Dream. Dare. Live.

Imagine the life you want to live. Imagine getting to wake up every morning to go out into the world and live the life that exists in your dreams. It’s a pretty amazing thought, isn’t it? Now, think about your current reality. Think about the differences between your dreams and your reality. Are you happy with your current reality? Would the things you dream of truly make you happier? What is stopping you from chasing your dreams?

Life is short. We all have a little bit of time to live and do the things we want to do. Don’t waste your time saying, “I’ll be happy tomorrow”, or “Maybe someday I’ll chase my dreams”. What if there is no tomorrow for you? What if there is no someday? If you keep putting off your dreams, then you will continue on the same path in life that you want to change.

My biggest fear in life is missing out on things. For as long as I can remember, the thought of missing out on something fun or important has influenced the decisions I’ve made in my life. I don’t fear failure as much as I once did. The older I get, the more I realize that failure isn’t the end of the world. You just learn from the experience and move on. Missed chances are different. If you miss your chance to do something, you may not get a second chance. If you try something and fail, then you can almost always find a different approach and try again.

I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I haven’t dreamed big. My dreams have been called “crazy” and “stupid” by people who didn’t understand them. That never stopped me from going after those things. Don’t ever let somebody else stop you from chasing your dreams. They’re your dreams, not somebody else’s. You are the only person who needs to understand your dreams.

Looking back on my life, I remember all the fun times I had with friends playing sports, my mom telling stories about how much she loved teaching, and how much I loved summers and spending the 4th of July at my aunt and uncle’s lake cabin most years. Those memories make me happy. They were some of the things in my childhood that led me to dream of a really amazing future.

I remember thinking how great my life would be if I could have fun while working. Sports were something I always loved, but seemed to only be a career option for me in my wildest dreams. Teaching was something that smart people did. It wasn’t something I ever pictured myself doing. When my mom talked about teaching, the biggest takeaway for me was that, someday, I wanted to do something that made a difference in peoples’ lives. The lake was a place for me to get away from my normal life and just relax. Looking out into the water helped me to forget about everything else in life. Seeing people in boats, on jet skis, and water skiing or tubing just seemed like fun. I looked forward all year long to summer and getting to spend a day (sometimes a few days) at the lake.

I always wanted to skip the colder months of the year and just live my whole life in summertime. The idea of going to work never seemed like fun to me. Going out to have fun and play sports was always enjoyable. Going to the lake and just being near the water never failed to put a smile on my face.

When I look at my current life, I realize that my dreams have changed over the years, but the things that make me happy haven’t changed. Every day of my life right now, I get to wake up and spend the day teaching golf. I see the joy on the faces of my students when they accomplish something they never thought they could do. The place where I now teach is next to a lake. When I look out into that lake every day, I see people in boats, on jet skis, and water skiing. Every day of my life feels like the 4th of July from my childhood.

The road that led to where I am today hasn’t been easy. I’m still not where I want to end up, but I’m getting there. The reason I am where I am now in my life is because I dared to chase a dream that was called “stupid” and “crazy”. I changed my whole lifestyle and moved 1,500 miles away from home by myself to a place I had only visited twice. I didn’t know anybody here and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I had a chance to live in a place that I enjoyed on vacation and was moving here to attempt to turn a hobby into a career.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a moment where it finally hit me that I am in a situation, in many ways, that is exactly what I always dreamed of in my childhood. Every day of my life is spent next to a lake, every day is spent at a golf course, and every day reminds me of my mom and the stories she was always proud to tell.

I have more dreams that I want to make a reality. Those dreams now seem closer to being realized. I’ve always wanted to wait for the right time to do things. Another lesson I am learning as I grow older is that there is no perfect time. You have to just go after the things you want in life. If you keep waiting for the right time, then you will likely miss your chance. Do what makes you happy. Be with people who make you happy. Live your life in a way that makes you happy. Better yet, live your life in a way that makes those who don’t dare to chase their dreams jealous of your life.

I want to keep growing professionally, but that is starting to fall into place now. My focus is shifting back toward my personal life. I’m not getting any younger. In a few days, I will turn 33 years old. I still want to fall in love someday, get married, and start a family. I always figured all 3 of those things would have happened by now, but life happened… nothing goes exactly as planned.

