All posts tagged: motivation

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 30th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

An incredible experience.  Last week, my oldest son got his license and on Thursday he picked me up so we could grab his brother from football practice and grab some dinner.  It was raining as he drove but within one or two minutes, it morphed into the craziest weather and driving conditions I have ever witnessed.  As it turned out, we were driving less than a ½ mile from the tornado and were enduring over 100 mph winds, torrential rain, hail, minimal visibility, downed trees, and debris being thrown all around us.   We had no choice but to continue driving, so I calmly began giving my son instructions on exactly what to do.  He remained completely calm and after about 4 miles, we found a spot where we could pull over and I took over driving.  My son in the backseat was freaked out but my oldest son and I were excited, full of adrenaline, and high fiving! 

Something I have learned throughout my life is that the worst thing you can do in an intense situation is panic.  If I had freaked out, my son would have as well, and we would have been in even more danger.  The best thing to do in a crisis is to take a breath and begin with the first necessary step.  Once that happens, you move on to the next, and so on.  Keeping focused on the tasks helps avoid a spiraling of emotions that leads to wasted energy and time.  My son stayed as cool as could be in a stressful situation and I’m certain he will carry that lesson with him forever. 

Something important.  There is a saying that if you spend enough time in a library, you will eventually read a book.  I believe this same principle has applications to daily life as well.  Specifically, if you hear things from those around you long enough, you will eventually believe them.  When people tell you how terrible you are, you will believe them after a point.  Conversely, when people build you up, you are likely to gain confidence and feel you can accomplish great things.

For that reason, it is crucial to be careful of who you let into your life, inner circle, and head space.  You will never be able to completely avoid negative people.  However, the discipline is to learn to not let those people in too close where they can convince you that you’re less than you are.  The people you want around are those that value similar principles as you, have morals, are not threatened by your success, and build your confidence. 

A recent reminder.  Last weekend I was sitting at my son’s football practice and talking to my-longtime assistant coach (our sons have now moved up to a new league that we don’t coach in).   We were discussing a heartbreaking loss we had in the playoffs several years ago and how we should have won the title that year.  Then we went on to discuss how great it was to win consecutive titles over the past two seasons and see our players blossom like they have.  The interesting part was that we both agreed that had we won that heartbreaking game a few years back, we probably would not have kept coaching.

That win would have felt like a good ending point for our team and most likely we all would have gone our separate ways and played/coached in different leagues.  However, the loss kept us together, gave us a reason to return, and made us hungrier.  Ultimately, that made us work harder to become better coaches, players, and teammates.  This was a reminder of how important losses in life can be.  They never feel good, but they cause us to alter our approach, get stronger, increase our efforts, and so much more.  It can be argued that in the end, the losses make us far stronger than the wins.  If you have suffered a setback, allow it to strengthen you and understand it will help you somehow down the line.

Something I think everyone should know.  I hear from patients and friends all the time that are going through challenges.  These can be in relationships, business, mental, physical, and so much more.  Sometimes they’ll comment that they don’t know why it’s happening to them.  The simple answer is because it happens to all of us.  Therefore, I believe two things must happen. 

First, you must expect that you will face adversity.  It’s not personal, but it will inevitably happen so expect a fight in some fashion.  Second, since you’re expecting a fight, you should prepare accordingly.  This means creating the strongest body and mind you possibly can.  Personally, I utilize exercise, difficult races, mentally dauting tasks, nutrition, family time, and faith to build myself into a form where I feel confident I can face anything.  Certainly, I hope everything will go smoothly, but if it doesn’t; I won’t be surprised or unprepared. 

Some quotes I love.

“The quickest way to succeed is to start now and figure it out as you go.  You can’t learn to drive in a parked car.”

“If you want to be successful, you need to be bad, then you need to be good.  Then when you’re good, you need to fail.  And then when you fail, you’re going to figure it out.” – Nikola Jokic

“You should not honor men more than truth.” – Plato

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 30th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 23rd

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Some important lessons.  When I run, I often seek out hills (or mountains) to enhance my training.  Hills are more difficult and put higher demands on the body in terms of oxygen requirements, muscles, and joints.  There are three lessons I have gained from this training that I think apply to daily life because hills are just another name for challenges.

