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Enjoy Where You Are.

Posted by Zak Reid

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about dreams, goals, the future, and aspiring for more. It’s important for us to constantly be reaching, to force ourselves out of our comfort zone to achieve higher heights…

But one downside to always dreaming and reaching is that we can forget what we have. We can get so fixated on the distant stars we reach for, that we forget to enjoy the dirt that we stand upon.

Today’s reminder is simple – Enjoy Where You Are.

John Oxley Library State Library of Queensland, Public Domain

Sir John Beals Chandler (Lord Mayor of Brisbane 1940-52) & Lady Chandler at home, 1952. Enjoying the moment. Photo: John Oxley Library

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn

Life is difficult. We all have moments of frustration, and although they are uncomfortable and unpleasant, they serve a purpose: to force us to seek a ‘better’ future. But I think most people would also agree that there are good moments in our current situation.

Let’s try to enjoy  those moments, however small or large they may be. When you get home, tired after a long day, and you’re greeted by your dog / child / spouse / silent home, instead of rushing through that moment in your accelerated state, take it in and enjoy it.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” – Charles Spurgeon

Let’s be thankful for those moments. Let’s smile, let’s enjoy those small treasures that we encounter in our days. Let’s be grateful…

Be thankful for those in your life. Be thankful for the opportunities you’ve had[…] You have come a long ways since birth and there is still much more to accomplish, but pausing on the path, and saying thanks for all that has come, all that is, and all that will be, is a great way to renew your sense of purpose. – Zachary Reid, QMU : Be Thankful.

So let’s focus on that today. When you have a pleasant moment, have fun with it and live in that moment. Don’t rush to the next activity, or lessen that moment by being lost in your thoughts. Enjoy what you have, who you are, and where you are.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

Enjoy Where You Are. 

Dream Big then Make it Happen.

Posted by Zak Reid

Change and uncertainty can be very intimidating. It’s easy to continue doing the same thing daily, and hope it all works out in the end.

But what if 10 years go by, and you’re still in the same position?
What if 50 years fly by, and you haven’t moved?

If you’re working in your dream job, maybe that’s no problem. But for the billions of people not currently living their dream, that can be a very startling realization.

If I don’t make my dreams and wishes happen, they may never come to pass.

Dream Big then Make it Happen.

Sunlight bursting through clouds to give life to the earth.

Each day is a gift, let’s take advantage of each one. Photo: Public Domain

“If nobody doubts your dream, it’s not ambitious enough.” – Zachary Reid

Some people have a dream as a child, and that dream stays basically unchanged for their life. These are the people that know they want to be a doctor, a fireman, or professional piano player at a young age, and they follow that path until it’s completion.

Then there are those that have a number of ideas, which change over time. These people may live their entire life without being able to clearly define their Dream – what it is that they truly want in this life.

There are also those in between: those that have evolving ideas and aspirations but eventually define a clear dream. Some of these people actively pursue their dream, while others let it pass. There are many reasons not to pursue an ambitious dream including security, financial obligations, and fear of failure.

Which one are you?
Can you define your dream?
Are you pursuing it?

Today’s message is to allow yourself to Dream, and then to take actionable steps to achieve this dream.

Our work lives are spinning out of control. We spend the majority of our day working in an office trying to make enough money so we can pay the bills and debt we’ve accrued. This cycle lasts the majority of most peoples’ lives.

In some cases, people even work themselves so hard that they pass away. In Japan this isn’t uncommon and even has a term – Karōshi – which essentially translates to “Death by Overwork”. I personally know a number of people that have fallen ill due to work stress. Let’s not be one of those cases.

I’ve always been a dreamer, but I believed that if I worked as hard as I can, things would eventually “pan out”. As I’ve aged, witnessed people die prematurely, realized that this life isn’t guaranteed, and even sensed my own soul reacting negatively to spending every day in an artificially lit office… I’ve had an epiphany: IT’S TIME TO ACTIVELY PURSUE MY OWN DREAM. 

I recently wrote that Quick Me Ups 2.0 is in the Works.
Well, that’s come and gone, I think it’s more fair to say that Quick Me Ups 3.0 is now in the works. I’ve decided to follow my own advice to DREAM large, and pursue it.

I would rather try my hardest and fail, than fail myself by following the ‘safe road’ due to fear.

I’m currently working on a Kickstarter / CrowdFunding campaign and will be giving it my all. I was born to make real, measurable, positive changes on this earth and my inner-me has finally shouted: “THE TIME IS NOW!”

