MINDSET OF THE BEST

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I am a fan of many different authors and speakers. Today’s post is courtesy of one such individual, David Goggins. David is a raw and real speaker that may be offensive in his language to some. He does, however, have a wealth of knowledge and great information. One of my favorite subjects he speaks on is the mindset of greatness. His best comparison is that of a job interview. When we are first interviewing for a job, what do we do days, weeks or even longer before? We make sure our clothes are ready, have our coffee cup out, a breakfast ready to be made. In short, we are preparing to make it as easy as possible to bring our best self to the interview. It usually works, and we get the job. What happens several months to a year down the line? We no longer put our clothes out the night before. Maybe our breakfast isn’t ready. Perhaps we are a few minutes late because we had to wait for the coffee to brew. We become comfortable. We have the job and so why spend the time doing all of the extras?

This can happen even sooner for some of us. It is a natural sort of progression. Should the company face the prospect of having to downsize, or we hear a rumor that we might lose our job, then we amp up our efforts once again. Of course, once that threat lessens or goes away entirely, we are back to going through the motions of going to work and coming home. Les Brown, another favorite speaker, once said we do enough at a job not to get fired, and they pay us just enough not to quit. That may very well be true. Another fact is that if you are looking to be promoted or to get a raise, all you need to do is to do more work than is required for you. Companies will not want to lose an employee with that mindset. They will do everything they can to hang on to someone who is willing to ‘go the extra mile’.

Our job is not the only place this thinking shows up. One of the places were we tend to do this the most is in our intimate relationships. When we are trying to win someone’s affection, or shortly after we do so, we act a certain way. We send flowers for no reason. We are more likely to do things for that person without complaint. Fast forward being together for years and what happens? We, almost subconsciously, take the relationship, if not the person, for granted. We think to ourselves that area of our life is ‘handled’ and we can place our energy elsewhere. We start to compliment them less. Maybe we show less affection. When they ask us to do something, it feels more like a chore.

Much like our job, if a challenge arises, so do our efforts. If the person we are with suddenly has an attractive new coworker, or maybe they do something that indicates they might be thinking of moving on, then we begin to put more effort into our relationship with them. Maybe we come home with some flowers. We might take time out of our work day to send them a loving text or perhaps a quick call. Once we become comfortable again, our efforts may start to dwindle. If you want a more amazing and deeper relationship, the steps are the same as getting a promotion or raise at work. All we have to do to take our relationships to the next level is go the extra mile. In short, do all of the amazing things we did when we were trying to win them and we will only serve to strengthen and deepen the relationship we have.

A good bonus of this thinking is that there should be more ideas the longer you are together. In the years Margie and I have been together, I have learned many new things that make her happy and feel loved. In some cases, I have been there when she discovered them for herself. I was able to do so by active listening. This means every day I am consciously on the lookout for those things that bring joy to the heart and a smile to the face of the woman I love. This took some effort and reminding myself in the beginning, but now it is second nature to me. The rewards of this have been worth their weight in gold. At any time I have a growing list of things I can do, say or make happen that will not only make her happier, but strengthen and deepen her love for me. I confess, I should probably be doing this more often, but as our love continues to grow so does the opportunities to make it grow.

Don’t worry if you have been guilty of falling into these ruts. We all do so to some degree. The secret is being able to recognize that and to pull ourselves out of them. Another way to look at this – the longer you have been in this rut and the deeper you are, the greater the opportunity for improvement! When you begin to look for and do the little extras, your life, your job and your relationships, both intimate and others, will transform before your eyes! I would love to hear what other areas of your life you feel this could come in handy.

MY LITTLE MIRACLE

I ended last week with a post about the local coffee shop and how they helped my spirit through these challenging times. I would be remiss if I did not mention my personal angel, my own little miracle, my beautiful Margie. There have been so many little things she has done throughout my healing journey I am forever grateful for. It actually started even before my surgery when she gifted me a journal and helped me on my journey to create a book about this entire journey. It will be out by July I promise you. This will not only be a benefit to you, the reader, but it helped me capture my emotions and to deal with them in a far healthier way that had I not been writing. She also gave me a shirt that said, “Never thought I would be this good looking after open heart surgery, but here I am killing it”. That is my baby, always making me smile.

