My favorite self-acceptance trait has to be authenticity. I love when someone has total and complete acceptance of themselves. It shows not only in their confidence levels, but also in their ability to relate and be compassionate toward others. Aren’t the people closest to you the ones that you can be the most vulnerable with?

Authenticity breaks down barriers. Most everyone appreciates it because so many of us want to be able to have more of it. If you want an instant connection with others, be authentic. If you share some of your challenges, they will see that you are sincere and they will want to share some of their challenges with you. Together you can help each other Elevate! And by the way, if you ever do open up to someone and show your vulnerability and authenticity and then they do not reciprocate, or pretend that they have  not been challenged by anything similar, then give them a copy of Elevate! We are all works in progress.

What do you need to accept about yourself? Everyone has something they need to accept about themselves. Put a little humor behind it and you won’t turn back. If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right. Self-deprecating humor is very healthy when it comes from a place of power and self-acceptance. Do you want to get what you want? Accept yourself now!

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Happiness Through Character

How is the reputation you have with yourself? I know this can be a tough question. The biggest slap in the face that you can ever experience is thinking that you are “the only one that will know.” A huge part of your happiness is how well you are following your virtues. Following your virtues makes you feel better about yourself, especially in a society today where it is becoming harder to find good virtues. No one is perfect. If you cross your virtues, then stop, reset, and carry on.

If you feel that empty gloom inside, it’s time to visit your character. If you feel that this is all there is, then it’s time to get yourself back on track. Bottom line, character is your integrity gauge. The law of integrity is when what you say, think, and do is consistent. Folks, practice this law of integrity and get ready to unleash the fury of high self-esteem. A high self-esteem will bring all sorts of joy into your life. When you treat others how you would want to be treated yourself, your self-esteem rises. When your thoughts match what you say, and when what you say matches what you do, you enter the highest state of integrity.

Contradiction is self-destruction. Solid integrity is about consistently making decisions that are congruent with who you are. It takes courage to live an integrity-filled life. The word integrity literally is defined as one hundred percent whole. Live with integrity or choose to live with the feeling of knowing that you consistently and deliberately make the wrong choices. That doesn’t work! The more you practice integrity, the higher your self-esteem rises, and the more you will feel better about yourself. You will be more fulfilled emotionally, make more money, have more solid loving relationships, and have the ability to conquer more fear on a regular basis. When you feel better about yourself, it affects everything that is important in your life.

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Forgiveness Perspective

My business attorney told me one time, “Everybody has self-interests, and other people’s self-interests may not be the same as your self-interests.” I thought that was great. Strive to be proactive the next time someone trespasses against you. Expecting the best in people doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also accept the worst-case scenario. To recognize that others’ self-interests may not be the same as your self-interests helps take the emotion out of a situation that you feel you were crossed with. Not everyone has one hundred percent integrity. Many times what is perceived as an attack against you is that person’s process of becoming a better person. The person that crossed you may still be learning the fundamentals of the Big Six: Honesty, Respect, Loyalty, Faith, Courage, and Love. It is totally out of your control. If you act with one hundred percent integrity, then most of the time, others will also when dealing with you.

So who did what to you? What are you still upset about? How is carrying that around going for you? I understand that forgiving Johnny for stealing your lunch money may be much, much easier than forgiving your spouse for adultery. I understand that forgiving that stranger that door dinged your car may be much, much easier than forgiving the man that molested your child. There are certainly various degrees of how easy or difficult the process of forgiveness is. My hope is that regardless of the circumstance you need to forgive, it is becoming more clear that resentment will not get you to your greatness. Resentment is continuing to swallow that poisonous pill, expecting the other person to die. Resentment and unforgiveness steals your light, not theirs. Are you going to let them hurt you twice? Once with the action they performed against you and now for the rest of your life? Elevate! It’s hard but worth it.

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No Regrets!

Live the life you have always wanted to live. If not now, when? If not you, then who? Come on! You were destined for greatness. Think like a person that has a high belief in themselves. The road to someday leads to nowhere. The time is now.

I saw a current picture of an old poster cover girl model the other day and she had aged considerably, as we all do. One of her gifts to the world was her outer beauty. Her time had passed with this gift. Have you ever met a retired sixty-year-old NFL player? Their gift had obviously passed, too, hadn’t it? Folks, don’t put all of your self-esteem in your current talent. You are not only destined for greatness, you are destined for all-time greatness. It may change like beauty or athletic ability does, but you are not your talent. You are much more than that. Be your best and elevate your gifts. Live all out now, because when they fade, they fade. At that point what makes a winner a true winner is to recognize that although their gift to the world did not last forever, their shining light will. It may be reinvention time for the next gift to the world. The time is always now!

I hope that by the time we are in our rocking chairs, looking back at what we did, we are able to say, “Thank God for a strong belief in myself. I went for it. I did my best. I have no regrets. Regardless of whether I achieved my goal or not, I went for it. I did the most I could with the most I had. I stepped up to fear. I may be at a different stage of life now and that is what happens to us all. I will never say I lived a life of quiet desperation. And that makes me happy!”

