Blogging on The Brightside

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

Arise and seize the day!

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“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

–Jim Hightower

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It’s been a while, friends.  Hasn’t it?  Have a wonderful week.

 

 

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“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”

– Jackie Robinson

This post was submitted by our friend Joelle Wisnieski, a graduate of Akron University whose laughter lights up the room.

Robinson

As a first basemen myself, Jackie is one of my role models. A wonderful ball player and a passionate civil rights activist, he continued to play his hand when anyone would have understood if he folded, but more than that he really PLAYED. Not only was he the first African-American to play in major league baseball, but he was then named rookie of the year. I mean who has the courage to steal home 19 times! And I’m not talking about 19 attempts… that is 19 runs that Robinson scored by stealing home base during his baseball career. I think that this quote by Jackie pretty much sums up his attitude toward baseball and toward life. Life is NOT a spectator sport. Unfortunately, still sometimes find myself living as if it is one… letting my life pass before my eyes with minimal involvement, challenge, passion.  I don’t want to live that way – and I’m guessing neither do you.  Recently I found that I had all these dreams and aspirations for my life. I want to help people. I want to teach, and travel, and love. I want to enjoy the little things but experience the big things… but most importantly I want to make a difference. But then I took stock of my life and I was very upset at what I found. I’ve been wasting time, precious time. When I could have been making an effort to help someone, be a friend to someone, or maybe even to learn something new – what was I doing instead? – watching the latest episode of “The Bachelor” or rereading “The Hobbit.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some TV drama and I enjoy an excellent literary story, but what else was I doing.  At that moment I realized that I was sitting in the grandstand with my feet resting on the railing in front of me, but I also looked at the field and realized that they had been calling for a first basemen to come play.  I refuse to take a seat when there is one amazing life to be lived! We all have moments in life when we look around and don’t understand how we fell into a ditch. But don’t forget it is never too late to get your hands dirty and climb out.  Don’t live your life as a spectator (because I agree with Jackie on this topic) – it would be a waste. Instead, go out and play. Learn something new, go somewhere you have never been, challenge yourself and the people around you. I promise you won’t regret grabbing your glove and taking the field.

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“Whatever you may be celebrating or grieving, may you practice courage every day and let it nurture your spirit however weary or uplifted it may be. There is hope in our celebrations, and strength in our brokenness. May you embrace your own sweet surrender with faith and courage along the way.”

— Kelly Rae Roberts

Hello Courage

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

— Lao Tzu

May you find strength in the ones who love you. These are the ones who risk heartbreak to show you they care. Love is unconditional. No matter what, they choose to love you.

May you gain courage from each person to whom you give your heart openly. You lay your heart on the line every time you care for them. To love someone is to be the most genuine version of yourself. That vulnerability is unparalleled.

You have fought for love. You have fought for your happiness. Today is a day to celebrate love in its may forms and revel in the joy love can bring.

I hope that today (and every day) you find a moment to realize how much love surrounds you and know you are more loved than you can possibly imagine.

Love and light,

Carly

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“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. ”

— Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sometimes you don’t feel like getting up. Sometimes you don’t feel like facing the light of day or doing your best or trying at all.

Sometimes, it’s enough to just be. Sometimes, living takes all the courage you have and that’s okay.

Don’t beat yourself up for not being Superman. You woke up. You greeted the world with you own, unique energy.

That took guts. And I’m proud of you.

Love and light,

Carly

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“What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world, and you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth.

–Walter White

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In light the series finale, our Monday Morning Message is from Breaking Bad.  We can certainly learn a lot from Walter White, our everyday high school chemistry teacher, but this is one of the more valuable lessons he shares.  When you are done with fear, when you can move past it and confront your challenges, nothing more can stand between you and your empire.

Have a great week.

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“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.”

Ben Franklin

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Personally, I am most comfortable when I can get into my routine.  I am very careful to plan my week on a calendar, create a to-do list with sub-to-do lists just to make sure everything gets accomplished.  And it’s the deviations from this routine that causes stress and makes me uncomfortable.

