Blogging on The Brightside

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

“The day The Lord created hope is probably the same day He created spring.”

— Bern Williams

This quote was lovingly stolen from our good friend Jess. I thought it would be perfect for a day like today.

It is my wish that hope and Spring show themselves in your life in rather abundant and spectacular fashion. Regardless of whether these things enter your life as the lion or the lamb, take note of their presence and find gratitude in that.

Happy Easter, to those who celebrate.

Happy Spring to all. Let us all bloom in the sunshine, full of bright and abounding hope.

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“Rejection emails suck.”

One of my best friends sent me a text that read “Rejection emails suck.”  She had just gotten the news that, despite a wonderful interview, she was not going to get the summer internship she hoped for.  She’s right, rejection letters really suck.

“I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection” –Billy Joel

Recently, I viewed the movie Admission, starring Tina Fey who plays a Princeton Admission Officer.  This movie struck a chord with me, because when I was applying for undergraduate studies, Princeton was the only school (of 8) to send me a thin envelope.  I knew the rejection letter was coming, because like the movie, the guy who interviewed me was a jerk.  The rejection letter wasn’t a surprise, but it did ruin my day.

“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going rather than retreat.” –Sylvester Stallone

When I applied to graduate school, I got a second rejection letter form Princeton (and several other schools).  Every time I got one of those letters it ruined my whole day.  I knew that most of the programs were a long shot, but it’s hard not to feel slighted when you know you’re a good candidate.

“You get used to rejection, and you don’t take it personally.” –Daniel Craig

I got another rejection letter today.  By now I’ve gotten a lot of them, and it still sucks.  Somehow it doesn’t ruin my whole day anymore.  I’ve learned that things tend to work out in the end.  I might not end up where I hoped to or expected to, but it’s usually for a good reason.  Plus, when I get a thick envelope, or a detailed email with an offer instead of a “click here for your admission decision” email, all of the joy and anticipation erases the rest.

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” — Bo Bennett

Our parents had the right intentions when they told us to chase our dreams.  Their biggest fault might be not pushing us to fail more often.  Learning to embrace rejection and failure as a necessary step in the pursuit of success is a hard lesson to learn and one that takes practice, but by many accounts these are the most valuable life experiences.


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“There is no man living that can do more than he thinks he can.”

Henry Ford.



Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.  So often we underestimate ourselves, but today you can rise to meet the challenge.  You got this.

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“but hold on to what you believe in the light when the darkness has robbed you of your sight.”

–mumford & sons


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“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”

Game of Thrones

Allen from the Hangover exemplifies the dangers of being a one-man wolf-pack.  The truth of the matter is, nobody achieves greatness on their own. Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippin, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, and Luke Longley.  Lebron couldn’t win the big one without D-Wade and Bosh.  Lance Armstrong had George Hincapie and Johan Bruyneel.  Steve Jobs had Woz.  Batman had Alfred and Robin.  Nobody would know Terry Bradshaw without the help of Lynn Swan and John Stallworth.

You might have all the talent, the drive, the passion and know-how.  If you try to do it on your own, you’re going to fail.  Sometimes geniuses and stars get defensive about sharing credit and struggle to work with other.  But why do you think that Sheldon Cooper hasn’t won a Nobel Prize?

If you consider yourself a bit of a loner, a one-man wolfpack, try to find some more of your own, and add them to your wolf pack.  Together, you can survive the cold winter.


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“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.”

Henry Ward Beecher

Be gracious.  Be flattered.  But when you put your head on your pillow and shut your eyes at the end of the day, never forget that there’s always room for improvement.  Only in a continuous pursuit of improvement do we achieve excellence.


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Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life

By David Ferguson, the Onion

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years—decades, even—trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves. My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.

It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

Is there any other way to live?

I can’t stress this enough: Do what you love…in between work commitments, and family commitments, and commitments that tend to pop up and take immediate precedence over doing the thing you love. Because the bottom line is that life is short, and you owe it to yourself to spend the majority of it giving yourself wholly and completely to something you absolutely hate, and 20 minutes here and there doing what you feel you were put on this earth to do.

Before you get started, though, you need to find the one interest or activity that truly fulfills you in ways nothing else can. Then, really immerse yourself in it for a few fleeting moments after an exhausting 10-hour day at a desk job and an excruciating 65-minute commute home. During nights when all you really want to do is lie down and shut your eyes for a few precious hours before you have to drag yourself out of bed for work the next morning, or on weekends when your friends want to hang out and you’re dying to just lie on your couch and watch TV because you’re too fatigued to even think straight—these are the times when you need to do what you enjoy most in life.

Because when you get right down to it, everyone has dreams, and you deserve the chance—hell, you owe it to yourself—to pursue those dreams when you only have enough energy to change out of your work clothes and make yourself a half-assed dinner before passing out.

Say, for example, that your passion is painting. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy a canvas and some painting supplies! Go sign up for art classes! And when you get so overwhelmed with your job and your personal life that you barely have enough time to see your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife, let alone do anything else, go ahead and skip classes for a few weeks. Then let those paint brushes sit in your room untouched for six months because a major work project came up and you had a bunch of weddings to go to and your kid got sick and money is tighter than you thought it would be and you have to work overtime. And then finally pick those brushes back up again only to realize you’re so rusty that you begin to question whether this was all a giant waste of time, whether you even want to paint anymore, and whether this was just some sort of immature little fantasy you had as a kid and that maybe it’s finally time to grow the fuck up, let painting go, and join the real world because, let’s face it, not everyone gets to live out their dreams.

Not only does that sound fulfilling, but it also sounds pretty fun.

Really, the biggest obstacle to overcome here—aside from every single obligation you have to your friends, family, job, and financial future—is you. And I’ll tell you this much: You don’t want to wake up in 10 years and think to yourself, “What if I had just gone after my dreams during those brief 30-minute lunch breaks when I was younger?” Because even if it doesn’t work out, don’t you owe it to yourself to look in the mirror and confidently say, “You know what, I gave it my best half-hearted shot”?


“Courage is found in unlikely places.”

J.R.R. Tolkien


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“Without fear there cannot be courage.”

— Christopher Paolini

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“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

Benjamin Franklin

Over millions of years, the persistent energy of the Colorado River rushing through a gash in the Earth’s crust has created a spectacle and wonder of the world a little at a time.  

While geologists argue over how the Grand Canyon was formed, there is consensus that the Colorado River is a major factor.  The heat of the desert bakes the soil, making it hard and unable to absorb water.  Plants with shallow roots do little to hold soil in place.  When it rains, water has no place to go but down to the river, and it takes soil with it, sometimes in the form of boulders the size of cars, which are washed away by the flooding river.  Or at least that’s the basic idea…

You can do it.  Just keep after it.



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