Category Archives for "Motivation"

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

 

 

 

6

Dealing with a Thief (part 1)

Recently someone stole my phone. They literally walked into my office and decided they needed my phone more than I did.

I was angry. Then frustrated because of the hassle that it would cause in my day. The truth is it is just a phone, it could have been so much worse. The thing that bothers me is that I lost pictures and content. Everything else can be replaced. I am glad no one was hurt…yet. 😉

 

Now what?

I consider myself having an amazing life. I have nothing to complain about. But as soon as this happened I felt threatened. Some of that “the world is great” thinking was jeopardized. My thought process see-sawed between love and compassion and becoming Dirty Harry. For those of you born after 1985 this reference may elude you. Just know that Dirty Harry liked to take the law into his own hands with a big gun at the end of it.

dirtyharry

Now think about how experiencing events like these on daily basis can skew your outlook on life?

Should I be jaded and think that all people are bad?

Some are bad but most are not. I don’t know the guy who stole my phone so I can’t say if he is a bad guy. It is not for me to decide who is good or bad. I believe his actions towards me were bad. He stole my property. People do some pretty crazy things in extreme situations.

Think about how far you would go to provide and protect for your family? Like I said maybe he needed more than I did.

 

I believe…

Here are my beliefs.

I think people are inherently good.

I treat people as if they’re good, unless proven otherwise. I know some may say that I am being ignorant and in some situations borderline dangerous. Peace of mind is very important to me. If I walked around thinking that people were always out to get me I would have no peace of mind. I refuse to live that way. That doesn’t mean I won’t prepare because I don’t think anything bad will happen.

I choose to live in a world of possibilities, a world where every one has a chance at becoming the greatest and grandest version of themselves. To be clear, I don’t believe anyone is entitled to it. I believe if you want it, you must take actions towards creating the life you want.

I am not God and as such I can’t control everything that happens to me and those I love. I can however control the way I react to my circumstances.  Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl said it best,

“the last of the human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

I want to thank everyone for your support. I have received so much help, offers for phones, and genuine compassion. I am extremely grateful.

Live each day with purpose and appreciate the real important things in life.

Cheers,

AC

 

PS – It is amazing how much I depended on that phone. In a world where everything is instant, it feels so weird having to wait until I get home or to the office to be able to call, text, or email someone. This experience has definitely taught me how much the technology was using me. Technology is asset only if you can use it and not the other way around. I feel that it is important to learn from all your experiences, good or bad. If you can do that, you can take something useful out any circumstance that will serve you. Just a thought. 😉

PPS – Thanks again for being in my life and having the interest to spend your time reading my writing. Truly an honor.

 

 

 

 

 

You Have To Write The First Draft

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This has nothing to do with writing a book, yet it has everything to do with it.

Recently I was writing the outline of one of the books I want to write. I have been saying I am going to write a book for a long time and never done it. In fact that is why I started blogging. I thought that if I blogged on a regular basis I would build the habit of writing and as a result it would make writing a book easier.

I started one book last year but made 3 critical mistakes.

First – I judged the work before it was done.

Second – I did not play to my strengths

Third – I stopped.

*Bonus – I didn’t have accountability.

If you have not done so watch the 3:43 video. It will help put things in perspective on how you can use the analogy of writing to help you achieve what you want in your weight loss and fitness goals and more importantly in anything you desire in life.

If you are the cliff note type because 3:43 takes to much time to watch then here it is…

But I must warn you.

You will miss out on my smooth and eloquent delivery of such a fine message. You will miss my voice as it carries through the air penetrating your ear playing the hypnotizing rhythms on your eardrum. If you are willing to miss all that then read below. 😉

As the Great One, Wayne Gretzsky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

Decide what you want in life.

Decide what you want for your health.

Decide what you want to be able to do and START.

Don’t be perfect.

Start creating some momentum. Create your life’s first draft. Embrace the process. Take imperfect action and correct and edit along the way. The truth is no matter how awesome your plan is, it does you no good if you don’t start executing it.

Don’t fall victim to the 3 Critical Mistakes I made. Start today.

