Finding And Centering Around Your Purpose

Finding And Centering Around Your Purpose

I get a lot of questions about why I do all the things I do, why I can’t just be one thing, how do all these different interests link, etc.. All good, genuine questions.

Let me try and explain how I centered around my passions, which I believe can help everyone!

There are questions and there are life focus points that can help you find your true north:

  1. Where do you put your effort? 
  2. What’s your purpose? 
  3. What is a meaningful life? What is a life worth living? 
  4. What is your pursuit? 
  5. What gives you meaning? 
  6. What brings you joy (not happiness)?
  7. What’s your cause? 
  8. What’s your belief? 
  9. Why does your organization exist? 
  10. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? 
  11. How do you measure yourself? And why should anyone care? 

I believe in the need to discover a deep sense of purpose for one’s life. These questions help one center themselves to a purpose. Then one must not only believe it but live and work for it daily on fulfilling that purpose! As Terry Orlick eloquently proclaims, “The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.”

 Define your horizon and anchor to it by exploring sparks, engaging curiosities, paying attention to where energy flows, and growing ideas. Passions will emerge and then you are free, you are born. If you don’t know, begin removing the things that aren’t/don’t.

Chasing and growing from my sparks, curiosities, adventures, and experiences has created a unique and diverse passion set. But… it has created an intersection that is my path, my vision, my obsession. My quest is the intersections of those many strange and unique passions (including a foodie!!): I want to be a blueprint for how one maximizes human potential in the area of mind, body, heart, and self – to help everyone #LevelUp. If I can learn with and help grow all of those around me, we can collectively rewire the human condition. Obsessed with mindsets and innovation, I am chasing that horizon to #livelaughlove to the fullest. I’m less an athlete, less an educator, less a leader. I am a human scientist using everything I can.

An ethnographer and seeker at heart, I’m constantly seeking new adventures, challenges, connections, and growth. Without that, I’m dead inside. Without that, I become fixated on being happy (things that often lead to bad decision making) instead of lasting joy.

#levelup #horizon #life #living #lifeworthliving #livelaughlove #growth #joy #happy #love #living #mindsets #motivation #mindfulness #passion #neverdone #myquest #questsquad  #fit #fitness #education #teacher #seeker #passion

Passing Time on Steady State Cardio

Most of the time, my cardio is HIIT and Conditioning based so time flies. However, I believe steady state cardio has its place. In brief, I’ll add 20-30 minutes of steady state after HIIT during the offseason. I’ll also use steady state on days when I don’t do HIIT. Finally, steady state becomes a large portion the closer I get to a show. Right now, I’ve been at two 60 minute steady state sessions.

And that is a hamster wheel experience that gets old quickly especially for someone easily victimized by boredom.

But I’ve developed a few strategies that really help:

  1. Chunky Chunk: I’ll break up steady state into multiple sections and utilize different machines. For example, I’ll use 4 different pieces of equipment at 15 minutes each. This changes the mental and physical state. Wake up!
  2. Play Frogger: I’ll utilize different movements on equipment. For instance, I’ll go sideways, backwards, forwards, etc.. By breaking things into 30sec time frames, time picks up because the stimulus of change.
  3. Audio/Visual Learning Time: this is key for me. I listen to podcasts and watch videos of things of value to me (education, cooking, interviews, fitness events, etc)
  4. Course Experiences: I take a lot of MOOCs like Coursera. I’ll spend an hour in my course work. 
  5. Curation and Writing: I actually spend a potion reviewing my various feeds and then write or tweet about them. I’m actually blogging this during cardio. I’ll do my Yelp work, blog for my profession, and work on my brand in fitness

This is a good time to say get distracted. If you focus on how much time is left, you’ll fight it and struggle deeply.

Level Up!


What Makes a Teacher Distinguished

Let’s be clear that there is no one answer at least in my opinion. There are, however, common themes that emerge if we listen to enough stories about teachers that are distinguished, truly making a mark on the lives of students and the profession of education.

Listening to the stories about our distinguished teacher this year, a number of points about her resonated with me because these are themes emerging in other stories about other teachers given similar honors by students.

Distinguished Teacher Traits

  • Unique style
  • Engaging – Not a single student was ever bored
  • Allowed our voices to be heard 
  • Embraced and cultivated our individuality 
  • Empathetic to our world
  • She recognized potential and pushes each one to reach and even exceed
  • Persistent care for us – endless memory remembering every detail about us 
  • Content was merely a vehicle to us and our minds not the end all be all 
  • Modeled a life worth living
  • Taught us to trust ourselves and become our own person

emphasis my own

Hearing the stories of how this teacher captured the hearts and minds of her students brought me to tears. It also leaves me wondering what can we draw from these traits that can (should?) be applied in education.  

Expectations of Students and Teachers Must Align

I don’t write much about education these days because much of what I say is so counter to what is being said that it is perceived as  abrasive.

This will no doubt fall into that category but it comes from the purest of intent: get you to think a bit differently.

So here it is… 

Social media and education outlets are full of chatter about students needing to build, create, design, innovate, collaborate, go global, be public, do big things, transform the world, etc..

I couldn’t agree more. But here is the thing: how many of the adults in your school/district are doing this themselves regularly? How many of them are pushing the status quo in their professional and personal life? How many are growth and change minded?

The number will directly correlate to the number of students experiencing these things in the classroom.

In other words, none of this will happen systemically if the adults aren’t living it themselves. Leaders – align the expectations of students with the same expectations of teachers or you’ll never see systemic change.

Am I Selfish?

Am I selfish?

(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

To answer the question, one must ask whether selfish is about intent and outcome or just about one’s actions.

For example, am I selfish because I devote 2-3 hours a day to the gym? If one is looking at it purely from an action point of view, one could reasonably argue that I’m selfish given that I have children and a profession. On the other hand, one could look at the intent and mindset behind my 2-3 hours a day in the gym not merely the act of going to the gym. That would, undoubtedly, yield a different view.

But selfish is often a label placed upon people like me. What is a person like me? I’m a person who…

  • is all in or all out – no in between
  • feels dead inside when he isn’t challenged
  • thrives on change and evolving
  • takes risks and fails forward
  • seeks the horizon, dreams wildly, and lives in the clouds
  • fears complacency and
  • play and lives on the edge
  • longs for adventure, the new, and the extraordinary
  • abandons things quickly if they aren’t moving him forward, bringing him growth, or maximizing his ability to #livelaughlove to the greatest degree
  • loathes normalcy and believes he is destined for anything but average
  • chases dreams and cultivates his vision at the expense of nearly anything
  • connects with many people but intimately surrounds himself with but a few, extremely passionate people
  • intolerant of people who embrace stagnation and defend status quo

Egocentric? Selfish? Self-Centered? Before you answer that, let me pose this…

I model for my children and those in my life a growth mindset. I model a constant movement towards a better me. I model a life of passion and dreams. I am creative and innovative yet know I have many flaws – I simply choose to work on making my strengths so much stronger that my weaknesses are minimized.

But I see person after person who model for their children and those around them a fixed mindset. How they look, behave, and function today is what they will be 5, 10, 20 years from now. They don’t change. They don’t evolve. They’ve stopped growing. They’ve stopped dreaming. They live day to day as a checklist not a vision list. They wake walk. Are they happy? Maybe. Not for me to judge.

So back to Am I selfish. The real question is who is selfish? The person showing a life of growth or a life of stagnation? I was once told that “by doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.” Those that are stagnant aren’t doing what they love. They are operating from fear, safety, and complacency. How is that a model for anyone? If I’m inspiring and awakening a fire in my children, students, and those I’m blessed to cross paths with in life, then I’ll take this brilliant label of selfish oft cast upon me.

And ultimately, perhaps there is a larger question: why the negative connotation with the word selfish?

Three Choices 

Life’s moments can be simplified down to three choices. With any moment, one can…

  1. Give up. 
  2. Give in. 
  3. Give it everything. 

It comes down to beliefs, heart, and passion. In other words, our way of looking at life, our mindsets.

And that is just it. We must overcome our number one obstacle: our mind. Otherwise, fear, excuses, and paralysis govern decision making.

Dreams Require Loss

Having dreams. Believing in those dreams. Acting upon those dream daily. While cyclical, each is a phase that requires a different focus, lens, and level of intensity.

It is easy to lose sight and begin focusing on everything but those dreams. But your dreams can’t stop for anyone. You have to be willing to give up and sacrifice anything (except your beliefs and values) to bring each one to life. Surround yourself with those that have unwavering, unselfish support. Surround yourself with those that don’t question your path, cause unnecessary stress, nor make you feel out of sorts for dream chasing.

Support me or move away from me. Together or alone. It doesn’t matter. I’m bringing my vision to life knowing full well that dreams never come true without loss.


Weekend Mindset

It never fails. By 8am, I’ve heard at least three times how many days until the weekend: “two down. Three to go!”, “almost there”, “get me to the weekend”, and so forth.

Living for the weekend is fascinating and probably the easiest warning sign that something needs to change.

My goal has always been to live in the moment away from the regret of yesterday and the anxiety of tomorrow. Tis not always easy.

But how many of us are caught in counting days to meaningfulness instead of sucking meaning out of the moment? What if the weekend mindset was our daily mindset?

Imagine how much more loving, laughing, and loving would emerge.

Doors Closing

The lifespan of an opportunity is always near ready to close the door on that moment. When your mind is close to giving up and questioning why, remember your vision. 

Message upon message will scream, “you can’t… You shouldn’t…” . A society that is change adverse sees those who fear complacency as different, even a threat. But that message matters only to the degree that one listens.

We are designed to change, evolve, grow, and succeed, a constant pattern of fail-recommit. Somewhere we lose this and we begin calculating risk/reward (overestimating risk while underestimating reward), playing it safe, and sabotaging personal growth and happiness to satisfy the status quo societal needs. 

I’m guilty as charged and it hurts. It is the making of regret, of giving up, of being content/good enough. 

Like water flowing in a stream, you’ll never be in this spot again. Make the most of it! Get your mindset right and become your vision!

Life of Purpose

I believe in the need to discover a deep sense of purpose for one’s life. Then one must not only believe but work daily on fulfilling that purpose! This means doing what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love. As Terry Orlick eloquently proclaims, “The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.”

What is your pursuit? What gives you meaning? What brings you joy? If you don’t know, begin removing the things that aren’t/don’t. 

Life of purpose is a life worth living.