Sink or swim, jump right in! Change is GOOD! You're closer than you think! ~ Gusto
August 30, 2011
As I BEGIN this latest chapter of Ramblings, I want you to IMAGINE your life being transformed into something totally new, fascinating, and liberating. As you follow along, feel free to LAUGH at yourself, it truly is mother nature’s best medicine!
Now before you go any further, there’s one thing you should always remember about life; BELIEVE that you’re capable of greatness, in fact, you already have it inside of you! It’s there, just waiting, all the answers you SEEK to your life’s questions you already possess. The mind is a vast PLAYground, just ready for you to explore it, if you would only TRUST your instincts and LISTEN to your heart. You have the power to CREATE your world as you wish. Once you CONNECT with this awareness inside of you, you’ll then be able to reach out and TOUCH those around you in a profound way; your family, friends, and co-workers will be drawn to your magnetic personality!
As I’ve reached middle age, I’ve come to several conclusions about life, both past, present, and the future. Most of us at this stage in our lives have made mistakes, we’ve caused harm to those we love or to ourselves. And in spite of this knowledge, we must each understand we’re not infallible. After all, we’re human and we will continue to make mistakes. That’s all part of the process, we never stop learning, right up until the end. If you feel the same way, one of the biggest lessons I’d like to pass along is this; always choose to FORGIVE yourself first, then ask it of others. And when others seek yours, gladly accept their amends. No conditions. No questions. The moment a thing seems wrong to you, or another person’s actions are not what you think they should be, begins your responsibility to PRAY that a change can come through your influence. Above all, hang on to your faith with everything you have, because it too is one of the few things in life that gives us HOPE for a better future; for ourselves, our families, our friends, for everyone.
There’s so much of our lives that we can’t control. In reality, the only power we’ve been given is free will; the power to CHOOSE good over evil, right over wrong, up or down, that’s all we can do. Learn to APPRECIATE who you are, those around you, what you have, not what you don’t. Above all, GIVE of yourself freely to others, including your material possessions, and the one thing all of us crave for from others; someone who will lend an ear with the gift of time.
Finally, get back to the basics, READ books, articles, and news that provide you a source of inspiration, strength, and comfort. And when your day is done, do what Ben Franklin did daily, by asking yourself just one question; “What good have I done today?” And then WRITE it down. That’s all there is to it. Life isn’t that complicated, it’s really quite simple. We only make it that way with our magical magnifying minds. Once you’ve become aware of this simple concept, you’ll feel a sense of RELEASE that will astound you! And last, as you can see, the twenty words highlighted in BLUE CAPITALS are summarized below; “20 Words To Change Your Life!”
Take Charge of your life by beginning something you've always wanted to do.
If your goal seems overwhelming, start small.
Your imagination has no boundaries...
'Dreaming about something is the first step toward achieving it.
Laughter is a direct route to your soul.
It broadens your perspective, keeps you healthy, and makes an unbearable situation easier to deal with.
Set your mind to predict success.
Tell yourself you WILL succeed at whatever you're doing at the moment.
Allow yourself to grow by exposing your vulnerability and insecurity.
Don't live strictly inside your comfort zone --
Don't always play it safe.
We can always find something "that needs to be done" and we forget how to have fun.
Make a conscious effort to take time off --
You'll feel refreshed and able to think more clearly afterwards.
By being paralyzed by indecision is worse than making the wrong decision.
You can't grow if you don't trust your inner voice.
Try listening carefully to the other person's point of view FIRST,
without being preoccupied or distracted.
You'll really hear what is being said
and the other person is more likely to pay attention to your views.
Creativity maintains the balance in our lives.
The more we use our creativity, the more it develops.
Relationships are what pull us through the hard times,
and make the good times meaningful.
Take the time to nurture the connections that uplift you.
Humans need touch to survive and thrive.
Don't forget to hug your loved ones.
Pat your friends on the back, literally and figuratively.
Forgiveness is life-changing because it puts you in charge.
You become empowered.
Prayer is asking God to transform the situation and become the heart of your life.
Take time each day to nurture this connection.
Hope is the knowledge that even in the worst of times
We can triumph over hardship and sorrow and grow in spirit.
Hope is what sustains humanity.
We can't always choose our circumstances, but we can choose our attitudes towards them.
Admire the good in yourself and in those around you.
Happiness involves giving freely to others and not necessarily wanting something in return.
Reading removes boundaries.
Words are freedom. Words are power.
Avoid doing something just because everyone said you should.
Give yourself permission to relax.
In closing with this latest playful installment of Ramblings, let’s always remember this; a poem about the “Clock of Life” by Robert Smith:
“The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.
The present only is our own,
So Live, Love, toil with a will –
Place no faith in ‘Tomorrow’ –
For the clock may then be still.”
OH, and don't forget this!!!
OH, and don't forget this!!!
August 28, 2011
I’ve been asked by some on my Facebook page called Gusto about how I came to be on the path I’m on. Normally, I wouldn’t be writing something like that here, since this website is designed primarily in providing stories of inspiration. However, given the nature of my Facebook page, that is to say the motto of “living life OUT LOUD”, as well as my desire to help others in various ways, including coaching and mentoring, it appears now is the time to tell you more about just WHO I am.
I was born in 1958 in a little town near the Colorado border called Tribune, KS., the only son amongst 6 siblings; 4 older sisters and one younger. Tribune is your typical Midwestern town; sparsely populated and dominated by the agricultural way of life. My father was involved in farming and raising livestock, primarily wheat, grain sorghum, cattle and hogs. My mother was your classic homemaker, typical of those days. Our lives as their 6 children, my 5 sisters and I, were filled with hard work, long hours, and a lot of love, particularly from my mother. But when we did have the time to play, we took full advantage of it. Our little farmstead was full of interesting ways for children to amuse themselves, plenty of dogs, cats, and running through the sprinklers in the summer time to cool off! As the only boy, outside was my playground. I loved practicing football by my-self and about wore the leather off of several basketballs practicing my shot for hundreds of hours in our farm quonset. I was also literally my Dad’s shadow. Wherever he went, I was sure to follow. He taught me many lessons about life, not the least of which was the value of hard work, and was a good source of encouragement when it came time to play, especially in sports activities. In other words, I went at life full tilt, in fact I have ever since, hence the nickname “Gusto” my Dad tagged me with when I was quite young. But it wouldn’t be completely forthcoming if I didn’t mention something else about “play” time in those days. Though it never interfered with our family life to a great extent nor had an overbearing effect on our personal lives, it’s safe to say that alcohol use was a fairly common occurrence amongst the adults in those days, something that came back to haunt me personally several decades later. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Everything changed in 1972, when, at the tender age of 13, my life, along with the rest of my family, was shattered into a million pieces. Some of you who have read this blog know the story of how my mother was involved in a tragic farm vehicle accident during wheat harvest that year and how I witnessed it. And for those who know me well, they know just how big an impact her death made on ALL of our lives, though at the time, I was in such a state of shock it took decades for me to fully realize just how big that impact was.
As you can imagine, it was very hard on my Dad as well. He wasn’t what one would call a “Mr. Mom.” Tough shoes to fill given he left the house at or before sunrise every day, not returning until well after dark to tend to his farming interests. More importantly, it was apparent NO ONE could ever fill Mom’s shoes. Fortunately, my Dad’s sister was living in Southern California at the time where she was employed as a high school teacher, something she did and did quite well for 35 years.
So, at the behest of my Dad, and some of my older sisters who were on their own at the time, this Western Kansas farm boy went west kicking and screaming, as it were, to attend his last two years of high school in 1975. From there, my life started what can only be described as a dramatic turnaround. I discovered that it was “cool” to be a good student and, since I had some natural athletic talent, I also become deeply involved in sports, primarily football and basketball. As my Aunt says, now retired in her mid-80’s, “I took to it like a duck to water.”
In 1982, I proudly graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Business Administration/Finance, and fell just a few credits short of a minor in Psychology, something I still wish I would have completed. Today, perhaps that training has come in handy, for some reason it was a subject that always came easy to me, and which has been a source of helping others, particularly now as I embark on my life’s mission of providing guidance and advice to other individuals.
