The Daily Thoughts Blog

daily thoughts Feb 10, 2021

The best way to spend your day

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

How can we best spend our time on earth?

Learning.

This doesn’t mean we have to be sitting in our room reading a book 24/7. We can learn about other people and their thoughts or feelings when we have a conversation. We can learn about the world around us and make observations. We can also learn about ourselves at any given moment.

If you’re intentional about learning, you can always learn something.

Having this mindset of a lifelong learner empowers you to be more curious throughout your day.

How can I help this person? What are my coworkers thinking? What are my students going through? What am I feeling right now and why?

There’s always something! But being aware isn’t enough. It’s also understanding, interpreting and communicating what you’ve learned.

Yes it’s great that you just had an epiphany, but did you share it with anyone? It would be a shame if you didn’t. This is something I’m constantly working on myself which is why I wanted to get into daily blogging. I want to share my thoughts and let my writing flow naturally.

If you learned something new about another person, be mindful and reflect on that for a moment so it can sink in. For example, if you learned someone is easily stressed out, think about how you can be of help next time they talk to you. What could you do or say that could influence them to feel more calm and at peace?

For example, I recently had someone tell me that they’re lacking the motivation to get things done. I had a conversation with them about it to gain some insights into their world. Next time I see them, I’m going to be encouraging, supportive, uplifting and motivating hoping I can get them to generate the motivation to go after the goals they shared.

How does this relate to lifelong learning?

Well, I’m learning about their motivations, or lack thereof, and I’m applying certain social skills such as leadership or influence to help them develop more intrinsic motivation so they can take action and achieve their goals. One of the best ways to learn is through practice. If you want to be a better leader or develop your social skills, you need to execute and practice. That’s learning!

The simple mindshift of labeling these moments as learning opportunities can help you measure your progress and really see how far you’re coming along in your journey of mastery.

Those are my thoughts for the day, thanks for reading :)

Date: 3/2/2021


How music affects our emotions

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Today’s theme is all about emotions.

Why? Because understanding your emotions will help you identify what you really want and need right now in your life. It also helps you build better relationships.

Being aware of our emotions can help us talk about feelings more clearly, avoid or resolve conflicts better, and move past difficult feelings more easily.

This week I want to share with you an exercise involving music that can help you regulate, manage, and understand your emotions better.

The inspiration for this activity came when I was listening to a song in my car on my way home from a night out.

I'll admit, I got a little teary eyed...I hope you try this activity out too and embrace the experience to it's fullest.

Emotional expression is considered one of the most important criteria for the “perceived” aesthetic value of music (Juslin, 2013).

Some authors have even described music as a “language of the emotions” (Cooke, 1959). Indeed, research findings confirm that listeners believe that music expresses their emotions (for a review, see Gabrielsson and Juslin, 2003).

For example, in a survey study by Juslin and Laukka (2004), participants were asked to indicate what they think music expresses by selecting responses from a list of options.

The results indicated that all participants selected “emotions,” as opposed to other options.

Music can be a powerful way of evoking complex emotions, creating mood states that may otherwise be difficult to categorize as positive or negative.

This makes music an interesting tool because it distills a multi-dimensional and complex nature of feelings in individuals.

This exercise introduces music to facilitate a rich understanding about your present feelings and concerns.

To see all the references check out the worksheet here.

At times, it is difficult to express what we feel using only words.

 In these cases, music seems to be expressing exactly how we are feeling.

Take the sheet below and try to find a song that describes how you’re feeling about your situation right now.

Please keep in mind that there are no right or wrong ways to choose a song, only what makes the most sense to you.

After choosing your songs, please take a few moments to respond to the questions below.

You can always share your song and responses with me if you want to have a deeper conversation about your emotions.

Here’s my personal example of NF’s song “Change”.

“Change is a track where NF fights with his inner-self about needing change in his life, but is afraid to venture out and try new things. These feelings are reflected in the beat as a soft background fights with a powerful drum throughout.”

Song 1: 

What is the title of this song?

Change - NF

When you hear this song, what comes to your mind?

My failures: failed relationships, failed businesses, failed attempts of change, losing my job, etc.

My struggles: Trying to change but not always being successful with it

How does this song make you feel?

Sad, optimistic, insecure, disappointed, determined, resilient, motivated, depressed

Which part of the song is the most important to you?

My 3 favorite mini verses:

#1

I swear I'm tryna get it together

Sleeves up, puttin' work in, tryna be better

I like to rap, but I ain't gon' do it forever

Forget the charts, I've been focusing' on holdin' my head up

Moment I get up, I just wanna know I'm doin' my best

And if I'm not, Lord forgive me, you can have the regrets

'Cause I can feel the water tryna go up over my head

Most of my life, I always felt like I was holdin' my breath

I work really hard in life. Sometimes it feels like I’m surviving and not thriving. It’s been a long journey for me. I could easily have settled in life and followed the system, followed the rules, fit in the world's little box of normal, but I break the rules and I cause a ruckus.

I’m bold, driven, ambitious, and determined AF to make an extraordinary impact in the world.

Even though I’ve had struggles in life, I’m proud of the fact I’ve stayed true to my values and I’ve never given up on my big dreams. I have plenty to be proud of. A lot of successes in my life, but sometimes I feel like the failures drown out the wins.