Hope you find this helpful.

Cheers,

AC

PS – I want to thank my friend David Altshuler for inspiring me to write this post and for lighting a fire under my butt to get my first book written. He just launched his book, Raising Healthy Kids In An Unhealthy World. I have not read it yet. I am finishing another book but I can assure you he is an expert and you will benefit from reading this book.

He quite the story teller and has a very humorous style of writing. Usually it involves typing from right to left as he reads it from the mirror in his underwear. Joking aside pick up the book if you are a parent or want to be a parent.

Be on the lookout for an interview with him in the future.

Courage to Listen

In our fast paced world listening almost seems like a luxury not afforded to us.

Over the next few paragraphs I hope to persuade you that listening is not a luxury but a necessity if you want more energy and abundance.

Think about everything you have ever been told about losing weight and getting fit.

It usually goes like this, “Eat less, move more.” (Sound familiar?)

What if this was all wrong?

What if not doing was actually more effective than doing?

Recently I was doing an assessment on a new client. She was frustrated with the way she looked and felt. She felt completely drained. She wanted to lose 30 lbs. Over the past few years she kept pushing harder but kept falling short and so the vicious cycle of frustration and self doubt continued.

She had signed up online for a 2 week intensive with us but after our assessment I explained to her why this would actually be the worst thing she could do for her health. Instead of leaving it there I created an alternative restorative plan. I wanted her to do it for 2 weeks then return and we would evaluate her progress. After I gave her the plan for the next 2 weeks that included meditation, walking, sunbathing, she instantly looked as if a huge pressure was removed. She finally had permission to listen to what her body had been telling her all along. She radiated with warmth and confidence.

 

Do you have the courage to listen?

In the above example my client was primarily operating in the sympathetic nervous system. Said differently, her body was operating as if she were surviving a life and death situation, like being chased by a lion. In this mode your body doesn’t digest the food you are eating and extract the nutrients needed, so you lack the energy. Because your body feels it is fighting for it’s life it stores more fat for later to protect itself for this emergency. Her body was not recovering properly. Her ability to create new information and problem solve were greatly reduce. She felt “burned out” which stimulates cravings for sugary and fatty foods that help satisfy the chemical and hormonal needs the body wants in the short term.

What do you do?

Do you push harder or do you take time to listen?

Carving time to listen and implementing what your body is asking for, in spite of conventional “wisdom” takes courage.

 

Be courageous today. Listen, feel, and grow stronger.

If you feel trapped, frustrated, or burned out and want some direction feel free to contact my team and I at 305-741-0560. We are here to serve, guide, and support you on your journey.

Cheers,

AC

 

 

 

Start the fire

Fire in a survival situation is one of the most important things you can have.

Fire can help you make water drinkable by boiling it.

Fire can give you warmth as the temperature drops and it keeps moral up literally giving you light in a dark situation.

Making a sustainable fire has a lot of similarities with creating and achieving successful goals.

In order to start a fire you need to have tinder. Tinder is usually smaller processed wood/plant fibers that are easily ignited. From there you add some really thin twigs to grow the fire, then you add pencil thin wood called kindling. As the fire grows from there you add larger pieces of wood as fuel to keep the fire on for longer.

 

Light A Fire Under Your Goals

Fire = Understand what your vision, your goal, you end results looks like.

1.   Tinder = Create a simple action to do daily that will easily give you momentum towards that goal. If your goal is to lose weight you may want to do 5 minutes of walking first thing in the morning. This not about creating the best program but doing the action that is easiest, an action with very little resistance on your part. Do this for about 15 days.

2.   Kindling = As your momentum grows, add some tasks that are more challenging. Add push ups and squats interspersed in your walk and add more time. Don’t add too much. You should still feel the desire that you can still do more daily. You want to maintain that hunger. Do for another 15 days.

3.   Fuel = Once you have established a steady routine for about 30 days you can get into making some heavier changes like your diet or increase the intensity of your training. Add one thing and do that for 30 days. Again don’t be in a hurry to keep adding more things.

