The Power of Giving

In these past few weeks, as I've been writing about The Power of Your Imagination, The Power of The Subconscious, The Power of Thought. When starting to think about writing today's blog post, I kept thinking about The Power of Giving.

It really came alive to me when watching CBS This Morning this week. Oscar-winner Matt Damon and Gary White, a water expert and engineer who created the WaterCredit initiative (and another "Carolina boy"), are on a mission to bring clean water to everyone worldwide. The duo co-founded Water.org in 2009 to help the more than 660 million people who lack access to safe water. It was a powerful story, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. PS: I was super impressed to see a "Hollywood Star" use that star power to work toward good; something really good.

Watch this YouTube video to hear Matt share his passion for helping those in need:

That got me to thinking about the many ways in which we can give.

Yes, we can donate to terrific causes such as Water.org. And we really should. As Matt said on CBS This Morning, Americans take it for granted, as water is around us everywhere!

But we can also donate to the National Kidney Foundation; a program close to my heart because of my nephew Adam's battle with kidney complications. You can give to The United Way, a program my father gave a good many years of his life to supporting. You can certainly give to your local churches -- no matter the affiliation, because -

IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

You've certainly familiar with that bible verse, from Acts 20:35. And no matter the translation, it pretty much all means the same. That led me to think:

When's the last time you GAVE something away for the mere PLEASURE of doing so? You did it "just because." Didn't it feel good? 

Did you happen to notice the more you did it, the better it felt? And perhaps the more you found yourself wanting to do it?

Giving has a universal power of exponential increase

If you're a fan of The Law Of Attraction, as am I, then you know it states whatever you give consistent thought to, you will create. The Universe is attraction-based, and the best thing to realize is you will get back exactly what you give your greatest amount of thought to.

Which led me to ponder this: 

 

WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY AS THOUGH WE WOULD NEVER RUN OUT

WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY KNOWING IT WOULD COME BACK 10-FOLD

 

If we all have the power to create all that we can dream (LOA), and there is an endless supply of everything (which I secretly believe there is), then what if we dreamt it all up and gave it all away?

Having grown up a PK (preacher's kid), you know I've spent most my entire life hearing, reading and learning about the bible. Now that I'm about halfway through my life, I've made it a point to study what other faiths/religions/belief systems have to say about Giving.  Check this out:

In the teachings of Christ,

He was adamant about giving to others. And while there are any number of verses in the Bible about giving, here are just a few:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  -2 Corinthians 9:7

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.   -Proverbs 18:16
Give and it shall be given to you; for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. -Luke 6:38
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Luke 6:30 (NIV)

How about for Buddhists?

The first training the Buddha gave for everyone was the practice of giving. To practice generosity is the most basic way to experience freedom. Happiness and inner calm grow when are fed by generous acts. While reading Buddha's Advice to Laypeople, I came upon this about generosity. In Pali, the language of the earliest Buddhist texts, the word for giving is “dāna.” The word for generosity, the underlying spirit of giving, is “cāga" which also means “letting go.” It is this letting go activity that helps to weaken and reverse painful attachments and longings.

And how is a person of integrity in the way he gives a gift? There is the case where a person of integrity gives a gift attentively, with his own hand, respectfully, not as if throwing it away, with the view that something will come of it. -(MN 110.23 tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

What does Jewish Philanthropy say about giving?

The concept is called Tzedakah, or Charity. And it is the responsibility to give aid, assistance and money to the poor & needy, or to worthwhile causes. Tzedakah means being good stewards of and planning to give a portion of one's personal substance for the common good. Although it is related to charity, the translation is broader than the definition of charity. Charity suggests benevolence and generosity, an act of the powerful and wealthy for the benefit of the poor and needy. Tzedakah is derived from the Hebrew language and means righteousness, fairness or justice. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous act; it's an act of justice, the performance of a duty, or the right thing to do.


How do the Muslims view giving?

It is absolutely central to the Muslim identity to feel care and compassion for one’s fellow human beings. If a Muslim feels the pain of his or her fellow human being, and wishes the same comfort and good life for others which he wishes for himself, it's a natural reaction to give in charity, to ease this suffering. In the Qur’an, Allah describes those who prevent the supporting of orphans and the feeding of the poor as

“Those who reject the faith” (107:1-3), while emphasizing charity should be given in “prosperity or adversity” (3:134), without fear for one’s wealth, and having faith that a sincere act of giving can only bring abundant reward to the giver.

Personally, I it doesn't matter your faith or belief system. I suppose what matters most is that you believe something. Also, it doesn't matter what you give, or how much you give, but that you give something. It can be money, talents, food, water, smiles, hugs, compassion, or simply your time.

A Universal Law states:  

So, I say, SOW A LOT (like more than 10%) and just maybe (read: quite likely) you will REAP A LOT.  Kind of a no-brainer, if you ask me.

My GIVING RECIPE for the rest of your week:

  • Be Happy
  • Give Something To Someone
  • Give Willingly + With No Expectations
  • See What Happens!

#itellstories

 

The Power of Your Imagination

Your Imagination Attracts All Cooperative Relationships. 

You have the power to evoke from others the relationships you desire. But you cannot get to a new-and-improved situation by giving your attention to the current situation.

The Universe, and all physical and non-physical players in it, is responding to the vibrations you are offering; and there is no distinction made between the Vibrations you offer as you observe, and the Vibrations you offer as you imagine.

If you will simply imagine your life as you want it to be, all cooperative components will be summoned. And even more importantly, all components that are summoned will cooperate. It is Law.

The experience you have with others is about what you evoke from them.     -Abraham


It has taken me far too long to fully realize and appreciate this truth: That We Are In Control Of All The Relationships We Bring Into Our Lives.

And if you don't believe that, then perhaps you're either (a) Not paying attention, (b) Not giving yourself enough credit, or (c) Not Awake.

Yet.

I've spent the last several months "percolating" upon what has shifted in my life over the past year and a half; besides moving to New York, merging my life with someone else, writing another (6th) novel, then moving to Hermosa Beach, and finally to the San Diego area. 

And I've come to this conclusion: a large percentage of what happens to us is created directly by our thoughts, intentions and actions.

Perhaps 100%. 

And while you could debate me, which I would enthusiastically embrace, I believe by the end of the discussion, we would come to an agreement.

Think about it.

You want to get into shape. So, you begin eating differently. You exercise more. You do less of that which thwarts your forward progress. And before you know it, you're in better shape.

You want to have more money. So, you begin watching where every dollar goes. You save more. You spend less. And before you know it, you've got more money in your bank.

And so it goes.

The next time you find yourself wanting, wishing, hoping and longing for something, or someone to enter your life, put the POWER OF YOUR IMAGINATION to work.

How?

First: See that thing happening.

Second: Feel that thing happening.

Third: Hold that Intention for it to happen.

Fourth: Continue that intention until such arrives.

Conclusion: If it doesn't appear, your imagination quite likely either lost its focus, you didn't want it badly (strongly) enough, or perhaps it came ... and went ... without your noticing.

Just a thought.

And a powerful one, at that.

Question: As you saw yourself forming that wish, or intention, how did it FEEL to you? Did you FEEL yourself already having it? Did it make you FEEL alive? Did you FEEL excited at the mere thought of that thing (or person) coming into your existence?

If it FELT GOOD, I would dare say you're more than 50% there. 

Want to make it 100%? Keep FEELING that thing, wish, person, goal ... Coming to life!

In our next discussion on The Power Of Your Imagination, we can discuss: Vision Boards, Prayers, Mediation, Intention, Uniting your wishes with others who share your vision, and much more.

Until then,

Imagine The Life Exactly As You Wish It To Be...

And Watch It Come True. 

#itellstories

The Power of the Subconscious Mind

Last week, I wrote about The Power of Thought, and today I'm writing about The Power of the Subconscious Mind, you will see that while they share many elements, they can also be different on many levels. The power of our minds, especially our SUBCONSCIOUS minds, can take us to levels we didn't know were possible.

Tammy and I were talking the other day about what was it like to have a number of different "characters" in a story talking to me at any given time. I think she was referencing the novel I'm working on, Seduction At Daybreak. I said, "I don't know. I guess my subconscious is working out the details while I'm asleep." She also knows I "work out details" while I walk Dexter during either our morning or afternoon walks.

