Lunch Break Concert #10 - Be A Dreamer

Lunch Break Concert #10 went down on Monday August 19th, 2019- Live From Austin!

I perform 3 of my original songs - Believe, Dreamer, and Influence. I also talk about what it means to be a dreamer and making sure you have the right people in your life who build you up.

Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Finding My Own Beliefs

finding my own beliefs 2.png

Accepting that there is a higher power than just ourselves is a big hurdle for a lot of people in recovery and I was no exception.

My Belief System

I grew up in a strict Christian home. We went to church every Sunday and participated in all the extra stuff like Wednesday night church, youth group and youth choir. I remember never wanting to go to church but I didn’t have much of a choice.

I also didn’t have much of choice when it came to what I believed. I was instructed to believe the same things my parents did. There was no room for doubt. I was meant to just accept it all.

The problem was with being in such a strict home, I wanted to rebel. And that meant partying, drugs and sneaking out a lot - typical teenage stuff. But then it also meant rebelling against my parents’ beliefs.

It was hard for me to just accept their version of God because it was theirs and not mine.

And although it made sense to me, it took me a long time to get over it and find my way back to God. I had to spend some time on the other side of the fence to truly realize how good it is on this side.

How To Change Your Beliefs

I had to go out on my own and question everything. I couldn’t just believe what I was told to believe. I had to experience God, or the lack thereof, myself. So that is what I did.

My God became drinking and eating. There was nothing else for me to hold onto. And all that did was lead me down a path of self-destruction. I ended up weighing 505 pounds and feeling like I was about to die at any moment from a heart attack. It also led to severe depression and anxiety. My existence seemed pretty pointless and I felt suicidal for a lot of years.

What changed it all was getting to a place with my drinking and eating where I HAD to change. I was physically in so much misery that I couldn’t take it anymore. Rock bottom. I was going to change or I was going to die. And the truth was, I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted to be free.

That is when I joined Overeaters Anonymous and started learning about the 12 steps of recovery. The genius of the 12 steps is that it brings you back to a relationship with God, one step at a time. If I could accept I was powerless over my addictions (Step One), then I could start to see that there is another power at work (Step Two). And here is the best part - I could define my “higher power” however I wanted to! That meant I got to choose what I believed. No one could tell me what to believe.

Choosing what to believe was the key that changed my whole life.

Now I was willing to look for God. I made a decision to look for him working in my life. And the minute I did that, I started seeing Him everywhere. He was working in my life in crazy ways. He always had been, I just never chose to see it before.

I was able to find my way back to God and this time it was MY God. I was able to choose to believe and to define who God was to me. I could take ownership of my beliefs which allowed me truly internalize them as truth.

It has been quite a journey and it took a while to redefine what I believe. The funny part is I still believe all the same things I was told to believe when I was a kid, but this time it was MY CHOICE and not my parents’. And THAT has made all the difference.

What I Learned From A Purple Cow

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Seth Godin, if you don’t know, is a brilliant marketer and author. I have learned so much from reading his books. I just finished his classic Purple Cow and I have a conundrum.

In Purple Cow he talks about how your product needs to be remarkable to gain the attention of anyone. And I couldn’t agree more. But it’s really hard to define “remarkable” when it comes to music.

Seth goes on to say that sometimes there is no market for your product. You should make sure there is a market before you make your product. This makes total sense for just about any widget or app. But does it make sense for music?

Is There A Market For Your Music?

Music is art. It’s self expression. I think you have to make what is inside of you, whether there is a market or not. I understand this may not be good business, so then how do you reconcile being an artist AND being a business person?

If music is a hobby, who cares? Make it. Give it to your friends and family. It’s all good.

But if music is your passion and your business, the rules change. You can’t MAKE people like your music. They either do or they don’t. They either get it or they don’t. So then the question becomes, should you dumb your music down or put on a fake persona to make music that will sell?

I don’t think that is the answer either. Nobody wants music that doesn’t feel authentic.

So what is the answer?

How To Get Fans

I think you make the music that is inside of you. You write authentic, real music that says something. Make sure your music is about something. Give potential fans something to sink their teeth into. Then you bring professionals in to help you make it as good as it can possibly be.

Once your music is recorded and packaged, you go out and find your fans one person at a time. There may not be a huge “market” for your music, but there is surely one person out there who wants to hear your message. And if there is one person, then there is 100. If there is 100, then there is 1,000.

