A Long Strange Trip

A Long Strange Trip

“What a long strange trip it’s been.” – Jerry Garcia

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that refuses to get a haircut until this whole quarantine thing is over.

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

This week’s topic is A LONG STRANGE TRIP.

The Vibe:  A Long Strange Trip

Last week I was standing in the produce aisle.

I looked up and saw a man quickly walk into the market. 

He was wearing a camouflage jacket, camouflage baseball hat, gloves and a black bandana pulled up over his face.

My first thought was “active shooter”.

I was ready to dive behind the avocado table.

But then the man grabs a shopping basket.

He starts examining the blueberries.

All good.

No threat.

Just a guy buying blueberries while rocking out his version of pandemic gear.    

The past 70+ days have been A LONG STRANGE TRIP.

Restaurants shutting down. 

No graduations parties.

No baseball. 

No jiu jitsu class.

Drive-by birthdays.

And the final insult…

Washing off your groceries (I hate you Covid-19). 

Not fun.

To say this summer may be different is like saying the next Pope may be Catholic.

A friend asked me a question that really made me think.

“Do you want your post-lockdown life to look more like it did before or now?” 

At first, I thought my friend may have had a high fever.    

But when I thought about it, it was a real POWER QUESTION

The past few months were rough.

An invisible virus shut down the entire planet. 

Everyone’s life changed overnight. 

But a crazy experience like this can be an amazing teacher.

What do we need more of in our lives? 

What do we need less of? 

Ben Franklin, no stranger to uncertainty, wrote, “Those things that hurt, instruct.”  

Look back over the past 2 months.

What are you going to bring with you?  

We need to take more out of this experience than just The Ozarks and White Claw.

3 Things I Learned from A LONG STRANGE TRIP: 

Prepare the Night Before

I started the quarantine wasting a ton of time.

The lockdown blew up everyone’s routines.

I was unfocused.

Everyone was home. 

Distractions were everywhere.  

A few days in I stole an idea from Jocko Willink.

Jocko calls it PRE-STAGING.

I started preparing for the next day the night before. 

It sounds simple (it is) but it’s also amazingly effective. 

Each night I charged my MacBook Air, placed it on my desk and opened it to the project I was working on.

The book I planned to read was put on the table with my journal and highlighter next to it.

I scheduled the next day’s workout in my calendar.  

My son and I confirmed a time for our BJJ session.

PRE-STAGING sets the tone for the next day.

It also makes the next morning way more FOCUSED and PRODUCTIVE.

Long Walks Are Magic 

There’s a great quote by Nietzsche that’s says, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

We never walked so much as family.  

Some were walks during sunset on way too chilly March nights.

Others were long, meandering walks through neighborhoods I never knew existed. 

Walking may be the closest thing to a magic pill.

It makes you feel better.

Walking makes you think better. 

The more we walk as a family, the more meaningful our conversations become.  

You get to hear what’s on everyone’s mind. 

You get to bounce ideas off each other. 

Long walks are here to stay. 

Work(out) from Home

It took a global pandemic to teach me that you don’t need to drive 20 minutes to the gym or yoga studio to get an awesome work out.

There are so many ass kicking workouts you can stream and rock out right at home. 

Saves time.

No traffic.

No parking problems.  

And you’re on no one’s schedule but your own.    

Namaste Covid-19 for shining the light on home workouts. 

Anthony Bourdain wrote, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts…But that’s okay. The journey changes you. You take something with you.” 

A long journey can make you see the world differently.

We return home a different person. 

We just have to be open to the lesson. 

Keep traveling…

#ALongStrangeTrip

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

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

Groundhog Day

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“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same?” – Bill Murray (Groundhog Day)

Welcome to The Vibe!

The most sanitized blog you will touch all day.

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

This week’s topic is GROUNDHOG DAY.

And how we can turn a crisis into an OPPORTUNITY. 

Good vibes only…

The Vibe: Groundhog Day

What day is it?

This week I had to ask.

It was Saturday.

True story.

Week #3 in progress.

These are surreal times.

Seth Godin wrote, “In the course of just a few weeks the life of every single person on Earth has changed.”

Wow.

Some of our jobs are on the line.

All of us are trying to figure this thing out as we go.

It’s like we’re all Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.  

Have you seen the movie?

Just awesome.

Bill Murray plays Phil Connors.

Phil is a weatherman.

He wakes up on Groundhog Day in Punxsutwaney, PA.

Phil has just three problems.

He hates Punxsutwaney.

He hates groundhogs.

And no matter what he does, he can’t make it out of February 3rd.

Every time Phil wakes up, the same day keeps repeating itself.

Sound familiar?

There are some lessons we can learn from Bill Murray as we go through our own version of GROUNDHOG DAY over the coming weeks.

Adapt

After realizing he was repeating the same day over and over, Bill Murray’s character started to adapt.

He decided to use the CRISIS he was in to his advantage.

There was a girl he wanted to impress.

There was a piano he wanted to play.

There was that annoying insurance guy that needed to be punched.

Phil decided to stop fighting the fact that he was stuck in GROUNDHOG DAY. 

He started FOCUSING on what he could control.

He learned 17th century French poetry to impress the girl.

He taught himself how to be an ice sculpter.

He even tried to teach the groundhog to drive.

Great success on the first two ideas.

Not so much on the third.

Never Waste a Crisis

Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”  

Hidden in between all of our conference calls, home schooling sessions, and hand washing we have an opportunity.

This CRISIS gives us the chance to hit the RESET BUTTON.   

It gives us the time and space to figure out what’s really important to us.

Author Mark Manson wrote, “… if you’ve ever wished you had time or opportunity to pursue some endeavor—a better body, start yoga, declutter your home, learn another language – this is the time to do it.”

