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.

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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:

 

What a Cold Bath Taught Me About Failure (Video)

About a year after my wife and I got married, we decided it was time to buy a house…


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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:

3 Very Easy Steps to Stay Highly Motivated

Motivation has been a passion of mine since I purchased my first Zig Ziglar cassette tape back in 1997. I have learned some practices along the way that help me get motivated and stay motivated. Motivation is not permanent, just like bathing is not permanent.  We need to seek out ways to continue the motivation. Here are three practices that have helped me over the past 20 years.

Pmotivationositive Self-Talk

I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but it works. I talk to myself in the mirror. I talk to myself as I work out. I talk to myself as I listen to positive self-talk audios (by Dr. Shad Helmstetter). Self-Talk has made a world of difference in the attitude I have throughout the day.

I hope you realize that we all talk to ourselves. Even you. You may be reading this right now saying, “I don’t talk to myself, this guy is crazy.” We all talk to ourselves.

The unfortunate thing about most of our self-talk is that it is negative. We tell ourselves, “I can’t do this” or “this is not going to work”; “Why am I even trying?” or when something does not happen exactly as planned we tend to say, “I knew it wouldn’t work.” Psychologist, Shad Helmstetter says, “By the time a child is 18 years old they have heard ‘no’ or ‘you can’t do that’ over 148,000 times.” When you hear “no” or “you can’t do that” so many times, you begin to believe it. And thus we begin the bad habit of telling ourselves the same thing.

Change your self-talk from negative to positive. Wake up every morning saying, “every day in every way I am getting better and better – Yes!” You can find some self-talk scripts through a Google search. If you cannot find one you like, email me and I will send you some of mine.

motivation 2Positive Mental Attitude

The positive self-talk will help you develop a positive mental attitude. The more positive you are about life, the more positive life will be. The more you complain, the more you will have to complain about. The more positive you are, the more you will have to be positive about. You typically find what you are looking for.

motivatino3As I said earlier, we seem to be naturally negative. What do we call the first slice of a loaf of bread? The heel or the end. I have never seen a loaf of bread that did not have two beginnings! When we run our car off the road what do we call? The wrecker. What we need is the tow truck, we have already had the wreck. What do we call that thing that wakes most of us up in the mornings? The alarm clock. Well, people sound the alarm when the bank is being robbed or the building is on fire. Alarms scare people. Why not call what wakes us up in the morning an opportunity clock? If you can hear it, that means you have the opportunity to get up and go. If you can’t hear it that may mean you done got up and gone! (I got those from the most positive person I ever met: Zig Ziglar.)

Zig Ziglar says “Positive thinking will not let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” Positive thinking is not magical, but it is powerful!

Fail Forward

motivation3The third practice to stay motivated is to fail forward. Learn something from your failure. You can either grow bitter from your failure or you can grow better from your failure.

While Thomas Edison was working on one of his many inventions, it took him thousands of times and he still had not gotten it right. Some asked him, “Mr. Edison, what does it feel like to be such a great inventor and have failed 10,000 times on this one invention?” Thomas Edison responded, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that it won’t work.”

If you want to stay motivated I would encourage you to have the same attitude as Thomas Edison. Here is the secret to your success; if you fall down seven times, get up eight. That is it. Get up one more time than you fail and you are a success. That, my friends, is motivating!

What keeps you motivated?


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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 him a note:

 

What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

never give up 2A few years ago I was heading out of Roanoke, Virginia and I saw a billboard that I will never forget. There was a bird, I think it was a crane, with a frog in his mouth. The only part of the frog you could see were the arms, legs, and the lump in the bird’s throat. The frog’s legs were dangling lifelessly. However, the arms of the frog were full of life as he had a death grip around the throat of that bird just below the lump. The words at the top of the billboard read,

NEVER GIVE UP!

That is my encouragement to you, “never give up!” No matter how hard times may get, never give up 4“never give up!” No matter how many times you have failed, remember to get back up and keep on trying. Failure just gives you the opportunity to begin again more intelligently, so, “never give up!” Remember to fail forward and not backward. Learn, grow, and go and “never give up!” The one thing we all have in common is failure. Failure is an event it is not a person. You may have failed, but you are not a failure, “never give up!”

When people are telling you that you cannot do it, when people are laughing at you
because you want to try it one more time, even when you begin to tell yourself that you are not good enough, change those negative failure messages to positive success messages and “never give up!”

never give up3When the only light you can see at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, keep going and “never give up!” When people put you down and make fun of you because you have the fortitude and determination to live the exceptional life instead of the average, mediocre life, “never give up!” When things are so bad that all you can see is the inside of huge bird’s esophagus… “Never give up!”

You have a focused enthusiasm for exceptional living that unfocused, boring, mediocre existers just don’t have. Do not let them drag you down to their level of unfocused, boring, mediocre deadness. Remain focused, enthusiastic, exceptional and alive as you fail your way to success.

The secret of success is: If you fall down seven times, get up eight.
That is it.
That is what it takes.
So no matter what:

nevergiveup

 


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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.

Check Tommy’s availability:

What Will You Do With Failure?

  • what will you doHave you ever failed?  Have you ever failed to the point that you didn’t know what to do next?

    We are going to look at two people in the Bible that failed bigtime! Their names were Judas and Peter.

    They both failed miserably, but how they handled their own failure was dramatically different. Both Judas and Peter spent around three years traveling with and learning from Jesus.

    Picture this:


    Judas

    Judas was part of the twelve closest people to Jesus. However, Judas betrayed Jesus in a way that eventually led to Jesus’ death. The chief priests paid Judas thirty pieces of silver to take them to and identify Jesus so they could arrest him. Their plan worked. Jesus was arrested and eventually killed.

