faith, Family

Success is Misunderstood | Letter to My Son

I’m sharing a series of “letters” originally written by Vince Miller. I regard Vince as a trusted resource for wisdom and insight on faith and family especially as it pertains to men and fathers. His bio is at the bottom of the post. Look him up. What follows is his work entirely. Vince communicates the messages I want my son to hear in a far more clear and concise way than I could ever say. Consider using these as conversation starters. I encourage you to share these letters with the important men in your life.

Son, I believe determining and pursuing a genuine definition of success has been and always will be one of the great challenges in your quest for manhood. I have known many men who have invested decades of their life trying to figure this one out only to become undone by a single moment in time that redefines their understanding of success. Therefore, this letter is an attempt to caution you on how you perceive the success of other men and how I believe you should define success and pursue it yourself.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

— Matthew 16:26

There are numerous ways we determine and measure the success of a man in this life. The income he makes. The perceived power of his role. The number of followers he has on social platforms. Almost without thought, we reference these worldly measures as if they are the sole determining factors of a man’s success. But the lie we believe is that that they are the sum of a man’s success.

But there is no man who has known success in any of these areas who would say pursuing them led them to fulfillment. In fact, the people I know who pursue them are always wanting more. They are perpetually consumed and let down by their gains. Therefore I have to conclude this to be a shallow determination of success.

In the verse above, Jesus explains this. Jesus even says it is possible to “gain the whole world.” And there are many men who try this. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffett are a few. These are five men who are currently among the most wealthy men in the world. We learn from them that it is possible to “gain the whole world” or at least major portions of it. But as Jesus explains if you pursue them you will only get their temporary gain. More is always wanted.

But let’s get real honest with each other. Have I dreamed of being rich? You bet. I would be lying if I said “no.” But I have heard the stories too many times from too many men who are rich to know that most of them are miserable, lonely, and exhausted by their pursuit of riches. There is no end to the pursuit. It never fulfills the soul. Or, more accurately, success in these areas provides temporary pleasure but not real lasting fulfillment. Thus it falls short in being successful.

And in Jesus’s statement, he is urging men to consider their interpretation of success. He wants them to assess the better investment. So his question to us is this.
Will your determination of success be something that provides only temporary fulfillment or something that provides lasting profitable gain?

Honestly, I could care less about how much money, power, and fame you have in this life. These things only matter to those who worship them. Now I want you to be able to provide for yourself and a family along the way. But, in the end, I care more about your spiritual success and your pursuit of soulful profit because I know this is far more fulfilling.

But here’s the catch. A man can pursue a soulful profit in the wrong way and thus miss aiming for true success. So let me address that next.

Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

— Ephesians 4:22-24

Now, this is a little more difficult to describe, but many Christian men transition from the world’s means of success to a godly means of success, but end up doing it out of worldly motivation. And the two areas I see men do this the most are in how they live out spiritual obedience and how they use their spiritual gifts.

Let me clarify that there is nothing wrong with nurturing and pursuing growth in spiritual obedience and in our gifting. But we cannot pursue them like we do world things. For example, when a man pursues worldly success, they primarily do it out of selfish and self-centered motivations. But as followers of Christ, we cannot pursue our obedience or gifting out of the same motivation. But some men do. Primarily because it’s hard to unlearn our selfish motivations from our time living in the world. But to pursue spiritual activities by worldly means only strips the spiritual activity of its divine purpose. Consequently, many men get spiritually frustrated when this means is less unsuccessful. As a result, they find using their spiritual gifts unfulfilling and spiritual obedience exhausting. The reason why is that they are pursuing these things for personal gain.

Son, you should never assume two things about my spiritual motivation. First, that I pursue Christian obedience to increase my popularity with people or my standing with God. Second, that I use my spiritual gifts to receive economic advantage or gain power and influence in this life. My true motivation behind them is to bring fame to Jesus’s name by means of my obedience and gifting — that’s it. There is no other reason. I know you may not always know this because the motives behind my actions are hard to see, but this is my primary motivation. And somehow, as a result, my pursuit of these things has granted us some provision for the family. But that is secondary and an outcome, not the focus of my pursuit.

It took me a long time to learn this. I hope you learn this earlier than I did. And I should add there are moments I still struggle to put off the old man’s motivations, renew my mind, and put on the desires of the new man. Yet in time, you too can learn to have a new mind and new motivations in your pursuit of godly success.

Test your passions for success daily and learn to redirect them toward pure and holy motivations.

But the question still remains. What is true success?

