Keep Digging for Your Pony


President Ronald Reagan’s favorite joke was about two young twin brothers. Worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities – one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist – their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

“First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. ‘What’s the matter?’ the psychiatrist asked, baffled. ‘Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?’ ‘Yes,’ the little boy bawled, ‘but if I did I’d only break them.’”

“Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. ‘With all this manure,’ the little boy replied, beaming, ‘there must be a pony in here somewhere!’”

What reminded me about this joke is that I’m currently having a LOT of horse poop thrown at me!  In the midst of many things, despite GREAT reviews so far, I got my first flat turn-down on one of my books yesterday (I know – failure is part of any great accomplishment), my swimming pool pump piping literally blew up last night, a stock I hold SIGNIFICANT HOLDINGS in tanked this morning, along with several other things I won’t bother you with.

I texted my wife just now:  “something AMAZING is about to happen!  I know there’s a pony in here somewhere!  (I’ll explain the story when you get home tonight).”

I’m sharing this with you because I know YOU’RE going through challenges right now.

You’re not alone.

I know sometimes it feels like you are, but you’re not.

Everyone truly is going through challenges.

The question is:  Do we focus on the poop, or do we keep digging for the pony?

You decide for yourself – I’m going to get back to digging!

Keep up the Good Fight,


—> Did you like this post? Please leave a comment below! Also, feel VERY free to ‘share’ it with the buttons below. THANKS! Terry

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Do Your Best, and Forgive Yourself for the Rest.

Do Your Best, and Forgive Yourself for the rest. - Terry L. Fossum
Do Your Best, and Forgive Yourself for the rest. – Terry L. Fossum

‘Do Your Best, and Forgive Yourself for the rest.’  I’ve taught that mantra for decades now.  It seems simple, and straight forward, but it’s truly a double-edged sword that many people don’t completely understand.  It seems that people read into it what they want to!

There are two groups of people who read this, and both see it, and act on it, differently.

First of all, there’s the group of overachievers.  They focus in on the ‘Do your best’ part, and work their butts off, and are never completely satisfied with the job they’ve done.  They are their own worst critics!  When the job is done, instead of looking at the good they’ve done, they see the parts that were undone, or not done well enough.

Then, there’s the other group, those who focus on the ‘forgive yourself for the rest’ part.  They’re quick to call it ‘good enough’.  When the obstacles crop up or the failures occur, they decide ‘it wasn’t suppose to be’, or ‘that’s the best I can do.’  Often they’ll add in:  ‘if it’s not good enough for other people, then they can change it, because I think it’s fine just how it is.’

Which group do you fall more into?

What if we could do both?  What if we could really, truly work our butts off on our goals, even when the going gets tough?  What if we were to be able to push through the obstacles, maneuver around them, and continue on and on and on?

And then, when we’ve finally reached the top of that mountain, whatever that mountain may be for us, we know that we’ve given it all, we have no more left to give, that we truly have done our best.  Then, we can smile and know, ‘it’s not perfect, but it is GOOD.  And it is GOOD, because it has a piece of my heart and soul in it.  It is GOOD because I know that it is the best that I, personally, have to give.

And my best is good enough for me.

Then, there’s nothing to forgive.  We can feel GREAT about what we have accomplished, knowing we have truly given it our all.

—>  Did you like this post?  Please leave a comment below!  Also, feel VERY free to ‘share’ it with the buttons below.  THANKS!  Terry

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Don’t Pee in your Gas Tank!


Man, what a ride! I took the Jaguar F-Type R for a test drive the other day. 550 horsepower. 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. Starting price: over $100,000.

We’re flying down the roads, twists, turns, hills – we’re screaming!

And then it happened:

We ran out of gas!

Can you believe it? I’m driving one of the finest production cars in existence, capable of doing more than pretty much any other car on the road today, and we’re sitting by the road watching others go by.

Talk about embarrassing! I watched a grandma and grandpa that I had passed about 10 miles back drive slowly creep right on by. A DATSUN actually passed me, and they haven’t made those in 30 years!

The Jag F-type R is one of the top of the line automobiles in mass production today, and it’s completely worthless.

Without gasoline.

You and I are exactly the same way.

Motivation is what powers us. It is our gasoline! I don’t care how great you are, how smart you are, how talented you are; if you’re not inspired to do what you do, you’re not going to do it! You’ll run out of gas.

