Blog Post # 303 – Choose Your Legacy

Sometimes, life is hard.

Very hard.

We feel like everything is a chore.

Overrun by tedium.

Task after task after task.

Overwhelm is easy in 2017.

So what do we do?

Do we throw up our arms and give up?

Do we just keep doing the same thing over and over and over?

No reason to live like that.

We have a choice.

A choice each and every day.

We choose how to live our lives.

We choose what to focus on.

We choose to build or knock down.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Even if that is you telling yourself differently.

Life is too short.

You owe it to yourself to find your motivation.

To do what you want to do.

To live the life that you dream about.

Choose life.

Choose a life of meaning.

Choose your legacy.

Blog Post # 302 – The Truth Inside

We know the truth.

And we can get to it too.

We sit.

Quietly.

And let the right answer bubble to the surface.

It may take practice.

We may have to be completely still.

But when we are puzzled, befuddled and confused, we can pause.

We can wait.

For the answer to come from within.

No need to pay anyone.

To buy anything.

To search halfway across the globe.

Our truth rests inside us.

We just need to listen.

It will come if we wait long enough.

Your truth is your truth.

Latch on to it.

Own it.

And use it for strength when you feel shaky.

A guidepost for where you want to go.

A line in the sand.

Don’t let anyone take it from you.

Ever.

And when you are ready.

Share it with us.

We need your light.

We wait for your voice.

Don’t hold back.

The world needs you.

Blog Post # 301 – A Legacy of Impact

What will be our legacy?

Our imprint on the world.

How do we wish to be remembered?

Some amazing people lead unbelievable lives and impact millions.

Lincoln. King. Ali. Winfrey. Mandela. Gandhi. Mother Teresa.

How about us?

Every day, we impact the people around us.

Our children. Our siblings. Our parents.

Our co-workers. The people we serve. Strangers that we encounter.

Is our impact a positive one or a depleting one?

Should our goal be to impact as many people as possible?

Or, rather, to impact the people around us as deeply as possible?

Perhaps both.

But impact is what we are after.

How can we affect real change or shift in perspective on those around us?

For today, let us look at our lives.

Realize that we are like the stone tossed gently into the lake.

Our actions and our words impact those around us like the circles emanating from where our stone landed in the lake.

We cause reactions and shift energy (both good and bad) to those around us.

How do we want our impact to occur this day?

Blog Post # 300 – Trust-i-ness

How do we help someone else to trust us?

 

To go from being a stranger to someone with whom we want to become friends or to do business.

 

It takes time certainly.

 

Time spent on a common endeavor or achieving a goal or enduring something unpleasant.

 

We have to be trustworthy as well.

 

To always tell the truth.

 

To be honest in our interactions with the other person.

 

To mean what we say and to do what we say that we will do.

 

Integrity and trustworthiness go hand in hand.

 

Trust is like a wall that you build brick by brick.

 

The longer the time spent together, the bigger the wall.

 

The deeper the connection and the more intense the communal experience, the stronger the wall.

 

Can we make someone trust us?

 

No, probably not.

 

But can we build our trust-i-ness muscle by living in integrity and fulfilling our promises?

 

Yes, probably yes.

 

For today, let us give more than we receive.

 

Fulfill all of our promises, both big and small.

 

And start strengthening those connections to those who are close to us.

Blog Post # 299 – Old Wounds

What should we do with old wounds?

When the boys were little, we bought a Sony video camera.

This was before cell phones had video capability.

We would video the boys playing, climbing and sometimes fighting.

Years later, when we would watch the videos that included the fighting, the (now older) boys would remember the fights and start fighting again right in front of the television.

How many of us are fighting old battles?

Remembering prior injustices?

Holding grudges for old wounds?

It is certainly permissible and understandable for people to refrain from forgiveness.

To avoid letting go.

To always remembering what someone did to wrong us.

But it’s a trap.

A trap that keeps us imprisoned in the past.

That prevents us from moving forward.

Keeps us confined to our own special, secret brand of misery.

Got to let that stuff go.

To acknowledge it, define it, speak it and then release it.

Just as we may hope that others would forgive us for the wrongs that we committed.

When we let go of past traumas and understand that they were part of our (difficult) journey to today, we open ourselves up to the beauty of today and the hope of tomorrow.

For today, please take a step towards freedom.

Please forgive yourself and others.

Please stop holding on so tightly.

And soar.

Blog Post # 298 – How Long?

How long?

How long are you going to stay in this job that you hate?

How long until you get off your butt and start exercising?

