Perfect Moments Await Us – Message To My Family

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10/15/17

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” – Maya Angelou

If today does not offer you the perfect moments you expect, just remember to keep believing in the promise that there are so many that await you; and even if you’re trust in life momentarily wanes in that belief, remember that life continues to believe in YOU by offering so many opportunities that will provide such moments beyond even your expectations. – Joe Dico

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It’s In The Love Of The Game – Message To My Sons

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9/27/17

“I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.” – Boris Becker

Maximize the simplicity of the strengths and resources within you that can be controlled to structure and generate the basic power that moves you directly to what you see and need for YOU! It’s that simple and by doing that, the complexities of what may seem difficult situations and obstacles will slowly disappear and replaced by achievement, satisfaction, and joyfulness!!!

Cobblestones Along My Way

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9/17/17

Some don’t want to run in their bare feet on a gravel path towards the places they want to get to because they’re afraid of falling, the discomfort, the cuts, the bruises, etc.   For me, that’s not remotely a justifiable reason to not take the steps to get there; I honestly carry those bloodstains and scratches like symbols of honor because it means I didn’t give up even when things weren’t as smooth as I hoped for, and consequently it ended up making me more confident about the next journey ahead.

I guess it’s just not within my soul to sit idly by or secrester myself from the uncertainty of the unfamiliar when there’s something that I feel is worth obtaining if it’s within my reach, even if the effort initially seems demanding or the path too daunting.  What I find may not always be exactly what I imagined but, what I discover throughout the journey always rewards me with something that vindicates the percerverance accompanying those decisions.  And you?

Daily Acts Of Gratitude

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12/7/14

While striving for the most optimal changes in my life as I get older, it’s valuable to remind myself of simply doing the following each day:

  • If I can raise my arms, I can easily reach out to give a hug.
  • If I can share a smile, I’m better off doing so given the weight of its impact versus any other expression.
  • If I can still get off the ground, I should jump every once in a while just to temporarily feel the brief sensation of flying and soaring.
  • If I still have a voice, why not “sing my ass off” while listening to a song that captures my emotion?
  • If I can move my legs, why not dance or at least tap my feet to music if moved to do so?
  • If I can speak and my brain still works, I’m going to speak my mind (without needlessly hurting someone) if there is some value in what I have to say.
  • If I feel like I deserve something good, maybe I should make it happen first instead of waiting for karma to find me.
  • If I can bend my legs without too much pain, I should drop to my knees and give thanks to my Lord for giving me another day to add to this great life and that with another, I’ll work to make that life better for me and those around me.
  • Finally, if I can raise my hand above my head, I’ll also point to the Heavens and think “sometimes I may not have acted as God wished but I’m glad to know He never left me”!
  • So in the end, I’ll “let the beauty that I love be what I do”, because you know, I’m just never too old to have it so!

Sometimes What’s Perfect Is Greater Than Perfection – Thoughts To My Family

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(Reposting of thoughts that carry as much, if not more, meaning today than the day I wrote it.)

11/9/14

“Aim for success, not perfection.  Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.” – Dr. David M. Burns

Perfection is the ideal but the perfect result may be entirely different.  The fabric of our identity is not defined by what we originally envision for ourselves but the difficulties that we ultimately have to confront to get to where we eventually end up.

We struggle too often with our expectations and what we feel we deserve which sometimes is masked behind feelings of entitlement.  Quoting a line from an old movie, “deserving has got nothing to do with it” or at least our perception of it.  Do you really think that God has children born into starving countries or impoverished communities because they deserve it?  That doesn’t make sense and the simple answers as to why it happens is that “I don’t know”, and “it’s not for me to know”.  Thinking about “why them”, and “why not me”, is as perplexing when things are not going well for us and we form the questions “why me” and “why not them?”  Same simple answers.

Ask any adult with some years behind them if everything has turned out the way they dreamed whether you want to pin it down on a personal, professional, family, social, physical, creative, or emotional level.  The initial goals and aspirations were based on an ideal yet inexperienced vision of perfection.  The better question is to ask them to compare those dreams to what turned out “perfect” and why.  I’m pretty sure it will be different yet harder to define.

Here’s anothet perfect example.  Ask this other question to any adult who’s ever faced the challenge of raising a child well, or been married an extended period of time if this reality ever set in:  I knew this wasn’t going to be easy but I didn’t know it was going to be this hard!

We understand the basic reasons as to “why” but figuring out the intricate causes that separated our results from another’s with similar circumstance is perplexing.  I mean why did Brian Piccolo (“Brian’s Song) die in his 20’s from lung cancer after never smoking, and others live into their 90’s after smoking a pack a day?  Why did my best friend’s car get struck by a drunk driver and he was the one who died?  How does a younger, healthier person suffer a head injury/bleed, seizure, and die or end up incapacitated, and I survive with a better than expected recovery?  It troubles me but its better off left to “I don’t know”, and “it’s not important for me to know” since I guess “deserving has got nothing to do with it.”

