Category Archives: Motivation

The Next Level

How do you get to the Next Level?

How do you take yourself, your life, your goals… how do you take them and move them to the Next Level?

It’s a question I had been asking myself over-and-over-and-over… how do I do more? How do I find more success? How do I find more happiness? How do I get more out of life in general? I just couldn’t figure it out.

I literally went round-and-round trying to figure out how to reach the Next Level. And there have been times in my life where I actually went to the Next Level. Where I earned a promotion, or where I landed a new job, where I met a milestone, or managed to achieve some goal.

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The thing was though… the thing that I learned… was that none of those were actually getting to the Next Level. They were the consequences of already being at the Next Level. Take minute to re-read that. The promotions, the milestones, the achievements. Those were all just the consequences of already being at the Next Level.

That’s the thing about The Next Level. It isn’t a goal. It’s not an endpoint. It’s not somewhere you get to and then you hang your hat up because you’re done. The Next Level is in the choices you make on a daily basis. The Next Level is how you live every hour of every day.

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Want to get to the Next Level in your career? Start practicing, reading, and learning the skills for that career, everyday.

Want to get to the Next Level in your fitness and diet? Start eating one more healthy thing than you did the day before. Workout for one more rep than you did the day before.

Want to get to the Next Level in your relationships? Start doing one more selfless thing for another person than you did the day before.

Want to get to the Next Level in your business? Start working one minute longer than you did the day before.

Often times we want the rewards of being at the Next Level but we don’t want to actually do the work required at the Next Level. Then we get upset, and we get down about ourselves because we didn’t get the reward we wanted.

photo cred: Greyson Joralemon

When really, this is fair. Life is giving you the exact reward that matches the level you are on. If you want a Next Level reward you have to put in the Next Level of work.

And it doesn’t happen in a day.

Life doesn’t reward you with a multi-million dollar business because you went to the Next Level for a few days.

Life doesn’t reward you with a better marriage or relationship with your kids because you tried harder for a week.

Life doesn’t reward you with a better body and longer life because you went to the gym a couple of days.

Life doesn’t reward you with more money because you went above and beyond that one time at work.

Life rewards you with what you deserve.

photo cred: Martin Sanchez

My advice would be to stop worrying about the next reward. Instead, start focusing on how you’re getting to the Next Level every, single, day.

Quitting America

I so often see posts across social media platforms that go something like this, “If they’re toxic, leave ’em” or “If you’re not happy, that’s okay, it’s not meant to be.

I also see the divorce rate in America is at about 50%…

photo cred: Siora Photography

I’ve watched this culture grow and become romanticized over the last decade that says, if things aren’t making you happy you should just walk away from them. And I simply cannot believe that so many people think this is the way to success and happiness.

I can’t accept that so many people believe that happiness, true happiness comes from walking away. That happiness means that if things are tough, you’re better off quitting. That happiness means if you don’t like this moment, you should give it all up. I can’t believe…

This is one of the greatest mistakes we make, as people. We feel that when things get difficult or tough that the correct answer is quitting. And then we wonder why we have a nation where the divorce rate is 50%… we wonder why we have a nation that can’t overcome obesity… we wonder why we have a nation that has arguably the most mass shootings in the world…

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It is incredible how many people are popularizing being a quitter in the face of adversity. That our new motto has become, “when things get hard, quit.” It is so mind-blowing that we can live this way, work this way, survive this way… and not realize that it simply is not working for us.

And the problem is, we’ve tried to create a society of “sigh… all I want to do is kick my feet up on a yacht sipping mai tai’s.” A society where we want to try and go viral on a single social media post, going so far as to perform extreme acts, so we can cash in and go, “sigh… time to kick back for the rest of my life” without ever really thinking what that life would be like.

You don’t need a million dollars to sit back and relax. In fact, a majority of us are already sitting back and relaxing every night. Binging on hours of Netflix… binging on hours of social media… binging on hours of leisure time… and then wondering why we feel so unhappy and depressed.

photo cred: Fernando Cferdo

But this just does not work. This is not the way to find happiness.

How many millions of people are taking this same approach, and finding zero happiness and success?

And you might say, “well this guy did this one post and it went viral and.. and.. and..” and that’s great! Wow! That guy won the lottery. Is that really what your strategy is in life? To hope to win the lottery?

No. The answer to the question of how to find happiness and success is completely the exact opposite.

WORK HARDER.

And that’s going to be a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people. It is… because it says you are responsible for your own failures and that you are responsible for fixing them. But it’s the damn truth. You have to abandon this idea that life is all about relaxing. That life is all about avoiding difficult and uncomfortable times.

