You Should Never, Ever Compare Yourself To Others


You should never, ever compare yourself to others…

One of the lowest points of my life was around 2005 while I was working in the golf business.  I had a decent job at a good club and I was completely miserable.  I was surrounded by members who had more than me.  They had better jobs, better homes, better cars and more money.  And I spent the vast majority of my time looking at them with envy.  I wanted everything they had, but more importantly I didn’t want what I had.

I spent many years comparing myself to others and feeling completely inadequate.  Those years of comparing my behind the scenes to their highlight reel nearly ruined me.  I drank heavily and lamented my lack of achievement.  It was not a fun time.

What I would eventually realize was that if I continued to compare myself to anyone other than myself then I would always be miserable.  So I changed my thinking.

I began to compare me to me.

I decided that I would focus solely on becoming everything I wanted to be not on becoming what other were or what others had.  I realized that if I wanted something I would have to go get it.  I would have to change.  I would have to leave golf and go challenge myself.  And that is what I did.

But of all the life changes the single most important was the changing of my mind; I changed the way I thought.

Change begins in an instant and that instant is the exact moment when you decide in your own mind that once and for all you are going to take action.

That was my experience when I decided I was no longer going to compare myself to others.


Stephen Hawking Was a Man Way Ahead of His Time

Image result for stephen hawking young

Some of you may not know this, but my early life intentions were to be a mathematician.  In college I worked my way through the ranks and was actually pretty good.  I was accepted to one of the top mathematics programs in the country (at that time) and did so with honors.  During my time studying higher mathematics I became hypnotized by space and time and anything to do with the origins of life and life in the universe.

I read 2 books which would shape and change my life forever: On the Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

Stephen Hawking died today at the age of 76.  I find incredible inspiration in the fact that he never allowed himself to makes excuses even though he was confined to a chair due to the effects of ALS.  The man continued to push the boundaries and push to understand more about our world.

When I look at the pictures of Hawking confined to that chair it makes me realize that I allow myself to make tons of excuses.

As I transitioned my studies from math and science and added philosophy and religious history I met a professor, Dr. James Tabor, who expressed to me he had one goal: “to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar.”

Stephen Hawking did that for me with his writings.

RIP Stephen Hawking


You Should Dare To Be a Rower, Not a Rocker


You Should Dare To Be a Rower, Not a Rocker…

A friend once said to me “Those who are busy rowing don’t have time to rock the boat.”

For some reason this adage has landed on me hard.  In today’s world you find there are people who are really good at manipulating and they are not always genuine when they make inquiries of what is going on in your world.  They seek out conversations to steal snippets, take them out of context and then use them as ammunition to slander.

You learn who these people are the hard way and I have learned.

So I have a brand new personal policy: I don’t talk about anything or anyone which doesn’t pertain to the exact job I’m doing and the exact person I’m working with.  If anyone ever approaches me about any topic that has nothing to do with me I immediately excuse myself from the conversation.

I figure that if I’m never a part of these types of conversations, then I can never get caught up in other people’s crap.

There are many people in life who are more concerned with other people’s business than they are in being the best they can be.  They invest a tremendous amount of energy in frivolous activities many of which are absolutely counterproductive to anyone being successful.

I work to be world-class at what I do and over the last 18 months I have become one of our best; and I’m proud of the hard work I’ve invested.  I focus on keeping my head down, doing my job to the best of my ability and getting results.

I don’t have time to rock the boat because I am too busy working and producing.

One eye-opening revelation for me has been that there are boat-rockers in positions throughout your life.  People want to talk about others (gossip).  A friend of mine calls it jealousy and I have witnessed it first-hand.  I don’t understand it because it isn’t in my nature to talk about people behind their back.

I have a lot to learn and a lot of people on which to keep my eye!

I guess the question we must all ask is…Am I a rower or am I a rocker?


Is the Time Change a Chance For a Fresh Start?


Is the Time Change a Chance For a Fresh Start?

