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Articles by: Darrell Fusaro

  • Op-Eds

    The Five Most Valuable Things They Don't Teach in Art School


    The other day a young artist asked me, “How do you do it?”  Having been in her shoes myself, I understood what she meant by her question and I had an answer.  The answer was ready, and is ALWAYS ready because I must remind myself of it daily.  The answer is, let it be easy.


    The key to getting started is to lower the bar.  This may seem outrageous to some who believe that great accomplishments come at great sacrifice and perfection.  That erroneous belief has killed off more creative endeavors than death itself.  There is only one sacrifice to make and that is the one of talking yourself out of getting started. 


    Never argue against what may seem like a silly idea.  Allow yourself to get carried away by the angel of inspiration.  Take the tiniest step in the direction of your desire and your enthusiasm will compel you to continue.   Emerson explains the hunch as Divine guidance to which we all have access.  There’s no special training required to receive this guidance since it continuously flows into us, “everyman is an inlet.”  You only need to trust your intuition and by taking action you will be surprised with proof that, “we are wiser than we know.” 


    "But what if you have so many inspired ideas that you don’t know where to begin and you’re stuck?" she asked. 

     

    I told her to start simply and shared the story of exactly how I do it as an example.  Coincidentally, I began when I was the same age as her, some thirty years ago.  I told her how I allowed doubt and reason to convince me leave art school and join the Coast Guard.  After enlistment I was assigned to the Honolulu Police Department as a military liaison.  The desire to create followed me there, I couldn’t shake it and it began to gnaw at me.  I could have easily made excuses such as, I had no time, no place to create, no decent art supplies, etc.  Instead I kept it simple. 


    In 1985 we used an ink roller to fingerprint at the police department.   One day during a break I had the silly idea to ink up my fingers and randomly place my fingerprints onto blank 3 x 5 cards.  The intention was to transform the fingerprints with my pen into little people interacting with one another.  I allowed the impromptu arrangement of the fingerprints inspire the circumstances I’d put these little characters in.


    After they were done, I’d write a friend’s address on the back and mail it off as a postcard.  This motive fueled me to continue to make more and send more.  It became a creative habit. 


    When I was transferred to the prosecuting attorney’s office, without access to fingerprinting, I was challenged to create characters from scratch.  Now my postcards had new characters to surprise my friends with. 


    Whenever I’d hear the thought, “You’re not doing anything legit with your cartoons.”  I would dismiss it with, “Yes I am.  I’m having fun and the Universe is arranging things on my behalf.  All I need to do is to keep enjoying what I’m doing.”  And I did.


    I was having fun and gaining confidence.  Not long after, I was asked to contribute illustrations to be used in the U.S. Coast Guard’s local newsletter.  I still continued to make postcards for friends.  A recurring character I created and enjoyed drawing on these postcards was a happy-go-lucky surfer I named, “Poki.”  I could never have foreseen that Poki would become the 14th Coast Guard District’s cartoon mascot in print ads.   At the end of my enlistment I applied and was accepted back into art school.  Incredibly, I received a merit scholarship based on these examples in my portfolio.


    Today there are five simple principles that I rely on to knock out resistance and propel me forward.  You can remember them with this silly slogan, “It’s a simple system that KILLS!”  Using the word K-I-L-L-S as the acronym for the following:

     
    Keep it simple.  Let yourself off the hook.  You do not need to wait until you have the right pen, brush, pad, or canvas to get started.  Simply put, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." –Theodore Roosevelt

    Inspire others.  The best way to get into the creative current is to make something simple for a friend.  If you’re an artist make a postcard, if you’re a musician sing a ridiculous song as your voicemail message to a friend.  That’s what I do.  This gets me in the habit of enjoying creative freedom without the negative commentary of my critical mind. 

    Lower the bar.  Self-imposed perfection is stifling, relax your demands and your creative spirit will soar.  “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” –G.K. Chesterton

    Let it be easy.  What you desire to do is possible.  Give yourself permission to let it be easy.  “How would I be doing this differently if I were willing to let it be easy?” –Alan Cohen

    Swim with the current.  I’ve learned to never argue with a hunch.  Go with it, they’ll take you places more remarkable than reason would allow.  “Don’t be afraid of silly ideas.” –Paul Arden 


    Listen to your creative leads.  Trust to your intuition; don’t let reason slip you a roofie.  Let it be easy: there’s no virtue in fighting against simplicity.  Hunches always lead you to the creative current that will carry you to better-than-expected outcomes: swim with the current.