The Chinese symbol for CRISIS is the same symbol used for OPPORTUNITY. 

We have an OPPORTUNITY.  

We can emerge from this CRISIS as better versions of ourselves.

The fact that we are stuck at home is out of our control.

But how we spend our time?

That’s 100% on us.

The writer Haruki Muarakami wrote, “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.”

Our job is to make sure the version of us that walks out of this mess is better than the one that entered.

How?

Maybe it’s keeping that family dinner going.

Maybe it’s time to get serious about our health.

Maybe it’s a chance to get rid of that HABIT that no longer serves us.

A crisis can be an amazing teacher.

We just have to be open to the lesson.

#Groundhog Day

Stay healthy,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Home Work

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“Sorry I couldn’t answer the phone when you called.  I was working from home.” – Anonymous

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that shows up early at the supermarket but doesn’t hoard all the paper towels.

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

This week’s topic is WORKING FROM HOME.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Just remember to stay six feet away at all times.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Home Work

Week #2 of lockdown in progress.

One of our many new challenges is our new office.

We are all suddenly WORKING FROM HOME.

Just one problem…

Our entire family is home as well.

24/7.

We are taking conference calls in the mud room.

The sounds of Fortnight in the background.

Being asked to make waffles just when you unmute your line to speak up.

Interesting times.

At first glance, working from home sounds amazing.

There are defiantly some advantages.

The commute, dress code and free coffee come to mind.

But home base is filled with DISTRACTIONS.  

It can be one of the most challenging environments to get real work done.

The Harvard Business Review has a video on the best practices from working from home that made the rounds on social media this week.

I think the advice is average at best.

With all due respect to Harvard, I’d like to share some ideas to fill in the gaps.

These HOME WORK ideas are from the busiest and most accomplished people I ever came across.

How To Do Your Home Work:

1) Get Up Early

This is by far the most effective idea on being productive at home.

No one wants to talk to you at 5am.  

The early morning is gold.

It’s distraction free.

You have time to think.

Your mind is fully charged.

You can feel the STILLNESS.

Added bonus: You get to see the sunrise.

Waking up early is THE most time tested way through out history to have a productive day.

Two thousand years ago Aristotle said, It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”

There is no substitute for getting up early.

2) Know Your ONE THING

If you only could get ONE THING done today what would it be?

That’s your #1 priority.

Author Gary Keller calls this your ONE THING.

Everything else is just a distraction or back ground noise.

We don’t have time to get everything done.

But we always have time for our #1 priority.

Focus is everything.

What’s your ONE THING?

Get focused.

Get going.

3) Set A Schedule

Put your schedule on the fridge.

Have your partner do the same.

Communication is key.

Start the day knowing who and when everyone is on kid duty.

This reduces a ton friction.

4) Take Lots of Breaks.

Go for walk with your kids.

Have coffee with your wife.

Working from home is about being PRODUCTIVE, not punching a clock.

Fresh minds do great work.

4.5) Cut Some Slack

Give yourself (and everyone else) some slack.

This is a new environment for everybody.

Your kids will remember this crazy time.

Our job as parents is to make it a great memory.

All we can do is ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES. 

And let’s cut everyone some slack along the way.

Be well…

#HomeWork

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll With The Punches

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“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

Welcome to The Vibe!

The weekly blog that shows up in your inbox while respecting your social distance.

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

This week’s topic is the power of ROUTINES.

If you think this post is VIRAL in a good way, please forward to a friend.

Just Purell your keyboard afterwards.

Let’s scrub in…

The Vibe: Roll with the Punches

There is a haunting Chinese blessing that doubles as a curse.

“May you live in interesting times.”  

A fitting phrase for the present moment.

Schools closed, communities self-isolating and our daily ROUTINES KO’d like an early opponent of Mike Tyson. 

Not to mention we have to watch that guy in jean shorts carry nine cases of toilet paper out of Costco.

Interesting times.

Epictetus said the most important thing in life is to separate the world into two categories:

1) What we control.

2) What we don’t.

The next few weeks will give us a chance to put this wisdom into action.

We don’t control that this virus is here.

We don’t control our communities are shut down.

We don’t control what that guy wearing jean shorts buys at Costco.

But we have 100% control of our own actions. 

We all have some BIG time family bonding on our hands.

A great way to ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES is to establish new ROUTINES.

We are all products of our daily ROUTINE.  

Routines create the rhythm for our lives.

Our routines establish our habits. 

Our habits determine who we become.

It’s time to create some new ROUTINES for times like these.

Here are 3.5 ROUTINE IDEAS that may help:

1) Take Long Walks Outside

Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts…if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.” 

Long walks outside clear our mind.

They get the blood flowing.

Walks connect us with nature.

Some of our best family conversations happen during walking.

2) Establish a Reading Practice

There has never been a better time to be a reader.

There are some mind blowing, perspective changing books out there.

Gather your crew and have them read for an hour in the same room.

Then have each person share one idea from the book they are reading.

Amazing conversations will follow.

3) Declutter

Use this unexpected time together to liberate your house of all that clutter.

Use your free time to free your home (and your mind).

You’ll BE HAPPY you did.

3.5) Be Kind

Everyone is out of their routine.

This is NOT business as usual.

George Raveling wrote, “This is a good time to be good to one another.”

There is never a need to distance ourselves from KINDNESS.

Ryan Holiday said that the version of you who steps out of this quarantine can be a better version than entered it.

Creating new ROUTINES like these can make that happen.

Finally…

BIG THANK YOU to all the healthcare care workers holding down the front lines.

To all the SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS that have people relying on them for their paychecks.

Stand tough.

This too shall pass…

#RollWithThePunches

Keep fighting…

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net