Running Out of Air!

Running Out of Air!

If you’re anything like me, you hate running. the thought of running literally makes you want to throat punch somebody. Unfortunately for me as a soldier I have to run…at least a little bit. So last year I took a “week off” of PT that turned into about 9 months of not working out or running, drinking more than I probably should, and eating second and third helpings of my wife’s fantastic cooking. the result of that immaturity was not only did i gain 50 POUNDS(!), but i also became so grossly out of shape that while I could still (barely) pass my push ups and sit-ups, I was failing my two mile run by about two minutes. fast forward to now and I’m down nearly 40 pounds, passing my PT test, and getting better at running everyday, almost to the point I enjoy it. Now, if you’ve ever been to Africa during the summer time and tried to run you can understand how difficult it is to breathe. That was the problem I encountered once arriving. I ran four to five times a week for 3 months and would fluctuate between seeing progress, and seeing my time fly higher than it had ever been. on top of the heat I also caught bronchitis early in my deployment. everything seemed stacked against me for my run, so I turned to the best solution I can usually come to when encountering a problem: I find the best book on the subject and I read it cover to cover. for this particular scenario I needed to find a book about how to run better, and more importantly, to learn how to breathe while running. After looking through a few I settled on Running On Air by Budd Coates. Inside the book Budd talks about how many people don’t pay attention to their breathing, and when they do…they typically do it wrong. he’s found a form of rhythmic breathing to not only increase performance, but also decrease injury and body fatigue. Once I began implementing the techniques in this book I saw improvement within three days. dropping two minutes of my two-mile run, as well as dropping about four minutes off of a 5K held on post. This book isn’t simply for the poor runner either, Budd Coates trains everybody from high school runners all the way up to professional marathon runners. If you’re trying to improve your run be it for fitness, weight loss, competition, or a mandatory PT test, this is the best few dollars you’ll ever spend!

“Movement is the best form of medication. Anytime you move, it makes your brain sharper. It makes your mind sharper.” – Conan McGregor

Set a good pace and stick to it,

H

 

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What’s your Mission Statement?

What’s your Mission Statement?

If you’ve ever had a job you’re probably familiar with the concept of a mission statement. whether it’s a goal for where the company wants to see itself go, what the expectation of the employee is supposed to be, or your commander’s intent for the mission; mission statements are meant to convey what you’re trying to do, and how you’re trying to do it. So if companies and commanders use mission statements to direct the people under them, why shouldn’t you use one to guide yourself? Now I know what you’re thinking. “H, I already have a bucket list” or “I already have my career goals written out” but that’s not what I’m trying to help you achieve; this is so much bigger than just a goal, or a list of awesome vacation spots to hit before your first prostate exam. I want you to create a guide that will change slightly, but stay essentially the same throughout your whole life. It’s not an easy task.

The task at hand takes a lot of introspection and brutal honesty with yourself about who you are and what you really care about. If you can manage to devote a couple a minutes a day, for a couple of weeks then you just might create something that won’t necessarily lead you directly to success…but it’ll help make sure you can live with yourself when you get there. Very often in life we’re given a choice that would help us get to our eventual goal, but at the expense of your morals or some other belief system. If you take the path that violates your personal virtues, you may find it’s not worth being where you wanted to be considering how much it cost (health, friendships, marriages, financial security). If you follow your own guidelines nobody can force you to become somebody you don’t like. Remember that nobody else can make you live with yourself. SO how do we create a mission statement? Obviously I’ll tell you that there are books on it you can dive into for pretty cheap. However, if you don’t want to read the books I’ll give you the short version here step by step. Are you ready? Because this is gonna take a while.

First things first, grab yourself a tall glass of your favorite whisky or liquor to inspire deep thought, but not enough to get drunk. Maybe grab a cigar if you enjoy them, or whatever will help you gain insight into your own mind. Lastly, grab an old fashioned pencil and paper. Now that you have everything you need to sit down and think, set about an hour or two aside. No phone, no kids, no wife, no distractions, just an hour or two of you completely alone to think about who you are. I want you to focus your thoughts on what your absolute core values are. Whenever you can, make your core values one or two words; we’ll put them into cohesive thoughts later on. As you think of the core values that really matter to you simply write them down on the piece of paper.

Now that you have your core values laid out, it’s time to start putting them into a cohesive thought (for example one of my values is my integrity, so my mission statement begins with “Live life with the highest degree of integrity.”). This mission statement can be as long or as short as you need it to be. Once you feel like you have laid out all of your values in a way that makes sense, put the paper to the side and forget about it for about a week. After a week or so look at it again. Does it still make sense? If not, what could you change to make it convey your intent? Could you change the wording and make it more eloquent, or meaningful? Do this for a couple of weeks, putting it aside and then reviewing it a few days later. Remember you’re trying to create a personal mission statement that is important to you, as a moral compass, so don’t ask others what their opinion of it is because that will simply invoke their own opinions into your values. This should be inspiring for you, and should inspire others to create their own when they see it.

