The Kids Need To Know

In the above video, Kid President has asked for help in making a list of things that kids need to know. He is asking kids, parents, schools & people with blogs (or blawggs as he says it) to make their own list of things kids should learn.

Since I have a blawgg I thought I could make my own list to help out KP.

There are many things that kids need to know. Here are a few that I came up with. If you have any to add, I would love to see them in the comments section below. Thanks!

 – Be thankful for what you have, unless it is bad breath, then you should be thankful for breath mints.

 – No matter how successful you have been in the past, not everything you do in the future will be perfect (just ask Star Wars Episodes 1-3).

 – It is nice to open a door for someone, even if it is an automatic door.

 – Sometimes you just have to let the cookie crumble.

 – If you can remember the first name of your bologna, you can remember the first name of your neighbor.

 – One man’s trash is another man’s sweater – so give away things you don’t use to someone who will use it.

 – Words can be tricky – like how fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing.

 – Wear sunscreen – even if you like lobster, you don’t want to look like one.

 – Hug is a small word that doesn’t make a sound, but it makes a big impact.

 – Sometimes you aren’t an All-American, but you are all American (unless you are from another country).

 – Hors d’oeuvres are not as scary as they are spelled.

 – No matter how much you smile, you can always smile more.

 – A dog is a man’s best friend, but he can’t drive you to the doctor, so it helps to have human friends too.

 – Texting can save you time, but don’t spend all your free time texting.

The Kids Need To Know

Thankful for the Super Bowl

I am thankful for the Super Bowl.

And not just because I enjoy football or because it has now filled two blog posts. But because of the creativity that surrounds the game.

Whether it is the funny commercials or the elaborate halftime show, some very innovative ideas can be found in one event.

Sometimes they are too extravagant and create controversy with wardrobe malfunctions, but more often than not they are a good look at just how imaginative people can be.

Where else do we get to see heartwarming commercials with horses that sell beer?  Or funny commercials with monkeys that offer financial services?

Most of the time the commercial has nothing to do with the product, like half naked women that sell domain names.  Maybe that is a good lesson that creating something unique and memorable is a major benefit when you have a product to show off.

So today (and Sunday) I am thankful for the Super Bowl. Who knows what inspiration we might gain from it?

Thankful ThursdayClick the image above for more Thankful Thursday posts

How Much Does a Super Bowl Commercial Cost?

The Super Bowl is this weekend and there are many storylines associated with the big game.

Will Peyton Manning win his second championship?

Will Richard Sherman have another crazy post game interview?

What will the weather be like?

But there is one storyline that often dominates the game, regardless of the teams playing…

The commercials.

Super Bowl commercials have the reputation of being the best you will see all year. Big companies pull out all the stops to make memorable ads.

And they have to because the commercials cost so much money.

In anticipation of the big game, I started to wonder how much this year’s commercials cost.

Business Week not only answered that question for me, but they also created awesome charts to explain the Super Bowl ad insanity.

According to their report, the average 30-second commercial at this year’s Super Bowl costs $4 million.

That is $133,333.33 per second.

And what’s more, the story predicts that the cost will escalate to $5 million and even $10 million in the not so distant future.

The charts are a fascinating look at how far the price of a Super Bowl ad has come in the past 40 years.

The article explains that the high price comes from the 100+ million viewers that will take in the game as well as the fact that often, the audience levels for the commercials are actually higher than the on-field play itself.

So that makes me wonder, is the crazy high price worth it?

The Business Week article seems to think it so.

They say that when considering the high number of people watching, the cost is similar to typical TV advertising. Plus you get all the other publicity that surrounds people taking about the commercials.

Fox announced that they sold out of commercial time slots back in December.

So companies must also think it is worth it.

Wonder Why Wednesday copyClick the image above for more Wonder Why Wednesday posts.

How To Create 15 Free Days

In yesterday’s post we talked about finding what you care enough about to get hit. Once you do that, you will have a road map guiding you to what you need to be doing in order to excel.

Now what?

Once you know what you are passionate about (so passionate that you will endure hits and headaches) you have to develop that craft.

