Our life is filled with events - and those events determine our experience ...or DO they??? Jack Canfield says that our experience is actually the SUM of our life's events PLUS our response. That's a big deal it means that we have a say over our own experience of life. Viktor Frankl goes one step further to say,
"In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way - an honorable way - in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment."
The bottom line is that we respond to each event of our life with maturity, or with immaturity ...or more bluntly as an "Emotional Adult" or an "Emotional Child". The more time we spend in emotional adulthood, the more fulfilling our experience of life. As with many things, the first step toward choosing on purpose is recognition.
Have you ever been in a situation where you simply decide to show kindness ...even though the odds are against any chance you would have received it if the tables were turned? Those moments are powerful reminders that kindness, thoughtfulness, and love are not really about actions being earned or deserved - they are about a choice we are making about how to show up in life.
Remember the end of Wonder Woman when she resists her rage and chooses love ...or The Return of the Jedi when Luke won't give in to the Dark Side. Even though deep down we all kind of wanted to see him kill them both!! These scenes are examples that we have a choice ...and that anger doesn't win the day.
Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus - these are all people who chose respect, kindness, and love over anger, hate, and violence ...and they ACTUALLY made a difference. When I watch the movie of their life, there's this part of me that wants them to lash out, I want to see...
I like to drink Dr Pepper, but sometimes I choose not to. Why is that? Well for starters, if I choose to hydrate instead of drink Dr Pepper, I have less shoulder pain, I have less knee pain, I get to workout without so much pain, so I workout more often. I have workout options like trail running, volleyball, and SUP available to me, so I am more excited about getting exercise, and I stay more successful at reaching my goals like winning volleyball games, competing at a high level in tournaments, having Whitney's back when we play together, climbing mountains, and exploring the creeks and rivers of Central Texas.
Then there's this other cool thing that happens - when I say, "no thanks, not tonight" , it makes me better at denying myself quick pleasure. I LEARN that I have the ability to experience the discomfort of a night without Dr Pepper. And I LEARN that I have the ability to experience discomfort in a lot of areas of my life. ...
Whitney and my "getting to know you" phase included A LOT of hiking. I liked this because it's one of the areas of life that the deck is stacked in my favor :) As I was hiking along one day, doing my best to seem manly and fearless - yet compassionate, Whitney just started laughing. I wasn't sure why, so I asked. "You trip soooo much when you hike!!" Well that was not EXACTLY the impression I was looking to make, but it made me smile none the less.
Years back I discovered that there were two kind of hikers - trippers and trail watchers. I learned a tough lesson about the dangers of being a trail watcher. Hiking with your head down and looking only a few feet in front of you may seem like the responsible way to do it, but there are three big problems.
1. It's easy to lose your way
2. It's miserable
3. You miss out on the most important part ...the world you're walking through.
As it seems is often the case, hiking lessons make...
If you've heard Whitney's story of personal growth, weight-loss, and mastering her cravings, you've heard her say, "I tried every solution I could think of, but it wasn't until I changed my thoughts that I found success." - Quick side note, if you HAVEN'T heard her story, WHAAAAAT??? You'll want to do something about that immediately.
Whitney talks like this a lot ..."Thought-Work", 'Managing my mind", "My mind management tools" - but what the heck does that mean? Or as my Algebra teacher Mr Jenkins used to say, "Could you be more vague?"
The reality is that this is a break through concept that changes the way you experience the world, your life, relationships, and any obstacles that come your way. The idea is simple - we all think stuff and we mistake our thoughts for facts. Thought work is a process you can use to check in on those thoughts, recognize that they are, in fact JUST thoughts, then act accordingly. Maybe you hold on to them,...
In the move "Stand and Deliver" Jaime Escalante delivers the powerful line:
"All you see is the turn. You don't see the road ahead." (1min clip)
I have been guilty of making the same choice over and over until it becomes my default without taking the time to step back and see what I'm missing out on by making that choice. Often, once the light is shining on the details of my trade, the choice I'm making seems ridiculous ...but I didn't realize it.
I have watched thousands of students sped 15 minutes doing NOTHING in silence in their desk instead of spending that 15 minutes on homework. I always wonder - is THIS 15 minutes really better to have available than the 15 minutes you're trading later tonight? Maybe it is and maybe it's not, I don't pretend to know, but I have my doubts that the question is even being asked as they make their choice.
I was once asked, "Are you willing to trade your comfort for your goals?" If I were to be completely...
Have you ever challenged yourself to choose water over soda, to get to the gym 5 days in a row, or to give up carbs for 14 days? What about getting outside for 10 minutes a day, listening to your favorite podcast while you clean, turning off the TV to connect with family or friends, leaving your phone at home ...or charging it away from your bed at night?
Sometimes healthy habits can get pigeon holed to eating clean and working out, but what if your one of those people who don't find "get to the gym 5 days a week" to be a motivating goal? Would it feel different to you if you looked up a beautiful mountain, then committed to climbing it? Or if you signed up to play in social sports league? That's exactly how I get consistent with my healthy habits ...I remember WHY I want them in my life. Because I want to soak up every experience I can in this life.
As far as I know, we only get one shot at our time here on Earth and the ONLY means I have to...
Self-love is an important part of living well and being happy. Which is partially why this month I’m focusing on fostering more self-love. I'm not talking about becoming more self-centered but being mindful of the thoughts I choose, practicing good self-care, and acceptance.
I’ve noticed this past year that, like many people, I'm hyper-critical of myself and this negatively affects my experience in the world as well as my judgments of others. It's the subconscious negative self-talk that steals joy in both my life and relationships. So, it’s something I started to work on about a year ago.
It really began in my experience losing 40 lbs. I remember noticing for the first-time thoughts I would have that made me want to self-sabotage. For example, I’d walk by a mirror, glance at my thighs and arms and say to myself, “Ugh, I’m so unattractive, who would ever love someone with massive thighs and arms like mine.” Instantly,...
Let's face it, we live in a culture that is obsessed with results. Often that works against us when we are looking to learn something new. The cultural expectations put a lot of "shoulds" in our minds. I should have started this when I was younger. I should have accomplished these goals by this point in my life. If I was ever going to be able to do this, I should have done it by now. When professional beach volleyball player Riley McKibbon discusses working through his frustrations in preseason training, he says, "Should is the demon child of hard work without direction and arbitrary expectations."
Getting your "shoulds" out into the light can bring a ton of clarity to their value in your life. When I do this, I usually find that my "shoulds" are not helping me at all and I happily kick them to the curb. Should is a way or arguing with what IS - and I have never had much success doing that.
So what can we do instead? Keep...
Teachers often hear the question, "When am I going to use this?" This can be a sign of an interested student looking for how new information applies in life ...but 95% of the time its a student trying to make a decision about whether or not the energy required to "learn this" is worth it. They are looking for a way out. We do the same thing with our quest for overall health in our lives. Whenever it involves discomfort, we wonder - Is it really worth it? Do I really have to do this?
Sometimes we get caught up in goals like, "I'm going to get to the gym 3 times every week" or "I am going to eat nothing but chicken and grapefruit for a month." Focusing on such bland goals is miserable. What if you had goals like backpacking in the Sierras, dancing for 3 consecutive hours on a Saturday night, competing at your favorite sport, or participating in a walk to raise money. It's amazing how different a workout can feel when it has another...
50% - You're half-way to success!!
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