In Love of Lostness, Mystery and Adventure

I’ve slipped lately. I’ve floated away. Adrift upon currents that criss-cross and flow to God-only-knows, this kind of travel feels as ethereal and romantic, as it does chaotic and lost.

I’m falling in love with this aimless buoyancy, on a new level.

Do you prefer order to anarchy? Would you rather experience repetition instead of adventure?  How about structure vs. freedom? Hmm… tricky to answer.. no?

In our world, here in our home, the juicy and lovely and tantalizing moments lately, have come in being open to anything. It isn’t as much an intentional letting-go as it is showing up with no agenda. Just an overall idea that I want to help, and to serve, and that’s it. It’s a bigger trust than I’m used to. To be a castaway, instead of a frantic paddler splashing my dingy ever so slightly toward a far-off lighthouse, that I’m hoping exists when I get there. Or even worse, to untie for a short trip around the little marina, again, waving to everyone that I wave to every day, and safely returning, well before sunset, to clean off the droplets and button-down again for the night. Just like I did yesterday, and the day before, since the beginning.

I’ve have seen some powerful stuff unfolding this week. Tectonic plates are grinding and shifting. The sun is now rising and blasting light into formerly dark and remote valleys. Yes, mountains are falling into the sea. Are these the kind of changes that can happen with a perfectly diagrammed to-do list, and an app on my smart-phone to track my productivity?

Hell no.

This is the the work of something bigger than me. This work is immense. This is the work that can only be seen and experienced when I let go of the safety of the dock and my daily routine. It’s not create-able, it’s not plan-able, it will never become, with even the most thorough ‘getting-things-done-ness’, I can muster up.

This is the unfolding of eons of tiny continental movements. I can’t move continents. But God can. I can’t make myself arrive at a new destination that I don’t even know exists, but God can. I can keep myself respectably tied and anchored into my little mooring spot, and pretend that life doesn’t rock me and move me with storms. I can say, ‘I’m doing good. Yes, I’m very busy.’ with scurrying around performing routine maintenance on my vessel, re-positioning the knick-knacks, while it sits in the same place day after day. But God made us to sail.

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
– Grace Murray Hopper

See God created us to move upon the seas, thrusted by the winds, resting in the calms. His winds, divine powers, blow the damn doors off our puny little pattlin’ efforts. I’ve seen it happening lately.

In case you’ve wondered, yes, I live on a different planet now. I don’t inhabit the same ol’ Earthly places that I used to know. It is another world here. It’s absent of so much familiarity, which I miss often. Especially when the storms hit. The community, the crew, where I used to belong, is far away now. It’s a choice to be out here. But lately, there is evidence of new land on the horizon. Mirage or not, it’s the only new sight seen for months. It ignites the heart, to dream of what may lie ahead, on these new shores.

The truth amongst all this metaphor, is that lately the magic, the progress, the delights in my life have developed in the ‘in-between’. They’ve materialized from the ether and I can’t explain how they’ve arrived. Serendipity is too cute. Coincidence doesn’t exist. Seeing is believing though.

Stuff that I’ve dreamed about for years is about to happen. A wish for another, becomes, with perfect timing. Release and surrender and nimble anticipation of ‘what’s next’, is electric in this appropriate springtime moment. The only moment. The now moment. Yes, now is when it happens for me, for you, from God.

Sometimes now is the calm, as the breeze settles and humidity rises and the stillness can unnerve us. Everything comes in waves however. Even stagnation. It passes with a cleansing rain. We’re fresh again, the sail ripples and snaps. We tighten our lines, crank the winches, redirect and laugh and smile. Waves lapping our sides, we’re again on the move. Action is exhilaration, not arrival.

Open up our mind. Cut away the old knots, don’t waste time to untangle. Supplies? We’ve got plenty… Really. Skills? They only come through practice. We’ll never be ready. Every storm is different anyway. Every day unique. What worked today, won’t tomorrow. Except eagerness, willingness, resolve and imagination. ‘How’ are we ‘supposed’ to do it? Who cares? ‘How’ is a crippling question we all want to know. Forget it forever. Look back afterward and see that the ‘How’ was magic. The ‘How’ was the hand of God. The ‘How’ was saying Yes, and showing up. The ‘How’ only appears in the story, after the action.

