Do you have a favorite movie? If I asked you right now to name some of your favorite movies, what would it be? Now, think about those movies and ask yourself why you love them? Is there a pattern?

Some people love science fiction movies with aliens, some people love sports movies with a “Cinderella story” type of theme, some people love complex storylines with twisted endings, some people love romantic comedies that take place in small towns, some people love movies with car chases and helicopters (my least favorite), some people love documentaries of an event or a person that impacted and help change the course in history…some people just love goofy and hilarious movies with almost no plot and just plain silliness.

Me? The movie theme and pattern that I love are something with an extremely simple storyline with deep meaning. A movie that leaves you inspired and motivated to think differently or something that teaches me something about life in a more profound way.

The most recent one I watched is called “Perfect Days” directed by Wim Wenders. It’s a contemplative film that dives into the life of a character named Hirayama, a middle-aged man living in Tokyo. He works as a cleaner of public toilets, a job he performs with meticulous care and a sense of pride. Despite the simplicity and routine of his work, he finds satisfaction and beauty in his everyday life. The film is an exploration of finding joy in the mundane and the power of mindfulness.

What? Mindfulness? What’s that? Some people know exactly what I am talking about when they hear this word. But for some, they kinda sort of understand it as being some type of yoga or meditation type term but maybe think it’s weird or it’s not for them. Well, let’s first define it.

Mind·ful·ness a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. It involves paying attention to the present experience with openness, curiosity, and acceptance.

Think of mindfulness as paying close attention to what you’re doing right now. It’s like focusing completely on one thing at a time, whether it’s eating, working, or talking with someone, and noticing everything about that moment without letting your mind wander or judging what you notice. Being in it, focusing on it, being grateful for it. Let the past be past and the future be the future, it has nothing to do with here and now…and that’s mindfulness.

By the way, we are on the series called “The Mental Game,” and I think it’s one of the most crucial and challenging aspects of how we can improve our mental toughness. This is what we covered so far on the subject.

  • Process vs Outcome: One of the mental game techniques is focusing on the process rather than fixating on outcomes. Individuals can maintain motivation, reduce anxiety, and ultimately achieve greater success and fulfillment. READ MORE
  • How You Think Will Change Everything: There’s a formula to make your result a reality. It’s the way you think. Believe it or not, once you figure out the pattern of how you think and strategize to re-think the way you think, it could be a game changer for you. READ MORE
  • Silence: Do you want to improve your mental health, grow new brain cells, improve cognitive function, be in a better mood, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance creativity? READ MORE

Now back to mindfulness, how does it practically help us in our business and even in our entrepreneur journey? Well, I am glad you asked, here are some ways.

Enhances Focus and Concentration:

    • Mindfulness Practice: Regular mindfulness practice, improves your ability to focus on the task at hand and reduces the tendency for your mind to wander.
    • Business Application: Improved focus can lead to better productivity, more efficient use of time, and higher-quality work.

Emotional Regulation:

    • Mindfulness Practice: Mindfulness helps you become more aware of your emotions and manage them effectively. It promotes calmness and reduces reactivity.
    • Business Application: Emotional regulation is crucial in business, where stress and high-stakes situations are common. It helps you respond to challenges with composure and make better decisions.

Resilience and Stress Reduction:

    • Mindfulness Practice: Techniques like mindful breathing and body scan meditations reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can build resilience over time.
    • Business Application: Resilience allows you to bounce back from setbacks and maintain a positive outlook, which is essential for long-term success in business.

To make it even more convincing, here are some examples of people you might know who have implemented mindfulness into their daily rhythm of life.

Marc Benioff

  • Role: Co-founder and CEO of Salesforce
  • Mindfulness Practice: Benioff practices meditation and mindfulness and has been a vocal advocate for integrating these practices into the corporate culture at Salesforce.
  • Impact: Benioff believes mindfulness contributes to personal well-being and enhances leadership qualities. He has implemented mindfulness programs at Salesforce, including meditation rooms and guided sessions for employees.

Arianna Huffington

  • Role: Co-founder of The Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global
  • Mindfulness Practice: Huffington practices mindfulness regularly. She is an advocate for the benefits of mindfulness in reducing stress and improving overall well-being.
  • Impact: Huffington emphasizes the importance of mindfulness for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preventing burnout. Her experiences led her to establish Thrive Global, a company focused on well-being and performance.

Jeff Weiner

  • Role: Former CEO of LinkedIn
  • Mindfulness Practice: Weiner practices meditation and mindfulness and has integrated these practices into his leadership style.
  • Impact: Weiner believes that mindfulness helps him lead with compassion, clarity, and focus. He encourages mindfulness practices at LinkedIn, emphasizing their role in enhancing employee well-being and productivity.

So, now, back to the movie. How do we practice mindfulness? Is it some type of meditation or chant? It can be, but the concept of mindfulness is central to “Perfect Days.” Mindfulness, the practice of being present and fully engaged in the moment, is vividly illustrated through Hirayama’s daily routines. His meticulous approach to cleaning and his deep appreciation for small pleasures, such as listening to music or enjoying nature, highlights his ability to live in the present. This mindfulness allows him to transform ordinary tasks into moments of quiet reflection and contentment. Take a quick look at the movie trailer.

Throughout the film, Hirayama’s interactions with others are also marked by a mindful presence. He listens attentively and responds with kindness, creating meaningful connections despite the brevity of these encounters. This mindful engagement with the world around him underscores the film’s message that true happiness and fulfillment can be found in the simplicity of everyday life.