In nearly 3 years spent by myself, I have learned what I want in my personal life. I also realized that exactly what I’ve been looking for is exactly what was right in front of me years ago. Making things a reality now is a bit more complicated, but it’s not impossible. I’m certainly not going to give up. Happiness isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something you create. I look forward to finding the right way to create more happiness in my life than I have already created.

Whether it’s your professional life, personal life, or both, don’t just keep wishing for things to get better. Dream. Dare. Live. Dream of your ideal life. Dare to take chances necessary to live your dreams. Live the life you want to live. We only get to live this life for a short time, so make your life happen. If you want a certain job, get it. If you want a certain lifestyle, live it. If you want to fall in love with a special someone, fall… fall hard. Love them with all your heart. Love your life every second of every day. Live your dreams and make those who don’t dare to chase their dreams jealous. Don’t wait. Start now.

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You Can Do It!!

The past few weeks of my life have been pretty eye opening in a lot of ways. I’ve been busy. I’ve been crazy busy!! I have known for months that my schedule was about to become busier. I have been hoping for a long time to become busier, yet the thought of so many things changing in a short amount of time started to freak me out. I started to get nervous and question whether or not I was prepared for the things that were coming my way. Although it was exactly what I wished for, I questioned my ability to keep up.

Worrying and doubting your ability to do great things seems to be pretty common. People want to achieve greatness, but they tend to worry about the steps that are necessary to take in order to achieve those great things they want to accomplish. Those worries and doubts are totally natural, but they are also a waste of time.

For me, the thought of having the freedom and being trusted to do everything I’ve wanted to do for years seemed like a lot of pressure. What if things don’t go well? What if I screw up? What if I’m not prepared? What if I’m not good enough? I HATE “what if…?” thoughts. If you want to do anything at all in this world, you need to just get after it. You need to jump in and just do it. Quit wondering, quit worrying, and start doing.

A couple weeks ago, I had a moment where everything finally clicked for me. I had that “Ah ha!!” moment where I finally realized what I was doing in my life. All of the things I worried about and questioned for months finally set in. I finally realized that I had made the transition I had been worrying about. I thought I was still in the process of making that transition, but suddenly I realized that I had completed the transition. Being in the early stages of my career, I am fully aware that I am still learning. I am constantly searching for ways to improve and grow. A little over 2 weeks ago, I had a day in which I was extremely busy, and my body seemed to go into auto-pilot. If you’ve ever heard/read about people being “in the zone”, this is exactly what I experienced. My instincts kicked in, and I didn’t have to think. I knew what I was doing, and I did it.

Later that night, I had a moment where I was alone and had a chance to think back a little bit. I finally realized the very things I had questioned and doubted about myself were the things I had done that day. It wasn’t difficult. It was actually very enjoyable. It was fun. I loved every second of it. It was the moment where I realized, “I can do it. I know what I’m doing.”

For those of you who are reading this, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had this experience yet or not. You will. Whatever it is that you are doing in your life, you can do it. You are good enough. You are smart enough. Maybe you need to gain more experience. Maybe your “Ah ha” moment hasn’t come yet, but it will. If you are in a position to do great things, chances are it is because someone else has given you an opportunity to do it. Very rarely are things done entirely by oneself. We rely on others to help make things happen in most cases. If someone gives you a chance to do something, it is because you have shown them that you are capable of doing great things. You have proven to them that you have potential. If you worry or doubt yourself, you just need to see the things in yourself that someone else already sees in you. It is there, you just need to see it. Stop being so hard on yourself. You will fail from time to time. That’s life… it happens. Everyone fails at some point. The people who succeed are the ones who learn from their failures and move forward. Failure isn’t the end of the world, it’s a learning experience.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, whatever your goals may be… if you go about things the right way and keep moving forward, then you will succeed. It may take some time. Life doesn’t work out when we want it to work out. Life works out when it’s damn well ready to work out. Nothing can be forced. Just keep taking steps in the right direction, and always remember that you began your journey for a reason. Whatever that reason is, keep reminding yourself of the reasons for it. Those constant reminders will keep you motivated. Don’t let setbacks stop you from doing what you want to do. Life is short, so make it whatever you want it to be. We all have the ability to do great things in this world. Stay focused and make it happen. You can do it!!

