Category Archives: Focus

Quit Stalling! : Re-define success and regain your momentum

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

When we were growing up, we were always asked “What do you wanna be when you’re an adult?” A fireman, an astronaut, the President, an Army guy…we would come up with the most amazing dreams. We could easily visualize ourselves achieving these great feats when we were children. So, let me ask you, what are you now?

If your answer is different from what you remember dreaming about as a kid, this could be due to several reasons:

  1. Your interests have changed
  2. You don’t believe you can do it
  3. You let others talk you out of it
  4. You are no longer your priority
  5. You gave up

Yeah, I know that sounds rough, but it’s ok. I wanted to share these thoughts because, for a while, I felt the same way too. However, from spending so much time helping others grow, I realized that I needed to take a step back and give myself a hard look. I had to ask myself again, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” When I realized that I was no longer moving toward any of my previous goals, or toward any goal for that matter, I had to ask myself, why? After some hard self assessment, these are some of the answers I came up with, and at first glance, it seems I have failed to reach any level of success – but I was wrong.

Friends, for quite some time I have spent hours studying, analyzing, and discussing with others, what exactly qualifies as success? How do we get there? Here are some things that I have learned that have fired me up, and have put me back on the right path.

First, no great person achieved anything by merely thinking about it. Nor, is there such a thing as an overnight success. As with everything great in life, hard work is the answer. I remember telling my son that we should never be hungry for immediate gratification for what we do. The greatest achievements in life are earned through years of dedication, and devotion to ones passion. I used the example given by Thomas A. Edison when discussing the amount of time it took him to invent the light bulb. He stated,

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Would we say that he was unsuccessful?

Author, and former power lifter Chris Moore uses music to further explain this. In one of his podcast’s (check out the Barbell Buddha Podcast), he mentions that we often spend too much time focusing on the ending, the point of gratification. This would be the same as attending a concert, or listening to a song, just to hear the ending – it makes no sense! It is the sweet melodies, the notes, the rises and falls that make music beautiful, and exciting. Why would we not look at life this way? My interpretation of success made it easy for me so feel as if I had failed, when in fact, I had only scratched the surface. When I would see this failure, the desire to quit entirely would often become overwhelming, and I know this is the case for many others.

So, why do we fail to reach success?

One of the main reasons we fail to reach success is because, as I stated before, we treat it as an ending, instead of a process. Just because I’m not the President of my company today, doesn’t mean I won’t be there eventually. As long as I live each individual day to the fullest, keep the end in mind, but work and live in the present, I have succeeded that day! This, my friends, is progress.

Like I mentioned in our last post, you climb a mountain one step at a time. If you try to look up at the tippy-top the entire time, you can grow dizzy, and faint; but if you focus, and take one hard step at a time, you will eventually get to the top. Times will get hard, and you may lose ground from time to time, this is OK. Remember,

“Yesterday ended last night” – John C. Maxwell

When you get a chance at a new day, tackle it with more intensity, and focus – that will make it a successful day. In the future, those days will be viewed by others as your lifetime, so treat each one as if it were special.


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Constructive vs. Empty Praise

“Good job, Son!” … Sounds good, right?

Communicating with my two boys has been a hard lesson for me to learn. Thankfully, I have been put in situations where I have been taught to communicate in a way which will promote a desired end state.

What does all of that mean?

I learned that what I was giving my boys is known as Empty Praise. Essentially, the simple “good job” is not actually reinforcing the act that achieved the results. Often times, the pat on the back, or the “good job”, are used as a quick way to acknowledge our kids, and go on with our busy day.

This is not doing anything for your kids!

Bottom line, telling your kids “good job” often times just isn’t enough.

Ideally, what you want to do is praise the act or process that achieved the results. Sure, starting with “good job” is appropriate to acknowledge the accomplishment, but what follows is most important. Let us use the example of my son scoring 100% on a spelling test.

An example of Empty Praise would be: Continue reading

My BEST tip to eliminate iPhone Distractions!

So you all know, I have to give credit where it is due. The inspiration for these posts on focus came from a man I recently began looking up to named Mike Bledsoe. He is one of the creators of the podcast Barbell Shrugged, and his side project is Bledsopia – where he talks about everything you could possibly think of.

Ok, where was I? Focus…

Like I said on the last post, whatever it is that was distracting you before, can probably wait. Today’s helpful hint is made possible by our friends who created the iPhone.

When you really need to get things done, the best thing to do is turn that thing off, right? Not so much.

If you find yourself having a hard time doing that, learn to employ the “Do not Disturb” function in the iPhone. When activated, the phone gives off no indication of incoming phone calls, or messages, but gives you the convenience of being able to get to it later…WHEN IT MATTERS!

You can even program this function to allow certain phone calls to come through normally. All that person has to do is call you back within a three minute window, and your phone will ring. History shows that if something is important, you will probably get a phone call, and not a text message. I currently have my wife, and some colleagues from work set under my favorites, so when the call me twice in a row, the phone will ring as normal.

So, when at the gym, doing homework, or having a conversation with your loved ones, give them the attention they deserve. You’ll be surprised, once you get used to using this, those things that used to make you lose your train of thought wont matter so much anymore.

Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better. This is what we’re all about.

Fight on Friends! – The Warrior Family

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Tips to Improve Focus…ok, what?

Focusing and maximizing time is a hard thing to do when we are as distracted as we are. We live in a time where many peoples attention span is limited to how fast they slide their finger across the screen of their telephone. This causes several problems.

First, the people we should be paying attention to aren’t getting enough of it. When I moved back to the United States after living in Germany, one of the biggest things I had to get used to was how people didn’t really have conversations anymore. I remember very clearly sitting in a circle with friends, trying to talk about the past, and noticing that all of their heads were down staring at their smart phones. After living here for a few months, I found myself caught up in the same issue, and began trying to force myself to leave the phone in my pocket, on silent, while I visit with people. The need to see what the rest of the world was doing was eating at my productivity. I remember sneaking in occasional peeks at my social profiles while in the middle of homework for my college courses, what’s the big deal? Could this stuff not wait?

So, I’m going to post a few things that we can do to somewhat minimize the distractions we get from our smart phones/social media profiles.

Manage your time:

If we allow ourselves too much time to accomplish a list of tasks, there will not be enough pressure to actually ensure they get done. One method that could make you more productive is giving yourself time blocks to complete certain tasks. For example, when I get home, I know I have to eat, help with the dishes, talk to the wife, hang with the boys, and get my equipment ready for the next day (uniform, tactical gear, etc.). If I get home at 1930 (7:30PM), that gives me two and a half hours to get all of that done. Without setting time-hacks for myself, there is no pressure, and I have found that usually something doesn’t get done. Here’s what a more effective schedule would look like:

Eat dinner-15 min.

Hang out with the boys (before shower)-15 min.

Help with dishes (and send boys to shower)-30 min.

Talk to wife – done while washing dishes

Finish hanging with boys (and send to bed)-30 min.

Talk with the wife (or watch an episode of Supernatural) – 30 min.

Get equipment ready – 15 min.

Check social media – 15 min.

This may seem extensive, and a little crazy, but something strange happens when you add a timer to the equation. The same reason a timer is effective in things like Crossfit, time limits motivate you to get things done while focusing on one task at a time. Also, I have found that I usually finish my small tasks well before the time is up (probably because of my competitive side).

There is an article published in the Crossfit Journal that talks about this. Here is the link:

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/39_05_Tabata_My_Job.pdf

Give it a try, and let me know what you all think. I will post other tips throughout the week. MTF

Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better. This is what we’re all about.

Fight on Friends! – The Warrior Family

__________

If you like what you read, add us on Google+, share us on Facebook, and like us on twitter @thewarriorfam.

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