Responding In The Midst Of A Valley Moment – Podcast: S03E004

We all go through setbacks in our lives. Distractions that deter us from becoming all of who we are. Disappointments that discourage us from impacting those within our sphere of influence. How do you respond in the midst of a valley moment?

Picture of Woman in the valley at sunrise

In today’s podcast episode of Monday Morning Moments, I discuss a simple acronym that can help you respond when a crisis occurs as well as when your focus and attention are needed the most. Check out this episode to discover the secret of the best performers in sports, business, and life!


The Gift of Being Present

Being present is a gift that you give to yourself and others. It helps you engage fully in your life, your opportunities, and your sphere of influence. Yet, there are moments when we are not fully present which can lead to feelings of regret, disappointment, and disillusionment.

Busy People Walking

To be fully present is to engage mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually in a given moment. I have seen many examples of people who were present physically but not mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. They were there – but not really there – forcing people to question: Where are you?

What does not being present look like?

  • Not giving our best effort in a practice or game
  • Living under the cloud of a bad moment from the past that kills our purpose, steals our joy, and destroys our focus in current and future moments
  • Not engaging emotionally with a family member who needs you to listen and empathize with them
  • Not engaging our strengths and bringing our best talents to accomplish our goals
  • Not recognizing and seizing opportunities
  • Always looking to the future with envy and never being content in the present with gratefulness
  • Not appreciating the roles we have been given in life and making the most of them thereby missing opportunities to influence, lead, and impact others

If you have ever experienced a feeling of not being present, it has probably led to feelings of regret, disappointment, and a debilitating sense of fear and pressure. You are aware that you are not being present but feel trapped by something in your past that is keeping you from moving forward. In my work with high school and college students, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and elite amateur and professional athletes, I have seen many forms of the struggle to be present. I have also witnessed the joy and impact when people are fully present and bring their best to a given moment!

Here is what I believe it means to be present in the moment in the 4 dimensions of your life:

  1. Physically – While we all know what it means to be in a place physically, I have seen a trap that some people fall into regarding this dimension of life. Just because your body is physically in a spot does not mean that you are fully present physically. I have seen basketball players go through a workout and compliantly execute the drills but lack the full commitment it takes to make the most of the practice. The key is to bring energy and effort to everything that you do instead of just going through the motions. Energy and effort are demonstrated through focused eyes, determined steps, and decisive actions that demonstrate faith, trust, and confidence in your stake and impact in the outcome of a given moment.
  2. Mentally – Being present mentally is focusing on the current moment and not getting distracted by past or future thoughts. Our minds think at a rate of 2-3 times the rate that someone can speak. This means that we can miss moments of connection with others, because we are not slowing down our minds to actively listen to what the other person is saying, doing, and feeling. We have to bring our minds into the moment if we want to be present. Sometimes, it is as simple as saying to ourselves: “Be still, listen, and engage in this moment.” Other times, it is considering what we can do to make a contribution to the moment. Every action begins with a thought, and we must focus on thinking about the importance of the moment we are in.
  3. Emotionally – It is very important to be connected to people and moments emotionally as well as mentally and physically. Being present emotionally connects passion and purpose. It bridges the gap between heart and head. It inspires us to make the most of the current moment and leverage the opportunity for impact. It also drives and inspires us when setbacks occur. Emotional connection allows others to sense and feel our presence, knowing we are there for them.
  4. Spiritually – For me, being present spiritually is all about recognizing that God has created me and ordained me for a purpose and plan. Because of that fact, I know that the more I connect my life and the moments within it to His calling in my life, the more joy and fulfillment I will discover and experience. This reality is true for you as well! This dimension of your life defines your Why, which relates to the purpose of your life. When you are fully present spiritually, you achieve and become the person you were created to be. My method of being present spiritually is to begin each day with a time of reflection, prayer, and reading a devotional or Bible verse. The way I begin my day helps to define it. My morning quiet time routine puts everything into its proper perspective, as I see God-ordained moments in the flow of my days and weeks and sense His presence and direction in those moments.

You can be fully present by:

  • Bringing your best to practices, workouts, and games
  • Serving your best (instead of leftovers) to those who mean the most
  • Not being limited by regrets from your past and/or confined by fear of your future
  • Putting down the phone and listening to others’ feelings
  • Recognizing and serving the needs – both spoken and unspoken – of people within your sphere of influence
  • Using your platform to make a positive impact
  • Fully committing to your purpose and calling in life
  • Seizing opportunities and doing the next right thing to advance the ball toward your goals
  • Embracing and engaging fully in the roles you play in life

Be Present Every Day Sign

To be fully present, you need to ask yourself:

Am I fully present and engaged in every role that I play?

