All posts tagged: motivational quotes

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 15th

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 resonated with me.  David Goggins is a former Navy SEAL and someone that inspires me.  I listened to him speak this week about his “1 second rule.”  He explained that regardless of how motivated, talented, or driven you may be, success will boil down to how you react over a single second.  The example he used were guys around him that quit during BUDS training because they were so cold.  They sought comfort and in their “1 second” quit, whereas the people that completed SEAL training persevered in theirs.

I find this way of thinking to be accurate.  Some of my biggest triumphs have come when I felt close to quitting but continued.  This premise applies to every important decision.  Deciding not to drive drunk, holding our temper, remaining calm in a stressful situation, attempting something that scares us, and so many other things are examples of this principle.  Take the 1 second rule seriously because you will be faced with it many times throughout your life.  The years of your life will be guided by how you react in those crucial seconds.

A recent reminder.  On Saturday night I went to bed about 9:30 stressed out.  My mind was thinking extensively about how I was going to help someone very important in my life.  I woke up only a few hours later just past midnight and couldn’t turn my brain off.  At first, I tried to get back to sleep but after an hour I decided just to get up and start mapping out what I would do to resolve the issue.  I took a couple hours to think through everything and wrote out a plan.

Foregoing the sleep was worth it for me.  Rather than continue to feel anxious and uncertain, taking the time to face the problem gave me peace and a path forward.  The second I finished writing out my thoughts I felt clear-headed, sure of how to proceed, and more energetic than I would’ve been from sleep.  This was an excellent reminder of the necessity of facing our problems head-on.  The longer we avoid them, the more daunting they become.  Therefore, deal with them as directly and as soon as possible. 

A useful skill.  Do you struggle to wake up on time, eat what you know you should, exercise regularly, study enough, watch less TV, etc.?  Things of this nature are often not completed or done properly because they are challenging.  Also, they are often far less fun and certainly less gratifying in the short term than their alternatives.  Earlier in life, I was not great in many of these areas myself. 

Now, my approach is to do my best to become a master at what I don’t want to do.  This is accomplished through consistency and a mindset where excuses are not tolerated.  As an example, if I set the goal to get up at 4am and run 10 miles, I don’t see how I feel when the alarm goes off.  I go no matter what.  It is imperative to view the difficult things you know you must do as an opponent.  You can’t allow that opponent to get the better of you, you must keep fighting back until it becomes easy to do so. 

Something I noticed.  I was around one of my son’s football teams recently and saw two examples of behavior that interested me.  The first was a coach that showed up for the game complaining about how far a walk it was from his car to the field (barely a quarter mile at most).  He kept going on about it, sounded wimpy, and then spoke to his players about showing determination and having heart.  The other example was a coach that is horribly out of shape preaching to the kids about how important it is to be well-conditioned and in shape.  In both instances I was struck by how what they were saying clashed badly with the example they were setting themselves.  This is common.

Often, we have a set of standards we know are important but do not follow ourselves.  We become great at telling others how to behave but we fail to do it.  For this reason, it is crucial to ask what our behavior, habits, and actions say about us.  Are they congruent with what we are saying?  If not, it is time to make some adjustments.  Remember, don’t talk about it, be about it.

Some quotes I love.

“When they can’t touch the person you’ve become, they’ll dig up who you used to be.”

“Even when I was close to defeat, I rose to my feet.” – Dr. Dre, Still D.R.E.

“There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There’s no such thing as a life in between.” – Pat Riley

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 15th
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 8th

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 saying I love.  “We came to prove it.”  This is a simple statement and one I love to use for myself and preach to my oldest sons.  This is a way of saying that we do not want or expect anything to be handed to us.  Instead, we are fully expecting and willing to put the time, effort, and heart into what we’re doing to become successful. 

In essence, all we can hope for from a coach, employer, etc. is an opportunity to show what we’ve got and display our value.  It is important to expect that such an opportunity will arise, and our job is to be ready when that occurs.  That happens by being proactive and training our bodies and minds intensely daily so that we are strong and ready when our number is called. 

Something that has stuck with me.  When I was playing high school and college football, I remember coaches constantly telling players “You can’t make the club in the tub.”  That meant that if you were hurt and sitting out (in the hot or cold tub), you would not be moving up the depth chart and showing what you could do.  Coaches would say this because they had an idea of who was truly injured and who might be milking it to avoid the tough practices.  To some, this may seem harsh, but I love it and it has stuck with me.

