Michael Miller, Interview (#22)

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Michael is a man of many hats. He's a father and husband, Amarillo High and Aggie grad, and one of our Monday night gaming regulars as mentioned in our Friends and Free Time episodes. He, his wife, and their son just moved back to Dallas, Tx from California! We cover what it is to be a sacrificial leader, how determination and positivity can get you through life, and what kind of mindsets Michael focuses on.

If you're looking to learn more about Michael, want to pick his brain, or just want to follow him on socials,  he can be found on Instagram at @the_real_michael12, or on Facebook at Michael Miller.

This episode's challenge: Think about the aspects of sacrificing for someone else for the greater good. And do your best to pursue that.P.S. (strangely enough, no relation to Kevin Miller who came on a few episodes back).

Show Notes:

Pax South:

"PAX (originally known as Penny Arcade Expo) is a series of gaming culture festivals involving tabletop, arcade, and video gaming. PAX is held annually in Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Antonio in the United States; and Melbourne in Australia."

Scarborough Renaissance Festival:

"Enjoy Full Combat Jousts, Demonstrations, Entertainment, Food, Shopping & More. Step Back In Time For The Time Of Your Life! Click For Dates & Prices."(p.s. This is one of Andrew's favorite activities in life since his aunt MMM took him)

John 13:14-15:

"14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."

Mark 10:42-45:

"42 Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'"

Episode Transcript

Andrew : [00:00:00] Hello, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to dead by tomorrow. We have a special interview today with Michael Miller, the man with the big deck, as we have heard the myth and the legend. Michael, thank you so much for coming on. I'm really excited to see how your home renovations going. I know we've been talking about that a lot, so we're looking forward to pictures there.

What have you been up to.

Michael: [00:00:23] Hey. Yeah. Thank you so much for letting me be able to come on this podcast and share a little bit. So I am. Currently doing a little bit remodeling of my house. I'm building a deck in the backyard. And so it is, it is coming along nicely. I think I should be able to finish it by the end of this week.

We shall see, but it is coming, coming along pretty well. It's I'm, I'm, I'm hoping to, to get that done and out of the way and move on to the next project. But yeah, I am. Just recently moved to Dallas with my wife and my one-year-old son. So I used to live in California just a couple of years ago and just bought a house here in Dallas, during COVID and was able to, let my wife, Amy keep her job moved down here to Dallas and buy a home and just get everything set up.

So I am actually currently looking for a job right now. And so that's kind of what between looking for a job and doing some house renovations that's currently, what's taking up some of my time.

Andrew : [00:01:23] That will take up a lot of your time in is buying a house by itself is unfairly. Time-consuming like it's and Daniel knows too. Daniel, you just bought a house 2020.

Daniel: [00:01:34] 2020. Yeah. And instead of building a deck, we removed about half of one. Cause the entire backyard was just one gigantic wooden deck.

Andrew : [00:01:45] you men in your decks? I don't have a deck, so I don't have any of these building or removing issues. I have a massive backyard with a tree that I'm going to have to figure out what to do with, but it is a weird process buying a house like you would think Hey, I've got this money, there's a house I want, I would like to buy it.

You can make that decision and a couple of hours and it still will take you months to purchase a house.

Michael: [00:02:09] Yeah, I definitely agree. I was actually very fortunate. That I went house hunting in Dallas, just over the course of one day, ended up looking at 10 different homes and found the one that we wanted the most. And putting in an application and then found out just within a couple of days that the seller of the home chose chose me and Amy to buy this home.

And so just after looking, once I ended up getting the, the house we, we absolutely wanted and we didn't run into really too much trouble going through the whole. Application for a home loan to, to be able to fully purchase the home. But we got very fortunate.

Andrew : [00:02:46] That's awesome. I want to go.

So normally we try and kind of bounce this around between who. Who knows who and who's got good stuff. And so I think of the three of us, you and Daniel, me and you versus you and Daniel, Daniel's known you a lot more closely and longer. So I'm going to let Daniel decide where we want to take this

Daniel: [00:03:12] For me, whenever Michael and Amy came and started house hunting, we were pretty excited about it. And we definitely lobbied for a particular neighborhood. And we're excited for that to work out because the house that y'all ended up in is about five minutes away from where we live right now. it just kind of plays into this rich history of Michael and I being in close proximity. It's just been something that's been really important for the past. I don't know how many years at this point, but to give some history because Andrew, I think saying Michael and I, maybe are a little bit closer as underselling it a little bit.

Andrew : [00:03:49]

I'm a master of understatement. All of my friends say, so

Daniel: [00:03:53] So we're basically neighbors now, which I'm excited. It's like the prodigal roommate returning from California. Because before that, Michael, you guys lived in a duplex. That was probably about five minutes from a duplex that Hillary and I lived in. And then before that we both lived at the village apartment complex in buildings that were.

Almost adjacent to each other. And then before that, Michael, you and I were roommates in a house in Carrollton and an apartment in Duncanville which we'll certainly get into that a little bit more and then went to Texas a and M we're, we're friends back then both went to Amarillo high, both went to Crockett.

So that is quite a history of proximity. And we still, we still like each other.

Andrew : [00:04:37] Blink twice. If he's holding you hostage, Michael.

Michael: [00:04:41] Yeah, we still

like each other, so it's very good.

I did. Yeah. I left for a couple of years and, had fun in California, but ultimately wanting to, to come back and kind of plant my roots here in Dallas. So I'd be back, but Daniel, a couple of other things is we, we both found our wives and got married within two months of each other.

there's a, there's a few other things where we've, we've just been very, very close in various, in similar stages of life. For the past 10 years, at least.

