Becoming Heroik

Hey friends, I want to reach out with some tough love today. I want you to read it, though it will be hard. It will be sarcastic at times, and will pick on several ideas you’ve come to know and believe in success culture, but it will be worth it. You’ll come out ready and willing to do the work to reach your goal with a FREE, lean process or road map to get you there. It’s not rocket science, it doesn’t cost anything, and it’s not complicated. Make your friends read it, you’ll know the ones who should when you’re through. I don’t want to see you get hurt or sucked into a cyclic struggle of motivation, poor attempts, exploitation and failure. I hate seeing my friends get exploited. Bear with me through the sarcasm and tough love. If you hate sarcasm, scroll down to the process I mentioned.

I found a post-it note buried under the desk rubble in my office. It really helped me get focused and get things done. It looks like this:

do the work post it

No this isn’t the free formula I mentioned, we’ll get to that. I must have made this note while reading some success/motivational/blog post that talks about how-to do everything except cultivating discipline to do the necessary work to become successful. These posts often disappoint me – not for myself but for the suffering masses that get stuck on them. Society has built an entire billion dollar industry on selling you ways to trick yourself into pretending to be busy while getting nowhere. And it’s time that the truly successful people reveal the path to true wealth. Are you ready for the secret ingredient? Are you totally psyched? The secret to success, the linchpin to real wealth building is DOING THE WORK. Forgive the sarcasm, but read this and tell me if you identify with it. In return, I will outline a legitimate 6 step practice to ensure progress, growth and real productivity on your path to wealth, success, celebrity and your upcoming reality TV show.

But first…the sarcasm…

1. Are you motivated?

If not there’s a decade of your life and countless books and DVD’s to spend to get you there. Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Crystal Meth…the band… all will get you wired and motivated to get things done. When you’re really amped, proceed to step 2.

2. Sell it back to the masses

If your journey from Step 1, Law of Attraction and power of The Secret, haven’t made you a millionaire yet, try selling all the junk you’ve bought to your friends or becoming a reselling “partner.” And if that doesn’t work, and you ran out of friends and family to alienate, continue to step 3.

#Pro-tip: Multi-task this step with step 1 and save your self 10 years!!!

3. Do you have ideas?

Ideas are like assholes. Everybody has them. They are a commodity. How about ideas related to your success that you yourself can do, right where you are with what you have? Got any of them? If you don’t have any, spend another decade or so exploring the Internet. Just go nuts on Pinterest, Buzz Feed, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter, and jump on Netflix and binge watch The Secret, and What the Bleep Do We Know. And practice your Law of Attraction Mantra some more, until an idea comes. Oh and don’t forget to tell yourself, your friends and loved ones that it’s all part of the process, or you need to put more attractive energy out there or something…

If that doesn’t work go back to step 1, or 2, or both… OR, if you’re ready to stop screwing around, end the sarcasm and cultivate the discipline to actually get things done and succeed, proceed to this simple lean 6 step framework. 

The Super Simple 6 Step Process to Ensure You Get Things Done.

do the work

The process outlined below is based on divergent exploration, convergence on a solution, then refining that solution and expanding upon it. This is a common approach to creative problem solving and business challenges as well. I find it fits for personal goals too and wanted to share that.

1. Gather ideas

Read some books. Watch some TED talks. Pinterest around a bit, but create a time-limit for yourself. Many people get stuck generating ideas to improve their lives without ever proceeding to vet, refine, or explore them in depth. You have a finite amount of time on this planet and it is unknown to you. Get yourself out of the idea rut. Spend 1 final day on an idea binge and then make a list of possible next steps.

2. Narrow down your ideas to those YOU can execute

Cross out anything you can’t do right now, where you are, who you are with, and with what you’ve got. You need to be real with yourself. Too often I see people with big dreams that are dependent on them transforming their lives completely before pursuing them. The excuse that change is difficult and major changes are harder, prevent any change from happening. Be honest and vulnerable with yourself. There are many romantic ideas and paths out there, but many of them require more time and effort than we’re able to give. That is, at least without making major compromises or sweeping changes.

Choosing from a world of infinite possibilities can be tricky – but the secret is to find a baby step. Start small and think like a tortoise.

