Blog2021-11-05T16:58:44-04:00
2609, 2022

The G.O.A.T.

September 26th, 2022|

The greats aren’t great because they were born great.

They are great because they get up, every day, determined to make a difference in their lives.

They made something out of what they had.

The cool part is we have the same opportunity to become great at something, too.

It takes showing up consistently, dedicating the time and energy, accepting failure, recalibrating our minds, focusing, and maybe even enduring some pain.

It’s up to each and every one of us to be our own level of great.

We just have to be willing to make the commitment.

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2309, 2022

Define Happiness

September 23rd, 2022|

If we haven’t defined what “happiness” means to us then how can we be sure we are making the right choices to lead us to a happier life?

Happiness is the result of consistent decisions that are aligned with our virtues, values, and vision for our life.

Seeking happiness is irrelevant if we don’t have a clearer direction on which way to go.

If we are looking for a place to start that might not be a bad first step.

2109, 2022

A Picture Hides A Thousand Stories

September 21st, 2022|

We see pictures and videos of people doing cool things, exploring life, appearing happy, and all of that excitement shines through in their expressions and actions.

But what often gets missed is the pain behind those smiles.

The family member dealing with cancer
The dog they had to put to sleep
The thin thread that is holding their marriage together
The stress of financial shortcomings

We are all going through stuff and even when it looks like we are the only ones suffering, it isn’t.

We have to remember that in our lowest moments everyone is going to appear happy. We want them to be happy but we know that life is also happening to them. Just like it is for us.

We have to know that whatever we are going through “this too shall pass” and we’ll have the opportunity to be happy ourselves once again.

We have to believe it.

That’s the only way we can move on.

1909, 2022

Win The Day

September 19th, 2022|

Consistency is the worst kept secret of accomplishing anything important to us.

We must start. Not once but each and every day.

More than motivation it’s an action.

It’s the constant motion forward of small, tiny, almost insignificant steps in the direction we seek that count the most.

Others won’t see it right away.

We may barely feel it.

But knowing what we want to do and being intentional about doing it is all that matters.

We may not be prepared for the entire adventure ahead but we don’t need to be.

We just need to be prepared for today.

Get through today and we can rest up for tomorrow.

Because we’ll have to battle ourselves again to get up and keep moving.

We know it won’t be easy but that’s what makes it worth it.

1609, 2022

Blinders On

September 16th, 2022|

The cataclysmic discovery that can change the course of our life is the realization that almost nobody is thinking about us almost all of the time.

At first, it appears devastating until we realize that this is the same for everyone.

When this “aha” moment appears it begins to free us of the shackles that hold us into place and don’t allow us to start.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of judgment, critiques, and snickers. We’ll get an earful from time to time for being different.

But it’s short-lived. Those people have other things that will distract them soon enough.

So press on. Move forward. Do you.

Forget what the naysayers are spouting.

They’re barely paying attention in the first place.

1409, 2022

Cordial Conversations

September 14th, 2022|

Disagreeing is not toxic in a relationship.

Being unwilling to listen to a different perspective is.

If we are scared to have a direct conversation with someone over something that we care about or that is bothering us then we should question the strength of our relationship with them.

Relationships are hard. Period.

Having relationships with people where there is open and honest communication is of utmost importance.

It’s not that all of the conversations are positive it’s that they are filled with respect and a cordialness that whatever issues we are having we will get past them together.

Life is too short to be in bad relationships.

Let’s make that something we are unwilling to compromise on.

1209, 2022

Perspective Gain

September 12th, 2022|

Most of life’s pain comes from how we thought it should be or that it didn’t work out as planned.

But what if it actually did?

Sometimes we can be the worst judge of a situation when we are in the moment but when we step back away from it, as time goes on, we begin to realize it was a moment that changed us for the better.

We become grateful for the uncomfortable and painful moments because they are actually what we needed to grow.

It’s all a shift in mindset. It’s not easy. Of course, it’s not easy.

But our mindset controls everything. We have a positive mindset when things are going our way, so why can’t we take that same perspective when they aren’t?

I know why. Because it battles every part of our being that was instilled as a child. We have to be upset, get emotional, or feel depressed when anything goes against what we thought should happen. We witnessed this countless times in our life. It has been programmed. It’s on autopilot now.

But that’s not how it has to be.

We have one life. One very complex weird ever-changing life where we happened to get into this body. We are conscious beings and one of the downsides of that can be that we feel deep emotions, attachments, memories, or aspirations. It can work in our favor or not. We choose.

We can remember the past and project into the future.

But all that matters is now. All that matters is how we handle the situation we are in now. The future will take care of itself when we get there.

So, for now, instead of losing our shit in one situation or another it might be helpful to remember that we’ve been wrong a lot about bad moments. Out of that despair came a new opportunity, a new relationship, and new learning. All positives on the backside of a bad situation.

It happens to us countless times but our old way of thinking forgets. It only remembers that bad moment’s equal depression and struggle. It rarely remembers that there is hope and opportunity from all of it.

That’s the mindset we need to take into it.

Is it going to be hard? You bet.

Is it going to be painful? You’re damn right.

Is it going to test us? Fuck yea.

But our positive perspective will dig us out of it much faster and with newfound hope for tomorrow.

It’s not about being easy, life isn’t easy.

It’s about being hard, and managing our way to a better spot.

We grow in the moments that test us most.

Embrace them.

909, 2022

Defining Moment

September 9th, 2022|

Are we willing to call ourselves out first before blaming someone or something?

It’s always easier to blame others, and sometimes they are at fault, but what have we done to cause the situation? How have we contributed?

And, more valuable to consider, is this even worth getting upset over?

Most things that happen are so insignificant that the best option becomes not saying anything at all. We can tap down the ego with a dose of humility.

Have we ever made a mistake before?
Have we dropped the food right before serving it?
Have we cut someone off in traffic?
Have we held up a checkout line with a lot of items?
Have we parked poorly between the lines?
Have we messed up an order?
Have we had one of the days where we just struggled?

So do other people.

Before causing a scene or yelling at someone or getting angry we need to be willing to look at that “mirror” and tell ourselves that we are in control.

Our actions, right now, define us.

Humility.
Empathy.
Compassion.

These are the traits we want others to exude when we mess up or are having a bad day.

We need to take that into consideration next time we are in that situation.

How will that moment define us?

709, 2022

That’s So Choice

September 7th, 2022|

Some days I look at the blogs I’ve written and I say, “I wrote that!”

Other days I say, “I wrote that?”

We can be our biggest cheerleader or our worst critic.

We take judgment and comments from outsiders all the time but when do we actually reflect on how we talk to ourselves?

Why do we treat ourselves like this?

It’s okay to question ourselves from time to time in order to make sure we are heading in the right direction but let’s not forget that we choose the attitude we take into each moment.

Are we exercising gratitude, humility, and optimism or are we letting a large shadow of negativity come over us?

It’s our choice how we choose to talk to ourselves.

It might serve us well to be kinder.

509, 2022

Sitting Idle

September 5th, 2022|

What did we fail at today?

Failing means that we tried something uncomfortable or difficult and pushed ourselves a tad into a world of discomfort.

Acknowledging we failed shows us that we can accept our failures and it might give us the courage to try and fail again.

If we’re stuck, maybe the answer isn’t sitting idle and moping but getting out there and trying some new shit.

It’s just an idea we might want to ponder today.

209, 2022

Change The Dial

September 2nd, 2022|

Failure fucking sucks
Being told no sucks
Rejection sucks

But maybe those “No’s” are exactly what we need. They focus us more inward. They shake us up by telling us we haven’t quite tweaked the dial just right.

We still have work to do.

But in that work, we start to define ourselves better. We start to have a clearer vision. We start to hear “No” a lot less often.

Not because we’ll stop asking the questions but because we’ll have a much clearer picture of what we want to do and who we want to be around.

When we’re more calibrated we have a better chance to run into happiness.

It somehow just gets in the way.

3108, 2022

Bold Strategy

August 31st, 2022|

We get so caught up with big and bold. Be seen, be heard, be cheered.

But it’s actually the moments that most people don’t witness that are the most important to a happy life.

It’s reading a book to your kids and giving them a hug and kiss goodnight.

It’s a “how are you doing today?” with a significant other that turns into a long conversation.

It’s being able to sit with ourselves and be stress-free.

Those moments take up the majority of our lives. Those simple, “uneventful” moments almost get forgotten because they are routine.

Maybe we should consider why they are that way and embrace them more. They matter way more than any glorious achievement does.

When we lose people close to us, rarely do we remember their greatest achievements. We remember the small stuff, the little quirks, and the subtle nuance.

We remember the mundane.

Those become the most important memories.

The ones we often take for granted.

2908, 2022

Get Out Of Jail Free

August 29th, 2022|

When we’re young we are told that if we make bad choices we could end up in jail.

What is never explained, however, is that while we may not end up in a physical jail for committing a crime, our decisions could lead us into a “mental jail” that might be just as bad, in some cases.

We feel stuck
We feel stressed
We wonder how we got here
We are in a situation that seems impossible to get out of.

But there is a way.

It’s difficult and it might take time but it starts with a choice.

A choice to change.

Just like the choices we’ve made that didn’t work out and got us into this situation, we can make new choices to lead us out of it.

We can recalibrate the compass and move in a different direction.

The choice to change becomes our “get out of jail free” card.

Having the courage to change ultimately determines whether we use it or not.

2608, 2022

Alternative Energy

August 26th, 2022|

Our view of the world not only shapes our mindset but can influence our decisions and actions every day.

Some see the opportunity while others see the obstacle.

Some see the beauty while others see the blemishes.

Some splash in the puddles while others curse the rain.

The world can be a dark and dangerous place if that’s how we choose to view it.

But there is always another vantage point if we are willing to embrace it.

It may not always be sunshine and rainbows but it certainly is better than the alternative.

2408, 2022

Buzzworthy

August 24th, 2022|

I rarely recognized how the noise around me was cluttering my mind and distracting me from creating the life that I wanted.

Have you ever felt this way?

We’re about to do something but the “buzz” in our pocket takes us away from focusing on the things that really matter.

That “buzz” can be a metaphor for any distraction we come across.

The world is noisy, yes, but it becomes much quieter when we realize we have a choice.

There is an “off” button.

We can silence the notifications, we can prioritize our lives, and we can focus on ourselves first so that we can then give more of our true selves to the world.

We can accept what we’ve known all along but have avoided or suppressed while the distractions have overtaken us.

We can start to listen to what we really want.

Then the question becomes, is the noise really coming from the outside, or has it been inside our own heads this whole time?

2208, 2022

Mud on the Tires

August 22nd, 2022|

Maybe we shouldn’t have it all figured out.

Maybe seeking is part of the enjoyment of life. That discovery into the unknown.

It’s a bit scary.

It’ll wake us up.

We’ll need to focus.

We can’t put the mind in “self-drive” mode and cruise.

Life is not going mindlessly through each day and getting by.

It is supposed to be lived.

Fully present. Fully alive at the moment. Full of wonder and curiosity.

We have to take control of the wheel and veer off-road.

That’s when living starts to happen.

1908, 2022

Fast and Slow

August 19th, 2022|

We can get it in our heads that if we’re not moving forward, fast and furious, then we will be left behind.

