Life Happens for Us, Not to Us

Life Happens for Us, Not to Us

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”

-Forrest Gump

played by Tom Hanks-actor

Ever feel you are just reacting to life? Like you have no say in the matter? Does it seem like your world comprises you waking up, going to work, coming home, going to sleep, and then you die?

You are not alone. Millions of people do not know why they are here. What it is you are supposed to do to make your mark on life. Beyond the thought of getting married, having children, working for forty-plus years, and waiting for that last moment when you breathe your last breath.

Life Happens for Us, Not to Us

Life happens FOR us, not to us. We just have to look at things a little differently in order to clear out the fog so we can see clearly.

Struggles in life come from our expectations of how we believe or think our lives should or should not be. But when we consider the power and wisdom of the source that created you, you can trust that something greater than us is at work and that your choices, combined with your higher source, come together to create an incomprehensible tapestry of greatness and beauty in your life.

The truth of the matter is that life is not happening to you, it is happening for you. You create your own life. You, and only you. The direction you go to directly results from choices and decisions you make for your life, not the result of what has happened to you.

“You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life results from your own making.”

-Stephen Richards, author

Changing this mindset to go from victim to victorious, from having no power to having all the power, takes courage. It requires courage to change your mindset after believing something your entire life for change to happen.

“You gotta “be” before you can “do” and you gotta “do” before you can “have”.”

-Zig Ziglar-author, speaker

Life Happens for Us, Not to Us

Courage means taking risks. Doing things differently but doing them! It means being afraid of something but not letting it stop you from achieving your goals in life. It means not listening to the voice in your head that is screaming “STOP” and doing it, anyway. There is only victory when we enter the fight.

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

-Muhammad Ali-world champion fighter

It requires change for anything great to happen in your life. Most people, secretly or openly, are afraid of change. Change is uncomfortable. It makes people nervous. The voices in the back of your head might do its best to convince you “this isn’t a good idea”, or “lets do this another time or another way.” Don’t listen.

Changing the way you look at the struggles in life will actually improve your life. Rather than asking “why me”, ask yourself “what am I supposed to learn?”

Change, like eating an elephant, is best done in small steps. Easily achievable steps. Don’t attempt to change everything unless you have the willpower to follow through. Otherwise, take small consistent achievable steps, gradually increasing them once you gain momentum.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of success is found in your daily routine.”

-John Maxwell-author, speaker, pastor

Belief is the next step. Wanting to do something but not believing you can achieve the goal or dream is the number one killer of dreams and goals. It will keep you on the sidelines and never let you even get into the game, let alone win.

“The start is what stops most people.”

-Don Shula-football coach

Life Happens for Us, Not to Us

Belief that you can achieve the goal or dream will get you to the finish line, even if you don’t believe you have the ability, willpower, strength, or means to accomplish it. Belief, especially in yourself, is a choice. Choose to believe.

“If I have the belief, I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

Gandhi-referred to as “Father of the Nation of India,”

With each victory, no matter how great or small, you will implant in your brain that you can achieve your goal. Once you find you can do something, it is easier to repeat it. This is true with both good and bad. Each time it gets easier to win or lose, to achieve or fail.

With each victory you create a track record in your mind of what to do in that situation or circumstance so when you face it again, and you will be, repeat what you already have done. Don’t reinvent the wheel, just repeat it.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times.”

Bruce Lee-Martial Artist, Movie Starr, Author

History will always repeat itself unless you study it. With each victory or step in your journey, reflect on it. This does two things in your mind:

  1. It destroys the notion that you are powerless over your struggle.
  2. When you relive the victory in your mind, you remind yourself that you are a capable being with untapped powers you possibly forgot or did not know existed.

Reminding yourself that yes, you can do it, is the most rewarding and positive reaffirmation that you are strong, that you can do whatever you want and not fail if only you start and not quit.

Life Happens for Us, Not to Us

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing. It’s when you had everything to do, and you’ve done it.”

-Margaret Thatcher- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom



If you have enjoyed this article, please visit me at for more helpful tips and articles.

