Thursday, July 30, 2009

ENJOY Your Age! (Regardless of What it Is!)

Wow, this whole "fear of getting old" thing really got me going this week, didn't it? For my "Thankful Thursday" podcast I went totally "Mike" on you with no input from Napoleon Hill's book, "Think & Grow Rich".


Well, for one, he didn't have that much to say about the topic (and I did) and, secondly, I just know that a lot of people use this "I'm too old" excuse as simply that - AN EXCUSE to cease living and blessing the lives of others!

Stop using this (or ANY) excuse and step out there and start living your life TODAY!

You know, sometimes fear can be a good thing! What? Sure it can! IF that fear drives us to productive ACTION - then it can serve as the "kick in the pants" that we may need.

Here's what I mean. For example, if "the fear of getting old" is in place because you fear not having enough money to survive then USE THAT FEAR to step out there and DO SOMETHING about it! You have the wisdom, experience and ability to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN in your life that you've never allowed yourself to do - why not now?

Here's something in my podcast that I challenged everyone to write down and say aloud each and every day - "I like ME and I like BEING me!" - yes, this means regardless of your age. Don't allow others to tell you who you are and how you should act, dress, talk, etc. based on THEIR expectations! YOU be YOU - regardless of your age. YOU have much to offer to the world - so share your life and all the experiences that have come in your life and share you love that has grown in your life because of the life that you have lived.

And, above all...

"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


No, I'm not talking about "signs that you're getting old" such as:
- Your back goes out more than you do
- Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.
- The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.
- You feel like the morning after and you haven't been anywhere.
- Your little black book contains only names that end in M.D.
- You look forward to a dull evening
- You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.
- Your knees buckle, and your belt won't.
- Your Pacemaker makes the garage doors go up when you see a pretty girl.
- The little old gray haired lady you helped across the street is your wife.
- You sink your teeth into a steak, and they stay there.

O.k., o.k....that's enough of that. But MAYBE you were able to smile a little bit even if you ARE worried about getting older. Hey, listen friend - getting older is just part of life. Do you REALLY want to live forever? Really? Think about that.

Here's what I always wonder about "stories" similar to this that you may read in a book or watch in a movie. If that person doesn't age then how come they're always older than a baby? See what I mean? What age would be THE age that you'd wish to stay forever?

Nope, not me! I remember when I was a teenager I'd hear people say, "These are the best years of your life!" and I would think - "Then shoot me now!"

But, for now, in keeping with today's podcast, let's notice the symptoms of the fear of getting older as is mentioned in chapter 15 of Napoleon Hill's classic, "Think & Grow Rich".

1. The tendency to slow down and develop an inferiority complex at the age of mental maturity - falsely believing one's self to be "slipping" because of age.
Wow, do YOU ever do that? Do you ever begin to feel that you "can't keep up" because of your age? And what IS that age when that happens for/to you? Perhaps in your job you have this fear amplified due to the "younger" people that are out to "take over" (perhaps that is in your own mind?). Remember, YOU have the advantage in experience and, hopefully, wisdom! "Book-learning" isn't everything and you know that!

2. The habit of speaking apologetically of one's self as "being old" merely because one has reached the age of forty, or fifty, instead of reversing the rule and expressing the gratitude for having reached the age of wisdom and understanding.
Do you fall into this trap?Again, as is often said, "age is just a number". Now, I know that you DO age as you get older, but the idea behind that little saying is also expressed in this one - "You are as old/young as you feel!". Isn't that true? Why should we allow a number which simply states how long we have been alive dictate how we act and feel? There is simply no reason for it at all. Again, it is a mindset which we CAN control - it is up to YOU!

3. The habit of killing off initiative, imagination and self-reliance by falsely believing one's self too old to exercise these qualities.
Do you know how many men and women reach their greatest achievements after the ages of 40 or 50? Do some research on that. Check and see what the ages were of some of our greatest inventors. Don't get caught up in the thought and idea that it is only the "young" that have the ability to be creative or to take initiative. Sure, there are plenty of them out there and they get a lot of attention - but I can promise you that there are MANY "older" men and women that are accomplishing great and mighty things. I mentioned Jack Lalanne in my podcast today and the article about him in a recent edition of Success magazine. If you want to read some amazing information about what this man accomplished at ages that most would be content to sit in a rocking chair, then check out the link that will take you to that article:

4. The habit of the man or woman of forty dressing with the aim of trying to appear much younger, and affecting mannerisms of youth; thereby inspiring ridicule by both friends and strangers.
Now, I understand what Mr. Hill is saying here, but I will share with you some opposing thoughts in a moment. But, let's address this first. To me, one thing that we can notice is that things have definitely changed since the time that this book was written. Sure, many still struggle with the idea that they are "old" at the age of forty. However, for the most part, it seems to me as if that number has been pushed "upward" by quite a few years. But, let's address the thought here. Yes, I have seen men and women that were trying to look much younger than they were and what they actually accomplished was simply looking ridiculous (a form of the word "ridicule" used by Mr. Hill). Perhaps it's the man that goes through his "mid-life crisis" and dons a ridiculous looking hair piece, buys a fancy, convertible sports car and begins to hang out at clubs frequented by people 20 - 30 years younger than he. (By the way, I have nothing against hair pieces! But I think you know what I mean.) OR perhaps it is the lady that drastically changes her whole wardrobe to try to dress like those much younger than she as well as hanging out at the same type clubs mentioned above.
Here's my take on all of this. DRESS IN A WAY THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! Don't try to dress so that you "look younger" than you are or don't try to dress so that you are dressed "age appropriately". See what I mean? When we do that we are allowing others to decide for us how we should or shouldn't dress. Society - for whatever reason - seems to be a little easier on males in this respect than they are on females. I have noticed over the years that a lot of people would tell women that, when they reach a certain age (perhaps 40?) then their hair should be worn a certain way, the length of the hem of their dress should be a certain length and on and on it goes. I have seen many women look MUCH OLDER than they actually were due to this fact. WHY?

BE YOU! Today is the only day that you have at your disposal. Disposal. Think about that for a second! It cannot be recycled. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. So, how will YOU choose to live your day. Will you live in fear of the fact that this one day does, indeed, make you one day older? Why not live today enjoying it for what it has to offer and for what YOU can "squeeze" out of it and do not worry about your age?

Remember this: "TODAY is the TOMORROW that you worried about YESTERDAY!"

So, again, it's today and, in my opinion, you should celebrate who you are TODAY as well as celebrate this stage of your life - REGARDLESS of the number attached to it.

Live. Love. Laugh.

And, as always....

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Do you remember when you were a teenager and what the definition of "old" was then? What was it for you - 20? 25? I'd say with certainty that, at that time in your life anyone that was 40 was "over the hill"!

I remember that I could not wait until I reached the age of 13 - to be a teenager.
Then, I couldn't wait until I reached the age of 14 - the age that I could get my driver's permit.
Then, I couldn't wait until I reached the age of 16 - the age at which I could drive by myself.
Then, I couldn't wait until I reached the age of 18 - just because it seemed to be an age that I was supposed to be an "adult" to some extent.
So, not age now, but I couldn't wait until I graduated high school - then college.
Then I couldn't' wait until I got married - then couldn't wait to have our first child.
Then I couldn't wait until he began to walk and talk.....and then from that point on it seemed like everything began to fly by way too fast!

Now, I'm 49 and will be 50 in November. I've been married for a little over 27 years. That first child, Jacob is now 25 and will have been married for 3 years on July 29th - tomorrow as I type this. My second son, Jeremy, is now 22 and has been married for a year as of the 11th of this month and my youngest son, Jordan is 18 and will begin his Senior year of High School (no, he didn't flunk - we just kept him out until he "had" to go - teachers have agreed with us that, for boys, this was a good thing to do).

You know, if I wanted to, I could look at all of that and really let it get me down. You know, I could allow myself to think stuff like, "WHERE HAS MY LIFE GONE?" I could really get melancholy over the fact that so much in my life has changed and it feels like - at times - that it has done so very quickly.

But....instead...I look at all of that and I am proud of what I have accomplished in my life up to this point! I am proud of the 27 years that I have been married to my wife, Janan. Has it been perfect - no. But it's been good! I'm proud of the fine young men that all 3 of my sons have grown up to be and am proud of the wonderful young ladies that my two oldest sons have chosen as their wives.

