Just Trust It

Life can be funny sometimes. No matter what you think you have figured out, anything can happen at any time and change it. I started learning several years ago not to get too set on anything happening a certain way. Whenever you think you know what will happen next, life throws you a curveball just to make sure you don’t get too comfortable. It happens both in good and bad ways.

The only thing in life that is guaranteed is what is happening at this very moment. As frustrating as it can be for things to not go exactly as you would like, things always work out the way they’re meant to work out. It might take some time to realize why something happened the way it did, but you will figure it out eventually.

Some of the most important things that have happened in my life were things that I didn’t understand until years later. I reacted to those things when they happened, but ended up having a different view of them much later on when I realized why they happened and what they led to in the long run.

I think a big reason that people get so stressed out over certain things is because they convince themselves that they know what the result will be, and that it won’t be what they want.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to recognize when life throws me a curveball and just see where it leads me. It would be easy to get upset or be caught off guard by something not going as planned, but I’ve learned that, oftentimes, something better than expected comes from remaining calm and patient.

I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that the things you go through, the places you end up, and the people in your life are part of your journey through life because they make you who you are. They teach you lessons and shape your life. Both the good and the bad teach you lessons that you need to learn to keep growing and to become the person you will be in the future.

On occasion, I catch myself wondering why something is happening, or why I am meeting someone. I have to remind myself not to overthink it. It’s happening, so there has to be a reason for it. Someday I will know why, it doesn’t have to be today.

I believe in signs. I believe that life shows you little hints that help guide you through your journey and lead you on the best path. These signs aren’t always easy to recognize, but they’re there. Once again, you may not realize there was a sign of what is to come right in front of your face until sometime in the future. When things fall into place, you will look back and will likely realize what was right in front of you in the past trying to lead you to where you’ve ended up.

The best advice I could give anyone when life throws you a curveball is to go with it and see what happens. It isn’t happening by mistake. When you get the feeling that something special and really great is about to happen, don’t let it scare you. Give it a try. See where it leads. Life knows where it wants to go. You may not understand it, but just trust it. You may be surprised how much better life can be.

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Patience

As I stated at the beginning of my last post, finding the time to slow down in this fast-paced world we live in nowadays can be quite difficult. We’ve all become so used to everything being so instantaneous that it can be frustrating to remember that not everything in the world works that way. Some things just take time. There’s no way to change that.

Think about what your idea of a perfect life would consist of? It sure would be nice if all of those things could become a part of your life instantly, wouldn’t it? But, how long would you wait for them, since everything isn’t always instantaneous? At what point would you stop waiting for something you really want and settle for less?

Over the past week, people have said the following things to me: “I can’t believe how patient you are”, “You’re too chill”, and “Don’t you get sick of waiting?”. I am, without a doubt, the most patient person you will ever meet in your entire life, I guarantee it. I have learned many, MANY times in my life that good things truly do come to those who wait.

Although I am not as extreme as I was when I was younger, I am a very picky person. I know what I want, I know what I like, and I have no interest whatsoever in settling for less. Things happen if and when they’re supposed to happen. If something doesn’t work out, then there’s something better out there for you. Don’t worry about something that didn’t go as planned. It wasn’t meant for you. Just be patient and see what comes your way next.

The problem with trying to force something or trying to make something happen too quickly is that, maybe you’re forcing yourself into something that actually wasn’t meant for you. What if you try to hurry to avoid missing an opportunity, but then you find out later that, in the process, you caused yourself to miss out on something better?

I have written many times before about creating your own happiness. At the beginning of this year, I made the decision to be happy, regardless of what happened in my life. I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything by being patient, because I’m not unhappy. I am an extremely happy, positive person. It takes a lot for something to ruin my mood. I happily enjoy my life every day, and I also remind myself that I am still getting started in my journey. Bigger and better things are in my future. They haven’t quite fallen into place yet, but they’re getting closer with every passing day. I’m not referring to anything specific, I just know that each day is another step in the journey of life and the journey to finding the ultimate happiness.

