Author Archives: marcos gonzález

a little bit on the science on happiness

– Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index. –

shawn achor is a harvard scholar who has devoted a lot of time to studying chiefly why people are happy or unhappy. in this decisive ted talk (ted talks are great because they are obligatorily brief, concise, free and publicly available), he quickly shares his findings. happily, he chooses humor to connect with the audience and the viewer, a very agile setup and very little accessory elements such as charts or slides. it turns out that as many religions, philosophical traditions and wise people have said before, happiness is not a function of who you are or are not, what you have or have not, what you achieve or achieve not, or your standing in the world. it seems to be a lot more like all the other great human achievements, it is a discipline, a mindset and a lifestyle you build. and there is modern psychological research now to back up those claims.

everyone knows rich and prosperous people who are very content, but also equally moneyed and successful individuals who are not happy. the same for poor or disadvantaged people, some are bitter and resentful, but others in identical circumstances are happy and delightful. a happy mind is a mind that focuses inevitably on the positive, on greatness everywhere, on finding possibility everywhere and on gratefulness. human experience, as ericsson, schwartz, bandler, mckenna and others who have studied effective people and great achievers, always gets more of what it focuses on, and also gets better at what it does most of. so, happiness, positivity, energy, vitality, optimism, an upbeat spirit for those who have them are the result of conscious or unconscious training and repetition.

and that’s where achor closes at, with some practical, easy exercises, anyone can get better at having a happier, more optimistic life. as always, do and focus more on what you want more of, and keep working at it, results will eventually come and in this case, so will a happier existence.

enjoy.

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What is going on in México in 2012?

Massive anti Peña demonstration in México DF on July 7.

There is widespread dissatisfaction, frustration and despair. Everyone in the country is experiencing such feelings over the political system to different degrees. The national presidential election was held on July 1st, and Enrique Peña Nieto had the largest vote making him the presumptive winner, with some 38% of the total, meaning around 19 million votes. Nothing is official just yet, with the election still to be validated, but on July 7 major demonstrations against Peña Nieto took place across México, today, July 12, the leftist challenger, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will present a major lawsuit to annul the election, and the call is out for further protests and demonstrations on July 14 with many more to come.

So, presidential elections had a winner who took victory by a large margin, but, there have been no celebrations by the triumphant party or their voters, and, a majority of the population repudiates Peña Nieto. How could this be? We’ll try to look at and explain the major reasons.

Context

a composite picture of the anti Peña protests of July 7 that is going around the internet

The Mexican state is mired in a crisis. Rule of law over all kind of matters had always been very deficient and decaying, and now, drug cartels in fact overtly rule over authorities in vast parts of the country, especially in the north. Mexicans, as most peoples all over the world, had always been highly skeptical of government, but the fall of PRI in 2000 and the coming of democracy had raised massive hopes of change which have since been tragically deflated.

In the end, democracy never fully arrived in México, indeed there have been changes and achievements, but never to the extent that people dreamed of. Theorists of democracy have definitely concluded that democracy is necessarily much more than the universal right to vote and minimally legitimate elections; true democracy then becomes much harder to grasp and live by. It implies legality, equality, rule of law, absence of corruption, and many more conditions, all of which are completely absent in the lives of ordinary mexicanos.

