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

 

 

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

 

 

Set Yourself Free

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“The more things you own, the more they own you.” – Unknown

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that doesn’t require hand sanitizer.

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

This week’s topic is CLUTTER and how getting rid of the PAST makes room for the FUTURE.

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

Just remember to wash your hands after you do.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Set Yourself Free

Gretchen Rubin had a revelation.

While doing research for “The Happiness Project” she noticed something.

She was HAPPIER and CALMER when her surroundings were in order and clutter free.

When she created OUTER ORDER it calmed her mind.

The idea resonated so much that she wrote a book on the subject – “Outer Order, Inner Calm.”

The Hidden Cost

It’s so easy to fill our basements (and lives) with “stuff”.

Kindergarten art projects, holiday gifts from Aunt Betty, clothes you haven’t worn since Gangnam Style was on the radio, or those boxes in the basement that you don’t even remember what’s inside.

Stuff piled on stuff.

Space disappears.

It feels like your house is shrinking.

Then the anxiety builds.

There is a hidden cost to all that accumulating.  

Rubin writes that CLUTTER can cause ANXIETY and increase the STRESS levels inside your home.

Ugggh…

But clearing clutter is NOT easy.

The process can be exhausting.

It can even get emotional.

The process makes you say goodby to the past so the future has space to enter.

I have learned that cleaning out requires HUMILITY.

You have to admit you were wrong.

That there was never a good reason to store all that sh*t in the first place.

We no longer needed it the moment we put it in a box in our basement.

We just did not have the guts to make the tough call and SET IT FREE.

Make Room for the Future 

Here are 3.5 ways to SET YOURSELF FREE:

1) Don’t Get Organized.

Rubin writes, “Your first instinct should be to get rid of stuff.  If you don’t own it, you don’t have to organize it.”

“If you need to buy things to store other things, you have too many things.”

Take that Container Store.

Set it free.

2) Do I LOVE this?

Before you buy anything, ask yourself “Do I LOVE this?”  

Not like.  Not want.

But LOVE.

No love, no buy.

3) If I did not already own this, would I buy it again? 

This question is for all the stuff in boxes and bins in our basement.

If you did not own it, would you buy it again?

If no, it goes.

3.5) Store Things at the Store 

No need for a 5 year supply of tooth paste.

Rubin writes, “The best place to store things is at the store.”  

Don’t stockpile.

Just buy enough for now.

Set It Free 

DECLUTTERING is a simple concept.

But it’s not easy.

So go at your own pace.

Try to make progress every day.

Your future self will thank you.

The philosopher Lin Yutang wrote, “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” 

So what’s stealing you peace of mind?

What do you need to SET FREE?

Clear that SPACE.

Clear your MIND.

#SetYourselfFree

Until Next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Leaving 2019 Inspired

“Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it.” – Anonymous

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Below are the BOOKS and IDEAS that inspired me in 2019:

BOOKS

Here are my favorite books for 2019.

Each of these helped me see the world in a better way.

Stillness is the Key (by Ryan Holliday) Is it possible to be poised, calm and focused even on our most hectic days?  Ryan Holiday shows us how.  Holiday distills 2+ years of research on ancient philosophy and modern neuroscience to deliver a playbook on how to live a more meaningful life.  My favorite book of 2019. 

Digital Minimalism (by Cal Newport) The average person spends over 2 hours a day staring at their phones.  That’s over 30 days each year.  That’s crazy.  Cal Newport shows how to control our technology, so it doesn’t control us. (Favorite idea:  Remove all social media apps from your phone.) 

Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life (by Guy Kawasaki) Guy Kawasaki was Apple’s chief evangelist under Steve Jobs.  He is a legend in Silicon Valley and one of its ultimate consigliere’s . Kawasaki shares a series of personal stories on family, career, and how to live a meaningful life.  So good.  Get the audible version.

Leadership in War (by Andrew Roberts) Winston Churchill said that if someone wanted to understand politics and leadership they needed to “Study history. Study history. Study history”.  Andrew Roberts proves Churchill’s point in one of the best leadership books I have ever read.  The good (Churchill, Napoleon, & Margaret Thatcher) and the bad (Hitler & Stalin) are on full display.  (PS – Napoleon was one of the OG ballers.)

The Art of Simple Living (by Shunmyo Masuno). Page a day books were one of the new genres I really dove into in 2019.  This one was my favorite daily reader.  Masuno, a practicing Zen Monk, gives 1 idea each day on how to live a more focused, joyful life.  

Sea Stories:  My Life in Special Operations (by Admiral William McRaven) William McRaven wrote a memoir that reads like a Brad Thor novel.  McRaven was part of some of the most famous US military operations of the past decades:  capturing Saddam Hussein, rescuing Captain Richard Phillips, and the special forces mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Get the audible version that is read by McRaven.  

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness (by Gretchen Rubin)  Clutter is everywhere.  Rubin shows why getting rid of things we don’t use, need, or love, frees up our minds (and closest) for what we truly value.

Gridiron Genius (By Michael Lombardi) Lombardi had the unbelievable good fortune to be mentored by 3 NFL legends: Bill Walsh, Al Davis, & Bill Belichick.  That’s 12 Super Bowl rings of knowledge showing you the ropes.  This is a fascinating look into what separates good teams from great ones and champions from dynasties.  (PS – Fly Eagles Fly).

Podcast

The Tim Ferriss Show | Jim Collins — A Rare Interview.  Forbes calls Jim Collins “one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds”. Collins’ books have sold more than 10 million copies.  This podcast is master class on how to build and lead an organization.

YouTube Clip

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates on the Charlie Rose Show.  Maybe the most knowledge ever dropped in 90 seconds on YouTube. Buffett and Gates tell us why we have to guard our most precious resource – time.

Happy holidays.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Wish you a massive success in the new decade!

#InspireSomeone

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net