Fri, 3 July 2015
Alan Alda said, “At times you have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.”
My last episode was an example of trusting and following my intuition.
If you go back and listen, you’ll find out there was a major storm I was going through, brought on by a family member who isn’t dealing with some issues in a healthy way.
Quiet Your Mind
I closed my eyes, breathed deep and focused on that breathing.
If you want to tap into your inner thinking you have to slow down and stop all the noise in your life and your head.
Our lives are noisy - phone, TV, radio, podcasts even. We have constant external chatter and we can’t hear the internal voice.
Slow Your Breathing
Take slow and deeper breaths.
This will relax tension in your muscles and allow your blood to flow at a normal rate.
This will also allow the energy within you to flow freely. Call it what you will
Listening to Your Gut
There’s actually a massive network of nerves in your abdominal area.
Scientists call it your enteric nervous system.
It designed to give almost an instant reaction to a situation.
It’s that ‘gut feeling.’
Listen to that feeling. Understand that your head can influence this feeling and that’s why you need to quiet your mind.
You will find peace… you will feel comfort… when you tap into your inner compass, your intuition it will feel right.
Move forward in this area… trust your intuition and move forward.
Great things will happen. Trust it and move forward.
Wed, 1 July 2015
To many people in the personal development world present a false reality to their audience. They present a view that their life is pretty, clean and packaged perfectly. That's not the way your life is and it's certainly not what my life looks like.
Your life is real. Your life isn’t made up of theories, it’s made up of real situations that aren’t always pretty and packaged up in a neat little bow. Too much personal development advice is presented in this way.
My life is like yours. Real and very messy sometimes.
But your success in life isn’t determined by what others do to you, but how you react to that.
When others bring a mess into your life, you can let that stop you and keep you from where you want to go, or you can bear down and push through and make progress.
When the Storms Raise at Sea
One of my dreams is to take up sailing and spend an indefinite amount of time sailing around the world with no schedule and no agenda.
I’ve learned a bit about sailing, including sailing in the midst of a storm. You try to avoid them but sometimes you find you’re stuck in the middle of one and you have to deal with it.
There’s something called furling your sails. This is when the winds get too strong and you have to shorten your sails to keep the boat under control.
You’re reducing what you expect out of your sails.
You have to do this in your life sometimes as well. This doesn’t mean you head to shore, turn around or just sit there. This mean you continue to move forward but you adjust what you’re expecting out of your sails.
Adjusting My Expectations
I’ve had a storm in life the past 24 hours. Not a storm I sailed into intentionally, but one that just showed up all of a sudden. For me, it’s a family member who’s hurt and not dealing with their emotional pains in a healthy way. You love people but you can’t fix them without their desire to join in on the process.
I’m going on 2 hours of sleep. I’m exhausting and hurting today because of this. But, I also have made a commitment to bring a new show every weekday.
This isn’t the show I expected. I had to furl my sails today. So I’m just going from my heart. I’m trusting this will resonate with you.
Trust Your Instinct
Listen, sometimes we feel like doing less because we should be doing less. Trust your instinct and measure it against your current knowledge and wisdom from the past.
I’m a firm believer that when we trust the spirit within us, amazing things happen and I am trusting this show will have a bigger impact for people than what I had planned.
I wanted to just go to bed. Felt that before?
I said… I’ll just do a 5 minute show and share that life has turmoil sometimes and I’ll mention how we need to press on and do whatever we can. We have to be in control of life not have life be in control of us.
I plopped myself down and just wanted to write a few notes for an outline.
Look at where I am now. I just took one step. Opened up my Evernote app where I keep my notes and I just started to write.
I want this to be an inspiration to you for the days when you’re overwhelmed.
Don’t compound the overwhelm by keeping your sails unfurled. By that I mean, don’t compound the overwhelm by keeping the same expectations.
I furled my sails and I pressed on through the storm… keep in mind, this isn’t about the past, this is what you’re experience live with this episode. This isn’t a cute story, this is reality right now.