You can also get more helpful information in my book You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so

For my free report Happiness Is A Choice click here: Happiness Is A Choice Free Report

Remember: Happiness is a choice, so be happy.


YOUR BELIEFSWhere Did They Come From and Are They Really Yours?

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?



If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be,

you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.


— Dale Carnegie


  1. “the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty;”
  2. “a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented toward the likelihood of something being true.”

YOUR BELIEFSWhere Did They Come From and Are They Really Yours?

Ancient Greek thought identifies belief as being related to: pistis, meaning trust and confidence; and doxa, meaning “orthodoxy,” referring to opinion and acceptance.  


In his book, What Beliefs Are Made From, author Jonathan Leicester writes: “… belief has the purpose of guiding action rather than indicating truth.”


Ready for some cold hard truth?   Beliefs are just thoughts, and most are not ours.


Beliefs are funny.  We don’t believe the sun will come up—we expect it to come up—and it does, every day.

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come from and Are They Really Yours?
We don’t believe the sun will come up—we expect it to come up—and it does, every day.

Who chose the religion or spiritual affiliation that you identify as yours?  Was it handed down to you by your family who lives by that religion?  Or maybe your friends?  Your sorority, fraternity, or school?  Were you born into it?  Were you baptized in it?  Married into it?  Pressured into it?  Was it the religion of our community?  Your culture?  Your country?  Your history?  A movement?  A revolution? 


If you were raised in a certain religion, it is likely that you still follow that religion, or identify it as your roots—even if you don’t practice it, attend services, or even know all its principles. Just by its familiarity to you or your family, you identify it as yours. Yet, most likely, it was not you who intentionally, thoughtfully, actively, or passionately chose it. You just followed the familiar path.  Have you ever wondered which religion or spiritual belief you would choose if you could study and understand all the belief systems in the world?  Have you asked yourself why we even choose a religion?


Going astray—a common phrase used to describe what many children do as a result of being raised in religious households—has troubled parents for generations.  Dismayed, confused, or angry, the parent’s mindset is, we taught our children better. Yet, they haven’t considered that their children would eventually make religious, moral, and other decisions for themselves, based on their individual preferences, desires, and needs.


Who chose your political affiliation?  Did you follow your family’s affiliation?  Are your choices a result of following the party of the region you live in?  Is it the same affiliation as that of your friends?  Is it out of a desire to fit in with a majority? Is it peer pressure?  Do you find yourself choosing words, actions and lifestyles, in order to appear politically correct?  Have you done enough research to feel and know, with absolute confidence, that your affiliation is aligned with who you are inside and all you believe in? Have you asked why you choose one at all?


About the time I first began writing this book, America had just experienced an extremely divisive political election like never before. The world-wide-web posted a clip of a very young boy who, in a mock election at school, had voted for the candidate opposite the one his parents voted for.  Upon arriving home, his mother videotaped him being escorted out of the house with a suitcase she had packed for him and carrying a sign that said he was kicked out of the house for voting for the wrong person.  Rather than praising her child for using his personal choice and critical thinking, and even using the circumstance to create an open discussion with him, she humiliated him, further deepening his familial and social conditioning, and, quite possibly, emotionally and mentally scarring him for years, if not life.


A daughter asked her mother why the family meatloaf recipe that they all Loved needed to be baked in a tiny six-inch pan. It was never big enough to feed the entire family. The mother answered that the recipe was passed down from her mother, and she didn’t want to alter it in any way, even to make a larger size, for fear of changing the result.  She suggested that the daughter ask her mother (the grandmother) about it.  The grandmother gave the same answer that the girl’s mother did and suggested that her granddaughter ask her mother (the great grandmother) about it. When the girl asked her great grandmother, she was informed, “It’s the only size pan that would fit in my oven. Ovens were much smaller back then.”  Until the daughter persisted in seeking the real reason for something she perceived as illogical, the familial conditioned habit and response would have continued, creating more generations of followers, like sheep.


How often do we assume that our actions and beliefs are based on information that we understand and agree with?

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
How often do we assume that our actions and beliefs are based on information that we understand and agree with?


Pause to write.


What are some of your beliefs that you assume are yours because you have heard them so much, or believed them for a long time?  Here are a few examples:


Health: “All the men in our family eventually get diabetes.”

Happiness: “No one is capable of staying truly happy.”

Relationships: “Relationships usually bring pain.”

Creativity: “Some people are creative.  I didn’t get that gene.

Success: “Success is having a house, a couple cars, recreational toys, two plus vacations a year, and a triple digit income.”

Appearance: “I’m not attractive enough for (fill in the blank).”

Intelligence: “I never score well on tests, because I don’t have a high enough IQ.”

Self-Worth: “I can’t start my own business.  I’m not skilled, experienced, gifted, or licensed in anything.”

Destiny-Fate-Karma: “My mother had a hard life, and her mother had a hard life. Women have hard lives in our family.”


Depending on our age and level of self-discovery, most of our beliefs are beliefs that have been handed down to us, expected of us, or programmed into us.  Are you living authentically by your personal beliefs and desires?  Or, are you living by the beliefs and desires of others? 


Be honest with yourself.  Write a list of five or more beliefs about the topics above, or about money, Love, God, religion, sex, power, life, family, work, happiness, freedom, or any other beliefs that come to mind.  Leave some space between each belief. In the space between each belief you listed, write your response to each of the following three questions.  Respond from a place of openness, willingness, self-inquiry, discovery, and curiosity.  Imagine that anything is possible.


Your Belief___________________________________________________________________


Where does that belief come from? (Where, or from whom, do you remember first hearing it, or continually hearing it?)

Is it real, factual, true, as far as you, know?  Or is it an expectation, or assumption, but not necessarily true?

Is it something you truly, completely, and always believe, agree with, and value?  Or was it handed down to you, or expected of you, or programmed into you (from parent, friend, teacher, mentor, religious leader, political leader, society, culture)?

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
Are you living authentically by your personal beliefs and desires? Or, are you living by the beliefs and desires of others?


After writing your responses to each of the beliefs you wrote, look at what you wrote.  Then, write your responses to these questions:


How do you feel? 

What beliefs do you have that don’t feel good to you?

What beliefs do you have because someone close to you has that belief?


Each belief that you discovered did not come from you is not your belief, yet you have been carrying it in that sack on your back.  You do not need to carry beliefs that are not true to you.  If they are not true to you, they are defeating you, weighing you down, undermining your power to live authentically, energetically, happily, and freely.  It is time to let these go and release their weight on your thoughts.


Write your responses:


What beliefs do you have that don’t make you feel energized, empowered, joyful, healthy, strong, capable, hopeful, or excited about life?


Are you afraid to change any of these beliefs?  If so, which beliefs?  Why?  Write any thoughts, fears, or concerns that come to you about what might happen if you changed the belief you are hesitant to change.  If any thoughts or feelings come up for you, like failure, regret, self-identity, loyalty, letting someone down, where you’ve been, or your past, go back and review one of the previous posts that calls to you.


What the mouth says, the mind hears.

What the mind hears, the heart believes.

What the heart believes, the body does.

— Joseph Binning

I’ve written another article that you might like. You can read it here:


If you have enjoyed this article, please visit me at for more helpful tips and articles.

You can also get more helpful information in my book You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so

For my free report Happiness Is A Choice click here: Happiness Is A Choice Free Report

Remember: Happiness is a choice, so be happy.

YOUR BELIEFS-Where Did They Come From?
Remember to enjoy the little things in life.

We live in a fast-paced, ever developing, and ever-changing world. Full of Tweets, Likes, and shares. In an instant someone’s life can change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. All by hitting send. We decide based on them. What we wear. What we buy. Where we go. How we act and yes, how we show up in life. We decide if we like someone, something, or someplace based on popularity. It is part of our culture now and has become the new social norm, so we all accept it.