When we aren’t at work, on the field, at the gym, or doing what we should be doing, we lose ground.  Progress stalls, opportunities are lost, and we must begin playing catch up.  Sometimes it is obvious that we can’t do something, perhaps we’re very sick or truly hurt.  Those situations are easy to identify.  However, sometimes we magnify a small issue and pretend it’s something serious because deep down we are tired, nervous, self-conscious, scared, worried, etc. and so we stop what we should be doing.  Those are the times when we absolutely must trudge on because they are the moments that display our capabilities and create grit.  You can’t make the club in the tub, and you can’t be successful in an endeavor in which you take yourself out of. 

A frequent reminder for me.  I work out every morning, usually before 5:30am.  Sometimes I will head into my home gym and not know exactly what I’m going to do for a workout.  I’ll pace around, come up with ideas, spin my wheels, and fail to get started.  This happens a few times per month, and I have found a solution.  The second I feel myself wandering mentally and getting off track, I just begin doing something.  It doesn’t matter what it is or if it’s the best thing, I just start doing anything.  Without fail, each time I take this approach my mind clears immediately.  I can come up with a better approach after thirty seconds of activity than I do of ten minutes of over-thinking it.

This same principle applies to life as well.  Sometimes we wait forever for the right time, motivation, knowledge, permission, and the like.  We get nowhere and become frustrated quite easily.  Instead of doing this, just get started.  Don’t worry about anything other than putting in a bit of energy and effort.  That simple action carries a profound benefit.  It removes a barrier your mind creates that prevents you from progressing toward a desired outcome.  Once you begin, positive things will start to happen, and you’ll be on your way.

Something I believe.  We all encounter pain.  It may be physical, mental, or emotional but at some point, we all experience it.  Two things I believe to be true about pain are that most people are so soft they will do anything to avoid even the slightest bit of discomfort and second, pain can be recycled into something greater.

Most people are so scared to feel even the slightest discomfort in their mental or physical state that they hide from pain.  They seek out pills to mask it, withdraw from situations, avoid challenges, and more.  I understand no one wants to be hurting and there are situations where these things are necessary, but by and large as a society we fear even basic discomfort.  My belief is that all pain can be transformed into greatness if utilized properly.  It can be used for motivation, as fuel to alter stagnant or ineffective routines/habits, a catalyst to gain knowledge, and so much more.  I can’t think of any triumphs I’ve had that weren’t preceded by a period of pain, it’s just part of the process.  If you are experiencing a difficult time, do your best to recycle it into something better and make that pain worthwhile. 

Some quotes I love.

“Tell me I can’t.  Watch as I do.”

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.” – F.M. Alexander

“The master has failed more than the beginner has even tried.”

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” – Mark Twain

“We are not bestowed with inherently good or bad lives.  We are granted a life, and it is within our control to determine whether it becomes good or bad.” – Marcus Aurelius

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 8th
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 1st

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 believe.  There are rumblings that a return to COVID lockdowns, masks, etc. is on the horizon.  As a result, I am being asked frequently how I plan to handle it.  For the sake of space, I will just say that I will not do, follow, or allow anything for myself, family, or business that I do not wholeheartedly believe in.  In other words, I am guided by what I feel is right rather than what I’m told.

As most of you know, I never gave into the hysteria the first time around (in my business or personal life) and had no issue accepting the consequences of standing up for what I felt was right.  I was patient with others, but firm in my convictions.  If the same situation is to arise again, I will take this same approach.  My focus will remain on being proactive about my health and that of my family, and I will never allow fear or public pressure to interfere with those responsibilities. 

An important concept.  Priorities are what we consider to be most important.  The easiest way to see what someone’s priorities are is to see how they spend their time.  For example, a person that takes the time to exercise, prepare healthy food, and take nutritional supplements would show an obvious priority of improving or maintaining their health.  How we spend our time and direct our activities reflects what we prioritize for ourselves. 

It is crucial to understand that when we do not set our priorities and direct our actions accordingly, they become set for us.  Sadly, when this occurs our priorities usually become the most unhealthy, unproductive, least useful, and non-rewarding things we can find because they are so easy to fall into.  For that reason, it is vital that you decide what is most important for you to have in your life and then implement habits and processes that jive with that.  Set your priorities before they become set for you.

