Why a date on a calendar is poor for resolutions

Remember all the blogs I wrote about during the summer on being your best self? Neither do I. They never got written. I stopped updating when I lost motivation

We don’t need more motivation. We don’t need more willpower. They’re fleeting and useless when life throws us curveballs or simply gets busy.

I started writing again after some initial motivation. Then it developed into a routine. I keep writing now because I believe this blog needs to be read. There’s a friend out there who hasn’t heard this message. There’s a student who got my business card and has no idea that personal development is a thing.

I figured out why I want to write. And that’s what keeps me going.

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath

Need an ongoing dose for motivation?  The “Thank God It’s Monday!” series from Eric Thomas was a a great one. I’ve watched ’em all =) 

You have to have a why

In February of 2014, I bought the 21 Day Fix. It made nutrition simpler and easier to understand than anything I ever tried. I was finally seeing the toning results I was looking for.

…those usually got erased a couple times a month. Even though I knew what to do, I didn’t have a good reason for why I was doing it. I knew I wanted to look good. But that didn’t stop me from eating when I was stressed. (Or just bored.)

Ten months later, I found a deep why. My nutrition has been great ever since. And I still get to have my treats.

1225151724.jpg

The dessert spread at my Aunt’s house on Christmas. You never would have known that I’m a healthy eater after…

Your why has to be deep

If it’s a surface level answer, it’s not deep enough. Go deeper.

Why do you want to eat better? (Because I want abs.) Why do you want abs? (Because I want to look good.) Why do you want to look good? (Because I feel better about myself when I look good.) Why do you want to feel better? (Because when I feel better, I do my best and most efficient work towards living my crazy awesome life.) Why do you want to live a crazy awesome life? (Because I can literally cry thinking about it. And I can also literally cry after submitting to a bunch of jobs that I know I don’t want to go to.)

Find your why that makes you cry.

You have to be willing to fail

There’s a myth out there that says if we’ve failed, there’s something wrong with us.

There is nothing wrong with you.

Failure is feedback. Without it, we don’t get better. Tell your ego to chill and go out there and fall a few times.

 

falling darren daily

Highly recommend subscribing to www.darrendaily.com for gems like this one each day

 

When all else fails, remember this: There are others waiting for you to live your crazy awesome life. It’s going to help them. Whether that’s because your dream job involves it, or because you’ll be happier and have a stronger relationship with your significant other, friends and family. There are others counting on you.

How’s that for a strong why?

Have a killer 2016. I’ll see you after a couple of stumbles. I know they’re in store for me too.

Go get ‘em.

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Set intentions. Focus on feelings. Enjoy your holiday.

Before you start reading yet another blog thoughts and feelings during then holidays, let’s clear something up right now.

This thought of “I think differently than you, so this just won’t work for me” is bullshit. We all have a why. It’s deep. It prevents us from procrastinating and pushes us out of bed every day. It’s what stops us from hitting snooze. It’s what makes us want to go for a run even when it’s twenty degrees out. Our why makes the uncomfortable worth doing. In fact, it what makes us need to do it.

There will always be stories of how someone else got past failure and into success. When we see the interview, they share their up bringing and how it lead to their different mindset. That’s their why. It’s not yours. If you don’t relate to it, you’re not a failure. You’re just you.
With that, I want to share some thoughts that are just me. I want to share my holiday intentions.

I wrote on Thanksgiving how holidays are fun when we focus on how we want to feel. This month I’m sharing how I want to reach these feelings:

How I spend my time

My intentions are to plan and schedule ahead of time during my trip home. This includes time for others as well as myself. I prefer to spend most of my time with others, but still leave a little bit for me. Planning ahead will allow me to spend quality time with others and not leave too mmuch down time to the point where I get bored.

How I eat

My intentions are to eat good food and enjoy the holidays. It’s what they’re for 😀 They’re also for feeling happy. I’m not happy when I eat or drink too much. Planning and setting intentions beforehand will let me feel happy and avoid feeling gross, bloated or that pesky feeling one gets after finish another bottle of wine…#notperfect

Most important

The thing about intentions is that they’re a goal we’re aiming to hit. The goal is a feeling and shouldn’t be dependant on specific outcomes. There’s more than one way to achieve these feelings. Make sure you’re leaving yourself some options should your original intent be impossible to meet.

What are your intentions for the holidays? Share ’em. I wanna hear.