First, the fear or anxiety of climbing a hill defeats more people than the ascent itself.  If we believe the challenge is too great, we psych ourselves out and fail before we begin.  Second, it is crucial to attack the hill with whatever you have.  Sometimes that will be speed, other times the slowest of shuffles.  The point is, give it whatever you have in the moment.  Finally, conquering the hill makes you instantly stronger and more resilient.  Proving to yourself you can conquer a challenge makes you more powerful going forward. 

A recent observation.  “They say” is something I hear in conversations often.  For example, “They say it’s good for you” or “They say you shouldn’t do this.”  We’ve all heard this when talking to others, we’ve probably even said it ourselves.  

What I have come to believe is that “They say” is usually another way of expressing that a person has no idea what they’re talking about and has not taken any time to try and find out.  Most times, it ends up being a piece of a headline, some stereotypical viewpoint, or badly outdated way of thinking.  Depending on the situation or topic, this can be significant.  I tend to notice this most often in topics that concern health and important events transpiring around us.  These should require us to do research to form opinions and strategies to help us deal with them but often we don’t.  Nothing is more important than our health and livelihoods, so take the time to get informed and don’t trust what “they say.”

A question I ask myself daily.  I have always enjoyed learning about miliary tactics, conflicts, and warrior cultures for a variety of reasons.  Something that has always stood out to me is how some of the biggest battles are often fought for the smallest of territories.  In instances such as these, the question always becomes whether ground is being gained or lost in the battle because every foot matters.  I like to ask this same question of myself in all endeavors of my daily life.

We are in constant battle with our health, businesses, habits, relationship building, faith, and so much more.   When we make more good decisions than bad, we take a small step forward.  If we can do this daily, the small steps turn into major changes.  If not, then we begin to lose momentum and our results suffer.  In every aspect of your life, give thought to what specific actions will lead to small gains in ground and repeat those things as often as possible.

An important concept.  As a chiropractor, my specialty is obviously assisting people with my adjustments.  However, I am often asked why I don’t add in nutrition, supplements, various modalities, and other things to assist my patients.  In no way am I against those other things, but I choose to keep my focus in one area.  The analogy I use to explain this is that you can either be a diner or a fine dining restaurant.

A diner will offer you hundreds of choices for your meal.  The variety is amazing, but the quality will suffer, and nothing will stand out.  Conversely, a fine dining restaurant will have a limited menu so that everything can be of the highest quality and amazing.  I don’t want to be the type of chiropractor that offers everything and then delivers lackluster care because the treatment is what people need most from me.  Thus, my goal is to focus my attention only on delivering the best chiropractic care possible.  If you have a gift or talent you want to shine, don’t dilute it with too many other things.  Be the fine-dining establishment instead of the diner.

Some quotes I love.

“The thing about mental toughness is that it continually comes down to a choice.  You can’t blame others for your reactions to setbacks and failures.  When you choose to take responsibility for everything in your life, you reach a new level of mental strength.” – Sally McRae

“Warriors are not the ones who always win but they are the ones who always fight.”

“People will throw stones at you.  Don’t throw them back, collect them and build an empire.”

“Self-control makes the man.  A man without discipline is a boy full of reactions, rather than a man of good actions.” – Greek Proverb

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 23rd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 16th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A lesson I’ve learned from sports.  Whether playing or coaching, a constant lesson I have learned and taught is to always keep moving.  When you stand still, you become easy for an opponent to deal with, take yourself out of the action, and make it nearly impossible to create a positive outcome.  Conversely, when you are in motion, you become unpredictable and more likely to make a good play.  The point is that you must keep moving to keep up with the action around you.  Life is no different.

In life, one of the worst things we can do is to stop moving or become stagnant.  Examples include lack of exercise, not seeking new knowledge, accepting bad habits, and falsely believing we cannot change.  Rather than doing that, we want to remain in motion through exercise, reading, interacting with new people, attempting new things, and more.  Whether it’s in athletics or life, make sure you keep moving because your results depend on it.

Something to remember.  I had several conversations this week in which people expressed to me why they didn’t want to do something challenging because they preferred something easier.  For example, “I don’t like the taste of water, so I drink a lot of soda.” or “I’d rather sleep in than do a workout.”  These people are expressing displeasure with pursuing a habit or activity that would help them while comparing it to something that is counterproductive.  I think of this like comparing apples to footballs, they are in no way similar.

