I have a client and friend I’ll call George. When I met George, he was depressed for many years. During our first conversation, he had an insight and understood how the human experience and mind worked. He realized that he was creating his own suffering for all those years via his own thoughts. His depression has disappeared and hasn’t shown up since. Recently, George and I were talking about how our thoughts create our experience in the moment. I said that you could be on a beautiful island sitting on the beach, but if your thoughts are stressed and filled with concerns back home, your experience will be unpleasant. I also told George that there are people in prison who feel more free than when they were not incarcerated.

George was silent for a moment and said, “That reminds me of when I was depressed…I was in Hawaii, looking out at the ocean, and all of a sudden, anxious thoughts came over me and I was miserable.” He went on to say, “Also, during that time, I moved to Florida, thinking that perhaps moving to paradise would make me feel better. It didn’t. I now know that it was my thoughts that were creating my suffering, not my situation. It was like the Bob Marley song, ‘You’re running away…but you can’t run away from yourself.’ ” I said, “Exactly! It’s like running away from your own shadow.” Thoughts and feelings are directly related.

Our experience of life comes 100% from our own thoughts. Our experience does not come from anything outside of us. It is impossible for you to have a stressful thought and feel happy. It is also impossible for you to have a happy thought and feel stressed. It’s a principle, like gravity: What goes up, must come down. What we think, we feel.

I had never heard the Bob Marley song George was referring to, but “Googled” it. It is now my new favorite song. Below are the lyrics and video on Youtube. Enjoy!

You’re running and you’re running
And you’re running away.
You’re running and you’re running
And you’re running away.
You’re running and you’re running
And you’re running away.
You’re running and you’re running,
But you can’t run away from yourself.
-“Running Away” by Bob Marley


We encounter stress every day in sports, in school, in our jobs and in our relationships. One of the three main areas of peak performance is relaxation. Everyone tells us we need to relax, but nobody teaches us HOW to relax. You will learn how in today’s blog message.

I am currently reading a great book entitled, “Just One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice At A Time” by Rick Hanson. Below are some of my favorite de-stressing techniques he shares in his book.

1. Do a few things more slowly than usual. Leisurely lift the cup to your lips, don’t rush through a meal, let others finish talking before jumping in, or stroll to a meeting instead of racing. Finish one task before moving on to another. A few times a day, take a long slow breath.

2. Take lots of microbreaks (hey, I did this yesterday!). Many times a day, step out of the stream of doingness for at least a few seconds: close your eyes for a moment; take a couple of deep breaths; shift your visual focus to the farthest point you can see; repeat a saying or prayer; stand up and move about.

3. Make your body happy. Wash your face; eat a cookie; smell something good; stretch; lie down; rub your eyes or ears.

4. Go on a mental holiday. Remember or imagine a setting (mountain lake? tropical beach? grandma’s kitchen?) that makes you feel relaxed and happy. When you can, go there and enjoy yourself. As I’ve told myself in certain situations, “They may have my body, but they don’t get my mind.”

5. Before beginning a routine activity, take a moment to become fully present. (My favorite). Try this with meals, starting your car, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or answering the phone.

The time is NOW.

Do you have any favorite ways to beat stress? Leave your comments below.


There will be a time in the near future when you will be stressed out.

The stress might come from the pressure of a sports competition. It may come from an exam. Or it may come from asking for a raise.

We can’t avoid stress.

But we can avoid being paralyzed by it.

There is a powerful technique I have the athletes I work with use when the pressure is on, and it can help you too.

Here’s what you do:

1. Take a deep, diaphragmatic breath, inhale through your nose for four seconds then exhale through your nose for four seconds.

2. Repeat.

3. Think of a game plan (no more than two things).

4. Visualize yourself carrying out that game plan successfully.

5. Just do it.


“A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.”

Have you ever gotten so worried and stressed out about something and then it never actually happened?

We, as humans, tend to worry about the past and the future, but the past is already behind us and the future has yet to come.

The only thing we have control over is our present.

What we do on a daily basis creates our destiny.

What are you doing every day? Are you reacting to life, or are you creating your life?

What causes you pleasure? What causes you pain?

Things have to be important enough to you in order for you to take action.

Is making money important to you?
Is helping others important to you?
Is being the best athlete important to you?

Think about who you want to be in the future, and then stay in the present and make it happen.

Make a list. Check it twice. And get to work.

Thanks for reading.


“If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched.”

Stress and pressure are killers, in sports and life.

When we are stressed, we increase chances of poor health and decrease chances of peak performance.

Do this simple exercise to let yourself relax, instead of making yourself relax.

Look for an object nearby, a coffee cup for example. I want you to reach for that coffee cup, but reach slowly, tightening every muscle in your arm and body. Clench your teeth, your neck muscles, your arm muscles, even your leg muscles. Slowly bring that object to your chest.

Now, put that object down and reach for it again, but this time, stay loose and smoothly reach for it and bring it to your chest.

Did you have a different experience?

Was it easier? Did it feel effortless?

I challenge you to do this exercise five times today. I think you will find that it will help you stay in the moment, play better and have less stress.

Leave your comments.

Thanks for reading.