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Success Wallpaper Blog

One-hundred-eighty-seventh Wallpaper - "Learning"
LearningHappy New Year's to all of you! Ok, it may not yet be 2018 just yet, but I wanted to get this new wallpaper out this afternoon as we have a hectic weekend here in the Patz home. This last wallpaper design for the 2017 year is entitled, "Learning", making it the twelfth wallpaper for the year, and the 187th design overall to the site.

My family has been doing some home improvement projects this Fall, in preparation of our little addition in a few months. With that has come some learning experiences of what's good, better, or best to do. I have learned both technical knowledge as well as life application lessons through these projects this year.

Learning can be fun. Sometimes it is uncomfortable. Learning new topics and methods for doing things better - that's easy, that's the fun kind of learning. Learning from your mistakes - that's the hard kind of learning, but it may be the most valuable. For these lessons of life will likely stick with you the longest. These lessons will be the loudest. And most likely, these lessons will be the most impressionable and life-changing if applied wisely.

2017 has been quite a full "learning" year for my family, as we've seen and been through a lot, as I'm sure as many of you out there have experienced as well. But it definitely feels that every year, more and more life lessons want to make themselves evident to us by way of various challenges in life. Hopefully, it has made us wiser. I'd like to believe that our country and our world has learned a lot through what has transpired this year - at least that's what I'm hoping for. Maybe I'm a foolish optimist or a silly dreamer to believe this can happen. But I can hope and pray for these things. We all need to. But we all need to use our common sense with wisdom to understand that things need to change and take appropriate action. At least some things have changed for the better - hopefully much more can as well in this coming year for the better.

But back to learning. I know that for myself, each day that goes by that sees me learn something new and valuable are the days that I cherish most. I'd like to say that each and every day is like that, but I'd be lying if I said that it did. I do look forward to the New Year every year, because it seems to be a chance to do some things right and start over fresh. Yes, again this is the silly dreamer in me working.

I should probably expect to continue to make mistakes, but if I can learn from them, and from the mistakes of others, I'd grow much faster and get ahead farther. Some people manage to do this, some don't.

My wish for you and I is that this coming year finds us learning and growing more each day on the road to success. Happy New Year!

One-hundred-eighty-sixth Wallpaper - "Anticipation"
AnticipationI don't normally include designs that offer real photos of my family. But this topic seemed too perfect for me to pass up the opportunity to add a more personal touch as well as insight into what went on to make this all happen. But before I dive into the details, let me do the routine you're probably use to by now, and introduce the new wallpaper first. This one is entitled, "Anticipation", making it the eleventh new wall for the year, and the 186th design to the site overall.

So, the reason I decided to do this topic was to share a little bit of what's going on in my life and family. After years of trying, my wife and I finally became pregnant this year. It's not been easy. In fact, it's been challenging, and - at times - downright depressing. However, in a few months, we look forward to welcoming a new member to our family.

Of course, a vast spectrum of emotions well up inside of both my wife and I when we consider what's happening now and what will happen in the near future. We've never been parents before, but we are so excited for this new life stage.

My wife wanted to take some pregnancy photos this Fall while the colors of the leaves were still vibrant. We went over to where she works and found a few locations that had trees with leaves still on them. The sun's location seemed to give us a short window of time, and while I was setting up the camera to shoot both of us, I used my wife to help me frame the shots.

She decided to goof around and strike a few poses. I actually had difficulty getting the remote set up on this location (this was the 2nd place we shot). Unfortunately, I couldn't get the shot with both of us at this specific location, but afterward when we looked at the pictures from this shoot, this one image stood out in a very special way.

It actually got very favorable reactions on Facebook as my wife wanted to use it for her profile pic. Later on, after looking at it more, I decided it would make a perfect fit for this topic. Even though I am not in this (which I am even more glad now as my own shadow probably would have ruined the glow of the side lighting), I continue to like this one more and more.

The quote I decided on for this image may cause one to question as to why I chose it for the topic. I really struggled to find a quote that adequately conveyed the message I wanted, and this one felt the closest. However, I also feel it still doesn't adequately say everything. To be honest, there probably can't be one that exists that can - at least not in 1-2 sentences. (This is why I love adding a blog post to each wallpaper I do because it lets me dive deeper into each image's meanings.)

I will say that even though the baby is not in the house - on its own - yet, it's already here in our hearts, minds, and prayers. I do admit though this is all very easy to say and feel now before the baby comes and all sorts of different stresses will attach themselves to the delivery. But the excitement of knowing that a child of our own is coming soon, creates a level of anticipation for both my wife and I that we thank God for the blessing and miracle He provided our family.

Maybe in a few months, I'll have another wallpaper to share focusing on the birth of our baby - don't worry, it won't be too graphic.

This pregnancy is something my wife and I never thought would happen. To me, this is nothing short of a miracle. I pray that God will continue to watch over it every day until it comes, and every day after it is born. This has been our greatest gift this year - until next year when it finally arrives. Yes, this is a wonderful anticipation!

One-hundred-eighty-fifth Wallpaper - "Watchfulness"
WatchfulnessHappy Halloween today! This new wallpaper won't be really on the scary side, but if you read into today's theme, you might find the correlation. This wallpaper is called, "Watchfulness", making it the tenth new one for the year, and the 185th design overall to the gallery.

Worry, fear, anxiety and depression: these are all forms of intense negative thinking, even though they may not always appear so at first glance. But we need to realize that the middle ground between positive and negative is still dangerous. Attitudes of apathy, lethargy, indifference, and detachment are no better than the more intense feelings mentioned already.

We need to keep a close watch and be mentally alert as to what is trying to enter into our minds every day.

Of course this is probably the last thing you'd want to hear preached on a day that celebrates "the scary". Ok, maybe we can enjoy being frightened for today - but we all know that this is all really for entertainment. So, I'll excuse you today and let a few hours slide by.

However, after today, we need to guard against these thoughts that seek to tear us down. This is more important to our overall well-being than you might realize. The news is just filled with its own horror with what is out there in the world.

Just remember that vigilance is required to protect ourselves as there is a force out there always looking to destroy and tear down. We must be watchful, and we must be headstrong.

One-hundred-eighty-fourth Wallpaper - "Break Through"
Break ThroughHello everyone! I was hoping to release more than just one wallpaper this month, but sometimes - life happens. I'm happy to have finished this one up though, as it embodies a little bit what I'm hoping to gain out of what I've been through these past few weeks. This design is entitled, "Break Through", making it the ninth new wallpaper for the year, and the 184th design overall to the site.

Life is great. Why do I say that? Because I have to right now. Ok, so that's a little bit tongue-in-cheek. You see, this month has been a real challenge for me and my family. I won't get into any specifics, but I will say that nothing - nothing at all - has come easy for us as one thing after another seemed to come "off the rails". It seemed as though life was throwing us bricks at every turn. So many, that a wall of bricks was starting to form up around us. That's why I choose this image for this wallpaper.

Of course , I know that my family is not alone in this present string of trials. There are so many out there right now who are facing their own wall of bricks. All one needs to do is flip on the TV and watch the nightly news to see someone who's had a bad break. And lately, especially in the South here in America, we've seen a bombardment of natural disasters happening left and right. Families forced to evacuate their homes to escape a montage of storms, floods, winds, hunger, and unseen danger that lurks to seek harm to so many.

Tragically, there were some families that lost loved ones in these hurricanes. A lot of homes have been destroyed, while so many families have been uprooted and are still trying to put the pieces back together.

The good news is that many have survived and are breaking through their "bad walls" and rebuilding their lives again. They have family and friends for support. Our country is breaking through walls too - via the generosity of many organizations and individuals joining forces to help those in need. More help is needed still - but at least its a start.

Lastly, I haven't mentioned the most important source of help, love, and support of all yet. It's the most obvious thing for me, so I must give mention, and more so honor, to how the Good Shepherd has carried us through these past few weeks - even though it didn't feel like it on some days. Without prayer and reading and listening to the Scriptures, I know I wouldn't have been able to make it through these recent storms.

(LifeTip: Listening specifially to Psalm 23 was such a joy amid the pressing forces that I cannot compose the right words to how it sustained me these past few weeks. I would highly recommend starting with this passage when you are feeling discouraged.)

I know I can't complain when so many have it much, much worse. But sometimes, we all reach a breaking point. That's when we must swallow our pride and rely on others for help. Don't try and go it alone. A rope with 3 chords is much stronger than 2 or 1. Find a support system to turn to when you know you need help.

This is what has helped us this past month. Some things have been resolved, some haven't as of yet. But we're going to keep pressing on and break through this brick wall eventually. Just a sliver of hope is all that's needed to keep pressing on. Somewhere, something is bound to turn right again. All things come - only to pass by eventually. Look at those storms for example. They came - and they pass eventually.

Now, we can let the healing and the rebuilding begin. And that is why life can be great. It's hard at times, but it is never boring if - through the experiences you go through - you can learn from it.

Yes, life is great. And God is good.

One-hundred-eighty-third Wallpaper - "You Matter"
You MatterIn order to make this month more productive, I've decided to get things started off quicker this month by creating a new wallpaper this weekend. Just a few hours ago, I've completed this design entitled, "You Matter", making it the eighth new "wall" for the year, and the 183rd design overall to the gallery.

When one hears the phrase "You Matter", one is likely to envision a person's voice trying to reach out to someone who is either very depressed, or even worse, so despondent to the point that they are suicidal. Explaining how special the depressed loved one is may be one of the first points that someone will argue to a suicidal person to convince them to reconsider.

Sadly, the depressed person will likely reject this point as they are already at a severe low point of self-worth or too hopeless about life and where it's headed.

What's sad is how the message is rejected simply because they have trained, or poisoned, their minds to reject the truth of how special and treasured they genuinely are.

Take a look around you. We all probably know someone in our life today that is suffering from some sort of a poisoned outlook on either life or of themselves. We need to encourage and support these people in our lives and make them realize how special they truly are to us and to many others.

If, by some chance, you are reading this right now and you are feeling suicidal today, please realize that you are very special to at least someone, if not a myriad of others who both love you and really need you in their lives.

Life will have both its extreme highs and its crushing lows. No one is immune to it. What we each have the power to do is how we react to it when the lows come our way.

And I totally understand that for some, you may very well need to seek professional help in dealing and overcoming those tough and difficult times. And there is no shame in this - because this is you who we are talking about.

But there is always hope. There is always a way out! Do not let negative thoughts or feelings destroy what life still has to offer. All things come to pass. All things change if given enough time. Give yourself a chance by realizing that YOU MATTER!

You are here today for a very specific reason. It is not by chance but by Divine design that you are here today, and you matter more than you will ever know to many people out there that you may never see or meet.

Even if you may be the whole world to only one person or another living thing, they depend on you and you matter so much to them. And that makes you very, very special. You have a purpose. Don't let anyone - including yourself - tell you different. Don't give up - you are worth so much more than you may ever know.

One-hundred-eighty-second Wallpaper - "Fidelity"
FidelityHello again. I'm sorry to post this new "wall" so late into this month, but it's better late than never, right?

Tonight, I've finished on my new wallpaper called, "Fidelity", making it the seventh new "wall" for the year, and the 182nd overall to my site.

Fidelity is something that no one really talks about anymore. It can be an uncomfortable one as its becoming more and more pushed onto our society that "we can have whatever we want" and "do whatever we want to do". Sure we can. It doesn't always mean that it's the right thing to do.

Consider fidelity's opposite, infidelity, as stories of it appear in the news all the time. People caught cheating on their spouses, workers caught stealing from their companies, or citizens caught supplying important national secrets to some other foreign country - seems to run rampant in our world today. "If it feels good, do it," is another dangerous phrase that's foolishly tossed around. Ok, if we all did this, no one would work, more crimes would be committed, and the world would be in absolute chaos.

The value to stay faithful and loyal to something or someone just doesn't seem as important anymore. But if we all looked at it from the other side more, we'd realize just how valuable fidelity and loyalty is and should be. It is the glue that hold us together in trust, peace, and justice.

Our society today cares far too little of these values. But fidelity is still worth so much to those who depend upon us: our families, our companies, our teams, our children, our country.

We need to stay dedicated to that which we already made a choice for. We all must remain faithful and loyal to those who have put their trust in us to do so.

Remaining faithful to something or someone isn't always the most gratifying thing to do, (at times it can be the hardest thing to do), but it truly is the RIGHT thing to do.

10 Years In!
Today marks my 10-Year Anniversary of when I started SuccessWallpapers. Well, to be more accurate, it was 10 years ago that I uploaded the first wallpaper.

One decade ago, on July 1, 2007, via a 63-word, 1-paragraph statement, I had "uploaded my first wallpaper" called Success, and posted right to the homepage. It was only available in 1 size, but it was official!

(The blog archives actually show a post from June 30th, when the site became live, but my 1st "wall" was actually posted the next day. So, officially, it is on this day, July 1st, that I mark when this site became a "wallpaper site".)

A lot has changed in my life since then. Ten years sure does fly by faster than a man realizes, but it's a milestone that I'm going to cherish. When I started this website a decade ago, I really had no idea that I'd be making wallpapers for this long. I didn't really have a plan when I started.

Over time, my vision for this site grew more and more, to the point where I set a goal to have at least 100 wallpapers, among other features like special lists, a resource center, and ultimately poster versions of my work. When the 100 walls goal was attained, I said to myself, "I can't quit until I have made 150, then we'll see after that."

Well, we're well past that mark now. Do I continue? For now - yes! I do have another milestone number in mind - but I'm keeping that under my hat. You'll just have to keep stopping by to find out. Keeping this site going is something I'd like to do still.

Life tends to change what's meaningful, yet this is still meaningful and worthwhile to me. I know I'm not done yet, as I still have ideas for more new wallpapers that I still need to create.

Thank you for allowing me into your lives with this site so far. Now I may take off a month here or there when absolutely needed. But I will make it known when I decide to finally end this journey.

For now, I'll keep making new memories for me and hopefully for you too...adios!

One-hundred-eighty-first Wallpaper - "Winners"
WinnersGood day to everyone! This week is kind of a special week for me as, tomorrow, I will be celebrating this site's 10-year anniversary. (For that, I'll be making a special post tomorrow.)

For today, I'm releasing a special wallpaper in it's own right - as this wallpaper was specifically requested to be created by one of my Facebook viewers. So thanks, Michael, for your request and I hope this one fits perfectly for your needs. (By the way, I do welcome suggestions - if the topic hasn't yet been done).

This new wallpaper is entitled, "Winners", making it the sixth new design for the year, and the 181st overall to the gallery.

Winners - it's what everyone desires to be in life. We all want to win. Who really wants to lose? What's great is winning can be about something specific to one person, and be defined as something totally different to another. For most, we all attach a positive end goal to winning, but we all have different meanings for what "winning" really is.

