Category Archives: Personal Stories

It Is Not That Easy

Another step in my journey into positivism. Nothing can stop me but here is one of my challenges! 🙂

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Thank You Black Squirrels

I believe everyone has a spirit animal, good luck animal, an animal that speaks wisdom to them or simply one they see all the time. If you have not guessed already my spirit good luck animal is the black squirrel or the Black Melanistic Grey Squirrel. That is a mouth full so I just say black squirrel.

Still living in Illinois I was trying out a marketing job with my departure from Graphic Design. By that I mean pushing products at one of those booths at Sam’s Club. Over all it was a good job and a beneficial experience to my new found strengths in Ultra Positivism. It was tough long days, of fake it till you make it and selling as much as you can so you can get paid. I happen to be very good at it but the payoff did not come to a year out when you advance up to a managing position to make more money. Being in my 30’s with many bills I just could not make it work. However, during my time there, I saw my very first black squirrel. It blew my mind. I told people about it and they doubted me but that day I saw the black squirrel was the best day I had ever had in that job! I was promoted early in just 2 and sent to Dallas Texas to attend their big booster convention for top people. Also to mention I did very well on sales that day.

I saw a black squirrel one more time while up in Illinois and had another great day! Then I moved down here to Florida and almost immediately saw another black squirrel. This has to be important to me some how! I went on a search for a stuffed animal black squirrel, just what any “normal” person would do right? Ha, I just felt like I needed to have it! My friend Chris found one for me as a School Mascot to Haverford College! Needless to say I now own it!

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I have my own black squirrel now but the story continues! I started volunteering at Give Kids The World, low and behold I see a black squirrel my first day there. Did not think to ask about it, I was just telling myself that it was going to be another great day which it was. I went back to volunteer and saw another black squirrel, so this time I asked about it. The employees said that there was black, white and brown squirrels here. Now that was really cool to hear. I feel like I was draw to this wonderful place, Give Kids The World by my new spirit animal and good luck charm. Maybe it’s the squirrels, maybe it’s the kids, or maybe just the opportunity to help out but every time I am here it’s always amazing and I do see my black squirrel friends every time.

Fast forward to only a few days ago I saw a black squirrel on my way to work. Right then I was so thankful that I was going to be looking into a great day. A well needed great day. I was confronted with concern as to how I was doing. At least 5 people were wondering what was going on. Mr. Positive was not there. They were right. I was really struggling with a lot of things and this new school year has been very tough to get acclimated to. A great person bringing it up to me was all I needed to flip this attitude of mine around. When I got home that day I read an article from a friends Facebook page and it was about melanistic squirrels and how they were native to right here in Osceola County, specifically where I live! Now how awesome is that? It is like I coincidentally moved my whole life around to be by these cute like rare black squirrels.

You can certainly take away a good message from my story of black squirrels. I strongly believe everything happens for a reason. In the last few years the reasons for events in my life have been very clear. You also can not benefit in something you don’t believe in. I believe in these black squirrels; I believe in messages from the ocean. I believe no matter how hard life is for me right now, I am meant to be living and working were I am. You take life one day at a time and if there should ever be a bad one you can always count on tomorrow being a fresh start to a better day!

Lonely Focus

I have given up many things to be where I am today in the light of my future goals. I will not be the first to tell you that change is not easy but I can tell you that determination will get you where you are meant to be.

Everything happens for a reason, everyone we meet and everything that happens to us has a great reason that is up to us to discover. I can do anything I put my mind to and if it is too easy I don’t just settle. If it feels natural, then down the line it is certain to be littered with challenges. Seeking out and agreeing to shut off my whole land life to work on a cruise ship was not easy. I was a nervous wreck. I stepped foot on that cruise ship for the first time as a worker and I knew I belonged there. Working on the cruise ship is where I vented out every negative thought I had: It was several emails that would scare the crap out of you, addressed to some of the most amazing people on this planet! This is also where I fell in love with the ocean!

