God Bless America

On this day of July 4th we celebrate the Independence of this amazing country. The founding of this great nation happened as does everything in life, one step at a time.

While July 4th is the date we all recognize as our independence day, it isn’t actually the day we won or achieved our independence. It is indeed the day 56 delegates officially declared the intention to create independence from Britain.

It wasn’t until September 3, 1783 (a full seven years later) that Britain finally recognized the declared independence at the Treaty of Paris.

It was almost 6 years later before George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States on April 30th, 1789.

In between the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the Treaty of Paris, a war waged to create the vision our founders sought. The 56 delegates who signed the declaration, along with all of those colonists who supported them quite literally chose to fight for what they believed was their God given right, or die trying.

When looking at the history of the Revolutionary war, it’s stunning to think thirteen colonies could unite and overcome the greatest fighting force in the world. Both sides took allies to help with their objective, only one chose God as it’s foundation from the start.

David beating Goliath on a global scale.

During Washington’s inauguration the procession went from Federal Hall to St. Paul’s Chapel in NY for a service and prayer for the new nation. Our first President in his first act, chose to include God and prayer as primary staples of this infant nation.

As we celebrate today, and everyday we are blessed to live in this country I feel it’s important to also recognize God and His hand in where we are, what our ancestors have achieved.

This is not about religion, (freedom of religion is also a staple of our beginnings) but about God and the higher power we are all connected to in some way, in our own way.

In our daily lives it’s easy to forget that the journey to the goal is just as important as the the goal at the end. The seven years of war had to happen to forge the strength, the resilience and the compassion which is a mainstay of what America is known for.

The bigger the goal, the tougher the road. In our lives individually and as a nation, a world.

On this day of celebration I for one will return to my roots in God, and celebrate His greatness in my life. For even on the darkest of days, the light is always shining.

Being Peaceful within the storm.

I am a big fan of simple. There is all too much complexity for the sake of it in life and I for one have diligently worked to eliminate as much complexity from my day as I can.

From dieting, workout routines and self-help books/podcasts to business books and money management there are a billion directions you can go. How many of these promise to be the “one thing you need!” or the “top tens ways to kick-ass everyday!” (in one form or another).

Don’t get me wrong, most of these all contain quality material and is based on knowledge and experience, I’m all for different avenues we all resonate with different approaches.

If though you have a problem and are looking for one book, one podcast, one person to fix your issue(s) you likely won’t find it. More often than not, the issue(s) your trying to fix isn’t actually the root cause of the problem.

Most of us don’t actually know what we want, even when we REALLY, REALLY WANT IT!

With all the noise in our lives it’s hard to remember what’s truly important. Honestly, it’s not a whole lot, but it is everything. Family, loved ones, adding value to those around you, being a good example for your children and neighbors, what impact you will leave once your gone, these things matter. The house, the car, the money, the status, the ego… none of this matters at the end of the day.

I have been on a mission for the past decade to find peace in my life. For the hundreds of books I’ve ready, the thousands of hours of listening I’ve done I’ve come to one simple conclusion.

God is what matters. Finding God and creating an active relationship with God has been the most powerful and impactful thing I’ve ever done. This coming from somebody who dropped out of confirmation class as a teenager and not currently involved in any organized religion.

If you have struggled to find peace in yourself, if you have found “success” in life but still have a hole growing within you, here’s the good news. You don’t need to ready a library worth of books to figure it out and apply a hundred different practices within your day.

Simply turn to God, in your own time and way. There is no one-size-fits all spiritualism or religion. How I communicate with God is my own, and I have learned how to do this in a way which works in my life and fuels me when this little world of ours goes sideways.

When I am faced with challenges I don’t know how to cope with, I used to strategize, plan and stress myself out over the ways to overcome it. These days, I take a step back and thank God for the opportunity to practice my faith, and the challenge resolves itself.

Simple. Powerful. Peaceful.

This isn’t to say my life is perfect and everything is great all the time. As a father, a husband, a business owner and athlete I can assure you I have my share of challenges and “WTF” events. It’s my approach to get things back on track which has changed, and life is better for it.

