The Limits and Fears We Settle For

This morning on my drive into the office I was listening to a Louise Hay audiobook. The totality of possibilities. She spoke of the many limitations we place on our own lives. The voices we hear that tell us we can’t do something and how silly it is to listen. Thinking back on life, I see all of the limitations I put on my shoulders and actions and realize they were placed there out of fear. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of criticism. Fear of the unknown. Fear of death.

When my wife and I decided it was time to try and have a baby and add to our family I was afraid. For the previous twenty something years of my life before that moment, I swore I’d never have kids. Growing up and living, I saw how children, babies, acted. Needing to be fed, changed, burped, and more. It was insane to think I could ever do that. Insane to think I’d ever want to do that. I thought it was impossible for me to be a good father, able to care for an infant.

Before we decided to have a baby I was working on becoming a fitness trainer. When I began my studies on the human body and movement and fitness, I was afraid. Inside I thought I was stupid. Too dumb to ever read a book, remember what was taught, and not good enough to pass a test. The days leading up to the test were some of the most stressful moments of my life. It’s not like the bar exam or a becoming a doctor, it’s just a CPT test, but the fear of failing was killing me. I passed with a near perfect mark. Certified trainer. Now, it was time to get to work.

For six months after I passed my test I sat in a pile of fear and limitations of impossibilities. Fear and my limiting beliefs told me I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve the opportunity to help someone get into shape. I sat quietly and dreamed of being a trainer. Applications after applications were sent in to local fitness facilities and they all requested interviews with me. Some called back every single day eager to meet me. Instead, I told myself that I wouldn’t get the job and other trainers already working there would laugh at me. A few months later and I was a business owner with my own training company.

Why do we listen to the powerful and restrictive voice within? We settle for less. Our capabilities are limitless and we stand still and watch the moments of life pass us by. We drink fear for breakfast and become intoxicated by our visions of failure or ridicule. We unconsciously choose to not try and settle for whatever we’re dealt by the mighty rivers of life. Powerful thoughts, negative in nature, cripple our dreams and suffocate our true beliefs. It’s hard to speak the truth. Even today as I write this practice session, I’m afraid of speaking the reality of my thoughts. You’ll judge me. You’ll leave my gym and walk elsewhere because “I weirded you out.” We call esoteric beliefs and possibilities “woo-woo” garbage because we’re afraid of looking within for the truth. The immense power of nature and the universe is so strong we’d rather ignore it and settle for the impossible.

Why do we listen?

Why not stand up and push back and tell the truth?

What do we have to lose?

We’re all in this together.

We’re all going to the grave.

Unleashing The Creative Mind

We’re all creative beings. Inside each of us is the power to create something, anything. There are endless possibilities of creative power in our head and our heart. Take a 15 year old boy who comes home smelling like alcohol and cigarettes. In the face of danger (being yelled at, grounded, and punished) the young man will find a way to make his story not sound as crazy as his night was. When we need to create something, such as the young man’s story to get out of severe punishment, our mind works in mysterious ways. For many, tapping this creativity is mission, and one that is usually fueled by frustration, anxiety, and criticism from within.

We think too much about the things we want to create instead of allowing the process to unfold. I know quite a few business owners who have a hard time writing blog posts about their gyms, their training, or articles about the industry they’re in. They open wordpress and look at the blank screen and writer’s block sets in. In their mind, they want their work to be great (as it should be) but the process is wrong. Coming out of the starting gate and sprinting as fast as possible in a marathon won’t lead to any good further down the road. The same goes for writing, creating, and making art.

When we set out to make our art, to do our work, we have high expectations and want the product to be finished. And we want it right the first time. Unfortunately for most people I know, this won’t happen that easy. Our work will be lackluster and we may find the frustration so great that we decide to quit instead of pushing through. Creativity is not something that is rushed. Creativity needs failure and until you’re willing to fail, you’ll never get anywhere.