If the answer is no, think about how you can fully engage physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to make more of a positive impact with your life. You would hate to reach the end of your days knowing you could have been more present. You have one life, and others are counting on you to make the most of it while you have the opportunity. Grant them the gift of your presence, influence, and leadership. Be Present!

Be Present – Podcast: S03E003

Being present is a challenge for many people, and technology and social media are not the only culprits that steal ourselves from engaging with others. Many times, it’s the thoughts in our head that keep us from connecting fully to outcomes and others.

In today’s podcast episode of Monday Morning Moments, I discuss what it means to “be present” and reasons why we are not fully present at times. You will also learn the 4 dimensions of your life that you need to engage in if you want to be fully present in the moments of your life as well as examples of how to be present. A great example of this was Nick Foles, backup quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, who seized an opportunity because of an injury to Carson Wentz, the starting quarterback of the Eagles, and led his team to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.

You have one life to live, and you don’t want to let it pass you by being absent from the opportunities that you receive every day to make a positive impact in the lives of others!

Advice For Eating in 2018 and Beyond with Catherine Kruppa – Podcast: S03E002

With the start of the new year, we set goals including plans for how to eat healthier in the new year. Yet, sometimes we get off track from the direction we planned due to distractions, a lack of discipline, bad habits, and limited or no accountability. In today’s episode of Monday Morning Moments, I invited Catherine Kruppa, my friend and expert dietitian, nutritionist, and wellness coach, to rejoin us for season 3 to give us some specific “advice for eating” to maintain and promote our health and wellness in the new year and beyond!

Episode Outline:

From today’s podcast, you will learn:

  • Why breakfast is the most important meal of the day
  • How much water you should drink per day
  • How many meals you should eat per day
  • How to achieve your ideal weight
  • How to maintain a consistent energy level throughout the day

Additional Resources:

  • Advice For Eating – Catherine Kruppa’s web site
  • Email Catherine Kruppa – to sign up for her newletter as well as coaching with her or one of  her incredible nutrition and wellness coaches

Catherine Kruppa Logo

Runner with Present Mind Quote

I often work with my clients on being present (in the moment) vs having a divided mind. A divided mind worries about what may or may not happen and circumstances outside of your control and influence. Being present involves focusing on what you can control, influencing what you are able to, and flushing the rest! Be present today in all your meetings, conversations, relationships, workouts, games, races, and competitions.

Be Grateful

I encountered a person at Starbucks last week who demonstrated a true spirit of gratitude in his life.  His final comment to me as I was leaving with a mocha in my hand was, “I can’t believe I get to do what I do!” It made me think about the opportunities in my own life. As an entrepreneur, I sometimes stress over where the next client is going to come from. I pray for provision and persevere through moments of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. These moments, while mostly brief in duration, can cloud my vision and crowd out a spirit of being grateful for the opportunity to “do what I do!” In my best moments, I am grateful for the variety of clients that I get to collaborate with, the nature of the work that I do, and the calling that God has led me to.

Grateful name tag

This moment also made me reflect on other aspects of my life for which I am grateful including:

  • A God who sent His Son to save me
  • A wife who loves me
  • Five boys who look to me for guidance and wisdom
  • Friends who encourage and inspire me
  • Moments of opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of other people

What if, instead of focusing on the stress that screams for our attention, we committed each day to be grateful for things we have been given, the relationships we have been entrusted with, and the opportunities that have been presented to us. Being grateful positions us with the right spirit to:

  • Give – back to others and share what we have learned
  • Grow – the opportunities we have been blessed with
  • Guide – the people we lead and influence through our example of thankfulness and our engagement in their lives
  • Go – for the eternal and not the temporal and fleeting things of this life

During this time of thanksgiving, I encourage you to make a list of the things and people that you are grateful for. In fact, this is a great habit to do on a daily and weekly basis. Even on the worst of days, you can be grateful for something in your life. When you physically write down what you are grateful for, it can lift your spirits and inspire you to be resilient, persevere, and strive to make the most of the moments that you have been blessed with. Being grateful also pushes you to be the best version of yourself to those who need you most.

What am I grateful for sign

Through our work with high achievers and great leaders, we have found that the best leaders are grateful and practice gratitude as their foundational attitude. Gratefulness for this life and all that it brings with it can be a powerful force in our lives.  Seek first to enlarge the lives of others and all of the things that we so often worry about will take care of themselves.

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Houston Astros with trophy

Congratulations to the Houston Astros for an incredible season, playoff run, and World Series Championship! Your perseverance, grit, determination, and teamwork have been inspiring to a city that needed it after the effects of Hurricane Harvey! Thanks for the moments!

The Importance of a Deep Commitment – Podcast: S02E008

In today’s episode of Monday Morning Moments, we focus on the importance of “sowing” at a deeper level when it comes to relationships in our lives, especially our relationship with God, and the adverse effects when we “sow” at a shallow level. The principle of sowing deeply can be applied to any relationship in our life.

Episode Outline:

  • BIG IDEA: We desire what we cannot have and become complacent with what completes us.
  • Idolatry – when what we admire takes the place in our lives that only God deserves – the idol becomes number 1 in terms of our time, talent, and treasure.
  • A shallow commitment leads to frustration, misplaced expectations, and impatience which results in idolatry.
  • “Sowing at a surface level results in reaping an unfruitful harvest…in our own lives and in the lives of others.”
  • “Every idol makes two simple and extravagant promises. “You shall not surely die.” “You shall be like God.” ― Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power
  • Call to Action:
    • Nurture patience in our lives based on who God is and what He has done in our lives
    • Use God’s gifts for His glory
    • Pray and appeal to God on behalf of other people
    • Invest in our relationship with God
    • Know Him, trust Him, walk with Him
  • “I am also practicing cello to wean myself from power and accomplishment, to place myself back in the posture of a learner, cultivator, and creator. To become a bit like a child. To detoxify from the too-ready recognition and privilege that accompany even the most modest forms of success, to become available again for something surprising and new. Just as children flourish by growing into adults, so adults flourish by cultivating childlikeness, avoiding the spiritual hardening of the arteries that comes with competence and experience.” – Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power

3 Lessons From The 2017 Houston Astros – Podcast: S02E007

Congratulations to the Houston Astros who defeated the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees to advance to the 2017 World Series! We have been through so much in Houston over the last several months including the damage and effects of Hurricane Harvey. This Houston Astros team has been a breath of fresh air and an example of what it means to be Houston Strong. Their resilience and grit has been inspiring! In today’s episode of Monday Morning Moments, we focus on 3 lessons that we can learn from the Houston Astros in their pursuit of another trip to the World Series including their epic Game 7 win over the Yankees!

You can apply these lessons or principles in any area of life:

  1. What you choose to focus on magnifies in size
  2. Have an I Will Mindset
  3. Be Process-Focused


Peak Performance Nutrition With Catherine Kruppa – Podcast: S02E005

In today’s episode of Monday Morning Moments, I am honored to interview my longtime friend and peak performance colleague Catherine Kruppa. Catherine and I have delivered workshops together, referred clients to each other, and also shared advice and counsel as we pursue our athletic goals. Catherine is one of the top nutritionists in the country and works with elite athletes, age group amateurs, and everyday people seeking to live a healthy lifestyle. I know you will benefit from today’s podcast.

Catherine Kruppa (MS, RD, CSSD, LD) earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and Master of Science in Nutrition from Texas A&M University. She is a registered, licensed dietitian, and wellness coach.  She is also Board Certified in Sports Nutrition and specializes in weight management, sports nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, endometriosis, heart disease, and pediatric nutrition. She served as the Director of Nutrition for US Diving for 11 years.  Catherine was a member of the Texas A&M Varsity Diving Team and is currently an active member of the running community in Houston. She has competed in 6 triathlons, including two ½ Ironmans, 16 marathons, 3 ultramarathons and is a 12 time Boston marathon qualifier. Catherine provides nutrition tips for Houston’s KSBJ FM 89.3 and nationally syndicated KLOVE radio.

Catherine is a frequent speaker for many organizations and businesses. She speaks on various topics in the area of nutrition such as: healthy eating, weight management, disease prevention, nutrition and exercise, and osteoporosis. She has also presented programs for Channel 13 News Health Beat, Channel 2 News, Channel 8 Midday Show and Fox News. She appears regularly on the LiveWell Network, a home, health and lifestyle channel owned by ABC. Catherine worked as the local dietitian for the Dr. Phil Ultimate Weight Loss Program and the dietitian for the 2004, 2008 and 2012 US Olympic Diving Teams as well as for Former President George H. W. Bush, Olympic Gold Medalists Laura Wilkinson and David Boudia.

You can learn more about Catherine and her incredible team of nutritional coaches at Advice For Eating.