On Friday, June 3rd, I was lucky enough to get married to Andie who I can now call my WIFE. We had a blast and are so very grateful to our family and friends for celebrating with us and for helping make that day, as they do every other day,
Generally what's best for us, what's going to serve us in the long run, is neither going to be easy nor be the thing we feel like doing.
Going just one layer deeper helped turn a moment of curiosity into a lifetime of appreciation for just one small part of our animal kingdom.
I'll have to keep this one short. Andie and I were out celebrating tonight. Today she passed her Boards exam in order to become a Physical Therapist. Next month we get married. This is a special time. I'm trying to figure out how to slow it down. I'm not sure
Have you ever just felt "off?" Of course you have! If you're like me, you'll oscillate between times you're on and happy, and times you're off and less contented. When we're off, it's easy to take a look at all the things that are wrong or all the things that
Something going wrong can be used as a helpful trigger to look for and more deeply appreciate all we have to be grateful for. For example, being sick the last couple of days has brought about a whirlwind of gratitude for... * My fiancé for making me healthy meals and taking
Let's show up and honor our commitments, even when we're not at full strength and even when we don't feel like it.
Who are you [https://www.calmanhilkert.com/tag/identity/] at your best? And, how does that version of you show up? The Heroic App [https://www.heroic.us/], which I'm proud to share launches this Saturday, is designed to help us answer those two questions every day. It's been an
I saw the Foo Fighters for the first time at the end of February. I'd always been told it was a phenomenal show but never had the opportunity to experience them live. The show was better than I could have imagined and I left the show with a deep connection
Through practice you can choose the stable composure that resides within you.
As is the answer to most things, I established that the answer for me is gratitude. Specifically, particular gratitude.
The reminder that we'll never be exonerated is the same reminder that none of us are perfect, and that fact is indeed, perfect.
You might think that someone so good would be too cool or over it, like many who received the same accolade, but he's not. He's grateful. His gratitude seems to always lead to a sense of joy and wonder.
In my work I've always valued clarity. It's immensely helpful to understand clearly what I'm being asked to do and how I can best serve the team I'm on. But there are times, of course, when I didn't have that clarity. If I went too long without asking for the
When we feel "off" or "wobbly" it can be tempting to want to overhaul everything. Rarely though is drastic change the answer. Constant, frenetic change will not lead to a feeling of groundededness and tranquility. Instead, I've found that making a series of small adjustments over time is most helpful.
We ALL have a tendency to overthink things. We come up with an idea or a goal we're excited to move towards only to follow it up with rumination, what-if's, and endless scenarios of what might or might not happen in the future. Intentional planning and reflection are useful, overthinking
A clear target is helpful. A clear target ensures we've done the reflection required to decide what's truly most important to move towards. If all goes perfectly, this is what I would like to happen. A clear target informs next steps. And, a clear target can be altered when it's
Life is short, there's no time to hold in compliments. If you have one, share it. I was driving through a parking lot this past weekend and saw someone with a great-looking Milwaukee Bucks jacket. I decided to, in that moment, roll down my window and say, "That's an awesome
It's in the smallest of moments, the smallest of decisions, that help us to create (or not) the day we set out to create. I've found that the more we return to presence, through the power of our breath, the better chance we have at creating the space necessary to
Are you taking your trash collection services for granted? I was. Though I try to practice gratitude often, our modern world makes it all too easy to slip from taking something as granted, to for granted. I took for granted the fact that someone comes to our home every week
I can get stuck for hours, days, even weeks at a time. Not necessarily regressing, but definitely not growing in the way I'd like. This can be frustrating. Often we aim to think our way out of this state...and it simply doesn't work. Overthinking leads to rumination, and ruminating
The beginning of a new year, or a fresh start of any kind, is an exciting time. But before we try to change the world, or harder yet, change ourselves — we need to make sure that we’re grounded. Without first grounding ourselves, we’ll have little chance at creating
Yesterday morning I woke up at 1:45am with an idea for a book and I got to work. I estimate the book could take at least 7-10 years, so I thought a first draft at a first page was significant progress. It's odd that we wake up with ideas.
