Today, was the restart of a healthy exercise I used to practice. Many of you who have known me for sometime remember that I used to write. A LOT.
I making a commitment over the next month to reading a personal development article each day. A few times a week I will write a reflection of the article. My hope is this exercise helps you and me become more present and successful beings.
To kick this exercise off, I read "The Busy Person's Guide to Reducing Stress" by Leo Babauta.
I hope you find use in my writing and it inspires even a small positive change in your world. Have a happy hump day. A weekend full of adventure is not too far away.
As demands in life change and grow, our stress often follows. This is not healthy and means it is time for a change. Some small shift needs to occur. But what? Something must drive our stress to a lower level, because it is one of the biggest causes of disease (dis-ease); an uncomfortable life.
Here are some things we can start doing today to better manage the demands life throws at us. Each of these were inspired by Leo, but include my own piece of authenticity.
I hope one of these ideas helps make your day a little better than it would have been had you not read this article.
If you found this article useful please like it, share it and send me a comment. It may sound ridiculous, but your kudos help inspire my path and desire to continue helping others live better lives. Thanks for reading.
Summit as friends!
My unhealthy habits finally caught me.
I write this from my bed in Niseko, Japan at the Popcorn Lodge where I sit in a wonderful self inflicted quarantine. I am ill with a body cold. The kind that makes you feel like crap from head to toe. Literally. I hope this is the final chapter of my travels in the sick lane for an extended period of time.
In reflection, I realize how physically, mentally and morally sick the last six months have made me. My sickness has ranged from fevers, severe stress and anxiety, things I cannot even describe without a medical diagnosis to idiotic financial expenditures like eating out and drinking far too much.
I now realize there have been many recent catastrophic events impacting my health and life. The preceding events will be in my 2015 Reflection.
I suffered a severe ski accident on January 3rd that would send most people to the hospital with life threatening injuries for months.
I was skiing through the fog at Mt. Bachelor when I hit an unmarked jump and went flying 5-10 feet into the air. The difference between this small flight and others was a lack of preparedness and calculation. I was caught off guard. The momentum my body carried into the impact felt like it was going to be enough to shatter me. My body flew through the fog and I sensed a landing that was not going to be good. I landed chest first on my heart / rib cage, followed by my left shoulder, then my head on a cat track that was solid ice.
I paused for a few minutes before being surrounded by my friend Lindsey and a few ski patrollers. I am so grateful that while I was incredibly shaken up I was ok.
I take this experience as a sign that I needed some common sense pounded back into my head. That I had been lacking simple yet important things in life like gratitude to self and others.
I made a life pivoting decision on January 6th. I was going to give notice to G5; not next week, month or year, but tomorrow. My original intention was to travel to Japan, use my PTO balance, get a promotion, stay at the company for 3-6 months then give notice. Basically, do what my mentors, family and friends advised me to do.
I'd been re-reading this message from Steve Jobs posted on the wall in our office for years just questioning if I was one of the crazy ones - Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
I guess I was ready to stare fear in the face and take action even when everything and everyone seemed to be working against me. - From My Ignite Bend Speech - Back to Nature
The writing was on the wall. My time to move into the next chapter of life was here. The page was blank, I just had to start writing and taking action. That evening I prepared what I called “Scott’s Last Lecture” over a few beers. It was emotional to say the least. I felt an incredible chapter of life coming to an end and an unknown one about to begin.
“You cannot start writing your next chapter of life if you keep re-reading the last one.”
I do not expect you to understand my Why, How or What from “Scott’s Last Lecture”. Maybe it will be part of a conversation we have one day.
In reflection, I realize having the freedom to bounce to my own drum and build something new for the world is what i’ve wanted for a very long time. It is why I went to school for Entrepreneurship and International Business. It is why I went through all the struggles of running my own businesses growing up. It is why I am an athlete and outdoor enthusiast.
I look at the last five years not as a negative, but a learning experience. One in which I cannot put a price tag or salary on. I will reflect more later on my near 5 years at G5, but in short I learned 5 simple things
I completed my 2 year eye checkup on January 15th. They dilated my pupils, ran some tests, flashed my eyes with some highly technical lights, ran more tests, numbed my eyes, flashed my eyes again then were complete. The details of my procedure are currently unknown to me, but I do know the side effects were unreal. Like nothing I have ever experienced. It was like my eyes were being detoxed and my entire body went into shock. I felt like a different person. I had to wear sun glasses for the next week and a half, during which time I received my ration of crude remarks and odd stairs from friends and strangers. At one point a confrontation with a complete stranger over me wearing my glasses in a bar nearly resulted in a physical fight. I am grateful I was able to settle the dispute verbally. All over a guy wearing shades indoors. Stupid and childish I know.
