Making It Personal

Personally Responsible for those who come my way

Every day, hour and minute we are presented with new opportunities. These diamonds, yet to be recognized for what they are, can be found everywhere. Like a person who never looks, up, down, or around, most of these jewels are never seen, and even if they are, never recognized for the treasures they are.

It’s been something of a buzz lately to point out the fact that we are so easily connected to one another these days through our designer digital devices that we’ve grown indifferent and jaded to just how easily we can connect. We point a finger at technology, a Me generation, millennials, whatever, and blame them for our lack of meaningful personal connection. We treat this “phenomenon” as if it were something new. It’s not, and this isn’t the first generation to discover an epidemic of indifference towards our fellow human beings. We all strive to be heard and seen in a world of distraction and insensitivity. We’re just getting larger doses through a more efficient delivery system. If that sounds somewhat like a drug reference, well, then you’re getting my gist here.

The drug is called marketing and it has jaded us into paying attention only to the noisiest, flashiest, most over the top, shockingly absurd personalities or situations. If it doesn’t explode visually, audibly, physically or emotionally it usually doesn’t get much attention these days. Anything with the word “reality” stuck in front of it garners far more attention than what our own reality actually is. The true reality is that the marketing we are being fed non-stop needs to be tempered with some serious soul searching and skepticism.

Marketing, like any drug, is used as a vehicle of escape. That’s its true intent. Marketing can help people escape to a world of better possibilities or to a place of debt. That debt by the way isn’t always financial. There’s physical, mental, social and even spiritual debt. Marketing is an escape from reality.

Many people are hell bent on escaping from their own, into some other person’s reality. Despite the rallying cry of “individuality for all”, most people are anything but individualistic in their thinking and their actions.  I liken this to a mob of little kids in a cake shop, sticking their fingers and faces into every delightful mess of sugar  they see, never finishing one before moving on to the next one that promises to taste better than the last. Eventually all those little kids end up over indulging to the point of getting sick.

This is the symptom I see over and again with people who’ve chosen not to stop gorging themselves long enough to look up, down or around and realize that there is a much more important world that awaits their attention. Sugar highs don’t last. Drug highs don’t last. Marketing highs certainly aren’t meant to last. It’s  time to go cold turkey and realize that the true high isn’t found in the artificial flavor of a world gone mad with extremism in any form or direction. The highest you’ll ever get is the moment you realize that your well being depends upon the responsibility you have to yourself and your fellow human being.

Those opportunity diamonds I wrote about earlier are the people we come in contact with every day. The real ones. The ones who’s actions touch us and who we touch with our actions. Family, friends, co-workers, the person we pass on the street every day, yet avert our eyes from because, “It might be uncomfortable to acknowledge them in some way. I don’t know them. I might not like them. They might not like me. OMG!”

You never know just who someone is until you get to know them. Marketing has been very good at making us fearful of any brand other than the ones we are told we should feel comfortable with. Each of us is a brand in our own right. Our actions and inaction advertise our brand, the one we market. What does your personal brand say about you?

Few responsibilities are as great as being accountable for your own thoughts and actions. Taking personal responsibility for the mental, physical, social and spiritual areas of your life determines who you are today and who you become tomorrow. This is your brand and  your reality as you have chosen it to be.

Consider how the world would change if everyone on our planet decided to accept responsibility for their own thoughts and actions, and in so doing, began helping others discover how they too can become responsible for themselves. The true secret to our success is found in the shining gems we discover as we help others succeed. But you need to look up, down and around to find them first.


Let Go

Becoming What You Might Be

Mindfully letting go. It can be difficult and scary. But letting go of habits, perceptions, prejudices, angers and fears is a must if we are to emotionally grow and learn to become better at this thing we call life.

Mindfully letting go is a process of discovery, forgiveness and redemption. It’s  a process of being honest about who you are, your failings and your triumphs. Mindfully letting go is shedding the mental baggage that holds you back, or at arms length, from being the person you know deep within your soul that you should be.

I’m not writing about giving up, giving in or abandoning your long held dreams and goals. I’m writing about letting go of hurts, fears, prejudices, anger, suspicion and those myriad other reasons you haven’t yet achieved what you are capable of. So, what’s holding you back?

Take some quiet time out alone, no less than a weekend and more if you can, to reflect on the person that you are and what has led you to this point in your life. Slow down, put all the distractions away and out of sight and hearing range, and spend some much needed quality time on the most important person in your life; you.

Make written lists of your good points, those areas in which you wish to improve, as well as those habits, characteristics, feelings and experiences that are stumbling blocks to your being the best version of you that you can be. Why write this stuff down? It’s a proven fact that the seemingly simple act of writing something down increases your awareness and  admittance of its importance in your life. Once these things are in writing you’ve taken physical action in a positive direction. It’s also one of hardest things you’ll ever do.

Mindfully letting go is an ongoing process and one that you will benefit from when practiced throughout your life. It will clear both your mind and your spirit, and it will be noticed and appreciated by those around you who truly care. This is when you discover who your true friends are, and why, In fact the only way we can begin to care for others is to care for ourselves first. This is wisdom that has been known and practiced for centuries and now it’s your turn to show yourself some emotional and spiritual love by mindfully letting go of that baggage you’ve been carrying for far too long, like a heavy bag of rocks on your back.

Look in a mirror. Can you be totally honest about who and what you see reflected there? Can you mindfully let go of what holds you back from being your very best? The moment you can answer yes to these questions is the moment you will begin to become who you are meant to be.


I’m Done Looking

The Eyes Are Not Responsible

Are you willing to not just look but to see? To look is to be passively observant and to not become involved. To see is to be aggressively proactive and interested in understanding what is going on. And then to act upon what you see.

For example; you get in your car after a busy day at work and the next thing you know you’re sitting in your drive at home, completely unable to recount anything about the trip. Now carry out the analogy and think of this happening on a grander scale.

You’re not unique or alone in this. Sadly it has become a national pastime if not an outright epidemic. For far too long society has been engaged in watching stuff and not seeing the bigger picture or the inevitable consequences. We show it in everything we do, or don’t do, how we look and how we act, or don’t act.

Our mental and physical health has gone to pot, both literally and physically. We pay for gym memberships without using them out of a misdirected and misguided sense of shame and guilt every time we look in the mirror or watch another, “you’re never going to measure up unless you do this”, ad on TV. Yet, those same ads are followed up by the latest barrage of fast food commercials which tell us we can get trans-fat and sodium laden delights at the the drive up until midnight or after. We literally eat it all up as we look and don’t see what’s happening. Yes, addictive behavior is addictive behavior no matter what substance the addicted person is using to dull the pain. It can be drugs, sex, alcohol, long hours at a job or just plain old fast food. It’s interesting to hear people claim they need such things to take “the edge off” Well there’s no taking it off if your so precariously balanced on it.

We would rather passively look on from the comfort of our couch as sports figures making seven figure incomes act out how and who we want to be even though we can’t keep our own physical and financial figures under control. We’d rather watch and listen to voices and actions of role models who’ve gotten where they are by saying the things and acting out the edge we wish so desperately to be standing on. What we don’t realize is we are on our own edge because we took our own personal trip to get there and unless we’ve learned to fly during the journey, there’s only one other way off the edge.

Our heroes are the social royalty, catered to by a marketing court made up of media and manufacturing moguls who’s motives are suspect at best. This royalty tells us how to dress, how to act, how to react and what to buy. Because if we don’t we won’t stand a chance of being accepted by those we both love and fear the most. And those we do fear and love the most aren’t who we think or believe they are. Our object of desire stares back at us from the physical and emotional mirrors in our lives and the all too pervasive selfies that permeate the digital world we find ourselves living within.

Yes, we have a love, hate relationship with ourselves. We’ve been on the edge for so long now that it’s easier and less stressful just to sit and passively look on as life passes us by than to do something about it after seeing where we’ve ended up so far. Some of us are so far out on that edge that the slightest breeze will send us either soaring or plummeting. We’re so confused as to which it will be, that all we do is stand, and wait, hoping something will change, except that one thing that needs to.

It’s time to take the dark glasses off and see the light of day. Pull those three hundred dollar designer cross trainers off your feet and let your toes guide you to a solid footing. Strip off your up to the minute cool clothing and feel something for a change. That’s the cold of the real world as it is, not the warm and fuzzy digitally cocoon someone else built for you. Look around, wake up, and see. See yourself for who you really are. If you’re too afraid to look, or don’t like what you see, then by God change!  It’s time you quit hiding behind the false dream of someone you don’t know, even if that someone is yourself.

You came into this world with nothing, naked, cold and knowing nothing. You were a no one, but with all the potential to be the best someone that there is. Regardless of your upbringing, your economic situation,  your health or any other factor that we tell ourselves is holding us back, you can still be the best version of yourself no matter what.

Quite believing lies and believe in yourself. There’s only one thing that will determine whether you fall or fly when you leave that edge on which you are so precariously perched right now. One word my friend. Attitude. Your attitude will determine your altitude in life every single time. So, if you have one that’s giving you problems, just fix it. No one else can but you and the choice is totally yours.

Open your eyes and see yourself for who you are now and what you wish to be. If the two don’t mesh, then do something about it. Be done looking passively on as the world changes around you. See what you can do to change yourself, and then set about changing the world for the better. Be that example that others look up to, but for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.

Your still sitting in your drive not knowing how you got here and your trip home is your life my friend. If you don’t know how the hell you got to where you are, it’s time you opened your eyes and began to do something more than look. You need to start seeing things for what they really are.


A Dog Named “Ego”

Followed by Ego

Maintaining a giving rather than a receiving perspective is the true secret to success. To be sure, “getting’ can be exhilarating and fun, but it comes with a mutt in tow that will hound you forever if you don’t know how to house train it.

Keeping your ego in check, trained, and obedient is not an option if you truly wish to make a positively meaningful and lasting impact in the lives of those you touch.

Never lose sight of the fact that your ego is directly tied to your passion, your purpose, and your goal. If it truly carries merit it will be loyal and a best friend for life. If not, then hide your shoes and have plenty of newspaper handy for the inevitable accidents to follow.

Stay focused on the fact that the value of success is measured by the lives you touch in a positive and meaningful way, not your personal status, level of celebrity or material gain. Know this; your success in life will come as a result not of leading but rather serving from the front of the pack.


Making It Count

Failure is why you succeed

The role models in your life are important. It doesn’t matter how young or old, how much training or education or life experience you may have. Who you choose to spend time with, through reading, listening, watching and hanging out with makes a difference to your success and outlook on life.

Sometimes those role models come from the most unexpected places. Look around you. Pay attention. You may just find that the role model that can help you most is not the most popular, or wealthiest or best-dressed person around. Often they come from humble beginnings and stay that way throughout their life.

Think of that special teacher, or boss or family member who showed you how to improve yourself and succeed when you didn’t think it was possible. Take a moment to recall those who gave you the attention you so desperately needed at times when no one else would or cared to. Those are the role models I’m referring to.

Don’t have a role model now? Don’t recall ever having one? Perhaps it’s time to get one. It’s never too late to learn or to share. One day you may turn out to be that role model someone else so desperately needs or wants. Are you prepared?



Thinking And Being

The Actions Of Men.jpg

Are you who you think and say you are or do your actions indicate otherwise? Are your thoughts matched by the things you do, both in private and in public? Most people have a public and a private life. The question is how do these two lives overlap and  intertwine in regards to your personal beliefs and values?

There’s an old saying that states, “Put your money where your mouth is.” In truth, the value found within our life is in the things we say and actions we take, not the money we make. I’d venture to say that a happier, more content person, is one whose actions, thoughts and values most closely match both in public and in private.

People who work diligently at putting their thoughts and actions to work in ways that uplift and create more value in their own life while also doing the same for the lives of others are among the richest people on earth. The riches they have are ones that will never diminish, but continue to grow.

There’s a misunderstanding among many about just what it means to have powerful thoughts that lead to powerful and amazing action and results. It’s not magic or a fable. It’s real and  it begins with belief, faith, passion, caring and forgiveness.

Belief in something more important than yourself. Faith that although it may not be evident yet, goodness will prevail. Passion for those things that you have talent for and ability to carry out. Forgiveness towards yourself and others when you or they don’t quite get it right.

If this comes off as sounding spiritual, it is. That’s your private and personal values speaking to you.  If it sounds religious, well that’s your public ritual speaking to you, trying to make sense of it all. There’s a difference between the two, and as soon as you admit that there is a questioning and strained relationship between who you know you should be and who you’re told you should be, the closer you will find yourself to becoming richer in thought and in action.

Think for yourself. Don’t let others do it for you. Learn tolerance and affection and be a good example to others in both thought and action. As the title of Napoleon Hill’s excellent book states, “Think and Grow Rich”.



Every Day


Every day is Mother’s Day. From skinned knee to first love, triumphant success, and embarrassing defeat, a mom remembers it all and is there to listen, rejoice, comfort, and hold tightly in a caring embrace.

When no one else can or will be there, to praise or set us straight, a mom radiates her special wisdom born of pain, pride, worry, happiness, and heartache. A Mother stands as a stalwart witness to humble beginnings and lives on in our heart and mind through the transit of our life.

There is no day but Mother’s Day for a mom. What we have long forgotten she holds in that special place reserved for us alone. Let’s not forget that every day is truly Mother’s Day for a mom.