Let’s Get Uncomfortable

Greetings from Salem, Massachusetts! I am steps away from this beautiful spot.

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Photo credit: My friend Rose Dello Russo…though I wish it was me…mine didn’t come out as good  

I love vacations and love coming home. But it also make me nervous. I get nervous thinking about getting back on track with work, goals, and fitness once I’m in back in Chicago. Especially the fitness part. Let’s not even talk about how my awesome nutrition plan turned into a “beer and carbs” plan over the past five days.  

Getting back on track is one of those “uncomfortable areas.” We think about all the work we have to do, and then get scared. Sometimes we dive in deep to tackle said work, but then give up because it’s too damn hard.

I think about uncomfortable areas a lot when I’m home. Living in Salem was great. Moving to Chicago was terrifying. I was uncomfortable for most of my first year. I’ve had many people ask me why I ever considered doing this in the first place.

Here’s why:

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Photo credit: blog.unstash.com

Getting uncomfortable is a good thing

I love talking about our “big and scary goals.” Does anyone reach those goals by staying in their comfort zone? Hell no. We get uncomfortable, and then the magic starts to happen.

In a few hours from now, I’ll be going through airport security. During this time, I act like the masculine person I am and start to tear up as I think about how long it’ll be before I’m back in Salem again. Then I land in Chicago and everything is okay. Why? Because if I never moved to Chicago and got uncomfortable, I wouldn’t be nearly as far along as I am today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a red trolley to catch.  

Don’t Underestimate Your Progress

Today we’re going to discuss the issue of getting frustrated when it comes to our goals. I want you to think of that big, scary goal that you really, really want. (If it helps, use the “ask for it, and then let it go” game.) These goals are big and scary for a reason – they aren’t easy to achieve.

If you’re taking action towards this goal (and I hope you are), give yourself credit for attacking it in the first place. Even if you’re not where you want to be, or even if you’ve fallen off track, you’re chasing it. That deserves acknowledgement.

Second, think about where you are right now on the path towards this goal. Then think about where you were a couple months ago. Are you closer? If you are, that means you’ve made progress. Progress is something we often look past. We’re too focused on the fact that we haven’t reached our goal. So we kick ourselves and get upset that we’re not there yet.

I just finished reading a fantastic book called “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. It talks about how taking those small steps don’t seem like much when we’re taking them. But over time, they add up. And they add up BIG.

“What’s most interesting about this process to me is that, even though the results are massive, the steps, in that moment, don’t feel significant.” – Darren Hardy.

Now I know that most of you think I’m this perfect writer who has a perfect life and everything smells like peaches.

[There is an uproar from everyone reading this blog, as none of them think this is the case. Also, some side comments are made regarding how I always think things smell like peaches.]

I want you to know that this isn’t the case (minus the peaches part). I have a few goals that I haven’t hit yet. And OH MY GOD is it frustrating. To prove my point, I’m indulging in some wine right now. I usually save wine for the week, as weekends are “school nights” for me. But tonight is an exception. Things most certainly do not smell like peaches tonight.

That being said, I’m closer to my goals than I was a month ago. I’m just not seeing results yet. It’s hard not to get frustrated when you really want to hit your goals. But they add up. It just takes time.

Think of some areas that you’ve made progress in. It might make you feel better. And if not…have some wine. (Especially if it smells like peaches). 

What I learned from David Ortiz

When you’re forced to make a big, stressful decision, how does that make you feel? (Don’t say stressed. I already gave you that word. You can’t use it.)

…okay fine you can use it. But why does it make you feel stressed?

I was chatting with a friend recently. I don’t want this person to get embarrassed, so we’ll just call him David Ortiz. When chatting with my good friend David Ortiz, I learned he was going through a rough patch with his significant other. I asked the usual questions: “Are you okay?” “What’s going through your mind?” “Should I even be asking questions because, honestly, I didn’t stop and think this might be not something youwant to talk about?” And so on and so forth. But my friend was surprisingly calm about the situation. (He is David Ortiz, after all). He said he had chatted with several people who had also gone through relationship struggles. He walked off from these conversations (Get it? Walk off?) with a similar theme : “One way or the other, everything is going to be alright.” What I loved about David Ortiz’s thought process is that he wasn’t thinking about the struggle he was going through. He was thinking about what’s ahead. And he was absolutely right to do this.

(Not that I would ever doubt David Ortiz.)

Whenever we’re in situations similar to David’s, we focus on the struggle. We think about the rough transition period and sometimes even obsess over how rough this struggle will be. 

Why do this to ourselves? Next time you’re in a stressful situation, let’s try and use the calm we see in David Ortiz. Are you going to think about how much the transition period is going to suck?  Or will you focus on how this eventually will make you a better, happier person? (If it helps, most of these transition periods are temporary. We’ll eventually settle into our new situation/environment). If all else fails, try remembering David’s message: One way or the other, everything is going to be alright.

