Welcome To 2017

2016 was an epic year. My best. 

2017 is about impact for me. Using my momentum to make waves 🌊


Although 27th Renaissance was neglected  (again) I was more creative than ever and consistent in my writing elsewhere

This year I have big plans for this blog and my life. 

Things I’ve got in store for my website here:

  • Design overhaul–freshening things up. 
  • A summary of my Renaissance pursuits from My Renaissance Defined: what progress have I made since compiling that list? 
  • A portfolio of graphic design, writing and video work. 
  • A consistent summary of my creations in other locations 
  • Experiments and challenges in health, fitness and life. 
  • Book reports and reviews. Major Year of reading ahead!
  • Travel posts–have some vagabonding in the works
  • Links to my most recommended supplements, fitness tools, books, mentors and inspirations. 
  • A summary of my 2016 learning and takeaways 
  • Even more! 

I greatly appreciate everyone who’s been following the journey thus far, and I can promise a more exciting and well documented year here on my blog in 2017

Image credit @garyvee

It’s Race Week

Race at Cowboys Stadium!This Saturday I’ll be in the stadium of the Dallas Cowboys doing the Spartan Sprint. I am so excited to be able to compete in the stadium of my all time favorite sports team!! This will be the shortest distance Spartan Race I’ve ever done, but I’m betting that the obstacles and bleachers will make up for the 3 mile distance, still providing a fun and challenging course. I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, and always have been. This race represents an opportunity to sweat, struggle and perform in the same arena as the Cowboys on Sundays. What a wild and awesome experience. My first ever stadium race and I hear they are a different animal. Without the necessity for long distance endurance, more explosive athletes may have a better day.  This week I’m getting prepared to race my best race, I have nutrition and training at the best they’ve been so far. I’ve been really honing in my training and improving the consistency. I know that after my races in May (posts and videos to come) that I will have to really continue to innovate, improve, and invest in my training. I want to be at a true elite level, not just paying the extra money to sign up for the elite heats, but really being at my best and competing at a level worthy of the title elite. I have a long way to go and mountains to climb on my journey to the pinnacle of my own performance. But this Saturday I’m going to enjoy how far I’ve come and the chance to Throw Up the X on the Jumbotron at JerryWorld. I’ll be capturing and creating content over the weekend to showcase this unique and exciting experience. Wish me luck!

BattleFrog vs. Spartan Race. How did it measure up? (In my opinion)

April 11th 2015 I volunteered with some friends at BattleFrog Dallas. At that point, I had ran 4 Spartan races as my primary reference point for the Obstacle Course Racing world. What did I think of the BattleFrog? Does it live up to it’s Spartan counterpart? Let me tell you that BattleFrog is a serious race, and I was very impressed with the obstacles and course design. Volunteering was a truly fulfilling experience too, and I highly recommend it to anybody, not just for the free race either.

My friend Liam is a Beast, he could have won the Open Category race that day, but was slowing down to run with me.

My friend Liam is a Beast, he could have won the Open Category race that day, but was slowing down to run with me. I was struggling with this obstacle!!

Volunteering was fun? Yes, without a doubt. Being behind the scenes of an OCR event was a cool perspective, and made me totally respect all the volunteers even more at every race! There is so much work that goes into these races, and it’s easy to just show up run it and never give it a second thought. I was an elite course marshall on the 12ft wall and it was a great experience. Being able to help people overcome the obstacle from a physical and mental standpoint was very rewarding. There were a few racers I remember in particular, racers who I helped get over the top, through words of encouragement, and bringing out their own determination. I often heard “I can’t do it!” or “I’m going to fail.” To those affirming the negative, I would repeat with great force “Don’t say that! You CAN do it!” or “You’re almost there, don’t give up!!” To see someone who once vehemently believed they couldn’t accomplish something, change their mind-set and overcome the wall was really special. Seeing others in that situation gives me a good perspective when I’m suffering on a tough course or through a tough training session.

