Follow by Email

Monday, July 2, 2012


Happy Monday Everyone!

I have been spending a lot of time as of late mulling over the concept of leadership.  What does it mean to me, what does it stand for in a global sense, and how is it being represented by "leaders" around the world.

I cannot pinpoint one exact reason as to why leadership has been on my mind so much as of late.  The thoughts surrounding it have become so many that it definitely warrants this blog as well as a video I plan on posting on Wednesday. 

Before I tackle the leadership subject, a few announcements:

Onto leadership....

A leader is one who: guides or directs a group.  Some examples are: a CEO of a company, a General in the military, a Political head of state and a guy who creates a challenge to do 1000 things he has never done before.

Maybe it is just me, but as of late, I feel that the motivation in the 1000 Challenge Community  isn't what it once was.  The 1000 Challenge Community is growing at a rapid rate, but the rate of involvement, or people taking action is rapidly declining.

Last year, when global events like "Trash Clean Up Day," Ustream Chats, and "Sunrise/Sunset Day," were held we had a much larger participation with a far smaller community than we have had this year. 

I have been asking myself, Why?  I don't understand, I provide motivating material, I encourage, I give, I support, I happily play the role of cheerleader, what am I missing?

As first I made up a bunch of excuses for all 8,000+ members of the 1000 Challenge Community.  Excuses about how life is to busy, it is low priority, etc...   A good possibility, right?  I don't really believe that though.

Then I made up excuses about how new members may perceive me, "Perhaps they just see me as an "IN" to get into the good graces of certain friends that I have that just happen to be famous.  And so they will "humor" me in hopes that I make a connection or two for them?"  It is definitely a possibility, right?  But deep down, I do not think that is the sole motivation for the majority of our community members.  A small few maybe, but the majority of the 1000 Challenge Community, I don't believe so.

So what is it then? 

This is where many of my thoughts on leadership, I believe, are originating from. 

A leader is someone who guides or directs a group.  And what better way to guide or direct a group then by example... BINGO JESSE!! 

I am the creator of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge and last year I lead you all by my example.  Each and everyday you had pictures, blogs, videos, etc... chronicling not just me and my pursuit of doing 1000 things I had never done before; you had more than that.  You were introduced to me and got to follow my journey on how to Carpe Diem... to Seize each and every day and make the absolute most of it.

Along that journey you got to see and experience the world through my eyes.  You got to experience the highs and the lows of life with  me.  I was very candid in sharing the times I struggled as well as the times I triumphed.

This year - that has been lacking.  I have taken the substance out of the experience of what it means to be a member of the 1 Year 1000 Challenge Community.  Sure I have provided lots of delicious appetizers in the form of motivating quotes, videos, and pretty pictures, but have consistently forgot to serve the main course: the real, true to life, human component of it that we can all relate to.  This has been a major lapse in leadership on my part and for that I deeply apologize.

After all, how am I, as a leader supposed to expect you all to jump up and Carpe Diem, if I am not providing an example to follow?  One of my all time favorite expressions is: "You can give a man to fish and it will feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he will be able to feed himself for life." 

Last year my goal as a leader was to turn all of those who were willing, into master fisher-persons.  This year I have not been doing my best as a leader.  I realize that I have removed some of the tools that are necessary to be able to fish.  How are you supposed to fish if the leader is not teaching you how to cast your line into the water?

You, me, and everyone else,, will never be as great as their full potential if they do not know how to fish.  We will forever spend our lives at "average," if we merely sit around and wait for someone to give us a fish.  Greatness is sought out and created, it is not given. 

I have allowed myself to get so caught up in some of the various aspects of my life, that I have gotten away from the core of what got you all to look to me as a leader.  Shoot, I have a goal to take 20,000 + photos this year and I am not even half way to that number!

The first half of the year I have:
  • worked tirelessly to expand my business, 
  • allowed myself to be consistently bummed out over ongoing injuries and daily physical pain,
  • overly analyzed and overly rationalized various relationships rather than just dealing with the core issues and move forward.
I am, however, very proud of the above.  I don't want to mislead you about that.  I have expanded  my business in such a way where I now have the opportunity to help more and more people which is what I have always wanted to do.

While the injuries have been beyond shitty, I have also gained a sensitivity I did not have before to people who are injured.  In addition I have also learned to appreciate what a privilege a life without physical pain is.

I have more clarity than ever with the various relationships.

All positives, but all are things that did not require me to sacrifice what made me an effective leader.  However, again I am grateful for it has given me an awareness about leadership I did not have before.  That awareness has been two fold, one the above actions, and two, the following qualities of leadership that I have become much, much more aware of.