#2 

Out of my face if you tellin' me I need to be different

That's the issue though, I'm always insecurity-driven

I’m an emotional person. Sometimes I take things personal. I’ve mastered my ability to not let feedback affect my emotions because I know that’s the key to my growth, but nonetheless this line hits hard for me.

Most of my life I used the negativity as a motivating factor. While that might have worked at times in my life, it’s not the best to generate motivation.

Dealing with criticism, doubters, haters, or unsupportive people was always hard for me. My way of coping with it was to usually push people away. Now I embrace it! I love feedback and it was a hard process of separating yourself from the art you create.

Because at the end of the day, it's not about you. It's about them.

#3

Change

It's somethin' that I know I should do

I'm a little uncomfortable, to tell you the truth

But to be honest with you lately, I got nothin' to lose

See, I've always been full of pain, but now I'm makin' some room

The hardest thing about change in my opinion is leaving behind part of who you are for something new and improved. 

But at the same time, it's exciting!

Listen to the song here on YouTube. 

Download the worksheet here and complete it on your own.

Music is a form of therapy for me. It’s how I get things off my chest. I feel much better when I can make music about how I feel.

I would suggest finding a creative outlet that can help you express yourself too. This could be in any form, not just music!

Painting, writing, journaling, singing, drawing, speaking, dancing, etc.

My hobby of rapping is something I find a lot of joy in (ironically).

It’s a place where I can go deep into my inner world and find those dark emotions and build better relationships with them.

It’s scary to go there, but it’s necessary for my own personal growth of emotional mastery and being able to regulate my emotions on demand. For example, I think it's cool to go from crying to laughing in a matter of seconds and being able to control that. Or maybe I'm just a crazy person lol.

It also helps me relate to others and understand them better.

If someone is talking to me about a painful experience, I can easily relate to their experience by listening deeply or tapping into a similar experience of my own.

Empathy is a superpower and if you want to be a legendary leader who creates a legacy in this world, continue finding creative ways to increase your own emotional skills by tapping into your inner world even more.

I hope you found this newsletter interesting and valuable. Have a great week and happy Mindset Monday!

Date: 3/1/2021


5 Ways to Maximize Your Intellectual Growth

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Lifelong learners are always looking for ways to grow their bank of knowledge.

Reading new books, listening to podcasts, reading articles, etc. But what other ways can you further enhance your learning?

Growing your intellectual capacity is very similar to working out. Physical exercise is often made a priority in our lives, but exercising our minds is equally important. 

Here are 5 ways you can maximize your intellectual growth and capacity:

  1. Debate

Debating with others forces you to consider every perspective and to organize your thoughts. You have to think on your feet and build persuasive arguments. Keep it friendly, though!

It also promotes problem solving and innovative thinking. The more you debate, the easier it is to build connections between words and ideas that make concepts more meaningful.

  1. Develop your artistic talents

You can’t just cram a lot of facts into your head. There’s more to your intellectual growth than that. You also have to apply what you’ve learned. 

Working on your artistic talents by applying or developing new skills can help your brain form new connections and neurons that make existing neural pathways stronger. Also known as “plasticity” in the brain. Follow your enthusiasm and leverage your interests!

  1. Be minimalist

How does this make you smarter?

Well, too many responsibilities, activities, and possessions create a muddled mind. Decluttering your mind (and life) will help you free up a lot of mental capacity for more meaningful things. Eliminate the non-essential items from your life. This will help you spend more free time on learning and applying new skills.

  1. Develop your memory

There are plenty of books and other resources on how to enhance your memory. I highly suggest looking into Jim Kwik who’s made himself known as one of the top Brain Coaches in the world. All the knowledge in the world won’t help you if you can’t remember it. 

You’ll have less trouble finding your wallet or cell phone too (I lost both in the same day this week. Very stressful! But I found them because I backed tracked every step I took. Not sure if this is demonstrating good or bad memory, but either way, I’ll count it as a win!)

  1. Spend time with people that challenge you

Your peer group has been shown to affect your finances and career success. It only makes sense that your intellectual growth is impacted by the people you spend the most time with. Seek out open minded people with a curiosity of the world.

Surround yourself with people who challenge you to grow and strive for excellence. As the saying goes, if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room!

Final Thoughts

A strong intellect is more valuable than ever in today’s world.

Even though information is at our fingertips, knowing when and how to apply that information to be creative and innovative is the secret sauce.

It’s the Elon Musk's of the world that make the biggest impact. Building your intellect will enrich your life. It’s a never-ending process that you can begin today and reap the benefits from for the rest of your life.

Date: 2/27/2021


Keep the streak going

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

It’s a fun game to play. The hardest part is the beginning. Once you gain some momentum though, it gets easier.

I’ve been trying to get in the habit of blogging every morning. While I’ve been able to maintain some level of consistency, things happen.

An important phone call at 6am took priority one morning.

Another morning I went to bed late because I was having a creative breakthrough and gave myself permission to follow that intuition. Which led me to waking up at 6am vs 5am.

The following morning I hit snooze because I was still a little tired, thus, didn’t have enough time to write before work.

