Rotating Header Image


Cynics Beware


We have all seen angry, tight-jawed people who live in a constant state of cynicism. They find no joy in life. They are constantly afraid of people trying to take advantage of them. They also happen to be the same people who manipulate and take advantage of others.

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ~ Oscar Wilde

We have all heard the expression, “misery loves company.” The miserable have relationships built on some common and unhealthy foundations. These foundations include: “blood is thicker than water,” “this relationship is mutually beneficial,” or “I need them/they need me.” Notice that none of those statements have anything to do with attraction, joy, or love. All of those types of relationships involve some form of coercion or manipulation. People engaged in these kinds of relationships rarely experience any kind of pleasure because they will always find something or someone to complain about.

Some use their cynicism as a point of pride. They actually like having a persona that elicits fear. I suppose this is o.k. for the person who wants to be alone. For those who desire a life filled with laughter,love, and fellowship, it is imperative to let go of misanthropic tendencies.

  • Make the decision to let go of excuses from the past you feel justify your anger
  • Do not surround yourself with other negative or cynical people
  • Find time throughout the day to focus on gratitude
  • Smile

I am not suggesting anyone become a blind Pollyanna. I am saying it is important to be positive no matter what comes along. There are many who face calamity with serenity. Find people who possess this ability and get to know them. The more relationships you have with genuinely happy people, the happier you will be.

Photo Credit: Kenny Maths via: Flickr

Lessons From Modern Technology


So I was having one of those mornings. The kind where a series of events unfold that challenge your ability to stay peaceful and serene. You know, those times you shouldn’t be permitted to interact with other humans. Allow me to explain:

This week, after months of diligent research and the purposeful delay of gratification, I purchased a MacBook Pro. This was a wise purchase, by the way, the computer is awesome. However, there have been some hiccups along the way.

First of all, the package holding my new prized possession arrived on Wednesday. I had eagerly tracked the shipment and expected its prompt delivery. U.P.S. is the best. As I excitedly unwrapped my newest instrument of technology, visions of new found creativity ran through my head. I couldn’t wait to connect the old computer to the new one and unleash the power I knew this beast of a machine would deliver. What I didn’t anticipate was…… a different size FireWire oulet.

Seriously, my long awaited date with my BRAND NEW COMPUTER was being delayed by having the wrong size cord (insert your own joke here)! “Oh well, what’s another day,” I said to myself.

The next day, yesterday, I drove to the local Apple Store with complete confidence that they would have the precise cord I needed. After all, they had always stocked any product I was in search of in the past. I love that store. Much to my chagrin, they were out of the 6-9 FireWire cable. This was a travesty. The young lady at the Apple Store was kind enough to recommend a couple of electronic stores who may carry the cord I sought. After three more stops, the cord was mine!

Yesterday afternoon I began the process of information transferal. With my brand new, right sized cord I began. I was proud of my patience, it’s usually difficult for me to temper my excitement. After a few hours the transfer, registration, and other odds and ends, were complete. My speedy computer journey had begun!

Alas, this morning my entry into the world of technological superiority received a severe blow. The machine operated slower than my first IBM word processor. It did not respond to anything. In my annoyance, frustration, and disappointment, I called on my knight in shining armor, my wife Wendy. Any sophisticated technological issue I have ever had, she has been able to solve. Wendy is much brighter than me. As she patiently called Apple customer service, I paced the room like an expectant father outside of  a delivery room. To relieve my angst, I picked up my guitar to strum for a minute, a little creative stress relief. Of course, the guitar was horribly out of tune. As I turned the keys to bring the strings to their optimum pitch, the high E string snapped. IT SNAPPED. All I wanted was five minutes of mindless relaxation after a severe bout of disappointment and helplessness, but the six year old, overly stretched, and under-used high E string had the AUDACITY to snap. Unbelievable.

Wendy knows me very well. She saw me gently (yeah right) place the guitar on its stand and get up. She then gave me a look. I immediately took a breath and calmed down. It wasn’t a look of anger or an expression of fear. It was simply an understanding, “Dude your being an idiot” kind of a look.She knows me very well and I was able to quickly recognize what I was doing and change my behavior.

