Anxiety (COVID-19)

Anxiety (COVID-19. We are definitely in an anxious time in our lives with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a time of uncertainty and I don’t know about you but for me, it is difficult to find the facts about what’s really going on. One news agency reports one thing and three more reports something totally opposite. One day we’re “flattening the curve” and the next day this is something that’s going to last for years. I’m as confused as everyone but unlike a lot of people, it doesn’t cause me anxiety. Not a lot has changed for me since the pandemic started and we have been in lockdown. I work from home so that wasn’t a change. My children are away in college so I haven’t turned into a home school teacher. My gym is closed but I have plenty of exercise equipment in my garage so I continue to work out. My wife is home all day as well and I haven’t woken up with her standing over me holding a pillow in front of my face. I can have a tendency to get on her last nerve, as my mom used to say to me. The one thing that I really miss is our weekly date night where we walk to the local restaurants and enjoy a meal. We still have the date night but now we have to call in our order, pull up outside, have them bring our food out, and take it home, it’s just not the same.

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Date Night Now!!

I sympathize with everyone that had to begin working from home, learning from home, and not knowing when their office or school will open up again. I particularly sympathize with the people who had to close their businesses or could remain open but saw a significant drop in their business. It is a very uncertain time in that we don’t know what our society will look like when the pandemic ends. Will jobs be cut as employers try to recoup lost profits? Will sports resume and bring back jobs for the concession workers, security, and ticket scanners? My friend who watches sports 24/7 told me the other day that he just watched a cherry pit spitting contest. He has it bad. I case you were wondering, the winning spit was 47 feet!

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Photo by Korhan Erdol on Pexels.com

I believe in faith over fear. I believe that the pandemic will end sooner rather than later; that businesses will open and the economy will flourish; that sporting events will begin and stadiums will be packed. The anxiety that has been created by this pandemic is based on uncertainty or fear. The anxiety is usually worse than the actual event. As I’ve said before, I have a fear of heights but I jumped out of perfectly good airplanes in the Army. The anxiety that I felt standing up in the airplane before the jump was much greater than when I jumped/fell/was pushed out the door. When I played football, the anxiety before the game in the locker room was much greater than when the game started. The first time you hit somebody all the nerves go away. I remember one time that I was at an amusement park and my friends wanted to ride the roller coaster. That was the last thing that I wanted to do but I went with them. The anxiety that I had standing in line was so great that I thought I would pass out. The worst part was the slow climb to the top of the coaster. After we started the descent it really wasn’t that bad. Not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be in my mind. Now, I didn’t want to do it again but at least I could check that off the old bucket list.

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Photo by Albin Berlin on Pexels.com

How can we deal with this anxiety? How does this affect us or our journey to success? First, it’s all about control. As I said in my welcome post, I am the CEO of ME Enterprises. I control what happens to me, the thoughts that I think, and my actions. You are in total control of yourself, you control what you are thinking, the choices you make, and your actions every day. I can’t control the things that are going on outside of me. You can’t control the things that are going on outside of you, so don’t worry about them. You can’t control the news, you can’t control politicians, and you can’t control the weather. You have 100 percent control over yourself and that’s the only thing that you should be focusing on. I remember hearing someone say, “If you want to change the world, begin with changing you.” There is a great speech you can find on YouTube by Admiral William H. McRaven entitled “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” If making your bed makes you feel better, then go make it. That is a success and that will bring more success to you. It is something that you can control whether you do it or not. Something else that you can control is what you watch or listen to. If the news is making you more anxious, turn it off. Have faith that we will come out of this pandemic better than we went in.

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Adversity creates opportunity. The adversity of the pandemic has opened up numerous opportunities for people. People are exercising more. I see more families going on walks together, people are able and have the time to sit down together at the dinner table. For me, I began this year by saying I will get better every day. My life will be better than it was before when the world goes back to normal. The slowdown in my other business has afforded me the opportunity to research and open up this new online business and begin my blog. It has also opened up my mind to the endless possibilities that are out there for all of us. I am a Christian and believe in the power of God. I believe that I was led to create Lessons Learnt by God. God has provided me the opportunity to pass on my experiences in life through this blog. If you believe in a higher power, know that they are in control of what happens in the world and that everything is going to be better. That doesn’t mean that once the pandemic ends that everything will be perfect and bad things won’t happen again. It means that, just like this and everything that’s happened in the past, we will get through it and become better.

“This train is moving on, you can get on, you can get off, but the train keeps moving on!” We are going to the top of the mountain!”

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The Journey

How do you complete a thousand-mile journey? You take the first step, just one step, and before you know it you’ve walked a thousand miles. How do you help a million people? You help one and that will multiply a million times. We have taken that first step on our journey we won’t stop until we’ve reached our destination wherever, whatever that may be. Once we reach that destination, we will pick another destination and begin a new journey. Once you understand how easy it is to become successful at one thing that you want, then you can become successful at everything. If you can be successful at losing weight then you can be successful in making money because it’s all the same principles. Enjoy the journey.

