Archives for posts with tag: mindset


“Never let all the things you want make you forget about all the things you have.”


The other morning I sat down at breakfast and noticed a little old man sitting next to me. I smiled and let the moment pass not thinking too much about it and not expecting much more from it.

A few minutes later, a little old woman join him. Having seen many old people eat breakfast before, I barely gave it a second thought. But, when the woman sat down I couldn’t help but overhear her talking. Then I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Almost as soon as she sat down she started complaining. This was not the average bitter old woman! I heard her say “That stupid bitch!” Immediately I was shocked. Everyone at my table must have heard it because it got silent. No one knew what to say. I mean how crabby can this old lady possibly be?! They must have said “stupid bitch!” about 5 times in a row. And it turns out she was mad because there was a lady in front of her at the omelette bar holding up the line because she didn’t know what she wanted. Whoa! I was floored! This lady was so old and crabby that the omelette line set her off.

A couple of minutes passed, and the old lady started talking to me. Well, to my friend. Apparently, this lady noticed the college shirt my friend was wearing and had something to say about it. I had no idea where or how this was going to go. I didn’t doubt my friend had just heard the omelette story. And I knew she would not deal with this lady’s attitude…. so here it goes… what will happen next…?

It turns out the old lady used to live in the same state as the college mentioned on my friends’ shirt. She was very fond of the area and that broke the ice to a casual conversation.

As it turned out,  I was celebrating my birthday. The lady and her husband were celebrating his birthday. As the conversation went on, I learned that the lady had survived breast cancer – twice.  She was proudly wearing pink T-shirt and advising all women who would listen to get checked out.

She had served in the Navy and was somewhat of a pin-up girl who became popular when she was caught on camera smoking cigars with some ranking officers.

When she was younger, she used to own a ’58 Chevy. She told us how she used to play chicken on the road and run from the cops. She got so illuminated when she was telling these stories. And she had no time for the guys who thought she couldn’t hold her own.

We reminisced about some college parties she used to go to after the football games.

It turns out she wasn’t bitchy at all – she was feisty! She was quite the character and a great random person to chat with. You never know who will cross your path or what story they have to tell.

Two lessons here:  1) Never underestimate the story of strangers. 2) Live your life as to have a wonderful story to share with others.

I’ve always been somewhat of a fitness guy. But I have also also been fortunate to be naturally lean. Most of my fitness pertains to my job and my personal desire to do active things like hiking and bike riding for personal enjoyment.

But I have to admit, I have my lot phases. Sometime I get more interested in my DVR and relaxing on my couch. And age doesn’t help! I used to be able to take all the time off I wanted and jump back into the gym and bounce back into shape in about a week. But age hasn’t helped that!

But this past weekend I had a chance to watch an ironman competition and cheer on a friend. For anyone who doesn’t know, the ironman is a race that consists of a 2.5 mile swim, 112 miles bike ride and then a 26.2 mile run… Yea.. Not for the faint of heart.

But to my surprise the competitors were not all ultra athletes. Many had the body shape the appeared they hadn’t been to the gym in a while. And amazingly, there about 10 participants that were over the age of 70!

So standing on the side lines cheering these people on made me wonder why the heck I think I can’t complete a race like that?! Oh, I know I would need massive training. And I’d have to break through the mental barriers and trust that I can do it. But will I?

I’m a long way from an ironman but I have started to kick myself in the butt to get motivated and push myself more.

But more importantly, the entire experience made me wonder: if I set up mental barriers in my fitness, what other mental barriers have I let myself put up?

What have you talked yourself out of throughout your life? And what will you do to break free and excel?

Be the man. Be the calm in the storm.

Be the man in an emergency.

Every single one of us has bad days. No matter how stoic we are, we all have to deal with bills, traffic, flat tires, leaky pipes and a whole list of miscellaneous things that pop up and make you want to pull your hair out. It’s called life.

I clench my teeth and drop my head back against my headrest more times than I can count throughout the week. But my role at work does not allow me to lose my cool and scream at the top of my lungs to blow off steam. It’s the sign of a mature man to keep his cool and handle the situation. Nothing gets fixed when you lose it. The coolest most in control men stop, breath, and work the problem.

But being a man brings on even more responsibility. You’ll find yourself surrounded by friends, girlfriends, wives, kids and everyone else who is stressing because of the situation at hand. And it’s easy to see that screaming, crying, and worrying about every “what if” isn’t going to help anything. This is when you really have to “man up”. I’ve found that in stressful situations, the mob mentality spreads fast. So, take the leadership role and stay calm and start to work with what you have. The tires flat – punching your steering wheel won’t fix it. Your son didn’t get to play as much in his sports league as you wanted – making a scene and cussing out the coach won’t make you the father of the year. Be a man and stay calm.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I’m solo and something like a flat tire happens unexpectedly… I allow myself a moment to grab the steering wheel and grrrrrrrr!!! But then you have to breath and analyze your options and work through the problem at hand. But that’s when I’m alone. When you’re a guy, and your loved ones are around, or anyone who is counting on you to be the leader in the situation, the grrrrrr goes out the window.

No matter what the outcome, whether you can rectify the whole situation or not, you become the lead guy by keeping your cool and not losing your head. And if you do fix the issue, you become the coolest most level headed hero on everyone’s eyes.

So aim at being the hero instead of a screaming hot-headed lunatic. Your man-factor will grow by leaps and bounds.

“Weak men wait for opportunities; great men make them.” — Orison Swett Marden

Throughout the day I see people in real life and on the news making some very bad decisions .. I like to refer to them as short sighted decisions. But in reality it comes down to just being immature – so immature decisions if you prefer that.

See, here is how I get there: children act without thinking. They only know instant gratification. When they don’t get it, they scream, cry, and throw tantrums. They don’t think about the consequences or possible ramifications of their actions. It’s up to their parents to “teach” them that they can’t always have it their way. They are also teaching them patience, and problem solving skills.

BUT, not everyone gets these lessons apparently. We see people getting in fist fights over parking spots, walking away from fights only to return with a gun, or lashing out and striking someone. Sadly these aren’t even the worst reactions and short term decisions.

People lose their job and come back to shoot up their former office. In my town we recently had a man essentially kill two people (both who had families) over a $2500.00 lawsuit. He ended committing suicide as the police searched for him. What a sad outcome all around.

These short term decisions come to mind because these people don’t think about their actions. Lives ruined, people sent to prison all over things that can be so temporary, things that can be worked through or walked away from without the chaos.

Part of being a true man is being able to control your actions. You have to be able to see the big picture and think before you act. You have to realize the wave of consequences that come with your actions.

Remember children throw tantrums. Men are able to step back, take a breath, and choose their battles wisely.

Can you make big pictures decisions ?

“A shark can never give up, the moment it stops swimming it drowns
. Maybe that’s why it’s the most feared creature if the sea”

– everyday life lessons

Recommended book: The Shark and the Goldfish by Jon Gordon

“We [Navy SEALS] tried to never fall in love with a plan because that breeds complacency”

“One of the key lessons learned early on in a SEALS career was the ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable”

– Mark Owens in “No Easy Day”

“Every man dies, not every man truly lives” – braveheart