RSS Feed

Category Archives: Perseverance

The Recipe For Happiness

Picture your favorite restaurant.  Not just the outside signage but imagine yourself being in the restaurant and sitting at your favorite table.  You’ve ordered your favorite meal of all time and you can’t wait until the server brings it to your table.

Finally, the server appears from the kitchen with this favorite meal in hand.  Man, that seemed like forever! As it sits in front of you, envision how it looks.  Does it steam?  Does it glisten?  As you look at it, what are the aromas that come from it?  Is it strong and pungent or sweet and airy? And the taste?  You could rave about the moisture, the tenderness, the feel in your mouth but there are really no words for the taste.  It just makes you happy.

English: Several pieces of fried chicken.

Fried chicken makes me happy!  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If only you could make that meal at home!  As impossible as it may seem, you could make that meal at home.  The first and most obvious thing that you are going to need is the recipe.  That recipe is going to save you years of trial and error.  Somebody already went through the time and trouble to develop the recipe into what it is today.

You may have to watch or interview the chef as he/she prepares it.  You’ll have to take notes on the ingredients, the preparation, the cooking times.  Then you’ll have to study and practice.  You might even have to buy some equipment.

It is easier said than done but but if you prepare and portion the ingredients the exact same way, cook them in the same type of equipment, at the same temperature, and for the same amount of time.  If you did all those things exactly, that same dish would be sitting in front of you right now and you would feel successful and happy.

Recently, a successful friend of mine gave me a call.  He was expressing to me that he’s happy with everything in his life except his career.  Although he has a well paying job, it isn’t fulfilling for him.  He isn’t happy with his career beyond getting his paycheck.  I gave him the scariest advice he’s ever heard.

My advice: “Do what you love.”

His response was to ask, “How do I do what I love and still make a living?”

You can sense the apprehension (and fear) in the the response.  The unknown is a scary thing for a lot of us, for most of us.  The question however is the right question.  What he is asking for is the recipe.  Whatever unhappiness you may be feeling in your life is the result of not knowing or not following the/your recipe for happiness.

Do you want a successful and fulfilling career?  Picture what it is that would make you feel successful and fulfilled in a career.  See what it looks like.  Know what it feels like.  Find the people who are already doing it. Get the recipe.  Discover the ingredients.  Study, practice, and follow it.

How about a relationship? Is that an area of you life that could be better?  Picture a successful relationship.  Maybe you have a friend who has the greatest relationship ever.  You can’t figure it out.  How the hell do they do it?  Ask them.  Observe what it looks like.  Know what it feels like.  Get the recipe.  Discover the ingredients.  Study, practice, and follow it.

This favorite meal of yours can parallel many aspects of your life.  If you can follow the steps that it takes to recreate that favorite meal, you can follow the steps to recreate a successful and happy relationship, business,  fitness level, education, career, etc.

Taking action is a big step up from reading a post.  Do not be intimidated by the amount of effort, energy, and expense that your recipe may require.  See what it looks like.  Know what it feels like.  Find the people who are already doing it. Get the recipe.  Discover the ingredients.  Study, practice, and follow.

———-

Here are couple links I thought were interesting and in line with what I’m talking about in this post.  Enjoy.

Need a recipe for winning?  Try this book, The Winning Mindset:

http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Mind-Brault-Kevin-Seaman/dp/0966348214/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347887890&sr=8-1&keywords=the+winning+mindset

Celebrities that have turned their liabilities into assets:

http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/men-action/201209/michael-strahan-anthony-davis-turn-liability-asset

Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220515#

Be Inspired My Friend! Bruce Lee Remix

I’ve been in a lot of fights.  I’m not talking professional career here.  I’m talking elementary school.

There were multiple reasons but mainly it was because I really stood out.  I was a white kid living in black neighborhoods.  I changed schools quite a bit too so I was constantly the “new kid”.  Not to mention I was a skinny, geeky looking dude who was a physical threat to no one.  That might not seem like a bad thing but the places where I spent my early childhood were pretty violent, even my school teachers would hit you.  Not being tough looking sucked.

One of the things that I learned early on was that if someone said something, even a little bit derogatory about you, you basically had to punch them in the head.  Even if you thought that maybe they could kick your ass.  If you didn’t get physical, it never stopped.  Fighting kind of did solve everything for me.

If I had to fight then I had to become a better fighter.  There weren’t any gyms or martial arts schools for me to go to and there wasn’t any youtube.com either.  The school library was my only option.  The school libraries where I lived sucked.  I would always go to the sports section and look for karate books.  If there were any available they were usually crappy looking, hand drawn, black and white illustrations.