Daniel: [00:05:10] Yeah, I highly recommend it. I tried to get Andrew on board, but I don't know nobody would take you or something. I don't know what the holdup was. Couldn't leave Amarillo. There were a lot of excuses.

Andrew : [00:05:20] there's a lot of excuses and uh, but it really does come down to, you know, no one would take me, so I just, I couldn't hop on the train solo.

All right, Michael, we talked a little bit about what you do.

Andrew : [00:05:36] You're currently job hunting, so there's not a necessarily a profession that you claim to, but you've had a lot of professions. We covered where you live in Dallas and we kind of covered the path crossing. So let's roll it back to profession to get us traditionally started, I guess you could say, and then we'll jump off from there.

So kind of where have you been and what have you done? Because that was part of what we wanted to bring you on for was you have, you've gone through a lot of hardship. You've had a lot of jobs and. As anybody knows that had more than one job, it's hard to transition most of the time, unless you're some superstar and I'm not one of those people.

So what do you got for us on that job from what have you done? Where you going?

Michael: [00:06:13] sure. So Andrew, another understatement is having a log of jobs. uh, I was actually thinking about this before hopping on, in the past 10 years, I've held 12 different job titles.

More than one per year job title. To, to correspond with that. I was looking at how many different places I've lived for at least a couple of months.

And I've looked at 12 different places for at least a couple of months in the past 10 years as well. So I have moved all over the place, all over the country, hopefully in Texas and Colorado in California. I've worked several different jobs all the way from. I'm working as a barista at Starbucks to running an internship program for a nonprofit compassion international.

Then I kind of worked my way into the healthcare world and specifically the, the health insurance world, where another connection with Daniel, we actually worked at the same company as well.

Andrew : [00:07:07] Was that a blink.

Michael: [00:07:08] I did Blake twice just that. But no, it was it's kind of the way that my path has taken it and really a lot of the, the help and the credit goes to Daniel for helping kind of jumpstart part of the , health, insurance career for me, um, he had already been working at this company called compass professional health services.

uh, when we were roommates, had just moved into. the new location in near Dallas. And it was looking for another role. And Daniel offered up a role of his, his company that he knew was, interfering. And so interviewed, got the job and kind of set my trajectory for the healthcare world.

But I've actually been in that for the past. Four or five years. And so it's, it's been with a couple of different companies with compass. And then when I went out to California, there's a large non-profit healthcare company called Kaiser Permanente. So I worked with them for a couple of years but ultimately with COVID happening, my wife and I knew that we wanted to move back to Dallas, near family and your friends and were able to keep her job and work, let her work from moat, which was a huge blessing.

Unfortunately I did have to give up my, job in order to move back to Dallas, which is actually a big part of my story is giving up roles in order for my family to really. Move forward and see a lot of success. I've had a sacrifice, a few, five rolls for that, that movement forward. But it's all been so good and it's all been completely worth it.

And for the betterment of my family. So I did give up my job in California, moved to Dallas, which has kind of set me up for the, looking for a new position out here now.

Daniel: [00:08:43] Yeah, and I think. When somebody says that there can sort of be this question of where were you? Were you really sacrificing roles or not? And I can attest to, that's 100% true whenever you, left compass to go out to California. It wasn't like a, Oh, Michael don't leave. We're so sad to see you go.

And in, in reality, we're like, Oh, thank goodness. We finally got rid of that guy. No. The, the reality is, I felt like you were somebody that, really had the potential to move up into a management role. Um, And I was not the only one that felt that obviously I'm biased, but I was not the only one that felt that.

And so when you say making a sacrifice of your own career, it's. It's truly sacrificing the opportunity to have moved up and grown and developed in a career. So that, like you're saying you know, your wife can pursue a dream kind of once in a lifetime opportunity and you guys get to experience being in a different place.

And that's something that in a world where career advancement and this kind of status and money is so highly sought after. I think that's. A really admirable move to make and even more so as a man. Cause I think that there's still to this day kind of the stereotype that, you know, as, as a man, like I'm proud and I want to have this great career and it can be humbling to say, you know what, I'm going to set that aside for the sake of my family.

And so I just want to. Bring an outside perspective to, from, that that really is 100% true.

Michael: [00:10:24] Yeah, thank you. No, I, I completely understand or completely agree with the fact that it is hard. B being the man of the family. You kind of have heard your whole life, that you need to be the breadwinner. You need to be the one who's successful at your job, your career, and, and can provide for your family that way.

And that's great. That's great advice. But one thing, people don't, don't think about as well as, as providing for your family in a way that's going to set the whole family unit up to really, really be taken care of. And so I can be through, working your way up the ladder and making money, providing for your family financially.

It's that's good. And that's, that's something that you should pursue if given the opportunity. But. For my, my particular family, it kinda, it kind of reversed roles a little bit, and it allowed me to take a step back and just see that, okay, I need to set aside my career advances for the time being, in order to have my spouse, my wife, pursue hers and, and, really kind of take a step up and, and her career path, before I can do that with mine and.

It's hard to do that because I know my, my wife right now is the bread winner. And, just inherently, I kind of want to be the one who, who makes the most money, who wants to be the provider for the family, but what to take. But like I said, I want to take a step back. I realized that by sacrificing my career advancement right now, which I intend to continue that and pursue it.

Now that we've moved to Dallas, kind of set our roots here by sacrificing it. To let her move up. That is really the thing that's going to set my family up for success. Set my family up to be provided for. If the money comes from the wife, then I'm able to do different roles that may not be typical. So I have been daddy daycare at my house for probably the past year, with Peter.

