About Keith

Welcome to Straight Up Living! The seed for this blog was planted years ago when I first became interested (obsessed) with the world of self-improvement. That seed would lie dormant for years before the day would finally come for it to germinate and grow. I was raised in a hard working, blue collar family where I was taught that I could do whatever I wanted in life as long as I was willing to put in the work. Both of my parents were born on a farm and through hard work, blood, sweat and tears built their lives into something for which they could be proud. Laziness is a trait that has long been despised in my family so, needless to say, I was brought up with a strong work ethic.

I was born with a persistent (not stubborn!) spirit and an intense desire to experience life! I often refer to myself as “an enigma” because I will not fit into one particular mold. Whether it be music (I love everything from Bluegrass to the heaviest of Heavy Metal),or hobbies (I love to write, play guitar, shoot firearms, hike, ride motorcycles, exercise, drink coffee, photography, spirituality, be a liberal, be a conservative…) I just can’t be pinned down to one description or stereotype.My life has changed course many times. I’ve been a construction worker, videographer, auto-mechanic, restaurant worker, and even played guitar in rock bands. I’ve poured concrete, video-taped a gubernatorial election, laid sewer pipe, built bridges, bussed tables, cut tobacco and sold insurance. There’s more, but you get the point, right?

“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve
others by using them.” –Thomas Kinkade

I’ll be the first to stand up and speak about the power of goal setting, but I believe it’s such a waste to live life thinking only of future goals. There’s a lot of life to live in between where you are now and the goal you’re striving to attain. Besides, in order to ever realize your dream you must live and take action today.

So, please remember:

“You can do anything you set your mind to.”
–William C. Smith (my dad)

Those words were spoken to me by my father more times than I can remember, and they characterize a fundamental mindset that I have built my life upon. Put that together with the unconditional love and nurturing provided by my mother (Rebecca), and you have a solid foundation to build a life on. I thank them both with all of my heart.

Life is now… Don’t Wait..!

The foundation of Straight Up Living, and one of the main tenets of my core philosophy on life, is this:

You do not have to wait until all conditions are “perfect” before you take action!

On this site you’ll find articles that are intended to inspire, enhance, equip and motivate you on your journey through life. If you feel your life has become stagnant then you’ve come to the right place. Around here, it is all about taking action! The Straight Up Community may be hardcore about embracing life with every ounce of energy and passion we can muster, but we’re an encouraging and loving bunch too!

Straight Up Living is about living life now! What does that mean?

It means:

  • to be aware of the present.
  • to accept responsibility for your own life.
  • to not quit.
  • to boldly move forward in the face of fear.
  • to not postpone happiness and peace.
  • to have goals, but remembering to enjoy the journey.
  • to not make excuses.
  • to not wear masks, live out loud, and be the person you really are.
  • to never stop learning and growing.
  • to seek with an open and honest heart (and mind).
  • to not be afraid to ask questions about life, and to embrace the answers.
  • to love full on.

Love may be last on that list, but it’s the foundation of Straight Up Living.