Something I hear often.  Friends and patients often praise me for not complaining.  They’ll tell me how refreshing it is to speak to someone that doesn’t bring them down with negativity.  Sometimes they ask what my secret is for doing this and my answer is quite simple.

I cannot even stand myself when I complain so I don’t do it.  It’s completely fine to work through issues and confide in others but there is a difference between doing that and whining.  Complaining about things is the ultimate waste of time and energy.  Give yourself a zero-tolerance policy on complaining and embrace the battles you face.  If you do, your life will get simpler, you’ll feel better, and success will find you easier.

Something I reflected on.  Three years ago this week my brother-in-law passed away suddenly.  I recall receiving the call at 6am on a Friday morning that he was in a coma, and we all had great faith and hope he would recover.  That Monday I remember getting a text that there was some type of eye movement seen by his nurses and felt certain my buddy was on his way back.  When I walked in the door that night from work my wife told me her brother was brain dead and would never recover.  I literally just fell over and cried.  It was devastating.

I’ve made some grand gestures to honor my brother-in-law, Sam.  I spread his ashes on the fields where we coached together on, run ultramarathons, and so on.  What I reflected on this week, was that with everything I have done to honor him, I feel he would be most proud that I still consider him to be so important to me.  As an example, when my sister slipped into a coma and died last year, I sat alone in the airport talking to Sam trying to hold my world together as I flew out to say goodbye to her.  There will be people in your life that will have a greater impact on you than you could possibly imagine.  When they’re here, treasure and appreciate them.  If they’re not, keep their memories alive. 

Some quotes I love.

“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Non-compliance is not bad behavior.  It’s a critical life skill.”

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.” – Regina Brett

“Don’t give advice.  Live your advice.  People get your message by watching you.” – Dr. John Delony

“Those trapped in ignorance often refuse to acknowledge their lack of knowledge, and when confronted with the truth, they reject it or respond with hostility.” – Shaun Zimmer

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 1st
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 25th

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 of an important concept.  One of my sons has been frustrated with his role on a new football team.  Much of what he’s feeling is justified and we discussed the specifics why.  However, after we did so, I told him it was time to stop worrying about what we couldn’t control and start affecting what we could.  A phrase I love to illustrate this is “chop wood and carry water.”  This is a way of saying we must pursue the small but challenging tasks and habits each day that will lead to success.  In this instance, my son and I came up with workouts, drills, practice habits, and a mindset that would translate into even better on-field performance and hopefully fulfilling the roles he desires. 

There will always be situations we feel are unjust or unfair.  Spending too long complaining about them will only cause us to waste our energy and feel worse.  Instead, our best course of action is to do what we can to improve, get stronger, and become ready when our opportunity arises.  When you encounter a situation you don’t like or think is unfair, don’t whine about it; start chopping wood and carrying water.

A great question I was asked.  “What percentage of people would you consider to be strong and capable?”  I was asked this earlier in the week and found it interesting.  My definition of strength would involve a combination of mental, physical, and emotional characteristics.  In other words, it’s not about having the biggest muscles or the ability to win a fight, it’s a combination of attributes that combine to make someone better able to endure challenges and hardships. 

Having said this, I believe that 100% of people possess the ability to be strong and yet only about 20% of people do.  Certainly, no one sets out to become weak or incapable, but it can happen to anyone if we aren’t careful.  Following the crowd, lack of responsibility, not challenging ourselves, constant complaining, bad relationships, poor physical and nutritional decisions, and more are all common causes of weakness in my opinion.  No one will be perfect but taking steps each day to develop mental, physical, and emotional strength will make us stronger and more resilient; and the world always needs more of those people.

Something I heard and loved.  This week I heard the phrase “Don’t think less of yourself but think of yourself less.”  I found this to be very succinct and pertinent advice for two reasons. 

First, it is vital to have a high sense of our own personal worth, high self-esteem, and to maintain lofty expectations for ourselves.  We must think well of ourselves and our abilities because it sets the tone for how we want to be treated and what we expect to attain.  Second, there is a tendency to spend too much time in our own heads over-thinking our circumstances and situations.  This creates stress and at times, isolation.  If we can focus on others, much of that stress and worry subsides naturally.  We grow stronger and deepen relationships with those around us while simultaneously decreasing our own worries.   

Something I believe.  At my office, we have been undergoing plumbing repairs for months.  It’s an older building and poor installations over the years caused accelerated breakdown of the pipes which have caused a series of problems.  Just as poor decisions in plumbing installation can cause issues, poor decisions in life do as well.

