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"Fully live in the moment, and the energy of that moment will surpass all boundaries."

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Saturday, July 09, 2005
Change of local...
We've moved to a new location! Please update your links to :

Out of Bounds

See you there!
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
How Much Fight is in You?
"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. " - Walt Disney

Walt Disney, who often struggled just to feed himself, had to declare bankruptcy in 1920. In 1923, he made his way to Hollywood with just $40 in his pocket. $40 and a sketchbook!

In 1928 Walt and a few friends, by the names Mickey and Minnie, took the world by storm in "Steamboat Willie". Unsuspecting movie viewers were witnessing the birth of a legend! The rest is most definitely Entertainment History.

Can you imagine the flack Walt Disney must have caught when, penniless, he'd sit in the corner sketching?! No doubt he was called everything from a dreamer to a loser. Fortunately, he knew that it's not the name they call you that matters. It's the name you answer to that counts.

"If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse." - Walt Disney

The creator of an absolute empire was knocked down more than once, but he came out a winner because he never stayed down.

How about you?

How much fight is in you? Has life knocked you around - maybe even knocked you down? Are you on the ground, cowering in the corner, or are you up fighting back with all that's in you?

The fight isn't over until someone's knocked out or gives up. Instead of throwing in the towel, use it to slap life on the butt with a resounding snap!

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney

Go do something impossible!

For more motivational articles, please visit

-->>The Mental Fitness Center's new Blog <<--
The Mental Spark Plug
Find the Work You Enjoy!
Happiness lies not in the mere possesion of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Every year millions of people change their jobs. It's because they don't find happiness in their work. It's estimated that not more than 3 people out of 10 in the United States are employed in the type of work that they like to do best. That leaves 70 % of Americans willing to jump occupations, if the opportunity arises. The result is most people don't get much joy from their work and society never gets their best production.

The job that will make you the happiest is the one that allows you to EXPRESS your real self. Your natural interests and aptitudes; your mental and physical abilities. Your PERSONALITY.

Find your happiness in your work or you will never know what happiness is. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Life, as you heard at a high school and/or college graduation, is like a road.
For the average person, there are many roads open. Smooth roads, rough roads, alleys and super-highways. Each one goes in a different direction and at a different speed. Some lead you to obscurity, some to mediocrity. Some take you on fantastic journeys to heights you never thought you'd see.

Along the road of life, you're going to need some guidance. Those who have traveled before you may be your best source of guidance. Seek out information from as many people as possible when choosing your path. But always remember, they cannot live you life for you. You alone are solely responsible for choosing your road. Choose the one that allows you to be CREATIVE and you'll have a leg up on finding the happiness that most people never find.

For me, it's sales and marketing. It allows me to be creative and have some freedom of choice in determining my yearly income. If I want to make more money, all I have to do is find a way to work smarter, harder or more efficiently. Leveraging other people's efforts also helps.

I have 3 daughter's and I'm sure I've said 1000 times. Find something you like to do and then find someone that wants to pay you to do it. Simple.

If you like to read, find someone looking for an editor or proofreader. You like to cook ? Finding work as a sous chef should be fairly easy. You like selling ? The newspapers are full of ads looking for people to rep them. Be warned, though. If you don't believe in the product, you will not be able to sell it. Not for very long and not very successfully. Find a product you are willing to fight for and you can sell it like icewater in the desert.

Ultimately, no person is permanently happy until he/she finds an avenue for the natural expression of their ego, their desires, their likes & dislikes. If you are not able to EXPRESS yourself during your working hours, find a hobby or after work outlet for the pent up interests. Otherwise, complications far too deep for this discussion will arise. You have to be able to allow the creative juices to escape or they will slowly drown themselves and your creativity with them.

Here's an idea starter for you. Make a written analysis of yourself.

1) Your strong points and how you could best use them.
2) Your vocational aptitudes and how can you develop them.
3) Your weaknesses and how can you overcome them.
4) Your interests, ideals, desires and capabilities.
5) Where do you want to be in 1 year, 5 years & 10 years.

The road to failure is known as Chance Avenue.
Most young people start looking for a job with chance as their guide. It's one way to find a job, but it's far from the best. Work your way thru high school or college this way, if you have to. Do not choose your life's work this way. Find your love and find someone to pay you to do it ! It won't be all that hard. There are millions upon millions of jobs out there. Surely you can find someone looking for you to do what you love. The payoff will be great for you AND the employer.

If you are an employer, why not search for those that love doing what you need them to do. Turnover will be less and productivity will be far greater than just taking the first person who answers your ad. If you can't figure out how to do his, contact me and I'll help you find your ideal employees.