In doing that, the stronger wins on my furled sails have taken this episode even further than I originally planned. That’s not uncommon in life.
If today is the day, press on. If today is great for you, remember this episode for the day in the future when you’re in a similar situation.
Tue, 30 June 2015
We’ve discussed the importance of staying in the moment and focusing on what needs to be done right now rather than consternating checking your progress or comparing yourself to others. It’s true, it’s important. but…
As with so many other apparently “non-productive” things like play-time, we make them a vital part of our progress when we’re intentional about them. Down time or play time can be a hurdle for us if we’re not in control of when it happens. But when we do control it, it’s incredibly beneficial, actually helping us get more done during our non-downtime.
Look Up From The Road in Front of You
You may know some people who drive with their eyes only looking about 10 to 20 feed in front of them. That’s not the safest way to drive, but sometimes in life, that’s the best way to get a lot of work done. Just focus on what’s NEXT
To continue the metaphor, this is fine when you know had a break, gotten some rest and your tank is full. You have no reason to stop for several miles.
But, you can’t do this indefinitely.
When you do that, you miss the exit sign, or the rest area, or even the “last service station for the next 50 miles” sign.
That’s why you have to be intentional about pulling over and checking the tire pressure, coolant level, stretch your legs and even take a little potty break.
Ok… enough of the metaphor.
As this episode is released, it’s the last day of June 2015. We’re heading into July and we’re even at a the mid point in the year, so you may want to make extra use of this place to look at how your annual goals are doing.
Review Your Progress
One of the best ways to get more done is to have less to do. That’s a little odd, but just like a cluttered desk, a cluttered to-do list can be overwhelming and distracting, keeping you from focusing on the items that are most important in your day, or in this case, your month.
Is there something on your to do list that’s been there most of if not all of the past month?
Maybe that’s something that really isn’t as important
Estimate what you can do this next month by using last month as your standard - and eventually several “last months” - evaluate what you were honestly able to get done.
Metaphor time… hahaha… I can’t help it. When my family relocated from Washington State to South Florida, we had a great time driving about 3,000 miles across the country. It’s one of my favorite memories as a family. In fact, it’s a driving factor in my desire to someday buy an motor coach and head out across the country again.
When I mapped out our trip, the first day I planned for us to go about 900 miles. In fact, I booked a hotel room for us before we even left. Well, at about 1 am, with blurry eyes I could barely keep open, we finally pulled into the hotel parking lot. Wow… That was a LONG day.
The next day, I planned on going about 750 miles. Still, this was a LONG day. By the 5th and final day, I was planning on doing about 500 (nearly half of my first day) miles.
I had to adjust based on my previous performance. Otherwise, I was setting unrealistic expectations feeling overwhelmed by what lies ahead of me.
So look back at what you did or didn’t get done in the past month. Look at the effort it took and be honest with ourself about how much more or less you should be doing.
Keeping in mind what you didn’t get done from last month, evaluate what you need to do this next month.
Look for items that can be delayed or even eliminated. This isn’t about procrastination, it’s about planning your schedule so you don’t overestimate what you can do. It’s about making sure fully focused on a few very high priority items rather than being mentally scattered.
Are there any new projects starting up this month which require you to be finishing up previous items?
Will those new items be more important in the grand scheme of things?
What can be delegated to someone assisting you so it’s still getting done but you’re free to do what needs your specific attention?
Looking at everything that’s on your schedule or to do list for next month, break them down into weekly tasks.
Your month may look manageable until you realize 90% of your tasks have a deadline at the end of the second week. So manage week by week and look for items which can be shifted without compromising your overall goals.
Keep in mind, even though your to do list looks manageable, you may have family or friends visiting from out of town. Or possibly some travel requirements for yourself which will take over part of a few days at least.
In June I had Father’s Day, my birthday and wedding anniversary all within a one week period. I missed this collision and that’s why I’m publishing Tuesday’s episode on Tuesday evening instead of Tuesday morning. It’s catch up time now. That’s bad planning.
