3 power-statements to help you take control of your life

Only you are responsible for the life you live. What are you doing about it?


Hey there friends!

I’d like to share a quick recap of the three power-statements that I shared with you on this video.

  •  I am unwilling to allow my present and past circumstances to become permanent conditions.

You are not obligated to repeat your past. Let this power-statement be more than a declaration. Turn it into a lifestyle. Make your choices match your words and step into newness of life.

  • I am unwilling to allow anything or anyone to keep me from   (fill in the blank)     .

What do you desire out of life? Is it happiness? Fulfillment? Purpose? A career? What ever your dream might be, protect that dream with all that you are, and all that you hope to be. Use this power-statement as a declaration that you have set your goal, and nothing under the sun, will keep you from reaching it.

  • I am unwilling to settle for being anything other than my best.

Make a declaration that you are committed to show up as the very best “version of you” every day, for the rest of your life. There is no need to settle for mediocre when you have the ability to live out loud and be 100% you.

*quick reminder*  It is your responsibility to take control of your future. Nobody else can steer your life in the direction that you desire, but you. Rise to the occasion! Be your own hero today.


John Garay



Photo credit: Foter.com


How to create a positive and uplifting Facebook feed without unfriending everybody

Is your Facebook news feed depressing? Maybe its time to spruce it up.

I hate to brag (*wink-wink)…. But I probably have the most positive, and uplifting, Facebook-news-feed on the planet. However, this wasn’t always the case.

Last year I became quite disillusioned with my news feed. I found myself caught in a crossfire of Hillary and Trump guerrillas claiming to be experts of national and international affairs. I witnessed one logical fallacy (please click on the link) after another launched off just like missiles in time of war. The lack of respect and intelligence on this platform absolutely floored me. For a moment, I developed acute disdain for my ethics professor who taught me strict guidelines for having an intelligent argument.

In addition, I had friended a lovely elderly lady that was a charm to talk to. She seemed so sweet, godly and innocent. I couldn’t help but add her to my list of Facebook friends. Little did I know that she was fixated on making daily posts of nude cowboys wearing nothing but cowboy hats over their nether regions (EEEEWWWW!) ……Then there was that family member that has been angry at the world since birth. Honestly, I can tolerate having a “woe is me” conversation every few years at a family get-together. But, seeing that junk everyday was sinking me into a depression right along with that person….. It was inevitable something had to change!

Thankfully, I’ve since learned how to tailor my news feed. My news feed, now, provides me with inspirational and uplifting content 24/7.….. and if anything negative dares  to resurface, I know how to nip it in the bud. With that in mind, I’d like to leave you with some tips to help you do the same.

  1. Follow Pages with content that inspires you

What puts you in a good mood? What feeds your soul? Make a list of what you would like to see, and then follow pages that carry that type of content. Personally, I’m a visual person. I enjoy and get energy when I see positive quotes that are set on an artistic backgrounds. I currently follow several authors, faith leaders, leadership gurus, mindfulness practitioners, and musicians.

2. Adjust your settings

To follow a page you must first “Like” the page.

(I’m going to be using Bob Goff as an example. He’s one of my favorite people to follow. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out his book “Love Does”. It is one of my favorite books ever!)

  • Do you see that little “Like” icon? Click on it

Bog Goff 1

  • Once you click on it you will see both “Like” and “Follow” highlighted in blue.

Bob Goff2

  • Click on “Following

You will notice that your notifications are automatically set to “default”.

The “default” setting will not include every post from this page in your news feed.

If you would like this page’s posts to be the first thing that you see in your news feed click on “See first”.

Bog Goff4

If the page ends up being something you’d rather not see, click on “unfollow” (I’ve been known to regret making the choice to follow some pages in the past. The “unfollow” button came in handy when I realized my error.)

Click on “Edit Notification Settings” to adjust how you are notified…. For example: I absolutely enjoy what Bob Goff has to say. I purposely selected “All posts” to make sure that I don’t miss out on anything that he publishes on his timeline. If you don’t select “All posts,” Facebook will randomly select which posts you see and which ones you don’t. Personally, I don’t want to see every “Live” video posted, so I only have the “Suggested” option listed.


