Positive or Negative, You Are Heard

If I think about what usually happens when I think negatively it pretty much always turns out to have a negative outcome. Very, very rarely does thinking negatively get a positive outcome. Having a positive mindset and thinking positively, on the other hand, usually ends up in some type of positive outcome. So why not think positively? If thinking negatively is almost guaranteed to give you a negative result, and thinking positively gave you even a slight chance to get a positive one, why wouldn’t you think positive? It seems silly to me to do something that will certainly result in a negative outcome, when you can instead do something that could give you even the slightest chance for a positive outcome.

I know it is not always easy. Trust me, I have had my fair share of meltdowns that have gone on for days, sometimes weeks. Often the longer the funk or meltdown the harder it is to get out of.

Well that’s a little demoralizing. Just hold on, there is a glimmer of hope, grab it and hold on.

I have always got out of it. And the amazing thing is that as soon as I bring myself out of that negative mindset or that funk, and I get myself into a positive mindset, nearly every time something good follows.

How I get myself out of a negative mindset depends on the situation. Over the last few years I have found a few different tricks and ways to flip my thinking from negative to positive. I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing individuals in my life and have the honour of still calling many of them my amazing friends and family. These people have been, and always will be, my first, and most important, line of defence against negativity. Unfortunately, they are not always there though. Like when I am on the other side of the world sitting in a hostel in New Zealand freaking out because three months into my year working holiday visa I am running out of money….fast. It is times like these that I need to have a second plan of attack. Or for those times they are there to help but I need to get my act together myself. Like when I am in the middle of the championship game for ultimate frisbee and I have just dropped the frisbee for the third time in a row. It is also times like these that I need to be able to flip that switch myself, because sometimes that first line of defence isn’t enough.

Side note: Just let me say that I am forever grateful to my friends and family for the countless times they have pulled me from the depths of my own self-pity, self-hatred, and self-doubt. BUT. There is something very empowering in being able to get your act together on your own. Sometimes you need that external help from the amazing people in your life but other times you have to flip that switch yourself, and when you do there is an amazing feeling of control. That feeling of being in control of how you feel and what you think, there are very few feelings like that in the world.

So if my first line of defence isn’t there or doesn’t get the reaction out of me that I need, I need to be able to turn it around myself. I have been lucky enough to have had many chances to learn ways to flip it around on my own. My own experiences (some successes and probably more failures than I’d like to admit), tips from friends, and ideas from books I have read have all given me plenty of ideas to experiment with on how to get myself from thinking negatively to thinking positively.

One of the tricks I have used that has worked very well for me recently is to take any time I say “can not”, “do not”, “would not”, or pretty much any time I say “_______ not”, and I flip it. I change the sentence to “I can”, “I will”, or “I am”. I change it to a positive. For example: When making my way down a mountain and saying to myself, “don’t die, don’t die”, all that is heard is “die, die”. So taking that and switching it to “live, live” or “solid footing, solid footing” changes the way I perceive the situation. It takes that negative wording and switches it to something positive, which makes a huge difference.

You have probably heard it before that if you are telling yourself not to do something, most of the time you do exactly what you were saying not to do. So it is being able to switch from telling yourself what not to do and instead telling yourself what to do.

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The other thing I will sometimes think about is what I can learn from the situation. Is there something positive I can take away from the “negative”? Is there an opportunity to learn something so when I try again, I’ve already figured out at least one way not to do it? Looking at it not as a negative situation but a situation in which I am now closer to the successful way than I was before. This lesson does not always show itself right away, it can take multiple days, weeks, or months (even had it take a year once or twice) before I see the lesson in it.

Be patient, look for the lessons in things. Rather than focusing on the failure itself or how horrible it was, think about what may have gone wrong and how you can do better next time, focus on the lesson in it. Rather than focusing on someone’s passing and that they aren’t physically in your life anymore, think about how happy they were, the good times you had together, and the lesson that life is precious and we should enjoy every second we are given. Rather than focus on losing the championship game, think about what you may need to do next time to make sure you come out on top. I am not saying to forget the negatives in your life but I am saying to not focus on them. The negative things are what we learn from, they can make you better in ways success never will, but they will drag you down and hold you there if you focus on them. Look for the lessons and the positives in those negative situations.

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These are the two that I use most often, nearly every time. Sometimes I just need one or the other. Other times I need to use both tactics on my own. Sometimes I even need to use both of my own tactics plus have someone else helping me as well. Every situation is a little bit different but on the same token they all have similarities.

I look at it this way. If every thought I ever had went out into the universe and it came back every time and said “Your wish is my command”. What would I want to be putting out to the universe? The universe doesn’t hear “don’t”, “can’t”, and those sorts of phrases. So when I was coming down the mountain saying “Don’t die, don’t die”, all the universe hears is “Die, die”. Not exactly the message I want to put out there for the universe to say back “Your wish is my command”. That is why having a positive mindset and thinking in a positive way is so important. I would much rather have the universe say back to me “Your wish is my command” after I have said something like “Solid footing” or “One safe step at a time”.

Now some of you may be thinking that I have said positive things before and have wished for positive things before and they didn’t happen. Fair point. I ask you this though. How long did you say those things? Did you actually believe them? Did you put in the work to make them possible? You have to work towards the positive mindset, or positive thing you want to happen. If you just sit there one night and say “I will be okay, and I will find a way to get enough money to get me through this”, and that is it. I hate to break it to you, but that is probably not going to work. The universe doesn’t give handouts. If you believe in what you are thinking or saying, and you work for it, then the universe will help you out. In it’s own time. It doesn’t always work right away. Like I said I have had meltdowns last for weeks, I have had negative mindsets sabotage my progress for years, I have not figured out why that bad thing happened to me until years after. But know this, eventually I found my way out of those meltdowns, I was able to change my mindset to cultivate progress, and I realized why that “bad” thing happened to me. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen right away, but after becoming more positive and having some self-respect, self-belief, and self-love and reminding myself of it every day for weeks, months, and eventually years, then it came out positive.

The mind is a very powerful thing. I don’t pretend to know what the mind is truly capable of but I do know that you can hinder yourself or help yourself based on if you are thinking negatively or positively. When you have a positive mindset and you really believe in yourself and believe you are going the right direction, the things you can achieve are beyond your wildest imaginations. And when something doesn’t go according to plan, you don’t panic and start doubting yourself because you believe in yourself and that it will be right in the end. If you believe, if you work for it, and, if you have a positive mindset then it will work out in the end.

If you are looking for some books to read I have read three different ones that have really changed the way I think about myself and my life. I have recently read two books that were suggested to me by some new friends I met when I was in Bali at Ninja Camp. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.

There are loads of life lessons, catchy quotes, relatable scenarios, and genius ideas in both books. I am planning to read them both again in the near future to hopefully get a better understanding of them but also so I can pick out the parts I found to be most important to me and then write a review for both. In the meantime if you get the chance to read either of these books, TAKE IT.

The other book I found super helpful was Mind Gym by Gary Mack. I actually found Mind Gym when I was in university looking for my books for my own class when I came across it. It was a book for another class, that I would never take, but after looking at it and reading a few random pages I decided to buy it anyway.

The one that started it all was the film The Secret. The Secret was introduced to me first by my mother. When I first watched it I had some pretty serious doubt. Then after quite a few years had passed I started to realize there was maybe something to this thing. That is when I went back and re-watched the movie multiple times.

All of these books, and the film, have helped me to become more positive than I ever have been. They all are different in their own way but they are all also similar in many ways. They all have amazing quotes, lessons, and practices for getting into a positive mindset.

So if you have some extra time on your hands I would highly suggest getting yourself into one of those books or the film. If you find yourself running low on time then try to catch yourself next time you say “can’t” or “don’t” and switch it to “can” or “do”. If you find yourself focusing on the loss or the bad things, try to look for a lesson in it or something good that can come from it. And if all else fails….go to a friend or family member that you trust and talk it out. Generally people like to help other people and many of us don’t let others help us (I am as guilty of it as anyone) but break through that uncomfortable feeling (I am not going to pretend it is going to be fun) and talk to someone. If you can practice just those few things, consistently, you will have a new outlook on life. Speaking from my own experience alone….having a positive outlook on life has given me a world of experiences I never would have thought possible before.

If you had asked me five years ago if I would ever have a blog, I would have looked at you like you were crazy because I hated writing. If you had asked me five years ago if I would read these books I would have said I probably wont read any books never mind those three, because I hated reading. If you asked me five years ago if I would be working in Wanaka, New Zealand I probably would have told you I wont travel anywhere because I’ll never have enough money. Now, after learning to look for the positives in situations, I am sitting in a hostel in Wanaka, New Zealand waiting to go to work this afternoon and posting this up on a blog that people actually follow. It truly is amazing what one can accomplish with a little self-belief and positive thinking.

positive-think

-Reach Your Full Potential-

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It Is Okay To Fail

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Failure has such a negative connotation around it. Failure is often seen as the end of something. I very much disagree with both of those statements. It is not a negative thing, nor is it the end. Failure can be the start of something new, the motivation to work even harder, or the lesson you needed to finally succeed.

Failing is never fun, I’m not trying to say it is. What I am saying is that just because you failed does not mean that your journey has ended, that you should quit, or that you are stupid. Failure is a sign that you are trying. The only people who have never failed are those who have never tried and then, maybe they are the ones who have suffered the greatest failure.

Failure can be the end and it can be a negative…..IF YOU LET IT. If you let that failure define you and keep you down then it can be very negative. I am saying that does not have to be the case. That through failure is how we figure out how to succeed.

“Failure is the opportunity to start again, more intelligently” – Henry Ford

Some of the most important, and famous men and women in the world have failed many times before they finally became important and/or famous. For example:

It took Jack Canfield, the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, being rejected 144 times before he found a publisher for the book. Even after finding a publisher Jack was laughed at when he told the publisher he wanted to sell 1.5 million copies in the first 18 months. That first book sold 8 million copies in America and 10 million world-wide.

Charles Schultz’s submitted drawings for his high school yearbook but they were rejected. He went on to generate over $1 billion per year through his creation, Peanuts. The high school now has a statue of Snoopy in their main office.

An artist couldn’t get a job anywhere until his brother got him a temporary one. This artist’s first animation studio went bankrupt. He did not give up, however, and went on to create a company that had over $40 billion in revenue in 2012. That artist was Walt Disney and the company was The Walt Disney Company.

1831 – He failed in business. 1836 – He had a nervous breakdown. 1856 – He was defeated in a run for president. 1861 – Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States of America.

Divorced, bankrupt, and on welfare, her book was rejected by a dozen publishers. Upon finding a publisher who agreed to publish the book she was told to get a job because there was apparently no money in childrens books. J.K. Rowling is now the author of multiple Harry Potter books. She is also a billionaire.

If it is something you are passionate about. If it is something you think about every day, do not give up. Don’t let that failure affect you negatively. Use that failure as motivation. Use that failure as a lesson. Use that failure as a way to start again more intelligently.

When you fail at something look for the lesson in it. Failing is just figuring out a way that doesn’t quite work. It allows you to try again knowing more and having more drive than you did before.

So don’t be afraid of failure. Sure it may not be the fastest way to the finish, or the most graceful. You may get laughed at or you may get looked down on. But when you get up and dust yourself off, you will have learned something. You will have become more motivated. You will have a new understanding of the task. You will attack the goal with new motivation, intelligence, and understanding. Then when you achieve that goal, you can look at all those who laughed at you, who looked down on you…..and you can smile. You can smile because you have become better, while they are still sitting in the same spot, with the same looks on their faces, wondering how you did it.

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-Reach Your Full Potential-

Get Closer to Your Goals Every Day

Now that you have hopefully set a few goals after reading Goal Setting (if you haven’t yet you should check it out) I want to give you a little inspiration to get after those goals. There is the saying “Good things come to those who wait”, which I can understand and have seen work before. But, I don’t want good things for you or myself. I want great things! In the spirit of great things I look to the same saying with a little bit of a punch at the end. “Good things come to those who wait, great things come to those who work for it.”

Peaceful Warrior Info Poster

With having said that, do something every day that makes you better than you were yesterday. Some days will be bigger things than others and that is okay but try to do something that sets you up to be better when you go to bed than when you woke up that morning.

There are endless things you could do to make you better and work towards your goals. It could be anywhere from learning a new word, to buying a house or business space. If you have a goal you want to achieve try to do something every day that gets you a little bit closer to that end goal. Some days you may get a running jump ahead, other days you might trip and stumble forward a few inches. Every step, jump, inch forward is still forward and that is what is important, that it is forward and that you realize that it is progress. Small progress is STILL progress.

For me I make a list. I always try to have a list of things I want to do. Normally I put it on my phone, but lately I have been writing them down in a journal that goes almost everywhere with me right now. I like writing them out because then I get the satisfaction of scratching them off as I do them. If I do something that wasn’t on the list but has got me closer to my goal, you bet I put it on the list and scratch it out right after! Scratching the item out is much more satisfying for me than just backspacing the item off the screen. This way I get to see all the things I have done as well, it isn’t always just the “To-Do” items but the “Have-Done” items are there to remind me that I have made progress. I have a few that I never cross off because they are things I try to do every day, because they will get me to my end goals, like physical activity for at least half an hour and read. I always want to do something physical whether that be a workout, sport, stretching, or a walk. As I said, I also want to read something every day. That can be a novel, a self-help book, how to book, or articles on interesting topics for me. Depending on what I have done the previous days or what my larger goal is for the day will determine what my physical activity is and what type of reading I pick up.

So now that you have your goals sorted and you have some ideas as to what steps you need to take to get there, don’t just sit and wait for it to happen. Go and do something, make great things happen.

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-Reach Your Full Potential-

Goal Setting

This is a post from one of my other blogs, Blogg About That, that I have gone back and made a few changes to as well as added in some new information. 

It’s a mash-up of things I have learnt in university classes, certifications I have taken, books I’ve read, and methods that have worked for me and other individuals I know.

I feel that goal setting is important, as it gives you a sense of direction and accomplishment when you follow through on them. There are no limit to the areas of your life that you can set goals in. Health, family, work, sports, and school to name a few large categories. A goal can be as simple as eating breakfast in the morning. It can be complicated and long range like developing your own clothing line over the next to years. The possibilities are endless. There are tons of goals you can set within one day that can help to make you a better person, parent, employee, hockey player, etc. I find that if I do not wake up and determine a few goals for the day then I end up doing nothing, going through the motions, and I end the day frustrated because I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything (usually because I didn’t). Whereas if I set and complete the goals for that day, or even if I didn’t fully complete them all, I feel like I at least accomplished something and improved myself in some way.

Sure setting a goal and not reaching it can be frustrating. It can leave you disappointed and feeling like you are just wasting your time. Sometimes that is the case, and sometimes we need those failures so we know what doesn’t work. I also think that if you are reaching every single goal you set then you aren’t challenging and pushing yourself as much as you could be. Yes it makes you feel better when you reach a goal so make sure you have some little ones that you know you can do, like not pushing snooze on the alarm, or smiling to every person you walk past today. However, do not be afraid to set the larger ones, like having your own business, writing a book, or making it to a pro level sports league. If the goal is something that you value and that is important to you then it is worth having, no matter how difficult it may be. 

goal-setting

So how do you set goals? Well I have had it explained to me a few different ways, all of which are quite similar but look at it slightly different. 

One way to set goals is to use SMART Goals. Most of you have probably heard of SMART Goals but incase you haven’t or need a refesher here is an overview.

SMART Goals:

S – Specific

Your goals should be specific in that it has an end date, dollar amount, can be broken down into smaller bits, and/or a list of items you will need in order to achieve the goal.

M – Measurable

A goal being measurable means that you can track your progress. Be that through the time, dollar amount, smaller goals accomplished to work towards the bigger goal, or what items you have collected.

A – Attainable

It has to be within your wheel house. That being said challenge yourself. Don’t make it a sure thing, make it just a little bit better, higher, harder than that sure thing. You will be surprised what you can do when you really put your mind to it and challenge yourself.

R – Realistic, Relevant, Re-evaluate

Your goals should be something that is possible within your life and should help you to get you where you want to go. You may also need to re-evaluate your goals every once in a while as things in your life change, or as you get ahead of your goals, or if you bit off more than you can chew.

T – Time-Bound

Your goals NEED an end date or time. Within each larger goal I would suggest having smaller “check-points” that also have end dates so that you can track your progress. So if you have a goal for the end of the year try to set “check-points” throughout the year that you can check your progress with.

