I Want To Be Better

Albert-Einstein

I confess I can be a very selfish person sometimes.  I can get my head so wrapped around my own issues and I lose sight of the bigger things in the world.  I get so caught up in striving for my gain and I lose sight of those who need me to stop striving and to stop and help.

If there is one thing needed it’s kindness.  It’s self sacrifice.  It’s caring enough to stop and help.

It’s taking the time to look up from my screen and see the world around me.  Taking a step back and looking at what is around me. Because I all too often miss it.  Not just overlook it, but miss it completely.

I forget there are kids who will go to bed hungry tonight, or scared of what may happen to them while they sleep.

I forget that somewhere a man doesn’t know where his family’s next meal will come from. I forget that someone is contemplating living because they can’t remember the last time someone was kind to them.

Simple things. Simple things that I so often overlook.

I want to be better.

The Long Haul

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Life is very fast paced. Appointments, deadlines, work, family, kids, college. It gets busy. Then there’s the gym. The gym is such a part of me that I feel really weird if I miss 2 days in a row.
    Is it a discipline? Absolutely.  Even after the years I’ve worked out, I still have days I don’t want to go. But it’s kind of like work.  Sure some days I don’t want to. But I have to.
     With the fast paced life we want fast results in the gym. We want to get our “beach body” by going to the gym 2 weeks befor summer.  But it just doesn’t work like that.
    It takes time. It takes sacrifice, it takes pushing yourself when you don’t want to and it takes eating good.
    If it was easy everyone would do it. But true results take time. Be patient ad stick through  it.  Day by day. Week by week you can do this. Work hard and it will pay off. You’ve got this.

Fight For It

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What do you want to do in your life?  Have you been told you’re crazy by others?  Have others laughed at you, or given you that quirky smile that says “oh you’re cute…and foolish”.

People have a tendency to frown upon big dreamers…that is until they make it big.  Then they praise them.  People will be your biggest obstacle when you are fighting your way to the top, and not those you are competing against, but those who have no stake in the fight, people who are in your life as friends, family, who don’t understand your dream. They don’t understand the burning flame inside of you that can’t be snuffed out.

That innate burning inside that you have…only you can feel that.   You’ve got to hold on to that fire, you’ve got to fan the flame.  Protect that flame, and not allow anyone to try to blow it out.

Believe me, circumstances and people will try to blow it out, they will say you are immature, stupid, careless, irresponsible.

Hold onto your dream, your fire.  And build it bigger, until nothing and no one can quench it.

The Meaning of Sacrifice

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We all want to be more.  We watch movies about overcoming, about becoming stronger, becoming a better person.  We love the idea of a hero.  Love the idea of overcoming seemingly impossible odds.

So why then does our motivation stop with the rolling of the credits to a favorite movie?  Why do we lack the motivation in our every day life?

It’s because we are lacking one vital key.  It’s called sacrifice.  You can’t expect to have a life like no other when you live like everyone else.  It’s just not possible. You have to take risks, you have to be bold, have to be daring.

Yes as you step out you will be scared to death.

I love, and I mean love the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. Last year when I saw that movie for the first time, I didn’t even know yet that my life would be radically changing as I joined the Navy.

Now here I am 6 months into my Naval career with still 3 months to go until I am reunited with my wife and child. It’s been a huge sacrifice on both mine and my wife’s part. It’s taken sacrifice.  It’s taken long lonely nights, it’s taken missing my baby girl’s precious smile.  But in 3 months I’ll have that back.  Yes it’s been tiring, hard, but it’s been so worth it.  It’s taking me and my family where we want to go.  We are dreaming bigger than ever.  We are living our lives to the fullest, the craziest busiest run and go life and we love every minute of it.  We want our daughter to grow up knowing that great things are hard, but worth it.

So start doing.  Take the leap, jump, and believe.  It will be worth it.

Starting Where You Are At

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There are a million awesome ideas and dreams that people have. Sadly many of those ideas and dreams no one will ever know about. Why? Because of procrastination. Life is super busy and throws sucker punches often. And we have a way of saying “tomorrow”.  We say that we’ll follow our dream once we have X amount of dollars, once our kids are grown, once we are married, once we are out of college. 

     All these reasons gridlock our lives into stagnation and we end up one day never having anything except regrets and ideas that never got out of our minds.

    Start today. Let today be the day that you rise above defeat. That you become more than average. Work your butt of, don’t waste time. Put dreams to reality and live the dream now. Not tomorrow, not someday. Live it today.

I Wish I….

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How many times have you thought to yourself “I wish I would have” or “If I was younger”?
I’m pretty sure we all have things we wish we would have done, thought we should have done, or wished we could go back and change. I’ve had these thoughts myself, and I hear them all the time from other people.

My question is, why do we put a timeline on our lives. A timeline that says if we don’t accomplish this or that by a certain age then we just need to settle down and find something that is “good enough”. Why we live with this mentality I’m not sure. There is no magical number that you have to have everything together on.
I was 29 when I joined the military. Some thought I was crazy. Why join the military at that age when you have a good job, a family, and a comfortable average life right?

That’s just it. I don’t want an average life. For what I want to do I have to do certain things to get there. Sure going through all this is hard, but it’s not as hard as having to wake up one day when it really is too late and wishing I had done something when I can.

We only have one life, and in it, we can do anything we choose to do. But that just it. It’s the choice that is the hardest thing. It’s making the decision and choosing to work hard, to make sacrifices in order to get to a long term goal.

Meet The Waves

Took my daughter to the beach just a week ago. The first day didn’t go well. It consisted of her clinging to me and freaking out if the sand touched her. She’s a bit OCD when it comes to messes to the point where she walks around picking up any little things on the floor and throwing them away. She couldn’t stand the mess or the thought of what she thought was dirt being on her. She didn’t leave the beach blanket the whole day.

So going back for the second day I wasn’t sure how it would go.
It started off better, she walked down to the beach area despite the sand getting on her feet. I picked her up and took her down to the water. With each wave of water that crashed onto us she clung a little tighter to my neck and pointed to the shore where she wanted to go to get away from the water.

I know my daughter and she is a little adventurer. She has no fear and I can tell already she has a type A personality. She strikes up conversations with everyone she meets and is a take charge person in a group of kids, so I knew she would love the ocean if she just got over that initial fear.

So despite her requests and pointing to go back to the beach area I stuck it out. Soon I knelt down so that when the waves came they would hit her. At first she started freaking out. But after about 10 minutes she started to get used to it. She then was brave enough to release her death grip around my neck and stood in the sand as the waves crashed around her feet.

Five minutes later she was running towards the water, letting the water crash over her and laughing hysterically.  She had zero fear as the water smacked her in the face, and she ran up and down the beach giggling for an hour.
How often do we act like that? We don’t know how something is going to go, so we just stay where things are safe, where we are comfortable. We are comfortable with the seashore, but don’t want to venture towards the waves, so we stay with what we know, we stay where it’s comfortable, and because of that we miss out on so much of life. There is so much waiting if we put our foot in the water and embrace it. So what is holding you back?

What do you want to do that you have fear about? Get over your fear and race out into the water. You never know what great things are waiting for you.

It Gets Better

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Sometimes we go through really hard times in a relationship. We question everything we thought about the other person.  Question whether they truly love us or care about us. When things are hard, they are usually really hard, and it can be difficult to see beyond the pain and the hurt.

Then to make matters worse our mind starts racing with all these worst case scenarios. We wonder what will happen since our significant other is angry. Will they do more things to hurt us?  And so our imagination runs wild.

One of the best and most helpful things to remember in times like these, is that the current situation will pass.  You won’t forever feel this way, neither will the person you love.  When the dust settles, and smoke clears, you’ll find that you are the same people.  In marriage this is crucial.  You have to hold onto the reality that your spouse does love you, just at the moment neither of you “feel” any of that towards each other.

Coming to terms with that will make it better, and then realizing it won’t be like this for long. Whatever the disunity stems from, be humble, ask for forgiveness, don’t hold out and try to “win” the fight.  It’s not about winning.

Stick with it in hard times.  You agreed to that.  For better or worse. And while in a perfect world the worse wouldn’t exist, but it makes the better all the more good.  So stick with it.

Bigger Than Yourself

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I have a problem.  I am selfish.  Not incredibly so but still, it’s there.  I like to think that I am a kind giving person willing to do anything for my family, and that is pretty true.  But what other things do I really lay my life down for?

How am I helping those who are less fortunate than my family and I?  Those who are downcast, who are being abused, mistreated, sold for sex, those living in a box, those going to bed hungry.

What am I don’t outside my cozy four walls?

It’s a sobering question that kind of smacks me back to reality and makes me realize I live a very selfish life.  Selfish if measured against what I do for those who are hurting.

Because in truth, I wish I was doing more, and the fact that I am wishing that makes me realize I am not doing enough.

 

Leading What Matters

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What does it mean to lead your children?  Is it having it all together?  Is it being able to provide every wish and desire?  Is it making all the right decisions?

While leadership consists of many factors, the above are not the answers when it comes to leading your kids.

Kids need direction.  Psalms talks about children being arrows in the hands of a warrior. What are arrows designed for?  They are meant for war, they are placed on a bow string and flung into the distance to strike fear in the hearts of enemies.

I have my child for 18 year or so.  And in that time she has to learn how to live life.  She won’t hit 18 and have all the answers of life, but I have to provide her with the knowledge of how to find the answers for herself.  How do I do this?  Well how do kids learn?

My daughter is two and she mimics everything.  I can sing a song and dance like a crazy man around the room, and she will do her best to dance just like me.  Why?  That’s how she learns.  I can’t sit in a chair and tell her to dance silly around the room, just doesn’t work that way.

I have had many argue with me and question whether I or my wife do to much now that we have a child.  The answer, no.  I don’t think we do.  Between the two of us, we have a full time job, a self-owned business, both are college full time, we both blog, we travel constantly, and much more.  We fight for our marriage which includes making sure we have alone time together to build that relationship.

So what do I want to impart to her?  I want her to know she should life to the fullest.  Life doesn’t consist of watching tv all day, or playing games in a fantasy world all day.  It consists of getting out in the world, chasing your dreams, your goals, your passion full heartedly especially when it’s hard and you are tired and worn out.

The best way I can teach her that is through my own actions and chasing after those things myself.  And I can rest assured that she is watching.  She is learning how to fly on her own.  How to make a difference in her world, how to serve.