I still have some pretty extreme sensitivity to bright light. On a positive note - I do feel my vision improving along with my overall health.
January 17th I moved out of my friends house with the feeling that something had bitten me all over my body...
It might have been the gnarly spider I found in my pile of clean laundry. Maybe it was the spiders babies.
This drove me completely nuts. I mean 100%.
My eyes were in misery, my body felt like it was detoxing and now I was itching everywhere.
The next day I spent 6 hours at the laundry mat cleaning all of my belongings and preparing for my trip to Japan.
On January 20th my friend Drew, John and I departed PDX for Japan. We were off on a trip of a lifetime to ski some of the most amazing powder on earth. To follow one of our shared childhood dreams that we had been working toward for years.
I felt as though my body was getting healthier and healthier except for a few things - I was sleeping A LOT, I was not eating healthy and I experienced stress often throughout each day. Those elements aside I felt great. These should have been a sign that I needed to complete a sick day checklist ASAP.
On the last day of January I created a sick day checklist in my notebook. It was really quite simple:
February 1 I wrote “Today, I am healthy.” twenty one times and sure enough it worked for the day.
February 2nd I began feeling a tickle in my throat. I should have taken this as a sign to take the day off, but it was my friends last day in Japan and I really wanted to spend it with them skiing pow at Rusutsu Ski Resort.
On February 3rd I felt like complete crap. I had come down with a body cold of aches, pains, coughs, snot rockets and more. Sadly, I did not even have the energy to go to the supermarket and stock up on the super foods that my body desperately needed. I got an ok night of sleep that evening but wished for solitude. For a self inflicted quarantine.
The following evening my wish came true. I was gifted a very quiet room to myself where I could quietly work through my sick day checklist and I am so grateful for it.
As I get older I try to start looking for the good in bad situations like being sick, because there is always a doubled edged sword.
As my friend Alexis says - "You can't have the good without the bad."
I’ve learned that sick days are great for:
I realize my path is a result of the choices i’ve made, the turns taken and not.
My hope is simple --->
That you can learn something from my map of life to make yours what you need it to be for you.
To our health, for it is the most important thing we hold.
Summit as friends ^^^
I recently went through a phase in my life in which anger was a frequent emotion. I was angry at people, places and things because they were not giving me what I wanted, now. Not only did I react to this anger, but I let it get out of control. My friends and family slowly drifted out of my life, I slipped into a depressive state and really did not know what to do.
Today, I am so grateful to have climbed out of that mind state and found a way to really create loving relationships with others and the world at large. This did not happen overnight, in fact it really took a lot of inner work. The work however has been worth the outcome.
Yesterday, I was riding my bike home from work reflecting on the fact that I had not been really angry for quite a long time. Well… What the mind focuses on it attracts. While my home is fairly clean I could not help but let the mountain of laundry, meowing cat, dirty floors, other peoples stuff drive me to a mind state of complete anger. I wanted to scream, douse my cat in water and instead of go on my run sit in my anger. I am glad I did not act on those thoughts. I simply responded to the situation.
I put my running clothes on, laced up my shoes with a flame blazing over my head and tromped out the door. I felt like a child, who did not get the toy he wanted. How ridiculous!
As my body began tromping down the river trail I could not help but begin stirring more thoughts of fury in my mind. This person did or did not do this. Why is my house in disorder? Why isn't everything going my way? Then something happened. It was as though a light bulb went off in my head. I asked myself one simple question.
Scott - Is the reality of things really that big of a deal or is your personal perception so freaking small that you are letting relatively minor things make you angry?
With my ego aside I was able to honestly answer this question. I am just letting things get to me because in the present they are not they way I want them to be. This means I need to reflect on my past, learn from it and respond in the present to make my life better in the future.
After reflecting on the situation. I asked myself another question.
How can I share my feelings with my GF in a rational way so it does not sound like everything is her fault? Another light bulb! I have a part in all of this too. We can work together to have a happier kitty and orderly home. All we have to do is break some bad habits. I have broken habits much harder than this, so why can’t we knock this one out of the park?
