Monday, November 25, 2013

Never Give Your Clients Homework

Always remember that graphic design is a service-based business. In most cases, your client hired you because they are stressed out and need your help; giving them "homework" assignments only adds to their stress, and makes you look incompetent and unprepared to handle every aspect of their project.
Of course, there will be times when you need to ask your client to do things. In these cases, you can try to make it as easy on them as possible by gathering or prefilling as much of the required information as you can.
- From Burn Your Portfolio by Michael Janda

The goals of teachers and coaches are centered around academic and athletic learning, growth, and performance. The job is a little different from the graphic designer's to be sure, and sometimes, for coaches and teachers, assigning a little 'homework' is unavoidable. For a teacher, this might look like assigned readings, research, reports, and practice drills. For a coach, this might take the form of restorative work, viewing game performances of themselves or others, and practice drills.

Yes, 'homework' is a fact of life for students and athletes, but it can EASILY (and very quickly) be overdone. There are times when homework is NOT effective, or even appropriate. Assign homework if you must, but make it thoughtful and use the tool sparingly.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The ONE Thing

Getting Extraordinary Results 
So when you think about success, shoot for the moon. The moon is reachable if you prioritize everything and put all of your energy into accomplishing the most important thing. Getting extraordinary results is all about creating a domino effect in your life. 
  Toppling dominoes is pretty straightforward. You line them up and tip over the first one. In the real world, though, it's a bit more complicated. The challenge is that life doesn't line everything up and say, "Here's where you should start." Highly successful people know this. So every day, they line up their priorities anew, find the lead domino, and whack away at it until it falls. 
  Why does this approach work? Because extraordinary success is sequential, not simultaneous. What starts out linear, becomes geometric. You do the right thing and then you do the next right thing. Over time it adds up, and the geometric potential of success is unleashed. The domino effect applies to the big picture, like your work or your business, and it applies to the smallest moment in each day when you're deciding what to do next. Success builds on success, and as this happens, over and over, you move toward the highest success possible. 
  When you see someone who has a lot of knowledge, they learned it over time. When you see someone who has a lot of skills, they developed them over time. When you see someone who has done a lot, they accomplished it over time. When you see someone who has a lot of money, they earned it over time. 
  The key is over time. Success is built sequentially. It's one thing at a time.
- The ONE Thing, pg. 16

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

WELL, I DID IT! (So, Why Can't You?)

If I had a nickel for every wannabe fitness guru that is a formerly obese, recovering anorexic pain sufferer, I'd be a rich man. You'd think that with all those hard miles, they'd be an empathetic bunch. Unfortunately, they are not.

"Well, I did it. So, why can't THEY?"

I can tolerate a lot, but this argument is one I can't stand. You hear it all the time to bully others who are less successful and less fortunate, though its stated purpose is to motivate.

And it IS bullying. Bullies often blame the victim and say the victim overreacts to actions that are not meant to be hurtful - that their words and actions were a natural reaction to the victim's awkward behavior ("They shouldn't act that way."), defensive in nature ("Well, they made me do it."), or even instructive and motivational ("It's for their own good! I'm just doing it so they'll change.")
"Somebody has to say it!"

"I've hit rock bottom before. They just need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get busy!" 
"Well, I wouldn't have slapped her if she hadn't provoked me."
Bullies will get pissed off when questioned and say the world is full of hyper-sensitive, politically-correct wussies who just need to learn to "deal with it". "The world is a harsh place." "The truth hurts."

Thank you so much for helping us learn those crucial lesson... Our lives are so much better now that we know...

In the S&C and fitness communities, you hear variations on the statements above ALL THE TIME.
"I have horrible genetics but look at me!" 
Translation: "Your genetics are better than mine so the only reason you're not successful must be that you are a lazy piece of sh*t!" 
"And if I can do it, anyone can." 
Translation: "I did it and anyone who chooses not to is a loser." (because all success and failure is simply a choice)
 Strength, fitness, and body composition are complex topics. Telling someone who is obese that the key to weight loss is simply to eat less is like telling a chronic-pain sufferer with no clear injury that it's "all in your head". Even it there may be some truth to the statement, it is at best a gross oversimplification.

It's November everyone - let's be thankful for what we have. To be truly grateful entails having compassion for others who may have less. Sh*t happens - sometimes good, sometimes bad; sometimes to those that are deserving and sometimes to those who are undeserving. To think otherwise is just entitlement.

Friday, November 1, 2013



Windmills are one of those exercises I should always include in the exercise rotation (but seldom do...).

Why? Core, thoracic, and hip stability and mobility are all given a thorough workout with this one.

With time and effort, the range of motion and loads you can handle will improve a lot.