Legacy of and methods PRI use when in power

In México, power and money have always ruled. And that has held true from the lowest levels, to the highest spheres. From skipping the line of citizens waiting in the booth to place their vote as Enrique Peña Nieto (PRI presidential candidate) and Pedro Joaquín Coldwell (national leader of PRI) did this July 1st to much more serious matters. A documentary called “El Túnel” was put out a couple years ago, and it argued that people with power and money enough never make it past the corridor that connects the courts to prison; those who did trespass it were the poor and helpless, and irrespective of their guilt or innocence it was nigh impossible to come out once past that point. Let’s say there was a car crash somewhere and someone was injured or killed, it has happened often enough, that with the appropriate phone calls and with bribes large enough, the responsible driver could walk free immediately and the case be shut down, even if intoxication or speeding were involved. And from those everyday matters, impunity holds true also in the realm of the business of the state. There are myriad cases like this, but let’s just mention the case of Paulina Romero Deschamps for illustrative purposes. In May 2012, national newspaper Reforma, presented pictures that Paulina Romero Deschamps had in her Facebook account (the pictures are still going around the internet). She holds no job anywhere, and her father’s legal salary is some 1,800 dollars a month. But Carlos Romero Deschamps, her father, is the president of the union of workers of PEMEX, the national oil company, and the published pictures showed the despicable brat touring the world like only a multi millionaire could. Those pictures had her flying in numerous helicopters, touring in Versailles, shopping at Harrods, popping open bottles of wine worth 1,000 dollars, or posing with bags worth up to 12,000 dollars. This scandal obviously hit the eligibility of Enrique Peña Nieto who, like Romero Deschamps, is affiliated to PRI, and the pictures made the rounds in all the political magazines and national newspapers, but what came out of all this? Absolutely nothing as is the norm in México. The spoiled bastard took down her Facebook account, she and the rest of the juniors PRI has spawned will lay low for some time and that’s it. No investigation, no inquiry, no one will ever be questioned over these overt displays of corruption, and no one will ever step in jail for these wrongdoings, Romero Deschamps won’t even have to quit his post, he’s still there. Peña Nieto in person was questioned by reporters the day the scandal broke, and he couldn’t bring himself to repudiate his party fellow, he just said – Romero Deschamps is respected by all the workers of PEMEX -, and – Romero Deschamps has worked for all of his life -.

That has been life for an ordinary mexicano being an impotent spectator to such atrocities, and that’s just about now, in the old times it used to be even worse. Vicente Fox of PAN was an atypical politician with an atypical trajectory, and he campaigned hard against PRI and corruption and authoritarianism in 2000. And he did strike a nerve; he won the 2000 election decisively and for the first time since 1929 and the end of the Mexican Revolution, someone from outside the PRI was going to govern México. His lengthy list of justiciary promises went unfulfilled, though, in part because he gave in himself, in part because the undemocratic system in place was huge, and in part because the political rules in México are very defective (most people don’t understand this as a crucial element instead citing lack of political will alone). For someone like Fox, who likes to put himself in the company of Mandela, Luther King,Churchill and Felipe González, what he delivered was nowhere near the expectations that existed. The presidential rule of PRI did end, but, what in that moment could have seemed like a seismic change, akin to the end of apartheid, the fall of the berlin wall, the solidarity movement, or the end of various dictatorships in Iberoamérica wasn’t that far reaching. Fox and PAN did deliver some marginal improvements, but they co-governed with PRI (sharing rightist leanings, PRI and PAN have collaborated in many matters of government for the last twenty something years), got into sharing many of their pernicious habits and in refusing to kill the corruption PRI represents allowed it to fester and come back now. In the end, rule of law and ending impunity were not among the priorities of Fox and PAN, and many corrupt structures and organizations were left untouched. Many police corps, most of the ministerios públicos (local versions of district attorneys), and a lot of bureaucrats are still corrupt and self serving, thus everyday life has changed little for most ordinary mexicanos.

The six year term of the mojón (smallish piece of shit) FeCal Felipe Calderón has been the worst in history, the worst by the numbers and is not even worth going into.

That PRI is poised to rule again would be enough to explain the frustration and anger of the people who want democracy, improving quality of life and rule of law for México. That tells the tale of a lot of people demonstrating and protesting in the streets and vowing not to let Peña Nieto take office. But that’s not everything there is; two other aspects of this victory are also highly unsatisfactory.

