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Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

In the Blink of an Eye!

In Family, Pursuit of Happiness on January 8, 2010 at 10:21 am

When I met my wife (nearly 20 years ago), she already had a few nephews and one niece – an adorable little girl who always made me laugh.  I loved the way that she used her made-up words with such confidence, that you actually questioned whether the words had somehow eluded you throughout your years of education.  Amazingly, I still remember that time of her life as if were last week, yet the years in between are all a blur.

How is it possible that this adorable little girl is already an amazing young woman?  Where did the years go?  Somehow she went from making up funny words and making us all laugh, to going out to a club with us during her visit to Texas, and talking about her life and her plans for the future.  It all seems so surreal, like living inside of a movie where they have different actors playing the character in various stages of life so that you can see the back story leading up to the present day.

As I’m writing this, my little girl (who is the same age that my niece was when I met her) is sitting next to me, wrapped up in her TV show and snacks, drinking out of her sippy cup.  I never really thought about it until now, but she reminds me a lot of my niece, always making everyone smile in her own unique little way.  Part of me would love to freeze this moment in time (understandably so).

This is the age where my daughter really became “Daddy’s little girl.” I love the way that she climbs into my lap and lets me hold her.  I love the way that she lies on top of me on the couch, lovingly says “snuggly daddy,” in that adorable little voice, and eventually falls asleep.  I love the hugs that she gives me and tells me that “you’re the best daddy in the whole wide world.” To quote an Edwin McCain song that was played at our wedding…“these are the moments, I’ll remember all my life.”

Spending time with my niece this week, going out socially and seeing her all grown up has reminded me just how fast time goes by.  As much as I’d like to freeze this moment in time, I know that it’s not possible.  Before long, my little girl will grow up just like my niece has.  If we’re lucky, she’ll grow up to be as amazing as her cousin.  I only wish that there was a way to stop it from happening “in the blink of an eye!”

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Perspective

In Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Yesterday was one of those days that didn’t turn out as planned. When I started this journey, I predicted that there would be good days and bad days. It’s been less than a week, and the first bad day has already happened. Nothing terrible, mind you, just the little annoyances that seem to snowball when you’re not having the best day.

It was the first day that I didn’t get out and walk at least a mile or two because I was tied up with some pressing matters. For all of the time that I spent being inactive, it’s amazing how quickly the guilt set in for missing one day of walking. But I’m glad that I felt that way. If I’m going to make the changes that I want to make, I need to hold myself accountable, avoid making excuses and make it happen!

So exercise took a back seat for a day, but I did get to speak to a few people that I’ve been looking to catch up with for a while.  Although each of them is dealing with issues that are making their lives difficult, we found several opportunities to make jokes and laugh. As the old saying goes…“laughter is the best medicine.” Maybe it is, but I think that perspective is a close second.

My day was annoying yesterday, but nothing that happened even comes close to the issues that the people that I spoke to are facing. By the time that I was ready to go to bed, I realized that my day wasn’t so bad after all. Even though I fell behind a little in my pursuit of health, I did make progress on some projects that I am working on, so that was a positive.

Today, it is unseasonably cold in Texas (the coldest that it’s been in 14 years). The weather has dipped below freezing into the high 20’s. They talk about this on the local weather with the same frantic tones that they use in New York when a blizzard is on the way. In fact, I saw one report that said that it’s possible that the temperature would stay below freezing for around 85 consecutive hours. Hours? What kind of weather forecast talks about hours instead of days? It’s not even that cold – from MY perspective.

As a proud New Yorker who already missed a day of exercise, there was no way that I was going to be deterred from walking on a winter day in Texas, even though the cold provided an easy excuse to do so. I put on the New York Islanders jacket that I bought last year (which I didn’t think that I’d get to use in Texas), strapped on the headphones, cranked up the music and started walking. However, singing along to the music as I usually do was challenging. The wind whipped down my throat, forcing me to literally “swallow my words.”