Scary? Yes. That’s why the seas are wide open, and the ‘safe’ harbors crammed full.

Can we die out there? Will we perish at night, crashed hard by a rogue wave? Some will. But all will perish anyway. Some never seeing a sunrise beyond the horizon of home. A crusted and barnacled structure sun-bleached and worn-through by rot, rather than use. Sails neatly folded and new, wrapped tight in wait of an adventure that never was. Abuse of our gifts, if you ask me. But then again, if you read this far, I’m not writing about You.

There are few who come here. Few who read these messages in a bottle. For those few, I thank you.

I am blessed lately to recognize the magic and see that it’s not me. I am aware that these bright highlights have come through the most mysterious ways. I am just open, I have no plan, I am ready to receive, and don’t care if you would rather hear the How-To’s and Top 10 Ways. That stuff, that mesmerizing and delicious stuff, keeps us stuck: only learning How it worked for someone else. Our way is unique. It’s never been done before, and never will again. We all get this opportunity. It’s our birthright. We are divine children of the Almighty, we are vessels, we shall Sail!


(In loving dedication to my uncle, Captain Stephen R. Nichols.)

Aaron Nichols

Ships Are Safe in the Harbour (poem, author unknown)

All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments

As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments

Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for
The mind could stretch much further
But it seems that is not what our minds are trained for

We call for random order
You can’t control Mother nature’s daughter

Ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are built for

The witch hunter roams
The scary thing is that he’s not alone
He’s trying to down my magic moments

As we sail through change
Ride the wind of a silent rage
And sing laments of magic moments

Ready to Sail! Join our weekly workshop/discusssion ** time change this week **

The Hangout/Podcast timeslot for next week is shifting. I will host it on Wednesday the 17th at 5:30. Email me at – before Wednesday if you would like a personal invitation to participate.

Check out all of my video workshop Hangouts here, to get a feel for it. Join us if you dare!

And if you like Podcasts – I have converted all my workshops to audio, for your listening pleasure, here. 


Weirdforgood Hangout – 8 – Fishy Out of Water & CONTEXT is King!

Our floppy fishy story, leads us deep into a discussion about the ‘CONTEXT’ of the world we live in. Did you know that the CONTEXT you perceive the world to be, is actually a construction of your mind that can be remodeled at any time, by YOU?

Dig Deep again with us this week, in one of the most enlightening and real conversations on the web, here at our weirdforgood world!

With Aaron Nichols & Michael Wright

You’ll want to have a notepad handy again this week!

You can read more about me, Aaron Nichols on my about page. (sorry that my video feed is choppy!)

or Michael Wright’s website —


To be part of next week’s Hangout — Email Me at, each week I send out an invitation email with the details on how to get setup. (It’s pretty easy) then join us at 5:30 CST with 45 minutes to get in depth and have a fun — REAL discussion!

Big Bad Wolves Are Eating You Alive, Why Feed Them?

I’m Not Creative. It’s True. My mind is bleak and bland, repetitious and boring, dull and taupe in (lack of) color.

Creativity has never really been my thing. In fact, just this week, I had my very first crack at true imagination. I made something new. It was beautiful. It may have been the very first time ever, in my whole life. I enjoyed it 🙂

Now, if you have known me for a long time, you may be wondering why I say I’m not creative. And if I’m not, then why would I pick things like artistic graphic design, photography, web design and writing, to express myself? Maybe you think, I’m being self deprecating, and you can prove that I’m creative, because you either have one or ten tee shirts in your closet that I have ‘created’ over the years, and you think they look cool? I will admit, I have a knack and have practiced for many years to be able to pick fonts and colors and graphics and use professional programs to make a cool design. Even now, I’m writing to you on a blog that I have custom created myself, including all the graphics, all the photography, all the writing too… But I’m speaking about Creativity, in a much more powerful and profound way.

It turns out, that I haven’t been using my Creativity at all, in a very important area.