I returned home and for me it was not a happy homecoming. I pulled the plug here, things with me were dying inside, friendships were disappearing, and sadly I was losing connection with my family. I was always the weird one in my family and just when they got me all figured out it was like an explosion of change. I felt like they did not understand what was going on, and sometimes neither did I. Do not misunderstand, I love my family and I know they care about me but I don’t think they understand the magnitude of this change that has sparked a fire in me. Riddled with a life of negatives I wanted out. I am constantly working on a full life of positivism and in order to do that I had to leave. I was grated that window to leave and I moved to Florida! The Ocean was calling my name.

I went from leaving everything temporarily to leaving it for good. Yes for good. I left my family, my friends, my Scout group, my bike rides, my soccer team, my pizza, and about 75% of everything I owned. You know what change looks like? A packed Chevy Cobalt with a bike on the back and a kayak on top, driving 1200 miles straight through with a known history of falling asleep behind the wheel. I pulled away from my sister’s house, set my GPS, then my music and just cried.

So starts my lonely journey south…. where I am meant to be. I started back socially where I was many years ago; with one friend. It has been easy to make work friends but I am a single guy in a world of couples and married woman. I am certain after 3 years here I am meant to be single and part introvert actually. Sure I get lonely sitting at home on Saturday night getting fat on mediocre pizza and writing blogs, but I am meant for greater things and I have to keep reminding myself that. I need to stay focused on my goals.

Goals are what brought me down here, goals run my life. My social life has taken a huge hit but it is an underlining reality that I need the time to make myself bigger each day. It’s an open door to better consider what is best for my future as a motivational speaker. By any means is this lonely lifestyle boring? Anything but that really. The physical journeys have been plentiful with all my travels the last few years but I believe the time has come to focus my mind on my future career. I will never stop inspiring those willing to listen, and I will always be learning from any of your feedback as well. Life is amazing and more amazing as you find your passion and make your dreams come true.

Figure It Out

It is very inspiring what we can discover through hard times. We just have to be open to receive the messages within the challenges of change in our lives. Positivism, gratitude, empathy and progress should be our main focus to figuring out each of our lives.

She Is Only 4

I could not wait till Wednesday to post this! If you love kids and helping others I think you will love this story!

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2015 Picture review

My 2015 year in review with pictures!

2015 In Review

I am ringing in the new year with the same good friends as last year, back in my hometown area in Illinois. No problem with ringing in the new year with a great group of people. I am still working in the same job too! I am a Paraprofessional for students with Autism and I absolutely love my job. I love working with my students and I love working with all the other student in the after school program. I have also been way more active with volunteering and helping out with school functions.

I have done quite a bit again this past year so I think I am going to just bullet point what I have done instead of writing a novel! In case you don’t make it to the bottom I just want to say that daily I increase my knowledge and exposure to the world and future of our children as well as seeing their future. I am fine tuning my message as well as beginning to get my actual voice heard instead of just my words. I have made big advances with this blog and I owe so much gratitude to those who follow me and support me on this journey. Now here is a huge list of only some of the things that have happened in 2015.