But are we being authentic? Are we being true to ourselves, or just being marketed and tricked into thinking this is how we should be, act, or show up? You are one decision away from an original life. Only you can decide which way it will turn out.

Merriam-Webster defines Authentic as: not false or Imitation: REAL, ACTUAL, and true to one’s personality, spirit, or character.

Moving your life in the direction that is not false or Imitation: REAL, ACTUAL, and true to one’s personality, spirit, or character aligns you with the things in life you want and desire and will prevent you from living in fear of thinking “what will happen if I say no?”.

Using any method to attain something will NOT work if you do not know what you want as the outcome. The mistake we all make is we focus on the person, place, or thing we think will save us and we focus on something way too big.

This creates an enormous gap between where you are verses where you want to be that you think will rescue you from your miserable life right now. That gap can be the thing that can make you feel lost in figuring out what you want, and discovering what your passion or direction is, or should be.

Those in life who are genuinely happy in life understand the power of, and vehemently stick to, being their authentic selves.





Your friends’ lives may look more exciting than yours on Facebook, but recent research reveals that is because they might be faking it.

A recent survey has found around two-thirds of people on social media post images to their profiles to make their lives seem more adventurous.

And over three quarters of those asked said they judged their peers based on what they saw on their Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook profiles.

A published British survey, by smartphone maker HTC, found that, to make our own pages and lives appear more exciting, six percent also said they had borrowed items to include in the images to pass them off as their own.

More than half of those surveyed said they posted images of items and places purely to cause jealousy among friends and family.

76 percent of those asked also said seeing items on social media influences them to buy them, with men more likely to take style advice and buy what they see.



Stand from the highest place in your story


Over 5,000 people have taken the free online test “Does Your Job Require High or Low Emotional Intelligence?” And after analyzing the data, they made a scary discovery.

It was discovered that 51% of people said that they Always or Frequently have to ‘act’ or ‘put on a show’ at work.

But they made an even bigger discovery; 51% who must ‘put on a show at work’ are 32% less likely to love their job. Or put another way, if you do not have to fake your emotions at work, you are 32% more likely to love your job.

And not only will you be more likely to love your job, you are also much less likely to have negative feelings about your job. People that do not have to put on a show are 59% less likely to dislike or hate their job.

This data also suggests that many people would probably enjoy taking a deep look at their own emotional intelligence, particularly to discover whether they must do lots of acting on the job. The more they are forced to act like they have the right attitude, the less happy they will ultimately be.





Stand from the highest place in your story


Another related construct is the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.

Sociologist Robert K. Merton coined the term to describe a phenomenon that dates to Ancient Greece. Basically, a prediction about the outcome of a situation can invoke a new behavior that leads to the prediction coming true.

For example, if I believed that I would fail an exam, that belief may have led me to alter the strategies I used for preparation and taking the test, and I would probably fail it. While I may have had an excellent chance to pass, my belief hindered my performance, and I made this belief become a reality. Psychological research shows that the self-fulfilling prophecy works for both negative and positive predictions, showing again that the beliefs you hold impact what happens to you.





Stand from the highest place in your story


In a yearlong study it was found that those ringing the alarm bells the loudest about climate change are the least likely to change their own behavior. They just want everyone else to.

The study divided 600 adults who reported on their climate-change beliefs into three groups: “skeptical,” “cautiously worried” and “highly concerned.”

Then the researchers — from the University of Michigan and Cornell University — tracked how often they reported doing things like recycling, using public transportation, buying environmentally friendly consumer products, and reusing shopping bags. And they asked about support for government mandates like CO2 emission reduction, gasoline taxes and renewable energy subsidies. The Journal of Environmental Psychology published the findings.

What they found was very illuminating.

The researchers found that the “highly concerned” group was the least likely to take individual action, but they were the most insistent on government action. The “skeptical” group, in contrast, was the most likely to recycle, use public transportation and do other environmentally sound things all on their own. Skeptics were least likely to endorse costly government regulations and mandates.

“Belief in climate change,” the researchers explained, “predicted support for government policies, but rarely translated to individual-level, self-reported pro-environmental behavior.”

In plain English: The position of climate-change genuine believers is: Do as I say, not as I do.

This study supports a YouGov poll reported on recently, which found that most of those who believe in catastrophic global warming are not doing anything on their own to combat it. More than half said they are not cutting back on their use of fossil fuels or changing their recycling or composting habits.

Another study found that “conservation scientists,” have carbon footprints that do not differ from those of anyone else. The study found that these scientists “still flew frequently — an average of nine flights a year — ate meat or fish approximately five times a week and rarely purchased carbon offsets for their own emissions.”


Stand from the highest place in your story


A study by Deloitte found that 61% of millennial’s who rarely or never volunteer still consider a company’s commitment to the community when deciding on a potential job even though 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions according to a study performed by Career Builder.

92% of human resource executives agree that volunteering can improve an employee’s leadership skills.

Only 4% of college graduates, 25 years or older, volunteer each year.

Millennial’s ages 18 to 30 are more likely to have gone to a protest since the election than any other age group, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3. Millennial’s are also more likely than older groups to think protesting is an effective form of political action.

In recent days America has seem mass protests and unrest which has in every corner of the country left charred and shattered landscapes in dozens of American cities over the death of George Floyd. They estimate that the damages left behind will total in the billions.

Cities who encountered the most loss and damages include:



Minneapolis, Minn.

Los Angeles California

New York, NY

Philadelphia, PA

Nashville Tenn.

San Francisco, CA.

Detroit, Mich.

Portland, Ore.

Chicago, Ill.

Atlanta, Ga.

Washington, D.C.

In a national survey reported by the National Service Knowledge Network of Volunteer Rates by State they ranked the followings states in this order.

Minneapolis, Minn.             Minnesota #1 with a 43.23% volunteer rate statewide.

Portland, Ore.                     Oregon #13 with a 31.42% volunteer rate statewide.

Washington, D.C.                District of Columbia #14 with a 31.07% volunteer rate statewide.

Philadelphia, PA                  Pennsylvania #22 with a 28.03% volunteer rate statewide.

Detroit, Mich.                       Michigan #26 with a 26.64% volunteer rate statewide.

Chicago, Ill.                          Illinois #31 with a 24.85% volunteer rate statewide.

Nashville Tenn.                    Tennessee #33 with a 24.12% volunteer rate statewide.

Los Angeles CA                   California #34 with a 23.89% volunteer rate statewide.

Atlanta, Ga.                          Georgia #39 with a 23.00% volunteer rate statewide.

New York, NY                      New York #49 with a 19.61% volunteer rate statewide.


This survey points out that except for Minnesota, the cities who had the most people who marched to support the problem, volunteered, and supported in the community the least.They estimate that over one million people will attend a George Floyd protest, yet most have never volunteered in the neighborhoods who need the help the most. Some officials estimate that most still will not.


How to Live an Authentic Life, On Purpose


Stand from the highest place in your story

Most of us struggle with the need to be seen, heard, respected, and yes, Loved. We all want to stay true to ourselves, but we also want to fit in. Therein lies the dilemma. How do we stay true to ourselves, yet still stay in our Tribe? We were born and created Tribal, a community, a family, and not meant to do this alone.

Our Tribe is who we associate with, trust, and allow to influence us. They are that powerful group who are our biggest support system and cheerleaders. They become a family and we can sometimes know them all our lives. They make you feel relevant, seen, heard, important, and valued. But are they the right tribe for you? Are they really your family, or just your influence?

Living an Authentic Life will prevent you from joining the wrong tribe and surround yourself with only those who will make you better by being honest with you. Calling you out when you mess up. Praising you on the victories, and yes, walking next to you in the dark valley’s that life will always throw at you. When you do not know WHO you are, someone else will decide it for you and it might or might not be the person you want to be.

So how do we do it? How do we keep the passion, yet still be authentic? How do we be REAL, NOT FAKE?


