Category Archives: Advice for the Manic Impressive

Resolutions

ny reso

The end of the calendar year has always been a time for me to wrap things up, enjoy some down time, and get ready to start the new year strong. I know some folks believe that New Year resolutions don’t work, but they do for me.

I do an annual review and assess where I’ve been, where I am, where I want to be, and which course corrections I need to get me there. The symbolic starting point of January 1 always helps me re-commit to new and better habits and goals. Sure, I often fall off as the year grows, but that good start always helps me with whatever I’m trying to accomplish.

It also helps me create some urgency in my life. Why do that? Well,  we just don’t know how much time we have left. No matter your age or physical condition, your expiration date is still a mystery. Sure, you can improve your odds with good, healthy choices on diet and exercise, but even then, those are just odds, not guarantees. If you have more to accomplish in your life, then you’d better get to it, ‘cuz you never know when you’ve seen your last New Year.

Just ask Kathy Baker. She was doing everything she was supposed to do. She went to college then worked hard for years to become CFO of the prestigious Lawrence Livermore Lab. She was an accomplished and well liked  leader, and very disciplined about her exercise. 3-4 times a week she went to the gym for a 6:00 am class before heading to the office at 7:00 am. Every week. Like clockwork.

Until about three months ago. Continue reading Resolutions

Unwanted Gifts

Mitzy

Meet Mitzy, our sweet, beautiful cat. She’s sociable and likes to sit on your chest while you stroke her behind the ears. She is calming, warm, and as far as cats go, very bright.

She is also a ruthless killer.

She stalks small animals, pounces, then drags them into the house to be tortured for sport. Over the years she has dragged in and tortured mice, rats, moles, gophers, birds, lizards and snakes.

Sometimes we find them partly alive and rescue them to the outside where they may or may not survive. Often we find them bloodied, missing fur and feathers, and very, very dead.

This cat is one sick puppy. Continue reading Unwanted Gifts

Pick The Right Arena

Chad Rowan was going to be a basketball star. He was an All Star  high school center on his way to college on a full-ride basketball scholarship. No doubt, Chad and everyone around him had high expectations for his basketball career.

But fortunately for him it did not turn out that way. He rode the bench his freshman year, then quit the team and dropped out of college. Though he was 6’8” and very strong, he was competing in the wrong sport.

Five years later, Chad Rowan was crowned the first non-Japanese champion of the sport of Sumo. Under his wrestling name, Akebono, he achieved Yokozuno status, the highest level in the sport, within a few short years of his professional debut. From there, Akebono dominated his competition for eight years.AKEBONO1 Continue reading Pick The Right Arena

Dreamers Need to Stick Together

tomorrowland
TOMORROWLAND

Have you seen Tomorrowland? No spoiler alert needed, I won’t be giving it away. But I did want to share this quote from the film:

“Dreamers need to stick together…”

I love the idea behind this. Dreams, desires and visions are fragile things. They need to be nurtured and supported so that people can act on them. Too often they are squelched by negativity before they can sprout and take life. And that is a very sad thing

Have you ever done this? Had a great idea pop into your head, then chased it right out with “oh, that will never work”, or “yeah, who am I kidding”, or “right, that will be the day!” Most of us fall victim to this so often we probably don’t realize what we’re doing to ourselves.

That’s why we need to band together with our support groups, our communities, our Masterminds, to feed these thoughts before they get stomped on. Sure, not every idea can be a winner, but the process of brainstorming is only successful if we allow all the ideas the light of day, the wilder the better. Continue reading Dreamers Need to Stick Together

How To Drink Water

Are you drinking enough every day? We’re told we need at least 8 glasses a day. That’s a half-gallon. Athletes are told they need a half ounce for every pound they weigh. So 8 glasses a day would only be enough if you weighed 128 pounds. Possible for some ladies; not likely for most men.

But I’m not here to talk about how much water you should drink. I’ll leave that for the Mayo Clinic . I’m here to talk about how you can drink much water.

You need three things. Strategy. Technique. Gear. OK, one at a time.

