You are…You Could Be!

You are...You Could Be!

Before I start, I must disclaim. I saw this quote on Facebook and it is from scripture.  I try to stay as neutral as possible, so don’t stop reading or be offended because I bring up a quote that originates in religion as this is not a religious post.

Here is the aforementioned quote:  “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.”

Now, to spin it to our topics, is change it to this:  “Love yourself the way you are, but refuse to never change.”

This is a ‘self’ centered post…that sounds wrong, but it’s right.  Everything about that above quote centers around your Self.  There are few constants in this world, but one of them is that EVERYTHING can be better.  It’s a simple 5 step process:

  1. Examine your self.
  2. Love what you see and accept who you are.
  3. Decide what would make you more happy.
  4. Determine why #3 would make you more happy.
  5. Put in a plan of action to change #3.

Let’s step back…this is not necessarily (but could be) a physical ‘see’ and ‘change’, but mainly a lifestyle/thought process change.

The strongest and most important step above is #4.  This is the hardest part, because any changes need to have a good reason.  Without reason, change is meaningless.  Meaningless changes are wastes of time and energy.  They usually result in steps back rather than steps forward.

Why is this important?  According to current studies (take those as you will), only 1 in 3 Americans consider themselves ‘Very Happy’.  That means the other two need to make changes in their lives to become ‘Very Happy.’  Are you one of the ‘1’ or one of the ‘2’?

Figure it out, take the steps and start moving toward becoming a ‘1’.


A Dad’s Wish Fulfilled

A Dad's TaleA couple of weeks ago, the fair came to town.  This is a smaller version of the big fair that comes around in the Fall.  However, my wife and I have not missed either version for the past 7 years.  My son is now 3 years old and he has gone to each instance of this fair throughout his entire life.  Watching him take more and more of the Fair in each visit is a wonder in itself.  Every time we go, he experiences it more fully and enjoys more and more of it.

Last fall, his highlight was the farm animals and the petting zoo.  So, this year we thought it would be a quick trip and just hit some barns and get the required ‘fair food’ and go home happy.  Then we turned the corner and saw……the RIDES.  My son immediately wanted to check it out as my wife and I exchanged the ‘oh no, is he tall enough?’ look.

Well, we get up to the roller coaster and see the measure line.  From 6 feet away I could tell that he wasn’t tall enough, but man was he excited.  He kept asking if he could do the ‘rorer coaster‘.  So, I explained to him that he needed to be tall enough and showed him the black line that marked how tall he needed to be.  Looking up at me with his big brown eyes, he says ‘Dada, can we measure?’  Of course we can…so up we walk and….

HE WAS TALL ENOUGH.  What?!?!  There was no way he was tall enough until we got right up to the measure stick and sure enough, he was good to go.  So, after forking over a small fortune, I bought a series of ride tickets and off we went.

So, where’s the wish, you say?  Well, 14 years ago, I met my wife and we started dating and I bought tickets to an amusement park for us to go to when she dropped the closest thing to a deal breaker in our relationship on me….she didn’t like RIDES.  WHAT?!?!  How could we be compatible…how could this happen?  Well, it did and we persevered.  Obviously.

So, by and large, after 19 years of being a thrill seeker, I went into a roller coaster hibernation.  Now my son, wide-eyed and excited, was asking his daddy if we could ride the ‘rorer coaster‘.

So, here we go…we strap in…Mom’s armed on the sidelines with a camera (which didn’t do much good because he was ‘just’ tall enough and could not be seen behind his behemoth of a father) and AWAY WE GO!

When we go around the corner and up the track, he’s smiling and giggling…when we go down for the first time, he loses….his….MIND!  I’ve not seen the kid smile so broadly, it was like a whole new world had been opened up.

Watching him have so much fun, reminded me how much fun these rides could be.  Furthermore, he reminded me what FUN really is.  It’s different for everyone, but for me, in that moment, it was able to show him a new experience and remember all the fun I’ve had in those situations.

Before the ride was over, there were a few times when he would just look up at me and smile.  In that smile, I could see him ‘thanking’ me for showing him this amazing experience of the ‘rorer coaster‘.

Sometimes, it takes a moment like that to remember.  And remembering his a good way to examine your perspective.  For me, personally, it has been a trying few months.  And all of that melted away with my baby boy’s simple smile.


The Power of Belief

The Power of BeliefIn a slight continuation from the last Quick Shot, let’s talk about belief for a bit.  Note, this post might contain some controversial statements and are solely meant to provoke thought, not to pass judgement or reflect opinions.

I am and always have been fascinated by the power that belief and faith have in today’s society.  I am intrigued by what drives people to do what they do.  Good or bad, it seems to me that all actions are driven by a belief system.  I’m not necessarily talking about religion, though is most cases, religion is the medium of belief.

Religion, like magic, ONLY works if there is faith.  If there were no believers, then there would be no religion.  Furthermore, without a belief system, would there be anything?  Ever.

