Follow by Email

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What do Successful People Do?

I believe everyone achieves a certain level of success.  The key question is what is the difference between people who become successful at being successful vs those who become successful at being unsuccessful?

You see all of us succeed it is just a matter of if we succeed at the things we want to succeed at (awesome family, superior health, financial freedom, living a life full of happiness and joy, etc...).  Or do we succeed at the things we don't want to succeed at (unhappy family, poor health, financial slavery, living an unhappy and joyless life, etc...)?

No matter what we are going to succeed at something, so what is the big difference between those that achieve a positive success vs those that achieve a negative success?

A friend of mine recently sent me a "Time" magazine article that talks about the Top Eight things that the most successful people do.  I encourage you to read it and ask yourself,  "how can I apply these principals/behaviors to my life?"

You will notice that all the things these successful people do are doable for anyone.  Successful people are just the best about doing these behaviors consistently and repetitiously until they become a part of who they are.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you think of the article?  If you agree or disagree... is there a habit or a thing you do that helps you succeed?  Please share your thoughts below.

Click here to read the article.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

Thursday, April 10, 2014

You Never Know... When Hero's Become Mortal


Yesterday I woke up and read a text message from a friend,

"Dude... Ultimate Warrior died!"

If you were a kid growing up in the 80's, a current or former professional wrestling fan, then you knew who Ultimate Warrior was.

I didn't believe my friend.  I thought he was mis informed.  How could Warrior be dead, he was just on TV on Monday night talking about legends and legacy.

As I searched the internet it was quickly confirmed, Ultimate Warrior, a larger than life figure from my childhood had tragically passed away.

I titled this post "You Never Know... When Hero's Become Mortal," because Warrior's death is a reminder of the fragility and preciousness of life.

Growing up Ultimate Warrior was this larger than life personality.  He was a superhero type figure - ranked up there with the likes of Superman in my 6 year old eyes.  As little kids we believe our superhero's are immortal, that they will live on forever.

My brother and I staged many mock wrestling matches where I was Hulk Hogan and he was Ultimate Warrior.  On more than one occasion my Mom had to suspend the watching of wrestling because my brother and I enjoyed "acting it out," a little to much.  :)

Say what you will about professional wrestling being staged, or "fake," these guys are still amazing athletes and performers.  When I did the 1 Year 1000 Challenge I took a professional wrestling lesson, (see video below) and I can attest from my brief two hour foray into it that it is hard and it hurts.  There is nothing fake about falling, getting clotheslined, or body slammed.

Over the years I have googled Ultimate Warrior from time to time, and while he seemed to age he still seemed to be every much the Ultimate Warrior of my childhood.  He was sill muscular, in shape, controversial, outspoken, intense, and immortal.

This last weekend WWE had their hall of fame induction ceremony as part of "Wrestlemania," the Superbowl of professional wrestling.  The featured inductee was Ultimate Warrior.  This was a real treat for fans, as WWE and Warrior had long unresolved professional issues that had kept Warrior out of wrestling for quite some time.

During Ultimate Warrior's speech I was so impressed to see this larger than life figure, the guy who was known for intense and at times un-comprehendable promos, humanized by having his two young daughters escort him out to the ring.  He spent several moments praising them as well as his wife who was visibly emotional and proud of her husband.

The next night Ultimate warrior appeared on WWE's Monday night show and it left fans with the hope that Ultimate Warrior was going to become a regular in wrestling again.  During Warrior's brief appearance, he gave the speech below.  You do not need to watch the whole speech, but I encourage you to watch it between the 1:20 and 2 minute mark.

If you can look past the mask and the wrestling theatrics you will see that during those 40 seconds Warrior talks about the ability we all have to inspire and ignite passion into the hearts of others.  His words have an erie foreshadowing to them as ultimately it was those words and his tragic passing that lead me to writing this blog about his legacy and what it meant to me.

