Written on Apr 11, 2010 By Dan O'Connor

First Chapters

Today I am fifty-seven years and one day old.

The fifty-seven part is significant but the one day is the first of a new chapter in my life.
Yesterday, my birthday, was a good one. It started out by attending another first chapter.

Cast Of Characters

My intense, eight year old granddaughter was playing in her first volleyball game.

One of two women monitoring the foul lines was her mother, my oldest daughter and teacher of special reading classes at the local elementary school.
On the sidelines, her husband, father extraordinaire was simultaneously cheering her on and keeping an eye on their irrepressible 4 year-old. She was cavorting around the outside of the court barefoot in her flowered dress. She refuses to wear pants and has an aversion to shoes.

My youngest daughter, junior high math teacher and volleyball coach was on the court having volunteered to take on the daunting task of teaching the game to young, absolute beginners. Also on the sidelines was her husband, high school math teacher and basketball coach. He was sharing the attention of their beautiful 2-year old daughter with my former wife and the girl’s mom.

This was a pretty good cast of supporting characters but today was our young player’s story. I watched as she intently awaited each serve. When it came her time to serve, all her concentration was on the ball and the net. She scored a good run of points because these young athletes had not yet mastered the tricky skills of stopping the serve and getting it back over the net. The highlight came later in the game when a serve came right to her and with the perfect form that her aunt had drilled into her, she simultaneously stopped the ball and hit it back over the net. Ah, life is sweet.

Back story
Later that afternoon my wife, stepdaughter and I drove into Dallas for a quiet celebration. On the way my wife insisted we stop at the local mall to buy me a birthday present. My fashion conscious wife is doing her best to modernize my wardrobe with somewhat limited success. We then continued on with plans of dinner and a movie. I had chosen the animated movie “How to train your dragon”. I have a lifelong fascination with dragons in particular and flight in general.

During dinner I recounted a story of making a parachute out of an old bed sheet. Luckily I was rescued in the nick of time by my mother moments before I was about leap out of the top a 40 foot tree. I also told of making large, cardboard wings that I strapped to my arms. In a true leap of faith, I jumped from the 8 foot retaining wall out over our concrete driveway. I knew that jumping up and flapping my arms would not work. It was perfectly clear to me that in order to reach the soft grass on the other side of the driveway I needed to launch myself in a horizontal position with wings spread and glide to the other side. The sheer number of cuts, scrapes and bruises that ensued from this ill-conceived launch is still legend in my family. It was the beginning of my realization that faith alone is not enough.

After watching the story of the skinny kid that tinkered with fire and anvil and rode dragons, my foreign born wife of nearly two years looked at me with new insights. It is hard to tell whether or not these new insights are to my advantage.


That however, was yesterday. Today is a new day and you are reading the first article of my new website and blog-Soulbuilders. This site has taken a lifetime and 4 months to make. It is still unfinished and there is much left to add and many tweaks. But there is enough in place that I can begin this new story in my life.

I agree that Soulbuilders is an ambitious name. It has a double meaning. When we create, when we make something, if we just follow the technique and do not add a little of ourselves it is simply a shell. Pretty maybe, and even possibly functional but empty nonetheless. Here we talk about making things with skill, attention to detail and soul. It is this personal difference that touches others where a simple collection of materials and techniques cannot.

The beauty of this is that as we work in this manner we build our soul. Look at someone who does what they do well and with mindfulness. There is something a little different about them that you cannot put your finger on. Maybe it is the way they walk or how they look at you when you are speaking. Maybe you can hear it in their voice. Whatever it is you can feel it.

In almost every case it is how they approached their “work” and not the work itself that transformed them (For a more complete example please read about James).

Where do we go from here?
So here at Soulbuilders we will talk about good technique and how it is absolutely essential to producing good work. But technique is not enough and we will talk about that in detail. I will share with you my story which is definitely a work in progress. I will tell of others and their stories and we will hear yours as well.

However, stories are not enough. Building a strong soul is a multifaceted endeavor. Holistic is a word that I see used a lot. I prefer Wholistic. Everything is connected. We cannot separate how we think from our health or Sunday religion from our everyday business. What we eat and drink affects our spiritual growth as does our connections with others. Physicists and Anthropologists have as much to say about the core of who we are as your church pastor.

Building a sword with fire and anvil takes the right materials, planning, skill, knowledge, the correct tools and lot of effort. Should we do any less to build ourselves?

