Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Aspire.

Who do you aspire to be? Why do you want to be that person? And what steps are you taking to evolve into the desired person? We live in good times, times that enable us to learn almost anything and become almost anyone. We are able to snap photos and record video of said interests and progress towards our desired destination of becoming someone known for our travels, achievements, and persona.

Who do you aspire to be? When I think of the type of person I want to become I think about the role models I had growing up. I think about their principles, behavior, work ethic, and abilities. I think about my Dad and his efforts to teach others how to do their best as athletes in their sport and their best as individuals in their family and community. I think about my Grandfather and his desire to be of service when he could to whomever he could be of service to. Being involved in continually doing their best wherever they went is natural to them, I’ve always aspired to be similar to them in that way. Whoever you want to emulate, find their good and try and tune yourself to do the same, just with your own personal touch of genuine goodness.

What steps are you taking to evolve into the person you want to become? If your goal is to become a better listener are you setting yourself up to be in a place that gives you the opportunity to listen? Are you putting yourself in places that will help you grow and utilize the desired traits you want to become strengths? This might require you to put yourself a little outside your comfort zone into the headlights of a growth or learning opportunity.

If you are not sure what you aspire to be in the future take a moment and jot down and fill out a list that might look something like this:

Positive traits that I have today:

Traits I want to have:

People who have the traits I aspire to have:

Their strengths:

My strengths:

What can I do to attain desired traits?

Just a few ideas to help you on your way to see who you want to become in the years ahead. Whatever you should do, aspire to be your best self, happiest self, and most honest self.

Speak.

When you were learning to speak you began one word at a time, perhaps saying Mom, Dad, Dog, Cat, Cookie, or some other word relating to things you cared about most at that time. Your vocabulary grew and you learned how combining words helped you to get what you wanted and needed little by little. We eventually learned how to express happiness, sadness, hunger, love and everything else needed to communicate with others. We knew how /what we felt and were able to share it with anyone around who would listen. As we’ve grown the ability to express ourselves fades a little, we begin to hold more back and internalize our thoughts.

This internalization leads us to share less of us when we are hurt, sad, or confused because we wouldn’t want to appear weak, depressed, or stupid around others. We stop talking about things that need to be shared and start filing those thoughts away weighing down our self-worth and esteem. Often many begin to question the value they bring to the table and find themselves without a place they feel comfortable being themselves. When people fail to see their unique traits as an asset and start seeing themselves as deadweight in any situation this leads a person down a path too may tread to depression and worse.

Many of us live in a culture where depression is frowned upon, mental health isn’t addressed, and visiting a mental health professional is a silent affair. We know that there are two outcomes that can happen when we finally dare to bring up our struggles: Willing ears to listen and reassurance there are better days ahead and a willingness to listen and help in the future when needed but that seeking advice from a mental health professional is a good avenue to pursue as well. The adverse is often a pair of ears that heard but a response that might involve lacing up one’s boots and jumping back into the saddle and not worrying about it so much.

I am an advocate for individual resilience and being able to work through challenges to gain better footing for future struggles. I am however an even bigger advocate for speaking up when it is needed because there are some demons that are too tough for us to battle on our own. Asking for help when you are at the water’s edge is nothing to be ashamed of nor worried about. Please be brave and speak up when you need help, please use your words to share your needs and how you are feeling. We will be better off understanding the true strength and resilience it takes to speak up and say what we need to receive the help that will make for better days ahead.

Encouragement.

Why is it beneficial to be encouraging of others in their day to day tasks? I’m not talking about their specific work or school-related assignments but the little things they do every day that makes our lives a little better. Think of your friend who smiles at you when you are having a tough day. Think about those challenging days when a parent offered encouragement and reassurance that you could make big things happen if you put your mind to it. This is what the world needs a little more encouragement towards better things and a little less weight behind negativity.

It starts with me. A better world starts on a personal level more trust in others, a better believe that people are generally good, and a little more effort to listen to each other.  Sounds pretty easy right? It isn’t as easy as it sounds to trust others when we hear all the bad that could, has or is happening around us. It’s a challenge to see others as good when we lie to each other and even ourselves about the reality of the situations we live in daily. It’s hard to listen when we want to be heard, to be recognized, to be understood. We want so much from others but are at times unwilling to give to those we want to listen. Three simple steps to a better world that sound so easy, but are so hard to commit to.

