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The CoronaTwelve Project

CoronaTwelve Weight Loss

This is a great motivational post. Check out ‘Little Scottie’ on his weight loss journey.

My hat’s off to whomever was able to motivate themselves to workout during the recent coronavirus quarantine. Now that the country is opening up, the quarantine excuse doesn’t work any more.

If you were like me, you sat around doing very little and gained a few extra pounds.

‘Little Scottie’ claims he gained 12kg (25 lbs for those of us in the USA). He’s started his own ‘CoronaTwelve’ project. It’s a plan to lose the weight he gained while sitting around the house. His project just started, so hopefully, this will motivate you to get moving too.

Check it out and cheer him on. Why not start your own project today?

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The one benefit of swimming I discovered this year

Swimming health benefits

This article by got me thinking about one health benefit of swimming I’ve been talking a lot about this year.

It’s common to hear people talk about how great swimming is for your health. That sentiment is pronounced once you step away from it, then get back into a consistent swimming routine.

Continue reading The one benefit of swimming I discovered this year
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Tobias Lutke Manages a Sustainable Work-Life Balance

Shopify work-life balance

Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke tweeted, “I need 8ish hours of sleep a night. Same with everybody else, whether we admit it or not.” This sums up his work-life balance philosopy.

He founded and built Shopify, a $48 billion company with a strong sense of priorities. Yes, he says his job is incredible, but he values family and health highly.

This is reflected in his actions which brings him home every night by 5:30 p.m. and puts weekend work travel off-limits. Perhaps it’s his Canadian roots that has helped him achieve a balance that Silicon Valley workers can only dream of, but whatever the reason, it is working for him.

Here is the original article by Business Insider if you would like to read more.

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Doug McConnell, A Long Swim for ALS

A Long Swim (ALS)

5,000 + people have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. 50,000 people will complete an Ironman Triathlon this year. But only about 1,800 people have successfully swum across the English Channel. Doug McConnel is one of them.

Crossing the English Channel is an incredible feat of human endurance. To finish, Doug had to:

  • Swim 30 miles
  • Last 14.5 hours
  • Battle through 5 ft waves
  • Endure 62 degrees F water temperature, 47 degrees F air temperature

But like most tales of human endurance, the race is only a small part of the story. As Doug says, this was a team success and the lessons learned by swimming the English Channel are lessons in teamwork.

Their team is A Long Swim (ALS), an acronym derived from the disease they hope to cure. Doug has an inspiring story. Check out his team at and have fun watching his TED talk below.

Doug McConnel TED Talk Barrington, IL
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Our Doubts are Traitors

doubts are traitors self-talk

We all have it: An inner dialogue. This self-talk is dominated by fear and doubt. It’s programmed into our reptilian brain because risk-mitigation is a survival tool. Controlling your inner dialogue is perhaps the most fundamental secret of success.

William Shakespeare was able to describe and help us understand what most people intuitively knew and felt. Here is a favorite passage from his play Measure for Measure. He says so succinctly why self-doubt is deadly.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

In the following video, Les Brown and Jim Rohn spend 12 minutes expanding on this basic fact. It’s a great reminder that every day we should “stand guard at the door of our mind”.

Here are some main points and discussion of the video:

  1. Watching inner dialogue will determine the quality of your life.
  2. Being too cautious or too reckless
  3. Be wise and understand that everything is risky. Don’t ask for security, ask for adventure.
  4. Pessimism is a deadly disease.
  5. Our lives are most affected by the way we think they are, not the way they are.
  6. Poor thinking habits keep most people poor.
  7. As someone thinks within himself, so he is. — Proverbs 23:7
  8. Stand guard at the door of your mind.
  9. Complaining is a deadly disease of success.

If you believe success starts in your mind, this is a good reminder to keep check of your inner thoughts. Do you agree?

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Having a Vision for Your Life is a Moral Obligation

strive to be your best

Jordan Peterson, who is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has spend considerable time studying the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.

I think it’s safe to say that most, if not all, of today’s leading self-improvement authors say that you should have a plan and work your plan. Or to say it differently, have goals and consistently work towards achieving them.

It’s reinforcing for me to hear Jordan Peterson describe these same ideas, but in his terms.

