Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Letter I Found Written To Me

Here's a letter I found written to me by someone who cared about me quite a bit...

Dear Dayne,

When the hell are you going to stop acting like such an *$#@? You're too old to still be acting this way, you big baby. When the hell are you going to grow up... this is getting ridiculous. You look and sound like an idiot. Do you even care? Knowing you, I know you do! Stop this bull!@!*.

You have more natural talent in you finger than most do in their whole body... when are you going to realize this, and do something about it? In some ways, you're so mature, but in others, you act like a toddler. This needs to stop, and stop NOW! Look at what you have. Look at your family and friends. You have no idea the gifts that are staring directly in your face. Grow up, dude.

Stop making stupid, whiney excuses for "why not,"and make a decision that you're good enough. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you deserve... you're worth more... you're better than average. Let your friends be average -- you be better than that. Stop settling for less. You keep settling for less than you deserve. There are times where I see that guy who does believe... I see it in your eyes. I know you know! But then there are the other, more often, times where you seem to forget about the person you just found a minute ago. How does that happen? How can you forget so fast? Where does he go, and why does he leave? Find him... bring him back. This is the man that will succeed at whatever he chooses.

Open your eyes during these tough times, idiot! I say, "idiot" with much love and respect. I love and respect you more than you know. I see you as I wish you'd see yourself. I see the brilliance, the selflessness, the comedian, the passionate, and the incredibly loving human... why can't you? When WILL you? Open your mouth, also! Start talking with confidence and an absolute knowledge that you will do more, be more, and never settle for average. Start saying out loud to yourself that you belong, and that you'll find a place among the greats. Start talking to yourself on the inside, most importantly. Feel the passion you're looking for... feel it like it's already here, waiting for you to reach out. Feel the love for yourself that we, your friends, feel for you.

This "quiet time" you're currently taking for yourself needs to be finished... and finished right freakin now! Enough sulking and thinking there won't be better - there will be, but you first must open your eyes and scream at yourself. Go ahead... cry if you need to. No one will laugh, as long as those tears are filled with passion and self assurance; as long as those tears are falling, in preparation for massive action that will change your life forever.

You ready yet? Did I make my point? Are you going to stop... and begin starting? You will. I see it in your eyes.

Love you, bro!


(I wrote this to myself while I was going through a depression 8 years ago. This was my last "sad" day!)

Could you substitute your name at the top?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'd Like You To Meet...

Today, I bring you a package with a question inside.

Let me introduce myself...

Most of you know me, some of you know exactly where you met me, but quite often I sneak up and become a fun little tag-a-long.

I love letting you think it's possible to accomplish your dreams, yet popping my head into your day just in time to make you think twice. My goals don't, and can't coexist with yours, so I make sure I do everything in my power to see your goals die. Without me, you'd be... well... I actually don't even want to say the words out loud, in fear you'd discover your true potential. Without me, you'd feel... nope, sorry... still can't give you that kind of power.

Close your eyes, visualize your most powerful motivations, and focus on you at your absolute best. Moments before you realize that "best," I stop by, knock on the door, and introduce myself again. Often, I'll just hang out for a small amount of time -- just to help lose the inspiration you once felt. You see, if I appeared 24 hours/day (and sometimes I will), I'd kill all of your insides... all of your core beliefs and wishes at once. I don't like to to destroy so quickly. I tend to enjoy sneaking up on you, especially if I feel you've lowered your guard and become more secure in your skin. I'll stay up late at night, plotting my attack, hoping to squash what's left of your self esteem and confidence. If you're the mentally tough type, my job becomes a bit more difficult, but I feel I can always find that sliver of me hiding inside of you, waiting to come alive.

Fortunately for me, most of you don't stand a chance -- mainly because you've never been taught how to defend against me. Sure, you can read books, but the best learning experience is through real life battles... you vs. me... over and over, day after day!

Many martial arts masters believe our best weapon is the non violence we hold inside, waiting to defend against me. I'm (as with most of my kind) an illusion. Don't get me wrong, when I grab ahold, it's real... but my strength is never as powerful as people make it out to be.

As the Aikido Master would say about himself: 

"My biggest weapon is the strength I attain from my enemies."

I only have a lock on your life if you say I do. The moment you say I don't... I don't!

Who am I? 

Whatcha gonna do about it?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Mirror Can Be A Powerful Weapon!

I don't like to vent, usually. I'm learning to simply "let things go," not allowing emotional garbage to clog the system. When we vent, we release it from our own bodies, but we then give it someone else. This morning, though, I need to free this specific negativity... hopefully someone will get something out of it.

