Find Your Greatness!

I just watched a Nike commercial that truly moved me. It is very simple. The camera is up ahead of an overweight runner. You’re able to see the road travel along below the camera and ever so slowly the runner is getting closer to the camera. At first, I thought it was going to be an older gentleman trying to make a change in his life. The voice keeps talking in the background about overcoming struggles and there is greatness within each of us. Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish there is greatness within.

As the runner continues to get closer to the camera my first assumption begins to change. This guy looks young… He keeps getting closer, he looks really young. Then the voice says “find your greatness!” At that point what was once a silhouette becomes a boy. The boy is struggling to run, but he’s running. He has determination on his face, but questions in his eyes. I know those looks, I’ve seen through those eyes.

For the first time this young boy is learning what he’s truly made of! He’s committed to himself to find his greatness and he can see it is within his reach. The determination is there, but the questions are still there…

How long will I have to do this?
Why am I doing this?
Can I really be great?
Does anyone really believe I can be great?


As I watched this commercial, I saw myself as a young kid. A kid who dreamt of being great, but didn’t fully believe it was possible. Now, as I write this, I am almost 36. I still don’t know if I’ll achieve greatness, but 6 years after losing over 120lbs, I feel I am still on my way.

Greatness is within each of us. Find yours and go for it. You have an amazing story to tell, it is time to start writing it with the actions in your life.

Find your Greatness!


Focus & Power!

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day and he let me in on a few of his workout secrets. As he was talking I couldn’t help but think that his secrets are perfect for my readers. So I am going to let you in on the preparation tactics that get him ready to workout.

He and I both agree in the power of the mind to focus us and give us energy to compete to our best ability. He told me that before every workout he takes a few moments to focus his mind. Specifically, he has a few mantras that he says to himself. He tells himself, “I am strong!” “I am full of energy!” “My best is all I can do and ask of myself.”

St. Bonaventure

As he told me these I was so impressed and knew they would definitely help anyone who uses them consistently and more importantly believes them! It is one thing to say them to yourself, but if you don’t believe them they’ll give you little support. The key here is saying them before the workout!

When we don’t focus before we start something difficult it becomes that much more daunting to complete. I think we all will agree when we don’t plan for something it is ALWAYS tougher. Taking time to focus and prepare will help us perform better.

That leads me to his last secret… He envisions his workout. He completes it in his mind before he begins. Basically, it plays “fast forward.” If it is a swim workout, he’s sees himself in the pool, going through the workout. If it is a run, he envisions the course.

So many professional athletes confess to the same things. They say they see the game play out before they ever step on the court. What plays they are going to run, what shots they are going to take.

Michael Phelps

Mental focus and preparation are keys to victory whether you’re a professional athlete or someone trying to beat YOUR best. How do you prepare? Or, do you give it any thought? I challenge you to create your own mantras and believe them! Take a few minutes before you begin to get your mind right and you’ll quickly see the benefits… I promise!

Share with me your “pregame” rituals, I’d live to read them!


You Maintaining?

I’m often asked “what are you doing now to maintain your weight. As most of you know I am a huge supporter of standardization. Consistently eating the same things to take the guess work out eating is a great way to accomplish this. I’m continuing to do that, but I’ve introduced something over the last few months that has really helped. A few months ago a friend introduced me to Advocare. I was intrigued, but really wanted to test it out before I wrote about it.

You all know that when I lost my weight I changed my relationship with food and became less dependent on it for satisfaction. I am a FIRM believer in that strategy for long term weight loss success, but realize not everyone is ready for a life altering change like that. I continue to coach my clients and help them transition away from seeking satisfaction with food to satisfaction from life. The reason I was drawn to Advocare was the science behind the products and their commitment to long term success. The reason I’m writing about Advocare now is the experience I’ve had being on the products for some time.

I like the mental focus and energy from a Spark every morning.

