What I Have Been Up To

It is a new year and a chance to make a bigger, better more improved version of the self you have always wanted to create.  We all have goals and resolutions we want to achieve and strive for.  We tell ourselves this year is going to be different than any other year and we start off the year strong, sticking to our resolutions and keeping our promises.  Chances are our resolutions slowly start to fade out and before we know it we are back to our usual routine, not getting better and still miles away from our goal.  My question is why?  Why do we start out with so much hope, ambition and promise only to go back to our own ways?  Why do we not stick to our new changes and routines and go back to what we were doing?

My answer is comfort and drive.  We as humans do not like to be uncomfortable and will always resort to what is most comfortable to us.  Some of us are comfortable being overweight and stuck in a job we hate because the steps we need to take in order to get to where we want are uncomfortable.  It is uncomfortable giving up the foods we love to eat and for some it is uncomfortable to exercise so we are better off not trying and staying in our comfort zone.  Some of us may be unhappy with the jobs we have yet we continue to go to them week after week because we are comfortable there and anything new or different is scary and unsettling.  I heard a statistic the other day that 85% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs, 85%!  That means out of 10 people you talk to, 8 of them are unhappy with their job.  To me that seems like quite an alarming rate and brings me to my next point which is drive.  We have to be driven to make the changes, we have to be driven to get uncomfortable, we have to be driven to make the sacrifices necessary in order to get what you want to get and be where you want to be.  How driven are you to lose that 10-20 lbs, to get a new job, to make a million dollars, to find a spouse or start a new company?  What are you willing to give up and sacrifice to get there?  Life is hard and can beat you down if you let it but you have to have the drive and ambition to be better today than you were yesterday.  Write down your goals on paper, read them everyday and take action.  We only have one chance at this life so let us make the most of it and go after our dreams.  It is time to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Before the new year was even upon us, I started doing things that were a little uncomfortable for me but would also greatly benefit me in the long run.  I have been working on improving myself and being the best I can be and taking the necessary steps every day to get me there.  Here is what I have been working on lately:

Chasing my dream.

For those of you  who are Frontdive Fitness readers, you may remember I posted awhile back about how I  am changing careers.  I am chasing after my dream of becoming a firefighter here in South Carolina.  After thinking about my past work history and talking with some fellow firefighters, I concluded I have all the necessary qualities to become a great fireman.  I have always had a passion for helping others and I figured what better way than helping people in a time of need by joining the fire department.  The journey on this process has been a long, ongoing, tedious and patience forming one to say the least.  I have taken several of the fire fighter physical and written assessment tests and have gone on a couple of interviews.  I have my goals set high and I will not stop until I reach my goals.  I will continue to grind it out and go on interviews until I get hired on.

Meditation.

I have to say, adding this to my daily routine has helped me tremendously.  When I wake up in the morning after I do my normal routine, I sit down and meditate for 10-15 minutes.  I focus on a deep nourishing breath in and a relaxing, stress relieving breath out.  Sometimes I think about breathing in for a 4-6 count, holding for a 2 count and exhaling for a 6-8 count and other times I think about joy, happiness or abundance on the inhalation and worry, stress or anxiety on the exhalation.  I found after meditating for a week, I am more patient, less anxious, less stressed and I can handle more stressful situation better.  I found my temperament has improved dramatically and I no longer get mad, upset or frustrated at things I cannot control.  Meditation definitely helps ground you and makes you become more aware of the mind, body  and spirit connection.  Also sometimes, I enjoy pulling up a guided meditation on Youtube and have someone lead me through this amazing experience.  I highly suggest adding this to your daily routine and you will be amazed how much it benefits you.

Brain Games.

Just like exercise is important for your body and health, so are games to activate and train your brain.  Fellow co-workers have turned me on to a game called Lumosity which you can download for free on your phone.  Lumosity is a brain game app in which it tests your memory, problem solving, attention, flexibility and speed.  One neat thing about the game is it gives you 3 different games to play each day and it tracks your progress so you able to see if you are improving or if you just don’t have it today.  Also, you become aware of different areas you are not so great in and try to improve on them.  I am terrible on any of the memory recall games and I know this so I challenge myself to improve.

Motivation/Success Videos.

If you have a quick minute or 10, I highly recommend listening to some type of motivational, inspirational or successful video or audio clip.  If you type in motivation, success or inspiration into youtube you will have a endless supply of clips to pump you up, engage you and make your mind strong/er.  We all need some motivation and think of this as a way to give yourself your own personal pep talk.  I usually like to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes and listen to several different clips to inspire me for the day and to help me get on my path to achieve greatness.  The power of the mind is the most important and critical area to work on.  We have to believe in ourselves and know that yes, we can make a difference, we can be successful, we will be successful, there is no stopping us and we will not quit until we win.  A couple of people I would highly suggest taking the time to listen to is Les Brown, Zig Ziglar and Lewis Howes.  Les Brown is one of my new favorites and I enjoy listening to him everyday.

Gratitude Journal.

Everyday take the time to write down at least one thing you are grateful for.  You will be amazed on how great this make you feel, how thing really aren’t that bad, how blessed we really are and how much we have to be grateful for.  We are all blessed to wake up everyday with a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, clothes on our back, money in our pockets and food in our house.  Never take anything for granted, count your blessings and write down what you are grateful for.

Let us start to take the necessary steps to improve our lives.  The time is now, don’t wait, don’t delay, take action and start taking control over your life.  The path to greatness is a long, winding and bumpy one but it is worth it once you get there.

 

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24 Healthy Weekly Habits of Mine

My list of 24 Healthy(ish?) Weekly Habits I perform 

  1. I slam a glass of lemon water after waking up
  2. I drink bullet proof coffee
  3. I floss daily
  4. I listen to motivational and inspirational podcasts
  5. I get outside often
  6. I go barefoot as much as possible
  7. I play with my kids everyday
  8. I roll out my arches with a golf ball
  9. I love reading and try to read for at least 20 minutes everyday
  10. I look for ways to incorporate exercise into my day
  11. I always take the stairs
  12. I take a shot of apple cider vinegar several times a week
  13. I eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and eggs everyday
  14. I don’t do long, slow cardio
  15. I love full body, multi-joint workouts
  16. I really only exercise 2-3 days a week
  17. I love golf and walk the course every time I can
  18. I hate stretching and doing crunches
  19. I say out loud everything I am grateful for everyday
  20. I take time out everyday and focus on my breathing
  21. I fast for 15-18 hours a couple of days a week
  22. I realize how blessed I am and how wonderful life is
  23. I say ‘I love you’ often to my wife and my daughters
  24. I give my family kisses and hugs for hello and goodbye

S.W.E.A.T. Pledge

I am always in constant pursuit of motivating and inspiring articles, poems, videos and whatever else is takes to get us fired up, inspired, thinking a little differently and grateful for everything we have.  We should always be happy, grateful and thankful and we all have a choice on what side of the bed we are going to get up from, the positive side or the negative.  Life is too short to always be on the negative, always worrying, always stressing over the little things that are insignificant.  Happy, positive and full of life are the way we should all be going through life.  As long as you are still living and waking up each and every day, we should all be grateful.  Grateful to be here, grateful to have your health, grateful to have a job, grateful to be able to provide for your family and grateful experience all of the joys life has to offer.

Mike Rowe, the host of the show Dirty Jobs created the S.W.E.A.T. pledge that stands for everything I, and everyone else should believe in.  I believe we all need to print this out and read it everyday and start to incorporate it daily

“THE S.W.E.A.T. PLEDGE”

(Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)

1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

 7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

Take the pledge, adhere to it and continue to make your life great in all areas of your life.

11 Powerful Ways to Motivate Yourself

When you awake in the morning, what is it that drives you through the day?  What makes you get out of bed, attack the day, live inspired and enjoy your wonderful life?  I want to know what motivates you and how your progress towards those goals are going.  I am driven everyday but my need to helps other as much as I can, to be the best loving and caring father and husband I can be, to be the greatest person I know how to be, to be caring, loving, joyous to all, and to enjoy my life with as much love and laughter as I can.  Sure there are other goals like saving money, moving to another state and buying a house but those are minor compared to the above.  If your mind, body and soul are in peace and harmony then all else will fall into places.  Remember the power of the law of attraction with like attracts like and use the power of it by focusing on nothing but good thoughts all day long and good will come back to you.  Believe in yourself.  Start every morning by saying out loud everything big or small you are grateful for.  Say your mantras, your goals, your hopes and dreams out loud everyday and wait for the world to work in your favor.  Spend some time in complete silence everyday to quiet your mind.  Take 10 deep slow belly breaths to slow your mind, your heart, your body and regain focus.  You will be amazed how effective and rejuvenating 10 slow breaths can be.  Write your goals down and post them somewhere you can see to read twice a day.  Stay focused, stay hungry, stay humble and enjoy everything you have and be grateful to be alive today.

Here is a fantastic post I found from Red Lemon Club on: The 11 Most Powerful Ways to Motivate Yourself Today.  It is amazing and you will see different areas you can improve in.  Have a fantastically motivating Monday everyone.  Happy St. Patty’s day to everyone.  Celebrate responsibly.

 

A Precious Human Life

A Precious Human Life- HH Dalai Lama

A Precious Human Life:
Every day, think as you wake up:

“Today I am fortunate to have woken up.
I am alive, I have a precious human life.
I am not going to waste it.

I am going to use
all my energies to develop myself,
to expand my heart out to others,
to achieve enlightenment for 
the benefit of all beings.

I am going to have
kind thoughts towards others.
I am not going to get angry,
or think badly about others.

I am going to benefit others
as much as I can.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

 
 
 

Life is Hard, Life is Difficult

Today’s Monday Motivation comes to us from a man named Dr. Moses, an author of a book called Power Principles for Purposeful Living.  He gives speeches at Toastmaster meetings and I found this one and thought it was quite fitting.  Life is hard and difficult but the more you realize that it is, the faster and quicker you can move on from it and the less it will kick you down.  It is all about perspective and the attitude you have about the situations and events which happen to you.  We all have the power, energy and the know how to be successful and happy in any endeavor we come across and it all comes down to our state of mind.

Life is Hard, Life is Difficult

My message today is titled Life is hard” and it’s about how to live a great life despite the fact that life is difficult.

Everybody wants to be happy in life. We all want to live a perfect life. We want that great job or a successful business. We want to be married to Mr. Right or Mrs Perfect. We want to have great kids. We want to have friends that stick by us come rain or shine. We want to be able to have all the material things life has to offer and have all our problems just disappear.

Everybody wishes for good life. It may be at different levels. One person may define a good life one way and another may describe it another way. For one person a good life may be just having three meals a day and a roof over their head. For another it may be having a huge mansion and a couple of million dollars in the bank.

There are different levels and meanings to what a good life is. But whatever you definition of it, there is perhaps one thing that you may have in common with many other people. You might want that good life stress free. You would like to have it without having to work so hard or struggle so much for it. That is a normal human expectation. Nobody likes to struggle through life.

Unfortunately, that is also what may be stopping you from having that great life. The thought of all that work, all that planning, overcoming hurdles and resistance is enough to make a lot of people give up before they even start. It can all seem too overwhelming, and for many it all just doesn’t seem be worth it. It’s like being drained of energy just at the thought of running a marathon. Before you are even at the starting line the thought of all that running just scares you and tires you so much mentally you just decide not to go for it. It’s just too hard.

One of my favourite books is titled “The Road Less Travelled” by M. Scott Peck. The first sentence in the book is:

“Life is difficult.”

Now, if you pick up a book and the first thing it tells you is “life is difficult” you may just think “is this book going to get reassuring and encouraging after such a start?

But, as Peck goes on to explain, once you accept that life is hard, it no longer becomes an issue that it’s difficult. He says:

“Once we know that life is difficult- once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.”

In life you will have difficulties getting anything you want. It is very rare to get anything in life without some degree of effort. Only if you win the lottery will you have everything without effort, and even then you would have had to go out and buy the lottery ticket anyway so it’s not free at all.

Life is hard – your boss will not always be the nicest person in the world. Your job will have challenges that you did not foresee. Your workmates will sometimes be a pain. You won’t always get the salary and recognition that you want and deserve at work. Your clients may not be the nicest people in the world.

Life is hard – your kids won’t always be the ideal kids you want them to be. Your wife or husband may not be as perfect as you thought they were when you married them – in fact I can guarantee you they are not. Your home may not be the ideal place you would want it to be. You may not the perfect wife or husband that you once thought you were.

Life is hard – running a business is not as easy as you thought it would be. No one is lining up to bring money to your business, even though you are a really nice person and your business has great products to offer.

I could go on and on with these examples, but the bottom line is that “Life is hard.”

I don’t mean to say in all this that you don’t deserve a break. I am not saying that you are not justified in thinking that you deserve more than what you have gotten from life and the world to this point.

I am not saying that you are not justified in feeling the way that you feel. I know you have had it tough at times. I know that at times you feel that it’s all very confusing and just too hard. I mean you have worked very hard. You’ve done all that you possibly could in your life whether it is at work or at home. But things just don’t seem to have worked out as well as you had planned or hoped. It all just seems to have gone wrong and you don’t know or understand how or why.

But that’s okay. It’s normal. That’s what being human is all about. That’s what life is all about. Life is hard. Accept that.

Once you do, you will feel better about your circumstances. Then you won’t think of your situation as anything but what is common to every human being. Then you will think of your situation as a part of life. You will no longer beat yourself up about how bad things are or how you are not doing so well in one area or another. You will realise that you are only human. You make mistakes just like everybody else. You are not perfect just like everybody else.

