Well-Rounded People Have No Point

well rounded 3As a child, I frequently heard people talking about being well balanced. It seemed when an individual fixated on one thing, others looked down on that type of behavior. People talked about being a “well-rounded person” as if that was the goal.

In order to be well-rounded and balanced, we needed to find out what our weaknesses were and work on them. People wanted us to be involved in different types of activities so we could grow up well balanced. It was exhausting.

As I got older, I noticed there were some things I enjoyed and did well. There were other things I did not enjoy and did very poorly. I had little to no interest in improving some of those activities that I did not enjoy. However, if I wanted to be well-rounded I needed to “try harder” at those activities of which I performed poorly.

well rounded personAs I became an adult, I began to notice that many of the people who made the biggest difference in the world were not “well-balanced”, they were intensely-focused. They did not try to do everything equally well, they did just a few things extremely well. They were people who followed their dreams, talents, and strengths in a way that not only served them but served the world as a whole.

Have you ever found it interesting that the higher up you go in education the more narrow your subject matter? Why is that? The higher the quality of education the more intensely focused it becomes.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying we should ignore those areas where we are not very strong. However, most of our time and energy should be invested in becoming even better in those areas where we are already better than most other people. It is not about being balanced. It is about being intensely focused. I encourage people to invest about 20% of their time and energy into improving their weaknesses (maintenance) and about 80% of their time and energy into improving their strengths (mastery).

John Maxwell uses this illustration; imagine a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest. Maxwell says if we try really, really hard we might be able to raise our number about 2 points. If we are a 2 in something and we work really, really, hard to improve we might

einstein

get up to a 4. Fours are average. However, if we are a 7 at something and we work really, really hard we could possibly bring it up to a 9. And people pay big money for nines.

Albert Einstein, someone who changed the world by being intensely focused and not “well-rounded”, put it this way, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Why? Why would a well-functioning fish think it is stupid?  Because it was not made to climb trees. There are some things you are made for and some things you are not. “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that” (Galatians 6:4, The Message).

Here is the fact of the matter: well-rounded people have no point! Forget about being well-rounded and instead get intensely-focused on what God created you to do. Well-rounded people may be good people. I am not putting them down. They are contributors to their communities. They live stable lives. But intensely focused people…They change the world!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to ignite their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

Abnormal, Unbalanced, and Out of Step

People who are intensely focused can change the world.

 


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to ignite their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

3 Lessons I Learned From a Cold Bath

About a year after my wife and I got married, we decided it was time to buy a house. Looking back on it now, 16 years later, we were not ready to buy a house. However, we thought we were so we looked, we found, we bought.

 

We both fell in love with a house in Nicholasville, Kentucky. We went through all the actions needed to buy a house like signing 1,263 papers, (exaggerating slightly). We moved in on a Saturday and I had a speaking engagement about 2 hours away the next day.

This was a unique house, to say the least. It was a house that needed some work, but we loved it. It had character. It had two bathrooms (my only request after living a year in an apartment with only one bathroom), one on each floor.

DSCN1638

The upstairs bathroom had a shower that did not yet work and the downstairs had a beautiful cast iron claw foot bathtub. I don’t know about you, but I am a shower guy. I do not like to take a bath. I like for the water to beat the dirt off of me. I do not like sitting in a pool of water with all the dirt floating around me.

Like I said, the next day I had to get up early and travel to a speaking engagement. I was already aggravated because I had to take a bath instead of a shower. When I go to fill the tub and I realize we do not have anything to plug the drain.

I started looking for anything I could to stop the water from running down the drain. I tried a piece of rubber that was laying on the floor… that did not work. I tried stuffing a wash rag down the drain… that did not work. I even tried using a plastic cup…Duh! They float!! So, that did not work.

I never did get the water to stop running down the drain. But I did get it slowed down enough to fill the tub so I could take my bath. Although, by this time I had run out of hot water.

Here I was, already aggravated because I had to take a bath instead of a shower, shivering because I am all out of hot water, watching the dirt float around me while trying to hurry up before all my water runs down the drain.

chrome lever

All of the sudden I looked up at the front of the tub and I saw…..a chrome lever…

I reached up and pulled that chrome lever up.  Lo and behold the water stopped running down the drain!