Winning has definite connections to sports of course. Playing a sports game is probably the first experiece when a child learns about what winning (or losing) is. It's funny to think that the games just get harder in life as we grow older. Although these games or constructs are much different, we still feel the same intensities and emotions whether we succeed or fail at them. The epiphany of it is when we realize that we each decide on how the "game" can be won. The reward is when we finally decide on choosing to win - that's when everything changes!

Winning definitely comes from within. It's an attitude as much as it is an end result. Winning on the outside - that is - all the effects from applied learning and persistence, only comes after we've done the work on the inside. Work is required in becoming a winner. To work so hard that we can't possibly do more is what it takes to be a real winner - to become the very best version of ourselves. We can't be given that. It's something that can only be earned. Winning comes from a mastery of self and applying that mastery to a worthwhile cause in life. Sadly, not everyone is willing to put in this kind of work. Ultimately, they suffer the consequences of letting up, setting themselves on "cruise", and settle for much less in life.

But when we do put in the work, which allows us to grow both inside and out, the "winning" in life will be that much sweeter.

Make today the day you either continue to press yourself into becoming a winner in life, or begin today (if you haven't yet) and enjoy the journey to growth and success!

One-hundred-eightieth Wallpaper - "Expectations"
ExpectationsToday, I am releasing what I hope to be the start of a more ambitious effort to release a string of new wallpapers for my site. This one is called, "Expectations", making it my fifth new design for the year, and the 180th overall to the gallery. My plan is to release much more than just 1 per month from here on out till the end of the year - so keep checking out this site or our Facebook page to know when a new wallpaper is available.

Expectations can be both good and bad. It's all in how you apply them in life. It seems that these days people aren't setting high enough goals for themselves. My specific issue is that its commonly thrown around these days that its best to set low expectations. This way, "you will never be disappointed".

Sure, that may be true. But you wouldn't likely live a life of high achievement either. In fact, usually we get what we expect out of life. I really think it's a balancing act of knowing when and where to apply the highs and lows of what to expect of ourselves and others.

If we keep our expectations focused inward (meaning to apply them only to yourself), it can push us forward and lead us in a worthwhile direction in life. Achievements are attained usually when we push ourselves by our own expectations to finish - to the best of our abilities - what we start out to accomplish. Having high expectations for ourselves can be a powerful tool to get us through to the end and hit our goals and achieve success.

At the opposite end of this spectrum are the wrong types of expectations. These are when we project outward our own expectations on to others or other things that we cannot control. This usually leads to disappointment, frustration, and ultimately anger. Most anger that manifests itself comes from setting the wrong types of expectations. We get our priorities out of place and apply it outward at people in our lives who can't live up to our own image of what should be.

This also stems from a sense of entitlement when we feel that things aren't turning out the way it "should" be for us. Expectations, when applied outward, can be good - ONLY - if it is for the good of others and not for selfish motives.

Getting back to ourselves and how to apply this inwardly, we need to set more than mediocre goals. We need to aim higher. And when we do, we are capable of amazing things!

So, don't waste your energy by expecting the wrong things. Use wisdom and discretion to apply the right expectations on the good, the worthy, and the valuable - for the building up of others and yourself.

One-hundred-seventy-ninth Wallpaper - "Training"
TrainingFor fans of the National Football League (NFL), this weekend brings much excitement and hope for those whose teams did not win the Super Bowl last year. For this weekend is the 2017 NFL Draft in which 32 NFL teams will love to improve their rosters with fresh young talent in the hopes of winning it all this next season.

Over hundreds of college athletes - who've dedicated their time with hard work, self-sacrifice and total discipline for most of their lives - will hope to hear their name called by the end of Saturday.

So, in celebration of this weekend's NFL draft and to honor all those hard working athletes, I created this new wallpaper called, "Training", making it my fourth new one for this year, and the 179th overall to the gallery.

For the 253 athletes that were selected this weekend, this is a day that brings joy and reward. These athletes had to train hard for many years - both on and off the field - studying game tape, playbooks, keeping a healthy diet, and physically training their bodies to do what it needed in order to get to where they are today.

This day marks the achievement of a goal they made up in their mind to accomplish - but it really is only but a stepping stone to a higher calling - and that is to be successful in the NFL.

Even though most of us will never be able to be professional athletes, we still need to train ourselves every day. We need to train our minds to be strong when forces tempt us to do wrong. Whatever that "wrong" thought may be for you. we all have them. Constant good thinking will train our minds - and hearts - from being weak-willed and weak-minded.

Train up your body, mind, and soul today by thinking and doing those things which are right, pleasing, and good - both for others, for God, and for yourselves.

One-hundred-seventy-eighth Wallpaper - "Reset"
ResetEver have periods in your life where you wish you could just simply hit a reset button and you could start fresh? I, too, get these thoughts from time to time.

Today, I made a wallpaper that addresses this desire and it's entitled, "Reset", making it my third new wallpaper for the year, and the 178th overall to the site.

Of course, there is no way of really going back in time to change things that have already happened. But there are times in life when we do need to pause and evaluate where we are headed in life.

If you're not where you'd like to be, whether it be a state of mind, financial situation, or physical status, some things can be changed. And I realize that some cannot. But for those things that can be changed, these changes always begin on the inside.

Sometimes, when we get stuck in a negative rut, it requires us to reset our minds. This gives us the ability to readjust our current trajectory. The great thing about life is that each new day brings with it an opportunity to reset ourselves and start fresh again.

It begins with a mental shift that allows the possibility for something better. This requires you to refocus on what you were doing before, to what you need to start doing altogether, to meet your desired goal. This aids us in making a decision, which ultimately must be carried out by action and diligently seeing things through.

Whether it be more education, a better workout routine, a healthy diet plan, etc., you need to give yourself this gift today by mentally "resetting" yourself to create a new and better path that leads to the life you desire.

One-hundred-seventy-seventh Wallpaper - "Strike Now"
Strike NowToday I'm releasing a new wallpaper before the month comes to an end. It's called, "Strike Now", and is my second for this year, and the 177th overall to the gallery.

This design actually is my second attempt at this one, as a previous design was made. However, after I finished the 1st one, I knew it wasn't good enough. So, after going back to the "drawing board", I found this better image to use. I am glad I kept looking.

So, this wallpaper definitely has some great lessons built into it. The hard work required - to the point of striking your target - is almost preached out for us to stop letting life chain us to places we don't really want to stay in - nowhere! And going nowhere can feel chaotic. We need to take massive action and bring life back under control.

Situations are never perfect, and they most certainly don't come together all by themselves. We need to do whatever it takes to make things happen. Patience is required at times, yes; but sitting on the side and not trying anything - this also is a sin.

Strike the iron that is opportunity at rest which is sitting right beside you and shape your destiny, rather than letting life dictate to you what comes next.

One-hundred-seventy-sixth Wallpaper - "New Start"
New StartHello again, it's been a few weeks since my last wallpaper, but this week I have another one to present - just before the month ends. This new wallpaper is entitled, "New Start", which is my first for the new year, and the 176th overall to the site.

The inspiration for this wallpaper stems a little from my own life - big surprise right? Like many out there who may have already given up on their dreams in life, or even simply failed to keep their New Year's resolutions and given up on those already - I'm sure you're not one of them - this wallpaper is meant to encourage those to "start" again. Call it a "new start", the main point is to begin again. Every new day is a chance for a new start.

So many people actually fail before they even begin simply because they never take that initial first step. Let me say that again - every person who won't take that first step will fail. Plato once quipped that "the beginning is the most important part of the work." Ok, finishing is important too, but can you finish something if you never even start it?

So, if things have already gotten off track for you this year - relax. Don't panic. Use today to begin a new journey. And put an end to procrastination. T.S. Eliot said once, "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." We need to take action, end our worries and our fears - or perhaps our own ambivalences - and just decide to go for it.

So, to sum up, Helen Rowland said it loud and clear, "You will never win if you don't begin."

Make a fresh start today!

One-hundred-seventy-fifth Wallpaper - "Priorities"
PrioritiesWell, another year has almost come and gone. I was originally planning on making a Christmas-theme wallpaper this year to close out my 9th Season for the site, but due to a few specific things, I opted to save that idea for next year and waited a few days after Christmas had passed to release this new wallpaper I call, "Priorities". This wallpaper is the sixteenth and final addition for 2016, and the 175th overall to the gallery.

We all can't agree what's most important in life. We are all different people with different desires and motives. Sure, we may be able to agree - in theory - on what's most important. But, let's face it, people can be selfish, short-sighted, and greedy.

The telltale spotlight in figuring out what our true priorities are is where we spend the most time on. It's actually amazing how self-evident this is, yet rarely examined in one's life. I must admit I don't do this as often as I should myself.

We need to examine where we spend our time and focus each day and make the effort to readjust our priorities when needed.

So when is it needed? When, after calculating what our true priorities are, and we see that they don't align with our core values. They don't necessarily need to be a bad thing, they could be great pursuits, but do they match the principles of your character. I'll simply say that putting time into other's lives and our relationships is what's really the most important.

I know that there are a few things that I need to realign for 2017. If you need to as well, make that change!

So, to finish up this year, I'd like to wish you a successful and Happy New Year! Here's to making this next year, 2017, a great one - filled with worthy priorities!

One-hundred-seventy-fourth Wallpaper - "Maximize"
MaximizeThere are days (or even weeks) that can come into one's life that really try to knock you off your "path" sometimes. Not to complain, but I seem to be going through one physical ailment after another these past 2 months. Some of it I readily admit that I am to blame for it. But some of these others, they seem to appear from out of nowhere.

Getting older is not always fun, but the alternative is still less attractive, so I'm grateful for the former.

This series of events kind of steered me in a way to this topic of making the most of the time and resources I've got - while I have it - to maximize my potential and influence in life.

So, without further ado, I present to you my latest wallpaper entitled, "Maximize", making it the fifteenth "wall" for the gallery, and the 174th overall to my site.

As I was beginning to explain, the series of new "challenges" (which is a fancy word for ailments) that seem to keep coming after me made me stop and realize that this is life. Everybody has to deal or put up with something challenging. Life does bring change, some negative and some positive. Sometimes I can spin the circumstance in my brain into a positive, but lately, this ability has eluded me from being able to do so.

Then, when I saw this quote by Clarke, it helped me put things into perspective again. This is all a part of life. Get past the pain, refocus, and live life to the fullest again. It's not easy. It's not even that much fun. But, again, it forces me to focus better to stay on the path to a better life. It is a discipline that brings one closer to fulfillment. It takes more effort, but it leads to more growth.

I hope these thoughts and this wallpaper can encourage you today as this has encouraged me while creating it. We only get stronger by being challenged. The process can be painful, but the result is rewarding.

One-hundred-seventy-third Wallpaper - "Gratitude"
GratitudeHello everyone! Recently, especially this month, I finally feel that I am getting things done. This week I bring to you what will likely be the last wallpaper for this month. Given that this week, we celebrate a day of giving thanks to God called "Thanksgiving", I am entitling this new wall, "Gratitude", making it the fourteenth design for the year, and the 173rd overall to the site.

This season is one of my favorite times of the year. I know that here in America, our society tends to get so busy after Halloween and look forward to Christmas that this holiday celebration gets too easily looked over. But we need to get back and be grateful for everything that the Lord has blessed this country with. We are not a perfect nation made up of perfect people. Of course, no nation is. In fact, that's all the more reason we should be thankful for how God has blessed our country. Getting a new positive attitude usually starts when we start becoming more thankful for all we have.

Of course, each new day should be reason enough for our hearts to fill up with gratitude and make us count our many blessings. So this week, I urge you to take some time and reflect on the many ways you've been blessed in your life.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

One-hundred-seventy-second Wallpaper - "Sacrifice"
SacrificeWell, Election Day has come and gone, but another day for observance and grateful reflection occurred also this week - which is actually today - and that is Veteran's Day. In honor of today's observance, I bring you this new wallpaper entitled, "Sacrifice", making this the thirteenth design for the year, and the 172nd wall to the gallery.

Veteran's Day is a special day where we take time to remember all the veterans - both past and present, living and deceased - for their service to their country. It is because of their dedication and selflessness that we have a military that helps protect and preserve our many rights and liberties that we have in our nation.

It's very likely that you even know someone who has served in this nation's military. Let's make this day a day to thank those for their brave service and remember those who have died in the line of duty. Not only to those who served, but also, our thoughts and prayers go out to those families who have lost loved ones in service. They have greatly sacrificed much as well.

I want to wish comfort today upon those families who've lost a loved one as well as those families who only get to spend time with their family members in a limited basis - as they also make these sacrifices day in and day out.

So, to all Veterans out there today, and to their families - thank you for your sacrifice and service!

One-hundred-seventy-first Wallpaper - "Voting"
VotingIt's going to be a big week this week for America. So, in honor of tomorrow's United States' election, I've decided to create a wallpaper to encourage those who weren't thinking of voting this year (or who may have been on the fence) to think again. So, seeing that I'm promoting the activity here tonight, this new wallpaper is entitled, "Voting", making this the twelfth design for the year, and the 171st overall to the gallery.

Why vote? It's something that's good to ask ourselves when the chance comes around. The default response in all of us should be that we want to go and vote in order for our voice to be heard and our opinion to count toward improving our nation. It's every citizen's right to vote, as not all people have this freedom and privilege to do so across the world.

As citizens of America, I believe its our duty to go and cast our vote in order to sustain the right to have our voice heard, giving us a chance to elect those who represent the values and implement the laws and policies we want to see happen in our nation.

By not voting, we remove ourselves from getting involved in setting up our government. By not doing so, that makes us - in a way - irresponsible to ourselves and to our future generations. It justly removes the right for us to complain about those who do get elected who may create certain laws that clash with the ethics and direction we want our nation to go toward.

So, my wish tonight is for every eligible person who can vote tomorrow (if you haven't yet voted early), to go to the polls and cast your vote. Remember, it's not just the Presidency that's up for grabs, but many other important national and local positions as well. It's your duty as an American citizen to your country, as well as to your own future! So get out tomorrow and vote!

One-hundred-seventieth Wallpaper - "Bravery"
BraveryA Happy Halloween to all, tonight! I must say that I may be too in the spirit this year for Halloween - but at least I can admit it. (Yes, I love watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" each year - I never miss it.)

I didn't have much time this month to put out 2 new wallpapers, due to our family move to our new home, so I guess I'll need to put out 3 in November.

But at least I have this new one for you today. In going with the theme of the day, I call this one, "Bravery", making this the eleventh design for the year, and the 170th overall to the gallery.

Picking out a new theme for Halloween was a real challenge for me. There's not too many success-themes that can be derived from a holiday more focused on fear, zombies, and monsters. Being scared or scaring others is the challenge we like to engage normally. However, life can seem pretty scary by itself.

