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Colorado Trip The Last Day

Colorado Trip The Last Day. All good things have to come to an end. Even this wonderful trip that Sofia and I began a mere six days before. It felt like we had been there for weeks because we had done so much in the last six days. Today was the last day of our Colorado trip.

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The Last day Of Our Colorado Trip

Since our flight wasn’t until 6:00 PM, we had plenty of time to enjoy another day in Colorado. What was one thing that we had not done visiting the Rocky Mountain state? Visit the Rocky Mount National Park, of course! So I hopped on the old inter-web and procured us a vehicle pass and a timed entry pass.

After loading the car and saying goodbye to Wilhelmina and Paul, we headed down the long winding driveway. As soon as we turned onto the road, we were greeted by three young bucks standing in the roadway. They politely walked to the side and posed for some pictures.

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He Seemed To Enjoy The Photo Session

Over The Continental Divide

The night before, I had decided to enter the park on the west side by Grand Lake. We would traverse the mountains, cross the Continental Divide, and exit at Estes Park. The airport was only an hour and a half drive from there, so we had plenty of time. It was another scenic drive to the park entrance.

Beware The Ganja

We stopped at the Rocky Mount National Park sign for some pictures and met two lovely young ladies. They had sweet, southern accents with which they amused us with a story about a marijuana dispensary encounter the day before. It seems they purchased an herbal laced brownie and plan to enjoy it in their room. After eating a corner of the brownie, they realized it was much more powerful than they thought. They had an interesting evening until the effects wore off.

After saying goodbye, we began our drive up and over the mountains. It wasn’t long until we came around a curve and saw people standing on the side of the road. I looked over into the meadow and two moose were grazing in the distance. I found a place to pull over and Sofia ran back to snap some photos.

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A Quick Breakfast

Breathtaking

The scenery and vistas from the top of the mountain, like Sofia, are breathtaking. Once again, I realized how small we are on this vast rock spinning around the sun. Several more photos and selfies were taken as we made our way down the mountain.

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Beautiful

At the bottom, we stopped at the visitor center which has a gift shop and restaurant next door. The day was warm, so we decided to ask for a table outside. While enjoying a bowl of elk stew, I got to look at a mountain and a beautiful stream running below us. I wanted to enjoy the view one last time before heading to Denver.

Home Sweet Home

Mountains always amaze me since the highest point in South Florida is a hill made out of garbage. Before they started the landfills, the highest point was a speedbump in Coral Gables. After another uneventful for our flight, we arrived in Fort Lauderdale around midnight. After collecting our luggage, we headed outside and were greeted by a blast of heat and humidity. It may be hot and humid, but it is “home sweet home.”

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Colorado Trip Part 3

Colorado Trip Part 3. I woke on Day 3 feeling great. All the soreness from yesterday’s hike was gone. I proceeded downstairs, poured myself a cup of coffee, and went to the deck to watch the sunrise. I sat in silent meditation for several minutes. Suddenly, I heard something moving behind me again. Slowly turning around, I solved the mystery of the great beast. There it was standing on the steps staring at me, a little chipmunk.

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Part 3 Of Our Colorado Trip

The wedding was scheduled for 4 o’clock, so we needed to stay close to the B&B. Sofia takes a while to get ready. I have never figured out what takes so long because she is naturally beautiful. Yesterday, we saw a trailhead close to the B&B and decided to go for a hike. The forecast was for rain, but we were told that rain in Colorado was not like Florida rain. It just drizzles.

We drove to the Elk Meadow Trailhead and parked. The sun was out and it was a beautiful, cool day. Grabbing our water bottles, we started up the mountain. The views got better with every switchback. Unlike the St. Mary’s glacier trail, this trail was smooth. It was much easier on my knees.

Look Around

One thing that I always do is take my eyes off the trail directly in front of me. I take my time to look around and enjoy the journey. Flowers and wildlife are abundant in Colorado. We saw a large bluebird that looked like the Blue Jays back home. Only this bird was much larger and had a blackhead. We were told it was a Mountain Jay, a beautiful bird.

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Elk Meadows Trail

Decisions

We came to a point where the trail split. To the left continued up the mountain, and the right would take us down around the meadow. Since we were short on time, we chose the meadow. The hiking was easy in this past meadow, and we were making good time. Sofia turned to me and said she felt a raindrop. No big deal because Colorado rain isn’t like Florida rain. The raindrops became larger and colder. That’s when the thunder and lightning started. I began to feel that we were lied to about the Colorado rain.

We found ourselves in the middle of a meadow during a thunderstorm. This is not the place you want to be. We had no choice but to keep hiking. Soaked and cold, we eventually made our way back to the car after 2.5 hours.

A Colorado Wedding

After a much welcomed hot shower, I put on a suit for the first time in almost a year. Sofia looked ravishing in her dress. I have to say we made a sharp couple. Off we went to the wedding which, was held on Evergreen Lake at the Lake House.

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My Beautiful Wife

The ceremony was outdoors and delayed only a few minutes because of the rain. The clouds parted, the sun came out, and we watched a young couple begin their journey together as man and wife. I always enjoy the beginning of anything. It is inspiring, so full of promises. We danced, sang, laughed, and a few happy tears were shed. It was a wonderful night.

Day 4

On day 4, I woke to the most spectacular sunrise. The sun was a bright red ball in the sky. This was caused by the fires in California and the smoke drifting to Colorado. Sofia and I sat outside enjoying our coffee. We went to breakfast and met two new couples that had arrived the night before. They were very nice people, and we got along like old friends.