She also had some very unenviable tasks. Can you imagine what it is like to live with someone who is used to working at an active job and going to the gym 5 days a week and now has to just relax for 3 months? Can you imagine how much that person may try to sneak and do things that they probably should not? How about how much you would have to cheer this person up when they feel like their healing is not moving along fast enough for their impatient liking. Having to watch the person recovering go through many different episodes of pain and telling them to go back to the hospital when the pain became too much? Especially when you consider that was the last place they wanted to go back to?

During my surgery, I was wrapped up in how scary it was to be in that situation and not be able to have any visitors. It could not have been any easier to know the person you love is going through it and not being able to visit them. Margie handled it all with grace like only she can do. When I returned she made sure I had food to feed my stomach, and provided me love to feed my soul. When we both got the coronavirus shortly after I came home from the hospital, she managed to continue this amazing streak of behavior despite coughing and not feeling well herself.

Even today, four months after the surgery, she continues doing things that really help. She has started exploring healthier ways to cook so we can make sure my heart does last as long as it can. She has been working on rearranging the house to make it more relaxing and pleasing for both of us. She continues to make me laugh and show me affection. She has been doing all of this while she goes to school two days and week and spends a good deal of time on the other days creating unbelievable cake creations.

You may not believe a person like this really exists. What would you call someone who can pull all of this off? I call her many things. I call her Margie (Margaret when she lets me get away with it), my love, my little miracle. The greatest thing and the thing I am most grateful to call her is – mine. I am so thankful that I have a woman like this to share my life with.

HOW IS YOUR REAL LIFE?

Here are some facts according to Pew research. The percentage of adults who report that they go online “almost constantly” was 21% in 2015. How about today? That amount has risen to 31%. Not to mention that is only the ones who realize and report that. Overall, adults who report they go online at least on a daily basis? That is 85%. For someone who runs a website that provides individuals tools and strategies to improve their lives, this is a good thing. Unfortunately, not all of those 85% are not spending their time online exploring ways in which they can expand their knowledge and improve themselves.

Even more depressing is the lack of compassion and human courtesy that proliferates in the online world. It would often appear that people are willing to say hurtful things to others behind a keyboard that they would never say face to face. This is just a fact of the world as it exists presently. It is my firm belief the best way to counter that is to supply inspiring and motivating material to people whenever and wherever you can. Recently, I saw a person posting that they finally got the job they had been trying to get for a long time. My first reaction was to feel happy for this person. When I looked in the comments, I saw people saying things like “Nobody cares” and “You couldn’t get anything better?” I was baffled. Why would someone even spend time to post things like this? Somebody did care. I believe not only the person who posted it, but their family and friends were probably very happy for them. They should have been. Why couldn’t get something better? Maybe they were starting out on the ground floor. Maybe they were just looking for something to support their family? Gratefully, there were many positive and uplifting comments as well. What do you think would stick in the mind of this young man? What do you think the people posting those negative comments online got for their actions?

My suggestion to all of us, is to dedicate a period of time to look for ways and opportunities to inspire and uplift people online. Look for places to leave positivity. Is there a place to cheer someone up? To congratulate them on a job well done? You could even just post a few inspiring pictures or quotes to bring joy to anyone who may come across them. It will not only make you feel good, but will go a long way into making the online world a better place.

Now back to some of the things we mentioned earlier. While 85% of people spend some of their lives online, and are so affected by it. They are still living most of their lives, we hope, in the real world. Even the 31% of folks who say they go online constantly should at least spend a portion of their time IRL (which is social media for ‘in real life’) Here is something I want to stress to all of you. It is even more important to be a decent person in the real world. Not even just decent, but kind, compassionate and inspiring. There are several reasons why we should do this. May favorite is simple and comes from the ‘Dean of personal development’ himself, Earl Nightingale. Earl said we should treat everyone we come in contact with as if they were the most important person on earth because that is how humans should treat each other. I can’t argue with the man. He also points out that to that person, they are the most important person in their life. This can be said for all of us.