Kevin Kelly wrote a great blog post a few years back called 1,000 True Fans. This idea was a game changer for independent musicians. I remember when I first heard about this concept, I had hope again that I could make a career out of my music.

So the idea is all you really need is 1,000 Superfans to have a successful music business. If each fan purchases $100 of goods and services from you every year, you are making $100,000 a year from your music. Not too shabby. Plus 1,000 fans is a doable number, right? So if we can take our music to the people, one at a time, find the true connection, then we find our market.

So even if the market doesn’t exist, it does. Maybe not the way Seth Godin defines it, but it’s there. The only obstacle we have is finding the first fan. That’s the scary part.

Does That First Fan Exist?

What if we can’t find that one fan? My first follow up question to you would be, how hard did you try? Did you search the planet high and low or did you just make a couple posts on your Facebook page? Did you go door to door? Did you find other bands like you and ask if you could play for them? Did you study social media marketing and really learn how to get people engaged?

A lot of times we make a very weak effort and then throw our hands up and say “See I knew that wouldn’t work!” That way we can say we tried and the let ourselves off the hook. But no one ever had any kind of success with that little of effort.

Short of that dude who won the lottery and blew it in less than a year.

If you can honestly say you put in the effort, then my next question would be how long did you put in that effort? Most “overnight success” artists have been at it for 10 years or more before they had big success. That means you have to commit your life to your music. You have to live and breath it every day. You have to want it more than you want air. And you need to be willing to do whatever you have to do (legally, of course) to be successful.

Well, if this all sounds like way too much work then maybe your music is meant to be a hobby. And that’s ok. Make the music you love. Give it to friends and family. Enjoy it for the art it is and let the rest go.

There are a lot of ways to make money out there. But there is only one you. You are the only one who can make the music you make, so it is your job to make it.

And I promise, if it is authentic and true to who you are, I guarantee you there is someone waiting to hear it.

What Do You Think?

Is there a market for everyone’s music? Or should musicians create music for the market that exists? I would love to hear your opinion. Just scroll down and leave me a comment below!

Lunch Break Concert #9 - Nesting

Lunch Break Concert #9 went down on Monday August 12th, 2019.

I perform two of my new singles - Perseverance and Nesting. I also do a cover of Bill Wither’s Lovely Day.
Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

How Worry Steals Our Joy

I worry a lot. I worry about little things. I worry about big things. I worry about my health all the time. Even if I feel great, I find something to worry about. I worry about money. Even if my bills are all paid, I worry about the next round of bills coming in.

I worry about my addictions coming back into my life. I worry about whether or not I will be able to fight them off forever. I worry about love and being single. Will I ever meet the girl of my dreams?

I worry about my career. Am I making music that is relevant? Am I reaching enough people? Will I be truly successful?

And on and on it goes.

The problem is these worries are stealing my joy. I am choosing to spend all my time in worry mode and that takes time away from thinking about things that make me happy. It also keeps me from doing some things because I am worried about the outcome.

Worry can destroy us. The more it steals away our small joyful moments, the more disconnected and frustrated we feel. The more frustration that comes into our life, the more we lean towards old bad habits. The next thing you know, we are back in the miserable cycle of addiction wondering how we got there again?

It all starts in our mind.

We get to choose how we spend our mental energy everyday. If we choose to worry, then we choose anxiety and a life of less joy than we deserve. But if we choose to let go of our worries, we are choosing to find more time to spend on joy and all the little moments in life that bring us happiness. Letting go of our worries frees us up to enjoy life again. And that is when we thrive instead of just survive.

I am not saying this is an easy process. Life is hard and confusing and there is a lot to worry about. But if we can start challenging these anxious thoughts right when they start, we can put them into two categories

  1. A real, necessary worry.

  2. An unnecessary worry about something we can’t control.

If we can let go of the worries that involve things we can’t control, we would be amazed how much of a burden would be lifted.

The next time that anxious thought enters your brain, ask yourself if it’s really worth giving up joy to spend time thinking about it? If it’s not, then just let it go. Give it to God or the universe, and turn your attention to all the awesome in your life. It may take a little practice, but once you get this down, you will start to see all the amazing things that are right in front of you.

Joy is right there waiting for you. All you have to do is choose it.

Lunch Break Concert #8 - Letting Go

Lunch Break Concert #8 went down on Monday August 5th, 2019.

I perform 2 songs from my first album Welcome To The Fellowship. The songs are The Mess Around and H.O.P.E. I also do 90’s hip-hop classic - Jump by Kris Kross!
Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Nesting Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

If you are still looking for the one, you are not alone. This song is for you.

