The Truth Behind Inspiring Stories: A Follow-Up Thought


Yesterday I talked about an article I’d read that talked a little bit about the struggles a person still faced even though they’ve pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.  Today I want to underscore the point because I think it’s important to keep in mind that successful people still have struggles.

No matter how successful a person is or how much they’ve overcome, they still have worries, fears, issues, problems, obstacles, setbacks, sorrows, heartaches…everything that you and I face on a day-to-day basis.

You may say that successful people have staff to do “those things”, meaning the unpleasant or repetitive or menial tasks.  This is true to a degree but successful people still have frustrations of people not doing what they’ve promised to do, whether it’s their vendors, customers, staff, colleagues, friends, or family.

Successful people are not exempt from worries regarding their own health and wellbeing and that of their loved ones.  They aren’t exempt from the yearning to lead a meaningful life, one that’s well spent and makes a difference.

They still get stuck in traffic, the repair bills are higher than what they expected, their checkbook doesn’t balance, an item they purchased doesn’t live up to the hype,they’re let down by a friend or colleague or family member, they can’t seem to figure out the work-life balance….

But what about those people who overcame crushing odds?  They put forth incredible super-human effort during that time in their lives so now all of their problems are solved, right?

Not so.

From time-to-time, they still run up against triggers that cause their thoughts to turn in a certain direction that drives unhealthy behaviors.  They still have to pull out their coping strategies and, when those strategies seem to be faltering, to then reach out to their group of supportive, wise friends and associates who will be strong for them when they are having trouble doing that for themselves.

They have the traffic, the annoying people, the bills, clothes that make them look fat, global warming,  etc., to deal with, too.

I find this to be a tremendous relief, as I said in yesterday’s post, because it means that while in some respects successful people’s lives are radically different from yours and mine, in many ways their lives are exactly like ours.

Which means they aren’t a different species from us. 

Which means there’s hope for us yet! 


Let me know what you think about this.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


The Truth Behind Inspiring Stories


We’ve all heard stories of people who seemed doomed to live terrible lives but instead overcame the odds and went on to live successful lives.

We’re enthralled by these stories.  They inspire us to widen the view of possibilities for our lives.  We decide that we, too, can make something more of our lives and we take steps along these lines.  And we see progress and even achieve some success.

We’re disappointed, though, because we think we shouldn’t still be struggling with issues that have gotten us down before.  And, when we review the stories that have inspired us, it seems as if those people go on to live charmed lives.

Why don’t we?  What’s wrong with us?


Here’s an article I came across on the Huffington Post’s site.  The author has overcome great odds and is living a good life, but he still struggles with his issues from time-to-time!

I was relieved to read this article because I realized that it’s part of life to continue struggling, not only with obstacles and setbacks but also with the same issues that keep cropping up from time-to-time.  It’s part of life and doesn’t make me any less than or more than anyone else.

What a relief!

Let me know if you feel relieved, too, after reading this article.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Quotes to Start Your Week with Joy


Here are a few quotes that I thought could help you to be joyful now, not at some nebulous time in the future.  Now is all we have so let’s fill it with moments of joy!


Watch the sunrise at least once a year, put a lot of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, lie on your back and look at the stars, never buy a coffee table you can’t put your feet on, never pass up a chance to jump on a trampoline, don’t overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones.  ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


I’m beginning to recognize that real happiness isn’t something large and looming on the horizon ahead, but something small, numerous and already here. The smile of someone you love. A decent breakfast. The warm sunset. Your little everyday joys all lined up in a row.  ~Beau Christopher Taplin


The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.  ~Russell M. Nelson


Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.  ~Joseph Campbell


Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.   ~Henri Nouwen


Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.   ~Helen Keller


Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.   ~Sharon Draper


Have a joy-filled week!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


I’d Rather Be a Failure by Edgar A. Guest


I came across this poem and I thought you might like it, too.


I’d Rather Be a Failure by Edgar A. Guest

I’d rather be a failure than the man who’s never tried;
I’d rather seek the mountain-top than always stand aside.
Oh, let me hold some lofty dream and make my desperate fight,
And though I fail I still shall know I tried to serve the right.

The idlers line the ways of life and they are quick to sneer;
They note the failing strength of man and greet it with a jeer;
But there is something deep inside which scoffers fail to view—
They never see the glorious deed the failure tried to do.

Some men there are who never leave the city’s well-worn streets;
They never know the dangers grim the bold adventurer meets;
They never seek a better way nor serve a nobler plan;
They never risk with failure to advance the cause of man.

Oh, better ’tis to fail and fall in sorrow and despair,
Than stand where all is safe and sure and never face a care;
Yes, stamp me with the failure’s brand and let men sneer at me,
For though I’ve failed the Lord shall know the man I tried to be.


Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Golden Wisdom for a Meaningful Life: Let Guilt Go!

Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs


Daddy would have turned 90 today.  In those months before he was called Home, we had some amazing talks.  I cherish those chats during the last few months of his life and I still draw wisdom and comfort from those times.

It seems to me that guilt and its companion of unforgiveness of self that holds us back from fully immersing ourselves in our lives and wholeheartedly and unabashedly sharing our gifts with the world.  I’d like to share with you a few thoughts Dad had on guilt.

Whenever I visited, it was a treat for us to get take-out.  Dad and I were driving to get the food and I was talking about something from the past that was bothering me; I was feeling guilty about what I hadn’t done.

I said, “I wish I had known then what I know now.  If I had known—“

Dad interrupted.  “That’s right, that’s it.  Had you known, you would have chosen to do something much different.  But you didn’t know.  Even so, you did the best that you could with the information you had at the time.”

He went on to point out that I always try to be helpful and to do good so there was nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.  He advised me to let go of the guilt and to look forward, not backward.

I pass this information along to you because I know that you, too, are a good person.  You put forth your best effort; you try to be helpful; you contribute your part of the goodness in the world.  So, there’s no need to chastise yourself for being less than perfect.  In each moment you are as perfect as you can be.  Be at peace with that.

Let go of the guilt and of the past and move forward.

Thanks, Dad.  Happy Birthday!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


12 Quotes Pointing the Way to a Meaningful Life


The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt 

This is your moment.  You’ve let excuses hold you back long enough.  Today, take the steps to accomplish what is in your heart.  ~Joel Osteen 

You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.  ~Arthur Ashe 

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

An unexamined life is not worth living. –Socrates

Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb

Happiness is not something readymade.  It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama

We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. –Marie Curie

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. –Booker T. Washington

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. –Mae Jemison

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them. ~Dr. Steve Maraboli


Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Meaningful Life


Last year, we talked about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need, particularly the top level of self-actualization.   This is often described as the pursuit of happiness, which is thought of as a life of ease, plenty, and personal freedom.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit, though, and I think a better description of self-actualization is the act of leading a meaningful life, with the byproduct being happiness in the form of deep satisfaction and fulfillment.

I think it’s a natural instinct to want a meaningful life, one that makes a difference and that matters.  Everyone wants to know that their existence matters, that the world would be a little less bright if they hadn’t lived.  Even people who are barely surviving day-to-day yearn to live a life that leaves a mark in the world, at least in some small way.

The question that has been asked since the first humans is what makes for a meaningful life?

What’s your answer to this question?  Feel free to share in the comments below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,