Overcoming challenges video 2 of 3


This video was an interview with a friend of mine named Valeria, a nursing student an great example.  Due to the format of the interview, there is no blog as the video is all about Valeria’s experiences and speaks for itself.

The First Step to Self Improvement and Finding Our Best Self

Last week I talked about how we have a better self a worse self and our current self.  I would like to help you to reach your better self.  The first step is accepting our traits, what we need to work on and who we are. This blog accompanies the YouTube video which is part 1 of 3 in the video series on self-acceptance.  The dictionary defines accept as finding adequate or saying something is what it is but in the case of people and our personal selves we need to do both.  Not only should we accept ourselves and that we are what we are people around us know that people recognize us for whatever we are.  We also need to accept ourselves, realize that we are not perfect, but we are adequate.

When I first started this channel I thought it was going to be a breeze.  I enjoy public speaking and am quite comfortable doing it, I also took a semester drama in seventh grade so I was quite confident that I would be able to do a YouTube video with no problems.  When I picture myself in my head, I have I have a full head of nice wavy hair like I had back in high school. When I imagined myself on the video, I pictured a smooth, charismatic guy that was a mix between James Bond and Indiana Jones.  I determine very quickly I wasn’t Indiana Jones or James Bond.   As you can tell, I don’t look in the mirror very often. When I started shooting my first video and saw that the guy staring back at me was not the guy I saw in my head, that guy in my head was just an imaginary image, it wasn’t me at all, it was hard to look at myself.  I knew that I had some breathing problems related to my muscular dystrophy, but I hadn’t realized how bad my breathing really was; in fact, I will address my breathing in the third video.  I really don’t try to talk like Captain Kirk from Star Trek for any young people reading this or watching it that’s the original Captain Kirk played by William Shatner, not the newer Capt. Kirk.

Then I looked at my face you know it’s not perfect you see a lot of redness right now, and I was clean-shaven, and I thought you know what maybe if I grow some facial hair will help hide some of the perceived ugliness or imperfections. A few years ago I grew a beard, and everybody called me Blackbeard because it was so black, I started growing a goatee this time, and suddenly I saw gray hairs like that Mr. graybeard commercial, that really bothered me.  After this, I realized we all have friends and acquaintances who like us accept us for who and what we are, they see us all the time and are used to us and in fact somebody out there probably thinks you’re good-looking or at least that you have a pleasant personality.  We are the ones that aren’t used to seeing ourselves, so the moment we do, all we see are the imperfections, not the qualities that are close to perfection or on the way to perfection.

I’m going to give everyone reading this blog or watching the video a homework assignment. Go home, or wherever you are that’s convenient, you can write these things down or do it mentally, but I would recommend writing or typing if you can as it will make it easier and more beneficial.  Make a list with two columns one column list the things you like about yourself, that you’re good at, or you find acceptable.  On the second column write down the things you want to work on or the things you don’t like about yourself.  It could be your looks anything, but really your looks aren’t the most important thing.

After you’ve made this list, the first thing I want you to do is circle the good things you like about yourself.  After you’ve circled the stuff you like to proceed to underline the things you want to do, are trying to do, or are good things that you’re proud of. Now go to the bad column and look at all those things and ask yourself of the things in the bad column how many are accepted by my friends and loved ones, what are they okay with about me that I’m not.  After looking at the things in the bad column cross them out and ignore them because they are probably things you can’t do anything about anyway, there are so many more important things that people seem to be okay with about you.  Don’t worry about things like gray hair, or other cosmetic things, look at the things that you want to change or that you want to do.  Write those down on a whole new list and put the other list away or even throw it away.  Start making a plan of what you can do to help the things on your new list to come about, you might even prioritize them work on one at a time and once you get acceptable or adequate with that one thing then go to the next.  The important thing is that you create your own plan or create a plan with someone who cares about you to help you to improve those things about yourself.

In the second video of this series I will have a guest, and in the third, I will talk more about my own experiences.  I will reiterate one crucial thing even if I forget to mention it in videos.  Sometimes we have to recognize that we need help.  We can’t do everything ourselves no one is good at everything.  Using myself as an example, I have some degrees here on my wall, and I have experience in certain things and knowledge in specific areas.  However, no matter what I know there are all kinds of people who know more than I and certainly know more than I do on certain topics.  I have some experience, but other people have much more experience than me. I have many experiences, but I lack experience with marriage and family matters, so I thought about who I know with those experiences and a talent for expression. I had a friend in mind for the very beginning, and I think she will be excellent at filling in this particular experience gap.   I don’t know when she will be joining the videos but she will, and I believe she can help in ways that I can’t.  I look forward to improving myself and helping everyone else to meet their self-improvement goals.  I hope you’ll join me and come back for the next time so I thank you, and I wish you luck in all that you do.  Have a great day and remember to look at things with positivity!

Teeth and Braces

I had a thought about life yesterday, everything about it can be compared to teeth and braces. I haven’t worn braces, but in this analogy, we all have teeth and we all have braces. The reason people wear braces is to get their own perfect healthy smile. We each have our theoretical teeth, and the challenges and trials of life are braces. The thing about trials and challenges is that they are painful and it seems that just as with braces, as soon as you get adjusted it’s time to tighten those braces and things get painful once again.

When this comes we have two choices, we can either have them taken off and stop trying or we can endure and keep trying, knowing that we will come out better than before. We each have our own perfect, none of us will ever achieve that perfection in this life. However, by embracing the hard things in life, eventually those painful annoying braces won’t be needed anymore and we can achieve our best self.

