building confidence one trial at a time.

5 04 2011

Are you confident in yourself?

Is it because you were given 5 gold stars by your 2nd grade teacher and because someone told you that you were special?
Is it because you have faced adversity head on and somehow came out the other side?
Maybe you’re just naturally confident?

People call my generation the “entitled” generation. They think we walk around believing we should have everything we want and that we feel we deserve it.
Fair enough.
But this is a direct result of the manner society raised us. We were told we were special. Participation trophies were handed out. Gold stars were given to every kid. We are all special.

Too bad none of this is true.
I recently posted something on the MMB web site called, “Life Lessons Learned from Breakdancing“.
No one is entitled to anything.

Confidence doesn’t come from gold stars, participation trophies and “atta boys” handed out like candy on Halloween.

I hear countless kids say “I can’t” or “this is too hard”.
And some kids look absolutely shocked when I tell them they are doing something completely wrong. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. No free gold stars.

I owe the confidence I have in myself to the trials, challenges, difficulties I have met and survived.
Breakdancing is hard, it’s hard to fall, bleed, bruise and ache over and over again. But when I get the move eventually, my confidence sky-rockets.

My mission?
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. When I finished that, I felt like I could do anything.

Trials and challenges build confidence.
It sucks going through it at the time…. but man, it feels good on the other end.

And just in case you’re struggling to find confidence builders – here is the ultimate confidence builder…
“Ye are the children of the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 14:1)
You are a child of God. That is worth more than any amount of gold stars or participation trophies.

? Where does your confidence come from?

fhe w/the Ambriz family.

4 04 2011

FHE night!
We went over to my buddy Anthony’s place to have FHE with his family.
When you shift from Singles ward to Family ward they expect you to figure out your own FHE activities. We’ve had fun doing our own but I was reminded how much fun it can be to do FHE with friends tonight.

Anthony and his wife Rebekah are a wonderful couple and have the cutest daughter ever! Veronica!

(and she knows how to use the iPad2! nice!)

We brought Apple and it was ridiculously cute watching her play with the bunny.
I’m pretty sure if we have a daughter even close to as cute as Veronica she’s going to have me wrapped around her finger.

We talked about goals tonight (one of my favorite subjects) Here’s a great quote from the evening:
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” (President Monson)

We talked a bit about the infamous goal books I set up each year.

Man, what a great night with a great family!

? What’d you guys do for FHE?

possessions and professions.

3 04 2011

The Savior was a humble carpenter, but that hardly defined His life.” (Elder Lynn G. Robbins)

I was just flipping through my Twitter feed to see what everyone was tweeting about conference and noticed several people quoted Elder Robbins.

Often we associate professions and possessions with our personal worth.
What a tragedy.
If our bank accounts/homes and cars were the measuring stick by which we achieved value there would be entire countries that would be considered of little or no worth.

Often, those humble souls are the greatest among us.
“And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:42-44)

I’m very ambitious. I want to acquire certain things and reach certain positions in my career.
Those are goals. But they mean NOTHING without the Gospel and without my family. My worth is not based on accomplishing those goals. It’s based on my success in my home and in my ability to integrate the Gospel into my life.

I was SO grateful for Elder Scott’s remarks about his wife…
I was inspired and uplifted by the love he has for his wife and the motivation she has given him to do better each day so that he can see her again.

“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…”

Aside from the many remarks about the welfare program, there seemed to be a lot of focus on marriage and families. General Conference always has exactly what I need…

? What did you enjoy most about General Conference this year?

General Conference & the burger bar.

2 04 2011

Leah got tickets to General Conference through her work. (Utah Valley Magazine) The tickets were awesome because they came with a parking pass that let us park right across from the Conference center for free!

The morning session was great and it is always special being inside the Conference center with so many different people from all over the world gathered together to listen to the prophets and apostles.

I didn’t get a lot out of the morning session. I know, I know – shame on me. The session was great, but nothing really stood out and really caught me. I know why, but first let me tell you about our trip to the Burger Bar. Burger Bar was featured on the Food Network’s show; Diner’s, Drive-in’s and Dives. We decided since we were in SLC already, it wouldn’t be too bad to drive up to Roy, Utah to try out this little shack.

It was good. I got an Elk burger (it was good, but not great). However, the shake and fries were great. We both really enjoyed them. Would I drive back up to Roy just to partake? Nah. I’ll stick to Smashburger (my current favorite burger place).

Ok – so back to my inability to take anything away from Conference this morning. My problem was that I didn’t go with questions in mind. Tonight I went to priesthood with 3 very specific questions that I have been struggling with for the past few months. As I sat down in the stake center by myself in the very back I begged Heavenly Father to help me receive the guidance I needed.

This is only the second time (that I can remember) where I have entered a meeting just begging to receive something. Both times I have received more than I ever imagined I would. There were VERY specific things said tonight that I literally felt I was in a room one on one with the speaker having my question answered and my heart filled with peace and comfort.

I know that when we are earnest in our desire to improve and receive inspiration on how to do that, that Heavenly Father will open the windows of Heaven and we will be receive exactly what He knows we need. I needed specific counsel tonight and I am amazed and grateful that I received what I needed.
“Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.” (Enos 1:15)

? What has been your favorite Conference talk so far?

seventeen again.

1 04 2011

No post yesterday. Sad day. The internet at our apartment died…. But don’t worry, today we’re back!

I subbed a dance class last night for Kandice Smith (I love subbing). I usually get to know the kids while we’re stretching. I ask the standard getting to know you questions; Name? Fav. dance style? Grade in school? Other interests besides dance? Age?

