Sunday, June 2, 2024

There Is No Ten Count In Life: STAY IN THE RING

Life can be a fight. Things happen that can literally knock the breath out of you. 

Unexpected change. Unanticipated turns in the road. Unhappy occurrences, just to name a few tough issues we face and challenges that meet us on any day. Plain and simple, awful things can happen, and they do.

What do we do? Well, as hard as it is, there are choices that can be made. While we may not always have immediate or even long-term answers and solutions, and important vehicle to our wisdom and understanding, patience and endurance, is that we have to fight our desire to give up. 

Circumstances can push against the ropes. One life-punch after another can have us feeling so dazed that we lose good judgement about our next move. Gut punches in life catch us off-guard, and when they do, we think we may never be able to swing back.

And, then, there are those things that hit us so hard that we fall flat out, seemingly unable to recover and get back on our feet again. We are down, we are knocked out. Our will to win seems to have depleted.

Maybe not. I've learned that there is no ten count in life. I've learned that we can get back up, even if the count is up to a thousand. Yes, things happen that make you feel like getting up and back into life is impossible. It feels impossible, but in so many situations, it's not. Making the choice and decision to stay in the ring isn't always easy, but we can get and take opportunity after opportunity to keep going and keep trying. It's often our choice alone.

You've heard the saying "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Many comeback stories have a history of trying again and again, and again. Whether it's one of having enough faith to continue, or enough fortitude to push forward, they got back into the fight, and you can too. 

I encourage you to fight. I encourage you muster up the fortitude to say you're going to get up and keep swinging back at life. I encourage you to keep your faith in optimal fighting condition.

There is no ten count in life, so don't count yourself out. ~ S.R.F.

CLICK HERE to get your copy of Stay In The Ring on Amazon!

Saturday, May 4, 2024

LOVE YOURSELF: It's a Good Thing

Self-love is an important concept. Don't let anybody fool you about that. You may feel worthless, because some one said you were. You may have been abused. You may feel like a failure because all of your dreams faded. There may be a myriad of reasons that you haven't embraced yourself in your own love. 

I have some encouragement and suggestions on how you can. It's a step-by-step awareness of your own value. It's a process of unlearning the negative messages you have come to accept, from yourself and others around you. You are worthy of all you hope to become. You deserve it. You can be it.

Don't expect a parade when you get there. This element and powerful growth journey is about you celebrating you. It's about praising yourself. It's about you giving yourself the pats on the back that you want. It's about you giving yourself high-fives. It's about you showing you that you love you. 

You won't always get accolades and support from people around you, and that's okay. I'll say it again: Self-love is about YOU. If you spend your life trying to get the applause of people around you, you will be tired from the start. If others do celebrate you, that's great. But, if they don't, it doesn't necessarily mean you aren't doing your own thing well. You have to know for yourself what your goals are and why. You can listen to insights from others that are helpful an encouraging, but in most cases you can be your own jury and judge about how you assess who, what and where you are in life, and on life's journey. Be fair and easy on yourself when you do it. Beating yourself up is no way to show yourself that you love you. 

Approval from others is good when it is authentic, loving and sincere. However, to base your love for yourself always on the acceptance, validation and approval from others will not be the pathway to self-love success. Self-love is a growth journey, and I believe it's one that you will love.

Start now. It will be a giant step for some of you, I know. What you achieve in the process is so rewarding that you will never again look back at the person or the place you stepped away from, the YOU who now says to yourself "I'm going to give me all the love I need to be the best person I can be." 

I certainly agree with you!  ~ S.R.F.

CLICK HERE to get your copy of  "LOVE YOURSELF: 75 Empowering Perspectives on Loving Yourself" on Amazon Kindle!

Monday, April 1, 2024

Hurry Up For What?

Quick! Fast! In a hurry? I have a question: how's that working for you? 

