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Meditation May

Posted by Zak Reid

It’s May.  Springtime or Autumn, depending on your GPS.
Either way, it’s May.

This May let’s Meditate.


I just moved from a big city to a small town. From cement and smog to fresh air, trees, lakes and a volcano. I just moved to Pucón, Chile.

Meditation May Pucón Chile Quick Me Ups Instagram QMU

My girlfriend and I at Lago Villarrica, Pucón, Chile. From QMU Instagram

That lake is literally a 5 minute walk from where I’m currently living.

I did it to change everything. I did it to get back to myself. I feel like the longer I spent in a city without much contact with nature, the farther away I got from my true self… from my “inner me”.

“If it’s not working, change everything.” Zak Reid

So I decided to make a big life change. Simplify my life and work to better myself. I thought – what better way than start with daily meditations?


Then I thought about you…
Have you ever meditated before?
Have you practiced consistently?
Have you done it enough to see the benefits?

Meditation is powerful.

The Time is Now

Posted by Zak Reid

It’s game time.

The perfect time doesn’t exist. It’s not out there waiting for you to find it. There isn’t an alarm that tells you when it’s time to make a change. It’s now.

The Time Is Now.

It’s now before more time passes.

Have you ever had something on your mind for a long time – and you finally do it – and the first thing you think is – man…. why didn’t I do this earlier?

I’ve had that feeling. I dislike that feeling. I don’t want to  live a life where I regret the past. A life where I look back and wish I’d had made a different decision.

I’d rather live a life with failed ventures… ideas tested that didn’t work… I mean I hope some of them work… but still, trying and failing is worlds better than a bunch of “I wish I would’ve tried that” memories and regrets.

If I’m going to make the change that I always wanted to make, when should I do it?

The answer is now.

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. – Arnold Bennett

It's Not that Important!

Posted by Zak Reid

Just a friendly reminder today – don’t sweat the little stuff. Life is a little like Google maps, if you get lost in the tiny details, ZOOM OUT. This world is gigantic and full of opportunities, so the next time we get stressed about the small stuff, we just need to remember to keep things in perspective. Have a lovely day and don’t forget that the small stuff is unimportant in the big picture!

Good News Friday VII

Posted by Zak Reid

It’s time for another Good News Friday to provide a positive balance to offset all of the negative news stories we hear and read about daily. The more of us that are talking about, and living positivity, the stronger our impact can become.

Who knows, maybe ‘being positive and peaceful’ could even ‘go viral’ in the future. One can only hope! Have a great day, here we go…

Invention Turns Waste into Potable Water

Bill-Gates-water-from-feces-GatesNotesVideo

Bill Gates drinking water which, 5 minutes previously, was feces.

The purification system developed nations use to clean sewage water is simply too expensive for the developing nations of the world to utilize. As a result, raw sewage and a lack of clean, safe, potable water is a serious problem worldwide:

[A] shocking number of people, at least 2 billion, use latrines that aren’t properly drained. Others simply defecate out in the open. The waste contaminates drinking water for millions of people, with horrific consequences: Diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700,000 children every year, and they prevent many more from fully developing mentally and physically. – Bill Gates

And so it was that Bill Gates challenged some of the brightest engineers to develop a cheaper system to purify sewage into potable drinking water for use all over the world. An amazing invention has come out of this project named the Janicki Omniprocessor.

This wonderful machine takes solid waste, super-heats it to sanitize and dry it, burns the dry waste as fuel which powers a steam-engine-run generator and creates electricity; with this electricity it collects the vapor from the super-heated waste, purifies it for drinking water, and delivers it to a tap. After using the fuel as waste, the machine even creates a surplus of energy, allowing electricity to be exported to the local grid.

The entrepreneur and owner of this machine will make money for:
– Receiving the waste.
– Providing drinking water.
– Providing electricity.
– The ash created.

The next generation of these machines will “will handle waste from 100,000 people, producing up to 86,000 liters of potable water a day and a net 250 kw of electricity” (source). Wow, talk about a win-win-win situation!

Here’s a great video summarizing how this game-changing invention works:

One can only hope that these systems can be installed in developing nations worldwide as soon as possible.


 

Girl Beats the Odds: From Homeless to Harvard

Dawn Loggins - From Homeless to Harvard - Inspirational story - Quick Me Ups

Dawn Loggins overcame all odds to attend and thrive at Harvard University.

