I Started Running 2+ Miles Everyday… Here’s What I’ve Learned So Far

Running sucks. I don’t think most people run or jog or even workout hard because they enjoy it.

I think they do it for the sheer benefits associated with how you feel after you exert great amounts of energy and the type of person it will make of you to conquer your inner bitch. My several years of yoga practice have allowed me to grow mentally strong and to consistently push through uncomfortable situations.

Never stop pushing the limits of your physical, mental, and emotional boundaries. Many of us have self-imposed boundaries through our life experience which limit can both limit our potential and hurt our ability to explore new things to excite our life.

A few of my friends and I decided to go 30 days without alcohol and to test ourselves for all sorts of reasons, however, mostly to save money, improve our health, and focus on what matters most to us.

As part of this challenge, I made a commitment to run at LEAST 2 miles every day for 30 days.

This means forcing myself to get up at 5:30AM to run even though I’m sore from the 4 miles I pushed through yesterday. It means rearranging social plans to run instead of going get food. It means if I get home and haven’t run and it’s 10PM that I’m going to run at LEAST 2 miles. It takes between 15-25 minutes and for me, it’s about getting it done whether I walk, run, jog, or sprint.

It means a commitment to not drinking and running at LEAST 2 miles every damn day and doing it with a SMILE!

Today is day 7 and I feel AMAZING.

I’m in decent shape and eat pretty healthy but hate running. The benefits of running are what attracts me to it. Running makes me feel strong, confident, and more like myself than any other physical exercise.

I’d much rather go lift weights, do body-weight exercises, practice Bikram Yoga, practice a sport, or simply go for a long walk.

But not anymore. Now it’s a bag with gym clothes traveling with me everywhere I go for the next 3 weeks.

I almost quit on day 4 (running that is).

My hip hurt, my body was achy, and I had pushed myself way past my previous mental limitations. This hip pain was bad and it hurt to stretch or move.

I didn’t want to run that day. I ALMOST told myself the story of a universe where me not running existed, even though I shut that down already.

There is NO universe where I don’t go run at least 2 miles.

It was the inspiration from people I admire like Jocko Willink, David Goggins, and Joe Rogan that ring through my head as I fight a constant mental dilemma only to say fuck it and run anyway. That day I ran 2 miles straight without stopping for the first time in a long time. I also did 50 pull ups, 100 push ups, and ran another 2 miles after the first 2 and wasn’t even sore anymore.

This workout proved my mind is the only thing controlling my limitations and potential.

It’s a wild paradox in which your mind can trick you into NOT doing something, yet that same thing once overcame, proves just the opposite. You needed it even more.

One thing Jocko Willink talks about in his podcast is the idea of going through the motions even when you don’t feel like it. Get up, get out, and get after it. That’s it. Shut your mind off and go run.

Write the blog. Make the phone calls. Do the work. Do whatever it is you have to do that day no matter what. It’s that simple.

This same concept is something I strive to continuously implement in other areas of my life.

I’ve got a lot of work to do, but after a week of running 2-5 miles a day, I feel like nothing can stop me – even when I don’t feel like it.

The confidence you will build when you prove yourself WRONG is AMAZING.

So I ask of you one simple thing.

Do that difficult thing you’ve been wanting to do but continue to make excuses for not doing. Go a little further and work a little harder. Don’t settle for 40%, 60%, 80%, or 99%. Give that little bit more towards something that gets you excited for life and as Cameron Hanes would say, “KEEP HAMMERING“!

Writing and Thinking Space: My places to write

Where do you write?

Where do you produce your best writing?

Best thinking?

I’m back again this evening with your daily dose of ‘everyday inspiration’ encouraged by WordPress University. The question for today as I highlighted above is, “Where do you write?”

I write everywhere.

My bed in the morning and night. I begin expressing gratitude for what is great in my life and end each day with what amazing things have happened that day. This was inspired by the “Five Minute Journal“. A simple little journal with great powers of increasing happiness.

As I settle into Wilmington, North Carolina I feel fortunate to have space in the office at home where I sit each morning with a fresh cup of coffee to begin writing. Somewhere between 5:00 am and 6:30 am. I hand write three ‘Morning Pages‘ (sometimes I dread this, sometimes I am excited) as I’ve discussed in previous posts. This is not always enjoyable, especially when I am running on little sleep (often), but ALWAYS worth it.

Morning pages have shaped how I start my day. They clear the clutter in life. To express the negative and endless chatter of the mind. Writing morning pages in my office help; declutter my day, organize thoughts, ideas, concepts, plans, goals, strategize, and focus on what is important.

