Life. How it works.

I’d like to ask you a question. First though, stop whatever you’re doing, empty your thoughts, then visualize this scene in your head.

Think of key moments in your past that impacted your life so profoundly you can’t imagine what your life would be like today, right now, without them. What happened? What was that “moment” you saw in your head just now? Was there someone else in that scene? Someone who was a part of that moment either directly or indirectly?

That moment could have been a negative event or it could have been a positive one. Doesn’t matter. Because either way, it changed your destiny.

That’s where I am right now. Again! Yet another ending, another moment when destiny switched and something happened out of NOWHERE I didn’t see coming, expected, or planned on. Know what I mean? A new beginning.

Okay, that’s it. The scene is over. We, you and I, are here. Now go with me on this, we’re not done yet!

I’m moving. I’m leaving California. I’m going to a place I never dreamed of. Another ending to a new beginning. Story of my life. One right after another; my Mom’s tragic death I witnessed at the tender age of 13, my Dad shipping me to California in 1975 when I was 16 to finish high school. Getting my college degree in 1982, almost entirely on my own. First job out of college for a finance company, arriving at the Great Falls, Montana airport on a bitterly cold night in January 1983, with nothing more than a couple of suitcases, no car, but a whole lot of will. Migrating back to my beloved home state of Kansas in 1985, the little town where I grew up and where, over the next 20 years, was home again. Banker, farmer, married, fathered two children, went thru a bitter divorce then fell into the depths of depression and alcohol abuse. The last one nearly killed me.

Literally and figuratively, it nearly did. Twice. Yet that moment too, just like all the others, led to opportunities. Another chance. Another step. Another door.

Doesn’t matter who you are, what your circumstances are, rich or poor, riddled with heartbreak, pain, or grief of any kind, whether you’re on top of the world right now or the bottom, everyone comes to a point in their life when change occurs. Something happens. Something totally unexpected. Something that will leaving a lasting and positive impression. You either grab it, hold on tight, take risks, or stay stuck.

Choices. That’s all life boils down to at moments like those. Sink or swim. TDolphinhose who succeed embrace moments like those, because in reality, you have no choice but to!

Six months ago though, life was not looking good. Everything I tried seemed to fail. Since March 2010, after nearly 3 years back in California, one 18 month relationship gone, two part-time jobs that didn’t work out, an attempt to start my own Life Coaching/Mentoring venture which had limited success, I was at the end. I was staring at the prospect of homelessness.

And yet during this entire period, I kept getting phone calls from the same individual, checking on me, little rap sessions. He and I have known each other for 37 years, yet we haven’t seen each other face to face for over 30 years. We were best friends in high school. He the classic Southern California native, blond-haired, athletic surfer type. Me, the farm boy from Kansas. The “Odd Couple.”

But one day this past December, during another one of our phone convos, he said “Gus? I’ve been thinking about your situation and mine. You know I’m over here trying to save my home. It dawned on me with your background in law and banking, I could use your help.”

The rest is history. Five months later, we’re still trying to save his home. He’s paid me a fair wage. But now the company he works for has offered an administrative position across the pond. Isn’t much to start with $ wise, but they’ll provide housing at no cost to boot. Serendipity!

See? That’s how it works. No one can go back and start over, but anyone can start NOW and make a brand New Ending. Never give up. Ever!!

So I’m grabbing my flippers, maybe even a snorkel. See you in the land of Aloha, west Maui in a little town called Lahaina overlooking the Pacific less than 30 days from now!


  1. Congrats Gus! And best wishes for a success! We have a couple of friends living somewhere in Hawaii, but not sure where. They keep calling us to come over. Wes’ reply – our motorhome doesn’t go over water:)

    I could tell you weren’t happy the past few months. I kept praying you would “hang on” til the next opportunity came and you did. Congrats! That is an accomplishment in itself.

