Weekly Dose of Coach #286: Learning From My Clients

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Last weekend I attended the wedding of one of my long-time clients Drew Butera.

Drew has been much more than just a client to me. This year we'll be moving into our 10th off-season together, and at this point, he's more like family.

A few months ago Drew made a uplifting gesture for me as the players on his team were asked to write the names of someone they were grateful for on their jersey.

Drew wrote my name saying, "Nine years ago start our journey together. You've been here for me through the good and bad and kick my butt every single workout! I wouldn't be here without you. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, loyalty, and friendship!!"

This said much more to me about Drew's character than anything else. He's one of those special people who's always looking out for the good around him. And being around him, his friends, and family this weekend, I saw that this is just a part of the amazing person he is.

I always try to learn from others around me, no matter who they are, how they act, or what they do. One thing I've learned from Drew is the power of appreciating others and letting them know about it.

I am not great at this. You'd probably here my clients say that I don't pass out too many compliments. Not because I'm not proud of their accomplishments, I just always believe they have a little more. I'm like this with myself, thus expect a lot of others.

This isn't always the right way to go. There are a time and place for pushing people, but there are more places for making people feel good and appreciated.

I love the quote from Blair Warren that says, "People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, never prove them wrong, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies."

I've learned this to be true from people like Drew; who I would run through a wall through if he asked me.

And no more do you learn just how you make people feel when you have to lead them into difficult or changing situations.

I'm understanding this as I am moving to a new, maybe less convenient, location this week. I know those who can make it, will. But I believe some will make it or not because how I've made them feel throughout our relationship.

Either way, I need to get better at this. The next time my friend Don asks, "Aren't you supposed to be encouraging me?" I'll take it more to heart.

Though my ways of encouraging don't always match how others might, I want all of my people to know I always appreciate you, your loyalty, hard work and willingness to follow me where I go.

Here's to you and getting after it in our new location.

Weekly Dose of Coach #285: Advantages of Losing

"How you play shows some of your character. How you win or lose shows it all."

If you're like me you hate to lose. It's difficult to understand how one finds the silver lining in getting their butt kicked, especially if it happens over and over again.

As a father, it's interesting to watch how my young children deal with loss. Once the game is over, instead of it ruining the rest of their night, they are chasing the first butterfly they see, or running across the field with a big smile on their face and giving open arm hugs their little brother.

When I want to analyze the game, they just want to move on to the next thing. Their memory is so short. How I envy this mindset.

I read a funny blurb on the advantages of a losing team: 1) There is everything to hope for and nothing to fear. 2) Defeats do not disturb one's sleep. 3) An occasional victory is a surprise and a delight. 4) There is no danger of any team passing you. 5) You are not asked 50 times a day, " What was the score?”; people take it for granted that you lost.

Loss and failure happen. And losing graciously is something everyone needs to learn. Be grateful for the experience, learn your lesson, chase a butterfly for a while, open arm hug someone and move on to fight another day.

Weekly Dose of Coach #284: The Two Battles

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." St. Catherine of Sienna

Former NFL Quarterback Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns thrown. He was an undrafted free agent who had to wait his turn. Three years to be exact before he entered his first NFL football game. He is regarded as one of the best-undrafted quarterbacks ever.

In all this, Tony Romo did it in a way that only he could do it. He wasn't your prototypical quarterback. Romo was full of flare and excitement. He had a unique ability to extend plays with his feet and escape almost hopeless situations in the pass pocket. He never tried to become anything that he was not. Though coaches tried to curb his gun-slinger approach, he understood this gave him the ability to be an above average quarterback in the NFL.

In 2016, after injuries had plagued the veteran, he graciously handed over the reigns of the Dallas Cowboys to the young, up-and-coming quarterback, Dak Prescott.

His final speech to the media he ended with this:

"I feel like we all have two battles. One with the man across from you. The second is with the man inside of you. Once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn't matter. I think that's what we're all trying to do."

Each of us is uniquely designed to give something special in the time we are here. Much of life is figuring out who that person is. Through navigating our passions and learning to come out on the other side of failures, suffering and difficult situations is how we discover our true self.

