Monday, October 23, 2017

Do Dreams Have Expiration Dates?

I know a few people who believed they reached the expiration date on their dreams before they were fulfilled.  Too bad.  Was it a teacher or mentor who slammed the door?  Or a parent?  Or was the rejection too painful?  In my opinion,  most expiration dates are fake labels we fall for when we are vulnerable or afraid.  Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  The way to overcome fear is to keep moving forward.  Keep dreaming.  Bust through the expiration dates.  Defy every obstacle you encounter.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Which Way?

The first time I asked Jesus to show me who I am in his eyes, he introduced to a biblical character I didn't like.  The dude was naked, nervous and possessed by demons.  He was the ultimate wanderer, the champion of the frenzied and a lost soul in the middle of Nowheresville.  Something happened when Jesus introduced himself to my alter-ego.  The fog dissipated.  The demons fled.  And the man found something – purpose.

If you're struggling to find your way today, try asking Jesus for directions.  He has plans for you.  Have a great day.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Got Plans?

Step one:  Make a goal.
Step two:  Make plans to achieve your goal.
Step three:  Execute the plans.

No wishes here, please.  Wishes involve too much wandering.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Stay Calm Within the Chaos

Got Chaos?  It's like a storm – if you're not in one now, just wait for a while and you may see one coming.  Sometimes, you may not even see it coming.  It can hit like a flash flood.  I like to pretend I'm in the eye of the hurricane, at least mentally, where the winds are calm no matter how fast everything is spinning out of control around me.  Relax.  Breathe.  And stay calm within the chaos.  The storm will pass.  Have a great day.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Something to Talk About

Be careful what you choose to talk about today.  Divide your topics into two categories:  blessings and problems.  One category will attract the optimists while the other brings out the pessimists.  I have found most of my problems are really blessings that haven't sprouted yet.  Talking about problems while they're still in the developmental stages may prevent them from transforming.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cut the Clutter

Cutting the clutter is at the top of my wife's honey do list.  In my writing life, it also means editing chapters and eliminating anything that is unnecessary to make room for fresh ideas.  Clutter only contributes to confusion and chaos.  The more clutter I cut, the better my vision becomes and I can see a better self.  Are you ready to cut the clutter?  Today is a good day to start.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

When Nothing Goes Right

There's a reason we avoid making left turns.  Right turns are easier.  There's no yielding to oncoming traffic.  And some say, "because that's the way I always go." 

Never underestimate the value of the left turn, especially when nothing appears to be going right in your life.  Yes, going left means heading into the unknown.  The unfamiliar will become familiar.  The new challenges will bring fresh opportunities.  In the long run, things will go right.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Take Action

Do those dreams you have seem too far-fetched to reach in this lifetime?  I have good news for you.  Those dreams are the first step.  Here's more good news:  you can turn them into reality with just one thing – action.  It's that simple.  Dream, take action, and close the gap.  Your new reality will be here in no time.  And if others criticize you for being a dreamer, just remember you're one step ahead.  Ready. Set. Action.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Waist Management

When it comes to eating junk food, the body has an incredible digestive process to eliminate most of the waste.  Unfortunately, the "garbage in, garbage out" system isn't perfect.  Proof of this is in the waist where undesirable leftovers are stored.  Many Americans are running out of landfill and we're reaching a crisis point.  Here are some scenarios do deal with the problem:
  1. Do nothing.  Keep eating.  Death will occur prematurely and the problem will be buried six feet underground. 
  2. Move.  I mean move – literally.  Excess fat will dissipate when the body exercises.
  3. Stop.  Refrain from eating all the foods contributing to excess waste stored in the waist.  I excavated nearly a pound a day when I stopped eating garbage, namely processed foods and man-made ingredients.  Dairy seemed to be part of the problem and I gave that up too.
If you're serious about waist management, make sure you document your journey and measure your results.  You can win this battle, one inch at a time.  Have a great day.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Enemy Within

Like it or not, you're fighting a war with yourself.  The enemy within is probably the most difficult opponent you will ever face.  Whatever you do, please don't ever allow the dark side to trick you into believing there's no hope.  If you want to win, you must first increase your own self awareness.  You must face reality.  Take the mask off and look in the mirror.

