Tag Archive: motivation


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!

 

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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Dreaming


Dreams are made up of so many more things than anyone could possibly imagine. Hopes, fears, aspirations, goals, doubts, and experiences all intertwine to form your dreams. Dreaming is your body and soul developing goals and aspirations for you to attain. You dream big and aim big to eventually make it farther than you truly thought you could. Dreams, however, can be extremely frightening. Huge dreams you have for yourself can lead to self-doubt and fear. Honestly…. you can do it though! Dreams and aspirations should be so large and so extravagant that you are terrified and fearful of not reaching it. That’s what makes you work hard. That’s what makes you fight for every inch, for every step, for every small accomplishment that is a building block to the overall goal of life fulfillment.

Dreams are meant to change. Dreams are meant to grow. Dreams are meant to diminish. Most importantly though, dreams are the aspirations you know deep down inside you can reach even though the climb to get there may be unbearable and intense.

Everything you dream and aspire to do can be done with a little innovation, motivation, dedication, and inspiration. Dreaming is nothing more than your brain showing you the finish line of the journey that has already or has yet to begin. Reach the finish line and conquer everything you never thought you could because everything is possible if you just try your hardest. Dream the biggest dreams you can dream and conquer everything you’ve been told is impossible!

My Wish For You


When I was graduating high school this song was just becoming popular and at my graduation party my mom had played this song for me.  Thinking lately about everything I’ve been through while in college, this song has meant a lot.  Through my entire time in college, I don’t think anyone has stood behind me and motivated me to do the best that I can do more than my mom.  Whenever I start getting down on myself, whenever I start doubting myself, whenever I don’t think I can do any better, she’s there giving me the confidence to keep going.  As a human we all have weaker moments where we doubt ourselves or don’t think we can push ourselves to do any better.  It’s at these moments where we hope someone close in our lives helps push us along to our full potential.

Mom, thank you for everything you’ve done for me; for motivating me, for pushing me to be a better person, for teaching me life lessons, for being there for me, for helping me, and for the never-ending list of things you have done for me in my life.  I don’t say this enough, thank you and I love you.  I couldn’t ask for a better mom, a mom who is my…

 

The Path: My Story


The last year has been a huge year of change, a year of transformation, maturing, and growth.  Why this last year? Why the change, now?  The story is one with ups and downs and all kinds of twists and turns resulting in the roller coaster called my health and well-being.  The story starts now.

3 years ago I decided I wanted to lose weight and be a healthier person, I went to the gym, watched what I ate, and had a personal trainer.  I was motivated….at the time.  Summer ended, I went to college, and the normal lazy inactive person I was before became who I was again and the weight began to pile on.  All the weight I lost over one summer came back, plus some.  I was on a downward spiral of weight gain, depression, injury, anger, and laziness that lasted for years.  All that was about to change.

I reached my low last December, after a semester of excessive partying, a ton of drinking, junk food, late nights, and unhealthy living.  I reached the point where I could not stand to see the man I saw in the mirror.  I hated the man I had become.   I was miserable.  I was depressed.  I was always tired.  I stopped caring about myself and thought change would be impossible.  Things had to change right then, at that moment, because I literally thought I would not be living much longer.  I was at 276 pounds and had a body fat percentage of over 34% at the very beginning of this year.  If I didn’t fight for change for myself, who would?

I began carving my path at the beginning of the year with some light cardio days that started to help me lose a few pounds that I inevitably would gain back when my ankle surgery took place at the beginning of march.  Ankle surgery resulted in 8 weeks of being unable to do strenuous physical activity, but it gave me 8 weeks of pure reflection and the ability to change my diet.  I left college and came home for the summer where it instantly became game time!

It began with a regulated sleep schedule, many small meals throughout the day (usually every 3 hours), and a schedule that I would not allow to change or falter.  My path was more than a physical change, it was a mental change, a lifestyle change, a complete change of the person I was, and it needed to happen!  Functional training was the answer, a mixture of training techniques including high intensity cardio, endurance, strength, stability, coordination, flexibility, power, yoga, and body weight movements allowed for rapid (yet healthy) change.  I fought exhaustion, stress from my internships and work,  and soreness to conquer the mess I had become and change my life! I beat myself and my negativity to lose over 60 pounds and nearly 20% of my body fat.

I told you my story for one reason, motivation.  It comes down to what you want, what you want out of life, and what you want out of yourself.  I had to drag myself out of the despair that had overtaken my life and climb out of the darkness.  I learned something this summer, anything you truly want and are willing to work for can be attained!  The benefits of change far outweigh the work I put in to obtain, all the blood, sweat, and tears that accompanied the 3 months I was home for summer were worth nothing compared to the confidence, self-esteem, happiness, and personal drive and accountability I have found.  Motivation is everywhere you look, it’s different for every individual, but exists in all things.  My motivation to change came from the mirror I stood in front of day in and day out for years.  Any person can achieve anything by allowing motivation and drive to encompass them and push them.  What drives you?  What motivates you?  What pushes you further then you could ever imagine?  Harness whatever it is that motivates you and push for anything and everything you want, you never know what you can accomplish unless you push yourself to the edge to reach what you desire.

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