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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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The Rise of Your Empire – Building on Your Best

Ancient Athens 3“Good is the enemy of great.” – Jim Collins

In the fifth century BC the Greeks and Persians had a series of major battles which basically determined the lasting success of a new idea called “democracy.” At the heart of the struggle was the city of Athens, the “birthplace of democracy.”Athens had become a major power in Greece and a melting pot of cultural ideas from all over the Mediterranean. Its art, architecture, and culture was a mix of the best from all around.

Ancient Athens 4Even though the Greeks eventually won the war with Persia, the city of Athens was abandoned and later burned by the Persian king Xerxes. This struggle has been recently depicted in the movie: 300 – Rise of an Empire.

When the war ended, the Athenians returned and began to rebuild their once-great city.…

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Which Ladder Are You Climbing?

Ladder 5“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

– Thomas Merton

Everybody is climbing a ladder. It is a figurative ladder of course …unless you’re a painter or roofer. But we are all moving one direction in life, whether it be up or down.

Most of these ladders we scale intentionally, like education or developing a talent, running a marathon, working our way up in a company, writing a book, etc.

Some ladders we climb just because we never chose another one. These could include addictions, laziness, or complacency.

No matter what, you are climbing a “ladder” in some direction.

Ladder 4But what would happen if you get to the top of your ladder, looked over the wall and realized that it wasn’t what you thought it would be?…

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“Dutch Dynasty” – Focus On Your Strengths

Dutch Speed Skater 1

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” – Tony Robbins

     The Winter Olympics in Sochi came and went with the usual stories of personal triumph and victory. My favorite story to come out of Sochi was that of the medals won by an underdog, the Netherlands. In the final medal count, the Netherlands came in 5th with 24 total medals, one shy of the winter sports powerhouse Canada. This is an amazing accomplishment because the Netherlands have no mountain ranges and get very little snow. The country is not very big and only sent 1/5 as many athletes to the Olympics as the United States or Canada.…

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5 Ways to Stop Focusing On the Obstacles

Obstacles Flat TireFor those who have followed the blog for a while you know that I really enjoy road cycling. I started riding in high school with my dad and then raced for Arizona State University in college. It is one of my favorite ways to exercise and spend time in the fresh air thinking to myself. Actually, it is where I come up with most of my blog posts.

Road bikes have very narrow wheels and skinny tires. Because of this, all of the weight from the bike and rider is transmitted down onto two small points where the front and back tires hit the road. The narrow tires make the bike go faster. The downside is that any little rock or piece of glass you run over has an increased chance of puncturing your tire.…

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Walking in Circles? – Six Steps to Define Your Vision

Legs of a young man runningWhich of your legs is longer, the right or the left?

You may be tempted to say they are both the same but the truth is we all have one leg that is a little longer than the other. It might be a microscopic difference but it is there nonetheless.

Because of this, if you were placed in the middle of a completely barren desert with no mountains or physical landmarks in sight, your attempts to walk in a straight line would be futile. Eventually, if you walked long enough, you would come across some footprints in the sand, your own footprints. Without a goal or something to walk towards, your shorter leg would eventually cause you to walk in an enormous circle and come right back to where you started.…

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8 Steps for Breaking Through Any Obstacle

Breaking Boards

This weekend I came across a video of kids breaking through wooden boards with their hands. I was curious about the technique that these kids were taught in karate class so I started researching it.

The first page I found was at www.WikiHow.com, which had an article called “How to Break a Board with Your Bare Hand.”

As I read through the steps, I was amazed at how similar the steps for breaking a board are to the steps for overcoming all other obstacles in life. Here are the steps, word for word from the WikiHow website:

How to Break a Board with Your Bare Hands

#1. Empty your mind. Relax. Don’t think about success or failure. Take a calming breath. Focus yourself first. Unless you are extremely weak or sick (in which case you shouldn’t be breaking boards at all), mental preparation is the most important aspect of the technique.

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Stretch! 3 Ways to Do More With What You Have

stretch reaching-hand

The teacher stopped the presentation and asked for a volunteer from the class. A young lady was the first to raise her hand and was brought to the front of the room.

“I want you to stand against this wall and reach your hands up as high as they can go.” said the teacher.

The young lady went up on the tips of her toes and reached her hands high up the wall, touching a spot with her finger tips.

“That’s as high as you can go?”

“Yes”

“You’re sure?”

When she answered affirmatively again, he stood up on a chair and put a piece of tape on the wall where the tips of her fingers had reached.

Then he took out a $100 bill and told her, “I will give you $100 if you can reach higher than that piece of tape.”

The young lady went back to the wall, got on her tip toes, reached her arms up and then somehow stretched her fingertips about an inch past the tape.…

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7 Tips for High School Graduates

graduation-caps

     This week all around the country many teenagers will graduate high school. All the years of homework, minimum wage, and social anxiety will culminate in the wonderful event we call graduation. Many will consider it their move from adolescence into adulthood. Some will go on to college, some directly to careers. Some will enter the military or leave on a religious mission abroad. No matter what the future holds for you, young graduate, there are some tips that I would like you to know as you enter “the real world.”

#1 – Enjoy your time at home. These are your last days with your parents and siblings. Once you leave it will never be the same, even if you come back. You may be in a hurry to get out on your own and experience the “freedom” outside the walls of your home but, trust me, it is a whole lot more complicated than it sounds.…

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