Who Will Call Your Bluff

We need people in our lives who will call our bluff and force us to show our hand. We put on the good face of “getting things done” and “pursuing our dreams.” But if we had to show our cards the only thing we can show are only written goals and many more lists under the heading of “Things I’d like to do.” Years go by and we have nothing to show for the dreams we once had.

It’s not that we don’t want those dreams to come true. It’s not that we don’t have the ability or drive to make those dreams reality. The problem is we don’t have someone to call our bluff.

Who is the person who is going to force you to show what you have accomplished to get you closer to reaching your dreams?

The New And Explicit Definition of an Excuse

Excuses are our friends. Whenever we need one to bail us out of an obligation they are ready and willing. Sure we don’t say that they are bailing us out of an obligation but sure enough they are.

I want to help us kick away the crutch of the Excuse We have relied on them too long.  We must kick it to the curb and throw it across the bridge that must be burned with a flame that would cause the devil himself to flinch.

Some of you will try and gather a few burning ambers to rebuild for the “just in case” situation. But please, please, please don’t do it.  Just turn your back and walk away. And remember, using an excuse is JUSTIFYING your lack of responsibility for your own life.  No one wants to be accused of that.  So here’s the new and explicit definition of an excuse.

Below I have an image so that you too can share with others. Please do so.



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to make YOURSELF




for your OWN LIFE and

the life of YOUR FAMILY.


[highlight bg=”#f40617″ color=”#ffffff”]Please Pin on Pinterest and Share on Twitter and Facebook[/highlight]

How To Be An Overnight Success With This First Law of Business

abraham-lincoln-failsWhat makes us so angry about overnight successes is not their success. We’re angry because everyday out of nowhere another company brings in millions in funding while we silently pay our daily dues. We lay our soul, sweat, blood, tears, savings, family and spouse’s anger onto the altar of our dreams with only the hope that the light of success will shine upon our face.  An overnight success for us is to just wake up rejuvenated by hope. Sadly we fall asleep 16 hours later in despair’s embrace.  This happens ad nauseam. Eventually the work will stop because we start to believe the lie that we are the unfortunate ones. Why? Because only the “fortunate succeed,” Right?


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When looking at the most successful people and organizations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks.

We often celebrate companies and individuals once they’ve achieved undeniable success, but shun their disruptive thinking before reaching such a pinnacle. Before Oprah was Oprah, before Jobs was Jobs, they were labeled as misguided dreamers rather than future captains of industry.

Josh Linkner for Fast Company


James_Dyson_DC22Overnight successes are years in the making. They experienced disappointments and there is a plethora of failures in their wake. Failures pushed them forward. Daily tasks were specific and aligned with their goals. In short, they were diligent daily.  So how do you become an overnight success? By having success every night one step at a time and one day at a time. You  keep you head down and focus on the task at hand. The task of creating your idea into existence. 

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In your life, you’ve probably had a setback or two. When you stumble, it’s tempting the throw in the towel and accept defeat. There’s always an attractive excuse waiting eagerly, hoping you’ll take the easy way out. But the most successful people forge ahead. They realize that mistakes are simply data, providing new information to adjust your approach going forward.

Josh Linkner for Fast Company


What’s your excuse? What excuse are you willing to accept? 

EX·CUSE: the lie you tell yourself to make yourself feel better about justifying your lack of responsibility for your own life and the life of your family.

Newton’s 1 Law of Motion tells us that:

  • An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.
  • An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.

Unbalanced forces are always going to press you to stop. It doesn’t matter how much time or money you have something is going to press on you that will threaten your momentum.  Far to many people fail because they give themselves permission to fail.

So what do you need to do? Keep moving!!!!

Consider these “failures”:angry-birds-past-failures

  • James Dyson failed in 5,126 prototypes of the now famous Dyson vacuum.
  • Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game. They spent eight years and almost went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. – Chris Dixon
  • Pinterest struggled to their first year after their launch.
  • Don’t forget Abraham Lincoln. 30 years before being elected President of the United States he had 11 significant failures and setbacks.


Keep working. Keep making your idea a reality. You are going to have setbacks. Everyone does. Millionaires and Billionaires have had setbacks. Create a specific path that will take you to your goal. Let that path keep you on track and keep you eyes, heart and mind on your goal. Keep yourself accountable by looking at your results. View failures as insights from your advisors and what not to do again. Don’t let your feelings be your judge and don’t delegate decision making to your emotions.

