This Is Me!

Who has seen The Greatest Showman? If you have then you’re familiar with the song that shares the title of this blog post. Or, if you missed the movie, you may have watched as Keala Settle performed “This Is Me at this year’s Academy Awards.

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, click here and listen closely to the lyrics. Now, listen again … and again. Does this song resonate with you? If so, which lines moved you the most – and why?

When we first saw The Greatest Showman several weeks ago, we loved it and the music – so much so that we downloaded the soundtrack on the way to the car as we left the theater. We’ve since spoken to several others that also downloaded this soundtrack as soon as the movie ended. It’s just one of those rousing movies that, for some reason, stirs something inside us. Why do you think that is? What is it about this song, this movie, its message that moves so many of us?

Perhaps it’s because, deep down, many of us can relate to having been marginalized, excluded, or alienated at some point in our lives – perhaps some of you feel like that now. If so, then you know very well the deep pain of the disdainful looks and disparaging comments from condescending folks that simply don’t “get it.” And you’ve been fighting to stand out, be acknowledged, and be known for who you are – not who the world wants you to be.

And then along comes a movie with a song that contains lyrics like these:

“I am brave, I am bruised

I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ‘cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me!”

Often this world can be such a harsh place if we don’t fit the perfect model of what we are supposed to look like, act like, and succeed like. No wonder so many of us are constantly keeping up with the Joneses.

We get it. We really do. But here’s the deal. For some of us, our biggest accuser, discourager, and naysayer is none other than ourselves and, if we take a good hard look in the mirror and are honest, we know this to be true.

We are not discounting the fact that many folks, even entire groups and cultures, are disparaged and discriminated against simply because of who they are. As shameful as that is it still happens way too often.

What we are saying, and we wrote about in our book, Who Are the Joneses Anyway?, is that too many of us are harder on ourselves than the outside world is. And, as a way of trying to become someone we think we should be, we engage in all sorts of unhealthy habits that have a common denominator called keeping up with the Joneses – or seeking to look, act, and live the way others do, hoping that this will help us at last fit in.

Who says you have to become someone other than who you are? We would argue that the foundation of discovering greater joy, impact, and balance in your lives is discovering who you are and living confidently knowing that. Do not think for even a minute you are any less a person just because others’ condescending eyes try to make you believe you are.

If you’ve learned, from yourself or others, to be ashamed of who you are, take a cue from the song “This Is Me:”

“Another round of bullets hits my skin

Well, fire away ‘cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in

We are bursting through the barricades and

Reaching for the sun …

I won’t let them break me down to dust”

Move beyond hope and into a life of courageously expecting greater things than you ever imagined.

Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob and Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches



Keeping Up with The Joneses by Proxy

“Life is not a race to the finish; it’s about running your own race and finishing well.” – Bob & Susan Karcher

Since the start of the year, we’ve been blogging about expecting greater things in 2018, overcoming the obstacles and fears faced on this journey, and putting a plan together to move your life from where you are to where you want to be.

As we prepared to write our first book, Who Are the Joneses Anyway?, we spent a lot of time studying the cultural phenomenon known as Keeping up with the Joneses. As we did, we discovered that we can all get pretty creative in our unstated goal to appear successful. This creativity is sometimes obvious but, most often, it happens subconsciously. As we view the world around us, we feel like we need to measure up, and our minds start creating ways to make that happen, even if just a little at a time.

One of the most prevalent methods unwittingly used to demonstrate our own success is something we call “Joneses by Proxy.” As the pressure to work hard and prove ourselves worthy develops it naturally evolves into including our children. If being successful means having the best of everything then, by extension, our kids must have the same and providing everything we want our children to have can even start with preschool.

Families that spend large amounts to get their children into exclusive preschools can start the race for parents—and their children—earlier than ever before. While some embrace the race, others don’t feel they have what it takes to put their kids through a high-stakes process designed to weed three-year-olds out of programs in which acceptance can be based more on who the parents are and how much money they have than the attributes of the child being considered for acceptance.