Poor behavior can take the form of bad habits, lack of drive, inconsistency, dishonesty, poor actions, lack of integrity, and more.  Initially, these often go unnoticed and become forgotten.  However, over time they cause a breakdown within our lives of self-esteem, trust, relationships, finances, and so on.  This can happen for years and then without warning, we wake up one day and realize things are a mess.  To avoid this, give thought to how you truly want to live your life.  Consider what is most important to you, then craft actions that honor that and allow you the chance to become successful.

Some quotes I love.

“Be careful what you tolerate, you are teaching people how to treat you.”

“Watch what a man does when he stumbles, and you’ll see his true character.  Good times are easy to navigate.  Challenging times require something more.  The challenging times are more revealing than the prosperous ones.” – Ryan Michler

“When you have something to say, silence is a lie.” – Jordan Peterson

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 25th
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 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 study I love.  During a study at Harvard in 1957, Dr. Curt Richter placed rats in a pool of water to test how long they could tread water.  On average they’d give up and sink after 15 minutes due to exhaustion.  Rather than let them drown, the researchers would pull them out, dry them off, let them rest for a few minutes and put them back in for a second round.  After only a brief rest and nearly drowning a minute before, the rats lasted an average of 60 HOURS before sinking again due to exhaustion.  The conclusion was that since the rats BELIEVED that they would eventually be rescued, they could push their bodies way past what they previously thought impossible.

I can promise you from personal experience that if you can convince yourself that you are strong and resilient, you can achieve far more than you thought possible.  Much like the rats, you will also find that your results are not slightly better than they were but dramatically so.  Most people give up on themselves at about 40% of their true output as a protective mechanism against discomfort.  When you make yourself push past that point, you will find that you have unlocked an entirely new level of your abilities that will take you places you once thought impossible.

Something I’d like to share.  In 2018, I was the head football coach for a team of eight-year-old boys.  Near the end of the season, a mom came to me and told me her son would not be able to finish our final two games.  I assumed it was an ankle sprain or something similar, but it was a rare form of liver cancer.  He left to go through treatments no one should have to face, especially a young child.  A year later he rejoined our team and almost a year to the day, his cancer returned.  At his final game, I played him more than usual and we beat our biggest rival in a game in which we were huge underdogs.  It was inspirational and we carried him off the field.  I think of that day often.

This little guy underwent a liver transplant a few years ago and seemed to be doing well.  However, I learned on Tuesday that his cancer returned aggressively last year, he is now in hospice care, and expected to pass within days.  I read his father’s description of fulfilling his son’s final wishes and it broke my heart.  I have watched my aunt and uncle, parents, and in-laws all lose children at early ages and know all too well the grief that comes with it.  It is cliched but please remember to take time with the people you care for most.  We get busy and stressed with things every day, but in the end the relationships we have with our family and friends are far more important.  Enjoy those you love and take nothing for granted.

Something I encounter often.  As a chiropractor, I encounter people daily that have been in pain for weeks, months, or even years.  Some of these people suffered serious injuries and some have challenging diseases or conditions, but those are rarer than you may think.  More commonly, I speak to people who have been in pain for long periods but have done nothing to deal with it.  They often come in frustrated that they haven’t gotten better but don’t correlate it with the fact they have done little to nothing to fix it.  Even worse, these cases are usually easy to help if a person is simply willing to do something about it.

I am not suggesting that the second you feel an ache or pain you need to run out to have it checked.  Some things are minor and will resolve easily but more serious things may require at least some assistance, especially those showing no signs of resolving on their own. Your body is a sophisticated machine with amazing healing and recuperative abilities when cared for properly.  However, much like a machine, if it isn’t running well, it may require someone to diagnose and fix it.  If you are suffering from something that is negatively impacting your life, it is worth going to a professional for help.  You may also be pleasantly surprised to discover that the solution to your long-standing issue may be much easier to attain than you thought. 

Something important from a recent seminar.  I attended a seminar last weekend that went into depth on all the specific scientific links between the brain (mind) and all aspects of our health.  These included complex and comprehensive details about how our minds can affect physiology, immune function, cancer cells, and more.  It’s too dense to write about here but suffice it to say, there are vast and proven links showing that your mind drastically affects how your body works.