Dream the Impossible


Long have I identified with Don Quixote. A man with this romantic idea of knighthood and though he is unable to do the gallant deeds of a knight, he still sets forth. Though many would see him as a fool, he still went forward to live his dream of being a knight. Each of us has a choice in life, we can either let ideas and dreams pass us by, or we can do all we can to reach for those unreachable stars. I will be the first to tell you that it’s easy to find excuses for why not to do the hard things, but to reach your full potential, you must do the hard things. I have faced many challenges, and I’ve done well, but I have not done to the best of my ability as only I would know unless you’ve seen my transcripts.

In the last few days, this favorite song of mine has been more impactful than ever before. I am a person that has had many dreams and ideas, yet I have not tried to chase all of them because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of making a great effort or sacrificing and not having it work out. Though I will likely never go forth with a sword in hand “to right the unrightable wrong,” we each have our own quest which we either achieve or do not. Sometimes dreams seem impossible, but if we do our all to reach them, we are successful even if we never actually reach that star. Most people don’t know, but I have wasted a great deal of time in my life playing games. I’m not saying that everyone that plays games waste time, and everyone needs something to distract from daily challenges, but for me, I’m changing that.

We each have things that we know, for me, I know things based on my religion that are important to me.  We all have different guiding beliefs, some of us know things that are true for us, while for someone else they are not true. That’s great as long as we do what we feel we must or need to do. For a long time, I have felt the need to make changes in my life, to do the things that I felt I must do. In our lives, there are greater things and lesser things. Personally, I am seeking to do the greater things in my life and let the lesser things slip by the wayside. I am reaching for that unreachable star, and many of the scars I’m covered with no one else can see. But I must give up fear of giving up lesser things so that I can reach for that unreachable star with that last ounce of courage.

Should it be that that star which I really want is truly unreachable I can at least say that I “strove with my last ounce of courage.” We each have a quest in life, and we each have different things that motivate us towards reaching that goal. No matter what your belief system is, or even if you don’t have one, you must do all you can to do what you feel you must if you want to be truly happy. Though these changes I’ve made in my life have only been for a few days and I will admit I have been really tempted to just say is it worth it? Can I really expect this? Or worst of all that little nagging feeling that I will only disappoint myself. This is fear talking, but faith overcomes fear! That faith doesn’t have to be a religious source alone, it must also be in our self! I’m going to spend my time reaching for something that most of the world would say is unreachable, but I must try. I’m saying this because it’s what has been on my mind for a little while now and I believe that there are many things in this life which distract us from the greatness we can achieve. I’m tired of wasting my time on things that don’t matter to me, and I hope that maybe this song can give somebody else inspiration to reach for that unreachable star and remove those things which are not important and find true happiness.

Welcome to Life on Positivity!

Welcome to Life on Positivity my name is Ryan Russell, and I’d like to welcome you to this new adventure I’m starting for those of you who don’t know me? I’m currently working on my Ph.D. in psychology. I’ve been trying to think of a way that I can help others I’ve been a peer mediator before, and I try to help people.  I thought perhaps I could start a YouTube channel and be able to help others.

This channel and blog will talk about challenges and overcoming life’s obstacles, becoming the person, you want to be and teach about other people’s challenges.  I’d like to meet people that have overcome challenges and introduce them to you. There are many ways to contact me with questions or advice, so please feel free to reach out and communicate.

A little background about myself, I have an Associates in Anthropology, Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies focused on arts and letters and masters of education in counseling and human relations and soon a Ph.D. in General psychology.  Aside from these things, I have experience, and I believe I’ve had a few challenges to overcome.  I have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, while you might think Muscular Dystrophy would be my primary subject area, it is not. My primary reason for starting this channel was a recent life change I had; it can only be described as a life-changing experience.

For the longest time, I’ve felt that I needed to do something more than what I was already doing. However, I played a lot of computer games I mean a lot.  Probably in 10 years, I spent at least a year of my life Playing computer games.  A few weeks ago. I spent a few hours visiting with somebody who I saw as a best friend and had developed romantic feelings for.  As I was talking to her, I had a religious experience in a discussion ensued in my mind, it was as though a lightbulb turned on in my mind and I knew it was time to make my change.

For many years I told myself when I got married and had a family I would just quit computer games, so I focused time on my wife and children. However, as I got older, I never had the opportunity to be married or start a family, but I continually said that I would stop and this appeased my guilty conscience.  While I was talking to this person who was just a friend that I hoped might become more, the thought came to me about everything that I needed to change to be better.  I thought about how I’ve always said that I would quit computer games when I got married.  I had the thought come to me, I need to be now what I want to be then so that I can become that.  This is a fundamental of faith, but faith is not only a religious term all of us need faith in ourselves before we can achieve anything.  So the thought that came to my mind was all these years you have been saying when I get married I will quit computer games.  On that day July 6 the feeling I got told me if you want to be married you have to stop computer games so that you can be the man you want to be right now.

I want to help everyone else to find their faith and become whatever it is that you have been saying you need or want to become. All of us have our best self, the self we are now, and our worst self.  I Want to help all of us to reach our best self, and to recognize that it is a lifelong pursuit!  I haven’t played computer games in 17 Days, I went from somebody who played every day to as of putting this on the Internet I am three days shy of four months without playing a computer game. However, in those 17 days, I Started the Life on Positivity channel, I’m working on my dissertation for my Ph.D., and I’m finally writing the book I’ve been talking about since I was in high school.

I’ve had a voice telling me that I needed to make this change in my life for quite some time. In fact, when I reviewed how much time I had spent playing computer games I just about cried to realize how much more I could’ve done with my time.  I feel guilty about waiting so long, but I’m happy because now is the time I’m starting.  It’s better to start late then to never begin all, so if you have even a little inkling or feeling of wanting to improve or even to just stay the good person you are I hope you will do it.  I hope you’ll come back and join me as we discuss things and go on this journey together, this site is very could go to find extended articles based on each video and additional articles from time to time.