Everyday I run into people who are moving fast, talking fast, and attempting to get things done in a hurry. I also get to see them make many mistakes in the process. Perhaps they thought doing something quick would get them ahead of "the game" somehow, but it didn't. Instead, that so-called quick-thinking and doing disrupted the natural order of the strategy or process. It's called "putting the cart before the horse," which gets us nowhere fast. You do this enough and you realize it's not worth the fail, so slow down:

1. Think things through, first. It will save time, money, headaches, setbacks, embarrassment and shame.

Haste truly does make waste in a great majority of cases. When you think the "there's just no time" theory, consider practicing taking a few more minutes to re-think, re-write, reconsider and re-analyze. Even if it's something as simple as running late for work, you can wake up earlier. You could do more prep at night. You could put your phone aside until you have five or ten minutes to browse through it. Sometimes the remedy is truly a simple one.

2. Wherever you are struggling with hurrying or going too fast, figure out a way to move into a comfortable place time-wise. Time is not against you. How you manage it is up to you. Slow your roll. The clock will keep ticking, but what could you do differently? Not wait until the last minute? Did you miscalculate the time the task would take? Didn't give yourself enough time in the first place? These habits get us in trouble all the time. Break up with them! Decide to marry a different mindset. Say "I do" to yourself by reeling yourself back into real time and start there. Figure out what makes what you need to do make sense.

3. Distress and stress can be minimized and avoided. Don't speed. Don't run that red light. I mean this in terms of driving in reality of course, but I also mean this in terms of real daily tasks and responsibilities, from the simple stuff to the big deals. Watch your pace. Gauge it. Everything does not get accomplished with speed, a tap or a swipe, and if you believe it does, nothing you've read here is going to work for you. However, if you want to see success after success in your relationships, at work and in your work, at home and with friends, slow down and ask yourself this valuable question as you make your moves: "Hurry up for what?" Here's what is going to happen: You will surprise yourself often with your answers, and with your results. Try it!

~ S.R.F.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Wake Up With The Right Mindset

Breaking mindset patterns can be extremely difficult to do. You may not even realize that what you think contributes greatly to your mood, your motivation, and your methods of operation all day long. For instance, feeling miserable may be a reality if you actually have cause to feel that way; however, feeling miserable all day may be something you told yourself to feel, based completely on what patterns of thought you entertainment from your waking moment to every moment, day to day, and so on, and so on.

Let's say your eyes pop open at 6am and you think, unenthusiastically: "Geez, time to get started with another day." "I am already tired."  "I hate going to this job." "Ughhhh...I hate my life."  All this, or something that sounds a lot like it, before your feet even hit the floor! 

I'm putting you on notice today, because that thinking has to stop if you want to feel happier, have more fulfilling days, and enjoy a happier life. Those negative thoughts and verbalizations are intruders that guide you into exactly the kind of day you thought of and spoke of. Not everybody and everything is making you miserable. You are making yourself miserable. The good news is that you can change the thing that changes everything by breaking those patterns.

How do you start? I suggest trying new messaging. Right beside my bed, I have a small framed sign in bold, gold letters that says "Darling, you can change the world." How about that for an eye-opener every morning? Can I change the world in reality? I won't say no, but maybe, because I'm not quite done yet with bringing as much inspiration as I possibly can into the lives of others. While I may not change the entire world, I definitely can change somebody's world. Those are just facts, People, just plain facts. I can do that. That message is so positive, engaging, and inspiring. and I love reading it.

Anyway, it helps to make a deliberate effort all day to change negative patterns and mindsets. Be determined to break up with your old, wearying thoughts. Put up your own little signs in your bedroom, your bathroom, your office or cubicle, or where ever you know your eyes will flow frequently. It can be a game-changer for you. Eventually, those messages will go from you taking in a deep breath when you read them, to being enlightened and entertained by them, to putting some pep and positive thinking into your head. These messages will become imprinted in your mind's eye, and they will catch hold of your heart by surprise, too. You'll feel it. That dreary, dread the day attitude will become history. You'll look forward to waking up with a different kind of mental vigor and vitality, because you changed your own little world, all by yourself. Yay, for you! ~ S.R.F.

