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.
LIVE WITH AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE…
That’s the title of Chapter #3 in my new book Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity. Here are a few snippets from that section:
We expect everything for nothing, and we wanted it yesterday. We take things for granted. We’ve lost the ability to appreciate what we have. Instead, we focus on what we do not have. If nothing is ever good enough, you will never have enough.
Quit whining and pining. If you’re reading this on a Kindle, found it through Facebook or Twitter, and are sipping on a gourmet coffee drink, etc., you are not doing that bad.
There are people in this world who wake up to bombs, don’t have clean water, and go to bed starving. Be grateful for what you have while you are trying to get more. Most of us are living in luxury, yet think we are lacking.
– Nate Miyaki, Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity.
Yes, I did just quote myself. Isn’t that frickin’ awesome!
You have my full permission to do the same. For most it will probably just annoy them (with the hippie bullshit and whatnot), but it might just help a few. Who knows? I certainly hope so.
And damn man, although I do grow tired of myself often, I gotta listen to myself more often. That’s what I want to do right now. There is nothing worse than a writer or coach that talks one way, but lives another. It’s an out of control plague that may eventually lead to the downfall of modern Internet society.
MY MANY THANKS TO YOU
So man/girl, I just wanted to say thank you so much for supporting this book, and over the years, for supporting my writing career.
We did it my friends. Because of you, Rise Above has risen to #1 on a few of the Amazon charts. Even if just for a day, I can now say that I was once an Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author.
Now that’s total egotistical bullshit, image-projection nonsense, and PR-spinned marketing material to use for later on. But that’s not the point. The end goal of any good writer, artist, craftsman, or coach seeking personal fulfillment should be to help people get the results they are looking for regardless of rankings or social status/praise. I hope that’s what my content, writings, work, and ramblings are somehow doing for you.
HOWEVER, there are a lot of people who have made sacrifices along the way to allow me to do what I do – my wife Kalai; my Fab 5 brothers and one bad-ass sister, my late and great parents, my super cool step-family; and all of you, spending your hard earned dollar to hear what I got to holler.
I am forever grateful. But the truth is that my bro hugs, or real hugs with my patented “accidental” cheek squeeze, are just not enough of a thank you this time around. You need to know that your support is really paying off.
RISE ABOVE RIDES ALONGSIDE SOME GREATS
RISE ABOVE: 7 STRATEGIES TO CRUSH ADVERSITY
Sometimes life can throw you some curveballs. Every once in a while, it lands a freakin’ haymaker right on your chin. If you don’t believe that, you haven’t been alive long enough.
Adversity. We all face it my friend.
In our sports, or our health and fitness endeavors. How can you overcome the odds and succeed against great challenges or competition? How can you stay on track in a world full of temptations and distractions? How can you come back from failed game plans, devastating losses, or unexpected injuries and setbacks?
In our business or career pursuits. How can you merge passion and personal fulfillment with professional and financial success? How can you keep fighting on if your first attempts fail? How can reach your goals while sticking to your core values, and without burning out, breaking, or giving up?
In our personal life and relationships. How can you best support those that are suffering and struggling around you? How can you deal with your own baggage and bullshit? How do you find some peace of mind and clarity amongst the modern chaos?
Life can be full of challenges. Instead of running from them when they do arise, staying in bed to hide, burying your head in the sand to procrastinate, or drowning your sorrow in drugs to escape; you are better off developing the right mindset to roll with it all, whatever may come.
Because one thing is for certain: you can’t change the reality of the challenges you face no matter how much you wish things were different. You can’t let every surprise or setback make you snap. Otherwise, you just might end up giving yourself a heart attack. Then what use will you be?
But what you can change is your reactions to your challenges; your actions to overcome them, and your everyday state of mind in order to better deal with them.
The most profound lesson I’ve learned in over 15 years as an athlete, coach, consultant, and fitness author is this – The human body is strong. The human spirit is stronger. Both can persevere through almost anything. It is our weak minds that ultimately bury us.
The 4th quarter, the 9th inning, the final period, the championship rounds, the last 100 meters, the last set, the last rep, etc., it is mental strength that separates the champions from the rest of the pack.
And it may be the most important thing you need to get through the greatest game you will ever play in – the game of life.
That’s what Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity is all about. It takes principles from sports psychology, “street” psychology (from 15 years of working with people from all ages, abilities, and walks of life), some samurai philosophy, and a little bit of surfer dude mentality; and narrows it down into some actionable strategies that can help you tackle any obstacle that may come your way.
