Two Truths. No Lies.

cointracker16I have a friend who doesn’t tell the truth.
I don’t call her a liar, (although that’s what you’d call a person who doesn’t tell the truth) because she doesn’t know she’s lying. To her, she’s telling the truth as she understands things in the moment. It’s not until things go wrong that she realizes she chose to ignore the red flags and warning signs.
After the guy she was head over heels in love with, broke her heart, then she clearly saw the red flags. Post-breakup she told me parts of his story she’d previously left out- his relationship history, the vices he indulged in, his behavior when he got angry.
In the beginning, I was happy for her, I encouraged her to pursue her relationship with him based on what she’d told me, because I believed she was painting a complete and accurate picture of him. When I asked her why she’d left out the ‘bad’ when sharing the ‘good’, she said she thought she was telling the full story. The truth is, she wanted so badly for him to be ‘the one’ that she chose to ignore the things that later eroded their relationship. She lied to herself for so long that she believed it as truth.
Tell yourself the truth, first. The more you lie, the less trustworthy you become.
Ever seen the Youtube challenge tag called, “Two Truths, One Lie”? One person states 3 things and another person guesses which two are true and which is the lie. That’s cute for a harmless video, but it’s detrimental in life. It’s bad enough to lie to other people, but it’s truly damaging to lie to yourself. If you can’t trust you, no one else will either. Tell yourself the truth, your word is all you have.
A lie is anything that erodes a person’s ability to trust you.
Tell the truth no matter how ugly, hard, or how much you wish it were different. Then you can start the work of making the ugly truth, prettier.

It’s How You Say It

#COINTRACKER16 (1)Ever been in the awkward position of being within earshot of an argument? Have you ever been hanging out with your friend and their boyfriend or girlfriend and a disagreement starts brewing; or even worse, everything’s fine and all of a sudden your parents start getting into it?
Since you can’t do what you’d love to, which is disappear into thin air, you do what’s second best, you stay out of it. You know better than to jump in or to offer your input or opinion. You do have an advantage though, because as the person not involved in the argument, you aren’t emotionally invested and therefore you listen objectively.
I’ve been in that position before, objectively listening to married friends argue, and among the thoughts that go through my mind are, Why are you yelling? Why are *you* mad? What I usually realize, that they’re too fired up to consider, is that they’re both saying the same thing, they’re just failing to effectively communicate their point in a way that the other can receive it in that moment.
One of my favorite books is Love & Respect by Emerson Eggers. The book is about how women place value on feeling loved while men tend to value being respected. When I hear an argument or find myself in a disagreement with someone, I think about whether the lack of communication and excess of frustration is because someone doesn’t feel heard and/or respected. If that isn’t the case, it’s usually a matter of tone.
You know how it is when someone, especially a parent, tells you something you probably need to hear but they say it in a smart mouthed, nasty, condescending, or belittling manner? It doesn’t matter if it’s the greatest advice ever, when it’s delivered ‘wrong’, it’s ineffective. Many times, good advice falls on deaf ears because it’s delivered with a sour tone.
Sweet Advice + Sour Tone = Deaf Ears
As you know, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. If your goal is to help, inform, or correct, than speak when you are able to do so with a polite and respectful tone. If you’re too mad, aiming to hurt, or don’t quite have the desire to do so yet, then shut up.

Motivation & Kindness | Jahleel

D E F I N E (7)
So, I’m a little biased when it comes to this dude; I’ve known of him for years and to see the positive and ambitious young man he is today, is no surprise at all. But, don’t let that take away from the great person he is, the great work he’s doing, and the fact that he deserves to be featured.
I chose to end the week with Jahleel Coleman because smile is contagious, his energy is always positive, and his message is all about enjoying your journey. All the posts here this week have highlighted young adults who are earning a living doing work they love and using their platform to inspire others. And, Jahleel has actually created a platform for the sole purpose of helping others, and that’s rare… especially at his age.
When most people are trying to figure out who they are, where they fit into the world, and what they want to do, Jahleel has decided to use his gifts and voice to motivate, encourage, and teach. His message, shared via Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are reminders of all the great things life has to offer and motivation for us to continue to work hard to obtain them.
Like I’ve said and reiterated all week, it takes courage to put yourself out there, to stand out amongst the crowd and to use your social media platforms to change the nature of the conversation, to try and instill wisdom, and to put great work out into the world. Our week has been dedicated to everyday young adults who have become well-known and who continue to work hard and actualize their dreams. And while you may not have heard of Jahleel before reading this, knowing his potential and drive, be ready to hear more about him in the near future. He may even show up on our YouTube channel one day.
Special thanks to everyone featured in our posts this week. Let their journey of finding something they love, working hard at it, gathering an audience, cultivating connection, and using their platform to help and inspire, encourage you to do the same.