I’m busy meeting with supporters, defining actionables and sustainability, targeting non-profit foundations I would like to support, and creating a team to help make a beautiful presentation video to help build momentum.

I’m going all in.

As I step into this next phase in life I will be sharing my journey with all of you. I’m building the business plan, and when it’s polished and ready, will be launching my campaign. What started as a little blog trying to motivate and inspire, is ready to grow into a movement that helps us live happier lives, conserve nature, and educate future generations.

It’s time.

How about you?
What’s your dream?
Are you going for it, and if not now, when?

I believe in you.
I believe in me.
I believe in us.

Let’s Dream Big and Make it Happen.

Be Open.

Posted by Zak Reid

Since starting Quick Me Ups in 2014, I’ve had the privilege to meet some great people all over the world. One of them is the very talented writer Joey Schrichte from Road to a 100 – his site documenting his training and competing in 100 mile races. He agreed to write a piece for QMU which reminds us to open up, quite literally:

Open up to the world and refresh yourself. Feel something new today that is different than the norm. Change things up and open yourself to everything around you.

Be Open.

Be Open - Road to a 100, Joey Schichte, Quick Me Ups, Nature

Let’s open up. Photo: Vic

Today, make a conscious effort to be more open and see how great it makes you feel. And when I say “open” I don’t really mean to talk about your feelings. Although that is a great way to express yourself and/or relieve stress.

What I’m talking about today is…

Open up the windows in your house or apartment and let the fresh air in. Breathe in the clean natural air.

Open the car door for someone. Show them you are courteous and respectful of them. It might seem silly if you are a female opening a door for a male, but it might make you two laugh!

Open a door for a stranger. It could be anywhere. At the bank, grocery store, a restaurant, gas station, etc. Just smile and wish them a wonderful day.

Open up you car windows on your way home. Let the wind mess your hair up and sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs.

Open your eyes to the beauty around you. Nature is remarkable. Stop and take a moment to really soak up the vibrant colors and loveliness the world offers.

Open your wallet. But only if you are able to. Pay for a coworker’s coffee when you get yours. Pay someone’s candy bar when you hit the snack machine midday. Or toss a few quarters to someone who really needs it on the street corner.

Open up your arms to anyone who needs a hug. A best friend or someone who you pass on the streets that looks like they could use a hug. Everyone is fighting their own battle. A hug could erase the pains, even if it’s temporary.

Open that book you’ve been meaning to read. It would open your mind to a new world and might be a life changer. You never know until you give it a read!

Open up your home. Invite a friend over to watch a football game. Or invite friends or family over for a meal. Or invite people over for a game night.

These are only a few ideas and I’m sure there are a hundred other ways you could easily open up to the world around you today. I only hope that my suggestions make your day that much better. Keep it simple and see how awesome it feels!

That’s some great advice – what else can we open?

Let’s remember that today is a new day and we decide how we build it. So let’s open doors, books, arms, windows, our eyes and ourselves.

“Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.” – Phil Jackson

Be Open.

Happy 2015!

Posted by Zak Reid

Hi all! 2014 has officially closed and we are on to the new chapter that is 2015. Last year was very different for each of us, but it probably has some elements in common for all of us – success, failure, happiness, frustration, loss, tranquility, thankfulness, and everything in-between.

As we look forward to the new year, let’s take note of the things that went well, that helped us be successful, and try to incorporate them into our new year.

Happy 2015!

Año Nuevo Valparaiso, Chile.

New Year’s Eve in Valparaiso, Chile. Photo: Difuntoman

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

I just finished a vacation trip to the USA with my girlfriend (her first visit), and am now safely back in Chile and back to work. Over my vacation I took a break from the internet and have been reflecting on direction. In 3 weeks Quick Me Ups [QMU] will celebrate one year of life, and there are decisions to be made…

During my vacation I solicited guest posts from fellow writers. I received a couple great ones that I will be posting over the next few weeks – which has me thinking that QMU could become a more collaborative effort. This is something that I’m still brainstorming and will be exploring.We can go wherever we want in 2015!

How was your 2014?

Just like many other people, as each new year arrives, I feel motivated to make year-long goals (I don’t like the term “new year’s resolution” – it almost seems destined to lose momentum and fall flat). In the past years I made a number of undefined, nebulous goal “ideas” that usually wouldn’t work out, but in 2014 I did better.