I want to fall in love and get married someday. I want to start a family. I want to be successful. I want to accomplish great things that have a positive impact in this world that will live on long after I’m gone. I absolutely believe that all of those things will happen… someday. When I look back at my life, I remember all of the things I have wanted through the years. It seemed, at the time, like it would be the end of the world if those things didn’t work out. Well, those things didn’t work out, and yet here I am. I’m still alive and I’m still happy. Those things I wanted in the past that didn’t work out just weren’t meant for me. There’s no point in obsessing over them and wondering what went wrong. Better things are ahead of me.

I have learned a few things in my life that have led to my current happiness:

  1. Learn from mistakes, don’t regret them. They are just lessons learned.
  2. Don’t obsess over things that won’t matter a year from now.
  3. Take chances. You might be surprised what happens as a result.
  4. If something seems completely crazy, it’s probably a great idea.
  5. Everything happens for a reason.
  6. Let things happen when the time is right.
  7. Try. Give yourself a chance to succeed.
  8. You are responsible for your own happiness. Others can contribute to it, but don’t let them control it.
  9. Do what is best for you. The people who matter in your life will support you when you are doing something that really is best for you.
  10. Cherish the little moments that make you smile.
  11. Learn to love yourself fully. Be proud of who you are.
  12. When you love someone, tell them. NEVER waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them. You never know what will happen next in life. Anyone could be taken away from you at any time, and you don’t want to have to wonder if they knew you loved them. I learned this lesson the hard way more than once, and will never let it happen again. Tell them every chance you have. Boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, family member, close friend… it doesn’t matter. If you love them, tell them. Tell them every day.

The things you want in life are out there waiting for you. You will likely find them in the most unexpected ways and at the most unexpected times. But they’re out there. You will find them when the time is right. Until then, enjoy your life. Be you, happily. When the time comes, you will realize it was all well worth the wait. All you need is patience.

 

Lake Sunset

What Is Worth Your Time?

The world we live in nowadays is incredibly fast-paced. It’s hard to find the time to really slow down and think about things. I know that for me, personally, I’ve found myself reacting to things as they come up more frequently as time goes on. I used to never do anything without thinking about it and obsessing over it for a long time. Now that I have a moment to take a breath for a few minutes, I am starting to realize that my priorities have shifted on me a bit without me even realizing it.

I’m finally at a point in my life where I have a pretty good idea of what I like and what I want. I’ve learned to trust myself and just do what feels right. Without actually thinking about it, I’ve started to ask myself, “What is worth your time?” The things I do, the places I go, and the people I surround myself with every day are my answers to that question. Time is the most valuable thing we have in life. Once it’s gone, you can never get it back.

Every day, I wake up knowing I get to go do what I love. I love my job. It is taking over my life, and I am loving it. A lot of people in this world hate their job and dread going to work. I wake up excited to get there and get started. Every day is a new adventure. I never know what to expect going into the day, and I’ve learned to enjoy that. If you aren’t happy with your job, is it really worth your time?

For the past 3+ years, I haven’t really had a social life. I’ve made friends that I have only seen in certain situations. We never kept in touch outside of those situations. Out of nowhere, that changed for me a few months ago. I feel like a major void in my life has been filled, and I am finally able to enjoy quality time spent with great friends for the first time since I moved away from my hometown. When I look back on the past few months, I have spent increasingly more time doing things that matter to me with people who matter to me. My social life and my professional life leave very little time for me to be alone now. After spending most of my time sitting at home by myself for nearly 3 years, this is a nice change of pace.

The more time passes by, the less I hear from old friends. I guess that’s life though. The people who belong in your life will always make you a priority in their life. A lot of my old friends have kept in touch on a fairly regular basis, while others have drifted away from my life.

The older I get, the more I realize that I shouldn’t waste a second being unhappy. My job makes me happy. The people I get to spend time with every day make me happy. My life, in general, makes me happy, as imperfect as it is.

