Category Archives for "Mindset"

I’m a “Later Syndrome” Sufferer

“Daddy can we play Legos?” 
“Later.”
“Daddy can you build something with me?”
“I can’t right now, maybe later.”
“Daddy want to color with me?” 
“Hey Buddy, I’m working right now. Later.”

 

This is an actual conversation I had with my son.

I started to notice that my conversations were like this daily.

It made me sad.

I realized that what I was doing was not as important as spending time with my kids. I had just become use to the pattern of saying, “later.”

Reflecting, I realize that I have had a similar conversation with myself and so have my clients.

It may sound like this:

“I’ll work out tomorrow.”
Tomorrow comes but I’m too busy. We all have 24 hours but how we choose to prioritize it makes all the difference. Yes, it is a choice.

“I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow.”

Tomorrow comes but I don’t have all the stuff I believe I need to start doing it right. In order to start, does it really need to be perfect?

“I’ll start waking up earlier when I start going to sleep earlier.”

I keep trying to get to bed but I just lay there. I can’t fall asleep.

“I’ll feel good about myself when I lose 21 lbs.”

When I lose 21 lbs, I feel like I need to lose another 13 lbs. Your value is not determined by what you do but who you are. You are worth it, you always were.

 

When you participate in the “Later Syndrome” or in the “Tomorrow Takedown” the person you are cheating is yourself. You are cheating yourself of a rich, connected present. You are cheating yourself of a magical moment with your kids. You are cheating yourself of regaining control of your actions, of your time, and of your future.

You deserve a present time that is rich, connected, magical, and empowered.

Do you want it?

Cheers,

Armando

Caught In the Bathroom!

“Daddy, I need to go to the bathroom,” said Amelie.
“Me too.” replied Mandy.

So I get them in the cart and run across Whole Foods. After a good strong push I hop on the back of the cart and send the cart cruising down the main aisle.  The kids have a smile ear to ear and so do I.
*Yes, now that I am the dad I can do that without being scolded, unless of course my wife is around. 😉
We find the bathroom door and go inside.
The kids go to the bathroom, wash their hands, and now they are staring at the hand dryer with fear in their eyes.
I am not talking about the hand dryers they use to have when I was a kid. The ones that you had to punch the button and it would blow with the same intensity as a hair dryer on the low setting. Your hands still were wet when you finished.
These new hand dryers feel like a wind turbine blasting every water molecule away from your hands. They are also really loud.

So I did what any good dad would do. I inserted my hands under it but I added a dance which invited them to join.
Then I felt awkward.
The kids had long finished drying their hands and were now staring at my display of choreography. I was knocked out of my flow when I noticed that a gentlemen had just come out of the stall and was waiting to use it.

I learned three lessons:

1) An invitation always feels better than a command.
I didn’t tell the kids they had to dry their hands in the scary turbine. I invited them to dance with me under the wind.
2) Being silly in public places puts a smile on your face and those around you.
I was beaming during and after my performance. The guy waiting for me also had a smile. The kids eyes were filled with joy and seem to be saying, “That’s my dad.” At least that is my interpretation and I am sticking to it.
3) Kids learn by example.
Like I said above, I didn’t tell them, I showed them what to do. Now when they see the super hand dryers they do a little jig as well. 
Each experience in your life has something to teach you. The question is are you listening and embracing them?

Cheers,
Armando

Car Crashes Into Light Pole

A car cuts you off in the highway and you are headed towards a light pole.

What do you do?

More importantly, where do you look?

A few years back I worked with an Indy race car driver. These athletes have a level of precision driving that seems miraculous.

I asked him how he was able to avoid so many crashes and get so close to the cars at such high speeds?

My client shared a little secret that will completely change your scenario below and transform your life.

Your car is headed towards a light pole. Where do you look? Most of us look at the light pole. We look where we don’t want to go. (A big No-No.)

This is the same pattern that I see many of my clients fall in to when trying to make a change in their health and in their life. They focus on the things that they don’t want.

My client said the secret to avoiding the crash is to look where you want to go. Let me repeat that, You must look where you want to go!

Said differently, “Where your attention goes, your actions follow.”

If you are having trouble making the changes you want in your life, Stop staring at the light pole and focus on where you want to go instead.

Remember, “where your attention goes, your actions follow.”

Happy Wednesday.

Cheers,

Armando

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The Master Sculptor

What do David, Venus De Milo, and the Pieta all have in common?

 

They are 3 of greatest marble sculptures ever created. These masterpieces were trapped inside marble slabs until their sculptor freed them.

 

What if I told you that you could sculpt something more beautiful, more unique, more important?

Let me share a quick story.

Growing up my parents had instilled in me a strong sense of curiosity. I romanced the thought of becoming a Renaissance Man. A Renaissance Man is defined as polymath or a person whose expertise spans many different subject areas. I drew inspiration from were men like my father, my 10th grade philosophy teacher Dr. Pedro Gonzalez, Aristotle, Leonardo De Vinci, and Benjamin Franklin. 

I worked hard to become the best athlete I could be. I trained daily, I studied anatomy, physiology, I studied what great athletes and coaches were doing so I could be better. I studied French, Latin, German, Greek, Spanish so that I could communicate better. I took advanced courses to push my mind. I studied philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Watts to learn how to think. I was that kid that asked the teacher a “million” questions. 

I kept adding to my “bag of tricks” trying to become Armando, the Man, but something was missing.

This year I went to Thailand for 10 days. I had the opportunity to really reflect and evaluate my life – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Here is one “Ah-ha” moment I had.

We spend much of our lives adding to our lives so that we are “worth it”, so that we become better, so that we can be successful. I believe we were always worth it. I believe that our greatest success lies in showing up as the best version of ourselves at that moment.

When they asked Michelangelo how he was able to sculpt “The David”, he replied, ” I just removed everything that was not David.”

Like Michelangelo, I ask you to start removing everything that is not you, everything that is blocking the best version of you from showing up into this world. Remove everything that is stopping your brilliance, everything stopping your light from shining brightly.


Marble sculpting is subtractive. To get to the masterpiece you must remove rock and dust to see details, to see the real form.

I challenge you to take your chisel and hammer and start removing from your life. Simplify and clarify, and what you have left is the most brilliant, most unique, and most beautiful sculpture of the greatest version of you.


Cheers,
Armando
 
PS – I continue to learn and be curious but they don’t determine my worth. They help magnify my brilliance. Take up your hammer and your chisel and get to work. Make it a great one.

Do you believe?

Would you die for your beliefs?
I know it is a tough question but the answer to this question will change your life.

This Sunday I was in mass and the priest was giving his homily. He asked us this same question. He spoke of the killings of Christians that refused to convert to Islam in the Middle East.

This made me reflect on my faith. In that same scenario, what would would I do? The truth is we have it easy in the US. We are free to practice our faith and mostly anything else we decide. The question is, do we? Do we really cherish and live each moment, live each day to its potential?

Let’s change the focus.

What could you accomplish if you made your decisions as important as the air you breathe?

Hope your lunch was appetizing.

Time to seize the day, one moment at a time.

Happy Tuesday.

Cheers,
Armando

Stuck on the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China can be seen by astronauts from space.
Imagine looking up the 26 foot face of the wall. Then you look left and right only to see the wall slither across the countryside for 5,500 miles.  Your freedom lies on the other side of the wall.
What do you do?
The feeling overwhelm when life keeps piling up and stress weighs you down can feel just as daunting.
Over the past 30 days I took a challenge to make a video everyday to help people overcome any frustrations, obstacles, or questions they had regarding health, mindset, relationships, business, and nutrition.
The 30 days are over and I made 39 videos.
I want to do this for 30 more days and help serve you.
Leave a comment with any frustrations, obstacles, or questions you are having trouble with or want more clarity on.
*I will not use your name and will send you the video when I answer it.
The response to the first 39 videos has been overwhelming. I look forward to helping you on your journey.
Cheers,

Armando

4

Growth through suffering

20 miles into the race I felt a gripping and ripping feeling though my left hamstring. The hot sun was beaming down over the open prairie and I still had another 30 miles to run.

