Do this right now...

The work week (for most of us) is over.  You survived.  You accomplished a lot, even though you might feel like you didn't.

Did you keep track of your accomplishments?  Why not?  It's important for you to document your life.   When people ask what you've been doing, can you answer with detail?  Or are you answering the common way of "keeping busy"?

If you don't track what you do, start tomorrow.  Grab a piece of paper and jot down what you're doing throughout the day.   If you want a template, go to my home page, and at the bottom click send me a message, and I'll send you the template I use to track my daily activities.

Don't go through life going through the motions.  Journaling shows you how much you've accomplished.

Be well!

Know someone that is struggling with boundaries in their lives?  Refer them to my website, to show them you care!

Top 7 Leaders to follow for a better work life

7?  Why not 10?  Well, David Letterman will always “own” Top 10 lists in my mind, so I’m going to truncate the list down to 7.

In leadership, there are many days (feels longer) that you feel like you’re on an island, and no one is experiencing what you’re facing.

Bulls###.  

You’re not alone.  What you’re facing is not the first time it’s happened.  Maybe some components are new, but the overall circumstances are not new.  “Nothing is new under the Sun.”

Over the years, I’ve read and subscribed to books and blogs of several leaders.  You may have heard from some of them, but maybe not all.

Below is my (current) Top 7 leaders that I follow, and the reasons why I do.  Note they’re not in any particular order of importance.

  1. Michael Hyatt  (Twitter) I’ve followed my “virtual mentor” for nearly a decade.  I originally was part of Thomas Nelson’s Book review program, when Michael was CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing.  His blog has grown over the years, and he publicly shares tips, tricks, ideas, etc on how to make yourself a better person and leader.  

  2. Jon Gordon (Twitter)   Jon is HUGE in Korea, lol.  (You’ll get that comment if you watch some of his speeches.)  Jon has published several books, and the common theme is positivity.  Life and leadership can beat you down, so choosing to be positive in your daily lives will help you become a better leader, and your teams will grow because of it.

  3. John C. Maxwell (Twitter)  I can’t thank Dr. Maxwell enough for his work, and gifts he has given to me, and leaders across the globe.  His down-home, Grandpa-like way about him creates a level of comfort, that makes you want to sit on the floor near him, and listen to his stories.  You’ll learn so much about life with Dr. Maxwell.

  4. Michael Levitt (Twitter)  Wait, I follow myself?  How does that work?  Am I going to refer to myself in 3rd person now?  Michael Levitt is AWESOME!  (Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.)  Why do I follow me?  Because I want to see what I’m doing to grow, to help others, to help myself (selfless not selfish) and to leave a positive footprint on this world.  

  5. Joseph Lalonde (Twitter) My leadership brother from the Mitten writes great posts about lessons every leader needs to hear.  Joseph will use pop culture movies and other things in society, and ties them to how to improve your leadership of others.  

  6. Dan Rockwell (Twitter)  Leadership Freak’s content always seems different than other leadership blogs.  When you look at several leadership posts from a variety of people, you will see similar posts, but Dan’s blog posts always seem to connect with me in a different way.  Well worth your time to subscribe.

  7. You.  You clicked on this blog post to see who you should follow, and one of those people is you.  You’ve come so far in your leadership journey, and if you’re anything like the others on this list, you want to become the best leader you can be.  Keep striving for that, because our world needs you.

Top Fitness Health Trends for 2017

I spoke on wearable technology at the IoT Healthcare Big Data Conference in Toronto last month, and there was discussion on how to take all the data that wearable technology captures, and how to use it for health benefits.

It’s great that our FitBit tracks our activity, but how do we capture that data over time, so we can analyze our activities, and determine our optimum time for exercise, activity, etc?

It’s an interesting challenge, as this technology in wide spread use is still new.  I anticipate the big players (Apple, Microsoft, Internet data providers) to play a big role in the development of records.

The key will be to see if our physicians will be open to accept this information.  The big players will.  Physicians in smaller regions with smaller budgets may not.

Time will tell.