This got me thinking about what goes on when I'm not "consciously working things out," whether that's my creative side, or my analytical side. Furthermore, I began examining what and how thoughts got developed, both during the day and the night.

More importantly, and given I'm such a "positive mindset" kind of guy, I began examining what and how I was crafting my present and future with the power of my thoughts. That was when todays blog began bubbling to the top.


Here is the research I began uncovering, while investigating The Power of the Subconscious Mind.

Dr. Joseph Murphy in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, is quoted as saying...

What is impressed in the subconscious is expressed. 

Murphy spent years of research studying the world's major religions, during which he became convinced some great Power lay behind all spiritual life, and that this power is within each of us. His belief was in order to form a new habit, you must be convinced it's desirable. When your desire to give up the bad habit is greater than your desire to continue, you're 51% healed!

He is also one of the first believers of The Law of Attraction. In fact, he says:

The Law of Attraction attracts to you everything you need, according to the nature of your thought life. Your environment and financial condition are the perfect reflection of your habitual thinking.                -Dr. Joseph Murphy
 

THOUGHTS RULE  THE WORLD

 

With an academic background in Eastern Religion, he spent years in India, was an Andhra Research Fellow (University of India), and a scholar of the I-Ching, an ancient divination text that inspired worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, business, literature and art. He understood the power of the subconscious mind. He knew the power of thought. And he lived his message.

All of us have our own inner fears, beliefs and opinions. These inner assumptions rule and govern our lives. A suggestion has no power in and of itself; it's power arises from the fact you accept it mentally.

As Minister-Director of the Church of Divine Science in Los Angeles for 28 years, Murphy was influenced by Ernest Holmes and Emmet Fox, both writers on New Thought principles.

Ernest Holmes, in The Open Mind, said,

"We know things are not always what they seem. The earth and the sky do not meet; the horizon is simply the limitation of our vision, but not a thing of itself. We know a two-dimensional mind looking at a cube would not see the cube; to it, the cube would look flat.

He put [the power of positive thinking] into practice to his practitioners by sharing the following:

Emmet Fox, in his book THE MENTAL EQUIVALENT, wrote: 

The key to life is to build in the mental equivalents of what you want and to expunge the equivalents of what you do not want. How you do it is to build in the mental equivalents by thinking quietly, constantly, and persistently of the kind of thing you want.

Fox continues by saying:

Whatever enters into your life is but the material expression of some belief in your own mind. The kind of body you have, the kind of home you have, the kind of work you do, the kind of people you meet, are all conditioned by and correspond to the MENTAL CONCEPTS you hold.

One of my favorite speakers, and one of the thought-leaders in what I refer to as the  "positive mind connection," especially as it relates to the Power of Attraction, is Bob Proctor. I first discovered him when I saw the film, The Secreta powerful "documentary" about the mind.

Proctor has been instrumental in opening my eyes to the power of our mind, particularly the Subconscious Mind. One of my favorite quotes, and one he is famous for saying is: 

Dr. Proctor's latest focus is about PARADIGM SHIFTS. In fact, he will be in Los Angeles in May to present for several days. I hope to attend. Many of us agree that he's one of the pioneers of the Prosperity & Success movement. We also agree that his message is one everyone can integrate into their everyday thinking. Watch this trailer for his upcoming event. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention a personal hero, and one of the people responsible for my journey of enlightenment. The late Dr. Wayne Dyer is a true gem, as many of you know, either from his books, or from the many PBS specials on which he appeared. For those of you who are not familiar with him, watch this video on Mastering the Art of Manifesting. 

I have been fixated upon the power of the subconscious mind for years; mainly, because I believe we could have ... and would have ... so much more, if we simply Got Out Of Our Own Way! 

If we took an extra 15 minutes. Wait, make that 5 minutes. No, make that 60 seconds! If we would take 60 seconds and change that inner voice from "If I could only..." to "I choose to only..." we would have so much more of what we are meant to have. We could DO so much MORE of what we WANT to do. We could BE SO MUCH MORE of what we saw ourselves BEING; that is, IF we would simply allow the Power Of The Subconscious to be More Conscious.

Try something on for size. The practice has been suggested by oodles of practitioners from a wide variety of practices from scientific and religious, to therapeutic and analytic. Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about it in THIS VIDEO about The 5 minutes before you sleep.

It will test (and prove) the Mighty Power of what your mind can achieve when you CLEARLY and CONCISELY choose to FOCUS and QUANTIFY exactly what you DESIRE.

    Your subconscious mind is more comfortable when you are in a sleep state. As we all know, when we are awake, our minds are busy at work. But when we are asleep, we're in a state of repair, relaxation & rejuvenation. Our bodies are repairing that which we wore out during the day. Our mind & bodies are relaxing; allowing the stress and harm of the day to dissipate. And our mind & body is being rejuvenated during sleep, so that upon awaking, we will be refreshed.

    Tonight, before you go to sleep, spend JUST 5 MINUTES doing this SIMPLE EXERCISE:

    1. Get into bed, take 3 deep & relaxing breaths,
    2. Quiet your mind, without focusing on anything except all that is GOOD, and
    3. Focus on the things you WANT - not the things you don't want,
    4. Focus on what makes you FEEL GOOD - not what makes you feel bad.

    Take those 5 minutes to prepare your mind to "marinate" on the tasty dreams, achievements, goals, and even material things that you WANT in your life; ONLY those things which are GOOD. Given your mind will be marinating for the next 7 or 8 hours on ideas & dreams, you want your mind to be working on a result that is tasty & positive, upon waking. 

    Our powerful subconscious minds are impersonal, and can't tell the difference between what is good or bad; therefore, it will only choose to align with what you are focusing upon.

    Need some suggestions? Tell your subconscious mind a short list of Dr. Dyer's "I AM's,":

    • I AM well,

    • I AM smart,

    • I AM healthy,

    • I AM wealthy,

    • I AM powerful,

    • I AM content,

    • I AM grateful. 

    Remember: Go into that pre-sleep state with these thoughts, even if your senses are saying it isn't true. Let go of all of that "reality." Now, when you awake, you will FEEL the difference. You will BE the difference you wish for.

    I leave you with another favorite quote from Bob Proctor.

    Your life begins with what is in your imagination.

    You are a creator. Go create!

    #itellstories

    The Power of Thought

    THAT WHICH YOU FOCUS UPON AMPLIFIES.

    ENERGY FLOWS WHERE MY ATTENTION GOES.

    WHAT A MAN THINKS (IN HIS HEART) HE BECOMES.

    These are all variations on the same theme of THE POWER OF THOUGHT. This is something you already know, but perhaps don't spend much time thinking about. But you should.

    WHY?

    WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS.

    Because if you're going to give your mind and attention to something, some one, some matter, some thought, some wish, some hope, some dream ... you might as well form that thought as a positive one.

    Makes sense, right?

    Whether it's The Bible, The Buddha, Angelou, Abraham, Oprah, or Jimmy Crackcorn, I don't care ... This One Universal Truth Applies: 

    THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT SOMETHING THE MORE SOMETHING YOU GET 

    Have you ever noticed that when you're thinking about getting a new car; perhaps it's a red car, all the sudden you begin noticing that car, and that color of car, everywhere you go? 

    UNIVERSAL LAW: LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE.

    Ever notice when you're flush with cash, almost suddenly it seems you have all you need; perhaps even, you find more money coming your way.

    Conversely, when you're "down and out" or "stuck in a negative rut" it appears you just keep getting more of the same.

    It's because you allow the power of your thought to pull more of (fill-in-the-blank) to you.

    Why are our, as some call it "monkey minds," so trained to think about the negative? Why do many of us immediately shift to the "Oh shit, this isn't gonna be good," or "Why does this always have to happen," or "This just sucks, every time."

    Why not: "I'm so grateful to be here right now," and "My health is so good, and I feel so good," and "Everything is going my way!" 

    Doesn't that FEEL better? And isn't FEELING a good deal of the equation?

    WHATEVER YOU GIVE YOUR ATTENTION GROWS IN DEPTH & BREADTH.

    Have you ever stopped to think that if you wanted more goodness and more money and better health and better relationships ... then it makes sense to focus on those things?

    Ever notice the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer? Why do you suppose that is? Because they've trained their minds to bring them more of the Good Stuff!

    I choose to think that people with negative attitudes keep getting the worst hand dealt to them.

    Why?

