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I don't give you permission to give up on yourself...
Keep on Kickn' Chicken
Written by Jared Larsen Feb. 9th 2015
Hey, never give up and keep on kickin chicken. Today we’re going to talk about never giving up and no matter what... always keep on kicking. How many of you have asked yourself, should I give up? Man this is challenging. Life is hard. Things just aren’t going my way. Man I can’t catch a break. It seems like everytime I do something it never turns out.  Today, I'm going to share a story with you that I hope will inspire you to never give up and keep on kicking.

There was a small mouse, in a barn, on a farm. The farmer walks out of the house and takes a bucket to milk the family cow. As he’s milking the cow, he fills the bucket up halfway with milk and sees the small mouse sitting there. He decides to pick the small mouse up and throw the mouse in the bucket of milk. What do you think happens next? The mouse has a pretty tough situation. There are two decisions the mouse can make at this point. He can either give up and drown, or he could decide to just start kickin and swim for his life. Regardless, if he thinks he can get out of that bucket, he must keep on kickin. Well, this particular mouse decided just that. He was going to keep on kickin. He kicked and he kicked and he kicked and as he continued to kick, the milk slowly turned to cream and the cream started to solidify and harden turning to butter. Once the cream turned to butter, that sneaky little mouse was able to jump out of that bucket and survive.

Today, I desire to challenge you to keep on kickin just like that mouse. When life is challenging, when life throws you curve balls and when things aren’t perfect, remember one thing… Keep on kickin. If you keep on kickin, one day that milk will turn to butter and your life will improve. I promise, as you continue to kick and you continue to learn and grow, you will have breakthroughs. I know it’s tough. Everyone has challenges in life. I have challenges, you have challenges, and our families have challenges. Challenges are designed to make us uncomfortable and grow. You have a choice just like the mouse did, to either stay comfortable were you are right now, where you’ll get the same results and same feelings, or you can choose to be awesome, and start kickin. As you kick the problems in your life, you will overcome those problems and you will get out of the bucket just like the mouse did, with new skills, with new talents and new perspective. I believe all of you are so awesome. Never give up, never think you are not good enough. You are amazing.

Never give up and keep on kickin' chicken and you will achieve the things you desire.  I want you to Dream Big, I want you to Create it and I want you to Live your life..
"Put down your phone and start engaging... Be present and your world will change"
Social Media-ddiction and me
Written by Jared Larsen Nov. 7th 2014
Today we are going to discuss social media addiction and me. Why are our small electronic devices so addicting? Its amazing, social media is a platform for good. It’s a way to communicate with people. It’s a way to get instant gratification. You can talk to your friends, you can Facebook, Insta, Tweet, & Snapchat. There are so many avenues you can utilize to communicate with your friends. Social media is so powerful, but why is it so addicting?

I want to share with you two reasons why it is so addicting and it has to do with the core of every human being. Every human desires two things... 

1. Love 
2. Acceptance 

Social media is like a drug. We can instantly get on our devices, we can instantly talk with our friends and we can like, share and respond back instantaneously. As we do these things, we get the sensation or perceived feeling as if we are receiving acceptance.  We also can feel loved. It’s similar to drug use, in that our brains have endorphin’s, adrenaline, and dopamine which is our brains natural drug that releases when we feel good. When somebody engages with us on our devices and accepts us, likes us, follows us, our brain starts oozing and dripping the natural chemicals that give us the feeling of being loved and accepted. It feels good, right? But is it a fall sense of security?  Is it a fake wall that we can hide behind, if not used appropriately.  When we engage on social media we can, no doubt, feel the  effects of our bodies natural response in our brains... and it’s addicting.

Actually, I’ve experienced this same addiction a few short months ago. I had to delete the Facebook app from my phone because I was on Facebook too much and it was challenging my relationship with my wife. We both made the goal to get rid of the Facebook app so we would be more present with each other. I know many of you are struggling with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat & Group Me addiction.  The struggle is real.  The desire to constantly be on your phone is palpable. There is a statistic that shows kids age 15-19 are on social media for more than 3 hours per day. 3 hours a day is 1/8 of your day spent on your phone. My question to you is. While you are on your phone, what is happening around you? Who are you not talking to? Who are you not engaging with? Are you that person when you go over to your friends house that text messages them across the room? What are we missing out on?

Here is what I want you to start doing. When you are on your phone, I want you to first recognize you are on your phone. Secondly, I want you to put your phone in your pocket and whatever you are doing, I want you to commit to being 100% present. If you are with your family, spend time with your family. If you are with your friends, spend time with your friends. Don’t allow the addiction to social media to overtake your life. There is so much to learn, there is so much going on around you and the interaction with people will provide you with the two things we all seek, love and acceptance. Stop looking for love and acceptance on your phone. Start looking for love and acceptance in the places that can give it and receive it in the most powerful way… relationships and people. 

 My challenge to you is to be present in all you do, and as you do so, you will develop deeper more meaningful relationships. By not spending so much time on your phone, you will find amazing happiness. You will find the relationships you desire, those people will start giving you the love and acceptance you need. This is the real love… This is the real acceptance… This is lasting. While social media is addicting, use it for the good it is desired to be, but be present in all you do. Put your phone in your pocket and you will find the love and acceptance from the people who want to give it to you. I hope you DREAM BIG, I hope you CREATE that dream and I hope you LIVE IT.
"Be patient with yourself and simply focus on the behaviors that are required to progress, the rest will fall in to place"
Progress vs Perfection
Written by Jared Larsen Nov. 7th 2014
What is the meaning of life? I know a lot of us think about this question from time to time. Well, what is the meaning of life? As a young boy I was constantly thinking about this questions. I always thought the meaning of life was to be perfect. I thought it meant you had to be the best at everything you do, or to perfect whatever it was that I was doing. Whether it was sports, academics, friendships or my own family, I felt the need to be perfect. What I discovered in my pursuit of perfection was that I wasn’t living up to my own expectations. And as I didn’t hit my own expectations, I felt like a failure. I know many of you have experienced similar things and possibly are not living up to your own expectations, feeling like a failure. I tell you… Be patient with yourself.

I went on a little journey and as I would run or ride my bike, I asked myself the question – What is the meaning of life? I believe it can be summed up in one word… Life is about "progression."  Life is not about perfection. All we need to do is continue to progress, strive to be a little bit better every day and continue to be the best we can. We don’t need to be perfect. As we continue to progress, we will grow and develop new talents skills a

So, maybe you are with a group of friends and you want to bust out into song, maybe you want to sing karaoke, maybe you want to run for class office, maybe you want to be the president of the school. Perhaps you want to increase your relationships with your mom and dad or maybe even your friends. What’s holding you back? What typically holds us back is fear that you’re not good enough, or not perfect. I know the fear of perfection held me back as a young man and didn’t allow me to grow. However, as I’ve simply started taking the first steps to progress, I have found substantial growth in my life. I’ve have found courage, I’ve have felt empowered and I have a renewed desire to overcome the fears that have held me back. 

 I am now doing things I thought I would never do and I have seen myself grow tremendously. We all have challenges and we all have struggles. You don’t have to be perfect anymore. I give you permission, today, to stop being perfect. Nobody needs you to be perfect. Simply start progressing and as you progress at whatever it is in you desire, you are going to find joy, you are going to find happiness, you will find better relationships and you will find yourself growing immensely. I hope that you will DREAM BIG, that you will CREATE and you will LIVE the life that you desire. You no longer have to be perfect. Start progressing into the person you desire to be.
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