All unfortunate things happen for a reason whether we may not always understand why at the time.  Sometimes the weight that drags our hearts down takes us to where we need to be.  By being there, we may not find what we want but we can better identify what we don’t want, what we don’t need, what we don’t want to happen, and where we don’t want to be again.  We have a better understanding of our large and small successes in the past, and how misguided we were to think we were entitled to more.  Most importantly, we learn how to measure success differently so that the fruits of our efforts are hopefully better appreciated when we see them again.

Trust me, something does come from what may seem like “nothing” at the time.  It’s only temporary even though we may feel like we’re wasting away under the fatigue.  I’ve accepted that our lives, when stripped to their basics, can make the solutions less complex than they need to be and only complicated by what we feel we are owed from how much we despaired.

Don’t lose hope because success begins from any amount of optimism.  Feeling alone is only a condition of the situation, not a product of our overall circumstances.  Beyond those near us, there are 7 billion people on this planet that should convince us that we’ll never be alone.  Chances are that we’re closer than we know to where we want and “deserve” to be, so slow down, breathe, and take better steps based on what we’ve learned and where we’ve been!

Leadership – Message To My Sons

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8/17/17

I expect you boys to be leaders, not followers; and that can only be accomplished once you understand that leadership is on no greater display than when you consistently illustrate the quality and conviction of your character, morality, and principles, even when others find it convenient to sacrifice their own! – Joe Dico

Reaching Out To The Unlikely – Chalenge To My Sons (All Teens)

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(This is one of my first posts and I feel humbled and proud that my boys have honored the wishes set forth below since the day I first shared it with them)

1/24/15

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. ” – Princess Diana

So now I’m going to ask you boys for something which is less a request and more of a challenge and test.  In a way it’s something you owe yourselves as part of a discovery of who you are and how others see you and/or may be affected by you.  At a minimum after all I’ve written and hopefully assisted you with, this is something that you owe me.

Life has a funny way of working out but many things are not really random.  It can be excellent at times and others, well not so much.  Our ability to make an average day better from our own efforts is not something we should take for granted when we boil it down to its basics.  The best part of our day and overall existence should not be the greatest gifts we receive but the simplest gifts we give and just maybe, create for others.

You boys by virtue of being athletes, relatively easy on the eyes, personable, charming, fairly witty, etc., consequently may fall into the “popular” and “admired” categories, at least in the high and middle school arenas.  All of this changes in the college settings where you can get overlooked in a larger population and the grading scale of success is different.

So take this time to use this aspect of your status to reach out to those who would never imagine that you would even acknowledge them.  They are no less important than those you regularly interact with and importantly, can add a new dimension to your emerging interpersonal skills by exploring their own unique and distinctive attributes.  You just might be surprised that by performing this simple act of altruism, you may expand your understanding of your infinite coexistence with a few of the 7 billion people on this planet.

This is a perfect time to attempt to figuratively “touch someone” in an unexpected and meaningful fashion because of the daily paths you cross in your school communities.  When you get older and in your professional world, you will meet a lot of people who you are essentially required to interact with, and consequently it’s financially beneficial to excel in that capacity.  But how authentic are those interactions when the objectives are more self-serving than a genuine extension of the best of who you are.  It’s no excuse, just the frequent trap that engulfs us.  It’s unfortunate to find that we ignore the opportunities, either due to the hectic pace or schedule of our days, to slow down and capitalize on the random lives that we can affect or be affected by.

So my challenge is to make a simple attempt this next week (or longer) to acknowledge the unlikeliest of suspects whether it be another student, teacher, staff member, janitor, acquaintance, etc., who may fall outside your normal social sphere and would least expect it – I’m sure you can think of a few people who fall in that category.  Take an extra few seconds to just say “hi” or “how are you” to that person and pay attention to the response, if any, and do it at least one more time in the upcoming days.  If done only once, it can be construed as a fluke or aberration.  Importantly, initiate the encounter and use the person’s name, look at them, smile, and again at a minimum, wait for some sort of response and then take it however you wish from there.  Don’t think about it too much – just try it because there’s no reason not to and you might find a surprising return on the investment.

I’m not asking you to adopt my routine because frankly, you probably think I’m nuts!  I have the time, desire, and my own personal objectives which essentially involve gratitude for where I’m at and where I want my soul to remain.  Some might think I reach out to so many random individuals outside of my comfort zone for attention but that’s where they’d be mistaken.  My intention has never been to draw attention to myself (although that’s often the outcome), but to give my attention to those around me who deserve or maybe could just use it.  In the end though, I know that I benefit from it in too many ways to count and describe in detail.

All of our lives offer so many unnoticed and undiscovered things which really take little awareness to uncover.  Sometimes we get so locked inside our routines to appreciate what’s in front of us because we think external demands and distractions insist upon it.  Let’s be clear – they shouldn’t, they’re really not as significant as you think, and you can control your approach to them, all for the better!

So please be thoughtful in everything you do, and let that also include those who just happen to be part of your surroundings because the opportunities are abundant and shouldn’t be ignored.

And you want to know why it should come easy?  Because it’s the way you were raised, it’s who you are, and it honors your parents and those who influenced you to be that way!