Be Bold

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Life is not for the faint of heart. It’s really not. Life can kick your butt sometimes. It can beat you down when you try to step out and achieve things in your life. It can drag you through the mud when you thought it was going to be downhill all the way.

You see, going after high goals or dreams is made to look like something that is accomplished quickly and easily according to Hollywood. They make it to where the bad stuff lasts only a few minutes and then you get everything in the end and it’s not hard.

But real life doesn’t work like that. Real life is tough. Achieving your goals is hard work. It takes a lot of determination and a lot of grunt work. It takes getting slapped around and continuing to go forward. It’s not easy work, but it is rewarding and it grows you, in ways you don’t ever realize till you are done.

So be bold. If you are setting off to achieve your goals and dreams don’t get disillusioned by what the media and the world will tell you. Friends may say you are crazy. Family may say don’t be dumb and take risks, and Hollywood will say it will be an easy road.

None of these are true. It will be tough, but you’ve got this. You were born to do great things. It’s in your DNA. Don’t deny it, don’t hide it. Go after it with all you’ve got.

What Do You Want To Do? Really.

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What do you want to do with your life?  I mean really?  It’s something you’ve probably dreamt of ever since you were little.

It’s something that’s so important to each of us as individuals and yet it’s something that we probably spend very little time on.

Maybe you are at a place where you don’t really know what you want anymore.

Or maybe you know what you want but aren’t sure how to get there.

Or maybe you are on your way to what you want to do but you’ve hit some roadblocks.

Spend some time today by yourself, put on some soft music, turn the phone off, and pour a cup of coffee or tea.  Get out some paper and write down what you want in life, write down some ideas you have of getting there.

Take some time today to rediscover who you are and what you want.

It’s At Your Fingertips

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Literally the world is truly at your fingertips. We have so much opportunity in this world if we are willing to work hard for it. We can do anything we set our minds to .  We have the capability to learn whatever it is that we want to learn.

Is there that person you haven’t mustered up the courage to talk to?  Call them.  Why not?  Do you want to wonder ‘what if’ forever?

What about that country you’ve always wanted to go to?  Why not?  Get your passport, save some money and go.

Wondering if you could ever get your dream job?  Start finding out what it takes, and don’t stop at no.

Don’t lay down and give up the fight ever.  It’s at your fingertips.

Have you wanted to start that business?  Get a business plan together and go for it.

All great things take risk, they take chances, and they guts.  But you have all the necessary tools.  So go for it and take the plunge.  The world awaits.

Why Not?

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I’m sitting here in Pensacola Florida on a military base.  A year ago if you had told me I would be here I would have said you were crazy.  But life has a crazy way of going where you least expect.

I’ve been on a search for some time now of how to pursue my dreams and the military was the path and stepping stone I chose to get me to where I want to get.

A lot of people were surprised when they found out.  After all what 29 year old who is married with a child, has a great job and a comfortable job would choose to do something like that right?

I won’t lie it’s been hard, very hard at times.  Many days I miss my former life.  I miss my family, my home, and my job even.

But I have to keep the end goal in mind.  I have to remind myself why I’m doing this.  What I want to do with my life 10 years down the road and how this will get me there.

It’s not all paved with rainbows and everything doesn’t go perfectly right like in the movies.  But it’s a journey.  And I am glad I took it.  Because I’d always wonder what if.

So no matter where you are in life, I encourage you to seek out what you truly want in life, what is going to get you to where you want to be.  It’s never too early or too late to start.

Stacked Against You

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Sometimes the world seems like it’s against you. That the walls are caving in and that someone is out to get you.

In reality none of this is true. No one is out to get you. No one is making your life miserable or sad or anything of the sort.

Things just seem to want to overwhelm you sometimes. But al that is, is your brain trying to tell you to give up, to give in, because most of what we are exposed to in life is people failing and giving up. We see movies and hear inspirational stories during the olympics who have overcome insurmountable odds.

We cry when we hear these stories and think “how awesome”. But in our own lives how often do we choose the easy path? How often do we give in to tiredness, give in to our desire to eat chocolate cake, order fast food, or to binge on some Netflix show? We give into these “simple pleasures” all the time and then wonder why we aren’t making progress.

To make progress and to “beat” life, we have to be committed to the larger goal. We have to keep our eyes on the finish line and not give up the things we know are true.

To become better at something whether it’s your job, a dream you have, your physical condition, whether it’s at some skill that you want to perfect, all these things take sacrifice and hard work.

You can do it, and indeed you were meant to. So stick with it and do the things that are difficult.

The Hard Days

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We all have them. I know I have them. If you are alive you are going to have hard days. It’s just how it goes. So when you look at it, it’s not a matter of avoiding bad days, because you can’t, it’s a matter of how you approach them.
Your outlook can change a bad day into a good day.
Now I will admit I suck at this sometimes. Just yesterday I had a really bad day. Being away from my family is hard enough so then when you throw other bad things into a day it can make for a really bad day.
Amidst my bad day 2 things happend. 1. Someone pointed out something positive which checked my attitude, and 2. I talked to my wife and daughter, which keep me going on. Those two things changed my attitude and changed my perspective.
I wasn’t able to do it on my own that day and some days will be like that. I couldn’t do anything to stop the bad day from happening, but different things helped change my mentality. It’s really important to remember that and it’s something I need to work on more. Focus on the good things. Focusing on the bad will not help anything, that will only bring you down. Focusing on the good is like a ladder that helps you climb out of the pit of despair.
If you need to make a list of positive things in your life. Remember the good, put up sticky notes in different places that you see ever day that talk about something good in your life. These little reminders can go a long way to bettering your attitude and to bettering your bad day.

