The Belief Tree: Why Success is Binary

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”

– Henry Ford

PROLOGUE

Lately, I’ve been contacted repeatedly about a “starting point” as though there was some green circle to go stand on to start the game (of life). Well, unfortunately, while there is NOT a single one per se—  there is fundamentally above all, A MINDSET of BELIEF, RESPONSIBILITY (ownership) and SELF-CONFIDENCE (can you win this game or not?)

That is a question you should ASK NOW. In fact, stop everything you are doing and just ask that simple question… “CAN YOU WIN THIS GAME?” Yes, then of course you need to define what “winning” is and hopefully it’s a little better than Charlie Sheen’s.

Enjoy!

This quote, in my estimation, may be Ford’s best invention. Perhaps, even better than his invention of the automobile for mass production.

It explains succinctly, and yet very accurately, the vital role of BELIEF in the workings of your life. You simply can’t be successful in any endeavor if you don’t first start with the proper mindset – a belief in your ultimate success.

Yes, your mindset – how you view the world and your place within it -and your belief “system” (related paradigm) control your ability to reach your intended target. And, here’s the kicker–FROM THE VERY START!

Our core beliefs fall into two MASTER categories which are not unlike the core underlying “boot” records in computer terminology – which are called Master Boot Records.

(excerpt “SUCCCESS, The 3 C’s”, The Success eBook by Mitch W. Steel) If we follow that analogy and apply it to our belief systems – we have essentially two Master Belief Records (MBRs) that affect our lives and determine our ultimate destiny. These would be 1) Our Self-Belief Record “SBR” (essentially, self-esteem) and 2) Our External Belief-Record “EBR”. That is, how you regard everything you encounter external to your self.

The successful person recognizes the power of these two beliefs – she becomes aware of their importance and how to manipulate them to her advantage. She understands that how she views herself – her SBR, essentially sets her level of achievement and what she deems achievable in her life.

Similarly, her EBR determines how she views her external world (friendly or oppressive) and this too begins to define her place in that world and what she is likely to experience in her external world.

Possessing the awareness to recognize that you are the only one who establishes and sets up your Master Belief Records which then ultimately define your life’s outcome- is an essential first step to setting up the “rules” that allow you to “WIN” or “Lose” the game of life.

The great news is, should you come to recognize your Master Belief Records are not currently setup in a fashion that allows you to win – you have the ability to reset them anytime you’d like!

Consider that the world offers us countless examples of people who, as they must, self-actualize their Master Belief Records – their core belief systems.

These two critical existential vantage points- how people view themselves and how they view the world – literally control and direct the manifestation of everything they are able to realize – including their success.

Here again, the simple reveals the profound. If I believe people are not going to help me become successful – what type of people might I expect to see in my life? If I think people are always looking to take advantage of me?

What type of people might I expect to see in my life? If I’m concerned people only want my money and aren’t interested in being my friend – what type of people might I see in my life? In each case I’ve directed my ATTENTION and FOCUS in a way that makes “winning” the game near impossible.

Yes, your Master Belief Records affect everything!

If I were to setup my external MBR with its most fundamental “root” belief – “people are selfish”. This leads to the sub-binary belief then that people are not likely to help me when I need it most or perhaps when I’m looking for a job. As you can see – this establishes a “game” that is nearly un-winnable or at the very least – makes it extremely hard to win.

Our beliefs allow us to arrange the associated thoughts in a fashion that makes “winning” possible or impossible. It is your choice.

Above, you’ve seen a simple diagram to help illustrate this binary relationship. It is literally called the “GAME TREE” – and demonstrates how a software programmer has offered the binary consequences within the game-program. In other words, what a winning set of binary combinations (decisions/choices) might be. These binary beliefs either setup the player to win or lose. Or, in our case, to realize her ideal future or not.


Whether we know it or not, as we establish our Master Belief Records they then generate sub beliefs which all eventually lead us down a path that is either a successful outcome or one filled with disillusionment and frustration.