Violations of electoral law

another composite image of the anti Peña demonstrations

By now, it has been widely documented and proven in the local and international press that PRI violated the law in numerous ways in this election. Multiple sources have suggested that the legal limit (336 million pesos) on how much a candidate could spend in his campaign was exceeded about tenfold by PRI (it is presumed more than 4,000 million were used). In some regions voters have declared they were coerced to vote for PRI, and it has been reported that even young children were used to monitor voters walking with them into the privacy of voting booths. Handouts, processed food, cement and many other giveaways were exchanged for votes. And, in a new technological innovation to election rigging, Monex Bank debit cards with the local equivalent of 7, 14, 35 or 70 dollars were also exchanged for votes to PRI. Soriana supermarkets also participated and prepaid cards with similar cheap amounts for use in their stores were also distributed to the same end. Elba Esther Gordillo, president of the national state teachers union also operated openly in favor of PRI trying to buy as many as 5 million votes herself (through operations Ágora). So, from PRI’s hardline historically loyal and predictable vote of about 12 million, much of the people that gave them the additional votes to almost 19 million were paid, threatened or fooled. This brings us to the national political polling companies. Every pollster had Peña Nieto as a lock down to take the presidency, but some went as far as to foretell 22 million votes going to PRI, and a distance of more than 8 million votes over his opponents. The election proved them to be lying openly, PRI had to buy, bribe, deceive and intimidate its way to 19 million votes; 22 million were not reachable not even in a parallel reality. And, even more, there is no way a polling survey can detect people who on the day of the election will only vote in exchange for handouts. Most pollsters were openly campaigning for Peña Nieto.

A major lawsuit was filed in electoral court on July  12, but, as has been mentioned and explained earlier, expect all those crimes to face no significant punishment. Even though there is clear and mounting evidence of vote buying and election rigging that in the developed world would send perpetrators to jail, and kill many political careers (the cases of Monex and Soriana are well documented, but even clearer are the misdeeds of the state government of Zacatecas where Manuel González Nava and other public officials diverted state funds and left paper trails of all the payments and bribes they perpetrated).

All this could help us understand that people who want democracy, rule of law, justice and all those things for México having all the right to feel aggrieved, frustrated and despairing right now. So, a vast majority of mexicanos are grieving right now, those out in the streets protesting, but also many more staying at home. Well, it turns out, the electoral rules and the political system also have major design flaws, which we will briefly analyze.

Electoral rules and division of powers

Presidentialism can more often than not be quite troublesome. In México, there are three major parties, so, regularly votes are split into thirds or close to thirds. In this particular election, 38% of the citizens voted for Peña Nieto and gave him a sizable advantage of around 7% over the next candidate. But, even as 38% of the vote went for Peña Nieto, 62% went against him. Having a ballotage or runoff between the top two vote getters in the first round is a must. By having a ballotage, more than half of the electorate will actually back the winner granting him capacity to govern and legitimacy (in a two party presidential system, more than half the electorate do back the winner, but that’s an exceptionality that doesn’t hold for more parties).

Then, also the design of the political system in México is very peculiar. The presidency of México is one of the weakest worldwide; it has no formal power of veto over legislation, it can´t rule by decree and it has no tools to make legislation pass or be voted on. This weakness, and the absence of a majority in congress since 1997 has resulted in extreme political paralysis. No major reforms or significant legal changes have passed since the 90’s, because who legislates is who governs, and for 15 years now, no one in México has been given that broad mandate. All this has fed into the widespread disbelief and dejection over democracy and government.

Reelection is forbidden for all public positions in México, independent candidates are also proscribed, as only a licensed party (those with more than 2% of vote in the last election) can in turn register a candidate to any public position. And, to top all that off, parties receive massive stipends from federal government as long as they keep their license. All this generates party leaderships exerting very strict discipline over their members as they actually hold the keys to their careers. This is one more reason for paralysis, as individual elected officials tend more to their party leaderships than to voters or constituencies, because it’s parties that matter. There are other structural reasons for paralysis and absolute lack of accountability, especially in the legislative, but those could deserve a full piece by  themselves so we’ll leave them out for now.