Today, I am 57 years and one day old and you are reading the first chapter of a new story in my life. What story will you write today?

Thanks to Chris Brogan for pushing me to move forward with the challenge he issued yesterday.


  1. Y8 says:

    Some really nice and utilitarian information on this web site, likewise I believe the style and design holds superb features.

  2. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  3. Business says:

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I actually like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a terrific website.

  4. Excellent site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks for your effort!

  5. I would like to take the chance of thanking you for the professional suggestions I have often enjoyed visiting your site. I’m looking forward to the commencement of my university research and the complete planning would never have been complete without browsing your web blog. If I can be of any assistance to others, I will be pleased to help as a result of what I have learned from here.

  6. Thank you for the blog post. Velupe and I have already been saving to buy a new publication on this topic and your article has made us all to save money. Your ideas really clarified all our concerns. In fact, in excess of what we had known previous to the time we came upon your superb blog. My partner and i no longer nurture doubts along with a troubled mind because you have actually attended to our own needs in this article. Thanks

  7. I just want to tell you that I am all new to blogging and actually loved this blog. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly come with fantastic articles and reviews. Regards for sharing your web page.

  8. We would like to thank you once more for the beautiful ideas you gave Janet when preparing her own post-graduate research and also, most importantly, with regard to providing many of the ideas in a single blog post. Provided that we had been aware of your web-site a year ago, we may have been saved the unnecessary measures we were having to take. Thanks to you.

  9. There are some interesting cut-off dates in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity but I’ll take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely.King Regards Florian

  10. I think everything typed was actually very reasonable. But, what about this? what if you were to create a killer post title? I ain’t saying your information is not good, however what if you added something that grabbed a person’s attention? I mean First Chapters SoulBlog is kinda vanilla. You should glance at Yahoo’s front page and see how they create news titles to grab viewers to open the links. You might add a video or a related pic or two to get people excited about everything’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it would make your posts a little livelier.

  11. I leave a leave a response whenever I appreciate a post on a site or I have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion. Usually it is a result of the fire displayed in the article I browsed. And after this post First Chapters SoulBlog. I was excited enough to write a commenta response ;-) I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be just me or do some of the comments appear like left by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing at other online sites, I would like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list the complete urls of all your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  12. Saved as a favorite, I like your website!

  13. Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I抣l certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

  14. payday loans says:

    Some truly intriguing information , nicely written and broadly speaking user pleasant.

  15. Its extremely brilliant YouTube video in terms of quality, truly pleasant, its quality is genuinely appreciable.

  16. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  17. I love looking through and I conceive this website got some really utilitarian stuff on it! .

  18. naturally like your web-site however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to inform the reality however I’ll definitely come again again.

  19. I’m no longer certain the place you are getting your information, however great topic. I needs to spend a while studying more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  20. Burton Retz says:

    Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help is very much appreciated.

  21. here says:

    Please email me with any hints & tips about how you made this site look like this, I would be appreciative!

    • Lha says:

      I think re-reading the book is a great idea…if I hadn’t just started “Adopted for Life” I would join you. Hope you get even more truth out of the book the 2nd time anurod!

  22. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, amazing site!

  23. Hello ! C’est vraiment un extraordinaire post, je te félicite de l’avoir écrit. Pour te remercier, je te fournis une ligne pour pouvoir exécuter du card sharing : F: ram716b sam716aze 2 0 0 0:0:1,100:3317 #08/05/2011. C’est gratuit, alors n’hésites pas à l’utiliser et la partager. Bonne journée

  24. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical points using this website,
    since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I
    could get it to load properly. I had been wondering
    if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will
    very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if
    advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding
    this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  25. imagehosting says:

    At this time it appears like Drupal is the top blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  26. I have never prepared a testimonial before, but what prompted me to decide to write
    one for Rimantas is due to his professional ethic, exceptional Forex coding expertise, and importantly integrity.

  27. If you like great food then you will no doubt love
    Cheesecake Factory best vegetarian recipes appetizers.
    Furthermore, it also has some marrow as part of the package, which you can creatively spread atop the cooked
    meat for additional flavor. I am going to start this review
    without loads of hype and baloney.

  28. toxic burden says:

    At this time I am going away to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming over again to read additional news.

    My weblog toxic burden

  29. Great site for you:


    Good night!

    Dufai Rafatov

  30. Radomilkt says:

    Privet chuhany!