What A Life

Later, we had the opportunity to speak with Wilhelmina. We found out that she had lived a wonderful life. She was born in the Netherlands and raised in Australia. Wilhelmina became a dancer and choreographer and married a well-known British comedian, They had met all of the big entertainers. Even though she was 80, she looked closer to 60. She still plays golf, skis, hikes, and runs a weight loss program. She is a very inspiring woman, and I could have sat all day talking.

Mt. Evans

We told Wilhelmina that we were going to drive up to Mount Evans. Mount Evans sits between 12,000-14,000 feet above sea level. Wilhelmina told us that it could be cold up there and let us borrow heavy jackets. It was another beautiful drive through the back roads and up the mountain. We climbed above the tree line and arrived at Summit Lake.

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Summit Lake

As soon as we exited the car, we were thankful we had the jackets. The temperature was 41 degrees, and the wind was blowing. It might as well have been Antarctica to us. After stopping to talk to some Park volunteers about the mountain goats and bighorn sheep, we hiked up to the Chicago Lakes.

No Excuses

As we were hiking, we passed an elderly lady with a club foot. Seeing this lady not let anything stop her from doing something she enjoys made me realize that I make too many excuses. You should never let anything get in the way of doing something that you want to do. You can always find a way.

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Selfie By The Lake

We took some great pictures at Summit Lake, enjoyed the views then headed down the mountain. We had made plans to drive to Denver and watch some football. Denver is a nice city, and we saw a lot of neighborhoods full of young people. This is something we don’t have a lot of in Florida. It’s called God’s waiting room for a reason.

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Blake Street Tavern Denver, Colorado

My Best Friend

We made it to the Blake St., Tavern, a large Sports Bar. There was a good crowd enjoying the first day of college football season. People were happy they were able to gather together again. We watched my school play that evening, and even though the outcome wasn’t in my favor, I wouldn’t want to be there with anyone other than Sofia. She is my best friend. Every part of the trip had been wonderful. We were excited, looking forward to what we would see the next day. To be continued.

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A Trip To Colorado

You can find inspiration anywhere. All you have to do is fire up your senses and be aware when inspiration presents itself. I’m going to tell you how I found inspiration on a trip to Colorado. We saw so much in this beautiful state that I will share it in several blogs.

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Our Trip To Colorado Day 1

On the first day, we were dropped off at the Fort Lauderdale airport at Zero Dark Thirty. The purpose of this trip was to attend the wedding of Sofia’s friend’s daughter. I just wanted to get away with my beautiful wife and relax. I wasn’t intending to look for inspiration on a trip to Colorado.

After an uneventful four-hour flight, we arrived in Denver at 10:30 AM. We found our way to the rental car shuttle bus. The friendly driver helped us load our luggage, and off we went to pick out our vehicle. As we left the rental lot, I noticed an extreme lack of mountains. I always pictured Denver as a mountainous city. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Where were the Mountains? Luckily I found them after just a short drive out of the city.

Red Rocks, Colorado

We drove to Red Rocks Amphitheater, about a 30 to 40-minute drive west of the city. It is an Amphitheater cut into the side of a hill. It is surrounded by large rock formations which are colored, you guessed it, bright red. As we entered the area where the food vendors are located, there was music playing. The acoustics are phenomenal.

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$6.60 to see one of the greatest bands of all time!

We toured the museum and saw pictures of a lot of the performers who had played there. Most of the great musicians have performed at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Even the Beatles played there on their first American tour in 1964. Attending a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater was instantly put on my bucket list.

Golden, Colorado

Our next stop was the town of Golden, Colorado. It is a lovely little town to walk around and enjoy. The streets are full of bars, restaurants, and shops. Golden is the home of the Coors Beer Brewery. After stopping to eat, we walked to this photogenic bridge and creek at the edge of town. It is the perfect place to stop, take a few selfies, and realize how lucky I am to be married to Sofia.

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Golden

Evergreen, Colorado and Walkabout Ridge

We left Golden and drove to the town of Evergreen, where we were staying. Evergreen is a quaint small town that ranges from 7200 to 9000 feet in elevation. We found our B&B located on a mountain a few miles outside of town. I steered the car along a winding, long, gravel driveway. I was thinking that all Scooby-Doo cartoons and horror movies begin like this. At the end of the driveway was a beautiful two-story home with a sign in front that read Walkabout Ridge.

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Walkabout Ridge Bed & Breakfast

So Relaxing

We met the owners, Wilhelmina and Paul. They are lovely people, gave us a tour of the house, and showed us our room. Coffee was ready at 6 AM, and a continental breakfast was from 7 until 10 AM. We sat outside on the deck that evening, enjoying the view of the mountains.

While we were sitting on the deck, I particularly enjoyed soaking in the cool mountain air. What a relief from the stifling heat and humidity of South Florida this time of year. We both slept great with the windows open, enjoying the cool breezes.

Our room faced east, and in the morning, I awoke to the most beautiful pre-sunrise sky. The colorful sky gave me the inspiration I needed to get up and start our day. To be continued.

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First Light

Making A Decision Will Defeat Procrastination

I am continuing to talk about the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Today I will discuss the seventh step, Decision, The Mastery of Procrastination. I am sure that you, like me, have faced that evil known as procrastination. To be successful and to build wealth, procrastination is an enemy you must conquer. Making a decision will defeat procrastination.

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A Decision Defeats Procrastination

If you’re looking for self-improvement, you will need to change some of the habits that you are currently doing. You will have to decide to change. Congratulations, you are halfway to success! You see, making the right decision is 50% of the solution. The other 50% is commitment. You have to commit to your decision to change.

