Different decisions, different life

When I saw this quote, it struck me just how true it is. Every minute of every day we are making decisions that determine where our life is going in those next minutes. Sometimes, we unfortunately make the same wrong decisions over and over, without realizing that a different decision could alter the very path from which we are trying to escape. Why do you think that is? My guess is it is most likely because, although that decision may be the wrong one, it is comfortable and familiar.

When I write about making the most of your life minutes, I mean it in the sense that every single minute of our life is an opportunity for something different. We only get the next minute once and the decisions that we make in that minute have the potential to have a profound impact on what the next minutes of our life are going to be like.

It is not always easy to make the right decisions. Sometimes we have faulty information on which to make our decision. Sometimes we have competing priorities that rush us to hurried decisions. Sometimes we make the decision that we know is wrong because we just don’t have an alternative at that particular moment.

At the end of the day we can only do our best and be impeccable with our word. We also need to be open to altering our decisions when we discover that those that we may have made were not the best. When we do that we have our best chance of living our best life and making it all that it can be.

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron, iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast or most podcast sites.

Just 20 minutes

As we get older, our lives become more complex, complicated and sometimes downright difficult. As we strive to meet the needs of our families, our jobs and ultimately ourselves, squeezing in time to just take a break from it all becomes more and more difficult. When we fail to find that release, the stress within us continues to build over time like a pressure cooker. When it has no outlet, it tends to break free when we least expect it and sometimes in the most unpleasant of ways.

Being one of those people that was always a worrier and who worked in stressful jobs that required me to be on the road all the time, finding that outlet was very difficult. It seemed that I carried around the worries of the world, in addition to my own, and they just compounded upon each other, which often made life somewhat unpleasant. Recently, I decided that needed to change.

The mere thought of sitting down and doing nothing for twenty minutes wasn’t even something that was in the realm of possibility for me. I needed to be doing something every minute of every day or felt like my day was wasted. What I failed to realize was that taking those twenty minutes for just myself was something that was going to change my life for the better.

When a colleague at work introduced me to the Headspace app I loaded it on my phone with no intentions of ever putting it to use. Then one day I picked it up and decided I was going to give it a go. Initially, it was tough, mundane and honestly treacherous. My mind simply wanted to go to all the things that I should be doing rather than shutting down and taking a break. However, as I stuck with it something miraculous happened. My mind started accepting the fact that it needed a break and eventually started looking forward to the 20 minute gift that I was I was trying to give it.

Now, daily meditation has become routine for me and the stretch of time that I have consistently been doing it is extending further than I ever thought it would go. I find myself calmer, less stressed, enjoying life more and thankful for the gift that that 20 minutes has been giving me. There are many apps out there that help guide you on this journey. I hope that you find that one that allows you to give that gift of just 20 minutes to yourself as well.

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

Reunions are reminders

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending my 40th (yikes), I did say my 40th high school reunion. It was great catching up with every one and seeing people that you usually only get to see every ten years. Hearing about families, the work each is doing and how far their lives have come was a validation of how far I have come since leaving Okeechobee all those years ago.

As I watched the Homecoming festivities unfold, I was reminded of how important those things were to us when we were that age and how unimportant they seemed now. We longed for spirit week, homecoming parades, band performances and all the activities of the time. They seemed the most important things in life. While in ways they prepared for what was to come, today being in the “in crowd” or being picked for a homecoming honor doesn’t seem that important in the grand scheme of life.

The one thing that was sobering about this reunion is how many people we have lost. In a class of just over 200, greater than 20 have already left us. People who made us laugh, cry and love have seen their time come to an end way too early in life. It was a big reminder of the importance of living every day, keeping in contact with those that you care about most and living your life for all it can be.

Reunions have a way of not only reminding you of who you are and where you came from, they are also a reminder of who you have become. The work that you did in those early years, that seemed so trivial at the time, set us all on the course for the people that we have become today. It is no longer we and they like it was in high school. It is now us as we have all made it to the this point of our lives at the same exact time.