Top 10 Positive Hip Hop Songs Of All Time

Top 10 Positive Hip Hop Songs Of All Time

What is “positive hip hop?” That’s something we can debate for days. Does positive hip hop have to be clean? Uplifting? Christian? We will continue to have that conversation, but for now here is how I define it:

Positive hip hop music is rap music that lifts you up, inspires you and makes you feel connected to others.

The reason I wanted to define it first is because some of the songs on this list are “Christian Hip Hop” songs. Some are not. Some have explicit lyrics. Some do not.

But all of these songs have one thing in common: They make us feel something.

A lot of these songs are suggestions submitted by YOU so thanks so much for your help in putting this list together!

Ok here we go…

Top 10 Positive Hip Hop Songs Of All Time

10. G.O.D. (Gaining One’s Definition) - Common feat. Ce-Lo

9. Sweet Victory - Trip Lee

8. I Can - Nas

7. Forest Whitaker - Brother Ali

6. Beautiful - Eminem

5. Moment Of Truth - Gang Starr

4. Crooked Smile - J. Cole

3. Blessings - Lecrae

2. No Problem - Chance the Rapper feat. Lil’ Wayne and 2Chainz

1. Good Day - Nappy Roots

What Do you Think?

What did I miss? What songs should have made the cut? Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know. I may make a part 2 and include your suggestions!

P.S. Be sure to check out my other Top 10 Lists including my Top 10 Positive Rappers List!

Get 3 Free Songs Of Hope!

Lunch Break Concert #7 - Gaspin' For Air

Lunch Break Concert #7 went down on Monday July 29th, 2019.

I perform 2 songs from my first album What Is Your Soul Motivation?. The songs are Dreamer and Gaspin’. I also do a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.
Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

How To Find True Love In Life

How To Find True Love In Life

When I was little I used to think that love would come easy.  I would grow up, find the girl of my dreams, get married, have kids, blah blah blah.

You know how the rest of that goes.

I Want True Love In My Life

I dated a few girls growing up, but none of them seemed to stick around for long.  Sometimes I would end it, sometimes they would. But I always knew it would end eventually.

I even had a couple of serious relationships over the years. But they ended too and when they did, I was destroyed.

I do not handle breakups very well.  It feels like the end of the world and I have nothing to live for.  All I can think about is them. Every song reminds me of them. Every friend I have gets to keep telling me how great the other person is doing now.  Every place I go to reminds me of the places we used to go together.

What it really feels like is that the other person won and I lost.  

They get to move on, find someone else and live happily ever after while I’m left in the dust.  Crying alone. Spending every day missing that person until I die.

That’s how it always felt.

After you feel like that a few times, who would want to try again?  It’s too hard. It messes up my life too much. I have things to do.  Goals to accomplish. I can’t let some girl derail me like that every few months.

So then I started getting very cautious about who I paid attention too.  The next thing you know, I was alone. Month after month. Year after year.  

I would go five to six years without even going on a date.  Then I would decide to let someone in. Give it a shot. Meet someone really great, but find a million reasons to break up with them. 

Break up.  Feel lonely.  Wait another five or six years.

This has been my entire love life in a nutshell.  And now I’m 42 and still on my own.  

For the most part, it’s ok.  I like being alone. I am a very driven person.  I have some big goals. So I like that I have time and energy to focus on my career and life goals.

But I’m still a human being and I get lonely sometimes.

It’s hard seeing everyone around me paired up.  They’ve got what looks like “the perfect life” while I’m out here still trying to figure it all out.

I think humans are designed to nest.  We are supposed to find a mate, have some kids, buy a house.  That’s what we do. And we get a lot of joy and security from it.  

Nesting brings a lot of peace into our lives.  The question I have been asking lately is this…

Can You Nest Alone?

I’m not sure, of the answer.  But I feel like you can.  

I have an awesome house in an awesome neighborhood in an awesome city.

It’s pretty awesome. ;)

I love my home.  It’s comfortable.  It has all my favorite things.  It’s clean and functional. There is room for having friends over.  Family can stay with me when they are in town. I’ve built a really nice nest and it brings me a lot of joy.

But it always feels like a big part is missing.  

I don’t know if that’s because there really is something missing or if I’ve just been told so many times that there is something missing that now I think there is something missing.

You know what I mean?

In other words, am I really lonely or do I just think I am SUPPOSED to be lonely because I’m single?