Sadly, so many people actually start this “game” of life- believing they don’t have a shot. Or, more accurately, through continued “failures” and disappointments- become disillusioned and then create self-defeating Master Belief Records. The successful people though are those who believe (and this is the kicker) that life is a “winnable” game from the outset!

So, is this life a winnable “game”?

You tell me.

PS: just noted from John Lennon’s Dream #9

“There’s magic in the air..
I Believe, I Believe…
More can I not say
So, what more I can say?”

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10 Great Success Lessons from a Legend: Coach John Wooden

“Never cease trying to be the best you can be.”

– John Wooden

Whether you like basketball or even know what a basketball is, chances are you would have been moved and inspired by this man! Up until his death at the age of 99 in 2010, John Wooden was regarded a quick wit and sage to many players, coaches and friends who sought out his friendship and counsel.

To give you a little flavor, here’s another quote from the same article referenced above.

“When asked about the keys to successful aging, Coach was quick to respond: stay busy, stay active, enjoy every day like it is your masterpiece, have some variety and try to learn something new every day,” Castel said. “One of Coach’s famous quotes, ‘When I am through learning, then I am through,’ illustrates his lifelong commitment to learning.”

“Make every day your masterpiece!?”

I almost let the brilliance of that comment escape me. It sounds too cliché, right? “Make every day your masterpiece.” Wow! That is super powerful. If I could only possess that type of presence, that type of awareness — to make each encounter, each moment of each day a masterpiece.

In order for each day to be a masterpiece, each moment would have to be a masterpiece. By definition that is what a masterpiece is, right? All pieces/component parts masterfully interwoven to produce magnificence? I ask you, just what affect would that have on my life’s outcome?

And, “Lifelong commitment to learning.” Sound familiar?

Based on the above statements, I think it’s obvious why I’ve taken some time to spotlight the “Wizard of Westwood.” Certainly, a site like this, dedicated to success philosophy, is going to harmonize with so many of coach’s philosophies.

Yes, the “coach” is synonymous with “Success.” In fact, you’ll recall that in “The 3 C’s of Succcess,” he is referenced for his storied commitment and direct study of success as well as his 14-year refinement of his “SUCCESS PYRAMID.”

woodenpyramidjpg

Take notice!

At a relatively young age the Coach started to ASK questions — he wanted to understand SUCCESS better. In fact, he cites a story where his math teacher forced the class to consider what success meant to them (sound familiar?).

It was a profound moment in young Wooden’s life and he never forgot it. What is success? He wondered. As a young teacher he became disillusioned by seeing the pressures and expectations certain parents put on their kids if they didn’t receive an “A” or a “B.”

Those judgments he felt were hurtful, limiting, and in some cases unfair. He thought long and hard about success and what it ought to be — what the definition should be. Sound familiar? (See 3 C’s).

So, he ultimately settled on this definition, believing it provides everyone equal footing. In many ways his definition is attributed to this poem, which he often cites…

At God’s footstool, to confess,
A poor soul knelt and bowed his head.
”I failed,” he cried. The master said,
”Thou didst thy best. That is success.”

Widely regarded as the best college basketball coach of all time and  named the “Coach of the Century” by ESPN. John Wooden had a knack for cutting to the core issue, focusing on fundamentals and expertly dealing with different and difficult players – their unique personalities, star egos — and all the while forging character.

In short, he was a remarkable coach. His methods earned his teams unparalleled success. In 70-71,71-72 his teams went a perfect 30-0, winning back-to back NCAA championships. Only a few coaches have ever had one undefeated season. In fact, during a 12-year stretch, he won an astonishing 10 national championships

Here are a few quick lessons I’ve learned from his many insights:

1. Ask questions and focus upon what you want to master.

He elected to ask questions and focus on success and therefore came to know success. If you become what you think about most of the time, what better concept to focus upon, contemplate and learn about than success? He spent 14 years — YES, 14 YEARS — developing a success pyramid. How many DAYS have you thought about your definition of success and its component parts?

