The Process LLC © 2019

Retired Admiral William H. McRaven, who has spent the majority of his life as a Navy SEAL, gave an empowering commencement speech to the 2014 University of Texas graduating class. Thousands were in attendance. And what he spoke about was nothing out of the ordinary. It wasn’t some grandiose idea that only he could think of. But his ideas, or at least the way he expressed them, got turned into a great little book.

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And the subtitle really does live up to the hype. If you dig just a little bit deeper into the 10 life lessons that he provides you with, you really will change your life and I am willing to bet you can change part of the world around you as well. After all, everything outside of you is the rest of the world. And you won’t figure out what all of this means by just reading line by line below…you really do have to dig into the mud…swim into the surf…open your heart and your mind…and be willing to change your perspective when needed.

  1. Start off by making your bed (“one small task completed can make all the difference”)
  2. Find someone to help you paddle
  3. Measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers
  4. Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward
  5. Don’t be afraid of the circuses (“having to do a little extra”)
  6. Sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first
  7. Don’t back down from the sharks
  8. You must be your very best in the darkest moment
  9. Start singing when you are up to your neck in mud
  10. Don’t ever, ever ring the bell

So I challenge you to take a few of these things on. Really take them to heart and begin to make little changes that won’t just affect you today, but will have a lasting impact in the years to come.

I wanted to make a slight shift from the personal growth topics that I write about and throw some nutrition into the mix. After all, if you don’t eat right then growing in other aspects of your life could hit many roadblocks.

So today, I will venture in the direction of SOY. It gets quite a bad rap, and perhaps there are some good reasons behind that. But it also provides some nutrients that the majority of folks are not getting enough of.

And I will be honest, after battling with breast cancer myself, I have been scared of the three letter word for many years. But my fear is dissipating, and since my youngest child loves tofu so much, I figured I should continue to research the subject. And since I am in Texas for a bit, things like soy, tofu, and other things that most people would correlate with Asian foods are not hot topics at the doctor’s office.

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This post is not meant to be all inclusive…so bear with me as I am trying to provide you with just a little food for thought.

Soy foods have been part of the traditional Asian diet for thousands of years. Today, soy foods and protein powders are commonplace in the diets of people from around the world. They are everywhere you look and unfortunately, just like the wheat that we consume, soy is getting heavily processed and its genetics are being modified.

Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens (they have estrogen-like effects in your body, and this is what scares many nutrition enthusiasts). Isoflavones can be good for you, but they can also alter the body’s normal hormonal function. The isoflavone content of soy foods and soy protein powders varies widely, making it difficult to know how much you are consuming unless the manufacturer specifically tells you. And still, you just never know.

Due to its popularity and possible health effects (many of which are attributed to its isoflavone content), soy has been the subject of numerous studies, often financed by the soy industry. This again makes it even more difficult to truly understand whether such a nutrient is good or bad for you. Financing by private interests does not automatically disqualify a study, but it should be kept in mind when reading the findings.

Here are some of the most important things that I was able to pull out of the 12 studies that I spent time breaking down:

  1. Soy does not appear to affect thyroid activity in humans. This is really important because we need a thyroid to survive.
  2. Soy-protein supplementation benefits LDL-C levels, blood pressure, and endothelial function (the cells that line our blood vessels), but only slightly, so the benefit to your health is uncertain. LDL-C is considered the BAD cholesterol in our blood.
  3. In men, regular intake of soy protein may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Soy protein also has the potential to reduce testosterone levels and interfere with fertility, but only when consumed in excess — no such effects have been observed from the daily consumption of 10–70 grams of soy protein or 60–240 mg of isoflavones. But this makes you wonder. Is it safe for most men? I don’t have that answer today. But if we were able to interview and exam thousands of men in Asia we would likely get a good answer.
  4. In women, soy-protein intake is associated with a reduced risk of breast-cancer incidence and mortality. And because of the prevalence of breast cancer in men is much lower than what is seen in women it is hard to tell if it actually is an attributing factor in male breast cancer patients.
  5. In premenopausal women, soy protein appears to increase menstrual cycle length and has unknown effects on fertility. In postmenopausal women, soy protein appears to modestly increase estradiol concentrations and bone mineral density. Soy protein also appears to reduce menopausal symptoms. These are good things.
  6. Finally, for those of you that are currently raising an infant, or planning to in the future, soy infant formulas should be used with caution. Animal studies suggest that soy formulas interfere with sexual development. Actual human studies are scarce, but associations between soy formulas and altered sexual development have been observed in infant girls. Additionally, while soy formulas do not impair the growth of healthy, full-term infants, they can cause growth problems and rickets in premature infants.

