We all want to achieve our goals and fulfill our potential, but how far are we willing to go? That’s what I talk about in this second episode.

I talk about what Navy SEALs training is like and a story about how far one sailor went to make sure he passed. It’s a crazy story, but showed me what some will do to not give up.

I didn’t know much about their training, but have immense respect for what they have to do just to pass. If we could just take a fraction of that determination, we could achieve so much.

Hope you enjoy!

Links mentioned in this episode:

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The Get Busy Living Podcast

Welcome to my new podcast, Get Busy Living!

I’m so excited to finally go live with this.

Like my blog, what I’ll be talking about is how to get to get the most of your life. My goal is to help you live with more passion, work towards your goals, and be excited about life again.

The plan for now is to make this a weekly podcast. It’ll be a mix of solo shows (just me) and interviews with ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things.

In this first episode, I share my story. Some of you know my background, while others may not.

My life hasn’t always been great. For most of my adult life, I’ve felt lost and stuck in life. in 2010, I had my breaking point and began to write a new chapter in my life. It’s been a 3+ year journey now with lots of ups and down, but much better than where I used to be.

In this first episode here are some of the links I mention:

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If you enjoyed, I would really appreciate a review in iTunes!

Get Busy Living 2014Stop. Don’t Do it. Don’t tell yourself that you’re doing to do more of _______. It’s not going to work.

In two months, you’re going to be back to where you are right now, but worse because you’re going to be upset that you already failed. Then you’ll slowly forget about it and go back to your old ways. By December, you’ll be thinking of all the changes you want to make beginning January 1, 2015.

I know because I’ve never kept a resolution.

If you’ve made a specific resolution more than once, then stop making it again. The problem isn’t with your resolution, but with your approach. You don’t change your approach and that’s why you’re making it again.

Does this sound like you? If so, I’m here to give you another solution so you won’t be like 98% of the people (an educated guess, but probably close) that start the new year with hopes of the best year ever, but fizzle out soon.

Later in this article, I’m going to tell you about a course I created last year that going to kick your butt, change you on the inside, and help change the direction of your life. If your life is good, it’ll help take it to a new level.

Don’t take my word for it. I’ll share what some of my students have said.

First I’m going to share with you seven ways to help you make 2014 your best year yet. None of them include making a New Year’s resolution.

1) Write down your goals

I told you to not make a New Year’s resolution because they don’t work, but writing down your goals is not the same as making a resolution.

There are many reasons resolutions don’t work. One reason is because it is just an idea floating around in your head. It’s easy to get lost when you have 70,000 thoughts a day. After that initial excitement, you will forget about it.

This year do something different. Write down your goals. When you write down your goals, you are making a declaration. You’re saying you want to do this and it’s not just a wish.

Write it on a sheet of paper or print it from your computer. Place this list where you will see it everyday.

2) SMART goals

Writing down your goals is better than just thinking about it, but these goals needs to be structured in a way that is going to help you.

Don’t just write generic goals. Instead set SMART goals. Those are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Saying you want to lose weight is too general. There’s no urgency. How will you know you have lost weight? How much weight? By when? It’s too weak.

New year’s resolutions are just as general. That’s why they fail to stick.

If you follow the SMART guidelines your goal will be “I will lose 15 pounds by June 1, 2014.” It’s measurable. You can step on a scale and know. It’s specific. It’s attainable. It’s something you want to do so it is relevant. It has a deadline. Without one you will just procrastinate.

Before I finish talking about goals, I do want to say one thing. I believe settings goals are so important. You might come across some articles online that say setting goals is a bad idea and they will give their reasons why.

I don’t follow that. Set some goals. If you’ve never set goals before, then definitely set goals this year. Try it out.

Goals give you direction. You set the navigation system in your brain and it helps you reach your destination. If you’re driving from Los Angeles to New York and have never driven that route before would you just get in your car and start driving or use your navigation to guide you?

If you don’t use navigation, you still could get there, but it might take you longer and you might get lost many times along the way. Why waste time when navigation can get you there faster?

Set SMART goals in 2014 to guide you.

3) What is your WHY?

Why do you want it? Why do you want to make that change or achieve that goal? If you can’t think of a strong reason why, rethink your goal. Are you doing it because someone said you should?

I bet that your past goals have failed because you didn’t have a strong enough reason why.

