot of people think they aren’t creative, but I think that’s a bunch of hooey.

I believe people are massively creative, they’re just afraid to tap into that creativity. And I’m about to prove that you’re creative. Here are three reasons you’re more creative than you think. (more…)

insecurity

What Came From Writing My Book

What came from writing my book? More insecurity. I know this isn’t exactly a hopeful post I’m sharing today. But stick with me, it gets better.

Part of the promotion of any book is to write a ton of guest posts for other blogs. I wrote about twenty guest posts in a week or two. (While on vacation in Miami.) And each time I wrote something, I read it then scrapped it. I wasn’t liking anything I wrote. It just wasn’t very good. Eventually, after wrestling with the pieces for a little bit, I got them to a decent place.

Next insecurity: people actually reading my book. Now that I’d promoted the heck out of it, I had to wait for people to read the dang thing. Would people like it? I saw people tweeting about the first few chapters. But then that stopped. (Most people don’t read past the first few pages of a book they buy. Is that what was happening here?) (more…)

outside

How to Say No to Your Spouse

Friday I posted about how to say “no” to someone’s idea for you—whether it be for your money, time, or energy. But I got the question about how to do the same sort of thing for your wife. How do you say “no” to your spouse’s idea for you—something they want to partner with you on? This is a massively complicated question—dependent on your particular relationship and what your spouse actually wants you to do. But there are two things I have to say on the topic…and I think they can make a big change to the way you relate with your spouse.

First of all, a project can be a form of investment into your marriage. I do all sorts of things I don’t want to do out of love for my wife: workout, eat paleo, watch So You Think You Can Dance… I don’t do these things during my work hours, but when I’m with my wife, my time is completely hers. Maybe this project needs to be an investment in your marriage.

Secondly—and this is the big one—have you made your spouse part of your dream? Let me explain. (more…)

sayingyes

How to Say No

I was biking down South Beach with my wife, when we stopped at a Public (grocery store) to grab some water. It was a smoldering hot day, and for some reason we decided to rent bikes and ride a few miles. I stayed outside with the bikes while she went inside to buy the water.

That’s when I was approached by two smiling faces with clipboards. “Hi! We’re with the UN’s disaster relief fund. We’re the ones who go in and help after disasters like what happened in Haiti and Iraq. Would you be willing to donate a few dollars to help with that? A few dollars could help save lives.”

The ball was in my court. I could either reach into my wallet and grab some cash I’d allotted for our vacation. Or I could say “no” and seem like a selfish jerk who didn’t care about anyone but himself. I said “no”, and I didn’t feel like a jerk one bit. (more…)