Acknowledging that we can change the world in three steps is encouraging and a direction we can all get behind. If you start to look outward at what you can give to others you’ll see more easily all that others are giving to you. Life is a great maze that we all navigate a few feet at a time, why not be brave enough to trust others to help us forward, speak good words to each other, and listen a little better to those who need to be heard.

So who agrees that it starts with me?

Together.

Tonight I finished watching the Netflix series, Russian Doll. Warning, possible spoilers ahead if you haven’t finished the series. The lead character in the series Nadia begins a series of loops where she struggles to find a safe way to navigate life, eventually finding herself cautious yet still struggling to move forward in life. She eventually meets Alan on an elevator and shares a unique moment that leads to a friendship of shorts leading to an understanding that they need to work together to help the other move forward a better person.

This process takes some time as they struggle to better understand each other, find balance in their friendship, and take some time apart to realize that friendship is a challenge accepting even when the other person might demand you get lost. After an extended time, they recognize the benefit of working together to free each other from past baggage and move forward together as friends into the unknown.

Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes due to the fact that we all bring different pros and cons together at the table as friends. Our strengths and weaknesses become well known to others as we spend time together and dare to share the truest parts of ourselves as the friendship grows from the first contact to extended years of experience. We know that having true friendships can benefit us if we are willing to trust our friends and welcome them in when we need them most and vice versa we need to be ready to be a friend who can listen at times, speak at others, and just be there for brunch on an odd day when opportunity knocks,

Some are fortunate and have the ability to easily make friends and build lasting relationships in a short time. Others might struggle to find real common ground with others and hold back on trusting their friends with heavy thoughts and feelings out of fear of oversharing and scaring away friendship. There are friends who are a mixture of these two types where one party is vastly more open and another is a better listener who shares smaller pieces back that are solidifying pieces of the friendship.

We are great as individuals, we can accomplish great things on our own, and nobody should tell you otherwise. Add any number of friendships and you will be strengthened by others and aided in your day to day conquests by supporters who believe in you too. Alone we can do many things, together we can do anything.

Why.

What is your why? Why do you do things that way you do them? Why are you willing to face adversity to reach your desired destination in life. These are thoughts I’ve had before when I hear about someone with a big dream that seems to be a bit more than they probably can bite, chew, and swallow. Meaning I’m not sure why they really are doing things the way they are doing, I’m probably not alone in wondering about these things.

As a youth in central Utah, I used to sell corn on the side of the road next to the high school every fall for a few summers. My Father, Grandfather, and I would go pick the corn then we’d park the truck on the side of the street and I’d sit there till the sun went down or I’d sold all my corn for the day. I learned a few interpersonal skills with people and how to sell products to folks which is a benefit to me to this day. One of the most memorable experiences for me was trying to sell a bag of corn to a man carrying a giant cross across the USA who stopped through our little town on his way to California.

I asked him about his cross and why it had a wheel on the bottom. Man, “It’s designed to make the walk easier as I carry it.” Me, “Why are you carrying that thing? Don’t you think it would be faster to leave it behind?” Man, “Yes, it would be easier, but I want to show everyone that I can carry this heavy cross from New York to California.”  Me, “Ummm, okay, but why?” Man, “I told myself if I could do this, I could do anything.” Eight or Nine year old me didn’t get it then but have never forgotten it to this day. This man had a purpose to walk across America with a heavy wooden object, and I hope it helped him see he could do anything. I did, however, sell him some corn to fuel his trek.

To this day I see and hear about people who are setting out for challenging journeys as adventurers, entrepreneurs, athletes, and scholars. I can’t always relate to nor understand their vision for choosing the challenges they have decided to claim. I can confirm that choosing a challenge that people don’t understand can be a catalyst to the greatest adventures of one’s life.

Share your why with others, and enlighten them on your vision. If they doubt you or don’t understand that is okay. They might catch a vision similar to yours one day, and take off on their own journey fueled by nothing more than why.