Wired For Adventure: Dare to Take the Road Less Traveled!

 Blogs  Comments Off on Wired For Adventure: Dare to Take the Road Less Traveled!
Jun 172013
Bilbo's Band of Friends

Going with a band of friends on an Adventure

One of the deepest longings in all of us is the desire to make a difference in this world.  Though most of life is full of the mundane and ordinary, which is important and keeps us grounded, deep down all of us crave adventure. Even the most risk adverse or timid homebody is drawn towards epic stories of bravery, honor, deep friendship, and yes, even some romance. Some of us fantasize about what it would be like to go on a quest with close friends to overcome evil with good. We often choose to live these longings vicariously through someone else’s story rather than daring to take the road less traveled for ourselves. Just look at how popular the recent movie the Hobbit is or how many kids are immersed in video role playing games, especially boys.

The next generation is searching for a an adventure worth giving their lives for!

Don't let fear keep you from saying YES to an adventure!

Don’t let fear keep you from saying YES to an adventure!

Most of us are like Bilbo Baggins from the movie the Hobbit. Bilbo is quite content to stay put in Hobbiton where life is safe and predictable. That all changes when Gandolf and the dwarves show up at his house and invite him to join him on a grand adventure to restore and redeem their homeland from the evil dragon. Initially, he refuses the invitation to join the dwarves on their odyssey. He is afraid, feels inadequate, and would rather enjoy the comforts of Hobbiton than risk signing up for a sojourn with Gandolf and the dwarves which would be rife with danger and uncertainty. After the dwarves leave to start their journey, Bilbo is overcome with that gnawing internal tug we all have to be part of something life changing and not miss out by giving in to our doubts. He overcomes his fears and runs after the dwarves embarking on the joy and challenge of taking the road less traveled with a few, faithful, forgiving friends.

We are all wired for adventure!

We are all wired for adventure!

Deep down we all want to be part of a grand story where even the menial and the mundane things of life have meaning. In short, we all want to live a life of significance. We want our lives to count for something. Even the most shy, fearful person is wired for an adventure that makes a difference.Adventure Seeking

Some try to escape the tedious, ho hum, daily grind by becoming thrill seekers. They embark on some daring feat like climbing Mount Everest, or becoming adrenaline junkies by always pushing the limits. They attempt crazy pursuits such as hang gliding, or the latest craze in Norway, called wingsuit jumping. This is a sport where folks climb to the top of a cliff overlooking a fiord and jump. The first hundred or so feet you free fall. Then at the last possible moment you pull the ripcord for your parachute and hope it works to break your fall before you splat on the valley below.  Sounds crazy to me!

The majority of us will never attempt such great exploits, yet all of us are being invited to go on a grand adventure where we become contributors and sojourners in the Big Story of God’s plan to rescue and restore this world back to His original idea. Yes, as amazing as it sounds, you and I are being tapped on the shoulder with the invitation to join God on His mission to bring justice, peace, beauty, reconciliation, renewal, and restoration to all of God’s creation. (Romans 8:18-21; II Cor. 5:18-20) We have the privilege to be part of God’s natural and super natural solutions to end poverty, to provide clean water and education for all, to be advocates of justice for abused women and children, to eradicate diseases such as HIV and malaria, to bring real peace between competing and warring peoples and ethnic groups, to discover clean energy sources that don’t damage the environment, to create beauty and communicate truth through the arts, and to be the delivery boy or girl who brings the message of Hope to all: the Good News that the Creator of the Universe loves us and desires to have a relationship with each and every one of us.

We are not to go on this journey alone. God promises His backing, and all of His resources to help us. We are to find a circle of friends who together ask these three questions: “What part are you and I to play in God’s Big Story?” and “What are the gifts, talents, and ideas given to us from God to make a difference in this world? ” and “Who are the band of friends that we are link arms with on this grand adventure?”

To take our place in this Grand Story requires taking a risk and choosing to take the road less traveled. These choices are presented to us daily in small ways, and then occasionally in our lives we are given opportunities to choose a path that results in monumental and deeply impacting changes to us and the world we live in. With that I leave you with this poem from Robert Frost to reflect on as you and I contemplate the choices before us:

Divergent Paths



by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 

And sorry I could not travel both 

And be one traveller, long I stood

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same, 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Road Less Traveled

Here’s to living a life full of purpose and adventure. Take the road less traveled and see where it takes you!

