Fuel, Oxygen and Heat. This is what they call the fire triangle. When these three things are present you have a formula to start and sustain an intense fire! Whether a roaring camp fire or a destructive building. As long as the three of these are holding hands, nothing can stop them from consuming everything in sight!

Likewise, knowing these three elements are helpful when it comes to putting a fire out. Take any one out of the equation and the sustainment is quickly quenched. Cool a fire down, it will go out. Take the Oxygen away and it can no longer survive. If there is nothing to burn, well there is nothing burning. Kick a leg out from the tripod and the burning falls by the wayside.

Did you know that the same triangle is true for the Christian?



  • The fuel of a Christian’s life is the gifts that God has given him. Every believer has a gift. Teaching, music, finances, business, speaking, preaching, prayer and the list goes on. These gifts when used for the glory of God’s Kingdom is like wood. The more we use them the bigger and more intense the fire that burns.


  • God breathes the oxygen into the fire that burns in our lives. When we unpack the gifts the spirit of God blows his breath on the embers. Even if we do not believe we are that good or feel as though our effectiveness is less than it should be, when God fans the flames of our obedience there is no limit to the heights the flames will reach.


  • The heat is a result of the fuel and oxygen; it keeps the fire intense and going. Those who come in the presence of the fire can feel the heat. They are warmed; comforted. No one has to ask if there is a fire burning, the heat tells them something is going on. Those who want comfort will be attracted to the warmth. Those who are afraid will run. When the Christian sees the affects of his or her gift, the heat intensifies and the fire burns hotter!

The enemy knows this truth about the Christian Fire Triangle

When the enemy attacks the focus is on putting out the fire source. If he can get one or more of the legs of the tripod knocked out he knows the Christian will fall.

  • THE ATTACK: Satan will tell us we are not good at what God has called us to do. He will tell us we are failures; that we fall short. Constant reminders of our shortcomings will plague our mind. The past will be on the forefront of his attacks while the future will be made out to be unrealistic.
  • He will send people and situations to make us doubt ourselves. He will attack the confidence that God has given us. A critical boss or a negative friend. Being let go from a job or even asked to step down from a church position.
  • He is trying to keep you and I from using our gifts through discouragement.
  • FAN THE FLAME BY using your gift. When attacked with doubt or by nay-sayers, let that be the FUEL that drives you to use it even more. Find ways to develop and grow within your giftedness. Go to school, find a mentor or coach or sign up as a volunteer. The more you use it the more it grows and better it gets! Know that Satan has recognized your strength and is wanting to take it away!


  • THE ATTACK: How does Satan extinguish the oxygen of God on our lives? He will tempt us to compromise. Sin can enter our lives and hinder our prayers. People will be introduced to us who might draw us away from God’s purpose and plan.
  • Busyness can suck the breath of God from us. Not setting time to pray, meditate and be thankful slowly takes away what breathes life into our joy and purpose. Being too busy to spend time with God is Satan’s way of making us feel justified for not talk to God.
  • Choosing your friends carefully. The wrong people will lead us down the wrong roads. A compromise here and another there, next thing we know we are further from God that we ever imagined. Be a choosy friend.
  • Choosing where you hangout. Where we go and what we expose our families to will impact our choices. Don’t get the God sucked out of you by being in the wrong place. Learn to say no and say it often. Desire God’s best.
  • Choose your time with God. Scheduling devotional time without technology. Start small with maybe 10 minutes or so. Keep it simply by having a Thank You God, Request of God and Reading of a Scripture. If time permits work in a few moments of where you say nothing at all, but sit quietly to reflect on what you are hearing or have just read.


  • THE ATTACK: Cool that Christian down! Tell her she needs to be a little quieter. “You are coming across arrogant and prideful” they will say. Knowing you’re a good teacher they won’t ask because they want you to back off a little. Being overlooked on purpose; anything to discourage the believer and make them back down will be occur.
  • The discouraged believer will back off into the background. If not careful they will begin to believe the lies and drift through life never experiencing God’s best.
  • FAN THE FLAME BY living life loud! Find every opportunity to use your gift and share it with others. If an organization doesn’t want your gift then find one that does. When one door shuts, find another to open. God gave you a gift to use so use it. In a big way or little. If you are a writer, write! Musician? Play that instrument when and wherever you can! Are you good with children? Find places in and out of the church to serve and minister to the little kiddos. Get busy!

