Fork in the road

Feeding Yourself Episode 33

Hello and welcome to all of you that are working hard in the workforce and the construction Trades. I had a very interesting discussion with one of my students this week. The question he ask me a first sounds pretty legit but when you think about It,  it is one of the main reasons why I believe many give up way to easy.   His question basically went like this I need you to show me in the text book exactly what I need to study so I don’t waste my time studying things I don’t need. My first response was the purpose of the questions on the test was not to see if you can memorize a few sections but to see if you have a basic understanding of the material. He than restated the question and said he only needs to know what is on the test. I asked if I should point out all the key phrases in the text and highlight he ones on the test for him. He thought that would be a great idea. I than asked him once the test is completed what would he have learned. His response really baffled me but made sense to him at least. He said it does not matter I would have passed the test. I responded by asking if I should just spoon feed the information if that would be satisfactory. He stated of course not. Well my friends lets take a look at that situation. That is exactly why many people do not understand why they cannot seem to move ahead. They really believe the notion that it is not fair that some succeed and some don’t. These are the ones that are waiting on someone else to do all the hard work so they can continue to shall I say have you cake and eat it to. We all know that as simple as that sounds once you eat the cake you no longer have it. The mentality that if I have to work too hard for it, it is not worth it, I will just go for the low hanging fruit. That is a type of attitude that once it starts it can actually keep you from ever succeeding and above all else you will be able to always justify why others succeed above you. On top of that the definition of success becomes blurred as to what success actually is. The only concern for my student was to pass the test he had no real passion to learn the material. Trying to do things for the short term is exactly that the short term. You will find yourself bouncing from task to task never really growing and again not understanding why many keep passing you by. The hard truth is you have to be the one to not only set your goals but only you can attain them. Expecting someone else to do anything for you is really asking a lot. Oh but wait are we all not suppose to be helping each other succeed? Yes absolutely but helping one learn and enabling one to fail is to different things. Lets take a look at this for a moment. I heard this analogy about an eagle and the egg. When a young eaglet is in the egg it is very weak and small. During the incubation time as it starts to develop it starts to want to be free of the shell that surrounds it. Slowly but surely it keeps pecking at the shell each time his beak is getting stronger and his muscles are getting stronger.  Until one day he breaks free and is hatched fro the egg a healthy you eagle that within 2 to 3 months is able to soar to great heights.  No if you were to go back and see how help the eaglet while he was still in the egg there are good ways to help and ways that seem good but are not. One way to help is to keep the egg warm and safe from anything breaking it from outside in. This allows for the eaglet to become strong enough to survive. Some would maybe try and help by pulling away the shell once the eaglet broke through other words help him not have to work so hard. That’s a nice thing right, well not really you would actually cause the eaglet to more than likely die before ever being able to fly because he was never able to grow strong enough and became depended on some out side force to do for him.  So by just giving a person the answers to the test, the task at hand or what ever it may be the only thing they learn how to do is to rely on someone else to do things for them. If someone does not do it for them they come up with a thousand excuses why it cant be done. I am reminded of an old proverb “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day—if you teach him to fish, you feed him for many days.”  Teaching and learning is not the same as memorizing for the moment. When you learn something it continues to fine tune you and help you grow stronger.  We live in a society that seems to be able to be able to provide for all the information we need at the touch of a button yet with all that information available we still need to understand how to be able to use it for good.  So if someone helps you out that is great, take a moment to thank them and use what they helped you with to grow stronger. On that same not don’t expect anyone to do for you. You have the passion and will power within you to achieve your goals

SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES                    SUBSCRIBE ON STITCHER                    

