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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5/25 - 5/31... Days 146 - 151

Can you believe it is already June!!  Where is the year going??!!

Last year on June 1st we hit our "June Gloom."  The fog rolled in and stayed for what seemed like the entire summer.  I am holding my breath we do not have a repeat of last year.  I love being outside, especially when it is warm and sunny out - something that living in Santa Barbara has spoiled me to, happily spoiled me might I add.

I can't tell you how excited I am for June!  Starting with my first ever radio interview tomorrow with Pamala Oslie.  Be sure to listen in here:

On the subject of things I am excited for:

I think you all know me well enough now, and have seen enough of my pictures to get a sense for how much I love the outdoors.  Above all else, I love the natural beauty in the world and I do my best to capture it everywhere I go.

I have always been troubled by trash lying on the ground.  Why does it have to be there??  Why can't it be placed in the trash can with all the other trash? WHY WHY WHY???!!!  I have always wanted to do something about it, something bigger than just me going out and picking up a piece or two.  On June 26th I will need all of you to help me with my Challenge for that day.  I have chosen that day to host an international trash clean up day.  To help me in the local Santa Barbara area, I have partnered up with H.E.E.A.L, a local non-profit, that has agreed to help me with people power and to spread awareness.  You can see all the details at the link below.  This will be the first in what will become a lifetime series of trash clean ups that I want to hold around the world - including how I want to spend my 30th birthday (details of that will follow in the next month or so).  So please check out the link below.  If you can't make it that day, get some friends to go in your place.  If you need more info, let me know.  Thanks everyone in advance.  This is something very near and dear to my heart.

The last couple weeks have been great in terms of my social life.  Not traveling and better time management skills have lead to a rise in my social life!  The last few weeks I have been able to catch up with some great friends that I have not seen enough of.  One of my friends and I got on the subject of surgeries, he just recently having a minor one to remove a suspicious growth on his stomach, me on my upcoming hernia surgery June 8th.  Both of us are active people and we spend a great deal of time talking about what that temporary stoppage of activity meant to us and the way we live our lives.  It was a wonderfully cathartic conversation for both of us.  He had been down and was feeling down about feeling down, I was able to cheer him up and reassure him that I had been going through the same emotions - PRE SURGERY, and I was terrified what I may feel post.  That re-assured him that it was ok to be a little bummed about his temporary situation.  It is a real feeling and it is better to process and deal with it, then ignore and bury it.

On the other hand he was able to offer me all sorts of wonderful tips and words of wisdom on what I could do to come out of the surgery with a great attitude.  He reminded me that while it was a bummer I could not do the Tough Mudder event this year, to focus on much better prepared I will be for it next year!  He also reassured me that while he has felt limited, it has not been the end of the world, which I think is a very important frame of mind to have.  It was a really great time catching up.

The other day I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about the term, "Social Capital."  What is social capital?  I asked.

"Social Capital," as my friend stated it, "is what your word is worth to other people."

Hmmmm, interesting concept, I like it!

So as I understand it our "Social Capital" is essentially what our word is worth to our friends, family, business associates, to strangers, to friends of friends, to everyone.  And social capital is something we all have some form of.

The reason I am sharing this with all of you because it is a very important concept, perhaps one of the most important ones I will share with you.  

I have learned so much doing this 1000 Challenge.  What I have shared with you throughout these blogs is a fraction of what I have learned.  I could probably type all day every day on experiences and lessons learned, and still would not be able to keep up with all the thoughts that go racing through my head.  

We all have social capital, we have all the power to use our words for the greater good.  We all have the ability to make someone's day brighter, to make a difference, to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Some people have enormous social captial: Political Leaders, Celebrities, Professional Athletes, to name a few.  Companies pay millions of dollars to have them be the spokes person's for their products simply because they have so much social capital.  If Michael Jordan tells me that I can be more "Like Mike" by wearing Nike's, guess what shoes I will be buying on the next shoe buying excursion. Or if the "Energizer Bunny," tells me to buy his batteries, I'll do it, why?  Because he promises that they will "keep going and going."  

