Becoming Heroik

As leaders and ambitious professionals, we all want to cultivate the practices, habits, and culture that truly serve us. And we want to hit the eject button on all the garbage that does not serve us. The things that don’t serve us, act as roadblocks, keeping us from growth, performance, and success. So how do we identify those things that don’t serve us?

Your inbox and social feeds are probably regularly bombarded with zillions of tips and tricks of what you should do to succeed. How much of that has helped you confront the things that are currently getting in your way? Are you ready to try something different? So why don’t we Heroikly go where few have gone before? Let’s get a step closer to becoming Mission Ready For Life. First, let’s get clear about the things that benefit us and the garbage that hinders, damages, and holds us back.

What does it mean when we say something is serving you?

Everybody has basic human needs; food, shelter, sex, boundaries, happiness, respect, etc. These are basic needs, not nice-to-haves. They are required, not optional. So anything that is hindering you from meeting your own needs, could be something worthy of the eject button.

We also have higher needs; self-actualization (finding purpose), connectedness, identifying with something greater than ourselves, etc. We’re capable of truly amazing feats. We all carry with us those higher ambitions, our goals, and aspirations. These higher needs are also important to us. And often times, we get in our own way of achieving them.

We all have negative behaviors, attitudes, desires, wants, attachments, coping mechanisms and perceptions that get in the way of our growth and success. There are often short term gains and benefits that lure us in, and get in the way of our long term success.

Things that don’t serve you…

  • enable procrastination and add to your resistance
  • help you avoid necessary confrontations/challenges

How do we spot and get a hold of the ones that aren’t serving us? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help discern and identify your roadblocks.

5 Key Questions to Ask Yourself to Identify Roadblocks to Success

  1. Is it helping you meet your needs and positive aspirations of yourself?
  2. Does it inspire you to take appropriate action?
  3. Is it pushing you toward your growth and empowerment, or helping you procrastinate?
  4. Is it enabling and anchoring you in fear and resistance? 
  5. Is the attachment to it propelling you forward or dragging you down?

Some of the obstacles in our paths can often be tools for our own growth. So be sure to ask yourself this challenging question:

Will facing this obstacle/challenge help you grow?

Don’t run from the important challenges

At various times in our lives, any circumstance can be perceived as extremely difficult and in our way. We may feel that the people, places and things surrounding us during these trying times are not helping us on a path we wish to tread. However, don’t be too quick to eject or reject things, people, or surroundings simply because they feel difficult at times. It’s likely that it is the discomfort itself you disagree with, for whatever reason. These are often the times when we need to dig in, bring our own bravery, get Heroik and lean into these challenges. Relationships are difficult. School is difficult. Personal development is difficult. Professional development is difficult. All can be – at times.

Before you hit that eject button, take 3 deep slow breaths to check in with your gut, your triggers and your feelings.

  • Maybe you’re attached to a fear of failure
  • Maybe you’re too attached to your story, whatever it is
  • The perceived obstacle may simply be drawing out feelings and thoughts, symptomatic of issues you’d like to avoid
  • Maybe you’re afraid. Maybe you’re angry
  • Maybe you don’t feel that you’re ready, or skillful enough, to face the issue

The point is, try first to identify and acknowledge why you’re avoiding facing these challenges, obstacles and difficulties. Get to the root and core of it. Start with yourself and look within and recognize if the emotions of the moment are clouding your vision.

Dealing With Ambiguity

You may not have a clear answer right away. That’s okay. Start with the obvious and let the ambiguous issues marinate. Make the time to revisit the ambiguous issues with focused attention to see if you can gain insight or a greater degree of clarity. Keep going, you’ll get there.

At the core of Heroik Culture is our mantra: Mission Ready For Life. This is an attitude and dedication to both personal and professional growth, and it has many implications. One of the key practices boils down to this: cultivate that which serves you, and proudly hit the eject button on that which does not.  Bruce Lee, the Martial Arts legend, said “Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”

empty your cup

So, want to make like the lord of kung-fu, empty your cup, and get trigger happy with the eject button? Read on!

It’s amazing to me, how many ambitious upstarts have the passion for new endeavor, yet hate to read and learn to reach their goals. If reading is a barrier to improvement for you, perhaps because you find it slow-paced, difficult or uninteresting, then you’re in luck. With the help of some new technology, you can speed read your way at 2-4x your current speed. This is a real time saver.

How Speed Reading Works

Reading text in the traditional form (in print or on the screen screen from left to right) requires moving your eyes sequentially from word to word. For each word, the eye seeks a certain point within the word, which we call the “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP. During a reading session, after your eyes find the ORP, your brain begins to process the meaning of the word that you’re viewing. With each new word, your eyes kind of wiggle rapidly (or “saccade”) between the words. Your eyes then seek out the ORP for that word. When your eyes run into punctuation, your brain goes back and brings it all together to form a single thought.