Stop or Press on?

At 9 hours and 38 minutes I crossed the finish line and finished my first ever 50 Mile Ultra-marathon . I was not the same person that started that race. I was stronger, wiser, maybe even better looking. 😉

I was “gently” reminded of a few lessons that may help you on your journey through life.

crossing the line

6 Lessons I Revisited While Surviving A 50 Mile Run Through The Everglades.

1.   Success lies on the other side of comfort.

To say I was uncomfortable was an understatement. My legs started cramping at mile 20, leaving me 30 miles to appreciate discomfort. I say this in jest but it was a blessing. Over those 30 miles I went through many physical and emotional peaks and valleys. When you are at you low it seems like it will never end. Then almost like a light switch the body finds a new source energy that propels you forward. Don’t be afraid of discomfort, of change, of pain because on the other side you come out stronger and more appreciative.

2.   Surround yourself with people who make you better.

It’s mile 36 about 7 hours into the race and I have been “running” solo for about 2 hours in grassland prairies with only the percussive sounds of my steps and the hollow sound of my breath to keep me company. I thought I was hallucinating because I heard a new beat that complimented the staccato of my steps. It was another person. Not just any person but Krystle an experienced ultra-marathoner that had run several 50 milers and 100 mile races. Over the next few hours we walked, ran, and talked. She encouraged me and essentially helped me get to the finish-line.
Who are those people that will help get you to the finish line?

3.   Stop and smell the roses.

Don’t miss the beauty of life’s journey because you are too focused on the destination. At the beginning of the race I all I could see was the floor because I was running too fast and needed to pay attention to my footing. When my legs cramped up, I had to walk. My gaze slowly came up and I was so engrossed in the beauty that surrounded me. I wish I had a camera so that I could share the beauty that surrounded me. All I have are the mental images I now take with me forever.

How often in life do we get so focused on the destination that we forget to enjoy and appreciate the journey. Your experiences lie in the struggle, in the environment, in the people we meet. I am so glad that I physically got to experience that first hand with this challenge.

4.   Stopping may advance you more than going.

We sat in a dark school bus in the middle of the Everglades at 5:30am as Bob, the race director went over the logistics of the race. Then Bob shared his profound advice. “It will be hot today. At some point you will probably want to stop. Many of you will think about quitting. Don’t. If you are cramping up, if you feel bad, sit, wait, eat, drink, rest for half an hour. Many times you will feel better and will be able to continue. You have plenty of time to complete the race. Enjoy it, it is a beautiful course.”

So many times in life it will get hard, we will want to stop because it hurts. But if you want to truly advance, you may need to stop. Rest, recover so you can go the distance.

5.   Be Prepared.

Knowing what to eat on race day is important. Know what the weather will be is important. But the most important preparation takes place months before as you put in the mile daily to callus your body to be able to handle the stress of the 50 miles. It is done a little at a time so your body has time to adapt and build itself up a little stronger than the day before.

Life’s preparation are determined by the daily habits you create.

Will your current habits serve you or bring you down? The choice is always yours.

6.   Patience.

“Patience is a virtue,” is a phrase you’ve undoubtedly heard but have you ever experienced it? This race allowed me to feel the repercussions of impatience. I ran too hard at the beginning and my legs cramped. It also allowed me to build my “patience muscles” as well. 9 hours 38 minutes is a long time to be out running. When times get tough patience will be your ally to overcome any obstacle. Like water flowing through the Grand Canyon. Sometimes the water flows fast, other times it is just a trickle but that consistency over time slowly wearing away the walls and the floor that produced this spectacular wonder of the world.

Do you have the patience to become that magnificent wonder to the world?

None of the above were new lessons, just an opportunity to live them, to experience them, and to practice them. It is nice to be reminded about them.

Godspeed on your journey.

Cheers,
AC

2

Adders and Multipliers

Yesterday was my 34th birthday.

The day before my birthday I felt down. I was feeling emotionally drained, a bit lost, a bit frustrated, a bit defeated.

I woke up on my birthday, February 25th (mark that on your calendar), at 4 am. I saw some of my great clients and my mood lifted. I felt supported and loved. I was getting bombarded by Facebook messages of people I rarely hear from just to wish me a happy birthday. I know Facebook lets you know but I was so appreciative that they took time to write me that message. It really meant a lot. I received text messages from friends and family.

Later that day I was the guest speaker at 2 UM classes. They sang me happy birthday then I had the opportunity to hear their story, their dreams. I felt energized.

By the time I got home, my wife had invited my parents, in-laws, and brother to come over for dinner. We had a great time together over dinner and a delicious strawberry shortcake and a banana-chocolate tiramisu from Glaser Organic Farms (I highly recommend it, very delicious). It was a perfect end to a special day with some of the most important people in my life.

 

Birds of a feather…

Do the people that surround you add or subtract to your energy?

Do the people in your life offer value or only take away value?

Who you surround yourself with will highly impact your energy, your productivity, and your success in life.

 

In life there are adders, subtractors, dividers, and multipliers.

Adders are the people in your life that always leave you feeling more energized. They leave you with something extra of value than before you interacted with them.

Subtracters are people that seem to take and take and never give back. They are those negative people that leave you feeling drained.

Multipliers are those people that are exponential growers. They are similar to adders but make you excited to be around them. They help you grow exponentially.

Dividers are the most dangerous people of all. They are destroyers. They seek to divide and conquer. They are the gossipers that are looking to manipulate and destroy relationships. They seem to take away fro your life.

 

I have 2 questions for you:

1.   What category do the friends, family, and clients you have fall into?

2.   What category would others say you fall into?

 

My birthday wish for you is that you eliminate the subtractors and dividers in your life, surround yourself with adders and multipliers, and most important is have you move closer to becoming that multiplier in the lives of your family, friends and clients. As Gandhi stated, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It is always easier to cast that stone and judge others.

 

I have said it before but I believe it is pertinent to this post,

“Our relationships are one of our most valuable assets for fulfillment, growth, and success.”

I am very appreciative to all the wonderful people in my life. To my family, my friends, my clients, thank you for the great birthday and for being the source of love and support that energizes me and my dreams.

Cheers,

AC

 

PS – If you forgot to get me a birthday present don’t worry. 😉

Help me instead to help kids get clean drinking water. Did you know that every day 5,000 kids under the age of 5 die because of water related illness. Let’s bring that number down one child at a time.

(See why I donated my birthday to charity: water to help this cause –> Click here)

http://my.charitywater.org/armandos-birthday-wish

728x90_present

 

how do you wake up?

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

 

Growing up as a runner this was one of my favorite quotes.

Sadly this quote illustrates the way many of my clients wake up in the mornings. They wake up in a pure survival state, that sends them off running. Below I will share a simple strategy that has helped my clients not get chased by lions. 😉

 

Survival is not sustainable

When I say survival is not sustainable, what I mean is if you wish to have good health, happiness, function optimally you can not operate under this state of emergency. Think about the hustle of your morning ritual. For most people it starts off with the sound of an alarm.

The dictionary has this to say about Alarm:

1.   a sudden fear or distressing suspense caused by an awareness of danger; apprehension; fright.
2.   any sound, outcry, or information intended to warn of approaching danger:
3.   an automatic device that serves to call attention, to rouse from sleep, or to warn of fire, smoke, an intruder, etc.

Primitively, these alarms were as a result of imminent danger, like a lion was about to attack. Our body’s briefly undergo the same physiological reactions when we wake up this way. We continue diving deeper as the morning continues.

Let’s move on to breakfast.

