Friday, October 30, 2015

Get back to YOU




We are all going through it. Somehow, someway. As we get older, life changes, responsibilities grow. People come, but they mostly go. Struggle and progress persist. Each day is something new.

When we join the #GrowNOW Movement, we ask ourselves, "Who were you before your experiences told you who you ought to be?" Are you living YOUR life? Are YOU being YOU?

Each day the daily grind has the power and the ability to bring us down. Why is this?  Because as humans, we all dream. We all have a burning desire to be something better, something bigger. It is easy to say to yourself, "why am I doing this? "this isn't fair" "I should be doing something greater." We wake up when our job requires us to, and we go to bed so we will be ready to work again in the morning. Hours upon hours a day are put forth toward something we may not even be passionate about. Something that does not burn our desires and get our blood flowing. A daily life that keeps us from ever truly being ourselves. We all go through it. Each day can be a struggle. Working hard everyday just to attain a greater life, a greater purpose with greater experiences.

It is not how your life is, it is how you live it. You are a unique individual. If you believe it, it can only be true: YOU were born to make an Impact. You were created to make a difference. What you are doing right now, what took up all those hours in your day, must only just be a piece of the puzzle. I have never met a strong person with an easy past. I have never seen something with true wealth, happiness, and peace of mind that did not earn it.

Whatever it is that you are doing. Whatever it is that you are tired of doing. Whatever it is that is keeping you from being YOU. Challenge it. Challenge yourself. Make sure that whatever you are doing, you are the BEST to ever do it. Pride goes farther than just a "good job." Pride brings skills, pride brings competence, and pride generates confidence. Make sure that you do everything you can to the best of your abilities. You never know who is watching you. You never know who is looking up to you. Wake up every morning with a strong challenge to yourself. Whatever is it is that you set out to do that day, do it with all your heart. Inspire someone. Make someone's day. If you are able to do that, then you just had the perfect day. The ability to make somebody else's day is God-given. It is a true gift that puts you in the body of God. There is nothing more important in this world then spreading joy, love, and positivity, Being able to do that is the true definition of success. 

How else can YOU get back to being YOU? Part II is to avoid distraction. Find you passion, find your purpose and become a master. Become the best. If your work or job is not your life's goal, then you need to be spending your free time working toward that ultimate goal. You need to make sure you spend time every single day working toward what you love. Create a vision board, research online, watch videos, interview and befriend people who already have what you want. The possibilities of what you can do are endless. Make sure you are doing something. What are you doing?

Do not allow yourself to fall into a rut or negativity. There is too much beauty and love in today's world. And you are that beauty. Your existence is a gift of God. You were not put on this Earth to do what is causing you to be in a rut. You were meant for something better, something bigger. Make sure you believe in that first. Second, believe in yourself. There is nothing more important in  your life that yourself. You have passions, you have love, you have strengths. Use then to get through the struggles. Be a man or woman of purpose, love, and positivity. Spread your love every single day.

You will make a difference. You will #GrowNOW.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The GrowNOWers: Emily S.


Name: Emily S. (23, PA)
Favorite Inspirational Song: "Remembered" - Dizzy Wright
Contact - IG: @emilysteiner

