“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”

I heard a profound statement recently.

When I went to hear Dan Millman speak at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, he said something that stuck with me.

“It took me 25 years of marriage to realize that all this time, my wife wasn’t criticizing me, she was improving me.”

I think this is brilliant.

We all have our own perception of conditions. You can have the same situation and two totally different views.

What if we looked at our opponents as people who are improving us?

What if we looked at our teachers/coaches as people who are helping us become better students/athletes? (Especially when they’re tough on us and make us do fitness)

What if we looked at our parents as people who are teaching us to become better human beings, with only the best intentions?

What if we looked at our difficult clients as people who are making us better salespeople?

When you change your perspective, you change your world.

When you change your world, you change your results.

Thanks for reading.


Normally, people get gifts on their birthday.

Well, today, I’m going to GIVE a gift on my birthday.

Yesterday, I went to hear one of my favorite authors, Dan Millman (above) speak at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia.

It wasn’t for me, it was for you.

I love listening to speakers to help me become a better speaker and person, but more importantly, so I can help my students and blog readers become better people.

Millman was a dynamic speaker and I walked away with some great tidbits.

“What is talent? The ability to learn faster than others. It is twenty percent innate, but it can be developed,” Millman stated.

“Effort over time is better than magical thinking. You can’t control the outcome, but you can control your effort.”

Many people went to hear Millman’s best technique for peak performance and happiness. He said that daily life is the best technique. “It’s like spiritual weightlifting. There are hidden gifts in adversity – it’s all in your perspective. Life is an experiment. And your only goal should be excellence in the moment. Check your posture, notice if you are relaxed and see if you are breathing.”

You don’t have to give up all of your possessions to become happy. “I’ve seen many grumpy monks. It’s a balance between Western and Eastern philosophies.”

“Thoughts are natural, but don’t mistake them for reality. The only way to tame your mind is to make peace with it. Be aware of your thoughts and then let them go. It’s okay to have an angry thought, just don’t ACT angry.”

“Life is not about successes and failures; life is about testing your limits.”

I really like that one. Just keep pushing yourself and get a little bit better every day.

Millman mentioned that his mentor, Socrates (from Way of the Peaceful Warrior) once said to him, “The difference between you and me is that YOU practice gymnastics and I practice EVERYTHING.”

Do I teach tennis?

Not really. I teach life through tennis.

Do I practice tennis?

No, I practice life through tennis.

It’s all about going all out.
Relaxing under pressure.
Enjoying the moment.
And getting better every day.

Anyone can have this mindset, immediately.

Be more aware of what you are doing and your whole world will change.

Thanks for reading.


“The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.”

Success does not come in bottles – it comes in “cans.”

One of the things I like about myself is that I take action. I don’t just say I’m going to do things, I actually do them.

Over the past couple of years, I have networked with some great people such as, Bob Ryland, James Blake, former NYC Mayor Dinkins, Rob Gilbert, Ellen Langer, Carol Dweck, Bob Emmons, Tal-Ben Shahar, Rayna DuBose, Carling Bassett-Seguso, Denise Capriati, Linda Courier, Jeff Greenwald, John Murray, Daniel Coyle and many more.

How did I do it?

I took action. I emailed some. I called some. I met some at various events. Most would not even approach these people. “Why would they want to talk to me?!” is a common question. Why not? The answer’s no unless you ask. I usually get responses back from people. If I don’t, no big deal; I’m no worse off. My latest connection? The great Dan Millman.

Dan Millman is one of my favorite authors. He has written fourteen books, including “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” and “Mind Body Mastery.” Below are my five questions with Dan…

Ed Tseng Interviews Dan Millman

ET: What is the most important lesson you have learned?

DM: I am often asked these “most important” or “favorite” questions, as if I could sort through the multitude of lessons I’ve presented in thirteen books and find “the one.” This is tantamount to “the best meal you have ever eaten” or the “best film or book” you have ever read. In what genre? What time and place? My “most important” lessons continue to appear, moment to moment. Each arising situation, incident, challenge carries with it a potential lesson.

ET: Did you ever NOT feel like training? If so, what did you do/say to yourself?

DM: I did not (and do not necessarily) feel motivated to train (or take out the trash or do homework or write) on numerous occasions. I don’t wait for motivation. I accept whatever feelings are (or are not) arising; I focus on a given purpose; and I do what needs to be done. It is not a matter of applying a technique or self-talk, at least for me. In the chapter on “Reclaiming Your Will” in my book Everyday Enlightenment, I address this issue of will and motivation in more depth. It will always come down to: Just do it.