Growing up, I got to really, really experience so much of his upbringing. I was there 24 seven for him for most of his first year. And, and a lot of fathers, a lot of men don't get that experience. it can seem like it was a really, bad move that I gave up my job. But in reality, it's a huge blessing.

I got a chance to spend the first year with my son that a lot of people don't get. So I'm very thankful for that. But. He, we did get him into a daycare recently. So I am kind of jumping back into that career field now. Hopefully that, that works out pretty quickly for me, but, you're right, Daniel.

It is hard to not be the one making the most money right now. Cause that's what you've heard your whole life. But in reality is a sacrifice I'm happy to make for their myth. My family.

Andrew : [00:13:03] That's so cool because it is, that requires a certain level of confidence. We live in a. I don't like the word toxic necessarily, but there's definitely a lot of. Cultural, expectations and being able to not just do that, but openly be like, yes, this is what I'm doing. I am staying at home with my child.

While my wife, my wife goes to work. I'm making these choices. That is a level of confidence that a lot of guys don't have I, that would be hard for me. it is hard for me to admit I'm doing something that other people wouldn't think is mainly if I'm doing something that is considered soft or whatever, it's really hard for me to say it, even if I enjoy it.

You know, I got a pedicure that, you know, a couple of times, and I have to play it off as a joke. I can't admit that I actually liked the pedicure. You know, it's like, Oh yeah, this did this dumb thing with ha ha ha. It was nice guys. I liked it. So that's really cool. Michael I'm, I'm impressed with it. And you, you know, you're not a guy who's needing that validation from society, which is such a healthy way to live.

So that's cool, man.

I want to throw two at you and you decide how to deal with the two questions in whatever way you want. So first, how do you deal with. The job hopping, what do you have any special ways?

You're like, Hey, this is, this is how I keep changing careers. I'm constantly updating resumes. What's your special secret to consistently finding new positions despite moving and all the different career changes. And then on top of that, how do you maintain the resilience that goes with the rejection and the.

The mental, battery that comes from facing down, stigmas from people that might not know you as well, or, all the different things that come along with being unemployed and, or staying at home with your kid.

Michael: [00:14:43] Sure. So for the first question, there is no secret. I have been trying to find the secret sauce to help me get a new job move forward. Really it comes down to hard work. And so it's, it's one of those things where if you make trying to find a job, your full-time job. Then eventually we'll come. Right now the times are hard.

I get that. I'm, I'm feeling that as well, that there's a lot of people who have lost jobs. And then I, I had, I gave up my, my job in order to make them move to Dallas. And so trying to find a new job when, when all the jobs are kind of disappeared and while people were being like uh, uh, it's more difficult because now.

I'm kind of competing with a lot of other people who have lost their, their positions as well. And so right now it's, it's more tough than it has been in the past. But I, I really do chalk it up to just the quote unquote, the secret sauce is making, looking for a job, your full-time job. When you do that, the it's more, more likely to come.

It's scary to come a little bit quicker, rather than if you just do it in an hour a day and you spend time doing other things. And so it's for me, it's there, there have been some gaps whenever I am on full time. Daddy daycare mode. Um, My son's home and I'm watching him full time. Soon as he became mobile, I am now chasing him around the home and just see him around the house. And so it was hard, to find that time to apply for positions. But now that he's in daycare, I've, I've kind of free, centered and refocused my, Efforts towards applying for job position full time. So I've had a few interviews recently, and I think a lot of that has come from putting that time in and putting that dedicated work into looking for a position.

So I think the secret sauce, as much as you may not want to hear it is just good, old fashioned hard work. There is no cutting corners when it comes to finding a job.

Andrew : [00:16:37] No. That's exactly what I like to hear. I like to hear that you can get something through hard work. I hate it. Whenever that option doesn't work. Cause that's what I believe in. So thank you.

Michael: [00:16:45] Yeah, you're welcome. I wish there was an easy way. I wish it wasn't hard work.

Andrew : [00:16:49] Nah, that's



Michael: [00:16:50] I know save time if you put in the hard work and someone else doesn't, that that elevates your chances of getting that job.

It is, it's very rewarding. And the second psych one, this kind of, I think your question was what's.

How do I, am I resilient against the stigma of not having a job? And I just have this huge propensity to have positivity just throughout my day, throughout my life and throughout my career. For some reason I always tend to see the silver lining in every situation. And it can be really, really good in times of trying to find a job had the stigma of the world is Michael, why don't you have a job either, you know, get this need to provide for your family. And I, I see that silver lining of being able to take care of my son and spend more time, going through the motions, although the paperwork of buying a home. So that's, I see those silver linings. By just staying positive, but at the same time, it can get to a point where it does annoy other people.

And you are welcome to ask my wife this at any time, but sometimes where I need to be frustrated, I need to be upset with something. Because that's the natural human response. I will find it. And the, the hidden silver lining that probably isn't there that made it up in my mind, and try and twist something to make it, to make it positive.

So there's, I think 95% of it, there is so much good with maintaining positivity in the face of adversity. But you can't take it a little bit too far and that's something I've had to learn over the years is to. Kind of taper it down whenever there's a situation where it is correct to grieve, it is correct to, to be sad or be disheartened about something that, might've happened.

And and that's the appropriate response.

but for me,

I think it's the positivity factor.

Daniel: [00:18:42] now I naturally have to ask, do you know anything about as far as Enneagram types or Myers-Briggs is that a personality trait that others would share?

Michael: [00:18:52] Yeah. Yeah. It probably is. I recently took the Indiana Graham. Let's see, I was a number nine, which is the peacemaker. And essentially, from the research I've, I've done on looking at the nine and you are more than welcome to. give a little bit more input into this, but basically it's say nines are the ones who are accepting and kind of go with the flow.