Back in the 1930s when Hill was writing his book, a study was undertaken with 25,000 men and women who had experienced failure. They came up with a list of 30 major causes of failure. Lack of decision was near the head of the list. Indecision causes procrastination and making a decision will defeat procrastination. Conversely, each of several hundred people who had accumulated fortunes had the habit of reaching a decision promptly. Also, successful people would take their time in changing their decision.

Don’t Be Influenced When Making Decisions

The majority of people who fail are easily influenced by the opinion of others. They permit the media and other people to do their thinking for them. Opinions are the most abundant thing on earth. Everyone has one and, they can be as different as night and day. You will not succeed if you take into account the opinion of others.

Your mind is yours and only yours; reach your own decisions. Keep them to yourself and discuss them with only like-minded individuals, such as your Master Mind group. When researching to gather information for your decision, do so without disclosing your purpose.

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How Do You Know?

How do you know when the decision you made is the right decision? That is a difficult question to answer because you won’t know the answer until you have succeeded or failed. You have to listen to those inner voices. If your decision makes you feel happy and it is the right decision. On the other hand, if you feel cautious or negative, you should reconsider your decision.

In most cases, making the right decision is not that difficult. Deciding to solve a challenge in your life is personal. These are decisions for your self-improvement. A personal decision affects you and the people close to you. Some decisions not only affect the person making the decision but also have an impact on many others.

Great Decisions In History

Throughout history, people have been tasked with making decisions that changed history. Abraham Lincoln decided to issue the Proclamation of Emancipation. General Dwight Eisenhower decided to launch the D-Day invasion. Last July, I wrote an article about 56 men who made one of the greatest decisions of all time. They signed the Declaration of Independence knowing that it could potentially cost them their lives.

Making the right decision always takes courage, some more than others. It may not cost you your life but, it could cost you your health or financial independence. Making the right decision to improve your income or health comes with a price. You never get anything without giving up something. As long as you’re willing to pay the price, your decision for self-improvement could be the greatest decision you make.

Decide Today

Speaking of great decisions, decide today what you are worth. Now that you know your value go out and get what you are worth. Never settle for anything less. Lock that number in your mind and think about it every day. Don’t stop until you reach your value. Too many people today settle for what they are given and not what they’re worth.

Be quick in your decisions and slow in changing them. Don’t be influenced by the opinion of others or the media. Have the courage to make your decision for self-improvement. Decide what you are worth and get it. Remember, making a decision will defeat procrastination.

Do you find yourself procrastinating? Are you influenced by the opinion of others? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. As always, I appreciate your likes, comments, and follows. Let me know if there is a  topic you would like me to cover in future articles.

Cites

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I Was Changed For The Better

It’s a new year full of promises. My goals are set, and my plans are in place. Now it is time to put the work in as the journey to success begins. Seeds that I planted last year are beginning to emerge. All the work I put in last year will start to pay off. Everything I did in the past transformed me and I was changed for the better.

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Changed For The Better

I have to constantly remind myself to enjoy every step as the journey to success begins. One way I do this is to look back at my journey so far. I asked myself, “How did I get here?” I have always hated writing. In college and during my career with DEA. Even now as one of my sources of income depends on writing reports, I struggle with writing.

So why did I choose to start a blog in April 2020? Why would I want to put down my thoughts on paper when I never could stand writing. The only answer is divine inspiration. It is something I’m supposed to do. My entire life, I have been lead by divine inspiration. I believe that God has a purpose for me to fulfill, and writing seems to be a big part of that.

The Change Begins

Looking back at my life, I grew up as a shy child who lacked confidence. I never felt like I belonged and always looked at other people as better than me. Even though I had many successes, I would only focus on the failures. I was constantly looking at the negative things that went on in my life.

As I grew, I constantly found myself in situations that were outside of my comfort zone. These were always situations that I volunteered for, such as trying out for sports teams. I volunteered to join the military and parachute training even though I was scared of heights. I didn’t know how I kept finding myself in these situations. Even though I excelled in my training and was winning awards, I still lacked self-confidence. All of my achievements didn’t matter.

Cancer

In 2008, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and remember asking myself, “What have I done in my life?” Taking a look at my life, I added up all my achievements and my successes. I found peace because I had lived a full life. It is strange to say, but through cancer, I was changed for the better.

I also found my self-confidence, and I stopped caring about other people’s opinions. I focused on myself and began to notice all the “God winks” taking place daily. “God winks” are seemingly coincidental events that happen in our lives. Thinking about someone you haven’t heard from in a long time and they call you. This phone call eventually leads you to someone who becomes a great client.

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Inspiration

Fast forward to January 2020, when I became inspired to start an online business to help people. The thought that I needed to pass on lessons that I have learned throughout my life wouldn’t go away. I have learned so much about how the mind works by training and working alongside military special operations operatives. There were people in the world who needed to know what I have learned.

It was then that I started InspireChief.com and began doing the one thing that I hated more than anything, writing. I never learned how to type, so when I do, it’s with two fingers. Luckily, I found dictation software, and I don’t have to type, which saves me a lot of time.

Relationships

Through my journey to success, I began to enjoy blogging. I have built relationships with people throughout the world.  I enjoy cultivating these relationships the most. Relationships are important, and I started using social media to build more relationships. Through these wonderful relationships, I was changed.