Fork in the road

Bridging the Gap Episode 32

Hello and welcome to all of you that are working hard in the workforce and the construction Trades. This is episode number 32 titled Bridging the Gap I just got back from a great few days down in Sunny Fort Lauderdale for the Annual Apprenticeship Competition.  What a great time of encouragement for me as I saw so many young people from all over the country competing in all types of trades. There were HVAC, Plumbing, Welding, Sheet Metal workers, Instrumentation Techs, Pipe fitters, Insulators, Carpenters, and of course electricians. I had one of my students down there competing with about 30 other apprentices. It was so great to see that young people are learning to become the new leaders in the industry. I hear so many complaints about how young people don’t want to work or how they are lazy. After talking with many of these young men and women down there I can tell you that this is so far from the truth.  They have the same dreams and goals as you once did. The problem I believe is that many think that they have so called arrived in the trade or their career. Since the younger generation tends to be more tech savvy many of those that are, lets just say established in their field feel threaten so they just shut down and don’t communicate or learn how to relate to those around them. They have a fear that tis young buck may take their job so they tend to keep looking down on them. Many of these younger people have a very strong drive but in case you did not realize they have a lot more challenges in today’s world than we actually did when we were coming up. The amount of information is just simply overwhelming and it continues to change at a fast pace.

Click on the player to listen to the rest of this episode.


Fork in the road

A Diamond in the Rough Episode 31

Being a leader in any industry can be pretty tough these day. You have to be able to organize, plan the job or task at hand, understand different personalities, and it also seems you have to have a degree in counseling and psychology. It can be pretty tough at time juggling all of the things that need to get done. Todays topic is titled a diamond in the rough. Many time we work around people that may have great potential yet they are shall we say a little rough around the edges. You may even fall into that category. I think we all have been or will go through this a sometime in our lives. How do you help a person that cannot see the potential that they may have.   This is where you have the opportunity to help someone to surge forward. Many times it mean that you will need to go above a beyond to help someone succeed. Too many times as I make observations in the field those that have a potential to do very well in the trade or career they are working in get over looked because that have what seems to be a bad attitude or work ethic yet when you talk to them they are actually pretty smart and knowledgeable. Others around them actually fell threaten by this and believe it or not encourage the self destructing behavior by constantly egging them on. Why is this you say? I think it is because many people are afraid that they will take their job so they want to keep them down. Which goes back to the self esteem issue that produces tis fear. A good leader can see through this and help create a leader that can be a great asset to you and your company

Great podcast to listen to as mentioned in the show 48 Days to the work you love link


Fork in the road

Getting Paid to Go to School Episode 30

This week’s episode I have a great guest that is a successful Project Manager for a Nationwide Company and he started from the ground and worked his way up in 15 years. If you are looking for a career, a change in career or just want to know some secrets on how to move up in your company than this is a must listen.

