All posts tagged: motivation

7 Tips for facing adversity

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Over the last few days I’ve had conversations with several people going through difficult times.  Having gone through such times myself it got me thinking about the ways that were helpful for me in overcoming those times.  Today I’d like to share some of my favorite tips when facing adversity.

  1. Don’t be negative. Talking negatively too often and/or dwelling on the past is ultimately not constructive and has the damaging consequence of slowing (or preventing) our potential for solutions.  Worse, it can also become a destructive habit over time.  Rather than focusing on negative things, seek out the positive.  Direct your energy toward your positive traits, previous successes and the things you DO have in your favor.  This mindset will fuel you toward greater outcomes instead of hindering your progress.
  2. Get out of yourself. Something I’ve found extremely helpful during hard times is helping other people.  This helps get us out of own heads while providing a better perspective on our lives and problems.  Nothing will help you feel better about yourself than helping someone else.
  3. Suit up and show up. There will be rough patches in life for all of us – personally, financially, etc.  When we encounter these challenges there may be a temptation to quit taking the steps necessary to improve our situation.  You may not feel like getting up many days, may avoid the work you know you should be doing, you may cancel and not show up, etc.  I believe that for things to improve you must continue battling every day – even the days when you absolutely do not want to.  Your situation can be dramatically improved simply by continuing to push on; you never know when your break will come.
  4. Read the signs. Whenever I am faced with adversity I focus on even the tiniest signs of positivity that I can.  When I faced my most difficult times in life I was never handed immediate solutions.  However, I took note of small signals that helped motivate me to move forward.  As an example, I can remember during a particularly stressful time in my life watching a show that had a powerful scene in it.  I downloaded a song that played during that scene and listened to it constantly.  It didn’t solve my problems but it kept me hungry and motivated to keep pressing on.  These small signals on their own may not end your difficulties but they can be used as fuel for moving forward.
  5. Change is a process. No one ever magically wakes up one day with everything completely as they want; it takes time for things to manifest and improve.  My life over the past several years transformed into something far greater than I’ve ever experienced.  What’s interesting to me about this time period is that none of it happened over night.  In fact it was a series of wins seemingly spaced between an equal number of losses.  As you go through challenging times try and remember that change is not necessarily linear – there will be (many) ups and downs before you land where you want to be.
  6. Get some perspective. As human beings we immediately judge anything that happens to us as either good or bad.  However, in many cases it takes time for us to truly know which they were.  A person could lose their job today and be in a better job a year from now at which point they’d see losing the first job as a blessing.  When most of us look back at our toughest times few of us would change them.  It doesn’t mean they were a blast to go through but the strength, motivation and growth it provided almost always leads us to greater things afterwards.
  7. Get physical. One of the worst things a person can do when facing adversity is to neglect their body.  Doing so usually results in more stress and less motivation.  Eating better and making sure to get daily physical exercise of some kind is an excellent way to strengthen yourself to deal with any difficult time.  It will also help reduce stress and provide numerous physiological benefits.
Matt Kenney7 Tips for facing adversity
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9 Powerful lessons I’ve learned from recent races

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Below are some of my favorite lessons that I’ve learned while competing in various races over the past 5 years that I feel translate well to everyday life.

1. Feed the beast. People that know me know I love this phrase. Within most of us is a desire to compete and an energy that should be directed toward fulfilling a goal. I began competing in serious races in 2011 after not competing in anything for nearly 15 years. After my first race it was like a switch had been flipped and I’d been reborn. That single race helped put me on a path to enormous progress both personally and professionally.

2. Adversity will come, deal with it. Life, much like a competition can throw you curveballs. I did a race years ago that required me to be in 32 degree water for nearly 5 minutes while a snow maker blew snow in my face. I had never been cold like that, it made my brain seem to stop working. It briefly made me almost want to quit before thinking “this will pass, I can get through it.” Whenever things are thrown at me unexpectedly I think back to times like that and it relaxes me because I know I can deal with anything.

3. Stay humble. A couple years ago after a break from competing I entered my first race in Colorado, a local 5K. I went in confident with a lot of serious races under my belt but the combination of hills, altitude, a sprained ankle and getting passed by 12 year olds quickly reminded me to stay humble and not look past anything.

4. Enjoy the process. I’ve done difficult races that have pushed my limits. Even if/when I’m struggling, I always try to enjoy what I’m going through. As a result, I’ve come to believe that the times we cherish most are not when things are easy but when we are battling to find our way or reach a goal.

5. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Last year I ran World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24 hour obstacle course race. At 4:30 in the morning I was in my 18th hour of competing, on no sleep and continuing to battle the affects of hypothermia. As I went out for another lap I ran past a someone enduring all the same conditions as me but running on a prosthetic leg. That reminded me never to feel sorry for myself because someone will always have it tougher.

