“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”                                  -Maya Angelou



This past week a beloved American passed away but in her path she left some amazing wisdom for ages. She was an author, a poet and an inspiration for many people who have kept their eyes on personal growth and living meaningful lives. She had an interest in making people feel better about their situations and about themselves. What she helped foster for the people she inspired, was hope.


I think her life can model on a grand scale one of the greatest gifts that we can give to our fellow humans. That is positive feelings. If I am considerate with my thoughts and actions, I can effectively make people feel loved and special as I walk through this world. It comes down to how I present myself in human interactions.


In the course of the day today, I have seen both sides of this theory. On one occasion, I was rushing to get out of a convenience store and placed my things on the counter in front of someone before they put away their wallet, I heard the man say under his breath “get a little patience Sparky” I acted out of impatience, made him feel rushed and he reacted. As a result, I wanted to explain to him that my name was not Sparky, but I refrained. Later in the day, as my life was truly in the flow, I I was able to make someone feel comfortable by just listening to what was troubling them. I didn’t do much, I didn’t say much, but I was able to help someone feel OK.  


Throughout a single day I have the ability to effect how so many people feel and if I am more conscious and considerate of others I believe the feelings that I can elicit have a lasting impact on others.  


Affirmation: Today is a day where I am going to spread positive feeling.


Call to Action: Take the Maya Angelou’s words to heart. See where you can share a compliment or some kindness to make someone else feel good today. Take time with your personal interactions and see if you can give them a feeling that will make a positive lasting memory.

20. Grey Area

“I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!” – Rocky Balboa

Recently I was having a conversation with a woman who was talking about being scared of the gray areas of her life. She expressed about how the parts of her life that are black and white were the areas she felt most comfortable. I have had some time to think about this conversation, and I can remember feeling exactly the same way. My most vivid memory of this was in high school when I was working on a group project about local prisons and detention centers. The presentation date was quickly approaching and we had not completed the assignment yet. I can remember the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what the outcome was going to be and feeling extremely scared. Our group was very much in a gray area. We ended up completing the project no problem, but that gray area almost killed me.

I have grown and matured in my life, and now I love the gray areas of life. Today the open ends, and unknown represent infinite possibilities. I recently moved across the country to take a job, and it has left a lot of new opportunities and possibilities in my life. I am not completely comfortable with all the ongoing change, but when I start doubting or getting uneasy it is much easier to turn back to the thought of this being a new journey.

The fear has been replaced by optimism, and the outcomes flow easy and effortlessly. I am grateful for this change in my outlook, and I hope you can see the importance of change in your life too.

Affirmation: Today I embrace the changing of my life, and love the opportunities that bloom out of the gray.

Call to Action: Where have you changed or embraced the gray areas of life? How has this impacted you? Please share your experience with the CYLF Family.

Treat Yourself


The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. –Oprah Winfrey


I can’t help but notice my Facebook feed is flooded with graduation announcements pictures and videos. It is that time of year again. As an older student I have watched all of my friends around me graduate and move on with their lives as I dropped out of school, gave up, and got jealous of everyone else’s success. Now, I can truly be happy for those moving on with their lives. Is it because I know that I am only a year from graduating myself? No. It is because I am at a place where I can appreciate the things that I have done in my life. I can be proud of where I am at today. Sure, I leave out some of the less than glamorous aspects of my past life. However, there are so many things that I have done that are worth mentioning. I’ve lived life. I’ve traveled. I have seen many places, experienced many cultures. Lived in many cities. Had lots of wonderful roommates. Made tons of friends. I’ve loved and been loved back. I have heard lots of great music and ate tons of great food. So at this time of year when I usually get resentful at the people moving on with their lives, graduates, ready to go out and experience the world. I remember that every day I experience the world. Everyday, I have a new experience. Everyday, something new happens that I can appreciate, if I stop and notice it.


To the new graduates, I am truly happy for you. Treat yourself. You’ve earned it. For the rest of us stop and think about what has been great about your life. Something new you experienced yesterday, or what you plan to do today. If we stop and think we will see that life is truly a celebration.


Affirmation: Each day I accomplish something new; therefore my life is full of accomplishments.


Call to action: Think about where you were a year ago, a month ago, last week, and yesterday. Think about what’s different and what you can celebrate with us. Please share your thoughts below or post about it and tag us. #cylfriday

18. MOM

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – Abraham Lincoln

Just the other day I watched a video on the computer where Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder received the NBA MVP.  During a portion of his acceptance speech he cited the ability to look back upon the life he has lived and to give credit where it was due and that was to his mother.  He stated how she motivated him, disciplined him, believed in him and provided for him so that his dreams could be realized.

I have a mother like this and for that I am truly blessed.  My life has not always been as easy as it is today and through all the toughest times when I had no interest in the help that was coming my way, my mother loved me and sacrificed for me anyway.  If I honestly look at my life today I can clearly see where her selfless, unconditional love keep me moving forward and even alive at times.

This Sunday is Mothers Day and I am going to take the time to let my Mother know exactly what she has meant to me and give her the credit that is due.  I know when I was a younger man I took all the blessing that were coming my way from my mother for granite, if I recognize that today, now is absolutely the best time to express that to that woman who has always and will always love me.  Here at CYLF we talk allot about unconditional love and in my life I have to look no further than to my mom to see what that looks like in action.

Thank you for my Life…you are truly a “gift from god!”

Affirmation: Today I will show the world the person who my mother has always believed I am!

Call to Action: If you are a mother, thank you for all that you do, please treat yourself and feel the gratitude that this world has for you strength, courage and unconditional love.  If you have a mother or know a mother, take some time to do something for them.  I have found that the little things matter so much more than the big things.  Take some time to see the amount of effort that it took to get you to where you are today and use that experience to give a little back on this perfect reminder holiday.

17. Harness the Energy

“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” – Aristotle

Energy is an important part of our life. We are consistently using energy during our waking hours. The last few days I have been spending a lot of my time looking for a new living situation in a city I have just moved to. When I am not looking for a new place I am spending a lot of mental energy thinking about it. I realize that I can only control so much, and my energy used to worry about anything I cannot control is not a good use of resources.

Tonight I was coming home from dinner, and I was in a hurry to get home, so I could take care of some business. I did not get back nearly as quickly as I would have liked, and the worry of being too late over took me. I started to focus on my breathing, and tried to relax. In the end all was taken care of, and the out come I was so worried about did not come to pass.

What area of your life is taking up too much of your time and energy? Are you taking care of the things you can control and leaving the results to end up how they may?

Affirmation: I use my energy in a positive way. The good that occurs in my life makes way for the good in other peoples lives. Thank you Life!

Call to Action: Share one thing that you are using your energy for that is giving you life. Also talk about where you might refocus your energy in some area of your life.