 

Here is an important element about fire just like your goals. If you add too much too soon, you suffocate the fire of oxygen causing it to die. The same happens with your goals. Everyone is pumped those first 2 weeks but what happens as life happens. How many times have you started a fitness program full steam ahead and something happens and “You fall off the band wagon”?

 

Do you really ever “fall off the band wagon” with brushing your teeth or bathing?Are you creating habits that are sustainable? Not really. Why because it is a habit that you have been training your entire life. Focus on the habit approach and there will be no bandwagon to be on. 😉

 

Lifestyle and daily action is the surest way of success. “Slow and steady wins the race.” I know it’s frustrating when you want it now but always worth it if you commit to doing it.

Be patient, be consistent, be excited.

Cheers,

AC

******SIDE NOTE******

I recently took the kids camping and it was great. The weather cooled down, we had a nice comfortable tent with plenty of space, and best of all we got to explore. I decided that all food would be made over fire.

Dinner: smoked salmon, quinoa with split peas.  Breakfast: 6 eggs & 1 lbs of spinach

Dinner: smoked salmon, quinoa with split peas.
Breakfast: 6 eggs & 1 lbs of spinach

 

In order to make the fire we had to find the right fuel. Tinder to help get the fire started, kindling to slowly grow the flame, and finally fuel which sustains the fire. Below is a picture after we collected all the wood. Below that picture is a special wood called fatwood. It is wood from a dead pine tree that had all the pine resin collected there. The pine resin is very flammable. It is where we get turpentine from. Enjoy. 🙂

firewood

 

 

Hulk Gets Angry and You Should Too.

 

Have you ever watched the Incredible Hulk?

The other day I was watching the cartoon with my son. I realized how purposeful he was as the Hulk.

As the mild mannered Bruce Banner he is a push over. But when you anger him, watch out. The Incredible Hulk comes out and rips sh*t up. There is nothing getting in his way.

 

Make it hurt so bad…

What if you operated in a similar manner about your goals. Not necessarily destroying things but destroying the bad habits. Contrarian speaker, Larry Winget calls himself an “irritational” speaker instead of motivational speaker. I thought that was funny the first time I heard it. He feels that motivation comes and goes quick but if he can irritate and make you so uncomfortable with where you are, that you have no choice but to make a change. While I don’t agree with all he says or all his approaches, I do believe he is right on this.

Think about when you were at your worst, when you hit rock bottom, when you were so fed up with your situation that you made a change. I can guarantee the changes were drastic but they needed to be.

I believe that in order to make a change you must get uncomfortable with where you are at. If it is not that important and pressing for you, why would you do it? As humans we will naturally choose the easier path. You must have a big enough why or change is not a possible.

 

Being comfortable is the step before death.

I know that is a pretty intense sentence but one that I wholeheartedly believe. Death here doesn’t necessarily mean physical death but the lack of growth, progress.

Think about a patient in hospice. What are they trying to do…make them comfortable.  Think about an athlete that rests on his laurels and doesn’t keep pushing himself to be better daily. Younger more hungry to make it athletes take their spot.

Comfortable in my view equals lack of movement, stagnation, lack of progress. Life is about movement not stagnation.

Get uncomfortable, get mad, and attack your goals with the same fierceness as the Hulk. Let nothing get in your way. Decide what you want and don’t stop until you get it. It may take a few hours, a few days or a few years. Regardless, you have the ability to create the life you desire.

Make it productive, purposeful, and don’t let anything get in your way.

Cheers,

Armando

 

 

 

 

2

You’ll Never Forget The Way They Made You Feel

This morning I was having a great conversation with my friend Mark, a UM professor who helps college students become relevant to potential employers. We were talking about how vivid our memories are in recalling our experiences. That got me thinking about 2 things.

1st – If experiences have a greater impact on our memories, then how can we create more amazing experiences?

2nd – Are the details of exactly what happened as important as the feeling you felt at that moment?

 

Before I continue on this you may be wondering what does this have to do with living healthier, losing weight, eating better, etc…

This is actually directly related because the relationship you have with yourself, the relationship you have with food, and the stories you tell yourself are driven by how you feel. That brings me back to the 2 questions above.