  1. Change settings when you dislike the content of a page or Facebook friend.

The upper-right-hand corner of a post will give you a drop down menu.

Bob Goff6

Click it…. It will give you options to save a post, hide a post (and those like it), hide every post, report a post, turn off notifications, or copy the link. 


You get to choose what you want to see! Yay!

  1. Boost the posts of people that you want to see and “unfollow” anything that you don’t want to see

Thankfully, Facebook allows us to see the posts of people, that matter most to us, first. On the other hand, we also live in a world that is full of  negative people. At times, these people are family members, co-workers, and life-long friends. Although these may be people that we truly care about, we may not want to consistently dwell on their personal negativity. The good news is that you can “Unfollow” their posts without “Unfriending” them.

When you click on their profile you will see the following:

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  • Click on “Following“.

You will then be given the option to either “Unfollow” someone, or see their posts first.

Bob Goff 10

The tips that I shared with you changed my news feed drastically. Feel free to use them to shape your news feed into something that you truly enjoy.




John Garay


Photo credit: Foter.com

Bullying and why the anti-bullying movement frustrates me

I was bullied as a child. This is how I dealt with it. Feel free to share this with others. (Take control of your life)

Thank you for taking the time to view my vlog today. In my video, I mention 4 ways things that you can do to help someone that is being bullied. I have listed them for you below

  1. Empathize

Empathy is the best thing that you can give someone that is being bullied. Empathy is not creating a silver lining. It is not selecting a magical phrase to minimize the pain that the bullying victim is experiencing. Rather, it is making yourself available to connect with the person and letting them know that they are not alone. Renowned author, Dr. Brené Brown, states, “rarely does a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.” (Click on hyperlink to view her lecture on empathy)

  1. Empower

Don’t be scared to teach your loved one how to defend themselves. Ask yourself, “What skill does this person need to defend himself/herself?” Some people can benefit from learning self-defense techniques. Others, can benefit from learning how to verbally defend themselves. Each person is different. Ask them what they need. Don’t have them do anything that they aren’t willing to do.

  1. Encourage

Speak life into those that are hurting. Give a compliment. Give them words of affirmation. Here is a small list of phrases that you can use.

  • I believe in you.
  • You are more powerful than you know.
  • I love you.
  • You are perfect, whole, and complete.
  1. Expose

Expose the perpetrator if the bullying does not stop. Advocating for your child or loved one may require you to call child protective services (CPS) or other agency.  It is common for children to act out when they face challenges that are beyond their control. CPS has behavioral health specialists that can provide an assessment for the bully and his/her family. The results of the assessment will allow them to make a referral to an appropriate agency.  The behaviors of the bully can be addressed through counseling and parent education. It’s also important to consider that the perpetrator may be in an unsafe environment and the child can be moved to safety.


John Garay


Photo credit: andy z via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

4 ways to create your own power-tribe


For many years, I sought every opportunity available to position myself as an influencer. I got my first taste of leadership at Hatch Valley High School. Although I was committing social-suicide, I found myself serving on a committee of students that created the menu for our cafeteria. (Yes my friends, I was the guilty party that left you with no other choice than to forcefully swallow sloppy joes once a month) Much to my surprise, I found great satisfaction in this role. I enjoyed having others ask for my opinion and insight. Also, it felt amazing to walk into the cafeteria and know that I helped place tacos on the menu that day. I took my role seriously and began to seek other ways to influence others. By my Senior year, I served two terms as class president, and was active in other clubs and activities…..Go me!!!

As an adult, I continued to pursue opportunities to lead and serve. My twenties were a blur of leadership roles. I served in one role after another. At times, I served in multiple roles at once. I was a choir director, musician, trainer at work, I served in my faith community, and I signed-up for anything I could get my hands on.

At the age of twenty-one I became a foster-parent. The opportunity to influence others doubled at this point. I had the opportunity to influence children and the community. I specialized in behavior modification and I coached and mentored others in this very craft. In addition, I was ordained as a member of the clergy. I then had people turning to me to seek counsel and insight on all matters of life. I wanted to do a great job, so I jumped at every opportunity to learn and share my knowledge. I signed-up, I stuffed, I crammed, I mentored, I led, I developed, and then at the age of 32……. I crashed. My season as an influencer came to an abrupt halt.

I wish I had some glorious tale of how I quickly regained my super-powers. However, all I can tell you is that I shamelessly sat on the sidelines for a lengthy amount of time seeking to regain strength. Although it was a slow process, I found my strength increasing when I surrounded myself with people who inspired me. The strength didn’t come from people doing things for me, but rather from conversation. I found that surrounding myself with people who were willing to share their stories of struggle and triumph empowered me to rise above. Surrounding myself with people who actively talked about setting goals inspired me to do the same. Surrounding myself with people who loved life inspired me to live a life of gratitude and enjoy every minute of it.  As time passed, I realized that I had created my very own power tribe. I had positioned myself with a network of people that I can turn to, not only for great conversation, but also for inspiration. SAMHSA defines wellness as good mental and physical health. They also break down wellness into 8 dimensions of life. Two of these are the social dimension and intellectual dimension. I encourage you to keep this in mind as I quickly share with you 4 ways to create your very own power-tribe.

  1. Identify what is important to you

Before you can surround yourself by a powerful team of influencers, you’ve got to know what you want your tribe to look like. Do you want the people in your tribe to have a certain skill-set? Do they need to work in a specific industry? Do they need to be overcomers of a certain challenge? Do they need to be experts in anything? Create a list of qualities that you desire your tribe members to have and let that be your starting point.

  1. Create space

One of my old mentors once told me, “Sometimes you have to get rid of some good things to make room for the best things.” This is an important statement to consider when you are creating space for a power-tribe in your life. Ask yourself this question, “Is there any person or activity, that I am currently invested in, that could potentially be an obstacle to investing in my own power-tribe?” If anything comes up, after an honest inventory, you may want to choose to create a boundary or distance yourself from that person. The boundary and/distance must be a decision that you are willing and able to implement. Otherwise, you may face feelings of personal resentment and regret after time.

  1. Identify potential allies

Make a list of influencers that you already know or that you would like to meet. Review contact list on your phone, Facebook, LinkedIn, and check your rolodex. Ask yourself, “Is there anybody within my circle of influence that I’d like to sit with and pick their brain for a minute or two?” You are welcome to move on to number 4 once you’ve listed a person or two.

  1. Reach out

Can I have five minutes of your time? This is a simple question that can lead to a strong influencing relationship, or it can let you know if the person is not a good fit. You will never know until you make the choice to reach out. Make it happen. Reach out.


John Garay

Photo credit: Foter.com

Friendship (Quality over quantity)


Early on in life, I learned that the quality of my friendships is greater than the quantity of friendships that I have. Thankfully, I’ve been fortunate enough to have cultivated several meaningful friendships that have withstood the sands of time and that have contributed greatly to my quality of life. On the other hand, I’ve also experienced the occasional person or two that seems to be the kryptonite to my happiness. Here are some lessons that I’ve learned along the way.

True friends are genuinely concerned about your well being.

Self-serving people are more concerned with what you have to bring to the table.

True friends accept you with all your flaws, imperfections, values, and beliefs.

Self-serving people try to make you conform to their own version of perfection.

True friends are dependable.

Self-serving people leave you feeling uncertain. They may or may not be there when you need them.

True friends respect you enough to be honest with you, but also respect you enough to allow you to make your own decisions.

Self-serving people ridicule you and make unreasonable demands from you.

True friends are great listeners.

Self-serving people hoard the conversation.

True friends are thoughtful in word and action.

Self-serving people feel entitled to your service.

True friends forgive.

Self-serving people hold on to grudges.