Before I begin this latest chapter of “Ramblings”, I think now would be a good time to provide the reader a glimpse of who and what I’m about. Many of you who are reading this may be visiting this website for the first time, so I’d like to take this opportunity to emphasize a few key points before going any further.
First and foremost, I always strongly encourage anyone who reads this blog to take the time, if they have it, to start at the beginning. However, I fully realize that many of you simply don’t have that luxury of “free” time to fully digest all of it at one sitting. At a minimum, therefore, I ask that you view my profile and biographical information to give you a “sense” of where I’m coming from when I put my hand to paper. I think after doing so you will have a fairly good grasp, though by no means a full understanding and appreciation, of my intentions. Secondly, I wish to make two points very clear. One, I am neither a preacher nor am I a licensed therapist or counselor. In other words, I’m not here to “fix” anyone. My own past has taught me many lessons, not the least of which is the value of humility. I stand in judgment of no one. Furthermore, I expect the same from others. Having said that, however, I also realize that by putting myself “out there”, it sometimes invites criticism and/or judgment of certain views I put forth. I’m willing to take that chance. Anyone who knows me well also knows my life is an open book. I can’t emphasize that last point enough. It’s by design.
Secondly, many of you who are reading this for the first time may also be relatively new members of my Facebook page called “Gusto.” You may be wondering, “Who is this guy? Is he for real? What does he want from me? Can anybody remain so upbeat like that ALL the time?” Trust me, I haven’t always been this way. More importantly, I’m human just like you, meaning I have my bad days like anybody else. But I’ll tell you why I’m so PASSIONATE at times. Two words, LIFE and FREEDOM. I’ll never take either for granted ever again. I almost lost the first, not just once, but THREE times because of an insidious, powerful, and baffling disease. And I DID lose the second back in mid-2008. After that short spell of not seeing the outside world for awhile, it shed an ENTIRELY new light on what the word freedom means to me. Finally, I’m not here with a hidden agenda though I wouldn’t be totally honest if I didn’t tell you I have visions of turning “Ramblings” into a book or collection of short stories for mass publication. That’s where you as the reader come into the picture. In other words YOU can, and WILL BE, absolutely great ambassadors in an effort to INSPIRE and motivate others. That’s what I mean when I say “We’re in this thing TOGETHER.” With this in mind, here we go!
Wikipedia defines the “Law of Attraction” like this: The Law of Attraction is a metaphysical New Thought belief that "like attracts like”, that positive and negative thinking bring about positive and negative physical results, respectively. According to the Law of Attraction, the phrase " I need more money" allows the subject to continue to " need more money". If the subject wants to change this they would focus their thoughts on the goal (having more money) rather than the problem (needing more money). This might take the form of phrases such as " I will make more money" or " I will find a job that pays very well". Now, let’s stop there for a moment for another key point about this blog. When I write, I attempt to do so in ways that the reader can identify with by sharing some of my own experiences with the topic at hand, in this case what I’d rather describe as “Birds of a feather flock together!”
Before I get into that, let me say this. There are absolutely dozens, maybe hundreds of people out there promoting “self-improvement” or motivational programs, New Age movements, they’re all over the place. We’ve all seen them on TV or read about them. Most purport that if you do A, B, and C, you’ll find a way to happiness, wealth, and security. Pardon me for saying so but that’s hogwash. We all know life doesn’t work that way. Nothing we do comes easy. There are no shortcuts to happiness and success and anyone who tells you there are is either A) selling you a pipe-dream and/or B) simply trying to make a buck off of you. What’s really important is what YOU find works for you. Everyone’s different and everyone has to find their own secrets to happiness and success. Life is complicated that way. At the same time, it’s pretty simple when you stop and think about it. It’s the simple things in life that are important, those values instilled in ALL of us when we were children; values like being respectful and honest, living with dignity, integrity, and sincerity. Loving one another with no pretense, no agenda, just pure, sincere caring for each other. Doing the “right” things, the things that we know in our hearts we were designed for by God. That, to me, is the secret right there to life. When we embrace those values we ALL hold dear I’ve just described deep into our soul, and live accordingly with our ACTIONS and not just our words, is when we truly find a place of complete happiness, peace, and security.