Spark for Mental Focus

I then have an awesome meal replacement shake every morning with frozen fruit, cinnamon and ground flax seed. I’ve had better results from my workouts with a Catalyst and Post Workout Recovery shake. I’ve noticed I’ve had more energy during workouts and I’m less sore after the workout.

This is not meant to be a pitch for Advocare, but more of a simple update about how I’m improving my workouts and maintaining my weight loss success. Tell me what you’re doing to improve your workouts.

In full disclosure, I am a Distributor with Advocare and have had great results with the products! Advocare Website


Searching for Unbelief

Who doesn’t believe in you?

At the end of a big accomplishment, we always see people thank “those who helped me get to this point.” When they start to name those people, we don’t typically hear them thank someone who didn’t believe in them. As I ponder what to write about this week, I keep coming back to the “fuel” we can receive from opposition.

We’ve all been in an argument before where about half way through we realize we’re on the “losing side.”

"You're right, but I'm NOT giving in!!"

How often do we immediately concede? More often than not, we dig our heels in further and keep fighting. We start making points that we know we don’t believe in, but because of “who” is on the other side we are not “going down easily.”

Now, let’s translate that into personal goals. How often do we begin a journey that becomes difficult and we quickly give in? Someone tells us, “You really think you can achieve that?” Immediately we start to listen to them and before you know it, the goal is changed or we give up completely.

What if we made a commitment to ourselves to use negative feedback as positive reinforcement to where we wanted to go? What if you went looking for someone to tell you “your dream is impossible”? How would that change your outlook?

The people around us have a vested interest in us staying exactly how we are today. This might sound mean or pessimistic but think about it. If we change our situation and make our life better while they stay the same, their “unchanged” life becomes very apparent. Usually, the people around us don’ t realize this “vested interest,” but that doesn’t take away the fact that it is there.

So commit today to look for those that “don’t” truly believe in your success and use it as fuel. When you then accomplish your goal, politely tell them, “Thanks, I needed that!”

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White Castle

Have you ever eaten something outrageous just to make people laugh? Or done something so “off the wall” you knew your friends would have to laugh? What was your motivation? What were you trying to distract them from?

For me, food and humor always went together. As the self proclaimed, “Funny Fat Kid” I always used to humor to distract the people around me from what I really thought of myself. I didn’t want people to focus on HOW MUCH I was eating. I wanted them to be distracted by the humor in it.

Case in point, my typical order at White Castle used to be 8-10 hamburgers, french fries and a shake. I knew this was more than most people ate there, but I loved White Castle! When I went with some of my friends after playing paintball one night, I didn’t want to eat a little more than they did, I wanted to make it “memory for the ages!” So I ordered a “Family Pack!” 24 hamburgers, 4 fries and 4 drinks! I ate the entire meal, with ease!! Everyone knew what I ate, but instead of focusing on the “negative” of me eating more, they were all laughing because they didn’t think I could do it.

We use humor to mask many different feelings of inadequacy. At that moment, I didn’t want to act like I only ate the same amounts as my skinny friends. They would know that’s a lie. So I did the next best thing… Ate more than they thought was possible and made them laugh.

I always felt that if you were laughing with me, you weren’t laughing AT me. I needed to be in control of that situation, mainly because I was so out of control with so many other things.

Where are you? What are you avoiding because you feel out of control? What are you trying to distract others from? As good as we think we are at distraction, those who know us can see right through the distractions.

Decide today you are better than the distractions. You can actually be the person you’ve dreamt of being. You don’t need to distract others or YOURSELF anymore! The people you’re trying to distract will help you if you ask, but first you need to accept where you are. Then decide where you’re going. Don’t stop until you get there.

Race you to the Finish Line! (Leave the White Castle’s behind!)

Interested in how many calories I ate?? 4,760!! White Castle Nutrition?



