Are you on the right road?

“Life is an echo. What you send out – comes back. What you sow – you reap. What you give – you get. What you see in others – exists in you. So stay nice even when others are NOT.” – Unknown

You know we, throughout our lives we have been expected to achieve perfection. Nothing but perfection will ever do. Even to the point of not being able to sleep because of it. Perfection is only achievable by God. We can’t ever hope to achieve it. It’s okay to strive for it, but it is equally okay not to achieve it.

For most of us, our upbringing is what has us in the position we are in today. We like to blame our past and other’s for the way we are today. The position we are in today, is the result of the choices we have made from the day we learned right from wrong. I’m not saying the choices are right or wrong, (many of us think what we have done is wrong). The choices are just that, choices.

Whether it’s a right (or wrong) choice is the path that you want to take. But you might say I don’t know which path I want to take. That is fine to a point, but today some people are going so far as to wait for years before they ever make a decision on their own. Most of their decision’s are based on what other people think (because their afraid of being laughed at), what society thinks (because they are scared for being chastised for not following the crowd), or what their family/friends think (because that’s not how I was raised).

© RichC Photography

I have experienced everyone of these at one point in my life or the other. Each time I would go through something like this (and realize this isn’t who I am), I would move on to the next one. Until I finally came to the point that I just had to be me and I wasn’t perfect. It was too much work trying to put on a facade and be like everyone else.

Now I pray that this isn’t you, but I have not only gone through this once…but more than once. Because I thought I didn’t like my life, or I knew the grass was greener somewhere else. What I finally learned is,

“The grass is greener where you water it.” – Neil Barringham

So, if your life isn’t conducive to simple plain living then it might be time for a change. If so, then change. Wherever you end up, water that grass and make it the greenest you can. If you don’t like where you are at today, at this moment in time then, make a different choice. If you don’t know which one to make, find someone or a situation you admire and figure out what had to happen to achieve that.

“No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, you can always turn around.” – Unknown

Have you figured out that the road you were on wasn’t the right road? Did you change course, or stayed the path? Why?

These are some of the questions that I have asked of myself. I would weigh the pros and the cons and then think about it some more. Sometimes it has been a fight between me, myself, and I. I never really know who’s going to win.

One thing I also do, (not in all situations (but I should have)) is to ask God what he wants me to do. Sometimes the writing was on the wall in big bold letters, or it was in the fine print. If it was big and bold, I would listen and take that step; but if it was in the fine print, I would miss it every time. But what is good about God, He is patient and will allow me to realize what I was doing was wrong, and turn around to go down the right road.

© RichC Photography

You know a lot of people say they have a problem with God, religion, church…etc. In all of my years I have realized, God does not force us to do anything. God doesn’t mess with our free will, it is us who mess with our free will and when we get it wrong, instead of blaming ourselves, we blame God (or other’s).

If you don’t believe me, take some time and think back on your life and the choices you have made to get where you are today. Has it always been easy? How many times have you solely relied on yourself? Was it worth it?

The questions in this blog are the same questions I have asked myself more than once. Over the years I have come up with different answers depending on which road I was on. When you get on the road that is good for you, ask the same questions and see which answers you get. When you do this, be brutally honest with yourself. Don’t hate yourself if it’s not the answers you wanted to hear. Make adjustments and water YOUR side of the fence and watch the grass grow.

© RichC Photography

If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback you would like to share. Feel free to leave a comment or email me I will be happy to help you achieve what you want out of life.

Until then, smile, walk with your head high, and always stand for something even if it means standing alone.

Which is better? Future or Past?

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826, 3rd US President)

We all have a past, some of it is good and some of it is bad. Some of us can’t get past the bad to remember the good. That has so many people stuck in the same rut as they’ve always been in. These people want to be better, do better, and have more but they just keep on doing what they’ve always done. Because that is what they are comfortable with.

In episode 3 I talked about getting out of your comfort zone to grow and experience new things. We all have dreams of a better future, but some of us don’t know how to get over the past. There is still hope, if you want it.

