Seinfeld’s “Art of War”

“If you break the human struggle down to one word it is “Confront”. – Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld was a guest on The Tim Ferris Show.  

I tuned in to laugh.

What I heard sounded more like Sun Tzu discussing “The Art of War”.

Seinfeld spoke with the intensity and directness of someone who served on special force’s missions not the comedy stage.

Tim Ferris, who has an amazing ability of getting guests to reveal their daily habits and routines, got Seinfeld to open up about how he produces such legendary material.     

The following strategies are what Seinfeld used to stay relevant in Hollywood for 30+ years and create his nearly $1 billion dollar net worth.

Here are 3.5 strategies from Seinfeld’s “Art of War”:

1) Daily Reps

Seinfeld’s career is based on ONE THING.

Writing.    

His TV show and stand-up routines were created from his daily writing sessions.

Just one problem.

Seinfeld does not like to write.

How does he handle this? 

His secret is putting in DAILY REPS. 

Seinfeld picks a SET TIME and a DURATION each day.

Sometimes his writing session lasts sixty minutes.

If the day is busy, maybe it’s only thirty. 

But the key is that he shows up each day for a set amount of time.   

Seinfeld said, You have to learn to show up every day and do the work or you will die in the ecosystem you were trying to live in. If you do not show up every day, you will not survive.”

What’s your ONE THING?

Figure that out.

Then put in your DAILY REPS.

2) Hit the Weights

Seinfeld believes WEIGHT TRAINING & MEDITATION can solve almost any problem.

Our bodies need a daily physical stressor.

Our minds need a daily cleansing.

Seinfeld told Ferris, “You have to bend the aging process and slow down the natural decay with physical exercise…If you look at anyone who succeeds at a high-level in any field, one of the constants in all of their stories is weight training and physical activity.”

Seinfeld told Ferris that he believes most people’s bodies get a free ride to about age 43, “Then God moves on and gives all the gifts to the 18 to 40 crowd.”

Seinfeld said, “No one is going to ask you to leave, but no one is giving you anything else, you have to create it yourself.”

How do you feel physically?

If you’re not already doing so, it may be time to find a weight training program that works for you.

Time to bend the curve back in our favor.

3) Know When to Pivot

A professional knows when it’s time to pivot.

Seinfeld said, “Each project is like a cyclone.  The storm forms, gathers energy, rages full throttle, then slowly dies out.”

Seinfeld’s revealed his main influence to end his TV show at the nine-year mark was The Beatles. 

The Beatles were together for nine years.    

Seinfeld says he could have kept his show going but believed the “cyclone was fading”. 

Sometimes our best move is to move on. 

3.5) Ethics and Boldness

Ferris asked Seinfeld what he hopes to pass on to his three kids?

Seinfeld answered, “ETHICS and BOLDNESS”.

Boom.

A parenting course in two words.

Teach your kids to do the right thing.

Teach them to have the BOLDNESS to take on scary projects where they might fail.   

That’s where the magic is hiding. 

When we look back over the past year, it’s easy to feel that life is designed to make us quit.

Some days feel like a street fight. 

Others like a beautiful masterpiece.

We need a plan that works for each.

#TheArtOfWar

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Take the Gold

“Within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” – Ryan Holiday

New Year’s Eve 2020 was like that frat party in college where the kegs kicked and the police showed up at the same time.

Everyone wanted out.

And we dashed to the exits at midnight full speed.

Good riddance. 

2020 did an amazing job smashing most of our plans. 

But we survived.

Now it’s time to turn the page.

Before we drag 2020 out to the curb with our dead Christmas tree, we need to do one thing. 

TAKE THE GOLD with us.

There’s a saying from Ben Franklin, who was no stranger to challenging years, “The things which hurt, instruct.”

2020 was a fantastic teacher.

It did an incredible job of showing us our weaknesses. 

It tested our mental and physical health.

Punched our daily routines in the throat.

And tried it’s best to cross collar choke our businesses. 

It forced us to evolve or become irrelevant.

But OBSTACLES also have a positive side.    

They not only obstruct, they instruct.

Obstacles show us what we need to change

In The Obstacle Is the Way, Ryan Holiday writes that obstacles can teach us a better way.

“What impedes us can also empower us.”

When we are forced to find new ways of doing things, progress is not far behind.

Here are 3 GOLD NUGGETS I am bringing into the new year:

LESS COMMITMENTS

We stopped trying to be everywhere.