     The night I turned 22 I was raped by a dude who I thought was the one. He let me stumble home from a club, and took my request to undress me as an invitation to have him some fun.
     I was newly-graduated, college educated, and working a full-time job on a year off before law school. I was out celebrating with a handful of people I no longer call my friends, consuming beverages I no longer let pass between my lips. I was doing what everyone else my age was doing (and that was the problem).
     After that night I could no longer live comfortably in the environment I was in. It always smelled of shame and the sunlight never snuck in through the windows the way I wanted it to. It was always dark. And I knew if I ever wanted to grow, I would have to change my environment. So I did.
I moved into the safety of my grandparents’ home where I invested time in self-loving, frolicking in the mountains at the foothills of Squaw Peak. I swore to myself that I would not put myself in situations unless they were going to help me progress. And I was going to worry less about being in control, and more about going with the flow (and that changed my entire scope of vision).
Two months later I found out that a boy I had loved was murdered.
     Finding out the news that someone you once shared your life with, shared your soul with, has departed… that feeling cannot be put into words.
      I started questioning everything. What lessons had I learned from him? What lessons am I learning from the people I am around now? What happens with the souls of people who didn’t get to live out their time? What happens with all his plans and goals? What happens with mine?
Time stopped for a total of two days. Three days later, I woke up to an e-mail from the school I attend now. They were offering me $40,000 a year toward my education; a full-ride scholarship to gain knowledge… to use my brain… to put my passion to work. I was going to be able to move across the country and to meet people and see things I may not have ever gotten the chance to otherwise.
(I recognize a blessing when I see one).
Knowing this, I focused my entire mentality on the possibility of growth:
I switched up my garden.
I stopped eating meat. I stopped complaining without purpose. I learned to stop myself from speaking limiting speech.
I stopped drinking booze. I stopped attending parties with my peers where the conversations were about as deep as vodka shot in a solo cup. 
I stopped allowing any shade, any negativity, to block the shine.
And the growth continued.
I started practicing gratitude, verbally. 
I started appreciating the contributions my friends and family make to my life. I started practicing forgiveness. I started counting my blessings every sunset. 
I started helping those around me shift to positive thinking speaking . 
I started nurturing my own roots and allowing myself to grow passed what others were doing or expecting of me.
I told myself that opportunities are what you make of them. I told myself that if someone can believe in my vision so much as to invest in it this greatly, I must invest in it even deeper.
I turn 23 today, and here is what I can say…
Your whole life can change in the blink of an eye. Moments in life are bound to pull you back. The magic lies in the fact that you can use that same force that drags you back to propel yourself into bigger and more purposeful stories. Know that all experiences guide your path and hardships exist to make you stronger, more prepared for the blessings ahead.
It has been quite the year. I am proud of who I am and can honestly say that a little desire to grow can take you a long way.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The GrowNOWers: Gia "Indiflo"

Name: Gia "Indiflo" (Teen, NY)
Favorite Inspirational Song: "Words as Weapons" - Birdy

"Hey, I'm former singer Gia "Indiflo" and I just wanted to make sure you know how important and loved you are. If there's one thing I've learned from being a singer, it's that hate in inevitable. The only element that can cancel out such negative vibe is love. Keep the love high and don't let anyone put you down because as sick as it is, that is what people strive for. I love and so many others do too so no matter what life throws at you, keep a smile on your face and live liFe how you want to regardless of what anyone else has to say. The key to happiness is loving yourself because at the end of the day, you're all you've got to rely o 24/7. Remember to spread the LOVE."

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Impress Yourself



Each day we dress a certain way, go the to gym, go to school, go to work, drive a certain car, and focus so much on our general appearance. But who are we trying to impress? Why do we care so much about how others perceive us?

From the early school-age years, we begin to shape ourselves to fit in with the crowds. We learn about what the majority likes, and we change ourselves. Many of us control our lives based on the thoughts of others. When you really stop and think, how much of your life is really your own? How much of what you have created for yourself is your own doing? Was it influenced our self-consciousness? Did we play small and act like our lives are only worthy if others think that it is?

When is the last time you impressed yourself? 

I know you have goals. I know you have dreams. Everyone does. Everyone wants to be something better, something bigger. Whether it is losing some weight, getting a promotion, getting an A+, learning a new skill. Have you done it yet? Have you accomplished something recently that helped you to impress yourself? When is the last time you really accomplished something?

One simple way to do this is to challenge yourself everyday. Yes, everyday. Give yourself a good challenge every day. Set that goal in the morning and remind yourself about it throughout the day. Make sure you do your best to accomplish it. Whether it be something like, "I will be a man of integrity today,  I will do something right when nobody is watching" "I will make somebody smile today" "I will give somebody a great compliment today" "I will give somebody hope today" " I will run an extra 10 minutes at the gym today" "I am going to smile in the face of judgement and stress today" "I am going to make the most out of the ordinary today" "I am going to start reading a new book."

Just do something. Start something great today. Take control of your mornings. Do not just drink your coffee and watch the same old morning show. Think about yourself. Think about your mindset. Think about your emotions. Think about your dreams and goals. Think about the ideal person that you want to be that day. You control it. You can be the person you have always dreamed of.


The key here is that it will all add up. Each day you will challenge yourself and accomplish something great each day. You will grow and you will contribute. You will make a difference to yourself and to others. Everything will add up. You're self-confidence will grow like never before. You will stop caring what other people think, simply because you now think so highly of yourself. Your self-reflections and self-views will never be better. You will accomplish what you have always dreamed of.

If anyone can do it, it is YOU. You are capable of anything you set your mind to. So the time is now. Set your mind to it.

#GrowNOW

-Mike

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The GrowNOWers: Devo M.

To my Fellow GrowNOWers of the #GrowNOW Movement,

If there has been one single great thing about the GrowNOW Movement, it is how we have been able to bring such wonderful, positive people together. People that actively practice joy, gratitude, integrity, and love for ALL of the people around them. Few people encompass what the GrowNOW Movement is all about than my new friend Devo Moore. 

Its quite funny...I met Devo while I was testing out my new favorite app, Periscope. Periscope allows me to intimately interact with people interested in joining the Movement. One day, I was testing out the app, looking to see if anyone was broadcasting from around my hometown on Long Island. I was blessed to come across Devo. He was immediately interested in what GrowNOW was all about. He asked some awesome questions and his interest and care radiated through the screen. I was able to notice instantly how genuine, kind, and honest Devo is.

All members of the GrowNOW Movement have it in their heart to help others. It is as simple as that. The GrowNOW Movement is all about spreading positivity, love, and support. All members also KNOW that they have the ability to be a role model and support system because they have a GREAT story to tell. Everyone on this earth has something about them that makes them a unique individual amongst over 6 Billion people. Each person has a great story to tell. GrowNOW is that platform. GrowNOW gives GREAT People a VOICE.

Here is Devo's story:


_____________________________________________________________


Name: Devo M. (22, New York)
Favorite Inspirational Song: Kelly Clarkson - Stronger


 I'm going to share my struggles with bullying during school to hopefully inspire you to know that no matter what you're going through and no matter how young you may be you have a story to tell for a reason and you are an important piece of this world. You can become the person you've always wanted to be and you can grow very much by just being you.

        I guess the right place to begin is with second grade, that's where it all started. One afternoon on the bus with my male friend we were holding hands and it got misconstrued into such a bigger situation than I'd ever realize. Within the next few weeks everyone in the entire school was ridiculing me for being different or "gay", now at first it meant nothing I just felt it would all blow over within a few more weeks maybe until third grade, whenever I'd approach an adult with my issues I was often dismissed and told to ignore it or act as if I couldn't hear them. As the years advanced however I'd come to notice that the ridiculing and bullying would only grow worse as what now had become a fib of me and that kid dating became known to more and more people. By the time I was in middle school I virtually had no friends due to the fact that my "differences" made me basically a public target and almost completely undesirable. Struggling with not only the bullying and lack of support behind it made me form identity problems as well as early signs of depression, anxiety and large amounts of stress was also dismissed by adult figures in my life, saying that I was to young to be depressed about anything, and those terms aren't suitable for children and that I'm just thinking of it too much. Now as a child I'd become a walking ball of anger, but as I'd began to GROW I'd become more and more aware that what I go through (being that bullying is a never ending phenom) is more than just something for me. In my high school years, with a move to a new school the bullying had decreased a small amount due to a larger diversity within the school. In the new school there was much more options for acceptance including the GSA Gay-Straight Alliance club, where I'd discovered the real me. The more we would talk about the history of the LGBT community and meet many people who'd helped in the normalization of the community thus far had marveled me more than anything ever in this world. NOW I'd waken up to realize that I am to use my trials and what I've gone through to encourage the youth of this world that no matter how different you may seem or appear to be that you are perfect and a better future starts with you. I just want to be that person to inspire everyone no matter what your difference is whether you don't fit in due to social anxiety, or you just aren't the norm for your school because of your personality, don't feel afraid to reach out to me I was that person, and I make this promise to you if you reach out to me for any kind of guidance I will do my absolute best to help you Grow Now and be able to reach your full potential and start living your truth like I've come to live mine.