This is one of the self-limiting beliefs I had for many years. The notion that there is some race.

What I’ve come to realize is that we can all move forward, extremely fast, but it comes at a big cost. We rush projects, we rush parenting, we rush our partners. We are so worried about the days ahead that we forget the moment we are in right now.

We can all go fast.

But it’s the ones who can be still that achieve the most happiness.

They gain perspective on the world around them. They ponder decisions. They develop new routines by analyzing current ones. They open their eyes to new possibilities. They think.

This can’t be done when we are moving a mile a minute. It’s impossible.

The only way to speed up is to slow down. Retool the engine. Refine the skills. Be thoughtful about the next course of action.

With that, we can have the opportunity to move at a greater clip while recognizing that it’s important for intermittent stops.

We have to give ourselves this time to pause.

It’s the only way we’ll ever get ahead.

1708, 2022

The Vast Unknown

August 17th, 2022|

Before we use a telescope make sure we look into the microscope.

Our thoughts shape our mindset.

Our mindset shapes our actions.

Our future, although unclear, is being shaped by each one of our decisions today.

It’s the inception of the most microscopic idea that starts us on our journey.

It influences our confidence, beliefs, and attitude.

We must start at the smallest possible level before we can ever look forward to the vast unknown of the future.

Progress always begins there.

1508, 2022

Elevator Pitch

August 15th, 2022|

What can be seen as a negative can also be seen as a positive?

“Ugh, the elevator is broken, now I have to climb six flights of stairs” can be flipped around just as easily to “Hey, the elevator is broken, I’ll at least get a little workout in as I climb these six flights of stairs.”

The way we perceive our situation and the world around us influences how we think. If we want to complain, there are many things to complain about. If we want to be grateful, there are the same amount of opportunities for that as well.

The choice is always up to us.

1208, 2022

Scar Tissue

August 12th, 2022|

They say, “out with the old and in with the new” but let’s make sure we don’t completely forget.

Wounds heal over time but, like a tattoo, the scars remain present where we can see them from time to time.

They offer a glimpse into the past if we have the courage to look back.

Although we can’t remember the pain, we can recall who we were in those moments and how we responded to the situation.

We can gain a perspective that the person looking back today is different from before and the pain of the past has helped blossom promise for the future.

It’s a hard thing to do, feeling the old scars, but it’s one of the few ways we can know we’ve grown.

We know we can handle it again despite how big the wounds end up becoming.

1008, 2022

Footsteps

August 10th, 2022|

If we get caught up comparing ourselves to others, we must remember this…

They are not a mile ahead of us. They are only just a few feet.

The difference is that they decided to start and hyperdrive their output.

That’s it.

They are no more uniquely qualified than us. We all have something special that could be leveraged if we wanted to.

We could forge our own path.

The hardest choice is whether we begin walking down it or not.

808, 2022

Minecraft

August 8th, 2022|

Crafting well-meaning and articulate messages can take a lot of time to learn.

And that’s the rub of it.

We have to write thousands of bad messages in order to refine our skills, shorten the message, and get specific on the value.

That rationale can apply to many things we do in life. We must be comfortable being bad at something in the early stages in order to hurdle that gap from not knowing to knowing. From novice to proficient.

Once we start to “get it” and are feeling comfortable then we know we’ve acquired the correct knowledge, mostly through consistency and practice.

That’s when it might be time to look at new ways to be bad again.

To become a beginner learner in a new area.

To once again scale another mountain for growth opportunities that we haven’t yet considered.

508, 2022

Offensive Coordinator

August 5th, 2022|

Sports can be a great metaphor for life.

We can either control the tempo of the game or always be back-peddling on our heels and retreating.

So, It’s important to play offense as much as possible (be optimistic, think positively, show gratitude) versus playing defense (putting up walls, negative self-talk, and letting others control what we do).

The only way to live a happier life is to do it on our own terms, pursuing the things that brighten our day and expose us to new growth opportunities.

To do this effectively, we must have the ball in our hands as much as possible. We must be in control of our thoughts and actions.

We must be okay with being on the offensive.

308, 2022

System Failure

August 3rd, 2022|

Some days we don’t have it all together. We are stressed and anxious and have a ton of responsibility to attend to.

Getting through those days seems like an endless chore. It’s tough to prioritize for the long term when we are putting out fires all over the place.

This is why our preparation becomes so vital to our long-term goals, attitude, and happiness. When we create systems for our good habits it helps us accomplish them even on the roughest days and in the most adverse conditions.

It’s not that we can’t miss every now and then but when we get away from our good habits for an extended period of time they become distant to us. We are out of rhythm. We can get lost and have a hard time finding that equilibrium again.

We need to start putting those in place now.

We schedule our work meetings, kids’ soccer games, dentist appointments, etc. Why not everything else critical to our mental and physical health?

Thinking/meditating
Fitness
Healthy eating
Date nights
Sleep

It should all go on the calendar if we need it to. Then we can take a wide lens look at our day or week and work around it.

It’s not that things won’t come up and we have to alter our plans every now and then. It’s when it’s never a priority in the first place it falls through the cracks time and time again.

The system we’ve created becomes broken.

We wonder how we ever get anything done.

108, 2022

Believe It

August 1st, 2022|

If we believe in something wholeheartedly then we should have no fear in pursuing it to the max.

No fear of failure. Of rejection. Of loss.

If we feel it deep down in our core then we have to see it through one way or another.

In fact, we can’t lose either way.

On one hand, if we achieve what we wanted in the first place then we can reflect on the process it took to get there and the impact this will have on our lives going forward.

On the other, if it doesn’t work out, at least we know. I think “not knowing” is one of the things that hold us up from letting go of this idea. That thought of “can I really achieve this?”, “do they really want to be with me?, “can I overcome this obstacle?”

It eats at us.

So, at least if we know then we can change our mindset and alter our thinking. We don’t have to hold onto this idea any longer.

We can move on and move forward.

We can believe that there are better things up ahead for us.

We can be free.

2907, 2022

Wisdom Truth

July 29th, 2022|

Knowledge is knowing that you can accomplish something.

Wisdom is recognizing that there are many ways to do it and many factors that determine the outcome.

Self-awareness, humility, and our openness to learn become the building blocks to better decision-making and take us from a place of knowledge to where wisdom can take over.

2707, 2022

Fear of Anything

July 27th, 2022|

We’ll always have fear if we don’t understand something.

If we are struggling with moving forward because of fear, curiosity might be the helper we need to call on.

Why is this fear present?
What past “information” has led us to this conclusion?
Could there be more information we haven’t considered?
Would we be willing to accept it if it is different from our current beliefs?

I remember when I used to be terrified of flying. From the night before the flight until we landed, I was a mess. Fearful with every bump. Gripping tightly. Counting every second until we landed safely.

Until I decided to overcome that fear.

To do that I gained knowledge. I asked questions like…
How do planes work?
How are pilots trained?
How safe are planes?
Why does the flight crew choose this as a career?

Once I became curious, it opened up my mind to learn. Once I learned, the fear subsided. Then, to fully overcome the fear I had to face my past beliefs head-on.

As I took my next few flights, every time there was a bump or rattle or weird noise, I would ask myself if this was a part of my past belief or a part of what I have newly learned. What seemed more logical?

In time, my fear went away.

There is no more anxiety before flights. I enjoy takeoffs now. Every once in a while a big “bump” in the sky will get my attention but I think it’s my past fears waving to me and letting me know they miss me. It is normally short-lived.

I overcame my fear of flying by being curious. That curiosity led me to knowledge that led me to a different belief.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy but if we want to give ourselves the opportunity to change then we might think about questioning our old beliefs.

They hold many unfounded “truths” that may be best to leave in the past.

2507, 2022

Matters of Importance

July 25th, 2022|

Most things we deal with on a day-to-day basis do not matter.

They are insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

But, to kids, they might be the most important thing in the world.

Showing up for their class event
Reading to them at night
Watching them build something when they ask us to come to observe
Listening to them tell a story

Kids stay present much more than adults so when we show up for them and make them feel heard, seen, or acknowledged it can have a positive long-term effect even if it is hard to see at that moment.

It’s easy to brush away these moments and say “I’ll do it next time” because we are looking at it from our viewpoint. We see it on a grander scale. We think we have time.

Kids observe differently. They take it much harder when the consistent “no” or the “no show” happens. They are focused on the now. They crave our attention. We are their whole world.

It may not be important to us but maybe we should reconsider what is.

2207, 2022

Chasing Happiness

July 22nd, 2022|

If we’re chasing something, we’ll never be happy.

Chasing money
Chasing fame
Chasing a partner

It never works out favorably.

Because we can’t calibrate when we’ve “achieved” it. And if we could, then what?

Instead, happiness should be a journey. We challenge ourselves to start something hard, we do meaningful work, and we surround ourselves with people who spark our enthusiasm and give us energy.

By making those choices, we become happier moment after moment and day after day.

Just like 10 years ago when we had no idea what would’ve made us happy today, we can’t be for certain what the following years hold.

All we can do is keep showing up every day.

There is no “X” on the map that marks the spot.

Our future terrain has never been explored before.

It’s our job to do the work every day to find our footing and forge the correct path.

2007, 2022

Co-Existence

July 20th, 2022|

Some people think it’s sexy to have a fancy car, lovely jewelry, or a big house.

But, others, think it’s sexy to talk for hours over a cup of coffee, enjoy a long walk on the beach, or find time to “unplug” and think.

Someone else’s happiness doesn’t have to be our happiness.

We have to stop worrying about what other people think about our choices and, at the same time, start accepting them for how they choose to live their lives.

Both of these can co-exist.

When they do, we all become happier because of it.

1807, 2022

Cannonball

July 18th, 2022|

My son asked me, “Can I jump in the pool with my towel on?”

I asked, “Is that a good decision?”

He asked, “will I get in trouble?”

I said, “No, it’s your decision. What do you want to do?”

Too many times when he was younger I’d say No.
Too many times I’d battle him and invoke my “power” as the parent.
Too many times I’d want to be in control.

But that’s the funny thing about growth. As you are trying to move toward happiness the little things don’t matter as much.

Who cares if he jumps into the pool with his towel? It doesn’t hurt him or me at all.

At that moment, It was a small opportunity to give him some independence and make the choice he wanted to make.

He chose to jump in!

It’s what made him happy.

I have to respect that.

1507, 2022

Pain and Gain

July 15th, 2022|

Growth begins through pain.

Nobody that’s changed their mindset, perspective, or worldview started that way under clear blue skies.

It happens with dark clouds overhead. It’s probably hailing golf-ball-sized pellets. There is no cover in sight.

We are exposed.

But, like a passing thunderstorm turning to a bright colorful rainbow, when people see us happier and driving our purpose forward they think it’s always been this way.

They don’t realize all of the pain we’ve endured and can’t imagine the struggle.

Because it wasn’t their storm to weather.

But we know what we’ve been through.

And we know, whether we want to admit it or not, that we’d go through it again.

Because we know it’s made us stronger.

It’s made us more resilient.

It’s made us more grateful.

It’s made us more fierce than we’ve ever been before.

It’s through the painfully dark days that bring the bright sunlight.

Now, it’s up to us to share that warmth with the world.