In a Huffington Post article titled “Blowing Off the Joneses”, Mike Julianelle described the pressure he felt to get his child into the “right” preschool. This author wondered if his child was not accepted to the best preschool, would he also not be accepted into the right college fifteen years from now?

While recognizing this pressure, Julianelle pushes it away and says he thinks that “the culture of competition that has arisen around parenting and kids is toxic and I don’t want much part in it.”

Julianelle goes on to frame his thoughts: “I don’t care who else is enrolled, or if it puts him on the right track towards the right kindergarten and elementary school and high school and college and graduate school. I’m raising a person, not a chain reaction…Sometimes it’s better to march to the beat of your own drum than get into a race of ‘Keeping up with the Joneses.’”

All parents feel the pressure to be perceived as loving, supportive parents. We all want our kids to have more than we had—but we also want them to be who they are supposed to be, don’t we?

“We all want our kids to have more than we had—but we also want them to be who they are supposed to be, don’t we?”

It’s time to ask, “Are the very things we are doing and providing actually setting our children up for something other than happiness and success?”

Will they constantly be searching to have nicer things later in life because they didn’t get enough as children? Could all the extravagant birthday parties, expensive toys, and designer diapers we provide really be about living out our own keeping up with the Joneses lifestyle vicariously through our children — a kind of Joneses by proxy?

Our culture has bought into the lie that with money and success we can find happiness. It won’t work — it never does! Neither true happiness nor lasting contentment will ever be found solely through possessions or career advancement. There is nothing wrong with money and success until we think they hold the keys to contentment.

Life is not a race to the finish; it’s about running your own race and finishing well. This is a lesson worth teaching our kids through our example rather than just our words.

Let’s all help our children expect more in 2018. Not more stuff … more life.


Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob and Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches

Our Five E’s

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau

Happy 2018! This is going to be an amazing year, don’t you think?

What was that? Was that even a little hesitation after that question? Is there a hint of indecision that this will be an amazing year? If so, what is causing you to question rather than confidently declare “yes, this will be an amazing year!”?

We have been working with others for years in our coaching practice, helping them move towards living the lives filled with passion and purpose that they were created for. Do you know what one of the most common explanations is for why so many of us don’t start a new year with confidence? Lack of a plan. Too many of us are simply existing rather than thriving year after year. Much of this is because we don’t take the time to reflect on where we are and where we want to be 365 days from now … and then put a plan in place to get there. The start of a new year is a great time to do this.

As coaches, we believe we have to walk our talk because we believe we cannot lead others where we have not been ourselves. So we thought we’d share our goals for 2018 with you to give you a sneak peek at the areas we are going to focus on this year. Because we like making goals easy to remember, we call these our “Five E’s.” Maybe these will give you a starting point for planning your year.

Expect: We’re looking ahead confidently into a year of great things. We can’t express how important it is to plan with great expectation because what we plan, we will accomplish. We wrote about this in our last blog post. If you missed that, you can click here to read it now.

Engage: We intend to become more directly involved in the people, movements, and interests that we feel most called to participate with. For us, these include our family, our church community, Who Are the Joneses Anyway?, and ministry movements we are called to. We have specific strategies on how we intend to deepen our commitment in each of these areas.

Educate: This always starts with educating ourselves in areas where we feel we need to go deeper. This includes taking courses, attending conferences, reading, and more. We also hope to make a difference with others by helping them become more aware and knowledgeable of areas in their lives where they feel they need to grow.

Encourage: We will encourage our readers, clients, and others to move from where they are to where they want to be, in all areas of their lives. We will continue to do this through our writing, coaching, mentoring, and a few other digital avenues we are exploring.

Execute: Someone once said “a solid plan followed by good communication and effective execution will always equal success.” This absolutely works but remember, this means there has to be a solid plan to start with and we have to be willing to make course corrections along the way.