I hope you enjoyed this short piece on soy today. As with most things in life, moderation is key. Using a little soy protein every now and then is likely not to affect your health in a harmful way. At least not any more than carrying your cell phone in your pocket, or starring at a computer all day long. Here’s to your health!

The Ebb and Flow of our Emotions

A big part of following The Process is allowing it to ebb and flow. We must observe the ups and downs, the coming and going, and allow them to pull at our emotions. In doing so we should seek to become more emotionally intelligent. Those two words “emotionally intelligent” are not words that were ever found in the same sentence or conversation throughout my childhood. And so it’s no wonder I have struggled for more years than I care to admit.

Emotional intelligence has become something that gets talked about quite frequently these days. Leaders across the globe are making emotional intelligence important. They are not only talking about it, they are investing resources to help their followers and employees become proficient in it. Books have been written about the concept. College courses have been created (I know because I took one).

Thus today I would like to offer some pointers that I have picked up along the way – things I am trying to use in my life everyday (failing over and over, but progress is being made.)

 

Practicing Emotional Control

  • Notice and reflect on your feelings –> What do you really want and what is the best way to get it?
  • Delay responses –> Write that nasty email but don’t send it, ever!
  • Discuss your feelings with someone outside your team or family –> Opinion can help us gain perspective.
  • Get some rest –>  You’re never at your best when you are exhausted.
  • Eat Right. Exercise. Take Walks.
  • Serve the best interest of others even when it’s difficult.
  • Do something for someone who cannot do something for you. Generosity recharges.

 

Improving Emotional Control

  • Having a bad day at work –>  Keep it to yourself.
  • You don’t like your team –> Find something to love
  • Ready to blow-up at someone –> Say something kind
  • Envious of others –>  Find something to honor

 

I hope this helps you on your mission to improve your emotional intelligence. It is as much a part of The Process as everything else. Have a blessed day!

Even if you are not a parent, I think you might find a way to appreciate this short blog today. Many of us have heard of helicopter parents, but what about lawnmower parents? Both “machines” that these names are attributed to have blades that rotate, but one hovers in the air and the other was created to keep the lawn trimmed. Perhaps you are already picking up on where I am going with this.

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The Lawnmower parent takes care of The Process for their child, not just on occasion, but over and over.

They “clear” all the obstacles so that their child doesn’t have to.

Obviously this is a disaster in the making. It fails to set-up those involved for long term success, even if it appears to take care of the acute issue.

Eliminating one or two obstacles might be okay, especially if there is an element of teaching involved. But clearing the path completely helps no one. As parents or guardians or anyone in charge or responsible for another person’s well-being, we have the innate desire to serve. But then we get so caught up in serving that we don’t realize the disservice we are often doing by doing too much.

We need to let the lawnmower remain idle just a little longer. We need to let the engine run out of fuel. We need to leave the grass uncut a little more often. If you keep cutting it too short, odds are it will never grow.

Thanks for stopping by today and for continuing The Process.

I recently read the book Shoe Dog, and if you have not read it I think you would find it quite entertaining. It is the memoir of Nike founder Phil Knight. While not a perfect man (no one is), he built an incredible empire that has changed lives around the world.

