Life Lessons to Share

7.31.15 1Everyday there is a lesson to be learned. Sometimes we say things we didn’t mean. We react without thinking. Or we simply misinterpret what was said or the outcome.

The truth of the matter, there are things that are better left unsaid. We become vocal rather than maintain silence. We argue various points with no real merit. We push buttons even though we know we’ve taken an issue too far.

Typically we react with emotions. It’s our first inclination of acceptance toward an outcome. Whether we agree to disagree, too often our emotions are a result of unwanted behavior that we tend to regret later on. Rather than thinking prior to reacting, we act upon impulse. Why? Because we are human. We have natural emotions, we feel the need to emphasize our points. Emotion does a great job of distorting outcomes.

Perceptions can play a significant role to any interpretation. The fact that two individuals can look at the same element and formulate two different outcomes is amazing. In most instances we struggle to understand others. Just when we believe we have it all figured out, a new wrinkle surfaces, testing our perceptions.

The lessons we learn in life may not always be thought of, used, or initially realized, but they do surround us everywhere we go. Sometimes they stop us in our tracks and provide an “aha” moment. Other times it may be a series of repeated mistakes that finally click. Regardless of how lessons materialize, they are valuable assets to our lives.

One of the greatest life lessons I’ve learned is to be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. We all experience many setbacks, but with the right perception, none of them change who we are for the worse. Instead, they make you stronger, smarter, and more appreciative for what you have. You’ll still make mistakes and get your tongue tied into knots. However, it still won’t take away how far you’ve come. No one said it would be easy. Then again, you never asked for it to be easy. Life lessons are a blessing in disguise. What you take away from it makes it that much more special.

Share your favorite life lessons and “keep those feet moving.”

What You Can’t Control Shouldn’t Control You

7.24.15 1Sometimes we struggle trying to overcome tricky situations. We stress ourselves out running through all the unlikely scenarios in our heads. We become victims of negative energy as we focus too much on things beyond our control. When does it end? How do we take back control to enhance our lives again?

We’ve all heard the phrase “focus on things we can control” yet for some reason it doesn’t entirely resonate with the daily issues we face. We still get frustrated and bothered by the littlest things that are relatively immaterial. Because we’re focused on control, we still find ourselves struggling to get ahead in life. If we’re constantly feeling weighed down, then how are we expected to maintain control?

The key is finding a comfort zone. A balance that can bring us back to a soft landing spot and keep us in check. Taking emotion out of the equation, try focusing on the facts and realistic control factors. A much clearer picture will appear.

What you can’t control shouldn’t control you. A true statement to live by each day. An alternative approach to a concept so simple.

Life is what we make of it. Uncontrollable barriers are meant to slow us down, test our stamina. But if you can separate the controlled versus uncontrolled, you’ll realize just how much more positive energy you’ll have in life. Eventually, those uncontrollable factors become immaterial or unnoticed.

Focus on the positive energy and “keep those feet moving.”

What’s Your Motivation?

7.17.15No matter the circumstances, no matter the challenges, motivation can propel you to reach new heights. It can be the ultimate force to success. The only problem is that motivation can be absent at any given point. Finding it sometimes proves to be a challenge.

Where motivation originates is immaterial. Family, music, events, health, individuals, quotes, and passages are all contributing factors. Everywhere we look, motivation surrounds us. Whether it’s getting your life back on track, overcoming illnesses, battling depression or substance abuse, training for a triathlon, making more money, or anything else you strive for, it’s the motivation that enables you to push yourself to extremes.

Just when you think you’ve peaked and you can’t go further, push yourself to take another step. Then another step. One more. Keep going. You can do it. Keep those feet moving. There aren’t limits in life, only obstacles. Much of it lies within our control. Our motivation is what separates ourselves from others. It defines who we are and our values.

Each day new challenges arise. Challenges that will knock you down. Your motivation, your focus is what enables you to get back up to keep fighting. Keep fighting as Life comes at you hard. Believe in yourself, believe that you have what it takes to achieve success. And once you got that motivation, nothing can stop you.

Find your motivation and “keep those feet moving.”

It’s Time To Start Living Life

7.10.15We’re bounded by certain forces of nature. Unexplained and unexpected life changes that test our ultimate strength. The weight is often felt, sometimes sending us into a funk.

Financial, health, and relationship distress are primary contributors to added stress and anxiety. To offset, we find ourselves sacrificing our lives just to stay afloat. We postpone leisure vacations, put off purchasing discretionary items, miss out on events, and avoid certain opportunities. Despite our best intentions of cutting back and trying to get ahead, more opportunities are genuinely lost than gained. Our lives are simply passing us by as we are merely just surviving life, not living life.

We already know setbacks are part of life and how we rise above them determines success. But even as we push ourselves ahead, we do forget our ultimate goal. That is to live life to the fullest.

A financial hardship of my own caused me to rethink how I am living life. While I’m presently in a job that doesn’t cover all my expenses, I find comfort knowing that I’m working hard towards a promotion that will provide great financial security. Will I get it remains to be said, but through all my efforts I’ve somehow managed to stay afloat. While I may be just surviving financially, I realized that I am still missing out on living life to the fullest.

We can plan for retirement, certain family milestones, and health related costs, and sacrifice our enjoyment for the purpose of the future. But what if our future gets shortened and we never get the opportunity to fulfill our bucket list? Now we look back with regret not being able to live life the way we wanted to. In the end, we are left with heartache and pain.