  • I vowed to friend everyone I meet and I have done just that! My friends list is flourishing with inspirational people
  • I have visited more Florida beaches then most people that have lived here all their lives.
  • I have visited 2 area zoos.
  • I moved from a place full of bugs to a great place biking distance to work!
  • I bike to work now just about everyday.
  • I have visited about a dozen State and National Parks in Florida
  • I visited Cassadaga FL. Which is a very spiritual town. It was a very inspiring visit.
  • I CLEARED ALL MY DEBT!!!!!!!
  • Brand new custom license plates to reflect my blog “UPW MRC”
  • Attended the biggest soccer game I have ever been too! Over 62,000 people to watch 2 brand new teams to the MLS for a season opener game! New York City FC vs ORLANDO CITY SOCCER CLUB, my new favorite team! And I have my best friend to go to the games with me, with our new season tickets that we await for the 2016 season
  • Survived one Florida winter and I am ready for the next! Last year it was below freezing for a whole 2 days, HA! Right now it is in the 80’s.
  • In March…..ya we are only at March….I shared with my friends and followers 31 days of gratitude. What an amazing month, I have far more than just a months worth of things to be grateful for too!
  • Found out that Taco Bell is stealing my catch phrase “You want me” they are putting “you know you want me on their hot sauce packets.
  • I am pictured on advertisements to work on cruise ships from my first Southern Caribbean Contract with Royal Caribbean! My over excited smile is getting people jobs on cruise ships. 😛
  • Discovered sunrises at the beach! AMAZING!
  • I have had a hand full of people doubt me and my goals and this year alone I have proved them all wrong and cut off friendship with those people.
  • I made about 70 cupcakes for the staff at my school in May and they continue to talk about them waiting for me to make more cupcakes again!
  • I started back with walking and running. My knees are handling it well!
  • Brought the soccer ball back to my feet. I play on my own on the weekend and I play with the kids in the after school program as well
  • This blog has reached over 100 countries and I gave a big shout out to people from Illinois, Philippines and India. As of today I now give a big shout out to staff and friends from Florida who have taken the time to support my blog as well.
  • In May I read 3 book which is a big thing for me in one month.
  • I discovered Marc Mero in May. He is a motivation speaker for students, doing exactly what I want to be doing. Just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet him and see his presentation. I am setting up time to sit down with him and ask him many questions.
  • Kids say the coolest things. Every day they say what I look like based on colors I wear. Anywhere from a donut or a shark to a pretty princess or Superman. They also give me compliments all the time. One Third grader in the after school program said “Mr. Marc you smile all the time, even when you are upset with us you are smiling.” I have worked on smiling all the time for a long time so this was a huge compliment for me.
  • Went up to Illinois to sell off my storage unit and take home a few things, kind of wiping my hand of an old life and embracing a new one.
  • Saw My old soccer team Chicago Fire play my new team Orlando Lions, in Chicago.
  • A friend of mine came to visit me in Florida for her vacation. We did it all, beaches, Sea World (for both our first time), Busch Gardens, Chocolate museum, comedy club, and her first soccer game, and drove my car on the beach for the first time.
  • Worked on a cruise ship over the summer in Vancouver Canada and Alaska. Absolutely an amazing experience. Met a lot of great people and hit a lot of firsts like, first time to Alaska, first time seeing whales in the wild, first time seeing glaciers, horseback riding for the first time and a hoard of pictures to document all the amazing things I did while I was up there. I had salmon prepared 8 different ways while I was up there not to mention several kind of fish and other sea creatures. Hiked the mountains at each port of call
  • Toward the end of my trip I got Cellulitis and Necrotizing Fasciitis and almost lost my leg and possibly my life. I am grateful to still have my leg and life and be walking just fine today. Its those near death events in your life that make you appreciate your life more.
  • Upon the start of the school year I was super excited to have known I was very welcomed back and have little by little gathered a few friendship as well.
  • In August my blog was 3 years old and getting stronger every day.
  • Saw the U.S. Woman’s National Soccer team play Brazil.
  • Over Halloween I tackled 2 bucketlist items on a long weekend trip. I went to New York City for the first time and I saw a TED Talk live event on Broadway. I packed in so many first that weekend. Saw the Statue Of Liberty, top of the Empire State Building and the New World Trade Center Building, as well as the World Trade Center Monument, 2 museums, Time Square, and determined that Chicago Style pizza is way better then New York Style.
  • Some of my coworkers gave me a great prebirthday celebration at school.
  • Had a great Birthday on my own in November, however I did manage to meet a great friend and one of my followers from Facebook at a rock and gemstone show.
  • I found garlic stuffed olives at a local store
  • I joined Toastmasters and won best speaker on my very first speech
  • I started volunteering at Give Kids The World. An all expenses paid dream vacation for terminally ill children and their families. What an amazing opportunity and organization and I will continue to volunteer more in the new year
  • People keep complimenting my photography and are always surprised to hear they are unedited pictures from just my cell phone. I treated myself to a Nikon 3300 DSLR camera with a bunch of accessories and finally was able to capture the moon! I can not wait to post the pictures from this new camera from my trip up to Illinois.
  • Helped out a local crafter and got an ornament personalized to say “UPwithmarc” I intend to Illustrate “Upwithmarc” everywhere in the future to come
  • This December was when I actually meet Motivational Speaker Marc Mero
  • Made It back to Illinois for the holidays and saw my new nephew for the first time. I also saw snow for the first time in like 2 years! I made and befriended a snow man too

 

Some things are little some things are big but I guarantee all the things I have done in 2015 are not listed. With that being said how many things have you done and accomplished in 2015? Happy New Years to all.

UPwithmarc Memes 2015

I have spent over a year putting memes together each week. They are all original quotes by me. All the photos are pictures I have taken unless I sited otherwise. It took a lot of time to put this together but I am excited that I have them all in one spot. I would be grateful if you had a spare 8 minutes to check them all out. Please feel free to let me know which one is your favorite.

Have an amazing day and as always I am so grateful for all of your support and following.

TED Talks Live, New York (The Education Revolution)

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I came home from New York City (NYC) and people were amazed what I fit in just 3 days. They thought I was there a week or more. I did it all while I was in NYC. The Tower observation decks, museums, boat tours and much more. The main reason I was there was to experience my first Live TED Talk event.

This was a double bucket list trip. First time seeing TED Talks and NYC. The whole trip was amazing but I would like to tell you my thoughts on some of the best motivational speakers of the evening. In the heart of NYC, Broadway and Time Square, I went to the historic Town Hall Theater. This event was going on all week with a different main topic each day. The main topic for the day I went was “The Education Revolution”. Other topics were things like science, history, war and peace.

I would like to say that this is a very informal post, more like expanded notes.

Andrew Mangino, CEO and Co-Founder of The Future Project:

He told us about how we need not just teachers in our world but Dream Directors. Yes every teacher can be a Dream Director, every one of us can inspire the future of our children. With the increasing amount of rules and regulations in the education industry we are leaving children’s creativity by the way sides, and we are ignoring their abilities to dream big in their life. Life is not all about just pushing kids to go to college it is about living their own lives. Listen to their ideas and let them follow their dreams. Not all will succeed right away but if we teach them how success and failure work together, all of their dreams have the ability to grow. We need to update the Education System and teach kids the jobs of today. Things have become useless were other things are not even brought up.

 

Julie Lythcott-Haims, Academic & Bestselling Author of “How to Raise an Adult”

Julie said at the end of her speech, “My kids are not bonsai trees they are wild flowers of an unknown species.” We are giving our children a checklist childhood we are expecting our kids to perform at a perfect level that we never even held ourselves too. These kids need to learn right and wrong by experience. Our kids need to experience failure and how to rise above it. Julie says, “By the end of high school these kids are questioning the worth of their life and their future.” We need to stop babying our kids. They need to be able to grow their own self-efficiency. Kids have too much entitlement; they need to earn more of what is just given to them. Kids need to experience life for themselves!

Julie told us, “A study was conducted and all the top professionals did chores as a kid.” I did chores and I made it to Design Director and now I am headed toward Dream Director as a motivational speaker. Academically kids need to know they matter to us, that they are not just another test grade statistic. All success did not come from going to big name schools, and world renowned colleges. Some success did not come from college at all. I choose to only get my 2 associates degrees. With that and a well brought up life of challenges and discovering who I am, I am succeeding everywhere in my life. I don’t owe everything I have accomplished in my life to some big name school. I owe it to my parents, Scouts, Failure, and outright earning everything I have in life from hard work.

 

Daniella Carter, Founder of Gender Global

As a youth Daniella was homeless, she was homeless because she was rejected by her own parents for being transgender. The LGBTQIA individuals have enough problems in the school and social setting as it is. For Daniella to rise about her homelessness and the critiques of the world around her is a huge challenge. Today she teaches children to overcome their adversities and embrace who they are with confidence. She was emotional giving her life story speech but I think she left no eye dry in the theater either. Bullying is such a problem in our world today. Where are kids learning that it is alright to tease and make fun of people who are different? The crazy thing is every single one of us is different! Even as an adult we make fun of and talk down things and people just because we don’t understand them. At the end she says “Join the revolution of loving someone different.” That is vague and precise all in one statement.

