Stop and Smell the Roses

I realize that most of us have heard this phrase many times.  Yet, I must confess that I continue to pursue a lifestyle where I go crazy when I have to remain silent for an entire day or even a portion of that day.
So, I am starting one of my New Year's resolutions early.  I am striving to better understand and value the art of being still.  OK, it's easy to (literally) smell the roses when I am in my back yard taking care of my bushes.  But to encorporate this life lesson (and model it to my wife and kids) I have taken drastic measures.  For example, I now will fill my truck with gas at 6am in the morning at my favorite gas station. I can do this with a great deal of forward thinking and planning. At this time of year, the sun has yet to rise and the gas attendant loves to talk. Had I not taken a moment to be still (even in this routine activity of mine), I would not have had the opportunity to get to know someone whom I normally would have just wisked by.  I really do notice more and listen better when I "slow down to smell the roses." I encourage you do the same and get a jump start on a great New Year's resolution through becoming great at the art of becoming still and smelling the roses.

Would You Like Fries With That?

Well, this morning I had another first.  Yep, it was my first viewing of a horse in a drive-thru.  Now, this might be routine for other places in the States.  But it is my first here in SoCal.  I had to get the photo.  So I ran out, took the picture, and spoke briefly with the two young ladies who were out walking the horse.

One of the ladies explained, "We have today off school, so we are working with our horse and training it."  Interesting choice.  No X-Box, no endless moments of mindless music with ear buds permanently attached to the head.  These young ladies chose to be productive, follow their passion, and perhaps even earn a few dollars.  Two things really impressed me about this moment today.  One, that these young ladies knew their passion and chose to follow it with any extra time they had in their lives.  And two, I was also impressed that the horse kept it clean while visiting the drive-thru.

But seriously, each day brings with it choices on what we do.  And sometimes, no matter how unique your day begins, each day brings with it the opportunity to follow your passion regardless of what others might think or how you might look in your pursuit of that passion.  So, next time you see a horse in a drive-thru, take a moment and reflect on your passionate pursuit of what drives you.  Are you making wise choices and taking the necessary steps in pursuing your passion?  We need more passionate-success stories today on people succeeding in pursuing their dreams.  Go for it!  And let me know if there is any way that I can come along side of you in this pursuit.  Happy horse viewing.

Mariachi Music, a Middle Eastern Restaurant and Some Dominicans

It is a rare occasion when you get to see a couple celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  It is even more rare that you get invited to their 50th Celebration.  Well, that's exactly what happened.  Manuel and Margarita Mota celebrated 50 years of marriage.  Their selfless love and serving hearts now have 8 children and 27 grandchildren who also reflect this serving heart for others.  And my wife and I were honored to attend this celebration.  The choice of food was Middle Eastern while the eating music consisted of a Mariachi Band.  And nearly all of the audience was related to the Mota family.
The setting of around 90 Dominicans, Middle Eastern food, and the Mariachi Band left us with an experience we will always remember.  La familia (the family) atmosphere brought warmth and laughter every time you turned around.
While I have had the privilege of coming along side of the Mota family in their humanitarian efforts,   nothing compares to the joy of knowing members of their family on an individual basis.  Whenever you come across hearts like these, I would encourage you to take time and invest into those individuals and families who in turn invest into the lives of others.  Congratulations Manny and Margarita.  Dios te bendiga.

Do I Really Crave Adventure

I was filling up my gas tank the other day when a brief discussion with the on duty attendant caught my
attention.  He had resigned himself to accept his "kick back" and "uneventful" job as satisfying.  I asked him, "What do you do on your off time?"  He shared with me "a little of this, and a little of that" which include various forms of partying.
Maybe I am the crazy one here.  But I grew up thinking that most people truly wanted to and deeply craved adventure in life.  Yet, over the years my travels and time with many individuals have brought a new reality to life.  I now feel as if the majority of people do not crave adventure FOR their lives.  This realization distinguishes itself from craving adventure (once in a while or just on the weekends) IN their lives.  The businessman or the gas station attendant both love to live for the moment and then seek release from the previous week's mundane life.  All most people want is to "get their own" and "protect their own."
This is my challenge.  I desperately want to carry this adventure lifestyle into the lives of all the people I meet.      So I ask myself, "How do I transfer this adventure crave into the lives of others?"  The answer is that I don't. I was created and wired a certain way.  Each person was created a certain way as well.  BUT, the key here is to get people BEYOND THEMSELVES and into the lives of others.  And that is how I am wired.  I was beautifully and wonderfully made with the purpose of serving others.  Whether I like it or not, that's who I am.
How about you?  How are you wired?  Do you crave adventure IN or FOR your life?  Does your identity wire you to serve others?   True adventure comes when you serve others.  Let me know of some of the best adventures you've seen or participated in while serving others and how that impacted your life.