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Note to Self: You Matter!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” -Mae West

The car slowly came to a stop on a dirt road in Belize about 20 feet away from me. A dust cloud engulfed the car. As the dust settled I hear a voice in the car yell, "Shoot him!" Before my eyes there were three men in the car. The man in the backseat pointed a gun at me. "Just shoot him man!" the man in the passenger seat said.

I could not believe the situation I was now in. I was certain this would be my end, my last day. I asked myself, "Will it hurt? Why?" Deep inside of me I said, "Try, just try Michael to get yourself out of this."

I said to the men, "I've got money in my wallet, you can have it." Very slowly I raised my wallet and the man with the gun said, "Toss it to me."

Slowly, I underhand tossed my wallet to the man with the gun. He reached for my wallet, the gun was no longer pointed at me but now pointed in the air as he tried to catch my wallet. One word came to my mind...RUN! I did my best "Run Forrest, Run" imitation! I was able to run away and the car quickly drove off as another vehicle approached. 1. I was alive and 2. I found my wallet on the ground. The gun-guy dropped it. Whew!

I tell you this story because our lives are fleeting, and the best day to fight for the right to live is today — by taking small, positive steps forward on a purposeful path. Oh by the way, I've been held at gunpoint 3 times. I want to give you 3 positive steps to move forward on a positive purposeful path.

If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you will make progress-Barack Obama

The Positive Purposeful Path

1. Give everything you have into this day.

I once heard that passion is not something you find in life; it’s something you do. Here are some cool things to do: Slow down and be grateful for the family, friends, pets and others which are in your life. I know that not all family, friends and even pets are worth being grateful for. However, there are some. And those some are a gift. Don't take this gift for granted.

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” Oprah Winfrey

2. Give everything you have into yourself.

Stop beating yourself up. Every human is a work in progress; I for darn sure am; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once. Life is a process which happens bit by bit.

Stop looking at what's wrong with you and begin the habit of looking at what's STRONG in you! The truth is, you won’t always be a priority to others, and that’s why you need to be a priority to yourself. Learn to respect yourself, take care of yourself, and become your own support system.

3. Give everything you have into refusing to let your past troubles become today's excuses.

My father was murdered when I was four. I was briefly homeless. My dear mother became an alcoholic. I've been held at gunpoint 3 times. I got kicked out of college for a semester. Man! A lot has gone wrong in my past, but wow! My present is crazy amazing! Why? I have chosen to take charge of my life and do whatever it takes to capture my hopes and dreams!

There will always be ups and downs in life, but ultimately, at the end of the day, that’s what makes each of us who we are. Make the Positive Purposeful Path a daily habit.

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