Tag Archives: life is good

Frey Freyday-Celebration

Words To Live By: Celebration

 

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

(Photo – Jim Carrey, Ace Ventura, Warner Bros. 1994)

I know right away some people may question why or what I mean by celebration and why it is a Word To Live By.

I think we all need to celebrate more often.

Yes, I said we. As I’ve mentioned before, I am naturally a low-key guy. I think part of me tries to downplay things. I notice that especially with friends, with my sisters, and relatives – those with which I grew up – when something good happens or when I’m excited about something – I try to act cool, calm, and un-excited when I tell them about it.

The other day I was excited about a project at work. I was telling a relative and I noticed that right way, I downplayed the whole thing. It came off like I was actually down about it. He tried to give me some encouragement. I was actually excited. I needed and wanted to celebrate with him. We both would have enjoyed it and benefited, right?

In any case, celebrating is something I believe to be a key issue in life, here’s why:

  • We need to celebrate things each day, even the little things – we paid the bills, we have good health, we took some kind of action and had some kind of success, we did something good for someone else, etc.
  • So many times we actually did something good, accomplished something, took action and we don’t take a moment to celebrate.
  • Celebrating in the present moment allows us and helps us to focus on the now, what is going on – whether it be with our family, friends, work, or fun things.
  • We can benefit greatly from celebrating future events – here’s what I mean – if you act as if what you want in life is already a reality, celebrating “IT” as already being reality brings in all kinds of good emotions, eliminates thoughts of conditions, limitations. Your brain doesn’t know that the difference between the imagination and reality of it all – so Celebration for something as if it has already happened is very powerful.


Imagine that you already have “it” or that you’ve already accomplished “it” – then celebrate! Wayne Dyer says “Highly realized people learn to think from the end- that is, they experience what they wish to intend before it shows up in the material form.” Celebrate that car, that job, that improved relationship, that newly thinner, leaner body. Enjoy it.

I practice money coming in and I get the feeling like I’m winning the lottery. I hold my arms up like Rocky on the top of the Philly steps and I jump around. I visualize and celebrate. I enjoy it.

How would you react if you won the lottery? Got a perfect job? Had that perfect car/house/relationship/health? OK, now go ahead and practice celebrating it so that when it arrives, you’ll be ready. In the meantime, you’ll feel great.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if it will always work, but EVERYTIME I feel really great afterwards! I’m smiling, happier, energized, and guess what? I’m now looking for good things to come, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Celebrate what you’ve accomplished in your life! Too many of us don’t give ourselves enough credit. Look into the past, briefly, get those good references and celebrate them. You endured hurdles and mistakes and you are now the person you are because you kept moving. Celebrate it!

Celebrate the present – your family, friends, work, life, health – even if it isn’t perfect. Sure you can want to improve something but hell, if you didn’t have your situation now, you wouldn’t have the perspective, wisdom, and knowledge to make it better, right? Guess what, you can help yourself now, you can even help others, you have choices, that’s great, celebrate! Celebrate your health and life – would you prefer the alternative?

I know that there are some days when you don’t feel like celebrating. Use Tony Robbins’ method “What could I celebrate today? (then even if you can’t think of something ask:) If I could think of something to celebrate, what would it be?”

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” — Oprah Winfrey

Celebrate the future as if it is already happened! Celebrate the person you want to be, the thing you want to have, the issue you want to resolve, the situation that you want to improve! Enjoy it! Feel the fun!

Celebrate what you want to see more of. – Tom Peters (author of In Search of Excellence and other books)

Feeling happy/celebratory/abundant/whatever surpasses the money in your bank account, the report from the doctor, the whatever – and transcends what others may think of you. Genuinely feeling a certain way is possible when you detach yourself from the things you desire and then celebrating it.

Dream on it. Let your mind take you to places you would like to go, and then think about it and plan it and celebrate the possibilities. And don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t know how to dream.
Liza Minnelli

Don’t you think that you’re more attractive to others when you’re thinking celebrating rather than the “ho-hum” you? Wouldn’t your career be a little different if you approached it in a ‘celebrating-way’ rather that complaining, whining and doing the minimum as so many people do? (not you of course)

Celebrating sends a message to others around you, even to the Universe (if you believe in such)

“Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!!! Anchor the experience of doing something truly extraordinary with an awesome celebration.”- Tony Robbins

Celebrating brings smiles and laughter. It brings joy and happiness. Enough said.

