Want to see the result of a good childhood? Take a look at this 17 y.o. guy.


When he got to the ripe ol’age of ten, he decided that public schooling was not for him. He “dropped out” and was homeschooled thereafter.

When he was about thirteen, he decided that he was going to be a self-published author – a successful one at that. He achieved that goal in less than a year but he says that for two years he struggled because he wasn’t making much money with his writing. But three years later he started making (are you ready for it?) $4,000 a month with his best-selling books. Yes, four thousand. That is not a typo.

He is seventeen now and when you see him, you have the impression you are in front of a real, live case of body snatching: the words coming out of his mouth sound like they are coming from someone who is forty or older. But he is still a teen – clearly looks like one.

He credits his success to never giving up – he made up his mind he wanted something and then just went for it. He says he’s made lots of “mistakes” on the way but he has no regrets, because he had fun and he’s learned a lot.

I saw Mark Messick in an interview online. He baffled me with his eloquence, his sense of confidence and his results. Yes, I am impressed with his career but I am blown away by his upbringing.

As far as I am concerned, he really proved ALL of the points I was making in “Your Inner Child is a Winner“. Every single one of them!

  1. There is an inner “sap” inside us humans that guides us towards whatever is good and nourishing for us. If nurtured, this connection will lead to a happy, thriving life. If thwarted… we have depression, anxiety, mood-swings, violence, acting out… and on and on.
  2. Children are born naturally confident. There are no self-esteem issues because the self has a healthy esteem for itself! It is so natural that it is not an issue. Of course, to most adults (whose sense of self has been thwarted), children seen overly confident. Which is why they often try to bring them down.
  3. Children are wired for adventure and they are not afraid to “fail”. They are not afraid to jump in and try – and try again. This is how they learn to walk, talk, eat and just about everything else. How does it become so wrong to try and (gasp!) “fail”?
  4. Human beings are flexible creatures. This kid, Mark, wants to be funny too. Because nobody’s told him yet that he has to pick and choose, he does his writing AND he’s trying stand-up comedy.
  5. Kids are not afraid of the world. They think the world is fun. Fun, in fact, is the name of the game.

You can find Mark at www.torchtherules.com.


What do you do with all that cardboard from Amazon?

cardboard farm dog house

‘t is that time of the year – the time to be jolly, to be happy and to be looking for presents. Lots and lots and lots of presents.

With lots and lots and lots of presents come lots and lots and lots of cardboard boxes. Especially if you do your holiday shopping on Amazon.

It can be a problem! The space in the garage is already taken by the two cars, the wheelbarrow, the tractor and my husband’s motorcycle. The pile of plastic bottles is already pushed in a corner.

Really, there isn’t much room for all that cardboard.

The other day I had an idea though. I took a couple of boxes, a pair of scissors and a tape gun. I asked my son if he wanted to make a farm. He looked at the cardboard, then at the supplies, then at me and he said… nothing. He is three. He did not understand.

I set to work. The moment I sunk the scissors in the cardboard, his eyes lit up. He loved that “scrush-scrush-scrush” sound so that was joy reason #1. With squeals on top.

Then, I made shapes. Two rectangles, a triangle, a circle…. Joy reason #2. Who knew cardboard could be so interesting?!

I set out to make the building of a railway station. He loves trains and we have some wooden tracks that could have gone very well in front of it. Thomas the Tank Engine included.

But when I got done with the “railway station” my son squealed (joy reason #3): “Farm! Farm, mama! Farm!”

Okay. So it turned out to be a farm.

After the farm house came the dog’s house. Oh, the screams of joy for that… you can not imagine! (joy reason #4)

IMG_3344After the dog house came the shed for the tractor (joy reason #5).

We had so much fun the whole afternoon that I wondered why we bothered buying him toys at all!

I’m joking, of course. Toys are good. But joy out of “nothing” is part of the miracle and wonder. Blessed be.

Sunny skies and good feelings,