Tag Archives: inspiration

Vote: Suzette Steward for Teacher of the Year

Suzette on Live with Kelly and Michael

I’m sure that all of the teachers up for Live’s Annual Top Teacher are great and all, but none of them are more deserving to win—in my humble, but completely biased opinion—than (my sister-in-law,) Suzette Steward.

Suz and Dracula

Suz teaches children with special needs, and they are, in a very literal sense, her life. When she’s not teaching them at school she’s working them out at the gym or babysitting them to give their parents a much needed break.

Suz at Rodeo

You know those fabulously long summer breaks that teachers get each year? Suzette has not once taken one. She spends all summer (each and every year) running camps where her kids can ride canoes, go down a zipline, dance, make crafts, etc.

Still need convincing? Read what one of her student’s parents said about here here.

Voting closes Monday, April 15th, so head on over to the Live with Kelly and Michael site to vote for Suzette, today.

All images appear courtesy of Suzette Coates’ Facebook unless otherwise noted.


Quote of the Day: Jeffrey R. Holland

Think the Best

Elder Holland will be speaking this weekend during the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. I’ll be watching at home in 1080p. Will you be tuning in?

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted. Quote above from talk titled How Do I Love Thee? from a BYU devotional dated 15 February, 2000.

Simple Motivational Wallpaper for 2012

Last year I created three simple motivational wallpapers for myself and decided to share them with you. As it proved to be one of my more popular post last year I wanted to do it again.

The three images below each occupy one of my Mac OS X Spaces. They inspire me to continue learning—something new every day, to act on what I learn so that knowledge becomes wisdom, and then to share that wisdom with you so that we all can benefit.


Learn - CCComicrazy - 1920
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.


Act - CCComicrazy - 1920
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Share - CCComicrazy - 1920
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.

All images are were made with widescreen displays (resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixles) in mind and were designed in Pixelmator using the Comicrazy front.

You can download the full set, including alternative resolutions and/or in good ol’ Helvetica from my Learn, Act, Share flickr set.

Some of you might recognize these quotes from their original source. Regardless of whether you do or not, these wallpapers can help motivate you to make the most out of 2012.

Did you find these wallpapers helpful? What image(s) are you using to motivate you in 2012? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Simple Motivational Wallpapers for 2011

If you’re searching for a new desktop wallpaper to help motivate you in 2011 then look no further. Whether your goal is to master the 7 Habits, Get Things Done, or just to manage your time a little better, these three images should help to inspire and motivate you in your New Year’s resolutions.

All three images currently occupy a separate one of my Mac OS X Spaces (via Hyperspaces). They’re a great reminder that there is no substitute for action, quality, and/or timeliness.

Do It

Do It
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.
Photo via my flickr

Do It Right

Do It Right
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Photo via my flickr

Do It Right Now

Do It Right Now
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.
Photo via my flickr

All images are suitable for widescreen displays (resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixles) and were designed in Pixelmator—a super-slick image editor for Mac OS X.

It’s 2011. If you still don’t know how to change your desktop wallpaper you’ve got issues. But, in the interest of being charitable, here are instructions for Mac OS X, Ubuntu, and Windows (help links via WordPress Blog).

Some of you might recognize these quotes from their original source. This sage advice has always been helpful to me.

Did you find these wallpapers helpful? What image(s) are you using to motivate you in 2011? Sound off in the comments below.

Thoughts from El Libertador

Oleo de Ricardo Acevedo Bernal

Image via Wikipedia

Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios , affectionately known as El Libertador (The Liberator), was instrumental to breaking the yoke of Latin American bondage to the Spanish Empire in the 19th century. He played a central role in independence of Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

As a military strategist and statesman, Bolivar is often referred to as the George Washington of South America. Sadly, until I lived in Venezuela, I knew almost nothing of Washington’s masonic brother.

Despite being hardly a footnote in American history textbooks, there is much we can learn from Bolívar’s legacy.

