Tips and Tricks For Staying Healthy During the Holidays

November 29, 2013 by  
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Last week I wrote a bit about the danger of “playing the victim”–you know the old “Poor, poor me,”  mantra. And now the day after Thanksgiving–the time of the year of family, food, fun as well as being thankful–I want to write about FOOD.  Yes, we all need it and yesterday most of us probably ate too much of it!  Yes, we can say “Hey, we were victims of the great aromas and flavors! How could we resist? Besides it’s the time of the year to celebrate!” but that isn’t going to help your health or waistline. Now I don’t want to take the pleasure and joy away from this wonderful time of the year, but maybe my few words in this post can help make this holiday season a bit healthier and give you a head start with your New Year’s resolutions.

There is a great little trick that can help you steer away from those delicious, tempting treats that pop up all over the place around the holidays as well as helping you avoid temptation all year long.  I learned about this little trick from David DiSalvo’s book What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should do the Opposite.

DiSalvo says in chapter 15 of his book, “If you imagine looking at a tempting treat, your desire for it will increase. But research indicates that if you imagine eating the same treat, your desire will lessen.  The reason is that to our brains, imagining an action and doing it are not too dissimilar.  We can trick ourselves into feeling like we’ve already enjoyed the treat, leaving our brain with less reason to target the genuine article.”  It’s a very simple little trick but it works. Try it. If you keep doing it over and over again, it’ll become a habit so you can easily avoid temptation during the holiday season and will continue doing so into 2014.

I would also like to refer you to page 78 and 79 in my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. These 2 pages have been highly instrumental and very motivating to me. They have helped keep me slim and trim and in great health which is especially important to me now as I am only 131 days from turning the BIG 70!  Page 78 lists 15 big benefits that you get from doing a periodic “fast”—even for just 24 hours and page 79 lists 14 benefits from following a calorie restricted diet.  Every time I review these lists it pumps me up and helps me stay on a path of good healthy eating habits.  I am very confident that reviewing these 2 lists can do the same for you. And this time of year, we can use all the help we can get!

If you don’t have my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living or you do have it but you have a person or two on your gift list that you know will benefit from reading it, you can buy a copy on my website here. Now that’s some easy shopping!

The Adversity Letter

November 22, 2013 by  
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I’m honored to have Richard Paul Evans as a friend. He is a superb author and a great human being. Ok I guess I also suffer from a bit of jealously. He has sold over 17 million copies of his books against a measly 2 million books of mine that I have sold. Rick’s books have been instrumental in lifting and enlightening countless numbers of people throughout the world. His latest book The Four Doors is a must read for anyone who wants or needs to be motivated and uplifted.

The 3rd door that he talks about that will help anyone and everyone is labeled “Free Yourself From Limitations”. In this chapter he gives very wise advice, telling of the great dangers of falling into the victimhood trap. I am sure you have seen many people who do this— always “playing the victim”, looking to gain some sympathy and support from friends and family. What they don’t seem to realize is that it’s a no win habit that will put severe limits on their life.

What really grabbed my attention in this chapter and made a huge impression on my brain and in my heart was “A Father’s Letter to His Son”, which I immediately sent to my sons and daughters. I quickly received “thank you” comments back from my kids. I’d like to share this letter with you here.

A Father’s Letter to His Son

Always, always remember that adversity is not a detour. It is part of the path.

You will encounter obstacles. You will make mistakes. Be grateful for both. Your obstacles and mistakes will be your greatest teachers. And the only way to not make mistakes in this life is to do nothing, which is the biggest mistake of all.

Your challenges, if you let them, will become your greatest allies. Mountains can crush or raise you, depending on which side of the mountain you choose to stand on. All history bears out that the great, those who have changed the world, have all suffered great challenges. And, more times than not, it’s precisely those challenges that, in God’s time, lead to triumph.

Abhor victimhood. Denounce entitlement. Neither are gifts, rather cages to damn the soul. Everyone who has walked this earth is a victim of injustice. Everyone.

Most of all, do not be too quick to denounce your sufferings. The difficult road you are called to walk may, in fact, be your only path to success.