Now that you’ve refined your mission statement to the point where you’re happy with it, make sure you can see it! Put it somewhere that is your own that you’ll see it every day, or at least a couple of times a week. So how do I make it something I want to look at you say? Well a few ideas you could do are:

Have it written out in calligraphy professionally (or personally for a great touch) and frame it to put in your office.

Burn it into a plank of wood, or a slice of a tree for an awesome manly touch to your otherwise boring office.

Weld the words onto a piece of sheet metal to hang in the garage.

And if you’re sure you have the absolute perfect wording you could even get it tattooed!

there are literally thousands of ways you can make this even more of your own, only limited by your imagination. As long as you look at it frequently enough to be reminded of why you act the way you do, it’ll be serving its purpose.

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission” – Zig Ziglar

Take time to become focused,

Hurley

 

Perception is Reality

Perception is Reality

 

Have you ever been unable to understand how somebody couldn’t grasp such a simple idea? It’s infuriating! You’re explaining this so simply that they HAVE to understand your point of view. I mean, how could they not…you couldn’t possibly be wrong, right? Wrong. The way we see things, and the way we see the world is our perception of how we see the world. If you’ve ever talked politics with somebody who shares opposing points of views as you, you will completely understand this. (don’t worry, this isn’t a post about politics or my personal views.) It’s very difficult for us to see the world through someone else’s eyes because we haven’t experienced the same hardships and victories that they have. But how difficult is it to see the world differently through your own eyes? How do we change own perceptions? I recently shared a discussion about this with my wife when she was going through some difficult times. Our conversation went something like this:

 

R:” I’m scared. Yup. I’m overwhelmed, stressed, and scared.”

 

 H:” of failing, or of the future?”

 

 R:” Failing. And struggling.”

 

 H:” Then don’t look at it as failure and struggle. Look at it as development and strive. If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.”

 

The conversation continued forward from there with my wife telling me I was wise. The truth of the matter is, I think many of us have heard that phrase before. “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer. I first heard the phrase about 12 years ago. I was young then, only maybe 13 or 14 years old, and I thought I knew what it meant. I had no idea what it meant in reality. Not until the other day when I was talking to my wife. Because I realize that through all of my endeavors I had learned how to look at the world differently. Through all of the books I read, and the failure I’ve gone through, I don’t perceive challenges the same way. I look at failure as an opportunity to learn a better way of doing something. I see opposition as another way to look at an argument. I can see possibility through the smallest gap. I’ve been able to stop negativity from affecting me. I guess the point I’m trying to make is. The world isn’t against you. The world doesn’t give a shit if you succeed or fail, and you will fail. The world is only what your perception of it is. If all you see is a bleak future in a dead-end job, a boring life, and piles of debt. It’ll come true. If you see the world as immense opportunities, wonderful adventure, and amazing experiences…that will also come true. Success is your own perception of the world. If you want to change your life, change the way you look at your life.

 

 

 

Humans see what they want to see.” – Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

 

 

 

Learn to look at difficulties as opportunities and your life will change.

 

Hurley

 

Change your Focus

Change your Focus

 

Have you ever put enormous amounts of work into a goal and had absolutely nothing to show for it? Sometimes effort can feel like running on a treadmill; you run for miles, and in the end, you’ve gone nowhere at all. Consider for a moment what the problem is when this happens. It’s not that your efforts have been lacking, you’re putting everything into this. It’s not that this is an impossible task, there are no limitations to what can be done. The problem, more likely than not, is your focus. I’m not saying that you’re not focusing on your work, but that the work you are doing is either so broad that it’s impossible to make headway or that where you are putting your efforts isn’t productive for the end result at all. Much like the sun, which requires focus to light a fire, you aren’t focusing on the most useful aspect of your work.

 

 When I was younger my most hated chore was cleaning my room, my mother would yell at me to clean my room, and I would pick up random objects throughout the room and when she would check back an hour later, it would look like I hadn’t picked up anything at all. One day instead of just telling me to clean my room, she told me she wanted me to clean just a tiny three by three-foot square in the room. Since the area was so small I finished cleaning it and had it perfect in about five minutes at the most. She continued to tell me to clean small areas of my room until 30 minutes later, when the room was organized and, the entire floor was cleaned. As a reward for cleaning so quickly, she vacuumed the room for me (another chore I hated). Once I was told where to direct my focus, not only was I able to see my progress coming along quickly, I was able to finish in less time than it would take to even see progress at all.

 

There are two ways you can focus on productivity: you can knock out the hardest part of the project first (without side-tracking), or you can knock out the easiest (read fastest) part first to get progress you can see quickly when you first begin. When you focus on what matters most, without being distracted by minor details, you light a fire within yourself. Once you learn to change your focus, you begin to change how you handle situations in everyday life.