Saturday, February 3, 2024


Do you sometimes feel like you have lost control of things in your life? Do you feel like planning and
decision-making are often futile attempts at getting things done? Are you feeling like the more you do, the more undone things become?

Well, believe it or not, there is one solution that will work for you in every case: stay flexible.

Life is ever-changing. Circumstances and situations can easily take a turn. The best laid plans can be detoured. One moment things are a certain way, and in the very next moment, they are not. You get the picture. Even when you think things are set in stone, the potential for a plot twist may be lurking. 

Is all of this a bad thing? Certainly not, depending on your perspective. Several helpful keys are to anticipate change, expect the unexpected, prepare to be unprepared. Life happens, all day, and one of the best skill sets we can put to use is flexibility.

It's not always just a "go with the flow" train of thinking, although depending on the issue, that may be the only option and the only thing that works. At other more challenging and complicated junctures, critical thinking has to be put to pen and plan, and in even more unexpected "take your breath away" occurrences in life, your flex may require help, hope and healing, and a lot of time adjusting to the change.

The important thing to remember is that life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, mazes and tunnels, fog, valleys and slippery slopes. How you handle those moments and days is by fighting the negativity and focusing positively every step of the way, and not giving in to the pressures of daily life. They will come. Stay flexible, in the sense that you can ride the waves and not drown, and bend with the wind, but not break. 

Flexibility takes thought, processing and practice. The more you do of it, you will find that you'll have more days of smooth sailing than you can imagine. ~ S.R.F.

Monday, January 1, 2024

You're probably off to a great start in 2024! Goals set. Mind made up. Direction in focus. Plans in place. Highly motivated. Ready! 

Is that you? Great! Just in case you start to feel a little slack, or if you start to feel somewhat stuck, remember these key elements for getting where you want to go!

1. Don't let the distractions stop or discourage you. There will be something every single day that feels like an obstacle. It may be people. It may be your plan taking a shift. It may be unexpected circumstances and stuff. It may be you tempted to rethink it. Don't let the enemies to success fool you. They will be there no matter what it is you attempt to achieve. Realize that. Roll over them like a big ol' bulldozer that's on a mission to make the roadway smooth to your goals.

2. Avoid negative observations, talk and assessments of your situation, regardless of how "left" things may look at times. Your perspective is everything. You will follow your own voice if you complain about things not going "right". It's called self-sabotage, and you will cause your whole effort to fall apart when you speak negatively of it, even if it feels like what you think or say is completely accurate and innocent. Don't risk things taking a wrong turn. Throw those negative messages to the wayside. Watch your mindset and watch your mouth. 

3. It's all worth it! Even if it's a small achievement, you will be so proud of yourself! Be sure to count every move you make and every step you take as win! Celebrate it, no matter how little it seems or how insignificant it is to you or anyone watching to see your results. This is all about you! Every time you can put a check mark beside something you did, do it. It means you are moving and shaking things up. Be determined to ease on down your road, and keep it going!

Make this year YOUR year! Own it! ~ S.R.F.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Let It Go and Let's Go Forward!

As Christmas wraps up, we move into the New Year with just as much excitement, but sometimes with regret, too. We've pondered our faults, fumbles and failures, getting ready to make new commitments with intention and purpose. Statistics say we forget about most of what we said we would do within two to three weeks post January 1. I wonder why? Sounds good to say it? Perhaps, but it is a grand thing if we follow through. Here are some thoughts that can help:

1. Don't make a pledge you know you can't keep. That's self-sabotage that leads to feelings of failure. Avoid it.

2. Highlight every good move and measure you have already taken about anything. It's fuel enough to motivate you to accomplishing more.

3. DO NOT DWELL ON past failures. We've all failed at many things, and if we stayed stuck there, what would this world look like? The best of failures have brought forth some of the most incredible inventions in history.

4. DO NOT TELL YOURSELF one more time that you can't do it better this coming year. YOU CAN! Be determined and unstoppable this time.