I made two firm goals – one was to avoid getting sick (see: Don’t Get Sick & Close Out Strong), and the other was to write 2-3 QMU articles per week throughout the year (finished with 119 total).

Those were my two major goals for 2014 and I’m happy to say that both were achieved.

Did you make any particular goals?
How did they turn out?

Now as 2015 starts I’m constructing my new goals. I used to have this idea that if I didn’t make a goal by January 1st it was too late, but then I realized that’s setting myself up for failure, so I’ve become more relaxed about exact start date (QMU didn’t start until Jan. 26th, 2014).

My current formulated 2015 goals are:
1.) To record an album – more on my hip hop music here.
2.) Make a “splash” play – a major change like purchasing a home, moving cities/countries, writing full-time,  etc., something big.
3.) I’m exploring ideas for this 3rd goal – something health / Quick Me Ups / other website related.

If I can take care of those three goals over 2015, it would be a solid year in my books. I’m happy with my 2014 goals and their success and now it’s onto the next one. Side note – I still plan to be conscious about health and not getting sick, it’s just not getting a dedicated goal slot.

What would it take in 2015 to make you feel like it was a good year?
One year from now, in January 2016, looking back at 2015, what would you like to see accomplished in your year?

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie

I firmly believe that by stating our goals aloud, and sharing them with friends / family, we’re more likely to achieve them. Do you have any goals you would like to share here? Best of luck in all of your ideas and goals this year!

Happy 2015!!

Appreciate the Moment.

Posted by Zak Reid

Being present is our ideal state. When we’re living in the current moment, not worried about the future and what may happen, or what has happened, we’re at our best.

As we approach the holidays and end of the year, let’s try to acknowledge and appreciate each day, each interaction, each moment.

Let’s remember to appreciate the moment.

Happy old 1890s Naples' couple. Appreciate the moment.

A Naples’ couple enjoying the moment a few years ago… Postcard circa the 1890s.

I’m currently in the United States. I’m visiting family and friends with my girlfriend by my side and it’s been amazing. For a majority of the past week I haven’t had internet connectivity, and I’ve loved being be offline. No smartphone; no distractions; just the present.

I’ve enjoyed the powerful feeling that each moment is precious and to be appreciated. I know I have a finite trip and so I need to take advantage of each opportunity. Great friends and family – important moments – these all need my full attention.

As your year winds down and closes out, I recommend for you to do the same. Take advantage of your day and the people you have time to interact with. Enjoy this opportunity, this moment.

“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Last time I was on vacation, before I left, I had the same idea to Disconnect to Reconnect. To allow myself to get away from distractions that can block my vision from what’s important.

Do you stay present, and appreciate each interaction, or do you get distracted?

As I am on vacation, I won’t be writing much until the week of the 5th. I may host a guest writer or two while I’m out to keep Quick Me Ups headed your way.

“You should also appreciate the goodness around you, and surround yourself with positive people.” – Nadia Comaneci

As 2014 comes to an end, I will try to be as present as I can and appreciate each experience. It’s the perfect time to appreciate, be thankful, and enjoy the ride.

I hope you have an amazing last week of 2014.

“What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.” – Sai Baba

If that’s a good pattern in our past, let’s make it better. If it’s not a great pattern, let’s create a better one – now, in the present. And let’s not forget to enjoy it.

Appreciate the Moment.

Let's Close Out Strong.

Posted by QuickMeUps

It’s hard to believe another year has passed, but it almost has, and now it’s time to close this 2014 chapter. Shortly it will be 2015 and we can start focusing on our next steps, but before we do that, let’s take a moment to reflect on 2014. Let’s try to finish this year as positively as possible, and put ourselves in a good space to start 2015.

Let’s Close Out Strong.

Finishing the Race, Close out Strong.

Runners finishing the Tokyo Marathon.

In early February 2014, we talked about finishing strong. At that point in time, we were discussing closing out a week, or maybe a month. Now, in December 2014, it’s time to close out the year.

Do you have any outstanding goals that you could work to finish now?
What were your goals at the beginning of the year? How’d you do?

Personally, I wanted to stay healthy and keep this blog going.

I still have 3 weeks left in 2014 to avoid getting a cold, and have some international flights / airports / travelling ahead of me, so anything can happen, but I’m proud of how I’ve done up until now. Making it a conscious goal definitely helped me stay focused on my health.