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff..)

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from..

Frey Freyday – Language

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.-Maya Angelou

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.-Mark Twain

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.-Nelson Mandela


Text messaging is just the most recent focus of people’s anxiety; what people are really worried about is a new generation gaining control of what they see as their language. Texting has added a new dimension to language use, but its long-term impact is negligible. It is not a disaster.-David Crystal

Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.-Unknown

The art of communication is the language of leadership.-

James Humes

To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.-Tony Robbins

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

Language – [lang-gwij] – communication of meaning in any way; medium that is expressive, significant, etc.:

Our language, not only the words and phrases we use outside with others, but more importantly, the words and questions we use inside our own heads really can make a huge difference in our lives. When people experience emotions, they are actually saying things to themselves silently. The specific role of language is that of meaning- whatever you focus on, language takes it up, gives it structure, and passes on the meaning to others and yourself.

It’s never the environment and it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events – how we interpret them – the labels we use – that shapes who we are and how we act or react and who we’ll become. What if there was no “bad” or “good” experience, just an experience?

Also, Instead of saying “What’s wrong with me?” ask “What is working in my life right now?”  Do you say things like “I can’t do it” or “I don’t know” or “whatever..” or “that makes me so mad” a lot? Other things?

What do you say to yourself when you’re overwhelmed? Frustrated? Be aware and watch yourself as to those negative ‘incantations’ you might say. You can just as easily access good questions, positive incantations and empowering language.
Language can empower us or make us weaker. You have the choice when you pick your words. Add good posture, good physiology and good emotions to better language and you’ll make a much bigger impact.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….
BONUS: Ted Talk #1

http://on.ted.com/McWhorter

Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? John McWhorter posits that there’s much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it’s all good news.

BONUS: Ted Talk #2

http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_language_and_thought

Steven Pinker looks at language and how it expresses what goes on in our minds — and how the words we choose communicate much more than we realize.

Words to live by: Celebration

This was the most-visited post that I’ve ever had on my blog– I posted it over a year ago. Let’s celebrate!

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

I know right away some people may question why or what I mean by celebration and why it is a Word To Live By.

I think we all need to celebrate more often.

Yes, I said we. As I’ve mentioned before, I am naturally a low-key guy. I think part of me tries to downplay things. I notice that especially with friends, with my sisters, and relatives – those with which I grew up – when something good happens or when I’m excited about something – I try to act cool, calm, and un-excited when I tell them about it.

The other day I was excited about a project at work. I was telling a relative and I noticed that right way, I downplayed the whole thing. It came off like I was actually down about it. He tried to give me some encouragement. I was actually excited. I needed and wanted to celebrate with him. We both would have enjoyed it and benefited, right?

In any case, celebrating is something I believe to be a key issue in life, here’s why:

  • We need to celebrate things each day, even the little things – we paid the bills, we have good health, we took some kind of action and had some kind of success, we did something good for someone else, etc.
  • So many times we actually did something good, accomplished something, took action and we don’t take a moment to celebrate.
  • Celebrating in the present moment allows us and helps us to focus on the now, what is going on – whether it be with our family, friends, work, or fun things.
  • We can benefit greatly from celebrating future events – here’s what I mean – if you act as if what you want in life is already a reality, celebrating “IT” as already being reality brings in all kinds of good emotions, eliminates thoughts of conditions, limitations. Your brain doesn’t know that the difference between the imagination and reality of it all – so Celebration for something as if it has already happened is very powerful.

Imagine that you already have “it” or that you’ve already accomplished “it” – then celebrate! Wayne Dyer says “Highly realized people learn to think from the end- that is, they experience what they wish to intend before it shows up in the material form.” Celebrate that car, that job, that improved relationship, that newly thinner, leaner body. Enjoy it.

I practice money coming in and I get the feeling like I’m winning the lottery. I hold my arms up like Rocky on the top of the Philly steps and I jump around. I visualize and celebrate. I enjoy it.

