Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Frustration

Many of us spend way too much of our time being frustrated by things we have little to no control over. We get frustrated by traffic; we get frustrated by things people say or do; we get frustrated by the things people do not say or do; we get frustrated when our order in a restaurant is wrong; we get frustrated with the weather; we get frustrated when the cable goes out; we get frustrated when electronics aren't working properly. We spend so much time being frustrated over little things and let these frustrations ruin our day.

Every day, something we don't want to happen is going to happen. We have to learn to ignore these little things or fix them without getting frustrated when they happen. We have to start looking for the good instead of dwelling on the bad. The key is to learn to not only let go of these frustrations, but to learn how to keep them from frustrating us at all. We have to find a different mindset, one where we focus on the good things happening and not on the bad. We have to relax and realize most of our frustrations stem from circumstances out of our control. We have to let go and let whatever happens happens. If it is good, celebrate. If is is bad, figure out how to fix it (if we can) and continue moving forward.

Frustration brings little good to our lives and easily compounds. Once we allow something to become frustrating, we begin to notice more and more things which frustrate us. Instead, early in every day, find something going well and think about how good we feel knowing this. As we get better noticing the good, we will start to see these good things compounding more and more and we will begin to feel less frustration for the others. Finding the good isn't always as easy because we have to focus our minds to notice the good and resist the urge to focus on the bad. Our days will never be perfect, but the people who have more good days than bad do this by focusing more on the good. Lots of little things happen throughout our days, isn't it better to spend our time focusing on and celebrating the good? With less frustration, how much more can we accomplish each and every day?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Confidence

For many people, confidence can be very difficult to come by. This is not feeling we are superior, but feeling we are doing the right thing or a good job. Many people will wonder if they are doing good enough work or leading people in the right direction and worry they are not doing either well. Even if we have faith in our abilities, it can be hard to truly believe we are doing good work.

I often see lack of confidence in the way I take things people say as being negative when it is not meant as such. When our confidence wains, we will often assume innocuous comments are meant as an attack on our abilities or actions. When we think we are not doing a good job (even when we are), we will see others critiques or passing comments as more than they are meant to be. Having confidence, truly believing in ourselves, can be difficult for most of us as it requires faith, even when things aren't going as well as we hope.

Every day, we are confronted with problems and difficulties and failures. All of these have the ability to derail our confidence and cause us to wonder if we are moving in the right direction. Once we start to lose our confidence, we start to imagine this lack of confidence from others, too. Most of us work in an environment where we don't have someone helping to boost our confidence when we start to lose it. When the confidence levels drop, it is also hard to believe the people who are trying to help us bring it back to the level it should be. We are our own worst critics and have a hard time believing others think we are doing a good job when we don't see it.

We have to push through the dips in confidence, fix what needs to be fixed and keep pushing towards our goals. No one goes through life without doubting their work or their abilities, but the great ones keep pushing and trying to do better when they start to lose confidence. We have to be able to give ourselves credit and trust we have it in us to do great work. We have to be honest and see when we are not doing our best work and challenge ourselves to do better. At the same time, we have to see when we are doing everything we can and have confidence in it. This isn't always easy to do, but the more we work on it, the better we will get. We have to keep pushing and doing the best we can. We have to believe in ourselves if we ever hope to see how much others believe in us.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Endurance

Moving from good to great isn't usually about talent or who you know or what you do (though these can all help), it is about endurance. It is about putting in the work when it becomes difficult or monotonous or terrifying. You can have all the talent in the world, but without the ability to push through, to find your second (or third or fourth) wind, you will not be able to move to the next level. Are you willing to put in the work?

It takes 10,000 hours of practice to truly master something. This could be a sport or a musical instrument or writing or surgery or anything else you can think of. To reach greatness, you have to put in a lot of time and a lot of work. Much of this work may require you to toil in obscurity. You have to be able to get up each morning and force yourself to do whatever it is you need to do to become great. You need the motivation to continue to practice when no one is looking. You need the motivation to practice, no matter what is happening in your life. You have to put in the work, even if the people around you think you are nuts. You have to ignore the naysayers and do what needs to be done.

