Pick yourself

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Did you want to be a fire fighter?

A police officer?

An artist?

A musician?

A writer?

An athlete?

Whatever you wanted to be, there is still time, and there is still the opportunity to do so.

The world has changed for the better in the last 10 years, whether we realize it or not.  It’s changed so that “the little man” (i.e. you and I) can become whatever we want as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

It’s always been a world for the taking, but the last 10 years have made it so much easier to be what you want to be, it’s just harder now to be heard.

If you want to be a fire fighter, just look at your life on a daily basis, there’s a good chance you already are a fire fighter, putting out fires at work, home, or at school.

If you want to be a police officer, then take a look around and see what you regulate.  What rules do you enforce?  What standards?

If you want to be an artist, sit down, create something beautiful, and sell it on eBay.  If you sell a piece of artwork online for $100 you will have made more than most artists will ever make in their life simply because you tried.

Musician’s are the same way.  Record your hit album on garage band and release it to the world.  It does’t take some fancy studio to make an album.  It just takes you doing what you know you’re good at.

Seth Godin call’s it “Picking yourself”.  You can’t wait for someone to pick you to chase you’re dream.  The world is ours to make the most of, pick yourself and do what you know you’re capable of doing.  If you don’t, life will pass you by and you will one day wonder why you didn’t take advantage of it.

 

Therapy and September 11th

Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things we will ever do. Saying goodbye to loved ones, friends, even saying goodbye to our stuff is difficult at times.

But saying goodbye is a fact of life.  Nothing lasts forever.  I find peace in this during this time of my life.

After a really rough year it would be easy to look back and say, I don’t even know why we are pushing through, we’ve gotten screwed in every possible way in 2014.  I could say that, and it wouldn’t be totally inaccurate.

The problem with thinking that way is that it’s the end of the road if I do so.  My life would literally be over if I allowed myself to think in such a way where the future is dark.  So, how do I move on?

I had a conversation with a man I admire, Bruce Van Horn, the other day.  If you don’t know who Bruce is he’s a Twitter superstar and author of You CAN Go the Distance! Marathon Training Guide: Advice, Plans & Motivation for All Runners.  

I reached out to him in regards to sharing my story (see “About” page) with his Podcast listeners.  I sent him a message and two days later we found ourselves in a Skype conversation.

Throughout our conversation I was blow away by his wisdom and willingness to be transparent.  And also by his compassion.  We were basically complete strangers, but with similar experiences there was a common ground that allowed natural conversation to flow.

We talked about the ebb and flow of life and emotion, and I learned that just as I will say goodbye to this world some day, I have to at some point say goodbye to control.  Control of my emotions and thoughts.  This is not a permanent submission of control, but rather a releasing in order for the healing process to happen.

This is true for a nation as well.  It’s been 13 years since a symbol of world commerce was demolished.  Our country has said goodbye to those loved one’s but I do not think we, as a nation, have began to heal.  

Our lives have been filled with war and violence for 13 years.  I have seen it up close.  But what really matters is whether or not we are healing.  I’m not sure that we are.  The POTUS spoke last night about ISIS and how “We will not put troops on the ground with a combat mission.”  I’m still not so sure, but it sounds good.  

When you think back to 13 years ago, did we ever think we’d be here?  I know I didn’t.  I remember them saying it would be three weeks worth of air strikes and then it’s over.  Well, not the case.  I wonder if we, as a nation, have to say goodbye to the control of our emotions, and let the healing begin?

If anyone reading this is experiencing grief in any form, I understand.  You have said goodbye to the loved one or whatever it may be that is grieving you, now you have to say goodbye to yourself long enough to allow the grieving process to happen.  And the healing to begin.

Bruce gave me a few tips when we spoke the other day and I feel like I should share them with you.  If you follow him on Facebook, which I recommend, then you already know these things.

1.  Keep a gratitude journal.

Each morning write ten things you are grateful for.  Some days they will be repetitive and that’s ok, just keep going.

2.  Don’t label your emotions good or bad during this process.  Just let them happen.

When you label them it causes you more grief because then begin to feel like you’re letting yourself down for feeling that way.  Don’t be hard on yourself and don’t label emotions.  Just let them happen.

Life involves saying goodbye, there is no way around it, so you need to be prepared for when it does happen. Let yourself say goodbye in order to let yourself heal.  It’s inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bleak.

What is it that’s keeping you from saying goodbye? Or what was it that allowed you to do so?

Share this article and if you like it think about subscribing to the mailing list, I want to inspire you, and change the way you perceive experiences in your life.  

You can also send me an email on the contact page, I would love to help you.

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How to improve SEO – for dummies

I’m not an SEO expert and I’m not a marketing expert.  But I learned something this week that I think can help you understand this crazy SEO stuff.

If you are interested in this article then you are most likely someone trying to get a blog rolling or something of that nature, and you probably know that the headline is key for any article.

I understood that, and yet the information I’m about to tell you was somewhat Earth shattering when it finally made sense to me.

(I usually don’t write about this, but I can’t help it.  Here we go.)

 

Google only reads the headline

Google only reads your headline.  Or the “Heading 1” style of text on your page.