My workload didn’t change, but capacity did. Don’t overlook it. What big events are happening next month?
Make sure you’re investing the time in this process. I realize it can SEEM like wasted time, but it’s not… it’s just like the metaphor about sharpening your saw or ax before heading out to cut down a tree. What seems like a waste of time really turns into a huge investment. The work is done more rapidly and the time invested pays a huge dividend.
Also make sure you’re doing your weekly and even daily reviews. Each one should take less time then the other. Your annual planning may take a full day or even a weekend, monthly planning may be a few hours, weekly planning could be just an hour and your daily could just be 10 minutes.
If you put off any of the items in that sequence, you’re going to compound the problem further down the line.
Take the time and do that monthly review. I hope you had a great June and you’re looking forward to an amazing July. At the end of July, I’ll be heading to Fort Worth for Podcast Movement and even doing a quick 10 minute presentation on Friday. If you’re going, please reach out and let me know. There are few things I want to do there more than meeting you, a listener to this show. Let’s grab lunch, coffee or even a drink. I would love to say hello.
Mon, 29 June 2015
I wish every person I love would listen to what's on this episode. I'm honestly incredibly proud of what is put out on here. In fact, I believe this is one of those moments when I just let the Infinite wisdom of the Universe speak through me.
We only get stronger physically when we engage in physical resistance, like weight training. We purposely cause ourselves to confront and deal with that sort of resistance.
But, why don't we do the same thing emotionally? In fact, emotionally, we oftentimes work tirelessly to avoid the resistance that comes naturally. We hope that we can some day have enough financially to help us avoid the resistance that comes emotionally.
Listen to this episode and share it with everyone you know so they can realize that the pain we're struggling through right now is going to make us strong so the burdens which will come in the future will be much lighter.
The past way for me to make your life better is to help you struggle through the burdens of today.
Fri, 26 June 2015
You know that feeling… when you put on your favorite jeans and … uh oh, they’re a little snug.
Or you look down at your shirt and you notice the buttons are straining a little more than you’d like, to keep things closed up.
That’s what happened to me.
Why Physical Success Has Been a Struggle For Me
Two things that work against me… I LOVE food. Seriously…
The other thing, I don’t don't LOVE exercise. I love competitive sports, but just getting out and going for run around the neighborhood, or picking up some weights and doing some curls… It’s boring to me.
This Is Why I'm Using the MyFitnessPal App and Website
Here's how this fantastic app works:
You start off simple. How many calories go in versus many calories are consumed
How much do you weigh?
How much do you want to lose (or gain) per week (up to 2 lbs a week)
Then it knows how many calories you need to reach that goal
How active are you?
It then adjust your calorie goal based on that projected activity level and then adjust it based on your real activity level.
Now you know how many calories you can consume each day and still hit your weight loss.
For me, given my current weight, I can consume 1,427 calories per day if I want to lose 2 lbs per week.
I’m mildly active so it adds in 25-30 calories for exercise which brings me to about 1,450 calories per day.
It adjusts based on your actual activity level (iPhone Health app - MapMyRun - FitBit - More)
Set Your MacroNutrient Ratios
If you’re a low fat person, you your fat percentage goal at 20% - 40% Protein and 40% Carbs. It will give you a scale to monitor.
If you add a food item to a meal, it will tell you right then and there that you’ve gone over or that this food is high in a nutrient you’re trying to keep low.
You can monitor this closely
Adding Food You’ve Eaten
This is the beauty of this app. There are SO MANY items.
I love using the barcode scanner. It has yet to miss an item.
Everything I’ve scanned has been in the system. It’s amazing.
You can search for homemade or store bought foods
There’s a massive database. People are adding the most popular recipes from you favorite websites like Food.com, AllRecipes, Epicurious, MyRecipe, and more
If it’s not there…
You can add recipes
Easy to add recipes - Type in the web address of the recipe, make sure it’s imported everything correctly and tell it how much you ate. All done.
Checks your Step Count Automatically
As you walk through your day, MyFitnessPal will automatically update based on the number of steps you take. This is already built into your iOS device, and I believe into many Androids.