And as always, if you have a friend who might benefit from this, I’d love for you to give it a share.

Thank you all for reading. Have a wonderful Christmas. Go get ’em.

My Last Minute Audition Story

It was one of those “I have less than 12 hours to prepare” auditions. I wasn’t expecting it.

And when something unexpected happens that throws off your plans for the night/following morning, you naturally start to think certain things:

 

There’s not enough time to prepare.

There is definitely not enough time to prepare.

I have how many sides to learn?

This time slot is really cutting it close to when I need to be at work.

Wait, there’s a monologue too???

I thought they were sending out audition confirmations last week? Why did I get mine tonight?

There’s not enough time to prepare.

 

And then the inner critic decided to pay a visit. So kind of him…

 

The last few times you went to one of these auditions, you didn’t do so well. You probably won’t do well at this on this either.

You’ll probably just embarrass yourself.

If your friends from class knew you were going for this, they’d probably think it’s stupid of you for even thinking you’d get it

They’re going to want someone with more experience with [oh so many things….]

There’s really no point for you to even be –

 

“NO. THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH.”

 

When the critic creeps in, he thinks he’s protecting us. Often that protection comes across as negative and condescending. Next time he shows up, feel free to use that line. Then follow it with this:

“…sorry for shouting.”

(I mean, you don’t wanna be a dick.)

“I see what you’re trying to do. But I’m going to do things my way anyway. Because the truth is….”

(You get the idea. Here were some of mine: )

 

The truth is….

They might love me.

These sides actually aren’t that long. I could totally learn these tonight.

Oh! I could have a lot a lot of fun with that one character.

They seriously might love me.

Why not me?

I work my ass off. That’s how I got this audition.

I submitted for this same type of role months ago. No such luck. I got the audition!

The truth is this is a kickass win

I am SO grateful I got this audition!

Seriously….WHY NOT ME?

 

The aftermath:

The audition? Nailed it. The doubts I had about what they were expecting from me? Didn’t even come into play. My chances? Well…that’s the fun part: IT DOESN’T MATTER. What matters is I made the most of what I could control. I prepared. I stayed positive. I was present in the room. I didn’t try extra hard to please. I made strong choices.

I had fun.

The amount I learned about myself during those 12 hours was worth it alone. Because if I can rock that audition in a short time period, well hell….what else can I do that I didn’t think I was capable of?

Takeaways:

  • Focus on what it is you can control rather than stressing about the things you can’t. I couldn’t control how little time I had to prepare or the amount of experience I had prior to the audition. I could control learning the lines and making strong choices in the audition room.
  • Be nice to yourself. Incorporate more positive phrases and reading material into your daily routine so that this gets easier. When you do this, these last minute scenarios become more fun. Besides, it’s hard to help those casting if you’re negative and stressed. If you can’t do it for you, do it for them as a thank you for calling you in.

 

 

“Tony. This is all great stuff. Did I mention how incredibly handsome you are?”

Oh right. My positive voice is sometimes a female. She’s kind of into me….

Have a great week, friends. Go get ‘em.

We get what we expect. We expect what we feed our mind.

Things that are upsetting and bothersome don’t belong on social media.

I’m a big advocate for posting things that inspire others. Things that make us happy. Posting about how terrible something is doesn’t change the scenario, nor does it change the bigger picture of what we want others to do.

Earlier this week I was having a rough afternoon. Had I posted about it on social media as it was happening, it wouldn’t have made for very positive content – that is, until it reached a really awesome point.

Basically, my debit card got declined. For the third time in less than two weeks. Oh, and the last two times happened within ten minutes.

I wasn’t just frustrated. I was perplexed. This has came at a time when I’ve had more control over my finances and more funds in my account than I’ve had all year. Not only did this not make sense, but I hate wasting time. I was not a happy camper.

The third time it happened was when I was at a shop in Wrigleyville called Strange Cargo.

strange cargo

They often write funny messages on this marque. (This one’s less funny. Just a true statement.)

I’ve only come in here a small handful of times. Each time I have, it’s to buy a pair of converse. It’s usually a quick trip. I pop in, grab the shoes pay for them, leave. This time I was hoping to do the same. But of course…

Shop owner: “Your card got declined.”

Me: “This just happened to me next door! There must be something wrong with my card…I’ll have to run to the ATM – “

Shop owner: (Sliding the shoes toward me) “Don’t worry about it.”

