Forget About Perfection and Focus on Progress

This may be a surprise or maybe not, but perfect is not always positive.  At times, we get hung up on things being perfect and as a result, nothing happens. By the time that something does happen, it could be too late.

You shouldn’t wait until something is perfect or the situation is perfect to act.  Perfection is nothing more than a hindrance on progression.  Continue to wait for protection and you will be waiting forever.

Nike built their empire off the saying “just do it.”  They figured out early on what many fail to realize.  That is to move on even if the situation or the product is not perfect because it’s important to take action.  Launch the shoe, pitch a product, go for that run, whatever it is, “just do it.”

Nike placed it in the minds of their customers to lace up their shoes and head out the door.  They were telling everyone to quit waiting for the perfect conditions.  Don’t wait until you’re motivated, don’t wait until the rain clears, “just do it.”  Get out there and work.

It’s about progress, not perfection

When you want to start something, there is never going to be a perfect time.  The key is to just start.  Start with whatever you have and wherever you are at.  But it is imperative that you start.

What happens when you start?

Progress is what happens.  As you get going, you begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.  You fix what you can and keep moving forward.  That is progress.  You’re not waiting for perfection but you are chasing it.  This is where your focus should be.

It’s about progress, not perfection.  Set the goal high and strive for perfection.  There is nothing wrong with trying to make something perfect unless you let it hold up progress.  Don’t wait because it’s not the perfect time or the product isn’t perfect.  That is nothing more than an excuse.  Take action and improve as you go.

The benefits of progress

Progress is happiness

The great Tony Robbins once said that “the key to happiness is progress.”  Progress is a reward for your work.  When you feel it and when you see it, you get a feeling of fulfillment.  You get that feeling because you put in work for something, take the action necessary and you are rewarded for it.  Much in the same way we feel when we get paid for our work.

Progress is motivation

Once you feel progress you want more.  You want more so you start taking more action and start working harder.  It motivates you to get better because you realize that all that time and effort that you’re putting in pays off.

Progress is feedback

Progress is also feedback for the action that you have taken.  it lets you know where you stand.  In the gym, if you’re stuck squating 315 for a few months, then you know there is something that isn’t right in your training plan because your progress has plateaued.  Something has to change.  More reps, heavier weight, more rest, something needs to happen.

Bottom line

Whether its in your work, in the gym, or in a relationship, progress in anything just feels great.  Waiting around for perfection is a recipe for disaster.  Start immediately and strive for perfection, but don’t be held up by it.

Enjoy the progress that you make because any progress is worth acknowledging and celebrating.  No matter how small, progress will always feel good.  Always remember that it’s about progress not perfection.

—Cruz

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Change Perspective by Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

At your level, from your perspective, you may see nothing more than a wall in front of you and at every turn.

You need to change your perspective.

Stand on the shoulder of a giant and it will change.

When you stand on the shoulder of a giant, you become a witness to an entirely new world.

Your perspective will forever change with the vision of opportunities that were non-existent before.

 “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” —Sir Isaac Newton

Through our lives, in some form or fashion, one way or another we are helped by those around us.

This is what Sir Isaac Newton meant when he said that he saw further only by standing on the shoulders of giants.

We don’t get to where we are alone even though at times, that is exactly how it feels.

No one is self-made no matter how much one claims to be.

At some point, every successful person received help from someone.

Take a moment to reflect upon your life.

If you concentrate enough, you will find the giants who placed you on their shoulders.

Perspective matters more than you may think

There is a story about two young brothers that were raised by a single father.

Their father was doing the best that he could to raise his sons, but it was difficult, and he drank to deal with his problems.

His financial situation worsened with each passing day.

Then, one day having become overwhelmed, the father felt there were no options left and in a moment of desperation, he decided to rob a convenient store for money.

He believed that this was the only way that he could get the money he needed to support himself and his young boys.

Unfortunately, during the robbery, a shot was fired and an innocent bystander was killed.

Shortly thereafter, the police arrested the boys’ father for his crimes.

He was tried, sentenced and put away for a very long time.

His two sons were left alone and grew up moving from one foster home to another.

As they became adults, one brother turned to a life of crime and ended up in the same prison that his father was sent to.

He was asked why his life turned out the way it did.

His response was, “how could it not? Take a look at my father.”

From his perspective, he believed that he would end up like his father no matter what he did.

His brother, who went through many of the same struggles, went on to become a success.