Whatever your goals are you will face challenges. I promise you it’s not going to all be easy. Change is hard. Doing something new is hard. You will want to quit. If you have a reason why you want to achieve it, then it’ll push you through tough times, keep you motivated, and focused on your goals.

Do you know someone who had a high school reunion or a wedding and their goal was to lose weight before the big day? I think we all know someone. It might have even been you.

I had a friend that lost 50 pounds before his wedding. Before that he struggled to lose the weight he gained from years of partying in college. He wanted to lose weight, but just never had a great reason why.

What was the difference? He had a strong reason why and a deadline.

More money might be your reason why, but think about why you want more money. What will it do for you? How will it help? How will you use that money when you have it? Go deeper than the desire to just have money because that isn’t enough to keep you focused and motivated.

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Annual review

Take a moment to reflect on 2013

It’s that time of year again where a year is ending and a new one is about to begin. Before we look forward to a fresh start in 2014, let’s take time to look back at 2013.

Why should we do an annual review? 

We need to know what worked and what didn’t work this year. We need to make sure we do more of the right things next year. We also need to make sure we’re moving in the right direction and not backwards.

How can we make 2014 much better than 2013 if we don’t stop and give ourselves an annual checkup?

Chris Guillebeau asks himself:

  • What went well this year?
  • What didn’t go well this year?

This is a great place to start. Two simple questions that will get us thinking. If we need help jogging our memory, take a look at photos, blog posts, our journal, our Instagram feed, Facebook status updates, or anything that will help us remember what we did this year.

Think about what wins we had. It could be small or big. It’s very easy to forget about those, but it’s important to remember the wins. We get to see what we achieved and it gives us confidence to go for bigger wins.

Your Year in Review Worksheet

If you want to go more in depth in your year in review, I’ve created a free worksheet that has questions to help you review your year and plan for the next. By filling it out, you will learn a lot about yourself.

Download it, print it out and find a quiet time to complete it. Don’t rush through it. These questions will really make you think. Be honest with your answers. These are just for yourself.

If you find it that you don’t have much to write down, then next year make sure you consciously do more. It could be because you’re in your comfort zone too much. Make it a goal for next year to be stretch yourself and take more risks.

If you’ve never done a year in review, try it this year. You’ll learn more about yourself. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Don’t just fill this out and put it away. I encourage you to put it in a place where you can access it and refer back to it throughout the year. Because you need to remember the parts of your life you said you needed to eliminate or improve.

Download the worksheet now (right click to save)

My Year in Review

This will be the third time I’ve done a year in review.

I had never done one before 2011. Before I would just made a mental note of what I wanted to accomplish in the new year. 100% of the time I never achieved what I wanted.

Since I’ve been doing it, it’s helped me take a moment and appreciate what I’ve accomplished. It also helps me to count my chips and see how I’ve been doing. If I didn’t earn that many chips, I try and figure why.

I like to look back and reflect, and help me get started in the right direction the next year.

What went well in 2013


Singapore Airlines A380 Suites

I’m going to first mention travel because it was definitely the highlight of my year. Thanks to collecting points and miles from credit card bonuses, and taking advantage of a limited time offer, I booked an amazing itinerary. We went to Sydney for two week and Hong Kong for two weeks.

We flew from Taipei, but didn’t go the direct route to Sydney nor to Hong Kong.

We flew to Beijing, Singapore, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and back to Taipei. Mostly in first class, some in business class, and once in economy.

I didn’t mind taking the long way one bit because we got to take more flights and more time in the premium cabins.

One flight we got to fly in Singapore’s A380 suites, which was a dream of mine since I first read about it 6 years ago. I never knew if I would be able to afford the outrageous price to experience it, but got a chance this year thanks to redeeming my miles.

I wrote a longer post about our travels so read more about it there. If you want to know exactly how I booked it and start collecting miles and points for your dream vacation, read this post.

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There’s going to be enough average things in your life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.

I have a high school friend who got married awhile ago, and I was a groomsman in his wedding. I remembered he said why he was marrying her. He didn’t think he could do any better. To me, that wasn’t a great reason to get married. They are now divorced. There were many other reasons for the divorce, but I always thought just settling was a bad reason to make that lifelong commitment.

I’ve always wanted to find love, but I didn’t want to just settle because I felt I couldn’t do any better.