Be curious, be present, listen, and live the fact that we have two ears and one mouth.
If you only know me through these articles you may not know that I LOVE music. It's been such a gift to have concerts again. This past Thursday I was grateful to have seen Jason Isbell. John Mayer and I agree, Jason Isbell is the best lyric writer of our
Bringing awareness to what could have happened helps us see that, relatively, what did happen isn't all that bad.
The more we bring our attention to what we have to be grateful for, the more our appreciation appreciates.
Those days you’re ON...you’re energized, joyful, grateful, generous, loving...what are you doing? Our actions drive our feelings, not the other way around. Make the implicit, explicit. Write down — right now if you feel so inspired — what you DO when you’re ON. I ________________________________________________________. I ________________________________________________________. I ________________________________________________________. I
There are always so many reasons to not do the things our highest selves are calling us to do.
Do it if you decide to — just do it with all your attention. Following the Packers improbable win against the Cardinals, I was excited to watch Aaron Rodgers’s post-game press conference. Typically I watch this while doing other things, meaning I’m distracting myself from something else and not
Come back to this moment, the only one we have control over.
We all have the capacity to turn our greatest weakness, the thing that holds us back, into our greatest strength.
"It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering."
On a walk today I saw the exact tree pictured above. My immediate thought was that we're all like trees in early Fall. We have beautiful colors we're wanting to share, but we largely keep them hidden out of fear, worry, or as a way to more easily blend in
Take at least a moment every day to truly appreciate what you have. We're very lucky.
I speak often of the concept of celebration [www.calmanhilkert.com/tag/celebration/], but until recently, I wasn't sure what my definition for celebration was. Here's what I came up with: > The ability to consciously recognize, celebrate, and build off of actions that support positive intentions. Now I know you're
Choosing to ask ourselves these questions instead of seeking an immediate answer is difficult, but I find it to be a worthwhile exercise.
Instead of assuming that one factor led to a certain result, use the flashlight to gain the perspective needed to make an honest evaluation of what happened and how to improve moving forward.
Today I am again checking the box and showing up, just not quite in the way I want to. Lately it has been a struggle to create and share in the way I wish to for you. I considered skipping today's article even though it would've broken a consistent streak
What will you do today (and tonight!) to give yourself the best chance at making tomorrow great? As our CEΦ (CEO & Chief Philosopher) Brian Johnson [https://www.optimize.me/about-brian/] says often, a Masterpiece day starts the night before. The goal here is to do what you can now to
Today while perusing the fantastic Optimize wisdom [https://www.optimize.me/trial/] I came across the title of a book I had never seen before: Your Life Is Your Message. Reading that instantly reminded me of this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: > What you do speaks so loudly that I
It's been an interesting week (sickness, lingering power outage) and thus I'll be sharing one of the first articles I ever wrote from over five years ago. Though my writing has certainly improved, I was and remain proud of this one. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Early in elementary school I was told I
Here's to seeing what we're in control of, letting go of the bad we can't control, and creating good days as often as possible.
So often, in work and life, completing even the most simple of tasks absorb more time and energy than they're worth when we stop-and go, pause-and-reset.
Optionality is a privilege, entertaining endless options is obstructive.
What decision, if made, could provide the most positive impact on your life?
Being bored all afternoon isn't helpful, but being bored for long enough to be guided by our solitude is helpful.
In many ways, guess and check is the prerequisite mindset to effectively run a (life) experiment.
Often we react quickly without hesitation. Something happens — and we're already responding. This can be helpful for fight-or-flight situations, but unhelpful in most situations we experience day-to-day. Yesterday I was triggered by a conversation and was compelled to respond as soon as I could. I wanted to "win" the conversation
It's not that everything is or should be easy, but we're doing ourselves a disservice if we make hard what doesn't need to be.
Whatever your target, goal, or vision — begin first with belief.
The practice of savoring is something I enjoyed this past weekend and encourage you to try. I consider it to be a mixture of gratitude, presence, and conscious acknowledgement.
I encourage you to invoke curiosity and/or gratitude the next time you experience a feeling of ick you're not quite sure what to do with.