Need CEU’s or looking for exam prep courses check out


Fork in the road

Takers and Givers Episode 29


This week I want to discuss a tough topic and I am looking forward to the reviews though I know some may be negative I hope that we will all be on the same page. So I too start off I want to ask a question are you a giver or a taker? Many are somewhere in between while many others allow their lives to become unbalanced, if it goes the extreme either way. If you are a leader the very nature of a good leader is to be a servant. One just has to watch any of the great battle movies and you will see that the best leaders are the ones that care for the group or team as a whole. They are first to go forth in the great battles and because of the respect that all the others have they follow even though it may mean death on the battlefield. This also applies in our careers a good leader is one that has willing followers that will be true to the task at hand, Even in cases where they do not understand the whole picture. Being a servant leader shows that you really care about the people around you and you are willing to share your knowledge to help others succeed in life even though you may not receive any direct benefit from the other person’s success. The rewards for leadership come in many forms not only money but in the peace of mind to know that you are performing at the skills which you were created with. We all have those special skills that are unique to us. By using the skills everyone around you has the ability to be able to succeed. This does not always work in the real world as people ten to become unbalanced and sway to far one way or another both of the extremes cause undo stress on your will to move forward. Let’s take a look at the giver this is usually a person who has a deep desire to help others such as a pastor, a motivational coach, or a teacher or similar positions. They spend countless hours at all hours of the day helping others when ever they call. They are really the super heroes when it comes to serving other peoples needs. They do counseling, they provide training, they provide food if needed in some cases. They take no account as to their own needs at any given time. They never say no to anyone that asks them of anything. Now again mind you I am talking in the extreme, while all this is good and they are making a difference in many others lives, many times the very ones that need their help and would greatly benefit by changing their own lives never get the chance to be influence by these great men and women.  The reason is because they are or become the givers, the problem happens when they encounter too many takers. Now what are the takers these are those that are masters at manipulation. They know how to get others to do for them what they do not want to do. They know the right buttons too push to the giver so that they do not have to carry any of the decisions require to make their own lives better. In the lives of takers some go on to do very well living on the backs of others while some are always struggling and never know what will happen from day to day. Now don’t take me wrong there are many that are truly down and out and we all should be doing everything we can to help others. The takers tend to take up most if not all of the givers time as many of the problems that are actually be faced are not being corrected but actually being compounded. The taker really has no ambition to help themselves they just want to get as much as they can. Many times once they have exhausted the resources from one particular giver they move on to the next. As you can see this also puts a big demand on those that give and are not able to recognize that they are actually be taken advantage of. This in turn causes the giver to be discouraged over time and many time through their hands up and say what is the use?  It should always be a two way street and receiving help and assistance from others does not make you a taker. It is when you keep taking the help even though you don’t need it.  I am always surprised when I hear a tradesman that is unemployed and shares with me that money is tight. I had one tell me one time that he was getting help from his church and he was collecting unemployment. I felt bad from him but than he went one to tell me that he was making it up doing side jobs and that he did not have to worry about getting a full time job. I was stunned at how un concerned as to the consequences of his actions. I asked wouldn’t you do better if you had the full time job? He said no than I would have to work all week. When I expressed to him that that was not even legal he really did not care, I have not seen him since but have heard that 5 years later he is even worst off than before and now involved in court issues and feels the whole world is against him. You see we all have the ability to make decisions to better ourselves. No one else can make them for you. Just like I talked about in the last episode about making a decision.  Let me know you thoughts or your experiences I would love to share your question on the podcast. You can send your questions to or just follow us on twitter @surgingforward

Thank you for listening and please help us out by leaving a review on ITunes or if you are listening of Stitcher leave us a review there. I would also be grateful if you would share this episode on your facebook page for others to listen as we all continue to help each other to Keep Surging Forward

Stay Safe and God Bless


Fork in the road

Make a Decision?! Episode 28


In the last episode I talked on school or no school this as well as many other decision we make in life can be very hard. I recently had a talk with a colleague that I had not seen it a while. He spent most of the time talking about all the things he wish he had done such as I should have stayed in school, I should have started my own company, I should have taken the promotion offered to me in a different location and on and on he went. Since he was in his 50’s he felt that life had passed him by and he was full of regrets. I explained to him that he has had a lot of experience and to start with setting some simple goals. It is never to late. Part of the problem he could never make a decision on anything. Though he was very knowledgeable he always would second guess himself. While ask for advice of others is good, he would always ask everyone he knew, and instead of looking at the facts to see if they aligned with his goals he would not really receive any facts from those he asked only opinions. The so called advice from his peers only confused him to the point he could not make a decision and all in the fear that he would be wrong. My friend, life is full of decisions. When people tend to over analyze every little thing they never actually make a choice. The very first thing you must do is have a basic understanding of your actual skill set and what you like to do. What makes you happy? Is it building things? Is it problem solving, is it helping others, is it creating art, or whatever it is take a moment to know what you are gifted at. So many people tell me that they find it hard to make a decision, so they simply decide to do nothing because of the fear of failure. Well I can help you with that so you don’t have to be afraid of it any more. You will fail, yes that is not very positive and you may ask how does knowing that help me to keep Surging Forward? I usually do not like to dwell on negative things but we all have failed and more than likely will fail again. My friend I was speaking about earlier felt like a failure yet he had not made any life changing decisions. So not making a decision can cause a person to fail. It is a sad truth. The other truth is that it becomes hard for a person that has not made any life changing decisions to have many positive friends because they tend to be negative all the time. Click on the play button above to listen to the complete post. Love to here your comments.Stay Safe

