This morning I read a thought by Kute Blackson. He said,
“Your story is just that, a story. You can re-write it at any time.“
Stories can be very powerful. In fact that is how we communicate our past, share our wisdom, teach our lessons, and create our identity. Some stories are great epics that uplift, inspire, and focus the protagonists strength. Unfortunately many people today believe a different story about themselves. Their story usually involves pointing out all the weaknesses of the protagonist. They are written in such a way that the protagonist is now the victim. The protagonist is faced with obstacles that he fails to overcome. The protagonist has no help and no way out of this dire circumstance.
I suggest to you that the choice is yours. You are the author of your story. If you don’t like your story, re-write it.
Going through many drafts is the mark of a masterpiece. Don’t look at the mistakes in your life, the obstacles in your life as failures but as drafts helping you write your masterpiece. Each draft gets you one step closer to your polishing, directing your epic story.
Here is a question I want you to answer:
What 3 ways can you re-write your story so you feel more empowered, more productive, and happier daily?[HINT:] Create the vision of what you want your personal, business, and spiritual life to look like. Once you do that, you will be able to write the epic story built on your strengths.
It has been a while, buddy.
In the past 8 years since we last spoke a lot has happened. First I graduated with my masters in physical therapy and opened my own business. During that time I met my soul mate Christian, Noel’s sister. Anyways, we have been happily married for the almost 6 years and have 2 kids.
Mandy is almost 4 years old and he eats as much as you. I am sad that my grandmother didn’t get to meet him but perhaps since she met you she got a preview of what was to come. He is so smart. He is reading at a 3rd grade level and has a great imagination. He also loves to run. The most he has run with me is 1 mile. The entire time talking, skipping, and jumping.
My little girl Amelie Marie is gorgeous. She melts my heart every time she smiles at me or calls me “daddy”. She is such a girl. Every morning without fail she asks to put on her little bow and her shoes. She gets along great with Mandy and has a certain fierceness about her. I really wish you could have met them both.
Noche buenas have been different without you as there is usually lots more left overs now, LOL. I am sure you and Bola are doing it big up in heaven.
Well I wanted to write this letter because today is Veteran’s Day and I thought you should know that I am truly thankful and grateful for your service, your leadership, and your friendship. Days like today our nation reflects on the many heroes. It is funny Mandy has a thing about superheroes like Captain America, Spider-man, Iron-man, Ice-man…but the real hero is you. It is the many men and women who go to battle to serve and protect our freedom. The men and women who put their lives on the line in order to make tomorrow a little bit safer. The men and women who allow my children not have to worry about tyranny of another nation oppressing us.
I know that it is easy to get caught up in your death mostly because it is so permanent (duh). What inspires me most is not that you sacrificed your life for something you believe (though definitely inspiring) but that you lived. Most people let life happen them. Not you. You lived with honor. You actually made it a great one daily.
It is your life not your death that comforts me.
It is your life not your death that helps me press on further when times are rough.
It is your life NOT your death that has led me to write this letter.
Happy Veteran’s Day my friend.
Fels was my cross country and track teammate at FIU. He was a marine – brave, dedicated, and precise. He was a friend – loyal, fun, and caring. He was a runner – persistent, focused, and man could he run. He was a fan(atic) – ask any team at FIU if Fels went to their game and supported them. they’d say YES! He got thrown out of a few games because of his game day intensity and antics. We will never forget, “Hey ref, YOU SUCK!” Classic.
Marine 2nd Lt. Paul Michael Felsberg died October 13th, 2004.
RIP my friend and thanks for watching over us.
The other day I had the privilege of being on a call with over 200 other fitness professionals listening to the one and only Dax Moy. If Marcus Aurelius was the philosopher king, then Dax Moy is the philosopher fitness Guru. A very deep guy yet simple to understand.
In the world of Gurus he’s one person I admire. The call was about being overwhelmed.
Here is what I understood from the call that can help you.
Overwhelm is the product of passion without clear direction and purpose.
Let me repeat that, “Overwhelm is the product of passion without clear direction and purpose.”
If you want the life that you truly deserve, you will get to it by eliminating not by adding things to your life.
We’ve been conditioned to think that we need more things in order to be happy. That could be further from the truth. Most of us really don’t know exactly what we want. As a result we just add more and more things into our lives hoping that if we add enough things perhaps we may get there.
Let’s break down each one briefly.