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

— Mark 12:30

Now it may seem strange that I choose this text, but here is why I choose it. Love is an eternal currency. It has real value. It has a lasting profit. And provides perpetual fulfillment. Love is where success begins and ends. And it’s not found in the love of things but a person — God.

Eventually, we must all face this truth. That God’s love is the only endless commodity. And he, out of love, pursued us by sending his Son. Through Jesus, he wants us to know how much he loves us. And he wants us to love him. And in his love, there is fulfillment, value, profit, and success.

Son, men have spent lifetimes learning the lesson of true spiritual success. Know that there is the only one who can love you like you need to be loved. And when you know God’s love with all your heart, soul, and mind his love will fill you and spill over into all your motivations and out to others.

But, here’s the catch, to know the fulfillment of this love you have to love everything else less — much less. Listen to how Jesus said this:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

— Matthew 16:24-25


So I could sum up success this way.
Success is denying all selfish motivation, letting go of everything in this life, and learning to love God with all I am.

Learn this lesson long before I did. If you do, I would consider you one of the most successful men I have ever known. And again, I don’t care how much money you make, your status among men, or the initials after your name. I only care that you invest your life in learning to love God before all things.

And guess what?
I love you son. But not as much as God — Dad.

Fitness, Nutrition

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

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Please enjoy this excellent article by Kara Wahlgren.

In theory, weight loss should be easy: Watch what you eat, work up a sweat, and reap the rewards.

But losing weight doesn’t always seem that simple. You can feel like you’re doing all the right things — and you might lose some weight at first, but then you might reach the dreaded weight-loss plateau.

I’m sure you’ve been there: You’ve followed your diet to a T, you’ve cut calories, you work out regularly, and you’re still not losing weight. When you’re putting in the work and still not dropping pounds, well, that’s mind-numbingly infuriating. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon.

Don’t give up. Below you’ll find 10 reasons why the number on the scale might be stuck, as well as some suggestions on how to help you start losing weight again.

And, remember, it’s a journey. Even before you reach your goal weight by committing to a healthy lifestyle, you’ll start feeling stronger and learning to fuel your body with the right foods, and you might even find a workout you love!

10 Reasons You Might Be Struggling to Lose Weight

Losing weight takes work, but the rewards are worth it: a healthier heart, more energy, and checking yourself out in the mirror (and liking what you see), just to name a few.

1. You Have Unrealistic Weight-Loss Expectations

To be successful with losing weight, you have to have realistic and healthy expectations. And patience! You didn’t put on all the extra weight in a week or month, and you aren’t going to lose it all in a week or month either. And that’s OK.

Also, you might find that you are not actually losing weight but your body composition is changing, so the number on the scale might not be going down as fast as you like. Most scales don’t accurately reflect how much water you have in your system, how much body fat you’ve lost, or how much muscle you’ve gained. That’s why we encourage you to take “before” and “after” photos and to take your measurements.

When you lose body fat, you’ll be able to see it in how your clothes fit and in your pictures. Take a look at these “before” and “after” results to see what we mean!

“Often, I see clients get impatient and, if they don’t lose weight almost immediately, they change their regimens,” says Wesley Delbridge, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “However, they may have been on the right path to begin with; they just needed to give it more time.”

2. You Don’t Eat Enough Food

Super low-calorie and elimination diets — like those that are probably clogging up your social media feed right now — ignore the fact that food is fuel. Calories, including often-maligned carbohydrates and fat, are required for you to live and breathe… let alone to lose weight in a healthy way.

“Because our body weight is regulated by multiple systems, starving ourselves activates the body’s protective mechanisms to defend our body’s weight,” says Ethan Lazarus, M.D., a board member of the Obesity Medicine Association.

“One of these mechanisms is dropping the metabolism as low as possible. In general, we recommend, unless under medical supervision, not keeping your calories below 1,200 calories per day.”

3. You’re Not Eating Carbohydrates (or Protein or Fat)

For a healthy diet — whether or not you’re trying to lose weight — the calories you eat should come from a combination of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, explains San Diego bariatric surgeon Julie Ellner, M.D.

Whole-food sources of unrefined carbs (ex. legumes, fruit, and raw veggies) are vital to keeping energy levels up so that you can crush your workouts. The fiber found in these carbohydrates (versus, say, a croissant), will help you stay full and help you be less likely to snack on something unhealthy.

In addition, when you eat too few carbs, your body doesn’t stock as much glycogen, the stored form of your body’s primary fuel source, glucose. And since each gram of glycogen is stored with three grams of water, the scale will reflect that reduction in water weight. But that’s all it is: water weight. So, while the lower number might be encouraging, it doesn’t reflect your progress toward your ultimate goal: fat loss.

