Imprint-ation!

imprint“Since light travels faster than sound, people appear bright until you hear them speak.” – Anon

Today an interesting event occurred as I attempted to achieve gains through the physical pain I willingly inflict on my body at my local gym. Today happened to be the day most dreaded, despised, and often disregarded by most gym connoisseurs. It was leg day! After completing my allotment of required repetitions on the leg press machine, my eyes were drawn to the bench after I stood up. Immediately plastered on the bench was the outline of my body. The image was a clear as an individual’s bulbus oculi after the application of Visine. This Rembrandt-esq piece was designed by the artistic medium excreted by the sudoriparous glands of the skin known as perspiration. As I stood there and glanced (for a total of three seconds due to evaporation) at my doppelgänger, an interesting thought detonated in my cerebellum.

What imprint do I leave on others? Do those I interact with leave with an imprint of my true character? Do I even leave an imprint at all?

“Character is the indelible mark that determines the only true value of all people and all their work.” – Orison Swett Marden

Each day we are blessed with opportunities to leave an ineffaceable mark on someone’s life. We can use our words to imprint life, kindness, encouragement, and positivity in the minds of each person we encounter.

Don’t leave behind an imprint that will evaporate within three seconds!

 

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Penny Loafer!

penny2“You’ll come to learn a great deal if you study the Insignificant in depth.” – Odysseus Elytis
 

A few weeks go as I ambled toward the parking lot while heading to my car, an object caught my eye. The item in question glistened under the searing midday rays of the sun. Immediately, I became enthralled by curiosity and found myself drawn to this object in a hypnotic state like a moth drawn to a light on a front porch. When I came within striking distance I realized that the item which shimmered in the distance was simply a spherical copper penny. This penny was covered in dirt, tattered, and bent out of shape. A penny in this condition may even be deemed by some to be insignificant, not salvageable, or not worth picking up!

How often do we feel like that penny? How often do we feel that we are insignificant, purposeless, unwanted, broken, or even worthless?

The truth is, that we are all special. No two people are exactly alike. Please excuse me as I let my inner nerd loose for a brief moment. Scientists estimate that there are roughly between 10-50 trillion cells in the human body. In order for two individuals to be exactly the same each one of those trillion or so cells would need to be exactly the same size, type, and location.

We all are fearfully and wonderfully made. We have been intricately designed a specific way for a specific purpose.

“A human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable.” – Eileen Caddy

Your importance in this world is to copious to be tabulated, calibrated or elucidated!

 

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Rock n Roll!!

atlas“If your strength is small, don’t carry heavy burdens.” – Chinese proverb

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to cross an item off my rather prolix bucket list. I had the opportunity to embark upon a boulder jumping adventure. Boulder jumping (for those who might be unfamiliar) is the act of hopping, crawling, squeezing through, scaling steep rocky terrain in a spider like fashion, jumping onto a gigantic boulders then pulling yourself up with your arms and crab walking down steep terrain. Needless to say, this activity was extremely arduous and challenging. The golden rays of the sun pounded on my body like a nail being hit by a hammer into two wooden beams. To make matters worse, I carried a backpack filled with goodies (lots of snacks, water and Gatorades). With each passing minute, I felt as though the weight I was carrying was increasing at speed that rivals that of a cheetah found in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. I couldn’t help but to think, “I wish I had someone to help me carry all this weight!” How often do we find ourselves in a similar position?

“Life’s heaviest burden is to have nothing to carry” – Source Unknown

As humans we tend to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We carry insecurities, hurt, emotional wounds, stress, frustration, pressure to live up to expectations and achieve our goals, etc. We tend to carry an insurmountable amount of weight around as if we possess the ant-like strength to efficiently carry that weight for long periods of time. We don’t have to carry all our burdens on our own.  We can talk to trusted friends, family, teachers, co-workers, pastors, counselors in an attempt to lighten the load we carry. There is someone we can always approach regardless of the time of day or the nature of our situation, and his name is Jesus.

“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Don’t allow your backpack of life to become weighed down with the burdensome liquids of stress, insecurities, and disappointment!

Comments are welcomed!

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On Your Mark!

bulleye“Men never moan over the opportunities lost to do good, only the opportunities to be bad.” – Proverb

A few weeks ago I had the esteem privilege of indulging in an activity I’ve wanted to do for what seemed to be an eternity. I got the opportunity to shoot a bow and arrow. I am by no means Bear Grylls or Survivor Man but I chose to harness my inner hunter on that particular day. After the proper absorption by osmosis of the safety procedures, adrenaline began erupting through my veins in a fashion similar to that of a liter bottle of coke after dropping a few mentos inside the concoction. The target consisted of a honey-crisp apple (best apple ever) affixed on the top of the head of a manikin. The apple aligned perfectly with the bulls-eye on the target. I picked an arrow, set it into the bow, pulled back, aimed and split the apple on my first attempt! However, I missed my next 8 shots!