1307, 2022

A River Runs Through It

July 13th, 2022|

It’s important to cherish this moment right here.

Maybe there is stillness.

Maybe there is conflict.

Maybe there is fun.

Either way, we must embrace this moment for what it is and for the learning it is giving us.

It is shaping our future in ways we don’t even realize.

Like an eroding river, it may flow in an entirely different path years from now because of what we’ve given ourselves today.

The opportunity for space and perspective.
The opportunity to be grateful for what we have.
The opportunity to see beyond the worry.

To accept that to just “be” sometimes is more valuable than always “being” something and always looking for something else.

Instead, it may be a good practice to stand on the banks of todays river and be humbled by all we’ve been through up to this point. All we’ve endured and been able to weather.

It doesn’t always have to be about more.

Today could be good enough if we can appreciate the moments it took to carve out this current path.

It shouldn’t be taken lightly.

1107, 2022

A Marriage Story

July 11th, 2022|

They say sales is like dating.

Because customer success is like marriage.

If we’re not always checking in on things, communicating when we notice changes, and being open and transparent about needing or wanting help, things start to break down.

Sometimes it can be salvaged, many times it cannot.

Once respect is lost we almost never get it back.

The partnership has a deep wedge in it now.

Sometimes the best option is to part ways, even if there is a lot of history of great times because the divide cannot be repaired.

It’s too weakened.

It’s too damaged.

The bond, which was once tight, has softened and cracked.

807, 2022

Put Me In Coach

July 8th, 2022|

We lost the great John Madden at the end of 2021 and it made me reflect on the impact we can all make, not by being an “influencer” or by showing off but just by living life to the fullest and respecting those around us.

John Madden, from what it appeared, was beloved by many because of how gracious he was with his time, how much passion he put into his work and the people he was around, and how he enjoyed it all.

Life can get overcomplicated and we can overwhelm ourselves with things that don’t end up mattering at all. We add unnecessary stress and anxiety where it’s not needed.

Do what John Madden might have done.

Go to the chalkboard.

Go back to the Xs and Os and the foundation of it all.

Keep it simple.

Be kind to people.
Make the most of each moment and each encounter.
Create a positive outlook on life as things could be much worse than they are.
Push yourself to try new things and tackle new obstacles.
Live your happiness, not anyone else’s.

607, 2022

Sharp Left Turn

July 6th, 2022|

When many people are following the crowd one way, it’s okay to turn the other way down the dark alley and start on your own path.

Just because the masses are doing one thing doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you.

407, 2022

This is Us

July 4th, 2022|

It’s easier to point fingers and make a blanket statement that “______ has to change” and all will be better.

But the harder thing to do is to accept that it starts inside of us.

Kindness breeds kindness.
Acceptance breeds acceptance.
Love breeds love.

It always starts there.

107, 2022

Hand Raiser

July 1st, 2022|

If we always have the mindset that “I can learn something new from every person I encounter” then it opens us up to incredible possibilities.

We go into each conversation, with each connection, as a curious learner.

The need to be the “smartest person” in the room goes away.

So does the ego.

The thought of “winning” isn’t necessary any longer.

All we are left with is open and honest dialogue.

We can question and prod.

We can listen and soak everything in.

No agenda. No alterier motives.

We become a learner first and the rest works out how it works out.

Most likely, we come away with more information and more respect from the other party than we’ve ever had before.

2906, 2022

Mission Critical

June 29th, 2022|

We can’t forget about the goals we’ve set for ourselves.

We may will stumble.
We may will get passed by others.
We may will have to veer off-course.

But don’t forget about our goal.

When it feels like we are slugging along, we must keep moving.
When we feel like we are the only ones running uphill, we must keep moving.
When we feel like we are questioning our every decision, we must keep moving.

If the journey is worth it then so is enduring some pain to get there.

While we are focused forward there may be others behind us, using our guidance and direction as a beacon of light, maybe one of hope, helping them along when they feel defeated and weak.

We have to believe we can be a light in the darkness.

We have to believe our mission is worth it.

We have to believe.

2706, 2022

I Would Walk A Thousand Miles

June 27th, 2022|

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

But what is that “step”?

It is not necessarily a physical one at all.

It’s more mental.

It’s a thought or an idea.

It’s a maddening power that has taken over our minds.

We can’t stop thinking about it and it haunts our every move.

The journey of a thousand miles, we might argue, begins with a decision.

We have two paths in front of us. One leading down the route to pursue this idea further and one suppressing it and smoldering the flame.

It’s a choice.

It’s a decision that ends up making a thousand more decisions for us.

The question becomes a simple one then.

Which path are we going to venture down today?

2406, 2022

Back of the Class

June 24th, 2022|

How many times would we sit idle in class when the teacher asked if there were any questions only because we didn’t want to be the one who looked like we didn’t understand?

We assumed if nobody else raised their hands then we were the only incompetent ones. 

Our conditioning at the time blinded our thinking. 

Don’t show weakness. 

Stand your ground.

Don’t cry.

Don’t let them see you sweat. 

These phrases were ever-present in our adolescent years and they brought anxiety and fear into our decisions. 

Better say nothing at all than be the laughing stock for the day. 

We all now realize that was a fallacy. 

Vulnerability is not a weakness.

Emotions are not a weakness.

Asking for help is not a weakness.

They tend to be the opposite. Having the courage to show up this way means that we have gotten comfortable with who we are as a person and the scrutiny and judgment don’t affect us as much, if at all, anymore.

That’s a sweet spot to be in. That is when courage builds into confidence.

That’s when we get to the point where we raise our hands from the back of the class. Not only because we are curious about the answer but because we know many others are as well. 

They just haven’t developed the courage, yet. 

Let us be the guide and show them the way.

2206, 2022

Endurance Race

June 22nd, 2022|

My son is an only child. I can’t fathom what goes through his head when he sees his friends playing with their siblings.

All I know is what he shares with me.

He feels lonely. He can get sad. He wishes he had a brother.

But he also endures. He has courage. Way more than I ever had at his age.

He has learned to walk up to kids at the park, complete strangers, and ask them if they’d like to play.

He doesn’t get too affected by rejection. He doesn’t let it linger for too long, at least.

He amazes me because he proves that when the world wants to judge you and put you into a box, you can break out of it.

You can carve your own path.

I don’t know what it’s like to be in my son’s shoes but I’m glad he’s learning, adapting, and enduring.

He’s starting to realize that the world works in a variety of different ways.

He’s working to be comfortable in his own skin and embrace his differences.

He’s starting to gain perspective.

2006, 2022

Energy Field

June 20th, 2022|

We never know when new people are going to enter our world. Think of close friends, a mentor, maybe a spouse or significant other.

There was one day we never knew who they were. We didn’t know we needed them. Until we felt that spark of energy.

We’ve all felt it. We’ve all had it. We all want to feel it again.

We’re not sure what it is exactly. We can’t explain it. But that shared energy field is around us. It pulls us in. We can’t resist. We can’t look away.

It’s special because we all meet thousands of people throughout our lives. But only a few stand out above the rest.

Why are there a select few that take up a majority of our headspace?
Why are there only so many that we invest time in?
What is it about them that’s so special?

When we find that connection it’s important to remember that we have to work at keeping it up. Our environment changes things. Life events change things. Things won’t always be how they’ve been.

If that connection is valuable then we must keep working to make it stay strong.

We must keep finding the time.
We must keep showing up.
We must keep putting energy into it.

Because it won’t fuel itself.

1706, 2022

Mythbusting

June 17th, 2022|

All of these questions have an answer.

Why do we argue?
Why do we fight?
Why do we turn a blind eye to someone in need?
Why do we make an unethical decision?
Why do we talk down to ourselves?
Why are we never enough?

It’s whether we have the courage to do the work to find out that ends up being the most important question of all.

When we make that commitment then we can tackle the situation head-on and be prepared to make the best of it. We can stop rationalizing after the fact.

Understanding ourselves is a challenging process but if we are willing to start from the beginning and take one step forward then we might be encouraged to keep going.

The benefits to a happier and positive life are astronomical but we have to be willing to start with the first question. “Am I ready?”

1506, 2022

Preventative Maintenance

June 15th, 2022|

My Trailblazer runs well for being 15 years old. It has its bumps and bruises and certainly has shown some fading but If it’s washed and waxed it’s hard to tell its age from a distance.

But the outside appearance doesn’t make the car run well. It’s the consistent focus on preventative maintenance in the years I’ve had it.

Routine oil changes and tire rotations.
Trusting the recommendations of the mechanic to fix areas of concern.
Being proactive versus reactive.

Simple stuff.

Yet, things could have been overlooked or pushed off for a short-term monetary gain.

It’s really a metaphor for our lives.

When we feel sluggish, low on energy, depressed, or in a rut, it’s normally the focus inward that can be the most helpful. It’s reflecting and asking questions like…

Are we getting enough sleep?
Are we eating healthy food?
Are we exercising?
Are we getting outside?
Are our relationships going well?
Are we creating space for ourselves?

We’re going to get beat up throughout our lives but in order to feel young and vibrant as we age, we must focus consistently on the simple things that bring us energy.

Because when they lag we can start to break down and it becomes harder to maintain if it goes on for too long.

Unfortunately, we only get one model. There are no trade-ins here.

1306, 2022

Snooze Alarm

June 13th, 2022|

I’m starting to question if the fear of starting is partly that we don’t want the responsibility of what could happen if we actually succeed.

Comfort is the warm blanket over us as we hit the snooze alarm. Getting up and doing something actually creates a whole new set of unknowns.

Best to stay tucked in for a bit longer, I guess, so we don’t have to deal with the discomfort of waking up.

1006, 2022

We Can Do Hard Things

June 10th, 2022|

When things get hard remember that our “20-year-old” version dreamed of having our focus, determination, resilience, and confidence.

We’ve been prepping for these moments for our entire lives.

We can do hard things.

Somedays we just have to remind ourselves.

806, 2022

Fiction Can Be Fun

June 8th, 2022|

We might not all be great fiction writers but we certainly have the capacity to make up many stories, in our heads, of events that haven’t happened yet.

We can create some amazing stories on where things might go with a particular situation, what other people do or think, and what happens next based on that.

We spend sleepless nights working through the scenarios. But in our “choose your own adventure” story, how many times does it really come true? How many times do we get the outcome we’ve spent time worrying about?

We get sucked into these rabbit holes for many reasons but one critical factor we often miss is the gap in information.

We fail to ask questions to inform us. The questions might be too difficult or awkward so we avoid them.

Instead of knowing the answers upfront, we defer to waiting, hoping, and fantasizing.

We go into story mode.

That’s easier than the alternative. But harder on us, mentally.

Remove the worrying. Remove the doubt. Remove the 20 questions inside our heads.

Ask that upfront. Be direct. Be transparent.

Whatever is going to happen is going to happen anyway.

Instead of waiting until the cliffhanger at the end of this story, we might as well change the narrative starting out.

Maybe we can create a whole new story out of it.

This time, one that is non-fiction.

606, 2022

Guideposts

June 6th, 2022|

We have to recognize that, at times, other people will be an impairment to our positive psyche. We yearn so much for their approval and want to be looked at as worthy in their eyes.