Fork in the road

School or No School Episode 27


This week there was a question posted on a facebook group I am a part of and the person asked the group: I am going to school to learn electrical but have been offered a job, which pays a good deal more then what I make now. Should I quit school or finish school and get my tradesman license. What a great question and as you can imagine there were so many different views some said most defiantly, while others said no way at all. Well I did put my two cents in of course and gave a very simple answer. But as I thought more about it I thought I would do a podcast show on it. This is a tough decision that every man or women in the work force most likely will face at some time in our lives. I know I have actually many times over my long career. Believe me the decision does not get easier with experience it just gets more complicated. Now let me explain what I mean. Many times when people ask a question like that, they already have made a decision and they are looking for someone to agree. Without all the facts it is really hard for someone to even come close to giving someone advice on that type of big decision. By all means I am not saying to seek counsel that is actually a very wise thing to do, but the facts surround the whole idea is very important. Click on the play button above to listen to the complete message. love to here your comments.

Fork in the road

Loving Your Work


Hello and Welcome to the Surging forward podcast this weeks episode is a great time with an  interview with Thomas Bennett an Electrical Tradesman in the Hampton Roads Area of Virginia.  I think you will enjoy hearing about his great success at a young age and how you can love the work you do. Lets me know your thoughts and if you would like to be on our show contact me at

Fork in the road

Respect for Authority


I had an interesting question posed to me by an apprentice at school the other night. He was at a cross roads that many of us have been at least sometime in our career, if you have not than believe me you will. The superintendent has asking, well more like depending that he do work that was not part of his contract. The young apprentice is actually very sharp and respectful which is why he is in charge at a young age. Sometimes when those in charge see a younger person one of the not so good skills are used called intimidation. This often comes in the form of threats or other verbal abuses. The person that is in charge of his small job often feels intimidated or even unqualified for the job. And feels that if he does not perform the work he is not obeying authority. Yes it is a tough call and sometimes it is very hard to stand up for what is right because of fear that this other person though he does not sign your pay check is good friends with your boss and could cost you your job. I want to share a story of a very similar incident that happen to me at a young age. I too was put in charge of a small job when I was only 26 years old. It was a 80 thousand dollar job and yes I was a bit nervous I was foreman and we were subs on a much larger contract. My actual boss was one of those types who was very hard to please and as I look back not a very good teacher. The superintendent on the whole job was best friends with my boss.  There was a lot of stress to keep our part of the work as the budget was low so though there should have been about 15 people on the job we only had 6 so obviously I laid out work for the guys and also carried my tools, dealt with issues and stressed over the schedule. Many times the Super on the job would bypass me and talk with my guys and give them tasks that were not even related to the work we were doing let alone the contract. I was getting very frustrated as it seemed that none of the older more experience people in charge listen to a word I said. I asked one of the other project managers I knew at the time that I felt sfae confiding in and he gave me simple yet great advice.  He simply said Dave you are in a bind but here is something you can learn that will help you always grow. You have to always resect authority and those that make the rules. Whatever position you are in you can make some rules but not all the rule you always have someone above you. I agreed and said so what is the solution I have two differ bosses with two different rules. He stated that no you have one boss and no matter good or bad you must follow his rules unless they violate ethics or safety. You may not like them but you must always follow. Here is where the advice comes in. When you can make the rules always make sure your rules are fair. When you can’t make the rules always make sure you fully understand the rules to the game as yes they can change. When you do not agree than ask the question one time to make sure you are clear and then make the statement that you will follow to a tee but you may not like those rules. Powerful words but it puts the heavy load where it belongs I tried that an believe it or not my job wen much smother. As for the other super that tried to run the job. I simply stood up to him an explained the rules laid down from my boss and what you are asking me or my crew to do is not in the contract, if you have issues take it up with him. Boy did that take a load off of me. I was not nearly as stressed because of someone else. So remember do not take on some else’s stress, they are not your issues. Understand the rules to the game and remember the person making the rules may not like the results but that is his/her issue not yours. So yes we should follow Authority but you also do not have to shoulder all the stress for those that cannot handle authority. When you are put in authority always remember respect is something earned you cannot demand it. Let me know you thoughts or your experiences. Send you questions to

