Believe It Is Possible

Hope 11/2/2019

Alec has been going to a new gym over the last couple of months. With no boys’ gymnastics class available in our area, he has moved to parkour. His coach teaches gymnastics as well, and she is demanding some very technical skills from him that he has not had to do before. Even cartwheels, which once were very easy for him, are now nearly impossible for him with the form his coach is requiring. It is tough for him, and his Czech coach does not coddle him like his previous coaches had done in the past. She is actually harder on him than she is on the other students. Why? Because he is the only one in the class with a gymnastics background.

He is frustrated. He is trying, but he has not yet mastered these new skills. Of course it is not impossible, but it sure seems like it to him.

We constantly witness feats which seemed impossible only a few years ago. Remember the Miracle on Ice? The Soviet hockey team could not lose, but they did. Or how about those smart watches? They would make James Bond drool. Yesterday’s miracles are today’s norm. But for all the great feats we see achieved by the modern day titans of our time, do we ever stop to consider that we have the ability to do the impossible too? Why can’t it be you or me that does the next great thing? After all, we are the masters of our own unique skills and traits.

Alec might think that those gymnastic tricks are impossible now, but they won’t be impossible forever. He has to believe it can be done, he has to practice diligently, and he has to grow in his confidence and strength. If it is humanly possible, then he can do it. So can you.

Not to assume the impossible because you find it hard. But to recognize that it it’s humanly possible, you can do it too. –Marcus Aurelius

Keep Dreaming

Hope 10/19/2019

I have been thinking about dreams lately. My dreams at night have become more and more vivid. Not only vivid, but stimulating enough to activate my mind and keep it awake for several hours afterwards. This is a bummer if I have only been asleep for ten minutes, which is what happened to me earlier in the week.

I have a friend in Ireland who told me about her recurring dreams. I am in her dreams, but in them I refuse to climb up a mountain with her. It reminds of me of my own recurring dreams. I used to love those types of dreams, because I always woke up feeling like a completed the next chapter of a book. And though my dreams are very different than my friend’s, they have one thing in common. They are both completely random. On that day at that particular time, the mind pulled that dream out of nowhere, allowed it to run its course, and then casually placed it back in the hidden closet from which it came. The sleeping dream is completely random. And try as you might, you have no ability to influence its outcome.

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. –T.E. Lawrence

I used to spend more time thinking about my sleeping dreams than I ever did on my waking dreams. What a shame, because I was focusing on something I had no control over. Why focus on something I can’t control, when I could focus on the things I can control. One is magical in that you can’t control it or touch it. You can only watch it and hope the story turns out good. The other is magical in a totally different sense. You can imagine it, shape it, and write your own narrative. You can control it from the beginning and even see it through to its completion. The waking dream that becomes reality is truly magical, and the magician is the dreamer who chooses to keep her eyes open.

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.” –James Allen

I’ll Step Aside While You Create

Hope 10/12/2019

Alec loves to draw. He loves to fold paper into different shapes. But after countless boats, airplanes, paper wallets, and swords, my wife and I told him to stop wasting all that paper. Looking back on it, I am starting to think the cease and desist order was a mistake.

Alec wants to be a creator. He wants to imagine something and then make it come to life. Is this not the same thing I try to do? No one, at least anyone I ever paid attention to, has told me to stop writing. Why should I tell him to do so? Because he is wasting paper? I waste paper every day on little notes to myself. I could do a better job of conservation, but I never do. I save my conservation efforts for plastic. Besides, paper has probably never been cheaper in any other time in human history.

What if Alec’s dream is to be an artist? What if it is to be an origami instructor? Who am I to derail his dreams? Instead, I should honor his dream and encourage him to go after it.

My son, let your imagination run wild. Fly and see where that freedom will take you.

The man who has no imagination has no wings. –Muhammad Ali

Are You Really Too Old?

Hope 9/23/2019

Have you ever heard someone say they are too old to do something? After hearing it, you look at the person and try to qualify the statement. If he is older, you would think his statement makes sense. It he is not very old, then you wonder if age is really the issue. 

Why would someone make such a statement regardless of age? Is it a mental or physical limitation, or is it a lack of confidence? And if you are the one making the statement, is this the end of road for you? Are your dreams to be left in the pipe, only fleeting with no substance?

Saying you are too old to do something may have started in the physical realm. That feat you could perform twenty years ago is no longer possible. It is understandable. Age creeps up on all of us. The motivation to stay in shape has fallen off, your flexibility has diminished, and that beautiful silence you enjoyed while moving has been replaced with a bunch of clicks and pops. In today’s world anyone over thirty seems to get a pass. You have moved into over-the-hill status and are preparing for the empty nest.

