I have been thinking about this a lot these last few months.  In the wake of any major life upheaval I imagine everyone looks at their life and ask how they came to be where they are.  I certainly have.  As my friend Barbara pointed out to me the other day I am standing at a crossroads right now, with many paths laid out in front of me.  The choice I need to make is which path to take.

Recently I have been working on my list.  Things I want to do before the end.  If you study what items I have on my list thus far you will note that many of them will require travel, money, and time.  Not to mention planning, study, and a certain comfort with being uncomfortable.

Why has it taken me so long to start working on my list?  Honestly, I was focused on all the wrong things in life.  I worried over my career, what kind of car I drove, or the kind of furniture in my house.  I worried what other people thought of me, and I catered my behavior according to other peoples expectations instead of my own.

At the beginning of the year I had a simple goal.  I wanted to create, live, and experience a positive memory every single day.  Something worth writing about.  Something worth recording.  Something worth remembering.  I was not very good about following this goal.

Over the last week thanks to several good conversations with friends, I have decided to pick a word to live my life by.  A word that will measure each and every single one of my actions.  A word that will help me determine if a choice is good for my soul, or one that should be avoided.

The word I have chosen is authentic.

Choosing this word as my guiding star has already led me to make different choices then I would have normally.  Its changed how I see myself, or at least how I want to see myself, and given me a road map to getting there.

To all those who listened to me this past week, and helped me come to this point…Thank you!

hellThis is a question that I have been thinking about for some time now.  In the wake of some of my biggest failures this year, and the pain those failures have caused I have, late in the night, wondered if it would have been better to have never tried.  To be ignorant of the experience, and avoid the pain of failure.

In 2012 I took a job with a company in Seattle.  It was a small company, but had enormous potential, and I was excited to be working with them.  I started on the 1st of July, and began working in their sales department.  On my first day I made a sizable sale.  The feeling of accomplishment was like a drug to me, and it fueled me from one sale to the next.  But, like all drugs eventually I wasn’t satisfied with making $1000.00 or $2000.00 sales.  I wanted more.  So I started targeting larger companies.  Companies with problems that my product could solve.  In October of 2012 I brought in my companies first big client in several years.  A contract worth $21,000.00.  It was a tremendous feeling, and accomplishment.  The deal had taken a lot of work, including phone calls, emails, meetings, and more.  In the end I thought it was worth the extra time I had spent on the deal, but my boss thought otherwise.

The man I was working for had no experience in the field we were working.  Furthermore he had little to no experience leading people or groups, and I would go as far to say that he was the worst person I have ever worked for.  He was a pessimist, bully, and most of his leadership tactics included passive aggressive behavior.  The bottom line, he was bad.  After I brought in my first big client my boss started to express displeasure at my choice of clients because in his words “Big clients require effort and work.”

Despite my bosses objections I continued seeking out larger and larger clients, and my boss started doing everything he could to stop me.  He discredited my name in front of co-workers, leaders, and the owners of the company.  He withheld resources, and manpower in hopes that without it I would be unable to sign big contacts.  He even went so far as to tell certain member’s of the staff they were not allowed to talk to me without his expressed permission.  However, despite all of that, I still came out on top.

you_can_walk_straight_through_hell_with_a_smile_by_emiemi345-d62cz6yAt the close of 2013 I was the only sales rep to sell above my yearly quota.  I had brought in several of the largest clients the company had ever seen, and opened doors to relationships that would blossom into amazing opportunity for the company for many years to come.  And yet, according to my boss I was the worst sales rep on the team.  He said I didn’t play by the rules, and that I was not a consistent sales rep. He said all this because I didn’t sell consistently month to month.  I would usually sell one big deal every 2-3 months, and then I would have 1-2 months of average sales.

At the start of 2014 I decided I wanted to play a more forward role in my company, and started making aggressive moves to help drive my company forward.  I used contact in my industry to secure speaking engagements, and write several articles for the company.  I even held private webinars for the company, offering our clients my expertise and experience, free of charge.  My boss on the other hand started making aggressive moves of his own.  He couldn’t fire me, because it would raise too many questions.  So he decided to launch an all out assault on me.

In the first 3 months of 2013 he alienated me from my team, drove me out of the office, cut off communication from almost everyone I worked with, and stole valuable leads and clients from me.  In the end I was forced to resign.

