The ultimate reframe exercise

The first step is to jot down the aspects of your life that trouble you.

Identify the sources of annoyance and the current challenges you face. Include the problems beyond your control and the underlying emotions simmering within you. Allow these thoughts to flow from your mind through your hand onto the paper. Consider it an emotional workout. Remember, the more specific your descriptions, the more effective the process.

Step Two

Now, select one item from your list.

For now, we will focus on one issue at a time. You can repeat this exercise with other items later. Concentrate on a single concern.

Here’s the example I chose from my list:

I’m frustrated that 50% of my hard-earned income goes toward child support!

Step Three

Generate statements of profound gratitude for the item you selected.

Allow me to explain the “root-level gratitude” concept in this context. It represents how you aspire to exist in this world—an embodiment of your true values, internal constitution, and fundamental emotions. Your ability to live up to these ideals is not a prerequisite for listing them.

Here’s an illustration of my root-level gratitude for the statement I chose:

I am immensely grateful that I can fulfill my financial obligations through child support. It reflects my perseverance and adaptability in navigating challenging economic circumstances. It sharpens my focus and strengthens my sense of purpose. Moreover, I am thankful for my robust health and unyielding energy, enabling me to work diligently. Whether the system is fair or not, supporting my children is paramount. I desire the well-being of all parents and their children. By consistently meeting my child support obligations, I reinforce the status quo. Ultimately, what does it matter? With four children, whether together or apart, my income is devoted to their welfare.

Step Four

This step is pivotal in the process. Devote your complete attention to it because it’s vital to transforming negative thoughts into positive ones.

Follow the three steps below:

  1. Reread your initial gratitude problem statement.
  2. Review the root-level gratitudes you formulated in response to your chosen statement.
  3. Rewrite your gratitude problem to reflect genuine appreciation.

Here’s how I reframed my gratitude problem:

I am grateful to contribute half of my earnings to child support because it shapes me into the person I aspire to be, embodying self-love for myself and my children.

I dissolved its negativity by undertaking this four-step process and reshaping my perspective on this particular issue. In just 30 minutes spent at the kitchen table, I experienced a profound shift. I transformed a negative thought into a positive one—a genuine miracle! Apply this approach to any aspect of your life. It works, and it’s useful for reframing your attitude, which makes all the difference with everything.

Empowered decision making

In every aspect of life — relationships, parenting, business, finances, and career — I’ve experienced failure in the most challenging ways, adding unnecessary difficulty to an already harsh existence.

But here’s the thing — I embrace the hard lessons. Why? Because I’m a learner. I’m here on this planet to live, love, and grow.

Now, I’m prepared to simplify everything, even the toughest challenges.

Approaching 50, which marks the start of midlife, I’m more aware of the lessons that come the hard way. However, I no longer have to choose the more challenging path or learn through hardship.

That’s why I was ecstatic when I discovered Bernadette Jiwa’s Compass of the Heart.

To clarify, Jiwa created this tool, and I’ve used it extensively, adapting it to suit my needs, which I’ll share below.

The Compass of the Heart offers a series of prompts that guide you through decision-making or reflection on decisions already made.

It serves as a tool for both reflection after an event and decision-making before an event. By using it, you’ll awaken your empathy and gain fresh perspectives.

What I love most about it is that it allows me a moment to pause and refrain from reacting impulsively. I can confidently move forward while collecting valuable insights and personal responses that have been precious to me.

Make Better Decisions and Rebuild Trust in Yourself

Fill in the information as thoroughly as possible.



What happened?


What I felt

What I thought

What I did


My alternatives


My insight, awareness, responses


Finish this reflective exercise by writing your final thoughts

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

I use this tool to help me make better decisions, boosting my confidence. With confidence, I can accomplish something.

Otherwise, life infiltrates our minds, causing us to value others’ opinions more than our own. Before we know it, we’re constantly walking on eggshells, fearing mistakes, and playing defense. This tool helps me manage that issue.

Confidence Comes Easier with the Right Guidance

As a lifelong learner, I’m my teacher. This set of questions allows me to cover all bases in various situations where choices and positive change are possible. I want to be intentional about positive change and have confidence when pursuing it.

Use Jiwa’s Compass of the Heart for yourself. Write down the questions as I’ve listed them in this post. Apply them to your situations, encounters, or events. Take your time to answer the prompts honestly. If you make this a habit, it will create a positive difference in your life.

