November 21, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Read with your eyes closed

I know this sounds a bit like an excuse … and if you’ve been following TSMS for any length of time, you know how I feel about excuses .. but my intent is actually to provide a solution in this case.  I really do struggle to read.

The times I typically sit down to dive into a book – on an airplane, right before bed, right after work – I end up falling asleep a few pages in.

Enter Audiobooks and/or Podcasts.  Not only can I listen to them the normal times I would sit down and try to read, but I find they also help me maximize my potential learning time because I can listen to them when I normally COULDN’T sit down and read: while I’m walking through airports, doing some cardio on the treadmill, or when I’m getting ready in the morning. So give these audiobooks or podcasts a try the next time you sit down to “read” something:

 

Best Long-Form Self-Improvement Podcast

The Tim Ferriss Show

Best Short Form Podcast (quick interviews)

Tribe of Mentors (also by Tim Ferriss)

Best Podcast for Some Comedic Relief (where you might actually learn something too!)

The Joe Rogan Experience

Best Meathead Podcast

Joe DeFranco’s Industrial Strength Show

Best Overall Health and Fitness Podcast

The Model Health Show

Best Mix of Everything (funny, fitness, business, personal growth)

Business & Biceps

Best for Challenging Your Beliefs

Sam Harris: Waking Up

Best Meditative Practice Podcast

Tara Brach

Best Audiobook author (fiction)

Neil Gaiman

Check these out and let me know what you think!  Respond in the comments or via social media.

 

 

May 13, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

“Normal 10% of the Time” – Part 5 of 5

I’ve mentioned the 90/10 rule in the past, but it’s worth mentioning here again.  All my routines and schedules, diet and training planning, can get a bit neurotic.  For someone with a family, that’s not always fun.  Husbands need to indulge in chocolate and wine taste with their wives.

Dads need to play with their kids, eat ice cream, get popcorn and candy at the movie theater … Be NORMAL! … (at least) 10% of the time. Friday and Saturday nights tend to be the nights that we let our kids break from their weekly routines, so I typically do too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beer drinking happens.

Carb eating happens.

Dessert DEFINITELY happens.

Breakfast happens (sometimes)

Even skipping a workout to play at the park happens.

Work your ass off 90% of the time, but when it comes time to live a little, to let loose, do it.  And because it isn’t something you do all the time, the normal moments will mean even more to you!

Comment with your own strategies for staying normal while you are on the path to achieving your goals.

 

May 10, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Health & Fitness, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

“Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite” – Part 4 of 5

If morning routines are like boot-up sequences, having a solid night time routine must be like avoiding holding down the power button on an old Windows computer.  Remember those days?  If you didn’t shut down the computer by going to the shut-down menu, but just held the power button down?  I’m pretty sure most people believed it might cause a ripple in the space/time continuum and we’d be sucked into an endless loop of repeating history … or you’d just lose all your data.

The latter is more likely what we are protecting by having a solid night routine.

I’ll be honest (I hate that phrase, because shouldn’t we just be honest ALL the time??).  I don’t have a night time routine.  Certainly not one that has intent or purpose.  So here’s what I’m working on making a part of my bedtime behavior:

  1. Limited/no screen time for 15-30 minutes.  Research suggests that limiting screen time not only helps us get to bed faster, but sleep better and deeper once we finally go to sleep.  I’ve recently bought a few paperback books … you know, those things with bindings and page numbers instead of progress percentage bars … and plan to pick away at those in the final minutes before bed.
  2. Daily review: it seems rather frivolous to spend all that time planning in the morning routine and hustling during the day if you aren’t going to look back at the end of the day and do an evaluation of your performance.  I’m confident this will help me stay on track towards my goals and see all of the positive achievements of the day that I might have missed.
  3. Sleep cocktail: I recently re-introduced alcohol to my nightly routine, and while I enjoy having a glass of wine or an Old Fashioned with my wife, I don’t nearly sleep as well as when I have my sleep cocktail.  I got this idea from Tim Ferriss who recommends the cocktail to people with insomnia, and the recipe is simple: Hot water, little bit of honey, and 2 tbsp of Apple Cider vinegar.  It’s warm, it’s soothing (especially for someone who talks for a living), and it makes me sleep like a baby.

Well, that’s it for now.  Off to bed … and that means no more screen time 🙂  Comment or email me with your own nighttime routine suggestions?

