Becoming A Human Swiss Army Knife

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The Swiss Army Knife is one of the greatest tools ever made. It has everything you need: screwdriver, knife, scissors, etc. A highly versatile tool, and we should strive to be a Swiss Army Knife in life. What do I mean about that statement? Like a Swiss Army Knife, we should equip ourselves with useful tools, so that we can use them throughout our lives.

A typical Swiss Army Knife has a variety of tools, but I will describe the main tools used, and how to incorporate them into your life.

Main blade- This is your foundation. And what is a foundation without health? Your health should be your best tool in your Swiss Army Knife. Without health, you won’t be able to use the rest of your tools effectively. There are a myriad of options when it comes to being healthy. You can join your local gym, read a book on fitness and health, download an app on your phone, or other device. The key here, is to find something that works for you.

Smaller blade- Your brain: it plays a vital role in your life. Thinking, remembering, things, problem solving, etc. Keeping your brain sharp will enable you to fill out the rest of your tools efficiently. Again, as with health, there are a lot of options when it comes to your brain. Books, apps, and even video games ( seriously, look it up) you have so many choices, and of course, do what works for you.

Tweezers- This is where the fun begins. Now that you’ve worked on your health and brain, you can start adding tools to your liking. For example, I would choose cooking as my tweezers. Cooking was not my friend for many years, and I decided to change that. With a few books, videos, and apps, I was on my way to cooking better. So go ahead and choose a certain skill, and make it your “Tweezers.”

Toothpick- Again, for example purposes, I will share my toothpick. For me, it’s baseball. Growing up, I loved baseball and the intricacies of the game. In particular, I liked pitching. And in the past few years, I have had a blast learning to pitch. To practice this skill, I pitch once a week, and get feedback from other players.

Corkscrew- Last one (I promise!). This one is the most fun for me, and it is magic. Learning and practicing magic has been such a thrill. Magic is so expansive, and there is so much to learn. I’ve always been intrigued in magic, and I could not imagine my Swiss Army Knife without it. Putting together your own Swiss Army Knife is fun, and I hope you create your own.

The following sites listed might help you create your Swiss Army Knife. Here they are: onnit,com, bulletproofexec.com, fourhourworkweek,com/blog

Magic: The Art Of Impossibility

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Magic has astounded people for thousands of years. From sawing a woman in half to death-defying stunts, magic has captivated audiences, and has provided a getaway, for some. Even in 2013, magic is still strong as ever. What I will attempt to do in this post, is to give you a behind the scenes view of magic(no, I will not divulge and magic secrets.)

 

Being an amateur magician myself, I have had the pleasure of practicing the art of magic. It is an art form that is incredibly hard, and unfortunately, it does not get the credit it deserves. Magicians spend countless hours practicing illusions, sleights, etc. Magic will humble you, and at the same time it will bring the greatest joy to you. After spending time rehearsing an illusion/trick, it is time to test it out for people. In the beginning, the magician will test out tricks for family and friends. Once the magician is confident enough performing for family and friends, the next phase is to perform for strangers. It is one thing to astound your family and friends, but it’s another thing to pull off a trick for a stranger. When you astonish a stranger, it is one of the best feelings in the world. Knowing that you have pulled off something special is very powerful for the magician, and the stranger. In one instance, you get the magician feeling great, and the stranger is completely blown away. Today’s world is nonstop and constantly moving, so when a magician performs, it is a great escape for the stranger, and ultimately, the feeling of real “magic.”

 

Sooner or later, the question arises: How did you get into magic? This question will get answered a thousand different ways by magicians. For me, it started with Harry Houdini. When I first learned about Houdini, I was hooked. Escaping from handcuffs, straightjacket, 100 ft. of rope, and performing some of the most incredible illusions, Houdini instantly became my hero. Then when I was about ten, my mom and dad took me to go see David Copperfield. It was an experience I will never forget. Watching David Copperfield ignited my passion even more to do magic. A few years later, David Blaine came on the scene and inspired me even more. Glued to the TV, I could not believe some of the stuff David Blaine was doing, and his connection with people was even more magical. And lastly, the magician that really catapulted me in the art of magic, is none other than: Criss Angel. Each of the magicians I have mentioned all have their own mark on magic, and that is what’s great about it. You get so many types of magicians in the magic world, and it’s great to see what certain magicians come up with.

