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7 Things I Wish I Knew As a Kid, Instead of When I Became an Adult



What nobody told me about starting a business

4 months ago was a milestone for me, I turned 40. 2 years ago was another type of milestone, I was diagnosed with a rare and chronic illness. 4 years ago was yet another milestone, I got married on a Beach in Maui, blissfully ignorant of what was to come, to an incredible and giving person, giving that that would be tested with the news we would receive just a few years down the line. Would it surprise you that I am able to look back and tell you that I am at one of the happiest points in my life? Would you be shocked that I have taken things in stride and adjusted in ways that have shocked people who know me best? Well, prepared to be shocked, because all of this is true. How did I accomplish such Zen and acceptance? I learned a great many things over the last few years that I wish I knew when I was a kid. Things that would change the way we handle the challenges that life throws us, and makes us grateful and adaptable in ways that we never thought we could be.

  1. Be grateful for every day that you have that you are content.


There will be days that are tough, and days where you are angry. There will be days where you feel terrible, and days where you feel regrets. However, there will be many more days in your life where you will be content. While content may not be a feeling that most people are shooting for, when you are faced with real adversity, content is something that feels amazing when you experience it. Content is something that you can take solace in and a feeling that can keep you going through the hard times you will face. Be thankful for content, it is something that many will struggle to feel often.

  1. Find something that you can appreciate in each day.


While you may have days that are hard, there is always something that you can find to be appreciative for. It can be as simple as that warm and cozy cup of coffee while you slowly started your day reading the paper. It can be as significant as watching your partner and your children laugh and play, and be grateful for the health and well-being of each and every one of them. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to have something tangible to look back on when you think you are having a day where there is nothing that is worthy of your appreciation. These journals will remind you of the things that happen on a regular basis you have in your life, and that there is something each day, no matter how small, that you can be appreciative for.


  1. Don’t be concerned with what people who are not important think of you.


We spend so much time concerned with what others think. How they judge us, how we look, what they think of the job we are doing, what this person I don’t know is thinking of me. We give so much time and energy to people we don’t know, people we may never see again, and people who have no important role in our lives. What we seem to forget are the people that do matter, the people who struggle and live with us every day. We forget that it is their opinion we should care about, it is their love and support we need. It is their admiration or help that we should be seeking. We let these other people take up so much time and energy, that we often forget where that drive should be directed towards.


  1. Don’t hang on to anger and grudges.


Nothing takes the joy out of our lives like holding on to incidents and hurts that have happened to us. We spend so much time thinking about the wrongs that have been done to us, the people that have hurt us, and the things that were taken from us. If we stopped and were honest with ourselves, we would realize a few difficult truths. First, we would realize that the people who have done us wrong are not spending their time fixated on us. They have moved on. Second, we are filling ourselves with negative emotions which leave little room for the positive ones. If we truly learn to let these things go, we will be amazed at the room we have for positive experiences and feelings to come into our lives.


  1. No one is going to believe in yourself if you don’t.

There is no fairy go-mother, and no magic mentor, who are going to pave the way for you in your life. No one will believe in yourself if you don’t. You have to be the one who knows that you have strength and greatness in you. You have to be the one who knows that not only can you overcome obstacles that come your way, but that you have fortitude to achieve great things despite them. When someone does not think that you are capable of achieving something, it doesn’t matter, because you know you can, and that is all that truly matters. When you believe in yourself, and that you can overcome anything that comes your way, you will learn strength you did not know you possessed.


  1. Look for the good in things.


While there may be set-backs and adversities that come your way, there is always something to be gained from them. Whether it is a lesson to be learned, or having to readjust your goals and expectations for your life, there is good in the challenges we are faced with. We learn that we have strength we never knew we had. That we are capable of quickly changing our lives when we need too. That we can readjust what we thought our lives might look like for new versions, versions that are just as exciting and rewarding if we choose to let them be.


  1. Learn what is really important in life.


Many of us have our priorities and gratitude out of line. We focus on the car we want, the promotion we dream of, the vacation we have been dreaming of. We need to center our time and attention on what really matters, our partners, our pets, our safe home, the memories that we make there. We need to learn to learn to slow down and enjoy the moments that matter, to take the time out of our schedule for the people and things we love. We spend so much time and energy in the wrong places, that we have no time left for the things and people that really matter. We need to learn to have greater balance in our lives, more gratitude, and more openness to change. Having this balance may require a dramatic shift in the way that we do things, but the benefits far outweigh any losses we may accrue. Balance and peace is its own reward, one that we should all strive for.

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Can You Receive A Compliment Without It Getting To Your Head?



a compliment (1)

Receiving compliments gracefully isn’t as easy as it should be for some people. How about you: are YOU ready for someone to give you a pat on the back? To be pushed to doing more? To have someone give you a supporting hand? To be picked up when you fall down?

Sure, we may think that’s what we want. But is it what we need to develop, to grow, and to get better?

If someone complimented you on every little improvement you made while learning a new skill, would you not start to feel a bit marginalized? That perhaps they didn’t really think you could do it? What about when you do something that seems pretty easy and everyone made it into a big deal?


Receiving Compliments When You Are Not Ready For It

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

Developing new skills is never free of trouble. We all know the level of foundation that must be built to get from being a novice, before reaching greatness. In the learning process, we all know when we are in that frustrating stage of not being quite as good – but we know what we have to do to get there.

It’s in these moments that receiving compliments on your every action could minimize your efforts. That’s because if they truly knew you, people would be holding out for when you make that big, defining leap. 

As we overcome hurdles in our learning and development, friends, family members, and colleagues will know when the time is right to provide encouragement. They know that when that moment comes, those words will have the right amount of impact on you.

Think back to when you were growing up, playing some elaborate game. Perhaps you spent hours creating this game: building a fort, putting together things that the rest of your characters in the play could use. You pushed through despite the trials and problems.

It would have served absolutely no purpose for someone to congratulate you on every step (and misstep) along the way.  You would have lost your flow as you worked through the problem, constantly being interrupted – all while you were still trying to figure it out and understand where you needed to go.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments


When Receiving Compliments Makes You Content with Present Achievements

You might never have finished if someone patted you on the back early in that moment, content in the knowledge that you “thought up” the idea and that was enough. If everyone was saying you did great simply for thinking up something new, would it have compelled you to stop?

Maybe. Perhaps you would have stopped with that compliment.

As a parent, you learn when to encourage your children. Usually, it’s not when they show up, and not when they do what kids around them are able to do as well. It’s when they push themselves to do more. When they pick themselves up and still lose, when they try something new for the first time, fall over and fail, not sure if they should do it again.

Those are the moments when kids should be receiving compliments – NOT when they have done the same thing over and over again, or when they didn’t try their best but won anyways.

Kids know this. They can feel it when people give false compliments or encouragement because they did something they’ve always done. But when it is something meaningful, something they have worked hard for, they know the encouragement will be there to help them.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

The reason you might not be receiving compliments or encouragement when you want to is because you haven’t earned them or don’t deserve them yet.

Maybe your coaches, leaders, parents, or other people who support you know you are not ready for it. Perhaps they need to see you making that next big leap in your growth and development.

Those compliments might not come today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But look at those around you – the great people you have chosen to surround yourself with – and you’ll see that they are waiting to give you that push. They are waiting for you to make it happen.

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3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart




when your dreams are falling apart (1)

I truly believe that dreams must extend beyond wishes of self-improvement; that its goal should be to contribute to the world around you.

The heart is a fickle thing. Imagine how many amazing things wouldn’t have been accomplished if great minds simply stopped when they “didn’t feel like it”.

It’s human nature. I’m sure that during the course of over 300 bank rejections, Walt Disney had days when he felt like giving up. But he didn’t. He kept going. Why? It was because his dream went far beyond himself.

Here’s how YOU can keep going – even if it feels like your dreams are falling apart.


3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

1.) Remember The “Why”

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

Often times, I find that dreams extend far beyond the simple purpose of making one happy. For example, being a songwriter in and of itself does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Imagine if my life’s work was to write songs that no one would ever hear. That doesn’t elicit any feelings of happiness or fulfillment (at least to me).

Seeing and hearing the healing effects that come from the songs I create for others to hear? Now you’re talking. Healing and helping others is the part of my dream that keeps it alive. It gives me purpose in this world that goes far beyond myself and my skills.

I’m reminded of the character Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge’s goal in life was to have money – and lots of it. He set aside love and relationships for that dream. The result of this life goal was a lonely, cold, bitter old man.

I won’t ruin the whole story for the very few of you that may not have heard it. In the end, Scrooge discovered that what brought him fulfillment and happiness were community and generosity.

So what is the “why” to your dream? How is your dream going to affect those around you? Get beyond yourself. As many have said, YOU are your biggest obstacle to success.


2.) Take Off The Rose-Colored Glasses

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

You know what I’m talking about. The “I’m going to make it big” and “I’m going to famous/rich/etc.” I hate to take a pointy realistic needle to your big ideas, but I’m doing it out of love. Here it is:

Your dream isn’t going to look exactly how you pictured it.

Take a minute to take that one in. Still here? Yes. Alive? Yes. Not Bleeding? No? Hurt a bit?

It’s OK. I know. I’ve been there. Dreams are vulnerable. We spend countless hours imagining what it would be like and how we will get there. But the truth is, in my experience, they have never turned out exactly how I have imagined. Why? We live in a world of people and circumstances that we can’t control.

Here is where the “why” comes in. The beautiful thing is that your works are a direct result of your heart’s intention…and what you put out into the world never comes back void. Here’s an example:

As a singer-songwriter, the common idea of making it big for my line of work is to have a hit song or perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden (I’m more inclined towards Red Rock Amphitheatre, but you get the picture).

Let’s say that I work and strive tirelessly to do everything I need to do to reach that goal. I release a song, I tour around the US, develop a large following, get on the radio, etc. Along the way, I hear stories of how this song has impacted the people who have heard it. Stories describing how it brought healing, encouragement, and hope.

To go further, what if I never even make it that far? What if circumstances happen and I can’t tour? What if everything “falls apart”? What if I end up playing at open mics for the rest of my life? What if it doesn’t happen in the next year? Two years?

Does that change the fact that my song helped heal and open the heart of a broken and depressed Vietnam Vet? Or how it helped encourage an author to keep going and writing? Or how my song started a conversation on how to look past the labels overshadowing soldiers and their families?

It’s all about your perspective of success, my friend. To me, because my “why” and my heart’s intention are to help people, those stories above are my version of success. It’s what keeps me going. If I get to Madison Square Garden (or Red Rocks), well that’s just icing on top of the cake.

Keep going on your dream. Make a plan, and in the words of .38 Special, “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go.” Roll with the punches and understand that even greater things can come when things don’t go according to your plan.


3.) Make Your Dream Your Job

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

No, I don’t mean quit your job and have no income while you work on your dream. That’s an entirely different article (and completely up to you). I’m talking about treating your dream like it is your job.

For example, if you completely failed at a presentation at work, would you just quit and not go the next day? No! You have a livelihood and an expectation to show up. So why quit on your dream at the first sign of failure?

Treat your dream like your job. Make a plan, show up every day, and understand that it may take a while to see any results. I know many songwriters who wrote hundreds of songs before they wrote a hit. However, they never would have reached it if they didn’t take that first step, made a commitment, and wrote 100 songs first.

Dreams don’t just happen. They take work. So go get started!

My best advice under this theme is check out the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It is by far the best resource I have discovered in my journey of living out my dream.

Here’s the deal. With every goal that I have set and achieved, I never sat at the end and thought to myself, “man, look at what I did”. Believe it or not, I was more overwhelmed with the thoughts of the journey that I had to take to get there – the good and the bad.

I would admire and laugh at the unexpected things that came. I would smile and enjoy the character it built, the person that I became in the process. In the end, the best thing about dreams and goals isn’t their achievement, but the journey that you take to get there.

Never forget that the dream in your heart was put there for a reason. You were made to make an impact on this world.

Enjoy the journey and never, ever give up. Keep going.

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