And that's very much my personality, as you can see with me moving 12 times in 10 years, 12 positions in 10 years, very go with the flow, just wherever the situation arises. I'm happy to just adapt and be flexible and , go with that current at the time.

Daniel: [00:19:30] My wife is a nine, so we've often joked that. Hillary and Michael are kind of the same person and Amy and I are kind of the same person, which is why as couples we get along well,

It's good though, to have to have that mindset. And I think Michael, what you do a good job of is identifying where it is beneficial and where it serves you. But also times when, you know, maybe like you said, it can be frustrating to others or where maybe that's sort of not the best approach. And I, I feel like.

That's the big benefit I see in things like personality tests is it can just help you to self identify something that maybe you should've already known, but you were struggling to put into words. So for any, for any nines out there take some inspiration. By Michael. And the fact that he, has moved and has done these different jobs because for a nine, your, your biggest vice is sloths.

And it can be very easy to just kind of hang out to chill out. But Michael, as a nine has overcome that, by making, applying a full-time job and just being very intentional about that. So you're, you're not doomed to what your personality tests say about you.

Andrew : [00:20:39] I've already forgotten what I was on the Instagram. I'm sorry.

Daniel: [00:20:41] three you're three,

Andrew, same as me.

Andrew : [00:20:43] That makes that just kind of follow whatever you do.

Michael: [00:20:45] Sure. And I've, I have see when I was reading about being a nine, the peacemaker, nines are the least likely to look at personality tests. which is very fitting because I looked at my personality test earlier today. And so that's how I know what the nine is.

Andrew : [00:20:59] You're like, dang it. Daniel's going to ask me about that. Dang near grand thing, and I need to have an answer.

Michael: [00:21:05] I mean, I see the benefit in it. There's, there's definitely a lot of good data that you can see from learning more about your personality and finding out what vices you may have and how to overcome that. Uh, But I think the same thing about personalities, these personality tests, I think. They give you your strengths as well.

And this is a little bit of a tangent, but one of my strengths is actually maximizer. So if I see something that's already there, if I see something good, I want to progress it. I want to make it great. Um, So even just kind of looking at these personality tests, a lot of times you read who you are.

You're like, yeah, that's me for the most part, but then you'll see kind of what your struggles might be or your advices. And so you can, you can look at, and you can see. Okay, this is what I may struggle with. Okay. I need to try and fix it in this manner here and there. But one thing that you may not realize is that these personalities test also give you your strengths and how you're able to really put a lot of effort into your strengths to be the best at the skills that you particularly have.

So if you think about work, a lot of times, The best employees, especially if it's a specialized role, they're not the employees who spend their whole life trying to make their. Low skills, they're weak skills, just average, trying to bring up their weaknesses rather than they know what their strengths are.

They focus hone in on those strengths and make them above the rest above everyone else. So you're really able to hone in on what makes you great and make that even better to help progress you, whether it be your career, whether it be. Ways you interact with other people, but that's kind of what I found from that.

Looking at Instagram in the O gram test is what are my strengths and how am I able to see what my personality strengths are and Progressive's for them?

Andrew : [00:22:46] Dude. I absolutely love that.

Daniel: [00:22:48] You talked a lot about strengths there. Michael, have you ever heard of a program called StrengthsFinder?

Michael: [00:22:52] I have, yes, I've taken a few times. That's where that maximizer came from.

Andrew : [00:22:57] So that sounds a lot like strengths quest. I'm sure it's the same thing, but I think I picked up something along the same lines on that, but by taking your strengths and then improving your strengths. That is so much better for you in terms of, and this sounds robotic, but what you produce, because in the end, you're either going to get paid money on what you're producing or.

Like what comes back to you in life? At least in a monetary sense, usually revolves around what you're being really good at. And if you're mediocre at a whole lot of stuff, you don't fit in any box. Like you're just at that point, you're a warm body. And so instead of bringing up your weaknesses, that's going to take a lot more effort to get them to where everybody else's.

You can take your strengths that are already above average, and you really lean into that. And now you're a, you're a performer. You are. A superstar at something. And you're, you're a lot more desirable to everybody. You know, If you're looking at an employer, you're going to be a lot more desirable to an employer.

If you are a superstar in a single strength and being really good at a bunch of stuff or decent at a bunch of stuff, same goes to your wife. Like if you're really, really good at, let's say fathering, the child or taking care of the home, that's going to be a lot more. Desirable to a woman than if you are mediocre at your job and mediocre at keeping up the house and, you know, mediocre at everything.

So it goes across the board, you could slot in whatever situation you want and it's the person who's the best at something. Or, you know, as leaning into their strengths is going to be the most interesting, the most desirable aspect of that group of people in this imaginary scenario.

Daniel: [00:24:27] I just hope that somebody from this podcast takes the advice and says, you know what? On my next date I'm going to open with I'm really good at fathering the child, you should.

Andrew : [00:24:38] I hope dirty. Kirti's listening.

Michael: [00:24:41] uh, like how that's, uh, my strength is fathering children.

Andrew : [00:24:45] I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna lie. I'm not great at words, which is not good as someone who likes to

Michael: [00:24:50] okay.

Right. I don't

speak well by father children. Great.

So Andrew, what the, you were saying, and I kind of was thinking about this and I'd love to hear what y'all think as well. But I think focusing and honing in on your strengths, is really, really great for your job and your career, but kind of thinking about it more, you, you definitely want to.