The Secret To Finding Love

I think the answer is found in the core principles I’ve been writing songs about all year.  If I can practice GRATITUDE and ACCEPTANCE every day, then I don’t focus on what I don’t have.  I focus on what I do have.

And I have a lot.

If I can SERVE and participate in my COMMUNITY, then I am surrounded by love.  I live in ABUNDANCE of love. There is no shortage around here.  

If I choose to BELIEVE and practice PERSEVERANCE, then I can trust that God has a plan.  I just need to keep living the life He wants me to live. If that includes another person, then He will bring that person into my life when the time is right.

And if I am meant to live a single life, that is ok too.  God has blessed me with a higher purpose. He has given that to all of us and we don’t need another person to complete us.  We are whole as we are because God makes us complete.  

My life is bigger than just trying to pair up and have babies.  As long as I am following my true purpose in life, then I get to live a super fulfilled, rich life.

I am already NESTING.  And no matter what I do or where I go, I will have a home.  I will never be alone. And I think that’s the whole point anyway.

The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 8.1.19!

Lunch Break Concert #6 - Influence

Lunch Break Concert #6 went down on Monday July 22nd, 2019.
Click the button below to watch the replay on Facebook.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Rap Songs About Recovery

Rap Songs About Recovery

I used to drink every single day at WORK!

10 Long Island Teas. 10 double shots of Grand Marnier.

That is how I would start every day at the office. First thing. Before I could get any work done, I had to down at least a couple of each.

Now, full disclosure, I am a full-time musician. I make money from playing music in bars and restaurants i.e. “The Office.” It may be one of the very few jobs where drinking is actually ENCOURAGED on the job.

Sounds awesome, right?

Not at all. I guess it is at first, but it gets old really fast. Because the more your drink, the more you NEED to drink to have a good time. It got to the point where I was living out one of the famous scenes from The Blues Brother’s movie. I would have to pay more for my bar tab than I was getting paid for my services.

And then afterward, I would spend the rest of my money at Taco Bell.

That is what we call an unsustainable business model. And it was. Both for my pocketbook and my body.

It got to the point where I was drinking at least 20 drinks a night and still not feeling a thing. I would throw up from all the shear intake of liquid, then turn around and keep drinking hoping that eventually I would get a little buzz.

Dude. What a miserable existence.

I knew I had to quit when I ended up the E.R. with severe heart palpitations. That was my rock bottom. And I walked out of that hospital and began my sobriety journey.

The hardest part for me was still playing in bars every night. Just because I wasn’t drinking, that didn’t mean i didn’t have to go to work. I had to sit there and watch everyone party around me.

It really sucked.

I was jealous and pissed a lot. I was probably not a lot of fun to be around either.

But it did get better with time.

Anyhoo, the whole reason I am telling you all of this is because one of the biggest saviors in my recovery has been music. I have been able to put all my struggles into rap songs about recovery. It has given me an outlet to pour all my emotion into. I don’t know what I would do without it. I mean, I would still recover one day at a time, but having music to turn to has been a game changer for me.

One of the first songs I wrote about my recovery was a song called “Pain.” As you might guess, it was a song about just how bad my life had gotten. I was in a lot of physical pain and even more emotional pain. I was struggling to see any hope or any way out. So I sat down and wrote a super honest song about it.

“Pain” was really hard to write. I knew if I was going to do this song, I had to be brutally honest. There are a few lines in that song that I still cringe when I hear because it takes me back to that awful place.

Here is one particularly rough part of the song for me to listen to:

“Every day is a battle of wills,
My body versus me and who's got the skills?
Will I get out of bed, able to walk with a high head,
Or will I need a wheelchair instead?
I have to choose if the joy of sitting down is worth the pain of getting up,
Man, writing that down and saying it out loud feels really messed up.”

It was true. I could barely walk and I was headed for a wheelchair for sure. At the age of 40 I was about to need a wheelchair. Not because of any injury or life-threatening disease, but because I couldn’t stop drinking and eating and I had gained so much weight that my body was crumbling beneath me.

One of the first songs I wrote after going to a food recovery retreat and starting to work the 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous (same as Alcoholics Anonymous), was a song called “The Mess Around.” I wrote this song with my good friend Chela Mancuso.

This was one of the first songs I wrote when I started to see hope again. This was a fun one to write and record. I still enjoy listening to this one because it reminds me of the hope I have found in recovery!

The Mess Around is all about telling my former drinking buddies why I don’t drink anymore. Basically , get off my case, stop asking me to “just have one dude!” because I don’t mess around anymore.

The lyrics in the third verse really sum it all up:

“ I don't mess around anymore 'cuz I am finally free,
I don't need to impress you people, I can let it be,
And I don't need to escape and numb my feelings out,
I'm not afraid anymore, yo, you should check this out,
See there's a reason that you're here, just have to take the time,
Be willing, honest and sure to open up your mind,
And when you do, I think it's safe to say you're gonna find,
It's time to leave that mess behind, and time to shine.”

I am so thankful for all the songs on my Welcome To The Fellowship album. Each song chronicles a different aspect of my recovery. These songs were a way to get the pain out but they were also a way to express my hope and joy that was starting to come back into my life.

I still go back and listen to these songs quite often. They inspire me and remind me that I’m not alone on this journey. I am part of a “distinct entity” of folks in recovery and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this family.

I hope you know that you are never alone. You are surrounded by people who want to love you. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

And when you just don’t know what else to do, please don’t forget that music has the power to change your life. Find the music that speaks to you, turn it on and let it wash over you. Music has always shouted truth to me over all the lies rambling around in my brain.

It’s ready and waiting to do the same for you.

How To Overcome Doubt And Unbelief

Here are some old beliefs that are rattling around in my brain. Maybe you can relate to some of these.

  • If I’m not perfect, then I am going to hell

  • I can’t say my doubts out loud or God will condemn me

  • All of my sexual thoughts are sinful

  • I am a sinful piece of crap

  • God only loves me when I am doing good things

  • God is a man-made construct used to control people

We don’t know for sure if God is real or not. We have to choose to believe, which I do. But all the ways I see God working have logical explanations too.

I do choose to believe God is there and that He loves me and has a plan for me. But I still have a hard time with the details.

If there are so many religions in the world, how can Christianity be the only true one? If someone was born into a Hindu family, does that mean they are going to hell?

Was Jesus who He said He was, or did people writing the bible embellish the truth to spread their agenda? The Bible was written by people and people are flawed and selfish. So how can we possibly believe everything the Bible says to be fact?

What about homosexuality? I have friends who I really believe were created gay. That’s who they are. But the Bible says it’s a sin. What am I supposed to do with that?

Does God really look down on and condemn homosexuals after making them that way? Do gay people not deserve to be happy and have love in their life? Or are all the rules like that in the Bible written by people who wanted to set the rules. Maybe it says homosexuality is a sin because the dude who wrote that part was uncomfortable with gay people. There is no way to know for sure.

The problem is that people then take the Bible as law and use it to judge other people, to condemn and hate, to start wars and to make themselves feel superior.

That is a bunch of junk and I want no part of it.

I do know that I feel happier and more complete when I choose to see God working in my life. I have tried it the other way and it did not go so well. So I think the answer is to choose what you believe.

But just because you believe in God doesn’t mean you can never doubt again. It’s ok to have doubts and it’s important to think through them. If we just stuff them down, they become toxic. Say your doubts out loud. Talk to friends about them. And pray for God to help you find peace with them.

All I really want is truth. Isn’t that what we all want? But if we just choose to only see the one side of things we want to see and refuse to listen to anyone who disagrees, then we are not seeking truth. We are seeking validation for what our fears tell us to believe.

I want to live in truth and not in fear. I don’t want to run from my beliefs. I want to do the work, to have freedom to be honest about my feelings and to find peace with all this.

I want to be able to talk about my doubts and have real conversations. I want to be open to new ideas. I want to keep learning.

I want to have confidence in what I believe. I want to love myself and others right where we are today. I want to be a light in the world and a source of love and encouragement to others. And I want my God to want all those things too.

What do you think about all these questions? Do you have any doubts of your own? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

Lunch Break Concert #4 - H.O.P.E.

Lunch Break Concert #4 went down on Monday July 8th, 2019.
Click the button below to watch the replay on Facebook.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Lunch Break Concert #3 - Believe

Lunch Break Concert #3 went down on Monday July 1st, 2019.
Click play below to catch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Inspirational Rap Lyrics

Hip hop has saved my life more times than I can count. When I felt lonely as a child, hip hop was there for me.

I would sit in my room and listen to all my favorite rappers like Dr. Dre, Coolio, Cypress Hill to name a few. It was the 90’s, ya know. These rappers were my friends. They were there to encourage me. Hang out with me. And they inspired me to go into my own studio and create my own songs.

