14 Day Challenge

With the spread of Covid-19 and the inherent lock-down of economies around the world a lot of us have a lot more free time. Whether you have been let go from work or are now working from home, you have more time now to look after yourself than ever before. Have you always wanted to get in shape? Do you suffer from Mental Health issues? Do you want to get a head start on life?

The best way to do this is to get a head start on your day or at least this is what I have been told. I have read from so many sources that daily routines are the way to improve your health, wealth and happiness. I have researched these routines and came up with 8 things I am going to do for the next 14 days and see what difference it makes.

The first routine is Cold Shower and Breathing each morning. I have been reading and researching the work of Wim Hoff, “The Iceman”. He got his nickname “The Iceman” by breaking a number of records related to cold exposure. His accomplishments include “climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts, running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle on his bare feet, and standing in a container while covered with ice cubes for more than 112 minutes”. These achievements are crazy! He has fascinated me with his unique thinking. Wim Hof Method: a natural path to an optimal state of body and mind is something I am going to try. Even if I am going to start with only a 30 cold shower!

The next routine is to Exercise every day. Either a 5 km run or some HIIT home work outs. I always feel better after doing some exercise but sometimes don’t find the time. With the fact that I am working from home now everyday and the clocks have just gone forward for the summer, I don’t have that excuse anymore. A little bit everyday is the aim. I have also booked in a Run Call with a couple of my friends. We usually go for runs once or twice a week but with the new Lock-down measures we can’t so we have decided to ring each other at 12:30 am and go for our lunch time run over the phone. Ill let you know how it goes!

This next routine is something that I have always told myself I would get into the habit of but again never found the time. Journaling/blogging is something I have never thought I was very good at. I wasn’t good in school or in college so I got out of the habit of it but I actually enjoyed doing it. So for the next 14 days you will be getting a blog post from me on this site.

Develop a Vision Board and review everyday. I will go the old fashioned way of taking cut outs form magazines/newspapers etc and pasting them onto a board. I will place it somewhere I can see it every day (I’m thinking the wall in my bedroom at the moment). I will review my vision board every morning when I wake up so that my goals are ingrained into my thinking for the day. I will also review it every night before I go to sleep so my brain can think of my goals in my subconscious mind while I sleep. While I am reviewing my goals I will say aloud my Daily Affirmations to focus my mind further on what I want to achieve.

Fasting for 16 hours a day is going to be my next routine. This sounds drastic but its really achievable. I can have my first meal at 10 am and last at 6 pm. I have done this before and have found for me it gives me more energy, helps with weight loss and stops me eating rubbish food just before bed.

Meditation is something that has helped me before and I want to get into the habit of doing it again. It slows down my crazy over active brain which is what I need sometimes. I’ll start by doing some guided meditations from YouTube and then venture out on my own when I build up my confidence and skill again.

The final two elements to the 14 Day Challenge is Reading Every Day. Whether this is an educational book or not doesn’t really matter for me at the moment. I just want to get back into the habit of doing it. The other is listening to good Podcasts. So if you guys have any recommendations please let me know.

If you guys have some free time for the next two weeks here is my 14 day challenge that I am starting tomorrow 30/03/2020. Give it a go too!!

  1. Cold Shower and Breathing
  2. Exercise
  3. Blogging
  4. Vision Board & Daily Affirmations
  5. 16 hour fasting
  6. Meditation
  7. Read everyday
  8. Listen to good Podcasts

14 Day Challenge – Day 1

Started off great today with a cold shower and my Wim Hoff method breathing. Felt bright and ready for the day. (It did take me a while to get warm again though). Tomorrow I’m going to do the breathing exercise first then the cold shower. I was soo cold trying to do the breathing.

Last night I created a vision board on Canva App. It’s a cool app and easy to use. Definitely would recommend anyone try it if they want to do anything with photos. This morning I used my vision board to focus on what I want to achieve this year. I’ll do the same tonight. I like the idea of this to keep me focused on my goals.

After the good start to he morning work took over. Reports and emails were flying in. Not the start to the working day I was looking for but I put the head down and got through it.

The farm then came calling. Cows have to be fed so I got in the tractor and went to work. I always find something relaxing about working on the farm. Back in the day it used to be mad but nowadays we have taken the smarter approach in being more organized and calm around the animals.

Just after lunch I started to get a bit tired. I wonder if that’s to do with the change in diet routine. I had my breakfast at 10, lunch at 2 and then dinner at 6. I ran the beach then at 7 o’clock which is roughly 5 km.