One of the most important qualities of a good leader is consistency.  Imagine how much kids in school would struggle if their teachers, their leaders, consistently told them 2+2 = 4, and then one day decided to start telling them 2+2 = 5.

Another important quality of leadership is honesty:  How many of you are frustrated with appointed political leaders and their "fudging of the truth."  I know I AM!  Last year I honestly shared with you my journey, this year I have not.  I did not want the journey to take away from your own potential to Carpe Diem.  I now realize the error in my ways - that the journey provides an important spark.  Without the spark there can be no fire and without a fire there can be no burning desire to Carpe Diem.

And finally, I will leave you this: one of the most important qualities of a good leader is the example he/she sets.  We all have a good giggle at some of the comments that come up when I post a topless picture of myself, but think about this:  Would you respect me as much as a Personal Trainer, as a leader of Fitness if I did not live the example of being fit?  Would you respect me as much as a Life Coach, as a leader of Carpe Diem-ing, of living life, if I did not go out and embrace the experience of life and all the ups and downs that come with it?

We all have the potential inside of us to be a great leader.  Leadership is not limited to CEO's, political heads of state, or a guy who challenged himself to do 1000 things he had never done before in 2011.  Leadership is an attribute that exists within each and everyone of YOU.  Whether it is leading as a parent, a teacher, a community member, a best friend, or a lover, each area provides an opportunity to lead.

I cannot speak for You, only for myself, when I say that I want to be best leader I can be. 

I pledge to all of you to do a much better job this day forward as a leader than I have done so far this year. :)

And remember what I said earlier: "Greatness is sought out and created, it is not given."

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,



  1. I am new to the 1000 Things community and decided to follow due to the increase in motivation I felt after seeing your posts and videos. I know that I, for one, look forward to seeing more. You are an inspiration and a genuine joy to follow.

  2. Excellent post Jesse! You're still entitled to some "take care of you" time as a great leader. Huge photography forum on Google+ for those 20,000 photos ;0) Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Jesse,

    I didn't want to comment publicly on your main page as that would give my identity away and I wish to maintain my right to privacy.

    Despite the questions you've asked, you still need to hold yourself in the highest regards possible as a great leader. You are just a human being and not a machine, sex object nor a Super Hero. I believe that you do your absolute best to motivate, get people involved, inspire, etc. Its just what you do and you are damn good at it. I don't have answers as to why your page doesn't have the same energetic sparks as it did last year but I do know that you continue to have an increase in followers which is promising! For me, as much as I try to motivate people or get a message across, I can't make them do or like something. I think its just part of being human as we all have our individual, unique personalities, own personal motives, perspectives/views on situations and on life, etc.

    You've been such a crucial part of my life from the beginning and you still are. As I type this, I'm getting extremely emotional but will make an effort to continue to give my two cents.

    First of all, I happened to see you on TV while watching one of my favorite actors. I joined your community because I saw "HOPE" for myself when I was at the lowest point ever in my life. I DID NOT follow you because you happen to be close friends with one of my favorite actors but I followed you and still continue to follow you...for YOU! I have not once commented on ANY of your photo's or your wall mentioning your famous friend. I take you and your community very seriously as I'm still a "avid" regular old-timer member that is. Otherwise, I would not continue to actively participate in your events, visit your page often(sometimes 2-3 times daily..can't help it!)and set up all these challenging goals for myself, etc. For one thing, when I say that I will commit to something, I always follow through and honor my commitment unless I'm lying in the ER with a life threatening injury, have a serious injury that prevents me or if there is a family emergency. As far as commitments go, I'm either in or I'm out. For me, I don't come up with lame excuses because that is just not how I roll....

    I have friends and family who know just how much you've been such an crucial part of my life. They have seen me blossom into a completely different person for the better. If it werent for you and your quote, "Little fact about life. It is meant to be lived", I would not be alive and my kids would be without a Mom. Since I chose to live, I'm living my life as best as I possibly can. I'm so glad I made that crucial choice to do so and its all because of you. Once again, you need to know that I'll always be grateful to you for saving my life. Please never forget that but openly accept it.

    Lastly, I sincerely respect and admire you for YOU and only YOU...not for who you are associated with AND that's my final answer.

    Carpe Diem!:)

    1. I had to back up for a minute and re-read what I wrote earlier. I apologize and hope you didn't freak out over my poor choice of words. By "following", I didn't mean in a creepy, stalking way but in a positive, supportive way (by being a member of your community). However, I am "following" you on Twitter and that's deemed appropriate according to Twitter's glossary and terms. I feel better now. Carpe Diem! :)

  4. I am thankful that your friend introduced you to a community of people in need of a push from someone with leadership greatness. Your ability to be candid and real allows us to relate and when we relate we see the possibility of life-changing success.