Sure, I do get a little misty-eyed at times when I look at pictures of the boys when they were young and I had dark hair as I carried them around on my back, or played ball with them in the yard. That's natural.

BUT...I have a choice on how I allow this to impact my life and my days! I LOVE MY LIFE! I love my age even though there are times that I am reminded that I cannot do some of the things I could do in days past. For example, I have a pair of glasses at my house, next to my chair. I have a pair of glasses at my office and (my wife really got a kick out of this) I had to buy another pair to carry with me on my motorcycle because I could read the map without them!

Sure, I know that - for the most part - my life is just about half way over. But why think about that? Why worry about that? I also know that now - at this stage in my life - I am enjoying things that I was not able to enjoy before! My wife and I are experiencing the ability to do things that we could not do when our sons were small and dependent on mom and dad for everything. Financially I am able to enjoy and do things that I could not do just a few short years ago. Do I still struggle at time? Yes! Am I set for life? No! But I live each day and I am trying to live each day to the full!

What about you? Do you dread your birthdays? Do you focus on what you cannot regain that you used to possess (your youth, for example)?

It's all in your mindset, my friend. It's up to you!

In the podcast for Wednesday we will discuss what Napoleon Hill lists as the "Symptoms of the Fear of Getting Old" but, for now....think about your day TODAY! And, as I mention in most all of my podcasts, always remember this fact: "As long as there is breath, there is hope!"

Celebrate your life. Today. Now. It's yours!

And, always remember -

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Time With a Friend - (continued)

Ahhhh...I had a good lunch and now I'm ready to continue on with the details of our trip. Oh, the picture above? That's our bikes on top of PetitJean Mountain (our first stop) and I just thought it was a really cool looking picture - wouldn't you agree? And, oh, I'll talk more about this toward the end - but mine is the pretty blue one on the left!

O.k....back to the story as we begin to ascend Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas. Let me interrupt here just for a moment to explain something that comes into play in this story - I AM DEATHLY AFRAID OF SNAKES!!! I forgot to mention that, on our way up to Rich Mountain on Thursday, there was a big black snake sunning in the opposite lane - and he took up the whole lane! I'm just glad I wasn't coming back down at that particular moment in time - I think my bike may have been without a rider! Why do I bring that up? On the way up to Magazine Mountain we passed by a HUGE rattle snake that had been hit by a car - thankfully in the other lane. I'm not sure how long he would be stretched out, but he was as big around as my forearm - and I have a pretty good-sized forearm! Again, I'm not sure what I would have done if we had been coming down at that time - but it would not have been fun or pretty!

May I take a moment and make a public safety announcement? Thank you. Please, when you are driving, pay attention to signs such as STOP signs. And when you see one - STOP! As we neared the top of this mountain and came to one intersection I slowed down to read the directional signs to make sure we were headed toward the lodge. It was a good thing I did as a car driven by a young girl (teenager) blew right through the sign - she didn't even slow down and I don't think she even saw the sign. Honestly, if I had not slowed down to read the signs, I might not be here typing this right now. So, people, when you drive - PAY ATTENTION!!
Thank you. I feel better now. ;)

As we neared the top where the lodge was located we found a spot with an incredible view and pulled over to take a look and take some more pictures. When we first got to that point there was no one there but us and I was disappointed that we may not be able to get anyone to take our picture together, but, while we were there a family of four pulled up and agreed to take our picture. While doing so the mother asked, "Hey, who's is the pretty blue bike?" You see, this is a running joke with Fred and me. His bike is a Harley - and you know how "Harley people" are about their bikes, right? It's like they think there is not any other kind of bike in the whole wide world and they do seem to price them like they believe they are the only bikes available in the whole wide world! ;) Anyway, my bike always gets compliments on it's paint job and I always am sure to "rub it in" to Fred when that happens. As a matter of fact, on Thursday as we were getting back on our bikes after lunch at Petit Jean a family was getting out of their vehicle and preparing to go on a hike. As I was getting on my bike the mom said to her daughter - "Now we know who belongs to that pretty blue bike!" I looked at Fred and winked as the little girl said, "I took a picture of it!" So, you see...I had a lot of chances to rub this in to my ol' pal, Fred!

Anyway, after taking this families picture and talking to them (yes, talking about that big rattle snake in the road) I offered to take their picture for them as well - which they appreciated. Again, it's always fun to meet and have a talk with people from different places - what a joy! As Fred and I were preparing to get back on our motorcycles this family who had already gotten in their vehicle and began to drive away stopped and the dad asked, "Can we get a picture of you guys for our camera?" Of course we agreed and I just thought how cool it was that these people wanted to include us in their "book of memories" from this trip.

Fred and I enjoyed a nice lunch in the restaurant of the lodge at the top of Mount Magazine but were a little disappointed that the atmosphere was not one that really was conducive to us "cutting up" as we usually do with the waiters and waitresses while we enjoy our meal. Oh, we were nice and friendly - but it was just different. Remember me telling you that Fred and I both like to drink a lot of liquid while we eat? This was really evident at the end of our meal. I looked over at the table next to us where 4 ladies had been sitting and enjoying lunch and noticed that there was only 1 glass on the table for each of them. You see, the waitress would just leave your glass on the table and bring another one full of your beverage when you needed more. So, it was obvious that each of these ladies had only one glass of tea, cola, etc. and some of them weren't even empty. Then I looked at our table at the end of our meal. There were 6 glasses in front of me and 6 glasses in front of Fred. Oops! (Diet Cola and Lemonade by the way - JUST IN CASE you are getting wrong thoughts!)

We loaded up and headed out with our next stop being Rogers, Arkansas. Again, not taking the main roads (such as I-40) but enjoying the back roads - like the Pig Trail Scenic Byway. I had never ridden this before and, though I had heard of it, didn't realize that this was part of the route I had mapped out. We accessed this beautiful highway by heading north on Hwy. 23 from Ozark - where most people would get on I-40. I cannot describe to you how beautiful this drive was...and how CROOKED this road was! In Arkansas you will see a lot of signs that read, "Crooked and Steep next ____ miles". When you see this sign for this road - they mean it! Some of the turns in the curves were literally like doing a u-turn in the middle of a highway, but it was absolutely worth it. I told Fred that I thought this was some of the most beautiful stretch of highway that I had ever traveled. Parts of this highway were completely engulfed in trees giving it a "tunnel" effect. Of course, the shade felt WONDERFUL on a very warm day - but the beauty was beyond description. I was looking for somewhere to pull over so I could get a picture, but was unable to do so. If you get the chance to drive this route (and aren't afraid of major "10 miles per hour" curves) do so - you'll be glad you did. I really think I may want to drive this one again in the fall when the leaves are changing.

Long story longer...we arrived in Rogers around 5-5:30 p.m. and were beat from the heat of the day. We found a very reasonably priced hotel (made sure they had a pool), checked in and parked the bikes. We were a little uneasy when 4 doors opened and looked our bikes over when we pulled up to park. Bad part was, our room was on the 2nd floor - too far away from our bikes for our own taste.

Now, again, Fred and I have a great time giving each other a hard time and I do so every chance I get. He was asking the clerk at the hotel for a good place to eat (How do you answer that? Doesn't that depend on what you want to eat, Fred??) when I physically took his body, turned him toward the door and pointed to a sign in the parking lot next door - "Braums" and I said, "Fred, we're eating there - right next door!" He agreed as neither of us wanted to get back on the bikes anymore for the day. We also noticed that gas across the street was priced at $2.11 - the cheapest we had seen yet - but were too tired to even go across the street on the bikes and decided to wait until the next morning. We did. And it had gone up to $2.21 overnight. Oh well!
As we walked into Braums Fred said, "Wow! They have regular food here?!" (Braums is known a lot for it's ice cream and Fred thought that was all they served). I said, "Fred, did you really think I was going to make a whole meal on ice cream?"

The servers were too busy to really have the chance to enjoy our humor - but there was an older man standing to the side waiting for his food that got quite a chuckle when Fred ordered a shake and the young lady behind the counter asked, "Sir, would that be a medium shake?" To which Fred replied, "Ha! M' I LOOK like a medium shake???? Make it a large!"