So now, I ask you all to think about this, what is worth your time? What makes you happy? Everyone has a different answer. I don’t consider anything I do to be a waste of time anymore. If something I’m doing doesn’t feel right, I will move on. If I don’t enjoy being with the people around me, I will find someone else to spend time with. Never settle for less than what you deserve. Love the things you do. Love the people who are most important to you with your whole heart. Most importantly, love yourself enough to make your happiness a top priority. I’ve written about this before and will do so again, true happiness comes from within. You create your own happiness. If other people or some other outside influences are dragging you down, do yourself a favor and move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Spend all of your time and energy on the people and the things that are worth your time.

When You Hit A Dead End…

This is a thought that has been on my mind for several months. I know that many of you can relate to the feeling I’ve been experiencing for months. Life seems to pass by quickly, but eventually you feel like you’re approaching a dead end. We’ve all been there. You get to a certain point in life where you feel like everything you’ve been working for is stalling out, and you don’t know where to go in the future.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned in life is that everything you’ve ever wanted starts to fall into place at about the same time you feel like giving up. I’ve been there. You’ve been there. I think everyone has been there. When you feel like you’ve hit a dead end in life and have no way of moving forward, that’s when things start to fall into place.

Most people don’t know this, but they’re about to find out… I was very vocal about how happy I was to leave my hometown and start a new life. I’ve done my best to let people know how happy I was with my decision to leave. But, most people don’t know how close I was to quitting. They don’t know I almost gave up. Earlier this year, I started looking for job openings in my hometown. I started looking for apartments in my hometown. I had hit a point in which I saw no possible way to continue on the path I was on. I had hit a dead end, and had exhausted all available options I knew about. I, against my will, had started to accept that I had failed, and started to look into options to make my return to my hometown. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I had convinced myself that I would find happiness no matter what happened in my life.

At the same time that I had given up on the dream I had set out to pursue, I had no idea that everything I had been hoping for was starting to fall into place. Looking back, it seems so obvious that it was happening, but I wasn’t paying attention to the signs at the time. If you’re ready to give up and things aren’t happening for you in some way, then you’re not where you need to be in life. If you’re ready to give up, but fate keeps dragging you along, don’t ignore that. It’s happening for a reason.

Back in January of this year, I gave up. I had hit a dead end in my life. Staying in Florida and continuing to chase my current dream was no longer an option for me. I had failed in every possible way. Or so I thought. Then, out of nowhere, I was given a chance. I was given a chance to ease my way into what I wanted to do. It seemed at the time like life was teasing me. I was given the opportunity to get a small sample of what I’d been hoping for over the course of several months. The thing is though, life happened. I didn’t hit another dead end. Piece by piece and day by day, I slowly progressed. Others around me saw it as a dead end. They saw it as a waste of time and effort. I, however, saw progress. Baby steps were being made. I am the ultimate optimist. I have always believed that, as long as I’m still living, I have a chance. If I have a pulse and am still breathing, I never think I have lost. There’s still a chance.

People will always see things in their own way, and many of them will be pessimistic, but that has never changed my view on things. This summer has been the perfect example of that. This summer has been a failure on so many levels. I’m going to be honest with everyone who is reading this… this summer was a disaster. Life found a way to beat me down, and then kick me while I was down. It wasn’t just me, it was the people around me, too. To be brutally honest about it, I wasn’t making money, despite working 60+ hours a week. I was busting my ass, and was failing miserably. Also, to be honest, I’m not doing much better right now. But it’s coming.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while may recall that I decided to call 2018 “The Year Of Great Potential”. I have to say, after everything I’ve endured this year, I still 100% believe that. Any normal human being would have given up a LONG time ago. I still see the potential in it though. I have learned more lessons this year than some people would learn in a lifetime. I have been told many times by people to quit and rethink my current path in life. I have ignored them. I have also had people around me want to give up repeatedly. I told them to stick it out and ride the storm out with me. These people have every right to be upset with me if they listen to me and things don’t work out. With every passing day, there seems to be more hope though. We’re almost there. The things we’ve been dreaming of are right around the corner. It’s still a dream at this point, but I know it’s there. I just do. We’re so close I can almost taste it.

