Just Ask: It’s Just About… Life


Now this is the secret. And it’s just so simple.

In the past seven days I have had four meetings which I know will help me in immeasurable ways on my journey, dreams and career path – and the entire reason they happened is for one reason only, I asked.

The other realization that the more someone has, if it is truly serving their purpose and is in service to others, the more they have to give. The bigger they are the harder they TRY – to help someone else finding their way.

Anyone who subscribes to or even reads a few entries of this blog knows that writing is my passion. I have come to learn that words have power beyond measure and when they come from the heart and are constructed in just the right way, can affect other hearts as well. I am on a journey to use my words, my writing, my talent, my WHY to positively impact, even change the course of other lives, and in doing so transform my own.

From Monday to Sunday of this past week I asked for, either by e-mail, social media, phone call or an in-person request, to meet with  people who I know are where I want to go, or I feel can offer advice and counsel for my own journey and the purpose I described above. In three of those four requests I leveraged a relationship with a dear friend of mine to help make the meeting materialize, to get my foot in the door. The bottom line is I asked.

Those meetings happened, I went in prepared with questions, a purpose for the information I wanted to gather and offered up my own assistance to serve them as well. In each meeting I was blown away by the sincerity of the person I was speaking to, because in each case I perceived them as “bigger” or more accomplished than I am at this moment in my life. If you want to get to the top of  the mountain you have no other choice than to go speak to those who are already ahead of you on the climb upward, or who are standing at the top. They know what the terrain is like, they know what to watch out for, they have breathed the rare air and are the ones to  give you the strategy to do the same so you can be successful on your own ascent up that mountain.

Without giving away names, (because I never asked their permission to include them in this blog post), each of these gentlemen offered true and sincere advice and ideas. Understand all they wanted to do was help, all they were trying to do was give, it is what they do every day in simple, yet profound ways.

This is my lesson for today and I am a student in this class, I am sitting in the front row and I am paying attention and doing the one thing so many are afraid to do – raise my hand… and ask.

Can you? Who do you want to meet? Who do you want to learn from? Who can take your life and your journey to the next level? Everyone needs a helping hand.

So here’s an idea for you – find that person – and then just ask.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.


Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Emmy Winner, Financial Services

Author: The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story

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A Rose Is A Rose: It’s Just About… Life


Sometimes you come across something that captures your attention, heart and mind. Just yesterday I read an excerpt by Timothy Gallwey, a life coach who works in the field of what he calls the “inner game”. I’m not currently reading Gallwey’s book, but in the middle of another book, The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey, the author pauses to share one of Gallwey’s best insights, one I had not read before:

When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.

When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; we do not criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place, and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.

The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change. Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.

A flower is no better when it blooms than when it is merely a bud; at each stage it is the same thing… a flower in the process of expressing its potential.

The story of the rose is about human potential and about not being defined by what you do, but rather by who you are.

A rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Sometimes words have such power they do truly make you stop and reflect. Sometimes, many times, it’s more than a quote, it’s a message.

What are you truly left to do with your life but to understand you are that seed!

You must allow yourself to bloom, find who and what will water and nurture you so you can live up to your potential. You are who you are from the time you are born until the day you die – and within all that time, within all those days the potential is there, sometimes lying dormant inside you.

Tapping into and expressing your potential makes the world a better place.

Work on becoming more, on who you are and who you are meant to be and never, ever lose sight of that goal. Stay steadfast in your progress, it takes time, but the world is forever in need of one more rose.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.


Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Emmy Winner, Financial Services

The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story


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The Sunday Series (59), with Mark Brodinsky

We never know what might push us to the limit, make us step out over the edge and peer down into the abyss. The question is how do you pull yourself back? It  can be done. No matter how dark… there is light and a way to use that light to inspire others. One man is proving it every day.

I am Mark Brodinsky and this is The Sunday Series.


The Sunday Series (59): Coming Out of The Dark

jeff emmerson

Jeff Emmerson has adult ADHD, it just took 35 years to figure that out. Millions of other people also share this mental health condition, and its OK to admit it. The problem is many don’t, are afraid, or remain misdiagnosed because they don’t realize that what is holding them back from living the life they deserve, from reaching their potential and making a difference is a condition that requires attention and focus, the same mind control they struggle to provide for themselves.

Jeff says he knew way back during his high school years that he wanted to inspire others. Those thoughts got him fired up, brightened his world, gave him strength. The problem was in the years to come the road to get to that place of inspiration would take so many twists and turns, especially in Jeff’s own mind, it didn’t seem possible.

During his youth, time after time, after wanting to be a pro-hockey goal tender, a body builder and then a host of other activities and eventually as he aged, working multiple low-paying, low-skilled jobs, Jeff remained angry and unsettled, unable to focus on work, or even in a meaningful, nurturing relationship with the opposite sex.