When Paul said “Fan” that is an action word. It means that you and I are should take action. Things are not going to drop in our laps. We have to put forth effort to start the fire and keep it going.


“…I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.” II Timothy 1:6

Ambition Gone Wild

Sitting on his porch alone with nothing but his faithful dog he reflects back on his life. He climbed the ladder of success achieving all of his career goals as well as sitting on a nice nest egg of money. Yet, he is alone and feeling empty. Where are all the so-called friends, work-colleagues and executives who had once cheered him on? The family that surrounded him, now gone. Divorced and the kids grown living their own lives.

He sits and wonders, “Was it all worth it?”

Ambition. It is a great thing; in-fact needed in order to be successful in life. However, left unchecked it can be a wrecking ball to what is meaningful in life.

There are times I have coaching clients who come to me once all of the damage has been done. They are not coming for career advice, but rather life advice. They want to know how to put their lives back together. Their ambition had gone wild; they let it run them and it drove them right into a dead-end.

Researching the consequences of unguided ambition I came across an article from the Huffington Post written in 2014. I found it interesting in that all 10 of the ways ambition can trump a career I have seen happen in the lives of colleagues and clients.

Of all the 10 ways Evan Thompson identifies in the article the one thing that stands out is what people used to get to the top is what is missing when they find themselves at the bottom.


When young go-getters start out they believe they are invincible. Relationships are merely something they use to get to the next goal. As a result they are unable to build trusting relationships, impatience with others drives them to see everyone as a competitor, quick reckless decisions are made just to get the jump on someone else, and their personal lives fall apart leaving them with a life lacking fulfillment and full of regret.

The secret conversation with the boss to belittle someone who intimidates them, or a little gossip at the water-cooler, they don’t think anyone will find out, but they always do and relationships are damaged. The extra hours, volunteering for the business trip during the holidays, or taking on the extra project to get the advantage, they believe will never effect their family or marriage, but it does and it deteriorates.

The desire to be on top has a price, but it is generally much more than what is on the tag.

What is the answer? Should we not have ambition? Are goals bad? Is hard work and stepping up to the plate keys to an empty life? No! Not at all!

Have Healthy Ambition

  • Attitude of Service
    • If “you” are at the heart of ambition then a train wreck is just around the corner.
    • “Others” focused will help maintain a healthy dose of ambition. Serving others with our gifts, talents and drive brings about a whole different end result than if everything we do is to serve ourselves.


  • Don’t Compromise
    • One of the first signs there might be an element of self-serving ambition in our lives is when we compromise what is right. Bend a rule or look the other way. Fudge a number here or leave a matter out of the report. Criticize someone behind their back, start rumors or take someone’s mistake and use it as a weapon against them.
    • Always do what is right, no matter what anyone else is doing. Even if it isn’t going to reflect well on you, do what is right anyway. Honesty is what takes people to the top and keeps them there.


“Don’t let your talent take you to a place your integrity can’t keep you.”


  • Ask “Why?”
    • Self-reflection is critical to success. If we are always looking at others, judging what they are or are not doing, then we are on a slippery slope. We need to examine ourselves.
    • When we are fighting for the next promotion or contemplating taking on a new project ask, “Why do I want this?” “How will this position/project effect my family?” “Will taking this role take me away from the things that are important to me?”

Ambition and drive are God given. He designed us with a desire for reaching for more out of life. To get to the end knowing our life was fulfilling and meaningful we must know and maintain our core convictions.

Keep God first, ensure family is our priority and serve others. Using our ambition to do these three things will help keep us from having Ambition Gone Wild.




Not Everyone Loves a Winner

Have you ever felt like you are putting your heart and soul into something to only get criticism and knocked down in return?

Despite what many motivational posters might say, not everyone likes a winner. In fact, many despise people who win, unless it is them!

When I was young I got a job in a warehouse filling orders for a large hardware chain. There was a 90 day probation period to review your performance so I was on. This was my first really good paying job and I didn’t want to mess it up. I worked hard and fast.

