Work Ethic

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This past weekend was my Love’s birthday and I surprised her by taking her to a Food Tour in the Mission District located in San Francisco, CA. I wanted to have a tour with an awesome tour guide so like many of us I checked out yelped. I found Foodie Adventures who was ran by Chris Milano. Now just to get it straight he didn’t pay me to do this post or any way shape or form, it was actually the sole experience I got from his tour that stimulated this piece.

On the food tour we stopped by several Ma and Pop restaurants, learned about each of their culture and back stories, and ate their food. There was a relentless amount of eating. What I was so inspired about is that these family run businesses epitomized work ethic. That is the very reason they are still in business after 30+ years! Several factors that give them that edge over their mainstream competitors are:

  • They own their property, not lease it.
  • They stay true to their quality.
  • They work HARD.

We first stopped at a bakery, where one of the owners is chinese but speaks fluent spanish! Chris said it’s hilarious to see the look on all the hispanic women’s’ faces when the chinese owner starts talking to them in their native language. The other owner works 13 days on, one day off. That’s almost 2 weeks of non-stop working, each day being 12+ hours. Believe it or not they love doing it!

Another restaurant we stopped by had their kids start working at the age of 13! Some of you may say “Oh my thats child labor! Horrible!” It’s not horrible when you understand the reason behind it. One of the workers came out as she was giving us a sample dish of what they offered, and she explained, “When we turn 13, my Dad tells us, ‘By this age you already know how to spend money, now it’s time to learn how to make it.’” With that being said, they start to learn what hard work really is.

Just because they work hard at a young age, however, doesn’t mean they’re mindless drones. They still go to school and get their education, but at the same time they learn what work ethic really means, what it feels like, and what it can really get you. One of the older brothers already owns his own home, at the age of 21. This past month we were also told that their parents who own the business and work alongside them, took all their kids to Disney World to thank them for all their hard work.

It’s a different feeling when you are awarded for your hard work and achievements. There’s an appreciation there that cannot be replicated. Work ethic in today’s society is substandard in my opinion. Too many complaints about unnecessary things. The lack of appreciation for anything is growing at an alarming rate. The term “FML” (Fuck My Life) is used without a second thought. It’s a slap to the face to someone who’s struggling to keep theirs. It’s sad, and the only way to get out of the mentality is to realize that if you work hard enough in anything, success is possible.

It may not come right away, and it may not come in the way you first envisioned it, but once you’re there, you will look back at how far you have come and grasp the fact that your dream has finally become a reality.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”.- Colin Powell

Your Inner Child

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Remember how it was being a kid imagining that anything is possible in life? Whatever you thought up had a chance of becoming reality as long as you made it happen. Whether it be saving the world as a superhero or pretending you have magical powers to entertain people. Whatever the case was, when you were a kid, you thought anything you did was and made you look awesome.

As we grew up, we see these things as silly notions of immaturity. When we reached that age of independence, to most of us it is all about being grown up and paying bills. You start getting use to the notion that dreams are nothing but figments of your imagination and that reality is a 40+ hour weekly grind resulting in your survival in this financially demanding world. Through this whole process, the care-free spirits we once were become cynical souls of the “real world.”

“It’s all part of growing up” is what the common knowledge is within our society, but I beg to differ. You ever look at individuals who have never stopped dreaming? They’re the most successful people in the world! They don’t have to be the richest and wealthiest people either. Money can buy a lot of things and make life a lot easier to live, however it can never satisfy what our inner desires are.

To satisfy your inner desires, your inner accomplishments you hope to achieve during your time here on earth, you have to have that childlike mentality where everything may be possible! One of the irritating and annoying things I’ve experienced working with a lot of “professionals” is that most of them take themselves too seriously. The few who don’t were actually the most productive and effective ones.

Look at Sir Richard Branson, who has dyslexia and dropped out of high school at the age Photo Credit: http://genese-de-strategie.blogspot.comof 16. He is now the man behind the “Virgin” Brand, a brand that almost anyone in the world can recognize! This guy is one of the most enthusiastic and fun people I’ve seen. People can say all they want about “Oh it’s because he’s lucky and wealthy. That’s why he’s so happy.” NO it’s not, it’s because of his child like mentality! In whatever projects he initiated, he believed, pursued, and never gave up! This guy went from running a record shop to building the first space tourism company! He is one of the many who emulate and exude that child like enthusiasm and energy.

Don’t lose your inner child, embrace it. It’s that little spark of fire inside of you that a lot of people tend to ignore because it’s the “mature” thing to do. If you really want to make something a reality, whatever it may be, listen to that little fire inside you. Everyone has that inner flame of hope burning deep inside them, all they need to do is fan the flames.

See It! Believe It!

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From my experience, it’s usually hard to visualize something without literally seeing it. We all know that in order to accomplish anything in life, we have to be able to see the “bigger picture.” I don’t know about you, but sometimes it can get a little frustrating because that picture in our head is exactly that, in our head. It means at times when we get frustrated or angry about something in our lives, whatever it may be, we lose track of what we are really trying to do.

