Archives for posts with tag: spirituality

Many know him as Dwight Schrute from The Office, but Rainn Wilson is much more. In 2008, along with Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry​, he founded SoulPancake – a media company that “seeks to provide platforms to explore “big think” topics such as spirituality, creativity, religion, arts, and philosophy”. From Metaphysical Milkshake​ to Kid President​ videos, this rapidly growing company is all about getting you to think. In this video, A Wall of Words! SoulPancake asked people on the street to share their favorite quotes on a wall of post-it notes. Contrary to the notion that quotes are inferior to original ideas, I believe that they can be just as powerful. Sometimes someone has simply put into words what you’ve always felt, but had the inability to articulate it with words. Quotes help us process experiences (good and bad), reflect upon ourselves and the world around us, and guide us towards our dreams.

“​We’ll collect the moments one by one, I guess that’s how the future is done”

Look to this day,

Find out more at! What’s your favorite quote?



​But there will be a time in your life when something special is going right. When everything is falling into place, and depending on your mindset and how this was achieved, this may last forever. However, it has become apparent to be that this may bring about a certain degree of guilt from some of us. I’m certainly no stranger to this.

We never forget the times when we’ve lost control, shouted at those we love, or neglected a hug we wish we hadn’t. They haunt us like shadows and sometimes this makes us feel strange, guilty, and undeserving of the praise we receive. But never forget that we are not perfect and these moments of guilt are good reminders of what we should try to avoid in the future. Everybody is worthy of achievement if they were gained through morally right and fair means. So don’t let them sully hard-fought moments of greatness. Instead, use them to make these moments all the more special. We may have been mistaken in the past, but never doubt what you’ve achieved in the present.  To simply put it, the weight of mistakes shouldn’t hold you down. Learning from them provides us with the potential for personal growth. Mistakes are the stepping stones to learning!

Find out more at 

– Daniel

Allen Saunders noted that life is actually what happens while we all find ourselves busy making other plans. Out of fear of the unknown, confusion, or just plain dislike, we tend to resist what falls into our laps. But why not embrace it? Is what we want the same as what we’re supposed to have? The red thread of fate is an ancient Chinese myth which states that the gods have tied a red string around the ankles of those whose lives as destined to touch one another. The strongest of these connections – love – is often brought up in this myth. People connected by this thread are supposedly destined to be lover. Times, places, and circumstances may tangle or stretch this thread, but it will never break. Sounds like a load of mumbo jumbo eh? Maybe not. Let’s take a look at the story of Alex and Donna Voutsinas…

“30 years ago, when Alex and Donna Voutsinas lived in different countries and long before they met and married, they were captured in the same photo at Disney World. That’s Donna at right in front. Alex is in the stroller in the background immediately behind Mr. Smee.”

No one knows better than Alex and Donna Voutsinas that it’s a small world after all. Thirty years ago, when they lived in separate countries long before they met and married, a family shot of little Donna at Walt Disney World captured Alex in a stroller in the background.

“It just blew our minds when we realized,” Alex Voutsinas, a 32-year-old transplanted Montrealer told the Star Thursday from south Florida.

That fateful realization came just one week before their wedding eight years ago. Alex and Donna had been going through old family snapshots. There, in the blurry background of a picture of 5-year-old Donna was 3-year-old Alex being pushed down Main Street at the same moment in 1980 by his father. The senior Voutsinas’s distinctive jet-black hair with its white tuft caught his eye.

“My mother pulled out albums from the same trip. My dad is wearing exactly the same outfit.”

Other pictures from that trip showed Alex on his dad’s shoulders. The boy in the background of Donna’s picture and the boy in those pictures were the same.

Read the rest of this incredible story HERE at the source! Has something like this ever happened to you?

– Daniel

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Today marks the one year anniversary of Look to This Day. Exactly one year ago I realized that something was missing. I was happy, but I felt like I could be HAPPIER. The happiness project served as a year-long attempt to make myself happier and Look to This Day initially served as a way for me to document my progress. 365 days later, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I succeeded and I am happier than I ever could have imagined. Starting the project ignited a spark in me. An inextinguishable flame in my heart that pushed me to better myself. To paraphrase Clint Runge, not only did I try to think outside of the box, I reflected upon its contents, edges, corners, and flaps. I got a tattoo, camped in the desert, and learned Israeli krav maga; all parts of the list of 100 Things I Want To Do Before I Die. This year was full of romance, heartache, stress, anxiety, fulfillment, new friends, old friends, falling-outs, laughter, and smiles. Attempting to write and complete this list, learn more about myself, learn about the world around me, experience the seemingly frightful, and make the uncomfortable comfortable collectively taught me one important lesson.

We often view happiness as something simple. Something small. I’ve learned that it isn’t. Happiness is something everyone deserves and is worth having. But you can’t expect it to fall into your lap. You need to take it. Happiness is something that needs to be worked for. It’s something to fight for.

But this is hardly the end of my journey. Today simply served as a chance for me to self-reflect, evaluate how far I’ve come, and keep pushing forward. This being said, I now feel that it’s my responsibility to share what I’ve learned with the world. To continue sharing the lessons and wisdom that changed my life for the better. It’s a responsibility I’ve eagerly shouldered. At this very moment, Look to This Day has become a place where I hope others can find solace and inspiration. A starting point from which you can rebuild yourself from the ground up or a place to inspire those with the urge to do something with their lives. Very much I like did. For those of you thinking of starting a happiness project of your own, tell yourself that no matter what happens it will all be worth it. If you ask yourself “do I end up happy?”, I can tell you with absolute certainty that you will. And you will have quite the story to tell – the story of a wonderful year where you realized that you deserved more. A year full of self-reflection, adventure, love, loss, and happiness. A year – a new chapter – that will set the tone for the rest of your life.

