Category Archives: Motivation

No one died…

No one died…

Yesterday, I chose to go for a bike ride inside of take a lunch break.  For reference, I am starting my training for a half Ironman race later this year – so this wasn’t a leasurely stroll on my Beachcomber…  I drove over to the bike shop where my bike is stored, changed into my biking clothes, clipped in and away I went.  

Why is this ‘blog post worthy’?  Well, normally I would sit at my table at home and eat lunch while checking emails, taking conference calls or working on some type of project.  If I was not at my home office, I was in the main office doing the same thing.  I never disconnected… I never flipped the OFF switch.

My dad has always told me to take up golf, go to the shooting range or something… anything to get out and around people DURING the work day.  He started our company in 1972 and worked to make it what it is today.  I feel, over time, he realized what he missed by never taking his foot off the gas pedal.  Honestly, I am the same way – I am half owner of our auction company, a broker with our real estate division and a full-time professional fundraising auctioneer (in my spare time!).

I totally believe in a strong work ethic… start a project and follow it to fruition… even if you finish the task at 1:30 am and have to get back up at 6:00 am to start all over again.  You. Get. The. Job. Done.

So, yesterday, I wanted to try my dad’s theory… get out and do something.  Now, as I was riding an average of 13.5 miles-per-hour, there wasn’t much interaction with others except to greet them with “on your left”.  BUT – I flipped the off switch.  I left my phone at the bike shop.  I did not have any music with me (part of the Ironman training – major faux pas in the real race).  All I had with me was the bike, helmet, sunglasses, gloves and bike clothes… 

No one died.

I missed three phone calls… one left a voice mail, one left a text and the other, well, who knows?  

No one died.

The ride was great… I am getting used to riding ‘clipped-in’.  The learning curve added to my disconnection with the work world.  I was so focused on “road crossing coming up, get ready to unclip right foot while applying right brake handle, look for traffic” that I completely forgot about work for the hour and fourteen minutes of the ride.

No one died.

So, since the Ironman is swimming, biking and running, my plate will be full of opportunities to flip the OFF switch.

Give it a try… and let me know the results.

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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Business, Motivation


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What in the world is #ownit?

What in the world is #ownit?

Those of you that already follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are familiar with the hashtag #ownit that I have been using since late last year.  This began as a trial run to see if it would stick and evolve into something I could take into the new year of 2017… for those that do not know, I don’t do resolutions each year.  In most cases these are empty promises that will fade away after a few weeks but seem to make people feel good between January 1 and February 1 each year.

My resolution is to motivate you to be a better person in 2017… I want to be the push you need to make the change you have been talking about for years… I want you to stop wishing and start doing!


So where did this come from?  Let’s start with the full word ownership… the state, relation or fact of being an owner.  To own something means you have possession – of an object or an action.  #ownit deals with actions!

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

I want you to do everything to the level of ownership.  I don’t want you borrowing or renting, I want you to #ownit.  If you are making a lifestyle change or business change, go through with it and make it yours!  Don’t sit back and talk about it, take action.  Make it happen!

When you borrow or rent something it belongs to someone else… you simply use it for the time being and give it back.  Is that how you are going to change your life or business model?  There is no way to make a change or move in a different course by borrowing someone else’s dream or sitting on the sidelines watching.

#ownit… people talk WAY too much about what they are going to do… NOTHING will happen without you actually taking the first step TOWARD the goal.  You cannot score in soccer, hockey or football without moving toward the goal – it does not happen otherwise.

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius

Another way to look at this is how my dad always put it, “Prior preparation prevents pisspoor performance.”  You HAVE to plan the course to some degree – you need to know the roadmap to get from end zone to goal line.  But you cannot sit there and plan and plan and plan without some type of action.

If you continue to plan, you will never execute!  (that is my quote, by the way)

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

The lizard brain makes it complicated.  Some call it the monkey brain.  Some call it the Resistance.  Take a second and read Seth Godin’s take on quieting the Lizard Brain.  It is in all of us – but you have to take ownership of that part of your brain and control or ignore it.