Take The First Step

I see and hear people on almost a daily basis talk about or post on social media about changes they want to make in their life. I can relate to this, because I have done the same more times than I could ever count. They’re suddenly a changed person and they are changing their lifestyle. It’s all focused on some kind of desired end result. There’s never any mention of the process that will lead to the result, it’s just, “This is what I’m going to do. I’m a changed person.”

What I have learned over the past few years and what I hope others will learn is that you don’t change your whole life suddenly. You make small changes over time that add up to overall lifestyle changes. The things you do consistently on a daily basis over a lengthy period of time become your lifestyle. If you suddenly wake up one morning and decide to be a completely different person, then that will probably last a day, or maybe a few days.

I have known this for years, but have struggled with reminding myself of this. I started a few weeks ago to remind myself of how to properly get back on track, and I hope this helps others as well… don’t focus on the end result, focus on the first step. The hardest part of any routine is getting started. You won’t become a new person overnight. If you set a goal for yourself and take one step in the right direction, then take the next step and the next step, you will be much better off. Don’t try to do 100 things at once. Don’t skip steps. Set a goal for yourself, decide on the path that is best for you to achieve that goal, and focus on one step of the journey at a time.

For several reasons, I stopped playing golf when I started teaching the game. I needed a break, but that break kept dragging on. I eventually started to realize that, in order to become a better teacher, I need to start playing again. Not only that, to get myself in better shape, physically and mentally, I needed to start playing again. I finally took the first step toward what I needed to do. The result led me to the next step. I have continued to expand from there.

No matter what your goals are in life, or what you want to accomplish, you can’t get on the right track if you don’t take that first step. Set goals for yourself. I have written in the past about celebrating minor victories. You need to set smaller goals for yourself along the way to achieving your ultimate goals. Achieving these smaller goals will let you know that you are heading in the right direction. Celebrating these smaller goals will allow you to briefly enjoy a small taste of the satisfaction you will feel from accomplishing your ultimate goals.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t overwhelm yourself. You can accomplish anything you want in life, but you need to remember to take things one step at a time. The greatest accomplishments in the history of our world were achieved by going through a process. Every process begins with a single step in the right direction. Simplify your life. Make a plan for yourself, trust in the process, and take the first step.

Never Give Up!!

I started writing this back in September. It is now May. This idea has been in my mind for a long time, but I think I needed to really experience it once again before I could finish writing about it.

It’s very easy for people to get these great ideas in their head about how perfectly things will work out in life. Everything seems so simple in theory… and then reality sets in. Things in life rarely go as planned. Whenever you think you have things figured out, life throws you a curveball and completely screws up your plans. When that happens, it’s easy to throw in the towel on your original plans and start over. It’s easy to try to find an easier path to follow, instead of facing that curveball and continuing on the same path.

Very little in my life has ever gone as planned. Things tend to start heading in the direction I want, and then something happens to change it. My life, as is probably the case with most of you who are reading this, has been an endless cycle of unexpected surprises.

I’m very stubborn when it comes to things I really want to do in my life. When there is something that I really want to do, I find a way to make it happen. Even when giving up on a specific goal is probably in my best interest, I will still keep going just to prove that I can overcome the challenges I face to accomplish my goal.

Three years ago at this time, I was visiting Florida to start the process of getting things set to move down here a few short months later. The following months consisted of a ridiculous chain of events that attempted to prevent me from moving and staying here. Basically, the way I overcame those challenges was by ignoring them. I made up my mind that I was making a change in my life, and I ignored anything and everything that tried to get in the way.

Those of you who know me well know that the past few years have not gone smoothly. When I moved down here, I was told that I would be in good shape if I could somehow find a way to survive my first five years here. That was the magic number, five years. I was told that my life would be incredibly difficult and frustrating for the first five years, but, if I could fight through it, that struggle would be worth it. Nearly three years into this journey, life hasn’t gotten a whole lot easier, but I am starting to see signs of things falling into place. I’m one of the fortunate ones. As much as life has tried to beat me down and then kick me while I’m down, I keep getting back up. I have friends who moved here for the same reason I did, and they have already thrown in the towel. They gave up and decided to find something else to do with their life.

I still have a long ways to go to get to that five year mark, but every day I am encouraged to see the progress I’ve made since I moved here. I had a very specific vision of my life here before I moved. The things I always imagined my life would be like are now slowly becoming reality. My personal life is starting to get somewhat closer to what I imagined. My professional life is on a path that I never could have imagined. I’m not there yet, but I’m headed in the right direction. My life now feels familiar. I won’t say it’s comfortable yet, but it feels familiar. It feels, in a lot of ways, like it did before I moved down here.

