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Self Improvement

On Having Fun and The Flip Side of Health

By | Experiments, Explorations, Food for thought, Health Insights, Life 101, Self Improvement, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I thought I’d start off the New Year with this post about the important (but often overlooked) role that FUN plays in performance, health and life. Up until a few years ago, I always focused on getting healthy or improving my health so I could have more fun. Then at some point, I’m not exactly sure when, I realized that my level of health was already sufficient enough to do any number of the activities (surf, travel, paddle, camp) that I really enjoyed. And I had and still have great fun doing them. Still, I found myself hungering for something. What was it? Just conditioning that said “you must achieve x in order to feel y.” – So I ask, why can’t one have fun in the process of achieving? There are so many things I’d like to do in my life. I know many people feel the same. And…






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Be the Person Your Dog thinks You Are

By | Life 101, Lifestyle, Self Improvement | No Comments

Be the person your dog thinks you are… The first time I heard this was last year from Dr. Joe Dispenza at the Quantum Medicine conference. Joe is a person who has completely re-wired his brain and rebuilt his spine after shattering his back in a bike/car collision. He did this using the power of focussed intent and he has the scientific data to back it all up. His books, You are the Placebo as well as Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself lay it all out plain and simple and provide many similar NLP methodologies I wrote about in these three previous posts. Total Reboot: Five habits that saved my life The Extreme Mind-Body Connection and the Absurd Reality of Spontaneous Recovery The Automated Morning Routine But what I like about this quote, inspired by author, Mary Ann Evans’ (pen name, George Eliot) declared intent “To be the person…






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Ben Ahrens on Uplifting Vitality, Self-Optimization & Sustainable High-Performance

By | Explorations, Food for thought, Health Insights, Human Performance, Life 101, Lifestyle, Medicine, Mental Perfomance, Mind-Body, Physical Performance, Podcast, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement | No Comments

In a recent interview, I had the pleasure of joining Alex Charfen of CHARFEN and identifier of the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT). In this interview, we discuss the role of vitality in healing, recovery and life at large. Vitality, as I’ve come to define it as “the capacity to create”, is the most valuable and at the same time underappreciated resource most entrepreneurs possess. My aim is to fix that. Check out this fun interview: EP.25: Ben Ahrens Shifted the Paradigm of Medicine and Health with One Deep Breath0 Sep 24, 2015 – show notes: Ben Ahrens began his entrepreneurial journey working with athletes and post-rehab patients as a corrective-exercise and performance-enhancement specialist. Suddenly, in 2008 Ben was diagnosed with late-stage Neurological Lyme Disease and suffered crippling symptoms. The doctors and support groups told him he was broken and that his identity as an athlete would be forever lost. Undeterred,…






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what matters most

What Matters Most

By | Health Insights, Life 101, Metaphysics, Positive Thinking, Recovery, Self Improvement, Zen | 2 Comments

It’s so simple yet so elusive. I thought I had it figured out; the thing of greatest value and what it is that matters most. Vitality, of course! Without vitality (aka, life force, energy or the capacity to do our work on this planet) what else really matters? Sure money is important and so is time. But we all know that money without time has no value. Just as we may now assume that money + time without vitality ultimately has no use. But is there something else? Something who’s value is even more fundamental such that in it’s absence, even worldly resources and the energy to make use of them would still fall short? I wondered. As if an answer to my pondering,  yesterday morning, as I rummaged through some old file folders of mine, out popped this loose-leaf cryptic “note to self” I’d written when I was ill for…






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Change Your Attitude – The Power of Choice

By | Life 101, Lifestyle, Mind-Body, Physical Performance, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement, Zen | One Comment

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’d never been so close to death, or so I felt. We’d been hiking for 3 days with no food and little water. Five hours ago the muscles up the back of my legs and base of my spine were cramping in spasm but now there was little energy for them to even attempt self-preservation, let alone power my staggering footsteps further up the mountain.   I veered off the rocky path and collapsed into a heap, panting, sweating and freezing at the same time as the early spring sun set off the trail leading up to the top of Thunder Mountain, Bryce Canyon. My knee was shot, my body ached, my lungs gasped for air, my leg muscles where gone – completely done. And worst of all, so was I.   The BOSS (Bolder Outdoor Survival School) instructor approached me out as…






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Making Tea & Cookies

By | Explorations, Life 101, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement | 4 Comments

I swore after college that I’d never take another writing class as long as I lived… Some promises, perhaps, are better off broken. We’ll see…  This past Tuesday evening I found myself willingly sitting amid a classroom of writers in a YMCA Literary Arts, creative non-fiction class. Listening as my classmates read their work, it struck me how we all use the same words to form such distinct impressions. Below is my first assignment. Its’ message is simply this: We all start out with the same raw ingredients in life, be they words, concepts, or even tangible goods, to some degree. How we choose to combine them, and what we create from them, is the ultimate form of individual expression, that when woven together, forms the fabric of our lives. Here’s a short story I hope encapsulates this concept: Making Tea & Cookies         Emre set aside his blanket-pack…






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How We Make Progress in Work and Life

By | Life 101, Positive Thinking, Productivity, Self Improvement | One Comment

Author, psychologist, and Silicon valley leadership expert Gustavo Rabin  says: There are three things in life that better well work, in order for your life to work well… And they are: Your relationship to your work Your relationship to others, and Your relationship to yourself Many books have been written on all subjects in each category so I will not delve into psychology here. What will be most advantageous and get us to the point, will be the simple identification of the one universal roadblock that stands in the way of all personal, professional, and relational progress: Doubt. – Everyone has it, despite its utter uselessness. Still, as Friedrich Nietzsche so eloquently put it, “the irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.” So we’ve got that squared away. Now, we can move on to the 9 actionable practices that must be implemented,…






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How to Achieve Balance: by Accepting There’s No Such Thing

By | Life 101, Mind-Body, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement | 2 Comments

  At a glance it appears  she’s done it. She has reached a “balance point” that prevents her from falling, but a closer look with a keener eye will reveal that what we think of as balance is actually achieved by a continuous series of self-corrective movements, each aimed at bringing the subject back to center. If you were to watch the gymnast up close,  you could see that the muscles in her shoulders work constantly as she subtly shifts her weight forward and backward, side to side, to find and regain her center. Random little event after event will pull her away –  a gust of wind, a subtle vibration, a muscle-twitch, a misguided thought. Still, she regains composure and to the outside world, all is calm – she is balanced. In summation, we can see that the true skill in mastering a handstand has little to do with…






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How to Use Procrastination to Foster Productivity

By | Experiments, Habit Design, Lifestyle, Mental Perfomance, Self Improvement, Sleep | One Comment

Six months ago I made a fascinating discovery – I’m a procrastinator… but that’s not all. The fascinating part was that, if properly structured, my innate procrastinating tendencies could be redirected and applied to: 1) Fixing my sleep, and 2) Increasing productivity 5x We’ll get to how in a second, but first a bit of back-story – I’d been a poor sleeper my entire life. For as long as I can remember I’d suffered form “onset insomnia” (difficulty falling asleep) – It took some doing but resolved itself with some basic sleep highgene techniques (cutting out caffeine, sleeping in a cool pitch black room, no LCDs two hours prior to sleep, etc.), combined with pillow conditioning – a form of behavioral or Pavlovian conditioning aimed at helping to develop a physiological association between the body’s location (being in bed) and the proper cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters required by our…






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Plugging Into Your Hard-wired Happiness

By | Life 101, Lifestyle, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement, Video | No Comments

The following presentation by Srikumar S. Rao, Ph.D was filmed in May of 2009 and made it’s way to the homepage of Ted.com on March 7th of 2010 where it has since been viewed nearly 500,000 times! The contents of this talk are universal, timeless, and absolutely true…. “Life is short. And uncertain. It is like a drop of water skittering around on a lotus leaf. You never know when it will drop off the edge and disappear. So each day is far too precious to waste. And each day that you are not radiantly alive and brimming with cheer is a day wasted. Stop right now and evaluate your life. YOUR LIFE. As it is right now. Are you, by and large and daily variations aside, happier now than you have ever been? Do you have the inner conviction that you are on the path that is just right…