Single Dad seeks summer fling

As a devoted single dad and ambitious professional, my life is already jam-packed with responsibilities and goals. But I’m not one to shy away from adding excitement to the mix!

This summer, I’m itching to break free from the daily grind and make room for thrilling connections and unforgettable experiences. I’m up for anything, whether a laid-back coffee chat, a cozy night of cooking, or a refreshing escapade in nature. Let’s dive into local adventures together and see where they take us!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does this relate to the professional lens? Well, let me tell you. In the professional world, we often get so caught up in work-related stuff that we forget to nourish our personal lives. But guess what? Taking the time to explore our secret desires and make meaningful connections outside of “work” can actually enhance our professional selves.

So, let’s break the mold and discover a whole new side of life this summer. I’m searching for someone who gets it – someone who understands the balancing act between being an excellent parent and kicking butt in their daily walk of life and goals. Together, we can enjoy simple pleasures, have deep conversations, whip up some delicious meals, and get lost in the beauty of nature.

So, if you’re ready to shake things up, let’s dive headfirst into this adventure. Let’s create a few experiences that make us laugh, grow, and feel alive while juggling our personal and professional responsibilities. Because, my friend, embracing our desires and finding joy in the company of a like-minded soul makes life worth living. Are you in?

I’m always trying to get the communication right. Let me know how I did here and say Hello!


The truth is I’m coming off a busy bustling and hustling greenhouse season where I put my freelance writing on cruise control. I did the bare minimum. Frankly, I’m glad to still have them. But right now, as I begin to step back into the batters box, I feel tired, stagnate and my routine is out of whack. I feel unspecialized. Like a wondering generality not a meaningful specific. The question is what am I going to do about it? All I can report is that I’ll be back at the home office desk tomorrow.

Embracing failure to ignite growth

In general, society demonizes failure, leaving us feeling judged and jealous of those who have succeeded where we fell short. However, my perspective on failure changed when I connected with a counselor who saw failure differently.

Suddenly, I noticed that my “failures” could be celebrated instead of criticized. The counselor taught me that failure is vital to growth, teaching me to adapt and improve – significantly, especially if I changed my time scales. Those who can’t handle failure only sometimes experience true success.

Despite this newfound understanding and a transformed mindset, I still failed. But I stopped beating myself up and embraced failure as a catalyst for growth.

So, here’s the point: I am not ashamed of my “failures.” I talk about them, learn from them, and embrace them.

Life is long, and we’re meant to love. All lessons are learned from love or the lack thereof. My countless failures continue to pave the way for my taste of success – but what is success anyway?

Instead, I pursue a thread and follow it among life’s changes. The same applies to anyone who has achieved business success, found the ideal relationship, grown spiritually, or excelled in any endeavor.

Many “success stories” will tell you that success and failure are not what it seems. Keep pushing, keep going, keep growing. I care about my losses as much as my wins because they intertwine. My path toward success will be lined with many big and small failures.

And even though this post is meant to inspire you. It’s just as much me waving a white flag truce with myself: I will fail forward and acknowledge my progress.

Building bridges with courageous communication

The importance of effective communication cannot be overstated. Consider my neighbors across the street, a Mexican family who speak no English. Interestingly, their choice of music resonates with the tunes I often hear from my Mexican colleagues at the greenhouse. Witnessing their dedication as they depart for work at dawn, I can attest to their strong work ethic. However, in recent weeks, I’ve noticed an issue: as early as 5:45 AM, their car stereo blares excessively loud music while they prepare for the day. It’s undoubtedly too disruptive for such an early hour.

Let me clarify that my Mexican neighbors are undoubtedly kind-hearted individuals who diligently contribute to society. This morning, with the aid of Google Translate, I mustered the courage to express my concern in the best Spanish I could manage. “Hey, friend,” I said, “it’s too early for your loud music, and it wakes my children.” To my relief, he responded with a simple “Oh, Okay.” I expressed my gratitude, and we exchanged handshakes. Consequently, he promptly lowered the volume of his music.

In my pursuit of fostering a positive relationship with my neighbors, my next step involves a kind gesture, such as bringing them a pie or a thoughtful edible item. By reaching out and attempting to communicate effectively, we can bridge cultural differences and foster understanding among one another. It takes courage to step outside our comfort zones, but the rewards of meaningful connections are immeasurable.

Similarly, we must be audacious in online marketing to step beyond the ordinary and embrace innovative communication strategies.

When we engage with our target audience through captivating content, we extend a hand of understanding. Just as I thanked my neighbor for acknowledging my request, our online marketing should express gratitude to our customers. We can achieve this by valuing their feedback, responding promptly to inquiries, and expressing appreciation for their support.

Reflective writing collaboration

Being a personal writer in the professional world is not something many people do, but it’s essential. It means writing down your experiences to help you think about them and share them with others.

I want to work with people who are willing to try new things. It doesn’t matter if you work alone, do physical labor, have a job, are part of a nonprofit group, own a small business, or work with a team of realtors or a parent-teacher organization. If you want to connect what you know with what you experience in your life, I’m here to collaborate.

You have something unique to offer. By learning how to solve complicated problems, you can teach others too. In our complex world, we always have to think about how to improve our lives, relationships, and work. Reflecting on things is important for figuring out how to do that.

When we work together as reflective writers, we focus on your learning and try to understand what it means for you and the people you want to share it with. I aim to help you become willing and make writing a part of your daily routine. It’s like a tool that lets you learn from different perspectives and ideas and understand other cultures.

This is just as important as eating and breathing.

If you want to know more, let’s talk.

In-demand skills for the content revolution

For my 18 year old son Ben embarking on his journey

In today’s digital landscape, platforms like YouTube shorts, TikTok, and Instagram reels offer an incredible opportunity for those who dare to create. It’s time to unleash your creativity and build a devoted following, and procrastination only leads to regret, so start now.

Attention is the currency of the digital world. These platforms provide a stage where educational, enlightening, or entertaining content can shine. The key to gaining attention and followers is consistent posting—multiple times daily, every day.

Are you a consumer or a creator? Be the author, not the passive audience. Sell yourself through remarkable communication, not scripted sales pitches. Combine this with consistency, and success becomes a matter of when not if.

Developing in-demand skills is the pathway to freedom and financial success. Let’s explore these skills:

Creativity: Let your ideas flow without hesitation. Present them in captivating ways that resonate with your audience.

Communication: Share your ideas and experiences authentically. Connect with your audience on a personal level.

Technical Proficiency: Master video editing, audio production, and lightweight graphic design tools like Canva. These skills set you apart.

Marketing and Promotion: Collaborate with fellow creators, engage with your audience through direct messages and comments, and relentlessly promote your content.

Time Management: Effectively manage your time, balancing content creation and audience interaction.

Adaptability: Embrace change and stay sharp by adapting to new platforms, technologies, and trends.

Even if your brand doesn’t take off as expected, your skills open doors as a service provider. Help others build their businesses remotely, leveraging the power of the internet for both income and flexibility.

Remember, these sought-after writing, video production, photography, audio, and marketing skills are valuable assets. You can monetize them by offering your expertise to those who need it.

So, unlock your potential as a content creator. Be educational, enlightening, and entertaining. Take action today, captivate your audience, and seize the endless opportunities in the digital realm. Your journey starts now.

Chip-on-shoulder motivation

Sometimes I put a chip on my shoulder to win.

I adopt an attitude of assertiveness to motivate myself or prove my worth to others. I purposely create a sense of challenge or competition within myself to drive my performance.

In the busy greenhouse shipping season context, I needed to take the lead and stand out in a demanding environment. By putting a “chip on my shoulder,” I get an edge that helps me demonstrate my best skills, exceed expectations, and win over the challenges that come with the season.

Reflecting on this experience, there are a few things I can take away:

Motivation and drive: The fact that I use this strategy during a busy season indicates that I have a strong desire to succeed and perform well. I acknowledge and appreciate my motivation and drive.

Self-imposed pressure: By deliberately adopting an assertive attitude, I notice I place additional pressure on myself to excel. While this can benefit short sprints, it comes with stress and burnout if I hold onto that chip for too long.

Healthy competition: The competitive mindset pushes me to achieve more, but I caution myself to maintain a healthy perspective.

Self-reflection: Consider why I needed to put a chip on my shoulder. Was it due to external expectations or my internal drive? Understanding my underlying motivations can provide valuable insights into my work style and help me balance healthy competition and self-care.

Ultimately, this experience highlights my determination and willingness to push myself. However, finding a sustainable approach that allows me to excel without overwhelming myself or compromising my well-being is crucial, too.