In all aspects of your life, things will change. Things will not go according to plan. Things will not be easy. You have to learn to not obsess over the setbacks. You have to learn to not focus on minor day-to-day things that won’t matter down the road. Stay focused on your long-term goals. Remember why you are doing what you’re doing. Remember how few people are brave enough to take the chances necessary to even start following their dreams. You’ve started and you’ve made progress. You’re already winning. You haven’t won yet, but you’re winning. Keep making progress. Even if it isn’t as fast as you would like, keep going. It will all be worth it in the end. Don’t let your fear of the unknown defeat you. Never give up!!

 

What If You Got All You Hope For?

I’ve been trying to find the right words to write this for weeks. I’m not so sure I’ve found those words yet, but I’ll try. Nearly every day, I hear people say: “I wish ______”, “I hope ______”, “I want ______”, etc. People are quick to think of material things that they want. They’re quick to think of things that they want at a specific point in time. While I was struggling to write this, I asked my friends to tell me what they would want if they could have absolutely ANYTHING in the entire world. I expected to get a ton of responses from people saying they wished they could have infinite money, multiple large houses, expensive cars, etc. I was a bit surprised though. I only got a few responses, and nearly everything listed was mentioned with the big picture in mind. The responses were the things I was hoping to get for a response.

I have given this a lot of thought over a lengthy period of time. Here is my list. Here is what I want in life:

Love… real, true, lifelong love.

Happiness… endless, genuine happiness.

Financial security… I don’t want to be ridiculously rich, I just want to comfortably enjoy life.

Good health… I don’t wish I could go through life without my disability, it’s a big part of who I am. I just want to be as healthy as I can be in the situation I am in.

Peace of mind… I want to close my eyes and drift off to sleep every night without any worries or regrets.

That is five things. How does this compare to your list? I want to be loved, happy, comfortable, healthy, and relaxed. I don’t think that is too much to ask for. If you really take the time to think about the things that would make your life perfect, what will you choose?

I am a very happy, positive person. My life isn’t perfect, but I’m pretty fortunate compared to a lot of people in this world. I don’t get carried away wishing for things, and I think that is a big part of why I’m so happy. I don’t worry very much about the things I don’t have. I don’t wish for unrealistic things. I wish for the things I am working toward. I am actively trying to make the things I want happen. I have experienced life enough to know that things will fall into place when they’re supposed to fall into place, not when I want them to fall into place.

If you get everything you hope for, would it really make your life better?

Somebody Thinks You’re Awesome… You Should, Too

Think back to the last time somebody paid you a really great compliment. How did you react or respond to that compliment? In my experience, many times, people respond by saying: “You’re too kind”, “No… you’re way too nice”, “It’s nothing, really”, etc. I hear it on almost a daily basis. I’m guilty of it, too. But, when was the last time you received a really great compliment, and just said, “Thank you”, knowing that you were deserving of such high praise? People are very quick to diminish the things they do well. People underestimate the impact they have on others a lot of times. In general, they just don’t give themselves enough credit.

When someone pays you a compliment, do you ever stop and wonder why? Clearly, you made a strong impression on that person, whether you realize it or not. Every day of my life, I wonder if certain people know how highly I think of them. I try to compliment them as often as possible, but I don’t think they fully understand how amazing I think they are. I know that they don’t think of themselves as being special in any way, but they are. They are to me, and I know they have to be to others, as well.

I receive compliments from people on a regular basis for various reasons, and I am starting to become more accepting of those compliments, but I still have a hard time accepting them, as I know others do.

Recently, I have had a few opportunities to take a step back and see some of the things that others see in me. I have met people who are in a position to inspire people that is similar to the situation I am in. I have been impressed by these people, and have seen and heard how impressed others are, too. It has been a good reminder for me that the things I do are different and stand out compared to the things most people do. It has reminded me that I should be proud of the fact that I stand out, and I should go out of my way to use the unique things I do to inspire others.