 

May 6, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Health & Fitness, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

“Let’s eat” – Part 3 of 5

Let me start by saying this is not a post about how to eat healthy.  It’s not a promotion for a particular diet plan that will work for everyone.  It’s simply documentation of what I’m doing, how it’s working for ME, and where you can learn more about the plan.  Other diets or nutritional strategies will work for you.  I’ve had success with multiple different methods, myself.  Maybe, just maybe, what I’m doing now will give you some ideas or help you break through that plateau of yours!

Over the years, I’ve tried different diet plans, but have always had very similar criteria:

  1. Sustainable: I don’t like flash/fad diets.  Any diet plan I choose needs to be a long-term solution for health.  I don’t just want something to follow for 6 weeks and then have to switch to something else when it’s “done.”
  2. Build Muscle: I love lifting and making Gainz, so I need to be able to build muscle efficiently on the plan.  Eg. Vegetarian and vegan diets are very healthy and sustainable in the long run, but are incredible inefficient when it comes to building muscle and keeping muscle (a problem as we age), due to their lack of complete proteins and protein in general.
  3. Burn fat: Fat loss is one of my primary goals, but this one is a bit simpler.  As long as caloric intake stays beneath energy output, I haven’t found any one diet to be any more effective than another in this area.
  4. Flexible: I need to be able to follow the diet at home, when traveling, when eating out, when vacationing, etc.  Specialty items that require rare foods get nixed immediately for this reason.

So, here’s what fits the above criteria FOR ME: Anabolic Fasting.  The best way to find out more about anabolic fasting is to Cory Gregory’s (the creator) website, but you can get a basic understanding on your own by watching this podcast interview he did with the Barbell Shrugged Podcast team.

Let me lay out the basics for you:

  1. The name comes from a combination of the “Anabolic Diet” and “Intermittent Fasting
  2. In short, the Anabolic Diet was a High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb diet (virtually Ketonic), but with weekend carbohydrate loads (weekends were Low fat, Moderate protein, High Carb) to prepare dieters for their next week of training and rev up their metabolism.
  3. Intermittent Fasting can mean a number of things, but the most common approach to intermittent fasting is a 16/8 schedule, meaning you fast for 16 hours (7-8 of this happens during sleep) and eat in an 8-hour window.
  4. Cory Gregory* combined the 2, with a few twists, and you have Anabolic Fasting
    • 16/8 fasting & eating windows (Burn Fat)
    • High fat, moderate protein, low/no carb during the week, except for veggies (Burn Fat & Build Muscle)
    • Blunted carb spike every night – usually some fruit, with nuts or peanut butter to keep the insulin spike from the fruit low.  Helps tremendously in being energized for training and getting through the fasted portion without hunger the next day. (Sustainable & Build Muscle)
    • Weekend carb spikes/cheats.  The number of these depends on whether you are on the program for fat loss, maintenance, or muscle building (Fat Loss & Muscle Building)
    • No macro tracking! and the 2 meals eaten just need to have HUGE portions of veggies (if you think of portions in terms of a dinner plate, think HALF the plate), a meat source (fatty is ok/preferred), and a fat source like nuts or avocado.  (Sustainable & Flexible)

I can truly eat like this anywhere.  For most people, the 2 meals a day means that they actually only have to worry about having 1 meal away from home.  For me, someone who travels a ton, this just means that I need to find lunch and dinner joints that serve meat and vegetables.  How hard is that?  If they don’t have avocado or some good fatty dressing for a salad, I eat some nuts.  The Simple Man always likes a simple plan!

Check it out for yourself, or respond in the comments with some diet/nutrition tips that have helped you reach your goals.  Doesn’t matter what they are, but it’s quite possible that someone else has the same goal and your comment will be just what they need to achieve!

 

*I don’t intend this to be a marketing piece for his website, but I can say that the $9 a month I pay to be a member is the best $9 I spend on health and fitness every month – diet advice and planning, custom diet changes, training plans, 1on1 coaching, training and motivational videos, etc.

 

 

April 29, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

“Boot Up Sequence” Part 1 of 5

Welcome to part 1 of a 5 part series of blog posts about routines.  Not everyone is a routine junky like me, but I like to think that sharing my morning (part 1), workout (part 2), nutrition (part 3), bedtime (part 4), and weekend (part 5) routines I might be able to assist a reader or three in creating a new habit that inches them closer to their goals.  So, without further ado …

Part 1 ~

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Tim Ferris described morning routines as a “boot-up sequence”, much like computer, a program, or a robot.  Boot-up sequences are in place to ensure things run properly from the moment the device begins operating.  No one would be happy with a computer program or a robot that made mistakes or errors the first few times they were used, only reaching optimal performance and efficiency after 30 minutes to an hour … so why should we settle for that in our daily lives?  Having a solid morning routine sets the day up for success, helps us minimize failures,  and can leave us better prepared for the unexpected.

