The Ultimate Keys to Success in Life (hint, it has nothing to do with how hard you work)

So it has been a while since I have written in here.

It’s interesting that I usually only write when things are going well.

I think that some part of us doesn’t want to share when things are going well.

We only want people to see the good in us.

And it isn’t that things weren’t going well for me the past few months.

It’s that I wasn’t being consistent with the goals that I had set for myself.

I started the new year strong with the Miracle Morning, waking up early, and doing really well for about the first month of the year.

The first month of the year was kind of a high-energy sprint form me.

I was eating healthy.

I was going to the gym.

I was doing all the things that I was supposed to be doing.

And so I was excited to talk about it.

In the next few months that followed, I stopped waking up early.

I wasn’t as dedicated to my morning routine.

I just wasn’t proactive with my life.

I wasn’t eating healthy.

And so I just didn’t feel good.

And when you don’t feel good, you really don’t want to talk about it with anyone.

Especially a public audience such as a blog.

So now I’m feeling a lot better about a lot of things.

I’ve actually been eating pretty healthy for the last two months.

I started going back to the gym last week.

I’ve lost almost 30 pounds in the past two months.

I was telling my wife last night before I went to sleep that it is funny how when you start doing things right, you just feel better.

And you notice a significant difference.

Because you remember how you used to feel when you weren’t doing anything right.

You have that comparison, that contrast.

When you remember how all the bad times felt, you’re more likely to keep doing the good things to feel good.

However one thing that happens is when things go well and we feel good, we forget about what those bad times felt like.

We forget about the people who were there for us when things were bad.

Forget about those who gave us strength to get out of that rut.

We start thinking that it was our own strength that carried us through.

I know that it was God that gave me strength.

Even though things were still going well for me, I definitely hadn’t hit rock bottom.

But I wasn’t happy.

I wasn’t happy with myself.

I wasn’t happy with how I felt.

It’s interesting if you look back at your life and you start tracking the cycles that you go through, you can identify patterns.

In the Book of Mormon we read about the pride cycle.

The people in the Book of Mormon would go through these cycles where for a period of time they were righteous, and they kept God’s commandments.

And then they were blessed.

God blessed them with success and material possessions.

The problem with this however was that they soon started thinking that it was by their own hand that they had this success and possessions.

And they forgot about God.

And so God stopped blessing them.

I think I just missed my exit.

By the way I’m dictating this blog as I drive.

So hopefully that makes more sense as to why I missed my exit.

So anyway, back to the pride cycle.


When God stopped blessing the people because they no longer recognize his hand in their success they lost that success.

They lost those material possessions.

And because of this they were humbled.

They were compelled to be humble.

Which meant that they started to look to the Lord again.

They started to look to God to bless them and take care of them because they had lost those blessings that He was giving them before.

You can look at that in your own life.

And see where you fall into that.

Make sure that you’re acknowledging those who have had a hand in your success. And continue to give gratitude to them.

I look back at what I’ve done with my life for the past 10 years.

I’ve seen this cycle in my own life.

I do well.

I get healthy.

I forget.

The key to success is that you can’t forget.

You have to remember.

Remember who it is that got you to where you are.

Whether that is God, a friend, a spouse, a mentor, or your children even.

Don’t forget where you have been, what you’ve done, and what others have done to get you to where you are today.

The key to success is to be grateful.

The key to success in this life is to give more than you take.

That doesn’t really make sense from a mathematical standpoint.

How does Johnny end up with more if he gives more than he takes.

By that rationale you won’t have anything left and you’ll be in debt.

But the cosmos work in a different way.

You give more than you take.

And it builds up your karmic bank accounts.

You build interest.

You make deposits every time you serve, and you give.

And when you take instead of give, you take from the bank accounts.

Make sure you give more than you take.

And that is the key to success.

So that is the challenge for today.

Figure out how you can give more than you take.

Figure out how you can serve and be selfless.

Because really that’s the purpose of this life.

It’s to figure out how to overcome that selfish nature that we all inherently have.

Go out there and do something amazing.

Another Miracle Morning (I woke up at 4AM on Saturday… and I liked it!)