By then, however, I grew tired of the Southern California scene and longed for home. As they say, and which I’ve repeated often, “You can take the boy from the farm but you can’t take the farm from the boy!” So, by 1985, after 2 ½ years working for a finance company in Montana and Colorado, my first REAL job after college, I returned to my beloved Kansas and settled into my hometown. For the next 23 years, I worked at the local bank, starting out as basically a file clerk, eventually working my way into the loan department, and attained the rank of Senior Loan Officer in the mid-2000’s. I also attended several post-graduate schools to further refine my skills, including a Bank Compliance program at the University of Oklahoma in 1989, as well as completing a prestigious three-year program during the summer at the Graduate School of Banking, sponsored by the University of Colorado, graduating in 1994. During this time, I married, fathered two beautiful children, and managed to have enough energy to assist my Dad with his farming operation until he retired in 1994, at which time I took over THAT too. I did it all; worked at the bank 8 hours a day, five days a week, raised two children, and managed a 4000 acre farm. Sadly, my marriage of 8 years ended in 2000. However, I was awarded residential custody of my children at that time and continued banking, farming, and was a single Dad for several years. I wore a lot of hats! I worked hard and, as I alluded to earlier, played hard as well.
That play, the years of it in fact, began to finally catch up with me beginning in 2005, and life began to unravel. By late 2007 and early 2008, the boy who loved to work hard and play hard, and the man he grew into carrying those same traits, finally hit bottom for only the second time in his life. Next to my mother’s death, succumbing to an insidious, powerful, and baffling DISEASE called alcohol was one of the most tragic and humble experiences I’ve experienced in life. I lost nearly everything; my job, my home, almost my children, my freedom, my self-respect, and nearly my life, not once, but THREE times from this horrible disease.
That all changed again and life began a rapid ascent, reaching new heights, and new successes beginning June 5th, 2008, the last time, and God willing, the very last, these lips will ever taste that evil poison. Since that fateful day, everything about my life is totally new. At age 50, I was literally and figuratively born anew. In fact, I would consider it an act of God, a true miracle. Today, the dynamic life I’m living continues to astound me every moment of every day. What I’ve lost, I’ve gained in immeasurable ways. Pride has given way to humility. “Movement” in a figurative way has replaced stagnation. I don’t watch TV, rarely sleep more than 6 or 7 hours a night, have an unwavering and passionate desire to give BACK to others that which I nearly lost, something called LIFE, with new ways of thinking, and new ways of living. My mind is moving constantly, along with another gift God left me with; the POWER of expressing myself with the written word. What I have left, I treasure deeply; what’s inside my heart and soul, a mind that is sharp as it’s ever been or, as something my Dad told me in mid-2010, shortly after I moved BACK to Southern California to start over and get a fresh start in life. I was helping him one day with some personal business using my computer where I live, and I'll never forget his words, uttered softly from this now 80 year old man; “Gus, I always knew you were good at what you did. But I believe you’ve come back BETTER than you EVER were.”
To put it another way, that little boy of his called Gusto is back, and back in a BIG way. One whose purpose is to inspire others with 52 years of wisdom gained from not only unfortunate occurrences in life but also, and more importantly, what some might call unparalleled success. Wisdom to GIVE to each of you reading this, to inspire you, that REGARDLESS of your circumstances, no matter whether you consider yourself a success or failure, that there’s always more to learn. Life is a never ending series of character tests and continual growth. I’m here for the rest of my days for one purpose and one purpose only, to SERVE my fellow brothers and sisters the BEST I know how with every fiber of my heart and soul.
I’d say the name fits, wouldn’t you?
August 26, 2011
Have you ever watched the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith? In it, there’s a famous scene where Will’s character as a father was on a basketball court with his young boy. The boy was bouncing the ball around, shooting it up, and saying “I’m going pro!” Will admonished the young boy, saying he probably shouldn’t be thinking such things. The boy threw the ball down and hung his head. And then Will walked up to him and said; “Hey, don’t EVER let somebody tell you, you CAN’T do something. Not even me. You got a dream? You got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you YOU can’t do it. You want something? Go get it. Period.” Powerful.