    Because they never seem to tire of complaining, nor do they set that same negative pattern into motion each ... and every ... time.

    Whether or not you believe in The New Testament, The Holy Quran, The Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, The Tripitakas, The Guru Granth Sahib, The Kitab Aqdas, The Book of Rites, The Agamas, Kohiki, The Torah or Talmud, or the Law of Attraction, they ALL pretty much say the SAME thing:

    WHAT YOU FOCUS ON GROWS

    So, my challenge to you is: If you're going to expend the mental energy anyway, Expend Upon Positivity!

    I've quoted my friend, Don Campbell, before when he shared a quote on his Instagram that says:

    You'll eventually end up with income, net worth & attitude that matches the flock you hang with.

    Furthermore, I challenge you to consider this slight addition:

    You'll always end up with the life, which includes all the money, things, relationships & health, that you desire, so be POSITIVE about it, choosing the GOOD in all of it, then sit back and ENJOY all that goodness which creates more of the same ... by mere thought.

    While some may skim this with skepticism, I would kindly suggest a shift in thought. Slather, even drown those thoughts with some "Happy Sauce" and see what happens.

    A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT THE POWER OF THOUGHT:

    I can tell you firsthand that THOUGHT is indeed a real and visceral power. Not that long ago (less than 2 years), I was in a relationship that wasn't good (it felt bad), in a city that I had outgrown (it felt small), while trying to create work that wasn't meshing (it felt incongruent), and simply through CHANGING MY ENVIRONMENT (home), SHIFTING MY EMOTIONS (relationship), and ALTERING MY ENERGY (businesses), I created an entirely new world.

    Now, I am living EXACTLY where I SAW and FELT myself living [Southern California], I am living in a BALANCED & LOVING RELATIONSHIP [Tammy] and I am expanding my PROFESSIONAL ENERGIES [business], thus creating THE LIFE I HAVE DREAMT OF.

    In closing, I leave you with several great minds. Ponder their words.











    Your MIND is so powerful; it's full of such potential. Your DREAMS are so close; their achievement is within reach. Your THOUGHTS create your reality; they simply require your focus.

    Cheers to powerful thinking!

    #itellstories

    Get In Touch With Your Creative Spark

    It's Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 in the afternoon. While my "last hometown of New York City" fights bitter cold and stacking snow, I'm enjoying weather that's much different. And ONLY BECAUSE Tammy never heard me on the radio, but longs to hear what it used to be like, I'm including a tiny sample of a Time Check. 

    Yes, it's sunny, with zero chance of rain in Encinitas. Snow? Less than zero; the temp, not the book.

    Speaking of which, it was 32 years ago that Bret Easton Ellis wrote LESS THAN ZERO; a book that USA Today called, "Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation."

    Was it cool? Yes. Mesmerizing? You bet. Some have said that it "defined a new genre of fiction writing." While I enjoyed the movie, introducing me to an actor that DEVOURED the screen: Robert Downey, Jr., I still believe the book was better.  But then, isn't that nearly always the case? 

    Well, except in the case of my latest film, CHASING GRACE; that film was 99% better than the book DISCOVERING GRACE.

    Yet, I digress.

    Perhaps, I should rename this blog entry: TAMELESS TUESDAY.

    I'm sitting in what Tam & I affectionately call my treehouse. Why? Because it's on the 3rd floor, looks out over the tops of 80-year old palm trees, and glances west toward the blue pacific. There's a breeze blowing in the windows from three different sides.

    My writing space (and video editing space, and voiceover space, and meditating space, and disappear-to-stare-at-the-ocean space) is smaller than your bedroom. Heck, it's about the size of a good walk-in closet (but with a slanted roof).

    It's simply adorned with mid-century furniture, a worn Pottery Barn carpet and an old tower, a new laptop and several stacks of books (my novels and other books about writing). The most eye-catching accoutrement is a long arm of clear bubble wrap adorning the lowest edge of the ceiling; thus helping to prevent yet another SMACK to my head.

    By now, I realize this post is becoming more random by the minute. Frankly, I like it. And if you're still reading, then perhaps you do, too.

    Today, I've been digesting material from James Frey's book HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD MYSTERY. It's really good; well-structured, simple to understand, and confirming.  

    Click below to see a list of the chapters.

    If you're a writer, want to be a writer, or dream of one day becoming a writer, please allow me one suggestion:

    DO IT!

    • Don't let anyone tell you that you can't.
    • Don't let anyone tell you you're not any good.
    • Don't let anyone tell you that it's been done before.
    • Don't let anyone tell you it's boring, or no one will read it, or whatever.
    • Don't let anyone tell you that it's impossible to get published.

    Instead:

    • Give yourself permission to write. Write ANYTHING!
    • Give yourself encouragement, knowing YOUR VOICE is different than anyone on the planet.
    • Give yourself time to practice and improve. After all, it takes as much SEAT TIME as anything.
    • Give yourself a timeline; perhaps, you write an hour a day, a day a week, or 15 minutes at a time (whenever that is).
    • Give yourself the knowledge that in this world of self-publishing, you can get your book printed, ebook-ed, or audiobook-ed -- without having an agent!

    My biggest (and best) point is one that will appear in an upcoming book:

    EVERYONE HAS A BOOK IN THEM

    Yes, I said it. And I believe it. You know why? Because...

    EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL

    Trust me. It's true.

    While I continue to craft #seductionatdaybreak - my latest novel, and first foray into the world of mystery writing, I am beginning to observe a number of different ways to orchestrate details in the story. Things like: teasing the audience with potential antagonists ... possible dual-protagonists ... and plausible plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub plots. It's an everyday adventure!

    Okay, I've got to wrap this puppy up. I have some writing to do. Thanks for skipping along on this scattered blog. I hope you can appreciate a good case of non-sequitur.

    Until we exchange again, answer me this:

    If money were no object, and time was a-plenty, and responsibilities were nil, and you had the support of those around you...

    WHAT IS THE BOOK IN YOU?

    Cheers!

    #itellstories

     

    ... and as always, please CLICK the SHARE BUTTON BELOW to share with others!

     

     

    The Power of Silence is Golden

    This morning over coffee, Tammy shared a quote Kathy Winkler had shared with her. It read:

    Don't waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.

    This struck me as particularly powerful; especially after a recent incident I experienced with a longtime friend and client.

    I began this blog with the intent of sharing those details. And yet now, after writing and rewriting this post several times, I'm choosing to instead keep those words to myself.

    For in these moments of reflection, I've "worked it out" and feel silence is the better answer...

     

    So, instead, I'll allow those wiser than I to share their thoughts...

     

    But don't take my silence for ignorance, passivity, or cowardice; I'm simply choosing to respond differently, to send a different message.

     
    Martin-Luther-King-Jr.jpg

    And with this I close:

    Maybe these hashtags best share my thoughts: #listenbeforeyouspeak and when you're in a place of indecision, #considersilence realizing that your words may do more damage than good, 

    Peace out & Happy Monday!

    #itellstories

     

    We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”  -Epictetus

    Get Outside Your Head

    Today, I felt like I went back in time, as I went to a local public library in my neighborhood. I know, you must be thinking, Wow, Dave, that's amazing! A REAL library? How'd you do it?

    Riiiight, I get it; BIG news coming from the left coast. But seriously, I don't recall the last time I stepped inside a library. And for a writer, that's pretty freakin' sad. I mean, an entire WORLD is inside 4 walls, and it's FREE!

    SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR LOCATION

    What I love? The hushed whispers of voices sequestered into small groups in corners. People with their noses buried in books, sitting among others at long desks, all hungry for knowledge. While others, young and old, from all cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds, gather in skinny wooden chairs, big overstuffed chairs, or comfortable and inviting couches. The one thing they all seem to share? They're all searching a vast world of information that lies outside themselves. 

     

    SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR CONVERSATION

     

    And often that means doing something completely different, OR, doing the same thing you do [in this case research], by using different methods [library vs. google].

    Now, while this is in NO way ground-breaking, it simply reminded me:  (a) how changing your environment [not sitting in the same office day after day], and/or (b) altering a ritual [exchanging digitally transmitted information with tangible books and collateral], and/or (c) examining different methods or protocols from a different angle [talking to highly-educated librarians vs. a non-living keyboard], can provide a fresh perspective.

    Another point:

    Sometime's you get stuck. Locked. Stifled. Frozen. 