There is a lot to unpack in this video, but he describes having a vision for your life as a moral obligation and those who succeed are conscientious workers (hard workers). This is a rather lengthy video, but it makes you think of goal setting in a different way.

He talks about a number of related ideas, but to me, they support the idea of achievement = goal setting + hard work.

At the very least it’s a motivating video and is a good way to start your day. Enjoy!

What was your takeaway from the video, and how can you apply these ideas to your life?

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Protect Yourself From Chlorine This Summer

chlorine safety tips

ABC15 in Arizona reports on how to protect yourself from chlorine this summer. Experts at Arizona’s Integrated Health Center say that, “Chlorine even in small amounts, can be harmful over time leading to irritated skin, rashes and even premature aging.”

Before you swim, the center recommends:

  1. Wet your skin with fresh water
  2. Use a pre-swimming lotion

These steps, they claim, create a barrier between your skin and the chlorinated water.

If you spend extended amounts of time in the swimming pool, it’s hard (if not impossible) to keep the chlorine from attaching to your body. We recommend using our anti-chlorine products after you swim to make sure you get the chlorine off after swimming.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger: Rules for Success

Arnold Schwarzenegger, vision success

Achieving a high level of success in one area of your life is challenging enough. But what about Arnold Schwarzenegger who reached the pinnacle in bodybuilding, acting and politics?

When he has something to say about success, we should all take note. He’s known for pithy one-liners in his movie roles, but this video is quite shrewd. After watching it, you realize that his success was no accident. He worked hard, had terrific work habits and stayed focused on what he wanted.

Here are Arnold’s 5 Rules for Success

  1. Have a vision (goal). People don’t become successful by accident. Just as a good boat or airplane won’t reach its destination without a plan, you won’t reach yours without a goal. Pick something that motivates you. Your vision should be strong enough to keep you energized even when the going gets tough.
  2. Be happy when you are doing your work. Arnold had an infectious positive attitude and was happy when working out. Why? Because he knew every rep, every drop of sweat brought him one step closer to his goal, and he couldn’t wait to achieve it.
  3. Set a deadline. Arnold stresses it is important to set a deadline. He says you will never begin if you don’t have a deadline to meet. I’d say this is great advice. For athletes, signing up for an event can be adequate motivation.
  4. Little victories count. Arnold says the little victories are the things that can keep you motivated. It’s true that there are no overnight successes, and that it’s the tally of little victories that ultimately add up to big success.
  5. Use your time wisely. Arnold reminds us that we all have the same 24 hour handicap. He says that after sleeping, we all have 18 hours in each day. He was adamant about not wasting a single hour. Plan each day and keep to your schedule.

And if you need a little pick-me-up, here are some of Arnold’s best movie one-liners.

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Daniel Tammet: Potential, insight and perception.

Daniel Tammet savant brain power

Savants are those types of people who have a particular talent. They are generally considered genius and are likely socially dysfunctional. Dustin Hoffman played a savant in the movie Rain Man, and his character inspired by Kim Peek the real life
Rain Man . Kim Peek is considered a mega-savant and had incredible memory retention and recall. Although he could, and did, memorize volumes of information, he lacked basic motor skills probably due to the way his brain was formed.

You may have seen stories about musicians or artists who are genius’ or prodigies in one area or another. Often diagnosed as autistic, these people have accessed different parts of their brains and in some ways are brilliant–and in other ways severely disabled.

Daniel Tammet is a special kind of savant. He had seizures as a child and researchers think that these seizures re-wired his brain. But what’s so incredible about Daniel is that he seems relatively “normal” for a genius. And because he can describe how he thinks and processes information, he has become incredibly valuable to scientists who study how the brain works.

Here is a mini-documentary about Daniel I found fascinating:

Here’s DaDaniel Tammet, Brain Power

Here’s Daniel’s TED Talk from 2011 if you are interested.

I find it fascinating that the humans are capable of learning a language in a week, or memorizing vast volumes of information, or doing mental math computations, or drawing detailed landscapes from memory. Who doesn’t find it fascinating?

I’m always taken by these stories and reminded that we are capable of so much more than we think we are. Our brains are vastly underutilized. These stories always inspire me to rethink what I’m doing and how I might do things differently.

Do these types of stories inspire you? What lessons can you learn from Daniel and will it inspire you to make some change in your life?