Mornings with Ron is now available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

Why Seniors matter

When I was growing up as a child, I had a very unique childhood. While I did many of the things that others my age did as far as school and extracurricular activities go, a good portion of my free time was spent with my grandmother. Because she was so involved in visiting and taking care of seniors in our community, that meant that I too got to see first hand the importance of being involved with those that society often seems to forget.

When you have a compassion for the elderly population instilled in you early on, the need to take care of them and understand their struggles becomes inherent. Unfortunately, as we age the ability to get noticed and attended to decreases. The focus is on the young and the new infants entering into the world, while seniors tend to take a back seat to what is going on in life. Nowhere is that more evident than when you visit a nursing home.

My early visits to my grandmother were eye opening experiences. With each step down the hall, face after face had its own story to tell. From expressions of elation for having seen someone different from “the outside”, to faces of despair and loneliness that just made your heart hurt. I knew behind each of these faces was a history rich in knowledge and I wondered what it was that brought them to this moment in their lives?

I knew early on in my visits that there had to be something that could be done to ease the loneliness. What I didn’t realize was just how great the need was. Every package we send out in the mail reminds another senior that they are remembered and loved. However, with each package I am also reminded of all the ones that we can’t get to that are in need just as much. Maybe that is why I push so hard to increase our card deliveries year over year. I do it in hopes that if two out of 100 are getting that reminder on that day, when they are in despair the most, then that makes it all worth it.

It is odd to me that as a society we tend to spend the least money on schools and the elderly. The very areas that are preparing our younger generations to support those who have fulfilled their lives and the older generations that have paid their dues and deserve our support. It is almost as if they are too young to care and too old to care. We seem to forget that there isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t go through all those stages, if we are fortunate to live a full life.

If you have a senior in your life that you have been meaning to reach out to, do it today. Remind them that they matter, that they are loved and that they are remembered. If you have a senior that you are in regular contact with, never let them forget what they mean to you. Someday it’s going to be our turn and we will wish the same for ourselves.

Mornings with Ron is also available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

Greatness is all around us

Recently, I was thinking about what it means to be truly great. Not mediocre, but great in a way that other people recognize what you are doing simply by the contributions you are making through your actions, not just your words. Over time there have been many people that have been nothing more than who they are. The contributions they made were simply the course of business for them, not something that they strived to make grand or well known.

Then I thought about the definition of greatness and realized that there is no one way to define it. What may be great to you or me, may not be great in someone else’s eyes. Likewise, what they may consider to be great may not resonate with us. However, most people who have become what people perceive to be great over time all seem to have one quality. The very nature of what they accomplished was enough to make a mass of people stand up and recognize that their contribution was truly something worth noting.

I believe that the path to greatness starts with the seed of wanting to make a difference in the world. To do something that leaves the world a little better off than you found it. It is that innate desire to contribute in your own way, no matter how large or small, that ultimately when combined with other’s seeds produces something truly magical. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Bring Smiles to Seniors program.

Three of our volunteers are a shining example. From day one Renee took the seed of our home delivery program and turned it into something truly special. She has touched countless lives one person at a time and continues to build on that part of the program by adding others to her garden. Diane started with one community in Michigan and now provides cards to 33 communities across the state. She has transformed Michigan into an arm of Bring Smiles to Seniors that is unmatched. Liane took the initiative to grow her special mailings into supporting Meals on Wheels programs across the country. We now support 13 states as a result of her efforts. She is touching countless lives by making their meal delivery just a little more special. These three exemplify my definition of great.

Finally, our card angel card makers and decorators. Every time they put hand to paper, pick up a pair of scissors or a tube of glue, they are on the path to touching a life on the other end of that card. Someone they don’t even know will be reminded that they are remembered, cared for and loved. A person who needed that extra something that day to keep them going will get their wish because of those who just wanted to make a difference. That is the definition of great.

