Sports analogies are overdone in business. Don’t let that get in the way of hearing the powerful messages from today’s podcast guest, Clint Gresham. Clint is a former NFL Player, Super Bowl Champion and author of Becoming. Today’s podcast is rich with raw and real information on what it means to be a work in progress in business and life.
The Super Bowl means many things to different people. You might think of the brilliant (or not-so-brilliant) ads in the commercial break. Or you look forward to the halftime show. Or maybe you actually want to watch the two best teams in the NFL play each other.
But if you play football, your ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. It’s a clear goal you either meet or you don’t.
But what happens when you reach your ultimate goal? Do you feel like you’ve “made it?” Do your insecurities disappear? Do you suddenly feel fulfilled?
As Clint, will tell you – the answer is no. That may seem obvious, however, Clint’s vulnerability in what he shares about being a work in progress, the false gods we create in our life and how to live an authentic life will inspire you.
People on the outside looking in at success probably think you’ve got it all figured out. It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re still a work in progress. It’s what Clint’s new book, Becoming, is all about.
In this episode, we dive into how top athletes and the best coaches like Pete Carroll, Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban take a unique approach to setting goals that consistently deliver success. You will love the message and more importantly be able to take the ideas Clint and I discuss and make them actionable in your life today.
Other Topics include:
- Clint’s journey from a child to the Super Bowl
- Pete Carroll never talked about winning a Super Bowl, what did he talk about instead?
- The risk in putting our significance in things we can’t control
- The fine line of how to be transparent and still be a leader
- Why people turn to substance abuse
- How the best coaches/leaders motivate players/teams
- The impact of words on the people we lead
- How we can get too wrapped up in our goals and what to focus on instead
- The importance of “trust” in winning – in business and sports
- How successful people can still feel all alone, and what to do about it
- The anti-venom for loneliness
- Why we don’t like works in progress
- The one piece of advice Clint gives leaders
- Clint Gresham’s Website
- Clint Gresham’s Book, Becoming
- Clint Gresham’s Twitter
- Essence of Leadership by Colin Powell
Kirk: Chip, so you know the name of our podcast here is for you leaders, right?
Kirk: Well good today. I want to talk about long snappers then.
Chip: What? Why the heck we talking about long snappers? I’ve heard you talk about a lot of random things before, but what is long snapping have to deal with this leadership podcast?
Kirk: Well, you’re going to find out today. Our guest is Clint Gresham, and he was a Long Snapper for the Seattle Seahawks. He has a brand new book out called Becoming and I loved it. He talks about just the process and the downfalls in the process of winning even winning one of the most prestigious awards, at least in sports, the Super Bowl, which he was part of and even won a Super Bowl.
I know it’s an overdone analogy or parallel between business and sports. It’s a powerful one and it works.
I really want you to focus your ear to listen to Clint’s concepts of being a constant work in process and vulnerability. I love that we’re talking to someone that is a outside the business world. Because you really are going to see that there are some really strong parallels.
I know it sounds odd, but Clint does a really good job of explaining it. Clint, tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today.
Clint: I was talking with my wife the other day, how I can basically trace my entire life and where it’s gone from up to this point back to my dad, ordering a VHS tape of how to long snap. I remember popping in this VHS tape and I’m like 16 years old. Me and my dad would go in the backyard and I would long snap to him while he would be trying to time me at the same time. That gift is what brought me to where I am today.
I spent a year at the University of Oklahoma, and that was not a great experience and then after a year of being there, I transferred to TCU and had a great run there. I got to be a part of a lot of really winning teams and ended up signing with New Orleans Saints right out of college. And after three months of being with them, I got released. I then got picked up by the Seahawks the next day and was able to trick him for six years to stay on the team. It was a pretty incredible journey – definitely, more than I ever thought or dreamed I would have.
Chip: Yeah, and he gives us great life lessons through some really memorable stories. He explains the book like this.
Clint: It essentially takes the coaching philosophy of the Seahawks about focusing on the process and applies it to our lives, and it makes us grittier and makes us resilient to rejection and the subtitle is “loving the process to wholeness.”
I Define wholeness as “Giving up hope for a better past. Relinquishing control for a perfect future and then choosing joy and courage right where your feet are.”
