Something A Little Different


Usually my posts propose an idea, or something specific to think about. This one is going to be more along the lines of a motivational post. It’s for a friend who is in need of a little push.

Bob Dylan said, “a man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” That’s all you have to concern yourself with. There’s so much pressure on everyone to go to school and get good grades and get a job and earn enough money to have a wedding and buy a house and raise a family. RELAX. Life isn’t that complicated if you don’t want it to be.

Focus on enjoying life, be it with your family or your spouse or your dog or whomever. Do something you love doing, and learn to do it so well that people pay you to do it. This seems like an oversimplification, but seriously…this is how it works. People get paid for things you wouldn’t believe because they’ve learned to do them really well. Things will come along and catch you up, and do their best to drag you down, but just focus on enjoying life.

It’s all about balance. Balance out enjoyment now with preparation. All work and no play is just as bad as all play and no work. Prepare for the future, of course, but make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy today.

Don’t listen to too many people about what makes you happy. If enjoying life to you is accumulating lots of money, go for it. There’s nothing wrong with what makes a person smile, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. If it’s owning a farm and living off the land, giddy up! Do what makes you happiest.

If you need help along the way, call me. I can help you. Or call someone close to you. Humans are successful as a species because we work together. Think about how many people’s work went into making your breakfast this morning. Really…because eggs and bacon and toast requires a whole lot of hands other than yours. Reach out to people you know will help.

And always remember that you’re powerful beyond measure. Nothing can resist a human will that is settled on something. Focus, grit your teeth, repeat in your head that it’s possible, and go get it.

Mirroring Others


Think about what you want most in life. It could be a certain lifestyle, a career, a relationship, wealth…think about it. Now think: who has this already? Who do I know or know of that has exactly what I want in life?

I’ve always said that the difference between the rich and the poor is not the amount of money they have, it is their mindset. Similarly, the difference between an PhD student and an uneducated person is not degrees and knowledge, but in their mindset. Your mindset is what makes you what you are. This is a good thing, because if you want to change, you only have change the way you think about things, and it IS possible.

Like Tony Robbins says, “success leaves clues.” This means that someone who is successful, or someone who has done what you want to do has left a trail of clues for you or anyone else to follow. It spells out, this is what I did and when I did it, these were the mile-markers I passed and when I passed them. This is the recipe for my success. This is where the mirroring comes in.

It’s similar to finding a mentor. You’re looking for someone who has done more than you have who can teach you how to get to their level. If you’re struggling to find a mentor to meet with in person, then find one in a book or in YouTube videos. I guaranty there is someone out there who has done what you want to do. They know how to get where they are, and you don’t…so the logical step would be to mirror them. Figure out the “recipe” for their success that they used, and follow it.

Of course, you shouldn’t mirror them forever. There will come a time when you have reached their level of success in an area or surpassed it. You can always take your own direction as well, but people who have already done what you want to do are a great source of information and inspiration.

This post will also be featured on Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.

Preparation Or Action?

Are you ready?

A few months ago I read this book, “The Wealthy Speaker,” by Jane Atkinson. It’s a guide to becoming a motivational speaker, and she goes into such things as how to prepare a media kit, how to get in touch with speaking agencies, and really all of the parts of being a speaker.

One thing she talks about is the “Ready, Aim, Fire” method of performance. Essentially she says there should be three steps to doing anything: Ready, which is preparation, Aim, which is figuring out how to implement what you’ve prepared, and Fire, which is the implementation of what you have been working on.

It brings up an interesting question that has been floating around a few of my posts recently: how do you decide which is better, preparation or action? Both are helpful, of course, but how do you know when to take what you’ve prepared and get it out to people?

It’s more complicated than it may seem. Preparation allows you to produce the best content, product, or service you can. The more time you spend preparing, the better and better you and your project will become. The problem is that I just called it a “project,” because that’s all it is in the preparation phase. And to make matters worse, at some point, the amount of time or effort you pour into something, the less and less value gets added per time spent. For example, if Apple had pushed the iPhone 6 release back another 6 months, could they have made improvements? Of course, but in that time, the advances wouldn’t have been noteworthy…think about patches and bug fixes. Those are basically proof that they didn’t overspend time in preparation. You have to take action to make something more than project.

But of course, the reverse is also true. If you put a product or service out before it’s “ready,” it might be a total flop, and your name or your company’s name might get a bad reputation. Interestingly, I think the same is true for blog posts on here! Also noteworthy is the idea that you’ll learn as you go along. If you rush into something you’re not ready for, you will learn from the experience. I would argue that you learn more from making mistakes than you do from preparing for them.