Finally tonight I’m going to meditate. I have been out of practice of meditation so I’m going to search for a guided meditation on YouTube to help me along.

Getting through my 14 day challenge well at the moment. Really enjoyed today. It gave me a target and things to do. Good start but I know there will be tougher days to come.

The beautiful beach I ran today

How to stop being lazy

Start with a simple morning routine. Just get up and do the same thing every day. If that sounds hard try doing it for two weeks. Make it fun, make a 14 day challenge out of it. Don’t forget every good morning routine starts from the night before! So make a checklist for the next day and get to bed early. This will remind you what to do the next day, help you to visualise completing the task and allow you get a good night sleep.

An example morning routine could be:

1. Make your bed.

2. Take a shower. (Try end it with a cold 30 seconds)

3. Eat a healthy breakfast.

4. Meditate

Stay away from social media. For me its a trap. You start scrolling and next thing you know a half an hour has passed. Not the best way to start off the day.

Check out George Gammon, Brian Rose, Patrick Bet David, Kyle Bass, Nomi Prins, Gerald Celeste, Jim Rickards, Max Keiser, Peter Schiff, Brett Johnson, Chris Martensen, Ed Griffin, Ray Dalio, Jordan Peterson on YouTube, they’ve got some great things to say about this subject among many many other interesting topics.

People always say but I don’t have the MOTIVATION. I watch motivational videos YouTube and they just don’t work. I don’t know how to get motivated. etc etc..

Honestly in my opinion, don’t bother with motivation. Motivation is temporary. What you need to do is make a habit. So I’d recommend that you start with something small. Let’s say getting up at 7 or 8 am every morning and doing 10 Press Ups, 10 Sit Ups and 10 Squats. It doesn’t have to be a lot but just make yourself do it everyday. It should only take you 5 minutes. This will compound and really stand to you. The main goal here is to make it a routine so its just something you always do.

Don’t just take my example. Pick something that YOU want to do! Whether it’s fitness, studying, eating healthy, chatting with certain people whatever. But just make sure you start off with bite-size chunks. Make sure it is easy and manageable. You shouldn’t pick something difficult, like running 10 km everyday, that you know you are going to hate and quit before you start. So for example, let’s say you pick doing 10 Press Ups, 10 Sit Ups and 10 Squats every morning.

So you know what you want to achieve, now you should pick when in the day you want to do it. This of your schedule. What time do you usually get up? Can you get up half an hour earlier and get it done then? If you are not a morning person and hate the sounds of that then set a time for the evening. Let set you get home from work at 6 pm. Give yourself some time to relax and make some food and schedule in some time from 7:30 pm to do your exercises. Picture yourself doing them before you sit down to watch your favorite TV show. I like to have my evenings free to work on the farm so I try to get some exercise in during lunch hour at work. I stretch for 20 mins and then run 5 km with a few friends from work. That usually takes us around 25-30 minutes. Then I have a shower get changed and have lunch at my desk. It makes me feel alive and energised for the rest of the day. Plus I have my evenings free to do as I please!

How are you going to ensure that you do it everyday? I have a group of friends in work that I run with. This helps a lot as on the days I’m not interested they encourage me and vise versa. Everything is always easier in numbers. If you are doing this at home try get your partner involved as well. Do your doing 10 Press Ups, 10 Sit Ups and 10 Squats together, help each other along and keep track. Try raise the number you do every week or make it a competition etc. Try anything that will help you to keep doing it.

The next step is to START. Don’t think about it too much just get up and do it. Its not about being the best, fastest, strongest etc its just about doing it. The power of compounding will work and you will find it easier as time goes on so don’t be afraid if its a little sore or hard the first time. It gets easier!

Start doing your activity every day, at the same time, until it becomes routine. Once you’re at a point where it’s consistent, you can start building and adding new things to the routine.

The most important thing in all this is to develop a routine. A routine happens even if you’re not motivated.

Below are the main things that have I have seen help people:

  1. Get enough sleep

To do this you have to get up earlyish and move. Are you getting enough fresh air and walking in?

If you’re lazy then you most likely sit around and lie down way too much. As a result you don’t burn up enough energy and don’t sleep well at night. Do something to make yourself tired. You should sleep at minimum 7 to 8 hours a night. Sleep is so important for everything in your body and mind. It gives you energy and it makes you ready for the day so you don’t get tired during daily activities.

