Making Time for your Dreams

blogentry_paulI love writing.  I don’t particularly always think I am good at it, but that’s because I’ve been quite out of practice.  There was a time in my life when I had a personal blog that I wrote in every single day.  Talking about everything from brushing my teeth that day to a funny TV show I watched.  But I also used writing as a way to self reflect.  I had a lot of my deepest thoughtful moments in my personal blog – about life and love and everything in between.  I often have to remind myself that I am the same thoughtful person now as I was then.  The biggest difference is that in growing up, life just gets busy. Sometimes you just have to learn to make time for your dreams and the things you love. (I just recently got back into comic books!  Awesome stuff.)

I tell people a lot now that I’ve had my life on pause for awhile because the corporate world ate me up and I felt I didn’t have the time or energy to pursue many of my hobbies.  It’s guys like Michael that find ways to inspire everyday and get you thinking that – you too can make a difference!  My favorite moments in my lifetime were often the small gatherings with my college friends just talking about life.  I’m hoping that Motivate2Inspire can grow to become that point of nostalgia.  Have you ever missed that moment in time when you’ve been with close friends and talked about life?  Not just about work or what movies are out this weekend, but the explorations of people’s worldviews, hopes, dreams, perspectives on life, etc.  Well, we don’t make time for that much these days anymore do we?  All of our news comes into short snippets and Social Media makes it possible for us to catch up on people’s lives a lot quicker than we ever have.  I love the information age and I’m one that’s the computer daily, but it’s important that I make time to catch up with friends again, explore something new that brings me closer to my dreams, and write more so that I can share my life with others who may appreciate life’s contemplating moments.

Have you written out your New Year’s Resolutions yet???  If not – then do so right now!  You only have 11 months now to complete them!  My 2011 resolution included writing a 100-page anything.  Could have been a short story, or a comic, or 100 haikus.  I failed miserably.  I think I only got to 12 pages.  I’m going to share with you a few of my 2012 resolutions because I feel its a good example of how they are manageable, realistic, and also makes a point of being able to get you closer to fulfilling some of your goals/dreams.

  1. Food and Beverage Knowledge – now I’m a video game geek, so when I think about increasing my F&B knowledge, I’m treating it in my brain as a +1 F&B Skill point for every new restaurant dish or cocktail I try. (Wow.  That just gave me a great idea on how I should keep track of this…)  The point is, I work in an industry that I realize I know very little about other than how to enjoy eating.  I’m going to challenge myself to focus this year on slowly becoming a foodie.  Perhaps I will not be able to speak at a level of a connoisseur or anyone that’s taken actual culinary courses, but my goal/hopes/dreams is that I can be an interesting person that can speak the language of food, beers, wine and spirits.  Hopefully they are great conversation topics at parties.  I believe at the last social gathering I went to, I ended up talking about my childhood playing SNES games for 2 hours.  Yes – talking about food and wine should definitely improve my social skill points. +2 Charisma.
  2. Cooking – before moving out of my parents house, I had not owned a kitchen of my own in which to experiment with.  That all ends this year!  My goal is to cook at home at least 1-2 times a week.  I’m starting off with a lot of simple recipes that involve pre-cut/prepped items, but I’m also on a time crunch with my after work hours.  It’s been a really fun experience and I feel it’s been even better for me and my friends than eating out all the time.  Cooking for myself has always been a dream of mine.  Seeing the women in my family cook in the kitchen made it seem like I wasn’t ever allowed to learn about that stuff.  But I’ve always enjoyed being around food as a creative art.  Now it’s my turn to break stereotypes and prove that I can become an Iron Chef by the end of the year!  Well, at least good enough to cook good food and take care of my potential future family.  I want my future wife and kids to be excited of having daddy in the kitchen – not scared. +1 Cooking
  3. Fitness – this is on everyone’s list, right? Well it’s always been my dream to be awesomely handsome and good looking.  I’ve grown up with a lot of insecurities in my life and being a scrawny Asian boy was certainly one of them.  I’m looking forward to really stepping up this year and this being the year I can feel proud of myself and finally take my shirt off at the pool.  My fitness efforts in the past 4 years – though light efforts have put me in a good place to do well this year.  I’m banking on this year being the year and I just need to stick to some plans to do so.  Encourage your friends.  Having that peer pressure is a great motivation.  My favorite motivation on getting fit is the idea of impressing the ladies… okay, unrealistic, but maybe once they see my new abs, they’ll bother to start a conversation with me?  I’m planning on running the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon again this year.  Something about footing that $150 registration fee that screams – alright, I’m going to have to actually do this.  So I ran about 4 miles today and hopefully throughout the summer I’ll make it to 13 miles and some change.  +1 Stamina.
  4. Friendship – spend more time with my friends and less time on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games (unless it’s social video game playing…).  Sometimes work can get the best of us and we stop being human.  We stop remembering that we have people around us that do care, but they may be so out of touch with you now because you’ve been so busy with work or school or other distractions.  I’m going to make 2012 the year of true friendship and being present in people’s lives.  Yes, it will help me find a stronger work/life balance – but mostly because that’s what I expect of others too.  You see, I’m all about leading by example.  We have a society where everyone is busy on their smartphones instead of sparking conversation because as a society we allow it to.  I love KR’s article about not using your smartphone when around close friends.  What is so important that it can’t wait?  I’ll tell you what’s important – friendship! +1 Caring

I’m extremely guilty of not always following through with anything I say I want to do, but you can see how these four goals are actually very realistic and achievable.  I hope that my friends and any readers will follow up on these 4 things with me.  I hope that you too can think of some general life goals like I have that you feel 2012 can represent in bringing you closer to fulfilling some of your hopes and dreams.

Pretty soon, my dream of being an awesome home cook will be a reality!

Like this article?  Share it with your friends! Send me your comments below.



Golden Dream Tip: Connecting the Dots

blogentry_paulGooD Tip of the Week: Go to the career websites of your favorite companies and research what it takes to be in your dream job.

I know that sounds silly right?  Dream job.  It’s one of my favorite questions to ask people when I’m starting a conversation with them.  I will usually get one of two responses:

  1. I Know What I Want – this person has done their research and through vigorous coursework, inspirational role models, or just great passion for a purpose in life.  They’ll tell you right away what their goals are.  They may not sound 100% confident, but they have a vague idea on what they need to do to get there.  These are the future doctors and lawyers | engineers and scientists | artists and visionaries.
  2. I Don’t Know – or I never thought about it. People today get so stuck into a grind or they follow a path that was written for them.  They’re just doing what they need to do – what they are told they should do to live a good life.  Go to school.  Find a job. Get married.  Have a family.  Or they’ve never had the opportunity to think about what they want in life.  They haven’t found the time to research or ask themselves what they would enjoy doing.

That’s where this tip comes in.  I’ve always convinced myself that I want to work for a great entertainment company like Disney.  But the truth is, I didn’t even know what that entailed.  Would I just start working as a sweeper at Disneyland and hope I can make my way up?  Some people do.  Job placement can be a lot about luck and who you know.  But I would like to share another secret.  These days, a lot has to do with whether or not your qualified.

My resort right now is probably hiring for 200+ positions right now (granted a huge amount of that is because we’re staffing for the upcoming pool season).  The point is there are jobs out there.  Tons of them.  In Vegas, the turnover rates are a bit crazy.  It’s a crazy business and not everyone has the stamina to keep up.  But that’s another topic in itself.  When I’m interviewing these candidates, it doesn’t take very long for me to realize whether or not they are even qualified for the position.  Most companies will pre-screen and it kicks out those applications, but every now and then you still get people on the bubble.


Go to your favorite company’s career website.  Disney. Apple. Google. Vogue. Sony. Deloitte. Whatever it may be.  If you’re right out of college, you’re looking for entry level jobs with titles like “Associate” or “Coordinator”.  Perhaps some hourly positions that will get you in the door.  Go a couple steps further.  Look up Vice President of Operations.  Or Vice President of Marketing.  Director of Entertainment. Vice President of Finance, CFO.  If you look hard enough, you’ll find a handful of these top ladder jobs posted.  As awesome as these top executives are, they move around quite a bit or are let go due to performance issues.  As yourself if you’d ever want to be in their shoes?  Is that your dream job to be in control of a multi-million dollar division making big decisions for a company you love?

