We Get One Life. [QMU]

Have you ever played a video game?

Normally you get a few lives, say 3, maybe 10… but at some point, unless you beat the game, you end up on your last life. There’s always this sense of urgency…. I can’t die again, I’m on my last life! Because, as we all know, when you die on your last life, it’s GAME OVER.

That’s the weird thing about being a human, we’re born on our last life.

You may ask yourself, how is that reminder a Quick Me Up? Maybe that sounds more like a quick me down… but the thing is, the better and faster that we realize we only get one chance, the better we can live this one chance.

We Get One Life.

Taj Mahal, We have one life, Quick Me Ups

If your dream is to visit the Taj Mahal…. then go! Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

I’m guilty. I let time pass by. I get into a rhythm, into a rut, and I just stay there. Maybe I make small changes or adjustments, but I don’t treat each day like the individual gift it is.

This life is an amazing, unique, powerful GIFT that you were given.

Are you ready to fully enjoy this gift?
This life is meant to be lived fully. The idea isn’t to make it to the end and say, “well at least I got a lot of sleep and was very safe, nothing crazy happened!”….

It reminds me of a great quote:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'” – Hunter S. Thompson

We get one ride!
This is it!

What have you always wanted to do? What’s that one thing… that if you didn’t pursue it… you’d get to the end of life and think:
Damn, I can’t believe I never tried that!

Maybe you always wanted to write a book, or run a marathon but still haven’t done it… maybe you want to quit your job to work freelance, even if the money isn’t the same…. maybe you’ve always wanted to travel but still haven’t done it….. whatever the case may be, don’t run out of time waiting for the “perfect moment to start”.

This is just your reminder to the inner you:  YOU HAVE ONE CHANCE!

So go, be you, take a look at your pathchoose your direction and be the best you possible today.

Because a reminder can help you spark a change in mentality, or in the way you approach your day… that’s why this is a Quick Me Up…. because it’s designed to help life you UP! Last life, time’s running out, GO BE YOU!!!

We Get One Life.

A New Microphone! [WhoAmI?]

Hi all! I know I’ve been a bit slow with the updates lately, but things are moving behind the scenes. I’m working on Quick Me Ups T-shirts, layout for the new site…. and I just got a new microphone!

Also I’m still alive down here….

Quick Me Ups zakreid Snowboarding New Mic

Me at Portillo Ski Resort, Andes Mountains, Chile

As I mentioned in the first [WhoAmI?] – Hip Hop post, I love making music. I got a new microphone for making new music, as well as possible audio clips for QMU / spoken word, etc.

So I gave the new mic a test drive this weekend and will be working on new songs – many of which have conscious or inspirational themes such as change, being yourself, overcoming obstacles, etc.

Here’s the new work:

And I will be updating here when I release new, future projects.

Do you express yourself through art – music, painting, drawing, poetry, dance, etc.? Feel free to share in the comments, I would love to hear how you express yourself.

Hope you’re well!!

– Zak


Be a Better You [QMU]

You’re awesome. You have a unique combination of qualities, shortcomings, interests, predispositions, quirks, and all sorts of things that make you… well, you. And that’s what’s so awesome about you, is that you’re so, uniquely you.

What are some of the things that you really enjoy about who you are? Maybe you feel the most like you when you’re drawing, walking down the street, meditating, doing yoga, or heck, debating social issues. When are you the most you?

Let’s identify what makes us the best version of ourselves, and grow that.

Be a Better You.

Vincent Lock, play guitar, be a better you via Quick Me Ups.

If you feel like YOU when you play guitar, then PLAY GUITAR! Photo: Vincent Lock

“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

The rat race is called the rat race for a reason. We can get so caught up in our job + traffic + chores + family… that we lose our ability to stay present in the moment. We devolve into this anxious, hurried creature, continually trying to meet deadlines and arrive at certain locations at specified times. Zoom out a bit on a big city and we look like little hurried rats.

When we’re in this “rat mode” we’re most certainly not the best version of ourselves. We’re not conscious, we’re not quirky, we’re simply another one of the masses. While this may happen to many of us, it’s important to fight back so that we do not become this shell of ourselves.

“It’s a big theme in my life, learning about myself and being a better person. I’m a work in progress; I have revelations every day.” – Rick Rubin

What makes you unique?
If I tell you to be the best you, what does that mean?

Try to be that person this week.

That may mean different things for different people – maybe you need to make an effort to get to the gym twice this week, or take some time and write in your journal… or maybe it’s something as simple as waking up 20 mins. earlier in the morning to get your personal mojo going before the day’s challenges stack up.

Let’s invest in ourselves this week.  

Personally I’m going to make some time for music, for exercise, I’m going to continue to work on planning my next life step, and I’m going to make time to show my girlfriend how much I care about her. If I’m able to work on these four things, I’ll consider it a productive weekend of being a better me.

How about you?
What can you do to make a better you this week?

Becoming a better you = Doing what makes you happy + Making personal time.

I know especially for parents that finding personal time can be difficult. Maybe in that situation you feel like the best version of yourself is when you make time to play with your children. Could you make more time for that? Would that make you more you?

You can do it.
But what is it?
Feel free to share below!

Be a Better You.

Start Your Day with Positive Words [QMU]

When your alarm goes off in the morning, it’s easy to say or think – “Nooo, I don’t want to get up”, “I wish I didn’t have to wake up right now”“I don’t want to go to school / work”. It can be a natural, involuntary action, but it can create our early-morning mental state, and this can go on to affect us for the rest of the day.

As soon as we start thinking and speaking negativity, it becomes real. We create a mental position of fighting against the current, of trying to stop or freeze time… which just doesn’t work.

So instead of fighting the current, let’s accept it, and try to enjoy the rapids, or at least navigate them to the best of our abilities. Let’s start our day off by thinking of the good parts, of the highlights. Let’s speak positivity so that it manifests instead of negativity.

Start Your Day with Positive Words.

Tree at Sunrise - Start Your Day with Positive Words - Quick Me Ups

Another sunrise, another opportunity. Photo: Public Domain Images

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson

Let’s rise each morning with thoughts of:
– I’m going to make this a great day.
– Today I’m going to finish that project / task.
– Today I’m going to be healthy and go to the gym / eat well.
– After work I’m going to meet up with some friends, yes!
– I can do this.
– I’m not going to let problems bring me down.
– I will overcome any obstacle I face today.
– Today I’m going to smile.
– Today I will….

We are responsible for our happiness. We are in charge of our moods and emotions. Remember, nobody else is responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. When we say, “that really made me angry”, what we’re really saying is: “I don’t like what just happened, and I’m deciding to react to it by losing my peace and inner calm”.

We may not always be in control of what happens, but we are in control of how we react to it.

Have you ever noticed that  when you’re irritated or frustrated, that anything that happens seems to set you off?

That’s because we’re already in that negative mental state, and when we’re there, it becomes much easier to lose our calm.

If we’re upset and running late, stuck in traffic, and somebody cuts us off, it’s very easy to become upset, even to shout at the other driver.  But, if we’re smiling and laughing, and somebody cuts us off, it’s more likely that we’ll just brush it off and keep moving on.

When we’re in a positive mental state, small negative things stay small and we bulldoze through them.

So let’s start today with a smile, and by building positive momentum. Smile at yourself in the mirror before you leave to work. It sounds cliché and a little lame, but try it, smile at yourself, maybe laugh a little about how silly it is to smile in the mirror, say a quick “I got this, let’s go!” and go make yourself an amazing day!

See, even Yoko agrees!

“Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.” – Yoko Ono

So get that positive momentum going. You can do it, and you will do it, if you also believe that. Have an amazing day, we can do this together, let’s go!

Start Your Day with Positive Words.
Quick Me Ups.

Inspirational Boy Receives New Set of Hands [NEWS]

This is the story of an inspiring, 8 year old boy named Zion Harvey from Baltimore, Maryland. Equipped with an infectious smile and an older-than-he-is view of the world, Zion has already overcome a number of difficult challenges in his young life.


Zion never let a lack of hands hold him back. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

With an ever-present smile on his face he explains: “When I was 2, I had to get my hands cut off because I was sick”.

In reality, he suffered a sepsis infection, comprimising his life due to internal organ failure, and resulting in the amputation of his hands and feet.

At age 4 he received a kindey transplant from his mother, Pattie Ray, and was on his way to a healthier future, always with a smile.

Now, at age 8, Zion is making history as the first child recipient of a double hand transplant. He was reviewed for 18 months to assure he was a viable candidate, but even after in-depth analysis, results are never guaranteed. Zion’s reaction?

“When I get these hands, I will be proud of what hands I get, and if it gets messed up,” he continued, “I don’t care because I have my family.”

He truly has an infectious smile and winning attitude about life that many of us could learn from.

Before the surgery, Ray said: “[t]his is just another hurdle that he jumps. He jumps so many hurdles. He’s so amazing. This isn’t the first amazing thing that he’s done. He’s been doing amazing things since he’s been sick. I don’t know many adults that can handle half of his life on a day-to-day basis.”

As an 8 year old boy, there are many potentially exciting, new activities he will be able to take part in from the climbing monkey bars to walking a dog. But when asked what he’s most excited about doing with his new hands, he said: “pick up my little sister from daycare, and wait for her to run into my hands, and I pick her up, and spin her around.”

Zion Harvey Press Conference, via Quick Me Ups

Zion presents his new hands to the world. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

A team of 40 medical personnel, including doctors, nurses and anthesiologists, worked together on this revolutionary double transplant, well aware of the challenges and possible complications. But after more than 10 hours in the operating room, the head of the team, Dr. L. Scott Levin, emerged to tell Zion’s mother: “we have some good news for you. Your little guy has two hands.”

Zion isn’t completely in the clear yet, he will be taking a lifetime of immunosuppressant medication to avoid infection, and will be staying in the rehabilitation unit for the next few weeks to learn how to use his new hands.

That said, he’s already moving forward mentally and has told his mom that he and his sister want a new dog, which he is ready to take care of and walk everyday.

Now, what shouldn’t be forgotten when telling this story, is the role that a brave family played by donating the hands through the Gift of Life Donor Program. Another reminder that a loss of one life can help save or improve another.

During a press conference after the successful surgery, an emotional Zion spoked into the microphone and asked for his family members to stand up. He looked to them and said “I want to say to you guys, thank you for helping me through this bumpy road.”

A very grounded young boy with a bright future ahead of him, Zion is full of wisdom and optimism. He took a moment to summarize the importance of family, stating: “family means trust, hope, support, and if you fall down, they always catch you.”

His is truly a remarkable story, and one that we can all hope is repeated many times over. Children are our future, and this child now has a set of hands to help mold the world.

Zion Harvey: a reason to smile today. Let’s spread his story and all of the other positive things that are happening in the world right now. If you know of a story you think our readers would enjoy, please share it in the comments below.