Turning Tragedy Into Triumph

Have you ever been knocked down? Knocked flat on your back? There is only one option, get back up and get going. It’s hard, really hard. And, at times, seemingly impossible. When we get up off the mat, rise, and begin again, it is a personal triumph. The following  short YouTube video tells one man’s story of getting up and going on. Get Inspired by his story.

Our Attitude Makes All The Difference

Life isn’t easy. Some days it takes heaps of courage just to get out of bed. If you’re having a tough day, you’re not alone. Every person who has lived, is living, or will live has rough, really rough moments. The attitude we take to life’s rough moments can make all the difference in how we work our way through them. The right attitude will transform tragedy’s into triumphs. The following short YouTube video presents a short story using metaphors to illustrate the importance of cultivating the right attitude.

Where’s Your Father?

“Suck it up, kid, you’ve just started,” barked Farlo sounding like a drill instructor.

Joey lied sprawled out on the grass in the back of his house. “I can’t move. I ache all over. Can I have a beer?”

“You’ve only done two pushups. You’ve got sit ups, burpees, jumping jacks, and cardio.”

“I quit. I don’t want to get in shape. I want my beer and cereal. I wanna go to work. I want you to leave. I want everything back to the way it used to be,” complained Joey.

Farlo turned his head toward Tina, “Joey has lots of things he wants. You think he’s going to get them?”

Tina barked twice. “Tina smarter than you, Joey. She said it won’t happen.” Farlo bent over and picked up small rocks and began throwing them at Joey.

“Hey, cut it out,” hollered Joey.

“Start exercising. You’ve got love handles. Your belly hangs an inch over your belt. You’re getting a double chin. I’ll put ten dollars you’ve had hemorrhoids in the past six weeks,” now start moving your lazy butt before I start kicking it.

“Ouch, I said cut it out. This kills, three. Fo .. fo .. four. Fi .. fi .. five. I did it. I did it. I did five. I met my goal,” a note of triumph in Joey’s voice.

“Congratulations,” the words from Farlo’s deadpan voice. He added, “My five-year-old granddaughter can do twenty. Roll over, time for sit ups.”

So it went for the next hour. Joey starting an exercise. Joey quitting. Joey hollering “ouch” when rocks hit him. Joey overjoyed when he hit the day’s goal. Farlo popping his balloon.

Forty-five minutes later Joey finished his oatmeal, fruit, and juice. “I’m still hungry. I need real food. Not this fast food stuff.”

“That’s all you earned. Now we’re going to work on your psychological profile. If I had a stamp, I’d stamp the sheet LOSER. Filo gets a feather up his you know what when I do that. He told me it’s counterproductive.”

“I already like Filo,” said Joey.

Farlo waved his hand as if he was smacking away Joey’s remark, “Don’t get carried away. He also told me if I had to, I could take drastic action with you. I don’t need preapproval.”

“What’s that?” asked Joey.

“You don’t want to know. If I told you, you’d soil yourself.”

“Huh?”

“First question, where is your father?”

Joey squirmed. He looked out the window. Then he turned back to Farlo, “In the state prison. He’s doing hard time.”

“For what?”

“Dealing, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, pimping, possession, selling stolen goods, and blackmail.”

“You want to end up like him, kid? Or, do you want to make something of yourself? You got a choice, you can be a bum or a blessing.”

“He never forgot me on Christmas when he wasn’t in the pen,” said Joey defensively.

“Next question, “Where’s your mom?”

“Women’s prison for the next twenty to thirty. She might get paroled after fifteen with good behavior,” said Joey.

“For what?”

“Forgery. Intimidation. Posing as a TSA agent. Dealing. Possession. Assault with intent to maim and kill, but she had a reason for the last one. She caught her girlfriend with her boyfriend.”

“You mean she was cheating on your father.”

“Okay, she’s not perfect,” said Joey.

Farlo took out his wallet, he handed Joey two twenties and a sheet of paper, “You’re going to the store and getting only the items on this list. Tina is going with you. She has creds as a therapy dog. If you try to run away, you’ll lose the use of your leg. Bring me back the change and the receipt.”

“You don’t trust me, do you.”

“That’s right. Now move out.”

“I do not work for you,” Joey said, his voice rising in anger.

“Tina!” said Farlo.

Tina growled.

Joey said, “Okay. Okay. I’m going. Tell Tina to chill. Do you have a muzzle? Where’s her leash?”