Just because you get along with someone so well doesn’t mean they are the best for you. Sometimes true love isn’t simple, but in many ways, it’s always worth it. I know it’s hard to do most times, because when there’s nothing really wrong with your relationship there’s no reason to break up, but there is.

If your heart has been telling you something else for awhile, then maybe it’s time to listen to it.

Because you need to and deserve love that leaves you feeling like you have to pinch yourself everyday. If that’s what you want, don’t settle till you have it.

Love should go both ways. If you’re unhappy and crying more than you’re smiling, then leave. Having your life controlled isn’t a sign of love. Always being treated like you’re worthless, but making it up with flowers a few days later isn’t love. You deserve better. Someone’s who’s going to appreciate you and make you a better person.

Love should make you feel invincible not defeated. (click to tweet).

If you’ve been wondering if you should go, then go. It doesn’t have to be forever. Take a break if that’s what you want. Don’t stay because you are afraid you won’t find someone else. If your gut feeling has been keeping you up at nights, you need to set yourself free and explore. Go and spend time with friends. Spend time alone if that’s what you need.

And if those roads lead you back to that person, then that’s great. Thinking if someone out there is better for you is enough reason to go. One way or another you will eventually wind up where you’re supposed to. Whether it’s with a new person or back into the arms of the person you left.

I know that is so hard to actually do because it sounds crazy. Why leave a good relationship when nothing is wrong?

Leaving Good Love

I’ve left good love to look for something extraordinary. It was a hard decision to make. I didn’t know if I was messing up a perfectly good relationship. A heart would be broken and tears shed.

It was 2008 and I was in love. It was only the second time I had fallen in love. I was 31. I had been in Taipei, Taiwan for seven months studying Chinese. I found her on a language exchange website. I wanted to meet new friends, practice my Chinese, while helping with their English. I replied to her ad, exchanged a few emails and eventually met for dinner one night.

The night went great and we really hit it off. The next time I saw her was at a New Year’s Eve party she invited me to. Soon after that we began dating. I wasn’t expecting to get into a relationship, but it happened. We had a good relationship. We hardly argued. We were in love and couldn’t have been happier.

About six months later, my feelings changed.

I don’t know why. Call it a gut feeling that I just couldn’t ignore. Nothing was wrong with her. She didn’t do anything that bothered me. Our relationship was fine, but maybe that was the problem. It was just fine.

When it comes to love, I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t have my first serious relationship till I was 25 and that lasted four years. It was great at the beginning, but the last two years were going nowhere because she wanted to get married and I didn’t.

When two people are heading in different directions in life, it’s best to end it. I just knew she wasn’t the one for me and my feelings wouldn’t change. I didn’t have the courage to end it though. I don’t like hurting people. I preferred her to break up with me. I wasn’t a man and I regret that looking back.

The next two years we slowly grew apart. She eventually broke up with me. I felt bad that we both wasted two years of our life. I felt more bad that I wasted hers.

Life teaches us hard lessons and it’s up to us to learn from it. That way in the future, if faced with the same situation, we know how to handle it better.

Now I was in the position where the other person was still in love, but I didn’t feel as strongly. This was her first serious relationship. Telling her how I felt would make it 100x worse.

I just couldn’t ignore how I was feeling. I couldn’t force myself to bring back the old feelings for her. Love can’t be manufactured. It’s a feeling.

Following my heart

“Almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs

My gut kept telling me something over and over. I’ll never forget it what it was:

“I know there’s someone out there better for me.”

I can’t explain why I felt that. I was a guy who has always been in the friend zone with girls, briefly dated one person for 2 months in college (pretty sad), and just had one serious relationship.

Now I’m in a relationship and after six months my gut is telling me there is someone else better for me out there?

He must be absolutely out of his freaking mind.

Call it a gut feeling. Call it my heart talking to me. Whatever it was, it wasn’t shutting up.

Handling the situation wasn’t going to be easy. I knew it was going to hurt her. I hate being the bad guy. There was no easy way to tell her, but I had to do it.

One night on the phone I told her. I told her that we needed to take a break. Of course, she didn’t understand why. There was nothing wrong with the relationship, but for me there was.

I didn’t want to completely end the relationship because I wasn’t sure yet. Maybe taking a break would help me realize she was great for me. Maybe my gut feeling would change its mind and tell me to go back with her. But I needed to know so I would never question if I should be with her or not.

