The last video you have to watch in 2017

Catchy title right? (It’s not mine so imagine this (™) behind it) The title is actually from a Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee) video I saw recently. Gary is an entrepreneur, author, author and more. He can be pretty intense but he sure knows what he’s doing and is therefore, an interesting fella. He features on many ‘top people lists’ on topics of motivation, personal development and entrepreneurship. The more I read and see about him the more interesting he gets, and he has a nice way of putting some real truths out there too.  There’s little sugarcoating involved but as is true of many great names in this field, sometimes the ‘hard approach’ works, with verbal guns blazing.

Now this video is exactly that. A hard approach to the way people are handling their lives, goals and plans, and what Gary thinks of that. It’s been a few days since it was posted and they have since censored the swearing so younger audiences can watch it as well without being restricted by YouTube. Well done but I would prefer the uncensored version. Just gets the message across more properly.

It’s 11 minutes long, so take a seat or make sure you don’t have to switch trains or something halfway through. It’s worth the watch.

Take from it what you will. Obviously it won’t mean the same to everyone else, or you might not even like it at all. Side note: learn from that experience as well. Not liking something is fine, taking the time to consider why you don’t like a certain thing is better. Opinions are based on something, they have roots you might not know. Figuring these out can be just as interesting as something you do like. Accepting your own opinion is key.

Gary ends on an interesting note. He is basically saying he doesn’t want to be a motivational speaker or have people need him for that. He’d rather people do it on their, or use one or two sources (of his) to kick-start their own motivation and make it their own. “I genuinely want you to never watch me again.” he says.  I feel like I fit in the category of ‘people who constantly look for ways to motivate themselves without acting upon that drive’. Even motivated I tend to procrastinate which I then hope to combat with even more motivational nourishment. Yet I find myself putting things off anyway. It’s something I really should work on. I’ve taken some steps already to do just that and this video definitely helps a great deal.

So that is an example of what I got out of it (and much more). Again, to each their own. I just hope you can take something positive from the video. Perhaps an old or new year’s resolution or two 😉 Still two weeks left so make them count!

Have a good one and enjoy the holidays!

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My #1 life hack.

Straight up: it’s exercise. Done deal. I’ve mentioned it countless times already but realised I have never dedicated a full post to it, so here we go. It is my greatest life hack.

First, a little backstory, to understand why exercise is so important to me and why I advocate it so. So get comfy kids, it’s story time!

Over the years I’ve had my ups and downs when it comes to being physically active and healthy. From a young age my dad encouraged me to play sports and I tried quite a few. The ones that appealed most were badminton, basketball and football. (Although the latter was mostly high school peer pressure). I was never really athletic in any way and lacked a real sportsman’s spirit, yet I enjoyed it somehow and kept at it. At some point during high school I simply got better at sports. I was never the best but had no aspiration to be the best either. I started getting good grades and most importantly, I started to really enjoy it. Luckily, that development stuck with me.

For a long while the reason I played sports and exercised was because I hated it when people called me ‘skinny’. I wanted to build muscles, hoping that in turn I’d become more confident as well. A common problem among young guys I’m sure, and while there is nothing demonstrably wrong with the motive, it wasn’t the right one for me. It didn’t motivate me enough to keep  at it. The only motivation I ever found to work for me was to enjoy it. As soon as I really started enjoying working on my body and becoming more healthy and fit, motivation was no longer a question. Looking more fit became a bonus, not the goal.

The end.

There’s more! Through being active I realised the importance of it all. I had heard all the stereotypical statements and quotes from people before and have heard them countless times since. It’s so true though.. Exercising is good for you, period.

“Take care of your body, you’re going to need it.”
– Tim Minchin

I don’t mean you have to pump iron or to go for a run every day, you have to decide for yourself how you are going to stay healthy and fit. I am merely talking about the benefits of it all and how I experienced it. Like with all posts on this blog, it’s what you do with the information that’s important. The decision to become more active, get in shape and to take care of my body has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. That’s why I call it the #1 life hack, it has given me nothing but confidence and joy. Back then I had no idea of the benefits and how much positive energy it would bring me. Furthermore, it enables you to face and deal with stress, setbacks and adversities more. You can take on the world.

On a more scientific note, working out releases endorphins. Maybe you’ve ever been on a run or you’ve done a heavy exercise and at some point the physical exhaustion  got to you, but it made you feel great and euphoric nonetheless. This is due to your body’s endorphins. It’s a chemical with just one goal: masking physical pain. You feel great because of the other chemicals that have been released and because endorphins make sure you don’t feel the pain. This also happens when you laugh so much it hurts, your body simply runs out of endorphins. (Without endorphins in our bodies, laughter would always hurt).

If you’re having trouble keeping up with exercising schedules or simply can’t be bothered most of the time, here’s the tip: find a sport/exercise that you love to do. As soon as you start liking it, the question is no longer ‘if you work out’ but ‘when you do the next one’. If running is not for you, don’t feel like you need to run anyway. There’s plenty of alternatives. Exercise is supposed to be exciting, not just another obligation on your to do list. Whatever your goal is, make enjoying it your priority and the goal will become the bonus.

What could help for some people is having an accountability buddy (or a group of people like in team sports). Go do sports/workouts together and push each other forward. If someone else knows your goal they’ll hold you accountable if you don’t show up or don’t do the work. Another way that could help is having a goal you want to work towards, sign up for a running competition or football tournament three months from now, and know you have to work hard to perform well. Again, it’s simply a way to get you moving and active, you’ll start liking it after a while. That hurdle is the first and biggest one. Might not work with the first thing you try, but have a go anyway. I’ve heard countless stories of people who eventually cleared (or literally jumped) that hurdle and none of them regret it.

I prefer working out alone, got my own tempo, music and reasons, and I love it. Also, I haven’t really played a team sport since the Spice Girls broke up so it’s hard to compare the two. But now that I’m more fit, I’d be more up to try something, because I’m confident I could bring something to a team or sport.

So there you go. If you need me, I’ll just be over by the phone waiting for Wenger to call ;-).

A guide to a motivating day.

Five guiding principles to a motivating day.

  1. Be active: set realistic and challenging activities.
  2. Get inspired: inspiration can be found anywhere.
  3. Have a meaningful day: Ask the ‘what?’ and the ‘how?’ question.
  4. Progress and achieve: success is satisfying.
  5. Reflect and rejoice in what you’ve done: “What did you learn today?”

What if being at work is like having a day off? Your day off generally consists of things you want to do and some things you need to do that day. If you managed to do what you had to do, and you had time to do the things you enjoy, you look back on a day (full) of joy, happiness and accomplishment. It does not necessarily have to be a day off to feel this way, in fact, this could also be true after a day of obligatory (work-related) activities. Follow these five guiding principles, and see what happens! Let’s elaborate what they’re all about. Continue reading