As a doctor and expert in exercise and nutrition, I have encountered this way of thinking countless times over the years.  We all enjoy relaxation, rest, and recreational activities that are fun. However, those things are not designed to make us better or lead to higher levels of achievement.  The habits and activities that create growth and success are difficult.  They challenge us mentally, physically, and in how we budget our time.  If you want to succeed, you will need to embrace doing the hard things.  Do not waste energy comparing things that elevate you and bring you out of your comfort zone to things that do not.

A recent (and funny) reminder for me.  One of my quirks is that I do not believe in using an umbrella.  I find them foolish and refuse to own or use one.  My family knows this, and we have a lot of fun with it.  At my church, I am a greeter and welcome people at the front door.  Recently, it was pouring rain as people were arriving for the service and I was asked to stand in the rain with an umbrella and walk people to the front door.  I agreed, and so for the first time in decades, I used an umbrella and my family made sure to take plenty of pictures of this.

I walked in dozens of moms and older women, and they were all extremely grateful and told me how polite I was.  Though I wish my family had not taken pictures of this, it made me feel better to help than it would have to watch people get soaked to the bone.  As simple and silly as this is, it was a reminder that sometimes the right move is to humble ourselves and help those around us.

Something that resonated with me.  I listened to a talk this week and the speaker mentioned grapes.  He talked about how grapes are grown and then eaten or sold for a small amount of money.  However, the grapes that are crushed can become wine.  Those grapes transform from something that is common and inexpensive into something that sells for hundreds or thousands of dollars, and can be served to kings, queens, and dignitaries.  The grapes are the same, but what the grapes go through changes everything. 

Life works the same way as these grapes.  Look to anyone who is successful in any field or endeavor.  I guarantee they have had to go through an incredible struggle to get to that point.  Just like the grapes, they’ve been crushed but turn into something more special and valuable.  Throughout your life, you will inevitably be broken down and suffer at times.  Those times may hurt, but if you utilize them properly, you will be able to turn them into something better and far greater than you imagined. 

Some quotes I love.

“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” – Calvin Coolidge

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars.  You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis

“Understand people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.”

“Reward loyalty with loyalty and disloyalty with distance.” – Brandi MacDonald

“The truth has no defense against a fool determined to believe a lie.” – Mark Twain

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 16th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 9th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I agreed with.  I watched a video from someone I really respect this week speaking about the “Rule of 100.”  This concept means that if you were to spend 100 hours this year (18 minutes per day) working on any discipline (fitness, hobby, learning a new skill, etc.) then you would become more proficient in that area than 95% of the population. 

I gave this much thought and I believe it to be true.  Commonly, we think the people we see succeeding in an area or endeavor as being more gifted and talented than us.  That is not always the case.  Consistent, daily efforts even for small amounts of time can lead to tremendous growth.  As this continues, the base of experience and knowledge multiplies, and you begin to pull away from your competition that is not as consistently disciplined.  If you have something you want to improve, use the 100 Hour Rule to your advantage.

A story that proves a lesson.  I heard a story this week about one of the top quarterback prospects in the recent NFL draft.  At a rookie dinner, players who were soon be drafted in the first round, left the restaurant a mess.  A representative from one of the teams happened to show up at the end of that dinner to witness this and was surprised to see the quarterback they’d been considering cleaning up the room after the other players left.  The player did not know anyone was watching him but cleaned the room because he felt it was disrespectful the way it was left, and his mom would not have been proud. 

With contracts in the millions of dollars and the differences between talent being razor thin, it can be difficult to decide who to draft.  The team that saw the quarterback tending to that mess selected him in the top 5 of the draft.  They saw this as confirmation of the leadership skills they hoped he possessed.  To me, this is a reminder of a crucial life lesson that how you do anything, is how you’ll do everything.  The same principles, standards, and effort that you apply to the smallest of your tasks and responsibilities will carry over to the most important things you do and will be noticed by all. 

A piece of advice I recently gave.  I was asked by someone attempting their first 100-mile race for my advice and experience in competing in these runs.  They were interested in how I handled things later in my races when I start moving (even) slower and the pain intensifies with each step.  I told them “The key is that the old you will have to die with each step and the new you will have to take its place.”  This means that each step further will be harder but will bring you closer to the goal and reduce some of your doubt and anxiety that you can get there.

This same advice applies to all aspects of life as well.  Each time you venture even slightly out of your comfort zone, you gain a small amount of confidence.  Initially you will not notice, but over time it magnifies.  Soon, through continuous resolve, you begin to view yourself as someone who can handle even the toughest challenges.  Much like in my 100-mile races, that belief will not happen all at once but will increase with each step forward.  Let the old you go as you build an even better one slowly each day.