My thoughts.

Once again, this week, like a thousand times before, I was in reaction mode. I had a couple things on my mind that were bugging me. I had saw myself as backed into a corner. I felt pressure from the weight and heaviness of the issue. I saw a future unfolding because of this issue that I didn’t like. I was perturbed and annoyed that certain things were in my life, and in the life of those around me, that I felt didn’t match up. I had dug a hole of depression in my brain around this issue, and there I sat. Stuck.

Until I got a great message… Until I was blessed with a step up in conciousness… Until I saw that I wasn’t being Creative at all…

See I had this certain situation in my mind, that had me down. If you want to play along, insert any situation of your own, that brings up emotions like: annoyance, regret, disappointment, sadness or anger.

Then run it through this question: Have I decided that this thing is Bad?

Whoa, take that again, more slowly this time:

Run your situation through this question: Have I decided that this thing is Bad?

Powerfully simple, yet profound. I believe this question was a message from a higher power to help me jumpstart my creativity, in new ways.

I HAD decided that this situation I was thinking about, was Bad. I Did think that relationships were suffering and my options were being limited and I couldn’t be fully me, because I HAD DECIDED that this thing Was BAD.

Wow. Now, I’m going to boldly stand here and intentionally ignite a fuse with some readers. On Purpose. (Because I really don’t think this is BAD)

Politics. Religion. The Economy. These are issues that you may have decided are BAD. How about issues with a spouse, or co-worker, or boss, or children? Have you experienced something and immediately gone into a negative reaction mode? Check with yourself right now, and ask, ‘Did I decide that thing was bad?’

If you are capable of asking yourself this question, Bravo! You have a chance to practice a new form of creativity. It can unlock you from stuck situations. It can free the emotional bondage around a broken relationship. It can grease the rusty and mechanically frozen wheels in your mind, that stopped dead in their tracks, the moment You Decided Something was Bad.

We can see in hindsight, plenty of reasons to disprove this choice and judgement of any situation. Seeing later on, that we avoided more pain, or a new door was opened when the one we wanted closed, gets plenty of praise. But let’s live one step closer, in creativity, to  a place that is more exciting and FUN for our naturally creative minds.

I (in theory, and more easily, with more practice) can take any situation, and stop myself before I decide it’s Bad. Or (if I missed that moment) I can see afterward, while feeling junky, that I’ve made this Choice, and go back and pick something new. It’s all up to me. I can switch things around at any time. I’m in charge. Not the situation, or the other person.

The reason for all this playing around and testing new systems of operation? Because I want to feel good.  Guess how I feel, when I decide something is bad… really… think hard on this one! Yeah, BAD! Guess how I feel if I decide something sucks… Yeah, I feel sucky! Guess how I feel, if I decide something is hard… or difficult, or stressful… (yes, these are all DECISIONS we make, not 100% truths) I feel exhausted, and tired and stressed out!

When I decide something is Good. Well, I feel Good. When I decide something is AWESOME! I feel AWESOME! When I decide something is profound, and deeply moving, I feel an ocean of peace and internal power.

Okay, so time for some creativity! Time to awaken the artist in my mind. Time to use my imagination to make something that I actually WANT, rather than just how it operated when I took it out of the box 33 (almost 34) years ago. I get to use this tool of my mind to DECIDE, how my life is right now, and how each of these little situations unfold throughout my day. It’s all up to ME!

I can see the hope, I can see the challenge, I can see adventure, I can see problem-solving, I can see a puzzle, I can see a game, I can see unmolded clay, I can see something I choose to let go of, at anytime, instead of a BAD PROBLEM, if I so chose.

Of course, not all things are Bad. And that’s why we stay stuck. We see some things as good naturally. So we just expect to keep our eye out for more good situations or people or opportunities to show up. We want to grab ahold of the ones we already see as good, and grip them with an iron fist. We get the feeling that the world has a lack of good things, and we should make the most out of the ones we get.


