Are You Willing to Change?

I love how change occurs in my life. So slightly, so incrementally – at least most of the time – that I don’t even realize it and yet part of me always expects change to happen overnight.

“This scale can’t possibly be right. The diet’s going on three days now and I still haven’t lost 10 pounds.”

And how often do we find ourselves in the “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up” mode? If I had only realized years ago that everything changes me or at least it should.

That’s one of the interesting things about looking at old photographs. They are total reminders that change does, in fact, occur. It’s sort of miraculous how things change so slightly every day, then BAM! you look at a 10-year-old photograph and say “WOW! How and when did that happen? Where did all that hair go?”

Here’s a photo of a tree on our property the year we moved in. It was taken from the front porch of our office, which sits next to our house. Keep in mind, this is a live oak and they are considered to be slow-growing trees.

A bushy tree

Change – Change to a Happier You!

I think we often deny ourselves the benefits of recognizing the changes that occur in us on a daily basis. When you start recognizing daily that you are not the same person you were yesterday, you’ll feel you have more control over the changes in your life. At least, it works for me. I’ve realized I only have to make small, tiny changes, a little at a time, and that’s totally doable. It is the cumulative effect of these daily changes that can lead to huge improvements in your life.

It’s a Work-in-Progress

Often times, I would have in my mind a vision of the finished product and not the “work in progress” image. That finished product could be so far down the road – a road that could be bumpy and winding – that I’d become discouraged and I’d stop trying. Then I would remember, as I was growing up, my dad saying “lasting change is evolutionary and not revolutionary.”

When you start embracing the change that is naturally occurring in your life on a daily basis, you can then begin to manage it, lest I say actually control it – well at least in part. There will always be things in our lives beyond our control.

I can’t emphasize enough how happier and more fulfilling my life became once I realized that I can have more control over the change in my life, and to let go the things I cannot control.

Three key things to remember:

  • Spend some time with yourself and know how you want to change (Direct your change)
  • Be cognizant of opportunities in your daily living where you can do a something small that will move you to that change; if you miss it recognize that, too. This applies to diet, exercise, financial security, a new career … all of the above!
  • Always keep in your conscious mind that change happens every second of our lives and this change is inevitable; change the way you want to and not how others influence you.

Game Exercise/Life Changer:

Look back at some old photographs, take one or several with you today so you can look at them throughout the day. Make a mental note of the change that has occurred. Then give yourself one little thing to change for only today. *An exercise guaranteed to help you live a happier life!!

Embracing and directing the changes in your life will help you live the Happiness Lifestyle!

While I’m on the subject of change, Rachel and I are excited to announce our new blog!

In the coming weeks, we will be moving this blog from to

As our focus has always been to share insights on happiness we find inspiring, motivating and empowering, we thought it would be great to create a new website devoted entirely to happiness. We also have a podcast in development … and are working on some new videos to share. Plus, we’ll be offering more ways for you to find your own path and not follow the herd. Exciting times. We’ll keep you posted.

Help us spread the word!

And now this:

‘That’s me’ – simple, kind act viewed by thousands

‘That’s me’: Metro sanitation worker shocked to see his simple, kind act viewed by thousands

We talk about “Small acts of kindness” often in Don’t Be a Cow! Just last week we shared the story of the Ice Bucket Challenge. And in Day 18 of our book we devote a chapter to it.

“I believe smiles are contagious”

In addition to small acts of kindness, Billy also mentions how much he loves to smile and says, he feels, smiles are contagious. And how easy it is to bring happiness to folks just by smiling. Dale Carnegie in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, suggested smiling is an important aspect of life. And, “Learn to Smile,” is Day 2 in our book.


Zac Summers Fox4 Evening News reporter
Zac Summers


INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – A local sanitation worker never expected his simple gesture for an Independence woman with dementia would be got on camera.

And he certainly didn’t expect it would warm the hearts of thousands of people across the metro.

On Tuesday, FOX4 talked to the family of Opal Zucca after her doorbell camera captured a driver with Waste Management walking her up her driveway. The man in the video is Billy Shelby.

“Me and my mother was sitting there watching the news, and I said, ‘That look like me’, and then when it came on, I said, ‘That’s me,’” Billy recalled.

Billy’s been driving garbage trucks for Waste Management for four years. His friendship with Opal began in January when he saw her fall in her driveway.

“I made it a point to make sure it wasn’t going to happen again, so I started taking her cart back to her house,” he said. “It’s gotten to a point where she kind of expects to see me, and I expect to see her.”

The 50-year-old said he was just being his authentic self. He describes his personality as “outgoing,” but he has a knack for making people smile.

“I genuinely just like people,[and] I believe smiles are contagious, you know what I mean?” he said with a huge grin.

On Wednesday, Billy got the chance to meet Opal’s children, including her daughter, Colette Kingston, who posted the video of Billy and her mother on Facebook – a video that now has tens of thousands of views.

“I was just trying to take the trash back up there and get my hug, get my hug, that’s it,” he said embracing Opal.

“From all of us kids, thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Colette said. “[We’re grateful] just to know there are angels in the world watching out for her.”

Billy said he’s humbled by all of the attention.

“Here I drive a trash truck. That’s it, right? But even with that, I can still be the best person I can be, and it can help somebody through their day,” he said.

He wants this moment to impel others to simply be nice, something he strives for in every aspect of his life.

“I just believe in good energy, man. If you give it out, more than likely, that’s what you’re going to get back,” he said.

Billy is a huge Chiefs fan. On Wednesday — after watching FOX4’s original story — former Chiefs player Tim Grunhard surprised Billy with two tickets to the Vikings game in November. Colette, who is a season ticket holder, also plans to make sure he has the ultimate game experience.




Don’t Be a Cow! Find Your Own Path to Happiness 


Small Acts of Kindness go a long way

In “Day 18” of Don’t Be a Cow! we talk about simple, small acts of kindness. Often we think of being kind or generous as something HUGE. Think Philanthropy or Anonymous donations that fund a museum.

But, small acts of kindness can go a long way. Maybe it’s just making a co-worker a cup of tea or remembering a relative’s birthday – even when it’s just an online card. 🙂

Remember the Ice Water challenge? This article will give you an idea of the difference it actually made.

This link to Goalcast and this campaign is proof that every gesture, no matter how small, can have a major impact on those in need of help.

The image of a man getting a bucket of ice water dumped on his head