Happy Healthy and Fit

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Talent is Overrated: Deliberate Practice Produces Results

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.
~Napoleon Hill

Belief. Challenge. Commitment.

Goals are dreams with deadlines. Two interesting books I read last year documented the success experienced by professional athletes and musicians with regard to the amount of deliberate practice hours dedicated to their area of expertise.

It was undeniable. There were no exceptions made for genetics or talent. The greatest discovery was that the same secret to success holds true anywhere. Deliberate Practice Produces Results.

As a martial arts teacher, I used to enroll white belts. This was the easy fun part. Getting people excited about having more confidence, learning to use their bodies, making new friends and having a new experience was like giving candy to a baby. I was well schooled at creating hope. For 8 years, I managed to hire thousands of people to go door to door selling frozen meat in the Phoenix heat. They had hopes and dreams of $1000+ cash weekly. This attracted all kinds of people with hope of a better life.

In order to succeed, in selling meat, you had to have belief, challenge and commitment. You had to believe that you could do it, challenge yourself to talk to 200 people a day and make a commitment to continue this process everyday until you became proficient. The numbers never lied. The people that worked the system made the money. The ones with the most determination always hung on and made lots of money. I would later learn that there is no one more determined than drug addicts, who can somehow manage to make an average of $180,000 a year just to sustain their habits and still live on the street.

This comparison is used often and it is said that if we bring the desire of a drug addict into our lives with that kind of focus and determination, we can have anything we desire. If we stop heading toward our goals the moment things get uncomfortable, we will never expand past where we are now. The growth occurs in the discomfort. The growth is a result of desire.

So whether it was trying to turn hopeful white belts into Confident Black Belts or inexperienced salespeople into Cash machines, the recipe was always the same. I could provide the space, but they had to have Belief in themselves, be willing to accept the Challenges and stay Committed.

Hope is a beautiful thing, and a great place to get started, but it takes more to get results. Being Happy, Healthy and Fit means knowing that Talent is a Result. A result is something we produce. Whether you want to be stronger, leaner, happier, healthier, in a better relationship, more adventurous or changing careers, simply be deliberate and intentional and you will produce a result. If you are not pleased with your current results, check back and see if you need to increase your desire.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mother Does Not Always Know Best

Let me begin by saying that I love my mother very much. I am grateful that she birthed me and instilled in me a great work ethic and the knowledge that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. Like all good mothers, mine did her best to pass along her wisdom from as early as I can remember.

"I just don't want you to make the same mistakes I made," my mother used to justify her attempts to control the outcome of my decisions.

She would plead with me to learn from her experiences so I didn't have to endure the same pains that she did. "How will I learn? I must have my own experiences." I was wise before my time.

Get straight A's, save your money, keep your legs crossed, don't pierce your ears, always have your own bank account and keep your independence. My mother really did have the best of intentions or maybe they were demands. Essentially, my mother wanted me to have a successful and safe life. What has been proven is that although our DNA passes along everything that creates us, wisdom does not get passed along.

Just last week, when I mentioned that I was thinking about halting a program I have been teaching for a couple of years, she was quick to encourage me to keep it, since I worked so hard to get it. When I suggested that was true, but perhaps it was limiting me from creating something even greater during that time, she went strikingly silent. Maybe it's time for me to teach my mother.

Yesterday, she was talking about her new friend that she enjoys spending time with. I suggested that she likes Annie so much because she worships her. My Dad had told me this little nugget. My mom laughed and said, "Annie is so nice, she has a kind word to say about everything."

"Are you learning anything?" I had to know.

"I suppose I was Never very good at that," she responded.

I assured her that it was not too late to start. I realize that my mother was programmed by her mother and so on and so on. She did the best she knew how. I also realize that my mother has always been one of my biggest fans. It was my mother who dropped me off at college when I decided to go at the age 16. It was my mother who dropped me off at the dock in Miami when I decided to trade a life of luxury for a year of adventure, travel and solitude at the age of 19.

That is why it brings me great happiness now to see all of my mother's potential. I love to teach my mother how to find happiness every day. It begins with a kind word. Being Happy, Healthy and Fit means having the courage to change your beliefs and then change your mother's beliefs.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes can be truly endless."
~Mother Theresa

Friday, September 10, 2010

One Door Closes, Infinite Doors Open

We have all heard that when one door closes another one opens. Usually, this cliche comes up in a desperate attempt to make ourselves or someone else feel better about a life situation that appears to be one of loss. Translation: Something didn't meet our expectations or go the way we thought we wanted it to.

Since life is a constant cycle of change, everything is impermanent. The incorrect belief is that loss is bad, but the Truth is that nothing stays the same. People float in and out of our lives, jobs and opportunities come and go. The mistake we make is attaching to our things and our relationships. Security is an illusion.

This week I realized the belief that when one door closes another opens is way too limited. The truth is that infinite doors open when we create space. We can see loss as loss and mourn it and ask Why over and over again, but that is not going to change the facts. Alternatively, we can believe that we deserve the highest and best life situations and when things don't work out, it is only because there is something even better. When you truly stay aligned in this belief, the Universe delivers 5-star choices on a golden platter.

The only blockage to the infinite opening of doors is awareness and attitude. If you stay staring at your closed door and feeling like a victim too long, it will only further perpetuate closing doors.

Next time a door closes, see it as an amazing blessing. Enlightenment results from trauma or clarity. Creativity comes from moving into the great unknown! Turn around, stand on your head, laugh out loud, do anything to change your point of view. Being Happy, Healthy and Fit means being receptive to the Infinite doors that have just opened for you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dissolve Your Clouds: Happiness Brings Clarity!

Happiness is a Choice.
Happiness is a state of being.
Happiness is being fully present.
Happiness brings Clarity.

Recently, I have been attracting a lot of things to do with happiness. I keep hearing about Harvard authors writing books, doing studies and publishing articles on Happiness. Happiness has almost become a science instead of an art.

Every morning, we have the opportunity to choose our thoughts just as we choose our clothes. Just as there are equal amounts of negative thoughts, frequencies and vibrations for everyone to tune into, there is an abundance of Happiness with which to be aligned.

Yesterday, I decided to do a Happiness Experiment. If Happiness brings clarity and acts like a vacuum, I decided to trust the process and let happiness fill every cell of my body. The first thing I noticed was it was a very cloudy day. Then, for some reason, Linken Park lyrics started playing over and over in my head- I put my trust in you.

I decided to clear the clouds. Then clarity came. It started physically. Crystal clear, I saw a heron on top of a building to the South. West was a hot air balloon and then another. North, I was certain I could see all the way to Flagstaff. I was surprised to see that when I looked only right in front of me, I saw only clouds. When I looked deeper and dissolved the clouds, I could see as far as I desired with complete clarity.

The actual clouds literally broke into pieces and it truly was a blue Sky's the Limit Day! Decide to dissolve your own clouds and let the light shine through. It is always there. You don't have to go to Harvard or read another book, just practice allowing Happiness to overcome you in the same way that fear, anxiety, doubt and worry are accustomed to completely holding you hostage.

Close your eyes and breathe in Happiness and let the oxygen carry it to all of your cells. Happiness does bring Clarity and clarity brings more Happiness. Today is the perfect day to plant seeds of Happiness and fertilize them with trust.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Find Forgiveness: Create Miracles

Yesterday I was hiking and came across the most brilliant iridescent lizard. I do not believe in coincidences and I felt there was some kind of significance in this creature. I wanted to share this living miracle, but needed a reason. Sometimes a picture tells a story and sometimes it takes a story to paint a picture.

Speaking of miracles, tonight I met a dear friend to enjoy a chai tea latte at a nearby coffee shop. Upon sitting down, she confessed that she needed a miracle. We both know that miracles appear when we are doing something uncomfortable. She said she couldn't think of a thing to do that was uncomfortable. I gave her a few suggestions and then I remembered the lizard.

Just this morning I read an amazing story about The Power of Forgiveness To Remove Judgement "Rav Aba and the Traveler" from the Zohar. As the story goes, the Traveler was the recipient of 2 miracles that he was not even aware he received. I went on to share my version of how to create miracles based on this story.

When you resist an impulse for reactive vengeance, you bring forgiveness and goodwill into your life. Rav Aba had noticed the traveler sleeping when on the side of a mountain when a snake approached him. Just before the snake could bite, a lizard appeared and killed the snake. The traveler awoke and upon seeing the dead snake jumped back, just in time to be saved from the cliff that was torn from the mountain. Had he awakened one moment later, he would have fallen to his death.

Stunned by what he just witnessed, Rav Aba approached the traveler and inquired what he had done to be saved from the snake and the cliff. He too, knew it was not a coincidence. The Traveler replied, " In all my days, I forgave and made peace with any man who did evil by me. If I could not make peace with him, I did not sleep on my bed before forgiving him and all others who had aggrieved me, and I did not harbor hatred for any harm that had been done to me. Moreover, from that day on, I tried do kindness by them."

Upon sharing this story with my friend, I told her to find someone to forgive and she would create her miracle. Not wanting to sound too off the wall, I thought I was whispering this story, but surprisingly, a young woman who had been waiting for her drink, stopped and touched me on the shoulder. She admit that she had totally been eavesdropping and thanked me for the great story. To me, that felt like a miracle.

After my feel good moment of inspiring the young woman, I turned back to my friend, with my sassy, "Well........." To my amazement, she said, "I suppose I could call my sister and forgive her. That would be uncomfortable. You do know that I haven't spoken to her in 19 years."

It was a miracle that I didn't have anything in my mouth, because it surely would have shot out. Five minutes is too long to carry a grudge, but 19 years! My dear friend has taught me a lot, but now I see I am teaching her too. Just as the traveler did not even witness his miracles, I may never know the impact forgiveness will have on the girl in the coffee shop or on my friend's sister living around the globe

I am grateful that the miraculous lizard appeared before me and provided a point of reference to connect to this story. Perhaps he saved me from a snake I never saw, just so I could pass this story along. May the healing begin. Being Happy, Healthy and Fit means practicing forgiveness of yourself and others EVERY day. Stop holding grudges and free yourself up to create miracles!