What I've Been Reading...
How Coffee Fueled Revolutions - and Revolutionary Ideas
On June 12, 1672, Charles II issued a proclamation to “Restrain the Spreading of False News, and Licentious Talking of Matters of State and Government." I guess the idea of "spreading of false news" has been around since the 1600's. Eventually, he did the unthinkable and banned coffee houses as he viewed these places as places where "false news" could be spread.
What led me to this article, to put it simply, is that I love drinking coffee. I also enjoy the conversations associated with getting a little hopped up on caffeine and was not surprised to see that those conversations led to Revolutions all throughout history. For example, in the Americas, tea fell out of favor in the colonies. Those British tyrants were imposing their habits on us on and the Sons of Liberty were not having it. They met at coffee shops, taverns and other places to discuss what should be done next. Shortly after, across the ocean in France, Benjamin Franklin was doing some work of his own to stir up American support from a coffee shop, including a letter to Lord North criticizing the crown.
Who would have thought that gathering in a place to drink something tasty could change the world forever? Charles II may have been on to something...
What I've Been Thinking About...
A few years ago I heard a college football coach share a story about extrinsic motivation. He discussed the kid who gets $1 for taking the trash out every week. In the beginning, everything is fine. The kid does it and smiles every time that dollar bill gets placed in his hand. As time moves on, eventually that dollar is not going to bring the same satisfaction as it did initially. The kid grows to expect that reward. With that becoming an expectation, the motivation to work slowly erodes. The kid will go on strike or he will ask for more money. Then, as a parent, you have to decide on what to do next. Do you capitulate to the shrewd negotiator or do you put your foot down and say no? At this point, the reward system has already been established and either decision will lead to a not so friendly discussion or outcome.
How do you avoid something like this? It is a tough question to answer but the more I think about it, the more I realize that the task itself should be reward enough, not the dollar bill waiting for you on the other side. I often think that kids are always looking for some sort of validation on the work they put in. Often times we reward them with external items rather than telling them how proud you are of them, thanking them, or letting them know they play important role in the household. Completing the task should provide a feeling of accomplishment and they will hopefully want to replicate that in the future. Your child will learn a great lesson and you will end up with a few more dollar bills in your pocket!
Fitness Tip of the Week
In my time working in gyms, I have noticed that some individuals can push through discomfort and others willingly stop when things get mildly difficult. Let me explain...
On a scale of 1-10, if your level of discomfort is a 7-8, you are working in the right zone. This is the zone where you want to spend most of your time in training. Occasionally, you'll get a day where you feel like a superhero and you decide to crank it up to a 9 or 9.5. That is totally ok. The problem arises when you feel a little discomfort, say a 4 or a 5, and then you decide to stop a set. I see this sometimes where an individual looks like they can get 10-12 reps but stop at 7 because it "started to get challenging". My response is usually, "It is supposed to be challenging!" These sets in the gym are a metaphor for life. We cannot give in to mild discomfort. We must push through and fight on!
If you are having a hard time with this. I believe that this is something that can be trained and improved upon. In order to do so, you have to do difficult things and challenge yourself to push longer or harder than previously, even if it is only by a little bit. There is a great quote from Jerzy Gregorek that goes, "Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life." The more we take the easy way out, the harder life will become. The more tough decisions we make, the easier things will be come.
EP100: You Still Haven't Met all the People who are Going to Love You
In this episode, I share a personal story involving the loss of my older brother Ryan. Over the course of everyone’s life, they will encounter a hardship. They may lose of a loved one, have a sick child, get diagnosed with a terminal illness or worse. I believe it is our job as humans to share personal problems that we may have encountered in an effort to help others who may experience something similar in the future.
This episode is available on Google Play, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.
Quote of the Week
"No man has ever acquired prosperity and comfort by spending more than he earns" -- Smedley Butler
I hope you all have an awesome week!