So maybe there is a sweet spot…maybe there’s some way of knowing when you’re ready to move from the preparation phase to the action phase. How do you decide?

This post will also be featured on Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.



I’ve been rereading “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill…I think it’s 5th time I’ve read it (yep, it’s that good!). One of the things I got fixated on this time was the importance of stubbornness, when to apply it, and when to let things go.

For those of you who don’t know,Napoleon Hill was approached by Andrew Carnegie with the idea for the book: research and interview the most successful people of all time, find commonalities among them, and figure out which personality traits, habits, ideas, and thoughts led them to be successful. Great concept.

He’s talking about how Henry Ford would come to a decision quickly, but then be very slow to change his mind. He asked his research team to create an engine block out of a single piece of metal, and they said it was impossible. He said, “do it anyway.” They continued to work on it, and after six months, they said it was still impossible. Ford told them it didn’t matter if it was impossible, they should continue to focus on doing it. It was over a year before the research team was able to do it and Ford was able to implement the revolutionary engine block that saved both time and money.

He was stubborn about his idea for over a year, pouring money into the research even though the people doing the research said it was impossible. The point is, everything takes time. If you’re looking to make a change in your life, be it weight loss or running your own business, it’s going to take time. Probably a lot of it. You have to be stubborn enough to wait out that period of time and continue to focus on your goal.

You might be asking, “well, what if the thing I’m being stubborn about is wrong, and it isn’t going to work out? Won’t I be wasting my time then?” No. An emphatic “no.” As long as that thing toward which you’re working is a worthy goal in your mind, it isn’t a waste of time for two reasons. The first is that, if nothing else, it is a learning period. You will gain knowledge and experience that you can use for the rest of your life. That’s never wasted time. And the second reason is that you can make anything work. I won’t say nothing is impossible, but I will say impossible is nothing. We overcome impossible on a daily basis.

If there’s something you really want, then grit your teeth, clench your fists and go get it. Persistence and diligence can make anything work. Just be stubborn. Know in your head that what you’re doing will work, and it will.

This post will also be featured on Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.

Defining Success: I Think You’ll Agree


First off, I’d like to thank those of you who have been following by book reading and have been consuming knowledge alongside me. I’m thankful for every single one of you! For those of you who aren’t, check out previous favorites here, or email me at to find out what I’m reading, what I suggest, or to shoot ideas around about one of the books (also open to suggestions!).

That being said, I’m currently reading “Civilization & Its Discontents,” by Sigmund Freud, and I kept coming back to this quote: “Success is never certain; it depends on the co-operation of many factors, perhaps on none more than the capacity of the mental constitution to adapt itself to the outer world and then utilize this last for obtaining pleasure.”

Freud prefaces this by mentioning that there are a few different types of people: those who will choose emotional relationships over anything else, those who are more “self-sufficient, [who] will seek his essential satisfactions in the inner workings of his own soul,” and the type who “will never abandon the external world in which he can assay his power.” Maybe you need to read this in order to fully understand, as it is deeply philosophical, but I’m going to do my best.

I wanted to talk about the second and third types, because doing so will settle an argument I’ve been having with myself. The second type, which searches for inward happiness, is no better or worse at perceiving reality. They simply have their individual perceptions, which may be delusions, but it doesn’t matter because that is their reality. So, being content with what you have and searching for happiness inside of yourself is great…but all it really means is that you are coping with the outside world.

This second person who never “abandons  the external world” does the same thing…he or she perceives reality, but chooses to believe that their power lies in staying focused in that external world and not retreating. For this person, it is just as inward as searching for inward peace and happiness, but the manifestation of that searching is external rather than internal.

And so, after all of this philosophical rambling, success is the ability to perceive and respond to the world outside of yourself. Doesn’t seem like much of a realization, but it is! I’ve been saying all along that the #1 key to success is the ability to change things based on your perception; anything negative can be spun around and made beneficial, and the people who learn to do that are the most successful. And Freud’s work has served as a means of explaining that in terms of the difference between inward and outward happiness and success.

After reading this passage…probably about a hundred times, I’ve realized that maybe there are simply differences between people that we don’t realize normally. I’ve been having debates with people over whether happiness and success can only be found in complacency (being happy with what you have and not needing more) or progression (still could be happy with what you have, but constantly push yourself to get better and to become a better person).

