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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 granted 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.

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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.

Joy In Challenges

In order to live a full life you need to challenge yourself. Challenges in life are not always easy but if you find the joy in these challenges you will see a lot better outcome on the things you go after in your life.

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.

UP Momentum (Audio)

Ultra Positive Momentum is about allowing yourself to embrace the positives in life and continue to build your life around a positive attitude. You can do anything you set your mind to and you will always benefit more from a positive mind.

One at a Time

The summer is over. Alaska is in my past and my leg is almost 100%. I have an updated board of goals full of great ideas but I struggle to find the motivation to carry them out. I am at a motivational roadblock. I do not want to force my way through goals if the passion is not there and I do not want to go down the wrong path.

You know the term practice what you preach, right? That is exactly what I need to do. I tell people all the time to take the situations and events in their lives one at a time to lower the stress level and be more successful in the end. I have slowed down my efforts but I have a list of achievable goals that make my life look amazing.

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Teaching myself public speaking, research bullying, start writing and practicing speeches, build a successful TED Talks speech, and volunteer at children’s hospitals. These are only some of the big goals I have laid out for myself and I still have a job to keep up too.

Para professionalism is still new to me. I learned so much last school year but this year there is even more. With my academic level of students with autism, outside of teaching them basic skills, we still have to handle behavior issues, bathroom issues, and now this school year I get to go swimming with one of my students too!

With everything going on in life right now, I struggle to find my forward directional motivation. I love my job so much, but everything outside of it I cannot seem to give 100%. I have given myself an ambitious list of expectations and I need to take them one at a time. I want to jump right in and give 100% to motivating children, but there are so many things that need to happen first. I have started my search for volunteering at children’s hospitals; I believe this a valuable adventure for the children and me. Also found a course book for public speaking and I will start a routine of working through it every Sunday!

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Overall, I have great list of goals and challenges that lay ahead but I need to practice what I tell my followers and take them one thing at a time. This speaks for my career; there are still more adventurous ideas that lie within my reach. I would have never thought being full of great ideas, being open to new things, being part of great adventures and having such a positive outlook towards it all would actually have so many challenges at the front lines. However to alleviate all the lack of motivation and challenges all I have to do is accomplish my goals one at a time. From experience, this works every time. This is why it is so valuable to write things down so you can organize what is more important or what needs to come first. There is no problem having a goal list that is very ambitious, especially when you give yourself the right opportunities to make it happen.

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I have had this plaque sense I was a teenager. I bought it in New Mexico on a backpacking trip. Back in those times I was not always very positive but I did pride myself on never giving up on things no matter how hard they get. This is a big reminder for me when things get hard. One time things in my life got so incredibly hard I took a hammer to this thing. I wanted to break it but you can see how strong it is. You can see were the hammer hits it but never broke. I would say that day life was on my side. Without this sign I would probably not be here today. DON’T EVER QUIT!

Journey Into My Thoughts (part 2)

Journey Into My Thoughts (part 1)

Ship life for me pulls in wild thoughts sometimes. As my life changes and evolves for the better, I realize that I am filtering out the crap and making more room for a better life. I have learned to relax through meditation. When I do meditation, the thoughtless moments I create for myself are just as valuable as the visions that follow. It is all about settling down and listening to what your heart is trying to tell you. The best part is most of my visions will come true if I do everything in my power to make it happen!

I saw 2 very important visions on one of my final nights on the cruise ship:

I am laying in bed, because that it all I can do and I decided to listen to some music. At this point I was getting a little better but I still felt really bad. I was listening to some sad music to push out a few negative feelings. It always works and I was pleasantly surprised with the thoughts that followed once the negatives had left. I was envisioning my success as a motivational speaker. It was not to kids with this one but I know from the bottom of my heart that kids is where my speaking journey begins and may even stay.

I was envisioning speaking in front of thousands. This was a vision I have had many times before. My parents were there. They were there because I promised both of them, before they pass to the next life, when I make it big in my speaking career, they will be there in the front row to see it. My parents are very healthy and I do have time but when I see them in my vision with everyone else it makes me incredibly happy. My parents supported everything idea I ever had, agreeing with it or not. They started out guiding me in the right directions then letting me go to fall and fail and live my life. The best part is every time I need them they are ready to help me. The funny part is I call both of them for everything and every time I struggle with whom to call first. It is something my heart can’t decide so I just switch off each time!

I think about this one speaking moment of my future often but what came through my thoughts next was amazing and brand new. I was envisioning, unprovoked, about going home for Christmas. Standard thought for sure, as I know my mom and dad would miss me otherwise. This was very different. I was not alone! I was holding hands with a little girl. I was telling my family to take any money they had intended to spend for me and make sure they all get her something instead! It was weird that I could see this very clear. There was no attention on any woman or mother to this vision, it was just me and this girl. Shortly after that, my thoughts jumped and I was envisioning asking teachers for play dates, and then it just got more random from that point on. I never have been able to picture this again as clear as I did but I hope in time the world will tell me what this means.