When a larger than life figure falls, when a superhero becomes mortal and dies, it reminds us of the reality of life - death escapes no one, not even those who are seemingly immortal.

Knowing that death is coming for us all, but not know when that day will be, it is so important that we live, now, while we can.  The day will come my friends when we all will take our final breath, when our hearts will cease beating. What we do between now and then will define the quality of life we live and the legacy we leave onto the world.

You and only You can live Your life.  You and only You can make it a great life.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse



Remember 1:20 - 2:00 is the important part.


My Wrestling tryout. :)


Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad

Tuesday, March 25th, was my Dad's birthday.  If he was still here he would have been 64 years old.

I spent a good chunk of the day thinking about and reflecting on my Dad - how he lived his life, what he believed in, what I learned from him both in life and in death.

Strangely, I realized I have learned so much more from my Dad in death than I did when he was alive.  Not because my Dad was not open to being a teacher, I think more so because I was resistant to being a student.

Death, loss, heartbreak, etc… they all have a way of shifting our priorities and make us stare life in the face and ask ourselves, "what really is important."  Not only that, but they call to attention just how important it is to treasure those important things while we have them.

Easier said than done, right?  I for one know that every day there are probably a ba-zillion things that I take for granted, or don't appreciate at the level I would like to.  Why?  Is it because I am selfish, is it because my attention is divided, is it because in the moment I don't acknowledge how much I care or have?  I think it is a combination of all of these and more, which sums up the reality that I am human.

As humans, we only have the ability to consciously process one or two things at a time.  At any given moment there are probably 100's of things that we can give our conscious attention to.  But, since we can only focus on a couple of those things, it means there are a whole lot of things failing to get the recognition and level of appreciation we may wish to give them.

As humans, when we have 100's of things to choose from to focus on, often we are going to miss focusing on the things that are most important because we have this assumption that they will always be there.  When we lose them we realize just how important they were.

I wanted to share with you all a few of the lessons I have learned from my Dad.  My hope is that some of them may resonate with you and that you use them to benefit your own life.

Also, I would love to hear any lessons you have learned from significant people in your life.  Please share them in the comments below or on the 1 Year 1000 Challenge page.

Lesson's learned from Dad:

1 - Make your priorities a priority while you can.  There were lots of things my Dad wanted to do and say, but he never got a chance to.  Time is of the essence for all of us.  We have to make our priorities a priority while we have the breath to do so.

2 - When you say it, make it count.  My Dad was not one of those people who called a lot or said I love you all the time.  Nor was he the best at cards, thank you notes, etc…  to some people this comes easily, my Dad was not one of those.  So when he did say I love you, when he did call, or he did take the time to make a card or send a note, he really meant it.  He did it because it was important enough for him to consciously work on doing and improving.

3 - Be grateful for what you got.  In life we are so quick to focus on what we don't have or what is wrong, that we don't stop to acknowledge all that we do have and all that is right.  We narrow our focus on one or two things that are bothering us and quickly turn a mole hill of a couple tiny problems into a mountain made up of the same tiny problems.  Much of the time I had with my Dad was squandered by focusing on lack vs focusing on abundance.  I didn't know any better and if I had, I would not be able to appreciate sharing this with you all like I can today.  In life, in relationships, in work, in health, there can always be "more," but in your pursuit of more, or better, remember to take a few moments to focus on what there is and what you do have.

4 - Don't leave things unsaid.  Communication is key in all relationships - parent/child, siblings, lovers, coworkers, friendships, families, etc… you name it and it can benefit from "saying" it.  Saying it means you make communication a priority.  You tell the people in your life what is going on and what they mean to you.  You say please and thank you, you talk about tragedies and triumphs, you let someone know that you appreciate their progress, you respect someone enough to tell them your concerns. My Dad and I could have added more depth to our relationship if we would have made communicating more of a priority.

