All posts tagged: littleton chiropractor

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 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 important.  I am fortunate to receive frequent compliments from patients about my bedside manner, demeanor, and business practices.  Most like my enthusiasm, empathy, positivity, and straightforward business practices.  This means a lot to me because when I was first in practice, I was bombarded by people telling me what I should do, and how I should speak and act.  Most of what I heard felt disingenuous and fraudulent to me.

It is an important lesson to understand that to be successful, you do not need to change who you are.  Instead, it will likely only require you to change some of your habits, processes, or behaviors.  Using the same chiropractic example, I never compromised my morals or overall personality.  Instead, I improved my skills as a doctor, became better at communicating, and focused on understanding the experience within my office from a patient’s perspective rather than my own.  To become successful, do not abandon who you are, simply adjust certain aspects of how you operate.

Something I believe.  Do you know of any relationships that succeed with one person being completely committed and one person not?  No.  How about successful businesses with owners that focus or care about their business only a fraction of the time?  Of course not. 

I believe commitment is the most essential ingredient in the recipe for any relationship, business, or endeavor to succeed.  Too often, people give up when things become challenging.  True commitment to someone or something is being willing to go through the ups and downs required to get where you want to go.  I also believe that commitment is shown through consistent and meaningful action.  If you want to chase a goal, make sure that you are truly committed before you even start.  If you are, put in the effort every single day to get there. 

Something humorous that helps me.  My late brother-in-law and I were great friends.  I had the privilege of opening and running a business with him and coaching football with him for years.  During those times, we went through many of the trials and tribulations you would expect in business and sports.  Something I remember vividly is anytime I would voice even the slightest complaint or aggravation at something we faced, he would ask me “Are you ok?  Do you want me to get you a cucumber water?”  This was his way of telling me to toughen up, stop acting like a baby, and begin taking action.  It would always make me laugh and get me back on track.

As humorous as this is, I have thought of it for years and it truly helps me.  When I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, worried, or even slightly sorry for myself, I think of him saying that to me.  This has happened in business situations, the toughest of personal times, grueling workouts, 100-mile races, and more.  We all need a way to remind ourselves to toughen up and be more resilient, I’m thankful mine involves my brother-in-law teasing me about cucumber water!

Something important.  Have you ever gotten really excited about a goal and worked extremely hard to make it happen only to be disappointed in the results?  Maybe a promotion didn’t materialize, the scale didn’t show what you expected, you lost when you hoped to win, etc.  Failing when you put in minimal effort is expected, but failing when you are expending all your energies can be crushing.  It feels unfair because we like to believe that when we give our best, we will get rewarded.  In these situations, I have learned two things.

First, giving your absolute best to something is a requisite.  It is not a guarantee of success, but at minimum it provides satisfaction that you have done all you could.  Second, when you try hard and fail, you will want to quit.  It is precisely at that point when it becomes most important to harness your disappointment, keep trudging forward, and not decrease your effort at all.  Personally, I have found that if I can keep fighting after my toughest defeats, God always gives me something better in the future.    

Some quotes I Love.

“Don’t give up.  The hardest battles are given to the strongest soldiers.”

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 1st
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 24th

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.  One of the things I am known for when I coach is being a “hype man.”  I have a unique way of pumping up my team and by the time we take the field, we’re like William Wallace in Braveheart ready to battle.  “Hype” is fun and can raise the level of passion and excitement in any endeavor.  While this is something I love, I am far more passionate about preparation. 

Preparation involves hard work, repetition, practice, discipline, habits, and more.  Done properly, this will accelerate the development of abilities which in turn builds confidence.  Without preparation, no amount of hype or motivation can compensate for it.  That said, when someone has prepared well, hype can go a long way.  Just that little bit extra excitement can make you feel even more certain of your abilities, especially if things become challenging.   Prepare yourself each day as best you can but add in a little hype to fuel your fire as well.

Something to be aware of.  When people get hungry, they often instinctively seek out the quickest forms of food to provide them energy.  These tend to be high in sugar and fat instead of nutrients and solid ingredients.  So rather than healthy proteins and salads for example, your mind tells you to go for candy.  My belief is that this premise applies to more than just food.

Undisciplined minds will always seek out “mental candy.”  These are paths of least resistance and include laziness, poor habits, morally questionable behavior, reduced quality standards, etc.  My method for avoiding mental candy is to shift my focus from how a decision will make me feel in the moment to how it will make me feel later.  For example, eating unhealthy meals, skipping workouts, or quitting activities will only make me feel horrible down the line so I don’t allow myself to do that.   Simply shifting your focus from instant gratification to how it will feel later can give you the power to make far better decisions. 