Our plan includes more detail within each of these Five E’s but, in an effort to keep this brief, we won’t go into all of that here. If you want more detail, just send us a note. We’ll be happy to help you develop your own plan for 2018.

What do you want to accomplish in 2018? Do you have a solid plan that ensures your success? If not, we encourage you to put one in place. Your success just might depend on it.

It’s up to you. You can make 2018 your year. You can do this! You need to do this! You know you do!

Move beyond hope in 2018 and start expecting greater things than you ever imagined.

Drop us a note if we can help.


Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob and Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches



We’re Expecting!

Bet that headline raised a few eyebrows! No, neither of us are pregnant. Phew! Now that we have that cleared up, let us say again that we are expecting. Are you?

Let me clarify. When we hear someone is expecting, we most often think they are “expecting” a baby … sometime in the near future. But expecting can refer to something other than a pregnancy.

One online dictionary refers to expecting as “the idea of looking ahead to something in the future.” At this time of year we see many forms of “expecting” happening all around us. Children are expecting whatever they asked Santa for at the mall. Adults are expecting to see their children smile from ear to ear when they tear open their presents. And everyone is expecting more sweets than one should consume in a year.

The expecting we are referring to is much more enduring than any of these temporary pleasures. As we near the end of 2017 and roll into another new year, what one or two areas of your life do you want to be better than they were this year?

Notice we are not using the word “hope.” Hope is great. Hope is important. And without hope, we’d truly be lost. But expecting takes hope to another level, doesn’t it? It might even be a little too confident sounding for some folks who might say “we can’t expect anything … all we can do is hope.” With all due respect, we totally disagree.

When we set goals, make plans, and execute new initiatives in 2018, we aren’t doing so with a finger-crossing kind of hope. Rather, we do so with an expectation that we will be successful. We’re not saying that everything turns out as planned … nothing is perfect, and we often fail. But when we do, we simply adapt our plans and renew our forward movement expecting good things to happen.

Wouldn’t you rather have a high degree of expectation that something you desire will work out the way you planned? All of your plans can if they are reasonable, detailed, and hold you accountable in some way.

We ask again. What are one or two things do you want to be better in 2018 than they were in 2017? Are your finances in shambles? How’s your marriage or key relationship? What condition is your spiritual life in? Is that new job or promotion working out the way you wanted it to? What about your health and diet goals? We could ask about many other areas here but you get the point.

Which areas of your life could use a tune-up, or maybe a complete overhaul? What are you doing about it? Are you simply hoping things get better? Or are you stating priorities, setting goals, taking your first steps, and getting help from others when needed?

Look, it’s up to you. If you are like the rest of us and there are some areas in need of work (minor or major), then make 2018 your year. You can do this! You need to do this! You know you do!

Where do you start? Here’s a few basic steps to get you started:

  • Take plenty of quiet time (an entire day or more if you have to) and prayerfully consider where your life is and where you want it to be.
  • Envision what your life will be like one year from now when the changes you are expecting actually occur.
  • Decide what needs to happen in the first month. Then the second, third, etc.
  • Seek out experts to guide, encourage, and keep you on track. A coach, for example.
  • Start expecting a new, better you!

Move beyond hope in 2018. Start expecting greater things than you ever imagined.

Drop us a note if we can help.


Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob and Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches

How the Grinch Saved Christmas


It’s that time again. The season for giving is upon us. The Christmas music is playing, the tree lots are open, and a few lights are going up in the neighborhood. It all sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? But, the truth is, the real meaning of Christmas has been lost in all of the consumerism. Black Friday now actually starts on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day! Why sit around and spend time with your family and friends when you can go buy something on sale?

It all makes me think of the Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We’ve all read this classic story by Dr. Seuss about the cranky, mean, Grinch trying to steal Christmas from all the Whos in Whoville. He snuck in late one Christmas Eve and stole their wrapped presents and cheerful decorations that awaited the Whos on Christmas morning.

