Everyone starts off “Frail”

Frail -Daily writing prompt

Adj. easily damaged or broken; fragile or insubstantial

Everyone starts off frail, nobody starts off strong. When we see Olympic athletes, business tycoons, world-famous singers, and other masters in their crafts, we tend to compare ourselves and think we can never be as good.

This makes no sense.

What we see is the product of thousands upon thousands of hours of focused hard work. We see and admire their highlight reel, and then compare to our behind the scenes. What we don’t see is them doing the unspectacular every day in order to achieve the spectacular. Doing the ordinary to achieve the extraordinary.

Its funny how the best athletes, for example, are the hardest workers, putting in the most hours at the gym while their teammates are out partying and relaxing.

Two examples I can think of are Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. I’ve read anectdotes of these two putting in a disproportional amount of work when compared to their teammates.

They aren’t hard workers because they’re the best, they’re the best because they’re hard workers.

The Rock always talks about being the hardest worker in the room. I believe that if someone is 10 times more talented than you, all you need to  do is work 10 times as hard to match his level.

Even if you start off “frail,” working hard, constantly improving, and working smart will help you develop the strength.

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Celebrating with a “Feast”

Feast – Daily writing prompt

n. a large meal, typically one in celebration of something

When I think of a feast, I picture a huge, candle-lit mess hall filled with dozens of Vikings, singing songs together, music playing in the background, wine spilled all over the tables, and seemingly hundreds of platters of food covering every inch.

This is a celebration!

Celebrations, in my experience, are super integral to a happy and fulfilling life. Tony Robbins says that contribution and celebration are two key components to a happier life.

The most effective way to use celebration in my opinion is to set it as the prize at the end of a challenge. For example, there could be a challenge to work out and eat clean for 6 days straight, and on the 7th day is your celebratory cheat meal where you can eat anything and as much as you want. The reward trains your brain to be more focused on completing the challenge.

Another example could be meditating every day, at least 10 minutes a day, for 30 days. At the end of the challenge, you reward yourself with buying a new suit or outfit.

This oscillation between periods of hard work and celebration is the best way to keep progressing and maintaining those daily disciplines. Without the periods of break, the constant work is not easily sustainable.

It’s like trying to do a crash diet. Gradual change works best, but alternating between periods of rest and work is integral. The effectiveness of interval training is a testament to that.

Work hard, celebrate, repeat. Try it!

What “Drives” you?

Drive – Daily writing prompt

What drives you? Let’s break this down.

-What drives you a.k.a. your “why.” Your purpose is the fuel for accomplishing anything. Without a purpose, it’s almost impossible to achieve anything significant.

-Some people use their challenges as their excuse to not do something. Successful people use their challenges as their fuel that drives them. “The same things that discourage unsuccessful people actually fuel and motivate successful people.”

-In a study on successful people, researchers found that intelligence was not as strong of an indicator of success as drive, hard work, and resilience.

-Some say your “why” should make you cry. Others say it should be strong enough to get you up in the morning. Overall, what drives you should be strong enough and bigger than the obstacles that will undoubtedly come in your path.

-Some people are driven to help others. Some people are driven to be the best and continuously improve. Understanding what drives someone can really help you understand why they do the things they do, and how you can help them achieve their goal.

 

 

“Unpredictable”

Unpredictable – daily post writing prompt

Adj. – not able to be predicted or foreseen

My mind instantly goes to the concept of “the path less traveled.” Here are some thoughts:

-There is no traffic on the extra mile

-To stand out, zig when everyone else is zagging

  • this reminds me of a quote by Warren Buffet, I believe, “be greedy when others are fearful, and be fearful when others are greedy

-the path less traveled is likely to be scarier since few have gone that way, but you can really leave a mark a pioneer. Sure there are more risks, but also more excitement

  • they say there’s a thin line between fear and excitement
  • theres also a thin line between “creepy” and “romantic,” just depends on if you think like them back (sorry, random tangent)

-sometimes it can be more fulfilling to walk your own path than follow in someone else’s footsteps

-a mentor of mine once said, “people can’t follow in your footsteps of you don’t pick up your feet and move”

  • reminds me of parents who made excuses their whole lives and never accomplished anything, but then force their kids to do things they don’t want to do because the parents are trying to live through their kids. But how can your kids achieve when their parents, who should be their role models, have never picked up their feet and moved? Or else they’re destined to follow in your (lack of) footsteps.

