Archives for category: Relationships

I was a a little tied up last week dealing with a life long fear. It’s nothing crazy – I was not battling cancer, swimming with sharks, or crawling through snakes – I was asked to speak in front of a group and present a topic. Yea yeah yea I know this is not ultimate craziness but the elements behind it go deeper.

I have always been out spoken and very friendly. Ever since I was able to speak I was known to talk to anyone and everyone – about just about anything! But when assigned with the task I would always freeze up. From class assignments throughout school to best man speeches, public speaking has always just hit me the wrong way.

I was very aware of this fear and analyzed myself over and over again. Why was I so afraid?? I truly don’t know but here is what I came up with: I was not confident that people would want to hear what I have to say. I was fearful that those I would be speaking to would jump up and correct what I was saying. Maybe I was fearful of being judged. All of this despite that my daily role involved taking charge of groups and being an authority figure.

So when I was asked last week, at the last minute, to present at a local university I felt like this was my chance. Well, first every fear and negative thought about public speaking hit me. Only after that I decided – quite literally – the hell with it. I talk to people all the time. I know my topic because it’s my life. I decided I would just talk to the group like I was talking anyone else any other day.

I had one day to prepare for a 30 minute slot, with a question and answer portion. I felt good – then I worried that I wouldn’t be able to fill up 30 minutes !

In the end the professor of the class cancelled the second hour she had planned and allowed me to continue speaking. I spoke for over 2 hours. I was told it was the most engaged the class had ever been. I was honored to hold their attention! More importantly I was so glad I did not let fear control me.

Judging by the feedback, I owned it. That’s not easy for me to say because I’m normally modest. But how many times have you been your own worst enemy and held yourself back from your potential?

What do you have inside you? What will it take for YOU to believe in YOU. Fear is ok. Try it. If it doesn’t work out, step back and regroup. But get back In there. If you don’t give yourself a chance – who will??

Advertisements

20140718-074910-28150614.jpg

If you’re lucky you will meet countless people throughout your life in many different settings. Some will be strictly acquaintances that you know from work or through other friends. Some will grow into true friendships, and other may grow into more.

Realistically, it is nearly impossible for all of these relationships to stay strong throughout your life. You will meet them in different setting during different times of your life. Your interests should and probably will evolve and change over time. The person you enjoyed running track with in high school, may or may not be the same person you want to be your best man. As you become more interested in your kids soccer games, your happy hour friends may stay at the bar.

No matter what the reason for the change, you should learn something about yourself in the process and not keep any negative feelings when different people take different paths. Just as you change and grow so will these people you crossed paths with. If you are very lucky, even as you both change, you will be able to hold strong with a handful of these bonds you made over the years. And if you have any control over it, you should certainly work to make that happen. As long as you presented the real you when you met, and they did the same, it should be a mutual respect to see the paths each of you take. There should be no hard feelings but only well-wishes.

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a great group of guys and girls.
Our “group” started to come together when we were 3 years old. More joined as we were in kindergarten. We went through high school and on to college together. We were a part of each others weddings, divorces, children being born, and every other milestone you can think of. Yet during all that we each moved across the country, took different paths, and continue to live very different lives. Yet we never lost touch. We reunited this past weekend (as we often try to do at least once a year) with the largest number of us in years. We brought out parents, and our kids.

Even with life taking different, and not always good, courses for each of us we keep our bond of friendship strong.

Make it a point to keep in touch with those who matter to you. The phone works both ways, the internet makes things incredibly easy. There is no excuse to lose touch unless touch wants to be lost.

Remember those people who you can be true with and remember the good times you shared.

Finding out who you are, what your likes and dislikes are, and what holds your passions might be one of life’s best adventures – and sadly tons of people never take the ride.

Too many people live their lives based on what someone else think is best for them or to please some one besides themselves. Sometimes that may work out but often times people settle for less than their own wants.

You get to decide what makes you happy. You get to decide how you will spend your work week, who you will hang out with, and what you will do in your free time.

Some people find their answers later than others but at least they are looking. You should never settle for less than what makes you happy. Sure, compromise will come into play throughout life, but part of compromise is still walking away satisfied. If you aren’t satisfied then you have given up too much.

Find yourself, find what makes you happy, chase it, capture it, and indulge in it. Don’t be a nomadic soul.

It’s good to have people to go to for advice. Sometimes they will reassure you by saying what you want them to say and sometimes they will tell you exactly what you don’t want to hear, but remember you were the one who asked.

Even the person with the best advice is going to have their opinions, experiences, and values mixed in with what they tell you. Don’t ever forget that.

Don’t be afraid to make your own decisions. Listen to the advice of others, evaluate it, but remember the decision remains in your hands. You will reap the benefits or learn from your own dismay. But you will own it either way.

You should be the most knowledgable about your situation. Knowledge breeds confidence.

So take the job, book the ticket, make the purchase, pop the question – you know what’s best for you. Trust your judgement.

Your needs matter too. Don’t ignore them. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.

– everydaylifelessons.com

Remember when everyone you knew was a stranger to you? No? They were. Even the closest person to you was once a stranger.

