Category: Life


Carrot, Eggs, and Coffee


A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavour and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a fluid spirit but, after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water – the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful. When the water gets hot, it releases it’s fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

(Somehow, wake up and smell the coffee takes on a whole new meaning)

-Author Unknown

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Making a Splash


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Are you the type of person that feels the water with your toes before you jump into a pool, or do you just jump in not caring about how cold the water may be?  If you’re like me, sometimes you may get ahead of yourself and just dive into a situation head first not really looking into the future or what may lie ahead.  To me, life has to be like this more often than not.  Sometimes jumping into the vast ocean of emotions, friendships, struggle, success, opportunity, and heartache we call life is what needs to happen in order for us to move past our insecurities and fears. Living life by testing the temperature of the water inch by inch until your end may not be the best thing for you.  Going into the water by taking the steps at the end of the pool may be a safer, more controlled experience, but you waste time getting into it.  You take the steps, carefully and methodically, but what do you see?  Someone on the side has just decided to jump in and now they are enjoying something you wanted but were too afraid to just jump in and get.  They have now passed you by.  They are having fun.

I’m not saying this is the best advice, nor am I saying this is the correct advice for every moment in life.  What I am saying is to not be afraid of what the results of something you choose to do will be sometimes.  Yes, jumping into the water without feeling it first may lead to a shocking surprise of cold water, but now you’ve learned something about yourself.  You’ve learned that you have moments of being fearless.  You can be bold and just go for it sometimes.  Dive into life with freeing abandon.  Picture who you want to be as a person tomorrow, a month, a year, 5 years down the road.  Visualize that picture and just go for it.  Commit yourself and everything about yourself to that vision.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in every step, every jump, every dive, and every leap.  Yes, sometimes you may get hurt by just jumping in, but life should be about doing everything you can to enjoy every second you have been given.  Embrace yourself, your beauty, and the beauty of everyone and everything around you.  By diving straight in you may find a hidden talent or passion no one has ever seen.  You may discover something new about yourself that is greater than anything you could have ever imagined.

What I’m saying is simple.  Be fearless. You control your life and the actions you take.  So why not live it to its fullest?

Don’t hesitate to do great things with your life.

Don’t be afraid of what lies ahead.

Most of all…..

Whatever you do,

Wherever you go,

Don’t be afraid to make a splash.

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Break Free


Each and every one of us in this world struggles with some sort of current or past addiction(s).  It’s these chains that hold us down and inhibit us from being able to advance.  Life is a game of inches that is hard enough to claw through on our own without the added weight and tension of chains that are keeping us tied down to something.  Whatever your chains may be it’s time to break free from them!

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Alcohol. Broken hearts. Drugs. Abusive relationships. Self-doubt. Hatred. Depression. Financial problems.  Family problems.  Loneliness. Whatever your chains are, break free from them. Don’t let artificial things in this life hold you down from the greatest gift of all, LIVING.

Live a life of no regrets.

Live a life of happiness.

Live a life of caring and compassion.

Live a life of fulfillment.

Live a life of love.

Don’t ever let anyone or anything keep you from achieving everything you want to achieve in this life.  This is your life and it must be lived to its greatest potential. Every morning you wake up is another gift.  We all get one life to live.

Never give up on yourself or your goals.

Never settle for less.

Never hold on to anyone who won’t hold on to you.

BUT

Always strive for great things.

Always love unconditionally.

Always live life the way you want to live it.

No matter what you may be going through, no matter what your problems may be, you can and will break the chains that are holding you down.  Believe in yourself and all things are possible.

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Psalm 107: 14 . “He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.”

The Optimism Challenge


Sometimes life can get in the way of discovering yourself, your emotions, who you are, and how much strength you actually have.  We, as humans, forget to realize how strong each one of us is.  We forget that sometimes it is important to reflect on who we are and build ourselves up before helping others.  We don’t realize how much we can accomplish each and every day.  We focus so much on what everyone else around us has accomplished and what they have that we want.  It’s time we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and our situations and think of ways that we can better ourselves from the inside out.  True strength comes from within and, much like any muscle in our body, the only way to become stronger is by working.

