Greatness Begins with Gratitude









I spent a great deal of my life always trying to be someone / something other than what I was.  It has been only since I decided to accept myself for who I am, and others will have to accept me for who I am, that my life started going in a really good direction.

Greatness Begins with Gratitude

Performance Tip of the Week

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. – Margaret Young

Our society tends to lead people astray, breeding dissatisfaction when their lives don’t match the magazine covers. Unfortunately, having more won’t change a heart that always sees less. Nor will it unearth your potential to shine brightly through your business.

Years ago, I could easily have been categorized as one of those people who was trying to live life backwards. I kept thinking that I had to make it big, in order to do big things.

What’s the big problem with always seeking more?

You never really learn to do amazing things with what you already have.

God gives so much to each one of us, and too often we brush our gifts aside for want of a different job, a different relationship, a different “something.” It’s not just about being who you really are, as the quote above states, but also being content right where you are with what you’ve been given.

That doesn’t mean that “right where you are” is where you are destined to remain. But forward movement begins with forward thinking. You must first acknowledge what you have, before you can learn how to leverage it into what you want.

Whether you like it or not, entrepreneurship stretches, molds, beats and blesses. You shouldn’t waste precious energy bucking against it. Instead, catch the wave, keep your mind and heart open to opportunity, and find a way to enjoy the ride.

It’s a choice to be grateful right where you are each day, no matter what challenges you are facing. The riches of life lie in the journey, and the rewards come to those who know the priceless value of the process. In those moments of awakening is where you will find the life you’ve always wanted appearing right in front of your nose.

What are you doing to acknowledge, embrace and leverage the riches in your life right where you are?                          Dr. Shannon Reece

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What Do You Do When Confronted With Change?

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Some food for thought.

When confronted with change, do you:

  • Consider the cost of switching before you consider the benefits?
  • Complain to everyone in sight; or get excited?
  • Exaggerate how good things are now in order to reduce your fear of change?
  • Curse the person causing the change; or praise them?
  • Immediately start thinking of all the things that could go wrong; or think about the benefits?
  • Faced with the inevitability of the change, do you fight it or throw yourself behind the implementation?
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Lonesome vs Lonely.

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Lonesome vs Lonely.


Living alone was VERY hard for me.  And I think that was a major contributor to my first and second marriages.  I despised dating.  But, there is nothing that says you have to anytime.  Conventional wisdom says to wait at least a year—I say wait until you’re damn well ready.  There is no hard and fast rule.


Soon after the second divorce, I said these words to myself over and over and over and over “I’d rather spend the rest of my life alone than spend 5 more minutes with someone who doesn’t want me.”  I WOULD STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU START SAYING THE SAME. 


He has made it abundantly clear that he has moved somewhere else in his life and isn’t taking you with him, hasn’t he?  So tell me, of the two of you, whose life is in limbo?


Here is something extremely important for you to start remembering:


It’s okay to be alone.  I’ll say it again—it’s okay to be alone.  You see, the invisible point you are aiming at is the day you realize that you don’t HAVE to have someone in your life.  You would LIKE it, but you don’t HAVE to HAVE a relationship.


When you understand and accept this, you will know that you have grown to a point that the only reason you will allow yourself to be with someone is because you WANT to, not HAVE to.  Do you understand?  You have just placed yourself in control of your own life.


Now, on the flip side, being LONELY, like you are now, is so d a n g e r o u s!!  It means your decision concerning other people will be made out of desparation.  Warning signs will be totally disregarded and you will fall into relationships that are lethal.  I talking about ALL KINDS of relationships–friends, acquaintances, lovers, etc.


Honestly, I will encourage you to print this out and tape it somewhere.  This has been the most important and best learned lesson I had.  When I remarried 20 years later, I married someone whom I WANTED in my life but knew I didn’t HAVE to HAVE her.  It has made a world of difference.

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Calculating Child Support

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Hi, I ran across this article and thought you might like to see it.  Randy


Calculating Child Support

March 2011What’s the connection between family law and the U.S. Department of Agriculture? For Los Angeles sole practitioner Mark B. Baer, the agency’s annual Expenditures on Children by Families has become a tool for quelling discord in the oft-contentious process of calculating child support payments.


Based on more than 15,000 responses to the annual Consumer Expenditure Survey, the USDA report details how much it costs to raise a child over the course of the next 17 years. Baer says the numbers come in handy as a neutral starting point for negotiating child support because “whoever is receiving it is never satisfied that they’re getting enough, and whoever is paying feels like they’re paying too much.”


According to the USDA, the total cost of raising a child born in 2009 to age 17 is between $205,960 and $475,680, adjusted for inflation. The 2010 figures will be released as early as next month.


The agency’s interactive Cost of Raising a Child Calculator also allows users to go online to tailor a yearly estimate according to geography and other key factors, such as income level.


The USDA numbers prompt battling parents to keep things in perspective, Baer says: “People seem more than willing to spend sums of money they can’t afford litigating their divorce over three or four years–as much as they could have spent on raising their child from birth to age 17.”


The Cost of KidsPer Year Health Care $925 Clothing $988 Other $1,250 Food $1,725 Transportation $1,925 Child Care/Education $3,163 Housing $5,838 TOTAL $15,814

Note: Estimates are based on a two-parent family living in a California city or suburb, with one child and an income between $56,000 and $98,000 per year.

Source: 2009 Expenditures on Children by Families, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Cost of Raising a Child Calculator. USDA Cost of Raising a Child Calculator

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Battle of the Heart vs Common Sense.

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Battle of the Heart vs Common Sense.

Many comments were made in my last blog about why we can’t let go of the STBX.  That has to be one of the toughest questions in the universe.

I miss him so much.

He treated me sooooo badly.                                                             

But, I miss him.

Blame it on the heart.  As far as I’m concerned, the heart is the strongest muscle ever developed.  It totally overrules our brain, no matter how much evidence is put in front of our eyes. 

Let’s say you see the photos of him with another woman.  It’s there.  No denying whatsover.  But our heart can totally overrule our brain by whispering to us “it’s an illusion”; and so, we refuse to believe what we are seeing.

I heard my wife telling a man she loved him.  I saw them together.  Etc.  But I didn’t want to be divorced so bad that I kept telling myself that if I could just be a better husband and man she wouldn’t do these things anymore.  The heart just overruled everything.

Finally, I was able to realized that, while I loved her I just plain didn’t like her and what she was doing to me.

I did what most of you are doing.  I kept excercising my heart muscle by constantly telling myself how much I loved and missed her.  Once i started FORCING those constant thoughts from my brain, the heart muscle started growing weaker and weaker.  One day I suddenly thought “I’ve gone all morning without thinking about her”!!!

The heart is not unlike anything else—if you quit excercising it, it will grow weaker.  Maybe you are in a situation where you are excercising too much?  Just a thought.

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Question: How Many of You Love Your STBX But Don’t Like Them?

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Question:  How Many of You Love Your STBX But Don’t Like Them?


This is a serious question.  This is an emotion that dawned on me one day when I was trying to sort things out.


And when you think about it a bit more, you may realized that this is part of the reason we have such a hard time letting go.


Your answer:  Love but don’t Like?

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5 Sources of Hidden Income.

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5 Sources of Hidden Income

a.  Identify discretionary spending habits.  Next, look for changes in those habits.

b.  Understand sources of deposits including other than compensation.  Example:  the spouse has a paycheck every two weeks; no bonuses; no reimbursements; no part-time job; YET, there are deposits being made to the account other than the paychecks.

c.  Medical reimbursement.  Why this?  Some plans/companies have 100% reimbursement.

d.  Swapping loan balances.  Look at brokerage and bank account statements for unexplained deposits.

e.  Look for a particular expense that has gone up substantially.  Look to see who is the recipient.

CONFRONTATION:  I would strongly caution you to keep these things (assuming you find something) to yourself and/or your attorney (NOT friends/family/etc).  The temptation to confront will be STRONG.  However, as long as you keep it to yourself the trail of evidence will not change and you can continue to track it; OR speed up the divorce proceedings.

Look for more tips soon.

