Parents: Hear this! College students speak out – YouTube

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Countdown to College 1

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Kryptonite of Crazy! (Behind the Scenes)

I had to give a talk on leadership yesterday. I had spoken on the topic before but decided to bring some new material. I work best under pressure so I put off final prep for the day of a 3pm speech. (not my best laid plan.)

The night before I went to bed at 10 to get a good rest… for whatever reason I didn’t get to sleep till 6am. Each hour that passed increased my worry for the next day… tossing and turning, I was getting concerned. I woke up at 10:30, instead of the planned 8am, in a bit of a panic. Not only did I need more prep time, I was in a place of disorientation, lack of sleep and general crazy head from some medicine I was on.  I was flying around my home like a crazy person accomplishing nothing. I found myself in my closet searching for an outfit, throwing clothes on the ground and eventually sitting down in a whimper. It was 3 hours before I was supposed to be “superman” and I was a puddle on the floor in my closet. In other words, I was not myself, even my dog henry noticed. So, I did what I never do… I reached out and asked for help.

I called two best friends, Vern and Angela, and said, “I’m falling apart and I can’t do this. I need help!” They met me at my office and helped me pull myself together. They didn’t actually do a whole lot of work, but they did exactly what I needed…they showed up. They gave me the space to freak out, supported my re-construction, and were just there. They served as my “Advance Team” as they called it and got me set up so I could just show up and take the stage…

But that is not all…

As I did my pre-talk ritual of a prayer asking for the inspiration to inspire and share the right words to get the message that this group needed to hear, the wind blew up and took my talk notes with it, right into a swamp area two stories below me…

Luckily I was in a place of faith and just laughed. The event planner came out and asked me if I was ready to go. “Absolutely! Lets Rock This!” I took the stage and gave a pretty good talk. I’ll be honest and say it wasn’t my best, but the message was solid and the humor and inspiration were on. I told stories that hadn’t been told, jokes I never thought of and found passion for my topic that was previously unrevealed.  I connected with the audience and as the music played me off the stage at the end, I looked up and said thank you! I called Vern and Angela and told them that I was able to turn the switch to “on” but I would have never found the switch if it wasn’t for them!

At the end of the day, I learned that everyone falls apart, even me. And, friends are the people who don’t judge it, but just show up and help you put yourself back together.

After the talk, I went to the restroom, looked in the mirror and noticed for the first time that day that in my craziness in the closet, I had chosen a t-shirt to wear under my blazer that probably fought the Kryptonite of crazy. It was my Superman Logo Tee. I spread my jacket, puffed out my chest and laughed!

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No Matter What!

If you know me personally, you may have seen me gain and lose weight like Oprah Winfrey. Its never been obscene, but I’ve struggled with about 40lbs for most of my adult life. Now let me be clear. This blog is not about weight loss… its about success. And while thin does not translate success (to me), commitment and follow through do.

I will spare you the rollercoaster ride that has been my journey and simply tell you this. When considering my next attempt at healthy living and body transformation, I wrote down three simple words. One small committment: No Matter What. This was actually inspired by my roommate and friend whom I have watched workout 5-6 days a week for 14 months with a dedication unlike any other I have seen. She has lost over 70 lbs and inspires me greatly! (Thanks Mija~!)

I decided that I would get up at 6am and go to the gym every day (6 days a week for the next 12 weeks) No….Matter…What. No matter what happened, no matter what I felt like, no matter what!  This was primarily about going to the gym, but eventually began to translate to other areas of my life.  I have recently taken on more responsibility at work, added two graduate night classes, take care of my dog henry and still run a business on the side of all of this. All great excuses for bad eating and no gym time, especially at 6am. But all that falls into the No Matter What category. So excuses can suck it!

I have now done this for about 3 weeks and feel great. Its working, and I haven’t missed a beat. Until today. I had a family member who needed to go to the doctor at 7am. I agreed to take him and decided that I had to go to the gym at 5am if I was going to make it happen. I went to bed at 9:30pm last night and set the alarm. The buzzer sounded at 445 and as if I  was in a movie, I rolled over, hit snooze and fell back asleep but not before I murmured, “no matter what.” I woke up again by 5:30, but it was too late to get my work out done. I was bummed, but packed my gym back and decided to go at lunch, which is exactly what I did. 