– Daniel

A special thanks to…

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I absolutely am scared of the things I do. I’m not  a superhuman. I’m just like everybody else. And when I’m afraid, it’s before. It’s like the thought of doing something is what’s scaring me. That uncertainty. That questioning. Should I do this? What could happen? What could go wrong? And what’s really interesting is that sheer terror is up until you step off. The instant you step off, you’re no longer scared. You’re in that moment. There is no yesterday. There is no tomorrow. There’s only what’s happening right this second.” – Jeb Corliss (professional skydiver and BASE jumper)


Have you ever just leapt into and overcome fear?

– Daniel

The sky has never been the limit. We are our own limits. It’s about breaking our personal limits and outgrowing ourselves to live our best lives…Limitless by design” – Rob Dyrdek

Jesse Barrera is a fantastic musician and has produced for a few of my favorite indie artists (AJ Rafael and Tori Kelly to name a few). His first record Love in Technicolor was steller. Through the Kickstarter platform, Jesse is in the process of completing his sophomore studio album From The Ground Up. Through the darkest and happiest of times, the record is about turning it all around and being 100%  true to be who you are. I’m proud to have been a part of funding this project and look forward to hearing the finished product! 


11 songs that explain the last 5 years of my life. The darkest of times and the happiest. This is as honest as I can ever be. This record is truly about finding the light in the darkest point of your life. It’s about knowing that we’ll all fall to the floor at some point, but knowing there’s nowhere else to go but up. This is why I called it “From The Ground Up.” – Jesse Barrera

You can pre-order “From The Ground Up” NOW –

– Daniel

Today (February 1st) is Dyrdek Day in the City of Los Angeles. Created on this very day in 2012, mayor Antonio Villaraigosa honored skateboarder/entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek, a personal hero of mine, by giving him his own day. Wanting to make the day special and something that would uplift the entire community, he challenged everyone to complete AT LEAST one random act of kindness. To make a lasting impression on someone. Hold a door, help someone across the street, or whatever you think will make a positive difference in your community. I personally have started giving homeless people granola bars. Spreading kindness through little acts is something that I believe should be done on a daily basis, but having a day to celebrate and motivate people to begin doing this is truly something special.


At the end of the day ask yourself. DYRDEK? – Did You Really Do Everything Kind?

– Daniel

Although posted today, this post and the events contained within it took place yesterday. Writing is very personal for me. It’s a way for me to express myself through a medium in an unrestricted way. Uncensored thoughts. They are by no means vulgar, but they are the honest truth. And that’s what makes them my words, pieces of literature that cannot be separated from me.

Today I almost died. I spent an hour in the emergency room of a Jordanian hospital suffering from the would-be fatal effects of my tree nut allergy. To keep it brief, because the actual medical events are not what are really important here, I accidentally ingested pistachio nuts during a meeting with my students and staff. I stayed collected and composed. “Chill” if you want to describe it that way. I recognized the symptoms and sought immediate medical help. Despite some localized soreness from the injections, I am fine and out of immediate danger. Responding quickly to the reaction is the reason why I am still able to write this post. It was by far not a pleasant experience, but it is a stepping-stone, albeit unintentional, towards the completion of my happiness project. This was a learning opportunity. An experience that has left a little scar on my conscious. One that will forever change me as all life-altering experiences should. As bad as this is to say, this was a good thing.

Now you might think of me as insane. But hear me out. A good friend of mine told me that my dominating sense of optimism (I’m a very “glass half full” kind of guy) would make me live longer. For those who seek patterns in randomness, no, being relaxed and positive during my emergency room visit did not cure me. It certainly made it slightly more pleasant, but it was the medications administered by the doctor that saved my life. Although it was a nice sentiment, I asked her this, “but what if it was an unfulfilled life? What if, after living a very long life, I didn’t try to do as much as I possibly could with my time on this planet?” I’m certainly not opposed to living a long and healthy life, but I want to make a difference before I kick the proverbial bucket. I want to explore the world, discover who I truly am, and make a positive change to the lives of those around me. Indeed, this isn’t something that came to me as I lay there on the hospital bed; arms and buttocks sore from needles. This is something that I came to realize over the years growing up with a nut allergy. Living everyday with the risk that I could die. But this brush with death, while not my first but certainly my closest near-fatal accident, most definitely reinforced the sentiment. Life is too short. It can end at any moment and that’s a fact of life, but instead of fearing death we should embrace the fact that the mere fact that living is an opportunity to make a difference in the world and develop ourselves as human beings. I sometimes call it a curse with no gifts. But really, it is a means for me to realize that I have all of this untapped potential that shouldn’t be wasted waiting.

Take action. Time is short. Hold onto hope even when times are hard. Life has a way of working out for the best. Make a change in yourself and for others. Live your life and share it with the few who make your day all the more brighter.

– Daniel


I started writing a list of 100 things I want to do before I die a couple of months ago. So far, I’ve written 53 points and completed 5! At the moment, my internet in Jordan is slow and inconsistent at best, so I have not been able to upload new photos. I’ve also been incredibly busy with the archaeological dig I’m working on. That and combating a nasty stomach flu. However, I haven’t let my schedule get in the way of my quest! Here’s a photo of my completing #14 “go sand boarding” shortly before I completed #25 “spend a night in Wadi Rum”.  Wadi Rum is one of my favorite places on the planet, I will upload something ASAP.

*Photo courtesy of Justin Charlick

– Daniel