I’ve had some really in-depth conversations lately with perfect strangers that have reached out to me for guidance. There’s been a common theme in each of these interactions. The theme being perception. You see, life doesn’t just happen to us. We make it happen by a long line of decisions we’ve made to include past decisions. When things don’t go our way it’s easy to harbor bitterness and hate towards the world, our situation, and other people.

Over time all of our choices catch up with us. Ultimately creating a reality and which we perceive we are the victims of when the truth is you’re responsible for the outcome of your own day to day life. Time and time again I see people self-implode and declare their misery on social media platforms. (Guilty as charged) but as I get wiser I realize that is wasted energy.

Over the course of my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to take leadership classes that helped me identify ways to change the way I perceive my life. If you’re angry and bitter all the time ask yourself why? Don’t ask other people why. True growth comes from within and the ability to have self-reflection.

The truth is that many of us are so busy comparing our lives to others that we rarely take a moment to be at one with our thoughts. Plus, we often don’t recognize the importance of self-reflection and the impact it can have on our lives and how will ultimately change our perception of our circumstances.

Self-reflection has helped me to understand more about the way that I respond to situations, to not be completely oblivious to my faults, and to find ways that I can deal with situations positively instead of letting them consume me.

Let’s face it, shit happens! but how you manage those situations will determine the outcome. Take personal responsibility for your actions and make small spiritual investments into yourself every day. When you wake in the morning ask your “how do I want to show up today?” At the end of your day ask yourself “am I happy with the person on your pillow.”

Author: 22fitness

I am a South Milwaukee native, I graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 2002. Upon Graduating I joined the United States Army as an Airborne Indirect Fire Infantryman. Where I served over 8 years and 2 Combat deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

In June 28th, 2005 I was awarded the Purple Heart. From being wounded in action when a roadside bomb struck our HUMVEE. From there I continued my career and deployed again to Iraq from May 2007 to August 2008 to take part in what has been named “The Surge”. Throughout my career, I achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and received numerous awards and accommodations. 

Upon exiting the service I found myself battling severe PTSD, depression, and anxiety. 
after losing my own brother to suicide in December of 2015. I became an advocate for people suffering from mental illness. In August of 2016, I marched 22 miles across Milwaukee county in an effort to raise suicide awareness. After the walk, I went on to find “22 Fitness” a free fitness program dedicated to helping those that struggle with PTSD and Depression. Throughout the year I host several 22-mile walks, and community workouts, and several public speaking engagements, to continue to generate awareness of the mental health issues within our communities. 

I am currently the Manager of Operations for Commercial Recycling Division, Goodwill industries of southeastern Wisconsin and metropolitan Chicago. 

I am married to my high school sweetheart. Together we have 3 daughters and reside in Hales Corners Wisconsin. 

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