These help to get the mind into the ‘flow‘ of writing. I’ve gone 12 days in a row and have thirty-six pages consisting of; a lot of complaining, ranting, some good, some bad, frustrations, goals, objectives, ideas, projects, and more. This is my art. This exercises my mind to think about my life, family, friends, and make it real before I get overtaken by the day. It is important to note I write these each morning before looking at any technology. No TV, no media, no stimulation (except coffee or tea).

As a Writer, the hardest part of the job can be simply writing. This is a new part of my routine to get into a better state of mind to write. The creativity comes flying out of nowhere in my mind. It helps to surmount the ugly side of writing. The jumbled, mixed up thoughts and unfocused attention. As I continue to master my writing techniques and style, I’m very curious to see how the Morning Pages help me become better every day.

About my most recent writing space:

The office at home isn’t anything special. It includes a window which shines a ton of natural sun each morning (on clear days), plenty of space to stretch, exercise and move around as needed.

I keep books on my desk for inspiration (yes, I’ve read most of them). Most important is; my vision board, full-size world map and of course a fresh cup of coffee. My vision board is filled with my life aspirations, dreams and goals; mentors, leaders, role models, quotes, life goals, dreams, pictures of what I desire, and much more. A vision board helps me remember why I discipline myself and work so hard on myself. Why I say no to things which sound fun today but won’t contribute to my purpose. Don’t worry, I get out when I need it, I’m happy.

I look up each morning thinking about where I can go. Where do I want to travel? What do I want to see? Where could I live? What experiences could I have? Who do I want with me? Who would want to join me? Where I begin? More importantly, how am I going to get there? When am I going to go? I look up and see the world. The endless possibilities our fascinating planet has to offer. The map helps me dream. It aids the creative juices with forward-looking thinking. Possibility thinking. The idea of what exists in our world that I am missing. Travel is high on my list of life goals and I convince myself each day that if I keep doing what I am doing travel will become much more simple to justify. I don’t want to keep telling myself I want to travel, but… “I want to travel”. And write.

I dream of being a Travel Blogger or Writer.

Explore the world, meet fascinating people, and soak in unique experiences of other cultures and places on our planet. To write about the adventures, the experiences, cultures, and learn along the way. That is a big-picture purpose of my blog. A place to share my adventures and travel experiences with the world. Maybe the more I think about it and keep convincing myself it is real, it will actually happen…

As a writer, my best work doesn’t always come from the office. I’m notorious for heading to a local cafe for both Wifi and a change of scenery. I enjoy writing from new places, about new places.

Some days I will head to the beach, find a bench (yes I took the featured image above) or picnic table and spend some time writing outside. I find this soothing and very beneficial. I’m a nature and outdoor enthusiast so once my body is moving and I am physically outside my mind starts to flood with ideas and inspiration. This is critical for idea generation and to deeply ponder their possibility.

Cafe’s are probably my favorite. I will order my usual grande (medium) black iced coffee or a cappuccino, throw my Spotify writing playlist on and boom. I spice it up some days depending on the time and project. I will write for 5-10 minutes to get my mind right, then shift gears, set a timer and focus! This keeps me in the seat, focused, ready to attack the page. No distractions, interruptions or anything. Even the smallest distraction for me while focused writing can be a killer.

Lastly: Here are a few tips that have helped me avoid distraction while writing. This is why I imagine Authors do a lot of their writing between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am.

  1. Keep your phone on silent and put it away. Don’t even tempt yourself. It is not worth it and will be there when you are done.
  2. Set a timer. This helps me stay focused on the task at hand and disciplined to what I am working on.
  3. Close all unnecessary applications. Don’t be tempted to check an email or let your mind race to another task on your list.
  4. Kill the tabs. Don’t overwhelm yourself with countless tabs open in your browser. You’ll most likely need a browser open, so hide your Bookmarks bar and stay focused on what matters!

I hope you enjoyed my post. I’ve been working hard on my website and blog!

I encourage you to check my ‘Connect with meorContact page and submit a comment on what you think I should write about in an upcoming post. I will respond ASAP!


Inspirational Quote of the Day brought to you by Bruce Lee

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was a legend in Martial Arts, a cultural icon and also became well-known for his philosophy catching fire later in his life.

I chose this quote today for #everydayinspiration. This comes from WordPress University. They send out daily recommendations for blog updates and to educate users on using WordPress. Today the prompt is to leverage a quote and create a post. Here is what I have for you.

