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Happy Monday
by On September 24, 2012

Your plans work out sometimes … and sometimes they don’t.  The ability to go with the flow and make adjustments in your mental picture – while remaining grateful is a critical component of getting great results and having fun along the way.

Watch Video

Michelle shares some of her experiences having life not go as planned – and how to make the best of any situation.

Going with the flow and being grateful for any and all situations can be easy to get theoretically… KNOWING  that what you need is what is showing up in your life and living from that awareness is more challenging – and more rewarding.

Here are two practical ways that you can shift any situation from the stress of your plans not happening as you pictured to something you are truly grateful for:

1.  Write down at least three reasons why the situation you are in is a good thing.  Why is it good for you?  For others?  For the world in general?  Actually write them down … my experience is that writing down is much more real and powerful than only thinking about them.

2.  Take time to breath.  Five or more conscious breaths will calm the mind.  Oxygenate the body and reduce stress inside and out.   Stressful thoughts manifest in the body very quickly.  By breathing the mind and the body get a break … space is created and gratitude can fill that space.

Have a terrific week.  I’m excited for all of your plans to work out just as planned!  And i’m equally excited for them not to!!

be free!


Go Forth and Fail
by On September 19, 2012

by dshoup on September 18, 2012

How is it that the most successful people have gotten to where they are? Is it because they are smarter or more talented then we are? Do they experience success because they have more money? Maybe it is because they are better looking or they are just plain lucky? The stars always seem to line up for them?

I would suggest that the answer to that is a resounding NO! History has hundreds and thousands of examples of how people and organizations have overcome one or all of those examples to lead very productive and highly effective lives.

If you look at your most successful professional athletes, sales professionals, CEOs, students, politicians or even parents, to name a few, there are a couple things that they share in common:

They know what they want and understand the price that must be paid to accomplish it.

Vince Lombardi was quoted as saying “Once you agree upon the price you must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts,…and the temporary failures.”

They simply fail more times than anyone else. And they are okay with it.

Anyone who has achieved great successes in life has also experienced countless failures and setbacks on the way to their eventual success. Here are some famous examples:

Thomas Edison’s experiments failed approximately 10,000 times before he invented the working light bulb.

Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company went bankrupt 5 times before he finally succeeded in the auto industry

John Grisham is one of 21st centuries most accomplished authors. 16 agents and 12 publishing houses rejected his first novel, A Time to Kill, before being picked up.

Brett Favre is the career leader in interceptions thrown. He is also the leader in touchdowns, passing yards, completions and wins as a quarterback.

Besides obvious talents in certain areas none of these people are any different then we are. I will repeat that again. None of them are any different then we are. The sooner you buy into and embrace this fact the quicker you will begin seeing your own level of successes.

Three things you can do now to move from a setback to success:

Know what you want. Clearly decide what you would like to be, do and have. I would highly recommend the book, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. It is one mine of Freedom Personal Development’s favorite books on success. If you want to learn my personal favorites click here.

Write 2-3 personal setbacks to success stories. This reminds you that you can accomplish many things when you put your mind to it. You have proof from past experiences.

Be prepared to fail. There are two certainties of Failure: 1) It is guaranteed 2) It is essential to growth

Learn to look at failure as a positive and not a negative. The faster you can fail and learn from your mistakes, the faster you will succeed.

If you will do those three things you will be well on your way to experiencing the kind of success that you so richly deserve. I will close by sharing a quote I heard from one of my mentors, Zig Ziglar: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly…….at first.”

Go Forth and Fail and love the journey.

Take it Off the Mat: Graceful Transitions
by On September 18, 2012

September 12, 2012

I have been practicing yoga for 14 years now. There are many concepts and experiences of my practice that I take off the yoga mat and into the real world. For those of you familiar with yoga, you might know what I am talking about…..don’t judge, listen to your body, don’t compare yourself with others, keep your eye on one focus….there are so many valuable correlations between the practice of yoga and the practice of life. In order to have a fluid, graceful practice….you must transition from one pose to the next.

Are we not so busy in life that we are constantly looking at the past, or working towards the future, that we don’t focus on the transition? I am sure you might be saying, “here goes the be present talk again.” Not at all.

How do you transition in life Gracefully?