Dawn Loggins was nationally recognized in 2012 for getting accepted to Harvard. While attending such a prestigious university is an accomplishment in itself, it’s all the more noteworthy because just one year prior, she was homeless:

In 2011, Loggins returned home from a summer program for gifted high school students to discover her parents, who were experiencing a number of problems, had abandoned her. She lived with several people, notably middle school custodian Sheryl Kolton, and worked as a custodian herself at Burns High School in her senior year. Despite the tumult of her personal life, she was accepted at Harvard. – Charlotte Observer

While it was a tough situation, she adjusted and overcame. She stayed focus on her goals believing that “[g]etting an education is the most important thing that you can do for yourself. It is the only way to lift yourself out of poverty, and an education can never be taken from you.”

While the story gained national attention in 2012 as she graduated from high school and was accepted to Harvard, her future wasn’t guaranteed. Thankfully, in a 2014 update of her story, we have learned that she is thriving in her study of Linguistics at Harvard. Dawn continues to visit her hometown, and while she has declined interviews in order to keep her life private, she is on track to graduate in 2017 from the prestigious institution.

Another reminder that with dedication and self-belief, we are capable of amazing things.


 

Legally Blind Woman Sees Her Newborn Son

Kathy Beitz, Yvonne Felix, eSight Company, #MakeBlindnessHistory

Kathy Beitz seeing a baby for the first time… and it happens to be her son!

From a young age Kathy Beitz has been legally blind. Her older sister, Yvonne Felix, is also legally blind, and has been able to help guide Kathy as she’s grown up. A number of years ago Yvonne had children, and said that one of the hardest parts about being a parent was not being able to see your child.

With that back story, Yvonne wanted to make sure that her sister Kathy never had to go through the same hardship. After contacting the eSight Corporation, they agreed to lend Kathy one of their $15,000 pair of specialized glasses for the day of her child’s birth.

Yvonne Felix took a video of the first time Kathy laid eyes on a baby… which just so happened to be her own child:

Felix has gone on to start the #MakeBlindnessHistory project, in order to raise money to purchase eSight glasses for Kathy, as well as other legally blind individuals:

“When we finish raising money for Kathy’s eSight, we will raise money for another blind individual’s eSight,” Yvonne Felix wrote on makeblindnesshistory.com. “Then another, and another, and another. We won’t stop until every blind person who wants to see, gets eSight.”

Yet another story of an individual using their disability as motivation to help others. What a wonderful time that we’re living in as medical advances continue to impact, and improve our quality of life. I hope we see the price tag on these special glasses drop, and become more accessible to legally blind people everywhere.


 

The world is full of great stories like the Minneapolis man who handed out 520,000 sandwiches to the homeless and hungry in 2014; the former burn victim who opened a business, giving paramedical facial tattoos for burn victims to help them regain their confidence; and the cab driver who received a $1,000 tip for a 2 minute ride.

If you watch the news you’d never know any of this has happened, because unfortunately, crime / terror / war / loss is what is fed to us via mainstream media. We can work to change this by turning off the news (until they (hopefully) get their act together) and sharing these positive news stories with friends and family.

There are good people out there doing good deeds. Let’s work to share their stories and impact the world as positively as we can. Have a great day!

Good News Friday VII.

I Wish You the Best.

Posted by Zak Reid

Good day.

Today’s message is very simple:
I cheer for you.
I root for you.
I wish nothing but the best for you.

When things get difficult, just remember there are people out there cheering you on and wishing for your success. In moments of failure, we’re also there, sending you strength, hoping that you can refocus before your next challenge. Bottom line: I pray that you succeed.

I Wish You the Best.

Family at Graduation, Supporting, Cheering and Celebrating

A young woman celebrating graduation with her family. Photo: Tulane University

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. would’ve turned 86 years old last week and many have been celebrating his life. There are many things that can be said about him concerning individual freedoms and equality, but one important part of his legacy was his fight to ensure that those around him could achieve their dreams.

Life is full of challenges and difficulties. Sometimes we feel that we are struggling alone, without help and without support. We can feel that we’re on our own. This is not the case. There is always somebody wishing the best for you and hoping you get over your challenge – whether it be family, friends, or strangers in other parts of the world.