6. Your mind is powerful. We all give the body great credit for how strong it can be but the mind is far more powerful. I’ve run races where I’ve told myself how great I feel and sure enough I run fast. In rare instances I’ve been hard on myself during a race and inevitably it slows me down. Wherever your mind goes your body will follow so make sure it’s some place great.

7. Make it fun. Last weekend my two sons asked to run a 5K race at ages 5 and 8 respectively. I expected them to walk most of the way due to inexperience and age. Instead, they both ran the entire way and fast. I believe that was because to them it was just fun, there was no pressure or worry. I think that is a good lesson for all of us to not make everything so serious.

8. Find an excuse…to keep going. I have run races where I’ve felt amazing and others where I felt like I was pulling a train. The days when you don’t have “it” are a struggle and will be the times you badly want to quit. Instead of giving up, find an excuse to keep going –any reason at all. You will be amazed at what kind of personal growth that brings you.

9. Live in the present. I ran a race earlier this year that was supposed to be 31 miles. On mile 29 I was informed that due to a mistake the race would instead be 35 miles. I was on fumes at that point but stayed in the present and didn’t let it bother me. Remaining in the presents helps you maintain focus on your goals and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in motivating and helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.

Matt Kenney9 Powerful lessons I’ve learned from recent races
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6 Steps for going to the next level

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I enjoy reading and listening to people that are successful in endeavors ranging from business to athletics. In particular, I enjoy learning about the lessons that their pursuit of success has taught them. Below are some lessons I think can help anyone go to the next level in their endeavors.

1. Be all in all the time. I’m a huge believer that if you want something to happen, you need to take action and keep the pedal down. Maintain focus, discipline and effort and you’ll be shocked at your results.
2. Play well with others. Many people after about the 2nd grade forget the importance of working well with others. Without exception, the most successful people I meet understand the benefit of teamwork. Co-workers, business contacts, your social circle, people you seek advice from and other such sources are all people you’ll want to work well with for best results.

3. Plan all you want but the enemy gets a vote too. In spite of your best efforts, things will occur that can bring you off course. Accept this as part of the process and learn to adapt and be out of your comfort zone.

4. Go on instinct. Planning is important. However, many people prevent themselves from getting anywhere due to “paralysis by analysis.” Don’t over-complicate it, if you have an idea or a goal, just let it rip and get started because that’s ultimately how progress is made.

5. Stay in your 3 foot space. I read a story recently in which someone learning to rock climb was panicking while suspended hundreds of feet off the ground. As he started looking down and off into the distance, the instructor a few feet away from him said “looking around won’t help you, just stay in your 3 foot space.” This means that in life focus on what is in front of you and what you can control. Everything else is wasted energy and distraction.

6. Make pain your friend. Most people are afraid of pain; however it serves many valuable purposes. Pain helps you change, can make you stronger and helps you seek solutions. As a chiropractor I have helped many people transform their lives and become healthier and more active. A majority of those people initially came to me because pain prompted them to do so.

Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in motivating and helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.

Matt Kenney6 Steps for going to the next level
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The important life lesson my 8 year old can teach you…

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A few weeks ago my son was involved in a minor ski accident during which he hit his head while wearing a helmet. As a precaution for a concussion, he was kept out of activities for 1 week. Near the end of that week he told me how restless he was. Then he said “Daddy, running is my momentum. Playing is my momentum.” I had him explain what he meant and he went on to tell me that essentially those 2 things in particular made him so happy and fulfilled that all other parts of his life were better. I loved it and it got me thinking what forms of “momentum” were most important to me. Below are mine, what are yours?

· My sons. More than anything else in the world, my two sons (8 and 5 years old) motivate me. I always want to achieve more and to set a better example for them.

· Exercise. I cannot imagine life without exercise. I rely on the gym, going out for runs and hiking to keep me charged up, sharp and ready to face anything.

· Races. I love to compete and find that doing so has a carry-over effect to all aspects of my life. Races that take me well out of my comfort zone are my preference because afterwards I’m more accustomed to overcoming adversity. Stretching my boundaries physically makes me far stronger mentally.

· Reading. I read a ton. I find great motivation from different types of books but my favorites are biographies and autobiographies, especially of people that have endured a great deal. A few of my favorites include: Warrior Elite, Unbroken, Lone Survivor, Man’s Search for Meaning and Spartan Up.

· Personal Relationships. From my girlfriend to my oldest friends to my business associates; I’m always motivated by those around me. As people we are a reflection of those we most often associate with. I’m proud to say mine continue to lead me into great directions.

Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in motivating and helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.

Matt KenneyThe important life lesson my 8 year old can teach you…
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