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Having committed to its fourth season after being introduced less than three years ago, it’s clear that Fixer Upper is a big success. I love catching it on marathon and letting it play in the background while I clean house, play with the kids and prepare food. I really enjoy this show and I’m not alone. I wondered, what is it that so many of us find so appealing?

Chip and Joanna Gaines are an attractive couple who deliver beautiful homes, but there are many other shows with attractive stars and pleasant backdrops. Why do I specifically enjoy Fixer Upper as much as I do? After a bit of reflection, I came up with four reasons. In my mind these four items represent the type of life I desire for myself, and that I hope are and will continue to be the result of the decisions I make at work and at home.

  1. Hands On Business – They depict a truly entrepreneurial spirit between their hands on leadership, multiple businesses and their family farm.  They combine blue collar rapport with business owner work ethic.  They are friendly and focused. For myself, and I suspect for most people, we admire people willing to jump in and do the dirty work.  Even more, we enjoy seeing their success after they burned the midnight oil to deliver great results on a tight timeline.  It shows character and dedication.
  2. Loving and Humorous Marriage – As a couple Chip and Joanna are affectionate, but not in an obnoxious way.  They have a dynamic partnership that is at times romantic and at other times professional.  Mostly though, it’s funny.  They are playful, enjoy each other and laugh together as they push themselves.  On top of all that, they clearly admire one another.
  3. Family Orientation – Not one episode goes by where the children don’t make an appearance.  The Gaines know where the heart is, and that’s at home with family.  They often include “the babies” in their projects.  It’s clear that they have a passion for their work and their family.  It’s a pleasure to watch them integrate both aspects of their lives, rather than attemp a skewed balance.
  4. Faith & Gratitude – While it’s not presented every episode, it’s clear that their faith is a foundational aspect of their lives.  This is more easily seen in their interviews outside of the show.  They are Christian’s who believe their success is directly related to their faith and desire to align with God’s will.  The important thing here, is that they know their success is not strictly of themselves, but that they receive from and answer to a higher power.  Because of this, they express gratitude and keep perspective on who they are and what they value.

I don’t think I have go into real estate, own my own business, or live in a town like Waco to get the results that the Gaines’ have achieved. I do think I have to purposefully align my thoughts and choices to match the outcome I’m looking for. I need to stay entrepreneurial while devoting affection and time to my husband and kids; and I need to always always always express gratitude for what I have because I know there is nothing in my life that wasn’t granted to me through my partnership with others and as a gift from God.

All great teachers and coaches direct us to look at people who have successfully accomplished the target we are aiming for. If you want to be a CEO, study top executives. If you want to be an Ironman race finisher, read how others prepared for that challenge. If you want to be happily married, speak with the couple who celebrated their 50th anniversary.   Knowing this, I now understand that my obsession with Fixer Upper comes from my feeling that Chip and Joanna seem to have built a life that aligns with the principles I set for my own life. They simply inspire me.

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