I have another reason to consider. If more and more of us are spending a good portion of our lives online, we can run the risk of encountering those who are less than inspiring, to put it eloquently. If you haven’t run across a person like this online yet, rest assured you will. Some of them may even have you questioning your faith in humanity. That is why it is so important for us to be good stewards of humanity both online, and more importantly in the real world. This cannot be stressed enough. We never know what the person next to us may be going through. Starting today, I implore all of you to look for ways to inspire and uplift as many people as you can both online and, of course, in the real world. I would love to hear any ideas you may have for ways in which we can do this.

GO FROM HATE TO LOVE

Here in the northern hemisphere spring has arrived and summer is well on its way. If you are anything like myself you have noticed that you have a way to go until you have a body you are happy to show off in the warm rays of the summer sun. In today’s society it can seem like second nature to put ourselves down when it comes to our personal appearance. With everyone sharing their absolute best pictures on social median and celebrities going as far as photoshopping and air-brushing their pictures, it can be easy to feel inadequate. What, if anything does that get us?

Let me ask you this question, who would you do more for, someone you love or someone you hate? The answer here is an obvious one. You would do far more for someone you love. The same can be said for yourself. Last year, I had made a habit of going to the gym or some type of fitness 5 days a week. I was starting to get excited about my progress. January brought open heart surgery and required rest and time away from the gym. It has been almost 3 months since I was going 5 days a week. It is amazing how quickly your body can go downhill and how long it can take to get back to where you were. This cannot only be frustrating, it can be downright depressing. This can cause us to lash out in anger and frustration. Oddly enough, the recipient of this harsh talk and criticism is the person in the mirror. You are about to get in the shower and you glass in the mirror and hate what you see. You are not alone and this happens to far more of us than you can imagine.

You might not even be aware of the negative self-talk you engage in. That is the first step. Notice what you are saying to that image in the mirror. Is it along the lines of “Wow I have a big belly” “I look fat.” or even the less harsh sounding “I sure used to look better.” With statements like that, people end up viewing their body as an enemy. Something that is working against them. Maybe even someone who played a cruel trick on them. Instead, try focusing on something you like about yourself. Do you have a beautiful smile? Do you love your voice? Are your calves sexy? Then, simply say to yourself, or out loud if you are feeling brave, “I love my body. I will do better.”

This may sound like a lie and be hard to believe at first, but keep it up. When we are not healthy, it can be easy to focus on what our bodies are not capable of. We do no run as fast as we would like. We can’t lift as much as we wish we could. To, of course, we can’t fit into those jeans from 3 years ago. What we forget is all of the wonderful things our body does to for us. It gets us from point A to point B. Sure, it might not be as quick or as graceful as we would like, but it does the job. We can pick up things we drop. We can hug ones we love. Our body does a million different things we can be grateful for, if only we choose to be. Imagine if we started that? I say next time you catch yourself looking in the mirror, find at least one thing you love about yourself and your body or at the very least one thing that it allows you to do that you are grateful for. Say that to yourself or out loud and then follow it with telling your body that you love it.

One of the great side effects of this is how you start treating your body. You may pause when you are tempted to fill it up with garbage. Calories that add weight, but lacking the nutrition to supply the system with what it needs. Even if you do, you may find it easier to take a walk after dinner. It might even make you a little sore depending on your fitness level. Deep down you know it is for the best. That is called “Tough Love”. You owe yourself a little of this as well. I can understand how easy it is to get frustrated when the results do not come as quickly as you would like. Ask yourself this question when you feel like quitting, “Would you give up on someone you love?” Of course you wouldn’t. Don’t give up on yourself either. You got this and we are here to support you.