See what your weaknesses are and kind of focus a little bit on those as well. When it comes to your family and your relationships, you can, you can focus on your strengths and that will really help. In your family to, high extent probably, but you definitely don't want to leave, to sell your traits out in the dust.

That may be your weaknesses when it comes to, uh, your marriage or raising, raising a child. Uh, So I think it is worth focusing a little bit on those biases for, for family. Maybe not so much for work. You may need to a little bit, but for family, I think it's worth it.

Andrew : [00:25:47] No, I can't disagree. And honestly, I would continue it with work too. Like you can't go in and be like, Hey, I'm the best programmer ever. And then they're like, Hey, can you give us a report on what you've been up to? And you're like, I don't know what reports are. Like, you have to meet some baseline standards, but the difference between someone who.

Can't do the laundry and someone who forgets about the washer doesn't iron, the clothes writer. This is a more real life example. Folding clothes or loading a dishwasher is two different things that I've seen couples get a little feisty about.

And, being able to the dishwasher is one thing, but like maybe you don't do it to their standard. Okay, cool. Like you're mediocre at dishwashers, but like not understanding how to work a dishwasher. Like obviously you need to raise your skills up.

Daniel: [00:26:29] Yeah, I think for me in both scenarios, it sort of comes down to what expectations are. And so. again, to your programmer example, Andrew, if you are an amazing programmer and you never really need to give a report, like that's not a part of your role, like you never need to touch PowerPoint. At that point, it doesn't even if you're super weak at it, it doesn't do you a lot of good to invest in that weakness.

And so similar in like a relationship, if. You are just not good at sort of picking up after yourself, but your spouse either doesn't really care or they, for whatever reason, they just love cleaning up clutter and it doesn't bother them. Then that's not as important to focus on in a weakness. Now, obviously like for me as a, as a three and an achiever, I, I just feel like you want to be good at everything, but

Andrew : [00:27:24] Exactly. I have that issue too.

Daniel: [00:27:26] but no, I, I do think. When it comes to weaknesses, it's about seeing where you're being limited because of the weakness and getting it up to an acceptable standard or finding a way to, to offload that thing where you don't have to do as much of something that you're not good at. That's something I ask.

Those on my team fairly often is, Hey, what are the things that you're either just not good at, or they're super draining? Like maybe you're good at it, but I see it as a weakness. If. Every time you do it, you just want to quit your job. And so I'll ask that question and then we'll try to have a conversation about, okay, how can you do less of that thing?

And I think that's an important focus to have when it comes to weaknesses, either getting it to a point where you're decent at it, or figuring out a way where you don't have to do it.

Andrew : [00:28:11] See, he cheated Michael. He, he went after we both talked about it. And so you had all that time to come up with a much better way to say it and think it out. So you know what, w we're just going to cut it. We're just, we're not going to have that in the episode. We'll pretend it was just you and I talking.

No, that was great. Dan know, that's the way to put it.

Daniel: [00:28:34] Michael, since you've worked at a lot of different jobs, I'm curious, have there been any particular characteristics traits, skills that you feel like have applied across nearly any career you've been in?

Michael: [00:28:49] Yeah, that's a great question. The one that comes to mind immediately is how you interact with coworkers. And so it's not even a particular. Work-related skill and, you know, maybe knowing software, how to handle software, how to, work on customer service. But I think it really comes down to how you interact with your coworkers.

And that's something I've seen across the board. The further you get in the career or the different positions that you may have. You'll you'll see. There's those people you enjoy interacting with is those you may not enjoy interacting with. And. If you are an individual who takes time out of their day to actually interact with others, ask them questions, try and do that.

Work on active listening, just really social skills within your work. I find that the work that you do is more fulfilling because you have friends that you interact with. You have, coworkers that you. You enjoy talking to, and they enjoy talking to you as well. Cause you'll, you'll, you'll see individuals who may want to progress and move up the ladder.

That's great, power to you, go for it. But some of these individuals may want to undercut those around them in order to make themselves appear better or to work their way up that ladder. And when you see that you see that there The way that they're viewed within the office, is not favorable people.

Don't like interacting with them. Don't like working with them because they. They were a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more plus in their pursuit of advancement and it works out for them sometimes, sometimes it doesn't. But what I've learned is when you are able to communicate well and be sociable to everybody that you work with, there really is very little to no downside to that.

You can still work hard and have that, career mentality or that achievement mentality to, to work your way up the ladder to, to do the best that you can to get a bonus, to be able to be the best at your position, that's great. But having that interaction with those around you and being nice, being sociable.

There really is no negative to that. And it makes your job more enjoyable, which makes your life more enjoyable. You don't think about work as much when you go home or if you do, it's, it's more pleasant thoughts than if you're completely stressed and then nobody likes you. So I think that's kind of the skill that I think crosses all the different boundaries is how you interact with your coworkers.

Daniel: [00:31:17] Have you ever seen a beautiful mind?

I promise

this isn't a tangent.

Michael: [00:31:20] I don't remember the specifics.

Daniel: [00:31:22] Gotcha. So why don't you were talking about reminded me a lot of that movie. The premise of the movie, you know, there's this genius who kind of struggles a little bit with social interactions, but he's able to apply mathematics to, in the movie it's actually to, to dating.

Interestingly enough, and he comes up with what is called the Nash equilibrium. So it's sort of like the opposite of a zero sum game. It's saying, we have a tendency to sort of compete with each other. And in the movie, the example is, there's a really, really pretty girl and all of the eligible bachelors are competing and undercutting each other to try to get her attention.

And in reality, what it does is it just makes all of them. Look like terrible options and nobody gets her. But instead, if you look and say, okay there are five, really pretty girls. One may be the prettiest and there were five of us. We don't have to undercut each other. And then we all win because we all get to date somebody.