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Photo by Alex Smith on Pexels.com

The most important part of the journey is the WHY. Why do you want to take this journey? You will hear me refer to the WHY many times because the WHY is what gets you to your destination. The HOW does not matter, it will be revealed to you once you know the WHY. I remember when I began training for the military and that it was definitely out of my comfort zone. I didn’t really know why I had volunteered, I was just pulled in that direction. I knew it was going to be physically and mentally difficult. It was peacetime so I didn’t have any visions of being a war hero. There was no certain rank that I desired to achieve. Heck, I wasn’t even inspired by Gomer Pyle, USMC (If you don’t know who that is, look him up. A very funny show). My WHY became my fear of failure. I was terrified of not making it, being one of the few who couldn’t cut it, and going home to face my family not worthy of wearing the uniform.

I didn’t know how I was going to make it through. I was just going to take it one day at a time. One of the first days that I was there, we were standing in formation and I was scared, homesick, and felt totally out of place. So I just looked to my right, looked to my left, and randomly picked out one of my fellow soldiers. I made a commitment to myself that if he made it, I was going to make it and that if he didn’t make it, I would pick out another person and say the same. I made the decision that day that I was going to make it to graduation. I then began using this technique for every difficult and challenging event in my life.

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My first day at the U.S. Army Airborne School in Fort Benning, Georgia, I used this technique to make it through and earn my wings. I had to use this technique many times because we had such a high attrition rate. I would pick out a fellow soldier and say to myself if they make it, so will I, only to find out the next day they weren’t there. I would then repeat the process with another fellow soldier until I made my final graduation jump. The funny thing about jump school was I didn’t even know why I was there. One day I was in military science class in college and the major asked for volunteers for the airborne school. I really didn’t know what it entailed but I did know that it included jumping out of airplanes and I was scared of heights. I thought this would be a good thing for these other gung ho cadets in my class but my mama didn’t raise no fool. There’s no way I would ever do that. I counted eight hands raised and heard the major say, “Okay we’ve got nine volunteers.” I then realized that my hand was raised and I don’t remember making a conscious decision to raise it. It was too late now, I would look like a coward trying to take it back. I thought about faking an injury. Grabbing the back of my leg and yelling, “it’s a hammy, it’s a hammy!” Then came my way out, the major said that he only had eight slots so we would use the physical training test to decide who would go. All I had to do was make sure eight other guys did better than me on the test. Even I couldn’t screw this one up. When the day of the test came I still had no desire to jump out of an airplane but damn my competitive spirit, I scored one of the top eight scores and about a month later my dad was dropping me off to go learn how to fall out of an airplane.

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I always wondered how my hand got raised that day and why I was doing these things. This has happened to me several times in my life where I ended up doing something that I have no idea how or why I was doing it. Several years later I realized that my hand was raised because airborne school was going to be essential in my journey. It provided me with the self-confidence to take on the challenges on my journey. Airborne school taught me that everyone has fears but you can control these fears. One part of training is the 250 foot tower. During this training, they harness you to a deployed parachute which is hooked to a large ring and haul you 250 feet in the air. The sergeant on the ground gives you commands and you have to acknowledge his commands by opening and closing your legs. Once you’ve acknowledged all of his commands the parachute is released from the ring and you float down and try to make a perfect landing without hurting yourself. I remember one soldier was at the top of the tower and the sergeant was giving him commands. The soldier didn’t open and close his legs and was frozen in fear. The soldier was then lowered to the ground and removed from training. That’s when the sergeant turned to the few of us that were sitting on the bench waiting their turn and gave me one of the greatest gifts of all. He said, “fear is normal, everyone has it but you must learn to control the fear.”

“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.”
Dale Carnegie

Learning how to control my fears and getting out of my comfort zone has been part of my journey. It has led me to where I am today. Thinking about how are you going to do something will not control your fears. Only the WHY will give you the strength to control your fears and make it through your journey. When you decide to lose weight, you will go through some doubts and struggles on your journey. But make it your journey and enjoy every part of it because there’s a new you at the end. You might be afraid of going to a support meeting for the first time or joining a gym because you think everyone’s looking at you. I implore you to conquer your fears and not worry about other people. They are not on this journey with you. This is your journey and your journey only.

As I look back on my journey so far I can only smile. Thinking about the successes and the failures makes me happy. Everything I have gone through in my life has gotten me to this point today. Everything needed to happen for me to be the person that I am today. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy the good, the bad, and the ugly. When it’s all said and done you will have created the greatest masterpiece in the world and be proud to sign your name to it.

“This train is moving on, you can get on, you can get off, but the train keeps moving on!” We are going to the top of the mountain!”

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Quitting

The late great Vince Lombardi said, “Winning is a habit, unfortunately so is losing.” Winning is hard. Quitting is easy and unfortunately once you quit something the first time it becomes easier the next time something gets hard. That’s how you develop a habit of quitting. I like to insert a sense of humor in the topics I write about but it’s challenging to find humor in quitting but I will do my best.