My conversation with Nicole went very well and we both agreed that there is room for improvement. I love that responding in a polite manner really helps you more than getting pissed off and lashing out.
In review, here the five things to do when anger arises. Your goal should be to manage your anger before it escalates and controls you.
5 Simple Ways to Manage Your Anger
Anger is completely natural. Do not think for a moment that you are abnormal because you are going through an angry phase in your life. Spend some time reflecting on why you feel this way. I have found alone time is best before talking it out with anyone. This allows me to respond instead of react.
Summit as friends!
Wow! It is already March and I have another monthly challenge under my belt. In February I committed to meditation for at least 5 minutes a day. I wanted to learn what it really takes to meditate and calm the mind from an ever increasingly noisy world.
Step one was to get a meditation book at the library, which would prove to be a simple and peaceful guide through my edventure of meditation. The book is called 5 Mindful Minutes in the Evening and that is exactly what it provided me; mindfulness.
Each evening before closing my eyes I would read one exercise in my meditation book and consciously think about the topics listed within the exercise. The topics varied from love to letting go and all yielded a positive result.
If you are having sleeping problems, late night anxiety or just want to find a great sense of peace at the end of a busy day then I highly suggest adopting meditation. You do not have to make it complicated and in fact it can be simpler than getting a book that has different exercises. Your meditation practice could be as simple as following these five easy steps:
Practicing this for five minutes a day will bring more peace, clarity and focus to your sleep and induce energy when practiced upon the waking moments of a new day.
I asked myself for quite some time why people meditate and why should I consider adopting this healthy habit? The answer did not really become clear to me until I completed this last challenge.
Meditation is a practice that brings focused mindfulness to my mind and soul. It empowers me to think and act on clear thoughts that do not cause stress and anxiety. It is a habit that I will continue in my daily life.
Meditation is a tool that helps calm the mind and enables you to focus on what is really important. For example, I may spend five minutes meditation before my next task. During the session I will simply focus on clearing my mind from all the pollution that has been filled into today. I will set the intention to find what is most important now and then set out to conquer that task with true mindfulness.
This underused tool is available to us all and beholds more power than I could have ever imagined.
Give it a try! Spend a few minutes each day looking like Buddha on your living room floor, listen to some music that brings peace and clarity to you.
This month I am committing to writing 500 words per day. This challenge will be hard, but I know that it will be worth my investment. Why am I doing this challenge? Simple reason really!
I want to become a better writer, speaker and story teller. Writing will surely allow me to do that.
Summit as friends!
Our ability to create positive change without willingness is effectively pointless. We are forcing an unnatural and undesirable change that could otherwise be simplified and made much more enjoyable. Willingness is your level of preparedness and desire to change.
I would have never stopped drinking alcohol had it not been for my willingness to create a better way of life and find a way to live without drinking on a daily basis. I did not want to become willing to live without the use of this potentially deadly (if abused) substance let alone commit to working a program that would transform every aspect of my life.
The good news is that I did become willing to listen to others, take direction and so can you. You can become willing at any moment of any day for any reason. This small change can open the door to making the once impossible now possible.
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” - Jim Rohn
Steps to Become Willing for Change
Prepare yourself for your new way of life by emptying your mind of your limiting thoughts. These are thoughts that disempower you and make you feel as though change is not something you are capable of. Again, if I can make positive change so can you.
Do not spend too much time worrying about what could go wrong if you do change. Focus on what will go right and you will likely create that as an actual outcome.
“If you want something you have never had, then you must be willing to do things you have never done.” - Thomas Jefferson
If you really want to change then you will be willing to go to any measures to make a change. A lack of willingness is a lack of ability to truly change. After you have have become will then you are ready to break your habits that are no longer serving you.
Summit as friends!
Here are three easy things you can do now to create a happier and healthier lifestyle. If I can do this so can you.
In the past six months I have started sleeping more, running marathons, feeding my body healthy food, meditating, reading and writing unlike ever before. These daily rituals have allowed me to start creating the life I am striving towards. One full of abundance, success, happiness and inspiration. There is nothing stopping you from making the same changes to your life.
Making the following three changes in your life may have a huge impact as long as you are consistent.
Drink More Water And Earlier
Nothing starts my day better than a glass of water. I feel my body come to life as the water flows through it. Before your coffee or breakfast try having a glass of water. Place a glass next to your bathroom sink as a reminder to drink your morning glass.
