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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Focus on the simple things

A couple quick announcements:

1.) Thank you everyone for all the feedback you have been giving me on my recent videos I have been posting on Youtube.  I am going to continue to do this and ultimately what I my channel to become is a mix of motivating, inspiring, and funny videos that will help you live a richer and more fulfilling life.  If you have not checked out my Youtube channel yet, do so by clicking here: and please subscribe while you are there. :)

2.)  I have a photo up on the MSNBC "It's a Snap Travel Photo" section.  It is a photo of Stonehenge, please check it out and if you feel so inclined vote for it:

Last week I posted a video about a guy who was dying of cancer.  The video and his story were very powerful.

   Check out the Video Here

I spoke a bit about his story in last weeks Ustream chat, but it is powerful enough and the message is important enough that spending a few extra minutes on it is certainly warranted.

Eric's story is essentially this:

Several years ago he was diagnosed with cancer and was declared terminal.  But he beat the odds and survived.  He began sharing his story via Youtube.  Life continued on and eventually the cancer came back.  Now at 28 years old, with a wife and family that loves him, Eric is going to die.  He has tried every treatment and fought as hard as he could.

When I first watched this video, what amazed me about it was the simplicity of life.  In the eight minute video life was summed up like this: Live or Die, and this guy clearly wants to live.

We complicate our lives so much.  And in the process of complicating them we lose focus on the most important point of life, to live.

During Eric's final goodbye video, I did not hear him once mention some of the things that society has deemed to be so important:  there was no mention of the car he drove, the style of the clothes he wore, how much money he made, or the latest he said she said celebrity gossip.

I can only conclude that someone on death's door is not going to miss the above?  How can that be?  We spend so much of life, so much of our precious time and energy worries about, stressed about, and ultimately pursuing these things, why?  Why spend so  much time on that which is ultimately not that important?

What Eric talked about in the end is the same story I have heard from so many others that have been close to or experienced death through a loved one... the things that are most important are friends, family, the people who love you just for you.

Life in its most simple form really boils down to this: live or die.  And each and every day that we are still breathing we have a choice to make:  Live and do something proactive that brings us fulfillment and happiness, or Die a little and wallow, pout, be-moan our circumstances in life.

Trust me I am not in any way trying to make small of some of the most painful experiences in life.  What I am trying to say though is that even when the worst possible things happen in life we still have choice, to either become and ultimately be consumed by the pain, or acknowledge that the pain is a part of life and focus on those little every day things that make us smile that make us laugh.

After watching Eric's video I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on the little joys of life that make me happy: the sun, clean air, taking pictures of flowers, the sunset and sunrise, exercise, looking at the stars at night, rejoicing with friends for their successes etc...

The little things, no matter how small they may seem right now, in the end they really are the biggest things - the things that make up the substance of life.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,



  1. I love Jesse Brisendine!!!

  2. Thank you Jesse. Missing your coaching more than you can know.

  3. Hope you are enjoying being back home in SB! Theruses just no place like home. Enjoy every single minute of it.

    1. "There is" . I can relate on the small things in life because I lost two relatives to cancer. Both of them were well off but focused on family and friends. Many thanks!

      Ms. Ivy

  4. I was sad to know that he died some days ago. :-(

    And you are so right Jesse. Not the money, the celebs or all the material stuff is important. Money can´t make us happy, but Friends and Family can. Or to see the beauty of nature. Some of the best moments. Last year i saw a deer while i was walking. Never saw one before here in our town. I drove in a car with my friend, watching the stars in the sky and we sung our favorite song as loud as possible. Or spending time and laughing about the simple things. I think you know what i mean. Thanks for this post. Reminds me on those good things.

  5. Because my best friend died of the same disease, Leukemia that took her life suddenly, 4 months after being diagnosed I look at life which leads to death for us all as live
    one day at a time, and try to be positive everyday. You just don't know when the end is coming. I do have a bucket list, but if I don't get to do all the things I want to do I don't really worry about it today, and do whenever I have planned just simple everyday things,if tomorrow comes I'll think about it then.

  6. It is sad that he died. He knew it was coming. The death of a young person is never well received. He went out living as best he could and that is commendable.

    To those of you who are able, I HIGHLY recommend donating blood and getting tested to donate Bone Marrow. Both are relatively painless and simple to do and have the ability to SAVE A LIFE. Unfortunately too few are willing to do this simple thing.

    Because I cannot donate either (I have cancer) I am on a mission to get others to do so. If I can't, I can promote others to DO.
    Please sign up today and SAVE A LIFE. Thanks.


  7. Hey Jesse, this is an interesting topic and one that's close to home for me.

    By the time I was 6 years old, my mother and both sets of my grandparents had died. I've lost classmates as a kid and many other family members. A couple years ago one of my nephews almost died playing football and has serious perm brain damage and another one nearly died in a car accident will always have some brain damage. Both of their dreams for their lives-gone, in an instant. So, living and dying is just something I've rarely taken for granted.

    The celebrity thing is interesting too--how people get so caught up in people's lives they don't know or the gossip part fascinates me. A client of mine a while back said to me--did you hear Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise? I said--who? She looked at me like I was crazy--you know, Tom and Katie? And I went--WHO? She started to explain... Laughing, I stopped her, I know who you are talking about and I don't care, I don't know them, it's none of my business, let's work out. She was shocked for a moment, then realized it was silly to even bring it up. But, on the other had, public figures need fans to sustain's a funny thing...

    I think people need to put more investment into their own thoughts and emotions and focus on what they are doing with their own lives. I think more people would be happier if they did this one thing. Dontcha think so, too??

    Thanks for the thought provoking blog! Take care :)

  8. It has been my experience that focusing on the time you had with your loved ones is the best way to move past the negative and embrace life more fully.Really good blog! Thank You!

  9. Some really great comments on here. I enjoy reading all your thoughts and insights thank you all for being so willing to share