Get the Ball Rolling


At some point, most of us have said something like, “I know I should eat better” or “I wish I’d stayed in touch with my cousin” or “I really want to get outside more.” But we haven’t done it...yet.

The choices you make at lunch today can mean actually changing things for the better.

Don’t overthink whatever it is you want to do, and don’t churn up a hundred reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t start today. Make some food, enjoy it, and give that thing you’ve been wanting to do a 15-minute chance. Then let yourself feel a little braggish. (I know that’s not a word, but it should be.) Taking one small step away from boredom or restlessness and towards satisfaction is a pretty big win.

C’mon. It’s just one day. It’s just lunch. You can’t fail.

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"Lunch Pail Kind of Guy" Changes the World

In this article, Dale Schroeder is described as having been a working-class, bring your lunch kind of guy. He had a quiet dream: he never had the opportunity to go to college. So DS went to work every day, and he worked hard.

And he saved more than $3 million to be awarded as tuition money after he died (in 2005).

Thirty-three people graduated from college debt-free thanks to DS. When they met recently to honor this man they’d never met, they gathered around his old lunch box.

A simple object, a quiet man, and a powerful symbol of what’s possible when we pursue what matters to us.

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Different fights. Same big win.

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Most people know that there are different boxing weight classes (e.g. featherweight, welterweight, heavyweight), but did you know that length of an amateur fight varies a lot, too?

For example, pee-wee boxers (ages 8-10) can go for three one-minutes rounds, and elite females (experienced fighters ages 19-40) can fight four three-minute rounds. And there’s a big difference between spending 3 minutes and 12 minutes in the ring.

But all fighters train pretty much the same way: push-ups, hand pads, heavy bag, burpees and sprints. (And more.) It requires the discipline to show up at the gym, and show up for themselves at home, like getting enough sleep. All fighters learn what it means to feel brave, and to feel afraid.

Whatever fight you’re trying to win is personal. Maybe your dream isn’t to show the world you’re still standing at the end of three sweaty boxing rounds. For you, it’s finally becoming a writer, or building something with your hands. Maybe it’s just being a person who can take a few deep breaths when you need them.

No matter what the fight is that’s so intimately our own, what we want is the same: to show the world what our best looks like. 

That’s means getting started the same way everybody else gets started, whether you’re a pee-wee or an elite, a pro or an amateur. Show up for yourself, and show yourself what your best can look like even if its for just minutes in what would otherwise be a typical day.

Life speaks to us. And you've decided to listen.

I just heard Marcus Buckingham talk about individuality and how it doesn’t get valued as much as it should. This is disappointing, but not surprising to me. It would be tidy for the world if we all fit nicely into round-peg holes, but I know I’m a square, and maybe you’re a shape that doesn’t even have a name yet.

In this 2-minute video tidbit, MB says:

Your life speaks to you in a language only you can understand.

Box Lunch Lifestyle helps remind us that we’re individual humans first before we’re project managers or parents.

So congratulate yourself today for taking your own individuality seriously, and living it—sometimes in an environment that doesn’t appreciate it. You’re curious and willing to listen. Other people may not understand what it is that feeds you, so their advice and expectations aren’t the way to find that end-of-day satisfaction you seek. Good for you for being brave enough and strong enough to show up for that quirky, wonderful You. Maybe not every day, but on most of them.

Because it matters. You matter. Keep going.

MB has written, among other things, about using your StrengthsFinder® strengths. His book  Nine Lies About Work  was published in April 2019.

MB has written, among other things, about using your StrengthsFinder® strengths. His book Nine Lies About Work was published in April 2019.

Friday Inspiration from Mary Oliver

This line from The Summer Day has followed me since the early 90s and it’s been an anchor for me at many of life’s crossroads. I was sad to hear she’d died, because a dream for me was to send her a copy of my book—with my gratitude to her on the dedication page.

This precious life is made up of moments. Let’s feel as alive as possible for as many as we can. And let’s fight for those moments if they don’t just land in our laps. Find 15 minutes today to experience something meaningful, and grab them.