Let me just say, it takes a pretty secure person to share a story like that! I also believe it is a good lesson for all of us.

Lesson 1:  Laugh at yourself

John Maxwell says, “You might as well laugh at yourself, everybody else is. Why not join them?” Do not take yourself too seriously.

Lesson 2:  We all make mistakes

One thing we all have in common is we all fail. Keep in mind that failure is an event it is not a person. We will fail. Sometimes we fail big and sometimes we just forget to pull up a chrome lever to stop the water from running down the drain. The important thing to remember is when you fail, you are not alone.

Lesson 3:  Learn from your failure

I can count on one hand how many baths I have taken since that day.  But the few times I have, I always look for a chrome lever at the front of the tub. Whatever your failure may be, learn from the experience. Failure is just an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.

Failure is not the end. In many cases, it may only be the beginning. Laugh about it; realize we all make mistakes; and ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to ignite their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

Who Has Influenced Your Life? Whose Life Are You influencing?

popeye4I have had many people support and believe in me over the years that have greatly influenced who I am. My dad was a huge influence in my desire to read and learn as well as the developing the gumption to not always take the easy way (Sometimes I think he wished he had not taught that last lesson so well). My mom greatly influenced me in my demeanor. I am not easily ruffled and much of that comes from my mom.

Jack Bunch was my minister when I was a little kid. I created havoc Sunday mornings after church because I would come down the aisle of the church to shake Jack Bunch’s hand.  Then I would circle back around through the crowd and come back out and shake his hand again. I would repeat this to an annoying degree every Sunday.

funny crowd

One day Jack Bunch gently grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “Why don’t you simply stand beside me and shake everybody else’s hand as they walk out of the church building?” If he had given me a million dollars, it would not have meant more to me than that act! For several Sundays, I would stand right beside Jack Bunch and shake people’s hands as they walked out of the church building. Maybe that is where the seed was planted that I would one day become a minister.

EddieA few years later, Eddie Hammond was our minister and he was always supportive of my singing and songwriting. When most adults thought it was funny that a kid was writing songs, Eddie Hammond actually encouraged me. Influences like that have a huge impact. Even today, music is still a big part of my life.

Monty Cooper

A few years later, Monty Cooper was our minister and he helped me write my first sermon when I was fifteen years old. He sat down with me and walked me through some simple steps to developing a sermon. I wrote a 20-minute sermon and it took me all of 5 minutes to preach it. But it would my first of many sermons I would write and deliver.

Don ThieA few years later, Don Thie was our minister and Don took a special interest in me, especially after he found out I was planning on going to Bible college to prepare for ministry. He included me in ministry opportunities in the church. We would practice music together and lead worship together from time to time. He allowed me to preach often on Sunday nights. He even took me on a road trip to visit some Bible colleges so I could make a more educated decision about where I wanted to go.

Dave MaltzanWhile I was in college, Dave Maltzan became the minister of my home church. Dave always helped me along in ministry. I had a weekend ministry in the same town at this time and Dave was a mentor to me. The first time I watched someone die in the hospital, Dave Maltzan was there and helped me through it.

These are just some of the influences in my life. I hope I am an influence in other people’s lives the way they have been in mine. Much of who I am is because of their influence and I am thankful. Thank you, Mom, Dad, Jack Bunch, Eddie Hammond, Monty Cooper, Don Thie, Dave Maltzan, and many others who have been a significant, godly influence in my life. Who knows where I would be without you.

Who has influenced your life? Whose life are you influencing?


Do you need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Climbing to Our God-Given Potential Together

_MG_0038lowresWOW! Last week I completed 100 blogs over the course of 100 business days. I love traveling this path to my God-given potential and I love sharing this journey with others. Over the past 100 blogs, I have shared with you stories and lessons I have learned over 25 plus years of climbing to my God-given potential.

I am investing the rest of my life sharing my experiences and lessons through speaking, writing, and coaching. For those of you who have joined me on this journey, I hope I get to see more and more of you as we take this journey together. I know this journey may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for some of you, this is exactly what you want out of life.