Then the wheels came off the cart.

“I had been so affected by my brother’s suicide”, says Jeff. “It is part of what pushed me.” Back in 2008, Jeff’s brother Ryan, took his own life. Jeff says Ryan was troubled with physical ailments, a spectrum of issues, but also had a wife and new daughter and a “ton of other stuff going on.” Jeff says the loss of his brother “did a huge number on me. It kills a part of everyone around you. I never experienced anything like that and it’s something I pray no one has to go through.”

Ryan Emmerson - Kitchener, Ontario. We LOVE you and miss you!

Suicide. It carries a stigma which some quickly conclude as selfish, leaving others behind because you just can’t handle the unfairness of life, after all life is not fair. But Jeff says it’s just not the case. “For me as I look back, the first thing is it that absolutely someone is not thinking about themselves at the time, people are in their own world, completely self-absorbed and in such pain you can’t think about others and you are in this spiral, this rabbit hole, this place… this dark place, wallowing in exhaustion and who-knows-what going on mentally. We should be less quick to judge and slug those people off as selfish – remember but for the grace of God go I. it can get a hold of anyone in any walk of life, not matter what you have going on for you.”

While his brother committing suicide rocked Jeff’s world, the trouble truly began years before with that lack of focus, what Jeff refers to as a racing mind.  After the loss of his brother, a very short-term marriage (4 months) and a failed attempt go back to school in his early 30’s all pointed to signs that something was amiss for Jeff Emmerson, but no one had yet gotten a handle on it.

It wasn’t until Jeff also nearly lost his own grip on reality. But it took the opportunity of nearly following in his brothers footsteps to bring it all to light. Jeff was working different jobs and eventually in 2011 had stepped into the world of entrepreneurship – as a copywriter and riding a wave, as so many others were, in the sea of the social media explosion. Jeff says in his business he had backed himself into a corner where he wasn’t building his client base quick enough and he was feeling down, way down, so low that Jeff was ready to fall apart, to end it all, just like his brother Ryan. Jeff had found love a second time and his new wife Aimee knew her husband had been depressed, feeling down, and always told her husband, “hey, don’t be afraid to wave the white flag and tell me I need someone to help me because I don’t know what to do.”

Jeff says he still remembers the feeling as he got ready to wrap the metal cable of the home gym around his neck: “inner self-hatred and self-loathing, feeling like I let down my wife, feeling like a complete failure. I had been hyper-focused for all these years, in the gym (where Jeff worked out as a body builder and helped others as well), so driven, but failing so many times, especially with different jobs and not knowing why. I had been so intensely positive at times and now I was so intensely the reverse. That was the formula for finally breaking down and wanting to die, wanting to end it all.” Jeff  planned to use that metal cable and end the suffering he was feeling, the hurt and the shame.

“I was a guy so full of pride. Everyone around me knows me as this guy – driven, with lots of potential, which made it tougher. The perception of others mattered to me more than how I felt about myself. But it was my wife who had told me not to be ashamed, to ask for help, and the thought of her support, combined with my own feelings about my Dad, who adopted me at eight weeks old. I thought, for him to lose two boys in his lifetime, there was no way he would make it. He never gave up on me once, no matter what, he has been a hero to me. All these thoughts were rapidly going through my head and the pain of leaning into that metal cable and ending it all became too much. I got down, went upstairs and in tears told my wife what I had just tried to do. She immediately drove me to the hospital.”

Jeff and Dad

Jeff and Dad

The years of pain and suffering for Jeff were about to be given a medical name – but his journey had just begun. Jeff was diagnosed with adult ADHD and a lesser version of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.

jeff in treamment

Eight million people suffer with adult ADHD. That’s 4% of the US population alone, but many of those who have it feel alone. That’s why it can sometimes lead to or be linked with depression, or worse. Now that there was a root to the problem, the challenge for Jeff was to get better. That was late 2011 and though he started treatment and was put on several different medications, the trouble persisted. Still trying to hold down different jobs, Jeff was too anxious, his racing mind and anxiety raised suspicions, like the time he tried to get a job as an armored car driver. He kept harassing the recruiters to see if he got hired, so much so the employer started to question the decision of this man handling the responsibility of the position and handling a weapon. Though Jeff had acquired a firearms license, even the person who gave him the license wondered if it was the right move, because during the entire process Jeff never left her alone. “I kept asking”, says Jeff. “My mind always racing, the questioning yourself, the spiral that can easily happen. We worry so much over one thing that some people go and self-medicate or make a terrible decision, hopped up on speed and in a bad mood. It’s the quick mind, the worry, the anxiety, the panic.”

Adult ADHD Author Jeff Emmerson

By January 2013, Jeff voluntarily checked himself into a mental health center. He was going to get his life straight, and he realized the inspiration he wanted to bring to others was going to be about ADHD and he would eventually write a memoir. It wasn’t until the middle of last year that Jeff decided to get off the medication, (which Jeff warns you should only do with medical supervision or suffer dire consequences),  because at least in his case, it’s the counseling, the chance to talk through his issues which for him is the greatest “drug”.

Jeff started his ReThink ADHD blog, (http://jeffemmerson.com/),  with his number one goal to raise awareness, which is why a lot of what he writes about is for people who don’t have ADHD, so others can recognized the symptoms and are not so quick to judge those who might be suffering. “I have to admit I get off a little bit on standing up and speaking out” says Jeff, “I’m like a freight train inside. I still have that and always will. I am building my blog, building my Twitter account, writing articles for a few websites and going on from there.” Jeff helps his wife with her thriving business as a pioneer in the areas of digital strategy and search engine optimization and what he learns has helped Jeff to build his own brand and to spread the word about adult ADHD. And Jeff is doing a phenomenal job, having built a Twitter following alone of nearly 90,000 people, (https://twitter.com/ReThink_ADHD)


Jeff says his vision for this is not 100% laser focused yet, and to be fair how many times in his life has Jeff been able to focus 100% on anything? But he says he is committed to the cause: “it’s number one the warrior inside, the whole Rocky story. I am the kid who was the person who was driven and encountered adversity. It’s not about the money, this is personal. It’s about my brother and about mental health. Being a friend, being someone who listens. You don’t get a blood test to prove you have ADHD and if people don’t start to realize this, then tons are going to suffer.”

For Jeff it’s the inspiration to change, to make a difference for others, to let them know they can pull back from the edge, turn away from the abyss and find that one ray of  light in the midst of darkness. Jeff Emmerson plans to be that light, he has a story to share and he is asking the world to listen.

jeff and dog

Until next time, thanks for taking the time


Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Emmy Winner, Financial Services

The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story

For comments, feedback and suggestions for The Sunday Series, leave a comment on the blog, reach me on social media or e-mail: markbrodinsky@gmail.com


Start All Over: It’s Just About… Life

start over

“Every morning when we wake up, we are confronted with a choice: another day just like the last, or a clean slate to start all over.” – Mark Sanborn, Author.

A new day has begun. The choice is yours. Is it up on the treadmill? Hopefully yes, or at least some form of exercise – but what about the treadmill of life? You know the one that is moving you forward, sometimes very fast and even up difficult hills, but it’s the same one that is taking you to nowhere, because your life is simply about running in place.

Every day just like the last.

It doesn’t take much to get trapped on that treadmill. Every day will present its challenges and you are running hard to stay ahead, but still stuck right where you are because you have neglected the one thing that will most certainly make the difference in your life, hands down, if you put some time and attention into it.

That difference is you. Change is inevitable, growth is optional.

Remember life is not meant to impress you, only to test you. You must take charge to be impressive to yourself and to others. It’s hard to love, serve and care unless you do so for yourself first. It’s starting from the inside-out. The distance between ordinary and extraordinary is so small, and the deciding factor is how much you desire to grow.

Activities as simple as exercise, reading 10 pages of a book, having a calendar plan for your day, your work, your family time, paying attention to what you put in your body, (and eventually your brain since you are what you eat), and finding even one person with whom to share a laugh, a smile, to inspire, or to lend a helping hand today –  on purpose, intentional, with the sole focus of making the day happen – instead of the day happening to you.

Even one of the activities just mentioned, done consistently over time, will start you on the path toward growth, forward motion, not remaining stuck where you are. Your day and your life are defined by your daily agenda. Adding even one activity, focusing on one daily discipline each day can change the trajectory of your life and no doubt the lives of those around you. You change and others around you can see and feel it too, it becomes inspiration in motion. Energy, synergy, a spark to light a fire.

It’s far from an overnight success, nothing in life worth having ever is, but it’s all about progress. Make the smallest, incremental change and feel like you have made progress that day and you feel great. Feeling great, despite all of life’s daily challenges will help you see the silver lining in every day and that is in your control.

And I know you are asking, so what happens if I do this and my day doesn’t go as planned?  What if the day falls far short of my expectations, despite my focus on me, on change, on growth? What if it is still a “bad” day?

That’s an easy one. Wake up tomorrow with a clean slate… and start all over again.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.


Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Financial Services

Author: The #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story

Feedback, comments, suggestions – email: markbrodinsky@gmail.com

Get posts from It’s Just About… Life & The Sunday Series sent directly to your inbox by adding your name and e-mail on this blog.