    Each morning I start out by making a silly little drawing on a 4” x 6” piece of cardstock.  Then I write a friend’s address on the back on the back of it and mail it to them as a postcard.  It lifts me up and drops me into the positive flow of life.




    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug?, co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast and a contributing columnist for i-Italy Magazine.

  • Op-Eds

    Why Are There Chicks at Easter?





    "
    I often get asked why I give out Peeps at Easter."
    said the Easter Bunny, "Well, I do it as a reminder that inside every angry old bird is a neglected little Peep.  Aim your love at the little Peep and watch the angry old bird cheer-up and sing.  Happy Easter."



    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • LA VIGNETTA. Have You Ever Tried Spiritual Sunbathing?


    “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, it’s laying hold of His highest willingness.” –Richard C. Trench



    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that the Universe is conspiring on your behalf?  Imagine having the confidence that all things at all times are being constantly arranged for your highest good.  The truth is they are.  You do not need to coerce anyone, including God, to ensure that circumstances will work out for the best. 


    I enjoy how prayer is defined in The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, “Prayer is the general name for that attitude of open and earnest expectancy.”  That’s faith in a nutshell: the enthusiasm felt when we’re convinced something good is about to happen.


    Choosing to believe that the Universe is conspiring on my behalf stirs up my enthusiasm.  When I’m happy and expectant of good things on the inside, I begin seeing evidence of this attitude being reflected back to me in my circumstances.  However, steering my will away from pushing and shoving to achieve what I believe will make me happy, and toward trusting that God’s got my back isn’t something I’ve only had to do once and it’s done forever.  I need to be willing to take the time to enjoy a little daily spiritual sunbathing.


    Spiritual sunbathing is taking a break from finding fault.  It is a mini mental vacation from my concerns.  During this time I choose to believe in positive outcomes.  Instead of worrying about what I don’t want to happen, I decide to imagine what I would love to happen.  I’ve found that visualizing in this way, rather than imagining the worst and my struggling to overcome situations, to be much more productive because it elevates my consciousness.  My intuition, that connection to Divine guidance is strengthened and I'm open receive hunches. 


    Not long ago I took a trip to New York City.  An old friend from Los Angeles had moved there a year earlier.  We thought it’d be great to see one another while I was in town.  She was an event planner and her days had her busy bouncing all over the city.  It became clear that trying to arrange a set time and place to meet would be impossible.  So we both cast the burden and were grateful to have reconnected even if just by phone.

     

    The next day after enjoying a little spiritual sunbathing in my hotel room at Gramercy Park, I had the inspiration to go for a walk in the city, to roam free without any preconceived destination.  When I stepped out of the lobby and on to the street I thought I’d head toward Union Square.  It made perfect sense since my old art studio was located there and I thought it’d be nice to reminisce.  But I got a hunch to go in the opposite direction and walk north on Irving Place.  Since I learned to never argue with a hunch, I did an about-face, waited for the light and when it turned green I crossed. 


    Just as I stepped up onto the sidewalk on the other side of the street, I heard the beeping of a motorcycle horn.  Waiting at the light was a blonde in a helmet on a scooter.  She was waving in my direction.  I was convinced this was for the young good-looking guys seated there at the outdoor café.  Before I had a chance to move on, the light changed, she drove over, stopped at the curb and took off her helmet, I nearly collapsed.  It was my friend.  We were both blown away by the coincidence and enjoyed how Divine timing scheduled our meeting. 


    Hunches are angels saying, “Just do it!”  Spiritual sunbathing keeps my ears open so I can hear them when they do.


    “Whether I’m consciously aware of it or not, my life is continually guided step-by-step toward my best and highest good.

     
    I begin by stilling my mind then trusting in divine wisdom to see me through any seeming obstacle.  Resting in a comfortable position, I close my eyes. With deliberation, I shut out the outside world.  Like a fog lifting, my mind clears, and I tune in to God’s message for me.  I remain open to divine direction.