Here’s my current boot-up sequence:

**5:30am – Alarm goes off (actually, it’s probably been going off for a while, oops!); Get out of bed and start coffee brewing.  If I have access a scale, I will also weigh myself and make notes in my Evernote Food/Fat Loss journal so that I can make any food and/or training adjustments.

5:30-5:45 – Mindful meditation: I typically use either a guided meditation by Tara Brach or a combination of a few different meditation/priming guides I’ve heard over the years.  For a few examples of those, check out Tony Robbins describing “Priming” and Lee Nadler explaining “SHERPA” meditation.

5:45 – 6:30am – Review emails, check social media, and create a plan for the day:  This normally involves setting reminders of things I want to accomplish during and/or after my work day.  I use the iOS Reminders app for this.

6:30 – 7am – Get ready for work.

** There are 2 exceptions to the 5:30am alarm: 1)Early AM training when I am traveling and 2)Blogging require a 5am or sometimes 4:30am alarm.  I typically insert the training or blogging right after the meditation, but all else stays the same.

As you can see, it’s nothing complex, but because it’s the same EVERY DAY, I always (there are frequent exceptions, of course … I am human!) reduce my stress (meditation), enjoy a guilty pleasure (social media), plan my day (reminders), and am better prepared to handle the day’s unexpected stresses (meditation).

What’s your boot-up sequence? and what does it help you achieve?

April 7, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Staying on or getting off track

Whelp, we are 1/4 of the way through 2017, but instead of forgetting about the goals we set for ourselves back at the beginning of the year, just like a business would, now is a great time to take a look back and see how well we are progressing (or not) towards our goals.  If you are on track, let’s keep it that way.  However, it’s quite possible some new goals have popped up or you are finding that some of the goals are taking a lower priority.  Either way, it’s time for the Q1 evaluation and I’m going to do mine here at www.thesimplemansays.com so you can see how my year is shaping up!

Back in January, I wrote a blog post (link here) that included the following goals.  I’ve listed the original goals in order and the statements in BOLD are my Q1 evaluation updates and plans (so just skip to those if you are in a rush ;)):

  • Home:
    1. Cook AT LEAST one meal every 2 weeks for my wife –
      • I started out strong with this one, but found rather quickly that it is actually MORE stressful for my wife when I cook while she is home.  Turns out what makes cooking so stressful for her is handling the childrens’ impatience at this time, so I’ve modified this goal a little bit.  New goal: Help Jessica plan meals early in the day and use the time she’s cooking to spend individual fun time with the kids.
    2. AT LEAST one time per month, coordinate a date night where I set up everything (dinner, movie, sitter, etc.)
      • I lean heavily on my wife for our at-home scheduling.  As a result, I’ve planned ZERO date days for us in the first quarter.  The lack of success with this goal doesn’t indicate it’s lack of importance, just a need for a different approach.  I am a voracious planner when I am on the road and my new plan is to spend some time each night on the road planning, coordinating, and scheduling. 
    3. Once a week, play a board game with each child (read a book to Evelyn – 1 yr)
      • Although it hasn’t been board games, I have been spending more quality time with the kids.  I decided to start coaching (assistant) my son’s baseball team, we’ve used good weather opportunities to jump on the trampoline, and even played Barbies with Claire.  SUCCESS!
    4. Once a week, take each child outside and do something of THEIR choosing.
      • Baseball outside, we’ve taken multiple family walks when Jess has been out of town, backyard fun.  SUCCESS!  Can’t wait for summer to do even more outside!
    5. Connect with 1 close friend or family member VIA PHONE or IN PERSON each week.
      • It might not be hhappening weekly any more, however I have found myself making a conscious mindset shift when it comes time to make social decisions.  Instead of opting for time to myself, I am more consistently choosing social interactions, talking on the phone, or connecting via social media.  The latter isn’t as personal as I’d like, but the attitude shift is positive.
  • GYM:
    1. Abs by May 1 – this means my diet needs to be on point 6 days a week (1 cheat day/meal).  Bye, bye bulking season.
      • Zero weight gain since Jan 1 and I am definitely getting leaner, but my diet has struggled with consistency, mainly trying to battle hunger and cravings.  After trying a few different approaches – I don’t like to call them diets because I’m not looking for a short term strategy, but one I can follow for years to come, the one I’ve settled on is Anabolic Fasting from corygfitness.com.  It’s a combination of Intermittent Fasting (which has always worked well for me) and the Anabolic Diet (high fat, moderate protein, low carb).  So far, I feel great, I’m not hungry or irritable, and the foods I get to eat SQUASH any cravings.  Changing date to June 1. 
    2. 2nd half of the year, focus on strength gains – If PRs for bench, deadlift, squat have decreased, shoot for reclaiming current PRs.  If strength stays steady, 500lb deadlift, 405 squat, 315 bench.
      • I haven’t retested PRs yet, but I have been hitting rep PRs in my training EVERY week … Even during my 1st half of the year fat loss phase.  I my be close to hitting all of these goals by the end of Q2 or Q3! 
    3. Lunge & cardio 3x per week.  Lift 3x per week.  Add 4th day of lifting after cut is over.
      • Currently lifting 4 days per week and just restarted lunging this week.  My legs feel like a BEAST!
  •  Work:
    1. Secure a development project.
      • Pitched my very first development project for a COMPLETELY NEW CLASS a few weeks ago!  More to come on this one in the future months.  
    2. Write for TSMS every day (1-2 posts per week)
      • If you are reading this, you know frequency has been at about 1 post a week (15 posts from Q1).  I’m beginning to feel that is enough for the long form content and am switching my focus to more social media (short form) content in the months to come.  
    3. Do projects for 1 new client.
      • Working towards this.  
    4. Look for 1 new business opportunity that brings value to people’s lives.
      • Nothing on my radar yet, but hoping to find it soon after this Q1 refocus!
  • NEW GOALS:
    1. Add dates – creating a sense of urgency with undoubtedly help me reach my goals faster.  I’m in the process of adding dates to all my goals.
    2. Meditation – I meditate frequently on the road, rarely ever at home.  Interestingly enough it should probably be the opposite.  I’m getting up earlier at home to accomplish this.
    3. Wake your a** up! (as @corygfitness would say – Time to start getting up early again.  Time to create enough time to better plan my days and accomplish my goals.  starting with 5am at home and 4:30am on the road.