Have you found yourself recently or presently in a state of transition? This could look like many things. For example, you might be in the transition of becoming a parent, moving to a new place, transitioning out of the work force, changing jobs, getting promoted, (insert your own here)…. This transition could be easy or difficult, good or bad, who knows? Typically, change is tough for most people, even if it is leading to a positive end state. So how can you make your transition as graceful as possible? There are many answers to this, (without getting into a book here) I will tell you what makes transitioning every yoga pose easier…strength…sheer Strength. Ahhh…let’s take this off the yoga mat and into real life.

How do you stay strong through your transitions in life?

Keeping yourself mentally strong, physically strong, spiritually strong, and staying strong and true to your personal core values. These will all help you get through any transition. In order for these aspects to be strong, they need to be practiced on a regular basis.

How are you doing in these areas of your life? If you cannot lift a 5 pound weight, I promise that the 50 pound rock that might land on your foot will be difficult to move. Get my point? Keeping yourself strong in all aspects of your life will ebb and flow, we are not perfect and we might get flabby in an area or two sometimes. But we CAN evaluate these areas and make an effort to get stronger, so that when that transition comes, we can handle it gracefully.

So….how are you doing in these areas? Take a moment and evaluate yourself on a scale of 1-10: (1 being you can’t lift a pound/10 being you might be on steroids)

Keeping yourself mentally strong on a regular basis? (Reading, listening to educational/positive material, keeping current on your product or industry)

Keeping yourself physically strong? (Working out, eating healthy, getting outside)

Keeping yourself spiritually strong? (Praying, meditating, service to others, practicing yoga – or whatever this looks like for YOU)

Keeping true to your core values? (Doing the right thing, keeping true to who you are and your beliefs, keeping your priorities straight)

We all must fall sometimes, or lose our balance…we often do this in yoga. The fall will never hurt as bad if….we are strong enough to catch ourselves.

I challenge you…Do one thing every day this week to improve your strength in one area of your life. We would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing!!!

by On September 13, 2012

This brochure was shared at  by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

TO RELAX. Throughout the day, take “mini-breaks”. Sit down and get comfortable. Slowly take in a deep breath; hold it; and then exhale very slowly. At the same time, let your shoulder muscles droop, smile, and say something positive like, “I am r-e-l-a-x-e-d.” Be sure to get sufficient rest at night.

PRACTICE ACCEPTANCE. Many people get distressed over things they won’t let themselves accept. Often, these are things that can’t be changed, for example someone else’s feelings or beliefs. If something unjust bothers you, that is different. If you act in a responsible way, the chances are you will manage that stress effectively.

TALK RATIONALLY TO YOURSELF. Ask yourself what real impact the stressful situation will have on you in a day or in a week, and see if you can let the negative thoughts go. Think through whether the situation is your problem or the other person’s. If it is yours, approach it calmly and firmly. If it is the other person’s, there is not much you can do about it. Rather than condemning yourself with hindsight thinking like, “I should have…,” think about what you can learn from the error and plan for the future. Watch out for perfectionism — set realistic and attainable goals. Remember: everyone makes errors. Be careful of procrastination — practice breaking tasks into smaller units to make it manageable, and practice prioritizing to get things done.

GET ORGANIZED. Develop a realistic schedule of daily activities that includes time for work, sleep, relationships, and recreation. Use a daily “thing to do ” list. Improve your physical surroundings by cleaning your house and straightening up your office. Use your time and energy efficiently.

EXERCISE. Physical activity has always provided relief from stress. In the past, daily work was largely physical. Now that physical exertion is no longer a requirement for earning a living, we don’t get rid of stress so easily. It accumulates very quickly. We need to develop a regular exercise program to reduce the effects of stress before it becomes distress. Try aerobics, walking, jogging, dancing, or swimming.

REDUCE TIME URGENCY. If you frequently check your watch or worry about what you do with your time, learn to take things a bit slower. Allow plenty of time to get things done. Plan your schedule ahead of time. Recognize that you can only do so much in a given period. Practice the notion of “pace, not race”.

DISARM YOURSELF. Every situation in life does not require you to be competitive. Adjust your approach to an event according to its demands. You don’t have to raise your voice in a simple discussion. Playing tennis with a friend does not have to be an Olympic trial. Leave behind you your “weapons” of shouting, having the last word, putting someone else down, and blaming.

QUIET TIME. Balance your family, social, and work demands with special private times. Hobbies are good antidotes for daily pressures. Unwind by taking a quiet stroll, soaking in a hot bath, watching a sunset, or listening to calming music.

WATCH YOUR HABITS. Eat sensibly — a balanced diet will provide all the necessary energy you will need during the day. Avoid nonprescription drugs and avoid alcohol use — you need to be mentally and physically alert to deal with stress. Be mindful of the effects of excessive caffeine and sugar on nervousness. Put out the cigarettes — they restrict blood circulation and affect the stress response.

TALK TO FRIENDS. Friends can be good medicine. Daily doses of conversation, regular social engagements, and occasional sharing of deep feelings and thoughts can reduce stress quite nicely.


Many people don’t realize it, but stress is a very natural and important part of life. Without stress there would be no life at all! We need stress (eustress), but not too much stress for too long (distress). Eustress helps keep us alert, motivates us to face challenges, and drives us to solve problems. These low levels of stress are manageable and can be thought of as necessary and normal stimulation.

Distress, on the other hand , results when our bodies over-react to events. It leads to what has been called a “fight or flight” reaction. Such reactions may have been useful in times long ago when our ancestors were frequently faced with life or death matters. Nowadays, such occurrences are not usual. Yet, we react to many daily situations as if they were life or death matters. Our bodies don’t really know the difference between a saber-tooth tiger attacking and an employer correcting our work. How we perceive and interpret the events of life dictates how our bodies react. If we think something is very scary or worrisome, our bodies react accordingly.

When we view something as manageable, though, our body doesn’t go haywire; it remains alert but not alarmed. The activation of our sympathetic nervous system (a very important part of our general nervous system) mobilizes us for quick action. The more we sense danger (social or physical), the more our body reacts. Have you ever been unexpectedly called upon to give an “off-the-cuff” talk and found that your heart pounded so loudly and your mouth was so dry that you thought you just couldn’t do it? That’s over-reaction.

Problems can occur when the sympathetic nervous system is unnecessarily over activated frequently. If we react too strongly or let the small over-reactions (the daily hassles) pile up, we may run into physical as well as psychological problems. Gastrointestinal problems (examples: diarrhea or nausea), depression, severe headaches, or relapse can come about from acute distress. Insomnia, heart disease, and distress habits (examples: drinking, overeating, smoking, and using drugs) can result from the accumulation of small distresses.


What we all need is to learn to approach matters in more realistic and reasonable ways. Strong reactions are better reserved for serious situations. Manageable reactions are better for the everyday issues that we typically have to face.


Below are situations that cause stress in some people and distress in others. Imagine yourself in each one right now. How are you reacting?

Driving your car in rush hour

Getting a last minute work assignment

Misplacing something in the house

Having something break while you’re using it

Dealing with incompetence at work

Planning your budget

Being blamed for something

Waiting in a long line at the grocery store



7 Tips for Improving Your Memory as You Age
by On September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012 by Staff Writer

Where are your keys? Did you shut the garage door? What’s that guy’s name again? Everyone has some memory lapses, but as you age, it seems like they get more frequent and take longer to snap out of. While there’s no way to keep your brain (or your body, for that matter) young forever, you can keep your brain as sharp as possible by using some of these tricks. It may not be a steel trap exactly, but your memory will definitely be better.

Take care of your body:


Not only will you look and feel a lot better if you exercise regularly, but your brain will feel the effects too. Exercising increases the blood flow to your brain, particularly in the area that controls memory, and may even help the formation of new brain cells. Even people who aren’t fit can start to reap the benefits in a few months or less. Just another reason to dust off your old tennis shoes and hit the gym!




Eat smart:


Of course you have to maintain a healthy diet to get the nutrients your body needs and keep your weight down, but you should also consider your brain’s health when meals or snack times roll around. Many foods can protect your brain and improve how it functions. Try incorporating Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet by eating more salmon, tuna, walnuts, and eggs. Also try some antioxidants, like blueberries, broccoli, and carrots. Remembering to eat your vegetables won’t be so hard with your improved memory.




Take supplements:


It can be hard to eat everything you’re supposed to on a regular basis, so if you find your pantry lacking in the good foods you just read about, you can add a memory-boosting supplement to your daily routine. Fish oil supplements contain the Omega-3 fatty acids you can get from food, Vitamin E can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and Asian ginseng may benefit memory. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about adding these to your diet.




