Happy 2016: Bust the Box





This year I wish all of you the very best of what life has to offer.


This Holiday Season, I saw the beginning of a Christmas movie. It was about a journalist who was up for a promotion along with one of her colleagues. The Editor-in-Chief gave a great assignment to her colleague, which virtually guaranteed the promotion would go to the colleague. Naturally, the journalist was disappointed and the Editor-in-Chief realized this so he made the effort to speak with her privately. He told her that she needed to “wow” him with her assignments. He advised her to bust the box—not just think outside of it but to actually bust it.


I didn’t watch the whole movie but I figure it was like a typical Hallmark Christmas movie with everything working out for the journalist and her going on to have a very meaningful and joyous Christmas.

But the Editor-in-Chief’s advice to “bust the box” got me to thinking….

“Think outside the box” is a popular saying. But the Editor-in-Chief is correct: thinking outside the box isn’t good enough. You still have the box within sight, within reach. If the going gets tough or if you get too nervous or uncomfortable, you can quickly scurry back to its safety.

You have to do something radically different.

You must bust the box.

Without the security blanket of the box, you leave yourself no option but to go for it, to test yourself and see just how high and how far you can go. You have no choice but to dig into yourself and see all the surprises, treasures, and gifts that are within you. You leave yourself no alternative but to take all of those out for a spin in the world to see just what they can do.

Take them out onto a curvy mountain road and see how they hug the twists and turns and never once let you go off the edge. Open the throttle wide on the straight-aways and see just how fast and how far they can take you—in perfect safety.

And the exhilaration of it all!


Your homework is to bust the box.

Yes, I know. We all have obligations and responsibilities. We have spouses, children, parents, jobs, bosses, mortgages, car payments, etcetera, etcetera.

Busting the box does not mean you chuck it all and run away to a tropical island. It means that you challenge yourself—and make yourself meet the challenge—of making time in your life for YOU and for what’s important to YOU.

It’s taking the time to ask—and answer—the questions: what fulfills you; what makes you feel that you’re making a difference? What matters most to you?

It’s clearing time in your life for you to live it the way you want to—in light of the fact that you have family obligations and work responsibilities and the like.

Busting the box for you may look like you getting up an hour earlier to pursue what captivates you. And it’s sticking to that hour earlier every morning. No matter what.

It means you do NOT hit the snooze button just this once. You do NOT give up your hour to help with the church bake sale. You do NOT diss yourself and your dreams by saying to yourself that it was a silly and unrealistic idea anyway.

It means you never go back to the box. You don’t look for the shards and splinters and then try to glue them back together. You don’t go to the hardware store and buy lumber and nails to make a new box. You don’t search online for a box making kit and then order it.

Instead, it means you remind yourself that the box is broken beyond repair and that there’s no going back, only going forward.

It means that no matter how silly—or lonely—you feel, no matter how hard it is, you show up. And you keep showing up no matter how bad of a job you think you’re doing or no matter how loudly the crickets are chirping because you’re so uninspired.

Busting the box is showing up in your life for you.

Every. Single. Day.

You can do it, I know you can.

I’m very, very proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


One thought on “Happy 2016: Bust the Box”

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