I don’t know about you, but I have always been a dreamer. I have come up with some great ideas, I’ve even tried a few. But, it seems like I am always right there but have never been able to crossover and “make it”. I don’t know if it’s something from my past that I haven’t dealt with, or exactly what it is.

I’ve started many things and either I will get sidetracked by something else or I’ll get cold feet and tell myself that no one will want what I have to offer. I would like you to try something, it might be hard but in order to move forward we have to go backward for a minute.

Photo by Romain Robe on Unsplash

Whenever you can find a quiet minute, sit back and think, what is holding you back from achieving what you desire? For some it’s easy to figure out… other’s it’s harder. I’m in the other group, somethings are hard for me to figure out.

I was spending some time with my buddy John and we were talking and he’s like me. We are great listeners and can help someone else with what they are going through, but to do it ourselves it’s a little harder. I am starting to overcome it and apply what I tell others to my life and things are going better.

Since I have been doing this, I’ve noticed that I’m a lot calmer and welcome the chance to talk and meet with people. Just today I was talking to some one who came into the shop to buy tires and I had the courage to tell him that I was making this podcast.

Now I don’t think he knew what a podcast was, but that’s not the point. Before, I would have been scared to say anything for fear that I would be laughed at or ridiculed. You see, it’s the little steps we take to get us farther than we have ever gone before. Whatever you call it, you have to take that first step and then another one, then another one. Before you know it, shoot your half way there.

Some of the time that is where I really get scared, is when I am halfway. I started this business in 2009, selling gelatin air freshener’s that I made at a large flea market. Now this flea market had 12-13,000 people a day come through on the weekend. What was the slap in the face was that I didn’t sell but about 4 air fresheners out of the 2,000 I made. I tried for a solid month. Shoot I even added trinkets, now those sold pretty decently. But it wasn’t enough to make up what I had spent. I desperately wanted to keep going, but I couldn’t justify the ROI. So, I closed up shop and paid back what I borrowed and went back to work. I took a little break from stepping out again.

I went back to a regular job, where I knew it was safe. I was putting myself down because I was back in my comfort zone. Since that time, I’ve dabbled in a couple of other ideas but nothing on the scale that I attempted in 2009. In fact this podcast is the start of one of my dreams for me. My other dream is to become a successful photographer. I still have my job, for now because I still have bills to pay.

I know though, if I keep going I will succeed in my dreams. When I turned 50, I took a couple of days and reflected on the 50 years I have been alive. I realized that just about every dream that I had came true. Talk about a WOW moment, that really set me back in awe that I had actually achieved what I set out to do.

What really got me to wondering though, what was I going to do now? I really didn’t know. Well, I still had this idea to start a podcast, and I did have my photography, but that was it. It was scary for me because I’ve always had multiple dreams.

So, I just kept working and taking life one day at a time. I feel like I have another 50 years ahead of me and I want to make it better than my first 50. So here we are 6 months after my 50th birthday and I am going to start this podcast doing something that I have always wanted to do. Help you become better today than you were yesterday. Just like I am doing with myself.

If you truly want to have a happier life, you need to change. That might mean leaving some friends (family) behind. If the people in your life don’t make you a better person, then you need to find better people. I won’t lie to you, that is going to be hard. It’s hard for me and something I’m still working on myself. So, don’t feel alone in this, you are not alone.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

What I can say is, when you start to find the right people to help you and not hurt you, you will not only be happier, life will start to get easier. It seems I am someone people like to have a laugh at my expense. It starts out fun and games at first, but as time goes on it bothers me. When I was in my 20’s I was just like they were, except meaner about it. I made fun of anyone who didn’t think like I did and at that time I didn’t care what anyone thought. I had a lot of growing up to do.

It took me a while to do it, but now instead of tearing someone down because I don’t believe what they do. I try to understand their way of thinking and see if I can find some common ground. It doesn’t always work, but I don’t shoot them down for it, I try to lift them up. If I’m not able to lift the person up, I pray that the seeds I have planted will one day take root.

I hope you found this helpful in some way or another and if you have then by all means please share this podcast with someone so they can maybe benefit from it. I look forward until the next time, when we can get together and learn something new. Until then, smile and know that you can achieve what you believe. Have a blessed day.