This One Assumption Can Save A Life

This One Assumption Can Save A Life

Thursday was a big day for Danielle.

11 months sober.

I didn’t even know sobriety was an issue for her.

You could feel both her pride and apprehension in her Facebook post informing her friends of her milestone. Apparently she’s been down this path before, she knows it’s something she is taking one step at a time.

It was great to see the love, support, and encouragement her friends posted in reply. Her replies to their posted comments indicated she, too, was quite happy for the love being sent her way.

Danielle bravely decided to publicly share her struggles with those in her social media world. Bravely, because our world tends to look down on struggle, leaving many of those who do struggle to struggle in silence, battling their own demons alone. Struggle often Continue reading “This One Assumption Can Save A Life”

Embracing the Radical Idea of Unconditional Happiness

Embracing the Radical Idea of Unconditional Happiness

What if you just decided to be happy, right now, for no particular reason?

Certain things make us happy. That usually happens when the outside world meets or exceeds our expectations. Then we allow ourselves to be happy. Happiness becomes the result when our terms and conditions are met.

But what happens when the world around us lets us down?

Think about how a rainy day off from work makes you feel. We establish our expectations for what a “perfect” day off should be, and then the rain ruins everything. Our expectations are not met and our disappointment undermines our ability to be happy.

Why do we place so much of our capacity for happiness into the hands of the outside world of which we have zero control over?

Continue reading “Embracing the Radical Idea of Unconditional Happiness”

Pondering The Power of Encouragement

Pondering The Power of Encouragement

I wasn’t sure he was going to make it. He was an elderly man attempting to complete today’s 5k race. His face and body were drained by the course, further impacted by the high heat and oppressive humidity. Many who had gathered on the side of the course began to shout words of encouragement as he fought his way to the finish line. He managed to share a little smile as he made the final turn on his way finishing the race.

There is a real sense of community surrounding organized road racing. Hundreds of people, from kids to grandparents, with hours of training mostly in solitude come together and turn 3.1 miles into more of a celebration of the common bond they all share. One defining Continue reading “Pondering The Power of Encouragement”

Expecting Green To Be Blue

Expecting Green To Be Blue

Funny how most of the important parts of our lives don’t come with any instructions. But buy a $10 toaster and inside the box you’ll find an owner’s manual with detailed instructions on how to turn soft room temperature bread into warm crusty bread. Usually this information is translated into several different languages, ensuring that a language barrier will never prevent any one from enjoying the simple pleasures of toast.

As much as I enjoy toast and the science and technology behind it, I’d like to think that a troubleshooting guide to life’s deeper questions would be far more valuable than figuring out how to get my bread to toast a little lighter.

Life, and all the questions that come along with it, is just one of those things you have to figure out on your own.

Perhaps life is just far too complicated to have all its mysteries resolved by following a few simple steps. And since no two of us are Continue reading “Expecting Green To Be Blue”

Why You Really Need To Hug Your Toaster

Why You Really Need To Hug Your Toaster

Perhaps your toaster is trying to tell you something?

I never think about my toaster. Even when I’m plugging it in. Even when I’m putting my English muffins into the over-sized slots. I never think about my toaster.

My toaster is just sitting there on the counter. It’s always been on my counter. Probably always will be, too. It’s just one of those props on the set of my mornings, just like the coffee maker and the can opener.

My relationship with my toaster is decidedly one-sided. It’s always been about what the toaster can do for me. White, wheat, or Continue reading “Why You Really Need To Hug Your Toaster”

Standing On The Edge Of Your Greatest Possibilities

A prayer and a parachute hoping to tame the laws of gravity and return him safely to the Earth below.

I watched in awe when Felix Baumgartner gave a wave with his right hand, stood up, and stepped off his capsule 24 miles above New Mexico. I watched the footage of his jump several times, more amazed with every viewing.

During one playback I paused the footage a few seconds before Felix began his jump. The camera angle was directly above Felix, offering an encompassing view of him standing outside the capsule Continue reading “Standing On The Edge Of Your Greatest Possibilities”

Here’s What To Do When God Tells You That You Suck

I wouldn’t want to have that conversation. A conversation where God calls you into the office and tells you that you suck. That you’re less than perfect. That you are inherently flawed. That you are physically/intellectually/emotionally inferior. That you just aren’t good enough.

The good news is God would never call us aside and tell us any of this.

Yet how often do we have this very conversation with ourselves?

THREE VOICES There are worldly voices surrounding us which quite often influence our own opinion of who it is we think we are. These voices come in several dialects, but usually all they do is work Continue reading “Here’s What To Do When God Tells You That You Suck”

What’s The Point of Dreaming If You’re Never Going To Let Your Dreams Come True?

Will our potential ever be anything more than something we’ve failed to live up to?

Thankfully, that’s up to us.

My Honda can go 160 miles per hour. That’s it’s potential, according to the speedometer. For various common sense reasons my car has never reached 160 MPH. Not even close, actually.

Something about a speed limit.

There are a lot of limitations placed on driving. Signs tell us how fast we can go, which lanes we can drive in. Enter Here. Do Not Enter. One Way. A lot of restrictions placed upon our desire to get where we are going.

I understand the need to regulate the rules of the road. (Ever drive in Massachusetts?) For the common good I can appreciate all the limitations and restrictions placed upon us.

But what about the limitations and restrictions we place upon ourselves?

Continue reading “What’s The Point of Dreaming If You’re Never Going To Let Your Dreams Come True?”

Guess What? Your Life Is Over and You Missed It

Dude, where’s my summer?

Remember when summer used to last forever? September was so far away it was never going to happen. Of course that was back in the days before kids and a mortgage and all those other grown up responsibilities.

This summer has already come and gone, and it feels like it never even started.

Or was I just too busy to notice?

Life’s greatest joys are usually found in the details. It’s the little things we notice when we actually take the time to notice them. Fully immersed in the present moment. But with the pace of life these days, who has time for details?

There’s always some place we’re trying to get to. There’s always something else to be done. Life sometimes feels like an all-you-can-eat Continue reading “Guess What? Your Life Is Over and You Missed It”

Why The World Needs You To Be A Three-Year-Old Again

My three-year-old drew this picture for me today at school. She enthusiastically tells me it’s a picture of a “grab hopper”. I have no idea what a grab hopper is.

But it really doesn’t matter.

I love her art. Because it’s art in the truest sense. It’s her innocent untainted expression of what was inside of her, her vision, beautifully showcased on a canvas of 20 pound multipurpose paper with a cheap brown felt-tipped marker.

I’m certain that during the creative process she was never once concerned about what anyone else at her table thought about her drawing. They, too, were far too busy expressing themselves as well, gleefully showing each other their unique masterpieces.

Art. Without the art critics. Just art.

How much of the art that lies within us is never shared with the world simply because we fear it will be harshly measured, judged, evaluated, compared, criticized? How much of what we really are – our voice, our vision, our passion – remains suppressed simply because we’ve empowered the critics and cynics around us? You know, the ones that will lovingly tell you all the reasons why things probably won’t work out anyway?

The best way to silence the critics is to dive in anyway. Then just keep on swimming. At your own pace.

Within each one of us lie unique gifts that only we can offer to the world. A gift that makes the world better. Wouldn’t today be a great day to again start sharing them?

C’mon. How often do you get to act like a three-year-old?

It’s a great day to be you!