The Dichotomy of Leadership

I am reading a new book called The Dichotomy of Leadership. I am only a chapter in, but so far am totally fascinated. The authors are Navy Seals who led troops in Iraq. In the book they dive deep into the different dichotomies of leadership.

What does this mean? First, let’s define the word dichotomy:

Dichotomy- (Noun) – a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

Two things that are represented as being opposed. Let me put some context around this. As a Seal commander, the author had to deal with the dichotomy of looking after his troops well being while also leading those men into battle to accomplish the mission. The missions they undertook could injure or cause the death of those troops. The commander had to hold both things in his mind and still get the job done.

In truth, those two positions were not opposed to each other. They were both important. There had to be a balance where both objectives could be achieved. It is a fine line for sure, but there are valuable lessons here.

While reading, my thoughts drifted to the dichotomies that exist in parenting. I want for my son to be safe and to keep him from being harmed. However, for him to grow into a truly productive member of society and to take his place as an adult, he has to face adversity. He has to be have to hold that dichotomy of caring for him and also letting him try things and potentially fail.

I am eager to read more. Gaining clarity on how to deal with these dichotomies will only be beneficial. I am sure it won’t make the situations easier, but it will give confidence that making the right decision is worth it.

Counting Calories? Really?

I love food. I love the way it smells. I love the way it tastes. I love eating it. Pizza, steaks, pasta, pizza, cinnamon rolls, pizza…I love it all. Did I mention pizza?

For this reason, it has been difficult to lose weight over the years. I know the more you eat the more you gain. It didn’t stop me. Sometimes I would exercise more to balance it out, but it never did balance.

It seems I have finally tamed the beast. How you ask? Logging my food in the My Fitness Pal app and sticking to a specific calorie count. Yes. I count calories. Every day.

Strangely enough, when I started doing this very mundane task I started losing weight. It is amazing that when you control what goes in you can see the scale go down. Who knew?

This was a mental game for me. I have mentioned in previous posts that food has been tied to security for me. So, not only did it taste good and all that stuff, it also “kept me safe”. But, it really didn’t.

The biggest part of moving forward is understanding the obstacles in front of you. For me I had to prove to myself that I could restrict calories and still be ok. I am. I had to prove to myself that it was still plenty of food to eat. It is more than enough. This has been 100% mental this entire time.

When I realized this, I had identified my obstacle. I knew at that point what had to be done. It has taken a lot of work, but I have stuck to it for 77 days and I will going forward. The change has been overwhelming.

What goal do you have? What obstacle is in your way? Keep moving forward. You can do it.

I have never been a yoga guy…

The title is telling the truth. I have tried yoga several times over the years. I have never been able to get into a groover where it is concerned. I have a handful of reasons that aren’t important. The only one that is important? I never told myself I had to follow through. Until now.

I found an awesome yoga plan a few years ago. I was watching Youtube and I ran across a story of a man named Jared who was completely broken down. He had been in the armed forces and had jumped from airplanes so many times that his legs and back were messed up. He was in constant pain and had tried everything he could think of…except yoga.

Then a familiar face popped up on the video I was watching. I used to love professional wrestling in my younger days. One of the more charismatic guys was Diamond Dallas Paige. Here he was on the video talking about a yoga program that he led Jared through. Jared went from walking with air canes and being morbidly obese to very trim and fit and able to run. This was a feat that his doctors had told him he would never be able to do again.

I originally purchased the yoga program (DDP Yoga) back in 2018. I tried it for a while, but didn’t stick with it. I liked it, but I didn’t quite know how to fit it in to my overall approach. Who am I kidding? I didn’t have an approach. I didn’t have a plan, so I floundered.

When I started my 100 Day Strong journey (today is Day 76), I made a plan to lift weights 3 times per week and walk every day for at least 30 minutes. After a few weeks I felt like I needed a bit more to my workouts. This is where yoga reentered the picture. I still had an active subscription to DDP Yoga and logged in and set up a program that fit in with my overall routine. Guess what? It actually worked.

Am I super flexible now? No. Am I more so than I was when I started. Yes. I can tell that the yoga sessions are working well. I am now able to make it all the way through the different workouts. They are challenging, but I am finding myself up to the challenge. This has made me very happy.

I have found a couple of unexpected benefits from doing DDP yoga:

1. It has been a really good way to wind down my day. I do my yoga routine right before bed. By the time I finish the 30+ minute routines, I am stretched out and content. I am able to get in bed and relax much quicker.

2. The primary thing I like about Diamond Dallas Paige’s approach is that he meets people where they are. He encourages all throughout his workout videos. He tells people to make the workout their own and even demonstrates modifications himself. He keeps the routines fun and approachable.

3. I really enjoy yoga as a part of my overall workout plan. I think the issue I have had in the past is that I didn’t want it to be my entire workout. I like lifting weights. I like getting out on the road to walk. However, as a part of a comprehensive program, yoga has been very good.

My 100 Day Strong journey has showed me a lot of things. I am glad that it revealed yoga as a practice that I need to pursue. The benefits are becoming obvious and I look forward to continuing on.

75 Down 25 To Go

It is hard to believe that 75 days gone by since I started my 100 Day Strong journey. It has been full of accomplishments and some revelations. Let me share a couple with you now.

1. This wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. Sure it has taken a lot of work, but it was very doable. Why? I made a list and stuck to it. Sounds oversimplified, but you will see what I mean in point 2.

2. Discipline is not the enemy. It is the opposite. It is a dear friend that is misunderstood. What do I mean by this? If you don’t know the rules can you successfully play any game? No. You would be frustrated. You wouldn’t enjoy playing because you’d keep getting a flag thrown. When I developed the rules to play by (The List) and started playing the game to those rules, that is when I started seeing results. Freedom has come because of discipline.

I still have 25 days to go. I am excited to see what else I can accomplish. I am also looking forward to what comes next. Undoubtedly it will involve another list and another set of instructions. It seems to be working, so I think I will just keep going.

Thankful Thankful Thankful

There is something awesome about being with family. I love these two more than I can describe. Just being home with them is so restorative. I know that when the world is going crazy, this is most where I want to be.

We are listening to an audiobook while they do a puzzle. I am here at the other end smiling as I watch them move around. This is the good stuff. My wife is as beautiful as I have ever seen her. My son keeps getting taller and making me more and more proud.

I am so thankful to God. I am thankful for my family. For the life he has given us. For…so many things. God is the source of it all.

#thankful #solideogloria