“Today’s opportunities erase yesterday’s failures.” – Gene Brown

How often do we miss the mark? How often do we miss opportunities to make a difference, encourage others or make an indelible mark on someone’s life? I too have missed the mark many times. Our world is filled with a plethora of people that are hurting, in need or traveling along the wrong path in life. A simple and genuine gesture such as a smile, a hello, or a hug can go further than any Nasa Space Shuttle! We all have the opportunity to impact lives!

If you’ve missed the mark after shooting an arrow from your bow of life, know that you can grab another arrow of opportunity, aim, and hit the bulls-eye (split the apple) on your next shot!

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Who Are You?

Who are you, concept words on blackboard.“There is a period of life when we swallow knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.” –Pearl Bailey

A few weeks ago I participated in an interesting group activity. The participants were distributed in groups of twos and instructed to face one another. One person was directed to ask the question “Who are you?” The other person would then respond with one word that describes him/her. This sequence would be repeated as much as the 30 second allotted time frame would allow. Once the activity commenced, a cacophony of vocabulary rhetoric ensued that mimicked that of the unpredictable clamor of thunder and lightning during a harsh electrical storm. When my opportunity came I spewed out words like “strong”, “intelligent”, “confident”, “visionary” etc. However, at the end of the exercise the instructor posed a thought-provoking question that hit me like a pillow case full of bricks. He asked, “Did anyone give any negative responses?”

“One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.” – Claude M. Bristol

As humans we prefer to accentuate our positive qualities while neglecting or masking our faults. As we paddle down our river of life we experience feelings of insecurity, fear, confusion, or brokenness.  We choose to leave our weak areas hidden so that we will not be at risk of having to face the brunt of society’s harsh criticism and ridicule. We all have negative traits that could use some polishing, buffing, or a good scrub.

We must first know who we are, before we can make the changes needed to become who we want to be!

So ask yourself, WHO ARE YOU?

Comments are welcomed

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Service with no Smile!

serving-others“The man who gives little with a smile gives more than the man who gives much with a frown.” – Yiddish Proverb

A few days ago I was granted the esteem privilege of volunteering at a homeless feeding center. For some unknown reason, I felt as though I got ran over by a greyhound bus and immediately steam rolled into a freshly paved road. Needless to say I felt sluggish, out of whack and had a slight scrooge-like grumpiness coursing through my veins. As time progressed, a group of guys that frequent the shelter attempted to convince me to play in a pick-up basketball game with them. Initially, I was hesitant and didn’t have an ounce of desire to frolic up and down a basketball court in an attempt to heave a spherical shaped, air filled object through a sun beaten, and rusted orange hoop. After a repeated one hundred and twenty seconds of recruitment, I decided to lace it up and mix it up a bit on the court.

Within seconds I found myself cracking jokes, giving high fives, and building a rapport with a group of homeless guys I never met before. This game represented hoped hope, or a getaway from the reality of the hardships of life which they face every day. A single game served as the combination that opened the vault that contained the thoughts and feelings which they graciously shared with me. I almost allowed my selfishness, laziness and personal agenda to cost me an opportunity to be a positive influence and a blessing to someone else.

How often do we allow our own interests, agendas, and our lemon extract-like attitudes to contaminate the reservoir of joy, and gratitude we can experience from serving others.

“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind” – Pearl Buck

Don’t allow your opportunity to make a lasting impression on someone’s life to bounce away from you!

Comments are welcomed!

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Fearly Well!

what_is_your_deepest_fear__by_aaronwalwyn-d4p5san“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us….” – Marianne Williamson

A few days ago this heart wrenching quote resonated with me with a fury that rivals that of the African sun shining down on the Serengeti at high noon. I decided to conduct an extensive self-interrogation in the hopes of uncovering my deepest fear. Fear is often defined as an unpleasant emotion resulting from the belief that someone of something is dangerous, a threat or likely to inflict some form of pain.

We all experience some level of fears specifically related to us. We may have a phobia of spiders, heights, public speaking, being alone, needles, clowns etc. We tend to avoid these things and attempt to eradicate them from our daily lives. I am no different; my deepest fear in its most simplistic form is failure. Failure to achieve my life long dreams. Failure to accomplish my goals. Failure to adhere to the stringent standards that I’ve set for myself. I have such a high level of fear towards failure that I do not desire to have anything to do with it. I attempt to rid myself of any relationships, hindrances or thoughts that would lead me down the crooked path of failure. I desire to do any and everything I’m physically capable of to ensure that I won’t experience that abhorrent and repulsive emotion.

“Fear does not have any special power unless you empower it by submitting to it.” – Les Brown

We should not allow fear to cripple us, stifle us, or cause us to assume a powerless millipede-like curled up position. We have the ability to face, conquer, an overcome any fear we have because we are indeed powerful beyond measure.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

Don’t allow fear to become the mortar holding together the cement wall preventing you from living out your dreams!

So let me ask, what is your deepest fear?

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The DO’s and DOMES!

antidepressants“One pill, two pill, three pill, four, five pill, six pill, seven pill, floor.” – Anon

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a young lady. During the conversation she started to peel back the cornhusks of her personal life and revealed certain things to me that most individuals don’t know about her. She expressed her immense desire to go to a concert so that she can hang out with her friends, drink, and do drugs. Then she went to state “If I’m not high on domes then I’m home sleeping!” Now for those that don’t have a master’s degree in street slang, domes are the street name for the drug Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). LSD is known for its psychological effects that include altered thinking processes, synesthesia, an altered sense of time and spiritual experiences. During the conversation, I attempted to open her eyes to the underlying truth that her life is valuable and she shouldn’t waste it chasing after an insignificant and temporary induced high.

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” – Anon

Our lives are important and we exist to fulfill a greater purpose. Each day we are blessed to inhale the sweet nectar that is air, we are given another opportunity to make a difference. What we do next, and the choices we make are up to us. I have no clue if my conversation added to the account stored in her memory banks. I hope it did.

However, there’s a maxim that states, “you can lead a camel to water but you can’t make it drink”.

Comments are welcomed

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All about the Benjamins!

money_rect“The best way to make happy money is to make money your hobby and not your god.” – Scott Alexander

It has come to my attention that the world we live in has now become littered with individuals that have allowed their minds to fall victim to the degenerative disease known as materialism. These individuals play the leading role in their personal movie entitled “The Pursuit of Money”. The acquisition of money serves as their only form of true happiness. Last week a lady told me, “I really love having, making, and spending money. I really, really love money, who doesn’t?” Yesterday a guy told me “I want to make a bunch of money so that girls would throw their bodies at me.” Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working towards a better life for oneself, experiencing financial security and making money. However, when did society’s GPS device recalculate and reroute us onto the side street of greed, deep monetary obsession, and materiality?

“The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.” – H. L. Mencken

     

The fact of the matter is that money is not the end all solution for an individual to find true happiness. No matter how much cash one can gather in the money blowing machine of life before the individual’s time expires, he or she will not be guaranteed happiness. For me, happiness is not determined by the hue of my credit card, my personal assets or by my net worth.

You can elect to chase money down the bottomless ravine or hang glide high above amongst the clouds of happiness!

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Enhanced Liquid for Thought?

decisions“Make decisions from the heart and use your head to make it work out.” – Sir Girad

A few days ago I decided to visit what can only be described as a vibrant oasis in the middle of the dessert for the individual (me) whose pantry has become as dry as Quaker rice cakes. I went on a pilgrimage to Wal-Mart! I decided to make my way to the checkout line after I placed a few essentials in my cart. I proceeded to make my way to the store exit after paying for my items. After taking three steps through the dreaded sliding doors that have inflicted pain on so many members of Texting Anonymous (TA), I noticed that there was an item in my cart that went undetected by the cashier. The item was a miniscule bottle of MiO Liquid water enhancer valued at a staggering $3.30 (based on US currency).

I’m standing outside the store with a decision to make. Do I continue walking to my car and act like nothing happened? Do I simply leave the item in the cart and take the items I paid for? Do I take the item home and pay ($3.30) extra for something else next time? Do I make a 360 turn and head all the way back in the store, stand in line (for undetermined amount of time since Wal-Mart never seems to have enough cashiers) to pay for the tiny item?

What would you do? Or would you have done nothing at all?

Each second of each day we are faced with decisions that vary in its level of complexity. No matter the decision, there is always a consequence (whether positive or negative) that will result from the choices we make.

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Anthony Robbins

Don’t allow your to choices morph the shape of your destiny into an unsightly blob filled with holes!

P.S. I made the 360 turn, went back into the store, stood in line and paid for the item.

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