I have a rule when consuming anything TV or film-related. For the most part, I will only watch comedy and sports.

I don’t watch the news (I read it just enough to be informed) as I think it is detrimental to fill your head with negative stuff you cannot control. I also tend not to watch drama, and never any violence. I just like to be entertained and try and stay positive. There is enough negative to go around in other places!

So, on the comedy note, one of my favorites is to watch King of Queens reruns, with Kevin James, Leah Remini, my favorite comedian Patton Oswald, and the legendary Jerry Stiller.

It’s a classic, and I can literally watch episodes on end. I was just watching one this week that has a funny, but important, tie-in to next week.

The idea in this particular episode was about “tent poles.”

If you’re not familiar, Carrie (Leah Remini’s character) is married to Doug (Kevin James). And in one of the scenes, she reads an article in a magazine that good relationships have “tent poles”, or things that you can build a solid foundation from. And since the show is a comedy, let the hilarity ensue.

But as I watched, I latched on to the “tent pole” metaphor while thinking about the 4th of July.

More specifically, we own a beach house at the Delaware beaches, and closed on the property on July 1st, 2008.

In the process of closing, the former owner mentioned that they have a huge 4th of July party every year because you can see the town’s fireworks from their dock, and everyone brings their kids for a cookout, swim in the pool, etc.

So we thought “what the heck, the 4th is three days away, but let’s have the party.”The sellers actually came and brought some friends, and on that day began a tradition. In other words, a “tent pole” for our family.

Fast forward, and next week will be our fifteenth 4th of July party (we took 2020 off for COVID), and it has become the tradition we look forward to the most.

My brother and his family fly in, and have every single year. We have had the same friends come every year, and new friends every year, and it has now become just a given.

There are years we dread the prep, and say “this is it, never again!” but we always have it again. And after we always say, “glad we decided to do it again this year!”

So, my challenge to you as we prepare to take some time to reflect and celebrate this 4th of July, is to think about your “tent poles” (thanks King of Queens). And think about the traditions that you are creating that may still be around 5, or 10, or 15+ years from now.

What role do these tent poles play in the relationships you value the most?  

Happy 4th


Founder of the align5 Companies,  CEO of Scaling Up Coaches, and Serial Entrepreneur


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