Demystifying Our Life Calling: Diving Into the Zig Zag Adventure of Connecting the Dots

 Blogs  Comments Off on Demystifying Our Life Calling: Diving Into the Zig Zag Adventure of Connecting the Dots
Jun 052013

Connecting the dots 1Many of us struggle all our lives with the existential questions such as, “Why am I on planet earth?”, or when framed in a more religious context, “What is God’s will for my life?” The quest to discover the answer to these questions leaves many of us stuck in a fatalistic, passive, ho-hum resignation that the answer is to mystical or difficult to figure out. It feels like we have to be a spiritual guru, mystic or prophet who regularly gets open-eyed 3-D visions, hears the audible voice of God, or sees angels. If not a mystic, we feel like we have to be Bill Gates with the intellect of a genius to unravel the labyrinth of life.

Realizing that we are not spiritual giants or geniuses, we decide to just let life happen to us, or hope that God zaps us with a clear directive dictated through the proverbial writing on the wall or through a vision of an angel telling us what to do. We end up paralyzed as we grope around in the dark or fog waiting for this sudden flash of light, angelic appearance, or prophet to illuminate the path or direction we should take. We end up feeling like the quest for our life’s purpose is much like playing the proverbial game of pin the tail on the donkey blindfolded. At best we have a 10% – 30% chance at hitting the mark.

This is not to say that God doesn’t speak to some through more exotic or supernatural means on a regular basis. It is the feeling and thinking that if we don’t regularly get dreams, visions, or angelic visitations then something is wrong with us spiritually, or that we don’t quite measure up that I want to free us from. God does speak through extra-ordinary ways when we are in danger, need a dramatic change in direction, or when we start out developing our spiritual radar to encourage us that He is real! Yet for most of us and in most cases the journey of hearing God’s voice is a conversational relationship between two friends that recognize each others voice after spending a lot of time together. They don’t need to shout at one another to get each other’s attention!

Rubix CubeOthers of us embark on a complicated journey of attempting to unravel the mystery as if it were a game that we can conquer if we could only figure out the rules and master them. We think our life calling is like a riddle, a Rubix cube brain teaser, or like trying to untangle a knotted ball of yarn that simply needs to be figured out. If we just get the formula right or execute our 5 year plan, the road map for our lives will be clear and a straight line to our end destination. The harder we try to make things happen and bring about our desired outcome, the more we realize that we are not fully in control. There are surprises and serendipitous encounters that just happen and become pivotal threads in forming the tapestry of our life mission.

For many, the quest for our life purpose or God’s will for our lives seems so illusive, and only to be attained by the few really smart people or the spiritually elite folks. We feel like schmucks or second class citizens when others speak with confidence about their life mission and how they are living it. I want to debunk this kind of thinking.

If only I could figure out the way through the labyrinth?

If only I could figure out the way through the labyrinth?

“Finding our calling should not be so complicated and mystical. It is neither a formula or a mystery! It is more like the zig zag adventure of connecting the dots by following our hunches in the midst of making value based choices. As we follow our intuition with intention, the bigger picture of our life mission takes shape.”  Tim Schultz

It is a series of daily small decisions we make like choosing which stones to step on to get to the other side of the river. It is both a subjective and objective process where we need to give up the fear of making mistakes or getting it wrong. I want to demystify this journey of discovery of our life purpose by suggesting some ways to connect the dots and have fun doing it.

  • Listen, trust, and move on your hunches, gut feelings, nudges, or what Christians call the ‘still small voice or whisper’. (I Kings 19:12)  Other words to describe your gut feeling is intuition or discernment. For Christians, this is where the interaction and conversation with the Holy Spirit takes place.


  • How do I know whether my hunches are right to follow?

    How do I know whether my hunches are right to follow?