    Sometime's you find yourself getting repetitive. Cliched. Verbose. Boring.

    SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO GET OUTSIDE YOUR HEAD

    I've been working on my latest novel SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK, since the first of November. Well, truth-be-told, I haven't written for nearly three weeks. I'm not sure why; perhaps it's three different moves to three new homes inside four months? Or, writer's block? Or, the dog ate my homework?

    Nonetheless, it's been going more slowly than my other books. The characters aren't talking to me as loudly as my other books. The environment isn't unfolding as swiftly as my other books. And the story is much more complicated than my other books. Oh, and the dog ate my . . .

    WHY?

    Because I'm not writing a THRILLER, where you KNOW the Protagonist and the Antagonist, at the same time, and right out of the gate.

    WHY?

    Because I'm writing a MYSTERY, where you you know the Protagonist, but you DON'T know the Antagonist right away.

    WHY?

    Because you can't know them both. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a mystery!

    This is good for me. Not only does this story stretch my mental muscles to examine characters from different perspectives, and create worlds much darker in different ways, all the while developing characters who are strongly different than my other books.

    I LIKE AND NEED A GOOD CHALLENGE.

    In the Carter Matheson series of LUCKY STRIKES, BEHIND THE 8 BALL and KNUCKLE DOWN, I already knew that world very well. Carter Matheson was (and remains) the "quintessential every man hero." He's a man's man. He's a ball-breaker. He takes no shit from nobody. Yet, his "soft side" [which you rarely see], reveals a man who, at his core, just wants to help other people. And he wants to be seen for the "good guy" he really is; even IF he's a government-hired assassin. 

    In this new book (and potential series?), my lead character is a WOMAN. She, like Carter, is also a ball-breaker. She's aggressive, loud-mouthed, and a veritable force-to-be-reckoned-with. Yes, she's bold, brash, but she's also beautiful. And the most fun I've had while getting to know her is that she, like most men, can often be found using sex for mere pleasure, with little conscience, and even less thought of the consequences. Personally, I think it's great to see a 21st Century woman live by her own code, while operating in a man's world.

    I think you'll like PAT NORELLI. She's an "every-woman" with battles to fight; both personal and professional. And while Pat spends a bit too much time battling a vice or two, she likewise faces a professional battle with several superiors at the West Los Angeles Homicide Precinct, where she works as a Detective. Pat only goes by Patricia when talking with, or getting scolded by, her parents. Her sidekick, STUART BROWN, also uses her middle name, DARCY, when he wants to make a particular point; which is more often than not. They're a dynamic duo.

    Hmm...could all this talk of Pat and her detective work be making me want to get back to the computer? I think so.

    As I wrap this up, allow me to leave you with this challenge:  

    Stay tuned for SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK to be released this Summer!

    #itellstories

    Surround Yourself With Forward-Thinking People

    Isn't it great to be around positive, optimistic, kind and forward-thinking people? I mean, who wants to be surrounded with negative, pessimistic, backwards-thinking whiny, little bitches?

    Obvious, I know. Or, is it?

    One of my favorite Instagram posts of late comes from a longtime friend, Don R. Campbell:

    Simple, yes. But super cool. And viscerally memorable.

    My wife-equivalent, Tammy and I spent several days contemplating this quote. The reason we like it is two-fold. First, we wouldn't be at all surprised if those were actually Don & Connie's hens. Secondly, the age-old axiom is true: Birds of a feather flock together.

    Yes, Don's a super-smart dude, who loves living off the land, striking a good real estate deal, and is easily one of the smartest and most optimistic people I know. I mean, after hanging out with him, you just feeeeeel gooooood.

    Don is most known for his insights on Canadian Real Estate, Business, Economics and Life. And to be completely descriptive, thanks to solid info on his website, Don is a Canadian-based real estate investor, researcher, author, educator and Founding Partner of the Real Estate Investment Network™ (REIN), and Cutting Edge Research Inc. who, along with his experienced research team, leads the way in providing Canada’s most current real estate investment education programs and economic research materials.

    Mostly? Don is a guy who Gets It. And Gets It Good.

    You will eventually end up with income, net worth and attitude that matches the flock you hang out with.

    So, CHOOSE WISELY, he says. 

    Don called me this past Wednesday to get caught up on life; something we don't do nearly enough. I'm going to change that paradigm because I realize, as I've shared with Tammy, "I just feel better about life when I've talked to Don." We spent about thirty minutes talking about farming, music, his wife's birthday party (Tam & I are so sad we're missing), along with some pop-philosophy, pseudo-psychology, and pontificated voraciously on (a) his being "Superman," (b) my suffering vertigo (for nearly a month), and (c) what we can do together in the future to create super-cool video stuff for his farm. See? Just good old forward-thinking STUFF.

    How does Don do it? What's his secret sauce? How did he "figure it out?"

    Something tells me Don has always known that, besides being acutely aware of the flock with whom one gathers, it's best to be FORWARD THINKING. And THAT is one of the reasons I love this man. He's a Forward Thinker. He doesn't concentrate on the past. He doesn't look over his shoulder at his failures. He doesn't cry over the spilt milk of yesteryear. Inside voice: Did I really just say that? Sounds like something my grandmother would say. But you get my meaning, right? That's how I choose to live my life: Looking ahead, not behind.

    In Luke 9:62, it reads: 

    But Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is good enough [fit] for the kingdom of God.

    Now, while I grew up a God-fearing man, attending Church every Sunday morning, night and occasional Wednesday nights, I doubt very seriously, that you (taking this literally) won't get into heaven if you're a farmer and look over your shoulder while tilling the soil. 

    Okay, so you're not a farmer. But if you've ever just MOWED a yard, you'll catch my drift. You know what I'm saying. You're out mowing perfect lines, when you look over your shoulder to see the progress that's behind you (is that an oxymoron?), and guess what; as you turn around, you've done funked it up, creating a wobbly line. Okay. Moving on. 

    I find myself being drawn to people who start their day seeing the glass half full. They've learned that you can't spend your life wondering "What If?"

    This is the lesson Tammy and I have learned:

    Your challenge should be to constantly Tweak, Refine & Redefine what makes "Living A Life By Design" the life you want to live.

    It's not that hard. But you must concentrate. It's not that challenging. But you must stay the course. It's not that daunting. But you must focus.

    My challenge to you today is to FIND THE PILLARS upon which you want to build your present and your future. Hang your hat with them. Surround yourself with those type of people. Be sure they are welcome in your world. Be sure to drip-feed (Tam's word) your life with constantly-growing, ever-evolving, always-challenging people who want to make seismic shifts in their realities. And those realities will be with you through the years...and alongside the group with whom you associate.

    ASK YOURSELF: WHERE DO I WANT TO BE IN 10 YEARS?

    Then, be sure you're making the strategic steps to see that come to fruition. Rid yourself of the "energy vampires" who steal your physical and psychic energy. Pass on the people who enjoy complaining more drama and creating less forward momentum. Look for the UP-LIFTERS and turn your back to the DOWN-PULLERS. Say Goodbye to people who don't see the best in you and encourage the same.

    I LOVE the quote the late Wayne Dyer cherished in several of his books. It's so powerful in its simplicity.

    Today, while clearing your path to be in the space of love, integrity and forward momentum, show your authentic self; people will be drawn to it. 

    #itellstories

    Integrity Is A Lost Art

    I am drawn to people who base their lives upon integrity; it seems to have become a lost art.

    There are many people who will tell you their lives are built upon integrity; others, will pontificate about the ways in which they lead their lives or businesses based on a foundation of integrity.

    Merriam-Webster says the following:

    INCORRUPTIBILITY.  Imagine if our government and city leaders held themselves to a level of integrity, whereby they were "incapable of corruption," or "not subject to decay," or, "incapable of being morally corrupted." What a different place this world would be.

    SOUNDNESS:  Imagine if our brokers, bankers & bellowing politicians were "free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension," and were "legally & logically valid, exhibiting knowledge and experience." What a refreshing voice they would have, and one we would listen to.

    COMPLETENESS: Imagine if our friends & family and neighbors & naysayers were "coming from a place of wholeness, honesty and integrity." What a sense of calm that would provide.