Find that baby step, something in reach that you can do. I see many people setting yearly goals of losing 100 lbs, or making millions, when they really need to be setting smaller weekly goals, of making hundreds, or losing 2lbs.

Hints:

  • If your idea requires more starting capital than you have or are likely to raise, it’s probably something to shelve for later. Think about an idea or project that you can do now, that will help you grow towards that goal. Look for an iterative business model you can grow into your big dream.
  • If your idea requires a lot of change across many aspects of your life, take heed. Focus on one of the changes and focus on that in the near term. Learning to juggle, while learning to sing, playing the piano, and becoming a lawyer, while exercising more to lose 30lbs, may be pushing it. In fact, for most people, a good starting point is simply getting more sleep, or making it to the gym at all.
  • If your idea requires a lot of learning time, you might want to reign in your goals to something smaller with a more immediate payoff. If you’ve suddenly decided to become a doctor, lawyer, or nurse, try and make your way through a book on the subject. Read a book from a day in the life of, or real stories from your chosen category. If you can’t commit to reading one book prior to spending a fortune on school, you might want to gut check your resolve to pursue the goal in the first place.
  • Feel free to defy the odds and prove me wrong. By all means. However, if you fail, if your wings melt, come back to the ground and consider making a year long commitment to smart, small growth. It’s lower reward, lower risk, but higher return. What I mean by that, is you set yourself up for a higher likelihood of meaningful growth and success without taking on a major financial and psychological risk.

DON’T get attached to ideas that exceed the capabilities of your budget, body, and ability. As you struggle, and if you fail, you’ll likely beat yourself up over and over again, and then likely give up. These kinds of mind games can sabotage your growth for years.

DO pair down your list of ideas to those that you can do right now.  Prioritize that list, by eliminating the stinkers that might be too ambitious as a starting point.

3. Converge on your best idea.

Hint: Your best idea is usually the one that you can execute on your own without a billion dollars of investment or crowd funding.  Write down the things you’ll need to do to make it happen. These may be tasks or projects. Early on it’s difficult to know the difference but its important to keep a road map, printed and visible to keep you on the right path.

Convergence is hard stuff. It requires that you leave a lot of other good and valid ideas on the shelf. 

Converging on one idea or goal is a Good News/Great News Scenario. The good news is you’re on your way to doing more than talk about your latest aspiration. The great news is, if you fail, you’ll have a library or list of other good ideas to come back to and try next. So say goodbye, and shelve the others so you can increase your focus and chances of success. It may not be goodbye forever. You’ll always have Paris.

If you don’t converge on that one idea and commit to it, if that plane leaves the ground and you’re not on it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Tips:

  • Find a guide, mentor or trusted adviser and ask for their perspective. Remember that they have only a perspective and may not have perfect insight into the situation, but they can also help guide you to growth.
  • Be cautious of friends and loved ones who struggle with the thought of your progress. There are many people who don’t consciously wish you harm or suffering, but they don’t want to see you move on, or grow, often out of fear that they will feel less than you or distant from you. Sometimes they don’t make the best advisers.
  • Keep it real. Be cautious of allowing your spirit animal, past lives, alien ancestors, or gods, godesses, or God speak for/through you. Odds are, it’s you consciously or unconsciously BS’ing yourself from underlying fears, or unmet needs.

4. Do the Frickin Work

Yes. It’s to the point where some good willed individual, needs to swear and curse and remind the world that to be successful, one must actually do the work.

The work is elusive. The work is harder than it seemed it would be when planning it. The work often takes longer than you thought. That doesn’t make it any less necessary. Don’t jump to second guessing if the work is necessary or not. It is. So lean in, put on your frog-eatin bib, and hop to it.

What is the work exactly? Well, long ago you wrote down what the necessary jobs were that needed to get done, in order to get you from A to B. Conveniently, that list often disappears and gets buried somewhere. Even more conveniently, in its absence we are now armed with a delightful excuse to avoid doing the work. If you can’t find the work, start by taking your hands off your eyes.

The work is the 20% the 80/20 people are talking about.

It’s the MVP (Most Valuable Part), and the VIP (Very Important Process) on your path to success.

There is no work-around for the work.