We have become obsessed with this idea that life is really at it’s best when you’re doing nothing. That life is best when you’ve made a million dollars and then you retire. But if you go out and look at people who retire at 55, 60, 65 with a million dollar pension… they go back to work. They get bored and depressed, so they go back to work.

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That’s because life is NOT about sitting around doing nothing. It’s not about relaxing on a beach with a drink. That will get old quick. Take a look at other millionaires and wildly successful people. Are they just done working? Or do they keep going? Do they release 1 album, 1 movie, 1 book and then go to the beach?

You are far more powerful and capable than you give yourself credit for and buying into this popularized idea by social media about walking away is poison. Give yourself more credit, you are worth more and you can do more. Put down your phone, log off from social media, and go work. Go to work. Put in work.

Put in work at your job. Put in work to your relationships. Put in work to your health.

Go to work.

Everyday.

And then come back here and tell me if you don’t feel better. Try it, go bust your ass for a full day in all areas of your life, give it everything you’ve got. Empty your bucket, completely. And then lay your head down at night and ask yourself how you feel about your day.

I promise you. You’ll be happy with yourself.

And then wake up and do it again.

When Motivation Fails

Motivation is such a double edged sword. On the one side, motivation gets us going. It gets us started. It’s what ignites and lights the spark that makes us want to take on a new endeavor. It gears us up for finally making a change in our lives and it sets us on the path to victory.

On the other side, it fizzles out after the initial burst. It’s enough to get us started, but not enough to keep us going. It’s enough to to take us out for dinner but not enough to ask us to move in together. It’s there when things are romantic but disappoints us when things get real.

Motivation you son of a bitch…

So what do we do? How can we get motivation to take the long ride, drop down on one knee, and stay with us forever?

The truth is, we can’t.

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See motivation doesn’t actually work like we’re trying to make it work. Motivation isn’t meant to be there for the long haul. Motivation’s purpose isn’t to settle down with us and have kids. That’s just not who motivation is meant for.

Motivation is meant to simply be the spark that ignites the fire. It’s only meant to get things going, to start the motor, but to keep the motor going you need more than just a spark and some lighter fluid. You need something more powerful than motivation…

Living off motivation is the key mistake so many people make when it comes to changing their lives. They want motivation to do all the heavy lifting. They want motivation to wake them up every day and help them get going. They want motivation to push them through the tough times and inspire the to go the extra mile… but it just doesn’t work that way.

If you think it works that way you’ve been watching too many Nike commercials.

If you think it works that way, ask yourself, how many times has motivation got you started, but failed to pull through in moments of adversity and challenge?

Motivation is going to fail you when it comes to sustaining your goals. It always will. It always will because that’s not what motivation is for.

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What you need to be looking for is something beyond motivation. Something that is bigger and more powerful than motivation, that will drive you through and past adversity and challenges. What you need is something that is bigger than personal motivation. Bigger than yourself.

You need POWERFUL WHY’S

Because adversity is often bigger than we are. Challenges are bigger than we are. If they weren’t bigger than our current selves, they wouldn’t be much of a challenge and that’s the whole point. A challenge is a challenge because it’s bigger than you… and to overcome that, you need something bigger than the challenge.

The only way to overcome those challenges is to have the tools that are bigger than our current selves and the current challenges we’re facing. To find those tools, you need to find Powerful Why’s.

photo cred: Eila Lifflander

When you’re facing a challenge and you have Powerful Why’s that drive you beyond that challenge, the whole game changes.

When you’re working hard to make money because you’re poor and your family is starving, you’re on a different level than someone living middle class.

When you’re hitting the gym and losing weight because your doctor told you your health is at risk, you’re a different person than someone who just wants to look good in the mirror.

When you have a Powerful Why, you’re on a whole new level than someone whose doing what you’re doing purely based on motivation.

Now that doesn’t mean we have to be starving or our health be at risk to have a Powerful Why. We can find and develop Powerful Why’s in our own lives from our own situations or we can adopt them from other people. And once we have them, I promise you, the game will change for you.

If you’re struggling to find your Powerful Why’s reach out to me and let’s talk. Leave a comment, send an email, or DM me and let’s figure out what your Powerful Why’s are!

Today

Often times we want to start up a new project, a new endeavor, a new workout, a new diet, or a new goal because somewhere, something gave us some great motivation. And we get all excited about it and then we say ‘Tomorrow‘ I’m going to start.

