Give A Damn. Change The World.

Give A Damn. Change The World.

The world needs you to give a damn. People need love and encouragement. Cities need revitalization. People are looking for leaders. Have you ever seen something that just bugged you, made you sad, or filled with righteous anger? Did the words "Somebody needs to do something!" escape your lips? Guess what? You're somebody. If it's something you can't stop thinking about, something you can't run away from, something that seems to keep popping up in your life... You're the somebody that's needed to do something. You're the somebody the world needs to give a damn. Take Pride In All You Do The world today is selfish and self-absorbed. People are rude, inconsiderate, and out for themselves. Customer service is a thing of the past and 'not my job' is how people operate. Screw that. It's amazing how we're grateful for even slightly better than (what used to be) mediocre service. Hell, we'll even take notice when someone is competent in their job. Didn't used to be that way. I firmly believe that how we...
Read More
My 23 And Me DNA Surprise: I’m Not Italian?

My 23 And Me DNA Surprise: I’m Not Italian?

This morning, with much excitement, I opened my 23andMe DNA testing results report. My wife gave me a kit for Christmas and I've been impatient as hell waiting for the results. Everything I know about my family history, I learned through stories. My father's father was Sicilian, his mother was Lithuanian, while my mom's family was 100% Polish. Even though I have the skin color and facial features (read: Roman nose) of an Italian heritage, we used to joke that our family came from the "hairless Italians". As I got older and began looking into the etymology of my family name, I learned that it's an Arabic surname. OK, I thought, that's not too much of a stretch. Family legend says we're from Sicily, and the Italians colonized North Africa....so maybe there was some migration across the Mediterranean Sea.  That would explain the 'hairless' bit. So, when I opened my reports, I was expecting Eastern European, Italian, and North African to be...
Read More
Education: The Cure For Hate And Ignorance

Education: The Cure For Hate And Ignorance

[Tweet theme="tweet-box-normal-blue"]Education is the movement from darkness into light.[/Tweet] The world seems to be coming apart at the seams. Fear, ignorance, and bigotry rule the day. Decisions at the highest levels of government are made solely on emotion and not with reason and logic. Darkness seems to be winning the hearts and minds of people around the world. Millions of people are asking "What can I do?" To that, I say educate yourself and others. Education is the cure for hate, ignorance, and bigotry. Education Isn't Only In Books Educating yourself through school is important. In fact, it's the number one way to expand your horizons. Yet not all education can be found in books. Get Involved Do you have a cause that's weighing on your heart? Find an organization that addresses it and get involved. You'll learn more from doing and meeting people with the same passion as you than by simply reading articles and books. Travel Visit other cultures. Meet other people. Learn about how other people...
Read More

Turning Crap Into Compost

Eventually Crap Turns Into Compost So, this morning I sat here, staring at the blinking cursor, wondering just what f*cking brilliance I had to share with the world today. I'd sit, write a few words, and then send the crap I just wrote to the recycle bin. Frustrated, I bopped over to Facebook and lo and behold the universe smacked me right in the face. A friend of mine who has been dealing with his own challenges posted the following: [Tweet theme="tweet-string-underlined"]Watching the crap of life turn into compost is encouraging.[/Tweet] Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Compost is a fertilizer that can be made from most of the leftover crap you have. Food, coffee grounds, old newspapers, and even dryer lint can be turned into compost. In the beginning, though, thrown together it looks like one giant pile of crap. Kind of like life sometimes. Sand, Oysters, Pearls, And All That Jazz When you're standing in the giant crap pile, it's often difficult to see the good that can come from it. Plus,...
Read More
Hope Is A Very Dangerous Thing

Hope Is A Very Dangerous Thing

Hope Can Drive A Man Insane The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book. It's from a chapter on Pain and Guilt in estranged relationships and the danger of hope. You can’t explain what it’s like to mourn someone who is still alive unless you’ve experienced it first hand. This is what you’re doing now. There’s a sort of impermanence to the loss you’re experiencing because the other person is still alive. The most dangerous thing in the world is hope. Hope can carry us through the dark times and it can also keep us trapped in the cave. There’s no point in hoping things will go back to how they were. Sure, you think everything will be fine if it could just go back to the way it was, but it won’t. Remember, how it was before was most likely miserable. The stress, the arguments, the tension...these were all part of your ‘normal life’ prior to the estrangement. Hope masks this...
Read More
Meryl Streep Makes America Uncomfortable