Thank You

During my 30 year career with the military and DEA, I was told three times, “thank you,” by strangers. These two little words are powerful and gave me the energy to carry on the fight. In the last nine months, I have been thanked several times and told that my articles have helped people. Whenever I hear I have helped someone, it fills me with energy and keeps me going. Humans are not solitary people, we need interaction and relationships. Relationships need to be tended to so they can flourish. A simple comment like “thank you” goes a long way.

As the journey to success begins, I know I’m here today by divine intervention. I still receive “God winks” frequently. I know there’s more to do. My journey to success has been great, and I have enjoyed it. I was changed for the better. Make sure you enjoy yours and keep your eyes and ears open for your “God winks.”

The Importance Of Retirement Planning

I have been retired for seven years now and I enjoy every minute of it. I retired when I was 53 years old but could have (and should have) retired at the age of 50. There has been a lot to learn in my retirement. I can describe my retirement in one word, options. There are unlimited options for me now that I didn’t have when I worked for the government. I can be or do anything I want now. Today I want to discuss the importance of retirement planning.

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Planning For Retirement

When I was working, I attended a pre-retirement seminar a couple of years before I retired. We were allowed to request attendance five years before our minimum retirement date. At the end of the seminar, I wrote on my evaluation that it was great information. The only problem was we needed the information sooner. It was too late for a lot of people to do what was needed for a comfortable retirement. Here are five things to do for a comfortable retirement.

  1. Begin Planning Early.
  2. Develop Specialized Knowledge and Skills.
  3. Find a Good Financial Planner.
  4. Begin Saving Early.
  5. Pay off Your Mortgage.

Begin Planning For Retirement Early

When I started my career I was 23 years old. Two things that I never thought were going to happen back then were: I would retire; I would get old. When you’re young you never think about getting old but it is inevitable. It happens to all of us. Importance of retirement planning is crucial. Starting your career is when you should start planning for your retirement. Begin thinking about what you want to do and how you want to live when that day finally comes.

Beginning your plan early will allow you to adjust to everything life throws your way. Sometimes life throws you the good things, marriage, children, etc. Other times the bad things death, injury, sickness, etc. Good things and bad will affect your retirement. By planning for the future early in your career you can minimize the impact.

Specialized Skills And Knowledge In Retirement

During my 30 year career, I developed certain skills and knowledge. After I retired I learned that most of my skills and knowledge didn’t transfer to my new life. If you have generalized skills and knowledge, you will learn that everyone is retired with the same skills. There’s a lot of competition. Finding your niche will help you stand out against the competition. I suggest that you research throughout your career skills that are needed in the private sector. Take courses and study those skills to gain the knowledge that you need.

A Financial Planner Is Important

Find a good financial planner. Unless you are an expert on finances you will need a financial planner. They can help you make the right decisions with your money. This will allow you to keep as much money as you can before retirement. It is a big change to go from knowing a check is coming every two weeks to a smaller check once a month. You will need to supplement your retirement with other sources of income if you want to maintain your current lifestyle.

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Save Early And Often

Begin saving as early as you can. The earlier you begin the more money you will have in retirement. I always put money into my Thrift Savings Account, which is the government 401(k). If I had to do it over again I would maximize my contributions. In retirement, you can use your savings to supplement your retirement. I withdraw a certain amount every month. Because the stock market has done so well, my savings have increased.

Saving early is probably the most important thing you can do. I recommend setting a goal for the amount of money you want to save before retirement. For me, the best thing was having it withdrawn from my paycheck and placed into my account. Out of sight, out of mind. Since I never saw the money it was like it never existed. My savings account would grow every two weeks without me doing anything.

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Eliminate That Big Debt

Pay off your mortgage. My mortgage is my biggest expense as it is for most people. Since I transferred a lot during my career I was not able to pay off my last mortgage. I bought houses and sold houses; made and lost money. If I had stayed in one location, in the same house, I wouldn’t have to worry about a mortgage now. I think about what I could do in the places I could go if I didn’t have a mortgage. If at all possible, pay off your mortgage before you retire.

These are just five things I wish I had known before retirement. One can’t overstate the importance of retirement planning. I am not an expert on retirement or financial planning. I hope that you will begin thinking about retirement now that you are young and not wait until it’s too late. Do your research, make a plan, and find a financial planner to help you. Always remember to start saving early.

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Quotes On Focusing On Yourself

Hello everyone! Today I give you some inspirational quotes on focusing on yourself. Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow. Get my monthly newsletters by subscribing below and support my blog by clicking on my links and purchasing from Amazon.

Join My Team!

 Several months ago when I started my blog I wrote a post titled, It’s Not About Me, It’s About You. The purpose of that post was to say to become successful we need to serve others. Some people need the gifts that you have. People need to read the content that you’re writing. It might make them smile, be the bit of inspiration they’re looking for, or provide some information that helps them out. Taking your eyes off yourself and helping others will help you persevere. People are counting on you.

“I think self-knowledge is a key to happiness. We can build happy lives only on the foundation of our own natures, our own values and our own interests.” – Gretchen Rubin

Quotes On Focusing On Yourself

Now I’m going to switch it up a little bit. I want you to focus on yourself. The reason for this is, you can’t fully serve someone else if you don’t completely like the person you are. Your priority is to fix yourself and be happy with who you are. I believe we are all good people deep down inside. We are all different people so don’t compare yourself with others. There is no comparison to you.