     
    With a willingness to listen, I now hear the still, small voice within.  This divine whisper of encouragement guides me on my spiritual journey.  Through sacred listening, I gain clarity to take inspired action. I am blessed.” –Guidance, Daily Word Magazine, March 17, 2016





    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Op-Eds

    LA VIGNETTA. Have You Ever Tried Spiritual Sunbathing?


    “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, it’s laying hold of His highest willingness.” –Richard C. Trench



    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that the Universe is conspiring on your behalf?  Imagine having the confidence that all things at all times are being constantly arranged for your highest good.  The truth is they are.  You do not need to coerce anyone, including God, to ensure that circumstances will work out for the best. 


    I enjoy how prayer is defined in The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, “Prayer is the general name for that attitude of open and earnest expectancy.”  That’s faith in a nutshell: the enthusiasm felt when we’re convinced something good is about to happen.


    Choosing to believe that the Universe is conspiring on my behalf stirs up my enthusiasm.  When I’m happy and expectant of good things on the inside, I begin seeing evidence of this attitude being reflected back to me in my circumstances.  However, steering my will away from pushing and shoving to achieve what I believe will make me happy, and toward trusting that God’s got my back isn’t something I’ve only had to do once and it’s done forever.  I need to be willing to take the time to enjoy a little daily spiritual sunbathing.


    Spiritual sunbathing is taking a break from finding fault.  It is a mini mental vacation from my concerns.  During this time I choose to believe in positive outcomes.  Instead of worrying about what I don’t want to happen, I decide to imagine what I would love to happen.  I’ve found that visualizing in this way, rather than imagining the worst and my struggling to overcome situations, to be much more productive because it elevates my consciousness.  My intuition, that connection to Divine guidance is strengthened and I'm open receive hunches. 


    Not long ago I took a trip to New York City.  An old friend from Los Angeles had moved there a year earlier.  We thought it’d be great to see one another while I was in town.  She was an event planner and her days had her busy bouncing all over the city.  It became clear that trying to arrange a set time and place to meet would be impossible.  So we both cast the burden and were grateful to have reconnected even if just by phone.

     

    The next day after enjoying a little spiritual sunbathing in my hotel room at Gramercy Park, I had the inspiration to go for a walk in the city, to roam free without any preconceived destination.  When I stepped out of the lobby and on to the street I thought I’d head toward Union Square.  It made perfect sense since my old art studio was located there and I thought it’d be nice to reminisce.  But I got a hunch to go in the opposite direction and walk north on Irving Place.  Since I learned to never argue with a hunch, I did an about-face, waited for the light and when it turned green I crossed. 


    Just as I stepped up onto the sidewalk on the other side of the street, I heard the beeping of a motorcycle horn.  Waiting at the light was a blonde in a helmet on a scooter.  She was waving in my direction.  I was convinced this was for the young good-looking guys seated there at the outdoor café.  Before I had a chance to move on, the light changed, she drove over, stopped at the curb and took off her helmet, I nearly collapsed.  It was my friend.  We were both blown away by the coincidence and enjoyed how Divine timing scheduled our meeting. 


    Hunches are angels saying, “Just do it!”  Spiritual sunbathing keeps my ears open so I can hear them when they do.


    “Whether I’m consciously aware of it or not, my life is continually guided step-by-step toward my best and highest good.

     
    I begin by stilling my mind then trusting in divine wisdom to see me through any seeming obstacle.  Resting in a comfortable position, I close my eyes. With deliberation, I shut out the outside world.  Like a fog lifting, my mind clears, and I tune in to God’s message for me.  I remain open to divine direction.

     
    With a willingness to listen, I now hear the still, small voice within.  This divine whisper of encouragement guides me on my spiritual journey.  Through sacred listening, I gain clarity to take inspired action. I am blessed.” –Guidance, Daily Word Magazine, March 17, 2016





    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Op-Eds

    The Good You Seek Is Seeking You



    It’s literally true: the good you seek is seeking you.  The Rabbi of Berdichev saw a man running down the street.  He asked the man, "Why are you hurrying so?"