Visions harden into facts. When you get to retirement age, you'll look back and see that almost every major event in life has been the result of this decision. The only choice more important is the choosing of a life partner. Nearly all we are allowed to do in life, to give in life and get out of life, is influenced by the decisions you make about your life's work.

~ Mike
The Mental Fitness Center

PS - This was mainly written for our daughter's but two people gave me the spark to write this post. Neither knows they did it. Their comments on their blogs and in an email were the catalyst.

Thanks to Tim Yang
and to Jeremy Wright
Friday, July 01, 2005
Turn the Page!
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." - Saint Augustine

We've had the supreme pleasure of living in lots of different cities and tasting lots of different local flavors. Each place we lived, we emersed ourselves in the region - exploring every nook and cranny. It has provided us with a wealth of photographs - (some are physical, but most are mental ) - that we wouldn't trade for two Hummers filled with Cardinals season tickets and Albert Pujols, himself. (I have a few daughters that'd disagree on that one!)

These photographs allow us to, at any time, wade through icy water from a mountain stream, walk around beautiful St. Paul, collect seashells in St. Augustine, get caught behind an Amish buggy, photograph pelians in the keys, get hoarse at an NBA game (Hornets), shoot eye love all over dolphins, splash one another in the great lakes, try frog legs, not try rattlesnake, chase stingrays in the Gulf, be amazed by the Biltmore House, eat our way through the ozarks, ride horseback in Kentucky, camel-back in Kansas (he was a tourist), sing along at concerts, climb Mt. Baldy, ride a zillion trains, take in downtown Chicago, get caught in a blizzard....the list goes on and will continue to grow, because life goes on and we'll continue to go!

"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." - Caskie Stinnett

When we were living in Iowa for a while, we were amazed at the number of people who had never even been out of the state. How does one live their life without getting out of a state?! Seems to me like it'd be like grabbing a Dean Koontz or John Grisham novel and never leaving Chapter 1. For all you know, Chapter 5 or 6 could have been where the fun was really at!

Now I'm not saying that everyone has to do the gypsy dance a la Sigers - heck, I think the music we dance to would drive most people batty, but we like the moves. Take weekend trips or just day-long drives - the point is just get out there and see the unseen, live the unlived, soak it all up....get off of page 1. ESPECIALLY if you have children, show them as much of the world as you can. Parks, capitals, monuments, battlefields, lakes, rivers, mountains, oceans, people, ballfields - give 'em the world.

"We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lost sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way." - Anonymous

Whatever you do, never let a moment escape your grasp - NO REGRETS! I will forever be kicking myself for dropping the ball in the keys. Michael, a.k.a. the husband, was in meetings on our second to last day there. The girls and I were looking underneath every rock, every pelican, every shell - literally soaking up everything there. We drove over the longest bridge known to man and were MINUTES away from Key West...minutes, man.....then my first class brain kicks in and thinks, "What if Michael wants to see Key West tomorrow, we just can't see it without him... (wonder just how many disasters can be traced back to female emotions?). We turned around and went back. Of course he had more meetings the next day. Of course we never saw Key West - in spite of being minutes away. Of course I have no idea when or if the opportunity will ever present itself again...regrets suck. Don't ever leave an opportunity in your rearview mirror.

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu

Next time you're trying to choose between television or surfing the web, consider a different alternative. Gas up your chariot and go grab some photographs for your mind's album. They'll last a heck of a lot longer.

The Mental Fitness Center
Monday, June 27, 2005
Watch Your Thoughts!
"Watch your thoughts;
They become your words.

Watch your words;
They become your actions;

Watch your actions;
They become your habits.

Watch your habits;
They become your character.

Watch your character;
For it will become your destiny."
- Hillel

You could set a clock by and bet the farm on my morning trek. I walk (I guess it qualifies as a walk) each morning with absolute certitude from my bed to the coffee maker. If it's anywhere around 6:00 am, you can count on the morning sonata - shuffling of the houseshoes, humming of the brew, chiming of the spoons, clinking as the creamer is stirred. You wouldn't lose your farm.

There's only one thing I can think of that's more of a sure bet than Morning + Joi = Coffee. That would be Thought + Action = Destiny.

Think of our heroine, Harriet Tubman (see post titled the same). She had to FIRST entertain the grand thought before she could act upon it. Hundreds of precious people were very fortunate that her thoughts weren't defined by self-pity, hatred or butt-face-ugly bitterness. They were defined, rather, by determination, nobility and purposefulness.

What are your thoughts defined by? What do you spend most of your time thinking about? :o Okay, after that, what do you spend most of your time thinking about? These thoughts are your steps. Just as my little steps get me to my goal (CAFFIENE!) each morning, your thoughts serve as your steps. Are they carrying you toward your goal or away from it?