Within a couple of weeks I had employees confront me. I was told I needed to slow down and quit working so hard. What I was doing was blowing a hole in their strategy to do little as possible for as much money as possible.

I have found this to be true in my professional life and in the careers of those I coach. When you step up to use your talents and energy to the fullest, those who prefer status quo will do whatever possible to shut you down. They will look for any mistake you make, they will do like those did to me when I was young and try to intimidate you and they will gossip. If all else fails they’ll even fabricate untruths. Anything to knock you off your winning streak is their goal.

So what do you do? Start losing? Slow down?
 Keep Being a Winner but Make Sure You Are in the Right Game


  • Consider the Critic
    • First look at who is bringing the grief.
      • Whiners are never Winners. Those who like to complain are looking for something to complain about. You are a gift to them because now they have more to complain about, so keep doing what you are doing
      • Eager Beavers. If you are being confronted by someone who is fighting to climb the ladder and they are intimidated by your performance, just smile and keep doing what you are doing.
      • Lazy Lucy. Those who want to do the least for the most wake up when someone comes in who has a little gusto. A good wake-up call never hurt anyone…keep doing what you are doing.


  • Gauge the Gift
    • Self-reflection. Does your gift match your occupation? Is your talent better suited for another field of work? Are you creative working in an industry that does not appreciate creative thinking? If you are someone who colors outside the lines in an industry that freaks when a smudge gets on the paper, it might be time to find a new coloring book.
    • Poll the Passion. Does your passion match your position? Zeal comes from the heart and if your heart does not line up with your company’s mission, you might find yourself winning without any fans to applaud. If you find yourself day-dreaming about being somewhere else, using your gifts for other purposes or feel you are forcing a different vision into your job than what leaders/others like, it is time to reconsider your source of revenue.

Never quit because of the nay-sayers. Focus on those who cheer you on! However do use those moments to reflect on your passion and gifts. Nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to have the freedom to use the gifts and passion that wake you up in the morning. Likewise, nothing is more rewarding!

Busting Blocks in 2018

Have you ever trained in some form of martial arts? If so you know that to become successful it takes a lot of discipline.

I have always been amused to see someone first start out in martial arts training. Nearly every new student comes in with excitement and eagerness to learn how to break a board with a roundhouse kick and break cement blocks to dust with their hand.

As you might imagine it isn’t long before the student becomes discouraged. The training, especially in the beginning is anything but exciting. It is mundane, repetitive and could be considered boring. 1-2-3 motions repeated over and over with few of them being correctly done. The Sensei constantly corrects each movement until perfection is achieved which seems to be impossible in the student’s eyes.

We can be much the same in our daily lives. There is a desire to become the best at what we do, we want to achieve a goal, or go a new path; however the discipline it takes become the roadblocks. We therefore abandon the dream and ultimately miss the opportunities to have block-busting experiences in life.

There are three areas in life that must maintain a balance throughout our journey. Mind, Body & Spirit. So what might the basics for each of these be? While the basics may look a little different for each person, the elements are fairly close to the same.

➢ Teachable/Open
➢ Read/Learn
➢ Teach/Share

➢ Nutrition
➢ Exercise
➢ Obedience

➢ Relationship/God
➢ Relationship/Likeminded
➢ Relationship/Shared

If you read these and a few bullets strike some curiosity, good! I was successful. That is exactly what I had hoped for because I want us to take a look at a few things a little differently than the million other help books on the shelves (or internet) on how to be successful.

Success is not achieved nor is it sustained through spectacular feats. It is the repetitive, mundane and disciplined basics that few want to endure that will take us to astonishing new heights.

Join me in the weeks ahead as I break the basics down as we go into the New Year. I believe we will all grow, and if applied will regain lost ground as our lives gain traction toward the things dreamed of.

Leading Life Coaching Services
Robert & his wife Lauri are a certified Life Skills Coaches. Robert has been coaching and mentoring individuals for more than 25 years helping them to experience their fullest potential in life. To contact Robert and find out about virtual coaching email

ADVICE-What is Your Source?