So I finished reading The Miracle Morning yesterday.

I did all the stuff that it says.

I printed the things.

I made my affirmations.

The only thing that I don’t have yet is an accountability partner.

Granted, that one was optional.

Hal also says that you should move your alarm clock away from your bed.

I don’t think that I am going to do that though.

I use an app called Sleep Cycle to track my sleep.

It records your breathing and movement, and then it wakes you up in the optimal sleep phase.

That way you aren’t tired when you wake up.

But I am excited. I am actually going to go workout today too.

It is a Saturday, so the CrossFit class that I am going to be going to doesn’t start until 10:00 AM.

So I have a few minutes.

But I actually woke up at 4:00 AM on a Saturday.

That is insane, right?

I woke up I did all my things that he says to in the book.

After that, It was only 6:30. So I made some breakfast.

After that though, the house was quiet.

I didn’t have anywhere to be.

As I mentioned, I am not going to go workout until 10:00 AM.

So I had to kill some time.

I decided to do the dishes.

This was also a part of one of my affirmations to be a better spouse.

I don’t really like helping out around the house.

We moved into this house over 1 1/2 years ago.

And honestly, I don’t think that I have done the dishes once.


So I did the dishes.

And it feels good.

I had actually been feeling really depressed since about Thanksgiving.

I don’t know if it is Seasonal Affect Disorder, or just being depressed about being overweight.

But anyway, I started taking some vitamin D, and I do my Miracle Morning.

And I feel amazing. I have done it five days in a row so far.

I highly recommend checking out The Miracle Morning if you haven’t yet.

Oh yeah, I am thinking about writing another book as well.

I’m just trying to figure out what.

This Miracle Morning stuff works!

I’ve got all these plans.

I might even bring back the 30 Day Challenges…

Wading through trials

Today I was reading in the Book of Mormon, in 1 Nephi, Ch. 17.

It starts out talking about how they traveled through the wilderness for about 8 years.

Prior to this we know that they had set out seeking the Promised Land.

During this time, they had children.

They suffered various things that they couldn’t even mention.

They couldn’t even make a lot of fire to cook their meat, so they ate raw meat.

It says that during that time, they “waded through affliction”.

And that they were made stronger because of their afflictions.

After the end of the eight years, they arrive at a place which they call Bountiful because if had a lot of fruit.

There was an abundance of resources.

In fact, the Spanish translation for Bountiful is Abundancia which literally means abundance.

So they were blessed after wading through afflictions for eight years.

But why?

Because they were obedient to the Lord and His commandments.

I started thinking on that.

Wading indicates that you are moving through some water or mud.

It means that the going will be slow. There will be resistance.

But, you keep moving.


Now this principle can be applied anywhere.

You can apply it to your own spiritual journey, to your business, to your health.

Whatever you want.

When you have a goal, a lot of times there are going to be some trials that you have to go through to achieve that goal.

There will be some metaphorical (or maybe actual, depending on your goals) mud, muck, and mire that you will have to wade through.

However, wading through that resistance is what is going to make you stronger as you work towards your goal.

Sometimes the biggest reward isn’t achieving the goal itself, but the journey you made working towards that goal.

The Miracle Morning

Good morning.

I am writing this at 6:09 AM and I have been up since 4:30 AM

I do not like getting up early.

Someone at work recently recommended reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

I haven’t read the entire thing yet, but I am in the middle of reading it.

I think that I have read two chapters so far.

But I have a good idea of what I want to accomplish from my mornings so far.

Afraid of Working Out

I haven’t starting working out yet this year.

For some reason I am afraid to go work out.

I don’t know what it is.

I know that as soon as I do it, I will love it and I will feel good though.

Unable to Wake Up Early

For a long time, I wasn’t really able to get up early.

I say that literally.

I was recently diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, and I have had it for a long time I guess.

So now that I have the CPAP deal, I sleep a lot better.

I don’t get tired as much as I did.

I feel great.

I don’t drink energy drinks anymore either.

I used to feel exhausted all day long even after getting 9-10 hours of sleep.