“She doesn’t need either one,” snapped Farlo.

“Can I get a pack of gum?” asked Joey in a conciliatory tone.

Farlo lifted his cane and gripped the end of it in one hand as if it were a club.

“I’m going. I’m going. Relax.”

Will Joey make a break for it? Will Tina stop him? Who’s Filo

One Ordinary Woman – Unstoppable

Do you think you are only one person? Do you often say, “What can I do?” “How can I make a difference?” All it takes is one person, with a courageous heart. One person who sees injustice, evil, or a person who needs healing and acts. It takes persistence and an indomitable spirit. Are you that person? Irena Sendler was that person. Watch the 2 minute YouTube video and you’ll discover what one ordinary person did that was by any measure extraordinary. I know she inspired me. I hope she will touch your heart.

My Alarm Didn’t Go Off

It’s 5 a.m., Joey’s alarm is set to ring at 6:30. He doesn’t have to be at work until 8. Right now, Joey’s lying on a beach chair, tanned, clothed in a bathing suit. His beach chair sits on a white sandy beach in Jamaica. Joey takes one look at the bluest bit of ocean water you’ll ever see. Then he turns his head to the beach chair next to him to marvel at one of the world’s wonders, a scantily clad native beauty who’s smiling at him, her red lips and sultry look tell Joey all he wants to know. They’re drinking margaritas. Joey knows where the afternoon is headed, until . . .

“Wake up low life. Rise and shine. You’re snoozing you’re losing.” A series of angry barks followed. He felt the covers ripped off him.

He pulled his pillow over his head, kicked his legs and feet at an elusive enemy, and screamed, “Get out of here. My alarm didn’t go off. I don’t have to be to work until 8.”

“Five seconds, that’s all you got, you piece of work to get up. I’m feeling generous, you got fifteen minutes to shave, shower, do your business, make your bed and stand for inspection,” barked Farlo in a baritone voice mixed with the sound of a jackhammer and lawn mower.

“I’m not getting up. Get used to it,” uttered Joey’s muffled voice. Then he added, “What are you doing? Are you nuts?” said Joey jumping out of bed soaking wet. His sheets and mattress soaked. He rubbed his eyes with his fists. He opened his eyes, his arms by his sides, his fists clenched, and stared at Farlo.

Farlo stood rim rode straight in front of him. Farlo held on to his cane with his right hand and an empty two gallon water bucket in the other. Tina sat next to Farlo on her haunches. To Joey, it looked like Tina was laughing at him.

“You look like crap. You have fifteen minutes and counting. The clock is ticking. Make sure the bathroom is the way you found it or your ass is grass and I’m the lawn mower,” snarled Farlo sounding like an irritated pit bull.

Joey took a step toward Farlo, Tina let out a growl. Joey stepped back and said, “At least get out of my room.”

Farlo stared at Joey, “Don’t worry about work. I called in for you and told your supervisor you quit. You’ll get your check in next week’s mail.”

“I, I, I’ve been there for five years. I was building a career portfolio. I need that job,” Joey snapped.

“It’s a dead-end job kid. You’re working for me. You’re going to thank me for getting you out of a loser’s job. This is the first day of the rest of your life. Now, move out.”

“But, but, but . . .”

“Tina!” said Farlo.

Tina stood up. She set herself to attack Joey. Joey stepped back and walked a wide circle around Tina and Farlo and headed to the bathroom.

Sixteen minutes later Joey went into the kitchen. He saw Farlo sitting on one of his two chairs, actually empty kegs. On the table in front of Farlo sat a bowl of oatmeal, container of Greek yogurt, dish of fresh fruit, and coffee.

“Where’d you get that food?” asked Joey.

“Filo had it delivered at oh four hundred.”

“What time is that?” asked Joey.

Joey walked over to the table and sat down on the other keg. He looked at the empty space in front of him, “Where’s my food?”

“What do you think you’re doing, kid? You haven’t stood for inspection. Go back to your bedroom and call me when you’re standing as straight as a lamp pole,” said Farlo. He paused and took a sip of his coffee.

“This is not fair,” said Joey.

“I know,” said Farlo.

Joey turned and went back to his bedroom. A moment later, he called, “I’m ready.”

Tina walked in the bedroom first followed by Farlo. “Check it for drugs and weapons girl.”

Tina slowly walked around the bed sniffing the sheets and mattress. She stopped when she reached the other side of the bed. Her head stared directly at Joey’s pillow. Farlo walked past Joey and around the bed. Joey turned his head.

