Thank you for taking the time to come here and read this. Please be sure to stop for a moment and watch this video clip above. After coming home from Thanksgiving Dinner at a dear family’s house, it just made sense to sit back and watch a movie. It has been a while since I have seen the PURSUIT of HAPPYNESS, and there could not be a better day of the year than today to watch it! It is always a great movie to see when you need some help stepping outside of the box. That’s the first step in “The Pyramid of Change,” highlighted in The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by the Arbinger Institute:

We get so wrapped up in our own conflicts and problems. It just becomes so easy to start to feel sorry for ourselves. Then we start playing the victim game. If we are the victims, there must be someone to blame. Instead of focusing on fixing the problem, we waste away our precious energy in creating war with others. We all want peace. During those moments, we forget all about our goals. The pain, hurt, anger, and hatred becomes far more important than anything else. Stupid, huh? Getting out of the box is the first step towards getting out of what motivational speaker Zig Ziglar calls “stinkin’ thinkin.”

I have been there, as have we all. I remember in 2004 being stuck in an apartment that I could no longer afford. I had just got kicked out of my undergraduate program after 9 calendar years and 150 semester hours. I was so close to graduation. My dear sister and brother-in-law took me into their new house, gave me a place to stay for cheap, helped me get back on my feet, taught me how to be an adult, and even helped me get to know my nephew much better.

2009. That was just a crappy year. I was foolish and smart at the same time. I left my job of ten years with Home Depot. It was never meant to be. A job to pay my way through school became a career. There was no way I could have lived working crappy hours, a wage that was below my worth, and for a manager who did not even care about me. A special loved one believed in me when I could not find that faith. Even though I was without work for six months and ended up working two more crappy retail jobs in the meantime, I was able to move towards where I am now. I am still paying off the debt incurred during this time, but I am working my way out of it. I really am so happy I have learned about Dave Ramsey!

One of the best things to happen to me within the past year is meeting this really splendid guy at Church. He reminds me of when I worked at Home Depot. People used to think I was nuts, because I would be a little goofy due to my happiness. In the end I disliked my job. However, there were still a ton of great aspects that I loved about the job. This includes so many wonderful co-workers and customers that I got to work with. I was just genuinely happy at that stage in my life. Even though someone can be really happy, dark things from one’s past can still bring him / her down at times. I used to let myself get ugly.

I really like the PURSUIT of HAPPYNESS. I remember reading some quote by some expert who severely criticized anyone for reading or watching something for more than one time. We all have different opinions, stories, and paths that we have taken. For me, it is a blessing to read or watch something many times. When watching The Lion King, I now love the scene where Simba’s deceased father, Mufasa, comes back to him. I turned my back on my parents for leaving me behind. It is not fair for a young man to lose his mother at 15 and his father at 29. Instead of holding a grudge against them, I invite their spirit back into my life and allow myself to again feel the love they gave to me while they were alive.

Tonight, while watching that scene at the end of the PURSUIT of HAPPYNESS, I almost began to get choked up a little. Two years ago I started my relatively new career. Everything in my life has changed. I again feel like that friend from Church. Sometimes people think I am nuts. I cannot help it that I have found happiness and cannot contain it! I am so happy that I no longer have to live with so many of those demons from my past! I apologize if I have ever come across as if I was bragging about my job. So far this year, I have already made double the yearly pay that I ever made at Home Depot.

I get to work business hours. Did you read that correctly? After working well over a decade of screwed up shifts, sometimes working to almost midnight and coming back for the early morning shift, I can now work at a normal time. After starting off working at least a 45 minute drive from home, I now live a mile away from my current location! I have been blessed with incredible training and wonderful supervisors. That and having wonderful, helping co-workers have helped me get to where I am at now. I get to help my customers each day. Today was probably one of the best days that I have worked there.

We are very well compensated for working on holidays. When I first started working there, they had just switched to making everyone work holidays. Just recently, we were allowed to volunteer to work, provided that enough people would be there. I chose to come in for extra pay and to let someone else stay home the whole day. I was very well compensated for working the holiday. I was able to really add to my sales for the bonus period. The best thing is what I did for this one customer.

The other day she was billed about $750 for our top-of-the-line email plan for one year. I called her to make sure everything was alright with the billing and the rest of her account. I had noticed a few things were up for expiration, and I had offered to renew them at a discounted rate. She was too busy to talk that day. After a few emails back and forth, I had received an email from her requesting my call. First, I got the renewal taken care of. Then, she pointed out how she wanted to keep her email plan going longer than just one year. This is where the magic had come!

She was paying for five mailboxes, yet she was only using three. She was also paying for an add-on service that she did not even need. As I could not downgrade this plan, my one lead suggested I simply have her purchase a new plan, move her mailboxes into the new plan, have her cancel the old plan, and refund what we charged her the other day. This greatly benefited her, as our newer plans were not only less expensive but were furthermore also for sale at a very steep discount! After all, it is such a blessing that I did not help her the other day!

This long-term customer was able to then enjoy the rest of her Thanksgiving Day. Yes, I even interrupted her cooking for her to log into her account to cancel the old plan. She ended up paying about $10 less than what we charged her the other day. She also ended up with the renewals for which she already planned to pay. Most importantly, her email is now paid in full for three years, not one. I had saved her about $1,400 over the next three years.

Yes, I am tooting my own horn. I do not do this to brag or say that I am better than you. I am just so happy that I get to help so many business owners get the best service with the products they buy from my company. Especially if you have known me for a long time, you have already known that there is something special about me. I do not say this to boast; I am merely repeating the compliments that so many people regularly give me.

I am so grateful for all that I have and for the person I have become. There is no way I could have ever gotten this far in life without so many wonderful people lifting me up when I have been down. There are just too many people to list. I pride myself on being unoriginal. What I do is try to take a little from each great person that I meet and make those talents / traits my own. If I have made you happy, it is probably because you have already made me happy first.

Thank you to (in order of mention) Robert, Diana, Laura, Mike, Laura, and Thor. Most importantly, thank you to Therese and James for making me the son they had always wanted.