I recently saw a Facebook post where a man poured his heart out as his wife hit him with the news she wanted a divorce. He was obviously distraught as he communicated his feelings of being lost.

What shocked me was the response from those reading his emotional cries for help.

Men and women alike responses were filled with negative and hatefulness. Some called his wife names though they did not know either of them. He was told to give up and go find a better life. Get a lawyer was many of their recommendation and leave the &%@!. Responders even eluded to his wife being a whore accusing her of messing around with another man, yet again, none knew the man personally nor his situation.

As I read through the comments I was taken back. Here was a person who loved his wife and, at the moment was feeling lost and hopeless, yet they poured fuel on a burning fire. He needed hope yet they piled on heaps of hopeless and reckless advice.

These people were not only giving horrible counsel that was obviously based on their own pitiful experiences, but the guidance they gave could have led him to take his own life! He was in a dark place and not thinking rationally. He was begging for a spark of hope yet few could muster up one ounce of encouragement. It was disgusting to say the least.

“For by wise counsel you will wage your own war,
and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 24:6


When looking for counsel we should not seek just “any” opinion, but rather we should search for “wise” counsel. What is Wise Counsel? Whether you are in need of advice or find yourself talking to someone in need, Wise Advice always gives hope and is based on Biblical truths. Wisdom is not given based on emotional experiences, but on factual and beneficial insight.


“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3


Have you ever heard the phrase, “Birds of a feather flock together?” That is true! People who fail do not want anyone else to succeed. They will do anything to make sure someone else does not get through something they were unable to make it to the other side of. Good counselors give life-giving advice. Wise counsel gives hope despite the situation. Those who have failed and want others to fail are not people to listen to.

When seeking advice be careful who you listen to. Are they a people who want you to come through the storm blessed? Do they have your best interest in mind? Do you feel encouraged after speaking with them?

We all need hope so be careful where you get directions in life from. It is possible to get more lost if we have the wrong people mapping out our paths.


Robert is the owner of Leading Life Coaching & Leadership Services. He is a certified professional Life Skills coach with more than 25 years of experience in helping men and women navigate life’s decisions.

For more information contact Robert:

2018-What is going to be different?

Which way are you going?

Truth is, nothing will change unless we ourselves change.

It is easy to blame. Blame takes the responsibility and spotlight off of our own blemishes. When we blame our true message is we don’t want to change.

Blame comes in many different forms and/or actions. We quit our job because the boss is a jerk. The wife is always complaining so I work longer hours. My metabolism has slowed down so that is why I’m overweight. I don’t make enough money and that is why I am always broke.

The list could go on and on as to how we make excuses through blame. Shifting the focus from what we should do about our situation onto something or someone else makes us feel as though our situation is not our fault. Even though we try to remove the responsibility, no amount of blaming is powerful enough to take away the fact that we do have the ability to change our situation.

My Covenant with God in 2018 is to be more disciplined Spiritually, Mentally and Physically. To increase my discipline means I must decrease in selfishness.

Discipline: a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules of orders. (Merriam-Webster)

Question: What keeps you from being disciplined? When you want to do right, why don’t you? As you look into the past changes that didn’t occur, what was the roadblock? Where did you get off track?

I would bet most times you, like me, will find it is some sort of self interest that takes the place of doing what you know should be done. We don’t want to obey rules. Most all of us want to do what we want to do and do not want anyone telling us otherwise.

Quiet Time in the morning is thwarted by “I need more sleep.” Losing a few pounds is lost in, “I’m a grown man, I can eat what and as much as I want.” The desire to lead my wife and family to attend church will drift away as activities, chores and friends take its place. A commitment to read more books is lost in the ease of mindless social media scrolling.

What in your life is going to be different in 2018? What are you going to change? Don’t do like many and make a list, but rather find one thing that you want to work on and make it your commitment. On a scale from 1-10, if you are a 4 at whatever it is, don’t try to be a 10. Work on being a 5. Just shift it one digit. It is not about being the best of the best, it is to be the best you can be.

You are the only person you can change. What do you want to be different when 2018 rolls to a close? You can do it with discipline, determination and selflessness.