But is that really living life- commuting to work from 9-5, getting in a workout, and catching a few reruns of the Big Bang Theory before bed?  Is that as good as it gets?  Honestly, that’s the trap that Ben Franklin realized a lot of 25-year-olds (okay, I know you’re just pretending…) fall into.  And, after all, isn’t that why we call it ‘the grind’?

Ben Franklin was definitely a character with many interests and hobbies.  I think he encourage those of us who have sailed into the doldrums of life to bypass the Lethargians and find some ways to spice things up.  It might not be a big life-altering decision, but maybe there are some little place you kind add excitement in your schedule.  I’ll help you brainstorm.

Wake up early enough to enjoy breakfast in a new restaurant, or leave the lean cuisine at home and try a new restaurant for lunch.  Cook a new recipe- autumn’s here so why not something pumpkin?  Host a dinner party for some friends, or suggest a Friday night dinner outing at a new place.  Switch out the Coors Light for a festive microbrew.

Try a new kind of workout- can you rent a kayak or a bike?  Give a spin class or zumba or fly-wheel a shot.  You could even change up the route you always run or just run it backwards.  Find a mountain, and take a hike.  Go fishing.  Maybe you don’t work out- take a walk or a swim.  Ben was an avid swimmer.  Invite someone new to join you.  Really not into working out?  What about following a new sport- become the expert.

How long has it been since you read a book?  What about a mystery or a new genre?  What other hobby’s could you find interesting?  Homebrewing?  Ben’s recipe was called “Poor Richard’s Ale.”  I just brewed my first batch last weekend.  It’s not that hard to get into, and I’m confident you could do it.  What about canning?  Maybe it’s just an arrangement of fresh cut flowers on your desk.

Could you take a course in something you’ve always been interested in?  Join a bible study or a small group?  Join a book club or start an investment club.  Meet some new friends.  Travel.  Take a day-trip or a long weekend.  Find out what beautiful landmarks are around you and go photograph them.  Then make a rainy-day hobby out of photo editing and make some art out of it.

I don’t know what it is that will make your life more fulfilling and exciting, what that something is that will make you excited to get out of bed.  And honestly, one thing probably isn’t enough.  If it’s just one thing, it’ll become part of your routine.  But always be learning.  Experiment.  Live.  These little things are what make life worth living.

Have a great week, everybody.

-R

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“We don’t live in our fears, we live in our hopes.”

Mike Tomlin

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I like Mike Tomlin as a coach.  The guy is 41 years old and has coached in two Superbowls, including a victory.  When Tomlin is on the sideline, he’s intensely focused;  another quote attributed to him is “Be where you’re at.”  Live in your moment.

Coach Tomlin can be tough on guys who make mistakes and can flash a healthy smile when things are going his way.  But what I really like about him is that he isn’t afraid to shake things up if the Steelers’ performance is less than stellar.  Playing .500 football isn’t the Steelers’ way, and some stars were held accountable and let go after last season’s lackluster finish and replaced by some young talent.  There are a lot of teams (including one across the state) where that kind of objective first attitude wouldn’t fly.

I like the quote for this post, because Tomlin isn’t afraid to do what it takes.  He is talking about the way that life manifests itself around what it is that we focus upon.  Are you focused on what could go wrong?  What you don’t know?  A risk? A challenge?  Are are you focused on the end?  That goal? A dream?  Your hopes?  Put yourself there, and live in it.

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“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.”

Napoleon Hill

When you read about successful people, you’ll likely read about many devastating failures leading up to and intermixed with their wild successes.  And when you meet successful people, you start to learn that the reason they were successful in the first place is because they have a lot of practice failing and have matured and learn from their failures.   If you want to learn to be successful, you’ve got to put yourself out there and take chances.  You’ve go to apply for jobs you might not ever get and audition for parts you might not fit the role for exactly.  You’ll be disappointed and frustrated and angry, but keep pushing.  Then, you will find yourself with great responsibilities, great successes, and a heaping sense of fulfillment.

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