Think Like a Roman Emperor

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“The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that doesn’t binge on Netflix.

Each week we discuss ONE IDEA that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is how to THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR.

And how ANCIENT WISDOM can help us live a modern life.

Did someone say TOGA???

The Vibe:  Think Like a Roman Emperor  

The disease was rumored to have started in Asia.

It spread to every part of the world.

The virus wreaked havoc.

Travel was shut down.

Sporting events and parties were put on hold.

The economy tanked.

Everyday life was turned upside down.

By now you know what this is about…

The Antonine Plague of 165 AD.

A virus invaded the Roman Empire almost 2,000 years ago.

It caused one of the worst crisises in the empire’s 900 year history.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “This plague made Rome look more like a battlefield than a world power.”

Sound familiar?

The Romans looked to one person to guide them through this crisis – their Emperor -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus is considered one of the greatest emperors in Rome’s history.

To deal with all the wars, plagues and problems of running an empire, Marcus wrote notes to himself.

These notes were reminders of how to live with high CHARACTER and VIRTUE.

By luck, his personal diary still exists.

The diary, which was never meant for anyone but Marcus, is now considered one of the greatest books ever written.

It’s called MEDITATIONS.

Author Tyler Cowen calls MEDITATIONS “a quake book,” because it shakes your view of the world upside down.

US Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Generals have relied on MEDITATIONS to help them through tough times.

Could an ANCIENT DIARY help us navigate through our current CRISIS?

You bet your chariott  it can.

Here are 3.5 ways to THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR:

1) Shut off the News

Marcus wrote, “Stop allowing your mind to be a slave, to be jerked about.” 

It’s time to give ourself a break from the noise.

We all know what to do:  6 feet away, self-distance, and wash our hands until our skin almost falls off.

Anything else is speculation and gossip.

No need to fill our minds with unactionable information.

Shut it off.

Free your mind.

2) Less Is More

Marcus wrote, “Let your deeds be few.  Limit yourself to what is essential.” 

Plagues have an amazing ability to FOCUS us on what’s important.

It’s time to cut out the MENTAL and PHYSICAL clutter in our lives.

Time to simplify our homes and lifestyles.

And carry that simplicity with us when things open up again.

Simplicity is liberating.

3) Help Others

Marcus wrote, “Avoid all actions that are purposeless.  Let every action aim solely at the common good.” 

NHL great Wayne Gretzky liked to say that it was not how great we are, its how great we can make others.

Times like this are an amazing opportunity to help someone.

Maybe drop some supplies off to a neighbor or make a donation to a great cause.

3.5) Keep Calm & Roll On

Marcus wrote, “Bear in mind that all of this has happened before, and all will happen again.  The same plot from beginning to end.”

Plagues and natural disasters are nothing new.

Lucky for us we get to take on this plague with wifi, Whole Foods delivery, and on demand Yoga classes.

Life is going to test us.

It will throw OBSTACLES at us until the day we die.

Just KEEP CALM and  ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.

Ryan Holiday said,“We might not be emperors, but the world is constantly testing us. Can you get past the things that fall in our way. Will you stand up and show us what you’re made of?”

Adversity reveals character.

Let’s show how much we have.

Stay well.

#ThinkLikeARomanEmperor

Cura ut valeas…

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

The Finest Hour

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

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There is an old saying, “Adversity reveals character.”

Many people crumble at the first sign of difficulty.

As soon life knocks them down, they FADE AWAY.

There’s another group that responds in a different way.

They RISE to the occasion.

ADVERSITY actually makes them better.

How you respond to ADVERSITY will determine the direction of your life.

ADVERSITY will show up at the worst time.

How will you RESPOND?

Will you RISE UP?

Or just FADE AWAY?

One of the greatest examples of LEADERSHIP under extreme ADVERSITY is Winston Churchill.

Churchill faced the daunting task of leading Great Britain against the Nazis during World War 2.

The month of June 1940 was exceptionally trying.

The “Battle of Britain” was underway.

Britain’s Royal Air Force was fighting Nazi Germany literally in the skies over their homes.

The fate of Britain and Western Europe hung in the balance.

On June 18, 1940 Churchill addressed Parliament.

Speaking in a Parliament under incredible PRESSURE and to a nation facing extreme ADVERSITY, Churchill delivered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.

The address would become known as Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech.

One of the speech’s memorable lines is relevant today as when it echoed through Parliament.

Churchill said, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties…that if the British Empire lasts for a thousand years, they will say ‘This was their finest hour…’.”

There it is.

GAME PLAN to take on ADVERSITY in one sentence.

Firm your resolve.

Do your job.

Make it YOUR FINEST HOUR.

We may not be saving the free world.

But we are impacting OUR WORLD.

Life is going to test you.

No need to FADE AWAY.

Rise to the moment.

Be a Churchill.

#TheFinestHour

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Adversity, Knee Braces, & Attitude

“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.” Terry Goodkind 

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ADVERSITY enters our lives when we least expect it.

How we respond defines who we become.

While training in jiu jitsu, I heard a loud pop in my knee.

Yikes!

Not the background music I was hoping to listen to while training.

2 weeks later…

I’m standing next to an orthopedic surgeon.