All situations show up as completely neutral, until we decide a judgement about them: Good or Bad. Don’t believe me? You can test this. Just think of two polar opposite things in your life, one good, one bad. Ask Yourself, When did I decide that this thing was Good? When did I decide this thing was Bad? You will get an answer, because you did the deciding. You already know this truth. Test it.

So, Get Really Creative. Play Artist in your own mind. Repaint the things that don’t make you feel good. And also see that the already good ones, have some flaws too. You need to see that you’ve made this choice  You have the Power. You can OWN your Life. Situations don’t own you. YOU own YOU.

This way, you can begin to flow, in the natural harmonious rhythm of our universe. In our Lord’s Prayer, we ask for our Daily Bread. That is Bread for the Day. Not for a stockpile of cash, and a basement full of ammo and food for the apocalypse. That is living in a chosen state of Fear. That doesn’t leave room for God. Seeing and freeing ourselves to live in a cycle of ebb and flow, is Biblical. It actually feels good. All things come and go. We can enjoy them or Not. We can dance with life, or it can break us. It’s all Our Choice.

What do you chose today? Here’s an idea: Choose Love, for God, for your Neighbor, for Yourself.


Aaron Nichols

The Story of Two Wolves

 An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life.

 “A fight is going on inside me,” he told the young boy, “a terrible fight between two wolves.  One is evil, full of anger, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity and false pride.  The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, humility, kindness and faith.”

“This same fight is going on inside of you, grandson…and inside of every other person on this earth.”

The grandson ponders this for a moment and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”

The old man smiled and simply said,

“the one you feed.”


Want to talk together about ‘The Big Bad Wolf?’

You’re invited to join the next weirdforgood hangout, and engage in our online workshop – you’ll need a free Google+ account, 45minutes to work with us, at 5:30 CST. You need a device with a camera & headset/microphone. If you can Skype, you can do this, (it’s actually really easy  ) Then email me at – before Tuesday – I’ll send you the hangout invite through Google+ when we start.

Check out last week’s hangout here, to get a feel for it. Join us if you dare!

An Ornate Cathedral of Failure… Me.

All I have done is everything wrong. I have mistakes and screw-ups in spades. In this blog I’ve shared some of that, to You, in the last couple years. Right now, I can honestly say, in this very instant, I struggle to type. In between ridiculous distractions online and listening to some amazing music by Rodriguez (MUST WATCH!), I dabble and drift. 

Yeah, I’m screwing this whole thing up at this very minute. It’s true. I’m actually pretty good at that. Taking my own time and energy to aimlessly meander. Spinning my own wheels, losing track, skittering, tumbling about, without direction. Oh, and I don’t just enjoy these little fairytale adventures in laziness either. It’s a self inflicted torture, to willingly engage in mental hypnosis while worlds crash down around me. I feel guilty, I’m mad at me, I suck.

In this exact moment though, with the 70’s sounds in my headphones, a quiet messy house, heater under-desk, and a stinky black dog who groans in the kitchen 3 steps away, I find it spellbinding, how much I have managed to not do, in the last few years.

It’s actually quite mesmerizing. An ornate and expansive Cathedral of Failure.

When I step back and remember, it was this time of year, 4 years ago, when something was unsettled inside me, and I wanted OUT of my life as it was, or at least certain parts of it. I never stopped long enough to plan out, really where I wanted to exactly go. I may have thought I had a good plan, or a path in my mind, but that is really bullsh!t. If I said it, I was only kidding myself. I didn’t. In fact, I was a whining crying baby boy, throwing a life-tantrum. I saw nothing through the eyes of gratitude. In haste, I figured the best way to fix things was to make a radical change of career path, and take a long road trip. Everything would then start to fall into place. My wings would grow after I leapt from the safety of the ledge… So Fly Will I! Yeah! Jump!

uh… yeah.. uh… okay… anytime now wings!… crap, this is gonna hurt…

Splat! Crash! Smash!


See, I never once considered that the thing I really wanted to see changed in my life was ME.

I wanted my job to change. I wanted my bank account to change. I wanted my feeling of freedom or direction or pursuance of something more special, more dramatic and exciting than the ordinary life, I had lost hope in, To Change. Yeah, so I’m waxing profound again, about the past, again. Sue Me. Quit Reading. Go Away.