To do : sleep early / take a nap during the day

2. Eat healthy

It not a secret at this stage but what you eat affects your energy levels. If you always eat bad food and you not don’t do mush exercise then your energy level will be low. Have you every felt heavy, tired and unwilling to do anything because you don’t have any power to do it. Well that’s why. You have been eating shit food. Imagine your body as a car. If you give it shit food its not going to perform well simple as. Eating healthy and natural foods will help you to increase your energy level to make you feel more energized and active during the day. Try it for a while and see what happens. Challenge yourself for 14 days and see if you notice the difference!

To do : replace bad food with fruits and vegetables! You have heard it all before but it works!

3. Make a daily to do list

This gives you an idea of what needs to be done in a day. Some people can have this in their head but for a lot of us, it is better to have it on paper so we can refer to it during the day. Being lazy also comes from being disorganized and not knowing exactly what to do. I believe a do list will help you with that. It does for me. It will keep track of your daily tasks, and you’ll be able to see what you should do and what’s left for you to check off the list. There is a ton of apps out there you can try. I think Wunderlist is a good place to start. Here’s one thing you should remember about making a to-do list: keep it under 5 items. Why? So you don’t feel overwhelmed. Keep it simple, precise and under-five items and you should be fine.

To do : use a daily to do list to accomplish your top 5 tasks everyday (you can use an app)

4. Get a partner

I just started playing golf. It was a major ambition of mine for years but never had the courage as golf courses seemed intimidating to me. So I asked a friend i knew was interested in gold to join with me. I joined the golf club with him and played once a week for a year. Then two other friends joined and our interest gradually increased as we played litter mini competitions with each other and encouraged each other to play more often. As a result, we got better and wanted to play more often. It was like a snowball effect. Once one of us got the bug we all did. We all wanted to beat each other in our little mini-competitions but we really enjoyed our time together as well. Looking back on it i wouldn’t have joined our enjoyed golf without my friend. I believe doing activities with a friend makes it easier and more fun to do. What seemed to be scary or difficult or painful task can easily become a great day out once you do it with a friend.

To do : when possible do something new with a friend

5. Embrace the hardship

The fact that you have to do something hard should not stop you. It should propel you forward. In my mind i know nobody will be able for this but e and that spurs me on in the tough moments. I’m going to do it and if you can too fair play to you. Don’t run from the stuff that is difficult to achieve. Face it and do whatever you have to do every day. Remember that the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. The more difficult the action is, the more intense the rush is. So you have to push yourself a bit because nothing will work if you don’t use your willpower. It’s there for a reason.

“Life isn’t supposed to be easy. Generally speaking, the harder something is the more rewarding the results will be.”

— C.C. Hunter

To do : finish your tasks even if they seem difficult

6. Don’t wait for the perfect time

Today is a perfect time. Even though in your head if you don’t think its the perfect time just go for it. If you don’t act you will have regrets. This is the biggest mistake people will make. You will make it too if you don’t act! So move now and do whatever it is that has been in your head for years! you know what it is, just do it! If you’re always delaying stuff because you’re waiting for the ‘right time’ then you’ll never do anything, and I’m sure you already know that. Often times later becomes never. I’m sure you remember a certain time when you said you would do it later than months, or even years pass you by without you even starting what you said you would do. Don’t fall into this trap again.

To do : As Nike say: Just do it!!!

7. Set a goal for yourself

You must have a long term goal for yourself. Yes it sounds scary and maybe you won’t want your long term goal in a few years but you must have direction! Or else you will be like every other person in the world living paycheck to paycheck with no ambition or motivation to get out of the rat race. The aim with this goal is to keep you motivated and ready to put in the effort. This will start you on the process of getting there because every time you reach a milestone you get an addictive rush that will push you to the next milestone and so on. What does a goal look like? Maybe you want to become more confident, smarter, wealthier, have a more meaningful life. When you want to improve yourself, and you have a goal that you’re excited to reach, you’ll become willing to make the effort. Don’t set a goal just to have a goal in place, choose something that excites you.

To do : set a long-term goal and then break it down into shorter achievable goals.

How to save 100k by the time you’re 30

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. How do I have enough money to put a good deposit down on a house or to put into a new business venture all by the time I’m 30?

At 18 & 19 aim for €2000 per annum. That’s about €40 per week. A part time job alongside your studies, paying €100 per week should allow you to save €40.

