A personal message. What I’m about to say may come as a surprise, might even raise a few eyebrows and, when it’s over, whether there’s 100 of you left here, all 5,574 of you, somewhere in between, or more, it makes no difference. Because in the end, the fact is those who remain were meant to stay. It’s also something my heart says needs to be said, so I’m following my own advice; “trust your heart and instincts, they will never fail you.” Here goes, and thank you for listening to me “ramble.”
20 months ago when I created this page, I had no idea that it would evolve to what it is today. Furthermore, there was no strategy or plan; it was simply a moment of inspirational clarity that occurred early one morning on April 9th, 2010. “Gusto” and “Ramblings” just seemed natural names, the first indicative of a childhood nickname and the second a reflection of writing style. Prior to that, I was just another guy who used FB as a means of social engagement like anyone else. But beginning in mid-2009, not long after I became a user of this medium, I began sharing “notes” on my personal Facebook page, ones borne out of some of the lessons learned about new ways of living and thinking since late 2008. These “notes” had an immediate, positive, and inspirational impact on my friends at the time, which numbered less than 100. And it was about this time when I was still in a little town in Kansas. Isolated, no friends, no means of interacting socially. But there was one individual whom I had become very close friends with, to the point we began interacting with one another via instant messaging. This was a woman I knew from high school, and though we hadn’t seen each other in over 30 years, both of us had a profound impact on each other’s lives. She taught me how to share YouTube links, started sharing all sorts of information that expanded my mind, and above all, kept encouraging me to write.
One late evening in July 2009, after I’d written another profound FB note, sharing it with my 80 or so personal “friends”, she jumped over to my chat program and said;
“Do you realize how many people you’re impacting and helping? People here are talking about you, sharing your words of wisdom with their friends. I know it’s helped me. (Ironically, she was in California at the time, the very city I live in now) I could read what you write forever. You need to get out of Kansas, your star is much too bright.” I remember distinctly saying this in reply to her statement;
“All I know is something big is going to happen, and it goes FAR beyond Facebook. I’ve got so much inside just ready to gush out, it’s all I can do to keep from exploding.” She laughed and said, “Gosh Gus, you do “gush” all over the place at times!” We both laughed our asses off with that one.
Later that evening, actually early the next morning, in another one of those rare moments of “inspirational clarity” like what occurred when I created this page called Gusto, I awoke with a vision that I was speaking in front of a large group of people, talking in profound terms about how they could change their lives for the better. Ever have an out-of-body experience? It must have been, because that’s what it felt like. When the “moment” passed, it had in fact been several minutes of me speaking out loud, wide awake, in front of my bathroom mirror. Then a feeling of peace and release overcame me like a soft, warm blanket fresh out of the dryer. I slept for hours.
BAM! Fast forward to today. 2 ½ years after that isolated “moment” back in Kansas, there’s well over 5,000 souls on my Facebook page, with 3 MILLION page views, and 45 followers of my blog/website, which has had nearly 13,000 views from people representing over 50 countries around the world. I’ve started a “life coaching” venture, or one I prefer to call one’s “personal cheerleader, consultant, and confidant.” There’s plans for releasing a series of eBooks, perhaps audio or video tapes, all designed to foster positive growth in people’s lives and ultimately, the release of the book for mass publication, “Inspiration at the End….Discovering a NEW Beginning.”
Here’s the deal. This isn’t a hobby for me, a way to pass the time, or merely a way to engage socially with other people. This is my life. It’s what I do for a living, though just one part. The real prize is engaging with you personally, whether it’s through mentoring or the messages I convey with writing. I know many, if not most of you, jump on to your FB every day and visit several, if not dozens, of other inspirational, motivational pages, or whatever you wish to call them. You’re getting your daily fix, a dose of something to provide you a shot of glimmer and hope in your life. Bear in mind, I fully realize there are many pages out there similar to this one, though I’ll stand on what I’ve always said, this one is unique in a number of ways. And while I respect this daily regimen to a degree, when the day is done, and you’ve turned off your computer, what are you left with? I see SO many of these pages you’re visiting who are controlled by people who do nothing more than Google a bunch of inspiring quotes, attach a clever photo, post it on their wall, and people think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. But what have they done that you can’t do yourself? Nothing.
This page is a reflection of who I am. I’ll give it to you straight and cut right to the heart of the matter. Clever quotes and fancy photos only get you so far. Life can be all cuddly warm and soothing no doubt, but we all know that’s not the reality every day for most of us. It can also be mean, dark, ugly, and will beat you to your knees if you let it. My job, and I mean that literally, is to show you that’s there’s another way. And I won’t do it by trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I’m blunt, to the point, and yet compassionate enough and humbled enough by some of my own life experiences to know when and how to wrap you in that soft, warm blanket fresh out of the dryer.
I’m on a mission. A mission to HELP my fellow brothers and sisters in this world. And it doesn’t matter if the one reading this is a hot-shot corporate executive sitting in your ivory tower in NYC, or the single waitress in Des Moines, Iowa struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table for her two children sitting at home with watery eyes and stuffy noses; everyone should consider listening to the “messages” I’ve been laying down here for the past 20 months. Because everyone has “issues” or problems. I’m not perfect, nor do I have all the answers. Far from it. But what I have to share, what I’ve got inside is priceless. It’s coming from a humbled heart, devoid of pride or ego.
So when you turn on your computer in the morning and deciding upon which crayon you want to use to color your day, remember this. Whether it’s black, white, grey, or vibrant, what you’ll find here will ALWAYS be colored with truth, respect, honor, compassion, dignity, sincerity, kindness, and love. If those are the colors you want in YOUR life, then I know you’ll stick around. If not, that’s okay too. Either way, I’m doing this my way, using the colors I’ve described. Personally, I prefer “Midnight Blue.”