“The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. You do that by focusing on what you can do today to improve and grow.” – John Maxwell

How many of you have watched a commercial and wanted to be like the “perfect” people in the ad? Advertisers use these “perfect” people because they want you to compare yourself with them. By doing so, you feel inferior and want to do something about it. Therefore, you spend money on their products to become the person in the advertisement. That’s just not going to happen.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood

You Are Unique

You can’t compare yourself with anyone because you are unique. Take a moment and look at your fingerprints. No one has the same fingerprints as you. Even though there are 7.8 billion people in the world, no two people have the same fingerprints. Our bodies are made up of DNA and these genetic markers are responsible for you looking the way you do. Our DNA comes from the beginning of time. Your unique DNA is a mixture of everyone in your bloodline. According to my DNA results, I am 1.64% Nigerian. This comes from one of my ancestors who lived approximately 50,000 years ago.

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself and you will be happy.” – Stephen Fry

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” – Lao Tzu

I was one of those people who always compared himself to others and wanted to be one of these “perfect” people. I never liked my body type even when I was in perfect shape. My looks were something I always wanted to change despite the compliments that I was given. One of the things that I despised was my voice. I put off starting a podcast for this very same reason. The other day I had a fellow blogger comment that she enjoyed listening to my voice on my podcasts. We just don’t see ourselves or hear ourselves as others do.

“Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.” – Joseph Campbell

Fall In Love

Today, go ahead and look in the mirror because I want you to fall in love with the person that you see. The person looking back at you is the “perfect” person because they are the best they can be at that time. You can’t fully serve others or attract others if you don’t like the person that you are. Once you begin to love yourself, you will begin to attract more people to you. There is an old saying, “If you want to fix the world, begin by fixing you.”

“The more you are like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” – Walt Disney

You Are Beautiful

You are a beautiful person just the way you are today. We are all created for greatness no matter your size, facial features, or your muscle tone. If you want to change something about yourself to better your health, give you more confidence, or whatever reason, I say, go do it. But first, fall in love with the original you. If you’re not in love with the way you were created, you will always be looking for flaws. When you fix one thing another flaw will come to your attention. You will always be chasing perfection because you never loved the original you.

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali

Positive Affirmations

So how can you begin to love the person that you are right now, today? Well, your perception of who you are today is based on your words and thoughts of the past. Since the invention of television, we have been subjected to years of being told we are inferior. So you have to change those thoughts in the way you see yourself. Start today by looking in the mirror and telling yourself, “I love you.” Here are some positive affirmations to help you.

  • I love myself

  • I am joyous, happy, and free

  • I am my own person

  • I am totally healthy

  • I am willing to release the thoughts in me that created these conditions

  • I deserve the best and accept it now

  • I am in the process of positive change

  • I appreciate everything that I do

  • I approve of myself the way that I am

  • I experience love and kindness wherever I go

These are a few examples, I encourage you to change them and come up with new ones to fit you. By repeating these several times a day, over time you will notice a change in the way you look, feel, and act.

You can find several books on positive affirmations. One that I just finished and can recommend is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. It is a wonderful book about changing your life through positive affirmations. I have added a link to the book on the side or bottom of my webpage.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading Quotes On Focusing On Yourself. Do you love yourself? Are you programming your subconscious mind with positive affirmations? If so, leave a comment below and let me know. I always enjoy reading your comments. As always, I appreciate all the likes and follows. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list. Just click on the red button above and leave your email address.

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quotes-focusing-yourself-black-train
Everybody Climb On Board!

This Train Is Moving On. You Can Get On, You Can Get Off, But The Train Keeps Moving On! We Are Going To The Top Of The Mountain!

The Beginning

That Euphoric, Walk On Clouds Feeling We All Love

Where I live, here in South Florida, May 18th, was the day that we saw the lockdown and stay-at-home order brought on by COVID-19 begin to be lifted. Businesses were able to open including gyms (no gyms opened for some reason) and restaurants at 50 percent capacity. We haven’t been hit as hard as New York City or other parts of the world, so things will not change dramatically for us. We have been able to go outside, exercise, and most businesses have remained open.

I look forward to being able to resume my weekly Friday night date with my wife. It will be nice to return to our neighborhood Italian restaurant and actually be able to sit down and enjoy a meal. I wrote earlier about the anxiety caused by the pandemic and how the adversity of the situation also created opportunities.

Opportunities

As each day passes we seem to get closer to living the lives we lived at the beginning of the year. My offline businesses are beginning to come alive again and I’m seeing more work. This is good because these are what pays the bills and puts food on the table. I’m glad I took full advantage of the opportunities presented to me and started my online businesses. I love to commence a new project but it can be frightening. I know now that I will have to manage my time better in order to keep everything on track with my businesses and also provide time for myself and my family.

That First Step

I always enjoy the beginning. The beginning of a relationship, meeting a new person who you know will become a good friend, starting to read a good book. To me the beginning of anything is always exciting. I’m filled with joy and anticipation when a new football season kicks off. It excites me to begin a new challenge. I love the feeling of nervousness and wonderment I get when I ask myself, “Can I really do this?” I start a new business with the excitement of all the possibilities if it succeeds. I’m quickly filled with feelings of frustration and doubt as I have to learn so many new things. As I quickly overcome my fears, it just adds to the excitement of beginning something new. Starting projects are fine, but nothing compares with finding true love. I don’t know if I’ve ever found any better feeling than beginning a relationship with someone that you know will be there for the rest your life.

That Beautiful Feeling

I wrote last week about The Fateful Day That Changed My Life and how I met my wife. I’ll never forget that euphoric feeling of when I first realized I was in love with her. I was walking on clouds for months and wanted to be with her all the time. She was always in my mind when she wasn’t there and would smell her perfume constantly. I felt sad when I couldn’t be with her. When I would first see her after being apart for some time, I was intoxicated by her beauty. Over time those rapturous, exhilarating feelings weren’t there but the feeling of love has remained, even after 28 years.

