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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Look Over

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“I am more afraid of our own mistakes than our enemy’s schemes.”  – Pericles

You can see it when a swimmer glances over to the next lane.

You see it when a jiu jitsu competitor lets their opponent dictate the pace of the match instead of executing their game plan.

You can see it when a SALESPERSON focuses more on what their competition is doing than bringing value to their customers.

When you FOCUS on things outside of your control, BAD things happen.

You start reacting instead of initiating.

Momentum disappears.

You fall behind.

Instead of dictating the pace, you are playing catch up.

Elite competitors FOCUS only on what’s in their control.

They DON’T LOOK OVER to see what their competition is doing.

They take care of their responsibilities.

Then ADAPT and ADJUST to anything outside of their control.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Very few empires are destroyed by external forces.  They are undone by their own hubris….We should be far more concerned with our own ego and our own inadequacies than what someone else may do to us.”

Over the next 12 weeks, the rest of the year will play out.

Your FOCUS needs to be on executing your GAME PLAN.

Show up prepared.

Lean forward.

No reason to hold anything back.

If you feel the need to look somewhere…

Look in the mirror.

Because that’s your REAL COMPETITION.

Word.

#DontLookOver

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Drop the ‘F’ Bomb

“Starve your distractions, feed your focus.” – Unknown

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It was July 9th 1997.

Steve Jobs was leaving his “personal wilderness”.

This was the day Jobs returned to the company that fired him.

Jobs retook the role of Apple’s CEO.

It was a dark time for Apple.

The company was almost bankrupt.

Apple’s customer base (and Wall Street) were jumping ship.

Apple had lost its way.

The pressure was on Jobs to deliver.

What was Jobs’ FIRST MOVE as CEO?

Did he lay off 30% of Apple’s workforce?

Did he travel the country making promises to analysts?

Did Jobs try to sell the company?

None of the above.

Jobs first move was so SIMPLE that it shocked many inside and outside of Apple.

Jobs dropped the “F Bomb”.

He FOCUSED Apple.

Jobs stripped Apple down to only four core products.

Apple would discontinue everything else.

All of Apple’s resources would be FOCUSED on its best products.

Job’s said in an interview, “It means saying ‘No’ to the hundred other good ideas. You have to pick carefully…Innovation is saying ‘No’ to 1,000 things.”

Jobs gives us a powerful one-word SUCCESS STRATEGY:

FOCUS. 

He shows us a killer TACTIC to execute this strategy:

SAYING “NO”.

It means saying “No” to:

  • Low value meetings and conference calls.
  • Invitations to events with marginal friends that gobble up your time and money.
  • Being constantly distracted by social media.

Where there is no FOCUS, distraction reigns.

DISTRACTION has killed more careers than any recession ever could.

The irony is not lost that one of the universe denting products Job’s FOCUS strategy helped Apple create was the iPhone.

Which may be the greatest distraction device in human history.

But that’s a subject for another day.

Seth Godin wrote, “If it’s going to distract you from the work that truly matters, pass.”

Take pass on what’s no longer relevant.

Lean in to what really matters.

BLOW UP your distractions.

Dent your universe.

#DropTheFbomb

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Say No

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“Half of the troubles of life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” – Josh Billings

It’s one of the shortest words in the English language.

It has the POWER to free your day.

And clear your mind.

It’s also one of the hardest to say:

“No.”

Want more FREE TIME?

“No, I can’t make it.”

Want to be less BUSY?

“No, I am not available.”

Want to FOCUS more on what matters most to you?

“No, I have something else scheduled.”

Ryan Holiday wrote, “The more you SAY NO to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do.”

Saying “No” takes COURAGE.

It may even get some people ticked off at you.

That’s fine.

Why?

Because SAYING NO lets you live life on your terms.

No better way to start a new year than doing that.

#SayNo

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Remove Everything

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” – Pablo Picasso

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In the book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder author Nassim Nicholas Taleb tells a story about Michelangelo and Pope Julius II.

The story goes like this…

Michelangelo just created the statute of David.

David was considered the masterpiece of all masterpieces.

David is still so renowned that 500 years later over 1 million people wait in line to view him at the Accademia in Florence, Italy.

