All Posts in Category: Brett’s Blog
Paint your Life Well
My hand was more than a little unsteady as I held the brush in my hand. It felt foreign to me after spending nearly 20 years away from a canvas and paint. My wife surprised me by planning a date that would force me to pick up a hobby that had somehow been lost to the business of life. In high school and for the first few years following graduation, I had occasionally found the time to sit down and paint a picture.
Now twenty years later, I found myself sitting amongst complete strangers, at the front of the room an instructor began to provide instruction. The date night course promised that anyone could learn to paint, but after so much time away I really began to question that.
As the class progressed I found myself becoming more comfortable, familiar with the brush and the project at hand. Large television monitors around the room, displayed the painting we would all mimic. A painting of a lone tree on a mountain hillside.
About midway through the night, a thought struck me. As I looked around the room, I realized that not a single painting looked alike. There were similar themes, but not one were identical. Every painting was as varied and unique as the individual who created it.
Earlier in the night my wife began making comments about how nervous she was. Would she be able to do it? As she sat by my side I couldn’t help but notice the others who had gathered around, commenting about her work. Just like life, there are those who seem to be naturals, gifted in all they do. There are others that struggle, that need time and development.
As I walked around the room that night, I realized one thing… this life is ours, it’s what we make it. Only we can paint our life’s picture, we are responsible for every stroke we make, good or bad. As hard as we might try to deny it, this life is our own. We can’t compare our masterpiece to that of anyone else. There will be times in our life when we doubt our abilities, and times when we draw a crowd. The secret is to step back and evaluate where our life is headed and realize our work will not be completed until we put that paint brush down.
Paint your life well!
2015 – The Year of the Mom!!
Rediscover the Secret that Once Made You Happy
I’m always amazed as I hear from you, how many out there feel unappreciated. This seems especially true for many of you moms, so I’m dedicating 2015 to “The Year of the Mom!” I want to recognize all the great wives and mothers out there who do so much for the rest of us. My challenge to you in the coming year is recapture the happiness that you once had, or find a way to share it with others.
Let’s face it, life isn’t always easy, there’s a so much going on. As an adult it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of the things that once made us happy. When you stop living with purpose, it’s easy to feel unaccomplished. But it hasn’t always been like, has it? Didn’t you once dream of this day? The day of a family, a home, maybe a career. Maybe life has changed and some of those dreams have slipped away. Either way, you can get that happiness back. It’s not up to anyone else to validate us, this life is ours to live and it all starts by following your heart, making the most of every moment and celebrating even the smallest success.
Think back to a period of life when you were truly happy. Why do you think of that time? What was it that made you so happy? Chances are you’re thinking of a time when you were following your heart, driving toward a goal. Chances are that happiness, didn’t come because of the praise of others, true happiness most often comes from inside. It’s a gift that the universe grants to those who are living their life with purpose, following their inner compass and striving to improve the world around them.
I’ve created this video as a reminder of a simple truth told of in The Compass. It’s a truth that I believe at one point or another we all know, but along the way we might forget. It is such a simple lesson, but the more I talk with people, the more I realize how difficult it can be to put in practice. If we are not careful it’s easy to lose sight of who we are, the truth is you are pretty amazing. Never forget that.
I write stories to inspire, uplift and motivate. I write stories with morals, I hope that you will follow your own personal compass in 2015 and rediscover the happiness that for so many is missing. The Compass is the Story of one girl who discovers what’s possible, when you choose to follow your heart. I hope enjoy it.
Please visit my site and let me know what you think of The Compass at www.authorbrettarmstrong.com . You can purchase your copy here and for a limited time get 50% off you ebook purchase when you use the coupon code Successin2015. You can also purchase your physical copy of The Compass at Amazon.
Happy New Year – Limited Time 50% Off The Compass Ebook Purchase
Tomorrow begins the first page of a new adventure. What story will you write? The pursuit of a dream, the rekindling of a of an old love or the reinvention of a new you? Whatever story you choose, I hope you write it well. Only you can put the pen to the paper, this story is yours and yours alone.
As the year comes to a close I want to thank each of you for your support of The Compass in 2014. In the last few months, I have been overwhelmed by the feedback I have received and the support of so many of you who have already purchased The Compass.
It is my hope that each of you have an incredible new year. To show my appreciation and encourage everyone to live their dream in the coming year, I am offering a 50% discount on all ebook purchases through my website, www.authorbrettarmstrong.com – (does not apply to hard copies).
To get your discounted eBook of The Compass click here , select the download you’d like by clicking the purchase button, add to cart, then enter the code Successin2015 in the coupon section of your shopping cart. Complete your purchase by clicking checkout with paypal, you’ll then be emailed a link where you can download your ebook instantly. This discount is limited to the first 50 to users.
Thank you again, I look forward to hearing of everyone’s adventures in 2015.
Cheering for the Underdog
Stories with Morals
I was raised in a home where we cheered for the underdog. It was true in sports as well as daily life. I recall my parents cutting out news paper clippings about individuals who overcame great adversity, struggles and misfortune until they eventually found success. They weren’t intended to succeed, at least by the world’s standards but they were determined in their heart.
That is largely the way I approach life, as though I am not supposed to succeed but determined that I will. That strategy has served me well, though I have been the fortunate beneficiary of many fantastic opportunities in my life.
As a result of this underdog mentality, I love movies and stories with a moral, stories about great successes, it is much of the reason I right about them… to inspire others as these stories have inspired me. I’m driven by stories with morals. The world today is a place where it is popular to be cynical, negative and even mean. That’s the easiest approach to life, because when we don’t believe in our self, how can we ever believe in another.