Stay persistent in your growth. The difficulties standing in front of you are there to help you do this. The more you face them, the more you get to know yourself, and the more irrelevant those deterrents will eventually be.

Like Romo, you may go unnoticed for a while. But as you persist and grow into yourself, your efforts, gifts, and passions will undoubtedly bless the world around you. You'll realize the two battles is really just one.

Daily Dose of Coach #283: Defining Who Your Are

Hall of fame coach, Vince Lombardi based his success on what he called the "Lombardi Model." This began with a simple statement, "only by knowing yourself, can you become an effective leader. It all begins with self knowledge, the great 'I am.'"

Understanding or your values gives you the ground you stand on. It is this foundation you build your character and the ability to lead others. Lombardi stated, "from self knowledge we build character and integrity and from character comes leadership."

Why? Because knowing who you are eliminates all the things you think you need to be. It simplifies the choices you make on a daily basis. I like to say it as, "others can, but I cannot."

Whether you know it or not, you are creating your "I am," with every choice you make. You are either healthy or you're not. You're either a gracious or you're not. You either work hard, or you don't. And if you are a leader, you better have that "I am" established. No one follows someone who falls in the middle or someone who is, "I am sometimes" or "I am when I feel like it." It's impossible to create belief when a vacuum of values exist.

What is your "I am?"

Daily Dose of Coach #282: The Basics for Athletes at Any Level

My friend, former intern and current strength coach in the Cleveland Indians organization, Ryan Faer sent a tweet I thought that nailed it with regards to an athletes priorities.

What are three things that can help ALL athletes of any level?

1.Sleep

2.Hydration

3.Nutrition

The “big three” help support elite athletes in the pursuit of marginal gains & optimal readiness; they are also effective means to attain major gains in developing athletes.

Too often we get too caught up in all the pretty stuff. As an athlete, don't move on to anything else until you have these basics down.

Daily Dose of Coach #281: Water and the Waitline

When it comes to weight loss, this is numero uno in getting started. It's not calorie counting; it's not eating less crap food, it's simply the delicious and perfect chemistry that water is.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Drinking 16oz of water before a meal will not only keep you hydrated but fuller. This is one of the first tasks I try and have weight loss clients master. It's simple, doable and immediately effective.

2. Switching from high-calorie drinks like soft drinks, juices, beer and wine can lead to a considerable calorie and sugar reduction. Start by replacing one thing you drink consistently with water. Studies have shown that people who drink mostly water have a 9% lower calorie intake on average.

3. Drinking water can raise your resting energy expenditure. This is simply how many calories you burn at rest. Drinking 16oz of water has been shown to increase REE by 24-30% within 10 minutes and last for up to 60 minutes. The benefits may even be more significant if it's cold water. This is from burning calories to raise the water to body temperature.

4. Drinking water increase energy levels. Instead of reaching for that diet Mountain Dew at 2 PM when your head is about to fall through your desk, try drinking 8-16 oz of water. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and fatigued. Drinking water consistently throughout your day will not only improve energy levels but improve your performance in the gym as well as brain function at work or school.

So how much water should you drink? If you're an absolute water hater start with 4 (8oz) glasses per day. You can start with one 8oz glass in the morning when you wake up and one 8oz glass with each meal you eat.

Typically, you will get the benefits of water for weight loss if you are consuming 4-8, (8oz) glasses per day. I would recommend staying closer to the 8.

 To get the big benefits of water, Drink 66% of your body weight. This means if you are 200lbs, drink 132 ounces. This breaks down to about 8 of those 16.9-ounce plastic water bottles.

Just make sure you are always around a restroom.


.

Daily Dose of Coach #280: A Few Ways to Improve Your Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian Deadlift is one of my favorite exercises for not only strengthening but lengthening the posterior chain. By lengthening, I mean increasing mobility and dynamic flexibility of the hamstring and low back.

The first way to improve the RDL is to make sure you are going through a full range of motion. 

