Back in June of 2011 I had been cancer-free for one year. Coming back from stage III throat cancer was not easy, but as I sat in the University of Kansas Cancer Center waiting for my one-year follow-up, I had this nagging question that I couldn’t shake. The questions was “is this all that is left for me?” waiting with bated breath every year for a positive follow-up, to hear that “Things are fine Greg”.
I didn’t like that idea, but I didn’t know what to do about it. That’s when I saw this TEDx video from Mel Robbins:
Something happened when I watched that video in the waiting room at the Cancer Center. Mel introduced her “5 Second Rule” and it motivated me to make a change right then and there. I applied for a job in Germany while still sitting there before my appointment. It was Wednesday, June 15th 2011 at 2:30pm in the afternoon.
I got the job, and moved to Germany for five years. To say that single decision changed the course of my life is the understatement of the century. But it didn’t stop there. I decided to run more, and now have run 11 marathons. I decided to write a book, now it’s sold over 100,000 copies and is being used in universities and cancer centers around the world.
I can’t even imagine who I’d be or where I would be if I had stuck around in Kansas City waiting for that next positive check. Waiting for life to happen.
Of course, I’m not the only one. Over 8.4 million people have watched Mel’s video and her 5 Second Rule has been helping all kinds of people take control and change their lives. It’s been so successful that she made The 5 Second Rule into a book that just came out Feb 28th.
The basic premise is this: We all have things we want to do, or know we should do, yet we don’t do them. We hesitate, we wait, and we kill our progress with doubt, excuses, worry or fear. It could be anything from getting up early and going for a run, or voicing a new idea at work.
The point is this, when you feel that hesitation, start counting down from 5 to 1. When you get to zero, you act. You act before you brain has time to doubt, to fear, worry and to kill the idea. Now you have the law of inertia on your side (an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion).
Why does this work? I certainly can’t explain it better than Mel herself:
Whenever you feel an instinct fire up to act on a goal or a commitment, or the moment you feel yourself hesitate on doing something and you know you should do, you should use the Rule.
I’m really impressed with this book because she clearly maps out how to use this tool to:
– Become confident
– Break the habit of procrastination and self-doubt
– Beat fear and uncertainty
– Stop worrying and feel happier
– Share your ideas with courage
It is IMPOSSIBLE read this book without becoming motivated to attack all those things you want to get done. If it doesn’t motivate you, you’d better check your pulse! Mel knows that there is greatness in all of us, and it’s on the other side of our excuses.
So many great success stories in this book (including one about me, Thanks Mel!), but I’ll close with two quotes from Mel that really stuck me:
“The difference between people who make their dreams come true and those of us who don’t is just one thing: the courage to start and the discipline to keep going.”
There it is. 5 Seconds. Courage. Discipline. That’s all you need to succeed. So when to start?
“There is no right time. There is only right now. You get one life. This is it.”
Now get out there and make a change. Start with this book.
A couple of weeks ago I was at Fort Stewart, Georgia when HURRICANE MATTHEW rolled through. As you might imagine, the weather was terrible, high winds, heavy rain and flooding but we certainly didn’t get the worst of it.
In our relative safety I took a few minutes to record this video, because it’s in events like these that jostle us from the monotony and routine of everyday life, and make us think about what’s really important, where we’re going, and how we use the time we have.
Really, this is a video about time. Tomorrow is no guarantee, so how are you using your time? What are you doing with the opportunities that have within your reach? If you’re not careful those missed opportunities, and wasted time can stack up into a big pile of regret, and there is nothing worse than regret.
I also talk about gratitude, which at the end of the day is appreciating how other people spend their time, and being thankful.
As you will see, it was raining quite hard and was very windy in the video, but life is full of storms. It’s how we weather those storm that defines us.
This video is dedicated to all service members past, present and in the future.
Ray Lewis video to the Stanford University basketball team can be found at:
For those of you who have been following me for a little while know that I’m all about giving thanks. I’ve written about it here on my blog before when I talked about writing thank you cards. Incredible things happen when you say “thank you” to others and I’m living proof of that.