Why would anyone want to do this? Well, the Grinch lacked any joy in his life, and his heart, we are told, was a tiny, shriveled little thing incapable of feeling anything for anyone other than himself. He really didn’t want all the pretty packages he stole, but he sure didn’t want the Whos to have them either. He was trying to steal the source of their Christmas joy just because he didn’t have any.

Andy Stanley once said “I wonder what I would have if I didn’t know what anybody else had?” It’s easy to try and keep up with the Joneses and lose sight of what really matters to us. It’s a trap that leads to a joyless life because you are never going to get enough in that scenario. The great industrialist, John Rockefeller, was asked one time “How much is enough?” He reportedly said, “Just a little bit more.” If Rockefeller — the very icon of wealth and prosperity — didn’t have enough, what makes us think we ever will?

Our joy can’t be tied to our possessions. The Whos had it right. When they all awoke Christmas morning, they were astonished that all their gifts and decorations had been stolen. At first, they weren’t too happy. All of the work. All of the money. All of the surprises. Gone!

Luckily, Lou Lou Who arrives on the scene and makes this now famous declaration:

“I’m glad he took our presents. You can’t hurt Christmas, Mr. Mayor, because it isn’t about the gifts or the contest or the fancy lights … I don’t need anything more for Christmas than this right here: my family.”

Immediately Mr. Mayor, and all the Whos in Whoville, knew Lou Lou was right. They had focused too much on the wrong things … competing with their neighbors for the most decorated home, the biggest gifts, and more. But after Lou Lou’s declaration, all the Whos began to celebrate Christmas without the presents or decorations.

The Grinch was confused. Of course, we know he later learned that the key to the Whos’ Christmas joy wasn’t based on stuff—it was based on giving. And when they didn’t have presents to give anymore, they gave of what they had: themselves.

This was so moving that it changed the Grinch forever and his heart grew three sizes. The same person who wanted to silence others’ joy was now transformed into a joyous, generous giver himself.

So, what about you? What is your focus this season?

This Christmas, may we, too, be givers. And, if we are lucky, our hearts will grow three sizes, refocusing us once again on the true reason for this blessed season.

Show Me The Money

Money is a good thing, even a great thing—if used correctly. We need money to conduct commerce, provide for ourselves and our families, and help others in our communities in times of need. But can too much money turn into a bad thing?

The answer here, as with medicine and sunlight, is that too much money can become a bad thing for some people and in some situations. It has a great deal to do with how we attained it and what we do with it. But can too much money bring about our own destruction? Having money is not the issue. The problem is focusing too much on money or mishandling it.

A good example of this is individuals who win the lottery. In an article in Forbes magazine, author Susan Adams explores cautionary tales of lottery winners who have gone bankrupt. She writes, “Sudden wealth is most likely to exaggerate your current situation, but it won’t fundamentally change your sense of well-being. If you’re unhappy, you’re not good at managing money and you’re surrounded by people you don’t trust, a big win will probably make your problems worse.” According to one source Adams cites, 44 percent of lottery winners have spent all their winnings after only five years; another she uses indicates that lottery winners are twice as likely as average people to declare bankruptcy.

Professional athletes can also fall into the money trap. Some have little experience managing money, and then overnight they suddenly become incredibly wealthy. Then, if their career is cut short, they might not be able to maintain their large lifestyles when the excessive money stops rolling in. It isn’t the money itself that’s the problem—it’s when it becomes our preoccupation. It’s when we move it from its place as a tool and make it our focus—our god.

The temptation to use money to keep up with the Joneses can start at an early age. Even worse, we can easily pass unhealthy views about money on to our children. What other conclusion are they to make when we put our jobs and acquisition of wealth ahead of them? What else would they learn other than what they see their parents doing?