Sometimes I have beginners go through a shorter range of motion (just below knees) before they learn to drive their hips back (hip hinge) and keep their back flat. But as they continue to be able to control this movement, I have them increase their range of motion (plates to the floor). 

Shortening your RDL's, like any other exercise, is just failing to strengthen and lengthen those muscles through a full range of motion. Start with lighter weight and learn to control this movement through a full range. Once you get the technique down, you'll notice that by adding weight can actually "auto correct" your form and improve that loaded stretch.

Second, learn first to shift your hips back, then your knees, to clear space for the bar. When an RDL is done correctly, the bar path is straight down. This happens because the butt is driven back into a hinge, and while the knees are only slightly bent, the posterior weight shift of the body will push the knees back to clear space for the bar. 

Too many times, I see people bend the knees and then try to drive the hips back. This not only kills the hip hinge but forces the person move the bar forward as they are moving towards the ground. Not good for the back, and does nothing for the hamstrings and glutes.

Third, finish the movement. Upon bringing the bar back to waist level, finish the movement by driving your hips through the bar (by squeezing your glutes) and pulling your shoulders back. This ensures you are completing the exercise by properly firing in the hamstrings and glutes

Daily Dose of Coach #279: Think on This: Destination Vs. Champion Mindset

"The quality of a persons life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their field of endeavor." Vince Lombardi

Mia Hamm is a two-time gold medalist, world cup champion and one of the most well known professional women's soccer players to ever play the game. Below she shares some severe lessons for success and being champion.

“Let me tell you now all those lessons I’ve shared—work harder than anyone else, be a team player, celebrate your victories—will pay off whether or not you ever win a medal. Olympic or otherwise. If you go for the goal, like we do on the national team, you’ll always be reaching for a higher place. Each victory is great in and of itself, but champions are on a never-ending quest.” 

A lesson I've learned is that the difference between those with a destination mindset and a champion's mindset is the champion always continues their mission to improve.

Victories are celebrated but soon forgotten. The lessons and confidence they've earned are applied to what comes next in their life. Improvement isn't an option; it's how they continue to live.

So many times I've seen people work hard for a short amount of time and achieve an impressive goal. However, after the goal is achieved, those lessons and confidence are not transferred to anything else in their life. They go back to the same comfort mindset they were in before. This eventually becomes a pattern in their life. They binge and retreat, binge, and retreat.  

For the champion's mindset, achievement is never a destination. Improvement and an attitude of persistence, determination, desire to be the best and willingness to act on it with a tenacious will are what separates them from everyone else.

Daily Dose of Coach #278: Mike Tyson and Publix

I always watch closely how the bagger thinks through putting the groceries in the plastic bags at Publix.

It's my general rule to carry all the groceries into the house at one time. I notice if groceries are bagged correctly it's much easier to make this happen.

In general, the best baggers are looking at what's coming across the line and determining what fits best with what and how to use the least amount of bags possible.

In the end, you have a tightly packed cart with lots of groceries and minimal bags.

The not so good baggers don't pay attention to what is coming down the line and start throwing items into any bag it will fit in. I've also noticed that at least 50% of the time, this person is either talking about break time or complaining about something at work.

I've often said that when a young athlete comes to me to begin training, I can tell within the first 10 minutes if the kid has a shot at being great. If you have been around, studied and observed successful athletes you'll notice they approach everything differently. They are determined from the beginning, have a genuine excitement, are focused, courageous, don't mind making mistakes, always asking for more, and are fanatical about the details. They would be great baggers at Publix.

In the book, Iron Ambition, My Life with Cus D'Aamato, Mike Tyson talks about the stairway that went up to his Cus D'Amato's gym (Tyson's first coach). Cus used this staircase to determine if the kid was going to be a great fighter:

"The gym was up three flights of rickety stairs. If you stood at the bottom of the stairs, you could see all the way to the top. It was like you were climbing a stairway to heaven. Once you got up to the top, there was a big hole in the door, patched up with mesh wiring, and there was a huge watchdog that would smash up against the mesh barking like crazy.