True Love

The beginning of anything that we do is exciting. For me, it’s exciting because it’s a time filled with possibilities. These possibilities are endless and keep our minds from focusing on the nervousness, frustrations, and fear of beginning to learn anything new. Once you begin anything there are no guarantees of success. It’s going to take hard work and persistence. If you don’t feel happy and excited about your new venture, then you’ll never start it. The fear of failure will prevent you from ever taking that first step.

7 Habits

The excitement and the anticipation of the success you will have will help you to control that fear and choke out those little “Doubt Demons” that are hiding and waiting to come out. As Stephen R. Covey wrote in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, “Begin with the end in mind.” Begin your business, relationships, or projects with a vision of the outcome you will achieve. I didn’t begin my relationship with my wife thinking, “I hope this doesn’t end in divorce.” We would grow old together. I don’t start a business wondering if it’s going to work. Of course, it’s going to be a success and I can visualize all the people that I’m going to help with it.

How do we keep going after those initial feelings of excitement fade? How do we keep our relationships spontaneous and joyful once we settle into our daily routine? Here are a few tips I can offer:

  1. Don’t take your partner for granted. Appreciate every day because we are never promised another.
  2. Enjoy the journey. The view from the top of the mountain is magnificent, just don’t ignore all the beauty that you pass by on the way to the top.
  3. Be thankful. Openly express gratitude for what you’ve been given even when you’re facing some of life’s challenges.
  4. Follow the Golden rule. Treat your significant other as you would want them to treat you.
  5. Write down your goals together as a couple. Discuss your hopes and dreams and construct a plan to make it happen.
  6. Always begin and end each day with love and gratitude.
  7. Do something new that neither you nor your partner has done before. Get out of your comfort zone.
  8. Take long walks and enjoy each other’s company and conversation.
  9. Travel and make new memories. You will live tomorrow on the memories you make today.
  10. Always remember WHY you started in the first place. I’ll never forget the first time I ever saw my wife.

Even though excitement and euphoria fade, whether it be a new job, a new opportunity, or new relationship, you don’t quit on it. You don’t get rid of your car right after it loses that “new car smell.” You honor your commitment to it. Those feelings when you first start something are very thin and fragile. They fade away all too quickly. It’s the true feelings down deep inside you that give you the strength to weather the storms.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any tips or techniques that’s helped you maintain your relationship? How long has that initial euphoria lasted for you? For me, it’s lasted about two or three months. Please leave a comment below. If you have any questions or requests for topics I would love to hear them. If you like this post, click on the little star and feel free to share it with others it might help. As always, my posts are based on lessons I’ve learned throughout my life. I don’t claim to be an expert or professional therapist, I just play one on TV (some of you might actually get that joke).

“This Train Is Moving on, You Can Get on, You Can Get off, But the Train Keeps Moving on! We Are Going to the Top of the Mountain!”

Sharing

I believe in the power of sharing. If I read a good blog that really speaks to me and I believe it will provide value to others, I will share it. I have linked four books that I believe have value. In order to change you, you first have to change the way you think. Leaders Are Readers!

Sitting by the pool or on my sofa with a good book is something I still enjoy. I read all kinds of books, fiction, history, biographies, and motivational. I enjoy the quiet time I get with just me and my book. But we live in a fast pace society today where sometimes we need to combine our tasks. Do you find yourself short on time? Are you constantly saying, where did the time go? You are not alone. I believe that we all feel like we don’t have enough time to get everything accomplished and what usually suffers is “me time.” “Me time” is especially important to all of us. A shortcut that I have found helpful is my Audible Membership and Kindle Unlimited Membership. I listen to books on audible while I’m doing other things. I can listen while getting dressed, while I’m working out, and even while I’m preparing dinner for my family. It is a great way to get my reading in even when I have a full to-do list that I have received from the Mrs. She doesn’t take kindly to me ignoring her to-do list while I catch up on my reading. With an Audible Membership, it’s a win-win for both of us. I can download great books on this and listen to them with my AirPods.   I use my AirPods every time I exercise. They don’t fall out and the sound is great. With Kindle, I can download books, magazines, and my daughters can even download their college textbooks. This is so much easier than carrying a heavy backpack full of textbooks around campus. The books can be downloaded to any device and read with the Kindle app.

Both the Audible Membership and Kindle Unlimited Membership are currently offering a 30 day free trial. You can sign up by clicking on the links and give it a test drive for 30 days free. If you find it’s not for you, simply cancel your membership before your 30 days are up and you won’t be charged.

Do you know someone who is always in a hurry and can’t seem to take time for themselves? We all do. I would suggest checking out giving an Audible Membership as a gift. It is a great gift idea for someone who is always on the go.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. A book that will change your life. It answers the question, Why do some people have everything and others struggle? The answer is simple, they know the secret. It has changed my life and can change yours.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This is an oldie but goodie that is full of relevant life lessons. It is a book that you hear speaker after speaker refer to. Successful people all have the same mentality and know you have to change the way you think to be successful. Only one percent of people set goals.

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind And Defy The Odds by David Goggins. I really enjoyed read this book and I found it very relatable. If you want to become more than you are today, read this book. After you finish there will be no excuses. David is just an ordinary guy who made the decision to be extraordinary and was determined.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. A must read for anyone wanting to change their habits. A great book for managers and leaders. Covey teaches you how to transform your thoughts to not on help you, but also to help others. These are 7 principles to definitely incorporate into your life.

