the bible

Donna Knutt – CEO of Luxie Labs

Donna Knutt is a coder, designer, mom and CEO of Luxie Labs, these are her good things.

Good things to read.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.   Ahhh procrastination. The enemy of us all! When Mike asked me to write my 3 things I was excited to share. The professional in me said “oh that’s easy, just jot down your 3 things for each category and you’re done…easy peasy.” Two days later, no list. How could something so seemingly simple be so darn difficult to complete. Pressfield calls it Resistance. It’s that destructive force inside us that rises whenever we embark on a difficult, or lengthy task that might do for us or others something that’s actually good. Its aim is to distract us; prevent us from doing our work. Yes even with years of business and writing experience, I let fear beat me until I remembered what Pressfield said. “Resistance hates it when we turn pro.” If you’ve ever struggled with completing any creative endeavor, (starting a biz, writing a book, running a marathon, etc) read The War of Art. It’ll help you overcome those obstacles we all bump into, and develop a more disciplined version of yourself. Highly recommend it!

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau.  You know those books that you read that make you wonder if the author was secretly spying on you or ninja-ed their way into your head? Well this is one of those books. If you’ve ever felt that there’s gotta be more to life, or that you were meant to do something great but you weren’t sure what or how, then read the AONC. Chris shows you another way to live. In his words, the overall message of the book is this: “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. You can do good things for yourself and make the world a better place at the same time. Here’s how to do it.” It’s a book I recommend to all my friends and clients who are “non-conformist” like myself. And once my son learns how to read, please believe it’ll be on his reading list!

The Bible. I remember reading a story about George Buttrick, a former chaplain at Harvard University a few years ago. His students use to come to his office, plop down on his chair and say, “I don’t believe in God,” and Buttrick would give them this charming response: “Sit down and tell me what kind of God you don’t believe in, I probably don’t believe in that God either.” Most people have a distorted view of who God is, and they reject him because of past experiences, the church, family, movies, etc. But if you’re anything like me, you probably hate when people assume things about you that aren’t true. And I believe if we take the time to really read the bible for ourselves, we’ll develop a different view and better understanding of not only God but ourselves. The most challenging part though is sometimes “where do I start?” I say start anywhere. If you have to choose, I like Romans. It’s short, easy to read, and covers basically everything we need to understand and do while we’re chillin here on earth:)

Good things to watch.

The Good Life Project TV.  The Good Life Project TV is a weekly web show that highlights authors, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and innovators that are building meaningful things and bringing people together. Very inspiring!

Simon Sinek – Start With Why.   In this video, Sinek explains why some people or organizations are more innovative and influential, and how they are able to build and sustain large communities around their brand.

The sunset on the beach. It’s a totally magical and peaceful experience; To just sit and marvel at all that God has created.

Good things to use.

Your gut.  I can’t tell you how many times I went through something and had a gut feeling, but totally ignored it, only to find myself disappointed or stressed because I didn’t listen to myself. It’s happened too many times for me not to bring this one up. Normally we get to a point where we have to make a decision about something. It could be a job offer, a relationship, school, basically any life changing decision that will totally alter our mere existence! We dance around the options, knowing full well what we should do deep down inside. So the next time you come across a hard decision, trust your gut. It’s our internal guide or compass of sorts that directs us to exactly where we need to be.

Evernote.  This app is a lifesaver. I can jot down ideas, attach images, recordings, etc. and it syncs across all my devices. It’s a nice neat place to get all my ideas out of my head and into an organized space online (I’m actually writing this in Evernote right now).

Your muscles.  I recently did the Spartan Race in Citi Field. It was a total experience! I had never done any kind of race like it in my life, but after seeing a video about it I knew I had to do it! Everything about it was intimidating (3-4 miles of obstacles: rope climbing, crawling, lifting, you name it) but I was up for the challenge. It required mental toughness and physical strength so I had to train. Training for it showed me that if I pushed myself, I was capable of doing way more than I gave myself credit for. And the biggest thing I learned was that most obstacles we face are more mental than anything. So no matter your age, get out there and exercise. Push yourself. If it means signing up for something crazy like the Spartan Race, so be it. Just get out there.

Connect with Donna on Twitter, @DonnaKnutt.

Demian Farnworth – Copywriter for Copyblogger Media

Demian Farnworth is the chief copywriter for Copyblogger Media, he also writers at and these are his good things.

Good things to read.

The Bible.

Gulliver’s Travels.

The Iron by Henry Rollins.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.  Full Article, reprinted from Details, 1994

 Good things to watch.

The ocean on the Northern California coast.


The sun set behind a mountain.

Good things to use.

Your brain (to think critically).


Your library.

Connect with Demian on Twitter, @DemianFarnworth.

Sarah – The Early Bird Mom

Sarah is mom to 4 boys and blogs at Early Bird Mom about how to increase productivity at home and in home business.

Good things to read.

Overdressed is the story of why most of America’s clothing is so cheap and the effects it is having on everything from our wallets, our manufacturing industry, and our over-stuffed closets. After reading this book, I understood why I have a terrible time finding anything in the stores that I want to buy. Maybe I’ll take up sewing.