One form of resistance we face when creating is our fear of criticism from others, fear of being judged. This is human nature but with a conscious effort, you can overcome this. Last year I self-published four books. They suck. At least in my inner critical views, but the point is, I did the work and let it go. While I was putting those books together I knew it was not even half of what my best work contains, but I also knew I had no choice but to produce them. Thoughts of judgement from others, poor reviews online, and other non productive ideas raced through my mind. The key to getting the work done was to simply just do it. No matter what the outcome was or is, just take the idea and do the work. If you fail, you fail. You’ll learn something that will help you become a success on the next project or idea. To withhold your art out of fear of being judged or failing is more failure than doing the work and having it crash and burn. At least you did something.

To unleash the creative mind you must release your self resistance and allow the true self to shine. This is never easy but it’s something that is helped by one thing we don’t like to do. Practice. If you were a high school football player, you’d be expected to practice football right? Especially if you ever had hopes of going to the next level. So you practice with and without the team. Most likely year long. A drummer in a band doesn’t go on stage with the others to perform new songs he’s never heard before. He practices. This practice of practice is something business owners do not want to consider. They’re too busy being too busy and instead just wish a 1000 word viral post was created in the flick of a switch.

The good news is, it doesn’t work that way and that is what cuts out the weekend warriors from the true professionals. If you’re not writing everyday, even if it’s just ten minutes, you’re fooling yourself and leaving potential on the keyboard. You will never break into the full potential of your creative mind.

If you want to expand your creativity and let the ideas that float around in your mind come forward there are some simple things you can do. Here are five ways to unleash the creative mind.

1. If you want to write blog posts or emails for your self or business, Write Everyday.

Ten minutes at a time. Grab a sheet of paper, a word document, a draft on wordpress and set a timer for ten minutes. Now, put your fingers to work and do not stop until the timer rings. It doesn’t matter what you write about, just let it flow. If you don’t know how to start, write about not knowing how to start. For example:

“I’m sitting here at my desk, slouched over like a fool, wearing a black t-shirt trying to write for ten minutes about something that is relevant to what is in my mind. Nothing is coming. I’m bored. I want to quit….”

That is how you unleash the creative mind, but keep in mind, half the time when you practice, it’s just practice. Nothing might come of it but what you’re doing is breaking the resistance and the act of writing trains your mind for the future.

The same goes for painting or other art forms as well. You won’t ever be good if you don’t just try and practice.

2. Use Post-Its Notes To Find Brilliant Ideas

Grab some post it notes and write on those notes what you want, why you want it, and what you can do to help make it happen. The mind will begin to work and ideas will come. This is another form of practice but it’s a brainstorming session that will open the doorway to successful art.

3. Exercise to release energy and open your mind

If you want to get the mind working creatively, exercise is a simple practice to break through the barriers of perceived blocks. Some people I know wake up in the morning and begin writing or doing their art. This is okay for some but others it just doesn’t work. One way to get around that is by exercising before you sit down to work.

4. Do Something Creative Not Related to Your Work

A lot of writers break through creatively when they paint. Musicians might find inspiration from playing a game of basketball or watching a movie on a Tuesday afternoon, alone. Painters might get inspiration for a piece of work by taking a cooking class. Strength Coaches can get creative with their training by using forms of exercise from a variety of specialties like Strongman, Yoga, and Gymnastics. Plan a time in your schedule where you can get creative in something not related to your work. There are several books that can help this as well such as: Wreck This Journal or Creativity Workout

5. Meditate and/or other forms of relaxation

How can you expect to sit down and create something great if you’re stressed out, wired from the day, or exhausted of your energy? A great way to let the mind open and help you unleash your creativity is to relax. Meditation is a great way to search within and unwind. Floatation is another form of relaxation that can help you search the depths of your mind for creative ideas. One of the best things you can do is simply sit and think. Many of the worlds most successful leaders, visionaries, and artists have contributed much of their work to sitting practice. They simply find a quiet spot and do nothing but think to themselves. Imagine if you removed a lot of stress and fuss from your life momentarily and sat still. You’d run through the mind with ease and unleash it’s creative power. Doing this daily is even more powerful.