Well, there you have it.  My goals.  All laid out.  My progress.  My failures.  My changes.

Do this for yourself and #getafterit!

March 30, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Simplicity 0 Comments

Lent for the masses

But sometimes simpler is just better.  We get used to having so much stuff and then the consequence is that we end up THINKING we NEED all the stuff we have.

Tony Robbins like to talk about “living a life of APPRECIATION instead of EXPECTATION” and one of the easiest ways to do this is take a small hiatus from stuff we think we NEED for brief periods of time.

Philosophers of old, like Cato, did this (see #4 in this article).

Modern day gurus, like Tim Ferriss still do this (check out the section of this article on “Practicing Poverty”).

The Catholics do this annually, calling it Lent.

So why don’t you?

Pick something of yours that is a luxury this week.  Don’t make this easy.  Make it something that you’ve become accustomed to having … and give it up.  Live … no, better yet … THRIVE without it.  Teach yourself constantly to live with less, to appreciate what you have, and it will make being grateful for EVERYTHING you have even easier.

 

My item: It may seem insignificant, but I’ve stopped using my phone for anything during my workouts.  I normally use it for music, planning my workout, tracking my workouts, etc.  But for the past few weeks, I’ve stopped using it, I’m listening to whatever music is on in the gym, planning my workouts before I go, and logging them in a journal when I get home.  It’s been rather liberating AND it seems to have sped up my workout times!  WIN!

Next up: Snacking at night.  I’m not hungry, but I do it because the food is there.  Time to go without and teach myself that a little hunger isn’t the worst thing in the world.  It’ll certainly make my meals more satisfying!

March 10, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Health & Fitness, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Don’t “go with your gut”, just GO!

I’m sure at some point in all of our lives someone has answered one of our questions (usually relating to whether or not we should take action) with the cliche phrase “Go with your gut.”  Here’s why that’s terrible advice:

  1. Watch the Simon Sinek video about the “Golden Circle” – The part of our brain responsible for “feelings” and the part responsible for processing “rational information” are 2 separate parts.
  2. The mind controls the body – Great minds have said this different ways.  “We become what we think about” ~ Earl Nightingale.  “You have power over your mind, not outside events” ~Marcus Aurelius.  In other words, I can make my body achieve and experience different things based on what I think about.
  3. But the body also controls the mind – Despite the former point, I can also change my thoughts by changing my body.  Try playing happy music and thinking sad thoughts, pay attention to your thoughts when you put on a smile/frown.  In addition, although we can’t completely control what thoughts pop into our heads, we can cue certain thoughts by changing the state of our body or our environment.

