Your plan…meets reality….

Matt’s Motivational Monday 12-02-2019


“The secret of making lasting change is to acknowledge and accept that real change takes time and patience. We didn’t get chronically ill overnight. We didn’t gain weight in one week or even one month. Good chance, it may take us longer than twenty-one days to overcome whatever we’re facing. Whether it’s something physical, emotional, spiritual, or a combination, we may need to be realistic in our goals for meaningful change to happen. The first step is getting started!”
― Dana Arcuri

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Well the holiday season is upon us and for part of me this is my favorite part of the year – the reflection, the joy, the peace.  For the other part of me it’s the craziest busiest part of the year with so many extra things to do.  I enjoy having a little bit more time to do things and clean out my closet and the extra stuff in my bedroom and to de-clutter. 

There are a lot of ways to restart your diet or your fitness routine etc.  And a lot of people try to make changes during this time.  I have found myself saying this year is going to be different.  Or this year is going to be better and I think in some ways it can be.  But like this quote says real change takes time and patience. 

Doing small things every day to make change is the key.  You have to be in it for the long haul and understand that life has ups and downs and everyone experiences set backs and obstacles along the way. 


1) I love and accept myself unconditionally in this moment.
2) Life loves me.  
3) This moment is perfect and exactly how it’s supposed to be.

Silence is the language of God…


Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation. ~ Rumi

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It’s Thanksgiving week.  I should probably write a post about giving thanks and being thankful and grateful.  I am of course thankful for a lot of things.  I do a mostly daily practice of naming three things I am thankful for. 

1) I am thankful for being alive and for breathing
2) I am thankful for nature and it’s healing power
3) I am thankful for my family and friends who I will be spending time with this week as part of our Thanksgiving celebration. 

There that’s done.  I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving spent with family and friends.  

This week I have continued to find myself listening to the silence.  Listening to the calm.  Listening for God.  Listening to the messages the universe is sending me.  And that has led to more calm and more clarity and more focus.  I did a couple of really good meditations on Insight Timer. 

One of them was interesting enough to write about and it was a theme around winning at the game of life.  The meditation teacher said that if you can focus on 3 seconds and hold your attention at that moment then you win.  So you could right now count 1, 2, 3 and then say WIN.  And so I have been trying to be more present and focus on the daily moments of my life with my children and with my family and while I am driving or while I am running. 

The game is to see how many times you can say in your mind 1, 2, 3, WIN in each day.  How many times can you win at the game of life this week?

Happy Monday! Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful and grateful you are part of Matt’s Motivational Monday!

Namaste.  Peace be with you.

From Matt


1) I will listen to the silence and learn from what it teaches me
2) I will look forward to what God is doing in my life
3) My body and mind are a temple of the Holy Spirit and I will treat them that way.  

Nature itself is the best physician…


“Nature itself is the best physician.” – Hippocrates

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: This past week I had a couple of healing experiences in nature.  On Wednesday after reading with my reading buddy John Paul at Alison Elementary school, I went to the Roy G. Guerrero Park.  I usually ride my bike and then do a run but this particular Wednesday I was pretty tired so I just laid in the car and looked out at the trees.  I just admired their beauty.  I just stared at them.  I just sat in complete silence.  Then I took a walk to a spot where I felt like God speaks to me and listened to what God had to say and listened to what nature might be saying to me.  It was very different than speeding by nature on my bike or a run.  

Then additionally on Friday, I was running on my lunch break on the Town Lake Hike and Bike trail and I felt the urge to stop and sit and absorb nature again.  There is something grounding about being in nature.  There is something healing about being in nature. 

It’s a good thing.  Here are a few more quotes that ring true to me this week:

Nature can bring you to stillness, that is its gift to you.” – Eckhart Tolle

Walk in nature and feel the healing power of the trees.” – Anthony William

This week may you find some time to spend in nature.  May you find that it is healing to be in the beautiful natural uncluttered beauty of it all.  May you know that nature has healing power and is grounding for your soul.  

Happy Monday!  


1) Spending time in nature heals my soul. 
2) I love the feeling of being in nature.
3) This week I will cherish my experiences that nature provides for me. 

Happy Birthday to me!


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today, Monday, November 11th is my birthday.  Today, I am 14975 days old.  Isn’t cool that this year my birthday falls on Matt’s Motivational Monday?  It does not fall on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.  It falls on Monday.  And I think that is significant.  TGIM!  

As I reflect on this day when I was born, here are my thoughts and/or some of my favorite quotes: 

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” William Barclay

The glory of God is man fully alive.” (Saint Irenaeus)

What this world needs is more people who are fully alive. 
What this world needs is more love. 

So Happy Birthday Matthew Hansen Bryant!  Enjoy the day!  


1) I matter and what I have to offer this world also matters.
2) I am love, I was created in love and I make space for love in my life. 
3) I love myself and I love my life. 

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Whatever you did for the one of the least of these….


“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 
~ Jesus from Matthew 25:40

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: This week I participated in a challenge called the Matthew 25 challenge.  Each day I was to do a minor task and think about the people in Africa who don’t have clean water, who don’t have enough to eat, and who don’t have a good place to sleep, and who have to wear the same clothes every day.  It was a challenging and moving experience.  Emily and I participated. 

Monday Day 1 – Well to be totally honest, day one we were supposed to skip our lunch, but my wife said that we needed to switch Day 1 with Day 3.  So Day 3 was sleep on the floor.  So on Monday I slept on the floor.  This was uncomfortable and Emily and I did not sleep well.  Thank God I have a comfortable bed.  But even my floor was pretty nice compared to some conditions in the world.  