Farlo barked, “Eyes front.” Joey turned his head toward the door.

Joey heard a ripping sound. He heard the rustling of a pillow case and saw feathers floating over his head. He heard, “Aha, weed. Are you a pothead? Is this what I’m dealing with? You’re going cold turkey. No drugs, no alcohol. Forget coffee. You’re on a restricted, cleansing diet, water, fruit, spinach and kale and whole grains for two weeks. If it doesn’t work, you’ll get a juice enema.”

“Noooooo,” whimpered Joey.

“You don’t even know how to make a bed. You are a shipwreck. You’re standing in the middle of the tracks and a speeding train is about to reduce you to rubble. Burn the linen. It hasn’t been changed and washed in six months. Now let me look at you.”

Farlo paced around Joey until stood six inches from Joey’s face. “Listen up. No grunge, short haircut, use a brush on your fingernails and for God’s sake, trim them. I didn’t see any floss in your bathroom. I’ll make you a shopping list. You can sit and watch me eat.”

“What about me?” asked Joey.

Farlo ignored Joey’s comment. “Wait until I’m finished eating. You have to exercise before you eat.”

“What?”

“Filo told me you were a Cat 5 project. That’s as high as the numbers go. That’s the worst case of all the worst cases. Nothing to worry about. I never fail.”

“Who’s Filo?” asked Joey.

Who is Filo? I have the same question. What are Filo’s plans for Joey? Why was Joey chosen? Come back tomorrow to see how Joey’s doing.

Three Weeks of Unwashed Laundry

Farlo sat at the clean kitchen table. Not exactly a kitchen table, it was a card table Joey picked out of a dumpster. Joey sat across from him. Tina lied on the floor next to Farlo’s feet.

“What’d you think? My house looks awesome,” said Joey beaming with pride.

“If I told you what I think, I’d hurt your feelings. So, I’ll sugar coat it because you are a baby in the world of grownups,” said Farlo.

“You’re negative. Can’t you say anything nice?” asked Joey.

“You want positive, I’ll give you positive. You took the trash off the floor. The carried the trash out to the trash can. You washed the dishes, dried them and put them away. Now, reality. The floor has more stains than a Chinese restaurant with a D rating from the board of health. You have three weeks of unwashed clothes in your closet. Don’t think I didn’t find them hiding behind four crates filled with empty beer cans. When was the last time you bought a toothbrush? Need I go on?”

“So? It’s my house and I’m happy with it. You know where the door is,” said Joey.

“Gig, poor attitude. You’re up to four gigs. One more and you’re grounded. Right now, you’re on level four correction,” said Farlo.

“What’s level four?” said Joey.

“I’m holding your cell phone for two weeks,” said Farlo matter-of-factly.

“I am not a child. You don’t give it to me, I’ll call the police,” said Joey.

“With what? I have your cell phone,” said Farlo.

“Who are you? Why are you here? Who sent you? What can I do to make you leave me alone?” said Joey.

Farlo looked down at Tina, patted her on the head, then he looked back up at Joey, “You look disgusting. You smell disgusting. You’re fifteen pounds overweight. You’re soft. I’m giving you a pass on your appearance today. Tomorrow morning you’ll stand inspection. Who am I? I’m your best friend, only you don’t know it. Why am I here? The boss said you’d be a tough case, but he thinks you’re worth it. He’s got a job for you to do. Me? I’m your mentor, best friend, life line, or drill instructor, I’m getting you ready. Who sent me? Filo. And, there’s nothing you can do to make me leave.”

“Who’s Filo?”

“I’ll tell you if you agree to a lobotomy. No answer? Get cleaned up. That’s means shave, shower, and put on clean clothes. We’re going out to dinner.

“I want delivery pizza,” said Joey.

“Pizza’s off the menu until further notice,” said Farlo.

“Does that include elephant ears, fried dough, and hotdogs?”

Farlo gave Joey a what do you think look.

Noooooooooo,” screamed Joey.

Tina growled.

Will Farlo straighten out Joey? Who is Filo? Come back tomorrow and see where this is going.

Light The Fire

I’m hoping you have a passion to use the awesome gift that is within you. Don’t know what it is? Make a decision, go for it. What do you have to lose? The following YouTube video contains the narration of a poem that was read on a Netflix Tony Robbins special. I found it inspiring. Let’s light the fire, fan the flames, and reach down deep to pull it off.