Tim Eggebraaten

Just Build a Dog House!

We’ve all been given gifts! As I get older I recognize and appreciate this statement even more. I realize that I’ve been given the gifts of music, speaking and entertaining. I LOVE sharing those gifts! As it is with most gifts, the process of sharing can be more rewarding to the giver than it is to the receiver. My speaking and music are certainly no exceptions.

I was playing a gig at the Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes a few years ago. The audience was made up of mostly building contractors and construction sales reps. I was doing my regular set when I noticed a big, burly fella standing in front of my stage staring at me. Judging by the girth of his paws, I could tell that this guy had swung a hammer for most of his life. Someone had informed him that I was the Chief of Police and he was just gazing at me with a drink in his hand.

I finished my set and he approached the stage and extended his vice-grip of a hand to shake my hand. I reached out and put my right hand into his death grip! He squeezed very tightly and pulled me closer to him and told me, “I (expletive) hate cops”! My stage setup doesn’t contain anything that would be super effective for self defense and I wasn’t going to hit him with my baby (my guitar)! I said to him, “Well, where do we go from here”? He continued his sentence and told me that he wished he could play guitar and he loved the music I was playing.

I was relieved that he wasn’t going to kill me on that stage that evening. We started talking and he again said that he wished that he could play guitar. I told him that I wished that I could build things. The guy didn’t believe me and overestimated my ability to construct things. I informed him that I had asked the man who built my house for plans to build a doghouse. My builder told me to “just build one”! He didn’t understand that, while I can make up songs on the fly and I have certain abilities, building things was not in the list of things that I do very well.

When my contractor told me to build a doghouse, I said that I would need to have my parts labeled and detailed instructions to attach side A to side B and use screw C to attach them. My new friend, the cop-hater, could not grasp that concept that someone wouldn’t know how to build something as simple as a doghouse!

I have a friend who can look at a piece of land and visualize in her head what kind of house would go on that property, where it will sit, how the roof line will match the surroundings, and what kind of dog will be playing in the yard. She can then draw it up and have it built into a beautiful home. I look at the same land and see just the land. Similarly, my wife has an uncanny ability to find the perfect gifts for friends and family and will often buy items months prior to giving them away. I am amazed at how she can match up the receiver’s personality and needs to the gift. Her gift giving ability is certainly a gift in itself! These are both things that I recognize that I’m not super good at.

Our daily challenge is to remember that each of us has been given a gift, something that makes us so very unique. The world would be pretty boring and unproductive if we all had the same talent. Take some time today to reflect and recognize the gifts and talents that you’ve been given. Once you’ve identified them, don’t keep it to yourself! Get out and share those gifts to others who need them! You will find that it feels so good and it can drastically lift up your attitude.

Make it an incredible day!


I Am, I Can, I WILL!

3 thoughts on “Just Build a Dog House!”

  1. Your voice just pulls ’em in and melts ’em down!……..Yes, if we all had the same likes and dislikes and talents, it would really be a boring world. But everyone being different, we all balance each other out.

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