Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bullying Sucks

This week I just want to share something that is on my heart. I've been searching for solutions on a particular subject, but I have found nothing. The subject that has come up quite a bit over the last few weeks is bullying. I have heard countless stories of young people being bullied, and my heart breaks for all of them. Even worse, it seems as though very little is being done to help.

I don't know how it is for folks in other states, but Hawaii has no anti-bullying laws. Some changes are in the process of being made, but a recent report says that bullying is a major problem here and not even close to enough is being done to help (see: "New poll calls bullying 'major problem' in Hawaii"). The public school system says they are implementing programs to stop bullying, but again, not enough is being done. Moreover, many parents and students have personally told me of how they have gone to speak to school administrators because they or someone they knew was being bullied, only to have the administrators ignore them, tell them nothing can be done, or even go so far as to tell them that it isn't a "school" problem, so they would not do anything about the bullying.

In my own searches for answers, I have found nothing. I wanted to help with a fundraiser and give the funds to an anti-bullying group, but I couldn't find any to give the money to. It's sad, really. I guess in our particular state there are way more questions than answers. Meanwhile, young people are hurting out there. Some of them are taking their own lives as a result of bullying and that is completely unacceptable. More needs to be done, but what?

This is where I find myself. I want to do more, but I'm not sure what to do yet. Where does one even begin with a problem of this magnitude? Anyway, this is what is on my heart. I'm going to keep working on this. I would love to have input. Please feel free to share your stories as well. Your voice counts. It's time to stand up to bullying. Take care everyone and God bless.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Don't let life pass you by

Recently, I wrote about nearly breaking my neck in a freak accident. Since then, my perspective on life has changed a bit. My children have always been the priority in my life, but I haven't always placed the same emphasis on spending time with family and friends. I spend a lot of my time writing or promoting my books. I noticed this week that I spent so much time working on stuff that I let too much of life pass me by.

Earlier today I text a friend of mine I have known since we were kids. Right after I sent the text, I realized I hadn't sent him a text since last Thanksgiving. That is completely unacceptable. Yesterday, I was blessed to have spent time with another old friend and his family (their family is like family to me). It didn't occur to me until later on that I haven't seen or spoken to some of them in months.

I know there is the saying that real friends don't grow apart even if they don't talk everyday, live far away, or haven't seen each other for a long time, but I still feel like I need to put more effort into these relationships. I think it's too easy to get so caught up in life that we forget to live it. We get so caught up in the daily grind that, before we know it, days, months, or years have passed by. It's too easy to take important things, people, and events in life for granted. We figure there is always tomorrow to get it right. But what if there isn't a tomorrow?

Don't let life pass you by. There may not be a tomorrow. Today is the only guarantee we get, so make the most of it. Spend time with family and friends. Live your life with purpose. Don't get caught up in the grind. I think Ferris Bueller said it best when he said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Have a blessed week my friends!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The big wake up call

I talk a lot about living life to the fullest. I'm a big believer in helping everyone to live the best life possible. However, I must admit that even I need a reminder from time-to-time to stop and smell the roses, be in the moment, and truly live. I like to call this little reminder a wake up call. Arguably, the biggest of all the wake up calls is the near death experience.

A near death experience will have you checking your priorities faster than any self help guru, book, or televangelist could possibly accomplish. This type of wake up call lights a fire under your butt like no other. It's unfortunate that so many of us fail to take a good, hard look at our lives until we are forced to. I think we all know better, but we get so caught up in the monotony of day-to-day living that we forget that there are more important things in life.

Oh, why am I talking about this subject? Well, that answer is simple. This past Labor Day I nearly broke my neck and drowned. Having grown up in Hawaii, I am a very good swimmer and body surfer. I'm not sure what happened on this particular occasion that was different. All I can say is: sometimes stuff happens. Sometimes stuff happens that alters the course of our lives in an instant, and that is why we must live the best life we can now. There may not be a tomorrow to try and get it right.

Fortunately, I survived - all praise, and honor, and glory be to God for getting me out of that one. I am in some awful pain and have some scrapes on my face, but I am alive. This was a huge wake up call for me. I hope that by talking to you all about this you will not wait until something like this happens to you before you start living the life you always meant to. Start living today. Don't put off the changes you desire for tomorrow, because tomorrow may be too late.

For a picture of my beat up face, check out my twitter profile. Don't get so caught up in everyday life that you forget to truly live. All of us need a reminder every so often, myself included, but don't wait for something terrible to happen before you catch the hint. Live, my friends, I mean, really live. Have a blessed week everyone!

Monday, September 1, 2014

If I can do it, so can you

First off, let me say: My third book is almost ready for release! It's hard to believe that my third book is almost here. To be quite honest, I wasn't sure if I could finish writing one book. When I finished the first book, I wasn't sure I could write one more. Now, here we are, and the trilogy is nearly complete.

I know a lot of writers use their blogs to offer writing tips and advice, but I really don't have any. The only thing I can say with certainty is: The only true failure is not trying. If you want to succeed at anything, you need to try. A lot of people tell me how they aren't sure they could ever write a book. I don't think anyone is really sure at the beginning, but I can guarantee you'll never find out, if you never try.

If I can write, so can you. I had no idea what I was doing when I started this journey. A few years later, I have made the Amazon bestseller list. My second book made it into the top 3. I have a pretty good fan base. Most importantly, I'm still enjoying writing. The fact is: I would not have accomplished anything if I did not bother to try.

Life is too short to not chase your dreams. Why not chase a few? I say chase as many as you can, and hopefully, you catch more than a few. You want to be a writer, well then write. You have another dream, go after it. No one is going to chase your dreams for you. You have to put in the effort. Don't walk through life wondering about the would've, could've, should've moments you let pass you by.

For me, writing a book was just one of my dreams. I'm constantly in the process of chasing dreams, whether it be writing, skimboarding, or whatever other crazy activity I'm doing. I hope that as I catch a few of those dreams it will inspire others to chase theirs. So, get out there and chase your dreams. If you have the time, tell me about a few. I love to hear from people who are living the dream. Have a wonderful week everybody!