Mental Mechanics: Live Your Best Life

Life is short, so live it hard.
Be more than just your business card.
Love and laugh and let things go.
Find ways each day to learn and grow. 

As humans, one of our deepest desires is to have a happy and meaningful life. We talk about it often. The internet is full of memes about people, “Living their best life.” It is a fantastic concept, but what does it really mean? 

No matter how many memes, or gurus, or influencers try to convince us of what our lives should look like, it is ultimately up to each one of us, personally. We are the experts on ourselves, and know what is best what our best life looks like. Only we can decide that for ourselves, and only we can put forth the effort and sacrifice to get it. 

My version of a dream life is probably much different than yours. Guess what, that is perfectly OK. The key is to have a solid idea of what your ideal life consists of, and what you need to achieve it. What does it mean to live YOUR best life? What will you have to do differently? What do you already have, that you can build on?

Take time today to ask those questions, then to make a plan to take just ONE step today, to move you a bit closer. Tomorrow, do the same. If you continue this pattern, it will begin to take shape. Small steps, over time, complete the journey. 

Mental Mechanics: Strength in the Struggle

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking back, the times of deepest struggle were the most beautiful. They made me who I am today…

I am known for my work with adversity. I am also very vocal regarding my belief that the concept of adversity gets a bad reputation. No one wants to struggle, and we work hard to avoid those events that cause us pain. I am a big believer that those moments of adversity, and our reaction to them, shape our lives and who we become. Some of the most successful people in our history have experienced overwhelming obstacles and learned to manage and use them for growth and success. What if we could reframe how we view hardship? What if we saw it as a good opportunity to become better versions of ourselves?  How different would our lives be if we could use our toughest past (or current) experiences to create a better future? We can allow our difficulties to imprison us or empower us.  That choice belongs to each of us. Choose wisely…

Mental Mechanics: Effective Change

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.

Dr Seuss, The Lorax

This influential statement from The Lorax, published in 1971, still holds as much truth and power today. Caring for one another should take priority over anything else right now.

In tough times, it is important to remember that we can each create positive, effective change. We can accomplish meaningful deeds and make a positive impact on those around us. We don’t have to take on everything at once, in fact, right now it would be better if we don’t attempt to. We can be successful if we are authentic and allow our values to guide us through the current challenges. Today, let’s start small and just take the first step. Let’s show one aother that we care a “whole awful lot.”

Mental Mechanics: Building Humanity

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

Desmond Tutu

Everything we are and could be is most likely connected to others. We could all use a lesson in how to be better humans for one another, in a time of increased self-focus. 

With our current situation, we have found ourselves separated from our normal interactions. We can’t forget how it feels to hug someone who is hurting or be hugged when we are hurting. In this world of Zoom conversations and contact through online groups, texts, distanced conversations, human contact and interaction has taken a back seat. We have also been encouraged to focus more on ourselves, and our personal lifestyle choices. It is important to remember that that it is all for the betterment of our species. It seems we are reminded of how our actions affect one another, more and more each day. Being a good human, and putting the needs of humanity over our own desires right now is what will help us make it through the current craziness together. Then, those hugs will mean even more…

Mental Mechanics: Self-Investment

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

– Rumi

One of the greatest benefits of being human is our innate ability to want to improve. We want a better today than we had yesterday. We crave success, progress, and a better life. We all want a better world, right? If nothing else, we want to change the world to make it better for ourselves and those we care about. It is easy to look at the world as a whole, making it seem overwhelming and unchangeable. One of life’s hardest lessons to learn is that we can only ever truly change ourselves. The great news is that when we create a better version of ourselves, we impact others as well. I truly believe that one person, who has strived to be at their absolute best, can impact the world in significant ways. Look at Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, or Abraham Lincoln. These are standard examples of individuals who constantly tried to better themselves, and in the process, impacted the world. When we are productive, positive, proactive, and passionate, others take notice. Remember, like attracts like. People will want to be near you, to learn from you, and to replicate your growth.

Others will strive to have the same type of experience, changing their lives as well. If your growth assists in changing those within your corner of the world, and they follow your lead to do the same, the world itself changes. Take time today to explore your own situation. Are you living in a manner that allows you to be your best self? Do you have a clear picture of what your best self even looks like? What can you do today to help you move toward being that person? The world is a big place but imagine what it would look like if we all focused on making our part of it better. Why not start on your part today?

Mental Mechanics: Tips to Manage These Uncertain Times

Well, this is certainly new and unexpected. How could we have ever expected the current global situation? Life is usually pretty straightforward and easy. We tend to make it harder than it has to be. I have more experience with helping individuals deal with unimaginable adversities than I could have ever imagined. There are some basic things to consider. If we keep a calm head, do the simple things right, and look out for one another, we can get through all of this together…

Don’t Panic – No matter what is happening around us, staying calm is an important thing to remember in any moment of extreme adversity. It allows us to act accordingly and not react purely from emotion. 

Leave Ego Out of It – Unless we can approach this pandemic as an opportunity to understand ourselves and our journey a bit better, our egos will take over and limit our ability to move forward. None of us is as good as ALL of us.  

Practice Basic Hygiene – Right now, this virus is mostly lifestyle based. It isn’t in the air or the water. Practicing basic hygiene (washing hands, not touching our faces, isolating ourselves from others) is a key to managing it. It seems funny to tell adults to wash there hands, but I know I am guilty of not doing it as well as I should.

Be a Good Human – Again, this seems like a no brainer. However, when we face adversity, we tend to narrow our focus to only ourselves. Now more than ever, it will pay huge dividends to just be a good person and to help others in any way we can. We will all need one another before this is over.

Don’t Get Caught in Narratives – Getting caught up in false narratives is something we do exceptionally well. This is especially true during times like this. The ‘What ifs’ tend to pull our attention away from objective truths. Be aware of your thinking, and the stories you are allowing yourself to tell. 

Eat Well/Stay Active – Self Care is critical to making it through adverse times. We tend to focus so much on what is going on externally that we overlook our own well being. Remember, stress impacts our immune system, which is the last thing we need right now. 

Avoid Crowds – It sucks that sports were canceled and that we can’t go to the movies or our favorite restaurants. I can’t sugarcoat that fact. This situation is bigger than celebrities, or sports…this can potentially impact the future of our species. We just need to use common sense and remember that this will be temporary if we do the right things.

Don’t Panic-Yeah…It is THAT important. We can do this if we do it together.

With Much Love and Well Wishes

Mark

Mental Mechanics: Live YOUR life

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

– Steve Jobs

If you’re wondering how to make your life better, you are not alone. I cannot remember ever working with an individual who wasn’t. As humans, we are success-driven organisms. We constantly strive to be better versions of ourselves. We also know that success is best served among friends and teammates, who share in the glory and accomplishment. We need others to assist us in this journey, but we must be careful. Sometimes we get caught in someone else’s journey, whether it is in a relationship or job, and we lose sight of our own. I am not saying to be selfish, although focusing on yourself from time to time can be extremely powerful. I am a big believer in selfless leadership and service. In fact, it is a core tenant of my business. I believe that by giving to others, we are only helping ourselves. We just need to also remember that we cannot give our best, if we are living as less than our best self. Take time today to explore your own situation. Are you living the life you want? Do you share your success with others, and share in their successes? Are you living in a way that will help you to become your best, or are you living someone else’s life? What can you do, today, that will allow you to become a better version of yourself? Be proactive, pursue those things that will make you better, and focus your efforts on becoming a better version of yourself. When you find the right opportunity, the one that will take you to a whole new level of life success, you want to be able to fully commit to it. Begin making it happen today.

Mental Mechanics: A New Year, A New Chance to Grow

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

– Oprah Winfrey

A Very Personal Note for the New Year… Happy New Year (and New Decade) everyone!! The 2010s were a time filled with self-exploration and growth. It was the perfect carnival ride of ups and downs, twists and turns. Each extreme up and down brought me to a better place in life. It was indeed a decade I can never forget. From helping tens of thousands of wounded, ill, and injured Service members find a new path in life to living a dream in Major League Baseball. I have been blessed beyond measure. 

Most recently, 2019 was an incredible year but wasn’t without challenges.While there have been so many amazing things (family, friends, success in business, and even a World Series Championship), I also faced many of the same challenging moments as most other humans. I have lost family members, had business stressors, had people I care about to leave my life, and I experienced personal health issues. Throughout these experiences, I remain mindful and extremely grateful. Each piece of this puzzle came together to reveal a beautiful image. 

I am dedicated to keeping this mindset into the new decade. I want to love as much, and as deeply as I can. I want to learn something new every day. I want to continue my daily meditation practice and live in each moment. I wish to acknowledge and learn from the challenges but focus on the beautiful parts of life. Mostly, I want to continue impacting as many lives as possible. 

I challenge each of you to do the same. Make 2020 a year of growth and personal celebration. Above all, make it a year of helping others do the same. 

I will be providing tips and tools to do just that each month. A new theme will be available that builds a personal and actionable plan for excellence. Make sure to check my Social Media outlets, as well as blogs on my website. I get to travel to some incredible places, with some pretty special people, so expect a few surprises along the way. 

Let’s work together to make this our best year yet.

Mental Mechanics: Life is a Game of Chances

“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”

– Mark Twain

Taking chances in life can be scary, period. But, if we ever want to achieve the life we have always dreamed of, we undoubtedly have to take constructive, calculated chances. As you look back on your life to this point, are there times that you wish you’d been a little more daring, a bit more trusting of your abilities, and less cautious in the chances you took? Many of the individuals that I work with say that if they ‘had it all to do over again,’ they would have been more courageous, settled for less, and taken more risks. Many times we know what it is we want, but we still don’t go after it because of the perceived gamble involved. We over-estimate the likelihood of something going wrong and tend to ‘catastrophize’ about what ‘might’ happen, imagining a worst-case scenario. We focus on the potential of loss, more than any potential for gain. The benefits of taking an educated, calculated chance are many. It can: open us up to new challenges and opportunities, require us to learn and grow, empower us to establish new limits in our thinking, give us clear understandings of what we want, and help us break free from our average way of living. Take time today to explore your own situation. How do you approach taking chances? Is there something you have been avoiding, because you were afraid of the potential “What ifs?” involved? How will this avoidance affect your life one year from now? What would you go for, today, if you were to be more courageous? It is necessary to take chances to achieve anything significant in life. You will never know what you are capable of until you try something you’ve never done. Go for it!

Mental Mechanics: A Dream Week

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

-Jesse Owens

Something special happened to me this week. I fulfilled a childhood dream. I ran onto the field after Game 7 of the World Series; I celebrated with a group of individuals that motivate me every day, I lifted a World Championship trophy in champagne-soaked clothing. I also rode in a victory parade for around 1M people. Not bad for a boy from a town of about 1500 people. This amazing week was the result of a lifetime of having concrete goals, working hard, sticking to it when things get tough, and staying grateful along the way. If you want something, dream big, but make sure you are focusing on each step along the way. On to the next incredible dream…