    And yet, day after day and year after year, people walk through their lives with a false sense of integrity, lying through shifting eyes, telling half-truths via twitching lips, and re-directing inquiries only to confuse and disorient, all the while spinning facts, both real and artificial, trying with all their might to make them stick, forming a pseudo-reality, with the hopes of getting their way.

    Wouldn't it be easier to simply come from a place of truth, from the beginning? Remember a time when you would say, or hear someone say,

    "C'mon, just blurt it out; it's better to hear the truth and be hurt then suffer the pain of false hope."

    Maybe I'm writing out loud about my former dating life. But, it's true.

    WHY THE TOPIC OF INTEGRITY?

    Perhaps it's coming from watching President Trump last night. His "State of the Union meets Speaking to Congress" Speech was at one moment encouraging and thought-provoking, while at another, oddly charming, somewhat inspiring, and yet much-too-smooth.

    My biggest reason for sounded like a Negative Nancy is only because Trump pulled a complete 180 from his campaign speeches; so much so I nearly got whiplash trying to decipher who the man was in the pulpit, I mean, podium, preaching about, I mean, pontificating about all that he's done in "the shortest amount of time in office of any President in the history of the world."

    Okay, I'm a bitch.

    Don't get me wrong; I want to like our President, I wish great things from our President, and I plan to support our President. However, after suffering his daily, often mindless, and somewhat childlike bickering [primarily via Twitter], I hope you won't hold it against me if I'm more than just a wee bit skeptical about the integrity upon which he is basing both his presidency, and the validity of his mission at hand.

    Do I want (much of) what he's selling? Yes. Do I believe his mind (and heart) is in the right place? Uh. Hm. Well, let me get back to you on that.

    What I DO know and CAN say with definitiveness and specificity is this: We MUST support, to the best of our ability those whom we have elected into office -- until said time it either becomes dangerous to do so, leads millions of people toward a place that will harm/burn/mislead them, or act in ways that are ANTI-American.

    Enough soapbox. I began discussing integrity, because I HOPE, want, and NEED to see MORE of it on a DAILY basis EVERY day! 

    I believe we need to act in ways that "adhere to a code of moral values" whereby nearly everyone wins, almost everyone gets most of what they need, and everyone is respected for who they are.

    In closing:

    Don't hustle. Don't misrepresent. Don't steal. Don't compromise. And don't lie.

    DO come from peace. DO act with honor. DO support the majority of the collective good. DO the best you can. And DO so with INTEGRITY.

    Cheers!

    #itellstories

     FTR (for the record): I liked and admired President Trump's speech. And I anxiously await to see how much of it he will carry out to the betterment of the America we love and call home.

     

    What to say when nothing to say

    Do you ever have those days when you're contemplative, but only on the inside; meaning, you're not so sure said contemplation should be shared outside my brain?

    That's me, today.

    I've been thinking a great deal lately about what it means to be present. To be in the moment. To enjoy the right-here-right-now. That's it...

    THE NOW

    Do you ever find yourself just stopping & listening? Or, stopping & watching?

    I did that today; perhaps for the first time in several weeks. My pup, Dexter, was sunbathing on the deck. It was a glorious day, full of sunshine and warm breezes. I decided to stop what I was doing and just listen.

    I closed my eyes. Shut out all thought. And simply LISTENED.

    There a dog barking about a block away. A train blew its horn, far in the distance, several miles away. A scattering of periodic traffic distracted me, just yards away, at my street corner. The sound of a plane passed very high overhead. Birds were chirping in the trees all around me. A bug buzzed by my ear. And then...

    TIME SLOWED

    I slowly began to shut the noises out. It was hard, at first, but the extraneous noises eventually faded, as I tried to listen more intently...in a different way.

    I could hear a slight ringing in my left ear; it's been present, along with some dogged dizziness for about 3 weeks now. I shifted my focus to enjoy the slow ebb and flow of my breathing. Then, I listened for my heart. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. It was an amazing sound.

    I MARVELED AT THE COMPLEXITY OF MY BODY

    And I realized so much was constantly happening simultaneously during that moment, and any given moment on pretty much every single day.

    Think about it. Food is being digested. Red blood cells are being reborn. Oxygen is recirculated throughout my lungs and entire body, without having to even think about it. So many things are happening all at once, and without a single, conscious thought on my part.

    I AM AMAZED

    Whether you believe in God, a Higher Source, The Great Divine, or whatever/whomever you choose to call He/She, I never cease to be amazed at the WONDER of the human body and the CREATOR who gifted it to me.

    I AM GRATEFUL

    As I close, realizing that today's blog wasn't particularly profound (but then, do they have to always be?), I want to challenge you to stop from time to time, for even a scant moment or three, and enjoy, embrace, and

    BE AMAZED AT THE WONDERFUL UNIVERSE LIVING WITHIN YOU. 

    Watch. Listen. Enjoy. Be.

    Cheers!

    #itellstories

     

     

    Happy Valentine's Day to all the lovers

    Whether you see Valentine's Day as a "Hallmark Holiday," a reason to splurge on a romantic interest, or simply a pleasant reminder to tell your sweetheart you love them...

    DO SOMETHING SWEET FOR YOUR VALENTINE!

    Whether you buy them roses, chocolates, a nice bottle of wine or champagne, or something as simple as a card, go ahead and spread the love.

    And for those needing some help crafting a handwritten Valentine's card, consider one of these:

    Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.  -Thomas Merton

    How about this one:

    We are most alive when we are in love. -John Updike

    Here's one I particularly like:

    When you love someone, all your saved up wishes come out. -Elizabeth Bowen

    As I wish a Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers out there, I wish this one is for my Tammy:


    I leave you this #twokidsinlovetuesday with a favorite song for lovers everywhere, by the late, great Dean Martin. Now, That's Amore!

    Cheers!

    #itellstories
     

    It's All In Your Hands

    While I know this note is similar to a recent post, here's a great way to begin (or end) a Monday:

    You are the only one who creates in your experience—no one else. Everything that comes to you comes by the power of your thought. If there are changes you would like to make, it will be of great value to begin telling a different story—not only about your body, but about all subjects that have been troubling to you. As you begin to positively focus, getting to feel so good about so many subjects, you will begin to feel the power that creates worlds flowing through you.  -Abraham

    The meaning behind this message has become so powerful to me, of late; even more profoundly, about a year-and-a-half ago, when I was leaving an "ill-fit relationship." While some would say I was "blinded by love," I prefer to say I was "distracted by indecision."

    Not to be mean, but I learned (nearly too late) that you HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. If you don't listen to that "sixth sense," "inner voice," or "gut instinct," then you are in for a world of hurt. And if you're anything like me, sometimes you have to learn things the hard way...which ain't the best (or enjoyable, or comfortable) way.

    Note to self: If you begin developing physical maladies (rashes, hives, deep heartburn, three-day headaches) and you're NOT drinking too much, or eating "off the ranch" then you're likely forcing something that just don't fit. Trust me, your body is pretty dang smart; just listen.

    Back to the quote:

    YOUR experience is YOURS. Whatever YOU create comes about by YOUR mind. If YOU want to make changes in your life, YOU have to make those calls. 

    DON'T LIKE YOUR CURRENT STORY? WRITE A NEW ONE!

    It seems I've always had to learn the hard way; just ask my parents. I can see them shaking their heads now, saying, "Son, there's an easier way to learn that lesson." To which I'd reply, "Yeah, but it feels good, or looks good, or tastes good, or whatever...until it bitch-slapped me in the face.

    My friend, Kelly Rehborg, is a Feng Shui expert, and she had the front & center seat to my transformation. You can call it spiritual, mental, or enlightened transformation, but it was all that.

    I approached her for some guidance in creating a new life. She agreed, came to my home and rolled up her sleeves, ready for a real transformation. We emptied my home, cleaned it of dust, clutter and "ill energy." We then refilled the home with just what I needed, positioning the items thoughtfully in order to provide the best energy flow, and blessed my live/work space with good, positive, and energetic love. It's funny, everyone who came to visit, felt the difference instantly.

    Not long after, I started feeling better (less cloudy), began getting increased business (more money), and found the love of my life (best part of all). It's amazing when you GET CLEAR.

    I believe if your mind and heart and actions and beliefs and focus are all in the right place...

    You can have it all!

    I have a long list of friends who can vouch for this; they've lived life their way, focused on things that they wanted, and found this to be true. Right, Kelly, Tammy, Don? (to name only a few).

