Category Archives for Thoughts

Is our future doomed?

The other day I was speaking with a friend of mine talking about kids. She told me something her dad use to tell her about raising kids that was brilliant.

Her dad would say, “I’m not raising MY child, I am raising a future citizen.”

Wow, Think about that for moment… let that marinate in your mind and see what happens.

I believe this is such a profound statement and believe it is an amazing responsibility we parents face.

With kids that are growing up with little respect for others or themselves, this begs the question, what kind of citizen will we have in the future?

I hear about this daily from my teacher friends and family. Kids doing what they want and not having any manners. What happen to saying “please” and “thank you”? What happen to having a man be a real man and open the door for a woman? Was it equal rights? I think not.

 

This goes way back and deeper than equal rights. This goes down to family. It goes down to parents actually parenting and having high standards that they demand their kids to follow. Unfortunately with the rates of divorce, single parents households, and distant parent (meaning parents are there they just don’t communicate with their children) households skyrocketing I believe many parents have neglected their most important job (either by choice or necessity). None of us are perfect but realize if you don’t have high standards that you teach your children, someone or something (TV, internet…) will.

This subject is something that could be expanded on but I prefer to share with you the 7 simple truth that all us parents should teach our kids to raise responsible, generous, caring, and successful citizens.

7 Truth To Teach Our Children

1. The Golden Rule – Do unto others as you want them to do to you.

– I think this is self explanatory. None of us like to be treated like dirt but all of us like to be listened to and respected. When interacting with people think about that.

2. Eat together and share together at least once daily.

– Lack of communication is the leading cause of divorce and dysfunctional families. Eating and sharing together daily allows for a scheduled time to do this. (Note: just by doing this doesn’t mean everything will be perfect but it will start the conversation of communication)

3. “It is in giving that we truly receive.”

– I couldn’t have said it any better.

4. Actions speak louder than words.

– Do as I say not as I do, doesn’t work. Your children will learn more by the things you repeatedly do than by the things you say.

5. Say, “I love you.”

– Love is the one thing we crave most.

6. You don’t have to agree with your elders but you must respect them.

– Your elders are not always right but showing respect allows for clearer communication. Respect is a foundational character trait of greatness.

7. Say “please”, “thank you”.

– Common courtesy.

 

Let’s raise amazing citizens and have awesome children at the same time.

Raising children tends to be a touchy subject but dealing with spoiled kids that are disrespectful and don’t care about themselves or their community is worse.

Leave your comments below I want to hear whether you disagree or agree with me and why.

Cheers,

AC

 

Motivation Monday – Don’t be afraid to fail

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tjYoKCBYag[/youtube]

Thomas Edison created the light bulb. He made 10,000 different lightbulbs before he found the one that worked. When asked about his failures he stated, “I didn’t fail, I just found 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb.”

Perspective.

What is your perspective and how will you “fail” today?

Cheers,

Armando

Beating Your Inner Demons!

The other day I posted a workout on Facebook that I struggled with. It was simple, 300 push-ups and 300 Jumping Jacks. After about 100 push-ups I wanted to give up.

I thought…

Who is going to know?

Is it really that important to finish?

Anyways that same night I got a message from a friend on Facebook. It perfectly illustrated how to think and overcome these inner demons or funks that we are all susceptible to.

Hey man, your post touched on something my wife and I talked about today. I’ve been in a funk the past week and, no surprise, my weight loss suffered because of it. That only served to enhance my funk. Today I discussed it with my wife, saying, “I feel like I’m a slave to these funks. They always happen, no matter how positive I feel going into battle with my weight. And they pretty much always derail me.” 

We realized that we keep waiting for this magic spell to be cast where we stay motivated every day and we’re able to put in the work we need to in order to reach our goals. That just isn’t true. Funks are part of the process and we have to accept them.

There will be days, no matter how far we’ve gone, that we’ll wake up not wanting to do a damn thing and wanting to eat everything in sight. Accept that these days are part of the process, trust the process and move on. Push through the funks and you’ll eventually make it through to the other side. And you’ll most likely be even more motivates to continue because you’ve jumped over such a huge personal hurdle.

We’re implementing this mindset, getting our workouts in, watching what we eat and it’s already gone a long way to help with the funk because we’re not afraid of it. We just accept that it’ll happen, that it’ll most likely happen again and that we just need to keep moving forward.

So what was the difference between 100 and 300 push-ups for me?

Mentally when I overcame my minds weakness and achieved my goal I felt so empowered and unstoppable. That made all the difference in the world for my confidence and the way I look at life. If life puts up a wall in front of me, perhaps I can find a way around it but how about just kicking it down. It doesn’t have to be pretty “Just Do It.”