Leading Life Leadership & Coaching Services
Robert is a certified Life Skills Coach who has been coaching and mentoring for more than 25 years. To contact Robert and find out about virtual coaching email

Words Determine Destination

“A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth…” Proverbs 12:14a

Ever known someone who vomits every thought and emotion they ever had? Think about this person for a minute. Do you see them as trustworthy? Are they a person you would trust with your deepest secret? Is this individual someone you would go to for intimate advice? More than likely not.

What we talk about and how we talk form who we are as a person. Words develop our attitude and approach to life. Words are an insight to who a person is and how they perceive life. These words we choose to speak each day actually form our perspective of life.

Have you ever noticed those who say life sucks? Isn’t it true that generally their life really does suck? What about someone you know who is always angry. Do they not have a reason to always be angry? That lady who hates the boss or her job? I bet there is always a justifiable reason for her opinion.

While I have not perfected the mastery of words, over the past few years I have honed in on being selective about what I talk about. At work, I try to be positive with situations and people. I do have those whom I discuss matters with in a raw unfiltered aspect. This is okay so long you are trying to encourage one another or determine a solution to a problem. It is important to talk about your feelings and frustration; bottling them up is as unhealthy as throwing up on everyone. But overall with the general public, I do my best to wear a smile and bring some element of positivity to people’s day.

Does this hold true at home as well as work? You bet! Perhaps even more so.

Sadly, too often we are nicer to strangers than we are those we love. At the workplace we feel as though we “have” to treat people with kindness or else we will lose our job. No one wants to find themselves in HR because they blew up and told their co-worker what they really thought about them. Yet, when home many feel as though it is time to unleash all of the day’s frustrations. To do such is more of an atrocity than the latter.

Bring It Together

Word Diet: When we want to lose weight it is important to do two things. One is to exercise and the other is monitor calorie intake. Most of the time we do these two things results will come. So what if we went on a word diet where we exercise positive talk and begin to count/limit the number of critical words we speak?

What Does It Look Like

Walk into work Monday and look for opportunities to speak positive. Compliment a smile. Thank someone for a small jester. Tell a co-worker why you enjoy working with them. At home, leave work at work. Ask your spouse about their day first and truly listen to them. Compliment and thank the other for what he or she does to contribute to the relationship. Lift up the children with words of encouragement. Turn off the electrical devices, including the television and be 100% present.

Potential road

Change your words and it will change your life. The Bible teaches that our satisfaction comes from the words we speak. The words we speak are a reflection of what we see. Start looking and speaking appreciation, thankfulness and encouragement and the unsatisfied life will slowly become a life of rich blessings.


IMG_0946Have you ever tried to rush out of the grocery store when the lines were long? I have and rarely am I successful. My strategy is often to find the shortest line or fastest clerk, jumping from lane to lane. The sad truth I always discover is that if I had simply stayed in the original line I was in I would have been long gone. But instead, because I was impatient I ended up being there longer.


The frustration can build when we try to beat the masses in the supermarket, but it is even more frustrating when we try to beat everyone else in our careers by looking for the shortest route there.


Trying to find the short line to the top comes in many shapes, forms and fashions, but it is always obvious. Job hopping, being critical or putting down others in an effort to elevate self, undermining, title chasing, sucking up, back-stabbing along with other efforts to get through the checkout faster are signs of one looking for a shortcut up.


Through my career I have seen those who are jockeying their way to the top yet rarely have I witnessed a successful maneuver. Most times those who try to manipulate or circumvent the process end up stuck. Much like the Tortoise and the Hare, they end up losing the race. Those who have managed to gain some ground end up losing what was gained at some point, because they missed growth opportunities cutting corners along the way.




The men and women I have respected and looked up to most professionally made it because of hard work and doing their best where they were at the time. Opportunity comes to those who are content in making a difference where life has them in the moment. There is a difference in being aware and open to opportunities than it is chasing them. Some people jump at perceived opportunities like a dog trying to catch gnats running around snipping and barking at everything flying around.


Work hard, grow and invest in others. That is the formula for success. If you do this it doesn’t matter who passes you for the promotion or who lands the high paying job. The reason is simple, when we focus on these three elements we are getting outside our self. On the flip side, when we are jockeying, manipulating, politicking and other wise looking for the quickest way to the top, we are inward focused. Anytime our focus becomes selfish disappointment and frustration is always there tagging along.


