Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

What Kind Of Person Are You?

“Oliver Wendell Holmes once noted that there are three kinds of people.  First, there are the small few, perhaps 5 percent of us, who make things happen.  Second, there is a larger group, perhaps 10 percent to 15 percent of the population, who watch what is happening.  The third group is the vast majority, perhaps 80 percent, who have no idea what is happening.

The true leader falls into the first category.  Instead of making excuses, you make progress.”

What group are you in?  Do you make excuses?  Do you make things happen?  Or do you have no idea what the hell is going on?

The new year is almost here.  You have a great opportunity to make positive changes in your life.  Don’t waste it.  Choose one thing in your life that you want to be a leader in – the top 5 percent of the population – and then figure out a plan to make that happen.

Happy Wednesday!



Strategies… I Didn’t Have Any So I Got Fat

“Strategy even trumps willpower. Studies show that willpower is actually in limited supply. Meaning, resist the cookie now, it might be hard to resist it later. Therefore, I believe it is more important to build in good strategies. For example, if you eat ice cream every night, rather than trying to “be good” and resist it, simply remove it from the house. If you consistently visit the vending machine because you don’t have time to go to lunch, your strategy would be to pack your lunch the night before and bring it with you.”

Hat tip to Valerie Waters for that quote.

Will power can get you through a lot of short term situations but if you want long term success you need to start strategizing.  What having strategies boils down to is just having a plan.  A road map for success.  When you’re presented with a less than optimal situation you have to develop a strategy to deal with it and to overcome it.  You strategize in your professional life so why not in your personal life too?  Take, for instance, the holiday season.  What happens to you over the holidays?  You lack time so you don’t exercise, then you eat too much, drink too much and soon find yourself rolling into the new year with 10 extra pounds that you hope to combat with New Year’s resolutions that you will probably never stick to.  You didn’t have a strategy so you basically set yourself up to fail.

Instead, what you should be doing is creating holiday strategies to prevent these things from ever happening.  Plan for this time of year when your physique has a less than optimal chance of staying svelte.  What can you do?  That list is endless but here’s a few simple suggestions.

  1. You have extra days off but don’t waste them away by sleeping in late then farting around all day.  You no longer have structure of a work day but don’t let that throw you off.  Wake up early and plan your day.  What do you have to get done?  When and what are you going to eat?  Are you going to exercise?  Have this stuff planned for the day and you will stay on track.
  2. When you’re at holiday parties don’t just drink and eat aimlessly.  Have a strategy.  You are there to relax, enjoy yourself and, yes, indulge yourself – just don’t go on a bender.  Don’t try to resist, just create your strategy – you are going to have one beer and one desert – and then stick to it.  You can still enjoy yourself without stressing out over having a drink or two.
  3. Get your workouts in.  Even if you only have time to do a 15 minute bodyweight circuit in your bedroom, do it.  Don’t make excuses.  This is part of your strategy to keep your metabolism jacked up so you don’t have to lose pounds in the new year.

At the end of the day, the holidays are a time to relax, spend time with your family and give your body and mind a time to recharge before the new year.  Don’t go overboard with your strategies.  Remember they are there to help keep you on track, not stress you out and make you insane.  This time of year is a challenging time to make gains in your physique, make it your goal to maintain where you are at so when the new year rolls around you can pick up where you left off, not 10lbs in the hole.

Merry Christmas and Happy Strategizing!


Flat Tire Syndrome

When you get a flat tire what do you do?  You probably pull over to the side of the road and change the tire, right?  Is it safe to say that you don’t pull over to the side of the road and flatten the rest of your tires?  Yes, that is as ridiculous as it sounds!  So, is it also safe to assume that this thought wouldn’t even cross your mind?  Well, not so fast, because the funny thing is this: many people do this all the time in other areas of their life.

And of course I am going to use two examples that I see ALL of the time…

If you start the day off with a bad meal do you consider that day a wash and vow to start anew tomorrow?  If you do, then you just pulled over to the side of the road and flattened your own tires.