In many cases, you have to suffer and struggle before you can enjoy the grand prize life has in store for you. Life has a way of working out when you’re at the point of giving up, but don’t forget that life won’t always hand you gifts. Everything you face in life is a challenge. Sometimes you will hit a dead end in life with no way of moving forward, and that is your sign that you need to find a different approach. But, sometimes you will hit what appears to be a dead end, but it leads you to a point where you can continue once you rethink your game plan. In those specific cases, you need to throw out the rule book and build you own road. Forget about what others have done before you. Build your own road. Our world wouldn’t be where it is today if people hadn’t found their own path along the journey of life. You don’t need to be some famous name in a history book to find your own way. We’re all individuals. We’re all unique. We all have our own way of getting through life. Do what is best for you. Find your own path. The next time you feel like you’re at a dead end, ask yourself what you can do differently to keep moving forward. Don’t give up just because it’s easy and seems logical.

Everyone and every situation is different. But, just because other people haven’t found a way to do what you want to do doesn’t mean you should give up. Find your own way. If people weren’t able to find their own path through this journey of life, then we’d all end up in the same place. Keep searching. Keep trying. Do what works best for you, and don’t give up!!

Life Is Happening, Be Patient

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. This is something that I think we all tend to forget a lot of times. Nowadays especially, we want things to happen quickly. We now live in a world where basically everything we want or need is at our fingertips and is accessible within seconds. It’s easy to think that that’s how the whole world should work, but we need to remember that life is a process.

My life is insanely busy right now. I have been trying to find the time to write this for well over a month. I have finally decided to take a break from work tomorrow and unwind tonight and tomorrow. This rare day off has allowed me the time to finally get back to sharing my thoughts with the world, which I haven’t had time to do very often this summer. My extremely busy, yet mostly unsuccessful summer has led to this post. I am writing this as a reminder to myself, but it also could benefit a bunch of people I know. Hopefully this helps you, too, wherever you may be in this world.

Since focusing on what is happening in our lives right now has become so easy in this “I want it now” world we live in, I think we all tend to forget about how things will turn out weeks, months, or years from now. If you aren’t happy in this moment, you may want to make a change in your life. But, what if you stick with your current path in life and everything you’ve always dreamed of is waiting for you a month from now? What if you just need to give your current path a little more time?

At the beginning of this year, I decided that the theme of this year in my life was, “The Year of Great Potential”. I still believe in that 100%. I decided that I would be happy this year, no matter what happened in my life. I made the choice to smile and be happy every single day. I haven’t gone away from that.

This summer has been a seemingly endless streak of things that are out of my control keeping me from the success I had hoped to enjoy. If something in your life happens that is out of your control, it’s extremely frustrating, but all you really can do is wait. It’s out of your control. Making a change in your life won’t make it better. People tend to forget that. Sometimes life happens, and you just have to wait for things to turn around. You can’t force the world to change for you, so getting frustrated in the moment won’t make things better for you. Everything in life seems to find a way to even out. The good times, as well as the bad, won’t last forever. It’s all temporary. Life is temporary. Go after what you want. Chase your dreams and do what you really want in life. Just because you aren’t arriving at your desired destination quickly enough doesn’t mean that you should abandon the journey.

Every journey is filled with valuable lessons. Pay close attention to the lessons that life is trying to teach you along the way. Giving up due to a temporary setback or frustration will just make things worse. I had high hopes for this summer. I hoped my biggest problems I am facing in life would be worked out this summer. That hasn’t happened. You know what did happen though? I learned countless lessons that I will never forget as long as I live. I learned things that no school could ever teach. I learned things that will help me grow as a person moving forward in my life. I didn’t give up, and I won’t give up. I learned. I grew. I’m still learning. I’m still growing. I am improving myself every single day.

Life is a series of failures occasionally interrupted by success. Don’t let your failures in life get you down. If you stop and think about it, they really aren’t failures after all. They’re just learning opportunities. As long as you continue to learn and don’t repeat the things that didn’t work in the past, then you are still growing and improving. Don’t ever stop. Use every day of your life as an opportunity to make your life better. You may not be where you want to be in life, but you are getting there. Be patient. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Persevere. Overcome. Grow. Improve. Your dreams may not come true when you want them to, but they will come true when they’re supposed to come true. Life can be frustrating, but don’t let it get you down. Things will fall into place if you stay focused on the ultimate dream and keep yourself focused on what you want. Life is happening, be patient.