Whether they are stories we make up in our heads or actual feedback, we care what others think of us and we let it affect our mood and shape our reactions.

This is where having a core group of trusted peers and mentors becomes monumental. They become our sounding board for ideas, inspiration, and direction. This allows us to block out the other noise and focus on the opinions of those we trust, respect, and care about.

Progress can happen when we trust our judgement with the path we want to venture down but have trusted guides for when we happen to veer off it. When we stay focused on the steps ahead, the noise of the naysayers becomes muted.

The path forward becomes much clearer and quieter.

306, 2022

One Of One

June 3rd, 2022|

When we look around at the world and compare ourselves to others the first thought for many of us is that we are not good enough.

We feel that we are not pretty enough, not creative enough, not outgoing enough, not _______.

But, we are special.

In a world where many things are a commodity, we are a rare jewel.

We are “1 of 1”.

There is not a single person on planet earth exactly like us. (Not even if we have an identical twin)

We are unique.

We should stop comparing ourselves with others and be proud that this is who we are.

Do we want to improve? Get better? Be happier? Then, it’s on us.

Don’t look around. Look inside.

Nobody thinks the way we think or has the programming exactly as we have it.

We are “1 of 1”.

Be proud of that.

Don’t try to be someone else. Nobody likes a ripped off version.

We want authentic. We want real. We want a unicorn.

That’s you.

Now, go do you. Whatever it is you want to do.

106, 2022

Escape Room

June 1st, 2022|

Decisions are made through a mix of past experiences, current conditions, others’ judgment, fear, etc.

Being decisive is a key element to knowing if we are on the right path toward understanding who we are and what makes us happy.

Because indecision comes from our inability to make clear choices.

We want everything.

We feel we are missing out if we choose one thing over another.

We get stuck.

When we continually question ourselves and our decisions it shows a lack of focus on a vision for our future. We have no idea what we actually want and therefore will get paralyzed with fear and anxiety when having to make decisions, especially ones that appear difficult.

We can’t let ourselves go down this path. We have to be willing to stand our ground and be comfortable and confident with who we are and what we believe in. If we aren’t there yet then we have to be willing to put in the work to understand why.

It’s okay if we are different from everyone else in the room.

Have we ever considered, that maybe we are in the wrong room?

Be okay with making the decision to walk out and find a better one that fits the life we want.

3005, 2022

The Truth About Cats And Dogs

May 30th, 2022|

Cats and Dogs rarely play with the same toy again and again. Sure, they have their favorites they’ll pick up every now and then but they will typically bounce around to different ones or lose interest all together.

However, what do they yearn for? Sleep, Exercise, Companionship, and Belonging.

Somehow, they’ve figured out that, “Whoever dies with the most toys doesn’t win.”

Although we might be the “smartest” species in the room, we could learn something from them if we were open to it.

2705, 2022

Carefree Living

May 27th, 2022|

A big difference between kids and adults is that kids are willing to be silly and carefree with a very short view into the future. They aren’t thinking too far ahead which allows them to live in the moment.

Adults are always looking around and wondering who is watching before they can normally let go and be themselves. We get crippled by a cloud of fear that we create over ourselves.

Instead of telling our kids what to do maybe, we should take a page out of their playbook and just throw the whole playbook out.

Be spontaneous.

Be silly.

Live in the moment.

2505, 2022

Elementary

May 25th, 2022|

I remember walking my son to kindergarten and being amazed at how much he’d grown and how fast those first few years of his life went by.

It reminded me of when I was in kindergarten, over 30 years ago, and how quickly the time seemed to pass. I still remember the fifth-grade classes being on the third floor and thinking, “I’m never going to get up to fifth grade. It’s going to take so long. I have so many years ahead of me.”

As I write this, my son isn’t in Kindergarten anymore. He will be heading into fifth grade next fall.

How quickly time passes us by.
How precious our time is.
How easily we dismiss it.

The game clock is continually running and there are no timeouts. This moment is fleeing just like the last.

Embrace it all.

Because, remember, this all ends.

2305, 2022

Pace Car

May 23rd, 2022|

Continuing to discover our purpose is a valuable practice every day.

It does wonders for our psyche.

It allows us to feel like we are making strides forward even if we are sitting still.

Because living your purpose doesn’t always mean you have to be “on”.

There are times when we need to think and ponder the world and our next step.
There are times when we need to slow down.
There are times when we need a break.

Finding a purpose is one thing but understanding the power of that purpose and how to go toward it with many different speeds and angles is quite another.

In our fast-paced world, going “full speed” appears like the only option but that’s not true.

However, we won’t discover that until we discover ourselves. Until we discover what we truly want.

Only then can we unroll the map and plot out our next steps.

Only then can we discover the pace that is best for us.

2005, 2022

Seasonal Allergies

May 20th, 2022|

Change is constant and change will happen.

We are either a part of that change or we are fighting against it.

Our body changes as we age but if we’ve been focusing on fitness and healthy eating, that change is quite delayed. If we haven’t, we start to feel those effects compound over time. Building healthy habits early on and sticking with them help form a foundation for us to live each day by.

When we go through a breakup or loss, that change is hard, but if we’ve been focusing on our self-reflection inward then we gain a different perspective on the situation. We start to be comfortable with who we are and that others compliment us. They do not define us. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. It can just suck much less.

When we lose a job, the same thing happens. If we rely on this job so much to keep up our lifestyle and identity then when it ends we are broken. It’s because we haven’t put in the work to recognize our strengths and give ourselves room to maneuver if need be.

We may not always be in control. We can’t control aging, we can’t control if someone breaks up with us, and we can’t control a job loss or a myriad of other life events.

But we can control if we are prepared for them.
We can control if we’ve taken proper measures to mitigate increased risk or pain.
We can control if we are willing to learn from each experience.

It starts by gaining better self-awareness. It starts by asking ourselves simple questions.

What really makes us happy?
Is this the right “fit”?
Do we need that new “toy”?
Are we okay if this doesn’t go our way?
Do we feel we have a great support system?

Asking simple questions about the foundations of our life offers a glimpse into the crystal ball and whether those will crack under more pressure or hold us upright to weather the storm.

Strong foundations lay the groundwork to build upon and allow us to take chances and be okay if it doesn’t work out.

We need to ask ourselves, today, what is our foundation built on, and are we confident it can hold up to the fiercest storm we might encounter?

1805, 2022

Waiting Game

May 18th, 2022|

If we wait on others then we may be waiting a long time.

We must have the courage to forge the path ourselves and can’t hold up our journey for others that aren’t ready to begin.

Press on and lead. The journey can be lonely at times.

But sometimes we’ll be out in front, dropping the breadcrumbs to help others behind us. If there are others that live a similar ethos then they will soon travel along with us.

We might need to be the leader that they’ve been looking for. They might not have the courage that we’ve already formed.

All we can do is write our own story one day at a time and be a guiding light for others who may need it.

We can’t push them to travel along with us.

That’s always their choice.

Just like venturing out alone is always ours.

1605, 2022

Follow The Leader

May 16th, 2022|

Remember, just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean you have to be doing it.

Stay focused on your mission.

Your reward may not come with likes and comments but with you being able to live the life that gives you purpose.

With you being able to live a life that makes you happy, whatever that means to you.

As we go through this journey, that’s what really matters most.

1305, 2022

A Chiseled Mind

May 13th, 2022|

Stress can eat away at us and cause pain and anger.

It can cause us to be depressed and make us believe we are spiraling downward.

But have we considered the “why” behind it all?

Are we juggling too much?
Are we prioritizing the wrong things?
Are we avoiding the obvious decision because it’s too painful?
Are we letting others’ voices tower over our own?

These questions can be important to think about when we start to feel the onset of negative emotions and feelings.

Oftentimes, we carry too much of a burden and it weighs us down.

We need to try and unload the unnecessary stuff and focus on the important.

Like an ice sculpture, it may start as a big block but the more it is whittled down it starts to form a beautiful shape.

When we become focused on what is important it can inform us on the decisions we should make.

That informs us where we should spend our energy.

Only then can we chisel away the excess to expose our masterpiece.

1105, 2022

Nuclear Reactor

May 11th, 2022|

We all go through anguish and despair and none of those emotions should be taken lightly.

We need to lean into those. Embrace those. Sit in the suck of those moments.

But then we have to have perspective. We don’t really know how it’s going to turn out from here. We don’t know what will happen. We don’t know where this will lead us in our life.

And, hopefully, that will give us some assurance that we’ll be okay. Because we’ve been here before. Maybe not exactly, but we’ve felt these feelings and been in similar waters.

All we can try to do is have a positive perspective on what will come next.

As the Stoics have said, we can’t always control what’s happening but we can control our reaction to it.

Think. Cry. Reflect. Get emotional. Be with those thoughts and feelings.

And then endure and embrace the potential opportunities that lie ahead.

We can’t know for certain what will happen. But we can control whether our outlook will be positive or negative.

We do have that choice in the matter.

905, 2022

Question Everything

May 9th, 2022|

One question is all it might take to change a person or situation. Just one question.

Being engaging and opening the dialogue can help facilitate deeper connection and meaning for the other person or group of people listening.

There doesn’t have to be a large presentation or formal agenda to make a difference. Asking a thoughtful or curious question can take dead silence to perpetual chatter.

All it takes is one question to change the tides. When the situation arises, instead of being passive with a closed-off response or hitting the “like” button, go ahead and ask a question.

You might be amazed how it sets off a domino effect and spurs future conversation or connection.

Try to ask one more question or be the one that breaks the silence with a question and see what happens.

Let the magic of connection take form from there.

605, 2022

Being Present

May 6th, 2022|

One day at a time.

One conversation at a time.

One moment at a time.

Instead of hoping and envisioning what could happen. Be present with what is happening.

This moment matters the most. Cherish it and give it our all.

We may not know what the crystal ball holds for us in the future but we can make this moment the most glorious it can be.

Happiness isn’t found in dreaming of the future; it’s in living in the present moment.

It’s about just being.

405, 2022

Coffee Talk

May 4th, 2022|

A coffee cup is made for coffee. Until it’s not.

A coffee cup can be used for:
Tea and other drinks
As a measuring cup
To rinse your mouth while brushing
To hold pens and pencils
To trace a circle
To fill with loose change

We can keep going but the point is that just because a tool was intended for one purpose it doesn’t mean it can’t be used for many others.

Before we go and buy the latest widget to solve a problem we should look around and see if we can create a solution. We get to use our creativity and imagination like we’re kids again. We get to solve a puzzle.

It pushes us a bit outside our comfort zone and we get to take agency over the decision. It could be small but it will help us grow. It helps us think outside the box. It lets us question what can be possible if this is possible.

Sometimes a coffee cup is for coffee. Until it’s not.

205, 2022

Model Why?

May 2nd, 2022|

Don’t underestimate the power of reflection. The 2015 version of you probably went through some shit to help make you the person you are today.

Embrace that, don’t suppress it.

Be okay with asking “Why?” and sitting with that answer for a bit.

Why was I upset?
Why did that bother me?
Why did I get angry?
Why was I short-sighted?
Why didn’t I listen?
Why did I take the shortcut?

Whatever the question is we have to be okay with challenging ourselves to have an honest and thoughtful answer.