Grace for the Good Girl – Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life was another impulse read for me. I apparently have been living under a virtual rock, only recently having discovered Emily’s blog, Chatting at the Sky. But after reading a couple blog posts, I was hooked on her honest, straightforward style. I feel like Emily could be my neighbor across the street. Emily encourages her readers to accept the grace that God has offered us, not just work so hard to be “good” when we can never really be good enough. Thank goodness we don’t have to be.

The Bible. I use the Bible daily to commune with God, to get advice, encouragement, and entertainment. Did you know there are a lot of great stories in there?

Good things to watch.

Good Eats. Now in syndication, I love Alton Brown’s witty scientific approach to cooking. There’s always a Good Eats episode waiting on our DVR.

19 Kids and Counting. This show is such a refreshing look at a real family. The Duggars are so likeable, real and encouraging to moms like me who are working hard to raise our children the best way we know how. Plus, they have the best adventures. Can you imagine taking that many kids all the way to China and Japan? It makes this mom of 4 shudder to think of the logistics that their trip required.

House Hunters. I guess I’m an HGTV junkie. This show really brings home how one’s expectations of a house are all relative. People in California will be thrilled to pay $1 million for a little bungalow that “needs work” while another couple in Mississippi gets a mansion for one quarter that price.

Good things to use.

Essential Oils. My collection of essential oils is used daily. I have found lavender to be a very effective remedy for seasonal allergies – better even than conventional allergy medicine. Peppermint applied to the temples stops most of my migraines in their tracks. Eucalyptus helps with congestion. I diffuse orange and lemon oils for a pick-me-up in the afternoon. Mountain Rose Herbs and Plant Therapy are two of my favorite places for essential oils.

Cast iron cookware. Cast iron is so useful in the kitchen. Clean up is fast – most of the time I can wipe my pans out with a paper towel or a little water and a washcloth. Due to the even distribution of heat, pancakes come out much better in cast iron than in a stainless steel pan.

Mason jars. I have several sizes of mason jars from 1 cup all the way up to a half gallon. They are in use all over my kitchen. I use jars to store iced tea, nuts, uncooked rice and popcorn, homemade yogurt, chicken stock, and leftovers. Since they are virtually indestructible, my kids use them as drinking glasses. You can bake in them, too! If you’re looking for quick decorating ideas, Pinterest has you covered as well.

You can also find Sarah on Twitter – @theEarlyBirdMom.

Eric Dodds – The Iron Yard

Eric is a partner at The Iron Yard, a code school, incubator, and accelerator in Greenville, South Carolina – these are his good things.

Good things to read.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing. Along with being a survival story almost too incredible to be true, this book also provides some fascinating observations about leadership, picking the right team, group morale, and the unbelievable power of the will to live.

Dave Allen’s articles for the North blog.  Dave Allen is an incredible thinker and has his finger on the pulse of both technology and culture.

The Bible. The Bible has had more impact on my life than anything else I’ve read.

Good things to watch.

Tony Schwartz: The Myths of the Overworked Creative. Having worked in both the marketing agency world and now the startup world, this video has had a significant impact on the way I work and as a result, my quality of life.

Schindler’s List. My wife and I recently re-watched this film and it’s lessons on humanity, hope, and evil are profound.

This video of people wake boarding in a cranberry bog, because it’s amazing.

Good things to use.

1Password. Purchasing 1Password is the best money I’ve ever spent on software, hands down.

Milwaukee power tools. I do a fair amount of work with my hands, and having the right tools makes all the difference in the world.

The Chrome Soyuz Backpack.  I’m a bike commuter and I travel for work a good bit. This bag has made all of my toting dreams come true.

Eric is on Twitter, @ericdodds

Mitt Romney – presidential candidate

Mitt Romney is a – if you haven’t heard – presidential candidate, these are his good things.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Battlefield Earth by L Ron Hubbard is “very fun.”

The Bible is Romney’s favorite book.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

What are some good things you’ve watched?

O Brother, Where art Thou?.

Modern Family.

30 Rock.

What are some good things you’ve used?

Caffeine-free Diet Coke.

Meatloaf cakes made with brown sugar and ketchup but sticks to making his own peanut butter and honey sandwiches on the campaign bus according to The New York Times.

Gap Jeans.

Drew Mikita – counselor

These are Drew Mikita’s good things.

What are some good things you’ve read?

My favorite piece of literature is Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse. This book entered my life at a time when I needed to meet myself. It was terrifying, enlightening, and life-saving. This was the first time something ever glimpsed into my soul and challenged it. You must read Siddhartha!

All people should read The Torah, The Bible, and the Qur’an. Realize they are all way more similar than they are dissimilar. Researching and learning about religions is so important! Read ‘em all! I am not even religious and it is worth it to see what billions of people claim as Truth.

The DSM-IV-Tr, yes, yes, yes, I am a huge nerd. (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision). I always tell my students I am a giant psychology geek! I have invited them all to my DSM-V release, May 2013, allegedly. This book is creed in the mental health world. While I would recommend many other readings in psychology before this heavy-text, it is a fun read for anyone with an interest in mental health. I love any psychology books I can get my hand on. Read any of Freud’s original texts if you want to feel super uncomfortable around your parents!

