Do You Want to Know Why You Got Fired?

Nothing is more important than relationships. Not politics, championships, or even religion.  Nothing is more important than relationships. Regardless of your call in life, the stronger the relationships you have, the better off you will be. Here are just a few facts I have heard about relationships.

  • Over 99% of counseling is relationship counseling

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Zig Ziglar tells in his How To Stay Motivated series about a counselor who believed, in his educated opinion, more than 99% of counseling is relationship counseling. That makes sense. Marriages are about relationships, parenting is about relationships, jobs are about relationships, depression is often about relationships, drug and alcohol abuse is often about relationships, pre-marital issues are about relationships… everything seems to be about relationships! If we could all get this relationship issue under control, we would put professional counselors out of work.

  • 70% of fired people are fired because they did not get along or fit in

trump - firedThis is another statistic I got from Zig Ziglar. How often people are fired – not because they could not do the job, not because they were lazy, not because they stole from the company – because they did not get along or fit in with the other employees!  Relationships. Relationships apparently play a significant role in employment which plays a significant role in the health of our economy.

  • 20-year Harvard study shows that relationships affect health more than food, exercise, or genes.

Relationships even have an effect on our health. Our emotional health influences our physical health. If you really want all that time in the gym to pay off, try investing just as much energy into your significant relationships.

  • Mark 12:30-31

When Jesus was asked, “Of all the commandments which is the most important?” (Mark 12:28, NIV). Jesus responded, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31, NIV). No commandment is more important than our relationship with God and our relationships with other people. Even if you look at the Ten Commandments, you will discover that four of them are about our relationship with God and the other six are about our relationships with people, but they are ALL about relationships!

20170605_172611A few years ago, my wife and I found ourselves allowing other things to become more important to us than our relationship with each other, our kids, our friends, and even our God. We drastically changed our focus and it has changed our lives. Sometimes we leave important things undone because we focus our time, energy, and attention on our relationships and especially our relationship with each other.  Oddly enough, we have discovered we are much more productive when our relationship with each other is going well. It actually gives us energy!

What can you do to focus more on your relationships? Maybe go on a couples retreat with your spouse, take your kid fishing or just out for the day, invest some time with a friend. Do whatever it takes to grow your significant relationships because, in the end, your emotional well-being, your career, your physical health, and even your faith depends on it!


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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!

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You Cannot Stay Here (Video)

“Staycations” might be nice. But if we want to climb to our God-given potential, we cannot live our life like a “staycation.” We must be moving forward, climbing upward, and “pressing on toward the goal for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).


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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!

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You Cannot Stay Here

_MG_7632Last week my family and I had a “staycation”. It is where we use our vacation time to stay home. Some people use these to do home improvement projects around the house. However, we used ours to just have a comfortable week with little to no plans.

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Our family did some activities that were close to home. We went to the Ark Encounter in Williamsport, Kentucky; we went to Laurel Lake for a few days and played in the water, went fishing, and learned how to operate a pontoon boat. Sidenote:  I only had to get out in the water and get it unstuck twice!

_MG_7537We had a fun time simply enjoying each other’s company and making memories together. It was relaxed, calm, and serene. It was needed, but…

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I could not wait to get back into the swing of things. I could not wait to continue following my dream. I could not wait to be a productive contributor through my calling. I could not wait to continue leading a rebellion against the mundane by helping dreamers, believers, and achievers climb to their God-given potential through the power of enthusiasm.

I love what I do! This is not something I just do between weekends. Even though I enthusiastically enjoyed my vacation with my family, I could not wait to get back to my calling.

I read a quote one time that said, “Do work you do not need a vacation from.” Although I do believe periodical vacations can help us refuel even when we are doing something we love, I still understand and appreciate the sentiment.

In his book, “Caught Between a Dream and a Job”, Delatorro McNeal says there are three kinds of jobs: 1. Your dream job; 2. Stepping stone jobs; and 3. Dead end jobs. Where are you? Are you doing your dream job? Are you working toward your dream job? Or are you just settling for something that pays the bills? There is nothing wrong with where you are… Just don’t stay there.

There is a church in London, Kentucky that has a motto that goes like this: “We can’t stay here.” Insinuating that they cannot settle. They have decided not to settle with their failures or their successes. They have to move forward. They cannot just stay where they are.