There is a headline in the sports section right now that is starting to take the country by storm. Last week I talked about the Speed of the Game,” there is one player who has adjusted remarkably! Jeremy Lin is THE point guard for the New York Knicks. He’s only started 5 games, but he is bringing thunder to the NBA. Last night, on the road with his team down by 2 points Lin calmly walks the ball up the court and nails a three point shot with half a second left in the game.

Click here for the ESPN story

This was an away game for the Knicks but the arena in Toronto went CRAZY. That shot alone makes for a great story, but when you back up to last week there is a much bigger story to all of this “Lin-Sanity!”

A week ago, Jeremy Lin had never started in an NBA game. He was an undrafted 2nd year player who according to his coach was on the verge of being released. Jeremy Lin played college basketball at Harvard and just being on an NBA roster was an accomplishment. There haven’t been too many Ivy League collegiate players to become stars at the next level, especially recently. So, to say there wasn’t a whole lot expected from Lin is an understatement.

6 games ago, in the second half Jeremy Lin entered the game and there was something different. A young man was taking control of his situation. He was given an opportunity to get some minutes in what was thought to be a losing effort by his team. The story didn’t play out that way, Lin entered and he brought some energy. His team won and he got the start (his 1st) the next game.

In the last five games Lin has re-written some records. He’s scored the most points in his first 5 starts than anyone since the league merged over 30 years ago. That’s more than Shaq, more than MJ, more than Magic and Bird!

So why am I writing about this? Why am I caught up in this story? Simple… Motivation!

This wasn’t supposed to play out like this. Jeremy Lin was supposed to be “role” player at best. He was never projected to be a star, but he’s taken advantage of his moment. He was prepared to change the game and change his history.

There is a simple question to all of this? Are you ready for your shot? Are you practicing the fundamentals to be ready when your number is called to go in the game?

So often, we talk ourselves out of greatness because we listen to what people expect out of us. We don’t think we can accomplish something because our friends and family tell us it is going to be too hard.

I challenge you this week. Jeremy Lin challenges you this week. Be ready, take advantage of your opportunity and go play. I don’t care what you’re looking to accomplish you need to be ready. Whether is sharing your faith, losing weight or becoming the sales/business professional you’ve only dreamt of being. Go out and accomplish it. This is your opportunity, make it happen!


Speed of the Game

When professional athletes are asked what is the biggest difference they’ve had to adjust to in the pro’s, most if them refer to the “speed of the game.” They say things happen so much quicker during a game as a professional and you don’t have time to think.

Last night, I was fortunate to sit courtside at a Pacers game and saw the “speed of the game” first hand. My seat was right under the basket on the baseline and I was amazed at how quickly the game was played. I’ve watched and played A LOT of basketball in my life, but I’ve never watched a professional game from that close. The quickness of ALL the players was impressive and their ability to process and make decisions was even more spectacular. At times they react so fast that there is NO thought, but just reaction to the situation.

As I drove home and thought about what I had just experienced, I couldn’t help but think of our state of consciousness as we progress towards a goal. For most aspiring elite athletes, playing as a professional is their ultimate goal. At every level they “raise their game” to achieve success and move forward. They continually practice the fundamentals until they don’t have to think about it anymore and then they practice them some more.

They learn to adjust to the speed of the game and know that success depends on their ability to think less and just “play” more. It is to this point that we all need to strive towards. Regardless of what we’re striving towards we need to continue to practice and adjust to the speed of the game. Most of us will not be in situations where we just don’t have time to think, but we need to be so wrapped up in our goal that every step we take is leading us towards it.

We all have this ability, but so often we fail because we don’t continue to practice. We reach a point and think we don’t need to practice anymore, “I know the fundamentals!” Knowing them doesn’t make you successful; DOING them OVER AND OVER keeps you on that road to success.

Keep your eye firmly focused on what you want to accomplish. Pick up your pace and continue to practice the fundamentals to better adjust to the speed of the game. Eventually you’ll be “playing” on the road to success instead of just thinking about it.


