Monthly Archives: September 2014
Guys gals, and pals, its no secret. I’m not the greatest marketing dude. That’s why I now work with publishing partners on my book projects, hahaha. Turns out my ol’ upload, publish, and pray to the 4-winds strategy doesn’t always work in the real world, that is if you want to have a dime to pay the rent.
But to be honest, the “marketing style” I am most comfortable with is to just let you read a little bit of my latest work, and then decide for yourself whether it is something you are digging, and think can be of benefit to you at this point in your life. I only want you spending your time and money on shit if it is actually going to help you, not because I suckered you.
In other words, my style is to give you a little taste of the latest Miyaki piece, and then see if you want more, and more, and more… Perhaps you never, e-e-e-e-e-ever want it to stop?
Anyways, bad and immature joke aside, every time I deviate from that approach, I feel like a scumbag.
So on that note, I thought I’d just post up the intro section and a sample chapter from my latest book Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity (cough cough – an Amazon #1 Best Seller in two categories – cough, cough. See, I am at least trying to get a little better at da marketing thing).
If you dig it, the book is available both on Kindle and in paperback version. I hope it helps.
*Note: the format and layout were professionally done for the books, and are much nicer than in this technologically-challenged blog post.
Here we go.
RISE ABOVE INTRO: ON ACTIONABLE STRATEGIES
You are facing some uphill battles in your life. You are enduring tough times. You are looking to find the strength necessary to persevere through it all, and the tools to conquer your challenges no matter how insurmountable they may seem.
So there is no time to waste with lengthy, self-serving introductions. The messages are more important than the messengers. There is no time for intellectual pontification, mysticism, or riddles. You need simple, straightforward, and actionable strategies that you can apply immediately.
No credentials, professional praise, or testimonials. You must decide for yourself whether the strategies are useful in your world. Despite what gurus will proclaim, what has worked for some will not necessarily work for you. You must apply these strategies and assess whether they pass your own real life tests.
What good is listening to other people’s success stories if you are not also writing your own?
There is no time for a feel good, feeling out process. We must get straight to the heart of the matter, so you can make it out of hell, alive and well. Anything else is just procrastination, a useless endeavor indeed.
Let’s dive right into the deep end so you can start digging your way out.
SAMPLE CHAPTER NOTE
*Note: I chose to post the following sample chapter because over the last 15 years, I’ve seen this strategy be applied successfully in almost every area of life.
I get that this is a fitness blog, so I should start with saying that I’ve seen it applied to busting through plateaus, winning titles and championships, completing amazing physique transformations, and to people achieving things they never thought were possible.
I’ve also seen it applied to even more important areas of life like battling cancer, building businesses and careers, fighting drug/alcohol addiction, overcoming personal challenges, being a better family member, and just being a better dude(tte) overall.
In short, it’s the most powerful strategy I know of. Hope it helps you in some way.
RISE ABOVE SAMPLE CHAPTER: PRACTICE KAIZEN — CONSTANT & CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT
One must edge forward like the inchworm, bit by bit. The gods and Buddhas, too, first started with a vow.”—Hagakure.
Top of the mountain or down in the dumps. What does it really matter where you are at today? How do you get through tough times, or reach the top of the mountain if things are already rolling for you? The answer is the same. Simply put one foot in front of the other and keep walking every day, regardless of the circumstances.
Or you can sit, shout about your problems to a world that doesn’t care, and get nowhere.
Kaizen translates to “constant and continual improvement.” However, it’s really more than just a word. Kaizen is a life philosophy — the idea being to somehow improve just a little bit every day. How are you better today than you were yesterday?
Whether consciously or subconsciously, the best athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, and businessmen use this strategy. And you can certainly pull yourself out of the depths of hell with it. There may be no other way.
From day one to the time you’re done, if you just focus on getting a little bit better every day, you can’t stray too far from the way.
1. Fight daily battles
“If a retainer will just think about what he is to do for the day at hand, he will be able to do anything. If it is a single day’s work, one should be able to put up with it. Tomorrow, too, is but a single day.”—Hagakure.
Do some work for the day, make a little progress, and then be done with it. That’s a good day for anyone, regardless of his or her situation.
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, those are all battles for another day. Right now, it’s today that counts, and everyone is mentally, physically, and spiritually strong enough to do whatever he or she sets out to do for just one day.
Narrow your focus to the most important task at hand. You can achieve anything in life, if you tackle it one task at a time.
