For my ninth spotlight piece, trying to highlight others that inspire, I would like to share Michael Mico.
I met Michael while working at a retirement community. He is hilarious, kind, caring and truly himself. Even years later, while we no longer work together or even live in the same state, his words and how he presents himself really strike me to pay attention. Honesty. Kindness. Forgiveness. These are beautiful things that we need so much more of in the world.
I am particularly struck from his post on Facebook right before the New Year:
“I’m walking into 2018 with a clear heart and mind. If you owe me, don’t worry about it. You’re welcome. If you wronged me, it’s all good. A great lesson was learned. If you’re angry with me, you’ve won. If you aren’t speaking to me, it’s cool, I wish you well. Please know I want you to be GREAT. If our friendship didn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be. I hope if you feel that I wronged you, please accept my apology and may peace be unto you. Life is too short to have any pent up anger or hold grudges. Instead, it’s my intention to always forgive, to go high, and never go low. Here’s to 2018 and you!”
How wonderful would it be if others in your life shared the same sentiment? How wonderful would it be if you could also share it? May he inspire you to live and give fully, too.
L: How have you developed such a positive attitude? What has helped you along the way?
M: Developing a positive attitude is not that hard. You just have to WANT to develop a positive attitude. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it can be challenging, but it’s all about choices, wanting to make a better life for yourself.
I look at my own personal struggles as a way to help me. Years ago, I blamed others for why I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy because I didn’t have a career I wanted, I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t making money, I wasn’t happy because I was single, I wasn’t happy because of the situation I was in. It wasn’t until a few years later (in my early 30’s) that I finally realized that I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF MY OWN HAPPINESS, and if I wanted to be happy, I had to do something about it. When I finally came to that realization, my outlook started to change. I stopped blaming others, and took responsibility, and the only one who was to blame was me, and me alone. I had to change my way of thinking— I had to start thinking positive. It’s okay to have negative thoughts and feel sad, but the most important thing is to NOT get stuck there, dust yourself up and keep going. There were times when I was feeling low and I had to remind myself that I had a lot going on for me, that I was in school and I was about to start nursing school. If it is something you really want in life, you NEVER give up, and you work hard for it and sacrifice what needs to be done to get what you want.
Being positive is a choice. Think about this— would you want to be around someone who is negative most of the time?
L: What are your passions – and how did you discover them?
M: Food. I love food. Back in 2007, I was kicked off the respiratory therapy program because I didn’t pass a final by 1.5 points, and when I tried to save myself, the program director said no. I was attending a community college at that time and I just wanted to graduate and I had been in community college for quite some time, so I looked into culinary arts at the community college. I enjoyed cooking and trying new dishes, and I felt that it was an easy way to get a degree. While in the culinary program, I enjoyed every minute of it, learning different cooking techniques and I especially learned how to make cakes, pies, and breads. Unfortunately now, I don’t have that much time to make cheesecake (and I have been told that I make a REALLY good New York-style cheesecake), let alone meal prep, but I will soon!
I also enjoy the arts. Growing up, I was involved in music, choir mostly, and I was also involved with band and orchestra from junior high up until my sophomore year in high school. For those that know me, I enjoy singing. I am always singing or listening to music, its a cheap way to make yourself happy.
Another passion I have is meeting new people. I love meeting people from all walks of life! We are all different and that is what makes us unique!
L: What are the things (people, quotes, etc.) you live by?
M: I remember when I was young, I watched the 2nd Home Alone movie, and the homeless lady told Kevin McAllister (played by McCauly Culkin) to “never make promises you can’t keep.” I do my best to live by that.
The song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield is a song that I absolutely love and I have been inspired by. That song is about just going out there and living your life, because no one else can do it for you. There’s a part that she sings, “Reaching for something in the distance, so close you can almost taste it.” My cover photo on facebook was inspired by that part of the song. In less than six months, I will be moving to Dallas, and I have been wanting to move there for the last four years. My goal is to move there, and you can see me reaching my hand out because my goal of moving there soon is within my reach.
A quote by Matthew Hussey— “Believe in your self-worth, and everything good in life will follow.” That has helped me as well.
L: What’s something we (i.e. public) should all know about you?