2. Life is a TEAM Sport.

Wooden embraced diversity and worked to find all players’ strengths.

3. Don’t treat everyone the same.

To COACH effectively you don’t treat everyone the same. Everyone responds differently. Some require encouragement and some require increased pressure and challenge. Same goes for management.

4. Concentrate on what you can control.

Coach would never let his teams dwell on the opposition. They remained focused on what they could control — mainly…

5. Practice Fundamentals FIRST and LAST.

He was legendary for grinding even the best players on the basics. He knew they could do fancy dunks — but could they hit a clutch free throw or bank shot when it counted? Do you know what your fundamentals are?

6. Moderate and Simplify.

Wooden exemplified this on the court and off with his simple demeanor and tremendous humility.

7. Focus on effort not the result.

Knowing that practicing fundamentals takes time, he was concerned solely with effort and commitment, understanding that success is a byproduct of said constant effort.

8. Quality Leadership and management require teaching.

Effective teaching requires coaching. Effective coaching requires caring and caring requires listening! Even today, ex-players recall his impact because he cared and took the time to listen and teach.

9. Balance is everything.

He said this often — balance in life and balance on the court. He put balance only second to LOVE. Balance is everything. “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” This, in essence, is balance; controlled action in all areas of life.

10. Love Rules.

See above. He used to say “the purpose of discipline isn’t to punish but to correct.” With love in his heart and by always seeking to measure intent and effort first, his players would quickly align with the teams goal — a national championship. They never feared or second-guessed his intentions.

So, when you combine all his methods, it becomes fairly easy to see why he has been so successful on and off the basketball court.

Thank you Coach! All the best Sir! Thanks so much for your tremendous gifts — your thoughtful consideration and study of SUCCESS has no doubt made many a person’s path more swift and assured. We are all likely to go farther faster because you have contributed so generously. We have indeed been fortunate to benefit from your wisdom.

Continued peace, health and happiness.

~MWS

Note: Be sure to watch this feature TED talk Wooden gave at the age of 91 about success. RIP Coach. You’ve left us all a little wiser and we can never repay you (the way you would have wanted it- see #10 below).

TED TALK -> http://bit.ly/9ji96g (priceless wisdom coming from the Coach himself)

ESPN Glenn Liebman Fav Quotes

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Guest Post: Kill Your Inner Cynic

“What is a cynic?
A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

– Oscar Wilde

I read a magazine article today about cynicism, and it really got me thinking. The author basically stated that the reason that men fail in their endeavors is an abundance of cynicism. And of course the cynics in us all are automatically skeptical of this statement, but he further goes on to ask us to stop and see if we can think of ONE successful cynic. Just one. It’s damn near impossible.

Incredibly successful people, whether they’re actors, entertainers, athletes or just general moguls, all share one thing: a sincere belief in themselves and in other people. It’s not enough just to be self-confident and self-sufficient. To be successful also requires that you sincerely believe in the good of mankind.


The article features a quiz that helps you to determine your cynicism level; giving statements and asking you to agree or disagree with them.

So, for example, “People pretend to care about others more than they really do care,” and then you either get to agree/disagree.

Continue reading

There is no Elevator to Success… You Have to Take the Stairs

“You gotta climb the steps… you can’t skip them”

– Zig Ziglar
Motivational Master, Zig Ziglar outlines (brilliantly) the steps you must take to achieve the things you want in life!

Great story about his wife and how great patience and “taking steps” is essential whether it’s dating or climbing the steps of success.

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Are your Habits Aligned with your Dreams for Tomorrow?

The above video and corresponding post was originally published on 4/20/2014 – years ago.

Steph Curry has now willed his team to multiple NBA FINALS AND he managed to WIN (by vote) the league’s MVP award (for regular season play).

On his march to the NBA finals, Curry has shattered every 3 point record that’s existed in league history–and the playoffs aren’t done yet!

Pay special attention to the statement,

“I knew he was going to be a future NBA superstar and here’s how I knew that, it was all because of his work habits.” And, it gets better from there… at one point the voice over guy explains how AFTER practice, Curry would not leave until he swished five free throws in a row. Do you know how hard that is? The moral of that story is that success is NOT an accident, success is a CHOICE…”

YOU can take if from there… enjoy this video/ post and the NBA playoffs 2015.

Original Post below

Happy Easter!

SUCCESS IS NO ACCIDENT.

This applies to whatever you are interested in becoming great at!

And, speaking of great— this is a short video that beautifully illustrates the power of habit (that seemingly magical force that has the ability to take what was, at first, difficult (driving, shooting a basketball, playing piano, tying your shoes) and, over time, through diligent practice and repetition, make it easier… seemingly effortless.

“Habit is, as it were, a second nature.”

– Cicero

The highest form of competence is a state of natural mastery (in developmental circles it is called unconscious competence), where once there have been many thousands of hours of practice, it’s actually harder for a person to err than performing the skill/task correctly. In fact, I believe Tony Robbins cites a story about Larry Bird who was once filming a commercial and was asked to miss a basketball shot badly— unfortunately, he kept making his shots.

THE REAL TAKE-AWAY

The ultimate take-away is actually far more compelling than “success is no accident” — the real gem here is everyone (YOU) has this built-in, all powerful achievement device, a gift really — and that is the ability to develop any habit necessary to help them achieve any goal or to help them realize their vision of success.

Ask Stephen Curry.

And, it’s worth asking yourself, what habit (link to a free habit building template) you are trying to develop? How are you developing it?

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When Do You Start Counting?

“It’s like Muhammad Ali used to say, when people asked him how many sit-ups did you do: I only start counting when it starts hurting.

– Arnold Schwarzenegger

When Do You Start Counting?

By: S. Kelley

Let’s be frank (or Joe for that matter).

Most of us don’t like pain. Arnold Schwarzenegger, champion bodybuilder and erstwhile Terminator, viewed Muhammed Ali as a great role model for success. He recounted a terrific story about The Greatest in an interview in the ‘70s.

As Schwarzenegger explained it, Ali was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t know”. “I don’t count my sit-ups… I only start counting when it start to hurt! When I begin to feel the pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.

More Schwarzenegger and his “Six Rules of Success” can be found in our previous post here! But stick around first and try to FOCUS! ; )

So, what do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali and even great Olympic curlers have in common? Yes. They may all seem to be strange bedfellows, but they embody a basic tenet of success and goal-achievement:

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

While watching the 2018 Olympics the other day, I found myself mesmerized not by snowboarders or skiers and their death-defying leaps. No, it was curling that fascinated me. An ordinary-looking guy was sort of ice-bowling a disk while his partner furiously swept alongside the sliding granite stone. It almost looked . . . easy.

The announcer must have been reading my mind. “Don’t forget, folks. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.” Turns out that hurtling a 40-pound rock down a sheet of slippery ice while trying to hit a small target takes (certainly) some level of athleticism, patience and an enormous amount of SKILL.

In short, becoming an Olympic curler is likely to take years of hard work, training, sacrifice and involve some pain.

Piers Steel, author of the Procrastination Equation, talks about an elite cyclist’s trick for pushing past the pain threshold: micro-goal-setting. “Ivan Basso (aka Ivan the Terrible) is one of the best mountain bike riders of all time. One of his motivational tricks is to set a series of targets for the race, each one within sight and as short as thirty seconds if negotiating a series of bends. One at a time, he focuses on finishing each one.”

Steel recounts a similar story about micro-goal-setting — but one with life-or-death consequences.:

“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch; yard by yard, life is hard. How powerful is this mantra?

Joe Simpson, in one of mountaineering’s greatest survival stories, used it to save his life. Left for dead at the bottom of a crevasse in an isolated Peruvian mountain with a shattered shinbone, he had three days to pull himself to a base camp through five miles of truly treacherous glacier field or be really dead.

He was already utterly exhausted from an arduous marathon of an ascent, with no food and only a little water, so this journey should have been impossible, except for one critical survival tool: his wristwatch. With it, he set goals. Setting the alarm for twenty minutes at a time, he made for a nearby rock or drift — he was elated when he reached it in time and he despaired when he didn’t. Battling exhaustion, pain, and eventually delirium, he repeated the same process hundreds of times and ultimately reached the perimeter of the base camp just hours before his friends’ intended departure.”

(Read the entire article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-procrastination-equation/201207/breaking-the-pain-barrier.)

Crazy, right?

It ALL comes down to pain. Or, to be more accurate, your pain threshold. How much pain and frustration can you endure before you give up? Can you be like Ali and Schwarzenegger and use pain as the signal to BEGIN counting?

Challenge yourself every day — starting today. Become uncomfortable with comfort. Brian Tracy likes to say that “Comfort is the great enemy of success.”

Become comfortable with discomfort AND pain. DO the work until it hurts AND THEN START COUNTING!

More PAINful advice here:

A great article in Runner’s World, “Tricks To Push Through Midrace Pain,” (https://www.runnersworld.com/psychology/mental-tricks-to-push-through-midrace-pain) offers some advice for making it through a seemingly impossible challenge, with techniques that can be applied to any discipline, not just running. The author discusses how to stick to the grind despite the pain by recalling past sacrifices, practicing gratitude and even meditating.

Another insightful article similarly discusses the idea of “training for pain.”  (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/fashion/29FITNESS.html). Pushing your training in intervals, it points out, increases your tolerance for pain and exertion naturally. Tricks such as external distractions and relaxation exercises can help nudge you farther on your quest (be it a race or another type of goal achievement. If all else fails, we are advised to: “Suck it up.”

So, dear reader, one final time, when do you start counting?

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Five Tips for Overcoming Anxiety and Fear

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”

—Charles Spurgeon

Being stuck in endless cycle of anxiety and paralyzing fear is no way for anyone to live… I know, I’ve been there.

Worse yet, it keeps us from moving forward and becomes literally crippling. Forget about goal achievement, constant fear and anxiety turns into a battle just to get through the day.

It’s easy from the outside to see how this sort of thinking can be so damaging to one’s growth— but, from the inside, it’s another story and can be truly debilitating!

Here are five tips you can use to instantly destroy and eliminate those anxious feelings fearful thoughts— to move yourself from literally paralyzed to a place of greater peace.

#1: Take Inventory of the Situation

In Buddhism there is something known as, “right understanding” or, “right view” derived from The Noble Eight-fold Path.

When you become extremely anxious and fearful, ask yourself while your in the moment— what is truly terrifying you? It’s likely that the moment itself is actually quite safe and that you are projecting out into the future with negative visions?

What, in the present is so dangerous?

Unless you are being car-jacked or chased by a bear through the woods or perhaps some similar immediate danger, chances are good, you are crafting a story about your impending demise!

You are using your imagination— creating visions, in your mind eye about a future filled with frightening and unfavorable events.

Thus, the counsel is simple; take stock in the moment, in yourself and your present thinking. Do your best to gain a healthy perspective about the actual situation, in the moment.

Often realizing it’s just a dire forecast (not necessarily an accurate or correct one)  and knowing that the future is in fact, unknown…  ask yourself, “Could not the exact opposite occur?” Then ask, “How many other possible outcomes are there?” The next question to ask, “Has anybody else gone through this — or worse — and made it through successfully?”

#2: Shift Your Focus

It’s been said, “What you focus upon expands”. Further, in my experience I’ve noticed that whatever I focus upon I tend to feel or have emotions about.

If I focus upon a great time, a great memory, I tend to feel great.

Focusing upon a great memory, or holding a thought of gratitude and appreciating something can instantly change your mood, emotions and feelings in the present!

And, since you can only hold one thought at a time, the quickest way to banish fear and anxiety is to replace those thoughts with something favorable.

#3: Challenge Your Emotions

Could fear just be excitement? The answer is YES – it could be…. There is a great video about this by Simon Sinek (bottom). Could your worry or fear be instead an exciting opportunity? Often a situation that presents itself as scary is a powerful opportunity for growth. There are two sides to every coin!

Think about the situation that’s giving you fits of anxiety and fear. List at least five different ways this could result in a superb opportunity if your thinking was flipped on its head.

#4: Take Action!

Fear drives insecurity, and insecurity creates inaction and hesitancy.

Henry David Thoreau says it best: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life he imagines, he will he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

This simply means we must take action and move confidently — even if it’s slowly — toward our goals. And, here’s the kicker, even if we are uncertain and not confident!

“MOVE CONFIDENTLY in the direction of your dreams.”

The truth: NOBODY knows the future, those that are moving confidently in the direction of their dreams are doing so as blindly as everyone else yet, they believe and are hopeful!

#5: Accept the Fear

Finally, accepting and understanding fear can be a useful tool.

Fear has its origins in pressure and ultimately when we understand it better we can chose to refract the pressure positively.

Don’t believe me, ever hear of Lincoln, Gandhi, Churchill?

The “reality” is, we all have the ability to refract pressure away from fear, toward a hopeful, positive future anytime we can wrap some awareness around it (by acknowledging it!).

On one end of the spectrum is hope/faith on the other is fear.

I’m sure you’ve heard Yoda’s great line:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

Choose hope and optimism by accepting and not rejecting the pressure and refract it toward the positive!

By acknowledging the fear, we take responsibility for it. When we become response-able and not just reactive! We regain the driver’s seat and thus have the ability to steer that fear toward hopefulness, opportunity and faith.

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“How Can I Be Happy?” A Timeless Lesson told by a Personal Development Legend


How can I be happy?

If you Google “how can I be…”
Care to guess what Google will autofill? No guessing required… (see image below)

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 2.37.11 PM
only here is the dilemna.

“The art of happiness is to serve all. To be truly happy, we must think not only of how we can help ourselves, but how we can help others.” ~Anonymous

I wrote extensively about this here (see post)

I love the above video, here Jack La Lanne underscores all the above! Watch it at least three times this week and see what happens!

Enjoy!
~mws

Begin (and End) With Happiness!

There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
~ Buddha

Sounds a little like a Zen riddle, doesn’t it?

And while it may sound to some like some trite slogan, these two sentences carry a world of profound truth in them. One of the saddest things I’ve seen in my life is the amount of depression that people carry with them. And I would know: I suffered from depression throughout my early twenties.

If everyone wants to be happy, then why are so many people depressed?

Well, for starters “happiness” becomes a place or destination that is sought out “somewhere else”. People literally and figuratively seek out happiness throughout their lives. They are searching for it – the next lover, job, house, car, etc and are hopeful that such external pleasures will imbibe them with happiness. Can a new car make you happy? Sure. Such happiness might last a week or it might last a year – but it’ll be temporary. Often there will be such external influences or events in your life that can bring about momentary happiness–but those are likely to leave you – seeking the next happiness “event”. Sadly, in the meantime – you’ll be left feeling empty or lost.

Happiness is an emotion and, therefore, just like any other emotion, is controlled only by you! All such emotions are derived from your thoughts, and there is only one person who is in control or your thoughts!

