2014 Thanksgiving Edition

I think it was ten years ago, or somewhere around then, that I spent Thanksgiving alone. I was working out of town and living out of a hotel. It sucked. I went to a movie theatre watched a romantic comedy and ate movie theatre nachos for Thanksgiving dinner. That also sucked. It was one of the more depressing times of my life probably the only reason I remember it was because it landed on a holiday.

This year for Thanksgiving I ate a great feast with family and friends and then went to a movie afterwards with my fiancé and her son. I am so grateful that I have a new family and a new community of people to spend the holidays with. I think about how far I’ve come and I hope that if anyone else is suffering over this holiday season they can think about what they do have instead of being stuck on the negative like I was so many years ago. At least I got those tasty movie theatre nachos, right?
– Aiden

• I am grateful for all the love from friends and family.
• I am grateful for the opportunities that I experienced professionally.
• I am grateful for the CYLF community.
• I am grateful for the peace of mind I experience today.
• I am grateful for the chance to get another day.
• I am grateful for this year’s adventures.
• I am grateful for everyone who has contributed to this site over the last 3 years.
In Gratitude,
– Dorian


“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?” – Bob Marley

Over the last 7 days, I have experienced major change and evolution. My contract at a job I love came to an end, I drove over 2000 miles the last 4 days, and I have been able to spend time with people I love and care for. During my many hours driving I have been able to reflect on the last 12 months and answer Bob’s question with a firm and definite yes. At times, I am able to find multiple ways to distract myself, and avoid looking within.

When I take time to do the real work of looking at what makes my mind, body, and soul sing that is when I am most connected to people and places around me. When I am overly focused on my cell phone, my material wants, or relationships that benefit me in a selfish way, that is when I begin to drift away from that connectedness and a satisfactory way of life.

I can challenge you to look within today, and just check in with yourself; however, only you know if you are satisfied with the life you are living. If the answer is no there is good news, you can change those areas of your life one day, hour, or minute at a time, until you wake up one morning and the answer is yes.

Affirmation I hear that calling from within, and my faith allows me to follow that voice.

Call to Action Answer Mr Marley’s question, and share with us what that looks like, and what step you will take to change it or continue it.


“Destiny is no matter of chance.  It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
– William Jennings Bryan

At the end of everyday I have the choice to look back over the things in my day that brought me success and struggle.  If I choose to do this on a regular basis I will be in a much better position to choose the better option and grow towards being a better man the next day.  Conversely, I can choose to not identify the parts of my life that serve my good and the parts of my life that bring me pain which will most likely result in the repetition of mistakes and any number of missed opportunities.

My power of choice is truly a superpower that I can always deny I have if I feel the world is not putting the things in front of me that I think I deserve.  What I know today is that the world does not work like that.  I am not given a bad day, I have chosen to allow something to make me feel wronged.  I am not unloved, I have chosen to not create the love my soul wants.  I am not stupid, I have chosen to put things in front of the journey of knowledge.

This may sound a bit harsh or severe but in my life today I can always find places where I have made choices that have manifested the destiny that I am experiencing today.  The win is that if I choose to be conscious of this I can build and broaden the wins and good that my positive choices have given me. I was chose to put college first when I went back and I achieved the highest marks possible.  I chose to wake up early today and I got some extra work done throughout the day and left my job feeling no stress.  I chose joy and love today and I was surrounded by it.  As I write this at the end of a perfect day, I know I chose it to be this way.

Affirmation: Today is perfect, filled with joy and love because I choose it to be.

Call to Action: What choices are you making today?  Are they bringing you closer to the good you deserve or are they pulling you away from it?


“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.” – Victor Hugo

Last year I got an internship for The Sundance Institute through my school. The internship led to a couple of amazing jobs and is one of the highlights of my college career. I shared about the experience freely and as I saw the internship opportunity come up again I encouraged many of my classmates to apply. I often encourage fellow classmates to get out of their comfort zone and pursue the opportunities that the professors create for us.

My friend who I’d talked to extensively about the internship decided he would apply. We worked together on crafting his resume, not that he needed any help, but it was more like I was just giving him reassurance that the resume would get him the job. At the eleventh hour he started having second thoughts and did not want to turn his resume in. He said he would not get in so why even bother. I can relate to this self-defeating attitude because I battle it everyday. I constantly push through my doubts and force myself to take on the next commitment, work on the next project, and keep on keepin’ on. I eventually convinced him there was no harm in trying and he needed to get his mind right. It was not easy, but I eventually coerced him into getting out of his own way. He was awarded the internship and will be working for the Sundance Institute next year.

It is amazing that our thoughts and behavior can block us from even trying to get the jobs we are qualified for and perfectly capable of doing on our own merits. CYLFriday community I leave you with the idea to go for it and stop holding yourself back. You can do anything you want if you give it a shot.

Affirmation: My dreams are on my mind, I am guided by my heart, and I keep on keepin’ on.

Call to Action: Where have you disregarded your doubtful thoughts, and attempted something and succeeded? Where has your self-doubt sabotaged something in your world? Please share it with us in the comments.