While the notion is not to encourage reckless spending and behavior, however, there is a certain element of realization that we are in the prime of our lives. We should go out and enjoy ourselves each day. Occasionally splurge and treat ourselves. Go on vacation. See the world. Get fresh air and move about. Meet with family and friends. Hug your children a little longer. Smile at strangers as you pass. Partake in an activities you normally wouldn’t. Try new things. Feel good about yourself. Help others. Help yourself. Be free. Be spirited. Rejoice. Experience all that life has to offer. After all, this is what life is all about.

Start living life and “keep those feet moving.”

Little Sayings That Can Make All The Difference

7.03.15.1No one said it would be easy. Challenges are for the strong. You have to work for it each day.

No one said it would be easy. There will be days you feel pain. But pain is temporary, pride is forever.

No one said it would be easy. The odds may be against you. Only you can decide whether you have what it takes to succeed.

No one said it would be easy. You can easily give up. But it takes will to continue.

No one said it would be easy. All those hopes and dreams. Don’t give up on those just yet.

No one said it would be easy. There will be battles won and lost.  Fight for what you believe in and know you’ve done everything you could to win.

No one said it would be easy. There are setbacks that you’ll experience. But that’s life, how you respond makes the difference of achieving success.

No one said it would be easy. For every struggle, there’s a silver lining that follows.

No one said it would be easy. The greatest battle in life is the one within yourself. Overcome that and you can accomplish anything.

No one said it would be easy. Where we go in life is determined what we do today. It may seem insignificant, but the reality is that every missed opportunity can have a profound effect on the future.

No one said it would be easy. Life may be unexpected, but unexpected is good, for there is hope after all.

No one said it would be easy. If all wishes came true, then we wouldn’t have anything to wish for.

No one said it would be easy. Someday you will become a champion.

We all have little passages, quotes, and philosophy that enable us to overcome our personal challenges. Enables us to keep our lives moving forward. While they may be personal to us, it could have a profound effect on others.

What’s your favorite Little Saying? Share it today and “keep those feet moving.”

Let Go Or Be Consumed

6.26.15.2Every storyteller has their own way of telling a story. What separates them is their expansive details, pitch, and impact. Often we take for granted what we hear as their stories go over our heads and become quickly forgotten. Other times, they leave a profound impact changing our lives.

Last week an associate of mine shared a story that I’ve already shared with others. The message was clear and direct, “Let it go or be consumed.”

The associate once worked in construction. One day while working on the eleventh floor, from a distance he saw another construction worker wheeling a wheelbarrow around the bend. As described, this worker was considered a large, strong man. One that often moves the heavy loads at construction sites. As the wheelbarrow swung around the bend, the worker began to lose control of it. As the wheelbarrow began to go over the ledge, the worker appeared too determined to hold onto it, thinking he could correct its course at the last moment. Instead of simply letting go, he went over along with the wheelbarrow. He fell eleven stories to his death. Hence the phrase to be told, “Let it go or be consumed.”

In life we tend to hold onto things too long because of emotions, stubbornness, or for personal reasons. We often feel the weight of the world on our shoulders trying to push us down. All this build up, it’s no wonder why we feel tired, unhappy, and frustrated. We simply carry too much.

While the concept of letting go seems the elementary, it does serve value. The little, immaterial things that cause us stress, anxiety, and fatigue really aren’t worth our time and energy. Instead focus on the things that truly matter. Things that make a difference. Everything else is small potatoes.

Know when to let go and “keep those feet moving.”

The Magic of Saying “Yes”

6.19.15It’s amazing how one word can open the floodgates to so many opportunities. Take you places you never dreamed of. In some cases, one word can change your entire life.

The movie “Yes Man” starring Jim Carrey inspired me to say “Yes” for one week to every request asked. All our lives we’ve become used to hearing and saying the word “No” for a variety of reasons. Some valid, some because we simply didn’t want to deal with it. Perhaps the movie was onto something more impactful than we realized. The power of saying “Yes” and the sequence of events that follows is truly astonishing!

I was skeptical about trying this experiment at first. The thought of the types of scenarios I might get myself into was cringing, yet humorous. But in the end, I truly wanted to try something different for a change. I’ll admit, it was hard to say “Yes” to everything, but as I became more self-aware and comfortable, I realized how uplifting is the power of “Yes.” What a surprising difference in mood, energy, and possibilities.

Here are a few memorable “Yes” highlights of the week:

  • A day with my daughter painting pottery, buying stuffed animals at a candy store, pedicures at a spa, and endless games at Dave & Busters. What a great (expensive) day!
  • My daughter put me on the spot, asking me to get a pedicure with her, in front of other people. It was actually nice to be pampered.
  • As a diehard Chicago White Sox fan, I said “Yes” to an offer to buy Cubs tickets. Thankfully there was a rain delay, and they televised the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup game on the Jumbotron.
  • Made a cash donation to support a good cause. It was genuine opportunity to give back.
  • My daughter wanted to purchase 2 pet guinea pigs until she realized the responsibility it comes with. Phew!

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to have the ability to make decisions in life. As long as we have options available, we have an opportunity to enhance our lives. Saying “Yes” is one of those opportunities.

Say “Yes” and “keep those feet moving.”