I have a friend (who shall remain nameless in this post but has allowed me to talk about her) that has gone through some seriously rough times over the last few years of her life.  Lately, life has just been throwing change-ups and curveballs at her and she has struggled with confidence.  Time and time again I tried helping her out by giving advice and just being a listening ear, but then an idea came to me.  The idea that true strength comes from inside and it needs to be worked on is what inspired this idea.  I had her find a quote about optimism and/or happiness every day for one week.  Only one week.  She needed to find whatever quote that made an immediate impact on her when she read it and tell me why it related to her.  “Why do this”, you may ask.  Nothing builds optimism or happiness more than surrounding yourself with positive thoughts and positive people.  By having her find one simple quote a day that related to her on some level she had to read many.  Each quote she read had to be thought about on some level, subconscious or otherwise, and each time a new quote was read a little seed of optimism and happiness could be planted.

Confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, optimism, happiness, and so many other personal thoughts are often things that are taken for granted and not thought of.  I find myself still struggling sometimes with my confidence and self-esteem to this day even though for years I have been working at making myself feel better.  Strength from inside is not something that can be gained in one day, one week, or even one year.  It is a never-ending battle of trying to balance out the punches life is throwing at you with the relentless push from inside to keep getting up, brushing off the dirt, and saying to yourself nothing can keep me down.  Believing in yourself will open your eyes to a whole new you that no one has ever seen before.  You truly can be your own worst enemy but don’t let that be the case.

I challenge everyone reading this to do one thing, make yourself find quotes that relate to you.  Make it a daily personal challenge.  Start your day off by finding a quote that inspires you, that motivates you, that makes you happy or optimistic about the day ahead.  Write the quote down and put it somewhere you’ll see multiple times throughout the day.  Live each day through these quotes and allow optimism and happiness to exude from you.  You never know the difference you can make in your life and the people’s lives around you just by being a happier, more optimistic version of yourself.

Take the step. 

Start the challenge today.

Begin to change your life now!

 

Never be afraid to fail!


Arnold Schwarzenegger’s third key to success was to never be afraid of failing.


If you are afraid of failure, you will never try what you truly want to do.  If you never try, you can not and will not ever achieve success.  Plain and simple.  For every failed attempt comes yet another failed attempt, and another, and another, and another, and another.  What would life be if everything were so simple you got it on the first time though?  It is those failed attempts at something that makes getting it that much better.  The feeling of reward and accomplishment is magnified with every failed attempt.  With every failed attempt comes another opportunity for growth, for better understanding, and for truly finding what you have deep down inside of you.  Take each failed attempt and fight to stand back up.  Life will no doubt throw some curve balls your way and beat you down into the ground with failure looking like the only ending to a certain event.

It’s not!

It is when life throws you down on the ground that you must stand up, fight back, and try again! Try harder! Try with more passion! Try with everything you have!  Never give up!  True success is not measured in the final result, it’s measured in how much you’ve grown as a person to get to that final result.  It’s each step, stumble, falter, and fall that is the true measure of success.

Thomas Edison once said “Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Don’t be that guy! The guy who misses out on success because he was too afraid to fail one more time.  Accept the fact that each and every one of us will fail on essentially a daily basis.  Hold onto that fact and embrace it.  Be prepared for what lies ahead!  Failure lies ahead… but the road to true success is paved with stones made of failure.

Finish the road you’re on.

Finish the path you’re creating for yourself.

Never, EVER, be afraid to fail again!

-Eric Welter

For more thoughts on failure you can check out two of my other postings on the topic!

Failure

Mistakes: The Beautiful Accomplishments

Breaking the rules: The second step


I finally got my laptop back so it’s time to get on track!  Thank you all for being patient!
The second step towards success that Arnold Schwarzenegger mentioned is probably one of my favorites!  Break the rules!

