I have officially signed with Xlibris Publishing (The same Publisher I used for my 1st book, Crematory.) My new book is called:
The Best Version of You
Although the book is in the (publishing) production phase, it still could be 1-3 months before it is available. This process usually takes some time, due to the attention to detail aspect.
Note: The official cover will be released at a later date.
The Best Version of You is a Self-Help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re: facing adversity, feeling lost, out of focus, wanting to make changes in their life, or simply wanting to update themselves. We update our phones, our computers, and software but honestly—when is the last time we updated ourselves?
Be honest: how many times have you thought to yourself, I look like a fool right now and people are laughing at me? If you’re anything like most of the people on this planet, this has probably happened to you at least 5-6 times. As much as we don’t like to admit, we are way too hard on ourselves (Negative Self Image) and we put words in other people’s mouths. (Mind Reading)
“They’re laughing at my shirt.”
“My coworkers think I’m an idiot.”
“The panel probably noticed when I accidentally used the wrong word during my interview.”
“Nobody trips over their own feet while working.”
These are just some of the examples of things people say to themselves. For some reason, people have a tendency to gravitate toward negative aspects of themselves. At least, what they believe to be negative.
Focus on what matters.
The truth is, 80% of the things you’re stressing or worrying about, other people don’t even notice. Why? Because they’re too busy stressing and worrying about themselves. People are not perfect. They’ve never been perfect and they never will be. Yet, our comparison trap leads us to believe they’re perfect and we’re insufficient. In fact, everything about us is subpar.
[Read more about the comparison trap in my upcoming book:The Best Version of You.]
“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” — Les Brown
Here are 3 things to help calibrate your thinking:
Stop stressing. People honestly don’t notice when you say something wrong or trip over your own feet. If they do, that’s ok — they’ll eventually do the same thing.
Stop overthinking and mind reading. Unless you have evidence to support your concern, stop overthinking and mind reading. For example: “John, I heard what you said and you sounded ridiculous.” Did they actually say that or do you think they said it? Information changes the situation. Ask yourself: What information do I have and what am I missing? Assumptionsdo not = reality.
Focus on what matters. What people think of you should have no impact on your goals, daily activities, beliefs, and life in general. Worrying about other people is a waste of your valuable time. It serves no purpose and will simply elevate your stress. (You will catastrophize.) Focusing on what will create winning streaks is how you will take your life to the next level. Small things are the secret. Do the little things every single day.
No matter how hard it gets, you have to keep moving forward. People are not thinking about you as much as you think — they’re honestly not. The more time you spend on trying to please them, the less time you’ll have to work on yourself.
Self Discipline vs Self Destruction
Self Discipline: Focus on yourself and ignore external noise.
Self Destruction: Focus on other people and listen/accept external and internal noise.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month
Every year the LGBT community is faced with difficult questions and comments, such as:
“Why don’t we have a heterosexual Pride Month?”
“Why is this even a thing?”
“Why do I always have to see this stuff?”
“This is ruining social media and television.”
“Why do they have to remind me of this, every year?”
“These people are annoying…”
“Why don’t we have a heterosexual Pride Month?”
Although everyone has the right to ask questions and express their opinion — it is still important to think before you ask or comment.
Information changes the situation. As discussed in the About – LGBT link, everything has a meaning. Plus, regardless of what people think or believe, everyone deserves something to celebrate and be happy about.
As a sexual assault victim advocate, a man, a father, a husband, a human, an ally, and someone that values basic human rights: supporting LGBT rights are extremely important to me. This community holds a very special place in my heart. For that reason, I am a proud member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community uses the rainbow flag
(commonly known as the gay flag or pride flag), which has different colors to represent the diversity of the community. Here are a few examples:
At the end of the day, LGBT Pride Month is about the celebration of people loving other people. Even if you don’t believe in this, due to religious or personal beliefs, it doesn’t matter because everything can’t always be about you. There are 7 billion unique people on this planet and it would be a tragedy if we were all the same.
Seeing people happy or in love, regardless if they’re heterosexual or LGBT, should bring a smile to your face. That is what life is all about. No, it is not teaching children something bad. Judging, labeling, or even committing a hate crime because you disagree with someone’s sexual orientation is what’s teaching children bad things. Personally, I would prefer having my children grow up in an environment where everyone is happy in their own unique way, then have them grow up in an environment filled with hate or worse — the fear of them self-identifying as LGBT. To me, this world has no place for that. After all, it is 2019, not 1419.