Andrew : [00:32:18] So that is interesting. You brought that up. So I haven't seen a beautiful mind, which apparently I need to watch, but I a hundred percent agree with Michael on this. And. I don't know if we've talked about this before on here. I feel like we probably would've, but at the beginning of every year, I usually kind of set like a theme for the year.

I'll pick like a phrase that I really like, and I'll try and use that almost like a motto or mantra for the year. And so 2021 was, The rising tide lifts all boats. that's essentially what it is. It's like, Hey, by lifting everybody up, being the tide, everybody's boat goes up. It's not, there's not a competition to see whose boat goes to the highest and it's an imperfect metaphor, but it is.

It's what Michael is talking about. What the beautiful mind thing is. There's. Too much, zero sum game, a prisoner's dilemma kind of stuff. Where before it'd be a lot better. If you cooperate and you work together, then thinking everybody's making a dollar and that's somehow coming out of your pocket.

Michael: [00:33:12] Yeah. And Andrew, I think a, a great tangent to there. A great segue from that is kind of going back to when I was talking about having to sacrifice. You know my career for my family's growth. I think it relates to that in a, in a similar sense where, one thing that really gives me life is whenever I can see those around me succeed.

And so I've had roles where I've supervised a few people, and if I'm able to see them do well at their job or, get a promotion themselves, me life, I thrive on that. Let's see others succeed. L a times in order to do that, it does require that sacrificing. And there's a concept that I love called sacrificial leadership and I'm, I'm a Christian and, and I believe that a perfect example and what we're called to do is be a sacrificial leader in the perfect example of that is Jesus Christ.

And so I have seen, or I have found that to be true when it comes to my family and having to be that sacrificial leader of my career path right now, there were for my family to really kind of see that success. But essentially That sacrificial leadership is really just the self sacrificing for the greater good.

It can be used with work. You may use with family. It could be used with friends, but before getting on here, there is. A verse in the Bible that I wanted to read that that really kind of hones in on how Jesus was the example. And that's what we're called to be as well. But it's Mark 10 42 through 45.

It basically says. That the rulers in this world, Lord it over there, people in the officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you, it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else for even the son of man, which is Jesus.

He came not to be served, but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. And so that's saying that, Jesus came to. Not be served, but to serve others. And he is the Lord. And so that's kind of our prime example or that's my prime example when it comes to that sacrificial leadership, which I feel like I've been able to do to an extent for my family.

And I just feel like it's a leadership quality that is. Overlooked a lot of times and may not be what the society and culture right now looks at and views as, as really kind of a priority. But looking at Jesus's example, I feel like it very much is a priority and something I'm. I just love getting a chance to be the example of

Andrew : [00:35:48] Dang Michael. that was a great circle back around what we were talking about. Like I'm impressed. You, you brought a random hand in there. And down and that worked perfectly. So that is awesome. And I think you're right. That's a great example of sacrificial leadership and a lot of what's wrong with what a lot of people do is that's not the way they think they, they don't go that direction.

They're they're not willing to bring up everybody else around them.

Michael: [00:36:12] Just kind of thinking of what you just said, Andrew is, as the leader, we're not really meant to take advantage of those. We're really meant to take care of, or really more have that self sacrifice to see them succeed.

So essentially we, we don't want to be that person that I talked about earlier, who works hard to undercut those around them to get ahead. But rather be the one who can self-sacrifice to see those around him succeed, which in turn also will allow you to flourish because. People will like you and you have that social aspect of really being able to communicate with your coworkers.

And part of that is that self-sacrifice,

Andrew : [00:36:46] That's great. That is a great tip.

Daniel: [00:36:48] I think what's cool about it is what you've said there, it holds water across the board, leaders that are humble leaders that are self-sacrificial leaders that, are authentic leaders.

That challenge you, again, all of these characteristics of what Jesus did with his disciples. Those are the leaders you want, regardless of what your background is. And so I that's something that is always interesting for me. That's something that I, I, a lot of times try to look at and see like, where.

Where does the Bible sort of intersect with things that are non-biblical? I think that's always an intriguing thing to take a look at. And from, from everything that I've found in everything that I've experienced, this is one of those things where, all right, buckle up, Andrew, we're going to make a, we're going to make a pun here.

You can take what Michael said as gospel.

Andrew : [00:37:36] get out of here with your funds. This is a podcast, not some peanut gallery circus.

Oh Jesus. I hate both of, you there's a lot of value in both what y'all are saying. Despite the ponds.

Okay, then let me throw you something that I had lined up for you, Michael, because I wanted to ask you this and I'm afraid that we'll keep going down rabbit holes of great content, but I won't get to ask my question that I wanted. So you, on a day-to-day basis, is there anything that you're doing that you're, they're using yourself to get grounded or refocusing, or is there any kind of daily habits that you've built that help you.

Live disliked because a lot of us find structure and our jobs. Right. Not that I've had one for awhile. Most people find structure in doing work. So does have you built in structure habits like that?

Michael: [00:38:31] Yeah, that's, that's a good question. And, first, I just want to say having structure can be a very, very good thing. And you can make that structure. Very good by having, maybe morning habits or evening habits that help refresh you or have habits within the work itself, whether it's a, maybe a lunch exercise where you spend that time interacting with a coworker, from 10 to 10 30, you, you set time apart.

But having those habits, really, really are valuable. just thinking for me, my, I don't really have. Really intense habits of, at six 30, I wake up and I, go on a five mile jog and then eat this for breakfast. I don't, I don't have really very super specifics about that.