Be A Trier

Comfort zones. Several questions have come up lately about what holds people back in life, what prevents people from growing, and what causes people to have so many regrets in life, among many other questions. Without hesitation, my answer to all of those questions was “comfort zones”.

Take a look back at your life over the past year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. Are you the same person you were at each of those points in your life? Sincerely, I hope all of you are a different person than you were back then. Hopefully you have grown and have improved yourself. Now, ask yourself what has changed and why. Most likely, the cause of the changes in your life have been a result of comfort zones, whether you have stepped outside of them, or have remained stuck inside of them afraid to break out.

A long time ago, I started to learn that if you get stuck inside your comfort zone for too long, the opportunities you have in front of you that will make your life better will pass you by. Opportunities tend to come with an expiration date. You have to go after something as quickly as possible when that opportunity becomes available to you, or else you will miss out. You may never get a second chance.

The most common comment I recall receiving from all of my teachers throughout my school career, from preschool all the way through college, was, “You seem very smart, but you’re holding yourself back. You’re too shy. You need to ask more questions.” It wasn’t until after I turned 30 years old that I started to bust out of my shell and start to overcome the shyness that had been a major part of my whole life to that point. It’s something that I am still working to fully overcome, but the difference between my shyness level now versus 3 years ago is like night and day. There is no comparison.

So, what changed? Why did I leave my comfort zone behind and start to become more outgoing? The answer is simple. If you keep doing the same things, then you will keep getting the same results. If you aren’t happy with the results in any situation, then you need to change your approach. Try something new, and see what happens as a result of that change. Start small. If you like the new results, then slowly make more small changes. I’m not suggesting that anyone completely change their whole life overnight and see what happens because of it. People still tell me on a regular basis that I am insane for packing up my belongings and moving across the country by myself with no plan and no clue what I was doing. They’re probably right, but it was necessary for me, in many ways. That was nearly three years ago, and I still don’t know if I have a clue what I’m doing. But, I feel like I’m closer to finding out.

People I was close friends with before I moved would probably be surprised about the way I now approach life if they could see how I live my life currently. The last time I was able to go back home and visit was well over two years ago. I had started making some positive changes in my life at that time, but the changes I have made since then have had the biggest impact and have allowed me to grow the most as a person.

Changes as simple as trying foods and beverages I never would have tried in the past are small steps I’ve made. Those are easy. Those are things everyone should do. If something makes you nervous, try it. You may or may not like it, but you can at least find out. Maybe you will discover one of your new favorite things that you never would have tried if you had stayed inside your comfort zone.

The biggest changes are the ones that have the biggest rewards. As I said, I am far less shy than I used to be. If you want to know something about me, just ask. Even if you don’t ask, I may tell you anyway, if I feel it is necessary to do so.

Three years ago, I never would have imagined myself going up to a complete stranger and starting a conversation for no reason other than just wanting to talk to them. I have now done this countless times. When the opportunity presents itself, I will randomly introduce myself to a complete stranger when I’m at Walt Disney World. Once again, you may be wondering why I would do that. I have met some really amazing people by doing that. I have even made some friends that I still keep in touch with regularly that way. You just never know who you might meet in any given situation.

I learned back when I was in high school that you should never miss an opportunity to tell someone how you feel about them. Sometimes, life happens and you end up losing people who are important to you before you could bring yourself to tell them what you wanted to tell them. Few things in the world compare to the feeling of someone being taken from your life before you could tell them how much they mean to you. I promised myself back then that I would never allow myself to miss that opportunity again with anyone I would meet for the rest of my life. I’m proud to say that I have kept that promise to myself. Those people haven’t always felt the same way about me as I have felt about them, but I am still satisfied knowing that I told them how I felt. I tried.