Believe in what you can’t (yet) see.

1829656068114381_RU7AunTU_cFor years, no one on Sesame Street except Big Bird could see Snuffy.

It didn’t deter the big yellow guy though, he knew what was real and what he saw.

Everything starts with a vision, an idea that has pictures applied to it.

Everyone has their own.

Sometimes no amount of explaining can get another person to see what you see.

That’s because it’s yours.

Imaginary friends, song or book ideas, paintings, cupcake creations, new football plays, a world-changing business, a new way to share music, etc.

Things that already exist, exist because someone wasn’t afraid to put the work in and make what they thought of or saw become something other people could see also.

Believe in what you can’t yet see.

Even if you’re the only one.




giving-thanks-quotes-e1351435196193One year ago today I decided to start a blog.

I had just begun the legal paperwork to establish a nonprofit organization for teens and young adults and in the meantime I wanted to create a space where open and honest discussion and conversation could occur. I coupled that desire with my natural passion for writing and created this firstlaunch blog. The intention was to use it as a beta testing ground for the kind of things ambitious teens and young adults wanted to discuss and to find out what was on their minds.

Throughout the year, it became a fun, motivational, and inspiring blog that expressed things I’d heard, seen, or experienced and wished someone had talked to me about when I was a teen.

I have debated whether I wanted to continue blogging here as I have become more aware of alternative ways to support, to give advice, and to help. I have decided to continue the blog but to make some slight changes and increase the presence and availability of myself and Launch Young Adults in other ways.

But, I wanted to take this opportunity  to say:

Thank you!

Thank you for stopping by, for liking, for commenting, for reading, for following, and for texting or emailing me in support. For those of you I know and those I don’t, I am truly grateful. It is one thing to write with the hope that at least one person reads or uses what you have offered. It is extremely encouraging and motivating when people take the time to tell you that they’ve taken something you’ve said and applied it to their lives.

I leave you with our latest project, Blogeos– turning posts previously written on this blog into short motivational, inspirational, and informative videos. You can check them out on Youtube soon. The ‘test video’ is current on Vimeo here.

Launch Young Adults is a privately funded nonprofit organization. The purpose of LAUNCH is to serve and support high-potential and ambitious teens and young adults who have a desire to reach their potential and succeed in reaching their goals and realizing their dreams. If you would like to be a part of LAUNCH, or you know a teen or young adult who may need help starting a business, applying for school, finding a job, anything, please feel free to check out the LAUNCH website here, follow us on Tumblr here, Facebook here, Pinterest here, Twitter here, Instagram here, or to email

Thank you again.

Here’s to year two.


Every generation thinks their music is the best to ever have been done. Every generation prior, thinks the music of today is garbage. I am a fence-straddler, well, let’s just say I understand both sides.

The styles change, the content changes, but every song sang (in English) uses the same English language. Do longer words make music prolific, and does prolificacy equate to superiority?

Few things in the world divide and evoke such passion from people as music (politics, religion, money, music- in no particular order). I’m not sure why. There’s enough for everyone. Plenty to share. After all, good and bad are subjective.11438justin-timberlake-musician-quote-teen-pop-will-never-die-as-long-asquotes-27100064422941028720_oi0oZDma_c

See, everyone’s got an opinion and no one’s right.

Well, except this guy, he got it right.

tumblr_m7mo4cdxp81qlr9gxo1_500Music is an expression of soul.

The soul of the composer who masterminds the sound.

The soul of the songwriter who writes it all down.

The soul of the singer who proclaims it aloud.

The soul of the audience who sing along as a crowd.

Wherever your soul currently is, there will your music be also.

Tomorrow, you may find it on the other side of the fence and that’s ok. Plug in there.

Just enjoy it.


233553930646465086_xxtgpyz0_cMy last five 2013 graduates graduated today!

I am so proud of them and I am so excited to see what path in life they choose.

Here’s to the graduates of all grades and levels.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” –Thoreau

To the class of 2013!