Below is a list of 3 trends from Cigna, for health trends for the rest of 2017

1. Wearable Technology

Wearable technology includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, smart eye glasses; and trending more recently are now smart fabrics and interactive textiles. With technology dominating nearly every aspect of our lives, this year sure offers a whole lot of tools that can help you stay on top form!

2. Body Weight Training

Body Weight Training is any form of exercising where your body weight is used as a form of resistance. Typically, this type of training involves minimal equipment, making it very practical and inexpensive – a reason for its popularity. Classic moves include push-ups, pull-ups and squats.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is usually a 30 minute routine that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise with short break periods. This form of exercise helps to burn calories fast; it can be found in different types of workouts and in gyms all around the world.

College Life

In the “time flies” department, I put a deposit on my oldest daughter’s dorm room application yesterday.

 

Dorm room.  

College.  

Adult child.  

Me.  

 

From holding her in my arms for the first time, to taking her to see Blues Clues at the Rosemont Theater, to finally getting the Justice League (Animated, not live action) Wonder Woman action figure in the mail, to giving a college money, for a place that my daughter will live in this fall, time truly has flown by.

We go through the motions of living more often than we should.  Our day-to-day responsibilities eat up way too much time, and we end up blinking, and then our kids start college life.

When time passes by, it’s often a time where you regret not spending more time on the things that are important.  

As a parent, the best thing we can do is be the best parent for our children, factoring in the circumstances that arise during those development years.  Of course upon reflection I wish that some things were done differently, but the focus is, and should always be on the outcome of your children’s lives.

I’m so proud of my daughters, and the people they are becoming.  I am fortunate to have awesome, loving parents, and my hope is that my daughters feel the same way about me.

So if you have children that are graduating this year, and heading off to college, I feel your pain.  It will be ok.  I promise.

The Ultimate Wake Up Call

Source: https://www.spandidos-publications.com/article_images/etm/5/6/ETM-05-06-1623-g00.jpg

Source: https://www.spandidos-publications.com/article_images/etm/5/6/ETM-05-06-1623-g00.jpg

Eight years ago, May 21, 2009, at approximately 10pm I suffered a heart attack.  My how my life has changed over these past 8 years.  

Here's a blog post I wrote 8 years ago, about the event:

Hello.

Last week, I had no idea what the following week would entail.

Had a heart attack.

Let that stew for a minute.

I had chest pains starting May 16th. Thought originally I pulled a chest muscle, because it only bothered me when I lifted something heavy, or strained my self reaching for something.

The pain would last for a minute or so, and was very infrequent.

Had it a bit more when I mowed the lawn on May 18th, but again blamed it on a pulled muscle.

May 21st at 10 pm, I had a more centralized chest pain, which I thought may be due to overeating. Jenn and I ate a big dinner that night, so I blamed the discomfort on that.

Friday I still had some of the older chest pain, so I discussed it with my physician, who I happen to work with. My physician felt that an EKG should be done just in case.

Our RN performed the 1st EKG. There was something amiss. She performed another EKG and saw something. She gave it to the physician.

Their actions saved my life.

My doctor called Dr. Jina at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, and after discussion, I was ordered to the hospital, where I’ve been having fun since last Friday, May 22nd.

I had several EKGs, and angiogram, which discovered two blockages in the left anterior descending artery. One blockage was 60%, and the other was 90%.

Two drug-eluding stents were placed into the affected artery on Wednesday.

You know what hurts? My groin where they performed the two angio tests. I’ve had 3 procedures in my life, and they were all in the groin area. 

Thus, Dr. Jina has ordered me off of work and driving for two weeks. Going to spend the next few days resting and sleeping (hard to sleep in a hospital when they keep waking you up to draw blood, take pills, take BPs.)

I’m always on the go, so two weeks of “no-go” is going to be a culture shift for me.

Mike 2.0 will be a lot different than the old Mike.

My daily reminder of what happened 8 years ago.

My daily reminder of what happened 8 years ago.

I take medications daily.  It's a daily reminder of what happened.  Some days I will reflect, while others it's just a routine, like brushing my teeth, or getting dressed.

Take care of your heart.  Be happy.  Focus on improving you.  Don't beat yourself up so much for things you've done.  Life is meant to be good, and enjoyable.

