happiness

Focus on Who You Are

Life Lesson Of The Week
Stand your ground, be true to yourself, be yourself!
-Anita D’s Life Lesson from Watkins, Iowa

Focus On It
In picking Anita’s lesson for this focus, I did not want this to come off as a violent lesson. The concept of “standing your ground” can appear as a physical stance, but it doesn’t have to. Life is about standing up for who you are, your beliefs, your dreams, and your personality. For so long, I hid my personality, and then someone very special entered my life to bring me out of my nearly 30-year-old shell.

I love to have fun. I love to laugh. I love to relax. And I love to work hard.

When I need time to focus, I make it happen. When I want to fight for my political beliefs, I do. And when I want to laugh, I laugh. The only person you can be is yourself.



Focus on yourself

Life Lesson Of The Week
Be yourself.
-Cheryl V’s Life Lesson from Manchester, Iowa

Focus On It
The best person you can ever be … is yourself.

You can’t be John Grisham. You can’t be Picasso. You can’t be Bon Jovi. You can only and ever be you.

And you are a beautiful person. Be you and be proud.



Focus on what you can control

Life Lesson Of The Week
You can not control others and their perceptions of you, so stop worrying about it.
-Shelly M’s Life Lesson from Des Moines, Iowa

Focus On It
The amount of time we spend on worry is killing us. And aside from the adverse health effects of worry, it is simply a waste of time.

Think about what you could do with your time if you weren’t worried about others.

So, instead of reading more of my words, use the time remaining to focus on you and no one else!



Focus on Opportunity

Life Lesson Of The Week
Make the most of each day.
-Anonymous’ Life Lesson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Focus On It
There are any number of cliches that I can use with this week’s lesson. Each day is a gift that we are given and it is up to us to use it to our advantage. Recently, I saw an image that said that dads only have 960 Saturdays until newborns go off to college. The point was to make the most of each and every moment.

Our lives are short and there is no point in letting fear and worry get in the way of the good in your life.

How do we do this? Enjoy today and repeat that tomorrow.



Focus – on Fear

Life Lesson Of The Week
Don’t let fear control your life. Honesty = happiness.
-Sydney P’s Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas

Focus On It
Fear is a very powerful emotion. We all have it. We all battle it. But what happens next is what matters. What matters is how we handle fear.

Whether it is my friend Stephen going back to school or another friend who recently quit a job he loved just because he wasn’t completely happy, it is all a choice. Worry is there, but the true measurement is passion and dedication to living.

Over the past year, I lost my own passion. New York City has a way of beating people up. But here I am. I have a new book coming out, a book tour, and I’ve been taking photos again! All because I decided I was done letting fear of failure (and success) hold me back.



Focus – on Happiness

Selected Life Lesson
My happiness depends upon me.
-Barbara C’s Life Lesson from New York

Richard’s Thoughts…
Isn’t that the truth? We can not give away control to our own lives. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t let other people enter our lives and allow them to have deep and lasting impacts on us. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we should close ourselves off to love.

But it does mean that in order for you to be truly, and wholly happy, you must be happy as yourself and only yourself. That is why it is so import to focus on finding your own happiness. What makes you laugh until you cry? What makes your spirit soar? What inspires you so much that you can’t think of anything else?

That’s happiness. Go and find it.

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Feeling at Home

I am not much of an interior decorator. In fact, I don’t think once in my life did I ever want to grow up and do that for a career.

That is likely the reason I never really felt at home in any place that I have lived since college. But Steve Adams Interior Design has completely changed that.

It is amazing how my home has changed because of his work.

Sure, I have a couch, a chair, a bedroom set, and matching towels, but it’s about the feeling the home gives me. I can relax. I can shut off. I can entertain. And I can feel good. I always thought it was funny when someone would say how much they loved a frame or a shelf … now I can understand a little bit. These handmade shelves in my living room make me smile every time I see them.

For the first time in my life, I feel at home; in my home.

Where do you feel most at home?

Focus: On Love

Selected Life Lesson
Never go to bed angry. Always end with love you or good night.
-Kendra C’s Life Lesson from Des Moines, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
After the past ten days, there aren’t many lessons that are worth sharing, so I wanted to keep it simple this week.

Kendra’s lesson, and mine is simple: love those around you. Always.

Focus – Individual Happiness

Selected Life Lesson
Never change for anybody but you, but be happy with yourself.
-Briyonna M’s Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
I see it happen all the time with people when they are in romantic relationships. Person A doesn’t like something about Person B, so Person A changes. Sometime down the road, it is inevitable that Person A is going to resent Person B for the new “rule”.

You may think I’m making this up, but I’m speaking from experience. The only way to combat that is to love the person for who they are. If someone you are friends with always leaves the toilet seat up, sometimes it’s okay to just let it go. If the person you love never manages to put the dishes in the dishwasher, sometimes it is just easier to put them in yourself.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t speak your mind, but it’s more about loving and respecting the person you are with. Tell them what you’re feeling, but don’t make people change.

We are who we are … and you are beautiful.

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Focus – The Journey

Selected Life Lesson
At the end of your life, no one will be keeping score. So instead of relying on the points you’ve added up, you had better remember the journey life was and how much you enjoyed it.
-Jerod B’s Life Lesson from Silver Lake, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
I remember getting this lesson a couple of years ago at a student leadership conference in Kansas and picking it for this week’s lesson seemed appropriate. Life offers us so many chances to fail, and yet, so often we stay on the sidelines, opting to stay safe.

But life is all about the experiences. Growing up in Iowa, I was a Minnesota Twins fan which included the late Kirby Puckett. My dad took our family to the game where they honored him and the game when they retired his number. Plus, we went to his Hall of Fame Induction. We loved his play and his passion for the game. It wasn’t all about the wins for us. It was his joy and love of the game.

One of the lines of his speech that night in the Metrodome was simple, he wanted people to remember that ‘Kirby Puckett lived the hell out of his life.’ And it’s that passion that we all need to remember to have each and every day. We need to live, truly live with passion and love. It is amazing how things change when you do.

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