It’s kind of a different spin on mindfulness and being fixed in the present moment
Kirk: Clint tell me more about what Becoming is all about.
Clint: A lot of it is just kind of my own journey of walking through some really gut-wrenching seasons of my life and specifically with rejection and lifting up the opinions of bosses and coaches and fellow people to God status – where I could have a coach say something that would either blow me apart or fill me with so much dopamine in my brain that I would be high for a whole day.
Both of those are a trap, and so in the book, I talk about the false fathers that we look to for identity and comfort. The role of a father is to impart identity and unconditional love to their children. When we don’t get that, which all of us have had experiences where we felt let down by somebody, who’s in a role like that, we begin to look to the things around us for significance.
That’s being a super bowl-winning football player, or it’s driving a beautiful car or having a beautiful wife or having a whole lot of money in the bank, and we end up fixing our whole identity around the thing that gives us the greatest sense of significance and that is such a trap. This is coming from a guy who spent his whole life as a football player. From the time I was five years old, that’s what gave me a sense of significance. All the way leading up to a final call I had with the general manager of the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll, the head coach of the Seahawks, where they say to me, “Clint. We found somebody else. Thanks for the time. Wish you all the best….” in a matter of minutes.
I’m now confronted with this realization that I need to redefine who I am. And I’ve realized that all of us, if we were honest with ourselves, which I think is such an admirable trait, all of us are building our lives on Sand. When we build our lives on something that’s shakeable, such as:
The only reason I’m important is because I have a million dollars in my bank account…
Or because I run this Corporation and people respect me…
Or I drive this car…
Then when tough times come, they shake us to our core. We cannot put our sense of significance in things that can be taken away because, ultimately, that’s going to create very fragile masculinity and a very fragile ego.
Kirk: I love that that, it is so true. We put our trust in so many things… in our schedule or in our bank balance.
So many things we put our trust in, we do risk building our house on sand, as you’ve said, we’ve got to be clear about what we’re putting our trust in.
It’s one of the reasons I really like sports analogies for business.
I know they’re overdone, but it is very powerful when you start to speak the same language, and you can see the thread pull through all different kinds of life circumstances, and your book you talk quite a bit about transparency.
What does that really mean to you? I hear so many times people say, “we’ve got to be authentic…we got to be transparent.”
It’s almost one of those words that gets overused and misunderstood often times. How do you balance between being completely open, as you talked about in your book, and being real?
Clint: I think that for the most part transparency is punished in our society. We may respect somebody that does that, but we have this tendency to not want to follow somebody who is open about their flaws. And it’s kind of like you walk into the General’s tent and you see the General crying. You’re not super pumped about the war that you’re about to walk into and so it’s not necessarily the leaders fault that they feel like they have to look the part, and thus end up feeling isolated which leads to a slew of other issues of all kinds with addictions and stuff.
The reason people turn to substances of any kind is because they’re isolated and the greatest way to walk people through stuff like that is to create a real sense of community and intimacy where people see the real you. I’m not saying that you have to do that with all of your employees.
Where you got to walk in and tell them, “Hey, I don’t feel like I have what it takes today.” That’s not what I’m saying, but letting people see your humanity a little bit. People love that and you need to get your sense of intimacy and connection met somewhere. And I would walk in this locker room and its is macho and bravado as you can be and for the most part, I felt like I don’t totally fit into this world because I am a more sensitive guy. I’m more in touch with what’s going on in my heart, and that is a gift and a lot of ways, but it is something that just like anything else, that’s a double-edged sword. I have to watch myself because I have a tendency to get blown out of the water when somebody disregards me.
A vulnerability is not weakness and that myth is one of the most profoundly dangerous things that has been perpetuated in our society today. I think that especially for Millennials, all of us are looking for someone who’s real. Ee want to follow someone that’s real,someone’s who’s authentic. And for leaders who may be listening, it’s as simple as, “I’m having a hard time with this” and letting people see your humanity. When people see a real person, and they’re not seeing this photoshopped image of the corporation, they’re going to follow that. At least I know that that’s how it’s been in my life.
Kirk: There’s a really really powerful video clip out there by Colin Powell called the essence of leadership and Colin Powell was asked, “What do you believe is the essence of leadership?”