Ambitious yet weak-willed people avoid the work like politicians avoid commitments. So many people try to work-around the work. It looks something like this:

The Assignment:

A project that involves a report with a visual aide due in two weeks

The Necessary Tasks:

1. Write the report (AKA the meatiest part of the work)

2. Create the visual aide (AKA the fun part)

What Most People Do:

1. Create a shopping list for materials to create the visual aide

2. Start a committee to decide what kind of visual aide to create

3. Research on the web, get lost on Pinterest,  pour some wine and pass out

4. Read books and watch videos related to creativity

5. Argue about which colors and tools to use

6. Read books and watch videos about color theory

7. Get distracted on Facebook and Instagram

8. In an all-nighter attempt, write a half-assed report

9. Celebrate

A few points here:

  • If this sounds like an episode of your childhood, or childish, it is. It’s sad, but amounts for what many consider “hard work,” or a “day’s work.” It’s not that valuable to the purpose or goal, thus, not much of work at all. Furthermore, we live in a global community where others work very hard on the meaningful parts of the work and grow happier, healthier, and wealthier for doing so. Are you putting in a genuine effort with focus on the activities that will determine your success? Or are you getting lost in what most people do? Newsflash: Most people are not successful. Most people do not achieve many of their goals. Most people avoid the work and whine about their circumstances. Don’t sit idlely to count yourself among them
  • Maybe someone tricked you into believing that showing up with a smile and some glitter is enough to create value that the world will crave. The truth is, it may be enough to get you started, or possibly earn you a friend or two who are attracted to sparkly objects. However, it’s not enough to make you a billionaire, and eventually you’ll come face to face with real work
  • People who care about their success know that the most important task is the real work. That is, the activities that are essential to the desired end result. The rest is mostly window dressing and the mental masturbation based on the idea that we can have fun the entire time and “get stuff done.” It’s true, it’s just that much of that “stuff” is not meaningful. In hard economic times, those doing the window dressing activities are the first to get cut from the team. Are you holding yourself accountable to do the real work?

If so, good for you, let’s rock and roll on to step 5.

5.  Review & Refine

The first time you do something all the way to completion, you can probably make a list of 100 things not to do if you had to do it all over again. Make that list. Also, find ways of repeating your efforts. This ensures you can refine them. It’s important to streamline, to make them easier, cheaper, and to make them better. You can come out with a:

  • Better plan or process
  • A list of the right parts/ingredients/elements/people
  • A list of possible, likely better parts/ingredients/elements/people

A smoother ride, a faster finish, a shinier shine, and on and on. There’s always room for improvements and when it comes to you, you’re worth the extra effort.

Success can teach you as much if not more than failure. Even after successful outcomes, I often note things that did not go according to plan, or things that I could do better. I don’t do this to shame or guilt trip myself, but to remember what to do next time. I get a lot of grief from people who mislabel me as cynical in the face of success. Don’t listen to these types. Don’t aim for perfection, but don’t settle for mediocrity either. Aim for precision. Aim small. Miss small.

Life does not hand out trophies for attendance or participation. Those activities simply afford you the opportunity. You must act and perform to truly achieve your goals.

Check Your Expected Time Requirements at the Door

Despite the highlight reel we see in the movies, Tony Stark did not create Iron Man in 4 minutes, not even in his own fictional world. Steve Jobs didn’t light a fart in the garage and suddenly become a billionaire. It took a lot of time, hard work, refinement, a discerning mind, and persistent attitude.

If everything went up in smoke, it’s important to understand what went wrong and pinpoint the failures. Even if you will never do anything like it again, pinpointing the failures will ensure that you hold yourself accountable for the precise things within your control, without taking on the guilt of the factors beyond your control.

6. Repeat

Start again, refine your efforts and repeat them. Maybe they can be applied to the lives of others, maybe to your own, maybe to your job, or adjacent industries. Look for opportunities to leverage your experience and new found success, and keep growing. The commitment to this process will continue to bring you opportunities and increase your momentum.

Why all the Tough Love?

Sometimes, a bucket of cold water is exactly what you need to wake you up. It’s abrupt, rude, angering, but it certainly can do the trick. The ambitious goals most people set for themselves come with heavy price tags of time, effort and attention. They require discipline, discernment, creative grit, tenacity and a love of the game to see you through. Many haven’t cultivated the necessary skills yet. They are exploited for their ambitions by people who pretend they want to help them, but what they really do is sell them anything, promising an easy path, to help them avoid the idea of real work. It’s a coping mechanism for a crappy life. There is an alternative: Do the work, grow, and help others escape the cycle.

Feel free to point out additional areas that I missed, or got wrong, or share your war stories with me. I love to hear them.

Meeting someone once or twice is pretty easy. Creating a robust professional relationship requires work and TLC. You can run into the same person at a mixer or 3. Connecting in meaningful ways, or even reconnecting, proves to be an elusive skill for most. If you’re looking to reconnect with contacts you’ve met once or twice, or colleagues you know but don’t see often due to your schedule or theirs – look no further. Here’s a sure fire, 8 step, simple formula to get back on their radar. The trick involves sending an email  from your account, adding personal context, an invitation for them to share with you, and give visual bullets of what you’re interested in sharing with them. This doesn’t work if you are trying to spam all of your contacts. However, this  can be very effective if you’re sincerely trying to reconnect and maintain or grow a healthy, professional relationship. Read on!

On a quest to cut down on the noise in our lives, and focus on the things that really serve us, let’s start with the 800 inch Gorilla in the room. Don’t worry. We’re not purists either. We’re not going to recommend that you give up TV altogether. We are going to talk about the nitty gritty of becoming more aware of the cost to benefit ratio and return on investment of that TV time.

The average person watches 5.5 hours a day. A day. Most people don’t even pay that amount of attention time to their work day.

First of all, is this really something you want written on your tombstone? Competitive Couch Surfer, Absentee Parent, Friend and Spouse? Or are there other things you want to be known for? How about your kids?

tv habit

Don’t be a statistic. Sitting on your rump for so long puts you at greater risk for all sorts of disease, and the result is an appearance that no-one is proud of. So consider cutting back on your screen time.

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6 Quick Fixes

1) Unsubscribe & Switch: Consider pulling the plug on cable and trading it for a platform that offers more control and independence like Netflix and Hulu plus. This will take your TV bill down to around $20 a month. You’ll find yourself watching more documentaries and Discovery Channel shows (after binge watching some of your favorites of course) and thus begin a healthier path. This habit shift can help you be more interesting too.

What’s on TV is a major source of casual conversation and ice breakers.

Here’s how to leverage your new Netflix habit in your social and work life:

  • At networking events, parties and mixers, having interesting stories and facts from the Honey Badger documentary will be more memorable than sports statistics.
  • Relive the glory days of TV’s favorite and classic series. This can help your intergenerational skills, and make it easily relate to older or younger generations. Some people watched shows when they were new, some when they were daytime re-runs, but chances are, you can watch Friends, Cosby, Cheers, Wings, and connect with someone on a happy memory.

#MindHack: This is a mind hack too because we experience the shows as if we were in them. We remember and emotionally attach to the shows, ups, downs, and simple times. This alone should inspire you to be more mindful of what you watch, but it can also be used to win friends and influence people.

Hulu plus offers you the latest episodes of your current favorites with less and/or limited commercials. Also, these put you in the driver’s seat with the ability to pause, mute, fast-forward, switch to other programs around your schedule not theirs. You also create your own playlist of sorts which gives you the opportunity to check-in with how you feel after consuming a show and killing time. This tiny bit of gained awareness is a great step to a path of further filtering out noise and things that don’t serve you.

Also you can watch a horrible but popular show fast-forwarding through the worst, and getting the conversational gist, in no-time. Bascially, fast-forward your way through your own highlight reel.  This lowers the cost of your time, energy and emotional investment (TEE) in garbage TV, giving you a competitive edge.

That might sound crazy but consider this: the fast forward habit is on the rise. As our experience with common plot lines and fillers (time spam) increases, so does our connection to that FF button on the remote. In fact there are now several apps that help people share life’s moments in Fast Forward including Instagram’s Hyperlapse and Microsoft’s much smoother, 3d composing software. (See the difference between the two here)

2) Mute – Enjoy Mute Mania - Maybe you’re struggling to turn the TV off altogether. A good transitional step is to get trigger happy with the mute button. Without the sounds, you can allow the TV to become an animated background and begin doing other things while it’s still on. Just like your dogs responding to a doorbell on the TV, your ears and eyes perk up based on all sorts of sounds. That’s why the voice over narrators, and stars on commercials sound so excited. It gets you to pay attention. A muted TV, has less of a pull on your attention and you’re not as much of a moth to the flame. If you glance at the screen and occasionally see a headline catching your attention, you can unmute it and listen in. This can get you started on a mindful, noise filtering practice.

#RelationshipSaver – Spend the extra money on date night and go to a restaurant without TV’s. This will make it much easier to be attentive to the conversation with your loved one.

3) Create a Playlist - We all have our guilty pleasure shows. Try sprinkling a different show in between favorites in that may stir you into activity. For example, perhaps for every 2 episodes of your favorite show, you’ll watch a documentary, nature program, 20 minute exercise tape. It doesn’t mean you have to move to it but the boredom, discomfort, or lack of interest may stir you to disengage from the TV and do something more productive, or it may stir you to play along, learn something new or participate and exercise. Take advantage of any of those feelings and move to do something better.

4) Make half your TV time, multitasking time – Catch up on your honey-do’s. Do laundry. Do dishes. Do push-ups. Do something that involves more physical activity than a typing a keyboard, thumbing at your phone or touching a tablet. Grab a cheap case for your iPad and some velcro adhesive strips, and a attach them to that treadmill you may currently be using to hang your clothes. Walk or jog while you watch – and you’ll be on your way to a healthy return on time invested in TV.

tv get up

5) Block out your TV Time on your calendar - This will help you visualize how much time you’re spending drooling on your couch as you catch up on your favorites, fume at the newsman, or channel surf. This will also allow you to enjoy the time you do set aside to enjoy some television since you are doing so mindfully with awareness of time.

6) Set Reminders - Old habits die hard. One hour or episode leads to another, and before you know it you’re binging on TV. Set a timer to remind yourself to break away and do something else. Use your calendar reminders on your phone. Schedule a next activity after your TV time. Make sure that it’s important. Consider something that will take you outside, like a simple 10 minute walk with your dog, your thoughts or a friend. This will also help increase your awareness of your TV time, and make it easy to appreciate and build healthier habits.

My consumptive TV credentials for those interested – Next to video games, Mountain Dew and Milky Ways, when I was a teenager, I was addicted to TV. I was also 260lbs! I ditched the Mountain Dew and Milky Way’s lost 100lbs, and was still addicted to TV. That’s how addicting it is. I loved it. I still love it but I am much more discerning and critical of what I watch and discerning to identify what content serves me, my goals, priorities, family and environment I want to cultivate. So take it from a former TV zombie, cutting back, switching services and getting picky has really changed my life for the better. I read more. I listen more. I participate more. And when I watch, I watch way more interesting stuff.

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?

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

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.

Military training teaches you self-discipline and focus that can give you an edge in a world of distracted procrastinators. Distraction, procrastination and  mission drift come easy to our brains in any environment, be it in business, in the wild or on the battlefield. On the show Man vs. Wild, survival expert, mountaineer and special forces soldier, Bear Grylls often talks about the distractions and the importance of having the right priorities. In particular, in tough situations, the ability to get mission focused is key.

In survival scenarios, when times are tough and energy is low, get focused on the mission.

The unavoidable truth about getting things done in any scenario, is that it takes discipline and will power to focus the mind on accomplishing a task. There is no secret work-around to cultivating self-discipline. Call attention to your tasks while recognizing the distractions, simply by entering a mission focused mindset.

In life, entrepreneurial and cultural mythology, and Heroik chronicles neglect to tell you all the important stages of self development required before you run off to slay dragons and conquer the world. The facts are that everyone comes ill equipped and most turn around and give up. If you want to succeed you’ll need to pursue life whole heartedly, with a sense of worthiness. People who have a strong sense of worthiness, have a strong sense of love and belonging. The difference between those that have it and those that struggle for it and wonder if they’re good enough is simply belief. People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe that they are worthy of love and belonging.

The way the whole hearted live. The following tips are based on over 8 years of research by Dr. Brene Brown and are pulled from common traits of those who feel worthy and live with a strong sense of love and belonging. So, how do you achieve worthiness?