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Prepare for my Re-Entry

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I MISS HIM RANDY. I truly Do . thats the problem……

How many times have you said that?  How many times have you heard your friend(s) say this.  Right or wrong, this this the answer I gave this person (remember, I’ve been through divorce twice and then took 20 years to think about and work on myself, so I’m not talking theory here).

What I wanted her to understand that to solve our issues, truly solve, we have to get to the base of the issue.  Otherwise, we may get past this particular issue but we will keep seeing it repeat itself.

Anyway, here goes.

Sorry but, thats not the problem–that’s a symptom.  The problem is that you haven’t tapped into your inner strength and said “Fine, you don’t want me.  I accept that; I accept it because i HAVE to; I accept it because i MUST.  But, I like me; a lot of other people like me (including that idiot Randy (<:”

“I’m driving myself crazy!  And there is a good chance that I’m driving those around me crazy.  I know I have to give you up.  Period.  Thank you for the good memories; I shall choose to remember those.  I shall also remember that you think the grass is greener and not allow you to warp my view toward others and myself–you will not be allowed to hold that power.  So…goodbye and thank you for everything.  I must go a live my own life now, a good life.”

“World, ready or not, here I come.  Prepare for my re-entry!!!”

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Your Life Has a Common Thread. Find It.

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Find The Common Thread.

Many years ago, after my second divorce, I sat myself down and said “I can’t do this anymore, it hurts too much”.  I did not decide to never marry again; instead, I realized that before I would marry again I need to find some answers as to why my two marriages failed.

Divorce was never in my future.  I was going to meet a great girl; have children; hold a steady job until retirement; enjoy the grandkids.  You know, just have a great life.  Little did I know how stormy my path was about to become.

Getting back to my decision to find the answers to my failed marriages, I began by closing my eyes and just started reliving my life.  Slowly, I started seeing some things, things I didn’t like.  My father was a good man, but it was his way or else with a temper to match.  I was a mild-tempered sort with no way to fight back.

My entire four years of high school was spent with a football coach who, if you weren’t one of his favorites (I wasn’t), yelled at you constantly but never praised you.  In those days, talking back to a coach would have gotten you suspended from school.

I married a girl when I was much too young; but you know how it is….you fall in love.  We stayed married for 12 years, ten of which were pure misery.  Her temper was legendary, no words or phrases were taboo.  I tried to fight back, but it was like a BB gun against a bazooka.

A couple or three years after our divorce, I married again.  She didn’t fight verbally, she would just go off and sleep with someone.  This lasted for five years.  It was after this marriage I sat down and had probably the most important conversation with myself in my entire life.  Important because it changed the course of my life—for the better.

I realized there was one true common thread throughout my entire life….ME.  I had a part in every one of these events.  My father, I was there.  My coach, I was there.  Both marriages.  Yes, there I was.  I could not deny myself.

Now I had to ask myself “What am I doing”?  The answer eventually became pretty simple.  I was surrounding myself with the same person over and over and over.  They were all quick-tempered.  All had the ‘my way or no way’ attitude.  All were quick to jump if I did something wrong, very sparse with praise.  Why was I doing this?  Getting the answer to this question seemed to be the answer for me.

And then, it hit me.  Because this was the type of behavior I was used to being around.  It was ‘COMFORTABLE’ for me!!  I was the common thread and ‘comfortable’ was the answer to my question as to why I kept getting into the same kinds of relationships.  I was comfortable with uncomfortable.

Next came the second most important decision of my life; but, the hardest:  What was I going to do about it?  I had the answer now, and if I didn’t take it further I would surely be in miserable relationships the rest of my life.  Verbatim, here is what I said, “I would rather spend the rest of my life alone than spend five more minutes with someone who doesn’t want to be with me”.

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Get Energized, Find an Event to Attend.

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If you follow me, you realize that I have a passion for writing about three things:  real estate, divorce, and entrepreneurship.   What I have learned is that so much of these three have lessons to be intertwined.

My contribution to the linked blog is #13.  The energy I receive from attending an event about which I am so passionate lasts a long time; and the best is—it overflows into the rest of my life.

If you are going through a divorce, naturally you may attend a support group.  But, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend finding groups that exude energy–it rubs off!

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