When I was a young boy growing up on a farm in a little town in Western Kansas, I discovered I LOVED basketball. I was outside constantly, shooting the ball around on a goal with no net attached to a small detached wooden garage. No concrete. Just dirt. Before long though, my father, seeing I had some talent, decided to upgrade my “court.” So, he set up a basketball goal, complete with a REAL nylon net, AND a backboard, inside a steel quonset. For those who aren’t aware what one of those looks like, here’s a picture:
This is one I found on google images. Ironically, it looks VERY similar to the one where I spent literally HUNDREDS of hours practicing my art of shooting a basketball. Problem was in my case, my father set the goal up near the entrance on the inside wall near the far right of this picture. Imagine if you will, a goal affixed to a curved inner wall only twelve feet or so from the bottom right of this quonset photo. To the LEFT of the goal was space as far back as I could possibly launch the ball. As I said, on the right, there was only 12 feet or so of space. On top of THAT, my father had a work bench next to this wall, thereby giving me only 8 feet or so to work with on the right side of my “court.”
Now, if you know anything about basketball, you know that players favor their stride with their shooting hand. Since I was right handed, it follows that my instincts would naturally lead me to dribble to my right and shoot from that side, right? Wrong. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. As I said, it was the LEFT side that had the “open court.” Consequently, over hundreds and hundreds of hours of shooting over several years, I developed a deadly outside shot from the LEFT side of the court. I became SKILLED at something most right-handed players never achieve, because that’s where I PRACTICED.
Which brings me to my point. Each of us has unique gifts and talents. All of you reading this have your own. One of mine as a young boy just happened to be basketball. But I didn’t become SKILLED at it without hours and hours of practice. Or, as Will Smith says in his series of interviews, “People may be smarter than me. They may be more talented than me. But where I EXCEL is ridiculously sick work ethic.” More importantly, in my case, I became SKILLED at something I wasn’t even AWARE of at the time. It was only until many years later when I grew into adulthood, long after I gave up playing on a regular basis, did this realization dawn on me. By then, I discovered another talent. I always loved arithmetic and math as a young boy. Turns out that TALENT developed into quite a skill because, after 20 years in my banking career, I became adept at handling various spreadsheets for loan presentations. During the early years of that career, I also developed and honed another talent into a skill with written loan narratives.
My point is each of you has unique TALENTS. It may be washing dishes, selling used cars, nursing, teaching, engineers, or sales people. But ONLY after hours and hours of practice does that talent turn into a skill. Where people get off track is trying to do something they’re not talented at. Let’s say for instance you have a job selling insurance because it makes you a lot of money, but yet you hate that job. Chances are that misery will spill over into your personal life. Before long, relationships suffer and your health suffers, both physically and mentally. Now let’s assume when you come HOME from that job selling insurance, you discover you LOVE cooking. You prepare elaborate and tasty meals for your family and everyone thinks you should be a chef. So, the question is, WHY aren’t you pursuing a career as a CHEF!? It may be because you think there’s not as much money in it or because of peer pressure from family or friends, that maybe it was your father or mother’s insurance business you felt you needed to step in and fill their shoes. WRONG!
Time and time again I see people pursuing something that they dislike doing, only because SOMEONE ELSE told them to, trying to please someone, or that it makes more money. The ONLY person that needs pleasing is YOU. The person INSIDE. The one that secretly and desperately wants to be a chef, regardless of whether it makes more money or not. After all, what makes us HAPPY is what we LOVE doing. And what we love doing, we’ll do it very well, leading to healthier and happier lives.
Just like a young boy and his basketball.
August 23, 2011
This is a topic many of us can relate to, especially when it comes to social mediums like Facebook, and to a lesser extent, various “chat rooms” we can find via the internet. It’s also one of particular interest to me, given the vast number of people I interact with on a day-to-day basis on my own Facebook pages. Everyone knows there are people “out there” we can’t trust; predators, scam artists, the list goes on and on. And when you consider that nearly 1/10th of the ENTIRE world’s population, or roughly 750,000,000 MILLION people, have accounts on the world’s most popular site called “Facebook”, the risk is even greater that YOU or ME will encounter some shady characters at one point or another.