Most people do not have the endurance to do this. This endurance requires confidence, drive, love and determination. Moving from good to great requires you to put in the work, but putting in the work does not always mean you will move from good to great. This is why many people choose to quit. If there isn't a reachable goal, they tend to pull up and move to something else. For other people, the putting in the work, the practice, the difficulty are the the goal. They want to be great, but they know they may not get there. They love the hard work and have the hope of getting better and better, but know they will never be perfect. For them, the journey is more important than the destination. This gives them the endurance to continue on, in spite of the difficulty, the criticism, the doubt. Do you have the endurance for the chance at greatness? Or, would you rather play it safe?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Decisions

No matter what decision you make about anything, there are going to be people who agree with you and people who will not agree with you. A lot of the people on both sides can be ignored, but the difficulty comes when a person who disagrees with you is one who's opinion you value. In these situations, we have to remember their thoughts on the decision are colored by their perception and their goals. They may have good points, but the points may not apply to you or the circumstances surrounding the decision. Ultimately, every decision we make has to be the best one for us, even when we take in to account other people.

This is the interesting thing about us; we all perceive the world in our own ways and every decision will be a personal one, no matter how much it may appear to be similar to other people's decisions. We can all think about what we would do in someone else's shoes, but we can never truly imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. We are different and therefore have a different way of looking at things. Remember this whenever you feel like changing your mind because of someone else or when you feel like a loved one is making a huge mistake. We all do things for our own reasons...it really doesn't matter if you wouldn't do the same. Make decisions based on what you think and feel. You can take into account the thoughts and beliefs of others, but you are the person responsible for you. If the decision is right for you, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Collection

During this weekend of mass consumerism, here is a collection of organizations and companies people should know more about and support:







These are just a few of the companies and organizations I love. Click on each picture to learn a little more about who they and and what they do. What are some of your favorites?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks Part 2


What would happen if we, as a world society, expressed our gratitude every day instead of at random times selected by the calendar? Would there be more peace and less war? Would people be able to get along a little better, no matter their race, religion, color or nationality? Would we be more willing to work together to solve some of the major problems plaguing the world? Would we be more likely to care about HIV epidemics in Africa or starving children throughout the world or the homeless in our own cities and towns? Would the world be any different? Would you be any different?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all the people and animals who have made such an amazing impact on my life and helped me to become the person I am today. I am thankful for the people toiling every day to make this world a better place. I am thankful for the dreamers, the teachers, the nonconformists, the change makers and everyone else who inspire us to be bigger and better than we ever thought possible.

I am thankful I am able to share this day with people I love. I would not be the man I am today without the help and support of my family. I am thankful to an amazing woman who has decided to share her insight, love and passion with me on a daily basis. I am thankful for more than I could ever put in to words and more people than I could ever mention (though I hope you all know who you are). Thank you all for what you do, seen and unseen, to help push us towards a better tomorrow!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dreams

This tree really has nothing to do with this post, I just like it.

We all dream. We all have dreams. Our most important dreams are those we have when we are awake. These are the things we are supposed do. We are meant to chase our dreams and if we try hard enough, we just might catch them. Once we do, we are lucky enough to be able to dream again and come up with something new to chase.

The worst thing we could ever do is ignore these dreams. We may never feel the time is right to start chasing them. We may have too many responsibilities or too many bills or too many people relying on us. We may feel as if we owe our company or our boss for the job we have or feel it would be selfish to quit. We may be afraid of failing. We have probably become really too good at convincing ourselves we still have time and we can start tomorrow, which becomes the following day or the following month or the following year. We are amazing at coming up with excuses. While we may never feel the time is right, the time you choose, right now, is the right time to start chasing your dreams.

We dream for a reason. Our emotions and heart and intuition know what we want to do, what we should be doing, how we can bring the most good in to the world. Because we have become so good at ignoring these, we dream. It's the best way for the emotion and heart and intuition to be heard. Listen to them and start chasing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is This The Life I Want?

Do you ever ask yourself: "Is this the life I want?" How do you answer this question? If you are asking the question, then you are probably not doing everything you yearn to do. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to change everything; maybe you just need to add a little more to your already full plate. Maybe there are some tweaks needing to be made and these tweaks could lead to a lot more happiness.

Usually when I ask myself this question, I have changed some major things in my life. I have moved across the country and quit jobs without a plan and ended relationships and quit drinking. Rarely do I ask myself this question and then adjust minor things. I always assumed it was the major things which didn't allow me to follow my heart and do all the things I want to do. Sometimes this is true, but I have started to realize sometimes, I don't have to quit my job or move across the country, but I just need to create a little more, I need to give a little more, I need to travel a little (or a lot) more.

Many of the things we want to do with life can be accomplished by changing the little things. I could travel more if I stopped eating out for lunch and instead started saving this money. I could create a little more if I just blocked it in to my schedule or stopped watching TV (which has actually opened up a lot of time for me). I could give a little more if I just schedule times when I am going to volunteer. Most of us say we want to be happy, but we have no idea what this means or what we need to do to get there.

Instead of asking if this is the life you want, instead ask yourself what needs to happen to love the life you live. Really think about the answer. Come up with ideas or thoughts or dreams of what you want to do and what you think will make you happy. Then work to get them. Dreams only really matter if you work to make them a reality. Work hard to get them and then come up with new dreams. Continue to tweak and change things until you are able to find the life you love. This isn't going to be easy, but truly enjoying life is worth the effort. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Want More or Give More


How would the world be different if everyone had a place to sleep, a roof over their head, money in their pocket and were able to read? What great things could people bring in to this world if they weren't spending their entire day trying to survive? We will all continue to worry about things going on in our lives, but this can hopefully bring a little perspective to those worries. For most of us, whatever happens, good or bad, it will not be the end of the world. For many other people, it could be.

Instead of always wanting more, maybe we should give more.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Things to remember

1) Stop comparing yourself to other people. We all have unique experiences and different passions. Live your passion.
2) Look for the good in every interaction, no matter how difficult.
3) Don't be afraid to live the life you want to live, no matter what other people think.
4) Strive to learn something new each day.
5) Learn from, but don't dwell on, the past.
6) Strive to make the world a better place, even for just one other person.
7) Don't be afraid to make yourself happy.
8) Laugh as often as possible. Life doesn't have to be so serious.
9) No one is "normal". Embrace your weirdness.
10) Love freely
11) Fail with grace and gusto
12) Be yourself

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Do things the long, hard, stupid way



This is another great Do Lecture everyone should watch. If you haven't checked out the Do Lectures yet, please do so. In each and every one, you will find something that speaks to you. We can learn a lot from the people around us and the internet allows the number of people to expand exponentially.

Based on the title of this lecture, I was pleasantly surprised at the direction it took. Sit back and enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Decisions

On our path through life, sometimes things become hard. We aren't sure what we are supposed to do next and we aren't sure if the effort is going to be worth it. I have seen this numerous times throughout my life and I have made different decisions each time. Sometimes I quit and find something else to do and sometimes I battle through everything thrown at me to see what is on the other side. I wish there was a magical equation we could use to decide if the effort is worth the outcome but their really isn't one.

Whether to stay the course or to leave it is a personal decision and one each of us have to make on our own. We can seek input from others, we can look to our friends and mentors to see what they would do, but we have to remember every experience is different for every person. We are unique and as such, our struggles our unique as well. Every decision we make is a personal one; we need not be afraid of what others think of our decision.

When we look back, we have the ability to see the decision and the outcome, so we will often wish we had done something differently. When I look back at dropping out of law school, I sometimes wish I would have continued on this path and became a lawyer. I think about the good things I could have done with the degree and wonder what I would be doing now. But, I would not have landed in animal welfare, I would not have met my wonderful fiancĂ©e and I would not have started to share my life with some of the amazing animals I now do. Things would have been completely different and I have no way of knowing if this path would be better or worse than the one I am currently following. There is no way to know what our life would be like if we made other choices, so there is no reason to look back and wish we had done something differently.

No matter the quandary and no matter the decision made, our lives will change because of them. We can not even hope to see the magnitude of change caused by any of our decisions, the lives we will touch or the things we will do. We just have to make the best decision for us in the moment we are making it. The key words in the last sentence are "best decision for us" as this is all we really have to go on. Yes, all of our decisions affect others, but we can never really see all the ways this may be true. Be open, be true to your spirit, think about what you are doing and what you want to do, then make the decision. Listen for the little voice of passion and follow your heart. It will lead you to where you want to be.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winter

As I sit here on a cold November morning, I can't help but think of winter and snow. Yes, like most other people, I often complain about the cold temperatures, the hazardous driving conditions and the ice that always comes with a Missouri winter. But, I also think about why winter brings happiness to my household.

Dinners of soups or chili or stews, reading a book in front of a roaring fire, the warmth and comfort of my bed on a cold morning, the muffled existence caused by an overnight snow, watching my St. Bernard run around with glee in a blanket of white, nights spent playing board games or cards with the woman I love, snow angels, hot apple cider and tea and everything else winter brings in to my life. Winter is a time of closeness.

Everything occurring around us can be seen as good or bad, it all depends on the perception we wish to take and how we are going to allow ourselves to think about each occurrence. We can choose to see the good or the bad, but it is our choice. We can complain about the things we have no control over or we can choose to see the good. Start looking for the good and see if your life, your frustrations, your patience or your outlook changes. Make today beautiful.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude

During November, I have noticed a lot of Facebook status updates of people giving thanks for things in their life. Each day, they post a new status expressing their gratitude. While some may find this to be a little cheesy, it is a very effective way to put your mind in to a place where you notice the good around you.

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor argues this is one of the best ways to get stuck in a "Positive Tetris Effect" and bring happiness to our lives. Every day, write down three good things that happened to you in the last 24 hours. These can be small or large things, but the goal is to take five minutes each day to write down just three things for which you are grateful. By doing this, you become more adept at noticing the good happening in your life. When you focus on the good, the negatives don't seem to matter as much.

What would happen in the word if everyone started focusing on the good, started noticing the things which bring happiness and started to pay less attention to the things which bring negative thoughts and frustrations to our lives? Would we be able to do more, create more, make more lasting change? If nothing else, wouldn't the chance to be a little happier and help to make those around you a little happier bring positive change? What if we all made the decision to express our gratitude, not only on Facebook, but face to face with the people we want to thank?

Start out by setting five minutes aside each morning or evening and write down three good things that happened to you each and every day. As you begin doing this, you will see areas in your life where you can express gratitude to the people who bring you happiness. It's simple, takes very little time and could improve your outlook, your mood and your work. It may be a little difficult for some of you at first, but if you keep on writing, it will become habit. Are you really too busy to give up five minutes each day? Try it and feel free to let me know how it works. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Be Great

Many of us are dreamers and thinkers and visionaries, but we get stuck when it is time to do. We aren't sure the best course of action or we think we need a full plan or we just hold back when we have the opportunity. I know I have done this more often than I would like. Dreaming, thinking or envisioning a better world, a better job or even a better day is great, but without actually doing something, none of it really matters.

We have to do something. When we look around and notice great people, it isn't because they had great thoughts or ideas, it is because they put these thoughts and ideas in to action. They realized they didn't always need to know the best course of action or have a plan, they just started doing. They took their idea or thought and ran with it. They didn't hold back; they released their gifts to the world. Things might work out or they might fail. The great people realize that either way, they will have more thoughts and ideas to work on later. When we start doing, we free our mind to come up with more (and sometimes better) ideas.  Everyone can come up with an amazing idea, it's the truly great who actually do something with it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fear

I have written a lot about fear in my previous posts, but I haven't really addressed it directly. We often let fear control our decisions and sometimes don't even realize it. It takes thought and reflection to understand the fear we feel. Many of us are not comfortable examining the roots of our fear or trying to figure out which fear is the real fear controlling us. For me, when faced with a decision, I always wonder which fear is driving what I want to do. Am I looking to leave a job because I don't think I am good enough or smart enough to do it and I want to get away before other people realize this? Or, am I looking to leave because I know the job I am doing is not the one I want to do?

It can be very difficult to figure out which fear is actually the motivator. We have to delve in to the fear, fight with it and figure out which is real and which is not. There may be aspects of both or many in any decision we make, but most of us are hesitant to do this introspection as we aren't sure what we are going to find when we start. We spend so much time being afraid that we don't really make many choices. We look for ways to keep busy or indifferent, be it watching too much TV, going out all the time or as it was in my case, drinking.

We hide from fear. We aren't ever sure when it is going to pop up and we don't want to spend our time examining it or figuring out what it is keeping us from doing. Instead, we try to ignore it and by doing so, we are inactive. We don't make meaningful choices; we don't figure out what to do next; we don't do anything of consequence. We have to learn how to examine our fear and then use it to our advantage. This isn't something we are ever taught in school and can be very difficult to learn. Most of us will continue to struggle with this for the rest of our lives, but as long as we are aware of the fear, we will work to make choices because of what we want and not due to the fear.

This isn't going to be easy and we are going to learn a lot about who we are (and some of it may not be great). Acknowledging and examining the fear will help to make our lives better because we will start making decisions that matter. We will start to figure out what we want to do. We will know what the fear has been keeping us from doing and we won't let it hold us back. We will still feel the fear, but it will no longer have a strong hold over who we are. We will be in control and we will be able to accomplish more than we ever have.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where O Where Have The Days Gone

I sit here on a Sunday evening in mid-November, 2011, and wonder where the days have gone. It feels like only yesterday I was graduating college and the world was full of possibilities. I look back at how much I let fear keep me from chasing my dreams. I just floated through life, working many jobs that did not require a college degree to pay the massive and asinine debt I amassed while in college (and shortly after college). I drank too much, cared what others thought too much and convinced myself the dreams others had for my life were also my dreams.

I have often convinced myself the dreams of others were the dreams I held. It's one of the reasons I bought a house, even though I enjoy moving around a lot. It's one of the reasons I quit writing and continued to work a variety of low wage, entry level jobs which required absolutely no passion. It's one of the reasons I chose not to use the networking I had done to interview with companies I would have enjoyed working for. It's one of the reasons I continued drinking long after I knew I should stop. I was in control of all of these decisions and I know it. I also know fear held me back from chasing my own dreams and following my own path.

Since opening my eyes and seeing what I was doing, the great things is I have control over my future. I get to decide what comes next in my life. If I want to make changes, then I get to make changes. If I don't make the change, then I have no one to blame but myself. It's different when I can see it clearly. Before, I could blame it on things not working out, the world being against me or it just not happening the way I wanted. This knowledge is invigorating and terrifying at the same time. While I can't snap my fingers and make things exactly how I want, I can put in the hard work and the time to get there.

I get to choose my path in life. While this may seem like a hugely daunting task, there will be numerous other paths to follow as well. I can change my mind and choose one of the others. This is the gift most people don't realize...we don't have to live the rest of our lives with the paths we have already chosen or the ones we choose now. Follow your dreams and if your dreams change, follow the new ones. Live the life you want to live...the only person stopping you is you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Make the Choice

Most of us, from time to time, will pause and look at our life. We will examine what we do, who we are and dream of the future to come. We may wish things were different. We may be content with where we are. We look at the past and view events with a different lens than when we experienced them. We view the decisions we made with the gift of knowing where our life is and wonder what would be different if we had only made different choices. We will regret some things and we will celebrate others.

Dwelling on the decisions of the past does nothing to change the future. We control who we will become and the imprint we will leave on the people around us. We can't control the past, but we can alter the future by focusing on the moment. It sounds a bit philosophical, but wondering about the past and the choices made will do nothing other than make us forget about the moments we have now. Yes, we can think and we can celebrate the good, but there are choices now demanding out attention.

None truly know what the future holds, but the choices made now, the choices of today, shape tomorrow. Choose to do what makes you happy. Choose now to develop the skills you want for tomorrow. Shape your own dreams and chase what is going to make you feel alive. While we do all of these things, we can never forget to enjoy the moments we have today. These moments, today's choices, are already shaping tomorrow. Dream and plan and learn and build, but also live.

Forget about regret. Forget about what was. Forget about what could have been. We all have the wish of having done things differently, but none of us can change the past. We can start doing things differently now and guiding our life in the direction we want. We can become who we want to become, though the only way is to experience the life around us. To build the future we yearn for, we have to embrace life today. We don't want to look back and regret these moments. Make the choice to have experiences you will celebrate tomorrow.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Be Yourself

Forget about who others think you should be and become the person you want to be. If we spend all our lives trying to please others, trying to fit into the mold other people think we should fit and working to be someone we are not, we will never be able to reach the goals we think are important. We all have the capacity to do amazing work, but we have to embrace our own uniqueness and do what moves us.

 We all have others we look up to and want to be like, but we will never be able to do the work they are doing. We have different passions and desires and thoughts and muses and will only be able to be the person we are. We can have mentors and heroes, but we are all different. We do things our own way and think in our own terms and dream in our own way. We will be able to do so much more when we embrace who we are, when we become comfortable with who we are and when we choose to use the talents we have to create good.

Be the best you possible. Don't try to be just like anyone else. Embrace your quirks. Figure out how to use your talents to do the things you want to do. We will never be able to do what we want until we become comfortable with who we are. This sounds very easy, but most people will tell you it is not. We all have doubts. We all have faults. We have to become adept at not listening to the doubt and acknowledging and improving the faults. No one has lived the same life, had the same experiences or have the same mix of passions. Utilize what makes you different to bring great works into the world.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Holstee Manifesto: Lifecycle Video

Not only has Holstee shared an inspiring and beautiful manifesto with the world, but now they have made this video inspired by the manifesto and their love of biking.



I am constantly amazed and inspired by people doing great work. I think this video and manifesto says it all. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Keep Pushing

Because it's the way it has always been done. It's how everyone does it. This is how we have always raised money. This is what we do. These are all terrible reasons to do anything.

Think differently. Think bigger. Push boundaries. Try new things. Come up with new ideas. Be creative. Be different. Be daring. Be special.

If you aren't going to keep pushing, then you should pack up and go home. We need better than there was before. We need new ideas and new ways to do things. We need to strive for great, not good enough. You are never going to be the best of the best by doing what you have always done. You aren't going to be remembered for doing things the way everyone does them. Your crazy idea might just become industry norm in a couple of years. Keep thinking and pushing and changing until you come up with what you are looking for. Once there, start thinking and pushing and changing again.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Believe in Yourself

Believe in yourself. This is an easy concept, but for many of us, this is a very difficult thing to do. We are our own harshest critics. We have self-doubt. We struggle wondering if we are good enough. We constantly wonder if we are doing the right thing.

Give yourself credit. If we want others to believe in us, we have to believe in ourselves. For most, the doubt we feel is an offshoot of our fear of failing. Guess what, we are all going to fail at some point. It's not nearly as bad as we think it will be. This doesn't mean we should go in to anything thinking we are going to fail. We just need to be comfortable knowing if we do fail, in the vast majority of situations, it isn't the end of the world. By eliminating this fear, we open ourselves up to having more belief in ourselves. It isn't if you fail, it's all about how you handle the failure when it happens.

If you want to create your art in the best possible ways, you have to believe in yourself. Be honest about your intentions and do the best work you are capable of doing. Ignore the fear and self-doubt. They have no place in our work. Once you start doing this, you will see believing in yourself isn't that difficult. Once you start believing in yourself, others will really start believing in you. The beliefs start feeding off each other. When others believe in you, you will start believing in yourself more. All you have to do is take the first step and give yourself some credit. After that, it will become easier and easier. We all have something special to offer...isn't about time we offer it to the world?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stress and Frustration

Most of us walk though life with so much stress and frustration bottled up that we suffer from it. We are stressed about work and relationships and money and feel frustrated things aren't going the way we want or we aren't doing what we think we should or we just can't seem to get ahead. These are all normal feelings and we aren't alone with these stressors or frustrations. But, we have to find ways to let go of these feelings; we have to find positive outlets to help get rid of them.

Some people use exercise. Some use writing. Some meditate. Some practice yoga. It doesn't matter what you do, you just need to find whatever works for you. Life is too short to carry around all this negative energy bottled up, just waiting to explode. We have to let it go. If we find a release, we will realize most of the frustration and stress are caused by things that shouldn't cause is so much frustration or stress. We will realize things happen every day and the less we let them bother us, the better off we will be.

Start today. The great thing about having the release is you will notice the little things will stop bothering you so much. With less negativity on board, it's easier to ignore the little things; it's easier to focus on big pictures; it's easier to go through life being a little happier and more peaceful. When you don't have a release, the opposite is true. Little things add up and we become frustrated over things we shouldn't. We lose it over things which normally we wouldn't. We all have a way to release the negative, we just have to find what works best. What works for me won't necessarily work for you. Try it...find your release and see how much easier it becomes to not bottle up negativity. Think about how much better your life would be if you weren't carrying the weight of all of these negative emotions with you through each day. Think about how much happier you can be if the little things didn't bother you so much.

What do you do to release and let go of negativity?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Believe That We Will Win


As I was thinking about what to write this morning, my mind kept going to the match this afternoon. I can't wait to get to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park and cheer on Sporting KC as they place for the Eastern Conference Championship and a spot in the MLS CUP!

Having grown up playing soccer, I love how Kansas City has embraced this team. We have the best stadium in the country, great owners and a team the community can be proud of. No matter what happens this afternoon or two weeks from now, I am excited for the future of soccer in Kansas City.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Relaxing Evening

Spent a wonderful evening last night at The Living Room in Kansas City listening to the musical stylings of Victor & Penny and Danielle Ate The Sandwich. The venue was great, the music amazing and fun was had by all. If you haven't heard of either, check them out below. All in all, it was a wonderful evening with a wonderful woman.







While we rush through this thing called life and are constantly stressed out by everything happening, sometimes the most important thing we can do is slow down, relax, laugh and just have fun. This was the perfect release for what has been a crazy week.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Creativity

Knowledge is power. The more information we have, the better decisions we make. When we continue to learn and expand our knowledge base, the better we will be in any job we can find. We have the ability to think of new things, to come up with new ideas and to do things in a better way than they have ever been done. Right now, our education system is failing students. We are rarely taught how to think and we are not encouraged to dream, imagine or be creative. Students are trained to memorize facts, to regurgitate them on demand and forget them when they are no longer needed. We are not helping the youth prepare for life outside school and in fact, we are killing their creativity.




While knowledge is power, creativity is the fuel making everything run. Creativity is what leads to great ideas and builds the foundations of great businesses and great innovations. Creativity is what helps us become better. Without creative thinking, we are stuck doing the same things, utilizing the same products and living a life filled with monotony. Creativity develops and fosters greatness and our schools are killing the creativity in the youth of today. Our education system has to change. We need dreamers to drive innovation. We need people who can imagine different ways to do things. We need to find a way to foster creativity in schools and give students the knowledge and the tools to impact the world. Creativity fuels knowledge.    

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ideas

No matter what you do, the most important thing you can create are ideas. Everyone has an idea at some point; most people have multiple ideas on any given day; some have multiple ideas at any given moment. We build businesses on ideas; we make dramatic changes based on ideas; we can change the world with a single idea. Unfortunately, most of us are very hesitant to share our ideas.

We hesitate because we are unsure how others will respond. We hesitate because we know others will fight against our ideas. We hesitate because we are afraid of the ensuing discussion about our ideas. We hesitate because we are afraid others will think the idea is stupid or ridiculous. We hesitate because we want others to figure things out. We hesitate because we are scared. We hesitate because our ideas may fail. We hesitate because others may expect us to have more ideas.

For all these reasons and many more, we fail to share our ideas with the world. We keep them to ourselves and forget most of them because we don't pursue them. We choose to remain quiet and never find out if the idea would work. These ideas, this driving force for change, are kept quiet and are never uttered. They are never discussed and never have the opportunity to evolve in to something great.

Is it possible to develop an environment where everyone is comfortable sharing their ideas? I believe we can, but part of the onus is on the individual. We have to become comfortable sharing ideas that might fail. We have to become comfortable with our ideas being discussed and critiqued. The discussion and critique are important because these can take good ideas and change them to great ideas. We have to be comfortable knowing all of our ideas will not be put in to practice. We have to be comfortable continuing to share new ideas, no matter what happens with the last ones we shared.

Not all of our ideas will be great, many may even be bad ideas. Sharing them is the most important thing we can do with them, though. Even bad ideas can lead other people to think in a different way and can help create great ideas. We are only going to push ourselves, our businesses and our world forward if we can figure out how to be comfortable sharing any of our ideas. Ideas are the fuel for change. A single, simple idea could dramatically alter the future. Shouldn't this idea be shared?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

The older I get, the more this quote resonates with me. I look around at all I have and all I have done and wonder. I wonder if I am doing the things I should be doing. I wonder if the life I have found is the one I truly want. I wonder if the path I am following is the right path or if I should take one of the many branches along the way.

I have done many different things in my life. While I haven't always let fear hold me back, I know there are times I have. I have moved back and forth from the Midwest to the East Coast a number of times; I have quit soul-numbing jobs without having a real plan and landed on my feet; I have spent some time in law school; I have spent time combining some passions with work. But, I still feel I should have done and should be doing more.

When we look back on our lives, will we be satisfied with what we have accomplished and the things we own. Will we be happy we spent so much time working jobs to pay the mortgage, to buy the things we think we want, to live the life others think we should live? Or, will we be disappointed we didn't do more learning or traveling or relaxing or conversing or helping others? What can we change today to help drive us towards throwing off the bowlines?

Many of us confuse being stable with being happy. For some people, these are one in the same. In my world, stability is a good thing, but it doesn't set my soul on fire. It doesn't drive my passions and it doesn't allow exploration, dreaming or discovering. Is it possible to have both? Maybe, but I don't think so. To really explore, dream and discover, you have to take risks. You have to push boundaries, constantly search and question. You have to leave the safety of stability, get out of your comfort zones and see where the winds take you. Do something new. Take a chance. Figure it out as you go.      

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Great

Will you become great by following the same business plan, offering the same services and just trying to find a few things to do better than your competition (while they will also find a few things to do better than you)?

Or, will you become great by turning the business model on its head, taking risks and coming up with a new way to do what you do?

Most of us will choose the first option, even though it rarely leads to greatness. The brave among us will choose the second. There is a lot more risk here, it may not work out and will probably take more time and effort. Plus, it may not work. No one ever said becoming great is easy.