Moving on then to the topic at hand. Most of you who are here for the first time, did so because you made a conscious decision to press the “like” button on your personal Facebook page. And though some of you may think you were invited, the truth is you still had to press that button. Why? After all, I’m no different than you or anyone else. I have the same problems as you and, in some cases, maybe worse! The answer lies inside of you, deep in the far recesses of your soul. A friend of mine, someone who has been encouraging me for well over a year to write, told me this in December 2009, long before I moved to California and well before this blog and the associated Facebook page was created. She said, “Gus, you have a tremendous gift of knowledge and a heart that knows no boundaries about what it can give to this world. People NEED to hear what you have to say. There’s so much pain, anger, and frustration with their lives. You’re here to HELP them. You have a way of expressing things that the rest of us feel but just can’t put into words.” I think back to that day she told me that and it still stuns me. Especially given what’s happened since. The creation of this website, which has seen well over 5,000 visitors from people representing 45 countries around the world, the Facebook page that, as of this moment, has nearly 400 members, the creation of my first book yet to be published, “Ramblings – A Source of Inspiration.”All in less than one year.
Consciously or not, you came here for a reason. Similarly, when you examine your own life, think about what it is you WANT, not what you NEED. Look back on the definition described above about the Law of Attraction. Personally, I don’t believe it takes a rocket scientist to figure out this simple concept: If you think and ACT in a negative fashion, in whatever aspect of your life, whether personally or professionally, chances are pretty good the results WILL be negative. Of course, the same holds true the other way. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT saying just because you think positively ALL the time your life will be perfect. We know that’s simply not the case. But by consciously attempting to do so every day, even with the simplest and most trivial of things, chances are good that EVENTUALLY, your life will transform to what you WANT it to be. It’s really that simple. My own experience stands as a testament to that statement and I can GUARANTEE you that if you continue to say and DO the " right" things, your life WILL become far better than you can possibly imagine! As Will Smith said during one of his interviews about his views on life, “First, you decide. Then you just do it. Period. It’s that simple. There’s no need for Plan B because it distracts from Plan A.” Powerful words aren’t they?
Three years ago, I was in a “place” where I thought I had the world figured out. And I was proud of it. Problem was, it was false pride. Before long, that world blew up in my face, figuratively speaking. I nearly lost it all because I was too proud to admit I had problems. I was too busy trying to be something I wasn’t designed for. I was totally lost. Lost financially, spiritually, mentally, personally, and professionally. It wasn’t until a series of tragic events occurred that I finally “awakened.” Today, I look back and realize I was a very blessed man and still am, even MORE so! In spite of losing my job, my home, my children, and financial security, today I’m happier than I’ve been for as long as I can remember. Why? Because I CHOSE to LIVE. I CHOSE to change, to seek out people I WANTED in my life. People who not only THINK positively, but also ACT positively, every day to the best of their ability.
As a result of this NEW way of living and new way of life, I’ve had people come into my life that still astounds me. People of substance. People of character. People of honor, respect, dignity, and sincerity. People like the woman I love dearly and to her, I say only this: “I’m grateful, humbled, and HONORED to walk beside you in this journey we call LIFE.” Doors have flown open right and left professionally, several of them just recently, doors that keep propelling me to new heights as a person and as a man. Most importantly, my children have come back into my life! Why did all this happen? Because I did the one thing, the only thing really that any of us have. I made a choice, the only one God gave us as His children. Free will. The freedom to choose right or wrong, good or evil. Simple decision, wouldn’t you agree?
If you are like me, a person who values substance over style, a person who values and cherishes deeply all those ideals instilled in us as children; ideals like respect, honor, dignity, sincerity, and genuine love, then I WANT you in my life. I won’t bother to address those that don’t. My guess is though, not ONE single person reading this would choose the opposite. The same can be said for you, and like Will Smith says, just DECIDE who and what it is you WANT in life. Then go get it. Period.
But hey, who am I to say, right? I’m just one man, and a humble one at that. Either way, I thank you for being a part of my life and I look forward to sharing more with you as the days, weeks, months, and hopefully, the years go by.
After all, “Birds of a feather…flock TOGETHER.”