So, focusing on the opposite of this, the topic of bravery came to mind eventually. Like any noble quality, bravery stands the test when you're in the midst of a challenge, not before anything happens. When you can keep a hold on those noble attributes amidst trials, scares, and overall darkness, that when your character really shines.

And on that note, I need to hand out some candy now. Happy Halloween!

One-hundred-sixty-ninth Wallpaper - "Knowledge"
KnowledgeHello again! Another month come and gone - which for me seems to be the norm. My family is in the middle of moving to a new home, so things are very hectic around my house these days. I wanted to release something new this month, however. Well, this isn't really a new design to me, but it's new to this gallery (so, therefore, it's new for you too).

Because of the move, I didn't have much time this month to design yet, so I went back to my older files and decided to use this design which I've been hanging on to for a while. It actually is a nice surprise at times to go back and see all the things I had composed but never released yet. I call this one, "Knowledge", making this the tenth design for this year, and the 169th overall to the site.

I've wanted to release this one much sooner than now, but the way my design process goes, sometimes I go on a creative streak and crank out 3-4 wallpaper designs in only a few days, as I struggle to create something worth releasing. On many occasions, my favorite of those 3-4 get published, while I "bank" my 2nd and 3rd choice designs for later. This happened to be 1 of those walls I had banked a long time ago. Other times I have an idea, but due to the timing and topic, I hold onto something for a later specific occasion.

(So, that's a little insight on my process - now on to my real commentary.)

Knowledge is a fine thing to seek - especially if one can have the mindset that knowledge is worth seeking to get to a higher place in life. Ignorance destroys life, while knowledge leads to wisdom (if applied), which ultimately leads to a fuller and richer life.

Earlier in my life, I bought many books, but really struggled at finding the time to read them all. I actually still struggle to find time actually. Buying things like books are fine, but if I never read them, then what good are they to me? Not much! The same is true with any form of information or knowledge. We need to seek it out, but that's only the first step - applying what we learn is key. Then, for it to be of most value, we should pass that knowledge on.

Louis L'Amour once quipped, "Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value." Seek wisdom by seeking knowledge. Then apply that knowledge as much as you can in life. It's well worth the price to acquire it. Then share that wisdom with others.

One-hundred-sixty-eighth Wallpaper - "Legacy"
LegacyWell, it's been longer than I care to admit since I posted a new wall to the gallery. Seems like the 4th of July was just yesterday as this summer has flown by fast. Now, Fall is just around the corner. Time, as does life, sure seems to fly by fast.

Making use of the time I have left has been on my mind lately. Even more so, what kind of footprint will I leave behind? And with that thought, let me introduce to you today's theme entitled, "Legacy", making this the ninth new design for the year, and the 168th overall to this site.

"What kind of legacy do I want to leave? What would I want to be said of me after I die?" These are questions that typically motivate us to reevaluate where we are in life and seek out to make changes that bridge our current position to hopefully a more fulfilling future. It may not be the best to do this on a daily basis, because over time, we wear ourselves down because we'll compare where we are at to where we are not. It's kind of like when you start a diet because you want to lose weight but then constantly compare your current weight to your end goal weight. Yes, it's ok to do it once a week, or once a month, as long as you're consistent and not berating yourself daily about not being at your goal weight.

Thinking about your legacy is important as long as you understand that you can't do it all in 1 day. It's not a sprint, but a life marathon that a person can slowly arrive at to ultimately reach. This is how you pace yourself in a healthy way while staying on course. Too many people try to do too much too soon in life, just to ultimately come crashing into a wall of stress and depression because they are not where they want to be in life. The other extreme of course is doing nothing for long stints and then trying to catch up by doing too much in too little time. While there are exceptions, legacies worth remembering aren't made in an instant.

The key the change and arriving at your goal is taking 1 day of improvement at a time. Not every day may bring personal improvement, but it doesn't have to be. Just like in losing weight, you think you do all the right things one day, and the scale may still show that you went up a pound or two. Don't sweat it. The key is staying consistent.

Legacies are something though we should all think about a couple times a year though. I won't personally share here what I'd like my legacy to be, but at least I know I have a goal to move towards. Taking a small step today will lead to taking another step tomorrow.

I do want to impress upon you that you should begin thinking about what you want you're legacy to be. I believe that none of us should say "I'm already there," or, "I've already accomplished what I've set out to do." That's great! Now, do something else that stretches you to grow. Chances are if you think you are already there - you're probably not - at least to the point where you can't grow as a person any more. When you can hit that point in life, you've lived a full one. That is the goal and legacy to shoot for.

One-hundred-sixty-seventh Wallpaper - "Patriotism"
PatriotismHappy Independence Day, America! This year, to celebrate the 4th of July, I decided on releasing a theme I've been wanting to do with a full image of "Lady Liberty". This one is entitled, "Patriotism", making this the eighth new design for this year, and the 167th overall to the gallery.

If you haven't noticed by now, for these past few months, I've been building upon a string of related designs that kind of tie all together into one overall message.

With Vigilance, we as citizens need to protect our rights and future success as a nation against all that seek to destroy and tear down. This stems from our Appreciation of those rights and freedoms we have as a nation. The love and devotion to one's country is important and as each citizen seeks to honor, love, and defend their nation's freedoms, this is called "Patriotism".

I love this country very dearly. And I am so grateful to those that came before me and fought to establish this nation on godly values and principles over 240 hears ago. Many patriots gave their lives - not just back in the 1700's which of course started America, but in all the wars that came after that to keep that hard-fought freedom. Now, we live in a free democracy that has sustained itself longer than most forms of government ever have.

I am grateful and thankful to be an American. For those of you who also live here, I sincerely hope you understand what it means to be able to live in a free country.

God has truly Blessed America! This is the land that I love! Happy Independence Day!

One-hundred-sixty-sixth Wallpaper - "Appreciate"
AppreciateTomorrow will mark my 9-year anniversary since I put up my first webpage here on SuccessWallpapers. And I'm thankful for the opportunity and blessings that came with making this website, along with it's wallpapers. I also am thankful for the many visitors and users who've come by and shared with others my work here as well. Thank you!

So, with another holiday just around the corner, as well as one that last month focused on remembering past loved ones, I've decided to release a new wallpaper called, "Appreciate", making it my seventh new design for this year, and the 166th overall to my site.

Last month around this time, America was getting ready to honor it's fallen with Memorial Day. Coming soon in a few days, we will be celebrating America's Independence Day. (In fact, I have a coming wallpaper to celebrate that too.) This week though, I wanted to highlight this topic that everyone should be doing daily in life: living with appreciation.

Every human being on this planet shares a crazy need: the need to be appreciated. It doesn't even seem that important does it? It's not like it's the difference between life and death. Or is it? Suicide rates seem to continue to climb in this day and age. Divorce rates are still very high which leads to all kinds of depression and ruin. And if we're all honest with each other, we'd have to admit that all of those things have something do to with being appreciated by others - especially the ones we love and are closest to in life. I admit I don't appreciate everyone in my life the way I ought to. Chances are very likely that most people at some point or another feel under-appreciated by even the closest ones in their lives. We need to share with others more how special they are to us and how much we appreciate them.

When I found this quote by Voltaire, and the image that I had here for this topic, I loved how this thought connects both people in this image to increased self-worth as an effect of the one lifting up the other in this scene. The man values and appreciates this woman, and her radiance here comes back as a blessing on this man. So easily we can experience too the blessings that come back from appreciating others. We become richer in ways we didn't realize before.

One more quote really stood out to me as I was researching in deciding on which quote to use for this wallpaper. Baltasar Gracian once said, "Wise men appreciate all men, for they see the good in each and know how hard it is to make anything good." I really love that quote. Appreciating the good things in life, and being appreciated as well - I sincerely hope that I can consistently experience both sides of that fence in my life. It's a goal worth working toward.

And I really do hope you appreciate this wallpaper too! smile

I surely do appreciate all who have come by these past 9 years. May you be blessed today!

One-hundred-sixty-fifth Wallpaper - "Vigilance"
VigilanceHappy Memorial Day everyone! Today I quickly decided to post a new wallpaper I've been hanging on to for a national holiday to come around.

This new wallpaper is entitled, "Vigilance", and it is my sixth new release of the year, and the 165th overall to my gallery.

Today, America honors the fallen men and women who served their country in military combat and lost their lives defending America's freedom. I am very grateful for these brave souls who gave up so much to provide so much in return. They paid the ultimate price to maintain our country's freedoms.

I loved this quote I found by Beecher on vigilance and how it also relates to success in life as well. The image I choose to go along with the quote is an image that I had taken a few years back which I felt conveyed the reality, and to serve as a great reminder, that we need to be vigilant in our own lives against opposition that seeks to bring us down and destroy us.

Most of the time, these such opponents aren't people or things, but rather negative character traits like sloth, greed, hatred, jealousy, or even ambivalence. They are much more subtle as they try to creep into our minds which ultimately can destroy our efforts for success in life and bring us down. They are the weeds of life that choke out the seeds of successful living. We need to keep vigilant against such saboteurs and watch ourselves from letting these overtake our hearts and minds.

One-hundred-sixty-fourth Wallpaper - "Purify"
PurifyToday I've finished up another new wallpaper entitled, "Purify", making it my fifth of the year, and the 164th overall to the site.

My household - which right now consists of me, my beautiful wife, and our precious little cat, named Yuki - has been through some trying times recently this year. In fact, one of these challenges directly influenced me on choosing tonight's topic in particular.

Two weeks ago, my wife and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary. As part of my present for my wife, I thought it would be nice to buy her some flowers for the occasion. Not thinking too much of what specifically could be harmful to our precious little kitty, I bought an arrangement, brought them home, and settled on a place where we'd usually display a bouquet of flowers.

Well, you probably already guessed what happened. The following week - which was last week - Yuki decided that a certain flower's leaves looked too good to pass up. She chewed and consumed around 5-7 half leaves of a Tiger Lily flower. Again, the thought of bringing home something pretty into our household never occurred to me to pose any danger. Yuki never became ill from eating anything in our house before - why should we worry? I obviously wasn't careful enough.

Fortunately, I found a small pile of vomit with green leaves in it about an hour after she consumed them. After rushing Yuki to our vet, she was put on an IV to flush out her kidneys, among other things. We ended up having to keep her in the vet hospital for 5 days to maximize the potential of her recovery. This week I was able to take her home finally. It was great to have her back. It was torture not knowing if she'd survive. My wife and I are actually still hoping and praying that she recovers fully as we haven't yet gone back to the vet for a follow up blood test on her. (We were told to wait 2 weeks before coming back.) Toxicology reports showed that she had roughly 60% kidney damage due to those lily plant leaves.

All I could keep thinking about last week when she was at the hospital was "Why didn't I check first before bringing those flowers home?" "Why did Yuki have to eat those leaves?"

Hindsight is 20/20 of course. Well, one of the biggest factors that really helped to save Yuki was the early detection that she consumed the toxic plant and getting her system flushed of the toxins before they could crystallize in her system. We had to purify her kidney with an IV solution to flush out the toxins.

The strangest part of this whole thing was that the symptoms of the toxic intake didn't even show up for at least 24 hours. Her vitals were fine upon initial check-in. But a day later, her kidney tests indicated that they were damaged. We were blessed to have had that early opportunity to treat her when we did.

As humans, we don't realize how poisoned we may be in other areas within us. One of the biggest is the mind. It's been said that we produce up to 50,000 thoughts a day - and 70% to 80% of these thought are negative. Negative! This means that an average human being tends to create up to 40,000 negative thoughts a day. When I think about that (which ironically is another negative thought), it makes me cringe. Just as I should've been careful enough with those dangerous flowers I brought in, we need to purify our minds daily with good and wholesome thinking. Just as the body requires daily purification through good exercise and a healthy diet, so does the human heart require a detox of the mind. We need to put pure things in, so we can get the best out of ourselves.

Healthy living is not just about the physical. The mental and spiritual are just as real and - could be argued - are the most important parts about us. Humans can easily grow depressed, jaded, and bitter over time if they allow "stinkin' thinking" to take ahold of their minds - which ultimately will seep into their hearts. And by "heart", what I really mean is their spiritual lives. When you're constantly looking and focusing on the bad, or even the worst, it's likely going to damage one's soul. As a Christian, I believe the way to keep a pure heart is through daily prayer and meditation on God's Word. This is the ultimate cleansing of the heart and mind.

It's pretty obvious to everyone that a steady diet of junk food like burgers, fries, and candy will cause the body harm. Why do we forget so easily to exercise our minds in a healthy manner? Please do yourself a favor and remember to exercise your mind and soul each day by protecting all that comes in your brain. Focus on the good and pure, and leave the rest behind.

By the way, since Yuki's been home, she seems to be recovering quite well. She definitely seems to be acting like her normal happy self. We won't know for sure how healthy her kidney's are yet until we return her to the vet in 2 weeks. But we would really appreciate your prayers for her recovery. Thank you!

One-hundred-sixty-third Wallpaper - "Carpe Diem"
Carpe DiemHello again, it's been a few weeks since my last post, but today I have another wallpaper to present. Ok, I know, we just had St. Patrick's Day, and that is when I started out to get this new idea for a wallpaper. I'll explain more in a minute. But let me introduce this new wallpaper called, "Carpe Diem", which is my fourth wallpaper of the year, and the 163rd overall.

"Carpe Diem." This is a phrase that I feel has lost a little bit of it's meaningful impact in recent times. Many great quotes and phrases are too blasé now. This one, too often repeated without real thought, is intended as a directive for the listener to take advantage of the immediate time one has right now as if this is your last day of life. Unfortunately, when you hear something repeated so many times, the meaning tends to get lost. Just like when you say a word over and over again. I really feel that the seriousness and sense of urgency tends to get lost today with this phrase as well.

This directive was meant for the present - "Today". Make the absolute most of it and don't depend upon tomorrow coming. You are not guaranteed another day. Be thankful for every day you have. And one way of showing that is to make the most of each day by making it great. Don't keep putting off and telling yourself that one day you will do this or that - make plans to actually get it done TODAY.

Even if there is something that does take more time than one can accomplish in a day, at least you can start making the plans to get it done today - that is seizing the day as well. This stops procrastination and puts the goal on a course to be completed. If it's something that is a process-based accomplishment, use today to make that first step, then keep making the next possible step as soon as you can.

So "carpe diem" that action today that you can either get completely finished in one glorious action, or start the process today so that your goal could eventually be completed. By the way, the image here depicts someone taking full advantage of the great weather and blissful serenity of the outdoors. It was important for the fisherman to be there fishing that day. Not everything has to be the most important activity in the world. It's all about quality of living. This is simply taking something common and making it great.

