Mindset Archives - CRUZ COUNTRY

Category Archives for "Mindset"

You Will Fail

Three weeks ago my wife and I had our first parent teacher meeting to go over our son’s progress over the first quarter of the year. 

His teacher Mrs. Johnson commented how dedicated and immersive Mandy was with his lessons. She observed the leadership role he takes with the other students in the class. She expressed how smart he is and then she showed me the progress report.

He had no “A’s” or “B’s” on his progress report.

I was concerned...Then I fell in love

Mandy goes to Coral Reef Montessori School and they don’t use the traditional grading system of A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F's.

They use the following metrics to track a child’s progress: I - Introduced | P - Practicing | IM - Improving | M - Mastery.

When a lesson is first introduced, the student receives an I for Introduced. After the student has been practicing the lesson they get upgraded to P for Practicing. As they improve on the lesson they will be bumped up to IM for Improving. Finally, when they can consistently dominate the lesson in many different forms they are awarded an M for Mastery. This can happen over the course of a year in certain lessons or can happen over the course of 1-2 sessions depending on the child’s proficiency. The brilliance of this system is that it focuses on mastery not just passing a test, very much like life.

Use this approach to have long term success with your health, your goals, and anything in your life you wish to succeed at.

Mastery is defined as, a comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment. It is a control or superiority over someone or something.

I believe mastery is what we should all be striving for in all facets in our lives. Mastery is a journey and as such will have its ups and downs, as well as it’s wrong turns and obstacles. The wealth of any journey is the experiences that makes it up. In mastery those experiences are enhanced by your failures.

The statement attributed to Apollo Missions director, Gene Kranz, “Failure is not an option,” when taken literally will rob you of mastery if you fear being wrong.

Your mastery mantra should be “Failure is your best option.”

To put it in context Michael Jordan arguably the best basketball players in the world said,

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

What would you need to believe, so that failure becomes something you embrace?

How can mastery become your focus instead of weight loss or getting good grades?

Strive to become a master of your life, your health, and your communication by taking one step towards it daily.

When times get tough and obstacles seem to block any possible path towards achieving mastery, remember that every attempt is giving you the experience points needed to level up.


Lucy vs Karen. Who will win?

Lucy started her weight loss journey last week. She lost 2 lbs, but noticed her friend had lost 5 lbs. She also noticed that her friend didn’t do as much exercise as she did. She decided that she would beat her friend by doing double workouts on next week.

Karen started her weight loss journey last week. She was excited because she had been consistent 4 out the 7 days of the week with her training and nutrition plan. She wasn’t perfect but grateful at what she had done. Karen was shocked and excited when she saw she had lost 2 lbs. Her friend had lost 5 lbs and together were so excited. They planned their week to see how they could slowly get their families involved.

These two women above started a weight loss journey at the same time and each lost 2 lbs. Which of these women will likely succeed in the long term?


In fact she has already succeeded. If you dissect their approach you will find their approach was very different. Lucy was looking at all the things that were wrong. She was looking for the injustice of her situation. In Lucy’s world she could only win if someone else lost.

Karen’s approach was one of integrating a lifestyle and an environment that excited her. She was looking for the good in the situation. In her approach, the more people that won, the more success it would mean. Her success was driven by the habits she had control over.

“Your success is directly proportional to the quality of the questions you are asking yourself.”

There is a foretelling line that says, “What you look for is what you find.”

Ask yourself -What am I looking for?

What questions am I asking myself?

A mentor of mine once offered this thought for me to think about:

Your mind cannot not answer a question. So if you are not happy with where you are at, then you need to ask better questions. Said differently, your success is directly proportional to the quality of the questions you are asking yourself.

Which approach would better serve you and your goals long term, Karen’s or Lucy’s approach?



PS – Are you frustrated with your approach to get healthier and more energized? Click here to schedule an exploratory session. I’d love to set a time to talk and give you some clarity.

What will they remember?



n eruption of laughter as guys disperse to the baseball diamond. I look to see what all the commotion was about. There he was with a big smile – Coach Cas.

Recently, I found out that former FIU assistant baseball coach passed away in April 2014, after a long battle with prostate cancer.