When you are 20 and 21 you should have gained a bit more experience working (for me I was in a bar and got to work two nights a week at this age). This will allow you to save more. €67 per week. Easy 💪. This is based on the fact that you have little to no living expenses at this age.

At 22 and 23, you should starting your new ‘career’. This job should be paying a little bit more than the part time role you were doing during college. Here you should be looking to save €5000 per year which is a little less than €100 per week.

At 24 we expect you to get your first small pay raise (or receive your first bonus depending on the type of role you undertake). This year aim to put away €7500.

For the ages of 25 & 26 aim for €10000 per annum. That’s nearly €200 per week. This is a lot of money so it is imperative that you work extremely hard in the early years of your career in order to work your way up the ladder.

At 27 aim for €13000 per year. This is €250 per week. At this stage you should be earning around €50000 which is around €700 per week after tax, depending on where you live. Keep your expenses low and this is achievable.

Finally when you are 28, 29 and 30 aim to save €15000 per year which is €288 a week. You should be on around €50-60k by then which will allow you to do this.

3 Tips

1. Don’t finance anything or sign up to many paying subscription based products.

2. Live with roommates / parents. Keep your life cheep. Short term pain for long term gain.

3. Work hard in your job so you become more valuable to your employer and therefore are paid more. Start a side hustle.

How to study 400% faster

We all need to learn and study in some part of life. Life is learning, studying and learning again even if you don’t realise it. Whether you’re studying for your Bachelor degree, Masters or simply expanding your knowledge base, these tips will help you get the most out of your study time. We uncover that it’s not necessarily about working harder, but how to study smarter.

1. Set Study Goals.

I make a list of study goals and tick them off when I complete them. Not only will it motivate you and give you a sense of achievement, it will help you feel in control and reduce any study stress. This I found to be very good. It gave me a feel good feeling when I completed a topic. The feeling allowed encouraged me to keep going and learn more.

2. Get good partner

Make sure you get on with the person and they’re motivated to learn. Ideally get someone who is good at the topic or you know picks things up quickly. This is one of the best things I did when trying to study. Naturally we picked up different things when reading the material so we were able to teach each other afterwards. I cannot recommend this enough. I found it great for breaking down complex information into plain English. This is the only way I learn.

3. Study in short intervals

Short and sharp intervals are the best I have found. My brain is able to process information much better than lots of information in long sessions. I always break the sessions up into 30 minutes ‘studying’, 15 minutes review/chat about the topic afterwards and then 15 minutes rest. A short walk or cup of tea is great for this. I find it best to get the blood flowing though as I feel it awakens my body and get my senses going for learning again.

4. Get moving and get in the zone

I like to exercise before I get down to some serious study as I believe it works for me. Its important to create the ideal study space where you are comfortable and have a place to write and talk in peace. That is why i don’t like to study in libraries, I believe it is so important to discuss the topics being studied to embed the knowledge into your deeper consciousness. You’ll be more likely to recall something in an exam if you have discussed it beforehand whereas for me if I have just read the material I may not recall it all. Make sure you have everything you need – correct books, pens etc. Also, limit distractions – leave your phone alone and stay off social media!

5. Sleep well and Eat Well

This is key for live in general but a lot of people don’t do it. I found that I take on more information when I’m alert, have eaten correctly and have had a decent amount of sleep – and of course I perform even better after I’ve exercised. I find that it’s important to make sure you’ve eaten the correct foods to get your brain fired up and ready to learn – food such as fish, nuts, berries and yoghurt. It also pays to stay hydrated so get at least 2 liters of water into you per day studying. Also don’t forget to get up to move after every your 45-minute session.

6. Write Notes on the topics

My brain stores information better when i take notes after have read or heard it. Have you ever understood something in the moment but then later on find it hard to recall what was said? Just write it down. An interesting system I have used is the Leitner System. This system utilises the ideas of spaced repetition and increasing intervals. Give it a go and see if it works for you.

7. Connect with Other Topics or Ideas

I found that making connections between different topics allows me to better understand the subject i am covering. When I understand it I find it a million times easier to remember. I also try use Word Association technique to learn a list. The best example I have for this is Silly Old Harry Caught A Herring Totally Over Arabia. SOHCAHTOA! If you don’t understand what I mean google SOHCAHTOA. If you need to remember 7 names/principles/titles etc, take each name individually and associate it with a random word and make up a funny sentence that you won’t forget. The when asked about the principles you will be able to say your sentence and associate each random word to the principles and therefore learning the principles asked.

