His name was Terry, and he was eight years old. A group of us boys were hanging out at lunch one day, and Terry walked into the lunch room. I wished I knew what was going on in Terry’s head because he wet his pants at school that day! I know this is something that may happen with young kids, but Terry was already eight years old. I thought to myself, “Wow… why couldn’t he have worn jeans today?” Terry had on white pants, but that’s not the strangest part of the story… Terry walked right into the lunch room like nothing happened, and kept the same pants on all day! If that were me, my butt would have run, jumped, or even flown away and looked for safety somewhere.

tumblr_lttb3v7Mk41r2z2l3o1_400Twenty years later I was at my school reunion when Terry walked in. It was the same confident walk he had when we were kids. When some of the other guys saw him they said, “Hey there’s Terry… the guy who wets his pants.” It was a little surprising that they said “the guy that wets his pants” as though he did it all the time.

Many times that’s how life is. It tries to label you, or define you in a bad moment. Terry obviously got past that embarrassing day, but apparently not everyone else did. I liked the way he walked into the room like nothing ever happened, because he refused to get stuck in an “almost” life. The word almost means: not quite, nearly, and just about.

Many become stuck in “almost”, because of bad choices or events that happen in their life. They sit and settle in the middle of the negative event that happened. Kobe Bryant could have done that, but instead he said, “I can’t let what people think or say about me bother me.” Or Britney Spears who said, “I made mistakes, and it is what it is… I still have a lot to learn.” They both got up from their “not so finest” days and decided to do their best to move forward.

You see life is full of moments that aren’t so perfect. All of us have to work through our faults, flaws and failures. I’m sure most of us have had days that we wish we could take back. I know I do.

I was at the gym one time and I saw this big, muscular guy wearing a t-shirt that read: “No Regrets”. That was a nice shirt, with a nice slogan on it, but it’s not always easy to live by those words, but you have to always try to move forward in the best way possible.

I have the privilege of helping many people who are stuck in an almost life—and sometimes, their finest life seems far away– and it’s amazing how many wrong choices can create a bad situation, but one good, healthy choice can turn that all around.

We are finding ourselves nearing the end of 2014 and most of us are not ready to head into a new year. You may have had some challenging moments, days, weeks, or even months this year, but you are still standing. I like to say it this way, “You may not be what you wanted to be, but thank God you’re not what you used to be.”

Let’s be like Terry… even though he knew that we knew what happened all those years back… he maintained his “swagger” and stood tall. And do you want to know what Terry is doing now? Terry became a very successful doctor and is living his finest life.

“Whoever you are and whatever you want, I know that you are capable of achieving it. In fact, I know that you are capable of achieving much more.”

mcdonalds-you-deserve-a-break-today-adAs a child, I was seriously addicted to McDonalds. Back then, I also took their theme song to heart: “You deserve a break today at McDonalds.” I would get on my blue bicycle, ride up to those golden arches, and get ready for my ‘break’ – amazed at how many millions of hamburgers they had sold.

The older we get, the more important it is for us to truly learn how to ‘take a break’ – to put our work and activities on pause – whether for vacation or just a weekend.

So many of us program ourselves to work extremely hard during the week, and then look ahead to the ‘promised land’ of Friday. The problem with that is that, most of us have way too many things going on. Or we feel guilty when we take time off, so we forgo our breaks.

As a life coach in the entertainment industry, I’ve learned a lot of lessons from some older Hollywood veterans, including the ‘Art of the Break.’ Some of the most famous actors of our time found a way to live in the moment and take time off. The late Tony Curtis loved to paint. He even painted an amazing piece for me one night while we were having dinner and enjoying a break from work. Paul Newman raced cars in his spare time. It seems that with of age and experience, these men learned that life is for living. After all, you’re not a ‘human-doing’, but a ‘human being.’

So this week, let’s begin to live in the moment. Start by putting these three steps to good use: Rest, Refresh and Restart.

  1. Rest: Find a place to just relax, whether it’s in a hammock, on the beach or just a quit place alone.
  2. Refresh: Pay attention to how good you start to feel as you slow down to the speed of life.
  3. Restart: Begin the next day with new energy and a fresh perspective.

When we start to take some time for ourselves, we become more relaxed, and as we become more relaxed we get more things done in a more efficient way. As Pope Francis has said, “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, or play sports.”

So keep telling yourself to rest, so that you’ll be refreshed, so that you can restart your day with a greater motivation and ambition. After all, “You do deserve a break today!”