Ha! It is something pretty freaking sad to look back on now. I made over 5 times as much money every year then. I had way more toys and security and friends and social events and girlfriends too. Back then I had my hand on the knob to control so many of the worldly things in my life. I even had a paid-for house, no other bills. I could have probably asked for  an extended vacation, or some time to get my head straight after the loss of my cousin, to suicide, from the employer who I grew with, for over 10 years. All the world of possibilities were mine. Yet, all I could see was a tunnel vision, a tiny spot way out ahead, nowhere close to where I was then. I wanted out!

Just screw it all! Was my basic plan of action. So many ‘important’ things in my life back then, got the ‘just screw it’ treatment. And toss ’em away, I did. What a move. Wow. Who does that? It’s actually crazy. Insane.

Or at least it can make you go insane. Riding through a meat grinder and realizing you pushed yourself in. Is there something that today, in this look-back, that I can relay to you, that may be of use to you? How about this: I have small but real and true hope in a $49.07 purchase at a grocery store.

Yeah, 49 dollars and 7 cents. That’s it. That’s your tool. That’s your advice. Words of Wisdom that can change your life into anything you want. Now go live by them.

Interested? Why would you be. It’s just a silly dollar amount of an ordinary purchase. And, remember, I’m a man who’s built an artistically decorated Cathedral of Failure, over a long period of years. I have nothing you would want to exchange with me. A dinky house in a small Kansas town. Hardly any money. No fun party times. No flashy car. No stuff atoll.

And a really really smelly dog. The last bath she had was 6 months ago, for our wedding.

So again, I invite you to leave, check out, go to a more successful man’s blog. Someone who’s made it. Or just spend some time watching this, instead of reading about my almost 50 dollar grocery store purchase and some words of wisdom… Go! Git! Begone!

Still here? Really? Crap. Okay.

I’m going to tell you something amazing. This is no exaggeration or lie. When Lindsay and I shop at the grocery store, we always end up at the checkout line with very close to $50 dollars in the basket. Every Week. Always within a couple bucks of $50. How? Easy, a calculator, right? Just add up what goes in there? Nope. Haven’t used a calculator at the store in years. I don’t even really pay that close attention to the prices as we go, and mentally add up the costs. It’s true. Do you believe me? I have tried to be as honest in the first part of this blog, so that you may believe me now.

I get a ‘feeling’ for how much money we’ve spent as we go through the store. I can just sorta steer us toward the checkout when it feels like we’ve hit our budget… Budget? Yeah, we do have a goal that our grocery expenditure be $50 each week. BUT, we do not explicitly calculate this. And we don’t even really care, if we exactly stick to it. Sometimes later in the week, we buy more. So it isn’t even really a hard and fast rule… BUT, on Sundays, when we shop, no matter what goes in, it adds up to around $50 every time.

Last Sunday, driving back home from Arkansas, heading north through Garnett, we stopped at Country Mart. We grabbed groceries with a snow storm coming in the next day or so. We also tried a few new items, since we’d never shopped there before. We bought items in different brand names and different sizes than we normally do. Everything about our shopping trip was different. Except the cost. $49.07. We looked at each other and I giggled aloud. Ha!

We have truly mastered a Habit. This thing that we used to have to work at, and make mistakes to learn, and keep trying to hit, week after week, now is super duper easy. In fact it’s so easy, I don’t even ‘think’ about it in my head. That’s right. I don’t use my head for math. I just ‘feel’ when it’s right. I have nothing other than that to share with you.

A habit can be made out of ANYTHING. When formed, life is easy. Doesn’t take effort. A habit can be something positive and helpful; a discipline. Or it can be a rut, an addiction, a broken record of failure, that you’d like to STOP!

How does it work? What keeps the momentum going? I don’t know. I’m not even sure that it’s me doing it. It may be God, or the Universe, or Dumb Luck.

Who Cares! It can be started, stopped or changed at any time, but us. Best done in tiny bites at a time.

We all master habits. And you probably do the exact same thing when you buy groceries too, right? Do you force and stress over each little price as you buy? Or do you just throw things in, and when it feels full, you go check out? AND, if you do, are you spending what you intended to? What you explicitly set out to spend? It’s just a question of intention. Are we deciding first a goal, then hitting it with committed action? Do that often enough, and it becomes a harmonious rhythm that you would have to try to stop, if you wanted to.

What could we do, with that knowledge? What could we do if we practiced mastering habits? We could literally change our life into ANYTHING we wanted it to be! We could make habits of time, money, exercise, learning, serving, relaxing, skydiving or even watching news programs designed to create stress! (kidding! If you do that, STOP IT!)

Taking a giant leap of faith, and tossing away years of hard work, and going all but completely broke, taught me this at least: I can commit to and create any new habit. I don’t have to uproot my whole life to do it.

Tomorrow, I step across a threshold of 17 months of Sobriety, 6 Months of an amazing Marriage and around 3 solid years of an ever-deepening relationship with God. Yeah baby. Those are some seriously exciting habits to tend to. These things are no joke. This is solid ROCK to build a life on. Keeping my momentum going forward in these areas has become the juice of life. It’s better than beer, finer than wine, quicker than liquor. One great woman in wedlock, beats flying solo, with a girlfriend around, because that’s how we were designed to operate. And brushing clean the connection to God in my life, has electrified parts of me, that I never dreamed were worthy, or capable, or even present in junky little me. (including writing these words)

I’ve suffered in life. I’ve suffered the pains of the emptyness of the world. Entitled, and ungrateful, and a snot-face. Still do sometimes. BUT, the better suffering is this: Knowing that this amazing powerful force beyond comprehension of God, and Christ Jesus, are blasting a blinding white light of love and hope and forgiveness and purpose, and yet I am still reluctantly holding onto my smallness, my miniature toy cathedral of mistakes. I could drop it anytime. The one triune God has opened doors. I suffer as I sit and wait for more of a sign. I intellectually ‘get’ that I gotta get out of my own way, and I suffer, as I see that I’m not. When I habitually ‘get it’ energetically, It will be true in my everyday world.

Dang, Hurts So Good.

Suzanne Stauffer, an amazing woman, spent time with me this week. She did a lot of things that created a resulting feeling of freshness deep within me. She unfolded and she enlightened and she sparked something personally, spiritually, maybe deeper than I realize right now, within. She does that for people. Over the phone. Anywhere in the world. How freakin’ cool is that! I’m inspired by her, and others like her, that have worked with me in these profound ways. (See list below)

I wanna be more like that. I see something awesome in changing someone’s life for the better, even in super tiny increments. We could plant seeds. They could grow big and grand, or small and beautiful. In your world, what would you want?

There’s a habit I now put into place for myself. To help people. I can do that too. After awhile it will be second nature, and I’ll just ‘feel’ it… Course, that would be crazy…

Just like me 🙂

Be Love Today.


Aaron Nichols

Here is a list of the professional coaches and mentors that I’ve personally spoken with, in person, or on the phone. These teachers have guided my progress, kicked my butt, and loved me forward in life over the last year. Thank You All!

Bobbie Robertson –
Charles Redd 
Chris Dorris –
Clarence Thomson 
David Wetmore –
Deb Schanilec –
Dusan Djukich –
Erin Haskell –
Jason Westlake –
Joelene Robinson
Kevin Wile
Lisa Peake –
Megan Sillito –
Melissa Ford –
Michael Wright –
Molly Fiore –
Steve Chandler –
Steve Tefsky –
Suzanne Stauffer

And Tim Soule – without whom, I would be sorely smaller as a man. Thank You, Deeply.

Want to talk more about ‘An Ornate Cathedral of Failure… ME!’

You’re invited to join the next weirdforgood hangout, and engage in a workshop – you’ll need a free Google+ account, 45minutes to engage with us, at 5:30 CST, and device with a camera & headset/microphone. If you can Skype, you can do this, (it’s actually really easy  ) Then email me at – before Tuesday – I’ll send you the hangout invite when we start.

Check out last week’s hangout here, to get a feel for it. Join us if you dare!


Weirdforgood Hangout – 3 – The Smashing Trees

We invite you to watch and leave your own comments on the discussion we host in the Hangout this week.

Our launching point is The Smashing Trees Blog from last week, and we open with the razor sharp question:  “Do you think I get, how the world works?”

We cover:

  • Strong Thoughts create Strong Feelings?
  • Outside In vs. Inside Out
  • Testing Slowly Through a Thought vs. a Runaway Train of Assumptions
  • My response is My responsibility
  • What ‘World’ are we trying to ‘Get’ Anyway?

And cool stuff like that…


To be part of next week’s Hangout – Email Me at, each week I send out an invitation email with the details on how to get setup. (It’s pretty easy) then join us at 5:30 CST with 45 minutes to get in depth and have a fun – REAL discussion!

College Prep Chemistry at Ottawa High

Good Morning from a nice sunny January Day in Princeton!
Waaaaaay back in the 90’s when I attended Ottawa High School, in Ottawa, Kansas, There were a couple words that could strike fear in the heart of this slightly above average student: “Doc Cain!” Although I had no rational basis for being so scared of Mr. Cain and his College Prep Chemistry Class, I just plain was.
I took the course in my Junior Year and have many vivid memories. College Prep Chemistry was the most comprehensive and in-depth study that I had experienced in my 16 years. The kids in class were your typical over-achievers. We felt this was important stuff that was preparing us for the courses we’d take at University level in the years to come. We did experiments and bent little glass pipettes. We used crucibles and torches and took notes and were very serious about it all. The work load was tough, the subjects abstract.
Big projects required extra time in class. Somehow no matter how early you showed up, it seemed that Mr. Cain had already been there for hours. The classical music on NPR was a mind-bending contrast from the CD’s I was spinnin in my 84′ pickup truck.
We spent many hours after school as well. Small groups in the Cyclone Room would be head-down and scribbling pages and pages worth of equations, observations and solutions to complex problems. Usually we would work together and share ideas on how to complete the task at hand. Among these kids, we would usually find a suitable answer.
The most crushing moments came for me while working on a several page written document, and coming to a point where I could continue no more. The problem was not solved, and I was stuck! I would have had an hour or maybe many involved in this one equation. After asking the other smarties, and seeing their looks of confusion at what I had created, I knew there was only one thing to do… I had to go back into the class and ask Him for help… Mr. Cain was always glad to assist, but the pain of showing my stupidity to him on paper was an ego-killer!
I remember several of these moments, I always had the same experience. EVERY SINGLE time I went to him for help, I had two pages or more worth of words, numbers and symbols written by hand. I wanted help with the last two sentences or equations where I had become stuck. I proudly showed him all the work that went into this huge mess of lead on paper and asked him for just a little boost or fix for this little issue I had run into…
EVERY SINGLE TIME I had made my mistake Waaaaaay up at the beginning.  Every single time, he would look at the place on the page I was pointing, disregard that, and run his eyes hours back in time, up the sheet, to the place I started my screw-up. Aaaggghhhhh! NO!!
Humbled, Crushed and feeling stupid, I would sulk back to the booth by the windows and start all over…
You know what? When I would use his advice and do it right from the beginning, the problem would usually be Much faster, easier and more satisfying to complete than before. Even in starting over, the problem could get finished on time and turned in with a good grade.
In that world and in our financial world we are allowed to continue with our mistakes for awhile. We get to struggle along and think we’re getting somewhere. It may even look, at first glance, like we are. These denials of the truth and false-identities are what Debt gives to us. Our metaphorical chemistry assignment page of life can look like we’ve accomplished much. A nice big house, expensive college degree, newer cars and lots of trips to the city for Stuff we Need. This is what the average American’s written page looks like.
But, we are not living at a level of True Wealth. We have financial problems. Our money stresses do not stem from this month’s high utility bills. The issue is not our unexpected flat tire. It’s not Christmas’s fault or the cost of the kids’ traveling sports team.
Truth is, we’ve made a mistake waay back at the beginning. Our behavior pattern, our perception of money and wealth in general is Wrong. I guess I’ll be just as unpopular as Mr. Cain when I tell you that you’ve got to start over with your ideas about money in general. We’ve got to go back to square one and learn new things. That is, if you ever want to get unstuck from your finances and move on to the exciting and prosperous next level.
The shining silver lining here parallels my experience with a long chemistry equation back in 1996. When you start over and get it right from the beginning, the answer to the problem comes so much Faster, Easier and More Satisfying that you forget all about the years and years of doing it the wrong way. That moment of regret from being dumb, is blown away by the Fun and Thrilling stride after stride you’re taking when you know you’re on the right track.
Stay tuned to my blog, check out my website or go to . The truth is out there and I’d like to introduce you to it. You deserve it! You work too hard to not be enjoying the level of peace, security and generosity that you have earned. Take it from me, a debt-free kid from Ottawa High, it is absolutely worth the ego-hit to start all over and get it right.
Thanks Mr. Cain, for the chemistry and more importantly: Life Lessons!



Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Delapidated Debt that you’re sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Your Vision

Good Morning, I hope your week has been Fantastic!! Here is the latest Blog update and one that I will expand and build on in future posts. This subject has impacted all areas of my life, including finances. Let’s talk about Vision…

I have been a “rider” for most of my life. As a kid I had a bicycle like most. Then four-wheelers and motorcycles were a big part of my recreation as a teen and adult. I’ve also enjoyed many miles of adult bicycling as well. I’ve never been the smoothest rider, the craziest, or the most confident. I enjoyed it and thought I was okay, but actually had tons of room to improve!

A few years ago, I was reading a web article on bicycling and found a sentence that changed the way I looked at the world from that point forward.

Okay, so the sentence (that I read) that changed everything about the way I ride and live, goes something like this… “The bike goes where you look!”

Simple Right?? I immediately tested the theory and found out it is So True! The bike does go where you look. Put your eye on a spot in the road, focus there, and the bike ends up tracking exactly on top of that spot. No extra thinking or steering is required.

Let’s go further… If the Bike is us, and the Road is life, and Time is the engine pushing us forward… Do we understand that We are going where We are Looking??

Most of the time, if a curve is ahead, and we see a patch of gravel, or a huge pothole, (A Big Problem!) then our eyes stick on it, and we drive right to it!! The whole time thinking, “I hope I don’t hit that, I hope I don’t hit that!”

As it relates to our finances, are we looking to the place in the road we want to be? Or do we focus on the patches of gravel (bills piling up) and potholes (a mountain of debt). Worse yet, are we turned around and looking behind us at our previous money mistakes and opportunities we’ve past? Where do you think we’re headed in that situation?

We must begin to change our focus and where our vision is pointed. If we put our eyes on a new future, look beyond the debt, see ourselves as wisely controlling our finances, then us and our bike will begin to point that way. Can you see yourself in a Life After Debt? Can you see the money you would be able to spend, save and give if you had no credit card bills, student loans, medical bills, car payments or even a house payment? I like that vision, and live that vision. I know you can accomplish that too!

The exhilleration and feeling of flight you are able to enjoy when Debt-Free is worth the effort to get there. Use your mind and your vision to imagine that life for you and your family. You do deserve to rid yourself of the potholes that debt cause in your life. The road does not have to be as bumpy in your future financial world.

If you are Ready for a Better Road, together we can make a plan to fill those holes of consumer-debt. If you’re Ready for a Better Bike we’ll install cushy shock-absorbers called emergency funds to soften the ride. Then I’ll bring out the atlas, to show you the places you can reach, if you take the investing route to get there. You’ll have one saddle-bag stuffed full of cash for your future fun purposes and purchases. The other one will be over-flowing so you can stop along the way to help fellow travelers with your abundance.

Thanks for reading today’s post. I hope you’ll ask yourself, “What is My Vision?” and I hope it is a good one 🙂

“One thing I do is forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” Philippians 3:13


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Free 30 Minute Consultation – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

* Special Thanks to Sterling for a sweet Saturday Ride, and to sweet Liz for taking the pics!