I Confess

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I confess that I like doing things the safe way, the way I know.  Things that disrupt my normal schedule have a tendency to freak me out….or rather had.  Over the past couple years I have learned to enjoy the unknown.  While I’m not totally at ease with it, I still find it to be interesting, and more exciting than simply routine on a daily basis.

Routine can be good and we all have to have it to a degree, but it can completely stifle us to where we forget what is important and we forget who we are.  We become robotic people simply going through the motions.

We can’t let the routine stuff and the “little” stuff of life to get us down or get us blind-folded into believing there is nothing more to life than our four walls and our own home. Our home is a great place, but we aren’t meant to simply live inside our four walls and make our castles and raise our children without leaving the house.

We were meant to lead, to create, to inspire, to help, to serve, and to build.  And while some of that can go on in our own home, we are meant to take those things into the world.

Living A Lie

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Sometimes there are points in our lives when we come to a discovery of ourselves.  We find ourselves seemingly for the first time.  Sure we’ve always known who we were, but  not really.  We’ve seen it through jaded eyes, through the lens of others expectations.

We have this tendency in life to think that if someone else doesn’t pursue the career choice that we deem best, then they are going about it wrong.

Or if they are raising their kids different than us then they are in the wrong.

Or if they are pursuing a relationship that we disagree with they are headed for trouble.

All this is just us being insecure and feeling we need to validate the way we live by invalidating other people.

Each of us as individuals is unique, none of us have the same exact personalities, dreams, or passions, and we shouldn’t.

Encourage others to go after things that are way different than how you would do it.  We need more creative people, more diverse actions.

Don’t live a lie because someone else thinks you should do plan A or B. And don’t make people feel that they have to live a lie because you think differently.

We are meant to build each other up.  Let’s start today.

Stop Using Your Kids As An Excuse

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My wife and I discovered something after we had a child.  It’s really hard for us to ever hang out with anyone with kids.  Most of our friends are either single, or married without children.

Why is this?  Well, it’s pretty simple, we’ve found a lot of parents who use there kids as excuses of why they can’t do something.

As a parent now for 2 years I don’t understand this concept at all. My wife and I have a lot going on, between both of us working going to school full time, hitting the gym 5 times a week, plus my wife runs a non-profit, as well as her own business. This is aside from our blogging, e-books, and other projects we have going on.  Yes we are extremely busy, but we don’t know any other way.

So naturally we brought our child into the world expecting her to be a go getter.  And that she is.  When she knows we are going somewhere she runs and grabs her shoes, starts laughing hysterically and then proceeds to beat on the front door until we leave.  She loves to be on the go as much as her parents.  She is very used to going everywhere, she never meets a stranger, and has no fear of anything.

We love this, we want her to see by example how to live a full life.  As a dad it scares the crap out of me all the time when I hear crazy stories in the news, and I will probably be stalking her first boyfriend. But I want her to experience life, and experience it fully. I don’t want her to see her parents just wasting away time, watching TV and staying inside the house.  She is already learning this.

Kids are not an excuse not do things, they are all the more reason to do things.

What Scares You?

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We all can think of things that have a tendency to scare us. From things like heights, to snakes, to more difficult issues like being vulnerable, being honest etc.

It can be a scary thing to allow yourself to be vulnerable. After all isn’t that how people get hurt? Isn’t that how hearts get broken? Well in all honesty, yes.

But when we close ourselves off we may guard ourselves against getting hurt, but we also keep ourselves from experiencing some awesome adventures.

The truth is, yes, being vulnerable will hurt us at times, it’s part of the way life goes, but it will also bring us great joy. When we do get hurt we have to keep getting up and trying again, nothing good ever comes from staying down.

We don’t ever fully begin to live until we open up ourselves fully and embrace who we are, give ourselves the freedom to be vulnerable, and take the leap into vulnerability.  It’s scary, it won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it.

3 Years Ago

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Three years ago today I was married. Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible it’s been 3 years, and other times it’s hard to even remember life before her. I don’t think either of us had a clue what marriage would be like (who does when first married?)

We’ve been through so much in just 3 years, wonderful times, fun times, and hard times.  We’ve traveled to three countries, had a daughter, moved five times, managed a family, work, and full time college, had our ups and had our downs.

While I wish I could say that all the bumps of marriage are over with, I know that I have a lot to learn still in the road to discovering both myself and my wife.

I am a different person because of my wife (and I mean that in a good way).

I still can’t wait to walk in the door at the end of the day and see her, I look forward to seeing her smile and hearing her voice.

She is now as much as the on our wedding day my one and true love.  I love you Heather Parady. Here’s to 3 years I would never trade, and to all the years to come.

For Better Or Worse

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Marriage is incredibly hard. Anyone married knows what I’m talking about.  Anyone single, ask someone married if you don’t believe me.

There is a reason in wedding vows you say for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  It’s not just because it sounds good.  It’s because in marriage you will go through the worst of times and the best of times.

When you get married you have a lot of expectations of what it’s going to be like. Mostly we get this from Hollywood and TV.  But think about, we don’t run into bank robbers, get into high speed shoot-outs and witness explosions every day like in the movies, so why would marriage be like the movies?

It’s not. It’s better.  It’s harder.

When you get married, everything you’ve ever done, and everything you do is exposed to your spouse.  There’s no more getting in your car and driving back to your place when you get in a knock down screaming fight, no more going for a late night drive where no one knows where you are, no more complete and utter independence.

Yes some things you do lose in marriage, but you also gain so much.

Marriage is hard, to say it was easy would be a flat out lie. It takes commitment, it takes telling yourself that no matter how badly the other person hurts me, or how much I disagree with them, I’ve made a commitment to love them, and I have to honor that.

Most of the time you don’t have to remember that, you love your spouse, you think they are it. But during those rough times….that’s why we have those vows, to remember, I committed to love this person through both my worst, and their worst.  It means loving when they don’t deserve it, not to get something in return, but because you are committed to them.  It means pointing out their qualities, not their faults.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a marriage.  It takes work, it takes pain, but it is filled with rewards.

Who Likes Conflict?

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I doubt many people would say they enjoy conflict.  In fact most people I’ve heard hate it.  Why is this?

We pay millions of dollars every year to go see blockbuster movies that are all based around some type of conflict.  We are enamored by TV shows that deal with what?  That’s right: conflict.

I know I hate conflict.  And I’m starting to ask myself why?

Shouldn’t I appreciate it?  Shouldn’t I look at it as an opportunity to also come to a resolution?

No conflict is not always pretty, it’s often ugly, it’s the furthest thing from glamorous. But if I simply change my thinking and my mindset on the cause and effect of conflict, will I begin to view it differently and respond to it differently?

I’m not 100% sure, but I am interested in finding out.

The Hard Days

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Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you could hide in bed all day? Sooner or later we all have one of those days.  We don’t really feel like going to work at the crack of dawn, we’re tired of our diet, or our exercise program.  We feel worn out, tired.

There’s one thing that really helps on days like this.  My wife and daughter.  Somehow they are more than enough motivation to be strong another day.  To work hard, to do my best to be honorable.

Sure that doesn’t mean every day I have it all together.  In fact rarely if ever is life all together.  Each day has its challenges, its hardships, its battles we must fight.

Don’t be afraid to be weak some days.  It happens.  Sometimes you do need to come home and take a nap, sometimes you do need a break and just rent a movie and chill with your friends, your loved one, or your spouse.

In fact it’s these simple pleasures that we find in those we love that make the hard days worth it.

Seeing The Best

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It’s really easy to be judgmental.  Whether it’s social media, the news, our coworkers, there always seems to be someone doing something that we disagree with, or don’t think is right.

But that is okay.

What makes us all unique is our difference in opinions.  So what if our friend doesn’t see things the same way as us?  So what if our family member, likes this and we like that?

See the best in people, even if you don’t agree with what a lot of things they do, find something you can praise them for, find something to encourage them in.

Another thing that tends to be common is if we don’t argue our side of it then we think we are giving in to their viewpoint.  This is crazy!  Arguing a point isn’t going to make them change their mind, it’s just going to make both them and ourselves mad.

It’s okay to agree to disagree, respect people, respect their viewpoints, yes even if you disagree with them.  To them, their viewpoint is just as valid as your own.

The Problem Is Me?

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It’s really easy to blame people.  And if we don’t blame them, then it’s really easy to make an excuse why what they are saying is totally true.  “but you don’t understand…”

It’s so easy to fall into this.  We want to save face, we want to do good.  We can’t be perceived as weak, fragile, or as being in the wrong.  We have to be strong and perfect.

Um, no.

First off being perfect is impossible, second, when we try to act like we are, we usually end up just being a jerk to those around us. When we try to be perfect, and try to uphold that we end up pushing those close to us away,

We end up hurting the ones we love because we become so focused on how we must be right, that we stop taking into consideration we might be wrong.  We get puffed up, and pride sneaks in.  It takes over and before we know it, we have become the “me-monster”.

Admit that you are not the greatest thing to walk the earth, admit when you fall short and fail.  It’s okay, we all have our moments.  Ask for forgiveness, forgive yourself, and learn from your mistakes, then move on.

You will be amazed how much more helpful this is, then trying to pretend you are right to begin with.