Comfort Zone Check – Challenge

Comfort Zone Check – Challenge - Thinking

So, I haven’t posted anything in some time…

It may be due to the famous “writer’s block”, though I don’t consider myself, under any circumstances as a writer, I’m just having fun and going out of my comfort zone with writing this blog.

But mostly, I haven’t posted anything because I was thinking of questions (read on for more information).

And if we are at the topic of going out of our comfort zone, this time I got a challenge for you – yes, you!

I’ve talked about it in several of my posts by now, getting out of my comfort zone by starting to write or by taking the cold shower challenge every morning (I’m still doing it to this day!) or by any other challenge I’ve taken so far.

It Got Me Thinking

Comfort Zone Check – Challenge - Thinking

The challenges I take, most of them are body related more than a mental challenge, like the human flag or even the cold showers that after the first week was just a matter of getting used to the cold.

I think that the main goal of all the challenges that I do, besides just having fun, is to improve myself and to always move forward.

"in a year from now, I don’t want to be the same person I’m now"

Always changing, always improving

Keep Pushing Your Comfort Zone

For the next challenge, I want to tackle the comfort zone from the mental side, and this time I challenge you to do it with me.

It is very simple, but it could be scary or embarrassing and I know that most people won’t do it, it’s not in their comfort zone, even though they have the chance and they could benefit from the result.

Have I Got Your Attention?

As I said, the challenge is simple – interview someone in your life, but not just anyone, I want you to approach someone that has great a meaning to you, someone you admire/ a role model.

It could be anyone you know that fits the description.

Maybe someone at work that you want to know their secret for being so good at what they do or that one or two “famous people” you know that you’ve always wanted to ask them about there success… and all the way to your parents or your high school teacher that has been a role model to you growing up.

(as long as you have access to him/her, don’t go chasing the Queen of England or the Dalai Lama for answers).

Comfort Zone Check Queen of England

All You Have To Do

First, find that person and then ask him/her some question…

To help you with that, in the past few weeks, I’ve asked a lot of people what they will want to ask their hero/person of inspiration if they had the chance to talk with him/her?

Here are the top 10 questions

(it goes without saying that you can ask whatever you want)

  1. What does a typical day look like for you?
  2. What would you name your boat if you had one? 
  3. How much time did it took to get to where you are now?
  4. What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with?
  5. What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
  6. Are you happy with your life?
  7. Have you ever thought about doing something else in life?
  8. How do you deal with failure?
  9. What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
  10. Who or what is your inspiration?

And here is a bonus question to close things with a smile: What’s the most useless talent you have?

In The End

You need to remember that you can ask anything you want.

It could be in any field of your life, business, health or just about anything you see in that person that you want to know how he/she was able to achieve it.

You should definitely make this challenge as a conversation more than an interview. In other words, just go with the flow =)

Try to be open-minded about this one, you might be surprised by the answers that you’d get…

If you want to read or try out for yourself some more challenges and perhaps try to get out of your comfort zone, click here.

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Daily Habits Tune-Up

Daily Habits Tune-Up - Lists Mess

I think I got my morning routine all figured out.

I wake up at 05:30-06:00 and just start checking off all of my habits one by one, its almost an automatic prosses by now.

I’ve been doing the same morning routine almost two years now, it also took me about two years to figure out what works for me and truly implement my habits in it, you can have a look at it here.

And it’s so nice to get so much done before most of my friends even wake up!

That got me thinking, what if I can do this all day? or most of the day… how will my day look like?

I’ve been trying to make changes to my daily routine for a long time.

Until Resently

I would think of what I want to accomplish and write it down, next I would make a list of all the things I need to do, and it would work.

But, sooner or later I would find myself engulfed with lists… and the next thing I know, I don’t do any of it.

So much for trying to make new habits stick, but what is the problem? It took me some time to figure it out.

Stop Making Lists, Start Making Habits

Daily Habits Tune-Up - Lists Mess

I tried many deferent ways to find a solution to my problem. Eventually, I found it on my phone.

It has to be simple otherwise it won’t work, “keep it simple and stupid!” – that is a good motto to go by if you want to teach/learn stuff, and also to get things to stick in your life.

But phones are nothing but simple, especially after they became “smart”. Personally, I try to use my phone as little as I can!

I just feel like this device is always looking for a way to control my life and keep me plugged in all the time!

So, Why Use The Phone?

I was looking for a simple way to implement new things and habits into my day to day life, not just my morning routine.

I tried so many apps on habits and routine training, they all were nice, but they all were too complex and at times, wanted that I would invest more time in doing stuff on my phone than actually doing what I want in REAL LIFE!

And I’m not even scratching the surface of unrelated, irrelevant, pointless sh*t they put in apps to get you to open your wallet, watch ads or any other annoying and time-consuming activities that have nothing to do with my goal!

So, like always, after I was about to give up on the whole app search, I found it, a “simple and stupid” app that worked (for me, you can try it out for yourself if you want)

And No!

I don’t get paid in any way if you use it, I’m just sharing what works for me as I’m always trying to improve myself, so it is reasonable that perhaps in the future I’d find a new way (hopefully one that won’t involve my phone) and I’d share it too.