I'm going to share three things I corrected that gave me a spark of hope in my own personal battle with my dark side.  Enemy number one was Mountain Dew.  I let go when I discovered the damage it was causing and this wasn't easy because I was addicted.  The cravings were non-stop.  The second enemy was dairy, especially the ice cream and the cheese.  I let go of these things during my 45 day food experiment.  The third and most challenging enemy was my own negative thoughts.  Getting rid of the food addictions gave me the strength I needed to overcome negative thinking.  I have a long way to go to make sure the enemy within never has a chance at a counter-attack.  It's not easy but you can win this war.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Why Goals Can Change Your Life

If you're not satisfied with who you are, there's hope.  It's not easy but the truth is, nothing in life of value is easy.  It takes hard word and perseverance.  That's why I set goals.  It helps me map out a course from point A to point B.  Point B is the new you.  It's what you become when you learn to navigate.  Consider point A as the valley and point B as the mountain top.  Once you reach the peak, you can see better.  Treat yourself to a whole new perspective.  It's worth it.  Have a great day.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Warning! Comfort Zones May Be Hazardous

You will never reach your full potential unless you're willing to do something many other fears – leave your comfort zone.  Pack your bags and go.  Just do it.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Step by Step

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; Psalm 37:23

Christian songwriter, Michael W. Smith, hits some strong notes with his song, Step by Step.  Click on the YouTube video below to hear it.  My greatest struggles in life are from the times when I wandered off and tried to do things on my own.  Life is so much simpler when you decide to follow Jesus.  Give it a try.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

33 Days Until 3,000 Stories

Life is about those tiny nudges.  Do the little things well and doors open.  I'm thankful for the 2,967 days I've been able share my small stuff with you here on this blog.  I believe the key to success is to wake up every morning and do what you're created to do.  If you're not feeling excited, maybe you're not spending time doing the things that can bring you fulfillment.  Pick one thing that can help you get that passion back and get busy.  It works.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 9, 2017

What's in the Mulligan Playbook?

I'm sharing my playbook with you today because it's the simplest way I know to update you on my latest project.  In its current form, the playbook is filled with fumbles, interceptions, missed deadlines and a whole lot of chaos.  That's what happens when there's so much pressure on the X's and the O's that they fail to execute.  A similar thing happened in 1939 when Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel was published during the Great Depression.  Mike Mulligan focused so much on the clock that he forgot to leave a way out for his beloved steam shovel.  Poor Mary Anne had no way out when Mike's project was completed.  That's like publishing a book before the editing is complete.

The O's on my team are all volunteers.  They signed up because they're seeking improved health.  Our laboratory is the real world which means conflict.  The opponent often calls timeout at the most inopportune times and offers soft drinks and other banned food items to my team.  I can't blame the lab rats – they're human.  My best solution is to modify the playbook and keep it simple so all the volunteers can reach their goals.  I need to add winning recipes based on proven ingredients and inspire my team to find the end zone without dropping the ball.  And this Mike Mulligan is going to make sure everybody gets out of the stadium when the revised playbook is ready for prime time viewing.  Thank you for your patience.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Turn the Page or Close the Book?