While getting coffee this morning, I ran into Katherine, a mom of  a former student. Oh my goodness, did we have some fun words for each other - - more on that later. Her daughter (we'll call her Cindy for this post) was an incredible athlete, and actually had professional talent, but lacked the mental toughness needed for the next level. Actually, she lacked the mental fortitude for the elite high school level.

When Cindy and I began working together, it was obvious that she was incredibly bright... maybe too bright. She would constantly over analyze her game, as a mathematician would analyze an equation. She saw every flaw in herself, not allowing freedom and imagination to enter her mindset. I remember something she said to me in our first session...

"I know I won't improve this (specific) weakness - it's too imbedded. My mom's right!

Do you see any red flags yet?!

I worked with Cindy for about 8 months, a short amount of time for this type of training. Together, we made wonderful improvements in her mental game... yet, MOM was never satisfied! It didn't matter what the journey was looking like, mom only wanted the win at the end of the day. Sad, yeah?

Back to the morning coffee experience...

After the normal small talk, I asked Katherine how Cindy was doing during her senior year of high school. These were her exact words:

"She's doing o.k., but isn't getting the full college scholarship that she deserves... mainly because, in my opinion, you didn't teach her well enough, how to win. My husband and I paid you a lot of money to teach  our daughter how to conquer her losing problem. What happened?" 

I immediately walked to my car, grabbed my wife's pocket mirror... and held it up in front of Katherine's face!

(O.k., not really - but I sure wanted to).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're Doing It Backwards

Before every outcome, there's an answer... before every answer, there's a question. Therefore, shouldn't we be asking more questions? No matter what has happened to us in the past, or what will happen in the future, a question has been asked along the way. Unfortunately, most questions we ask are negative and fear based.

"Why me?"

"Why can't I?"

"When will I stop?"

The key is asking empowering questions that will evoke thoughtful, positive answers. Every question we ask instantly begins a chain reaction and a need for our mind to have to find the answer. Consequently, we have the ability to attain any positive future we want... simply by asking the correct type of questions.

"How will I become healthier?"

"What can I do right now that will help my schoolwork?"

"What will it take for me to perform my best under pressure?"

Every answer to the above questions will have specific purpose, helping us take the appropriate actions that will draw us closer to our goals. We tend to live our days trying to find answers, rather than looking for questions that will evoke the answers we need. Conceptually, this is simple... unfortunately, we've created the mindset that searches for outcomes first, ignoring the process that leads to the outcome.

What questions should you be asking yourself that will elicit positive, powerful answers?

Empowering questions = Positive answers = Desired future.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What Does YOURS Look Like?

Here are your road signs. They are mixed up, waiting to be put in order, depending on your destination. Take a look... arrange them in order that best fits your journey. Very often, we'll notice that we're in need of a new road sign, or the ones we're using need to be rearranged. Notice they're scattered, out of place, and totally disorganized... as they often are in our minds.

(This isn't supposed to be pleasing to the eye, illustrating how unappealing our "plans" look inside)

                    PRESSURE              ROUTINE                   GOALS








                 POSITIVE                NEGATIVE                      


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Become Hopeless!

I just finished an interview with a Los Angeles television station, regarding the story of NFL Or Bust (two posts prior), where Josh Johnson is attempting to become the NFL's oldest rookie in history. When asked why I thought Josh had a chance of making it at his age, the answer came shooting out of my mouth, almost before he finished the question...


There's no doubt in his mind -- he can see that finish line at the end of the race. Josh understands how important it is to maximize his daily workouts, mentally and physically... focusing on the process, moment by moment.

Knowing vs. Hoping is what I want to talk with you about. Whatever your "race," can you see your goals being attained with 100% certainty? I'll never forget the day a mentor of mine explained how important it was for me to become totally hopeless.


Yep, he said hopeless!

He wanted me to stop hoping, and begin knowing! We all have a tendency to "hope things through," rather than committing to our goals and motivations. Hope is easier than Knowing, because there isn't as much expectation to achieve -- there isn't as much (here we go again... wait for it...) PRESSURE on us to work and strive for better. Hoping gives us a mental 'out.' Knowing does not.

Whatever you're chasing, ask yourself this simple question... and answer it honestly:

Are you hoping to achieve, or do you truly know you will? 

When you can look in the mirror and know you know... the daily work and commitment will take on a life of it's own... happening with ease and consistency. Remember, it's this day-to-day action we take that ultimately leads us to our long term goals and motivations. Knowing (X) will happen down the road will make us continue working when our mind and body are telling us to stop. 