We could get into a discussion about labor laws and factory workers, and all that, but there is no need. Like I said, Phil isn’t perfect. I simply wanted to tell you about another book today (it has been awhile since I have done so), and Phil’s book is definitely all about The Process. It transcends what is at the heart of it. I wanted to simply provide you with a short excerpt that got me thinking about service, creating something special and the art behind motivation and inspiration that we all desire…Phil did not like looking at Nike and selling and creating shoes as a business. He said it felt like something more.

“When you make something, when you improve something, when you deliver something, when you add some new thing to service to the lives of strangers, making them happier, or healthier, or safer, or better, and when you do it all crisply and efficiently, smartly, the way everything should be done, but so seldom is – you’re participating more fully in the whole grand human drama. More than simply alive, you’re helping others to live more fully, and if that’s business, all right, call me a business man. Maybe it will grow on me.”

It is now up to you to take Phil’s words and make them work for you. What can you do today, tomorrow, and next week to serve others?

Those two words were uttered to me after I had completed bilateral knee steroid injections on a patient at the downtown Waco Family Health Center. It is a place where I spend a few days per week helping those that might not otherwise get any medical care. No one gets turned away. Some have insurance, others have a county health card that helps them qualify for certain services, and others have NOTHING. I have the opportunity to help with few strings attached. While I may not be able to get someone an MRI or other services that are usually paid for by insurance plans, I can often make a difference in their health in at least one small way. Whether I need to place a cast on a fracture, provide basic education on the effects of smoking, inject some medicine to relieve a painful joint, or provide them with a few exercises and some rubber tubing to help with an ailing rotator cuff, I get the chance to give them just a little more hope.

On this one particular day it was a somewhat busy morning, and “she” would be my last patient before heading to my other clinic — a vastly different environment where many patrons have the ability to pay cash for services like Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cell injections. She had been sent to me thanks to longstanding osteoarthritis of her knees. She used a walker for years. Her knees ached all day long, each and every day. She had abused narcotics. She had been addicted to illicit drugs and alcohol, and she had several other chronic medical problems. She wanted me to perform some magic. She needed something in her life to be better that day.

Without stating it bluntly, she was looking for a bright light to enter her Process. I gave her my memorized mantra for steroid injections bringing to life both the “possible” benefits and the proven side effects. She acknowledged and desired to proceed. So we did. No complications.

The procedure was done so quickly that she asked me if I had even started. And then she said, “Thanks doc. I hope you have a nice day.” I replied with a simple, “I will try.”

The glare I received after uttering those three words is something I will never forget.

It was as if both the devil and God were staring at me at the same time. It was as if they were both seated at my table. The patient then said, “There is no try. You must Claim It! You need to claim the day. Don’t try to have a good day.” She proceeded to get a little angry. She continued to dig into my feelings about having “faith.” She kept telling me that I needed to claim each day from the moment I awoke.

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And her words woke me up. They transcended social barriers.

I was reminded that the doctor often learns more from his patient’s than he often teaches them.

I challenge you to take a step back today. Listen closely. Open your eyes just a little wider and see what you can learn that you thought you already knew.

 

The Process, when believed in, will get you exactly where you want to go. Nothing says it will be a smooth path without obstacles. That is hardly ever the case when it comes to meaningful results and a glorious destination. And then again, The Process is not just about results, it is about the journey, the odyssey, the progress and the development of the self. There is enough to worry about during the journey, so it benefits us to stray from getting too addicted to the destination. The destination may in fact gives us that which we desire, but it might also keep us from yearning to improve.

The destination can keep us complacent, causing us to lose the hunger that got us started in the first place. There is only one alternative and that is to put your heart into The Process and get going.

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Once the odyssey is underway you will recognize your strengths and weaknesses and you will readily adjust yourself. You won’t hold back because you will understand why and be compelled to keep going. You will quickly realize that once in motion, it is a lot harder to stop, especially when you are motivated and inspired. If you are not moving, then it often takes some persuasion (whether from the inner self or some outside force) to get started. Persuasion isn’t a bad thing, but it can feel fake and cumbersome at times. It can overtake our pride and can destroy our confidence. So forget it!

