The Fountain of Youth

Don’t laugh; the Fountain of Youth really does exist. Living longer does not only apply to HIV+ folks, this information will work for everyone. Following some simple guidelines and principals can have you on the path to increasing your life expectancy.

Many people from different walks of life told me precisely what I needed to do to prolong my life while dealing with HIV. What I found along the way, and with my experience is that these ideals also apply to everyday human beings.

I have spent (and continue to spend) countless hours meeting with gurus, coaches, doctors, and experts in different fields to figure out how to improve my chances for living longer. I’ve also read countless books, articles, and blog posts. Along the way, I have compiled information from friends, family members, authors, scientists, and a plethora of other sources. Here is a little bit of what each of them had to say:

  • Doctors told me that the only way to prolong my life was to take a daily regimen of medication and never miss a dose. They explained that I must work hard at always taking my prescriptions at specific times.
  • Fitness Fanatics said that the only way to live past my doctor’s timeline was to lift weights, do cardio, and maintain a fit body. They encouraged me to join a gym and make sure that I worked out at least five or six times per week for an allotment of 45 minutes or longer.
  • Religious Zealots told me that the only way to survive was to give myself up to God, pray for his support, and leave everything in God’s hands. They explained that there was no man-made solution to my problems and that only through God would I last on this earthly domicile.
  • Health Nuts encouraged me to refrain from smoking, drinking, and indulging in recreational drugs. They also explained that I needed to eat only organic foods and stay away from processed “shelf food.”
  • Positive Thinkers revealed that I had to think only positive thoughts and breathe out the negative thoughts. They went on to show me how a positive attitude and outlook would go a long way in helping me survive on this pale blue dot we affectionately call Earth.
  • Nutritional Nuts explained that eating a healthy diet and banning junk food was the only way to live longer. They explained that I must carefully calculate my calorie intake and distribute the macronutrients properly.
  • Yoga Enthusiasts relayed that in order to make it, I must meditate, stretch, and find my inner self. These gurus and yogis laid out a plan of daily relaxation and a stress-free living style that would allow me to accomplish my goal of prolonged life.

    While I see the power in each person’s viewpoint, I also saw that they were strong in individual ways. So, I found myself asking the question, Who is right?

    After ~28 years of survival with HIV..

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    . After studying literally hundreds of books… I can tell you that I believe that I am here, one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe, because…

    …Drum roll please…

    It is my honest opinion that I am here today, typing away, because I have combined the advice and knowledge from everyone on those lists and created my own plan based on my lifestyle and needs. The short answer to my question is, They are ALL right!

    It’s also my guarantee (or you can get your money back, no questions asked), that if you apply these same principals in your life, that you will live longer.

    I hope you have a great day!


    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    Inspirational Business Cards

    I am always working on ways to inspire myself and others. I believe that one of the keys to my longevity is my strong positive mental attitude. For most of my adult life, when someone asked me, “How are you doing?” I would immediately shoot back, “Awesome!” This shocks many, and usually creates a smile. Almost everyone is at least partially motivated by my spirit.

    After twenty (or so) years of doing this, I decided that awesome was a cliché and over used. So, I decided to start changing my “feeling” of the day and started trying new exceptional words. I quickly realized that I fell back on awesome more than finding or saying new words, because it was so ingrained in my mind. I really wanted to inspire people on a daily basis and thought that changing my word routinely would help to stir some additional emotions.

    I put some heavy thinking into this and came up with what I think (IMHO) is a creative solution. I bought some business card printer paper, broke out my dictionary and thesaurus, and came up with all of my favorite feelings. After compiling about thirty “feelings,” I put one and its associated dictionary definition on an individual business card. I keep this stack of feelings on my dresser. Each day I open my wallet, pull out yesterday’s feeling, and insert today’s feeling.

    The important part to mention is my mantra, incantation, or meditational (is that even a word??) moment in which I hold the card and read it. I read it carefully and examine the word. I ask myself what does this word really mean. I go over the definition and ensure that I know exactly what it means. I verbally repeat the feeling to myself as I slide the card ceremoniously into my wallet. I make sure that it is in the front of my wallet and viewable every time I open it.

    I want to impress upon those doubters out there… I know that you can’t simply read the word “wonderful” and then feel that way. I am not a fan of positive thinking without meat behind it. Instead, I focus on the word and ask myself what feeling “wonderful” would be like. I envision myself having a “wonderful” day. I imagine going through the day and experiencing “wonderful” things. In this way, I create a base. Then when people approach me throughout the day and ask their cliché, “How’s it going?” I spend half a second remembering that I’m wonderful, I crack a partial smile, look them directly in the eyes, and say, “I feel wonderful.”

    To put this business card thingy into perspective (and help explain what the heck I’m talking about), I’ll show you a couple of examples of my inspirational business cards.

    Flipping open my wallet… How do you know which one it is? you ask. It’s the one that says, “Bad Mother Fucker” on it. I digress, as usual..

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    . Inside my wallet, the first thing I see is:

    [trih-men-duh s] –adjective
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    2. extraordinary in excellence.

    Now doesn’t that sound bad-assed? I mean if out of the blue someone responded to your, “How’s it going?” question with a quick, “Tremendous!” Wouldn’t that instill a little something? Wouldn’t that make you smile? Wouldn’t it inspire or motivate you even a little bit? It’s baby steps folks… I’m not talking about earth shattering, life changing, slam dunks. I’m talking about little things you can do to make yourself and those around you stronger and better people.

    If you had asked me to open my wallet yesterday, the card was:
    [in-trep-id] –adjective
    resolutely fearless; dauntless.

    Finally, I know that tomorrow’s card will be:
    [im-peld] –adjective
    1. to drive or urge forward; press on; incite or constrain to action.
    2. to drive or cause to move onward; propel; impart motion to.

    I think you get the point. The bottom line is that I wanted to get past the humdrumness (I’m sure that ain’t a word!) of simply saying “Awesome!” every time that someone asked me how I was.

    FWIW – Here are more of my daily inspirational cards that I have created:
    Amazing, Astounding, Audacious, Awesome, Chivalrous, Courageous, Excellent, Exceptional, Extraordinary, Fabulous, Fantastic, Fearless, Grand, Great, Heroic, Incomparable, Incredible, Inspired, Magnificent, Marvelous, Motivated, Out of This World! (there is no definition on this card… the title says it all), Outstanding, Phenomenal, Plucky, Prodigious, Ready to Rock and Roll! (also no definition on this card), Sensational, Splendid, Stupendous, Sublime, Super, Superb, Terrific, Valiant, and Wonderful.

    What do you do on a daily basis to ensure that you’ll have an uplifted day?

    Dig life and everything it brings!


    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    What are You Grateful For

    I know that this topic has been covered by most inspirational authors and in hundreds (maybe thousands) of books and magazine articles. Alas, I have my own take on it, and I wanted to share my belief about one of the strongest subjects I know about… Gratitude.

    As you may know, I have thousands of things to be grateful for. All of us do. But, we rarely take the time during the day to think about those things, let alone focus and be thankful for them. About four years ago I discovered a way that I could make sure that I concentrate on the things most important to me on a daily basis. This powerful tool is actually just a simple rock. That’s right… I carefully selected a nice small stone from beside a creek and use it as my reminder of the things I should be thankful for. I call this tool my gratitude stone.

    Gratitude Stone
    There’s not really anything special about my gratitude stone. I did want it to be fairly smooth, so it doesn’t snag on my pants pocket. It was also important to have it be small, to avoid huge bulges in my pants (I have enough of those already – HA!). This stone also happens to be one of the things that I am grateful for.

    You might be asking yourself how I use the stone… Well, let me enlighten you to my usage.

    First off, I put the stone on my dresser at night with my wallet and Chap Stick. This way I remember to bring it with me every day. When I finish getting dressed in the morning, I pick up the rock and start my daily ritual. Before slipping it into my pocket, I spend about two minutes holding it, rubbing it, and thinking about the things I am grateful for

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    . Some things (e.g. wife, kids, work, friends, and so on) come quickly and easily to me, so I focus on them first. After thinking about each of those things, I dig deeper into my imagination and try to come up with five more things that I might not have thought of without prying a little. And, I do more than simply say, I am grateful for yada… After choosing the topic to be thankful for, I then take it one step further and ask, “Why am I thankful for yada?”

    This morning ritual is not the only time I thank the universe for the things I am so fortunate to have in my life. The reason I have the stone in my pocket is so that I will feel it throughout the day. Anytime I reach into my pocket to pull out keys, Chap Stick, or money I also find that wonderful trinket. Once I touch it, I spend a moment and rub it. During that time I quickly pop through my list of things I’m thankful for. It’s only for a moment, but I do this a dozen or more times each day. Then, at the end of my day, while I’m emptying my pockets, I do it again. So I probably spend ten to fifteen minutes (at a minimum) of every day focusing solely on the things that matter most to me.