He talks about if you’re leading a group of people, and you’re you’re in a wartime-type of activity and you’re scared. And you’re tired, and you’re hungry, and you’re cold. You can’t show that you’re scared and tired and hungry and cold. Now some people may say you know that that’s not very authentic.
What he’s saying in the middle of the battle, I can’t commiserate with folks and let them know that I know. But when it’s over, I sure can share those stories and those experiences and the similarity. But in the middle of it if, if I start commiserating with people, then they’re likely to become scared tired hungry and cold
Clint, how do you think about this and how do you strike that balance?
Clint: I think that any leader is there to serve.
The point of leadership is to help people get the best out of people and so your job is to meet their needs before them trying to meet your needs.
And while you may be struggling or having a hard time, there are times where discernment and wisdom are absolutely critical. Timing is so important. There are times where you need to not lay all your cards on the table and and show people everything. Because it will contaminate the collective belief of any type of culture you’re trying to create.
In 2015, the Seahawks started the season out two and four. This was after going to back-to-back Super Bowls and everybody in the city, everybody in the world is saying, “What on Earth is happening with the Seahawks?!”
They are imploding. They’re falling apart. And I remember Pete Carroll anytime that we had to have sort of come to Jesus type of moment, where it’s time to redefine who we are, he would always bring us into this auxiliary locker room and have us all sit on the ground. Just to create a different feel and in different environment to try and really get the guys going. Ge goes in there, and he starts talking about like: “This isn’t Who We Are.”
And he continued to speak in such a way that was speaking to the greatness inside each and every one of us. And he’s the most disciplined person I’ve ever met in my life when it comes to creating culture, and how he uses his words as a surgeon’s knife to cut out all the collective doubt and to speak into people’s hearts what they need to hear to help them be the best.
I think we need some honesty to have the courage to be honest about what’s actually going on. But then realizing that as a leader, your words carry so much more than you realize and you need to speak in such a way, that’s going to create the culture you’re trying to get to.
Instead of being a thermometer for what’s going on in the room. So if the difference between the thermometer and the thermostat is I’m choosing to use my words to make it what I see it to be and what I needed to be.
And then within the confines of the protection of your own space you can vent to people, but it’s not always the most wise thing to do it with people where there’s too much to lose.
Kirk: I think you’re spot on. I really like that concept of a thermostat versus a thermometer. That’s a great visual for how leaders could act and think about themselves, and how they show up. I talk about the concept of tone at the top, another way to think about that is thermostat vs thermometer and how you’re showing up.
Clint, you’ve had the unique opportunity to work under some really really great coaches like Gary Patterson from TCU and Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawk. In the book you talk about how Pete Carroll never talked about winning the Super Bowl or even winning a game for that matter.
If he didn’t talk about goals like the Super Bowl. What did he talk about?
Clint: Goals are interesting, man. Like we all need to have goals. We all need to have something that we’re shooting for but we need to have less focus on our goals.
Before both Super Bowls that I got to play, he never talked about we need to go out when this game because focusing on that is something that’s out of your control. You really don’t have a whole lot of ability to make that happen and so by focusing on the process, or the things that you have control over. The outcomes that you’re looking for take care of themselves.
So he would say I want you to focus on your effort.
I want you to focus on your enthusiasm.
I want you to focus on your body language.
I want you to focus on your preparation.
All of those things, if you’ll just focus on that stuff, we don’t need to be worried about winning.
Of course, we all know that our goal is to win games. That’s why we are here in the first place. And so it’s so glaringly obvious that will, duh, that’s your goal.
You know of course our goal is to win a Super Bowl, but that can’t be the goal you know. So every single day, it’s about I want to go out, and I’m going to practice my butt off, and I’m going to make this day the absolute best I can make it because of my effort, my enthusiasm, my body language, and my preparation and by focusing on the process, the outcomes always take care of themselves.
When you look around the NFL, and you look around successful College Programs, this is the same philosophy that many of them are using, Dabo Swinney. This is his whole philosophy. Alabama and the New England Patriots (God cursed them).
It’s their philosophy.
I’m still recovering from losing Super Bowl 49. But it’s a powerful thing because it’s so counter-cultural from what we’ve been taught. Where, OK, this is the big game and now we got a really gear up and really get to prepare now. And that’s great for media because it creates a story, but it’s horrible for performance because it just makes people anxious and it’s not about winning games.
