Tag: reflection

Zoom Out | Make a Bigger Picture

Zoom Out | Make a Bigger Picture

Sometimes the mistakes you make seem bigger than they actually are. That’s because you’re too zoomed in!

Part of the process of improving any skill is to be honest in your own assessment. You don’t want to gloss over problems that you’re making. There’s no point in sugar-coating and saying it was “perfect” when it clearly wasn’t.

That said, it’s a maddening and unproductive path to nitpick apart every single slip up. If you get too caught up in those actions, you might be too entrenched in self-criticism you forget the point.

Are your reflections actually helping to pave the way to something better?

Don’t be too zoomed in.

Zoom out, and make sure the efforts you make to correct aren’t wasted on the trivial things.

It’s not just about seeing the bigger picture, but taking steps to ensure that you’re moving towards a bigger picture.

Retreat Thyself

Retreat Thyself

A few weeks back, I got invited to The Sacred Healing Grove. It was out in the boonies of New Hampshire. Ya know, for all the flack that Arkansas seems to get, there sure are a lot of places up north that look like Arkansas.

The workshop was going to be in a yurtsomething I’d never heard of before. There’d be a shaman present. Or at least, someone who’s well-versed in the art of shamanic healing. Neither of those things really appealed to me. The whole aim of the event was for empowerment and transformation. And while those are things I have massive appreciation and respect for, I don’t really feel like I have a need for them at this point in my life.

did sign up though for two reasons. One, I still wanted to ride the wave of my 2016 New Year’s Resolution: expanding my in person network. Two, I wanted to see Anna Tsui work.


I met Anna by way of Ian So, CEO of Chicken & Rice Guys. Ian’s the type of guy, who strongly believes in building a network. The more the merrier. He was all like, “You’re a coach. She’s a coach. We’re all coaches, hey!

A different type of coach, for sure, but lots of crossover. And seeing her in action would only be full of pluses. Maybe it’d go the way of when I met Tony Gentilcore. When I met him, it only re-affirmed my knowledge of health and fitness. Maybe Anna would kick my ass, and having a new “rival” would change the way I carry my own business.

Or maybe she’d surprise me with something else. Anna was pretty adamant for all those in attendance to have no expectations…

Jumping Right In

Compared to the rest of the guys, I don’t think I was quite as in awe of the place. But enamored or not, I was totally game to join and interact.

We opened up with a variety of blessings. Pure glacier water from Peru. Sage. Tobacco. Salt.

Then, we had a real unorthodox introduction. Instead of saying names and professions, we told secrets. It felt like a sleepover– and I was totally fine with that. We talked about girls. We talked about boys. We talked about things we hated. We talked about food.

Continuing with the more odd activities, we stared into each other’s eyes. I’ve never stared in any girl’s eyes as long and as intently as I did a guy’s that day. That needs to be rectified.

And we wrapped the whole shebang up by going primal. We were literally making animal faces and noises. There were plenty of badass shots of the other guys. I only got snapped in the aftermath.

Photos courtesy of Eric Yang

I yelled so much my voice was shot for the next couple of days…

No Real Surprises

So sure, I think it’d be easy to dismiss the whole event as a bunch of spiritual mumbo jumbo. I have no doubt some people would be turned off. But if you strip away the aesthetic, here’s what you have at its core:

  • dedicated time to get away
  • dedicated time to reflect
  • dedicated time to release

All of these things people need more of. And if they’re not getting in their day to day, then hell yeah this is going to be a great opportunity for them.

Earlier, I compared this to a sleepover, which I think is spot on. If you’ve never had a baller sleepover, you’re missing out. But I think you could also compare this to any good youth group camp. I grew up in a Southern Baptist. And while that spiritual focus might be different, the aims and outcomes are still the same.

The true test is to see how long people can carry the momentum from that day. Even with the best of intentions, a lot of it can fizzle out.

We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ve got to make good on my word to sing and make more music.

If Anna sounds like your jam, be sure to check out her website.

Girl Talk: Getting to Know Someone

Girl Talk: Getting to Know Someone

When I was in my first year of junior high, I remember falling head over heels (guys can use this term too, right?) for a girl who took the same bus to school. I remember picking a flower out of my neighbor’s garden, so I could hand it to her on the morning ride. She was embarrassed, but accepted the token.

Her friends were impressed-ish, but tried to signal early on that she wasn’t going to be interested. And soon after, I found out: she only liked me as a friend.

As much as the rejection stung, it dawned on me that “being just a friend” shouldn’t have had any kind of impact– we weren’t even friends! I didn’t know anything about this girl. I can’t even remember if I knew her name before her friends talked to me.

From that point on, I kept that memory to motivate me: blindly falling in love with a girl you barely know is dumb. You have to get to know the girl.

Unfortunately, I drove that notion into the opposite extreme. Through junior high and senior, I’d try to guard myself from butterflies in the stomach. I’d make a conscious effort to talk to girls, to get to know them, and to be friends first.

But then, I’d just “fall in love” with every girl who I felt like I knew “enough” about.

Reaching that level wasn’t so hard to do. I’d try to fact check myself. “This isn’t just some girl I have math class with! Her favorite holiday is Christmas. She likes food.”  As you can see, I was just a little too eager to draw conclusions that me and a girl had so many things in common.

Along the way, I kept learning to raise the level higher and higher, but getting to know someone became a lot of work. What really sucked was these rejections actually hurt more! The “crushing defeat” was especially crushing because I thought I really knew the person. And that’s the thing to glean here: knowing a lot of information about a person, doesn’t mean you know the person.

It doesn’t matter how many pieces of trivia you pick up. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only person who’s been told the fact. To truly get to know someone takes time. And if it feels like it’s a lot of work? That’s probably because all the effort is one-sided.

When you’re getting to know someone who’s equally invested in getting to know you, that dynamic makes dating a lot of fun.

Be Unreasonable

I don’t have that many good memories with my “father”. They’re not exactly all bad, but there’s very few that actually stand out.

He was really strict when it came to food though, and I do remember a lot of times when I was told to eat stuff I didn’t like. It really baffled me how he could stomach this stuff so easily.

“How do you eat this stuff?”

And I’ll never forget what he said to me. He told me “Jonny-boy,” in a tone that only proved how we had no connection whatsoever, “I think of JFK.”

He resumed eating with a big smug look on his face. No doubt, he was proud about his answer: JFK.

I get by the difficulties in life by thinking of the guy who had his life cut short.

For America… or whatever.

It didn’t make any sense at the time. And, 17 years later it still doesn’t make any sense.

But, that’s okay because I’ve learned the reasons don’t have to make sense. In fact, often you’re better off not having any reason at all.

I think a lot of people get caught up in trying to find the reason– the meaning behind it all.

  • If I have X,Y,Z in place, then I can really relax.
  • If I meet so-and-so, I’ll be really happy.
  • If I can do what-and-what, that’ll be my proof.

It’s a very logical, very sequential way of thinking where things have to be connected.

But being human, it just doesn’t work. Instead of being at peace, we end up with more worries. More worries, more problems– that’s the Snoop Dogg Lion (wait, is he Dogg again?)  line, right?

I’ve talked to people so exhausted they thought, “I’ll never be happy.” And the more they try to connect a reason to their happiness, the more I believe they won’t ever find it.

That’s the key to hone in on here: find a way to be happy… for no reason.