Wow, what a super great letter and one that if your kids, friends or you yourself follow, will greatly enhance your life. Rick goes on to say “Everyone has problems. It’s how we choose to deal with our problems that matters. Some people choose to be whiners–some choose to be winners. Some choose to be victims–some choose to be victors”.

So go ahead and make your choice and also I would say go buy Richard Paul Evan’s great book The Four Doors.

Delegate to Expand Your World

November 15, 2013 by  
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Last week I wrote about the power of delegation and how it can greatly magnify and expand your world whether it’s business or social or charitable.  Your first thought may be “wait a minute I don’t have a staff of workers to delegate to and I certainly don’t have the extra money to hire anyone, so how can I do it?”

The good news is you don’t need a staff or an assistant and you don’t need to hire anyone.  There are literally millions of people out there that are willing and able to take on tasks for other people and even do it for free.

Just look around and you will see people everywhere working hard for something they believe in but aren’t getting paid for.  You see it in folks that work for the PTA, for churches, little league baseball–soccer and football, boy scouts and girl scouts and even in demanding positions like apartment and condo association presidents and their directors.

Your task, if you want to expand your world, is to do a lot of work thinking and planning to find and pick good dependable people that are qualified and have natural talents fit for the tasks you give them.

Anything that takes up your time that you wish you didn’t have to do, can be delegated to all kinds of people directly around you as well. As your kids, grand kids, spouses, friends and neighbors. If you are asking them to do something for you and that something is their passion and they are really good at it, there is a very good chance they will do it and happily. These will greatly expanding your list of delegatee.

I am not saying that it is easy.  Thinking and planning can be hard work but again the rewards and the great expansion of your life can be well worth the efforts.  It’s fascinating to study the lives of many great business and civic leaders and see how they started with a small group of people that worked for nothing or very small compensation because they were totally turned on by the project that they were working on together. It’s all about finding what things people do that makes them happy and allowing yourself to let them gain more joy by doing these things for you!

A Lesson From Tragedy

November 1, 2013 by  
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There are a lot of great lessons to learn in life and if we are paying attention–being acutely aware of what’s going on around us and inside of our heads–then we just might see what life is trying to teach us and learn some great lessons.

Two weeks ago my dear wife’s sister Susan and husband Val lost their 33 years old son Brad to cancer. It was a huge smack in the face for the whole family. My wife, Kimberly, quickly flew to North Carolina for the wake and to be with her sister and Brad’s wife and kids. I stayed home but became overwhelmed by my own grief as young Brad’s tragic death brought back the memories and sorrow I have surrounding my own daughter, Kristin, who passed at the age of only 16.

During my time alone I happened to open up my own book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living to page 159 and three lines of bold face print jumped out at me like a bright light. Those three lines were what Nando Parrado said many years ago after surviving that horrific plane crash in the Andes mountains. He and a companion climbed over one of the highest peaks during a grueling 11 day trek to civilization and the chance to rescue the remaining crash survivors who only survived because they ate the flesh of their dead rugby teammates. The life lesson that Nando wrote was this: “There may be only one good thing that can come from great human tragedy and that is tragedy can make you so much more human than you ever were before.”

When I think back and look at myself after Kristin’s death, I can see how it changed me and intensified tenfold my empathy, caring and loving of other people. I was especially empathetic towards those that had lost a loved one and, in particular, if they had lost a child. I can’t put into words the huge change in my feelings towards those people and their families.

There is not one of us 7 billion humans that are going to make it out of here alive (although I’ve thought about totally boycotting death!) and if we live long enough we are bound to encounter our share of tragedy. So given that probability, doesn’t it all just come down to how we handle those terrible tragedies?

As I see it we have 2 choices. One, we can totally give up, throw in the towel and lay around feeling sorry for ourselves until we die.  Or two, we can learn a lesson about life and go out in the world trying to help others survive and even thrive as well as help them make it through their tragedies.

We do have a choice here. I think if we chose the first option we are bound to drag ourselves into depression, misery and sadness for the rest of our lives. But if we chose the second option, I think we’ll see brightness and light not only fill our own lives but just as important we will see that light in the minds, souls and bodies of those we seek out to help.

So what do you choose?