PAT FELLOWS

I view things through my eyes mostly.

Why knowing your “why” isn’t good enough for world domination.

10479443_10152868850569686_8477477296711415439_oI am not original.  If anything, I excel at retelling what most of us already know in a concise, punch you in the face for not seeing it sort of a way.  I’d like to think that at least part of the time I am not coming from left field.

I am also an unapologetic Simon Sinek fanboy.  When doing research for a TEDx talk at LSU 3 years ago, I fell upon Sinek’s now famous TEDx talk in which he espouses the idea that people inspire action not through what they do, but rather “why” they do it.  It was inspiring enough for me to wrap my TEDx story in a “why” context.  By the looks of the views, he has done a little better than I…so far.

But what if knowing “why” isn’t enough?  What happens after you’ve decided you know why you do everything in your life, and yet you are still unfulfilled and or unsuccessful at parlaying this into some form of “happier ever after”?

For years I’ve felt like I’ve been driven to make my slice of the world, a healthier, fitter, space.  Through opening healthy restaurants (FRESHJUNKIE), to starting races (The Louisiana Marathon, FRESHJUNKIE Racing), and through coaching nearly 100 different people over the last 3 years, I felt like I have been neck deep in my “why”.  Alas, the Brinks truck has yet to back up to my house and neither Ellen, Jimmy Fallon, or even someone from cable access have called begging me to come on TV.  “WHY”?

The reason is simple.  Knowing your “why” isn’t good enough for world domination.  Now that may not be your goal, and that’s fine,  and knowing your “why” may be plenty for Ted from accounting.  But for people who want to be the best of the best, a “why” is just the start.  How do I amplify my “why” in tangible ways???

I awake everyday questioning.  “Am I where I need to be?”  “Am I doing what I need to?”  “Where is the effing coffee?” “Where am I?” “Where are my pants?”.  Sometimes the questioning can be crippling.  No bullshit.  I sit there and wonder,  “What do I think I am supposed to be doing with this day?”  As anyone who is trying to build there own brand knows, there is no correct answer, and no one dropped off a playbook or manual.  You write it daily.

Along with a why, you gotta have a DO.  EVERY DAY.  The only way out of my hole is always to DO.  Moreover, your DO doesn’t have to be perfect.  Some days I DO the wrong things, but I try to consistently evaluate those things and improve, so that I am spending the most time DOING the things that both move my “why’ forward in the most positive ways.  These days, I am making sure that it moves forward on a secondary level of profitability as well as simply for saying the right things.  Saying is the beginning.  DOING IS THE AMPLIFIER.

DOERS > SAYERS

There are a lot of freaking quotes in this post.  For that, I apologize.

GO DO SOME SHIT!

h+hf

PF

Play. Create. Live large

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When I was a kid I loved legos.  I mean, who didn’t? You could build according to the directions, or build a 2×8 block stack to the ceiling (which I did) or spend hours lost in space (this was the big collection in 1982).

I also loved the woods, a set of bmx trails we fashioned out of the piles of dirt from neighborhood pools, and  my favorite early 80’s pastime; a chunk of plywood that I nailed two pair of broken roller skates to and covered the top with a chunk of carpet.  We would spend hours dragging each other behind a too large 10 speed while towing each other behind, singing Don’t Bring me Down by ELO.  It was fast, it was dangerous, and it was FREEDOM.

I long for the smell of dirt and pine needles.  Of heat in the Mississippi woods.  Of dirty ass puppy smellin kids rolling off a chunk of plywood at 20 mph.

Fast forward just a few short years, and I was “too grown up” for that stuff.  Homework, after school sports, what passed for a middle school social life and the struggle to be cool, quashed this out for a few years…until I could do stupid things in a car.

Of late I have been struggling a little bit with the ever present “Am I doing the right things?” and “If I am setting up my businesses to run by themselves, what then should I do with any of the free time?”  This is the ever present trap question of our time.  Is this work good enough? Passionate enough? Meaningful enough?