 

Sean McComb, National Teacher of the Year in 2014.

He started a program called AVID to help the students stretch themselves to succeed. He is also the youngest teacher to ever receive this award. He tells us that even thru all the change in regulations and paperwork and poor treatment of our future it still stands that teachers are the heart of hope for the future of our students. Our biggest enemy is the unknown future ahead, will it get worse or will it get better? “We need to make school the best 7 hours of our students day,” says Sean. We, above all else, cannot let these doors of opportunity close on any child.

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There is a future for me here. The world of motivators is calling out to me and I get closer and closer to hear exactly what they are saying every day. I have been around the block many times. I have been hurt and I have been happy. My life has always been an adventure. This blog is certainly where I started but It will never end till I stop breathing. I am going to make a difference in this world, you can wait and see or you can join me along the way. I am too strong for anyone to break down my cause and truthfully only care for those that support, encourage or just plain accept what I am doing here. Those that follow me are very helpful, those that share their positive opinions I am thankful for, and those that want to help me I am extremely grateful for. You are all amazing and I am grateful for any part you take in this journey. I know I cannot make this world a more positive place on my own but I guarantee WE can do it together.

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Opportunities

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Yes I am still here. I have been very busy outside of this blog. I still do have my TED Talk New York Trip to talk about and I had a birthday pass as well. I also had a spell of no motivation to which I just kinda of took a break from everything. I eleam out of that spell, my life is flooding with opportunities right now, and I am just trying to keep them in order.

I was researching to rejoin Toastmasters and I just went to a meeting Monday. They seem excited to have me join and I have already volunteered to help them network and expand their club. If you are not familiar with Toastmasters it is an international organization were all varieties of people get together with a common goal to improve their public speaking abilities. Obviously, this is a perfect organization for me to join and I look forward to seeing if this will be a good fit for me in the coming weeks.

I have also been looking to volunteer at children’s hospitals and children’s homes. It has been a difficult journey and I finally discovered the reality of this desire. I talked with someone from the hospital and she told me why it was so difficult to get in, and once you are in its years before you start actually helping the children directly. It was very real and it all made sense but it is just not an opportunity for my fast paced lifestyle. The Assistant Principle at my school told me about a great organization called Give Kids The World here in Florida. Just the other day I meet someone in the grocery store that worked there. She said the application rate is 100% acceptance pending my background check. Give Kids The World is an organization that takes in less fortunate or ill children from all over the world and gives them the vacation of a life time. I really look forward to hearing back from them, and hope I can help as well.

I also got interviewed by a Life Coach that is coming out with her own website which will be a consulting site. She will have people with many different skill sets involved in this site and it will be like an internet radio idea. I don’t want to say much about it just yet but when she has it up and running you will certainly know about it. This will give me the opportunity to network out farther. I will be able to share my ideas on many different platforms and this will give me a good opportunity to work on the video and speech ends of my goals. This will also give me an opportunity to be one of the people consulting others and making a little extra cash in the process. This is something that is already in the works and I am excited to get the ball rolling to see how this new website works out for her and everyone she is trying to get involved with it.

Outside my job and volunteering at the Elementary school those are just a few things I am working on. A few others are; taking a public speaking course on my own, researching and implementing my own TED Talk presentation, looking into making some extra money with my passion for gemstones and healing crystals. There is probably more smaller things that I am forgetting right now as well!

I just wanted to check in for my avid followers to say I am still here. This blog is very important to me but it is also a path into many more opportunities that need to be pursued. As always I am so grateful for your following and no matter the time frame between my post on here I am still moving forward with my main goals in life.

I have also made my way back to the beach and in the water for the first time sense I left for Alaska in June.

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