Why this is important: 

  1. Sometimes we wake up and don’t feel like sticking to our plan.  Our mind begins to think negatively and our bodies don’t  feel up to the task.  It’s our job to execute the plan anyway!  Change those feelings, start doing, and find out what you are really capable of!
  2. Sometimes our bodies tell us to give up.  By changing our thinking, we can push our bodies to do more that we ever thought capable!

 

**This post was inspired by my Skwaat workout today.  I woke up feeling tired and my body didn’t feel strong (mind/thoughts).  If you had asked me in the morning if it was a PR day, I would have laughed and said no, but I refused to let my mind control my body.   I contemplated skipping the gym altogether.  But, I abide by the rule NEVER SKIP LEG DAY, so I went to the gym anyway (body/action).  I started putting weight on the bar, kept putting weight on the bar (body/action), until I finally hit a REP PR – 280lb for 10 reps!  Body over Mind.

February 19, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Interested is Interesting

This idea originally appeared in the blog post Out from under the shell (see below), but the events of the past week reminded me of it’s importance.  The gist of the previous post was that we, humans, whether we realize it or not, whether we do it naturally or not, NEED human connection.  When we connect with other human beings, we influence their lives, but the people we connect with also enrich our own lives.

For the past 2 years, I’ve been writing posts for thesimplemansays.com and readership/social media followers have been slowly increasing: 1 follower here, 1 new reader there.  However, it wasn’t until this week, during the launch of the all new F60 MINI Countryman, that I’ve seen such a dramatic increase in followers and readership.  I’ll admit, it was kind of depressing at first.  My first thought was, “sh**!  People are more interested in posts about cars than they are about TSMS blog posts.”

Then it hit me.  I’ve spent the entire week connecting or reconnecting with like-minded people in the MINI community:  Fans, enthusiast, advisors, employees.  The feedback from participants at the event has been outstanding! They are having an absolute blast at the event, partly because of how great the new car is, but mostly because of their experience connecting with the people running the event.

Connecting with all these people and interacting with them on social media has been a blast for me as well, but more importantly, it’s taught me a lesson about social media marketing and growing your brand:

Success isn’t always about the quality of your content (I like to think TSMS produces some good content), but the quality of your connections.  Find people you are interested in and interact with them.  Find groups and other businesses you are interested in and interact with them.  Not only will you have more fun, but they will reward you by being more interested in YOU.

As Dale Carnegie once said, “To be interesting, be interested.”

 

 

Out from under the shell

 

February 10, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Inspiration by Accident

Can you even imagine what if would feel like to have a son and then watch him spend 87 days (and counting) in the hospital after birth?

I know I can’t.  Yet, that’s exactly what a dear friend of mine is going through right this moment.

We chatted for a half hour this morning on the phone (slowly working on my 2017 goal to better connect with people), and near the end of our conversation, TheSimpleManSays came up.  He mentioned it’s positive focus and commented that in the midst of this difficult time in his life, and with so much negativity on social media, just seeing and reading something positive (even if not applicable), helped take his mind off of all the angst and anxiety of his situation.

The point: Sometimes we direct our content towards certain people or groups — I’ve written posts where I imagined my audience were salespeople, pictured them as lifters or health food fanatics, or often as fellow stoics in search of a simpler life.  Yet, we can’t control who or what our actions and words impact.  As a result, we must ACT ACCORDINGLY.  

Be that positive example.

Look for the good in situations.   

Find the best in people.

Show gratitude.

Give freely.

Because you never know who is watching or how you might be able to positively impact their lives, even if by accident.  

February 7, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Be Something Other than Boring

I start many of my classes off with an icebreaker for the participants and beyond the “boring stuff” like who you are, where you are from, and how long you’ve held down your job, I like to challenge them with a question:

What is something that makes you unique?

If you could only see their faces when I ask this, you’d think I had just challenged them to prove some impossible Quantum Mechanics theory.

But why?  How can people possibly be so boring that they can’t think of one thing that makes them unique?

People today lack passions or even hobbies.  They wake up just before they have to work, go to work, simply go through the motions at work, come home, and in the limited spare time between dinner and bed they watch Television (not a hobby), or peruse Facebook or some other favorite social media medium (not a hobby).

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Their eulogy will read something like this: “[Insert your name here if I just described you] was a good employee, who loved punching out more than punching in, spent his/her money frugally, and enjoyed sitting alone and interacting with acquaintances from a distance.”

