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Chew Your Food

January 17, 2022

Our days are so fast-paced and rushed that sometimes we do things with unexpected consequences. For example we eat way too fast for our body to optimally process it, we shovel food into our mouths and go about our day, and eating too fast can cause digestive issues.

Digestion doesn’t just happen when your stomach is gurgling and rumbling… It happens way before that, even when you see food. Your saliva has enzymes that help breakdown starches so that they’re more manageable for your gut. What I want to talk more about today is mastication, or better known as chewing. If we don’t take the time to chew enough then the bits of food that arrive in our stomach can be too big to be broken down properly. This makes the digestion process more energy intensive and harder to extract nutrients. So slow down and start chewing your food.

The recommendation is that you chew 30 times before swallowing. I’ve been doing trying it on certain meals and it’s a lot. I don’t focus on it every meal, and I don’t expect you to commit to it either, but with this new knowledge maybe you will start to be more intentional about your eating habits so that you can fuel your mind and body as best as possible.

So let’s finish by reflecting on that habit - Do you feel like you could chew your food more?

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

If you’re looking to grow alongside a community of like-minded improvers, then click here to join the Better Together Community.

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Turning Pain Into Power - LIVE in the Better Together Community

January 16, 2022
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Weekend Recap 1/10 - 1/14

January 15, 2022
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Being Receptive To Feedback

January 14, 2022

I’m curious to know how much you agree with this statement: Ideas are improved by having more perspectives. This is top of mind for me right now because I’ve been making a lot of decisions in my life recently and have been asking other people for feedback. We all know that you can only see the world through your own set of eyes, and those eyes miss things that others see. What I want to highlight though is that this idea of receiving feedback is easy in theory but more difficult in practice.

Our minds are designed to assimilate information into our current belief system. This is the most efficient thing our brain can do with the least amount of energy required. What that means is when someone provides feedback that might be different than what you already believe, your brain will try to rationalize its way into proving it wrong or insignificant. This is obviously problematic because if the brain works to reject new information then hearing different perspectives won’t make the same lasting impression. This often goes so far as to influence your behavior where you act dismissive, defensive, or even confrontational when you hear new perspectives.

The way around this, though, is to make this process more conscious. When you hear someone say something, tell them “Thank you for sharing your perspective”. Ideally this will trigger in you that you’re receiving feedback right now that is valuable and that there might be some default processing happening. What you can do is override that subconscious processing with your conscious awareness, bringing attention to how that information is meant to serve you.

To bring this concept into your life today I want to explore this about yourself: How receptive are you to feedback?

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

If you’re looking to grow alongside a community of like-minded improvers, then click here to join the Better Together Community.


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"When in doubt just pretend to be you."

January 13, 2022

We often encounter situations where we don’t know what we’re doing, feeling out of our element or unsure how to behave, and it can create anxiety. Some people read the room, some people take a step away to buy themselves more time… I have a better option for you. “When in doubt just pretend to be you.”

When we’re feeling doubt or uncertainty about something, it provokes a stress response. We’re safe when we know what’s going on, and when we don’t we are triggered into high alert and feel uneasy. This state is activated to prepare you to protect yourself physically, but as a byproduct it also causes you to start protecting yourself emotionally. So instead of potentially exposing yourself to ways that you could get emotionally hurt, your brain shuts down and keeps you from behaving like yourself and you start trying to just fit in.

But here’s the reminder - “When in doubt just pretend to be you.” If you don’t feel comfortable and feel like you need to pretend, then use your own example of who you are as your guide. There’s no person you’re better at being than yourself, so in acting that way you’re most likely to avoid the pains and fears you're avoiding. Beyond that, your authentic you is the person that others want to get to know. It’s when you have the most to offer, and your skills and best personality traits are on full display.

So when you feel like you need to put on an act to protect yourself, act like yourself! And like usual let me send forward a question that will help develop some self-awareness: When was the last time you felt like you needed to pretend to be someone else?

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

If you’re looking to grow alongside a community of like-minded improvers, then click here to join the Better Together Community.


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Taking Baby Steps

January 12, 2022

I want to reflect on a lesson I learned from my one year old nephew. He recently started taking his first steps. He had been close for a while but he finally took 4 shuffles forward and fell into my grandma’s arms. Everyone erupted in joy for him, and when he had the chance to look up he was beaming with pride. He literally is taking baby steps. But there's more to it than that, and this is why it’s so special.

He’s still not walking, but he respects that there’s a process to reaching his ultimate goal. Imagine if he started crying after taking steps because he fell down… That would be such a disservice to his accomplishment and the progress he’s made to date. But instead he is satisfied with how things are right now, taking little baby steps, because what he’s capable of now. This is also his new training ground, his way of getting stronger and more confident, so that he can continue to improve and pursue walking on his own.