He too was asked how did his life turned out the way that it did.

His response was the same as his brothers.

He said “how could it not? Take a look at my father.” 

From his perspective, he believed that by experiencing the things his father did, it gave him the drive and direction needed to succeed.

He used the pain and adversity to fuel the fire to succeed because he did not want to end up as his father did.

Morale of the story

This story shows just how powerful perspective can be.

One brother’s perspective of their father was one of a wall.

The other perspective of their father was that of a giant.

Change your perspective.

Find the giants in your life that will put you on their shoulders.

They can be parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, mentors and anyone else that you can think of.

Stand on their shoulders and change your perspective.

Be the giant

It’s not enough to change your perspective.

What will you produce?

How and what will you contribute to your family, your community, your city, your country, and this world?

Who and how many will you help?

Become the giant for others and put them on your shoulders as others once did for you.

“Become the giant for others and put them on your shoulders as others once did for you.”

Whether you think so or not, someone sees you as a giant.

There is someone or many out there that are waiting for you to pick them up and put them on your shoulders.

If you’re a parent, you are a giant to your children.

Maybe you have younger siblings.  To them, you can also be a giant.

Maybe you’re a teacher or even a supervisor.

Even if you do not see yourself as a giant yet, make yourself one.

The best thing that you can do is put yourself in a position where you can be the shoulders on which others stand on.

To be the one that changes their perspective is a reward in itself.

Walter Bond, a former NBA player says that you should always pick up your child.

When you walk through that door after a long day and see your child, pick them up.

Pick them up as often as possible because there will come a time when you can no longer pick them up physically.

When that day comes, you can still pick them up emotionally.

You can still pick your child up mentally and you can pick them up spiritually.

No matter what, no matter how frustrated you are or how your child is behaving, PICK THEM UP!

Pick them up and change their world by changing their perspective.

When you pick them up, they see the world from a whole new perspective.

They see the world as you see it, from your perspective with the support and safety of the person that they trust the most in this world.

Put them on your shoulders and imagine the perspective they will have of the world then.

Bottom Line

Perspective is important.

Change your perspective by finding those that will help you change it in a positive way.

Find the giants in your life that will help you do so by giving you their shoulders to stand on.

Just as our perspective was changed, we all have a responsibility to change the perspective of others.

We have a responsibility to put as many people as we can on our shoulders.

You will be better for it and the world will also be a better place for it.

Stand on the shoulders of giants.

Change your perspective.

Become a giant yourself, let others stand on your shoulders and change their perspective.

—Cruz

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A Simple Way to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude is often overlooked because so much of our everyday lives is taken for granted.

We tend to forget about the little things in life that make it great and worthwhile.

The little things that we no longer notice yet mean so much.

We quickly forget how much the little things mean to us, but we are quickly and brutally reminded once they are taken away.

That is why gratitude must be practiced and it is so important.

It must be practiced so that we never again forget about the little things that make a world of difference.  The things that bring joy and happiness.

So that we no longer take for granted what is truly important.

Practicing gratitude will breathe life back into what has long been stored in the back of our minds begging to come forth.

Give yourself the gift, the pleasure of being happy with what you already have.

Bring back the feeling of enjoying the world around you like the days of our youth.

Do so by practicing gratitude and fully embracing it.

“There is strength in gratitude.”

Find what so many others have come across when they put gratitude into practice.  There is strength in gratitude.

The simple way to practice gratitude

Every single morning when you wake up, the first thing to do is say thank you.

Say thank you to whoever or whatever, it does not matter.

Just say thank you.

Implement this small and easy practice of gratitude and it will make a world of difference that you would not believe.

Why say thank you?

Every single day that you wake up, say thank you for waking up to another day of life.  Another day that you get to go out and make the most of your life.

Another day to make your dreams come true.

“Every single day that you wake up, say thank you for waking up to another day of life.”

Say thank you for having been able to sleep in your bed and for having a bed to sleep in.

Also, say thank you for the roof that is over your head and all the other wonderful things that you have.

Do you have a car?  Does it run?  Do you have clothes to choose an outfit?

If you said yes those questions, you have something to say thank you for.

At times it may not seem like much, but trust that it’s more than enough.

Put it in perspective

If you don’t know what to say thank you for, take a minute today to look around and think deeply about everything around you.

The ability to walk, see, hear, and speak are all things to be thankful for.  They are abilities to be extremely thankful for.

