3 Things I Learned From Having Maggots

So I woke up ready to start my day the usual way: Journaling. Stretching. Workout. Breakfast. Shower. Do responsible adult things and get back to people who have been waiting for you to finish your routine. 

I got as far as journaling. Then I found maggots. 


While this was taken much later at my first day of interning at Compass Casting – that was pretty much the same expression on yours truly…

I got maggots twice last year. It wasn’t fun. This year I was determined to decrease that number. By 100%. So when I did find them, it was rather upsetting. Insert Tony-Tantrum consisting of cursing and a plethora of “Why me?! Why now?!” questions here.

And then…I realized the problem wasn’t as bad as I thought. 

Not only did I find that there weren’t very many, but I also remembered that of all days I could find maggots – it was also the day where Ernesto’s Pesticides was coming to the building! And while my unit wasn’t scheduled for a spraying, I found my building manager…right as I was taking out the trash! 

Long story short – I have no more maggots. 

Things I learned: 

  1. Freaking out about problems as soon as we identify them doesn’t serve us. It robs us of taking time to reflect and see if the problem is as big of a deal as we’re making it out to be.
  2. Even knowing that – it’s very easy to get caught up in our emotions that stem from the problem. 
  3. I’ve learned this before. I’ll likely need to hear it again. And again. And again. 

Here’s to having a maggot free week 😉 

Let’s go get ‘em.

Disclaimer: Tony had a lovely first day of interning at Compass Casting. Please do not mistake his Beaker face for any negative feelings towards actors, his fellow interns, Sarah Clark, or her dog Tucker. 

Other disclaimer: Tucker is still feeling me out. But we have a good thing going. So he gets smiles before any of the others so far. 

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Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

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How to make life easier

I’m guessing you’re a busy person, so I’ll just give you the answer here: Stop making it harder.

Okay, obviously we don’t intentionally want life to be harder. But I’ve found there are two areas where we might be taking action towards a goal or emotion hoping it will make us happier, only to learn it actually makes the job harder.

Allow me to share two of my own examples….

I wanted abs.

Up until a few months ago, I thought the answer to getting abs was simple: Cut out a serving of carbs from my nutrition plan and add in an extra ten minute ab routine. When I started a new workout program, I opted to just follow the workout calendar and eat the recommended amount of food – carbs at all.

The result – Less time exercising, more food consumed….and better abs.

Have you ever tried to customize a plan? Maybe it was something created by an expert. Or maybe it was something that’s been shown to work from other successful people in your field. When we recreate the wheel, we end up putting our own take it on based on ideas in our head based on assumptions – not facts.

Make things easier on yourself. Trust the pros, following the plan, and avoiding any extra work.(Again, you’re busy. No need to be busier.)

Also – if you’re like me and like your carbs, these meals were some of my favorites I enjoyed while getting my raging six pack (not really raging…but still….)


Toasted avocado and tofu sandwich with Ezekiel bread. Side of blueberries. Obviously not plated yet…


Quinoa omelette! Side of apples, peanuts, and peanut butter. 



Eggs, veggies, and sweet potato crips. I cut up a few slices, throw some paprika on them, and throw them in my air fryer for 5 or 6 minutes. (If you don’t have an air fryer, I’m sure an oven will do the trick.) 

I wanted answers

A few months ago I was venting in the #MyBigYear2016 facebook group  about an uncomfortable situation I was in. It was a time set aside for our coach Courtney Rioux to answer some of our questions. She quickly pointed out that I was focusing on problems and that instead we should focus on solutions.

Another way we make things harder on ourselves is by complaining. We often think we’re sharing ways to find an answer to a problem, when really we’re just expressing thoughts about how unhappy we are. Venting does not lead to answers –and  I’ve had to learn this the hard way.

Many personal development leaders emphasize the importance of asking the right question. If we ask the question, “Why am I always so unhappy?” we’ll come up with a laundry list of reasons to be unhappy. On the flip side, if we ask,” What are some activities I can start doing more of that will make me happier?” we’re leading our brains toward the things we actually want.

Start making things easier by asking better questions and focusing on solutions versus problems.


From “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” – John C Maxwell


Do you have any ideas that help with making life easier? Or some areas where you’ve caught yourself making life harder than it needs to be? Share ‘em below….I could probably benefit from it (and I’m sure my friends could to).

Until next week, my friends.

Let’s go get ‘em.

What Happens When We Make Assumptions

I’ve shared a lot in the past about that negative voice who chimes in from time to time.

Sometimes this voice tells us we’re not good enough. Sometimes it talks us out of doing something we know we should do. Other times, it just makes stuff up.

Today was a day where that negative voice was just making stuff up.

I was training a group of employees as part of a non acting gig I help out with. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep the night before. Maybe it was being in an environment that had a lot of uncertainty. For whatever reason, the negative voice was being extra loud today. I was asking myself a lot of questions prior to getting there…and they weren’t too positive:

-Am I going to be good enough?

-Will the management dislike me and wish someone older/more experienced was here?

-Is this going to be one of those trainings where the employees can’t wait to leave?

I arrived with all of my materials and supplies…and saw two people were there.

-Oh god. It’s so quiet. They’re going to hate this.

-I’m going to breeze through this in two minutes and not have enough information to share.

-They’re totally going to expect more hands-on activities than I have prepared.

Friends, an interesting thing happens when we start to assume things: We connect the dots ourselves. We create answers that are often false or exaggerated. The truth was, I was creating yet another gloom and doom scenario.I was also making up answers based false information the negative voice was feeding me.

So how did it actually go?


-About a dozen employees were there in total.

-….they were delightful!

-Questions were asked, notes were taken, and their response was positive. 

-They also laughed at my jokes. (Always a win)

This wasn’t an acting gig, yet I left with a big smile on my face. I even had the courage to ask them to take a picture at the end – something I was sure that would make them groan and roll their eyes…

“Oh sure! We’d love to! Stay in our seats? Oh no, we’ll stand for you…”


Making assumptions based on negative self talk and inexperience will just lead to stress.

Don’t do it. Remind yourself that you’re an amazing person who didn’t end up in your situation by accident. Instill belief in yourself so you can perform what you know, deep down, you’re capable of doing. 

Go get ‘em.


You know you’re in a good mood when you take a selfie on the CTA!

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