People were STARING.  They could have been pointing too, though I didn’t actually see it.  You’d think they’d never seen a home-made sledge stacked high with trash being dragged across the beach before…

So that’s a bit of the cart before the horse, so let me begin again.  Nicholas McGill (lastofthechivalrous) started things off.  Thinking about it, he started way before the actual event, by signing up for the Tough Mudder scheduled for September 2011.  I followed and joined his team as part of my Path To Fitness last year.  Micah and Dave rounded out the team and we all committed to training.  Nicholas wanted to get some team building going, and suggested a Road Trip to Point Reyes.  Micah and I joined in and off we went.

The first step to become Heroik is to cultivate bravery.

Recklessness is bravery to excess. Cowardice is a lack thereof. Much of the world prefers cowards. We believe it’s better to edge a bit towards the reckless side of the bravery continuum as often times, the worst case scenarios aren’t nearly as perilous as the world would have you believe.They’re easier to manage and will work for less. At Heroik, we have a mantra that allows us to Get Heroik each and every day. We remind ourselves to bring our own bravery; to own and control our efforts and outcomes in life. Every challenge we undertake, every project and adventure, the least we can do is to be responsible and courageous enough not to look to others when it is time to get things done, have a good time, share epic experiences and lend a hand. We bring our own bravery, lead by example; get in there and get dirty.

Picture Batman robbed of his utility belt. He’s still  more than able whoop your ass, solve the riddle and save the day. You too, should aspire to cultivate your skills to the point that  armed with only the most primitive of tools, locked in an 8×10 room with a magic marker, you (your ideas, filters, lenses and processes) can be just as dangerous and powerful. Do you want more mental clarity, focus, less anxiety and stress? This year, this month, this week, try something different and get back to the basics. Brush the dust off a pen and paper, visit ye olde staples, follow along, get involved, and  measure your gains. Spend the $10 on a pad of paper and something to write with. I recommend a moleskine notebook and a good pen. Just as a fool trusts his life to a weapon, do not place ultimate faith in your gadgetry. I’m not anti-tech. I’m a thrivalist.  Read on if you want to become a bare knuckle  biz champion of  productivity.

supercharge your self worth

It is an often said but poorly understood notion, that many if not most people in your life will try to discourage, devalue and chip away at your self-worth. Due to toxic patterns, poor upbringings, selfish behavior, and other environmental and psychological factors, the masses try to bring you down. While exploring this subject, I took a deeper look at these things, and decided to share my thoughts as to why people do this, what you can do stop them and yourself from , and how to cultivate and nourish your own sense of self-worth.
What does a healthy sense of self worth get you? A solid sense of self worth can go a long way to helping you earn more money at work, improve personal relationships, and reinforce your ability to  have enough self respect to say “No, I don’t have to”

A  healthy sense of self worth also helps to:

  1. Identify abuse and toxic patterns in your mind and in your relationships with others.
  2. Demand more for your time. This may mean more money, more focused attention, more balanced role in a relationship, or just more.
  3. Empower you with the ability to respectfully decline to do things that you don’t want to do; the power to confidently opt out.

The Book of the Five Rings is a work written by a legendary swordsman and artist, Miyamoto Musashi. Active during what is called the Kyoto Renaissance 1550-1650, Musashi traveled throughout Japan studying many different styles of Martial Arts and many walks of life. He met, studied and conversed with masters and leaders of his day, and with a critical eye and focus on fluidity and effectiveness, he adapted only that which would achieve victory. His style and skill led him to over 60 victories, which is an astounding feat, even for a master in those days.  On October 10, 1643, in an act of purification after sensing a fatal disease,  Musahsi, climbed Mount Iwato in the province of Higo on the island of Kyushu, and began to write The Book of Five Rings. He intended  his work to be a guide for his followers he had trained face to face. In this book, Musashi offers timeless advice on  navigating life, training the mind and defeating an adversary.

Today, The Book of the Five Rings is required reading for Harvard Business students and is of tremendous value to those with sense enough to see beyond material, linear, checkerboard solutions to life’s challenges. Below is an assortment of important lines from the book, along with a few modern thoughts strewn in here and there. As with many works of the East, this isn’t simply a book you read. The knowledge in this book is best captured by taking the time to read, practice, study, re-visit and re-read.

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