    "I'm rushing to find my livelihood," the man answered.


    "And how do you know," the rabbi asked, "that your livelihood is running ahead of you?  Maybe it's behind you, and all you need to do is stop running and it will catch up to you." 


    Early in my enlistment I was having a horrible go at it in the United States Coast Guard.  Right after I finished telling my friend Mike how much I dreaded what punishment I might receive for my most recent drunken debacle, he asked me this question.  “When was the last time you woke up in the morning and were kind and loving to yourself?” 


    “Never.” I said.  I had no idea how much my life was about to change for the better.  He continued and said that the most important thing I can do each day is to practice what he referred to as a “morning routine”.  He suggested that I start immediately.  Each morning upon awakening, before putting on my uniform, even before showering, I was to enjoy a few minutes with my morning coffee in positive contemplation.  This was to be done by reading a few pages from inspirational books he recommended, saying a few familiar prayers, and mediating on all that’s good in my life at the moment.


    “Life isn’t about jumping out of bed and racing into your miserable day.  I promise that if you do this consistently for thirty days (and it only takes seven minutes, I timed it just for you), you will be amazed at how much your life will transform for the better.  But if you can’t wake up just seven minutes earlier to be kind and loving to Darrell, there is nothing anybody can do to help you.” he said.


    I wanted to believe what he said was true so I committed to it.  That was over thirty years ago.  Since I began the morning routine, what he said about my life transforming for the better was true, and continues to be true right up to this day.  I’ve learned from personal experience that it's a psychological, spiritual, and material reality that how we feel about ourselves in the morning determines what we can expect to experience throughout our day.


    Thanks to Mike, I enjoy all the fun without the struggle.  My morning routine has made getting up in the morning something I look forward to.  Begin each day being kind to yourself and enjoy how friendly life is.  The good you seek is seeking you.

     
    “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” –Lily Tomlin




    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Life & People

    Hollywood Photographer Shares New View of Venice



    “Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” –Pablo Picasso

    When I interviewed photographer Charles Christopher near his home in California, I asked him what it is about Italy that makes it so attractive to most Americans.  “Everything.” he said.

     

    Charles works in Hollywood as a motion picture and TV still photographer.  Just a few years ago he was going through a challenging time in his life when his father gave him a gift.  The gift was a new camera, and with it the suggestion by his father to get out and do what you love.  Ironically, Charles had been dreaming of Venice, Italy.  He was there as a young boy with his mother and sister years ago. 

     

    When they arrived in Venice, his mother and sister were exhausted from traveling and spent most of their two days relaxing in the hotel room.  Charles was out and about roaming the maze of Venice’s alleys and bridges on his own.  The mysterious stone buildings and waterways ignited his imagination.  He even claimed one of the bridges he often visited as his very own.  He felt like a prince.  

     

    As he grew older, this magical place of his childhood adventure would often visit his thoughts whenever he needed a lift.  Now armed with a new camera and the assurance of his father’s suggestion, he returned to Venice. 

     

    The adult Charles rented an apartment on one of the canals.  It was winter and the solitude was just what he had hoped for.  There were very few tourists.  As he walked over the old bridges and through stone corridors, the sound of echoing footsteps and Italian voices rekindled his childhood excitement.  He allowed himself to be guided by his heart and would take a picture of what fascinated him in the moment.  None of them were the typical pictures of familiar Venice landmarks.

     

    One day he set out to locate the bridge of his childhood.  He searched by memory and self-determination, convinced he knew exactly where it must be.  Walking up and down alleys, back and forth along the canal, he looked everywhere he believed it should be.  He never found it.  At the day’s end Charles gave up.  He let it all go and made a right turn to head back to his apartment.  This led him to another canal crossing.  He soon realized he was stepping on to his bridge.  It was a little old bridge behind the Opera house.


    The bridge from Charles Christopher's childhood in the distance on the right.



     
    When he returned to the states he shared his photographs online.  Not long after, editor JoAnn Locktov, founder of Bella Figura Communications, discovered Charles’ provocative photos and contacted him about creating a book together.  It became a reality – Dream Of Venice.

