Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Friday Five featuring Extreme Ownership

Five things to take into your weekend....

1.  Quote I'm Mulling Over - “It's not what you preach, it's what you tolerate.” ― Jocko Willink

2.  Book I am reading - Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink. 

Sent to the most violent battlefield in Iraq, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s SEAL task unit faced a seemingly impossible mission: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, they learned that leadership—at every level—is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails.

What makes this book so good is how each idea is presented.  First, is an account of an actual mission in Iraq told in way that the reader can't put the book down.  Second, the lessons learned are spelled out clearly and concisely.  Third and last, that lesson is then applied to a business setting based on actual consulting Jocko and his partner, Leif Babin, did.

This is a must read for anyone in a leadership position.

3.  Song of the Week - Taking Ownership - This fantastic under 3 min clip displays an often forgotten ethic - Taking Ownership. This applies to all walks of life and in one's personal and professional encounters. The video portrays that taking ownership and leadership doesn't depend on age and position. The most important issue is to START.

4.  Video of the Week - Extreme Ownership | Jocko Willink | TEDxUniversityofNevada.  War is hell, but war is also a brutal teacher. War teaches you about brotherhood, honor, humility, and leadership. In this riveting talk, Jocko Willink explains from personal experience how war teaches you the most when things go wrong. Jocko asserts that when a team takes ownership of its problems, the problems get solved.

5.  Health & Fitness Tip of the Week - How Tough is the Navy SEAL Fitness Test? Many people ask about how tough it is to become a Navy Seal. The linked article details the requirements starting with the physical fitness test for the Navy SEALS' training program, known as BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs).  The minimums are very tough.  Competitive standards much tougher.

Have a great weekend!!

And, please share! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Friday Five featuring "Presence"

Five things to take into your weekend....

1.  Quote I'm Mulling Over - “Don't fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become” ― Amy Cuddy

2.  Book I am reading - Presence:  Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy. 

Madonna isn’t the only person famous for telling people to strike a (power) pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy advocates for the same in a book that expounds on the ideas set forth in her popular 2012 TED Talk, “Your Body Shapes Who You Are.” 

It may sound silly, but assuming the assured body language of Wonder Woman, or that “Man Spreader” on the bus, can literally change your body chemistry and make you feel more confident in anxiety-inducing situations. I must admit I was a bit dubious when I first heard about this, but Cuddy’s Presence offers up sound science to back up her claims, and, well I tried it. 

Even sans the Lasso of Truth, I was less nervous about a big meeting I had after taking Cuddy’s advice, and was therefore more successful at that endeavor. Translate this to a first date, a job interview, even those prickly conversations you hesitate to have with loved ones…and you’re conjuring self-confidence at the times you need it most. 

This is something that hits home for Cuddy, who overcame a traumatic brain injury to become a respected professor and researcher at the Harvard Business School, a feat she once thought inconceivable. Learning about the tenuous time in her life when she was paralyzed with doubts about her intellectual capacity, about how successful she could be in life, lends Presence a certain emotional center you don’t find in many books of its type.

3.  Song of the Week - Vogue - no one put striking a pose more in Vogue than Madonna.  This video has almost 75 million views.

4.  Video of the Week - Amy Cuddy:  Power Poses.  This is Amy's Ted Talk where she talks about power poses.  Power posing is the essential theme of her book.  This is a great and entertaining summary.

5.  Health & Fitness Tip of the Week - Confidence-Boosting, Attitude-Changing Power Pose Exercise Here is a woman that does what she calls Sassy Meditation.  She is from Fitness on the Rocks and she is kind of funny.  I can't believe she actually said T*ts out when she describes body position.

Have a great weekend!!

And, please share! 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Friday Five featuring "Dirty Minds"

Five things to take into your weekend....

1.  Quote I'm Mulling Over - "Great minds think alike but dirty minds work together." Who knows?

2.  Book I am reading - Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex and Relationships by Kayt Sukel.

If Albert Einstein wrote The 50 Shades of Grey it might have been like this book. Funny, insightful, provocative and sexy.