What makes BattleFrog tough? Is it tougher then a Spartan Race? I think BattleFrog presents more challenging obstacles, especially for grip strength and the upper body. I felt as challenged at the BattleFrog Dallas as I did at the Dallas Beast 2014, but the running was much less. The course was designed to strategically call on grip strength endurance, and overall strength endurance something which I found out was a real weakness in my repertoire. Not just being able to do monkey bars, carry gas cans and sandbags, but doing so during a distance running event in a sequence designed to promote total muscle fatigue. I personally realized during the gas can carry that my grip was weak, and my left arm was giving out sooner than my right. I had to stop several times and put the cans down. After that there were many walls, ropes, monkey bars and structures to climb and all required the grip strength that I had fatigued immensely carrying the 20lb gas cans earlier. Very challenging, and helped me re-visit my training protocols and include grip strength routines often. Overall BattleFrog gave any Spartan Race I’ve done a run for it’s money—and speaking of running for money, they pay the elite winners more then Spartan Race does. Is one race superior? To me both have their merits and I’ll continue to race both brands. I was just surprised that BattleFrog was able to hold its own and actually be more challenging than Spartans in some aspects.

I am committed to continuing my fitness journey and testing my progress via obstacle course races. I will be racing a minimum of 3 more Spartan Races this year: Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Lake Tahoe World Championship Beast course, and the Dallas Beast. I would really like to fit another Battle Frog in there too. Have you done an Obstacle Course Race, or several? Any comments or opinions?

Where Do I Stand in 2015? Two Years of Blogging

The finish line of the Spartan Super in Austin May 2014. My 2nd OCR race and first piece of 2014 Spartan Trifecta

The finish line of the Spartan Super in Austin May 2014. My 2nd OCR race and first piece of 2014 Spartan Trifecta

This post is essentially my previous list from 2013 of where I stood in all Renaissance pursuits I’m currently endeavoring towards. I’ve edited parts of the list but many are unchanged. I still remain undaunted, I know only my own actions and priorities can  make any of my goals fulfilled. Anything indicated with bold type face or an (*) indicates a revision from my previous list. I like to do this, and plan on doing it more frequently. It’s a way of self-accountability that I think is good for me to develop.

Every so often it’s good to take a step back, analyze progress (or stagnation), and make adjustments, and to publish updates on 2-year-old content!!!! Wow.

Here goes…

Learning Languages: 2015: Overall: Not that much progress outside of Spanish. Reminder to get to work and build it into my schedule!

Japanese: 2015: No real progress or time devoted to learning. 

– Read hiragana and katakana but writing needs work

-An ear for pronunciation

-Limited vocabulary

Spanish: 2015: Made some great progress, but only through personal interactions, a little sideline study and focus was observed briefly. 

-Decent pronunciation

-Kitchen Vocabulary

-Bad words

-Sounding out reading, but lack comprehension

French: 2015: No Progress made

-Conjugating regular verbs

-Ear for pronunciation/conversation

-Latent vocabulary & reading/writing from high-school.

[* ]Business(es): 2015: Basically in the same situation other than I’ve put myself in a position where starting a business is now on my daily to do list and I’m taking actions to bring it to fruition. *UPDATE: Now enrolled in Business Breakthrough Academy*

-I have some great start-up ideas swirling around.  I’m very confident in 3/10 of the ideas, and have taken action towards launch and lean launch.*

-Potential for a pop-up restaurant is high. I have a good network within the hospitality industry, and the market is prime for a great pop up.

-My dreams of film/TV production are still dreams, *but I’ve met some people who can bring them to fruition perhaps.

-Using apps and technology to automate income is similar to my start-up ideas; action has been taken towards realization: capturing ideas on paper. I’ve got one rock solid idea though, and about 8 mediocre ones.

-Developing a school would be a legacy project, and I’ve yet to build the requisite resources or fully master many teachable skills.

Health and Fitness: 2015: Definitely learned a great amount about my body and health/fitness in general

-The quest for the six-pack is ongoing. Starting to lean out and loose the last 5% body fat that it takes. (for progress shots see my Instagram)

-Personal trainer certification is a goal for the next 90 days. Studying between 4-10 hours a week.

-Healthy eating is becoming a passion. making better choices and structuring a diet based on nutritional benefit and balance is something I study between 5-10 hours a week.

-Yoga has helped me immensely since I started 4 years ago. I’m still not as flexible as I’m striving for, but quite an improvement. Always end my training sessions with yoga/stretching.

