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El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

How to Be as Happy as a Woman Dying from Cancer…

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Let me paint the picture for you. 

We just arrived at the first destination of our long-awaited trip around the world. We arrived at a place that has been on my bucket list for a really long time – El Nido in Palawan.

It landed on my bucket list a few years ago when I had a conversation with a billionaire who loves to travel. He had been to over 80 countries around the world, and when I asked him what place was his favorite, he said without hesitation, “El Nido.”

That was good enough for me.

The journey to get there was not an easy one. We had to fly from Manila to Puerto Princessa and then take a 7-hour van ride to El Nido. 

 Once we arrived, we got settled into our “villa.”

I use that word very loosely. It was more of a cardboard box with a tin roof. No air conditioning, non-working shower, and filthy. But it was right on the beach with spectacular views which made up for all of that.

One of the cool things about the villa was it was part of a local “baranggay,” or community, so we got to interact a lot with the locals.

One such local had a major impact on my life. 

We decided we wanted to explore the surrounding islands, pristine beaches, and hidden lagoons so we were directed across the dirt road from our villa to a lady named Ezra. She was a really sweet middle aged lady who ran a small business out of her very modest home. Think a whole family in one room, a tiny kitchen, and doubled as an office.

She owned a small boat and had a guy that operated the boat to bring guests for tours around the islands. We walked over to her house and inquired about the different options for the tours and then told her we would discuss it over dinner. We asked if she had a small scooter for us to rent so we could get around town.

Her reply, “You can take mine. It is free for friends.” Friends, I thought? We just met two minutes ago. I was speechless, which doesn’t happen often and graciously accepted.

I was moved that this woman who barely has enough money to take care of her family was offering and trusting a stranger with her only mode of transportation. 

That was lesson number one. Find ways to give with no expectation in return. 

The next lesson after dinner I learned from her was even more powerful.

We arrive back at her home to confirm the tour we were going to take with her. She was no longer on the porch so I called for her from outside, and she asked us to come in.

As we entered her home, she apologized for not being able to come out to meet us, but she has difficulty walking due to bone cancer. This lady is raising 3 young kids with stage 4 bone cancer and she was one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met.

The whole experience was wonderful with her and her generosity continued throughout our stay in El Nido.

She was more concerned about everyone else rather than herself. And under the circumstances, she would have been more than justified in focusing on herself. 

She never made anything about her. She was present. She was peaceful. She was loving. She was compassionate. 

She immediately became a role model for me.

When interacting with her, I realized I need to be kinder. I need to be more present. I need to be more loving.

Because if she can do it, I can do it.

- Matt

Amed, Bali

069: 5 Steps to a Perfect Morning

Amed, Bali

Amed, Bali

There are very few things we can control in life. Many of us have chaotic days where we feel like we are juggling a million things at one time.

“If you want to be healthy and live a great life, you have to master your morning.” Simple, right? Yet for most of us, we have yet to do this.

You need to make it a goal to perfect your morning.

Here are the 5 things to perfect your morning.

1 Wake up with gratitude

You can do this with meditation, affirmations, and practicing gratitude.

Sit for 5 – 10 min in silence and just focus on your breath. Practice detaching from your emotions and seeing your emotions as separate from you. You are not your emotions and your emotions are not you.

Have a list of 5 or 10 short affirmations that you repeat to yourself while you are showering or getting ready. Anytime a negative thought or idea pops in your head, accept it, and change it to an empowering belief or idea.

Practice gratitude. When you start to think about what is missing in your life, focus on what you are grateful for. Maybe it is your family, friends, work, or partner.

I had a patient once come into the office and I asked him how he was doing. He said, “Great.” Of course I followed that up with, “Why are you doing so great?” He said, “I woke up.”

Beautiful.

When are expectation for happiness or greatness starts with just waking up, we can handle just about anything with gratitude.

2 Read/Learn

Whatever we don’t strengthen, begins to deteriorate. If we aren’t growing, we are dying. The same goes for our mind. The more we learn the better we become.

Start each day reading a book on spirituality, health, leadership, communication, or an inspiring story. Fill your mind with great stuff so there is no room for it to become polluted by all the meaningless negativity out there.

3 Hydrate

I like to start my day in a fasting state. I just have a little bit of coffee and I drink a big bottle of a special concoction of minerals, spirulina, amino acids, and collagen. It takes about 2 minutes to make and I am off.

4 Plan

This should be prepared the night before or at the latest, first thing in the morning. Create a plan for your day. That which you do not plan does not get accomplished. Plan your meals. Plan your workout. Plan your breaks. Even plan your fun.

Take the time to schedule the most important things or they will not get done. Prioritize yourself before anything else. You are worth it.

It benefits everyone for you to be at your best.

5 Move

By far, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to start your day with MOVEMENT.

Most people go their entire day with no exercise and very little movement.

Take 10 minutes in the morning to move, mobilize, stretch, pull, and compress your tissues. Your body will thank you for it for the rest of the day.

I know what many of you are thinking – “I don’t have time.”

My answer, “Make the time. Get up 10 minutes earlier.”

It is really difficult, and many times impossible, to control our entire day. Life happens. Things come up and get in the way. The unexpected occurs and we are stuck handling a big pile of “you know what.” The one thing we can almost always have full control of is our morning.

Make it count.

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032: The Cost of Expectations

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Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Whether you are looking to build the next Apple company or running your household, you are bound to run into things that act as major road blocks to your life.

The more expectations we have the greater our potential for unhappiness.

We have 2 choices:

1 Say “Forget it. This is too hard. I am just going to be miserable.”

2 Be mortal and realize that things are going to get tough and we must prepare. If we want to prepare, we need to practice the art of releasing expectations and embracing everything that happens in our life as a gift.

Not sure how to do this?

Perfect. That’s what the show is about today.

Enjoy!

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013: Using Meditation for High Performance

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One of the most powerful tools for high performance, happiness, and success is meditation. Meditation is no longer just for monks sitting in caves and contemplating the meaning of life.

Meditation is used by the highest performers in the world to gain more focus, clarity, and resilience in all aspects of life.

Would you like to perform better at work? Would you like to focus and concentrate better? Would you like to improve productivity and efficiency?

This is the episode for you!