But don’t stop there. Accepting that life is hard does not mean that you accept every circumstance and simply go with the flow.

You see, there are two sides to this story. There is another side to this coin. On the one side of the coin is where you have the words “life is hard” inscribed, but if you turn that coin over you will five very small but powerful words. They read:

“You can make it better”

That is one of the beautiful things about life. You can make your life better. You have total responsibility for what you do and how you respond to the fact that life is hard. As the now cliché saying goes:

“If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Accepting that life is hard comes with accepting that you have the responsibility to make it better. Not only do you have the responsibility to make it better, you have the ability and the power to make it better.

You can make it better – become a better employee and someone worth giving more responsibilities at work. The promotions and the better pay are sure to follow one way or another.

You can make it better – learn how to raise better kids and have a happier home. Become the good husband or wife you would like your spouse to be.

You can make it better – learn how to turn that business around. Gain the extra skills you need to run a successful business.

You see, the only person you have any control over is yourself. You cannot change other people. Let’s take the example of marriage for moment. Notice that I did not say you should turn your husband or spouse into an ideal spouse. I said you should become the ideal husband or wife you want your spouse to be. Then, once you become such a person you may have several choices as to how to relate to your spouse.

Firstly, once you are as near perfect a spouse as anyone can be your husband or wife might see the difference and also decide to change for the better or they may just change naturally as a response to your new attitude. Secondly, if they don’t change, perhaps you will have reached a level of maturity where you are content and satisfied with who they are and their faults no longer bother you. Or thirdly, in some cases, such as in abusive relationships or in relationships that are a risk to your health, you may reach a level of self acceptance and courage where you are able to leave that abusive or unfaithful partner.

Whatever the case may be, this example illustrates one other important fact about teh fact that life is hard and taking responsibility. That is:

“You always have choices”

No matter what situation you are in, you have a choice. No matter how bad things are, you have a choice. No matter what you think you can or cannot do, you have a choice.

Now it may not be an easy choice, by any means. It may be a very difficult choice and the road you decide to take may be a tough one. It may push you way out of your comfort zone. It may mean that in the initial period your life may get even harder than it already is. But it is a choice nonetheless.

A lot of times you will actually find that the choices are not as hard as you thought they were. You may just have shut off your mind from seeing those choices and possibilities because you thought you had no choice. Once you become open to the idea that you are responsible for your life and that you have choices, you will find that you are no longer stuck just because life is hard.

At that point, life is still hard, but you have the final say. Your life becomes more meaningful and purposeful. 


 

 

I am Thankful for…..

I am thankful for:

Life and every day I get to spend and enjoy on this beautiful planet.  For waking up every day, for the air I breathe to give me life, for my brain, heart and lungs to work non stop without me asking them to.  For water, because without it there would be no life.  For all my senses to work, to have all my limbs, for my health and by amazing machine of a body.  I am thankful for all of the wonderful nutrients I eat to nourish my body to give it vitality, energy, life and longevity.  I am thankful for the clothes on my back, the food in my refrigerator, the warm safe place I get to sleep every night, the money in my pocket, the car that transports me where ever I need to go safely, the job I have and the bills I have to pay.  I am thankful for my two amazing beautiful daughters who give me so much life, hope, motivation, inspiration and love, with them in my life is a true blessing.  I am thankful for lovely wife, my rock, my friend, my life partner, my babe and the great mother she is.  I am thankful for all of my family and all of my friends, you all are a blessing to have in my life and partly make me who I am today.  I am thankful for all of the life experiences I have had, the good and the bad, the places I have been and all the memories I have created.  I am thankful for my schools, my education, my certifications and my passion choice of fitness.  I am thankful for the sun, the wonderful marvelous sun with all of it’s amazing sunrises and sunsets giving us beautiful pictures to enjoy daily.  For all of the living things on this planet from the trees, to the grass, to the flowers, to the mountains and all of the landscapes which make this place the greatest place to live.  I am thankful for all of my clients who continue to train with me, who believe in me and who are loyal to me, you all help me support my loving family.  I am thankful for the sport of diving which has taken me many places, made me many lifetime friends and has brought me so much joy.  I am thankful for life, love, happiness, success, victories, triumphs, good days, great days, patience, joy, kindness, random acts of kindness and pretty much all life has to offer me and has given.

Lastly I am thankful for myself and more importantly all of you amazing readers who continue to read my blog.

Thank you everyone.  Thank you world.

Happy Thanksgiving!