    We are still traveling. Wes’ health took an unexpected turn about a year ago and we had to spend the summer at our daughter’s in Lindsborg, KS close to his doctors while they tested a new treatment for him. We finally had the “go-ahead” and left for south TX in November, arriving just in time for Thanksgiving. Have had a wonderful winter, with adjustments for his health. We are on our way “home” to Lindsborg now, visiting with friends at Lake Fork, TX, just east of Dallas. We are all kind of in shock as one of our group passed away on Saturday. We had his memorial service yesterday. He was only two years older than Wes. It is making us rethink some of our goals and realizing how little “active” time we may have left.

    Good luck and continued success as you follow your life’s winding path. Following your spirit has served you well so far, just keep on trusting. Keep in touch. We’ll be following along:)

    • Hi Jan, thank you! Sorry to hear about Wes and health issues, though it sounds like you’re doing well overall. Everytime I see your name pop up, I see your gorgeous smile. That’s a good feeling. 🙂

  2. I am thrilled. It sounds awesome Gus! I am so glad this is happening right when you needed it the most. Someone is watching over your well-being, I am sure.
    ; D
    I wish you wonderful days and amazing nights in your new Paradise! Please keep us posted about your adventures and life in general.

    Blessings to you and a big hug!

  3. Gus,

    I am beyond happy for you! Your life’s story is full of ups and downs, yet it is amazing how you bounce back – not the same, but stronger each time. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for you. God has you in His hands, and is using you for His purpose – and yours!

    Hugs and blessings to you my friend as you continue on your journey!

  4. Best of luck to you on your new journey!

    I joined my husband on his R&R from Vietnam many years ago in Hawaii. We have always wanted to go back there.

    My thoughts and prayers are always with you.

    Patricia (Pat) Everman

  5. congrats to you Gus for having the courage. You are an inspiration to us all.

  6. Gus, I am thrilled for you. For your ongoing spirit to find a good place that fits you. I have been to Lahaina and loved it there….wouldn’t mind living there myself…..Hilo Hattie shopping and so many other places to browse and learn…. and so much to do and see….I actually have been twice….they say three times is the charm….!!!!! God Bless you in this move and lead you gently to a peaceful life. Please keep me updated on how you like it…who knows I may follow too….pleasant place to live.

    Hugs to you…..

    • Thank you Rhona. Been there have you? Small world. Yes, perhaps one day you can visit there again. Me, it’s first time ever, never even BEEN to Hawaii, much less lived there. Big deal for a land loving lad from Western Kansas. 🙂

  7. Hi Gus, Your perseverance and determination have carried you to where you stand right now. Are You Catholic? I am a bit confused about the purpose of is the sole purpose to validate and comfort you? While I continue to support and comfort others no one comforts me in spite of what they know about me and my present life position or past journey, it seems all around me are people concerned only about them, they are so quick to tell me about their struggles but never inquire about mine. Being a faith filled Catholic such as I am, I feel others struggle and send out comfort and support because I have the gift of comfort and I know I am called to share it.
    I am very sad and lonely and I feel stuck in my present life situation and I have no idea of how to move out of it or where to go. I presently pray, walk, try to remain optimistic and I am grateful for all that I have. Without God walking beside me I would be dead.
    God Bless You always and keep walking forward, your right, we have no choice. We either fight and hold on, or we lay down and die. I hope your taking some beautiful pictures there in Hawaii, the sunsets are amazing from what I have seen.

    • Thank you Donna. No, I’m not Catholic. Raised in Methodist doctrines. Though I’m not a “religious” man per se, I am quite spiritual. Or at least it appears so. This website was originally a simple blog. A place where I could go and write, my real passion. Little over a year ago, I was fortunate to convert it to a full-blown website, one in which I hoped at the time I could use as a pad to launch a Life Coaching/Mentoring venture, along with the blog.

      That effort had limited success. As you can see, another door has opened, though I will continue to write and inspire others whenever possible. Thanks again and best wishes to you, I’m sure your faith, as you’ve described will bear fruit one day! 🙂

  8. Be happy, Gus… I think that says about everything. You are an inspiration to so many and I look forward to every Go for the Gusto post I see. Keep us informed about your next adventure on this journey we call LIFE.