    So, as you venture out into this (relatively) new month, focus on exactly what you want. See it. Feel it. It's all in your hands. Cheers!

    #itellstories

    It's all you baby

    You have sole ownership of your vision. And the Universe will give you what you want within your vision. What happens with most people is that they muddy their vision with "reality". Their vision becomes full of not only what they want but what everybody else thinks about what they want, too. Your work is to clarify and purify your vision so that the vibration that you are offering can then be answered.   -Abraham

    The older I get, the more I think this way, manage my life this way, believe this way, and more importantly feel this way. It's true:

    YOU OWN YOUR VISION

    Not your father, your mother, your sister, or your brother. Not your spouse, your best friend, or your enemies. It's up to you.

    life.png

    I ran across this picture recently and the quote summed it up handsomely.

    Often, things, situations or people get in the way of our progress. You know what I'm talking about.

    A bad habit could be the thing.

    An ill-fitting job could be the thing, or

    A misaligned relationship could be the thing.

    Either way, something seems to keep you from excelling at your highest & best. Time to stop.

     

    As you begin a new week, I am challenging you to consider doing something. You can call it:

    • disrupting the chaos,
    • cutting the chords,
    • severing ill alliances, or
    • simply shutting off the noise.

    Just know that it's up to you, kid.

    Happy Monday!

    #itellstories

    A Day To Remember

    Epic Day. Not the norm. Out of the ordinary. Like none other. Historical. History in the making.

    All of these phrases pretty much describe today, where we celebrate our Inauguration 2017.

    Swearing in Donald J. Trump as 45th President of the United States is a day of mixed emotions.

    One of my dearest friends called me phone today, leaving a message. She was literally crying and completely out of sorts. She had a phrase that has caused me to chuckle all day. She said, 

    It's like someone told me to drink the water from the toilet, explaining, 'Oh, it's okay, we scrubbed it really good and it's all clean, but you go ahead and drink it. It'll be fine.'

    Graphic, huh? She's hilarious.

    Whether you voted for Trump, voted for Hillary, or voted (to support) any of the others, HE won. And whether you like it or not, you have one of two choices; make that three:

    1. Bitch. Moan. Complain. And do nothing about it (and get absolutely NO-where),
    2. Suck it up. Be an optimist. And do what you can to make it work, (whatever that may be), 
    3. Stand up. Be strong. And Be The Change You Want To See (a hybrid of the first two).

    Find a way to work alongside and/or alter what lies in front of you, in whatever way possible, and with whatever resources you may have. Who knows, this may work out just fine.

    Remember, NO ONE IS PERFECT. No one gets it all right. No one gets it all done. And no one is liked by everybody, all the time.

    Don't be a victim. Be a solution.

    Yes, it was an epic day. It will be one I will remember for a long time. And while I can't honestly say I walked away with one single "tingle" over his speech--like so many of the great Presidents of our past, he at the very least stayed true to his motto, saying he will:

    MAKE AMERICA GREAT (again)

    Personally, I think America is already great. I feel it's The Greatest Country In The World. I am proud to be an American. I appreciate our leaders (for the most part), and I work hard to support them in whatever way I feel I can...in the best ways possible.

    Do What You Can To Be A Change For Good Wherever You Are.

    #itellstories

    And Another Thing

    Yesterday, I wrote a blog entitled FOLLOW YOUR OWN DREAM, based upon a Steve Jobs quote. Without re-inventing that wheel, and if you're interested, may I suggest your reading it?

    An interesting thing happened after I wrote that entry. I was going through some old videos and ran across one I shot nearly two years ago. It was one of those not-so-rare moments when I was capturing a "significant moment" with my iPhone.

    I had just gotten off the phone with a business acquaintance who was sharing insight about (coincidently) following his dreams. I, likewise, was sharing some of my thoughts on following our dreams, while sharing with him a situation concerning my film Chasing Grace. 

    It wasn't long before when I had gotten word of being picked up recently by a distributor. I shared how hard it was finding a distributor, how grateful I was for having found one; however, during our discussion, and during the whole negotiation process of locking our deal, something just didn't feel right.

    Watch this and I'll share more in 3 minutes.

    3 minutes of motivation. Learn more: http://davetemple.com (May, 2015)

    GOOD INSIGHT:

    This story was about wanting to make the very best choice I possibly could by finding the best distributor. After all, my investors deserved the very best opportunity, with the strongest candidate who would provide the best (and quickest) results of returning their investment.

    INDIE (Faith-based) FILMMAKERS, NOTE THIS FACT WHEN TRYING TO LOCK A DISTRIBUTOR.

    Do not allow a distributor to buy MULTIPLE (like 60, or 70, or 80,000 DVD units) right out of the gate, in order to "get the ball rolling" for your movie sales. 

    Why? Because the chances of your small film (read: primarily first-time filmmakers) being able to sell those many units is nearly impossible.

    Why? Because (many) distributors make their percentages (commissions) on the purchase of all those DVD's, up front. Oh, and this is whether it goes anywhere at all.

    And if the Walmarts, or Targets, or other "faith-based Big Box Stores" don't sell them, YOU have to BUY THEM BACK! And you have to do so at a similar market value that you sold them for AND pay their storage AND handling AND any shipping fees. AND let me tell you...that adds up!

    Fortunately, I WENT WITH MY GUT, got out of that deal, and negotiated a better deal with a different distributor. I'll share how that situation has turned out another time.

    THE BIGGER POINT HERE IS ABOUT: GOING WITH YOUR GUT

    I've always felt that IF you're going to spend your time doing something anyway, and you're going to give it all you've got anyway, and you're going to invest blood/sweat/tears into whatever project you're going to do anyway...then Give It Your All But Go With Your Gut.

    Have you ever known your gut to fail you? If so, consider listening more closely next time.

    I hope this helps, in even a small way. Until we share again, cheers to going with your gut!

    #itellstories

    FOLLOW YOUR OWN DREAM

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”      

    This is one of my favorite quotes, by the brilliant entrepreneur, designer, builder, content-creator and genius Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs, Apple Founder.

    Born 2/24/1955, he lived a full life until cancer took him 10/5/2011, at the young age of 56. 

    Shit. 56. The same age my father died.

    The same age I feared (for way too long) I would die.

    I've never admitted that before; especially not publicly. And while there's no reason to (logically) believe I would die then, I (like my older sister, Kay) felt that If we can just make it to that year, we'll be good. Now, rapidly approaching that landmark, I will have passed it by 2 years.

    While I don't have near the accomplishments that marked Steve's illustrious life, I have done a great deal. I've been a Radio Host, a national Voiceover talent, a lounge DJ, a TV anchor, a national correspondent, a features reporter, a QVC Host, a Sales Rep, a Marketing specialist, and a Videographer/Editor.

    I am also a published author of six novels and working on my seventh. I am an award-winning filmmaker of a commercial feature, Chasing Grace, and three short films. I'm a media content developer and marketing strategist for a small group of companies, as well as a web designer & developer, which began as a hobby and developed into a small cottage business (I built this site and all the contain herein).

    Since beginning a career in broadcasting (at the age of 17), I set as a goal, climbed the ladder and skyrocketed to enormous success in radio. Broadcasting Morning Shows first in my childhood hometown of Lynchburg, VA, I quickly moved to Norfolk, before "getting discovered" and moving to Detroit, then to Chicago, and then to Los Angeles, before hitting the PEAK of my radio career, working in New York, before heading "back home" to Charlotte, NC, where I finished my handsome career alongside my family.

    I accomplished ALL the dreams in radio I had ever envisioned: I wanted to work in at least 5 of the Top 10 Radio Markets before I reach 40. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    As a young boy, I recall hearing an announcer on a nationally televised broadcast on Disney, and thought THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO DO. Listening to AM Radio on stations out of Chicago (WLS), I knew given I had a "radio voice" (at a super young age), along with the ability to think fast on my feet, make people laugh, enjoyed music of all flavors and loved to tell stories, Radio Was Going To Be The Profession For Me.

    What's the moral of this post?

    FOLLOW YOUR OWN DREAM

    Steve Jobs was a guy who GOT IT. He marched to the beat of his own drum, chose a profession HE wanted and chased it. He threw caution to the wind, pursued, fought, created and never quit. 

    It's the same with you.

    YOU CAN HAVE WHATEVER YOU WANT, IF YOU WANT IT ENOUGH.

