“To strengthen the muscle of your heart the best exercise is lifting someone else’s spirit when you can.”

“To strengthen the muscle of your heart the best exercise is lifting someone else’s spirit when you can.”

—Author unknown

Photo from Flickr by tiff_ku1

Photo from Flickr by tiff_ku1

Did you know that your heart beats over 100,000 times in one day, and over 35 million times in a year? If you live an average lifetime, your heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.

Each beat of your heart has about the same force as giving a tennis ball a hard squeeze. This force circulates approximately 5.9 quarts of blood through your body, three times every minute.

Through this constant effort the heart pumps the equivalent of about one million barrels of blood during an average lifetime, which is enough to fill more than three super tankers.

EXERCISE:

How can you exercise your heart today by being a coach, mentor, or friend to others, and lift their spirits higher?

“Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.”

“Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.”

– Spanish Proverb

Photo from Flickr by Koen

Photo from Flickr by Koen

As a new year approaches, many people make resolutions to achieve various personal and professional goals. Research points out that well over 90 percent of their objectives never come to pass.

Most experts tell us it takes three to six weeks to create a habit. A new attempt at exercise, diet, and getting into better shape is like the first filament in a cobweb – delicate, unsupported, easily torn.

If, however, we continue the positive behaviors over longer periods of time, the filaments become cables that hold our lives together, strong enough to endure the challenges that might pull the weaker filaments apart.

EXERCISE:

Do a personal assessment of both your most positive and negative habits.

What will you need to do to support and strengthen those that serve you best?

What is necessary to break the strong cables of your undesirable habits, and replace them with the cobwebs – and eventually cables – of the behaviors you most desire?

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”

-Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis

Brené Brown, from her TED talk (see link below).

Brené Brown, from her TED talk (see link below).

In recent years, the subject of “vulnerability” has received a great deal of media coverage due to the work of authors such as Brené Brown.

In two of her recent books, The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly, which are based on considerable research, she clearly debunks the idea that vulnerability is weakness and indicates that it is far more correlated with courage and strength, as Freud suggests.

Exercise:

Where would being vulnerable in either your professional or personal life demonstrate the strength of your commitment to something of great importance to you?

Consider watching Brené Brown’s TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability

grow with ease

“Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.”

– J. Willard Marriott, entrepreneur and businessman

Image fro Flickr by Breezy Luik

Image fro Flickr by Breezy Luik

I go to the gym in the morning to help stay fit. It cleans out my mental and physical cobwebs and gets my day off to an energized start.

A key component of my fitness journey is to push myself in areas of strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility. When we push the limits a bit beyond our comfort, we come back the next day stronger and more capable.

The personal growth and development efforts that make the biggest difference are the ones which test and challenge our “timber.”

Exercise

Where in your personal and professional life can you lean into the wind and find yourself better off through the process?