With each step, I felt the chilling wind penetrating my sweatpants and numbing my feet as it filtered through the mesh on my sneakers. Last week, I would have turned right back around and called it a day (had I even gotten out the door in the first place). But this year, I am determined not to let anything stand in the way of my pursuit of health, wealth and “happyness.”

It’s amazing how much you can change your life just by changing your perspective!

A Little Help From My Friends (for Olivia Grace Armand)

In Giving Back, Pursuit of Happiness on January 6, 2010 at 12:28 am

We’ve all seen flocks of geese flying in a “V” formation across the sky. Most people probably don’t know why they fly in this pattern. I didn’t either until I was given an inspirational postcard years ago by a mentor that I have great respect for. Though I don’t have the card anymore, I still find it inspiring to watch the “V” formation as it passes overhead because I remember the teamwork message.

Today while driving, I saw a “V” formation off in the distance.  Usually I just marvel at the precision, and then the moment is gone.  However, today was different.  I didn’t just see the “V” formation passing overhead; I actually watched the teamwork taking place right before my eyes.  It was truly an amazing sight to behold.

The leader of the “V” formation feels the same resistance and drag as if it were flying alone, which is why the leader keeps rotating.  The benefit of the formation is that the flock increases its flying range by an astounding 71% in comparison to flying alone.  This is because the flapping wings create uplift for the next goose in line.  As fatigue sets in, the tired geese rotate to the back of the formation.  All the while, the geese in the back of the formation honk to encourage the geese in the front to maintain their speed.

Should one of the geese get injured or sick, two of the other geese will follow it to the ground to offer protection until the injured goose can fly again or dies.  They will then launch out and try and join another passing flock or try to catch up to their own flock.

Although teamwork is a nice buzzword that people tend to use in the business world, the reality is that it true teamwork (where each team member acts selflessly for the greater good) is not all that common.  However, it does exist in the world.

If you’ve been following my story, you know that my good friend, Trish, recently lost her daughter, Olivia, to a very rare disease called I-Cell.  When Olivia went into the hospital, a number of us checked in with Trish on a regular basis to see how Olivia was doing.  Through Facebook updates and e-mails, we all monitored the situation as if we were going through it ourselves.  And to some degree, we were.

Olivia Grace Armand (affectionately known as “Cookie”), touched all of our lives in ways that are difficult to put into words. When she passed away, a piece of each of us did as well.  At our age, it is not uncommon to have lost a parent.  I’ve been through it myself when I lost my father in 2001.  However, the loss of a child is something that most of us have not experienced until Olivia’s passing.

Right now, our friend Trish is hurting.  Like the geese, we want to offer her whatever support that we can.  She is an amazing woman, but she does not have the strength to fly on her own even if she wanted to.  As she mourns the loss of her daughter, she still has to take care of her son, Mikey, who, unfortunately, suffers from the same disease as his sister, Olivia.

Both Mikey and Olivia (before her passing) have spent countless days getting various treatments in hospitals.  Through it all, Trish recognized that the nurses that helped take care of her kids did so with tireless dedication and compassion.  The world needs more people like this, and Trish wants to help make it happen.

In her darkest hour, Trish has somehow mustered up the strength to start the Olivia Grace Armand Foundation. This foundation will provide scholarship funds from “The Cookie Jar” to inspired nursing students or nurses who want to further their education in pediatrics.  Annual fundraisers will be planned to help keep “The Cookie Jar” filled so that Olivia’s memory will live on for many years to come.  Trish has asked me (and some other friends) to help her with the foundation.  I am truly honored to do so.

If you would like to help Trish “pay it forward” to those who dedicate their lives to helping others, please consider making a donation to “The Cookie Jar.” I realize that the tough economy has tightened most household budgets, but any donation would be greatly appreciated.  I believe that we can all make a difference even if we only gave a dollar or two and help spread the word so that others can do the same.

If silly videos on YouTube can travel the world through sharing, there’s no reason why this message shouldn’t as well.  Please share this with your friends and family, and ask them to do the same.  You have my permission to copy and paste any part of this post that you want to use!

