Monday, June 15, 2015

Does an Apple a Day keep the Doctor Away?

We have all heard the phrase, "An apple a day keeps the Doctor away?"  A great motivational speaker, Jim Rohn once asked, "If it were true... would you do it?"  

That is, if you knew that eating an apple every day would keep the Doctor away or better said, if you ate an apple every day, you would always be healthy... would you do it?

A lot of us would nod our heads yes.  But in practice, many of us would likely forget to eat one EVERY day.  We would have excuses like, I would have eaten one, but I ran out.  I would have eaten an apple, but I didn't feel like it today.  Or worse, I didn't eat my apple today because I don't care about being healthy.

Well, life is exactly like this.  There are things that we should do every single day to have the kind of life we want to have, but because of laziness, forgetfulness, or pure stupidity we don't do those things.

So what are the things we should do every day?  Eat right!  Any questions?  Nope, you agree that if you eat right, you will feel better.  Exercise!  Well, I don't have to exercise EVERY day to stay vibrant.  I can take a day off and I won't even notice.  

And THAT is where we get in trouble.  We know what it good for us, but because we don't see immediate consequences to developing poor habits, we do!

I believe we should read every day to expand your mind.  Of course, if you don't do it for one day, you are going to be just fine.  But if you track the progress of those who do read every day compared to those who never read another book after high school, the trajectory of their lives WILL be different.

For me, this is my list of daily activities that are mandatory for me:
  • Read the Bible and pray
  • Love my wife whether I'm home or away
  • Be positive (what's the alternative)
  • Be physical-- run, tennis, walk, stretch, something to make me feel alive
  • Eat at least ONE good meal per day, usually breakfast to start me out right
  • Talk to at least one friend or family member a day (other than Judy)
  • Learn-- I read through or listen to at least 30 books per year to grow
  • Say yes!  I really decided 8 years ago that I would live by this.  If someone asks me to do something... I always try to say YES.  I have said yes to new sports, yes to speaking engagements, yes to dancing class with my wife.  Who knows what other adventures I will have!
 Life is full of moments.  If we spend the moments well, we will have a good life.  It's not going to be the trip down the amazon or running with the bulls in Pamplona... it is going to be living a fulfilling life of things that matter to YOU!  

Monday, June 8, 2015

Where are you going to be in 5 years?

Lou Holtz, famous college football coach once said, "I can tell you where you will be in the next 5 years based upon these 3 things:
  • The Books you read
  • The People you meet and
  • The Places you go"
Lou Holtz
I really believe this!  Look back in your own life over the past 5 years.  Think of the person you were,  the things you were doing, the places you were going... are you growing?  Are you staying the same?  Has life taken a bad turn over these past 5 years?

I would bet you that there is a direct correlation between your personal life trajectory and the 3 things listed above.  If over these past 5 years, you have read new and inspiring books... you have been around people that naturally get you motivated to live a better life... and you have been to places that helped you continue to define a purposeful life... I would bet you everything I have that your life is in a much better place than it was.

On the other hand, if over these past 5 years, you have not been exposed to books that grow you, people that challenge you and places that enhance you... you are in the same place... or worse... your life is getting worse.  You are less happy, content, satisfied.

So take charge of YOUR life's direction.  Read books that stretch you (my personal list below**
).  I like these books today.  They expanded my brain.  They help me see the world differently.

The people you meet sounds so random... but it does not have to be!  There are so many people who are stuck with a group of people that are really stuck themselves.  Expand your horizons by becoming a volunteer.  People who volunteer are passionate!  People who volunteer care for more than their OWN desires, but have a passion for SOMETHING!  Take a class!  For almost no money you can take an adult class within your community.  You can learn to build a website, paint or study a foreign language.  For me, it is getting involved in my church.  People who love God... generally love people!  They are caring people.

Another way to meet new people is in books.  Read a biography on a person.  You will feel like you have a new friend!

And finally, "The Places you go", definitely takes purpose.  We all have busy lives.  We do certain things that are our patterns.  Without these patterns, most people wouldn't know what to do with themselves.  But does your patterns include watching yet another TV series?  Does your patterns include playing more hours of video games?

This past year, we hiked to the Hollywood Sign.  On the day we did this, the sky was clear.  Sitting before us was Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.  By turning around we saw Griffith Park, San Fernando Valley and Warner Brothers and Disney Studios.  Inspiring!  Then we went to Los Feliz to have lunch at a quaint neighborhood restaurant.  What a memory! 
My son Austin and his fiance Jordan at the Hollywood sign

A few years ago, I went on a missions trip to Cambodia.  You talk about life changing?!  My mind was blown away by Southeast Asia, it's people, and the culture.  We even went to Angkor Wat, one of the 7 wonders of the world!

Please grow!  Please expand!  As my dad used to say "Life is NOT a dress rehearsal."  This is the only one that we have!  Use it to the full.  If you feel stuck; commit to reading great books, meeting new and inspiring people, and exposing yourself to places that can change your life!

**My recent book list:
  • The Bible---the greatest book ever written, it refreshes me EVERY day
  • How We Got to Now--Steven Johnson
  • Brothers--George Howe Colt
  • Lord of the Flies--William Golding
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World--Jack Weatherford
  • In the Plex--Steven Levy
  • East of Eden--John Steinbeck
  • Destiny Disrupted--Tamim Ansary
  • The Power of Habit--Charles Duhigg