We have to be okay with getting uncomfortable as we reflect back on a bad time or experience. As the saying goes, “History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.”

It may be better to be uncomfortable now, by ourselves, as we learn and grow versus repeating a similar pattern in real-time.

We have to know it will only help us going forward.

2904, 2022

Unfollowing

April 29th, 2022|

One of the more interesting things about social media is that we can get judged very often, both directly and indirectly. Comments and likes and DMs and even a “non-response” could be perceived a certain way.

But then there’s the “unfollow”. Someone took the time to follow and look at your stuff and then at some point realized it’s not for them.

We have to get comfortable with this. Rejection is a part of life. People will come and go. This happens on social media and in “real life” outside of it.

People don’t respond. People ghost us. People don’t make the effort. As Abraham Lincoln quote says, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

Not everyone will like us. In fact, most won’t.

The ones who do are in it with us.

Those people. Those are our tribe.

Those are the ones we need to cherish and take time for. Those are the ones we need to recognize and reciprocate.

It can’t be one-sided. A relationship works both ways. We need to give more than we take. We need to be empathetic. We need to be encouraging.

Otherwise, we might just get another “unfollow” and this time it might hurt a little bit more.

2704, 2022

Creative Time

April 27th, 2022|

Ideas aren’t just born out of creative sessions and “whiteboarding” but oftentimes come when the opposite happens.

When our mind is quiet, we can think. When we are free of common distractions, we can focus. When we block out the noise, we get a clearer picture.

It’s harder now than ever to find this time. So we have to plan it. We have to section out precious moments each day to corner ourselves.

Do it in the morning before others wake.
Do it before bed when our phone is put away.
Go for a walk at lunch.

We choose how we spend our time. If we feel stuck and are looking for inspiration then the answer might not be to try and do more. It might be to free ourselves and do less.

It might be wise to clear our minds and silence all the noise around us.

It might be the best idea we’ve had in a while.

2504, 2022

Comforter

April 25th, 2022|

I’m starting to question if the fear of starting is partly that we don’t want the responsibility of what could happen if we actually succeed.

Comfort is the warm blanket over us as we hit the snooze alarm. Getting up and doing something actually creates a whole new set of unknowns.

Best to stay tucked in for a bit longer, I guess, so we don’t have to deal with the discomfort.

2204, 2022

Spring Showers

April 22nd, 2022|

Bracing through a storm can be very challenging but it’s when we see the flowers start to bloom on the other side we knew it was worth it.

We shouldn’t look at every bad situation and think it’s the end of the world.

It might just be the turning point to something more beautiful.

Something more spectacular.

Something more magical than we ever could’ve imagined.

2004, 2022

Free Choice

April 20th, 2022|

It takes us until we become adults to realize just how hard it is to be a kid.

Kids rarely have free choice.

They have to go to school.
They have a specific bedtime.
They may have to eat their veggies.
They may have to play a sport they don’t like.
Rarely can they buy things that make them happy without approval.
The list goes on.

It should make us wonder then, why we complain so much as adults.
We can choose where we work and what we do
We can determine who we want to be around
We can choose the activities that excite us
We can choose what we eat and when we eat it.

We can choose a lot of things. We can choose to complain or choose to be happy.

It doesn’t switch overnight but we can make decisions to lead us in either direction.

The significant part about being an adult is that we have the choice.

That’s also the hard part, too.

1804, 2022

Indistractable

April 18th, 2022|

We all have things in the category of “easy to do” but we choose not to do them. It’s not that we don’t want to do them, what it comes down to is the priority assignment we put on that thing to actually do it.

Whether that is to take 10 minutes to go for a walk, read a book, meditate, sit in thought, etc, or other things like; sitting and talking with your spouse in the morning, reading a book to your child before bed, sending a note to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, etc.

It’s not that it isn’t easy. It is extremely easy. What is difficult is putting it ahead of other “time wasters” that are urgent but not important. What is difficult is creating a daily habit. What is difficult is changing who we are now with who we want to become.

Those are the things that are difficult.

If we can put all the things we do up for debate on their priority level we might be able to better filter out the urgent and not important and sprinkle in the more fulfilling and long-lasting.

It might not be easy but we can be damn sure it is worth it.

1504, 2022

I Want It That Way

April 15th, 2022|

If you’ve come across this blog then chances are with all the hardships in life yours isn’t that bad.

Chances are you have access to high-speed internet or 5G.

Chances are your phone was made sometime in the last handful of years and would be considered “smart”.

Chances are you have warm clothes on if there is a hint of a crisp morning outside.

Chances are when you arrive at work today it’ll be in the car you drove in or just a short few steps away from where you rolled out of bed.

Chances are, if you have kids, when you drop them off at school you are almost certain without worry you’ll pick them up safe and sound in the afternoon.

There is a good chance that your life (and mine) is a heck of a lot easier and more comfortable than a large majority of the world’s population. Probably 99% of it.

Yet, with that comfort also comes a barrier.

A barrier to let things go, seemingly meaningless things, that have almost zero effect on our lives.

A barrier to be patient and wait our turn instead of getting frustrated and causing a scene.

A barrier to thinking about how lucky we are to be in this position in the first place and cherish the hand we were dealt.

A barrier to enduring discomfort. Something the majority of the world has to live with every day.

We are fortunate for the opportunities we have and it’s important from time to time to call those out, head-on, in order to help us lead lives worth meaning and purpose instead of complaining and finger-pointing.

There are greater tragedies in life and many of them we are grateful to never have to think about.

1304, 2022

Boiling Point

April 13th, 2022|

Water is just water. Until it gets hot enough and starts to boil. It’s still water but now it’s boiling hot and creating a new, gaseous state that wasn’t there before.

We don’t know exactly when because there are many factors to get it to the exact temperature. It depends on the amount of water, the consistency of the heat applied, and outside factors (like salt).

But, at some point, when the conditions are right, it boils.

The same can be true for the work we want to put out in the world. It never gets noticed, picked up, or becomes helpful to us or others until we actually create it, consistently, over time and put energy or “heat” into the process.

We have to be willing to endure the long arduous process of creating with nothing happening. Sometimes, it can be like watching water boil.

But, like the water, we have to be willing to stay consistent and wait it out. We have to be willing to believe that the generous work we are giving to the world will be noticed and appreciated.

When the conditions are right, our time will come.

We may not know the exact time but we’ll be ready.

1104, 2022

The Long Lost Friend

April 11th, 2022|

Failing takes up such a small finite space in time. It exists only to be a placeholder for the next achievement, one that wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the failure that preceded it.

It begs to reason, then, that we should welcome failure with warmth and kindness.

“Playing it safe” actually becomes a fools’ errand. It makes us believe that we are working in our best interest to protect ourselves from harm. In reality, we are starving ourselves of exactly what we need to achieve greater happiness; facing failure head-on and coming out stronger.

Like a long-lost friend that showed up unexpectedly, we should welcome the failures with open arms.

804, 2022

Coloring Outside The Lines

April 8th, 2022|

We are told growing up that we have to cut the paper neatly without making a mistake or that we need to be sure to take our time and color between the lines. “That’ll look the best”, we were told and we were compared to others in our class who appeared much better and more skilled than us.

But that’s one skill. One small area of expertise. In a vacuum, sure, maybe that’s relevant but we shouldn’t crush our confidence over something so meaningless.

We are great at a lot of things and if we aren’t great then maybe we try hard and enjoy the chance of improving. We don’t have to be an expert, a guru, or savants just to take on a specific project.

That’s the fun of it altogether. Messing up. Trying and crumpling up the paper. Not caring if it takes another try.

That’s when this magic of two colliding things happens. There is this thing that many before us have completed, accomplished, and tackled in their own way. Now we get to come in, with our unique perspective and experience on it all and create something incredibly different.

It may not even be recognizable and that’s quite alright. That’s when we create things that are truly original.

But we won’t know until we try. And we have to get out of our head that it needs to be some level of perfection.

It doesn’t.

It just needs to be you.

That’s a great place to start.

604, 2022

Open The Floodgates

April 6th, 2022|

Anxiety is a real thing. We should accept it as such and understand that it will happen to us over and over again. 

There may be many causes but one that surfaces most often is our ability, or lack thereof, to control an outcome. 

When we are waiting we are anxious. Because we want the answer to go one way but know there is some level of probability it won’t. So we have doubts. Which causes anxiety to flood our bodies. 

This is where we can use questions to calm ourselves. 

What do we want the outcome to be?

Why do we want it that way?

What’s the worse that happens if it doesn’t go that way?

How will we react given unfavorable news?

What are the alternatives we haven’t considered?

By preparing mentally for answers or outcomes that we might not be able to control, comfort comes with internal understanding. It comes with acceptance. 

It’s not that we don’t want certain things to happen but it’s accepting that they might not and being okay with that outcome. It doesn’t happen randomly. We have to invest the time in surfacing these feelings in order to face them head-on. 

We might be anxiously awaiting an outcome but we can help ourselves by understanding why we are even anxious in the first place. 

We can create a space of patience and calmness that ends up helping us well after this specific event passes by. 

Because the next anxious moment is right around the corner and it would serve us well to learn how to handle it.

404, 2022

Winning Formula

April 4th, 2022|

Cutting people down is counterproductive. 

By encouraging people to do their best, they can actually move faster and freer. Inevitably, that might end up being a motivator for us to find our next gear if we needed it. 

Kindness is a win-win.

It’s not a weakness.

104, 2022

A Full Revolution Begins with One Motion

April 1st, 2022|

I enjoyed writing for many years and would normally write in journals or random blog articles from time to time. The content structure and topics changed over time but similar messaging was at its core.

Positive Mindset. Consistency. Action. Progress.

A little over a year ago, leading into April 2021, I made a decision. I was a few years into my Just Get Started Podcast and loved doing the show and wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. But those are longer-form interviews. I wanted another medium to share my thoughts, my voice, and my perspective. Blogging, and really “micro-blogs”, were something I enjoyed. Something about dispelling a message into as few words as possible and making it relatable and enjoyable (and a little vulnerable) was intriguing to me.

So I made a commitment.

Launch a blog article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. I knew it was going to add some more time to my plate but it was important for me with where I wanted to go and the message I wanted to share with the world.

The message above all else is to Just Get Started.

I’m proud to say that after 12 months and over 140 blog articles later we are back in the month of April, a full year after beginning this project. I am more excited than ever to keep writing and sharing these stories and observations and I hope they have been valuable to you.

We don’t know what will happen or how it might impact us but if we believe in something or find a purpose in pursuing a meaningful project then we have to take the steps to get started and keep moving forward. Consistent action over and over again works.

Too many times I’ve sat on the sidelines and wondered and wished and never just did.

It may not work out as we want it to or we might pivot to something else but we don’t know that at first. All we know is that we want to do it.

So go do it. The only thing holding us back is ourselves.

I’ve been in the position where I sat on the sidelines because I was scared to get in the game. I didn’t believe I could do it. We all feel that from time to time. It’s when we realize that it doesn’t actually matter if we believe we can do it or not and what matters is that we try and we build on it from there. We take a leap of faith. We become brave.

Confidence breeds confidence. You only get that from being in the game and being a part of the action.

So, go do it. Whatever it is that you want to do. Start small if you want. But just start.