Note to you Mike: Thank you so much for all that you do and for allowing others to help in the movement of making a better future for this nation. You haven't the slightest idea how many people this will truly touch and how many times you've helped already, you helped me in my time of need when you first found my scope I was going through a very deep depression slump and just your words of encouragement gave me the will power to keep going and to move up and forward in life. You have my deepest feelings of gratitude.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Be Obsessed, Be Weird, Be Different




If you read my blog, you know that I believe we live our lives believing in erroneous misconceptions. We are told to believe certain things, and we often learn these things at a young age when our minds are fragile and vulnerable. What we are told we believe. And this information changes us into a totally different person. We are what we believe. We are what we hold to be true.

But why do we change in the first place? We are all born Unique Individuals. Take a look at some home videos of yourself when you were a child. Running around smiling and giggling without abandon. Not a single drop of self-consciousness. Ask your parents what you were like as a child. Most likely they will say "Oh you were just full of life and full of LOVE!" So what happened? You blended in. You walked away from what made you unique in the first place. You fell into the trap of distraction and misconception.

I have certainly heard the term "Obsessed" being used in a negative way throughout my life. It has even been used as a insult toward me before. Being told by others that I am obsessed with certain things, that it makes me "weird." No matter how much I tried to not care, hearing these things always made me feel bad about myself. Like I wasn't good enough. Like everyone around me was better. But why? I was just being myself. I was just totally immersing myself in the things that made me happy. If I liked something, I wanted to surround myself with it. I wanted to know as much about it as possible. I wanted the things that made me smile to take up my life and define it.

So why did the people in my life have a problem with this? Why was it such a big deal to them? Because these were the things that make me different. These were the things that made me stand out. My specific interests and how I decided to focus my time is what made me unique and different from the people around me. One thing you have to realize is: people have a problem with different.  

Its 2015 and we are having racial protests in the street. The world is divided by liberals and conservatives. Religious ideals. Socio-economic status. Ethnicity, gender, basic looks even divide us. Even from a young age, we tend to surround ourselves with others who are most like us. I am sure you high school and college had all the cliche "cliques" and "groups" that mine did.

In life, if you are unique and you stand out and you are different....you will have haters. It is as simple as that. People have a problem with different. And what is the greatest issue with this problem? People don't usually recognize this until they are well into their late 20's. It is usually not until an individual leaves the high school, college, and young adult environments that they realize being "weird" being "different" is a good thing! It is usually during this time that people choose to think: "what is wrong with me? why don't I fit in? why am I so different?". Once they grow up, mature, and become an adult they realize that fitting in should have never been so important to them.

One major GrowNOW Mantra: Never Blend In.
What makes you different, what makes you YOU, is what is most important in life.  
Who were you before others told you who you ought to be? Ask yourself this question today, before it is too late.

Immerse yourself in what makes you happy. Follow your dreams. Follow your heart. If people tell you that you are weird, then you are doing something right! You are living what Brendon Burchard calls The Charged Life! You are being the unique individual that you were born to be. Everyone has the ability to contribute, be a role model, and inspire others. However, you cannot do this unless you are being your true self. 

If someone tells you that you are obsessed...NO you are Passionate!
If someone tells you that you are weird........NO you are Unique!
If someone tells you that you are different....NO......you are preparing yourself to change the world.

So...who were you before people told you who you ought to be?

Answer that question and you will start to #GrowNOW.

Thanks for taking the time to read by blog everyone. You have no idea how much it means to me!

-Mike
Instagram: @GrowNOW_