The quickest way to the top is right in front of you and I each day. Working hard to be the best we can be, growing as individuals to be better men & women and finally investing our lives into the lives of others.


What few understand until much later in life is that success, life at the top, isn’t position. It’s not a title nor is a salary range. Success is knowing at the end of the day you made a difference in someone else’s life. When we understand that truth we will not want to take shortcuts. No longer will we keep running to and fro chasing the shortest line because it is then that our desire will be to savor every relationship making an impact each step of the way changing lives. Success.


IMG_1835I have been a Pirates of the Caribbean fan since Hollywood rolled out the first one. Captain Jack is brilliantly played by Johnny Depp in each series. One thing that I have noted is there are many leadership and life lessons intertwined throughout the movies if you pay careful attention.

One quote, when Captain Jack is accused of being dishonest, That I find interesting is,

“I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly, it’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly stupid.” – Jack Sparrow 

Can you capture the wisdom in this! Let me change the words around to help.


“I’m flawed, and a flawed man can always be expected to make mistakes.” Honestly, it’s the perfect, those who portray themselves as having no flaws you have to watch, for you can not trust them, it won’t be long before they do something incredibly selfish.”


Transparent people are real people. Those who admit their downfalls, take responsibility for their actions and use where they have gone off track as lessons to help others avoid the pain of making the same mistakes are the ones who can be trusted.

The fact is we are all messed up in some way. If our baggage was opened up in the street for all to see we would be embarrassed and overcome with humiliation. No matter how much some people want the world around them to think their family, career, and/or life are without flaws, it’s simply not true. And it is those who live that lie that you and I should always be weary of.

We should not go around airing all of our dirty laundry, but we also should not act like we don’t have any dirty clothes. As Captain Jack says, that is incredibly stupid. That kind of behavior is a self-centered that one feels he or she has to portray a life of flawlessness. It is pride that says we keep wrongs, mistakes, weaknesses and disappointments a secret pretending they do not exist.

I have coached clients whose lives are entangled in trying to portray an image that is not achievable. They are keeping the fact they are in debt, can’t make the bills, are stressed in their careers and overall unhappy all because they are trying to keep up an image that is not real. Their lives are like a drunk squirrel caught in a clothes dryer. Every time they try to get their footing they are turned and flipped in every direction as the heat of a false life overcomes each breath more and more each day.

Truth is freeing, lies take hostages. Test it out. Think of something you have been hiding; trying to keep others from knowing. Maybe it’s a bill you can’t pay. Perhaps you drive a car you can’t afford. Is there a relationship that’s gone bad but you are pretending it’s all good? Maybe something at work is beyond your current skill set but you’ve been too prideful to ask for help. Whatever it is that comes to mind, bring it into the light with someone you trust. I guarantee you the outcome isn’t what you have feared. In fact I will bet a Pirates booty that you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your life.

We are all flawed so don’t do something incredibly stupid; be smart and let the riches of truth bless your life.


IMG_1668“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Is 42:16

Careers are not always an easy path. We are asked to do things we have not done; go places we have never been; achieve what’s has never been achieved and to go against those who seek to keep us from all that we aspire to do. One sign of weakness and the boss doubt your abilities while adversaries take every opportunity to use it for your destruction. A simple oversight or mistake can be turned into a mountain of loose boulders shifting beneath the feet of each step threatening to crush you beneath a rolling avalanche.


When we can’t see what is ahead, are not sure how to approach a new project or are attacked by forces beyond our control we as believers can find comfort in that our destiny has a guide who will help navigate and clear obstacles, some of which we never see.


When faced with challenges, whether they are things that exceed your current capabilities/experience or that are beyond your control, one can breathe a sigh of relief in that God has made us a promise to guide and smooth our path of obstacles and debris.


When things at work get rough, when you have no idea how you are going to achieve the task that is set before you, when that person who wants to taint your reputation and undermine your achievements comes along, have peace that God is in control. He sees what is ahead and has already fought the battle. All we have to do is trust and watch Him work in our lives.

what challenges do you face that need to be handed over to Him?