Eliminate stress:


Studies have shown that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can make your memory foggy. The good news is that you typically have to be stressed out for several days in a row for the effect to be significant, and your memory should bounce back after you’ve de-stressed for a week. You may not be able to get rid of every stressful situation in your life, but eating smart, cutting out unnecessary commitments, and even learning to meditate can help reduce your stress significantly. Remember to give yourself some time to unwind or you could be hurting your chances for success.



Get organized:


This tip applies to all areas of your life, from your home to your schedule. While organization doesn’t improve brain function directly, it can help you cope with memory lapses and give you fewer things to commit to pure memory. An organized home or office will keep you from losing things and let you rely on logic if you don’t remember putting something away. Making lists and writing down plans will help you stay on track in your daily activities without wasting time or forgetting something important.




Use all your senses:


When you’re learning something new or even just trying to record in your mind where you parked, try engaging as many senses as possible. You form stronger memories when you use more senses. Look around, take a deep breath, and listen to the ambient sounds. Touch something or have a taste if it’s appropriate. Taking a moment to use more than one sense will help you recall this memory more easily as you will have involved more areas of your brain.






Keeping your memory sharp doesn’t have to mean sitting in a quiet room studying, reading, and doing crossword puzzles as you age. In fact, people with active social lives tend to have delayed memory loss. Engaging in society by interacting with friends, family, or civic organizations can offset the risk of mental decline, especially in those who have had less formal education. So join that bingo club or start volunteering to make your community better. You could be improving yourself at the same time.


Heading to India
by On September 7, 2012

by Jana Owen on September 6, 2012


  • To be more patient in chaotic situations that are not following MY plan (I hear India is wonderful for this).
  • I desire to experience spiritual moments that can only be present when creating the space and time to BE in it….
  • Focus on a deeper understanding of yoga (especially the 8 limbs of yoga) while completing a 200 hour certification
  • See the Dalai Lama
  • Panchakarma is something I have dreamed of for 7 years…I will complete at least a 30 day prescribed regimen, I do hope to cure something I might reveal later in my journey.
  • I want to give my service to a place that will benefit from my presence.
  • Put to rest some exhausted attempts to resolve “Daddy issues”.
  • Though I have decided not to bring a computer, I will be journaling and blogging when I cross paths with a capable internet opportunity. Who knows when and how often this will be. I do hope many of you will follow…..I hope to have some interesting pharmacy technician certification online insights and stories for you.

    I will follow a simple and inspired (and hopefully entertaining) checklist for my blogs such as:

    1. Places Visited (will make links for the geographically challenged)
    2. Best Discovery
    3. Most Enlightened moment
    4. Most frustrated moment
    5. Best purchase
    6. Best view (insert picture here)
    7. Grateful for
    8. Most missed item in the US
    9. Favorite person online masters in pharmacy administration met
    10. What I would like everyone to stop and appreciate for a minute
    11. Biggest tug at the heart moment
    12. Patience level on cialis24pharmacy online a scale of 1-10
    13. Fell in love with….
    14. Realization of what I can live without
    15. What I accepted
    16. Looking forward to
    17. Funniest moment
    18. Reminded me…
    19. Shout out to (someone that has been on my mind)

    Please provide any suggestions of checklist ideas that would be fun and entertaining…I am open to all possibilities.

    And I am requesting that anyone/everyone send me a favorite song to put on my Ipod!! If you should be so kind, I would love to listen during my many train rides. Send to:

    sildenafil online pharmacy

    Exciting days ahead! Will miss you all! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, this trip will enlighten me so I can inspire a ripple effect amongst the world!


    gratitude in the everyday
    by On September 5, 2012

    Posted August 30th, 2012 at 2:44 pm by Karen from Chookooloonks

    My friend Jyl Pattee wrote a post today about gratitude being the key to a happy life — and I couldn’t agree more.  I’ve mentioned before that I think that gratitude is imperative to finding joy in your life, and for getting through the hard times.  But to be honest, it can be difficult, even for me, to find something new to be grateful for every day.  Can you imagine? Think of the pressure of having to create something new every single day of your life to be thankful for? I’m tired just thinking about it.