8. Test yourself with your partner

There are always questions in text books or the slides you’re studying. If not you will find some online. With you study partner test yourselves. Practice tests are a good way to see where you’re at, and where you might need to focus. I found if you come across something complicated when studying, make a note of it and remember to test yourself later for a challenge. Your partner may be able to help you out with the problem.

9. Teach it

If you really know something you an teach it. Tests have shown that people who study material to teach it to others, absorb the information more logically than those who are merely studying for themselves. So therefore try and teach a topic to your study partner. This will in turn reinforced it and develop your understanding of the topic.

10. Read aloud and recall

Read your notes allowed. Get away from the computer screen and whether it’s by yourself or with your study partner, read your notes out loud. Repetition is the key here. Say it over and over again and try to visualise what you are saying. If you can see it in your mind you will be able to recall it.

11. Get away from the computer screen

As said in my last point, GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER! Not only re here a million and one distractions but it has been proven in England at the University of Leicester that it’s harder to remember what you’ve read when reading from a screen, rather than a book or piece of paper. So therefore I would say buy the book or print out your lecture notes or online articles, and give those eyes a rest! It will stand to you in the long run.

Let me know what you think of the article below. I hope it helps you guys when studying. 🙏

How to keep your mind healthy

There are many things that school doesn’t teach us and one of those is how the us and our brain operate. How do we manage and train our brain for healthy living?

Here are the eight tricks for a healthy mind.

1) Listen to music. Music can repair brain damage and returns lost memories. Don’t be afraid to take time out of your busy life to relax and play some tunes. It’s always feels good to play your favorite songs.

2. Simply smile more often. Smiling, even in a bad mood, can immediately improve your mood because these muscles are enough to trigger happy chemicals in the brain. This means if you even pretend you’re happy you will be happy. Actively smile right now and see do you feel better.

3. Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself. I’m not joking. Talking to yourself can make your brain work more effectively. Therefore chatting to yourself might actually help you get the job done.

4. Always listen to your gut. A “gut feeling” is a chemical signal that your stomach creates to warn the brain of danger. 9 times out of 10 your gut feeling will be right so go with it.

5. Get out and exercise every single day with no excuses. “Neither the body nor the brain can function optimally without movement. In fact, sitting for more than 10 minutes at a time increases fatigue and reduces concentration.” – Rae Pica

6. Just let things go. Holding grudges is not only bad for your mental health, but it also has a physical impact on your brain. Take a deep breath, relax and let that shit go.

7. Neurologists claim that every time you resist acting on your anger, you’re actually rewiring your brain to be calmer and more loving. The next time you feel yourself getting angry. Take ten deep breath from the depths of your belly and then say your reply.

8. Finally if you are struggling with sleep, stress or just over thinking cuddling with your partner could be the answer. Cuddling before bed helps the brain relax so get into that spoon position and get your partner to help you out!

How to fight depression: Understanding your mind and gaining that mental strength

Depression is an illness. You don’t just ‘get over it’. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the world.

Dying for a Degree is a documentary aired on BBC one in 2019. It shows that there is an academic mental health crisis at the moment and how the support isn’t there for many people. Looking after your Mental Health is a skill that we must develop.

We must each learn individually How, as humans we operate and How to Manage Our Mental Health.

Here is a quote from Ned Vizzini that will make you think. “I didn’t want to wake up. I was having such a better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.” You don’t know what people are going through so always remember to try and be nice.

In the past number of years I have lost two very good friends from college to suicide, and Tim Bergling aka Avicii 2018, which hit me on a deep level. This just shouldn’t happen. Life is too precious. To paraphrase Alan Saporta: The best way to escape a problem is to solve the problem. There are three thoughts that I and others have found beneficial for averting the unavoidable ups and downs of life. These have helped me from thinking and behaving self-destructively.

A brilliant quote from Nietzsche: “A man who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”

1. Depression is part of life. It happens to us all and is necessary for a whole life.
Everyone goes through times of happiness and sadness. Energy and vibration, curiosity is cyclical. You cannot be happy all your life – even though we would love to be. There are times when your body needs depression like symptoms. These symptoms of depression often just reflect a system undergoing routine repair and maintenance.
Focusing on the symptoms of “depression” is what can lead to a downward spiral. Don’t make assumptions. Having periodic downcast phases is normal. Overthinking about them as unnatural is what can cause the damage in the long run. People make devastating decisions from overthinking and this is what does the damage.
The best way I have found to combat negative thoughts is not to reject them but to identify them as they occur. Negative thoughts uncovered disappear! A great way to do this is through Morning Meditation.