Instead, how different would life be if we all lived with the determination of characters in great movies like Rudy and Hoosiers. Small town hero’s who were never expected to amount to much but went on to achieve the greatest desires of their hearts. That’s where it all begins, finding with a desire and a determination to find what ever it is you are being drawn to today. I am convinced we all are capable of greatness, that doesn’t mean being a millionaire, playing in professional sports or even being famous.
Greatness comes in many forms, what that means for you is different than what that means for me. If you are honest with yourself, has there ever been a time in your life where you felt you were meant to accomplish something, you wanted to make a difference or leave a legacy in some form. If you have I believe that is your heart, guiding you on a path known only to you, a direction intended only for you. The challenge is that for so many of us we get caught up in the every day battles of life. Going to work, paying the bills and so much more -if we’re not careful those things can all get in the way of the dreams you once had or have today.
My hope is that this blog provides you with the courage you need to find your path and and follow The Compass.
Hanging On the Edge
Stories With Morals
I found myself this weekend in a precarious position. My heart raced as I wondered how the headlines might read the next day. As I looked up I could see the summit of the mountain that had been my objective. I was not an experienced climber, I had made climbs in the past but surely nothing as steep as what I now faced in the Utah mountains. My fingers clung to the anything within reach, my feet braced against the sheer wall on one side, while my right heel pressed for anything to catch a hold.
Despite my best attempt, I soon found myself sliding toward an empty abyss. Most concerning beyond the fall was the fact that my wife and our oldest daughter watched helplessly from from below. I knew the fall would hurt but I didn’t want them to see it. The adrenaline kicked in and I hollered to them, “steady the ladder.”
No, I wasn’t scaling a mountain. But the steep pitched roof of our home does sit in the mountains and I truly was fearful as I slid down a very steep roof line. In the end the only thing hurt was my pride. Embarrassed that the I have been bungee jumping, sky diving and paragliding, but unable to secure my footing on the roof, I admitted defeat and “agreed” to pay a professional to hang the Christmas lights this year. It will mark the first year I have not hung the lights myself.
Our prior homes have always provided relatively easy access to the roof line, making the job manageable. This was the first year, in this home that I had attempted to hang lights. Though that decision put me in a dangerous position, I learned a valuable lesson once again – I could either disappoint my family, spending the holidays with no outdoor lighting or I could ask for help. You have no idea how hard that is for me, but being the true Clark Griswold of Christmas I could never let that happen.
Ultimately the lesson I learned was one that I find myself needing to learn over and over again in this life, the moral of this story is,”Surround yourself with good people and let professionals be professionals.”
Too often people like us (you and me), believe we can do it all alone. For some reason I fool myself at times in believing that success will be a little sweeter if I do it all myself. In hindsight, the most successful periods of my life have come when I have a well thought out plan and align myself with other talented people. When you consider the most successful and inspirational people of our time, they were those with a vision who sought out the talent of others when they did not have the capability them self.
That is great advice for anyone in search of happiness and success. Follow your heart and seek out those who will support you in your journey.
To learn more about starting your journey to happiness and success read The Compass.
Captain Zack and His Trip to the Moon
Inspiring Short Stories With Morals
Captain Zack was a man most misunderstood. They called him strange, but he had a dream that he thought was quite good.
Zack would not sit idly watching T.V. and he refused to daydream under a tree.
He didn’t have time to sit around sad, so he worked up a plan that made him most glad
Zack was not different from you… or from me, he also had dreams and a reason to be.
Zack’s plan couldn’t wait. No, not one more day. He’d build a rocket and he’d build it right a way.
So with a box and some glue and the string from his shoe, he worked on a plan to fly to the moon.
Then with his ship and its parts all in place Zack charted a plan for his trip to space.
Where would he go? To the sun or Neptune? No that didn’t feel right, he’d shoot for the moon.
Soon it was time for the final count down and Zack was surprised when his friends gathered round.
Good luck! Good luck! They’d happily say, Zack smiled for he felt a little less strange that day.
And so it was with a nod and a wave, he said goodbye to Brook, Bill and Dave. Then he stretched, his arm, leg and hip and strange captain Zack climbed into his ship.
With his seat buckled tight, a helmet on his head and gloves on his hand… Zack sat quiet as the countdown began.
First ten through six, then 5-4-3-2 and 1, and that old rocket shot off like a gun.
Up, up he went with the clouds all around. He got nervous a bit and said goodbye to the ground.
In space he traveled for more than an hour and soon he discovered a meteor shower.
“Oh, no!” said Zack, for he was certain that ship was now under attack.
Then 1-2-3 holes in the side of his ship, his eyes teared up and started to drip.
Without his ship he soon floated in space, but instead of a frown, Zack put a smile on his face.
Though he had not land on the Neptune or Mars… because of his courage captain Zack was among the stars.
So, if one day you fail and end up like Zack, remember the only thing worse is no plan of attack.
So dream now, dream big wherever you are and the worst that can happen… you’ll be among the stars.
Copyright Author Brett Armstrong 2014
Holding on to Happiness – inspirational story
I’ve often heard that in order to have what you want, you sometimes need to let it go. This is easier said than done. As humans we crave consistency, stability and the familiar, but life has a way of giving us just the opposite. It deals the card we need, not necessarily the ones we want. The trick is learning to make the best hand possible.
Watch the video below, Nick Vujicic, his life is truly an inspirational story.
A Lesson From Famous Failures
If you’ve never failed, you have never tried. The worlds greatest success stories have followed extreme adversities and untold tears. Life doesn’t wait for you and it doesn’t give handouts. Just ask the worlds greatest success stories.