_MG_0023cropOver the past 100 blogs, I have shared about:

Overcoming failure

Relationships

Priority management

Our spiritual walk

Goals

Dreaming

Believing

Achieving

Enthusiasm

And a number of other subjects. However, they all have one thing in common – climbing to our God-given potential. It is my heart’s desire to have as many people as possible join me on this journey.

007I will continue to write blogs, but probably not five a week like I have done over the past few months. The main subject in all of them will be how we can better climb to our God-given potential. Thank you for reading as you travel with me.

What are some areas I could cover that would help you in your climb to your God-given potential? Perhaps someone else is needing similar information as they take their journey. What are some success stories you would like to share?

I want to learn from you as much as you learn from me. Remember, we are on this journey together, let’s help each other along the way. Here we go!

Do you need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted!


_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Fourth Roadblock: Irresponsibility; Blockbuster: Commitment to a Vision

How often do we see people that we would consider extremely smart and/or talented and yet they seem to do nothing with their lives? How many times do we think, “Wow, if that person would just put their mind to it they could do great things”? How many times do you think somebody else says the same thing about you?

It is easy for us to look at others and talk about what they could do to make this world a better place. We may think, “If I had their ability I would…” But what are you doing with the ability you do have?

abilityThere is something all of us can do better than most other people. What you can do better than most people may be different from what I can do better than most people, but we all have something. The question is not whether we have the ability, the question is whether we will respond to that ability?

The fourth roadblock to us climbing to our God-given potential is irresponsibility. Look at the word responsibility… It is our “response” to our “ability”. We all have at least one ability we do better than most other people. Will we respond to that ability?

To not respond to our ability is irresponsible. It irresponsible not to use what God has given us for his glory. The world needs all of us to use the abilities God has given us. God did not give us those abilities to hide, but to serve him and serve other people.

Where would the world be if Alexander Grahm Bell decided not to use his abilities? Where would we be if Steve Jobs had not taken what Alexander Grahm Bell created and made something even better? Where would we be if Bill Gates had not used his abilities? Where would we be if Billy Grahm had not used his abilities? The list could go on and on. God has given you some specific abilities. My encouragement is to discover them and use them.

Follow your dreams

So, what is the blockbuster to the roadblock of irresponsibility? Commitment to a vision! Discover how God is wanting to use you and your abilities to change the world and then pour yourself into whatever that may be. If you do not follow God’s purpose for your life, something very important may not happen.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV). Having a commitment to a God-given vision is life giving. We will never climb to our God-given potential without a commitment to a vision.

Helen Keller stated it so well when she was asked if there was anything worse than being blind. Her response, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” If someone had a legitimate reason to not respond to their ability, it was Helen Keller. However, she responded to the ability she did have and helped to change the world.

Will you step up and respond to your ability? Will you take responsibility for your own life in a way that will make a difference in the lives of those around you? Bust through that roadblock of irresponsibility by committing to a God-given vision and who knows, you just might help to change the world.

Need help on knowing where to start?  I offer one complimentary discovery call if you’d like some help figuring out how God has specially gifted you.


Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted!


_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Third Roadblock : Fear; Blockbuster: Faith

I have been helping dreamers, believers, and achievers climb to their God-given potential for almost 25 years and the most frequently mentioned roadblock with people I have worked with is…fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of losing friends, fear of what others may think, fear of stepping out of their comfort zone, the list goes on and on. Fear is the number one roadblock I have seen for those not climbing to their God-given potential. People are often paralyzed by fear.

Several years ago I heard this acronym for fear:

fear

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

Most of the fear that keeps people from moving forward is based on speculation at best and complete falsehoods at worst. True story: Several years ago, a man hijacked a plane. He had a box with a bar of soap in it and he told the pilot he had a bomb and to turn the plane around and go to Cuba. The pilot turned the plane around and he went to Cuba.

The evidence was false, but it appeared very real.