Without going into every detail on the rest of the trip (there are a few things I really want to be sure I cover) I just have to mention the pool at the hotel which we headed for after supper. It had been hot that day. We were road weary. All I wanted to do was jump in that pool - and I did exactly that. Let me ask you a question - have you ever seen the movie "Vacation" (the first one) with Chevy Chase? Do you remember the scene when he jumps in the pool with Christy Brinkley? Well, that was pretty much me. I jumped in and got out very quickly as I discovered this water was C-O-L-D!!!!! As we were talking to the hotel clerk a few minutes later when he came out for a smoke I said something about it and told him that I was surprised he didn't hear me when I came up out of the water. With a grin on his face he said, "Oh, I heard you - and enjoyed every minute of it!" Yeah, yeah, yeah.

As we retired to our room a little later I kept worrying about our bikes and would go out on our balcony and look down to make sure they were not being bothered. The room right below us had some guys from part of some sort of work crew that were living it up for the night and were likely drunk by 8 p.m. Oh boy. We both finally gave up on checking again and again and turned in for the night only to be awoken at 4:30 a.m. by a knock on the door by two policemen. Well, one was a woman - which I'll get to in a moment. Fred answered the door (after looking through the curtain to see who it was) and, since they were police immediately said, "Are our bikes alright???" Now Fred wears gym shorts to bed and I was just in my boxer briefs as I stumbled to the door, past Fred onto the balcony to check on the bikes. Uh.....female...policewoman. Oops!
Anyway, apparently they were checking different rooms looking for someone besides us and we were able to go back to bed.

This next part is, without a doubt the HIGHLIGHT of the entire trip. Well, just the fact that we had breakfast at a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop was pretty cool - but it wasn't THE highlight. Fred wasn't able to finish the doughnuts he had ordered and took the remaining 4 or 5 over to a young family with 4 year old triplet boys to see if they would like to have them. They graciously accepted as one of the boys immediately grabbed one and shoved it into his mouth before mom and dad could answer! As Fred and I were preparing to hop on the bikes to head to the knife show, the family came out to see our bikes and Fred very kindly took each boy and sat them on his bike and allowed them to crank the throttle so they could hear it roar. This was priceless and a memory I will never forget. Of course they wanted to know first who owned the pretty blue one! (Yeah, Fred - that would be me.)

After this wonderful memory we located the knife show and spent about 1.5 hours there. Now, I like knives but Fred literally slobbers and drools over them so I allowed him the pleasure while I found a chair to sit in and relax. You see, within about 20 minutes I had seen all I needed to see, but not Fred! He was like a kid in a candy store - and I loved watching him interact with the vendors while there.

We then started the last leg of our journey back to my house under cloudy skies - which was nice in comparison to the glaring sun we dealt with the day before. We drove through very light rain most of the journey and stopped in Harrison, AR. for lunch and enjoyed another wonderful young lady that served us (yes, again, young enough to be our daughter) as we laughed and teased with her and we were all smiling as we spent our time there.

After getting into a little harder rain only about 15 miles from home we finally arrived back at my house at around 5:00 p.m. and after have covered right at 650 miles in the beautiful state that I call home. What a great time with a great friend!

One last note about the journey - Sunday afternoon after we all attended worship, my wife and I escorted Fred back up to Thayer, MO. to send him on the rest of his way and for us to head back. However, along the way we stopped in a little town called Salem for a short stretch only to have the 2 guys behind the counter ask, "Wow! Who's bike is that blue one? It's awesome!" (That's right Fred, I had to mention this one last comment before I finish!).

Hey, I have pictures posted of this whole trip on my Facebook page if you'd like to see them. You can request me to add you as a friend - but if you would, put a note with it letting me know you are doing so through the blog or Future You University. Thanks!

I hope you enjoyed reading all of this - I know it was a lot, but there was so much that we enjoyed on these wonderful 3 days toward the end of July in the year 2009.

Hey, as always, "Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Taking Time With a Friend

No, I have not abandoned my blog! ;)

I spent last Thursday - Saturday with my good friend, Fred (hey, ain't we handsome in that picture up there?) on our motorcycles as we hit some of the "high points" in Arkansas. I want to encourage each of you to try to find time to just "get away" - even if it's just for a few hours.
We began by leaving around 9 a.m. on Thursday and riding our bikes down to Petit Jean Mountain (near Morrilton, AR.). This is where the picture above was taken. As you can see, there were very beautiful views all around and we enjoyed taking in the views as well as having lunch at the Mathers Lodge restaurant. We really enjoyed laughing and teasing with the young lady (and I do mean young - these kids in the restaurants were usually young enough to be our own kids!) who took us to our seat as well as our waitress. Her name was Hope! (How appropriate since I always try to include my quote, "As long as there is breath, there is hope!" in my podcast each day. Hey, isn't it fun to bring a smile and a laugh to people? Try it - you'll like it!
We had lunch around noon and didn't leave until around 2 p.m. and then headed further south toward Mena, AR. Just outside of Mena is the second highest point in Arkansas - Rich Mountain - home of Queen Wilhelmina State Park. We enjoyed taking in the beautiful views once again, talking to other people that were doing the same and sharing this experience with each other.
By the time this was done, it was around 5 p.m. and we were tired and ready to find a hotel, a restaurant with a good steak and then a nice, relaxing pool! And, hey, we accomplished all three! Again, we had such a great time laughing with people that we met along the way. We had to make a stop at the Wal-Mart store in Mena and enjoyed laughing and joking with some of the clerks while there. (Interestingly, it just seemed people were drawn to us during this trip. I DO believe that when you set out with a positive mindset that people WILL be drawn to you!).
One of the clerks suggested a steak house in town and Fred and I were pleased to see that the parking lot was full - hopefully a sign of a good restaurant! Immediately we "hit it off" with the young lady (again, young enough to be our daughter - so we were "harmless" old dudes) that took us to our seats and enjoyed laughing with her as she sat us down and visited with us briefly. The young man (Michael - what a great name!) that was our waiter came to our table and, in a very monotone voice, greeted us. Of course Fred and I greeted him very enthusiastically and asked him how he was doing. I don't remember his exact answer, but it was something along the lines of, "It's been an absolutely great day." But, his voice didn't indicate so. I asked him, "Are you sure? Do you mean that or are you just saying that as a "canned greeting" that you give to everyone?" He looked at me with a grin on his face and said something like, "Well, with you guys, it's really a great day now!"
We found out from the hostess that he went back to her and thanked her for giving him "two awesome dudes" at his table. Again, it is such fun to interact with people and bring a smile to their face - and it brought a smile to ours as well!
Now, Fred and I are a lot alike in many ways. One of which is that we drink a lot of liquid when we eat which means that the waiter or waitress can spend a lot of time just refilling our glasses. While the waiter was refilling our glasses for the 2nd time in about 6 or 7 minutes Fred asked him if there was anyway that he could bring us a pitcher if it would not get him in trouble. The young man smiled and said he would check as he took our glasses from the table. In a few moments he returned but he didn't bring any glasses. Instead, he had a pitcher of drink for each of us with a straw in each pitcher! This was one of the funniest things I have ever seen and he had a huge grin on his face as he brought it to us. Of course, all others around us were noticing this and getting quite a kick out of it as well!
Well, long story short - the interaction with the crew was wonderful and the steak was as well. What a great time we had at The Chopping Block in Mena, Arkansas.
Once we finished supper, it was back to the hotel and time to hit the pool. relaxing after a long day on the bikes and time to just kick back, relax and visit. One thing I really like about Fred is that I can truly be "myself" when I'm around him. I don't have to "pretend" or wonder about what I can or cannot say - I can simply be "me". We sat in the pool and talked for about 2 hours about all kinds of things. It was a very good experience for the both of us as we added even more value to the friendship that we shared.
Wow, all of that just in day 1!
Day 2 (Friday) started out again with us leaving Mena, AR. at around 9 a.m. Right away we could tell that the temperature was a bit warmer than the day before and we began to feel the sun right away. Our plans for this leg of the journey was to travel to Mount Magazine - the highest point in Arkansas - and then on up to Rogers, Arkansas for a knife show that was taking place there.
Now, anyone that likes to ride motorcycles knows that most of us like to take the back roads and stay off of the four-lane/interstate types of roads. You see a lot of beautiful scenery and get to travel thorough some neat little towns as well. The downside of that is the fact that you also travel with a lot less accessibility to things such as gas stations. No, I didn't run out of gas - but I still, to this day, don't know how I didn't! I do remember driving past one station and thinking, "I wonder if I should stop for gas?" However, I knew there were several more towns within the range of my gas gauge and moved on ahead. We passed through two little towns with no gas stations and I was beginning to sweat as we approached the third. About 7 miles out from this third town my gas gauge begin to "blink" at me which meant that I had less than a gallon of gas in the tank. As we neared the next little town I was sure hoping - and yeah, even praying - that there was a gas station located there. As we rounded the curve that would take us through the main part of town my heart sank as I saw that the town consisted of about 3 buildings - none of which offered gasoline. Uh-oh!
Fred had no idea of my situation so I pulled over and told him I was in serious trouble as far as gas. There was a young lady (she looked to be around 12) sitting on a porch of a house within speaking distance of us and we asked her how far it was to the next gas station. My heart sank as she replied, "Oh, about 30 minutes." I looked at Fred and said, "There is no way in the world I'm squeezing 30 more minutes out of this tank!" Although she didn't laugh out loud, the young girl did have a big grin on her face as she watched us try to figure out what we were going to do. So, we did the only thing we could do - we got on our bikes and rode.
Within about 2 miles of leaving this last little town was a sign that told us that we still had 17 miles to go before we reached the gas station. Again, my heart sank as I thought, "There is no way I'll make it." You know, when your mind is already expecting something negative to happen then you begin to think it IS happening. Several times I thought, "Yeah, I feel the engine starting to sputter - this is it!" only to realize it was my imagination and I was able to continue on a few more miles. About 6 miles out (which was closer than I thought I'd get) we came upon some road work taking place that required us to stop due to the work. This was NOT what I needed at this time! We were the only 2 vehicles on our side and we pulled right up to the flagger and I said, "Oh man, this ain't good! I'm riding on fumes!" He smiled and said, "Well, if it were up to me, I'd let you on through, but you have to wait for the 'pilot car' to take you through." He then got on his radio and asked them to hurry up because we were about out of gas.
Alas we made it past the construction and continued on to the little town of Parks, AR. Sweating it out mile after mile wondering which one would be my last before I had to pull over somewhere. Unbelievably, I DID make it to the little town of Parks and nearly collapsed as I pulled into the little country store lot with two tanks out front. Whew! After filling my tank I discovered that I had 1/10 of a gallon left - I wasn't going much further! Thank you , Lord!
We traveled on until we begin to ascend Mount Magazine. This is around Paris, AR (yes, Paris - we also passed through a little community called "Egypt" and also noticed that "London" was not too far away! Wow, we traveled further than I thought! ;p ) in case you ever have the chance to visit this beautiful area. I realize that I am getting long-winded in this story - but there was so much to share.
So, here's what I will do - I need to stop for my lunch break and then I will continue on with the story in a second part when I return.
Hey, until that time - if you've read all of this - ENJOY TODAY! Laugh and share your laughter with others - what a great way to spend time with other people.
And, until I get back - "Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Wow, this is a big one, isn't it?

