Category Archives: Live Large

Living an Olympic Like Life

Recently I was invited by my son Vince Del Monte to contribute some teaching to his Live Large program, Season 3.

Here’s the initial episode introducing a direction that will help us all to live life with an Olympic like focus.

Amazing Kids in Thailand Chase their Soccer Dream

This is an amazing story of a group of young boys in Thailand. Believe it or not, it is true. Dreams come true.

Good to Great Friendships

I enjoyed presenting a talk today to a community of people.  I spoke on one of my favourite subjects—choosing friends wisely and carefully. I actually titled the talk “Relational Oxygen’.

Dr. Wilfred Funk, the dictionary publisher, was asked to list the 10 most expressive words in the English language. Here are four that jumped out at me:

The most revered word — mother

The most beautiful word — love

The most bitter word — alone

The warmest word — FRIENDSHIP

I love the story about the boy who called his dad when he was short on cash.

A young man sat down to write a letter to his dad, hoping to shake some cash out of him: “Dear Dad, I’m 100 miles from home, I’m flat broke and I have no friends, what should I do?” The dad wrote back: “Dear son, make some new friends.”

I think some of us need to make new friends. Better, we need to be good friends.

Here’s a great summary of what it means to be not just a good friend, but a great friend.

A true friend is someone who sees you at your worst but never forgets your best.

A true friend is someone who thinks you’re a little bit more wonderful than you really are.

A true friend is someone you can talk with for hours or be with in complete silence.

A true friend is as happy for your success as you are.

A true friend trusts you enough to say what he really means when talking to you.

A true friend doesn’t try to know more, act smarter, power up, or be your constant teacher.

So let’s all go out there and be a great friend.

Dreaming On, thanks to Nik Wallenda

Like millions of other people I was glued to my TV set on Friday night from about 9:30pm to 11.  It was exactly at 10:15pm that Nik Wallenda stepped out on to a high wire strung high above the raging Niagara waters, a historic achievement for the American aerialist.

It was so tense for me that I kept turning the TV on and off, thinking “He’s not going to make it. He’s not going to making it,’ but then turning the TV on hoping he was still walking and hadn’t fallen to his death, or at least fallen and gotten back up with his tether that was strapped to him in case of a fall.

But fall he never did and he confidently walked his way across that misty wire over the lip of the Falls.

One of my sons posted the following photo with this statement,

‘Harness or not, this is still a pretty epic feat! Worth thinking about what’s my Niagara Falls I need to conquer?’  

That’s a great question.  Although Wallenda did this for his own reasons and it was a ‘daredevil stunt’, he still did it, and it represented something deep inside of him that he had concluded many years before that he wanted to accomplish among other things—to cross the Niagara River over the most dangerous part of the Falls. What can one say? But admire and be in awe. Since Friday night I have been thinking about my ‘own Niagara’ that I have continued to shrink back from.

Thank you Nik Wallenda for inspiring a younger generation to keep on dreaming, and for an older generation to start dreaming again.  And for me to keep chasing after my dreams even at age 59.


Getting Your Life Back from the Insane Digital World

This piece by Tony Schwartz on taking back your life by managing all the ‘digital devices’ in our lives was too good to not post.

While doing some spiritual reading this morning I came across this passage by spiritual life writer, St Paul in a letter he wrote some 2000 years ago to people living in the area we call Turkey today.

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are…So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!17Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

I hope you will enjoy this and also take massive action to regain some balance in your life, work, recreation, and relational worlds.