ET: What is your favorite technique to stay in the present?

DM: Not sure whether it is a technique or not, but I notice my physical body-presence. I notice my breathing, I relax, and I do whatever I’m doing as smoothly as I can do it. Back to the body, back to the present. The body always lives in the present; the mind flits from past to future. It’s fine to visit the past and future, but we don’t want to live there.

ET: What is your favorite quote?

DM: I have more than 1,000 pages of quotations collected over several decades. As noted above, I have no single favorite. It depends upon what I need to draw upon in any given moment. I show a Daily Quotation on my home page each day — some of my favorites…

ET: What is your favorite inspirational story?

DM: This request reminds me of another favorite quote by Jack London, addressing writers (or anyone, really): “Never wait for inspiration — go after it with a stick!”

Dan Millman is a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor.
His 14 books — including Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior, The Life You Were Born to Live, No Ordinary Moments, The Laws of Spirit and The Journeys of Socrates — have inspired millions of readers in 29 languages worldwide.
The feature film, “Peaceful Warrior,” starring Nick Nolte, was adapted from Dan’s first book, an autobiographical novel.
His keynotes and seminars have influenced men and women from all walks of life, including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment, and the arts.
For more information on Dan Millman, visit

Thanks for reading and thank you, Dan.


“It is not true that nice guys finish last; nice guys are winners before the game even starts.”

Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Frank Freeburn of Nike.

Are you a tennis player? Then I know who your next match is against…


The only real competitor you will ever have is yourself. Think of your opponent as your teacher and your student. You each do your best as you test and teach one another, revealing where your opponent needs to improve, as he or she does the same for you. Once we view competition in this manner, we can strive to do our very best, without succumbing to overtones of hostility and negativity.

When we overcome the combative state of mind, when we no longer have opponents-only people like ourselves, brothers and sisters in training, all striving toward excellence-we achieve the highest potential in sport. This is equally true in everyday life, when we compare and compete with others over who is the most popular, most attractive, most successful. The key, it seems, is to maintain a balance perspective, appreciating the value as well as the pitfalls of the competitive mind-set in sport of life. It’s not that people who maintain a balanced perspective never compete; they just don’t take it too seriously. They remember that a game is just a game-and from their perspective, life, too, is a game.

The moment of truth itself, whether in performance or competition, can serve as an exciting stimulus to excellence. Yet its purpose ends when the race ends. Once we catch a fish, we no longer need the net; once we cross a stream, we no longer need the boat. And when the competition is over, we need not linger over scores, numbers, or statistics. We don’t need to preserve past scores like prize butterflies. When we let go of our preoccupation with numbers, statistics, titles, an victories, we rediscover the sheer joy in the process of training, learning, and striving toward the heights of our potential.

Once the game is over, the outcome is history. Fame is fleeting, and glory fades. The only lasting value in the competitive experience is the lessons we learn and live.

(From Body Mind Mastery by Dan Millman)


Help support the Arthritis Walk on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 10am in Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton, NJ. Join Team CanDo or just donate. Contact Team Captain, Alex Hunter for details: traininglight@ or visit (Mercer County Walk)


Do you want to be rich?

Do you want to be wealthy?

There is a difference.

If you’re rich, you have a lot of money, but if you’re wealthy, you have internal and external riches. And guess what, you’re already wealthy.

You have your health.

You have your family.

You have your house.

You have your friends.

The more money you have, the more you seem to want.

“Money cannot buy security, because security is a psychological state. To some, it means having enough food to eat, clothing on your back, a shelter over your head, or someone who loves you. To others, security requires millions of dollars in tax-free accounts around the world.

Money can’t buy happiness, either. In one telephone survey, 275 people in the San Francisco Bay area were asked if they believed that they would be significantly happier if they had a million dollars. Seventy-six percent of the respondents replied, ‘Yes. Absolutely.’ Then the research company contacted ten millionaires and asked then, ‘Did making your first million dollars make you a happier person?’ The response was unanimous: ‘No.’

The best things in life – the sun in the morning and the moon at night – are free. And money doesn’t guarantee happiness.”

(From “Everyday Enlightenment” by Dan Millman)

Stop searching for money and start searching for meaning.

Be grateful, appreciate all the beauty around you, help others, and live for today.

That’s wealth.

Thanks for reading.


Athletes who improve faster than equally-prepared counterparts simply put in more mental practice time.

-Dan Millman