Have you ever been hurt by anyone that you thought loved you? (Although I don't discuss this in the podcast for Thursday - yeah, I'm trying to get a little AHEAD now! - this can even be connected with a parent.)

For many people, this hurt can create in them such a fear of losing love again (and also experiencing that hurt again) that they simply choose to pull back and not offer love to anyone at anytime.

Where are you in all of this? You know, the fact is that, when you care - when you open yourself up to others by caring - you open yourself up to disappointment and hurt. It's true! It's just a fact of life! But will you allow that potential disappointment and hurt keep you from experiencing all the joy and happiness that love can bring?

So much of this "fear of the loss of love" comes back to some sort of a low self-esteem. This low self-esteem can be connected to the "fear of poverty" that we discussed earlier as well as the "fear of criticism". What do I mean? Let me explain.

For some, the "fear of poverty" or feeling like they don't "have enough" or that they can't "offer enough" to someone takes control over the actual relationship between two people. They begin to fear that if they cannot provide all the "finer" things in life that the object of their love may lose interest and leave. Does that happen sometimes? Sure it does! But, in my opinion, you are better off knowing that now than going on in a relationship with someone that puts material things at the top of the list. This "fear" of "not enough" then plays havoc on their self-esteem because then - especially if they have "lost love" due to this - they begin to equate this idea of "not enough" to themselves. In other words, they begin to feel that THEY, themselves, are "not enough" or not GOOD ENOUGH. It can also manifest itself (this fear of poverty) by a person trying to impress the object of their love by spending more money than they can actually afford to spend. To spend beyond their means - to try to live a life that is not really their life. Why? In order to impress so that they do not lose. (Hey friend - that will never work!).

This "fear of poverty" also goes hand in hand with the "fear of criticism" as it relates to the "fear of losing love". How so? Many times the person who is afraid of losing love, is also afraid of the criticism that may come their way because - again - they are not good enough (don't have enough, spend enough, give enough). The object of their love may actually criticize them for this - "If you loved me, you'd buy me this!" or "I'm not sure you're really going to be able to give me what I want!" or even, "HER boyfriend (husband) takes her to ALL of the best places - I wish you were more like that!" And, again, this fear of criticism then may cause a person to try to live a life that is not really their life. Again, this will never work and it is no way to truly live!

As the song goes, "LOVE HURTS!" And, hey, getting your heart broken is no fun at all! But -here's the kicker - this "fear of losing love" can actually manifest itself by this actually happening! This is called "the Law of Attraction" -- what you give your energy and focus to will be attracted into your life.

So, for example, a person can be so preoccupied with "losing love" that they begin to act in such a way that causes the other person to want to RUN away! "You're not the same person you were when I met you!" is often said in this situation. And, you know what? They're right!

This very thought/idea can be seen in these SYMPTOMS of the FEAR of LOSING LOVE:

1. JEALOUSLY - the habit of being suspicious of friends and loved ones without any reasonable evidence of sufficient grounds. The habit of accusing wife or husband of infidelity without grounds. General suspicion of everyone, absolute faith in no one.
Wow - think about that! Suspicious of everyone - trusting no one! What a horrible way to live! But, you know what? I used to live that way! I used to be so jealous when my wife and I dated and first got married. Here's what I discovered to be true about me in that situation - it had nothing to do with her and everything to do with me! I knew how guys "operated" because I was a guy! And, too, I knew what a "dog" I had been and I knew all the "tricks" so to speak. So, instead of trusting her and our love - I didn't trust anyone - INCLUDING her! Let me tell you friend, that was a miserable way to live! Anytime you live life being suspicious of everyone and trusting no one - YOU ARE NOT LIVING LIFE!

2. FAULT FINDING - I mention on Thursday's podcast that I'm not sure what Mr. Hill had in mind on this one but, as I look at it I see that low self-esteem creeping in again on this one. One may fear losing love so much that they feel the only way to try to make themselves look better in the eyes of the object of their love is to find fault in EVERYONE else (and to be sure to point those out, too!). The sad truth is - this fault finding usually finds it's way to the object of their love. What do you think happens then?

3. GAMBLING - Remember, this is the 1937 version of this book and I think we can safely say that this symptom can go beyond just gambling. The idea expressed in this point in the book is again the manifestation of the "fear of poverty" and the need to do anything, everything possible to try to bring in some extra cash in order to impress the object of one's love. The sad truth is - many times it does anything BUT impress.

THERE IS A TRAP! Be aware of the trap that the marketplace will lay for you in this very area! Pay attention to what advertisements are really saying to you and your love. Notice how just about everything comes back to the idea that if you don't buy this or that (car, house, ring and yes, even a certain kind of lawn mower) then you are a failure and an object of ridicule. Really notice this and you may be appalled at what you see. DON'T FALL FOR IT! And, again, think about this - do you REALLY want to spend time with someone that is more interested in the "stuff" that you can provide than the relationship itself? I think not.

One other note - this does not have to even be tied into "romantic love" does it? I've seen roommates go through this same type of scenario because they did not want to lose the "love" of that friendship, etc. I've seen roommates get extremely jealous, for example, when their roommate found a new boyfriend/girlfriend and started spending more time with their new love than with the roommate. Friends go through this type of thing more often than we might think!

Remember that FEAR paralyzes! FEAR keeps you from living life to the full or to the max. This is true in all areas of our life.

Whatever your situation - regardless of how many times you have been "rejected" (in your own mind) or have "lost" at the "game of love" - DO NOT GIVE IN TO THIS FEAR!

Once again, it's all about controlling your mind and the thoughts that you allow in. Self-talk in these situations can literally stop you dead in your tracks. Stating and believing that you are worthless or not capable of love will actually make that a reality in your life in that it will cause you to act in such a way that will not attract others to the real you!

YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER by way of friendship and, yes, even in love. Again, it's your choice - either retreat at the first sign of resistance, trouble, roadblock or even perceived failure OR pick up, learn and move on positively into your future.

I'm here to help in you need it - but YOU have the ability to do this yourself. Yes, that's right - it's within YOU and YOU CAN DO IT!

It's all tied in together my friend! Even in how you approach your day. Always remember to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"



I apologize for being so far behind on my blogs - I have no excuse and I will try to catch up as much as possible in today's entry.

Following the FEAR of POVERTY and the FEAR of CRITICISM we began to discuss the next fear in Napoleon Hill's list of the "Six Ghosts of Fear". This all can be found in chapter 15 ("How to Outwith The Six Ghosts of Fear") of his classic book, "Think & Grow Rich".


You likely already know this but, people (yes, even you!) can literally make themselves sick! I had listed on my "status" on Facebook this topic and one of my friends made the comment that they once had a coworker that would end up going home for the day not feeling well if they had discussed at all any type of sickness or someone else that was sick!

Napoleon Hill even talks about an experiment that he had carried out in which he had three different people come in to the "victim" and express the idea that, "Wow, you don't look too good. Are you feeling o.k.?" The "victim" responded to the first query with something along the lines of, "Oh no - I'm doing fine!" However, once the second person came in and asked the same question the "victim" would then respond with something along the lines of, "Well, you know, I am feeling like I'm coming down with something." and then, by the time the third person came in with the same comment, the "victim" would admit that they were, in fact, not well.

Isn't that amazing? Yet, we can do the same thing ourselves AND that being so - out of necessity - it must also be suggested that we can IMPROVE our health by controlling our thoughts!

THIS IS STILL ALL ABOUT OUR MINDS and the THOUGHTS and SUGGESTIONS that we allow there! Mr. Hill states the following: "Powerful and mighty is the human mind! It builds or it destroys!"

What are the SYMPTOMS of this FEAR of SICKNESS?

1. AUTO-SUGGESTION - Huh? Wait a minute! Isn't "auto-suggestion" a positive thing? Well, it CAN be! However, just as we can feed our mind POSITIVE information in order that our subconscious mind can then "automatically suggest" those positive thoughts and beliefs back to us, so is it true with negative thoughts. We can also allow negative thoughts to be fed into our subconscious mind (yes, WE/YOU/I control this!) and that is what we will receive through auto-suggestion. We can so fear getting sick that our subconscious can contiually suggest to us that, indeed, we DO feel bad and ARE getting sick!

2. HYPOCHONDRIA - We all have likely heard this term, right? We call those with this "phobia", "hypochondriacs". Mr. Hill describes this as a medical term for imaginary diseases and he suggests that, many times, what we IMAGINE brings about worse health than the actual disease/sickness feared! He also suggest that NOTHING in a bottle is able to cure this - again, it's all in the mind and we DO have the power and ability to control and CURE this plague from our lives!

3. EXCERCISE - (or the lack of it!) We can't excercise - or so we've told ourselves - because we suffer from this problem or that problem that prevents us from doing so. Poor me!

4. SUSCEPTIBILITY - This fear actually can break down our immune system and make us susceptible to the very sickness that we try to avoid. Worry and fear, again, can literally make us sick. We won't sleep properly, excercise properly, eat properly or think properly which will - in turn - lower our body's ability to fight off the illness.

5. SELF-CODDLING - Directly from this chapter, here is what Mr. Hill has to say about this one... "The habit of making a bid for sympathy, using imaginary illness as a lure. (People often resort to this trick to avoid work). The habit of feigning illness to cover plain laziness, or to serve as an alibi for lack of ambition." Hmmm...know anyone like that?

6. INTEMPERENCE - The habit of using alchohol and narcotics (I would include even prescription or over-the-counter medication) to destroy pains such as headaches, etc. instead of destroying the cause. Maybe even now - in our current situation - spending endless hours looking over medical help websites to try to see what might be something that could fit how we feel (or THINK we feel).

Wow - do you find yourself in there anywhere? Sadly, most of us can probably relate to at least SOME of these symptoms!

Now, listen - I do understand that there ARE some diseases, illness and even headaches that we may not be able to control simply with positive thoughts. However, there are many things that we DO bring on ourselves, wouldn't you agree?

I do know this - a POSITIVE attitude is ALWAYS welcomed by doctors as one prepares for surgery and the recovery to follow. The doctors KNOW that our mindset can make all the difference in the world in how we go through surgery many times as well as how our recovery goes!

Even if you DO feel bad (for example, with a headache) you can still DECIDE how you will allow that headache (or whatever it may be) to control your day! My wife is a pro at this and she amazes me in how she can DETERMINE not to let it impact her day. And she usually succeeds in that task. She will tell me that she is NOT going to let her feeling bad ruin her day and she will put a smile on her face and proceed to, indeed, have a good day IN SPITE of how she feels.

What's the cure of this and the other fears? It's in everything that I (and others like Napoleon Hill) talk about every single day... the fact that YOU/ME/WE have the ability to control our day and our attitudes by our thinking.

Some won't want to hear that. Why? Because some LIKE being sick! (Remember symptom #5?)

PARENTS: Please pay close attention to this! Sickness is BIG BUSINESS! Parents have been sold a bill of goods many times into thinking that their child needs this medication or that medication for this and that to the point that so many of our kids are so "doped up" that they cannot even function properly! (This REALLY gets me angry!). The result? "Oh well, but at least they are behaving themselves." Again, this may step on some toes, but - if it will help some folks WAKE UP - then it's o.k. by me. Parents, most of what has been labled as some "illness" or problem with children (for which prescriptions are given) can be "cured" simply by spending quality time with your child and sharing your life with that child!

This is a whole separate topic but, to the point, we have gotten LAZY in raising our children and many times take the easy way out. It's easier to attach some "name" to the problem and have medicine prescribed and administered than it is to do the "work" of parenting. Ouch!

Here's the thing on ALL of this - creating and maintaing this POSITIVE mindset TAKES WORK! It's something that requires attention each and every day - much like raising a child!

That's why it's so important for you to continue to visit this blog and listen to my podcasts (as well as other's that can help you in this process) each and every day. It's an ON-GOING battle of the mind!

And I'm glad I am able to be a part of the solution - thanks for allowing me into your life.

Keep up the battle - you CAN overcome this fear as well as the others.

And, as always, be sure to remember to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Monday, July 20, 2009

While Eating Out the Other Day...

Hello friends! How is your MONDAY? Remember, it's "MAGICAL" and YOU have the opportunity to make it whatever you want it to be!

It's also "MAKE-A-WISH" Monday as I continue to urge (yes, even BEG) you to take action and DONATE to the "Make-a-Wish Foundation" fund drive that I have set up at - YOUR HELP IS DESPERATELY NEEDED NOW!

So, let me share with you a story that I mentioned on today's podcast about a visit to a fast food restaurant. And, I'll also include something that I forgot to mention on the podcast. (See? Wow! What a great value you get by listening to the podcast AND reading my blog! :) )

This past Thursday my wife and I were on our way to Little Rock when we stopped by a Wendy's restaurant in Cabot, AR. (right off of hwy. 67/167). While standing in line I had already noticed the young lady behind the counter and that she seemed to have a "twinkle" in her eye as she waited on customers. Now listen, you have experienced the same thing as I have, haven't you? Lots of times (if not MOST of the time) the workers are NOT excited and are just there because they have to be and, even if they are not rude, they are not usually very outgoing. So, indeed, when I notice one that seems to have that "spark", it gets my attention!

I actually mentioned it to my wife as we stood in line and then we stepped up to be served. She greeted us with a genuine smile and asked us how we were doing. I don't remember my exact response, but it was something along the lines of, "I'M GREAT!" The young lady (I'm thinking she is still a teenager) responded with something along the lines of, "Alright! An ENTHUSIASTIC customer! That's AWESOME!"

As we got our food and left the counter I mentioned to my wife that I was going to mention that in today's podcast because little did the young lady know that AWESOME is a key word each and every day when I close my podcast and my blog ("Make it an AWESOME Day!").

As we ate I sat and observed what was taking place at the counter with this young lady as well as several other members of the crew working that night. A little old lady came in and ordered for several people. I could hear bits and pieces of the conversation as the workers helped her figure out what was the least expensive way to go. (Hey, a lot of people would not have even tried or would have gone for the way to make the MOST money!). They also named off, one by one, what types of colas were available and then helped her fill up the cups, put them in a carrier and one of the workers walked out to the car with her and helped carry the food items.

I kept mentioning to my wife what was taking place (she had her back to the counter) and how impressed I was! Another customer came in and the young lady behind the counter greeted him and asked how he was doing. He answered, "Good, and how are you?" to which she replied, "I'm ALWAYS good!" Again, I thought - "Wow! What an awesome approach!"

It was then that I decided that I was going to give this girl one of my cards and let her know that I was going to mention her on my podcast because of her positive approach to her job and to her customers. I also wanted to be sure to mention this to the manager as well.

As we waited behind another family in line so that we could share our impressions, I noticed that the teen-aged boy in this family had some sort of mental disability and that this young lady behind the counter did not let it interrupt her "positive approach" in any way. As a matter of fact, she had a smile on her face and, after taking their order, began to carry on a conversation with the boy by asking him where they were from and what they had been doing. You could tell that this just made this young man's day - a chance for him to tell someone that they had been to St. Louis and that they had seen the arch!

Friends, I have to tell you - on an "impression scale" of 1 - 10 (10 being super impressed) I was looking at about a 15!

Finally, we stepped up to the counter and I did see the manager in the cooking area. She looked my way and I asked, "Excuse me, are you the manager?" (Now, you know that usually when someone asks that question, there is a problem!). The manager came to where we were and I told her how impressed we had been with the whole crew and the way that they treated their customers and that it was a pleasure to watch. I also handed one of my cards to the young lady that had waited on us and told her I would be talking about her - and the rest of the crew - on today's podcast. Honestly, you would have thought this young lady had just won a bunch of money as she began to jump up and down excitedly. The manager asked if I knew her name and - in between the jumping up and down - I said, "Yes, I can see her name tag and her name is Laura." To which Laura exclaimed, "Laura Bryant! My last name is Bryant! It's Laura Bryant!!"

I was smiling and laughing and so glad that I had the chance to bring such joy to this young lady. I told the manager that I would contact Wendy's and let them know of our impressions (which, by the way, I have done) and that I'd be sharing this information with you, my readers and listeners!

As we left, my wife and I were grinning from ear to ear and we talked about this for several miles down the road as we both talked about that image in our minds of Laura jumping up and down and squealing with delight!


Last Thursday was "Thankful Thursday" and in that podcast I specifically encouraged everyone to say "thank you" to as many people as possible and to be aware of those "good deeds" that happen that we usually overlook. To be honest with you, I had forgotten completely about that until we were several miles down the road past the restaurant.

I told my wife how amazing it was that:
1. There was the coincidence with Laura using the word, "Awesome!" not knowing that it is used by me each and every day in my podcast, blog and ANY article that I write anywhere.
2. All of this happened on "Thankful Thursday" and what joy it brought my wife and I to see the reaction to taking the time to say, "Thank you!" to Laura, the manager and the rest of the crew that night.

So, to the NIGHT CREW at the WENDY'S in CABOT, ARKANSAS - I thank you and salute you for the outstanding way in which you serve your customers! Keep up the great work!

Oh...and to the manager --- Give LAURA a RAISE! I can promise you that she is bringing money into that restaurant by her personality and service to your customers!

Try saying "Thanks" to someone today and see what happens! You don't have to wait until "Thankful Thursday" to do so, do you?

And, as always....

"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Thursday, July 16, 2009


Hey friends - my apologies for not getting my blog up yesterday! Yesterday was one of those days that did not go quite as planned! Ever have one of those? (I know you have!).

Anyway, I will combine thoughts on not only the podcast for today but also combine it with some thoughts on yesterday's podcast ("Facing the Fear of Criticism").

I know that Napoleon Hill in this book, "Think & Grow Rich", calls the Fear of Poverty (the first of the 8 Ghosts of Fear) the most damaging and prevailing - and I can see his point because the fear of poverty and the desire for riches is a big reason our crime rate - at least here in America (but my guess is it's the same wherever you live) - is as high as it is. However, I would suggest that the FEAR OF CRITICISM is one that is the most widely shared and felt!


We must all FACE this fear and decide to do something to defeat it! Has it not ruled and ruined our lives long enough? Have we not allowed this fear to rob us of our joy long enough? Have we not allowed this fear to stop us dead in our tracks long enough? Have we not allowed this fear to paralyze us from forward momentum long enough? YES, WE HAVE!

About a week ago I was having lunch with my friends from high school (you've seen their pictures shared on here before) when one of them was talking about visiting with the high school counselor during our Senior year. My friend said the "counselor" (and I use that term VERY loosely) sat him and another guy down together and basically said, "Well boys, about all I can tell you two is that neither of you are going to amount to much of anything!"


That criticism COULD HAVE frozen both of these guys - at a very young age - dead in their tracks IF they had chosen to take this criticism to heart and let this fear take root. However, I'm happy to say that neither of them did and they both are doing quite well today, thank you very much!

Here's what Napoleon Hill had to say about this fear of criticism: "This fear of criticism robs man of his initiative, destroys his power of imagination, limits his individuality, takes away his self-reliance, and does him damage in a hundred other ways."

Mr Hill also discusses the fact that "Criticism is the one form of service, of which everyone has too much. Everyone has a stock of it which is handed out, gratis [free], whether called for or not."

Isn't that the truth? As the old saying goes, "EVERYONE is a critic!" and we've all experienced that, haven't we? And, for whatever reason, many of us FEAR this criticism to the point that it prevents us from sharing our thoughts, ideas, plans and talents. What a shame.

I have discussed this very fact earlier in discussion of this book. Have you ever considered the fact that - for the most part - these critics have very little, if any, knowledge about that which they are sharing their criticism? Think about that and you will likely agree. Oh, I know that there are some with a boss that likes to use this fear of criticism to control those under him or her. But even if that situation, think about this - WHY do they find the need to do so? I would suggest to you that it is due to the fact that they, themselves, are AFRAID! Afraid of what? Afraid of you or another worker actually coming up with an idea or suggestion that is better than what they could have thought of themselves. That being so (and I do believe that it is) they, themselves bow down to the fear of criticism from whoever it is that is THEIR boss!

What a vicious cycle!

In the podcast for today (Thursday) I shared with you some thoughts from an article by Donald Trump in which he declares that the opposite of fear is FAITH! We have also discussed this fact before and I have shared this thought several times in my podcasts and blogs. Mr. Trump discusses the need for us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES to the point of KNOWING that we do, indeed, carry within us the ability to achieve whatever the task may be. The way I have worded it over and over again is realizing that, "YES, YOU (I) CAN!"

This is also what is talked about in the earlier chapters of this great book on FAITH and also AUTO-SUGGESTION. We must all work to develop this deep-rooted FAITH or BELIEF in ourselves and our abilities to the point that our subconscious mind "automatically" kicks in and "reminds" us of this fact every single day and even many times throughout the day.

Here are the "symptoms of the fear of criticism" that Mr. Hill shares in this chapter (notice how many of them are tied together and try to identify these in your life - also go to the book for more descriptions about each one of these):

1. SELF- CONSCIOUSNESS (Why self-conscious? Not enough belief in yourself!)

2. LACK OF POISE (The physical manifestation of self-consciousness!)

3. PERSONALITY (These first two impact even your personality!)

4. INFERIORITY COMPLEX (Trying to appear to be something your not!)

5. EXTRAVAGANCE (Trying to "keep up with the Joneses" - tied in with #4)

6. LACK OF INITIATIVE (The idea of, "Why try? I'll just be criticized anyway.")

7. LACK OF AMBITION (I would suggest that this one is the "full-grown child" of #6)


Yes, although it is good and at times, important to listen and take advice from others, STOP listening to everyone that criticizes you and STOP believing everything that "they" have to say! Who are they anyway? Instead, LISTEN TO YOURSELF and your inner voice telling you, "YES, YOU CAN!"

I know that is easier said than done - but it is a necessity for each of us to develop this and put it into practice!

Before you "blow this off" as just "fluffy talk" ask yourself this question:
- Are you working DAILY to instill this type of talk/inner belief into your life?
- IF NOT - (for one, WHY NOT?) then how can you "know" that it doesn't or won't work?
- If you are trying to instill this in your life, understand that it is a process that does take time! It doesn't happen overnight but that does not mean that it doesn't work or that you should give up!

