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Resilience: Bouncing Back Stronger Than Before

Resilience is the art of turning life’s challenges into stepping stones for growth. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 85% of people who display resilience maintain a strong sense of purpose and positive outlook on life.    Imagine resilience as a rubber band – the more it stretches, the stronger it becomes. By embracing a growth mindset, building a supportive network, and developing effective coping strategies, you can stretch and strengthen your resilience.    As you face adversity, view setbacks as opportunities rather than roadblocks. In doing so, you’ll bounce back stronger and better equipped to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. Embrace resilience and transform obstacles into catalysts for personal growth and self-improvement.   Defeating Average.   Colin

Open Hands 

I was sitting on a park bench doing an exercise from a health practitioner. One hand, palm up on each leg. Breathing in and out and feeling where stress was resonating which for me was in my chest. In each hand I would imagine an intention that would serve to reduce the stress. Looking at it like a dial I could turn up or turn down. In the left hand was acceptance. In the right hand was presence. Turning up acceptance and proactively visualizing my way over and through the obstacles. Turning down multi tasking and dialing up prioritization and presence. Focus on the triangle of energy between mind and body. Defeating Average. Colin

The Right Trail

I spent the last week hiking 100 miles through Death Valley with my running Mentor Ray Zahab and 4 other hikers and a support guide.    “Keeping on the same trail with easy terrain can seem like the right way, but you need to have the courage to follow your way points, what you know is true and take on tougher terrain to prioritize safety, hydration and success. Committing to the wrong path can be deadly.”   Ray crossed the Canadian Arctic three times, the landmass of Antarctica and ran 4,500 miles across the Sahara Desert in 100 days in 2009, which was turned into a film “Running the Sahara” narrated by Matt Damon. In 2011, 2014 and 2018 he crossed Death Valley North to South and East to West at the hottest time of the year, in July. Death Valley is the lowest altitude on earth, down to 250 feet below sea level and has been measured as the hottest place on earth. Earlier this year 134 F!   Ray is the only person …

I used to collect stickers…business stickers

Passion, joy and something to look forward to is an anecdote to anxiety. When I was 8 years old, a couple friends and I would call up local businesses and ask if they could send us a few of their business stickers. We got a lot of – what? Pardon? You want what? When I think of it now, it sounds a little absurd. On the other hand, we were very committed. We repeated exactly what we were up to and why we wanted the stickers with no apologies. “We collect business stickers. We have a big album. We have them from all over Alberta.” (My home province in Canada). Shiny ones were the best. Often long haul trucking companies had sparkly ones, even better. Some people would take our address and pop them in the mail. Others would ask us to send them an envelope with return postage. Either was good.  We ended up getting a surprise in the mail and split the stickers. Maybe I am thinking about it more as Tess starts …


(Image from Time Magazine) There has been a flood of support honoring Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Especially in this time of divide, she was a shining example of courage, truth, and serving others. In addition to that, she has been fighting for women’s rights and equality for decades. She has inspired millions of people. Crisis creates opportunity. It was never going to be easy to get this country back on track.  In passing, she has left us a north star to aspire to. A responsibility to act. To vote. Obstacles were coming in the next 60 days. There are more coming. How can you meet them as an unbreakable force? With her example, what action will you take today and in the coming weeks to overcome obstacles and defeat average? Like all the kind accolades for RBG in her passing, you deserve them to when you pass. How do you want people to remember you when you die? What would you like them to say about you? Are you honoring those words and the path to get …

Doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it

(Image by Glenn Francis) “Doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it” – Mike Tyson  Coming back to box at age 54 and he hasn’t sparred in 15 years. When asked on the Joe Rogan podcast about the experience of coming back to box and why he’s doing it he said (my summary): I was out of shape and wanted to feel better. Getting back in shape was the first step that leads to the next. More energy and more fire inside. Once the fire was lit I wanted to see how far I could push myself.  When asked how it’s felt: Painful, humbling, exhilarating! In order to train at that level you need to do what you hate to do, but do it like you love it! Wise words What is in your way that you hate to do but know it’s necessary to get to your big hairy audacious goal? Defeating Average. Colin

What is your self talk?

Life is the story you tell yourself. Do you believe in yourself? Do you have the confidence to achieve your goals? Are you focusing on what you can control? The theory of self-efficacy (contributed to by a world-class psychologist who grew up an hour from where I grew up!) refers to “an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments. Self–efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.” Albert Bandura is widely described as the greatest living psychologist, and as one of the most influential psychologists of all time. With that in mind, here are some questions that have helped me. What is the learning opportunity here? What does success look like today? Who needs me on my A-game? What brings me energy and life? Defeating inaction, and status quo and the average inside. Colin  

Three ways to reset the day

Two weeks ago my week flowed smoothly. I was happy with it. Last week roared up and down like a 6 flags roller coaster. One day good, one day full of angst and frustration.  The same day after day. It was frustrating.    How can we reset?   Here are three ways that work for me:   1. Put the technology down and carve out 5-10 minutes to close my eyes and just breathe. Count to 10 breaths repeat. Reset.   2. Get outside and go for a walk. Put the technology away and just breathe in fresh air.    3. Close the computer, iPhone early, and go to bed early. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do. Begin again.   Bonus if I can read for 20 minutes before bedtime. I sleep better and wake even more refreshed.    We are all better being present together.    Defeating Average.   Colin

Who is in your guest house?

I was reading a poem by Rumi this weekend. It reminds all of us to be with whatever is brought to us, in joy or challenge, fear, or frustration. Accept the road ahead, we are all on our own journey.  What can I be grateful for today? The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.   — Jellaludin Rumi,   We are all in this together.  Defeating Average. Colin  

Every day is the same 

Many people have shared this sentiment. I feel it too. We are all watching endless Netflix series, navigating the same challenges with our children, or missing connections with friends. The world can feel kind of drab. However, there has never been a more important year to stand for equality and to turn society around. To build that inner resilience for the winter that is coming…and the next time this virus rears its ugly head. Times are tough. Tougher for some more than others. If you are doing ok, reach down and help somebody out. It will feel good and they will appreciate it. If you need a hand, reach up. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there. Two questions for you. What brings me energy? What brings me life? Sprinkle that into your days going forward. Make every day full of the same life and energy. We are better together. Colin