First, decide what would your ideal life look like. Write down in detail what a typical day for you might be. The more details the better. Here are some questions you may want to consider. “Where do you want to live?” “What do you want to do?” “How would you start and end each day?” “What does your house look like?” “Who would you spend your time with?” “What would you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?” “How would you spend your day?”
Once you have done that, reverse engineer what it would cost to live that life. Meaning do some research. Write down all the expenses of this lifestyle. Now you have a close approximation of what it would take to realize this ideal life. It is probably much less than you think. Even if it is not now you have something to shoot for.
Next, is not having a clear passion that lights up your life. This is your life force. I have met many people tell me they are not passionate about anything. Everyone has passions. The problem is most people suppress them because they were told that they needed to have a “safe job” or a “real job”. Think about hobbies or things you do or people you interact with that make you feel energized and excited before, during, and after.
After you find this, figure out ways to do this more often. If you need to quit your job… Do it. I know that may sound irresponsible but the truth is I believe it is irresponsible not to live your life to its full potential. I believe that we are put on this earth to contribute at the highest level. I believe that will only happen when we live congruent with our passions and strength.
Remember I said in the beginning that, “If you want the life that you truly deserve, you will get to it by eliminating not by adding things to your life.” Now that you have the first two knocked out it is time to start cleaning. Look at your daily activities and tasks. Which of these activities or tasks are not allowing your to do things you are passionate about. Which are draining your attention and energy away from being congruent? Some of these may be work related tasks. Ask yourself should you really be doing them? Can you delegate them? Can you hire someone to do them for you? By doing them what is it really costing you?
What you will find when you start cleaning out your life is you have more energy, have more time to do the things you want, and finally you will eliminate overwhelm.
I felt I needed to share this information with you because it is so powerful.
Here is the other thing. We live in a society where we have an overflow of information. Information can be overwhelming. The key is not having more information. It should be to acquire more knowledge that helps you get closer to your vision.
What is the difference between information and knowledge?
Knowledge is the application and internalization of information to aid you for your ultimate purpose. Said differently, apply what you learn or it does you no good.
So go on an information elimination diet.
Start applying what is useful and discard the rest.
A friend of mine just gave me Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richards Almanac. It is essentially a collection of quotes and thoughts that Ben Franklin had on different matter. He was extremely prolific and a true renaissance man. Here is a quote I want to share with you “Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee.”
As we know, Ben Franklin was a successful business man among other things. He was the first to establish what we know as the franchise model with his printing press. This quote is speaking to how having a successful business demands your attention, your love, your care. If you do that, if you have healthy business practices you will reap the rewards. Your business will take care of you.
What if we took that concept and applied it to YOU? How much do you invest in yourself daily? In fact here is another Ben Franklin quote, “If a man empties his purse into his head no man take it away from him… An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
So once again how much do you invest in yourself?
I speak to so many people that think that organic food is expensive. Really?
They say that coaching is expensive. Really?
These same people have an iPhone, ride around in the latest model BMW, have a full state of the art theater system in their house. Having these things are not bad but perspective is a must. The problem is they have not distinguished the difference between what they need and what they want. Health is a need. Without health their is death. How good is a BMW going to be when you are dead?
Make the decision to invest in yourself daily by feeding your mind with good books. Feed your body with exercise and life giving nutrition. Feed your soul with charity, meditation, and thankfulness.
“Keep your mind, body, and soul, and your mind, body, and soul will keep you.” – AC
“I’ve worked 6 days a week for 4 years to improve in a race that lasts 12 seconds.“
– Lolo Jones, US Olympic Hurdler
In 2008 Lolo was leading the field, running the 100m hurdles at the Olympic finals. As she leaped across hurdle 9 of 10, she clipped it with her rear leg. She tried desperately to regain her stride with the finish line within her grasp…
Those agonizing last few seconds seem to drag on as the other runners passed Lolo and left her off the medals podium. As a spectator screaming at the TV I was brokenhearted. After so much time invested into her race, she was the favorite, the fastest hurdler in the world, yet all it took was one moment and the outcome changed…
Have you ever worked hard for something and at the last moment it just fell apart?
What did you do?
Did you give up or did you get back up, dust yourself off, and press on?
I have been guilty of both.
Lolo Jones represented our country again in 2012 and fell short of the medal podium once again. I can bet this is not the last we will see of her. Champions find a way to use their failures as the stepping stones to greater glory. Press on Lolo.
