Give yourself permission to do great things

Give yourself permission to do great things

The other day I received my proof copy of the book I have been working on for the past 6 months. My hands were slightly shaky when I first opened the package, delivered by the FedEx guy with questionably short shorts. The anxiety and the excitement came together in a blend of emotions that quickly turned into one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment I have had yet. I felt victorious holding what was first created in the mind, visualized daily for over half a year, and now, physically sitting in the palm of my hand. Out of the mind came a manifestation of what was once only an idea. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill   Give yourself permission  I don’t believe that we give ourselves enough credit when it comes to thinking big. Because when we first birth an idea in the mind, and before anyone ever gives their approval, we’ve already allowed our minds to wander and dream so big that our ideas actually scare the hell out of us. We can already see the finish line. I know there are things you have imagined doing or creating that you have never told anyone about, but have thought about endlessly. That crazy business idea, that new invention, that book you’ve been wanting to write for so long. But when it comes to doing it, we tie and bound ourselves so tight in our minds that we choke any action out of existence. We want permission before we can proceed. We subtly hint at the idea around others in a hope...
Imagine yourself on the London bridge last Saturday night — Sympathy VS. Empathy

Imagine yourself on the London bridge last Saturday night — Sympathy VS. Empathy

I will be honest. I did not enjoy writing this article. It makes me sick to my stomach to truly imagine myself in the place of some of the witnesses to the London bridge attack as I recount the stories in my own words. Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters, while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. Imagine it’s Saturday night. You are out for a couple of beers with some friends. Someone suggests you all go to another bar just across the London bridge. “It’s a better vibe over there,” they say. You all step out into the warm spring night and start making your way over to the next establishment. There are people everywhere in the streets, its the weekend. The group walking ahead of you is a little drunk, singing and laughing, as they stumble along the sidewalk. There is a couple walking behind you, holding hands. Others are following them. You hear the squeal of tires and immediately guess it’s another young kid showing off, spinning the wheels on his dad’s sports car. You laugh. You were his age once and know what it’s like to crave attention from the ladies. You hear the roar of an engine as the pedal hits the floor and look ahead to see a pair of headlights swerve towards the sidewalk. It’s not a sports car, it’s a van. “Drunk idiot!” you say, “He’s going to hit somebody clowning around like that.” The tires hit the curb and the van bounces onto the sidewalk. The folks ahead of...
Where your eyes go, energy flows.

Where your eyes go, energy flows.

Why you can’t move away from the negativity that plagues your life. When Scott Summers, a member of the X-Men, first discovers his superpower, it comes in the form of an uncontrolled blast of energy from his eyes that destroys everything in it’s path when his emotions surge. Until the young man learns to control these beams of energy, he causes a lot of damage to himself and his surroundings. It is only his visor that finally gives him relief of the sporadic head pains and control of his vicious power. But unlike Scott’s eyes, our glare does not destroy the things we look at, but instead destroys our lives as we focus on them.   Don’t we all have this power?   Our brains have worked very hard over many years of our human existence to protect us from predators. Whether it was the saber-toothed tiger, an attack from the next village over, or losing our mate to a stronger man, our brain has evolved to spot danger and send us warning signals. It is like that beam of burning energy from our eyes, drawing us in, wherever we may look, always analyzing and sending stress chemicals through our body. The problem is, we no longer have saber-toothed tigers to watch out for yet the brain continues to spend massive amounts of energy on searching for anything that is a potential threat. We took things that hurt our ego, self-esteem, or social status and conditioned the brain to identify them as threats. This is why it is so much easier for us to zero in on the negativity and...
How to: The simple 3 step guide to dividing people

How to: The simple 3 step guide to dividing people

A “Nazi” and a “Communist” take an Uber together. A few days ago I was in Seattle for work. We finished up our project early and decided to catch the Mariners baseball game being played in town that evening. We ordered an Uber and hopped in, heading for the stadium. On the ride over, we learned our driver was born in Germany. His grandpa fought for the German’s in WWII, and ended up in a Russian prisoners camp for 13 years. I thought this was neat because I was born in Soviet Russia, and my grandpa fought against the Germans in WWII. He ended up in a German death camp for prisoners of war. Here we were, nearly 65 years later. We rode in the same car and we shared stories of a disturbing time in human history, a “Nazi” and a “Communist,” as we would have been called not too long ago. There was no hate. Why would there be? The war was fought by young boys, convinced they were fighting evil, justified in their actions. But it was started by manipulative, power hungry, ******* (Insert expletive here. I personally like the word “bastards.”) So how do you divide and create a hate between people, to the point of them murdering each other? Easy. 1. You make them believe they belong to a great cause, even greater than human life.  We humans have an amusing characteristic. We NEED to believe in something and be a part of something. It’s what gives us meaning, a sense of belonging, a sense of community. Sharing a common belief with others gives us comfort...
Angels in plain site… but you just call them “Mom”

Angels in plain site… but you just call them “Mom”

It’s early morning and still dark outside, already she has said a prayer for you while you sleep. She can transform a seed into a child, a house into a home, a bag of groceries into a meal, and a child’s tears into a smile. She’s cleaned your poop, cut your hair, tucked you in, and held you tight. She will gladly lay down her life for yours. There is nothing in the world that can tear you from her hands of gold. She has sacrificed her body and put her dreams on hold… to raise you so that you can go and build yours. Who is this woman, nothing short of an angel? Well, you just call her “Mom”. Today is Mother’s day and again, we are reminded to love on the ones who have given us the greatest gift we could ever receive, the gift of life. Life can be beautiful but life can also be a pain in the ass. We have work, we have responsibilities, we have deadlines, and we have bills. Every day we have a hundred things, screaming for our attention. It’s so easy to forget to stop and lift our grumbling heads from our phones. It’s so easy to forget that the very women we often take for granted, have given us this gift. They are angels walking among us. Her silver hair is always in a bun. Her smile never leaves her eyes. And her words are ever so full of life. Today I am reminded to look at this mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, and woman, through a new perspective....

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