LOOK ON THE RIGHT SIDE.

Motivate. Laugh. Inspire.

Flatten your life. And laugh.

By | Perspective | 11 Comments

trucks

 

So in downtown Atlanta today I see all these big white movie trucks. If you live in, or have been to a big city lately, you’ve probably seen them. Food, wardrobe, cameras, etc. They all get trucks parked randomly near the film site. Then there are the trailers. I LOVE that! Who stays in trailers? People whose family tree is likely a wreath, …and the big “stars”

 

 

Not the point of this blog,

but it’s all perspective people. In one case the trailer is

laughable, mocked and thought of as

“Man, I hope I never get there”.

In the other, though still a trailer,

it is now luxury, coveted and thought of as

“One day if I’m lucky I’ll get there”

 

 

Sorry, SQUIRREL! When I see these trucks I get that weird, childlike feeling thinking, maybe I’ll see a scene shot or recognize an actor. Maybe the director will run over saying “you’re perfect!” C’mon you never know, there may be a flick that needs a moderately good looking, easily distracted one-armed guy that can tie his shoes, don’t judge.

 

So I’m walking around trying to nonchalantly be noticed by the guy that NEEDS me in his film, and I start thinking about movies. A lot of stuff in the movies is exaggerated. Good is REALLY good and bad=horrific. It needs to so that we get the point, so we feel something that the movie creator wanted us to feel. Immediately my mind went to an image of a guy standing at a curb as a vehicle drives by making no effort to avoid the huge puddle in the road. Instantly the guy is drenched. Virtually drown set the car would hit the puddle, you’d hear “CUT” and the actor on the curb is submerged in a pool so he is completely soaked (note the pool is likely filled with Dasani, not dirty street water). Obviously a car would not make that drastic of an impact on this man’s clothing or his perfect hair for that matter, but hey it’s a movie. In the final version we watch all this and think nothing of it. We make no connection that it wouldn’t be that bad. We just see that the guy got wet and react accordingly, probably a laugh.

 

A couple months ago I was in Honduras and it was raining. I was already wet, but witnesses will tell you that Pedro the truck driver made zero attempt to avoid this puddle. Some said they actually saw him swerve towards it in. I was literally drenched, and this was NOT Dasani.

 

When we see this in a movie, we laugh, punch our friend next to us saying something like “that’s awesome”. When it actually happens TO us, we get angry and want to PUNCH someone else. It’s funny to me that this is the exact situation, but from a different perspective. What if I thought, we could give the GOOD punch in the BAD situation. Just change our perspective.

 

Sometimes I try to do that when “bad” stuff happens to me. If I can just flatten my life like a movie and watch it, it’s pretty funny. I grasp that feeling and run with it. Often I find the anger wasn’t even warranted, and the ensuing laughter is intoxicatingly contagious. Seriously, look at the two girls in the selfie I took literally seconds after Pedro drenched me in Honduras. Friends, I am not saying this is always the best way to react in a bad situation. I am however suggesting that it is OFTEN a healthy, practical way to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

HondruranRain

Laughed at, or laughed with I like to create laughter. These situations often do just that with the bonus effect of opening eyes to a new perspective. As we head to New Years, how about we skip the resolution to flatten our belly (weknow it aint happening), and this year take some chances and flatten your life now and then. Watch it. And laugh

LOVE THE MUG.

By | Perspective | 32 Comments

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 11.21.14 AM LOVE THE MUG

So I have aspirations of being a “writer”, but I’m struggling to get one post a week off now.  What gives?  I think it’s fear that I won’t be good at it, but that is stupid.  Here goes blog # 2.  OK that sounds bad, here goes my second blog post ( #2 can never be good, right? ).  GREAT!  Now I’m starting posts with embarrassing poop jokes.

So I was speaking on stage with my awesome sister Julie recently.  She has Down Syndrome which is caused by an extra chromosome.  My Grandpa said she did not have an extra, but that you and I are missing it.  “It’s the LOVE Chromosome”, he said.  My grandpa was very wise.  Chances are you have met, or know somebody with Down Syndrome.  You know then, that there is a refreshing unconditional love present that just makes you feel good.  Julie is the epitome of that.  she will change your world.  We speak around the globe together and she writes her own talks.  Often they include random thoughts like “ when I was a kid, I rode a vacuum cleaner”.  Julie is the boss, she writes what she chooses.  Recently, she said to a group of about 600 “ I am so glad my brothers Derrick and Randy, and my sister Kristy have a sister with Down Syndrome in their family”… OK, let’s rewind:  If I said, “I’m so glad my siblings have ME!”, you would think I was an arrogant jerk.  However Julie catalyzes the “ oh, that’s so sweet” mentality with hew narcissistic rambling.  It got me thinking…( that’s dangerous).

Then I met a guy who’s brother had Down Syndrome.  He told me how last year his brother gave everybody a mug for Christmas.  A mug with a picture of… HIMSELF!  My reaction?  “That’s awesome!”  Imagine for a second if you received a Christmas gift from me of a mug with MY picture on it.  Words that come to mind would likely be pious , A-hole.. etc.  However when my friend’s brother did it, the mug became treasured.  It was everyone’s favorite gift, a prized possession.

The mug, incidentally could be exactly the same object from me or from my friend’s brother.  What intrigues me is that though identical, one inspires the “what a tool” attitude and the other…” oh my gosh I LOVE this”.

What is different, I thought?  Obviously, one reaction is better, healthier and more positive, but the gift would be exactly the same.  The difference in my observation is the way we CHOOSE to look at the giver.  We make a choice.  Perhaps correctly we assume motives and intentions.  In one case it results in warmth, joy, endearing thoughts and happiness.   In the other it results in disgust, distain, or an almost hatred for someone who just gave you a gift.  It intrigues me that the gift is identical, but the CHOSEN reaction can be overwhelmingly positive, or negative.  AND, it is completely our choice how to react.  Countless thoughts of justification are flying through my mind, and probably yours right now, but facts are facts.  You choose the reaction and you choose the feeling.  All I am suggesting is that love is never the wrong choice.  From now on I am going to, and I encourage you to try and…LOVE THE MUG.

READ MY BLOG (because) IT’S NOT GREAT

By | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

 

For a couple years now I’ve intended to write a blog because I feel as though I have a lot to share, and I genuinely desire to make people (even strangers) smile.  …And, apparently I like run-on sentences as well.  I know very little about blogging, (or writing for that matter) so I’ve been hesitant to start it.  “I want it to be great”, I thought, “better than all the other blogs”.  So I wait.  For what?  I have no idea.  Today I realized that a blog that is just “OK”, is better than a blog that is denied permission to even exit my cranium.  Perhaps “better” is not the best word, but rather more attainable.  It is my hope that through this blog I can do a few things:

*make you smile

*help you experience JOY.

*share where I go, who I meet and what I learn.

*entertain you.

*help you save money.

*introduce you to Dahlia, Julie and LOVE (these three are all essentially the same).

*learn from you.

*become a better writer, and a better man.

Lofty goals?  Perhaps.  Attainable?  Possibly.  So with all this in mind my ego has apparently now given me a green light to begin.  This is due in large part to the bar I have just significantly and intentionally lowered.  Lower expectations=lower fear.  Don’t do that!  Follow the example of how pitiful this makes me look and do exactly the opposite.  Ego!  Oh yeah I want to be transparent here and resist my burning urge to do things exclusively because I think they will make people like me.  I do that a lot.  Matter of fact, telling you that right now is honestly an attempt to get you to think;  “wow, that’s pretty cool.  This guy is like really honest”, and in turn… to like me.  So apparently I’m not doing so well.  Yet..