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Go, be BAD at something

 This entry was posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018 at 4:10 pm

I am not naturally inclined to try new things. Quite truthfully, I was the pain in the butt child that when asked to try something new to eat that immediately stated, “no!”. No good reason other than a resistance to try new things. I was pretty decent physically at sports, so trying new sports was not a big deal because my arrogance could push me physically to be able to compete. I think that most of us have a resistance to trying something new. The problem with that though is that only doing things that you are good at does nothing to push you to new levels as a person.

I started doing martial arts because I did not want to feel weak as a man. As a result, I have been very bad at jiu-jitsu for about 1.5 years……but, even though I know this, the idea for me is to keep showing up because the process of pushing myself through my own insecurities that tell me how bad I am (or, lets be honest, how much I suck at it) are ultimately speaking directly to my peccadillos and growing me as a person.

In one of my favorite books (Change or Die), the author speaks to the idea of (“Acting As If”). The principle being, how we act influences what we believe and what we feel. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for “know” is usually a verb, designating something one does. To know love, one must not only know about love, one must act lovingly. It is the repetition that helps to promote the reframing. When you repeat a personal experience, over a long period of time, that conditions our gut level emotions and strongly held beliefs.

What we must do is to have NEW firsthand experiences, repeated over and over again, to begin to change our ways of thinking. The idea being, you have TO DO things in a new way before you can THINK in a new way.

My suggestion: do something you know you will be bad at for a while. If you are an accountant, learning the latest tax codes might help you at work, but will not grow you as a person. So, maybe try doing archery. If you are a nurse, just getting your CE’s is great for work, but what are you actively seeking out to do that you know you will be bad at for a while? How about ballroom dancing, or speed skating, or learning Arabic at the local school, or……….

Go, do something you know you will be bad at, on purpose. Trust me, it is the best thing for you as a person.

Having Purpose

 This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 3:44 pm

A few years back a man that was not well known on the worlds stage did something very interesting, he wrote a book about purpose that flew off the shelves and connected with people, a lot of people, all different people, and ultimately became one of the most influential books of our time. The book, The Purpose Driven Life, was touted as a Christian devotional book, but the ironic thing was that the book connected with so many people, whether they were Christian or not. For me, the central theme wrests in one chapter, “What on Earth Am I Here For?”

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word purpose this way: “Your life purpose consists of the central motivating aims of your life—the reasons you get up in the morning. Purpose can guide life decisions, influence behavior, shape goals, offer a sense of direction, and create meaning. For some people, purpose is connected to vocation—meaningful, satisfying work.”

For so many people this is the struggle which leads to anxiety, depression, addiction, etc. Having purpose in our lives has a monumental effect on our mental health. If you don’t believe it as yourself this, are you happy? Are you doing those things that have a direct impact on what you believe is your purpose?

I chased after money for a long time with the thought that it would be financial riches that would finally “fix” my depression/anxiety/anger. 15 years ago, I was able to finally connect with a passion/purpose I never knew I had. Let’s be clear, just because I believe I am doing what I believe my passion and purpose is does not preclude me from having depressive or anxious times. What I will say is that life is so much better when you are connecting directly with those gifts / abilities that you have that impact your passion and purpose.

I Need a Tune-up (my simple philosophy to creating a better engine)

This entry was posted on Monday, December 17th, 2018 at 6:22 pm

When I think of what it takes to move forward through real personal struggle, this is what jumps out at me in regards to what it takes to move past my current condition. Personally, I think of therapy as a little bit about the past, a little bit about the present, and then you get to define what your future looks like. My thoughts, in short:

Ruthless Honesty to Self

  • You can make excuses all you want, you can lie to your family, you can lie to friends/acquaintances, you can lie to everybody else, but you still have to look yourself in the mirror and know that you’re making excuses.
  • You can’t run from the person in the mirror looking back at you.

Get up off of your butt

  • We all want things to change (or let’s be honest, get better). Most of us are great about talking about change, but talking about it from the comfort of our couch.
  • You want things to change in your life, then get up off of your butt. Change is a verb, so go back to elementary school thinking to recognize that if I want something to change, then I need to do something about it to make it happen (i.e. movement). I cannot sit on my couch and wish/hope for a change in my current direction, I have to get up and make change happen.

Get off of your butt (2)

  • Exercise, yes, exercise.
  • The biggest difficulty for the majority of us is getting off the couch to go exercise.
  • Here’s the thing, I’ve yet to meet someone who exercised and at the end of it said that they wish they had not done so.
  • We need to move. Stop making excuses as to why you are not doing it, your body needs it.

Eat Better

  • Say what you want, but what we put into our system contributes to how it will run.
  • Better intake, better outcome. Pretty simple.
  • You want fast food every day, then don’t be surprised when you feel sluggish and unmotivated.
  • You can make excuses, but nutrition contributes to mental stability. Eat like crap all you want, but recognize that when I eat better it has a role in my mental outlook.

The Golden Rule is a Killer

  • Tell the truth, no matter what.
  • Again, you cannot lie to the person in the mirror.
  • So many people talk about how telling the truth is not hard. I guess you are the only person that will ever know if you are telling the truth or lying.
  • In truth, my go to is oftentimes to mislead.
  • We must practice ruthless honesty. If you mislead in anyway, people will never believe you wholeheartedly. I know what it is like to feel powerless because a person does not believe you. Here’s the thing, how did I contribute to that?

Ruthless Pragmatism

  • We get so caught up in our feelings, to the point that we lose the fact that they are JUST FEELINGS.
  • How come we get challenged by feeling depressed, discouraged, frustrated, but we never get challenged by feeling happy, confident, or hopeful.
  • There is not difference!!!!!! They are just feelings. We, meaning me also, need to look at things as pragmatically as possible.
  • Pragmatism – dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. (i.e. Try and take out the feelings and simply look at the situation and what is the most practical explanation.)


I Don’t Want My Child to Struggle

 This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 at 5:32 pm

My mom always told me that she wanted me to have a better life than she had. Let’s be clear, my mom did not have a bad life filled with trauma that so many people do, but she simply wanted me to have a better life. I think that so many parents feel the same way, but sadly I also feel so many parents have the idea in their mind that if I give them more then they will be able to perform better. I am not saying don’t expose your kids to things, I am saying don’t remove struggle from their lives in an attempt to make their life better.

The old joke is, “how do you make diamonds………pressure.” I have the privilege of living in one of the best places on the planet (according to all those publications that rank the best places to live). It is easy to live here, relatively speaking, compared to other places we have lived in the past. The schools are good, the crime is low, the scenery is nice, and as a result there is affluence. There is nothing wrong with affluence, as long as it is not used to provide “stuff” to make kids lives easier. In my opinion, when we try and remove struggle from our kids’ lives, we do it out of our own selfish desires.

One of the challenges with living in this area is entitlement. Entitlement, for those that are not familiar, is the belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges (according to Merriam-Webster). Quite truthfully, the world does not care where you came from, what your parents did, how much money they make, they care about your contribution and how you make others feel. Entitled people don’t care about, they only care about what they believe they think.

In the end, if you want the best opportunity for your child to become the well-rounded, balanced, caring individual that you can be proud of………. don’t save them from the struggle. Question for you, tell me about the person that had everything given to them that went on to do great things and was not entitled?

Being a Black Belt as a Husband

 This entry was posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Everyone, this will be short. Please go and check out my friends site for his new book, “Black Belt Husband”. Quentin Hafner is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that has seen, and been through, the trials/tribulations and success of marriage. This book has an outstanding way of connecting to each of us on what we need to be the husband we can be.

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