Thank you Momentum, the ‘new tab’ productivity Chrome Store Extension for helping inspire productivity through stunning imagery, inspirational quotes, and the ability to keep a To-Do list of important tasks right on your browser each time you open a new tab. When I first learned of Momentum I took immediate action, told two of my close friends at the time because I knew how great it was. I use it daily without fail. Anyone who uses a desktop computer opens a new tab at some point each day. should have it installed for something better to look at than a blank page. Momentum is a productive way to stay on track, remind yourself of tasks for the day, week, or month to stay focused.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get distracted researching quotes and incredible images they display. But that is sort of productive, right?

Hack away at the unessential, says Bruce Lee. What does that mean? To me, that means to hack away from unessential people. Unessential tasks such at mindless scrolling through Social Media. Hack away at what is distracting you from what you are here to get in life. Trust me I’ve had my fair share of unessential fatuity. Sometimes this happens for a short time, but most often it takes a major event to realize the unessential even exists.

Be mindful of your ‘unessential‘, stand guard of your mind and focus on the daily decrease, not the increase.

For me, I was caught up in unessential habits, routines, and disciplines which were not contributing any value to my life. I began to focus on the ‘daily decrease’ of bad habits such as sleeping in, not exercising, eating poorly, watching too much TV, Netflix, and not reading nearly enough.

What in your life do you consider to be unessential which could use improvement?

If you started small while ‘hacking away‘ each day at your ‘unessential‘, how do you think you would feel? Would it make your life better? We have all something unessential that is prohibiting us from reaching the next level. Don’t let your time escape you, start hacking away at the futile and push forward to success.

One Word Inspiration: Choice

Choice: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

Our lives are compiled of conscious and subconscious choices which shape our existence. The one life we get is impacted by the choices we make, even more so as we enter our adult years. The choice to go to school, start a business, travel the world or whatever. These decisions will lead up to be the memories of our lives and who we end up becoming.

Who do I need to become to get all I want?

This question fascinated me. It enabled me to begin looking at my life from a big picture perspective. I made a choice to begin assessing my life. To think about what possible changes needed to be made for me to to get all I want out of my one life. What I desire out of my life. Who I want to become. What I want to accomplish. The associations I want to have. The impact I want to leave on others. The type of person I want to be known for. The skills I need to achieve my greatest desires.

These are choices. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year. The choices we make end up shaping a good portion of who we become.

Who are you becoming?

Our lives consist of habits as I learned in “The Power of Habit”, by Charles Duhigg. The beautiful thing about the human body and mind is our fascinating ability to change. To learn about our habits and disciplines. To apply the necessary changes to better shape the outcome of our life. How you decide to do this is up to you.

What are your habits? What are the choices you are making each day? Are you satisfied with them? Are you fulfilled on a daily basis? Are you maximizing your potential? Will you be satisfied with your life when it is all said and done?

We are faced with choices each and every day which makes up a majority of our lives. What do I wear today? Where should I stop for coffee? How am I going to get there? Should I take the train, bus or drive? This is why productive and successful people have disciplined habits and routines. They often wear the same clothes every day, eat the same breakfast, or wake up at the same time most days. You need to do what works best for your life. Be mindful of how the choices you make are impacting your life. If they are good, keep them up. If they are not, reassess how you can make small improvements in your daily life.

What choices am I making?

I will travel the world and write about my journey because it is the life I desire. A choice I will make to immerse myself in the world we live in and escape from the material world most of us are far too accustomed with. This is a difficult choice and requires a lot of planning, scheduling, organization, risk, and execution. I believe in my gut this choice will shape my future. I want to learn from life. There is no ‘right’ time make the choice you’ve been contemplating. We all say we want such a great life but rarely put the effort in to deserve it. I’ve lived the life of uncertainty while I was influenced by other people rather heavily. This is the change I want to share with you all. The ability to make conscious decisions to change your life through small disciplines, habits, and choices.

I’m in this unique stage in my life where I feel excited to be alive and grateful for another opportunity each day. This has enabled me to start thinking about investing in areas of my life that are of the utmost importance. Contributing more to society in a way which will help shape my future. I find joy in the little things each day. I relish in the opportunity to appreciate the people who serve me in my life and which I am fortunate to serve. I believe I’ve impacted some people in my life in a way has helped them change their life forever. For this, I am grateful.

We all make choices. Make sure you are making the right ones for you. For your life. For your purpose. Be yourself, and don’t settle for mediocrity.

Here is an article from Tim Ferriss that helped me to understand that regret is past tense decision making. We all have regret. Take control of yours today and don’t wait to make important decisions in your life.

The ‘write’ to remember

Wrightsville Beach Sunrise
7/13/17 Sunrise @ Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina!

Why do I write?

This is a great question for me as I continuously debate the purpose of my blog. Do I err on the professional side or share more of the personal connection and detail of my life? I think a good combination of both will do well. What do you think?

Writing is my way of bringing together the non-stop flow of ideas and madness that occurs in my mind.

It is my way of not only expressing myself and my thoughts but having them join forces. I’ve found endless inspiration from a variety of books lately that have changed my life from all different platforms (Print, Kindle, and Audible). Every Author intends for their message to be interpreted well by the end but this is sometimes unclear. Writing helps me to connect the message of each book I dive into while incorporating the concepts, philosophy, strategies and more into my life (or not).

Not only is writing valuable to increase learning, but enhance the memories of your life.

The time I spend ‘reflective writing’ has helped me recall my experiences in vast detail compared to memories that seem ‘foggy’, not hangovers I promise (although plenty of those exist). As a twenty-something, I am enthusiastic and grateful for life yet struggling to clarify what brings me the greatest joy in life. Writing is either making this process easier or worse (I am not quite sure yet). It certainly helps to remember both the good and the bad.

Recently I’ve implemented the habits of writing a 5MJ (inspired by Tim Ferriss) and 3 long-hand  “Morning Pages” from the book “The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron. These two habits combined each morning have enhanced my creativity and serve as a vital part of my morning to help me understand the responsibilities and goals ahead of me that day. Since the beginning, it has been a lot of ‘soul searching’ as I continue my journey towards sharing my gift of life with the world.

I ask of you the same question. Why do you write? What does writing do for you?

Writing brings me to life. I feel it is my way of adding the utmost value to the world. I write about my experiences, travel, emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, the past, present, future and much more. I find it crucial to write about my life experiences such as; Hiking Mt. Washington, snowboarding in Colorado at Breckenridge, or learning how to surf. It helps to solidify these memories in my mind so I can remember the subtle details that so many forget. I write to remember, but most importantly I write because it brings me joy.

One of the hardest things I’ve realized recently is actually hitting “publish”.

We all have this problem, right…?

Take action to get what you want! Mel Robbins – “The 5 Second Rule”

Hello everyone – I need to share the insight I’ve gained from such an incredible book by Mel Robbins, “The 5 Second Rule”. I added it to my Audible library after it was recommended to me at a book publishing seminar where I was lucky to meet some truly inspirational people last weekend. I made a decision and showed up! I won’t get into too much detail, but I will summarize the book and my thoughts on how the book could help so many of you that have suffered as I have. Check out her site and page for more details. https://melrobbins.com/the-5-second-rule/

We are all the same in the sense that we only get one life and like many I’ve also experienced loads of stress, anxiety, fear, regret, and more – you get the picture. The concept is opposed to waiting, thinking and debating what could possibly go wrong or right with a decision, to count backward from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and go. Take action, physically move your body to take the decision from your subconscious mind to your prefrontal cortex. You begin the process of creating new habits that will indeed change your life whether you realize it or not. Listen to her book for more scientific research, evidence, testimonials, studies, and more around how applying this rule or ‘tool’ can and will benefit your life. What I found most interesting in her research and explanations was how a 5-second decision has been responsible for some of the greatest discoveries in the world. This includes businesses, ideas, products, services, books, relationships and so much more. The decision to talk to that girl at the bar or at the coffee shop. The decision to eat healthily or raise your hand with an idea in a business meeting. We’ve all been there. I’ve been the guy sitting there, palms sweating, heart racing, waiting to share my great idea or insight with the company. Only to wait until the meeting is over, tell a colleague that I had this idea and wished I said something, only to regret not speaking up. Life is about showing up and making decisions. Don’t let life control you, take control of the decisions you make and put yourself out there, you’ll be glad you did!

Also, I’d challenge you to attempt her 90-day challenge. 90 days of getting out of bed when your alarm goes off! No snooze, no waiting, no falling back to sleep, just get up and go move. I’d recommend using her tool to move your body first thing in the morning. Get the blood flowing through your body and mind, awaken your spirit and get ready to take charge of your day. As Jim Rohn famously said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” Research and studies have shown that the most productive hours of the day are the first three hours after you wake up. Make those hours count. Don’t waste them in bed, watching Netflix, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or worse, watching what all of the people you follow on Snapchat did the night before. This won’t help motivate you. This will provoke negative thoughts of jealousy, envy, regret, anxiety and more. Where you COULD have been or who you COULD have seen. Take control, make a decision, and most importantly SHOW UP!