Something I believe.  Have you ever tried to have a respectful discussion with someone only to have them shout you down and insist on having the last condescending word?  Or finished a competition or sporting event with someone taunting you?  This is a form of trying to humiliate and embarrass someone you are competing with.  I do not like that type of behavior. 

Leaving an opponent with their dignity is something I believe in.  This is true in sports as well as disagreements or issues we may have with people in our lives.  In no way does this mean we have to concede our beliefs or diminish our victory or efforts.  Rather, it is merely a small gesture that acknowledges our opponent had passion and desire as we did, even if we don’t like them.  Win or lose, this type of behavior shows strength of character and therefore must be practiced.

Some quotes I love.

“Some of the best advice I’ve been given:  Don’t take criticism from people you would never go to for advice.” – Morgan Freeman

“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – never lie to yourself.”

“Actions speak louder than words but not nearly as often.” – Mark Twain

“Success waits for no one.  Time waits for no one.” – Ray Care

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 9th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 2nd

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A recent reminder.  I had an interaction last week with someone I have known for 25 years.  The exchange may as well have come with a script because the talking points, excuses, and tone were the same as they were decades ago.  As unfortunate as that can be to deal with, it provides an important reminder.

Before any change or growth can occur, there must first be a willingness to do so.  Without that desire, the same patterns will continue to play out, especially in times of stress or discomfort.  When a person becomes willing to change, it does not mean that everything will be perfect immediately.  Rather, it is merely an admission there is behavior creating an undesirable result that needs to be addressed.  That allows for an environment where change becomes possible, and growth can occur.

Something I love.  For many years now, I have run with the American flag on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and September 11th.  It’s admittedly a small gesture, but I take great pride in this small show of patriotism and love for this country. 

On Monday, I completed the Murph Challenge and then ran another 6 miles with the flag.  During those miles, I had some amazing experiences with people I encountered on foot and others in their vehicles.  I had people salute the flag, ask to take pictures with me, and as I came to a traffic light; all the cars stopped in each direction to let me go and cheered as I did so.  It was very cool to witness these displays of patriotism up close.  I have been blessed to complete many races over the years, but running with the flag fills me with even more pride than those finishes.  What makes it so special is that I am just an anonymous guy carrying the flag.  All the reactions I get are for the symbol I carry, and it truly energizes me and gives me faith each time I do so!

A simple but important concept.  “I was going to.”  “I was thinking about.”  “I might decide to…”  These are all ways of saying that you were considering an action and then did nothing.  This is extremely common in almost any aspect of life you can imagine.  The simple truth is inaction is rarely the correct plan of action.

Pursuing a course of action does not guarantee it will go perfectly.  In fact, there is a likelihood it will not go as planned.  However, putting things into motion creates a willingness to continue attempting different methods to attain a certain result.  You become less afraid to fail and more determined to succeed.  Conversely, inaction creates paralysis by analysis.  You become so afraid to fail thinking you’re not ready or prepared that you talk yourself out of even attempting anything.  Ironically, this guarantees you will not succeed.  If there is something you want to gain or achieve, start acting rather than wishing or hoping it will happen for you.

Something I agreed with.  I heard someone speaking recently about how going through the motions is not the same as being present and completing something with purpose and intention.  In our hectic society, this is an important distinction to make.  Doing something to cross it off our list usually sets the bar of effort low.  For example, setting aside time to be with our children and being on our phone the whole time is not the same as being with them, enjoying, and interacting with them.  It can be the same amount of time spent but with two different outcomes.

Whether it’s a workout, time with friends or family, business endeavors, or anything else; give what you’re doing all your energy.  Doing so will exponentially increase the output of your efforts.  You will be amazed at the difference in your results versus just going through the motions.  Be less concerned with merely getting stuff done and more concerned with getting things accomplished well.     

Some quotes I love.

“The same boiling water that softens the potato, hardens the egg.  It’s what you’re made of not the circumstances.” – Unknown

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.”

“Learn to be done.  Not mad, not bothered, just done.  Protect your peace at all costs.” 

“My life is my message.” – Ghandhi

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 2nd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 26th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A good reminder.  Last Friday, I was stopped at a traffic light with my two oldest sons when we were hit from behind by another vehicle.  We pulled over and I got out of the car to handle things.  The woman who hit us felt bad and was apologetic.  I made sure she was doing ok, provided her with some medical advice, and we swapped information.  When I got back in the car, my oldest son commented that my reaction was not what he would have expected after someone hit us. 