The people I consider to be most important in my life aren’t major parts of my life by accident. I have made the choice to focus on those people. They are the people who have proven repeatedly that they deserve to be a part of my life. I try my best as often as possible to let people know what I think of them and how much they mean to me. Some people seem genuinely surprised. Some people blow it off and tell me I’m being too kind. I don’t tell people things like that to try to impress them or to make them think I care more than I do. The truth is, I probably care more than I am able to find the words to express. I have a lot less friends than I did a couple of years ago. I allow a lot less people to influence my life and my decisions than I did in the past. I have carefully chosen the best people possible to be a part of my life. Others were given a chance to remain a bigger part of my life, but they didn’t seem to care, so they were eventually phased out. I tried.

The things I enjoy most in my daily life are the results of the life I now choose to live. Life constantly changes and evolves. You have to keep trying and keep evolving. Try new things. Try discovering new places, new cultures, new beliefs, new methods, new ideas. Just keep trying. When you stop trying, you stop growing. When you stop growing, you start to question a lot of things. You start to question your life. Never stop growing. Never stop evolving and improving. Don’t get stuck within the self-imposed boundaries of your comfort zone. You can only accomplish great things in life if you try to accomplish them. Be a trier.

Still Positively Rolling A Year Later

Anniversaries and other important dates are always a great time to look back and reflect. I have done a lot of looking back over the past couple of days as I approached the one year anniversary of Positively Rolling Through Life.

I published my first blog post on July 20th, 2017. It’s almost unbelievable to think that it has already been a year since I started blogging. I still remember every detail leading up to writing and publishing that first post. The process took me about 8 hours, and I was scared to death when I finally realized that people I don’t know would be reading the things I was writing for the first time. My friends and some of my family were the only people who had read anything I had written before that night. Several weeks of convincing led to me finally deciding to give this whole blogging thing a try. I’m glad I finally decided to go for it.

I actually created this site on July 19th, but was nervous about publishing my first post, so I waited until after midnight to publish it, hoping most people wouldn’t see it right away. One of the most important life lessons I have learned over the past year is that you need to just do what you want to do, and stop worrying about what other people might think. That is a lesson that would have made my decision to start blogging much easier.

My life has changed a lot over the past year. A series of progressions in my life have led me to facing a lot of fears. I have conquered lifelong fears, not because I decided I wanted to put them behind me, but because I had no choice. In order to do the things I wanted to do in my life, and in order to take advantage of great opportunities that have become available to me, I had to dive in and conquer those fears. There was no easing into anything. I had to just make the necessary changes and do so as confidently as possible.

I am confident in telling stories to a bunch of friends or to my family. When I’m around strangers, I always hesitated a bit. Blogging has forced me to forget about those hesitations and just write whatever is on my mind. Instead of worrying about what people might think, I now hope people read it and are positively impacted by my thoughts.

Public speaking has always been one of my biggest fears. For as long as I can remember, as soon as I have become the center of attention and have had people focusing on me, I have started sweating and shaking, and have pretty much forgotten how to form intelligent sentences while speaking. While I still am learning and improving, a change in my professional life threw me directly into a situation where my only choices were to either face my fear or to quit. I’m not a quitter, so I only saw one option for myself. I now co-host a 30+ minute long golf show in front of an audience of complete strangers twice per week. I definitely need more experience before I will feel completely comfortable with the shows, but I have started to actually really enjoy them and look forward to them.

I think the biggest reason I feared public speaking in the past is because my mind was trained to think of those situations as giving speeches while someone is judging and grading me, like I did while I was in school. To me, these shows are just conversations with groups of people. I am able to share my knowledge with people. I can teach them, which is what I already do on a daily basis. The biggest difference is that I am teaching more people at the same time. Changing my mindset was all it took to conquer that fear. Really, if you think about it, any time you are speaking publicly, you are passing along information to your audience, so you are teaching them. Some people may not benefit from thinking of those situations in that way, but it definitely helps me.