Never before has a job meant so much to me.  Never before had I put so much of my time, resource, and talent into a job or a company.  Never before had I wanted so badly to succeed.  My boss and his actions made no sense to me!  I could understand him not liking me.  There are a lot of people who don’t like me, but to deliberately destroy your top sales rep to satisfy your own personal vendetta is a mystery!

going-through-hellWhen I left this company I felt like a failure.  I felt like I had lost something extremely important to me, and for months it has torn its way through my insides like a poison.  But in the last two months I have started looking at my experience differently.  I was faced with an almost unattainable objective.  I wanted to be successful even though my boss was doing everything he could to make me fail.  Despite his best efforts, I still won!  Despite his best punches I am still standing, and even when he knocked me down I kept getting back up again, and again!  I don’t know why he did what he did, and even though he made my life hell in the first quarter of 2014 I learned an important lesson.

I can walk through hell, and survive.  I can endure the hot flames of the underworld and keep moving forward.  I can be successful despite extraordinary opposition.

So while I may have failed at my original goals, and yes I went through some sever depression and anxiety over my time at this company, what I took away from it is even more important, and I will carry it with me for the rest of my life!

star-lord

The last year has been a hard one.  To be honest most of my life has not been easy.  But here I am still standing, dreaming, and hoping for a better future.

Growing up I never hung out with kids my own age.  I always wanted to spend time with the adults and take part in their conversations.  Being an adult now, and having several children who do this to me, I now understand what an irritating child I truly was.  But the truth is, growing up, I have never fit in well with kids my own age.

When my family and I moved to Texas, my Father was appointed Scout Master by the church.  I was 9, maybe 10 when this happened.  So I got to start going on camp outs with the older scouts, and by older I mean between 12 and 18.  So once again I didn’t interact much with kids my own age.

The issue continued when I entered High School.  Northwest was a school for the performing and visual arts.  My focus was music in both instrumental and voice.  When I auditioned for the choir I was stunned to learn that I had been given a spot in the schools chamber choir.  This choir compromised the best of the best voices the school had to offer, and I was one of the first freshmen ever to be accepted.  This, however, threw a small kink into my plans of trying to hang out, and make friends with kids my own age.  I suddenly found myself forming friendships with the kids in the class above me.

Now this was not a big deal for three years.  It only became an issue my senior year.  I still remember going to school that first day of my senior year, and realizing, with a bit of horror, that I didn’t know very many people in my own class.  Most of my friends had graduated the year before hand, and were now off attending college.  So, following my pattern I started traveling up to App State on weekends to visit my friend Ginny, and my girlfriend at the time Rebekah.  While I was there I was hanging out with college students, and forming friendships.

Fast forward a few years.  I was turning 25 and I had just gotten married, and accepted a job offer from a firm called Insource Safety.  It all happened so fast.  One minute I was delivering pizzas or life-guarding at the local pool , and the next I was being asked to do site visits for my firm, and teach men and women who were 20 years older then I was important classes.

I got called “kid” and “son” a lot, and I hated every minute of it.  I especially hated being called “young man” but I endured it. I wanted to older, and for years I was in this head long rush to get there.  Problem is no matter how hard you wish for time to speed up, it move on second by second.  Not any slower or faster, no matter how much you will it to be so.

So, as I mentioned at the beginning its been a hard year.  I was forced to quit my job at Bongarde because my boss at the time was making every single day a constant battle.  My marriage has fallen apart.  I am not speaking to most of my extended family, and on top of all of that I miss my dog Grace.  I know cry me a river.

The last 12 months I have felt old.  Way older then I should, and way older then I want to feel.  I have spent my whole life in a head long rush to reach adulthood, that I missed out on truly experiencing my life in the past.  Life isnt about what kind of car you drive, or what kind of job you go to everyday.  Its about the memories you create.  Its about spending time with people that matter.  Most importantly its about cultivating passion for things that make you smile.

So in all honesty I really don’t care how old I am anymore.  It doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that I enjoy each day.  That I go to sleep each night knowing that I did something good in this world.  That I contributed to the worlds positive energy, and not its negative.  All that matters is that I live a good life, and do my best not to let hate and anger dictate my actions.

Weekly Wishes #3

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Writing
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I have not been very good about keeping this blog updated with new and exciting posts.  All I can say is life has been…hectic as of late, and I am hoping to get on a more consistent blogging schedule.  That being said lets start the week off right by participating in Weekly Wishes, which was started by The Nectar Collective.