Why this one and not all the others?

  1. Free of ads!  – yes, I get to do what I want without some advertiser popping up every now and then.
  2. Open source – for all of you that have no idea what that means, you can get the code of this app and use it as you wish for your own projects, the developers build it for the community (if you’re into that stuff, check it out on GitHub).
  3. It is truly simple to use.
How It Works

(I will try to keep this technical part to a minimum)

Well, first you install the app =)

Then all you need to do is open it and press that small + button at the top right.

Add your habits one by one.

You can set a name and color (like ‘exercise’ or ‘study’).

You can also add a notification question that will ask you something like “did you do your exercise today?” or whatever you’ll want to write instead (I left that one blank).

Next, set your repeat days, you can do every combination of days you want or mark all of them for an everyday habit.

And lastly, set a reminder time.

That’s it, done!

Daily Habits Tune-Up - Create habits

So every time you’d complete your habit for the day you should get into the app and mark it done on the main screen.

But that is not that convenient to do, I know about myself that at a certain point I’d just stop using the app and it will get into the list of all the other nice but not effective apps.

But here is when the good part begins, after that first setup of your habits list you should exit the app and never open it again!

And Here Is Your Habits Sucsess Tip From Me

This app has one awesome widget!

This is my phone’s home screen and I’ve added my habits check marks as a widget to my home screen.

Every day, they appear with a greyish half transparent background with an X in them.

After I will get one of them done I’d just press the X and it will color itself and turn into a V.

Why this is such a good thing? Think about it, how many times a day do you open your phone?

The first thing you see is your home screen and on it are your habits for that day!

No way you’ll forget them.

Ohh One Last Thing!

PLEASE DON’T OVER DO IT!

Don’t go and get 28 new habits into the app, you’ll never do them all!

Try to start with one, after a week, add another one and keep it at a minimum, about 5 is a good place to be.

My Daily Habits Are
  1. Stretching – if you haven’t read the post about my mobility challenge I’m on a yearly challenge to improve my mobility.
  2. Reading – simply because I don’t read as much as I’d like to, I just finished reading DRAWN – THE ART OF ASCENT by Jeremy Collins, you can read my thoughts about the book here.
  3. Flute – I haven’t played the flute for a long time and I want to get back to it, I’ll probably write a post about it soon.
  4. Meditation – My way of trying to upgrade my morning routine as a replacement for the resting part in my routine.
  5. Flag Training – As part of my resent challenge post, stay tuned for next week’s post where I’ll show you the results of this challenge!

This post was a bit deferent from the usual posts that I write but I kinda like it =) anyway, I wanted to give you all a bit of the ‘behind the scenes’ of how I do/start doing things in my life.

How To Waste Your Time Properly

How To Waste Your Time Properly | Book Review picture

Do you have some spare time on your hands? you’ve completed all you had to do for the rest of the day?

Or maybe you simply just want to rest a bit from your busy day to day routine?

The most common activity nowadays is “scrolling your life away”

How it's done:

Basically, it means staring at a screen and moving your finger from side to side or from top to bottom until you’ve seen the recommended amount of other peoples life.

And now that you are all feeling bad and hopeless with your own life, it’s time to end your day.
(or even worse, go back to work, yes, the same work you took a few moments for yourself just to rest)

Sounds like a good option to spend your free time right?

If you think so, here, look at this, but I think I have a better option to offer you instead…

How To Waste Your Time Properly | Book Review picture

I noticed that there are some young readers here on the blog.

first of all, welcome to the journey! And second, I want to tell you guys about some great invention that’s been around for quite some time…

The Book

Now for those of you who have no idea what I’m mumbling about, a book is like a really, really old tablet that won’t do much if you press on it with your finger.

Why would you make the trade?

I agree that when you first take a look at this book thingy, you’d be like “what the fu*k is this?! I can read on my tablet or smartphone!”

And yes, you can, but it would never be a replacement for a good book!

I can prove it to you if you’d be willing to risk “wasting” some of your time on an old invention…

Are You Up For It?

(if not, just skip to the end of this post…)

Let’s start with something easy, I’ve picked up a great book for you!

By Jeremy Collins

The reasons that I picked it are that first of all, this is one of the most inspiring books I’ve read so far.

Second is that not only the book is decorated with stunning illustrations and photographs by the author, @Jeremy Collins.

This book tells of a journey towards the adventures we are drawn to in a very unique point of view.

"A visual riot and a heartfelt exploration of an adventurous life."

National Geographic Adventure

"The kind of crazy, beautiful book that makes us want to see life from somewhere we've never been..."

University Bookstore, Seattle

You can get the book here if you want or you can go and get some other book for our “wasting time” experiment.

The main thing is that you won’t replace this ancient tradition for some dull and time-wasting activity of scrolling your life away!

If You Had Skipped Here...

You are probably one of those who will answer “have you read that?” with the reply of “no, but I’ve seen the movie!”

So, just in case, yes, I’ve got you covered too, you can watch the movie here if you’re not into books…

Past Experiences ep.03 – The Land of Fire And Ice

Past Experiences ep.03 - Iceland

This past experiences series are one of the most fun writing I get to do on this blog.