 

He reminds us to become bold and stay that way, to really think outside of the box and become a sort of trend setter.  Don’t go out breaking the law, hurting people, and destroying stuff!  That’s not what is meant by this step at all! Instead think about it like this:
Have you ever been sitting in class or talking to a friend about something and wondered, “Why does it have to be that way? Why does it have to be done that way?  I’m sure there are other ways to do this!”? Well, this is where you get to break the rules! Find something you love, something you have a passion for! Now….. make it better!  Most people tend to think that everything that is being done needs to be done that way, and when asked “why is it done that way?” well, the answer is usually “because it’s always been done that way!” Now what I want all of you guys to do, break the chains! Think outside the box and change the way things are done! Always question everything you are doing and everything that is being done around you! Make “why” the most common word in your vocabulary! Use it often!
Rules are meant to be broken, so live life that way.  Break away from the chains of the “only accepted way” and change the world around you.  The more you learn to do this, the more you’ll learn that the most successful people in this world have been the mavericks, the people that were the creators, the trend setters, and the “weird people”.  Become that weird person.  Become the maverick.  Become everything you want to be by taking whatever path you want to take to get there!  Don’t go a certain direction just because everyone says that’s the only correct way.  Stop listening to the cool kids.  Those cool kids will probably end up in a mediocre job while you’re off doing amazing things with your life!

Go out, break the rules, and live life the way you want to. True success is sure to follow if you are doing things your way!

 

Trust yourself, the beginning of success


The first idea Arnold Schwarzenegger brought up when discussing his 6 keys to success I think is the most important one of all. Trust yourself. What does this mean? How do you go about doing this?

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To me trusting yourself is a mixture of many things; self-esteem, composure, confidence, and self-worth all play a huge part in learning how to trust yourself. Trusting yourself really comes down to a decision you make for you and you ONLY! You can’t decide to trust yourself for someone else, you can’t magically begin trusting yourself because I, or someone else, says too, and you sure as hell can’t trust yourself if you don’t actually believe in yourself. Trusting yourself comes down to believing in yourself and the decisions you make and standing by them because you know the decisions you make for yourself are the right decisions. Trusting yourself should not be something to procrastinate, trusting yourself should start now! Nothing can stop you when you learn to trust yourself, and as Johann Wolfgang Von Gbethe said, “as soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live”. Truer words have never been spoken. So how do you go about being able to trust yourself? Well, it comes down to faith. Believe in what you are doing, lead your life as you want it to be, do not stray from your path, and be vigilant in your decision to continue with what you set out to do. Once a plan has been set into motion, it stays in motion. Set goals, make plans, follow a timeline and benchmarks. Whatever you need to do to stay on pace or exceed the goals you want to make can be done and should be done.

Nothing can stop you.
No one can shake loose a foundation self-trust.
Nothing can tear apart who you want to be.
Most importantly no one can take away the trust you have in yourself once you realize you know more than you think you do and you learn to believe in each and every decision you make.

Go out and make the decision.
Learn to trust yourself.
Become hungry for more and strive for the best and biggest goals you can imagine.
Believe in your decisions and don’t allow yourself to stray from the path you’ve chosen for yourself.

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Arnold’s 6 keys to success Part 1


It has been quite a while since I last wrote a blog post, and for any of my readers I am sorry for the absence! Life sometimes gets way too busy! You forget some of the things you enjoy doing, the things you want to do, and focus solely on the things you need to do. All that being said, over the next few weeks I’ll be writing about a speech made by Arnold Schwarzenegger about his 6 keys to success. I would love to hear ideas and comments about anything I write and my thoughts behind some of these comments! Enjoy! 🙂

The 6 key to success:
1) Trust Yourself
2) Break The Rules
3) Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
4) Ignore The Naysayer
5) Work Your Butt Off
6) Give Something Back

I’ll be posting again later this week and will begin building on the idea of trusting yourself. I hope all of my readers have a great week and don’t forget to look back in a few days! 🙂


Lately, I’ve been in a weird funk. Nothing bad. Nothing horrible. Just different. I for some reason have been caught up on my failures, my mistakes, my mess-ups, and my inabilities.  So I found myself asking, “Why?” Why have I allowed myself to continuously think of these things that bring me down?  It’s like I chained myself to a boulder and pushed it off a cliff into the ocean.  Now comes the realization. 

ImageI’m not perfect.  No one is perfect.  No one has come close to perfect.  No one will ever be perfect.  So through my failures and imperfections, I have found myself realizing I have something in common with every person that has stepped foot on this planet.  Each and every one of us has this in common, it’s a fact and an inevitability that you can not escape.

This post may have started off like a shot at everyone and it may have come off as a pessimist’s look at the world.

HOLD IN THERE, IT GETS BETTER!

