Category Archives for Take Action

The Power Is Out In The Entire Country – What Do You Do?

Imagine this:

It's a quiet Saturday afternoon and you are relaxing at home.

It's cloudy outside, but no rain.

Without warning, the power goes out.

A few minutes later, you get a text that the power is out in the entire country.

What do you do?

What goes through your mind?

Do you call your family? Check on neighbors? Do you stay calm, or do you panic? ​Do you figure it's no big deal - or when you get that text do you start imagining that it's the end of the world?

This happened last week in Central America. A power failure in Panama took out power in parts of that country, the entire country of Costa Rica, and parts of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.

It ​was a cloudy Saturday afternoon. My wife was at work and I was home with our 3-year-old daughter.

The power went out. But since this happens every few days, it wasn't any cause for concern.

But then I got this text from my wife:

power out in Costa Rica 2017

Here were my thoughts:

1:30 pm “Uh oh… I’ve never heard of that before… 'The power is out in the entire country'?!"

1:35 pm "OK no problem - We just need to keep the fridge closed so the food doesn’t go bad."

1:45 pm “Hmmm this could be a problem. We have food but what if the water stops working? I’ll fill up a big container of water.” (I fill up a giant water cooler bottle)

2:00 pm “If the power is out in the entire country, it will probably be out for more than a few hours. Maybe a day or two? A few weeks? Oh boy…”

2:01 pm (I text a friend in the U.S. who asked what the weather was like. When I try to look up the temperature, my phone said “no service”)

2:02 pm “No cell service. Oh no. This is a big problem. What if I can’t get in touch with Shannon? What’s happening in the rest of the country? Chaos?”

2:03 pm “Is this the end of the world?”

2:04 pm “What if the ice cream in the freezer melts before I get to eat it? I’d better eat that now before it melts.”

2:05 pm (I eat the ice cream sandwich from our freezer)

2:08 pm “That was a pretty selfish move… I probably should have been more concerned about our neighbors than the ice cream melting. I wonder if any neighbors are in trouble? Can’t think of any that are older, or that live alone…”

2:37 pm “Maybe I should call our pastor to see if the church is rallying people to go help anyone who’s in trouble?”

2:38 pm Power comes back on

2:39 pm (Sigh of relief) "Oh good, it’s not the end of the world.”

I text Shannon to let her know the power is back on.

power out in Costa Rica 2017

I learned a few lessons that Saturday. Next time there is any kind of emergency, I need to:

  • Think about others first - instead of eating the ice cream, I should think about and take immediate action to ensure that my family and neighbors are safe
  • Have a plan - and a backup plan. My wife, daughter and I need to all have a plan written down and rehearsed so that we know exactly what to do if we have an emergency
  • I need to pray. When I heard the power was out in the entire country, I should have fallen to my knees in prayer

We are grateful that this power outage was quickly resolved and we don't know of anyone that was hurt by it.

But it could be different next time - and we will be prepared.

Are you prepared for an emergency? What's your plan - what will you to prepare and to respond when it happens? Comment below and let me know.

Go chasing waterfalls

Recently we took a bike ride to a waterfall we’ll call “Waterfall #1” near our home.

It hasn’t rained for about 3 months so it was just a trickle of water, and most of the landscape around it was brown.

Compare that to what we’ll call “Waterfall #2” which we visited a year ago.

When we visited Waterfall #2, it also hadn’t rained for about the same amount of time, but #2 was full of life.

As I thought about these two waterfalls, I began to wonder if my family is like Waterfall #1 or #2.

Waterfall #1 dried up when there was no rain.

Waterfall #2 was still strong and fruitful – everything around it was green – even with no rain.

There may not always be rain providing for and sustaining our families.

But if we have been intentionally building into our family, and storing up for the dry season, we will still flourish when there is no rain.

We can begin preparing today for the next dry season that is bound to hit our families.

If you have stories about how you do this already or struggles you’ve had with this, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

There is one thing we can all do together, today – we can check out the Thrive Community.


So what’s it all about?

First, and most importantly, the Thrive community provides some foundational resources to get your family started right away on the path from launch to legacy.

  • You’ll start with a foundational guided learning experience called Families that Win.
  • You’ll position your family to win and define what winning means for your family.
  • You’ll get clarity on your family direction with the Ziglar Family Purpose Creator™.
  • You’ll learn practical ways to guide your family to consistently be, do and have more using the Ziglar Family GPS™.

This experience will be unlocked one week at a time and delivered in manageable, bite-size sessions you can process at your own pace.