A great reminder.  My wife and I went out for brunch last weekend.  As we ate, a couple came to the table next to us and told an elderly couple that they paid for their meal.  They said some really nice things, wished them well, and left.  It was very nice to hear.  Later in the weekend, my wife was at a store when a woman told the young man behind the counter that his tattoos would cause him to get cancer.  He was a young kid and my wife said he became visibly upset and hurt by that ridiculous comment.

We all have the potential to be a person that either uplifts or brings down those around us.  Personally, I see no value in being someone who makes people feel terrible.  You never know where someone is at in their journey or what they’re going through.  Sometimes, a simple extra word of praise or support can make a difference.  These interactions over the weekend reminded me that I never want to be the person that leaves somewhere with people feeling worse about themselves because of me.  Instead, my desire is to somehow uplift those around me whenever possible. 

Something I strive for.  One of my favorite feelings in the world is what I like to call an “empty tank.”  To me, this is where I feel like I have exhausted myself as much as possible within a single day.  It involves challenging myself physically, work performance, and the quality of the interactions I have with those I care for most.  If I can maximize those three areas, by the time I go to bed I feel exhausted and satisfied that I did my absolute best that day.  There is no better feeling for me than having an empty tank. 

I would estimate that in each month, I hit this goal only once or twice.  Most days, I must be honest with myself and admit I could have done a bit better in one or multiple areas.  When that is the case, I use it as motivation for the following day.  The point is to set forth a high personal standard.  Doing everything I can each day to empty the tank has truly helped transform the quality of my life over what it once was.

Some quotes I Love.

“There are three solutions to every problem; accept it, change it, or leave it.  If you can’t accept it, change it.  If you can’t change it, leave it.”

“Old keys don’t unlock new doors.”

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 24th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 17th

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 helps me.  I talk often in these 5 Spots about habits I utilize physically, nutritionally, and mentally based on my successes and failures.  One thing that helps me tremendously that I have neglected to ever mention is prayer.  Prayer has become a crucial part of my daily routine, whereas for much of my life that was not the case. 

I pray somewhat formally at times but usually it’s informally as I run, drive, go through my day, or with my wife and children.  I like to talk about what I’m grateful for, request blessings for myself and others, and ask for guidance on issues both large and small.  This gives me comfort and peace more than anything else I do.  It allows me to remain hopeful and positive, keeps me grounded, and gives me strength in my best and worst times. I have no idea what your beliefs are, but I can tell you that especially over the last several years, prayer has evolved into my greatest weapon.

A story I’d like to share with you.  In my last 100-mile race, I suffered multiple injuries to one of my ankles.  At about mile 35, I tripped, twisted it badly for the third time, and fell hard to the ground.  I was dejected, lying in mud with intense pain, and still had 65 miles left to go.  I had an excuse to quit but decided to get up and try to start moving again.  When I did so, I did not feel triumphant and over the next 65 miles I never felt particularly strong or confident.  Many times, I felt embarrassed at how slow I had to go after all the training I’d invested.  After I finished the race, it took 2 weeks for the swelling in my feet and legs to subside, I couldn’t run for over a month, and it took 3 months to regain sensation in two of my toes.    

I share this story because this is what I believe success looks like.  It’s often not pretty, is incredibly difficult, and will be painful at times.  It will boil down to how badly you want it, whether you can keep believing in yourself when things are dire, and your ability to keep moving forward after countless setbacks.  Furthermore, the path to success often will not feel successful.  It will be frustrating and slow going.  However, when you look back, you will understand that what you achieved was earned over time with small victories you hadn’t realized or appreciated in the moment.    

Something I recommend trying.  In weight training, doing one extra repetition that your body is unaccustomed to when muscles are fatigued can create a small amount of muscle growth.  That single extra rep under stress forces the muscle to adapt by becoming stronger.  Done repeatedly, this increases the size, density, and strength of the muscles.  This same premise can be used in any aspect of life. 

If you ate better than you normally do, could you do that for one more meal?  What if you gave your best effort at work and did it again tomorrow?  Maybe you could wake up early, study an hour longer, spend extra time with a loved one, or do something positive one more time?  Deciding to go/try one more time is a simple goal but an important one.  If you can stack “one mores” they cumulatively become something greater.  They have the potential to increase the quality and strength of any aspect of your life.    