2. Look after your mental health
Just like your body you have to manage and maintain your head. For example do you suffer from Anxiety? A simple technique I use is to focus on “what is..” rather than “what if”. “What if” can create bad images in our mind and brings me to dark places. I therefore must look at ways to calm my mind down. So when this is happening I just ask myself, What is true..
When I get stressed or in a bad place I always go for a run. This is my way of dealing with things in my mind. I find it clears the chatter and increases endorphins such as Serotonin. These give your body a natural boost and make me instantly feel better.
Don’t forget it’s not all about your job, your care or money! In a absorbing study “Would you be happier if you were richer?”, by Princeton professors Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, found that perhaps the best indicator of happiness was frequency of eating with friends and family.
So maybe if you have to pick one action to harvest an emotive improvement, start having lunch/dinner more often with the people in your life who make you happy.

3. Gratitude training is essential for improving Mental Health
It is alarmingly easy to grow cynical and pessimistic thoughts and lose prospect of the fantastic gifts and successes in our lives. We focus on getting that girl or that degree or that promotion yet there is so much that is out of our control in these situations. One should not rate ourselves on what we have but on the kindness we portray.
Change your outlook, and avoid too much focus of self-image in one area of life, with weekly or daily gratitude exercises one can life a happy and abundant life.
Journaling – Write down three things every morning for which you are grateful for. I do this every morning and yes sometimes I do right done the same things that I have done before but that just reemphasis’s how important that is to me.
Say to the people you love how you really feel. Like is too short and we all do need a bit more love in our lives so lets TALK! ‘Dad, I love you and really appreciate everything you have ever done for me’. This will go a long way. Not only will it make your father smile but in turn it will make you happy.

Finally remember there are plenty of resources out there now that can help. Get in contact with them! They are there to help.

Need help?
Ireland: 116 123
Samaritans SMS: 087 260 9090
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English
Website: www.samaritans.org

Books to Read:

A Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

Change your life in a Month

The Happiness Advantage

  • Write a Gratitude List (3 things you are greatful for)
  • Journal (Something good that happened to you today)
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Random act of kindness

Try doing these simple tasks for a month and see does it make a difference for you.

Positive people are happier and happy people outperform always.

Watch Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk below..

Ted Talk – The Happy Secret to Better Work

What does your Healthy Week look like? Here’s mine…

  1. Cook all my own dinners
  2. Do meditation and exercise everyday
  3. Book a cookery night with girlfriend
  4. Go out to the woods for a walk
  5. Read a chapter of my lastest book per night. (Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris)
  6. Change my posture
  7. Set 3 goals to be achieved each day and achieve them
  8. No phone after 10pm
  9. Note what I’m grateful for each morning 🙏

The Secret to Personal Growth as a Leader … George Raveling

Someone asked me what has been one of my most significant challenges throughout my life. My response was to live a disciplined life. Much of our personal behavior is predicated on how we view the world. We tend to prefer information that confirms our existing beliefs. We like to believe adding new processes, policies, procedures, and habits will transform our lives without retiring old mindsets and ways of living that no longer serves us. When you add anything in life, you must subtract somewhere else. Each day you must be brutally honest with yourself as it relates to who you are, what you want, what you need and how you serve others. The challenge is not just to do good in life, but to be good and at peace within.

There is no better use of a life than to be attentive to other people’s needs. I have come to realize that everyone is always in need of something that another person can give. Be it undivided attention, a kind word or deep empathy. The reality is this, most of us spend more time following than leading. More than ever we desperately need sterling leadership. The fundamental characteristic of leadership is the ability to manage oneself. The secret to personal growth as a leader is always to remain curious. A great way to learn is to teach. Learning happens when you acknowledge what you do not know. When one teaches, all parties end up growing and winning.

Self-imposed fears and your unwillingness to be uncomfortable will always present barriers to your success and leadership. Your choices always have real consequences. So do not hide your best self from others. Understand anything that deviates from the status quo is frightening but worthwhile. On your journey of self-discovery you will be taken through front doors, back doors, side doors, and no doors. No matter what lies ahead keep moving forward and never give up!


– Coach George Raveling