Do You Want To Write A book?

I've been in the midst of writing a book for a few months.  The process has been eye-opening, especially to the level of complexity to go from having a conceptual idea of a book, to creating a physical, in your hands book.  From cover design, formatting, editing, marketing, it's a big adventure.

Having said that, there's a way for you to create your book, and have step-by-step guidelines how to do it.

Of all the projects I've worked on in my life, this one (thus far) has been the most fulfilling.

Click here if you want to attend a free webinar on how to become an author.  It's well worth your time.

Happy writing!

#WorldBookDay How Reading Shapes Your Life

Today is World Book Day.  This day happens annually on April 23rd, and is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

My love of books goes back decades.  I started reading at age 3, and could read newspaper articles, and a variety of other content.  While there was a time in my life where I didn't read books as much, my love affair with reading never faded.

In 2016, I read over 50 books, which I'm positive is the most I've ever read in a calendar year.  Mostly leadership and self management types of books, but there was some other types in the mix.  I read to improve myself, so I can help improve others.  My growth career wise can be blamed on my love of books.

Do you read?  How much?  Why do you read?  Send me a tweet @BfastLeadership and let me know.

 

Sergio Garcia : Winning The Masters The Ultimate Leadership Lesson

Source:  Instagram.com/TheSergioGarcia

Sergio Garcia has been on the PGA tour (as a professional) since 1999.  18 years.  On April 9, 2017, Sergio finally won his first PGA Major tournament, and if you're going to win a golf tourney, The Masters is the one to win.

I couldn't be happier for Sergio, as he has has a career of coming very close to winning a Major, coming up short, time after time.  

Going into the Masters, I'm not sure that Sergio was on the list "Most likely to win The Masters this weekend."  Thankfully he didn't think about that.

Sergio's perseverence over his nearly two decade career paid off, and he forever will be the owner of the famous Green Jacket.  

How did Sergio win The Masters?  I previously mentioned perseverance, and also dedication to your craft.  Sergio plays a lot of golf.  He's better than he was in 1999.  

A crucial leadership skill is to be dedicated and be able to stand tall throughout all of the challenges that we face, day after day.  The media hasn't always been kind to Sergio, but he took the high road, and continued to play and show up.  That's half the battle.  Show up!

Another characteristic of leadership is being gracious in victory.  Sergio acted like he's been there before.  It was his first Major, but a novice golf fan wouldn't necessarily know that, unless they were listening to the announcers.  Be a professional in all that you do.  

Leadership is tough.  So's playing on the PGA tour.  Anyone that's played the game knows it's a lot harder than it looks.  Each hole has it's challenges, just like each day or situation leaders face.  Be prepared by knowing all that you can, trust your skills, and take your best shot.

Congrats Sergio!

Want more leadership guidance? Want to have the best start to your day? Go to BreakfastLeadership.com and sign up to receive leadership tips, podcasts, and other good stuff. 

Avoid The Shiny Objects

Source: Gerd Altman

Source: Gerd Altman

I was on a Speakers call with Grant Baldwin and other speakers on Wednesday, and a question came up about using a certain web tool for a speaker's website.  Grant asked why did that person want to use that particular tool, when it seemed to him (and likely others) that it didn't really serve the purpose of that particular website/platform.

There are so many distractions that we are exposed to, every day.  Kary Oberbrunner talks about this and indicates we are being hacked.  There are so many things that grab our attention, and takes our focus off of what we really should be doing.  

I'm in the middle of writing a book, and I've been "hacked" more times than I care to admit.  There's people, tweets, blogs, Instagram pics, e-mails, texts, etc. that say "look at me, Michael."

It's a game of virtual Whack-A-Mole, and you don't even get the tickets out of the machine #ChuckECheeseReference.

So last night, I looked at my e-mail box, and there were close to 400 unread e-mails.  I use e-mail filters so the items I need to focus on or retain are filed.  The rest were, to be honest, hacking my attention.  

I selected all of the messages in my inbox, and deleted them.  Then emptied the Trash (It's Trash Day!). 

I deleted hundreds of shiny objects.  My focus needs to be on speaking, and writing my book.  Period.