On Friday, I had worked from early in the morning until about 12:00 and decided to go ride my bike for awhile.  I haven’t ridden much since Ironman Boulder and this ride let me know that straight away.  No snap in the legs and a heavy dose of River Road wind, and I was soon slogging along.  But I was content.

What “came to me” on this ride was something simple.  Something I have heard echoed in a recent post that went viral by Mark Manson about finding your “passion”.  In a nutshell, when we were kids, we just did.  We created, we played, we lived.  Somewhere along the way, the notion of creating and playing became a luxury.  Something we were to do in our free time if we weren’t “artists”.  I’m calling bullshit.

What if creating IS the work we are to do?  And this doesn’t mean dropping your job as an attorney to become a poet (or maybe it does).  It means finding joy in creating when you can, to start out.  Through writing, thinking, singing, and most importantly through PLAY.

Find an outside hobby.  Maybe you like basketball.  Find a pickup game again.  Go run at lunch.  Join an adult kickball team.  Play dodgeball.  Buy some legos and pull them out at your desk and let your mind escape from those TPS reports.

I am convinced that at least 75% of the “stress” in life is self created.  I have a friend that immediately freaks out about “what will I do with the kids?” or “I can’t do that, how will (insert inane work duty here) get done?”  These are important responsibilities to consider for sure, but this conversation was about an event that was over a YEAR AWAY!  Chill the fuck out!  I am not turning your kids free range and leaving a box of pop tarts and some smokes for them and heading out for an adventure.  Quit using “No we can’t because…” as your go to response.  This is the road to self inflicted misery.

I 100% guarantee that your work will improve if you take time to create or play every day.  If it were me telling you how to do this, I would say do it first thing in the morning to start off charged, or during lunch to hit “reset”, ready to tackle the second half of the day.  But if midnight’s when you have time.  Make that time.

Iff your boss walks in and wonders why you are building a Lego Batman set, tell him it’s so you will be better, and maybe ask he or she to join you.

We all know if those TPS reports get pushed back 5 mins that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS.

Start playing.  Starting living larger.

hugs+hi5s

PF

7:47 PM, 09/09/15-I’m over you social media

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Let me be perfectly clear.  I was an early user of Facebook and I loved it.  I am unapologetic about this.  Over the last 7 years I have had people try and give me shit about it, and their arguments are moot.  Don’t tell me “You sure are on FB a lot,” and not realize that in order for you to know this that YOU are on FB a lot.

I felt early on, that as a person who believes in the power of a personal brand, that social media can be an incredibly positive and powerful tool.

But on September 9th, 2015, at around 7:40 pm.  I took it off my phone.  Along with twitter (which I’ve never really used), and Instagram, which I use a bit.  I didn’t delete any accounts and kept the messenger function, but something in me just said.  Enough.

I’ve read a couple different articles in the past about people who have quit for a month and friends that give it up for lent, but I’ve never been one.  To be clear, I may not quit at all.  But last week, I needed a break.

I have, over the last 7 years, done my best to try an be positive on the social medias.  Snarky, yes, misconstrued, sometimes, an a-hole, allegedly.  I try and steer clear of religion, politics and sex, and despite what some may think, try to not get too caught up in it all.

Last Wednesday I realized that I was going the other direction.  Nothing terribly offensive, but the banter turned a little harsh, and I thought for a moment, “Why am even bothering with commenting on this?”

“Do I even care about this?”
“Does this subject, even affect me, and if not, why am I bothering with it, unless just to be an asshole?”

I pulled the rip cord. 7:47 p.m.

I of course wondered both if I would have withdrawals (no) and how long it would last (7 days).  I didn’t go in with the intent of quitting forever, but heres a few things I divined from a week without engaging on social media.