Tuesday Day 2 – Drink only water.  You were allowed to eat whatever you wanted but could not have any coffee or soda or that kind of stuff.  That was not a problem for me since I normally just drink water.  So I got to drink a lot of water that day.  It was nice clean water.  I have water almost everywhere I go and everywhere I want.  I can get water.  I can stop in a store and buy some, some comes out of my tap, I have to walk to fill up my water bottle but it’s plentiful over here in the US and in Austin Texas.  

Wednesday – Day 3 – skip lunch and pray for kids who don’t have enough to eat.  That was definitely challenging since I am used to eating whatever I want when I want to and hardly ever have to go without food.  I was hungry.  Emily skipped her after school snacks and was sad and hungry.  She was also more emotional than normal. I thank God for all the abundant food that is all around me.

Thursday – Day 4 – wear the same clothes as you did the day before.  I worked from home on Thursday so this not really a big deal.  I wore the same clothes.  Emily wore the same shirt as the day before but changed her pants. I thank God for all the clothes I have.  

Friday – Day 5 – Write a letter to someone who is hurting.  I just wrote a letter to my friend who is hurting.  Done.

Saturday – Day 6 – Do a 30 minute prayer walk.  Well we kind of skipped that one. 

If you want to participate in the Matthew 25 challenge just text Matthew25 to 44888.   

In addition to the Matthew 25 challenge, I did the run for the water 10 mile race on Sunday which was great way to tie this all together.  It combined my passion for running with a great cause.  It was to raise money for people to have clean water in Burundi, Africa. 

On this Monday may you be thankful for what you have, listen to your inner voice, and celebrate the days you have been given here on earth.  They are all a gift from God. 


1) I thank God for providing me with opportunities to grow and to transform.

2) I am a stronger and wiser person because of my tests and challenges.
3) Better the pain, than to remain the same.
Run for the Water – 10 mile race with my brother-in-law Eric – Finishing pic

The domino effect…


QUOTE OF THE DAY: Your next step is simple.  You are the first domino ~ Gary Keller 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: This week in Toastmasters, one of our members hit a home run with an Icebreaker speech about being comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Her main points were:

  • Start. – That’s half the battle.
  • Don’t quit – You either succeed or you fail, remind yourself why are you doing this?
  •  Push past your comfort zone.
  • Embrace the suck.
  • Be around like-minded people.
  • Recognize your improvements.
  •  Repetition.

Right after this speech, I was looking at my email from intelligent change which is an email list I have from using the 5-minute journal.  And I was shocked to see a TED talk with the same title. 

If you are interested in that here is the link

Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable by Luvvie Ajayi

In the talk, she mentions how she likes to be the first domino in a change.  Because being the first domino can have a great effective change.  It can be risky but it’s worth the risk you take in order to bring about change for other people.   

This week on Friday I hit 250 check-ins at Camp Gladiator. 
That’s 250 hours of work.
That’s 250 decisions for my health.
That’s 250 times over the past 2 years I have decided to choose to wake up early and go to a 5:00 a.m. or 6:45 a.m. workout. 
That’s 250 times of awesome.
And 250 times of fun and encouragement and high fives. 

That all started because I chose to be the first domino.  I chose to wake up and to commit to my health and well being. 

Also on Friday night, I went to an event by Kyle Cease who is a comedian and transformational coach.  It was pretty cool.  I laughed a lot.  I learned somethings.  He talked about how meditation in the morning had changed his life.  He just sits in silence for an hour first thing in the morning.  He talked about living from your heart and living in the moment.  And being more present with yourself.  We did an exercise where we talked about how our life would be different one month from now, 6 months from now and 1 year from now if we applied some of the principles he was teaching in our lives.   He mentioned how talking about things in the past tense makes it like if it has already happened.  That tricks your brain into figuring out a way to actually do it.  It was pretty neat.   


1) I will be the first domino today and create positive change in my life.
2) The positive effects in my life create a domino effect for more positive change. 
3) I chose to be grateful for the gift of today. 

Our lives are but specks of dust falling through the fingers of time.


Our lives are but specks of dust falling through the fingers of time. Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.  ~ Socrates

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: I searched through some hourglass quotes today and decided on this one.  This past Columbus Day weekend my family took a trip down to Rockport to visit the beach.  It was rather cold when we got there.  Emily kept saying, “Dad, isn’t it weird that we are at the beach wearing our jackets?”  I said, “Yes that is weird!

On Saturday, we were able to spend some time in our swimsuits at the beach and we were playing in the sand.  I would make a sand sculpture or moat or something and then Anna would take some water from a bucket and dump it on the structure.  I would then make another one and Anna would do the same thing.  And the third time this happened she said, “Dad how come you keep moving over and making sandcastles?”  I said, “Because every time I make one you dump water on it so I have to start over.” 

Finally, we were able to create one together.  But this got me thinking.  I was thinking our lives are kind of like sand castles or sand or hour glasses.  We try to make things out of our lives, or we try to keep our lives together, or we try to keep doing things the way we have always been doing them.  But the things is, our lives will just slip away like the sand that slips through our fingers.  We try to mold the sand but the waves just kind of wash them away. 

Hopefully the more life we live, the more clearly we see. 

“The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” ~ Niccolo Machiavelli

This Monday may you be mindful that your life is like the sand of the hourglass.  It will slip away and flow through the hourglass no matter what you do.  So enjoy the day.


1) I am feeling healthy and strong today. 
2) I have all that I need to make this a great day of my life.
3) I am filled with gratitude and kindness for another day on this earth.