Throughout my career, I had the unique opportunity to work and to serve incredibly successful individuals. Though they excel in different fields, from entertainment to sport, from business to politics, they all share a common trait: they master mental toughness.
Mental toughness allowed a successful businessman to battle cancer and to overcome it. It assisted a rock star to find the spark again and to bounce back when an album sold poorly.
Nelson Mandela said that not to forgive is like drinking venom and waiting for the enemy to die.
Forgiveness is a powerful force. A while ago, in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, I had dinner with the parents of a young graffiti artist, Diego Felipe Becerra, who was shot in the back and killed by a police officer. He was only 16 years old.
I made a decision for 2016: to make my health and vitality a priority. To this end, I nominated 2016 the year of body transformation!
In a few months I will turn 47 years and so far I’ve been blessed with good health and strength. But in December I realized that I have never had my health as a value and a priority in my life. Not a smart thing to do.
During my training with Tony Robbins in December, I was surprised to realize that I had never considered health as a value.
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It’s now that time of the year I’m always looking for. Over the past few years, I developed the habit of blocking out a few days to review the year that is ending and to create the year that is coming, including some powerful goal setting.
Different people inspired me to do this. Blogger and travel hacking master Chris Guillebeau has a great method. I have incorporated several of his ideas in my own process. Leo Babauta also has a process that gave me great ideas.
When a friend told me he had an extra ticket for Tony Robbins‘ program Date with Destiny in Florida and invited me to go with him, I didn’t hesitate and I said yes on the spot!
For a couple of years, I had played around with the idea of participating in this full immersion experience with Tony Robbins. The price hold me back, but true to be said that was an excuse.
Many years ago, in my early twenties, I had a friend and a mentor who was a philosopher professor in my hometown’s university. We were sitting outdoors, enjoying an ice-cream to protect us from the sticky humidity of that summer afternoon. I liked to meet with this professor, because he had wisdom when it came to read what was going on in the world.
I was moving my first steps in journalism, and I wanted to become good at writing about current events and analyze them in a smart way.
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret,’ Ambrose Bierce, an American journalist who lived a century ago, once wrote.
Did it ever happen to you? That you lose it, unable to control yourself?
Suddenly you feel kidnapped by your own emotions. You get into a reacting mode and external circumstances take over and now control you. Your emotions swing between anger and frustration, between rage and sadness.
An unexamined life is not worth living, said Socrates, the great greek philosopher. That’s why journaling is a fundamental practice for your own personal development.
It took me a while to appreciate the importance of journaling and to experience the positive effect it has on my personal growth. For a long time, journaling was an on-and-off activity to which I was not committed.
What’s our answer to the terror attacks in Paris? How can we respond in a way that is meaningful and effective?
Almost two weeks have now passed since multiple terror attacks hit Paris, taking the life of over one hundred people and spreading fear across the capital of France and well beyond the country’s borders.
For the past 25 years, I have been flying into conflict areas, primarily to Colombia. I sat down with drug kingpins at their ranch. I talked to leaders of armed insurgency groups. I walked the alleys of marginal barrios with members of death squads. I facilitated ceasefire talks between a guerrilla and the government. I listened to members of gangs. In all these instances, I had to know how to build rapport.
In fact, I learned that building rapport is essential to success.