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Category Archives: Success

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#

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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.

Your Ultimate Creation

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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.

Coaching Butterflies

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Monarch butterflies

Get those butterflies in formation!

I’ll admit it … I get butterflies in my stomach whenever my students compete.  I know what the people that I train are capable of.  I know they can do well.  I know they can win.  They show it in practice and they go out and prove it every weekend.

I still get anxious though.  It’s not because my reputation as a trainer is on the line.  It’s not because having successful competitors is good for business.  It’s because I want them to do well.  I want them to prove all the doubters wrong.  They way I know they can.  I want them to erase all the failures in their life with this one victory.  Even if it’s only erased for one night.

So what do I do about these butterflies?  Nervousness doesn’t go away.  You can’t try to block it out or forget about it.  It’s still there.  What I do, and coach my competitors to do as well, is focus that nervous energy, channel it towards a positive outcome.   That energy can be controlled and directed.

I have to perform as a coach.  I have to be aware and focused.  I have to “read” what’s going on with my competitor and make sure they are focused on the task at hand.  There’s an old saying that goes something like, “It’s ok to have butterflies in your stomach however to be effective you have to get them to fly in formation.”

My butterflies are in formation.  Time to roll!

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

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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!

10+ iPad Apps For Business And Coaching

I take my iPad everywhere.  Buying this thing was probably one of the best business and productivity decisions I’ve made in a long time.  Yes, there will be a CNY MMA iPad case coming out soon.  Ha (inside joke for the people who know I put the school’s logo on everything).

Anyway, I’m always running into other iPad users and we usually wind up talking about the business apps that we’re using.  There’s always one or two apps that someone didn’t have that turned out to be a really useful for the other person.

I figured I would share a couple of them here with you on my blog.  Saves me from having to email people and maybe you’ll find a couple on the list to be useful for you too.  I’m not receiving any kind of compensation from any of the companies or products recommended on here.  I just provided links to make it easier for you to get more info if you wanted it. These also aren’t in any particular order.

If you click the links, they will take you to the iTunes store where you can view screen shots, get pricing, and/or more detailed information than what I’m giving you here.  Basically, what I’m doing here is telling you how I use the programs below.  Click the link for more in depth info.

GoodReader

This program is a pdf reader and editor.  Not only can you edit text but you can highlight and draw on the pdf document you are viewing.  All of your edits are saved right to the document.  I get a lot of files in pdf format that need editing.  Unless I’m at my computer with Adobe Acrobat, I can’t edit them.  I like to make notes and highlights to magazine articles I’ve read and/or are reading.  I can then send them to staff, students, or whoever with my notes and highlights saved within.  As our students up at Fort Drum say, “Too easy!”

Penultimate

Penultimate is a sketch pad app that I use to jot down all of the ideas that pulsate through my head during the course of the day.  A tap on the iPad and Penultimate creates a png of my sketch or idea which can then be emailed to whoever I choose.  I can create multiple “notebooks” within Penultimate.  Right now, I have one for design ideas, marketing ideas, business ideas, and random thoughts.  If I like a design or marketing idea enough, I can just email the page to whoever could use the idea or make it happen.  It’s also great for taking hand written notes.  Short notes.

ScreenChalk

This program is a must for all coaches.  You know the telestrator that all of the big sports broadcasts use, where they draw on the screen?  Yeah, that’s what this is for your iPad.  I load in fight videos and I can analyze and draw angles, point out defensive holes, show openings and attacks on opponents, etc.  I can do it live in front of my athletes or I can save it and email it to them for them to watch on their own or both.  I love using this program.  It takes my ability to communicate valuable and strategic information to another level.

GotoMeeting

Due to our business being conducted in multiple locations, it’s very cost effective and necessary to have meetings over the internet.  Now, I don’t need to cancel or reschedule weekly meetings because I’m traveling. As long as I have this app and my iPad, I can do the meeting from anywhere.

Box.net

Access, view, share, and collaborate on files.  This program is a phenomenal time saver.  I send an idea to our marketing.  That idea is laid out and uploaded to our box.net account.  I preview it and make comments.  The author is automatically notified that I have made comments to their file.  They update the file and it’s done.  Great for approving artwork and design stuff fast.  This program alone was worth buying the iPad for.  It has cut our turnaround time for artwork approval to a third of the time of what it used to be.

VNC Viewer

Control any computer you want from your iPad.  That’s right.  Log into your computer from anywhere and see your entire desktop on your iPad.  Your finger moves the pointer on your desktop and a tap clicks it.  You can run your computer from anywhere with your iPad just like you were sitting in front of it.  That’s sick.

Keynote, Pages, Numbers

I give speeches, make presentations, and look at spreadsheets a lot.  This suite of programs makes creating and editing all of that portable and easy.  You can also view and edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files with these programs.  These three programs are worth the price tag of $10 each.

iBooks

I used to love going in to Barnes and Noble.  I would sit in the aisle of the business section and read a little bit of each book before I bought any.  I would spend hours as a teenager just sitting there reading pieces of all kinds of business books.  I don’t have the time to sit there in the bookstore for that long anymore.  Now with iBooks I sit in my bed at night and do it.  It’s just like back in the day when I would sit in the aisles of the bookstore only it’s a lot more comfortable in my bed. Nostalgia plus comfort. 🙂

Entrepreneur Magazine
This is easily my favorite magazine of all time. Every time I read it I get a new idea or new way of doing something.  I’ve been reading it since I was 15 years old and it has been an immense resource and “secret” to my success as an entrepreneur.  I’m also pretty stoked that I don’t have to carry four copies of the magazine with me at all times now.  I can just read them on my iPad.  I can also email articles and pages directly from the app.  Fast Company is another magazine that got on the iPad bandwagon early and is a great magazine.

Twitter

Twitter is easily the best of the social media big dogs to be on the iPad.  Facebook doesn’t even have an iPad app.  The twitter app on iPad makes it easy to update multiple accounts, read tweets by people you’re following, and even click links without leaving the program.  It takes a minute to get used to it, especially if you have used other versions.  Twitter can be a lot of fun, last week I used it to tweet the corner advice I was giving to one of my Boxer’s who competed in the NY Amateur Championships.  I had quite a few followers who really dug that.  Follow me at http://twitter.com/erikcharlestm

Dragon Dictation

This one is pretty self explanatory … you talk, it puts your words into written text.  This app is crazy accurate too.  I was demonstrating this thing to Tamdan and the only word it was messing up was his name.  Regular people screw his name up all the time so it’s not a big deal that Dragon Dictation can’t get it right either.  The other neat thing this can do is that with one tap you can use it to speak your tweets directly to your twitter or update your facebook status.

Bonus recommendations:

Get a stylus.
It drives me crazy to see fingerprints on my iPad.  Using a stylus basically eliminates that altogether.  It’s also a lot easier to sketch and write notes with it.  I feel like my iPad responds better to my stylus too although I can’t really verify that’s true.  It might just be in my head because I love my stylus.  A stylus runs about $20 but it’s definitely the way to go for high volume iPad users that have some OCD for fingerprints and a clean iPad screen.

Netflix
I love watching documentaries, especially if it involves some kind of conspiracy theory.  With the amount of time I spend waiting, for 1 event last week we spent a total of 13 hours of waiting for 22 minutes of competition. Netflix is great for killing time and the iPad app works awesome.

I  hope that you found this list useful.  Leave a comment with any apps you may have found that aren’t on my list.

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.

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