And here we are! Back in the groove of things. Sometimes life happens and you break the streak. It’s okay. You don’t need to beat yourself up over it. Maybe you wanted to meditate every day and you missed a few days. You haven’t worked out in the past three days. Your journaling has fallen off. That’s okay. Get back on the horse and keep riding.

When you see your new habits as a game, it’s easier to approach it with a positive spirit. How long can you maintain the streak? 10 days? 30 days? 399 days?!

If you break the streak, try again and see if you can set a new record. I find this more interesting and fun than approaching it from a serious perspective. It’s not the end of the world if you fail. This is where you learn how you can improve.

For example, that phone call I had was important and necessary. I did not want to miss it. What I could have done is created a new time block during my day to write the blog, but I didn’t do that. I just brushed it off. Next time, I could readjust my schedule.

When I had my creative breakthrough, which led to me staying up late, next time I could turn that breakthrough into a blog post itself! (Which I will probably do soon).

This is how I think about it. I don’t have a habit tracker. The posting of these daily thoughts is the habit tracker itself. It holds me accountable. I’m not always perfect, but that’s the fun part. Finding out how I can be better, more disciplined, strategic, and mindful about my process. I find that interesting and fun.

Give yourself a break if you have a bad day, week, or even a month. Get back up and keep moving forward.

Date: 2/26/2021

Going the extra mile

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

It’s an idiom we’ve all heard before. If you go the extra mile, you do more than what is expected of you.

People who go the extra mile gain trust, respect and praise from others. If you’re a teacher going above and beyond the standard requirements and expectations for your students, they will appreciate that.

Your effort goes a long way! That’s the extra mile.

The more effort you put into your craft, the further you will go. There’s a catch though. The further you go, the harder it gets.

Think about mile 17 in a marathon. That’s when you start to hit “the wall”.

You’re tired, in pain, barely breathing...but you still have roughly 9 more miles to go.

Your determination and commitment to finishing the race will help you during those difficult times. When you commit to the process, it’s easier for you to give yourself that little extra boost of motivation when needed.

But where does that extra push come from?

By going the extra mile during practice.

When you’re running a marathon, going the extra mile could mean pushing a little harder, not walking when you feel tired, or maintaining a consistent running speed despite your fatigue.

That commitment is usually determined by your training regime.

Did you go the extra mile during training?

If you did, that’s where you reap the rewards. During the practice. Going the extra mile is setting you up for the marathon you’re running. The results of the marathon are just a representation of the hard work you put into your training program.

The school year is like a marathon too.

Your consistent effort of going the extra mile will develop your mental endurance to continue striving for excellence and showing up daily for your students. Going the extra mile will demonstrate leadership and inspire your students to do the same.

Think about one tiny thing you can do that will turn the ordinary into extraordinary.

Date: 2/22/2021


How to overcome writer's block

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Writer's block. Let’s talk about it.

You’re staring at a blank page with no idea where to start. It's a common issue creative individuals run into.

Currently, I’m staring at a blank page.

How does one get into a rhythm of writing? You just write! (Or type).

Don’t judge your thoughts or writing. Just type. 

It’s hard at first because our brains want to immediately judge every sentence and word we write down, but it's better to let it flow.

You can always go back and edit your work. It doesn’t need to be perfect.

This isn’t to downplay the significance of putting out quality work, but you have to ask yourself first, "what's my goal?"

Are you trying to put out blogs to monetize, provide value, practice your skill? What’s the purpose of your content?

My daily thoughts blog has two goals:

1) to help build my writing skill and find my writing voice.

Many famous authors and bloggers say it takes 100 posts until you find your voice. I’m on post 12. I have a lot of work to do!

2) To make a bigger contribution and serve my community with my content.

Ultimately, this requires my writing skills to be better. Thus, I need to practice.

So if the end goal is to provide value to my community to the best of my ability, I need to develop my writing skills. In order to level up, I need to practice. In order to practice, I need to get out of my own way.

How do you get out of your own way?

By sharing your thoughts openly and honestly.

Seriously, that’s how you do it. Apply this towards anything!

Are you trying to go to the gym more often and stay committed to your work out plan? Share your goal with someone you can trust.

Are you trying to stay more discipline and take action every day? Share your thoughts with the world (for example, writing this blog is me sharing my thoughts with the world.)

Yes, you leave yourself open for criticism, embarrassment, failure, negative feedback, etc. but you're also positioning yourself for growth and contribution.

Focus on your values.

Since I value growth and contribution, I know writing this blog will ultimately lead to me growing and serving my community even more as my skills grow. I’m able to look past any fears, doubts or worries that might appear in my mind.

Eventually, you learn how to manage those thoughts and emotions. That’s what I call Mindset Mastery and Emotional Mastery. Being able to regulate them and turn them into positive action.

Sitting down, writing this blog, sharing my thoughts open in a brain dump style, will hopefully help me take consistent action towards my goal of making a positive impact.

My call to action for you is to ask yourself, “what is something I’ve been procrastinating on? What’s an area in my life I haven’t been taking action on? What’s an area I need to face with more courage?”

Identify what that thing is, and face it head on!

Date: 2/21/2021


How to be more productive

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)


What exactly does it mean to be productive?

It means you get important stuff done. Quickly and effectively.