Whether you succeed or fail never matters, it’s that you can look back at some distant point from the future and be proud of yourself that when your number was called you suited up and checked into the game.

You weren’t going to miss this opportunity.

3003, 2022

The Happiest Place On Earth

March 30th, 2022|

As we think back about our best memories, they are always simple and we are normally surrounded by others.

I think about the moment I found out we were having a baby.
I think about the first moment I held him.
I think about playing golf with my son.
I think about falling in love.
I think about pick-up football games with my friends.
I think about sitting in my grandmother’s dining area and having a conversation with her.
I think about playing video games with my brother.
I think about my first CrossFit competition and being around my team.

I think about all of these memories and so many more and what they might have in common.

We need to go back to 1st Principles thinking. Break down our finest memories and happiest moments. What are the simple building blocks that made them what they are?

  • Love
  • Belonging
  • Energy
  • Freedom
  • Routines
  • Communication

These are some things that come to mind.

If we can do things that hit one or more of these buckets then we are going to have the opportunity to create many happy memories and build an unbelievable life for ourselves and the people around us.

Seek to do more of those things and happiness will inevitably follow.

2803, 2022

Breaking Glad

March 28th, 2022|

Positivity and optimism are central themes to a life of happiness. Putting our best work out there, being generous with our time, and taking care of others are all things we want to do because we know it helps the world become better and we feel better because of it.

But, sometimes we break down. We stumble. We fall. We don’t feel worthy enough and we want to hide.

It’s okay. Go hide, go cry, go shout, go punch a wall. Whatever we have to do to cope with life sometimes we have to do it. Sometimes that is leaning on others but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s being by ourselves and wallowing for a night or two or many.

But, then, we have to endure.

We have to build back stronger.

We have to be aware that whatever we may have gone through; the pain, the sorrow, the tragedy, it all makes us stronger. Enduring the pain and then rising up from it makes us know we can be whole again.

We now know what it’s like to hit rock bottom and resurface. We know what it’s like to feel like we have no way out. But, we found a way.

Or we will find a way. We have to.

Because that courage to fight another day is a gift to the world. It’s an offering to those that haven’t gotten to the level of our despair before and may need to be shone the light when they get into the depths of hell. When they feel there is no way out. When they don’t have the courage we might have.

Use that energy and shine a beam of light forward for others to follow.

We’ve learned the lessons. We’ve earned the courage. Now it’s time for us to create some action and do good with it. For others and for ourselves.

2503, 2022

Celebrate You

March 25th, 2022|

I used to never want to celebrate my birthday. I was shy and didn’t like the attention. Part of it was growing up a middle child and never feeling like I fit in. Part of it was that I felt awkward and uncomfortable in the limelight.

But there was a part of me that wanted the attention, that craved it because I never felt I had any. It’s a weird paradox.

I was introverted and scared to have attention called upon me in almost any situation but yet I yearned to be heard and for my voice to matter.

But what I didn’t realize back all those years ago (and even until just recently) is that I didn’t need to be heard by others to make me happy. What I actually discovered is that I needed to listen to myself. My innermost thoughts were the voice that was being suppressed all along.

I wasn’t looking for approval from the outside. That’s where I was mistaken. I needed approval internally. Approval that the decisions I was making, the things I wanted to do, and the people I wanted to be around were all my decisions if I just listened to myself.

What I have come to realize and respect is that the only way to discover happiness is we must first discover ourselves. We must be willing to gain acceptance from within before ever looking for outside validation.

We know what we want. We do. We’ve just let “society” do the play calling for us instead of being in the center of the huddle and scripting our own plays.

That’s where the game can change. We are in control of our happiness if we want to be. What we spend time doing, who we spend time with, how our attitude is every day, where we put our energy, and what we know is our “why”.

It’s in our control if we take the time to block out the noise around us and listen inward.

We don’t have to fear the limelight as long as we show up as our true authentic selves and put into the world what is deep inside us and makes us energized and driven toward a life full of happiness.

What we should all fear is suppressing that voice and following the direction of what others think we should do. What others care about. What others are doing.

Because their decisions don’t affect us.

The people who we want to be around the most and who love, support, and respect us are never making it about them. They are only asking us one question, “What do you want?”

Are we prepared to trust our inner voice and answer?

2303, 2022

Misdirection

March 23rd, 2022|

We actually don’t need to make monumental big changes. That’s a common misconception.

It’s the small changes that matter. The ones that are incremental and barely even scratch the surface. The ones that almost no one would notice if they looked at us or our work.

The ironic thing is that’s how big moments happen. From very small, microscopic adjustments over a long period of time.

That’s the only way true change can happen. It has to become part of us. We have to rewrite our DNA, in a way.

That takes time. It’s okay that it takes time. We just have to be prepared for the long haul. We may not be able to see the impact early on but we have to trust it’ll have a monumental effect on our life.

We have to believe it to be true and keep progressing one small step at a time.

2103, 2022

Kid N Play

March 21st, 2022|

Let’s not kid ourselves, people tell us exactly how they feel, one way or another, whether that’s a response by phone, a text message, body language, responsiveness, or a lack of communication.

Whether good or bad, people are telling us and we just have to be paying attention to the signal and block out the noise.

From there, we can get a good sense of where we stand in the relationship and the priority level they are giving to our situation.

We can’t blame anyone but ourselves if we are not tuned in and observing.

Generally, the signs are very glaring from afar.

1803, 2022

Fools Rush In

March 18th, 2022|

Hurrying is a fool’s errand.

It means we were unprepared. We failed to anticipate obstacles and we had to rush to hopefully make up for those pitfalls. Potentially, that enters in more new obstacles or mistakes.

When we are always finding ourselves in a hurry, rushing to finish things, putting out fires, or “busy”, we must first have the awareness to look within at what we can control.

Although it’s easy to blame the outside world for meetings, extra work, or the lights that keep turning red it becomes much more powerful to recognize the control we have well before these even enter into reality.

Creating systems and rules to be better-prepared upfront can eliminate the need for countless “on the fly” decisions when we are behind.

Preparation can become one of the sharpest tools in your arsenal.

1603, 2022

Imagination Sensation

March 16th, 2022|

What happens to our imagination as we grow older? I’m sure scientific discoveries may point to a particular time in our brain’s development but I’m always curious how much our society has to play in this.

Is it parenting? Our education systems? Or nutrition? Or other factors?

Why do some of us continue to have our imagination and our sheer wonder of things well into adulthood when many others block it out and rarely recreate those childhood feelings?

Having a vivid and wild imagination can create some of the most ingenious things and help our world progress further ahead, in a positive direction, for generations to come. It can make us more creative and unlock the potential for happiness. It can help us question our surroundings and develop our purpose.

I’m wondering how we could tap into that more often and have it “on-demand” versus locking it away for only special occasions.

I’m just curious.

Our imaginations can be a wild and freeing thing.

I thought it might be something we could all ponder for a bit today.

1403, 2022

A Smile Can Go Miles

March 14th, 2022|

I tell my son to “Make someone smile today” when I drop him off at school.

The easiest way to enact a positive change in our life is to positively change someone else’s life.

A smile can have ripple effects far greater than we know.

Who are you going to make smile today?

1103, 2022

The Comfy Chair

March 11th, 2022|

One of the perks of a good life is to be pampered. Have the red carpet rolled out for us and let us enjoy the fruits of our success.

AC and Heating units, warm baths, packages delivered right to our doorstep, internet, and streaming services. It’s all really comfy.

Comfy is an advantage of the “luck of the draw” living in a first-world country.

But comfy can turn into complacency quickly. Getting too comfortable can make us more fearful of things “out there” we hear about. It can make us be settled with what we have now in order to not rock the boat and potentially harm our “status”. It can help us avoid any risk because when we think of risk we think of failure.

Comfortable is a luxury we have but we have to decide if that’s what we want.

There is no right or wrong answer as it’s up to each of us to forge our own paths but it is interesting to consider what happens when we push past being comfy and get a little (or a lot) uncomfortable.

What can we achieve?
What can we progress?
What can we endure?

Innovation and advancement come from being uncomfortable, both inside and out, to go where we’ve never been before.

To go to the places that scare us.

To be comfortable with the uncomfortable.

903, 2022

Software Update

March 9th, 2022|

We want people to accept the updated version of ourselves when we put ourselves through the work to change.

This is the new me, we shout! Embrace me. I’m different than before. Give me recognition!

But we have to remember that others are going through their own transformations. They may not be talking about it as much or sharing their journey for all to see. But we might notice some changes.

We must embrace them, as well. We must be happy that they’ve gone through the work and energy and time to make some bug fixes to their code and have created a new and improved version.

If we only care about our own upgrades and can’t applaud those around us and be proud of their achievements then we might need a few more tweaks ourselves.

Selflessly giving praise to others without needing it in return can be a wonderful change that leads us toward happiness.

That selflessness and empathy toward others is the improvement we all need to make.

It’s something that should come standard with our base model.

It’s something we should continue to refine with each new version.

703, 2022

Daylight Savings Time

March 7th, 2022|

You can’t turn back the clocks.

Days can pass slowly but years sometimes feel like they’ve flown by. That’s how our minds look at the past. More highlights versus seeing a whole rewind of the game.

That’s why it’s so important to continue the work of staying present.

Did we accomplish what we wanted today?
Did we say the things we needed to say at the moment?
Did we make decisions today that set us up even better for the next day?

We might not be able to turn back the clock but we can surely slow it down at the moment.

Stay focused. Stay present. Stay still.

Enjoy this time before it’s gone, too.

403, 2022

Open Door Policy

March 4th, 2022|

James Dyson took over 5000 tries to “perfect” his Dyson vacuums before he saw traction. We can all be grateful he put that level of determination into his work or we’d still be emptying vacuum bags to this day.

We may be discouraged because of failures of the past but we also have to have a perspective that the future is unwritten. We don’t know what will happen. We have to be willing to give the door one more knock and see if it opens.

Give your project an attempt. Go ask them out. Sign-up for that race.

The hard part isn’t what happens on the other side of the door, it’s having the courage to turn the handle and live with the result that it may not open at all.

What we find out through failing is that we rarely remember the failure. We are proud that we tried.

Sadly, what we remember most often is not making the attempt at all.

That should be a much greater fear than failing; having to live with the feeling of not having enough courage to try in the first place.

203, 2022

Over The Rainbow

March 2nd, 2022|

We will continue to be pressed with tough situations, unsolicited advice, less than favorable reviews, and chatter from the people in the stands.

We must always remember that if we are willing to take the risk of being ourselves and putting it out into the world then this will be part of the process. We have to weather the cloud of negativity and judgment that can often hang over us.

As Teddy Roosevelt said. “…if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (Read the full Main in the Arena speech here )

In a way, we need that storm to come. It proves to us the importance of our mission and nothing will stop us. It gives us the chance to believe in a better tomorrow and gives us hope. It lets us know that not everyone is willing to make the sacrifice and our mission is worthy.

Be brave. Be bold. Believe in the good we can put out in the world.

In the end, there will be people looking out the window and cursing the storm and others who are out there splashing in the puddles.

We have to ask ourselves, “Which person do we want to become?”

2802, 2022

Keep Chopping Wood

February 28th, 2022|

We live in a world where we are told that quicker is better. Faster, faster, faster.