Don’t let persuasion dictate what you want to do. Pick your journey. Take the first steps because you want to. And don’t look back. The only thing you will see is the path behind, but it’s the one in front of you that makes all the difference.

I urge you to challenge yourself this week by taking a few steps forward with something you have been holding back on. Whether it has to do with starting a new project, going to the gym or rebuilding a struggling relationship…Get Going!

If you have been reading the posts on this site for the past few weeks, then you have either learned a few new things about relationships, or at least brushed up on things you already were aware of. If you missed out, please check out the last two blog posts. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

The final installment:

7. People need to be encouraged ⇒ so encourage them. Give them oxygen for the soul. If they are breathing, then they want to be encouraged.

8. People desire success ⇒ so help them win. Most people don’t win consistently. Everyone needs some wins under their belt. Success is all about several wins and taking several steps.

9. People follow the leader ⇒ so be the example. You cannot give what you don’t have.

Wishing you all a fabulous rest of the week. May you continue to be blessed.

Today we continue examining some of the relationship principles I picked up from one of my mentors, John C. Maxwell. I hope you were able to put numbers 1 through 3 to work for you last week, and I am guessing that if you did, then perhaps you witnessed some awesome interactions with those around you.

To recap the first three:

Ways to successfully connect with others

1. People are insecure ⇒ so give them confidence. We see people as we are, not how they actually feel. Many people are hanging in the air, not firmly planted on the ground. So say something or do something that makes them feel better and more secure.

2. People want to feel special ⇒ so compliment them. Say something positive within the first 30 seconds of your interaction. Say it in front of their friends or others to have an even greater impact.

3. People want a bright future ⇒ so give them hope. Express something positive in their life. Some people are always drawing the shades, which makes it dark. Set positive expectations. We see what we look for.

And now that is has been a week already, it is time to add three more of these concepts to your toolkit…

4. People need to be understood ⇒ to do this, quietly listen to them. Try to become the best listener possible. It may take just a few seconds, or perhaps a little longer. Either way, be mindful of the situation, and just listen. 

5. People lack direction ⇒ so walk with them. Don’t just give them directions. Be present with them on their journey.

6. People are selfish ⇒ so speak to their needs first. We are all selfish in many ways. The first thing we think is “What is happening to me?” Just listen and let them talk it out. Let people talk about themselves and they will consider helping others.

 

More to come next week.

And as always, thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by today.

If you have not signed up to follow my blog, please do so on the HOMEPAGE. You will be entered to win one of several free copies of my upcoming book:

Exceptional Every Day:

An Empowering Process to Unlock Your Why and Transform your Life

 

 

Relationships 101

This is indeed my 101st blog post…thank you for following along. Hopefully at least half of what I have said is helping you in some way.

Today I am sharing some quick (only 3), but very powerful thoughts that I picked up from one of my mentors, John C. Maxwell, after listening to him speak about them recently, and they are centered upon RELATIONSHIPS. I will continue to share the rest (9 in all) over the next few blog posts.

My “call to action” for you after reviewing these is to actually apply them. Try to do it daily for at least one week. Make yourself a small cheat sheet if needed…it’s not really cheating, but rather a reminder.

Ways to successfully connect with others

1. People are insecure ⇒ so give them confidence. We see people as we are, not how they actually feel. Many people are hanging in the air, not firmly planted on the ground. So say something or do something that makes them feel better and more secure.

2. People want to feel special ⇒ so compliment them. Say something positive within the first 30 seconds of your interaction. Say it in front of their friends or others to have an even greater impact.

3. People want a bright future ⇒ so give them hope. Express something positive in their life. Some people are always drawing the shades, which makes it dark. Set positive expectations. We see what we look for.

More to come next week.

And as always, thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by today.