I am honored that Rise Above was selected to be a part of The Best Life Book Event. This event includes some big dogs and best-selling authors. Since Rise Above was written by little old me (A.K.A Little Shiitake), I am assuming that means the content itself stood out on its own.
The overall goal of this event is to get different perspectives on the tools you need to overcome your challenges and succeed, in whatever your pursuits are in life.
All books are on sale for $0.99 for today only – Wednesday August 13th, 2014. I honestly have no idea what they will cost after today. That’s in the hands of the gods (the publishers).
You can check out the event here: The Best Life Book Event
I hope my new book — or any of the other books – can help you out in some way. Regardless, I wish you the best in whatever battles you are facing in life. My thoughts are with you my friend.
We had a little early publicity and announcement last week, but today is the “official release” of The Way of the Cancer Warrior book. The Kindle Edition is now available on Amazon here.
Honestly, I don’t really have a huge marketing and PR campaign for it. A few of my friends are doing a write-up, an interview, or are allowing me to do a guest post, in order to help spread the word (thanks my brothers and sisters, I owe you big time). I’ll let you know when those hit the Internet Airwaves.
And me? I figured the best way to help you decide whether this book is for you or not is to let you read some of it. I don’t want you buying the book because of some slick sales copy that hooked you. No gimmicks or tricks with this one. The content is just too personal to me, and the stakes are too high for those it is intended to help. I want you to grab the book only if you think it can be of some use to you, your family, or your friends.
So today I’m posting up the Intro Section. I called it The Battlefield. Next week I’ll put up some of the strategies. Sound good to you?
1. THE ATTACK
Cancer has launched an all out attack on my family. It has taken lives, caused suffering and sorrow, and dragged some of the people I love the most into the pits of hell. We’ve experienced the pain and hardship it can cause. We understand the fear, frustration, and despair that can take over your life. We know just how much this ruthless disease can take from you.
And you? The diagnosis has been made. The plan has been set. No matter how much you’d like to, you can’t change the reality of the situation. You have no choice but to dig down deep, face your challenge, and fight back. This is the only way you will reclaim what is rightfully yours, something that we all too often take for granted – a normal life. Maybe, with a newfound warrior spirit, it will become extraordinary.
You are not alone in this battle. We have a common enemy, one that transcends all cultural and social barriers. For this is a worldwide attack. If we don’t stand side-by-side in this fight, we are all doomed. We must show cancer it messed with the wrong family, with the wrong group of friends. If they dare attack us and the one’s we love, we are attacking back with ruthless aggression, with no mercy.
The battle has now entered your home. The only question is this — will you fight or will you flee?
2. HEROES FIGHT BACK
My wife’s dad battled brain cancer for years. He fought hard, inspired many, and became a legend. My sister is battling kidney and stomach cancer. Her life has been turned completely upside down. Yet she faces every challenge with a smile. Two friends crushed the initial attack of leukemia at a very young age. They’ve gone on to do great things in their lives.
In 2009, my dad was diagnosed with stage-4 throat cancer. His life was changed in an instant. He went from one day planning his upcoming fishing trip to the next day fighting for his life.
The doctors prescribed an intensive treatment protocol — daily radiation sessions combined with chemotherapy infusions. He had a feeding tube inserted into his stomach because he could no longer eat solid food.
I don’t know if hell exists, and if it does what it’s like, but watching my dad go through his treatment sure gives me a good idea. He experienced most of the general side effects associated with cancer treatment: hair loss, muscle loss, fatigue, depression, gastrointestinal distress, rashes, aches, pains, etc. He also had symptoms specific to throat cancer: painful throat sores that made it difficult to eat or swallow, loss of all sense of taste. I might as well stop there and tell you what he didn’t experience – any semblance of a normal life.
I visited my dad every weekend during his treatment. As time progressed I could see his symptoms getting worse and his body deteriorating, but nevertheless he persevered.
One weekend I showed up and I could tell something was different. As I sat across from my dad and looked into his eyes, I knew immediately that the worst thing possible was happening — his spirit was breaking. The human body can take almost anything, but if your spirit collapses, all is lost. My Dad’s words that day confirmed what my gut instinct was telling me. He told me things were so bad that he was going to quit.
My immediate responses were probably very typical of someone in that situation. I said things like, “You can’t quit. You’re halfway through. Don’t give up. I love you too much to lose you.”