M: I’m outgoing and friendly by nature, but believe it or not, I can actually get shy with people I don’t know, especially if I’m in a place where I don’t know anyone. If I feel nervous about starting a conversation with someone, then that means I’m rusty and I need to work on that. Believe it or not, Michael Mico three, four years ago would NOT recognize the Michael Mico now. Two years ago in early 2016, I came across a video either on YouTube or Facebook by Matthew Hussey called “Have You Ever Felt “Not Good Enough?”, and in the video, he talks about seeing a cute guy across the room, but you stopped yourself because you felt that you either don’t look good enough or not dressed enough, or whatever. Matthew Hussey also wrote a book called “How To Get The Guy,” and though his advice was written for women, I have read the book and made it work for me. That video changed my life, and it changed my life FOR THE BETTER! After watching that video, I started to look back on my life and I realized how much I missed out on, not just with dating, but with jobs or making new friends, simply because I was insecure that the other guy wouldn’t like me. I didn’t bother applying for a position at work because I thought that there were others who can do a better job than me. Though it may be true, I have dismissed myself even before the other person or potential employer could even give me a chance. After I watched that video, I thought about what he said for about a week or two, and I said to myself, “enough is enough, just go for it!” And ever since then,I have become more outgoing and more fun. Of course, I was nervous, I would just strike up any conversation at a bar or at a party, and if the other person is not interested, the worst thing the other person can do is say “no,” and when that happens, then you move on! My close friends noticed this change and they were impressed at how I was able to talk to anyone. Mind you, I was still nervous when it comes to talking to new people, but it was becoming easier for me to do it. In November 2016 when I was visiting family and friends in Dallas, I was at a bar with a friend of mine and I saw this one guy who was all by himself. We would make eye contact and smile with each other and say hi in passing, but I was scared to go up and say hello. My friend who was with me encouraged me to just go up to him. I remembered the video I watched earlier that year, and I told myself to just do it, and I did! I went up to him, started a conversation, and we hit it off! The outcome of that night is we became friends and we still remain friends, even to this day. That night was another turning point for me, that I really shouldn’t be afraid of talking to anybody. In 2017, some of my friends were saying, “who is this guy?” (referring to me because I have become a social butterfly and have become more outgoing than usual.) At this point, I was just doing my own thing, keeping busy with work and when I would go to Dallas every month to visit friends and family, I would just hang out with my friends and have fun, and people who I thought wouldn’t have ever taken the chance to ever notice me, turns out they DID notice me! They would say that I’m fun to be around with and I am a wonderful guy, all because of the positive vibe I was giving off. I would say that the “Michael back then” would be very proud of how the “Michael now” turned out.
L: January is International Creativity Month. How will you be celebrating?
M: Unfortunately I only have one day off this January and the rest of the days, I will be working, but last month, I have made the decision to move to Dallas by July 2018. When I do move, I will need something to occupy my time so I don’t end up sitting around the house bored. I have started to do some photography, as my form of artwork and creativity. I love black and white pictures. I also love taking candid shots of people, thats when I get the best results. As I was saying, I don’t have any time this month to take pictures, but I will when I get a chance. Those pictures will also become my artwork, and I will frame them and hang them on the wall.
L: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
M: That I’m a hopeless romantic. Yes, I believe in a love that last forever, I believe that there is someone out there for everybody. Unfortunately in today’s times, love is becoming harder to find, but I believe that if you make your values and standards known, someone will come along. But until then, I will be happily single, and there’s really nothing wrong with that!
L: What inspires you?
M: One word, and that is “hope.” I hope for a better future, not just for me, but for everyone. I hope that tomorrow will be a better day than it was yesterday. Also, I inspire me. “I” inspire me to be positive, to do good, to do something that I have been wanting to do, to be happy.
L: What has been your most recent act of kindness that either you gave or received?
M: Kindness can come in several forms. My act of kindness is telling the truth. I wouldn’t be a good person if I just told the person what they wanted to hear, I tell them what they need to hear. I’m only referring to my closest friends, I wouldn’t be completely honest with someone I barely knew.
L: What have you learned recently?
M: A few weeks ago, I was told by several people that I was a “genuine person.” I never really thought about that until recently when I was driving home from Dallas. I thought about it and I guess I really am genuine. I try to see people for what’s inside their heart and mind. I try to be kind to others, and being kind will get me far in life.
The last thing I want to share with others is to “know your worth,” because no one else can do that for you, except you.
If you’d like to continue to see what Michael is up to, you can follow him on social media: