Every word in that statement is true, except for the fact that my iPAD is being powered by coffee.
I am being powered by coffee. When I write, I drink coffee. A doctor might say that this is a bit of a compulsive need to take every single time I sit down and force myself to write, but for me, it puts me in focus. Plus, in Wisconsin, it’s bitter cold right now and warming up a bit with a cup-o-joe never hurt anyone.
So, yes, the truth is that this blog is now being run from an iPAD. Reason being is I received a Belkin Bluetooth Keyboard for Christmas and yes, it kicks ass. The keys have the same feel as my MacBook Pro, which is great because now I can write anywhere. Lugging a MacBook Pro around can get a little annoying after a while. The iPAD + Belkin combo is much more sleek, and I really don’t mind the WordPress application offered by the App Store.
The truth is that any application works for writing, whether you’re using Word, Scrivener, Pages, or any other writing program, it all works. We’ve become a picky society. It all works just fine. Worst case scenario, you write your thought for the day and then email it to yourself or copy and paste it between programs. Your writing doesn’t improve just because you’re using a fancy program.
Anyways, so back to coffee. Yes, I am powered by coffee because I love coffee. I would say that it is vice of mine, but I can’t. Coffee is full of antioxidants and if you look it up on the “unhealthy list”, it ranks pretty low when compared to just about every item found in the center of the grocery store. Yikes. There are thousands of consumables that are worse than drinking a cup or two of coffee.
Is there caffeine in coffee? Yes, of course there is, and caffeine from time to time has been labeled as the world’s most widely consumed stimulant.
Here is a great article by my friends over at Precision Nutrition: All About Caffeine
As long as you’re not absolutely relying on coffee to roll out of bed and start your day, or it is preventing you from quality sleep, keep on sipping. Beware that no one, and I mean no one, enjoys coffee breath.
If you want a performance boost, drink some coffee before a workout. A cup of coffee pre-workout is one of the only things that I do to help me dial in and get work done when it’s time to train. Coffee doesn’t make me superhuman or anything, but it does give an extra boost of energy, no doubt about that.
If you’re wondering how much coffee is safe for you to drink, start getting in touch with yourself. If you feel fine after a cup or two, well, that means that you’re fine. If you drink a bucket of it and struggle to write a legible personal check, then you may have over-consumed a bit. In that case, dial it back.
It’s easy to let the pendulum swing too far. When this happens, make some simple adjustments. The important part is to recognize that it has happened. Awareness is soooooooo important. If we as a society could just increase our awareness with eating and exercise, we would bring ourselves back to center. Over time, it would happen.
Like our Grandparents are famous for saying: Too much of anything can be a bad thing.
It’s funny how this statement holds up in so many different situations. Too much working out, bad. Too much water, bad. Too much alcohol, bad. Too many calories, bad. Too much coffee, bad. Too much, bad bad bad.
A person could really live a quite healthy life by following old adages. I believe this. Why complicate matters any more than they already are? Some things don’t need to be re-invented, they are fine just the way they are.
Branching out from awareness, self-exploration/experimentation is a lost art.
We read generalized guidelines in newspapers and magazines and automatically think that the suggestions apply to us. Maybe some do, but maybe some don’t. I know that I have personally tried a boat load of health tips found in magazines (who hasn’t?) without any noticeable improvement. It doesn’t mean that the health advice doesn’t work, it means that my mind and body might not be as accepting of it as someone else’s.
Nearly every sleep expert on the planet preaches about 8+ hours of sleep per night, yet why then, do some people function best with less than 6 hours? You can call them outliers, but the point is that not every health tip applies to everyone. We need to stop calling people out, define our goals, find plans to achieve those goals, and keep self-experimenting.
It’s never too late to learn about yourself and refine your techniques.
I listened to Howard Stern comment yesterday (yes I listen to Stern and I am a loyal fan) about how he just got turned on to mind-mapping. He went on to say that it may just be the greatest productivity/organizing tactic he has ever encountered. Of course, this is Howard’s personal opinion, as it might work for crap for someone else. Regardless, mind-mapping has been around for quite some time. I can remember mapping out ideas for a book 5 years ago. The book didn’t happen, but the map that I created really helped bring my ideas into focus. Prior to mapping, I just had a tornado of ideas clogging up my creativity. It crippled me from even starting the project.
Howard is 59 years old, going on 60 this month. Again, it’s never too late to refine your technique. A guy who’s career rivals some of the best that this world has ever known, is busy trying to figure out how to better himself in his free time.
What a lesson that is.
This is the beauty of being unique. There is not one-size-fits-all solution for anything, for anyone. We are all different.
You can read books and get ideas from the trail blazers, but those tactics may not fit your personality. They may not be right for you. One of the toughest lessons that I have had to learn is that I have my own unique personality and delivery that I should feel confident about and harness. I don’t need to write like anyone else, speak like anyone else or act like anyone else. I am me.
Of course, I realize that most things in life have been done before, so there are hacks to many of life’s experiences, and this part I feel I have grasped quite well. I do pick up bits and pieces from people I respect. This happens almost daily. I watch successful people operate and then try to emulate the things that are making them successful.
Sometimes I think that this is the key to success in life. Get around people who make you uncomfortable with their level of success and beg them to allow you to shadow them for a period of time. Doing so would probably open your eyes to a level of work ethic, professionalism, character and class that most people have no idea even exists. Most of the people I know who are very successful in there chosen fields have worked at it relentlessly for some time.
I have learned how to emulate what has made others successful, without losing my identity.
Call it growing up or whatever you want, but it’s been fun the last few years as begin to taste success and hit my stride. Delayed gratification can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that putting forth ridiculous amounts of work on the front end is often rewarding on the back end. I’m interested in life-long, sustainable solutions. It doesn’t matter what topic… exercise, nutrition or income.
If you’re a flash in the pan, what is the point?
Here is another great tip: If you practice something long enough, it becomes automatic. Your behavior will evolve and your newly acquired habit will become second nature. You adopt it and it becomes a part of the regularly scheduled program. That’s why I encourage people to stay with exercise fight for it if it’s important to them. Hold it sacred. Make time. Find space. Make it a priority and don’t give up on it for anything during the first few weeks and months. Trust me, once you bust through the growing pains, you’ll find that you’ve just successfully acquired a new habit. One that will pay you back a thousand times over, for the duration of your life on earth.
There is no greater thrill than accomplishing something that you once perceived to be out of reach.
The key to that last sentence is “perceived”. We perceive a lot of things in life. We have perceptions of ourselves, our bodies, what we are capable of accomplishing, what kind of colleagues we are, what kind of parents we are, etc. A lot of these perceptions are limited. A limited perception of yourself doesn’t allow for growth. It’s been said, “Dream big, because you’ll never be bigger than your dreams.”
I cherish this quote and protect it daily. It fuels me. You have to protect your dreams because they are yours, no one else’s. It’s ok to have tunnel vision on your dreams because it will allow you to absorb and move passed the 20 foot swells that arise while you are on the path to making your dreams a reality.
So what did we learn from this post?… Drink some coffee, explore yourself, become more aware and consider mapping your mind for increased focus and clarity. Oh, and the Belkin Bluetooth Keyboard kicks ass.
2014 is going to be a great year, I hope that you feel the same way.
Cheers to scratching and clawing and moving closer to a version of your ideal self!
This post brought to you by Racy’s Coffee:)