Image for post
Image for post

I get it. You could care less about my snowblower. I can appreciate that, but walk with me for a moment as I share some life lessons this old snowblower taught me. I’ll make it worth your while, I promise…

COVID-19 has led many of us down the path of picking up old hobbies or taking on projects that we would have sidestepped in 2019. With some extra time at home on our hands, and a restlessness that builds up inside from time to time, this pandemic has brought out some sides of our personality we may have forgotten were there. A little more bold, a little more adventurous, a little more outside our comfort zone. …


Image for post
Image for post

I bent, and I bent, and I bent… and finally, I broke.

I’ve tried hard to stay optimistic throughout this pandemic and not allow the virus to steal my joy. I’m a positive, glass-half-full, life-is-good kind of guy. Every challenge represents an opportunity. There’s a silver lining to every cloud. God’s got this under control.

If you’ve read my writing, you know that’s who I am at my core. Optimism is in my DNA.

This week, though, that got hijacked. Living in Minnesota, we’re facing another round of shutdowns. The closures began slowly last week, and the cuts got deeper this past Wednesday. School has now closed for my kids, and we’re back to a full virtual learning model. There’s a growing number of people that I know who have the virus. …


Image for post
Image for post

“Be thankful for the ups and downs. What negative experience has brought you something good?”

We wrote that back in 2019 (right about this time of year, in fact) as we were preparing our 2020 Bounce calendar, specifically for the month of November. The theme of the full desk calendar was “Challenging you to bring positivity to 2020!” We had no idea then what that would mean today…

Looking at November’s theme sitting on our desks, that reminder to be thankful for the ups and downs is a good one. It’s been a year full of peaks and valleys, and in some respects, we all know it’s not done yet. …


Image for post
Image for post

Gratitude. It’s a topic that becomes top of mind in November as we prepare to gather at our dinner tables and share a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. For one month, we collectively slow down to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for. This year, as we’re enduring a global pandemic and the web of challenges that have come with it, the idea of reflecting on what we’re thankful for is even more important… and challenging.

It can be hard to embrace gratitude in the midst of loss. Many will have an empty seat at the table this year over the holidays. Family and traditions will be far away for others. Some have lost jobs this year, and some are carrying heavy financial burdens. Relationships have been strained, and some have been lost as well. Our kids have lost some of their connections to school, friends, and the activities they love. We’ve lost the personal connection that comes from meeting for a coffee or grabbing lunch with one another. …


Image for post
Image for post

It’s Wednesday… the day after elections in America. Full disclosure — we decided to write this message before we knew the outcome. This is being crafted with full blinders on. Whatever happened yesterday, right now roughly half of you are excited about the outcome and the direction things are trending. The other half of you are dismayed, upset, and all-around disappointed in the results.

There’s a chance that even now, as you’re reading this, we still have no idea who won. Here’s what we do know, without a shadow of a doubt…

Regardless who won/wins, where we go from here is less about who’s in the White House and more about how we step up as individuals. Yes, it matters who gets elected, but we are still responsible for one another at the end of the day. We’re the ones responsible for protecting each other’s freedoms, for creating change, for caring for our homeless and hungry, and for lifting each other up when challenges arise. …


Image for post
Image for post

It can be really easy to focus on what everyone else needs. What do my kids need as they’re navigating the challenges of virtual-learning? What does my spouse need as they’re trying to carry everything at home and work? What do my coworkers need as we’re balancing all of this and trying to perform well at the same time? What do our older parents need as they’re battling isolation and loneliness? What do my friends need as they’re walking this path at a distance?

All of these are important — especially right now.


Image for post
Image for post

There are so many conversations about “resilience” floating around out there right now. It’s one of those words we’ve put on a pedestal. Just like the buzzwords “pivot” and “new normal,” we’ve heard “resilience” everywhere we go today, so much so that I fear we’ve glossed over the actual depth of the word.

Let me step back for just a moment…

I recently sat down for coffee with a retired business owner here in the Twin Cities. He’s seventy-six-years-old and spent five decades at work. His work life began as a young boy when he would work for other farmers at night after finishing his chores at home. Mom was ill, and there were medical bills to pay — so he did his part. Listening to him speak, he shared stories about the journey he had walked with the vigor of a twenty-year-old. …


Image for post
Image for post

I got an email today from a vendor we’ve used in the past to help our clients. They’re a company in Iowa who produces rubber stamps. It’s been years since we worked with them, and when the email came through I almost skipped right past it. No, I don’t need a stamp today. Then I saw the flames…

There was a picture of a building on fire. Engulfed. Flames coming out the roof, and smoke as far as you could see. You see, this email was a follow up to a 3-alarm fire that occurred last week, one that required fire trucks from four cities. …


Image for post
Image for post

One of the best things that have come about through all of this year’s video chats is our exposure to each other’s mug collections. If you look closely, you might just catch a glimpse during your next Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet. That happened this morning, to which the following was exclaimed, “That’s a BIG mug!”

Here’s why we’re sharing this… That simple statement led to one of those elusive “laugh so hard you cry” moments during today’s team Skype call. In the midst of everything going on, it was refreshing to just laugh together for a moment. To be goofy and dumb. …


Image for post
Image for post

We love the rewards. We love the destination, the prize, and the achievements.

All of those things feel good. But how many of us love the climb?

I heard Evan Carmichael mention this the other day, and it’s been on my mind ever since…

How many of us really love the journey? Who loves those moments when the path we’re on gets rocky, steep, and slippery? Who loves the failures, defeats, and those moments where we fall and get scraped up? …

About

John Gamades

Creative, entrepreneur, blogger, husband, and dad — focused on cutting through the negative noise with a message of positivity and growth.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store