 Strategy – There’s got to be a plan. If you leave it up to chance you’ll get a few sips at the water fountain and a few glasses at meals. Not nearly enough. Here’s my plan: I fill up a 24-ounce bottle and drain it four times a day. Two at home, two at work. The first one is filled the night before and set on my bathroom counter. While the shower water is heating up I drain it. Takes 25 seconds and bam, one bottle down. This is a habit I built after reading “Body for Life” by Bill Phillips. Took me 4 years to try it, but only 6 weeks to make it a habit. Now it gets me off to a good start each morning.

Bottle two I drink at work before lunch. I usually sip this one, but one way or the other it’s empty by noon. Bottle three I start after lunch. If I don’t finish by the end of the workday, I kill it in the car on the way home. Bottle four starts with dinner and usually ends on the couch watching a little TV. Easy. Peasy. I am well hydrated.

Technique – Your parents probably taught you not to gulp your food. But trust me on this; gulping your water is a good thing. If you sip, Continue reading How To Drink Water

The Importance of the Night Before…

The Start Line
San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon Start Line

There is an old Buddhist saying that goes, “One teaches best what one needs most to learn.” The idea behind it is that if you get your act together enough to teach others something you struggle with, you will drive home the learning authentically ’cause you truly understand the issue, and you’ll step up your own game in the process.  Really resonates with me, and now I’m going to bust it out on you. I’ve been hesitant to give advice in areas I  struggle with, but here goes…

One of the keys to productivity for a Manic is planning in advance. We’re so in the moment we often underestimate the time it takes us to do things, and quite frankly we can get pretty scattered. That’s why people like me have trouble being on time,  finding our keys, and running out of gas…

So when my racing coach was helping me train for my first marathon, he stressed the importance of prepping the night before a big race. After killing me with stories of races where he showed up missing a shoe or his running shorts and other ridiculous fails, this Manic Impressive coach taught me how to get everything ready the night before. The day of you’re too busy doing to effectively plan and track the packing of your gear or your pre-race food and hydration. His   advice on this has stuck with me for years – Continue reading The Importance of the Night Before…

Manic Impressive: The Origin Story

You may be wondering who the hell this guy is and what’s a Manic Impressive. And maybe I’m wondering who the hell you are and how did you get here. Tell you what, I’ll fill you in and maybe you’ll hang around and do the same for me. Or maybe not, but I’m gonna do my part anyway.

Manic Impressive is my self diagnosis. Which means, and let’s be totally clear about this, it is totally made up. By me. For me. To explain me to me. And now, maybe, to you.

No, I’m not sick. At least not in that way. But there’s a certain group of symptoms I exhibit that are deeply part of me. They bring me moments of absolute brilliance, then long stretches of other stuff.

I write this to try to connect with others and move myself to positive action in my life. I do it to better understand how to make my way in the world. Perhaps you share some of these symptoms and can get some meaning or reassurance from these pages. Or perhaps  someone you know or care about is like this, and you’re hoping to better understand them, or at least, to know when to keep fishing or cut bait and split.

The awareness of this came while I was driving with my wife one day some 20 years ago. It was a spectacular spring day, the hills were green and there was wall-to-wall sunshine. As I crested a gentle rise in the road, the next five miles were laid out in front of me. It was a majestic view and I was feeling great.

So great that I started to sing. And drum my fingers on the steering wheel. And make up words to my new made-up song. And just as I was completely feeling it, I noticed my wife. She was not feeling it. In fact, the more I was feeling it, the more irritated she seemed to be.

Odd – why would my life partner, the woman who loves me, be irritated by my happiness? Well, she just didn’t understand why I could be feeling so good. It didn’t make sense and it bugged her. So I tried to explain, and these were the words that jumped out of me:    “I guess I’m just Manic Impressive.”

Since that day, I’ve found those words to be the exact explanation for who and what I am. I’ve also found others who are described very well by that phrase. People who are talented, creative, inspiring, but who have trouble putting it all together and getting it out there in the world.

These are my people, and this is our struggle…