What struck me most was how negative thoughts can damage the body.  Decreased immune function, pain patterns not tied to injury, proliferation of cancer cells, and more have all been proven to be affected when someone is chronically stressed, angry, and/or negative.  You can literally make yourself sick or worse from the way you think.  Since that is the case, the reverse will also be true.  When you maintain a positive outlook and manage stress as best you can, your body will respond by keeping you healthier and fighting off disease more effectively.  Youl have upwards of 60,000 thoughts per day, learn to use them to your advantage.

Some quotes I love.

“Your focus on hating yesterday is killing your opportunity to love tomorrow.” – Gary Vaynerchuck

“You have power over your mind, not outside events.  Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The struggle you are facing is a test to see if you are truly committed to the life you say you want.” – Marc Bernacchi

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 16th
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 11th

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 great lesson from my mentor.  I spent 6 years working with another Doctor of Chiropractic early in my career and he taught me many great lessons clinically, in business, finances, and more.  He told me one time, “If you are a good chiropractor, people will forget about you in 2 weeks.  However, if you are an AMAZING chiropractor, it’ll take them a month.”  The point was that you are always replaceable and so to never get a big head.

I believe this to be an important lesson, and one I continue to follow.  It is important to always remain grounded and not take ourselves too seriously.  Furthermore, it is important to realize that people around us can move on, get distracted, or change their preferences quickly.  As a result, we should always work hard, stay humble, and remember that peoples’ perception of us is never our responsibility.

A cool interaction.   I watched a YouTube video over the weekend about a guy running a 100-mile race.  He finished dead last and when he did finish, everyone except the race director and three of his friends were gone.  Even the finish line itself had been taken down already.  The video inspired me, and I left a nice comment below the video (I never do this) explaining why.  The following morning, I awoke to a message back from the runner in the video telling me how much my comments meant and that it made him feel proud.    

Often, we think to make a difference or help someone we must be famous or carry a certain status.  However, we can teach, motivate, and assist those around us when we simply give our best.  Our effort, perseverance, toughness, grit, and others can have a profound impact on those around us.  The point is that people will see something in you, and somewhere in their mind they may begin to think that perhaps they have it too.  Never be afraid to do your thing and do it to the very best of your ability.  Not only will it help you, but it will help those around you as well in ways you never imagined.    

A lesson I think of often.  In August of 2020, my oldest son dropped three passes in a football scrimmage which was very unlike him.  I could see at the end that he wanted to cry and that it was destroying his confidence.  On the drive home, I pepped him back up and told him problems that seem huge now, will be small in comparison later.  In fact, I told him before bed that evening that he’d probably experience something soon that would make a few dropped passes seem like nothing.  Unfortunately, I was right and as it turned out; his uncle (my brother-in-law) died unexpectedly 8 hours later at the age of 32. 

I have stresses like everyone else including running a business, providing for a large family, dealing with things when they break, and more.  Sometimes there are moments when I feel overwhelmed.  Anytime that happens, I remind myself of that advice I gave my son.  It reminds me of what is important and how quickly things can change.  Doing so helps me put things in perspective, re-focus and move forward with better energy and less stress. 

A great question to ask ourselves.  For those of us with children, we are obviously in a position of leadership.  As a result, our kids develop behaviors, habits, tendencies, and beliefs according to our example (far more than just our words).  A question I often ask myself is “Will this behavior look good on my grandchildren?” 

That question is a way of asking myself if the actions I am displaying to my kids are something I am comfortable with them eventually passing on to their children.  It is an excellent reminder that our actions can impact generations in either a positive or negative fashion.  None of us are going to be perfect, but keeping this in mind helps to keep the importance of our example and actions in the perspective it deserves.  If you would be proud to see your grandchild displaying your actions, continue them.  If not, change them.

Some quotes I love.

“When a leader walks in the room the followers feel intimidated, the snakes feel threatened, but the leaders…they feel inspired.” – Deion Sanders

“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” – Zig Ziglar

“If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.” – Steve Jobs

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 11th
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 4th

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 to consider.  In our technological age, the things we use regularly require software upgrades to run better and more efficiently.  This is true of phones, applications, printers, and more.  The updates are meant to deal with current issues, add features, and create more streamlined use.  I would argue that if this is so important to our technology, the same premise should apply to us as humans.

The people I admire most are always evolving.  They don’t change who they are, their principles or values (their hardware) but regularly adjust their processes, approaches, habits, and more (their software).  As we identify weaknesses, it makes sense that we create an approach to address them. Likewise, when we are strong in an area it helps to further refine it so that we can better use it to our advantage.  Change for the sake of change is irrelevant, but upgrading and improving how we do things is a crucial aspect of being the best version of ourselves.   