This Weeks Goals

  1. Workout 3 Times This Week – I’ve been under a lot of stress the last month or so, and as such my workouts have taken a back seat.  However no longer.  This week I am committed to working out 3 times this week.
  2. Write One New Chapter of my book, and attend the writers group on Wednesday night.
  3. Set 25 new appointments with my business Precision Training Experts and make 10 sales.
  4. Write 3 blog posts for this blog
  5. Sync my calendars and reminders
  6. Stay on a consistent sleep schedule all week.  This means go to bed and arise at the same time everyday.
  7. Read one of my many magazines that are in a pile above my desk, and finish one book.
  8. Organize the garage.

I have a lot more that I need to do, but I feel if I can get these goals accomplished this week, I can be more ambitious next week.

WEEKLY WISHES LINKUP RULES

1. Share your posts about your goals, challenges, or wishes for the week, month, year, decade, whatever! Entries completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted. 

2. Link back to this site so others can get their goal-setting on, too! You can use the button below if you’d like!

The Nectar Collective

 

3. You can link up your posts on any day of the week, but the most common day to do so is Monday. :)

4. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL! You MUST visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a motivating comment. This is such an important part of this linkup! We are each here to encourage each other and build acommunity of determined women and friends. :) If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.

Weekly Wishes #2

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Yesterday, at the end of Yoga Adventures I asked my clients to list one goal they would like to accomplish this week. I really enjoy setting goals, and working towards an objective.  This is why I love Weekly Wishes, which was started by The Nectar Collective.

July Goals

  1. Sign a major contract of business with my new company Precision Training Experts.  I started this company a few months ago, and have been working very hard to build new relationships, and set meetings with potential companies.  For some reason this month seems significant.  I have no idea why, but I can feel that my efforts this month will bring about great things.
  2. Finish, print, and distribute the brand new Geek and Gamer Fitness Level Up Your Life Journal.  This will be a completely new way to track your fitness, and nutritional progress, as you navigate through The Level Up Your Life Program.
  3. Write 50,000 words in my book Dragon Riders: The Fall

This Weeks Goals

  1. Finish writing & editing the new Geek and Gamer Fitness journal.
  2. Write 10,000 new words in my book Dragon Riders: The Fall.
  3. Set 2 new appointment’s with new potential companies for Precision Training Experts.

WEEKLY WISHES LINKUP RULES

1. Share your posts about your goals, challenges, or wishes for the week, month, year, decade, whatever! Entries completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted. 

2. Link back to this site so others can get their goal-setting on, too! You can use the button below if you’d like!

The Nectar Collective

 

3. You can link up your posts on any day of the week, but the most common day to do so is Monday. :)

4. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL! You MUST visit the person’s blog who linked up directly before you and leave them a motivating comment. This is such an important part of this linkup! We are each here to encourage each other and build acommunity of determined women and friends. :) If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.

Are You Important?

Posted: April 8, 2014 in Friends, Social Media, Writing

Most people want to feel important.  This isn’t a new concept or feeling, and with the rise of social media platforms its very easy for people to feel important.  How many Twitter followers do you have?  How many likes did your post on Facebook receive?  Did your latest Instagram photo get a lot of hearts?  Like I said, its easy to “feel” important, but does that actually mean you are important?  When I look at Facebook the most liked posts often include either a baby or boobs.  The most popular twitter posts generally have something to do with the latest episode of some TV show, and Instagram, like Facebook, has a lot of babies and boobs.

I often see people posting on these various social media platforms desperate for likes, RT, and hearts, but they never really care about creating something of quality.  What I see as even worse is social media is becoming more important than building actual relationships.  Shouldn’t our real life friendships be more important than our online ones?

I am reminded of a conversation I had with my wife a few weeks ago.  I was telling her a story about a friend of mine, and she asked me “Is this a real friend or someone you know online?”  The question stopped me dead in my download (2)tracks.  For a moment I honestly didn’t know how to respond.  I soon recovered, told her this was a real friend, and continued my story, but the experience has stuck with me.

At the beginning of the year I decided to perform an experiment.  I decided to choose 3 real friends, and focus all year on improving my relationships with those three people.  Each week I try to do something in person with each friend, more so, I try make each “something” meaningful.  Something that will strengthen our relationship.

I also decided to pick 10 “online” friends, and once a month I try to do something that will bring us closer to being “real” friends.  To be honest I have had mixed results on this part of the experiment, but I can tell you that the three people I chose to spend quality time with has been a wonderful experience.

I encourage you to do the same.  Find 3 people you care about, and each week do something with them that will bring your friendship closer together.  Because in the end it doesn’t matter how many likes we get on Facebook, or how many RT we get on Twitter.  Be honest with yourself.  If you died tomorrow how many of your “Online” friends would really miss you?  Think about that.