[note color=”#e38c94″]To be an overnight success you have to be willing to work night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night, over night on the things that bring results that lead to your goal.[/note]

Inspirational Quotes and Photos Of Breast Cancer Survivors

One of my goals with Breast Cancer Portraits: Wisdom From The Journey was to allow men and women breast cancer survivors give a word of hope and inspiration to those recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer, survivors and those affected by breast cancer.

Although each survivor wrote (most in their own handwriting) their words of hope I wanted to condense it for social media sharing.  I used Instagram as the rule.  Please feel free to share these images and also pin these to your pinterest boards.

If you know a survivor or someone affecting by breast cancer please consider buying a copy for them for my 500 Books 4 Love promotion.  As a thank you, I’m going to give your over $100.00 in gifts.

Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photo Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photobreast cancer survivor inspirational quote Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photo Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photo Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photo Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photo Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photo Breast Cancer Survivor Inspirational Quote and Photo breast cancer survivor inspirational quote

Why The “Ideal” Will Keep You Unfulfilled And Empty Everytime

[pullquote align=”left”]“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

E. B. White via Brain Pickings


I want to tell you a simple story as an illustration but I’ve only been staring at this computer screen longer than I want to confess. The story is of no real consequence and easily told within my circle of friends. The story isn’t embarrassing.  The problem is the writing.  In my mind I’m a lyrical savant writing a portion of my life manifesto where readers have no choice but to hang onto every character I’ve typed.  The post must be perfect. I can’t let “my readers” down.  The truth is I can’t let my secret sense of grandur down.  And this is what I want to write about.

Let’s start with the story.

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I was working on a college research paper that needed to be done by friday night early Saturday morning so that I could have a weekend to just hang out. The paper was long over due and I was tired of putting it off. Well, it didn’t get finished  early Saturday morning. It got finished early Monday morning. The reason? A pen. That’s right a pen. Nope, I wasn’t writing a college research paper on paper. I was using a Windows 3.1 PC.

Here’s what happened.

30 minutes before the library closed I realized that I needed a few more quick resources from the reference department of my college library. They would make my paper perfect. It was about a 4 minute walk to the library so this was going to an easy in and out job. After gathering my notebooks I headed on over. I arrived. 26 minutes to go. Students were everywhere and the copier line was too long. (The librarians were serious about closing time. It didn’t matter if you were in line. Once the bell rang the copiers were shut down.) I got the notebook out to write. It shouldn’t take anymore than 15 minutes.  I realized I didn’t have my pen. 19 minutes to go.

I could have asked someone for a pen. There were plenty of people just chatting it up because closing time was just around the corner. I thought about it for a few minutes but decided not to ask anyone. Why? Because I didn’t want to use a gimpy pen.  You see I really liked the pen that I left back at the dorm. It was the only one at the time that worked well with my handwriting.

14 minutes to go. I ran back to my room and found my pen. 10 minutes to go. I ran back to my open reference books in the library. 6 minutes to go. I started writing quickly. Librarians in a hurry to leave for the weekend started to pester me.  Suffice it to say it was a waste to try and get anything written that mattered.

So the paper didn’t get finished because I didn’t have a specific pen? Yes.


Let me answer 2 of your questions:

  1. No, there was nothing special about that pen other than I liked writing with it.
  2. No, there wasn’t anything special about what I was writing that had to be written by that pen. 

[heading style=”2″]Excuse of the Metaphorical Pen[/heading]

My ideal was a specific pen. If I couldn’t use it then the words that I could have written with any pen wasn’t worth the effort. Think about what I just wrote.  I reasoned that only a specific pen would help me write what no other pen could help me write. What would have happened if I borrowed a pen?  I would have written what needed to be written and then finished the paper the following day.

Instead, I waited for the ideal. I waited for something specific that didn’t have any affect on the result. It wouldn’t have made the paper on which it wrote any better. It didn’t make the words anymore meaningful. It wouldn’t have made my thesis and arguments anymore sound. That pen wouldn’t have changed anything by using it. 

I demanded the ideal of myself. If I couldn’t have it then my paper was going to have to wait. My paper needed to be perfect and the only way that was going to happen was if the ideal pen was used to write a few references.

