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August 10, 2015

Joey Bag o'Donuts

I admit it. Even though I write about characters who share perfect messages I am far from perfect. I wish I was but I am a flawed human being. I don't drink, do drugs (never have), smoke or gamble. I'm faithful to my wife and try to be the best father and person I can be but there are times I fall short.

Just ask the parents of the girls on my daughter's lacrosse team. Sometimes I got emotional at the games and yelled at the refs when they made bad calls. I'm not proud of it and knew it was wrong but in the heat of the moment the situation got the best of me. I'm sure the parents were thinking "and this guy writes about positivity?" I apologized to them and said sometimes my alter ego "Joey Bag o'Donuts" shows up. It became a running joke. I vowed silence at some games and the parents asked "where's Joey?" I said, "He wasn't allowed to come tonight." Other times after a horrendous call, where my daughter was slammed with a lacrosse stick, I would blurt out something and they said, "Joey is in the house!"

I'm not naturally a positive person. People think I am because of the books I write. I have to work really hard at staying positive. But I think it's made me a good teacher because I am a student first who teaches what I have learned and continue to learn on my journey. If you like my books, please know I could have never written The Energy Bus if my life wasn't falling apart before I wrote it. George was based on me. So I'm thankful I was a mess so I could then write a message to help others.

I've had people tell me that they expect me to be perfect because they love my books and, truth be told, I hate when I let them down. I know the best way to teach is to model it which is why I continuously strive to improve. My wife will attest I'm not the same man I was when I first started writing. I'm more patient, loving, kind and giving. Not all the time. But most of the time.

St. Francis of Assisi said, "It's no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching." I want my walking and preaching to be one in the same. That's why I'm sharing this with you.

Some said I should create an alter ego Joey Bag o'Donuts Twitter account. But I don't want to add more negativity in the world. There's enough of that. I want to share the best of me, not the worst. My writing represents the best of me and I feel like my life is about being the person I am when I am writing. It's about living the message I write about. That's who I strive to be.

How about you?

Maybe you don't yell at refs but I'm sure there's something you are not proud of. I'm sure you fall short of perfection. We all do. The good news is you can change and strive to become the best version of yourself. No matter what you have done in the past I believe in second chances. I believe in a growth mindset. I believe forgiveness is the ultimate weight loss. I believe people can change for the better. I believe you can start right now.

There are perfect messages but not perfect people. Our goal should be to live the message as much and as often as possible. When we fall short let's admit it, learn from it and get better because of it.

I just joined the advisory board for the Positive Coaching Alliance so my days of yelling at refs are over. But I'm sure I'll fall short in some other way. If you see me, call me out. I don't mind. I'm not perfect and don't want to pretend I am. Don't expect me to be either. But expect me to get better. I promise I will.

- Jon


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