Inspiring, no?

Don’t be that guy.  Don’t be that gal.

Be the grandmother who subscribed to Nintendo Power magazine and was better at Zelda than her grandchildren or who rings cowbells at EVERY baseball game.  Be the aunt who exposes her 4 year old nephew to The Whispers or Jermaine Jackson.  Play 4 square or shoot hoops with your kids.  Dress up with your little sister.  Nerd out over Star Wars and dress your kids up like Storm Troopers to go see the movie.  Wear mullet wigs to parties.  Convince your nephews to root for their father’s rival football team.  Take your sons hunting.  If your kid loves theater, get interested in theater.  Wear wild socks.  Be the “funny uncle” who’s always playing with the kids at family get-togethers.  Be the grandpa who teaches his kids how to shoot or proves that cowboy boots and brown polyester pants never go out of style.  Volunteer for an organization you love.  Be the cousin who’s obsessed with Obstacle Course Races, who lawyers by day and loves nature photography by night, or who works with special needs children.  Obsess over a sports team.  Compete in fishing tournaments. Be the husband who gives more than he asks for.  Be the wife who loves kids books or who loves reminiscing over old photo albums.

Be something (anything!) other than boring.

 

**Special thanks to all the family in my life who are anything but boring.  You know who you are.  I love you all.

February 3, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Friends Day

In honor of “Friends Day” yesterday and in direct protest of the completely ridiculous video Facebook is circulating in celebration (click here for mine), I’d like you to challenge you today to think about your closest 5 friends.

You are wondering … Why 5?  What if I have more close friends?

Author, blogger, podcaster, human experimenter, Tim Ferriss has been quoted on multiple occasions saying “You are the average of the five people you most associate with.”

Ok, have you got them in your head now?  The 5 people you hold as your closest pals?

Now ask yourself this: Are these people helping me progress or holding me
back?

Before you get offended, stop reading the blog altogether, and accuse me of telling you to ditch your loser friends, remember the Ferriss quote.  “You are the AVERAGE …”  That means that it’s ok to have a few people in your cadre who aren’t driving you forward.  In fact, it’s important to have a few of those folks, because YOU are the one pushing THEM to be a better version of themselves.

The lesson here isn’t that you should be replacing your friends on a regular basis either.  Just be sure you are constantly trying to surround yourself with people who, as Tony Robbins says, “will force you to push yourself up a level.”

Oh ya, and don’t forget to BE that person who pushes your friends to greater heights as well!

Happy Friends Day!

 

January 23, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Simplicity 0 Comments

Presence: Why “Do I like this person?” is a more important question than “Is this person good at what they do?” in business

This isn’t a post about Christmas.  Check your spelling: PRESENCE.  We’ve been taught over the years that if we want to be successful in our careers, we need to prove to our peers, our bosses, our clients, that we are competent.  And when you ask most people HOW they do this, they will say something like, “Well, I like to show them how knowledgeable I am by asking good questions” or “I like to lead with how long I’ve been doing this job” or “I like to use industry jargon to make myself sound like an expert.”  Although these responses are the typical “competance-builders” we resort to, some new research is pointing us in a different direction (one we’ve known about for quite some time, but seemingly choose to conveniently forget) regarding whether or not this practice is actually critical to business success.

In a recent article, BusinessInsider.com highlighted the research of Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy in her new book, Presence.  Her conclusion: invest your time in getting someone to LIKE & TRUST you, rather than focusing on how successful or competent you are.  According to the BusinessInsider.com article, people generally evaluate competency “only after trust is established. And focusing too much on displaying your strength can backfire.”  In fact, people who like to get straight down to business without first developing trust and commonality, “generally come off as unapproachable.”

So if your goal is to do more, sell more, or be more successful, stop rushing into business with people! Build relationships instead and save the competency conversation for later.  Plus, you’ll have more fun along the way!

#simplemantools

To check out Cuddy’s 2012 TED talk (*the 2nd most viewed TED talk of ALL TIME!!) click here    

January 20, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Simplicity 0 Comments

Tough Decisions

Like most young boys, including myself when I was his age, my son desperately wants to play football.  But with all the current research on CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and the effect of youth head injuries on later brain development, my wife and I recently had a tough conversation with our son.  It went something like this:

Me: Son, we aren’t going to allow you to play football.

Son: Tears

Me: Tears inside.

