Filma in Italiano
Do you have a personal philosophy or overarching purpose? I think it is important to have one and to keep it in front of you and use it as a guide.
To be a light in the darkness for others. To leave people feeling better about themselves and their situations than before you were with them, to give to others your best and to uplift and encourage people to grow, learn and change every day, to live a life of abundance and wealth so that I can bless others with what I have been blessed with: time, money, encouragement and talents, to leave a legacy behind me of prosperity and friendships that will continue to give for generations to come.
“Where you are today is a result of daily decisions that you have continually made.” I paraphrase that quote from some success CD that I have listened to over and over in my car. It may be from John Maxwell. Is that not the truth?! To live free of regret, it think, is to start a habit of good decision making. and also learning from your poor choices.
Man I have made some good decisions. I have made some poor choices, too. I love sharing them in a medium where we can learn from each others’ decisions and all move forward together.
Good choice: Selling virtually everything and moving to Italy and Switzerland for a total of 3 years between 1997 and 2003. I was able to travel to most countries in Europe and even off beaten-paths like Romania and Malta. What this does for an understanding of humanity is huge. I won’t elaborate. If you want to know, we can go out to dinner and share over some beverages. I love learning and speaking Italian.
Experiences where you take big risks and learn and grow and live outside of your “culture-of-comfort,” end up being huge catalysts for dreams, goals and pursuits. They also become victories where you can look back at them and draw tremendous strength.
Bad choice: Deciding to buy chickens, build a coop and raise hens for eggs. You know what? I think “the enemy,” call it what you will- satan, evil forces, bad spirits, bad karma, etc, has a way of diverting us from our paths if we aren’t careful and have our goals in front of us daily. I don’t even like eggs that much and isn’t there more valuable and profitable things to be doing with my time besides building a chicken coop?
Good way to learn from a bad choice: When my daughter or son asks me for a pet dog, cat or chicken, I have a response for them.
“Go and volunteer at the SPCA for a month and lets learn about how this works and then decide and go forward with pet adoption.”
See, aren’t mistakes great?! I love learning. I’ve made some great mistakes. Some are embarrassing. I’m not going into them unless you take me out to dinner and we can chat over some beverages.
Growing up in Sacramento, near the American River and a safe bike ride from everywhere you need to go, provided a great childhood for me that lasted until I turned 33. I figure, when I got engaged to Toby, I had finally ended the bachelor-carefree life that I had been perpetuating for years. I finally had to think of somebody besides myself. In childhood, certain things were instilled that created the foundation for who I am today. I recently called my mom and dad and congratulated them on their 43rd wedding anniversary. All the things that go with having a solid marriage and family life and spiritual life, I hold dear and am aiming at for my family. After 3 years of marriage and one baby girl, we are off to a great start. I didn’t get married as young as my parents so I’d better keep up with my fitness and vitamin routine so we can have as many anniversaries.
Soccer and skiing are the fitness routine staples. So is hiking.By day, I teach Science at an outdoor school. We hike about 15 miles a week. After tearing an ACL ligament in my knee playing halfback, I am doing mostly bike riding which is close to being a favorite exercise. Along with exercise, love, honesty, spiritual growth and fidelity, a spirit of entrepreneurship has run through our family. My dad was almost always his own boss in the real estate arena. We were coached at an early age how to answer the phone as the office was in the house.
College life gave way to a lot of learning that didn’t always register on the transcript. It was a great way to postpone adulthood and get ready to work in an eventual job. Studying how to be a teacher gave way to European travel and living and teaching and skiing and soccer playing and partying in Italy for three years. Finally, a return to American soil prompted a return to my roots an finding my dream as a husband, father, entrepreneur, income-stream-building, ass-kicking man. I started an online business and floundered around and failed and had little successes. I damaged the relationship with my wife with promises unfulfilled but would not quit and only get more focused, disciplined and driven. The foundation I laid in failure and refusing to quit, begun to pay off. Today I continue to always fail forward and look forward to helping thousands of people find success marketing online.