Regardless if people disagree with your lifestyle, your hobbies, your likes, your dislikes, your character, and even if your personality — don’t you dare apologize for your originality. It doesn’t matter if you’re: a man, a woman, weird, popular, religious, an atheist, white, black, straight, LGBTQ, a hard worker, a lazy individual, short, or tall — you are unique.
Not a single human on this planet has the exact same thumbprint as you. They might be close but they’ll never be exactly like you.
That means you’re incredibly special. Yes, there will be days where you might question yourself and your purpose. You might have to make necessary changes and updates, depending on where you’re at in your life. However, those are usually just external things.
Stop letting the world stick a finger in your face and determine your value. You are a brilliant creation. This is your story and you need to be the only one that continues to write it.
On January 30, 2000 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams (now LA Rams) hoisted the Vince Lombardy trophy over his head after winning Super Bowl XXXIV. The State of Missouri was filled with joy and labeled QB Kurt Warner as a hero.
Throughout the United States of America, soldiers from all branches of service return from deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Medals and promotions were addressed to those that had earned their right to have them pinned upon their chest. Just like Kurt Warner, they were labeled heroes. These are two different scenarios that define two completely different types of heroes. But in the end, they are both viewed as someone we should look up to; heroes.
At the same time in a small, beyond repairable apartment in Boston, a single mother makes dinner for her 5 year old son after working 12 hours and earning only minimum wage. On the inside she is feeling defeated and embarrassed to face her family and friends. But on the outside, the side that her 5 year old son views everyday regardless of the circumstances, she is happy and full of life. She emits an amazing ray of light that says:
“No matter what we go through, I will be there for you son and you will never go without.”
Despite how she feels on the inside, her son doesn’t notice due to her phenomenal level of compensation.
After evaluating all of the astonishing things this mother does for her son, at the end of the day, there is no Vince Lombardy trophy hoisted above her head. There are no medals pinned on her chest for her heroic deeds. There is no standing ovation or even as much as a, “Good job, mom.” No, the only thing this single mother gets is a new day to repeat the same processes.
Our society complains on a daily bases about not getting the recognition we believe we deserve. Yet, there are so many heroic events happening around us without our knowledge because we are complacent. You as the reader may know this person; at least you should be familiar with them since they have already done so much for you and your siblings. They have a fancy title for her, they call her mom. Does she ring a bell? She should.
Mom is the one that carried you for nine months when you were incapable of supporting yourself, yet. Mom is the one that helped you grow when dad was too busy or was away at work. Mom is the one that told you it was going to be okay, even though she knew deep down inside that it really wasn’t that easy, and it would take some time. Does mom ring a bell now?
As an avid sports fanatic I have considered many of my favorite athlete’s heroes. In fact, being a former fan of the St. Louis Rams (now LA Rams) I too labeled Kurt Warner as a hero. But now that I am older and wiser, I now realize I have forgotten the most important person that I have failed to acknowledge: my mother.
Every mother on this planet regardless if they are rich, poor, or even famous are heroes. Yes, there are some mothers that do not deserve such a title but I can assure you, the ones that do outweigh the few that do not. This doesn’t mean we have to present them with trophies and medals because I can guarantee you, those things do not mean a lot to them. In fact, I am willing to bet it is twice as special when she gets to see you being awarded these things.
So what does this mean? What should you do? Perhaps you should start off with something small like,“Thank you mom. Thank you for being there for me when no one else was there. Thank you for helping me grow-up to be the person that I am today. More importantly, thanks for being my mom.”
The world is full of people like Kurt Warner and honorable soldiers that deserve to be called heroes. But none of these are more deserving than your beautiful mother. To leave her out of the equation would simply be a tragedy. On behalf of all sons and daughters of the world, I would like to take this moment to say, “Happy Mother’s Day. You truly are heroes.”
With the popularity of social media platforms such as: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn–we are now seeing an epidemic of people using filters to hide their identity. Although fake profiles/accounts are a real issue, that is not the purpose of this blog.
This blog is about the real version of you. For some reason, both women and men feel like they have to create a fake version of themselves, just to satisfy the social media world. What happened? Are they unwritten laws and arbitrary (unachievable) standards that we choose to accept? I hate to be the one to break the news but–this is not healthy and definitely a contributing factor for depression.
Sure, this woman is very attractive but you have to wonder, how many attempts and filters were used to create this finished product? Some additional questions to consider:
What message does this send to other women that are focused on physical fitness? Some women are motivated and inspired, some feel worse about themselves. I love that my wife is serious about fitness [and very beautiful] but that does not define her.
Does this create a false sense of reality? If you wore this outfit and worked out like her, you could look like this…
What if she were more masculine? Would other women and men unfairly judge her based on masculine features? She’s still the same woman that someone loves.