“What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates

There are people all over the world looking back saying ‘I wish I had done that’ or ‘I wish I had taken the chance’.  Believe me when I say this – you’ll never get anywhere in life by building regret.  Life gives second chances… if you take a chance and fail, at least you can say you didn’t let it slip by.

You can always make more money… you can never make more time.  Whatever IT is, make a plan, take the necessary steps and #ownit.

If you don’t, someone else will.

Stop the negativity and make it happen!

Carpe freakin’ diem.

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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Business, Just Me, Motivation


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I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

This was a hard blog post to write… but was necessary for me.  Over Thursday and Friday, December 8 and 9, I attended a course on Interpersonal Communications in Las Vegas.  The course is designed for auction professionals to become more effective communicators by breaking bad habits, learning new methods of communication and finding personal pitfalls.  Through discussion in the course and interaction with classmates I discovered some of the things I already knew and discovered a few others than need addressing.

Outside of what I already knew before the class, I learned that internal struggle can be the catalyst for outward appearance and communication with others… meaning (from a general level), what is going on inside is going to show on your face.  One of my issues is I am constantly competing with myself… never being content with who I am, what I am and what I have.  I am not speaking from a material standpoint because that has never really been a motivating factor with me. I am speaking from a success standpoint – I have never allowed myself to accept a level of success – I keep moving the measuring stick.  You read that right… I keep moving my own measuring stick.  Let that hang out for a moment…

This morning, our message in church was another in series of messages leading up to Christmas.  It was focused on the materialism of Christmas – STUFF, if you will.  My toes were stepped on as I thought through this from my point-of-view.  It spoke to me and I feverously typed notes to construct this blog post… some of which I have included here.


We can’t really appreciate what we DO have until we stop focusing on what we DON’T have. Contentment is hard for people in the United States because we are constantly bombarded by new, better, faster… there are magazines, TV shows, books that constantly show what others have – materialism is an antagonist in the story of contentment.

Contentment doesn’t just deal with materialism… it also affects our level of perceived success. We constantly compare ourselves to our peers and this skews our vision of WHO we really are. We lose focus of what we have and what we have achieved. This skewed vision does not allow us to see what we HAVE attained in our lives… this leads to missing deadlines, putting things off, not following through or not performing 100% in the present.

For example, Mick Jagger is the front man for The Rolling Stones and has always been remembered for their hit song, I can’t get no satisfaction. Few people know that he also led a solo career that ran parallel to the tours and album releases of The Stones and none of his individual hits were ever as successful as those of The Stones.  His net worth is over $300 million and he still felt that he needed to prove something else.

Peer Pressure:

“Peer pressure” has been the catchphrase of parents and teachers for years… from a fear standpoint, it has led children to the ‘dark side’. It is the perennial excuse when a boy or girl goes astray – “they succumbed to peer pressure”.

So… peer pressure goes away when you hit a certain age?

Oh, that’s a joke!  It feeds itself, lives and breathes into a larger monster… shadow… cloud over us… it is right there in front of us, but so transparent that we see right through it.

Adult peer pressure is as evident as the air we breathe. It pushes us into situations that pull us off our chosen path… adults have the mechanism to reject peer pressure because the adult brain is fully developed with an arsenal of thinking skills, rationalization skills and need/want-based analysis… but yet, when someone lands a big deal, achieves a new position, pulls in a huge bonus peer pressure kicks in and takes our eyes off of OUR prize. OUR prize is the finish line we have established for ourselves – that goal we have set to let us know we have accomplished something.

The Finish Line:

A finish line is established with clear-cut goals.  “I am going to do XXX by XXXX”.  You know in your heart the goal is not complete until you cross the finish line… whether this is a date, a success point or some other measurable item you establish when you set the goal.  Point-of-reference:  I said ‘clear-cut’ for a reason – if you are setting a goal, you need to establish some type of measure to make yourself accountable to complete the goal.  This is essential for both short-term and long-term goals.

The finish line is important because it gives you something to look forward to… not just ‘look forward to accomplishing’ but also to actually MAKE you look forward… this keeps you from backsliding and getting off track.

Until, of course, WE move our own finish line… WE get in our own way and decide to dangle a larger carrot further from our reach because WE cannot be happy with any measure of success.  WE don’t believe it when others congratulate us, tell us how awesome we are… or tell us they want to be where WE are.  (There are many of US out there with this same issue – which is why I highlighted we in those sentences).

That last paragraph is what I have been analyzing since Friday.  I know I have to get out of my own way… and it is going to take baby steps to make it happen.  I have to fight the resistance.

The Lizard Brain/Monkey Brain/Resistance:

You’re not good enough. You can’t do that. Why do you think you can do that?

You’ve heard every one of these… and the other iterations.  Adults have a fully developed brain – capable of multiple thoughts at once, capable of huge computations, capable of beautiful feelings, capable of rationalization… until the resistance kicks in!  The resistance has also been labeled Lizard Brain or Monkey Brain.  Whichever name you use, it is still the same deal… it is there to make you second-guess yourself.  It holds you back.  It makes you backslide.  It keeps you from being the most you can be.

The resistance causes you to say one thing and do another… We want to be successful then we sabotage the process… The resistance is the voice in the back of your head that tells us to go slow, back off, be careful, compromise.  It is in all of us – the amygdala isn’t going away – it is the prehistoric lump on your brain stem responsible for fear and rage and reproduction.

The only way to be your true self is to learn to quiet the lizard brain… ignore the resistance!

So… now you know a little of my personal struggles.  Hopefully you have seen some of your own internal issues in this post. From the time we discussed my issues in class this week, I have come to realize I have so much to offer – RIGHT NOW.  Beginning with throwing the business hat to the side, ripping off the armor and discussing these issues in the open… so I can help others become their better self.

You have seen my hashtag #GSD (get shit done) on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts for years… now you are going to see a new one:  #ownit.  Too many people DON’T own what they do or say.  If I write it, I’m going to own it… good or bad.

FYI:  I am posting this without edits… I am kicking the resistance in the ass and, as Seth Godin says, SHIPPING this to you!

Feel free to post your comments below!


Posted by on December 11, 2016 in Just Me, Motivation, Writing


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Woodmont High School Commencement Keynote 2015

Woodmont High School Commencement Keynote 2015

June 2015 – I was chosen by Woodmont High School‘s Student Government to deliver the graduation commencement speech to the 2015 graduating class.  I am a public speaker and auctioneer, so I am usually calm when speaking in front on audiences… I am paid to be the calmest person in the room.  This was a little different because I was speaking to a graduating class and their parents and relatives.  I had to make each word count.

Here is the speech – in it’s entirety.  There are points in the speech for my reference… places to pause, point, laugh, etcetera.  I made sure to put these in so I could break my normal serious tone.  Enjoy…

The Journey Begins with You…

Mr Imperati, Dr Peake, members of the faculty, family, friends and most importantly…

Congratulations on your achievement!

This is your night and we are all here to celebrate you!

Before I begin… you have parents and guardians that have coddled you, fed you, wiped your nose, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, coached you, held you, encouraged you… sacrificed time and again to get you here…

Keep your seats, but take a moment to give them a round of applause…

Parents and guardians…

Feel free to take as many selfies with me in the background as you want because it’s all about them for the next 20-30 minutes!

(Point to graduates and laugh)

I’m kidding… I’ll be brief… But, with the selfies – make sure I am in focus and tagged correctly online!

(HUGE GRIN) “Follow me and I’ll follow back!”

Each year, the Student Council chooses an alumnus to speak to the graduating class… someone who graduated from Woodmont and has gone on to do great things… lead armies… cure diseases… win major awards…

Well, he wasn’t available… so you’ve got me!