Cuss always said he could determine a lot about the character of a kid who made that trek up the stairs. He even called that walk, 'The Trial.' If the kid came up alone and wasn't deterred by the dog, and pushed the door open and said he wanted to be a fighter, Cuss knew he had something to work with.

But, if someone brought a kid there, it was a different story. I knew I had my work cut out for me. Because that fellow didn't have the discipline or the desire strong enough, at the time, to come up there by himself, open the door and say, 'Hey, I want to be a fighter."

Your approach to everything you do is being observed.

The greatest athletes I've worked with and studied focus fiercely on the details. From the time they walk into the gym to the time they leave. Everything they do has a purpose that is leading them to a greater goal. They work with intent, are present in the moment.

One day, you're going to have to walk up a metaphorical set of D'Amato's stairs. Your character will be judged on how you walk up those stairs and decide to open the door. Learn that if you want to be great, you have to do things with courage and focused intent. And in many cases, you'll have to do it on your own.

I always choose the line at Publix based on the bagger. You are chosen at some level every day. Learn and practice what approach it takes to be the best choice.

Daily Dose of Coach #277: Why I love Dunkin Donuts

Okay, I knew this would grab your attention.

You may be thinking, "Why in the heck would this guy write about Dunkin Donuts?"

Let's start with the fact that it is one minute from where I work. During long hours at work I can quickly run up there and grab a coffee, and I'm not going to lie, I've had a donut or two. Boston Creme happens to be my favorite.

But it's not Dunkin Donuts that I love. It's the convenience of being able to grab something quick to satisfy hunger pains or a get a quick re-load of caffeine.

As a trainer and someone who coaches nutrition, I realize that this is probably not the greatest choice. But I'm human. And I'm sure you can relate to a time or two when you found a place like Dunkin Donuts to hit the spot.

But, because most of these unhealthy conveniences are within our grasp, planning to satisfy your hunger when outside of your kitchen is critical.

Here are some suggestions to quickly throw into your bag to bring to the office.

-Hard-boiled eggs

-Greek Yogurt or Yogurt Parfait

-Veggies with Hummus

-Sweet Potato

-A can or bag of tuna with crackers

-Protein bars

-Fruits - Banana's, apples, pears, peaches grapes, oranges, berries etc.

-Dried Fruits

-Veggies like baby carrots or mini-red, yellow and orange peppers

-Nuts like almonds or pistachios

-Protein powder (just add water)

-String Cheese

-Dark Chocolate

-Beef Jerky

Convenience is nice, but there's a price to pay when it comes to eating conveniently. That payment is with your health and against the goals you are trying to achieve.

All you need to do is plan ahead. Most of these items I suggested above are easily thrown in a bag and ready to go.

Daily Dose of Coach #276: The Most Difficult Lift (for most people)

Overhead pressing or shoulder pressing is one of the most commonly compensated lifts I see. By compensated I mean arching of the low back, bad mechanics of the scapula and looking like they're naturally trying to turn the lift more into an incline press than a straight overhead press.

Continuing to overhead press with these types of mechanics is going to lead to eventual breakdown somewhere. This breakdown can occur in the low back from the constant extension (shear forces leading to destructive movements in your spine) or the shoulder joint.

 I've seen it tried to get fixed in many different ways. The most popular one I've seen is the elastic band rotator cuff strengthening. The problem is, as with many "shoulder warm-up" exercises is they don't address the main issue which is overall movement quality. During standing overhead movements familiar cues of firing your glutes and bracing your core may clean up some of the movement, but it's not only difficult to maintain, but poor mechanics will eventually find their way to another area of the body.

Whenever I look to research things of the shoulder, I look to the "shoulder guy" in my industry, Eric Cressy. In his article, Why You Struggle to Train Overhead - And What to Do About It. Instead of addressing your shoulder issue with an elastic band he gives six video exercises you can incorporate into your daily warm-up to begin building, not only your quality range of motion, but overhead stability as well. 

Daily Dose of Coach #275: Steve Nash's Advice to Kids

Former NBA point guard Steve Nash was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame this past weekend.