I’ve been through a lot over the years and it’s nice to have a place that I can capture it all, with the added bonus of having the ability to share and inspire others along the way!

If you haven’t read the previous posts from this series, you can read here the first and the second posts.

Past Experiences ep.03 - Iceland

Before We Start ep.03

I started the journey to the land of fire and ice on the other side of the globe, New Zealand.

And above all, this journey wasn’t mine, it was my moms!

I was a bit homesick after 4 months of traveling by myself and like anyone else, I called my parents, my dad answered the Skype call.

We talked for some time and when I asked “where is mom?” he replied that she wasn’t home, so we said our goodbyes – nothing special. 

What happened next got me to stop every plan I had and get back home.

For the lack of understanding

Of how Skype video calls work, my dad didn’t really close the call and I was there on the other side of the screen just looking at my parent’s house through the webcam.

My dad couldn’t hear or see me, but I could hear and see everything…

He walked out of the frame and I was just about to close the feed and move to the next call when he walked back with my mom, helping her to walk.

My mom was sick

I had no idea what happened and why she looked so helpless, I only knew that I should go back home.

When I got back I found out that my mom had cancer – she was in the hospital in isolation for a long time, while I was traveling somewhere on the other side of the world.

My parents didn’t want me to stop my trip because of that, to this day I don’t understand it.

These Past Experiences

From the time that I was at the top of the world to the time that I was at the bottom of the worst place in the world, I understood what is meant to be completely out of control, there was nothing I could do but wait.

Lucky, from there with small but steady steps, she got better and better, getting out from the hospital and moved back home.

It took more than a year for her to be able to get out of the house.

During That Year - Her Journey Began

I think that the only good thing about having cancer is that it makes you think.

Think about your life and mostly, think about all the things you haven’t done yet…

Iceland - The Land of Fire & Ice

Past Experiences ep.03 - Iceland flag

It was her dream to go to Iceland, to see the Northern Lights!

For so many years she stopped herself from going, she could afford it, that wasn’t the problem.

The problem was that she never did anything for herself before, with the sole purpose of achieving her goals and dreams.

Cancer changed that and once the doctor approved, two tickets were purchased to the land of fire and ice, Iceland!

(by the way, the only reason I got to go was that my dad would never go to a place that the temperature would be below 0°c – he hate the cold!)

We landed in Iceland!

Now, I’ve been in 26 countries so far and I can tell you from my past experiences that although Iceland will be one of the most expensive trips, it worth every hard-earned dollar you’d spend (invest) on going there.

Iceland has everything! from active volcanos all the way to massive glaciers (land of fire and ice remember…).

The history, culture, people, and scenery are just some of the reasons you have to visit.

Some Pictures From Past Experiences In Iceland
But We Came For A Different Reason

We drove west for about an hour to get away from the city lights when we arrived at a small hotel in the middle of nowhere.

Picture this if you will:

There is a small lake on the top of a small mountain, from that lake, a winding river goes on until it falls from the mountain edge turning to a waterfall.

500 meters from that waterfalls end was our hotel.

The plan was to go at night with a group that we joined to stand outside and see the Northern Lights.

My mom was excited, it was cold as it gets but we went outside and waited, I kept looking at the mountain, thinking “it should be a better view from up there”.

After an hour or two we got back inside, the cold had won that time, but we’d have more opportunities to catch the lights in the days to come.

I Had Different Plans

My past experiences had taught me that if something of that magnitude is just at the tip of my hands, I can’t stop there!

I mean I’m already there, why not give it another try?

So I got back with the rest of the group to the hotel, they went to sleep, and I took every warm piece of clothing I owned and went back outside.

Just before I got out of the hotel I got another glimpse of my mountain from the window.

I decided I’m going to climb up and take my chances from there.

On the way, I got stopped by the guy at the reception, he warned me that the weather had changed and strong wind is about to reach that part of the island.

I told him that I can handle the wind, he replayed “it’s not the wind I’m worried about, it’s the volcanic ash that it carries with it.”

Past Experiences ep.03 Bárðarbunga Volcano

Two or three weeks before we landed in Iceland the Bárðarbunga (I dare you to try and say that out loud) volcano had erupted.

Maybe there was some risk involved in going up there, but I thought that as long as I would be able to see the night sky and the horizon I’m fine.

The guy at the reception agreed and I was on my way to the bottom of the waterfall to look for a way up.

There was a small trail leading to the top, it took me half an hour to run all the way up and when I got to the last steps I was so happy to see that behind the lake stood another mountain ridge.

It all looked too good to be true, clear skies, snow-white mountains on the horizon, a small lake and a waterfall.

Now The Hard Part

My body was warm from running all the way up, but that warm feeling quickly got replaced with an ice cold strong “breeze”.

It was difficult to keep warm, I was completely exposed to the wind up there.

23:00 – one hour on the top, still no sign of the Northern Lights, the skies where amazing but I wanted to see the lights…

00:00 – 2 hours on the top, I started to run, do burpees and just about anything to keep my body warm, still no lights…

01:30 – 3.5 hours on the top, I started dancing, I was so happy – it started!

Past Experiences ep.03 - Northern Lights

At first, you will see a greenish haze and soon enough it will start to get brighter and create “dancing” lines in the night sky.

The cold stopped bothering me, I had my head stuck looking up for about 2 more hours, just standing there screaming from joy.

It was as close to perfect as it can get! The lights in the sky reflecting in the small lake with the waterfall roaring in the background behind me.

When I got back it was almost morning…

After That Day

The rest of the trip was just as good, with every day that had passed we saw new things, heard new stories about Iceland.

And yes, we got to see the lights again from another spot on the island and also from the sea.

My mom got to see the lights too and we marked this trip as a complete success.

I wanted To Share

My mom’s journey from the lowest point of life, almost at the end of them, to the greatest point, achieving her dream!

My experience with the Northern Lights, just a bonus this time =) though I did came back to Iceland for the second time.

But all about that on another post…

Before I end this

I have just one question for you to ponder on: does it really has to be a life-threatening situation to get people to start doing things for themselves?

Do you have something waiting for you to do? Just Do It!

Doing It The Right Way!

Doing It The Right Way! - Old Shoes result

This one is on a personal note, I think that you can take a lot of stuff from this post.

If you got what it takes to actually do it and make it all the way to the end result.

I do believe that the people that surround you have the most impact on your life, they can change your mood, they can inspire you and they can get you to higher places, but, they can also bring you down too.

It all depends on who are the people that you surround yourself with.

I recently read the book – Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by the legendary trainer Tim S. Grover who trained Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and hundreds other NFL, MLB, NBA, and Olympic athletes.

The book put people into 3 main groups; Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners.

Coolers

Are people that considered to be average at what they do.

They won’t show up early to work and won’t do extra hours if there is some work that left undone.

Just the average nine to five people.

Closers

Are people that will get things done! The will get to the end result almost every single time in every situation.

The only thing that can stop them is if they’re being overwhelmed by too many variables plus a lot of adversity by their surrounding and they just can’t handle it, so they end up stopping.

Cleaners

Are individuals that will get things done and will get to the end result no matter what!

And the main difference between a closer and a cleaner is that a cleaner will get the job done every single time, every time he set his mind to it! Over and over again.

There is just no other option for a cleaner, they will get it done, period.

The Story Starts Here

I want to share with you how I got to be mentored by a cleaner and until just recently I haven’t even noticed it.

One of the key elements that cleaners have is the ability to not only become successful at what they do but to make the people around them get higher along the way.

We begin with a pair of old and torn shoes without laces and one of my best friends!

Prologue – From Walking to Running - willing to make the change

I think we were about 13 years old, he had asthma – if he had too much activity he’d had to use his inhaler in order to breath normally again.

His inhaler was with him all the time and it was used on a regular basis – he wanted to change that.

At the start, he got out from his parent’s house and just walked from one side of the street to the other and back, that was it for the day, 800 meters.

(yes, I’ve googled maps to check this)

Doing It The Right Way - walking route result

Time after time, he got better, done it 2 times, 3, 4, 5… until he started running from side to side, again, at first it was just one round that soon enough turned into 2 rounds and so on until he ran 2 kilometers.

Now the inhaler would just lay at the bottom of his bag and the end result was not carrying it at all, as he didn’t need it anymore.

Chapter 01 – First Result, First Spark

It started as an experiment, he wanted to know if he could sell this sh*t? I mean, who would buy this anyway?

Well, there’s nothing to lose, he uploaded it to eBay, for him, it was just a way to check out the platform as a seller and see if he could start his journey there.

The very first item he uploaded was a pair of old and torn shoes without laces.

It was very technical, just to learn the upload process.

(YouTube wasn’t that famous on the “How To’s” guides at that time – you had to do the trial and error yourself!)

Doing It The Right Way! - Old Shoes result

And guess what, some delusional person actually bought the dame thing! At first, he thought it was just by accident.

So he emailed that person and asked if he knows that the shoes are not new and they don’t have any laces on them – he got the replay mail that said: “yes, I collect these shoes, send them.” – and he thought “if I can sell this, I can sell anything!” – here his entrepreneur journey started…

Chapter 02 – Finding The Spot

Okay, so we had a sell, what’s next? Well, sell stuff… he went into shops and just bought stuff that was on sale and resold them online, earning the discount back.

Some things worked better than others, like soaps and perfumes, so he’d look for them at a discount – buying and selling, one step at a time, learning how the system works from his own mistakes and successes.

At one point he started selling makeup brushes.

No, he had no idea about makeup brushes – but he learned everything there is to know about them, because it sold good and he wanted to increase his sells.

That’s when he opened ‘Kleo’ – first business – an online shop that sells makeup brushes.

He needed to find out how to build a website, this was not the time that you could just go into WIX and get a website in seconds.

He had to learn how to code and solve everything along the way.

Doing It The Right Way! - KLEO result
It didn’t take long that the online shop would be one of the bestselling make-up brushes shop in the country!
 
Now He Had A Problem
A lot of sells meant a lot of products and he could no longer manage his business from his bedroom.
 
He was on the lookout for an office and found it in a form of a small unused storage room at the back of a beauty salon.
 
Another business opportunity to learn about the market…
 
The business keeps growing, but so does its problems, now he was so caught up with handling the products and barely had time to develop his business along the way.
 
It was packing and mailing or advancing to the next level and since he could not afford a second pair of hands he looked for a way to move to the next level.

Chapter 03 – Dealing with problems

The main problem was that there wasn’t any logistics company in the area that would take orders from a small business and hiring a company like that was just not an option, the business, successful as it was, just couldn’t afford it.

The solution was simple, open a new form of a logistics company that could handle small online businesses ‘LogSpace’ – second business.

Reaching out to online sellers and offering them a logistic solution, so like him, they could concentrate on developing their businesses.

With that next level, he found himself at a new office with a small storage room attached to it.

Receiving products from all over the country and sending them to every corner of the globe.

And guess what? More problems, now, he’d needed to manage not only his make-up brushes business but others online businesses as well!

This time

He turned to the “back-end” and started to work on improving the website and especially, everything that made the website work as good as it could (or in his language “back-end”).

He had to put the extra hours in learning more than ever, spend whole nights writing code and continue working after.

Soon enough people got interested in his website and wanted one for themselves, he’d found out that it was way more profitable to build these sites than to do everything he’d done to this point!

In solving that problemCodix’ was born – third business – a new company that specialized in building e-commerce platforms for small and soon big companies.

Doing It The Right Way! - Codix result

Again, new office, this time in a more central place closes to all the action and after some time he got his very first employ, the second and the third come soon after…

To be continued…

Conclusions – What Result Can You Get Out Of This?

First You have to understand that

Once you decide to act and move, you’d need to be able to solve your problems along the way.

Every part and chapter of this post describe a different way to act in order to be successful at what you do and solve your problems.

The first and most important step you’d ever have to do is to have the desire to change things!

Make your situation better, no matter how – just do it, it will take time + effort = grind!

The grind

Is and will always be a part of your journey, there are no shortcuts! And the sooner you’d come to realize that, the better.

After that, just go out there and start making moves, sell stuff/ workout/ learn or whatever you want to do and go all the way!

This is how a cleaner set his life up, always looking at the end result and growing bigger with every step he takes!

No matter how hard or long the grind will be!

If you want to read more about how some of the best cleaners act you can get the book here.

I don’t know where I am at that whole cooler, closer, cleaner thing – but I do know that I want to surround myself with cleaners.

Hoping to find inspiration at what they do and how they act, just like my friend – So I’d be able to set my goals and get to the end result.

(by the way, this whole blog wouldn’t be here for everyone to enjoy without his help, so, thanks!)

How To Get Back Up When Everything Goes Wrong!

How To Get Back Up When Everything Goes Wrong post picture

An old and wise Chinese man said this a long time ago: “sh*t happens!” – well, don’t quote me on that one, but I’m sure that’s what he meant to say…

Last week everything went just horribly wrong for me and I want to share how I got back on track!

How To Get Back Up When Everything Goes Wrong post picture
Things where finally starting to fall into place for me, for the first time in about 10 years I thought I had my life plan all set up; work, body, mind, and love – I could not believe how fast things can change in life and go wrong.
 
Everything started to fall apart, step by step:
 

Work

I train people for a living, I got group lessons and private customers that I train on a weekly basis, and I love my job!
 
I just love knowing that I can make a difference for someone in his or her life – this is what gives me the energy I need to move on.
 
Now I guess I got overconfident and I just took my foot off the gas, let me explain:
 
During August, except for taking privet lessons, I’m not training any groups, a well-deserved break to give the body some time to recover after a long year and time for the mind to actually miss training.
 
That is the time
I usually work really hard on building my name and trying to drive more people to sign up for a group or privet lesson for the next year that starts in September, but as I said before, I got overconfidence this year and I haven’t done any marketing at all! I thought I could get all the people I need to fill up the groups and even open a new group!
 
As you can guess, that didn’t happen… suddenly I found my business struggling and I found myself hating my job for the first time in 16 years!
 

Mind

The mind can play some cruel tricks on you! And that’s exactly what happened to me last week as I was constantly thinking about everything that had gone wrong with my job.
 
My mind just let me “enjoy” myself and kept nurturing and growing all the destructive thoughts I had about my job that I couldn’t see how easy it was to get back on my feet and move on.
 

Body

And one more thing that my mind did for me (for my body to be exact), my mind felt all the pain I was going through and decided to give me the full experience in a form of a 38.5° fever!
 
The last time I was sick was about 3 years ago!
 
 
and perhaps the most difficult blow of them all was:

Love

This one is still fresh, but if I could sum what had happened, I’d say that at a certain part of the relationship we stopped being friends and we found ourselves just two people living together.
 
We were missing the most basic element in a relationship (in my opinion) and it’s friendship – so we decided to stop after almost two years.
 
All of this happened last week…

 

And to top all of this

As some of you may have seen on my website, all of the blog content got magically erased, everything I’ve been working on for the past two months! – you know, just the world trying to say “life’s a bitch, you’re welcome” (with a lot of effort all of the blog content is back online now!).
 
And as my old Chinese friend from the beginning said: “well, sh*t Happens! But what are you going to do about it?”
 
So, how did I moved on?
The first few days I was a complete mess, laying in bed and from bed to my sofa and back again to bed… just didn’t see the point of doing anything at that moment.
 
Here is the funny and ever so stupid thing about so many people – no matter how miserable they will be and no matter how bad of a situation they’ll find themselves at – most people will do nothing about it.
 
They will stay exactly where they are and even at sometimes make things worse than before! I was there.
 
It All Went Wrong
I should get out of bed, I knew that I should take care of myself, but I was like any other people and the thing that got me out if that situation was so simple, talking about it.
 
I just decided to share what I was feeling with friends, family and even random people. For me that is a hard thing to do, I’m not used to be on that side when bad things happen, I’m used to be the guy that people turn to when they feel bad so it was weird for me, but I noticed that the more I share, the more I talk about things, I start to see the whole picture and not just my perspective.
 

Talking is the key

If you feel stuck, and I believe that it really does not matter what kind of problem you have, you may be trying to overcome the hardest obstacle you’ve ever encounter, or it could even be the smallest thing that you might think is nothing – talk about it.
 
The first person
That you’d talk to will listen, and that may be the most important element on your way to move on, having someone that could listen to you is so important as it helps to let go of the stress, anxiety and the general feeling that the world sits on your shoulders…
 
The second person
You’d talk to will start to make you feel a bit comfortable with your problem/s, it could be by a little or even a lot, but without you knowing it, you are already on your way to getting back up and moving on. With every person that will come after that feeling of comfort will increase until one day, you’d find your problem/s behind you, you’ve moved on!
 

On A Personal Note

This post was not easy or fun to write, but it was important for me to get it out there and share one more time what I’ve been through.
 
If you feel like something is on your mind, could be big or small, it doesn’t matter, feel free to start talking about it here, sometimes it is easier to write what you think then to talk about it, so I hope that this post will be a platform for anyone that needs it, you can write it here or anywhere else, just make sure that someone could listen to you.

Past Experiences ep.02 – Training From Hell!

Training From Hell, Black belt training post picture
“if you are going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill
 
If you could pick a point in life where you had struggled the most, what will it be?
 
For me, it was my black belt training. When I came to my coach one day and said that next year I want to take the black belt exam, I couldn’t even imagine what it would take from me – physically and mentally!
Training From Hell, Black belt training post picture
I had trained for a long time and I knew every technique and every move for the black belt exam. But my coach had a different training plan just for me.
He said that I wasn’t aggressive enough and his plan was to put me through a series of one-on-one training with him.
 
First lesson:

I was so excited to start that I was there half an hour early to do my warm up, so I wouldn’t waste time on that – mistake no.1, when the lesson started my coach said there will be a fixed order for the way the lessons are going to be:

  • Warm up (I thought to myself, well that’s already done =).
  • Fighting fitness (let me explain, in a fight it feels like you are using all of your energy so fast that after about a minute or so you are already out of breath and exhausted).
  • “Absorbing” blows or strengthening the body.
  • Fighting drills.
  • A bit of technique.
My reaction was “cool, let’s start!”

(he smiled…)

When I started with the fighting fitness exercises I was in a good mood, I like doing this kind of exercises and I thought “this is fun!” – On the next part, that feeling was long gone!

 
The sole purpose of the next part was to train on the mental part as at that time I was so afraid of receiving a strong punch or kick to my body that I would try to avoid fighting with anyone that looked above my level during practice.
 
I would stand with my hands crossed behind my head and for the next 5 minutes, I had to “absorb” all the kicks and punches, trying to keep my breath and to stand in place without going backward or falling to the ground.
 
It wasn’t so “cool” anymore
During these 5 minutes of strengthening session, I fall to the ground more than 10 times and ran to the window to vomit my soul out from the pain and the fear of the next blow that I knew was coming.
 
When I reached the fighting drills I quickly understood that it’s exactly the same as the previous part with the only difference that I could hit back (don’t you think for one moment that I was able to do that), it lasted for 10 more minutes! (It’s funny how time perspective changes then you are in pain, physically and mentally).
 
I WAS DONE Training!
Didn’t even made it to the technique part of my practice.
 
My coach: “how was it”?
Me: “way too fu*king hard!”
My coach: “do you want to continue?”
Me: “yes” – mistake no.2
 
And this is how my first one-on-one lesson went…
 

Second lesson

and all the way to the 10th lesson:
I kept making the same mistakes; coming half an hour before each practice and every time I was asked if I wanted to continue, I said “yes”…
 
On the 10th lesson, my coach said: “good, this is a whole different level you’re at, it’s time to take this to the group level”
 
I had no idea what he was planning…
 
At the end of the next group practice that followed my 10th one-on-one lesson, my coach said to me that if I want to take the exam I will have to complete just one more thing.
 
We were 15 in the group, all in great shape and fitness and fight really good, I even started to enjoy fighting myself at that part.
But!
There was only one guy I was terrified from; 2.10 meters, ex-special forces dude that came to “have fun” – All to all he was a really nice guy but I kept my distance from him.
 
I was supposed to fight him and give a “decent” punch or kick that would stop him in his place – that was my goal!
 
At the end of every group practice, I will have my chance to win myself an entry ticket for the black belt exams.
 
You can imagine the disappointment I felt the first time I lost the fight, and the second, third, forth all the way to the 12th fight!
 

In The End

By that time I knew every move he can throw at me and basically I had nothing to lose.
 
sometimes, what you consider to be a mistake, when you look back, it seems to be the most important step you make!
 
Every time I got early to my private hell training and every time at the end of each session I said that I wanted to continue I was going one step closer to my goal.
 
“if you are going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill – On the 12th fight, I got my win.
 
After that
The black belt exam was not a big deal for me and a year later I even passed a second black belt in a different discipline, Krav Maga, just for the fun of it.
 
I was in a completely different set of mind, the training from hell as I call it, at that time it seemed to be the worst thing I have ever signed up for. But now, if I look back, it was a game changer for me!
 
 
This post is a part of a series of past experiences that made an impact on me or even changed my life! (if you’ve missed episode 01 – NewZealand, you can read it here).

I Have The Perfect Goal! (or not)

I Have The Perfect Goal post picture
I Have The Perfect Goal post picture
So, you want to be fit? You’re probably thinking about the next fitness app you’re going to download or how much you’ll going to need to spend on that gym membership.
 
You had it all planned out right? From tomorrow you’re going to start! And you’re going to smash it!
 
Well… no, you’re not…
You’re probably workout every single day, doing it the best you can…
 
A week passes by (no results) you keep on going! You have a goal in mind! You’re gonna show off a perfect six-pack on the beach, right?
 
2 weeks passed by (no results), well something must be wrong? So, you change your goal, it won’t be a six pack but just a very toned body!
 
4 weeks passed by (no results), how could it be? I was working out the best I could, and nothing happened?! F**k that!
 
Sounds familiar?
Did you do it too? Did you gave up on the first week? Second? How many weeks did it took?
 
It’s all very nice intentions, but the truth is – all you had in mind won’t help you get that perfect summer body that you want or to lose some of that extra weight. Something is missing…
 
I’m sorry that I’m the only one that is not trying to sell you on some magic workout/fitness program that will help you, nope, this one is all about being realistic.
 
now wait one moment! I’m not saying that getting the perfect six-pack or whatever it is that you want to achieve is not possible, I’m just trying to explain how to get it and it all has to do with goals.
 
Goals setting
Is one of the most important things that you need to do before you start.
And there are some rules too.
(no one said it will be easy, but you want to change your body? Live better? Healthier? You got to think ahead before you start).
 
The rules are simple to understand and follow, it’s just that people don’t do them because we are always on the lookout for shortcuts!
 

“it’s easy as 1,2,3”

1. Be realistic!
When you set your mind into something you must be realistic, you must have heard that “you can get everything you want”, well no you can’t! know your body, learn what you can do with it and set a goal that is achievable.
 
When I started I had a very clear goal in mind, I wanted to do a split, why? Because I never could, I thought that it would be nice to do it… I mean why not right?
 
So, I started, and I understood very fast that a split won’t be a matter of a few weeks but a few (probably many) years!
 
If I would have stayed with that goals I would have failed. Instead, I did something else, I started to break it down to smaller goals and smaller steps that were achievable for me.
 
2. Monitor yourself
From one small step to another I got better and better, the only problem that I had was that the steps where small and I couldn’t really see my progress, I wanted results! And fast!
 
You can solve that problem by understanding the hard truth that there are no shortcuts and you must do the work in order to move on!
 
It also helps to monitor your progress, so you won’t forget where you started, it will give you the motivation you need in the tough parts when you think it’s all for nothing and you’re not making any progress – keep track of your training, take a picture or write it down and keep doing it.
 
3. Time, Time, Time!
The last rule and in my opinion the most important is to set a time frame.
Without a time frame, you end up saying this: “tomorrow I’ll start” “I’ll do it next week”, “today I’m not feeling so good, I’ll do it tomorrow”… sounds familiar?
 
Without a time limit, and as rule number one said it should also be a realistic one, you won’t be able to do anything because our body is always looking for the easiest way to do stuff you throw at it, it could be a workout or even just how you’d pick up something from the floor.
 

What Do You Think?

Is it too much? You don’t think you could do it? Well, I got you covered too:
 
Here’s a tip that will definitely get you motivated! – MAKE IT PUBLIC! – if you let people know what your goal is than you’d turn the world up side down to make it happen!
 
For example, let’s say you want to lose weight, and the first thing you’d do is to send a picture of your body (yes that body that you want to change!) to everyone that you know!
 
You’d be amazed by the amount of support that you’d get! Yes, I know, it is a tariffing thing to do, but once you’d do it, you would be committed and motivated as hell to prove that YOU can do it!
 
 
Start now, write it here! So everyone would see, what is your goal? send it to everyone you know and just do it!

My Morning Routine

Morning routine post picture
I used to hate waking up in the morning and even nowadays I find it extremely hard to get out of bed sometimes but, in most days, I find myself on my feet around 06:00 and by the time the clock hit 10:00 I’m already after a short workout, a Yoga session, a nice breakfast and I’m all set up for what I’ll do for the rest of the day.
 
This time between 6-10 A.M has changed my life, I’m more energetic thru out the day, I have the energy do to all of the boring work stuff I just have to get done each day (emails, accounting, bank etc.) before I can do what I love doing.
 
