Read Every Tweet from #NRB15

The National Religious Broadcasters convention just came to a close today. I was there on location representing I know some of you probably wished you could’ve gone, tried to follow along on Twitter but missed some of the action, or you were too busy waiting to buy a cup of coffee you just missed everything despite being there.

Well, you’re in luck! See below two links to spreadsheets containing all tweet mentions of the hashtag #NRB15 starting Sunday, February 22 and ending Thursday, February 26.


Every tweet from #NRB15 Page 1

Every tweet from #NRB15 Page 2

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Why Do You Work So Much?

Usually the conversation begins with asking me what I’m going to do on the weekend or for a holiday. That’s when I most often hear variations of the following.

  • You work too much. You need to enjoy life once in a while.
  • When you do anything for fun?
  • Do you ever not work?
  • When do you ever just relax and not focus on working?

To the credit of those who criticize and tell me to have more fun, I agree; I’m not the greatest at just having fun. The art of play is not something I excel at, but I try.

How I Play

When I ride BMX, I find myself not only jumping off stuff, but also just hanging out in the streets having a blast. Sometimes it can be as simple as bombing down a hill just to skid to a stop. Sometimes it’s playing on fun setups doing things on a bike that are hardly considered tricks. But it’s fun. It’s play. And I find it’s helpful to my overall health (at least when I don’t get physically hurt).

About 3 weeks ago I joined a gym. I’m already making progress. For the first time in almost six years I was able to bench press my body weight three times. Weight training can be tough and challenging, but it’s a form of play to me. I feel incredible when I’m able to meet or exceed strength goals. It’s a lot of fun and freeing to me.

Every Saturday I tend to keep to a standard schedule. Make some eggs and potatoes for breakfast. Go to Onyx for coffee and friendly banter with coffee snobs. Then I go to the market and get a $1 honeycomb to chew on. Although it’s is part of a routine for me, it’s also a lot of fun. I greatly enjoy it.

My Work Patterns

I track the time I spend on my laptop working using Rescue Time. I’ve been tracking the time I spend working on my computer for over two years to better understand my patterns. Here’s a snapshot of the last three months of my work patterns. Take note of the color code to understand what you’re viewing. Also, can you guess which month was a major product release and which month I took time off to do some traveling?

Rescue Time Tracking Free Service

november rescue time work patterns free app

free work tracking software application

If you’re noticing a pattern, it may be that I log on almost every day. November was my only month with three days of no logged in time. I log on almost every day, even if it’s only for a few hours. Often though, those 2-3 hour work days are extremely productive Saturdays and Sundays with no meetings.

I have painstakingly categorized websites and applications I visit and use to create a better picture of my work habits, although I have to continuously update my list of site so that I don’t skew my tracking. I then get a weekly report showing me the breakdown of how much time I spent doing what.

Why I Tend to “Work So Much”

In my opinion, I don’t work that much. I admit, I tend to work more often than some of my peers including on weekends and holidays. I boil my hustle down to a few reasons.

  • I’m single. I don’t have a spouse or anyone to spend my weekends and holidays with. I’m still at a stage in life where I have extra time to commit towards learning and growing–I’d be crazy to let that go to waste.
  • College debt is overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but paying off college debt isn’t easy. And until it’s gone, I owe it to my future self and, Lord willing, my future family to pay it off. Advancing my career now is going to help pay this down.
  • I thoroughly enjoy what I do. It’s amazing to me that many people will tweet or applaud inspiring speakers who say, “Do something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life,” yet, when I hold to this claim I’m often criticized work can’t be that much fun. Some how, I actually found a gig I enjoy putting in time at.
  • I’m a slow reader and learner. I do not learn as fast as others. I read very slow and often have to re-read everything. I never made it to any advanced math courses and I’ve failed to grasp basic English grammar and sentence structure. I don’t want to just be par, I’m seeking the top-end of my potential. This requires continued self-education beyond high school and college. Let’s be real, I did those (with honors) and still ended up lacking.

Still, I recognize that there may be room for me to change up some of my work patterns. (I meant what I said here, even if I tweeted it in hopes of winning some books)

My Ultimate Life Goal

One day I hope to work for free.

This is, perhaps, my biggest reason for working the way I do. I want to one day give my time and energy towards a cause greater than my own earnings. Something that I not only don’t need to be paid to do, but I get to do without the attachment of compensation.

I don’t know what that something is. I don’t know where I’ll need to be to do it. I don’t know what my financial situation will have to be in order to do it.

I just know this has been a life goal of mine since I first articulated it when I was 23.

This type of goal is often met with criticisms.

  • That doesn’t make any sense.
  • Well, how could you possibly do that?
  • Why can’t you just retire like everyone else?
  • Is that even possible?
  • That doesn’t make any sense.

Maybe I’m delusional. Maybe I’m so disconnected from reality. Maybe I’m blind to what’s possible.

The problem I have with the criticism and feedback I’ve received is I’ve met people who do what I dream to do already. The work they do is remarkable. The lives they’ve helped changed reaches into the thousands. Their work is far too inspiring and real for me to believe anything contrary to my vision.

So to really answer the question, why do you work so much?

My life is different than yours. I learn differently, play differently, work differently, and dream differently. I say that only to clarify I’m different, not necessarily better or exceptional in comparison. My “working so much” may seem a lot in comparison to you, but maybe it’s not really that much. Maybe it’s just different.


Exactly What I’m Thinking as I’m About to Hit My Face

Oh crap!