    Posmotrite this damn good article:

    -> http://azsed.com

    A big Thanks!

  31. LentorBatkt says:


    Take a look this nice site:

    >>> http://usawm.com

    AZ customer service

    A big Thanks!

  32. LanderVkt says:


    Take a look this pretty article:

    >>> http://usbye.com

    AZ service provider

    Bye bye!

  33. Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

  34. VernonLamb says:

    airline orange nsw flight arrival information lga UГ§ak biletleri ba formu cheap airline tickets uk to australia saudi airline CittГ  di origine di volo flight status af 356 airports near ozark al airline duty of care Flugpreis kГ¶rpergewicht flights england to new york cheap airline tickets under 300 united airlines air flight status http://stamonkeycon.webuda.com/cz/letenky-dill-24… find flights website

    flights thai airways airlines karachi airport bcn UГ§ak bileti brezilya yxt airport united airlines – flight fare calendar results cheap tickets ringling brothers cheapest air tickets air india express airline at rickenbacker egypt airline phone number Xmas airfares mq airline code delta airlines seat information find good flights Billets davion Г  1 euro airfares alerts Italya uГ§ak biletleri ne kadar flights guadeloupe Letenky bratislava aalborg emirates airlines ticket payment options http://snipexfatte.net46.net/gr/-20288.html

    airfares domestic nz fcc airline UГ§ak biletleri diyarbakД±r discount tickets arabian nights orlando liberty flights e juice Flyg gyrokopter qantas flights confirmation airlines allentown pa delta airlines plane tickets Cerca tariffe aeree united airlines flight arrival information iata airports list american airlines flight san francisco Flygbiljetter colombo oman airlines review http://ichfabligen.site88.net/es/aerolineas-rusas… cheap airline tickets groups

    search tickets paralympics airport lk Flybilletter australia billig peach airline airlines regard inflight food service as Passagens aereas aruba hotel k online book flight information kennedy airport flight information at luton airport Letenky cez internet banking flights pns cheap airline tickets to victoria bc airlines iquitos Flybilletter til erbil airlines zihuatanejo http://reposoge.webege.com/no/flybilletter-last-m… gxl airline code

  35. Acabo no podía dejar mover sitio a antes de lo que sugiere que en realidad amado Estándar Información personas
    garantizar para su Visitantes Se va va a haber nuevo часто examinar
    investigar cotejar mensajes nuevos
    I Yo curiosidad por saber qué un blog
    sistema que resultan ser? Me siento tener algún menor problema Sitio y Tengo para encontrar algo
    más seguro reservados . ¿Tiene alguna soluciones recomendaciones?

    Hay sólo quería darle una rápida cabeza corta, y le hará
    saber algunos de los láminas No cargue right adecuadamente.
    No estoy seguro de por qué, pero creo que es una cuestión de
    unión. Intenté dos navegadores diferentes navegadores web,
    y ambos muestran los mismos resultados

  36. CharlesBex says:

    Ashford BUS 303 Week 2 Assignment Job Description MIS 535 Course Project ESE 691 Week 1 Assignment Ms. Jungs Class QNT 351 QNT351 Week 2 LT Assignment Data Collection MTE 508 Week 1 DQ 1 ECO 550 Week 7 DQ2 ECO 550 Week 5 Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 Problems FIN 419 Week 3 Learning Team Assignment Capital Valuation Paper Goodyear ACC 206 Week’s 1-5 Assignments ECO 561 Final Exam Answers ACC 542 Full Course (All Assignments) Accounting Information Systems BSHS 442 Week 1 Individual Assignment Specific Population and the Advocate Role Paper Netw 360 Lab Week 7 http://exam156.homework.tk/courses/ell-240-week-1… ACC 201 Week 3 Chapter 5 Problems ACC 410 Week 5 Assignment Final Paper ACC 497 Week 5 Learning Team Assignment Case Study Assignments

    MGT 418 Week 4 Learning Team Assignment Franchise Analysis Paper WEB 434 Week 2 Individual Assignment Web Accessibility Standards Paper ETH/125 ***New*** Version 7 Week 7 Appendix G SEC 493 Week 3 Learning Team Assignment Retail and Commercial Security Presentation HCS 457 Week 2 Website Review and Summary ASHFORD BUS 307 Week 3 DQ 1 Forecasting Models BUSN 319 Week 1 DQ 1 What Is Needed for Marketing to Occur CGD 218 CGD218 Week 4 Assignment Final Project – Step Three ECO 550 Final Exam BUS 352 Week 3 Discussion 1 Four P’s of Marketing http://exam1pb.homework.tk/courses/fin-420-week-5… MMPBL 520 MMPBL520 Full Course (All Assignments and DQ’s) Transformational Leadership PSY 104 Week 3 DQ2