How would you react if you won the lottery? Got a perfect job? Had that perfect car/house/relationship/health? OK, now go ahead and practice celebrating it so that when it arrives, you’ll be ready. In the meantime, you’ll feel great.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if it will always work, but EVERYTIME I feel really great afterwards! I’m smiling, happier, energized, and guess what? I’m now looking for good things to come, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Celebrate what you’ve accomplished in your life! Too many of us don’t give ourselves enough credit. Look into the past, briefly, get those good references and celebrate them. You endured hurdles and mistakes and you are now the person you are because you kept moving. Celebrate it!

Celebrate the present – your family, friends, work, life, health – even if it isn’t perfect. Sure you can want to improve something but hell, if you didn’t have your situation now, you wouldn’t have the perspective, wisdom, and knowledge to make it better, right? Guess what, you can help yourself now, you can even help others, you have choices, that’s great, celebrate! Celebrate your health and life – would you prefer the alternative?

I know that there are some days when you don’t feel like celebrating. Use Tony Robbins’ method “What could I celebrate today? (then even if you can’t think of something ask:) If I could think of something to celebrate, what would it be?”

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” — Oprah Winfrey

Celebrate the future as if it is already happened! Celebrate the person you want to be, the thing you want to have, the issue you want to resolve, the situation that you want to improve! Enjoy it! Feel the fun!

Celebrate what you want to see more of. – Tom Peters (author of In Search of Excellence and other books)

Feeling happy/celebratory/abundant/whatever surpasses the money in your bank account, the report from the doctor, the whatever – and transcends what others may think of you. Genuinely feeling a certain way is possible when you detach yourself from the things you desire and then celebrating it.

Dream on it. Let your mind take you to places you would like to go, and then think about it and plan it and celebrate the possibilities. And don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t know how to dream.
Liza Minnelli

Don’t you think that you’re more attractive to others when you’re thinking celebrating rather than the “ho-hum” you? Wouldn’t your career be a little different if you approached it in a ‘celebrating-way’ rather that complaining, whining and doing the minimum as so many people do? (not you of course)

Celebrating sends a message to others around you, even to the Universe (if you believe in such)

“Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!!! Anchor the experience of doing something truly extraordinary with an awesome celebration.”- Tony Robbins

Celebrating brings smiles and laughter. It brings joy and happiness. Enough said.

Simple Stuff

SimpleStuff

(Simple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Being in the right place at the right time, isn’t something you can force. It just happens when you keep busy. Effortlessly.  Imagine that,      The Universe (www.tut.com)

“Everything that happens in your life— both what you’re thrilled with and what you’re challenged by— began with a decision. I believe that it’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. The decisions that you’re making right now, every day, will shape how you feel today as well as who you’re going to become in the nineties and beyond.” —Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, p. 32-33

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea how other people should lead their lives but none about his or her own.” – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

It’s not the dazzling voice that makes a singer. Or clever stories that make a writer. And it’s not piles of money that make a tycoon.
It’s having a dream and wanting to live it so greatly that one would rather move with it and “fail” than succeed in another realm.  Michael Dooley

Simple Stuff

SimpleStuff

(Simple Stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Quality questions create a quality life. Businesses succeed when their decision makes ask the right questions about product lines or markets or strategic planning. Relationships flourish when people ask the right questions about where potential conflicts exist and how to support each other rather than tearing each other down. Communities benefit when leaders ask the right questions about what is most important and how citizens can work together towards shared goals – Tony Robbins

6 questions successful, high-performing individuals ask themselves. http://youtu.be/02Bzjj1eeeo Summary:
1. Presence: What level am I in this moment in terms of my emotional and physical vibrancy and presence?
2. Psychology: Am I living my truth – am I being who I know I can be and interacting with others as my best self?
3. Physiology: Am I rested, fit and hydrated?
4. Productivity: What is my mission today – what must I accomplish today to progress my life?
5. Persuasion: Am I demonstrating bold enthusiasm when I seek to influence others?
6. Purpose: How can I serve greatly?