Over the past couple of months, I have approached several people on the driving range or practice green while I was working, and asked if they would like help with their golf game. The most common response I get is, “No, I’m a lost cause. I’m beyond help. Thanks though.” Every time, my response has been, “I’m in a damn wheelchair, and I’m not a lost cause. If I can do it, so can you!! Now, how can I help you?” About 95% of the time, I have already spotted and corrected the biggest flaw in their swing within the first five minutes. Every time, when they see the immediate progress they’ve made and are happy, I say, “But I thought you were a lost cause… what happened to that?” By asking that question, I hope I am able to help them realize that they need to think more positively and focus on their potential, not their flaws.

Last week, I got to watch a kid who only has the use of his left hand hit a few shots on the driving range. My initial reaction was, “How the hell does he do that? That’s amazing!!” And then I stopped for a second and thought about my own swing. I immediately realized that most people must think the same thing about my swing as I thought about this kid’s swing. Seeing how well he plays got me excited to work harder on my own game. If he was able to inspire me in that way, I have no doubt that I can do the same for someone else.

In the past, I have been completely caught off guard and confused by people telling me that they think watching me play golf is amazing. I don’t swing the way other people swing. My physical limitations have forced me to invent my own way of playing. My swing is my own. I am self-taught. It’s all trial and error. The more people I meet and the more I teach, the more I understand that I can inspire people just by being myself.

Honestly, I feel that there is nothing special about me at all. I do what I do because I have to find my own way of doing things. I don’t have a choice. But I know that people see me doing things differently and are impressed by what I do. Even during the worst round of my life, someone said to me, “Wow!! How did you do that?”

If you want to find a way to inspire other people or if you want to impress somebody else, realize that you already do. You don’t have to go out of your way to force it. Somebody is already inspired by you. Somebody is already impressed. Keep being yourself and pay attention when somebody compliments you. They’re complimenting you for a reason. Find out what that reason is instead of just ignoring it or diminishing it. Somebody thinks you’re awesome… you should think you’re awesome, too!!

Me at Legacy Club

Remember The Importance Of The Little Things

Happy April, everybody!! It’s crazy to think that three months of this year have already passed by. We have a long ways to go in April, but my month is off to a pretty great start, thanks to an unexpected surprise.

When I showed up for work today, there was an envelope waiting for me with my name on it. That had never happened before, so I was completely caught off guard. Inside the envelope was a hand written thank you note from somebody whose name I had never seen before. I was confused for a few minutes.

Eventually, I realized the note was from a lady I helped a couple of weeks ago. During her golf lesson with another instructor, she asked if I would be willing to take some pictures and record a few short swing videos with her phone during her lesson, which I was happy to do for her. The staff at our golf academy is a team, so I just felt that helping out was part of my job. When you live and work in one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world, customer service is a top priority. If you don’t provide a high quality level of service, people will go elsewhere. She thanked me before she left that day for helping, and I honestly completely forgot that I had any involvement in that lesson until I read her note today. I didn’t expect to receive any kind of recognition in any way for anything. Once again, I felt I was just doing my job.

I have noticed throughout the day today that I have repeatedly thought about that note. First of all, nowadays, anything hand written is rare. I always really enjoy receiving anything hand written. It just feels more personal and more meaningful, in my opinion. That short note really made my whole day. It reminded me that such a simple gesture that I was happy to do for someone left a lasting impression on somebody else. Likewise, that short thank you note really means a lot to me. It’s hard to beat the feeling of being truly appreciated. That is something I will absolutely remember from this point forward, and I hope reading this is a reminder to all of you that something that seems so small or so simple can really make a big difference. We can all do our part to have some kind of positive impact on the world. Even the smallest gesture is much better than doing nothing at all.

I hope you all had a great day!! 😀

Focus On Right Now

I think we all would agree that we tend to spend a lot of time either reflecting upon the past or looking ahead to the future. How many people are fully immersed in the present? I have to imagine most people are not.

None of us know what will happen in the future. We have no clue. There is nothing wrong with trying to picture your life in the future, and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. I’m a dreamer. I’m a fan of dreamers. On the opposite side, none of us can change the past. It’s done, it’s over. What happened, happened. You can learn from your past, but obsessing over it is pointless. You can’t change it. The only thing you can control is what is happening right now. The choices you make today will shape your future. The life you live now will lead to your future. Pay attention to what you’re doing right now.

Last weekend, I got to see one of my brothers for the first time in almost two years. It was great to catch up with him, yet it was cool to see how little has changed over the past couple of years. My life is completely different now (so is his), yet it felt like nothing had changed when we started to catch up.