I was listening to Pandora the other day and John Lennon’s “Imagine” came on.  There’s a stanza in that song that goes like this:

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

This made me think of an interesting question (here comes the controversy part).  If given the choice, would one give up religion for peace?  For example, let us say all the deities ever written about or spoken about all got together and held a press conference.  Let’s say they only had one statement.  If EVERYONE denounced all forms of religion then there would be true peace on earth.  So the choice is this:  Belief system OR Peace.

Interesting thought, huh?  Now, usually in these posts I like to keep my opinions to myself, and as I’m writing this sentence I’ve gone back and forth a couple of times whether I would stick to that or not.  I think I will.  No opinions here.

However, it does pose a scenario that some will find completely abhorrent and some will say, ‘Duh!’  Either way, there is no true right answer, as the beauty of the human mind is that we can always ‘think up’ or imagine possibilities.  And THAT is the true power of belief.

Whether you belief in an all-powerful god, a karmic paradise, or whether you just believe in yourself, you do belief in something.  That belief system, your belief system, is the one that drives you to live your life in the way you see fit.  And in most cases, that way of life (in general humanity terms) is compatible with others.  This is a good thing.

What this also means, is that others have their own belief system, so don’t be too quick to judge on how others act.  To each their own.  All we can do is try to stay on the same forward path and surround ourselves with those who make us better.  In the end, that is all that matters.




MagicA couple of weekends ago I watched “Now You See Me”, which if you don’t know is a movie about magicians.  I have always been fascinated by magic, illusion and sleight of hand.  I haven’t been to a lot of magic shows personally, but if there is one on TV or I have the opportunity, I take advantage.

There are usually three kinds of people when it comes to “magic viewers”.  The first kind are the indifferent, take-it-or-leave-it, “that’s quasi-interesting” type of people.  The second kind are the people who watch solely to debunk the trick.  The third kind are those who WANT to believe and get enraptured by the illusion.  I fall squarely into the third kind.

The design of magic is to make people believe what they are seeing, but it only works if the audience makes the decision to suspend reality and believe what they are seeing.  As children this is very easy to do.  As adults, it’s a bit harder.  We are too jaded by the world, too cynical to get caught up in the moment.  This is too bad.

Imagine if we all suspended reality for a few short moments each day, what sort of wonders we might experience.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting going through the entire day believing you have wings on your feet and can fly.  However, the ‘land of make believe’ is still out there.  Go find a good FICTION book.  Watch an old favorite movie or tv show.  Go to Disneyland!  (Yeah, I wish!)

Remember that life can be hard and unyielding, but that just around the corner, there might be one more trick up its sleeve waiting to take you by surprise.  Don’t walk through life hardened or that surprise might break you.






Yesterday, I saw a commercial for bottled water.  In that commercial, they said that ‘better’ is what drives us.  ‘Better’ is what’s inside.  I’m sure they were talking about THEIR product being better than other bottled water products, but it made me think….and that’s a scary concept.

What does drive us to be better?  And what exactly does ‘better’ mean?  In order to be better, you must have a baseline.  You can’t be better if you haven’t already been something, right?

As the picture in today’s post says, be better than you were yesterday.  Again, a very simple concept.  There is always room for improvement, but sometimes people get lost in the enormity of it all.  In doing so, they get overwhelmed and end up giving up trying to succeed.

But if you just take it one day at a time, then incrementally you make the changes come to fruition.  Don’t be disappointed if you’re not the best ever.  Just be the best you can be.  You don’t have to be twice as good as you were yesterday, just try to be a little better than you were.  The scale begins with you and your expectations.  Don’t expect too much, just expect what’s achievable.

Getting better each day, accomplishing small goals each day, will lead you to a happy and more fulfilled life.  Try it and you’ll see.


Elbow Grease Side Effects

Elbow Grease


It’s amazing what a little hard work will do.  It’s also amazing what a little physical/manual labor will do.  This past weekend was filled with both for me.  Outside of my son having a spontaneous teething situation, this weekend was a lot of sweat, fun and sense of accomplishment.

We started by painting our office/guest room.  If you haven’t painted or had a room painted, it is simply astonishing what a new coat of paint will do to a room.  It transforms it into, hopefully, what you are looking for and give you a sense of moving forward.  There are many lines that we can draw between ‘painting a room’ and ‘painting your life’, but that will have to wait for a non-Quick Shot post.

On Sunday, we did a lot of yard work.  We cleared and leveled an area of the yard that we are going to use to extend our patio and lay bark down.  We installed an arbor in front of our shed to make it look nicer and we dug up a dead tree.  YAY, you’re saying…this post is really interesting me….YEAH RIGHT.  Okay, so what’s the point…

Well, as we were working, and when our son was not fussy because of his teeth, he started to explore our back yard by himself.  He started to really independently play.  He would carry on conversations with the trees, the dog, the grass and the fountain.

All of a sudden, when mom and dad were working, he realized that he had this whole world to himself and we could see the endless possibilities in his eyes.  When we did have to finally go back inside, he was not a happy camper.  He’s always been an outdoor kid, but it moved to the next level.

Family time outside is now going to be a part of our routine, which it probably should have always been, but now that the weather is a bit nicer, it’s much easier to start forming that habit.

Sometimes it’s the ‘needs-to-be-done’ moments that create the ‘what-a-great-memory’ moments.  Don’t dread what has to be done, because sometimes it brings out one of the best things ever.  Inspiration.


The Right Answer

The Right Answer


When looking for solutions to problems, it is often thought that there is no right answer.  I’ve come across this concept many times over the past few months.  It seems like with every decision that is made, there are Pros and Cons without any clear definition of absolute.

Then again, that is the world we live in.  There are no absolutes.  Every good thing comes with a price.  Every bad thing has a silver lining.  Of course, I said ‘every’ in those statements, which sound a bit absolute.  So, MOST things fall into those categories.

What I have also found is that some people will hesitate on a decision or solution because of the ‘Cons’ associated with it.  Not necessarily the items that fall INTO the ‘Con’ column, but just the fact that there ARE ‘Cons’ is reason enough to hesitate.  While there are situations where this is appropriate, more times than not this is the worst reason to not make a decision.

It’s all about tolerance.  How much of a price are YOU willing to pay for the decision you are about to make.  If you are presented with a problem, finding a solution should be paramount to what EVERY possible negative repercussion can come from said solution.  Don’t get me wrong, all perspectives should be considered, just not dwelled on.

So, what is the right answer?  The right answer is the one that fulfills your need to progress.  The right answer is the one that gives you the best shot of success.  The right answer may not be the one that your gut, your heart, your mind all agree on, but if you know it’s the one that will get you to tomorrow, then it’s the right answer.  Go find it.


Problems and Solutions

Problems and SolutionsSometimes when problems arise, it is the first instinct to run.  Run away from the problem until eventually it goes away.  However, a very wise person said “Running away from your problems is a race you will never win.”  They are always there and will be there until you face them.

Then how about this?  Instead of running AWAY from your problems, run TOWARDS a solution.  I mean, heck, you are still running in a metaphorical sense, right?  At least, this way, you are making productive use of your time and energy and life is too short to waste either.






Do you remember when you were a kid and had so many hopes and dreams.  Remember what it felt like to think about ‘what you wanted to be when you grow up’ and ‘all the places you want to see’.  More importantly, remember that feeling of ‘anything is possible’ that would wash over you when you thought about those hopes and dreams?

Driving to work the other day, listening to Pandora, I had a flashback to that time.  In my very eclectic music channel, between Evanescence and The Beatles, a Harry Chapin song came on.  It was a song that I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard, but I know Harry enough to know when it’s him singing.

Immediately, I was sent back to when I used to listen to Harry Chapin in my parents car when we would go places.  I would be sitting in the back seat, staring out the window and would always start to daydream about all sorts of stuff.  It would always put me in a good mood.  Driving to work that day, listening to Harry Chapin, made me realize that I usually turn to his music if I need a pick-me-up.  It always reminds me of that ‘feeling’ that I would have when dreaming.

A lot of us, as adults, lose sight of dreams and goals.  We get jaded by life, knowing that NOT everything is possible.  Therefore, we stop dreaming and hoping and wishing.  Worse, we stop feeling that ‘feeling’.  Furthermore, we don’t necessarily realize we’ve stopped doing that or stopped looking for hope until we get reminded, like I did on my drive into work.

The realization that I came to, is if I can start finding that feeling again on my own, I can regain the motivation that at times may have seemed to be lost.  We all have those moments in life, in memories, of when we thought the sky was the limit, we just need to find that again.

The seasons are changing, the sun is shining more, what better time to improve our outlook on life.  Go out and find your ‘feeling’ and make today (and tomorrow) better!


Right Now!

Right Now!This morning I heard the Van Halen song, “Right Now” and it struck a chord!  No pun intended.  It reminded me that yesterday was nice and tomorrow is coming, but the here and now is the place to be.  The moment to make the most of.  The time to make the change.

When tomorrow comes, will you regret waiting?  Do you look back at yesterday and think, ‘Gosh, I wish I had done something different?’  If you have, that’s fine.  It happens.  Every day, we make the choice to either let it ride or change the course.  There is no need to regret the decisions of the past.  We should always look toward the future, but remember that the future means nothing if we don’t take full advantage of today.

As the first month of the new year rounds the end of its time, it’s a great opportunity for you to look inside yourself and figure out what you would like to accomplish this year.  Make the goals today.  Start working on the goals tomorrow.  There’s no reason to hesitate any longer or soon you will find that the year has blown by without any success.  Don’t like today slip away.  Make it real.  Make it happen.

Hey, it’s your tomorrow!