A place to call home, a bed, running water, heat and air conditioning, food in the fridge, shoes, and clothes are all things to be thankful for.

We take them for granted and don’t realize how special they are to us until they are taken away.  They are taken for granted because we no longer notice them. Those things are no longer appreciated as they were when they were new.

Think about it for a second.

How would your life be if you didn’t have something as simple as running water?  No only for a few days either.  No running water at all.

When you finally get running water, you become overjoyed and are so thankful to have it.

That story changes a few years down the road.

It doesn’t have to be that way though and it shouldn’t be that way either.

By saying thank you and acknowledging all that you have and everyone that you have, you are practicing gratitude, my friends.

When you do so, you are putting yourself in the mindset to appreciate all the things we take for granted.

All the little things we forget about.  The new day, the racket your kids make, a kiss from your significant other, conversations with friends and family, etc.

“Always remember that the little things in life are something to be thankful for and they can add up to be something huge.”

Always remember that the little things in life are something to be thankful for and they can add up to be something huge.

Happiness from Gratitude

Practice gratitude for the life that you are living.

Happiness comes easier when you are grateful for the things and people you already have in your life.

Do not focus on the things you don’t have or the things that others may have as many of us tend to do.

Quit scrolling through social media wishing that you were in someone else’s shoes.

Doing so will only make you feel worse about yourself.  And you never know what other people may actually be going through.

What you see on social media is usually a fraction of what is actually happening.

Don’t get caught up in the “keeping up with the Joneses” game.  You don’t need to take an extravagant vacation because someone else on social media took one.

Focus on yourself and those that you are for and be happy about it. Focus on the present moment.

As the saying goes, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

We make ourselves unhappy by taking everything around us for granted.

Every day we face things, situations, and people that may frustrate us to no end, but through the practice of gratitude, those frustrations become easier to brush off.

“Every day we face things, situations, and people that may frustrate us to no end, but through the practice of gratitude, those frustrations become easier to brush off.”

You won’t carry them with you throughout your day and you won’t take them home to your family.

It’s nothing more than nonsense that is irrelevant to the rest of your day and the rest of your life.

Bottom Line

So, every morning when you wake up, say thank you.

Say thank you, embrace gratitude and put it into practice every single day.

Be grateful and happy!

—Cruz

6 Ways to Show Up and Get Ahead

If you want to show up, then get up.  Get up, get your shoes on, and get moving.  Do it like it were basic training.  

How easy it is to roll over and smash the snooze button when your alarm goes off. 

Sure, it’s easy to stay in bed for a few more precious minutes under your warm cozy covers.  It’s easy, but the worst thing to do first thing in the morning is go back into bed. 

“It’s easy, but the worst thing to do first thing in the morning is go back into bed.” 

You’re losing every time you hit the snooze and lay back down.

You can’t always go along with what feels good at the moment.  Kick in the self-discipline and go with what is right. Go with what is going to make you better and give you a better life. 

You know what that is because you will be uncomfortable.  Being uncomfortable is where you grow. 

Get out of your bed, break that damn alarm clock, win your morning, and show up to be the hero of your story!

The easy part

Anything done with motivation can be easy.

It’s easy to show up and accomplish things when you’re feeling motivated and full of energy.  Anyone can do that. 

Ask yourself this, how many of those days do you have? 

It’s not every day, that’s for damn sure.  If you count them, you’ll be surprised how very few there are.New Years

There would be a lot more successful people in this world if they were constantly motivated.  Even if they had more days of motivation than not.

Unfortunately, that is never the case for anyone.   

Working, progressing, improving only when you are motivated is not progress that will last.  Motivation is purely momentary and when that moment passes, it’s gone. 

What then? 

Usually, we fall back into the trap of going through the motions in life.  The progress made during the moment of motivation is lost.

The hard part

It’s the days that you don’t have the energy that truly matter.  The days where there isn’t an ounce of motivation in your body, but you get to work anyway. 

When you don’t feel like waking up early, going to the gym, working on your project, studying for your test, and getting better.  It’s those days that it becomes absolutely imperative that you fight that feeling of comfort and do it. 

That’s when you must show up.

Most days, all it takes is to show up.

Showing up is the first step and it’s the hardest step to take.

Show up and make it a habit

You don’t feel like working out? Great!  Show up to the gym anyway.

Chances are you’re going to work out if you do.  It doesn’t matter if it was a bad workout or a great workout.  What matters is that you showed up, you put in work. 