 

 

 

Hurley

 

Currency of Life

Currency of Life

 

What do we pay for the lifestyle that we live from day to day? 40 hours a week, maybe even 70 or 80 if you have a demanding job. A couple thousand dollars for rent, wi-fi, food, and going out with friends a couple times a week. Waking up earlier than we’d like and going to bed exhausted just to wake up early again. Sound familiar? Maybe not all of it. Some people make their own hours and have a lot of control over their time. Some people have low demand jobs that leave them with plenty of energy to pursue other interests after a long day. Still some have fairly simple lifestyles that don’t require very much money at all so their money isn’t that important to them. I’ve discussed before on the power of focus, now where our focus is coming from, rather than where we’re directing it.

 

 

 

There are three different types of currency: Money, Time, and Energy. An example I’ve seen is that the ideal lifestyle would incorporate having all three simultaneously. When you’re young, you have energy, and time, but no money. As an adult, you have money, and energy, but no time. As a senior, you have Time and money, but no energy.

Many people look at their lifestyle from the viewpoint of money. You look for a better job, better pay, better benefits. What are you really getting out of it? More hours, more responsibility, less time with your family or friends, less job security. Ask yourself if this is actually life changing money? It’s probably not. Now ask yourself what life would look like if you started looking at it from a time perspective. Less hours, more time with friends and family, more time to pursue interests. What would it look like? How would it feel to only work a couple of hours a month? Tim Ferris covers this extensively in his book “4-Hour Work Week” which I have recommended on numerous occasions. If you change which currency you’re looking at your lifestyle from, life will show you the many ways that you can achieve that same or better lifestyle through those means. Most people only chase money because they’ve never realized they can chase their time and make it more valuable. I always like to keep in mind that if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. This is true through many aspects of life and should be applied here. I hope you enjoy and begin to expand your context, changing your reality.

 

 

 

Hurley

 

Beat your Limitations

Beat your Limitations

 

Have you ever told yourself that you couldn’t do something? We’re stuck within our context, not able to go beyond it and experience the endless possibilities that lay outside of it. In Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Retire Young, Retire Rich”, he describes our context as a drinking glass. Once we fill that drinking glass to the top, we can’t put anymore in, it begins to overflow. This is how our context is limiting us, once we’ve reached the limit of our context, or what we believe is possible, we’re unable to accept any more content. To increase our understanding, we need to maintain an open mind and replace our drinking glass with a pitcher. In this example we see how our own limitations, or glass, can hold us back from being able to get where we want to. If you wanted to become a marathon runner, but whenever you try to run you get tired after the first half a mile, we have a tendency to think that we can’t do it. Once you place that thought in your mind that you can’t do something, your limitations have already won. I want you to strike the words “I can’t” from your vocabulary. If you replace “I can’t” with “How can I?” you begin to see a possibility laid out before you. If you refuse to accept your limitations then you can always find a way to reach your desired destination. Life doesn’t have to be hard, the hardest thing in life is overcoming your own self-imposed limitations. Once you start asking yourself how you can, you find that doing is the easiest thing possible.

 

 

 

Hurley

 

Break Your Context

Break Your Context

 

Change your reality. What if I told you that there is an entire world out there that exists around you…and you’re completely unaware of it. There is a level of understanding that is escaping your senses and evading your perception. Have you ever thought about the complexity of a complete stranger? Consider your life up to this moment. You’ve experienced joy, sadness, thrill, curiosity, tragedy, and a million other sensations. Thousands of emotions and realizations have led you to this exact moment. Now think about every person you pass on a daily basis, each one of them has shared the same things; joy, sadness, curiosity, tragedy, and yet they’re likely very different from yourself. Their reality is mostly different from your own. Now obviously, this isn’t some mind-blowing epiphany to you, or at least it shouldn’t be; but how different can we as humans really be? If you had the chance to see the world through somebody else’s eyes, do you think you would be able to understand it? I’d much rather see the world through somebody else’s thoughts. What makes one person smart and the other not? How does one man begin poor and turn rich, yet another starts rich and ends up poor? Why do some people have better posture than others? Why does a politician become corrupt? I’ve tried to answer some of these questions, and many more the last couple of years. The largest problem with trying to find answers is that more often than not you just end up finding more questions. During this journey, I hope to find some answers, and discover new questions. Every day I try to expand my context and change my own reality. So, what do I mean when I say expand my context. The dictionary definition of context is: The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms in which it can be fully understood. In other words, your context is what you are capable of understanding. If I told you that you could make $1 million this year, most of you would probably say that it is impossible, however, if you expand your context you can change your reality. Your thoughts become your reality. Your context is your thoughts. I look forward to exploring the minds and abilities of the rich, the genius, the humble, the arrogant, the charitable, the happy, and the insightful. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

 

 

 

Hurley