For those of you who read through this post, thank you, haha. I know it must have been rough. If this doesn’t make sense, please let me know! I feel like this is an important realization for me, so I’m sure it would be for you as well.

Money, Time, and Energy

Time and Money

I read an article by Chuck Blakeman about the time, money, and energy conundrum. Essentially he says (I’m not entirely sure this was his original idea, but I haven’t seen a source elsewhere) that when you’re young, you have time and energy, but no money. So you use that time and energy to accumulate money. Then when you’re older, you have time and money, but you lack the energy to enjoy the money you’ve accumulated.

Jacob from The Bulb Culture mentioned in a post yesterday that people are like lions in a cage, the cage being society, or at least society’s rules and preconceptions. They stay in that cage because it’s comfortable and safe. That’s fine for some people. Probably the majority of people. But for those who don’t want that…you can have all three: time, money, and energy.

What this takes is the willingness to break out of that cage, to think about the things around you in a way that is orthogonal to the normal way of thinking, to consume knowledge and learn about other people’s experience, and then to apply those new ways of thinking and the knowledge you’ve acquired.

So who are you? Are you one of those people who accepts the idea that you need to use up all of your energy earning money that you won’t be able to enjoy fully? Or do you understand that there’s a status quo acting in your life, and that you are the only one who can decide to go against that and make a change?

The way I see it, there are three kinds of people in the world:

1) People who don’t realize they want improvement (ignorance)

2) People who want a change and say they’ll make one but never do (complacency)

3) People who understand they are the only ones responsible for their lives, and DO make that change (success)

It does raise an interesting question though…that first category, can you consider them successful? Maybe they’re just happy with what they have…I guess it depends on how you define success. What do you think?

Versatile Blogger Award

I have to thank partandparcel2014 for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Here is her site: and it’s awesome. I always enjoy reading her posts!

Here are the rules:

1. Acknowledge the blog that has nominated you. (Check)

2. Disclose 7 facts about you. (To-do)

3. Nominate 15 blogs for the same. (15?! That’s a lot…I’ve got some ideas)

Seven facts about me

1) I think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taste better when they’re cut diagonally.

2) I’ve only been outside of the country once, on a cruise to Bermuda.

3) I work in a cluttered environment, but I always know where everything is.

4) I’m a poet! Most of my fellow bloggers don’t know that…secret identity!

5) I’m one semester away from getting my master’s degree in English Literature.

6) One time I accidentally ate a cricket…it’s a long story…it was in a lollipop (weird, right?) and my aunt and uncle bought it for me and told me it was real. They’re always joking around about things, so I assumed they were kidding. I ate it, and I was a vegetarian for about a month after that haha.

7) I slackline, play hackysack, and love kayaking and camping (just made camping reservations today!)

As for blogs to nominate…hmm…

I’m going to stick with 10 😛 Always the rule breaker.

This award is a good way to share the blogs we enjoy reading, so keep it going and enjoy reading!


Eat What You Kill


One of my mentors was talking to me about a time when he worked in direct sales for an insurance company, and he said it was an eat-what-you kill way to live…in other words, he earned every sale, whether he paid in the time it took to sell, or the time it took to learn how to sell effectively. In a corporate position, if you don’t give your best, you still get paid. In a direct sales position in which you only earn commission, if you don’t sell, you don’t eat. But he said that when he got paid, he felt as though he had honestly earned it.

I was thinking about this and how it applies to all of our lives, and I think a lot of us feel we are entitled to certain things. This includes breaks during work, vacations, days off, raises, love, etc. The truth is, none of us are entitled to anything. It’s easy to get into a mindset where we take things like this for granted, but if you’re complaining that you deserve a raise or a better relationship or a fitter body, then maybe the reason you aren’t getting it is because you aren’t earning it.

I think it’s better to get into the eat-what-you-kill mindset, where you know if you want something, you have to earn it. I’ve always said that everything in life costs exactly what it’s worth to have. If you want something more than you have, you’re going to have to do more than you’re currently doing. Work smarter or harder for a raise or increased sales. Be more loving and understanding in a relationship if you want more out of it. If you’re in school and you want better grades, that change is going to come from your work, not the professor.

When you get into this mindset, you realize that your life is up to you. Any change you make in the way you do things will make a difference in what you get. It may not be immediate, but it will happen. So figure out what in your life you want to change, and then earn it. Eat what you kill.

This post will also be featured on Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.