It doesn’t always have to be quick, but generally speaking, that’s a standard measure of productivity. If it takes you five years to write a blog, that’s not productive. The difference between 30 minutes and 60 minutes though is so small, that I would still consider both extremely productive.

The key in this definition is the word important.

Productivity is about producing something of meaning and value.

What’s going to help you move closer towards your goals? What can you do today to help you move the needle forward? One simple action, that’s all it takes.

This is a mindset I’ve been adopting recently and I’m constantly thinking about this every day now. The journey is never “perfect”, but this concept of accomplishing one big goal per day has been extremely motivating and rewarding!

For example, writing these blogs have been very rewarding. Even if the writing or messaging isn’t the best, it’s the fact that I’m taking action towards a bigger goal. It’s a process.

I’ve been doing this with different areas of my business too and it helps me stay focused.

While it’s easy to fall into the trap of having to do a million things at once, and if you’re not getting it all done, then you feel like you’re not moving fast enough - but it’s critical to catch yourself if you’re thinking like this so you can reframe your thoughts.

A lot of productivity has to do with our mindset.

If you recognize when you’re procrastinating, not taking action, or feeling overwhelmed with all this work you have to do, take a breath, relax, and reflect. Look at your goals. Look at your agenda. Take time to think about your day, week and the months ahead.

I started scheduling time every day to take one action step towards my 3 bigger goals. If I can do ONE thing that will move me closer to my goals every day, that’s progress. Progress = happiness (and growth).

After a week, when you add up 7 days of micro-wins, that adds up to one big win!

You can apply this with anything. If you have a workout goal, do one thing every single day. Even if it’s stretching. Build momentum, let it all add up. If you're trying to learn a new skill, take time to learn about that skill every day, even if it’s for 30 minutes.

Productivity isn’t a time management thing, it’s a purpose thing. Take action towards the most important goals you have in your life. That should be your number one priority for the day. Tackle the day with confidence, get after those goals, and take one action step towards that path of greatness.

Date: 2/19/2021


How to be more confident

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

"I'm not enough".

One of the most common self-critical thoughts is this lie we tell ourselves which is, "I'm not enough".

It can stem from both comparative and internalized criticism.

How can you change these thoughts though?

First, it's important to understand where these negative thoughts are coming from, and then how to reframe them. Follow these tips to help you develop more of a confident mindset and reframe these limiting beliefs!

1. Why do you feel like you’re not enough?

The first step is to get to the root of this thought. Examine your feelings and consider your past. Why do you feel you’re never enough, and where do these feelings come from?

In many cases, the roots of this self-critical thought can be found in the past. Dysfunctional families, difficult childhoods, traumas, and illnesses can make you feel less worthy. Get clear on where these thoughts are coming from.

2. Remember it’s an internal message.

Even if others are praising you and complimenting your life, you may still feel like you’re not enough. This happens because it’s an internal thought that is hard to shed.

3. Start to heal the past.

Therapists share that not feeling like you’re enough may require healing the past.

If you’re having difficulty letting go of this self-criticism, counseling, therapy or a life coach may help you get past these thoughts.

Try journaling, meditation, or other contemplative activities to release the things that are holding you back.

4. Say, “I am good enough!" And mean it.

Each time this negative thought comes up, rephrase it to a thought that uplifts you and makes you feel like you are good enough.

Remember that you’re unique, with your own special combination of talents and characteristics, and worthy of love and happiness!

Remind yourself that you’re enough. You’re smart enough, strong enough, and good enough to do anything. You’re capable of great things and can accomplish what you desire.

Once you realize that your past may be controlling your present, it becomes easier to reframe this self-critical thought.

“Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. I don't even know why I'm saying this in an interview situation, but I always feel like I'm not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn't the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.”

- Trent Reznor

Date: 2/18/2021


How your thoughts can enhance your mood

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Our thoughts and attitude have a marked effect on our emotions.

By directing and managing your thoughts and attention, you can increase the likelihood of feeling joyful. Our minds are undisciplined, and it’s very easy to develop unproductive habits.

Spending time on this critical skill can pay off in all aspects of life. So here are 5 tips to help you enhance your mood and increase happiness:

1. Be grateful

The simple task of listing those things that fill you with a sense of gratitude can redirect your thoughts in a positive direction.

Instead of focusing on the things that are wrong in your life, give attention to the things that are going well.

2. Ask yourself what you’re enjoying in your life right now

Then ask yourself what else you could do that you would enjoy doing.

While fun and happiness aren’t the same thing, they’re related. Enjoy yourself each day and you’re bound to feel better.

3. Practice mindfulness

The topic of mindfulness has become very popular, but the idea has been around for thousands of years. Life can only be experienced in the present moment, but we’re masters at thinking about the past and the future.

  • Focusing on the past leads to regret. It’s over. Let it go.
  • Focusing on the future leads to anxiety. So stop.
  • Strive to keep your thoughts on the present moment. Plan for the future, but return to the present and get busy.
  • If you’re drinking a cup of coffee and fully engage in that experience, how could you possibly be stressed, sad, anxious, or otherwise upset? Focus on the task at hand.
  • If you’re doing something enjoyable, you’re only ruining the experience by permitting your mind to wander.

4. Observe your self-talk

Say good things to yourself. Life is challenging enough without making yourself miserable and imposing limitations on yourself. Be supportive and encouraging when you’re communicating with yourself.

