Remembering Why…

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”   –  Nietzsche


One of the most difficult things to really focus on in the struggle to change is simply “Why”.

Why do we want to change? 

Why do we search out to become better? 

Why must we make a decision that goes against our current thought process? 

Remembering “Why” you are reaching for something new, will have a significant impact on the success rate of any change.       

So let’s start by looking into the reason we chose to make a difference in our own lives. Normally changes begin when a person realizes that they have had enough.  They have had enough with their current job status, their current weight issues, or their current social circle.   There are hundreds of reasons to want to change, but normally these reasons aren’t strong enough to continue the change.  This is where the struggle begins.  What do you do when the motivation begins to wane?  When life actually begins to fight back against the shift we are trying to make?    It is at this point that each of us has to make a decision… to step back into the comfort of our current life, or take control of our mind and stick to the decision to change.

Yes, I get it, writing and reading these words are far easier tasks than trying to actually implement these into our lives.  I get it, there are times that I struggle with it as well.  When my life wants to return to what it knows, rather than what it could blossom to become.   It is in these moments when the true test arrives.   Can we control our mind? Can we take captive the thoughts that bring us down? Can we shift negative thoughts to positive motivation?  Choosing to control the thoughts in our minds is one of the greatest strengths that we will ever develop. 

So how do we control our thoughts?  Well, this is a much larger question than what we can tackle in one post, but I want to give some quick talking points that we will drive deeper into in following posts.

  • Why?
    • Our first step in controlling our thoughts is to remember why we want to make this change or shift in our lives.   We have to always come back to the reason why we are looking to make this change.  For most, these decisions are very long term shifts that take months if not years to accomplish.  We live in a “get it now” society that thrives off immediate gratification.   Our lives are not changed in this manner. Sadly, we can’t order our life change on an app like we order a mocha latte.   Sure, some progress can be made quickly, but these quick successes build into longer, more difficult movements.  I wrote in 2017 some of my “why’s” in a blog post that can be found here.  Now I have changed many of my “why’s” since this post, but its always great to return and see how some of the reasons that I still have for my life.   
  • Devotion
    • When we search for real change in our lives, we must remember the amount of devotion we must have to these changes.   I believe that we really don’t use the word “devotion” or act as if we have devotion to many things in our lives.  Our society continues to drive us to places of pure devotion towards a cause or person without any understanding of why we choose this direction, or eliminates our devotion by telling us to not be true to any certain object in life.   When we want to make a change in our life, we have to take a level of devotion towards these changes.  After remembering why, we must devote our time and energy in making these changes, for life will not go down without a fight.  Our minds will be filled with doubts and fears, but we must devote ourselves to the change.    We’ll dive more into devotion in a couple of weeks to understand just the importance it has on success.  
  • Positive Self-talk
    • One of my biggest struggles, as well as for many others, is simply the words we speak to ourselves.  As we are looking at how to control our thoughts, we have to talk about how we speak to and about ourselves.    While we communicate with others often throughout the day, its important to remember that we communicate with ourselves much more.   If that communication focuses on why we cannot achieve, we will never make it, but if we focus on why we may reach our goals and the how we can do it, our success in change is far closer.  Remember, you won’t always have someone there to push you or motivate you, it is your own mind and thoughts that must be a positive influence to your change. 
  • Pausing
    • The final piece of controlling your thoughts is what I call “The Pause”.  Its like hitting the pause button on a tv show or movie.   For me, it reminds me of hitting the pause button on a video game back in the day.   You can be in the middle of a difficult or erratic moment, but with one single push of a button, the game stops and I could stop to do whatever I needed to.  Now, life doesn’t always work this way, but oftentimes we have the opportunity to stop and really reflect before making a decision.  By pausing, we allows ourselves to turn off autopilot and actually make decisions pertaining to our goals.   Until our initial thought is towards our goal, we must not allow our habits to move us in the wrong direction by pausing and checking our decisions. 


When we really strive to change our lives, we must remember that it is not going to be a walk in the park.  We are changing our habits and our lifestyles. We must take control of our minds to reach our goals.

 Change is a constant decision, it must be chosen each time.


2018 to 2019: Going Forward

Welcome back!


Well, this is the first post on here in more than a year, and I wanted to simply come back and welcome everyone back to reading and going along with this journey with me.  2018 proved to be a year of change and shifts in my life as a whole.   From being married in February to purchasing a home in August, it has been a wonderful year, probably the best on yet.  With it brought changes to my daily life, as well as, changes to my goals and challenges.   While this year has been amazing, there have been difficulties adjusting to my new lifestyle, for example, this blog was put on hold while I figured out how to make these shifts myself.   Sure, I haven’t made all the goals that I set out to do, but ultimately, I believe that this is the course of life.  The reasons why we set out to achieve certain goals change, especially as our responsibilities change as well.   It has been a year of adjustment, but happy adjustments to my life.  2019 has some really big shoes to fill, for 2018 was awesome!