Silly isn’t it. But how many of use do this all the time. We have a passion brewing in our heart that needs to be poured out for the world to see.  But we don’t do anything. The reason? We wait for the ideal. We tell ourselves that we aren’t going to settle for anything else other than the ideal.  The ideal:

  • computer
  • car
  • time to change carriers
  • time to start a new parttime business
  • brand of journal and pen to write your thoughts down
  • house and neighborhood
  • clothing because it represents…
  • education
  • day of the week
  • too many people
  • not enough people
  • income
  • time to have children
  • time to get married
  • opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet
  • price of peanut butter hasn’t been reached



Stop waiting for your metaphorical pen.  You’re going to wait and wait and every December 31 will be the end of another year that you didn’t act. Stop waiting for the ideal to give you permission. Stop waiting. When you don’t do what you love or your passion you’re going to feel unfulfilled. When you don’t fill fulfilled you won’t feel motivated to move forward. You’ll make up more excuses as to why you haven’t even started.  And even if you have started you probably didn’t go for very long.

Maybe things didn’t work out as you planned. Or maybe you didn’t have a plan so when things didn’t go your way you didn’t know what to do. You’ll eventually feel empty inside because your passion wasn’t being filled up with your success.  Stop waiting for the ideal to come and rescue you.


Video Friday: Tim Ferriss At Google Talks On Learning Faster Than You Think With His New Book: The Four Hour Chef

The problem with thinking that there is a problem with learning something new is the problem in which we think we can learn. Tim Ferriss‘s talk opens a new door on helping people learn what they have always wanted to learn. That is, learn something quick enough to be proficient enough to not be scared to show someone what they have always wanted to learn.

Why You Should Plan All The Way To The End


A couple of months ago I started reading The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene.  It’s been a great read and some nuggets of truth on the human condition and psychology in using power to get what you want. Law 29 really peeked my attention because it addresses why most people fail at reaching their goals.

Goals are reached not because a lack of want but a lack of a detailed plan and map to reach that goal. Many just assume that just because they wrote it down or told someone about it that it will “just” happen.  This rarely happens in real life. Imagine planning family vacations or going to a job interview with this mentality.

Here are a few quotes from the book.

[quote style=”1″]The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hand work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop.  Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead. [/quote]

[quote style=”1″]Because most people are too imprisoned in the moment to plan with this kind of foresight, the ability to ignore immediate dangers and pleasures translates into power.  It is the power of being able to overcome the natural human tendency to react to things as they happe, and instead train oneself to step back, imagining the larger things taking shape beyond one’s immediate vision. Most people believe that they are in fact aware of the future, that they are planning and thinking ahead.  They are usually deluded:  What they are really doing is succumbing to their desires, to what they want the future to be.  their plans are vague, based on their imaginations rather than their reality. They may believe that they are thinking all the way to the end, but they are really only focusing on the happy ending, and deluding themselves by the strength of their desire.[/quote]


[quote style=”1″]so much of power is not what you do but what you do not do — the rash and foolish actions that you refrain from before they get you into trouble.  Plan in detail before you act — do not let vague plans lead you into trouble.[/quote]

[quote style=”1″]The ending is everything.  It is the end of the action that determines who gets the glory, the money, the prize.  Your conclusion must be crystal clear, and you must keep it constantly in mind. [/quote]

One Sad Truth From George Carlin That Will Change Your Life


I’ve never listened to an entire set of George Carlin. In fact, I never will. But one thing is for sure. He produced a lot of work. He was no hack. He changed with is audience as well as changed for an audience that was waiting for him without knowing it. Just take a look here. If you haven’t heard him you could say “Carlin’s forte is Lenny Bruce-style social and political commentary, spiced with nihilistic observations about people and religion peppered with black humor.” One thing that caught my attention when researching him was this quote:

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.
-George Carlin

Think about that for a moment. What came to you mind? I’ll tell you what I thought about.

“. . . get paid just enough money not to quit”

I thought about the missed opportunity I had to go on a mission trip to India because I needed to work because I didn’t have the money to go. The day the plane set flight was the very day that I quit that job. I didn’t even realize it was the same day until hours later. Talk about sad. I think I shed a few tears into a Chick-fil-a sweet tea.

Other things and trips I passed because that I wanted to do while in college but couldn’t because I needed to save money. I needed the money because I didn’t get paid enough or rather didn’t save enough or rather I didn’t live frugal enough to prepare. And I think that’s the problem. We don’t prepare for what we might want to do in the future or emergencies.  We live in the here and now because we don’t write down what we want to do with our lives or even a goal about what we would like to accomplish in the next year or visit within the next two years.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired. . .”