UPDATE*** Use foam rolling to recover faster, lacrosse balls for isolated muscle tension issues, and go to a specialist in acupressure and Eastern medicine techniques.

2015: So far completed 25/200 miles on a 12 person team relay, and a Battle Frog US Race.

Going hard to the finish line of a battlefrog race April 2015.

Going hard to the finish line of a battlefrog race April 2015.

Martial Arts:

-Reached a meager yellow belt in Judo at age 13, but have not practiced since.

-Starting from scratch in this field.

Music:

-Played trumpet for 2 years in junior high.

-Messed around with DJ/production software: Reason, Traktor.

Food:

-Started cooking at a young age— starting with eggs at age 8.

-Immersed in the hospitality industry my whole life up this point and presently.

-Apprenticed and worked under one of the best chefs in my city, and a crew of renowned sous-chefs, for a year and a half. The restaurant made #3 on a list of Best New Restaurants in Texas.

-Studying techniques, recipes, and ingredients from a wide variety of sources.

-Shifting focus recently to nutrient dense, and maximally healthy dishes/ingredients, while still maintaining flavor development.

-Achieved a good flow while cooking on the line, loved to improve this day in day out.

UPDATE: ** Food was my entire focus in 2014, and now has gone very far back burner. 2014 was a year of accolades and success in this area. Posts to come.

Love:

-I’ve been in love once, maybe twice.

-Quite a bit to do and accomplish in this area.

Travel:

-I have traveled internationally 3 times: United Kingdom (age 8), Mexico (age 18), and Japan (age 24). Within North America, I’ve seen a good deal of western Canada, parts of the southern United States and Texas …far from well traveled, but I’ve traveled enough to give me the “travel bug”.

-I have only lived abroad once, and that’s my current 4+year stint in Texas.

-I have traveled to Hollywood and Beverly Hills in 2015

-Took a road trip to Atlanta, Georgia in 2015

-Traveled through much of South Texas on a 200 mile relay race running with a team. 2015

Learning Wealth:

-Studying Napoleon Hill, Rhonda Byrne, Darren Hardy and others.

-Recently had the most money I’d ever had at one time.

-Make small donations monthly to 2 organizations through my job.

UPDATE**** Reading Jack Canfield’s Success Principles right now, The Entrepreneurs Solution, and enrolled Mel Abraham’s Business Breakthrough Academy and also in Brendon Burchard’s top 2% Course.

Driving:

-Driven some wonderful vehicles.

-Racing and drifting have not been attempted or learned.

-Drive often presently, so skill is improving.

Art:

-Appreciating art in all its forms more and more as I age.

-Haven’t created any art since high school art class, and that was hardly considerable.

Properties/Homes:

-Am in pursuit of my first property

Teaching/Helping/Giving Back:

-I’m acquiring more skills and knowledge in order to better teach people in the future.

-Set an example of good work ethic in jobs that I’ve had in my career, but working smarter is ongoing.

UPDATE****Volunteered at a Battle Frog race and helped many overcome the 12 foot wall obstacle.

Agriculture:

-I’ve planed 6* trees.

-I have an aloe plant

-Starting to grow Chia.

As you can see from this inventory, I’ve  still got a long way to go in almost everything. This doesn’t deter me, nor should it deter anybody who sets out to achieve anything. I’d rather take the time to assess where I am, so that I can always look back as I progress and reach benchmarks, (2015-as I just have). As opposed to saying “there’s too much work to be done” I say “here’s a way to measure my work against something. Everybody starts somewhere…

Started from the bottom…–Drake

Moving forward I’ll be writing and publishing detailed posts in each of these categories as I learn and experience new things, but also delve into what I’ve learned in the past in more detail.

Thanks for reading, and leave me any comments you have.

(Morning) Rituals and Routines—What Might Be the Unifying Factor in Success.

BY @multitude27

Day Break. #nofilter

First post of 2015!!!!!!

 

This post is adapted from a post I published at Medium yesterday. I’m a huge fan and follower of Tim Ferriss (follow him on Twitter and his blog to be on the cutting edge of performance and success) Through his blog and podcast Mr. Ferriss has really emphasized the morning routine of the successful and how they vary but can contain striking similarities.