Ever notice how some of your favorite books are filled with drama and conflict?  They may be ideally suited as reading material, but what about the people in your life?  I discovered closing the book rather than turning the page on those who refuse to let the sunshine in makes for sunnier, happier days.  I need a certain amount of Vitamin D in my life to keep my attitude adjusted properly.  A few good books are more precious than gold.  Thank you for being a part of my library.  Have a great day.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Happy Quote of the Day

A little gratitude goes a long way.  Today I'm thankful I get the opportunity to spend the entire day with my wife.  On the days we are apart I'm thankful I have an awesome day job filled with amazing people to work with.  My non day job days also on the gratitude list because these are my writing days – the days I get the opportunity to work on my special projects.  I'm thankful for all the people in my life who are a part of this, including the volunteers who are participating in the food experiment, the creator of the experiment and all the people in my life who are sharing great recipes which will be included in the book.  Above all, I'm thankful for the opportunity to contribute something that will benefit others.  If you are one of the thankful people in the world, I have a pretty good feeling you are happy.  Thank you for stopping by today and spending time here in my sand box.  No sand is necessary here.  Gratitude is the only ingredient needed to make this a happy meeting place.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Rewards Just Ahead

I don't know what your road looks like.  But I do know if you're willing to keep going no matter how tough your journey may be, there are rewards just ahead.  Whatever you do, don't give up.  Make sure you claim your rewards.  I'm cheering for you to stay the course.  You can do this.  Have a great day.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Wave, Simple Yet Effective

Today's post is one of those feel good stories.  It doesn't matter where you're from, who your favorite team happens to be, or if you like or don't like sports.  This is a universal message for our world and it comes at a time when we could all use an uplifting message.  It's the wave and it's dedicated to the recipients who watch from the press box on the 12th floor of Children's Hospital located just above world famous Kinnick stadium in Iowa City.  Even the opposing team takes part in the wave.  It's simple yet effective.  Here's a video link featuring the wave.  Enjoy.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

How to Build Your Life

If you're searching for a way to build your life, make sure you have a solid foundation.  It begins with one question you must ask yourself before you do anything else:  What is really important?  Don't do anything else until you have the answer.  Your answer is also your blueprint for an amazing life.  Whatever you do, don't stop believing in your capabilities and never lose courage to continue with construction.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

One Decision Away

It begins with a decision.  One choice is all it takes.  If you want a totally different life, make that decision today.  Be fearless.  Today is your day.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Life is Happening Now

Don't wait for it.  Life is happening now.  You're not supposed to be on the sidelines.  It's your turn.  Take action.  Take risks.  Waiting is the excuse others give because they're too afraid of what will happen if they jump in.  Seize opportunity now while it's right in front of you.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

How to Eliminate Negativity from Your Life

Remember the kid who claimed he could see dead people in the movie, The Sixth Sense?  The sad truth is many people are just like that kid – everything in their world is dead or negative.  Sure, there are positive things to see but they're invisible in all those shadows.  This can be avoided with the right flashlight, your mind.  No Jedi training or special light sabres are necessary.  Simply raise your awareness and pay attention to the details in every situation.  Ask yourself, "what good can come from this?"  Maybe you're standing in a pile of manure and that's all you can see.  I see the perfect place for you to plant seeds of hope for a great future.  Yep, there's good in every situation.  Get busy and train your mind to see the good.  Have a great day.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hidden Chapters

Everybody has a story to tell.  Some of my favorite chapters are the ones not read out loud.  Access to these hidden chapters won't be granted until you first show others you care.

I'm saluting the anonymous ones today who privately share their stories with me.  These people are my inspiration.  If you are one of these people, I just want to say thank you.  Have a great day.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Most Valuable Currency

Many people don't take comedians seriously.   Their job is to make you laugh.  Every once in a while, one of these performers shows up with something important to say that can possibly change the world.  I noticed one of these moments in a YouTube video my mother asked me to watch.  Jim Carrey says something really profound in between jokes at the 13th minute... "the affect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is."