    I know that following one’s hunches raises some good questions like: “How do I know that my hunches are right and that I’m not just making stuff up or being led by my emotions?”  “How do I know whether the still small voice is God or not?” Like any relationship, we learn to recognize the familiarity of the voice of our friend by spending time with them, listening to them, and risk taking on what we hear. (John 10:4-5; II Cor. 2: 12-13) Another safeguard is to test our gut feelings through the filter of our core values. If a hunch contradicts them then best to test that hunch by consulting some friends, collecting more objective info, and not making a rash decision based on our hunch. 


  • Make room for, and adjust to the surprises and serendipitous encounters or experiences that come along your path and change your course, or interrupt you plans! (Proverbs 16:9;I Cor. 16:5-9) Interruptions to our plans are to remind us that as much as we plan there are factors beyond our control that shape who we are to become. We can fight or resist these seeming zigs and zags, and in doing so miss out on wonderful opportunities or open doors.


  • Get the car in drive. Start moving in a direction even if the road map is not yet fully clear as to where you
    Which way do I go?

    Which way do I go?

    will end up.  If you need to make adjustments to your course, you can do so while in motion, or if God needs to re-direct you He can do so even through more dramatic ways such as through a dream, vision, or an angel. (Acts 16:6-10)


  • Daily Live Your Values. (I Thess. 5:16-22) These are the ropes or chains that you hold on to and keep you from straying off the path and over a cliff by making decisions solely on subjective feelings that could be catastrophic. If you are a follower of Jesus start by ‘obeying the Book.’ As you do the general will of God, He will give you the specifics.


  • What do I really love doing?

    What do I really love doing?

    Figure out what you are good at, what you really enjoy doing, and keep doing more of that. (Romans 12:6-8) I tell people that I was born to coach, start things-which means being a catalyst, and connecting people to one another. One reflection exercise to help unearth these passions or motivational gifts is to look back on your life up to this point and track what kinds of things have you done where you felt a sense of this is what I was created to do. When have you experienced the most joy, fulfillment, and a clear sense of contribution?


  • Ask for input from friends or community around you. (Proverbs 15:22;16:20) Court counsel from folks who really know you, are for you, and will be honest with you even to the point of telling you what you might not like to hear.


  • Have fun in the adventure and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!


By Tim Schultz


5 Tips For Achieving Your Purposes In Life With Passion

 Blogs  Comments Off on 5 Tips For Achieving Your Purposes In Life With Passion
Jul 202012

Setting Clear Purposes Gives Us Focus

With the Olympic games just around the corner, I thought I would share with you the 5 tips I spoke about in a recent hockey camp with a group of around 30 kids between the ages of 8-15. The same principles that work for achieving one’s goals in a sport are also applicable for any our life pursuits.


  • The obstacles to setting goals are the fear of failure, the fear of not having what it will take, and the fear of what other people will think.
  • “If you aim for nothing you will accomplish nothing.”
  • Set SMART goals: Specific, Motivational, Accountable, Realistic, and Timely.

Pure Passion

  • Other words for passion are energy, motivation, zest, intensity, and charisma.
  • Your passions are the things you love to do without being told.
  • They are the talents you have been given.
  • They are the interests or dreams you have.
  • PASSION KILLERS IN YOUR LIFE:  Apathy, Naysayers in your life or Negative voices, Disappointment, Mediocrity and Grumbling or Complaining.

Seeing Through the Pain to the Prize


  • “Pursuing your purpose with passion will mean pressing through pain.”
  • “Anything worth doing will cost you something.”
  • What are the problems, obstacles or hard things that you are facing right now that you think are keeping you from going for purposes or goals?
  • We need mentors and heroes who have been through some pain to reach their purposes
  • We need people who will cheer us on when the going gets tough and tell us that we have what it takes.
  • List 5 people that inspire you and the 5 qualities about these people that attract you to them.
  • These same characteristics that you like in your mentors or heroes are resident within you.
  • Mentors or Heroes will: Call us out, Coach us, Correct us, Comfort us, and Coax us out of the nest.

    The Posse of Dads and Sons Pursuing Our Passion Together

  • Other words for perseverance are tenacity, finishing strong, resiliency, and determination.
  • “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Malcolm Gladwell
  • It takes 10,000 hours or 10 years of practice to become proficient at a skill or talent.
  • “Practice is those things you do when know one else is watching.”
  • “To the degree we prepare and practice, we can improvise, be spontaneous, and intuitive in a sport and the game of life.”
Go For It.

