The Process LLC © 2019

Over the past few months I have struggled with the idea of the ego and the good versus the bad that comes from its over-bearing presence. I thought about a book I had read, Ego Is The Enemy, by Ryan Holiday, an author I had brief conversations with over email. Ryan’s way of presenting the ego is one of the best I have comes across.

I am quite certain that much of my personal angst about managing the ego arose due to my almost immediate juxtaposition from a life devoid of social media accounts to one where it became an impaling necessity of sorts. I had already established a website that was live for two years — a sort of repository of free health and wellness resources, along with a weekly blog post, that I hoped would inspire personal growth and development in the hearts, minds and lives of those who chose to take a look. And I was receiving a steady flow of weekly traffic and downloads of those available items. I was feeling like my small contribution was in fact compounding in to good things for all who chose to make the connection. I was receiving comments on various blog posts, both publicly and privately (a lot more privately likely for various reasons).

I was feeling good about the mission I had pursued. I was fusing a demanding sports medicine fellowship with my private life at home and the public life I was creating because of my recent book publication — hence the latin word ‘publicare,’ meaning to “make public” is where publication comes from. Little did I comprehend that I was not simply making my written work public, but my entire life.

The book made its official debut on April 2nd, 2019, and that led to new time commitments on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, a tiny amount on Twitter, several podcasts (I met some truly gifted and amazing people that I otherwise would not have), interest from businesses and sports teams seeking executive coaches and speakers, and other things that would tend to sharpen and inflate the ego, but instead it NUMBED it.

It has gotten to the point whereI see my investment in the book (TIME & MONEY) and the marketing/social investment (SOME MONEY with lots of TIME), being something I am ready to take as a loss.

Now I will tell you up front I am NOT BURNT OUT. And this is my dilemma. I have more energy than ever. My sleep is improving, my workouts are intense and my FOCUS on becoming the best ME, FATHER, HUSBAND, NAVAL OFFICER and PHYSICIAN is better than it has ever been.

I will keep blogging as I know my small tribe enjoys it, but I think its time to take a siesta — at least intermittent ones — on the other social media outlets. Siestas are good. Truly beneficial. Ask the Spaniards what they think about them. They help enliven a new perspective within us. They help us block out the hate, negative comments and bullying that others throw our way. What they do most is they shut us down so we don’t feel compelled by the constant blast of selfies, videos and propaganda that gets posted daily.

I have tried to prevent my own “work” or “creativity” from doing such a thing, but I know I have added to the fire as well. It’s one of the reasons why I ended up ceasing the promotion of a few of the podcasts I was a guest on. It just did not feel right to send out a Facebook blast or Instagram blast any longer. I had already done it too much because everything, everyone, told me to do so. While I never had the intention of “look at me” it sure felt like it.

I am just seeing too many folks try to sell their perfect lives over the internet and I don’t ever want that to be me because I am not even close. People having to make videos of every waking moment, while at the gym, while walking through the park, and using filters so that selfies would come out perfectly. I also cannot stand all the fake labels that people give themselves these days and I have fallen prey to it myself. A real “life coach” is hard to come by and you cannot really be the “CEO” of a company that does not have any employees or an advisory board. But that is just my take on all of this.

Having a fire in your belly to do work that sells is some of the most amazing motivation known to man. But not all fires are good.

So I will leave you with this today:

Instead of “Just Do It” as the great slogan from Nike proclaims, “Just Be You” unless of course “You” is something you aren’t necessarily proud of.”

See you next time!

It is easy to trick yourself into thinking that you have it all figured out. That you have learned all you need to know to survive. That you obtained that award or degree and that it says everything about you that you want the world to know. But there is only one truth surrounding this: YOU CAN ALWAYS LEARN MORE.

Seth, a mentor that I have told you about several times over the last two years of this blog’s existence, recently wrote a post that I know you must see. I don’t like blasting you with the blog posts of other people, but when I read one that really makes an impression I feel obligated to share. Even if you might already follow his blog yourself…reading and seeing something more than once often makes it stick a little better.

So I hope you enjoy this one. Thanks Seth….

How much is that piece of paper in the window?

Four years at MIT cost about $250,000 all in. Or, you could engage in more than 2,000 of their courses on their site, for free.

What’s the difference?

When you do education, you pay tuition, plus you pay with a focus on compliance. Traditional education requires that students trade in freedom of choice, coerced by tests and exams. And what do you get? You get an ‘A’ and you get a certificate.

The power of that certificate is extraordinary. Students (and their families) will go a lifetime in debt to get that paper. They’ll make choices about time and focus and geography for that paper, ignoring what’s ostensibly possible in exchange for the certainty of acquiring it.