In yesterday’s example, I talked about how Shin-Shoo Choo realized at a young age that he loved baseball enough to take pitches off the gut. But he wouldn’t have received $130 (let alone $130 million) if he stopped there and never worked on his game. Without knowing him, it is pretty safe to say that he has put in thousands of hours practicing his hitting, fielding and running.

Now you may be saying, “that is great, but I am not a little league baseball player. I have a job and a family and responsibilities and I can’t just spend all my time working on whatever I want.”

That is a great point.

And to that I would say, if you are really passionate about something, you will find the time.

My friend Aaron has a fantastic post on his blog about how we can all create a little extra time for ourselves.

Aaron uses the funny example of our friend John to show that you can create 15 extra days throughout the year, without much effort.

Here’s an excerpt.

“Maybe waking up two hours earlier every morning is ambitious, especially for those of us that love sleep. But, if we just attempted this for one hour and stretched it out to every day, even weekends, we would add 364 hours to our year – 15 days.”

(Click here to read the rest of Aaron’s post.)

Aaron asks the question, “What could you do with 15 extra days in your year?”

Developing your skills at what you really care about would be a great place to start.

Care Enough To Get Hit

One person gets hit more than anyone and makes $130 million. Another person quit because he didn’t like getting hit. Who made the right decision? What if I told you they both did…

Get Hit

If you have ever played baseball you know that getting hit by a pitch is not a fun thing. It can lead to bumps, bruises and broken bones.

My older brother Matt learned quickly into his Little League baseball career that he did not like getting hit by the ball.  And who can blame him.  After all, as a batter your job is to hit the baseball, not the other way around.

After taking a few pitches into the gut, Matt decided that he didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.

So he stopped playing.

Matt was a great athlete and had the skills to be a very good baseball player, but the fear of getting hit by the ball limited his potential.

Some may hear that story and think that quitting was a wrong decision. They may think that he should have stuck with baseball long enough to conquer his fears.

But quitting baseball just might have been the best decision Matt could have made for his athletic career.

Matt stopped playing baseball and devoted his time to track and football where he thrived and became an All-State performer.

The difference between Matt’s baseball career and his career in track and football is that he cared enough about track and football to fight through the hits.

Because of this, he excelled.

Had he stayed in baseball for the sole reason that you shouldn’t quit something, he would have toiled in a sport he didn’t care about and he never would have reached his potential in track and football.

Don’t misunderstand me to think that I am saying you should quit everything that gets tough. What I am saying is that Matt didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.

But Shin-Shoo Choo does.

In 2013, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Shoo Choo led Major League Baseball by being hit by a pitch 26 times.

Like Matt, I would bet that Choo was also hit by the ball numerous times as a child while playing little league.

He probably didn’t like getting hit anymore than Matt did. But he certainly liked baseball enough to stick with it and continue to get hit.

Choo also slammed over 20 home runs in 2013 and was rewarded with a seven year, $130 million contract with the Texas Rangers.

Choo obviously loves baseball enough to get hit more than anyone. And he has been rewarded for it.

In life we are all going to get hit. Whether it is a bad book review, a poor performance evaluation or fastball that gets a little too far inside, we all get bumps (in the road), bruises (egos) and broken bones (or spirits).

What is important, is finding out what you care about enough to get hit. Once you do this, you will have a road map guiding you to where you will excel.

You still may never like taking the hits, but when you love what you are doing, the hits don’t feel nearly as painful. This is what Shin-Shoo Choo has realized ($130 million probably also helps).

On the flip side, if you do not care enough to get hit, it is better to take Matt’s approach and do something else with your talents. Doing this will bring out the best in your talents and abilities.

Whether it is life or baseball, you are going to get hit. A lot. In order to be successful you must determine what you care enough about to take those hits and keep going (and going and going).


Do you keep fighting after most people have quit?

How long will you last in the face of adversity?

The answer might just be found in the strength of your sisu.

Pronounced SEE-su is a Finnish word that is defined as an inner fire that creates strength when going up against great odds.