2020 crushed our superficial relationships.

Which is NOT a bad thing.

No driving an hour each way to that party you did not want to attend on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

There was less work travel because we found out that not all meetings need to be live. 

We got to hang out and spend quality time with our number one customer – our family.

We did less and learned to do it better. 

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Fire pits on a Friday night with your friends.

Long hikes with your family on Christmas Day.

Outdoor bike rides in December.

These are no longer just for people in the OC. 

You may need to dress in 6 layers for the Philly winter, but 2020 showed us that the great outdoors is the gym that never closes and never charges a monthly fee.

BUY TIME BACK  

Time is our most precious asset.

No one ever has enough of it. 

2020 taught us that we can delegate out time drains like market trips and Costco runs.   

I never realized how much time was wasted going food shopping. 

Now the market gets dropped off at your doorstep with a few taps of your phone. 

If we save just an hour per week NOT going to the market, that’s over 2 full days you just bought back to do whatever you please in 2021.

Word.

Years like 2020 show us what we need to change.

They show us a better way. 

The new year is in front of us.

Time to turn the page.

Just TAKE THE GOLD with you.

#TakeTheGold

Wish you an amazing 2021!

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

50 Lessons on the Path to 50

50 Lessons on the Path to 50

“If a man looks at the world at fifty the same way he looked at it when he was twenty and hasn’t changed, he wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that believes age is a MINDSET.

Each week we discuss an IDEA that helps you live a better life.

This week’s topic is 50 Lessons on the Path to 50.

But let’s keep this “turning 50” thing between us.

Deal?

The Vibe: 50 Lessons on the Path to 50

Here are 50 Lessons on the Path to 50.

Some of these are lessons that have stuck with me since childhood.

Others were realized only after MISTAKES and FAILURES.

These IDEAS can help you live a better life no matter what age they are put into use.

Your results may vary.

#50For50

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

“Now don’t be sad, cause two out of three ain’t bad.” Meatloaf, Bat Out of Hell

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that believes the kids should be back in school while still not letting anyone inside their home.

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

This week’s topic is your FIRST DOG.  

And why sometimes “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” 

The Vibe: Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

We adopted our first dog.

She’s was an 85 pound lab rescue.

The experiment lasted 68 hours.  

The dog went back with the foster, ready to be adopted again.

Never Say Never

Rewind 10 years back.

The year was 2010.

It was the year the iPad was released.

The cast of MTV’s Jersey Shore fist pumped on the board walk.

And every mom in the suburbs sang along to Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister”.

That’s about the time I went on record saying I had ZERO interest in doing any of the following: 

  1. Move.
  2. Have a 3rd kid.
  3. Get a dog.

So funny…

Let’s start with the fact that I am writing this while looking out to the back yard of the house we bought two summers ago as my 8 year old is doing cart wheels next to me.

The new home is great.

Having a third kid is awesome.

Getting the dog?  

Well…

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.

Pandemic Puppy

I started hearing whispers of us needing a puppy a few days into the COVID-19 shutdown.

Two of our kids talked about it non-stop.

After weeks of them asking, we agreed to start “looking” for a “small, little puppy” on two conditions:

  1. The kids would do the majority of the work.
  2. They would stop asking us about getting a puppy.

We soon found that trying to get a puppy during a pandemic was like buying a house in a seller’s market.

There was very little inventory.

And the good ones went really fast.

We missed out on the first 5 little dogs we applied for.

Then the next thing you know, we are pulling up to a farm about an hour from our house to meet an 85 pound lab rescue.

Her name was Willow.

We spent about 30 minutes petting and playing with her.

Willow was friendly, a bit assertive, and about an 8.5 on the energy scale.

Oh…

And definitely NOT small.

The foster told us there were 2 other families coming to meet her after us.

We got back in the car with a decision to make.

Two of our kids were SO EXCITED.

They were ALL IN.

It didn’t feel right to me.

But I wanted to give our kids an experience I never had as a child.

So I broke the cardinal rule I run decisions like this one through…

“If it’s not “Hell Yeah!”, it’s a definite “No”.

I went along and said “Let’ do it!”

68 Hours

We had a few days before Willow was going to be officially ours.

So we geared up by buying every conceivable toy, leash, and other dog swag at PetsMart.

We also took a crash course in dog training by watching Brandon McMillion’s Master Class.