5 - Treasure the little moments… In life we get so caught up in the rush for the "next big thing," that we often forget to stop and enjoy what we have right in front of us.  There will always be the temptation of the pursuit of something bigger and better.  I am all about charging forward to make your life the best you possibly can, but don't forget to recognize those components that exist in your life now, that add value and meaning to it.  It is those things that are in your life right now that make the "next big thing," so enjoyable.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

P.S. Dad, if you can read this - I love and miss you.








Thursday, March 20, 2014

Leadership

This one is going to be short and sweet as I really want to hear all of your opinions, thoughts, ideas, etc…

As a leader, I always want to improve, to grow, to make myself better in any way I can, so that I can better lead and inspire.

I think some of the most valuable traits any human can ever learn are traits that demonstrate leadership.  A person who carries with him/her the ability to lead another person or a group of people, carries with them the ability to inspire others and change the world.

Often I find myself wondering, "if leadership is such an asset, why is it that more people are not mindful of learning and practicing it?"

Why is that?

I believe, more than anything it is a lack of clarity as to what exactly leadership is.  Leadership is something that will bring value to all of our lives if we incorporate basic principals of it into our lives.

If we all were to become more mindful of the practice of leadership, how would that change our day to day lives?

Would people who feel powerless become powerful?  Would people who feel hopeless become hopeful?  Would the voiceless suddenly gain a voice?

Leadership is not something that is only for political figures, CEO's, or coaches, it is something that can be practiced by teachers, students, doctors, friends, family members, mothers, and children.

Incorporating basic principals of leadership into any dynamic in life will only strengthen it.

With the above in mind, I am curious, what do you think of, when you think of leadership?  What principals and practices are essential to becoming a better leader?  Which ones do you use in your daily life?

Please leave your comments and share your insights below, as this is a topic that we can all benefit from learning more about.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse










Thursday, March 6, 2014

You Must Make Your Health a Priority!


You have heard me say it before and you will no doubt here me say it again and again, you have to make your health a priority.  If you don't, then what is left?  You spent all your time chasing after the money, the status, etc... you achieve them and then what?  What happens when you have a heart attack, or some other health event that is caused by not taking care of you, what do you do then?  Was the money really worth it?  Was it worth not being around or diminishing your quality of life so you can't enjoy it?

Today, I decided to share with you all a part of my life I rarely talk about.  My Grandma, (actually she is my Nana, she hates being referred to as Grandma), has severe Alzheimer's. 

Nana and I were always very close.  One of the best parts about moving to Santa Barbara for college was that I lived near to her so that I could visit often.  Throughout college Nana's house was my destination of choice to do laundry, get a home cooked meal, and take a break from the college life.

Nana always liked to brag about me to anyone who would listen, "this is my Grandson and he is going to the University of California at Santa Barbara," she would say.

Education, she felt, was very important.  She was always very proud that I went to college.

Around my sophomore year I noticed she was starting to become more forgetful.  By my senior year it was becoming very obvious that something was wrong.  Two years after that she had forgotten my name.  Shortly after that she rarely would recognize me.  At present she is virtually a vegetable.  She can barely speak, she can only eat if my Grandpa feeds her.  She cannot move without his assistance.

I feel like she is scared... like she has moments of recollection, kind of like she should know what is going on, but then she realizes she does not and it frightens her.  Like a little kid would be scared if she found herself lost in the forest, unsure of how to find her way back home. 

The process of watching someone you love wither away is heartbreaking.  Selfishly, I do not visit as much as I used to because, quite frankly, I want to remember Nana in a certain way and this is not it.  Nana has been "lost," for so long that I want to try and protect the memories I have of her before she got like this.  Every time I see her now, it is harder and harder for me to remember her how she was.

I want to remember her how she lived, not how she is dying. 

My point un sharing this with you all is this: while scientists may not know exactly what causes Alzheimer's, cancer, and a plethora of other horrible diseases, one thing they do know for certain is that being healthy: eating right and exercising, goes a long way in helping to prevent the onset of any of those diseases.