You’ve heard magna cum laude and summa cum laude…

When I graduated in 1990, all you heard was ‘Oh Lawdy’


It’s been almost 25 years to the day since I graduated from Woodmont High School. That was back in the olden days of the school… in the old building… with teachers like Abrams, Candler, Snipes, McCuen and some guy named Alan Russell.


I remember a lot of things about that day.

I remember sitting in the Memorial Auditorium sweating my tail off making sure I didn’t get the line out of alphabetical order…

I remember that I was stoked because I was leaving for Senior Week the next day…

I was heading to college in the fall… and my future was set!


But times changed… the future did not roll on as planned and my college life was “one and done”. Fraternity life and the grading policy of Francis Marion College didn’t gel and we parted ways after only one year.

I failed.

I took a job after college to make ends meet and moved back home to live with my dad.

I failed.

I was floundering around blaming the world… I had failed myself… I had failed my family…

I had failed my so-called friends – not that they cared… because they were right there with me!

Here’s a hint: Everybody that’s riding with you isn’t riding FOR you. Let the gas run out and see who helps you push!

After a few years of being sick and tired of being sick and tired, I realized that the potential was inside of me but I was too busy blaming everyone else for my shortcomings…

I want you to know that you have people all around you that are truly pulling for you…

I am one of them.

I would not have accepted this opportunity to speak to you if I was not rallying right behind each and every one of you!


In the short amount of time I have tonight I’d like to share a few points of success… these points have never failed me… I just had to find them and begin using them!

These are points to think about, quickly forget but years from now kick yourself for not having listened to!

Before I begin, I want to tell you the core secret of my success – small prayers throughout the day to God. He and I have small 3-4 sentence conversations at various times throughout the day…

All of my success I owe to God.

Today, I hold three college degrees…

Even though I have shared the stage with celebrities and raised money for lots of important causes, I feel tonight’s opportunity to speak to you is one of my highest honors… and I thank you for that!

On to the points…

Parents… I’ll warn you… go ahead and tune out – you may not like some of what I am going to say!

Graduates… Point #1… TRUST YOURSELF

You are getting so much advice from parents, teachers and friends…

Even old guys like me…

There is way too much distortion to filter through…

You have to dig down deep and decide WHO you want to be – not WHAT – but WHO.

Figure out what makes YOU happy… not your parents or friends… listen to your heart…

And do not let other people cloud the process.

One of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, talks about this notion called The Resistance – The resistance is the voice in the back of our heads telling us to back off… to be careful… to go slow… to compromise.

We spend so much time letting The Resistance take over that we lose sight about WHO we want to be.

I’ve heard the Resistance… It sounds like this…

“No, I am not good enough”. (pause)

“No… they won’t like me”. (pause)

“They would never hire me.” (pause)

“I am too young.” (pause)

Even when I was about to make a decision… prepared and ready… the naysayers joined The Resistance and helped beat down the idea.

These naysayers are never happy…

…they are the ones Bob Marley talked about when he said,

“some people feel the rain… others just get wet.”

DON’T LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS… that’s my 2nd point

I found a quote on Instagram that fits them…

I used to care what people thought about me, until one day, I tried to pay my bills with their opinions


You have to turn away from the people that say, “it can’t be done” or “no, I don’t think it will work” or “why are THEY doing THAT?”

They are wasting your time because they are afraid to make a move.

What if Steve Jobs had stopped when they told him the Macintosh was not feasible? What if he stopped designing the iPod when the world was hooked on CDs?

Your generation has SO many advantages mine didn’t… Millennials make up the second largest population group in the United States and you literally have the world at your fingertips.

(show typing thumbs)

But you are going to run into people who are afraid to make the next move… the ones that are afraid of making the wrong choice… the ones who are afraid of stepping outside the box…

I’m telling you now… step outside of that box and stomp it to pieces!


That leads to the next point…

Don’t. Be. Afraid. To. Fail.