How Do We Change Part 1: Living From the Heart

 Blogs  Comments Off on How Do We Change Part 1: Living From the Heart
Jan 132012

With the dawning of a new year, many of us are in the throes of taking stock of our lives by reflecting on the highs and lows of the last year, and trying to implement grand plans, or as we like to call them, resolutions, to try and change things we don’t like in our lives. For example, I have noticed the same trend year after year at the gym I go to.  Folks sign up in droves for a gym membership at the beginning of the year, determined to lose weight and get in shape. Yet after a month or so the crowds thin out, and I see mostly the familiar faces of the “regulars”.  People desperately want to change bad habits, but after trying for awhile, they often give up.

Another trend I have noticed in myself and others is what I call “destiny malaise”. Destiny malaise is a condition that can creep up on us even when we have a safe and secure job that pays the bills, offers opportunity for promotion, and a pension at retirement.  Yet, instead of being fulfilled, free, and joyful, we have this underlying feeling that we are going through the motions and not living out the purpose for which we have been placed on planet earth.  When we slow down and listen to our hearts, there is this nagging sense that there must be more to life, and we long to make a difference in the world. For others, destiny malaise comes from feeling stuck in a job that they hate or that is not what they are passionate about. (This is not to say that we can’t find joy or purpose in the mundane tasks of life.) It occurs when we settle for less than we should; when we buy into a false bill of goods about what it means to be successful.

Living with a sense of significance, the awareness that what we are doing is making a difference, and being true to ourselves – these are much better indicators of success. The two questions that I keep coming back to at the beginning of every year are:  Do people actually change? If so, how do people change? With these seminal questions in mind, I would like to do a three part blog on:  How we might actually bring about lasting change in our lives.

Passion Flows From Listening to Your Heart

The first step to change is learning to live from the heart. Unless we get in touch with who we really are, and what we really want, we will lack the passion, gumption, and motivation to change. Many of us are living life trying to satisfy the inner voices of the “ought self”. The ought self is what we feel obligated to be, or what other people think or have told us we should be. I have talked to people who really wanted to be artists, and yet are living under obligation to their parents, who told them that they had to pursue a career as a doctor or engineer, so that they could make a good living.  Now there is nothing wrong with being a doctor or engineer if that is what you are passionate about, and if you feel like you are making a difference in the world. The issue is not what vocation you choose, but whether you are being true to who you are and living with a sense of significance. I admire accountants, but if I tried to be an accountant I would be miserable!

Don’t let the opinion or agendas of others define who you should be. I believe that some of our struggle to change unhealthy habits is connected to living life without purpose or passion. We then anesthetize our pain or relieve our boredom/malaise  with addictions to food, sex, other drugs, and activities that provide an escape or ramp up the adrenaline! These habits dull our ability to hear the inner voice in our heart calling us to more. If we don’t live from the heart we die a little each day. The book of Proverbs puts it this way, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is the tree of life.”

Os Guiness says it this way, “Our passion is to know we are fulfilling the purpose for which we are on earth.  All the standards of success – wealth, power, knowledge, position, fame – grow tiny and hollow if we do not satisfy this deeper inner longing!”

Here are some questions and a reflection excercise to help you listen to your heart:

1. What would you keep on doing even if you weren’t paid for it?

2. When have you felt the most alive?

3. What kind of job would make you want to get out of bed each day with energy and desire?

4. What is your purpose for being on earth and how would you like to make a difference in the world?

5. Where are you in bondage to the “ought self” – trying to be what someone else thinks you should be, or, where are you held back by the fear of what other people think of you?

6. Try this reflection exercise each day as a tool to learn to listen to your heart.  Ask and be attentive to these two questions:  What made me happy today or what gave me life? What made me sad today or was a life drainer?  The life giving experiences are clues to living from the heart, and the life draining experiences may be clues to what you need to avoid or where you are not living from the heart.

7.  Ask those who know you well what you are good at and then do more of that!

I close with this quote from Steve Jobs, which sums up what it means to follow your heart: “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like, ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ Since then…I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Your time is limited…Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”