As I look back at the year since I started this site, I am amazed at how much my life has changed. I have experienced a lot of things and have continued to take steps forward. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m closer to the life I want to live than I was a year ago. I think that’s all anyone can really ask of themselves. I am growing as a person and am gaining valuable professional experience. Every day, I learn something new. I have learned that some people aren’t worth your time or energy, no matter how close you once were. I have learned that things will work out if and when they’re supposed to work out. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. I have been reminded that you can never take anything for granted. If someone or something is important to you, never miss an opportunity to tell them how important they are, or to enjoy whatever it may be that is important to you.  I have been reminded to not get too excited about something until it actually happens. A lot of things have been promised to me, but nothing ever came from those promises. When you take things for what they are, rather than what they could be, then you will be less disappointed when they don’t work out as you had hoped.

I could list all of my lessons learned, but it would take forever. The most important things I have realized as I have looked back on the past year are: I’m moving forward, I know who is worth my time and effort, I am in control of my own happiness, I am better and more capable than I used to give myself credit for, letting go of certain things or certain people is both difficult and necessary, great things are ahead of me, certain people should have been more of a priority in my life sooner, and just live life without worrying about what anyone thinks. People who don’t support you have no business being a part of your life. Your happiness needs to come first in your life. When you make decisions that make you genuinely happy, your life instantly gets better.

There have been several times over the past year that I came close to moving back to my hometown… not because I wanted to, but because I thought it was my only choice. While I really do believe that certain things that are missing in my life would become possible if I moved back, I can’t help but remind myself that I left for a reason. I chose to move here for a reason. Things will fall into place eventually. Distance is just a number. You can always go back home to visit or keep in touch with people from a distance. But, if you aren’t happy somewhere, then you need to leave.

Life is full of choices. It’s a journey with a destination that is determined by the choices you make along the way. Choose wisely. Pay attention to what you really want in life. I think we all know deep down inside of us what we want. We just need to find the answer from within ourselves and find a way to make it happen. Keep searching until you find the answers to the mysteries of your life. You may be surprised to find out that you have searched for a long time for something that was right in front of you all along. Every day is a new adventure, live it and enjoy it. Make this world a better place than it was before you entered it. Inspire others. Lead by example. Don’t make anyone have to guess how you feel about them. If someone is important to you, tell them. If they make you happy, tell them. If you love them, tell them. If you aren’t sure, keep searching and find out. The more people I meet, the more I realize how much we all seem to have in common. You’re not alone in this journey through life. We’re all in this together, and we can all help each other to live a better life.

We will all find different ways that work best for each of us to go through life. As much as my life has changed, and is continuing to change, I know that I’m on the right path. I am slowly starting find answers to the questions in my life. I am starting to settle down. I am gradually finding more peace in my life. As always, I wake up every morning and continue positively rolling through life.

If It Makes You Smile, Make It A Priority

Imagine you’re driving down the road, or sitting in your office, or even just sitting on your couch watching TV when all of a sudden your mind drifts off. Briefly, you daydream about a specific person, place, or situation. When the daydream ends, you realize you have a huge smile on your face. If other people happen to be around you, they are looking at you like you’re crazy.

This is something that happens to me on almost a daily basis. I can be in the middle of doing something, and my brain will suddenly drift off to a thought that has nothing to do with what I am currently doing. I start to daydream, and whatever it is I’m daydreaming about puts a smile on my face. Every time, I wonder why it happens. I wonder why that specific thought took over my mind at that time. More importantly, it makes me wonder why I ended up uncontrollably smiling. The more I think about it, the more the answer becomes obvious… the thought I had is important to me. Maybe more important than I realized.

I think we all naturally want to be happy. When our minds drift off to a happy thought like this, we should just enjoy it and not question it. I think the answer is simple. If it makes us smile, then we should just enjoy the happiness that the specific thought we had has brought us.