Something I believe.  Last Saturday, I took my middle son to the football field, and we did a challenging workout together.  It included lunges for a half mile, running stairs, sprinting hills, and dragging a weighted sled.  When I got home, my wife asked me to do the same workout, so I went right back to the fields and did it again with her.  The next day, my wife and middle son could barely walk and though I was also very sore, I did a couple additional workouts for myself.  This may all sound odd, but there is a method to my madness.

I believe that it is important to regularly show the flesh, who is in charge.  In fact, sometimes you must drop the hammer on yourself.  Physically challenging the body above and beyond what it expects will not only strengthen the body physically but mentally as well.  You do not need to drag weighted sleds or sprint hills to accomplish this either.  If you normally walk 1 mile, try doing 2 or add in hills.  Perhaps you do yoga for 30 minutes, try doing it for 60 or more instead.  If you challenge yourself to do substantially more than you thought you could/should even once, it expands your potential more than you can imagine.

Some quotes I Love.

“You can’t complain about what’s on your plate when your whole goal was to eat.” – Steve Harvey

“Dogs bark at what they don’t understand.” – Heraclitus

“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 17th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 10th

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 reminder.  I attended a wedding last weekend for a wonderful, loving couple.  The officiant of the wedding told their story that included the time it took for the groom to eventually approach his future bride.  He also spoke of the many years during which they had to overcome logistics, distance, and other challenges to continue to flourish as a couple.  It was great to hear their story and it served as a great reminder to me.

Regardless of what you are trying to achieve, the basic formula is simple.  It will boil down to having the guts to pursue it, being willing to face challenges, and having the wherewithal to remain committed during difficult times.  Whether for a relationship, business, or attainment of any goal; I like to think of those three factors as a screening process.  If you’re willing to have courage and face tough times, you can be successful in anything you go after.

Something that made me proud.  One of my sons recently mentioned to me that a player on his team had missed a full week of practice and a game.  My son asked him if he had been sick or injured, to which the boy replied, “actually my uncle killed himself.”  My son could see the boy’s pain and told him that he had also lost his uncle (and an aunt too) at a young age only a few years ago.  My son had true empathy and was able to comfort and be a friend to him in a different way because of similar experiences. 

We all have unique lives that take us in many directions, some good and others not.  Those experiences may not allow us to relate to everyone but give us the blessing of being able to relate perfectly to some.  As in the case of my son with his teammate, sometimes we can become a shepherd for others.  We can show them things will get better, offer hope, or just relate to their situation better than most.  Regardless, experiences that once were a burden may one day put us in the position to help someone just like us.  I believe that is important and something to be proud of. 

An interesting interaction.  I was recently speaking with someone who is in overall poor health and has been for years.  At one point in the conversation, I mentioned the importance of maintaining good habits to create better health and was basically mocked.  This person began to tell me that I wasn’t healthy because I was not visiting doctors enough, that my health was based only on genetics, and that healthy people die just as easily from diseases/conditions as unhealthy people.  This type of thinking is sadly very common.

Genetics play a role in certain aspects of health and there is nothing wrong with having regular checkups to establish and monitor baseline aspects.  However, that is a tiny part of anyone’s health.  The overwhelming majority consists of the quality of decisions made in in terms of how we do/don’t move our bodies (exercise), what we ingest into our bodies, and how we care for ourselves mentally.  When those decisions are consistently positive, you will be far less likely to be sick, injured, immobile, hurt, and requiring visits to doctors constantly.  There is not a doctor on the planet that is more important to your health than the decisions you choose to make for yourself physically, nutritionally, and mentally.

Something I learned from football.  I’ve been around football for many years both playing and coaching.  Obviously, being such a violent and physically demanding sport, it is common to see bigger and stronger people playing the game with the most success.  However, there are instances where I have seen very undersized players make up for their lack of size with aggression and thrive.  They run at full speed into collisions relying on passion and courage when other bigger and more talented players often hesitate or will not do so.  Sometimes these smaller players get run over or embarrassed, but they keep coming back for more.  Seeing this always influenced me. 

This same premise has applications in daily life.  We are all given a set of basic talents, skills, and genetics.  On their own, they can only take us so far. However, those gifts can be enhanced greatly through a combination of courage, aggression, determination, and grit.  As a result, what may seem out of reach based on ability can become attainable. 

Some quotes I Love.

“Only those that see the invisible will do the impossible.”

