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The Statue Trapped in Stone

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo

Sculpting has been around for thousands of years. For most of its history, the sculpting process started with an artisan thinking of an image he wanted to create and then beating, hammering, chiseling, and polishing the stone to make it look like what the sculptor pictured in his mind.

In the late 15th century, a young artisan came along that took an entirely different approach to sculpting. Rather than think of the stone being turned into the statue he had in his mind, he imagined that there was a statue already trapped inside the stone, waiting for him to release it. His job was to chisel away anything that wasn’t a part of the beautiful sculpture trapped inside.…

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Stop Staring at Phelps! 4 Ways to Avoid Losing at Life

I love the Olympics because there are always so many amazing stories of dedication, perseverance, and sportsmanship. The recent Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were no exception.

But one of the best life lessons I observed this year was not an example of any of the noble qualities listed above. This life lesson comes from the tragic and cautionary tale of Chad le Clos from South Africa.

Chad le Clos is a star freestyle and butterfly swimmer, having won a world champion and Olympic gold medal. In the 2012 Olympics he even beat Michael Phelps in the 200-meter butterfly, Phelp’s favorite race. When Phelps announced he was coming out of retirement to participate in 2016 Olympic Games, an instant rivalry match was created.le clos boxing

The day of the race came.…

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Building Your House Brick by Brick

What would you be willing to sacrifice now to build something that would vastly improve your future?

How long would you have the patience to prepare before you saw any results?

I learned an important lesson from an unlikely source.

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Make a Difference Every Day!

Dr. Heap with Kids

Recently I was able to be a part of an amazing group of people who traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide dental care for people in need. Every time I participate in one of these trips, I always feel like the people I am serving are having a bigger impact on my life than I am having on theirs. I always feel like I am the one receiving the charity.

I’ve thought a lot about that feeling over the years. What is it about doing good for others that changes us and inspires us to give more? Why do I feel the most excitement and energy when I spend every ounce of it trying to improve somebody else’s life?

The Giving Paradox

I’m sure that most of you have all had the same experience that I described above.…

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Thinking Like Siri – A Better Way to Get Through Life

Photo courtesy of Navigon

Photo courtesy of Navigon

A few years ago my wife and I took a trip to Costa Rica. Upon arrival we rented a car and headed out to our first destination which was a few hours away. I had a map so I figured I’d be in great shape. About 20 minutes into the drive I found myself practically lost in the tangle of unmarked streets and dirt roads. Frustrated, I turned to Siri for help. If you’ve ever been the passenger on a road trip with a man, you know how hard it is for us to ask for help.

I typed the address to our destination in my phone and instantly Siri had discovered the ideal route to get there. We were on our way.…

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Process Over Product – The Truth About Success

trust-the-process

Let me start this post with a math problem. Wait! Don’t click away so fast. I hate math too but bear with me for just a moment. I promise it will be worth it.

Think of some possible solutions for the following equation:

(______ + ______ – _______) x ______ = 100

The truth is that there are literally an infinite combination of numbers that you could put into those spaces to get the answer of 100.

Now let’s look at another equation:

(25 + 40 – 15) x 2 = ________

This equation gives us just one answer: 100. Every time, no question.

What’s the point?

Look at the first equation again. You could stare at the answer (100) all day long and come up with a number of different ways to fill in those blanks, but in the end you would realize that you couldn’t even make a dent in the number of possibilities.…

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2 Questions that Cure Depression

Depression ProzacI know that I am going to get some angry comments on this one. I get the most “hate mail” when I write posts about depression and creating happiness. It’s okay. I completely understand. It is a very difficult topic and there are many forms of depression. Some are self-induced, some come from hardships in life, and some come from chemicals in the brain getting out of balance. Some forms require medication, some require time alone, and some just require an encouraging word. I know that people who have never had it, could never fully understand it.

The advice I give below comes from years of counseling and giving advice to people who have come to me or e-mailed me asking for help battling depression. I have seen this technique pull people out of depressive and self-destrucive thought patterns and even get people off of medication who thought they would be on it for the rest of their lives.…

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Caught In The Undertow – Can You Afford to Take a Break?

Version 2

Last week I got to spend some time in California on the beach with my family. It finally took the opportunity to try something I’ve always wanted to do: surfing.

I had watched a bunch of instructional videos on YouTube and in my mind I would be able to stand right up on the first try and cut back and forth across the crashing wave. I imagined it would look like the GoPro videos, with me inside a curling tube of water.

Imagination is a funny thing.

Let’s just say it was two days before I was even able to stand up on the board and catch a wave. I felt like the most unathletic and awkward person on the planet.

One thing I noticed during the week was that not far from the shore there was a slight undertow that would slowly pull me down the beach away from where my family was playing.…

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The Dirty, Beautiful Secret About Setting Goals

This past weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to be in Colorado for a dental school reunion. On Saturday, we decided to take a day-trip up to the mountains for a hike. The hike started at Echo Lake, near the base of the beautiful Mt. Evans. The trail would follow a river up the mountain to another lake.

Echo Lake goals

The hike was difficult but a lot of fun. We crossed the river a few times on wooden planks and stumbled through some thick trees but eventually we made it to the lake. It was absolutely beautiful and definitely worth the hike.

IMG_4322 (1) copy

But guess what? We noticed that the trail continued up the mountain further. We had plenty of water and a little more energy so we decided to keep going and see where it led.…

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