What are some good things you’ve watched?

I have to say, my favorite thing in the world to watch are any documentaries about Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti, or any other debatable bi-pedal, primate, covered in hair. For some reason I have been fascinated about this creature, or category of creatures. There are so many good Netflix documentaries; Monsterquest is a pretty good one! I think there is just something so intriguing about this phenomenon; I want to know more about the Sasquatch!

I live in Breckenridge, Co. It was my dream as a child to make it to the mountains. I would come here and visit, and knew I was a mountain person. There were some awesomely terrible ‘80s ski movies that convinced me. These movies are your classics Aspen Extreme, Hot Dog, Ski School, Ski Patrol, Copper Mountain (maybe Jim Carey’s best role, does sarcasm come across in typing?). The VHS cover of Aspen Extreme claimed, “Top Gun on the ski slopes!” Oh, it was so much more than that.

A Phish concert live is a must. My favorite band is Phish, yes, hippie music to some. Going to a Phish concert is one of my favorite things to watch for sure. The band is so good, but the people watching is also enjoyable. I have been to a good amount shows now and you never know what you will get!

What are some good things you use?

My Jawbone Jambox is a pretty amazing little thing. I always love to have music on when I am doing anything, cooking, working, or playing Kubb (see below). It rips music and is Bluetooth.

My Kubb set. My best friend Mike Flood, gave me the best gift ever. He got me a Kubb set. This yard game is often called Viking Chess, is perfect for the corn-hole, washers, cups, or any other yard game aficionados. Great for groups, I am not at tournament level yet, but my buddies and I are working on it. My friend and I just made a Cleveland Browns set of Kubb blocks, it is beautiful. I literally played 5 days a week this summer. The set Mike made me has gone to Kubb heaven, but Mike gave me the gift of this wonderful game. Kubb will be the next corn-hole, cheaper, more fun, and can be described as, “throwing sticks at blocks.” What could be better than that?

My smoker. I love ribs, salmon, brisket, and anything BBQ. Generally unhealthy pork of some sort is my weekend eating. I got a smoker for my birthday and was intimidated by it. 9,600 feet above sea-level can make fires a bit of a challenge. I worked at it this summer, had a lot of not great food. Now, I am crushing it and making ribs, salmon, and poppers on the smoker tomorrow. It is not that difficult, and yields amazing unhealthy meals.

Ronald Reagan – former president

This is Ronald Reagan and these were his favorite things.

What are some good things you’ve read?

Reagan appears to be a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs because as a child he enjoyed Tarzan of the Apes. And maybe we should read it to our kids too – Reagan in 1982 – “Our leaders must remember that education doesn’t begin with some isolated bureaucrat in Washington. It doesn’t even begin with state or local officials. Education begins in the home, where it is a parental right and responsibility.”

If by Kipling.  The first four lines:

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

The Bible.  Reagan’s favorite verse was in the gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

What are some good things you’ve watched?

The Waltons. Which may or may not have inspired this joke from remarks at a 1985 fundraising dinner.

“On our way here in Air Force One, I was looking down over your countryside out here because most of the way from Oklahoma I was looking down at clouds. And I could say that it reminded me of a story, but actually, I wanted to tell the story whether anything reminded me or not. It was about a fellow that was driving down a country road, and all of a sudden he looked out and there beside him was a chicken — he was doing about 45 and the chicken was running alongside. So he stepped on the gas, he got it up to about 60, and the chicken caught up with him and was right beside him again, and then he thought, as he was looking at him, that the chicken had three legs. But before he could really make up his mind for sure, the chicken took off out in front of him at 60 miles an hour and turned down a lane into a barnyard. Well, he made a quick turn and went down into the barnyard, too, and there was a farmer standing there, and he asked him, he said, “Did a chicken come past you?” And he said, “Yeah.” Well, he said, “Am I crazy or did the chicken have three legs?” He says, “Yep, it’s mine.” He says, “I breed three-legged chickens.” And the fellow said, “For heaven sakes, why?” Well, he says, “I like the drumstick, and Ma likes the drumstick, and now the kid likes the drumstick, and we just got tired of fighting for it.” And the driver said, “Well, how does it taste?” He says, “I don’t know. I’ve never been able to catch one.”

Mission: Impossible was a favorite show and themes from it emerge in this 1983 remark “The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression — to preserve freedom and peace.”

His favorite performance in a movie was Knute Rockne All American which included this memorable line, “Now I’m going to tell you something I’ve kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew George Gipp. He was long before your time, but you all know what a tradition he is at Notre Dame. And the last thing he said to me, “Rock,” he said, “sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Rock,” he said, “but I’ll know about it and I’ll be happy.” ”

What are some good things you use?

Royal Briar cologne.

Meatloaf, cornbread dressing, and brownies would be a meal the former president could endorse.  That and the fellowship that accompanied it.  “And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

A Subaru BRAT.  Reagan owned it from 1978-1998 and it was used on the 688 acre ranch in Santa Barbara.