“Half the world is composed of people that have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” – Robert Frost

“If the voice in your head is mean to you, remember someone manipulated that voice and instilled it in you.  Kill that fake voice and find yours.” – Gary Vaynerchuck

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” – Victor Frankl

“It’s not a bad thing to ask for help, it’s a sign that you want to win more than just protect your ego.” – Dr. Josh Handt

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 10th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 3rd

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 analogy I love.  I remember times growing up when I’d be over at a friend’s house on a Saturday or Sunday and the moms/grandmothers would be cooking all day and ask me to stay for dinner.  By the time the meal was ready, it was always some of the freshest, most flavorful food you could imagine.  The reason for this was that everything was prepared slowly so that things could be done just right and allow the flavors to develop.  It took hours but the results were amazing.  If they had used a microwave to cook the meal it could have been done in minutes, but would it have tasted the same?  Of course not.

This same premise applies to life.  Our world promotes a microwave approach of ideas, schemes, pills, gurus, and everything else you can imagine convincing you that you can have whatever you want with little time or effort.  What they fail to explain is that success is never obtained in that fashion.  Instead, it will be a journey that requires commitment, practice, and determination to achieve anything worthwhile.  Just as the best foods will take time to prepare, so too will your greatest successes so think stove, not microwave. 

Something that affected me.  About 6 weeks ago, I had a chiropractor come to my office for an adjustment.  He retired after 40 years in practice in Texas and moved to Colorado with his wife so that they could be close to their daughters who are in their 30’s and starting families.  We immediately became friends, and we’d swap adjustments and/or go grab lunch.  It was great having an excellent chiropractor to adjust me regularly and I began to really look up to him.  In fact, it was like looking 20 years into my future and seeing exactly what I would like my life to look like.

Last Tuesday, I was informed by a mutual acquaintance that my new friend had tragically and unexpectedly died.  Though I only knew him for a short while, this news was devastating to me.  He was in excellent health, was enjoying his first year of retirement, loved being active, and spoke glowingly about his family.  Having lost both my sister and a best friend (my brother-in-law) over the past 2 ½ years, this was even worse.  Having experienced losing people suddenly and well before their time, I will provide you with some basic advice I hope you follow.  Do not leave the house without hugging those you love, try not to leave issues unsettled with people important to you, and do not take time for granted.  Do not spend time stressing about your own mortality, but make sure that if you were to leave today, your life and relationships would be in a place you were pleased with. 

A simple reminder.  As I arrived with my son to his junior kindergarten class this week, I realized that we had forgotten his backpack with his lunch.  I am usually very organized, so this was uncharacteristic of me.  When I returned home to grab it, I found the backpack had been moved into a play area by my daughter and that was why I missed it.  Furthermore, I always double check I have it before leaving the house and failed to do that.  Basically, I did not follow my usual system and the backup I have for it.  This served as a reminder, however.

Our systems will make or break us.  Forgetting a backpack is no big deal.  However, if a system isn’t followed in a pre-flight check, security protocols, or reading an x-ray or MRI to detect cancer, it could be.  It is crucial that we have certain systems in our lives to ensure we get things done properly, on time, and with consistency.  This leads to efficiency and less stress, and after a short period of time will become second nature.  Begin evaluating what methods you have in place to accomplish things for yourself, family, or business.  Continue what is working and improve anything that is not. 

Something I value.  Recently my wife gave me a small piece of advice that I really needed.  In the moment she said it I wasn’t thrilled but after a minute or two of considering it, I agreed with her.  She is not the type to make petty comments or give pointless advice so when she takes the time to tell me something, I listen.  I have a small group of other people in my life that I trust to do this for me as well.

I believe it is crucial that we have people in our circle that will tell us hard truths when necessary.  The purpose of receiving this information is not so that we will be harmed by it, but rather to allow us to improve in some way.  Personally, I value this type of feedback most from people that I trust but that do not bombard me with constant frivolous advice.  Instead, they take me aside when necessary and give me a constructive criticism based on their love and respect for me.  It may take me by surprise or be difficult to hear, but instinctively I know the value and importance of their words.  If you have people such as this in your life, respect them.  Also, if you are this type of person to someone else, be truthful and timely in your advice and deliver it with grace and kindness.

Some quotes I Love.

“Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.” – Joe Polish

“Going from being worried about what might happen to being excited about what might happen is truly only a mindset shift away.” – Cory Allen

“The race always hurts.  Expect it to hurt.  You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt.  You train so you can tolerate it.”