 

Question #1: How can we create more amazing experiences?

The more proactive you are, the more experiences you will have. The question wasn’t how to have more experiences but how to have more AMAZING experiences.

I have a friend Johann, that I had the privilege of going on our famous Western Exploration. After graduating from college, Johann and I took 3 months and lived out of a tent and my little blue Hyundai Accent hatchback running the national parks and cities in Florida, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Texas. We shared so many experiences yet when he would share a story about our  journey to others, I almost didn’t recognize them. In fact I remember thinking, “that was so amazing where was I when that happened?”

Our friends joke that Johann exaggerates stories but I have come to realize that these are truly the experiences that are recorded in his mind. While my experience may not have been so dramatic, I can still  feel the amazing experiences of running 10 miles at 6:35 pace on the legendary track at the University of Oregon, Hayward Field. I remember the liberating yet scary feeling of running through the trails in the Rocky Mountain National Park and getting lost for an hour or two with no water or idea where we were. How about meeting the president of Merrill-Lynch in Boulder, CO in a bar and having him be jealous of us, two broke kids enjoying life in its simplest form, running. I remember him telling us, “I have more than enough money to do this trip but I don’t have the time. Enjoy it guys. You will never forget it.” He was right. 🙂

Posing with Legendary Coach Bill Bowerman, founder of Nike after my 10 Miler on Hayward Field.

Posing with Legendary Coach Bill Bowerman, founder of Nike after my 10 Miler on Hayward Field.

 

Question #2: Are the details of exactly what happened as important as the feeling you felt at that moment?

Maya Angelou said,

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

My good friend Alex recently got married. When Christian and I entered the church waiting for the ceremony to begin I was talking to her about who each of Alex’s friends were. There was a guy named Kirk, Alex’s friend that called me when I was at the hospital (that is how I remember him). He is one of Alex’s fraternity brothers (PIKE). I was not in a frat but every time Alex would invite me to one of their parties, I remember Kirk always treated me and made me feel like I had known him for years. On my sophomore year in college something happened that my brain stem swelled up and I was in the hospital for a few days. Low and behold I received a call from Kirk. I have never forgotten that. I am forever grateful for this simple act of compassion.

I don’t remember what I did yesterday but I lucidly remember the way I felt that day I received a call from Kirk. I don’t remember what exactly he said, I don’t remember what I was wearing, what day or time it was but that didn’t matter because the essence of an experiences is sown with the seeds of feeling, nurtured with environment, and appreciated by awareness and story.

Are the details of exactly what happened as important as the feeling you felt at that moment?

No. I don’t believe they are.

Create those amazing experiences one feeling at a time.

 

Cheers,

AC

 

 

 

A Man’s View In A Women’s World

18 women and 1 man.

This weekend we hosted the Look, Feel, Be Great Women’s Seminar created by Christian Cruz, my wife, to help empower women to look, feel, and be great on their terms. As the only male in the room I wanted share the most important thing I learned.

There were 3 speakers.

Christian started by sharing Pillar 1 – Mastery Mindset, then Jennifer shared Pillar 2 – Nutritional “Know-How”, Britteny presented Pillar 3 – The Beauty Blueprint, and finally, Christian concluded the seminar with Pillar 4 – Fit & Functional.  They each built on each other with one underlying theme.

 

What are the questions you are asking?

 

Last night I was listening to a Tony Robbins CD and he shared the same message I heard all weekend long.

“The quality of your life is directly proportional to the quality of the questions you ask.”

 

Below are 10 out of the 23 values Christian shared about high quality questions and what they contribute in your life

–   They allow us to generate new thoughts, ideas, and solutions.
–   They remove fear, feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness.
–   They can generate responses that excite us and transform us.
–   They give us clarity.
–   They don’t assume, they listen and thus find the truth.
–   They allow us to shift our mindset, by allowing us to seek solutions rather than see problems.
–   They create time, money, resources, friends, love, hope, joy where we did not see it before.
–   They ground us while giving us wings to soar.
–   They create possibility
–   They empower us to be the leaders of our life, to live our lives on purpose, with purpose and for a greater purpose

 

 After reading the values of high quality questions 3 things become apparent.