People are so cautious because they never experience life… they never experience life because they are afraid to fail. Fear creeps in.

Get this… fear is normal… it keeps you alive. But it should not rule your life!

Go back to my first point… dig down deep and figure out who YOU want to be. You can’t let friends and family dictate your every move…

If I was afraid to fail, do you think I would be standing up here tonight?

Public speaking is the #1 fear in America… right in front of death (most people don’t like either)

I do this for a living and I have stressed more over this talk than any other I have put together… that’s life… suck it up and make it happen!

See if you recognize these famous failures…

  1. A guy was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas”. (Walt Disney)
  2. A man was a high school dropout whose personal struggles with drugs and poverty led to an unsuccessful suicide attempt. (Eminem)

These two didn’t let life keep them down… they took the punch, got up, dusted off and made it happen!

I have a poster in my office that says:

Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

You cannot let fear of failure paralyze your decision-making. In this world, the ones that can make decisions are the ones that are rewarded the most.

So… the next point…

BREAK SOME RULES… not laws, mind you… rules.

Take some chances and live your life!

I love Steve Jobs’ quote: Here’s to the crazy ones… the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones that see things differently. THEY ARE NOT FOND OF RULES… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is IGNORE them. Because they change things.

What is the point to being here if all you want to do is be liked by everybody and avoid trouble? You cannot be an original if you are afraid to break a rule or two.

Do you REALLY think the faculty sitting here tonight never broke rules?


I remember when I was starting my fundraising company… The naysayers constantly told me that I couldn’t get paid for fundraising and consulting. It was not the norm… people didn’t do it.

Those were their rules… not mine.

I was convinced that if I put my heart and soul into it and learned everything I could about the business, the rules could be rewritten.

And they were…

Which leads me to my last point…

You have to WORK YOUR A… (sorry, I got carried away)

You have to work your butt off.

Edison said – opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Don’t be afraid of hard work… while you are out partying, sleeping late, messing around and wasting time someone else is hard at work and PASSING YOU BY.

I cannot stress this point enough!

Leave no stone unturned and when you feel you have done enough… THAT is your starting point. That is the point where the sweat beads on your forehead…

That is the point where your muscles ache and your head starts to throb.

So… why am I telling you this?

The world has already labeled your generation…

Yep – the NINJA generation… no income, no jobs, no assets.

You’re the hands-off generation because you are dependent on technology to make things happen for you.

People say you are being dumbed down by not having to lift a finger for anything.

Is this WHAT you want to be remembered for?

Is this WHO you want to be?

Absolutely not… you have just finished 12 years of education to get you here tonight.

But guess what…


Like it or not, life starts over tomorrow when you step foot outside as a graduate of Woodmont High School.

Whether you go to work, college, military or whatever… you are starting at zero.

Remember when your parents used to tell you you were one in a million… well, today that means there are 319 like you in the United States, 1252 in India and 1357 in China.

You are NOT special… your one in a million in the US could fill about the same number of seats your class is using tonight. Think about it… 319 YOUs

I think I just heard a parent feint in the stands!

That means that you have to fight for everything!

That means it is time to chart your own path…

That means tomorrow you take charge and find a way out of this NINJA definition and represent your school, your community, your family and YOURSELF!


I leave you tonight with a note that has been a driving force for me… it is from a poem by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.


Woodmont High School class of 2015…

I leave you with this final point:

Carpe freakin’ diem… Go out and make it happen!


Thank you for reading… Feel free to leave comments by clicking the ‘Leave a comment’ link!

Darron Meares, MBA, CAI, MPPA, BAS
Founder – Meares and Associates, LLC

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Motivation, Writing


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The Spartan Season is in full swing… with a race discount!

The Spartan Season is in full swing… with a race discount!

Now is the perfect time to get out and SPARTAN UP!  Yep… it’s me again.  It’s been awhile since I wrote on this blog about the Spartan racing series, but the time is here.  I hear it all the time, “when are you doing another mud run?”.  Well, the truth of the matter is a mud run is a warmup to this type of event, or OCR (obstacle course race).  A mud run is usually put together by people that want to raise money for a charity (which is awesome) or a dirty Saturday run instead of the traditional road race.

Spartan is one of the most demanding and rewarding experiences most people will ever face in their lifetime.. and those that do usually come back for more.  Sure, there are other races out there where you can “experience” obstacles put in front of you to test your ability in cold, wet or ‘electrical’ situations.  Spartan races are geared for you to test YOUR limits and push yourself forward as you have never done before.


That’s me… carrying a log up the ski slopes of Wintergreen resort in Virginia. This was about 2/3 of the way through the Super

I’ve always looked at ways to “get better” at something.  Right now it is Olympic Lifting.  The snatch is my GOAT – it kills me to get my mind around it but I am working at it… including spending a weekend with Coach Mike Burgener to help me see it from another perspective.  Yep, the perspective of a World-Class coach!

I don’t skydive because it’s not something you can get better at… of course, you can accrue jumps and become a master at the drop, but in reality if you make it to the ground in one piece you have won!

Back to Spartan… not only can you experience the race by dipping your foot in the water with a Sprint level race (3-4 miles) but you can go further with the Super (8-10 miles) and then the Beast (13+ miles).  There is something for everyone… even the kids!  My son ran the Spartan Kids race in Atlanta and loved it.  He was under age for the full mile race but chose to ‘scale up’ and run with the older kids.  Again, he decided to push himself past where he thought he could go.

For those that have run a Spartan race there is a sense of accomplishment.  Sure, I could sit in an ice bath or shock myself… but how am I going to get better at something?  How am I going to push myself to the limit to make myself ready for the world?

You make it on your own in this world.  You will never know what you can accomplish until you break yourself down in an unknown environment and push yourself through it.  And just like life, there are penalties… Spartan has them – make it through the best you can to avoid these penalties (30 burpees for each failed obstacle, in case you were wondering).

And if you make it through all three levels in a 12-month period you will become a member of the exclusive Trifecta Tribe!  You get to wear the medal, the shirt and have your name etched in Spartan lore…

Run all three and you can be a part of the Trifecta Tribe

Run all three and you can be a part of the Trifecta Tribe

Spartan is gearing up races all across the US and into parts of Europe and Mexico.  Check out the Spartan Race Finder page to see what is coming up in your area!  And if you are ready to jump in and test the waters… here is a code for 10% off any race (open heat) in the US:  SPARTANBLOGGER

Check through my other posts where I break down the different Spartan races and obstacles…

If you want a little more motivation, either before or after getting dirty in a Spartan race, check out founder Joe De Sena’s book Spartan Up!

And no… I am not a paid endorser of Spartan or any of it’s races.  I believe in it and have written about it on several occasions on this blog and elsewhere!

… now – SPARTAN UP and make it happen!

Ask me questions in the comments section or leave your Spartan race thoughts.

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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Motivation, Running


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You’re NOT in Control

Why do we let things bother us when God is in control? Of course, there are things that we feel are out of all control… like the flight I am on this morning. (I’m typing on the iPhone as we fly)

There is a line of thunderstorms moving across the country and they are meeting my flight near the Atlanta airport. Air Traffic Control (ATC) still has the skies open, so there has to be some not-so-rough air around. Hopefully the pilots, their navigation and their skills can find it.

Nervous? Yes. I am. I travel a lot and it never gets easier. You have the smooth flights but they don’t make up for the ones where weather is not on your side. I trust the system that they would not put planes in the air if it were an unsafe situation. However, that doesn’t help my heart and breathing rates!

My life is about short prayers. My longest prayers are right before bedtime and they are not that long. Those are the ones where I thank God for the day and everything He provided. Most of my other prayers are quick thank-yous.