I went home that night and knew I had to do something more. He wasn’t going to change his mind just because I wanted him to. Somehow, some way, he was going to have to find some personal motivation from within to persevere, and continue struggling on through this epic battle. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t step in and do it for him. As Bruce Lee once said, “there is no help but self-help”. I knew I had to find a way to help my dad make it through these tough times, to find his fight. I also knew superficial, cliché statements weren’t going to cut it.
I went home that day, stayed up all night, and wrote him the following letter straight from the heart. I apologize in advance for the frequent use of the word shit in this letter. It was an emotionally charged, shitty time:
*NOTE – Since this is a blog post, and not a book, I eliminated the letter for the sake of space.
To make a long story short, my dad didn’t quit, he persevered, he struggled, he sacrificed, he fought through it all, and he finished his treatment. Somewhere along the way, he found his reason to fight. Patients with his specific condition last on average 6 months. As I write this, it is nearly 4 years later.
What have been some of his rewards for beating the odds? He got to stand by his son’s side as the best man at his wedding. He got to help two of his other sons overcome some personal struggles, get back on their feet, see them kick butt in their careers, and know that they were going to be OK moving forward. He got to watch his favorite baseball team win the World Series. He got to spend valuable time with his grandchildren, watch them grow up, and develop their own personalities. He got to celebrate his 75th birthday with friends and family that flew in from around the world. He got to take one last trip with his wife. He got to motivate everyone else around him to face his or her own struggles in life. And in this son’s eyes, he grew from a great man into a legend that will inspire forever. None of this would have been possible if he had given up.
Unfortunately, my dad is down to clinical trial studies that have some pretty nasty side effects. He recently had emergency surgery to remove cancerous blood trapped inside his heart and lungs, and a trachea tube inserted to help him breathe. Yet he keeps putting one foot in front of the other and marching on. He wants a few more memories to take with him when he goes.
I hope you do too.
3. A NEW HERO RISES
When man comes to a conscious vital realization of those great spiritual forces within himself, and begins to use those forces in science, in business, and in life, his progress in the future will be unparalleled. – Striking Thoughts.
Most of us don’t know how strong we can be, how much we can accomplish, and how we can rise to the occasion when the stakes truly matter. Sometimes it takes life backing you into a corner to force you to look inside, find the warrior within, and let him or her out.
If you’re dealing with cancer, I don’t have to tell you about the gut-wrenching physical and emotional challenges you are currently facing: symptoms and side effects outside of your own control; the feeling that your own body is rebelling against you; the frustrating see-saw of good and bad days; wishing things were back to normal and your fate had fallen upon someone else; alternating optimism and hope with doubt and despair; the constant battle between wanting to live and feeling so sick that giving up sounds like your only true option; the fear of dying and what’s next; the fear of living but no longer being anything like you were before your diagnosis or treatment; worrying about what will happen to your family when you are gone.
All of that building up inside can either cripple you, or can be used to crush your enemy. Somehow, you must find a way to take all of that fear, doubt, and frustration; convert it into positive energy and action; and unleash it against your opponent. It is clear that cancer has underestimated the power of the human spirit in general, and yours in particular. You should not make the same mistake.
Champions, heroes, and legends are made, not born. In most superhero stories, the hero starts out as just an ordinary man or woman. He or she is thrust into battle — most of the time against his or her will — and only becomes the hero by dealing with the circumstances, overcoming extraordinary challenges, and conquering the villain.
You have the opportunity now to conquer the greatest villain this life has to offer. Are you ready to rise to the occasion and win?
4. HOW TO USE THIS BOOK IN YOUR WAR
Each strategy starts with a few quotes. As you fight, I want you to have the most powerful weapons possible at your side. I believe these are just that — simple words of wisdom that will remain with you long after this book is gone. You will be able to call upon them for motivation when you need it most. Following the quotes, we focus on the practical steps to take in order to apply them in battle.
*Quotes courtesy of Tuttle Publishing
1. Find and apply the strategies that resonate with you.
Some strategies will be relevant to your personal situation and style. Some will not. Focus only on those that connect with you personally, and help motivate you to take action, fight your fight, and win your war. Ignore the rest.
2. Write down and use your own strategies as well.
I encourage you to write down your own motivational quotes, sayings, and strategies as well. Use the resources and experiences you’ve been exposed to in your own life. There is no greater education than self-education. There is no greater help than self-help. There are no weapons more powerful than the ones that come from within.
This book is dedicated to Jerry Miyaki – the best friend, mentor, role model, warrior, hero, and dad a guy could have ever asked for.