There is an African tribe that uses a phrase they feel puts a horrible curse on people. The phrase is: “May you stay in one place forever.” That truly would be a horrible curse.

DSCF7989“Staycations” might be nice. But if we want to climb to our God-given potential, we cannot live our life like a “staycation.” We must be moving forward, climbing upward, and “pressing on toward the goal for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).

Where is God leading you to press on? What is the next step in climbing to your God-given potential? Never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down!


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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:

 

 

Put the Oxygen Mask on Yourself First

 

Fuel Your Enthusiasm!


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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:

 

Only Hurting People Hurt People

letterMy wife and I have a practice where we agree on a question, then we take 10 minutes to write each other a letter answering that question. After we write our letters, we exchange, read and discuss them. It is a great practice for married couples. I may write a blog about it sometime, but not today.

Instead, I want to write about one of the questions we had a few days ago. The question was, “How am I life-giving to you?” Wow, what a question! My answer? “I believe my positive self-image dramatically affects how life-giving I am.” Obviously, I wrote more in the letter over the course of 10 minutes. I am not sharing all the intimacies of the love letter I wrote my wife. But I did want to share the main point of my letter.

A person must love themselves before they can fully love others. Love is life-giving and I cannot give my wife or anyone else my love if I have no love for myself to give. Jesus said it this way, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31, NIV). There is a connection between how much we love ourselves and how much we are capable of loving others. You can only love others to the level you love yourself.

Tommy Lanham

Most of the time, if not all of the time, we find that people are negative toward others because they have little to no love for themselves. Typically, only hurting people hurt people. The people who love themselves the most are the same people that others like to be around the most.

So, the more we love ourselves; and love God who is the ultimate lover and life-giver; the more we can love other people and therefore be more life-giving. If for some reason we have less love for ourselves then we have less love to give. It is almost like Jesus knew what he was talking about.

If you want to be someone who adds life to people instead of draining life from people, then learn to love yourself. Jesus loves you, other people love you.  Learn to love yourself so you can pass on that love to others. One way to fuel our enthusiasm is to love ourselves in a way that flows into other people’s lives.

Never settle, live with enthusiasm, and turn the world upside down by loving yourself so much that you cannot help but love others in a life giving way!

Fuel Your Enthusiasm!


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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:

 

Can We Afford Not To? (Video)

No matter who you are or where you are, if you will simply discover what it is that stirs up your enthusiasm and simply spend at least one hour a day on that for at least five years you will become an expert on that subject.


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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:

 

 

Can We Afford Not To?

earl nightingale

When I first started listening to motivational and personal growth tapes and CD’s in the late 90’s, I heard this quote from Earl Nightingale, “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.” I have heard that same quote several times since then. It is one of the quotes that has guided my life.

Imagine the implications of that statement. No matter who you are or where you are, if you will simply discover what it is that stirs up your enthusiasm and simply spend at least one hour a day on that for at least five years you will become an expert on that subject. If it is something you are truly passionate about, this should not be difficult.

best projectI recently finished a class for professional speakers. It was held almost three hours from my house (which made it about a 6-hour roundtrip). At the first session, the instructors seemed concerned I had to drive such a distance to attend this class. They were afraid I would miss too many sessions to get the full value of the class. I understood their concern but I assured them my passion and enthusiasm would be enough fuel to get me to the each session.

It was a 10-session course over a 6-month period. Not only did I make all 10 sessions but I was the only one in the class to make all 10 sessions! Was it practical? Probably not. Was it worth it to me anyway? Absolutely! It was a great course and I learned even more about what I love to do; fuel people’s enthusiasm through speaking.

well rounded personI invest most of my time into learning how to better help people climb to their God-given potential. I do not have a desire to be well-rounded.  Well-rounded people have no point. I desire to be a pointed person with a specific direction and I will do all I can to learn more and be better at what I do. Even if I have to drive almost six hours 10 times over a six-month period.

I have invested (I like that word better than “spent”) more than one hour a day for the past five years in learning how to best help myself and others climb to their God-given potential. I have invested several hours a day over the past 20 years doing this. And I am more passionate about it now than I have ever been!

