When your mind and body wrestle who wins?

The human is the most fascinating of all machines. It is a walking, talking, taco-eating miracle made of 2 distinct parts.

First, there is the physical part. The body. It’s the part of the human that we can see and touch. (With consent.) It is the most obvious part. But it is also the least interesting.

The second part of the human is the mind. This is where the thinking takes place. This is where humans are most interesting and differentiated. If you think people look different on the outside, you would be shocked by how different people’s minds operate. For proof, see the new Netflix series Dahmer. (Or just take my word for it and you will sleep better tonight.)

For better or worse, your mind and body are married for life. Like Thunder and Lightening, Brooks and Dunn, or Mike & Ikes. Your life is a result of how well your mind and body work together.

The key to the mind-body collaboration is who is in control. Because both highly successful people and highly unsuccessful people know what they should do. The difference is that successful people do what they know they should and unsuccessful people don’t.

The Question

Who is in control, your mind or your body?

Who determines if you get out of bed or hit the snooze button?

Who determines if you thumb through your phone or work on that important project?

Who determined whether you exercise?

Or eat the way you know you should?

Or take any action at all?

If your mind is not telling your body what to do, your body is in control.

Mind Your Mind.

Your mind knows your goals and vision. It knows what needs to happen to get there. Your body doesn’t have goals beyond rest, food, pleasure, and safety. So if your mind has goals that expand beyond those 4 areas, it has to be in charge, or you will never achieve your goals. Unless your goal is to be featured on My 600-Pound Life.

When you experience moments of weakness or laziness, recognize that you are experiencing a battle for control between your mind and body. If your body wins, you lose. But if your mind is in control, and can make your body do what it needs to do, there is no limit to what you can achieve.

Key Takeaway

The key to long-term success, accomplishment and happiness is that your mind must be in control. Your thinking, planning and visioning must lead to the right actions. It is not enough to think and know. Accomplishment and progress come through doing. So provide your body with the fuel and sleep it needs. Then let your mind take over to accomplish the rest.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

How to tap into the amazing superpower you were born with.

When I was a kid I loved watching Saturday morning cartoons. Especially cartoons about superheroes. One of the defining characteristics of a superhero is their signature superpower. Like super strength, super stretchiness, super spideriness or super soup-making abilities.

But all humans have an innate superpower that enables them to transform into an amazingly powerful human. That superpower is your ability to evolve.

This is not the type of evolution that a species experiences over a series of generations. Like when humans lost their tails. Or the way texting is going to evolve us into a species with super pointy thumbs.

This type of super evolution is available to every human during their own lifetime. Which means that you have the ability to dramatically transform yourself. No phone booth or super suit required.

You can transform yourself physically, through exercise and significantly increase your strength, endurance, flexibility and pain tolerance.

You can transform your thinking through self-education, reading, classes, accumulated experience and knowledge.

You can transform yourself mentally, by developing your resilience, grit, and determination.

You can transform your income by learning how to provide ever-increasing value to others.

You can evolve into a more compassionate human by recognizing the evolutionary journey others are on.

You can develop tremendous courage, kindness, and creativity. As well as other positive attributes that don’t start with a C or K.

As a human, you can develop great strengths in any area of your life. Your potential is unlimited. So think like a superhero. Because you have the ability to evolve into the most amazing human you can imagine.

Key Takeaway

Your ability to evolve is your great superpower. Push yourself to grow and improve every day. Recognize that strain, pain and adversity trigger your growth. Embrace challenges that force you to adapt. They are gifts that continuously generate a better, stronger, smarter version of yourself.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Spend quality time with people who know things you don’t.

From the moment you were born you were programmed to grow stronger and smarter every day. Which is why you don’t come out of the womb with a driver’s license and a scalpel.

One of the most important ways you become a stronger, more capable machine is by simply interacting with other people. In fact, you learn more from other humans than from any other source. Even if you have a killer set of encyclopedias.

When you engage with humans they add:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Insights
  • Perspective
  • Confidence
  • Connections
  • Resources
  • Joy
  • Entertainment
  • Ideas
  • Tools
  • Support
  • Kindness
  • Happiness
  • Inspiration
  • Motivation
  • Charcuterie (Definitely spend more time with anyone who offers a solid spread.)

Key Takeaway

Seek out human interaction. When you spend time with people who are ahead of you on your development journey they naturally pull you forward. Make sure to share with others too. You have gifts and knowledge that offer great value to those around you. And everyone improves in the process.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

The best first step to take to be highly successful.

Last week I was a guest on the ContenderCast Podcast with host Justin Honaman, Justin interviewed me about entrepreneurship, and the things I have learned by launching and running the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry. We discussed lessons from my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? And we talked about his transition from Diet Coke to Coke Zero. (This paragraph has been brought to you by Coke Zero.)

I can’t wait for the podcast episode to drop. I expect it will change my life the way Sara Blakely’s life changed when she went on the Oprah Winfrey show. So don’t be surprised if the world starts wearing my undergarments too.

Advice

One of the great questions Justin asked me was, ‘What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?’

My answer was clear and instant:

Spend time with people who have already done it.

But that advice is not specifically for want-to-be entrepreneurs. Or wantrepreneurs.

It is the best advice I can share about any type of success and achievement.

The best way to achieve a massive goal is to spend time with people who have already done what you want to do.

When you spend time with superstars their mindset rubs off on you. Unlike tickets on the Polar Express, their mindset is transferrable.

Spending time with high achievers is like going to a Success Optometrist. They help you see success in much greater detail. You see the actions they take, the mindset they have adopted, and the relationships they develop and maintain.

When you see those things up close you realize that you can do all of those things too. Suddenly, your belief in what is possible expands. Your risk tolerance increases. Your view of money transforms. And your excuses fade away.

There is an intelligence that increases with increasing levels of success. It can appear mysterious or unattainable from a distance. But once you have a front-row seat to higher levels of success, it demystifies the process. It’s like seeing how magic tricks are actually performed. You quickly realize there is no magic. There are simply skills developed, practiced, and perfected until it looks like magic.

Key Takeaway

Seek out successful people. Step into their orbit and let their positive peer pressure propel you. Notice the way they act, read, and think. Modify their approaches to your needs and style. Soak up the education and inspiration. It will change your life like nothing else can. Because when you are close to those who model the behavior you want to see in yourself you can’t help but replicate it. It’s like a language immersion program. Only the language is success. Soon you’ll notice others who want to get close to you and learn how you do what you do. That’s when you know it works.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

10 activities to do away from work that make you better at work.

Happy Labor Day! This is the day we set aside to honor working people like you. Your work is important and noble. It helps you pay for your groceries. And therapy. But today I hope you don’t work at all.

Instead, consider these 10 non-working activities that make you better on the job.

  1. Rest Recover, refresh, and renew. Take time to rest so that you don’t burn yourself out at work. (Yes, I realize that activity #1 is technically an inactivity.)

2. Exercise This keeps your body strong. A strong body is a strong asset during the work day. And if you can run a 5K, rock climb or lift Instagramable weight, then stapling the coversheet on your TPS report should be a breeze.

3. Read: Reading helps you discover new ideas. It inspires. It sparks creativity. It expands your worldview. It enables you to bring new thinking and perspective to work. And like Southwest Airlines, reading helps you get away.

4. Socialize: Develop and maintain relationships to improve your mental well-being. Socialize to expose yourself to new opportunities in a clothes-on-kind-of-way. All of this contributes to your workplace success.

5. Sleep: Experiment to discover your optimal amount of sleep. Then hit your number as often as you can. Getting the quantity of sleep your body loves will help you wake up ready for the world, like an 80’s band. And ready for the work day ahead. Waking up each day feeling strong and rested for the work day ahead is a beautiful way to start your day.

6. Travel: When you see new things it exposes you to new ideas. It leads to a greater understanding of the world and all of its beautiful diversity. Which contributes to creative thinking, problem-solving, and points with your travel loyalty program. (You did sign up for the loyalty program, right?)

7. Spend time with nature. Spend time away from the human-made world to recharge and gain perspective on life. It is a great way to slow down, destress and break out your cute outdoor clothing. While you are out there you have time to think. And thinking is the worker’s most valuable activity.

8. Volunteer: Offer your time, talent, and energy to do meaningful work without pay. It reminds you of the ways your work can create a better, more caring world. It reminds you that there are many ways to add value and contribute. And that there are many ways to be compensated for your efforts that are not monetary.

9. Laugh: Laughing is living. It relieves stress. It makes you feel like everything will be alright. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. See the world as a great comedy and your perspective will contribute immensely to your enjoyment of both your work and play.