All this helps us understand the spite and cynicism the general public in México have for government and democracy. One of the most expensive voting systems around, a very corrupt government, and no results or solutions whatsoever, that’s the general perception.

Are at least people who voted for PRI satisfied?

So, PRI left nothing to chance and they went all in after the presidency. They maybe would have won even following the rules, but just wanted to make sure. It is the federal government that concentrates all income from taxes, that has the biggest bureaucracy and the most power, and that budgetary payback for their investment was what PRI was going after. But, the beneficiaries are going to be only those who spend public money or make money off of crooked deals. The top bureaucracy, secretaries of state, contractors and leaders, them, and them only can feel satisfied and optimistic. They can expect to be financially set for life some 5 years from now, and with other business in place should the political landscape change substantially. The recent hall of shame of corruption, the Moreiras, Murats, Yarringtons, Montiels, Romero Deschamps, Maríns, Ruíz, they can toast and hope for the continuation of status quo. But the laypeople, all those millions who voted to get whatever cheap handout they could get, well, them you won’t see celebrating to political victory. Hits to quality of life, plus inflation, plus tax increases, crony capitalist reforms and corrupt government, that’s what ordinary mexicanos can expect. And just who would go celebrate publicly the return of PRI then?

Political systems all the world over are called unsatisfactory and dysfunctional, and that is always true to an extent, but the case of México defines just that fucked up situation, and then significantly exceeds it. That’s what is going on right now.

People demonstrating against Peña in Tijuana.

These two links provide galleries of the anti Peña Nieto marches that have taken place all over México but will never get TV coverage. In many cities in the North, masses don’t even gather publicly anymore because of the violence and insecurity, but in order to demonstrate people braved the danger this time.

Updates

By July 23rd, 3 independent media outlets by themselves have documented the financial mechanism PRI used to handout money through Monex. Several shell companies were used, Efra, Inizzio, Atama, Koleos, Tiguan to either put massive money into Monex Bank or to then buy prepaid cards from Monex. All those companies have either been contractors to PRI and Enrique Peña Nieto, or, they are brutish facades of some PRI militants (just check el Reforma newspaper or Aristegui Noticias to get the details). This is almost incriminating evidence, even a complicit tribunal would have a very hard time turning a blind eye to such information. The lawsuits against the validity of the election have in consequence been augmented with all this discoveries.

Also, street protests and demonstrations have continued, with attendance slowly increasing. The links below are to galleries of the protests of July 7, 14, 21 and 22nd, with many more to come, and unrest poised to explode if Peña Nieto is declared as president elect.

http://aristeguinoticias.com/fotos-marchan-contra-epn-en-mas-de-30-ciudades-de-mexico-y-el-mundo/#&panel1-1

http://www.facebook.com/LeniaBatres1

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.346746352070598.78021.254291464649421&type=3

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.341725742572659.76404.254291464649421&type=3

http://aristeguinoticias.com/marchan-contra-pena-nieto-en-mexico-y-el-mundo/

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Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project, Video of conference Leading@Google 2010

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

As has been described in an earlier post, Tony Schwartz, is an expert on experts, and an expert on expertise. The company he started out, the Energy Project, has assisted major league corporations increase their employees’ productivity and morale. Schwartz delivered a conference in Google in 2008, and in 2010 went back to finish what he had started.

His message is once more the same: time cannot be expanded, when we have more work to get done there is no way to get additional hours to our days or weeks, and working longer hours is actually counterproductive. Energy, on the other hand, which is the capacity to get work done, can be kept at a maximum level, it is through the careful monitoring and tending to of our habits and methods we can keep ourselves really firing on all cylinders.

Schwartz goes into greater detail and offers much more evidence this time around, compared to his conference in the same venue in 2008. He mentions and explains the 4 kinds of energy we humans run on.

Schwartz critically calls for us to invest time and resources into understanding human physiology, because there is no better knowledge we could have than how do our bodies and minds work when we are trying to work . An obvious observation is that human beings are radically different than machines and computers, yet a lot of times we choose to push ourselves as if we were cybernetic.

Schwartz pronounces sleep and rest to be paramount. Sleeping appropriately  is dead serious, it’s even more important than eating right. Stress, and pushing our bodies to the limit to elicit the hormones that fear generates is along with cutting the hours we sleep a technique that a lot of people use to get work done, but it is greatly deteriorating in the short and long run. Living beings are oscillatory, everything about us has rhythm, our days do, our bodily systems do, our organs and tissues do, and even our cells do. Superior fitness is not the capacity to work harder for longer, superior fitness is being able to recover more quickly from exertion. And the best way to go is to incorporate renewal into the middle of our days and activities, because we do learn to and grow our capacity to recover; just as we learn to work more effectively, recovery can also be mastered. As we get better at recovering, we are fitter, and we are capable of working more productively when we work and feel better all around.

Superior working habits also demand that we learn to concentrate our undivided attention. When we tend to more than one thing at a time, each one item gets much less than the proportional share it theoretically should. Human cognitive power is very poor when asked to multitask, a lot of processing power is lost to nothing. Striving for flow, the state of absorbed attention and activity, and with practice eventually reaching it should be our objective. A later post will deal with the amazing concept of flow.

Schwartz closes this master lecture with a call for us to massively shift and alter the traditional work and productivity paradigms we operate under. The best way to get things done is to sprint repeatedly, rather than try to put ourselves through a never ending marathon. Work that we get done with our undivided attention, that is parceled in delimited and gradual stages and with regular renewal breaks distributed in between gets far superior production than what we can accomplish doing several things at once and always pushing until exhaustion.

This conference also runs for an hour, but it’s so good and edifying that it deserves to be watched more than once. Schwartz deals somewhat poorly with the time constraint he faces, but he does his best to keep it engagin, fun and light. His closing argument, which cites work by K. Anders Ericsson is shocking: superior results and performance do not belong to superior people, they belong  to people with superior habits and methods. If you want superior results for yourself, just develop the habits and routines the great ones live by.

Here you go.

 

<a href=”http://www.hypersmash.com”>www.HyperSmash.com</a&gt;

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Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project, Video of conference Leading@Google 2008

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

Google is a very modern enterprise. It is legendarily progressive and avant-garde in its relation with employees and the perks it makes available to them. Very smart people fight each other to work there because of pay, amenities, freedom and relevance of the work they get done. Not only do they take very good care of their own people, most of what they do is made absolutely transparent and accessible. And because of that, in this occasion we are benefiting with this talk Tony Schwartz delivered at Google in 2008 being openly available on YouTube.

I came to know of Tony Schwartz and the Energy Project because Jonathan Martínez Pallares, a good friend of mine, recommended their work to me. The Tony Schwartz we are writing about here is a USA citizen who has worked as a journalist, author, and most importantly is currently an expert in high performance and expertise. An expert on experts, and an expert on expertise himself. What is that supposed to mean? Expert on experts as he has worked with, studied, analyzed, followed and learned from top world performers: professional tennis players, professional violin players, race car drivers and so on. How cool is that? Going to Olympic athletes and top performers and identifying the features common to all of them to understand how someone makes himself an outstanding high performer. Expert in expertise, because Schwartz also knows and masters the theory and works of the researchers who have started out and are expanding the scientific field of high performance. In future posts, I’ll talk about K. Anders Ericsson and other notable experts in expertise and also further work by Tony Schwartz himself.

This conference presented to you is stuffed with facts and information. Everything is backed by scientific research and facts. It’s all actionable knowledge, to help guide your priorities and take better decisions.

This is a master lecture in how we humans function and it covers short term immediate performance as well as long term health, motivation and peak performance. It turns out that our short and long term capabilities are aligned and interdependent as would be expected. The conference mentions sarcopenia, which is the process that absent exercise deprives the body of muscle mass and capability as we age. Sarcopenia affects all kinds of mental and cognitive performance, just as physical exercise also helps maintain intellectual vigor.  The lecture mentions nutrition, and its linkage to performance and maintenance. It mentions the importance of renewal and rest in order to allow for the body’s natural organic cycles to keep our bodies functioning at their maximum. On every relevant aspect to human performance and functioning, Schwartz knows and delivers.

This is a conference that runs for an hour, but it would be really hard to find a better way to invest one hour of your time. Schwartz’s motto: – Manage your energy, not your time- aims to challenge and revolutionize our paradigms on how we manage and the performance we get out of ourselves. This is a blunt call to action, Schwartz delves into the details in this later conference from 2010 which is also indispensable viewing. The time constraint he faces hurries Schwartz somewhat into some fleeting misstatements, but he tries to stay light and fun throughout. His is definitely an argument to understand, experiment with, heed and to take guidance from.

Enjoy.

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Change facilitating products by Paul Mckenna

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

As has been referred in Mind transformations, Paul Mckenna is an English change facilitator with notable results.

He has stopped working individually with regular clients for some time now, but he does have some massively distributed products that can be a great first foray into change work and mentality.

There are a plethora of books he has authored, like Change your life in 7 days. And it is his record sets that can easily be the most beneficial, though. A lot of research and references go into his products, authors and bibliography are mentioned, so on the subjects you find most interesting and intriguing you can take it from there and find as much information as you wish. The concepts, ideas, evidence and insights into how we work as persons, and how does our mentality determine our results will make huge differences for most people because of their novelty and power. Its hypnopedic method will also have a huge impact on you and your outlook on life, just give it a try. – Positivity – and – Success for life – are products that encompass all of his concepts and are thus highly commendable. Others like – Deep relaxation – and – Sleep like a log – are more specific but worth checking out.

Hypnopedia works as follow, for 21-30 consecutive days, before you go to sleep just start play of the track of interest at an almost inaudible level, go to sleep as normal and that’s all. Your subconscious does everything from there.

Positivity.

Change your life in 7 days.

These and other related materials can be easily found in online stores and is physical stores around the world. Benefit from them and enjoy.

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welcome and index

Be welcome to this blog, it is concerned with topics on mentality, high performance and excellence. It is aimed at people who love working on themselves, who strive to be better each day and become the best person they can possibly be; or, at people who could yet become like that. Each post could take up to one hour between reading it and checking out the videos and other resources. Reading this blog, could then be thought of as a fine substitute for television, with much more positive effects. Posts with several videos or resources would be intended to be checked on more than one occasion.

Posts that include videos work better if opened separately or in a new tab each.

Index.

Harvard Business Review: Best Blog Posts of 2011

In the footsteps of Marco Polo

Body transformations

Mind transformations

Products by Paul Mckenna

Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project, Video of conference Leading@Google 2008

Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project, Video of conference Leading@Google 2010

a little bit on the science on happiness


Posts en español.

Video Carlos Kasuga Osaka Conferencia Semana PyME 2011

Video Carlos Kasuga Osaka Conferencia Semana PyME 2009

Video Carlos Kasuga Osaka Conferencia FUNGLODE República Dominicana 2010

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Mind transformations

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

Paul Mckenna is an English hypnotist and change facilitator. As it seems he didn’t follow an academic path to where he is at. Mckenna started out and grew as a radio personality, learned of hypnosis through radio interviews he carried out, went into performing stage hypnosis and then learned of Richard Bandler and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and went into change work.

In working with NLP, he follows the routes of a lineage of people who work facilitating change, and who generate amazing results by unconventional means. NLP was initially modeled after the practices of Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls and Milton Erickson; it was co-created by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. NLP expands from those facilitators’, and also incorporates additional techniques and insights. Mckenna, as one of Richard Bandler’s top pupils, also adds further tools to his work, but he is not an innovator in proper, he only assimilates from diverse sources.