I wanted to share this story of an Olympic competitor because it illustrates the concept of 1%. In order to be a champion or a success in anything you do you must chip away consistently until you get the results you are looking for. Once you get there you have to stay consistent to maintain those results. This concept of the 1% was first introduced to me by business coach Pat Rigsby. Just like that shocking moment watching Lolo clip the 9th hurdle, I had a shocking realization that the concept of 1% is something that everyone can do and you don’t have to be an Olympian.
What is the 1% Concept?
As Pat explained, “Most business owners want to double their business. The problem is you cannot do that in a day…they often get overwhelmed.” He suggests on focusing on getting 1% better every day. It doesn’t seem all that much but it will add up. In a year you will be 365% better than the previous year.
Success then is not necessarily a huge accomplishment, though it can be, but being better than the day before. If you have the vision and patience to stay the course success will be yours. Those are 2 key “if’s”.
How to address the 2 “if’s”…
* First, decide what you want (vision).
* Second, realize that most things that are worth working for are not accomplished overnight. They take patience to see it through over months and years. How long are you willing to work for your goals?
* Finally, take daily action to improve at least 1% closer to your goal.
I Want to Know…
How can you set up a daily action plan to help you get 1% better daily?
I look forward to your answer.
See how this ancient Chinese proverb can help you overcome any adversity that life brings you. I have used it to help guide and push me when I didn’t want to.
“LIFE is not about how many times you get knocked down. It is about how many times we get back up and keep fighting. Quitting is for losers, and quitting ain’t you…” – Rocky
Take a moment to reflect how you would spend your day today if you knew that at midnight you would die. With whom would you spend it?
Most people would read that and say that is a stupid exercise to indulge in because that is not luxury we have. I would say, that is precisely the point. You don’t have that luxury so why do waste so much time?
Benjamin Franklin said, “He who squanders their time, squanders their life.”
So refocus on the question above:if you were going to die at midnight How would you spend it, who would you spend it with, and why?
(Would you waste half the day glued to the TV? I doubt it.) When you start listing all the things you would do and who would you do them with ask yourself another question do I spend time with these people? If they are so important why am I not making the time to spend with them?
The keyword here is planning.
Do you currently plan your day starting with the most important things first then fill in the rest? Unfortunately most of us do not and as a result we are squandering precious minutes, hours, days because we have failed to plan.
In May my wife, Christian, met a gentlemen that had back pain and was told by the doctor that it was because he was overweight. Upon assessing him and working with him she found out his dreams and helped to alleviate the pain substantially. After 2 sessions Christian worked with him but she sensed something still didn’t add up and suggested he get a scan. Unfortunately, she was right. He had stage 4 pancreatic cancer and passed away last week at the end of June.
Their is more to the story. The day before he passed away Christian went to see him the day before he passed away to stretch and move him around. He hadn’t moved in a few days. As she was leaving the brother in-law shared with her that her client had told him that in the 2 sessions they had together Christian had changed his life.
That is amazing. To be able to impact someones life positively that they feel their life is changed is quite an accomplishment. Now my wife is incredible but the legacy of that interaction is greater than anything. We are the sum of our relationships, how we contribute back to humanity and how we love. I feel honored to be married to such a great women.
How can you change someone’s life the first time you met them?
How can you live each day more fully?
Are you spending time doing and being with those that are most important to you daily?
I hope you literally answer these questions and take up this challenge to make each day a masterpiece.
“…Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.“ – Marianne Williamson
Each word echoed in my soul and dwelt in there stirring up all sorts of emotions. When the noise and voices quieted down I was left with the true person I am.
As I utter these words daily I see it all around me. Humanity desperately crying and longing to be free, to be real.
Today I sit here contemplating these four words,
They bring joy, optimism, and excitement that each and everyone is “Powerful Beyond All Measure” yet I am saddened because I know that few will let go and embrace their true self. Few will do what is necessary to become great. Few will every see all they are capable of because they chose to live in the depths of FEAR.
Making it, is not easy.
There is the steady flow of those willing and able to bring us down because they refuse to step up.
I implore you today, don’t waste your time by settling.
Make each breath you take as important as a free diver about to submerge into the depth and darkness of the deep blue sea.
As a free diver deeper you dive the darker it will get but unlike the free diver when you dive inside your soul the deeper you go the closer to your true self you will only see light.
Search for the light and let it shine for all to see.