You Shouldn’t

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It’s really easy to judge. Really easy. I do it way too much. I’m very opionated so that comes out with thinking other people’s ways of doing things are less than my own sometimes. This theory is very flawed, and judging can lead down a very dark road. If you think about it, bullying is just severe judgement that has gotten so far that it comes out in hateful ways.

Judging is something that causes us to look down on other people. None of us have the right nor the authority to look down on anyone. Looking down on others causes us to begin to lose compassion for other people. We lose the ability to see the situation they are in, we lose the ability to empathize with them, and soon when we do that enough we become desensitized to the feelings of others.

This desensitization leads to us no longer caring what we say or think about another individual.

Another form of judging comes through comparison. Normally if we do something wrong we compare it with what someone else has done and we make ourselves feel better by telling ourselves what we did is not as bad as what someone else did. This quickly leads to judgement because again, all we are doing in this is saying we are better than someone else to make ourselves feel better.

So the next time you feel like judging, think about the slippery slope it leads down and steer clear of it. Replace judgement with a sense of compassion and ask yourself how you can relate to the person more rather than judge them.

Uphill All The Way

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Life is hard. Really hard at times. I am a huge fan of the Rocky movies. I am not ashamed that at 17 it’s what inspired me to take up weight lifting and got me started on being the gym rat that I am now. (I still want to learn how to box).

There is a line that I constantly remember. It’s actually more than a line. It’s an entire scene. But it’s in the last Rocky movie that was made, Rocky Balboa. His son is feeling sorry for himself, trying to find his place in the world. Rocky explains how and here I quote my favorite line “no one is going to hit as hard as life, but it’s not how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

It’s so true. The true test is making it through the challenges that life throws at us. The times we want to throw up our hands and quit. The times when things hurt and hurt deeply. The times we want to wallow in our self-pity (even when it could well be said that it’s justified).

The times we get beat down. It’s hard. No one ever said life would be easy. It comes with heartache, with pain, with bruises and scars, and it can “beat us to our knees and keep us there permanently if we let it”.

But the key is to not let it. To rise to the occasion. To meet the challenges head on, and though we might be shaking with fear, trembling on the inside, and wanting to raise the white flag, there’s that small determined voice that inside is saying “stand your ground”. And as you do, that boldness rises up within you and you find yourself staring into the face of whatever calamity or hardship you are facing and boldly declare “do your worst”.

Stay strong. You can beat this.

Time For You

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We live in a crazy fast paced world. Things go by at an extremely high speed, and often we don’t take the time to stop and have time for ourselves. I am a guilty of this myself. I like to get things done. My wife says I could have a month to do something, but the second I’m told to do it I jump and do it. It’s hard for me to relax if I know I have things to do.

But there are times when I have to sit back and realize that I need time to rejuvinate and pull away from the demands and tasks of life.

Even being in the military, as high strung, fast paced, and strucutred as it is, they highly recommend you take time for you each week.

The reason for this is because in order for you to be the best at something, you’ve got to be mentally sound and focused, and taking the time to recharge sharpens your focus and energizes you to do a better job at what you have to do.

So the next time you feel frazzled and are having trouble focusing on the task at hand, ask yourself if you need to pause and recharge. For you maybe this means going on a run, maybe it’s making some coffee or tea and reading. Maybe it’s a movie night with your significant other. Whatever it is, during this time, unplug and relax. Don’t be checking your phone, tablet, or laptop during your recharge time. Get away from the distractions.

You will be glad you did.

Saying No

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If there’s one thing we have no shortage of in life. It’s options. Everyday we have to make choices from the clothes we wear, what time we get up, what food we will eat, how productive we will be at school, college, or our jobs. We make decisions like where to live, what kind of apartment or house to get, what kind of car to buy, how we want our house decorated, what kind music we listen to, what type of friends we have.

It’s often very easy to say yes to things, but we have a much harder time saying no. For whatever reason saying no is something we usually try to avoid. We try to avoid it at all costs, by coming up with excuses, just going along instead, or simply ignoring it.

But “no” is a word we need to be more comfortable with. Saying no more often can save us so much heartache, pain, and misery.

There are always those times when we give in to something even if we know it is wrong simply because we don’t say know. A friend says something and rather than point out what’s wrong with it or reject it, we give in go along with it because we don’t want to seem weird or “offend” them.

But in truth by saying no to things that aren’t healthy and are not good, you often times gain respect, and become a better person and make those around you better people. If by saying no and standing your ground you lose some friends, it’s okay, they probably weren’t true friends to begin with if they don’t respect what you think.

So get comfortable with saying no. It will be worth it and far more beneficial for you in the end.

“No” is okay.