Feedback is a gift

Words can be very powerful. They can lift you up or tear you down. Everyday we get an opportunity to build ourselves and others up with the words we choose to use to give them feedback.

I’m very humbled when people ask me for feedback. It takes great humility to ask and accept constructive criticism and it makes giving feedback a privilege. Learning how to give feedback is an extremely valuable skill that not only helps the receiver but can also help the giver grow in their own personal development. Recently, a new instructor at the gym asked for feedback on their class. It would have been easy to start listing out everything they did wrong but would that inspire them to get better? There is a process involved in giving effective feedback and like any other skills, it takes practice to get it right. Below are a few strategies to help you get started:

Open with positive feedback

Positive feedback must be genuine. Even if everything they did was wrong, try to find something that you truly believe was positive. People can spot a faker and it will cause them to lose their trust in you.

Be clear and specific about the feedback

Pick one or two points to address. People often feel overwhelmed with too much negative feedback and it will either make them defensive or demotivated. State as specifically what the person did and make sure you offer a few suggestions on how they could have done better.

Close with by reiterating the positive feedback

Again be genuine and enthusiastic. It is always good to leave on a positive note and it leaves the receiver feeling overall positive about the whole interaction.

Lesson: Getting feedback is a gift but giving feedback is a privilege.


The Ease up

How to fight for your fitness goals when everyone else is slowing down.

Sometimes our own success can sabotage our goals. Have you ever made a fitness and new year’s resolution, went to the gym regularly and as soon as summer hits you start to take it easy? A challenge we all face is how to continue to put in work when it feels like we have already accomplished so much.

Many people are often surprised by how much I’ve improved in my fitness ability. As a naturally bigger man, I’m often overlooked as potential fitness peer or even a competitor.  Gym attendance during the summer is usually the lowest and what most people don’t realize is that while they are on the patio I continue to put in the work. Success is rarely accidental and I use the time when everyone else slows down, to continue to fight.  Here are a few strategies to help you fight for your fitness goals during summer:

Summer is a great time to check-in on your fitness goals. What has worked so far and what needs to change? Use this  time to re-evaluate your fitness goals for the next 6 months.

A fitness community can also be a great source of strength and motivation. Create or join a fitness groups with similar values and all members can hold each other accountability.

Summer is patio season and we are often faced with FOMO (fear of missing out). It could be drinks at the patio or a summer barbeque. Remember your goals and say no to as many invites as possible or join them later. Often you’ll find you haven’t missed much at all!

This year, don’t let summer distract you from your goals.

Lesson: The key is to be aware of the ease up while it is happening. When you are aware, you can course correct and continue to progress in a powerful and effective way.

Five Lessons learned from the Olympics

  1. To compete at a high level you have to be serious and focus. Be serious as a father, serious with my health and fitness lifestyle and serious with my career path.
  2. Be a gracious loser. I will not be at the top every day. In the women’s 2oom finals, the silver medalist was pissed off, slamming her spikes to the ground. Learn to embrace losing in a powerful way.
  3. Play to win, Have a deep confidence in my abilities and myself. Show up to win.
  4. Have pride in myself. Carry myself with dignity.
  5. Remember that it is not just about me, I represent my family, my circle of friends, my community, my company.

Living my truth

This starts with my thinking. How can I become of service to others? How can I really transform my life mentally, physically and spiritually? I first have to believe that this is possible for me. Then I need to take on something big and scary in my life. Step away from the worry thinking and start thinking of what is possible for me. Be mindful of what I am really good at. Delegate the things I suck at. Become really powerful with how I live my life. Take charge of transforming my life.  Become awesome with living my life. It only gets difficult when I make it difficult.

Training: an amazing experience

No Finish Line

I am so happy that I get to exercise and challenge my body and self to perform at a high level. I refuse to accept being married with children and over the age of 40 as my end game. This is my time to exercising with even more intensity and take care of myself mentally, physically and spiritually. I refuse to give up on myself. I have a beautiful opportunity, why not take advantage of it. That is what I have decided to do, train harder, get stronger, transform my body, and get mentally strong. I love that about myself and my life, I get to be a role model for my children and family. It is not easy. It is challenging and that is why I love it. I have to be strategic and always aware. I can work out for a year and lose all the benefits with a few slip ups on my nutrition and not training. I always have to be on. I am responsible for my life and can never give up on myself. This is my new way of life for myself and family.