2. Focus on the individual steps you need to take, not the final destination
“Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.” – Hagakure.
Remember from the last lesson that you already have everything you need, Nonetheless, we all want the extra things in life. We want money, a nice car, a job promotion, a perfect mate, a lean body, etc. Those “wants” don’t become “haves” unless we figure out the exact steps we need to take to get them.
Everyone has a plan or an idea for everything, but it’s the implementation of that plan that truly matters. In other words, you can’t just think and analyze, you must do.
Imagine taking a road trip, and all you know is the final destination. That’s not enough. You’ll wander around aimlessly hoping to just stumble across it. What you need is the directions. You need to take all of the proper roads, turns, and exits, if you expect to get there.
The directions tell you each step you need to take, in successive order, to get to your final destination. In fact, once you head out on your trip, the destination goes to the back of your mind. What comes to the forefront is the next street you are looking for, or the right or left turn you need to make.
If you focus on the details – the small steps you must take to reach your goal – achieving that goal will take care of itself. If you focus only on the final destination, it will overwhelm you, and you’ll never achieve it. You are more likely to get lost along the way.
3. Break your bad habits
When we leave important decisions to choice, we often stay within our comfort zone and take the easy way out. We take the most convenient path, whether or not it is the right path. We get lazy, and promise ourselves that we will improve tomorrow, next month, next year, or some other time down the line.
Discipline is finite and fleeting. So why leave self-improvement to something that is so unreliable. You need to make it automatic.
Human beings are creatures of habit. We become fixed in our daily rituals and patterns, and once they’re established, they’re hard to break.
If your habits are currently sending you down the wrong path, getting into the game and making that “U-turn” can seem almost impossible at first. Large amounts of force and leverage are necessary to change direction and travel down a new path. This is where most people become stuck and give up.
The key to remember is that once you work hard and get over the hump, it does get easier. The steps you need to take seem impossible because you’re currently traveling in the opposite direction. Once you put in some effort and start making positive changes, those ideas and actions won’t seem so unrealistic.
Here’s how you power through the transition phase:
1. Dive in head first: Don’t sit back and over-analyze about how difficult making the needed change is going to be — that’s a waste of your energy. Instead, just start the process.
2. Start strong, then coast: Once you do start, just understand and make peace with the fact that the process is going to be difficult in the beginning. Power through, and remind yourself that the process gets infinitely easier if you just keep going.
4. Ride the wave of momentum
Inertia: in-er-tia. Noun. The resistance of an object to a change in its state of motion; tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion, or an object at rest to remain at rest, unless acted upon by a force.
Inertia is the most powerful force that acts upon our daily lives. Surely you’ve felt its impact at some point in your life. You know the time where you just couldn’t get started on something or make a change in your life, no matter how badly you wanted to or how hard you tried. Or the time where it felt like things were rolling, everything was clicking, and you were blasting through all of your goals.
Both of these demonstrate the power of inertia, and you can accomplish a lot (or a little) in your life based on how you use it.
To form positive habits, you must harness this power of momentum, and then use it. Change is an upward spiral that becomes easy when backed by good momentum.
All of those weekly tasks you need to complete in order to improve will first be a nuisance, but with momentum, they become second nature.
It’s like surfing – paddle hard, fight to gain your balance, and stand up. Once you do, ride the wave of momentum to keep propelling you forward.
5. Turn good momentum into a permanent habit
Making things automatic separates those who achieve so-so results for a short period of time from those who achieve outstanding results permanently.
Most people constantly struggle with choices in every area of their lives. When habits aren’t automatic, you leave things to impulse. That’s a hard enemy to overcome. How many of us make the best choice? And how often do we make that choice? For those just trying to wing it, life can become a constant struggle.
Temptation, distractions, obstacles, and laziness are always in your face. It becomes easy to give up. You feel like you always need to have superhuman willpower. You feel like you constantly have to give things up, deprive yourself, and sacrifice. You begin to resent the process of self-improvement, and eventually you quit.
For the most successful people in a wide variety of areas, it’s not a constant struggle because they’ve made the positive path so automatic that they don’t even have to think about it. They don’t want to struggle with choices every day. They don’t want to fight battles against impulse, laziness, or any other formidable foe. They want the process to be easy. The only way to truly make it easy is to make constant improvement as automatic as possible.
If there is a way to victory in anything in life, it is surely found in our habits.