In the United States we have this thing called Daylight Savings.  Each year clocks are set forward 1 hour in the spring and set back one hour in the fall.  Many reasons are given for the “why” of doing it, but the main result is every fall it suddenly is dark at 5:30 pm leaving no time during the week for non-work related daylight.  So people are left counting the days until the spring jump forward so they can enjoy some daylight following the conclusion of their work day.

But I have a different perspective this year.  I am going to take full advantage of the daylight and I’m using the jump forward as a prompt to get a lot more active.  I am going to push my body to the max and see what I get.  Now, for those who know I live with MS so “pushing” my body takes on a much different meaning than the average healthy person.  My feet cannot take the pounding of running nor can I walk for long distances.  But it is the walking that I am going to tackle in hopes that I can eventually build up to running.

I believe that being fit is the single most important thing anyone can do to get anything they want in life.  I believe that making incredibly healthy food choices is the most important thing someone must do in order to be fit.  Therefore, if you want more from your life, then you must begin to make incredibly healthy food choices.

Some might disagree with statement and that is okay.  It doesn’t make it any less true.

I must begin making strict food choices, especially when eating out.  I will be loading my body with tons of vegetables and fruits, with low-fat proteins like fish.  I am not much of a fish fan so I am going to search out the types of fish that I will like, but I’m making the transition off of beef, chicken and turkey.  My eating will be primarily veggies.

A strong mind begins with a strong body.  If the body is fat, like mine is now, then the mind gets weak.  But if the body is incredibly strong, then the mind will be stronger.  Your Discipline will strengthen.  Your Will will strengthen.  Your Motivation will get stronger.  Your Inspiration will get stronger.  Your Resolve will get stronger.

And all of this happens when you have a strong body.

Conversely when the body is weak, layered in fat cells and receives foods loaded with low nutrients, then the mind is weaker.  This leads to low resolve, low energy and lower results.

I think this time change is a great opportunity for all of us to get outdoors and get fit.

It is time for a fresh start.


Why Discipline Is the Key To Success


Why Discipline Is the Key To Success…

There is no other skill more important than discipline.

And so we are all on the same page by what I mean by “discipline”, let’s define it accurately.  Merriam-Webster dictionary defines discipline as: “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.”  I like to think of discipline as doing something even when you don’t want to do the task.

For instance, a good example of discipline would be going to the gym when your mind is working overtime to convince you to take a day off.  Discipline is when you make the right food choice even when your mind is trying to convince you to get the double chocolate brownie sundae.

There is no skill stronger than discipline when you are trying to reach a goal or find a higher level for yourself.  Discipline is the skill that will allow you to overcome any obstacle.  Discipline is the power behind the goal; the fuel in the tank.

All success is built on discipline.

Life is tough and people will use every opportunity to say I told you so.  Life will try to beat you down.  Life will try to convince you, you are not good enough.  Life will kick you in your arse.  Life will try to rob you of victory.

So why would someone make decisions which help life beat them down even more?  Why help and provide fuel for the negative?

What I try to focus on is adding fuel to the positive.  I work to make better food decisions which keeps my body a little more fit which allows my mind to be even stronger.  I read to learn and edify my knowledge.  I write to express myself artistically.  I work hard at my job to be the best I can be.  I work to practice discipline so that I give myself every opportunity to reach every goal I set.

When you don’t practice discipline and you make poor choices about yourself, then in a huge way you are helping life kick you straight in your butt.  You are helping prove the naysayers right.  Poor decision-making lends support to the same force which is working against you.

Why would anyone do this?

But people do it every single day with their food choices.  They do it every single day when they decide to lie around and watch hours of television.   They do it every day when they decide to cut corners.

Do yourself a favor and stop helping life kick your own arse.  Start practicing discipline and make better choices which benefit you, your mind, your spirit and your body.


Does Smart Phone Focus Make You Selfish?


Does Smart Phone Focus Make You Selfish?