Donations can be mailed to:

Olivia Grace Armand Foundation

c/o Caprise

130 Sedona Way

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

To read Trish’s entire story, check out her website:

www.OliviaGraceArmandFoundation.com

If Only I Could Bottle It…

In Pursuit of Happiness on January 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

“I can’t find my yellow lizard anywhere!” were the first words that my 3-yr old daughter uttered this morning as she walked into my room. “I can’t find my yellow frog either. I’ll never find them!” was next. It wasn’t until she talked about her toys, asked for the TV to be put on and breakfast to be given to her that we got around to saying “good morning.” This is how our day typically starts off. My daughter goes from 0 to 60 like a Ferrari while I work on getting the engine started in the ’68 Chevy that is me.

Since I only have one 3-year old, and can’t remember what my son was like at that age, I have no basis for comparison, but I think that she’s somewhat unusual (in a good way).  While her burst of morning energy usually leaves my head spinning and exhausts me in my attempt to keep up with her, I find myself thinking…“If only I could bottle this energy – I’d make a fortune!”

This past weekend, my wife and I actually went out to a dance club (a very rare occurrence).  I never was much of a drinker, even in my college days, so I had no plans on drinking at the club.  Besides, someone needed to be the designated driver – a role that I’ve gladly accepted since I’ve had my license.

For some reason, it always feels odd standing around in a club without a drink in hand, so I bought an energy drink called “Full Throttle.”  I had been up early that morning, and we were out at a time when we’re usually sleeping, so I was looking for an energy boost.  It was ok and did keep me awake for a little while, but when it started to wear off, I felt like I was crashing.  Luckily, I was already home at the time.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the ingredients of Full Throttle and found some interesting information on Wikipedia.  First of all, it is produced by the Coca-Cola Company.  It is basically just a heavily caffeinated, high caloric, citrus flavored soda loaded with sugar.  Not exactly the ideal beverage to drink in my pursuit of health, especially when the syrup for Full Throttle is classified as “hazardous material.”

While I’m not usually at clubs late at night, I do seem to hit the proverbial wall every afternoon.  I’d love to have more energy, but not at the cost of pumping myself full of caffeine and sugar.  In my pursuit of health, I discovered a natural energy drink that recently came on the market.  It is being shipped to me now.  Once I try it, I’ll write about my experience with it.  Hopefully it will be as good as advertised.  If it is, I better make sure to keep it out of my daughter’s hands – unless, of course, I’d like to relive my youth and star in an episode of “Ricochet Rabbit!”…BING, BING, BING!

The Highs and the Lows

In Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on January 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm

It is human nature to get overly excited when something good happens, and to get down when something bad happens. In many cases, if a little bit of logic was applied to emotional reactions, the highs wouldn’t be as high and the lows wouldn’t be as low. This is not to say that there aren’t events in life that are truly awe-inspiring (like the birth of a child) or truly devastating (like the loss of a loved one). However, many other highs and lows are more about the way that we view things as individuals.

Personally speaking, I have allowed myself to be overly optimistic at times, only to be let down later when things didn’t go as planned. I have also allowed myself to become pessimistic at times, only to realize later on that things weren’t nearly as bad as I perceived them to be. There is something to be said for being a little bit more even-keeled, but sometimes it is easier said than done.

One of the best examples of overreaction takes place in the NFL. Because the season only has 16 games, every game is considered important. Both the media and the fans make bold predictions and offer criticism on a weekly basis. The problem with rushing to judgment is that mistakes are often made, and reality differs greatly from perception (case in point: the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans).

Both the Broncos and the Titans finished this season with identical records (8 wins, 8 losses). Most years this wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s fairly common for a number of teams to end up with this record each year. It usually just means that each was a middle-of-the-road team, better than the struggling teams, but not quite good enough to make the playoffs. But this year is different, as each of these teams took vastly different paths to arrive at the same destination.

