Empowering Tip: Labor Day celebrates our workforce

Hi everyone! Today we’re not going to talk about a quote; we’re going to talk about Labor Day (I know, this is way late, we’ve had technical difficulties this week – but I still wanted to post this).

So OK, kids – I’m actually amazed at how many people don’t know what Labor Day is. Students and teachers alike are really excited to have the day off, but no one talks about what we’re recognizing. Many people I’ve talked to think Labor Day is about thanking our troops. And don’t get me wrong, our troops should be thanked – but that’s not what Labor Day is for.

Labor Day is actually about celebrating the social and economic achievements of the American workforce. It’s a lot more complicated than this, but as a basic starting point – let’s just say it’s to celebrate people who work. 

I hope you were able to thank the people in your life who contribute to our great country by “laboring.” But if you didn’t, that’s OK – just remember for next year. And as you get older, you can start to learn more about the details and history of Labor Day. It’s actually pretty interesting!

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Empowering Tip: Be conscious of your choices

Today’s quote is “You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.” This was said by Zig Ziglar, an incredible motivational speaker and author.

Of course, you all have your own opinions and thoughts, and you all can make your own choices. The thing is, a lot of choices come with consequences – and you have to be able to deal with them. For instance, you can choose not to do your homework; but now you have to go to school and deal with the fact that you didn’t do your homework, and you’re probably going to get in trouble (not to mention probably hurt your grade). Or, you can choose to do your homework, and then you have to deal with the fact that you go to school, have your homework done, and are awesome – and you won’t get in trouble!

It can be really hard sometimes to think about what the very end impact will be – but for every choice, you have to be able to think through the possible outcomes. Sometimes we do things because we don’t realize there are consequences (or what those will be), and then we’re upset because we’ve made the wrong choice. But if you’d thought about it a bit more up front, maybe you’d realize it was the wrong choice before you made it.

So – be very conscious of your choices. And if you make a choice and you know there will be consequences, prepare yourself – and don’t whine about it, because you made the choice and you’d better be prepared for the consequences.

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Empowering Tip: Find fun in the ordinary

Today, instead of a quote, I have a “lesson,” and I’ve got a special guest to help me with it!

This … this is my cat, Amie! She’s … I don’t know how old – but she absolutely loves to play. Because of that, we’ve bought her all kinds of toys, and even considered getting her a little playset. But what she loves more than anything we’ve bought her is crumpled-up pieces of paper, random wrappers, boxes, paper bags, hair scrunchies (which she swallows – she can’t have those any more)… She has so much fun with these simple things we already have around the house.

So what does this mean? She has more fun with the simple things than with the things we spend money on, things that are “made” for her. Think about what we can learn from her – why do we have to go and spend money, when we can find all kinds of ways to enjoy ourselves with things we already have?

Sure, buying things is fun, being materialistic can be cool – but instead, why not just get a box? Appreciate the things we have around us, find fun in the ordinary.

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Empowering Tip: Dealing with problems makes you happy

This week’s quote is, “Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them,” from Dr. Steve Maraboli. I’ve quoted Dr. Maraboli before – he’s a life coach and author, and he says really cool things!

Having no problems would mean that people don’t know what it is to be sad, or angry, or to feel hopeless. If we all had no problems, and didn’t know what those things felt like, we would all just be skating through life, perfectly fine – but you have to have your lows to be able to recognize your highs. It’s awful, but it’s the truth. How else can you know true happiness if you don’t know true sadness?

So, happiness is the ability to get over your problems, to get through the issue. Never think that if your life were problemless, that you’d be completely happy all the time. Actually, there is nothing better than succeeding – succeeding makes you feel happy. Get through your problems, deal with them, and then look back and say, “I did it!” What a great feeling!

That’s a new way to look at the word “happiness.” There are lots of different definitions, but I love, and am going to use, this new definition that happiness is the ability to deal with your problems.

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Empowering Tip: Fear steals joy

Here at MyFear Zapper, we are, of course, all about fear – about finding happiness and building a good life. So this week’s quote is simply, “I want to remember that fear steals joy.”

Allowing yourself to be afraid of things doesn’t make you happy. And please note the word I used – allowing. You don’t have to be afraid!

I know, I have fears, too, and being scared of something is awful. There is always something lingering in your head, and you just can’t be fully happy. That is the worst. You want to be able to be happy and not be fearful – so use our techniques to learn how to overcome your fears.

In the meantime, have a great week, guys, a happy, non-fearful one!

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Empowering Tip: Try getting involved in the arts

Hi everyone! This video comes to you from New Orleans – my favorite city! So, I thought I’d talk to you about New Orleans, because some people have recently asked what makes this place so special to me.

New Orleans is a place where I feel comfortable because everybody’s heart and soul is on their sleeve. I came hoping to get a lot of inspiration for writing. Everything is so dramatic – in the French Quarter, people are reading tarot cards, there are all kinds of amazing restaurants, music is everywhere. Every single person is “out there,” from those putting up paintings on the street, to people playing their instruments, to people sitting there writing – like me. Everybody has their heart and soul on their sleeve, and everybody is trying to communicate with everybody else.

That’s the beautiful thing about art. With other things, you don’t always get to see that person’s mind – where with art, it’s laid out there right for you, you see what that person’s going through. A person singing, you can feel his or her pain; a person writing, it’s like a whole layout of “Hey, here’s what I’m thinking;” a person painting is saying, “Let’s communicate my feelings today.” It’s real.

I don’t even know what this message is, but I really wish people would get more involved in the arts. Some see it as a cop-out or something for some reason, but it’s a true way to communicate. I know a lot of people, a lot of kids, feel like they can’t communicate these days, they have to hide – and that’s just awful. So get involved in art – maybe try writing, even get a diary, or get a sketchbook, or some paints, or pick up singing or an instrument. Try expressing yourself.

I know for me, it takes a load off my mind when I don’t know what I need to say, but somehow I can still communicate it through writing or music. It helps to have somebody understand me, even if it’s just the paper, or just the song. So there you go – these are some new & different ideas and ways to communicate. Will you give it a try?

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Empowering Tip: What’s your perspective?

Today’s quote was said by Abraham Lincoln, one of our most famous presidents ever! He said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

This is a classic case of perception – it all depends on how you think about something. Anything can be taken in a positive or negative light. For instance, you can think negatively: “Oh, I slept in so late today!” Or you can take the positive approach: “Ahh, I have nothing to do today, I needed that sleep, I slept in so late!”

It’s little things like that – changing how you look at something from the negative approach to the positive.

Everything in life is a present. You can hate the present, or you can love the present – you’ve just got to figure out what you want to do, what your perspective is.

Hopefully you’ll pick the positive – negative perspectives are yucky, and they’re bad for the soul! They ruin your day, and why would you want to have a ruined day? Choose a happy day instead!

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Empowering Tip: Choose a brand new ending

Carl Bard, a Scottish writer and theologian, says, “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

You of course can’t go back and change things – for instance, how you were born, when you were worn. But you can change what happens in your future – every decision you make puts you on a new path that puts you in a different place in your life.

You can change friend groups, how you react with friends, how you are with them, how you respond when you’re with your family … hobbies … sports you play … the way you eat, how little or how much you exercise …

You can change anything in your life, and all of that will take you on a different path. So if you’re not happy with where you are, right now, make a brand-new ending. Don’t accept that you are not going to be happy in your life – choose to change to a path that will make you happy.

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Empowering Tip: Commit to being responsible

Today I want to talk about responsibility… and I’m going to use my lack of such as an example.

I haven’t posted a video in a while. I made a commitment to post these videos for you all, and I have been slacking off. That is not very responsible of me. If you make a commitment, it becomes a responsibility of yours to make sure it happens. I’m going to try to be more responsible and try to get you a video every week. And if I don’t, then I’m being irresponsible.

As you grow up and go into new situations, responsibility becomes key when you meet new people. People will stop trusting you if you’re not responsible – so you need to prove that you can be.

Learn to commit to your commitments … after all, the word “commit” is the basis of commitment!

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Empowering Tip: Be thankful on Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Today, I don’t have a quote; instead, I wanted to share some thoughts I’m hoping you will find interesting.

So, I’m in the band, I play trumpet. We got to the first ceremony today; a woman spoke, saying how last year, she went home after the Memorial Day ceremony and she turned on the TV. All that was on were cooking shows, talking about cooking great Memorial Day treats. She was very bothered that people were focused on baking treats instead of honoring those who have done so much.

It kind of hit me. She wrote a poem about it, and it really touched me.

It was pouring down rain today – it was a mess! No one wants to march in the rain, and people were complaining: how could they let us march in the rain, why didn’t they cancel, why are they making the band march? It was awful!

I was thinking about it, and realized people really take holidays for granted: Christmas is for presents; Valentine’s Day is for chocolate; New Year’s for alcohol (for adults!); Thanksgiving for food. People don’t think of holidays as anything besides food or gifts.

Memorial Day is a holiday to celebrate those who have protected our country and given their lives. It may be a little late when you watch this, but please take the time to be thankful for all these people who have passed who have done for us – and the people who are going through it right now! Think about their lives. Take a second, appreciate it, be grateful, be thankful. Take a moment and be happy we are safe.

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