What follows is a translation of some of my favorite quotes from Simón Bolívar’s collected writings.

On Liberty

It is better to live in chains for one’s country, than to exist freely in a state of sad inaction.

He who fights for freedom should receive no other recompense than glory and freedom.

On Government

Nothing is better than a government fulfilling its promises. Honesty is the best policy.

God approves the creation of a government whose purpose is the good of the community, or when it is the work of the community itself, according to its will and not by force.

A people is enslaved when the government, by its essence or by its vices, stomps on and usurps the rights of the citizen or subject.

Nothing is certain in a popular government because the will of the people varies and is often blind.

On War & Peace

In order to judge revolutions and revolutionaries, it is necessary to observe closely, but to judge from afar.

From peace all that is good should be expected and from war, nothing but disaster.

We should use reason before force.

I am more afraid of peace than of war.

On Patriotism

He who abandons all in order to serve his country loses nothing, and gains whatsoever he consecrates.

The glory of our native land consists in not withholding sacrifices.

The glory is in being great and useful.

Simón Bolívar
Photo taken by author at the San Isidro House in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

On Education

An uneducated man is an incomplete being. Instruction is the joy of life; and the ignorant are prone to return to the mire of corruption, inevitably plunging into the darkness of servitude.

Education forms the man of morals, therefore to form a legislator certainly requires a school of morality, of justice, and of laws.

The first duty of the government is to provide education to the people.

On Personal Conduct

Let us act with righteousness and leave unto time the working of miracles.

Doing good costs nothing and is worth much.

On Family

The family is a treasure in which all members share the interest.

On Adversity

If the very nature of earth should oppose our designs we will fight against her and make her obey.

Simón Bolívar signature
Simón Bolívar’s singature via WikiMedia Commons

Which of these quotes do you like the most? Did I miss anything? Sound off in the comments below.

Why I Want My Son to Be a Scout

History of the Boy Scouts of America

Image via Wikipedia

Over the weekend I participated in a training for adult leaders in the Boy Scouts of America. One thing that stood out to me was an in–depth discussion we had with regards to the Scout Law.

In the past, I’d thought of the Scout Law as kind of a laundry list of positive attributes which we should aspire to emulate. But, the true intent of the law is so much greater than the simple text that makes it up.

Below is a comprehensive description of each of the foundational scouting values which comprise the law as found at the US Scouting Service Project.

A Scout is…


A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.


A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.


A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.


A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.


A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.


A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.


A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.


A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.


A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.


A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.


A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.


A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

normal rockwell

Image courtesy of freeparking on flickr

That is exactly the type of young man I want my son to grow into. Heck, it’s the type of grown man I strive to be! And that’s precisely why I want my son to be a scout.

What kind of person do you want your children to become? How do you think you can help them develop those qualities? Sound off in the comments below.

It’s a Secret to Everybody

It's a Secret to Everybody.

In the classic adventure RPG the Legend of Zelda, the hero, Link, is encouraged to explore the world in search of treasure to aid him in his quest.

In his wanderings, no stone (or tombstone for that matter) lies unturned, no tree unburned, and no wall unbombed (is that even a word?).

When he sees those five magic words, “It’s a Secret to Everybody” Link is rewarded instantly with what have taken a seeming lifetime (in videogame time) to accumulate.

In real life, if this were the way you roamed the world you’d leave behind yourself a string of civil and criminal lawsuits instead of bags full of rupees.

However, demolition and arson aside, a great lesson can be learned from Link. We live in an amazing world with so many wondrous places to go and sights to see. It’s possible to stay on the marked path and still win the game.

But then you’d miss out on sights like this,

La Portada

and this,

Valle de la Luna

and this,

Private Beach, JW Marriott

and this,

Chalang Big Buddha

and this.

Phi Phi Islands

Where have your wanderings led you? Where do you still want to go?