We think we’re providing a better home, the best toys, and the latest electronic gadgets. We’ll work long hours and make painful sacrifices, thinking it’s for the best. But our children really don’t want all the stuff; they want us—our presence. Instead, through our actions and our words, we might inadvertently pass down a legacy of keeping up with the Joneses to our children

A friend of ours relayed a story to us that makes this point better than anything we could write. She tells of a friend, a single mom who worked long hours in the banking industry. When her daughter turned eighteen, the mother asked what she wanted as a gift. The daughter’s answer: “I would love for you to take time off work and spend the whole day with me.”

The mother refused, reminding her daughter sternly, “Who do you think pays for your room, your car, your insurance, your nice clothes, and your cell phone? I have to work to do that!” Our friend told this mother, “I think she just told you that you are more important to her than all those things you buy her.” Unfortunately, this mother didn’t heed the advice, and years later the preferred focus on work cost her a relationship with her daughter, who now has very little to do with her.

Is the acquisition of more money and stuff or a greater lifestyle blinding you to the impact this drive for more can have on those closest to you?


Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob & Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches

Designer Living – Part 2

“What we possess no longer defines our lives.”

In our last post we introduced you to Charles and Leann. Remember how they found themselves in a new neighborhood and lured into a “Keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle? If you missed that article you can catch up here.

Here we now share the rest of their story. Read along and learn how Charles and Leann struggled through their newfound lifestyle, made some tough decisions, and rediscovered their true selves. We think you will find their story fascinating. You can read this story as well as others in our award-winning and bestselling book Who Are the Joneses Anyway?


Charles and Leann weren’t earning enough to keep up with the lifestyles of their new neighbors, but that didn’t keep them from feeling like they needed to. Over time, the pressure grew. It eventually drove Charles to gambling as a way to make extra money and help him feel he was equal to his new friends, most of whose wives didn’t have to work to make ends meet like Leann had to.

“It’s probably a confidence flaw—like I wasn’t good enough—that drove me to take desperate measures,” Charles told us. “Actually, I donated a lot of money, but now I can see my intentions were misplaced even there. I was donating the money to make me feel good, like a big shot.”

Gambling to make extra money turned into an addiction. Charles found himself staying up all night, then going to work and running on fumes, becoming an absent husband and father at home. Then, just as quickly as he had won, Charles began to lose. He tried to catch up, placing his bets on credit cards. “Let’s just say I had become addicted, out of necessity to sustain this new lifestyle we felt expected to maintain,” Charles said.

Then one day Leann found the credit card statements and was astonished. “At this rate, we are going to end up homeless!” she remembered saying.

“Just the way she said that stopped me dead in my tracks,” Charles recalled. The peer pressure drove them to spend more than they earned and him to gambling. They felt crushed. Keeping up with the Joneses in their town had broken them, financially and otherwise.

After realizing how deep they were in debt, Leann remembered “breaking down in tears—more than once.” They knew they had to look deep within themselves, make some changes, and begin the long process of digging out of their self-created mess.

It was a long road, but eventually they made it. The key was deciding who they were and what was most important to them. From that starting point, Leann and Charles began moving forward confidently, living within their means, and making better daily decisions between needs and wants.

“We bought used furniture,” Leann shared. “I want people to feel welcome when they come into our home. I want it to look beautiful, but having our guests feel loved, blessed, and hugged is most important. The furniture, new or old, will never add a single thing to that.”

“What we possess no longer defines our lives,” Charles offered, to which Leann added, “And the rat race isn’t either.” They admit they are still learning each day. Refocusing and sticking to their priorities has resulted in less stress and more joy as they move forward.


Can you relate to Leann and Charles’ experiences? We love how they fought back from the brink of disaster and now willingly share their story with others.

What emotions does this story stir in you? Have you ever been through a similar experience? Respond here. We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading along. We are honored that you have done so.


Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob and Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches

Designer Living

“And the craziest part: They all thought it was normal.”

As we shared our Who Are the Joneses Anyway? story with others, it became more and more apparent that we were not alone in experiencing some of the things we went through in our old “Keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle. Not even close! So we began interviewing some of these folks and taking notes along the way.

Leann and Charles were one of the couples we interviewed and they allowed us to share their story. The following is an excerpt from our book Who Are the Joneses Anyway? (names have been changed).


Leann and her husband, Charles, had just moved their family into a new, nicer neighborhood. She and Charles decided on this particular neighborhood because they were looking for some of the same things a lot of young parents want: better schools, sports opportunities for the kids, and a newer home. However, after one particular day, Leann wasn’t so sure this new neighborhood was as nice as she thought.

One afternoon at her kid’s school, Leann had just loaded the kids into the family car when one of her newer “friends” literally yelled to her from across the parking lot: “Hey, Leann! Are you wearing Lee jeans right now? Get those off, and don’t ever wear those again! That’s embarrassing!”

“I wanted to crawl into a hole…I just cried when I got home,” Leann told us. She went on to admit, “Until that moment, I didn’t know there was a difference between Lee jeans and designer brand names. I just bought what I could afford and what fit me. But, I’ll tell you what, it made me become more mindful of what I wore. From then on, I was really careful about what I bought because I was so worried that I would receive more negative comments, especially in front of my kids.”

This wasn’t the only time their family felt the sting of social comparison. Leann also told us about a time they were left feeling unwelcome in their new neighborhood and school—all because they brought a case of sports drinks that wasn’t the leading name brand to a local soccer league game their kids were playing in. They dared bring an off-branded sports drink!

They wrestled with feelings of inferiority over that incident too. Leann recounted, “I thought they were saying, ‘Oh, there’s that family who couldn’t afford to bring Gatorade.’ In fact, we couldn’t. We had to live within our means. But slowly we started living beyond our means, just to keep up.”

These were the beginnings of a new life that Charles and Leann had never experienced before. And with this new reality came something else: pressure. As they put it, “We felt compelled to keep up with the lifestyle we now found ourselves surrounded by. It added a whole new layer of stress to our lives that made it difficult financially and emotionally, and, at times, it affected our confidence.”

“I don’t think we even knew what was happening right away,” Leann explained. “But before you knew it, we felt like we needed to drive a newer, larger, ‘better’ car. Everyone around us seemed to drive a Suburban or Escalade.” And that was just the beginning.

The pressure mounted. Leann recalls, “All the good people and the friends we met were living the same life—the rat race—and nobody could breathe. Everyone was exhausted trying to make it all work. And the craziest part: They all thought it was normal.”


Can you relate to Leann and Charles’ experiences? If so, reply to this note and let us know. We would love to hear from you and we may even share your story in a future article like this (with your permission of course).

Want to know what happened with Leann and Charles? Be sure to read our next blog post and we will share the rest of their story and how they worked through their predicament.

Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob and Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches

We’re Celebrating

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

We can’t believe it but this week already marks the one-year anniversary of our first book, Who Are the Joneses Anyway? – Stop Living Someone Else’s Life and Start Becoming who You are Meant to Be. This past year has been a whirlwind of learning new things, executing our strategic plan, and giving it our all. As the quote above says, we believe “we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand” … and it’s paid off.

In the past year we watched our book become an Amazon bestseller and an International Book Awards category winner. In addition to that, we launched a website dedicated to our book and started a blog called Upshot. If you haven’t checked these out lately, click on the hyperlinks and you’ll be taken there.

With all of this success, we know we would not be here without YOU, our readers, who have so enthusiastically referred and endorsed our work. We owe each of you a huge thank you. In fact, we think you should be the ones getting a present on this anniversary.

“So, what’s next?” or “when’s your next book coming out?” we are often asked. While we have ideas for another book, we remain committed to our two-year strategic plan for marketing this first book before starting on that.

