7/2/22

“If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them.” – Jim Kwik

Our harshest critic is in between our ears.

We’ve all been there… telling ourselves we suck. That we’re simply not good enough. Too old, too young, not good looking enough, not smart enough.

Each time we tell ourselves these things, we add one more vote to become them. The mind has this incredible power to bring into this world whatever we fixate on.

Yet what can be the harshest critic, can be the most powerful ally. Let’s leverage those thoughts to our best advantage.

7/1/22

“If failure is not an option, neither is success.”

We fear the one who is willing to lose it all. The one who is willing to play full out with no reserves. The one who swings for the fences.

That’s a dangerous person. Dangerous enough… to accomplish something great.

We all have a comfort zone. A status quo. It’s warm, cozy, and familiar. But it’s a box, with a ceiling and walls that we can see and touch. It’s a world that cannot grow further than what it’s already grown to.

If we want to grow, we have to climb out of that world into the unknown. To face that chance that we may fall flat on our face, because we’re walking in new ground. Yet, as much as a “swing and a miss” may sting a bit, there’s something far worse. Worse than any of that is the pain of knowing that we didn’t try.

Life is so short.
There’s no time to bunt.
Let’s swing for the fences.

6/30/22

“75% Emotional, 25% Physical”

It’s said that the hardest part about anything is starting. And that once we just take that first step, the successive action seems to just fall into place. And there’s absolutely merit to that… an object in motion tends to stay in motion (Newton).

But beyond the surface we want to recognize the truth about us as human beings… that we are emotional creatures. And that our ultimate success is less dependant on the physical actions we take, and more on the emotional backings behind them.

We can conceptualize “successful action” in this way: 25% of it is the physical side. The actual hands in the dirt, grunt work. This stuff matters, of course. But these specific and granular “whats” only account to a quarter of the recipe.

75% of it is the emotional side. The story that plays between our ears as we’re underway. We’re going to hit bumps in the road, and how we internalize obstacles determines our path forward more than anything else. How do we respond when it’s a “bad day?”, and we’re missing every single snatch attempt?

When we think about it that way, successful action isn’t just about what we’re doing, and far more about how we’re doing it. Despite the battle being in our hands, it’s won in our mind.

6/29/22

“Your obsessions become your possessions.” – Ed Mylett

The word “obsessed” gets a bad rap.
And there’s indeed some merit to that.

But let’s try to define “to be obsessed” a little further. What it’s not defined by is “hours put in”. That may be correlation, but not causality. One is truly obsessed with something when their passion and fire for “that thing” is so great, that their willpower will see them through even the harshest of storms. Where every other person quits… they push on. To one who is obsessed, failure is simply not an option.

Be obsessed with reaching our dreams.
Be obsessed with becoming a better husband. A better wife.
A better son, a better daughter. A better friend, a better neighbor.

Be obsessed with what we care about the most. Our fiercest willpower, pointed in the right direction, is the most powerful thing in the world.

6/28/22

“There will never be better you, than you.”

There is a lot to be said about authenticity.
The first definition inside Merriam-Webster reads, “worthy of acceptance or belief.”
If there’s one sure way to find failure in something, it’s through not being ourselves. It just doesn’t pan out in the long run. While we always remain a student, the harm lies when we blur the lines between emulating the traits of our mentors… with trying to actually be them.

Our mentors do not wish for us to follow in their footsteps.
Our mentors wish for us to go further. To blaze the path further than before.

We have incredible leaders to guide us. But it is now on us to push even further. And there’s no one suited better for that, than you.

6/27/22

“You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do nothing for them.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cue, craving, response, reward.
In “Atomic Habits”, by James Clear, this is the loop process that determines many of our actions.

A large part of the above is the final piece – the reward. We can be reward oriented beings. It’s not a bad thing by itself, but we do find ourselves in trouble when it is the only thing.

The quote above gives us something to think about. Sometime today, we’ll come across the individual who can offer us the least in return. As in, there won’t be a reward for whatever action we have the option of taking. We’ll know who it is when we see them.

How we act inside that moment is the reality of our character.

6/25/22

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Theresa

Imagine we’re moving. And we have two friends, who both extend an offer to help.

The first friend writes us a check for 1,000 dollars to help with the moving expenses. Incredibly generous. The second friend doesn’t offer a dime, but instead comes to our old place, helps us pack up every box, drives with us to the new house, and unpacks everything with us into the early hours in the morning.

Fast forward two weeks later. Both friends call you to ask for a favor. Which friend are we more likely to help?

We would choose the second friend. But why? If we were to try to explain, we collectively would flow to the same, natural response… “Because they would have done it for me.”

Money has relative value. But time is an absolute.
If we want to make a “perishable donation”, give money.
If we want to make an everlasting impact, give time.

6/24/22

“Your mind is not your shoe size.” – Jim Kwik

Have you ever taken an “IQ Test”?

Chances are you have of some sort. A test that claimed to tell us our capacity in life. Where the resulting score is the equivalent of looking into a crystal ball on how successful we’ll be.

As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s a nightmare that comes to life for many. A self-fulfilling prophecy that can cut potential at the knees.

The truth of it all however, is that we know so very little about how the mind actually works. It’s still such a mystery to us. Yet, we can find ourselves building an imaginary ceiling over our heads.

In regards to one of life’s greatest mysteries, there’s one thing we can bank on… that our mind is not our shoe size.

6/23/22

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I’ll remember. Involve me, and I’ll learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

The musician doesn’t learn by listening. The musician learns, by playing. It’s how the mind, in its ever plastic state, adapts. It responds to application.

In the “Cone of Learning” (Edgar Dale), we learn:
10% of what we read.
20% of what we hear.
30% of what we see.
50% of what we hear and see.
70% of what we say and write.
90% of what we actually participate in.

Information without application, is knowledge.
Information with application, is wisdom.

6/22/22

“Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

It’s not about what we talk about, but what we tolerate.

When we think of our greatest role models, those we truly look up to in life, there’s a consistent commonality we’ll notice… their action under adversity. They achieved something great, under incredibly hard circumstances. They overcame a specific challenge in their darkest hour. And for that, we remember them.

Our identity isn’t shaped by the good times… but the challenging ones. In those moments, it’ll never be about what we say, but what we do.