Seven Simple Steps to take Your life back–by Tony Schwartz (Harvard Business Review)
In my most recent blog, I wrote about how we’ve allowed technology to take a pernicious toll on our attention, and in turn, on our creativity, our resilience, our relationships and, ultimately, our productivity.
This week I’m turning my focus to how to wrest back control of your attention, so you can make conscious choices that provide long term satisfaction rather than instant but fleeting gratification.
What follows are seven steps, but you’re vastly more likely to succeed if you limit yourself to one or two at a time.
1. Start to focus on what you’re doing with your attention. You can’t change what you don’t notice. For three designated hours during the next 24, keep careful track of how frequently you feel compelled to check one or another of your digital devices, and to move between activities.
Begin by getting a notebook or a pad. Each time you feel an impulse to go online — or to shift your attention to something else when you’re already online — make a check in your notebook. If you decide to follow your impulse, circle the check you’ve made.
At the end of three hours, you’ll have a clear picture of how intense the pull is on your attention. The number of checks will tell you how frequently you feel distracted, and the number of circles will tell you how often you succumb to your impulse. Just by paying attention, you’ll give in less often than you ordinarily do.
2. Take a few minutes every day — either just before you leave work, or just before you go to sleep — to define and write down the two or three most important things you want to accomplish tomorrow, and when you intend to work on them.
3. Do the most important activity first in the morning, for a designated period of time no longer than 90 minutes, with every digital device you own turned to silent. If you can do this, you’ll accomplished more in that time than most people do in an entire day (including you, when you’re constantly moving between activities.)
4. Eliminate as much “insecurity work” from your life as possible. My friendScott Belsky came up with this brilliant phrase to describe the aimless things we do over and over to reassure ourselves we matter — Googling your own name; checking your number of Twitter followers or your Klout ranking; peeking at your website’s analytics; and looking up your Amazon ranking if you’ve written a book.
5. Keep a running list of everything that’s on your mind — in order to get it off your mind. Our working memories have very limited capacity, so the more things you’re thinking about, the fewer of them you’re likely to remember.
I download everything from “to do’s,” to ideas I’m having, to people I need to email or call, to issues that are bothering me. Writing all this down, as it arises, literally clears space in our working memories for whatever most deserves our attention.
6. Each time you go online to do anything, ask yourself “Is this best use of my time?” Sometimes, of course, it will be. Often, however, it’s something you do automatically, or as a way to avoid more difficult work. If you realize it isn’t the best use of your time, ask yourself “What is?” — and do that.
7. Systematically, train your attention. A simple way is to read more books, preferably good ones. Deeply focused, uninterrupted reading is a very good way to train and sustain your brain’s capacity for absorbed attention.
A second alternative is to practice a breath-counting meditation — in to a count of three, out to a count of six — for two to five minutes several times a day. It’s not just a way to teach the brain to focus on one thing at a time, but also a very effective strategy for relaxing physically and emotionally. In as little as one minute of focused breathing, it’s possible to completely clear the bloodstream of the stress hormone cortisol.
Above all else, build back into your life stopping times, finish lines and boundaries. That’s what we’ve lost in our digital world. When you’re engaged, be fully engaged, for a defined period of time and then stop. When you do take a break, chill out and truly renew. Earn it, and then enjoy it.

Pioneering vs Following

While having an espresso with my son and dialoguing about ‘the big stuff of life’, I shared this powerful line with him from Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Do not follow where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

I asked him, ‘Mikey, do you feel more inclined to follow paths other people create, or to mark out your own trail, free of other people’s (including me) expectations and influences?’ I knew his answer. This boy craves and breathes originality. He’s my inspiration of someone who is not afraid to be the self he really is.(Soren Kierkegaard)

‘Of course, I prefer to create and be the author of my own life,’ he said.

We’re wired to doing what other people expect of us. We learn (from parents, teachers, and other influencers) that we should try to fit in and not stand out.

Yet many of us regret that we did not follow our own muse, passions and visions.

Barry Demp suggests we ask ourselves these questions if we are inclined to create our own path.

Ask yourself:

What inspires me?
What am I passionate about?
Where do I lose all my sense of time?
Where and when am I the happiest?
What are my unique abilities and talents?

Today while sipping my espresso, I am wondering, How will I find the courage to chart my own life journey? Where will I go and what will I do? At age 59 am I willing to step more courageously into unknown future and uncharted path?

I’m still sipping…

PS If you need assistance flip me an email. I am seeking to coach myself and others into an exciting new adventure.

Father-Son Working Together–How Sweet it is!!

Working alongside my son Vince is a real treat. So many of the lessons I taught him as a ‘boy’ I get to now pass along on his weekly total fitness program called LiveLarge TV.

If you are interested in some fresh inspiration for spirit, soul, and body, check out Vince’s Live Large TV channel. He’s invited me to do a weekly inspiration piece. This one features Season 3, Episode 4. I come in around the 2:31 mark speaking about the need to be doing ‘your roadwork’ if you want to be successful in any worthwhile endeavour in life.

As Joe Frazier, former heavyweight boxing champion used to say, “If you don’t do your roadwork, whatever career you’re setting out to do, you get found out ‘under the bright lights’, which means if you fail to do your ‘roadwork’ , your lack of discipline shows up most when you don’t want it to.

Click this link and scroll down to watch the preview:

Live Large TV–Season Three Episode 2

I have been participating with Vince Del Monte (my son) in his weekly Live Large TV program. I have been offering some tips on developing the very best version of one’s self.

You can go to the 2 min mark to see my piece, which is a part of a longer segment. If you are interested in subscribing to Vince’s program you can sign up on line.

Live Large TV

Hi Everyone,
I’m heading on a new adventure. My son has invited me to share some of my thoughts on life, relationships and success with his Live Large members. Check out this trailer of our upcoming