Eli’s Super Bowl

It has been amazing to live in Indy this past week. With the Super Bowl here there has been a buzz around this city that I’ve never seen before. It might be from the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had, but more likely it is from all the hype of the big game.

This week I want to focus on OUR Personal Super Bowl moment and how some people are determined to take the spotlight away from us. As I’ve listened to the press conferences this week and been a spectator to many of the events I couldn’t help but feel for Eli Manning. Here he is in this HUGE moment of his career and he’s had to answer more questions about his brother than about HIS moment.

Let’s put ourselves in the same situation. You’re about to reach a huge milestone in your life. Maybe it is achieving the weight loss you’ve been striving for or maybe you’re about to finally finish a marathon. You’ve put in all the work and now it is just a matter of time before you achieve a big step. Then it hits, something is trying to derail you from your success. How do you handle it? In the moment, you want to scream and say, “Don’t you realize what I am about to accomplish??”

How we react to these moments will define our success. Let’s look at how Eli has handled this… He has answered the questions with a smile and never once showed frustration. If it were me, I would have a hard time with this.

I think for most of us, we would start to dwell on the fact that the attention we thought we would get is now being overshadowed by someone or something else. And when we start to get frustrated we start to look for OLD patterns of behavior that are “comforting” to us. We start to think, “Why did I put in all this work just to fail?” At that point, the moment is gone and we’re going to have a tough time getting it back.

We need to realize there are going to be “set backs” in life and results are not always going to come as we plan them. But the key to remember and stay focused on is “WHY” you are doing this. Eli could have showed frustration with the media and it probably would have affected his play on the field. But I believe with his accepting of the questions he is ready for HIS BIG MOMENT… Are you?


Absolute Power?

Have you ever heard someone say this? “That’s just the way I am.” “I’ve always been this way.” Or my favorite, “I never follow through with things.”

As I continue to listen to more clients I’m amazed at how many of us talk this way. We speak in “absolutes” and we eventually start to believe it as truth. Our lives eventually pattern these phrases. We get stuck into believing that we’ll never have success because, “I never follow through…”

Too often, we don’t realize what we’re saying and unknowingly we predict our own outcomes. What’s the solution? How do we get past these limiting beliefs and achieve success?

It all depends on how you look at your past performances. If you look back at past failures and think that is going to be the next outcome then you’ve already guaranteed failure. BUT, if you look at past performances as a learning process and commit THIS TIME to be different you’re half way to success.

Many of us dwell on our past failures. When we do this they are virtually impossible to overcome even when we truly WANT to achieve more. We start having success, but then those moments of failure become real again and the “absolutes” start to weigh on us. This weight becomes unbearable and we give in to those limiting beliefs AGAIN!

Honestly, there is no magic bullet to help these thoughts leave our mind, but there are “simple” methods to change our “absolutes.” Over the past five years I’ve become pretty good at recognizing it. There are things I still struggle with, but I am much better at recognizing it and immediately changing my “self-talk.”

Here are 5 things to help you quickly get out of the “absolute” mindset.
1. Be ready with 5 reasons WHY this time is different.
2. Spin it positive – If you “never follow through” start saying & BELIEVING “I always follow through!”
3. Identify the real obstacle – too often we revert to “old sayings” because we believe the struggles are too hard to overcome. Step out of the moment and recognize the true hurdle.
4. Talk about it – tell someone what you “always” struggle with and have them hold you accountable.
5. Listen to the positive people around you – evaluate who you are around the most. Are they generally positive or negative? If negative, find more positive people!

I hope these tips can help you get out of the “Absolute” Power curse and positively lead you to new heights. They’ve helped me and continue to work!


Deprivation for Change?

To often when we think of change we focus on what we have to give up. When deprivation is our focus, we usually return to what we’re being “deprived” from!


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Did you miss Donn on Fox59 last week? Click here to check out the video!