Choose the right hills to climb

If my success is a progression of challenging yet surmountable hills to climb, then choosing hills that are not too easy nor too difficult is essential to achieve my goals. Be it in my career or personal life. So I seek to balance setting realistic goals and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to achieve growth. With each successfully conquered hill, I can gain confidence and momentum to climb even higher.

Perfect solution

The perfect solution to your money problems; health problems; relationship problems; or whatever problems don’t appear out of the blue. It’s challenging to start working toward solutions when you don’t know what the end looks like. That’s when you get stuck. My advice is to start down the wrong path right now because I’ve been there so many times. It’s messy, but if you start moving immediately, you cannot help but improve. It’s a series of intricate moves, but you’ll find your way back to where you belong. Go now!

Impact

The people who have left a lasting impact on my life aren’t usually in a position of power or authority. Anyone, irrespective of their social status, has the potential to inspire and uplift others.

The individuals who have encouraged me, supported me, and believed in me have been my peers, friends, or even strangers. Let’s recognize that everyone has the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Being kind, empathetic, and supportive can create opportunities for others to succeed and achieve their goals.

Furthermore, when I think of the people who have impacted my life — a teacher, a friend, a mentor, an uncle… These people made a difference, and they continually did it, not just something they told me once. I realize that change happens when I seek to be less influential and more impactful.

Forward motion

As someone who has worked as a general employee, manager, school teacher, and independent freelancer, I know that the key to success is consistent forward motion. As a freelance marketer and content creator, I partner with owners, directors, decision-makers, and influencers to create forward motion, whether they have a specific goal or are simply adrift. We can achieve this forward motion by committing to a project and owning the work.

Focusing on the work and avoiding distractions is essential to keep moving forward. Whether I need to take the lead or work collaboratively, understanding the difference I can make is critical to my success.

I’ve learned that generosity is essential in building solid relationships with others with whom I share the vision. I can attract the right connections and build a supportive network of connections by sustaining that generosity over time.

Another vital aspect of forward motion is the power of connection. To make progress, we must be willing to partner with others and build strong relationships, which is an integral part of any project.

Creating value in the marketplace is the best way to gain forward motion. It may take some time, but patience and persistence will attract the right opportunities and connections.

Ultimately, forward motion requires a deep commitment to the work, a willingness to connect with others, and a belief in the power of what you’re doing. Since deciding to re-engage as a freelancer in September 2022, I’ve understood these principles’ importance. I am excited to continue on this journey of growth and progress.

Growth we can’t see

I mark the walls to progress my kid’s growth. Sometimes they don’t seem to grow. Other times, they’re shooting upward. It’s the same for our personal or professional progress. Sometimes we can see and measure it. Other times, we feel stuck in place. Just because the things we can see with the naked eye aren’t trending upward doesn’t mean we aren’t growing. The growth we can’t see is the making of us.

50% custody, 100% dad

Although my children’s other parent and I share equal physical and legal custody (50/50), I am fully committed to being a father and being involved in my children’s lives even when they aren’t physically with me.

This means I prioritize spending quality time with them when I have them and staying involved and engaged in their life even when they are not physically present. It means I am committed to providing my children emotional support, guidance, and stability, regardless of custody arrangements.

50% Custody, 100% Dad means I have made doctor and dental appointments, and I have researched and pursued other vital matters such as braces or not, such as speech therapy, and who to call. I have signed each of the children up for sports and purchased the necessary equipment for said sports, and attended every game. I have coached my son’s football team. I have been involved in my children’s academic progress. I have spoken with teachers about matters. I have attended conferences. I have created one-on-one play dates. I have followed up on themes that enrich each child. I have purchased clothing and shoes as necessary. I have made it a priority to arrange my schedule so that I am available. I take them to school each morning and pick them up in the afternoon. And now it’s Sunday, and I’m playing board games in the living room while watching the meatloaf in the oven.

“50% custody, but 100% dad” expresses my dedication to being an active and engaged father, regardless of custody arrangements.

I love them! They are worth 100% of my commitment.

Send a card to someone you appreciate in the mail

Not a text, not a DM on social, not an email. Not even a phone call. This is an envelope with a stamp the delivery person brings to your mailbox.

Imagine the recipient of said note when they check their mailbox. Unsuspecting of this remarkable communication they are about to receive.

Typically, they would sift through credit card offers, coupons, and ads. Nothing unusual or exciting. Nothing to take notice of.

Yet on this particular day, mixed in with the junk mail, is the envelope from you. Something different.

You now have their attention.

The pull of this envelope is more potent than a 15-second Tic Tok video and more urgent than scrolling news headlines. Almost nothing on a screen can compete with your note.

They will even put their phone down. Opening the envelope requires two hands.