    Since you guys are all probably wondering what I think about when I rub my stone, I thought I would list out some of the things:

    • My wife
    • My kids
    • My brothers and sisters
    • My moms and dads (yes, that is plural… HA!)
    • My longevity and ability to outlive everyone’s expectations
    • Work (yep… I love it, and am grateful for it)
    • My hobbies and fun stuff
    • My home (shelter)
    • Food on my dining room table (and in the fridge)

    After I finish with the easy list, I move on to the tougher to think of things like:

    • My five senses (fortunately I have all five at my disposal)
    • My arms and legs (not everyone is as lucky as me)
    • The sun (and the moon)
    • Computers
    • The snow
    • Four seasons
    • Social networks
    • My gift of writing
    • Internet access
    • Life coaches and mentors
    • Challenges (yes sir… Very grateful for these, because they help me grow!)

    You get the picture. And, hopefully I have helped you realize that there are lots of wonderful things for you to be thankful for too.

    Do you believe in gratitude? Please comment and let us know what you are thankful for. And, tell us if you use something like a gratitude stone to remind you of them.

    Hopefully this was a post to remember… And, maybe even be grateful for.

    I’m more grateful for you readers than you can imagine!


    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    Positive Attitude Goes a Long Way

    Let me start by saying that I do not condone, nor believe in positive thinking/attitude without something to back it up. E.g. I don’t think you can look at a weed-filled garden and chant there are no weeds 1,000 times and then they mysteriously and suddenly disappear

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    . That said, I do sincerely believe in a positive attitude and taking it a step further, I think it is one of the determining reasons I am still alive today!

    So… What does that mean? You ask. Exactly what I said. In my opinion, a positive attitude can and will prolong your life (especially through a battle with some form of deadly illness and so on). On top of that, I believe that it will improve aspects of your life that you had no idea needed improving (and some that you knew needed it). Also, a positive attitude and outlook will get you places in life. Finally, it is contagious! That’s right… Your positive attitude can and will rub off on the people around you. If you think carefully about this last statement, you will quickly realize that the opposite is true as well. You certainly don’t want to be the bad apple in the basket!

    Now let’s talk about some of the ways that you can spend your time improving your attitude:

    Wake with a Smile
    Many studies have been done on the power of a simple smile. For the most part, it has been scientifically proven that putting a smile on your face will improve your outlook, attitude, and make people think you are insane (just kidding about the last one, wanted to see if you were still with me). Since we know the power of a smile, why not harness that power and use it to your advantage? Jump out of bed grinning. And, when you get to the bathroom mirror, make sure that you have a big goofy smile pasted on your yap! You’d be surprised what this will do for the start of your day. Try it tomorrow morning… Heck… Try it now! Go run into the bathroom smiling and look at yourself. Isn’t that a friendly face? Imagine how others react to you when you walk down the halls of work. If they see you with a stoic look, frown, or even pout, don’t you think that is a negative aura and reflection of you? Reverse those feelings and beliefs by smiling.

    I should mention, I’m not talking about a toothy vampire grin… Or, a sociopath smile with teeth clenched and eyes all scary. I mean a simple, calm, and friendly smile.

    Try it!

    Share the Love
    I often fall back on the idea behind the movie Pay It Forward. What a great story and premise. When I say, share the love, that’s what I mean… Once you have built up a happy life filled with positive emotions, you should share that with others. Go beyond simply smiling at people. Instead offer them information about how you created a positive attitude in your life. You’d be surprised how receptive people are to hearing ways to improve themselves. It is a key component of living a happy and successful life. Simply share your happiness with others. And, not only with tips on improving your attitude, but also by doing friendly things. When is the last time you stopped your car to help someone on the shoulder with a flat tire? I’m a huge fan of doing this. And, I NEVER accept a penny from anyone that I help in this fashion. During the deep snow storms of 2009-2010, I spent days out in the weather (with my FJ Cruiser, a snatch strap, and a snow shovel – See the photo at the beginning of this article) rescuing people who were stuck. Boy did that feel good! Gotta love helping people!

    Try it!

    I use a daily meditation to improve my outlook and help to heal myself. Anytime that I am experiencing struggles, I will kick back, take some deep breaths, and literally fall into a trance (don’t fall into a trance while driving!) and recognize things in my body and things around me from a different perspective. There are tons of books and information on these kinds of things. Regardless of which way you do/experience meditation, I would recommend that everyone tries it. You’d be surprised how much better you can improve your feelings and attitude by doing a few minutes of deep and thoughtful meditation.

    One of my favorite ways to meditate is during a low-impact and deep stretching yoga workout. 20 Minutes of deep breathing and yoga stretches while meditating internally can do wonders for your body and day!

    Try it!

    Try all of them!!!

    That’s it for today… I hope I was able to stir some positive emotions!

    Do you believe in a positive attitude? If so, how do you accomplish this?
    Typed with love,

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.