IT IS NOT YOUR JOB

I saw this sign posted online the other day and it made me chuckle. Raise your hand if you have difficulty finding love for a certain group of your fellow humans. This could be a political group, a religious group, a group that listens to music you can’t stand, maybe a group that has vices you find totally unacceptable. Perhaps you only have a hard time loving people who have lied to you or people who have done you wrong? If so raise your hand for that too. If you do not have your hand raised at this point, do you lie about other stuff too? Point is, all of us have a hard time showing love to someone. I know I do. Mr. Rogers was about the closest human I can think of who loved everyone he met.

Why is it that we have a hard time loving certain people? It is simple. It is a judgment. We view them as ‘wrong’. Here is something to think about, no matter how good of a person we strive to be, in someone else’s mind we are hard to love as well. What is the solution? It is on the sign pictured above. Many of us have heard the quote “Kill them all, let God sort them out.” (which originated from a representative of Pope Innocent III in 1209. A lot of irony there) I say we follow a different creed, “Love them all, let God sort them out.” I, personally, would rather be guilty of loving someone who didn’t deserve it than withholding love from someone who needs it.

This coming week, I challenge you show and send love to everyone you meet. This can be done out loud, or if you feel uncomfortable, do it in your head. Pause for a second and send that person some words and feelings of love. Then, I want you to notice two things. First, what type of people was this most difficult for you to do? Why do you think that is? What could you do to develop more compassion and love for that group of people? Then, at the end of the week, I want you to notice how your life is different. Not only how you are feeling, but how others respond to you. It is my opinion, you will feel motivated to do it more often.

A SIGN EVERY BUSINESS NEEDS

I love this sign! It goes a great way to show how people respond kindly to you when you treat them positively. This is reflective in my own life. I can recall quite a few times when the fine folks working at the coffee shops have told me things like “This one is on us today” or thrown in a few little extra items for me. I attribute this, not only to their kindness and generosity, but to the fact that I always treat them with kindness and respect. Still, there is a small change I would make to this sign. I would have it read as follows:

“Small coffee!” = a small coffee

“Small coffee, please” = a medium coffee

“Hello, one small coffee please” = a large coffee

I would word it this way because I believe that the kinder you are, the more life returns to you. Let me be perfectly clear, paying less or getting more should not be your main motive for being kind and respectful to others. You should do that because, as Earl Nightingale used to say, that is how we ought to treat each other. If all the self-serving folks did decide to be kind because they thought there was more in it for them, I guess that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. For the rest of us, it is worth noting that life will return what we give out. It may not be from exactly who we give it to, or in the exact same fashion, but it will be returned to us.

Our life tends to be more positive and rewarding when that is how we are to the world. This is not terribly mind-boggling. If you are a fun smiling sort, people look forward to your presence and thus, treat you with more kindness and respect. Do this wherever you go and soon you will find kind people wherever you end up. “What about those people who are not kind to me even though I am kind to them?” I can hear some of you asking. First of all, those are the people who need it the most. They me broken in ways that we cannot perceive. Maybe they just lost someone they love, had a break up, told there job will be outsourced or simply were not raised with manners. Not only is it essential we lead by example, but the next time around they may remember the kindness we showed them and return the favor. Maybe they will simply treat the next person in line with a little more gentleness and thus we have still done our part to make the world a better place.

In life we are here to serve one another. One of the easiest, yet most important ways to do this is through treating each other with kindness and respect. It will not only improve and add joy to our life, but to the world at large. It doesn’t cost us a single dime, but the returns can be worth their weight in gold.

WHAT A WATER BOTTLE CAN TEACH US ABOUT LIFE

Inspiration for my writing can come from anywhere at any time. Recently, it came from a story about a bottle of water. That’s right, a bottle of water. What can a simple bottle of water teach us about life and how to live it better? You would be surprised. Let us look at the story that inspired this post and then discuss how to apply it a little bit after.