-it takes more strength and endurance to walk the path less traveled. Those who don’t opt for the easy, more traveled path will find themselves stronger because they took the hard road.

 

“Nightmare” & Fear

Nightmare – Daily Writing Prompt

n. An unpleasant or frightening dream or experience; something difficult to deal with

-Nightmares are strange things, yet very insightful. They show us what we fear the most, either overtly or subconsciously. Most people would prefer not to have them as they typically put us in frightening situation we cannot control.

-Nobody likes to be afraid, although some andrenaline seekers might seek out scary things to chase the rush.

Fear: n. an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat

-there’s a quote from that Will Smith movie After Earth that goes:

“The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”

-I absolutely love that. We constantly hold ourselves back everyday because of 3 biggest fears in particular:

  1. Fear of failure
  2. Fear of rejection
  3. Fear of judgement

I think if we didn’t care about failure, we would try more things, learn faster, and achieve more.

Its funny how kids are so resilient to the word “no,” and will keep doing something. But by the time we become adults, we’ve become conditioned to avoid rejection and thus never take risks and achieve more than we think we’re capable of.

If we didn’t care about what others thought, I think we’d be much happier. Fear of being judge makes people so eager to please people they don’t like, and for what? Nothing.

So what’s the cure to fear?

Action.

Action cures fear because once we start doing the thing we fear, the fear lessons. There may or may not have been danger, but the illusion of fear slips away the more action we take.

So go out and face your fear with action.

“Storm” – external and internal

As I’m writing this, I just got off of a red-eye flight from LA to Miami. But I’m determined to keep up my daily posts despite being on vacation, haha.

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Storm – Daily Prompt

n. Violent disturbance of atmosphere with strong winds, lightning, snow, etc.

“Because of the heavy rain and winds from the storm outside, I couldn’t leave my house.”

  • When I think of “storm” the first thing I think of is this definition, a weather-type phenomenon. I once knew a guy named Storm in elementary school. Well, I guess he was a boy at the time, not quite a guy. He was pretty cool, very athletic. I always thought he was badass because of his name.
  • What also comes to mind is Storm from X-Men. Another BAMF named Storm. I think the reason behind her name is a given.

Storm had the mutant ability to control the weather. Sometimes she created storms, other times just light drizzles.”

n. A tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy

“News of PokemonGO being shut down caused a storm of resentment towards the game developers.”

  • Let’s hope this never happens.

v. Move angrily or forcefully in a specified direction

  • Stormtroopers! I can see where they might have gotten their name. Conquering fools across the galaxy and expanding the Galactic Empire.
  • Were they angry? Possibly. Were they going in a specific direction? Most likely. How can you achieve a goal without going from a predetermined A to B?

v. A sudden attack and capture

  • I think of the German word blitzkrieg. Sometimes the best defense is a great offense, right? Preemptive strike, if you will.

Other ideas:

-The calm before the storm. I was watching The Dark Knight on the plane and Harvey Dent mentions how “its darkest before the dawn.” These are essentially the same concepts. The peace right before the chaos, and subsequently, the chaos right before the peace. Ying and yang (I also know a guy named Yang).

Inner storms. There’s a saying, I believe its from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind that goes, “your inner world creates your outer world.” If you have turbulance in your life (outer world) it’s most likely caused by some turbulance in your mind/heart (inner world). Perhaps there’s something you know you need to do but you haven’t done because of FEAR or PROCRASTINATION. Maybe its a difficult conversation you need to have with someone. Maybe its scary because its outside your comfort zone? Maybe you have some unresolved issues somewhere in your life and its manifesting in bad results.