  • Fast food
  • The “hot” take
  • Crash dieting
  • Hypergrowth

Someone is going to catch us if we slow down. Keep pressing down the accelerator.

But are they? Or is that a story we are making up in our heads?

It doesn’t mean that we have to believe that.

It’s easy to look at examples of businesses or people moving quickly but we have to ask ourselves, “Have they always been moving at “this speed” or are we just watching what happens after momentum takes over after a long winding patient process of action?”

Be intentional about what you are doing. The accelerator doesn’t always have to be pushed to the floor.

The journey will take many unexpected turns. Relish those. Learn. Adapt. But don’t rush.

Things happen when they happen.

But sometimes it’s not as fast as we may want. And we may not be able to control it.

So why get flustered?

Keep chopping wood. Keep progressing forward. Keep living your purpose.

Your time will come.

2502, 2022

Comparison Matrix

February 25th, 2022|

It’s interesting to find comparisons in creative works that are so seemingly different from one another.

  • Harry Potter
  • The Mona Lisa
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Red (Taylor’s Version)

What could these possibly have in common?

What we know is that each creator worked consistently over an extended period of time to create it. They made a choice to start and didn’t quit until it was finished.

Some of the greatest “potential” work of our time was probably never finished. Maybe it was barely even started.

Ideas are important, passion is needed, and a positive mindset is useful.

But, we have to believe that our project is worthy of starting.

And then, we have to keep pushing forward, pass the resistance, through the great unknown, and find a way to finish.

2302, 2022

Chillin’ Out, Maxin’, Relaxin’ All Cool

February 23rd, 2022|

The need for patience always comes at the most difficult times. The times when we need to take a deep breath or a “chill pill” we are normally racing around a mile a minute and worrying.

That’s where the practice of patience becomes an important part of our accessory work.

Sitting in thought. Or silence. Or going through past scenarios and how we could’ve handled them differently are all necessary practices to learn more patience.

It’s hard work. It’s uncomfortable work.

But it’s powerful.

Even sitting with our eyes closed for 5 minutes a day will bring us the mindfulness to exercise patience when we need it most. Maybe some days we might need more time, too. That’s okay and we should reward ourselves with it.

We’ll only know if we put in the work in the first place and see how we feel.

Let’s become prepared for those future moments by getting uncomfortable now and learning how to deal with them.

Patience becomes a great ally we want on our side.

2102, 2022

Fear Factor

February 21st, 2022|

We fear rejection only because we forget about its benefits.

If we don’t get rejected directly, it may cause us to worry or a loss of focus wondering why we haven’t gotten a response, why we are being treated a certain way, or if we did something wrong.

But rejection is actually freeing.

When we are rejected we may mull it over for a day or two but then forget about it for a lifetime. It becomes an afterthought because we now have closure.

Rejection can definitely be painful but let’s not forget about all of the stress and anxiety that comes from not knowing where we stand in a given situation.

Which one is actually worse?

I know which one I’d rather have.

1802, 2022

Travel Restrictions

February 18th, 2022|

When we live in our bubble the things we know and feel become very familiar. Our senses are dulled because we can already anticipate what is going to happen. We see it often. It’s comfortable.

The only way to actually grow, or see if we are growing, is through exploration. Visiting a new scene, a new area, a new world.

Traveling outside our bubble can unlock many “spidey senses” that live deep down but don’t get to come out often. We get to have our guard up and make choices. We get to paint a portrait of a new landscape we’ve never seen before.

It can make us alive again. It gives us a perspective that the world is much bigger than our bubble and it rattles our thinking a bit. It makes us question what we believe at this moment.

That’s a good thing.

Because that’s how growth happens, through challenging our thinking, expanding our experiences, and exploring a whole new world we’ve never seen before.

We just have to have the courage to go out there.

1602, 2022

Refocus Our Energy

February 16th, 2022|

Rejection hurts because we believe everyone should like us, want to be with us, or want to do business with us.

It doesn’t work that way. Rejection teaches us more about the people who are right for us than the people who are not.

Most people won’t want to give us the time of day. So focus on the ones who do.

Focus on the ones who show up when least expected. Focus on the ones who support you. Focus on the ones who make the effort.

There is only so much time in the day.

If someone is willing to take some time out of theirs and spend it on you then that’s a special thing.

1402, 2022

Separation Anxiety

February 14th, 2022|

It’s been 3 years since my wife and I got divorced. Funny how that much time has passed. Funny to think what we could’ve changed to make it work.

A lot of things for sure.

But, then again, it was probably the right decision. We were both unhappy.

Why stay in something that you are “lukewarm” about, at best?

But that’s what we do as humans. We sort of just settle in for what feels comfortable. We do whatever we can to hold the walls up around us in order to eliminate the abrupt pain of it all caving in at once.

We fail to recognize that having the walls cave in can allow us to rebuild a stronger foundation from the ground up. We can create a more solid structure that is long-lasting.

It doesn’t mean we have to run from every bad situation but it could mean that we have to take a hard look inward on why this is happening in the first place.

What have we done to get here? What have we done to cause this situation? What has been out of our control? How can we change for the better?

Change is really hard. I remember the time between getting “separated” and then actually leaving the house we built together. Those 5 weeks transitioning to leave the house and officially, by legal standards, become separated were brutal.

I cried a lot.
I was heartbroken.
I was depressed.
I was sad.

But then, I wasn’t.

Sure, I can be sad that we weren’t madly in love like many years prior. I can be sad that our son has to be a part of a co-parenting situation. I can be sad that the happy moments we had together would be clouded by this decision we made.

But that’s all a matter of perspective. I had the choice to be happy or sad.

So I chose to be happy.

Everything ends at some point. That’s the rub of life. It all eventually ends. Our situation ended just a bit more abruptly than originally planned. Our story just took a different direction down the wandering path.

But, I’m happy I had those moments with her. I was madly in love, and I know she was, too.

I’m happy my son gets to spend time with each of us individually and grow a stronger bond. He gets to grow up going through some shit. That’s only going to make him more resilient.

I’m happy with all those moments of happiness, laughter, and fun we had together. We had some great times. But I’m also happy for the less-than-desirable moments, too. Because, as I reflect, it’s made me grow as a person and be a better version of myself. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to go through hard times to figure that stuff out.

Life is never easy but if I’ve learned anything it’s that negativity and pessimism almost get you nowhere. I’m sure someone can tell me there is some utility to it but not much that I’ve seen.

If we can take every situation, no matter how dire, and work our way to see the sunshine and rainbows then we have a much better chance of finding the happiness inside ourselves and using that as fuel to power us forward.

It’s hard to get there when we think the world is always giving us a bad hand to play.

Once we accept that we may not have played the hand correctly then it can make it much easier to respect the outcome and move on.

It doesn’t mean we forget about the past as those moments and experiences helped define who we are, good or bad. But it gives us the opportunity to use those moments and learn from them.

We have the opportunity to start anew. Not from square one but from much farther ahead because of the wealth of knowledge we’ve gained through all of it.

Be open to change. Be receptive to it. Embrace it.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

1102, 2022

Perfect Game

February 11th, 2022|

Perfect doesn’t exist.

We’ll make mistakes. We’ll fail. We’ll embarrass ourselves.

Something is bound to go wrong.

But shouldn’t we expect that?

Nothing is ever perfect, and if something appeared to be, wouldn’t it feel manufactured and fake?

Embrace the stumbling and staggering and blindly wandering into the dark woods ahead.

Embrace not knowing the exact way.

You’re not alone, nobody else does either.

902, 2022

A Frame Of Reference

February 9th, 2022|

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but it’s also worth a time stamp. It’s an imprinted memory with a date circled.

It gives us a wormhole, of sorts, to the past.

How were we feeling at that moment?
Where was our life at?
What was happening to us?
Who were we becoming?

A single picture, a snapshot, can open up a wave of thoughts and emotions about life already lived.

How does that make us feel?

Are we sad that the moment is gone or grateful we had the opportunity in the first place?

Pictures capture moments. Moments become memories. Memories give us a view, although distorted, of our past.

It provides the perspective to live in the moment and not waste any of it because eventually, the present moments will become memories that we either capture with a picture or, more importantly, keep close by in our hearts.

702, 2022

Heartwarming Surprise

February 7th, 2022|

Getting a surprise text from an old friend or a random gift sent to us makes us feel so good. We get a smile on our faces and we’re grateful that there are people out there thinking about us.

Who could we spin that idea around on today? Who haven’t we conversed within many months or years that we could send a text or message saying we are thinking about them?

It can be the smallest gesture but those can go a long way to make people feel better.

Think of 1-2 people today and take a proactive approach to message them. Maybe it’s a quick hello back, maybe it turns into a longer conversation, maybe it happens to lead to an actual phone call.

Who knows?

The most important part is the first message. The one that catches them off guard. The one that warms their heart knowing that there are people out there thinking about them, too.

402, 2022

The Sands Of Time

February 4th, 2022|

The people we connect with tell a lot about who we are as a person.

Do they make us laugh, think, or play? What do we tolerate? What concessions do we make despite red flags? Where do we draw our lines?

“We are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with”, as the saying goes.

What are the trade-offs we make for comfort? Who won’t we trade-off because we are unwilling to have a difficult conversation with? Who do we really want in our circle but are afraid to ask?

We need to continue to audit our connections and tighten the nuts and bolts around who we enjoy spending the most time being around.

Who makes us our happiest selves?

Then pour more of the sands of time into those buckets of people.

Choose wisely, there’s only so much to go around.

2609, 2022

The G.O.A.T.

September 26th, 2022|

The greats aren’t great because they were born great.

They are great because they get up, every day, determined to make a difference in their lives.

They made something out of what they had.

The cool part is we have the same opportunity to become great at something, too.

It takes showing up consistently, dedicating the time and energy, accepting failure, recalibrating our minds, focusing, and maybe even enduring some pain.

It’s up to each and every one of us to be our own level of great.

We just have to be willing to make the commitment.

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2309, 2022

Define Happiness

September 23rd, 2022|

If we haven’t defined what “happiness” means to us then how can we be sure we are making the right choices to lead us to a happier life?

Happiness is the result of consistent decisions that are aligned with our virtues, values, and vision for our life.

Seeking happiness is irrelevant if we don’t have a clearer direction on which way to go.

If we are looking for a place to start that might not be a bad first step.

2109, 2022

A Picture Hides A Thousand Stories

September 21st, 2022|

We see pictures and videos of people doing cool things, exploring life, appearing happy, and all of that excitement shines through in their expressions and actions.

But what often gets missed is the pain behind those smiles.

The family member dealing with cancer
The dog they had to put to sleep
The thin thread that is holding their marriage together
The stress of financial shortcomings

We are all going through stuff and even when it looks like we are the only ones suffering, it isn’t.

We have to remember that in our lowest moments everyone is going to appear happy. We want them to be happy but we know that life is also happening to them. Just like it is for us.

We have to know that whatever we are going through “this too shall pass” and we’ll have the opportunity to be happy ourselves once again.

We have to believe it.

That’s the only way we can move on.

1909, 2022

Win The Day

September 19th, 2022|

Consistency is the worst kept secret of accomplishing anything important to us.

We must start. Not once but each and every day.