Tomorrow I’m going to suddenly change and become this new person. Tomorrow… tomorrow… tomorrow…

It’s always something that’s going to happen. “Tomorrow it’ll happen because I’ll be ready.” “Tomorrow I’ll wake up early” or “Tomorrow I’ll have all of my stars aligned and then I’ll be able to make it happen.” Tomorrow… later… not today….

There’s an old saying in professional sports and it goes something like this:

You’re only ever as good as your last game.

anonymous

What this means is that it doesn’t matter what you did yesterday or what you’re going to do tomorrow. What you’ve already done or what you say you’ll do doesn’t win championships. The past nor the future make any difference about who you are. What matters, what defines who you are, is what you’ve done today.

photo cred: Manasvita S

What have you done today? What have you done today to reach that dream? What work did you put in TODAY?

70%…?

90%…?

110%…?

140…%?

Most people are living day-to-day giving out somewhere between 40%-70% of what they’re actually capable of. We wake up slow, we start slow, we move slow, we do a thing or two… and we say, “Tomorrow I’ll feel better. Tomorrow I’ll get a good start and things will just go. Tomorrow will be different

But this is a slow poison on the mind. When people do this, they are already setting the trap for their own failure because the truth is, there is no perfect start. There is no perfect time, perfect feeling, perfect level of energy, perfect level of motivation…. There is no aligning of the stars…

All that there is, is what you’ve done today. That’s it. What are you doing today, right now, that puts you ahead of everyone else? Ahead of everyone else that is fighting for that same dream.

If you think you’re the only person out there that wants what you want, you’re wrong.

While you’re thinking about doing what you want to do, other people are already out there getting theirs. Real winners are out there working and fighting for that 110%, that 140% every. single. day. And you’re still waiting for the perfect moment to even start.

Stop waiting for the right moment. The right moment is now. The moment is right now to go give 140% to what you’re after and what you want.

So ask yourself…

What have you done today?

Promote the World

This is the second piece of a two part series. Once we have become strong swimmers it is our responsibility to help save others who may be drowning.


In my last piece I discussed how important it was to promote yourself. Especially if what you are doing is positive and extends a positive message or sets a positive example. If something you do in your daily life, either as your job or for a hobby, is positive it is your responsibility to share that shit with the world.

It is incredibly valuable to not only do good things, but to share those good things with others. If you look around at mainstream media… social media… shit any media. How many positive role models do you see?

It’s incredibly important that when you are doing something positive that you share it with the world. You never know when a post or message that you share will become the inspiration for someone else.

photo cred: Kelly Sikkema

But it’s not just enough to promote yourself. Success doesn’t come to those who only promote themselves. It just doesn’t. It never will. Promoting yourself and yourself alone will give you some short-term victories but in the long run, it will fizzle out. Setting the example will only take you so far.

Real success is found in things that benefit the whole. The team as a whole… the world as whole… the family as a whole. Long lasting success isn’t going to come from just sharing your own wins and victories.

Long lasting success is going to come from what value you provide back to the team… the world.. your family. Long-term success is going to come down to how much you promote others. How much you give back out to the world that you’re asking to put back in to you.

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You see when it’s only about you, and you alone, what tends to happen is you gain a little bit of success and then something comes along and punches you in the mouth and knocks you down. Adversity shows up and most of the time adversity is bigger than you. Adversity squashes you and sits you back down. And you go back to being the same, unsuccessful person you always were.

This is why people fail at their small businesses, their workouts, their goals. They fail because when adversity comes along, it was only ever about them.

But when you do things for others. When you go out and promote others, when you jump into the comments on someone else’s post whose trying to get back in shape, or you send a like or a share to someone whose battled a difficult situation. When you reach out to someone through a direct message and check-in with them. It matters.

It matters.

It makes a fucking difference.

Don’t tell me it doesn’t. Don’t tell me that when you post or you share something out to the world and somebody responds to you with positivity and promotes and supports you on that, that it doesn’t make you feel like you’re on the right path. That it doesn’t fill you with even more motivation and acceptance and satisfaction. Don’t tell me it doesn’t.

It does matter. It matters to a lot of people in a lot of ways. It has a greater impact than just setting the example. It has a longer lasting impact, than just sharing a cool tweet or post of your expensive dinner.

When you go out a promote and support others in the missions they’re on in life. It makes all the difference in the world.

photo cred: Chris Curry

So go out and be successful. Go out and promote yourself. Share your brand, share your content, share yourself with the world. And then go and double down on giving back. Find others that are doing the same thing as you and support them. Buy their shit, share their posts, message them and tell them how fucking awesome they are for going out and doing their thing.

Be a good fucking person and go promote the world!