In 2000, I asked my brand new wife if we could afford to purchase at least one audio a month on self-improvement. We were newly married, had very little money, and I ran a ministry where I was paid completely through donations. She looked at me and said, “Can we afford not to?” I love that woman for many reasons, but one important reason is that she understands the value of learning, growing, and self-improvement.

We still listen to audios and read books to improve ourselves in our areas of passion. We now have two kids who also love to read and learn more about the things they are very passionate about. We are a family that invests in what we are passionate about and good at so we can become even better.

What are you enthusiastic and passionate enough about that you can easily invest at least an hour a day for the next five years so you will become an expert? All of us have the God-given potential to be an expert in something. I have found mine…What is yours?


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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:

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

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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:

 

5 Clues to Uncover your N.I.C.H.E.

Over the past two blogs, we have looked at our first purpose and our general purpose. However, there is another level of purpose we have not yet discussed. Not only does everyone have their first purpose (to know, love, and follow Jesus), and their general purpose (Worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism), but each one of us also has a specific purpose. While our first and general purpose are universal, our specific purpose is unique for each and every one of us.

NICHE

Galatians 6:4-5, says; Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (The Message). As you better understand who God made you to be and the work he wants you to do, you will better understand your specific purpose. God has equipped you to fulfill a purpose that he specifically put you on this earth to fulfill.

Here are five areas to “carefully explore” to better understand “who you are and the work you have been given”.

Natural Abilities
What are you naturally good at doing? What seems to come easier for you than it does most other people? What are some of those talents and strengths you have naturally developed?

Inspirational Gifts
Everyone who has decided to follow Jesus has received what the Bible calls spiritual gifts. I would encourage you to read Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 and 27-31; Ephesians 4:11-12; and 1 Peter 4:9-11, for a list of spiritual gifts. There are some spiritual gift surveys available online and they are helpful in discovering your spiritual gift. However, the best way is to simply try something that appeals to you and see how it goes. If it seems like a good fit, perhaps you have discovered your spiritual gift. If it is not a good fit, try another one.

niche3Character
How did God wire your brain? When I talk about understanding your character I am talking about your personality style. God has wired each one of us differently to serve him in the way he wants us to serve him. Discover your personality style and it will help you better understand your God-given, specific purpose. My DVD “How To Speak To Weird People” comes with a personality style survey and gives descriptions of each style.

Heart
What are you passionate about? What keeps you up at night because of enthusiasm and excitement and what wakes you up early in the morning for the same reason? What do you love to talk about? If you knew you could not fail and money was not an issue, what would you do? These are just some questions to help you discover your passion…your heart!

Experiences

How have past experiences equipped you for what God wants you to do? Evaluate both your good and bad experiences, because God uses both. What physical experiences, emotional experiences, intellectual experiences, and spiritual experiences have you had that has shaped you into the person you are today?

Niche2If you noticed, those five areas spell the word NICHE. What is your niche? What are your natural abilities, inspirational gifts, character, heart, and experiences? Once you make a “careful exploration” of these five areas, you will have a better idea of “who you are and the work you have been given”. Then you will better understand what your God-given, specific purpose may be!


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!

Check Tommy’s availability or leave a note:

 

 

What Makes You Feel Truly Alive?

 

What makes you truly alive? What is it that keeps you up at night and gets you going in the morning? I am not talking about just having your heart pump blood through your veins, I am talking about an aliveness that goes beyond just continuing to breathe.

These are good questions for all of us to ask ourselves from time to time. It is too easy to fall into the trap of just existing from day to day. Let’s be totally alive!

Here are three things (plus one) that make me feel totally alive:

  • Jesus! Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). The closer I am to Jesus the more alive I become.
  • lowres0My wife! When my relationship with my wife is good I am fully alive. When it is not, I feel like I am going to die. Fortunately, I have a great relationship with my wife. This has not always been the case, but we have been intentional about growing our marriage and that intentionality has paid off. (For more information on how we became intentional about our marriage, get in touch with me through the form below.)
  • Moving forward! Following my God-given dreams, growing and becoming more of what God created me to be.

When I combine those three together I am truly alive. When my relationship with my wife is good, with both of us focused on Jesus while we follow our God-given dreams well, that is an ecstatic level of aliveness!

Bonus: I almost forgot….. Getting to fulfill my God-given purpose makes me feel alive as well. When I get to make a difference in people’s lives, when I bring more life to someone else it makes me more alive.


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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: