Hope in the Darkness

Hope in the Darkness

“There’s hope in the darkness, you know you’re going to make it.”

That was a line to a Savage Garden song I listened to today.  A song that I’ve heard a lot over the years as it is on one of my favorite CDs.  Yes, I still listen to CDs.  Wipe that shocked look off of your tapes, it’s not like I said 8-track tapes or something.  And Yes, I did just link to 8-track tapes….sue me! 🙂

Anyway, where was I…oh yes, Savage Garden.  Or music in general is where I get some of my most inspiring thoughts.  The quote I started off with always struck true to me.  It always told me that no matter how dark it gets.  No matter how hard it gets.  There is always a way up.  I’m not saying it’s an easy way up or even an obvious way up.  But that old truism is still true…ism: when you’re on the bottom, there’s only one way to go.

I’ve seen people at their lowest.  I’ve seen people at their darkest.  And MANY more times than not, those same people are much better off now than they were then.  They have been able to rise above the tragedy, the pain, the sorrow.

It puts it into perspective for me.  The simple notion that I’ve seen people rise up from situations MUCH more dire than I may ever face, so why I am I worrying about my petty (in perspective) setbacks?  Well, a little worry is okay, because it can be a strong motivator.  However, too much worry can be a delimiter.

How many times have I stopped progressing forward because of what I perceive as a blocker or bottleneck?  How many times have you?  What’s really stopping us?  Ourselves….that’s it…end of story.  We are the candle that will light our darkness.  We have it within us to lead our own path to righteousness.  We are the key to our own future.

Embrace the darkness….it can only get lighter once we accept the fact that it is ourself pulling the blinds or closing the doors.

Be the light that shines inside of you.


Hopes and Dreams

Hopes and Dreams

It’s my second favorite 4 year tradition….second only to Leap Day!  The Summer Olympics are HERE!  Growing up, I had two Olympic images in my head.  The first being that I would one day be an Olympic swimmer.  I remember dedicating myself one summer to being the best swimmer possible.  Needless to say, that didn’t quite work out.  The second image I had in my head was a time and place that the world could put aside their differences and just compete in friendly competition.  A naive thought, you say? Maybe…maybe not.

As I grew older, I came to realize the amazing accomplishments that an Olympic athlete is.  Not just what they do, but who they are.  They are the epitome of dedication and drive, hopes and dreams.  They are amazing athletes who show you that anything is possible.  Oh, and if you have this thing called natural talent, that helps too.

There are two cases I want to bring up in these current Olympic Games.  Two gifted athletes, Michael Phelps and Jordyn Wieber.  Two American athletes who have tasted their own flavor of defeat over the past couple of days.  Two of the most amazing and gifted athletes in the world who came up a little short.  What am I doing harping on the negativity when this blog is supposed to be about open perspective?  Well, let’s dive into it.

Mr. Phelps is undoubtedly one of the most natural-born swimmers to walk on two legs.  Tearing through both Athens and Beijing, he was unstoppable.  Coming into this Olympics, he was definitely a major favorite, despite his age and apparent lack of training.  Then all of a sudden, he lost.  Okay, he didn’t lose, but he got 4th place, which means no medal, which to an Olympian means he lost.  Still one of the absolute best in the world, but not THE best.  Why?  He, himself, said he didn’t put the training in.

I bring this up, because it seems like a slap in the face.  What sort of arrogance is going through your head to make you NOT put in the training and still compete?   He also was a part of a relay team for the US and they did not win Gold either.  Did his lack of training effect that performance as well?  I don’t want to speak for Mr. Phelps, but it seemed very self-centered to think he could walk into the Olympics and win without giving 110% to his training.  Oh, and it may have also affected his teammates.

Next, let’s take a look at Jordyn Wieber.  By all accounts Miss Wieber is said to have a very rigorous training schedule and a very dedicated ethic.  Watching her perform only verifies the previous statement.  She is a well oiled machine and one of the best female gymnasts in the world.  So, what happened?  Well, on that particular day, two of her teammates were better.  Sure, she made a couple of mistakes, but unless you’re Nadia or Mary Lou, nobody’s perfect.

Here is where these two athletes differ.  Both tasted defeat, but for very different reasons.  Mr. Phelps did not train as much as he should have and Miss Wieber just wasn’t the best on one particular day.  Later on the same day, Miss Wieber ‘tweeted’ that she was excited about Team USA finals and happy for her teammates.  Who knows what Mr. Phelps will do, but at least for the moment Miss Wieber is 100% a team player and representing her country well.

I don’t take anything away from Mr. Phelps, he is an amazing athlete and should be looked upon as a great role model.  But in this case, fame appears to have gotten the better of him.  He achieved his hopes and dreams, and got used to winning.  More than likely, Miss Wieber will not achieve her dream of an individual Gold Medal, but she still has a chance to be a part of a Gold Medal team and thus far it appears that she is embracing that as she should.

Who would you model yourself after?  The undeniable athlete whose character is slightly in question or the one who gave it her all, came up short, and is still pursing for the benefit of others?




They say that tomorrow is a new day.  A day to start over.  They say that no matter how bad it is today, tomorrow will be better.  Is that true?  Can we guarantee that tomorrow will be a better day?  That the sun will shine again?

The only guarantee in life is that there are no true guarantees.  Everyone has their own potential.  Every day has its own potential.  So, will tomorrow be better than today?  It CAN be and that is what matters.

Remember that tomorrow is always more important than yesterday.  Tomorrow you can fix what went wrong yesterday or at least head down the road of fixing it.  If there was no tomorrow, there would be no chance at salvation.  No opportunity for greatness.

But what about the flip side?  What about the potential for things to go wrong tomorrow?  Well, that exists too.  But the beauty of it is that you KNOW it exists, so it shouldn’t come as a shock.   You have the ability to make your own fate.  There are things that happen without explainable reason, and those things you cannot change.  However, if you stay fluid enough, you also cannot be broken by those things.

So, embrace tomorrow and whatever it may bring.  Want something to happen, start making it happen, you have a lot of tomorrows ahead of you to realize what you seek.


Extraordinary Feets

Extraordinary Feets

As you know, I am involved with a charity running group raising money for Childhood Cancer Research.  This past weekend, I directed back-to-back races on Saturday and Sunday.  This was a weekend of extraordinary feats (feets!) and inspiration.

I bring up running/walking a lot in this blog because I believe that it is a great testament to the power of the mind.  To see people push through perceived physical limitations is largely due to the strength they possess in their mind.

Here are some amazing things I saw:

  • A 9-year old boy and 14-year old girl placing 1st and 2nd in a 5K race easily beating 3rd place by 14 minutes.
  • My dad complete his first 5K, after being plagued by vertigo for the past few years, with my mom.
  • A woman with both a respiratory and sinus infection complete two 13.1 mile runs in two days.
  • 30+ volunteers staying out in the cold wind and rain, handing out water, taking picture, cheering, riding bike support, taking time and handing out medals.
  • A woman burst into tears after she sets a personal record for a half marathon twice in two days.
  • A lady running for her friend battling Leukemia.
  • A group of women who are going through Weight Watchers together
  • 6 different couples starting and finishing their races together.
  • Friends cheering on friends.

If you’ve never been a part of a race, look for one to volunteer at.  Watch people as they cross the finish line.  There is a sense of euphoria that is contagious and makes you believe that anything is possible, because….

Anything is Possible.


Double Down!!

Double Down!!

You know…sometimes inspiration just hits you twice, so a Double Post for today, you’re in LUCK!

So,  I was walking through the grocery store this evening, needing to pick up some essentials…you know, Cheerios and Milk!  Well, this particular grocery store caters to a specific crowd, usually the low-income crowd.  That means WIC and Food Stamps and all of that.

I’m sitting (okay I’m standing…I’m not THAT lazy) in line watching a mom unload her 2 carts full of groceries, whilst her three kids are running around screaming.  I offer to help, she snaps “NO, I’VE GOT IT” so I take my place behind her cart and wait while she finishes her labor.

While the check-out worker was scanning the groceries, the mom went to start bagging her groceries (yep, that’s part of the deal…great prices, U-Bag).  This time I didn’t offer to help, as I has already been told off.  The bill came in…I was astounded…I thought for a minute I had stepped into Costco, but alas….two full shopping carts = one huge bill.  Not to worry, she had her WIC checks and Food Stamps card, she was set….

Or, well….there was a problem.   I didn’t hear all of the details, but something was wrong….the balance wasn’t there, the checks weren’t good, not quite sure.  Bottom line, she couldn’t get her groceries.  As expected, she was furious, her kids started to cry, she stormed out of the place.

WOW….after that, I went ahead, fulfilled my duty as a grocery shopper and bought my groceries and went home.  I would have stepped up to buy hers….but I wasn’t prepared for the Costco X 2 prices that I saw….maybe someday I’ll have the cash flow to make someone’s day like that, but today is not that day.

I wasn’t upset with her for yelling at my assistance for help.  Obviously she is under a lot of stress.  I won’t conjecture what her full situation is or how she got there, because I have NO way of knowing and that sort of stuff has no use in this blog.  However, what I did walk away was with an infinite gratitude for what I have.

My wife and I have worked hard over the past decade to get where we are.  We’re not monetarily wealthy, but we are emotionally wealthy.  We have our son, we have each other and we BOTH have loving families that have been there and will be there for us if and when we need them.

I can only figure that this lady did NOT have that support system.

Here’s a favorite quote of mine…yes, MINE, I actually came up with this….I think 😉

“I have no control over which cards I am dealt, but I was blessed with the love and support to play them to the best possible outcome”

Double Down, Baby!  Okay, I just wanted to type that, I’m not sure it has true relevance to this article…but maybe it does.

To bring it back to the core…take a look at what you’ve got.  Use THAT to build toward what you want.  You can’t get there alone, so be grateful for the help you have around you…and if you don’t have help…find it.  No one needs to face the unknown without a little guidance.


Open up your eyes

Open up your eyes

Open up your eyes and tell me what you see.  “I see the computer screen!”  Yeah yeah yeah, smarty-pants.  Open up your life to those around you and tell me what you see.  “I see my hot co-worker!”  Jeez!  Why are you reading my blog at work?  Actually, never mind….read away, heck, send an e-mail out promoting my blog will you?

I digress….

I have found in the past few weeks that we, as a society, tend to close ourselves off to those around us and get ‘tunnel vision’.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  There are times when extreme focus needs to take place.  For example, running a marathon, cramming for an exam, reading Examine The Glass, etc, etc…

But what happens?  Well, sometimes you might be SO focused you forget about some peripheral stuff.  For example, stretching your legs, typing that report for the other class, reading Examine The Glass, etc, etc…

You get what I’m saying?

You’ve heard the old saying, “The stronger you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers…”  Well, it’s from 1978…I believe Leia Organa said it to Grand Moff Tarkin on board the Death Star.  Yep, most of my famous quotes come from Star Wars….deal with it!  🙂

Well, it can be applied to life in general as well.  The more your focus on one task, the more other tasks will be forgotten or neglected.  So, open your eyes.  Live in the moment…but don’t get LOST in the moment.  Always keep the big picture in mind when living day-to-day.

I can guarantee that if keep your eyes open to new possibilities, you will find new possibilities.  Broaden your horizon and take it all in.  Less things will ‘slip through your fingers.’  I promise.


Broken Glass

Broken GlassSo after my last post, a friend of mine on Facebook said “My glass is broken.”  Without going into too much detail, she lost her daughter to a rare and aggressive form of cancer back in June.  I know what she is saying.  Though I can’t imagine how she feels or what she’s going through, I understand what she is saying.

How does someone pick up the pieces of their life when tragedy strikes?  How do you go on, day-to-day, when there is something inherently missing from your life?  A hole in your heart that will never be filled.  These are things that people go through and face everyday.  How?

Let me turn it back around to the metaphor of this website.  What do you do with a glass that is broken?  Do you keep it around?  Do you keep drinking from it?  No.  It has become unsafe.  No matter how much you loved that glass, you throw it away and get a new one because you know it now can hurt you.  The parallels here are undeniable.

Now, don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that my friend needs to throw away the memory of her daughter.  Because THAT is not the glass.  Remember, the glass in your life is your perspective, your point of view.  If something has happened that permanently skews your perspective and you find yourself in a funk, it is as easy as changing said perspective.

Easy…yeah, I said it, but we all know that it is NOT easy.  Nothing about what I write about in this blog is easy.  Again, if it were easy, there would be no need to be reminded.

Back to the question at hand, what happens when the glass gets broken?  Throw it out, get a new glass.  Focus on all the good that is around you.  Memories may hurt, but they will only hurt as long as you let them.  Don’t push good people and good things away, bring them in close.  That simple act will start you on the course to recover from the hurt you have suffered from.  If you don’t like the results of certain actions, do what you can to incrementally change those actions.

Simply put….the action lies within you.  Others can help, but you choose how you want to face life.  Face it with clear eyes and an open heart.

Examine it…















































ChangesChanges….changes happen to everyone.  My life changed recently.  Hence the absence from Examine the Glass.  I got a new job!  Nope, not a motivational speaker yet, though I would like to thank everyone who asked if that is what I moved to….it honors me that you’ve read enough of this blog to realize that IS my dream…and it will happen, just not quite yet.

Nope, I just moved to a higher, more fortuitous position than what I was in.  This career move has been in the making for a couple of years now, but the economy, flooded job market and the addition of a baby into my life made it hard to actually make the move.  Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong, in general, with my last employer.  My future was just not with them.  They recognized it and the transition was as pleasant as it could have been.

So…the point.  Well, changes happen.  If they aren’t happening, you must look inside to find out why.  If you want something, work for it.  Get yourself on the path.  I firmly believe that if someone wants something bad enough, they will make the appropriate moves to make it happen.

It starts with belief, it continues with effort, and it culminates with execution.  Stages of change.  Increments of change.  Take baby steps.  Nothing will change overnight (unless you with the lotto, which I didn’t tonight DARN!).  Don’t expect the change to take place fast.  Nothing worth having comes as easy as that.  Patience and persistence is what makes the world go around, so work it!

Examine it…the Glass that is…and see what you can change about it.  Go forward and be that change.

Infinite Possibilities

Infinite PossibilitiesAs time marches on, so does your path along the road of life.  We’ve talked a bit about fate and predetermination around this site, so let’s delve a bit deeper, shall we?

I believe that one our path, we come across many crossings or forks.  Where we have to make a decision and that then forever alters our future path.  However, I don’t believe in absolutes.  I think that a decision today can lead us in one direction and a decision tomorrow can lead us back to the direction we were normally headed.

Is this a good thing?  Well, yes.  I do believe that there is one beginning and one end.  An absolute?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The road we travel will vary with all of our influences.  Our decisions, our friends, our families, our schooling and our jobs.  Kind of like a very windy and twisting Yellow Brick Road with a whole slew of Munchkins to lead our way.

So, what’s your Yellow Brick Road?  You don’t know, huh?  Well, that’s good.  If you did, wouldn’t life be boring?  If you knew exactly what was going to happen and when…then what is there to look forward to?  There are very few genuine surprises in life, so let’s keep those that we have.  Like what tomorrow is going to bring.

I wake up everyday with the hope that something new and wonderful will happen to me.  And you know what?  It does.  It may be that I had a traffic free route to work.  Or that my wife gave me one of her “I LOVE YOU” looks or that my son had a “smile explosion” when he saw me.

The point is that if you can look past all the drama or the negativity in life, there is certain to be one bright spot every day.  Take this bright spot and dwell on it.  Make it your focal point.  Let it light your way, light your path for the rest of the day and into tomorrow.

If you can do that, then you will see that anything is infinitely possible.

Love…the greatest Unknown

Love...the greatest UnknownLet me tell you a story.  14 years ago, my Junior year in High School, I was set up on a blind date for the Homecoming Dance.  Being the geek/nerd that I was, I searched the AmericaOnline profiles for anyone within the current High School age range, who went to my school, who was in the band.  That was all I knew.

The person I found…well, she wasn’t my blind date.  But that was okay.  We became fast friends, close friends and confidants.  We never dated and that was probably for the better.  Fast forward 14 years, on Saturday she got married to her best friend and I was honored when she asked me to perform the ceremony.  I thought I did alright.  I know I fumbled a couple of times, but only because it actually hit me that I was a part of my great friend’s happiest moment.  It was my honor and privilege to be standing up there.

Story number 2:  I met this girl, the second semester of my freshman year of college.  She was probably 1 of 6 females in the Computer Science program.  We became lab partners.  We also became close friends, she became my best friend.  We eventually did date.  That was definitely for the better, as a few years later we got married.  On Sunday, we celebrated both OUR 7 year anniversary and the 7 month birthday of our son.  Needless to say, this was a very happy weekend.

Two stories, both great, both of love’s success.  However, we all know that love is not always so fortunate.  There are people who when planning their wedding, also plan for what they will do on their 2nd wedding!!!  WHO DOES THAT?!?!  Well, it happens and it’s sad.

Love is the greatest unknown.  As the picture above dictates, it’s a gamble each and every time.  It is the greatest leap of faith one can take.  Because of love you are at your most vulnerable with the person you choose.  Only when you give yourself fully, do you give yourself the best chance at success.

Think about that.  If you go into a relationship (any relationship for that matter), and hold things back, you are not being your true self.  This CAN work out, but more times than not, whatever it is you are hiding will come out and have a good chance at ruining anything you were trying to build in the first place.

Everyone has their own views on love….on life…on faith.  But to me, they are all intertwined and necessary for success.  If you love someone or some thing, have faith that it will work out.  Do what you need to do to make it work and your life will be so much better.

Is it better to love and lose…?  I don’t know.  But if you don’t try to love, you’ve already lost.