10. Spend time with your family: Make sure to balance your commitment to work with a commitment to family time. Spend quality time with your spouse and children. (If you have them.) Spend time with your parents and siblings. (If you have them.) It will remind you why you are working in the first place. (Especially when you see your kids’ smiling, crooked teeth in need of orthodontia.)

Key Takeaway

You don’t become a better teammate, employee, or leader by spending all of your time at work. You become better away from work. Use your time off to become a better, smarter, more relaxed human. Up your creativity, connectedness, and curiosity away from work. Then show up to work a little better every day. Now go make the most of your Labor Day. I want to hear all about it on Tuesday morning.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Choose your ultimate destination and all your decisions become clear.

When you travel you start with a destination in mind. Once you know where you want to go the planning begins. You make decisions about how you will get to the destination. Maybe you will take a plane, a train, or an automobile. Maybe you will ride in the back of a truck with the Kenosha Kickers.

When you start with a clear destination you develop clear ideas for getting there with your available resources. Like Claritin Clear.

But most people never declare their destination. It is the critical first step that informs every step that follows. Without the decision, you will run in circles. Or stand still. Like a U2 song.

Declare your destination now.

Where are you ultimately trying to go?

Once you’ve chosen your destination you can plan your path. You can determine the time, actions and resources needed for your adventure. Every one of your decisions will be clearer. You will know when to jump on opportunities and when to let them pass you by. You can evaluate every decision you make by whether it will get you closer to your end goal.

Key Takeaway

Think hard about your destinations. Where do you want your life to go? Where is your career taking you? What is your family goal? What about your finances, health, relationships and religion? Determine where you want to end. Make all of your decisions to get you to the destination. With a clear endpoint in mind, you will enjoy the entire journey.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

The amazing moment that made writing my book worth the effort.

In December of 2021, I published my first book titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? It takes a lot of effort to birth a book. The process is like running 3 marathons back to back to back. There is a writing marathon, a publishing marathon, and a promoting marathon. And the promoting marathon only ends when you quit. And I’m no quitter.

Is all that work worth it?

I wrote my book to help share the best life lessons I have learned with anyone interested in growth and self-improvement. I didn’t write the book for money. I didn’t write it to become famous. I simply felt that I had accumulated a valuable library of life lessons. And I felt that by sharing those lessons I could make my own valuable contribution to the world. Because teaching the world to sing and buying the world a Coke were already taken.

The feedback I have received has been extremely rewarding. Readers as young as 15 and into their 80s have told me how much they have enjoyed the book. I assume the 90+ crowd is too busy to provide feedback.

Leigh Peine

Shortly after my book was first published by Ripples Media, my client-friend Leigh Peine, Senior Director of Marketing and Client Solutions at Education Credential Evaluators (ECE), contacted me to say that she wanted to order copies of the book for her team to read like a book club. She then requested that after they all read the book we gather for a book talk.

Fast Forward

We gathered for our book talk 2 weeks ago. The ECE marketing team brought their copies of the book with them for me to sign. It was amazing to see a team show up at a talk with copies of the book that they had already read.

The questions asked by the group were different and deeper than they are at talks where people are first introduced to the book through the talk.

But the moment that stood out to me was when I saw Marybeth Gruenewald’s book.

Marybeth and her Technicolor Dream Book.

Marybeth, the Director of Global Initiatives at ECE not only read the book, she made the book her own. She flagged new and interesting ideas that stood out to her. She made notes. She highlighted lines. She turned the book into a beautiful piece of art. And her liberal use of Post-it Notes will likely impact 3M’s Q3 revenue numbers.

I was absolutely stunned when I saw Marybeth’s book. Not just because it was so interesting to look at, which it was. But this copy of the book visually demonstrated where a reader found value. Where they encountered ideas worth remembering. Where a new thought had reached them. Or where a new phrasing of an idea connected.

This book visually represents what I hoped would happen to people as they read. Their minds would light up and expand. Their brains would grow and add dimension, depth and texture. Their thoughts would brighten, and lighten and lift. (Oh my!)

Marybeth’s copy of the book is beautiful. I wish I owned it. (Perhaps I will make a replica of it in art class.)

Thank you Marybeth for bringing your copy of the book to the talk. Seeing it was one of the great pleasures of my author’s adventure.

Thank you Leigh for sharing the book with your team and organizing a talk. It was more rewarding for me than I can express. (Although I suppose this blog post probably expresses it fairly well. I’m just a big fan of hyperbole.)