I guarantee you, that when you go out and provide value back into the world. You won’t have to look for success. Success will find you.

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How to Have the Worst Workout

You know that feeling you get right before you know you need to go do your workout? Maybe it’s in the morning when your alarm is going off or maybe it’s right after work at 5 o’clock.

And you think about the day you had at work and you’re just like, “damn today was rough” or “I didn’t sleep for shit last night…” and you tell yourself that you’ll just skip today’s workout but you promise, you PROMISE you’ll get tomorrow’s workout in.

And then tomorrow comes, the stars are still not aligned, you think about how much of a pain in the ass your workout is… and you skip again. And again. And pretty soon you’re right back where you started, sitting on the couch, wishing you could figure out how to get your act together and questioning why the hell you can’t seem to make working out, work out.

photo cred: Bruno Nascimento
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I’ve been there. I’ve been in those shoes. I’ve got three kids ranging from 1 to 15 years old. I know what it’s like to be out of gas. I know what it’s like to have a crazy busy day at work or to not get any sleep at night. I walk in those shoes almost every single day.

BUT here’s the trick.

Go have the shittiest workout that you can.

Literally… half-ass put on your workout gear, don’t even go to your gym if you don’t want to, and do 1% of your workout.

Do 1 pushup or 1 squat or 1 crunch. Walk 1 set of stairs or do 1 jumping jack.

Do 1% of your workout.

Because the real key to success in anything that you do is showing up. Showing up is like 90% of the difference maker. If you show up every. single. day… even if you do it in a shitty way, you’re already out performing 90% of the people you know.

How many people do you know that go to the gym every single day? How many people do you know that workout, every… single… day…?

If you just show up, even if it’s at 1%, you’re already 1% better than you were before.

Just show up.

Just go do it.

photo cred: Jonathan Borba
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Go have the worst workout you can possibly have and do it every day. I promise you, if you do this, if you show up, even when you don’t want to. Your workout will stick. It will stick because you won’t see it as this huge unclimbable mountain anymore. It’ll stick because you know how easy it can be to do 1 pushup or 1 situp. It’ll stick because you’ll make showing up a habit and habits die hard.

So go do your workout today. Go do your 1%. The stars are not going to be aligned for you every single day. You are not going to feel 110% every single day. It just doesn’t work like that so stop trying to make it work like that.

Show up, do 1% and then show up again tomorrow. Keep showing up.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

My mom used to ask me this all the time. “What do you want to be when you grow up?

Of course at a young age, you always wanted to be something cool right? A Police Officer, a Ninja, a Transformer… I can remember drawing pictures for school assignments that asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up.

And there were no boundaries… no limitations… if you wanted to be a Transformer when you grew up, you sure as shit could put it on the assignment and be good to go. In fact, teachers and parents encouraged children to dream big.

photo cred: Steve Libralon
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It’s interesting how while we are young and naïve and were asked this question we didn’t put any limitations on what we could be. We would dream up and imagine the greatest thing our young minds could think of. There was no limit.

And then we grow up and we realize we can’t be a Transformer… More than that though, we grow up and we stop dreaming. We recognize the foolishness of the idea of trying to be something that isn’t real but we take it a step farther and we start doing this in all parts of our lives.

We start believing that dreams are just that. Dreams… fiction… unobtainable. And so we stop dreaming. And what this does is it puts a cap on everything else that we do in life. Instead of shooting for the highest achievement we can, we start shooting for just good enough. We aim for comfortable and easily obtainable. We try to do things that are “realistic” in our lives.

We fill our time with movies and games, shopping and home remodels, chores and yard work. We start to settle into life, we get comfortable, and we stop dreaming.

photo cred: Johannes Plenio
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But no one whoever did anything great, did it without a dream. Martin Luther King Jr. literally spoke of how valuable having a dream was. For him, the dream was the driving force of where things could one day be. And at the time, thousands of people believed that his dream was just that, a dream. But these were those same people who had forgotten how to dream big.

But if not for his dream, what would he have accomplished?

So don’t get caught up in the day-to-day of life. Don’t get so comfortable with taking things easy, that you forget to dream. So many people have so much unfulfilled potential in the world. So much more that they could give back. So much more that they could accomplish. So much more that they could do.

So dream big, dream bigger than you ever did as a child. Aim so fucking high that when you talk about your dreams to other people, they think it’s unrealistic. And then ask yourself, “What do I have to do to achieve this dream? What work do I have to put in today, to make this dream a reality?”

Then go out there and do it!

And if you’re a parent, you should continue this tradition and ask your kids the very same question. “What do you want to be when you grow up?