My friend, criticism (and, as a result, the "fear of criticism") has been around since the beginning of time - it is nothing new.

But you MUST know that you CAN defeat this fear and you DO have within you the ability to do so! Thank you for allowing me to do my part in helping you cultivate that ability!

Do not allow others and their criticisms stop you from moving forward and making progress. FLY IN THE FACE OF CRITICISM! Soar and live the life that you were intended to live!


And, along the way, remember...

"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Wow, think about this one!

This one impacts each and every one of us - even those of you that THINK that it doesn't!

All of us, at one time or another, have either NOT DONE something or HAVE DONE something due to the fear of criticism! I want to challenge you to think about this in your own life - try to find this in your own life so that we - together - can eliminate it from your life.

Again, some of you will say, "Oh, I'm not worried about what others think! I'm never effected by the fear of criticism!" I beg to differ. If I were able to spend enough time with you, I would be able to point out to you areas in your life where you allow this fear of criticism to reign supreme.

Some don't have to think about it at all. Some can tell you right away areas in their life that they struggle with this fear of criticism every single day!

Again, allowing others to control us when 1) they have no right or claim to do so and 2)we are the ones in control of our lives - no one else.
Oh, I know, point 1 in the above paragraph may cause much discussion because there are those that CLAIM to have a "claim" or "right" to control you. Your boss for example. But do they really have "claim" on your life or have the "right" to criticize you?
But too many of us ALLOW that to take place in our lives thus GIVING them access to the claim on our lives.
I also know that there are likely many women and children (and perhaps some men, as well) that have husbands and/or fathers (as well as some wives) that will tell them that they DO indeed have "claim" on their lives and the "right" to belittle and criticize them however they desire. THIS IS THE HARDEST CHAIN OF FEAR TO BREAK - this fear of a spouse or a parent and trying to avoid (at all cost) any criticism that may come from them.
But, have you noticed that, no matter what you do or don't do in this situation, the criticism will still come?
WHY? Because that person "in control" is WEAK! That is a fact!
They are WEAK and they feel "power" by trying to control you through fear - the fear of criticism.
O.k. we've identified the fact that all of us struggle with this (some more than others) - but we ALL do! (Hey, why do you wear the clothes you wear, drive the car that you drive and even eat at the restaurants that you chose?)
In Wednesday's podcast we will identify some of the CHARACTERISTICS of this FEAR of CRITICISM.
I welcome any and all feedback - I prefer you send it to my email at
Thanks for taking the time to read this and, as always...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Monday, July 13, 2009

The CHALLENGE Has Been Made!

Hello friends - if you listen (or have listened) to my podcast today you will find that today - MONDAY (and every Monday between now and the end of August) is "Make-a-Wish Monday"!

I will be spending time each Monday talking about our current fundraiser and about this great organization and also trying to spur you on to take ACTION with this effort.

Here are some challenges I set out in today's podcast (where do YOU fit in?):

1. GET YOUR OFFICE INVOLVED! (Why not see if you can't get your co-workers involved in donating to this cause? Why not? Most people will help out and, again, it's the LEVERAGE that makes this thing possible!

2. SET THE EXAMPLE! (Don't just encourage your co-workers to get involved but make sure that YOU are involved and that you are "blazing the trail" with your example.)

3. SPECIFIC CHALLENGE #1: (I'm not saying this to "pat myself on the back" with this - I'm really not. But I do want you to know that I'm "putting my money where my mouth is" and I want to challenge others in this very specific way. I have donated $100 for the month of July and I plan to do so again for the month of August. I CHALLENGE 20 other people that are able to do so to commit to the same thing. Yes, I know that many - if not most - of you are unable to do so, but I KNOW that there are those of you out there that CAN! And, so - I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO SO!

4. SPECIFIC CHALLENGE #2 - MORNING COACH: (If you don't know what "morning coach" is, go to - it's a GREAT community of people that I have been associated with for about that past 9 months or so. There are over 10,000 members of that community and I challenge J.B. (founder) and the rest of the community there - COMBINED - to contribute $1,000 to this cause. I have no way to keep up with it, to determine what has come from the M.C. community - but there is the challenge. THIS IS AN EASY CHALLENGE FOR THIS LARGE GROUP!

5. SPECIFIC CHALLENGE #3 - THE WORLD NEEDS MORE HAPPY: (Again, if you don't know, go to - this is another GREAT community of people headed up by my friend, Angie Strader. I also challenge Angie and the rest of the community there - COMBINED - to contribute $1,000 to this cause. Again, I have no way to keep up with it specifically from this group - but there, again, is the challenge. YOU CAN DO IT, HAPPY PEOPLE!

It's time we kicked this into "high gear" so that we can be sure to reach the goal of providing the funds to grant the wish of one special child!


Thanks in advance and, as always...

"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Special MONDAY Challenge!!

Be sure to LISTEN to Monday's podcast and be sure to WATCH THIS SPACE for a very SPECIAL CHALLENGE that I am putting out!

Wait for it....wait for's coming!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ATTACKING the Fear of Poverty

The fear of poverty can rob one of their very soul. What do I mean by that? Let me explain by sharing with you this excerpt from chapter 15 ("How To Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear") in Napoleon Hill's classic, "Think & Grow Rich" :

"This fear paralyzes the faculty of reason, destroys the faculty of imagination, kills off self-reliance, undermines enthusiasm, discourages initiative, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages procrastination, wipes out enthusiasm, and makes self-control an impossibility.
It takes the charm from one's personality, destroys the possibility of accurate thinking, diverts concentration of effort, it masters persistence, turns the willpower into nothingness, destroys ambition, beclouds the memory, and invites failure in the heart, discourages friendship and invites disaster in a hundred forms, leads to sleeplessness, misery, and unhappiness - and all this despite the obvious truth that we live in a world of over-abundance of everything the heart could desire, with nothing standing between us and our desires, excepting lack of definite purpose."
WOW! If you've ever experienced "poverty" then you, too, can look at that list and almost get the shivers - because it is TRUE! That's why I began today's article with the statement that "poverty can rob one of their very soul".
Yes, I know that, perhaps, this shouldn't be the case - BUT IT IS! Yes, I know (and Mr. Hill acknowledges this as well) that there are things of far greater value than money. However, you take a man's job away from him and you take a piece of him as well! When a man cannot provide for his family (yes, I understand this to be true of women as well - but I speak from a man's perspective) he feels worthless and ashamed. All of the "blessings" that surround him every day (such as a loving wife and/or wonderful family, etc.) are lost in the clouds of depression and despair.
So, here's the key - the only way to attack a foe is to know it's name and where it lives! And that is what we (Mr. Hill and myself) are going to do as we ATTACK this FEAR of POVERTY!
Know (and take heart in) this: This fear of poverty is but a mindset! It's true! The fear of poverty - notice, we are not talking about poverty itself...just the FEAR of poverty - can cause one to panic and freeze when they should be pushing forward boldly. But the MINDSET, when fueled by the negative information coming over the news, says it's best to "play it safe" and "stay put", thus causing us to cease any forward movement and momentum.
WE CAN CONQUER THE FEAR OF POVERTY - IF you are willing to follow along. IF you are willing to crawl out of your hole and, with our (Mr. Hill and myself) help, make progress toward a better future.
As we IDENTIFY and ATTACK this fear, in tomorrows podcast and article we will IDENTIFY some of the CHARACTERISTICS or TRAITS of this fear of poverty so that we can help YOU determine if it has crept into your life!
Join us then as we continue this POWERFUL discussion!
And, until then - and as always....
"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


In today's podcast I continue focusing on the "formula for fear" that we began talking about yesterday.

However, what I want to do today is take a look at how we can CHANGE that formula from a "formula of fear" to a "FORMULA OF POWER"!

Remember, the formula that we discussed yesterday that Napoleon Hill uses in this chapter is as follows:


If you go back and remember some of the things that we discussed throughout the book you will find these things discussed. In an earlier chapter we looked at the wealth mindset vs. the poverty mindset and we found that one main difference was the way in which they approached decisions.

Those with the wealth mindset - after examining, planning, preparing - make their decision QUICKLY and then - if ever - they change that decision slowly. However, those with the poverty mindset - usually after very little effort with planning and preparing - make their decisions very slowly (indecision) and then change it quickly and often!


So, what is the OPPOSITE of "indecision"? DECISION!