As I’m sure most people do, I tend to run through a ton of “What if…?” scenarios in my head. I think about what my life would have been like if I hadn’t moved away from my hometown. I think about what it would be like to move back. I think about what I’m doing right now, and where my life is heading.

I am absolutely 100% convinced that leaving my hometown was the smartest decision I’ve ever made. It just was. I have learned more about myself, about life in general, and about my family and friends since I moved than I ever could have learned if I hadn’t moved away. I really couldn’t be happier that I left home. A lot of people from back home read my blog. A lot of people get upset when I talk about being happy that I left. A lot of others understand it. I sincerely hope that those who get upset will learn someday why I’m happy I left. I could write about it a million times, but they wouldn’t understand it until they experienced it for themselves.

If I hadn’t left home, nothing would have changed for me. I would have kept telling myself that I was happy, as my life continued to nose dive. I had fun back home. I probably had too much fun. But, I was on a path that led to nothing. I had no future in the direction I was headed. It was just a matter of time before I hit a dead end. Luckily, I got out before I hit that point.

After I moved, I kept asking myself what I thought would have happened if I hadn’t left. I also kept wondering what would happen if I stayed here a while, then went back home. I think I know a bunch of the answers I was looking for, but you really never know what might happen. I’m happy with where I am now in life. Every day, something seems to happen to push me another step or two closer to what I want to ultimately accomplish. I’m nowhere close to where I want to be in life, but I’m getting closer every day. That is exciting to me. Yet, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I suddenly had to go back home.

I try not to think about this much and haven’t told many people, but, on numerous occasions, I have been within days of moving back home. I have searched for jobs and apartments back home and started packing to leave. It wasn’t by choice, it was just what I thought my only option was at the time. But, every time, something has come up out of nowhere and changed things for me. I’m a big believer in fate. I believe I am where I’m supposed to be right now. Things aren’t perfect for me right now, but I’m on the right path.

If I moved back home tomorrow, I am pretty convinced I would have a job, a place to live, and a possibly girlfriend within a few weeks. The scenario I’ve created in my head makes going back to my comfort zone seem pretty enticing. Staying here and continuing on my current path, I know I have a home, I know I have a job, and I know there is potential for other things to fall into place as I have always hoped. I know that my life can and will get better than it is right now, but I have to say… I can’t really complain much right now. I have a lot of problems on my mind every single day. I have a lot that I need to work on. I have a long road ahead of me to get to where I can totally feel comfortable, but I also know that I’m in a MUCH better situation than many people.

Three game changers that I hear people talk about frequently are: job security, financial stability, and a loving and supportive significant other. I have one of those three things covered. As long as people are playing golf, I am confident that I will have a job. Golf is a challenging, frustrating game. As long as people continue to play it, people will need someone to teach them how to play it to the best of their ability. I don’t mean to brag, but I am damn good at teaching golf. I’m not the best, but I’m getting better every day. I’m constantly learning, and I am very good at what I do. I know I am. I’m not bragging, I’m just confident in my ability. The downfall in my current situation is that I only make money when people book lessons or classes with me. I’m not guaranteed a paycheck ever. I love doing what I do, but making money is a challenge. Things will work out eventually. Also, I know I will end up with that special someone in my life when the time is right. There is someone I met years ago who I know could make my life a million times better than it already is, but we live 1,500 miles apart. If she reads this, she maybe knows I’m talking about her. I can drop hints and hope all I want, but it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to tell her how I feel about her or ask if she has any significant interest in me when we are on opposite sides of the country. Whether we remain just friends or become something more at some point in the future, I’m just happy and thankful to know that she is in my life. Whatever happens is what is supposed to happen.

Last weekend when I got to hang out with my brother and catch up reminded me that I’m on the right path in life. In a way, I got a bit of an outside view of what my lifestyle used to be like. I realized that I just can’t live that lifestyle anymore. It was great for a while, but it’s not for me anymore. I’ve outgrown it. I could never be truly happy back home again. I have a new home now. I love it. I never hesitate to tell people where I came from, but when people ask where home is, I tell them where I live now.

I may not know where my future will lead, but I know that my past is best left in the past. My present is right where I belong. I’m on the right path in life, and that’s great to know. I am who I am because of where I was and what I’ve done. Who I am now will lead to who I will become. Through all of it, the only thing I can control is what I do right now. I feel like I was a pretty good person earlier in my life, but I know I’m a better person now. The person I am now will lead me on the path to becoming an even better person in the future. If you want to improve your future, focus on right now.

Do What You “Should” Do

The past couple of months have been crazy busy for me, so I apologize for the lengthy delay between posts. But, I’m back!! My life isn’t getting any less busy. In fact, I am getting busier by the day. But I will do my best to keep writing as often as I can.

Since the last post I wrote, I have met a lot of people and have noticed some common themes in my conversations with them. One of these common themes has been hearing them say, “I really should ________.”

So many people say: “I should”, “I wish”, “I want to”, etc. They talk about the things they want, but often times they proceed to talk themselves out of doing whatever it is they want to do.

Over the past couple of years, I have become a much more decisive person than I was in the past. In many cases, I know what I want and know how make things happen. I tend to get frustrated when people keep changing their mind about the things they seem to really want to do.

If you want something badly, then go for it. There have been many times in the past that I have wanted something, but was too scared to take a chance and go for it. Those situations have always left me wondering what could have happened if I had taken a chance. The only real regrets I have are things I have talked myself out of trying to do.

If you try something and it doesn’t work out as planned, then at least you know that you tried. You don’t have to wonder what might have been. If you keep talking yourself out of the things you want, then you will spend the rest of your life wondering if they would have been as great as you had hoped.

Stop waiting. Stop wishing. Stop being afraid to go after whatever it is that you want. The biggest challenge you will have to overcome in most cases will be your own fears and lack of commitment. Failure isn’t as bad as people tend to think. If you try something and fail, then at least you can learn from the situation and move on. Keep moving forward, always. Give yourself a chance to live the life you want to live. Do what you “should” do!!

Wake Up And Be Awesome

I think we all could use a little extra motivation or extra encouragement from time to time. I seem to get that extra encouragement quite often. It’s natural to think of ourselves as completely ordinary, which I suppose is probably a good thing. It keeps our ego from getting out of hand. However, I catch myself in most cases not giving myself enough credit for the things I do. For many, this is probably the case as well.

People have always told me that a lot of the things I do are pretty special considering the challenges I have faced throughout my life. I suppose they are right, but I just have a hard time thinking of myself in that way. I am who I am. I do what I do. I don’t think anything about me is very special. Most people, I assume, probably think the same way about themselves. There is a line that I’m trying hard to not cross, but I am slowly starting to accept the way others see me as being my reality. I have always brushed off compliments and just said people were being too nice to me. As I get older, I am starting to realize how many ways I can use my situation and my abilities to make myself more successful, and, more importantly, to help and to inspire others.

My disability makes a lot of things that others take for granted more of challenge for me. It doesn’t prevent me from doing a lot of things, it just makes things a little more difficult. I still have a hard time accepting compliments from people who are impressed by the things I am able to do, but I am starting to become more accepting of the fact that other people don’t see me in the same way that I see myself. I can use that knowledge to help others who are in a situation similar to mine to feel better about themselves and to help them to be proud of what they are able to accomplish. Nothing makes me happier in life than being able to make a difference in someone else’s life.

For the past few years, I have had a message saved with the alarm clock on my phone. Before I moved to Florida, and for the first couple of years I lived here, that message read, “Florida awaits! Get up and go!” Before I moved, it was my reminder that everything I was doing was preparing me for getting ready to start my new life in Florida. After I moved, I kept the same message as a reminder that I was here and that I needed to make the most of every day. At the end of last year, I got a new phone and decided it was time to wake up to a different message every morning. That new message reads, “Wake up and be awesome!!” Everything I have done over the past few years has helped me work toward the life I wanted to live. I now have the chance to live that life. I have the opportunity every day to make a difference and to inspire people. I have the opportunity to be awesome in the minds of other people. Not only that, I have the opportunity to actually be awesome.

I think most people grow up idolizing someone and always wish they could mean as much to someone else as their idol means to them. Well, guess what… you can!! Make a difference. Be the person you would be proud to idolize. Remember that others are watching you and noticing the things you do. Don’t minimize the things you do in your life. You are capable of doing great things. Trust yourself and don’t be afraid to be the center of attention. People wouldn’t be focusing on you if there weren’t a reason to focus on you. Make the most of every day. Every day, wake up and be awesome!!