If this resonates in some way and you’re not sure where to start or why it resonates, let me know. God is always there, especially in those moments we feel most alone. Shift your perspective and you’ll find him if you haven’t yet.

A gift to receive.

If you’re anything like me you’re well versed in the arena of being the Giver. From the school of it’s better to give than to receive. If fact many of us have been so trained to give, that we don’t know how to receive.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a hard time accepting a compliment comfortably. It’s always an awkward moment when someone offers a compliment, let alone a gift or help. I have always considered myself to be the complimenter, the giver, the helper.

I’ve never taken time to understand the importance learning how to receive gracefully. Indeed this is as important as the giving is. It’s the yin and the yang, the left and the right, the up and down. The giving, and receiving is all one thing, balancing each other out.

I’m very spiritual and recently this topic of receipt came up for me and had me thinking. How often I meditate and pray for things I already have, yet haven’t allowed myself to receive the very thing I’m in search of.

While I practice being present in each moment, I have several tools I use to keep myself centered and focused in most instances. I find myself being present in the moment, while also keeping an eye to the future for those things I want.

A few examples of this, is the current house search I am on for a larger house for my family. Yet I have a great house, in a great neighborhood, and even good neighbors! Yet I discount much of this. I pay lip service to being grateful for it, I act like I am in gratitude for my home as it is.

Yet I find I have not allowed myself to receive the gift my home truly is. It’s shelter for my family, a roof over our heads, coolness in the summer, heat in the winter, and dry in the rain. A space we have created countless memories and shared love, laughs, tears and all the emotions a family imparts together. It’s all I could ever desire from a home.

Another example is my health, both physically and mentally. I am in the best health of my life right now, in this moment. And while I am grateful for this, I understand fully how far I have come. I also know how far I have to go… The path is long, and I am on the journey, far from complete.

As I mentioned I am grateful for all the blessings I have, there are many. Yet when given a simple compliment I have a hard time trying to respond, I don’t know what to do.

I realized my inability to accept a compliment was so much deeper than originally thought. I had spent all my time on the “give”, never wanting to be selfish and “get”.

I am all for balance in life, yet this was a blind-spot I noticed within me. Giving is hugely important and should be done generously in all mediums.

Learning how to gracefully receive is a deep lesson which will bring as much peace as giving. If someone is giving to you, you’ve probably earned it in some way. Even if you haven’t “earned” it, you are the recipient of another persons “give”. It’s OK to accept and be gracious and humbled in receipt.

If you ever find yourself praying/meditating for love, be sure to receive the love you already have. If you find yourself praying for money, gratefully receive the money you already have. If you’re not in a relationship but wish to be, receive the relationship you have with yourself first.

Being grateful for something, and receiving it are not one in the same. I didn’t know there was a difference for a long time. There is always a balance in this universe, love and hate, joy and despair, light and dark.

Nothing exists without it’s opposite and all are needed. Giving and receiving are not opposites in this case and compliment each other like salt and pepper or peanut butter and jelly when done without ego or pride.

The next time you find yourself in receipt of a compliment or gift, pay attention to your natural response. If you’re the “no, I couldn’t accept that…” type like me, take a swing at simply accepting and saying “Thank you”.

What does it matter?

During the normal course of a day many of us experience interactions with all sorts of people, in all sorts of contexts. Family, friends, co-workers, customers, vendors, and simple random interactions are a normal part of many days. Think back of today, or perhaps yesterday and think of all the interactions you had during this time.

Perhaps you and your co-workers talked about COVID and how the impact has somebody missing work, perhaps several people. This shortage led to a customer not being serviced as expected and now the upset customer is taking it out on you or your co-worker. Did Jane have a crappy attitude and set you off on the wrong foot for no reason? Maybe John dropped the ball and you are found yourself venting at his lack of determination or focus. Maybe you are the one listening to the venting, a compassionate ear for a frustrated soul.

I was once talking to one of my direct reports, he managed a large group of employees and he was having a few issues as employees were arguing about this and that. As he was talking it suddenly occurred to me that about 80% of what we encounter on a daily basis is nearly meaningless. Worse, it’s actually counter-productive as it convolutes our day and adds drama and complication which quite frankly has no need to be in our day. I revert back to one thing I know and am reminded of here again.