Congrats, you have cut through the noise. And you’ve done so with the most authentic intentions.

Curious. They waste no time opening the envelope. Then read something you wrote just for them, which feels positive and uplifting, and they feel appreciated.

In that moment of appreciation, they have zero negative feelings. They are filled with goodness. You have just made their moment.

This gesture may cause the grateful recipient to perform a similar act and pass it forward.

The simple act of following up on your kindness promptings will change the world.

Imagine if you made this five-minute habit a daily practice and wrote something worth sending daily for a year. One person at a time, day after day. It compounds.

  • Would this make a positive difference in the world? Your world?
  • Could this be the righteous act that conscientiously objects to taking sides, joining tribes, or making others wrong?
  • Could this be the path of positive resistance you’ve been looking for?

I believe it’s worth a try. I have started and stopped and started again with this practice.

I can report that this happy habit won’t just rock the world of others but also your world. With consistent practice, your attitude, your ideas, and your entire trajectory will begin to improve.

Before you know it, you’ll be looking for the good in your daily encounters, and when you’re looking for the good, it’s impossible to be looking for the bad simultaneously.

If you’re the type of person that looks for the good, the good will find you. You become more “attractive.”

Let’s say you decided to try this for a week. Seven consecutive days. Who would be the first recipient, and what would you communicate?

Progress

Progress doesn’t arrive if I retreat into isolation to perfect my work. I never emerge with a masterpiece. Instead, I evolve in public, which means showing up and being prepared to deliver. I don’t find it comfortable to think aloud or persist through failure to produce “good enough” work. Yet that’s how I’m getting better. Day by day. Assignment by assignment. Client by client. Blog post after blog post. Drip, drip, drip. I show up ready to my home office. In doing so, I refine and deliver – through personal practice, collaboration, mentorship, and ultimately the market. This awareness is part of the work. The idea lends itself to anything worth pursuing.

At coffee with an ideal customer

“I don’t know what to write,” he said.

We took a “Zoom coffee” meeting together.

Then he proceeded to talk about his business for 40 minutes.

Everything he talked about, I imagined as blogs, emails, and social media posts.

He had plenty of “content” but perhaps didn’t realize it.

I ended with this:

It’s like you’re at coffee with your ideal customer. What would you say?

You’d share a recent encounter at your store; you’d explain something about what you do that only you know; you’d articulate the resonant voice in your head; you’d speak into an insight you can’t ignore; you’d exclaim what you’re excited about, and sometimes you’d try to say what you almost know but can’t quite explain.

For the right people, This is something worth telling.

If you’re stuck on content creation, have coffee with your ideal customer, and listen to what you say. That’s the content you want to share.

Wayfinding

The things we fear to initiate don’t come with instructions. Read that again, and think about all your problems. There aren’t any instructions. The things we fear to initiate don’t come with instructions.

If there aren’t instructions for a problem, let’s apply “possibility.” Let’s explore what happens when we take an assumed rule and throw it out. Let’s not hesitate to apply this to our problems.

Let’s seek all of the favorable potential outcomes and choose the one we want to map back to. Yesterday I turned 47, and this is how I’ve arrived feeling. I won’t forget this idea and will carry it to age 100.

The things we fear to initiate don’t come with instructions. I love the word “initiate” because its main ingredient is a possibility. Possibility says it can be done. Possibility says we don’t need instructions.

Then why do I feel like a nervous fifth grader? I could blame society, school, or my parents, but I am the change. I believe in possibility. So, new story.

Our perception of life is a product of the frames through which we view it.

I think it works like this:

Our beliefs shape our understanding of the world around us. This influences our sense of urgency, our crises, and our decisions. All the things! Even though there are many truths in the world, we often focus on specific aspects, such as expectations, desires, or notions of justice or injustice. This self-selected “truth” becomes the foundation upon which we base our lives and everything else we encounter.

Sometimes, this leads to feeling stuck and the frustration that follows.

“Possibility” is about changing our beliefs, transforming our perspective, shifting our priorities, and unlocking new opportunities.

So the question is, how do we shift our mindset to one of possibility, and the answer is we don’t know. It doesn’t come with instructions.

Wayfinding takes different forms, such as discovering our path, accomplishing tasks, and altering our beliefs. In other words, wayfinding requires us to be open. To stay open. Wayfinding requires faith.

The most challenging part -“Going for it” has to balance with “This might not work.” That never feels comfortable, but what if instead of turning the other way, we saw that as a sign that we were on the right track? That’s a muscle that has to be worked through the repetitions.

This “possibility” through facing the fear of wayfinding is what I define as personal growth and fulfillment. It starts with recognizing the power of our beliefs and challenging them. Doing so can change how we view the world, our problems, and ourselves.

I’m trying, and if you’re reading this, I know you are too. Cheers!