If you feel tired constantly or you snore excessively, I highly recommend asking your doctor about getting a sleep study done.

It can change your life.

There are also other areas of your health that can be dramatically improved.

Back to My Mornings

I just wanted to talk about what I am doing in my mornings.

I wake up.

I pray/meditate.

Then I write in my journal.

I then do a spiritual based study in the scriptures or something similar.

After that, I write in my journal.

I also have a vision board that I just created, and I spend some time looking at thtat.

I also have a sheet of “affirmations” as Hal calls them in The Miracle Morning.

I keep that in my journal. and I look at it and read through it after I write in my journal.

Honestly, I haven’t seen too many effects from this yet. But I am confident that I will.

I keep a checklist of these things and the other things that I need to do on a daily basis on an index card.

The following day, I tape that index card into my journal next to the appropriate date entry.

I have only been doing this for a few days, so we will see how it goes.

This is also something that I plan on doing every day.

I want to remain consistent with it, so even on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday’s I have meetings at 6:00AM anyway at the church. So I have to get up early.

So I might as well get up early on Saturdays too.

“I hate running.”

There is a quote in the book when the author’s friend Jon tells him that he should go running in the morning to improve his life.

The author says, “I hate running.”

His friend Jon immediately replies, “What do you hate worse, running… or your current life situation.”

I think that can be applied anytime that we are faced with something that we don’t feel like doing, but we know that it will have a positive effect.

“I am afraid of going to the gym.”

“What are you afraid of more, going to the gym… or being unhealthy for the rest of your life?”

If you are interested in getting your own copy of The Miracle Morning, click my link below. (And yes, full disclaimer, I make a little commission off of it, when you buy it using my link.)

New Year’s Resolutions are Stupid

So I haven’t written much on this blog in a long while.

I started this post unsure of what I would write about.

I actually just started typing using writing in Hardcore Mode.

That means that you can’t stop typing or else you lose all your progress.

Lately, I have been thinking about a lot of things.

I am not even sure why I have kept this blog up, except for the history of it all.

I looked back and my most recent post was almost three years ago.

Awhile back, I had also moved the blog from different servers to new servers.

I am not even sure if I did that right. I’m pretty sure I didn’t

Lately, I have just been wanting to write more.

I did a vision board this year, instead of New Year’s Resolutions.

I don’t want to have New Year’s Resolutions, instead I would rather change my lifestyle.

I can do this by simply changing the things that I am doing each day.

New Year’s Resolutions and goals have too much of a temporary feel to them for me.

I feel like when we set a goal, and then we accomplish it or don’t accomplish it, then what?

Where do we go from there.

I feel that if we focus on changing our everyday lives, little by little, we will eventually achieve those things that we want.

That’s why I did the vision board.

That way I can have my “North Star” to guide me in my daily activities.

I can use it as my compass point to look at where i should be heading.

It isn’t necessarily a goal.

Goals are stupid and frustrating.

I don’t want to just have a list of things that I need to accomplish each day in order to check off progress towards a goal.

I would rather have things that I want to do each day that get me closer to what I want to become.

What we become is so much more more important than what we do.

I want to become something greater.

It is the difference of saying, “I want to lose weight” vs “I want to become healthy”

They are similar things, however, one is focused on the becoming, and the other is focused on just doing.

So go out there and become something. Don’t just do something.

How to kick down any door in three attempts or less

A friend recently leased a new building as part of a business expansion.

Apparently the handing over the keys part of the leasing process didn’t involve all sets of keys and there were rumors of lost keys.

So it was decided to simply change the locks.

So the locksmith arrived to change the locks.

This is a fairly simple process if you have the old keys.

If you don’t have the old keys, it is actually quite difficult, time consuming and expensive.

So my friend decided to kick down the door.

He had never kicked down a door, so he simply wound up and kicked, if that is the correct term.

And failed.

Taking courage once more, he struck the door and failed again.

Before the third attempt he thought to himself, “This is the last attempt. If I don’t get this, the locksmith will have to cut the door off.”

(It was a metal door.)