5. Go easy on yourself if it feels like the goals are not goal-ing in the right direction some days. Believe it or not, that's pretty normal. Plans and goals very often require adjustments along the way.

6. Discouraged already?! Say it ain't so! Keep yourself on "full" with motivating music, recordings, videos, messages and empowering self-talk. Motivate yourself!

7. Don't quit. If you quit anything, quit fretting. Quit complaining. Quit having pity parties. Quit giving energy to negative thoughts. Quit hanging out with negative people. Quit putting yourself down. Quit giving your power away. Quit anything that isn't moving you toward your happy places. Quit anything that is stealing your peace. Perfect this kind of quitting.

8. Show up for yourself. We don't always find the encouragement and high-fives we would like to have from others. Tell yourself you're awesome. Tell yourself you're amazing. Tell yourself you're powerful. Tell yourself these things even on the days that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Stay in the game no matter what!

9. It can get lonely when you are trying to have your best intentions manifest into your best life, but stay focused on your plan and your destiny. It's your idea. It's your lane. It's your purpose. It's your dream. You don't need a team to believe in yourself, just YOU.

10. Let stuff go that feels like a burden to you, your life, your heart and soul. If you want to move forward, it won't benefit you to have stuff that doesn't really matter dragging you down. Let it go. Let's go forward into 2024 with the eye of a tiger, fierce and focused on reaching our goals. No regrets! Reach for those dreams and make them a reality!

~ S.R.F.

Friday, November 3, 2023

How To Be Grateful When You're Really Not

It's Thanksgiving month, and if you're one of those people who think "if I see one more post that says 'Give Thanks' I'm gonna choke," you are among others who could care less about it, too. Really, truthfully, you are truly not alone. Many, many people feel the same way at this time of year, and many feel it all the time. 

So, what is there to be so thankful about, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did ask, so don't stop reading.

Life's blows can crush the thankfulness right out of you, I know this. However, I also know that having that perspective can limit life to seeing only disappointment and despair in everything and everybody. In no way do I mean to minimize any challenges that may have brought anyone to places of severe hardship and devastating heartbreak, but by choosing to reject opening your eyes and heart to others, opportunities and surroundings can make you miss the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees, and the beauty and wonder of all the simple things that can make you appreciate taking life in daily.

Opening up can be a challenge on several levels. Trying to see hope and happiness is an internal job. Our internal messaging can really mess us up when it comes to seeing life from a better perspective. Make note that I did say "perspective," because what you actually see may not look different, you just start to see and process things differently. The sun coming thru the window looks brighter. The breath you just took in, you felt it on purpose. That stuff that hurts, you are deciding it can't hold your happiness hostage forever. Yes, these are steps toward thankfulness. Each and everyday, you can take another small, but meaningful step toward appreciating life's big and small things. It takes personal effort.

I am not suggesting that you create false illusions about life, because that's certainly not a healthy thing to do on any given day. However, re-adjusting the lenses, adjusting your perspective in a way that clears the way to see more goodness than gloom, helps to inspire gratitude.

Most of us don't get through life with the greatest of ease, and well, it's because it is life, filled with all of it's twists and turns, ups and downs and unexpected roads. Choose to not be defeated by it. Lack of hope is a thief, and so is lack of vision to all of the simple things that can still bring joy to a heart.

Start here. Start now. Can you consider this: perhaps, feeling just a little grateful knowing that someone really cared about how you may be feeling right now, enough to send you some loving encouragement and inspiration? I hope you felt it.

~ S.R.F.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Three "N" Words You Should Use As Needed

We maneuver through life often carrying a lot of weight that's not our own. It's because we've said yes and okay to responsibilities and requests far beyond our ability to handle them well. That part, right?

One of the best skills sets we can develop is when we should say NO, when we should say NOT NOW, and when we should say NEVER.