So what does that mean for the blog going forward?  Well, its time to bring it back to life.   I’ve learned a lot the past year, and as I strive to make the changes I’m looking to do, so I want to express that to everyone who gets to read these posts.  As I’ve developed even more as a leader in my career, as well as, a leader in my household, I realize there is so much to learn about becoming the person we all strive to be.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is that life changes all the time.  We must be prepared to shift as life shifts.  Change is constant, and choosing to accept this fact is of uttermost importance to the success we have in life.   Our lives will be different tomorrow than they are today in some facet.  The ebb and flows of our lives take different turns than we expect, but that doesn’t change the truth that we must continue to move in the right direction.   Setbacks may come, but the speed at which we return to the path will be the determination for our success.

As we look at 2019, I want to everyone to go on this journey with me as we drive into another year of changes and new challenges.  Let us celebrate the successes and help each other through the setbacks.   I hope I am able to learn more about becoming the man I’m supposed to be for my wife, my family, my friends, my career, and my own self.   I hope you’ll follow along and we may learn how to become better versions of ourselves.

Your Message, Your Audience, Your Influence

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority”

-Ken Blanchard

This week’s post will differ greatly from the one’s I’ve posted over the past few months. Today’s post will focus not on a way of benefiting yourself, but rather where you stand to benefit others.  As I write this I am impacted by the statements that I will make, for almost everyone who reads this is in direct contact with me on a weekly basis.  Therefore, the people who read this can easily keep me accountable for my own words. What do I have to say today?     This:

In every walk of life, you have an audience to influence, a friend to encourage, and a group to benefit.  When you choose the actions of your life, remember that those around you are directly impacted by these choices.

So what am I trying to say?  Simply, your actions impact those around you in many different ways.  How?  Think about your reaction to others when they smile at you.  How does it differ if they look away from you, or even worse, grit their teeth at you?    Does a short, quick retort give the same message as a soft, well spoken response?   The way in which we speak, audible and inaudible, to others changes the message they receive.  To go even deeper, are you sowing belief in someone through positive reinforcement, or are you discouraging them by focusing on the negative?  In our every day life, we have many opportunities to influence those around us, and it is our personal responsibility to make sure we use these instances wisely. 

Let’s break this down deeper.

First, I want talk about the audience you influence.  Different studies guess that we may interact or “meet” anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 people in our lifetime.  Now, these people may be there for 3 mins on the subway with you or 70 years as a spouse.   The level of influence changes, but nevertheless, you still retain some influence over every person you  meet.  We have the power, and therefore the responsibility, to influence those we meet towards betterment.  What do I mean by betterment?   I mean kind words, encouragement, a kind smile, or even a gesture of service.   You have the opportunity to directly impact their life in a manner of seconds.   Each action you take, each word spoken or not spoken, can make a massive difference in someone’s life.  We are constantly performing in front of an audience.  An audience we can influence, we can change, we can ultimately help.  Check you message before you speak to your audience.

When we look at the people closest to us, we must remember that one of our most powerful abilities is the ability to encourage.  How is encouraging so powerful? Ask yourself this question: “How many times have you looked for confirmation in an idea you have from someone close to you?”    Want to write a book?  How about run a marathon?   While the idea seems crazy,  far too often we seek for validation from some other person to set out on this idea.  Now, think for a minute.  What if we were so focused on ourselves that we didn’t take time to encourage a loved one to strive to become greater.  Even worse, what if we discouraged them?   Told them they couldn’t do it, simply because we don’t think we could do it?    Encouragement is powerful to others, it inspires, pushes, drives, helps, awakens, and invigorates.   Our message to others should be encouragement, not disinterest.  

We must constantly be checking the message we are sending.  Are you actions and words aligning?   Are you sending a message of encouragement and betterment?    Think about the impact you have with your audience. Are you a leader on a team?  If so, you have a much greater impact on the morale of those around you.  You never know how much someone looks up to you.  When you shake someone’s hand, do you look them in the eye?    Try smiling too.  You’ll be amazed how it changes the conversation.  Remember, you are always in front of your audience, make sure your leading them to a better place.  



Rising from the Ashes



“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”     ― Maya Angelou

One of my favorite parts of mythology is the story of the phoenix.  The story of the great bird that burns into ashes and then rises from these ashes back to life all anew.  While I simply view this as mythological story, I see so much in this for every single person that wants to achieve greatness.  Oftentimes we must fall through our failures and struggles, only to reemerge from the ashes of defeat to rise in victory.    

When we really assess our abilities, far too often we really don’t know our true ability.  I feel that this is the reason for TV shows like “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent”. While some contestants have an idea of just how good they really are, others are simply looking for that validation for their abilities.  We have all seen it, the young singer who gets on stage, nervous, but ready to show the world just how good they are.  They begin to sing, not really sure how it will turn out, but then they hit that first high note.  The crowd erupts, applause ensues.  The contestant begins to smile and sing even greater than before.   Why?  Simple, now they believe.  They know their abilities are good enough.  They have confidence. They have arrived.  Where do you need confidence in your abilities?  