 

1.   My wife is clearly the smarter one of the 2 of us.

[No explanation needed.]

2.   By asking better questions, you will get better answers.

[Your questions become the microscope you look at a problem with. The better the question the better your microscope. The magnification of your lens becomes greater allowing you to see more detail and it allows for more focus which gives you more clarity and accuracy to know what to do and why to do it.]

3.   Freedom is all around you.

[Your success is limited by your ability to ask better questions. Often we find ourselves boxed in, confined to doing the same things over and over again, and we wonder why we are not progressing. High quality questions can help you take that box that once confined you, put it on it’s side, stand on it, and allow it to become your soap box to share your message with the world.]

 

If you are looking become empowered, if you are looking to have more success with your fitness and nutrition, If you looking to achieve your goals then ask better questions. Take control today.

 

ACTION STEP:  Finish these sentence stems in the comments section below.

*   I feel happiest when…

*   I feel healthiest when…

*   I feel accomplished when…

 

Cheers,

Armando

 

PSAttention Women: Go to www.LookFeelBeGreat.net to get on the VIP List for next years event absolutely FREE.

 

PPS – Don’t forget to leave your answers in the comments section below to the 3 statements in the ACTION STEP section.

 

 

How do you know when you are successful?

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Finish this sentence: “I am successful when…”

 

Success looks, feels, smells, tastes, and sounds different for everyone. So how do you know when you are successful?

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The video above is almost 1 year old but timeless.

Look how small Amelie is; time flies!

I have a quick story that illustrates the power of this particular sentence stem and the perspective it can give you.

Recently I had a coaching client that was frustrated because she felt that her clients did not appreciate all that she does for them. She had invested lots of energy in making their experience great yet no one shared appreciation like she wanted. After she relayed the story to me I asked her the following question. “Have you ever told them what makes you feel successful?”

She looked quizzically at me so I said it differently, “Do your clients know what you want from them? Do they know what makes you feel good?”

“No, I have never told them.” she answered.

 

2 Revelations from this Story:

 

1st – Share what makes you feel successful with as many people as possible. My belief is that people are inherently good. Everyone knows how good it feels to be appreciated. On the flip side they also know how crummy it feels to be unappreciated. By letting others know how to make you feel good then you improve the chances of it happening.

When I originally sent out this video I shared some of the things that make me feel successful. Here are some real examples, I feel successful when I get text messages, emails, and comments on the blog  from you all about how I have been able to help you and your thoughts. It let’s me know that the effort and love I put into writing has been read and actually helped someone. My goal is to help at least one person with everything I write.

Since I shared this I have gotten more text messages and emails which I greatly appreciate. Thank you, it definitely makes my day and puts a smile on my face. 🙂

 

2ndIf your success depends on other peoples results then you will be very unhappy. If your only measure of success is based on other peoples responses then you are essentially relinquishing your power and are at the mercy of others action. I share with my coaching clients the importance of having an intrinsic success plan that serves you. Things you control. Above I shared things that are predicated on others responses but I also have my internal success plan that puts me in control of my success. Such as when I take time to workout daily, it makes me feel successful. When I write my goals daily, I feel successful. When I spend quality time with my wife, I feel successful.

Create games in your life that you can win on many different levels. Most people create games with rules that don’t allow them to consistently win. They create games that only allow for success when all the stars align. It is not fun playing games that you always lose.

 

I would love to hear what makes you feel successful in the comment section below.

Start it by saying, “I am successful when…”

 

Hope enjoyed this post. Look forward to your comments.

(Remember one of the biggest compliments you can pay me is a comment and engagement here on the blog).

Cheers,

Armando

 

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Lollipop Moments

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Great opening question:

“How many of you are completely comfortable with calling yourself a leader?”

 

We’ve taken the term LEADER and made it God-like. It is time to take that term back and live it daily with the little things.

 

What is your Lollipop Moment?