Quick Me Ups has been a little slower of late, which I’m aware of, but I’m very proud that I’ve written 115 posts previous to this one, and still have about a month until the one year anniversary. Hitting 120+ posts is something I will be very happy about and will consider it an achieved goal.

How about you? Did you have any concrete ideas for 2014?
Anything you can learn from your successes / attempts?

I wish I would’ve put both improving my fitness level and recording music as concrete goals, considering that I haven’t done as well in either of those categories as I would like to. That’s a nice thing about reflecting on the past year, you can see what you’ve done well at, and where you can improve.

This can help us as we get mentally prepared for 2015.
I’m already thinking of ideas and possible goals.

But before 2015 starts, 2014 has to be finished. And now’s the time to get focused for a final push, a last lap of the race if you will. We have 3 weeks left, so let’s make these three weeks count!

Let’s Close Out Strong.

Surround Yourself with Positivity.

Posted by QuickMeUps

Most of us are regularly influenced by outside factors. Our mood can be influenced by events in our life, the weather, traffic, money, and very importantly: by other people.

Human interactions commonly affect our mood, for the better or the worse. Likewise, we can influence those in our path. So if we’re in a good, positive mood, we can create a Snowball Effect. Our good mood can influence others, which in turn can spread to even more people.

When we’re a little off, for whatever reason, a positive influence in our life can make all the difference. So let’s have as many positive elements in our life as possible.

Surround Yourself with Positivity.

Running with seagulls by Ed Schipul.

Running with seagulls. Looks like fun to me! Photo: Ed Schipul

What Makes You Happy?

I believe we’re all capable of improvement. With regards to a positive mindstate, some of us regularly reside in this space, while others seem to live in a continuously negative world. Just like positivity, negativity can spread. If you’re regularly around negative people, it can be a struggle to stay positive and optimistic. Their negativity can be infectious.

So let’s do the opposite. Let’s surround ourselves with positivity.

When we have positive people, events, and situation in our life, we set oursevles up for success… we set ourselves up for happiness. So let’s surround ourselves with people that are positive and that support us. Let’s work to support them and their dreams.

Let’s create a network of mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationships. Relationships in which each individual genuinely cares about the other, and works to actively support them.

“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” – Mary Lou Retton

There are some people, that after you see them, you feel inspired, you feel like you can conquer the world. Let’s surround ourselves with those type of people. Let’s be that person. This happens when you support others, stay positive, and work to be the best you possible.

Engage in hobbies that are healthy for the inner you.
Engage in activities that make you smile.

If we can create a world of people that we support, that support and inspire us, and activities that make us happy, we’re much more likely to stay in a positive state. If we do fall into negativity, we’re much more likely to get out of it quickly.

Let’s think optimistically and work to create a positive environment in which we reside. Besides…

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer

Keep smiling people!

Surround Yourself in Positivity.

It's Going to be OK.

Posted by QuickMeUps

It’s going to be alright. Really. The world’s not going to end. And if it is going to end, well there’s nothing we can do about it, so let’s try our best to accept it.

It’s so easy for us to get caught up / worried / upset / anxious / frustrated because something doesn’t go our way, but what does that achieve. Does being angry with the situation and those around us really help? No.

Everything’s alright.
Let’s work towards a solution and move on with our day.

It’s Going to be OK.

Sun Flower Nature Do Your Best It's all OK. Quick Me Ups.

A bee just doing it’s job, plugging along. Photo: hei_phil

“When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.” – Harvey Mackay

I just had a great, long weekend at the beach. I enjoy people-watching and this weekend I noticed a number of times, people getting upset over small things, with the beautiful ocean behind them. Instead of being happy to be at the beach, these people would stress out because of traffic, long wait times, or any other relatively small problem.

I think a large part of it has to do with perspective. When you have an unfavorable outcome, it may sting for a minute, but normally when you reflect on how ‘important’ it is in your life, you’ll usually realize that it’s not a big deal.

Do you realize that things will be OK in your world, or do you find yourself getting caught up and stressed out in the moment?

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – M. Kathleen Casey

Without perspective it’s very easy to feel like even the smallest situations are big deals. This is what typically happens to children and adolecents. Without years of life experience, each individual event feels very important and serious to them.

As adults we’re keenly aware that if a small child doesn’t get an ice cream cone, that he or she will live through it, and everybody will be fine. But to that child, they may feel that another dream is being crushed and that they will never win. The difference is perspective.