How Do You Battle Your Inner Demons? Leave a Comment Below…

Cheers,

AC

How to have an amazing marriage

Recently I was the best man at my brother’s wedding. I had never been a best man before and this being such an amazing honor and a very important day I didn’t want to screw it up. As you know the best man gives the final toast to the bride and groom and being somewhat of a perfectionist I didn’t want to be remembered as that guy that gave a horrible speech at his brother’s wedding.

Knowing this, I like most, work more efficiently under pressure and deadline. So as you can imagine after his wedding on my way to the reception I asked my wife to drive and I started writing (talk about a deadline). What I wanted to do was really make it meaningful so I sprinkled a few jokes, told a few stories, but ended with this. The top 3 things for a successful marriage and that is what I want to share with you today.

Top 3 Things For A Successful Marriage

1.) Don’t listen to the way most people describe marriage.

I have a huge problem when people refer to marriage as a prison sentence, the ball and chain, end of your life…etc. I think marriage is one of the most amazing things, ever! Just like anything in life you get what you put into it. If you don’t put in much don’t expect much. That being said marriage is a balance. If both are not committed to making it the best thing ever then it won’t be. Mindset is crucial and for my brother and his beautiful wife I wanted to make sure they understood that. Marriage is not easy but the greatest investment you can make.

 

2.) Communication is an absolute must.

Here is a biggie. First of all how do you know that this is the right person for you? How do you know what to say or do? How do you know what your spouse is thinking or feeling? Communication, communication, communication!

{Pre-Marriage} You don’t need to live with people to know about them. You need to talk, ask questions, and know what you are looking for. If you don’t know what you want how do you when you found it.

{Marriage} Knowing your spouse is of utmost importance. If you are not speaking on a daily basis focused on each other without other distractions (i.e. kids, tv, computer, phone…) you are going to miss something. If you miss something one day it isn’t a big deal but these are all habits you are creating and 1 day turns into 2, 2 into 3… until you are 10 years later and you have no idea who your spouse is.

 

3.) Ask if this is a listening problem or a fixing problem.

[*NOTE: this one is for the guys] Here is a phenomenon that to men that will not make sense but you must accept (women you know what I am talking about). When a women has a problem, SHUT-UP and LISTEN. Don’t do anything else, if you do I guarantee you will screw it up. You see it is in our DNA as men to fix things and when your wife has a problem, you proudly polish your shining armor, get on your white horse, and ride to the rescue to save your damsel in distress.

CAUTION this exactly what you don’t want to do!

When a women is vocalizing a problem usually they are trying to vent. At that moment they don’t want your help, just your ears. Women will understand this men want to go and start fixing even before she is done explaining. Again if you try and understand this, DON’T,  just accept it. Fortunately my wife and I came up with an agreement (Seriously). When she starts telling me a problem, I ask, “Is this a listening problem or a fixing problem?”

This one question has made such a difference in the way we communicate and understand each other.

I know these steps will help your marriage as it has ours and other couples we know. Below I have a bonus.

BONUS

Say I love you in the way your spouse needs to hear it. (Refer to the The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts)

This is very important. The book is amazing and I look forward to doing a book review on it but here is the main point of the book. There are 5 love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch). Often we express our love to our spouse using our love language. If your spouses love language is different than yours she will not receive it as you intended it.

Key: Express your love using your spouses love language not your own. (It goes more in-depth in the book).

 

Let me know what you think. Has this helped in your marriage?

Do you have any advise for the brand new couple? Share your thoughts on the comments section.

 

 

One Day At A Time

I was reading my morning meditation and it talked about “One day at a time.” The slogan for the alcoholics fighting through their addiction.

It means don’t think about being sober forever, don’t think about one year away, don’t think about one week down the road just focus on today. Focus on being sober for today, one day at a time.

I felt it was such a great approach to succeeding in any area in our life.

“Being successful does not happen in one day but a compilation of consistent successful days to get us there.”

I often get asked about weight loss. Most people want to lose 10-30 lbs. The problem is that they think it happens over night. As the saying goes, “What comes fast, leaves fast.”

Here is what typically happens, someone decides they want to lose 25 lbs. They start exercising hard make a few changes on their food and they start losing some weight maybe 3 lbs in the first week. Maybe a few pounds the following week and then they plateau. Now they get a little stressed, they figure they have to work harder and nothing happens. Now they are really frustrated and they start pigging out on food and before you know it they are back where they started.

Take this approach instead…

Losing weight can seem pretty daunting at times. So lets make a mental shift and instead of expecting insane amounts of weight to come off by tomorrow lets focus on losing a 1/2 lbs per week. 1/2 lbs is not very much but as stated above “Being successful does not happen in one day but a compilation of consistent successful days to get us there.” If we look at one year of losing 1/2 lbs per week, you end up losing 26 lbs with little to no effort!

Something to consider.

Ask yourself…
– How important is this goal?
– Why is this goal so important?
– How will I feel when I hit this goal?
– How will I feel if don’t hit this goal?

By asking yourself these questions above you will tap into the key components that will help you execute these goals.

