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Your circle of friends matters

by David Specht

As I was headed into this year, I decided to hit the ground running.  

It has been a crazy-busy year already. I am looking at this year as a breakthrough year for me and my family. I have been taught to, “Do the hard things and do them well.”

In addition, I’ve been taught to partner with my future self, to set bold goals and go after them. I am learning to not stop because of fear of failure, but go into it with the attitude of, “I’ve got this.”  

Failure is a learning point not a stopping point. So many people have failed in so many things, only to be successful in many things. I am learning that is how we get better. That is how we push through the hard things in life.

Growing up, I was always taught to work hard but never taught to dream and go after those dreams. I didn’t know I could partner with my future self and set goals and get them done. 

In my life, I have had to start small and learn to go big. I have small goals that are getting done and I have huge goals that will take time and will get done.

Right now, I am partnering with my future self and setting five-year goals. What does that look like?

Sometimes, setting big goals is kind of scary because stepping into the unknown is scary. I would ask myself, “But, what if I fail?”  

Then my future self asks, “But what if you fly?” 

That is how we have to look at life. In the last year-and-a-half, my life has been flipped upside down and for the better.  

Since regaining my health and surrounding myself with like-minded people, I am growing within myself. I am more confident, I can speak in front of people more. I am doing things I would have never dreamed of doing. It is all because of being in a community of like-minded people that live above the line and that challenge you to do the same.

I am not a drama person, and I am trying to see the good in all people. This is very hard when people can be so ugly on Facebook.  

In order to keep my positive attitude, I have to choose to unfriend people or unfollow them.  

Do you ever wonder why some people have so much trouble? Could it be because they love to get into the middle of everyone’s business? I’ll stop right there.

I am ready to dream big and go after all that I can! God has big plans for me and my family and I am right where He wants me. 

How do I do this every day? I listen to positive podcasts and get in great books.  

The purpose is to get my mind going in the right direction. I am excited for what the future holds and can’t wait to get with my future self and make new plans. I will never stop growing and never stop planning. It is time for you to think about it and start partnering with your future self and get going in life.



1 large red bell pepper

1 large green bell pepper

1 large yellow bell pepper

1 large orange bell pepper

2 ½ cups Tomato Meat Sauce

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning


Preheat oven to 400° Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove ribs and seeds. Place pepper halves on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack.

Remove peppers from oven. Fill each pepper with ¼ cup tomato meat sauce.

Next, spoon 2 tbsp of ricotta cheese on top of the meat sauce in each pepper cup. Pour an additional 1 tbsp meat sauce on top of the ricotta cheese.

Top each pepper with 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Bake on middle rack for 12 minutes.

Remove peppers from oven. Top each pepper with 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Bake 5 additional minutes on top rack.

Tina Specht is co-publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. She shares her thoughts and recipes each Thursday.

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