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Unusual Encounters

I was having lunch with a friend of mine last week, and we were talking about homelessness. He had just come from volunteering, and he said they had handed out lunches to about two hundred homeless people. We both have different views on this; however, we can definitely see each other’s points. After lunch, I was walking back to the office, and I came upon this young man in his late teens, early twenties. He was on his phone, pants down to the middle of his butt and his hat on crooked. I judged him. I did. I failed my little character test for the day.  Damn, I’m still a work in progress!

So as I passed him, he asked if I had a dollar. We continued to walk side by side, and I said, “Yes I do. I have lots of dollars.” I kept walking and he was keeping up with my pace. There was an awkward silence and he said, “Well, can I have one?” I looked at him sincerely and said, “Why should I give you a dollar?” He said it was for a meal. I told him, “Look, I was poor for a long time, and I have had to make really good choices and much sacrifice to get where I’m at today. Do you have a job?” Something clicked in him and he began to get very passionate about the fact that, although he did not have a job, he had a purpose. He told me about how he writes lyrics for the youth to encourage them to do good in the world and make a difference. I told him I was not going to give him a dollar, but that he could walk with me if he still wanted to. He did. I told him about the Elevate movement and how our purposes line up. We introduced ourselves to each other, and, with a huge smile, he said his friends call him “Sweets.” We laughed together.

He gave me his number, and I told him I might call him to shoot some hip-hop videos on our site, He said that he hopes that I do. For the record, I did. Check out the video. After our walk, I gave him ten bucks and said, “You don’t sound like someone who should be asking for money; go get some lunch.”

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Be The Change

I ran into a checkout clerk the other day who was clearly having a really, really bad day. She was rude and upset. My first instinct was to treat her the way she was treating me; however, I remembered that people need love the most when they deserve it the least. Her bad attitude was really disguised as a plea for someone to love her. I softened my voice, looked her in the eyes with a compassionate look on my face and sincerely said, “One of those days, huh?” She literally started to cry. This simple connection with another human being made her cry. All I did was relate to her and let her know with five little words that it was going to be okay. We all have bad days now and then. She was smiling by the time our brief interaction was over, and I like to think that she was much more pleasant with the customers next in line.

When we are the change, others become the change, and slowly, we get back to a society that cares for each other. Slowly, we get back to a society that loves one another. Slowly, we get back to a society where we don’t have to be as concerned about the next bombing or tragedy. I know this is a lofty aspiration, but hey, let’s be the change and go from there.

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The Oak Tree

I live in beautiful Colorado, and we get to experience seasons here. Last fall, this huge oak tree caught my attention. All of its leaves had fallen, and I was able to see its gigantic core and many branches. It inspired me to contemplate on character. Character is like that mighty oak tree. The strong core in the middle represents our core values. It represents who we are and what we stand for. It represents our vision and our purpose. The harder and longer we work on our character, the deeper our roots become and the thicker our core gets. The more resistance we take against our core and the more decisions we make that we know are the right ones, the stronger that core becomes. As we grow this foundation, our life begins to branch out into what become the key areas of our life.

The branches represent what is most important to us. Every decision we contemplate runs through those branches and then to the core, our character. When we make the right decisions, decisions that come up every day in those key areas of our life, the core and the branches get bigger and stronger until eventually, we stand as that mighty oak does. Even if we currently feel that our core is weak, and it could be taken out by a small gust of wind, we know we have the choice to build from there and become that mighty oak. And hey, if it makes you feel better, know that even the mighty oak started out as a little nut.

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What is Love?

what is love

So, what is love?

Love is unconditional acceptance of ourselves and of others. I believe a huge aspect of love, and especially unconditional love, is simply the act of understanding where others are coming from. For example, hurt people in our society hurt other people. I do believe there are consequences to our actions, regardless of why we did them.

However, if we can see that the people who perform harmful, destructive acts toward others are hurt themselves, it helps our ability to get on board with the concept of love. If we can practice unconditional love toward ourselves and others, then others see our example and the results this action portrays in our lives. If others can see this in us, they will want what we have, and we can influence others for the better.

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13 Habits To Develop Your Kids The Elevate Way


How we communicate with our children shows them how to be effective and fully functioning now and in their adulthood. The following are the top ways you can communicate with your children to ensure that they develop the skills to get what they want as they get older. I have attempted to put them in order of use based on their age.

13 Habits Kids Elevate Way

1. Speak positive affirmations into their lives every night at bedtime.

Example: You say, “I believe in you! You are destined for greatness! You can do anything you set your mind to! You are a champ, you know that, Tiger?” You are setting them up for a positive self-esteem and an “I can do it” attitude!

2. Don’t tell them no, tell them to stop.

Example: Your child pulls on the cat’s tail. Instead of saying, “No! No! No!” say, “STOP!” This trains their mind that it is okay to take risks when they want to. Instead of their minds being programmed to always say no when they want to take a risk, their minds will become programmed to stop instead and think about what they are about to do and proceed if they would like to.