So where do we go from here?  How do we gain the confidence in our own abilities while struggling through the failures of our careers, our endeavors, our new jobs, our weight loss, our (you fill in the blank)?   Let’s look back to the story of the phoenix.  The phoenix is known to be beautiful, full of color, hearkened back to its connection with the sun.   When the phoenix rose from its ashes, it didn’t rise in dirt and grey, rather it arose in beautiful color.  See, this is us, when we fail, our skills are not diminished.  We haven’t lost any of our abilities.  We still have the same strengths we had before.  What we have learned though is a better understanding of just how good we really are.  Now we know where we can work now, we know how good we are.  We can now do the most important part of failing, RISE.

See, the response is always the most important.  What do we do when we fail?  Do we continue to press forwards to our goal, rising from the ashes of our failure?  Or do we simply give up and say we aren’t good enough?  Honestly, we may not be good enough to make our goal right now, but that’s what is so great about success.  Success demands us to RISE to the occasion. Success helps us to make us a better version.  To gain the success in life, we must reach higher every day. Every day we must strive to become the best version of ourselves for that day. 

As we strive for new endeavors remember these key thoughts:

  • For many, your goals will push you to go to places you’ve never been, into situations you’ve never seen, and to do actions you’ve never done.  You will have to pull yourself out of your comfort zone.  Always remember to set your foundation firmly and the prepare to face adversity.
  • When struggles come, focus on the solution, not the problem.  We can quickly be overcome with the struggle we are facing rather than finding the solution.  The quicker you move from being the victim to a fighter, the quicker you’ll find the solution to your problem
  • Failure will come.  Simply stated, you will face failure in some form.  Like we have talked about here, your response is crucial to the outcome of the situation.  When you face failure, you must remember your goal and why you started.  Remember the skills you have and step back up to the plate.  You must RISE from the ashes of defeat.
  • Success isn’t the end goal.  Success is just a product of the work we put in.   At the end of the day, the goal is to become the best version of ourselves.  Never let a small success derail the greater goal.  Always strive to be your very best.   You have it in you, go find it and let it roar.  

What is my Why? 

One part of this journey called life is figuring out what is your deep seeded motivation.  What is it that drives your day?   Is it a powerful quote? A charge given to you by a loved one?  Maybe even leadership of someone you look up to?  There are plenty of ways to be motivated…for a short time.  I’ve sat through my fair share of pregame speeches, and sure, I was motivated to get things accomplished on the field, but within 5 minutes of gametime, the motivation left and my discipline had to take over.   I believe that motivation is a great tool to get us moving sometime, but at the end of the day, it’s important to find your “Why“.  As in, “Why in the heck am I putting myself through this!?!”   I took some time to look at one aspect of my life and answer the question “Why do I want to be more fit?”

1. I want to live a healthier life

I have struggled with hypertension (high blood pressure), acid reflux, and just overall health issues due to my weight and habits.   So the first “Why” is all about my health.  I am (at the time of this blog post) 30 years old and shouldn’t be dealing with these health issues.   The positive thing is that I know by making healthy choices in my nutrition as well as consistent training, I can make a significant change to my health, providing me with a better lifestyle.

2. I want to perform at a higher level. 

What kind of performance you ask?  Well, I have been fairly athletic my entire life, and if you know me, I love to be competitive.  I thrive on competition.  So for me, performing at a higher level in my sports like golf, cross training (i.e. The Mountain Challenge), tennis, and other sports is an important aspect of my self esteem and overall mental health.   It is not the winning (which does help with my self esteem) that drives the positive movement in my life, but rather knowing that I put in my best effort and was able to contribute.   It takes high levels of athleticism to continue to contribute over the long run.

3.  I want to be physically appealing 

Now, many people may laugh or joke at this statement.  Others may say that your physical appearance doesn’t matter or shouldn’t be an impact of why I want to achieve something.   And for some of their statements, they are correct. I’m not saying I want to be a male model, because frankly, I don’t want it that much, but I’m focusing on being happy with my own appearance.  When you’ve been the “Big” guy your whole  life, you become insecure about your weight and the way you look.   For me, I have many shirts and pants that I cannot wear due to being too small.  Also, I cannot go to just any store and purchase clothes.  It will be nice to be able to simply go purchase a shirt or pants in a store without wondering if they actually carry a size large enough.  Those combined with the desire to have a “good body” is part of my Why”.  

There are definitely more reasons why I want to accomplish this goal, but these are really the top three.  Others will not have your same drivers, but ultimately knowing your Why can be one of the most motivating aspects of life.   Are these prefect? No, far from it. These are what drives me.   Now your challenge is to find what really drives you.   What’s your why? 

The First one…

Many people don’t actually know that I enjoy writing, putting my thoughts on paper (or well the internet now), for it helps me to express and absorb the things that happen throughout my day.  It doesn’t take long knowing me to realize that I enjoy conversing with others and am pretty adept at taking over such conversations.  I hope to use this avenue to express the things going on in life, in business, in faith, and the journey I’m moving on myself.  I plan on making this a combination of motivation, successes, and ultimately topics that have had an important impact on me.   So, if you want follow along, feel free to read and comment as you please.

Thanks for following along!