Over the weekend our street lost power, two trees downed by a storm on power lines. The power company had us all working again two hours later and the county was out the next morning to clean up the trees in the road.

They left the trees out of the way but on the roadside overnight. A neighbor said that they were told anyone who wanted could come and get wood but that the county would haul it away in the morning.

Two things about me: I like power tools and I love fires. I was out of firewood and looking for an excuse to buy a chainsaw.

Two hours later I was up the street with a new chainsaw, my six and eight-year old boys and our van, all with our headlamps on in near-freezing weather. Two hours after that we had successfully cut up and hauled away about one rick’s worth of red oak. It won’t be ready this season but it will burn great next year.


  • Make Decisions: A proactive mindset in all areas of life yield results. In this case, I got a chainsaw and some firewood for the price of either.
  • Be Aggressively Proactive: Don’t wait for things to get done. Acting now brings about the end state you want tomorrow.
  • A little help goes a long way when there is a leader — someone who can articulate clear decisions and advance proactive action. I yielded the saw, but my boys actually did all the hard work of loading the van and stacking the wood at home. But, they needed clear direction first.
  • It takes work. All of us worked to get the firewood, it was hard and cold.
  • You make your luck. This was a fantastic opportunity for us, not just because I wanted a chainsaw but because I was able to have an experience with my boys that they will carry with them. It would have been family time regardless, in this case, before the storm ever came I knew I was looking for those moments with my boys, along with chainsaws and firewood. When it all came together it made for an easy call because I already knew what I wanted.