    Instead, I admit it: I’m often thankful of the same things over, and over, and over again.  This week, my daughter has returned to school, which means that our lives have returned to the normal routine that flows in our house pretty much every single day for 9 months.  And I have to say, as boring as this sounds, I’m very grateful for routine. I’m grateful for the comfort and sense of stability it provides.  My life might be mundane to most, but it’s my life, and my family, and we’ve worked hard to create the little rituals that bring us peace every day.  For example, I’m grateful for:

    • my morning cup of tea (sweetened over-enthusiastically with honey)
    • turning on my twinkle lights in my office weekday mornings — signifying it’s time to get to work
    • reading the classics to Alex when she gets home from school (this is actually assigned homework from her teacher!)
    • journaling with Alex
    • witnessing Alex’s growing habit of reading in bed to herself before lights-out every night
    • and Friday night movie night

    You see, I’m of the opinion that mundane habits like this — this little rituals that we create for ourselves — are what make for a happy life.  And I hope that this helps my daughter have grateful memories of her childhood, despite how un-extraordinary all of these little events are.

    How about you — what is it about your everyday that you’re grateful for?



    Post Number One
    by On September 4, 2012

    by Eric Plantenberg on September 3, 2012

    Most people lack energy and focus.

    This isn’t because they are low energy or unfocused by nature… they simply aren’t as clear about WHY they are doing what they are doing, and that can be a huge drain.

    I’m a big fan of clarifying WHY i do things.

    I do what i do because i deeply believe that when one person lives their life in a way that fills them from the inside out, the entire world becomes a brighter place.

    That’s my motive behind creating this site.  To create a space where each week, we can both continue to shine a little brighter from the inside out.   Where energy and focus can become the normal way of things rather than an illusive experience for other people.

    I’m guessing if you are reading this you’ve been to a live event with me, or at least heard about the workshops and retreats i put on.  This is a terrific place for you and me to keep the work that we did in a live class alive and to stay connected with each other.   Fundamentally what’s going to happen on this page is  a discussion that supports you in clarifying what’s most important in your life and how to really live from that place of clarity.  What you can expect to see posted here fall into three categories:

    1. Inspirational/eduction videos.    I love short, powerful videos and will be sharing my favorites and creating some that i hope will be fun and uplifting.
    2. Articles.  Everything from notes on books i’m reading, to experiences i’m learning from, to observations and perspectives i have along the way.  I’ll be using this space to publicly answer a lot of the questions that are sent my way.  And as a vehicle to share with you the things i find most valuable in my world.
    3. Keeping up with my live events. As much as i love the internet, videos, article, and the way they shoot around planet instantaneously; i still believe that the most powerful & transformational human growth happens when people can look each other in the eyes.  So… from time to time you’ll hear about events i’m putting on (new and old) with the intention of making them both available for lots of people to attend (it’s hard to make the event when you don’t know when & where!) and to share the experience as best as possible to those that didn’t make it.

    People that work on themselves, however they do it… fill their heart and soul in a way that get’s better results for them and inspires that rest of us that are anywhere near them.

    Concepts like Passion, Purpose, Vision, Service, Commitment, etc can be foundational to your life’s direction or they can be a cliche that is posted alongside a pretty picture in the office hallway.

    I believe that a community of people that are committed to growing from the inside out will see all sorts of goodness show up in their lives as a by-product of taking the time to go inside of themselves and see what’s really true and important for them.

    In my experience, the end result isn’t really where the fun happens.  The fun happens along the way.

    So… welcome to this site.  I really hope you enjoy this experience as much as you have enjoyed live classes with me.  I know that i’m here to have a blast and to watch the entire world become a little brighter.. from the inside out.  Please leave a post saying ‘hi’ – let me know how you like the videos linked in this post and let your voice shine by suggesting where you would like this discussion to go.

    be free!

    Life Lessons from My Parents: Two Certainties
    by On September 4, 2012

    “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” –         Abraham Lincoln

    “Success doesn’t make you and failure doesn’t break you.” – Zig Ziglar

    Life Lessons on Failure

    It was my senior year at Sammamish High School in Bellevue, WA and I was preparing to take that next big step in many young peoples lives. I was looking into attending college and had begun the process of checking out schools and determining what kind of options that I had in front of me. My grades were solid (about 3.4); I was very active in sports from football, wrestling & track. In addition, I was involved in our school Accapella & Jazz choirs so, I was feeling really good about my chances to get accepted to some fairly good universities.