People get caught in their routines of life. They rush from their car to the door and back to the car as fast as possible. They do the same thing when they get home. Who wants to bother with the neighbors ? They say they aren’t in the mood to be sociable or they don’t need to make new friends. Nothing can be further from the truth.

My life long friends were strangers at one time. We met way back when we were 4 years old. Some of my best memories were made with people who were once strangers – but we met in college or through work, some of us met having drinks at a bar or in the pool. I don’t know what I’d do without them. We have a blast together. Even your significant other was once a stranger, but one of you took a chance and talked to the other one.

I’ve heard if you grow old and can say you have 3 close friends you can consider yourself lucky. I think we should aim for a lot more than 3!

Don’t underestimate the people that cross your path. Open your kind a little and let people in. You never know what they can offer your life, or you to theirs.

You never know what memories are waiting to be made.

The words we’ve all motivated our mothers to say at one point or another. 🙂

But with all those frustrations – I hope, we hope – it was all worth it for them.

We owe it to our mothers for where we are at today and what we have become. Some have led us down a direct track to where we are and other have motivated us by their actions, good and bad, to be what we are today.

Some of us have mothers who we do not agree with and question them as we get older, but regardless we still must remember that we owe our mothers a thank you for putting us here in the first place.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, for making us the men (and women) we are today.

Daily life happens to wind itself to a grind pretty quickly. Cubicles, computers, and deadlines seem to rule the day. We all strive for vacation but sometimes even that seems like a chore. Security lines, crowds, and agendas. Have you ever said “I need a vacation from my vacation?”

I recently got a last minute invite to see my mother and sister for Mother’s Day. But being last minute meant sky high airline prices. So I added a day on each end of the trip and decided to drive!

18 hours, 3 states, and memories for a lifetime. I was able to see the countryside from the road. I smelled the farms, and talked with the locals. It was on my time. I stopped when I wanted to and sped by when I didn’t.

Sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind. Wonder where the next gas stop is. Find a hotel when you get there. Eat what the local recommend.
That is living – that is vacation!

Now let’s see how surprised my mom is when I pull up and surprise her 🙂

Almost everything we do revolves around money somehow. So the topic of money creeps up on us without us even knowing it. We can help but think about it. Sometimes we cant even help to talk about it. But where do we draw the line on details?

I grew up with very tight small circle of friends from a very young age, both boys and girls. Growing up we knew that some of us came from more money than others but it was never a big deal to us. We were happy on our bikes, playing in the woods, and sharing whatever toys we had with everyone we knew. But I saw a distinct swing as we got older…

The same group went through high school together, then on to college, and then on to life. We all followed our respective dreams and professions. Some move to other cities far away, some had kids… some even had to experience divorce. It was only then that the topic of money began to come up. Sometimes in conversation but probably more often in thought.

Different paths in different lives tend to cost more than others. People begin to have different responsibilities in life, some other than their own depending on their relationships.

As a group, we realized that we needed to be cognizant of the fact that we may all be at different financial points in our lives. When we were younger, a couple of us would make last minute crazy spring break plans, or spring for the latest concert tickets before they sold out. And anyone who didn’t join in was harped on by everyone until they gave in, so basically – resistance was futile!

But, as we grew up we have realized not everyone can make purchases on a whim. We have no doubt they would love to, if they could, but for some reason or another, they may not be able to.

We also realized that as exciting as it was to all be searching for our summer jobs in school, and then our career spots after school, it used to be cool and fun to talk about what pay we wanted or secured, and what crazy perks came with the job. But now thats not the fun part. We may have a beneficial perk handed to us while someone else struggles with a payment or other money burden.

We still enjoy each other’s company more than anything. We still make plans together. Sometimes they are to go out and sometimes its to cook at home. Either way we always have fun. We just make sure to be respectful of everyones situation and we never hesitate to help each other out however we can… but some details are better left unsaid.

Too often the holidays come around and we think it is a time for family. And to many, family means relatives, by blood or by marriage. But does it really stop there?

Over the years I have moved away from my family to reach my own personal goals. All of my family lives a plane ride away. Needless to say, I have made new friends throughout my travels, both in my new home area and on my many journeys’. And I’m proud to say that many of these new friends have become very close friends. We have had amazing adventures together, shared very good times and very bad times together.

Although there have been years that I have not been able to spend the actual holiday with my blood family, I have always been able to get back home to see them “around” the holidays. This year is the first year where I have not been able to get back to them. Even after taking a new position at work afforded my more time off, I found that I accidently planned a foreign trip pretty close to the holiday season. I made the decision to skip going home, after the trip, and for the holidays. It became costly for airfare and was going to be a lot of traveling.

My family was very understanding and thanks to modern conveniences of Facebook, speaker phone, and Skype I was still able to see their shining faces for the holiday. But the wondered what I would spend my holiday doing “all by myself.”

I found that family does not always mean blood. I ended spending my holiday with some very special people, none of which were my relatives. Some of us exchanged gifts – very well thought out gifts I must say! We all came together and made a great meal and shared some laughs. It ended up being an excellent day.

I did miss being with my blood family, but it was wonderful to see how important a close group of friends can be. Family truly does not have to be blood.

Which non-relatives did you reach out to this holiday season? Did you include those special people of your life in your holiday celebrations?