This isn’t a miracle in itself, but it did remind me of two important lessons.
1. Strong Commitments Matter! My “no matter what” philosophy was such a motivator that going to the gym later wasn’t even a second thought, it just happened. If I was more casual about my committment, I could have easily blown off just one workout, which would have set the domino’s into action and my old patterns would have come back. (How many times have I had one bad meal and threw in the towel for the whole day or week?)

2. Progress not perfection I don’t have to be perfect in this process, but I do have to remain committed. I also realize that every workout is not the highest quality, but as long as I continue to commit to going “no matter what”, I will progress and meet my goals. This concept is not my own, but works in so many areas of my life.

I think this is working because I don’t have too many rules for myself. I’m not a fan of rules, but I can follow just one. No matter what!

Can you use this idea for a major commitment you have made to yourself? Have a similar story? Comment on the blog and let me know!

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The pilot light is not out…

2010 has arrived, and to be quite honest,  it feels good. I have entered this new year, new decade, new today with a renewed sense of action, purpose and identity. See, it goes back to 2008. That was a big year for me. In 2008, I bought a house, got my dog, wrote a book, turned 30 and really kicked off my speaking career. One would think the momentum of all of this would carry me right through 2009. That didn’t quite happen. While I did remain busy and accomplished plenty by most standards, 2009 was somewhat of a year of recovery and rest for me. It was a year in which I could look inward, really get to know more about myself, my direction and of course, my dog Henry. In other words, I did a whole bunch on the inside, but not a ton on the outside.

      After a full year of just kinda sitting here, I’m ready to take action. I am feeling motivated around the areas of my health and fitness, financial wellness, career prospects and hey, might as well throw relationships in there! Why not? I have spend the first two weeks of this year really cleaning house, literally and figuratively in an effort to really commit some action to this motivation. Its not a flash in the pan sense of motivation because of a burning new years resolution, but more of a nurturing of the pilot light that has never been extinguished. I’ve felt this resurgence of passion, energy and faith in my body these past few weeks that I once may have dismissed as youthful naivety and fervor and which I thought might be forever gone.
You too have this pilot light, its one that I realize cannot be extinguished no matter how cold, wet, dark or trying the times may be, no matter how much we convince ourselves that we “used to” want something, care about something or be someone. I realize all it takes to find is some time, some clearing away of the life shit that we layer on or hide behind, and a willingness to look.

I did just that and I have come up with a plan. To reach some of the goals I set for myself a long time ago, that still remain, I’ve made some commitments. Here are a few of them.
I will :
1 . Use my knowledge of health, fitness and nutrition to be in better shape.
2.  Increase my blog posting quality and quantity as well as my subscribers.
3.  Make at least $10,000 extra this year.
4.  Take Henry to the dog park more often.
5.  Increase my community service.
6.  Spend a few minutes each day learning something new.

This is just the beginning, but I wanted to put a few out there… maybe inspire you to make some commitments to yourself, find the fire inside and take action. These are not goals. My goals are much more specific and detailed. These are some of the general action steps I’m taking. I’d love to hear what you have planned for 2010 and beyond.

And if you cannot find your pilot light, feel free to light yours with mine… its burning bright!

This was me at my 31st bday. I got to be a Rockstar at Karaoke with a live band, back up singers and an audience who couldn’t get enough! Try it sometime! I dare you!

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What is heartache?

I was on a road trip today and started reflecting on the year. I thought about the many great times, adventures, joys, sorrows and heartaches of the year. That got me thinking about heartbreak. Something many people feel this time of year as we reflect on the people we’ve lost in our lives, the relationships that have ended, or just the disappointment that comes along.

Heartache is a very real feeling that we all have experienced. That physical weight, pressure, pain and sensitivity in our chest. I wanted to know what actually caused that. This day and age, I believe I can find almost any answer I am seeking via a cursory search of the internet. I searched and searched and the answer to what I thought was a rather simple physiological question was no where to be found. Every piece about the topic simply described the associated feelings and admitted that the answer was unclear. There was minor evidence presented about the long term effects of continued heartache on the actual heart, but nothing to explain the phenomenom of heartbreak.

My roommate suggested that it may be an indication of a higher power, which I do believe, but this made me consider even more the presence of some sort of soul. If the same biological science that can trace blue eyes to one piece of a chromosome cannot explain the global phenomenon of heartache, it may be beyond science. Perhaps its part of humanness.

This is not meant to be a dissertation or proof, simply a consideration. I’m reminded of a question from the Broadway show Wicked, “What is this feeling, so sudden and true?”

Happy Holidays!

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A funny take on a diversity issues….

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