I appreciate every like, follow, comment and share. Keep’em coming.

The Fateful Day That Changed My Life

Almost 30 years ago I sat on my bunk inside our tent in the jungles of Peru. It was 10 o’clock in the morning and as the sweat rolled down my face, I looked at the thermometer and the temperature read 104 degrees. As I buttoned my shirt, I realized that this was the first time I had worn my civilian clothes in three weeks. I looked down at my laundry bag and rucksack which were both full. I was excited, because today I was going to Lima for a much-needed three day R & R (rest and relaxation). I picked up my bags and headed out of the tent into the intense heat of the Upper Huallaga Valley. As I passed the sandbag wall that protected our tent, I turned left and walked down the dirt road that circled inside our encampment. I could smell the food cooking in the mess hall and was thankful I would be eating in a restaurant that evening. I spoke with some of the Peruvian National Police officers while walking past their barracks. I realized and was thankful that the bags I was carrying were much lighter than all the ammunition and explosives I normally carried on an operation. Walking past the helicopters, I waved goodbye to the mechanics and pilots who were performing maintenance. I then turned and walked past the mortar positions and out the gate, which was covered in concertina wire, onto the airstrip. There I met up with my two buddies who were making the trip with me. We were all excited about eating good food, sleeping in a comfortable bed, and meeting beautiful Peruvian ladies. I didn’t know at the time but this trip would change my life forever.

Concertina Wire
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

I saw the aircraft approaching the runway and was thankful that it was a beautiful day, which meant the flight wouldn’t be canceled because of bad weather. The plane was a gray C-123 cargo plane. It had two propeller engines and was short and fat. We had nicknamed the plane “El Burro” because it kind of resembled a small donkey. I could smell the aviation fuel as the plane taxied to the end of the runway and turned around to prepare for takeoff. We helped unload supplies for the camp and load things that needed to be transported to Lima. By the time we were finished, our clothes were wet, and we were covered in sweat. It was something you just got used to, living in the jungle. I walked up the ramp at the tail of the plane and found a seat at the front of the cargo section. The seats were made out of cargo netting but were still comfortable. I found my oxygen mask which I would be needing later. The aircraft was not pressurized so once we climbed above 10,000 feet we would need to put on our masks and breathe oxygen, if not we would pass out. We called the trip from the jungle to Lima, “Over the Hump,” because we had to fly over the Andes Mountains. We were told that the pilots had to take the aircraft up as high as it could go to get over the mountains. I took a paperback out of my bag and turned to the dog-eared page where I’d left off. I read a lot in the jungle because when we weren’t on operations or preparing for the next operation, there was nothing else to do. I heard the propellers begin to crank up and the noise then turned into a deafening roar as they got up to full speed. El Burro launched forward and gained momentum as it traveled down the airstrip. We were all bouncing around the back of the aircraft, then everything got smooth as we lifted off. In a little over an hour we would be in Lima and amongst their 5.8 million inhabitants.

The Burro

Later that evening, after a shower and change of clothes, my friends and I decided to go to a British Pub for a good meal and some beers. As I walked in the front door I saw her standing at the end of the bar. She might not have been the most beautiful girl in the room, or the tallest, but she was the only person in the room that I saw. I’ll never forget it, she was wearing a white top, a short blue jean skirt, and blue pumps. She was leaning against the wall with her right leg bent and her foot against the wall. She was standing there talking to some other people, but I couldn’t even tell you who she was talking to because the only person I saw was her. There was an instant attraction. I was told that she was friends with the owner of the pub and that she was dating a German who worked for the airlines. I didn’t even talk to her that evening.

British Pub
Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash

I went back to the jungle, finished my tour, and returned to the states. About a year later, I was on another tour and once again went to the pub. I was sitting at a table, eating, and drinking with my friends. The pub was packed that night and filled with laughter and rock music. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and say excuse me, when I turned around it was her. She said she needed to go to the restroom and asked if I could lean up so she could squeeze between my chair and the pole behind me. About a minute later, she came back and I leaned up to let her through. She came up to me, asking to get by, two more times within a half-hour. After the third time, I was thinking that this girl must have a tiny bladder. I remember her saying, in the sweetest voice, “you must hate me.” I just smiled and said it wasn’t a problem. I still thought she was in a relationship so I didn’t bother trying to talk to her, even though I was still very attracted to her. After a few beers, I saw a very pretty girl standing near the bathrooms and decided to take a shot. I went up to her and asked, “Do you speak English?” She replied, “No, but my friend does.” She then pointed to her friend; the girl I had been attracted to. That was all it took and I went up and introduced myself. She said her name was Sofia and we talked and had a wonderful night. I then went back to the jungle and back to the states without seeing her again.

What A Good Looking Couple!

Several months later, I was back in Lima and ran into Sofia. She gave me her phone number and I was off once again to the jungle. A few weeks later I made another trip, “Over the Hump,” to Lima. The Burro had been delayed because of the weather and we arrived close to 6 o’clock. I had debated on the flight whether to call Sofia or not. As we landed I rushed to our office at the airport and decided if it was still open that was a sign I should call Sofia. I found the office open even though everyone would’ve normally left around five. I gave her a call and asked her out on a date. She accepted and even though I didn’t know it at the time, that phone call was going to change my life forever.

Napa Valley

This week we will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. It has been 27 wonderful years and has produced two beautiful successful daughters. I want to wish Sofia a Happy Mother’s Day. She has been the best example to our two daughters, is the glue that holds our family together, and always keeps us laughing.

