The Promise to Adapt

Grandpa Ray Limberg laid to rest


Last week our family came home to a dishwasher that had flooded our kitchen, warped the wood floors, water seeped into the basement, and the ensuing mess that creates.

Insurance adjusters, disaster cleanup professionals, holes drilled in the basement ceiling, cracks in our floors, high-powered fans and de-humidifiers now cover our home, as we determine what should be ripped out first.

The dishwasher is the casualty, and as my mother-in-law repeated over and over, “Welcome to home ownership!”  (we have lived here for 14 years, so we are grateful she is finally welcoming us to this lifestyle 😉  )

As this was all happening in our kitchen I had just finished writing a poem for my wife and was preparing a song for her Grandpa’s funeral, Ray Limberg, one of the greatest men I’ve ever known and easily the best grandparent I’ve ever seen.  His legend is enormous, the things he did to engage and be present in the lives of his grandchildren are astounding and will live on.

The end of an era, we walked through his home and collected some bolo ties and belt buckles in his memory before they empty it all out and put it up for sale.

A photo from a few years back after Grandpa Ray made my son’s Pinewood Derby cars (both won)


The day after the funeral I announced to the world my retirement of the Michael Jackson routine, receiving much support from those who understand where I’m coming from and see it as a very important step to take, while others lashed out, condemning me for ‘folding and giving in without evidence of his guilt‘…even receiving multiple negative reviews on Facebook and other places.

Oh well.

The Promise is not about social approval, it is about personal responsibility and internal integrity. 

In the past few weeks I’ve also quietly closed the book on my Raptor impression due to a few unfortunate incidents that helped me realize it’s time.

All of this said, whether laying to rest a great man after a 94-year life of legendary leadership, saying goodbye to a kitchen that has held up for 14 years and served us well, or my retiring of some of my all-time most beloved impressions and comedy routines in Michael Jackson and the Raptor, it is quite daunting to think any of these could be replaced.

Some things just can’t, so we have to continue moving forward.

The Promise to adapt is of the essence.

Natural disasters occurring daily displace families from their roots for life, terrorist activity destroys confidence in the safety felt in a country like New Zealand where these types of things just don’t happen, and suddenly the hassle of a web site rebrand or product change becomes seemingly irrelevant when put in perspective.

Question is: What is your Promise to adapt to the change that is thrust upon your life?

Do you dig a hole, climb in it, pretend it didn’t happen – or do you face it head on, yelling at top of your lungs by your actions to bring it on, that you have the confidence to handle the rough stuff?

Think about it for yourself.  It’s a pain when you have to adapt, and yet it is your Promise to not let up!

Legendary Leaders are legends because they push forward.

I just watched a documentary called, “The Dawn Wall”, the story of an impossible climb, with impossible odds, up El Capitan in Yosemite, on a route that wasn’t supposed to be able to be tackled by humans.



Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson faced this head on, and the ensuing story of grit, planning, preparation, adaptation, teamwork…I’m still crying thinking about it…it was beautiful, and the perfect example of legendary leadership.  Watch it and be blown away.

How do you adapt to the pressures of needing to change?  I know I’m facing mine head on, and that’s The Promise.  I invite you to join me with yours.



Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer

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4 thoughts on “The Promise to Adapt”

  1. Thank you for sharing inspiring examples of keeping a Promise to Self, internal integrity, and facing change head in.

  2. Ginger Toivonen

    Jason I am truly sorry that you received bad reviews for doing what you felt was right. In the end, it is most important to have walked in your own shoes. Thanks for all you share!

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