 

Magic is a great teacher, and it will teach you a lot about life. Failing, succeeding, learning how something works: magic provides it all. Learning about magic is a very rewarding experience, and I encourage everyone to at least try it. Start with a deck of cards and a magic book ( I will include where to purchase magic) Learn a few card tricks, and perform them to your family and friends. You just might end up wanting to learn more, and become a magician.

 

I leave you with this: Right now: someone, somewhere, is practicing magic. They are learning the sleights and mechanics to perform the desired illusion. When they are done practicing, and have shown their family and friends, they will get ready to perform for a stranger. That stranger may very well be you. Enjoy the magic, and always cherish that moment.

Check out these sites to learn and perform magic: theory11.com, penguinmagic.com, elmwoodmagic.com

The Psychology Of A Champion: Georges St. Pierre

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What makes someone a champion? There are so many answers, and not everybody will agree on what makes someone a champion. However, there is no doubt that everybody will agree that GSP(Georges St. Pierre) is the definition of a champion.

GSP was not born a champion. Growing up, he was often bullied, made fun of, and had very few friends. When he discovered Karate: everything changed. From that point on, GSP, had a burning desire. And that desire was learning. Karate was the first step in GSP’s journey to becoming a champion. GSP earned his first black belt in karate, at just 12 years old.

Fast forward to age 19. This is the pivotal age where GSP commits his life to excellence in the octagon. Seeking out coaches and mentors, GSP was like a sponge: soaking up as much knowledge as he possibly could. In training and in the octagon, he failed; a lot. But with each training and sparring session, he improved. With his relentless hard work ethic, GSP quickly became a well rounded MMA (mixed martial artist) fighter. Everything GSP does is very calculated. From his diet, training regimen, coaches, mentors, etc. He leaves no stone unturned, and it shows in everything that he does in-and outside the octagon.

Becoming a champion at UFC 65, GSP was on a path to greatness. That greatness was stopped shortly, after losing the belt to Matt Serra, at UFC 69. They would both meet again in UFC 83, and GSP once again, captured the title, and has not lost a fight to date.

So now that you know a little bit about GSP, the question will undoubtedly come up: what makes him (GSP) a champion? A thirst for knowledge, for starters. GSP explains how he looks at his life. He calls it “having a white belt mentality.” A white belt is where you start off in any martial art. It’s a stepping stone: learning phase, if you will. In having a white belt mentality, GSP learns from anybody. If he feels it will help him in any way, he will apply it to his skill set.

What can we learn from one of the best in the MMA world? To adopt the white belt mentality, and constantly learn from others. If you start implementing this in your life, you will look at everything differently. New ideas might arise, or you might get inspired by learning from someone else.

Learn more at: gspofficial.com

Twitter:Twitter.com/ GeorgesStPierre

Book Analysis: The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene

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Fear:

a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm. courage, security, calm, intrepidity.
 
Fear. It can play an integral part in out lives, choices we make, and how we go about our day. Reading The 50th Law made me wake up, and realize that fear is just an illusion. Now, that’s not to say that I won’t ever have fear in my life (I will) it’s human nature, but the laws discussed in this book will work for anybody.
 
The 50th Law describes 50 Cent’s (AKA Curtis Jackson) journey through life, and author Robert Greene, describes how each law has been used throughout history. Everyone can benefit from 50 Cent’s advice and his teachings. 50 Cent is a very smart guy, and every decision he makes is very calculated, and well thought out. There are so many great lessons in the book, and I will explain a couple.
 
Self-Reliance- This chapter will really make you think. It describes how to take full responsibility for your life, and how to become the best version of you. Being self-reliant will empower you and you won’t have to depend on people as much. Robert Greene describes dependency as a habit that is easy to always go to. The following are ways to become self-reliant.
 