    Jobs was a co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc (the first stock I ever bought). He was majority shareholder in Pixar, member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors, and Founder, Chairman and CEO of NeXT. He was a husband, father and friend to many.

    Did he get all that experience by accident? No. Did he accomplish all that success randomly? No. Did he have it all fall in his lap? No. Was it all smooth sailing? No. He saw, dreamed, pursued, fought, and worked his ass off to make his dreams come true. And while there are some who speculate he "worked himself to death," he certainly finished his life his way. Now, I'm not saying he chose to die from cancer, but I can't help but intuit that he must have known his great success could come at a great cost. 

    As I wrap up this Hump Day Inspiration, I leave you with something I read yesterday. It comes from the teachings of Abraham, the collective conscious, not the character from the Bible.

    When you are comfortable on your path, it doesn’t matter where it leads.

    There's a great deal of truth there. Be comfortable with your path. Follow your dream. Where it leads is YOUR doing. YOU are in control.

    Remember, as Steve implored of us: Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't live according to other people's thinking. Don't let others' opinions drown your inner voice. Have courage to follow your heart & intuition.

    I'll leave you with something I've said to Tammy since the day we met and fell in love: 

    Let's run with reckless abandon toward life's diving board and spring into the unknown, trusting there will be enough water to hold and support us.

    Cheers!

    #itellstories

    So what if I'm late to the New Year's Resolution Party

    SO WHAT IF I'M LATE TO THE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION PARTY

    Okay, so I didn't jump aboard the "Resolution Bandwagon" when the ball dropped, issuing in 2017. Why? Basically because I've learned it's too much pressure to create completely new habits to start on the first day of the year. It's kinda silly, don't you agree?

    What's my solution? I wait until somewhere around the second weekend. And given this weekend is FRIDAY THE 13TH (insert horror movie screams here), it will be my Jumping Off Point.

    What are my resolutions? Simple; there are only 3. Because it seems like a number I can manage.

    1. Do some SOME SORT OF EXERCISE every day.

    I don't mean a marathon every day. But I don't mean one sit-up, either. I mean, something along the lines of No Less Than 15 minutes, likely around 30 minutes, and 45 could be ideal. This way, even if the only thing I do is walk Dexter once or twice a day, then I've accomplished my goal. And the way I see it, as well as Dexter sees it, it's a Win-Win.

    2. Be conscious every day to BE KIND toward my fellow man.

    That doesn't mean I have to be a pus, a wimp, or a liar. But I do have to consider kindness as my starting point. If we all thought about being kind as our first reaction, we'd have less violence, less deaths, less stress, less anger, less weight gain, less anxiety, we'd rely less on drugs, booze and crap food. At least I think we would. Anyway, I'm going to start here.

    3. Do something OUT OF THE ORDINARY every week healthy.

    You know, something healthy, positive and/or enjoyable. Something we don't ordinarily do every week, or in the same way. Wouldn't that be cool; to try on a new habit for size? It may be something like: reading an article, periodical, or book I don't ordinarily read, visiting a new restaurant serving a type of food I don't regularly eat, travel to work or play on a different route, just for the heck of it. Maybe I'll call a friend I haven't spoken to in a long time. In these days of texting & emails, it's nice to think about picking up the phone and chatting even for 10 minutes.

    BOTTOM LINE: I figure if I can do THESE 3 THINGS for the next 11 & 1/2 months, I'll have a vibrant and refreshing way to look at life.

    As Tammy and I face yet another move to a new city [SAN DIEGO, HERE WE COME], we've agreed to form a new mindset, as to: (a) how we choose friends, (b) how we do business, and (c) how we manage situations arising in ways that may or may not be of our creation.

    This new mindset came to me, thanks to a blog I read recently by Benjamin Hardy.

    “From this point, your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level, you’re not going down to theirs. You’re not competing with anyone else, ever again. They’re going to have to compete with you. From now on, the end result is all that matters.” —Tim Grover

    I like that, don't you? Set Your Goals. Make New Boundaries. Push Hard To Win.

    As for the NEW YEAR, Tammy and I Are Making Choices As To How [Jobs, Friends, Dates, Projects, Schedules, Parties, Etc.] Best Fits Our Lives.

    Moving forward, BE KIND TO YOURSELF, pace the day/week/month with reachable goals that feel attainable, until you get to the point where you say, PUSH YOURSELF, DAMMIT! You'll be fine.

    Happy First Friday the 13th of The New Year!

    WHAT ARE MONDAYS TO YOU?

    To some, Mondays are the start of a new week. To others, it's part of their weekend. To (hopefully) a few, Mondays are a dreaded thing: starting another work week, at a job they don't like. 

    To many, like myself, Mondays represent a fresh start; a chance to start over. Think: a New Year's Resolution each week, but without the countdown, ball drop and confetti-littered hangover.

    To most of us, I imagine Mondays represent an opportunity to make good, pay bills, serve others, create goodness, manage people, increase sales, defy odds, bring change, and well...begin again.

    WHAT ARE MONDAYS TO YOU?

    Do you find Monday to be a day to embrace, or fear? Do you welcome it, or despise it?

    Have you ever thought that without Mondays we'd never have Monday Morning Blues, and we'd never have the hit single by The Momas & The Papas

    Are Mondays MUSIC to your ears, or just noise?

    Consider, without Mondays, we'd never have been able to appreciate the Jay & The Americans version of the previous hit single.

    Then again, we'd never have so enjoyed The Bangles and their perfectly-coiffed '80's tune.

    How about kicking Monday in the ass with The Boomtown Rats?

    Or, let's head down to the other end of the musical spectrum with The Carpenters.

    If that's too depressing, try New Moon On Monday by on Duran Duran to perk you up.

    Ever find yourself dreaming of MONDAY with The Jam? You should.

    Monday Will Never Be The Same by Husker Du has a nostalgic sound; albeit one of the shorter versions you'll find, and as is the case with this tune, containing no words.

    Perhaps one of my favorite Mondays comes from Wilco.

    For my country fans, check out Mark Chesnutt with It Sure Is Monday.

    How appropriate, given we just left Sunday. Here are the New Radicals with Crying Like A Church on Monday.  

    Billy Bragg gives a folksy tribute to the day with St. Monday.

    Have a taste for some unique storytelling? Check out Lee Hazlewood's If It's Monday Morning.

    And while some enjoy Mike & Peggy Seeger's folksy version of Every Monday Morning Comes, I like this version from SUEDE (from Sci-Fi Lullabies).

    John Prine captured the day in Long Monday; a version I challenge you to hear and not enjoy.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you're having trouble jump-starting your week, listen (loudly) to NOFX's Thank God It's Monday.

    How 'bout feelin' some of Jordin Sparks' Permanent Monday? She feels it.

    I have one song on my list without "Monday" in the title, as sung by Supertramp: From Now On.  

    Tegan & Sarah like Monday, Monday, Monday so much they hammer the point 3 times. 

    The Day Will Come Between Sunday & Monday when Kiki Dee will hopefully add a ray of sunlight to the start to your week.

    Hey, Parrotheads, how 'bout your boy, Jimmy Buffet with Come Monday! It makes the rainiest & gloomiest day sunny.

    The Black Hollies have Gloomy Monday Morning to incite your blues...if you let it.

    And who could forget Fleetwood Mac's Monday Morning (sorry, that sounded like a bad DJ intro)

    As I end today's blog, I'm gonna head back up to the top of my list and leave you with a classic flashback, and perhaps one of my favorites, from THE JAM.

    #HappyMonday

    PS: My Monday Morning Music Blog is dedicated to my friend, Don Campbell; a lover of all music.

    GOOD DESIGN MAKES FOR GOOD LIVING

    I Love Good Architecture, Good Architects, and Good Design. Yep, that just about says it all. And you know what? One of the most wonderful things about GOOD DESIGN is that you KNOW it when you see it. You FEEL it when you see it. And it never FADES.

    While working with DWELL Magazine last year, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the hippest, sharpest and funnest (i know it's not an actual word) architects, in San Diego. They include:

    Lindsay + Rory Brown, The Brown Studio, Inc.

    Lindsay + Rory Brown of The Brown Studio Inc. This husband/wife team are not only uber-talented, but also very gracious. Their everyday generosity exudes in everything they do. Yes, they've become business partners of ours, but they've also become (more importantly) dear friends of ours. Their vision is light-years ahead. Their passion is palpable. Their goals are lofty. Their success is growing. Their insights are legendary. Their stories are engaging. Their children are beautiful. And their friendship is priceless. Check out the video below featuring their hometown of San Diego.