The Broncos shocked the football world in the off-season by trading away their franchise quarterback. What they got in return was a quarterback that was thought to be nothing more than a career back-up. The bar was set very low for them for the season, so when they won their first six games, most people were surprised. It didn’t take long before they were being mentioned (against all odds) as a possible Super Bowl contender. Adding to the intrigue was the fact that this was being accomplished with a new head coach (the youngest in the NFL) who had no prior head coaching experience. The Broncos’ season seemed to be unfolding like a Hollywood drama before they went on an unprecedented losing streak and missed the playoffs. The season that started off on such a high ended on such a low that it was considered a disappointment overall.

Conversely, the Titans were one of the best teams in the NFL last season, so naturally, the bar was set very high for them this season. Inexplicably, they lost their first six games, and their long-time head coach (who was considered one of the best in the league) was suddenly in jeopardy of losing his job. When the Titans lost their sixth game by a score of 59-0, their season was thought to be over, and changes had to be made. Enter the quarterback that was once considered to be the future of the franchise before he had a nervous breakdown. With nothing left to lose, and no pressure, the Titans won their next five games (a feat that had never been accomplished by a team that had lost their first six games). And though the Titans fell just short of making the playoffs, only the positives were being discussed as the season ended. The head coach is in no jeopardy of losing his job, and the quarterback that was thought of as a “bust” is once again the future of the franchise.

Life happens and things change – sometimes drastically. Even though I know this, I still tend to let my emotions get the best of me at times. Part of my journey is working towards being more even-keeled. This story will serve as a reminder for me to keep the highs and lows of life in proper perspective, and to see things through to the end.

Seize the Day!

In Inspiration and Motivation, Pursuit of Happiness on January 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm

The holidays have come to an end, and most people will be returning back to their pre-holiday routines – usually referred to as “the grind.” This year, the first day back to work and school falls on a Monday, which will undoubtedly make getting out of bed that much more difficult for many. When you factor in the cold front that is blanketing a good portion of the country, it’s very likely that people are dreading the sound of the alarm clock ringing in the morning.

Feeling the effects of holiday hangover is perfectly understandable. After all, there is so much build-up leading up to the holidays. The almost tangible sense of peace and hope in the air seems to fade in an instant. And though people claim to look at the New Year as a chance for a fresh start, the reality is that most lose that sense of optimism very quickly. Until this year, I was exactly the same way, but I am committed to making 2010 the year that my hopes and dreams come to fruition.

Instead of looking at this time of year as returning to “the grind,” I am excited about tomorrow and the days that will follow. If you’ve read my first post, “Beyond Resolutions,” you’ll understand why I feel this way. It may sound cliché, but recent events have inspired me to truly live my life to the fullest. However, I don’t expect that every day is going to go smoothly. I know for a fact that there are going to be bad days and bumps in the road. It’s all part of my journey.

“Seize the day or die regretting the time you lost” – lyrics from a song by the band Avenged Sevenfold (released in June of 2005). Last week, the 28-year old drummer of the band, James Owen Sullivan, died at the age of 28. On December 11th, Olivia Grace Armand earned her angel wings (10 days before her 5th birthday). She is the inspiration for a poem that I recently posted on Facebook called “TIME.” Please take a moment to read the poem below. Hopefully it will help you to seize the day and embrace the New Year too!

TIME

Before you wish the days away

Realize how precious they are

There’s only so many that each of us have

Until we’re floating amongst the stars

Don’t look at Mondays with sorrow and dread

They make up nearly fifteen percent of your life

Don’t hate the alarm clock that gets you out of bed

It lets you know that you’re still alive

Don’t look forward to the end of a season

Because you think it’s too hot or too cold

Don’t ever let weather be the reason

For you to put your life on hold

Maybe your life isn’t what you thought it would be

When you dreamed of it as a kid

Do what you can to make it that way

For you may regret that you never did

Time marches on for better or worse

It never speeds up or slows down

There’s only so much that you get on this earth

Make the most of it while you’re around

Today is all that any of us have

There’s no guarantee of tomorrow

So don’t spend your time wishing the days away

It can only end in sorrow

Live every day as if it’s your last

Embrace winter, spring, summer and fall

Time goes by on its own much too fast

It needs no help at all…

By Adam Waldman (12/16/09)

