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Live, Laugh, Love my Life

laugh neon light signage turned on

“What makes you laugh?”

I have to say that I think these prompts are not my favorite because it does not put me in a position to be creative, but rather it puts me in a position of writing a biography. Perhaps that is the point of a blog, though, and people want to get to know the person writing the blogs more than they want to see their creativity or intelligence – or maybe that is where I am not executing well enough on the prompts and my approach is too straight-forward. We cannot blame the prompt of life, the outside forces, but we must look inside ourselves to see how we can manipulate it to our satisfaction.

What makes me laugh?

Everything makes me laugh. I feel that all my life I have been naively laughing at the world and looking for the joy in it. Even when I have been at the hospital with a broken bone or injury, I make jokes to lighten the mood for myself and others – and if there are no jokes coming from me, then things must be serious.

As a big fan of Adam Sandler when growing up, I love the stupid, slapstick humor that is on the edge of funny – or being a Dad joke. You could say that I highly identify with Phil Dunphy from Modern Family – and Kyla says that I am Phil Dunphy with many of the things I do and say. I remember the first time we watched Modern Family and she would stare over at me with a big beaming smile, or a face in disbelief when the similarities stacked up to a point where even I was reacting with amazement and a laughter that I had been holding in. Some part of me did not want to be pegged as the goofy Dad, but that’s what I am now and I accept that title with gratitude and pleasure. To be fair though, Kyla pegs me as just about every character, so either I have multiple personality disorder, or I am a theatrical guy with a wide range of emotions that I wear on my sleeve. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Kyla is a combination of Cam & Gloria – sassy, fabulous, and confident, but most certainly she has the theatrical output of Cam.

But beyond TV shows and Reels, what really makes me laugh is playing with my son Zander. It begins as soon as I get home from work. He will spot me when I walk in, or when I go to hang up my coat and this look of shock morphs into a smile so gigantic that it looks like he lights up like the sun rising over the horizon. His smile is so big that he bashfully hides it as I talk to him and Kyla playfully asks him,

“Who is that? Is that your favorite guy? Is that your best friend?”

The rest of the day melts away in a moment and my mind is only laser focused on this perfect little family we have.

Our dogs Basil & Twiggy are also going nuts this entire time, begging for attention and I try to give it to them without getting my dress shoes scratched or dog hair on my pants. No matter how many times she does it, I have to crack up when Twiggy belts out a “roo”, somewhat like when Huskies talk, and then I know I have to give her more love for a moment. Basil tries to copy her and belts out this cute mixture of a roo and a bark that we call her chicken bark, and then she gets her love too. Of course, Basil is doing all this with a tire toy in her mouth and usually a racquetball too.

In this crazy world with weak leaders, and constant talk of mandates, pushing of propaganda – all we can do is laugh and find joy in the small things. I used to be so tied up in it all and then I realized that it probably always was this way, and it probably always will be this way – meaning we could always look at the government and criticize – but what are you going to do about it?

It is better to release your psyche from the madness & to focus on that which you can control.

Begin with your immediate surroundings and work your way out – actually, begin within yourself. If there is no light within your soul to laugh and burn the fuel of confidence of your Self, then you will never be truly Happy. Cheap laughs are easy to come by, but the deep belly laughs are a product of a full life sustained by love for others, love for life, love for your Self, and love of God.

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Everyday Glory

We all grow up with aspirations & inspirations for life, so what happens when we reach adulthood? Finding ourselves “in a rut” or “trapped in a cubicle”; lost in a world that promised us so much more. What happened to your inspiration? What happened to fighting your way to glory? And when did you lose all the power to do so?

When I think of glory, I imagine a football coach giving an inspirational speech; a player making an impossibly athletic & willful move to win the game – blood, sweat, tears and victory.

The problem is that our glory is a picture painted by symbols of what we believe to be victory or success; the ultimate glories of life are forgotten because the idea of success is what we chase instead of fanning the embers that lights the path towards true glory & success.

In other words, success is not a thing or an end goal, it is an action – a continual action of adapting & creating in order to build up to your ultimate goals. I think that we all have one big-huge-out-of-this-world goal, but do we expect to just magically have it one day without putting the work in?

When we think of people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, professional athletes – we think that they are just talented beyond belief. Heightened, superior intelligences & abilities; they are the superhumans. But none of these people just stumbled upon success. Of course they are extremely talented, but to assume that is the only factor that led them to the top is absurd. Hard work, curiosity and a desire to learn, improve, & innovate is what separates them. The countless hours spent reading, coding, practicing, learning, succeeding, failing – it’s all about the quality time you pour into your passions.

The ultimate glory in life stems from the seeds planted by your everyday victories. It is easy to see yourself trapped in your situation or lacking motivation, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to you. If you are unhappy with your job, then move on. But ask yourself if you’ll be happy in your next role – or will it unfold the same way? Sometimes it is not the environment you are in, but what you are feeling within. When we struggle, I believe that people want to overcome – but people also do not want to fail! So rather than continue to fail they decide to move on. I think it is important to remember that failure is temporary & in the present moment; it can be painful, but it is only temporary!

There are millions of opportunities for success before,during & after failure – persistence is the key to overcoming failure, and failure is the key to evolving your ideas & strategy.