I wanted to play just as bad when I was his age.  I know the feeling.  But sometimes when you #askbetterquestions you get tough answers.  At some point our answers may change.  We may choose to let him decide for himself as he gets older.  But for now, we are making the tough call.

Check out this link to this Men’s Journal article on the subject and make sure your decisions for your sons (and daughters) are educated ones.  I’m sure some of you will come to different conclusions than we did.  And that’s ok.  The point is to make a habit of asking the right questions before you make decisions. #askbetterquestions

January 13, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Business, Health & Fitness, Life, Simplicity 2 Comments

A look ahead

As I mentioned in a previous post, I make New Year’s resolutions of sorts, but they are typically pretty vague, quickly forgotten, and rarely (dare I say NEVER) written down.  I guess that makes them less like resolutions and more like current thoughts.  This year, though, I’m trying something new and since many of you may have likely done something similar to me or started a new resolution and given up already, I challenge you to do this with me!  Instead of just looking forward and thinking about what you want for 2017, let’s make some goals … TOGETHER.  We are going to write them down, look at them every day, change or modify them as needed, and maybe even add to them as the year progresses.  Regardless, we are going to set our sites on something and #getafterit.

Here are some #simplemantools to help you get started if you’ve never done this before (like me!):

  1. Categorize your broader, long-term goals – Because I’ve never written them down, most of the goals I’ve set (if you can call it that) over the years have been pretty narrow.  Whatever I happen to be thinking about in that moment is what becomes a goal.  Some years it’s a business goal, other years it’s more personal, and years like last year it was something as specific as a goal in the gym.  Narrow goals aren’t bad, but our lives as a whole aren’t vary narrow.  It makes more sense, then, to set a variety of goals in different areas.  For an incredible example of this, check out this Business & Biceps podcast with fitness expert Cory Gregory.  Cory keeps things really simple with 3 categories: Home, Gym, Work, so we are going to start there.
  2. Be “broadly specific” – In other words, don’t just say things like “I want to be a better dad” or “do more special things for my wife.”  Here’s how mine break down:
    • Home:
      1. Cook AT LEAST one meal every 2 weeks for my wife.
      2. AT LEAST one time per month, coordinate a date night where I set up everything (dinner, movie, sitter, etc.)
      3. Once a week, play a board game with each child (read a book to Evelyn – 1 yr)
      4. Once a week, take each child outside and do something of THEIR choosing.
      5. Connect with 1 close friend or family member VIA PHONE or IN PERSON each week.
    • GYM:
      1. Abs by May 1 – this means my diet needs to be on point 6 days a week (1 cheat day/meal).  Bye, bye bulking season.
      2. 2nd half of the year, focus on strength gains – If PRs for bench, deadlift, squat have decreased, shoot for reclaiming current PRs.  If strength stays steady, 500lb deadlift, 405 squat, 315 bench.
      3. Lunge & cardio 3x per week.  Lift 3x per week.  Add 4th day of lifting after cut is over.
    • Work:
      1. Secure a development project.
      2. Write for TSMS every day (1-2 posts per week).
      3. Do projects for 1 new client.
      4. Look for 1 new business opportunity that brings value to people’s lives.
  3. Plan and review daily.
    • Looking at them in the morning will provide focus and a litmus test for your decisions throughout the day.  When faced with choices, ask yourself: “Will this decision help or hinder me from reaching one of my goals?”  Then ACT!!
    • By reviewing them at night, you get an opportunity to see whether you stayed on course, or veered.  Don’t get frustrated if you miss something or even forget about it for weeks or months.  Recognize it, re-focus, and get back to work!

Your turn!  Make your own goals with these #simplemantools and #getafterit

January 6, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Health & Fitness, Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Same story, different lesson

 

As many of you know, I’ve developed a passion (some might call it an obsession) over the past few years for working out.  To be more specific, lifting weights.  For the most part, going to the gym isn’t torture for me.  It isn’t a chore.  Call me a glutton for punishment, but I genuinely enjoy the pain.  Well, not so much the pain, but what comes from pain.

But just like every other gym-rat or wannabe gym goer, there are days when I just don’t want to leave the house (hence why I built myself a garage gym – eliminate all possible excuses).  That is, until a new excuse popped up this morning.  It’s colder than a mother f**ker outside!

My garage isn’t insulated, there are no space-heaters in sight, and (I know the picture says 27 degrees, but that was about 3 hours after my workout) when the temp is in the low 20s outside, holding that barbel sends shooting pain through the fingers.  Not fun.  Painful.

Sometimes working out isn’t about how many reps, or sets, or even how much weight you move.  Some days you won’t set PRs.  But if every time you step into the gym or start a new project or try a new activity, and you push through that pain/discomfort/nervousness/anxiety/insecurity, you progress.

Every day, make progress #simplemantools #getafterit

January 2, 2017, Posted by Josh Wight in Simplicity 0 Comments

Identity Crisis – What the heck is TSMS?

The year 2016 was a year of self-discovery for TheSimpleManSays (TSMS) blog.  If you look at the content from the beginning of 2016 to the end, you’ll notice quite a few changes.  At times it felt like a life-coaching blog.  Other times the only people interested in reading the blog were people with jobs in customer service.  Some posts were overly simple, while others were so complex they made the blog’s name seem counterintuitive.  Towards the end it even became a strictly health & fitness blog, followed by a blog about nothing … literally, nothing.  I didn’t even write during the last few months of the year.

In many ways, the writing ceased because the blog, I felt, suffered from an identity crisis.  With the new year, however, comes focus.  Most people make resolutions and, I hate to admit it, I’m no different.  Although my resolutions aren’t really any different from year to year.  Just different prioritization of the same things.  New focus.

TSMS at it’s core has always been a blog about helping people become better versions of themselves, but as it’s 2016 identity crisis made abundantly clear, the content was so narrow at times, that only a small portion of the audience tuned in to any given article.  I don’t want narrow.  I want broad.  I want TSMS to be a place where ANYONE can come on ANY DAY and find something that enriches their life.  I want TSMS to be something that helps people live longer, give and be grateful, laugh, inspire, teach, and connect.

With those goals in mind …

Here’s what you will I see on TheSimpleManSays.com in 2017?

  1.  You’ll probably see fewer posts.  For a time last year I posted EVERY day.  Then it faded to once a week, until I eventually tapered off to a big fat zero times a month.  My goal is to start with a post a week or maybe even every other week.  Something manageable, but enough content to keep readers interested.
  2. Focused content.  You will start seeing posts coming from 1 of 8 different categories and each will include it’s own unique hashtag, so that those of you who follow on social media can find specific posts about what interests you:
    • #healthmadesimple – Posts about health, food, diet, supplements.
    •  #givemorethanyouget – Simple actions you can take to practice more giving and gratitude.
    •  #bestmedicine – Just funny shit!  There’s nothing better than a good laugh sometimes.
    •  #simplemansaysquote – Quotes that will inspire you to be a better person.
    •  #simplemantools -Toys, gadgets, or skills that every man (or woman) should learn.
    •  #askbetterquestions – Book, blog, or article recommendations.
    •  #takeitallin – Just like laughter, sometimes we need to just stop and enjoy what’s right in front of us.  These posts may include scenery, family fun, etc.  Simple beauty.
    •  #connectwithsomeone – In the age of social media, human connection is often lost. Posts with this # will offer challenges to help you REALLY connect with the people most important to you.

So there you have it.  I am sure it will evolve throughout the year, but at least now you know what to expect.    Thanks for putting up with the 2016 identity crisis, and stay tuned for a 2017 filled with truly Simple content!

 

June 24, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Good sushi

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Sushi is simple. Fresh fish, sometimes plain, sometimes on rice. Sometimes in a roll with sauce. But really, as long as the fish is fresh, it’s hard to mess up.

Life is the same. Keep it simple. Keep it fresh. Spend quality time alone. Spend quality time with people. Occasionally throw in something new to spice it up.

But mainly, keep it Sushi.

June 21, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Life, Simplicity 0 Comments

Things worth googling

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Here’s a dose of TWG mid-week since I missed posting this last Saturday:
Self improvement: I first heard about Pavel Tsatsouline on a Tim Ferriss podcast and have tried to implement Kettlebell work into my workouts ever since. If you want a no-nonsense way to get strong, quick, check out Simple & Sinister
 
Entertainment: USA v Argentina today in the Copa America tournament. USA! USA! USA!
Nerd Alert: I’m planning on starting to golf again. Hopefully this app will help.
 
New obsession: GBoard is a brand new keyboard from Google that is available for the iPhone. Under the “emoji” button, this keyboard has a search feature that allows you to insert GIFs (funny moving images) into your texts. Needless to say, I’m obsessed.

June 17, 2016, Posted by Josh Wight in Simplicity 0 Comments

Radio silence

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The Simple Man is going to go radio silent for the weekend. Spending the weekend relaxing with my family at the beach.

Keep it simple yourself. Take count of all that’s good, be grateful, and spend time with the ones you love.

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