    Produced for DWELL Magazine, this promotional video features four San Diego firms: The Brown Studio Inc, Nahkshab Development & Design, Architects Magnus & Steven Lombardi Architect.


    Soheil Nahkshab of Nakhshab Development & Design: NDD was another artist we befriended while putting together the DWELL Home Tours, under the direction of Tammy Scott.

    Soheil is truly one of those renaissance men you read about. He's an architect, designer, builder, musician, father, husband and all around good guy. His vision is ahead of the curve. His work ethic is unmatched. I personally believe he'll become "One of the Masters of the Next Generation."

    The Lahaye Residence, designed by NDD.net


    Hector Magnus, Architects Magnus

    Hector Magnus, Architects Magnus

    Architects Magnus. When you first meet Hector Magnus, you instantly feel as though you've known him for years. His warmth and charm are what first engages you. Then, after seeing his structures, his keen eye for detail, not to mention his whimsical touches in every project, it's easy to become a huge fan. It has turned out to be a "bonus" that we've developed a friendship with he and Pamela.

    Both California licensed architects, their practice specializes in livable modern architecture. They believe that regional architecture is defined by place, while clearly aligning with their client’s lifestyle.

    Though San Diego is their home base, the firm’s projects and consulting work range throughout the state. Their target market is comprised of individuals who value functional, tactile and sustainable design, and their group includes state-registered architects, designers, consulting engineers, builders, and craftsmen, with access to exclusive materials and furnishings.

    Design by Hector Magnus, architectsmagnus.com


    The final architect is Steven Lombardi. We love this guy for his dry wit, avant garde approach to design, and genuine Southern California approach to about everything (yes, he's an avid surfer).

    Steven has advanced the art of architecture and design in poetic ways across a broad spectrum of disciplines, scales and geographic locations. His explorations include urban landscape, sculpture, theater and energy as "fixture." His multi-disciplinary practice reflects his sustainable approach to design with a fundamental focus on light and its impact emotionally, functionally and sculpturally. 

    SUNSET CLIFFS, San Diego, CA - Steven Lombari Architects

    Energy Flows Where Attention Goes.

    I am a big proponent of the theory and the mindset --

    That which you focus upon, you amplify.

    I've always called that Quantum Physics, and I've been right, for the most part. Without getting overly technical, or conversely, too "woo-woo," I'll simply say, ENERGY FLOWS WHERE YOUR ATTENTION GOES. Pretty easy to understand, right? 

    Allow me to share an example.

    I have a friend who is constantly using words, in her everyday chatter, like anxious, difficult, and frustrating. Furthermore, her life is full of melodrama, is overly dramatic, and I find her in a constant state of heightened anxiety. Do you suppose there's any coincidence? I think not.

    Posing a challenge to her, I suggested she try to remove not only the words that triggered the feeling she had when discussing matters, but to challenge herself whenever she began to even think about those topics which made her anxious, frustrated, or melodramatic, to STOP and replace that word and/or feeling with something completely opposite.

    Guess what happened? Over a period of time (it took longer than she expected), she began to see a major shift in not only her attitude & feelings, but how life around her reacted to her new way of thinking. I'm happy to report her current life is, as she puts it, one of (near) bliss.

    This brings me to a quote I read this morning which further echos my beliefs:

    You often believe that you must work hard to overcome obstacles and satisfy shortages and solve the problems that are before you; but often, in that attitude or approach, you work against yourself without realizing it. Attention to obstacles makes them bigger and more stubborn; attention to shortages makes them bigger and prolongs them—and attention to a problem prevents any immediate resolution or solution.   -Abraham

    Makes sense, doesn't it?

    What you focus upon, over and over ... Where you put your energy, over and over ... GROWS.

    Now, let's get a bit more scientific for a moment. While becoming more curious, I started researching Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics (yes, it involved more coffee), and I was off to the mind-bending races. Here are two prevalent theories about this topic:

    The two major interpretations of Quantum Theory's implications for the nature of reality are the Copenhagen Interpretation and the Many-worlds Theory.

    Niels Bohr proposed the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory, which asserts that a particle is whatever it is measured to be (for example, a wave or a particle), but that it cannot be assumed to have specific properties, or even to exist, until it is measured.

    In short, Bohr was saying objective reality does not exist. This translates to a principle called superposition that claims while we do not know what the state of any object is, it is actually in all possible states simultaneously, as long as we don't look to check.

    The second interpretation is the Many-worlds (or multiverse theory), which holds that as soon as a potential exists for any object to be in any state, the universe of that object transmutes into a series of parallel universes equal to the number of possible states in which that the object can exist, with each universe containing a unique single possible state of that object. Furthermore, there is a mechanism for interaction between these universes that somehow permits all states to be accessible in some way and for all possible states to be affected in some manner. 

    What you focus on expands

    Let's ride down the layman's road for a moment.

    Have you ever noticed when you're thinking about getting a new car, that car seems to appear everywhere you go? Crazy, right? But think about it from the standpoint that you have chosen to focus upon something with such a pinpoint of thought, that it's bound to show up in your reality.

    So, what if we take this fairly simple concept, and put that same focus to work for things such as: love, abundance and wellness? Do you suppose if we wanted more LOVE in our lives, or more ABUNDANCE in our lives, or more WELLNESS in our lives...then more of it will arrive when we FOCUS on having more?

    To me, it makes a world of sense. And I've seen it come true time and again. Allow me to share perhaps one of the single most significant examples of this theory, in my life.

    Back in 2015, there were several things happening in my life which were not making me happy. In fact, they were making me ill, or more specifically, they were causing my body to dramatically react in ways that said, STOP THIS OR YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN FOR A WORLD OF PAIN.

    During this disharmonic (discordant) time, my acid reflux kicked into overdrive. I mean, no volume of antacids could help. Then something I'd never experienced happened. My scalp broke out into something horrible called "plaque psoriasis." Let me tell you, it was H-E-L-L. Imagine your scalp breaking out into...well, look it up; it's pretty f'n horrible.

    I went to a dermatologist and he confirmed it. He went on to say it was likely either diet or stress. I then visited a friend who was a naturopathic doctor, and he said it was 100% stress imposed by an outside force in which my subconscious was not in alignment. We discussed what I may have in my life which caused it. We pinpointed the issue immediately, using a variety of methods. 

    Guess what? The moment I ceased focusing upon what was creating all my anxiety, acid reflux and scalp agitation, IT STOPPED. (Who knew a personal relationship could cause such havoc?)

    Let's end this soliloquy on an upbeat and positively focused note.

    Given we have a choice, why not focus on LOVE, WELLNESS and ABUNDANCE? And don't be surprised, given our minds are so trained to think & talk about the problems of the world, that breaking bad habits will be tough. They will. But give it time. Be kind to yourself. And FOCUS UPON & FEEL GOOD ABOUT only those things you really want.

    THERE'S SO MUCH GOOD IN OUR LIVES AND IN THE WORLD

    Want some fairly easy steps to begin to SHIFT YOUR FOCUS on all the goodness?

    1. If you want wellness, think about and talk about all the things which are working for you, be they physical or otherwise. Call a friend and say, “I'm so happy today. My health is great!”
    2. When you notice "bad" qualities of others, shift your thinking to focus about their "good" qualities instead. Perhaps your friend's negative attitude irks you to no end. Consider stopping any angry thoughts and instead focus on all the good stuff he/she does.
    3. If your bills are piling up, instead of saying to yourself, "There's no money for anything!" Instead, say, “I have enough for the things I need, and there's plenty more to come.”
    4. Perhaps you're not enjoying your job (maybe even hating it). Instead of stating this repeatedly, begin talking about what you love to do. Maybe a new job will arrive!

    Every day, as soon as I awake and throughout the day, I focus on the GOOD things in my life: the wonderful love affair with my partner Tammy, my excellent health which gets better every day, my awesome family, my great neighborhood & new friends we're making. And the list goes on.

    Have you noticed that I TELL STORIES (#itellstories) is my website byline? My challenge for you today and in the coming New Year is...

    START CREATING GOOD ENERGY BY TELLING A GOOD STORY.

    Cheers!