Positive thoughts lead to positive actions and positive results. Positive emotions are the ultimate reward of positive self-talk.

5. Visualize a positive future

Before falling asleep each night, give your brain a target for the life you desire. Imagine where you would be and what you would be doing. While you’re sleeping, your mind will attempt to solve that riddle and provide the path for realizing your ideal life.

Be sure your thoughts are working for you, rather than against you. Happiness can be achieved with a simple, meaningful life, provided your mind is in the proper place.

Your brain is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal. Learn to gain control over it!

Date: 2/17/2021


How to demonstrate self-love

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Do you consider yourself a loving person? Someone who cares about other people?

What about yourself? Do you care and love yourself...

Showing yourself love and compassion is so important. You can’t love others unconditionally if you don’t love yourself first.

It takes courage to love yourself.

Love is a hard word to define. Without looking at any dictionary definitions, the first explanation that comes to my mind is this, “love is a feeling of joy”.

I’m sure that’s not the greatest definition, so let’s see what Google says... “an intense feeling of deep affection.”

Hey! I was pretty close.

If love is this intense feeling of deep affection or joy, how often do you truly express that level of affection towards yourself?

My simple call to action is this:

Step 1: Sit in silence for 5 minutes and meditate

Make time every day to reconnect with yourself. This is so important. Everybody has 5 minutes. Take the time to sit in silence and meditate for self-love.

How?

Step 2: Let go of everything

This means no judgements.

Give yourself permission to embrace who you are. Flaws and faults included. There is no judgement. Just close your eyes, breath, and redirect your random thoughts to appreciate who you are.

This might sound difficult, but anytime you start thinking about something, bring your attention and focus back to the present moment. Without judgement. Focus on who you are.

Final Thoughts

Self-love is a lifelong practice. Continue this skill by showing yourself love and compassion on a daily basis. You can’t love others unconditionally if you don’t love yourself first!

Date: 2/16/2021


Simplicity = Momentum

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Good morning and happy Mindset Monday!

Today’s theme is all about simplicity

Why? Because thinking simple will help us focus.

When we’re focused, we’re present.

When we’re present, we're more alive.

When we're more alive, we’re more productive, joyful, and fulfilled.

So let’s keep this short and sweet!

Book Review:

I recently read a book on simplicity, called, “Think Simple” by Ken Segall.

Here are my three big takeaways from the book:

  1. Simplicity is something that looks easy on the outside, but is extremely tricky on the inside. Similar to our minds.
  2. The biggest brands in business have a strong coherent brand identity. They do this through a simple message and we get it. Take notes Mindset University!
  3. People instinctively prefer simplicity over complexity.

How can you translate this into your life?

Simplify your life. Whether that's with your content, goals, relationships, or work flow.

Simple seems to make life a little less chaotic. I'm excited to apply this in my own life too!

A simple 3 step process to keep things simple:

  1. Identify what's important to you
  2. Let go of unnecessary stuff
  3. Build routines and systems as much as possible

Developing High Performance Habits is a good way to improve your routines.

Personal Advice:

  1. If you're not making progress, stop looking down on yourself. Those thoughts aren’t real. Why? Because you’re not there yet. Start looking up so you can get there.
  2. Focus on the one thing that will create the biggest change in your life. Have patience, and trust the process.

If you like this content, subscribe to the Mindset Monday Newsletter!

Date: 2/15/2021


How to Control Your Thoughts

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Have you ever had a thought and wondered where it came from?

I find the brain and mind fascinating. Just to clarify the difference between the two, your brain is an organ and your thoughts are a mental process.

I like to refer to these thoughts as mental models or frameworks.

Whether you feel like you have control over your thoughts or not, either way it’s a skill we can all continue to learn and master. Mastery is about continued growth. Nobody has total control over their thoughts and the worst thing you can do is say “I know” because that’s the definition of a fixed mindset!

A few weeks ago, I was reading a book to a 2nd grader and I learned something about life from reading that book. How? Because I set the intention to have an open mind going into it. I asked myself, “I wonder what the life lesson of this book is going to be?”

(The lesson was about kindness and empathy. We can never have too much kindness and empathy in our lives!)

So never close your mind, always keep it open. That’s the first step number in controlling your thoughts. Open-mindedness.

So why is mastering your thoughts so important?

Well, if your thoughts control your reality and how you see the world, ultimately you are the creator of your reality. How you see the world is totally in your control. It’s the classic glass half full, half empty analogy.

Diving a little deeper into this idea, another reason why we should all strive to master our thoughts is because of this famous quote I love to live by:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, our thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” — Gandhi

If your entire legacy on this earth is determined by how you think, then it’s necessary you get your thoughts under control (or I guess even more importantly, your beliefs...)

Now, most of us have a high level of self-efficacy to begin with, but once again, mastery is about continued growth. What’s that next level of “control” for you?

When you’re going through a transformation in your life, you need to change your perspective on yourself. That’s hard! Taking an honest look at yourself and having a balance between:

“Okay, I love myself and I’m proud of who I am”

Vs.

“Okay, I know I can do better. C’mon now! Let’s take things to the next level”.

Step two in this process is to practice deep thinking (or meta thinking).

What exactly is deep thinking?

For me, that’s when I stare up at the stars and just let my mind wander.

When you realize we’re just a tiny little speck in a gigantic universe, on a floating planet circulating around a gigantic burning star, life gets a lot less chaotic (at least for me).

Things just aren’t that big of a deal anymore.

  • Why stress over the little things?
  • Why beat yourself up over your failures?
  • Why not dream big for yourself and do something awesome with your life?

When I give myself time to think about the universe and life itself, it helps me master my thoughts because I’m becoming more aware of my thoughts.

Without getting into the deeper psychology of this, having these conversations with yourself and these deep thinking sessions, or self-reflection periods, will help you gain mastery of your thoughts.

As I sit here at my computer, on a Sunday morning, looking out my window at the cloudy sky, I feel very at peace. My mind, body and soul feel calm and relaxed. I feel grounded and connected with the universe.

Whatever that means.

But it’s a good feeling! And I hope you take the time to breathe, relax, and think about what you’re thinking about. When you do that, you’re one step closer to the never ending journey of mastery.

Have a great self-reflection Sunday :)

Date: 2/14/2021


What's your purpose?

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

I know, that’s a deep question, but one that I’m fascinated with.

That question used to be the first question I would ask my guests on my podcast (speaking of, I need to bring the podcast back) because I wanted to tap into their best selves.

I wanted to gain a better understanding of what their purpose was so I could ask better and deeper questions that would not only spark an interesting conversation, but would serve my audience with a more insightful conversation.

I believe when you are living a purpose driven life and you're intentional about the impact you want to make, you are maximizing our potential.

When you’re talking about high performance, raising your standards is a must. A simple way of doing this is by asking yourself:

“who needs me on my A game today?”

Why is this such an important question? Because you’re priming yourself to live a purpose driven life.

You’re intentionally seeking out and creating opportunities to make a positive impact and serve other people. Being a high performer, leader, and positive role model is all about serving with a purpose.

You don’t have to have a “change the world” mentality to this question, rather it’s actually more productive to focus on a specific person or group of people.

Frame your answer in a way that thinks about influencing a person’s world, not the world itself. There’s a big difference there!

While changing the world and having big ambitions is important, there’s a balance between “dreaming big” and doing what you can to serve those around you in the present moment.

For example, writing this blog.

I could easily sit down at my computer, go through the motions, and just write for 30 minutes without any intentions, but the simple act of me taking 2 minutes to think about "who I can serve in this moment?" is what drives me to stay energized, disciplined, focused, and engaged with my work.

It creates a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment in everything I do. I literally have no idea if anyone is even reading this lol, but it’s extremely fulfilling nonetheless because I’m creating that sense of purpose in my life.

That’s your job and responsibility.

You can consciously choose how you want to show up in the world today. Whether this makes an impact in one person's life, or a million lives, isn't the goal. While that's a nice bonus, it's about my attitude during the process. I can't control the outcome. Only the process and how I show up.

I can increase my odds of receiving the outcome I want, but that happens as a result of being intentional about how I show up.

Blaming the economy, your circumstances, the world around you, a lack of motivation, stress, or whatever else comes to your mind is just limiting yourself from maximizing your potential and living at your best.

You might still be productive with your work, but being intentional about how you want to show up is the difference maker between going through the motions and feeling alive.

You might not show up 100% engaged in every single activity you do, nobody is perfect, but you can drastically increase your odds of making a concerted effort to show up as your best self on a more consistent basis.

It’s the consistent mindset of striving for excellence in everything that you do that’s important! That’s how you live a more purpose driven life. You set the intentions to do so.

You might not feel like you’re performing at your best when you’re working out, but the fact that you’re showing up with the desire and drive to try your best, is what really counts. It’s the effort itself. It’s the consistent effort of thinking about how you can perform in this moment as your best, in a way that serves others and inspires greatness in others too.

The fact that you’re dedicating your time and effort to your health could inspire others to do the same. Maybe you have a friend, child, significant other, or family member that needs you on your A game because they’ve been thinking about taking their fitness to the next level too, so you could be that positive influence just by showing up with a positive attitude to grow, serve, and lead by example.

You never know who’s watching you. So try your best, even if you come up short from time to time, you’re making the effort, and that matters.

I hope my daily thoughts today serve you and inspire you to live your dreams with more purpose, strive for excellence with everything you do, and make a positive impact in the world today.

Date: 2/13/2021


What's your motivation?

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

There are really two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic (internal and external).

The greatest form of motivation is intrinsic and it’s what we all want and strive for. While there’s a place for extrinsic motivation, we’re hardwired to seek out intrinsic motivation.

You can see intrinsic motivation in several ways, a deep desire to learn and grow, doing something that’s meaningful and enjoyable to you, striving for excellence and mastery, etc.

I live the majority of my life through intrinsic motivation. I’d rather spend my time on earth doing stuff that I love, and also loving what I do, than wasting this precious time doing nothing or things that aren’t meaningful to me. That’s just me though.

What I’ve discovered over the years is a simple process that can help you develop more intrinsic motivation when you feel like you're lacking the drive to take action.

I go through this thought process I created called The Unlimited Motivation Formula. I’m not gonna lie, I love the name. Even if it sounds silly, I still love it.