It was the equivalent of watching a few Jiu Jitsu videos on YouTube before jumping into the Purple Belt division of a BJJ tournament.

Three Words come to mind…

Brace for impact.

The foster, who was fantastic, dropped off the dog to our house late on a Friday afternoon.

To make things extra interesting, our lawn was aerated a few hours before Willow arrived.

We had no idea if we were scooping up dog or dirt.

Willow immediately took to my wife and I.

She wanted little to do with our kids no matter how much they tried to engage her.

We quickly realized our youngest kid, who was the most excited about getting a dog, could not even walk her.

The dog was too strong & energetic.

By the end of the second day, my wife and I were doing the majority of the work for a dog we got for our kids.

By the end of third day, we were realizing that we may have bit off more dog bone than we could chew.

To cap off our third night together, some neighbors started shooting off fireworks.

Uggh.

I heard about dogs not liking fireworks, but now got to see it first hand in our living room.

After the fireworks calmed down, we all looked at each other.

It was time to change course.

We called the foster.

We both agreed it was best if the dog went to another family.

That next day our entire crew played with Willow one last time before the foster picked her up.

Our three days of furry chaos was coming to a close.

When Willow saw the foster in our driveway, she took off, leaped into her car and never looked back.

No offense taken.

As they pulled away I was somewhere between SAD and RELIEVED.

Thank you for being our first dog.

Wish you an amazing life.

#TwoOutOfThreeAintBad

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Blog

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

Find Your Beach

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“Life takes you down many paths, but my favorite one leads to the beach.” – Anonymous

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that tries to make this quarantine more bearable in 500 words or less.

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

This week’s topic is how to FIND YOUR BEACH in the middle of a plague.

Good vibes only…

The Vibe:  Find Your Beach  

It’s starting to feel like we’re stuck in the middle of an endless snow day.

But we can’t play with our friends because the snow is contagious.

Spring Break felt more like 1918 than 2020.

We were putting on face masks instead of SPF.

The last few weeks have been like no other.

Stuck at home with no clear end in sight.

We could all use a long walk on a sunny beach.

Unfortunately BEACHES and PANDEMICS don’t play well together.  

With no beach time in sight for the foreseeable future, we are forced to get creative.

It’s like we’re in a real life Corona beer commercial – just trying to FIND OUR BEACH.

Maybe we could use a few extra moments to ourselves each day.

Or perhaps we’re looking for a better way to spend the crazy amount of family time we have now.

Here are 3.5 ways to FIND YOUR BEACH:

1) Get Combative

If you had to pick an activity the CDC would ban during an outbreak, it’s hard to beat Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Plagues mean no Jiu jitsu class.

You don’t realize how much you miss getting choked semi-conscious by your friends until you can’t do it anymore.

But as one door closes, another opens.

After years of talking about it, my son and I started training BJJ on the mats in our basement.

Family bonding (and rear naked chokes) at its best.

We have only one rule.

He is NOT allowed to submit me for at least the first year.

2) Go Back To The Future  

This lockdown has given us the chance to introduce our kids to the shows we loved back in the day.

One of them is “Band of Brothers”.

My all time favorite mini-series.

Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s incredible book, it follows the members of Easy Company 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division from basic training, D-Day, and through some of the fiercest battles of WWII in Europe.

My wife and I watched this series during the Fall of 2001 in our apartment in Philly.

The series helped get our minds off of the chaos following 9/11.

Nineteen years later we are watching it again with our kids trying to get our minds off a plague.

History may not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

3) Be Like Churchill

During the Nazi Blitzkrieg, Winston Churchill started off his day reading to calm his mind.

Churchill said, “It has been a comfort to me in these anxious days to put a thousand years between my thoughts and the twentieth century.”

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Reading just 20 minutes from an amazing book can bring a flash of insight that will help us be WISER and CALMER.

Looking for a great book?

Ryan Holiday puts out a killer monthly book list.

3.5) Up Before The Enemy 

Jocko WIllink says we have to be “Up Before the Enemy.” 

The “enemy” in this case is the rest of our house.

There is nothing like the early morning.

Getting up early creates space between you and the day ahead.

The time is all yours.

You are at your most creative.

At first, getting up early sucks, then once you create the HABIT you’ll never go back.

Own the morning, own the day.

These last few weeks were rough.

Our families, especially our kids, need the best version of us to show up each day.