Would you like to see the entire clip?  Here you go:

Thanks, mom, for sharing this with me.  Thanks also for being such a positive influence in my life.  Yes, the affect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is and I would like to acknowledge just how important you are.  I hope my readers enjoy this video.  Have a great day.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Keep Paddling

There's a certain comfort in the serenity prayer.  If you're not familiar with it, it goes like this:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

For me, the greatest challenge in the prayer is the wisdom part.  How far do you paddle before you realize that goal you're striving for is too far out of reach?  I don't know.  But I do know every moment is my opportunity for adventure.  So, I keep paddling and I never cease praying.  May your day be filled with adventure today.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

It's Time to Live

Stop fooling yourself.  It's too soon to stop living because of what you fear.  Take control.  Plan a funeral for your fear and bury it today.  Walk away from the gravestone and never look back.  It's time to live.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Your Vision Gives You Direction

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you felt like a wanderer in the desert?  I know this feeling well.  It's like losing your sense of sight.  It's a feeling of helplessness.  Your vision is what gives you the ability to find your direction.  How do you find your vision when you're blind?  I have a thought for you to consider that may help.  It has to do with a relationship.  Get this right and you will be able to see all the way to the edge of eternity.  In fact, no obstacle will ever be too big to keep you from your destiny.  Ready?  The answer is in Psalm 37:4 and it has to do with your relationship with the Creator, the One who programmed your own special and unique road map long before you were born.  Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  These desires are your seeds.  He planted them within your soul for your benefit.  Connecting to your Creator is the best thing you can do to correct your vision.  Have a great day.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Imagine Your Writing Endeavor is a Rubik's Cube

Maybe you've been pondering it for a while but you're having trouble figuring out how to get started.  I believe the secret to accomplishing your writing endeavor or any major life project is to imagine it as a Rubik's cube.  There are sequences and patterns.  Play with it.  Experiment.  Don't stop until you solve the vision you created in your mind.

My current work in progress is a hot mess but I know there's a solution somewhere in the editing process and I'm going to keep moving things around until I get it right.  My prior assignment, The Caveman in the Mirror, started with just two sides of a Rubik's cube at opposite ends.  All I needed to do to publish was figure out how the two main characters were related.  When I got stuck, I turned to Divine assistance for clues.  Eventually, all the colors lined up properly and I released my first novel.  The lesson I learned is to never give up.  You can do this.  Take it one step at a time until your Rubik's cube is complete.  Have a great day.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Milestone Ahead

My how time flies when you're having fun.  It seems like yesterday when I started this blog.  The next milestone, blog story number 3,000, is now within reach and I should pass that mile marker just before Thanksgiving.  They say it takes 30 days to form a habit.  It helps when you find something you love and this is one of my favorite passions.  Thank you for taking the time to visit.  Consistency matters.  It brings you to new heights.  Choose something fun and stick to it.  Have a great day.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Gratitude Defined

I found a great definition of gratitude this morning that goes beyond what the dictionary offers.  It's from the Harvard Medical School...

“a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power” 

I would like to acknowledge all the good in my life today, both tangible and intangible.  I'm especially thankful for the connection we have.  That's what all these messages are about – connections.  Thank you for taking time out your busy life to connect with me.  And thank you for giving me the opportunity to develop a sense of purpose.  Have a great day.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn is Here

Summer is officially over.  Today is the first day of Autumn.  Go outside.  Take a hike.  Bask in the colors.  This is especially important because your body needs vitamin D and it's harder to get this time of year when the sun pays less and less attention to the northern hemisphere.  I'm going to take advantage of the record highs we're experiencing this week and soak up some sunshine before the temps start falling.  Have a great day.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Skip the Diet

Diets don't work.  Eating healthy is what it's all about.  This is a lifestyle.  I don't even need to think about this when I'm home because everything in my kitchen is healthy.  Lunch away from home is usually from my kitchen so there's no tough food choices to make.  The only real challenge is when I'm eating out which I limit to about one meal a week.  If I can pick something on the menu that is healthy, I'm batting 1000 for the week.  That's it.  There's no diet, just healthy eating choices.  Keep this in mind the next time you're grocery shopping.  Shop healthy and eat healthy.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Great Life Ahead

It's mood check time.  How is it?  My hope for you is you find yourself in a great mood.  If you're anything below a ten, probe deeper.  Take a good hard look at your attitude.  I do find things go wrong 9 times out of 10.  That's life.  The game changer is how you deal with those wrong turns.  It's really about having a great attitude day in and day out.  That sets the stage for a great mood.  At the end of the day you will find yourself saying, "hey, this is a great day."

Great attitudes set the stage for great moods, great days, great years and a great life.  It starts right now.  Go for it.  Have a great life.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I Found My Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

I shot these pics last night after a brief storm passed through our neighborhood.  For me, the beginning and the end of the rainbow are significant because they are both located in my home town.  That's where my pot of gold is.  It's where the grass is the greenest I've ever seen.  It's where the color changes in Fall are so brilliant it makes me feel like I'm in Heaven.  No, it's not really Heaven but it's a close second.  I have everything I need here.  My prayer for you today is that you find your pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.  Hint:  you may find it outside in your own backyard.  Have a great day.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Recipe for Good Thoughts

Your thoughts are what feed your brain.  How do they taste?  Did you ever notice how one bad thought can change everything?  It's all about the ratios.  For every negative thought, you need at least ten positive thoughts to get back on track.

When dining with others, check your menu carefully before speaking.  Negative thoughts can affect the mood.  Watch facial expressions on your guests so you can spot a negative thought before it spills into the conversation.  The best way to beat a negative thought to the punch is to ask a question.  I like this one:  "why do you feel that way?"  If you can get others to spit out what's bothering them, you can change the flavor of their negative thoughts because you're showing empathy.

The best recipe for good thoughts is the one free of contaminants.  Avoid negative thoughts and all your meals will be amazing.  Have a great day.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New Beginnings

The DJ asked all the couples to remain on the dance floor until he called their anniversary number last night at our niece's wedding reception.  I whispered in my wife's ear, "we're gonna be out here for a while."

"Five years," he said, sending about 25% of the crowd back to their seats.  The crowd thinned out as he raised the number in five year increments.  The song ended and we were still dancing.  The DJ played another song and kept raising the bar on number of years married.  We sat down when the DJ called thirty years.  The remaining couples still dancing held each other closely.  I knew their secret to a long marriage.  It's waking up every morning to a new beginning.  It's the willingness to look at all your failures as an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.  This lesson applies to every area of your life.  Find the rhythm.  Apologize when you step on someone's toes and don't ever fear failure.  It's only a dance step that requires practice.  Have a great day.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Best Method for Becoming a Better Person

Want to be a better person?  Check your surroundings.  Take a good hard look at the top five people you're spending the most time with.  Ask yourself, "do these people impact my life in a positive manner?"

I'm thankful for the top five people in my life.  I'll keep their names private for confidentiality reasons.  These people inspire me to improve on a daily basis.  If you're not feeling inspired by the people in your circle of friends, look for new friends.  Have a great day.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hidden Figures

I watched Hidden Figures last night with my wife.  It's all about breaking barriers and overcoming challenges.  My biggest takeaway from the movie is to never give up no matter how many obstacles you face.  Dream big.  Believe in yourself.  If you haven't seen this movie, check it out.  Have a great day.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Elimination Game

Want to win at life?  Consider it a game.  The rules are simple – advance.  Don't worry about your pace or where the other players are located.  Concentrate on your own moves.  I would like to offer a hint for you based on my own personal experience.  I used to think it was better to drag stuff along in case I faced a rainy day.  This thought process only slowed me down and left me stranded in some pretty intense storms.  A voice inside my head said, "let go." 

Funny how life teaches you so many valuable lessons.  I'm light-footed now.  Yes, there are rainy days but they don't bother me.  In fact, I'm dancing in the rain because I'm not holding on to anything.  The more I eliminate, the swifter my advancement.  Ask yourself, "What's holding me back?  Is there anything I can eliminate today to enhance my advancement?"

Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Angels in Disguise

Her career in food service nearly ended prematurely when the arthritis in both wrists caused unbearable pain.  Our food server at Market House Restaurant in Galena turned to her sister for help and decided to give her food advice a try before resorting to surgery.  "My sister owns this place," our server told us.  "She doesn't eat gluten, dairy or soy products.  My sister suggested I eat like her for a while to see if my pain might subside."

"What happened?"  I asked.

"One day my sister noticed I wasn't rubbing my hands together, something I did to ease the pain of my arthritis.  The marble-sized lumps in my wrists virtually disappeared.  I can stand all day without any pain in my feet and I feel better than ever.  It's been two years since I followed my sister's advice.  She saved me from undergoing surgery and there was no guarantee my wrists would restore me."

I would like to thank both sisters for taking care of my wife and me while we were on vacation and for sharing their food journey with us.  Stop in at the Market House the next time you're in Galena and check out some healthy food options.  The people running the place may call themselves sisters but I know better – they're really angels in disguise.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Crystal Ball

"There's the grotto," my wife yelled, looking out the window. 

I had no clue what she was talking about but she asked me to pull over and stop the car.  The word grotto means an artificial cavern or cave.   We found ourselves standing motionless and staring at this odd building that appeared to be covered in sea shells.  We captured the photo above during an unplanned visit to the grotto in Dickeyville, Wisconsin last week and it happens to be my favorite shot from our mini vacation.  If you look closely inside the crystal ball, you can see the grotto behind us in the reflection.  There are multiple religious and patriotic shrines on the property where Holy Ghost church is located, all constructed without the use of blueprints.  The materials used to create the grotto are from all over the world and include colored glass, gems, antique heirlooms of pottery or porcelain, stalagmites and stalactites, sea shells, starfish, petrified sea urchins and fossils, and a variety of corals, amber glass, agate, quartz, ores, such as iron, copper and lead, fool's gold, rock crystals, onyx, amethyst and coal, petrified wood and moss.  I've never seen anything like it.  It's worth checking out, especially in late September when the Autumn leaves are showing off their vivid colors.  Have a great day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Take a Knee, Boys

It took 45 days of training to get these Clydesdales ready for one of the most important tributes ever.  Our country was deeply wounded.  Budweiser took the risk knowing the sixty day window of time from the 9/11 tragedy to airing was nearly impossible to pull off.  The trainer went to work immediately and the creative team moved heaven and earth to accomplish just what our country needed to honor the memory of the fallen.  I tip my hat to the St. Louis company who put our country ahead of profit to air this message one time only.  Here it is again.  We will never forget.  Have a great day.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Low Tide

Do you ever get the feeling you're living in one of those "low tide" moments?  We all have them.  It's part of being human.  The tides are just like seasons.  I'm living in a place where Nature shows more brilliant colors as the tides recede this time of year.  Today is the final day of a four state adventure with my wife.  For us, low tide means the nest is empty.  We don't hear those voices asking, "are we there yet?"  Instead, it's the two of us experiencing a new season of our lives.  Autumn is approaching.  I'll be back in my cave soon and plan to use low tide to complete my writing project.  Use your tides and your seasons wisely.  Have a great day.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Beware of Lab Rats Who Speak

Ever wonder what your pet is really thinking?  Maybe it's better to leave it to your imagination.  Your pet has it made.  You give it love, attention, and free room and board.  Why ruin a great relationship by giving your pet the power of speech?  The next thing you know, you're arguing about politics, race, religion and other topics debated on the nightly news.  Silence is golden.

I happen to be a lab rat and I've been known to speak my mind in the past.  Good thing I learned to bite my tongue.  Today I have two words I'd like to share with my readers:  Happy birthday.  This goes out to my cousin who inspires others to "go caveman."  I was his first lab rat and he showed me how I could be healthier by getting rid of artificial foods and focusing on mostly fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and seeds.  Today my cousin is celebrating his birthday and there are many lab rats around me who are thriving because they gave his food experiment a try.  If they could speak they would all be saying the same thing, "thank you."  Yes, these lab rats are slender, happy and more active than ever, thanks to my cousin, John.  Happy birthday, cuz.  Have a great day.

Friday, September 8, 2017

You Can Only Lose What You Cling To

You can apply this quote to anything or anyone.  I always thought holding on meant being strong.  There's a different way to look it and I'm finding it much more rewarding.  It's letting go, especially if what you're grasping doesn't belong to you.  Your clinging means captivity for whatever you're holding.  How would you feel if someone did that to you?  Learn to be empty-handed.  This is what freedom feels like.  It leaves you open to new experiences.  Try it.  Have a great day.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

You Have Blank Pages to Fill

A professor gave her students a pop quiz.  She presented them with a piece of paper with a black dot at the center and asked them to write a story.  Everyone in the class focused on the black dot.  Not a single student wrote about the empty space around the dot.  That's where your opportunity is.  It's not about the negative things that already happened.  It's about what's ahead on the blank pages you have to fill.  Will your story end happily ever after?  Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Safe at Home?

We all know the rules of the game in life.  They're like baseball.  You go through Spring Training (Kindergarten through college), do your best to get in the big leagues and find lifelong friends you can trust to be there in tough situations.  It's a combination of playing good offense and defense.  We hope to arrive safe at home and get one more run than the other side.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty certain my uniform will be tattered and dirty and my body will be roughed up from all my years playing the game of life when I round third and head home for the final time.  I'll leave it to the umpire to decide if I'm safe.  The only thing I know for sure is I want to be in the game and I'm not afraid to go into extra innings.  I have my rally cap on and I'm remembering the slogan from my days watching the San Diego Padres, Keep the Faith.  Yep.  It's easy to get disheartened when your team is down but don't ever give up.  Go all in.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stick a Fork in it

You may have your reasons for not sticking a fork in it.  I'm referring to something most Americans don't see on their plate often enough.  I eat at least one a day and I don't even add the croutons, the dressing or the cheese on top.  No portion controls are needed.  This is my secret weapon for improved health.  If you're not eating a salad a day, you need to stick a fork in it at your next meal.  Make it a habit.  And when your friends ask you what you're doing differently to look so healthy, tell them, "I stick a fork in it."  Have a great day.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Time to Get Gritty

I took a grit test last night after watching a TED talk featuring researcher Angela Lee Duckworth.  Click here to see her video, Grit: the power of passion and perseverance.  If you like what you see, click here to find out where you rank on the grit scale.

This subject resonates with me because I do believe anyone can get grit if they're willing to pay the price.  Grit can get you to your goals when everyone else thinks you don't have a chance in Hell.  Grit can reward you with a life well lived.  Grit can be your best friend when your compass is broken and nothing in your life is going according to plan.

Angela wasn't sure how best to teach grit to others.  I have an idea.  Be gritty.  Start today.  Let your loved ones learn grit by your example.  Have a great day.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

More or Less

In Spanish, the term is "más o menos," meaning more or less.  In life, it's the difference between peace and disturbance.  How does it stack up for you?  Do you have balance in your life?  Are too many things weighing you down?

Imagine there are two rooms in your home.  One is painted in your favorite color.  The pictures on the wall remind you of all the times when you were surrounded by family and friends doing your favorite activities.  The other room is dark.  Every time you visit you feel your life energy being sucked out of you.  This room gives you a headache.  If you stay too long, you get sick to your stomach.  Analyze how you spent your time this last week, last month and last year.  How much time was in the "positive" room and how much time was in the "negative" room?  If you're feeling drained today, odds are you spent too much time in the wrong room doing things you don't even like to do.  What room are you going to choose today?  Remember, there's a third choice and that's what I'm doing.  Go outside.  Looking at pictures may be okay, but doing your favorite activities with friends and family is even better.  Have a great day.