Nash was a two time NBA MVP and known for being one of the most intelligent and craftiest point guards to ever play the game.

Nash's relentless work ethic and love for the game is what he attributes all of his success too. He often says, "He was never supposed to be here." Nash didn't even start playing basketball until he was 13 years old. Growing up in Canada, the sports he played as a young child were hockey and soccer.

In his Hall of Fame speech, Nash gave some advice to his four children sitting in the crowd along with the rest of the world watching. These were his words:

"For all of you kids out there, just like these four (speaking of his kids), find something you love to do. Do it every day.

Be obsessed. Balance can come later. Use your imagination.

Put pen to paper. Declare your intentions. Set small goals. Knock them off, set more goals.

Gain momentum. Build confidence. Outwork people. Play the long game.

You don't have to be the chosen one. The secret is to build the resolve and spirit to enjoy the plateaus. The times you don't feel like you're improving and you question, why are you doing this. If you are patient, the plateaus will become spring boards.

Finally, never stop striving, reaching for your goals. But the truth is, even when you get there, even when you get here standing on this stage, it's the striving, fighting, pushing yourself to the limit every day that you'll miss and you'll long for.

You'll never be more alive then when you give something everything you have."

.

Daily Dose of Coach #274: Think on This: A Tiger's Approach

"All is well that begins well." John Maxwell

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "all is well that ends well." And though this statement is accurate, how we start something, and especially how we approach it with our mind, has a huge impact on its success.

In 1996, Tiger Woods turned pro. Shortly after, he had his first interview at his first pro tournament. While fielding questions he was asked, "What would make this a successful tournament for you?"

Tiger responded, "A victory; nothing less. In my life, I've never gone to a tournament without thinking I could win. I've explained that to you guys before. It's just the mindset I have."

Tiger went on to use this mindset to become the most celebrated golfer of all time. And though he has struggled in his recent comeback. I am confident he still arrives at each tournament thinking he will be the victor.

How do you approach a challenge? Do you start with a positive mindset, thinking you will be able to overcome and win any battle put in front of you? Or do you focus on how strong the opponent is, how hard the task will be, or with a mindset that you'll just show up and hope for the best?

All is well that begins well. Before you start your next challenge, get rid of any negative thoughts that may come your way. Focus only on what you can and will do, not on the obstacles thrown in front of you. Confidence in yourself and your abilities goes a long way.

As Mark Twain said, "All you need is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure ."

Daily Dose of Coach #273: 6 Ways Training Improves Success

Training your body has an amazing and powerful effect on sustaining the characteristics of a highly successful individual. If your goal is to be the best at what you do, to become the most valuable person you can grow in to, why wouldn’t you take your health, energy, and confidence more seriously?

Here are six ways training can improve success:

1. Training Improves Levels of Energy:  Health is energy. What is the real point of health? It is efficiency. It is your physical body performing at it’s highest levels to create and sustain the energy to deliver your purpose to the world. Thomas Fuller simply stated, “The difference between men is energy.”

2. Training Improves Focus and Concentration:  Recent studies have shown that even one bout of exercise (even better than caffeine) can improve your mental and cognitive performance throughout the day. The long-term response enhances brain chemicals critical in expanding new nerve connections and brain tissue in the area of the brain for higher learning.

3. Training Improves Sense of Achievement:  Successful people thrive on getting things done and personal achievement. In all aspects of their life, they compete. After completing your training, there is always a sense of accomplishment. Over time, persevering through a training regimen will do wonders for your confidence and your overall desire to improve will be apparent.

4. Training Improves Physical Appearance: Training improves body image and physical appearance. Feeling attractive never hurts when speaking of confidence. Though confidence is much more than looks, how you perceive your body changes your presence. 

5. Training Improves Transitions in Mindset:  Success, focus, and perseverance can bring high amounts of stress. At the highest levels, it can be unbearable, even lethal. Training, like mediation, gives the mind a break. It can improve anxious, cynical, and depressive thoughts by releasing chemical substances resulting in positive feelings and helping to relieve stress.