We all have the power within us to achieve greatness in our own way. We may think that we don’t have the skills or talent to do what others do, but we all possess something that allows us make or own unique contribution . When those contributions combine, it is then that true greatness is realized.

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcasts, Spotify or most podcast sites.

There are seven days in a week and someday ain’t one of them


The quote in the title of this post came across the television screen over the weekend and I found it to be not only funny, but profound. In our lives there are so many things that we want to do, dreams that we want to fulfill and tasks that we want to complete….someday. The unfortunate thing is that someday often never comes. Things come up that take our attention away from that which we desire and as a result we wind up failing to live the full and abundant life that we planned for ourselves.

Every minute of every day is a gift that stares us right in the face. It is an opportunity for us to seize the time that we have been given and devote that time to making our lives what we want them them be. Recognizing that we are never assured that there is another minute waiting for us around the corner, means that we must take life by the reins and make it ours.

We all go through life with dreams and aspirations. What we want to be, goals that we want to achieve and experiences that we want to have. Yet, when it comes time to make them a realization, someday often becomes our mantra that we live by as we let competing priorities move that which we desire most to the side. In reality, we have the ultimate control over whether or not those things come to be. If we prioritize those things which are most important and fit them in with the diligence that they deserve, then we negate the risk of getting to the end and saying we wish we had or we wish we did.

In the past I have written about making the most of our life minutes. Sometimes that requires us to be selfish with our time and attention. However, doing so also makes us more productive happy people, with just that much more energy to help others with their quests as well.

If you have things in your life that you have wanted to accomplish, there is no better time than the present. This day is your gift to go make those things happen and put yourself on a path to a more fulfilled you!

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites. 

Access the library while you can

By now everyone knows that the mission of the Bring Smiles to Seniors program is ensuring that those that paved the way for us are reminded that they are remembered and loved. The contributions that they have made to clearing the way for a better life for us must be celebrated and appreciated for the gift that they were. Interacting with them while we have them is so important. When they are gone our ability to extract knowledge and wisdom is gone with them.

Before my grandmother was in her late stages of dementia I had the opportunity to interact with her a lot. I asked her questions about family, events and other things that only she would know. I took notes, asked for pictures and got as much as I could before those memories began to fade for her. Even with that, I still think of things that I would like to know that I now can’t ask. Imagine how much more frustrating that would be if I had not asked any questions at all.

Seniors are the encyclopedias of our past. In those small brains are volumes of information that only they possess. If they haven’t transcribed those memories for us, then the only way for us to get them is to sit with them and ask. We need to take time out of our busy personal lives to be with them and read their mind books, which in turn makes them feel important and useful.

In my recent trip to England I got to visit my ancestral home of Rochester south of London. Because of my conversations with my grandmother and her contributions she made to our ancestral book, I was able to look for certain things and experience that place in a way that I would not have otherwise been able. As I walked the grounds of old castles and churches I felt the presence of my ancestors and at different points felt like I was home. Sitting with her and asking her questions was her gift to me that I would use later in life.

As seniors age, it is very easy to get so mired in our own lives that we don’t ever find the time to spend with them. We will get to it next week, or the next, or the next. Suddenly the next isn’t possible because they are no longer here. Once that happens, all the knowledge that we desire is gone with them and then we are left wishing we had.

If you have that someone that is the key to understanding your past, make a point to be with them this week. Extract that knowledge that you desire. In doing so you not only fulfill yourself, but give them purpose as well.

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

The influencing effect of special needs angels

This particular subject has been a subject of my writings in the past and is one of my favorite subjects to write about. The reason is that there is so much to learn about special needs kids and adults that can help us to be better people. Their lack of prejudice and innate desire to show compassion and love to all they meet, set a model for the lives that we should try to live ourselves.

Although we have come a long way, there is a portion of our population that disappointedly mocks those with special needs because of the need to make themselves feel better about their lackluster lives. If they took a moment to understand, get to know these individuals and make them a part of their lives, they would see that these angels are far better people than we could ever hope to be.