Never heard of sisu before? You are not alone.

The word is widely considered to lack a proper translation from Finnish into a single word in any other language.

Having guts is probably the closest English term to sisu.

But it is even more than just having guts or grit. You have to add duration.

It is one thing to have fortitude and take a chance briefly. It is another thing to stick with that decision when things get tough and everyone around you is giving up.

Sisu has been called Finland’s version of drive and a quiet force that never quits.

“It is a compound of bravado and bravery, of ferocity and tenacity,” wrote Time magazine in a story about Finland in 1940. “Of the ability to keep fighting after most people would have quit, and to fight with the will to win.”

Bravado, bravery, ferocity, force, tenacity, drive, and will to win. All wrapped up in one word…sisu.

That is one powerful word.

According to Wikipedia

Every week I have a Wonder Why Wednesday post where I answer a question that I have been wondering about.

And nearly every week I look in one place to find my answer…Wikipedia.

Wikipedia has organized information so well that it has become the default place to start my search when I want to learn about something.

In the off chance that Wikipedia doesn’t have what I am looking for, I am tempted to give up and stop my search altogether.

If I can’t find it on Wikipedia, then I feel it probably doesn’t exist.

I did a quick search through my blog and I have used the phrase “according to Wikipedia” 11 times.

Maybe I should consider changing the name from “Wonder Why Wednesday” to “According to Wikipedia.”

So for that fact and more, I am thankful for Wikipedia. Thank you for providing answers to all of my life’s questions.

Thankful ThursdayClick the image above for more Thankful Thursday posts

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Our fingers have many important functions.

They are used for work (like typing on a computer or dialing numbers on a phone).

They are used for play (like kicking a game winning field goal in paper football or making shadow puppets).

They are even used for exercise (thumb wrestling) and communication (sign language).

But are they used for luck?

If your favorite football team is attempting a game winning field goal, you may cross your fingers.

When you tell a friend you will “keep your fingers crossed” for him, you are wishing your pal good luck.

If you really think about it, “fingers crossed” is an odd saying. What does twisting up a part of your body have to do with luck?

And why fingers? What makes them so lucky? If they are so lucky, why do we refer to a lucky rabbit’s foot and not a lucky rabbit’s finger?

Where does the saying “keep your fingers crossed” come from? That is what I am wondering today…

According to Wikipedia, the phrase “fingers crossed” has religious roots.

“In the time of the early Church, Christians would cross their fingers in order to invoke the power associated with the Christian cross for protection, when faced with evil. Moreover, Christians, when persecuted by the Romans, used the symbol of crossed fingers, along with the Ichthys, in order to recognize one another and assemble for worship services. In 16th century England, people continued to cross fingers or make the sign of the cross in order to ward off evil, as well as when people coughed or sneezed.”

I find that very interesting. I had never considered that crossing my fingers was a religious symbol. I had never thought that two fingers intertwined looked anything like a cross.

So it turns out that crossing your fingers has more to do with protection than luck. And more to do with warding off evil than wishing for good.

Maybe the saying isn’t so odd after all.

Wonder Why Wednesday copyClick the image above for more Wonder Why Wednesday posts.

This Feels One Sided

This week I was able to join the guys on the This Feels One Sided Podcast! I had a lot of fun chatting with Matt & Casey and I think you all will really like it. Among many other things we discuss the following:

  • The warm weather in southern California.
  • How my book can help you put unruly kids to sleep.
  • What books and authors inspired me as a kid.
  • The unveiling of a segment called Busta Rhymes or Dr. Seuss.
  • How my nights resemble a Paranormal Activity film.
  • And more!

Listen to the interview on iTunes:

Like the podcast on Facebook:

Check it out on Soundcloud:

Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day I thought it would be appropriate to share some awesome quotes from Dr. King. He had so many great ones to choose from, but here are 10 that I really enjoyed reading.

10 Martin Luther King Jr Quotes

– “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” 

– “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

– “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

– “The time is always right to do what is right.”

– “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

– “Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.”

– “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

– “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service…You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

– “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

– “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”


Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!