He looked at the MRI and explained my injury –a full width tear of the ACL”.

Fun times.

A knee injury brings a level of adversity into your life.

I am firm believer that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we respond.

Jeffrey Benjamin said, Adversity always hides a gift.”  

Our job is to find it.

Here are 4 Gifts I learned by tearing my ACL:

STAY CALM

Fear thrives in adversity.

Expose yourself to enough stories of the worst possible outcome, and your mind will start to believe them.

One way to empty the fear out of our minds and fill it with positive vibes is to BREATHE.

As soon as I heard that “POP” behind my kneecap, I focused on my breathing:

  • Slow, deep breaths.
  • In my nose.
  • Out my mouth.

It’s amazing how FOCUSED BREATHING calms your mind.

Focused breathing is one of the true GIFTS I learned by training jiu jitsu and practicing yoga.

EMBRACE CHANGE

Take a page out of Charles Darwin’s play book.

Learn to ADAPT to your environment.

My energy comes from being active:

  • Playing sports with my kids.
  • Training jiu jitsu.
  • Traveling with my wife.

But with a knee as strong a Kardashian marriage, I needed to make adjustments.

I had to watch class instead of train.

To stay in shape, I had to trade my jiu jitsu Gi for the elliptical machine at LA Fitness.

There wasn’t a trade that bad since the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

But they served their purpose.

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

Adversity puts fear in your head.

Speaking with friends who went through the same situation crushed that fear.

Discussing rehab options with a top physician & awesome PT’s created a game plan and built confidence.

Never underestimate the power of community.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD

Life moves on.

The world stops for no one.

An injured knee was not going to stop me from living my life.

A few days after I got hurt, I was scheduled to chaperone a Class Trip for my son’s 2nd grade class.

I bought my 1st knee brace ever and jumped (more like limped) onto the school bus.

It was an awesome day –  Kardashian knee and all.

Call it my Kirk Gibson moment.

Getting injured is AVERAGE.

Living life in the face of adversity feels REMARKABLE.

#FindTheGift

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

This article was originally published in June 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Believe

“Do you believe in miracles?” – Al Michaels

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37 years later you can still feel it.

The air inside the building has a presence to it.

You can sense something REMARKABLE happened there.

As you enter Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid NY, you are greeted by 2 amazing images:

  • A 30 foot photo of the 1980 US Hockey Team diving on captain Mike Eruzione.
  • A banner hanging in the rafters that states, “Miracles Happen Here.”

Goose bumps…

ESPN ranked the 1980 US Hockey Team’s win over the Soviets as THE GREATEST sporting event of the 20th Century.

A group of rival college kids, under a drill instructor head coach, defeated the greatest hockey team ever assembled.

They went on to win the GOLD medal.

This MIRACLE was made possible by 1 thing:

Synergy.

This week we continue a series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit # 6:  Synergize

Synergy is defined by the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Synergy means 1 +1 = 4.

Synergy is everyone following the same script.

The 1980 US Hockey Team may be one of the greatest examples of SYNERGY.

Most of the players on the US Olympic hockey team could NOT even have made the Soviet roster.

But together they found a way to defeat them on the world’s biggest stage.

The reason?

Synergy.

3 SYNERGY Lessons from the 1980 US Hockey Team:

  • Diversity is a force multiplier: Brooks selected players with different skillsets, back grounds, & perspectives. Great teams are created with diversity.
  • Trust: Synergy is built on trust.  You know the other person has your back.  You know they will be there when you need them.  No trust, no nothing.
  • Expect Adversity: Adversity is going to strike.  It’s not a matter of if, but when.  How you handle adversity determines who you become.

The 1980 US Hockey team SYNERGIZED their way into history.

Helen Keller wrote, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Believe In:

  • Yourself
  • Your teammates.
  • Your mission.

Synergize.

And watch the miracles unfold…

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Walking Backwards

“Stop focusing on what you need to do.  Focus on who you need to become.” – Darren Hardy

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This week’s Vibe continues with the series on The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.

Habit #2:  Begin With The End In Mind

The end of my accounting career was a REMARKABLE teacher.

The CEO of my company brought in a high powered consultant to help fix a slew of problems.

This consultant was at the top of his game.

He was an Ivy League professor, political consultant, and a talking head on CNN.

After watching me struggle close out a project, he pulled me aside.

Consultant:  “What are you doing?”

Me:  “Umm, trying to finish this.”

Consultant:  “What does the finished product look like?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Consultant:  “Then you’ll never get there.”

Consultant:  “Decide what you want to accomplish.  Work backwards from there.”

My 24 year old mind was blown.

Two questions each of us need to answer:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Who do I want to become?

Your answers are an amazing filter to run decisions through.

You know what to work on.

You know what to ignore.

Crossing off insignificant items on a To Do list may trick your brain, but won’t fool your legacy.

Say your career answer is: “Be the #1 salesperson in my company.”

Work backwards:

  • How would the #1 person PREPARE?
  • What QUESTIONS would that person ask?
  • How would that person respond to ADVERSITY?
  • What type of MENTOR would they be to their colleagues?

BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.

Know who you want to become.

Go…

-Joe Ciccarone

Next Week:  Habit 3 – Put First Things First