I learned a lot from this entire situation. Here are a few of the more valuable lessons:

  • the MacBook Pro is awesome and worth the wait
  • U.P.S. kicks serious a**
  • when I build up too much expectation and get overly excited I set myself up to react negatively
  • my wife knows how immature I really am and what a tool I can be
  • it is really important to let the people in my life know me well because my wife isn’t always there

From the simplest situations come the greatest lessons. It is fun to see the areas of my life in which I need improvement. I am grateful to have relationships with people who are as interested in loving their lives as I am. It leads to a lot of excitement and many good times.

Photo Credit : CCBImages via Flickr (although the photo kind of looks like me, it isn’t me)

You are Creative

2382760547_d9c8995a21I was recently recommended a book, Walking in this World, by Julia Cameron. I am grateful I have read this amazing book. It has reminded me that I am a creative person and why it is important to nurture this part of me.

Do you consider yourself to be “creative” or “artistic?”Many people have the idea that in order to be creative one must have a specific and special talent.They discount their own creativity because of their perceived inability to draw, sing, write, play an instrument, or perform any other act they consider creative or artistic. Some dismiss creativity as whimsical or childish and believe the pursuit of artistic endeavors to be irresponsible. Here are a few creative actions everyone can take, which nurture the soul and positively affect relationships.

  1. Pay attention to what you say. Your words carry tremendous power. What you say has the ability to immediately change lives. There are people in your life who hang on your opinions and listen to what you say. Create harmony and peace with your words.
  2. Give. Do something for someone. Anything. Creative energy is life affirming. When you give, the recipient of your gift experiences gratitude. Gratitude heals, inspires, and empowers. Gratitude is also contagious.
  3. Receive. It is as important to receive graciously. Again, receiving allows you to experience gratitude.
  4. Clean or fix something. The idea is creativity. When you clean a mess or fix something that is broken, you participate in healing.Healing creates and renews.

Simple actions help you get in touch with your inner creator. There is no such thing as a non-artistic or non-creative person. It is merely a matter of perspective. When you are in touch with your inner creator, you will be amazed with the creative ideas and divine inspirations which come to you. Pay attention and act on your creative whims!

Photo credit for top picture:honey 77 via Flickr, Second picture taken by me (being creative) in San Juan

We All Follow Someone

Whose lead do you follow and why? This is a very important question for anyone to answer. As you grow and change, as your life circumstances evolve, and as your priorities shift, you may let go of some mentors and gain others. Some philosophies which may have seemed like permanent maps to success have been discarded for systems which fit your changing perspectives. But do you have constants? Are there certain kinds of people who embody certain traits to which you find yourself gravitating  over and over again? Do people you seek out for guidance and direction communicate a similar theme, maybe in a different way? Are there certain topics you read about or hear about that rock your world every time?

I have thought about this a lot. The people to whom I gravitate, the topics I care about, and the causes I stand for change as I change. However, the bottom line characteristics I seek always remain the same. They include:

  • Passion I am not living to simply be safe until I die, I want to experience as much joy and happiness as I can
  • Enthusiasm Those whose lead I follow are always enthusiastic about what they do
  • Humility Confidence in one’s abilities should never be confused with arrogance. A humble person is always teachable and able to teach
  • Gratitude There are not too many original ideas floating around. Those who express gratitude for their mentors  have credibility
  • Service Not only is it an ideal to leave the world a better place than you found it, there are people who actually accomplish this goal.

I will continue to share sources and mentors who have helped me to grow and change, both directly and indirectly. I would love to hear about some of yours. There is a limitless resource of wisdom available to all of us when we are willing to share with one another. What traits are important to you? Who are some of your heroes? What books or philosophies have changed your life or rocked your world? Here are a few of mine, with more to come:

Bob Meehan who wrote Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. Bob has a tremendous amount of passion in everything he does. Beyond the Yellow Brick Road is the best resource for anyone dealing with an adolescent with drug or alcohol issues.

Jack Canfield who co-wrote the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, The Success Principles, and many other valuable books and programs. I had the pleasure of attending Jack’s Breakthrough to Success seminar last year, which was a life changing experience. Jack is someone who expresses a genuine compassion for those he is around. After meeting Jack, there is no doubt how passionate he is about helping others improve the quality of their lives.