When my mind drifts off like this and I start to daydream, it tends to be the same thoughts that are going through my mind every time. It’s always the same places, things, and people. It’s easy to start questioning everything and really wonder why the mind goes out of the moment we’re currently in and starts thinking about these things, but I think we know deep down why these thoughts keep coming back time and time again. Any person, place, or situation that is constantly on your mind is there for a reason. Don’t ignore that. Accept it. Embrace it. Life is complicated enough, don’t make it more complicated. Some people search their whole life for true happiness and never find it. If you find it, hold onto it. Never let it go. True happiness means something different to everybody. Whatever it may be, it will surely put a smile on your face. If it puts a smile on your face, know that you’re smiling for a reason. Whatever is making you smile should be a priority in your life. You can never smile too much. Do what makes you happy. Live in a place that makes you happy. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Don’t over-think things. Your heart knows what it wants, let your mind follow whatever makes your heart happy.

Surround Yourself With Awesomeness

Something I hear people talk about all the time is finding ways to improve themselves. They want to eat better, drink less alcohol, exercise more, be happier, etc. But, something that is often overlooked is the influences in people’s lives. As independent as you may like to think you are, the people who are around you on a daily basis really do have a significant impact on your life. Choose wisely when you are allowing people to play a major role in your life.

For years, there were people I spent time with on a daily basis who always seemed to drag me down. Whether it was insults, random drama, or just negative energy, they were not the people I should have had influencing my decisions and my lifestyle.

Over the past few years, I have cut many of them out of my life. Some of them are people I cut off contact with because I knew they did not belong in my life. Others, just slowly drifted away from my life. There was no specific incident or anything that caused this removal from my life. We just didn’t have much in common and drifted apart.

Sadly, since I moved so far away from my hometown and haven’t been back to visit in over 2 years, I have started to lose contact with a lot of other friends that I would still love to see and talk to every day.

The craziest thing that has happened since I moved is something I didn’t expect. I have realized that certain people should have been more of a priority in my life when we didn’t live 1,500 miles apart. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I guess maybe I needed to leave to realize what was right in front of my face all along. A lot of friends that I used to see and talk to occasionally are people who now have the biggest impact on my life, from a distance. The decisions I’ve made and the life I’ve lived to this point have brought me to where I am now, and I wouldn’t change that, yet it’s easy to wonder how different life would be right now if I could go back and do the things I wish I had done knowing what I know now.

I have a very specific idea in mind of the woman I have always searched for and wanted to date… possibly even marry some day. I’ve already met her. We met years ago. She lives 1,500 miles away from me. Every day, she inspires me to become a better version of myself. Every day, seeing a picture of her, seeing her name, or even just thinking about her puts a smile on my face. Every day, I wonder if she even has a clue how much I think about her and how special she is to me. If she reads this, I wonder if she will have any idea she is the person I have in mind as I type this. Living this far apart, it’s hard to find the right way to tell her, even though I know I need to tell her.

When I look back at my old lifestyle, I remember how much fun I had, yet I cringe nearly every time. I had a blast living the way I used to live. I was also slowly killing myself and was dragging myself into a life I had no desire to live. I never thought about killing myself or wanting to die or anything like that, but I was falling deeper and deeper into a way of life that just wasn’t for me. I needed to make a change.

I had a lot of really great friends in those days, but I also surrounded myself with a lot of negative influences. The positive influences from that time in my life are the people I need to reconnect with. The people I should have made more of a priority in my life at that time are the people I need to hold close to me moving forward.

For nearly 3 years after I moved, I had no social life. I spent my free time at Disney World by myself. I have finally started to make some new friends lately. People I can hang out with on a regular basis. People who don’t live 1,500 miles away. I have been extremely picky about the people I have allowed myself to spend time with since I moved. This is my chance to really live my life MY way. I refuse to let anyone else screw that up. The people I have met recently are exactly the kind of people I need in my life right now. They are awesome people who want the best for me. I would rather have a few really awesome friends than a lot of “friends” who drag me down.

Whether it’s family, friends, co-workers, or anybody else, cut negative people out of your life. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. You will be glad you did it in the long run. Negative influences and toxic relationships have no place in your life. You deserve better. You should demand better, and accept nothing less. When you remove negativity and drama from your life, great things will start to happen. You don’t need to force it. Take advantage of great opportunities when they come your way, and let life work out the way it’s supposed to work out. Remind yourself every day that you deserve the best. Know your worth, and surround yourself with awesomeness!!

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.