I also want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, in heaven. She always told me, “You can do anything you put your mind to. You can be anything you want to be.”

Yesterday

What A Difference 24 Hours Makes!

Yesterday was just that, yesterday. It is gone, finito, kaput, never to come back. It is in the past and considered history. There’s nothing I can do about what happened yesterday. Yesterday was not one of my better days. For whatever reason I didn’t have energy, my mind was not as sharp as it usually is, and I couldn’t focus on things I wanted to accomplish. No matter what I tried, caffeine, energy foods, and supplements, I just felt like I wanted to go back to sleep and my brain was in a fog. As I crawled into bed at the end of the day, feeling like I had not made any progress towards my goals, I gave thanks. I was thankful that I was given that day, thankful that I got to spend time with my family, and thankful for everything I did have. There was nothing I could do about that day except give thanks for being given that day and what I had in my life. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was to give thanks for all the things I have, and all the things I will have in the future.

I do the same things every morning which begins my day in a grateful mood. I get out of bed when my eyes open, which is somewhere between 3 AM and 5 AM. Once I’m awake, I swing my legs out of bed, sit up, and give thanks for everything that I have. I navigate my way in the dark to the kitchen, giving thanks as I walk. I drink 24 ounces of water and sit down in front of a writing pad and a pen. I then write down 10 things I am grateful for. After that, I send out love from my heart to three people whom, for whatever reason, I don’t particularly get along with. I then say a prayer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a prayer of thankfulness for my past, present, and future. I then meditate and visualize my future. Afterwards, I go for a walk enjoying the coolness of the air, the darkness, and the beautiful bright stars and planets in the sky. While I’m walking I’m thinking about positive ideas and how happy I am. I return home and begin my exercise regimen of the day. During my walk and work out, while I’m breathing heavy and feeling the sweat rolling down my face, I have thoughts and ideas that flood into my brain. These are the inspirations that I sit down and write about. I then pour me a cup of coffee and begin my day.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The 10 things that I’m grateful for are whatever comes into my mind when I sit down in front of the pen and paper. I Am Thankful for:

  1. My relationship with God. My God provides me with everything from the past, present, and future.
  2. My country. The US gives me the freedom to accomplish anything I dream about.
  3. My relationship with my wife. She has provided happiness to our home for the last 28 years.
  4. My relationship with my son and daughters. They inspire me every day.
  5. My parents, brother, and sister. My parents, who are gone now, provided me with the solid foundation that I built my life on. My brother and sister show me the true meaning of family.
  6. My friends. All the people that have been placed in my life that I can count on for anything.
  7. My businesses. They challenge me every day and keep me learning.
  8. My unlimited income from multiple sources that arrives on a daily basis.
  9. My desire and ability to give. I have the desire to help as many people as I can financially, intellectually, and spiritually.
  10. My life and health. I am so thankful for everything that is happened in my life, both good and bad, and that I have overcome every obstacle with my health.

I have written in my blog titled, Draft Day, about the ability to be gracious and how important that is. I refer back to my blog titled, The Journey, where I wrote about how easy it is to become successful at anything. Success is different for every person, for some it’s wealth, for some it’s love, for others it’s happiness. It’s difficult to measure success. For me, the easiest way to measure success is in the gratitude. Being thankful for what you do have. This is why I begin every day by listing the things that I’m grateful for. It begins my day in the right frame of mind to be successful and to face every challenge and obstacle that’s placed in front of me.

What is it that you are thankful for? I encourage everyone to sit down and list those things that you have in your life that make you feel grateful. If you have something in particular that you are thankful for and would like to share, please comment below. I would love to read them. Always remember that whatever happened yesterday you cannot change. Whether it was a good day, great day, bad day, or terrible day, it is gone, never to return. Today is a new day, be thankful for what you have.

Is Your Life Everything You Want It To Be? If not, change it in 3-steps with my free eBook. Only 2 Days Left!

If you like this post, please click the little star below. Feel free to share it if you like it can help someone. My success comes from helping others to be successful and happy.

“This Train Is Moving ON, You Can Get On, You Can Get Off, But The Train Keeps Moving ON! We Are Going To The Top Of The Mountain!”

Sharing

I believe in the power of sharing. If I read a good blog that really speaks to me and I believe it will provide value to others, I will share it. I have linked four books that I believe have value. In order to change you, you first have to change the way you think. Leaders Are Readers!

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. A book that will change your life. It answers the question, Why do some people have everything and others struggle? The answer is simple, they know the secret. It has changed my life and can change yours.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This is an oldie but goodie that is full of relevant life lessons. It is a book that you hear speaker after speaker refer to. Successful people all have the same mentality and know you have to change the way you think to be successful. Only one percent of people set goals.

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind And Defy The Odds by David Goggins. I really enjoyed read this book and I found it very relatable. If you want to become more than you are today, read this book. After you finish there will be no excuses. David is just an ordinary guy who made the decision to be extraordinary and was determined.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. A must read for anyone wanting to change their habits. A great book for managers and leaders. Covey teaches you how to transform your thoughts to not on help you but also to help others. These are 7 principles to definitely incorporate into your life.

I also highly recommend checking out the Audible Membership from Amazon. I can download great books on the Audible app and listen to them with my AirPods while I go on my morning walks.  I use my AirPods every time I exercise. They don’t fall out and the sound is great. You can get any of these products simply by clicking on the links above. If you do purchase any products through my links, I’ll get a small commission from Amazon at no additional cost to you.

I appreciate every like, follow, comment and share. Keep’em coming.