Pope Julius II asked Michelangelo what was the secret to his creative genius?

Julius wanted a better understanding of the MINDSET Michelangelo brought to his work.

The Pope asked Michelangelo how he could create something so REMARKABLE out of a block of marble that many artists refused to work with because it was flawed.

Michelangelo answered, “It’s simple. I just remove everything that is not David.”

REMOVE EVERYTHING  

When I struggle in my job, jiu jitsu, or my personal life there is a common theme.

I try to install new habits or ideas with out getting rid of old baggage.

We all have OLD HABITS and STALE ROUTINES.

It’s like trying to sail off to a new world with out taking the rope off the dock.

You can only go so far.

Like Michelangelo, we have to REMOVE EVERYTHING that no longer makes sense.

We have to EDIT OUT what no longer belongs, so what’s possible can emerge.

Focus more on REMOVING than adding.

What if???

  • Instead of chasing that hot new stock, we get out of DEBT.
  • Instead of starting a new diet, we cut out SUGAR.
  • Instead of constantly checking our iPhones, we FOCUS on the people right in front of us.

Chip away at anything that no longer belongs.

Time to start your own RENAISSANCE. 

#RemoveEverything

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Write It Down

“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.” —Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

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What do the following people have in common?

Besides changing the course of history, they all shared a common practice.

They kept a JOURNAL.

Journaling is a life changing habit.

When I first heard about journaling, I was sceptical.

I thought writing in a journal was something that people who wrote bad poetry did.

I was wrong.

Jim Rohn said, “If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured, and unique individual, keep a journal.”

There are a number of studies that show keeping a journal helps you better cope with STRESS and ANXIETY.

A journal will help you:

  • PRIORITIZE your day.
  • CLARIFY your thinking.
  • Stay ORGANIZED and FOCUSED.
  • Increase your CREATIVITY.

HOW TO JOURNAL:

FIND YOUR PLACE

You don’t need a vista.

You don’t need an ocean view or a Pottery Barn table.

Da Vinci wrote (in one of his journals), Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

Keep it simple.

Pick a spot where you can open up your blank notebook, feel comfortable and write down your thoughts.

GET YOUR TIMING WRITE

Start by allocating 10 minutes each day.

We are all busy.

But we all need time to THINK and REFLECT.

For many, there is a burst of creative energy that comes after a good night’s sleep.

For you NIGHT OWLS, there might be no better way to clear your mind than writing your thoughts down before bed.

Capture those ideas on paper.

WHAT TO WRITE?

The first step is the hardest.

Don’t let what to write be an OBSTACLE.

Here are some journal prompts to get you started:

  • What’s got my attention?
  • What made me happy today?
  • What surprised me?
  • What challenges am I facing?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What excites me?
  • What scares me?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What great quote did I hear?
  • What people do I need to spend more time with?

NO FEAR

Write without fear.

Lose your inhibitions.

Don’t hold back.

Let your writing express how you really feel.

This journal is for you.

No one else.

THE BENEFITS

Journaling will help you enter each day with greater clarity.

Your actions will be more focused.

You’ll start to feel GRATITUDE for the little things.

2,000 years ago, the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “Just as one person delights in improving their farm, so I delight in attending to my own improvement.” 

So…

What’s on your mind?

What’s keeping you up at night?

How can you make tomorrow better than today?

Do what some of the greatest minds in history have done…

#WriteItDown

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Stand Guard

“Stand guard at the door of your mind.” – Jim Rohn

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To live a POSITIVE life we have to feed our minds positive thoughts.

We have to protect our thinking from negative influences.

Negativity is constantly knocking.

It’s searching for a way in.

We have to make a conscious decision to keep it out.

In a interview, Tony Robbins said learning to deal with negative thoughts was one of the greatest lessons he learned from his mentor Jim Rohn.

“Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle.” Robbins said, “Every day, STAND GUARD at the door of you mind.  You alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life.  For these thoughts will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

In our 24/7 connected world, that’s no easy feat.

Negative is everywhere.

It’s waiting for us each time we log into social media.

Negative is on overdrive on cable news.