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The Art of Doing Less (and Accomplishing More)

By | Human Performance, Lifestyle, Productivity, Self Improvement | No Comments

I felt like starting this one off with something funny, and this clip get’s me every time! The following post is inspired by my friend Ari Meisel – founder of LessDoing.com   Two things happened in the past three weeks that have profoundly influenced my sanity in a very positive way: 1) I went on a weekend-long silent meditation retreat after what had been one of the most chaotic, productive, engaging yet mind-scrambling months of my life, and 2) I attended Ari Meisel’s skillshare class in Soho, New York. The details of my schedule that lead to such catalysts are inconsequential – what is noteworthy here, and the main takeaway of this brief post, is the importance of taking a step back. Very generally, there are two types of problems we typically face: problems of abundance, and problems of scarcity. The former are always better then the latter, but problems…






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THE EXTREME MIND-BODY CONNECTION – PART I: How to Change Your Life, by Changing Your Mind (The Neuroscience of How Thinking Makes It So)

By | Experiments, Explorations, Habit Design, Health Insights, Mental Perfomance, Mind-Body, Physical Performance, Self Improvement | 4 Comments

What follows in this three-part-post is a collection of examples, the implications of which not only open new doors for achieving potential, but completely negate the concept of Cartesian Dualism once and for all. Some of these stories might seem bizarre, others, down right impossible. But I’ve done the research and you can check it out too. The data is real. What you choose to do with this knowledge is up to you. At the very least, my intention with these posts is to get you thinking of the possibilities…  What if you could: – Increase physical strength without moving a muscle!? – Improve your athletic performance using only your mind? – Dramatically reduce pain without a single pain killer? – Speed up healing and recovery by virtue of what you think? – Eliminate depression, fear, anxiety, or even seasonal allergies! – no drugs, just results? That’s just for starters….






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Is Life What You Make of It?: Q&A

By | Positive Thinking, Self Improvement | 2 Comments

Heard it before have you? “Life is what you make it.” Or, “The world is what we make of it.” – Sounds very Hallmark, or perhaps, like something you’d find in a fortune-cookie. Well, it’s time we crack that cookie open and examine the validity of its contents…. Q: Is life really what you make of it?                                                                           A: Yes.  Short story:  Once upon a time, two foreigners happened upon a small town and met with the mayor before coming to live there…   In his meeting with the mayor, the first foreigner asked, “what is it like to live here?” – to which the mayor replied, “first, why don’t you tell me what it is like…






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Total Reboot – Five Habits To Change Your Life

By | Events, Habit Design, Mind-Body, Recovery, Self Improvement | 10 Comments

The following post is an excerpt from my recent ignite talk at Habit Design:  Topic: Five habits acquired over the past five years, which, assembled in the proper construct, have proven to be the most instrumental in actualizing significant and enduring change in all aspects of my life from health, to happiness, to self-concept, and general outlook on the world as abundant and positive. These habits, you might note, are quite broad. Whereas habits such as, tooth-brushing, regular exercise, and healthy diet are among those commonly targeted for improvement, consider the five habits on my list as “meta-habits”; ones that aim to change our basic operating system and allow our other goal-oriented, and often more specific habits, to simply come to fruition in virtue of our new software. By that same nature, we can expect all negative habits, even those patterns we have been running for a lifetime and work so…






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Practically Letting Go – What Zen and Children Tell Us about Recovery

By | Health Insights, Lifestyle, Recovery, Self Improvement | 4 Comments

  There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs, when a number of people are confronted with disaster; children often pull through ahead of adults. Author and survival expert, Laurence Gonzales, has read hundreds of accident reports and writes in his book, Deep Survival, of such instances when an experienced hunter gets lost in the woods and perishes in one night while a four-year-old survives. The underlying principle, he says, applies not only to wilderness survival but to getting through any demanding situation, be it divorce, loosing one’s job, or surviving illness. The question is: what do children do that we as adults fail to do? What does a child have to teach us about navigating through trauma, and what does this mean for our approach to recovery?






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