Life is simple.

The world we are taught to live in is anything but simple. When we really clear away the clutter though, what really matters at the end of the day? If not the conversations and context we’ve had through the day, what is left?

Let’s go to the old dramatic axiom: what if on your way home from work you died unexpectedly, and suddenly found yourself facing your maker. Your maker says “Welcome! I hope you enjoyed your last day on earth. Now that you’re done with life on earth, what have you brought with you here?”

Now think back to the daily conversations which happen around you on a normal, everyday basis. How many of these instances make the cut for quality and actually benefit you as you move on to a new plane of experience? Most of us will not have many to bring to this table. It’s ok. relax and know it’s never too late to be a little better today than yesterday.

This doesn’t mean our lives are meaningless, far from it. Our lives are actually much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. Much more powerful than many of us realize. Think back on your day, or a few days. When was the last time you made somebody smile? When was the last time you made a selfless gesture to a stranger, something as simple as holding the door open to allow the person behind you to walk through? Perhaps it was a simple smile and gesture of “hello” to a stranger you passed on the street.

These simple gestures can, and often do have profound impacts on those we encounter. And we’ll never know exactly how, and this is ok. We are quite literally all in “this” together. “This” being this life as we know it. We all have things going on in our lives nobody outside our inner circle knows about, often even the circle doesn’t know all of it. Have you ever had a day where you feel empty, useless, like you don’t matter and nothing you do is good enough? Then some random stranger gives you a smile, simply acknowledges that you’re alive and a person. This simple gesture can pull you out of the gutter and help change your thoughts and bring you back to center.

This is a dramatized example and I imagine though you can insert your own memory of a time when you were unexpectedly cheered up by a random act of kindness.

Now let’s think back to meeting your maker and the question posed. “What have you brought with you here?” Think about the positive impact you have had knowingly or otherwise on people. Suddenly, you’re not empty handed, are you?

None of us are perfect and there is no reason to be. Laugh, love, cry, get angry, feel sad… and compassionate and empathetic… and all the myriad of emotions we as humans have. We don’t have walk around with a fake perma-smile plastered on our faces. We also don’t have to take out our frustrations or anger at others. Processing emotions (not burying them) is very important and something we can do and still have a positive effect, even when we’re not in the best of moods.

One thing which I believe to be true and it’s my starting point with all of my interactions. People wake up in the morning wanting to do good things for themselves and their families. Is this true 100% of the time? Of course not. It is true far more often than not though.

Knowing the people around you share the same goal as you do: trying to make life better for yourself and your family. This common goal helps to see others in a slightly different light and we can all help each other get closer to this ideal. By helping each other do the same.

Play around with smiling at strangers, saying hi randomly and holding a door open here and there. Sure, you will get some strange looks and questioning faces and that’s awesome, you’ve just gave somebody hope for humanity!

In your business, think about how your products/services better people’s lives or improves their circumstances. This is your focal point and drives your energy to get your product/service out to more and more people, because you know it’s going to help them, add true value to their experience of life. As business owners and leaders, we can have a tremendous impact on our employees and families, as well as our customers and vendors.

This is what is meant when you hear the phrase: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. At the end of the day, it all matters.

Welcome!

Welcome, to the fearless, passionate and powerful blog! Life can be confusing and complicated, and often times the easiest of solutions is buried under a mountain of marketing campaigns focused removing money from your pocket.

At Fearless. Passionate. Powerful we simplify the game and focus on an ethos by which to make quick and easy (not to say painless) choices in life. We offer a direct, no non-sense approach to optimizing your body, mind and spirit and the focus of this blog and podcast will be to dissect these areas of our life, and those who share the platform with us.

I choose to live fearlessly in my faith, passionate in my pursuits, powerful in my results and impact on this world. If this resonates with you, follow us and don’t forget to share! If there are areas of your life you’d like help with to live more fearlessly, passionately and powerfully, drop us a line and let’s talk about specifically your goals are.

In the coming weeks we will start putting out content, we’re glad you’re here! Stay tuned for more and feel free to reach out at any time with your comments! Cheers!