Something that resonated with me.  I was listening to one of my regular podcasts during which the hosts answered questions from listeners.  One listener asked if they had any advice on how to begin in the podcasting space.  One of the hosts remarked that he receives this question often and that people are often looking for super technical tips on equipment, etc.  Instead, he tells people “Be passionate about what you do and then actually begin doing it.”  I loved that advice for two reasons. 

First, without passion you can never endure challenging times.  Those are when we define ourselves as people and within all our endeavors.  Passion is often the best medicine to help us keep going when things become difficult.  Second, starting to do something may sound simple but is critical.  Too often, we spend all our time and bandwidth thinking about how we’ll do something and when the right time will be to begin.  We do that so much that we often forget to start.  Once we do get underway, we can begin identifying specific challenges and gaining experience to help us forge a path forward.  The clock of success does not start ticking until we get out there and start experiencing ups and downs for us to learn from. 

Something I remembered recently.  In February, I ran a 100-mile race.  As I finished my fourth loop there was a woman next to me that turned and remarked how amazing it was we’d finished the race.  I laughed and told her that I still had twenty miles yet to go.  I continued onward for my final lap, and about 5 minutes later I felt a hand on my shoulder.  That woman finished her race and then took the time to catch back up with me and offer me encouragement.  She told me I was tough, that I would make it, and gave me a nice pep talk.  I don’t know who she was, but it meant a lot that she took the time to do that.  My belief is that she probably spoke words to me that she would have found valuable in the same situation. 

In life, we often have opportunities to serve both these roles.  Sometimes, we are the broken ones in need of help.  In these instances, a word from a loved one or even a stranger can make all the difference in our resolve.  At other times, we are the ones that can provide those words.  Usually when we give those words to others, it is because we remember being in those same shoes.  It makes us more empathetic and willing to help.  There are times when you will need encouragement and others when you will bless others with your encouragement, embrace both. 

A phrase I do not like.  “Everything in moderation” is a phrase we are all familiar with.  Personally, it is one I don’t like.  In my experience, moderation is usually code for minimizing what we should be doing while overdoing what we shouldn’t.  It’s the perfect way to express that we are not committed to doing what is necessary to go to a higher level.

If you were to speak to any successful person they will use words like drive, commitment, discipline, hard work, consistency, and more.  None of those relate to moderation.  Conversely, if you speak to someone that is not as successful, they may use words like occasionally, sometimes, trying, hopefully, and others.  Those things are associated with moderation and being average.  If it’s worth doing, it is worth doing to the best of your ability.  Moderation has no role in achievement.

Some quotes I love.

“Life is a grindstone.  It can polish you or pulverize you depending on how you position yourself.” – Les Brown

“Consistency is what transforms average into excellence.”

“If it’s endurable, then endure it.  Stop complaining.” – Marcus Aurelius

“I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” 

“Success won’t come from some big step you take in the future.  Success starts with small steps today.” – Craig Groeschel

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – August 4th
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 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 believe.  Last week, I had a young boy say “That looks easy” after I adjusted him and his family.  His mom was slightly embarrassed and told him not to say that, but I told him I loved it.  I explained to him that when you do something for a long time, have extensive training, and continue to improve your skills; what you do should look easy.  For example, when you think of your first day of work or the first time you tried a new hobby compared to how you operate years later, it should look much easier.  When I watch the Food Network, I feel as if I could be a great chef by adding citrus and a few pre-chopped ingredients to something because they make it look effortless.  This is obviously not the case.

Personally, I love to deal with people that make things look easy because to me this is a sign of competence, confidence, and experience.  Their level of skill puts me at ease, and I feel great using their services or taking their advice.  If someone ever tells you that what you do looks easy, take it as a compliment because it takes experience to have it look that way!

A business principle that applies to life.  There is a saying I love in business “If everyone is your market, then no one is your market.”  The meaning behind this is that if you try to please everyone, you will end up offering products or services that appeal to very few.  This has applications to daily life as well.

If you make it your goal to please everyone in your life, you are not likely to succeed.  Instead, you will end up being less authentic, creating weaker relationships, and feeling conflicted with your own behavior.  The simple fact is, not everyone will like you or how you operate.  I can tell you that in my case, my energy, drive, and personality traits cause many to gravitate toward me and others to get away from me.  In the end, we just must be our true selves and let things sort out how they may.  As in business, do not be afraid to refine your market because it will keep you focused on the people and things that truly matter rather than those that don’t. 