Enter, the VISION BOARD! *Insert Trumpet Fanfare Here* YES! What is it exactly? Well, other people call it different things; the dream board, inspiration board, awesome board, some-day board, etc. It’s basically a big presentation board littered with pictures representing your goals you have set out to accomplish. You may or may not have heard of it, but for those who have not it is an awesome tool to add to your arsenal of positive-life-making utility belt!

I learned this concept from high school during a leadership class I took. We all had to a do a “me board” project, summarizing our lives in pictures displayed on a presentation board. It amazed me to literally see what my life looked like through pictures on a board. I had pictures of my family, my dog, my friends (break dancing at the time), cars, certain movies (FINAL FANTASY!?) and various other interests. I may or may not post it because I don’t know if my friends want pictures of them in their high school years up on the internet. (You’re welcome).

I loved the fact that I was able to see everything I actually valued. Then I thought, why not make a board that helps me see everything I want to accomplish? I recently made one for me and my girlfriend focusing on places we want to travel some day. It’s pretty motivating to see pictures of the beaches of Hawaii, the scenery in Australia, and the Disney theme parks around the world! It’s perked up in her room because she needs it more than I do. I’m currently creating one for myself!

It only takes about an hour or two to actually make. The things you need are:

  • Presentation board.
  • Awesome pictures that represent what you want to accomplish.
  • Scissors and glue.

You can get these at your nearby office store, but once you start making one time will just fly because you’ll be so inspired by the pictures and try to see if you can fit even more pictures in there! After you’re done place it somewhere you can see it every day, like by your bedside, in the kitchen or near your computer screen. The more you literally see what your ultimate goals are, especially on a daily basis, you’ll have just that much more motivation to keep pushing and striving towards it!

It doesn’t necessarily have to be career oriented either. It can be an upcoming wedding, a car you want to buy, a house, losing weight, gaining muscle, beating an illness, graduating school, starting school, etc. The whole purpose of the vision board is to give you a tangible connection to a hopeful future. It is a constant reminder of why you do what you do. It is your lighthouse helping you see through the fog of life, all you have to do is keep working towards that direction.

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.”
– Robert Collieri

The “Secret” to Success

Within the fitness industry, it is common to see many people in pursuit of that “magic pill” or “super secret” way of getting to their goal as fast a possible, whether it be getting a six pack, bigger muscles, leaner body, getting stronger, becoming faster, or breaking a record. There is a constant search for that edge among many but only few realize that what they have been looking for has been within themselves at the very beginning of their journey to greatness.

I am talking about the mentality of training. Because of today’s marketing of such superficial products like

“MASS GAINER POWDER”

“DESTROY YOURSELF FOR 90 MINUTES FITNESS DVD” 

“THERE IS A PICTURE OF A SIX PACK ON THIS BOTTLE SO IT MUST WORK SUPPLEMENT” 

and constant media exposure to photoshopped models, many people may think that in order to achieve success in their training goals, one must improve everything physical about their body. This is only 10% of the formula.

The other 90% of the formula is mentality. The mind is a very powerful thing and has the ability to make or break us. This is the “secret” that 90% of people look for while the other 10% actually understand it. This small group of people go on to be the Olympians, professional and amateur champions in their respective sport, beat cancer, walk when thought medically impossible, break world records etc. Being in the “winning” mind set is the most overlooked method in my opinion.

One must be in the mind set of “I’ll make it happen” as opposed to “I hope it happens” to accomplish any goal. Too many people doubt themselves time and time again. Negative thinking is very common and is often passed on by those who have not accomplished what they have set out to do. They make themselves feel better by trying to get other people to think the same way. This makes me sick. One uppers and down talkers are the most annoying people in the world! However, if in the mindset of the “go getter,” these peoples’ way of thinking shouldn’t phase one in any way.

So the next time you’re out training for whatever goal you set out for yourself, train hard and dig deep. Push yourself past your physical limits when you have nothing else to go on but sheer will! Too often I see people do workouts they can “handle” and sad to say it but these people will never reach their true potential. Do not be afraid to raise the bar on yourself, because it will only make you stronger both physically and mentally.

If your usual is running a mile a day, well guess what, you should be running 1.5 miles a day the next week. If you’re squatting 315 lbs one session, gotta squat 335 the next. If you’re comfortable with your workouts, you’re doing it wrong. Training out of your comfort zone will not only yield results faster and more effectively, but it will make you mentally tougher.

This goes the same with working towards success. If you’re comfortable, you tend to lose your “hunger.” When you are uncomfortable in any given situation, it is your “hunger” that pushes you to make that situation better. Keep your mind hungry and focused and you’ll be amazed at how much you can actually do.

“Good things may come to those who wait, but great things are earned to those who pursue!” – Awesome Anonymous