Meryl Streep Makes America Uncomfortable

At the 2017 Golden Globe Awards, during her acceptance speech, Meryl Streep managed to ruffle the feathers of America by calling out the PEOTUS and the press. Now, the chastisement of the press didn't get nearly as much attention as what she said about the incoming President. But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to...
Read More
Embrace Your Flaws, Every Damn One

Embrace Your Flaws, Every Damn One

Flaws Are The Gift Of Identity When you begin a period of self reflection, it's inevitable that you're going to see your flaws. That is, naturally, if you're doing it right. Honest self reflection will reveal everything about you, and some of what you'll see isn't going to be flattering. Too often we're all about presenting a beautifully polished face to the public, as if our flaws are something to be ashamed of. They're not. Your imperfections are what make you uniquely you, and that you is beautiful. In today's social media driven, narcissistic world, people often use others' flaws as cyber-weapons, throwing stones and casting darts from behind the safety of a screen. It's no different than growing up when children tease each other for being 'different'. Yet, when you embrace your flaws, nobody can use them against you. In the movie 8 Mile, Eminem plays an up and coming rapper. He spends most of the movie trying to run away from who he...
Read More
5 Rules To Win The Day From @GaryVee

5 Rules To Win The Day From @GaryVee

Win The Day Your intention every single morning is to go out and win the day. Sometimes you may not, yet don't let that stop you from attacking the day with enthusiasm. Now, you may be asking, how do I do this? Well, dear readers, have no fear. Gary Vaynerchuk has some rules you can use to win the day. Gary's Rules Rule #1 - Be Confident The biggest problem today is twofold. On one side, people are confusing cockiness with confidence, and on the other people are lacking confidence. In a previous post, I talked about having the confidence to be you without asking for permission. Be you, be authentic, and be the best you can be. Rule #2 - Positive Vibes Only Misery loves company. It can be difficult to blaze your own trail when you realize how alone you are. Most people like to complain about everything that's wrong in their world because they know it's the easiest way to draw a crowd....
Read More
When Rock Bottom Has A Basement

When Rock Bottom Has A Basement

We've all been there. Just when you think you've hit rock bottom, life opens a door and shoves you down the steps into the basement. It's like when you discover the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. It's enough to make you want to go What do you do when life knocks you down then sneaks around behind you and kicks you in the balls? Well, you can either writhe around in pain, bemoaning how horrible your life is or you can get up, look life in the face, and tell it that it hits like a bitch. I know it's easier said than done, but I'd rather face life head on than cower like a victim. [Tweet theme="tweet-string"]Dear life, You hit like a bitch. [/Tweet] Shift Your Perspective In a Ted Talk, Sarah Hernholm discusses how the shift from "to" to "for" can change how you see life's troubles. Everything we go through in life is a lesson we need to learn....
Read More
Quit Asking For Permission To Be You

Quit Asking For Permission To Be You

You Don't Need Permission To Be Great "The reason you're looking for permission is because you know so many people are fakers." It's no secret I love Gary Vaynerchuk. I love his no-hold barred, balls out style that cuts through the bullshit. In the video above, I believe he hits on a very important point. The world is full of fakers. And because the world is full of fakers, seeds of doubt are planted in our minds. Therefore, in order to be seen as credible, you, consciously or unconsciously, ask for permission to be great. [Tweet theme="basic-full"]Respect everyone. Listen to no one - @GaryVee[/Tweet] If you're being true to your authentic self, then what others are saying won't matter. Cut Through The Noise It's no surprise that the social media landscape is a noise place and it's difficult to be heard. One look at your Facebook timeline and you'll see a plethora of sponsored posts and advertisements promising the next big thing. Over the last 12 months...
Read More