One thing that I find curious is the use of one’s “privacy settings.” Many people believe they can protect themselves from harm by limiting access to their personal information. Privacy is a HUGE issue in our world these days, including bank accounts, medical information, employee records, driving records, tax data, cell phones, schools, email accounts, and of course, our beloved Facebook. Why do I say curious? Easy. There’s NO such thing as keeping our information private. In spite of our best efforts, infiltration and invasion of our privacy is simply inevitable. That’s a fact. For example, every time you send or receive an email, that information is stored in a server, OTHER than your own, somewhere. So when you “delete” emails and “empty” your trash bin, those emails go SOMEWHERE. It’s not like they just magically disappear into thin air.
When I attended a renowned Paralegal program in San Diego in the spring of 2010, one of the required classes was computers. The instructor was a lady who has worked in the legal field for a number of years and is considered one of the experts in her field. The first day of class, she instructed that ALL of our homework was to be compiled and sent to her via email, including “attachments” of various forms of word and excel documents. Later in the program, shortly before it ended, she shared with us one day this little tidbit of information. She rattled off TEN different things she knew about EACH of us when we had sent our information. Because of her expertise, she knew WHERE we were when we sent it, how many times we had edited it BEFORE we sent it, including the time of day, right down to the second. I wouldn’t be surprised if she knew what kind of paper I had completed my work on, even though it was electronic!
I’m not saying these things to scare you nor am I suggesting that you throw your hands up in the air and open your life up to “everyone”, i.e. Facebook, just because you think it’s pointless to protect your identity or personal information. Of course, there’s a number of ways you can do so and many of them are quite effective. However, in the end, short of hauling yourself and everything you own to a deserted island in the South Pacific, chances are pretty good somebody somewhere knows things about you that are fairly revealing. And that’s putting it mildly. And that deserted island you may be thinking of? I’d venture to guess even THERE you could find a faint Wi-Fi signal! And if YOU can, who ELSE can?
Here’s another example. Several years ago in my little hometown of Tribune, KS., I walked into the local Farm Service Agency office to certify my acreage reports in order to maintain qualifications for government farm subsidies. In prior years, this was all done by hand. Not so that year. This was in the early 2000’s. By then, it was all computerized using Google Maps. You know the one, the kind where you can get down to “street view.” When I certified acreage for a particular piece of land situated on the outskirts of town, I noticed I could “see” a view of the town on the computer. Zooming in, I then found my home, including a DISTINCT image of a 10’ x 14’ shed in my BACKYARD. From space. I was stunned. And then it hit me. If YOU or I can walk into any public library in the world, type in Google Maps, and an address, and see our own homes, including personal possessions, what ELSE can “they” or somebody else see we’re not even AWARE of? Frightening, isn’t it?
But that’s not the point of this latest chapter. My POINT is, regardless of what steps we take to protect our privacy, in whatever mode of communication we can think of, there’s NO fool-proof way to do so. And THAT’S why, a long time ago, I took the DELIBERATE step, and what some may think as foolish, as disclosing nearly ALL of my personal information on Facebook, as well as revealed personal and sometimes graphic detail of my life HERE in this blog. Why? Because I threw my hands up in surrender? Absolutely not. It’s for credibility. If I’m who I SAY I am, someone who espouses and proclaims “live out loud” with truth, honesty, and sincerity, then WHY NOT lay all my cards on the table? It's a LOT less stressful than going around constantly wondering who's seeing what about me, especially when I've already opened the front AND the back doors for them and said, "Hey, come on in!"
So, the next time you log in to your Facebook account, take a look around. You’ll find that nearly everyone attempts to protect themselves in their privacy settings. Believe me, I’ve researched it myself and I’d venture to say 90% or more do so. Put me in the 10% or less column. The one who shows no fear of who and what I am. And then decide for yourself. Who’s real and who’s not? I’m sure there’s going to be some disagreements on THIS chapter!