Kayt Sukel takes a long, hard look at human relationships from a unique perspective. With her background in neuroscience, Sukel examines what goes on inside our brains when we think about love, and sex, and all that good stuff. It's a fascinating read. 

The brain is such a complex organ that much of the studies performed so far are not conclusive, but the book sheds a whole new light on some of the most enduring questions of mankind. The collision of biology with the vaguer arenas of emotion and love is a compelling saga in itself. Kayt does a wonderful job of setting out the research in a way that makes it easy for non-scientist to understand. If this all sounds a little dry, though, don't be fooled. It is an extremely funny and provocative book, and Kayt's ultra-dry wit had me laughing out loud. Informative, entertaining and relevant - who could ask for more?

3.  Song of the Week - Dirty Mind by Flo Rida Catchy tune. Nothing really dirty about it. But, a good listen.

4.  Video of the Week - Do you have a dirty mind? Here is the test to see.  It is a bit slanted and, well, dirty. But, it is all in good fun.

5.  Health & Fitness Tip of the Week - Here is the Fast & Dirty Workout by Alex Silver-Fagan. This is a beast-mode workout meant to get the most exercise out of the least amount of time. It is truly down and dirty.

Have a great weekend!!

And, please share! 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Friday Five featuring "This Naked Mind"

Five things to take into your weekend....

1.  Quote I'm Mulling Over - “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi ― quoted by Annie Grace in This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life

2.  Book I am reading - This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life by Annie Grace.

I joined a 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge. I failed the challenge. But, will try again. It was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be. And, for way too many reasons to list here. To learn more about that project, check my other Blog called  30 Day Alcohol Challenge. In the process, someone recommended Annie Grace's book This Naked Mind.  It was eye-opening.

The amount of information you don't know about alcohol, what it does to your body, how it's marketed, and how much a part of our culture it has become is staggering. I was very surprised about what I learned. Shocked in some instances.

This is not a book for the proverbial alcoholic. It is not a book for the person who has succumbed to alcohol to the point of losing their job, their family or their own dignity. This is for the person who might question whether or not they might have a problem. It is for those among us that drink a fair amount but still appear to keep it together. It is for those that wonder....

3.  Song of the Week - Drinkin' Problem by Midland. A cool country song. This video has over 30 million views. Best line in the song, "some people say I have a drinkin' problem, but I have no problem drinkin' at all."  Enjoy!

4.  Video of the Week - This Naked Mind summarized by the author in less than four minutes. You may relate in some way to what she describes. And, you may find answers to questions you didn't know you even had.

5.  Health & Fitness Tip of the Week - I actually had to watch quite a few videos to find something worth promoting. Most videos focus on muscle gains as in bodybuilding. But, since the Patriots haven't called me yet, I am focused on the day-to-day fitness. Here is some advice that is worth hearing.  How Alcohol Affects Athletic Performance and Muscle Growth.

Have a great weekend!!

And, please share! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Friday Five featuring "The Great Escape"

Five things to take into your weekend....

1.  Quote I'm Mulling Over - “Funny people, the Germans. When you got them in a bunch they were all Nazis (they had to be), but when you got the little people by themselves and worked on them for a while they didn't have any morale underneath. Inside they seemed naked and defenseless.”― Paul Brickhill, The Great Escape

2.  Book I am reading - The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill. This is the story depicted by the movie of the same name with Steve McQueen and a bunch of other soon-to-be-stars. Unlike the movie, the book gives you a more detailed glimpse into what they went through as POW's in Germany during World War II. And, nothing could showcase the ingenuity, creativity, resourcefulness and determination of a group of men better than this book does.

Some of the things they did while imprisoned were incredible. Fake uniforms, forged documents, 100's of feet of tunnels complete with lighting, structural support and ventilation systems. And, they did this all while under the watchful and probing eyes of the German guards.

An incredible example of the indomitable human spirit.

