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Never Apologize For Who You Are

Photo courtesy of Gary Vaynerchuck

Whether you’re black, white, hispanic, rich, poor or in between; never apologize for who you are.

You are you and that makes you unique.

You’re an awesome fucking human being and you deserve to live your life how you want.

Because ultimately it’s how you feel about yourself that counts. If you want to change, change.

But don’t apologize. Own it.

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Make Mistakes So You Can Become Successful

We make mistakes. The problem is many of us don’t learn from them.

We go on to repeat them over and over again. And continue the question why we are stick in this vicious circle.

Because we don’t want to grow. We like being complacent. Even in our misery. We like to be comfortable.

We hate failing so we play it safe. Forget safe. The road to success is riddled with failure. I personally like to fail because I know success is around the corner.

So fail and fail often.

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When They Tell You You Can’t, Do It Anyway

They will tell you that you can't move mountains. They will say that you can't cross seas.

That you can't dig deep and realize your own seeds of greatness and plant them to become better.

They tell you all of this because they love living in their comfort zone.

And because you want to do something, they lash out and criticize you.

But that's just their insecurities talking.
Do you.

Find what makes you passionate and do you. And do it because they said you couldn't.

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I Dare You.

dare you to be great
It’s so much easier in life to be average. To not rock the boat and to toe the line.  It’s so much easier falling into a routine with everyone else.  Falling into the norm.  Doing exactly what your parents, not you, want you to be in life.

Yea, ok.  No.  I have always been someone who wanted and did the opposite of others.  I didn’t follow the crowd in school.  I never really had a ton of friends.  Just like-minded people on the fringes like me who always did their own thing.  Sure, there were times where I wanted to be popular.  But that quickly subsided when I figured that high school was very temporary and we actually had to be something productive in life afterward.

I knew early on that I was destined to be something bigger than just another kid graduating and joining the workforce.  I joined the military knowing I wanted to be the best Logistician and Soldier I could be.  Sometimes I fell short and others I excelled, having retired after 23 successful years. During that time I fell into depression and grew very pessimistic.  But one thing that kept me going was that phrase:  I Dare You To Be Great.  I often told myself this.  I dare you to do good on this promotion board.  I dare you to do your absolute best on this deployment day in and day out.  I dare you to give your best leading these soldiers.  Every single day that was my mission:  to be great just that one single day. Like I said, some days I was great and some days I fell short.  But I always dared myself and gave the best I could.

It’s something that all of us can do.  It’s not a gift given to the rich, privileged, or gifted.  Each one of us has the “greatness gene” dormant inside of us.  Each one of us has the willpower to be everything we imagined. We just need to follow these simple steps:

 

Believe in Yourself

Set Your Goals

Accept and Take Action

Acknowledge and Repeat

In the coming weeks, I will be elaborating more on these four principles in a new way titled the Becoming Better Project. My goal is to assist one hundred people in realizing their fullest potential. The plan will be to build a community of people from all walks of life who just want to become better.  And it’s free.  All I want is your time and commitment to want the best for you and others on the same path.

Will you commit?  Drop me a comment below or send me an email with Becoming Better in the subject line letting me know you want to be apart of this.

 

-alv

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How Optimism Is One Of The Keys To Success

gary vaynerchuk and optimism

(Gary Vaynerchuck on the DailyVee)

Life is tough, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have lived through some dark times and moments where I didn’t know I would survive. And I am not talking about on a deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am talking about everyday life before and after the military. Up until a few years ago, I was a very pessimistic person. I felt like everyone was conspiring against me. You know what I am talking about. The victim mentality. Where instead of thinking of ways to see the silver lining to problems, I was retreating to the dark and “woe is me” comfort of thinking and dealing with things.

And it was comfortable and I was content. Sure, on the surface I complained about things, but deep down I felt safe in my misery. Safe in the way that I had to put no effort into complaining and being not trying to achieve anything. But I was wrong. I put in some hard work, but I was mostly mentally.  Believe it or not, it’s hard work being miserable. It’s also hard work being positive and being spent everyday achieving your dreams. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have the latter. Wouldn’t you?

I mean, think about it, both of them take a considerable amount of effort to do: complaining and doing. But by doing you are actually getting what you want. Do you want that new job? Don’t go into it think that someone has more experience than you and is going to get it. Do you want to finish that degree? Don’t go into thinking of the amount of classes that you have to take. Think about walking across that stage and using it later in life. But you can’t do any of that if you aren’t starting with the right attitude.

When I realized that I needed to first start with the right attitude, my outlook on life completely changed for the better. I took my own dreams into account and set about conquering them. By being optimistic myself, it automatically impacted my world around me. My family, friends, coworkers, and soldiers who worked for me were directly affected by my new disposition.
I used optimism to finish out two decades of service. I used optimism when I didn’t know when I didn’t know where I was going work next. I think my optimism helped to keep my options open and my mind clear of what I wanted out of life. It paid off in the end and I am way ahead of where I thought I would ever be.

Now in my new profession, I live by pushing optimism out in the forefront. I wake up with gratitude for a new day and for the rest of the 86,400 seconds I work hard to keeping it positive. Like, Gary Vaynerchuk says above, “If you lack optimism, it’s game over.”

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Success vs Failure

  
Time and time again I see this come up. Comparing ourselves to others and feeling let down.  Why? Why would you compare your life to others?  No two lives are the same.

Even if we live in the same house our successes and failures will never be the same.  Be steadfast in your convictions.  Remember your goals and why you are doing them.

Stop comparing yourself to others and do the damn work.  Do what is necessary to create your definition of success. And by the way, success is inevitable.  You just have to choose when you want to have it in your life.

-alv

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Don’t Waste Any Opportunties 

the time is n.o.w.

 

When are you going to start working on your dreams?

I know you want to be the best version of you.  I know you want to make life easier for you and your loved ones.  You want to help those people in your community who are less fortunate.  You made the necessary plans and have them tucked away for when the time is right.

And when is that? When is the time ever right for anything?  The Wright Brothers didn’t wait until someone came along to perfect their plane.  They devised a rudimentary machine and set about trying to get it to fly.  They didn’t wait until someone showed them how to do it.  They just did it.  Yes, it didn’t work the first couple of times. But all it took was one time.  That one time changed the entire course of history for how we all travelled around the world.

When I knew that I wanted to leave the military, I didn’t wait.  I put in my retirement orders and began working on the foundation for my family’s new civilian life.  And as solid as I thought my plan was it still had holes in it. But you know I still too the leap of faith.

 Steve Harvey’s recent video below after a taping of Family Feud has gone viral.  In it he talks about jumping (doing it now) and not waiting.  Check it out.

http://youtu.be/NZmsDA1JVHw 

Great, huh?  See we all have a parachute (our dreams) and many of us hold onto it for years.  And like he said, some people never even open theirs.  In fact, many people go to their grave with them still strapped to their backs.  No, I am not trying to scare you, but you have to have a sense of urgency and jump. Jump into your destiny because there is no other perfect time to do so.

N.O.W. stands for No Opportunity Wasted.  We don’t have the time to sit around and let others realize your dreams and implement them.  We don’t have time for others to criticize us and tell us that it will never work.  Today right now at this very moment is the time.  There is no better opportunity.

Les Brown, the motivation speaker talks about you laying in your death bed and the end of your life.  Surround all around you are the Ghosts of Missed and Past Opportunities. They are standing above you and they are angry.  Angry that you didn’t take at least one of them and go for it.  They are angry at you that they now how to go to the grave with you.  Missed opportunities.

Now I don’t know what it is that you want to accomplish.  I don’t know your dreams.  And honestly, I don’t need to. Stop whatever you are doing and start on one of your goals.  No excuses.  Just stop and come back to this blog if you have to.  Bookmark if you want, but go and realize your dreams.  Take the first step closer to your legacy.  Remember, no opportunity wasted.

Live your Dreams.

-alv

What’s one goal that you would start today right now at this very moment?

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What Do You Deserve In Life?

What exactly in life do you think you deserve?  A big house?  A nice job?  A beautiful spouse on your arm?  What if I told you that you honestly don’t deserve any of it.  Not one bit.  Not if you don’t work for it.

Many of us, not all, have someone been raised with a sense of entitlement.  As if because we were born, the world owes you any and everything that you want and desire.  That because of the work that our parents or ancestors have done we someone is entitled to a pass over hard hips, turmoil, trials and tribulation.

I want to tell you that if you feel that way and you are reading this blog you are in the wrong place.  My blog is not for you.  Though I love having followers and talking with you all, I can’t deal with those who feel that particular.  I don’t do entitlement.

Well, let me take that back.  I don’t care for people who have a sense of entitlement and have done nothing to warrant it.  I do, however, feel that we are all entitled to achieve our dreams.  We are entitled to be always striving for greatness.

But do you deserve it?  I say yes and can say it with conviction.  I know you deserve to not struggle your whole life with money, weight, or self-esteem.  I know you deserve to come out on top as much as possible.

But you and only you can get you there.  Only you can get what you deserve.  You can have all the right mentors, friends, coaches, etc. But if you don’t put in the work, it will never work for you.

We don’t simply deserve something because we are living and breathing on this planet earth.  Every specimen on this planet has to work hard for what they deserve. Why would you be any different?  Really.

Time is of the essence.  We don’t have to debate what you think about the subject.   Stop telling me your hustling.  Stop being everywhere but on the journey to fulfilling your dreams. It’s time to do work.

Have at it.

 

-alv