The other way I have learned is through an OPEX certification I did. They don’t have a fancy name for it but it looks like this:

Start -> Resources -> Recipe -> End

Start – Very simply where are you now? Where are you starting from?

Resources – What items, people, books, information, etc do you need to get you to your goal?

Recipe – What are the steps you need to take to get to the goal? Checkpoints.

End – What is the goal?

There are a few ways you can look at this. You can start at the end and reverse engineer it back to where you are now. Or you can start where you are now and work in the pieces you need to hit to get to the end result.

When I set goals for myself lately I have been using the OPEX framework with the SMART Goals approach. I usually start with the end goal and then reverse engineer myself back through the steps until I get to where I am now. Keeping in mind the SMART idea. I want to make sure the end goal, each step, each resource, and my starting point are all:

-as specific as possible

-measurable and can be tracked

-attainable and possible for me to do 

-realistic for my situation, can be re-evaluated if my situation changes, and is relevant to what I want to achieve in my life

-as time sensitive as possible

To help clarify how I do it I will give you an example. 

End – In the timeframe of March 31, 2016 to March 31, 2017 I want to read (front to back, every page) 12 books. 

Recipe – How do I go about reading 12 books in a year? I need to read a book every month. Or at the very least average a book per month. Every week I need to read about a quarter of the book for that month. In order to read a quarter of the book each week I will probably need to read for at least 2 hours each week. So if I read for, or average, half an hour every day I will be well on my way.

Resources – What do I need in order to reach this goal? I need money to buy a book every month (if I can not find one I like on the shelf at the hostel or trade with someone). I need to get a new book every month. I need a quiet space to read. I need my own room or a library type facility. 

Start – Where am I now? I have already read three books since March 31, 2016 (it is May 31, 2016). And I have purchased two new books and am already half way through one of them. 

The goal is very Specific in that it has a number of books I want to read in a given Timeframe. It even has Specific checkpoints I need to keep up with every month, week, and day. The goal and checkpoints are Measurable in that I need to read at least 12 books in a year, one per month, a quarter per week, and at least half an hour per day. The goal is Attainable as I have already shown that I can read at least a book per month given my current situation. It is Relevant because I need to spend time relaxing and reading a book as I know that helps to keep me fresh in other areas of my life. It is also Realistic with my lifestyle as I am working part time at the moment. I can also Re-evaluate if I pick up more work or other parts of my situation change. It is Time-bound in that I have to be done 12 books by the end of March 2017.

Hope this was helpful. Now go out there, set some goals, make yourself and your life better, and achieve your dreams, you deserve it!!

-Reach Your Full Potential-

The Purpose of This Mission

Some of you that have found your way here from my other sites Blogg About That or Travel With Justin, or those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram may be wondering “Another blog? Really? Is that completely necessary?” Those of you who may have stumbled upon this blog here or on Instagram, or Facebook may just simply be wondering “What is this all about?”

Let me explain.

This blog needed to be different than what I had done before because it has a very different goal in mind than my other blogs, so yes I needed to create another blog. “Travel With Justin” is just about the traveling I do. It all started as just a blog I kept so that my family and friends back home would know I was still alive and so they could read about what I was doing as I traveled around Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand. It has now grown slightly in that pretty much any time I leave the mother land, Canada, I blog about the stupid, fun, and interesting things I do and see while traveling. With probably more emphasis on the stupid things I do.

Blogg About That was a blog that I used to put up random information, stories, and training logs. It was a way for me to share my thoughts and personal findings on books, training techniques, mental training, and other topics I found interesting.

Neither of those blogs quite accomplish what I want to achieve with this one. This blog will be similar to Blogg About That but will have a wider variety of topics and will be more geared toward assisting you in reaching your full potential, rather than just random bits of information. I also hope that eventually this can turn into something more than just blogs and can be something where I can work one on one with individuals in regards to their fitness and health journey.

To help explain a bit more below is the purpose and mission of Peaceful Warrior Nation.

The Purpose of Peaceful Warrior Nation:

To inspire others to reach their full potential.

The Mission of Peaceful Warrior Nation:

To release each individuals’ passions and seek out their own inspiration through the art of fitness and health so they may reach their full potential. Encouraging growth, improvement, and learning to further develope each individual into the best version of themselves. Helping to reveal their true capabilities.

– Reach Your Full Potential –

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Breath

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It has always amazed me that there are some situations in life that cause us to forget to breath. It’s a fairly important thing to do. Breathing only keeps us alive, you know. Yet when you are eight kettlebell swings into a set of twenty, somehow….breathing is not on the menu.
We also tend to have really shallow breathing in our every day lives. With nearly everything being in front of us we are often hunched over the computer, over the steering wheel, over a bowl of ice cream, or slouched down on the couch watching TV most of the time breathing in the top half of our chest. The idea of big deep breaths doesn’t cross our minds very often.
There have been quite a few instances in the last few weeks that people (including myself) have been feeling very stressed or really struggling in a workout and I tell them to breath. At first they usually look at me like “What the hell do you think I’m doing right now?” as they stand there snorting like some angry cartoon character or gulping for air like a fish. It sounds simple, too simple most of the time, but I have found that it really helps. Taking big deep breaths. Breathing with your belly. Breathing through your nose. I do not pretend to understand the science behind why breathing through your nose is better, I just know it works for me (when I’m not too stuffed up) so I trust the sciencey people know what they are talking about. The two times that I really focus my breathing are when I am sucking for air in the middle of a workout (happens way more than I would like to admit), or when I am stressing over different things happening in my life (also happens more than I would like). The later is the really big one for me lately, and a few of my friends as well.
When I start to stress and freak out about what I am going to do for the rest of my life, or the next month or week, or when I have what feels like a million and one too many ideas in my head and I need to single one out…..that is when I have been focusing on my breath and going into a type of meditative state. It is not a strict meditation at all. Most of the time I just focus on my breathing (which I will explain how I do that below), or I pick a short phrase or word that I repeat and try to focus on (for example: Peaceful Warrior). I find that focusing on breathing works more often than not.
So if you want to give it a go, these are my guidelines. Just sit back in a quiet space and breath. If that space doesn’t exist for you, try the shower, that’s my go to when I don’t know where to go. You can lock the door, the shower blocks out most of the outside world, and its warm. All you focus on is your breath. 3-5 seconds to get a full deep belly breath in. 3-5 seconds to release the full breath out. Count out every second in your head. Count in steam boats, elephants, seconds, or just say the numbers really slow, whatever works for you. Try that for a few minutes. If that goes well, try to add in some pauses. Take your 3-5 second breath in and then pause for a second or two. Then exhale for your 3-5 seconds. And if you want to you can add that one or two second pause in here again before you take your next breath in.
Basically this is a more relaxed form of box breathing, compared to the version I was introduced to. When I first was introduced to the idea of box breathing they instructed us to do a box of 5. So 5 second inhale, 5 second pause, 5 second exhale, 5 second pause. This actually made me more stressed as the entire time I felt like I was running out of breath. I could actually feel my heart rate speed up as I went on with the drill. I don’t want that. The main goal is to get calm and relaxed, so get to a “box” that works for you. Have fun with it and play around with the timing of the different pieces.
Sometimes I go with 3 seconds in, 1 second pause, 6 seconds out, 1 second pause. Other times I may do a nice 3,3,3,3 breathing. I always just count out the numbers in my head really slow. Like I said before, I am not super picky about what times you choose for each phase as long as you are focusing on your breath and breathing deeply into your belly. 
Having said that, don’t freak out if your mind wanders from your breathing. It most likely will. Mine does every time I do this, multiple times per session. Don’t worry about it though. If you do notice your mind starting to wander just calmly bring your focus back to your breathing. 
How long do you do this for? As long as you need. For me it sometimes takes a few minutes. Other times if I have gone up to twelve minutes. Every situation and time frame is going to be different. Personally I like to go to ten minutes most times. If I need to be aware of how long I take then I just set my phone to vibrate on my leg at ten minutes. That way it doesn’t make a big alarming noise and I can come out of the meditation in a way that doesn’t scare me out of it.
Oh, the other thing that happens when I meditate? I know my mind wanders but I hardly ever remember where it wandered to. Especially the longer time frames. If I end up meditating for anything around 10 minutes I usually can’t remember what I was thinking about. In the short two to five minute ones I can remember some of where my mind wandered to.
If you give this a go let me know how it went for you. Did you remember what your mind wandered off to? Did you meditate longer or shorter than you thought you had? Did it actually calm you down or did it stress you out more?
– Reach Your Full Potential –

Chip, Chip, Chip Away

IMG_5218It has always kind of weirded me out about how things happen just when I need them to. Right at that moment of deep self doubt, when I think I can’t do it, or when I am feeling super unproductive and unaccomplished. Something happens, I hear something, or I see something that wakes that fire inside and helps to get me back on the track and moving forward. And it has happened again.

Today I listened to a podcast by Chris Moore (A.K.A “The Barbell Buddha”) that he titled “About my dream come true”. If you listen to podcasts I highly recommend this guy and especially this one podcast. And if you do not listen to podcasts I highly recommend you start. There are some very funny, smart, and amazing people out there that talk about some very interesting topics. I’ll be honest, I think I have only listened to about five of his podcasts but they have all been awesome. Of those five none of them really focus on fitness itself, they all have life lessons in them. Some of the life lessons he explains through fitness because that is where he has learned them, but the core of the podcasts usually is something deeper.

In this podcast “About my dream come true” he talks about being a hero and what that means. He talks about his journey through podcasting and writing, his goals, and how he worked toward those goals.

This really hit home for me because I have had a very unproductive week. I am in Wanaka, New Zealand right now and it has been raining for basically an entire week. I haven’t got outside to do any walks, and due to the gloominess of the day I haven’t had any motivation to work on my new project Peaceful Warrior Nation. This is something I am very excited about but I am also quite scared about putting out there. So when Chris said “do that thing that scares you most”, I knew exactly what I had to do. Time to write a blog on the new page. Good, bad, or ugly, I need to get this ball rolling.

Yeah, so this is where the blog really starts…..that stuff was just the introduction I guess.

I have always been a person that breaks things down into little jobs. I know that I work better with many little things to do than one big thing. For example, I would way rather run four hundred meters four times, back to back, changing directions each four hundred meters, as apposed to running sixteen hundred meters once, turning around only at the eight hundred meter mark. If I have 50 reps of something to do I break it into sets of 10 or 15 and just worry about the little pieces until I finish.

The phrase “chip away” or “break it into manageable pieces” has always been a staple for me. So when Chris started to talk about chipping away at your armour and your soul to find out the pieces you don’t need and the pieces that are the core of who you are and what you want to become, it made me pay a little closer attention to what he was saying.

Chip away at your dreams and goals. Do something that is scary. Do something every day that will make you better than yesterday. It can be something physical like improving strength or endurance. It can also be something like reading a book or an article to increase your knowledge on a topic. It can be meditating for a few minutes to calm and relax your mind so you can think in a more clear and decisive manner. Being better can take many shapes and forms and it greatly depends on what you hold valuable in your life and what your goals and aspirations are. A lot of times those things are not comfortable and may even scare you, but I would venture to say that those are the ones that you need to get after.

Do it.

Don’t talk about it, do it.

Do that heroic thing to allow your dream to start happening. I don’t mean lifting a car of someone, or saving someone. Although if that opportunity presents itself, wouldn’t hurt to act and help out. That big moment is where people often see it materialize but that is not where it started for that person. The big hero situations drown out the daily work. To be a hero isn’t responding to the big moment, its about acting daily which then allows you to respond to those big moments and decisions in you life.

How do you do that? Earn it every day by doing the little things that scare you most, that you don’t think you are good enough to do, that you think no one will notice. That daily action, just being better every day, heroic action. Working on chipping at what you know you should be working on.

Prepare yourself each day to be better so when that opportunity comes, you will be ready. People miss their big hero moment because they didn’t work on doing it. You didn’t have the skill and practice of being a hero. Something big happens but you just read about being a hero, watched podcasts about being a hero. You didn’t prepare for it. You never really worked on doing it. You didn’t practice the skill of being a hero. Act heroic daily, every day. Every day….think about doing it, remind yourself that you will be okay in that moment when it comes, train and practice every day for that moment.

I leave you with my two favourite quotes from this podcast:

“Within the action you will find the wisdom to carry on.”

“Your dream won’t manifest any other way than you taking out your chisel right now and chipping away at that dream, right now.”

So get your chisel out and start chipping away to find the wisdom necessary to propel you forward to your goals, dreams, and aspirations.

– Reach your full potential –