Learning, on the other hand, is self-directed. Learning isn’t about changing our grade, it’s about changing the way we see the world. Learning is voluntary. Learning is always available, and it compounds, because once we’ve acquired it, we can use it again and again.

Most adults in the US read no more than a book a year. That’s because books aren’t assigned after you’ve got your paperwork done.

We’re surrounded by chances to learn, and yet, unless it’s sugarcoated or sold in the guise of earning a scarce credential, most of us would rather click on another link and swipe on another video instead.

The exception: People who have chosen to be high performers. Doctors, athletes, programmers and leaders who choose to make a ruckus understand that continuous learning is at the heart of what they’ll need to do.

“Will this be on the test?” is a question we learn from a young age. If you need to ask that before you encounter useful ideas, you’ve been trapped. It’s never been easier to level up, but the paper isn’t as important as we’ve been led to believe.

Just a few days ago, on October 5th, I celebrated the anniversary of my graduation from the US Navy’s Officer Candidate School (OCS). I won’t give away myself too much, but it was a long time ago, so long ago that the school is no longer located in Pensacola, Florida, but rather Newport, Rhode Island, after military base consolidations in the early to mid 2000s caused the move.

It was on that day that I was awarded my commission as an officer, an ensign to be exact, and would be granted my first salute. And over the next several years (over a decade and nearly two of them) I would be transported from being not just an officer on land, in the air, and on the sea, but into a classroom as a professor at a major university, followed by the opportunity to attend medical school to obtain my boyhood dream of becoming a physician and serving others in that capacity. To be frank, it has been one HELL of a journey. My recent book Exceptional Every Day does not give the journey the justice it deserves.

And what is so interesting for me now is that I am the family and sports medicine physician for that navy school that I once attended before I really knew anything about what it meant to be a “real” leader.

But this day also reminds me of a “young” man’s birthday. My commanding officer from the Naval ROTC unit that I taught at. And if it weren’t for him I would not have been able to connect with the football team that I ended up devoting my time to (and building relationships with so many amazing people) nor would I have been granted the transition to my current life of serving in such a capacity.

Needless to say, this day, October 5th has much meaning in my life. I shared my OCS graduation with my roommate from college, who also after many years and several deployments is still journeying along in the navy, along with another officer who I would graduate on that special day with and then reunite with many years later as we checked-in to our family medicine internship. Little did I know just two years after that reuniting we would serve as the senior leaders of our residency program.

For me, had this event back on October 5th never occurred many of the things that I get to be a part of today would not be happening. I would have never made many of the friendships that I enjoy. I likely would have never met my wife. I also don’t believe I would have reunited with childhood friends and classmates from that small and beautiful coastal town located amongst the great Pacific Ocean and amazing redwood trees in Northern California.

Pivotal Moments. Pivotal Days. And what I would call a Pivotal Life.

Pivotal in so many ways. And my over-riding vision continues to be fulfilled as I help others figure out which pivotal moment is next for them.

Are you ready for your next one?

Each day is a new opportunity to “create” your life. I know that can be confusing since we have already been created (and I am not here to get in a battle between creation versus evolution…either way we were created). But take a step back for a moment. Literally step back right now from wherever you are sitting or standing as you read this. Take a snapshot of your life at this very moment. What are you thinking as you analyze the photo in front of you? Are you smiling in an authentic sort of way? Do you feel healthy and full of energy? Are you upset with yourself like I was for getting mad at my children and losing my patience? Or is it something else? Now you know what I am getting at.

You can see I am of the school of creating your life daily, hence my book “Exceptional Every Day” and trying to improve upon your WORK-SELF-LIFE PROCESS. You should get to a point where you are confident about the life you are walking and the one you are walking towards. You don’t necessarily want to be comfortable because being uncomfortable is the state of being that actually leads to growth.

You should be living out your passions, expressing the person that you are, using your voice, and all in all you should be YOU. It will never be perfect. Today you may be at the top of the world, and tomorrow you might feel like you were run over my a freight train. Both of those are important. Our BREAKING POINTS lead to our MAKING POINTS.

Our failures MAKE our lives just as much as our accomplishments MAKE them, if not more so.

Thus “worthwhile” and “fulfilling” happen because of what we experience — the good and the bad. Take a look at that photo of yourself once again. Now what do you think?

…Quitting!

I hope that is straightforward for you. Many people blend the words together, and I don’t seem to understand why. Failure is good. It allows us to grow and achieve amazing things. Quitting simply means we have decided to give up. No one forces us to quit. It is a solo decision.

