Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“There are going to be times when you learn more about the world you’re entering and feel defeated when you see the gap between the ideal and the reality… But that’s something we’ll all face. The people that face those obstacles and overcome them are people whose dreams come true.”

— Tsugami Ohba

For my friends who are struggling and being put down by others.

For my friends who are trying to overcome a difficult or trying time.

For my friends who are tough as nails, and can do anything they put their mind to.

For my friends who need the reminder that they are more than enough all on their own.

For ALL of my friends. And your friends. And everyone who needs a little extra encouragement.


We have all felt that way. We have all been on the verge of being defeated. Ideal is not a way of life. Reality is what you make of it.

Make an effort to live your life free of this doubt and worry. You are more capable than you can ever imagine. Let those who have been through it before remind you of that fact…

PSSSSST! You can do this. 


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“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

–John Bingham


I borrowed this from the Pittsburgh Marathon Facebook page.  Marathon training is tough, and running a marathon is tough.  But once started, barring injury, I suspect most people finish.  The hardest part is probably signing up.

That concept is true for a lot of things in life.  Take college or grad school.  A lot of students are the first in their families to go to college.  They might not have a lot of friends who went to college to tell them what to expect.  Deciding to go to school is the hardest part, and after running the first few miles of this proverbial marathon many of them will finish.  Looking back, it won’t be a miracle to them that they finished, but that they started.

So what’s your proverbial marathon?  What is it that you’ve wanted to achieve but haven’t taken that first step yet?  How about today?  Once you get started, you’ll probably succeed.




Now is as good a time as any to announce (or admit) that I’ve begun training for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  To my cross-country teammates that’s interesting given that I vowed never to run again after our last race senior year.  To my close friends that’s interesting given that I once again vowed never to run again after I finished the Philadelphia Marathon.  But my mind has mostly forgotten how tortuous the training and race can be, and I have enough courage to conquer what little memory I have left of the process.

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“If it weren’t for all the setbacks and problems of life, there would be nothing to look forward to.”

— Michael Atencio

While my favorite book ever would debate this fact (the taste of spinach does nothing to enhance the taste of chocolate), life can provide a slightly more rose-colored portrait.

The toughest moments in life can be counteracted by the smile of a friend, a card in the mail, a hug or a 10 minute visit with a close friend. While it may not complete eradicate the negativity, it does a hell of a lot more than nothing at all.

All of the problems and setbacks in life can really get you down. But while you’re down there, don’t forget to look up and look forward to the good that life surely has headed your way.

look up

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We all need a pep-talk…

We all need a pep-talk now and then, even if we are usually the ones giving the pep-talk.

My dear friend Jess Brown shared this with me, and I’m sharing it with you.  I love it for a bunch of reasons, and if you’ve been reading our blog long enough, you know that whatever Jess shares is worth watching to the end.  I hope everyone has a great week.




“Many things in life will catch your eye but few will catch your heart… Pursue those.”

— Michael Nolan

heart capture

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“Character, in great and little things, means carrying through what you feel able to do.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Be of good character when carrying through on things for other people.

Do not forget the promises you’ve made to yourself. Who better to keep them for?


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Be deaf when people tell you that you can’t fulfill your dreams.

Carly and I are both musicians.  Musicians hear things (or at least feel them, as in the case of Beethoven).  Usually, we hear the things we are trained to hear, like melody and harmony, rhythm and timbre.  But sometimes we hear things we don’t need to hear.  Don’t get me wrong, my selective hearing is fine when mom tells me to empty the laundry basket.   Still, it’s really hard to tune out when people tell me I can’t or won’t do what I set out to do.  When a naysayer comes between me and my goals, my dreams, it sticks in my craw, maybe insanely so.  I need to learn to be deaf.  It’s okay when their crap fuels my fire, but not when I let their words get too real.  I’m in control.  The road might have some bumps and puddles, but I’m at the wheel.  You’re in control.  The right might have some bumps and puddles, but you’re at the wheel.

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“Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One day to celebrate the life of this great man is nowhere near enough. Choosing ONE quote was next to impossible.

All that he stood for, all that he fought for remains today. We can only hope for such an impact when our time on Earth is done.

I encourage all of you to take a moment today and read some other quotes by this amazing man.

It is my hope that you will remind yourself today and always of the amazing progress we have made and the progress that is yet to come.

Today, especially, we take a moment to reflect on the life of a revolutionary individual. The light he cast upon us will never be forgotten.

Carve your tunnel. Leave your mark. Remind others of the light within their own being. Make today count for him. And for all of us.


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“Great moments are born from great opportunities.”

— Herb Brooks

As I’m sure some of you are aware, hockey is back.

Speeches are being made, music is being played, rituals are taking place, and the anticipation and excitement are rising.

I am not a die-hard hockey fan. I enjoy it, and I will root for my team until my dying day. However, I don’t get the jolt from it that most people do. I suppose that’s why I really wanted to write this post.

Regardless of your stance on hockey, I’m sure you can agree with Herb on this one. Everyone has opportunities: Big or small. When an opportunity presents itself, it is important to suit up and play. No one said it was going to be easy, and no one said that every opportunity comes with the potential to turn everything around…

… But every opportunity can change your life. It’s the small moments, the seemingly meaningless trials. They are steps in the right direction. They are were greatness begins.

I want you to treat every opportunity like a golden one. You make yourself great.

“This is your time. Now go out there and take it.”

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“You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt


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