Tipping fatigue

Paying $3.38 for a simple black coffee already feels steep. Then, I’m nudged to donate spare change to charity, followed by a prompt for a 15%, 20%, or 25% tip. Here’s the thing…

I’m not against tipping. What’s tiring is the constant barrage of requests for tips or charitable donations for the most basic transactions. Now, if I order my favorite mocha with an extra shot, extra hot, breve, no foam, no whip, and it’s made with evident care and skill, that’s a different story. That’s when I tip. The craft and love earn my gratitude, not the routine. My tipping rule is simple: to earn a tip, delight me. Anything less, especially for a standard cup of coffee, doesn’t make the cut.

Walking

If not resolutions, what then? I prefer making PLANS. And I’ll tell you one thing I plan to do MORE of in 2024… It’s WALKING. Yep. It might sound trivial, but I’m not kidding.

“He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all, but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.”
-Henry David Thoreau

More “sauntering” and less sitting.

No one has made a more compelling case for the physical and mental value of walking than Thoreau. In his 1861 treatise “Walking,” Thoreau reminds us of how that primal act of mobility “connects us with our essential wildness,” which today can serve as a refreshing antidote to our staring at small rectangular screens all day.

You can download “Walking” by Thoreau for free on Kindle

Meaning, money and love

My children get good grades, and good grades are fine. After all, school is their primary responsibility. It’s a necessary concern. Yet, how can I not see failure when my kid’s only care is, “Will this be on the test?” and “I just want to get this assignment done,” which I believe is a signal of failure. Public schools prioritize testable knowledge over genuine learning and curiosity, failing to deliver the proper understanding and creativity needed for real-world problem-solving. This is a general critique. I know and praise the teachers who grow, adapt, and learn alongside their students. So, as a solution, I think if we put that energy into building up self-esteem, especially in our social media-driven world – and let’s say “self-esteem” is finding a balance between confidence and accountability – our young people would be in a better position for “success.” And let’s say “success” is an awareness of navigating a lifetime of meaning, money, and love.

Overthinking

It doesn’t matter what it is: Parenting, business, career, fitness, etc. You name it.

You’re not understanding the sheer volume of mistakes and failures that are required in order to grow. You put so much pressure on yourself to make the “right” decisions that you end up doing nothing, which you think is safer than making the wrong decision. Wrong. Overthinking without taking action adds up to nothing. It’s far better to view mistakes and failures as an opportunity to learn and grow instead of something to avoid at all costs. And… you’ll reach your goals sooner.

Parental Legacy

I’m considering Parents who invest in their children’s futures. The Parents that make (have made) sacrifices without expecting anything in return. Parents that have relocated across the globe to secure a better life. Parents that work tirelessly to ensure their children’s well-being. These efforts often go unnoticed by the younger generation. Yet, this lack of recognition is not a concern for Parents. Because their primary goal is not to be appreciated, it’s to provide unconditional love and support.

The legacy of Parental sacrifice is a long-standing tradition. Previous generations endured hardships I cannot fathom, like enduring hunger or working relentless factory jobs, so their children could thrive. But what I do understand is that this cycle of giving isn’t about repayment, it’s about perpetuating love and care. The expectation isn’t for children to reciprocate to their Parents but to extend the same selfless love to their offspring – someday. In this way, the cycle of nurturing and sacrifice continues, each generation paying it forward, ensuring an enduring legacy of familial love and support. That’s something I believe in and aspire to.

Lessons from Jack LaLanne – Fitness Icon and Marketing Maverick

Jack LaLanne. Picture credit to New York Times.

Jack LaLanne revolutionized the fitness industry, skillfully used media for marketing, built a lasting business legacy, and lived to age 96. I love fitness, am involved with marketing, and want to live to age 100. And recently, I dug out my “Jack LaLanne Juicer” and did some homework on the guy. So for all of those reasons, I want to share with you why his life teaches us some powerful lessons:

1. Believe in Yourself: At 15, Jack was just a skinny kid. But he decided to change himself, which was as important as the action.

2. Be Innovative: Jack didn’t just open a gym. He invented the health club concept with features like a juice bar. He did this 85 years ago, way ahead of his time.