Orison Swett Marden said it best, "Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them."

One-hundred-sixty-second Wallpaper - "Quantum Leap"
Quantum LeapToday is known as Leap Day, and for this special occasion, I've created a new wallpaper entitled, "Quantum Leap", making it my third wallpaper of the year, and the 162nd overall for the gallery. This is also my second design to commemorate this special day. In case you didn't know, I made my first design relating to "Leap Day" back in 2008 called "Leap Forward". Also, the picture above is of a snow skier doing a difficult flip off a ski jump. (See image page footer for image credit.)

It's kind of exciting to know that today is a day that doesn't come along that very often. To experience an extra day that we can live and breathe does bring to me a sense of opportunity and excitement. After all, this day only comes once every 4 years. Sure, one can simply overlook a day like today as just another day - no special than any other. That is probably the norm for most people. It's understandable, but also rather wasteful. The point of an extra day should bring about an attitude of gratitude and sense of seizing the moment. And speaking about today, I would say it's rather a sad way to view February 29th if all we view today as "just another day."

Today could be a day to make a giant move forward in life. Let it be a starting point to begin something wonderful and new. All beginnings are difficult at first. Depending where you are in life, getting something new going may seem to be even impossible. But nothing worth doing is going to be easy to do. Today could also be a call for you to take something you already started, and making a huge advancement in that to propel you to massively move you forward to the goal that was already set.

Today is special to me for the very reason that it reminds me to treat each and every day as a unique opportunity to appreciate the time we have every day. I'll admit that it's harder to have this perspective on a day that we expect to see every year - any non-Leap day. So, on a day that comes once every 4 years, this day should serve as a great reminder for us to at least look at today as a day to celebrate the rarity of how valuable "today" really is. Not everyone is guaranteed another day. Not everyone is promised to see the end of today even. I think the older I get, the more I realize that each and every day is precious. And each day should be looked at as precious, and to seize each day and make it special. That's how you enable yourself to make a leap forward in life.

I won't even need to get into any specific examples because I believe each person reading this already has an idea of something that either needs improvement in or something that needs to begin. Well, make today the day that you make a quantum leap in life and start living the life you know you should be living! It may be a long challenging path to take, but the destination that lies at the end will make it all worth it. I intend to make my new "leap" today - I hope you will too.

Time is something we never get to spend twice. Make sure you spend today wisely.

One-hundred-sixty-first Wallpaper - "Dedication"
DedicationHere's a new wallpaper for you to enjoy tonight. I'll admit I'm a little behind schedule with what I had hoped to release so far this year, but things have been pretty busy in my household as of late. Couple that with illnesses and waffling back and forth of what I wanted to post next on this site - yes, I do have one more to celebrate this year's upcoming Leap Year Day - all that adds up to my delay in getting this newest wall out.

So, with that all said, here is my newest wallpaper for the gallery called, "Dedication", making it my second one of the year, and the 161st overall.

You've heard the phrase before, "Practice makes perfect." Well, nobody's perfect. So that's not quite accurate. But, practice does make better. Put enough practice into something, you can improve upon a skill set that can produce excellence. But half-hearted practice will not lead to much improvement. Just as in any designed exercise workout plan that one half-heartedly does in which the muscles are barely worked, time and effort aren't enough. So, you could more accurately say that persistent practice with dedication creates excellence.

I believe it's vital for everyone to find something in life that they enjoy a lot and turn that passion into a skill set. Talent is what God gives us, while skills can be learned and developed. There's so many things in life we can all do, there must be something - at least 1 thing! - that every man or woman can discover to become great at. Even if your goal isn't to be the best or even to attain excellence, your self-esteem will likely grow on your journey along the way which is a reward itself.

Not everyone can be the best, but I believe there is no shortage of potential, nor a ceiling to excellence. Find something you love, then practice, or educate yourself to the point where mastery of the subject can't help but develop. The journey is worth it!

One-hundred-sixtieth Wallpaper - "Virtues"
VirtuesIt's great to be back again - posting another new wallpaper. It's also very exciting to release the first new wallpaper for the year as well. Today I give you a new wall entitled, "Virtues", making it my first wallpaper of the new season, and the 160th overall to the gallery.

The foundation of good character is integrity. I like to think of integrity as the personal collection of one's principles and virtues, that guide one's thinking and doing. When you put all those virtues together, that collection of values is our integrity. And integrity always starts on the inside, before anyone can see it exemplified on the outside.

This picture shows a mountain, with no one even around. The virtues that form our integrity will guide us every day and help us walk a higher path in life - especially when no one else is around. That higher Light above will be the only one that is always watching us. That Light is the Lord and He, really, is the only One that matters any way. He is the One we should aim to please in this life. And by keeping God's virtues in our hearts and minds, we will always stay on the right and virtuous path.

Sure, in today's world, it's pretty hard to be or to do anything completely in the dark where there isn't anyone watching. And what we do in public should be wholesome, uplifting, and virtuous. But the things we do in secret will really show us who we are on the inside.

Keeping those virtues - what is good, honorable, kind, uplifting, and generous to others - will light our path to success in life.

One-hundred-fifty-ninth Wallpaper - "Traditions"
TraditionsMerry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! As mentioned a few weeks ago, my aim for this month was to post 2 new wallpapers. So here's the 2nd one for the month entitled, "Traditions", making it the 159th overall "wall" to the gallery, and most likely my last for this season and year.

Traditions are a great thing to have in life. And each tradition is tied in some way to time. The time or season of the year pulls in some connection to an activity practiced in the past. These things we call traditions, some call it customs, are our ways of holding on to cherished memories of the past, while still looking forward to experiencing them again in the future. They are treasured as we - in a way - perhaps depend upon them to provide a feeling of security, no matter what is going on in life. And that's a great thing to have in life.

And while traditions can be made with friends, family, even one some by yourself, the ones I count most special are the ones made with family. Growing up, Christmas was my favorite time of the year. Ok, maybe it still is even today. Time with family & friends, Christmas songs, hot chocolate, church services with cantatas and Scripture readings of Jesus' birth, Christmas cookies, and - of course - the presents we all give to each other, made this time of the year most special! The Christmas time is filled with traditions.

But whatever your family traditions are this time of year, be thankful for them. And be thankful for the opportunity to share them with someone. The greatest gift that God shared with humanity was His Son, Jesus. I'm most thankful for that. He is the true reason for this season. Remembering His birth and what He came here for is my favorite "tradition" of all.

Merry Christmas!

One-hundred-fifty-eighth Wallpaper - "Positivity"
PositivityHello again! This month, I'm looking to post at least two - maybe three - new wallpapers. So here's the 1st one for this month - and in a little over a week I hope to release the next one. This wallpaper is called, "Positivity", making it the 158th overall design to the gallery.

This topic did not come to me all of a sudden. There are many things of this life that I personally struggle with time and again, as I'm sure everyone who has lived life long enough could say the same. In fact life's hardships can come at any time. Even our past - whether it be good or bad - always tends to creep up behind us and tries to pull us under the tides of depression.

We are not promised an easy life - no matter where you live or who you are. Sure, on the surface of so many lives, things seem to be just perfect and carefree. Our own social media rarely paints a genuine portrait of who we are because we are usually the painters. But I guarantee you - everyone has something they are going through right now. So, you are not alone.

Whatever you call that "going through", be it a challenge, a tough time, or a trial - our perspective (which forms our attitude) is what is going to help get us through these things. Some call this positive mindset, "Positivity". It's a subject that needs to be taken more seriously, even though it sounds so elementary.

Just browse the "Self-Help" section at a bookstore and you'll surely come across the phrase "PMA", or "Positive Mental Attitude". Creating, developing, and maintaining this sounds simple, but it is definitely not easy. As short and as simple as this quote by Abe Lincoln is, I love how straight to the point this idea hits on.

Life is indeed hard. Not one can truly boast of how easy life is. If someone does - something's probably being hidden. But it doesn't end there. Life is also very beautiful. God has created a beautiful world, and we are privileged with the task to make it better through relationships with other people, hard work, and making our own choices. Our choice to choose to have a positive mental attitude towards anything and everything.

A few years ago, I came to a realization that no one person has a better life than another. What is real? That everyone's lives are different! We all live and own a different existence. That means that we have the choice to make our individual life beautiful and full of joy, or choose negativity and lies about our position and reap ugliness and despair.

Realize that every day you are making some sort of a choice. And remember that you are never alone in this life! There's someone out there for both you to lean on, and someone for you to help carry a burden. That is what makes life truly beautiful.

I pray you choose beauty! Not just today, but for every remaining day of your life.

One-hundred-fifty-seventh Wallpaper - "Thankfulness"
ThankfulnessEarlier this month, I had made the first wallpaper of a pair of designs on the idea of counting one's blessings and being thankful for the things that God has blessed us with. This wallpaper is the 2nd of the pair entitled, "Thankfulness", making it the 157th overall design to my gallery. Since Thanksgiving Day (for us here in America) is being celebrated tomorrow, I wanted to post this today as I will be away from my home base and on the road the rest of the week to be with family.

Yes, indeed, the Thanksgiving holiday is a special and meaningful time for me. Not just because I have many fond memories of gigantic delicious dinners around the table with friends and family and sharing those precious moments with them, but also it's like a built-in reminder to give thanks for what we have.

This picture is a throw-back to what has typically been portrayed to us as the type of harvest corn that the Pilgrims and American Indians may have had back when the first Thanksgiving was shared. Fast forward to today, and Thanksgiving is celebrated all over the world - however, just not all on the same day.

I think Cicero had something there when he said that "a thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues." We need to start being more thankful for what we have and in so doing, we start seeing that all we have is usually all we need.

As Johnson Oatman wrote in the chorus of an old hymnal back in 1897, "Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your many blessings, see what God hath done."

One-hundred-fifty-sixth Wallpaper - "Blessings"
BlessingsHello everyone! This week I've been working on a lot of new stuff and I wanted to post this new wallpaper as part of my first of two wallpapers related to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. And while this particular design will not be an actual "holiday" wall, I still wanted to release it tonight as I finish up my new Thanksgiving wall in a few weeks. So, enjoy my latest entitled "Blessings", which makes this my 156th wallpaper overall to the gallery.

The "harvest of old age" is not something that everyone is privileged to in life. My own brother had a short, yet full life. So I consider myself a blessed man to see (insert the age I am now here) years old. (You didn't really think I was actually going to reveal that here did you?) smile

OK, I know that it's easy to become a little sad when you come to another birthday and the counter goes up 1 more "tick" - especially when you're approaching, or in the middle of, or past "middle-age". And while I know that not everyone falls into this category, I know there are some that really do become depressed and use negative thinking to guide their reflection on where they picture themselves currently in their life. Usually, they are too hard on themselves.

In fact this can become very easy to do on an every-day basis. But we need to get into the habit of counting the blessings that God gives us. They are actually abundant when you really stop and think.

Think you have it rough today? Maybe you do, but there is probably someone else you even know too who is going through something even worse.

So, when you're tempted to start thinking negatively, catch yourself and those thoughts - and recall 1-3 things that you can be thankful for today and focus on those things for a few minutes.

If you can get into this habit, you'll realize just how many blessings in fact you have and aging can become an opportunity of blessing itself.

Life is a great gift! Count your blessings today!

One-hundred-fifty-fifth Wallpaper - "Future"
FutureHappy Back To The Future Day! So this is my homage to the "Back To The Future" Trilogy. And being that today is "BTTF Day", I wanted to have fun but also take this a little bit more seriously using still the idea and theme of the word "Future" to make this my 155th wallpaper for my gallery.

I've designed so much of these "walls" that I really wasn't sure I had already done one called "Future" and I had to check my Complete Listings page. I did have a different quote in mind for this one too, but since I already used the Alan Kay quote on Innovation, I decided on this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. There were a lot of great quotes to choose from regarding the idea of "past and future". Ultimately, I liked this one the most, which then pivoted into using this image of a child looking ahead and dreaming about his future.

I am a huge fan of the BTTF Trilogy. And it's actually hard for me to single out one as my favorite movie of the 3 as they each play very interesting parts in the grand story. These movies have everything you want: action, comedy, adventure, drama, romance, suspense! I love westerns too, and these movies brought that aspect in as well. (I could do without the strong language in certain parts, but . . . cleaned up versions are great too.)

Focusing back to the future though....

We cannot predict what the future holds exactly. There have been many who've tried. There are many who do it in vain. And there are many who do it for fun and entertainment (ala the BTTF trilogy). But ultimately, as Doc Brown quipped in the BTTF Part 3 movie, "...Your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!"

One-hundred-fifty-fourth Wallpaper - "Circumstance"
CircumstanceHi again! Trying to fit another wallpaper in this month was a challenge for me this week, but here it is... with something more timely and relevant than I've posted in a few years.

Yes, you are not mistaken! That IS a "Blood Moon". From time to time, I like to take a current event or holiday and incorporate it into my work. Since this is very recent, in celebration of the Super Lunar Eclipse that took place on Sunday this past week, I wanted to have a little fun and decided to design this new wallpaper entitled, "Circumstance", making this what I call my tenth wall for this "season" and my 154th overall.

Full disclosure here: this is actually a slight composite of a few images of the actual lunar eclipse that took place, rather than an actual raw image untouched. With that in mind, the heart of why I decided to do this idea comes from both the rarity of seeing a super lunar eclipse, and the fact I actually got to see it with my own eyes.

It was a rare event indeed! If you have no idea what this is a picture of, then I'll pause for a second and explain. This week, the moon passed into the Earth's shadow that produced a total lunar eclipse during a full moon which occured during the moon's "closest approach to Earth in a given orbit," according to NASA. This was also known as the "Harvest Moon" as well. With all these things adding up, the circumstances were right for a great viewing experience for half of the world to witness. Yes, I was one of them.

Now, I'm not going to get into what many believe that this somehow symbolizes something much deeper that what physically happened on Sunday. I'll allow others to debate that elsewhere.

What I do want to do however is point out a few other things. While this event was indeed rare, there are people that seem to wait in life for things to be all lined up before they'll take action and do the things they really should be doing. Whether it's starting that new relationship, start a business, making a purchase, or taking on some other task or job, we just can't wait for circumstances in our lives to be perfect. We don't need to - and frankly - a lot of time would be wasted if we did.

Don't wait for circumstances to be perfect if there's something that needs to be done. Make your own circumstances be perfect just by simply deciding to take some form of positive action and start following through!

One-hundred-fifty-third Wallpaper - "Exceptional"
ExceptionalHello again everyone! It's been a long time - almost a year! - since my last posting.

I guess you could say I needed a break from all this. A few things have happened since last August (as I did make mention last year) and I just couldn't keep up with all the changes of life and find time to create wallpapers. So, instead of barely getting things scraped together here, and realizing that quality in my work would suffer, I felt I would rather take a much needed break from this site.

But good news - I'm back! And even greater news, now there's fresh wallpapers to come! In fact, I have one to release today called, "Exceptional", which I am calling my ninth wallpaper for the "season" (as I've decided to now reconvene last year's season of work with the remainder of this years and put them together as 1 "season"), and making this my 153rd overall.

Being "exceptional" means to be so great as to be uncommon; not just average, but excellent! Here we see others realizing there's a difference between something so special and unique to that of being just ok or good enough. As George Washington Carver said, "When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."

In the coming months, I will keep posting at least 1 new wallpaper. There may be more depending on how other things go.

Here's to the future!

One-hundred-fifty-second Wallpaper - "Venture"
VentureThis month has come and gone by so super fast that I have barely found any time to create anything new. So, this month finds me going into my "design chest" - which is my stash of designs I've done over the years that I've not found the time to post yet.

Some just end up being abandoned altogether, but some designs are still worth working on. I usually end up needing to fine-tune something on each of these, and give them a little "polish" by finding a more appropriate quote since I first did a particular design.

So after a little bit of work, I give to you "Venture", making it my eighth wallpaper for the year, and my 152nd overall.

The reason for my busyness now is that I am in the process of a move. My wife and I are starting out our own little venture by moving away from Wisconsin, a place I've called home most of my life. It's a little scary, but I'm very excited to make the move, as my wife is too. I used this quote by Thoreau as I felt it encouraged me while I go through this endeavor.

I won't go into the themes that "ventures" conjures up here - at least for now. I may come back and write up something here in the future. I just wanted to post this before the month is finished and I lose access to my equipment.

For now, I'll let the quote do all the talking, and your mind the deciphering! I hope to post something in September, but it may be difficult as the move will keep us both very busy.

Until next time...

One-hundred-fifty-first Wallpaper - "Flexibility"
FlexibilityA month ago this site saw 150 wallpapers. It was a milestone. This month won't have as much cachet, but it does boast a new wallpaper! This one is called, "Flexibility", making it my seventh wall for this year, and my 151st overall.

Yes, a topic on flexibility. It may seem like an obscure topic for success, but it's not really.

Many successful people in this world arrived at their successes by thinking creatively and by thinking outside the box. This is a cliche I know, but it's still doesn't negate the reality. If you keep doing the same things over and over, by using the same approach time and time again, you will keep getting the same results. Now if the results you are reaping lead to success, then fine - keep going! But if not, you need to change the process. Usually this process starts in the mind.

Many times in my life, I have been too stubborn about things. And it usually got my nowhere. I honestly admit that usually it was out of frustration or laziness. The consequences of not being flexible in either my approach or way of thinking about things had limited me in the past. Or course I still fail at times to change my approach, but when I'm open to changing my way of thinking, I find that a solution follows.

That's why is good to get into the habit of being flexible. No, I"m not talking about stretching or yoga - I'm talking about allowing your mind to see more than one way of doing something or open it to new opportunities that you wouldn't normally take. This does take a bit of effort at first, but it will pay off.

A quote by Tom Robbins put it best, "Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach." Another old saying goes, "Write your goals in concrete and your plans in sand." Don't stay on the same path if that path leads you to a dead end.

Also, don't allows look for the most complicated way either. Usually the simplest way is the best way. Some may view "the simplest" as shortcuts. Shortcuts are even fine if they don't violate the rights of others nor violate the Laws of God. But shortcuts done the wrong way can turn out to be the wrong method as well.

I find the phrase, "right frame of mind" includes some form of flexibility and openness to changing the way one views something. If you are able to change your mind towards something, you will be able to change your results, leading to favorable results for you and anyone else involved.

To put it another way - once you unlock your mind, you unlock your life! Stay flexible.

7 Years - 150 Wallpapers!
Well, today it's official - this "wallpaper" site is 7 Years Old! That is - my first wallpaper was uploaded 7 years ago.

Seven years ago, on July 1, 2007, via a 63-word, 1-paragraph statement, I had "uploaded my first wallpaper" called Success, and posted right to the homepage. It was only available in 1 size, but it was available!

(The blog archives actually show a post from June 30th, when the site became live, but my 1st "wall" was actually posted the next day. So, officially, it is on this day, July 1st, that I mark when this site became a "wallpaper site".)

Seven years may not sound like a lot to you, but to me working on it for this long, it's a milestone that I'm going to cherish. The 150 wallpapers is the other milestone I've been working towards accomplishing.

When I started this website seven years ago, I really had no idea that I'd be making wallpapers for this long. I didn't really have a plan when I started.

Over time, my vision for this site grew more and more, to the point where I set a goal to have at least 100 wallpapers, among other features like special lists, a resource center, and ultimately poster versions of my work. When the 100 walls goal was attained, I said to myself, "I can't quit until I have made 150, then we'll see after that."

Well, we're now here. Do I continue? It's really hard to answer that. There are many other things I could do with my spare time. But keeping SW going (and growing) is something I'd like to see.

And as I've mentioned yesterday, there have been many times I've wanted to quit this site altogether to allow me to pursue other interests. I think I'll keep going for now. Life tends to change what's important, and this is still important to me. I've seen how this site has grown and I still have ideas for more new wallpapers.

There is a cost to doing something worthwhile. I hope that my children will one day discover this site and it will inspire them in some positive way.

Thank you for allowing me into your lives with this site so far. Now I may take off a month here or there when absolutely needed. But I will make it known when I decide to finally end this journey.

For now, I'll continue...

One-hundred-fiftieth Wallpaper - "Tenacity"
TenacityToday I am so happy to finally say that we have hit the big One-Five-O! Yes, 150 wallpapers ago, I started this site! In fact, tomorrow, July 1st, will make it exactly 7 years since I first posted my 1st official wallpaper to And to be factual here, this site did officially open on June 30th, 2007, so today is also my 7-year anniversary for this site overall.

I will probably speak more on this event tomorrow, but today, I'd just like to highlight this new wallpaper I'm posting. It's entitled, "Tenacity", making it my sixth for this year, and my 150th overall to the site!

In todays world, you got to be tough! (Yes, suddenly that Des'ree song just jumped in my mind.) Whether in business, sports, etc. - the one who can withstand all circumstances and maintain a mental toughness, and possess the attitude that he/she can be the better for it, will survive.

Tenacity is all about our mind set - not a physical activity. That is just an extension of what's inside. But being tenacious requires a devotion and desire to such an extend that even our own fears won't have a chance to stop us.

As I mentioned earlier, I started this site seven years ago. There have been a few times I've wanted to quit this site and let it fade away. Not because I didn't enjoy the work or process, because I did; but more so due to my life around me started to change. However, looking back, I'm glad I stuck to it and forced myself to keep it going. I've seen how this site has grown and I have fond memories making each new wallpaper. In fact, it forced me to grow a little bit as well. And I sincerely hope that this site has helped you in some way as well.

Why did I just admit to wanting to quit this whole project? Because the tenacity I had within forced me to continue, and not give up. I've had many reasons to stop this whole site. But I've managed to find ways to continue on so far. I just could not allow myself to give up before the goal I had set was over. I had envisioned to do at least 150 wallpapers for this site. Now, I can see the rewards for not giving up on it.

Will I keep it going? Well, you'll just have to wait and see... smile

One-hundred-forty-ninth Wallpaper - "Forgiveness"
ForgivenessToday I have finished another new image to the gallery entitled, "Forgiveness", which is the 149th wallpaper to the site and the fifth new one for this year. (Only 1 more to hit the big 150!)

But on this topic, I'd like to share with you what's on my heart.

We don't really hear much about forgiveness in the media today. It's not a flashy topic. In a world where we do try hard - I believe - but maybe not hard enough to avoid conflict and war, it seems as though the answer to any conflict is to fight. Now I'm not pushing that we never fight for what's right. Last month's blog on conviction covers what I feel we should do. However, the art and practice of forgiveness is focused on less and less today. It's even harder when we live in an age where pride and one-upmanship rules above meekness and peace.

First off, the overall truth is that we need to forgive others. How many times have others forgiven you in your life? It's something we rarely think about. You know what is thought of a lot? Grievances - by those who hold them against others.

Humans tend to allow things to fester. The more things stick around in our brains, the more it tends to grow. If we would just follow the wise, yet simple, advice to "forgive and forget", we'd be much more happier in life. So, if not for the sake of those who might have wronged you, do it for yourself and forgive those that hurt you.

I know that this can be a hard thing to do. Some things are easier to forgive than others of course as there are varying degrees of wrong doings. That is why Alexander Pope described it as "divine". Regardless of what it is though, we handcuff ourselves if we cannot forgive others. There are no varying degrees of grudges.

I find it most interesting when I think about who is really affected the most by a grudge. Rarely is it the one on whom the grudge is against. We all know this to be true. Plus we cannot advance in our own lives carrying hate in our hearts and minds. It blocks out better things on which to think about. Negative thoughts grow and take up more and more space while we actually grow smaller and smaller as people. Forgiveness forces us to grow beyond what we currently are, and lets go of all that hate.

Next, we need to forgive others as God forgave us. We are ultimately doomed without His forgiveness. We are imperfect people destined for punishment, were it not for God's love and forgiveness of our sins. Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross. Whether or not you believe this, it doesn't matter. It did happen. Christ was the greatest example of forgiveness, which brings me to my final point.

Forgiveness allows us to set the right example for others. How can I say to you to forgive others when I myself have not forgiven my enemies? I can't. And neither can you. We must forgive first before we have any right to ask others to forgive us. If they don't forgive us, and we've asked for it, then it's on them now as it will begin to eat away at them. However, we can move on.

When we do forgive, we set a good precedent to the ones we forgave as now they feel the need to forgive others who've wronged them. (Chances are that's how things got started.) Hurting people often tend to hurt others as a result of past experiences. When you forgive others, it enables healing, and forgiveness can begin to multiply.

Paul Boese said, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." If you have a grudge or harbor any ill will toward others because of evil committed against you, seek out and find a way to forgive that person before it eats you up with hate. It's no way to live life. Forgive them, then forget the evil forever. You'll be much happier when you do!

One-hundred-forty-eighth Wallpaper - "Conviction"
ConvictionWelcome back again everyone! I have another new "wall" for you today. This one is called, "Conviction", making it my 148th wallpaper to the site.

Today, I'd like to discuss a little bit of where we are headed in our society. The path it's on right now is not a positive one - if we're focusing on it's values. I'm talking about the downward direction our society is on. We each need to be responsible. And we each need to be alert of what is happening.

The man "who stands for nothing will fall for anything" isn't just the idea for describing one who is gullible. While this can be true as well, it rather speaks more to the notion of those who have no conviction about what is right, or good, or just.

It also speaks to the notion that a man needs something to believe in so greatly, that it pushes him to stand up and not allow the lies and deceit, to sway his decision. It's his moral compass.

Most men and women these days do not give much thought to what they believe in and this makes them too susceptible to anyone who may try to impress them about what is right and wrong. They get suckered into things that they wouldn't have otherwise done by themselves. In other words, they are too easily influenced by others.

Many times, people sit on the sidelines of life and allow things that should be held in check, go undeterred. Our society (the many) - being influenced by the few (the media) - has deteriorated so much over the past few decades and we've allowed ourselves to become complacent with the degradation of our country's morals.

We need to stand for something more. We need to stand up for what's right. The freedoms of our own nation are being stripped away by politicians who only cater to those who lobby for things that make our country less great. We need leaders in this world who have strong morals and character, with strong convictions to do what's right in God's eyes, not only their own.

What stands out to me about this quote was that it came from a politician! Oh, how I long for some strong leadership by good and honest men who possess such strong conviction! There was a time when our country had this.

We need to take a stand for what is true, good, and even holy. We need to stop believing the lies of this world and start looking deeper to analyze what we're hearing and seeing around us. Don't fall for anything! Stand for something you know to be true and worthy of preserving. That is conviction!

One-hundred-forty-seventh Wallpaper - "Risk"
RiskHello again everyone! This day marks a special day for me as I'm celebrating my 37th birthday today. So, as my own gift to you (as well as for myself), I'm finally releasing to you a topic that I've just not been able to get to for some reason or another. This new wallpaper is entitled, "Risk", making it my 147th wallpaper to the gallery.

Many people in life are so afraid to take risks. Most of the time, it's due to a fear of failure. Other times, the fear of criticism from others stymies us from making a move forward.

Herodotus once stated, "It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen." Aristotle also said, "There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."

Thinking about this for a while, it came to me that even though if no one else would criticize you if you do nothing nor risked anything, the voice inside us will eventually begin to speak up and start doing it for them. I would rather live with knowing that I did try something, fail or not, and have silent peace with possible defeat, than knowing I was safe but constantly brushing aside those "what-if" thoughts. To be able to say that at least I tried carries a sense of satisfaction.

I have taken some chances in my life with things, and I've struck out on some of those. But I can honestly say that I probably would have felt worse if I had never tried those things. The biggest regret people have is not trying. Fortunately, there's always still some time left to take some risks. Not dumb risks, but wise, calculated risks.

Calculated risks are those decisions that, while still risky, are rooted in some manner of experience or a logically educated guess of what will happen if I tried something risky. Those are the kinds of risks that I consider most worth shooting for.

If you're contemplating taking a risk on something in your life, doing a bit of homework on the topic would be well worth the investment you're about to take. But, a risk is still needed to be made. Big breaks rarely come, if at all, in life without taking risks.

Each risk not taken subtracts from the person we could potentially become. Those actions not taken will make opportunities disappear, as well as some rewards that might have been ultimately waiting for us.

We subtract our chances of success in life when we don't take risks. But with each calculated risk we take, we multiply the potential returns that those opportunities created.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with one last quote from Maxwell Maltz: "Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one's better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act."

One-hundred-forty-sixth Wallpaper - "Patience"
PatienceToday's topic is a subject that comes straight from the heart of what many people who live in the Northern parts of the globe are probably struggling with, as this year's Winter weather continues to challenge the body, and even more so, the mind. This month's new wallpaper is called, "Patience", making it my 146th wallpaper overall to the gallery.

I've tried really hard to stay positive while living out this long Winter here in Wisconsin, despite all the cold and the snow. Patience is definitely a virtue, but like a fire in the rain (and snow), I am running low on mental energy due to the weather. Despite this, I know that warmer days are ahead. I have hope that it won't be long, but -20 degree mornings are hard to ignore, let alone embrace.

There are other more important things too in my life of course that merit even more patience. That is why I've decided on this topic for today as it seems so fresh on my mind.

As Rousseau said, "Patience is bitter, but the fruit of it is sweet." It really is true. Patience is something that requires a special viewpoint for it to work. It is unpleasant but helps soothe frustration, though is is not easy. The hardest part of having patience is when we don't know what lies beyond the corner.

The weather isn't the only focus we all share. Patience in knowing if there is a job to be had, or to be advanced; relationships to repair or grow, or to start new ones; or even new business to start and grow - these all take time to evolve and solidify, and that requires patience.

Patience is also a sort of glue that can hold us together when at times we feel like coming apart. Stresses and setbacks try to rob us of our joy, but we need to "keep calm and carry on". With "active" patience, we can.

The viewpoint we need to have is seeing the outcome so clearly that it forms a strong belief within us on what is going to happen. Those beliefs will allow us to stay calm despite the storms. If careful and correct calculations are made, the vision we had will play out as we hoped; and in the end, the fruit of our patience will be rewarded.

One-hundred-forty-fifth Wallpaper - "Get Going"
Get GoingHello everyone! It feels great to bring to you my first new wallpaper for the year, which I call, "Get Going", making it my 145th wallpaper overall to this site.

Starting off a new year is always exciting for me. The possibilities that lay ahead are limitless - at least for those of us who have good imaginations. smile But the realist in me also knows that nothing is going to change, however, unless I take action toward that change.

Some of you may already be a little behind in your New Year's goals this year. It's a common thing, so don't beat yourself up too badly. For most, it's not because they've stopped doing something, but rather, it's because they haven't even begun! Maybe I'm describing you. It's not important what you haven't done, but to first understand "why" you haven't done it, and then figure out a way to take those first few steps.

The main reasons why most people fail to get going on things they know they should do, or even things they want to do, is that they are waiting for the conditions to become perfect. Most of the time, maybe 99.99999% of the time, this never happens. Those that do get things done make the conditions good enough for them to start.

Another major roadblock to taking action is the well known 4-letter word, FEAR. Fear is something that we erroneously feel that we must eliminate in order to get going. This may seem true, but most successful people in life will admit that in order to eliminate their fears, they just DID IT. Taking the first steps will enable one to see that all the things he/she was worrying about happening don't materialize. Once that realization starts to solidify in one's psyche, the fears start to disappear.

In short, you conquer fear through action. Then you build some momentum. Before long, that momentum becomes greater than the forces trying to stop you. It's like driving a car through a wall. Your old fears can't stop you because you've already moved past them.

Get going today, start taking action, and create your own Happy New Year!

One-hundred-forty-fourth Wallpaper - "Prevail"
PrevailHello for the last time in 2013, everyone! Tonight I post my 12th and final new wallpaper for the year entitled, "Prevail", making it my 144th overall to the gallery.

Before this year completes itself again, I wanted to offer this last pleasant thought. For many of you, this year may have been a good year. For others, it may have been very difficult and "challenging" to put it as best as possible. I would place myself in the latter category. But either way, we all need to stay strong and prevail when things don't go right.

We all have tough times. We all suffer crushing defeats. Some challenges that jump right in front of us many times they seem insurmountable. But when we stay strong and carry on, we not only conquer the mountain, we conquer the weakest parts inside that hold us back. Through our conquering we are made stronger and wiser. The last part of that statement is more important. I'd like to think that maybe a wiser mind is a stronger mind.

I am looking forward ahead to better days and cherish the possibility that only the best is yet to come. Have a Happy New Year!

One-hundred-forty-third Wallpaper - "Mentality"
MentalityHello again everyone! I just posted a new wallpaper today entitled, "Mentality", making it my 143rd overall design to my gallery.

I'm sure you've heard the expression "mind over matter" before. It's the idea that if one uses their willpower in such a determined way, they can overcome a physical obstacle.

I felt that this is best put into a visual form through the idea of overcoming a mountain. Now, the quote I have here isn't just about using your mind to think positively, but rather using it to figure out how to get beyond what may stand in the way. You can either look at it, and it may indeed seem immovable. But there rarely is a case where there is only 1 way something can be done. Usually there is more than 1 way to arrive at a destination. (*Note that I said usually.) It all depends on the creativity of the person.

Through the use of one's mind, I believe that one can indeed get over any challenge that comes your way, you just need to perform more mental exercise to get there.

One-hundred-forty-second Wallpaper - "Examine"
ExamineHi everyone! It was really important to me that I post this latest wallpaper out to you this month, being that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. I had planned on getting this up earlier this month, but my personal schedule has been ridiculously busy.

This one is called, "Examine", putting the focus for us to encourage our loved ones to get a physical healthy examination and get checked in efforts to stay healthy. It is my 142nd overall "wall" to my gallery.

Even though this design may focus more on the side of Breast Cancer Awareness (given that pink represents this cause), it can obviously apply to anyone for any sort of a health exam in which we all need to be vigilant in keeping a close eye on. It's important that you know your family's medical history and the predispositions that you may be at risk for. Getting checked regularly will, as Franklin put it, be that "once of prevention" will help aid us in staying healthy before it too late.

One-hundred-forty-first Wallpaper - "Logic"
LogicBefore this busy month ends, I wanted to post another new wallpaper today entitled, "Logic", making it my ninth new wallpaper for this year and my 141st overall to the site.

First off, no I did not create this new "wall" simply because I'm also one of those looking to cash in on the recent craze over Duck Dynasty! I will admit though that my family loves that show. And with the thought of this old saying fresh on my mind, I decided, "Why not do one with a duck?"

This theme also correlates nicely with the last wallpaper I made called, "Discern". With discernment, you have to read between the lines and create your own conclusions, using wisdom. With logic, you simply only need to read the lines, with a bit of common sense. Also with logic, the clear cut answer is usually there for the taking.

Logic involves reasoning and applying knowledge in the right way, there is no wiggle room left for interpretation. Only exact factual answers need apply! Logic verifies things, while discernment infers with insight. Both have their place. If facts are provided, use logic. So when a bird comes along that points to nothing else but that it's a duck, then it's a duck.

Most people these days I feel are failing to use a little bit of logical thinking to solve their problems, or complete tasks that - with logic - provides the obvious answers. We tend to over analyze things that simply don't need that much mulling over. There of course are times when adequate evaluation needs more time; but logic, when needed and can be enough, can get you there faster.

One-hundred-fortieth Wallpaper - "Discern"
DiscernHello everyone! I'd like to wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend that is just around the corner. I've posted another wallpaper today entitled, "Discern", making it my eighth new wallpaper for this year and my 140th overall to my gallery here.

I believe one of the greatest skills to possess in life is the ability to observe a situation, and accurately evaluate what is exactly happening. Then taking that assessment, and applying wisdom with it as to what your role is in that particular situation, or, how you should apply it in your own life. This is known as discernment.

It is the ability to grasp, understand, and assess a situation with clarity and accuracy. It helps us to separate between what is real and what is fake. Discernment allows one to evaluate clearly to make the best decisions in life.

I'm going on a trip this coming Labor Day weekend, which - I think - might have had some influence on my making this wallpaper. My wife and I have been toiling on what to do, and where to go for this weekend. Using a set of situations, data, preferences, and facts, we came up with a plan on where to go.

Discernment will usually be used more so and come into play when you don't have all the facts, but you will need to read between the lines, or even draw out and deduce on what could happen that hasn't even played itself out. Sometimes the signs are more clear than at other times.

Making all the right moves on any journey is not crucial to arriving at your final destination; it will, however, get you there much faster. Good judgement and assessing correctly will spare you time and aggravation.

As we grow in life, our ability to discern usually grows stronger, giving us insight that paves the way on where to go next.

One-hundred-thirty-ninth Wallpaper - "Plot Out"
Plot OutHello again! I've posted another wallpaper today entitled, "Plot Out", making it my seventh new "wall" for this year and my 139th overall to the site.

As the famous Yogi Berra once quipped, "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." His quotes were usually a good source for a chuckle. But yet, this quote does hold some truth to it.

Have you ever been out on the water, a lake, or an ocean? Being on the water, with no navigation instruments can be very intimidating. You must have a map or instrument of some sort to get back. You don't necessary need it as you go out if you have no specific destination. But getting back - that's another story. The return trip back then becomes the destination. So travel aides are still required. However, going to some place specific on the water is difficult, if not impossible, without plot points, visual cues, or markers of some sort.

Life is like this too. If you're not careful of where you are going, and without carefully diagnosing where you are and where you're headed down the line, you will end up lost in life. So many people unfortunately are.

Having a specific plan for your life is critical to getting where you ultimately dream of going. Day by day we need to re-calculate where we are. When you know that your destination is not where you're headed, you don't adjust your end point, you must adjust your direction. A fraction of a degree in the wrong direction on a long trip will get you lost. The wise constantly check their heading in life.

But you must determine where you want to go first. Then plot out where you are now. In between, you must figure out how to get there. Normally, it's the between steps that people cannot figure out or calculate perfectly, That's ok. It's normal. The key is to continually adjust yourself and get back on course as you move along the way.

Now I understand that the person or company who may be traveling on the water in this photo didn't physically put those markers out there in the water to plot out their course. The markers in this image are most likely there to mark out boundary lines. But I love the symbolism that this represents in a broader sense of what must be done in order to get where one wants to go. By mapping out key points that need to be crossed along the journey, it enables one to reach their ultimate destination. Figure out what you want (where to go), and map out how to get there. Be definitive, otherwise, you'll end up "someplace else".

One-hundred-thirty-eighth Wallpaper - "Intention"
IntentionHello everyone. I've posted another new wallpaper today called, "Intention", which is my sixth of the year (138th overall) for the gallery.

Intention is key to getting going. Without it, we lack a certain aim or purpose. Now I'd like to highlight the fact that without taking the required ingredient of "action", just having good intentions does us no good. Taking steps of action is what makes intention valuable. But having a mindset of purposeful planning is what "intention" is all about. We must have an end goal in mind before starting out. The steps in between (aka, the process) are fueled by a strong intention. That is what I'm focusing on here today.

This is the key. We must aid our progress with a strong and deliberate mindset of purpose. Without it, it's easy to become distracted and procrastination could set in. Even worse, without a strong intentions, we could allow outside forces to push out what needs to be done in order to meet your end goal. I've experienced this many times in my own life.

But this is what having a reinforced state of mind I call "intention" does for us. It doesn't allow outside forces to deter us or blow us off the track. Its helps sustain our progress in the midst of challenging environments. It's a bridge we use to cross over and arrive at a goal to bring us success.

My goal each day is to do a minimum of one thing each day that moves me at least one inch closer to my goals. If I can do at least one positive thing today that brings me closer to my goals, I can call today a success. And more than just one (step of action) will get me there faster yet.

To do at least 1 thing today is a must, but 2 or more is greater still!

One-hundred-thirty-seventh Wallpaper - "Embrace"
EmbraceHello everyone. Another month has almost passed, and I couldn't let it go by without posting at least one new wallpaper in May. There is another bigger reason why I wanted to post this tonight, but I'll get to that in a bit.

This wallpaper is my fifth for this year (137th overall), and is entitled "Embrace". This is also a bitter-sweet posting for me as the subject matter is based on my own family's tragedy.

You see, early this past month, we lost my dear baby brother. His name was Spencer. We didn't share a lot of mutual interests in life, as our personalities were different enough, but I still loved him very dearly. We lived just 2 blocks away from each other. We also worked at the same company. Our family is real close. My whole life, just about every holiday was spent all together. I also got married last month, which ended up being even more special as it would be the final time that our entire family was together. I carelessly thought that we had so much more time to still spend and get to do things together after the wedding. It was not to be though.

As to what exactly happened a few weeks ago on the night of his passing, is still a bit of a mystery. In time, we should know more. However, the shock that hit me from hearing the news at the hospital from my father that night he died still sends a shock of disbelief though me. That was probably the worst news I've ever received in my whole life so far. The death of an immediate family member wasn't something I had hoped to experience so soon in my life.

I've been putting off posting this wallpaper as well all month. I've been kind of side-stepping my feelings on this whole matter. But I knew I had to get this up here before my own thoughts and emotions become lost over time. However, my mind still needed time to adjust. I felt that tonight I could face up to this a bit and post this finally.

I am still grieving over losing my brother. I've read somewhere that the whole next year is expected to be hard. I'm prepared for that and will just take one day at a time. But for some strange reason, I still have feelings like he is still here on Earth - somewhere - hiding from all of us, and my little bro will pop out from somewhere and "get us". This just doesn't seem real yet. Well, it's slowly starting to sink in - little by little. For 29 years I've had a brother. Now, he's gone.

I used "Embrace" as the title for this "wall" as that is what I want to do with Spencer again. I long to give my baby brother a big bear hug. He's never been gone this long. I do have the assurance however, that one day I will see him again in Heaven one day. Still, his absence seems only hypothetical still.

Spencer had made it clear to our family that he knew the Lord, Jesus Christ, as his personal Lord and Savoir. With that knowledge, I don't grieve for him. I don't have too. He is in Glory with the rest of my family members who have already passed on. I guess - selfishly in a way - I grieve for myself, and for the rest of my family members here still on Earth who are now deprived of his presence.

My brother was a warm-hearted, compassionate individual. He was a wonderful son, brother, uncle, nephew, grandson, and most of all, a great friend to many. Although he lived a short life, he lived a grand full life. He finished his journey here and finished it well. By the way, this is an actual picture of Spencer. I took it a few years back. Now today, this image is just a taste of how real this is for him now. His back is to us. For me this symbolizes his going ahead of us to Heaven, while we are still left behind without him. He is up in Heaven now embracing others and having a great time.

Everyone has the opportunity to make their lives count and make an impact for a greater cause. Whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you live - embrace the life you have today by helping and loving others in your life today.

I take great pride knowing that my brother Spencer did just that. And I have a great hope that one day, I will see him and embrace him again! Find a family member, or a dear friend, and tell them that you love them. You are never guaranteed another day to do so.

One-hundred-thirty-sixth Wallpaper - "Simplicity"
SimplicityHello everyone! I'm back! Back from a vacation and a pile of preparation that led up to that vacation. Actually it's wasn't the vacation that required so much work. You see, I got married this past month to my best friend and soul mate! We took a cruise afterwards and that is partly why I've not updated this site for a while. I know, my priorities are out of whack!

Regarding the wedding, it took a lot of planning and details to pull it off. We had a beautiful beach wedding in Florida a few weeks ago, but it still wasn't a simple thing to plan for. I give my Sweetie most of the credit on the planning. (I did help out quite a bit too leading up to the wedding in case you were wondering.) However, getting back to normal this past week was not easy. So many things to do and details to check up on that I always have this feeling like I'm forgetting something. I wish coming back from trips were simpler.

This is why I chose to focus on making a new design based on this: "Simplicity"! This is my fourth wall for the year and 136th overall to the site.