But perhaps for myself, I really think of just taking care of Peter, my son, I am in charge of the morning duties right now because I don't have a job. So I get a chance to really. Be the one to wake up with him in the morning feed him, change him, get him ready for his daycare. Then I'm the one who picks him up from school when he's done with his daycare.

And I said the doctor appointments and, it's, it's it's a great responsibility to have because I get a chance to like, kind of take that load off of my wife and, and take it on myself while I had that time. And so for me, it's my daily habits change. When I get a new job, it may not be this exact same taking care of Peter, ritual that I have.

It'll probably be split a little bit more between me and Amy there, Amy and me. But yeah. It's right now, my daily habit habit is really just taking care of Peter, things I've done in the past though. I've thought about, this is one thing that I used to do every morning. I'd wake up and I'd write down three to five things.

I was thankful for. And it could be something as simple as I would wake up and I didn't want to get out of bed. So I would say, I'm thankful for the covers in my bed that keep me warm and it could be something as right. It's something simple or it could be something grand, like I'm thankful for my parents.

So it can be being anything, but I haven't done that in a while, but that is something I had done in the past. Whenever I feel like my. My gratitude or my positivity, is slipping a little bit. I may not be as in the right mindset. Just maybe mentally checked out or, or maybe just have chem, a slightly feeling, a little, little sad or depressed.

Like I will write things down that I'm grateful for and it trains your brain to really think of things that excite you think of things that, make you, make you happy. And. You are grateful for. So I think for me, the daily habits are taking care of Peter and then whenever I'm feeling a little down it's, it's running things I'm thankful for, to, to put me back in the right mindset.

Andrew : [00:41:10] That's cool. We are big fans about gratitude on here, so that's, that's awesome. I've never heard of it necessarily being used as like a, a use as needed kind of thing. But I could see that totally working, especially if you've trained yourself to be like, Hey, I'm off kilter. I need to go do gratitude.

So that makes sense. I like it.

Daniel: [00:41:32] All right, Michael. So I know that memory is not your strong suit. This is normally the part of the podcast where we say, Hey, Michael, tell us some stories about, fun things that we did together the first time you met Andrew and I. So instead of doing that, we're going to play a game called, Hey, Michael, do you remember that time? So I'll, I'll start out, Andrew. You can, you can be thinking of yours, but, I'm going to, I'm going to throw it back a little bit. We have a ton of stories, a ton of stuff we've done together. I think we've lived together for several years and we, we even, we went to middle school together. We weren't super close, then went to high school together.

Weren't super close. Then as I want to see, do you remember the time? At least that kind of stands out to me as one of the first moments where you and I like really hung out. We got to bond a little bit. It was at a and M. Let me know if it's starting to ring any bells.

Michael: [00:42:25] Keep going with the clues.

Daniel: [00:42:28] it was a football game and we were supposed to be going, it was supposed to be me, you and Nathan cause you and Nathan went to church together and we're definitely a lot closer. And so the three of us were going to go watch and M play, Oklahoma state. And then last minute, Nathan didn't feel good and he bailed.

And so ended up just being you and I at this game together, just the two of us watching the game. And that was like one of the very first times. I think it was just you and I hanging out and we like talked a long time and I'm going to say became friends.

Andrew : [00:43:01] like, I don't remember this blink, blink,


Michael: [00:43:05] did our conversation. Yeah. Right. Did our conversation go well? Did we become friends after this? No. That's that's it. Marie. I actually do remember. I remember, our friend who was kind of the middle man between you and me, heavy, heavy to, to not, not be able to go to the game, but you know what?

I love football. I know you enjoy football. And so we went to go watch it and Hey. That that could have, they think could have been the catalyst, you and I becoming such great friends that we ended up being roommates together. So

thank you, Nathan, for being sick.

Andrew : [00:43:39]

In 10 years, he's going to be like, wait, those guys had a podcast. It's going to be listening. Uh, I'm trying to think of anything. So this isn't right for, for my end, but honestly, my first, like real real story was wandering around at what was it called? We went to San Antonio for that Comic-Con


Yeah. That's and I know we did other things, but like I'm with Michael on this, my memory is not great. So at least for this kind of thing, it's not a, I remember that was uh, an interesting experience. I remember Michael being pretty and maybe I'm misremembering, but I remember you being a little bit overwhelmed by just how nerdy it was.

Michael: [00:44:21] I did not know what I was getting myself into.

Andrew : [00:44:24] That's kind of, you, you look shell shocked if I remember, right. like when we rolled in and we were wandering around, you were just like, what the hell?

Michael: [00:44:30] Oh, yes. And so Andrew, or you were you part of when we went to the Renaissance

Okay. That was another top. I did not know what I was getting myself

Andrew : [00:44:42] and everybody was yelling at us about where our women were.

Michael: [00:44:46] I do remember that we were a big group of guys and then we were made fun of constantly at Renaissance fair, which I think if you're being made fun of at Renaissance fair


Andrew : [00:44:58] Okay.

No, you've hit a high man. That's

that's like a, that means you've made it pretty sure.

Daniel: [00:45:04] No. What it, what it means is that we were a bunch of bros, like wearing polos and tank tops in the middle of Renaissance festival where you're supposed to wear like leather boots and I dunno, a blouse and a Cutlass or something.

Andrew : [00:45:19] I don't know if I want to see you with one of those Mr. Peacemaker. I don't want to know how you make peace

if they do not exist when there is peace. Michael, what about you? Do you have any. Anything you want to embarrass Daniel with? Cause I've never done anything embarrassing. So this is definitely a one way street towards Daniel.

Michael: [00:45:36] One way street with Daniel? I was thinking inter so not, not about Daniel busting and

Andrew : [00:45:41] I don't like where this is going.

Michael: [00:45:45] turn it back to you. So I think our first memory for me is before Renaissance fair, before PAX we took a trip to Denver. And that's where we have an affectionate name of a group of guys called Jim, where we get together.

And that's, that's where it all began was these adventures of the gym men, all began in 10 for. I won't go into too much specifics. But I do remember that that's that's, to me, that's our first memory of a really getting a chance to go mountain biking down a ski resort. We went down copper mountain, during the summer when there was no snow, it was

just to me terrifying, but one of the most fun experiences.

And so I recommend it to anyone. Who, who may be listening, that if you get a chance you can buy ski lift tickets for about $10 during the summer. When there's no snow and you just rent a bike for like $30 and for $40, you have a whole day of adventure where they take you up to the top of the mountain and you just get, do the fun part.

Drive your bike down the windy lanes. You don't even have to peddle half the time cause it's downhill. And then when you're

done, you

get back on the ski lift, go back up.

Andrew : [00:46:53] that is fair. It is a very low like cardio kind of thing going on because we went mountain biking another time. And I was like, wow, mountain biking is a lot of work when there's not a ski lift involved. But also you're a lot more willing to go really down fast the Hill, because you worked so hard to get there.

The ski lift was just like, I don't like this. This is, we're like hauling butt down this Hill. And I haven't ridden a bike in five years.

Michael: [00:47:15] Yeah, there's a high chance of risk, a high chance to get hurt. I think we, we had a few, few falls. We were going downhill down the windy, windy roads.

Andrew : [00:47:25] It was a fun time though. That was pretty cool. I missed him, Brad like that city. Oh, speaking of, since. Since we aren't going to embarrass Daniel, of the cities you've lived in your you've had Dallas y'all were in San Diego, right?

Michael: [00:47:36] Not San Diego. I was closer to San Francisco in the Bay area.

Andrew : [00:47:39] Oh I'm just dumb at California. I'm Texan.

Uh, you're also in Denver and you've lived some places. So what, what city has been your favorite?

Michael: [00:47:49] Sure let me. So I'm going to list out the place a sublet I've lived in college station. I've lived in Colorado Springs, Denver Amarillo, Duncanville, Texas Carrollton, Texas Dallas. I've lived in San Jose, California, which is close to San Francisco. And so out of all of those places I've lived, I really have to say that Denver is my favorite.

I just, I love the outdoors. I love getting a chance to go, , mountain biking, or , climbing a mountain, going hiking as well. Those are just my favorite things. In fact, when am I. Biggest injuries I've ever had was from living in Denver. I had a dream of doing 10 fourteeners in one summer.

And essentially at 14, there is a 14,000 foot mountain where a lot of times you have to start climbing. Yeah. Four or 5:00 AM because you want to spend the next 12 hours hiking up to the mountains, to the very top of the mountain. And you want to get off the top of the mountain before the storms roll in around four or 5:00 PM.

So you, you have to leave pretty early if you win the summit and make it back down in time. My goal was to do 10. I ended up, making it all the way through eight of the 14 years. And on the eighth one, I ended up blowing out the it band and my knee, and it took me longer. Usually it takes about eight hours to get up four hours to get down.

It took me eight hours to get up. And then it took me about 12 to 16 hours to get down almost twice as long. And Ended up going to a doctor and they said I could have surgery on my knee to, to fix it, or I can just let it kind of grow and get better by itself. But either way, it's never going to be more than he said, 50 to 80% of what it was.

So I elected not to have surgery cause I had no money at the time. Did not have health insurance at the time. So I was just going to let it heal on its own. And I don't know if that's the right decision because today I would say it's probably about 75% of what used to be. So it's, it's a bummer that I had such a, a bad tear in my it band, but, and so close to getting 10, I got eight of them done.

Next time. Okay. I'll have you carry me Andrew?

Andrew : [00:50:01] Hey man, we just started doing some squats together. We can rehab our knees together.

Michael: [00:50:04] Oh, that's right. You've you've got a few knee injuries as well.

Andrew : [00:50:08] Yeah, I'm all good. Now I'm just slow.

Before we close this out, which I am very appreciative of you coming on. Do you have a challenge for the people? The millions I'm sorry. I almost said for you, the millions of people who are listening

Michael: [00:50:28] yeah, I do. Thank you for that, Andrew. So I, do have a challenge. I'm actually going to start it with one more Bible first, because that is what I try to guide my life by. This one is John 13, 14 through 15. And is Jesus saying. And since I, your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet.

I have given you an example to follow do as I have done to you. So my challenge to you is, is to, to be as. Close to it as, as Jesus's example, as you can be, when he washes his disciples feet, basically he's being this sacrificial leader that we, we need to be. So having that self sacrificing for the greater good is something to always try and reach out for and try and, and try and be.

So I think the challenge that I have for you is just. First is don't let the stigma of being a sacrificial leader. Be a bad thing. We don't want it to be one where, Oh, it's a, it's a leader. That's not doing everything they can to gain power. But whether it's a leader that is trying to build up those around him and build up those who we are meant to care for.

So think about that. Think about. The aspects of sacrificing for someone else for the greater good. And do your best to pursue that.

Andrew : [00:51:43] Sweet. I like it. We'll see if you guys can follow up and keep strong on the sacrificial leadership challenge, michael, thank you so much again for coming on. I really liked the challenge and I hope everybody can give it a shot and try and do a little bit of sacrifice this week for people around you. So thank you everybody for tuning in, and we look forward to connecting with you soon.