“On every team, there is a core group that sets the tone for everyone else.  If the tone is positive, you have half the battle won.  If it is negative, you are beaten before you ever walk on the field.” – Chuck Noll

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 3rd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – October 27th

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 I found important.  Eric Thomas is one of my favorite speakers and I heard him use an analogy this week about roots, branches, and leaves.  Roots are the most important part of any tree and the hardest to grow.  For people, our roots are our principles, behaviors, and actions.  Branches and leaves on the other hand are noticed more, easier to grow, but far less important to the overall integrity of a tree.  His belief is that our society puts a premium on worrying about our own leaves and branches while ignoring the roots.  I have found this to be true as well.

When we are not grounded properly, we squander opportunities.  We ruin relationships, finances, and anything we touch.  Often, this is a result of paying attention to trivial or superficial things.  The work it takes to grow strong roots is often difficult and not glamorous but vital to a good life.  When I was younger, I focused only on my leaves and branches, was insecure, and my life was often in turmoil.  Later, my roots were grown by facing my insecurities, doubling down on my strengths, addressing my weaknesses, accepting failures that occurred, and being brutally honest with who I was.  That created a much happier and more consistent life for me.  Build your roots, and the leaves and branches will take care of themselves. 

A great reminder.  I was speaking to a fellow chiropractor recently that is struggling to build their practice.  They mentioned it was “inconvenient” for them to see multiple new patients in a day and that they sometimes didn’t like to see too many people in a certain window of time.  This was confusing to me.  I asked how they ever expected to see the amount of people necessary to grow a business if it was “inconvenient” for them to do so.  I pointed out that if their goal really is to build a thriving practice, they would have to make the time to see those patients regardless of whether it was the perfect time or not.   

This type of attitude is common.   We want the big goal, but not the discomfort that comes with it.  Whether it’s business, weight loss, improved fitness, better finances, or anything else, you will have to grind for it.  The path to success is never going to feel perfect, comfortable, or easy.  Much of it will require our best efforts at a time when we least feel like giving them.  The litmus test of how badly you want to achieve a goal is whether you are willing to go the extra mile when it’s most challenging and least convenient to do so.       

Something I believe.  My family and I stopped at Smash Burger a couple of weeks ago after a football game.  It’s a fast casual place, and the young man bringing the orders to the tables looked barely old enough to work there.  As we waited for our food, I was impressed with how he operated in such a busy environment.  He was hustling and working extremely hard, all while remaining calm and being nice to everyone he encountered. 

I told my family that if I had a business that needed it, I would hire him in a second and they asked why.  My thinking is that work ethic and grace under pressure while in a busy or stressful environment are rare qualities.  If you possess those simple traits, you can handle anything.  I’m certain that kid was not getting rich doing that job, but he was giving it all he had regardless.  I am someone that believes how you do anything is how you’ll do everything, and it was great to see someone exemplifying that. 

Something sports has taught me.  There is a common phrase in sports that states “You want to maximize your minutes.”  The meaning is that whether you are a starter or bench player receiving three plays per game, you want to show your best when called upon.  By doing so, the hope is that those minutes will turn into more playing time, an expanded role, and greater chance for success.  I believe this to be true in life as well.

We only get so many opportunities in business, relationships, and everything else.  Thus, we need to be ready when our chances arise.  I believe the best way to prepare for those times is through a combination of hard work, discipline, routine, commitment to processes, and a positive attitude.  If we faithfully pursue those areas, we are creating a better version of ourselves daily.  Then, when we can “get some minutes”, we are able to take full advantage.

Some quotes I Love.

“Kindness is loaning someone your strength rather than reminding them of their weakness.” – Mark Mero

“One of the few things that can’t be recycled is wasted time.” – Sean Covey

“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous.  More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and act without asking questions.” – Primo Levi

“Empathy without boundaries is self-destruction.” – Silvy Khoucasian

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – October 27th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – October 20th

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 lesson I have learned.  Most of you know that I have competed in multiple 100-mile runs.  These races require a slow guy like me to be on my feet for more than a full day continuously.  Throughout the race there will be aid stations with volunteers encouraging you and offering everything from fluids to pancakes and bacon.  When I reach these aid stations I eat, refill my supplies, share a laugh, then head back out.  It may only take 5 minutes, but it energizes me whether I am 7 miles into a race or 95. 

The lesson is that even during a major challenge, there are moments that offer a ray of hope and encouragement.  Those times do not mean you have reached your goal, but they are important and should be enjoyed.  Last Saturday we left one of my son’s football games and he scored an amazing touchdown and played great.  We came home as a family and had a nice dinner with lots of laughs and smiles.  To me, that is an aid station in life.  It doesn’t mean things will never be challenging again, but those moments energize me like nothing else and keep me going.   Celebrate the small victories regardless of where you’re at, they are pointing you in the right direction.