Reclaim Dead Time- This step is crucial. Never let time just pass by. Always learn something new, or work on bettering yourself.
 
Create Little Empires- This step stresses to capture and entrepreneurial mindset, and do things on your own. Whether that may be making decisions on your own, creating something, or taking action on a goal you have set for yourself.
 
Move Higher Up The Food Chain- Once again, this step talks about continually moving up in life, and not depending on anybody. The clear message here, is if someone gives you things or does a favor for you, it is always with strings attached. Think about it.
 
Make Your Enterprise A Reflection Of Your Individuality- This particular step really struck me. You are one of one, and you will never be repeated in history ever again. Take advantage of your traits and qualities, so you can live life on your terms.
 
Opportunism- This chapter really explored how to make the best of any situation. The main message in this chapter, is that nothing in life negative or positive. They are neutral. Things are going to happen, and it’s up to you to decide if it is negative or positive. To me, this was very powerful to read-and I really thought hard about it. There are so many things that happen to us on a daily basis, and this way of thinking would put you ahead of 99.9% of the population. Here are the steps to acquire this “skill.”
 
Make The Most Of What You Have- This step describes to look past being materialistic, and understand that we will just want more after we get something we want. So, it is best to look at what we do have, and it will make us focus and come up with solutions.
 
Turn All Obstacles Into Openings- The point of this step and the main lesson here is: Turn any negative situation in your favor. You should welcome obstacles that come your way. It will make you stronger, and your mind will be better equipped to deal with such situations.
 
Move Before You Are Ready- This speaks volumes. I, myself, have struggled with this throughout the years. Taking a leap of faith, and never looking back, is key to accomplishing goals. It has been proven in history, and it is a reminder to stop telling ourselves we can’t, and start saying we can.
 
The 50th Law is a great read, and I hope you get the chance to read it. It’s so rare to have a book really teach you about life, and how to live it at the same time.

Upgraded Vision Board

 

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A vision board is fun. You put up pictures of things you want, and pictures of who you would like to become. In addition to the vision board, I have added an extra step in the process.

You will need: A box. Any box will do, and be sure to decorate it to your liking. I stumbled upon this idea while I was putting away my XBOX box (no, that’s not a joke.) XBOX has an achievement feature built into all their games. So, every time you complete a task in a game, you unlock an “Achievement” How does this apply to a vision board? Simple. When you obtain something on your vision board, put it in your “Achievement” box. Then, in six months to a years time, open the box and discover what you have achieved.

Adding your achievement box to your vision board will be both satisfying, and gratifying. We sometimes get caught up in what’s “now”, and we fail to reflect on what we have accomplished. Reviewing what you have achieved can inspire you to think bigger, and have a greater sense of gratitude.

Feel free to post a picture of your achievement box in the comments section.

Advice from Olympic Gold Medalist & Softball Champion Jennie Finch

Jennie Finch

Jennie Finch has dominated the softball diamond for years, and is currently dominating life. Married with three kids, Jennie Finch does it all. Here are some facts about her:

University of Arizona Three-time All-American pitcher and first baseman.

60 consecutive wins.

Struck out a total of 1,028 batters.

Won gold at 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.

Struck out 2005 National League MVP and two-time World Series champion, Albert Pujols.

Here is her advice on life, competition, and motivation.

Justin Marroquin: What motivates you daily?

Jennie Finch: The desire to be the best that I can be, as a wife, mother, daughter, and more! To make the most of each and everyday that God has blessed me with.

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JM: Describe your mindset that made you succeed in life and sports.

JF: My work ethic that pushed me to never compromise, belief in myself, my competitive spirit, my drive to be the best that I can be. I always tried to do above and beyond in my preparation.

Jennie Finch Olympics

JM: What is one piece of advice that you feel would greatly benefit anybody?

JF: Be confident, believing in yourself is key.

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See jenniefinch.com for more.

Check out her Twitter account at twitter.com/jfinch27.