Time to put on my big boy panties

I’ve been feeling worse for wear of late… or as we men call it, “I’ve had Man Flu.” The symptoms are quite devastating; lethargy, runny nose, sniffles, low grade head and body ache, occasional fever, generally feeling kinda yucky,.. it’s totally debilitating but due to my incredible gender inspired fortitude, I’ve been able to heroically suffer my way through it.

Last night as I lay on the couch with the remote control, scrolling through the TV guide in search of a hockey game to enjoy… fervently hoping that no one in my family was going to make any demands on my pathetically lazy… and as I’ve already mentioned, heroically suffering self… the realization snuck upon me that I’d finally reached the stage where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I acknowledged to myself that doing the same thing day-in and day-out and expecting a different result, obviously wasn’t working for me. When I took an honest look at myself and how I have been showing up in my life recently, it was crystal clear that if I really believed that I am the sum of my choices then the best advice I could possibly give myself was “Suck it up Princess… it’s time to put on your big boy panties… time to start acting consistently with who you think and say you are.”

I got up and grabbed a note pad and pen; scribbled down a list of who and what I claimed to care about and to be committed to. Next I looked at my calendar and taking a stroll down memory lane saw how and where I’d spent my time during the last few weeks. Next I looked at the correlation and incongruences between who and what I claim to care about and be committed to and who and what I focus my attention, energy and time upon.

A summary of what showed up:

  • I claim to care about and be committed to: my wife, children, family, work colleagues, friends, clients, health/wellness/exercise, my foundation, having fun, reading, spiritual conditioning
  • I spent all my time: at work focused on a specific project or exhausted at home

I was delighted to see how out-of-whack I was. At least now I had something of an explanation for why I was feeling how I was feeling (run down, ill, exhausted) and why I was being how I was being (a little grumpy) whilst doing what I was doing. I thought about the body of research relating to Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). PNI is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body.

  • That there be a link between choosing to be stressed out and my body being run down… go figure
  • That there be a link between being run down and not paying attention to and/or acting consistently with the people and commitments that I care about (integrity)… go figure

The good news, for me, is by merely becoming aware of this, I can now choose where to focus my attention, energy and time. My tried and tested approach to getting back on track is to make a list of what I need to focus on and actions I need to take in order to be who I hold myself to be… yes, I’ve been down this path before.

One of my business partners, Kyle, keeps saying, “What gets measured, gets done.” With that in mind, here’s what my next week looks like. This way I won’t have to rely upon the fortitude of my gender to survive J but rather the fulfillment of my commitments to thrive.

Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Notes
Family Spend quality time, be present, good mood, energy… (7)
Sleep Aim for 8 hours per day (7)
Exercise Yoga, swimming or calisthenics once per day (5)
Nutrition 80% healthy to 20% unhealthy food (6)
Prayer Spiritual practices (7)
Meditation Attention Training practices (7)
Gratitude Gratitude practices (7)


I know that when I do all of this, I’m more likely to heed the counsel Steve Jobs gave during a commencement speech when he said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” He said, “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” But most importantly, he stated, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

As someone who wants to become the person who takes care of who and what he’s committed to… here goes.


Success simplified; lessons learned down a hippo's throat. Speaker, Author, Coach who will parachute in when traditional solutions won’t get it done.

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  1. Relevant and refreshing post for me, Paul!  This shows your special gift as a motivational speaker to touch the truth in yourself and others, and share it with such honesty.  I love the breakdown in your commitment chart.  I’m flipping the page to draw my own.  Thank you for sharing such a clear way to focus on what’s important!

  2. Bravo.

  3. Oh Paul, very, very well said.  It’s so easy to delude ourselves into thinking that “I’m doing everything I CAN…Things just aren’t going my WAY!”  Right?  But then if we honestly look at what we say is important – and then where we spend our time – bingo.  Disconnect.  Thank you SO much for the reminder!  JUST what I needed!

  4. Truth. Truth. Truth. Keep speaking your truth as this motivational speaker so enjoys and appreciates you.


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