Given all you've done, I know you can do this. Put yourself in group two.
Reading two chapters a day is both very doable and easy not to do.
The story we tell ourselves is important, as are the stories told to us and what we take from them. We're told that we're divided — now more than ever. I'm just not convinced. Strong narratives string themselves into society, and usually with valid reason. Though, at some point, we get
Everything is empty of meaning, so what meaning do you wish to assign to your day, and this moment?
What we can do, though, is aim to craft something we care more deeply about every day.
We need to learn to value our consciousness and what we can create in the world over the unimportant distractions of our time.
Whether it benefits you, those you know, those you don’t know, or all of humanity, you never know what may come of it.
Not only need we not suffer in the "bad" that happens, but we can use it to create positive change to pave a hopeful road, for ourselves and others.
Ignorance is bliss when it leads to action otherwise not taken. We will always learn more about what we don't know through action.
So the next time you miss a target, use the data to learn from it, and remember that you are not a victim to having missed the target. You are a creator of what happens next.
Whether at the end of your life, or at the end of a short interaction, what virtues do you want to be felt by those you interacted with and loved?
So even if it's one minute of reading, meditation, gratitude, or whatever you want to do more of, show up and suck. Just don't skip.
If you can get back in touch with someone you have love for, do.
It's not that serious. Instead of feeling blame, shame, and anxiety, we can instead get curious and run an experiment.
If you’re open to it, I’d encourage you to use at least one of the ideas above to bring 5% more fresh appreciation to something you do today, I think it’s worth it. I hope you do too.
What brings you joy? And how can you do more of what brings you joy just a little more often?
Clarity in prioritizing what we know works for us enables us to creatively explore the rest of our day.
If we truly widen the scope of our curiosity, then we’re able to see the beautiful interconnections of all areas of our life that we can then use to step into the next best version of ourselves
My aim is to share that oftentimes doing what's healthy and what promotes our own well-being is not going to be the normative behavior.
I turned solitude into an either or. Either I create lots of solitude each day, or I have none at all. We do this often. Either I meditate 15 minutes a day, or I skip it. Either I have "enough" time for my workout, or why bother? Either I stretch
A turning of the page helps fuel the motivation and mindset needed to step into a positive behavior change, but motivation and mindset alone will fall short without the necessary changes to something we often overlook: our environment.
We need to have targets in order to know when we've missed the mark.
If we can’t celebrate ourselves for the smallest of our positive actions, we won’t have a foundation to build from.
Whether it be a warm sunlight, a kind message, a good book, or a present moment, there’s so much we can savor. Take a moment to savor the good in your life, today.
No future moment is guaranteed, we only have this moment, and this one, and this one...
No matter how differently someone sees the world, they can't be smart enough to be 100% wrong. Therefore some part of everyone's perspective is true.
Acknowledge the wins and the effort invested, no matter how small.
As we strip away what doesn't serve us, what holds us back, what diminishes our unique powers, we more readily come back to what is essential.
Both for you and others, your smile can be the light. Be the light, start with a smile.
Not all obstacles are worth overcoming, and not all targets are worth their pursuit as we learn more about the journey — building clarity on what is or isn’t worth our time is helpful. The key is what we do when we reach obstacles.
In today's attention economy, we must intentionally cultivate quantums or at least pockets of time where there are no opinions or inputs, just solitude.
Instead of ignoring celebration, feast on it. When someone thanks you for something you did, pause, listen, feel it, acknowledge the impact you had on this person's life, no matter how small.
And though some effort will be required, moving towards your intentional way of being will not continue to be a laborious effort.
Building positive habits and becoming the person we want to be takes a series of turnarounds and a lifetime of recommitments. So then, how do we go about recommitting?
When we take a small action to cast a vote that is in alignment with the person we wish to be, we build momentum and confidence. When we vote with small actions against our best wishes, we undermine our self-efficacy and trust.
The internet and all the technological advancements it has brought are incredible. But with them has come unforeseen consequences.
You know the feeling after an awesome night of sleep where you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day? Let's have more of those.
The more I celebrate, the more I desire to do the things that I find worth celebrating.