Unfortunately, women are held to standards that are insulting at times and not fair. A woman doesn’t have to look perfect to be accepted by society. If a woman looks masculine or likes things that are labeled guy things–so what? She’s still a woman and is entitled to like whatever she wants. That’s called freedom.
Again, this is an attractive man but you have to wonder, how many attempts and filters were used to create this finished product? Some additional questions to consider:
What message is this sending to other men? Are they required to be fit/slim in order to be considered attractive? I work my a** off in the gym and although I want to look fit, I do it mainly for my health. My health is my priority.
Does this create a false sense of reality? If you pick up these tires, you too will look like this…
What if he demonstrated effeminate characteristics? With the double standards put on men, he would probably be insulted, threatened, and labeled. Effeminate men are dehumanized due to the arbitrary standards that society created. Personally, I have some effeminate qualities but they do not define me. Why does it matter?
Just like women, men are held to standards that undermine their character based on made up standards. Things like the man card and man rules are the grade card regardless if men choose to accept those standards or not.
Bottom line: I am certainly not picking on people or calling anyone out. I’m also not targeting the woman and man I used for examples. These are good pictures and they should be proud of the results.
What I am trying to convey is that filters are ruining our society. They are causing us to forget about what’s important: our character. Using filters for certain pictures is important. I would be lying if I said I don’t ever do it. We just have to remember that we can’t use a filter to hide everything about ourselves. In fact, you shouldn’t want to do that because we’re all unique. The fact that you don’t look like Jessica or Paul is a good thing. You have value and your looks and character are an important piece of the puzzle.
Life will throw every type of obstacle at you regardless if you’re mentally or physically prepared for it. However, you must understand and believe you are equipped to handle it. Most people quit, fail, and hide because they allow their mind to convince them,You can’t do this.
What you don’t realize: that is your mind regurgitating what you’ve heard, not what you’ve thought or know. The fact is, you are good enough and even if 1,000 people tell you that you’re not, you are still in the driver seat of your life. You bring value and can be an instrument for change.
It is my personal goal to help people understand this. Too many people suffer from depression because they just need someone to remind them, “Hey, I got you. You and your story are important to me.”
Even if this type of blog or message does not resonate with most people–it doesn’t matter because the objectives are still the same:
Help people to recognize their value.
Remind people they are loved, even on their darkest days.
Rejuvenate men, women, and children’s self esteem and self love.
Help make change a reality instead of just a wish.
Yesterday I had the honor of co-hosting our 3rd annual Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month(SAAPM) 5k Color Run/Walk Event at Rickenbacker (Columbus), Ohio. This was a joint operation that involved four branches of services.
Reference my post: SAAPM 2018 for additional information about Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month.
This event was designed to bring awareness to sexual assault survivors, sexual harassment, and prevention/bystander intervention. I want to personally thank the victim advocates, chain of command, volunteers, the participants (100+), and most importantly, my friend and mentor, Captain J. Green (121 ARW SARC).
I can honestly say, the entire month was a huge success. The In Their Honor event on the 20th was truly unique, we had tons of participation for National Denim Day on the 25th. The culminating event was the 5k Color Run/Walk Event on the 27th of April.
Again, I want to thank everyone for this amazing journey and I am positive the 2019 events will be even better.
“We are the force behind the fight to achieve culture change.”
Note: The photo used for the cover is from the 2017 5k Color/Walk Run Event. The official photos have not been published, yet.
Most of us want to be the person we needed as a child.By doing so, it helps us cope with the things we struggled with during a particular chapter in our life. It doesn’t erase it but does effectively use the pain as an instrument for change.
What you need to remind yourself: If the people in your life would have been what you wanted them to be, you would not be the person you are, today.
“I wish you would have been a better friend/sibling/parent.”
“I needed your help, and you weren’t there for me.”
“Why didn’t you warn me about life’s major obstacles?”
What you need to understand: Your past set you on a course for your present and your future. Meaning, your past is your advantage and you must learn to use it strategically. You can’t change the past but you can certainly write your future.
“History is being read but it’s also being written by people with imagination.”
– Les Brown
“Your absence helped me grow and begin to understand how to operate, independently.”
“Yes, I wish you would have been there to teach me; however, I learned a valuable skill that will set me up forsuccess.”
“By not warning me, I developed situational awareness and now understand how to mitigate risks.”
Learning how to strategically use your past to your advantage, will ultimately set you up to win. Instead of running from your past, you must learn to embrace the skills and experience it facilitated.
Your perspective is the key. How you look at things, will always change the game.