One of the greatest minds in American History, Thomas Edison, said one of my favorite quotes of all time.

It is every mistake, every failure, and every imperfection that creates the pathway to success.  Without mistakes you would never learn.  When you succeed you are not learning new things, you are just using the knowledge you already have. 

Every time you fail, you learn. Image

Every mistake is a learning opportunity.

Every small imperfection in all the activities you take part in creates who you are. 

It is those “10,000 ways that don’t work” that builds your knowledge and appreciation for reaching your final goal. Yeah it may suck when those 10,000 ways are your first 10,000 tries, but it’s those attempts that make the final step, the one you take to pass the finish line, that much sweeter. 

What’s holding you back?  What’s making you hesitate?  Don’t ever let the fear of failing, the fear of imperfection, and the fear of making mistakes dictate the path you want to travel down.  It’s one step at a time.  One foot in front of the other.  Inch by inch.  Step by step.  Attempt after attempt.  It’s time to be tenacious and to never back down. 

Fight for what you want no matter what the terrain in front of you looks like. 

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Struggling


I realized something today… everyone is struggling with something other people aren’t struggling with. It is this reason that opening up to people and talking to close friends will allow you to become a better, happier, and more confident person. I, for one, struggle with my self-esteem, I hide that by acting out and being sarcastic a lot, sometimes too much!

Many people I know, including myself, allow themselves to become trapped by insecurities and struggles that they are aware of. It is up to each and every one of us to realize our weaknesses and reverse them into something much more powerful…. Optimism and hope! What’s the point as human beings to be destroyed by negativity and doubt when all we have to do is open ourselves a tiny bit and talk to close friends?

I understand sometimes talking to others about small problems is sometimes the weakness being faced, but allowing yourself to open up to people only allows you to be stronger in the future. Practice makes perfect with this idea! Sometimes the first person you open up to is not the ideal person and you feel like shutting down, but
DON’T! It is in that very instant that each and every one of us should realize we are beyond that feeling of hopelessness and abandonment and begin reaching out to others.

Practice doesn’t only make perfect, it ends up making friends, family, happiness, trust, and so much more. Over the next few weeks I challenge each and every person that reads this post to reach out and talk to someone about something, ANYTHING! Talk to them about an awful test, a fading relationship, a mistake, or any other event in your life! With time talking can become your best therapy, your best lifeline! Use that “phone a friend” lifeline we’ve been given for free our whole lives and talk to someone. Maybe the first time won’t go so well, but it’s that one time it does that will change your life!

It’s the one time. The one time someone gives you good advice. The one time someone helps you through a predicament. The one time a friend says just the right thing to change any doubt you may have had about yourself.

It’s time we all open up for that ONE TIME! If we don’t, we may never experience all that life and relationships have to offer! The great thing about having over 6 billion people on this planet is that someone somewhere had gone through an experience you need help with and can offer up some sort of advice to help. Finding that person may take perseverance and tenacity, but once you find the right phrase, the right person, and the right advice, you’ll know every tear, doubt, and hurt along the way will be able to be healed because of the helping words of one single person.

Open up. Set your feelings free. Allow yourself to speak about problems. Forget about what some may think about you. It is one kind word or piece of advice that will destroy every negative thing you’ve been said. That one experience will trump all. That one experience will cast a shadow over all negative experiences. That one moment will leave you wanting more, and that is what this is all about. Striving for positivity and optimism in a world that can be considered no more than an ocean of diarrhea and negativity. Find the island or reality. The friend who is optimistic through all. Use that resource. Allow yourself to be consumed in positivity. Anything and Everything can be accomplished when optimism is injected into the core of any plan. Use this positivity from friends as a drug that will allow you to grow and become a better person.

Reach out and touch someone today.
Reach out and be touched today.
Reach out and open up to someone.
Reach out of your comfort zone.
Find that positive outlook.
No struggle can be overcome without optimism and positivity.
No struggle can be reduced without a kind word.
No struggle is going to disappear without a fight.

As Toy Story pointed out, “You’ve got a friend in me”, use this ideal and help someone that needs it! Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Motivation from friends is what we all need, you’d be surprised how many of your friends are ready to lend a helping hand and a friendly ear. Use your resources and struggling will become less of a headache and more of a growing opportunity.

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