Back to School

blog Feb 22, 2019

Every year, I go back to my alma mater, USC, to lecture freshmen business students. One of the most transformational moments of my life was when I decided to attend USC. Now, I can happily call them a client.

The class that I’m invited to is part of the Global Leadership Program. Every week, a guest lecturer, who is both an USC alum and runs a company, is invited to talk about life and business.

My brand is about motivation, inspiration, and goal achievement. Even though I discuss business principles, I don’t abandon my mission and try to impress the students with my business acumen, or impress them with words like “acumen”.

The head of the program is my beloved professor and friend who is now the dean. When I was there, Jim Ellis and I forged a friendship. My feeling is that Jim invited me to talk about dealing with challenges and inspire them with my story.

One of the challenges that I face, and one that many others face, is not embracing raw talent and...

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Focusing on Amazing

blog Feb 22, 2019

One factor that gets in the way of an amazing life is not focusing on your goals, but, rather, focusing on your challenges. Whenever I focus on my challenges and my limitations, I don’t get very far, but when I focus on my dreams and my amazing life, my challenges become secondary.

Before I decided that I could go to USC, I was obsessed with how my disability prevented from living an amazing life. When I decided to make my dreams and my goals the focal point of my life, then and only then was I able to go and live out my dreams.

So often people make their challenges the focal point of their life instead of their dreams becoming the focal point. When I decided to speak and write, I did not obsess over the fact that it’s probably a good idea for a speaker to, you know, speak, or for a writer to, you know, actually write.

When I asked Chris to be on my team, the last factor that I considered was whether or not he could understand me. I knew through experience that we would...

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It's Not Only About Your Goals

blog Feb 22, 2019

When people go after their goals, they may only think about everything directly relating to their goals. If someone wants to lose weight, they may consider their diet and their exercise routine. If someone wants to save money, they may look at where they can cut back or where they are spending frivolously. These are all valid and need attention. However, everything in our lives is interconnected and has an indirect impact on our goals.

For example, when you are losing weight, you need the proper amount of sleep or your body thinks it’s under attack and will start storing fat. If you are trying to save money and you are stressed out, you are more likely to buy on impulse because buying on impulse can lead to a rush that will temporarily ease your stress.

Your life will never change unless your habits and your routines change. Every single habit you have can impact all of your goals, not just the habits directly related to your goals.

As a writer, I have to always be inspired...

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Life Gets In The Way

blog Feb 20, 2019

One issue with achieving our goals is that life gets in the way. A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way to get into bed and I heard a pop in my back. This was the day before I was going to go to Vegas to watch my stage partner, Chris, present at an event. During the trip, my back bothered me, but I ignored it. I had a few adult beverages and that did the trick. When I got back home, I realized that it was more serious, especially because I had a hard time sitting. As a guy in a wheel chair, being able to sit is crucial.

Oftentimes, life gets in the way of our goals. I wanted the first part of the year to be really productive and it was until that point. For me, a back issue or injury is compounded by my disability. My random movements make healing take more time. Like with any limitation, the goal is not to ignore it, but rather work around the challenge. My primary focus is to get better. I have learned that health is the main component to success.

While I recover, I adjusted my...

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Playing Big

blog Feb 20, 2019

A while back, I was watching a Facebook Live with happiness expert, Gretchen Rubin. Rubin was talking about the process of decision making. One of her points that struck me was when she is in the process of decision making, she considers what decision is going to afford her to play big in her life.

This resonated with me because I am driven and motivated by having as many experiences that I can despite my disability. This includes experiences with my family, experiences with the people I love, experiences with my parents, experiences with my friends, professional experiences, and experiences that will fulfill my spirit. I take a lot of risks and put myself out there. I want to play life at a high level.

So often, we let our circumstances dictate the way we play and the way we live. Although limitations and challenges are a big part of life, they should not dictate how we go through life. Instead of letting our circumstances dictate our lives, we should let our desires and...

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Romanticizing The Past

blog Feb 20, 2019

One way to prepare for the future and plan out next steps is by looking to the past to see what worked, what went wrong, and what can be learned in order to achieve amazing success. When we look at the past, we, oftentimes, romanticize it. Somehow, we forget all the bumps in the road and don’t remember all the challenges that we faced.

The Los Angeles Lakers are embarking on the Lebron James era, which is exciting. However, it will take some time to build a contending team. Many people who are Lakers fans, like myself, romanticize the Kobe Bryant era. They want Lebron to swoop in and fix everything right away. Some Lakers fans romanticize the five championships, the game winning shots, and other great moments. But, there is another side. There were many unglamorous moments that some Lakers fans have conveniently forgotten.

Achieving amazing success is challenging. What worked for you in the past may not work for you moving forward. Just like how Lebron and the Lakers have to...

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The Imperfect Plan

blog Feb 20, 2019

When people set goals and plan out the steps, the plans are almost perfect and don’t allow for “life” to happen. They always have the best scenario in mind. For example, if they want to write a screenplay, they plan on writing without writer’s block or when they finish it, they imagine bumping into a producer at a coffee shop.

Best case scenarios rarely happen. When you plan for best case scenarios, your plan has no time to breathe. Even if you get modest results, you will be disappointed because it’s not what the plan promised. You want to include life’s little mishaps.

Sport’s teams have a plan for the unexpected. A football coach knows what to do when it’s fourth down and there are two minutes to go. A basketball coach has a plan for when they are down by three with ten seconds to go and they have the ball.

A parent who has to be out of the house in 30 minutes can’t assume that their kids will get ready right when the parent...

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The Success Principle of Gratitude

blog Feb 20, 2019

As we enter the holiday season and Thanksgiving week, I would like to revisit one of my favorite topics: Gratitude.

When I first started writing about gratitude, I assumed that it was something that would make you or anybody appreciate life. That observation is valid and important. However, the more I think about it, the more I recognize and appreciate that it is actually a success principle. It is not just something that is warm and fuzzy.

What limits many people from accomplishing their goals and their dreams are excuses. These excuses can range from “I’m not good enough” to “I don’t have the right resources” to “I don’t know where to begin.” This list can be endless. I have more excuses in my back pocket that I can use. However, I can tell myself and the world that because of my disability, my many challenges, my speech impediment, the misconceptions of others, the challenges of life even without a disability, and the list can...

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Try Goal Setting This Way

blog Feb 20, 2019

A majority of goals are based on desires and wishes. Desires to have more money, look good in the mirror, have better relationships, or write the great American novel are all examples of common goals that people make. However, when the work comes in or an inconvenience is faced or they get bored of eating chicken breasts for the fourth straight day, they abandon the goals because they want instant gratification. One of the reason that goals don’t go very far is that there is a constant battle between what gratifies someone versus the sacrifices that they need to make in order to reach their goals.

Instead of goal setting the traditional way, try this:

Come up with a personal mission that excites you and have benchmarks that can be accomplished systematically.

My mission in life is to have as many amazing experiences as I can despite my disability. For me, this includes professional experiences, personal experiences, family experiences, and more. This includes travel with my...

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Why You Should Romanticize The Past

blog Feb 20, 2019

Last week, I talked about the dangers of romanticizing the past. Most lessons in life have multiple vantage points, and, this week, I want to talk about the benefits of romanticizing the past. If people don’t have a positive view of the past, then they may be paralyzed and unable to move forward. If we nitpick everything that went wrong when we look back, we will mostly see ourselves as negative. That narrative will prevent us from moving forward. If an old couple thinks back to every argument or disagreement that they had and not focus on all the positives, then they can conclude that they had a bad relationship. If a parent only thinks about crying babies or all the times that they had to discipline their children, then they may conclude that being a parent is not that joyful.

In essence, we have to romanticize the past in order to look back and see an amazing life. While meditating, Noah St. John came up with this amazing observation. He writes, “when your opinion of...

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