It’s not about rising to the occasion. It’s about focusing on the things that you have control over right in this very present moment and by doing that, the outcomes that you want take care of themselves
Kirk: How would you translate that into business? Is it the same or is it is a different? What would you say to leaders that are listening to this podcast?
Clint: Yeah, man, it’s the exact same thing. Your preparation, your body language, your attitude, your work ethic.
You know being the hardest working person in there because people respect that because that’s such a fleeting thing. Because all of us cling to comfort all of us are trying to find the path of least resistance, and there is a fine line between efficiency and laziness. It’s a very fine line.
And so you need to you need to continue to focus on those things you have control over and be the hardest working person there. Because that’s ultimately what speaks to the people around you and helps create the culture that your employer is trying to build in that place.
Kirk: As we talk about Coaches, one of the most powerful analogies to coaches and Leadership is obvious. Coaches are not players much like leadership.
They’re trying to get results through others. I’m a firm believer that great leadership and coaches are like having a head start. They see more than they see before and they use that gift to action their team, to get them headed in the right direction before they get into problems.
Oftentimes a difference between great team or great company and a mediocre team or a mediocre company are the ones that have the great leadership and coaches. They can see ahead and get their teams headed in the right direction, either way. They’ve got to get work done throughout their people. So how have you seen coaches that you’ve worked with get results through you?
Clint: It goes back to trusting your process and and trusting your philosophy.
So, it was just a fascinating experience because he was trying to bring as many guys around us who had already been in this thing to help create this thing so that it reaches critical mass. It’s not just one guy, Pete Carroll, trying to change the minds of a hundred people.
I’ve actually got key leaders in each spot on my team. Who are speaking this same message. This is the same thing for any leader, when you bring somebody in you got to train that person up, and you got to trust that person. Which goes back to hiring the right people and vetting the right people.But at the end of the day, there is going to be this massive sense of tension between “do I trust this person or do I not” and that’s going to feel like stepping off a cliff and hoping that it’s not long distance from where you’re stepping from out to where the ground is.
Kirk: That’s exactly right. You talk about a process, you talk about trust and trust is a huge part of building any team. I think if you sat down and talk to 10 different teams inside of a business or inside of a sports team and ask them to list at what creates a high performance team, trust would be one that would show up on every single list. So what was it like as you went through the different stages in your career? You think about in business, you know there’s a journey that we go through in our careers and oftentimes where we started, obviously is not where we end.
What was it like for you going from high school level of competition to a higher level of competition at college and then going into the pros where you ultimately want to Super Bowl, what did you learn?
Clint: I went from being one of the one of the best guys on my high school football team who was playing both ways. I was all city. I was all Metro. I was one of the guys to all of a sudden my role changed when I went into college. Which college football is the same thing as professional football in a lot of ways.
It’s just guys aren’t getting paid. It’s just as much of a business as the NFL is, just a business for the school and the school makes money off of them. That’s the truth.
All of a sudden, I went from the top to the bottom and in a sense is being a Long Snapper, and I remember having this one coach, at this one point in my career, making a joke about kickers and punters and long Snappers saying that they’re half-letes. That they’re not really athletes.
Whatever message that you expose yourself to the most, is going to shake who you are. That guy was a consistent message of “you really don’t belong here.” Which is disappointing.
Kirk: Coaches – whether it be in a sport or in business, are people of influence. They can really really mess someone up with their words.
The power of the tongue is amazing. The old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Couldn’t be further from the truth.
One of the things that I reflect on, I remember, 4th grade. I can remember where I was sitting in the classroom. I can remember where I was facing. I can remember the people that were sitting around me, and I can remember where the teacher was standing.
Most important, I can remember the words that he selected.
We were just getting ready to go to recess and I had done something that upset him, and I’m not sure exactly what that was that was, but it probably was a daily occurrence, but nonetheless. He got red-faced and at the top of his voice, in front of all my peers, told me that I was stupid. And not only was I stupid, but I needed to go home and tell my parents that I was stupid.
Well that moment was a fight or flight moment.
And my exterior just wanted to fight, but internally it just crushed me and I carried for years that truth. It wasn’t a truth, but I became one in my mind, and it’s something that I struggled with for years and years and years, and I just think about that maybe happened in a matter of 10 to 15 seconds. His comments in his words had the impact of that.