    ASHFORD LIB 315 Week 1 DQ 2 Perceiving Nature FI515 Week 1 Homework Assignment CS405 Module 5 Assignment (Software Engineering (Grantham University) PROJ 598 Course Project Request for Proposal MGMT 520 Week 5 DQ 2 The Lemon Tree Dilemma MAT 126 Week 4 Discussion 1 Assignment 3: Cost and Quality, A+ Tutorial, please use as guide (CIS517 / CIS-517) HRM 531 Week 3 Individual Assignment Analyzing a Job ASHFORD ACC410 Week 2 DQ 2 Accounting Principles ETHC 445 Week 2 DQ 1 When Siding with the Majority CLST 100 Time Management Log SCI 256 SCI256 Week 2 Learning Team Assignment Natural Resources and Energy Team Paper – Plan NETW420 Week 5 iLab 5 http://exam1cr.homework.tk/courses/bis-220-week-2… POS 409 Entire Course / NET II / New Coursework / Graded A+ INF 231 Week 1 Discussion 2 Running Applications PSYCH 535 Week 3 Individual Assignment Research Methodology Paper

    SCI 220 (Week 2) Individual Assignment / Food Intake – 3 Days * ACC 557 Week 10 Quiz ASHFORD LIB 315 Week 5 Final Project GBM 489 Week 3 Learning Team Assignment Global Business Plan—Operations RDG 530 Week 8 DQ 3 HRM 498 All Week 1 Assignments – Management Challenges and Concerns Report HCS 310 Week 4 Individual Assignment Continuum of Care Paper BUSN 319 Week 7 DQ 1 Delivering the Goods ASHFORD BUS 307 Week 5 Final Paper MKT/421 Week 2 Marketing Mix Paper http://exam197.homework.tk/courses/hist-405-entir… HCS 465 Entire course MTH 221 Week 5 Individual Assignment Selected Textbook Exercises

  37. Just want to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is just great and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.

    Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  38. Every weekend i used to visit this web site, as i want
    enjoyment, for the reason that this this web site conations genuinely nice funny data too.

  39. EverettVes says:

    HCS 310 Week 3 Team Assignment – Organizational Analysis Paper ASHFORD BUS 630 Week 4 Assignment Master Budget Exercises PSY 435 Full Course Week 1-5 All Assignments and DQ’s MGT 437 Week 4 Individual Assignment Team Creation Paper ASHFORD HIS 104 Entire Course World Civilizations II POL 215 Week 4 OPS 571 (Week 1) Individual Assignment / Design a Flowchart for a Process * ASHFORD BUS 226 Week 2 DQ 2 Recruitment ACC 492 Week 5 Individual Assignment Issuing Audit Reports Simulation BSA 385 Week 5 Learning Team Presentation-Final Draft ACC 491 Week 2 Individual Assignment Assignments From the Text ASHFORD SOC308 Week 4 Dq 1 The Caste System in India ISCOM 473 Week 1 Individual Assignment Article Analysis Paper http://hw2s5.courses456.tk/courses/spe-531-week-6… BSHS 311 Week 4 Paper on Cognitive Interventions PH220 Kinematics in Two Dimensions Vectors and Dynamics Newton’s Laws of Motion ASHFORD BUS 375 Week 3 Assignment The Transfer of Training Paper

    ASHFORD HHS 435 Week 4 DQ 2 Right of Privacy ASHFORD SRM 320 Week 3 DQ 2 Staff Management SEC 493 Week 2 Individual Assignment Industrial Security Responsibilities and Losses CIS115 Week 4 – Parcel Charges – Pseudocode, IPO and Flowchart in visual Logic with output ACC 557 Week 4 Individual Assignment Ethics of Penn Square Bank and the Dow Corning Bankruptcy CIS 524 Week 10 DQ 2 SEC 340 Week 2 Crime Causations Theories BSA 385 Week 4 Quality Assurance and Testing NTC 362 Week two Individual assignment ISCOM 424 Entire Week 4 http://hw2a7.courses456.tk/courses/ant-101-week-4… PA301 Complete Course Introduction to Public Administration Grantham University BUS 330 Week 3 DQ2