Health with a “W”

In Family, Pursuit of Happiness on January 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm

There is something to be said for spending quality one-on-one time with your children.  This afternoon, my wife took my daughter out, giving me the opportunity to hang out with my son.  My first thought was to get in the car and go out to have lunch together, which usually means unhealthy fast food.  But I decided against it.

It’s another beautiful day in Texas – nothing but blue skies and crisp, cool air, reminiscent of a perfect fall day in New York.  I told my son to wear something comfortable because we were going to go for a walk.  Ever since football season ended, his exercise has been limited mostly to gym class a couple of times a week, which is not nearly enough.  With all of the holiday indulging, a nice, long walk would be good for both of us, not only for exercise, but also to have a conversation with no distractions.

We started out talking about a website that he and his friends use in his classroom, followed by some other small talk.  Although he was no longer bemoaning the walk, I thought that it was a perfect chance to discuss how important it is that the whole family starts to exercise more.

While many kids his age tend to go about their days unencumbered by life’s realities, my son doesn’t, largely due to his inquisitive nature.  Because of this, I share things with him that wouldn’t be of much interest to a typical 7-yr old.

As we walked the path that winds through the park near our home, I told my son about the launching of Waldo 2010 and the meaning behind it.  It started with a discussion about health.  I told him that I have made a commitment to exercise more and to start eating better than I have been, and let him know that this was something that we needed to focus on as a family.  Instead of complaining about it, he asked if he and I could walk the path more often.  He told me how much he was enjoying our walk and spending time together.

Before I discussed the pursuit of wealth, I wanted to make sure that he knew what I was talking about.  When I asked if he knew what wealth was, he replied… “health with a ‘w’.”  He clearly knew that was not the right answer, but he also knew that it would make me laugh.  I explained the concept of wealth to him, and told him that I was working on some different projects to make money.  After hearing about them, he asked if he could help.  We discussed what it is like for people that are very wealthy, like Donald Trump.  He said that Donald Trump’s life is perfect.  I explained that there is no such thing as perfection, and quoted him the lyrics from “Dust in the Wind” that appeared in the “Beyond Resolutions” post…

“…now don’t hang on…nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky…it slips away…and all your money won’t another minute buy…”

I summed it up by telling him that having your health and your family around you is much more important than just being wealthy.  I asked him, “would you rather be healthy and have all of your family with you, but not have lots of things or not have all of your family with you, but have all of the toys in the world?”  He wisely chose option number one.

Finally, we discussed the pursuit of “happyness.”  I told him that I purposely spelled it incorrectly because of the movie that inspired me.  After he told me the proper spelling, he asked me what the movie was about.  I gave him a basic overview and promised to rent it and watch it together.  Most importantly, I shared with him the fact that people can go through hard times in their life but still be happy and make their dreams come true.

Our conversation was so enjoyable that neither of us paid any attention to the fact that we had walked for miles.  As a reward, I let him choose where we would go to lunch.  He chose the place that I was going to suggest.  When I told him that I was thinking that too, he replied “great minds think alike!”  In a place known for its burgers, I went with the grilled chicken sandwich and no fries, and I’m glad that I did.

We finished our lunch and walked home, all the while joking around and talking about football.  When we got home, my wife and daughter were still out, so we seized the opportunity to play an uninterrupted game of Madden 2010.  He won by 10 points, but if I had to pick a winner for the day, I’d day that it is me!  I got to spend quality time with a great kid.

Even in the pursuit of wealth, I must admit – the best things in life truly are FREE!

Hitting the Ground Running (so to speak)

In Pursuit of Happiness on January 2, 2010 at 7:12 am

New Year’s Day used to be dedicated to lying on the couch, eating junk food and watching the college football bowl games all day and into the night.  Somewhere along the way, sponsors starting taking over the bowl games and creating new ones, to the point where many of them have almost no relevance.  Just as well anyway, I suppose.   I don’t have the time to just lie around all day doing nothing anymore.  Besides, I just wrote about how this year is going to be about the pursuit of health, wealth and “happyness.”

I woke up this morning ready to pursue better health.  As the saying goes, you need to learn to walk before you can run.  Even though I know how to do both already, it’s been a while since I’ve done any noteworthy exercise.  With no desire to go to the gym, and a crisp, sunny day outside, I decided to go walking.  As I grabbed the Blackberry, I noticed that the battery was almost drained.  Since I use the Blackberry to listen to Pandora while I walk, I had a decision to make just hours into the New Year.  Do I walk without music or procrastinate and risk not getting any exercise in?  I chose the former, but it didn’t last long.

I give a lot of credit to people that can walk or jog without music.  To me, it’s like trying to drive a car with the emergency brake on…you’ll move, but very slowly.  It didn’t take long before I was back in the door.  I wasn’t quitting, just waiting until I could charge the Blackberry.  About an hour later, I was ready, bedhead and all.  No time for vanity!

One of the things that Texas has over New York is wide sidewalks, and plenty of places to walk.  This bodes well for me because I need enough room to comfortably play my air instruments without disturbing others.  Unabashedly, I flailed my arms to the beat of the drums, I played air guitar – including a kick-ass solo during Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper.”  All the while, singing aloud to every song that I knew.  At times, I found myself grooving to the music and walking in lockstep with every beat…giving new meaning to the phrase “marching to the beat of your own drummer” – especially during Queen’s “Another Bites the Dust.”

Did I look good doing this?  I highly doubt it.  In fact, I can safely say that I was the only one who wasn’t covering up bedhead with a hat.  And while many others had headphones on, none of them were playing air instruments or singing aloud.  People are generally friendlier in Texas, so I responded in kind, stopping my air instrument playing to wave and stopping my singing to say “good morning.”

Did they think that I was a bit off?  Perhaps, but that’s ok.  Maybe it will land me my own reality show.  I’ve even thought of a working title already – “The Crazy Yank of Texas.”  Catchy, isn’t it?

Although my morning walk was anything but conventional, it was effective.  By the time that I got back home I had walked over 7 miles in just under 2 hours.  Not a bad way to start the New Year!

Beyond Resolutions

In Pursuit of Happiness on January 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm

We tend to look at the changing of the calendar as an opportunity for a fresh start… a chance to “right the ship.” It usually starts with a resolution, rarely written, occasionally verbalized, and more often than not – just an internal thought. By mid-January, the holiday effect has worn off, and for most people, it’s back to the grind. Life starts to happen, and before you know it, the resolution ship starts to go off course again, adrift in a sea of busyness.

Overcrowded gyms start to thin out, allowing the regulars to get back to their routines. A cookie here, a piece of cake there, and the resolution diet commitments start to fall by the wayside. A couple of stressful days, and former smokers need a smoke to take the edge off. By February, most people return to their pre-holiday “normal.” Try as we might, our good intentions quickly fade into a distant memory. As the saying goes…“The road to hell is paved with good intentions!”

Many years ago, I gave up on the concept of resolutions because I realized that they never stuck. The past few years haven’t been great for most people, largely due to the economy and the new normal that we are all facing. Irrational exuberance has been replaced by fear of the unknown. Saving is now in vogue, spending is not. “Downsizing” is a word that has become all too familiar in today’s times. The wild party that raged in the past decade in the stock market and the real estate market has come to a grinding halt. Who knows when, or if, it will return in our lifetimes?

As I reflect back upon the last decade, I do so with mixed emotions. On the one hand, the greatest gifts that I have ever received arrived as I became a father. On the other hand, I lost my father, which makes many of my happy moments a little bittersweet. Our collective innocence was lost as a nation on 9/11, and it’s hard to see a time when it will ever return. Although we recovered from the initial financial shock caused by 9/11, we had no idea that the world economy, built like a house of cards, would come tumbling down in one fell swoop.

If I had this past decade to do over again, there are a lot of changes that I would make. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works. Foresight is never as crystal clear as hindsight. And while often times painful, hindsight can be valuable if we use it to avoid repeating mistakes of the past. Personally speaking, this past decade has been eye-opening (to say the least). While I will not make resolutions that are tied into one specific goal, I am making some broad ones this year that I plan on carrying into the future. They are as follows…

THE PURSUIT OF HEALTH

I’ve been reminded lately just how fragile life can be. If this past decade has shown me anything, it is that none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. And though there are no guarantees, I see the value in trying to be as healthy as possible, if not for me, than for my wife and kids.

Opinions vary on what it takes to “eat right,” but I’m under no delusion that I’ve been doing so. Does this mean that I’m starting a diet tomorrow? No, it doesn’t. But I am going to do what I can to improve my eating habits.

“Experts” vary on their opinion of how much exercise is needed by the average person. All I can say is that I’ve been below average lately by anyone’s standards. Does this mean that I’m going to hit the gym hard tomorrow and wake up not being able to get out of bed on Saturday? No, it doesn’t. But I am going to start doing more than I’ve been doing now, and work up to doing more in the future.

While my eating and exercise habits haven’t been ideal, I do take vitamins on a semi-regular basis, which is kind of absurd. Many people have to take several pills each day for various ailments and diseases. I’m fortunate not to be one of those. But there really is no reason for me not to take vitamins EVERY day. Going forward, I will not only be taking them, but taking ones that are right for my specific needs.

THE PURSUIT OF WEALTH

Yes, the economy sucks! The government will brag about the fact that unemployment is slowing down, but that really doesn’t help too many people. It just stops the bleeding. Does this mean that we’re all destined to struggle for years to come? I don’t think so!

I have certainly made my share of financial mistakes over the past couple of years. Would I love to go back in time and fix them? ABSOLUTELY! But since I don’t have a time machine, it’s not an option. If it were, I could get rich just selling tickets to get into the time machine so that others can go back and fix their mistakes.

People of great wealth have lost tremendous fortunes and come back stronger than ever, so there’s no reason that wealth has to wait for the next “boom” market. I have always been very entrepreneurial by nature, and projects that I’ve been working on are starting to come to fruition. If there was ever a time to fill voids in the market, it is now. I have found a few of those voids, and plan on making the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help others in the process.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

I purposely spelled “happyness” this way, because it is the title of one of the most inspiring movies that I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s about hitting rock bottom and then thriving.

Many people have felt like they’ve hit rock bottom over the past couple of years. Most haven’t. Most wouldn’t trade places with others for a very good reason. Things usually aren’t as bad as they seem.

No one wants to struggle financially. Everyone wants to be comfortable. Parents always want to provide for their kids. But there is one thing that money can’t buy – TIME. Kansas summed it up best in the song “Dust In The Wind”…

“…nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky….it slips away…and all your money won’t another minute buy…”

My good friend, Trish Caprise, just lost her daughter 10 days before her 5th birthday. Yet she has found a way to smile through the tears. Her 3 yr old son has the same disease as her daughter. If anyone thinks that they’ve hit rock bottom, they should take a minute to think about what Trish is going through.

We can all pursue “happyness” in our own way. One of the ways that Trish is going to do so is to help others in the name of her daughter. She’s asked me to be a part of it as well, and I am honored to do so.

I truly believe the next decade will be better than the last. I’ll continue to make mistakes, but hopefully not as many. My resolution is to do the best that I can in the pursuit of health, wealth and “happyness,” and to help others do the same whenever possible.

My journey will be chronicled in writing so that others can follow it. This will make me more accountable, while hopefully inspiring others in the process.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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