Well, "Greenie" finally bit it this last week. But, it wasn't without one of the most amazing fights I had ever seen .
You see, Greenie was a one of my daughters fish in the fish tank in her room. Anyone that has had a fish tank with goldfish, glofish, or others knows that there lifespan isn't that long, but as long as you take care of them and clean the tank regularly, etc, they can last a little while.
Greenie was different. We got him a long time ago, well over a year with some other fish and while some of the others had gone to the deep sea heave, Greenie continued to cruise on. A few months, he started showing signs of his age and started having trouble swimming. We thought it would be a matter of days before nature took it's course. Wrong.
That fish lasted for months - even when it basically laid flat on its side floating at the top of the water in the tank, it would miraculously come to life and start swimming when we walked by, I can count how many times we thought he was gone, only to see him come to life. It started to become a joke in the house that if a nuclear bomb went off, all that would be left is Greenie and a couple of cockroaches!
Eventually, it came to an end, but Greenie surprised all of us with his longevity and ability to live.
I took 3 lessons from this experience that I want to share with you.
1.) You have more capacity to withstand things than you think
The Navy Seals have the 40% rule that says when you mind says you are done, you are only 40% done. You have more capacity to endure and keep going than you think. We all thought Greenie had days to live and he lasted for months. It's never over until you decide it is.
2.) No matter what happens, keep pushing any way you can
Even though Greenie lost his ability to even swim normally and had to float on his side most of the time, he kept at it. Every time the fish got fed, he came alive and found a way to get some food and swim. He did it anyway he could. In your life, you are going to have challenges and obstacles come at you from all directions - keep pushing through them and overcome them anyway you can. It may not be pretty, but you can do it.
3.) Celebrate the good in the bad
Even though Greenie finally moved on, the lesson in perseverance he showed to our daughter was priceless - to the point where we can now say thinks like "Be like Greenie, keep pushing. Try harder, etc." Going through the experience was a good one, even thought the end result was bad. To see Greenie fight every day and keep going was something we celebrated and will remember for a long time. It's amazing the lessons you can learn from a little fish!
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Read that quote carefully. Ponder it. In less than 50 words, Thomas Paine gives some of the best life advice and principles for success ever put forth.
If model what Paine admires, you too will find success and, more importantly be able to hold your head high in doing.
As yourself, Are you willing to "smile when trouble comes and gain strength from the distress it brings?" If so, you will be able to overcome almost anything.
Are you able to "grow brave by reflection?" Meaning, are you able to look inward at yourself, the good and bad, learn from it and use what you learn to make yourself better and be brave in your life?
Or will you be a "little mind that shrinks" when challenges come your way or when you are forced to confront the things about yourself that truly need changed?
But, "if you heart is firm, and your conscience is clear" then you will find a way to make it through the things that stand in your way and "pursue your principles unto death." What are your principles? What are your convictions? What are the core beliefs that you will not change or sacrificial for anything?
Have you ever stopped and thought about these things and defined them for yourself? Maybe it's time.
After all, by doing so, you will know yourself better and become a better version of yourself - as well as know the things that will guide you in life. To me, that is what Paine is telling us. Find your principles, do not shrink when they are challenged, be brave in your pursuit and keep your heart firm, and because you do this, your conscious will be clear and you will reach your true potential.
Heed this advice and use it in your life every way you can!
We have all been there. We reach a point in our lives and work where there is just so much going on across so many areas that we can't seem to keep up with it all.
And in today's fast paced world and seemingly 24/7 instant environment, things can compound quickly and get away from us making us truly overwhelmed.
The worst part is that if we don't do anything about it, things continue to pile up to a point where we start to miss things, critical important things - and more importantly potentially miss out on potential opportunities.
So what do you do when this happens? How do you get out of being overwhelmed and get back on track?
I've one simple exercise that makes the biggest difference and alleviates this problem. It will take you about 10 mins to do.
When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with tons of stuff to do and not knowing which things to work on or do first to remove the piling up of tasks, needs, and/or responsibilities - stop and write everything down.
I'm serious. Take 10 minutes, get away from your office or area of work and just do a brain dump of everything you have on your plate. Write everything down - work stuff, family stuff, personal stuff - get everything you think you have to do across your life out of your head.
Once you've done that, take a look at the items and decide if any don't belong or are really not things you need do, or more importantly, can delegate. Then prioritize the rest of the list from most important to least important and get working on them.
I know this seems so rudimentary and foundational, but it isn't funny how many of us forget to do these simple things and carry on in a state of flux and craziness from day to day.
This one simple exercise will save you so much time, help you to be more productive, and most importantly save your sanity!
Have you ever gotten to a point or felt "cloudy" on things. Almost like you had so many things to do or could do, and you weren't sure which way to go. This happens to a lot of us entrepreneurs because we see opportunity everywhere and "there is always something we can be doing."
When you find yourself in these instances - it's best to take some time to clear your mind and give it a break. Things will clear up if you do.
There are a lot of methods for clearing your mind, reducing stress, and removing the cloudiness, but here are 3 simple ones that I have found to work well and easy to implement.
1. Get a Change of Environment
This one is pretty easy. If you spend a lot of time at the office or in the same place where are working, it is hard break the cycle and clear your mind. If you simply get a change of environment and allow your mind to think in a new place, it can make a huge difference. It may be as simple as taking a walk in nature or working from a Starbucks for a day. One thing I love to do is go to our family cabin and work a day or two from there. There are a lot of options. The key is to just recognize when you need to get in a different environment and then act on it.
2.) Learn Box Breathing
A lot has been studied on taking time to breath each day. So much in fact that our wearables and other devices remind us to take time to do so. One of my favorite breathing exercises is Box Breathing. This technique is used by everyone from special forces to pro-athletes. I love this method because, a.) It works and b.) it is easy to do. Breathing is very important to calm and center yourself and you can do Box in less than 10 mins a day. Here is a good article on how to practice it.
Ok...this may be a "duh" kind of statement, but exercise really is the best way I've found to clear your mind. Whenever I am feeling very bogged down and in need of direction, I go for a long run - 10+ miles. It usually takes about 5 miles before mind clears and its just the sound of my stride and the outdoors around me. It's at this point that I usually get my best answers to problems or best ideas. We all know the tremendous benefits to exercise for many areas of our lives. My advice is to get into a solid exercise routine daily because it will help you to not get as "cloudy" in the first place. Plan to have time each day devoted to your physical health and it will make a huge difference. You will be in better shape, sleep better, have less stress, more energy, and have a sharper mind.
Practice these 3 things in your life and you always be able to move on quickly, have less stress and clearer head.
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