 

6. Training Improves Your Attendance: People who train are generally more healthy than their counterparts. By building immunity and decreasing your chances of significant health risks, you show up more often. You not only show up, but you show up with energy and purpose. The more days you show up, the more impact you make, the more successful you can become.

Daily Dose of Coach #272: Picking a Great Coach

In the book, The Little Book of Talent, the author wrote a chapter about five ways to pick a high-quality coach. As I navigated through the section, I found these traits to be true in any of the excellent coaches I've had and known over the years.

1. Find a Coach Who Doesn't Remind You of a Courteous Waiter: Great and courteous waiters are nice to have at a restaurant, but not so much as a coach.Great waiters focus all their efforts on making you as comfortable and happy as possible. They take care of everything and tell you not to worry about anything. If your coach does this, he may be nice, but in no way are you getting better.

2. Find a Coach Who Invokes a Little Fear In You:  The author wasn't talking about someone you cower down to or who bullies you. He was talking about someone who you have feelings of respect, admiration and even a small amount of healthy fear. You know this coach is going to hold you to a different level of accountability. They only care about your actions and not your words. They are honest with what they tell you. This truth may hurt, but it's with all intention of making you better.

3. Find a Coach Who Gives Short and Clear Directions: The worst coaches are those who talk too much. You can go through a whole practice or session and get nothing out of it, but a headache. Great coaches give short and clear directions. Their purpose isn't about making you feel how smart they are, but guiding you toward a target. The author wrote, "Coaching is about creating a connection and then delivering useful information."

4. Find a Coach Who Teaches Fundamentals:  Fundamentals are the core of your skill and must be mastered to be great. The greatest coaches aren't interested in the fancy pants crap. They understand what it takes to be a master. They build your foundation of skill and character on the fundamentals and are relentless about perfecting them.

5. Find a Coach Whose Had Experience and Results: The author's original 5th quality was, "Other things being equal, pick the older person." I changed it because I believe age doesn't always bring results and experience. I've met some coaches in their 20's who are great, and some in their 60's who are not. Older and more experienced coaches who have gotten results were usually learners and risk takers early. They have more knowledge and wisdom to bring to the table. If they've got results, and have the four characteristics above, they are probably a the best choice.

Daily Dose of Coach #271: Getting Back on Track

It's much easier to fall off the wagon than get back on it. Especially when dealing with nutrition.

And personally, nutrition is much more of a fall-off, get-back-on experience than one smooth ride. I'm sure you can relate.

Once I feel I'm off, meaning I don't think twice about eating ice cream every night, or have no conscious about what I'm putting into my body, I remind myself of the "one thing" rule.

The one thing rule is, choosing one thing to change for the week. It could be replacing ice cream with Greek Yogurt and fruit. It could be drinking 16oz of water when I wake up. It could be adding one portion of vegetables to lunch and dinner. It could be going back to my breakfast smoothie, rather than just grabbing something when I run out the door.

Have you fallen off the wagon? Don't let the thought of having to re-engineer your diet stress you out. Just choose one thing.

As you practice this small habit, you'll notice as you improve, other areas of your nutrition will start to correct as well.

What's the one thing you can change this week?

Daily Dose of Coach #270- Think on This - 10 Pages a Day

"Don't say you don't have time to read. You don't have time not to read, look at it that way." Mike Boyle

In 2004 I committed to a personal growth plan. This plan involved reading one book a month in professional or personal development. I would spend about 30-minutes, every morning, before work reading, reflecting and recording any insights I felt valuable.

This, by far, has been the most important decision I ever made with regards to my career. As the years went on, I began to slowly separate myself from other people who were showing up to work every day just as I was.

It wasn't because I had any particular talent or ability. In fact, many of the people I worked had more advanced degrees in higher education than I had. I was merely more committed to furthering my development at a small level, every day.

Last Wednesday my friend Mike Boyle made an Instagram post on reading 10-pages a day. He wrote, if you read ten pages a day, that's 300 a month or 12-books per year.