I imagine a WWE scene where the announcer is introducing the wrestler...

"Introducing....THE UNLIMITED MOTIVATION FORMULA!!!"

Anyway, here’s the simple thought process I go through anytime I need motivation. 

The purpose behind it is to generate the energy and motivation to take action when you don’t feel like doing something.

Don’t feel like working out? Writing a blog? Organizing your notes?

Whatever it is, this process will help you generate more motivation. I’ll elaborate on this topic even more in the future (I’m working on a mini course that breaks this down), but for now, enjoy:

Step 1: Dream big and seek clarity

Q: Imagine your best possible self in one year from now, what does that person look like and feel like? What exactly do you want your life to look like?

Step 2: Raise your standards be resilient

Q: What level of quality is necessary for success? What could potentially be your biggest obstacle in preventing you from being successful? How will you overcome that challenge?

Step 3: Execute and generate energy

Q: How will you execute and take action on this vision? What does that action look like? How will you show up with intentions to be your best self? What positive emotions do you want to feel?

Step 4: Adopt a courageous and confident attitude

Q: What fears do you have about this goal or vision? What courageous actions will you take to overcome these fears? What does your most confidence self look like?

Step 5: Measure your progress and develop your skills

Q: How will you keep track and measure your progress? What habits do you need to develop to maintain consistency and discipline? What specific skills do you want to learn or grow?

Step 6: Serve, inspire, and lead others

Q: Who needs you on your A game? Who can you inspire by taking action and being a positive role model? What does leadership look like to you? What strengths do you have that can help you lead?

When you put all of this together, you can have a powerful purpose behind what you’re doing. You can make it as quick or elaborate as you want. Spend 15 minutes on this or spend 5. Either way, going through these questions will help you gain the clarity, motivation, and discipline to take positive action and gain momentum.

And yes, repeat this often! Don’t do this just once. We are what we repeatedly do, so make this a habit where you can mentally go through this thought process and use it as another mental framework.

I believe mindset is everything. The more open minded you are about learning new ways of thinking, the more tools you’ll have at your disposal to help you execute and achieve your goals.

Date: 2/12/2021


The Power of the Nightly Routine

The Daily Thoughts Blog is a new series where I share my daily thoughts about life. Enjoy :)

Waking up and having a consistent morning routine is high performance 101. Almost every successful person will tell you they have some sort of morning routine established. Even if they’re not consciously aware of it, you probably let your subconscious mind create a morning ritual.

While a morning routine is important, a very underrated element of success is a nightly routine.

This was something I always struggled with.

For years, I had my morning routine down to a science. I would wake up, brew coffee, feed my dog, make my protein shake, walk my dog, shower, get ready for work, meditate/visualize/think and plan my day.

I would usually wake up around 4:30am, get done around 6:00am, and get to work around 6:30am.

I adopted a “rise and grind” mentality for years by being the first teacher to show up at school. Not because I thought I was better than anybody else, but I wanted to show up knowing that I’m giving it my best effort every single day. It served me well and I still have that mentality (although I wake up around 5:00am now and I spend my morning alone time at home vs. at school).

It wasn’t about the competition with others, rather it was competition with myself. I wanted to make sure I could control my own destiny for the day. I believed being the first one to show up for work was a subconscious signal to myself that I was willing to do whatever it takes to be at my best.

Anyway, even though I had a morning routine locked in for years, my nightly routine was a hot mess.

I would reflect, meditate, read, or workout so I did have some level of consistency, but there were nights where I would get 3 hours of sleep because I was staying up late working on projects (like lesson plans, social media, music, and other random side hustles). This wasn’t sustainable and I think it affected my overall performance. The following days usually consisted of 2 or 3 coffees…and power naps in my car lol.

If you can’t relate, the point is more about the inconsistency of my nightly routine and how it sometimes led to unpredictable outcomes the following day.

This past year though, I’ve really improved my nightly routine and I want to share it with you hoping it gives you some encouragement to create a routine that works for you too. Even if you already have one, I hope you reflect on your current habits and see if there are any adjustments you can make to increase the overall flow of your nightly ritual.

Currently, my nightly routine looks like this:

9:00pm - Study
9:30pm - Reflect
9:45pm - Plan my day for tomorrow
10:00pm - Brush my teeth and go to bed

Pretty simple! Your routine might look different, but taking “me” time at the beginning of the day AND at the end of the day is one of the best habits I’ve ever developed.

It gives you time to really reflect on your day.

I use three writing prompts when I’m journaling:

  1. What’s one thing I learned about my business today?
  2. What’s one thing I learned about myself today?
  3. What’s one thing I learned about someone else today?

For me, those three areas are crucial for my personal and professional growth.

It took me years to get into this nightly routine. Mostly because I had no accountability. It's not like I didn't have any discipline, I was just inconsistent with my routine. That's all.

Once I got a High Performance Coach though and I got real with myself when reflecting on my habits, I realized I’m not setting myself up for maximum success the following day. Yeah, we can go through the motions and get by doing great, but I wanted to thrive and flourish every single day and when I got serious about my nightly routine, that’s when I started seeing more momentum in my life.

The key takeaway for me was this:

If you feel like you've hit a plateau in some area of your life, that means something needs to change. While I had a lot of great habits established, the one area I needed to change was my nightly routine. It was hard at first, but once I stuck with it, just like everything else, it became pretty natural.