An important concept.  Leadership is a topic that is discussed but rarely understood.  Many believe leadership means being a domineering presence, the loudest voice, etc.  While that can be the case, my belief is that leadership is simply about making those around you better in some manner.  Therefore, great leaders are more prevalent than you may think. 

Each role in our lives allows us a chance to display leadership without making ourselves the center of attention.  In my case, being a husband, father, doctor, business owner, coach, Sunday school teacher, and volunteer with disabled children/adults all offer me opportunities to lead.  Yours may be different but opportunities will always present themselves if you only take the time to look for them.   The important thing is to give our best effort, be authentic, and adhere to our values and principles (which hopefully are sound).  This will develop trust, and before long, will create a dynamic where people look to us for help and our positive influence.  To me, that is what leadership is all about.

A question to always ask.  “Is this sustainable?”  This simple question is crucial yet often ignored.  When something is sustainable, it will allow us to do it repeatedly without causing damage or negative consequences.  If it is not sustainable, it will usually offer some form of temporary benefit now and negative impacts later.

This question should be at the top of all our minds.  If things are sustainable, you have found a great approach.  If not, then consider ways to alter your method so that you can begin gaining ground rather than losing it.  Finances, relationships, exercise, nutrition, mental habits, and more all should be evaluated regularly for their sustainability. 

Some quotes I love.

“Fear is a reaction.  Courage is a decision.” – Winston Churchill

“Be prepared to work always without applause.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Simple words to live by.  Be strong when you are weak.  Be brave when you are scared.  Be humble when you are victorious.  Be badass every day.”

“Healing also means taking an honest look at the role you play in your own suffering.” – Brandi MacDonald 

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 28th
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 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.  

An important distinction.  The words “simple” and “easy” are often used interchangeably but are not the same.  For example, when I ran my 100-mile race in February, it was simple.  All I had to do was run and fuel my body as I went.  I promise you though, it was not easy.  In life, I believe that “easy” rarely brings benefits but “simple” always does.

When we seek out things that are easy, we are often going below our true standards.  In this instance we are seeking things or actions that do not challenge us or help us grow.  Conversely, seeking simplicity helps us to operate better.  When things are simple, they allow us to concentrate on our effort, performance, and succeeding in the long term.  It lets us forge a better path forward by de-cluttering things that may stand in our way.  An easy life won’t provide benefit, but a simple life will.

Something I believe.  None of us are perfect, we all have things that we could improve upon in terms of our habits, personality, and more.  Recognizing this is an important initial step.  Thereafter, there are two types of people you will encounter. 

The first are people that understand they need to be better but rather than look inward to do so, they take it out on others.  They berate, insult, mock, and complain about other people and things to avoid focusing on their shortcomings.  Second, are those that take the hard step of identifying something they don’t like about their behavior or outlook and begin making the effort to alter it.  This group understands that they are the solution to their problems and it’s on them to change.  If you are unhappy or displeased with some aspect of your life, be the type of person that addresses it head-on rather than becoming bitter and toxic to those around you.

Something that being a chiropractor has taught me.  I am in my 18th year of practice and have been blessed to treat tens of thousands of people utilizing my evaluations, decision-making, and adjustments.  Most of the time, this leads to impressive results and my patients are thrilled.  Other times, I utilize these exact methods and people don’t get the results they (or I) desired for them.  It always bothers me when I am unable to help someone, but it has taught me a valuable lesson.

All I can control is the effort I give and the treatment I provide.  Sometimes the results are amazing and life-changing and others, lackluster or non-existent.  How the body does or does not heal, is unfortunately not up to me.  Therefore, I maintain my focus on providing my best effort because that portion is under my control.  If I do that, I know I have done all I can to help the patient.  Everything in life works in this same fashion.  We cannot dictate the outcomes we get, but we can control the processes and effort we make to get there.  If you do your absolute best, most of the time you will see the results you want.  In the instances that you don’t, at least you know that you did all you could. 

A great reminder.  I saw a patient recently that I had not seen in years.  She’d been in pain and has some health issues she has begun to address.  Despite having these concerns, she was extremely excited to be dealing with them to get on a path to better health.  Even though the road to those solutions will be long, her excitement was contagious and provided a great reminder for me.