More than motivation it’s an action.

It’s the constant motion forward of small, tiny, almost insignificant steps in the direction we seek that count the most.

Others won’t see it right away.

We may barely feel it.

But knowing what we want to do and being intentional about doing it is all that matters.

We may not be prepared for the entire adventure ahead but we don’t need to be.

We just need to be prepared for today.

Get through today and we can rest up for tomorrow.

Because we’ll have to battle ourselves again to get up and keep moving.

We know it won’t be easy but that’s what makes it worth it.

1609, 2022

Blinders On

September 16th, 2022|

The cataclysmic discovery that can change the course of our life is the realization that almost nobody is thinking about us almost all of the time.

At first, it appears devastating until we realize that this is the same for everyone.

When this “aha” moment appears it begins to free us of the shackles that hold us into place and don’t allow us to start.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of judgment, critiques, and snickers. We’ll get an earful from time to time for being different.

But it’s short-lived. Those people have other things that will distract them soon enough.

So press on. Move forward. Do you.

Forget what the naysayers are spouting.

They’re barely paying attention in the first place.

1409, 2022

Cordial Conversations

September 14th, 2022|

Disagreeing is not toxic in a relationship.

Being unwilling to listen to a different perspective is.

If we are scared to have a direct conversation with someone over something that we care about or that is bothering us then we should question the strength of our relationship with them.

Relationships are hard. Period.

Having relationships with people where there is open and honest communication is of utmost importance.

It’s not that all of the conversations are positive it’s that they are filled with respect and a cordialness that whatever issues we are having we will get past them together.

Life is too short to be in bad relationships.

Let’s make that something we are unwilling to compromise on.

1209, 2022

Perspective Gain

September 12th, 2022|

Most of life’s pain comes from how we thought it should be or that it didn’t work out as planned.

But what if it actually did?

Sometimes we can be the worst judge of a situation when we are in the moment but when we step back away from it, as time goes on, we begin to realize it was a moment that changed us for the better.

We become grateful for the uncomfortable and painful moments because they are actually what we needed to grow.

It’s all a shift in mindset. It’s not easy. Of course, it’s not easy.

But our mindset controls everything. We have a positive mindset when things are going our way, so why can’t we take that same perspective when they aren’t?

I know why. Because it battles every part of our being that was instilled as a child. We have to be upset, get emotional, or feel depressed when anything goes against what we thought should happen. We witnessed this countless times in our life. It has been programmed. It’s on autopilot now.

But that’s not how it has to be.

We have one life. One very complex weird ever-changing life where we happened to get into this body. We are conscious beings and one of the downsides of that can be that we feel deep emotions, attachments, memories, or aspirations. It can work in our favor or not. We choose.

We can remember the past and project into the future.

But all that matters is now. All that matters is how we handle the situation we are in now. The future will take care of itself when we get there.

So, for now, instead of losing our shit in one situation or another it might be helpful to remember that we’ve been wrong a lot about bad moments. Out of that despair came a new opportunity, a new relationship, and new learning. All positives on the backside of a bad situation.

It happens to us countless times but our old way of thinking forgets. It only remembers that bad moment’s equal depression and struggle. It rarely remembers that there is hope and opportunity from all of it.

That’s the mindset we need to take into it.

Is it going to be hard? You bet.

Is it going to be painful? You’re damn right.

Is it going to test us? Fuck yea.

But our positive perspective will dig us out of it much faster and with newfound hope for tomorrow.

It’s not about being easy, life isn’t easy.

It’s about being hard, and managing our way to a better spot.

We grow in the moments that test us most.

Embrace them.

909, 2022

Defining Moment

September 9th, 2022|

Are we willing to call ourselves out first before blaming someone or something?

It’s always easier to blame others, and sometimes they are at fault, but what have we done to cause the situation? How have we contributed?

And, more valuable to consider, is this even worth getting upset over?

Most things that happen are so insignificant that the best option becomes not saying anything at all. We can tap down the ego with a dose of humility.

Have we ever made a mistake before?
Have we dropped the food right before serving it?
Have we cut someone off in traffic?
Have we held up a checkout line with a lot of items?
Have we parked poorly between the lines?
Have we messed up an order?
Have we had one of the days where we just struggled?

So do other people.

Before causing a scene or yelling at someone or getting angry we need to be willing to look at that “mirror” and tell ourselves that we are in control.

Our actions, right now, define us.

Humility.
Empathy.
Compassion.

These are the traits we want others to exude when we mess up or are having a bad day.

We need to take that into consideration next time we are in that situation.

How will that moment define us?

709, 2022

That’s So Choice

September 7th, 2022|

Some days I look at the blogs I’ve written and I say, “I wrote that!”

Other days I say, “I wrote that?”

We can be our biggest cheerleader or our worst critic.

We take judgment and comments from outsiders all the time but when do we actually reflect on how we talk to ourselves?

Why do we treat ourselves like this?

It’s okay to question ourselves from time to time in order to make sure we are heading in the right direction but let’s not forget that we choose the attitude we take into each moment.

Are we exercising gratitude, humility, and optimism or are we letting a large shadow of negativity come over us?

It’s our choice how we choose to talk to ourselves.

It might serve us well to be kinder.

509, 2022

Sitting Idle

September 5th, 2022|

What did we fail at today?

Failing means that we tried something uncomfortable or difficult and pushed ourselves a tad into a world of discomfort.

Acknowledging we failed shows us that we can accept our failures and it might give us the courage to try and fail again.

If we’re stuck, maybe the answer isn’t sitting idle and moping but getting out there and trying some new shit.

It’s just an idea we might want to ponder today.

209, 2022

Change The Dial

September 2nd, 2022|

Failure fucking sucks
Being told no sucks
Rejection sucks

But maybe those “No’s” are exactly what we need. They focus us more inward. They shake us up by telling us we haven’t quite tweaked the dial just right.

We still have work to do.

But in that work, we start to define ourselves better. We start to have a clearer vision. We start to hear “No” a lot less often.

Not because we’ll stop asking the questions but because we’ll have a much clearer picture of what we want to do and who we want to be around.

When we’re more calibrated we have a better chance to run into happiness.

It somehow just gets in the way.

3108, 2022

Bold Strategy

August 31st, 2022|

We get so caught up with big and bold. Be seen, be heard, be cheered.

But it’s actually the moments that most people don’t witness that are the most important to a happy life.

It’s reading a book to your kids and giving them a hug and kiss goodnight.

It’s a “how are you doing today?” with a significant other that turns into a long conversation.

It’s being able to sit with ourselves and be stress-free.

Those moments take up the majority of our lives. Those simple, “uneventful” moments almost get forgotten because they are routine.

Maybe we should consider why they are that way and embrace them more. They matter way more than any glorious achievement does.

When we lose people close to us, rarely do we remember their greatest achievements. We remember the small stuff, the little quirks, and the subtle nuance.

We remember the mundane.

Those become the most important memories.

The ones we often take for granted.

2908, 2022

Get Out Of Jail Free

August 29th, 2022|

When we’re young we are told that if we make bad choices we could end up in jail.

What is never explained, however, is that while we may not end up in a physical jail for committing a crime, our decisions could lead us into a “mental jail” that might be just as bad, in some cases.

We feel stuck
We feel stressed
We wonder how we got here
We are in a situation that seems impossible to get out of.

But there is a way.

It’s difficult and it might take time but it starts with a choice.

A choice to change.

Just like the choices we’ve made that didn’t work out and got us into this situation, we can make new choices to lead us out of it.

We can recalibrate the compass and move in a different direction.

The choice to change becomes our “get out of jail free” card.

Having the courage to change ultimately determines whether we use it or not.

2608, 2022

Alternative Energy

August 26th, 2022|

Our view of the world not only shapes our mindset but can influence our decisions and actions every day.

Some see the opportunity while others see the obstacle.

Some see the beauty while others see the blemishes.

Some splash in the puddles while others curse the rain.

The world can be a dark and dangerous place if that’s how we choose to view it.

But there is always another vantage point if we are willing to embrace it.

It may not always be sunshine and rainbows but it certainly is better than the alternative.

2408, 2022

Buzzworthy

August 24th, 2022|

I rarely recognized how the noise around me was cluttering my mind and distracting me from creating the life that I wanted.

Have you ever felt this way?

We’re about to do something but the “buzz” in our pocket takes us away from focusing on the things that really matter.

That “buzz” can be a metaphor for any distraction we come across.

The world is noisy, yes, but it becomes much quieter when we realize we have a choice.

There is an “off” button.

We can silence the notifications, we can prioritize our lives, and we can focus on ourselves first so that we can then give more of our true selves to the world.

We can accept what we’ve known all along but have avoided or suppressed while the distractions have overtaken us.

We can start to listen to what we really want.

Then the question becomes, is the noise really coming from the outside, or has it been inside our own heads this whole time?

2208, 2022

Mud on the Tires

August 22nd, 2022|

Maybe we shouldn’t have it all figured out.

Maybe seeking is part of the enjoyment of life. That discovery into the unknown.

It’s a bit scary.

It’ll wake us up.

We’ll need to focus.

We can’t put the mind in “self-drive” mode and cruise.

Life is not going mindlessly through each day and getting by.

It is supposed to be lived.

Fully present. Fully alive at the moment. Full of wonder and curiosity.

We have to take control of the wheel and veer off-road.

That’s when living starts to happen.

1908, 2022

Fast and Slow

August 19th, 2022|

We can get it in our heads that if we’re not moving forward, fast and furious, then we will be left behind.

This is one of the self-limiting beliefs I had for many years. The notion that there is some race.

What I’ve come to realize is that we can all move forward, extremely fast, but it comes at a big cost. We rush projects, we rush parenting, we rush our partners. We are so worried about the days ahead that we forget the moment we are in right now.

We can all go fast.

But it’s the ones who can be still that achieve the most happiness.

They gain perspective on the world around them. They ponder decisions. They develop new routines by analyzing current ones. They open their eyes to new possibilities. They think.

This can’t be done when we are moving a mile a minute. It’s impossible.

The only way to speed up is to slow down. Retool the engine. Refine the skills. Be thoughtful about the next course of action.

With that, we can have the opportunity to move at a greater clip while recognizing that it’s important for intermittent stops.

We have to give ourselves this time to pause.

It’s the only way we’ll ever get ahead.

1708, 2022

The Vast Unknown

August 17th, 2022|

Before we use a telescope make sure we look into the microscope.

Our thoughts shape our mindset.

Our mindset shapes our actions.

Our future, although unclear, is being shaped by each one of our decisions today.

It’s the inception of the most microscopic idea that starts us on our journey.

It influences our confidence, beliefs, and attitude.

We must start at the smallest possible level before we can ever look forward to the vast unknown of the future.

Progress always begins there.

1508, 2022

Elevator Pitch

August 15th, 2022|

What can be seen as a negative can also be seen as a positive?

“Ugh, the elevator is broken, now I have to climb six flights of stairs” can be flipped around just as easily to “Hey, the elevator is broken, I’ll at least get a little workout in as I climb these six flights of stairs.”

The way we perceive our situation and the world around us influences how we think. If we want to complain, there are many things to complain about. If we want to be grateful, there are the same amount of opportunities for that as well.

The choice is always up to us.