These thank yous are for the things God has given me (or got me out of in some cases!). They are thank yous for blessings he has bestowed upon me and my family. They are, at times, personal. I believe in short prayers because I am not a professional at this, by any means. Add to that a good dose of ADD where my mind starts to wander… eh, you get the picture!

Right about now my legs are glued to the floor and my CrossFit squatting muscles are pushing against the seatbelt and I try to counteract the forces of nature and a multi-ton MD88 aircraft. This must be the line of storms the pilot said we had to cross!

I can honestly say that I have been through some harrowing situations… another flight that was 10x worse when we hit a snowstorm at 30,000 feet… emergency landings due to fires in the cockpit… gear lights not indicating if we have landing gear. But through it all I knew that God was in control.

He gives us these instances to knock us back down so we will realize it’s not about us. He also gives us these instances to kick me in the behind for not writing blog posts as often as I should! (I write on airplanes to pass the time and to alleviate stress from the unknown).

Funny… literally, as I wrap this up, the lights of western Atlanta appear below.

No one said you had to be a pastor, reverend or preacher… say short prayers for what you have been given! If nothing else it will keep the lines of communication open with the Man upstairs!

Post your thoughts below…

Darron Meares, MBA, CAI, MPPA, BAS
Asset Appraiser/Auctioneer/Speaker

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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Just Me, Motivation, Travel, Writing


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Spartan Race vs Warrior Dash

Spartan Race vs Warrior Dash

Yesterday, my wife and I ran the Warrior Dash in Huntersville, North Carolina. The reason? I needed something to train for and it was a good entry-level race that she could run… it would be her first run of any kind off-road since cross country in high school (she’s likes to run on the road).  We registered and ran the race… had fun doing so… and will definitely do it again in the future.

Now, you may be wondering why I titled this post as I did.

Well, I am a veteran Spartan racer with four races under my belt including the 2013 Trifecta. For the trifecta I ran the Sprint in Atlanta, the Super in Virginia and the Beast in my home state of South Carolina. In total, for non-Spartan fans, I ran around 24+ miles of obstacle courses in three states.

Websites for reference: Spartan Race Warrior Dash

Now, the comparisons/differences:

Length: about the same. The Warrior Dash was 3.08 miles and the Sprint-level Spartan is 3-4.

Registration: about the same. Warrior is now utilizing iPad checkins and, in the future, will allow you to sign liability waivers on the iPad.

Timing: Spartan is ahead here… you get the timing chip to attach to your shoe. Warrior does not – they have clocks at the start and at various points along the trail (about every mile). The clocks are actual clocks noting the time of day – not elapsed time. Bring a watch (they tell you to do so on their website).

Obstacles: easier on Warrior Dash. For starters, Warrior tells you all of the obstacles in advance (not that you can really train for them). You can view videos and photos of each obstacle so you know what you will encounter in advance. Spartan, on the other hand, does not. After the Spartan pledge and three loud AROOs, you’re off. Literally.

(One note: since Reebok has begun sponsoring the Spartan races, I have noticed there are mile markers on the course. Prior to this the volunteers at water stations couldn’t accurately tell you where you were.)

Level of fitness required for Warrior:  Warrior is entry-level plus (you can get by with a minimal level of fitness – many of the participants were walking from the start). Most of the obstacles were climbing-oriented… walls with boards to assist, inclines with ropes, cargo nets. I didn’t see any real strength obstacles that had to be mastered.  You do need to be able to climb and crawl on your hands and knees, at times.  The course in North Carolina was rolling but there were some places where you had to traverse the wooded areas (with mud).

Level of fitness required for Spartan:  Spartan takes a little more training. In this series you have penalties when you do not complete an obstacle or choose not to attempt one (30 burpees per obstacle). In addition, you may be required to carry objects (atlas stones, logs, sand bags), flip articles (logs, tires), pull objects behind you (concrete blocks on chains), pull objects up (5 gallon bucket of concrete) and climb a 20-30 foot knotted rope.

(side note – on some Spartan Races there is a Biggest Loser heat where anyone of any fitness level can run a shortened version of the race.  No burpee penalties if you decide to skip an obstacle as well).

I will definitely run the Warrior Dash again. We had a blast running the race and actually running a race together! I would like to give you some advice – raise money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (information is on the Warrior Dash site)… if you raise the minimum amount you get a hot shower, food, drinks and a separate area to leave your goods during the race! The alternative is the hose… sticking out of a water truck… spraying everyone underneath!

Based on my personality, the Spartan race fits my profile… I really don’t want to know what is next.  I want to know that I have to come up with the ways to make it happen – whether that is me climbing a wall on my own or working with others to build a base for each of us to us as we make the ascent.  I feel Spartan models the challenges we face in life.

OCR – obstacle course racing – is taking off and more and more groups are getting in on the action. I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods and saw where Under Armour is sponsoring Tough Mudder races. I REALLY hope people are not buying new clothes to run these races! There is advice part 2 – where old, comfortable shoes. You get a chance to donate them at the end of the run!

Whatever you do, get out there and get out of your comfort zone! It is no fun being normal.

For those of you that have run OCR, add your thoughts below…

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Motivation, Running, Writing


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Change your circumstances

“Successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny , they’re not creatures of circumstance, they create circumstance, if the circumstances around them suck they change them.” – Jordan Belfort

The decisions you make today are the defining factor in what your circumstances will be down the road. Even though it is not easy, no one is going to do it except YOU.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Motivation, Writing


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You are powerful beyond measure!

You are powerful beyond measure. You have the power in you to accomplish anything you truly want… read that again – TRULY want. First off, you have to figure what you truly want… do you want a million dollars? Do you want ten million dollars? Do you want to finish college after being out for a number of years?

Find out what you truly want. You can say all day long, “I want ______.” But is it what you truly want? Is it something that will change your life? Will the newest 60″ flat screen make you a better person or help you to succeed?

I’ve written many times about needs versus wants… We live in a wanting society. We want what our friend – neighbor – family member has. We want their tangibles. We want their lifestyle. We want their happiness.

I guarantee you even the most important person in your life – whether it is the one that is truly important or the one you want to be like – has problems you don’t know about. What is wrong with setting your own course and achieving YOUR goals?

We are not talking about being complacent or stagnant. We are talking about making a plan and working that plan. Steps one to infinity… however many steps it takes to get there. Reward yourself along the way. No one said it had to be a boot camp… celebrate the goals as they are met. Mark them off the list and start making progress to the next one on the list.

No one can stop you except you. Look in the mirror and you will see what is holding you back. When you stop blaming others and start boosting yourself you will see change!

Make it happen!

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Just Me, Motivation


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Goal setting? NO. Goal achieving!

Where do you set your goals? Are they achievable or just a “level” set to make you feel good when it is met?

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
— Michelangelo

When you are setting the goal, you need to have a little pain… there has to be some type of struggle involved for you to truly be rewarded for meeting the goal. This could be exercise, money or time spent to achieve the goal – you have to have buy in to make it a true reward.

Your attitude determines your altitude — Donald Trump

Goal setting, in itself, is easy. Goal achieving is not meant to be easy. If it were easy, it would not be a goal… it would be a part of your daily life already. Achieving the goal has huge benefits for you – internally and externally. YOU are the one to make it happen.

Here’s how… answer the following questions:

1. What do you want today?
2. What are you willing to give up to achieve it?
3. What is your accountability plan to stay on track?
4. Do you have an accountability partner that can help guide you?
5. What is your timeline to achieving this goal?

In all of these questions, you HAVE to be realistic… Setting unrealistic goals is the fastest way to failure. Remember… The easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

And finally…

Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time! –Zig Ziglar

Make it happen!

So, tell me how you feel about this post… If you are on Twitter, send me your thoughts to @scbidcaller and tag your results with #successneversleeps!

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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in Motivation


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