Selfishness exists in the U.S. in one major way: people are absorbed into their smart phones and rarely look up.   Now why do you think I label looking down at a smart phone as selfish?   I label this as selfish because looking down at one’s smart phone makes one less aware of what is going on in the world around them.  At worst it is self-absorbed.

Now I will admit there was a time when my go-to move in public was to kill time by diving into my smart phone or tablet.  I don’t do that any longer or at least I try to not do it the majority of the time.

It is interesting to be out in public and not use your smart phone.  You will notice that the vast majority are walking around while looking down.  Many are watching videos or checking their status on social media, but still, they are looking down and not paying attention to the real world.

I wonder what the long-term effects will be of raising a generation who are obviously addicted to technology?  Will humans turn out to be like the humans in Wall-E?  I not sure what the impact will be, but I am certain it isn’t entirely healthy.

I enjoy people watching.  I enjoy looking up and seeing other humans.

I think people need a reminder to look up.  I have begun to leave my phone at home or in my car when I don’t need it.  I do not place it on the table when eating.  I am beginning a slow disconnect from it when I don’t have to have it on me.  And I feel better when I don’t have it on me at all times.

It feels good to be disconnected if only for a few minutes.


Life Can Be a Roller Coaster, You Best Be Strong…and Prepared!


Life Can Be a Roller Coaster, You Best Be Strong…and Prepared

The last few weeks in the southern U.S. has presented a wild ride as far as weather is concerned.  We had a snow/ice storm which shut the cities down for a week.  That storm was followed by a February that felt more like June with temperatures near 80 degrees!  Now for the last few days the morning temperatures have been in the thirties with afternoon temps in the 60s.

Up and down.  Up and down.  Up and down.

Sometimes I wish I lived in Hawaii where the temperatures are 80 degrees every single day.  It would be so easy to plan each day.  It would be much easier to design a wardrobe!  It just seems like it would be better.

But guess what?!  I don’t live in Hawaii so I’ve got to find a way to deal with the life I have.

Up and down. Up and down.  Up and down.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in my forty-five years on this old rock is that life is going to throw you for a loop.  One day everything might seem fine and then the next…BAM!  Something happens that disrupts the consistency of your life.  You lose a job or your car breaks down or a kid gets sick or your significant other gets sick.  It could be any number of things.

Life is going to ebb and flow.  It is going to rock and roll.

I initially only had “strong” in the title instead of being paired with “prepared”, but I don’t think being strong is the only thing you need to move through life.  I do, however, believe every person must be prepared.  You must see the breaking wave coming and be prepared to withstand it.  It might knock you down in the surf, but bracing for impact must happen or you don’t stand a chance.

So how can you be prepared for life?  Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. Understand that you only have control over you.  You cannot control what other people say and do, but you are in full control over how you react to them.
  2. Put thoughts and feelings into motion.  Don’t be a talker, be a doer.
  3. Practice personal accountability.  If you do your 100% best, then you will have no regrets.  Don’t allow yourself to make excuses.
  4. Accept change as inevitable and move with change instead of fighting against it.  Sometimes plans must be altered and other times plans must be completed demolished and rebuilt; and there’s nothing wrong with rebuilding.
  5. Focus on finding YOUR fulfillment instead of “happiness” and understand the stark difference between the two.
  6. Understand that tough times are a part of life and try not to invest too much of your emotion into those time.  Just let them be what they are and focus your efforts on maintaining the course.  An old friend would tell me “Let tough times roll off you like water off a duck’s back.”
  7. Don’t get wrapped up with people who are Debbie Downers.  When life lands a right cross the last thing you need is someone in your circle of trust saying “I told you so”.
  8. In all things have character.   If you always do the right thing no matter what you will never lose.

These are just a few of my thoughts about how to be prepared for the ups-and-downs of life.  I think the key is in understanding that these down times are going to happen and one should not overreact when they do.

As the old Persian adage says, “This too shall pass.”