Say "NO" Telling people NO feels difficult if we feel like we are going to let someone down who is depending on us, or if we think they will think ill of us for not saying yes. It's time to think this instead: where do I land if I say yes? Will I be inconvenienced, overwhelmed, over-committed, over my head or out of control with my own stuff if I say yes? If saying yes is more pressure than true pleasure and ease at helping someone, then the answer is a gracious, unapologetic NO. They will go on to someone else, and you will eventually get over your guilt.

Say "NOT NOW." When you can't make time and space adjustments to accommodate the requests of others, just say that it's not something you can get to right now, not at this time, perhaps another time, but NOT RIGHT NOW. Save yourself in these situations. You don't have to be everyone's go-to guy or gal. You don't need to be the one who is always saving the day, at your own expense. You don't have to extricate your availability all the time, but you do need to be very choosey. Do what really matters. Do it for those you really care about, and for those who you know really care about you. Make time and space when you can see that it may benefit you as well as them, maybe as a trade-off or as a for sure WIN-WIN. Otherwise, you may lose time and space that you really needed and couldn't afford to lose, and may find it difficult to regain again. Think about that.

Whatever you do, it's best not to say okay to something that you know you haven't figured out how you can possibly handle it, or how you'll fit it in. No time to do it? No place to get it in? No space in your day for it? A wise answer is probably "I can't do it, NOT RIGHT NOW." Take a deep breath, and if it's necessary, say "I'm really sorry, I just can't fit it in." You have to take care of yourself first in order to help others now, or later.

Say "NEVER" I've learned that some people are not at all afraid to make some ridiculous requests, some just outright crazy things, not caring how it might affect your time, family, work or life. Without providing scenarios, I think we all have been there when someone has asked things of us that made us look at them sideways. There is only one effective response while you are wondering if they have lost their mind, and that is to say "That's NEVER going to happen." Close the door on it. Close the conversation and say it to them again one more time, if needed. 

Those "NEVER" responses are situations that you can walk away from with no apology, no guilt either. Anyone who puts you in a place to their advantage but to your loss and disadvantage, may be someone who you NEVER want to see again. I don't know, you'll have decide. People will use you if you let them. You can let them, or you can decide to NEVER let them. I vote for you being okay with saying NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. Door closed. Conversation closed. Case closed. Don't be done in because someone may think you're easy prey for getting what they want. NEVER let that happen.


Saturday, September 2, 2023


Like many of you, I can remember when I thought forty was getting "old". In the minds of the generation that I was in at that time, forty pretty much was considered the highway to serious aging problems, like aching joints and bones, a general malaise and lack of delight in the future, to name a couple.

But, alas! Things have changed, Friends, and very much so! Like what, you ask?

Particularly and specifically, mindsets have changed, attitudes are changing, health and body goals are changing. And, the reason is that we are realizing that at forty you're hardly old yet. In fact, in many ways life is just beginning, if you have learned anything at all about life itself by that time. The key here is this: BEGIN to think like you have some great years ahead of you to still do many great, exciting things, that do include a whole new beginning if that's what you want and need. Ah, yes! Now, that's pretty awesome! Start over! Go get it! Do it!

You probably have enough information by that stage in life to see the many choices still available to feel strong and vital. The business you tried to launch earlier in life didn't work out? Your marriage needs repair, renewal or a redo? You didn't go after your dream job? Well, set your sights on life ahead, new paths, new highways, new lanes, new people, new relationships, new opportunities. Stop telling yourself you're done and out. You can keep thinking you are old, or you can start believing you're awesome enough to do it, because you really can.

Get your mind right and set your sails in the direction of the favorable winds of life, and not the hard, drudgery of going up and "over the hill". That's no fun. Be about the business of growing older gracefully. Make it a plan and purpose to make the best of the days, months and years down the road. You can still do some amazing things with the rest of your life at any age and stage, because you are not old, you are AWESOME! REMEMBER: Your attitude about aging is your SUPER POWER! ~ S.R.F.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Self-Sabotage Lie: "I Can't"


Chances are that right at this moment you may be processing a happy thought, and creative idea, a perfect plan, an enthusiastic effort, a wonderful fantasy vacation, a special something or another. Then, this truly bothersome thing happens in your mind: you come up with all the reasons why you can't move forward with any of it. You find yourself all tied up with negative thinking and self-sabotage.

