A Taste Of Confidence?

I’ve never been a confident person.  I guess when everything makes you anxious there is little room for confidence.  I’ve had a good year so far.  It’s March 31st and we’re about to go in to the 4th month of the year.  I’ve had very little anxiety.  I credit the few books I’ve read with this peace in my life.  They’ve taught me to take life moment by moment and just enjoy the now.  So far, it’s worked out.

Yesterday I woke up and sat in bed thinking.  It’s been a particularly hard week.  My wife was involved in a car accident and while she’s okay, there have been some struggles.  I was thinking about what is important in life.  I have a lot of very opinionated friends who tend to… debate passionately on facebook.  For some reason I was thinking about all the horrible things they’ve accused me of in the past month.  Whether it be questioning my parenting, my religion, my political views…  In the past I’ve thought about these things and it’s really bothered me.  Yesterday, however, I felt different.  I felt like I was really liking who I am and that other people’s criticism didn’t matter to me.

I think I’ve said that I don’t care what other people think of me in the past but the fact is, my heart felt differently.  And while I genuinely want people to like me, I feel as if the right people will like me for who I am.  Maybe there are those who wont like me anymore but the world is full of people who I meet all the time who will.  It doesn’t matter anymore if I’ve got people who disagree with me and tell me I’m wrong.  I know in my heart that I’m a good person, my wife and kids love me and they’re happy.  How can I be doing anything wrong if that’s the case?  Maybe this is what confidence in myself is like.

I plan on building on this realization and just be me.  I plan on aligning myself with people who matter and who I seem to fit in with more.  Maybe then these new people and I can work to build each other up. Maybe we’ll understand each other and our needs and work to improve upon our strengths.

It’s a brand new world out there.  I can’t wait to see where it all leads me.

Be well.  Be positive.


Taking My Giving To The Next Level

I’m starting a charity.  No, I don’t have the money right now to start a 501(c)(3) nor have I even registered an LLC.  I can, however, ask for donations and use those donations for good.  So that’s what I’m doing.

Several years ago I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite comedians, Robert Schimmel.  Robert Schimmel had survived non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  At each of his comedy shows he would collect donations of comedy CDs and DVDs and then donate them to local cancer wards in hospitals.  This was an idea that has always intrigued me.

My wife and I have been trying to be more giving lately and decided that we would start collecting donations for chemo care packages.  This includes items such as non-scented lotions, scarfs and hats, and soft bristle tooth brushes.  A big focus for us is also to spread joy and this includes comedy CDs and DVDs as well as games, puzzles or books.

We started putting the word out and before too long we had a friend of our’s come forward to tell of her fight with breast cancer.  She then said she wanted to help out by getting a hold of her nurse, finding out what can and can’t be donated and the proper channels we need to go through.  She also insisted that she donates the hats and scarves.  Amazing.

We, so far, haven’t had a lot of people donate but we have had some good donations along the way.

Donations for chemo care packagesWe started with an empty tub which I called the tub full of potential (empty).  We now have an over filled tub.  I need to find room in my home for the donations so that our tub can be full of potential again.

We are also soliciting financial donations on a GoFund Me page.  We’re hoping that our friends, family and complete strangers will donate to this page so we can purchase items for these chemotherapy patients.

I’m determined to deliver a lot of items to local chemo patients and keep going whether it be giving to homeless or cancer patients.

Be well, Be positive.


When We Work Best Together

Over the weekend, Malaysian Airlines flight 370 disappeared over the ocean between Malaysia and Vietnam.  Since then, several countries have come together to search for clues as to where this plane may have gone.

Seeing this got me thinking.  In 2001 there was another tragedy in New York where thousands of people came together to find people who were buried in the aftermath.  The same is true of the Haitian earthquake in 2010 or the tsunami in Japan in 2011.  In fact, whether it is a national disaster or a car accident, people come together to help each other out.