See it, believe it, know it.

Today, we live hopelessly!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pressure (a high school student's view)...

This was sent to me by a high school student of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous. She's light years ahead of where I was at this age... probably most of us, yeah? There's no doubt in my mind she'll be an amazing success on whatever path she chooses to create for herself! 

"Practice makes perfect." 

I grew up with this phrase drilled into my head that anything I do, no matter what it is, I can succeed as long as I put the effort in. However, recently (within the past few years) the first 'P' of this innuendo transformed into: "Pressure makes Perfect". 

As strange as this may appear, perfect and pressure can coexist in the same phrase and actually compliment each other is a difficult concept. Shouldn't pressure be something that breaks confidence, increases nerves, and squashes the ability to preform at top notch? 

To be honest, I hadn't thought of pressure as this horrible cloud of nerves until someone told me to. Pressure is all around you just in different doses. It could be as simple as the pressure of putting your money back into your wallet when you're done paying for something, or making an appointment on time; to having "more" pressure of presenting a job pitch, or a final serve in a volleyball match. Each form of pressure remains THE SAME. The only difference is how aware of it we are. 

Imagine for a minute that everything anyone had no pressure, everything anyone did came easily and stress- free. Sound nice? WRONG! Everything would stop at a standstill. There would be no competition, and businesses would collapse because there would be no driving force or ambition to succeed to higher levels than those around you. 

To "have a handle" on pressure is completely different than "handling" the pressure. By having a handle on it, you are controlling it - you have the power to manipulate it to become that driving force that can push you higher than those who are handling it. 

By creating a negative relation to the P-word, you are setting yourself up to merely handling it, rather than controlling the correct dosage of dedication, drive and opportunity to become the one everyone asks "How?" How did they become so successful, rich, positive, etc. 

Figuring out how to focus on the task at hand rather than the situation surrounding it, which is what creates the awareness of pressure, is the key to mastering and controlling "pressure-filled" situations. 

So the equations should really be: 

Pressure + Practice = Perfect!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

NFL Or Bust

Coincidence or fate?

A couple weeks ago, I walked into Starbucks and saw a friend, Josh Johnson, who I hadn't seen in over 15 years. He's this big, shaved head, tough looking dude who was our high school football quarterback and star field goal kicker. He actually still holds the county's high school record for the longest field goal,
which is 52 yards.


He told me that he was on a mission to become the oldest rookie in modern NFL history, and was going to try to make it as a field goal kicker. Naturally, I thought this was an incredible, inspiring goal. Being that he is 38 years old, it was obviously going to take some hard work. He went on to say he had an expert team of physical trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, but was in the process of interviewing mental training coaches. When he said he was looking for someone to help him with the mental side of this endeavor, I almost fell down. Before I could find my way to the ground he asked,

"So... what do you do for a living?"

What do I do? What do I do? Did he just seriously ask me that question?

After talking with him for a couple of minutes, it was obvious that he was going to make a serious push at his goal of making it to the NFL. His main objective was to improve his mindset and emotional awareness, as he understood this is what was going to take him to the next level. He kept talking about "being emotionally calm and at peace," rather than becoming that person only for his NFL tryouts. He wanted to improve from the inside-out, creating a calm mind that would always be a part of who he was.

Josh has created a specific picture in his mind of what he wants to achieve, he's taking massive action, and he's changing his definition of Pressure. Think about what he's attempting to do... become an elite athlete at the age of 38, competing against the highest level possible. Strengthening his body is just a small part of the equation. He needs to completely create new, powerful mindsets and emotional triggers. There isn't any room for doubt, as this would single-handedly crumble his goals.

The picture he's painted in his mind has to be a clear as anything he sees with his eyes wide open. He has to be able to smell the grass on the field, hear the wind whistling through his helmut, and know with 100% certainty that he WILL make it!

Any pressure involved?

When we talked, he mentioned that he wanted pressure to disappear, hoping it would simply not be there. There would be pressure, and furthermore, he wanted and needed it be there. I reminded him that it's pressure that would make his goals become a reality... but he would first have to redefine the word. He's in the process of taking pressure, putting his arm around it, and making it an opportunity to...

Josh is an example for all of us who want a new or better (X). He reminds us that in order to achieve our lofty goals, we must make it clear in our minds what we want... make a blueprint of how we're going to attain it... redefine pressure, making it a powerful weapon that will to work for us... and as always, take massive daily action.

Check out Josh's journey, as he attempts to become (will become) the oldest rookie in NFL history!