What is encouraging is all the good stories you see about those that are supporting special needs kids and adults. Clubs in schools that are focused on making the individuals feel included rather than excluded. Places of business like Bitty and Beaus Coffee shop who hire special needs individuals to staff their coffee shops. Stores that hire special needs individuals into positions that are well suited for them and in turn teach the patrons that come to their store valuable lessons.

While we have come so far, there is so much further to go. Until every special needs angel is accepted as a part of our society, equally with their fellow person, we will never be where we need to be. Being in the presence of a special needs kid or adult is one of life’s blessings. If we take the time to be with them, learn from them and understand them, we will learn lessons about how we should treat others that we can’t learn in a book. They will teach us unconditional love, provide us with laughter medicine that we could never get at a comedy show and allow us into their beautiful world without wanting anything in return.

While they themselves contribute to our lives, their caregivers are equally magical. The responsibility on the caregiver, be it mother, father or another member of the family, can be overwhelming. We can never truly know what they have to go through as the special needs individual’s life becomes theirs. What I do know is that their relationship is a beautiful thing to watch and provides another life lesson and model for the unconditional love that we should all strive to possess.

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcasts, Spotify or most podcast sites.



If you have ever had the experience of visiting some of the great cathedrals of the world, then you know how moving they can be. They are grand, beautiful and in many cases have stood for centuries. As you look around the building and see the brick and glass and realize that most often they were built at a time where the technological capabilities of today where non existent, you gaze in awe of what has been created.

However, it isn’t only the building that makes you feel that you are in someplace special. Most cathedrals are so steeped in history that people from past generations are buried right within the walls. It is almost as if the past is connecting with the present as you sit and ponder all that is around you. Even as you sit amongst the vastness of the building itself, there is a sense that you are cocooned and enveloped by what is right inside your soul.

I have had the privilege of lighting a candle in many different cathedrals around the world. Every time I do I feel this sense of connection with the person that I am honoring and of that for which I am asking. Of course, this visit was in honor of my grandmother, who was with me in more ways this trip than I could have ever imagined.

This picture was taken at Rochester Cathedral in the town of my ancestors. As I sat in the building and looked around, I felt a sense of peace and calm. I felt a sense of approval and acknowledgement that my life path is taking me on the journey that I am meant to have. Most of all, I felt the love and compassion of those that had come before me and a sense of belonging in the world from which I came.

If you ever have the opportunity to experience your ancestral past, I highly recommend it. It helps give you a sense of purpose and belonging. If you happen to get to experience one of the grand cathedrals in the process, then that will be an added bonus!

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.

There is good in every day

We all have those days where we get to the end of the day and look in the mirror and question why we ever got out of bed. The shear nature of what we have to deal with daily, in regards to the world around us, almost insures that not every day is going to be perfect. We may start out with the best intentions, but someone or something comes along that we allow to alter what may have otherwise been a perfect day.

The reality is that not every day will be good. But the beautiful thing is that there is good in every day. If you have ever read The Four Agreements, you have read about the mitote. That is everything that tends to clog our minds that keeps us from being true to who we are and living a happy and blissful life. The noise that keeps us from achieving our true potential. Although we are born with a clean slate, we unfortunately are poisoned by the fears of failure and lack of self worth that keep us from being the ultimate that we were born to be.

Every single day of our life contains some good, if we only look out for it and let it in. Even when the bad things come and want to take over, concentrating and focusing on the good can often over power the negative. The mere fact that we woke up in the morning and were granted another new day is proof in itself that the day contains good, even before it starts.

Everyone says that having a bad day is only human and maybe it is. But how much that bad experience affects the rest of the day and often our very lives lies totally within our control. No one can make us feel one way or another. Only we can give them the power to affect us. Once we take that power from them, we are the ones in the drivers seat of our lives.

Mornings with Ron is available as a podcast at anchor.fm/morningswithron or on iHeartRadio, Apple or Google Podcast, Spotify or most podcast sites.


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