Nana never had the best eating habits nor did she actively exercise, why would she?  Information was not as available to her as it is to all of us now.  She is from a generation and a way of thinking that did not understand exercising especially for women.  Perhaps if she knew how important it was to eat right, (and what eating right consists of) and exercise, things could have been different for her. 

I can only speculate on what could have made a difference for Nana and for my Dad for that matter.  I can't go back and change those things, but what I can do is appeal to you all now to make some positive changes for you.

If you are a son, a daughter, a parent, a grandparent, a cousin, an aunt, an uncle, a friend, a family member, then you matter to someone else.  

So the actions you take, consistently eating unhealthy, and the actions you do not take, forgoing exercise, will not only affect you, but they will affect others who you care about and who care about you.

If my Dad would have made healthy eating choices and made exercise more of a priority, would it have changed things???  Who knows, but I feel pretty confident about saying it certainly would have benefited him.

If Nana would have made healthier eating choices and made exercise a priority, would it have changed things for her? Who knows, but again, I feel pretty confident in saying that it certainly would have benefited her.

Your health is a key that can unlock a limitless number of doors, doors that lead to joy, happiness, fulfillment, wealth, you name it, and your health can have a positive influence on it.

Make your health a priority, if not for you, then please, do it for the sake of someone who cares about you.  At the bottom of this blog I have included a short video about the importance of your health.  I encourage you to watch it.

I promise you that you will never regret the day that you do not suffer from a disease like cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, etc...

As they say in the airline business:

"Please secure your oxygen mask first before you assist another passenger."  Translation: you have to take care of you before you can effectively take care of anyone else.

The picture below is from my most recent visit with Nana, taken about six weeks ago.

I wish you all a healthy and inspired week.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse










Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When Shit Literally Happens

This one comes with a disclaimer:  If you do not get a good giggle out of "when nature calls scenarios," and some mildly crude bathroom humor then I encourage you not read any further as I never want to deliberately offend anyone.

Having said the above, I felt like switching up the tempo on this week's blog and tell you all about a funny story that recently happened to me and the life lesson's I learned as a result.

A few weeks ago I decided to spend the day at America's newest National Park, Pinnacles National Park.  It is about a 3 hour drive from Santa Barbara to Pinnacles.  Since I was only going to go for the day, I packed very light (camera's, extra pair of undies, socks, gloves and jacket for cold mornings).  My plan, which I came up with in about 5 minutes, was to drive up to the town just outside of the park, spend the night there, and then head into the park for sunrise and a day of hiking.

Sunrise in the park did not happen because the park did not open its gates until after 7am… no worries, I wanted to eat anyways.  My pre hiking breakfast of choice was Steak and Eggs.  It was delicious and left me feeling satisfied and prepared for the day.

Before embarking on my hike, I made a crucial decision - which pair of undies do I wear.  I had with me an old beat up pair of boxer shorts that was full of holes (for ventilation), but quite comfortable, and I had my favorite pair, favorite only because a 100 washes ago it used to read "Carpe Diem."

I usually wear my "Carpe Diem," undies for special occasions and significant events (You all are getting to know me in a whole new way now - hahaha) I decided while my Pinnacles experience was special, it was not quite special enough for the Carpe Diem undies.  So I opted for the "hole-ie ones."

My adventure begins…

I get to the park 5 minutes after the gate opens and drive over to where the hiking trail is.  I get there and it is me and the park ranger, no one else.  I literally have a National Park all to myself.  I am not going to lie, upon this realization I had a "Giddy with excitement moment."  After all, it is not every day you get to enjoy the treat of being in a National Park, let alone have the whole park to yourself.

It was chilly out so bundling up was required.  In addition I took a protein bar and water for supplies, and of course my cameras.

I set off on the trail.  The air was fresh and crisp.  The trail was beautiful.  The mountains were majestic.  The light from the sun illuminated off the rocks and trees displaying brilliant greens and purples.

My camera was working over time, my legs glided along effortlessly on the trail… I was like a little kid in a candy store, engrossed by the Heaven I was experiencing.