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Photo credit: Facebook.com/DavidOrtiz

I’m a pretty lucky guy to be friends with David Ortiz.

…okay I’ll stop now. Have a great weekend, friends! 

PS – If you haven’t heard, we’re going to #MakeSomeonesDay – again! I’m raising $100 to leave as a tip for a lucky server at one of my favorite restaurants in two weeks. Check it out (or message me for details). 

Let’s #MakeSomeonesDay Again!

Remember that time we raised $500 to give to the employees of Starbucks at North and Wells, in the form of gift cards and tips? Thank you guys so much for helping me with that. It was awesome.

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So awesome, that we’re going to #MakeSomeonesDay – again!  

#MakeSomeonesDay is about saying thank you to people who are doing their jobs. More specifically, saying thank you to those in the customer service/restaurant industry by leaving them a large gratuity.

While I tend to be eager to share the horror stories of the industry, there are some good stories too. I once had a customer leave me $100 as a tip for a check that was only $20. It made my day J

In about two weeks, I’ll be catching up with a friend at one of my favorite restaurants. We’re going to #MakeSomeonesDay and leave a $100 tip for our server. (Rather, I’ll be doing the tipping…I haven’t told my friend I’m doing this yet!)

What’s that? You want to help contribute? I knew you would.

Here’s what you need to know:

-I’ll be dining at this restaurant (location is a secret!) on Saturday, April 26th.

-If no one wants to donate to the cause – no worries! I’ll still leave the $100 tip regardless

-BUT if people do want to contribute, that would be awesome. I’ll simply give all donations to the server, plus some extra from myself so that we reach $100. 

-However…this doesn’t have to stop at $100. If we raise extra, the server gets it all!  

-None of the donations will go towards the check itself. (No extra fries for us!) All donations are solely for the tip.

-Donations are accepted through paypal or in person. No kickstarter or indiegogo this time. Kickstarter has specific requirements that this doesn’t fall into, and indiegogo has a $500 minimum. Plus they take out fees. (Which I may or may not have forgotten about last time.)

-If you donate, I’ll give you a shout out on facebook and twitter! Unless you want to remain anonymous. While I won’t mention how much you donated, I will be keeping everyone posted (on social media) at our total amount.  

-To donate, please email me at tony.rossi@gmail.com and we’ll set up a payment through paypal. Or just chat with me in person.

Sound good? Love it. Let’s #MakeSomeonesDay again! 

What Are You Looking For?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of “I have no control over the way I feel about this.” A lot of us think that we’re on a raft that’s floating down a river (a very windy river, if your raft was near Marina City and you were doing extra work at 8:00am). We’re just along for the ride, right?

Um, no. Not right.

Sure, there are things that are beyond our control. But our emotions aren’t one of them. This is just a friendly reminder that we get to feel the way we want. We just need to be looking for the things that make us feel this way. (Also, if 24 hours ago Tony is around, please tell him to give this a read. He could really use this reminder before his shift.)

This morning, I focused on things that made me happy and came up with a list:

-Today is the home opener for both the Red Sox and Cubs.

-I have a day off today!

-It is NOT snowing (this one really trumps the rest)

-I do not have to spend my morning/afternoon in a restaurant

-Starting late next week, I only have to spend two days a week in a restaurant. Fewer shifts, more free time, less stress = Happy Tony

-I got one of my “ideal Tony mornings” today (Sorry, I swear I wasn’t planning on referring to myself in the third person this much.) Basically, an “ideal Tony morning” means waking up at my convenience (today was 8:00am), shower, make breakfast, and figure out my day as I drink coffee out of my Salem State mug. I. Love. These. Mornings. I can ease into the day. Plus, coffee tastes twice as good coming from my Salem State mug. Speaking of which…

-I’m coming home this month. [There is an uproar from all who hail from New England!] Thank you, thank you! I should specify that I haven’t figured out details, never mind buy my plane ticket. [Applause dies down.] I haven’t figured out dates, haven’t figured out if I need to take time off work, and really should check in with my friends to see if it’s cool if I crash with them for a few days. But I’m not worried. Because it’s all going to work. I miss my friends too much for it not to.

Those are seven bullet points that I just came up with off the top of my head. I could have easily pulled out some negatives from most of these. But I’m not looking for those. I don’t feel like being in a bad mood (and I really don’t want to write two blogs today).

I will say this: If you’re reading this and are from New England, there’s a 99% chance I miss you. (There’s a 1% chance you’re from New England and live in Chicago. In which case, I’ll see you for a Sox game soon.) Instead on focusing on being sad, how about that Red Sox family I have in Chicago?

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Happy Opening Day everyone!

Always remember that we find what we’re looking for. Positives and negatives alike.

What types of things do you want to try and find today?