If you need help on creating boundaries in your life, go to BreakfastLeadership.com and subscribe.  

Be well!

 

 

Technology Archive Purge

Photo source: http://www.earljones.com/wp-content/uploads/hard-drives.jpg

Photo source: http://www.earljones.com/wp-content/uploads/hard-drives.jpg

For the last 10-15 years, I've had a Rubbermaid tote filled with CDs, DVDs, and old hard drives, that stored various documents, photos, music, movies, etc.  

This past weekend, I've finally ended the procrastination and started going through the drives, discs, floppy disks (yes, I still had those.) and started uploading to "The Cloud" the few things I really needed to keep (hint:  photos.)

I've lugged this stuff around in more moves than I care to admit, thinking one day that I'll go through them.

One day came on March 25th.  

What a boring and lethargic task, although I did find some great photos of my daughters when they were little, and a few pics of me back when I had hair.  

I didn't go down memory lane too much, as I don't find that helpful to me these days.  I'm looking and moving forward.  

Now that Rubbermaid tote is completely empty.  hard drives to be shredded, and one less box of stuff in my life.  

I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment.  

A bigger task will be sorting through all those photos and categorizing them, so they'll be helpful to family to use.  Another project for another day.

Are you putting off something, that you've been wanting to do for years?  Reach out to me at BreakfastLeadership.com for encouragement.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I’m part Irish, so when I wear a Kiss Me I’m Irish button or shirt, I’m not lying.

Today is a day where a lot of people let loose, and channel their inner leprechaun, and enjoy themselves at their local pub.

While I don’t condone over drinking (family history of significant alcoholism ), drinking in moderation is ok, but please do not drink and drive.  There’s uber, lyft, taxis, walk (or crawl.)

One of the joys about St. Patrick’s day is the sense of community.  You have a place full of strangers, hugging and singing with each other, celebrating life.

Why do we only do this on March 17th?

We should do this daily.

Life is really good.  Yes you may have struggles (we all do.)

Celebrate life daily.  It’s more fun when you do.

Be safe.

Cold and Flu Symptoms Take Over

Photo Source: http://www.weewatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Cold-Flu.jpg

Photo Source: http://www.weewatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Cold-Flu.jpg

Ugh.

I've come down with a cold (or flu like symptoms.) Cough (which for an asthmatic is normal), constant sneezing.  Aches, and feel lethargic.

Working in a medical clinic, I'm pleasantly surprised that I can avoid these types of ailments for most of the year.  

When I first told my parents I was going to work at a doctor's office 10 years ago, they said "you get sick all the time, you sure you want to work there?" Then followed up with "well, if you do, at least you won't have to go far to see a doctor."  My parents are funny.

The weather has been inconsistent over the past month, and toss in a week long trip to Florida (and airplane rides, which you hear people claim they get colds afterwards.) and I'm surprised I haven't been sick until now.

As with any adventures in life, sometimes you need to slow down and rest.  That's what the next few days will call for, because I don't need this bug to get full blown illness.  Too much to do ;)

Wash your hands, try not to touch your nose too much, rest, force liquids (Tomorrow's St. Patrick's day, in case you've been living under a rock.)

Be well (and get well, if you're down for the count like me.)

Cloudy Vision? Return to Why You Are Here

Photo Source: https://static.sharecare.com/promo/topics/articles/blurry-vision-288x260.jpg

Photo Source: https://static.sharecare.com/promo/topics/articles/blurry-vision-288x260.jpg

Are things in your life not clear today?  

How about the last few days, or weeks?

How about the last few months?  Years?

When things are not in focus, things get blurry.  Maybe you're going through some big (or not so big) changes in your life.  Work changes are the norm, so pointing the finger at work for lack of clarity might not be your best option.

In John Maxwell's book on Life Wisdom, Dr. Maxwell states "Clarity of vision creates clarity of priorities."

Do you know your priorities in life?  What's your priorities where you work?  Do you know?  If not, maybe you should ask your employer what your priorities should be.  Doesn't matter if you're new the organization, or have been there for years.  Things change, so you should change as well.

If you need help with this, reach out to me by sending me an e-mail, or connect with me on Twitter.