Most people skip it or opt for the coffee and some high sugar doughnut or danish that spikes the insulin and drains the adrenal glands. If they do eat breakfast, it is in such a hurry that that body can’t properly digest it causing more alarms go off in the body.

Now we get in the car to be greeted by a sea of stressed out, caffeine pumped individuals in survival state, trying to get to work before the next alarm bell rings.

 

Do you see the pattern?

We’ve allowed ourselves to be trained like Pavlov’s dog moving from alarm to alarm.

It’s time to take control of your mornings and break the Pavlovian chains by creating a morning ritual that serves you, your health, and those around you.

 

Morning Ritual Challenge.

Perform this morning ritual for 1 week and see how your day and week goes. Don’t judge it for the result initially just stay consistent with the challenge. Make up your mind at the end. Enjoy.

1.   Wake up 5 minutes earlier

2.   Take 20 deep breaths with a smile

3.   Say 20 things you are thankful for.

4.   Prepare a green juice the night before so you have more time in the morning.

5.   Don’t listen to the radio. Put on a self development CD or a meditation CD. If you are taking the kids to school ask them 10 things they are thankful for. Alternate between each of you until you each say 10 things.

These are not time consuming nor really difficult things to do. Here is the secret.

“Success doesn’t lie in the complex, rather, it resides in the consistency of simplicity.”

Said different, don’t complicate things, do the easy things consistently and you’d be amazed at the results. 🙂

Have an amazing day!

Cheers,

AC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Dealing with a Thief (part 2)

Last week I shared how I dealt with the thief who stole my phone. This week I want to focus on the most valuable commodity we have and who is taking it from us.

We are the biggest thief in our lives.

We steal an expensive, rare, and high demand commodity on daily basis. The thing is that we don’t necessarily see the value in it until it is too late. There are no police to patrol and stop you from doing it.

 

I am talking about TIME.

 

We frivolously spend it, we unconsciously waste it.

 

We only have 24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds every day. The question is, what are you doing with them? How are they serving you?

 

I was thinking about my phone and realized the thing that bothered me the most is the time they robbed me of. That got me thinking about other things that rob my time.

 

Here is a list of time robbing activities:

Watching meaningless TV:

There are times that TV can be beneficial but rarely. I noticed this a 6 years back when my wife and I canceled our TV for financial reasons. I started reading. That year I read 12 books, which was more than I had read in a long time. Now we still don’t have TV and I read > 24 books per year. Much better use of my time.

 

Getting sucked into the social media (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter) vortex:

There is a great line that says, “Are you using technology or is technology using you?” Social media if not carefully monitored can easily consume your time. I am so guilty of this. I often rationalize that I need to be doing this for my business. The truth is, yes, social media is a great tool to connect and build a closer bond but it can easily turn into a distraction. Set chunks in your day to check and enjoy it but don’t do it at all times.

 

– Email apocalypse:

I don’t get so many emails but I find myself checking it often. I know many of my clients get 50 or more emails daily. Have a plan for dealing with them. Most emails are not that important. Have a secretary screen them, or set filters to screen them. Chunk them and only check it 1-2 times daily. As an example, check them at noon and at 4 pm. Take it off your phone so you wont be tempted.

What ever you do, don’t check your email first thing in the morning. “Email is someone else agenda for you.” Start your day on your terms.

 

– Vampire energy sucking people:

You know who I am talking about. Those people that you dread speaking to, always negative. Those people that leave you drained. Surround yourself with uplifting people that give you energy.

 

– Boredom:

I remember being a kid and making the mistake of telling my dad that I was bored. He started taking me to work (construction) at 5 am. Needless to say I never felt bored again. Even if I was, I’d find something to do. Read more, learn more, have more fun, do something you love. Life is too short to be bored.

*As an aside, boredom leads to overeating.

 These are just a few things. Guard your time with your life because once it is gone you can’t get it back…Unless you know Doc Brown and have a Delorean. (Yes that is a Back to the Future reference.)

Cheers,

Armando