Is this a sign I am going in the right direction?  As I was completing the final edits on my blog this week, I received this from Keith:

Today, I’d like to send you a thought about being happy with your life after having a stroke.

First of all, I realize that this is a weird time with the whole Covid thing going on. It is tough when you can’t see your family and friends like your used to. Even when you do, you have to be careful and “Social Distance” yourself.

Then, with all of the chaos that is taking place for us right now…anger, injustice, racism, and just a question of our own future, it makes for a tough time.

But, I’d like to talk about your own personal happiness right now.

It’s as if no-one wants to show their good attitude to others due to all of the problems we see in our society today.

We feel guilty when we show a positive attitude, especially after having had a stroke.

We ask ourselves the questions; “Who am I to be happy? How can I be the one who is leading the way by being a positive influence out in the world right now? Should I be depressed and down due to what I have went through?”

Please allow yourself the permission and gift of being happy!

Yes, you can be concerned about all of things that are going on in your life currently.

At the same time you can still work toward making your life, and the life of others, a great place to be.

I’ve been generally happy my whole life.

Not that I haven’t been broke and lost it all in the past, failed many times (more than I want to admit), felt tired and ready to give up, moved around and around trying to find my place.

I’ve been depressed and discouraged, especially after having the stroke.

No doubt I’ve also been very lucky, and blessed with so many great friends and family (not to mention my incredible wife) in my life.

But being positive with all of the STUFF we have gone through is a CHOICE!

It is sometimes very hard to change, I get it. However, you can make this change if you need to. 

I am reminded of my own Dad when I am feeling sorry for myself. He has gone through a ton in his life…Had cancer when he was in his 30’s, lost his business, broke his neck (was shoeing a horse, and got pushed over into a huge tractor tire), had a stroke recently, and yet still has a great attitude at the age of 83. We tease him and tell him he has 9 lives!

He has made the choice to be happy.

I know it’s not always easy! It’s difficult to find happiness in life. Remember, you are not the only one that has gone through tough times. We all do.

However, you can make the choice to work on yourself and grow your own joy.

Don’t be ashamed of being the one who chooses to be happy.

It can be a great power for you, and set a great example for those you care about and love.

Have a great week!


This is the kind of thing I want to focus on in my blog…and I received it AFTER I wrote my blog. I don’t know about you, but I think this was a sign that I am going in the right direction!

30 Years of Marriage Celebrated last week….

Commitment is everything!

This was my 30 year wedding anniversary; we spent it at The Nine’s Hotel in Portland! What a great time we had; unfortunately, we both got sick!

We came home the next day and we both felt a little off.  We spent the next 2 days  sleeping/napping.

Not quite what you want 30 years a marriage to bring, but we slogged through it. I wanted to go on a cruise for this miraculous 30 years, but that didn’t come to be.  We settled on the Nine’s and it was great to be there.

I think THAT is why we are so happy.  My wife can give you some others, but here are mine:

1. Marriage is 100%/100%, NEVER 50%/50%
2. Simple acts of love keep 2 people knitted together
3. Never go to bed mad
4. Always compliment each other
5. Be happy with what ever you are doing….even if it is going for a walk
6. Wake up and Bless each day you are alive
7. Commitment is everything; be committed to each other

OK, I said that already in the first line, bit I think is is important. Now you know our secret; please reach out and share your secrets.

Am I a Disability Guru?

I am beginning to think I am!  Why, you may ask?  Let me tell you my thoughts.

First of all, it’s kind of cool to start being thought of in that way.  When people see me, they respect me for all I have been through. I have my disability and I’m happy for that.

But I don’t want to be respected. (After I said it, I thought about it and wish to renege that.)  I want to give hope and encouragement to all of those people who may be effected by a heart attack, kidney failure, loss of a friend, cancer, stroke…or anything else.  You can live life as you choose: with regret and pity…or with happiness for each day you have.   It is your choice.

  • You can choose to be happy with your disability
  • You can choose to live life to the fullest with your disability
  • You can choose to be happy for each day you have with your disability

I will tell you my secret: you can choose whatever you want!  My choice is to be happy.  Some people I know have LOTS of THINGS…and I don’t begrudge them; I am HAPPY for them; good for you! It’s not WHAT you have. It’s this:  are you happy?

A while back (9 years ago), I had lot of THINGS.  But when they were all gone, it didn’t matter. Everyday that I wake up to see my beautiful wife, I feel blessed. I have nothing to complain about…I am truly the happiest man on earth.


Find Your Inner Power

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What are your Inner Powers?

We all have them. But sometimes we need to rediscover them.