Growing up, I was aware that marriage was a challenge. I thought that because my parents had an awesome marriage, that I would too. I found out that it was a LOT of continual work. I made it more complicated than it needed to be. I made a lot of promises to Toby about how the future would be. I shared my dreams and goals of a great life that I would create with our business vehicle. Then I didnâ€™t back up the dream-building with a consistent work ethic. Our marriage relationship began to get strained.
Guys, you ever long for the respect of your wife? Have you ever been to a point where you donâ€™t know how or when you will ever get it back? I did. If you want to know the nitty-gritty, we will need to sit down over a cold beverage and chat for a while. I donâ€™t know exactly who is reading this so Iâ€™ll tell you what I learned in the fire.
If you have some love and respect issues at home, get it together â€“ together. Take a look at your association? Are you surrounded with older people with successful marriages that can provide some mentorship? There are groups out there dedicated to helping married couples get their acts together. Retrouvaille is one for us. WorldWide Dreambuilders is another that is instrumental for us with daily books and CDs on success and relationship strategies.
But guys, above all, pull your head out and start being a man. Get involved in leadership. Real leadership begins with your self. You canâ€™t lead your wife or anybody else unless you lead yourself and be accountable to your word. If you donâ€™t deliver, sheâ€™s not going to follow. So stop looking for reasons why your relationship isnâ€™t what it is. You need to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you would want to be married to you. If one person starts working on themselves, the other is going to follow. Good books are Love and Respect, The Love Dare, The Five Love Languages Watch, â€œFireproofâ€, the movie together, too.
Also, get real, 99.9% of arguments boil down to money or finances. Get them straight. Start making more. Tell yourself that you can, And you can. Not at your job or by getting another one. Start some income streams. Get a network marketing business going that has some real leadership available for you. If you begin to bring in more bacon, would that lighten up some moods at home? Even vegetarians like bacon.
Enough of that. I like to think the fire is over and we are on to awesomeness together with huge income, childhood-fun and more abundance and wealth and success every month. It takes helping more people. A lot of people need our help and we enjoy showing people and coaching people how to create better lives for themselves. Here is where the dream takes over:
I see in the not-too-distant future, On vacation in Cortina, Italy, I will walk out on the terrace of our hotel. My breath hangs in the frozen, morning air and wisps away in the slight breeze. I look over the jagged, snow-capped peaks against the bluebird sky. The storm last night dumped a foot of fresh powder and my skis are barely visible under the thick, white blanket, leaning on the banister. I pick up my son and point off in the distance and say, “See, out there, that one mountain top? Do you know the name of that one?” My son will say, “No, what’s it called?” I say, “I don’t know but we are going to ski it this morning!”
I look inside the window and there is my wife with our daughter, sitting at a large table with my parents and sisters and their families and also our relatives from Milano who until recently, we only had the time and money to visit them every decade. Everybody is happy but groggy from the previous nightâ€™s events, playing games and telling stories and catching up on conversations that lasted till after midnight. I can see everybody there laughing and carrying on and also see a reflection in the window of the snow sun and mountains and me holding my son.
My dad waves and blows my son a kiss. The door opens up and the waiter comes out with a tray.
“Signori, Un cappuccino doppio e un ciocolato caldo per voi.”
My son says, “grazie signore.”
The waiter responds, as always, “prego.”
The steam from the cappuccino reminds me of when I was 25, in Milan with my scooter, near the Duomo. I try to stifle a smile but it overtakes my face. I look down, off the balcony. The helicopter is getting dusted off by the pilot and crew. I ask my son if he thinks he can hit the helicopter with a snowball.
Before he answers, I remind him that he will have a ski lesson with his sister and I will meet up with them after lunch, when we can get our runs in all together with mom and his sister. His smile is overtaking his face. We put our hot cups down in the snow and begin forming snowballs.