He remarked that I was smiling and seemed to be going out of my way to help the woman who caused the accident.  I told him that was because it was not the end of the world, and I don’t believe in making people feel worse when they’re down.  Furthermore, I would not consider myself a man if I berated or did not help a woman that was obviously upset, hurting, and having a bad day.  Later that night, my son told me he was proud of how I handled the situation.  This was a reminder to me that children will always learn more from actions than they ever will from words. 

Something I believe.  When you take something with substance and strength and water it down, it will lose potency.  This is true of beverages as well as life.  If you water down your principles, your character will not be as strong.  When you water down your standards from “great” to “good enough”, your results will suffer. 

When we water things down, it is usually because they challenge us physically, mentally, spiritually, or more.  It is a protective mechanism our minds provide to us so that we don’t feel bad for not following through as we intended, decreasing our level of effort, compromising our standards, or straying from a path we know we should be following.  Don’t allow yourself to settle for anything watered down.  If you have convictions about how you should be living, do not allow yourself to settle for a lesser version of them. 

Something important to understand.  We all know people that blame anyone or anything for problems.  From employers, to friends, family, the government, weather, bad luck, you name it; there is an endless list of people and things to blame for shortcomings or lack of progress.   While this is common, it is far from effective.  It’s crucial to realize that when we blame outside factors for our failures, we are essentially giving power to those things. 

The process of blaming someone/something foolishly absolves you of responsibility and places it elsewhere.  This simple act strips you of your own power and gives it to others. You’re essentially telling yourself that you are not strong enough to overcome outside factors, and that you’ll only succeed when things are perfect, or you are allowed to do so.  When you accept full ownership over your actions, this changes immediately.   That mindset creates the strength and fortitude to face whatever challenges you may encounter, and you will remain focused only on the path forward and outcomes you desire.

Something that resonated with me.  I watched a docuseries on Connor McGregor this week on Netflix.  One thing really caught my attention.  He talked about how when he trains, he is always fully focused and gives his all and that has never been an issue.  However, he goes on to say that what he does outside the gym makes all the difference.  When he starts eating foods he said he shouldn’t, sleeping later than he said he would, and being less intentional with what he knows he should be doing; his results suffer. 

I have found this to be true as well.  When we are chasing a major goal, every choice we make either brings us closer toward it or further from it.  Interestingly, it is often the small choices that provide short term comfort such as sleeping in, eating poorly, over-indulging, skipping activities, and more that ultimately sabotage the long-term goal.  It is easy to stay focused when doing things we enjoy.  However, if we can remain disciplined and diligent when we are not doing those things, our results will only become enhanced.

Some quotes I love.

“The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will be comfortable.” – Connor McGregor

“People are strange; they are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.” = Charles Bukowski

“Self-love isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, self-love means that kick your own ass when you need it.”  – Brandi MacDonald

“Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.”  – George Bernard Shaw

“Nine times out of ten you will underestimate your own capabilities and capacity, and you’ll overestimate someone else’s.  And that’s the number one reason you’re not where you want to be in life.” – Bedros Keuilian

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 26th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 12th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I teach my children.  In Colorado, it is common to encounter a rattlesnake.  The best practice is to be on the lookout for them, and if you do see one; obviously avoid it.  Life has its own rattlesnakes to avoid as well.  I feel three are particularly crucial for young people to be wary of.

The first is drugs and alcohol.  Young brains take time to develop personality, confidence and more.  Adding in these chemicals creates a reliance upon them as opposed to what is inside of the person.  Second, bad relationships can become an anchor that drags you to the bottom.  The wrong boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse can separate you from family, destroy your confidence, stunt your progress, and so much more.  Finally, the wrong friendships can be a problem as well.  The right friends will want to see you succeed and have your best interests at heart.  Conversely, the wrong ones will pressure you into poor choices if it suits them.  Beware of the rattlesnakes of life and avoid them.

Something I heard and loved.  Our pastor used the term “weapons of mass distraction” last weekend.  This is a term to describe the amount of pointless stuff constantly coming at us and distracting us from our goals, duties, and dreams.  Examples include social media, television, biased news, and many others. 

