the subtle art of giving a crap

the subtle art of giving a crap

Oh no, I said crap in the title, how will I ever recover from this? Ha. 

I want you to think for a second about the person that has made you feel most valuable. For some it may take awhile to conjure up an idea, for others it comes right to your mind. There are certain attributes this person has. Most likely they are humble, they are invested, and they deeply care (their body language, words, and mannerisms prove this) 

The subtle art of giving a crap starts in each and every interaction. It isn't a secondary goal, it is the primary goal. If we lose sight of this goal, it gets messy. When we look at how to interact with others we often jump to the conclusion that we need to learn about their wiring, their likes and dislikes, love language, etc to effectively communicate with them. When this is our starting point people can see through it. What they see is someone trying to solve a puzzle versus giving a crap. 

What if we started with a question? What if instead of looking for ways to move someone closer to a goal we have for them, or for us, or for our organization we simply asked the next right question and then listened? Listening is an art and a science and it takes concerted effort.  

When people see that we are listening to what they are saying and what they aren't saying, they see us as people that value them at a deep level. When people see that you value them, then and only then can you try to inspire them. The subtle art of giving a crap is found in the trenches of asking the right question and listening well. 


Here is a quick guide to help you on your listening journey 

Every time you feel like talking about yourself, ask a question instead and then listen to the answer.

It's harder than it seems. Your mind will try and find the next words to fill the void once the other person is done talking. That's when you know you have work to do. When your mind is silent while you take in cues from the speaker that's when you know you are closer to the goal of listening well.


I have a dream

I have a dream

"Happy Fathers Day Dad!"

"WOW, thank you. Everyone sit down for a minute, I have something really important to say and I need you to hear this." 

"When you close your eyes what do you see? In fact, close your eyes for a minute." 

He pauses for longer than anyone expects, he takes a deep breath inhaling slowly and exhaling loudly so that everyone can hear him. He commands the floor. Like a general's speech before a battle, he is calm and confident and there is power exuding his every movement. 

"I have a dream that I can not seem to shake and I want to share it with you. I know you are not ready for it and most of you will ignore it's importance but it's Fathers Day and I have your attention." 

With a loud voice he continues.

"Every time I close my eyes it is there waiting to meet me and take me on an adventure. Sometimes this dream is in a good mood and sometimes it is rather terse. Nevertheless it is always watching and waiting hoping I will not get distracted with anything else." 

"I have a dream, when I close my eyes I see a day when 

no child sniffs anymore glue to murder the hunger pains

no sick person goes unvisited

no alcoholic drowns in his sorrow

no drug addict shoots up one more time to quiet the mind 

no prostitute gives herself away any longer

no orphan sleeps in the cold

no widow scratches around in the trash to feed her family

no person eats too much to numb the pain they feel

no prisoner is left to his/her depressive thoughts

no homeless person goes without a warm meal and a blanket

no well to do mother medicates to numb her loneliness

no pastor hides behind his pulpit or his theology

no businessman dines with his fantasy

no pimp continues to get away with selling another person

no person goes another day believing they are worthless."  

He stops for another long pause. After all, he does not want the gravity of what he has said to get lost. 

"I dream of the day that each and every person sees themselves as the Father sees them without blemish, with magnificent purpose, passion, and position.

A day where each person dances too long

sings too loud

stays up too late

drinks deeply

loves with abandon

hugs someone they do not want to let go of  

gives to all without any desire to see a return 

says things to others that ignite their soul 

laughs too loud 

reads too much 

runs around without a care in the world." 

He slows his cadence and his inflection. Everyone leans in. He whispers this last part. 

"I dream of the day that YOU see yourself the way I see you and you begin living that life. When you begin living that life the first part of my dream does not exist any longer." 

Can you imagine a world where each and every person was living the purpose of the Father?

What would that world look like? 

What do you see when you close your eyes? 

This is what I see. I am convinced that the first part of my dream is a direct reflection of people (you and I) not seeing our purpose clearly enough. Somewhere along the way our true purpose was thwarted, stolen, twisted, squashed, and handed back to us and we accepted it as is and began medicating. 

There is a different way. I am here to guide you in it. 

Fill this out and we can begin. 

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What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

Did you know that there is a gap that exist in your life and most of you are not even aware of it? 

For too many years I kept hoping from job to job trying to find that thing that would fill me up. When the truth of the matter is it was sitting right in front of me. 

I had these grandiose ideas, dreams, visions, and desires for the future only to find that I was stuck on the other side of the seemingly large chasm. This is what it felt like. 

ME NOW     [[[     GAP     ]]]     FUTURE ME

The gap between where I was (me) and where I wanted to be (future me) was rooted in fear. 

Some examples of fear include: 

The fear of not being good enough.  

The fear of failing and being made fun of. 

The fear of winning and then having to repeat that same thing over and over and over. 

The fear of the unknown. 

The fear of isolation. 

The fear of getting what you desire, dream of and then not having anything to get excited about. 

The fear of it always being like this. 

Fear is a liar. 

It is a very good liar. It is a storyteller that likes to repeat a similar story in a myriad of ways. It uses scenarios from your past to prove to you that you do not have what it takes. It convinces you that there are only a select few that "make it" and you are not one of those select few. It uses those you love to remind you that you have not made it and that you should probably just give up and do that 9 to 5 job that smothers you. 

Guess what I have the key to unlock new thinking and it is easier than you may imagine. This key will force you to confront your fear and tell it to be quiet. Then it will search the entire house for other words that will set you up to accomplish those ideas you have in that journal that sits on the shelf. It will absolutely close the gap between where you are and where you want to be and you will realize your potential. Sounds too good to be true. Sure it does.

I was recently sitting with a friend of mine named Reward Sibanda. He is from Zimbabwe, Africa and has an ability that very few people have. He watches people, from body language to the words they are using. He is able to call things out in another person like few I have seen. We were sitting down and chatting when he said these words, "Ryan you are an appraiser, you have the ability to take the diamond that is each individual life and find its value to the world. You intrinsically know the beauty that is there and you help the individual find it for themselves." 

In that moment he told me one thing.


My mission is to help you realize your purpose and propel you into it. 

If you want to know how to close the gap, fill this out. 

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