August 16, 2011
Are you tired? Tired of your life? Tired of negative news, negative people, your job, your finances, your relationships? Are you scared of what your world has become? OUR world? A world filled with uncertainty, mistrust of others, anger, fear, resentment, cynicism, pride, and egos. All of us know there’s a multitude of sources out there designed to help you; workshops, books, motivational speakers, therapists, the list goes on and on. Most of these “sources” instruct you to follow simple “steps” to get your life back on track, to restore happiness, wealth, peace, and serenity in your life. I’m going to catch flak on this, but I’m here to tell you, NONE of that will help. As long as you continue to think the answers to all that you need and want in life is in what the OUTSIDE world can give you, you’ll continue to encounter disillusionment and despair.
About four years ago, I was in a similar position. Worse, I wasn’t even aware of it. I woke, showered, dressed, and went to work. I came home and self-medicated. The next day, the cycle began again. I started to look in the mirror each day and say, “This has GOT to change. I can’t keep going on like this.” The same thing, day after day, week after week, month after month. Before long I was going through the motions of living, except I wasn’t really LIVING. It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome. Was I insane? NO. But I WAS in a rut. A big one. That rut led to a cliff, a cliff that nearly cost me my life. Fortunately, I’m happy to announce it didn’t, though it cost me in other ways; my job, some of my family relationships, my home, my FREEDOM. However, the circumstances that led to that temporary loss of freedom for a few months in mid-2008, has propelled me to a life I could have never imagined today. A life filled with dynamic and life-changing events, personal relationships on a level I never dreamed of, professional doors that flew open that continue to astound me each day. A life where I discovered that I had the POWER within my-self all along to change.
I’ve written extensively on this blog about a number of things, most of which are the DIRECT result of personal experiences. When I hear of people or sites on the internet that purport to help you in some fashion, I always wonder; “Do they speak from personal experience? Or are they simply regurgitating something they were taught by someone else or what they read?” Now I’m sure there are MANY that do speak from personal experience and I would be the first to tell you to listen to them, if in fact, it helps you. But let me tell you something you already know, and if you don’t, perhaps it would be worth listening to. YOU already have the power within yourself to make your world what you WANT it to be. I won’t tell you how to tap into that power. The fact is, only you will know the means by which you do. However, in the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to share some of my own insight into that topic, one it is my hope you will find some of YOUR answers.
Now to Facebook. Many, if not most, of you reading this are doing so via my page called “Gusto”, a page designed to inspire others, a forum by which I share freely some of my deepest thoughts and experiences. The mind, like the world, is rich in color and variety. What people find on that Facebook page is a mirror image of that. There are inspirational quotes and videos, quotes of my own, music, and of course this blog, all designed to foster and promote positive thinking and a perspective of a different way of life many of you may want. Over the course of the past few months, it’s become apparent that there’s a definite need for this type of personal interaction in that forum. I also recognize my page is but one of MANY that attempts to provide you with that. However, I feel it’s unique in this aspect. First, it’s personal. What I share there comes from the HEART, with honor, respect, dignity, and sincerity. Isn’t that all that any of us want out of life? What we want from our fellow brothers and sisters?
If nothing else, it is my fervent hope and prayer that “Gusto” and this website provides you a source of comfort, safety, and love that is sorely needed in this world.
August 6, 2011
Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away they were meant to be there. They serve some purpose, teach you a lesson, or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be; your roommate, your neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you and at the time they seem horrible, painful, or unfair, but in reflection you will realize that without overcoming those obstacles, you would never have realized your potential, strength, will power of heart. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments or sheer greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of the soul. Without these small tests, if they be events, illnesses, or relationships, life would be like a smooth paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet who affect your life and successes and downfalls you experience, they are the ones who create who you are. Even the bad experience can be learned from....those lessons are the hardest, and probably the most important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance about being cautious to whom you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them.
Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you’ve never talked to before, and actually listen, let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it. I wish you all the best in your endeavors as well as your struggles in life. Have a fighting spirit and never hesitate to get back in the struggle!