Something I believe.  Most of us would love to be in better shape, have more money, improve certain relationships, have less stress, and the like.  Often, we hyper-focus on one thing and think that if that goal were to come to fruition, our lives would be bliss.  For example, if we had a certain amount of money, six pack abs, or a loving partner, everything would be perfect.  While those things may be helpful and wonderful, there is a better way to approach things.

My belief is that whatever the goal, the best method is to start by working on ourselves.  When I got divorced a decade ago, my self-esteem was low, I was broken, was starting from scratch in my career, and was anxious about being a single dad.  I saw no perfect path to solving all these issues instantly so I began to simply try and become a better man in every aspect I could.  I exercised more, studied business more, focused more with each adjustment I performed, was more present with my children, and many others.  Slowly I began to feel better about who I was.  Within a few years of that period, I was married to the woman of my dreams, had amazing relationships with my sons (with another on the way at that time), owned two businesses, and was saving money for a new home.  The only reason that was possible was because I worked on me rather than just hoping one thing would change my life.  If you make creating a better you the goal, you will find successes in areas you never expected.

Something I follow.  When one of my children falls or hurts themselves, I tell them to “take a deep breath and drink it in.”  I do this because many times, it is the fear of the pain that is worse than the actual discomfort.  The act of breathing in is meant to reduce anxiety and refocus the mind while the “drink it in” is a reminder that what is being felt can be overcome if we relax and face it.  This works with far more than just injuries.

Have you ever had a bill you didn’t want to open, a call you dreaded making, or a task you were too anxious to pursue? We all have.  In those instances, it is the fear of what may happen that paralyzes us.  Thus, we do nothing which is ineffective and counterproductive.  Instead of doing so, it is far better to simply take a deep breath, remind ourselves we can handle it, then proceed.  Next time you’re faced with a challenge that scares you, take a deep breath, drink it in, then get after it.

A story I love to tell.  Five years ago, my oldest son was 12 years old and selected by his school to attend a week-long leadership conference at DU.  He was staying in a dormitory with other kids from around Colorado and attending classes and activities all week.  My youngest son happened to be born that week, so I picked my oldest up and brought him to meet his brother.  He was gone for the night and when he returned, another boy had stolen a lot of his food from his drawers. 

Rather than tell an instructor or call his parents crying, my son confronted that boy in front of everyone.  He asked for his food back and when that was not possible (it was eaten), my son set a price and demanded payment, which he received.  I could not tell you two things my son learned at that conference, but that act told me everything I needed to know about his leadership abilities.  When faced with an uncomfortable situation, the best leaders display guts, step up, take charge, and demand results.  I was extremely proud that my son displayed those qualities (and continues to do so)!

Some quotes I Iove.

“Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

“There is never any need to get worked up about things you can’t control.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think.”  Margaret Mead

“First, it is an intention.  Then a behavior.  Then a habit.  Then a practice.  Then second nature.  Then it is simply who you are.” – Brendon Burchard

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – October 20th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – October 6th

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.  Boring basics

The way I view health.  When you visit a grocery store, the healthiest items are those that are perishable such as produce, meats, and dairy products.  These must be treated properly, sold quickly, and then used in a timely fashion by the consumer, so they don’t spoil.  Conversely, non-perishable items like cereals, soda, canned goods, and more can sit there forever and require little attention to be maintained.   I think this is similar to how our health works. 

Perishable habits include too much TV, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, over-consumption of alcohol, and more.  Sadly, these are easy to continue because they require little to no effort.  Conversely, every positive thing you can do for good health is perishable.  This includes what you eat, exercise, stress management, relationships, etc.  These areas are challenging to maintain and if they are ignored even for a small period, things can quickly go bad.  Examples include weight gain, becoming sedentary, development of diseases, increased stress, poor relationships, and others.  Therefore, it is crucial to have processes and habits in place that allow us to repeat the positive behaviors that will lead to better outcomes.  Try viewing your health habits like a grocery store and fill it with more good stuff than bad. 

Something important.  I was speaking to someone this week about the importance of forgiveness.  My belief is that the act of forgiving someone is a gift we can give to ourselves.  It helps us unburden ourselves of negativity, resentment, hatred, and the like.  It allows us to drive forward looking ahead rather than staring into our rear-view mirror. 

That said, forgiving others does not mean we must compromise our boundaries.  We teach others how we desire to be treated by what we do and do not allow.  Therefore, just because we don’t walk around hating others does not mean we must accept poor behavior from anyone in our lives.  When I feel people have wronged me, I tend to let it go quickly and move on.  However, I do not allow these people (or anyone else) to bring that behavior around me again.  Forgive people, but don’t forget to pay attention to your personal boundaries of what you will/will not tolerate.  This will create a far happier and less stressful existence for you.