Living a happier, more productive and successful life is why we need to strengthen our Inner Powers.

Here are three things you can take action toward gaining some strength on your Inner Power.

1. Define What They Are

Focus: Can you focus your attention on one major goal?

It is so easy to get off track these days. Things such as your computer and phone are notorious for taking your valuable time away from what is most important to you.

Being aware of this alone can be a huge benefit.

Also, once you have your goals defined, then carving out specific time to work on that goal, without any distraction, is key. Put it in your planner! Stay accountable to your planner.

Motivation: A driving power that is directing you toward moving ahead.

This is a key inner power that will move you in the right direction. Motivation is what will give you the push to take action toward what is most important.

You can create smaller goals and/or actions for the day. Once you attain them, it will motivate you to keep going.

Desire: Do you have the need to live a better life?

Wishful thinking isn’t enough for you to take action. Do you NEED to live a more productive and happy life?

Think about what will be said when you leave this planet…will others know that you moved forward despite your circumstances in life? What needs do you have that will push you to change and move forward?

Persistence: Continue in spite of difficult times.

Everyone has difficult times in their life. We all need to move forward. It is the people who move forward that endure to have a great life.

Finding your determination in continuing to move forward despite the troubling times is what will separate you from the average. Being persistent is the key to moving the needle upward in your life.

Discipline: It takes time and effort to achieve a productive life.

Once you have the discipline to set your goals (whether daily, weekly, monthly or annually) and take action toward them, you will be amazed at how they work out.

Yes, it takes time and effort, but that time is going to move whether you are moving toward a successful life or not. Intentional, dedicated practice is the key.

2. Build On Them

Think about what you wrote in the previous “Define What They Are” steps. Now, take these items and list what achievements you have had in each.

You might want to start by asking yourself “WHEN DID I HAVE THE MOST (Focus/Motivation/Desire/Persistence/Discipline) IN LIFE?”

What did you accomplish that had the biggest impact on your life?

Why did you achieve this?

Did you do something special?

Was it because it had an impact on another person?

What was the impact it had on you?

This is critical to discovering your own motivation and what is most imortant to you.

When did I have the most Focus in life? Why?

When did I have the most Motivation in life? Why?

When did I have the most Desire in life? Why?

When was I the most Persistent in life? Why?

When was I the most Discipline in life? Why?

3. Invest In Yourself

Just as you can rehabilitate your body after having a stroke, you can Strengthen Your Inner Power…But, you have got to invest in yourself.

Don’t leave this up to anyone else.

This is your life; let’s keep moving forward. You can change your thoughts. You can change how you feel. You can change the choices you make.

It’s time to “TAP” into yourself (Time/Accountability/Planning)

Time: Are you spending quality time investing in yourself?

Are you important? Of course you are! But it seems that we all spend so much time on non-important stuff.

I catch myself looking at my iPhone, or getting on the computer, just as a random thing to do at times. I realize that we can’t work all the time, but I want you to ask yourself if you are investing quality time in you.

Think through this past week…or better yet, track your time this week, to see what it looks like. Then, make some adjustments. Make a goal and take action.

Accountability: Have you created a way to take control of your own success?

In order to grow your long-term achievements, you need to build a culture of accountability.

At the end of the day, we must be accountable to ourselves. It takes a strategy to develop an accountability process that is personal and creates a way for you to effectively follow through.

·         Responsibility: Take Ownership – You have 100% Control on this!

·         Share your goals: Be specific and clear. Share with someone you can trust.

·         Measure it: There are many ways. Understand what works best for you.

·         Be willing to change: Know that it will take work and effort.

·         Build trust with yourself: This will happen as you make progress.

Planning: Have you developed a strategy in order to accomplish your goals?

Have you invested time in creating actions that will take you forward in life? And, are you doing this faithfully each quarter?

Without a plan, you will meander through life thinking you are making progress. Even if you are making progress, think of how much more you could do if you had a plan developed and stayed true to it.

Let’s get busy building your INNER STRENGTH!

Wait…you were gone?


Yup- I just got back from speaking in Idaho.

Last night we gave our speech to a group that one of our clients put together. I delivered My Brain Has a Hole In It while  Jill followed up with why disability is so important.  I think the message hit home because I could see a lot of the poeple talking afterward.  Then we gave each attendee a Painful Blessing book write by Jill.

My host showed me the responses: all 5’s…followed up by one 4. If a 4 was the worst I could do, I am quite happy!

Jill and I went for a walk  before we left this morning. It was 38 degrees in Boise.   I absolutely loved the weather; it was so brisk and refreshing!  I hope to go back there again. Everybody was fantastic and so welcoming!