Age is always been a fun one. I have never looked my age. In high school it sucked. But now I’m beginning to appreciate it.

The kids asked how old I was and I told them to guess. They whispered back and forth and decided 17!
17! Hahahaha! I’ll take it! I don’t look 17, but those little 8 year-old girls made my day! I spent the drive home thinking about being 17 year old me. I’ve seen lots of people write letters to their future selves.
Dear 30 year old me“.

Have you ever wondered what you would say to yourself if you could go back and talk to “young” you?

Here’s what I would say to 17 year old me…

(my friend Clara and I when I was in high school)


Hey – it’s me, 27 year old you. You’re stubborn and seem to only learn things the hard way. Pay attention and I’ll save you some troubles along the way. I’ve also got some things you need to do to make life easier on me/you.

You’re about to move (surprise! You’ll find out in a couple months). Embrace it. You will only get your Senior year of high school in Singapore but don’t waste your time moping for the first few months. (you’ll regret it, I promise) Go somewhere warm for interim semester. Soak in as much warmth as possible! ( I regret to inform you it looks like you end up living somewhere with lots of snow) You’re going to start breakdancing about now – please, please, practice POWER moves now. They get much harder to learn later and it’s really starting to hurt.

Don’t date Allison long distance when you go to BYU! You will love Allison a TON but for both of you it is just best that it ends when you leave. (she becomes a measuring stick for future girls, enjoy dating her)

Your mission is AWESOME! It will be the hardest yet MOST rewarding thing you will ever accomplish. (well, for a little while at least)

When you get home from your mission life changes completely. Luckily you still have Brandon and Paul. They’re good friends, keep them around. I really need you to do well in school. Applying for grad schools has been a real pain because we didn’t exactly care about grades. Just try to do A’s and B’s.

You’re going to want to start gambling. Don’t! It’s not worth it. (but if you do decide to play just one game, put EVERYTHING on BYU to make the sweet 16 in 2011 – we’ll be rich!) Just kidding, gambling is bad.

You get married to a beautiful, successful, talented woman who is your best friend. Please don’t party too hard – you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Grandpa is going to pass away during one of the most depressing and difficult times of your life. Talk with him now. Send cards to loved ones. Stay in touch with as many friends as you can. Relationships are a top priority. Family is important! (you might end up moving back home with them some day, but don’t worry, it’s for the best)

You’re gonna have good/bad/fun/sad/rewarding/trying times to face during the next ten years. The MOST important thing to remember is to keep the Gospel close to you. I am positive you will avoid a lot of heartache if you’ll just do this one thing. I know you don’t like some of the rules and they’re hard to obey. You have to try and be more obedient. It’s taken me 10 years to understand that blessings are truly predicated upon obedience.
“And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:21)

Good luck, you’ll be fine! Just smile and enjoy the ride….


? What would you tell yourself if you could offer advice to “young you”?

we are ALL broke.

30 03 2011

Ok, so we aren’t all individually broke….. but as a collective unit, yep, we’re broke.

As I was perusing Facebook I came across an article posted up by my friend Angela, called Going Broke. The article does a fantastic job of putting the national debt in terms easily understood.

Check it out:

“Imagine that you had an average monthly income of about $170 balanced against average monthly expenses of about $940–and that you were more than $14,000 in debt.
Then imagine that as of today, you had only $58.60 in cash left in your bank account and $130.50 left on your line of credit.
Now multiply these numbers by 1 billion and you will have the up-to-date financial situation of the U.S. government.”

Whoa. I’ve heard all kinds of commentary on the national debt, but this one was easily understood and really hits home. I wish I knew more about how it all accumulated and when we really started piling it on.

I hate debt. It feels terrible. I can only imagine what it would feel like to be in charge of a country that is ridiculously in debt.
“Pay the debt thou hast contracted… release thyself from bondage.” (D&C 19:35)

I have no suggestions on how to fix our INSANE amount of debt, but we definitely need to get something worked out. One thing I know for sure is that Mitt Romney saved the SLC Winter Olympics from financial ruin. Maybe, just maybe, Romney could knock off a chunk of our debt…

? Suggestions for eradicating the national debt? (Haha – if it’s a good one, you should probably take it to the top)

milk before meat.

29 03 2011

I teach 2 breakdance classes:

The beginner class is filled with young kids. I think most of them are under 10-11. Don’t let their age fool you though, they know how to get down. A couple guys learned this the hard way tonight.

I had 2 teenage guys show up for the Beginner class tonight. They don’t have any experience in bboying. Their mom brought them in couple minute after class, but both boys were adamant they were too good for the kids class. Haha

Have a look at one of my five year-old students, Jewelz.

10 minutes after the 2 teens watched class through the window outside the door opened and the two teens suddenly felt like they might actually need to take the Beginner class after all.

This has happened several times over the past few years. I laugh because I know they NEED the beginner class. I know they are so wrong to assume they can skip the foundation. It’s funny to me because I know I’ve done this exact same thing multiple times in my own life.

In fact, I still do it. I tell Leah all the time I don’t need her help with the “easy” stuff. I’ll just figure it out. I’m always wrong. I need all the help I can get. But there is something about pride that always seems to trick us into thinking we are better than we really are.

We all need the foundation laid first, then we can advance.
“must receive milk because they cannot bear meat…” (D&C 19:22)

? Have you ever tried skipping ahead a few steps and then found out you were totally lost because you didn’t start at the beginning?

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