It reminded me of the power of small commitments. Anyone of us has time to read 10-pages a day.

Jim Rohn said, "Personal development – the never ending chance to improve not only yourself but also attract opportunities and affect others."

Give it a try, you won't be disappointed by the results.

Daily Dose of Coach #269: Time Isn't the Problem

One of my primary goals in my personal training program, as well as my training app, is to make it as convenient as possible for people to train.

Instead of having one or two times to choose from, there are multiple times during the day. With my app, you can choose whatever time of the day you want to train, and your program is waiting right there for you.

The reason is to help eliminate the time excuse. However, time is rarely problem. Yes, many of you can argue who have kids who play sports, businesses to run, or the multitude of other things that fill your calendar. But time isn't the problem; your level of commitment is the problem.

Nothing exists without commitment. You can try to motivate yourself all you want. You can keep telling yourself you'll start on Monday. But with each attempt, you'll increase the stress, guilt and discouragement as it continues to widen the gap between your motivation and action.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "There is no strong performance without a little fanaticism in the performer."  Sometimes to get things done, you have to become a little fanatical, a bit crazy about your commitment. Some may label you these things as you do what they aren't willing to do. But in the end, you may inspire them to get off their butt too.

Daily Dose of Coach #268: Try this 24 Hour Rule

One of the most challenging things about leadership is maintaining a positive attitude during difficult times. But this is an essential trait of the greatest leaders I've ever known. No matter how bad it gets, they were confident in the fact that they would be able to pull through.

Author Jon Gordon summed it up when he wrote, "If you are complaining you're not leading. If you are leading, you're not complaining."

Imagine how many times we've given away our position of positive influence because we chose to complain instead of helping provide solutions for change.

At the core, this is what leaders do. They deal out hope, figure out solutions, and inspire others to act. Complaining is the easy way out. Solutions take energy and courage.

Try not complaining about anything for 24 hours. When you are about to open your mouth to whine, cry or bitch about something; stop yourself. Instead, think about it as a challenge and write down three solutions. I think you'll find your attitude and leadership will take a positive and productive turn.

Daily Dose of Coach 267: Think on This: Rest, Don't Quit

"If you're tired, learn to rest, not quit." Banksy

Maybe my mom was right after all. Perhaps, as a kid, when she’d tell me it was okay for me to rest instead of thinking I need to work hard on something, it was wisdom flying over my head.

Maybe she wasn’t just concerned about me overworking myself. Perhaps she knew that I might actually be better if I took some time to rest, sleep in, watch a movie, do nothing…

After 40 years of life, I’m only now starting to understand the value or rest. My identity has always been wrapped in my work ethic. I took great pride in it. But, I’ve also learned that this constant stress and pursuit has ill effects.

For example, I’ve always got up early. But for most of my adult life, I’ve tried to be up before the sun, many times struggling to wake up to a 4:30 AM alarm to get ahead of the day. This is something I could control. It was a way for me to gain a competitive advantage. After all, that’s what all successful people do right?

But living on 4-5 hours of sleep eventually catches up to you. I began to notice extreme bouts of fatigue. Hormonally, I was more than likely a disaster. When I met with a Doctor last year, all we spoke about was sleep. He encouraged me to find a way to get 7-8 hours, and he guaranteed me I’d be feeling like my old self again.

Low and behold it worked. And though I still struggle with learning to take a break, especially mentally, I took steps to make rest a priority rather then something I am forced to do.

The great Vince Lombardi said, "Fatigue makes a coward of us all." This includes all types of fatigue, mental, physical and emotional. Fatigue plays with your mind; it questions whether you can do it, it makes it easy to quit.

A good strategy is to think of work, or stress and rest, or recovery in a one to one ratio. Whatever time you spend at work, try to get at least that amount of time in rest. This is the balance of high performers.

Learn to stop. Learn to rest. Learn to take time away from work. Learn to take short walks in fresh air. Learn to sleep more. Learn to nap. Learn to put your phone down for a few hours. And learn to walk away, give things some time before you give up on them.