    Judas had failed Jesus.judas and peter

    After Judas realized what he had done he was so filled with remorse that he could no longer live with himself. He returned the silver coins, ran away and committed suicide. The pain of having betrayed the man who had taught, mentored, and loved him over the past three years was more than Judas could bear.

    Death was the only relief he could think of.


    Peter

    Peter was also part of the twelve closest people to Jesus. He was possibly one Jesus’ closest three disciples. After Jesus was arrested, Peter followed from a distance to see what was going to happen.  Three times someone recognized Peter as a follower of Jesus. Three times he denied even knowing who Jesus was. Peter became so frustrated with people recognizing him, he even began to curse and swear.

    Peter had failed Jesus. After Peter realized what he had done, he wept bitterly.

    Peter repented of his failure. Less than two months later Peter preached a message about Jesus (who by this time had risen from the dead and ascended back into heaven) that caused about 3,000 people to have their lives changed forever, eternally.

    Peter went on to be a leader; biblical author; and a person who did great, life-transforming work for God.

  • What made the difference?

    Failure Comparison social media

    What will you do with your failure?

    (If you would like to read the stories about Judas and Peter in more detail you can find their stories in the Bible: Matthew 26:47-27:10; Acts 2:14-41.)

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Tommy Lanham is a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus. He is an experienced, trusted and highly enthusiastic speaker who communicates life changing truths in an entertaining way. He connects with his audience inspiring them to take action.

He speaks to various organizations, providing the tools to help you follow your God-given dream to reach your God-designed potential.  Please visit his website:
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Failing Forward

bad mood imageI hate taking a bath. I am a shower kind of man. I like to have the water beat the dirt off of me instead of sitting in a pool of water with the dirt floating all around me. However, several years ago my wife and I moved into a new house where the shower was not yet working. I had to take a bath. What made it worse was that there was no stopper in the tub. While running my water I tried to rig something up to stop my water from running down the drain so I could take this bath that I did not want to take in the first place.

You could imagine my mood at this point. I finally got something to slow down (but not stop) my water from going down the drain. By this time, all the hot water was gone, so I was taking a bath in cold water while trying to hurry so all the water would not be gone before I was clean. In the midst of this frustration and hurry I happened to look toward the front of the tub and I saw a chrome lever…I chrome leverreached up and pulled that lever…and…lo and behold…the water stopped going down the drain!! (It takes a secure person to share a story like that.) I learned a very important lesson that day: Whenever you take a bath always look for the chrome lever!

Failure is OK as long as we learn something from it. Most successful people have experienced much more failure than success. Winston Churchill said, “Success is moving from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” Failure is OK as long as you fail forward. Through God’s grace and your own guts, you can learn to fail forward.failure

GOD’S GRACE 

  • Realize What Jesus Thinks of You

In the midst of your failure, realize that Jesus is crazy in love with you. Mother Theresa described her failure as the “kiss of Jesus.” She explained that in her most broken times, because of her own failure, she felt the tender embrace of Jesus and in the midst of that embrace, Jesus would gently kiss her. Wow! There is nothing you can do to make Jesus love you more, there is nothing you can do to make Jesus love you less.

  • God Works in our Weaknesses

Often times God will use our weaknesses and failures more than he utilizes our strengths. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” That is true grace when God works more in our weaknesses than he does our strengths.

  • Support From Others

God’s grace flows through the company of people who love and care about you. They have failed as well. We all need each other. Through the love and support of other people, God’s grace can work in such a way that you can grow better from failure instead of growing bitter because of it.

failure roadYOUR OWN GUTS

  • Change Your Attitude

Babe Ruth came up to bat in the last game of the American League playoffs to see who would go on to the World Series. Babe Ruth had not touched the ball with the bat all game long. He had already struck out three times. The New York Yankees were two runs down with two runners on base and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Babe Ruth missed the first pitch, “Strike One!” He missed the second pitch, “Strike Two!” Fans were already beginning to leave the game at this point. The third pitch came toward the plate, Babe Ruth swung and connected. The ball sailed out of the park for a three-run homer and the New York Yankees win the game and eventually go on to win the World Series! Babe Ruth was asked in an interview after that game what was going through his mind as he stood there knowing the game was on the line, he had not touched the ball the whole game and he already had two strikes on him. “What were you thinking about at that moment?” His answer is a perfect example of what all of us should be thinking anytime we have failed. Babe Ruth answered, “I was thinking about the same thing I always think about when I am standing at the plate. I was thinking about hitting a home run.” That should be our attitude. No matter what failure you may have experienced just think about hitting another home run.

  • what have i learnedStop Listening to Failure Messages

Psychologist Shad Helmstetter says, “During the first eighteen years of our lives, if we grew up in fairly average, reasonably positive homes, we were told ‘No” or what we could not do, more than 148,000 times!” If you are told over 148,000 times “No!” or “you can’t do that” you begin to believe it. We hear failure messages all the time. We even tell ourselves failure messages. “I can’t do that.” Or “I am not good enough” or “I am not smart enough”. Stop! Stop listening to the failure messages. Especially your own. You only know what you can do, not what you can’t do.

  • What Can I Learn From This?

Lastly, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. You know what does not work so you make adjustments and try again. Do not let failure get you down, allow it to pick you up.

MOTIVATION

Here is some additional motivation as you learn to fail forward:

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NIV). Through God’s grace and your own guts, you can fail forward. Go ahead, get started. Make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

 

_MG_2463editTommy Lanham is a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus. He is an experienced, trusted and highly enthusiastic speaker who communicates life changing truths in an entertaining way. He connects with his audience inspiring them to take action.

He travels to speak on goals, priority management, faith, personality types and other related topics. If you would like to find out more about Tommy’s speaking and coaching, please visit his website:
www.TommyLanham.com