Everyone tends to think they have massive problems, but in watching the cases portrayed in Mckenna’s show, a lot of people will think differently. Not only will most peoples’ discomforts, fears and obstinacies be taken more in perspective, but also a lot of heart will be drawn from these episodes for everyone to pursue bettering themselves.

These patients are commendable for their courage in tacking their problems, but also because of the bravery to have their processes be made public. As the show duly states, these people were considered incurable cases, and many had undergone years of therapy without showing significant change. Mckenna takes these cases with unwavering belief, proceeds with panache and you’ll be able to watch the results and judge for yourselves. Just check out episode 1, case 2 with Matt, which starts at about 16:00, you can then draw your own conclusions and always come back to the other episodes as time allows.

This show by Mckenna is very cool, the format is agile and informative, production is impeccable and perfectly planned in advance for they film everything of relevance to the cases, and I absolutely love the music they play; it’s a fine selection of late 90’s and early 00’s British house, acid jazz and rock.

Enjoy.

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Body transformations

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

In life we have only what we build for ourselves, and that also applies to our health and fitness.

There is great proof of that in many body transformation videos around the internet. There’s people in them whose life was totally out of control, being overweight, weak, exhausted, and with many unhealthy habits. They just changed what they were hooked into, they were already very steady and predictable in their choices; they would hardly let go a chance to just watch TV and do nothing, to eat junk food and sugars, or to overeat, they always did all that, without fail. Then they took different choices and pursued them with the same focus and persistence, and it always pays off. Some other people were more normal, but it also takes huge determination and a lot of hard work to sculpt a body like they now have. These people look happier, fitter, healthier and rejuvenated after their programs, it’s hard to beat such advertising.

Everyone’s physique is the same in essence, there’s muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and they will respond and strengthen when treated right, no matter how many layers of fat someone currently has decided to deposit over them. So, once more, we have what we build for ourselves. The body you have, you have been busy sculpting it as it is, you might as well sculpt it in some other way and it won’t take more discipline or persistence than what you currently are unto. Results don’t come in one day, one week or one month, it takes at least half a year to start noticing improvement, and from a year to two years for your results to become permanent.

There are some fitness programs out there which are all the rage right now, like P90X. I think most everything will work if done right, but some methods have major strengths over others. P90X is comprehensive, it deals with everything from the workouts, to rest, to nutrition; and rest and nutrition are huge for body transformations. It also consists of different methodologies and disciplines that when used concurrently have an augmented effect on the participants’ bodies. And in opposition to traditional gym methods, these programs emphasize sequences that involve a lot of muscle groups and whole body movements, and that is a proven better way to work out compared to isolating individual muscles.

I share some videos of amazing and inspiring body transformations, especially the one that first called my attention to the whole subject; that of John Stone who starts exercising in the gym and takes pictures daily for a year. These are the ones I found most shocking and exemplary, but there are a lot more  available if you search for -body transformation- over the internet. Thanks to all these people who took action and have been so inspiring for me, especially Coach Yost and Coach Wayne.

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In the footsteps of Marco Polo

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

http://www.wliw.org/marcopolo/video/watch-the-full-episode/324/

http://www.wliw.org/marcopolo/interactives/photo-gallery-the-journey-of-a-lifetime/86/

An amazing journey. Two ordinary guys undertake the mission of a lifetime, and come out of it being extraordinary because they made it happen. Anything can be achieved, you just have to want it enough.

In the linked pages you will find the professional photographs of Denis Belliveau and a complete documentary to keep testimonial of their travels, these resources will also give the watching public a glimpse into their feat.

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Harvard Business Review: Best Blog Posts of 2011

Check out all my posts on mentality, high performance and excellence in the welcome and index.

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/12/the_top_hbr_blog_posts_of_2011.html

Great summary of the published work of 2011 in the blogs in the Harvard Business Review. Dealing in subjects like habits, productivity, management and such.

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