There are many good things in life we can go after: Our hearts, our visions, our goals, our gratitude and much more. Listen to the positivism within yourself and you can live the most rewarding life ever. There is so much more of this world to discover outside your living room and deeper within yourself, but it is up to you to go after it!

Holding hands at sunset

Finding Confidence

No matter what happens in your life you have to stay cool. You have to allow the reality that everything is going to be ok, run through your body. When you reach for big things in your life I can easily tell you from experience, it will never be a piece of cake. That cake is delicious but you need to watch out for the knife that is cutting those sweet pieces in your life. What you need for life’s endeavors is confidence. I could stop this speech with this one idea and just tell you that you can achieve anything in life by just being confident in the fact that you can do it, you will meet your goals.

When you set out on a new journey, it can be fun but the one I embark on currently has already been testing the confidence of many parts of my life. I am working with something I have never done in a place I have never been. The great part of this is I am adventuring to a place I have always wanted to go.

You do not need to find confidence, it is already in you, all you have to do is not be afraid to use it. It is a worthwhile but heavy toll as confidence puts you at the front seat of everything you want in life. You have to be ready to fail just as much as you succeed. You have to know when one way does not work try another. No one but you can take your confidence away. In the same confidence that you know you can breathe, know that you can do anything!

3 years ago today!

3 years of blogging and so many goals achieved. So many new goals and new experiences. The best part is there are more goals to come, more adventures to live, and more great people to meet! So excited to have kept up with this blog for so long. I was never a big writer before but practice makes perfect! I do not strive to be the greatest writer ever and my grammar and quick writing can show for that, but I do strive to make a positive difference in our world! My writing and Ideas can show for that!

This is where it all started: https://upwithmarc.com/2012/08/29/hello-world/

I LOVE ALL OF YOU WHO SUPPORT ME. I SEE GREAT THINGS IN OUR FUTURES!

So much gratitude,

UPwithmarc

Capture

Mr. Hashbrowns Goes To Alaska!

The last time I did this, I mean the last time I worked on a cruise ship my life was in a different place. I had quit my job as a design director, quit my next job as a marketing and events planner and I took my first cruise ship job as a huge risk with great adventure. I say huge risk because I packed up my whole life into a storage unit. When I returned from this job I had no place lined up to live and no job lined up. This time around as I set sail from Vancouver thru Alaska and back many times I feel way more comfortable. Sure last time I survived but this time I did not pack up anything, it will all be waiting for me when I return. This time I will have a job that looks forward to my return.

As if going on this work travel journey is not exciting enough. I already have goals lined up for when I return. I have mentioned this in just about every post recently and I am sure it will be said more; I am excited for my next big goal to be a motivational speaker for children.

Getting what you want out of life is really easy……..REALLY EASY! You have to live and breathe your goals…you have to have goals period. I could start a whole blog just on my goals. I have goals for my goals and I have more goals when I meet other goals…..upon my return to my job in Florida I will emerge myself into reading, watching, learning, listening and thinking about motivational speaking. I will have little motivations running around (the students) to remind me every day that I want to motivate and speak to children. I will be writing speeches and at the same time reading and watching other people speak.

This venture will not be void of challenges and failures, but how else am I to properly learn? Many MANY years ago I was thinking about the best ways to end my life. Today I cannot even start one new adventure before getting excited to live up to my new high standards of effort toward my next adventure! Positive thinking, that is it!

In my last post I said 70 years to make a difference in other people’s lives. I thought about that ever sense and that is so much time when I look at everything I have done in just 3 years time. I might just be at that time to give myself a name! I know it’s cheesy to some but what the kids simply call me at school should be good enough: Mr. Marc. Or I could use other names they call me: Mr. Marc-e, Mr. Marcs-a-clause, Mr. Marc-e-mon, Mr. Hashbrowns, Mr. Hippo, Mr. Crazy, Mr. Halla, Mr. Smile. I could keep going but they just get more random. If they say something inappropriate I correct them but whatever makes a good connection to address me I answer to everything! After all they are kids and they know my real name first and then call me whatever.

Wow I did a tangent in my own blog, but I am leaving it because I think it’s cute! Anyways ahhhhhhhhhhh here I come Alaska/Canada it’s time to make my MARC in a new place.

I love all of you and I am grateful for your support in any or many ways. You will start seeing changes in September but until then I will post when I can. Receptions not to good when you’re out on the ocean on a glamorous ship for 2 months! 😛

I have a love affair with the Ocean and she is so excited I get to see another side of her, and she is exicted I will be by the mountains and the ocean! Bye for now I love all of you.

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