It’s a solid exercise to ask yourself how much of your time is dedicated to the people and activities you value most, and how much goes to fluff.  For example, if a young child is trying to interact with a parent focused only on playing Candy Crush, I would argue they are succumbing to a weapon of mass distraction.  None of us will focus one hundred percent of the time, but we must understand that we are under constant attack from distractions and must protect ourselves from them.

An interesting interaction.  I was speaking to someone this week about their struggles with nutrition.  They expressed to me their frustration with not losing weight, but also told me they make sure to never deprive themselves of any foods they want.  I found this interesting because the foods they did not want to deprive themselves of were all high in sugar and low in nutrients. 

My feeling is that avoiding things that stall or prevent progress is not “depriving” you of anything.  Rather, it is discipline and a practice that should be followed.  Big goals require sacrifice.  Therefore, they will demand discipline in what we eat, our activities, habits, time management, and/or so much more.  The road to success will often require us to eliminate things that feel comfortable but are not helpful.  Don’t view that as a negative, see it as the discipline that all successful people utilize.  Changing your mindset in this regard will be your biggest accomplishment. 

A recent lesson.  Last weekend, I coached against another coach that behaved worse than any I’ve ever experienced in my high school, college, or coaching career.  He personally insulted multiple players on my team (including my own son) that are 12 or 13 years old.  If that was not enough, he yelled at the young referees on every play, argued the correct score, twice offered to fight me, and once even put his hands on me.  In short, he was unhinged.

Normally, if someone were to put a hand on me, I would not hesitate to act.  However, in this situation I remained as calm as possible and let him know in front of everyone what I thought of his behavior and how pathetic his antics were.  The reason I did so was that sometimes even if you are in the right, you can react wrongly.  Knocking out another coach in front of teenagers was not the lesson they needed or the consequences I wanted to face.  Instead, I held my ground, made some humorous remarks, called out his terrible behavior, then walked away victorious with my team.  Later, three of their players walked away from their coach/sideline and asked if they could come to our team and play for me next season.  I’m sure I didn’t handle it perfectly, but I was glad I did not react to horrible behavior with some of my own. 

Some quotes I love.

“Coach them hard and hug them later.” – Bear Bryant

“A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything.” – Aristotle

“When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘why me’ say ‘try me’.”

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 12th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 28th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I hear often.  I would estimate that at least 4-5 times per month, I speak to a man that tells me he doesn’t take care of himself like he once did because he’s married and/or no longer an athlete.  The implication being that staying in shape is no longer relevant once you’re in a long-term relationship or not actively participating in athletics.  You will not be surprised to hear that I do not care for this way of thinking. 

When I hear this from other men, it always sounds like a form of giving up and complacency to me.  Caring for yourself physically and nutritionally goes far beyond esthetic benefits.  It is a form of self-respect that you are displaying (or not) to the rest of the world.  When a person takes diligent care of themselves, they are more likely to enjoy the people and events around them more because they are happier, more confident, and energetic.  For these reasons, anytime I hear someone tell me they no longer intend to care for themselves, I always urge them to reconsider. 

Something that motivates me.  There is a quote from Vince Lombardi I have loved for years, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”  As we get tired, we lose our drive, focus, motivation, level of commitment, and more.  I’ve seen this countless times in athletics, but it has applications to daily life as well.

For me, the potential for fatigue comes in the form of excessive stress, poor nutrition, lack of body movement, exhausting relationships, negativity, too much social media, and the like.  That fatigue has the potential to make me a “coward” with my spouse, children, patients, and players I coach.  Specifically, I would not have the energy to go the extra mile for them when I’m needed most.  Therefore, to avoid fatigue I do my best to eat well, exercise often, spend time around those people and groups that uplift me, and avoid staring into my screen and pointlessly scrolling too often.   Consider how fatigue might be affecting your life, output, and relationships and take steps to improve it.

A good reminder.  Earlier this week I was speaking with some friends about an organization we are all familiar with.  Each of us cares about this organization but unfortunately, all had recent experiences with them centering around lack of follow through, not honoring commitments, and a lack of appreciation for those trying to help.  My friends attempted to make excuses for this poor behavior and asked if I agreed.  I did not.

Principles and integrity cost a business nothing.  You can have no employees or money in the bank and still be able to follow through on your word and say thank you to someone helping you.  When this is not done, it is a giant red flag.  To me, this is a sign that there are problems at the top and things are drifting off course.  It may not be noticeable immediately, but eventually will show in terms of attendance and/or finances.  Forgetting who you are and not prioritizing the people and things important to you is a path to the destruction of any business (or person). 