If you do more than walking, just enter it like you do your food. The database is full of exercises.
Crossfit WOD’s? They’re in the system.
Your favorite machine at the gym? It’s in the system.
This is the beauty of the app
Measure Your Results
Obviously, it tracks your weight whenever you update it
It can also track any other measurement you’d like.
Everything is easy to track.
There’s even a social element to the app as others you know who use the app see your updates and give you encouragement. It’s not on your Facebook page, if you don’t want it to be. They see it when they check in with their app, so it’s not public.
It’s a Great App to Make Sure You Stay on Target
Like your time meter
Like your financial budget
You don’t just use it when you’re in trouble… use it to keep you OUT of trouble.
Success is a well rounded life. Not a well rounded body…
Wed, 24 June 2015
In this episode, we explore the following five quotes from the author James Allen (Wiki Link).
James Allen is the author of As a Man Thinketh (it's free on Kindle).
Here are 5 of my favorite quotes from James Allen:
Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.
The man who thinks hateful thoughts brings hatred upon himself. The man who thinks loving thoughts is loved.
The man who sows wrong thoughts and deeds and prays that God will bless him is in the position of a farmer who, having sown tares, asks God to bring forth for him a harvest of wheat.
The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.
The outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state...Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.
Tue, 23 June 2015
As I mention in the intro, this show focuses on something I like to call “success for failures.”
The only thing is… most of us who have been made to feel like failures have so because we haven’t been able to do well on the "Grit Test."
The Grit Test
The Grit Test was developed by Harvard Research Angela Duckworth.
She went over decades of data on what brought people to greatness in life and she came up with two major factors:
People who didn’t change course just because they wanted a change. Something new.
People who didn’t change course just because the current one become difficult. Maybe that’s you.
As you can see, at the core of what she looked at was the ability to stick to the course you’re one. Basically … GRIT. Making it to the finish line…
G-R-I-T Predicts Success More Than S-A-T
Angela Duckworth took her study of grit to Penn State
She tested incoming students and found the ones with a high grit score but a low entrance exam, ended up having a higher GPA than those with a lower Grit score but higher SAT.
Smarter Kids Don’t Have to Try As Hard
Looking further into the studies of Angela Duckworth, we see how she discovered young children in a spelling bee who had a higher grit score but lower verbal IQ ended up doing just as well as students with a higher IQ and lower Grit score.
This means yes, the kids with a higher IQ could perform as well without trying as hard. But…
Here’s some hope for you…
Her studies indicated, even the kids with lower IQ’s and less self-control (less fidgety and able to do what they’re told) who had a high grit score ended up doing just as well as the kids with higher IQ’s.
So Do You Have Grit?
Let’s look at how you do on the grit test. You have to be honest or you’re not going to find out anything real.
Here are my results:
Total = 33 (average 2.75)
I will say… that’s tough to see… but it also lets me know.. I have to remind myself all the time to push on… show that grit. Keep going when I want to quit. Being conscious of it is what will help you overcome.
I’ve increased my number from where I was 10 years ago, I know that for sure. So can you.
Call to Action
Take the grit test and see what you come up with. Let me know what you get.
Tue, 23 June 2015
Today, the 22nd, as I record this, is my birthday. Along with birthdays comes… birthday … cake.
Wow, I can NOT focus after that piece of birthday cake.
I’m telling you, I’m distracted and unable to finish what I’ve started. It’s a struggle to do the outline for this show.
Let’s talk about why this happens and what we can do to not only avoid it, but reverse the scenario, and it doesn't just come from cake.
Glucose is Our Fuel
Glucose is what most of our food turns into and it’s what we need for energy. Without it, we crash and burn. We have zero energy.
Research indicates the optimum level of glucose in our blood stream is 25 grams. That’s about what you’ll get from one banana but keep in mind, that glucose is consumed over time. So you have to work at keeping your levels balanced.
Too high and you suffer, too low and you suffer.