In addition to losing primarily water weight, cutting back too far on carbs can leave you chronically low on energy, which can hamper your weight-loss efforts by keeping you more sedentary and lowering your workout performance.

You also need protein and fat. Both will help you feel full, but fat also helps regulate your hormones and protein is vital to building lean muscle mass, the primary determinant factor of your metabolic rate, Ellner says. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be.

4. You’re Not Working Out Hard Enough

When you go for a jog or long, slow bike ride, you burn calories, but your metabolism settles back to normal soon afterward. That’s one of the reasons high-intensity exercise like the kind of metabolic conditioning you’ll find in Beachbody programs such as CORE DE FORCE and 22-Minute Hard Corps is superior for weight loss. Not only do you burn more calories during every minute you work out, but your metabolism also remains elevated for days instead of hours.

5. You Only Do Cardio Workouts

When most people want to lose weight, the first thing they turn to is the treadmill, aka the “dreadmill.”

Hating your workout isn’t going to help you stick with a workout routine. And, you may find you have better luck losing weight if you take the emphasis off steady-state cardio and focus more on strength training.

According to one large-scale study from the Harvard School of Public Health, people who spent 20 minutes per day strength training gained less belly fat over the course of 12 years compared to those who logged the same number of minutes doing cardio.

“Even if following a healthy diet for weight loss with adequate protein, we don’t lose 100 percent fat,” says Lazarus. “We lose part body fat and part lean body weight (muscle), and losses in lean body weight can result in the metabolism slowing.”

“Strength training — whether it’s with weights, yoga, Pilates, or any other resistance-based workout — is important to preserve lean body weight and metabolism. Think about it: Weight training gives your body a bigger engine. That bigger engine burns more gas getting you around town,” Lazarus explains.

Cardio can certainly be a part of your weight-loss routine, but try to include weight-lifting sessions and bodyweight circuits into your routine several times per week.

6. You’re Trying to Change Your Whole Lifestyle At Once

Going on a diet sounds like it’s just one simple change. But, in reality, following a healthy diet and weight-loss plan may include shopping for new foods, learning new recipes, changing how you spend your time after work, potentially getting up earlier to work out, increasing your step count, fighting cravings for junk food , drinking more water, and so much more.

That’s a lot to take on at once and can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

That’s why a habit-based approach can help, especially for those who have a history of going on and off diets. A review from experts at the University College London’s Health Behaviour Research Centre shows that habit formation is vital to making sustainable, long-lasting changes.

Try focusing on changing one thing at a time, and practicing that change until it’s really cemented, and then work on adding in the next one. Some good examples of healthy changes:

7. You Don’t Pay Attention to Your Body’s Cues

Trying to belong to the clean-plate club can hinder your weight-loss efforts because it ignores your body’s way of regulating food intake: namely, hunger and satiety.

“Paying attention to how each bite makes the body feel is critical to getting in touch with how much food we actually need, as well as what types of foods make us feel good and energized versus fatigued,” Ellner says.

She recommends eating when you are slightly hungry and to stop eating when you are slightly full. Although a 2014 Public Health Nutrition review suggests intuitive eating is a better tactic for weight maintenance versus weight loss, it has been shown to improve mental health and physical health factors other than body mass index.

If you find yourself gravitating to the kitchen or your desk’s snack drawer, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Often we eat out of habit, boredom, and stress. (Or because we’ve confused hunger with thirst!)

As you eat, nixing distractions such as the TV, computer, and phone can really help you hone in and recognize when you’ve eaten just enough, Ellner says.

8. You Eat More Than You Think You Do

“When people track their food intake for the first time, they are usually shocked to see what they are really eating throughout the day,” says board-certified family and bariatric physician Spencer Nadolsky, D.O., a diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

You don’t have to do it forever, but tracking every single thing you eat for as little as a week can help raise awareness of what you are eating and where you are getting excess calories or sugar, Nadolsky says.

Make sure to track everything — those little taste-test bites you take while cooking or handfuls of candy from your coworker’s desk add up.

Plus, if you add a “notes” column to your tracker or food journal, writing down how you felt prior to each meal can help you learn how your emotions, energy levels, and food schedule play into what you eat.

For instance, if you write: “I worked through lunch, and then my blood sugar completely crashed and I felt super shaky” after your “candy bar” entry, that gives you a lot more information as to what will help you avoid that daily 2 p.m. vending machine run, says Delbridge.

If you don’t have the time or headspace to count calories, you can also try the Beachbody Portion-Fix Eating Plan, which calculates your approximate total daily calorie needs and helps you stick to them with a color-coded portion-control container system. Simply eat the number of containers prescribed in your daily calorie range, and you don’t have to track or count calories.

Also, don’t try to accelerate your losses by slashing more calories than what’s recommended. If you don’t eat enough, your body will try to compensate for the excessive calorie deficit by slowing your metabolism. Your goal is to eat at just enough of a deficit to allow your body to burn through its fat stores.

9. You Don’t Get Enough Good Sleep

Just because you can “power through” on not much sleep, it doesn’t mean you can thrive that way — especially when it comes to weight loss.

“When we sleep, body fat makes two important hormones, leptin and adiponectin,” says Lazarus. “Leptin is our body’s best natural appetite-suppressing hormone, while adiponectin is helpful in making our body respond better to insulin.”

He explains, “After inadequate sleep, in addition to being tired, which we all know is every dieter’s worst enemy, we will be hungry and crave carbohydrates.”

In addition, one small study found that when dieters slept for only 5½ hours, they experienced 55% less weight loss and also saw their lean body mass decrease compared with those in the study who got 8½ hours of sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 sleep 7 to 9 hours per night. If you consistently get less than that — and 35 percent of American adults don’t get this amount, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — it’s time to make sleep a priority.

Stop treating sleep as a negotiable or the first thing to go when things get busy. To set yourself up for success, plan your sleep (establish a regular sleep schedule), and then schedule everything else on your to-do list around it.

10. You Spend a Lot of Time Sitting or Inactive

Hitting your workouts is great, but for optimal results, you shouldn’t limit movement to your workouts, says Nadolsky, noting that it’s your total amount of daily activity that truly matters for weight loss.

Unfortunately, simply exercising for 30 or 60 minutes a day doesn’t move you out of the sedentary category, and research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity shows that regular exercisers tend to spend just as much time sitting compared to those who skip their workouts.

Try integrating what Nadolsky calls “exercise snacks” throughout the day. Once per hour, get up and walk around your office, perform a single set of (bodyweight) squats, try deskercise,”or just enjoy a few standing stretches. Take a walking meeting, ditch the escalator for the stairs, or use a basket rather than a shopping cart when picking up a couple of things at the supermarket.

Fortitude, Personal Development

Goal Setting Myths

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Today is a great day to set a goal for yourself. We often need motivation to do hard things, so setting a goal can provide the push we need to get it done.However, we are also easily discouraged when we fail at achieving our goals, and that failure makes it harder to try again. To give ourselves the best chance to achieve our goal, we will be wise to heed the following advice from Michael Hyatt. Below are a few myths about goal setting that I find especially helpful. What is your goal?

1. Your past determines your future.
This is false IF you are willing to change your approach. Challenge this myth by changing your belief about yourself and the outcome you desire.
2. Safe goals are the best goals.
Boo hiss. Safe goals are not compelling. There’s a powerful link between the difficulty of your goal and your performance, satisfaction, enthusiasm, and happiness. Go beyond your natural urge to play it safe and set a big, hairy, audacious goal.
3. You fail if you fall short.
This is only true if you only measure the gap. Measure the GAIN instead and focus on how far you’ve come. When you look at why you fell short, you’ll likely find ways to improve. Recognize your progress and be encouraged & motivated to stick with it. The only true failure is not trying in the first place.
4. Writing goals is not necessary.
Ever build a house without blueprints? Ever travel without some kind of itinerary? Then why trust your goals & dreams to memory alone? Write goals. Period. Post them where you can see them often. Internalize them, see your future self with the goal accomplished, and be regularly spurred by the thing you committed to.
5. Specificity doesn’t matter.
Remove all the guesswork in a vague goal by specifying HOW, and WHEN for example. Goals like “exercise more” or “lose 20 lbs.” are not specific enough. Answer how and when you will do these things, make a plan/ schedule where you can mark of intermediate milestones, and set yourself up for success!

Fitness, Nutrition, Personal Development

6 Things Healthy People Do Every Morning

healthy morning

No matter your season of life, or the season of the year, it seems we are all VERY busy. We are so busy that one of the first things we sacrifice from our crammed schedule is self-care. We all know it’s important to take care of ourselves, but there is a lot of noise out there about what is really necessary to optimize our health. While there is certainly no cookie-cutter solution for everyone, below are six healthy habits that will set you up for success on your healthy living journey. Try incorporating them into your morning routine to make the rest of the day feel less chaotic.

