My First Memory on the Fifty

My very first day on the 50 was working as a prisoner to pick up trash with about nine or ten other inmates. It was around 9am and the road was starting to clear up from all the morning rush hour traffic. The road was quiet for the most part while the sun was shining bright, and for a split second the day began to seem more beautiful than bad.

All of a sudden I was startled by a loud banging and crashing sound. It literally scared me so bad that I thought I had shit my pants. A horrible wreck had just taken place while my back was turned, and not even a football field’s distance from where I was working.

This limousine had blown a tire and the 18 wheeler that had been driving behind them had apparently been driving a little close and not paying much attention to what he was doing. The limo began to slow down a few seconds after the tire exploded and as the truck continued to draw closer, the truck driver failed to see the limo in time and ended up hitting the right side of the back bumper. Luckily, they both we’re going over 45 at the time and we’re able to come to a stop before any worse damage was done. It’s all still a little blurry to me because I didn’t see it with my own two eyes, yet heard it and sensed it’s closeness.

Immediately following the wreck we of course all ran over to see if there was anything that we could do and if everyone was okay. Both drivers were fine but after the adrenaline began to wear off I started to feel this amazing new level of gratitude that I had never before felt in my entire life! I became so aware of the fact that I, or anyone around my for that matter, could be dead at any moment in time. My whole life I had been selfish and took things for granted, not to mention spent entirely too much time in the slammer.

From that day forward I began to live every day filled with gratitude and searching down the path of my purpose. I see every day as a gift and blessing, and not one to be taken lightly. That limo could have come so close to me that it struck me for dead, or I could have been in one the vehicles in the accident.

Who knew picking up garbage on the side of the highway could lead to such a profound experience?

You know what’s funny? When things began to calm down at the scene of the accident, I got a few minutes to speak to the guy driving the limousine. (I had to be a witness to the cops so I got to get out of picking up trash for a bit and contribute to society for a quick 30 minutes) Anyways, he was very shaken and need to release some of his nervous energy so I started talking to him. He was upset about his limo but happy at the same time that he wasn’t killed. I reminded him of how good it was to be alive and despite the fact that I was a prisoner, I had been reminded to be grateful for life from his accident. He smiled big, agreed, shook my hand and is to this day one of my best friends. He was even offered me a job at his limo company in Nashville, Tennessee so that I wouldn’t have to be alone on the road with my thoughts but rather interacting with the joy of others. I’m still thinking about it, but I guess we will see.

To drive this post home, that day on the 50 helped me realize a small piece of my purpose and that I wanted to help others see from the same type of view so that they could also live a full and rewarding life.

I am working towards this each and every day and always looking for new and different ways to reach people. I hope that this life lesson can help others and possibly inspire them to live their own lives full of gratitude and joy.

How to Make Friends With Opportunity

Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending a few hours with one of my good friends, whom I actually already introduced you to in one of my first posts on this blog.

If you haven’t checked that out yet or don’t have a clue of what I’m talking about at all, my friend is actually a limousine driver that was present the day my life changed. You can check out his limo page here.

After the accident occurred, we became acquainted and had some great conversations despite what had just happened. Since that fateful day we have spent many other good times together and are constantly talking about the ways we want to help people and make the world a better place.

It was so nice to catch up with Kane yesterday and inform him of the many things I have been doing lately with traveling and speaking to inmates about my story.

We both can’t believe how far that one day has brought us, and the drastic difference it has made in our lives. It’s so weird to think that if the accident had never happened that day, our lives may not be the same. I took a lot of both good and bad things from the wreck that day, and wouldn’t change it for the world. I am a much happier person now with a purpose, and I intend to keep it that way. I don’t mean to talk a lot about myself in this post, I just want to emphasize the point that all around us are opportunities for change.

Yep. Believe it or not, we are constantly presented with opportunities for change, and whether or not we are able to perceive these as opportunities is up to us. Just think how much one little decision could shape the rest of your life though. If you changed just one person or just one decision, we could be living completely different lives.

The biggest thing I have learned from my meet-up with Kane is to always keep your eyes open for opportunities, and especially those in disguise. From now on I am going to do my best to keep my eyes open and help others see that the biggest opportunities can come from the smallest places.


Dealing With a Negative Past

How do you handle a negative past?

Depending on how negative a past you have been through, it can be difficult to rid yourself of the thoughts that dwell from it. Sometimes it seems like these thoughts will never go away, but the real truth is that the longer we allow them to stay in our minds they will.

As I mentioned in a previous post, thoughts are real things that you give life to every day. Where focus goes energy flows, so regardless your thoughts or positive or negative, that’s where the attention goes. This can be great for positive thinking but not so good for negative thoughts. The more you give life to your thoughts, the more realistic they will be and it will influence your words and actions. See how powerful these little buggers really can be?

My point is that in order to eliminate a negative past we have to learn to stop giving in to negative thoughts all together and replace them with positive ones.

We have most likely been carrying around these thoughts for several years, which is a lot of time for them to have taken on a functioning life of their own. It may seem like the past is “haunting” us in a sense, but we basically just have to move on.

Having a past like mine once came with an array of negative thoughts that bothered me for so long. It led me to constantly having feelings of regret, resentment towards myself, and anger, which eventually spiraled out of control for so long that I hated myself and wanted to end my own life. The pain almost makes you numb, but there are still those feelings that make you want to do whatever it takes to make the overall pain go away. So how did I go from feeling like this to the way I do now?

The short answer is practice. It took months of practice and working on my mindset every single day to retrain myself to think about everything in a positive light. It was definitely hard work, but it will forever be worth it which is why I recommend that anyone try this approach if they are facing a similar situation.

To really stay motivated in the process, I suggest looking into reading books on personal growth in development as they are big life changers and have helped me in so many ways.

It will take time for the negative thoughts to go away, but with enough practice and self-motivation you have the power to get rid of them once and for all.

Good luck and God bless.

Time is a Precious Resource That Should Never Be Wasted

Time. We all have it but just not the same amount. But for the time that we do have on this planet, we should treat it like a precious priceless diamond.

I used to waste so much time when I was younger, especially when I had to spend it in and out of prisons. Sure, it was my own fault and I take 100% responsibility for that.

Time has become a part of the life lessons I yearn to share with other people. Many people don’t realize how much time they are wasting by sitting around watching tv, playing games on the phone and computer, and all that other shit. Instead, they could be improving their own lives. I hear wayyy too many people complain about what they don’t have and why rich people have all the money in the world. Well guess what, it’s because they worked for it.

This seems to be getting slightly off topic, but the point I’m trying to make is that time is precious and we should treat it that way.

Too many people look back on their lives and wish they have made more of it, and I damn sure don’t want to be one of those people. I also don’t want to see young people spend their time in prison if there is a possibility that they don’t have to. I want to show them the value of time and how they can be spending it improving upon themselves rather than disapproving by using drugs, stealing, etc.

Having this realization has helped me learn to invest my time helping others make their lives better and help them move in the direction they want to go in, and it’s been wonderful. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time.

I do however, want to help even more people realize the preciousness of time and that it waits for no one.

If there is an opportunity you want to pursue now, take it. You will never be completely “ready” for things like this and life will certainly not give you extra time to get ready, so why wait? Why not get started today?

You Are What You Think

The title of this post may sound really stupid to some people but there has never been anything more true. Think about it for a second.

When you are in a positive and good mood it can seem as though everything is going great for you. Having a negative mindset makes it feel as though people are against you and maybe even that you are against yourself.

You see our thoughts are actually things that are made up of atoms and positively and negatively charged electrons, just as every other thing in life. When these electrons have a positive charge they will attract other positive electrons and vice versa. This is why it’s so important that we learn to take control of out thoughts and make sure there aren’t any negative ones floating around dominating the positive ones. This all may sound crazy as hell but it’s not, it’s reality. Look it up.

Because of this process, you truly are what you think about in life. The thoughts you choose to give power to can control the entire process of how your mind thinks and the actions you choose to take. Many factors can influence these thoughts and persuade them to move to a negative side or positive side. Our thoughts are indeed the only  things that we have full control over in life and if we don’t get good control of them, things can really spiral out of hand.

Just look at some of the people that are depressed in this World. It can start off small and the more they focus on the negative thoughts that inform them of how miserable they are, the worse the problem will most likely get. Where focus goes energy flows, and if you aren’t directing that energy then it can find a way to (re)direct itself.

This is all terrific information and so powerful that I wish I had known it decades ago when I was younger. Who knows, maybe it would have kept me from taking part in the actions that landed me in and out of jail for so many years. Oh well, what I have been through certainly makes my story more powerful and inspiring to the inmates I often speak to. It just shows them that much more how positive thinking has changed my life for the better and that it works, regardless of the fact that many people think it’s hocus pocus.

A Message on Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day to everyone, and thanks so much to the men and women of our country that have served and protected all of the many, many years.

Today may be a day of honor, but it’s also used as another reason for Americans to eat and drink. That may sound a little harsh, but most don’t even realize what they are even celebrating. I am not here to rant but I feel a strong disrespect for our country when average people take advantage of everything in it, hardly ever acknowledging the real reasons we have our freedom in the first damn place.

I also feel strongly about drinking and driving though, and today is definitely a day that it will happen all over the country. I did a lot of drinking and driving when I was a lad and payed for it dearly. Like I have mentioned before, I spent a lot of time in and out of jail as a teen and into the first half of my adulthood. The point is that I could have avoided it all, but drinking was just a gateway that lead to worser things. It took control of my life and I went down such a bad spiral that I didn’t know if even wanted to live anymore.

Alcohol can do terrible things to you if it’s abused, and when you mix it with driving, things are taken to an entirely different level. I was actually caught for drinking and driving 3 separate times in my life and ended up losing my license for years. It was difficult to get a job and to keep one, and dating? Forget about it. Who wanted to date someone like me that couldn’t hold a job or drive.

My life really went like that because of my actions from where I was young and stupid. That’s why these days you will find me passing this story on to young people in attempt to keep them from making the same mistakes.

I know this doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Memorial Day, the whole point is that I just want people to stay safe on this day. Getting even one DUI can change your life and leave you feeling all kinds of ways that you really don’t want to feel.

For anyone that sees this, I hope you have a terrific holiday and stay safe. God Bless!