Most importantly, this book has worked. I’ve met 5 CEO’s and Business Executives specifically at Starbucks in the last 3 days from the application of this, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ‘tool’. It has helped me engage in conversation with strangers while eliminating any doubt my mind might throw at me. When your heart starts racing, chest beating, palms sweating, that is the time to count down and leverage the excitement that is building opposed to letting your mind convince you otherwise. Follow the inspiration of life and when it feels right, don’t think, act. I’ve engaged woman way out of my league and had a date with someone incredible using this ‘tool’. Have you read or listening to her book yet? If you have I’d love to hear how it has helped you. As Tony Robbins said, “At any moment, the decision you make can change the course of your life FOREVER.” It is in the key moments of making decisions that your destiny is shaped. If you have even slightly struggled with decision making this book will dramatically benefit your personal life, career, relationships and more! So get out of your own head, follow your inspiration, your gut, and most importantly take MASSIVE ACTION!

“Start with Why, by Simon Sinek – My WHY

Why, How THEN What

Simon Sinek has quite a rather unique take on millennials and business as he talks at length about in his book “Start with Why” which he published in 2009.  He explains how great leaders inspire everyone to take action.  At the surface level you may think that Simon Sinek’s book will be motivational in nature, and to an extent you are correct.  But this does not come without great praise and recognition of industry leaders and their stories.  My WHY has inspired me to become a better person and re-evaluate almost every aspect of my life.  Why am I working in Sales?  Why do I work in technology?  I began this rigorous analysis of my life inclusive of far more detailed questions I had never thought before.  It was intoxicating.  I found myself thinking deeply about exactly why I did what I did, and why I needed to change. I was unhappy in many ways that I was unaware of and the “Golden Circle” concept came to me at the perfect time in my professional life. What do I want to do? How do I want to do it? Most importantly, WHY do I want to do it?

As he repeats often, good organizations and people know what they do and how they do it, but great ones know WHY.  Simon explains how most people and organizations know what they do and how they do it but the WHY is usually unclear. I now study most organizations and what their WHY is. An organization that has a clear mission, vision and purpose often have a WHY that resonates well within the employees. One of my favorite parts of his book is the deep analysis around organizations that do NOT succeed or when their WHY goes fuzzy and they experience a split.  It happens, don’t kid yourself.  In my opinion, the analysis of failures is one of the greatest strengths that we have.  Understanding exactly why, how and what a company may have done wrong and being able to see that vividly is powerful. Learning from previous failures while applying triumphant innovative concepts is a formula for future success.  What worked before? What didn’t? What is working now? How can we apply it? How can we improve?

Apple is the ‘vehicle’ that Simon bases a lot of his ideas on. Apple is not a computer company, they are a company that knows it’s’ WHY, and happens to make computers.  I’m paraphrasing, check out his book for the actual phrase. That statement is powerful when thought about on a grand scale.  Why?  Maybe it is that Apple has trust, loyalty and one of the most recognizable brands on the planet.  Maybe not?  I think it is true because Steve Jobs and “Woz” had a true sense of purpose together.  When you big picture this and continue to hire a staff and inspire them to believe exactly what you believe, amazing things happen. Go study the company for yourself and see what you can find out.

Simon ensures that the material and content in his book very comprehensible.  He does get into some brain discussion around biology and how we are ‘programmed’, but to him, that is important to his message being properly internalized. There is also a sense of repetition for retention or enhancing his point, this is unclear to me. The type of enthusiasm and passion speaks volumes to how much he supports his own WHY and vision. Gary Vee speaks with a similar form of passion, maybe a bit more energy. The mutual connection is that of a burning desire for following dreams, passions and finding out your internal and external WHY.

This book is needed in our world today. His message relates to people in everyday life.  The significance of knowing WHY you do what you do, HOW you do it and WHAT you do is vital.  This will only open up your mind to ideas that you may not have previously considered.  Maybe you are unhappy and it took a bit of inspiration to expand your mind around exactly what you are doing and how it could be different.  My opinion:  We live in a world of opportunity that is thriving each day.  We see it in every form of life.  So why wait?  Why contemplate the decision of striving for a better future.  Would you rather take the path of least resistance or the path less traveled?  I’m taking the path that I didn’t know existed.  I’m creating it.  So in the words of Simon Sinek, “START WITH WHY”.