All to all the days that I can have a head start are so beneficial for me – I have the time to reflect and plan my day – most of the people I know only wakes up at 10 A.M or if they have to go to work, they set the alarm to exactly the minimum time they need in order to rush to work just so they could get that 10 extra minutes of sleep, not me.
Morning routine post picture
The real question is how? How did I do it?
I can only tell you what works for me, as I tried so many different things in the past 2 years! Until some of them just stuck and I guess that first you just need to try sh*t, just do it, I mean what do you have to lose?
 
 
What eventually worked out for me was this:
I sat down and wrote everything that I would want to get done by 10 A.M, it took me a long time to do it and I’ve really put a lot of thinking into that small list:
__________
• Wake up!
• Fitness workout
• Learning to ride a mountain bike (that’s a good story by itself – soon to come)
• Yoga
• Practice French
• Emails and boring work stuff
__________
I began by just waking up early for 10 days in a row, if I could not wake up for 10 days in a row I would try again until I had no problem getting out of bed – it took me about 3 tries (that’s 30 days!) until I got the whole 10 days straight.
 
But I’ve never committed to do anything more than just waking up at 6 A.M if I wanted to do some other stuff that was on my list than I did and if not I would just do what ever I felt like doing – YouTube video mostly – just to keep myself distracted from all the thoughts that went thru my head trying to let me be aware of every reason why I should go back to bed! “it’s not healthy to sleep less than 8 hours, it’s cold outside, my body needs the energy, I won’t be able to make it through the rest of the day” and so on… So, I kept myself distracted, especially at the start when I felt that everything that I was doing, was wrong!
 
After I managed to complete the 10 days in a row I moved on to the next item on the list, I would wake up at 6 A.M and do a 10-20 min workout, nothing fancy, just a short body weight exercise: HIIT, static strength or whatever I felt like doing.
 
Again, after 10 days in a row I’d move on to the next item until I had managed to do all of them together for 10 days! – and that felt good!
 
The very next thing that I’ve done is to check if I could combine some of them to see if maybe I could get some more things into the list before 10 A.M.
 
So, I took the fitness workout and mountain bike learning and made them one and after that I’d combined Yoga with my French practice with the help of a simple recording app that I’d record my lessons and listen to them during my morning Yoga session.
All of that led to what I discovered to be the most important item to be added to my short list:
__________
• Rest
__________
Yes, rest, I’ve decided that I want to rest, do nothing, sit outside, whatever for about 10-15 minutes – and you won’t believe what a great feeling I had when I was done!
Later on, “rest” became “meditation” but that’s a different story and I’ll cover that on a different post.
 
That’s what worked for me, if you feel like it would work for you too than give it a try! But the most important step is to try new things, just start somewhere and move on at your own pace, I’d love to hear what works for you? What are your struggles?
 
One more thing that might help, I heard it a long time a go and I have no idea who said this one, but it was my main motivation for all of this morning habits journey:
“We all have the same 24 hours in a day, now what you do with them is your choice”
(or something like that) – unknown
 

You Are Not Too Old! (Part 1/3)

You are not to old post picture of time
Personally, I think that the title of this post is enough and I don’t need to add any more words, but I will give you three examples from my life that I hope you’ll find helpful.
 
(this post is written out of pure anger to all of you stupid people who thinks that everything is lost and you’ve missed your train, just because you are over 20/30/40/50 etc. years old. And if you are younger than 20 then don’t you dare just adding one more word about something being too late for you – I will hunt you down!).
You are not to old post picture of time
20+ years old example – how (and when) I started to ride a bike:
At the age of 27 I bought my first bike, yes, 27 not 7 this is not a typo, I had a bike at the age of 7 but for some reason I could not get past the training wheels stage and at a very young age I decided that riding a bike is just not for me!
Some 20 years later
I went to the local bike shop with about 850 dollars and asked for the “best mountain bike I could buy with that budget”, the sells man laughed at me and then realized that I was dead serious, I got out from the bike shop with a brand new bike and I had no idea how to ride it, I just knew I wanted to ride.
 
Because I wasn’t ready
To go on a mountain bike trail just yet, I thought it would be a better idea to start on the road next to my apartment. I was terrified the first time I went on the road, I kept falling every 2 or 3 meters, cars passing by so close – not the best first experience doing something new.
 
So, I decided to practice really early in the morning before everyone hit the road to work.
 
And that’s what I did
Every morning from 6A.M to 6:30 A.M for about 3 months, I went out in the dark, wearing every possible flashlight I could find for the bike and just practice again and again until I got the hang of it; how to turn, when to hit the brakes (when NOT to hit them)… every time I got better and better until I decided that it’s time to get out on a “real” trail.
 
I can not express
The feeling of freedom and excitement riding for the first time on a proper mountain bike single track, even falling was fun (and I fell a few times during that time).
 
All of that got me thinking, what else can I do? Can I jump? Can I go faster? Higher? What’s next? And I knew that I’m on the right track.
 
And now that all of you young people, knows that your 20’s are an excellent time to learn new things and it’s not too late, stay tuned for the next post where I will go all the way to the top of my list with a 50+ years old example – The slack line master