Here are some suggestions.

  1. Start with the person in the mirror first.

Too many times people seek approval first, and acceptance second. Stop it! Look in the mirror at the person you see and accept them, warts, and all. You are not perfect and need not be, but you are perfect for you. Accept that!

  1. Own your life, do not borrow one.

Successful and Happy people need not prove anything to anyone, and they do not need other’s approval. The beautiful thing about life is if you dislike yours, you can always change it. When the haters hate, and they will, let them. And forget them. When you make a mistake, and you will own it 100%, then move on. It’s in our mistakes we learn what will and will not work.

  1. Be honest, do not live a lie.

Do not pretend to be something or someone you are not, for someone else’s sake. If people do not accept you, as you are, where you are, for WHO you are they should not be in your life, let alone influence you.

  1. Be ALL IN.

A living example, more than words, will create action. If you believe in a movement, LIVE the movement 100%. If you believe in a cause, LIVE the cause 100%. Show me how you want me to see you and I will see you. Tell me and it will get lost in the noise. Give 100% every day to everything, especially yourself. Just be All In!

  1. Forgive easily, and often.

Successful and Happy people do not hold a grudge, they cannot. It impedes progress. It holds them back. It makes you bitter. Give others the same break you give yourself and forgive yourself, often. Others, and you, will be glad you did.

  1. Put your own oxygen mask on first.

We have all heard the warnings on airplanes, “if they deploy the oxygen masks, puts yours on first, then those who are with you next”. Make a habit of taking care of yourself, first. Self-care is the most important care you will ever receive. Make it a regular occurrence and do it often.

  1. Live your life in Service to Humanity.

Countless studies have shown that those who put other’s needs above their own live longer, happier, more fulfilling lives. Care. Genuinely care. About others, about issues, about people. Then serve them. Do not save them, rescue them, or bail them out. Serve them by allowing your help to be about them, and not you. Do it with no expectations. If you need to be thanked, you did it for the wrong person.

  1. If you have a choice between being right verses being kind, be kind.

Successful and happy people can “give others a break”. They do not always need to be right. It is not a reflection on them. Sometimes it is better to lose the battle and win the war.

  1. Pay everything forward.

We deserve nothing in life. Life is not fair; it is designed that way. When you receive anything, it is a gift, be thankful, and share it. If you clutch on to life with a clenched fist so nothing can escape, nothing can enter either. Be generous, and life will be generous back. Volunteer, donate, serve, contribute, take part, mentor, and ask nothing in return. Remember, if you need to be thanked, it is a bribe, not a gift.

  1. Life rewards the brave, so be brave.

Take a chance, be vulnerable, be approachable, be teachable, take the first step, start the conversation, listen intending to listen and without thinking of what you will say next. Step outside of your comfort zone. That is where you will grow the most. A plant, transplanted from a pot to the ground will grow bigger and stronger, naturally.

  1. Be more understanding.

We are a divided world today. Friends lose friends over politics. People are against someone, someplace, or something without ever attempting to understand things from the other people’s point of view. Take the time to ask why they believe what they believe, then shut up, do not interrupt, or interject, and just listen. Ask questions, with the desire to learn something and let them believe it even if you do not.

People do not care what you know until they know you care.

  1. Be more accepting of others

Allow others to coexist around you as they are, not how you think they should be. Successful and Happy people are not threatened by what they do not understand. They attempt to understand it and accept that whatever it might be is the right choice for the other person even though it might not be the right choice for them and is no reflection on them.

Accepting others as they are, where they are, for who they are, just as they are is one of the greatest ways to understand others and have a meaningful conversation with them. Do so intending to understand them, not to prove them wrong.

If you have enjoyed this article please visit me at for more helpful tips and articles.

You can also get more helpful information in my book You Matter, even if you don’t think so which you can purchase on Amazon here Amazon You Matter, even if you don’t think so

For my free report Happiness Is A Choice click here: Happiness Is A Choice Free Report

Remember: Happiness is a choice, so choose to be happy.

Dream BIG