What we all have to learn from my nephew is that it’s important to achieve smaller milestones on your way to bigger goals. In fact they are worth celebrating because it’s an indicator that things are moving forward. Also remember that you need to start somewhere. Even if it’s just the most basic, most simple, not even useful version of what you ultimately want to do, it’s closer than you used to be, which should give you optimism that you can make it the rest of the way. 

Let’s wrap up by reflecting on this question - What are the baby steps to your bigger goals?

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

If you’re looking to grow alongside a community of like-minded improvers, then click here to join the Better Together Community.

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The Fear Behind Your Fear

January 11, 2022

As humans we are meaning making machines! Our brains are designed to assimilate new information into our current mental models in order to generate patterns. This is evolutionarily advantageous because the more predictable our environments are, the less threatening, so our brains work hard to make sense of everything going on.

This same process applies to what we fear. When we encounter a certain situation or circumstance that provokes a fear response, we make meaning of that event and associate that environment with fear. But often that’s not actually what you’re afraid of, the circumstance just exposed a deeper rooted, core fear.

For example, let’s talk about public speaking. Is it the act of saying words in front of a group of people that you're afraid of? Or is it the possibility of embarrassment if you misspeak, and the fear of being judged for how well you do? That same core fear can be activated in a variety of different ways, public speaking being one of them.

In applying this concept to your life, it’s important to be self-aware and know what is truly gripping you. Once you discover what the fear is you can get curious about what might have happened to implant that fear in you, and how else it might be affecting you. This will help you identify what is holding you back on a subconscious level so that you can work through it.

Let me finish by asking you the obvious question - What are you actually most afraid of?

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

If you’re looking to grow alongside a community of like-minded improvers, then click here to join the Better Together Community.

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W.O.O.P.

January 10, 2022

Something I learned in my favorite personal development app, Optimize, is the acronym WOOP. WOOP is meant to be used as a visualization technique to help with preparing and planning to achieve your goals. There are 4 steps to WOOP - Wish. Outcome. Obstacles. Plan. The idea is that you walk yourself sequentially through each of these prompts to maximize your ability to achieve something meaningful.

W - The wish is what you want. This is the goal you set, or the accomplishment you’re pursuing. First bring that to mind to remember what it’s all for.

Then O - This is the outcome, but specifically the emotional experience of it. Imagine that you achieved your goal, you did it! What would that feel like and how would you celebrate it? Visualize that.

Then another O. Think about the obstacles that you may encounter between today and that moment you just pictured. Pinpoint what might be the root of the doubts you’ll have along the way, the difficult phases of the process, and acknowledge them.

Then finally P. Plan how you will overcome these obstacles. If you encounter a certain thing or feel a certain way, and instead of letting that derail you,  how would you ideally respond to that obstacle?

I’ve incorporated the WOOP visualization method into my morning meditation to help grow my confidence and certainty that I can win the day and make meaningful progress on what’s important to me. I really encourage you to give it a try, and I’ll leave you with this question - When are you going to try the WOOP visualization method?

Click here to check out Optimize Mastery!

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

If you’re looking to grow alongside a community of like-minded improvers, then click here to join the Better Together Community.

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Weekend Recap 1/3 - 1/7

January 8, 2022
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X Is Success

January 7, 2022

I’m willing to bet a lot that you want to be successful in your life. However, success is a pretty elusive and misunderstood thing. What even is success? Well of course it’s contextual to you and your desires. What might be success for you could be failure for someone else, and vice versa. In fact the secret to success is defining it for yourself so that you are pursuing what authentically fulfills you, and represents meaningful progress and accomplishment in your life.

But even when we do try to be self-aware and determine what success is in our life, we think about it backwards. Currently we approach defining success by saying “Success is X”, (fill in “X” for whatever is true to you). And in doing so we fill in the blank with the means that generate the end. That way of thinking actually violates something really important, which is that success is the outcome, and our attention and interest should be placed on the input that generates the outcome. So we should switch the order and think about the activities we do and enjoy, and how that contributes to being successful - “X is success.”

In flipping the order we focus on the things we already do and know about, and determine if it organically fits into the paradigm of what success means for us. This ensures that we aren’t pulling from other people’s definition of success to create our own. Instead of being prompted to respond using what others consider to be success, we determine for ourselves what success is the natural byproduct of.

So when it comes to the ways you think about your life I’d encourage you to think first about the inputs, what’s within your control, and then measure the outputs. With that in mind I’ll leave you by asking this reflective question - What things are you already doing well that you’d consider being a part of your definition of success?

If you’re in the US or Canada, text me at 949-799-0788 and I’ll send you daily prompts that help you get to know yourself better and build a more meaningful life every day. 

If you’re looking to grow alongside a community of like-minded improvers, then click here to join the Better Together Community.

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