Your greatest achievements in life are going to be difficult.  They will take more time, effort, and sacrifice than you would ever realize.  Since it’s going to be such a tough journey, you may as well just find a reason to smile and enjoy it.  If you can do that, it will allow you to get started making progress.  That will then motivate you to continue the journey, and so on until you eventually attain your goal.  If you knew how hard the objective would be to achieve, you’d never start.  Thus, you may as well just get excited, get underway, and enjoy the process. 

Some quotes I love.

“Nobody is coming to save you.  Get up.  Be your own hero.”

“Don’t let the entire staircase overwhelm you.  Just focus on that first step.”

“But the thing is, even if I could go back, I wouldn’t belong there anymore.”

“There is nothing noble about being superior to your fellow men.  True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Never underestimate a man who picks self-improvement after being disrespected by people he loved.  He’ll conquer everything.”

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 21st
read more

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 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.  

Something that resonated with me.  I listened to someone speak this week about the differences between “trying and training.”  Trying is wanting a result but not outlining any specific steps to get there.  For example, saying that you want to try to eat better, exercise more, or behave differently is great but tends to fail the second it becomes even slightly challenging.  Training is when you have a goal that you are taking consistent action steps toward achieving.  You are following a plan toward an accomplishment, so you take the necessary steps in effort, equipment, and time management to get there.

If you have found yourself struggling on the path toward a goal, it is likely because you have only been “trying.”  You want it, but you aren’t putting the right plan of action into place to achieve it.  I have made this mistake at times throughout my lifetime.  Now, if something is important to me, I take a different path.  First, I outline my goal as specifically as possible and then break it down in terms of the time it will take, effort it will require, knowledge or equipment I will need, and more.  If you want amazing results, start training instead of trying. 

Something I believe.  In life, there is consumption and production.  Consumption is the things we buy from essentials to the toys we want to own or possess.  Production is what we create such as our personal impact on others, friendships, and relationships.  Our society puts a premium on consumption and minimizes production, but I believe there should be a better balance. 

Obviously, it is important to have the things we need from such as housing, food, and insurance. However, a focus on consumption brings our attention to attaining and flaunting things we really don’t need so that we can impress people we don’t care about.  I like technology, toys, and gadgets as much as most, but I try to maintain my focus on what I produce as a father, husband, doctor, friend, coach, and leader.  If I can manage to uplift those around me, that will be rewarding to me and valuable to my circle of influence.  Give thought to how much you produce in life versus what you consume.

An important distinction.  I spoke to someone recently going through tough times that referred to themselves as “broken.”  To me, becoming broken is when you refuse to go on, quit, and accept things as they are.  For that reason, most people even in their worst times are not broken, they’re just “banged up.”  That is the term I like to associate with times of great mental or physical pain or challenge that often seem insurmountable. 

I have suffered through some tough times in life.  When I was younger, I would allow them to control me and would essentially “break.”  As I got older, I faced harder and more serious challenges but had developed a different mindset.  Now, even in my worst times I have confidence that no matter what happens, I will go on.  I might have to deal with physical pain, sadness over the loss of someone I love, uncertainty, or some unforeseen circumstance; but I will continue onward and will not break.  The next time you feel life closing in on you, remind yourself that you will not be broken, you’re only banged up and it will get better somehow. 

Something I’m excited for.  I have a friend that recently opened a chiropractic practice.  He is an excellent adjuster and clinically competent but is new in business and struggling.  He’d asked me for guidance, and I told him we would start having a weekly phone or Zoom meeting to discuss business ideas. 

I get excited to collaborate with people that are younger in their careers than me because I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have attained.  Teaching aspects of my life or talents I possess to someone else helps me gain a greater grasp and expertise of the material.  Furthermore, it energizes me when I interact with people that are just beginning to climb the ladder to success.  Usually, they are more willing to try new things, consider different approaches, and have time and energy to burn.  That carries over to me by reminding me of how far I have come, rekindling some of the passion and drive it took to get there, and helping me to gain new insights.  If you are new to an endeavor, seek out someone with experience because I promise, it will benefit both of you.

Some quotes I love.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

“You can’t help where you were born and you may not have much to say about where you die, but you can and you should try to pass the days in between as a good man.”

“Learning the distinction between ‘help’ and ‘rescue’ is one of the most important lessons in your child’s course on responsibility.” – Brandi MacDonald

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 14th
read more