This does not seem to be true when things are going well.  Why is this?  In fact, when things are going well for a person or city and there is someone like a homeless person in need, very few help.  When there is a hurricane, we all come together to get the neighborhood up and running again.

In many ways, however, we do help each other.  When I go to work, I am just one sprocket in the machine.  I work with my team to accomplish a goal.  There are also some unwritten rules in society like holding doors for each other.

The fact of all of this is that human life works best when we’re working together.  Human nature, however, seems to dictate that people be selfish and only think of themselves.

If you entered a restaurant and there was no host or wait staff, what would happen?  Many people wouldn’t get sat.  Others would just sit down.  But then you would have to order from the cook themselves.  My guess is that there would be a bottle neck at the kitchen, some people would be angry because they came in first but someone else got their seat.  Having a host to seat you and a waitress to take care of the food order makes the whole experience much better.

I’ve decided to live a life where I work with others.  Giving is a big part of that but there are many other areas.  How about letting cars in to my lane?  Keep the traffic flowing.  Hold the door for people and spread cheer.  I have to keep thinking of more ways but I’m sure I will find them.

By working with life and not against it, I plan on being happier and having less anxiety.

Be well.  Be positive.

The Type Of World You Want To Live In

I’ve said before that I have some positive post-it notes on my bathroom mirror.  One of them say “Something Amazing Will Happen Today.”  Indeed, many amazing things happen, but last week I had the opportunity to be a part of something to give back to the “100 Happy Days” challenge and I truly feel blessed.

On Wednesday I received an email from a producer at Headline News.  She stated that she was working on story about the 100 Happy Days challenge and that she had seen my blog (this one).  She asked me a few questions, which I answered.  One Sunday I checked the website out of curiosity and their #7 article was about #100HappyDays.  I clicked on it and started reading, hoping to see my name somewhere in the article.  It was a very interesting read about the guy behind the website.  Near the end of the article was a nice paragraph about me complete with a link to my blog (for real, this one!), pictures from my Instagram and quotes from my email.

I’m blessed to be a part of this.  I’m so thankful for this challenge and cannot think of a better way to give back.  I truly hope that this article gets a lot of exposure for the #100HappyDays challenge.

Speaking of giving back, I’ve decided to create the type of world that I want to live in.  Does this mean that I’m going to try to change everything and everyone?  No, it’s about perspective.  It’s about where I set my focus.  It’s about doing the most good for my community.

A while back, I wrote a post about giving. I recalled how my life was when I was unemployed for an extended period of time, yet I still gave and some how my bills got paid.  Since I wrote that post on January, 30th I’ve been giving randomly to people in need.  I do not say this so people will think I’m a great guy, I say this because I want to share my experience and hopefully inspire others.  I try to carry at least $5 with me at all times.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of money but stay with me for a minute.

In my neighborhood there is a gas station.  Most days there is a homeless man who sits out with his two dogs and a sign.  I haven’t read the sign because his two pit bulls scare me (past experiences has made me afraid of them).  The first time I walked up to him he gave me the standard “God bless” until he sees that I’m not just handing him a dollar but five.  Five dollars to him means a lot more than it does to you and I.  To him, this is hope, this means not going to bed hungry.  His reaction to seeing five dollars is the most sincere “oh my gosh. oh my gosh” you’ve ever heard.  He looked me in the eye and thanked me.

The second time I gave him money he shook my hand and asked me my name.  Then the most amazing thing happened.  I asked him his name and his face lit up.  He told me proudly that his name is “Stormin’ Norman” and then he told me his dogs names.  We took a minute to chat about his dogs and then I had to get to work.  Those few minutes seemed to mean so much to him on a human level.  It wasn’t just money for survival, it was someone who cared to shake his hand and treat him with dignity.  This is the type of world I want to live in where people treat even homeless people with dignity.  Who act as if they are equal in every day.

The joy and satisfaction I get out of experiences like that is amazing.  Those things make me feel true happiness.

Are you afraid to give?  Good, give anyway and when you give and you find joy and good things start happening to you then give more.

Be well.  Be positive