From Brendon Burchard

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.” — Buddha

Each and every day we ask ourselves questions the wrong questions can have a disempowering effect on us, when what we really need is to be empowered. What if you could ask an empowering question instead? –Noah St. John

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Milton Berle: American comedian and actor

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www.onewebstrategy.com

🙂

The top 10 things people claim to have taken for granted

elephant couple

A single item today – this from Michael Dooley of http://www.tut.com aka The Universe

The top 10 things people claim to have taken for granted, when they were alive:

10. How important they were to so many.
9. How easy life was when they stopped struggling.
8. That all of their prayers and thoughts were heard.
7. That there really were no coincidences.
6. How far ripples of their kindness actually spread.
5. What really was important: happiness, friends, love.
4. That any and all of their dreams could have come true.
3. How good looking and fun they always were.
2. How much guidance they received, whenever they asked for help.
1. That God was alive in everything, including themselves.

As expressed by the recently departed, fresh after their life-review on the big, BIG screen.

Ah-so,
The Universe

Simple Stuff – Persistence

(Simple Stuff – a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

When you tough it out, hold the line, and stay the course, I promise you there will soon come a day when you look back over your shoulder, shake your head in dismay, and seriously wonder what all the fuss was about.  Just like all the other times,     The Universe http://www.tut.com Mike Dooley

Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. -William Eardley IV

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence. -Colin Powell

Energy and persistence conquer all things. -Benjamin Franklin

 

the fool  would persist in his folly he would become   wise.” –                                                                                William Blake

How do you immediately improve your life? By discovering and modeling the habitual questions of people you respect. If you find someone who’s extremely happy, Ican guarantee you there’s one reason: this person focuses relentlessly on whatever makes him or her happy, and continually asks questions about how to become even happier. People who do well financially persistent by asking different questions as they look at investments than people who produce meager rewards. – Tony Robbins

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www.onewebstrategy.com

The Wizard Within….

outreach

I am reading a book by Deepak Chopra called “Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want”

It is quite good.

It is something that I have written about on occasion and sometimes try to put into practice in my own life, but often do not.

The Wizard can represent a number of things or beings – it could be our own Spirit, the Universe, the Source, God, the Universal Intelligence, the Higher Self….or whatever you might refer to the power, love, force, and spirit that runs through us all. The Wizard is a metaphor….

The Wizard is that force or spirit that we all have, the true self that never really changes, the person that remains the same as we grow, as we face challenges, as we worry about materialistic things – the Wizard knows what is really important, the Wizard helps us stay on the course when we’re worried, concerned, or chasing the “Joneses”.

The Wizard is that voice inside that helps you make a decision, that helps you stay on track, and that provides you a foundation of strength, serenity, and guidance. The Wizard in us sees the real world, the real person in others – not the beautiful or ugly skins and bones, but the spirit inside.

  • There are some great lessons in this book; some new and fresh, some are things we all probably already know but are definitely good to be reminded of…..
  • Spend time pondering not what you see but why you see it.
  • The Wizard exists in all of us. This wizard sees and knows everything.
  • The Wizard is beyond opposites of light and dark, good and evil, pleasure and pain.
  • Everything the wizard sees has its roots in the unseen world.
  • Nature reflects the moods of the wizard.
  • The body and mind may sleep but the wizard is always awake.

For someone like me who has a difficulty making time for meditation, I found the quote “Without silence, there is no room for the wizard.” very helpful and meaningful…”without silence ther cannot be any real appreciation of life, which is as delicate in its inner fabrics as a closed rosebud.”

…also, Wizards don’t live in fear…when asked “How do you manage this peace of mind?”, the Wizard says, “Look within where there is only peace.”

Lastly, Chopra writes this….”The mind may succeed in making you intelligent, but it is poorly equipped to make you happy, fulfilled, at peace with yourself.”….”the Wizard is inside you and only wants one thing: to be born.”

…..I’ll share more good thoughts from the book as I come across them….

Best wishes for some magic from your inner Wizard today…

..

🙂

What’s your excuse?

LiveLikeGateOpen

In one way or another most of us have an excuse about some part of our lives. Maybe the excuse comes in the form of a limiting belief. Either way, we have them.

Some excuses are on the surface – those that we say and share with others.