You CAN make a decision! Yes, gather the needed information and prepare adequately. But, DO NOT sit back and wait and wait and wait. Many people do this every day! Once you have done the preparation - ACT! DECIDE!

If, as Napoleon Hill suggest, "indecision crystallizes into doubt" then, once we remove that "indecision" we also remove DOUBT!

What is the OPPOSITE of "doubt"? BELIEF or FAITH!

There is a whole chapter devoted to FAITH in this book. Knowing that you have properly prepared should bring about the FAITH or BELIEF that you CAN and SHOULD move forward! If you remember the discussion we had on the chapter on "Autosuggestion" you will remember how this FAITH or BELIEF is to be repeated over and over and over again until our subconscious mind begins to absorb it. By doing so, our subconscious mind will then accept it as FACT and "automatically suggest" to us that what we propose to undertake CAN be done because it is a FACT that WE CAN DO IT!

So, now we have the following to consider:

Instead of "indecision" we now have DECISION! Instead of "doubt" we now have FAITH!

So, if indecision + doubt = fear, then what happens if we combine DECISION with FAITH?

The result is PEACE and/or POWER!

Think about it... making a DECISION and sticking to it because you KNOW that it is a good, solid decision and that you CAN follow through with it will definitely give you a solid foundation of FAITH or BELIEF on which to stand! Then, and only then, can you be at PEACE with this decision and your action and then, and only then, will you have the POWER that is needed to be successful in this endeavor.


So, now the "formula for POWER" is as follows:


Take it. Claim it. Own it. Use it!

In our next blog article and podcast we begin our discussion of the "Six Ghosts of Fear" by talking about "The Fear of Poverty".

Until then, remember...

"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


Seeing the NEED Around Us

Hey friends - again I want to encourage you to take a moment and DONATE to the "Make-a-Wish Foundation" fundraising effort that I am involved in through my website

It is SO easy for us to get caught up in our daily activities, problems, etc. and not realize that we CAN and SHOULD be turning some of this focus to others.

"I can't donate!"

Really consider that. Tear it down and look at it closely and then ask yourself the question, "Why?"

Usually we say something like that without really putting much thought behind it. Yet, at the same time we'll go out and spend several dollars on a fancy cup of coffee or a pack of cigarettes or on colas throughout the day without giving that much thought.


Do you realize the impact that WE can have TOGETHER in raising enough money to provide ONE WISH for a child in this awesome program?

PLEASE - take a moment and really consider this and then DONATE what you can.

In advance, I once again say, "THANK YOU!"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Introduction to "Fighting Fear"

In today's podcast I continue on to the last part of the Napoleon Hill classic, "Think & Grow Rich" in which he discusses "How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear".

As I mention in the podcast, although this is still part of this book and these thoughts connect with everything else that Mr. Hill discussed in his book, I am approaching this as a separate discussion for us. Yes, as I said, these things tie in directly to the discussion of this book BUT they also are such a vital thing for us to discuss in every area of our lives.

I mentioned that I had been sent a new acrostic for the word FEAR which put a positive twist on this word. AWESOME! However, for a definition of the word I still cannot come up with anything better than. F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real).

Do you realize that the majority of the things that we fear - that we are afraid of - never come to be? A majority of these things never happen!

Too, do you realize that the very fact that we focus so much time and energy on something we fear may very well bring that thing we fear to reality - DUE TO THE ENERGY AND FOCUS WE HAVE GIVEN?

We fear the unknown! "What if?"
- WHAT IF I try to do this and I fail?
- WHAT IF I fail and I lose my house?
- WHAT IF I fail and I lose my job?
- WHAT IF I fail and I go broke?
- WHAT IF I open my heart up to this person and they don't reciprocate?
- WHAT IF I give my heart to this person and they break it?

You know enough about me by now to know that I LOVE the "What if?" question - but in a different way. Let me demonstrate:
- WHAT IF I try to do this and I succeed?
- WHAT IF I succeed and pay off my house early?
- WHAT IF I succeed and I can leave my job and pursue what I want to do?
- WHAT IF I succeed and I gain wealth beyond my wildest dreams?
- WHAT IF I open my heart up to this person and they DO reciprocate?
- WHAT IF I give my heart to this person and my heart if filled with joy beyond compare?

Napoleon Hill even gives a formula that I think is very powerful and a MUST for us to notice as we talk about the "ghosts of fear". Here it is:

Wow! Take a close look at that one! Mr. Hill says that indecision is the seedling of doubt and that doubt will grow into fear. Please take a very close and personal look at that and realize how true it is in our own lives!
I make a bold statement in today's podcast. I state that, between Napoleon Hill and I, we will HELP YOU conquer the fear in your life! But here is the unsaid factor....IF you let us.
This is going to be a POWERFUL discussion and I hope you will plan to join me for each and every one as we begin the process of learning to "outwit the six ghosts of fear".
And, as always...
"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day!

Today is July 4th and, in the United States of America we celebrate this as Independence Day. Now listen, it doesn't matte WHERE you're from - I'm going to cover some points that ALL can relate to.
HOWEVER, I want to speak a moment to my fellow Americans.... as we remember and celebrate this special day.
1. Don't forget what it is we celebrate - Yes, there are cookouts and fireworks that are enjoyed by many, but don't forget what we REALLY celebrate today. This is the day we celebrate the BIRTH of our country and the bravery that those who signed that Declaration of Indepence exhibited by putting their names on the line. Not only that, but the countless number of men and women that have sacrificed fighting to maintain that freedom.
2. BE THANKFUL! Are you one that gripes and fusses about all of the things that aren't right in our country? Realize that there are those that died so that you can have that freedom! Oh, believe me but check it out for yourself - many countries would "shut you down" in a heartbeat for talking against your country. It still happens today. BE THANKFUL of where you live and the FREEDOMS that we enjoy.
3. DO SOMETHING to make our country better! Talk is cheap - DO SOMETHING! Many already have and it cost many of them their lives.
Regardless of where you live or where you are - we ALL have the opportunity to claim independence in our own lives as we pursue a brighter and better future. Think about it - YOU have the power to change your life in such a way so as to claim Independence in your own life in the following ways:
* FREEDOM from an uncertain future - YOU can change it and chart your course!
* FREEDOM from financial worries - YOU can change even your financial future!
* FREEDOM from the stress of the above things - Yes, again, YOU can change your future!
Get the point? I could go on and on with that type of idea but here's the kicker - YOUR FUTURE IS NOW and YOU have the POWER and the ABILITY to make it what YOU want it to be!!!!
So, for so many reasons -
Happy Independence Day!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Sixth Sense

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that phrase, "The Sixth Sense"? As I mention on today's podcast, perhaps it's the phrase, "I see dead people!". (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's o.k....just move along.)

Just like our last chapter study on the brain, you - like me - might be tempted to just "write this off" as some weird talk that can't be true or even possible. But again, let me remind you that, just because we don't understand it or have experience with it does not make it false.

Here's the kicker, "WHAT IF?" - - What IF it's true? What IF it is, indeed, a reality?

So, as you read this last chapter of the steps to riches in Napoleon Hill's classic, "Think & Grow Rich", keep an open mind and try to imagine the possibilities IF you (and I) would allow yourself the option of following the guidelines set within this great book.

Mr. Hill himself - near the end of this chapter - says that you can still benefit from reading this book even if you don't quite grasp the principle discussed in this chapter!

Have you benefited from reading this book? I know I have! However, I'd suggest to you that, in order to get the MAXIMUM benefit from this book, you not set this book back up on the bookshelf. Rather, read it again...and again...and again. I know that, for myself, the second reading opened up new thoughts, ideas and even understandings that were not there the first time.

I am so thankful that Napoleon Hill took the time (over 20 years) to put these thoughts down on paper so that people like us could still benefit from his thoughts these many years later. Aren't you?

The last part of this book will now discuss a powerful topic that we all face - FEAR! On Monday I will begin on this chapter and will approach it - for the most part - as a separate discussion and study than what we have just completed.

As always I thank you for sharing these thoughts with me and I invite you to continue on the journey with me as we all move FORWARD into our FUTURE!

Don't forget to donate to the "Make-A-Wish Foundation" fundraiser today if you have not already done so. Simply go to my website, and click on the banner at the top of the page to be taken to the donation page. You might want to read my previous article with some specific instructions about that donation page before you do.

Thank you!

And, as always....

"Make it an AWESOME Day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"