That’s about it. That’s about all I’m thinking when I’m about to hit my face. Everything else I’m doing is completely reactionary and without thought. Turning my head, reaching my arms out with forearms prepared to take the blunt of impact, and preparing to roll.

I wrote most of this post yesterday. However, this morning on my way to church I was pedaling up a hill to get to the bus. Suddenly I felt a pop, then all of my body weight shifted forwards as the back wheel lifted off the ground. Before I knew it, I was headed over the bars directly towards the concrete. I have an idea of how I avoided any real injury, but it took no thought—just pure reaction.

BMX has helped me introduce my face to substrates more than any other physical activity.

There was that one time we sent up a table downstairs so we could grind down the top of it. I clipped my back peg we pulling off and ended up scraping my face and arms up real good. Then there was that time when I nose-cased (here’s an example of that) a dirt jump and my face hit a piece of wood we were using to cover the soft dirt. And that time I missed getting my front peg up on a 22-stair handrail (something like the first clip here) and flew over the rail and into gravel face first.

In comparison to many of my friends, I’ve ridden away with very few and far less serious injuries, although I’ve had two ACL surgeries. The difference between my friends and I: they were willing to pay the price more that I was. Sure, some of my friends had way more talent than I, but they also believed in the pursuit of getting better at BMX. They took bigger risks, achieved greater levels of riding, and experienced more severe injuries (I should point out that each of these is not dependent on the other).

I think about this and how it applies to everyday life. The risks I take in everyday life don’t come with the harsh consequences of surgery, facial scares (I can’t grow hair in two spots on my jaw line), and physical pain. But they do come with sometimes more difficult consequences. Consequences that casts, splints, and band-aids don’t fix.

I’ve fallen on my face with regards to money, my profession, and my personal relationships. Each time I found myself figuratively sliding my face on the concrete, there’s been little time to react in the moment. You don’t just get to stop a girl for telling you she thinks “you’re a great guy and all but…”. You don’t get to tell the stock market to quickly put back the thousands of dollars it removed from your portfolio (the fat-finger-debacle was my worst day ever financially). You can’t just tell a client to renew their short-term project–the one that you were counting on for rent. These are situations you react as best as possible to lessen the damage to your face as you can.

In these situations my mind jumps to the advice of my high school football coach. He’d yell until his voice was gone, lecturing the team on the importance of composure. “Keep your composure,” he’d say. “This is going to be a heck of a challenge, but keep your composure.”

Let’s face it, once you’ve slammed hard, it no longer matters that you’ve fallen. At that point it’s time for recovery. This is the road I still don’t know how to navigate. In a brief moment of clarity and the reason for trying to write this post, I tweeted this:

When I hit my face, whether figuratively or physically, it is the result of pursuing something I believe in. Time well spent is allocated to preparing and pursuing what I believe in. But in the moments after I’ve full-on scorpion-grinded (see here for an example), that’s when the real struggle begins.

Recovery is hard because it often involves work on the heart. There’s thinking, reflecting, praying, and even questioning. You’ve probably heard yourself ask “Why did this have to happen to me? Why me?” In some of those cases, you might hit your face because you took a risk for something you were unprepared for. In other cases, there was nothing that could have prepared you for what you were about to take on.

I wish there was an actual conclusion to this post, but there’s not. I have no idea how to conclude this. Writing stuff like this is my own way of forcing myself (while kicking and screaming) to confront my own moments of falling short. I guess it doesn’t matter so much what I’m thinking when about to hit my face.

Here’s where you say “cool story, bro.”

If you came to see crashes and not some much to read my rant, you’re in luck. I’ve got two clips in this video. If you can point them out (and you don’t ride BMX), I’ll buy you coffee. Limit to only one winner.

Out of Hand intro from Chris Bird on Vimeo.

I Just Shaved, Here’s What You Need to Know

I appreciate the compliments. I appreciate you expressing interest in my life, even if it’s my beard that interests you. Mostly, if you’re reading this, I appreciate you.

Also, to follow up on my last blog post. I ask you if I were to shave my beard, how much you’d be willing to donate. As you might have noticed, I shaved rather suddenly without launching a fundraising campaign.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 8.37.21 PMIn short, you all said you’d be willing to donate $335 to charity. So that’s what I did.

I gave to a wonderful friend of mine. Her name is Lisa. She is an active member of her community who has helped me with both of my world record pie fight attempts. She also is raising a son with Cerebral Palsy and is up against many challenges, including financial challenges.

Her story can be found here. Without clicking away (unless you’re ready to give), read her story:

“With Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities, Elliott has mobility limitations. Help us get a wheelchair van to accomodate his needs.

It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a several communities, family, and friends to raise a child with special needs.

Elliott was born with many medical complications; blind, cerebral palsy, failure to thrive, chronic lung disease, and is 100% dependent on his parents. Despite all these obstacles we as parents have faced over the past few years it doesn’t compare to the obstacles we will face going forward.

Our current obstacle is Elliott’s constant growth (as any child grows) and his restriction to a wheel chair. They no longer fit in a standard vehicle and although Elliott still fits in a larger special needs car seat, it isn’t giving him the support he needs. Not to mention the wheelchair and him combined weigh 150 lbs.

Elliott is outgrowing us fast and the cost of accessibility is overwhelming.  Although our goal is a hefty one it will help us cover the cost of a van that will accommodate him as he continues to grow.

Any excess donations will be put towards home modifications that are also needed to accomodate Elliott.

We appreciate all your support!”

Her campaign ends within the next day or so. If you’re able, I encourage you to give.

Contribute here.