Where I Stand

While I am proud of what I’ve accomplished with music and songwriting, what I’m most proud of is my happiness. ~ Jewel

by Pete Ferguson

The past year or so has been an amazing journey. It has also been very personal – which makes writing here more difficult and why I’ve slacked off a bit.

It is easy to post a contrite “why you should …” blog, but much more difficult to dig deep and reveal the inner workings of one’s mind, heart, and soul.

The posts that are most popular seem to be the “seven reasons why you should …” or “ten things everyone should do better.”

But the reality is that I’m likely not going to do all seven, or ten, or three. I’m going to incorporate what works best for me.

And that is where happiness lies – in our ability to be ourselves, to be in the moment, and to have a vision of what we want to do and move in that direction.

Happiness is always there with us in the moment. We just have to make the shift and choose to see it … But being happy doesn’t come from the things we achieve or how far we’ve come. It comes from being present and enjoying the journey. ~ Peter Clemens

Mistakes come easily. That’s just life. We like to hold our heroes up high and pretend they did not make mistakes – or that they made big ones early in life but then turned it all around and never looked back.

But is that really reality? I’ve met multi millionaires who’ve said their biggest goal in life is to have a family that gets along better.

I’ve seen senior executives who’s greatest quest in life is happiness in their personal life. The success as work is a mere byproduct of that quest.

And what I’ve learned is simple. You have to be your best self.


I say best self because being just “yourself” can lead to a lot of base behavior. The natural man or woman would likely sleep all day, eat a lot, and be quite selfish.

To be your best self requires momentum towards a vision of how your individual contributions to life will make a better life for those around you.

And for me, the journey does start right back where I started – with myself. I have big dreams: to transform the security world, to reveal the Tooele, Utah, valley as a great music hotbed of talent, which it is.

But the most important dreams I have are to see my children succeed. Just as my father worked hard to improve our lives over his own, I too want my children to have access to things which were out of my reach. I want them to be firm in who they are, and to help them realize their dreams with more ease – but not without learning from the trials and obstacles that will surely be in their way.

I want the words “can’t” and “impossible” to be a laughing matter and not a debilitating roadblock and dream killer.

And at work I want to extend that vision to others who are just starting their career and may feel stuck in an accidental career. I want to pave the way for them to be successful quicker, faster, and smarter than I have been. So they can take the torch I’ve carried and move it much farther into the future.

And that is where I stand.

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We Must, Because We Can!

The thrill of life is constantly seeking the edge of what we are capable of, only to find there are new roads where we thought the cliff dropped into oblivion.

by Pete Ferguson

Today’s title is borrowed from Evan Sander’s blog: The Better Man Project – Day (282) – Master of my Fate.

As I dive into great material to help make me a better man, there is one consistent message:

You are capable of a LOT more than you think possible. And whether you think you can – or you think you can’t – you are probably right!

And I’ve put this to the test and been continually reminded of the truth of it. I was struck with something I read a week or so back, but cannot now recall the source. My body knows how to have a visible six-pack. And likely so does yours. The muscles are in place, and can be enhanced and developed.

So why is America one of the most obese countries in the world? Why do we not all have tight six or eight pack?

It is not our bodies. Unless you were born with a medical condition or have suffered a serious disease or accident, you – like me – are capable of looking ripped.

It is our minds that hold us back.

We medicate with food and inactivity. A million times a day we make other decisions not to be fit. No time. No desire. We simply think we can’t.

And so we can’t.

Meanwhile our abs sit there waiting to either be strengthened through exercise or continue to decline through atrophy. And our belly fat sits there hiding them with a blanket of excess.

Outside of the body, the “perfect” career, spouse, and life also sit idling. Waiting for us to find them.

If you’ve ever read Russell H. Conwell’s Acres of Diamonds, he also attests through stories of tragedy, then success, that golden opportunities lie beneath our feet, all around us.

“Some day” may kill you. It certainly will kill your aspirations of happiness and fulfillment today – speaking from personal experience here.

Goals are the clothing and baby steps to “some day.” I am a dreamer at heart and love to contemplate “some day.” And I like to dream in technicolor. But I’ve also learned to really refine “some day.”

I’ve traveled the world. I’ve stayed at the nicest hotels, eaten in the nicest restaurants, seen some of the coolest stuff. Those were my “some days” of youth. Now as I’ve matured, my “some day” is to see my children successfully launched, married, educated, and following their passion in music, dance, art, and improving the world around them. And my favorite “today” is hanging out with them.

Fast cars need gas. Private planes require a headache of maintenance and additional fees. All the money in the world is just too much. And if you are not mature enough, it will turn you into a cocaine junky, lost soul (umm, Paris Hilton anyone?) and otherwise unhappy.

My parents have friends who were in the right place at the right time and came upon millions of dollars of stock and compensation. I was 19 when we went to visit their behemoth of a house.

Indoor/outdoor swimming pools and tennis courts. Massive home theater and video arcade. Everything media had taught me what it takes to “be happy” was contained on their little wonderland. “Success” in all of its wonder. I could hardly contain my feelings of desire and lust to have what they had.

But after the tour of all their stuff, my mom asked her friend if she was happy. Her friend talked about the slavery of sitting around the house waiting for the pool cleaners, landscapers, etc. And that she still struggled to get her kids to do their homework and stop fighting at the dinner table.

All the money just made her life different. Sure they had opportunites to “do” greater things, but they still had the struggle to “be” great.

And their millions didn’t do much for their kids who had struggled with having good friends and being likable before the money. Last I heard most of them had failed to launch and many of the family members deal with depression. Money didn’t fix a thing from my perspective. It may have even exasperated many of their problems.

I’m well over my 500 words, so let me conclude that everything you and I need to be happy is around us. We just have to choose to look for it. Setting daily goals to reach our “some day” is a great start.

We must push, because today we can!