Aim

What we seek, we might find.

Or rather,

What we do not seek, we will never find.

Intent on discovering all of the ways that the world is plotting against you?

Why? Sure, there will be plenty of hardships for you to discover. But we all battle them. Honestly.

What about the task at hand? Does it serve us to stress the perils?

What would happen if, instead of dialing in on the negativity in our lives, we decided to adjust the scope, and we centered ourselves on optimism?

Where the cross-hairs intersect, calculated or not, is where we will hit.

Every single time.

WE NEED TO BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT OUR AIM.

We might miss anyway, but surely we fail without attempting to be purposeful.

The people in our inner circle can inspire us, or, they can play host to our pity party. 

Music can serve to free us from our chains, or, it can bind us to sadness and despair.

The internet can serve to educate us, or, it can rob us blind of our time, hour by hour.

Pending chaos.

All hinging on what we are aimed at.

5 Quotes on the Bedroom Wall of a Mercer Basketball Player

Here are the 5 quotes that hung on handmade posters all over my bedroom for years, and are still hanging in my garage now, on the plywood wall between my stand-up work table and my pull-up bar. They may mean very little to you. They may change your life. If even one person experiences the latter, this post was worth it. I hope they spark a fire in you like they did me. After reading this, tell me your inspiring habits, I would love to read about/share them. #masteryourcraft


1. HBDYWI

How bad do you want it?

I’ve been quoting this with my little brother, James, who plays basketball at Ohio University, for years. So, maybe Eric Thomas heard me screaming it once and decided it’d be good content. I don’t know. It’s also the first tattoo James and I got together. Left hip.


5 Quotes on the Bedroom Wall of a Mercer Basketball Player

Savor a Blessing

Unless I forget to brush my teeth, each night I savor a blessing.

By attaching something that I struggle to make routine (pondering gratitude) to an act that I do every day (brushing my teeth), consistency with the latter becomes practical.

Think hard on your day for just one minute or two. How fortunate were you today? By your standards? By the standards of a homeless child? By the standards of a woman widowed by war? What blessings do you have to be thankful for? If you cannot find even one, your perspective is probably out of wack. Adjust.

Think about how wonderful a life you live, that blessings, maybe small, come daily, and rarely do you have to sacrifice comfort and convenience unless you choose to.

Some will never know the blessing of choice, or the blessing of free thought.

Revel in that while you cook dinner tonight, or during a shower, or what have you.

Brush your teeth, savor a blessing.

True Impact

Nobody ever gets an accurate reading of their contribution to the world.

Did people applaud you? Will they hold you in higher regard?

There are no hard statistics on true impact.

You’ll never see a graph or chart that depicts it.

When you die, the real imprint you’ve left behind will never be quantifiable.

How far down the line will one act of kindness go? Will the elementary school kid that you coached in hoops become an NBA star one day? Will that NBA star fund a neighborhood development program back where he grew up? Will that neighborhood produce a morally sound mother that births a world leader who eventually solves our sustainability crisis and saves the planet?

One small deed done yesterday might change the world 200 years from now, but nobody is going to give you the credit.

For generations to come, your acts of kindness, your courage, are like a stone plunging into a lake.

The initial splash depends on the size of the stone, but the real impact is in how far the ripples will span.

You’ll be at the bottom of the lake before the last wave brushes the shoreline.

There’s no glory in it for you.

Yet, oddly enough, we all know and feel that it’s the right thing to do:

to serve others.

I have to do this

Are you a “high achiever”? A “go-getter”?

Do you have to-do lists longer than The Pan-American Highway?

Heavy eyelids?

The self-talk usually goes something like, “I want this so bad. I have to do this.”

Most people quit at this point. But you won’t. You’re an animal. You’re a machine! You’ll never quit!!

You just set the track record for the first lap of the 1600m run.

Though, hmm, nobody ever won the gold because of a fast ‘Lap 1’. Now what?

How do you follow-through on goals or drag on when you’re exhausted? Perspective always helps.

I don’t need to give you stories of the rampant poverty all over our planet.

You don’t HAVE-TO-DO anything.

You GET-TO-DO it.

That alone could be the elixir to your anxiety.

This should apply to some 90+% of Americans, as we are majorly above the poverty level in comparison to most human beings on earth.

Be the GET-TO-DO type of person.

Now, go. Do.

Get it in writing

Your boss says you might get a promotion.

A new business partnership is on the horizon.

The admissions department rep thinks you’ll get accepted to Harvard.

They can all be agreed upon, and exciting to anticipate or daydream about, but they carry no validity or value until written and signed.

Gotta get it in writing.

Getting your thoughts locked permanently into existence, and written down on paper, is as important to your life as any deal or letter of acceptance.

A great idea at 3am is meaningless if you’ve forgotten it by 8.

I cannot under-sell you on the importance of getting enough sleep, but sometimes, even when you’re laying in bed ready to fall asleep, or tossing and turning at 3:34, you’ve got to get up and grab a pen.