You can do that by regulating your intake through grazing or by eating foods that are low on the Glycemic Index, which means they release glucose more slowly…
Tyrosine is an amino acid that makes you feel energized and alert. It is one of the ones that can cross the blood-brain barrier.
Tryptophan is another one, which has a calming effect.
Foods that are high in Tyrosine and are Low GI foods:
High Glycemic foods (AVOID):
Think about what most kids are eating today in the West. Is it any wonder we think they all have ADHD?
I would love to know if you have a snack you enjoy which doesn't cause you to crash and burn in the afternoons.
Mon, 22 June 2015
Follow me for a minute…
Every single person can have someone else look at them and think “Wow, they are messed up."
Do you think, if you followed this along for 10, 20, 100 or 1000 levels or more, you’d eventually get to someone who just has it all figured out and they’re doing fantastic?
Following this path, do you think this is a progression UPWARD in character?
Is this is character pyramid and there’s one person at the very top who has it all figured out and is beyond the judgement of others?
No. you’re right. The person we reach after following this path for 1,000 occurrences probably has 10 people who could look at certain areas of their life and think “Wow, they are messed up."
In fact, here’s what we’d find out.
Some of those people who are looking judgmentally at that 1,000th person were ones someone looked down at 300 people ago, or 250 people ago.
The truth is, it’s all a giant CIRCLE of judgement.
After we’re gone through 1,000 iterations of judgement, we’re guaranteed to have a good number of the people who were judged earlier, back in the judgement game again.
It’s almost like a never ending game of leap frog. Once someone jumps over you, it’s time to get back in line waiting for your next turn to jump over someone else… and then have someone jump over you.
It’s the Judgement Circle, inside of which we all get trapped.
A perpetual game of judgement.
There’s only one escape route… and that’s to refuse to get back in line once someone has jumped over (or judged) you. Just don’t get back in line waiting to jump over (or judge) someone else.
When we jump out of the chain, we set ourselves apart from that game.
BE CAREFUL! - This is a prime place to start judging in another way. “Those fools and all their judgement games.” Ah hah! See, there you area again, back in the game yourself.
We won’t completely eliminate the judgement others have on us, but we will slow it down dramatically.
Continue on this path and I promise, you’ll see an EXPONENTIAL DECREASE in the judgement you experience in your life.
By the very nature of things, you’ll find you change who you spend time with in life and you will decrease the power of those who are still in the chain.
Remember what I always say: Change the world around you by changing the world within you.
It will be like avoid your greatest food temptation. Maybe it’s a the perfect piece of chocolate or a beautiful basket of fried onion rings (I’m more of a crunchy salty person when it comes to temptation).
The less you taste of it, the less your craving for it becomes. The more you see the benefits of avoiding it, the greater your ability to resist it.
Call to Action
Start this with baby steps, as I always say.
Today, when you are tempted to even THINK judgementally towards someone, don’t do it.
Call yourself out and say, even out loud, if you can “I don’t know that persons situation. I don’t know what brought them here. I know they have strengths where I have weaknesses. I will allow them to be them."
Something along those lines to remind yourself, you may be able to jump over them (or judge them) in this area, but further down the chain, in another area, they’re going to be able to jump over you.
Just one time… and then remember it. Tomorrow try to do it two times you’re tempted. Or even today.
Just work at it, consciously avoiding the opportunity to jump into The Judgement Circle.
Oh, yes, you’re right… I mess this up more times than I care to think. But, I consciously work to avoid the circle. That’s what I’m hoping you’ll do as well.
We’re all in this together, all “failures” in some area of life, working towards success in others. Continuously improving and celebrating together.
Fri, 19 June 2015
If you listened to this past Tuesday’s episode, I shared with you some ways you can help yourself become more productive, as I do every Tuesday.
One of those ways I suggested was to create deadlines with very real consequences. The kind of consequences you’re going to do whatever you can to avoid.
Today I’m sharing with you and app that will help you do exactly that.
This is an app that comes out of Yale University. It’s legit. It’s got a lot of science behind it and it works!