80% of the time spent reading, is spent physically moving eyes from word to word, scanning for the next Optimal Recognition Point. By reading in ways that limit eye movement, and making it easier to find the ORP, your brain can process and understand the words faster.

Traditional speed reading tactics involve intense brain training to get your eyes to stretch what they process (enlarging the peripheral vision), avoiding sub-vocalization (talking to yourself while reading) and reading a page at a time by mental snapshot.

I’ve used these methods on and off to increase my reading speed. One thing I can tell you is that it requires time, commitment and continuous training. If you’re like most people, that sounds like more work than reading itself. The good news is, there’s some great technology out there to help you.

Enter Spritz

SamsungGS4Spritz_630

Spritz offers a cool technology called “redicle” that helps you speed read by doing all of that mental math for you. Rather than requiring your eyes to move and scan a page of text, Spritz gathers all of the text and gives it to you one word at a time. It also quickly pinpoints and identifies the optimal recognition point (ORP) (think focus point) your brain looks for to make sense of each word, and it highlights this letter in red. Red of course draws the eyes attention immediately. The technology also uses horizontal lines and hash marks that direct your eyes to the red letter to ensure your eye quickly goes to the right point. Since your eyes don’t need to wander the page, and don’t need to wiggle as you scan for ORP’s, you can read much much faster.

And in case you’re wondering, Comprehension is about the same as regular reading.

spritz study

First time users were able to read up to 40% faster.

spritz study2

 

To see more findings check out the full study here.

SpritzSamsungGalaxyGear_630

Spritz works so well, it’s integrated with many mobile apps and even wearable technology (Samsung Galaxy Gear) and more to come.

  1. If you want to use the pure Spritz on the web, simply add the Spritzlet (click here to get it) to your browser. Additionally, there are other apps taking advantage of the technology including items 2-6 below.
  2. ReadMe! ($1.99) is an E-Pub reader with Spritz. With ReadMe! you can enjoy e-pub format books from Project Gutenberg (45,000 books), Manybooks (29,000 titles), Feedbooks, OpenLibrary (1M+ books) and the Internet Archive (2.5M+ titles). That should keep you busy for awhile!
  3. Quickipedia – Spritz Wikipedia (the whole darn thing!) ($0.99) – A Spritz reader for Wikipedia.
  4. Rapid Reader ($2.99) Read all of your Pocket, Readability and InstaPaper articles that you’ve saved for later with Spritz!
  5. Sparker ($0.99) – SparkNotes (http://www.sparknotes.com) are condensed versions of some of your favorite literature meant to aid you in studying the material after you’ve read it. Now you can spritz all of your SparkNotes on iOS!
  6. BibleGist (Free) – Interested in spritzing the Bible? This is the iOS app for you!
  1. Spreed is a Google Chrome extension and Spritz knock-off with some added features. It allows you to control the number of words shown on the app. This is great for training your brain to speed read with or without an app. It’s great for say, quickly binge reading our book, The Heroik Power of Headlines, and others you’ve been meaning to get through as well.

All of these apps work well. This technology will hopefully bring people back to the wonderful world of reading. Try them out and tell us which one is your favorite.

Bonus: Speed Reading Power Tip

let’s talk about subvocalization – sounding out the words in your head actually causes you to read slower. Most people can only speak at about 180wpm, max. In order to speed this up, you’ll need to stop saying every word to yourself. To do that, try lightly humming to yourself (quietly). Murmor and mumble. If you’re humming, you can’t be talking to yourself, freeing your brain to process the information faster.

There are many books out there disguised as how-to’s, prompting you to tell your story through social media, and to use it as a platform to build a more authentic brand. But let’s be real, most of these books are far removed of specifics with watered down recommendations to use social media to tell your story. Some of the better books on the subject show you how to sell-out your brand for mass appeal. These don’t pass the sniff test of building an authentic brand with great content. That’s where this book comes in.

Welcome to the No Bull Rodeo Tour. We’ll try to make this a recurring feature wherein we offer tips, tricks and truth bombs that are sure to shock, amaze, and hopefully save you some time, effort and energy. This one you’ll definitely want to read through to the end. And as always- we’ve bolded the good nuggets for your skimming pleasure. Feel free to ask questions and add feedback to the comments. On with the show.

A few lazy weekend recovery hours spent scouring the web produced a persistent question: How will businesses monetize 5 years from now? Thinking with a futuristic viewpoint of 5 years may realistically be like looking ahead the next 3 months when you consider the exponential pace of change in the Information Age, factor in a turbulent global economy, and various external pressures motivating businesses to innovate and evolve. So one way or another, we’re talking about the not so distant future and how it affects you. Let’s explore how the heck we’ll make money in the months and years to come.

So often we are asked to explore our identities and our purpose in life and work. So, what’s our story? What is Heroik Media? We put together a brief video teaser to share a little bit about our company, movement and culture. We’re excited about what is to come and we want you to get involved. Tell us what you think in the comments.

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