“We never know the worth of water until the well is dry.” - Thomas Fuller
Before each meal have a glass of water. Before you go to sleep have some water. And, before each workout have some water. See where this is going? There are tons of articles that simply say we need to drink more water and less of everything else (coffee, soda, teas, energy drinks, beer, alcohol etc.) Try replacing one of your habitual drinks with a glass of water and I guarantee you will feel more lively.
Make Exercise Fun
I have made exercise a part of my lifestyle. It creates an atmosphere of zen, peace and clarity where I can just be myself. I enjoy the feelings I get from even a simple workout and the sense of accomplishment.
Many of us have lives that we perceive as being too busy for exercise and it becomes more of a chore rather than something for enjoyment. The key is to find something you enjoy doing for at least 30 minutes a day that you look forward to. I understand you may not have a burning passion for running, skiing and rock climbing like myself, but I am sure you can find a way to work in a few of the activities I have listed below in an effort to make exercise enjoyable and less of a chore.
Helpguide.Org wrote a wonderful article about making excercise a fun part of your everday life and it is worth a read. The key integrating exercise with something that you already enjoy doing.
Eat More Often And Earlier
I did not say eat more. Simply eat more often! Enjoy snack time and eat smaller meals. I like to have a solid breakfast early in the morning, a late morning snack, lunch, late afternoon snack and dinner. Not eating after 7PM would go very far in boosting my energy level and increasing quality of sleep, but for now I settle for my 30 day challenge of not eating after 8PM. This has proven to be quite an endeavor, but the benefits are clear in my level of happiness, energy levels and quality of sleep.
Create the lifestyle that makes you a happy, healthy and a thriving person. You will find this to be an ongoing balance act. No one day is the same and we must continue to refine our mix. If none of these are a part of your current lifestyle then try taking one and making it into a 30 day challenge. Test yourself to see if you can do one or many of them for 30 days, write them down and track the results. If you do not like the result after 30 days then do not continue with the habit. I am willing to bet you will love the result :)
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Summit as friends!
Many people including myself are in constant pursuit of happiness. Too often we are pursuing the wrong things that we think will make us happy. For the longest time I thought I could become happier if I got a better job, made more money, had more material assets and accomplished my grandest goals. I was wrong.
We need to be happy with the process of achieving our goals in order to reach the destination in a desirable manner.
“Happiness is a journey.. not a destination.” - Ben Sweetland
I read a book a few months ago called The Happiness Advantage that literally flipped the happiness formula for me. This book reverses modern day thinking by presenting a new model for success. The common belief is that we will become successful ie; get a high paying job and then as a result be happy.
It turns out the reverse is actually true. Your level of happiness will help boost your motivational drive to work harder and as a result produce more success in your life. After reading this I drew a positive energy model on a sticky note and I have been looking at it each day at work ever since. The result? More energy, productivity and success.
So just how do we go about boosting our happiness and reversing this formula that has been ingrained in our minds?
First, rid of some of your unhealthy habits.
Second, adopt some healthy habits and practice them on a daily basis.
Five Simple Habits to Create A Positive Boost in Your Happiness
During my Monday morning spin at home before breakfast I was watching Shawn Anchor’s Ted Talk - The Happy Secret to Better Work for the second time and it dawned on me that I integrated his top five suggestions for boosting your happiness as i’ve written about above. The results have been astounding. I suggest you try for yourself :)
Summit as friends!
Begin taking full advantage of your time by creating healthy work break habits.
Many people use their lunch hour as just that. A lunch hour! While it is important to nourish your body it is equally important to take full advantage of this time.
There are many things you can use this time for that will allow you to grow and create your ideal life balance. The lunch hour is a perfect time to cultivate new healthy habits in your lifestyle.
“We are not limited by who we rather by our unwillingness to change.”
Mornings and evenings are often consumed by family time and preparing for the work day. We miss out on important habits like exercise, reading, meditation, planning, reflection and personal activities that we desire to do with our lives.
The lunch hour is a perfect time to get away from your desk and embrace the opportunity to take on these healthy habits. Successful people often use their break as a time to reboot and revitalize the mind and body. Become one of them today by overcoming your unhealthy habits.
Ten Healthy Work Break Habits That Will Energize You
“Unless we stop now to redesign our working norms, we are at risk of moving toward an ever less thoughtful and creative professional reality.” - Derek Dean
Too often, I see people disregarding this valuable time. You can start benefiting today by implementing one of the healthy work break habits listed above or something you may find more desirable. I am not suggesting you jump right in and commit to a full hour of these, but taking a small amount of time for you will certainly boost your productivity, happiness and well being.
How are you going to spend your lunch break today? Has this article helped you re-think how you use this precious time?
Summit as friends!
Many of us express sincere appreciation during holidays, times of great success, trials and tribulations. What happened to being appreciative every day? And, not just for the big things, but the small things too.
We often trudge through our daily tasks without taking time to appreciate the process, people and little things that make each moment beautiful. Too often the focus is placed on where we are headed or what is next and we fail to appreciate where we are. This is vital because we never really know what the outcome might be or who will truly appreciate us in return. By fully appreciating the process while things are happening we get to enjoy each moment.
Appreciating what we already have rather than focusing on what we have not yet received will create a mind state of peace that allows us to flow more freely through our daily tasks.
“It’s not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.”
What is appreciation?
Appreciations is simply showing respect and gratitude to someone including yourself for the positive energy put forth in achieving something. It is one of the highest emotional states you may experience and helps create a life of abundance and happiness.
Looking For Appreciation
By focusing on the good in people and situations you will begin to find the miracle of appreciation. Once opening our mind and spirit to the concept of appreciation we need not look far for opportunities to express it. Each person and healthy activity that has a positive touch on our lives each day deserves some form of appreciation.
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that it is necessary.” - Margaret Cousins
Making a Habit of Appreciation
“It is too often that we do not appreciate what we have until it is something that we had.”
I have lost relationships, spiritual, physical strength, mental strength, passion and material belongings with having never truly taken the time to appreciate them for what they are. I am no longer living like this.
I am making appreciation a healthy habit in my lifestyle and therefore am committing myself to a 30 day challenge of appreciation. During these 30 days I will apply each of the four principles above. I will write about how I feel before the 30 days and after. The result is sure to be a boost in happiness, positive energy and quality of relationships.
Summit as friends!
Monday Can Be Awesome
We need to get over the habit of downplaying the value of Monday’s. The first day of the week is where we create momentum that will carry us through the days that follow. For many people Monday means walking back into a job they do not enjoy, waking up earlier than desired and perceptually doing things they do not enjoy.
We can come to love Mondays by simply changing our frame of mind and looking at all of the opportunities that lay in front of a new week. Great things can be done with the days ahead, we can start becoming who we really want to be and taking action that will move us closer to our personal goals.
Setting Your Frame of Mind
I sit down each Monday morning and spend a healthy amount of time on me; exercising for a short period of time, enjoying breakfast, reflecting on my last week, gazing ahead to what I have in front of me, seeking ways to help others and setting a positive intention. This time is vital to the success of my week and Monday morning happiness.
A Monday Routine That Rocks
1) Exercise: Get your blood flowing. I wake up at 5AM on Monday mornings, drink a glass of water and jump into my 30 minutes of Yoga, resistance training or some time on my stationary bike. 30 minutes is enough to really get my mind and body flowing on Monday morning.
2) Healthy Energy: Eat some food that tastes good and powers you up. I really enjoy oatmeal, peanut butter, fruit and milk.
3) Planning: Do you know what you have in store for the week ahead and what you accomplished last week? It is fun to look back the following Monday and see how much was accomplished in the prior week. This activity truly sets me up for a week full of excitement, prosperity and direction.
Questions to set your week up for success:
4) Practice Random Acts of Kindness: Helping others is something many of us often overlook. We race through our day thinking there is just not enough time to help others, let alone ourselves. What we fail to realize is that in helping others we are also helping ourselves. The act of helping another person without expectation of anything in return results in a feeling of happiness, fulfillment and peace of mind. Often when I am feeling down about things my mentors tell me to go help someone. This forces me to get out of my own head and into the life of another person that may be going through harder times than I. Here is a list of random things I have recently done to help others -
5) Positive Intention: Set yourself into a positive direction with an intention that aligns with your values and goals for the day. Make this positive and dedicate yourself to success. Tell other people that you are having an awesome day and not just an ok, good or crappy day. You will feel better.
Some examples of positive intentions that I use on a regular basis -
The most important thing you do with your Monday is have some fun. I do not care if you are 10 years old or 60; we need to keep having fun with Monday’s. Start something new, do what you love, skip down the street or even jump in some rain puddles. Your Monday does not have to be the miserable day that so many others intend on having. Experience a positive, productive and happy day. Your mind and body will thank you for it :)
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