Me: “Wait…what?”

Shop owner: “Go ahead and take them. When you get a chance, you can come back and pay.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Shop owner: “Yeah! You can come back next time you’re in the area.”

Me: “…….”

This came at a time where there’s been more negative material on social media than I’ve seen all year. My brain has been flooded with ideas about how terrible people are, how corrupt society is, and how scared others are. Not only was this effecting my mood (without my even realizing), but it was giving me a false impression of how terrible people are.

This man who works at Strange Cargo is not a terrible person. He’s a freaking awesome person. And we should probably all go to Strange Cargo and give him all our money.

What we feed our brains affects the way we think.  This effects how we feel on a day to day basis. And it effects how we feel about others. I don’t know what this man is feeding into his brain on a regular basis, but I’ll gladly take a double dose.

When I returned, he was surprised. “You didn’t have to come back today!” He shared that he’s done this with customers before. “I’ve never been burned once.”

Need I say more?

Two thoughts to wrap us up:

  • What we feed into our minds – links on social media, garbage television, gossip from coworkers – it all affects the way we think
  • We get what we expect. If you expect everyone to be an asshole, you’re going to notice all the people who cut you off, all the people who are holding you up in line, all customers who are ruining your day.

Start feeding your mind with positive fuel. You’ll be happier, and expect better things.

Go get ’em guys. (And go to Strange Cargo. NOW.)

 

Why results shouldn’t be your main focus

I hate being vague. But what I hate even more is when I find out spoilers from my favorite shows. (Don’t get me started on the Harry Potter series.)

Forgive me as I go into very vague details on a very popular show so I don’t upset anyone.

In a show that focuses a lot on death, a character discovered he had a chance of nearly guaranteed survival. Unfortunately, this came at the cost of spending the rest of his life alone.

I loved this theme. It reminded me of how we go for a certain objective without focusing on how it’s going to make us actually feel. In this scenario, the character would have received his objective, but it wouldn’t have felt very good. So he went in the other direction. It’s something that I admittedly have a hard time with myself.

Allow me to share some specific examples:

Clean eating

This is such a tough area. It took me forever to learn what I should be eating. Once I did, the journey wasn’t over. I still had to learn to control cravings. And about a year ago I finally got a good handle on both areas. I wasn’t perfect (and I’m still not), but I was at the point where I could cut down to just one planned treat day a week. That’s it.

At first it made me happy. Then it just made me stressed.

I had busy days where eating small, clean meals every couple hours wasn’t realistic. I practically locked myself in my apartment so that I would continue to have access to healthy meals. If it was a busy work day, I’d stress myself out packing food the night before. Sure, I looked better. But I wasn’t very happy.

Today: I base my eating schedule around my life schedule. I don’t try to be perfect. I keep in mind what results I want (for me right now, that’s abs and toning) and modify the days after. I’m not only happier, but I’m still thrilled with the results.

Netflix

While I watch much less television than I used to, I still enjoy ending my evening with Netflix. While this started out great, I found there were nights when I’d be squeezing in the rest of my work in order to make time for Netflix. By the time I put Netflix on, I wasn’t even focused on the show. I was either stressed because I was frantic to get everything else done, or worried about other things I could be doing.

Today: I don’t always get my Netflix in. If I still have work to do at night, I focus on that. I also base it off of my schedule and what time I get home from work. I might be behind on my shows, but I’m much happier when I go to sleep.

Note: I’m behind on all of my shows. I can give you a list. If I see spoilers on facebook, we’re going to have a problem.

Drinking:

(No judgements, family members!)

I found myself doing what most millennials do when it came to alcohol. I’d have nights (treat nights, of course) where’d I’d have a bit too much, get drunk too quickly, or experience a hangover the next day. I had completely forgotten why I liked drinking in the first place: Because it was fun.  Drinking too quick or too much usually resulted in feeling upset with myself or guilty – not to mention less pleasant to be around (though my jokes get better, I swear).

Today: I remind myself of how I want to feel when I go out (or stay in). If drinking starts to make me feel anything other than that, I know it’s not going to make me happy. So I modify accordingly .

Being happy is the whole point.

If what you’re doing isn’t making you happy, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and remind yourself why you started in the first place.

Let’s be happy, yeah?

Go get ‘em guys.