    The majority of us definitely have separated you from your friend, and see the things he sees in you, which is why he just couldn't keep your leadership to himself. Your story, your challenge, your hand held out to help other up is what is drawing each of us to the stairs of life altering change. We are so grateful, Jesse, and look forward to more!

    Thanks for the awesome honesty!

  5. Hi Jesse,
    Don't be beating yourself up, you give so much of yourself to others!!

    you have really inspired me and made a massive difference to my life, I love the exercise group - I would never have lost the weight I have without it and this and the billion steps challenge have changed my life, I eat better, I exercise more and I have made friends all over the world! I am still working on a lot of stuff but you have definitely shown me the path!

    Coz (posted as anonymous as I can't find my Google login details - durrrr)

  6. Jesse,

    You've made more of a difference in my life than you will ever know. I admitt, I started following you because your famous friend suggested I like your page, but what happened in my life afterwards had nothing to do with who you are friends with. Each morning I log into FB and scroll through my news feed in search of the latest quote, pic, or story from the 1000 Challenges page. It sets the mood for my workday, my workout, and my down time. Every time I find myself struggling with an issue in my life I go back and read a blog, post, or email from you and I feel comfort and strength again. Your an inspiration to so many of us and I can say that the love I have for you and this journey is amazing. Thank you for being so open and honest with the struggles you go through trying to lead so many of us. You do a great job of motivating me and providing me with a sence of belonging to something. Before 1000 Challenges came into my life I believed one of my biggest dreams was so rediculous and out there that I would never be able to get it done. It was just a daydream that I would escape into each day or night for over a decade. I never believe it would come true. Since I've started following you on FB, I've now gained the belief in myself to actually make that dream come true. I've made some major progress in the steps I need to take to make that dream a reality, and you are the catalist that launched me forward. I know I can make that dream come true now! You helped change my belief in myself and for that I am eternally grateful. I look forward to seeing how far you can go with this great cause and am so happy to be along for the ride.

    With all the love in my heart I wish you so much love and happiness in your own life.


  7. I am beyond moved by all the kind words and stories you all have shared here :)

  8. Jesse,

    I just finished reading this and so many thoughts are running thru my head, and to unload them all would be unnecessary. However, I think you may be too hard on yourself and have high expectations of yourself. I can relate... I haven't met too many Personal Trainers who don't have those qualities to some degree.

    I've only been aware of you for about a month, and I have been inspired and motivated by you. Like others, I became aware of you by PW. And I only became of PW being on FB by a friend sharing PW's link that lead me to you! I believe nothing is by chance!

    I too am a Personal Trainer. I don't know what your injuries are and why you have pain, but again, I can relate. In March 2010, I bruised my tibia so badly I could hardly walk for a couple months. Then, in September, I nearly dislocated my sacral and lumber spine, which left me immobile and barely able to move. And, as the year progressed, ended up with knee, upper back, and neck issues due to the original injuries...

    Almost two years later and I am out of shape, over-weight, and feeling out of sorts in my own body. I'm just now getting back to working out how I want to and love to, but can only handle doing so twice a week. I am getting better, stronger, healthier, leaner everyday, but it's been a long-ass journey that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I too value being able to move and do daily activities because I couldn't for so long. And, I started my own business in a January this year and that wasn't planned. Another story.

    So, I tell you all this because, sometimes, you just have to slow down and take care of yourself. Who truly knows why your participation is down...? Leadership could play a major role but then again, maybe people are busy and are missing the posts. However, whatever the reason, it sounds like you have a NEW fire lit under your ass, and that's always a good thing!

    One more thing, trainer to trainer, today I used your line: your body is a gym, use it! I gave you credit. I can't steal brilliance without doing so! I've said stuff like that for years--but that's REALLY good! Thank you! My client got it and it made her laugh! Priceless...

    BTW I look forward to getting your email every Sunday. It's nice to have someone else motivating me since I do that for myself and others all the time. I value that support. I'm planning a vacation in SB for later this year. I haven't been there for over ten years because of a personal experience I had there. I've been thinking about going back for a new experience for years. I finally decided this was the year. I made that decision before I knew of you. I share this because I want to be able to hire your for some support, coaching, maybe even some training. I haven't decided. But, what I do know, is nothing is by chance for any of us. Whatever happens. Whomever we meet. It's no mistake. Period.

    Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. -Richard Bach

    Keep doing what you do--the rest will fall into place! :) Carpe Diem