Other excuses are deep down. Maybe we know of them but keep them to ourselves – maybe we don’t even face them – or want to……

We have excuses about work, love, life, money, relationships, health……

What are your deep excuses and beliefs? Be honest. It isn’t necessarily fun to think about but we need to do so.

Facing them and addressing them is a great step to take – right now.

Here’s a short article that addresses this subject well….

————————————————–

What’s Your “Secret Excuse”? by Frank Rumbauskas <frank@dontcoldcall.com>

It seems like everyone has mental blocks that keep them from succeeding.

A few years back I began using the term “Secret Excuse” in my programs.

A Secret Excuse is, very simply, any excuse you make in your head that gives you a phony reason not to get out there and succeed.

Before I reveal the most common Secret Excuse for salespeople, here are the most common excuses people have for not getting off their butts and making something great of themselves:

– I wasn’t born into the right family
– I’m not “connected”
– I don’t have a college education
– “It can’t be done”
– Why hasn’t someone else done it already?
– I don’t have enough money
– I have a family to support

And so on and so on…

—————-

First – honestly identify at least one ‘excuse’ – a deep secret one.

Second – write a question that forces your mind to think otherwise – FOR EXAMPLE: if you think that you’re too old, you could ask yourself a question something like, “How does my age, wisdom, and experience give me an edge? Why does my age, wisdom and experience help me achieve my goals? In what ways do my age, experience and wisdom help me in my life?” – THEN try to answer these – write down ways that your age helps you, benefits you, and find positive references, achievements and such from the past. Do this often.

Third – repeat, and make sure you’re being honest with yourself!

My Story, Chapter 5

Continued….

…Fast forward a few years…..After our firm lost 90% of our income from the one factory going direct nationwide, I struggled a few years finding what the next step was and despite the fact that I was working full time I didn’t take any salary the first year after we lost the big chunk of income. I was working and acting on faith. I had saved and invested for the past few years and I’m glad that I did because I was able to live off that while I rebuilt the business. My father had retired and I was running the business full time.

I had to search and find companies and products that I could represent and sell that would start to replace that income. It was a scary and exciting time. It was easier perhaps, because I had few responsibilities. There were some ups and downs in the business and in the economy but life was good for a single guy.

I had a great group of friends from college with which I still hung out. We called ourselves the Dudes. Now, after college, life and work sometimes got in the way. However, we still found time for roadtrips, parties, and other fun things. I have lots of good memories of laughs, practical jokes, talking, hanging out, traveling.

So one summer, our next fun thing was the Jimmy Buffett concert. I didn’t even like Jimmy Buffett but it was a chance to hang out with my friends and to have some fun in the sun……in a parking lot somewhere outside of Pittsburgh. So we packed into my white mini-van and drove. We sat in the parking lot and tail-gated. Frankly I don’t think that I even went in to watch the concert……

So we were partying, having fun…. Just as you do when you tailgate, we were walking around, mingling, and others were coming around to our spot. There I saw Jill again. (Jill was a friend from college who was always nice to talk with … I knew some of the people she dated and she knew some of the people I dated during college)..For the past 2 years, Jill was away at graduate school in North Carolina. Now back in town, she was with her sisters at the concert.

The concert came and went. A few weeks later my buddy from Maryland asked the Dudes to a hotel in Pennsylvania while they were in town for a wedding. For whatever reason, I faxed Jill to let her know we were going there and she was welcome to meet us. (before texting and email, faxing was an easy way to communicate-AOL was still in the early stages) At that point I still thought of Jill as a friend and I wanted to include her with my other close friends.

Jill came and we all had a good time. The next day everyone went their separate ways. Jill and I decided to go have lunch at Wendy’s. I don’t know what was in the Frosty that day but we laughed and had a good time. I made dumb jokes and she laughed. Something had clicked from the evening before. Somewhere in there we decided that we were fond of each and we began to date.

It was a different feeling, it was an attraction, sure, but it was also a head and heart sort of thing. I recall saying to myself, “She’s pretty, smart, funny. We’re good friends, I respect her, I have a great time with her, we can talk about things, we have great families.” I hadn’t seen it before that moment but we were a great fit. We liked spending time with each other and trusted one another. We could talk about anything. There were feelings there. From what started as an immature relationship as friends in college grew to that of young adults taking on life together.