When I quit drinking, hip hop was my outlet to voice my frustrations. I could use this music to talk about how hard it was. I could also use this music to show others that it was possible for them too.

To this day, when I struggle with resentment, fear or shame, hip hop is a big part of the healing for me. There are so many songs that have inspired me over the years. I wanted to put some of my favorite inspirational rap lyrics together in a blog post and share them with you.

I hope you find as much encouragement in these lyrics as I have.

If I ever took a loss, I learned a lesson
I won’t ever think I’m better than the next man
I’ve been down before the come up, I ain’t stressin’
Baby I’m too busy countin’ all these blessings, blessings
— Lecrae (Blessings)
They try to shut us down, and it ain’t gon’ slide
Only thing I fear is God and He on my side
That’s the confidence of God, ‘cause He got me
That’s why I really feel like
You can’t stop me!
— Andy Mineo (You Can't Stop Me)
You only get one life
And every time you lookin’ at yours
You feel like everything you have is a waste!
And the problem and the reason you could never fill a hole in your life
Is because you were never awake
— NF (Wake Up)
But I can’t forget the motto, motto
No more mediocre, just getting by though
I’m in His image, I been down for a minute
But I’m getting up today, and I’ma fight till I’m finished
— Trip Lee (Clouds)
I got my full armor on, my head to the sky
I’m going into battle with my horns up high
And I’m through playing games; you can see it in my eyes
And you can go and ask anybody I’m a ride and I ain’t turning back
— Thi'sl (I Ain't Turning Back)
Take a hit and never quit
Might be down but never out
There are days that I fail
And the trains off the rail
Through the pain we prevail
Tell ‘em you just gotta live
— Tedashii (Gotta Live)
I’m a dreamer but I ain’t the only one got problems
But we love to have fun
This is our world, from here to your hood
We alive man, it’s okay to feel good
— K'Naan (Dreamer)

Community Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

I had a friend in college who always used to say "No man is an island." I mean, he said it all the time. And even though we used to make fun of him for it, we knew he was right. A life lived in isolation is sure to be a life of misery. We need people. We need community. I wrote this song to remind us all how true this is.

Community is Principle #7 in my 12 Core Principles to a happy and fulfilled life.

People Need People: The Role Of Community

I had a friend in college who always used to say “No man is an island.” I mean, he said it all the time. We used to make fun of him because he said it so much.

But even back then, we knew he was right. We knew that if we had to go through our college years alone, we would be miserable. We would probably drop out of college and move in to our favorite cardboard box.

There was no way we could do life without each other.

And then we grew up. My friends moved away. I started to believe that I didn’t need people. And the next thing you know, I am a 500-pound alcoholic living a miserable, lonely life.

What happened?

What happened is I moved to that island. Maybe not physically, but I moved there in my mind. After getting hurt once or twice, I decided I didn’t like that too much. I decided I was going to live with as little human interaction as possible. I mean, people were the problem, right?

If I just keep people away, I can focus on me. I can do whatever I need to do to be happy. I won’t get distracted by other people’s agendas. I can just focus on myself. That is what I thought my solution was. But I was wrong.

It turns out people weren’t the problem. They were actually the solution.

All this life of isolation brought me was extreme misery, depression and loneliness. It seems so obvious now, but I really couldn’t understand why I was so sad. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do to be happy.

I needed people. I needed people bad. And once I realized this, I started taking drastic actions. The first thing I did, and probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself, was I got a job at Applebee’s.

Now, this may not seem like the dream job, and for sure, it wasn’t, but what it was was a chance for me to meet people. Not only meet people, but bond with them.

If you have every worked in the service industry, you know it is hard work. And you are in the trenches with your fellow “Applebuddy’s” every day. There is a strong bond that is created with that.

And even though I quit that job years ago, I am still friends with a lot of those people to this day. That says a lot to me.

It says that I needed these people. And maybe they needed me too. We were all so hungry for connection and we found it at America’s favorite grill and bar.

If you are feeling isolated or depressed, I would challenge you to look at your community. Are you involved with others? Are you calling friends regularly? Are you going to neighborhood events? Are you talking to people at church after the service?

There are so many things we can do to bring people into our lives. I promise, your new friends are out there just waiting for you to say “hi.” That one simple word can change your life. It for sure changed mine.

And if all else fails, I know Applebee’s is always hiring.

The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 7.1.19!

Lunch Break Concert #2 - Abundance

Lunch Break Concert #2 went down on Monday June 24th, 2019 and we had a blast!
Click play below to catch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video