Something I want you to remember.  I have failed a lot in my life including marriages, businesses, relationships, sports, races, and plenty of other things.  When this has happened, it has tended to affect me mentally.  I am extremely hard on myself and feel shame and embarrassment when I don’t succeed.  In many cases, it has caused me to feel like less of a person.

What I slowly came to realize about failure is the importance of separating the act of failing in an endeavor from who I am.   Now if I fail, I can feel badly about it without believing I am a terrible person.  For example, if I fail in a race, I now view it as a learning experience.  I consider what I can do differently going forward rather than hating myself and forgetting the good I bring as a father, husband, or doctor.  I keep the result separate from who I am as a person.  If you are the type who gets down on yourself after a failure or misstep, I want you to try this.  Gain experience from your losses and try a new path forward without allowing it to shatter the positive vision you have of yourself.  The act of failing does not make anyone a failure.

A great reminder.  My oldest son is almost 17 years old.  Last weekend he slept over at a friend’s house and we had an early commitment to attend the following morning.  I reminded him of it but did not harp on him about making sure he was there.  What I was curious to find out was whether he would show up on time on his own accord the next morning or not.  I am happy to say that he did.

This reminded me that a huge aspect of trust is whether you come through when called upon.  If you are being relied upon to display a certain action and you do, you are actively developing trust.  More so than words, promises or anything else, the act of stepping up when necessary, displays our value to others.  I recommend taking this seriously in our own behavior as well as that of those around us.

Some quotes I love.

“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.” – Roger Babson

“High standards protect you from low quality experiences.”

“We struggle with the complexities and avoid the simplicities.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The only cure for grief is action.” – George Henry Lewes

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – October 6th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 29th

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 helps me.  “Stay or get?”  This is a simple question I ask myself frequently that helps me quite a bit.  The point of the question is to ask myself whether I want to “stay” where I am/as I am, or if I should “get” moving toward something else.  For example, do I want to stay doing what I’m doing physically or do something to get stronger or faster? Do I want to stay where I’m at in business or get working on ways to improve my service and profitability?  Essentially, I want to ponder whether what I’m doing is my best effort or whether it could or should be improved.

To some, this may seem like a silly thing.  However, I can tell you from experience that complacency sets in faster than you’d imagine.  This happens physically, mentally, in relationships, in businesses, and more.  If you are not careful, you will wake up one day to find that you’ve slid down the hill rather than continuing to climb it.  Therefore, ask yourself regularly whether you want to stay where you are or get moving toward something better.

Something I do.  I am a huge fan of the Rocky movies.  Most of you have seen when he runs the steps in Philadelphia and reaches the top, he raises his hands overhead in triumph.  I always thought that was inspiring, so for years now whenever I finish a grueling run, workout, superset, or anything else; I raise my hands just like that.  The reason I do so is because it trains my mind and body not to seek the comfort of rest by placing my hands on my knees or sitting down.  In short, it strengthens me physically and mentally because when my body tells me I’m tired, I act triumphant.

This same premise applies to daily life.  Your toughest challenges in relationships, business, personal matters, and more can make you feel like quitting.  You will want to give up, lie on the floor, or stop moving.  Instead, make the decision to keep going, endure hardships, refuse to have a pity party, and make the most of your situation and opportunities.  Those actions are the equivalent of raising your arms overhead in triumph and will lead to successes you once thought unattainable.

A lesson I have learned in chiropractic.  Most of the patients I encounter are wonderful, nice, respectful, and enjoyable to be around.  However, there are always people that come to me who are not.  Many of them are negative, unkind, disrespectful, standoffish, and more.  Interestingly, these same people often make a big deal to me that they may not come back.  They try to hold it over my head in a manner that suggests they want me to cater to them in a way I don’t to my other patients.  This never bothers me because their presence does not bring value to my business and it’s fine if they leave. 

Whether in chiropractic or your personal life, toxic people will bring you down.  They will never be happy, satisfied, or reciprocate your efforts, affection, or love.  It will never be worth your time, energy, or money to deal with them. When people such as this come into your life, let them leave.  You will add far more to your life by subtracting them from it. 

Something I love.  I’m a huge Gordon Ramsey fan and enjoy watching him on various shows.  One of the things I enjoy and respect most about him is his insistence on high standards for any chef or restaurant he works with.  This includes the quality, temperature, taste, and appearance of food.  It also holds true with cleanliness, business practices, interactions with customers, and much more.