I never looked back after that point. In my younger years I had been fickle and immature with some relationships. But when I thought about dating Jill, I thought, “Yes, this works, this makes sense, this feels right.” The relationship hit all cylinders; my mind, heart and body. I no longer considered dating others and no longer became distracted.

I continued to work in the business and tried to find the right fit for a company to represent. I found another company with a great product but it turned out the owner was taking all the profits and buying boats, etc. and didn’t bother to pay the bills. It’s tough for a manufacturing company to run when you don’t pay for the machinery. That company closed and I again had to start over. I found another company with really good people but their product line was limited and they started having quality issues. Soon because of customer feedback and quality issues, I split with them. It all started to work away at my credibility, since I was switching product lines.

I learned a lot about people, perserverance and life during that time. Many people stuck with me because of my dad, some because of me, some because of the product and / or service. Others took off in a heartbeat after years of working together and after giving them lots of free consulting and help.

I confess that I took some of these things personally, and my ego was bigger then, so it was tough. Plus I suddenly was earning much less despite working long hours, traveling many miles, and driving a white minivan. (A mini-van wasn’t great for a single guy in his mid-twenties!)

Cool, neat, little things happened to us when we were together….for instance one time we got bumped from a flight while we were flying to Florida. We got free first class tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. So we picked the farthest point that sounded great – San Diego. We traveled to San Diego and experienced lots of great things – with trips to L.A. and Mexico. We again had cool experiences together there. San Diego grew on us.

Jill and I dated for a while but we didn’t want to wait too long to be married. We also didn’t really want all the big ‘fuss’ for our wedding. You see, the year we decided to get married, there were 15 other weddings…..we were invited to all 15. Jill and I were in about 7 of them, including her two sisters. It was crazy! Just think, we spent at least $50 (usually more) for a wedding, plus hotel and travel. That was an expensive year! Most of those weddings were crammed into September-December.

At first we were going to elope to the Outer Banks and come home married. But we decided not to do so, our families might have had hurt feelings, etc. So we decided to have a much smaller and elegant wedding. We wanted to pay for it all ourselves. I got a second job selling alarm systems. One large project paid for some of the reception, another paid for most of the honeymoon. Jill worked a second job and saved money for the wedding and other things. Our parents still wanted to help, so my parents helped by adding and upgrading the food. Jill’s parents helped with the wedding dress and photography.

Still, it felt good to pay for most of it ourselves. I was self-employed and I had decided to start attending the evening MBA program at Pitt. I enjoyed it but the classes after work were a bit tough, as were the payments. I did take out a loan for some of it and I tried to pay for some as I went.

After about a year, my new wife and I saved some money, used a small gift from my parents, and built a small Cape Cod. It was nice and simple. The upstairs and basement were left unfinished to save on dough. We were happy.

The thing about all of it was this- we were tight financially for some time. I actually had to ‘lean’ on my wife for 1-2 years as I rebuild the business, she often made more during the volatile time for me. Then I kept growing it.. She believed in me and I in her. Jill and her sisters were running a large child care center that eventually would have 80+kids.

(At this point I began to think about something that I’d see observe and feel for the rest of my life – it seemed that I was reaching out for a job, an opportunity, something that I was definitely capable of doing well – but I was pushed back. I think in some way I was being pushed or pulled back to where I was supposed to go. Maybe something inside of me or part of me was guiding me. Maybe it was God or something else. But so many times we all experience it – ‘that job would be great and I can do it ‘ then you apply and get smacked back royally. Maybe there’s a reason….almost like we’re being guided back onto the right path….)

I found some stability with my own business and really started to enjoy the MBA program. Many cool things were happening in our lives. Small things like the fact we got upgraded to a Penthouse suite with 3 bathrooms, a dining room with 10 chairs, full kitchen, den, living room, and skyline veranda in Toronto…..Big things like getting pregnant – we were expecting our first child!

Then I had a chance to move onto a totally different career. I got a job as an intelligence analyst. I felt like Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy’s series. I started working for the U.S. Department of Justice and I liked it for a while.

Leaving a cushy job – a good idea or bad idea?……..

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