Author: Colin Nanka

What can we learn from mountaineers?

Mountains have been here for millions of years. They are a picture of stability, calmness, shelter from the storm. At the same time, Mother Nature can make the path up a mountain slow, tedious, anxious, dangerous, even fatal. What do the best mountaineers do? They prepare relentlessly with back up plans B, C, and D They ration supplies and are prepared to wait out the storm  They take calculated risks yet may stop a couple of hundred feet from the summit to live another day  They leverage the power of the team  They take the journey, one step, hour, and day at a time.  We are going through trying times. We are all on the journey together.  Don’t go it alone. Ask for help from guides who have navigated the storm before.  Defeating Average.  Colin

What is the Silver Lining?

I have been listening to some thought leaders on podcasts and zoom talks and one thing is clear about leaders who are “leading through the crisis” – they see this crisis as an opportunity and they are finding the silver lining to the pandemic. They are traveling less and sleeping more They are spending more time with their family They are focusing more on health and wellness They are turning potentially negative situations into positives with good questions What is the silver lining for you in this environment? Defeating Average. Colin

What I learned from James Cameron

I was watching James Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival (on-line) this weekend. They interviewed the pair talking about climate change and the impact of meat consumption on the environment. They have a program at a school they run that is called “One meal per day” and it’s focused on people eating one vegan meal per day.  Both to lessen the environmental impact and for a healthier diet for both children and adults. It had me thinking about how “One meal per day” can help us think about morning routines and setting their “mental meal” for the day.  What’s in your 15-minute mental meal? Like a balanced meal of protein, carb, fat.  Protein 10 minutes of meditation (start with five if you are new to it) give your mental muscles that exercise it needs to get your brain prepared for the day Calm, and headspace are get apps Science shows that just 8 min per day change fiber in your brain to strengthen your resolve and increase your creativity  Carbs  Morning …

Sleep – What gets measured gets done

It was last May, now that I think about it.  I was perpetually tired. I was wondering if 45 years old just meant this is the way it was going to be. My friend recommended using a device to measure sleep. I decided to invest in the Whoop Strap.  He said you probably think you are getting enough sleep but aren’t. I made it my number one priority for two weeks.  Get good sleep, use good sleep hygiene, and see what was really happening. The Whoop app and other ones people like, measure your heart rate, your variable heart rate (the beats in between the big beats of your heart), how much you strain your body each day, and how long you sleep for. It doesn’t tell time, it just does that…and does it well. It gives you a score of 1-100 and a zone or red (not good), yellow (average), and green (ready to peak perform). I was in the red for the first 5 days! It showed I was way behind on sleep and quality …

How To Find A Mentor

I was speaking to a team recently and shared how I met many of my mentors through running and someone asked:   “How do you recommend finding mentors outside of work? Running seemed like a good avenue for you, but I’m curious if you know any other ways for non-runners.”   As I have got older I recognize that I offer to help those who either remind me of myself or who I see working extremely hard and paying it forward to other people.   In addition to running, in the past decade, I have taken squash lessons, Yoga classes, signed up for wine classes and thought leader evenings.   What did the people in these classes have in common?   They were learners.    They were willing to go outside their comfort zone to meet new people, and they took the first step.    I remember even feeling nervous going to some of these wine events, but once we got into it, I learned that the people there were similar to me. There were people there, senior, …

How To Keep The Negativity Out

I was presenting to a group of sales reps on Friday and one of them asked:   How do you keep the negativity away or deal with people who aren’t of a growth mindset?” I shared when I was 28 years old I was working out with my trainer Yuri and during our session, he asked me what I was reading these days.  I really had not been reading consistently since I graduated from University.  Maybe I was read out! He inspired me to start learning and reading again on fitness, business, sports. I committed to one book a month for that year. I found I was able to offer more value in conversations with our customers and other thought leaders. I was growing and learning and it felt good. As I look back now, I think I was a more fixed mindset person. It changed the way I thought about who I spent time with and those who were more negative or fixed mindset I started to separate from. I focused more on managing my energy. Tony …

7 Ways To Protect Your Mental Space

With the weight of the world on all of us these days you need to be a little selfish. Create the space around yourself to insulate you and your family from stress.  How? Think of creating a mental bubble around yourself, like your arms out wide and all the way around. Don’t let anything get into that space.  Keep the angst at bay by shutting down at home earlier than normal, TV off, devices off  Get more sleep than usual. Rule of thumb you get an hour less actual sleep than the time you get into bed. Add that to your calculation.  Do something that brings you joy every day. Make a list. Check it off  Journal each day. What went well, what could have gone better? Get your thoughts out of your head.  Partner with friends on zoom or text to keep the spirits up and things you each want to accomplish. Get outside for fresh air at least twice a day mask or not. Nature is the great recovery for the human spirit.  …

How to turn your brain off at the end of the day?

I was presenting to a group of 70 virtually a couple of weeks ago and someone asked: “How do you turn your brain off at the end of the day? With everything going on in the world, the personal, family, or community anxiety, divisiveness on the news, I find my head flooded with thoughts, and my sleep suffers.” First of all, you are not alone. Even those who are really good at evening routines and reducing anxiety are struggling.  But we have a baseline to work from and are iterating every day. Here are 5 things that are working for people in my community. 1. Gratitude – What are two things that you are grateful for today? When you are grateful science shows it’s difficult to be angry or frustrated at the same time. 2. Iterate – What is one thing I can improve from today that will make it better tomorrow? Beginners mind. Put your mind at east and realize that you don’t have to get it right every day, you are playing the long game …

How your purpose will help you get through the struggle 

I’ve taken on a new mission. To help 5,000 people in 2020 see this COVID Crisis as an opportunity. To provide strategies and tactics to build resilience and capacity, drive optimism daily, find their next gear, give you choice on how to navigate this environment. Its an iteration on Defeating Average and I’m playing the long game to impact 1 Million people by the time I’m 60.  I’ve presented to 6 groups in the last 6 weeks (400 people) on the mindset to take on this environment.  In that spirit, today’s post is focusing on advocating for yourself.  It starts the minute you wake up with the questions you ask yourself and the intention for the day.  Five questions: 1. What are you excited about today? 2. What are you happy about? 3. What are you grateful for? 4. What is great about the obstacle in your way?  5. What is your intention for the day (3-4 words)? Everyday.  Science shows that asking questions like this for two weeks will have the impact stick with you for up …

How to let go of failure more quickly?

I was asked recently in one of my Defeating Average presentations how we can let go of failure more quickly? It made me think of a recent video of saw of Jimmy Chin speaking (World famous climber, photographer, and cinematographer) who filmed Meru and Free Solo. “Failure is not a permanent state. Embrace failure as a means to grow and move forward. I was able to apply all the lessons I learned on my failure on my first attempt on Everest to all future expeditions. That failure was key to my success.”   He needed to be humble enough to realize even though he was already a good climber, he could be better and had a lot to learn in order to be great. Questions you can ask yourself when addressing a failure. 1. What is the learning opportunity? 2. What is great about this failure? 3. What is possible for me to learn because of it? 4. How can this help me grow 6 months, 1 year, 5 years from now? Failure and crisis create an opportunity …