Fork in the road

How to Increase Your Endurance Episode 24


How to Increase Your endurance? Last week I talked about being Overwhelmed. This week I want to talk about increasing your endurance. Do you ever wonder why it seems that some people seem to get so much done and yet you feel I would like to make it through the day? Why is that? Well to tell you the truth I have felt like that many times, when we get that worn out feeling it is very easy to just give up and quit. I myself have felt this way many times just as you have and everyone does at some point. As a matter of fact this week alone has been a tough week with deadlines that have been moved up for one reason or another. Sometimes we just wish there was at least an extra 5 hours in each day but I could really use 10. But unfortunately there is only 24 and you really should have at least an hour or two just for you at a min. You should also have a least 7-9 hours of sleep based on the National sleep Foundation. So this leaves with about 13 hours. Well if I work 10 hours a day on a full time job and I drive or should I say fight traffic 1 hr each way that leaves us about 1 hour each day to get something done. So how does a person get ahead well the first thing we like to do is to take away the little time for ourselves which is the one to two hours. This will give us at least 3 hours, but many say this is not enough. So we sacrifice our sleep and then we call this endurance but after a while we get burned out. Instead of enduring we have completely run out of gas. Our dreams and goals we determined will never happen. We then resort to saying that we are happy with the status quo, Above all else we envy anyone that is successful and feel they must have everything given to them or they stepped on someone to make it for their goal. My friends that is the furthest thing from the truth. You see that is someone who does not have a plan , Does not know how to say the word no and does not use their time to the best possible way to help increase their endurance to be able to work more effectively. We live in such a now society and if we can’t get what we want in thirty days we move on to the next big thing that can make us some money. Meanwhile you may stay unhappy because even if you do make good money you find that you hate it because it is not your passion as we talked about in a prior podcast, which I would encourage you to listen to by the way. Endurance simply means to stay the course. Yes you will have road blocks. Yes you will have days in which you will feel like you got little or nothing done. But when you stay the course you will also have days where you will get a lot done if you manage your time wisely. Over time you will be able to look back and say wow I finished writing that book, or wow I finished writing that online course, or wow I finished that leadership course online. As well as many more wow I got that done. Take advantage of the down time in the scenario I used earlier I waste two hours driving in traffic each day. What do you do listen to music talk radio, fight road rage or nothing at all. Well why not listen to the leadership or motivation podcasts. I have many that I listen to and I get a totally different message each day and I am trained but many great people each and every day like Michael Hyatt, Bruce Van Horne, Dan Miller, Ray Edwards, Cliff Ravenscraft, Daniel Lewis and many other great podcasters I learn everything from creating a podcast to enjoying my work to leading a successful and happy life. This is two hours a day of great training and I get to work each day in a good mood ready to start the day and then I get home in a good mood ready to finish the day. I work on my course creations a little at a time. I work on this podcast. I than still have time to teach two nights a week also. So as I do a little at time over time my endurance becomes better and better and I am actually able to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Yes there are days of stress but when you feed your soul and mind with a positive message during the down times than your priorities change and you make better decisions overall.  So stay the course my friend Rome was not built in a day and when you start your running the small distance first you will soon be running a full 10 mile marathon. Thank you for listening and follow us on Twitter or Facebook at Surging Forward. Until next time stay safe and Keep Surging Forward.