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

le Clos looking at Phelps

Photo credit: Getty images

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.…

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Building Your House Brick by Brick

DR wood house 2
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 recently spent 10 days in the Dominican Republic doing dental work for impoverished people with no access to care. While I was there with my team, we talked to a man named Jairol who was born and raised in the area we were serving. Jairol told us that a major goal for any Dominican family was to one day own a house made out of blocks or bricks. DR Wood house

A block house has the benefit of greater protection and stability. The wind and rain don’t come through the walls and you don’t have to worry about it being blown over during a tropical storm. …

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A Letter to My Son About Failure

Karate

Hey buddy,

I can still picture the excitement on your face when I came to pick you up from your karate lesson tonight.

“Get your phone ready, I’m going to break a brick!” you said.

I admit, on the inside I was a little worried that you wouldn’t be able to do it, but you’ve surprised me in the past when you’ve broken through really thick boards.

I can still picture the determination in your eyes as you positioned yourself behind the brick, took a deep breath and, with a yell, brought your fist down as hard and fast as you could. The brick didn’t break that time. Or the next time. Or the next.

I watched with sadness in my heart as you fought back tears and walked to the side of the group.…

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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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Ready…Aim…Failure!

Laser Guided

We’ve all heard the instructions for shooting a gun: “Ready, Aim, Fire!”

Many life coaches or motivational speakers will teach people that the road to success is all about getting ready, aiming at your goal, and then going straight for it.

The problem is, they are wrong.

Life doesn’t work that way and neither does the pursuit of success or happiness.

Life works a lot more like a laser-guided missile where it is fired towards a target and then it is constantly re-aiming and adjusting its path around obstacles until it hits the target.

Yes, it is important to be prepared and it is important to have your goal in your sight, but rarely is that path a direct line without any setbacks. Constant adjusting and course correcting are needed when obstacles arise in order to achieve your goals.…

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