So, armed with that knowledge do you feel like a light bulb is going off in your head.  That’s WHY the “How to do…” headlines work, that’s why the “What to do if…” headlines work.  Because that’s exactly what people are typing into the Google search bar.

Let me give you an example.  If I wanted to learn how to build a table I’d type in “How to make a table”.

If I do that then I get this article as the first result on Google, “How to make a table: 14 Steps”.  Because that is the best match exactly to what I found.  Now, some people just type single words, and that’s fine too.  If I type in “Carpentry” then I get this, “Carpentry, the wikipedia page about carpentry.  

Is it starting to make a little more sense now?  It does to me.  Another good example would be sports writing.

 

Sports Writing

If you read the news paper you will often see some catchy title for their articles.  “Lions Maul Rockets” or “Bearcats Sack Governors” or whatever.  But if you look at the same article on the news paper’s website, it will be much more boring, much more exact to what someone is likely to type into Google.

I’m not going to type in “Lions Maul Rockets” if I want to know the score of the game.  I’m going to type in something like, “Lions playing Rockets – score”.  So the internet headline for the same article run in the print paper might read, “Lions beat Rockets with a score of 100-90”.

Is it coming together now?

It’s not about stuffing your article full of keywords, it’s about matching your headline to what someone might actually be searching for.  Is this something you need to do every single article?  No.  Is it something you can do on occasion to boost your traffic?  I think so.

Happy Trails!

 

What questions do you have about getting your website up and running?  

Photo Credit to An Feng Ann

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How your personal growth affects your home.

I woke up at 4:05 AM  today because my smoke alarm was chirping.

You know what I mean, you can hear it right now.  That noise about every 64 seconds chirping just as you fall back asleep.

As the chirping continued I debated whether I should get up or not.  I finally did, but I was not prepared for the thought train to follow.

I stumbled into the kitchen to make some Hazelnut coffee and looked at my computer.  It was my home.

I realized I felt more comfortable in front of my computer than I did anywhere else in my house.

Here are the string of thoughts that followed this realization:

How is that possible?  

It’s not true.  You feel comfortable other places too.

What’s the big deal?

Are you really trying to tell yourself it isn’t a big deal?!

 

Those were literally the thoughts I had in my head.

The second to last one is the kicker to me.  As you can see I finally bounced back to reality a little bit, but the problem was still there.

Let’s address these issues one at a time.

 

How is that possible?

It’s quite simple really.  I have put the activities involving my computer in front of a great many things in my life.  My wife and son included.  I’m admitting this to you because I know I’m not alone.  I wake up early every morning to get my writing done before everyone wakes up and I think I’m doing them a service.  I would be if it stopped there.  

But it doesn’t.  

I come home for lunch and I check my computer.  I check my computer when I get home from work at 5 pm.  I check it after dinner, before desert, and before I go to bed.

It’s possible because I didn’t realize I was robbing time from the people who are most important in my life until this morning.

You’d think the hints my wife has dropped would have been enough.  Hint example, “You are spending A LOT of time on your computer…” – My wife.

 

It’s not true.  You feel comfortable other places too.

This one cracks me up.  Of course I feel comfortable other places too.  The living room.  Where I’m watching Netflix but I’m flipping through my twitter timeline on my phone, hoping and praying I’ll reach 300,000 followers at that very instant.  

I feel comfortable other places, but I’m wishing I was cuddling with my computer wherever I am.

 

What’s the big deal?

The big deal is this: it’s wrong.  If you are going through this same thing you may not think it’s a big deal.  But it is.  It’s a big deal because what you’re doing is stealing time away from those who love you the most.  

If you feel more at home in front of your computer than you do sitting with your family on the back porch watching the sun go down, then you have a problem.  It’s not about hours logged on the computer, it’s about the comfort level you experience without being at your computer.  

It’s a big deal because, though you may not see it this way, you are becoming a work-a-holic on something that most likely doesn’t earn you money, on top of what does.

Careers rob enough time from our devoted family, don’t invent another excuse to be away from them.  Time is precious.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to realize it.

 

Why does this matter?

It matters because as a culture our relationship skills have diminished greatly.  Not our ability to connect with people, that’s gone through the roof, but our ability to develop lasting personal relationships.  And the only way to improve that is by further developing the one’s you have.  Not by deteriorating them.

Wake up, assess your life, and make it better.  Because the only way you’re going to make it count is if you’re ready to do the things necessary to make it great.

When you’re at home, be at home.  Don’t be somewhere else.

 

Photo credit – Allie Mounce

 

What’s your struggle?  Is it your computer? Workbench? Office?  Let me know in the comment section.  You never know who might be able to help you. 

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Are you engulfed with something you don’t understand?

Today is something new.  Something I haven’t done of this site before, but for some reason I feel like I should.

I made a short film almost two years ago.  It was shot, edited, and uploaded to Youtube via my iPad 2.  It’s my first one, and it’s not very good.  But I had a lot of fun doing it, and I there is a little meaning behind it.

I don’t know think it’s going to win anything at Sundance, but I’ve enjoyed watching it a few times here an there over the last three years.

This movie reminds me that I have an insatiable desire to figure out how things tick, and sometimes they don’t always need figuring out.  Sometimes you just need to let it be.

I’ll post all three videos up here as it’s in 3 parts.  Let me know what you think.  It’s called Engulfed.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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