    The challenge, as with many others, that was laid out in front of me was the simple fact that we (and when I say “we” I mean my parents) didn’t have the kind of income to pay for most the colleges that I would have been interested in attending. But, do you think a small obstacle like that stopped me from pursuing those schools? You bet it did! (Remember, I wasn’t the quite the same person as I have now become and needed to learn some valuable lessons.) So, I decided to enroll in a school that I felt very confident I


    could get accepted in and in which the tuition and cost of living was at a minimum. I chose to attend Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA for the fact that it had both the ‘fore mentioned criteria and my brother was attending it as well.

    Okay, so the school had been selected and now all I had to do was figure out how I was going to pay for it since nearly 100% of my education would have to be covered by me. What were my options? I could get financial aid and be prepared to pay it off for years to come or I could apply for and pursue scholarships and have someone else pay for my education. Well, the second option sounded good to me so, I went out and intensely researched available scholarships and grants for nearly 2 weeks.

    Ultimately, I did find one that fit my situation perfectly. It was $20,000 scholarship based on financial need and additionally, did not require stellar grades, focused a lot on the amount of involvement and participation in school (no one was more involved then me) and to top it off two of the faculty members from my school were on the board. I was a virtual lock for this, all I had to do was take care of all the steps and it would be mine. This was the perfect fit for me.

    Looking back, this was the first time I ever set a goal. I dove head first into making certain that I got this scholarship. I followed all the steps, got all the references, wrote an amazing cover letter (okay, I thought it was amazing) submitted it well on time and just waited for the news that I would be receiving the scholarship, pick up the check and I would ride off into the sunset, $20,000 richer. Well, the news did come and it was not the outcome I had staked all my hopes on.

    I did not receive the check and there was no riding off into the sunset. I was devastated. How could this happen to me? I did everything I was supposed to and had all the right criteria and I still didn’t get it! This was not right! This was not fair!! The person who did get it had better grades, sure but that was it! I mean, I was Homecoming King, the winner of our schools Mr Totem contest, a champion wrestler!! All the school loved me so, how in the world did someone else get this scholarship?!!

    I went home to tell my parents the horrible, life ending news and hopefully elicit enough outrage from them that they would demand some sort of recount or ask for a special tribunal to look into the judges and their unfair decision. I remember sobbing uncontrollably in my mothers lap and railing about the injustice of it all.

    After a time, my father patted me on the back and simply said something to the effect of “that’s life son, we all fail from time to time, but you’ll make it” and my mother said “Life is not fair sometimes, David. But, as long as you tried your best and gave it all you had you have nothing to be ashamed about. Did you try your best?” “Yes” I added through tear filled eyes. She gave me a hug and said “Then be proud, ‘cause we are.” At the time I thought, “That’s it? That is all you two have got for me?” What I didn’t know at the time, what took me several years to realize, was that that conversation taught me more about being a success than anything I have learned in my 20 plus years since and I will be eternally grateful for the two painful and valuable lessons I was able to learn at such a young age.

    1.  Failure is Guaranteed

    I am sure my parents weren’t thinking at the time “We are now going to teach David life lesson #5 on how to succeed”, but they did. As soon as I understood that failure is a part of life and that the only way I can’t fail is if I don’t try, which in my mind is a failure, I became stronger and more willing to put myself in situations that I might fail, but then again could succeed big time.

    There are not a lot of guarantees in life, but of this I am most certain: Failure is GUARANTEED!! We are going to fail, so as soon as you get over it the sooner you can learn from it and move forward.

    2.  Failure is Essential to Our Personal Growth

    I am not saying that it is not painful to fail or that you should be looking to fail and jump up and down shouting “Yeah, I’m a failure!!” What I am saying, and what I am fully confident in is that I’m the person I am today, in big part because of the amount of failures I have experienced in my life. I have learned more about success from my failures than from the successes. Often I think about what would have happened to me if I had received the scholarship and not had the opportunity to learn the lessons my parents so, lovingly taught me. If I had gone to college without experiencing this amazing gift of failure…Who knows, but I tell you now that I am a much better person because of that experience and would not trade any of that pain. I am also reminded of a quote that I find is appropriate: “The person I want to be I am now becoming.”

    Thanks Mom and Dad for helping me to learn these essential lessons. I love you so much.