We have to curate the information we allow to influence us.

So much of what we are exposed to are sensationalized events that have nothing to do with us.

  • The tragedy 8 time zones away.
  • The celebrity that got arrested.
  • The shady politician screaming into the camera.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL.

Everyday we all have important work to do.

Our job is to FOCUS on what we can control and ignore the noise.

Vince Vaughn said, “Don’t give a voice to things you’re not able to change.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

Keep all that useless, negative information from souring our thoughts and attitudes.

When we allow negative influences into out mind bad things happen:

  • Our attitude sours.
  • We get distracted.
  • We lose focus from the things that really matter.

If we pay attention to uncontrollable, negative events long enough, our thinking becomes negative.

Negative starts to follow us around all day long.

We have to feed our minds a healthy diet of positive information.

THINK ABOUT IT.

The information you allow into your mind affects what you think about.

  • What you THINK about creates your MOOD.
  • Your MOOD creates your ATTITUDE.
  • Your ATTITUDE influences your ACTIONS.
  • Your ACTIONS determine your OUTCOMES.
  • Your OUTCOMES become your LIFE.

Believing that we are unaffected by what we let into our mind is like saying what we eat does not matter.

Shut the door on the PEOPLE, EVENTS, & STORIES that try to pull you down and drain your energy.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Cut the negative strings that pull your mind.”

Shut out the negative.

Protect your mind.

Improve your life.

#StandGuard

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Airplane Mode

“Starve Your Distractions.  Feed Your Focus.” – Anonymous

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Have you ever flown across the country?

If so, you can speak to the phenomenon of PRODUCTIVITY that happens when you are at 30,000 feet.

It’s called AIRPLANE MODE.

Many frequent fliers tell tales of getting more work done on a cross country flight than an entire week in the office.

AIRPLANE MODE serves up the perfect work environment:

  • Zero distractions (barring that screaming baby 2 rows back):
  • No interruptions.
  • Your phone does not buzz every 10 seconds.

You are in a bubble.

Work gets done:

  • Presentations get finished.
  • Books get read.
  • Blogs get written.

Author Peter Shenkman brags about writing 28,000 words for one of his books on a single flight.

One of the BEST IDEAS I discovered in 2017 was bringing AIRPLANE MODE to ground level.

It’s an awesome way to get work done.

I spend 1 hour of each day on AIRPLANE MODE.

Jon Acuff talks about this concept in his book FINISH.

There’s no need to wait for your next trip to Las Vegas to make progress on an important project.

We can create an uninterrupted, distraction free bubble to do our most important work on the ground.

The start of the year is a great opportunity to experiment with new ways of doing things.

So buckle your seat belts.

Put your tray tables in their locked upright position.

Oh…

And stow that carry-on bag under your seat.

TIME TO GO ON AIRPLANE MODE:

CHOOSE ONE PROJECT 

What’s the ONE THING you need to finish?

What project has been hanging over your head for too long?

Choose that one.

PICK YOUR PLACE

Find a place where you will not be tempted by distractions.

I found my home office was a terrible place to get work done.

There were just too many distractions.

So much so that I gave up my home office.

It was converted into a playroom.

I find cafes and local libraries work way better.

GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT  

What time of day are you at your best?

Schedule AIRPLANE MODE at your mental peak.

I’m a morning person.  For me, the earlier the better.

Night time does not work.

I fade late afternoon like the Dallas Cowboys in December.

DISCONNECT 

Shut your phone down.  Turn off your ipad.

Completely disconnect.

What if my kids call? 

What if I miss a customer email?

Be brave.

The world will be there 59 minutes later when you reconnect.

SET A TIMER

I put my iPhone on AIRPLANE MODE.

Then I set 60 minutes on my timer app.

The first couple times I found myself looking up every 5 minutes.

Eventually the hour flies by.

GET TO WORK

Don’t let the distractions of everyday life keep you from doing your best work.

Bruce Lee said, “The successful warrior is the average person, with laser focus.”

Starve your distractions.

Feed your focus.

Go on AIRPLANE MODE.

And watch your productivity TAKE OFF.

#AirPlaneMode

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SaleVibe.Net