Do you skip workouts because you need an hour to complete it but only have 30 minutes, so instead of just doing as much as you can, you think to yourself that you would rather wait until you can complete the whole workout?  If you do, then you must really love spending quality time with your car broken down on the side of the road.

What this amounts to is an inexplicable need to want to start when things are just right.  The fundamental problem with this thought process is that things are NEVER just right.  What you need to be doing is deciding that you want to do something, accept that you are going to hit obstacles along the way to achieving it and then just do your best to not fall off course.  Do this consistently, one day at a time.

So you miss a meal or eat a “bad” meal.  Who cares?!  That is an obstacle.  Accept that it happened.  No need to punish yourself or try to make up for it.  Just move on and at your next meal make sure that you eat something that will energize your body.  Realize that it’s unlikely anyone will ever eat perfectly.  Life will just not permit it.  Unless you quit your job and move to a farm to grow all your food, at some point something you eat will not be your ideal meal.  This won’t kill you.  Stressing out over it might.

What is the point of all of this?  The point is that obstacles are going to happen to you.  They are going to happen to everyone.  The difference will be in how you handle those obstacles.  The sooner you stop dwelling on them, accept that they happened and then fix them, the sooner you can go do the things you need to do.

With only a few weeks left in the year don’t slash more tires by saying you will start fresh in January.  Start today.  You can accomplish a lot in the next 16 days.

So roll that flat tire off the side of the road, put on the spare and get moving again!

Furaha Jumatano!


Pumps vs. Drains

There is this concept of pumps versus drains that I read about a while ago.  The idea is often mentioned when discussing finances.  It’s pretty simple.  It goes as follows:

Pumps = things that make you money

Drains = things that cost you money

So every person or business wants to maximize pumps and minimize drains.  A pretty simple concept to understand.  The cool thing is that you can take this same principle and start applying it to ever aspect of your life.  Let’s start by applying this to your attitude.

Pumps = having a positive attitude and being around people with a positive attitude

Drains = having a negative attitude and being around people who are downers

If you choose to be positive, you create a positive environment around you that people want to be apart of.  And if you can get other positive people into that environment you create a situation where everyone can feed off one another in a good way.  In other words, there’s a lot of pumping going on and no draining!  On the other hand, if your outlook on life is always negative, you make yourself and everyone around you miserable.  That’s a lot of draining with no pumping!

If you want a positive attitude you need to do three things:

1. Choose to have a positive attitude and work on it every day

2. Surround yourself with people who are positive pumps

3. Eliminate everyone who is a negative drain

Another great place to apply this principle is with your nutrition.  People often wonder why they are fat, sick, tired, moody, lethargic, depressed,  … I could go on forever.  What they don’t do is look at their nutrition pumps and drains.

Pumps = healthy foods that support and energize your body

Drains = junk foods that stress your body and sap your vital energy

Try logging your food intake for a week and cross-reference that with how you feel during that same week.  You might notice some trends of how you feel based on what you’re eating.  Our diets are an amazing thing and can probably solve a lot of the problems that we have mistakenly turned to medical drugs to fix.  We just have to take a look at our nutrition pumps and drains to fix the leaks.

The point I’m trying to get across is that you can apply this principle to every aspect of your life: nutrition, attitude, finances, relationships, health, mindset, etc.  What you need to recognize is that you can only get out what you put in.  So every day you need to make sure you beef up your Pumps and eliminate your Drains!

Dydd Mercher yn hapus!


Ogori… To Give or To Take?

Ogori is a cafe in Japan.  It has one simple rule: you get what the person before you ordered (and paid for), and the next person gets what you ordered (and paid for).

Think about that for a moment.

Is this an opportunity to give or an opportunity to take?

It depends.

What you should realize is that you have these types of Ogori opportunities every day.  Opportunities to be generous in simple ways.  Ways that when looked at by themselves may not be that significant, but when looked at as a whole, create a society and culture where the lives of those in it become much more meaningful.

What is your Ogori opportunity?

Lykkelig Onsdag!


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