Professor Dean Karlan teaches Economics and Professor Ian Ayers teaches law, both at Yale University. They partnered with one of their students, Jordan Goldberg, to create a tool they knew would help people achieve their goals, and it works. Here’s why…
Stickk gives you a platform where you can create what the founders call Commitment Contracts.
This is a contract you create with YOURSELF, but… there’s more to it than that. We’ve all tried that and seen it fail time and time again.
A Commitment Contract involves accountability and the power of “loss aversion."
You know what accountability is, but what about LOSS AVERSION?
You can figure out from the name, it’s about avoiding loss. But why? Why not just be motivated by gain?
Scientific studies suggest people are TWICE as motivated by avoiding loss than achieving a gain. People who lose $100 will be emotionally impacted more than someone who gains $100.
It’s because we don’t value what we don’t have. The potential to gain $100 will not motivate you as much as the real potential to lose $100. That’s the science, in a nutshell, of “Loss Aversion."
Here’s how it works:
Stickk has some predefined goals which you can use or even customize them to meet your needs. If those don’t work, you have the ability to build your own goal from scratch.
So, you start by creating a goal and then laying out the parameters of that goal. What will it take to achieve that goal and what are the specific things you have to do to get there?
Now, here’s where Stickk kicks in with some very real and powerful features.
Losing Money and Having an Honest Referee.
The creators of Stickk state that their data shows, people who have a referee to whom they’re accountable, are TWICE as likely to reach their goal. People who have something financially significant at stake are up to THREE times as likely to achieve their goal.
Put the power of both of those items together and you have Stickk.
When you sign in, you’ll have the opportunity to create a Commitment Contract where you can put something financial on the line. They don’t charge you ANYTHING unless you tell them you want to make the financial commitment and then only after you don’t achieve your goal.
So, what keeps us from cheating and just saying we did it? A referee who will look at your Commitment Journal to determine if you’re reaching your goal.
This journal is where you can post screenshots or pictures of you doing what you said you would do.
Now, it’s not just about having someone lord over you, it’s also about support. You can add in supporters who can see your commitment and progress and then cheer you along. It’s the perfect combination to getting where you want to be in life.
Your referee can be anybody you’d like.
Each time you take action toward your goal, you submit that information to Stickk and your referee will get an email saying you submitted something to your Stickk account. If they’d like, they can ask you for additional proof that you did what you said you did, or be satisfied with what you submitted.
You’re really empowering your referee. So, choose someone you trust but also make sure it’s someone you know will hold you accountable.
Here’s how you miss a goal:
You admit you missed it.
Your referee reports that you missed it
You don’t submit a commitment report in the time window you specified.
When you miss, if you have a financial stake included, your credit or debit card will be charged for the amount you set at the beginning.
As of this podcast, there is $21 million on the line for commitments.
There are just under 300,000 commitments.
That’s an average of about $72 on the line for each commitment. Make sure you choose an amount that’s going to HURT if you lose it.
Where does the money go?
You decide that. You can have it go to someone you want, or even have it go to a charity. Stickk holds the money for the charities and sends them all the stake money at one time at the end of the year. Some of the organizations they support are:
and several others.
Here’s a fun twist. You can create an Anti-Charity as a recipient of your stake.
This is a group or organization you would NEVER want to support financially. That adds a HUGE motivator for some people.
How’s this for some controversial groups?
Or if you’re in the UK:
Various football (or soccer) fan clubs such as
So, I’m sure you can see how this could be VERY motivating if you choose to put enough on the line. For some of these more issues, any amount would be agonizing… for a Chelsea fan to give a penny to the Man U fan club is traumatizing.
Create some of your own… maybe your ex-husband or ex-wife. Maybe your brother who’s living in your basement supposedly unable to get a job. I’m sure you can think of some people to whom you don’t want to send ANY money.
Call to Action
Sign up and make a commitment contract for yourself. If you’d like me to referee, I’d love to help out. You’ll find me in the system as “PDesmond.”