YOU control of your own happiness! This was very hard for me to wrap my head around, because of its absurd simplicity: Happiness must then be my responsibility and, ultimately, my obligation!
In fact happiness is so essential to a fulfilling life that Aristotle once proclaimed, happiness “as man’s chief aim” in life – “the highest good”.. I was stunned when I read that. Aristotle! I believed great philosophers sat around disgruntled with it all–bored with the minions and upset with mankind for all its continued blunders. Well, that was two thousand years ago so, I’m sure he’d be pleased to see how much progress there has been.

So, let’s just run with our buddy Aristotle and his concept that happiness ought to become your chief aim in life— let’s allow him do our homework (after all he is one of the greatest philosophers of all time). Why not agree with that statement?

Who desires unhappiness? Seriously, nobody I know. Could it be that simple? Could this be yet another “simple, profound truth”?

Let’s dissect it further – Do you not enjoy being with happy people? Aren’t happy people more productive, supportive, generous and loving? And, here is the kicker – as it relates to the 3 Cs of Success … how can any successful person realize his “ideal future” that is, be successful without being happy?

Sam Says: My Philosophy for a Happy Life, Sam Berns (10/23/96 – 1/1014)

What a guy!

Sam, YOU are the man… Thank you! What an inspiring young man!

You are/were the perfect example of how anyone can overcome ANY obstacle. You taught us where to put our attention, energy and focus. You understood the importance of setting goals, not letting circumstances dictate your attitude and the value of positive relationships.

The thing you (the reader) should know is this, Sam insisted that above all, he was HAPPY! Yet, here was a guy suffering from an incurable, debilitating disease.

HAPPY.

“I’m HAPPY!” He would say again and again – and that he wants to change the world. The funny thing about changing the world (as I’m sure you recognize) is you first have to change yourself, then influence another– and, another and so on. The process is rather slow to start but catches steam pretty quickly. With 2 Million plus views – his message isn’t going unnoticed.

Sam’s Secrets to a HAPPY LIFE:

#1) Focus on things he CAN DO vs. the things he can’t do
He might not be able to ride a roller coaster but he could read comic books
He might not be running a marathon but he could watch his favorite sports teams
He couldn’t carry a snare drum but they found a way to work around the obstacle!

Q: What do you want to accomplish and think you can’t because of a “real” or made up obstacle?

#2) Surround yourself with people you want to be around
Sam recognized and appreciated his supportive family and friends.
He loved his great friends and called themsleves “band geeks”
He would insist that the music they created together was bigger than any disease and allowed him to transcend his condition
this happened BECAUSE of other people – great relationships!
MUSIC served as an escape and made him feel good.

Q: What are you doing to appreciate and express love for your family and closest friends? How are you acknowledging and appreciate your mentors and community?

#3) Keep moving forward.
Sam shared a Walt Disney quote “we keep moving forward opening new doors and doing new things.” Sam believed keeping your eyes on the horizon helped to keep his spirits up. Perhaps it was an upcoming family trip or ball game.

Now, there may be some “confused” people who might judge this mindset and accuse it of not being present or in the “now” (not zenlike perhaps) if he’s constantly looking forward. However, they would be a bit off base since one of the great values in setting goals is it helps to bring your present into focus and alignment. For instance, if I have a marathon I’m looking forward to my present will be more focused on good choices. And, there is another terrific benefit. With any future event, the seed of “HOPE” is always planted and this helps us through those moments of great challenge. As Sam said, “A bright future ahead may get me through some difficult times.”

Always remember, where there is hope in the future, there is power in the present.

Sam’s words again, “I always try to have something to look forward to.”

Q: “what are you looking forward to?”

Finally, Sam insists that YOU shouldn’t waste energy feeling bad about yourself… accept it /acknowledge it and then move past it. “Being brave isn’t supposed to be easy.”

“I don’t waste energy feeling bad for myself.
I surround myself with people i want to be with.
and i keep moving forward!”

Finally, Sam ends it with this little gem and you get a sense just how he looks forward to events and leave’s us with,
“Never miss a party if you can make it!”