This is something I feel we should all utilize in our lives and our endeavors.  If our standards are low, we are not holding ourselves accountable and will be performing at a low level.  Conversely, if we have high standards, we are setting ourselves up for success.  It does not mean that we will succeed instantly.  However, it sets a tone that when we fail, we will do whatever necessary to get better.  As we repeat that process, our results will improve and soon, we will experience more success.

Some quotes I love.

“True friends are like stars; you can only recognize them when it’s dark around you.” – Bob Marley

“Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.”

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 29th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 22nd

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 impressed me.  Two weeks ago, I was at a football game for my middle son.  Sadly, a player on the opposing sideline suffered a seizure (unrelated to an injury or contact) and the paramedics had to be called.  Parents and players alike were worried as this boy remained on the ground waiting to leave via ambulance.  As things got quiet, one of the players on my son’s team asked his teammates to pray for this boy.  At first there was no response, but he was insistent, and soon they were all on one knee in prayer for their opponent.

The boy who asked his teammates to pray is probably the smallest on the team by far.  He does not play a ton and in most cases, would likely not be noticed.  However, when he saw someone in need, he instantly became a leader in whatever way he could.  His teammates respected his conviction, and he led them in prayer in a way that I felt showed great strength and empathy at the same time.  Leadership is all about stepping up in times and ways that may not be expected, and that young man did just that.   

A good reminder.  I was speaking to my best friend last weekend about some issues he is facing.  They include work, ending a relationship, logistical issues going forward, and more.  I have been there myself and understand how difficult times like this can be.  My advice to him was to go “micro.”  In other words, facing the entire picture and every issue at once is going to be too daunting.  You’ll be instantly overwhelmed, so it makes sense to focus on one thing at a time.

When we are facing challenges on multiple fronts, it’s like looking at a map and knowing we need to reach multiple destinations nowhere near one another.  Since it’s impossible to get to each place simultaneously, we must choose one.  Once we have the goal, we can direct our attention more effectively toward it.  This includes taking daily actions steps as well as making sure we don’t neglect ourselves physically, mentally, nutritionally, or in terms of sleep.  In tough times, pick a single problem to begin working on, try to make daily progress toward it, and care for yourself as you do so.  This will help.

Something I hear often.  I’m often told by patients and friends the different things they “struggle with.”  In general, these involve bad habits, poor decisions, and repeating the same behaviors over a period of years.  There are exceptions, but in most cases these wounds are self-inflicted.  Furthermore, there is usually great thought given to the issue and the hold it has over us, but less consideration is given to how to resolve or improve it.

When someone tells me that they’ve been struggling with something for years or decades, it tells me they have either done nothing, not enough, or the wrong things to address it.  There is no shame in having a struggle, we all do.  However, if we’ve had them so long that we talk about them constantly and they have become part of who we are, it’s time to start wondering if we’re approaching it correctly.  If you have been facing an issue for a long time, be open to a different approach.  Sometimes, it’s not that the problem cannot be fixed but rather that we haven’t found the best method to address it.  The answer is likely to include an honest evaluation of ourselves and some hard choices, but it can be accomplished.

Something that resonates with me.  I love to watch competitive shows.  These include everything from cooking to enduring in the wild.  What strikes me is that there are always a group of contestants that seem to “lose” yet come away winning more than anyone else.  In other words, they fail to win the prize but leave happier than anyone else with what they gained through the experience.  This truly appeals to me as a man who has always tried to be his best. 

I’ve won a lot in my life athletically, as a business owner, coach, and more.  In some instances, anything less than first place would have felt like a failure.  However, there are times when going through an endeavor taught me so much that I didn’t care where I finished.  For example, I finished a 100-mile race in about 400th place and gained a lifetime of lessons doing so.  I can think of sub .500 teams I have coached that I feel more pride in than championship teams because of how they over-achieved and grew as young men.  In life, there are times when you can contend for the top spot but other times when you are nowhere close to doing so but have an opportunity to learn and grow.  Both should be valued and respected because they are crucial in their own ways. 

Some quotes I love.

“If you don’t separate yourself from distractions, your distractions will separate you from your goals.” – Steve Harvey

“When you tell people that the delusions they are experiencing are grounded in reality and that it’s everyone else’s job in society to reflect those delusions back at them, you’re not doing them any favors.  In fact, you’re engaging in cruelty.”

“The truth is, it’s always too soon to quit.  Keep going.” – Sally Mcrae

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – September 22nd
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