Like a little kid in a candy store… when little kids go to candy stores and eat to much candy, what happens?  They get tummy aches…

I had hiked for about an hour when I felt the first grumble from my tummy.  It wasn't just a grumble of discomfort, it was a grumble that was letting me know nature was calling.

Keep in mind I am in the middle of a National Park, one hour into a trail, I have zero supplies save for the clothes on my body, my cameras, a protein bar, and a little water.  I am panicked, I decide the only thing to do is to sit down in hopes that pacifies the rumble within.  I was having flashbacks of being on top of Mt. Whitney and having to take a 14,500 foot poop (see video below not of the poop, but of the Mt. Whitney experience).

Disclaimer #2 - Excessive bathroom talk will follow in the next couple paragraphs.  Read on at your own risk. :)

I sit and breathe.  Sitting, when nature calls, has been a strategy I have used, very successfully over the years, to calm down when the tummy rumbles.  If I feel something trying to "escape" at an inappropriate time, usually a little reverse pressure in the form of sitting, keeps the would be "escapee" detained.  Basic physics, right? :)

Note: I am sharing this all with you because this is the train of thought I was having while all of this was going on.  I want to be real and authentic. :)

Yes! Sitting and breathing seems to have worked.  Time to continue on my journey.

The sun has risen over the mountains, the colors are amazing, the air is so clean and fresh, my camera is working overtime, I… I… I think I really have to go to the bathroom, nature is no longer calling, nature is now screaming and yelling and kicking on the feakin door.

I try to sit and breathe - to late!  No amount of breathing and sitting is going to save me now.  I am over an hour away from the nearest bathroom, I have no supplies, you might say I am SOL (Shit out of Luck).

I realize I have two choices: Choice #1 regress to my diaper days and, well, poop myself, or Choice #2 find some bushes.

I should mention that the only reason I considered choice one is because I was terrified that I would be breaking some law by pooping and leaving my poop in a National Park.  Also, I can't stand littering, especially when it is in a National Park.  While "do-do" is biodegradable, I still was concerned.

Anyways, option 2 won out as the most logical, and hygienic choice.

Before I can find a place to go I need to make sure I am alone.  Don't want to be caught with my pants down, literally, in the middle of a hiking trail.  Even though I felt like there was no one around, I was still a little nervous as I hadn't 'really paid attention for last 20 minutes since I entered poo poo crisis mode.  I am at the top of a mountain and I can't see the trail very well, luckily I came up with a solution.  I pulled out my camera, set the zoom to max, and scoped out the trail - very spy like.  Thankfully no one was around.

Next was finding a spot to go.  I have a  couple logistical issues I have to take into consideration.  #1, I am on the top of a mountain which means it is mostly rock, so I have to find some bushes to give me the appropriate "cover."  #2 I am not very flexible, so to do "#2" discreetly I need to find a place that is angled so I can fully squat ass to ankles.  #3 I need to do all of this quickly as nature is still kicking and screaming.  Lastly, #4 what am I going to do once I go?

I find a spot on the side of a cliff.  I say a quick prayer that I won't lose my balance and be found at the bottom of a ravine with my pants around my ankles.  As I assume the position I quickly review notes from previous reading sessions of the "What's Your Poo Telling You," book (see below picture.)  I am hopping against hope that luck will be on my side and I will produce a "Clean Sweep" poo (See explanation below).  Unfortunately the plop plop I hear tells me that I must have pooped out a "Soft Serve." (explanation also below).

Ugh, now what?

Thankfully the relief I experience allows me to think a little more clearly.  Do I try to find some leaves to wipe with?  Do I use my undies then bury them and leave them?  What would you do?

Using my undies and leaving them was out - I refuse to litter.  Leaves was a no go as well - California is in the middle of a drought this means everything is dry, dry leaves hurt! This was my mess, I got myself into it and by golly I was going to get myself out of it.  I decided on a three part strategy.