Something I believe.  When someone says that they are competitive, there can often be a negative connotation associated with it.  As if it means you automatically overturn a table if you don’t win at Monopoly or freak out if you make a mistake.  To me, that is being overly emotional and irrational.  Being competitive is much different and I believe crucial.

Competition in my eyes involves being able to put forth your best effort in whatever you do.  It raises the stakes and forces you to consider what is required to improve upon past performance.  This can be true in competitive sports, work, or a run around the block.  Being competitive trains you to have higher standards and expectations for yourself.  Furthermore, it creates more comfort in challenging yourself because you understand you can always improve, even if you are to fall short in something.  Regardless of what it is, be competitive in how you approach anything because you will find it leads to greater outcomes.   

Some quotes I love.

“You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.” – Brian Tracy

“In the long run, we only hit what we aim at.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.” – Usain Bolt

“Eating junk food is so common that eating healthy is labelled as dieting.” – Jonathan Goodman

“Hard choices, easy life.  Easy choices, hard life.” – Jerzy Gregorek

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 28th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 21st

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something that inspired me.  On Friday night, my wife and I volunteered at a Starry Night Prom event.  This is a wonderful event thrown for people with physical and/or mental handicaps that is structured like a prom with dressing up, a red-carpet walk, sit down dinner, dancing, karaoke, and more.  My wife and I were “buddies” that were paired up with a date for the evening.  It was incredibly special.

I was inspired to see a group of people that have undoubtedly suffered many challenges, have amazing moments for themselves.  Watching people walk the red carpet with smiles on their faces, high fiving, twirling, waving, and more was emotional in a beautiful way.  All night I saw people enjoying moments that were important to them on the dance floor, singing karaoke, and more.  It fueled my soul to see some special people enjoying a little taste of the spotlight.  It’s nice to have exceptional moments for ourselves but it was more amazing to see such deserving people also have wonderful moments!

Something I believe.  I was consulted this week by two people regarding how best to help some of their clients with adhering to better nutrition and exercise.  These particular people are in their 40’s and often fail to follow the advice they paid to receive.  I was asked whether I thought they needed to be encouraged constantly to get “wins throughout the day” or whether I thought they needed tough love.

In instances where mistakes are being made but the effort is high, I am a fan of encouragement.  People in this category can benefit tremendously from a little confidence boost.  Sometimes, praising someone’s effort but fine-tuning their approach can make all the difference.  Conversely, when effort is low, excuses are high, and people are failing to follow through on their responsibilities, I never find encouragement effective.  Those times call for truth and tough love because if a person is not motivated to help themselves, nothing anyone says can help.  In these cases, I have found the most value in having people consider reasons they may be self-sabotaging.  Depending on the effort, a pat on the back may be the right strategy while other times, a kick in the butt is better.

A lesson I’ve learned.  There will be times in your life when you will be in pain, exhausted, grief stricken, lonely, bored, and/or worse.  You will find yourself on the ropes mentally and physically and these are likely to be some of the most brutal times you ever experience.  This will be when you most want to give up but when it is most important to keep battling.

I have learned through the loss of friends and family members (decades before their time), divorce, financial difficulties, painful races, and more; there are times when things will seem hopeless, senseless, and overwhelming.  When you get there, you only have two choices, keep going or quit. If you give up, it will get worse.  If you decide to keep going, it won’t feel amazing right away.  It’ll feel like a chore, but you must “embrace the suck” because every second you keep going will make you stronger and teach you a lesson.  Battling through the lowest points in life gave me confidence that I cannot and will not be broken.  If you are facing a tough time in your life, keep fighting because it will teach you the same.

Something I have found effective.  Have you ever had times in your life when you can’t seem to get out of your own head?  When you worry about all your problems day and night or over-analyze things to the point where you begin to annoy yourself?  I certainly have.  There are numerous ways to help with this, but I believe one of the most effective is finding a way to help others.

When you seek to help others, it provides a healthier perspective.  It reminds us that we are not the center of the world and that our problems may not be quite as large as we thought.  More importantly, it gives a feeling of satisfaction that you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life or circumstances.  Last Friday, I had a lot on my mind and was quieter than usual (I’m rarely quiet or have a bad day).  It was not my best day but after two minutes of volunteering my time at the Starry Night event that evening, my outlook was transformed.  I did not spend a second thinking of my “problems” for those five hours, and it got me back on track.  Even if you are going through a tough time yourself, try to help someone else.  It will make a tremendous and positive difference in your outlook. 