Thank you Greg Haag, Leigh Peine, Melissa Ganiere, Marybeth, Zak Holochwost, Whitney Mosby and (joining via Zoom) Kimberly Hejec for your time and your interest in the book!

Key Takeaway

Share what you know. Pass along your lessons and learning and ideas. If it works for you, chances are it will help others too. We can all benefit from hearing new and differing perspectives. If you lead a team, find ways to introduce new ideas to keep your team learning and growing. Like Leigh Peine did for her team at ECE.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

What great lessons would you learn if you met the ideal you?

Life is a choose-your-own-adventure game. Every moment of every day, you get to decide what you do next. You choose action vs non-action. You choose the type of action. You choose where you are. And who you are with. You even choose which way to put the toilet paper roll on the holder. Which determines whether or not you are a heathen.

Imagine that with every choice, you are splitting into multiple versions of yourself. There is a version of you that said yes and no, who did and did not with every choice you ever had the opportunity to make.

Every one of the possible choices led to a different possible you.

Now imagine that once you reach the afterlife, you are all there. All of the iterations of you spawned by different decisions converge at You-a-palooza. Even Death Row you would be there, fresh from the electric chair. You would recognize them by their hair. And the spark in their eyes.

Super You

You would meet the version of you that accomplished the most and made the most good decisions. You would meet the you who took the most actions, who put themself in the right place at the right time, and spent time with the best people.

Think about how that person compares to the you that you are today.

Would you be very alike, or very different?

What could you learn from them?

This is a semi-creepy photo that semi-represents the Multi-You Concept.

Now, consider what you can do to get closer to that version of yourself, starting today.

Would you:

  • Take new actions?
  • Make different decisions?
  • Update your goals and decision-making criteria?
  • Move?
  • Change jobs or careers?
  • Start that personal project?
  • Volunteer and give?
  • Create a business?
  • Take a leap?
  • Not be afraid?
  • Exercise?
  • Hang out with different people?
  • Stop a bad habit?
  • Pick up new hobbies?
  • Study?
  • Read?
  • Ask questions?
  • Put the donut down?

Key Takeaway

There is a best version of you. You have the opportunity to get closer to that person every day. Consider what they are like, who they are and what they do that makes them so great. Compare yourself to Super You. Let them guide you. And close the gap between the two of you every day.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

What’s worth more than money?

If you are given the choice between money and confidence, choose confidence.

It is more powerful than money.

It is the spark that inspires the attempt.

It is the key that unlocks doors.

It is the fuel that powers success.

It is the wind that fills your sails.

It makes you raise your hand, and feel dry and secure,

Confidence works like faith.

It tells you that if you jump, your parachute will open. (But if you are literally jumping make sure to double-check that you actually have a parachute and not a backpack.)

Confidence minimizes the downside.

Confidence is like fertilizer that will help you grow a bigger life.

And ultimately, confidence helps you make more money.

Where To Find Confidence

Confidence comes from your belief in your own ability, skills and experience.

To increase your confidence, continuously improve your skills and ability. Make more attempts. Experience will follow. And confidence naturally grows.

The important life lesson we can all learn from rivers.

Last week I crossed over 2 rivers I have crossed a thousand times before.

But this time the rivers were different.

Completely different. (Like Stand By Me River and Sidewalk in Front of The Viper Room River.)

I was farther north than I had ever seen the rivers before.

If it weren’t for the signs on the bridges that told me what rivers I was crossing I would have never recognized them.

They were much smaller bodies of water than they are farther downstream.

They were more like creeks.

And if you only knew the creekish version of the rivers you would be shocked to learn what they transformed into 50, 100, or 200 miles south.

I took the fact that this happened with two different rivers as a universal reminder that this is what happens with all rivers. (Even Joan and Philip.)

It was also a reminder that those rivers are like you and me.

We all start small.

But we are designed to grow, strengthen, accumulate and expand as we go.

We get smarter and more capable. We grow in our knowledge and experience. We expand our skills and capabilities.

As a result, our influence, access, and impact grows.

Our potential, momentum, and power increase.

It’s a wonder to witness in someone else.

It’s an amazing feeling inside yourself.

But you have to reflect to recognize it.

Just like visiting the river upstream.

Key Takeaway

Keep going. Keep flowing. Keep growing. Just like the river does. You’ll become more impressive, more impactful and more useful to others as you travel your journey.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.