  • The best example of this is fitness and nutrition. You wonder why you’re always so sleepy, tired, lacking energy, having health issues, and always feeling terrible. The inner world (diet) is most likely a huge contributor to that, as well as the (lack of) exercise in your routine.
  • Maybe you’re in a relationship that you’ve been doubting for a while but you’re too scared to confront your partner. Therefore, you two will continue to deal with a terrible relationship until you both end up resenting each other and break up on bad terms.

-Inner tranquilty

  • Josh Waitzkin, author of one of my favorite books The Art of Learning, talks at length about inner tranquilty and meditating. One of the biggest benefits of daily meditating is training your brain to find that inner tranquilty, and developing that ability like a muscle. This skill can be used when you face outer turbulance in your life and use your inner tranquilty to calm those storms.
  • In essence, no matter what STORMS (challenges/obstacles) in your life, if you can cultivate your own inner tranquilty, nothing can phase you. Being an inside-out person (proactive/controlling) rather than an outside-in person (reactive).

Piece of Advice: “Attitude of Gratitude”

A Piece of Advice – Discovery Challenge

“This week’s challenge brings out the positive: tell us about a piece of advice you’ve received — and would like to share with others.”

One story immediately comes to mind:

A friend of mine, let’s call him John, told me how the CEO (aka Bossman) of his company rules with an iron fist. He’s the guy who puts the fear of God into people when they mess up. He’s pretty ruthless with calling out your shortcomings when you produce low quality work.

His boss once told him that the best place to be is not in his office. Meaning if someone is called into his office and his door is closed, it’s almost guaranteed that he’s tearing them a new one.

You would think people would dread coming to everyday. He says his workplace has a high turnover rate.

On the contrary, however, many of the people who don’t quit or get fired immediately love coming to work. The environment is fun, everyone has a good attitude, people are constantly challenge with their workload and forced to grow. Aside from the occasional meetings the Bossman will have with teams that aren’t performing, there’s a general consensus that his management style is an effective way to keep people on their toes and productive.

One time, John finds himself in the Bossman’s office. He recently got promoted into a new position and was having difficulty keeping up with the workload. He made a few minor mistakes, which was understandable considering he’s never done this type of work before.

He goes into Bossman’s office, closes the door, and takes a seat at his huge, glass desk. Bossman starts laying it in, point out all of his errors, belittling his work and saying he doesn’t have a brain and yelling at him about how it should be done.

The entire time, John starts to feel humiliated, insecure, frustrated at himself, angry at Bossman for yelling at him, and stressed out about the whole situation. I mean, who wants to be yelled at?

While he’s being yelled at, he just takes it all in silence. Why argue with a guy like this? It won’t make a difference whatever he tries to say. Guys like his boss will always think they’re right no matter what they say. The smart thing to do, he thought, was just to take it.

At the end of the roast, while his ego is at an all time low, his boss asks, “do you have anything to say?”

What should he do? Be defensive? Say how he feels disrespected by the way he was treated? Mention how he could have been nicer in his reproach? Blame someone else?

“Thank you. You’re right and I’ll take what you said, apply it, and improve so those mistakes won’t happen again” John says.

An attitude of gratitude, he thought.

He told me that he had learned when all else fails, putting on an attitude of gratitude is key.

Think about it, it changes your mindset so that you can reframe it from a negative experience to a positive, learning experience. In turn, you will react and respond to the event in a totally different way.

Instead of interpreting his boss reprimanding him as a sign of failure, he saw it as an opportunity to learn from his boss’s feedback, improve, and become better. And he was grateful for his boss calling him out because a boss who didn’t care wouldn’t even take the time to teach him a lesson.

From that point forward, John raised his standards for himself and consistently produced high-quality work. Half out of fear of being yelled at by Bossman, but half because of the satisfaction he gets from knowing he’s constantly growing and becoming better at his craft.

“At my workplace,” John says, “the high volume and steep learning curve will weed out the ones who can’t hang. But the ones who stay tend to produce at such a higher level than they ever thought they were capable of.”

But this wouldn’t be possible, I presume, if people aren’t able to have the right attitude.