Avoid The Dangers Of The Personal Development Industry: Michael Davidson of Feelhappiness.com


I’m a huge advocate of personal development. My collection of self-help books, pamphlets, and magazine articles lifted from the various offices (too cheap to purchase it for one page!) date back 30 years. I was finally motivated to restructure my DNA after children entered the frame. Although neglect was never an issue, my value system wasn’t a tradition I wanted to hand down. A strength is that even when I have a difference of opinion, I’m willing to approach yours with an open mind. I will also share your point of view if it makes sense and is fact-based. This article, even though several years old, falls into that category. It’s an interesting (but extremely long!) read and included several valid points even though my conclusion wasn’t altered by his opinion. Personal development should be a mandatory event before certain people are let loose in public.

Feel free to share…

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Strength Through Struggle: Learning To Thrive In “Rocky Soil”

Reclaiming HOPE

grapes on vine with text overlay: Strength Through Struggles: Learning To Thrive In "Rocky Soil" https://reclaiminghope.,blogOne day as I was watching a movie, one of the characters made the statement that the best wine came from grapes grown in rocky soil. Being the naturally inquisitive (okay, nosy might be more accurate) person that I am, I decided to do a little research. Guess what? It’s true.

This was really interesting to me because as a gardener, I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my soil is in great condition for the plants to grow. I try to do everything I can to make it easy for them to produce beautiful, healthy vegetables. If I don’t, I can pretty much guarantee I’ll be shopping at the grocery store instead of in my back yard, so the idea of plants thriving in poor soil is almost a foreign concept to me.

Why would a plant actually produce better from poor soil? Well, I found a…

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A lesson in failure…

Purple Almond Wellness

Hello everyone!

I’m back from my sabbatical,


it went NOTHING like I planned.

As the old saying goes,

“Man plans, God laughs”.


I started out doing well. I was on a good schedule, exercising, meditating, and doing some spiritual study everyday, when a minor tragedy occurred…

My oldest son’s college course was canceled on one day in April, and giving him the time to take our dog for his daily walk. I decided to take advantage of the little bit of freedom from my beloved canine, and drive to a local lake (above) and walk the paths….an hour walk, is what I decided to do…30 minutes one way, then turn around. (The path all the way around the lake is LONG, 5.3 miles to be exact, so I knew I couldn’t do the whole thing) Well, I had just hit the 30 minute mark and was about to turn…

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CHANGE your story CHANGE your life


Quote - Risk

What am I afraid of?

Not going after what I know will make me happy.

When I think about all the things I spend my money on, I’d be highly disappointed knowing that I could have taken that trip three times over but instead I spent my money on eating out every day. And investing always more on behalf of my employer or others than on myself. I’m afraid of putting all my energy into superficial things without stopping to change course. Or forgetting those past successes that remind me of the bigger picture—that the universe is seeking to help me at every turn.

I want to live without restrictions and I want that for everybody I meet. Why – because we are our best selves in this state. We are more valuable when our experiences stretch us and create discomfort.

Quote - NinaQuote - NinaQuote - NinaQuote - Nina

I’m not going to give you 7 Ways to…

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Day 18 – Add S.O.A.P.

Principle Michelle

Spending time in the word of God is essential to knowing him better. You can read a verse today and see one thing, but two years from now, you could read the same verse and see something more — a deeper, maturer understanding of the Holy Spirit’s revelatory power.

Today I’m merely challenging you to S.O.A.P. your anchor scripture again. We did it for the first time on Day 8.  My belief is that your experiences in the last 10 or more days, will reveal some growth and possibly the revelation of a new goal. Working to clean ourselves up so that we can better serve our Lord is good practice. We should continuously look to Father for his guidance and include him in every decision, conversation, or presentation that we’re a part of. Ask for clarity — even in the little things.

Now, let’s get ready for the…

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The Thing I Love About Vacation Planning

The Thing I Love About Vacation Planning…

Evelina and I started planning our big vacation for 2018 this morning.  We are going to go down and spend a week at the condo in Naples.  If you recall we spent last year in Naples as well and highly recommend visiting if you get a chance.

This June we will spend nearly a week relaxing on the beach, eating at Grouper and Chips, riding bikes and maybe a little shopping for Evelina.





We love it there and are so excited to go back.  When we leave there we are going to cap off our trip with a couple days at Disney World (imagine that!), but we will not be staying at the resort this time.  Honestly, as much as I love Disney I do not love the prices.  So to conserve money we will be staying off property and commuting to the parks.

My favorite thing about vacation is the planning and anticipation.  It is an awesome feeling to be preparing now for a big trip in June and gives me motivation each week as a little more is added to the trip itinerary!

Are you planning a vacation for this year?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

The One Way I Believe Self-Help Fails


The One Way I Believe Self-Help Fails…

In my opinion “self-help” fails in one major way: it focuses on improving your shortcomings instead of directing you to simply be the person you want to be.  I hope that makes sense, but just in case it doesn’t I’ll clarify.

Almost every self-improvement blogger I know espouses a basic premise that you can eventually be and achieve all the things that will make you fulfilled, but for now you need to improve yourself.  In order to get what you want you must change something.  I’ve even said it in the past.

Stop wasting time, stop procrastinating, stop eating junk food and on and on and on.  The list never ends.  We are all familiar with the language.

But doesn’t this approach put more emphasis on the negative instead of the positive?  It seems like self-improvement focuses so much on what I lack; on my deficiencies.   And aren’t we always going to have deficiencies?  So it hit me that one could get caught in this ridiculous loop of constantly focusing on faults and this doesn’t feel right to me any longer.

What if you simply determined what it is that you know you do really well and focused on those aspects of your life?  If you are a people person then find things to do that will allow you to highlight that ability.  If you love being creative then be creative.  If you love numbers then be content with playing the numbers game in some fashion.

What if your focus became to simply become the person you desire to be?  Full of deficiencies, faults, mistakes, shortcomings, etc.  The path of “I must fix this problem now, then I’ll fix this problem and after that I’ll be happy” will lead to frustration and misery.  The journey promises to be full of adventure and insightful experiences, but creates an unreachable, ever-moving destination; a destination that never existed in the first place.

It seems to me that focusing on the positive is much more effective and enjoyable than constantly focusing on the negatives.


Not Everyone Understands How To Struggle

DannyThere is a key element to success that not all people understand: struggle.  Struggle is a key element of getting ahead.  It exists in quitting smoking.  It exists in losing weight.  It exists in getting a promotion.  It exists in building a business. It exists in making more money.   Any time you look to advance yourself you can bet that struggle will play into the equation at some point.

For Mark Cuban it was living in an apartment with 6 other guys eating ketchup and mustard sandwiches.  For some it might be living without pay television, internet and not eating out for a year or more.  For others it might involve walking to work instead of driving.

I have joked in the past that anyone can work a home budget of $5000 per month, but it takes talent to live for a couple of weeks on $20.  You know you’ve lived the struggle when you can live in a major metro area and have the skills to stretch that 20 bucks to its max!

Most people are afraid of the struggle and they don’t know how to handle it.  Which explains why more people don’t reach their personal goals.  It’s not laziness.  It’s not lack of motivation.  It’s not lack of education.  It’s fear.  They fear the struggle.  They fear the ‘what if’ part of success that says ‘what if it doesn’t work out?’.

A New Mindset

Peace from Panic

A few weeks ago, I watched a vlog by Danny at Dream Big, Dream Often that inspired me. I keep thinking about it and have been trying to incorporate it into my life. So I thought I’d share it here, in case you hadn’t seen it.

The main point is simple: Instead of focusing on what you need to stop doing, focus on what you need to start doing.

Danny said, “We don’t have to focus on quitting anything. Just keep doing enough of the right stuff and the negative will not have room in your life.”

The positive changes will eventually push out the negative behaviors.

It’s important to make a plan and stick to it. Here are some ideas:

Instead of Saying: 

  1. I have to stop eating junk food.
  2. I need to quit watching so much TV.
  3. I should spend less time on social media.
  4. I need to…

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