Nick Exposed

A Creative Community Hosted By Photog/Designer Nick Mayo

Archive for the month “June, 2011”

When in Rome Dude!

This year has had many exciting highlights thus far. One of these highlights would have to include my recent move, at the beginning of this year, from a small farm town in Michigan to a drastically different beach town just outside Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was a very exciting move for me, as I have always dreamt of enjoying beach life. In fact as I write this post, I sit in a hammock on the beach watching the sun set! I don’t take it for granted one bit, and am grateful everyday to be in this position.

This weekend my good friend and neighbor, Clinton, had some friends and family out from his home state of West Virginia. Great guys, who I now have the pleasure of calling friends. One of the things I noticed happen throughout this weekend though, was that his friends kept pointing out various ways in which they seen Clinton had changed since living back home not but six months ago. They pointed out things like how he uses “Dude” quit often, and never used to use it back home. We retaliated with the joking idea that when you live on the beach you have to use the terms “Dude” “Man” and “Bro”, and that its just part of beach life. They continued to point out how we didn’t like to be indoors, and spent the vast majority of the weekend outside being active on the beach, not that it was an issue but an observation none the less. Again we explained it comes with the territory.

These comments got me thinking about a message I used to deliver to my Sales Reps, when I was a District Manager with Vector Marketing and Cutco Cutlery, about how we are, as W. Clement Stone so excellently put it, “Products of our environment”. Now if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I talk a lot about the topic my favorite author Matthew Kelly calls becoming the Best-version-of-yourself. So the main questions to ask yourself here are, “What kind of Environment am I placing myself in?” and “Is this Environment moving me closer to my goals or my best self?”. Just as living on the beach has in ways altered the way my friends and I speak and spend our time, the environments we place ourselves in on a daily basis mold and shape the way we think and act.

“Man is a Child of his environment” ~Shinichi Suzuki

My previous post talked about the decisions we make in life and how we can control these decisions and use them to move us closer to our best selves. What kind of environment we choose to place ourselves in is quit possibly one of the most important decisions we can make in our journey. Our mood, attitude, productivity as well as a great deal of other variables are often directly related to our current environment. Its easier to make wise choices in life, or have a more positive attitude, when you’ve placed yourself in a proper environment that not only allows this type of behavior, but also promotes it. In fact, more times than not, a simple change in environment can catapult you towards your goals and visions, as well as give you a whole new attitude on a current problem, project, or even just life in general. At the same time an improper change in environment can drastically hinder your ability to achieve your objectives or obtain your goals.

“There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish.” ~Warren G. Bennis

Often times people assume, when discussing this subject, that their environment consists of just the place setting that they are in. Though this is a part of your environmental influence, theres so much more to it. Simply put, your environment is EVERYTHING that you subject yourself to! The place setting you put yourself in, the shows you watch on television, the music you listen to, the people you place around you, the books you read etc. Notice how each of these examples are worded, because the truth is you control these variables. You choose what you will watch on t.v., or if you even watch t.v. You choose which people you will give your time too, and which you will limit time with. Creating the proper environment for your success will eventually turn into a second nature habit, but like any other habit it must first be practiced consciously on a consistent basis. After being aware of your surroundings and responding with whatever change may be necessary you will begin to see the benefits that a proper surrounding will have on all areas of your life.

In future posts we will discuss environments in your life right now that may be effecting your attitude, creativity, productivity, as well as your energy and passion.

Feel free to leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject, as well as any personal stories in which you witnessed the power of your environment whether for the better or worse. Also be sure to subscribe to the blog in order to be one of the first to be alerted when a new post arrives. Thank you for sharing your time to look into this subject with me. Until the next post Enjoy the Journey!

Live Life :: Love Life
~Nick

Decisions Decisions

We do it hundreds of times through out the day… Often times without even giving it much thought. It has shaped and molded our lives into what they are right now. It is because of your decisions you have made in the past, that you are the person you are today. I’ll say that again, your past decisions are the reason you think and behave the way you do.

You often hear people debate this idea as they try and pass off the way they think and act to the situations they had come across in the past. The reality is its not the situations, but the way you chose to respond to the situation that made you the person you are today. Its as Anthony Robbins says:

“Its your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny”

Now if your anything like me this can, at first, be a hard pill to swallow. You mean to tell me I am who I am today because I decided to be this person? I mean of course I will take credit for my success’s, but that means I have to take credit for my “failures” as well. This is difficult for many people, as most are conditioned to find an outside force to place the blame of our loses and faults on. Its like when a child  commonly resorts to the o’ so clever excuse of “He made me do it”. No little Johnny didn’t make him put sand in sarah’s hair. Even though Johnny may have come up with the plan, it was that child’s choice to follow through with it.

So, now that we have come to the sometimes startling realization that in order for us to change into the person we want to be, we have to take ownership of the person we are right now, our failures just as much as our success’s, where do we go from here? How can we control our decisions in order to work towards the person we want to be?

Well, first of all lets examine the question of “What does the best version of yourself look like?”. No this isn’t a question of whether your best self looks more like Brad Pitt or Daniel Craig, this simply means envisioning what it means to YOU to be the person you want to be. And yes physical fitness, and even appearance may be a part of that vision, but thats only a small part of what it means to know where you want to go. You must have a good idea of your purpose in life in order to know what directions and decisions you need to make in order to get there! My absolute favorite author Matthew Kelly writes a great deal about this subject. It wasn’t until reading his books that I learned to focus on the Best-version-of-myself, and since then I have enjoyed a more focused fulfilled life. Some fantastic books by him on this subject are The Rhythm of Life and The Dream Manager. Both focus on separate subjects to help you live a more focused and passionate life. You can find used copies for cheap on Barnes and Nobles Marketplace section of their site (Im all about buying recycled books!!).

So now that we have looked into what it means to be the person we want to be, base your decisions from here on out off of that vision. Create an emotional connection with the Best-version-of-yourself and refuse to accept anything less! Ask yourself constantly “Is this bringing me closer to the person I want to be”. Is this burger and coke getting me closer to my six pack abs? Is watching this t.v. show getting me closer to my financial freedom? Is staying out all night getting me closer to my ideal health? By relating your decisions back to the vision you created for your better self, you can create the habit of making better, wiser decisions. So it boils down to creating the vision of your best self and respecting yourself enough to settle for nothing less.

“Self-respect is the root of discipline:  The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”  ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

So here we have laid out the basic ideas of better decision making in order to reach your best self. This is obviously a very complex subject, and really we have only scratched the surface. Again I strongly suggest reading Matthew Kelly’s books listed above to further your knowledge on moving towards your dreams and the person you were truly meant to be. I hope if anything this has inspired you to pay attention to your decision making process, and realize that with every decision you make you are sculpting your future. The question is “Is the future your sculpting on a daily basis the future you truly want?”

I’ll finish this post off with this, although making proper decisions can at times seem difficult, in the end it is always more rewarding. But at the same time make sure your rewarding yourself with other prizes along the way. Your journey to your best self should be an enjoyable one. Be sure you recognize your personal achievements for the strives you make towards this greater version of yourself.

Be sure to leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this subject, as well as ways you have found to be helpful in controlling your decisions. We will probably dive further into this topic in future posts, but until then keep moving forward, and enjoy the journey!

Live Life :: Love Life
~Nick

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