  1.  Nothing happened.  Well, nothing important.  I have 138 notifications to tend to, but so what.
  2. I do a lot of business and branding on FB.  Im not saying I “need” to be on it, but I have invested in it both with time and $.  If I am quitting, I’m not going out with a fizzle.
  3. Social media IS the way people interact beyond their inner small circle.  There is no denying that I get a ton of information, some of it even useful, via SOME.
  4. We all like pictures, and Instagram is cool.  But damn,  I (and you) take some stupid ass pics of some uninteresting ass shit.  I also became acutely aware of people composing their next “cool” shot.  It’s effing exhausting when you step back from it.  With that being said, I am going to start another IG account for our new dog @izzydingo.  Gotta get rich some way, and apparently exploiting your kids on there for money is frowned upon.  Uptight assholes.
  5. I will formulate more of a conscious plan for my usage and will likely not be putting either apps on my phone anytime soon.  Last night I attended an event that encouraged hashtagging and the like so I reloaded twitter and instagram.  I got home around 10, and at 10:30 I was still scrolling through some mundane ass pics of stuff I don’t care about.  For 38 mins.  It’s a time suck.
  6. I’ll likely disregard everything I have learned in the last week and be a mindless user in a month.  You’ve been warned.

Hugs + High fives,

PF

From the Meth Lab

2013-05-12 20.26.19He walked in the house on March 28th, 2007 while Jeanne was cooking dinner, sat down and took his place in our house and hearts.  He was funny looking at best, a cross between a lab and a corgi, low slung with pointy ears, and perhaps only the second dog I had been around that had palpable swag.  If you can imagine an incarnate Rodrigue, Blue Dog, but black and white.

We named a breed after him.  The Great American Corgidor.

He came named.  Shotgun.  Who the hell names a dog Shotgun?  My mother in law had picked him up at their long time vet’s office and said that she thought he’d be good with our kids, then aged, 2.5 and 4.5, because he didn’t seem to care about anything.  Never could a truer statement been made.

His backstory was awesome.  I mean for him, not his prior owners.  Apparently they were an early 30’s couple who had been cooking up meth in their garage in the vet’s  upscale neighborhood.  One day the law came and arrested and took them away, social services took their kids, and the vet took Shotgun and another dog to his office.  He lived there for 3 months or so until we got him.

The vet said he was around 3 when we got him, the next time we took him in for a checkup, he was 6.  Who knows really.  He was somehow mostly ageless.

The use of the descriptor “Zero F*%KS to give,” is thrown around generously these days.  Shotgun may have coined the term.  He did what he wanted when he wanted.  Upon his awakening he’d go sit by the front door and wait to be let out so he could walk around our cul-de-sac.  Yes out the front door.  We dubbed him the Mayor Of K-dub (Kenilworth).  He would not chase kids, dogs, or other animals.  Just walk calmly around, taking it all in, and sniffing the wind.  People probably still sit in judgement of us letting him out the front.  It was Shotgun’s will.  We couldn’t fight it.  Everyone that met him said the same thing.  “That’s one cool dog.”

He was loving but not up in your face.  It was on his terms.  He’d position himself by your foot if you crossed your legs so you could rub his “belly” or rather his nether regions.  He wasn’t shy.  Hell that feels good, rub there.

He was the kind of dog that the kids could manhandle and he wouldn’t care.  Ian would grab his ears and he’d just sit there looking up and smiling.

He learned to standup paddle board.  No big deal.

What’s funny is that there aren’t a ton of stories about him.  He existed on his terms and would not participate in your tomfoolery.  He’d just hang out.  Hanging out was his specialty.  Want him to go fetch, tough, that’s not his thing.  Want him to walk on a leash.  Ok, for a few, but when he was over it, sometimes he’d just sit down, and you’d be stuck carrying a 45 lb lunk all the way home.

One of his favorite past times was eating dead squirrels.  Or rather eating the heads, hands, feet and tails off of them, and or dragging them into the house.  Our neighbor shoots squirrels that get in his garden with a BB gun.  Shotgun would go on his morning walkabout and find them, then sit in the monkey grass chewing the shit out them.  I can hear Paige yelling nonchalantly, “DAD, SHOTGUN HAS A SQUIRREL!  ANOTHER ONE!”

Over the past 6 months Shotgun aged rapidly.  After taking him to the vet several times, we learned he had heart failure.  Last week we had to put him to sleep because he was miserable.  Still smiling, but hacking up fluid and he couldn’t lay down due to fluid in his abdomen.

A lot of people would think Shotgun would be a prime candidate for some sort of social media “dog bucket list” stunt.  But I know that’s not his style.  I can almost hear him say “Let me go, unassumingly and quietly.  Make no fuss.  The Mayor of K-dub doesn’t need a bucket list.”

I could re-write this 100 times and never get it right, but to not write something would be wrong.

Everyone has the best dog ever.  I get it.  But there will never be another one like Shotgun.  Never.

Shotgun-Mar 28th, 2007-July 9th 2015  (plus however many years he was at the methlab- at least 3, possibly 6)

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Be More

11143332_10153353993389686_555400720660122094_oI was driving a couple hours to a meeting yesterday and was shuffling through the mental calendar for the next few days.  Dinner with friends, work, running, a bike ride, trying to get to a wedding, a ride, Father’s Day festivities and more work.

Father’s day.  I dwelled for a second and the questions started.

“What are we celebrating here?”
“Am I just getting credit for doing what you are supposed to do?”
“Why is this bothering me so much?”

As I drove I really gave some consideration to what it means to be a dad.  I dont think I came up with anything novel or new, but as I thought, I became filled with a desperation to be more for my kids.  At the same time, I couldn’t really place what that meant.  “Be more”.

My wife and I have always tried to attack parenting from the mindset that our lives should not revolve around our children.  We should train for ourselves, have and achieve goals, and live by example.  We should carve out time for dates, and for our wants and needs as much as we should run around town to practices and kids events.  I want my wife and I be the heros my kids look up to.  This won’t happen forever, but if that seed can be sown, hopefully it will grow.

But more and more, life feels how  the first paragraph of this post reads.  More, work, more running around, more, more.  And yet, my first go to when thinking about being a father is to be more to them.  So as Father’s day is tomorrow, I’ll leave you with my “more”.  If you have a kid, I encourage you to give some thought to what your “more” is.

Be more present when doing things with my kids-look them in the eyes.  Listen to what they are saying; what they are really asking or afraid to ask.

Be more clear when correcting them or teaching them lessons.  Explain why I am asking them to do things a particular way.

Be more fun.  Goof off, dance, jump on the trampoline, throw them in the pool 50 times in a row.

Be more patient.

Be more “yes” and less “not now” or “later”.

Be more encouraging.

Be more of myself.

Be more of a good husband and teach my kids how to love through loving and respecting their mother at all times.

Be more of a son to my dad.  Reach out more often.

Be more awesome aka be more badass.

Happy Father’s Day.

Hugs + high fives,

PF

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Have an opinion

A couple weeks ago I posted a picture to the Instagrams that rattled a friend of mine a little.  It seemed like I was being a little bit of an a-hole with a hashtag.

In a move unlike me, I removed the picture.  While I wasn’t being really ill spirited, I saw how it could be misconstrued as a poor move.

This whole non episode got me thinking about strong opinions.  I have a reputation of being extremely opinionated on seemingly mundane things (a strong dislike of Jimmy Buffet, Guy Fieri, fast food, and complainers), but a separate conversation over the weekend reminded me that sometimes, my lackadaisical attitude to a lot of things, can be undermining my success.

What I mean is that on a lot of items I will claim to not care, or that choices don’t really matter that much to me.  This is in total contradiction to how I live the rest of my life.  One of my strengths, like it or not, are my strong opinions,  so to not take a stand on even the smallest detail is to remove ones right to complain about which direction those items go.

In todays world, we are so worried (me included) about offending people.  My line for caring may be moved way back from yours, but make no mistake, we all care.  While I would argue that forming opinions just to be an ahole is counter productive, if that’s true to you then stick by it.  We should be constantly making sure that our opinions truly align with what matters to us, and then sticking to them, regardless of what people think.

So it’s Wednesday.  If you think Kenny Chesney sucks, stick to that.  I got your back.

hugs+highfives

PF

 

Whatever I fear the most…

fear

“Whatever I fear the most is whatever I see before me
Whenever I let my guard down, whatever I was ignoring
Whatever I fear the most is whatever I see before me
Whatever I have been given, whatever I have been”
toad the wet sprocket

FEAR-Seems like a childish notion sometimes, but really it’s the root of all of our shortcomings, whether real or perceived.

It’s the ultimate limiter.  It can cripple, confuse, and question.  But the exercise of defining, facing, and dealing with our fears, I believe, is the great equalizer and ultimate empowerer.

Ah, if it were only that easy.  I won’t sit here and tell you I have it licked.  Not by a long shot, but RECOGNIZING that fear is what is holding us back in everything is the first step in some demented 12 step life program.

Recognition.

Defintion.

Saying that shit out loud.  Hell most of the time, just by doing this, we realize that our fears are just figments of our imagination or some simple procrastinations that we have put off so long, that they have blossomed into shit storms in and of themselves.

Recognition.

Defintion.

DEAL.

It’s okay to be afraid I think.  If it weren’t, none of us would be okay.  The game is to deal with things and chop them into bite sized fear nuggets, that you can dip into your own special sauce (gross) and keep moving forward.

So it’s Friday.  Face a fear and try and release something that has a hold on you.  Write that shit down.  Decide if it’s real or not, and think about the first bite sized nugget.

Hugs+high fives.

PF

PS-I’ll do a follow up to this with a list of my fears.  It’s only fair.

 

pic from (http://bcmlife.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/fear.jpg)

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I am not an expert

882355_10151517152679686_545413620_oI have a problem.  I am not an expert.  I don’t have a phd (except in keeping it real).  As someone who likes to write, and who wants to write more, possibly get paid for doing said writing and the like, being an expert is supposed to be my ticket.

But I’m not going to create expert-ism for the sake of branding.  It feels like what kissing your sister must be like, and I’m having none of it.

I’m not a chef, a nutritionist, kinesiologist, restauranteur, or race director extraordinaire either.  I’m a doer, and a problem solver, and I have a knack for being slightly above average at a lot of things.  But I am not an expert.

I do my best to common sense things to the point of nauseum.  The folks I coach have said things like “You have no empathy.”  “You are cold.”  “People are afraid of you.”  These things make me think that I should maybe tone down my comeback for “I don’t want to run today” which is 9 times out of 10- “Could be worse, you could have no legs.”

Joking aside, I have read too many articles and seen bylines for too many books that tout the establishing yourself as an expert motif as the thing to do.  I had a “coach” of sorts say I should get people to pay to train with me while doing my own workouts (really!??!?).  It just seems fake, and disingenuous.

I’ve been told many times that I need to get paid for much of what I do for others, but sometimes that just doesn’t seem right.  My thought has always been to do what you can for others and in turn they will support you and your brands (go buy more salads people!).

I sent the beginnings of this post to my marketing partner in crime, Jennifer.  She pointed out that one of the things I do well is connect people, things, big ideas and the like together.  That I set things in motion.

If I could simplify what I do to a statement-“Setting things into motion,” would be pretty close to what I think I do.  I may or may not give enough thought to how these things will play out down the road.  But I’ll set the mofo’s in motion.  No one needs to be an expert to do that.

In the spirit of lists and takeaways, here are three things I feel you should do instead of spending the time touting yourself as an expert.  At least these 4 things won’t make you feel like you are a sham or sister kissing dirty.

1.  Work hard doing things that others say need to be done, but that they never do.

2.  Say what you want to do and why you want to do these things, and for the love of all that is good, GO DO THEM.  DOERS > SAYERS.

3.  Lift up the others around you.  Employees, co-workers, friends, enemies, and anyone else you can.  I may be construed as pragmatic and blunt, but I do my best to have as many backs as I can.

4.  Be unapologetically awesome at anything you can, but be quick to say you are wrong if your awesomeness goes off the rails.  Have strong, fact or experienced based opinions and share them, but be humble enough to admit if one of said opinions were wrong.  Adjust accordingly and BE MORE AWESOME.

 

 

 

 

Photo on 3-27-15 at 12.39 PM

An Island of awesome…

Photo on 3-27-15 at 12.39 PM“ALOHA!”

I say this a lot.  So much so that my friend Kristen bought me a bright green trucker, emblazoned with the word in gold glittery letters on the front.  The wikipedias tell us that

“The word aloha derives from the Proto-Polynesian root *qarofa, and ultimately from Proto-Polynesian.[3][4][5] It has cognates in other Polynesian languages, such as Samoan alofa and Māori aroha, also meaning “love”.[5]A folk etymology claims that it derives from a compound of the Hawaiian words alo meaning “presence”, “front”, “face”, or “share”; and ha, meaning “breath of life” or “essence of life.” Although alo does indeed mean “presence”, etc. by itself, the word for “breath” has a long A (), whereas the word aloha does not.

If I lived in Hawaii, I’d be be all “essence of life” on you every time I saw you too.  Alas, I live in Baton Rouge, LA, aka “not hawaii” (please begin using this in the local news, newspeople!), a place while known for grabbing an “essence of life”, it is also equally know for horrendous traffic and humidity that makes Hawaii look dry.

Hawaii is also home to one of the greatest endurance sporting events in the world.  The Ironman Triathlon World Championships and once a year is likely the healthiest place on the earth.  “Not Hawaii”?  We have The Louisiana Marathon, the best marathon in the country.  We are coming for you Hawaii!!

This city is the place that I have chosen to build a brand.  A healthy food, ass kicking fitness brand.  FRESHJUNKIE.

2 months ago I made a choice at FRESHJUNKIE. We aren’t like other brands and we needed some fundamental changes. We are more than food-we could change the menu completely and if we are doing what we believe in with a respect for the ingredients, a respect for our health, and a passion to improve our employees and CUSTOMERS, then the people will come get what we are giving.
CULTURE IS BUILT FROM WITHIN.

2 months ago, when the industry told me to go right, I went left. No longer would I hire “kitchen people” and expect them to be “healthy lifestyle” people. While I love helping people make positive change, you can’t force someone to “get it”.  Instead, I would hire people who were already what I want the brand to be. We would turn them into “kick ass healthy” kitchen people.

COMPANY CULTURE or COMPANY ANTICULTURE
This buzzword is nearly as nauseating as “moving the needle” or “core competencies”.  I am not corporate, yet we have to have to define who we want to first aspire to be, so we can then hire correctly.  FRESHJUNKIE is a brand built by and defined by me.  I belive that people should eat healthy.  I believe in helping people get healthy, and the brand should be a testament to this.

Since we are using buzzwords, I thought I would share our MANIFESTO of sorts.  It was on the window of my store for 4 months while I scrambled to get funding.  Nothing in life is ever finished and lately I have been rethinking this “manifesto” and thinking about the forces that drive it.

brandstatement

Nothing in life is ever finished and lately I have been rethinking this “manifesto” and thinking about the forces that drive it.  The list below is important.  We believe it.

WE RESPECT OURSELVES
WE RESPECT EACH OTHER
WE RESPECT THE INGREDIENTS
WE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT

WE TURN NO INTO YES
WE TURN ILLNESS TO HEALTH
WE BELIEVE OUR OWN HYPE
WE EXIST TO MAKE OTHERS BETTER
WE WANT TO BE AWESOME

WE WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD

My first “new hire” was a friend named Lacey.  She is an avid runner and one of the most positive people I know.  She had a job, but over time I told her, If you ever what to discuss a change, let me know.   She had no real kitchen experience, but she has a joy for life and a joy to help others.  I felt pretty confident we could make it work.

She has been with us a little over a month, and something that happened yesterday prompted this post.  This week she took over the store on her own, and in her way, has reached out to all the employees to see what makes them tick. She is figuring out what they want in life and how we as a brand can aid in accomplishing this.  This morning she took an employee running.  That employee in turn wants to engage another employee to help them get healthier.

IT’S HAPPENING!!!

No we haven’t changed the whole world yet, but if “company culture” has ever been a thing, it is occurring in real time, and in front of my own eyes.  It is coming from within and it is confirming my left turn belief.

If you give people the opportunity to shine and to help build something great,  I think that they just might.  We can build an awesome island in a sea of bad health and be the change we want to see.

CHOMP
CHOMP

hugs+high fives

PF

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Mailing it in?

Blogging is an interesting “thing”.  It can be part instructional, part journalism, part journal, and in a lot of  cases, an attempt to inspire, through self revelation.  For me, it is probably a little of all that, but of late I have started and stopped a few different posts as they seemed to be a way of airing my internal dirty laundry and or shortcomings while hoping that through this telling of my challenges, others may benefit.

Before I go any further, let me clarify that my “challenges” are at worst, petty shortcomings and what most silly corporate lingo types would say are merely “opportunities for improvement.”

I’d be lying if I said I really didn’t enjoy New Years.  While resolutions aren’t my thing, the holidays are a good time to reflect and set some goals (expectations) for the next year.  As we all have had a little time to relax, it’s good to look back and look forward.  To be clear, if March 24 is better time for you, so be it.  I just think it’s good to do.

Out on my run today I was thinking a lot about how I performed at the different “jobs” I have.  What I kept coming up with is that I had done enough to get the job done…but how well?

At some point in my life I figured out that I was fairly capable at doing and learning new things.  Whether it was music, sport, career, cooking, business, etc., I have always, with some effort, been able to get “pretty good” at these endeavors. But where is the line between being pretty good and doing the minimum and mailing it in?

There has in my life been one time that I have totally focussed on one thing and one thing only for an extended period of time.  This was my swim back in 2007.  Never in any of part my life felt like I didn’t cut some, albeit small, corner.  For those 5 months in 2007-2008, for that one endeavor, I did it all as close to perfectly as I could, and I saw it through to the end.

When my friends asked me after what it felt like, my reply was that it was the greatest I had felt about anything, that I could have died the next day content.  Most people thought that this was due to the physical achievement, and that I guess is part of it, but the greater sense of accomplishment was finishing something as perfectly as I could, start to finish.

Let me be clear, this type of focus comes at a price.  While all this narcissistic epicness was going down, my business was on the ropes and my wife was juggling her job and doing the lions share of the parenting at our house.  Everything comes at a cost.

Back to the present.  As I outlined in a previous post, I have said yes a little too much, and the reality is that I feel like I am mailing it in with some of the things I am committed to.  This es no bueno, and I am trying to go through these commitments and seeing where I am going to focus.

Jack of all trades and master of none doesn’t win the race.  I’m making a list and cutting some fat.

I’ve read somewhere that even at our best that we are really only giving about 85%.  There is no such thing as giving 110%, because there is only 100% to give.  Let’s at the least be real about things.

No blog entry of late would be complete without a list of some sort.  I usually number these.  But today, I’m going a little crazy and I may bullet it.

Instead of a step by step “how to”, I think this deserves a different mindset.  As I go through my list of things (read jobs) that I do I am committed to ask the following, and take the appropriate corrective step.

  • Am I cutting a corner?  If so why?  Is it out of fear?  Is it due to laziness?   Agree to not cut corners.  If there is a fear or negative motivation, figure out what it is and address it.
  • Agree to make all decisions based on the moral and honest way of doing things.  Always.
  • What would be the best anyone could do a task or job I am doing?  Am I reaching that level?  If not is it because I did everything I could the right way or is there another reason?  Do the first part and identify the second.
  • Do I really want to do this activity any more?  If not, complete the project to the best of my abilities and find a way to remove this from my list of “things”.
  • Does the activity/job line up with my “why”?  If not, get rid of it.
  • Can you pass the “look yourself in the mirror,” test?
  • Give 85%

Agree to keep on fighting the good fight and come up with your own criteria to make sure you aren’t mailing it in.

hugs + high fives,

PF

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