A bottle of water in the supermarket is worth about $.50. That same bottle at a bar costs around $2. In a good restaurant or hotel it can be worth about $3. If you were at a concert, outdoor festival or airport you could pay up to $5! The bottle and brand is the same, the only thing that changes is the place. Each place gives a different value to the same product.

What does the fact that they charge you way to much for bottles of water at concerts and at the airport teach us about life? It teaches us that worth is not a fixed value. This is more important when it comes to ourselves than purified water in a plastic bottle. If you have a lot of moments of feeling worthless and have people around you who belittle you, it may very well be time to change places! Just like our bottle of water, do not stay where you are viewed at $.50, find that airport or outdoor concert. You are a $5.00 bottle of water. Find that place where you are valued. Seek out those smart and astute individuals who see the brilliant gifts you bring to the table.

I suggest keeping a bottle of water nearby to remind you of this principle. If you hear from someone who does not see your value, take a sip and remind yourself that you are a $5.00 bottle of water! Plus, staying hydrated is always a healthy thing to do! Share your world with those who find you refreshing.

STOP FALLING FOR THIS NONSENSE!

Daily we are greeted with messages of division. Some days they seem to be downright violent in their nature. It is messages of extremes delivered by one side or another. It gives us three very false impressions. The first is that you have to choose “One side or the other” You can’t be a little of this, or a little of that. With just a few seconds of logical thought, we can realize this is not true. In today’s world, which thanks to technology is growing more mixed and smaller than ever, people are a mix of a whole bunch of different things.

That brings us to the second false claim these stories and groups are putting out there. That most people belong to one of these “2 sides”. It is if people are made to feel guilty for having feelings that can understand and see and issue from both points of view. Here is a news flash for some of you – you can agree with parts of one side of and issue and parts of another side. In fact, if you do, that is a sign of open-mindedness and critical thinking. Seldom, if ever, is an issue black and white. Despite what you hear, you do not have to be on one side of an issue or another. You can choose the space in between and not only understand, but give respect to both sides.

That brings us to the last bit of misinformation those in certain circles would like us to believe – that if you disagree with someone you have to hate them or at the very least view them as if they were the enemy. This is not only obviously untrue, but ask yourself what we stand to gain by thinking this way. By making enemies of those who could have been friends with just a little bit of compassion and understanding. Ask yourself another important question, who stands to benefit by us being divided and working against each other? It brings more stress into our lives and reduces the amount of people we can share with. So, who does benefit from us being divided?

From now on I challenge you to stop being a sheep and believing that we must remain divided. We are far more powerful when we work together. How can we accomplish this? I will give you a few examples and I would love to hear more from you. In something as simple as sports we can try this. If you meet up with friends who cheer for a different team than you do (yes this is actually allowed in life) If your team wins, be gracious enough to say “Your team played a good game.” Maybe even mention a few things that they did well and wish them better luck next time. This works a lot better than mocking them and gloating about how good your team is. If your team loses, remember it is just a game. Congratulate them on their teams victory. In that contest, they were obviously the better team. Keep in mind this is just a game. It should be a chance to gather together and not say mean or hurtful things. Once again, nobody wins in that scenario.

Politics is an area that people are really getting after each other lately. To me, this is one of the most foolish. Do you know who benefits when we label each other as “Crazy” or “Evil” because our politics differ? Those politicians that seek to push their agendas by dividing us. The problem is not that neighbor Bill voted for someone different than you and has a different view of the world. The problem is that instead of seeking a middle ground and a solution that will benefit all people, we are told we have to be divided and only one side can win. When we do this we lose. We lose friends, we lose a good amount of peace and joy in our lives. We may even have families torn apart. As a parent or teacher we would never tell children that they should call the other kids they disagree with nasty names, but that is exactly what grown adults in the political arena are doing. What do we teach children? That is ok to be different and that we all have to find ways to play nice together, This is a message that we should deliver to those in power.

Lastly, there is religion and faith. This is so important in the lives of many. Our faith can be what gets us through the toughest times. Yet, just like politicians, certain religious leaders would prefer we view those who differ in their form of worship as “The enemy” or “Sinners”. Turning people we love, or those that we see do a lot of compassionate and loving things for the world as ‘the bad guys’. In mind mind, this is nothing short of stupid. When I hear of someone who enjoys a ritual that is different than what I may do, this is what I say. “Oh, that’s cool.” It doesn’t mean my beliefs are wrong or that theirs are better or worse than mine. It is just that they have found a different way to deepen their faith which will ultimately make them a better person.

Don’t be a sheep and follow what certain members of the media and those in power are telling you. We do not have to be divided. Those who are different than us can still be right and so can we. Be a lion. Show what love and compassion can do. Show what working together we can make the world a far better place than working against each other. Realize that in your own life, love and compassion for those who differ than you can bring you more peace and less stress. Awaken the lion within you.

IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE

You would not expect such a line on a positive blog, but let me explain. This line is attributed to the Sioux Chief Crazy Horse. It may have been actually said by a different man, Low Dog first, but the idea is the same. The idea behind it is that we must live life so that if we were to meet an untimely demise, we would pass on with no regrets. I always understood the idea behind this phrase intellectually, but it has only been the last few years that I have really felt it in my spirit.

In about a month, I will be having open-heart surgery. Although the doctor is fairly confident, it still has a good amount of risk. Facing death is one of the best ways to give life a truer sense of meaning. Knowing there is a chance that death could be around the corner, can intensify your experience of life. Everything becomes more precious. Colors are more vibrant, times with friends become precious moments. You feel compelled to make sure everyone you care about that knows exactly how you feel. You live life with a overwhelming feeling of gratitude. This feeling is not only for all that we have, but even the challenges in life and for our life in general.

I feel fortunate to have been blessed to learn this lesson. There was a few ways in which this came to be so powerful for me. I would like to share them with you. Why? Because this is the way we should live. The sad and somewhat scary truth is that any day we have may be our last. When we discovered my heart issue, I was feeling on top of the world, yet without surgery, I was a walking timebomb. My heart stands the chance of literally exploding any day. As you can imagine, the prognosis after that would happen would not be good. There are many situations, most that are beyond our control, that could severely shorten our life expectancy. We should live our life accordingly.

It doesn’t have to take facing a serious health challenge or even realizing one could arise tomorrow to motivate us to live life to the fullest. I am going to give you two more ways in which this philosophy was driven home to me. The first is actually a very positive one. I can describe in one word the miraculous event that made me want to live life as the best possible version of myself and appreciate every breath that I take. That one word? Margie. Meeting a woman who genuinely cares so deeply for me and works so hard to be the best person she can be leaves me feeling thankful she chose me to share her life with. (Or did I chose her? The debate rages on.) Having someone who loves you, whether that is a parent, a child, a dog or, like in my case, the most beautiful woman on the planet, really fires up a desire inside of you to give them the best of everything. The surest way to have the best relationship you can is to work on becoming the best person you can. You may want to read that last line several times.

The most recent lesson of living your life in such a manner that it would be “a good day to die” is legacy. Years ago, I did a video for my YouTube channel (Neil Panosian) about writing your own eulogy. The purpose of that is to really focus on the kind of person you would like to be remembered as. This ties in with the love I have for my lady. I believe the worst feeling to have when you are facing death or the death of someone you care greatly for is not loss, but regret. When they ask people who were facing their earthly demise what they regretted about their lives the most, it was not the mistakes or the crazy things they had done. No, what a person who knows their time is drawing short regrets is things they have not done and have not tried. It is also realizing that the little things are the big things. I would love to treat Margie to everything her heart desires. I want to make all of her dreams come true. If I knew I only had a little time left, I would want to know I made her life, and every life I came in contact with a little better for my being here. I also would want to treasure some of the little things more. I would want to sit across the table from her sipping a cup of great coffee and letting her beautiful smile melt my heart. I would want to lay in bed next to her and wrap my arms around her and feel close to the woman I love so much.

Never knowing when a moment will be the last has us savoring it so much. Finding out I needed this dangerous surgery really gave us a stark reminder of that fact. Finding such an amazing woman had me knowing it all along. I encourage you to take a step back from your busy life to realize how fragile and precious it is. Those we love may not be here tomorrow and we may not be either. That is why we must enjoy every day, every moment and every breath. We must appreciate them for the priceless gifts that they are. We must live our lives so full that it would be a good day to die.

In my life I have been surrounded by great friends and family. I have had the opportunity to use the gifts that the creator has given me to bring joy to others. I have the privilege of loving what I believe to be the most beautiful woman I have ever known. My heart has known the great love that she has returned to me. There is certainly a lot more I wish and desire to accomplish and share, but my life has been good and if I were to leave this world today, it would be a good day to die.

YOUR GREATEST ADVENTURE!

Whether you are a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, action/adventure or even fair tales, there is one thing they all have in common. The hero. Think of the warrior setting out on his fateful journey. Whether that be to rid the world of evil, save the princess, slay the dragon or a host of other exciting adventures, that is usually a core theme of any good story. Even in modern times, the warrior may look different, but it is one of the classic themes. Either man verses the world, man verses man, or man verses himself. One of those challenges has to be overcome to make the story great.

I don’t pretend to know all of your professions, but I doubt any of us are saving a princess, ridding the world or evil or slaying a dragon, or are we? It may feel as though our life is lacking a great adventure, but that is far from the truth. Are you ridding the world of evil? Let me ask you this, are you a parent? Are you raising your children to be polite, accepting and compassionate individuals? Are you someone who is trying to unite people and bring them together for the common good? Are you simply someone who does their best to leave everyone a little happier than when they came in contact with them? I can tell you that is a great adventure this day and age. I can also tell you our friends in retail would look at you as a hero coming in to save them from all of the complaining and negative people they are bound to come in contact with.

Saving the princess? How many of us know a princess personally? How many of us even live in a country where there is a princess? You may think the answer would be very few of us. I am here to tell you the answer is every one of us! How can that be? Do you have a significant other? There is your prince or princess, depending. Of course they are not being held captive by an evil warlord. They are not trapped in a dungeon. This is not exactly true. Are they trapped in a stressful job 8 hours a day? Are they faced with a stressful commute? Maybe drama with friends or family? How would they view someone who brings them flowers or a romantic card? Maybe takes them out to dinner? Takes out the garbage without being reminded or just holds them and reminds them how beautiful and loved they are? That, my friends is saving the princess or prince. Don’t have that special someone in your life yet? If you do this for people you care about, you will be their hero and soon find yourself in the arms of that special someone.

Ok, you may be thinking you can relate to all of that, but slaying a dragon? Dragons are not even real! There are no dragons to slay in the real world. That statement couldn’t be more incorrect. They may not be mean-looking fire-breathing reptiles, but there are dragons a plenty to slay. Are you battling an addiction? You know all about slaying the dragon. That becomes a daily dragon to face. Working on eating better and getting to the gym? Dragon to slay. Doing your best to not give in to the negative influences all around you? Dragon to slay. Just as a warrior would never go into battle with a fierce dragon without a weapon and a shield, we must do the same. Our faith in our spiritual beliefs can be our shield. Our focus on a better future can be our weapon. Whatever dragon we are going to face, we should do so prepared. We should celebrate when the dragon is slayed as any good warrior would, and then we must prepare for the next dragon we will face.

Our life is our greatest adventure. We embark everyday on a great quest. We are ridding the world of evil, rescuing princesses and princes and slaying dragons. Sometimes all three in a single day. It is another reason that self-care is so important. As any great warrior, we must take time to let our wounds heal so we stand the greatest chance at succeeding in our quest! Stay strong my fellow warriors.