If so, you need to read up on what it is they’re looking for and learn to connect the dots. Let’s take a look at one of my dream jobs: Food and Beverage Director.  In this example, Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii is looking for one.  Let’s read what it takes and pay close attention to my commentary after each item:

  • Current status role as Food and Beverage Director or Assistant Food and Beverage Director of a Luxury brand resort – I’m not a director yet.  Only a manager.  But I am working for a Luxury brand resort now (something I changed just this year).  My VP has told me I have strong potential to be a director in the company.
  • Current or previous Food and Beverage experience in Hawaii – Nope. No F&B experience in Hawaii…
  • Minimum 10 years Food & Beverage industry experience in progressive leadership roles, including the areas of quick service, table service and catering/conventions – I’ve been familiar with all of these areas, but for only about 2 years.
  • Minimum 5 years Merchandise and Retail industry experience – No years of experience with merchandise or retail which tells me that this position also oversees related retail areas.
  • Minimum business volume responsibility of $30 million in multiple locations – Woot! I oversaw $60 million in my last job and over $200 million in my current job.  Check.

Okay, so I’ve only hit one of the five main things this position is looking for.  Notice that they don’t go into detail on what the responsibilities of this person is.  That’s because when they say they want 10 years of F&B experience – well by then they hope the person applying already knows what they’re looking for.  Also they want someone that’s already been in leadership.  They’re looking for a current F&B Director.

The biggest eye opener is of course the years of experience.  As young professionals we are hungry and eager.  It’s common for us to believe we can gain the needed experience earlier than the 10 years they are requesting.  And we may be right.  So I’ve had 4 years of Resort experience.  2 years of F&B experience.  What do I want under my belt and on my resume by the time I hit 10 years?  Well, according to this if this is one of my dream jobs:

  1. I need to become an F&B Director of Assistant Director for a Luxury property.  Being in Las Vegas, there are TONS of luxury properties.  I could stay here for a bit longer and work my way up.  Especially if I’m currently loving being here.
  2. I need F&B experience in Hawaii. Okay.  This one is tougher.  I will need to relocate and it’s not a small relocation.  It’s huge.  Off the main land.  Do I see that happening this early in my career?  Maybe not.  Someday.  I’ll need to keep this in mind if I want this job.  Eventually, I will need to live in Hawaii prior to apply to this position.
  3. 10 years of F&B experience.  I’m at 2 years.  Plenty of time. No need for me to stress over the fact that I can’t be in my dream job yet.  It’s all about connecting the dots.
  4. Merchandise and Retail experience.  Where the heck am I going to get that?  I should be asking my current bosses now.  Find out how ways I can get involved with F&B merchandising and retail.  Take opportunities to hang out with management in these areas.  I still have time to get into this, but now that I know now instead of 10 years from now.  Well, you see my point.  This is a dot that I need not to lose focus on or forget about.
  5. Responsible for $. This one I got!

Talk to people.  Read things online.  You are talented in some way and out there could be a position that fits you perfectly that you haven’t discovered yet.

The new job that I am in now popped up on my radar randomly.  I was looking at jobs for my unemployed mother and saw that a larger property was hiring a manager.  After reading the description, I realized I had every single bullet point listed under my belt.  Every single one.  Had this been an accident?  No.  It had been a calling that this position is built to be a step up to what I had been doing.  It was just up to me to apply.  I was very hesitant at first.  I still was in that “I don’t know what I want to do” phase.  But I applied just for kicks.  I got the job.  It was because looking back, I realized I had connected the dots to this new position with my company. Moving on up.

If you haven’t done so already, watch Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford University.  He talks about connecting the dots and being in a career you are passionate about.  A great source of motivation.

If my tip has you thinking, feel free to leave a message!  We’re always looking to spur conversation here at motivate2inspire.  Thanks for reading.


In Which Paul Learns to Dress for Himself

blogentry_paulA long time ago I had a crush on this girl that I knew I didn’t have a good shot at dating.  She was a lot more charismatic and I was incredibly shy and not what you may consider as a desirable guy what-so-ever.  Terrible hairstyle.  Geeky glasses.  And probably the most telling was my terrible sense of style which at that point in time most likely only consisted of out-of-style department store jeans and a drab department store sweater that was probably 2 sizes too big.  Needless to say, if I had any intention of dating this girl, I would have needed a serious upgrade.

The opportunity came up actually.  Likely as a fun joke between my friends that perhaps Paul could be molded into a boyfriend type.  It was high school, I’m sure some girls thought that “project boyfriends” were fun to at least think about.  I went to the mall with this girl and some friends and went to try on a bunch of different types of clothes and walked out of the mall spending more money on an outfit than I ever have (at that age, I’m sure I only wanted to spend money on video games).  It was a skater/punk type outfit and I remember wearing it a few times in high school thinking maybe I could actually pull this look off.

Well, I never got the opportunity to date that girl.  There were a lot more things “wrong” with me than just my sense of style.  The truth of the matter is that I was still at an impressionable age where I felt I needed to change who I was in order to become the person I wanted to be – which was someone that could actually have a girlfriend.

Growing up as a nerdy guy was very lonely.  I knew the types of girls I was attracted to and they were the type not to speak to me unless they needed some help with homework.  Throughout my early adulthood, I learned a lot about compromise.  Yes, I needed some serious upgrades to be competitive in the dating market, but I could make those upgrades on my own terms.  Something are easier – like getting a nice haircut, wearing clothes that actually fit vs. being too big for you.  I like to think that I’ve changed my style a little bit, granted I mostly wear suits to work now.

I learned that I can improve myself: the way I look, what I wear, what I eat, working out, etc – without compromising who I am inside.  The more I addressed my insecurities, the easier it was for me to be the man that I felt I always wanted to be, but that people couldn’t see past.  I can wear nice fitting jeans and a Power Rangers graphic tee.  As long as it’s fitted and looks presentable, people can get both the nicely dressed and geeky Paul at the same time.

I’ve noticed that sometimes people just want to be able to see that their potential mates are capable of taking care of themselves.  Sure, guys can make you feel safe, make you laugh, be romantic – but if they can’t take care of themselves (which is most apparent by their appearance), how can anyone expect them to take care of someone else?

Well, I didn’t wear that skater outfit for too long.  It just wasn’t me.  I still am a hopeless romantic, and I hope that someone out there will be able to see past my insecurities – or even embrace them and help me through them.  We need to keep motivated to take care of ourselves.  Whether it’s staying healthy to live longer with our loved ones or dressing nicer and being more presentable so we can be proud of the way we carry ourselves in the world.  I feel I’ve certainly gotten more vain throughout the years, but for me, I needed to be able to squash all of my insecurities from growing up.  It’s important that I can be proud of myself for who I am.  What’s outside can be just as beautiful as what’s inside – as long as you’re always true  to yourself.

Spontaneous Living

blogentry_paulI made pizza today.

Okay, so it was the type with ready-made dough, but still!  Fantastic.  Sometimes you just need to grab a friend and try something new.

Living life these past few years have convinced me that there is such a thing as Quarterlife, in particular the concept of a Quarterlife Crisis.  You can Google the phrase if you’ve never heard of it.  It’s the stage, typically around when you hit 25 when you suddenly have constant anxieties and doubts about the way you are living your life.  It can be a stressful junction because you feel the decisions you make now will shape your future.

I guess some aspect of this is true.  Around this age, we tend to decide on big moments like first real career choices, moving out of your parents house, getting married, having kids, buying a house, a car, etc.  Some of us have very strong head on our shoulders and have prepared well to make these big decisions.  Others are always wondering why they haven’t accomplished more with their life by now.  It can be a roller coaster of emotions.

If you’re deeply thinking about whether or not you are experiencing Quarterlife Crisis – then you are.  For simply thinking about it.

Spontaneous living.  That is going to be your light for the next few years.  I’m not talking about going all out crazy like spending $1,000 on a few bottles at a nightclub.  I’m not talking about making a hasty decision to move to France (unless you feel that’ll make you happy).  Heck, even for being young, I feel too old and mature to go crazy for no particular reason.  I’m talking about true normal spontaneous actions like making pizza.

When you’re making pizza or going to see a movie with a friend or having a few drinks to catch up with a co-worker or going on a run – you are living life.  Quarterlife is difficult because as young adults, many of us have done everything we were supposed to do.  Study hard.  Go to college.  Find a job.  Meet someone special.  Make your family proud.  Whatever it might be, we were trying to follow a formula of living.  Until we realize that formula cages us in.  Kinda like when you used to play Snake on the very old cell phones.  Eventually you reach a dead end and your game is over and start a new game.  Your way out is to stop thinking there is only one formula that works.

I feel I’m a logical person.  I was mature for my age and often felt I grew up a bit faster than my peers.  But in being a logical person, I ended up thinking about life more than I did living life.  I must have spent more time wondering what my life would be like rather than enjoying the life I already had.  Life on pause.  I did everything I thought I was supposed to do.  Go to college.  Met someone special. Got my first real job.  Got some promotions. Lived life a little bit by traveling. But I knew something was wrong.  With me. I was living it too easy. Life is supposed to be hard.  You should be ready to make some tough choices.  If you don’t fight for something, is it really worth having?

I was really happy seeing my friends hit some huge milestones.  Just this past weekend, a close friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  This past year I watch two of my closest buddies get married and many more of my friends are engaged.  It’s surreal.  Magical.  I realized the reason I wasn’t ready for milestones of my own was because up until now, I wasn’t ready to color outside the lines.

I moved out of my parents house.  I got a new job.  I paid off my student loans.  I’m ready to live my life now.  A compromise.  I did everything I felt I was supposed to do.  Now it’s my time to do everything I feel I can.  You need to live your life instead of only thinking about it.  You need to live a little bit out of your norm.  And most of all, you need to grab a friend to experience it with you.  Life is meant to be shared with others. Go bake some cookies.  Go fly a kite.

Today, I made a pizza.  Tomorrow…  well that’s the beauty of spontaneous living.

Golden Dream Tip: Interviewing

blogentry_paulTime to post an example of what my career tips will be like.  Today’s GooD Tip is on interviewing.

So in Las Vegas, for those looking to get into hospitality management (with my background, I’m specifically speaking in Food and Beverage), there are a ton of job openings.  It’s a tough industry: long hours, 24/7 guest service, very fast pace.  I’ve had the opportunity to interview a lot of candidates for different jobs in the industry.  Here are some of my observations:

Research the Company

You hear this one all the time, but it’s because it is important.  What do you know about the company you want to work for?  What are your expectations of this company?  Growth opportunities? Cultural fit?  Why would this company be the right fit for you?  The last thing I want to hear in an interview is that the candidate knows nothing about my company – or worse, pretends to know about my company and recites wrong information.

Take the time to understand what the company is all about.  What is their mission statement?  What is their focus?  What are they known for?  How can they support your goals?  Can you name specific segments of the company?  If you need to admit you want to learn more about the company, then be honest.  But there is no excuse to know nothing about what you want to get into.


Where is the Passion?

I’m interviewing a handful of people for a position.  I’m definitely not going to hire the person that doesn’t even sound like they want the job.  You’ve got to be on your best.  This doesn’t mean you act artificially bubbly and scare your interviewer away.  It has everything to do with are you the right fit?  Are you enthusiastic? Do you have the energy to contribute positive things for the company?  There is natural passion that comes from candidates with true confidence in their skills.  The right fit is going to be the person that knows what they want.  The passion is natural because they really want to be there.  Even if you’re not interviewing for your dream job – at least be confident that you are capable of working for that company and that you’d love some element of it.  Play your strengths.  Be positive.  Convince me that it was worth the 15 minutes to talk to you.


Answer the Question.  And Then Some.

I am often disappointed with candidates that fail to answer the question.  It’s okay sometimes to admit if there is a skill set you lack but are working on.  It’s not okay that you avoid answering the question completely because you are trying to skirt around what you can’t answer.  Answer the question.

The worst is candidates that can only answer “yes” and “no” style.  In an interview, that’s your opportunity to tell us more about yourself.  We’ve already reviewed your resume (most likely).  If you miss out on the opportunity by answering your questions too short, you’re giving off an impression that there is not much to you.  You’ll be working with your employer for a very long time.  It’s important that they feel you have substance and that you will be self-driven, enthusiastic, helpful, and that you have a lot of depth, thoughts, ideas, etc.  This doesn’t mean you have permission to tell us your entire life story and get off topic…  it’s a balance.


More tips to come, but these were some of the top. Good luck everyone!

In Which Paul is Left with a Teddy Bear not Meant for Him

blogentry_paulHello friends!  It has been awhile since my last post.  I have finally moved out of my parent’s house, so I’ve been very busy to say the least.

I mentioned that my contributions to Golden Dreams will be inspired by some of my life experiences and this first one taught me a lot about living life with courage and strength.

In the 6th grade, I experienced my very first crush.  Ah, childhood love!  Growing up, I’ve always considered myself a hopeless romantic.  So falling in love for the first time (or whatever a 6th grader thought they were experiencing at the time) was something incredible.  My first cool hang out with this girl was at the Adventure Dome, a local amusement park at one of the resorts in Las Vegas.  Our school had these straight-A field trips, and as luck would have it, I ended up hanging out with this girl and her friends.  We went on roller coaster and rides together and during the excursion, I won a teddy bear at one of the carnival games.  It was pretty awesome, cause I rarely won anything.  But I was excited about the prospect of giving the Teddy Bear to this girl I had been admiring for awhile.  The trip was fun, we took the bus back to school.  I could never find the guts to give her the Teddy Bear and I ended up looking silly keeping it to myself.

You see, I was quite the introvert and shy about any interaction I had with girls in those days. I was often labeled as the sweet guy, but quite honestly nobody saw me in those days as a possible Casanova.  That Teddy Bear was meant to be given to that girl that day.  But I was too afraid of rejection.  I worried too much about what her friends would think.  Would she be embarrassed a guy like me even would even pay attention to her in that way?  The thing was, she was kinda nerdy too. I may have actually had a chance had I even tried.  I’ll never know how she would have reacted.

7th grade came around and I still had this mad crush on this girl.  We would talk on the phone “studying” (well, I was actually really smart back then so I guess I was truly helping with tutoring…), AOL instant messaging was becoming the norm.  Typical things you would think adolescent flirting to be.  My middle school sold carnations every Valentine’s Day and I always sent my close girl friends carnations.  When my crush got her carnation, she was too shy to ask me directly, but she had a friend ask me whether or not I liked her.  I was so nervous and shy and afraid of rejection, that I ended up doing something really dumb and saying that, “I only liked her as a friend.”  WHAT??? I know right?

Now many, many years later – obviously I have long gotten over this crush, but I will never forget the lessons I learned about love and being true and honest with telling people how you feel about them.  There is no telling if I ended up crushing the heart of my first crush that day because of my own stupidity.  The truth was, even if I did tell that girl that I liked her, I would have had no idea what that meant or how to even be a “boyfriend”.  Going on dates was foreign to me.  I only knew how to watch TV, study, do homework, and play video games.  Again, not the skill set needed to win the hearts of teenage girls.  By the 8th grade when I had the guts to tell her that I had a crush on her, it was way too late and she had become more popular and quite out of my league.

I saw my childhood crush once a few months back at my local gym.  She was with another man, I’m assuming a boyfriend. I of course have zero regrets, because those heartbreaking moments in life helped me become who I am today.  Those types of experiences teach you important lessons on what happens when you let opportunities slip.  You never want to be living a day when you look back at a decision and wonder all of the “what ifs”. It’s too scary of a world when you stress yourself out with all of the possibilities.

Love can be a very challenging concept – especially since it seems to come and go so regularly in our society.  We seem to worship the power of love in music ballads and romantic comedies just as much as we cheapen the experience of true love with skepticism from divorce rates and negative examples of relationships on TV.  I used to think I was understanding of love and relationships, but you can rarely predict the results of investing so much of your time, energy, and happiness. Things change or they don’t always happen your way.  Even the most loving and successful couples know that true love is something that is a blessing.  It comes with time and appreciation for one another.  It takes a lot of courage and strength.

Don’t hesitate. It’s always better to love and take that risk of getting hurt.  You have to have a lot of courage and strength to make those moves and open your heart to somebody you care about.  Since the days of my childhood crush, I’ve experienced both the heart-shattering realizations that childhood crushes don’t always work out to the heart-warming realizations that there are people out there that were able to truly make me happy and proud to be a man in love. Finding love is a process.  You just have to let it happen.  Being afraid isn’t worth the never knowing if you could have shared something wonderful. Also learn to take care of yourself and open your heart to the prospect of allowing love to come to you.  The last thing you want is for that special someone to walk into your life and find that you were not prepared to receive them.  So take a chance at love.  Learn to open your heart once again.

Golden Dreams

blogentry_paulHi!  My name is Paul.  This will be my first entry as a guest writer for Motivate2Inspire.  If you’re a regular, you know that Michael is an inspirational person as is.  But what makes him great is that he takes time out of his life to share with the world.  I am thankful for Mike to give me the opportunity to take a shot at blogging again – with hopes that our readers can take some little piece of motivation along with them throughout the day.

Golden Dreams was the name I had thought up of if I were ever to write a book about my life once I became famous and successful.  Well, I figure why wait.  “Golden” has a lot of meanings to me.  As a graduate from Notre Dame, it’s easy to make the correlation that the Golden Dome has been a symbol of faith and hope in my life.  I think it’s also been a beacon of guidance for me – with Mary at the top pointing towards love and life.  “Golden Dreams” also shares a correlation with California.  Disney actually made a short movie called Golden Dreams with Whoopi Goldberg.  It went over the history of California and the people that made it is what it is today.  So in ways, that same journey is what I aspired to go on.

My dream job has always been to work for Disney. For the longest time, I felt I knew I wanted to work for the “magic” company.  The one that believes in family fun and imagination.  The one company that when times are tough, you can remember your favorite Disney movie.  It is a company that I felt aligned with my world view.  The problem with having a dream job though is that you remember that at the end of the day – it’s still a job.  It’s still hard work.  It’s a corporation with financial goals and things that need to work right.  It’s also a company where millions of people probably have had the same passion to work for.  Kinda like Google.

I don’t think that I’ve had a change of heart.  I still want to work for Disney someday, but I’m not convinced that I want to go work for them right now.  There are a lot of other important things that I can be doing with my life – like learning to just be me and love my life for what it is.  Sometimes when you aspire to do or be something right away and get that instant gratification, you end up losing yourself in the process.  “Golden” to me is that journey between the extremes.  It’s the sweet spot we live in life that is just above pushing the edge of the fence, but below ramming yourself so hard into the fence that you’re all messed up.  In the Cretan tale of Icarus, his father warns him to “fly the middle course” above the sea’s sprays and below the sun’s heat.  Well, if you’ve ever heard that story, you know that Icarus flew too high into the sun’s heat and the wax on his wings melted causing him to fall to his death.  That’s one extreme.  The other extreme are those people who become afraid of life and feel they are so out of control of what happens around them.  That’s not good either.

I want to change all that.  “Life doesn’t get easier.  You just get better.”  I believe in that statement 100%.  As a young businessman in one of the worst recessions, you’ve got to continue to get better or you’re not going to be competitive in this ever evolving world around us.  Sometimes the process of getting better includes the ability to be open minded and conscious of living in the moment. How can we get better?  How can we grow stronger?  In this next year, I’m going to dedicate some of my time to share my stories and reflections on life. Let’s do this together, shall we?