Make a Difference Day



Today is National Make a Difference Day. The simplest act you do could have a profound impact on someone–and it may last a lifetime.

It’s scientifically proven–as well as being verified by people’s experiences–that reaching out to others, being helpful, “getting over yourself” has many psychological, and spiritual benefits. After helping someone, people report feeling better about themselves and their lives. They’re more hopeful because they can see more possibilities, and they feel stronger and more able to take advantage of those possibilities.

So give away as many smiles as you can today; spend time reconnecting with a friend or loved one; sneak money into the pocket or purse of someone who you know is struggling; pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line.

Make a difference!

Your homework today is to not only make a small difference in someone’s day, but also to remember to make a difference in your own life. Ask–and answer–this question: What’s the one thing I can do today that will make an important difference in my life?

Perhaps it’s as simple as getting a good night’s sleep, taking a slow walk through the woods, or turning off all electronics and distractions for the rest of the day. Or maybe it’s taking the time to finally sit down and gather the information you need to take that step you’ve been putting off!

Make a difference for someone else and for yourself!

I know you can do it!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Extraordinary Determination


The only difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is extraordinary determination. — Mary Kay Ash, Entrepreneur


I admire Mary Kay Ash and the business she created, however, I think we need to clarify what she means by the word “extraordinary” that she uses to describe the type of determination needed to succeed.

I think she intends “extraordinary” to mean that it isn’t something that the multitudes do because only a handful (or less!) of people will hang in there, keep going, and give it one more shot.

Usually, the multitudes don’t get past the stage of just talking about their dreams. Of the few who do actually start, many will quit at the first sign of trouble. Of the even fewer remaining, many of them will quit when the path gets rocky and narrow and is filled with deep potholes and hair-pin twists.

I don’t think she means extraordinary in the sense that it’s super-human. Who has that kind of determination?! Not many–certainly not me! In fact, I’d say of the tiny handful of people in the example above, there may be only one of them that has super-human determination. Only who is like a machine and can keep going and going and going, smashing past roadblocks, pulverizing challenges, and blasting through setbacks.

The rest of the people who keep going–whom Mary Kay says have “extraordinary” determination–are just like you and me. They get scared and intimidated, they trip over their anger and frustration, they fall prey to worry, anxiety, and fear.

The difference between them and us (or maybe it’s just me) is that, while they may give into these feelings from time-to-time, they do it only long enough to process the emotions and get them out of their systems. They have a pity party long enough to clear their thinking so that they can then press the reset button.

Then they get back to it.

That’s the difference: they get back to it. They keep going, no matter what.

While others (perhaps including us!) will continue complaining, whining, feeling sorry for themselves, and generally wallow in unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and emotions…

…in the meantime, the tiny handful has shaken it off and is getting back to it, no matter what.

It’s the “no matter what” part that I think Mary Kay Ashe meant when she used the word “extraordinary” to describe determination.

Your homework today is to review your week. As you do so, keep an eye out for the times when you gave up to soon or gave in too easily. Note where you could have taken a little breather, and then gotten back to it. Resolve to tighten up your determination in the upcoming week. You don’t have to be perfect about it, just do a little bit better than you have so far.

As you review your week, also note when you did stick with it and hang tough. You can use that to build upon as you strengthen your determination.

Celebrate this! This is excellent–go you! Make sure you acknowledge your progress; applaud yourself for the things you did well; pat yourself on the back for the things you did right.

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Quotes to Help You Move Past Fear



Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.  ~ Usman B. Asif


Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear. ~ Cheri Huber


Courage is fear that has said its prayers. ~ Dorothy Bernard


To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. ~ Taylor Swift


Fear is the thief of dreams. ~ Brian Khans


To fight fear, act. To increase fear — wait, put off, postpone. ~ David Joseph Schwartz


Don’t try to be fearless or pretend you aren’t impacted by fear. Just try to prevent fear from making your decisions for you. ~ Chris Guillebeau


Can you imagine a life with no fear? What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? ~ Max Lucado


If we let fear control our decision making, we always make the wrong decision. ~ Butch Bella


A mind focused on doubt and fear cannot focus on the journey to victory. ~ Mike Jones


Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival. ~ Steve Maraboli


The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. ~ Anne Frank

Your homework today is to read through these quotes and keep the ones that ring true for you. Let their strength and power imbue every cell of your being.

Then take the next step! Break it into tiny specks and jots, then do them!

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Piece of the Puzzle


Each one of us has a piece of the Universe’s Puzzle. Each of our pieces fits perfectly and securely in our own spot that’s just the right.

It’s one of the easiest things we’ll do because we were born to do this–we have what it takes. That means innately we have the talents, gifts, abilities, and special knowledge and vision that’s required to make our dreams come true.

It’s hardest most challenging thing we’ll ever do because we were born to do this–we were born to reach, to stretch, to develop ourselves, our special knowledge, and our vision in order to achieve our dreams.

You must do this!

You must rise to the challenge, meet it gloriously by fitting your piece of the puzzle into the Universe’s Puzzle!

You do this for yourself, for sure, but you also do it because if you don’t fit your piece into the puzzle, then someone else can’t fit theirs in. If they can’t put theirs into the puzzle then someone else can’t put theirs in either…and on and on it goes.

Fit your puzzle piece into the Universe’s Puzzle!

Your homework today is to take the next step toward your dreams. Break it into small, teensy-tiny increments–ones that are just the right size for you–then do them!

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Wisdom from the Farm: Surprises

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

I met a friend of mine for coffee this morning and as we were chatting about what each of us has been doing, she said, “But you have to leave room in your day for surprises.” She then told me that she and her husband were in New York City this past weekend and a hawk swooped low over their heads. She said it was surprising, for sure, but wonderful at the same time.

A little while later, I was picking up my farm shares–the last ones of the season. As I was in the field, I was thinking of what she said about the little surprises here and there throughout each day.

We’d had a hard frost over the weekend and the farmer had told us that there wasn’t much in the fields–a few herbs and that was it. I walked over to the flowers anyway because you never know….

When I got there, I saw only brown stalks mixed in with some green plants, but no flowers. As I turned to leave, a bit of color caught my eye. When I looked closer, to my surprise, I saw a few delicate blue flowers, a little bit of red Cockscomb, and a few stems of Snapdragons. To my delight, I was able to gather a small bouquet!

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to leave room in your busy schedule for surprises. It isn’t always about striving, producing, achieving; it’s also about being. Keep your eyes peeled and your awareness alert for unexpected moments of delight, happiness, and wonder.

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Another Chance


He was down and out, and his pluck was gone,

And he said to me in a gloomy way:

“I’ve wasted my chances, one by one,

And I’m just no good, as the people say.

Nothing ahead, and my dreams all dust,

Though once there was something I might have been,

But I wasn’t game, and I broke my trust,

And I wasn’t straight and I wasn’t clean.”


“You’re pretty low down,” says I to him,

“But nobody’s holding you there, my friend.

Life is a stream where men sink or swim,

And the drifters come to a sorry end;

But there’s two of you living and breathing still—

The fellow you are, and he’s tough to see,

And another chap, if you’ve got the will,

The man that you still have a chance to be.”


He laughed with scorn. “Is there two of me?

I thought I’d murdered the other one.

I once knew a chap that I hoped to be,

And he was decent, but now he’s gone.”

“Well,” says I, “it may seem to you

That life has little of joy in store,

But there’s always something you still can do,

And there’s never a man but can try once more.


“There are always two to the end of time—

The fellow we are and the future man.

The Lord never meant you should cease to climb,

And you can get up if you think you can.

The fellow you are is a sorry sight,

But you needn’t go drifting out to sea.

Get hold of yourself and travel right;

There’s a fellow you’ve still got a chance to be.”

~Edgar A. Guest


It isn’t ever too late for you.

You may have made mistakes left and right. You may have blown opportunities and shirked your responsibilities. You may have been an idiot and a jerk to boot.

In spite of all of this, you still have a chance to make a different, better choice.

Your bad decisions in the past do not condemn you to living a life that’s less than the one you dream of. You can still have your dreams because you can still change.

Your homework today is to resolve to make better choices for yourself. When faced with a decision, ask—and answer—“Will this take me closer to my dreams or will it keep them forever out of my reach?” Then follow through on the answer you get!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Golden Wisdom: Advice from Dad about the Devil You Know


Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs


Never, ever let the Devil You Know convince you that it’s better, safer, more secure to stick with him rather than following your dreams and, perhaps, meeting the Devil You Don’t Know. Trust yourself.  Trust that you’ll figure it out if you ever meet that other devil.   ~Stan, my dad.  1927 – 2014


You have been specially made to achieve all the dreams in your heart and soul–you wouldn’t have them if they weren’t yours to achieve.

Go for it. Go for your dreams.

Don’t let anyone or anything stop you. Keep going.  Keep taking one little tidbit of a step after the other.

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Vaya con Dios, Daddy