Oh, you may see it as something different: ‘I didn’t have time for it; Something got in the way; it just didn’t work out.’ But the truth is, you ran out of gas. You ran out of motivation.

If you truly want to excel in ANYTHING, your marriage, your job, weight loss, ANYTHING, you need to continuously fill your tank.

I love what Zig Ziglar said, “People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Fill your tank every day with inspirational reading. Inspirational movies. Inspirational audios. Nothing gets me going more than listening to one of the great speakers of the world like Martin Luther King, Jr. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to his ‘I have a dream’ speech. Nobody’s going to pass me by when I’ve listened to something like that!

I’ve been listening to motivational audios like Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins since I was in high school.   People continuously say that I have the energy of 5 normal people. Of course I do! I have some of the greatest people in the world inspiring me every single day! ‘

Filling your head with the normal media garbage, or listening to people complain, or a reality show where people yell at each other all of the time, is like peeing in your gas tank and expecting that car to function; you’re not going anywhere – except maybe downhill…!

Passion To Move Mountains – The Oxcart Technique will teach you how to be the most powerful you could possibly be every single day.  Read it, do it, fill your tank with good gasoline, and watch how well you perform!

Get it at Amazon!

Or, learn more at

The day I got eaten by Zombies

WHAT A KICK!  Last week,  my family and I recently were paid extras on the hit TV show Z Nation.  My sons, Seth and Logan, got to be Zombies – it was a dream come true for them.  My wife and I were sports fans.  I can tell you:  my perception of acting, and being an extra, was completely wrong.  You see these stars on the red carpet, and think that life is just so easy for them.  I assumed, quite wrongly, that we would show up, stand around for a couple of hours, quickly shoot a couple of scenes, and call it good.  BOY, WAS I WRONG.

Our casting call was 5:15 in the morning.  After a GRUELING (no pun intended) day, we finally left after 10 PM – one of the hardest days I’ve put in in decades.  Get this:  a 30 second scene probably takes about 2 HOURS to shoot.  A 30 SECOND SCENE!  We were tired, we were hungry, we were thirsty – we were DONE.

But in amongst it all was one of the stars, Anastasia Baranova (‘Addy’ in the show).  She worked as hard, if not harder, than anyone there, but through the whole thing she’s singing, making jokes, going out of her way to be kind to fans.  The entire crew was great, but standing out in front of it all was Anny, keeping everyone in a great mood, despite how exhausted she must have been after so many of these grueling weeks.

AND THAT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IS LEADERSHIP.  As a leader, we set the tone for everything around us!  We no longer have the luxury of being in a bad mood, or tired, or treating those around us poorly, no matter the circumstances.  We are leading, every minute of every day – the questions is:  are we leading for the good, or for the bad?  People are always watching us – we’re out front.  They will follow our lead, good or bad.

Remember that as you’re going through your day.  As you’re around your children.  Your coworkers.  Your friends.  You ARE changing the world, just by existing in it.  You ARE changing the attitudes and beliefs of those around you.

Today, make it a conscious effort to lead for the good.

And the world will, indeed, be a better place; just because you were in it!


#terrylfossum @terrylfossum

#annyawesome @annyawesome

The Start of Something New

Starting something new is often very hard, isn’t it?

Here I am, in my view, a regular guy: I’m a scoutmaster who goes camping with a whole bunch of crazy kids. I drink beer and have poker games with my friends. I argue with my teenage boys. I pick up dog poo in the yard. What am I going to say that is of interest to anyone? How do I even start a blog when I’ve never blogged before in my life?

Our self-doubts and fears often hold us back don’t they? “People will laugh at me. Or worse, they’ll ignore me. Why would people listen to me? What if I fail – again?’

Then others tell me, ‘Are you kidding? Shut up! You came from the poorest city in the country, on the wrong end of an assault rifle at age 13, and became a millionaire who does philanthropic work around the globe! Your books are getting 5 star reviews because THEY HELP PEOPLE! Why would you NOT start a blog??!

Our own self-perceptions are so often different than the way others view us.

I love this poem:

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.


So maybe, for both you and I, maybe it IS time to let our voices be heard. Those who disagree or dislike our message may disregard it, but those who need our message will hear it – and it just might change their life.

So, with that in mind, I write my first blog. What are YOU going to do today to make your voice heard?