Our words have power!

Social Capital is also something that can be lost almost as quickly as it is gained.  Tiger Woods is a perfect example.  How many commercials, billboards, and magazine adds have you seen of Tiger Woods lately?  Not many, especially when you compare it to just a few years ago when you could not open up a magazine without seeing him telling us to buy this or that.  Companies are no longer willing to shell out the big bucks to him like they once were because his social capital, his word, has been tarnished by his "extra-curricular" activities.  

Our words have power!

Gandhi, Martin Luther King jr., Adolf Hitler, all are people who had tremendous social capital.  They all used it in different ways to achieve different outcomes, but none the less they demonstrated first hand what our words, when wielded a certain way, can do to create change in the world.

Our words have power!

Now not all of us are going to be the leaders of the masses on the scale that Martin Luther King jr. was, but we still have all the power to be just as great of a leader in our day to day life.  We just get in funks where we doubt ourselves and forget about the power we have.

When you tell someone they look pretty today - that is power.  Try it out today, compliment someone, watch how their body changes.  Watch them stand up a little straighter, watch them smile, feel their energy swell with a sense of pride.  You just used your words to change someone's world - who knows what kind of day they could have been having up to that point.  For all we know they could have been at their breaking point, the point where they are ready to give up on people, give up on the world, and you taking the time to say one kind thing... it could change that person's life, it could renew their faith in humanity.  Talk about power!

Our words have power!

And so while taking the time to tell someone they look pretty today may not seem like it equates to the same level of power as Martin Luther King jr. using his words to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott, or Adolf Hitler using his to lead an entire nation and nearly conquering the world, but in fact it is.  

Your words are no different than Martin Luther King's, than Hitler's, than Gandhi's, the only difference between them and the rest of us is that they used their words on a much larger scale to wield a much larger influence.  Their conviction, their belief's, their resolve was a little deeper than yours or mine, and thus they were able to convey their message on a much larger level.

At the basic level though you are still able to change lives in just the same way as the above leaders are.  Your words have a ton of power in them.  You can use them for good and you can use them for evil.  Genuinely giving someone a compliment today has the power to change their life.  Lashing out and insulting someone today also has the power to change their life.

I am spending the time talking about the above today because I have been receiving more and more emails, daily, talking about how the 1000 Challenge has made a positive difference in their life.  First, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of those emails.  In addition to being inspired by every one I read, I am also amazed to learn each time of what my words mean to the writers of each email.  

I am just a normal, every day guy, but I am doing something I believe deeply in and doing my best to "be the change I wish to see in the world."  If I can do, it, I promise all of you can too.  Lets say 100 people read this blog today.  Lets say those same 100 people go out and give two genuine compliments out to two different people.  Now lets say the new group of 200 does the same... pretty soon 200 turns to 600, then 600 turns to 1000's and then the 1000's turn to the 10,000's ... you see my point?

All of us, you, me, the person sitting across your office from you, all of us have the power to change the world just by the way we use our words.  Give it a try, I promise you will be amazed by what you discover.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,



  1. WOW, Jesse, where do you find the time to write such an extensive "blog". You are an extremely gifted writer, and "profound" human being, especially at 29! You aren't afraid to share things about yourself that are "less than flattering". I greatly admire that! As a single, Christian gal, I've been recently very disappointed in guys here in Portland, OR, that I've dated, for not being honest with me. Honesty stings sometimes, but the "truth will set you free". You and Paul seem like very honest, down to earth guys. Wish I lived in SB, and could "hang out" with you two. I always surround myself with positive, talented, goal-oriented, funny, kind friends. You both would "fit the bill". Blessings to you and your "1000 things mission"! BTW, I posted your link on my FB page...... Awesome!

  2. I tried that tons of times! You forgot to mention what kind of amazing feeling floods over than you see how the persons face lights up. I love how you manage to share positive energy and help other people. Please don't stop! BTW third photo is beautiful and the first one takes breath away :) CarpeDiem