Once you start believing you are too old physically, how long before you start to think you are too old mentally? When will you start thinking you can’t learn new things? When will the click and pops of your body makes it way to your brain, causing you to be mentally fatigued, sluggish, and unable to grasp new concepts? Is it only a matter of time before you are a mindless zombie perched in front of the television or hunkered down before your phone endlessly scrolling for the next high found in a cute or heart-warming picture?

Such a scenario might seem a little too extreme, but it is happening more often. If you don’t want this to be you, what can you do?

-Stay fit. You don’t have to do a lot, but you should at least do a little something. If it means going out for a walk or taking the stairs, do it. Build yourself up so that down the road your friends won’t leave you behind on the next adventure.

-Get curious. Continue to learn new things and keep that mind of yours active. Technology is only going to continue accelerating into the next phase. If you don’t keep up, you will be the one that the younger generation is staring at in amazement because you still take three minutes to send a quick text on your flip phone.

You can shoot for the sky, develop a plan to get there, and take the next actionable step needed. The possibilities are endless as long as you don’t set limitations on your goals and dreams, and you don’t handicap yourself along the way by being physically or mentally sedentary.

Get after it friends!

You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. –C.S. Lewis

Hope 2/23/2019

Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait. -Leo Tolstoy

Can you afford to be patient? As Shakespeare says, “Go slowly and wisely, lest you rush, stumble and fall.


The Virtue of Hope

There is a belief by some that tomorrow will be better, that our future will be a little brighter. This hope is what spurns them to keep going even when the day is at its darkest. Without hope, we are lost.


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Hope 2/16/2019

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom. -Jim Rohn

What are you wishing for?


The Virtue of Hope

There is a belief by some that tomorrow will be better, that our future will be a little brighter. This hope is what spurns them to keep going even when the day is at its darkest. Without hope, we are lost.


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Hope 2/9/2019

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. -Oscar Wilde

Envision a brighter future. One in which we are truly living. Isn’t it beautiful?


The Virtue of Hope

There is a belief by some that tomorrow will be better, that our future will be a little brighter. This hope is what spurns them to keep going even when the day is at its darkest. Without hope, we are lost.


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Hope 2/2/2019

I would not give a fig for the young man in business who does not already see himself a partner, or the head of a firm. -Andrew Carnegie

Check your vision. We usually see what is ahead before we arrive there.


The Virtue of Hope

There is a belief by some that tomorrow will be better, that our future will be a little brighter. This hope is what spurns them to keep going even when the day is at its darkest. Without hope, we are lost.


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Stop Dreaming for Others; Live My Own Dream

I can coach Alec in wrestling and show him all the things he could do better. I can tell him to go hard, go fast, and to have a killer attitude. The technique and the skill will come in time, so what is the problem? He hasn’t yet made the mental and emotional connection. He can force himself to do all the exercises, even when he is tired. It is a testament to his mental toughness that separates him from many of the other boys. But when it is time to wrestle, he is a different person. He is unsure and slow. He lacks confidence. I hope there will come a time when he will get tired of being rolled around and beat. But as much as I am hoping for this change to come soon, it will not come until he is ready.

I can suggest to others that their health should be a priority. Chances are they know it already. But until they decide that it is important to them, nothing will improve. I can hope for the health of others. I can help them if they ask for it. But no matter how much I want it for them, I cannot force good health upon them. They will have to choose it for themselves. Hopefully, they will choose it, before it is too late.

A potential business idea was brought up. It was sitting on the backburner of someone’s mind for over a year, before it resurfaced into the forefront. As with all prospects, it is much easier to see the positives rather than the negatives. I think it is a good idea and has the potential to be profitable. I would like to strike while the iron of enthusiasm is still hot. But it wouldn’t be my business. I would just be there to help and maybe offer a few suggestions. If it was my idea and business, I would make it a priority. Can I make it a priority for the others involved? As much as I would like to, I can’t. They would have to decide for themselves what their commitment and investment would be.

To spot the possibilities in the lives of others seems easy. I wish them the best and am quick to point out where they could improve. I mean well, but there is a problem. Who wants someone else always giving them suggestions about how much better their lives could be if they just changed one or two things? I know I don’t always receive such messages well. Instead I go into defense mode and question the legitimacy of the ones offering unsolicited advice. As I am always trying to improve, this is a bad policy to have. Those giving me advice are well-meaning and are offering up suggestions that they believe will help me. In this regard, we are no different.

As I consider where I can help others, I need to take a good look at my own situation. There are objectives, that if completed, I believe will have a positive impact on my future. I know what the objectives are, but I have not completed them yet. Why not? What is holding me back? It is time to take Thoreau’s words to heart:

 Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you have imagined.