3. Address the behavior not the child.

Example: Your child throws a toy across the room. You say, “Johnny, we don’t throw toys across the room. That is not acceptable behavior.” We don’t say, “Johnny you are a bad boy for throwing the toy across the room.”

4. Teach them manners—“excuse me,” “please,” and “thank you.”

Example: Your child interrupts you midsentence while you are talking to another adult. You say to your child, “Wait until there is a break in the conversation and say excuse me.” Whenever the opportunity arises, always have them repeat out loud “please” and “thank you.” Did you know that studies show that people who say please and thank you are more trusted?

5. Make them ask for what they want and don’t let them say they can’t do something.

Example: Your child says, “I’m thirsty!” You say, “Okay, tell me what you want.” They say, “I want a glass of water.” Example: Your child says, “I can’t reach the water glass.” You say, “Don’t tell me what you can’t do, tell me what you need.”

6. Tell them what to do, not what not to do.

Example: If your child is carrying a large glass of almond milk, don’t say, “Don’t drop that glass.” Do say, “Hold on to that glass, tightly.” This trains their minds to think in a positive way and to think about what they want and not what they don’t want.

7. Don’t dismiss what they say as not being important.

Example: Your child says, “Mommy, the sun is up right now!” You say, “That is right, angel! You are so smart!” Do not say, “Duh, it comes up every morning, silly!” When we teach our children that what they have to say is important, and we validate that, it gives them the confidence to speak up when they need to.

8. Avoid use of the words: try, but, should, could, and maybe.

Examples: Try—Your child says, “I’ll try to pick up my room.” You say, “Do you mean you are going to pick up your room?” Do or do not. Do not try. Would/But—Your child says, “I would pick up my room but I want to do my homework first.” You say, “Do you mean, you will pick up your room and you want to do your homework first?” Should/Could—Your child says, “I should pick up my room today. I could pick up my room today.” You say, “Do you mean, I must pick up my room today; I can pick up my room today?”

9. When your kids ask you for something, see if they can figure it out themselves first.

Example: Your child says, “What is the capital of Colorado?” You say, “Hmmm, how would you get the answer to that? Let’s look it up online together and see if you can figure it out on your own.” Guide them to the source of the answer instead of just giving it to them. Train them to be solutions people.

10. Let them work out sibling fights on their own.

Example: They say, “Mommy, Billy hit me!” You say, “Talk it out together and then let me know what the solution is.” If they are unable to do that, give them suggestions and have them come back when they have worked it out. If they refuse to work it out, have them go in their rooms until they do.

11. It’s not did you win, it’s did you do your best?

Example: Your child comes home from her volleyball game. You say, “Did you do your best?” You do not say, “Did you win? Did you win?” If we are only happy if they win, it teaches them that you give them love only when they achieve something, instead of loving them because they are a human being. Hello, fellow Type A’s.

12. Teach them to use the word “I” not “you.”

Example: The child is talking about themselves and says, “You know when you get pushed around and you get really mad?” You say, “Do you mean to say, you know when I get pushed around and I get really mad?” Many of us explain how we feel using the word “you” instead of “I” when we are talking about ourselves. This allows them to not be responsible for how they feel. This teaches them that everyone experiences and feels the same way about life as they do, and they don’t.

13. Don’t let them ask for money.

Example: Your child says, “Dad, can I have some money?” You say, “Do you mean how can you earn some money?” Money is earned and kids learn the value early. When they know they need to earn their own money to get the things and experiences they want, they become resourceful and very creative.

If you could put your entire parenting plan into five easy habits that if you stuck to, you would have the kids of your dreams, would you want to learn them? Me too, again and again and again! Make the following five habits part of your daily life and you will eventually have the best children on the planet! Always have a specific parenting target goal and review the Five-Step Action Jackson every day. When you hit that goal, make a new one.

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Forgive or Forget?

Forgive Or Forget

We have all heard forgive and forget, and many times this is very valid. We need to expand on this one a little. Depending on the severity of the action we were resentful about, sometimes we need to forgive and not be so fast to forget. For example, if you left your purse out next to a coworker and that coworker stole your purse, then even though everything was forgiven and made right, don’t leave your purse out around them again. I know there are varying degrees of this; however, there is a difference between unconditional love and being naive. There is a difference between being blindly positive and being cautiously optimistic. If a convicted child molester has sought forgiveness and paid his dues, it doesn’t mean I am going to let my children spend the night at his house. This is called being smart.


Don’t confuse this with “never trust others.” We should always expect the best in others unless they give us a reason not to. If you have been burned before from someone, let it go, move forward with a clean slate.

Expect the best in others and at the same time it is okay to be prepared for the worst. It is okay to trust and verify. The worst thing we can do is generalize all people because we were treated a certain way by one person. For example, “I don’t trust men because I was physically abused by my first boyfriend.” or “I don’t trust women because I was cheated on in college.” This will not serve you. Forgive, forgive, forgive, and YES, forget in those situations. When I say forgive and be slow to forget, I am referring to a particular person, not a generalization of people. Yes, we should forgive our enemies but do not forget their names. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.

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