So harnessing all that energy and frustration of two failed attempts, he smashed his foot into the door and it flew open.

After he told me this story, I thought, that is how it is in business, life, family, or anything else really.

It’s always that third attempt.

But there are two different roads that can be taken when you get to that third attempt.


Failure is an option.

You might get to that third attempt and give it the obligatory third attempt simply for appearance’s sake.

You don’t think that you are going to be able to kick that door down, but you have to give it one final try.

This will in fact help you sleep at night when you wonder whether or not you did everything you could to save your business, family, marriage, etc.

You will be able to look back and see that you did make that third and final attempt.


Success is also an option.

You might get to that third attempt and say, “I’m not going to make any more attempts after this, so this one has to work.”

And then it does. Or it doesn’t.

Who knows. Maybe it wasn’t meant to work.

What’s the point here?

The point is, that only you know what is in your heart.

Succeed or fail, it really doesn’t matter.

But you have to know in your heart that you truly did all you could.

And even if you didn’t, there is no reason to mope around about it.

Get over it and don’t let it happen again.


The Amusement Park Mentality – Say MOOOOO!

So, I don’t think that picture is of an amusement park. But you get the idea.

I went to Disneyland with my family yesterday.

We are standing in line and I am looking at how they have the lines set up.

They are chains, ropes or rails. But they are all meant to contain you in a certain formation and order. I feel like I’m in a herd of cattle.

Have you ever gone to get on a ride that is empty but you have to walk all the way through the ropes to get to the front? When you could have just done what Shrek does and walk straight through them?

My kids love playing with the chains and climbing on the rails.

But we aren’t supposed to let them do that.

Where am I going with this?

In the amusement park of life, do we allow others to put up chains or ropes to tell us where we have to go?

Or do we forge our own paths like Shrek?

I think we need to be more ogre-ish every now and then.

We need to be more child like.

Break those chains. Tear right through them.

The Evolution Solution

Have you ever seen the movie Evolution with David Duchovny and Orlando Jones?

It is a ridiculous movie, and one that I really enjoy.

In the movie, aliens attack earth and the humans can’t seem to find a way to stop them.

David Duchovny, much by chance and luck discovers that since humans are carbon based and arsenic is deadly to humans, the aliens are nitrogen based and so if you follow the same pattern (2 down 1 over) on the periodic table, the aliens should have a deadly reaction to selenium (which apparently is found in conditioner).

So they load a fire truck up with hair conditioner and squirt it all over the aliens and save the world.

What does this have to do with anything?

Good question.

I woke up this morning and thought of this.

I have no idea why.

It’s Thanksgiving.

But, we can apply the same pattern in our own lives.

Sometimes when we are looking for a solution to something, the solution already exists. We just have to copy it and apply it to whatever it is that we are working on.

Is this always the case?


But it can be the case a lot of times.

Why would you spend hours trying to code something from scratch, when the code is already available for $50? Just buy the code.

Don’t run yourself ragged trying to reinvent the wheel.

Identifying Your Muse, Pt. 2 | ZAPSOCK

What are you passionate about?

What makes you the happiest?

I have thought about this a lot and why this is important.

I know a man who was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer that had metastasized into his bones and marrow to the point that if were to move out of bed, all of his bones would shatter.

What did he do?

He started writing songs.

He’s on the road to recovery.

He is able to walk again.


Because he followed his muse?

I think so.

But that’s not it.

A Higher Purpose

I have thought about how ten years ago I was unstoppable.

Sure I was a lot younger, but I think that it was something different.

I had a higher purpose.

I was striving to accomplish something greater than myself.

You can’t just follow your passion.

You must follow your passion and utilize it for the benefit of others.

Try me.

I dare you.

Identifying Your Muse | ZAPSOCK

As I may have mentioned previously my favorite book is “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield.

In this book Stephen Pressfield talks about overcoming resistance to follow your passion or your art.

Mr. Pressfield discusses the nine muses of Greek mythology.

Each one represents a different art.

Who is your muse?

How do you identify your muse?

What is your passion?

I have been trying to identify my own.

It is quite the daunting task.

Any ideas?