3.  Song of the Week - Escape (The PiƱa Colada Song) - hey why not? It's a cool song and it fits.

4.  Video of the Week - The Great Escape - this is the trailer where you can rent the movie from YouTube for $2.99.

5.  Health & Fitness Tip of the Week - The Zombie Escape Workout - you will probably never have to deal with a Nazi Germany again but Zombie's are a different story. Here's the workout just in case you need it. Doesn't look easy.

Have a great weekend!!

And, please share! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Three Ways to Deal with Setbacks

Every now and again you’ll have one of those days.  Things don’t seem to work out and you experience setbacks.  Its human nature and quite understandable for someone to get down on days like this.  But, the quote, “Setbacks are a set up for a comeback,” really is the formula to deal with setbacks.

The quote is not specific with instruction as most quotes aren’t.  But, it is loaded with wisdom.  The quote’s answer to setbacks is to reset your mindset.  It reframes the setback so that you can look at it from a different point of view.  It takes the “end of the road” and turns it into a “bump in the road.”  It keeps you going.  But, it says even more.

Setbacks come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Some are self-inflicted and some come from the outside world.  You skipped the workout, fell off your diet, didn’t say you were sorry, didn’t make the call, etc.  These are things that you control.  And, then there are things you don't control.

There are times when even when you’ve done your best, setbacks can come from areas you don’t control.  Your staff didn’t show up or they made a mistake, the bus is late, it poured rain on your new hair-do or whatever the world decided to do to ruin your day.

Regardless of what the setback is, there are a couple of simple ways to turn an unfortunate situation into a fortunate one.

1. Stay calm and look for the good in the situation. Yes, that can be hard to do. When you notice the coffee rolling down your rear window because you left it on the top of your car will make you want to scream. But, no matter what happens there is usually something to at least learn. And, that is always a positive.

2. Think "now what?" Thinking this way forces you to accept the situation. It has happened and there is nothing you can do about it. It also prompts you to think about what action you can take now given the new circumstances. Move on.

3. Do not beat yourself up. If you can read this your human. If your human, you're going to make mistakes. Accept it, get over it, and move on.

If you really want to take a setback and give is some meaning think this thought:

"What if life happens for us, and not to us?" Tony Robbins

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Bullsh*t of Not Having Enough Time

"I don't have enough time" is the biggest bullshit answer ever given. We all have enough time. We all have the same amount of time. Rich, poor, smart or stupid, we all get the same amount of time each day. No more, no less.

Why do some people seem to get more done in that time? Do they have some magical formula? Are they just more efficient? Are they just lucky?

There is answers are no. There is no magic or luck. People who get more done in the same amount of time do so because of two reasons.

One, they are using a Compass to plan their time and not a Clock. Read Should You Use a Clock or a Compass. The basic premise is when you use a Compass you plan your days around your priorities. You work on what's most important not what's most urgent.

Why don't some people focus on priorities?

Some priorities are uncomfortable. No one likes to do the uncomfortable things in life. But, nothing grows a person more than uncomfortable tasks. Eating right, exercising, study, managing your your personal affairs. These things all need to get done. Yet, most of them are as glamorous as watching grass grow. But, do them day in and day out and over the long term you get a lot done. And, it's the things that really matter.

The second reason some people get a lot done is that they don't manage distractions. This is probably the more important of the two reasons. Distractions come at us from every direction at all times of the day. Email, text, Facebook, Twitter, the phone, office drop-ins, are just a few. There are many more. And, all of them can wreak havoc on your productivity.

Keeping distractions to a minimum is mostly your personal discipline. You need to resist these constant temptations. The best way to do this is to plan when you will check email or Facebook or whatever. If you are not in that time zone, focus on your priorities and get something done. It is not rocket science.

The world will not end because you didn't "like" your friend's Facebook post of their cat sleeping. Like it later if your into that sort of thing. In the meantime, focus your energy on high-value activities that contribute to your purpose. This is what makes the world a better place.

One, focus on your priorities. Two, minimize the distractions.

If you do these two things, you will always have enough time.