Part 1 was to bury the evidence with dirt, leaves, and rocks.  That was the easy part.

Part 2 and 3 was a little tricker.  I decided if I pulled my undies up (loose fitting boxer shorts) in a certain way, and then quickly pulled my pants up after, I would be able to trap my boxers in place, and create enough of a "barrier" that would keep everything in until I got back to civilization and could properly clean up.

It took a couple tries, but I was eventually able to execute parts 2 and 3.  Time to head back.  I start on the trail, I walk on the trail, I check the map, I walk for another 10 minutes, double check the map and realize I was going the wrong way.  Damnit!  Thankfully It only cost me about 25 minutes which was much better than the 3+ hours it would have cost me going the wrong way. (Note to self: always pay attention to where you are walking, especially when time is of the essence).

I hiked back to the bathroom with ease.  I actually quite enjoyed the hike because I was laughing so hard about the events that had transpired.  About 10 minutes before I made it back to the bathroom I ran into a couple on the trail.  They were asking me about the trail ahead.  I told them it was beautiful, to enjoy themselves, and I encouraged them that no matter what, "Stay on the trail."  After all there are "dangers" when you go off trail.  Hehehe

Arriving at the bathroom felt like winning the lottery - it is funny how much you can learn to appreciate the little things when the unexpected happens.

I cleaned, I changed, I tossed the hole-ie par of undies and put on the Carpe Diem ones as I felt like surviving this experience was cause to celebrate.

I had some decisions to make.  Hiking the trail I wanted to hike was out, I wanted to check out a couple other spots in the local area, and I needed to get back to Santa Barbara that night.  I decided I had better hit the road.

I was a little bummed, but decided to make the best of it.  I stopped in a cool little town for lunch and enjoyed a delicious salad.

Being nourished I jumped back on the road only to be greeted with traffic - ugh!

Reminding myself I had resolved to make the best of this situation, I got off the road and headed towards the coast.  I could drive out towards the ocean and wait out the traffic while enjoying the sunset.

Easily one of the best decisions I have ever made, as I was treated to the experience captured in the pictures below.  And yes, those are dolphins jumping at sunset. :)

As I was standing there watching the sun set into the Pacific I replayed the "shitty" experience I had just had and thought that there were a few powerful life lessons in there worth sharing.

#1 Shit is going to happen in life, period.  You may or may not be ready for it when it does, but you can be certain, it will happen.  What you can be ready for is choosing an empowering attitude that will help you get through it and continue to move forward. (see video below for more on this).

#2 If things do not go as planned, don't waste your time moping about the botched plan, improvise and create a new plan.

#3 Traffic sucks, if the opportunity is there and time allows, pull off the road and enjoy the sunset, some fresh air, or just a change in perspective.

#4 This is the most important lesson of all: Always, ALWAYS bring an extra pair of underwear. :)

Thank you for reading,

Enjoy the pics and videos,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse



Shit happens Video



Mt. Whitney Hike Video





































Thursday, February 6, 2014

An Easy way to Save Some Serious Money

I get a lot of questions about how to make more money and how to save more money.  Recently someone shared with me the below formula.  I like this one because it is simple, easy to follow, can be increased for more aggressive savers, and is doable and achievable by everyone.

Obviously I am a few weeks behind the start date, but it still does not mean you can't start now and still have a  hefty chunk of change saved by the end of the year.  

As you are disciplining yourself to put away the money I encourage you to get in the habit of making it a daily practice.  This way when you get to the week that you are saving $35, rather than trying to come up with the entire $35 in one day, set aside $5 a day.  Also, plan ahead.  If you foresee it being more challenging saving the $50 for a week invest a little more during the smaller weeks… put away $4 instead of 2 and $8 instead of 4, etc…

I hope this strategy proves to be a helpful and profitable one for you.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

P.S.

I'll have another blog up soon as I have a bunch of great pictures I am excited to share with you all :)