Then one day, I came across a book on the making of Enter the Dragon, a film by martial arts legend Bruce Lee.  Not only were there pictures of Bruce Lee actually kicking and punching but they were in full color.  I could actually learn something from this book, I said to myself.

The more I flipped through the book, the more I wanted to be Bruce Lee.  A skinny dude like Bruce Lee could kick a lot of ass and I was inspired.  There were many times where I imagined I was him, practicing his footwork and style in my bedroom.

I looked at that book over and over until I wore it out.  I practiced constantly and even awarded myself an imaginary green belt!  The way I figured it was that I was better than a white belt but not as good as a black belt.  Green belt was the middle belt from what I could tell in my karate books.

Gettin My Bruce Lee On!
Photo taken by Zack Lynch from mmaphotography.com during one of my fights.

But all of that practice paid off and I was getting pretty good.  Except the day I threw my first kick in a fight after school.  It was a disaster.  Not only did I fall down when I kicked the kid but kicking was considered “sissy shit” where I lived.  I was picked on about that kick until I actually knocked the wind out of a kid in a fight with it.  That story may make it to my blog someday.

Anyway, my family eventually moved to an area where they actually had a school that taught Bruce Lee’s martial art, Jun Fan Gung Fu – Jeet Kune Do.  It was legit too.  Sifu Kevin Seaman ran it.  He was certified to teach Lee’s art by Guro Dan Inosanto.  Guro Inosanto was not only a good friend and training partner of Bruce Lee but he was also one of Lee’s martial arts Instructors as well.  It was a dream come true.

Now there were 8 of us living in a house at that point and you didn’t get things like martial arts lessons.  It just wasn’t financially feasible for my Mom.  It didn’t really matter to me that she couldn’t afford it, I was already hustling night crawlers on the corner, gum and candy at school, newspapers in my neighborhood, and anything else I could get my hands on for a profit.  I paid the tuition myself at 12 years old.

I eventually became a certified Instructor with direct martial arts lineage to Bruce Lee.  Bruce Lee certified Dan Inosanto who certified Kevin Seaman who certified me.  I’m currently one of Sifu Kevin’s highest ranked Instructors and oversee 4 martial arts schools across New York State ( CNY MMA ).

Finding that book all those years ago was the tiny spark of inspiration that I needed to discover that I could do anything that I put my mind, body, and soul into.  I was inspired to improve and keep moving forward despite my environment or my situation.  It’s a very valuable lesson for me.  Maybe it will be for you too.

This video below is a mix of Bruce Lee’s cinema fighting and his philosophy put to music.  It’s so good.  Check into it.

My First Film: In The Fight Documentary Part 2 Released

Your Ultimate Creation

Posted on
Colonel Sanders is the official face of KFC, a...

Colonel Sanders is one of the most recognized celebrities in the world.

Let me ask you something, when was the last time you worked on YOURSELF?  When was the last time that you truly did something just for you?  It’s been a while hasn’t it?

Today, I’d like to challenge you to do something for yourself.  It doesn’t have to be an elaborate exercise or a grandiose vacation. Enjoy a book that has nothing to do with your career.  Sit on your porch and have a nice cup of tea (Golden Monkey, if you want a recommendation).  Get a workout in that makes you feel good about yourself.  Start that business that you’ve always wanted to start, check out Entrepreneur Magazine if you need some ideas.  It’s not too late.  You can re-create who you are into who you want to be at any time you decide to and today is the day.

Colonel Sanders started franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC, when he was 65 years old.  He received his first Social Security check in the amount of $105 and quickly realized he could not live on that meager amount each month.  He didn’t sit back and say, “life is over.”  He decided instead of retiring at 65, he would start a whole new career!  So he traveled across the country by car from restaurant to restaurant, cooking batches of chicken for restaurant owners and their employees. By the time he was 77 he was a multi-millionaire and had more than 600 KFC outlets.

Your ultimate creation is you.  Do yourself a favor… do something just for you today.  You deserve it. You’ll find it to be among the most rewarding acts you’ll ever engage in.

“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”
Deepak Chopra, M.D., Author on mind-body medicine and spirituality.

Unlikely Hero: Randy “The Wolf” Smith To Make Bellator Debut

Posted on

This Saturday will mark another milestone in the career of CNY MMA student and coach, Randy “The Wolf” Smith.  He’ll be making his big league MMA debut against Azunna Anyanwu at Bellator 44.

The Wolf landing a big right hand. Image via sherdog.com

It’s not easy getting on the big shows and for many, that’s impressive by itself.  What’s more impressive is that just a few short years ago Smith could barely get through one round, let alone have any kind of opportunity to compete as an athlete on this level.