You strengthen the habit of showing up.  Show up consistently.

“Show up consistently.”

Showing up is the start of gaining momentum and building it in your favor my friend.

When you don’t feel like writing, you better plant your ass in front of that computer screen or notebook anyway.  Start with a few words, grind into it and before you know it, you’ve written 250 words. 

Then you’ve written 500 words.

WritingYou could possibly snap out of your stupor to find 1000 words on what was once a blank page. And it started with showing up.

It doesn’t matter how many words you write.  Once again, what matters is that you showed up in front of that screen, in front of that paper and wrote. 

Imagine you did that for a year straight writing at least 250 words.  At the end of the year, you will have written a book.   A good sized book at that.

Forgo instant gratification. 

Get out of your comfy bed, get off the lazy boy, get away from the water cooler and just show up. 

Like the one and only Joe Rogan said, “90% of success is just showing up. You’re not going to feel perfect every day.  Get there and start working.”

 

“90% of success is just showing up. You’re not going to feel perfect everyday.  Get there and start working.” —Joe Rogan

Make it easier to show up in 6 ways

It’s difficult enough to show up when there is no motivation. 

Make it easier on yourself to show up.  Encourage yourself by setting up you’re environment up for success. 

1. Stage your items

Prepare your items

It’s a lot easier to get something done when whatever you’re going to use is ready and easily accessible. 

If you’re going to work out in the morning, have your clothes and shoes ready to go. 

Planning on eating more fruit then have it out where it’s visible and easy to get to. 

If you want to read more, make your books easily accessible. 

Make it easy to see the things you’re going to use to make yourself better.  Easy to access and always in view. 

2. Eliminate distractions

Do not disturb

The biggest distraction of them all is our phones.  It has become a habit to most to check our phones every few minutes or open up one of the apps for no apparent reason. 

Eliminate this distraction by disabling notifications, turning the phone off or setting it to do not disturb. 

Schedule time to not be disturbed. 

Remove the television from your room. 

Do what you must to eliminate any distractions from what you’re trying to accomplish.

3. Designate areas and time

Home office

Designate areas of your place for specific functions. 

Such as where you will read, where you will work out, where you will write, where you will sleep and so on. 

Designate a specific time for each function as well.  Keeping a schedule that you can stick to will make miracles happen. 

Do this so you know that at a certain time that is for business, pleasure, or relaxing.

4. Accountability

accountability partner

Get an accountability partner to keep you in check whenever you even have a thought about not to show. 

You can also post it on social media and let everyone else hold you accountable. 

Be warned, you will not always receive the type of accountability you’re looking for.  Although it can be effective, having an accountability partner would be ideal.  

Either way, should you go the social media route, do not let the negativity you may encounter derail you. 

5. Write it down

write it down

Write it down and make it visible. 

Get a calendar and cross out the days you show up.  This has a mental benefit and acts as a motivator as well. 

It doesn’t have to be a calendar. 

Use a journal, a notebook, notecards, sticky notes, a napkin, anything will work as long as you write it down and make it visible for you to see every day.

6. Celebrate and don’t settle

cheers

Celebrate each day that you show up because each day that you do is a win for you.

You don’t have to throw an extravagant party or anything like that.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  Some good words and good thoughts are celebrations and they can go a long way too. 

Reinforce the habit of showing up with celebrating each win. 

Do not settle though. 

When you go through a week of showing up, don’t tell yourself that that was good enough and quit. 

Keep going and make it habit deeply ingrained into you. 

Bottom Line

Show up every single time.  Do it without exception.  Show up on the days that you don’t feel like showing up.  Make it easier for yourself to show up.  Remember, that is when it is most important that you do.

That’s how you become successful.  If you want to be fit, that is how you get fit.  It’s how you become a writer and it’s how you become a great parent and a great spouse.

To put it bluntly, that is how you become a bad ass.

—Cruz

New Year’s Day: Just another day on the calendar

New Year's Day 2019

As we enter New Year’s Eve, I find myself thinking about all the resolutions that will be made and all the resolutions that will be broken.

Nearly all resolutions that are made on New Year’s Day are broken before January ends.

According to US News, 80 percent of resolutions made in the new year will fail.

The reality of New Year’s resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are crap.

Yes I said it.  It may rain on some parades, but it’s time to wake up and see the truth.

People make a New Year’s resolution without really putting any thought into it thinking that it will magically happen because the numbers on the calendar changed.