You won’t get creative and create good things, come up with good ideas, and get beyond your fear of failure or judgement unless you take action and put in the time. The mind is not working for you creatively at the drop of a dime. It takes work to open the gates and we are all capable of being creative people. We all have million dollar ideas or life changing plans that can alter the world. It’s the people who stand up and say “I have something to say” (quoting Seth Godin at our meeting a few weeks ago) that make things happen.

Take ten minutes right now and do something to unleash the creative mind. GO!

Finding Creativity and Fighting Fear

I found myself sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop opened and the file for the book I’m working on open. I was ready to write. The time was mine, free to do whatever I wanted, and getting a chapter done in the book was first on my list. As I began to write the first few words, I came to a blank. Stuck, writer’s block, uninspired, and trapped by resistance. I was lost for words. The clock was ticking and the time I had set aside to write was almost over. This happens a lot when you sit down to write. You have these ideas you want to put into words on the screen or page and then magically, you blank. Frozen with stage fright.

Some awesome writing coaches and authors have said this is fear and some have said it’s a lack of preparation, and some say it’s self doubt. In my adventures of writing, I’ve come to see it as a failure to prepare. I can’t just sit down and write something useful. It never works well. I’ll sit, open facebook or twitter or Hackettstown Life and lose myself in boring and useless bullshit. Looking back over the moments in time when I was infected with writer’s block, I see now that I was not ready, or willing, to do the work.

Writing is hard. Making videos is hard. Preparing a speech is hard and we often feel like we lack creativity or that we’re too boring for dramatic art. What are we missing? Why is this so hard for so many people to do?

Practice. As I write this I am replaying the famous Allen Iverson interview where he was talking about practice and how he was too good to practice. Maybe he was good enough to not practice, but me, and probably you, we need practice. The easiest way to find creativity and fight fear is to practice. When I am stuck with finding something to write about, I read instead. Pretending to be in the authors shoes. Reading what I was imagining I once wrote. Putting myself in their shoes as they sat at their desk or table at the local Starbuck’s. This makes me feel like a real writer. As if I wrote something famous and had it published by a major company and made the bestsellers list. This practice releases glimpses of creativity and being aware of those thoughts and ideas is important. When a flash of inspiration from the almighty muse appears in the conscious, I grab it and let it flow. Whatever happens, happens. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a good blog post, article, chapter in my book, or a new project itself, or just practice.

I set a timer online for 10 or 15 minutes and I write. It doesn’t matter what the practice is about, I just write. I keep a file on my computer of these practice sessions and sometimes I pick up where I left off the last time. One moment of practice I can find myself writing about Fred, the pot smoking lazy fat ass cat and the next moment of practice I can find myself writing about the deepest and truest feelings of my higher self. Sometimes, the practice is good enough to continue until it’s a decent blog post or article.

The key to unlocking your creativity is to practice. It also helps to get the mind flowing before you even sit to practice. You can do some burpees, cut the lawn, clean the sink, walk backwards for a few minutes, meditate, or draw. You can read a new book, an old book, a magazine or newspaper. Sometimes I circle the table five to ten times and then sit and begin writing about the wall in front of me. The white paint, aging, in need of new paint with a hanging vintage farm sign looks back at me pretending to be the truth. In front of the wall, on the tile floor, is an old porcelain top cabinet with scraped paint, also in need of a paint job. On top of the cabinet that was a hand me down my wife’s parents sits our bills or random tools or hand creams and hair ties. Next to the cabinet is a baker’s rake with our keurig machine and toaster, with some bowls and beaver looking stuffed animal.

Just like that the mind is flowing with thoughts and the words begin molding into complete sentences. For someone who blogs or wants to write articles about their business, this is where we stop. Fear sets in. We think about the article we’re writing and whether or not we truly know what we’re talking about. We fear criticism or coming to halt halfway through the project not knowing how to continue. We think about the facts of the stories or ideas we’re writing about and then, we feel the opinions of others crush us. Problem is, most of those opinions are self created, made up by the ego. Fight fear by comforting the ego. When you’re saying “I want to write this and tell the world how I feel.” the ego is saying “Nah bro. That is crazy and people will fact check you or slam their opinions in your face. Better delete this and try again.”

Practice is practice and you write without taking sides. Write the most outlandish opinions or deepest secrets and then throw it away. Who cares? Just write. As you begin to practice more and more, you find creativity coming easier and you find yourself not caring too much about the hecklers. This goes for anything we do. CrossFit athletes fail everyday but keep practicing. Gymnasts fail and fall during competition and they fear doing so. It’s upsetting. It makes you want to cry. You don’t want to be laughed at. But we do it anyway because it comes from the heart or the gut or the higher self as expression of who we are. Never mind what others think. Make your art.

How to Write Without Always Making List Posts

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Each day the inbox fills with several emails from people I’ve subscribed to. There are the fitness coaches who send in emails about fat loss or strength training, tweaked slightly to make it seem new and exciting. A few emails come from internet marketers who I subscribed to as a way to learn how to better promote myself because one day, I hope to make enough money that I can disappear off the face of the map. Then there are the life coaches, motivational training coaches, and writing coaches who send, actually I don’t know what they send. Most of the time, I delete the entirety of the emails sent to me each morning. Rarely does a subject line capture my attention in which I have no other choice but to open it and see just what the wind blew in.

As someone who enjoys the craft of writing, I spend a great deal of my free time trying to get better. Each day I practice this art and write stories about Fred the Pot Smoking Cat or my dog Cooper, or fat loss, or writing, or the muse being on vacation smoking cuban cigars with a cocktail, garnished with a lemon or orange, sometimes a mint leaf. Other days I write stories and blog posts about motivation and how to not be a quitter in life. Some of the most read writings of mine are about how I used to be homeless and what I did to climb out of rock bottom, to become a normal person just chasing the dream. I also enjoy writing stories of my experiences in the float tanks.

Every day I embrace my love for reading and writing and I do enjoy following those people who I subscribe to. The only thing is, most people resort to list posts and it’s driving me nuts. I get it though. Writing is torture. There are moments when we want to sit down and express ourselves in a way that makes you, the reader, interested in what we’re writing about, but words just don’t come out. We sit in front of the screen scratching our heads, wondering where the muse went, if he was still on vacation, and when we’ll get an idea worth sharing. The easiest thing to do is write a blog post or email that is a list. 10 Reasons Why You Need A Vacation. 5 Ways Floating Changed My Life. 1600 Ways to Make a Woman Love You.

I see very popular blog sites that share almost exclusively list posts. It’s quite pathetic actually. It’s the easy way out of doing a hard thing. I’m not saying these posts are bad or that we shouldn’t write them (they are an essential part of writing practice), but there has to come a time when you put your skills to work and write like you mean it. If I wanted to, and I have, I could write out a blog post everyday with a new list..

6 Ways to Open a Fitness Center.

100 Ways to Kick Ass and Live Happy.

36 Things You Don’t Know About Baseball.

55 Things To Do on Vacation.

They’re so easy that when we succumb to “writer’s block” or for better words, a lack of preparation, practice, and skill, we can throw a list post together in 10 minutes. Our hungry for more, fast paced, ADHD society sucks that content up and shares it faster than you post it because it’s easy to skim through and get a nugget of helpful info (usually which is forgotten about 72 seconds later). But, you’re not making yourself better.

When I look back through this blog, I see the list posts I’ve created and I understand why I did them. They were written at points in time where I wasn’t practicing, I was rushing, I was dealing with “writer’s block”, and just felt like getting content out into cyberspace. Those posts are not the posts that improve my writing or mindset. Posts like What I am Afraid Of or Summer Air are posts that help me get better at writing. Stories, ideas, dreams turned into words on the screen. That is what makes you better.

Writing is a brutal art that many people think is easy. It never was. Practice is needed just like practice is needed for Tom Brady to throw several touchdown passes a week. Taking time out of your busy schedule to write about nothing, or maybe the room you sit in, or the cat named Fred who sits in your house and eats all of your Chips Ahoy cookies, is needed for improvement of writing skill. Reading books on the craft of writing by people like William Zinsser or Natalie Goldberg are important to your creative process as well. By simply resorting to list posts on your blog or website you fail to show your true skill and purpose of writing (and while they might go viral, you, the author, is forgotten quickly). More and more people who claim to be writer’s or who love writing are not putting in the effort needed to be magnificent, and neither am I.

I’m not saying that list posts are bad, in fact, they have benefits, but to improve your skills as a writer you need to get deeper inside of who you are and why you want to write. Getting paid as a writer will happen through list posts, but to be memorable and honorable, it might be time to share stories that move people, that motivate people, that entice people to want more. Sure more people will be interested in reading posts that have headlines like “23 Ways to Jumpstart Your Fat Loss” but their real attention won’t be present.

Begin your writing session by taking ten minutes to simply let yourself go. Be free from ideas or agendas. Write about your sore legs or the weather outside. Write about your workout, your daily routine at work, the commute home from a long day, or even your life goals. This is practice and the using a timed writing practice will get the mind working creatively. That is what you want. You want your creative expression to come to life. You want your ideas to begin to pour out in the screen or pad and it takes some time to get the process rolling. One day you might practice for the ten minutes and have nothing left. So be it. Move on. One day you might start the ten minutes and within two you have a brilliant idea with something worth sharing. So be it. Grab that idea and let it flow. So many people have told us content is king, and it is, but rushed content or content lacking a true purpose is wasteful. Of the 400 or 500 blog posts I wrote, I’d take back more than half as they’re rushed lists with no purpose other than a click to my website. True art can never be rushed. True art takes work. Practice makes perfect.

Why Fred is an Important Part of the Creative Process

I hate being in the position where it’s hard to find the words to write to make people understand, maybe teach them something important, or just to clear the clutter of the abundant thought filled mind. Sometimes the words decide to hide behind fears of being laughed at or afraid of the hard work it takes to actually write well. Practice though and you will get around it.

So here’s a quick practice that I have all intentions of publishing, posting, and promoting. Why? Why not? Do people really care whether it’s practice or a legit blog post? Will they ever know? Hey man, maybe it can help someone down the line. Who knows what the 452nd word is going to be or where I’m even going with this.

When I want to practice, I write about Fred. One day Fred is going to make me a lot of money. Our adventures together are crazy insane, or maybe insane crazy. Fred and I are kind of sidekick partners like Batman and Robin. Except I don’t use myself in the stories I write while practicing. Fred’s friend, supposedly me, is named Tim.

Fred is also a fat cat.

Most of the time, when Fred and I are wandering about in adventure land, he’s high off of catnip. A lot of those practice posts are wild, odd, and completely pointless, but they get the creative juices flowing. Also, sometimes those practices do not get my writing creativity flowing, but instead, they get business or home creativity to new levels.

Using being stuck as an excuse to not get work done does no good for your future, career, or happiness. Stuck is nothing but a mindset of laziness, fear, or something else that doesn’t show you the truth. When I get stuck, I don’t stay stuck. I accept that I can’t get to where I want because of something, probably lack of planning or knowing my desired end result, and get to work. Drafts are awesome because they allow you to explore your mind beyond a “stuck mindset”.

See, while writing this I started writing about Fred and our adventures on paper, in cartoon-ish fashion, and then I went into being stuck. But it shows me that Fred is something I can’t just allow to be practice or that maybe Fred acts as a muse. Whenever you’re feeling like your message is “stuck” or you’re mind is empty of creative thoughts, just sit down and find your Fred. Write about a time when you and your Fred went to the local mall and slept on every bench with a hat and sign that read “Wasted and Pretty” and tallied up a couple hundred bucks in “poor me” money. Maybe Fred can climb inside to your deep subconscious and pull some weird, hidden, or suppressed thoughts out of your mind that bring you fortune, good luck, and abundant creativity. Simply let go and allow the path to unwind in real time. And the 452nd word was “me”.

An experience in the tank.

Drifting away in the dark abyss of nothingness and mindfulness, I slowly faded off into the unconscious realm of life. From a never ending thought filled mind into a slow fading of stillness and peacefulness, the reality around me vanished and for an hour I was in oblivion. Floating in the isolation tank. Completely unaware of anything. It was like I didn’t even exist.

Until I ended up wading in waters up to my chest in Thailand. Fishing for Giant Mekong Catfish. There I was, side by side with a 900 pound fish. I grabbed the fish, like I was fishing with a rod and reel and like I was fishing with my bare hands. It was a mix. Unsure of what method I was using the giant catfish quickly pulled me into the fray. My arms felt like they were being pulled out of their sockets. My breath slowly fading away, hard to catch, drowning in a foreign country.

Suddenly, I woke into the real world, excited, scared, nervous, and unaware of my location. Panic set in for a brief moment until I realized, my float would soon be over. What happened? Was I hallucinating like so many people do in the tank? Was I asleep, in a dream, in such a relaxed state of being that my breathing was almost non existent?

With time left in the tank, knowing so by not seeing the lights that come on when finished, I went to work to survey what I had just experienced. It was one of the coolest moments I had inside the isolation tank. It felt like I slept for 8 hours and left this world to visit another place, a different time.

My heart was pounding as a smile spread across my face. Just the experience I was hoping for during my latest float. At an hour and a half the lights came on and I exited the tank, to shower the salts off and head back into reality. Amazed at how my mind and body felt. Completely aware of all my senses, my surroundings, and the calm nature I was in.

The tank is an exciting experience. The only way I can describe it to people who haven’t tried it before is that when I’m inside and floating away there is no body. No stress, no pain, no touch, no sight. Imagine your brain and nervous system were laying on top of water, floating while your limbs, head, eyes, and body did not exist. You were just your brain and the nerves that are attached. Floating in space. That is what it’s like.

3 Things That Improved My Life

After a streak of seven years of bad luck that I created for myself, my life was left empty. I had no choice but to make something of my life and turn around the days of hard times and make massive changes. Problem was, I had no clue on what to do, and still don’t. But, as I continued to work hard and take big action steps, some scary and some stupid, I ended up on greener grass and through fortunate luck I stumbled across a book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It was this book that would propel my life into a greater mindset of what is plausible, possible, and out there, waiting for me to claim as mine.

Before I read this book I didn’t realize the things, the good, in the world that are readily available and the true power of what we have inside of our minds and bodies. As I went to work on fixing my mindset and taking big action steps based on the ideas of the book, my life began to improve and out of thin air I created a business with nothing and I’m now ready to start my second.

Here are 3 Things That Improved My Life:

As a kid I would sit in class and wander off into the deep space of my imagination. Lost in thought, miles away from the teacher, in a dream world of my own creation. This imagination would take me far away and into a complete nothingness of reality. Just dream worlds with unbelievable clarity and passion. At one point, I was told I was a “special” kid and sent out into the parking lot trailer. A make shift classroom for people like me. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be playing in the fields of my dreams. Escaping reality.

Growing older my vivid imagination would stay with me, and it’s still alive and well. I can paint mountains and cut timber statues with the power of my mind, not even blinking, and in an instant I can be off into the first drafting of a business plan or book. For those seven years of bad luck my mind was not imagining the good in life. Focused on death and despair, darkness and guilt, my imagination was on the darker pictures of life. Far away from the true person inside, possessed by a demon of dis-ease.

After I married my beautiful wife and read Think and Grow Rich, my imagination drew a business plan and created Activate Fitness out of nothing. I began using one of my greatest strengths- my imagination- for the good things that would come. I visualized, and actually drew, the exact layout of the now Activate Fitness when I first starting imagining it. I still have that paper. I kept it for a long time folded in my wallet.

We all have a great imagination. Using it can make huge changes in your life. Trust in the power of your imagination and you can realize some of your biggest dreams and see them come true. I can credit my wild dreaming and crazy imagination to most of the great things I’ve created in my life.

Catch me at a time when my spirits are high and my motivation is running full steam ahead and I can scare you with my enthusiasm. I’ve been known to get people “weirded” out when my enthusiasm explodes with joy, passion, and purposeful creativity. When I was growing up my passion was baseball and all things about it. I was, and still am, a die hard Oakland A’s fan. I knew everybody on the team. Where they grew up, played minor league ball at, what their on base percentage was, and just about every statistic known to the baseball world.

My wild enthusiasm would get me in trouble, get me caught daydreaming even more, and lead to me failing and quitting out of college. But without it, I wouldn’t be who I am. My passion that is guided by my enthusiasm for life and helping people has brought me much improvement in my life.

Find something that you absolutely love. Something you could talk to Grandma about for hours and hours without her knowing what the hell you just said, shaking her head like she “gets” you, and go for it. Make it an objective of yours to get paid from that, or even if it’s not about the money, do it for the good of your heart, mind, and body.

Seven years of “bad luck” and I was homeless. The absolute bottom of the failure scope. I let everything that owned me go. No possessions, no attachments, and walked away. Failing to live up to expectations of anyone who knew me. When I had nowhere to go, nowhere to sleep, and nothing to look forward to, I accepted failure and used it to motivate me to change, and improve, my life.

Accepting failure is a something many people do not take easily. Failure is one of the greatest self improvement tools around. When we fail, we learn lessons that can only be taught from the experience of failing and what we do next is where we grow. You could give up and quit trying and never make another attempt again, or you can stand up and move forward. Left homeless under a bridge for a few weeks almost ended the road for me. That shit isn’t easy to deal with, but we, you, are strong enough to overcome even the hardest obstacles in life. Accept the fact that failure is possible and never let fear of failing stop your dreams from coming true.

My imagination helped me see a world nobody else knew existed or believed in. My enthusiasm helped me make my dreams a reality and sat the naysayers down. My acceptance of failure helped me make decisions that involved risk and helped me experience hard times that many people never feel. These 3 things helped improve my life and I want you to try and let them help you move forward.

For You.

I got it now. It makes complete sense. For the past few weeks I’ve filled this blog with forty or so drafts. Half completed, half assed posts about nothing at all. Just complete gibberish in the form of nothing more than practice. Why? Why am I stuck here with nothing purposeful to say? Where am I helping people by sharing my story and creating a positive momentum for them to move forward in life?

Nowhere.

Nothing but useless meander. No direction of where I want to take this blog. Worrying about the “niche” I want to help. Like that matters. Not to me. Not to my writing. But trying hard to find people who would benefit has turned my world upside down and around again. Should I write for moms who work? Should I write for men who have a hard time feeling worthy in life? Maybe instead I should write to entrepreneurs in the local area who might need assistance growing their business.

Excuse my language, it’s art by the way, but fuck that. I’m writing for you. The person who finds the time to sit here and read this post. The person who might be doing something totally different from me but still gets inspired by the words on the screen. Lately, no lie, I’ve been in a pretty dark place. Slightly depressed, tired, overwhelmed, and bored. Much of the material I’ve been reading is boring and I realize the only reason I’m reading it is because “they” said I should. Sure the books are teaching me a lot about the human mind, propaganda, writing, and a bunch of other bologna, but it’s not me. It’s drowning my writing.

If you were to look at the drafts on this blog you’d see me writing about the muse being gone. On vacation with an umbrella drink, feet kicked up on a straw ottoman, shades on, waves rolling in. But that is nothing more than a stupid excuse of my boredom and minor depressed state.

It’s time to get back to work and do what I’ve been doing so well, or at least in my opinion. However I enjoy practicing this craft and much of that practice will one day make an incredible comic strip or novella. Right now though, my message, the wisdom and knowledge I’ve learned along the bumpy ride, the stories of the life and events I’ve been through and what they taught me will take center stage. I’m getting back to work. No more excuses or pity parties.

To My Son And Daughter

In a world that is constantly on the run, I want you to stand still. In a world where they rich get richer and the poor get poorer, I want you to just be. In a world where everyone seems to be searching for more, I want you to seek less. In a world that always tries to tell you you’re not good enough, I want you to listen to the music of your mind. In a world where the powerful media creates fear and despair, I want you to smile and walk away. In this world where you can be anything you want to be, I want you to be yourself. In this world where millions are not happy, I want to see that they are and if you want, show them how to see it for themselves. In this world where people are angry, I want you to smile and walk away. In this world where you can make a difference, I want you to try.

In a world where people are getting sicker and fatter, I want you to love your body and respect it. In a world where people are afraid of their power, I want you to accept it. In a world where fears stop most, I want you to push forward. In this world where people gossip, I want you to smile and walk away.

In this world, you can be anything you want to be. In this world, you can make a difference. In this world, you have the power to change. In this world, you can be happy.

Believe in yourself and follow your heart. Listen to your instincts and go for your dreams and never give up.

Playing It Safe

This life goes by way too fast. The days blow through with the wind and the morning comes again, this time- much faster. There comes a time when you wake up and realize that there aren’t many left. The thing is, we have to act like we really understand this fact. Because, we just don’t. Many of us talk of tomorrow, probably all of us, and the truth is- we don’t even know if that tomorrow is going to come.

Inside of our time restricted minds and the sand filled hour glass is our little fears of dying, messing up, the unknown, and even people. Each morning goes by, then the afternoon is eaten up with lunch, and then it’s onward to home, to rest, eat, and shower and do it all again the next day. Safely.

Playing it safe is the societal norm. We’re fed by scare tactics and poor negative based news that creates an overwhelming urgency to just hide. Quitting a job is impossible we say. Starting a business without a business plan and zero dollars is a crazy dream that can never happen to me. I don’t have the resources, it’s not my time, I have no idea how, the world is against me, and I can’t even think straight.

Sounds about right. I said the same things many times. I didn’t know how to start a business or write a business plan. There wasn’t any money either. Playing it safe I would have taken my personal trainer certification and walked into Planet Fitness for ten dollars an hour, on the side from my other job. Playing it safely I would have never tried to create a business without clients, experience, or a written plan.

But instead, I did the opposite. I went against the norm and walked through the walls we put up to prevent ourselves from taking action. I knocked on opportunities door and introduced myself, whether it wanted me or not. My fitness business was started with zero dollars and I never wrote a real business plan and I even started it without ever training a single person.

Safe would have gotten me nowhere. Safe would have frustrated me and created a million excuses. Safe is for suckers and we are not suckers. We’re human beings with dreams, goals, passions, purposes, and aspirations. We’re human beings who are good people, who want to do good for others, who want to try their hardest to accomplish worthwhile missions. But we’re afraid of failing, of haters, of lawsuits, of losing money and becoming homeless and these fears crush everything we’re made of.

Don’t play it safe. You have permission and the worst thing that can happen to you is not even measurable in the total scale of your eternity. Risks need to be taken, goals need to acted on, plans done, dreams achieved, and safe crushed. The truth inside of you says from the voice you try to swallow that you can do this and you just need to try. No more suffocating the dreams you have. No more laughing at the silly thoughts that come to your mind that you shrug off as asinine. They’re not asinine. They’re real and powerful and in someway they just might be able to change the world.

Playing it safe is a crime against humanity. You’re better than safe. You’re stronger than safe. You’re as tough as risk and you have the guts to take them. That little voice we all have inside our minds is so loud we can’t hear the other one. The even smaller voice that is there as well. Yelling at the top of it’s tiny lungs to get maybe a thought into sights that can change your life. The loud voice inside our minds fights the smaller one every second you walk this world and it’s your job to stop it.

The voice that says you can’t do something may be a little louder than the one saying you can, but the one saying you can is stronger, more real, powerful, and able to make what you hear a reality. You just have to listen and let it out and not laugh it off. The little voice inside of your mind can bring you all the success you ever wanted, it can bring you all the love you ever wanted, it can bring you all the joy you ever wanted. Instead, it gets buried alive and shrugged off.

If you want to make some serious changes in this life we all have, you have to let that voice out and build it up. You have to take the risks you know you can handle and not allow the fears in your mind stop you from achieveing. There is something powerful inside of you. Find it. Let it out and nurture it. Safe has no room to exist.