So, what is the blockbuster used to bust through the roadblock of fear? Faith! “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV). Faith will not eliminate fear, but it will give us the courage to move forward in spite of our fear. Everyone experiences fear. It is what we do in the midst of that fear that will be the determining factor in whether or not we reach our God-given potential.

Here is an acronym for faith:

faith1Fearless

Attitude

Inspiring

Troubled

Hearts

Having the faith and trust in God to move forward in the midst of our fears will also inspire others to do the same. As an introvert, I have had to overcome many internal fears in order to follow the plan and purpose God has for me. Faith has made the difference not only in me but also in those I have worked with over the years.

About five or six years ago, I used these acronyms as a Facebook post. Someone commented that the acronyms were cheesy, corny, and trite. Maybe they are, I don’t know. I do know they have helped me put both fear and faith in the right perspective and that has helped me climb to my God-given potential. So, if I need a little corn and cheese to please God then, by all means, bring on the corn and cheese!

I will say that several people came to my defense on that post. The one who made the comment did not put any additional comments. I have no hard feelings toward the one who made the comment. I am saying that what one person may roll their eyes at, another person may take and apply to their lives and it makes all the difference in the world.

I am a simple person and often times simple principles are what help me the most. So, if you feel these acronyms are too corny or cheesy to be helpful, then go ahead and roll your eyes, give a little smirk, and then find something that is helpful for you. Do whatever it takes to climb to your God-given potential.

However, if you are like me and these simple truths help get you closer to your God-given potential, then embrace them. The important thing is not that you like my blogs, videos, books, and teachings. The important thing is that you find the tools to help you climb to your God-given potential!


Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted!


_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

Second Roadblock: Procrastination; Blockbuster: Discipline

Back in 2006, I lost 25 pounds. One of the quotes that helped me in that journey was a quote by Zig Ziglar, “Never trade what you want most for what you want now.” That quote fueled my journey to becoming a healthier person. Let me explain what it did for me.

discipline3My favorite food is ice cream. I love to have me a nice, good size bowl, of ice cream. As a matter of fact, if I ever decided to end my life I would just eat ice cream until I exploded. Wow, what a way to go!

However, I knew if I were going to lose weight and get healthy I could not just eat ice cream anytime I wanted. When it was in the house or I was somewhere where it was being sold, all I could think about was eating that ice cream…I mean…It is just that good!

discipline2So, whenever ice cream was around I had to decide. Would I stay focused on what I wanted most which was to lose weight and be healthier or would I eat the ice cream which was what I wanted now? Would I trade what I wanted most (to be healthier and lighter) for what I wanted now (a delicious bowl of that ice cream)? It was sometimes a difficult situation to be in, but the fact I lost 25 pounds and became much healthier should give you a clue as to what choice I made.

In the last blog, we discussed the first roadblock to climbing to your God-given potential: denial, and the blockbuster for it: positive self-talk. In this blog let’s look at the second roadblock, procrastination. So many of us are going to do this or we intend on doing that. At New Year’s, we make all these resolutions and we seldom keep any. The term “resolution” has actually become a joke. I do not even use that word.

Besides, if you want to make a significant difference in your life, why wait until the New Year… do it now! Procrastination and reaching your potential do not go together. If you are going to make a significant change in your life, it must be done immediately and enthusiastically.

So, what is the blockbuster to the roadblock of procrastination? DISCIPLINE. Yep, that is it. Discipline.

disciplineHow do we develop discipline? Well, I am glad you asked, “Never trade what you want most for what you want now.” That is it.

If it is something you really want most, then why trade it for something less just because it is more immediate? Never settle for something just because it brings instant but temporary gratification. Focus on doing that which will bring you long lasting and more significant gratification.

To me, nothing tastes as good as being fit feels. I still love to eat ice cream and from time to time I do. If it starts getting out of hand, I just cut it out completely for a period of time. On two different occasions, I have cut out sweets completely for 12 months. I am presently cutting them out for one month in preparation for a race I’m running in August. There are times I really want those sweets, but what I want more is to be as prepared as I possibly can for that race. I am not trading what I want most for what I want now.

discipline5Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express, said this, “You are the way you are because that’s the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be any different, you would be in the process of changing right now.” We can talk a good talk, but what are we already doing about being the person we want to be? What are you already doing to climb to your God-given potential?