     

    Turning the pages of Dream Of Venice gives you the feeling of exploring Venice on a whim, allowing intuition to be your guide.  Because this picture book is a convenient size, as well as, lightweight and durable, I can enjoy it anywhere.  Every time I open it up I feel like I’m in Venice, and every time I put it down I daydream of taking myself there. 





     Dream Of Venice is available on Amazon and a portion of the proceeds from each book will be donated to Save Venice Inc. to support vital art and architecture restorations in Venice.








    –Darrell Fusaro


    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast


  • Op-Eds

    Your Valentine's Italian



    One of the inspirational books I look forward to reading during my morning routine is Alan Cohen's "A Deep Breath of Life."  In it he shares the story of St. Valentine and I feel compelled to share it with you. 


    "The legend of St. Valentine goes back to the early days of Christianity when Christians were being persecuted by the Romans.  One Christian, Valentinus, was tried as a heretic and sentenced to death.  In prison, Valentinus befriended a guard who respected his wisdom, and soon the guard brought his seven-year-old blind daughter Julia, to Valentinus for lessons.
      Daily, the two talked of important things, and Julia developed a deep love and respect for her mentor. One day Julia asked him, “Valentinus, do you think I will ever be able to see?”

    Valentinus thought for a moment and answered, “With love in your heart and belief in God, anything is possible, Julia.”

    At that moment, Julia was overtaken with a flash of light, and suddenly her eyesight was restored. “Valentinus, I can see!” the child shouted.

    “Praise be to God,” he humbly answered.

    The next day when Julia came to visit Valentinus, he was gone.  He had been taken to his execution.  Julia found this note:


    My Dear Julia,


    Although we shall never see each other again, know that I will always love you. You are very dear to me. I will stay unseen by your side, and I will live in your heart. I believe in you.


    ~Your Valentine
    "




    What a wonderful surprise to discover that the legend of St. Valentine is not limited to romantic love.  It's a clear example that love given in the form of kindness has a tremendous effect upon the lives of others.  Every time we perform a kind act, even as gentle as a smile, we set off an chain reaction for good that travels from one to another.  This ripple effect will make it's way, and be felt, around the globe.  Valentine's Day gives all of us the opportunity to share our kindness freely, without embarrassment.  Whenever we greet others with a smile and a “Happy Valentine's Day!” we’re contributing to a better world.  Now that’s amore!



    According to Our Lady of Rosary Library:  "Valentinus’ sentence was carried out on, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.   He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome.   It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.   Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.   On each February 14, Saint Valentine's Day, messages of affection and love are exchanged around the world."


    “Your smile is your logo, your personality is you business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.” –Unknown



    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • If You Want a Treat, Press Play


    Here's a dog treat that will make your tail wag.  When Best Friends pulled Blanca from a Los Angeles shelter, she was filthy. They wasted no time in arranging an extreme makeover, transforming her into a dog that no one would overlook.  Press play and enjoy this 100% true feel good movie in under a minute. 


    Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.






    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Op-Eds

    If You Want a Treat, Press Play


    Here's a dog treat that will make your tail wag.  When Best Friends pulled Blanca from a Los Angeles shelter, she was filthy. They wasted no time in arranging an extreme makeover, transforming her into a dog that no one would overlook.  Press play and enjoy this 100% true feel good movie in under a minute. 


    Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to about 4 million. By continuing to build effective initiatives that reduce the number of animals entering shelters and increase the number who find homes, Best Friends and its nationwide network of members and partners are working to Save Them All®.






    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

  • Have Fun with The Law of Attraction and Your To-Do List



    Look, if you have a problem with to-do lists, or think they’re a waste of time, that’s great, because that’s not the to-do lists we’re talking about.  Most people are convinced, since they can easily set important appointments and the out-of-the-routine errand in their phone, that a traditional to-do list is unnecessary.  That’s fine if you believe keeping appointments and remembering errands are the sole purpose of a daily to-do list.  But they are not. 


    The point of your to-do list is to set an intention for the day so you can enjoy the journey.  When you begin to use your to-do list with this in mind you’ll be amazed at how your circumstances start conspiring in your favor.  Setting your intention at the beginning of the day makes you feel enthusiastic about what you are doing and where you’re headed. 


    When you feel good about what you're doing and where you're headed, you attract MORE opportunities that make you feel good about what you're doing and where you're headed.  It's the law of attraction.  What a welcome relief from the belief that in order to succeed I must suffer and struggle.  The reality is, if you have to fight to get it, you're going to have to fight to keep it.  


    Hard work doesn’t yield sustainable results; enthusiasm does.  I used to believe that a to-do list was to be used to whip myself into fulfilling obligations in order to be a success.  I thought I was goal setting but I was only setting myself up for frustration.  

    “Hard work is not the path to Well-Being.  Feeling good is the path to Well-Being.  You don't create through action; you create through vibration.  And then, your vibration calls action from you.”  –Abraham-Hicks        


    Thirty years ago I was introduced to the idea of using my to-do list to feel good and I have been enjoying the daily benefits ever since.  Here’s how I do it: After I’ve enjoyed my morning coffee and inspirational readings I make my handwritten to-do list in my pocket sketchbook. 


    I usually begin by jotting down a quote or affirmation as my intention for the day – something that appealed to me from the morning readings or something I’ve made up for myself.  Here’s one I like from Catherine Ponder, “Divine love, expressing through me, now draws to me all that is needed to make me happy and my life complete.”


    Any intention that focuses on being a "bless-er" makes me feel best because it gives me a spiritual theme as my overall marching orders.  Then I jot down my best idea of what I think God’s will is for me for that day.  This includes appointments, chores, and errands.  I also learned to include the little everyday stuff that seems too insignificant to list, like make the bed, floss, walk dogs, and dishes. 


    Crossing items off your to-do list feels great.  Whether you're conscious of it or not, every time you cross an item off your list, even a routine task, you're giving yourself praise.  It's the equivalent of giving yourself a pat on the back.  Most of us berate ourselves for not doing enough.  If this happens to you during your day, you can always pull out your to-do list and start jotting down accomplishments you’ve completed that were not previously included on your list and cross them off.  My close friends and I do this and it never fails to reignite our enthusiasm.  This also helps us remain optimistic and flexible when some of the things on our list aren’t accomplished.  Those are the days I end up with what I call "Bonus Miles!"  This is when unexpected things came up that needed my attention in addition to or at the expense of what I had planned. 


    When I believe that a certain thing must be accomplished and it isn’t, a remarkably positive reason for the delay always presents itself.  Having a to-do list gives me tangible proof that all things come together for the highest good and that nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. 

    "I thank God for this day.  Miracle shall follow miracle and wonders will never cease.  All that needs to be done by me today is done with effortlessness and ease."  This is my go-to to-do list affirmation and I use it often. 


    My daily to-do list has had the uncanny power of curing me from being a perpetual victim.  Whenever unexpected delays, accidents, or obstacles arose I was devastated. My mantra was, “Figures, nothing ever works out in my favor.  I knew this was too good to be true.”  Now when these same things occur I tend to be optimistic and think to myself, “I wonder what good thing is going to come from this unexpected appointment.”


    In short, if you want to start feeling great about yourself and where you’re headed, make a daily to-do list so you can go praise-y!  A to-do list is the key to appreciating yourself on a daily basis – and that’s the secret to success.


    At the age of 93, Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore expressed his enthusiasm by saying: “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me!”




    Here's an example of how my a to-do list looks at the end of the day.




    On the left, you can see some of my "Bonus Miles!" I jotted down and crossed off from the previous day.  I use the alphabet instead of numbering the items on my list.  I do this because letters don't feel like any one has a higher value over another.  This keeps everything I intend to do on an even playing field, knowing I'll accomplish more without stress.  I use highlighters to cross off items because they're colorful and I can still see and read what I've accomplished.  There is no rhyme or reason to my use of different colors.  I just like using different colors; it's fun and I enjoy the way it looks.  I also cross off the items that weren't accomplished.  This I do by making a symbol that combines the letter "T" in a circle.  The "T" represents I'm going to "Turn it over to Divine Order" and that I may, or may not, carry it over for entry on "Tomorrow's to-do list."  This practice puts me to bed at the end of the day feeling satisfied that I've accomplished all that was expected of me.






    –Darrell Fusaro

    Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast

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