Even without knowing your exact story, I can confidently say that as long as your goals don’t involve hurting others, I truly want you to succeed. I wholeheartedly want you to achieve your dreams.

Take a minute and let that sink in. That there are people all over the world that want other well-intentioned people to be happy and achieve their goals.

There are people that you have never met, that are rooting for you.

Take a moment to realize this…
Feel the support from many people all over the world.
They are cheering you on.
Closer your eyes and imagine it…. feel it.

What an empowering realization.

Now what about the other direction – do you support those well-inentioned people around the world trying to achieve their dreams? There are millions and millions of people that just like you, who want to make the best impact they can in this life. Let’s root for and support them.

Feel your support going out to those all around the world who are working just as you and I to have a good life. Feel them cheering you on in turn.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama

Sometimes even a few words to somebody that’s preparing for a test, or having a hard time at work/school can mean all the difference in the world. So when we feel alone, let’s remember there are those cheering for us, and when we see somebody that looks down, let’s let them know that we’re cheering for them!

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” – Mark Twain

I am cheering for you to have an amazing day, week, month, year and life. But let’s take it one step at a time: let’s make it a great day, and we can take it from there!

I Wish You the Best.

Keep Going!

Posted by Zak Reid

There’s a saying – if you need something done, ask the busiest person you know. As we accomplish goals and cross items off of our to-do list, the ability to keep it up is what allows us to have a productive day. It becomes easier to take care of more business and allows us to transform a good day to a great one. So when you feel that energy to accomplish tasks and beat the world, I encourage you – Keep Going!

Keep going and never stop uplifting blog messages

Photo Credit: u.s. navy official page

So much of this life is mental. It’s in our heads. When that small voice starts whispering that ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘stop now’ it can take everything in our power to fight it back. But keep fighting! Our bodies and abilities are much greater than we give them credit for.

While working on a project, you may suddenly feel that you aren’t ‘good enough’ at the particular activity to finish it. This is a lie created within your own head. I’d be willing to bet that those around you believe that you CAN in fact run one more lap, finish the whole spinning class, or learn the guitar.

Many times it’s our own self-doubt that causes us to 2nd guess our abilities and endurance. Others benefit of sitting on the outside, so they don’t have to listen to your inner self-questioning voice. Therefore, I can calmly and confidently tell you that I believe in you and the things you can do in your lifetime if you just Keep Going.

Additionally, it would be amazing if you could turn to your neighbor, a friend, or family member, and – even more than you do now – vocally encourage them to keep going. Be an uplifting and inspirational voice in their world.  Some great times to do this are as they study for a test, start a new job, gripe about going to the gym, practice drawing, or learn a foreign language.

If we can create a community where we help others to believe in themselves, and push forward, we will all achieve so much more with our lives.

When we have momentum, we can accomplish much more by not stopping. When we want to learn something new, or conquer a difficult test, our only hope is perseverance and positivity. In either case the lesson is the same. Although we may be tired or have doubts, although we may be very busy, the important thing is that we Keep Going!

The Most Important Step.

Posted by Zak Reid

There are many analogies for Life.  Life can be a climb for some, a war for others, Life can be a marathon or a journey.  Everyone sees it differently, but there’s one thing that I believe is universal: whether it’s climbing a mountain, or running a race, the most important step in your journey is the step you are taking right now.  You have taken steps in the past and you will take more in the future, but think about it for a moment: each step you take is taken now, in this moment.

Hiker

Photo Credit: Hans

You can’t win the race today; you won’t finish the journey today; and you won’t reach the top of the mountain today.  So don’t try.  Just focus on taking a well-balanced step, and after that, focus on taking another well-balanced step.  If you’ve ever been on a long run or hike you know that you can’t spend the whole trip thinking about the last 100 feet or you’ll drive yourself crazy.  So why do we do this in life?  Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about how amazing it will be when we have this new job, or partner, or when we buy the house we’ve always wanted, that we forget about just focusing on the steps today to make that happen.

It’s nice to have a direction in which to head, so it’s fine to think of what may be, but we don’t live in the future, so let’s just focus on today.  We’ll get where we’re going when we’re supposed to.  Let’s just focus on making today’s journey a great one.  In your life you will take millions of them, but today is The Most Important Step.