If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit. Never quit!!!
– Michael Jordan

If you want to be successful, quitting is not an option. You need to burn the bridges, burn the boats; don’t give yourself any other option. The only way to fail is to quit. If you make up your mind you will succeed no matter what, then you will succeed. It takes a strong-minded person to make it through any challenge because it’s gonna get hard and you’re going to struggle. Your struggle will be more mental than it will be physical and yes you might go through some physical pain but a strong mind will get you through it. Struggling is part of the process, but that is a topic for another day.

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I wanted to start my blogs with this topic of quitting because if you don’t have a strong mindset and are not willing to develop a strong mindset then there’s no sense in beginning any journey. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to lose weight, reduce your body fat, make more money, or improve a relationship. You will go through some tough times on your journey and if you can make it through, the reward will be great.

Did not exist in 1989.

I had a good friend, Gene, who was a Marine pilot and was killed in 1991 when is helicopter crashed during Operation Desert Shield. I never forgot this one conversation that we had about getting lost. Back then we all didn’t carry around little computers in our pockets or drove cars that had GPS systems installed and it was easier to get lost. After all it goes against the man code to ask for directions. Gene asked me one day if I was ever driving somewhere I had never been before and felt like I was lost. I said, “All the time.” Gene said he would always turn around and head in the opposite direction only to realize he was going in the right direction in the first place. Then when he arrived at the place where he first turned around, the place he was driving to was less than 1/2 a mile away in front of him or around the next corner. He said this happened to him all the time. I have kept that memory all these years because it was a lesson in succeeding even though at the time it was just a conversation between friends and had nothing to do with success. I feel that most people quit on their journey to success and make a U-turn back to their old life right before they reach their final destination. .

When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.
– Zig Ziglar

I believe the number one reason that most people quit anything is that it just got too hard. Your journey to success and overcoming the challenge that you’re facing might seem easy at first and you might have some initial success. It’s later on that you might face difficulties and the thought of quitting creeps into your mind. How do we keep going when it just gets to difficult? We think of the reason WHY we started on our journey in the first place. What was so bad in our life before that we made a decision to change. What sparked us one day to wake up and say, “I want something better?” If you have a friend or partner it’s going to the same thing, you can utilize them to push you through.

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The thoughts of quitting are temporary but actually quitting lasts a lifetime. Whatever you’re going through someone else has gone through the same thing and maybe worse. They succeeded because they remembered their WHY, refocused on their goals and kept moving forward. The harder your struggle is the closer you are getting to your goal. No matter how hard life is hitting you, you gotta keep moving forward. Take whatever it is giving you and keep moving forward. When you take the biggest hit, smile your grandest smile and keep moving forward. My train is like a boy band, it only has one direction.

“This train is moving on, you can get on, you can get off, but the train keeps moving on! We are going to the top of the hill!”

Welcome

Hello. Come on in, relax and have a seat. Just close the door behind you; you were raised in a barn. Thank you for joining me. We are about to begin this journey together and if you’re here, you’re meant to be here. Something has brought you here, you are looking for a solution to a problem or what I like to call a challenge. Could it be that you’re looking to find a way to eliminate debt (been there). Possibly life is just kicking you in the teeth (been there, got that T-shirt). Maybe you’re looking to lose weight, drop some fat, get rid of that belly (been there, got that T-shirt, went back and got another one). The one thing that I want to accomplish by writing this blog is to give you hope. Hope that you can do anything that your heart and mind desires. You will say, “If that guy can do it, then I will surely be able to do it.” 

My daughter calls me “Big Chief.” It is a nickname given to me by my wife’s uncle a long time ago. I have come to realize that I am the Big Chief, the big cheese, the head honcho, the main man, the MVP. I am the CEO of ME Enterprises. I am the COO, CFO, marketing director, sales director, etc. I make all the decisions; I am the deciding factor on whether my business/life succeeds or fails. I have accomplished a lot in life and I have gone through many failures. I have served my country, I’ve had an accomplished career, retired, started a business, failed at a business, redirected my efforts and became very successful. I have been married and divorced and remarried; I have watched children being born and have buried friends. I have gained weight, lost weight, gained it back, and lost it again. I have made good decisions and bad decisions (thankfully 90 percent of my decisions have been good). If you have been through it I have probably been through it as well.

I want to write about solutions to the challenges of life. In this blog I will write about motivation, changing your mindset, and winning. You will find post about exercise, healthy eating habits, and fat loss. I might even throw in a post that’s unrelated to anything now and then. Want to make my post as entertaining as possible and I hope you enjoy them. You will find motivational/inspirational quotes from some of the great leaders; video and audio clips of great speeches.

I want to take this journey together. I am your wall to lean on and I hope that you will be mine. I expect to learn as much from you as you will for me. We are all in this together and together we will make it to the top. I haven’t arrived yet and I hope I never will. I wake up every day with the desire to be better than I was the day before. I learned new things every day. I don’t ever want to stop learning. If you looking for perfection then you probably come to the wrong place. I am far from perfect but I am the best me. I don’t have zero body fat or ripped six-pack abs. You will find out very quickly that I’m not a writer. Grammatical errors there will be a plenty. So if you’re okay with all that and climb aboard the train we are about to leave the station.

 “This train is moving on, you can get on, you can get off but the train keeps moving forward! We are going to the top of the mountain!”