In these videos below, I wanted to talk about a different kind of thanks, and that’s the kind of “thank you” you give to yourself. It’s something we sometimes forget to do, but it’s no less important than thanking others. So check out the videos to hear about how some incredibly successful people do this.
As always, thanks for stopping by. If you’ve got a trick that helps you to thank yourself, I’d love it hear it! Share in the comments below.
If you haven’t gotten your courtesy look at my book Three Points of Contact, sign up to my mailing list on the top right of this page, and I’ll send you the link.
Till next time,
I’ve talked about Hunt the Good Stuff before (#htgs) but for those who are not familiar with it, it’s something I picked up while attending the US Army’s Resiliency Training at University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center.
The concept is simple, start your day with three points of gratitude. I write these down in my journal, but have added a few more steps which is why this video is called “Hunt the Good Stuff, Plus”. The things I’ve added are something for someone else, and then something for yourself.
Something for someone else, could be anything, it could be helping something, thanking someone, paying it forward in some way, but plan to do it and make it part of your day.
Then I thank myself for something or give myself something. Writing these things down externalizes them, and making this a daily activity produces incredible results. After only a few days you’d be amazed at how this activity changes your outlook on everything.
What are my Hunt the Good Stuff, Plus points for today? Watch the video below to find out. What are yours? I’d love to hear them, feel free to write them in them comments section below.
For episode 003 I go to the Stuttgart Haupt Bahnhof and to where it all started for my 25 year ago. Journaling is something I’ve done throughout my whole life, through the ups and the downs. It’s a great way of dealing with stress, it’s a means of meditation and a way to set goals for yourself. It is fundamental to the ACTION portion of my Three Points of Contact.
What do you use your journal for? Write in the comments, and you could win a journal that I’ll send to you from Germany. Stay tuned for episode 004 ~ Hunt the Good Stuff.
The Power of Journaling. Recorded at the Stuttgart Main Train Station (Haupt Bahnhof).
Three Points of Contact
WED, 27 JAN 2016: Greg Cheek Speaks 003, Journaling and Success, Three Points of Contact.
Thursday, 28 JAN 2016: Hunt The Good Stuff #htgs Start each day on a positive note and ready to seize the day. Three Points of Contact.
Friday, 28 JAN 2016: The Resiliency Piggy Bank. This fun activity will help you build resilience. Located in the Action section, page 19, Three Points of Contact.
At my last routine check up at the University of Kansas Hospital I took a few minutes to answer some questions about KU and some of the themes from my book.
I can’t say enough good things about the KU team, their work has been exceptional and they have truly become another family to me.
Special thanks to the KU Broadcast Studio for putting together such a great video!
Check out the video, and hope you enjoy!
This past Saturday I ran my 8th marathon since being diagnosed with cancer, and this time I was in Hamburg, Germany. What an amazing experience! More than 750,000 spectators and 20,000 runners.
I shot this quick video when I finished, in which I talk about daily exercises to improve your optimism, as well as Hunt the Good Stuff (#htgs) and University of Pennsylvania’s Army Master Resilience Training (taught by Dr. Karen Reivich).
Approaching the day with optimism can be as simple as writing down three things you’re thankful for, an exercise I did for the 30 days leading up to this marathon.
Give it a shot: what are three things you’re thankful for today? Write you responses below in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you.
Have a Great Day and Live the Three Points of Contact!
I’ve contemplated for weeks with eager anticipation about the topic for this first blog. I’ve got literally hundreds of topics to discuss and will get to every one over the next couple of years. The immediate focus will come from the over 50 topics contained within the manuscript of my upcoming book, Three Points of Contact.
The Pink Elephant in the room is “Cancer Treatment” and this topic surfaces during most of my discussions on radio interviews back in the states and around Europe. The topic of “Cancer” surfaces in my motivational presentations and is assuredly the center pole in the tent and the Grand Finale of Three Points of Contact. I just mentioned some insightful cancer deterring methods in the taping of my iTunes podcast named the Communication Concierge and I promise to cover all those areas in the upcoming blogs.