  1. THEY EAT VEGGIES AT BREAKFAST

If you take time to eat breakfast (and you should), are you eating what you need to really feed your machine? I promise you can do better than toast or bowl of cereal. Aim for a balanced breakfast that includes protein, fiber, fat and a variety of colors from real food to keep you satisfied and prevent mid-morning cravings. I love knowing that my breakfast is jam packed with super healthy real food ingredients to jump start my day. Try these simple Spinach Egg Cups for a grab-and-go option.

2. THEY HYDRATE

Since your body gets dehydrated overnight, drinking water when you first wake up is a great idea. And proper hydration is crucial for glowing skin and maintaining healthy muscles and joints. I like to add lemon to my first big glass of water to wake up my digestive system. Fill up your water bottle for the day and plan to refill it a few times during the day. There are too many benefits to being well hydrated to list here, but suffice it to say that you need to drink lots of water.

3. THEY SWEAT IN THE MORNING

If you are like me, there are way too many easy excuses to skip exercising after work. Many people find they’re most successful with exercising if it happens before heading to the office. I love getting my workout done at home in the morning with the help of the greatest library of workout videos available streamed to any enabled device. Most take only 30 minutes to do and require little or no equipment. If home workouts, the local gym, or going for a run in the morning isn’t for you, find another way to get moving in the early hours of the day. That could mean parking farther away, taking the stairs or exercising at your desk. Just 15 minutes of moderate-to-intense activity daily can help you reach your healthy living goals.

4. THEY MAKE A GAME PLAN FOR DINNER

Not only is meal prepping a huge time saver but it also ensures you always have a healthy option on hand. Before leaving the house in the morning, make a game plan for dinner by defrosting proteins or using a slow cooker to do the work for you. It’s also helpful to find a recipe and write down your shopping list so you can pre-order your groceries (we love the Kroger ClickList) or swing by to pick them up on your way home. My go-to healthy eating resource, 90/10 Nutrition, offers a meal planning service and integrated shopping list app that makes it easy to plan your trip to the grocery store.

5. THEY TIME BLOCK THEIR DAY

Whether it’s emails or social media, there are plenty of distractions that can be obstacles to getting everything done. That’s why time blocking is a great tool. Review your top to-dos, and set aside a specific amount of time for completing them. Make sure your health priorities (such as a midday workout or meal-prepping) are in the plan, too. Schedule your morning routine like you do any other important appointment.

6. THEY REST

It’s important to ensure you’re getting enough sleep, but remember to account for the time required for your morning routine. Include a few minutes to relax I love to take some quite time to journal my prayers. Don’t feel guilty for taking a few minutes to enjoy your coffee, read the news, mediate or take a walk. Set yourself up for success by allowing for some rest time every morning.

Fortitude, Personal Development

Failing Forward

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I like to read books. I read to learn much more often than I read for an entertaining story. Sometimes I get through a book that really speaks to me. Failing Forward is impactful to say the least. I highly recommend it for your personal development regardless of age, career, personality, etc. You can benefit from the encouragement in this book. However, if you aren’t likely to read the book, maybe you can read my notes on it here along with some personal commentary from my experience.

First let me just say that fear of failing is a big deal for me. I’ve struggled with it my entire life. I was the kid that was so afraid to try something new because I didn’t want to fail at it. I sure wasn’t going to let anyone see me fail if I could help it. I would first study, watch, analyze the thing, play my moves over and over in my head until I was certain that I could do it and do it well. If not, I would practice in secret until I got it down, then reveal to all that I could do it as if it were no big deal. I captured the story about learning to ride a bike in a short video HERE. Kinda funny.

The issue didn’t disappear over time just because I supposedly grew up. In fact the mindset of fear and aversion to failure just grew deeper and more difficult to overcome in some instances. I’m certain that my fear to risk has stunted my career and limited my potential as a leader. But not all is lost my friends! This old dog is still learning, still working on me so I can be my best for those people who count on me the most. If you can relate, keep reading and I hope you find some inspiration and encouragement to fail forward.

The following is taken directly from Maxwell’s book. It’s a summary of my favorite lines. 203 pages reduced to one short list. You’re welcome.

15 Steps to Failing Forward

  1. Realize there is one major difference between average people and achieving people. The difference is their perception of and response to failure. No matter how difficult your problems, the key to overcoming them is not changing your circumstances, it’s changing yourself. Changing yourself is a process that starts with a desire to be teachable.Three-feet-from-gold
  2. Learn a new definition of failure. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison  Regard failure as the price you pay for progress.
  3. Remove the “you” from failure. James Allen – “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thought.” People who don’t give up keep trying because they don’t base their self-worth on their  performance. Take responsibility for your failures, but don’t take them personally.
  4. Take action and reduce your fear. Don’t wait for motivation to magically inspire you to act. Just do it. Exercise, eat right, love sacrificially, kick a bad habit, whatever the thing is, DO IT without motivation and then it happens. Your motivation comes AFTER you do the thing and makes it easier for you to keep on doing it. act into feelingYou are more likely to act yourself into feeling than feeling yourself into action. So act! DO whatever it is that you know you should do.
  5. Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility. If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. “Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.” – Paul J. Meyer “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of our responsibilities.” – Sire Josiah Stamp
  6. Don’t let failure from outside get inside you. Failure and success is an inside job. conquer2The battleground is between your ears. If you want to achieve, you have to win the war in your thinking first. “Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. This is true not only of physical challenges, but mental and emotional as well…I believe real and lasting limitations are created in our minds, not our bodies.” – Roger Crawford.
  7. Say good-bye to yesterday. You will not be able to be your best today until you say good-bye to yesterday. Today may be your day to turn the hurts of your past into a breakthrough for the future. Don’t allow anything from your personal history to keep holding you hostage.
  8. Change yourself, and your world changes. If you are not happy with your job, your family situation, or life, look at what you can change in yourself before trying to alter your circumstances.  “The circumstances of life, the events of life, and the people around me do not make me the way I am, but reveal the way I am.” – Sam Peoples Jr.
  9. Get over yourself and start giving yourself. A major cause of negative thinking and poor mental health is self-absorption. Generous people are rarely mentally ill. If you tend to take yourself too seriously, give yourself and others a break. Recognize that laughter breeds resilience.
  10. Find the benefit in every bad experience. trust_the_processWe tend to overestimate the event and underestimate the process. Every fulfilled dream occurred because of dedication to a process. To achieve your dreams you must embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing you’re probably not really moving forward. Journaling is good for this.
  11. If at first you do succeed, try something harder. Risk must be evaluated not by the fear in generates in you or the probability of success, but in the value of the goal.
  12. Learn from a bad experience and make it a good experience. Ben Franklin – “The things which hurt, instruct.” Your attitude toward failure determines your altitude after failure. When a person has the right mind set, every obstacle introduces him to himself. “Learning is defined by a change in behavior. You haven’t learned a thing until you take action and use it.” – Don Shula
  13. Work on the weakness that weakens you. Take a sober self-assessment. Real success lies in experiencing fear or aversion and acting in spite of it.

Top 10 Ways People Get in Their Own Way

Poor People Skills Learn how to get along with other people. Period.

A Negative Attitude Learn to make the best of any  situation.

A Bad Fit Sometimes a case of mismatched abilities, interests, personality, or values can be a major contributor to chronic failure.

Lack of Focus People lacking focus are not too busy, but have priorities out of whack.

A Weak Commitment The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because your stopped trying?

An Unwillingness to Change If you resist change, you’re really resisting success. Learn flexibility, or learn to like living with your failures.

A Shortcut Mind-Set If  you continually give in to your moods or impulses, then you need to change your approach to doing things. Set standards for yourself that require accountability. Suffering a consequence for not following through helps you stay on track.

Relying on Talent Alone Adding a strong work ethic to talent is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It’s explosive!

A Response to Poor Information “Expect only 5% of an intelligence report to be accurate. The trick of a good commander is to isolate the 5%.” – General Douglas MacArthur.

No Goals Many people don’t have goals because they haven’t allowed themselves to dream. No dream= no desire. If that describes you, then you must look deep within yourself to determine WHY you are on this planet. Once you know that, you’ll know what to shoot for.

14. Understand there is not much difference between failure and success. Having a sense of purpose is the fuel that powers persistence in the midst of adversity. “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver

15. Get up, get over it, and get going. It’s what you do after you get back up that counts. Nothing of value is achieved without taking risks. Winning usually follows losing.

  • Finalize your Goal
  • Order your plans.
  • Risk failing by taking action
  • Welcome mistakes
  • Advance based on your character
  • Reevaluate your progress continually
  • Develop new strategies to succeed

You made it! You read this far because this subject struck a chord with you. Or maybe because you are determined to not read the whole book, but wanted to get the high points. Either way, mission accomplished.