Do I even begin to investigate why you can think through the joy of it all, but then tell yourself "I can't" possibly do that? Let's see if you can change your own mind about it.

Here's a little more food for your thoughts. Ask yourself:

1. Can I make this a reality? Most of us are not entertaining ridiculous, unachievable dreams, plans or goals. We are thinking about stuff that we know others have been able to accomplish. We are thinking about plans that are proven to work in the lives and business of people we know. We are not thinking so out of the ordinary that it's weird to consider a dream as impossible. The biggest issue is that many of our imaginings take time, money and effort to get. Don't write yourself off because of that. Save or secure the money. Make the time. Do the work. Yes, YOU CAN.

2. Fantasizing is fun, but it can be a big time waster. Start googling some possibilities. Call friends and associates that you know will encourage you and show support. Get those thoughts on paper. Make some phone calls. Set up some appointments and meetings. Watch some videos that give tools and insights. Start looking at things optimistically, and doable. Take yourself from fantasizing to actual steps forward toward your big dream or idea. Get it going. Don't waste any more time just thinking about it. BE about it!

3. Don't let the fear and intimidation fool you. You may get so scared that you give up and give in before you ever really get started. It's normal to feel some kinda way about what may appear to be a risk, but you know what they say: "if not now, when?" Putting something off until later on often ends up never coming to fruition. If later on works best, that's one thing. But if your delay is because of fear or intimidation, be braver. Yes, braver. This is on you. You will either tell yourself "I can" or "I can't" out of fear. Don't let the self-sabotage demons get to you,  fueling your head with lies.

As I said earlier, a great majority of our heart's desires are very achievable. Enjoy the process. Untie your hands. Untie your limited thinking. Untie anything that holds you back from your hopes and dreams.  You can do it. YES, YOU CAN. ~ S.R.F.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Are Little Mishaps Hijacking Your Day?

Disappointment and frustration can lead to depression, among several other emotions and conditions. The causes are many and varied. On a daily basis we can face factors that affect how we feel, situations and circumstances that impact our happiness, our contentment, our feelings of joy, our perspectives on success and failure. It can feel like a roller coaster of events, often hard to maneuver, and even sometimes these events make us feel like life is out of control. The truth is, it isn't beyond you helping yourself.

When disappointment hovers, a first step is dealing with reality. You've heard the saying "we make mountains out of molehills?" Yes, we do that, a lot. A really small thing can trigger loads of emotion, so much so that we lose the perspective of what really happened. Your coffee spills. You can't find your keys. The toilet got stuck. And, the story goes on, and on, and on with insignificant disorders of the day that hijack all the good and positive things you were affirming, and the sense of happiness you sought.

Well, in comparison, many major problems may loom that can't be remedied with a paper towel, discovering where you misplaced your keys that weren't really lost, and plunging the toilet. So, there's that. Those things that are for real - for real bigger issues that disappoint, and the things that you can't possibly immediately do something about, there's a whole other level of combat for that. Bigger battles, bigger problem-solving strategies are needed for sure. However, let's try managing the manageable stuff with this chat.

What is my point? Don't use a magnifying glass to analyze the small "upsets". Keep them small and manageable. Deal with them, and quickly if possible. If you find yourself saying "I knew this would be a crappy day" after several minor unexpected situations, just wait until tomorrow when new stuff happens all over again. Life is full of minor "disappointments" if you want to call them that, but I dare you to give them another name, and decide to handle them differently. Perspective, it matters how you see it.

These small things are not "gut punchers" and we have to learn to see it that way. They can be annoying, little invaders to our day, disappointing to a degree, but not so much that they send us back to bed to hide under the covers. Call them what they are: small hurdles. Then, daily work on your ability to master leaping over them, and trade frustration, disappointment and getting depressed for enjoying a much better day.~ S.R.F.