If you have not signed up to follow my blog, please do so on the HOMEPAGE. You will be entered to win one of several free copies of my upcoming book:

Exceptional Every Day:

An Empowering Process to Unlock Your Why and Transform your Life

Blog Post Number 100 – “The Rain”

Thanks for joining me today. This is my 100th post on the website and it’s been just over a year since my ideas about The Process came to life. After months of putting together my first book it is almost ready for you to read (final design of pages, and distribution are under way). I am excited to share a few ideas that I think will help you on your journey. Whether you are 19 years old and in college trying to figure out what you want to do, are in your 30s looking for a career shift, or perhaps you are in an even later phase of your life and are looking to do something more, I believe I might be able to help you help yourself.

This past weekend I tended to a few ailing young athletes at our Saturday morning injury clinic. It was a fulfilling morning that involved caring for a few football players with concussions, a couple of ankle injuries, one too many fractures that needed to be placed in a cast, and the nightmarish torn ACL of the knee. It felt like it was “raining” patients. And then I looked outside. The clouds were moving in.

I was able to make it home just before the rain started coming down. I met up with my family and joined my girls on their way to their music lessons. As we drove in to the parking lot, a torrential downpour set in and the parking lot began to flood.

Rain like this symbolizes a lot about how life goes: things are quiet, you are doing well, and then BOOM! Things that you are not ready to handle coming flying at you from out of nowhere. Life becomes challenging. You prepare yourself, but then you realize perhaps you are not as prepared as you could have been. You left the boots, the umbrella, and raincoat at home. You just did your hair. And now you are about to get wet. Of course you will dry off, but it is the furthest thing from your mind. You are upset and eager to get past this obstacle.

Think of the unexpected like a rainstorm, but instead of shunning it, welcome it. Look at it as a refreshing opportunity. See it is a way to start over. A washing away of your frustrations if you will.

It will not last forever. Here in Texas, it might last two minutes, maybe 10, or maybe it will persist with thunder and lightning. It will eventually stop. But until it stops, see it as an opportunity for growth. A chance to stop what you are doing. A point in the busyness of life to just stop and reflect, to be mindful, to seek hope. I don’t think I will ever look at rain the same way again. Let if pour. It just means I will have more time for cleansing, and plenty more water to plant new seeds for growth.

Blessings to you on the days ahead.

Thinking about Harvard

If you have followed me for any amount of time, you have probably picked up on the fact that I enjoy the work of Seth Godin. There is just something about the way he gets me to look at life. I love how he writes and his blogs just keep me yearning for more.

So today I share another piece of his. It is compelling and it would be great to get your thoughts. If anything, it should drive you towards some deeper thinking about how you actually look at yourself. Enjoy….

 

The two “Harvard problems”

In many fields, there’s a big name. The exclusive slot. The top ranking or badge. This is being a top 10 podcast, or on a certain bestseller list or working at a specific sort of company…

The first Harvard problem is erroneously believing that you deserve it. This is the kid who has neither the attitude nor the skills to thrive at a famous private college. But the culture he’s surrounded with will view anything else as a failure, and so he’ll go into debt and contort himself to get the label, wasting years of his life, tons of money and most of all, his spirit.

The second Harvard problem is not believing that you deserve it. This is the young woman I met a year ago who had a fantastic work ethic and excellent grades but came from a community where the local community college was seen as a stretch, and she didn’t believe she could or should abandon those around her.

Here’s a simple clue that you might have a Harvard problem: If the label you’re seeking comes instantly to mind, or is prompted by those around you, it may be that we haven’t thought hard enough about which label we want.

The famous outcome isn’t often the right one, and often, neither is the common outcome. Being clear about where we’re going and why is a useful place to start.

 

Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy lives to stop by today to read the blog. If you have not signed up to follow my blog, please do so on the HOMEPAGE. You will be entered to win one of several free copies of my upcoming book:

Exceptional Every Day:

An Empowering Process to Unlock Your Why and Transform your Life

The journey begins

April 2019

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