  9. EXCELLENT! So happy for you 🙂 Right when you thought it was “the end”

    “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” -Henry David Thoreau

  10. Gus,
    Wow so very happy for you, it does sound like paradise you mention recently your son may be with you even better. I have grown from your wisdom. I have enjoyed the many interactions with everyone chatting with you. I too have longed for some type of paradise
    I know I don’t need blue waters, even sounds great, I just need to branch out and take a
    very good chance. I am so very happy for you please keep in touch. Big Hugs

  11. I know for sure, this will be a great new adventure in your life!
    Wish you the best!!!
    Blessings from Mexico!

  12. oh gus I am so happy for you.. and thanks for sharing your life with all of us.. I know your experiences have touched me..I too have gone through similiar situations with addiction.. thank you for being you and always keep in touch God bless

  13. Ahhh…. Maui….. a personal favorite… the island known as “The Healing Island”. That seems fitting. Step confidently into this new life and adventure. May you find that which you seek, and be blessed by the those who are brought into your path just as you bless those you come in contact with. So as you teach and talk to others stay on the look out for Gladys, Dana, Mabel(native Mauians!!)… and their Canadian friends(they’re the ones with milky white skin:))……

  14. Thanks Gus for sharing this and all your posts! This is exactly what I needed to read today….please know that you are touching lives and while that does not feed you…you are feeding souls! I’m sure there is a special place in heaven for you! I hope to make it to Maui sometime and will look you up. My hubby is a recovering alcoholic and I would love to have him meet you! Good luck and please keep rambling

  15. Looking forward to reception of your extended words having enjoyed what you post on FB!

  16. Isn’t it funny who the universe directs traffic! All the very best Gus I really enjoy your posts. You are doing a very important job whatever that may be… Without these trials you would never feel the need to write these posts that give others so much hope. Often I see the most enlightened beings traveling a path that’s difficult and often alone. Good luck, I am sure this new adventure will bring with it so many great new memeries and who knows another love to side track you again you wouldn’t be going there if it wasn’t important. Have fun.

  17. I enjoyed your page and can’t emphasize enough how much your authenticity means to me. I am alone at 55, in recovery for almost 3 years now, suffer from depression and fear but I have a determination and God that keeps me going. I know as long as my heart and head are right that I have hope and we all know that hope is the confident expectation of good. 🙂 I had 25 years of great sobriety, got a divorce, friendly one and promptly started living my will…suffering succotash! don’t do it! I lost all my self worth again and have started over. Constantly feel threatened that I will be homeless. so afraid of this aloneness, at times convinced I am unlovable. My family has rejected me as have all my old friends. I am self employed and a good person. I am so wishing for a relationship, to be married to someone who will love me and take care of me. I am born again as of March 2012 and all I have is Jesus , I am reading scripture constantly. I need, or I think I need so much more…..But with my being so sad and alone I cant imagine anyone wanting to help me or love me except God. I am grateful for the hope I have. So glad to hear of your perseverance. The devil would like nothing better than for us to quit. God has a plan! I wish I did.

    • Hi Robin. You’re harder on yourself than you should be. There’s always more than meets the eye, and though your reality as you “see” it, seems hopeless and depressing, that’s spin cycle thinking. It’ll pull you down and keep you there if you let it. So get out of your head for a moment, look around you, take satisfaction in the little things of nature. Sounds cheesy yet watch a bird, watch a small creature, observe it. It doesn’t “think”, it acts on instincts. Same goes for humans, we over think things, the paradox of what it means to be human, to have a mind. It plays tricks on us. Go to the other side of your mind, your instincts, emotions, your creativity, explore it. Might help! 🙂

  18. WOW, how inspiring.

  19. Good for you Gus! Your living and so positively! I’ve followed you on Facebook for about a year. You are very inspiring. I know I’m going to enjoy your web page. Thank you.

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