Some quotes I love.

“A bad system will beat a good person every time.” – W. Edwards Deming

“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” – Victor Kaim

“The biggest asset in the world is your mindset.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

“Don’t fear failure.  Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.” – Elissa Robertson

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 21st
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 14th

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

A concept from coaching that applies to life.  When I coach my football team, one of the things my assistant and I try to teach the kids is how to deal with bad plays.  Even the best players make mistakes, so it becomes crucial to deal with them in a constructive way.  We teach them to quickly evaluate the error and whether it was mental or physical so they can try to avoid it going forward.  More importantly, we teach them to have a short memory by forgetting the bad play and instantly getting focused on the next play.  This helps make sure one play doesn’t turn into two, a bad game, or lack of confidence.

This simple concept has profound applications in life.  When things go wrong (and they will), the key is to accept them and move on as quickly as possible.  Learn what you can from any errors you make and use that information going forward.  Making a mistake is never an excuse to stop trying, reduce your effort, or allow passion or enthusiasm to fade.  When you screw up, dust yourself off and get back in the fight.

A question we should all ask ourselves.  Anyone with gardening experience will know that for flowers to grow properly they will require the proper nutrients from sunlight, soil, and water.  Without the proper balance, nothing will grow as efficiently or effectively as possible.  As humans, we require our nutrients from what we ingest, how we treat our bodies physically, and what we put into our minds.

Therefore, an important question is what nutrients are you putting into your bodies from these areas?  Examples of poor nutrients are heavily processed and non-nutritious foods, alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise, heavy consumption of television and social media, avoiding challenges, poor relationships, and more.  Conversely, a healthy diet, avoiding toxic substances, exercising regularly, quality time with people that make you better, and avoiding excessive screen time will all stimulate your body and mind to perform better.  There is not a single thing in your life that will not be improved simply by increasing the good “nutrients” and decreasing the things that rob you of them. 

Something that helps me.  When I played football in high school and in college, I must have heard the phrase “the eye in the sky doesn’t lie” a million times.  This refers to the process of games, (and sometimes practices) being recorded, evaluated by the coaches, and then shown in front of the team.  Regardless of excuses, the “eye” always shows proof of effort and performance.  It was always nice to have personal highlights pointed out by the coaches, but the memorable times were when the coaches showed my embarrassing moments and total misses.  Those hurt, but they made me want to adjust, so they never happened again.

Having absorbed this concept from football, I find it helpful to apply it to my daily life.  I like to imagine that the eye in the sky is always on me as I treat patients, interact with my wife and children, coach my team, exercise/train, compete in races, and more.  My goal is to behave in a way that if I were to see those actions replayed to me on a screen, I would be proud.  Sometimes that happens effortlessly, while other times I would be mortified to see myself.  Imagining that all my actions could be played back to me has assisted me in striving for greater integrity and quality in everything I do.  What would the eye in the sky say about you?

A concept I utilize.  I have encountered many losses in my life.  These can be defeats in sports, business ventures or decisions that didn’t go right, coaching blunders, failures in races, and many more.  Regardless of the failure, I always like to do what I call “getting back in the lab.”  This means I do an honest assessment of what went wrong, how I failed, and why I failed.  Then, just as a scientist would, I begin to fix those mistakes by introducing innovative ideas, controlling variables, and eliminating things that proved not to be useful.  This is done alone with no fanfare.

Like anyone, I hate to fail.  That said, I really love the process of getting “back in the lab.” It is an opportunity to heal my wounds, restore my confidence, discover new approaches, and re-dedicate myself to meeting my goal.  I always find it empowering and I would estimate 90% of my greatest triumphs in life have come after I’ve done this.  If you have failed to succeed in something important to you, do not hide from it.  Accept your failure and get to work on how you’ll do better the next time by working through it on your own. 

Some quotes I love.

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” – Heraclitus

“You cannot see your reflection in boiling water.  Just like you cannot see truth in a state of anger.  You only find clarity when you are calm.”

“Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead.  It is only painful for others.  The same applies when you are stupid.” – Ricky Gervais

“Victims make excuses.  Leaders deliver results.” – Robin Sharma

“You become unstoppable when you fall in love with the process.  Not just the progress.” – Marcus Rice

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – April 14th
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