So spend some time on your favorite beach today.

Even if it’s only in your mind.

Surfs up…

#FindYourBeach

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Fight the Resistance

 

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“Fear is a lie.” – Steve Maxwell

Welcome to The Vibe!

Each week we discuss one idea that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the RESISTANCE and how FEAR of FAILURE keeps us from sharing our best work.

Thank you for reading The VIBE.

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

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Fight the Resistance

After writing and sharing over 200 blog posts, the RESISTANCE showed up out of nowhere and started to rear naked choke my courage to write.

The RESISTANCE is that mysterious force author Steven Pressfield claims acts against human creativity by raising the voices of FEAR and DOUBT inside our heads.

The RESISTANCE has one goal: to keep things the way they are.

It does this by crushing our courage to be creative.

Every time I came across a new idea to blog about, the RESISTANCE told me a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t…

“Your writing sucks.”

“No one is going to read this.”

“No one cares what you think.”

“Who are you to write anything?”

I was afraid to show up and look foolish.

So I stopped blogging for 2 months.

It felt safer to play it safe.

But safe is BORING and AVERAGE.

Keeping the status quo is a waste of time.

No need for any of these.

We have to keep walking past our FEARS and DOUBTS.

At some point, that walk is going to get uncomfortable.

We have to learn learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

This takes time and practice (PS – Jiu Jitsu helps).

But the RESISTANCE is a persistent enemy.

It keeps showing up.

Seth Godin likes to say that FEAR and DOUBT will never fully go away,  but we can learn to dance with them.

My 2-month sparring session with the RESISTANCE taught me two great lessons.

  1. Action crushes fear.
  2. Fear is a liar.

Rosa Parks said, “Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

We all have things we want to do.

We all have projects we know we should do, but that FEAR VOICE in our heads keeps holding us back.

What project are you holding off on?

What conversation have you been avoiding?

It’s time to PUNCH that fear in the throat and take a step forward.

I may not be the best writer.

My blog does not have a million followers.

All good.

Hey RESISTANCE

Guess what?

F*ck You!

I just hit the publish button.

#FightTheResistance

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Know When To Quit

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run.” – Kenny Rodgers

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The more things I quit, the better life becomes.

I’ve learned the secret is figuring out what to quit and where to DOUBLE DOWN.

Here are the 3 best things I ever QUIT:

  • TV
  • Golf
  • “To Do Lists”

TV

Want to talk about a TV series or the news?

I am not your person.

The non-stop barrage of violence, scandals, and bias news kills my positive vibe.

I’ve cut the TV cord.

(Eagles games NOT included).

Call it purposeful ignorance.   

GOLF

Golf and I were in a bad marriage.

Our problems were beyond counseling.

I would spend hours on the links, shoot my weight, and come home frustrated.

As that Andrea Bochelli’s song goes, it was “Time to say goodbye…”

QUITTING golf was liberating.

No more searching for my drive in the woods.

No more watching grown men walk around in plaid pants.

This gives me time to concentrate on more important things – like being choked unconscious on a sweaty jiu jitsu mat.

“TO DO” Lists

I used to write out daily “To Do” lists.

I’d spend the day running around, crossing items off my list.

A false sense of accomplishment would surround me like one of those cheap Today’s Man suits I wore after graduating college.

I was busy, but far from relevant.

I learned focusing on my “Not To Do” list was way more productive.

Steve Jobs said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

Knowing what NOT to spend your time on is liberating.

TOUGH QUESTION

Think about your priorities.

What are you willing to quit to make those priorities a reality?

That’s the question.

Answer that and everything else becomes much easier.

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.NET

(The article was originally published in March 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com)

To Be or Not To Be?

“Remember your ‘To Do’ list but don’t forget your ‘To Be’ List.” – Richard Branson

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Monday Fun-Day…

Another week gets rolling.

Some of our “TO DO” lists are longer than a Springsteen concert setlist.

Before we sprint out the door, take a minute to think…

What’s missing?

Maybe we need to focus less on what we want ‘TO DO’ and more on who we need to BE.

Here are 12 things that may BE missing from your “TO DO” list:

430 years ago William Shakespeare asked, “To be or not to be?”

It’s an amazing quote.

It’s also a great philosophy to live your life.

#ToBeOrNotToBe

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

(Big Thank You to Seth Godin for the inspiration!)

 

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.