Most resolutions are usually vague with no real belief behind them when they’re conceived.

“Most resolutions are usually vague with no real belief behind them when they’re conceived.”

Things like losing weight, not drinking, sticking to a diet, and getting out of debt, are the usual suspects when people think of a new year resolution.

They’re made and broken in record time.

Did you know that big time commercial gyms like Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness have memberships skyrocket in January? It’s because of the new year and all the resolutions that have been made to change.

You’ll notice in the first two weeks of January that every gym never has enough parking because everyone is still working on their resolution. Gym on February 1st of the new year

Revisit those same gyms in February and chances are pretty damn good that you won’t have a problem finding a parking spot.

A new year’s resolution is nothing more than an idea that you should have acted on well before you decided to make it a resolution.

Every new year resolution is nothing more than an excuse.  It’s a free pass for procrastination.

“Every new year resolution is nothing more than an excuse.  It’s a free pass for procrastination.”

Instead of implementing the change immediately, in the now, you decided to leave it to “someday”.

Someday I’ll lose weight, someday I’ll get rich, someday I’ll become better, or someday I’ll make it work.

That is the wrong mindset to have.  Someday will never arrive because something will always hold you up.  Unless you get after it now.  Don’t let your resolution depend on the flip of a calendar.

Work on it now.

The new year, January first of whatever year it is, does not make a new you.

It does not mean you get to start over.

Life is continuous and if you waited until January 1st to make a change then you will be in the same position on January 1st, 2019 that you were in January 1st of 2018.

You’re still going to wake up in the same bed, go to the same job, making the same money.

But if you made a resolution two or three months before the new year and acted on it then, imagine where you could be.  Maybe in line for a promotion, a pay raise, a new business, smaller debt, healthier, fitter, happier, a better bed, etc.

What really makes you stick to a resolution

The new you and the chance to start over only begins when you make the decision to do so and act on that decision.

“The new you and the chance to start over only begins when you make the decision to do so and act on that decision.”

Not when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.

When you’re finally fed up of being the way you are or are in a position in life that you don’t like, that’s when you make a decision and take action.

Your decision to act and taking that first step to change yourself and your situation mark a new beginning.

It’s not marked by a holiday or a calendar.

Don’t let an external factor like a day on the calendar make your decisions.

Guess what?

That decision you made, that doesn’t happen because it’s a new year.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 2019, 2020, January 1st or July 1st.

The calendar does not make a difference.

You do not have to wait for a new year to change yourself into the person you want to be.

Why resolutions are broken

The reason that most resolutions are broken before January ends is for the simple fact that they are not backed by a strong enough “why”.  Some are not backed with “why” at all.

The new year is not a strong enough “why” to stay true to your resolution.  Hell, it’s not a “why” to begin with.

What is your “why”?

What is your why?

Do you want to lose weight in 2019? Why?

Is it because you want to look skinnier or is it because you realized that if you continue to pack on the pounds, you won’t live long enough to see your children grow?

Do you want to quit drinking in 2019?  Why?

Is it because you’re wasting too much money on booze or is it because you’ve had a few close calls and are on the brink of losing your family, friends and everyone you care about?

Now, you tell me which “why” is going to keep a person true to their resolution.

Find your “why” and make your resolution now, regardless of the date.

Start busting your ass to stick to your resolution.

Burn this into your brain, the date doesn’t matter whatsoever.  The year doesn’t matter, the day of the week doesn’t matter, and the time doesn’t matter.

Your decision and immediate action are all that truly matter.

Make your resolution and act on your resolution every single day.  From the moment you wake to moment you sleep.  Take it into your dreams too!

Make your resolution and strengthen it every day with your “why” in mind and I guarantee that you will be successful in seeing your resolution through.

Bottom line

Don’t make a new years resolution, make daily resolutions.

Make a resolution in the now.  The moment that you realize you want change.

Make real changes in your life at the moment you know that you need to make them.

There is no reason to wait.

Why procrastinate on becoming a better version of yourself or to put yourself in a better position in life?

If you are waiting for a new year, then I can tell you that you don’t really want to change.

Remember, you don’t change because the year changes.

You change because you made the decision and acted on that decision.  Your actions will compound and they will build something great.  You may not see the results immediately, but this is nothing to be discouraged about.

“You change because you made the decision and acted on that decision.”

Continue with daily action on your resolution, one year from now when everyone is making their new years resolution, you will be enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Your decision and immediate action will have made it so.

—Cruz