Got an idea?

Get it in writing.

3 THOUGHTS PER YEAR: a New Years resolution plan that sticks

Most New Years resolutions don’t stick.

Here we are, 17 days in.

If you’re struggling, it’s not too late to take a different approach. The cultural fortune and blessings, associated with proclaiming your resolutions aloud during the final countdown on December 31st, are lost. You get a 0-score for style/tradition points if you abandon your initial resolutions.

“No TRUE New Years resolution can start on January 17th!”

“Ok” [confidently brush your shoulders off].

Alas, this is a fact: a practice that works, started January 17th, is far greater than a resolution that started hot on January 1st and falls dead by January 22nd. 

Author and success expert, Carol S. Dweck, has a chapter in one of her books that talks about fulfilling your potential. In it, she writes, “Genius is not enough; we need to get the job done.” Liken that to your New Years Resolutions, and you might realize that the genius behind your initial plan is only as meaningful as the actions that (do not) ensue.

“Genius is not enough; we need to get the job done.” – Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success).

There is no cure-all, but let me offer an idea that has helped me tremendously. Spoiler alert: this will be the only time that I downplay “taking action”.

I began this at the beginning of the 2017 year, and applied it again this year. It works. Here it is:

3 THOUGHTS PER YEAR

At the beginning of each new year, pick 3 thoughts, or topics.

WRITE THEM EVERYWHERE – walls, post it notes, desk drawers, phone background, desktop, bathroom stalls… you get the point.

They need to be extremely valuable for the upcoming year, but NOT ACTIONABLE (this seems counterintuitive, but is very important. I will explain shortly). Specifically, if it will help you most from Jan-Apr, then strongly consider it. I am a believer that the way you start dramatically influences your end results. If my 3 thoughts help me begin the year with 4 amazing months consecutively, then odds are that the last 8 won’t be too shabby either.

The purpose of these thoughts is not to formulate a one-size-fits-all action plan. The purpose is to change your overall approach. Consider it ‘mindset training’.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FAIL BECAUSE YOU PICK SPECIFIC ACTIONABLE TASKS ON DECEMBER 31st THAT ARE NO LONGER EFFECTIVE ON JANUARY 17th.

This has had a greater impact on my life than any diet, habit, or gym membership. Why? It’s about the attitude that you approach each day with. It always is. Your plan has to be able to ADAPT to looming adversity and a sporadic schedule. Your standards, however, don’t have to change.

Carry these THOUGHTS or THEMES with you everywhere, and use them the way that people use W.W.J.D. bracelets. Use these thoughts as a lens through which you see the world. Let them be a filter for your tough decisions.

Carry these THOUGHTS or THEMES with you everywhere, and use them the way that people use W.W.J.D. bracelets.

You will still be tasked with making good choices that contribute to your well-being, that is non-negotiable. The difference? You can adapt your daily action plan to your surroundings as needed. You can fail daily. You can succeed daily. But no failure or success will dictate the following day’s approach, which will change dramatically, but always contain with it, your 3 thoughts.

Reward and punishment system based on preset expectations for action, exit.

Enter, 3 THOUGHTS PER YEAR that influence your EVERY move. It becomes ok to fall down on a diet or meal plan from time to time if the goal is to “improve your Nutritional Education” rather than to “eat 100% Paleo Approved foods”. Thus, taking failure frustrations and lack of motivation out of the equation, and narrowing your focus on how to address each issue/choice individually. More simply, change 3 ways that you think about your day.

Best wishes. Love you all.

 

Here are the thoughts that I chose last year. They served me well. 

2017 – Autonomy, Nutritional Education, Fearless

Here are the thoughts that I chose for 2018. So far, so good.

2018 – Critical Path, Composure, Blue-Chip

One Inch

Inches matter.

Take a single step.

Write down a late night thought.

Phone an old friend.

Read 2 pages in a book.

Drink 1 less beer.

Go to sleep 1 hour earlier.

If you can’t run a mile, run down the street and back.

If you can’t be joyful to everyone you interact with, just be joyful to 1 person each day.

Do not be intimidated by your ideals. Like a building is a culmination of bricks, your progress is a culmination of small choices. From where you are now, to the future you desire, is just a series of progressional inches.

It is easier to be consistent (which matters) when you don’t expect too much of yourself.

MANY INCHES > ZERO MILES

Inches matter.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years go. The second best time is now.”

– Chinese Proverb

New Years: Effective Frame of Mind

What are you asking yourself in 2018?

Some people make resolutions. Lists. Some commit to a diet, or a workout plan, or a shift in values.

Those are wonderful.

They’re usually averagely effective, however, without the proper mindset.

It is only minimally correlated to the plans made or the goals set.

It is about whether or not you are prepared to make changes at all.

Where is your head at?

Are you willing to sacrifice?

Are you willing to humbly address your short-comings?

Are you willing to make changes?

This year, focus your lens on those questions first, and make sure that you can answer them, before you “go Paleo” or buy a gym membership.

——

Oh, by the way, it is the year 2 0 1 8 .

Take a moment to think about what it means to be alive right now, at this time.

Be awesome in 2018. I love you all.

5 Thoughts that People (who stress about family and travel) Should Keep in Mind Over the Holidays

This post is about: #family, #holidays, #stresstips  |  Read time: 3 min


If you have the perfect family, and the perfect life, disregard this blog and go enjoy your break.

If you’re like the majority, where dealing with family and travel adds some level of unnecessary stress over the holidays, this might help:

  1. MODERATION: Reminisce, indulge in laughter, stuff yourself with joy, but in all else, keep moderation in mind. “Too much” means something different to all of us, so be sound in your own judgement. People frequently regret eating too much, drinking too much, arguing too much, etc. The holidays are a time to relax your standards, but gluttony rarely results in happiness.
  2. COMPOSURE: Family can test your patience. Stay composed. Travel adversity can break you down. Stay composedNegative emotions multiply quickly. Stay composed.
  3. AUTONOMY: You are not your family. You are an individual part of your family. This should resonate specifically with young adults still struggling to find an identity of their own. You are not your parents. You are not your grandparents. Staying respectful and cognizant of your families culture is essential, but not at the cost of your own well-being. If it means renting an AirBnb instead of sleeping on a blowup mattress next to your snoring uncle, or sneaking out with your fiance for a drink when everyone else is bickering, TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST! Unhealthy habits are NOT something that you need to partake in just because your family considers it normal. You do you. You can’t bring joy to others when, personally, you feel miserable.
  4. BE PRESENT: Put your phone away. Engage in conversation. Show some interest in people. You’d be shocked how much pertinent wisdom your family members can share with you. It feels good to detach from pop culture for a bit, really, it does.
  5. PERSPECTIVE: When you really think about it, holiday gatherings are the most (and maybe only) memorable times that you’ll have with family. Make the most of it while you can. At the end of the day, you have the luxury of going back to your own routine soon enough. Family is about sacrifice. Make others smile, even if it’s at your own expense. It’s not about you. We all fight our own battles. Showing empathy can give you great perspective with your family. Don’t boil over when you start to get heated. Put it on low and simmer down. Bite the bullet. Hold your tongue. Smile more. Even if it takes some fortitude, be the light for your family this holiday season. Odds are, some of them might be having as hard a time hanging out with you as you are with them 😉 You might even find common ground there, haha.  Spread love, I hear it’s contagious this time of year.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE

LOVE OVER EVERYTHING,

Be all things

You cannot be all things to all people.

You can, however,

be loving

be kind

be energetic

be enthusiastic

and be inclusive

You cannot be all things to all people,

but there are no prerequisites to be any of these things, every single day, to everyone you encounter.

And that’s pretty close to being all things to all people.

Winter is Coming

Finance and The Inuit are two topics that I am only averagely versed in.

I am no layman, though. I study.

  1. I plan to make money — financial objective.
  2. I plan NOT to freeze to death in the CanadianArctic — just a general objective.

That said, I refuse to be someone unprepared for the long, wintery ‘bear market’ that is sure to come after this 8 year long ‘bull market’ finally ends. The majority of you will fuss about the market ruining you, and tragically, the prepared minority won’t have much sympathy. If you know something bad is looming, prepare for it. Pretty simple logic.

Prepare for winter, don’t react to it.

You’ve been blessed with this knowledge. The burden is yours to educate yourself now, or to wipe your tears later.

“People love to say that knowledge is power. But the truth is that knowledge is only potential power. You and I both know that it’s useless if you don’t act on it.” – Tony Robbins

Start with this book by Tony Robbins.

I did, and while I’m still no expert, I feel a whole lot more secure about my financial future than I did before reading it.

Start there. Start anywhere. Just don’t grizzle and grumble to me about your frostbitten fingers if you’ve never read up on how the Inuit keep warm in the winter.

The “Bugs Bunny Effect”

“This 15-minute webinar made me 100k in 3 months!

“How you too can have this much success!

“Turn your website into a money making machine!


Fortunately for all of us out here in reality-land, there are a lot of options when it comes to getting rich, getting fit, and having success at, well, anything.

Dilemma: None of these “resources” do the work for you. Even the good programs, where “gurus” do genuinely invest quality energy into giving you worthwhile information, are not an actionable solution to your problems.

My thoughts: This whole “you too could be this awesome” idea, actually does do something positive to your psyche. You don’t, however, need to buy the program to find that out.

Bugs Bunny’s greatest moment, possibly one of the most iconic deliveries in sports psychology, is exactly what hammers home my point. (If you have not seen the movie Space Jam, do yourself a favor and check it out immediately).

“Michael’s Secret Stuff” – the halftime juice that saved the Tune Squad

Placebo-like thought patterns like this one (anything is possible), are sometimes enough to inspire action.

Don’t take the click bait.

Whatever it is you’re seeking?

YOU’VE HAD IT ALL ALONG…