If your thoughts are positive and productive, you're on your way. If they're negative and defeatist, they're carrying you in the opposite direction. With each subsequent thought, you are either moving closer to or further from your goal(s).

Start thinking of each and every thought as a step. Remember, they go together to make your walk. For the love of Java, don't creep along and DO NOT walk backwards - walk forwardly with a purpose. To borrow a line from a country song, I hope you dance!
We're about to dance on a different dance floor.
This blog will soon have a new location - We'll give the
link later, when we're ready for company!
The Mental Fitness Center
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Harriet Tubman
"(I) never lost a single passenger." - Harriet Tubman

We all have personal heroes and heroines in our lives - people outside our circle of family, friends or acquaintances. People we've never met, but somehow their life speaks to us on some level. I have quite a few, myself. My biggest "hero" is Harriet Tubman. With all due (and there is plenty due) respect to my other personal non-Biblical (too many Biblical inspirations to mention!) heroes: Mr. Lincoln, Booker T. Washington, Mr. Reagan, Helen Keller, and Martin Luther - Lady Tubman has always come first. I hope that the life of this special lady, a "friend" of mine since I was 7, inspires you.

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman suffered more abuse and endured more humiliation and heartache than a cat should ever have to - let alone a human being. While only a teenager, she stood in front of another slave to protect him from an angry overseer. The overseer, being the fine man he was, threw a 2 pound weight at the tiny teenaged girl, striking her in the head. It was an injury that affected her all of her life, but more importantly it was an act of heroism that went on to define her life.

With brains and bravery (What a combination!), Harriet managed to escape and find freedom and work up north. Now this is where this lady separates herself from the rest of us, she didn't just settle in and forget where she came from. She returned to the south and helped more slaves to freedom! She risked her life to save the lives of others. She didn't just make one such trip, either - she made 19 until her health wouldn't permit her to go any more. 19 times she risked what would have been a TERRIBLE death - I can't even imagine what they would have done to her had she been caught.

She was prepared for her charges who's bravery didn't match her own, too. She packed a gun, so if any (along the way) started to panic and put them ALL at risk - she'd pull out the gun and tell them, "You'll be free or die." She would later tell Frederick Douglass about her "Underground Railroad" trips, and how she "never lost a single passenger." Over 300 human lives were freed and saved because of this remarkably brave and compassionate woman.

She even served the Union during the Civil War as a cook, nurse, and even a spy! Now we know why the right side won.

I think there are some things we can take away from the life of the female "Moses".

First of all, we can endure a heck of a lot more than we think we can! Not only endure, but use our battles the same way our muscles use weights. We can strengthen ourselves by the burdens we carry.

Second of all, a strong case can be made for a life being a waste that hasn't touched other lives. If we serve ourselves only, what real purpose do we serve?

Third, there'll always be others throwing things at us. Hopefully not 2 pound weights, but potentially painful nonetheless. We can either get out of the way or get back up after contact. Staying down isn't even an option.

Last of all, there was a moment when Lady Moses decided that she'd risk her own life for others. (Personally I think she knew it before she left the first time. She just wanted to use herself as a target before endangering anyone else.) She made up her mind, then ACTED. A mind with a purpose is just as effective as a duck with lips if it doesn't do something.

Harriet Tubman didn't sit around feeling sorry for the hell she'd been through. She was too busy freeing others from their own hell!

A new article: "Here's to Your (Brain's) Health" has been added to The Mental Fitness Center.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
The Life that Fits...
Ever put on a pair of jeans that were so freakin' tight you felt like you couldn't breath let alone undertake motion? The type where getting them up over the nether regions involved sUCKing in and floor dancing. (Not that I know about this sort of thing first hand. I've, er, seen people on tv do it.)

How about clothes that are too big on you? Pants that you have to keep pulling up or a big top that you have to keep tucking in? Sure, you can at least breath, but it's nowhere near comfortable.

Now think of your favorite pair of jeans. You put them on and they seem to know every part of your body - they don't restrict your movement, they forgive your weaknesses, they give you good butt. Darned important, that.

You put them on and life's instantly better. They're not too this or too that - they're you.

My family, originally from Kentucky, has lived in the midwest (Kansas, Iowa), in the north (Indiana, Illinois), in the south (Kentucky) and on an island in the Gulf of Mexico (Pensacola Beach, Florida). We've done Wichita, Pensacola, Chicago, Louisville, and Minneapolis as well as Webster City, Mulvane, Derby, Earlington and Washington (Indiana). We have had more fun and in more places than I could've ever imagined. But whenever we return to Kentucky - which I've found that we always do - something strikes me immediately. "This fits."