It just depends what you want to consider. Be open to the possibility.
When we truly allow ourselves to disconnect, to breathe, and to feel into what we know to be true, answers reveal themselves.
Limiting ourselves allows us to more fully explore the activities we’ve deemed worthy. The less we do, the more fully we can do those few things.
Oscillating is our ability, both through planning and listening to our bodies, to seek what we lack in a given moment through mindful action.
We can’t control how others feel, but we can control the intentionality we bring to living with our virtues in every interaction we have.
After looking up the definitions of passion, meaning, and purpose, I found my answer. Purpose is the only word that is both a noun and a verb. We can take action to live our life purposes every day.
We won’t know when it’s our last day but if we regulate each day as if it could be, we’ll live a good life.
What are the activities or practices that, if you do them, mean you’re likely to have a good day? And how are you setting yourself up for success in completing them?
What’s a lead measure? It is the highest leverage activity that, if done consistently and done well, will lead to the given outcome, or lag measure, that we’re aiming for.
Let’s take a step to take back control so that we can create the greatest impact possible, even if for one other person in this world. Someone, even if you don’t know them yet, is counting on it.
Curiosity is unique to the individual. What to be curious about cannot be told to you, it must come from within.
When challenges arise, don’t skip on what you said is important. Do what it takes to build the momentum to get yourself back on track. A small win in one day can lead to big wins the next.
Because now is the time. It’s the time to maintain hope and to create a better future for all people.
Though it's easiest to bring a beginner's mindset to new activities, an activity need not be novel in order to bring curiosity to it.
But the only thing you must do is trust yourself in knowing or discovering how you like to pluck the day. Because just as we can't pluck yesterday or tomorrow, someone else can't pluck the day for you, only you hold that privilege.
Good news, you're not alone. Any not-so-great set of feelings you’ve ever experienced have been felt before. When you experience these emotions, it’s natural.
It's deciding the best action to take and taking that action with no expectation of how it will be received and/or what action it may cause in the other person.
It’s important not to start by trying to do everything, but rather to set out to do at least one thing you intended to do.
If all went just as you'd like it to, what exactly would that mean? What would that look like?
After you've taken stock, pick the one activity above that if you were to do more or less of would most significantly improve your life or bring you more happiness + joy.
So what does it mean to set the state? It means to commit to being the person you want to be regardless of the response or situation.
When what we can control narrows further, we must go deeper and bring a higher level of consistency to that which helps us to show up at our best. Both for ourselves and our loved ones.
Rather than building up frustration on what we think “should” be, we can rest on a proven practice to steer us towards a happier and healthier state, we can rest on gratitude.
But the question I had to ask myself and the question I ask you, can you do what’s best for yourself even when it’s most difficult to do so?
A vision board won’t get us there. Journaling on our ideal life, though helpful, won’t move us towards our ideal life. But action will.
We must identify our tendencies, and should we care to, bring intentionality to going the other way.
What's not easy but does help us step into our best and least-judgmental selves? Playing the game: How Am I That?
The average person in the United States is overweight, doesn’t sleep enough, and uses their phone more than they wish to. Something isn’t working.
Gratitude can be challenging. Even with its myriad benefits, we forget to set aside time to consciously be grateful. Though remembering to be grateful can be challenging, we can make practicing gratitude easy.
Before fame, his name was perhaps a proclamation to himself. But now it serves as a reminder of his passion, duty, and obligation to create.
Whatever you care about, do it as often as you can and as best as you can. Whoever you love, tell them and show them you love them. Because as Aurelius reminds us, we could leave life right now.
We typically know what’s best for us but rarely feel like doing it. To have emotional stamina is to be fully aware that you don't feel like doing something but you do it anyway.
Just because you aren't good at something doesn't mean you can't enjoy doing it.
I had never finished last... For my first Spartan Race however, it wasn’t just about me, it was about the team: no one left behind.
When I reflect on 2019, I think “Action”. 2019 was the year I finally took action. The year I finally moved from theory → practice. I love reading and learning, but I got stuck in the learning and never did much doing. In 2019 I made the transition from “Ah, that