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Going Back To Cali: A wife. An eighteen month old, three daughters and a four-year old named Caden

California dreaming on a mid-summer day or so the song goes. When you think of traveling to sunshine, beaches and the land lessor know for Mickey Mouse do you think of learning life lessons?


Traveling a record twenty-two hours door to door to Anaheim, California revealed lessons on life. Heaven, or Disneyland knows that to reach success you can learn by going back to Cali.

Planning, preparation and flexibility can help your day. Agreed?

We had planned, were ready and ended with a good day that we never do.  *Lesson:  Having a plan, preparation and adding in flexibility is a recipe for winning.

Much as white space thinking time – nothing planned, create your own adventure and no agenda – all three create magical time.  *Lesson:  Plan a day with no plan.

Our family took what was a tight agenda suddenly turned to no agenda and turned it into a memory.  The look of amusement on my face did not amuse my family as I delivered the news.  The word was “CANCELLED” on the departure screen.

*Lesson:  You learn that you deliver bad news the way the receiver needs it.

Do not tell your wife that “This is exactly why we fly out of Chicago instead of Madison” within the same minute of delivering the “CANCELLED” news.  *Lesson:  Timing is everything.

Having a plan along with preparation won the day because seven people were flexible.

It was a perfect morning.  You’re sound asleep because you know the day ahead of you is a challenge. Our challenge was traveling 1,980 miles to Anaheim California for NSA’s Influence11.  The National Speakers Association MIND BLOWING learning event.

I was ready for a day such as today.  Suddenly you’re woken by thunder, the realization that something important isn’t put away in the back yard and it’s four in the morning.

Little did I know that losing two hours of sleep would be the start of twenty-two hours of travel adventure for a wife.  An eighteen month old, three daughters and a four-year old named Caden.

I did manage to raise the boat under the canopy of the boat lift, secured the hot tub cover and tightened the pool cover before the booming summer storm rumbled by.

*Lesson:  Get it done the night before or be ready to take action the moment you hear the storms approaching. Do not wait. Activate.

Two hours of sleep saved us hours of this D A D picking up the pieces if I failed to secure the yard in time.

Have you lived through a season of neighborhood road construction?  Our connection to the outside world was a dirt driveway. The pounding storms caused me to remember the road construction foreman’s words. “Yes, we can smooth out a path to your garage to help you load your car for the family trip.  As long as it doesn’t rain you’ll be able to get out”.

*Lesson:  Always have a plan B.  The mud driveway could pose an issue.  Plan B was grabbing a shovel. Taking time to remove rock from the exposed street bed gave peace of mind.  Getting out to Cali was complete.

Have you ever spent a morning running around like a chicken, on a trampoline with a three-year old?  Yes, I needed to tie up the loose ends.  *Lesson:  Tie up as many loose ends before you run out of time.

*Lesson:  Tied up loose ends gives you piece of mind.

Have you ever arrived home with your mind on work. Women, and men, you can spend all day at work thinking how much you miss your loved ones.  Twenty minutes after you get home you’re thinking about the work you need to do. Or want to do. Men want to conquer.  Do women feel the same way?

Focused because I had tied up the loose ends.  Focused on what my wife, an eighteen month old, three daughters and a four-year old named Caden needed.

Do you notice the little things your loved ones do for you?  Can you imagine how I felt when I saw the truck ready.  My wife.  An eighteen month old, three daughters and a four-year old named Caden had the bags packed.  Patiently in the driveway waiting.

*Lesson:  Stop and encourage people for the good they do big or small.

The rain in Monona Wisconsin fell gently at first.  We started down the main road in town.  Monona Drive. The rain ahead of us fell heavily. Waiting for us much as you would find as you walk through a rain forest water fall.

*Lesson:  Stop and smell the roses.

Point out the beauty of nature. Thrilled to see the wall of water approach.  I thanked my wife for buying the new wiper blades.

*Lesson:  Little preparations pay for themselves.

*Lesson:  Details matter.

End of Part I:  The First Seven Hours of ‘Things You Do’ to make it to NSA’s Influence11.


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