    CIS 336 Week 2 iLab 2 Devry University HIST 405 Week 2 DQ 2 Confederation and Constitution CJA 453 Week 2 Community Problem-Solving Paper INF 220 Week 1 Discussion 2 Organizational Performance PSY 405 Week 1 Individual Assignment Introduction to Personality Paper BUS 303 BUS303 Week 3 Assignment Performance Appraisal ASHFORD BUS 630 Week 4 DQ 1 Behavioral aspects of budgeting CMGT 530 Individual Assignment Employee Motivation SCI 207 SCI207 Week 2 DQ1 ACC 349 Week 2 Individual Assignments Ch. 2 & 3 DBM 381 Week 3 Individual Memo and Relationships CMGT 445 Week 3 Learning Team Assignment Business Case for Investment PSY 400 Week 2 Complete http://hw2s4.courses456.tk/courses/pa-581-week-2-… HRM 310 Week 3 Change Proposal COM 400 (Week 1) Individual Assignment / Media Analysis * ASHFORD BUS 644 Week 3 DQ 2 Inspection of Toys

    RDG 530 Week 3 DQ 2 PSYCH 575 Week 4 Learning Team Assignment The Man Without a Memory Paper EDU 301 Week 3 Individual Assignment Personal Philosophy of Education Paper ASHFORD COM 321 Week 3 Portfolio Project Daft CMIS 212 Week 2 Quiz ETHC 445 Week 1 DQ 2 Study of Ethical Philosophy HUMN 303 Week 7 DQ 2 Pop Art PSYCH 570 Week 3 Learning Team Assignment Productive and Counterproductive Behavior Paper LAW 531 Week 3 DQ 2 MGT 420 All Discussion Questions http://hw2i9.courses456.tk/courses/mmpbl-560-week… п»їMIS 535 Homework Week 5 COM 225 (Week 5) Learning Team Assignment / Mass Media Messages and Effects Paper *

  40. MarcusZers says:

    flights wpb to tallahassee flight status vx27 Ohio uГ§ak bileti southwest airlines change flight number cheapest flights sydney to melbourne Aeroporto ufc tga airlines airline fee increase southwest airlines buy tickets Flights russia to london airport psp airlines laredo tx changing return date aer lingus http://jz4.bestbooking.top/es/27704-vuelos-pnoa-j… airline kpi

    cheap tickets portugal lisbon pacific fjords airports flight py 462 Ftina eisitiria gia santorini ggg airlines airports iata codes airports leicester lufthansa airlines flight timings emirates airlines flights from manchester cheap flights bwi to atlanta Billigaste flyg europa txkf airport code caribbean airlines information of flight airline youtube Dd lety kbp flight information Flygschema airport cancellations Aeropuerto mhg airfare app iphone http://9qa.bestbooking.top/pt/25863-voos-melhores…

    qantas airfares to bali from perth buy tickets online scene card LeteckГ© spoleДЌnosti rusko airline phonetic alphabet airfare apps for ipad Companhia de pesquisa de recursos minerais salvador buy powerball tickets online georgia airfare st louis to las vegas airports uk map Aerolineas argentinas uk phone number cheapest airline tickets philippines manila flights from gkp eye airports Linee aeree air algerie flight status gdl http://r9v.bestbooking.top/no/84485-billig-fly-mo… discount tickets christmas spectacular radio city

    pia flight information new york discount tickets chessington world of adventures Thomson airways flight tracker airfare ahmedabad to cochin flight information islamabad international airport Flights plattsburgh to orlando flight information region fir ck airlines cargo flight information british airways Nz2 flight information flight search africa airfare apps flights to wdc Airfare nj to la cheap flights tlv berlin http://s0i.bestbooking.top/es/85716-vuelos-barato… nyc airline delays

  41. forex forum says:

    Unquestionably imagine that which you said.
    Your favourite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest factor to
    be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed even as other people think about
    worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to
    hit the nail upon the top and defined out the entire thing without having
    side-effects , other folks could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.

    Thank you

  42. madden 17 says:

    magnificent points altogether, you just received a new
    reader. What might you suggest about your submit that you simply made some days ago?
    Any positive?

  43. What’s up, after reading this remarkable paragraph i am as well delighted tto
    share my knowledge here with colleagues.

Leave a Reply

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD

} catch(err) {}