Then, you’ll experience four key components each month:

  1. Thrive Family Focus, an in-depth interview with a guest expert, focused on a specific topic or area of family life and go deep to learn from the best!
  2. You’ll get Thrive Family Essentials content each month. This will be a valuable downloadable, teaching resource that will equip you to overcome specific family challenges.
  3. You’ll enjoy the Thrive Family Spotlight. In these fun, family-friendly interviews, we’ll highlight a family that has experienced success in a specific area of life so we can all learn from their experience.
  4. Mark Timm, Ziglar Family CEO, will conduct Thrive Live Coaching calls each month to answer specific questions from the community. He’ll often be joined by the Thrive Family Focus expert and questions can be submitted beforehand. These coaching sessions are a lot of fun and will be recorded for easy, 24/7 access, so if you can’t make the live call, you can always listen in later.

In addition to all of this, what really makes the community THRIVE is the connection with other families in the community. Initially, you can engage with other families in our private Facebook group available only to other THRIVE members. You can ask questions, get encouragement, and find inspiration.

So, be like Waterfall #2. You can start today by checking out the Thrive Community.

Thrive Family community from Ziglar Families

Get out of my head

Have you ever been overwhelmed or stressed?

This past year I’ve spent too much time being unfocused and overwhelmed for no good reason.

Maybe too much time to think? Maybe it’s the heat of Central America? Maybe it was the time we spent isolated with the monkeys and iguanas?
I think the real reason I felt this way is that I spent too much time focused on our own family, and keeping our ship afloat, that I lost sight of the bigger picture and those around us.
Granada Islets Lake Nicaragua boat

The Granada Islets on Lake Nicaragua

But a few months ago I did something small that got me out of my own head (which was consumed with self-centered thoughts and overwhelmed).

I spent a morning helping fix up a house with other men volunteering with our church’s home improvement project.

For a local family, a volunteer team replaced most of her roof, replaced her floor, and some walls.

That one morning, only 3 or 4 hours, gave me an entirely new perspective on things.
On average the home improvement project repairs one home each month.
But in the past year, I only spent one morning helping.

Here is a project our church completed this month – Conchita’s home.

Click here to check out the video.

Conchita's House Hope Fellowship Costa Rica home improvement

click to watch the video

And yet… I did not help in any way.

Pretty pathetic, right?
I need to make it a habit of getting out there, out of my head, out of my comfort zone, to love our neighbors. That is one of our family’s values after all.
The home improvement project has already started work repairing another home.
So I will be getting out there and getting dirty in order to get out of my own head and love my neighbors.
Do you need to get out of your own head? Want to join me?
Comment below and let me know what you can do this week.

How we chose the wrong home

When we moved to Costa Rica, we needed to find a home to rent.
It was high season in a part of the country that has tons of tourism, so almost everything available was for short-term vacation rentals.

We finally found a long-term rental in our budget.

The good:

  • it had the # of bedrooms we wanted and my mother-in-law would have her own space
  • it gave Shannon the shortest possible commute to work (still 40 minutes!)
  • there was a beautiful community pool
  • it was fun seeing (most of) the wildlife – monkeys, iguanas, snakes, scorpions, bats, tarantulas, geckos, etc
But over the next few months, we realized we had made the wrong choice.
The bad:
  • we were too isolated from others – which would have been great for vacation, but not for long term living
  • there was only one other family with kids nearby, and we only saw them twice the whole time we lived there
  • we had a burglary and every few nights, there were burglary attempts nearby
wild horse playa panama costa rica

On a bike ride near our old home where the horses roamed free

Where did we go wrong?

We forgot what was actually important.

We focused on the technical stuff like a short commute, square footage, # of bedrooms, etc. and lost focus of how actually living in this home would fit in with our family’s values and mission.

Instead of looking for a home with x square feet, we should have focused more on whether or not we’d have opportunities to build relationships with neighbors, because we value community.

Instead of looking for a home with a nice kitchen, we should have focused more on the opportunity for 2-year-old Grace to have kids nearby that she could play with, because we want to teach Grace how to be a good friend.

Instead of looking for a home with outdoor space, we should have focused more on whether or not there was a church nearby, because we want to be able to worship God with others.
After the isolation grew to be too much, we moved to a new community where:
  • where we’ve been building friendships with neighbors that we hope will continue for many years
  • where we can walk or bike anywhere
  • where Grace has friends to play with
  • where we can ride bikes to a thriving church that is focused on serving the community

At some point, we’ll move again.

And we don’t want to make the same mistake we made when looking for our first home in Costa Rica.
So I’ve put together a home search criteria checklist that will help us make a better decision based on factors that are more important than the physical features of the house or apartment we are looking at.
If you haven’t downloaded it already, there should be a link to it here:

CLICK HEREto download the Home Search Essential Criteria checklist

We used this when we moved to our second home in Costa Rica, and it was a huge help in keeping the bigger picture in mind rather than getting distracted by unimportant details.
If you’ll be moving anytime soon, you might find it helpful in your home search.
Do you have a story about choosing the right or wrong home? Or have any feedback on the home search document? Comment below and tell your story.