But there is something on the horizon coming soon … an all new YouTube channel called, you guessed it, Who Are the Joneses Anyway? We are super excited about this. Our original plan called for a podcast but we have decided that the video format will work much better for what we want to accomplish.

With this new digital platform we will share content from our book, dig deeper into some of the book’s concepts, and chat with folks like you. Many of our readers have already agreed to join us on our new “show” to share their own “Joneses Journeys”. As they do so, we will have a chance to learn how they moved from where they were to living the intentional, authentic lives they were created for. If you would like to be considered as a featured guest on our new show, just drop us a note. We’d love to chat with you about that.

We’ll be announcing the launch of this new channel soon … so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you still have not purchased your copy of Who Are the Joneses Anyway?, perhaps you are the type that wants to sample something before you go all in. We get it. That’s why we developed an offer that allows you to download a complimentary chapter of our book. Just click here to check this out.

We’d love it if you would pass this note along to your social circles. We’ve made it easy for you … just click on the icons below and you’ll be taken to your social media profiles. Thanks so much in advance.

Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob & Susan Karcher

Authors | Speakers | Coaches

A Four-Legged Stool: What Are You Going To Do About It?

“Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” ― Chinese Proverb

We recently saw a random quote on the internet that said “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes.” So simple and yet so true! This quote’s author wasn’t noted but this person figured something out.

These past few weeks we have been writing about the four steps to moving from a life of mediocrity and discontent to a life of greater joy, impact, and balance that you may be seeking. Today we focus on the fourth and final step. If you missed any of the previous steps, you can catch up by clicking here.

With each of the previous three steps we’ve used a metaphor of constructing a four-legged stool to add some perspective to the process. Now, let’s get right to the fourth and final leg of this journey.

The Fourth Leg: What Are You Going to Do about It?

The final leg of your four-legged stool is just as important as the first three. You might have perfectly constructed your stool to this point, but if this final leg is not in place it means little. You can sit on a stool of three legs, but it will never feel complete or like you’ve “made it.” That’s because something is missing … this final step.

To construct your fourth leg, answer this question: “What are you going to do about it?”

A popular quote says, “With knowledge comes responsibility.” Simply said, when we learn new things we take on an inherent responsibility to use that knowledge appropriately. We can’t run from what we learn; we are meant to put our newfound knowledge into action.

However you answered the questions to the first three legs of your stool, they mean little if you don’t add this fourth leg and begin to implement the life changes required to move forward!

Yet, we need to be careful not to get so lost in our own busyness that that we forget who we are and why we are here. We need balance even in how we choose the things we spend our time doing. We can easily focus so much of our time on keeping up with the Joneses—and other activities that have no connection to our first three stool legs—that we choke out the very things that bring life and passion.

All of this may seem like pie-in-the-sky thinking that can be hard to wrap your head around. But, if you start with thinking about the things crowding into your schedule every day, there are likely some that have nothing to do with your life purpose.

Do any of them have anything to do with your life purpose?

If you are like most and find that your calendar is filled with lot of activity but very little purpose, now is the time to begin reprioritizing your time. Start small and focus on replacing just one or two unnecessary items on your calendar with doing things that you love to do and the world needs from you. When you’ve made that transition, do it again. Keep going until you made a significant transition in how you are spending your life.

Don’t just muddle through your life, letting unnecessary activities fill your calendar day after day. We each have the same twenty-four hours to work with each day. But none of us know how many days we have left, so let’s make today, and each day, count to the full!

Answering the four questions we’ve asked in the past weeks can be difficult. We know that and we can help. If you get stuck at any point along the way, drop us a note. We’d love to walk you through whatever life transition you are facing right now.

If you want your life to be different, you’re going to have to start living differently. “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes.”


Blessings on your continuing journey,

Bob and Susan Karcher



It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.

Ephesians 1:11