While we were living on the island, it became obvious that we'd soon have to move. Family illnesses back home coupled with a job offer Michael got in Owensboro spelled it out for me in the white sugar sand - Adios, paradise! I wasn't quite myself for the final two months there. I was so depressed and sad, knowing we were about to drive over the bridge for the final time. I had trouble even making conversation for fear of choking up mid sentence. I've always been a very upbeat, positive person, so I didn't recognize (or care for!) the sad person I kept running into in the mirror. I had just fallen so in love with the ocean and everything near it.

Anyway, fast forward months into the future. We're back in the land of the green: Trees, hills, robins, hummingbirds, horses and more horses, and people sitting on front porches waving at passers-by...no one knows a stranger here! The motto in this part of the world is, "Strangers are only friends you've yet to meet." Everyone wants to be your friend, everyone wants to talk, nearly everyone has a smile for you - and a hug if you'll let them.

Instead of pelicans and gulls, we have robins, blue jays, cardinals and hummingbirds. Instead of palm trees, there's every other variety known to man. You won't see dolphins but you can't miss the horses, deer, rabbits and squirrels. Everyplace is it's own paradise. I had misplaced that information somewhere in the seas. I found it again in the trees.

One afternoon, about 4 months P.I.(Post Island) while driving through my hometown Madisonville Kentucky - I thought "This fits." I could see the writing on the side of a hunter green hill, "Welcome Home!"

I got to thinking about this recently. As they'd say around here, I got to studying on it. How often do we try to fit into something in life that isn't our size? It's as silly as floundering on the floor trying to get size 8s up over a size 14 butt. Why would we choose to RESTRICT and BIND ourselves or our lives?
Life's way too big and far too grand for restaints.

How often do we wallow in something that's too much for us to handle - pulling at this, tugging at that. We get so busy trying to FIT IN that we wear ourselves out and fail to enjoy life.

Plain and simple. We have to find the place, the occupation, the lifestyle, the LIFE that fits us. If we do it any differently, we're just wearing someone else's life.

The Mental Fitness Center
Monday, June 20, 2005
Start Where You Stand
There was once a man who had been in a penitentiary but somehow summoned the courage to apply for a job with Henry Ford. He began to tell his story to Mr. Ford, about what he had done, when Mr. Ford stopped him. "Never mind.", he said, "I don't care about the past. Start where you stand!"

"Start where you stand and never mind the past,
The past won't help you in beginning new,
If you have left it all behind at last
Why, that's enough, you're done with it, you're through;

This is another chapter in the book,
This is another race that you have planned,
Don't give the vanished days a backward look,
Start where you stand.

The world won't care about your old defeats
If you can start anew and win success,
The future is your time, and time is fleet
And there is much of work and strain and stress;
Forget the buried woes and dead despairs,
Here is a brand new trial right at hand,
The future is for him who does and dares,
Start where you stand.

Old failures will not halt, old triumphs aid,
Today's the thing, tomorrow soon will be;
Get in the fight and face it unafraid,
And leave the past to ancient history;
What has been, has been; yesterday is dead
And by it you are neither blessed nor banned,
Take courage, man, be brave and drive ahead,
Start where you stand."

-Berton Braley

"The future is for him who does and dares." - Great quote.

I'm convinced that the main reason most of us don't climb higher on life's ladder is simply because we get in our own way. I don't think anyone or anything is to blame for our misfortunes nearly as much as we are ourselves.

We just keep coming up with new ways to get in our own way!!!

One of the surest ways to rob ourselves of upward mobility is to get bogged down by the past. Ever seen a kid fall off of a bike? 9 times out of 10, he just gets back on and pedals off. We adults are far too clever for that. We'd pause, reflect, relive, talk about it, analyze it, sell the bike, etc. When I was 24, one of my daughters and I were in a really bad car wreck. A twit sped through a stop sign, hit us, spun us, knocked us unconscious, totaled our car, and left us in pretty bad shape. It was about 5 months before I could bring myself to even try to drive another car. It was as though something shut down in my brain. My hands literally would shake at the thought of driving. I finally MADE myself get behind a wheel and take off. Each time after that got easier, but I made it just about as tough as I possibly could!

We have to leave what's behind us behind us. If we failed yesterday, it doesn't mean we'll fail tomorrow. In all actuality, it means that our chances of success are even greater. We already have one lesson under our belt!

UPDATES to The Mental Fitness Center:
We added a new article - "Bingo, Good For the Mind"

A newsfeed has also been added to the index.