Now, an area of focus in my life is productivity. While I consider myself a very productive person, that next level of productivity requires a team. You can only go so far as a solopreneur. I forget who said this, but I remember reading a quote that said something like, "If you're at the top alone, you're doing it wrong." 

Thanks for reading my daily thoughts! I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Date: 2/11/2021


What is The Daily Thoughts Blog?

I'm not talking about the 60,000 - 80,000 daily thoughts we have per day, according to experts, I'm talking about my new blog series dedicated towards random (and sometimes ridiculous) daily thoughts. 

Why? Because I'm trying to get in the habit of writing every single morning before I go to work. It might not be perfectly executed, but it’s worth the effort.

As I was reflecting on why it's so hard for me (and most people in general) to stay disciplined towards long term habits (such as recording a podcast every week, uploading YouTube videos, writing a blog, posting on Instagram, TikTok, etc.) I realized the issue isn't me as a person and my lack of discipline, rather these projects aren't a priority at the moment.

While we all have different reasons for why we might not commit to consistent action every day for a certain creative project (such as a podcast), I think it could be broken down into two different categories:

Confidence or strategy.

When it comes to confidence, are you procrastinating because you don't think you're good enough? Or you're not capable of being successful?

That's a conversation for a different day, but today I want to focus a little more on strategy.

When it comes to strategy, if I spend an hour making a YouTube video, then another hour recording a podcast, then another hour creating social media content, (and let's be honest, all of those things usually take more time anyway because you usually need to prepare notes or do research beforehand) then I feel like half my free time is gone.

I know there are strategies to be more productive like creating a content calendar, batching content, creating systems, etc. I get it. I already grew a decent social media following by applying these strategies, but sometimes your priorities change. Thus, the strategy changes.

The big idea is this (or maybe I should say, “My Daily Thoughts” are...) when you have a lot of things on your plate, you have to prioritize.

You do this by determining what's important to you. If you're not taking action on certain projects, there’s usually an underlying reason.

While there are many reasons why we don’t stick to habits, routines, or commit to long term projects, I’ve noticed for myself it always comes down to importance (which I would throw into the strategy bucket).

What’s currently important to me?

Building my business so I can serve my customers to the best of my ability and help them transform their lives.

Posting on social media doesn’t help my customers. At least not right now. I'm still building my products and services to make them even better. Developing my skills so I can be more effective as a coach, leader, and teacher.

I know I can inspire, influence, and motivate others on social media, but I’m trying to build a stronger foundation. As my mentor Brendon Burchard would say, “you can’t sustain the message if you don’t make the money.” Or something like that! Meaning, the more time I invest into my business and the more money I make, the more I can help my customers by investing that money back into my business.

I don’t see my inability to consistently put out content on social media as a failure of discipline or consistency, rather I see it as I’m consciously choosing to focus my time and energy on things that are more important.

Nobody sees all the hard work entrepreneurs do behind the scenes, yet sometimes I get caught up in this idea of “I wonder if people are judging me?” because I think to myself, “People must be thinking, if I'm not being consistent on social media, then how am I being consistent in real life?”

While I think there's some truth to that, I also think it's ridiculous to judge someone’s discipline, work ethic, or success based on their social media schedule. Yet, those are thoughts popping into my head! Because all these marketing gurus tell you, “if you’re not being consistent on social media, then you’re hurting your brand reputation.”

Meanwhile, you have plenty of businesses thriving with barely any social media presence at all.

That's one of many reasons why I wanted to write this blog.

  1. To share my thoughts so people can understand how I think.
  2. To brain dump these thoughts and insights hoping it helps people in some shape or form.
  3. To maintain a consistent habit online.

In regards to the last point, nobody sees my daily meditation practice, so I wanted to create some form of a daily habit online, and I needed to pick a medium:

  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • TikToking...

The list goes on.

I have this intuitive feeling though that blogging every day would be a great benefit for myself and others.

I'll improve my writing skills, which will help with future books I'm writing, and maybe I'll build a small community of loyal fans who find my thoughts inspiring and insightful.

Either way, it's a fun and interesting adventure that could potentially provide a lot of value to my community and customers, so it feels right.

I hope this gives you confidence to “not beat yourself up” if you feel like you’re failing to commit to your habits or you aren't being as consistent as you would like to be with your goals.

Sometimes, that could be a sign that maybe the thing you’re procrastinating on, isn’t really that meaningful to you.

Like I said, there could be multiple reasons, but maybe this is one of them. Maybe not.

Personally, I really want to focus on my online courses and coaching program because I want to help my customers transform their lives. That deeper connection is more meaningful to me than posting a quote on Instagram.

This doesn’t mean I won’t ever upload content! I still plan on doing that, but sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and get to the root of the problem..."what’s holding me back right now? Why can't I just stay committed to a consistent schedule on social media?"

For me, I kept coming back to this feeling that it's not a top priority right now because it takes time away from things that are more important.

If this ever happens to you, whatever the context is, maybe that’s a sign that you should be putting your time, energy, and focus towards something else.

Trust your intuition and follow your heart.

And embrace the cliché phrases like the one above :)

Date: 2/10/2021

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