It made me sad.

I met him once and saw him a handful of times. I didn’t know him at all.
Yet my memories of him are that he made others laugh and his mischievous yet warm smile.

It doesn’t take much to make an impact in people’s lives.

Ask yourself these 3 questions. Live them so the answers become what you’d want.

  1. How will people remember you after meeting you?
  2. What will they remember about you if they observed you?
  3. If someone took a snapshot of you, what will they most likely take a photo of?

These are very powerful questions that have the power to help you create the life and legacy you’d want.

If this seems too overwhelming to think about…Start with a smile. 

A smile is one of your most powerful assets of communication.
It could mean love, happy, surprise, sadness, silliness, mischief, and much more.

Have fun with your smile today.

Smile at 3 random strangers.

They will remember you.



“Courage” – The Poem

Yesterday I shared an excerpt from A Knight’s Tale and it centered around Listening to the whispers around us.

If you have not read yesterday’s email do so now then come back to this. I feel you will get more value from this poem if you have the backstory.



Your spouse is telling you what they want to feel loved. 

Are you listening?

Your body is telling you what food energize you and which food drain you.

Are you listening?

Your kids are telling you how they want to spend time with you.

Are you listening?

Your body is telling you what it feels safe doing and what feels threatening.

Are you listening?

God is sharing his plan for you.

Are you listening?

You know how to live the greatest and grandest version of who you are.

Do you have the courage to listen?

                                                                                            – Armando Cruz

I hope you enjoyed the poem.

For the rest of this week I want you to spend 5 minutes every morning and evening breathing and just listening. Don’t have an agenda. Just listen. You will see your quality of life improve.



PS – We all have 24 hours in a day. You choose the way you spend it.


Are you listening?

Chaucer: Today… today, you find yourselves equals.
[crowd roars]

 Chaucer: For you are all equally blessed. For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure of introducing to you to a knight, sired by knights. A knight who can trace his lineage back beyond Charlemagne. I first met him atop a mountain near Jerusalem, praying to God, asking his forgiveness for the Saracen blood spilt by his sword. Next, he amazed me still further in Italy when he saved a fatherless beauty from the would-be ravishing of her dreadful Turkish uncle.
[crowd, boo]

 Chaucer: In Greece he spent a year in silence just to better understand the sound of a whisper. And so without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give to you, the seeker of serenity, the protector of Italian virginity, the enforcer of our Lord God, the one, the only, Sir Ulllrrrich von Lichtenstein!
[crowd roars]

This is an excerpt from the classic movie A Knight’s Tale with the late Heath Ledger. Inspiration taken from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale” in his classic work of the Canterbury Tales.

My favorite line in this introduction is when Chaucer says “In Greece he spent a year in silence just to better understand the sound of a whisper.”

The first time I watched the movie, I remember pausing the movie and rewinding it to listen to that line again.

Imagine immersing yourself in silence so that you could grasp the power of a whisper.

Recently my friend Steve shared a video and he said something quite profound. He said, “Things start as a whisper before they become a scream!” He was referring to listening to his body. He had irritated his back and kept pushing it until he was reduced to a hobble.

Think back to Sir Ulrich. Are you listening to the whispers your body is telling? Are you addressing the issues early on or are you pushing it until your body is in full panic mode?

This works for everything in life. Weather, relationships, pain, nutrition, happiness, etc…

Are you listening for that whisper or are you waiting for that scream?

Give yourself 5 minutes every morning and every night to breathe and just listen. Have no agenda just listen.



PS – Stay tuned because tomorrow I will share a special “poem” wrote.

PPS – If you have never seen A Knight’s Tale watch this great clip of the excerpt above. Pure magic! (Watch video clip here)

PPPS– Remember listen for the whispers in your life. 🙂

The Dance

I recently watched a breathtaking video of a man and a women dancing on the side of a building while suspended by a rope. 
Their movements were graceful, fun, and inspiring. It got me thinking about perspective.

What is your perspective on health?

Is it serving you so you achieve what you want?