Clint: Oh my gosh.
They don’t understand that self-esteem is the first thing they need to build.
And so that really messed with my head and my position on the team which made me doubt my ability, which maybe doubt that I even belong here, which now of a sudden, I am assuming what other people are thinking about me, and they are all thinking this thing about me.
All of a sudden you get into this crazy cycle, and it really just came from one leader who flippantly made a joke about somebody in their position and I was the Long Snapper.
There are some people in organizations, who are like the Long Snapper. Somebody who you don’t even know about until they mess up, and all of a sudden you’re unnoticed and that you mess up, and then you publicly blast this person. So I think one thing that I would just say to leaders is there are people who are just like me, the Long Snapper, who you need to be loving up throughout this whole time because they are under appreciated.
Kirk: In your book, Becoming, you talk a lot about feeling alone. You mentioned you really struggle with feeling alone, and I think that’s something that’s more common than we think about. There’s a saying out there that it’s lonely at the top, I always share with the executives that I’m working with and coaching. It’s not lonely because you’re somehow superior or people can’t relate with you, or you have such a unique ability to be creative and Innovative that that you’re in a class of your own.
It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with being judged out of context, and getting judged in a vacuum for the decisions that we make.
How do you deal with the idea of being lonely?
Clint: Oh, man, so because I won the Superbowl, all my feelings of inadequacy and insecurity? They all went away, man!
What a joke that is. We’re all chasing this carrot thinking that once we get that thing then we’re going to feel satisfied, and it never really does so we just need to keep that in perspective because we are trying to accomplish things.
I think that it is a day-by-day sense of awareness that I’m doing this because I’m passionate about it, and I’m good at it, but I am so much more than just a role.
I have a tendency to try and let people know how significant I am by listening off all of my accomplishments, and if we can just be aware of that. It’s going to guard our hearts from building our identity on something that ultimately will not sustain the kind of life that we really want live.
Kirk: That’s that’s really really good. I like that a lot. What did you learn from other players that you played with?
Clint: A lot of us were thrust into a position of influence really fast, and we’re trying to do the best that we could- really quickly. There was a bunch of guys that I was always really impressed that they weren’t just trying to be great football players.
There was a lot of guys that were trying to be great men, great leaders, great husbands, great fathers. And I believe you can have all the money in the world and be so miserable. I mean some of the most insecure, miserable people I’ve ever met have been professional athletes, who have got all the marks of what it means to have made it in this world. I think that if you are crushing it at your business, but you’re denying the other areas of your life, you need to do some soul-searching.
Because there’s nothing worse than finally getting that thing you’ve been working so hard for and then looking back and realizing that nobody is there to enjoy it with you. I led a men’s group on the team, and we would talk about: “What does it really mean to be a man?”
It can’t just be what all of us have been told our whole lives, and it isn’t. Some guys would be committed to learning and growing outside of the game. There’s too many to name always had my respect.
Kirk: One of the things that’s anti-venom for loneliness is really having an inner circle. You talked about trust a little bit earlier, but that inner circle of people that you can just be real and raw with, let down with. Did you have people you could turn to, even though you were in such a public role?
Clint: I think that any time that we try and go get our needs for connection and intimacy – and the word intimacy really just means letting people see who you really are anytime – we try and go get that done at our job. That’s going to be a not so great situation, and we need to have people that we can be ourselves around and people who we let see the real us. I think that’s the terror. That if people really saw me, if they really knew who I was, they wouldn’t love me. They wouldn’t want to be around me. They wouldn’t follow me.
That is such a lie that we believe, which just keeps us in this perpetual place of isolation and loneliness that doesn’t translate to better performance on our job, and so you have got to have peers, you have got to have people who know you and see you.
And I remember I saw this interview from James Hetfield, who is the lead singer of Metallica. And he’s a guy who’s been in recovery and battled substance abuse, and he talks about how like coming home and when he’s with his kids like his kids. Just seeing him his dad as like this quirky dad. Just like every other dad.
You know every single dad is quirky and their own way. But when he goes out for his job, he crushes it and there are millions of people who feed off his energy. But in his inner circle, he’s just Dad. So, if you can’t turn it off, and if you are building too much of your sense of worth, into your job, and if you’re getting all of your sense of confidence and self esteem from your gifting, then you are not going to be able to show up for your friends and your family the way that they need you too.
So leading on the job is different from leading at home because you’ve got to lead with your heart at home and leading with your heart means letting people see the really you and that takes guts.
Kirk: One of the things I talk about that is kind of joke, is the toughest time for a CEO is a CEO’s drive home. You know they could be on the cover of Forbes or many other magazines, adored by their employees, but something happens between the time that they get in the car to go home and the time that they get home.
They get the quickly find out they’re taken off the pedestal they really didn’t belong on anyways, but it’s a mental shift for the drive home that really can be tough and one of the things that you talk about in your book, that I really preach a lot. As a society, we really hate works in progress. We hate the journey.
Getting promoted beyond our competence, doing something that we have not done before and that journey of being that work in progress is tough for some reason. We just kind of like to not recognize it and, for sure, not embrace it. Why do you think that is?
Clint: Because it’s an open loop and we hate open loops. We hate stories that don’t resolve. It’s why I hate jazz music. Jazz music never resolves. We want to get to the end, we want to know does the hero win, good triumphs over evil, does the hero become all he was created to be?
And that is hardwired into us, and so we need to be able to live in that tension with an open hand and trust that each day. I’m making decisions for a long-term payoff each day. I am choosing the more difficult right over the easier one. I am choosing less comfort and security over more risk for more risk and more Vitality because that’s really where you find the life that you want is.
Actually living it and not clinging to comfort and safety and security and all of the things that are hardwired into us that society reinforces as success. It’s learning to live in that tension is a profound place that takes time, and I think that we need to be able to give ourselves Grace.
After I got cut by the Seahawks, it was a good year before I felt like I was normal again. And probably more like a year-and-a-half years until I really felt like I’m back to the person that I was. So giving yourself time and just know that you’re not missing out. You’re not missing out on anything. Whatever that speed of progression looks like for you is it the exact right speed.
Comparison is the greatest thief of joy. So and that’s another thing that Pete Carroll would always talk about. It’s like you never go and compare yourself to the guy next to you. Like whoever you’re competing with, that’s not your competition. You, yourself are your competition and by focusing on that, you’ll get to where you want to be much faster.
Kirk: What is one piece of advice that you would give leaders?
Clint: It’s not about you. Leadership is not about you. And it’s about helping the people around you get to where they need to be. Because that’s the role of a leader. If you’re trying to get the most out of somebody. It’s helping them get to that place. So the second that use try and build a brand about around you, just know that you’re not going to be in a sustainable environment of continuing to be able to recruit really high-quality individuals because people see through that. They see your brand building is actually just an insecurity.
Kirk: This is truly not a setup we did not plan this, but that’s the whole reason for the name For You Leaders Podcasts there really are three types of leadership styles. There’s leaders that are For You. There’s leaders that are Against You, and there’s leaders that are For Themselves.
For You leaders care more about what they can put in you than what they can take out. The Against You leaders really do have something against you.
Maybe you remind them of someone that beat them up on the playground when they were a little or something. I don’t know what’s gotten into them, but they got they’ve got issues. And then there’s leaders that are For themselves. They’ve been taught and trained with all the money that’s spent on leadership development out there.
They’ve been taught and trained how to look like a For You leader, but under pressure you find out pretty quickly they are For Themselves. Oftentimes people say, “Well, I can be any one of those at any given time…”
I tell people don’t over complicate this. Your team categorizes you as one and you should know which one.
As someone who has wrote a book. I believe that everyone has at least one book inside of them. If you’re listening to this, you probably have had thoughts about getting that book out of you. Clint, congratulations on actually getting yours out! Where can people find your book, Becoming?
Clint: It’s on Amazon. That’s that’s the best place to get it…free shipping.!
Kirk: That was some great wisdom from Clint Gresham.
We joked at the beginning that this podcast is. Called for you leaders, and we’re going to be talking to a Long Snapper. I hope that you saw the connection as a leader and what it means to show up as a leader in all kinds of different environments including being a Long Snapper for Super Bowl Champion, Seattle Seahawks.
Have a question we can answer on the show? Email Questions (at) ForYouLeaders.com.
Have a blessed day!