But it also doesn’t mean you need to stick with things that you don’t love. For example, you are tired of your career and want a new job. Seeking a new one does not mean you are a quitter. Not at all. It could actually be the wisest decision you have ever made.

But deciding that you are going to start cleaning up the way you eat, by eliminating as many processed foods from your diet as possible, cutting out the sugar, and cutting back on the alcohol, and then stopping after only a few days…now that is QUITTING. Or starting a new exercise routine and giving up on it after only one week because you are sore. Your stomach was growling, you began to have headaches and you just did not feel good and you could no longer take the self-induced pain. So you told yourself to forget it. You allowed your mind to play tricks on you. That is QUITTING with a capital Q.

We tell smokers to QUIT smoking…and if they do it, it does not mean they are QUITTERS. Again, there are several plays on words here.

Now that I have taken you down this path today, I will finally get to what I really wanted to share with you, that of a simple poem..

Don’t Quit

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man.

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup

And he learned too late, when the night slipped down

How close he was to the golden crown

-Anonymous-

Thanks for being here. I hope this gave you a little extra motivation on a Wednesday morning. After all, it is hump day. You are almost there. Stay blessed!

I had not written about this concept in previous blogs and it came up during a podcast I was blessed to be a part of with Scott Welle, the creator of OUTPERFORM (you can check out the podcast interview here).

And while some out there have looked at “compartmentalizing” your life through a negative lens (i.e. where you are caused to separate your life, your work, your friendships, etc, that is not what I am contending). This is the narcissistic mindset.

If you know anything about me, or about my book, then you know that I come from the school of thought of work-self-life fusion (for more on this concept of fusion check out my friend Derek Deprey’s work.) And I offer using compartmentalization as a way to get what you want and desire in the most efficient manner.

Compartmentalizing is no easy feat. Like most things that can have a long-term impact on your growth and or success, it takes work and repeated practice to master and or at the very least achieve a level of positive returns on your investment. Its premise was ingrained in me early in my adult life by those men and women that had previously received the coveted “Wings of Gold” after graduating from US Navy Flight Training. The idea was brought up over and over again until the word was etched into the brain matter of my classmates and I, and made a part of our vocabulary, much like the combination of ink and needle upon the skin.

What it ultimately led to was the ability to push thoughts out of my mind that were not helping me to complete the task at hand. It allowed me to focus on what was immediately in front of me. A skill that in my view becomes a prerequisite for a certain level of success…or so I thought…until it became clear to me that it is a skill that is important to general life and well-being as well.

It is the direct enemy of procrastination and indecisiveness. It causes us to get rid of waste. It enables us to determine what helps and what hinders. It sets us apart from suffering and despair.

If you break your life down into segments, (not the groups mentioned in the picture above), priorities, minutes of the day, and learn to focus, to really practice being mindful of the task you are engaged in, you will realize its value.

Don’t worry if it takes you awhile. You did not get to where you are right now because you rubbed a magic lamp with a genie in it (although, you should check out Disney’s latest version of Aladdin). No, you got here because of your Process. Your effort and your ability to overcome, and they all took lots of habitual practice, whether you were cognizant or not.

So jump on the compartmentalization bandwagon. Use an excel spreadsheet and break your day down into 10 or 20 minute increments starting with the time you wake up in the morning and ending when your head hits the pillow. Do it for just 7 days, or perhaps 14. I am confident you will get more done, feel better about yourself, and be energized to do even MORE — which my friends is what we are supposed to do with this life we have been given. We are not meant to grow old and go to the grave in pristine condition. We have a body and a mind for a reason.

Have an amazing day!

A lot changed. Many people lost their lives. Many survivors dealt with the loss of a loved one. Others did their best to be heroes and they were not seeking any credit for their actions. Within hours to days airports across America changed their rules on security.

I went from joining a military during peacetime at the end of one decade, to finding myself in training to get ready for an entirely different landscape. I was excited serve, and felt more compelled than ever to make a difference.

But I still cannot comprehend the emotions, the instantaneous thoughts, that went through the minds of those actually involved in the destruction. From New York, to Pennsylvania to Washington D.C. The chaos was unimaginable.

And all I wanted to do today was say a blessing for all those who were involved in some way or another during those morning hours of September 11th, 2001, and for the past 18 years. Because while it was only one single day in our history, it has had lasting and profound effects on people across the globe. Any other blog today would not have made sense. So, if you did already, thank you, if you haven’t yet, please take a few minutes and whether you are spiritual or not, think about all of those involved. Think about them with your heart and your mind. Give them a few minutes of your undivided attention.

Our world progresses based on love, positive thinking and the power that comes through serving others. Thank you for being a part of my life today.

The First Friday, Exceptional Newsletter, September edition is here…I hope you enjoy the new look. My first draft was a little lengthy but my team helped me cut it down to a version you can enjoy in 3 minutes or less.

And if you are looking for a reason to gift my book to someone you love this this month look no further than this (I received the below quote from someone who purchased my book on Amazon and later sent me a message as to you why they did):

Odds are the impact it will have on the person you gift it to will have a direct impact on your own life. The magic of paying it forward.

Thanks for joining me. Stay tuned for the “October is more than just Halloween edition.” Blessings!

If you have been following this blog for just a few months, or for the past one to two years, you will see that I often find the words of Seth Godin to be magical. Every now and then I like to share a snippet (or the entire blog)…and it is funny because as I am typing this today a notification just flashed across my screen that I have a new blog from Seth. His ears must have been ringing. Seth is a marketing guru, he has published countless books on the art of doing so. And the post I want to share today goes hand in hand with my book Exceptional Every Day.

For those of you who might follow Seth and have already read this…I won’t apologize as sometimes it’s good to read something again! Sometimes that is the only way to get it to stick. Stay blessed my friends…keep attacking life.

Living in surplus

In our culture, it’s easy to choose to live in deficit.

To spend just a bit more than you make, so that you’re in debt.

To need to drive just a bit faster than the prevailing traffic, so you can push every interaction.

To measure yourself against someone (there’s always someone) who has more (there’s always more) than you do.

If this habit of becoming ‘behind’ is the fuel you need to do your best work, it’s difficult for an outsider to argue against.

But consider that it’s also possible to choose to live in surplus.

To spend a bit less than you make, so you’re never worried about paying the rent.

To drive with the flow of (metaphorical) traffic, because not only is it safer, it frees you up to dream.

And to measure yourself against no one but yourself. Raise your standards as often as you can, but not because someone else you chose out of the lineup of success is somehow ahead of you.

When you live in surplus, you can choose to produce because of generosity and wonder, not because you’re drowning.

Today’s blog is to the point. A few short and simple phrases to help stir up your creative juices, get motivated and get moving. We all need a little pick-me-up every now and then and sometimes a single quote can do that for us. I have collected or created these over the past few months and I wanted to see to share. Because you just never know the impact a few words might just have on your day, your week, your month or perhaps for even an entire year (let alone a lifetime).

“Most people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”

“The best way to sell yourself to others is to sell others to yourself.”

“Your life is a do it yourself project. The problem is that it can take you years or even half your life to figure this out.”

“The goal is not to be perfect by the end. The goal is to be better today.”

“The way to develop decisiveness is to start right where you are, with the very next question that you face.”

“We suffer so that we learn to get sick of suffering. That is a lesson that only life can teach.”

“The joy of life is that we are living in it right now.”

Being uncomfortable can be quite a challenge to overcome. We don’t like to do things that we are not used to, especially when they don’t feel right. We would rather end the “pain” now, even if our future self depends on it. The real problem for us is that since we cannot guarantee the future, we don’t want to commit ourselves early in the process.

Sacrifice, pain, suffering — they are not chosen as things we would desire to experience along our journey. But they are indeed priceless.

Uncomfortable leads us to success, or at least drives us in that direction.

I try to teach my children about being uncomfortable. I emphasize this same feeling with my coaching clients and quite often with my patients. It never gets easy because with each of these groups of people there is indeed much apprehension when I simply say, “Being uncomfortable is a good thing.”

And I don’t want any of them to suffer too harshly. I don’t want them to do things that I would not do myself. For my children, I want to give them a better childhood than my own. I want them to have opportunities that I did not. But I also need them to fail. I need them to be uncomfortable.

My eldest injured her elbow after one too many handstands. I was worried she may have actually fractured her radius so I gave her a sling, but the strap around her neck, even with its soft pad, just didn’t feel right — it was uncomfortable.

I offer my youngest great foods like avocados and blueberries, yet their textures upon entering her mouth don’t suit her taste buds — she is uncomfortable.

Even things that we know are good for us can be uncomfortable. The only way to start accepting them is to try and try again. Eventually the cold water in the pool won’t feel so bad. Not eating for a few extra hours during the day or before bedtime won’t disturb our stomachs. Waking up a little earlier to exercise will actually be something you welcome.

The uncomfortability will pass, and then you will welcome it back as you realize how valuable it can actually be.

The journey has begun

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