 

The following words are a synopsis of where I’m at personally adopting a functioning routine into my life.

 

 

(Morning) Rituals and Routines—What Might Be the Unifying Factor in Success.

I honestly don’t practice a routine right now. But, I’m developing a system. I am the type of person that can’t have a monotonous life, and routines are monotonous, or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. Completely wrong. In all my studying of success nothing recurs quite as often as having a routine to spark creativity and productivity. Maybe list making, but that is often part of the routine! Chicken and egg aside, I’ve put a great deal of effort into the study of routine and routine building in my life. However, to date, I have yet to actually practice my routine(s). To overcome my fear that having a routine would add too much monotony regardless of its productivity benefits, I’ve decided to create different routines for different styles of days. Wait, hear me out—there are core tenets that form the ultimate simplicity of my routine, but I tailor other aspects and steps outside the core to jumpstart engagement in how I want to direct and create my day. How does that work? Something like this: I broke days down into primary themes and differentiate/adjust the routines accordingly.

Each day should have one major goal/tenet:

Brain Dayslearn and absorb at least one truth, skill, or lesson.

Fitness DaysFocus on health and fitness, with a major workout or mission accomplished

Creative DaysMust create one item. Whether that’s a cog to a larger creation or a finalized product.

Money DaysCreate Income/Profit. Goals and target numbers set and strived for. Financial Management and Improvement.

Love Days—purposefully free of routine…spontaneity and freedom rule. Days devoted to love, and enjoying the moment.

Macro with some good morning Dew

Macro with some good morning Dew

 

What makes each day different is the desired outcome and goal. The goal overall is to have systems in place that make each morning an enjoyable and effective way to start my day. Designing the differences in the routines is in accordance with these goals. I wouldn’t say that each day is fully set out yet, in total detail but some things have been established. Each day gets it’s own musical accompaniment to the routine based on how I’m setting the tempo for the day. For instance, fitness days are geared towards higher tempo music to induce a more intense frame of mind before training. I believe certain days don’t need music.

The inclusion of a day free of routine I felt necessary, to avoid negative self talk and criticism. I tend to gravitate towards harsh self-appraisal so this can insulate me. Go on? A day where I can be free and spontaneous built within the greater framework of a structured routine system alleviates me from pressure or need to berate my failure. After all who can be mad at a day spent in freedom, love and pursuing the enjoyment of our limited time in this plane of existence? So I broke routine? End of the world? No. Not unless I can’t look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and say that I lived my way and no day is bad. Which is never.

The purpose of this wasn’t to long windedly explain that I’ve got a different way of routinizing life, the purpose was to share what gets results and that’s why if you’re still reading you ultimately clicked this story.

My routine system I’ve discussed is complicated, but it suits me because I’m complicated as well. That being said I do know that a high level of complication can ultimately defeat the real purpose of a routine…to simply do tasks in a manner that doesn’t require the level of conscious thought it would to independently accomplish these tasks: with the overall system leading to higher functioning as a human.

Here is the simple stuff. What have I found to work for me and common among the successful?

COMMONALITIES AMONGST DAYS:

  • • Each routine should include the sourcing/planning/preparing of the day’s first meal.
  • • Make Bed
  • • Hydration—8–20 oz. of water.
  • • Some form of affirmative thought/visualization/gratitude/meditative time
  • • A baseline minimum physical activity: Yoga/Stretch, 200 pushups, breathing exercises.

Following these activities I would tailor the following steps to the day. Creative days would involve a writing practice with various projects ongoing. Fitness days, a great training session or sessions. Money days, an evaluating my personal and company finances with increasing income and profit taking center stage. Brain days, deeply immersive study of a subject of my choosing. Love days, who knows?

Overall, I think that using these commonalities as a foundation and building off of them can prove very beneficial. The rest of your day already has a sense of purpose and accomplishment. You’ve followed a routine, and that’s a key to reaching a happy and successful life. Ask anybody. Anybody that you consider to be successful, and see if they don’t have some form of routine to become more effective.

 


 

Any thoughts or comments? What do you do that is different or similar to my set up? Am I crazy? Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me @multitude27 on the side bar.

 

Thank you,

 

Brendan