We still saw each other once in awhile afterwards. It definitely changed the dynamics of our relationship though. I know she hoped that I’d change my mind and go back to the old Benny. I wondered if I was making the wrong decision. Did I just screw up a good thing? There were days when I was unhappy because I made her feel like this. It was hard. When we did meet, it was okay at first, but just became awkward.

Would I ever find someone better? 

Sometimes things happen and we just don’t have an explanation for it. Life is more interesting this way.

About a month later, I went to a nightclub with friends from the kickboxing club I was a part of. I’ve written about how I had to overcome my fear to join the kickboxing club. Then I had to get over my fear of going to a nightclub. I’m glad I got over my fears because that night would change my life.

Of course I didn’t know that at the time. I was just excited about all-you-can-drink alcohol.

We get to this tiny club early. It’s near a couple big universities including the one where I attended. There’s no music playing yet. The lights are still on. There are some people already there just talking.

My friend walks up to a small standing table because he knew the two girls there. He introduced me to them. One was named Eleanor and I thought she was cute. It wasn’t love at first sight or instantly knowing I’m going to marry this girl. I do remember I was impressed with her English because most Taiwanese girls didn’t speak English that well.

I tried to make conversation, but she was pretty short with her answers. However, I didn’t get an attitude from her like some girls give off that say “get away you creep.”

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Stop Wishing for Life to be Easier

There’s a big problem out there and it is inside many of us. The problem is many of us want life to be easier. We want change to be easier. We want to lose weight easier. We want to have more confidence easier. We want money to be growing on trees. We want everything to go right.

Technology has helped make it easier in certain areas, but in other areas it isn’t going to help us. It’s dangerous to want everything in life to be easier. It can lead to a life that we don’t want.

Let’s take a look at the definition of easy

“achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties”

Yes it would be wonderful if the life that we dream about came without great effort. That’s why diet pills are a $3 billion a year industry. We get bombarded with get rich quick offers. Happiness can be had for four easy payments of $19.95.

The desire for an easy life with everything we want is a problem. We haven’t always been this way. We didn’t start off wanting an easy life.

Since we were born, life has presented difficulties for us, but we were resilient. We tried to talk, but it made no sense. If we were hungry, we couldn’t say anything so we cried.

We started to crawl. We tried stand, but it wasn’t easy. We didn’t give up. If we fell, we got back up. If we hit our head running into a wall, we’d be back running near that wall one minute later. We weren’t born quitters.

Then something happened, but it didn’t change overnight.

We now are expected to be rational adults. A rational adults wouldn’t do anything crazy. We’ve been taught to be more safe. Take less risks. Go for security. Don’t ruffle any feathers. Don’t make a scene. Blend in.

Life will be easier that way.

A job is better than no job is what we hear, despite knowing how much we hate that job. It’s easier to stay in a miserable job than to quit and search for another.

As we have gotten older, we’ve lost that sense of fearlessness. We think before we do. Sometimes we think so much that we do nothing. We’re not fighters. We are more easily to quit.

What happened?

We have become brainwashed. We have listened to what our parents, friends, relatives, and society have told us. We hear it so much we believe that is the only reality. We didn’t change overnight. It happened slowly overtime.

We rationalize too much. The freedom we have is actually a bad thing. Too many choices can paralyze us. We want some guidance, but when we follow what others say we should do, instead of listening to our hearts, it kills us on the inside.

We feel that life sucks. It isn’t easy anymore. Those instincts we were born with are still a part of us, but buried by layers of conformity.

It’s a shame

This time is the best time in our life. It doesn’t matter how old we are. What matters is that we’re still alive. That’s why it’s an amazing time. There is so much in the world for us.

One of the biggest problems is that we want success and happiness, but we want it to come without effort. We don’t want to struggle, fail, or face embarrassment. We don’t want to be rejected.

We want everything to be perfect. We want our first business idea to be the big one. We want anything we do for the very first time to be THE one. The one that brings in money, successful, and recognition. We want it and we want it now.

Never mind that we have never started a business in our life. Never mind that we are just a beginner. We want it to be easy. It’s stupid to think we get everything right the first time to do it, but that’s what we hope for.

This kind of thinking leads to getting nothing done. If we expect perfection, we’re creating a impossible reality. Since we know perfection will not happen, we do not even begin. A great life isn’t going to come easy. That’s the reality.

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