Have an amazing day.

Cheers,
AC

The Wedding: Did he answer questions correctly?

On Saturday April 9th my little brother got married. What a beautiful celebration. Fr. Willie was great as always was able to speak to us as human equals. He comes from  a place of joy and happiness. His advice and homily are infused with everyday slang and humor.

Why is this important and what does this have to do with living a purpose filled life? Two things.

First lets relate it to marriage. Marriage is based on love but not a fluttery feeling. To quote Fr. Willie, “love is not a feeling it is a choice.”

Wow! Let me repeat that, “love is not a feeling it is a choice.”

If true love is a choice and that is what makes it so great think of how this affects your life.

– Do you love what you do?

– Do you love the activities you do throughout the week?

– Do you love where you live? Do you love the people you are with on a daily basis?

Chances are that you may have answered “NO” to most of these questions.

So here is where the choice comes in, either figure out how you can love in these situations or figure a what you need change in order to answer yes to the questions above.

Second, I want to speak about Fr. Willie. First of all he is not perfect just like all of us but what I love about him is how he live his soul purpose daily. He is a Jesuit Priest and the principle for Belen Jesuit in Miami. Every time I see him, every time I hear someone speak about him it is always the same. “he is so great.” “He is able to really relate and communicate with the kids.” “He is such a sincere person.”

When you are following your life’s passion, your soul purpose, these things are “easy” to achieve. You align with the best in yourself and with the best in others.

To conclude ask yourself the questions below and figure out how to make sure that you can answer an “Exciting YES” to each.

– Do you love what you do?

– Do you love the activities you do throughout the week?

– Do you love where you live? Do you love the people you are with on a daily basis?

 

Share this with a friend if you think this will help them. Also leave a comment with any questions you may have.

Cheers,

AC

5 Lessons Towards Achieving Your Dreams

Have you ever wanted to do something but when you found out what it would take you thought, “this is too hard’? Well unfortunately I see it more often than not with the many people I speak with daily. As humans we don’t like to be uncomfortable, we don’t like to do things that will cause pain, and most importantly we don’t like to change. Change hurts!

This Saturday I was pleasantly surprised and inspired by 2 people in particular. The first was my amazing assistant and cousin Mel, the other was Amber one of our VIP Miami Fit Body Boot Camp members and now good friend.

What did they do?

I finished running at 7AM and both of them were waiting for me to start their run. Today they had their first 7 miler but I couldn’t go with them because I had to go to work. After I explained where they needed to go they both took off without hesitation. I was hoping it was going to go well but I wasn’t sure because both had been recovering from the flu and stomach virus. I went to work, our first Saturday boot camp training session, and people kept coming in…29 in all! And 2 of the 29 people were Mel and Amber. They finished their 7 miler and came back in time to do the boot camp!

Everyone did amazing at the boot camp but I was really pumped up about Mel and Amber. They ran 7 miles for the first time ever, then came back and totally rocked it at the boot camp. They were pushing the other members to keep going as if they were fresh. Here are the life lessons I learned after being inspired with Mel and Amber’s performance that will help guarantee you achieve your dreams.

5 Lessons Towards Achieving Your Dreams:

1. Get a GPS: In order for the GPS to get you were you want to go you must let it know where you want to go. So the first thing you need is to know what your goal or dreams are. The more specific the more precise you can be about preparing and the quicker you will get to your goal. The journey is definitely more fun than the destination but you need to have the right people with you and you must know your destination.

2. Chicken fighting: If you have ever participated in the age old game of chicken fighting you know you need a partner. One of you is the base and the other is fighter. This is really important when trying to achieve your goals. So find a friend that has similar goals and take the journey together. Hold each other accountable, support each other, motivate each other, and cheer each other.

3. Slap yourself in the face: This is not a typo, go ahead do it… what do you feel? The point is WAKE UP, in today’s society most people live in a comatose state. They do the same things day in and day out. They have very little excitement (especially at work) and it trickles to all levels throughout their life. Change is difficult but so worth it. When you challenge yourself and surpass all the obstacles like people trying to hold you back or getting sick or laziness you come out a stronger person. That forms momentum that can take you beyond your self imposed limitations.

4. Get Mr. Miyagi: All of the most successful people have mentors or coaches. In order to be successful find your “Mr. Miyagi” (Karate Kid, just in case) and have him mentor you. You need that 3rd party to objectively help you see more opportunities and possible pitfalls. A coach has knowledge in the area, has been through it, studies it, lives it. If you haven’t found one this could be the missing ingredient to your success.

5. Have fun: If you don’t have fun you won’t stick with it. Enough said…really find a way to make it whether by surrounding yourself with other like minded people or an environment that makes it fun. I had a boot camp member tell me “Your workouts are intense but fun and I feel I get so much more than when I just going to the gym that is so boring.” So find a way or place to make achieving your goals more fun.

Lose those unwated pounds