George Carlin worked. He constantly worked on his art. I heard an interview with a comedian who said that every time that he saw Carlin on the plane or anywhere else by himself he was writing. In order to produce as much successful work that he did he would have to produce 10x or more the amount of work that bombed.

People who work “just hard enough” to not get fired has a character flaw. Here’s why. Working just hard enough costs businesses money because of customer service complaints, manufacturing defects, unmet customer expectations and deceptive advertisements.  All of these result in lost profit. This, of course, causes financial stress on the boss and thus one’s paycheck.

What if a spouse took the view of “loving just enough to not get divorced?”  It’s silly to think about isn’t it.

The Reason

The reason people work just hard enough not to get fired is because they want to get fired.  They won’t tell you that but it’s true. They don’t want to be there and they’re just to scared to do anything about it. The real reason is that they are still there because they didn’t prepare properly. They want to be some where else doing something that they enjoy and most likely willing to work very are at.

Where + What

Where do you want to be? What is it that you want to do? What job brings you joy? What is it that changed right now that would make your work 100x better?

Out of the cubicle

I remember the first time I photographed a wedding.  My thoughts raced on and on about a life helping newlyweds preserve their wedding story for their future generations. The only problem was that I worked in a call center in a cubicle 10 hours a day for 4 – 6 days a week.

My Steps

I needed money to pay my bills + increase savings + extra the unknowns.  So I worked hard to make extra money from commission and overtime. I took a part-time job that required a lot of work up front but very easy on the back end. I created personal photo projects to experiment and learn about the camera and photography. I took courses on photography plus internet learning to understand the technical side of photography. A typical day looked like this:

  • 4pm – 3am: work
  • 3am – 5am: workout, go home, shower
  • 5am – 9am: photography editing + learning
  • 9am – 1pm: sleep 
  • 1pm – 4pm: get ready and go to work

Days off were for photo projects and photo jobs.

After years with this schedule the day finally came to quit that job. In fact, I took 15min break that lasted an hour and a half to make my decision. I walked to my manager and said, “I think it’s time we both called it a day.”  I did this because I had more than a years worth of business to replace the lost fulltime income.  Thinking back I should have really stayed with my day job longer and made sure that I had two or three years worth of income in the bank before leaving.

I’d like to know your thoughts. Leave a comment or two.

Determine Your Definite Purpose In Life And Why It Matters

finding-your-purpose-chessEvery year the it gets vague to help keep us from accountability. You knowEVERY YEAR THE IT GETS VAGUE TO HELP KEEP US FROM ACCOUNTABILITY. YOU KNOW . The general, I want to be rich, I want to loose weight, I want to meet mr. right or ms. right. The problem isn’t in the wanting something or setting a goal to satisfy that want. The problem is not being definite in not only what it is but how you plan to achieve that goal.

You don’t have to be a futurist or a fortune teller to be able to predict someone’s future. You can do so by asking him or her one simple question: “What is you one definite purpose in life — and what plans have you made to attain it?” – Napoleon HIll’s A Year of Growing Rich


Simply put. What is it that you want to do and what are you going to do to make sure you accomplish it? Many of us have an idea or even have a heart felt desire to do something. The problem is that we not only don’t make plans to not only take the first step we don’t even plan to make it happen. Every year people say they want to loose weight by joining a health club. Around January 1 of that year they commit to paying every month a fee to use the health club facilities. If they were to detail their goal it would read:

  1. I want to loose weight
  2. Join health club
  3. Go to health club throughout the week

How does going to the health club guarantee anyone to loose weight? It doesn’t. The problem is that there is no plan to loose weight. All this reads is that they plan to join a health club and add to their bottom line. Also, If the goal is to loose weight then loosing 1 lbs would be good enough and you can do that by putting on a trash bag and running around your neighborhood a few times. The problem is that there is no definite purpose or specific plan to loose weight. A goal like that would read:

  1. They wrote down their goal so that they could see it everyday and remember that it is for real.
  2. The goal to loose 40lbs in 5 months (4 lbs per week)
  3. Go to health club monday through friday with specific work out goals
  4. Change eating habits to include a specific healthful food diet
  5. Find new friends who have the same view on health for accountability.
  6. Participate in outdoors activities on a regular basis

Between the two goals who do you think has a better chance? The second one will win every time. It wins  because it’s specific in four  ways.

  1. Goal
  2. Start Time
  3. What Path Needed To Be Taken
  4. End Time

So for 2013 Don’t be vague in what you want to do this year. Set your course on a definite path and make the plans that are going to take you there.

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