Simplicity in life overall is a great thing to be desired. It cuts waste, saves time, makes tasks easier to do, and helps when communicating with others. This image (which BTW was not taken from our trip, those will come later...) is simply land, air, and sea with shade from the trees and warmth of the sun which make a complete, yet simple, environment. I love it! In fact, when I write my blog entries, I focus on taking out the nonessential words just as much as I focus on adding in needed words to be as concise as I can be. Ok, sometimes I do this better than others. Leo Babauta noted that simplicity comes down to two things: identify the essential and eliminate the rest.

The older I get, I realize how true it is that living is easier, and consequently, becomes better, when things get simpler. Fewer things are made now-a-days that seem to follow this path. But when they do, it's great! And it makes life easier and more enjoyable.

Winston Churchill once said that a "vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout your life". Speak concisely, and get to the point fast. People appreciate things simply said. Plus, when you do communicate this way, it's more efficient and easier to have your audience understand.

Ultimately, I believe that simplicity is an achievement itself. Simplicity is beautiful! smile

One-hundred-thirty-fifth Wallpaper - "Productivity"
ProductivityHello everyone. I've been really busy these past few weeks but hope to release more wallpapers starting next month. I was, however, able to finish this new wallpaper entitled, "Productivity", making it my third new "wall" for the year and my 135th overall to the site.

Seems that life can be overwhelming at times. Currently, in both my personal life and professional life, I feel that I have too many things to do: stuff I should do, stuff I want to do, and stuff I must do. Prioritizing helps, but that doesn't solve everything. In fact, simply prioritizing still hasn't actually eliminated anything off my plate. If anything, it just pushed those of lesser importance out to finish at a later time. So it hasn't really solved anything - yet. It can help me feel more in control however.

I honestly admit, I'm the type of individual that when too many things come together at once, I get overwhelmed and really struggle with my productivity. I guess it's because I love getting things done right away, and it's so hard to know that other things are waiting on me to still get done.

This quote by Allen really has been a great reminder and even a tiny source of hope for me lately though. Sometimes, life can get too overwhelming - too much to do with not enough time or sometimes energy even. To handle it though, I can create a little bit of momentum by getting that first task done.

Progress is a product of being productive. And by being productive - even if it's a little bit each day - along the way, I know that I will get all I need to get done. Sometimes you just have to begin with one random task that must be done and just start. We can waste too much time, though, thinking about what needs to be done first, and the order of importance. Sometimes this is necessary, but most of the time, it's not. The most important step really is to just get started.

One thing I would make sure to do though is to figure out if my rate of progress is enough so that everything does get done by the required deadlines. If not, then I must get help if I know I cannot do it alone. Simply sharing our burdens with others, in a healthy way, may be what we need to cope with the negative effects of stress.

There is hope at the end of this "tunnel" I am in now, but I will have to put in the work required to get through it. And this includes getting help from others to carry the burden. We all need to produce to be productive and effective, in order to enjoy the end results we are seeking.

One-hundred-thirty-fourth Wallpaper - "Greatness"
GreatnessHappy President's Day to you all! Today in the United States, we celebrate this day in honor of all US Presidents. (For more on President's Day, please visit here.)

In honor of today, I decided to create this new wallpaper called, "Greatness", making it my second for this year and 134th wallpaper for the site overall.

I believe men who become "great" in life already have a type of greatness within them. I'm not talking about just famous men, or wealthy men. The type of men I'm describing are men with real character and integrity. The men depicted here on Mount Rushmore, were chosen because each one contributed greatly to America, and helped this nation become better before they left their office as President.

They each had a definiteness of purpose to lead America, and helped this country to grow great itself. They each had to rise amidst many challenges and problems to either get this country started, or keep it going and not let it crumble.

I strongly believe though that they all knew that they could be great leaders first, before they went out into the world and become great to the public. They first had to grow into their "greatness" on the inside. They were great men who stood up for their beliefs and values, and knew that corruption, immorality, and injustice could not be tolerated if this country were to become great. Not that everything was perfect with America, for it was a constant work in progress. But these men kept this country growing closer to greatness itself than farther away.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with another great quote on greatness. It's by Fernando Flores who said, "Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great." Begin to believe that greatness lies within you. You need to own that truth. Then, set out to do something that will make a difference.

We all have at least one gift or talent that can be nourished that can lead to greatness. Let your path to greatness begin today!

New List Item Category - View By Color
This weekend, I finished up another new way to view (in thumbnail view) all my wallpaper designs on SuccessWallpapers. This new view - "By Color Theme" - is now complete. I just made it live tonight. I hope this added category adds more to your viewing pleasure!

One-hundred-thirty-third Wallpaper - "Utilize"
UtilizeHappy New Year everyone! While I certainly know that it's been a few weeks since we ushered in 2013, this is still my first new wallpaper posting for the year. So, to start things off right for this fresh new year, I've just posted my latest "wall" entitled, "Utilize," which is also my 133rd overall design to the site.

Utilization is an important skill to add to your life. I strongly feel that people allow many great opportunities to pass them by in life simply because of waste - wasting time, wasting money, wasting resources that - if used properly - can open up new doors and enrich one's life more fully. Little amounts of waste can be difficult to spot, as they are sometimes disguised as stored or saved resources at rest. But in the course of a lifetime, the sad reality is that those little amounts do add up to massive amounts of opportunities squandered.

Taking inventory of what we have and what we're doing with what we have is a good first step. Then we need to analyze if what we are spending our time and resources on is actually paying us back a dividend. (Just like with our finances, only the currency here is a much broader scope of resources.) If after analyzing things we determine that the payback is minimal, it may be time to look at alternatives. Having a little creativity here helps to see what other options are out there.

Here's a great example. If the goal of using 1 hour of time every day, for 5 times a week, to lose weight through exercise, you need to chart out where you are, what you're going to do, where you want to go, and the rate at which you are going to lose that weight. If the weight loss rate is "not working" for you or inline with the goal you set, then alternative methods of exercise, or additional strategies must be added to fix this equation (i.e. adding a certain type of diet to the weight loss plan). Note that I didn't necessarily add more exercise time to this, because it may not be the effort or amount of time that's the problem - it's the method of exercise. Adding more exercise would actually be more waste in this case.

The goal is to be more productive, not spend even more resources (measured in time and energy here). In this case, seeking help from a personal trainer may be money that is used up in the short-term, but will actually be more effective and save you more in the long-term since you could identify a solution quicker. And that is utilizing your resources wisely!

Ultimately, we want to utilize our resources to the fullest. This old adage sums it up perfectly: "What you don't use - you loose!" Make sure you're on the winning end of utilization to take advantage of every opportunity!

One-hundred-thirty-second Wallpaper - "Boldness"
BoldnessHello everyone! I'm excited to bring you my latest and last wallpaper for the 2012 season! It's called "Boldness" which is my sixteenth wallpaper for the year and my 132nd overall for the wallpaper gallery.

When I think of risk taking, there's one character trait that stands out: boldness. Being bold helps build up courage. It helps take the fear out of risk. I believe being bold allows one to "up" their chances for success.

Boldness - as Gothe points out - does seem to gather a power and energy that allows one to overcome challenges. Now, I'm not saying that boldness alone does this, but boldness is what needs to come after ideas and dreams are created. Without boldness, we are timid. We will not be as direct and effective as when we possess it. Boldness allows us to take that first step out there to continue on the dream we have.

May this next coming year be full of blessings to you. May 2013 find you reaching your fullest potential, and - if you haven't done so yet - a starting point for executing some of your own dreams by taking action. May you enable yourself to do that by being bold and taking a chance on yourself and on your dreams!

One-hundred-thirty-first Wallpaper - "Glad Tidings"
Glad TidingsIt may be a little bit early, but to celebrate that today is 12-12-12, I'm releasing my new Christmas themed wallpaper entitled, "Glad Tidings". This one will be my fifteenth wallpaper for the year and my 131st overall for the site.

And in case you were wondering - no, this image was not created by using one of those Photoshop reverse filters to make the tree branches all white. A heavy snowstorm roared through our area this last weekend and left a gorgeous blanket of snow on everything in sight. This picture was taken the night of the storm.

The theme of today's wallpaper comes from my excitement for this upcoming Christmas season. I have many reasons to be thankful and excited for this year. And every year is also another opportunity for new great memories to be created.

One of my favorite Christmas memories and traditions every year is to watch the original Charlie Brown Christmas special. My favorite scene of that show was Linus's "What Christmas is All About" speech. The whole episode is great, but I love the fact that the true meaning of this holiday is presented so clearly in that show.

Also, another thing about me, every time I read Luke chapter 2 around this time of year, the sound of Linus's voice still pops into my mind when I get to verses 10-11. Being that these verses are some of my favorite Christmas verses as well, why not put them together with this heart warming image?

So, this year, I wanted to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, with this wallpaper. "Glad Tidings" to all mankind as God gave His Son to the world so we may find peace and salvation through Jesus! I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas with glad tidings to all this holiday season!

One-hundred-thirtieth Wallpaper - "Togetherness"
TogethernessToday I'm happy to release another new wallpaper to you. It's entitled, "Togetherness", which is my fourteenth wallpaper for 2012, and my 130th overall to my gallery here.

This image to me symbolizes a precious truth - that we all can fly higher in life and go further in our success than when we go it alone. My belief in this statement is so strong that I decided to use (a variation of) it for the quote on this design. "No man is an island," wrote John Donne. We are not meant to be alone.

The geese shown in the image are natural examples that when the work is spread out among many, the unit as a whole is stronger (to get through tough weather), each individual is taxed less (physically) and therefore stronger, and everyone shares the benefits (getting to their ultimate destination).

We too can be like the geese here. If we all share in each other's burdens (when times are tough), we can get through difficult times. But it takes each person to be willing to come together first. But as more and more come forward to help out - even just a little - that can quickly build up and make it easier and easier for everyone.

I love this principle. We could even call it a "law" of success. The synergy that comes from togetherness is amazing. Joys are multiplied when happy and precious moments are shared with one another.

I also love that the effects of challenging circumstances are lessened with friendly and loving support, while good times are multiplied with friends and family. I hope the upcoming Christmas season will find you with friends and family that will ease some burdens and multiply your joys!

One-hundred-twenty-ninth Wallpaper - "Confrontation"
ConfrontationHello again everyone! With the anticipated upcoming "gun" deer season that will be opening up here in NE Wisconsin this weekend, I've decided to create a new wallpaper that would be based off of the deer themes so prevalent all around me.

So, this week, I give you "Confrontation", which is my thirteenth for 2012, and my 129th wallpaper overall to this site.

While it's been years since I've hunted myself, I still get excited too when this time of the year rolls around. I guess I've got "buck fever", mixed with a sense of nostalgia! Couple this with a topic that's been on my mind for these past few weeks, and this wallpaper is the result.

Confrontation is not a topic many people like to think about, much less perform. It's usually an uncomfortable situation when confrontation is required. Yet, it can do so much good when done right.

Some people's personalities are built for this, while many others are not. But if you want to be a leader, confrontation will eventually be needed from time to time, as nothing in this world is ever going to be perfect.

John Maxwell, one of my favorite authors, once said that when confronting people, two things are usually needed to make it work - honesty and sincerity.

Confrontation just does not work if it's not realistic or dishonest. People would be led down the wrong path or headed in the wrong direction without it. So it's essential to be honest.

And then be sincere with your audience. People may not like hearing the words that is being "aimed" at them, but if they see the reasoning behind it (like your sincere desire to fix the issue and even help them), they will ultimately come to appreciate your necessary action.

Don't be afraid of that which must be ultimately done. In the end, everyone will win!

One-hundred-twenty-eighth Wallpaper - "Adventure"
AdventureTonight I'm happy to release a new wallpaper to you again. This one is called, "Adventure", which is my twelfth new wallpaper for the year, and my 128th wallpaper overall for the site.

Mark Twain once said that "...years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do." I most heartily agree with this. I have had the privilege of doing a variety of things in my short life so far. But I have many more things that I still "must" do (or desire to do and accomplish) before I leave this world.

I really believe that everyone needs to do something adventurous every once in a while to have a fulfilled life. If not to have at least an interesting one, and keep boredom from developing. There is just too much out there we could be doing or seeing in this world that we should never complain that we are ever bored!

And it doesn't require going to far away lands for it to be an adventure. Life itself is indeed an adventure - or at least it can be, wherever you may reside. Starting a business that you've always wanted to start, asking that special person out for the 1st time, or doing one thing on your bucket list can all fit this description.

Years from now, someday when you look back at your life, wouldn't you want be able to know that you lived a fulfilled and adventurous life, rather than a safe, but dull one? I hope that you would be able to do the former. I certainly hope to do that myself. Life is what we make it, so make it the best, most adventurous one it can be!

One-hundred-twenty-seventh Wallpaper - "Responsibility"
ResponsibilityAfter holding on to this idea for quite a while, I've decided to release this design tonight. It's entitled, "Responsibility", making it my eleventh new wallpaper for the year, and my 127th overall to the wallpaper gallery.

Responsibility is a word that - depending on where you may be in life - could conjure up emotions of stress and anxiety, or those of authority and power. It could even make one feel all of these thoughts collectively at once.

All my life, I've heard the phrase, "With privilege, comes responsibility." (The word "privilege" is substituted frequently with the word "power" as well.) So, these words seem tied together for me usually.

The main thought here, though, is that when someone has possession of something (i.e. job, relationship, authority, or material possessions), there is usually some form of accountability that is tied to it. The greatest example of this, would have to be parenting.

Now I am not a parent yet, so I cannot begin to realize fully how awesome, and - at the same time - how frightening being a parent can be. That is why I am not going to delve deep into this topic today - because that is not what this topic is solely about.

The focus here is understanding that we need to make sure that the most important matters of our lives are attended to and taken care of first, before we spend time on the non-essentials. This is especially true when something or someone depends on us when there is no one else around or is able to help.

Make sure you take care of the most important things first, then spend time on the rest.

One-hundred-twenty-sixth Wallpaper - "Adversity"
AdversityI just released another new wallpaper tonight called, "Adversity", which is my tenth new wallpaper for the year, and my 126th overall for the site.

Adversity comes to everyone's lives. It comes in all forms. And it comes whether one is ready for it or not. Adversity can make one a stronger, more beautiful person, or it can cause one to stumble, even to the point of depression. We've heard stories of people like Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, and Thomas Edison, who all have had many forms of adversity in their lives. They are great examples of overcoming trials and becoming beautiful people in the process.

How we handle tough times can show us who we really are. If you are strong enough to rise above the difficulty, and not react in a negative way, you will become a greater person. Tough times can allow us to learn a lot about ourselves.