How long before you decide to make some real changes?

Human beings can tolerate a lot of discomfort and pain.

But why do that?

Why live like that?

When you don’t have to.

Each day gives us the option for change.

The option to grow.

To improve.

What if you came to believe that your discomfort and pain were of your own doing.

That you have choices.

Choices about how you spend your time.

Choices about how you view the world.

Choices about the people that you surround yourself with and the books that you read.

These choices frame your world view.

Help determine whether you believe you can improve or not.

Dictate how you respond to a crisis or turmoil.

Clear your mind.

Clear it.

And just sit in the moment, understanding that everything is a choice.

What are you going to choose today?

Blog Post # 297 – Shelter from the Storm

Shelter.

A house. A home.

An apartment.

Four walls and a roof.

When it snows, when it sleets, when it is frigid out.

We should stop and take a minute to be grateful for living in 2017.

For having protection from the elements.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards.

The Earth is a powerful, volatile place.

It is easy to forget how lucky we are.

For warmth.

For a place to sleep.

For safety.

For today, we have what we need.

We can stay safe and warm.

Those we love are protected from the elements in ways that our ancestors could never have envisioned.

So we give thanks.

And acknowledge the bounty of our lives.

Blog Post # 296 – Working Towards Failure

Everybody enjoys succeeding.

Success is a noble aim.

A goal to be achieved.

But let’s give a shout out to working towards failure.

Failure is a powerful teacher.

It teaches us what we did wrong.

Failure instructs that we are unbreakable.

That we can get up again and try for success once more.

Failure may be upsetting, embarrassing and/or disheartening.

But success can only teach us so much.

When we try something new or aim for a new plateau, we have to be willing to fail.

We must.

Otherwise, the successes won’t be as sweet.

When we work on strengthening our muscles, we have to allow for failure.

We push ourselves as hard as possible, but understand that sometimes the weights fight back.

On the topic of failure, Thomas Edison said “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

This must be our mindset.

This must be our teacher.

For today, let us seek for improvement.

And to honestly let go of the result.

Go for it.

Blog Post # 295 – A Lifetime of Goodbyes

After a child is born, it is hard to leave them with a babysitter.

Even if it is a grandparent or trusted friend.

We say goodbye and hope for the best.

But the brief separation almost always goes fine and our child survives.

Later, when we drop them off at daycare or school for the first time, we feel guilt, sadness and a bit of trepidation.

Totally natural.

Although we may not want to, we say goodbye and hope for the best.

Children generally survive daycare and grade school without a problem.

Still later, our children go off to high school and those same feelings kick in.

Future goodbyes include when they go off to college, move out permanently and eventually get married.

Today, I dropped our eldest son off at the Metro bus for him to take to his high school downtown.

That familiar sadness of a quick goodbye kicked in once again.

Life is a series of goodbyes.

We say goodbye to children, to friends and to parents.

Saying goodbye is never easy.

The sadness and worry never goes away.

All we can do is send them on their way and hope and pray for the best.

Still not easy.

Blog Post # 294 – You Can Get What You Want or You Can Just Get Old

When I was 12 or 13, our neighbor across the street, Mr. Foster, hired me to scrape paint off his back stucco wall and to then paint that wall.

He paid me by the hour.

Sad to say, I did not work particularly fast.

But he was very patient and paid me for all of the time that I spent scraping paint.

For my prior birthday, my parents had given me a boom box.

Each morning, I went across the street with my thermos, my boom box and my Billy Joel tapes.

My Uncle Chris had keyed me in on Billy Joel years ago.

I once called Jackie McCoy on KADI radio and asked her to play Piano Man, Billy’s most popular hit.

I taped it when the song aired and listened to it over and over and over.

But I did have actual Columbia tapes of some of his best albums – Glass Houses and the Stranger.

My personal favorite was a song called Vienna.

My favorite line – “but you know that when the truth is told, you can get what you want or you can just get old.”

Man, Billy really knew how to put down the aging process.

It was a binary choice – getting what you want or getting old.

And getting old sounded so lame.

But BIlly was right.

We can get what we want.

If we put in the work.

A lot of work.

Much more work and hustle than I did scraping and painting that wall.

But I have come to believe that human beings are amazing creatures.

And that we can decide to make things happen.

And work towards that goal.

Big goals.

Billy was also right in that this is a choice.

We can sit around getting older each day.

Or we can get what we want.

What will we decide today?

What will we decide this year?

This life?

As this new year begins, I hope and pray that you get everything you want out of life.

Peace.