Burn The Ships

In 1519 a Spanish explorer by the name of Hernan Cortez led a fleet of ships to Veracruz, Mexico. In those days, it was common to leave a few crew members behind to stay with the ships. This served two purposes. First the crew would guard the ship and protect it from unwanted strangers and wild animals. Second, the crew would be there just in case a speedy escape was needed from an unknown enemy.

On this exploration, Cortez decided not to leave anyone with the ships. In fact, he even took things a step further.

He gave orders to burn the ships.

What? Why would he do something like this? Was he out of his mind?

Cortez did this because he wanted to send a message to his crew.

He knew the exploration was nerve-racking and his men were looking over their shoulder in fear. He didn’t want his crew’s to have any lingering doubt in their minds about their current mission. He wanted to show that he was fully committed to success by eliminating the option of running away.

That is a gutsy strategy. How many of us are bold enough to try it?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely burn the ships in my life. In fact, I often keep one too many guards back at the ship, just in case I need to retreat.

If you are like me, you often put things off because you know there is always another chance to do them. There is always tomorrow.

The only problem is that tomorrow becomes tomorrow again the next day, and then the one after that.

In Cortez’s case, there was no tomorrow. He was not turning back and he wanted to eliminate all excuses.

Next time we start to come up with a list of excuses it might just be in our best interest to stop, and burn the ships instead.


Full Proof Way To Avoid Hitting the Snooze Button

Do you constantly hit the snooze button before getting up in the morning?

If so, you are not along. According to one survey, more than 50% of respondents report to hitting the snooze button at least once each morning. 14% said they hit it three times a day.

We even have a special name for this attempt to try and squeeze in a few extra minutes of sleep, “drockling.” Not a very appealing word. Kinda sounds like the making of a book about a scary villain who just can’t get up in the morning. I’d call it “The Ugly Drockling.”

But I digress.

I recently heard about a genius way one woman has figured out how to avoid hitting the snooze button.

Each night she loads an embarrassing post or picture on her Facebook account. She schedules it to post at 6:35am. When her alarm goes off at 6:30, she has five minutes to jump out of bed and cancel the Facebook post. If she stays in bed and hits the snooze button, she takes the risk of not getting to Facebook in time and the embarrassing picture being released for her friends and family to see.

Given our love of Facebook, and our avoidance of being embarrassed, I’d say this is pretty good motivation each morning.

Might be something worth trying if you find yourself drockling each morning.

You Don’t Need A Cape

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!”

Nowhere in that famous description of Superman does it say, “unstoppable due to his sleeveless outer garment.”

The cape does not make the man.

As the above clip from The Incredibles shows, a superhero does not become super simply because he or she wears a cape. In fact, there are times when all the cape does is get in the way.

I used to think my work needed to be flashy if I wanted it to be noticed. That was discouraging because I am not a flashy person.

I am starting to learn that fit is more important than flash.

How does my work fit my personality? How can it fit into the lives of others? Does it fit the principles I want to portray?

To stick with the comparison to The Incredibles, Edna builds each superhero costume based on the individual who will wear it. She creates a flexible material for Elastigirl. She designs a suit able to withstand enormous friction for Dash. She even makes each suit machine washable, because what mom wouldn’t want that.

In addition, each suit has something else in common…no capes!

There once was a time where you weren’t considered super unless you had a cape. Things have changed.

Find you fit and forget the flash.

How Laughter Can Make You Feel Invincible

How long do you think you could keep your hand in a bucket of freezing water? Consider this a new ice bucket challenge.

10 seconds? A minute?

The length of time you can endure the freezing cold tells a little about your pain tolerance. The longer you are able to withstand a frozen hand, the higher your tolerance.

What if I told you that you could improve this tolerance and all you had to do was laugh?

In his book, Ha! The Science of When We Laugh And Why, author Scott Weems tells the story of scientist who performed a cold pressor test. They asked participants to hold one hand in water chilled to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. They recorded their scores and then asked the participants to do the test again, only this time they performed the test while watching a recording of humorous stand-up comedy.

While watching the comedy, the patients were able to increase the amount of time they kept their hand in the ice water from 36-100 seconds. Weems calls this the Bill Cosby Effect (which unfortunately has a different connotation these days).

But laughing isn’t exactly the same as taking aspirin. Rather, it is more like a jog on a treadmill. Our minds need emotional engagement just like our bodies need exercise.

“The reason comedies and tragedies lead to greater pain tolerance is that our minds are exercised by each,” Weems says. “When we laugh, just as when we cry, our bodies experience emotional arousal. This effect is both engaging and distracting, strengthening our bodies—and our minds—for what is to come, much like a boxer lifts weights before a bout.”

Weems goes into great detail to show the benefits of laughing, but he also acknowledges that is it not a wonder drug. Humor may increase our pain tolerance but man cannot live on humor alone.

“Laughter is the best medicine, so long as it’s mixed with exercise, a healthy diet, and an occasional dose of penicillin,” says Weems.

Humor is a lot like changing a baby’s diaper—it doesn’t necessarily solve all our problems, but it sure does make things more pleasant for a while.”

So next time you are want to alleviate some hurt (physically or emotionally), you might just want to turn on Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain.

One Simple Way To Increase Our Brainpower

Does your brain feel fried? Can’t seem to pay attention or come up with any ideas?

Here’s one simple thing you can to do increase your brainpower…

Stand up.

Yes, it is that easy. Get out of your chair and on to your feet.

A new study from Texas A&M University found that students with standing desks were more attentive and showed 12 percent greater on-task engagement than students who had seated desks. This 12 percent equates to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time.

These results lead researches to believe we think better on our feet.

Mark Benden, Ph.D., CPE, associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, said that previous research has shown that physical activity, even at low levels, may have beneficial effects on cognitive ability.

“Standing workstations reduce disruptive behavior problems and increase students’ attention or academic behavioral engagement by providing students with a different method for completing academic tasks (like standing) that breaks up the monotony of seated work,” Benden said.

Is your work starting to feel monotonous? Maybe it is time to push the chair aside and let your feet do the thinking.

October Recap

In case you missed a post or two this month, here’s a quick recap of what I wrote about during the month of October:

Questions I Asked –


Is Maury C. Moose and The Basketball ChamPUNship Now Available? – Yes!

Why do we say ‘boo’ on Halloween? – I am not sure if there were Halloween decorations in the year 1515, but if there were, they very well could have featured the word boo.

Things We Learned –

I Have Many Reasons To Say Thank You! – Here’s one in particular.

The One Thing Happy People Do Differently – Guess what? You can do it too.

How To Get Some Luck On Friday The 13th – Spoiler alert: these things work on days other than Friday the 13th.

You Need To Understand You Don’t Understand – Confusing, right? Read the post and it will make more sense.

It Is Not About Brushing Your Teeth Today – Check out a lesson I learned right before I went to the dentist.

Fun With Numbers –

3 Indispensable Virtues That Make Teams Successful – Many times, I will read something online and immediately think, “that was great, I wish I wrote it.” I may not have written it, but I can still share it. Here’s the latest…

5 Good Things – Having a rough week? Feel like there is nothing but negative stories online, on TV and in the newspaper? Looking for a little pick me up? Here are 5 good things going on in our world…and as you’ll notice, this month we have a theme: Sports.


3 Indispensable Virtues That Make Teams Successful

Many times, I will read something online and immediately think, “that was great, I wish I wrote it.” I may not have written it, but I can still share it. Here’s the latest…

3 Indispensable Virtues That Make Teams Successful by Dan Schawbel

I think this is the first interview in “I Wish I Wrote It” history. This article features an interview with author Patrick Lencioni. There are two reasons why I was drawn to it. 1) It has a great title. 2) the second question Schawbel asks: “What types of people does every team need and how do you find these people?”

This is a great question and Lencioni has an equally great answer. Check it out here.

5 Good Things

Having a rough week? Feel like there is nothing but negative stories online, on TV and in the newspaper? Looking for a little pick me up?

Here are 5 good things going on in our world…and as you’ll notice, this month we have a theme: Sports. These days, between protests, violence and dumb decisions, sports get a bad rap. But there is actually a lot of good going on in the sports world. Let’s take a look at 5 examples…

  1. Eagles player Chris Long donating the rest of his season’s salary to charity – Long is putting his entire $1 million base salary behind his belief that education opens doors for all Americans. He is donating his final 10 game checks from this season to organizations supporting educational equity and opportunity in Philadelphia as well as Boston and St. Louis, where he previously played with the Patriots and Rams.
  2. Pro Hockey Player Purchases Suite So That Underprivileged Children Can Attend Games -The Montreal Canadiens announced on Wednesday that Jonathan Drouin has partnered with the Canadiens Children’s Foundation to host less fortunate children at a Bell Centre suite for Habs games.Drouin is making a personal annual contribution of $165,000 for the suite, which will bear the name “Jo et ses champions” (Jo and his champions).
  3. Oakland A’s answer young wildfire victim’s letter in person – Loren Smith, 9, of Santa Rosa lost his home and his cherished collection of baseball cards and memorabilia. Teams from around the country are coming together to help replace what he lost.
  4. Oklahoma football team lets opponent in wheelchair score touchdown – An Oklahoma high school football team rallied around a player on the opponent team, who was in a wheelchair, and let him score a touchdown.
  5. New York Islanders ‘recruit’ boy with cancer, making his ‘dream come true’ -A little boy from New York had his wish granted Tuesday after he got to spend the day practicing and hanging out with his favorite hockey team, the New York Islanders.Brandon Bloom, 8, of South Setauket, on Long Island, became an NHL athlete for a day.

Thank You!

Four years ago, Maury C. Moose was brought to life thanks to the generosity of 89 amazing people.

When I was first looking to create a children’s book about a moose with a punny name, I realized one thing very quickly…I needed help. I didn’t know what I was doing or how I would actually make this book a reality. I turned to Kickstarter and simply spoke from the heart.

I explained my idea, my struggle and how I could use some help. I clicked submit on the Kickstarter page and was scared to death. What if people didn’t like my idea? What if they didn’t like me? Would my dreams of writing a book be destroyed before they even started?

What happened next was amazing…

I got my first backer (shout out to Will & Julie Heher). Then I got another one. And another one. Maury C. Moose was becoming a reality right before my eyes.

On October 23, 2013 my Kickstarter campaign ended and I raised $5,725. All thanks to 89 amazing people. 

Four years later, I have turned my small idea into a children’s book series with 4 stories and dozens of ideas for what Maury can do next. I am so excited for the future of Maury and if you are one of the 89 Kickstarter backers (or anyone else who has joined along the way), I have one thing to say…


The One Thing Happy People Do Differently

Have you ever noticed that some memories are just more powerful than others? More often than not, these memories are negative.

Why is that? And what can we do about it?

To find the answers to those questions and more check out this article I wrote for Fulfillment Daily. It takes a science-based look the one thing happy people do differently, and how we can apply that mindset to our lives.

The One Thing Happy People Do Differently – Fulfillment Daily