These are two examples of people who I look up to and why. I am constantly seeking useful information. I will continue to share books, philosophies, and other materials I find beneficial. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Leadership Always Counts

3165948442_2a563eb1eaAlas, the Arizona Cardinals lost the Super Bowl. After watching the Big Red for years it seemed Destiny would finally smile upon this dismal franchise through its powerful medium, Kurt Warner. Although in the end it wasn’t meant to be, they put up a valiant fight and certainly taught us a few things.3090618841_143e1ed1ff


  1. Leadership is a quality too often overlooked. In any system involving multiple people, someone must be willing to step to the front and lead.
  2. Passion drives us to be better performers and better people.
  3. Love unifies people and establishes the strongest of bonds. Whether it is love for what you do, for who you are around, or for who you get to share your life with, love provides the power.
  4. Gratitude allows anyone to maintain the humility needed to create and build upon excellence. Anyone who believes they have it all figured out is wrong. 

We are all stronger as human beings when we have strong and loving relationships. When we live in the qualities mentioned above, we will attract people into our lives with whom we would want to build these relationships. Never be afraid to lead because there is someone who needs to follow you. Do what you do with passion because others will be attracted to it. Live a life you love because it is the one you have. Finally, remember to maintain gratitude because there has always been, and always will be, someone to help.

Photo Credit: Alfred Benway

The Moment is What Matters

Yesterday was my daughter’s tenth birthday. It was a wonderful day and a true celebration of the wonderful relationships our family has. Ten years is a long time. Many things change and evolve. If you remember to pay attention, your gratitude grows exponentially.

I remember throughout my wife’s pregnancy the wise words many parents shared with me about the importance of staying present mentally and emotionally. The advice they shared was invaluable and has reminded me how quickly time passes if you don’t pay attention. Blink and it’s gone, is a statement we have all heard. Because of this awareness, I decided long ago to be conscious of putting my family first.

Nothing is more important than our connections. We are defined by our relationships. Our relationships reflect our internal condition. The deeper we connect with people the fuller our lives become. Particularly our relationships with our partners and children.

Your kids don’t care about your professional accomplishments and your partner wants to connect with you. Two things your children and your partner have in common is their desire to be close to you and their need to be involved in your life. It is too easy to justify isolation with the word “responsibility.” Work, grow, and accomplish. These are important and admirable things to do. First and foremost pay attention to those who rely on the connection they have with you. Be present and don’t miss any moments. This is where true success, happiness, and accomplishment lives.

2008:A Year of Learning

My biggest reflection on 2008 is on how much I learned. Here are my examples:

  • I released my first book
  • I decided to become a professional speaker
  • I decided to become a coach along with running treatment centers
  • I hired a coach to assist me in these new endeavors
  • I attended Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success Seminar and enjoyed it so much that I attended the Advanced version two months later
  • I left the country for the first time in my life; by going to Canada and Germany

What a wonderful year. My family is healthy and happy, I feel a new motivation to grow and learn, my employees are wonderful, and my life is filled with joy. I am starting the new year filled with excitement and hope. How about you?

Weekly Gratitude

I can’t believe this is the last Gratitude post before Thanksgiving! Thank you again Tia for this wonderful idea. I would love to hear from any of you about those things you are grateful for, too! So, this week I am grateful….

  • For the unbridled enthusiasm of teenagers
  • For people who find hope in the most desperate of situations
  • For parenthood
  • For those who choose to find the good in people
  • For anyone who celebrates the opportunity to change every day!

Enjoy this Thanksgiving everyone. Share your love with everyone with whom you come in contact. Remember that your expression of good cheer makes a difference!

Wednesday Gratitude Post

Here is the latest installment of the Wednesday Gratitude post. This is such a wonderful thing to share, I hope you are enjoying it as well. Today I am grateful:

  • For so many ways to stay connected
  • For those who share their experience and wisdom
  • For laughter
  • For people who care more for their open mind than their ability to be “right”
  • For the awareness that change is good

‘Tis the season to be grateful, share with those you love!

Wednesday Gratitude

The Thanksgiving countdown continues! The more people we have expressing it, the more grateful the world in which we live……

This week I am grateful:

  • For the beauty of San Diego
  • for people who share their passion with the rest of the world
  • for autumn
  • for weddings that bring together friends
  • for connecting with people through laughter

I hope that many of you are sharing your lists. It’s a wonderful way to stay reminded of what’s important and to stay committed to living in an attitude of gratitude!