It’s not that you can’t lose weight. It’s that you’re choosing to keep it.

The first time I had a clarity session with Courtney Rioux, we chatted about my job as a server. I was miserable and couldn’t wait to get out. She asked me if I could quit. I answered something along the lines of, “I wouldn’t be able to do that and still earn as much as I’m making now.” Her response wasn’t one that I liked:

“Okay. So you’re choosing to stay.”

Excuse me? Um, no. That’s not what I said at all. Was she not listening? I thought she was supposed to be helping me…

Of course, she was right. Sure, quitting my job and replacing my income would be difficult. But difficult is not impossible. And too often we confuse the two.

Think about it:

Work: Can you really not quit your job? Or is the thought of applying to a new one overwhelming? Or maybe you were in my boat and can’t imagine a job where you earn enough, yet have the same (or better) schedule?

Money: Can you really not afford new headshots? An acting class? Seeing a play at Steppenwolf? Or are you choosing to spend your money on Starbucks, take out food, and drinks on the weekend?

Weight loss: Are you really and truly incapable of losing weight? Or are you choosing to give into instant gratification, prone to skipping workouts when you get home from work, and unwilling to invest in a sustainable meal plan? (Note: A sustainable meal plan means you’re not starving yourself. You hopefully have a mix of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, while limiting healthy fats and carbs. But still eating them. More on that later. Or in my inbox later tonight if you need to know this now.)

I promised you a story.

Several months after that clarity session with Courtney, I finally pulled the plug. I quit my job. It was scary, but I knew I’d never have to be handed a dozen credit cards that were all paying the same bill, while I had four other tables also waiting for their checks. (Okay I’m stopping. It’s making me cringe just thinking about it.)

About a month later, I got a phone call from another job I had applied for as a brand ambassador. This introduced to the world of promotional events and in store demonstrations. It’s not always glorious, but most of these gigs either have a high day rate, or pay upwards of $20 an hour. I could easily replace my income from serving with this type of work. My choice to stay at my job was limiting me from exploring solutions that I didn’t even know existed.

This isn’t to say that any of the excuses I shared above aren’t justified. Almost all of those are ones I’ve said myself. Rather, with a consistent commitment to your own self-improvement, you’re capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.

So here’s my question to you: Why would you choose not to go after that life?

Go get ‘em, friends.

Wanna know how I started connecting with Courtney? She had just held one of her free calls, open to anyone. She doesn’t do these often, but she’s got one tonight (Thursday 10/29) at 6:30pm central/7:30pm eastern. I’ll be on. I hope you will too.

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How we set ourselves up to fail without trying

In 2006, my parents encouraged me to use my high school graduation money to buy a bicycle. While it may not be as shiny as when I first purchased it, my blue Trek gets me to work every weekend and saves me time and money. It saves me money from taking the train and I’m spared the headache of finding one of those rare Chicago parking spots that everyone keeps talking about.

Having lived in the city for five years, it’s not uncommon to hear how frustrating parking situations are. I hear this most frequently at one of my jobs. Outside of the location sits a small lot shared by multiple stores. Unless you’re lucky, it’s rare to score one of the coveted spots. Customers are frequently expressing their discontent over the situation – many emphasizing that this happens every time they visit.

They’re setting the wrong intention.

I can’t speak on behalf of their frustration, as I don’t currently own a vehicle. What I can do is speak on behalf of someone who spends an exuberant of time reading and studying how to be a more positive person.

Without likely even realizing it, they’re setting an intention before arriving to the store. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say it’s a positive one: “If I arrive at the store and can get a spot, I’ll be thrilled!” Not a bad start, but let’s look at the facts: This lot is small. It fills up quick. If it’s a returning customer, they know the odds aren’t in their favor.

A better approach

I’m going to share one of my favorite questions. It’s pretty awesome. I can ask it whether I’m traveling to work, an audition, or meeting up with friends: “How do I want to feel as I get to my destination?” (Extra points if you use this to figure out how you want to feel your whole day.)

For the sake of the customer, we’ll rephrase it: “How do I want to feel as I get to the store?” By asking this question, we’ll quickly realize we want to feel good as we go about our day. We can do this without getting a spot in the lot. We can take the train. We can leave early and give ourselves time to find parking. Or maybe we treat ourselves to the Starbucks down the street after. (Though that would be silly – everyone knows there’s free coffee in said store).

Ask yourself this question and you’re giving yourself options. Ask yourself a more limiting and specific question and you could be setting yourself up to fail.

So now what?

Hopefully by now you’re realizing that in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really a problem. Another approach is to realize that even if we lose twenty minutes to traffic, we’re still going to get through the rest of our lives. This is just one trick to apply out of the many that can make you a happier, healthier, and more positive person.

There are still going to be days where we set the intention of feeling good, but get deterred. That’s okay. It’s not about being perfect and more about getting in the rhythm of practicing intentions. Overtime, you’ll be a pro.

Go get ‘em, guys.

What Happens When You Focus On Highlight Reels

So I have no television.

Having no television means you don’t watch a lot of the things you used to. When I get the chance, I’m a sucker for watching baseball highlights.  They show the pros at their best. The announcers are excited. There’s music playing in background.

I love ‘em. But they give us a false impression. This is especially the case if they’re focused on a particular individual.

david-ortiz-500th-mlb-boston-red-sox-tampa-bay-rays-590x900

As if the pic isn’t great enough…it’s from a site called “Chowder and Champions.” 

On September 12th of last month, Papi launched the 500th homer of his career into the bleachers of Tropicana Field. He was the 27th player in baseball ever to do so. When he returned to Fenway Park in Boston, a pregame ceremony was held in his honor. It even included a montage of all 500 of his home runs. As a diehard fan that adores David Ortiz (with a life goal of receiving a bear hug from the guy), I can guess watching it live was pretty neat.

Here’s the thing: That reel was a highlight reel. What it didn’t show was his slump of ’09, where it took nearly two months to hit home run number one of the season. It didn’t show when he was tested positive for banned substances shortly after. And as far as I know, it didn’t show the time he got ejected and beat the crap out of the dugout phone in Tampa (ironically, the same place he hit number 500).

This isn’t to take away any of David’s incredible accomplishments. Rather, it’s to emphasize that even the best have their bad days. These typically don’t get shown.

As an actor and entrepreneur, I know all too well the frustration of seeing others succeed at the goals that I so desperately want. I see their facebook page. I see photos from their second national commercial. And oh, they work with that agent I’ve been trying to get a hold of? Of course they do.

It’s easy to get frustrated.

Know this: Frustration and jealousy is a choice. It’s not necessarily a switch we can flip that suddenly makes us happy. It’s something we can gradually incorporate into our routine over time. (Message me. I know some tips 😉 )

Even the best have their bad days. Comparing ourselves to their highlight reel is a waste of time and energy. It leads to disappointment and focusing on what we don’t have. Look at what you’ve already accomplished on your own, unique, and individual path to success.

So…what are you going to do to make today amazing?

#gogetem