The Wolf is one of those students I love to talk about.  He’s an unlikely hero. The guy no “experts” think can win but does all the time.  He didn’t come to CNY MMA with any kind of crazy athletic talent.  He didn’t roll in here with any kind of wrestling or boxing or kickboxing pedigree.  On the contrary, he was weighing in at 360+ pounds and had trouble controlling his own body weight.  His reasons for success are simple … he worked hard and he stuck with it.

His obstacles have been great (drugs, alcohol, jail, obesity, and more) but what he’s developed into in overcoming those obstacles has been greater.  He’s the guy you can’t help but root for.  He’s the hard working, blue collar type that comes to CNY MMA and does the best they can do.

The training camp for The Wolf’s upcoming fight has been rigorous.  He’s in shape, well prepared, focused, and ready to win. This Saturday at Bellator 44, you’re going to see the best Wolf you’ve ever seen.  I’m proud to be his trainer and his fan.  Saturday is our day!

Never Let What You Can’t Do Stop You From Doing What You Can

Bill Gates in the World Economic Forum ,2007.

Image via Wikipedia

I can’t throw a curveball to save my life. I have two left feet on the dance floor. My sense of humor is practically laughable. I’m a hair stylist’s worst nightmare. I have zero athletic ability.  And I can barely strum a guitar.

Who am I?

I’m Bill Gates, one of the richest if not the richest man in the world.

Like everyone else, there are thousands of things you cannot do. Focus on what you can do and want to do, and then … go about doing them well. You will surprise yourself.

Keep The Change

I was running home from school one day, yes running. I would pretty much run home from school every day because I had a newspaper delivery route that I had to get done.  In selling some of my newspaper deliveries I promised some customers their newspaper would be delivered by a certain time.  I wasn’t going to disappoint so I would run home … rain, sleet, and snow.

Occasionally, I would ride my bike to and from school, when I had a bike.  There was a problem of thievery in the neighborhood that I lived in at this particular time.  It took me like five or six weeks to save up for a bike so after having three bikes stolen, I pretty much gave up on buying anymore.  I was sick of supplying the neighborhood punks with new bikes. I was stuck making the 1.4 mile trek home from school every day on foot.

Well one day in my mad dash to get home I happened to be the first person to go down this particular trail where this small gang of bullies would hang out. Apparently, what these punks were doing was waiting for the first person to go down the trail and then they would beat them up every day. This day was my day to get beat up.

I was embarrassed. I was angry. I was hurt. And I immediately thought to myself,” I need to learn some of that Bruce Lee crap so I can beat up three guys at the same time!”

I didn’t like feeling embarrassed and helpless. I wanted to make a change. If I was ever in that situation again I wanted to be able to defend myself.  I came to martial arts.

The majority of people who come to martial arts do not come for the sole purpose of becoming a better fighter, as I did.   However, we all came to martial arts for the sole purpose of becoming better.  Better physically.  Better mentally.  Better emotionally.

In our quest to become better we need to change.  Improving yourself and changing yourself go hand in hand.  They are not separable.  To excel at whatever it is we put our time, energy, and effort into we must be able to handle change effectively.

Street art from one of my favorite artists, Banksy

I’ve experienced many personal and professional changes throughout my life.  Since we are in the business of change here at CNY MMA I figured I would share some tips I have used to help me successfully deal with changes in my life.  Maybe these 5 tips will help you as well.

1)   View change as an opportunity to learn.  Welcome change into your life.  Resisting change leads to maintenance of the status quo.  The status quo is the archenemy of improvement.

2)    Have a long term vision and goal.  Change can cause temporary short term pain.  Focusing on the pain or discomfort that change brings only prolongs the discomfort.  Focusing on your goals makes pain and discomfort just a small part of the process.

3)   Stretch your ability to change in little ways everyday.  Trade an hour of watching TV for an hour of reading everyday.  Go somewhere without using a GPS.  Use a traffic jam to meditate.

4)   Ask yourself how this change will allow you to grow.  What is the improvement coming from your changes?  What benefits are there to handling this change effectively?

5)   Trust yourself.  Sometimes in life we screw things up so bad that we may lose trust in our own ability to change and improve.  Learn from your mistakes in the past and they won’t be your mistakes in the future.  You are capable of amazing things but you have to stick with it and trust yourself.

The more screwed up and out of control your life is, your body is, or your mental state is, means that change is going to be all the more difficult and challenging.  Be prepared to show strength and determination.  You can handle and learn from everything that comes your way in life.  I learned this from martial arts.

%d bloggers like this: