“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
~ Aristotle

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
~ Aristotle

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
~ Anonymous

“The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, “I was wrong”. ”
~ Sydney J. Harris

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”
~ Lao Tzu

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.”
~ Jim Rohn

“Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It’s not hard. Character is doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.
~ Anonymous

Hi, here are the five things you may not know about me. I got tagged by the delightful and fun Evelyn Rodriguez.

Five Things:

1) A couple of years back, I auditioned as a dancer for the Madonna Confessions tour. She had open auditions in NYC, and there was a line around the block in the super-cold winter. I stood in line between two Rockettes (I learned you have to be 5’8″ to be Rockette). There were over 300 females auditioning. When we went in, everyone tried to warm up from the cold quickly, and the tour choreographers had four of us get on the floor at a time and dance to Madonna’s “Hollywood.” The Rockettes both went with more jazz, some girls went hiphop (which worked great to that song), a few went ballroom-dance style, and I was on the flamenco-jazz side.

2) When I was a kid, my dad taught me combinatorics using different mini-chocolates.

3) I did singing-songwriting on the folk open-mike scene. I’m a big fan of the open-mike scene in Boston. It’s a wonderful environment – you go into various clubs and perform your songs. It goes like this: they draws names from a hat to pick the order of the evening, then people go on in their order. You know most of the people in the room, and you try out different songs on the audience. Fabulouso.

4) My sport in high school was springboard diving. Loved it! Our coach used to use as his mantras, “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” and “90% of this is guts.” Having done gymnastics earlier, it was great to switch to falling onto water as opposed to onto the mats.

5) I love rock-climbing and have done a multi-pitch climb (where you climb some, then reset your base in the middle of the cliff, then climb some more) only once at the Gunks. One of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.

I now tag these super folks!
David Seah (uppdate: David’s list of five things! 2/1)
Dave Shearon (update: Dave’s list of five things! 1/31)
Alvaro Fernandez (update: Alvaro’s list of five things 4/1)
Alvin Soon
(update: Alvin’s list here 2/4)
Chris Harrison (update: Chris’ list of five things! 1/30)
Anna Farmery

Well, it’s about a month into the new year. How’re you feeling about exercise these days? What steps could you take right now – today – if you wanted to ensure your exercise success?

I read a sheet on this recently from a health club. Here is what they recommend. What would you recommend?

Five Steps to Exercise Success

  1. Make it personal – What works for you: for your lifestyle, time constraints, budget, likes, dislikes?
  2. Make it fit – Schedule time every day or whatever your frequency is. Work blocks of exercise into your schedule.
  3. Set some goals – Set a long-term goal and break it into weekly or monthly targets (amount of weight to lose, amount of weight to benchpress).
  4. Reward your efforts – Celebrate successes! Reward your commitment to improving your health. Try to make the reward not food.
  5. Get back on track – Anything can get you off track (a trip out of town, cold weather, a bit of a cold) – how will you get back on? Can you plan to restart, maybe with lower weights or half the exercise time to readjust.

Ok, and what would I recommend as my steps to success in exercise?

My Steps to Exercise Success

  1. Get to the gym – Decide how many times a week, and go those times hell or highwater.
  2. Play and Have Fun – Vary your routine sometimes or go with a friend or go to a weights or cardio class to play around with it and see what you like. Say hi to other people at the gym, get curious, enjoy it.
  3. Push yourself (e.g. Interval train) – go mild, then increase and go hard, then go mild, then increase and go hard (Body for Life has a good description of this). Interval training has a faster effect on your body, and it keeps you in the moment more about the exercising, doesn’t allow your mind to wander – it must be focused on the exercise.
  4. Reward yourself sporadically but often – Set yourself incremental goals like as one or two pounds per week weight loss or particular increase in weight, and reward yourself by getting on the phone with a good friend or by stopping by a goodwill and getting anything you like.

    What do you think?
    Q: What are your steps to exercise success?

“Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”
~ George Washington

“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”
~ Ayn Rand

“The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.”
~ Ayn Rand

“About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“As a child I was taught that to tell the truth was often painful. As an adult I have learned that not to tell the truth is more painful, and that the fear of telling the truth—whatever the truth may be—that fear is the most painful sensation of a moral life.”
~ June Jordan

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” …and… “Nature is goodness crystallized.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

“If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

“Ethics begins when we are free: it is freedom itself, when that freedom is considered and controlled.”
~ André Comte-Sponville

How can you be happy unless you have some self-respect? And how can you respect yourself unless you control yourself, master yourself, overcome your failings? … Ethically speaking, it’s pointless wishing you were someone else. You can dream of being rich, healthy, good-looking, happy … But it is absurd to dream of being virtuous. Whether you are a villain or a good person is for you and you alone to decide: you are worth precisely what you want.
~ André Comte-Sponville

The essence of morality is a questioning about morality; and the decisive move of human life is to use ceaselessly all light to look for the origin of the opposition between good and evil.”
~ Georges Bataille

“The only immorality … is not to do what one has to do when one has to do it.”
~ Jean Anouilh

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

“Happiness is inward and not outward; and so it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.”
~ Henry Van Dyke

“Think of yourself as two people, and one of them is inside of you, and he’s a scorekeeper. And he keeps score of your idea of the world. … And when you have a conflict with your scorekeeper, that’s unhappiness. Happiness is being completely in sync with your own perception of goodness.
~ Will Smith

“. . . happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it. . . .”
~ Aristotle

Note: Posted on 1-26 for 1-25.

Hi, I’ll be in Palm Springs, CA (near LA) for the weekend for the 11th annual Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology conference and its partner BrainMeeting conferences (Jan 19-22).

If you’re in the Palm Springs area, please send me an email (here), and we can figure out if we could meet up.

I’ll be giving three talks (my talks).
* Increase Three Factors Critical for Job Productivity and Enjoyment
* New Positive Psychology Results for BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION
* How Can You Increase Job Productivity and Enjoyment? (Workshop)

Let me know if you’re around.

Last week, I wrote about sleep. Next week, I’ll be writing about goals. Hence, some prelimiary quotes about goals.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
~ Larry Elder

On setting things in motion …
What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

By losing your goal, you have lost your way.
~ Kahlil Gibran

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
~ John Lubbock

Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
~ Goethe (from this page)

Here is a great new website!

Positive Psychology News Daily is authored by alumni of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology at UPenn, and provides DAILY, in-depth news articles about Positive Psychology today. It covers up-to-date news events, new research studies, and particually, applications of positive psychology to various fields and industries.

Expect articles on various topics of Positive Psychology, including
* positive experiences
* positive traits
* positive institutions

Check out the site, and please let me know of any improvements and additions that you would recommend! Thank you!


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