If not, I would encourage to take a look at the video at the end of this short post. The video shows different perspectives of them dancing. Each view makes you feel completely different. The first person view was very intimate and scary. The worms eye view (looking up) felt magical and utterly miraculous.

I did an assessment on a new client. She was frustrated with her weight and hated the way she looked. She tried dieting, she tried exercising, she tried pills and they all worked for a while but when she started plateauing she would get frustrated and stop.

She felt she had a problem with motivation or with commitment. After asking her very specific questions she discovered she had all the motivation and commitment she needed. She realized that her perspective was not serving her.

She began her journey of health and fitness with feelings of poor self-worth and shame. The most important step she took was shifting her perspective to loving herself and realizing that she has always been worthy. With tears in her eyes she confidently said, “Now, I feel like I have the permission to love myself with no one judging me. I am so f*ckin’ worthy.”

“Now, I feel like I have the permission to love myself with no one judging me. I am so f*ckin’ worthy.”

Do you feel overwhelmed, scared, or frustrated with the way you are approaching your health and fitness or the results you are getting?

What would happen if you looked up and changed your perspective so that what you are creating is a magical dance that expresses the very being of what you want to become?

Greatness has always been with you. Give yourself permission to accept and perspective to discover it. Or as my client said, “You’re so f*ckin’ worthy!”

Enjoy the video to see the power of perspective. http://youtu.be/Sm0Ny_LcCAY



This 7 Word Sentence Transforms!

A simple seven word sentence that transformed my relationships.

“Attention is the deep watermark of love.”

The first time I heard this statement I was seated in a dark room with 27 other fathers listening to a gentlemen called Bob Linfors. We had all invested our Saturday to attend a fatherhood retreat to become better fathers.

At the time I just wrote it down because something about that statement really spoke to me.

After reflecting on it I want to share my thoughts on this powerful statement and how it has transformed my relationships.

When I say relationships I am talking about my relationship with myself, my relationship with my spouse and kids, my relationship with food, with exercise, and with fun.

Let’s start by defining the components of this statement.

Attention is the action dealing with or taking special care of something or someone. Attention is something you do, it is a conscious action, one in which you have control over.

Watermark is a faint design made in some paper during manufacture, which is visible when held against the light and typically identifies the maker. A watermark identifies the owner, the maker, the person responsible for the product produced.

Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. To be loved is one of our most primal instincts.

If we reconstruct this statement it could be: “Taking a conscious, specific action to show you care for someone is the greatest sign that you feel a deep affection towards them.”

What do your actions say to your spouse, to your kids? Do they show love? Do they build them up or tear them down?

What do your actions say to you? Do you show yourself love? Do your actions build you up or tear you down?

This can be applied to your health, to your nutrition, to your work, and anything you wish to grow a deeper connection and affection for and with.

“Attention is the deep watermark of love.”

How can this powerful phrase be applied in your life to cultivate rich relationships? Email me. Really interested in your perspective.



PS – I’m looking to start a few video series on Youtube. Subscribe so you don’t miss out.

If you are not really on Youtube I will be sharing some on Facebook [LIKE] us here.

Later Syndrome Strategy

Yesterday I sent out an email regarding “Later Syndrome” and “Tomorrow Takedown”.

Today I wanted to share a simple strategy I found to be useful to break the “Later Syndrome” or the “Tomorrow Takedown”.

I call it the “Finite Focus” countdown timer. 

When my kids asks to play with me, I ask myself, “Does what I am doing now have to be done now?”


Then I let them know how long it will take me to complete. I then set the Finite Focus countdown timer (the oven timer) and tell them when it beeps we can play.

It helps me stay focused on my task so I am more efficient. Regardless whether I am done or not, when that timer beeps I stop and play. My kids look forward to it as do I.

If NO:

I set the timer for 30 minutes, an hour, or however long I want to play with them. I tell him that when the timer beeps daddy has to go back to work.

You can apply a similar strategy with your conversations with yourself to stay present and productive with your time.

Chunk tasks into 20-60 minute blocks. Then take a break for 10-20 minutes. Working in these intervals have been proven to help you become more productive and get more accomplished while leaving you more energized.



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