If life were easy, we would probably take many things for granted, and never develop ourselves to become the best we can be. Relationships, health, careers, education, etc., all require time, commitment, and effort to develop. Along life's path, some roadblocks will always pop up to challenge us in acquiring such things. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. If something ever looked easy, I would look at it again and think, "Ok, where's the catch?" or "Is it really that great?"

Usually, most adversity is unexpected. We know hardships can come at any time, but we can never really anticipate the precise time of its arrival. The fact that adversity comes to us is not the most important thing to realize, though. It is how we respond that is the crucial factor here.

Different types of adversity requires different forms of responses. A death of a loved one will require a different form of response than, say, the loss of a job. I know I'm stating some obvious cases here. Sometimes all we can do is grieve for our loss and allow God (and time) to do the healing and be patient with it. In these cases, our faith can be made stronger. But other circumstances, like the loss of some possession or job, we need to handle it with more tenacity and focus. We can allow it to make us both wiser and use it to possibly find something even better than what we lost.

Losing makes the winning all the more enjoyable. Bad times makes the good times even more precious.

This topic is not comfortable to think about, much less talk about. But in tough times like these, knowing there is some reason for it all can help us rise above our adversity. Then, the opportunity to become stronger, wiser, or better will reveal itself.

Adversity will eventually come to everyone. How will you handle it?

One-hundred-twenty-fifth Wallpaper - "Today"
TodayI'm pleased to announce that I've just posted another new wallpaper tonight. This one is called, "Today", and it is my ninth new wallpaper for the year, as well as the 125th overall design for my gallery.

You've likely heard the phrase, "Well, that's [30 seconds] of my life I'll never have back." (Fill in whatever time frame you want here.) It's meant to be funny, witty, and sarcastic; but this phrase subtly has some real truth behind it when you think about it. Time is something that we can never have back.

I know for me, it's frustrating when - at the end of a day - I look back and ask myself, "What have I accomplished today?" and my answer to that question is sub-par in relation to my own expectations. If I haven't "accomplished" anything, I dig a little deeper and ask, "What did I even do today?" If an honest answer is lacking in substance, then I know I wasted a precious gift known as "Today".

Now I understand that there will come days when we may be sick, or need some recovery rest from a prior event in which we did do something very taxing on ourselves. There's also days where life really pulls us down, so we require a significant investment of time in prayer and meditation. Those are valid reasons for "rest" and recovery. In fact, it's necessary - and wise.

I even think it may be more important every day to at least review where we are in life, take some time to consider our mind set in relation to our position in all areas of life. Here is where self-examination is important. There are so many people out there that fall into bad thought habits which lead to wasted time and wasted opportunities. They look at what has happened lately, and believe that the same results will continue today. Or worse, they wait for the "perfect" timing or situation to come along without their own involvement. The perfect timing to do something is today!

This could be the day you meet that special someone, find that certain job, begin a new exercise program, or find a solution to a problem that has been challenging you! Today is the only day you can do something about your life. If you have the attitude that tomorrow will be the day that you will take action on something that requires your time and attention today, maybe because you are too tired or not motivated, it will become harder and harder and you may never do it. Tomorrow is a future tense. It really never arrives. It is an illusion because it keeps jumping away from us. Today is the best day to take action because it is also the ONLY day we can take action. We are never guaranteed another day.

Today is also the day to enjoy life as well. When we fully understand how fleeting this life is, we will begin to savor life and appreciate each day we have. We will also appreciate each other more as well. This kind of awareness colors our thinking in such a way that every day is indeed so valuable, we won't want to waste a single day sitting around. And this attitude leads to a more fulfilled life.

What we did yesterday is important. But yesterday is gone now. The only day we have right now is today. What are you going to do with it?

One-hundred-twenty-fourth Wallpaper - "Embark"
EmbarkI've just posted a new motivational wallpaper entitled, "Embark", making it my eighth new wallpaper for this year, and my 124th overall for the site.

"Embark" is a verb that means to start or begin. This piece is not only meant to give a call to action, but also to maintain that call to action. Start something, then, keep going as well. This is where the image here fits in. Notice that this wallpaper is not showing a starting point nor a "finish line", but rather a point of view from someone who may be in the middle of their journey.

Sometimes, starting out can be the hardest thing for anyone to do. That first step is hampered from things like fear, fatigue, doubt, laziness, depression, procrastination, lack of motivation, etc.

For others, starting out seems real easy, until an obstacle appears in the way. These people lack the necessary focus and determination needed to stay the course.

Then I wonder, "What's the point of starting something worthwhile if you're not going to finish or continue on until that goal is accomplished?" Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't start something if you think that you're not going to finish it. There is some value in testing something out to see if something works or doesn't work for you. But too many "test" the waters to see if it feels comfortable, while still expecting to see results.

Results typically come after consistent effort is put in. "Effort" usually does not feel comfortable and "consistent" implies that sufficient time is also put in. This is where most plans fail to continue.

The 2 main ideas here is that we need to start out, then keep going on that journey. You alone are responsible for your own life. You alone are also the only one to keep it going.

Embark on the journey, endure the hardships along the way, stay focused, learn some lessons, keep that momentum, and never give up! Then you'll reap the rewards!

One-hundred-twenty-third Wallpaper - "Synergy"
SynergyJust a short and sweet update to let everyone here know that I've finished up on another new design this week. It's entitled, "Synergy", making this one my seventh new wall for the year, and my 123rd overall to the site.

I've been wanting to make a wallpaper on this topic for a long time, but I never could find a great image to do it. I found this one at Flickr (see source credit here), with a little modification done by yours truly.

Synergy is a unique law of life. It's awesome to think that by working with more than 1 thing, person, or idea, that more can be accomplished than alone individually. This simple quote by Helen Keller nails this lesson home so clearly: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Yet another great reason that two heads are better than one.

Teamwork produces synergy. Synergy produces great results and advances in life that weren't achievable in a certain span of time, if even at all.

If you are stuck on something in your life that you can't yet seem to get completed, produced, or even started, try seeking out others to help you get past it. They could help bring a new idea or solution for what's getting in your way.

One-hundred-twenty-second Wallpaper - "Release"
ReleaseI wanted to get this up on the site sooner, but editing this image and finding the right quote took some extra time.

This success wallpaper is entitled, "Release", and it is my sixth new wallpaper for this year, and my 122nd design overall for the site.

Recently, certain events in my life have caused me to reflect on how I perceive things. After much inward evaluation, I made up my mind to alter the way how I've been "carrying" certain feelings and beliefs.

Everyone faces challenges at different points in life. Everyone also encounters people who wrong us, or situations that just don't seem fair. Despite all this, we also compound how this affects us by hanging onto the negative emotions that those disappointments create, causing even more damage. What we need to do is let those things go and move on.

Inwardly, we need to forgive those in our lives who have offended us. Not really for them, but for ourselves. When we let go of past pain, we enable ourselves to be free. Holding onto bitterness and anger only brings us down, and allows others to get the best of us. One can use bitterness and anger as fuel, but you can only go so far. That type of fuel burns out fast and burns you out at the same time.

The second type of negativity we tend to hold on to is that we can't forgive ourselves for past mistakes and failures. Holding onto these self-judgements really hold us down because not only is it a negative thought, but it also eats up any motivation for moving forward. Yes, we do need to learn from our mistakes, but even more importantly, we need to keep going forward in a positive direction.

You can't fly high in life when you've got those "weights" holding you down. When we release them, we release ourselves.

Yesterday's gone. You can't change the past, you can only change yourself. So let go and release. You can have a better tomorrow, and that starts today!

One-hundred-twenty-first Wallpaper - "Momentum"
MomentumI'm so happy to be able to release another new wallpaper before this month is over. This month seemed to have flown by so fast.

I call this one, "Momentum", and it is my fifth new wallpaper for the year, and my 121st overall design for the site.

This year, I set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight. I'm very pleased to say that through proper dieting and exercising (with consistency), I finally feel I'm at the point where my efforts are no longer really efforts, but rather simply a new routine that I enjoy doing. I call it my weight loss momentum.

I'm still a ways off from meeting my ultimate goal, but it sure feels good knowing that there's less mental effort needed to keep this going. Am I going to slow down? Absolutely not! Why would I? There's a lot less effort now than when I started. Plus, I am continually moving forward.

The most important thing was making that first push - then another, then another. The "pushing" started with making attainable goals. Then, as those goals were met, I created the next goal. This is the best way to create momentum.

I knew that eventually, the effort I was exerting would create some results. Things do get easier if you stay consistent long enough. That's when momentum starts to carry you forward toward your goal - if you allow it to.

The amount of effort required in the beginning won't compare with the results that you'll ultimately get in the end.

One-hundred-twentieth Wallpaper - "Habits"
HabitsWell, it's been a while since I've posted something new on this site. But tonight I have something new to share with you finally!

This wallpaper is called, "Habits", and is my fourth new wallpaper for this year, as well as my 120th wallpaper to the gallery.

For some, the word "habit" is a word that conjures up positive thoughts; while for others, it's a word they would rather leave out of their vocabulary.

It seems that it's easier to form a bad habit than a good habit. Bad habits seem harder to break while good habits take longer to create. I don't think it has to be that way. Bad habits are formed out of laziness and/or ignorance.

It's been said that good habits take about 21 days before they become second nature. I know I've found out this to be true for myself. I don't care if they do take that long, I think they're well worth the effort.

One thing is for certain though, you can't get rid of a habit, without creating another one to take it's place. The universe hates a vacuum. Something always takes the place to fill a void. If you don't fill that void with something based on your own choice, something (or someone) will come along and fill that emptiness fast - be it good or bad.

So when it comes to habits, look for an area and identify where a habit may be steering you. If it's not helping you become better, than it's likely doing the opposite, and dragging you down.

Make a list, then write it down. This can remind you of what you want and need to do to make a new positive habit. Then tell someone who can help hold you accountable to the change you want to make. This does wonders for helping you create that new habit. Habits are really the bridge to the other side where goals reside. Many people have goals, but don't support themselves with the proper habits to reach them.

I would like to challenge you today to identify at least one area in your life in which you could use a better habit in. Find someone then to help you stick to the change so then that habit will solidify in your life. Pretty soon that goal of yours will be on it's way toward completion!

One-hundred-nineteenth Wallpaper - "Truth"
TruthI've finally finished up on another new success wallpaper tonight. One that I've been going back and forth on for over a week now on just how I was to present the topic.

This new wallpaper is entitled, "Truth", and is my third new wallpaper for this year, as well as my 119th wallpaper overall to the site.

There are many reasons why I decided to focus on this topic, both personal and non-personal. I won't get into those here, but I do want to add my own thoughts on "truth".

Truth is something - when it hurts those who hear it - is something that's difficult to accept at times. It's strange in that it has the capability to hurt at first, yet over time it heals. Jesus used the expression "...and the truth shall set you free" in John 8. Other phrases like "the truth of the matter is...", "be honest with me", and the famous line shouted in the movies, "You can't handle the truth!", instantly cue that whatever follows will not be easy to accept by the listener.

Why do we lie? And why are we lied to? Some feel that sometimes it's the best way to go to at the time. Some would say "It's just a little white lie." But as Austin O'Mally once said, "Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind." When you start telling one lie, you soon find yourself telling another lie to cover that first one up. Then another. Then another. Soon you realize that it would've been better just telling the truth. I won't even get into the topic of how those lies can eat away at your conscience. I feel that many of you already know that uncomfortable feeling.

Telling the truth and being honest is always the best policy. Always! Yes, some believe that ignorance is bliss. Actually, sometimes it very well is. I know that sometimes the truth hurts big time. I understand that. But sooner or later, the truth will come out. And when it does, those mistruths, fibs, distortions, and cover-ups will hurt multitudes more then if the truth would've been given from the start.

I also would like to add that the truth is not equal to "keep'n it real". The truth doesn't have to be rude or offensive. I'm talking about facts and honesty here. We are not perfect beings, but we do have brains which have the wisdom to determine the difference between knowing when to tell the truth and when to be polite to people.

I believe all lies will one day be exposed by truth, given enough time. The truth may hurt at first, but it ultimately heals. In the end, both the giver and the receiver of truth will be grateful that truth was given instead of a lie.

One-hundred-eighteenth Wallpaper - "Romance"
RomanceWell, it's that time of the year again, as tomorrow is Valentine's Day. It's an exciting holiday for those who have a significant other to share this occasion with.

So, in celebration of this year's Valentine's Day, I'm releasing a new wallpaper tonight entitled, "Romance", making this the second new wallpaper for the year, as well as my 118th wallpaper overall to my gallery.

Valentine's Day is a day for love and romance. It's a day where we are encouraged to express our feelings with that special someone. When it comes to a new relationship, it's fairly easy for people to want to be romantic. The early stages of a new relationship is certainly exciting. Romance almost comes naturally.

But in order to get into a new relationship, we have to open up and become vulnerable to possible rejection. If you're emotionally closed off, whether it be to past failed relationships, nothing new has a chance to develop into something real meaningful. We also have to be more giving with our time. My experience is that the more open I am to receiving love, and the more willing I am to give in a selfless manner that love, the more likely I'll find that love.

In fact, I believe that romance itself stems from being generous and unselfish. Generosity gives seed to more generosity. And it is in this environment when the focus is on the other person than yourself - that's when romance has the best chance to allow a relationship to flourish.

So, if you have someone you could share tomorrow with, make sure that you let your significant other know this Valentine's Day how much they mean to you, and do something selfless that would trigger more romance back into your life. It's definitely worth it!

One-hundred-seventeenth Wallpaper - "Fresh Start"
Fresh StartHappy New Year everyone! I took a short break on creating new wallpapers but I'm back with a new one for you today that I feel will be quite timely - given the nature of what typically happens around this time of the year.

This one is called, "Fresh Start", my first for the year and my 117th wallpaper overall to the gallery.

Each new day is a gift. This simple statement has been uttered many times before in various ways, but the truth and essence of this brings comfort to me, as I hope it does for you as well.

If you're like me (as well as a large percentage of the human population), you might have started this new year with high hopes, specific goals, and aspirations for creating a better life. At this time of the year, when we make such goals, they're commonly referred to as "New Year's Resolutions". Have you kept up with all of yours so far? Or have you already given up on a few of them?

Ok, I'll be up front and honestly admit that I've allowed myself to slip a little bit with a few of my own. However, I'm not going to allow a small setback to make me give up on continuing going forward with those goals. The great thing about a new day is that it's another fresh start to get back on track again. Each new day is a gift because it's another chance to start fresh.

Make a new resolution or decision to begin today and do something that will improve the quality of your life. Don't feel that because you messed up on a decision or even given up in the past that it's final. It doesn't have to be January 1st on the calendar for one to make a new fresh start. The best time to start again is today!

For last years' posts, see my 2011 archives.

For even older posts, please see my 2010, 2009, 2008, or my 2007 archives.

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