3. Start Small and Grow: Jack began with little. No big funding, no huge media partners. Just his vision and hard work.

4. Use Media Smartly: Jack understood the power of TV. He used it to gain trust and teach others, mostly for free. He knew how valuable it was to get people’s attention.

5. Work Outside the Spotlight: Jack never had a prime-time TV show, but he still managed to change culture from the edges.

6. Control Your Work: Jack owned the rights to his 3,000 TV shows. He was in charge of his content.

7. Stay True to Your Brand: Jack didn’t change his brand to seem new or fresh. He stood for something special and never wavered from it.

8. Live Your Message: Jack lived by his health rules, even when no one was looking. He famously said, “I can’t die. It would ruin my image.” He was the real deal, through and through.

Jack’s life is a lesson in authenticity, innovation, and dedication.

13 ways to start if you’re stuck between 0 and 1

If you’re stuck between zero and one, feeling like you still need to start, this is for you.

1). Don’t forget that past slip-ups don’t define your future. Those failures are like little fires that warm you up for the journey ahead.

2). If your determination is strong, keep it in check until you need it. But if it’s shaky, treat it gently. Don’t let it falsely puff up with ego.

3). No more mindlessly scrolling through social media like it’s an addictive drug – keep that app (or browser) closed.

4). If you ever feel like you’re not good enough because you’re too this or that, shake it off like a dog shaking off the cold water.

5). When that burst of energy hits, urging you to go for that cheese sandwich (your goals), remember, your cheese monster craves the cheese of accomplishment, not just any cheddar. Make it matter!

6). Even when they let you down, thinking about those you care about teaches you to love, forgive, and see the best in them. Could you extend that kindness to yourself?

7). Big shoutout to the parts of yourself that you don’t quite get, like creativity and courage. Your courage is like your runaway dog – you must chase it down and hold on tight.

8). You’re not the sole author of your victories or victims of your defeats. Act like you’ve been there before, either way.

9). Criticism might sting. Use the block button for the truly evil stuff. And when you chew on critique, separate the good advice from the bitter herbs.

10). Perfectionism might look good in shiny shoes, but he’s a jerk. There is no need to sharpen your pencils endlessly. Even the dull ones leave a mark. Start this journey and savor every moment.

11). A genuine smile disarms even the harshest critics. Impacting a few deeply is worth more than a negligible impact on many.

13). Your work isn’t a stepping stone. Find fascination in its unique shape. The idea that brought you here is good. When it’s time to put it to rest, accept that the next won’t be the same, but it’ll be something.

Keep going, keep growing!

The next right thing

I don’t solve my problems with genius solutions or out-of-the-box ideas. Well, maybe sometimes 😉. Most of the time, I solve problems and get over obstacles step by step—action by action. No one can stop me except me when I get in my way. It’s never grandiose. It often feels like a struggle. But in reality, it’s just doing the small thing before me. The small thing isn’t so small. The same principles apply to well-being. Small steps are no small thing. Huge deficits or hurt feelings aren’t taken down with a silver bullet. It’s slow, deliberate work. It’s doing the next right thing. And the next right thing, and the next right thing. No one can stop you from that but you.

Put your butt where your heart wants to be

The more important a project or any endeavor is to your growth, the more resistance you will feel to it. When I say resistance, I mean the tendency to procrastinate, self-doubt, distraction, confusion, fear… all things that sabotage your work. So it’s a good sign if you’re about to embark on something or are already in it and overwhelmed with resistance. It means that your project is important to your growth. Sit down, shut up, and do it.

Better over time

We’re not perfect, and that’s no secret, especially to our kids. The real question is, have we become better over time? Have we improved since our kids were younger, or even just a few years ago? Can we say that we’ve changed for the better?

I read a story written by a son about his mother. He describes his mother’s transformation in the decades after his father’s passing.

After his mother’s journey of personal growth, he said, “She changed,” highlighting the rarity of such transformations in our mothers. How many of us will be able to be looked upon by our children with them knowing that, put simply, “we changed.”

It makes me wonder, will my kids be able to say the same about me? Will they notice our continual self-improvement instead of the common trend of becoming more set in our ways as we age?

Can they see that we’ve learned from our mistakes and rarely repeat them? Can they witness us evolving into better grandparents, despite not always getting it right as parents?

That’s my hope.