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Free Yourself…From Yourself!!!

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“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

Indeed, the prisoner of actions that have not been forgiven may just be yourself. This is a thought that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately for various reasons. I have always read and been told that in order to forgive others, you must first forgive yourself.

For the most part, actions that we have a hard time forgiving ourselves for are seemingly small in the larger scheme of life yet they seem to haunt us on a daily basis. Now is the time, for me at least, to let these demons go and know that I live my life today in a manner that helps me go to sleep soundly and awake serenely.

Now that I can forgive myself for these past, yes past being the key word here, events I can forgive others for what may seem to be wrong doings or mistakes in my eyes. Everyone deserves and is entitled to forgiveness (to an extent) and I personally have to keep that in mind. Me holding grudges or being upset with others doesn’t affect the other person, it affects me…and not in a positive manner. And I would rather live in the present positive moment rather than any possible negativity that might be transpiring in others around me.

I’m going to forgive myself for any absurdities that may have transpired in my life and move forward with drive and motivation to be the best me possible!

I challenge you to do the same!
~ Brett

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Make Your Days Count!

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“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

So, I don’t spend too much time on Twitter but I checked it out and came across this quick Tweet that really got me thinking. I spend a heck of a lot of time counting down the days or even minutes until something that I am really not looking forward to IS going to transpire: the key word here being “IS!”

What’s going to happen is going to happen whether it be a meeting I’m not looking forward to or having to attend a social event I really don’t want to attend. Some things just can’t be avoided and I have personally found that many times these things aren’t nearly as painful as I imagine. The more time I think about these inevitable events, the worse I imagine they will be and the more time I have to anticipate the worst-case scenario. That’s no way to spend these days, hours, or even minutes.

If I am consistently focusing on the bad things that MAY or MAY NOT come then I am bound to miss out on all the great things that are happening around me, beside me, or even to me!

I don’t know why it took this simple little wake up quote (author unknown) of 8 words to get me to think about this but it sure worked so I’ll take it! If something bad is going to happen then it’s going to happen. Sure, if it’s avoidable than I’ll do what I can to ensure it doesn’t happen, otherwise I’ll let nature take it’s course but in the meantime I’ll choose to focus on the positive! And trust me, there is always something positive going on around me. It might be as simple as watching my cat play, going for a run, watching the kids play, etc…but there’s ALWAYS something. I just have to open my eyes to that and not focus on what IS going to transpire. I hope you can pull what you need to from those simple 8 words as well!

Have a great Sunday and take a look at all those great things around you!
~ Brett

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The Brutal Teacher

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“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” C. S. Lewis

Experience in my life has been in the form of both positive and negative situations. I have had the fortune of being blessed with many great things to include a great childhood, education, an awesome Son, Wife, two Step-Children and many great things while serving as an Officer in the Army for over a decade.

Throughout the course of all these great experiences and fortunes I have also had to endure many negative situations. Some were inevitable parts of life such as deaths of elderly family members, some deaths of friends who were killed in action while serving our country, and others where honestly self-induced evils which I would never wish on my worst enemy…needless to say my Son and Step-Kids

The great part is this though; I have learned (and continue to do so) from all my experiences, positive and negative, and they have formed me into the man I am today. Some might argue (especially my step-children when I tell them to clean their rooms) but I am quite happy with the me I have become. I have values, virtues, respect for others, and try to positively affect those with whom I come in contact. I want to inspire my Kids (all of them) to do the same but often have a difficult time doing so. Maybe it’s the way I came across or it could just be their age (which I hope is the main culprit!)

Every once in a while, okay often, I have to turn toward my wife and close friends to lift me up when times get rough, read inspirational books, spend some time engaging in relaxing hobbies (such as drawing), and that’s alright. I have learned through EXPERIENCE that these are some of the things I need to do to stay personally grounded. If I’m not grounded and in a good place mentally, then there is no chance for me to impact the kiddos in a positive manner.

I need to keep my head up and remember what I have learned up to this point. I know that I have a lot more to learn from “the most brutal of teachers” but I’m ready for it!

Bring it on, baby! 🙂

Leaders Can Be Made

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“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi

Anything that is worthwhile does does take effort, hard work, sacrifice and often times risks. I have personally found it difficult to remove myself what has habitually been my comfort zone and take risks. But I tell you what, when I have chosen to step outside this zone the rewards have been well worth it!

Risks can range from un-calculated insanity (not recommended by the way) to simple things like applying for a job for which you don’t meet the “written” requisites but may have the skills to accomplish. It may even be taking personal time to engage in an entrepreneurial endeavor or taking a chance trusting in someone you’ve only met through phone conversation to show up when and where they say they will.

Leadership cannot be obtained without taking a risk of some form. I do submit that the risks a true leader needs to take should be calculated and thought through to an extent. If a quick decision needs to be made then it needs to be made carefully and the person making the decision needs to be ready to accept any repercussions that may result.

As Vince Lombardi said; hard effort needs to be put into achieving goals, and in this process, leaders are made.

Just my thoughts for today as I stumbled across this quote!

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