Bust through that roadblock of procrastination with the blockbuster of discipline. The discipline to do that which you want to do. The discipline to climb to your God-given potential!


Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted!


_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

Busting Through Roadblocks to Your God-Given Potential

roadblocks2It was 20 years ago when I bought my first Zig Ziglar cassette tape at a local bookstore in Corbin, Kentucky. That tape sparked something in me that has grown for the past 20 years. It sparked the desire to climb to my God-given potential.

I had read and listened to some material before that time. I had read some books by John Maxwell (John Maxwell is where I first heard of Zig Ziglar), I had read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey, and I frequently checked out cassette tapes from Johnson Bible College’s library so I could listen to them while I traveled to and from the weekend ministry I served during my college years. The seed of personal growth and development was already planted before I bought that Zig Ziglar cassette. But it was that cassette that sparked a flame that would glow for the next 20 years.

roadblockbuster1I continue to feed my mind with audio programs and books that help me get from where I am to where I want to be. Not only that, but I now devote my life to doing for others what Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, and many others have done for me through their books, audio programs, and live events. I do all I can to climb to my God-given potential and to help others climb to their God-given potential.

What is your spark? What is it that sparks such an intense passion in you that you can see yourself doing it for the next 20 years or even the rest of your life? What is it that you love to experience so much that you must help others experience the same thing? What is it that God has put in your heart and soul that it is your vehicle for climbing to your God-given potential?

roadblockbuster2Unfortunately, we experience roadblocks along the way that try to stop us from reaching our God-given potential. Over the next four blogs, I will address four of these roadblocks and prescribe a blockbuster for each one.

I hope you will journey with me this week as we look at four potential roadblocks and how to bust through each one of them. I desire to climb to my God-given potential and I have the same desire for you. Let’s go on this journey together!


Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get notified when new videos are posted!


_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

How to Handle Your Anger

Many of us were told lies when we were kids. An adult would go to put medicine on a scratched knee and they would say, “Now this will not hurt a bit.” We trusted them and they put the medicine on and “OUCH!” did it burn! Then they would say, “Well, of course, it’s going to burn a little bit.” They would tell us to be good little boys and girls so that a big, fat man with a red suit would come down the tiny hole in our chimney to bring us toys for Christmas. (Then they would vaguely mention from time to time something about a child born in a manger. That part was actually true yet somewhat overlooked). Then, many of us heard this lie, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

The truth is: words can hurt very much. As an adult, I heard a variation of that quote that I believe is much more truthful: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart.” Words can hurt.  If we want to build winning relationships we must be aware of how damaging words can be.

Sometimes negative words come from joking and sometimes they come from anger. Those two are not necessarily exclusive. If we want to build winning relationships with our spouses, kids, and coworkers, we must learn to control our anger. In other words, patience is a fertilizer for winning relationships.

Let me just clarify: when I am talking about anger, I am talking about uncontrolled anger. There are some things we should be angry about. The number of senseless deaths that take place every year, mistreatment and abuse of people especially kids and the elderly, the number of people going without basic food and clean water, etc. However, our anger should be a controlled anger. Even Jesus got angry (Mark  11:15-17), but his anger was controlled, focused, and intentional to serve a specific purpose. Most of the time our anger is not. Ephesians 4:26, gives us some insight into how to handle anger; “’In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (NIV). This verse describes an anger that is under control and intentionally dealt with.

Here is one tip for controlling your anger: think of your phone… No, I have not lost my mind. Think about it, when you are yelling and screaming out of anger (usually at someone you supposedly love) and all of the sudden the phone rings, how do you answer it? I bet it would be fair to say that the majority of you go through an immediate attitude adjustment and bring your voice under control before you answer your phone. So, the next time you are angry, just imagine your phone starts ringing and go ahead and make the adjustment before you speak and say something you will later regret.


Follow to this blog to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability to help you reach your God-given potential!

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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message. You will look like a rockstar for hiring Tommy Lanham!

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