So how do we deal with this as adults?
What is we show up late to a meeting, miss a deadline, or mess up an order?
Do we feel like it’s an end-of-the world type scenario?

“The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.” – Unknown

Obviously there are dire situations which really do impact our lives in a meaningful way. These are not very common. The majority of situations temporarily impact us, but only live as long as we let them.

If we mess up, and then spend the next week retelling the tale and focusing on it, it will be much more impactful than if we are able to immediately say: that happened, now how can I fix it, while knowing that it’s going to be OK.

Let’s look for solutions. Let’s maintain perspective.

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” ― John Lennon

It’s going to be OK.

Something's Better than Nothing.

Posted by QuickMeUps

We want to do our best. We want to do great things. Sometimes we get so focused on wanting to do something PERFECTLY that we end up putting it off, procrastinating, and ultimately doing NOTHING. Has this ever happened to you?

It’s happened to me quite a number of times. I’ll have a great idea for a project, but it will take a lot of work to do it the awesome way I envision, so I put it off, waiting for the perfect time to start… and then I never do anything.

Today’s message is to just start. Even if you don’t get it perfect, at least you’ll advance and have something to build on, and…

Something’s Better than Nothing.

Photo showing climber in front of K2. Photo by Maria Ly.

It’s better to climb halfway up the mountain today, than to spend your life at home ‘planning’ to reach the top. Photo: Maria Ly

“Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.” – Robert H. Schuller

I was hoping to get a Good New Friday together for today. It takes time to find the right stories, summarize them, post links, photos, format, etc. and I just didn’t have the time this week. That almost meant a Quick Me Up-less Friday.

Then I decided I would rather have something for you than nothing. For me it’s more important to be in touch, in communication, and at least make a small positive impact in your day, rather than forego a post because I don’t have enough time to make it perfect.

I’d rather write something than nothing.

Have you ever had the problem of wanting to do something really amazing, and because of this, you wait and wait for the perfect moment to start… and end up doing nothing? It’s easy to over-think, over-stress, and ultimately, fail to act. I bet most people have had this happen.

“Instead of doing nothing because I’m overwhelmed, today I will do something, even if it’s small, because it will be one step closer to my goal.” – Unknown

So today let’s remind ourselves that we don’t need to be perfect. Let’s take small steps, and build something, evaluate our work, and decide our next step.

You can’t win a horse race if you never get in the saddle.
So… Saddle Up!

P.S. I really will get a new Good News Friday up soon!

Something’s Better than Nothing.

Choose Words Wisely.

Posted by QuickMeUps

Words are powerful. What you say helps define you. The way you say things may be the difference between success and failure. The wonderful part is… we’re in control of what we say. That’s why it’s important to…

Choose Words Wisely.

The Power of Words by Antonio Litterio

Words are powerful. Photo: Antonio Litterio

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.” ― Confucius

Words are thoughts expressed in sound. We use words to paint pictures. So if we’re constantly painting pictures of gloom, sadness, hopelessness, frustration, failure… we’ll start seeing these pictures everywhere we go.

If we repeat: “I can’t”, “I never will”, “I won’t be able to”, etc., we’re committing energy to these negative thoughts. We’re creating the environment for these negative phrases to become reality.

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” – Buddha

So let’s paint pictures of smiles, happiness, success, achievement and belief. If we start creating these images of positive outcomes, and start believing in them, it can change our whole outlook of the world.

Your words are important.
Your words are your universe.

I was recently speaking with a friend, and when speaking about something that he wants in his life, he said: “but that’ll never happen, it’s always been like this”. It was so clear at that moment from my perspective – he goal was very achievable, but if he kept repeating that it was impossible, he would be correct and he would make it impossible.

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.” – Winston Churchill

He was repeating a mantra to himself. A mantra of failure. One that if we repeat for long enough, we will eventually believe. “I can’t”, “I never will” – these are powerful words. Negative powerful words from you to you. So let’s do the opposite…

Let’s fill our vocabulary with: “I know I can”, “I can do this”, “I will get there”, “I believe”.

The words we use create the universe we live in. When our world is full of belief, positivity, goals, and the word YES, we’re much more likely to try the best we can.

We may not achieve all the goals we set, but we will never achieve anything if we don’t try.

Each word we say is important. Words can strike ourselves and others  down, but more importantly, they can lift all of us up. Let’s lift.

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” – Blaise Pascal

Let’s be conscious of the words that we choose.

Choose Words Wisely.