In high school one of my teachers used to call me "the eternal optimist". Maybe she just thought I was good at lying to myself.
Whether that's true or not, I can make ANYTHING sound good.
In the past I was able to rationalize why I didn't leave a job that was paying a big toll on my mental and physical health.
Today I can tell you 10 ways why being in debt up to my ears for the sake of pursuing my purpose is a good thing.
The reality is I know many people like me. Many other "eternal optimists". We're the kind of people that can make bad things sound good.
But untethered optimism is called being naive. And it will put you in the ground if you're not careful.
So the question is: When we're in a tough spot, how do we face the facts without losing hope?
Here's what works for me: Find encouragement first, and face reality second. In that order.
People, songs, or books with words of encouragement are how I feed my optimism. And sometimes I need that optimism to face my reality. Because sometimes life hands you struggle you didn't ask for.
So, encouragement is good for you. And we don't get enough of it.
I've noticed that lately. Especially during the last nine months of my life.
But this weekly message isn't about me. And that's my discovery.
Someone asked me the other day: "So, what exactly is 'free food'?"
I had to stop myself.
It's not poetry. It's not life hacks. It's not a lifestyle blog.
In so many ways, it's just encouragement.
You can call that whatever you'd like: Motivation. Inspiration. Contemplation. Or any other word ending in -tion.
Encouragement is like kale for our minds. Except it tastes good.
It helps us think healthy, which helps us live happy. No, joyful.
In a world full of people trying to feed you the garbage they eat, encouragement is the food we need more of. And, frankly, it's my thing.
You need a pep talk? Call me! I will tell you EXACTLY who you are, and why you're going to rock this world. By the way, those two things are tied together.
I always tell people "who you are will take you further than what you do."
But I'll also be the first to tell you being "true to you" is HARD to do. Even when you know who you are.
So, how do you do it?
Well, I can't tell you how to do it. But I can tell you what it feels like.
It feels natural. It doesn't feel forced.
It feels good. It doesn't feel like you're being manipulative.
It feels like home. There's no clothes needed to feel comfortable. (Maybe that's just me?)
Which brings me to the next part of that conversation with that same someone who asked about free food. They said: "Yah, you call it free food but I feel like you're still going to sell me something. So I'm not comfortable. Maybe call it something different? Or don't sell me anything."
For those of you who have been following since Day 1, I'll be the first to tell you I've had some bumps along the way. Messaging has been one of them.
So let me clear that up today.
I don't want your money. I want your attention.
This weekly message, free food, is meant to be:
3. Encouragement for your life.
That could be motivational quotes, funny photos, stories, tips, tools, recommendations, ideas, etc.
So, with that, here's some words I found to be encouraging me this week. I hope they're the same for you.
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others..."
- Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus was a "life teacher". He gave these words of encouragement to his squad. I'm not Jesus, but you're my squad. And I want your light to shine before others, too.
One more thing:
I'm hosting my first free online class this Saturday morning at 10AM EST. I'm going to walk through five frameworks to help you "get a clue on what you're meant to do". To help you "get direction". If you're in a rut, then this is probably 1.5 hrs well spent. Why? Cause no one, myself included, knows what they're doing with their lives. But I've created these five frameworks and they seem to be helping people get closer. Why is it free? Because you follow me. And, like I said, I want your attention. More so, I want your attention to hopefully make a positive impact on your life. Only 10 spots open. Visit this link to learn more about a) who it's designed for, and b) what you're going to get out of it. Password is [for subscribers only]. The most important part is it will be interactive, and engaging. So I'll be making sure there's time for each person's individual questions. Hope to see you on Saturday.