I narrowed the non-cancer related topics to: goal setting and dreams, travel, communication, enthusiasm, resiliency, mentorship and the universal law of belief. I finally decided on Giving Thanks and the Art and Amazing benefits you will get from giving thanks for this first post. Three Points of Contact has one chapter focused directly on giving thanks named, Integrate Thanks into you Daily Life.
Obviously giving thanks comes in the form of verbal and non-verbal thanks. The power of giving verbal thanks is just as powerful for your health and well-being as the traditional thank you note. This particular blog will focus on the hand-written thank you note. We will keep in mind the close neighbor – the verbal gratitude of thanks.
Your life will turn around when you get used to giving thanks in the way of the handwritten note. I’ve written three thank you notes a day for the past 10 days in preparation for this introductory blog. 25 notes in the mail and 5 notes hand delivered. I enjoy the immediacy of the smile and the reaction from the hand delivered note. If the note is for thankful services rendered, I will hand deliver to the supervisor or boss to ensure the employee recognition and thanks is received by both verbal and a written note. The 25 notes in the mail are fantastic because I get energized from everyone I send.
I’ve pasted below some notes from my upcoming book, Three Points of Contact, on: (1) the benefits of sending thank you notes and (2) some tips on how to write the perfect thank you note ~ Enjoy!
1. The Benefits of Sending Thank You Notes
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
The benefits of sending handwritten thank you notes are endless. You are doing far more than distinguishing yourself from anyone else in the business world or your competition. Business is about making contacts and the thank you note is the best way to make an impression and also make you feel amazing. Your client, future employer, or just a close friend may have met with a couple hundred people today, you will be remembered for leaving the thank you note and most of all you will feel great! In a selfish way the biggest recipient of giving thanks will be for yourself. You will feel joy, happiness and the accomplishment of knowing that you are making someone else’s day very special. Let me share a few tip from my upcoming book on this unique skill.
Advantages of the thank you note:
- Feel great about yourself – try one today – and see how you feel.
- Relieve stress, which makes you a happier person. Proven stress reliever ~ inner bliss.
- Relieve the recipients’ stress, thus making them healthier.
- Create a positive impact to those receiving your thanks, making you more memorable and making you stand out from others.
- Put a smile on someone’s face. In most cases you will not see that big end result and smile…but you know and that makes it all worth it.
Try sending out thank you notes at every opportunity you get: Thank someone who hosts you at his/her home for dinner, when you receive a gift, when someone provides a particular good service ….the list goes on and on. Starting with the first thank you note you send, you’ll notice a difference in the mental, emotional, and spiritual quality of your life.
2. How to Write the Perfect Thank You Note
If the only prayer you ever say your entire life is thank you, then that’s enough.
My first thank you note was to golfer I caddied for when I was thirteen years old. Since then, I have written thousands of these wonderful notes. I have my own personal techniques I’ve learned over the years, and you will develop your own style. There’s actually a recommended tactic to assist you in writing the perfect thank you note. Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and the owner of the Protocol School of Texas, recommends:
- A hand written note is always special.
- Use a dark colored ink, preferably black, when sending a professional thank you note.
- Address the card carefully; making sure the name of the person is spelled accurately.
- Mention something specific about the gift, if applicable, and how you plan to use or enjoy it the future.
- Don’t mention a denomination of money; rather, say your “generous” gift.
- Purchase nice, seasonal stamps or invest in forever stamps.
- Create a thank you note cache that is easily accessible when you are ready to sit down and write a thank you note. Include nice card stock, stamps, and a variety of writing pens and note cards.
Start by writing at least one handwritten thank you note a day for the next week. When you’ve made it through the seven days, write me a comment below and let me know how you feel after giving written thanks. Everyone who responds will get a thank you note from me personally from here in Germany!
Enjoy and LIVE the Three Points of Contact!
Go Get Em’