“Perfect Days” ultimately suggests that mindfulness, with its focus on the present moment, can lead to a deeper appreciation of life. By embracing his routine with a mindful attitude, Hirayama exemplifies how finding joy in the mundane can lead to a richer, more fulfilling existence.

See why did I loved the movie? Extremely simple storyline + Deep meaning. Oh, and by the way, it is nominated for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars.

Focusing on the here and now – mindfulness practices can truly enhance mental toughness by reducing stress, improving focus, regulating emotions, building resilience, and increasing self-awareness. These benefits are invaluable for achieving success in both personal and professional life.

Are you with me? Take a deep breath in, take a deep breath out, close your eyes, be in the moment, be in the now, let all your worries worry about themselves, be grateful for where you are now, the air you are breathing, and embrace the current moment that you get to what you are doing right now. Breath in…breath out…close your eyes…be grateful.



I woke up in the middle of the night. I am not sure what time; I am thinking around 1 am. I had a lot on my mind, I guess. Mostly high school shenanigans since I was a freshman, and I must have been carrying a lot of burden and feeling a lot of worries of the world. My own little world, that is. High School is not easy.

I decided to get out of bed and head to the kitchen for a glass of water. I had no concerns about my bladder back then; I was a young lad and could easily drink a gallon of water and hold my bladder for days without being bothered in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Oh, to be young again…

I walked down the long hallway and didn’t even bother to turn on the lights. When I took a sharp left to the kitchen, I saw a dark shadow on the right, in the living room. Someone was in our house. Sitting on our couch. I was startled. The stranger turned his head towards me and flicked on the lamp next to him. Oh, hahaha, it was my dad.

“What are you doing?” I yelled. He paused, looked at me, blinked once slowly, and said, “I am thinking.”  WTH?

I caught him in this position in the middle of the night a few times after that. What is he thinking about? And why in the middle of the night?

Turns out, he was on to something. Did you know that there have been studies conducted on the effects of Silence on mental health and well-being? Get this, research has shown that periods of Silence can promote neurogenesis, the growth and development of new brain cells. Studies have found that Silence can also help to increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein associated with improved cognitive function and mood regulation.

It also turns out that exposure to Silence or quiet environments can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. For example, research conducted in hospital settings has found that patients exposed to quiet environments experienced lower levels of stress and anxiety compared to those in noisy environments.

Finally, studies have investigated the relationship between Silence and creativity. Research has found that moments of Silence can enhance divergent thinking and the ability to generate creative ideas by allowing the mind to wander.

So, let’s summarize. Silence improves mental health, grows new brain cells, improve cognitive function, helps you be in a better mood, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance creativity. Wow! Where do I sign up?

Here’s a problem. I don’t like Silence. I avoid Silence. You’ll find me most of the day with AirPods in my ears…always listening to some podcast, book on audio or music. In fact, I go to sleep with my headphones on. I thought a lot of people did this, but apparently, I am a rare specie. Can someone that fall asleep with constant noise in their ears let me know so I know I am not the only one?

Why are we even talking about Silence? Because we are on the series called “The Mental Game.” and I think it’s one of the most crucial and the most challenging aspects of how we can improve our mental toughness. This is what we covered so far on the subject.

  • Process vs Outcome: One of the mental game techniques is focusing on the process rather than fixating on outcomes. Individuals can maintain motivation, reduce anxiety, and ultimately achieve greater success and fulfillment. READ MORE
  • How You Think Will Change Everything: There’s a formula to make your result a reality. It’s the way you think. Believe it or not, once you figure out the pattern of how you think and strategize to re-think the way you think, it could be a game changer for you. READ MORE

So, if you are a noise addict like me, I have two questions for you. Number one, do you believe me? Do you believe that Silence in your life can help you in certain aspects? Number two, if so, how do you implement the Silence in your life in this busy, fast-paced and noisy world?

Well, I had to test this for myself first. Last week, I went on a Silence & Solitude Retreat. Basically, I spent 24 hours in a beautiful Monastery in the middle of nowhere in complete Silence. I ate in Silence, walked around in Silence, sat in Silence, and finally, slept in Silence. These were some of my learnings.

  • The first four hours of Silence was a crazy battle. My mind raced 100 MPH, and my mind was very confused about why I was being silent, not having any social interactions, and depriving myself of any dopamine opportunities.
  • Eventually, everything started to slow down.
  • My continued Silence started to provide some type of pathway into my innermost thoughts and even emotions.
  • I am not gonna lie; there were moments of boredom, but quickly, it turned into deeper thoughts, and it ended up springing up ideas, goals, and dreams for the future.
  • Silence also helped me reflect on the past, and I became overwhelmed with gratitude.

All in all, I came away from the retreat being convinced that I need more of Silence in my life, in fact, I’ve decided to incorporate it when I got back into my daily rhythm. Here are some of my intentional planning for Silence.

  • Set Boundaries with Technology: Create designated times during the day when I disconnect from electronic devices. Implement a “digital detox” hour each evening to enjoy Silence without the distractions of phones, computers, or TV.
  • Create Quiet Spaces: Designate a quiet space and create a peaceful ambiance.
  • Schedule Silence: Set aside dedicated time each day for Silence and solitude.
  • Connect with Nature: Spend time outdoors in natural environments where I can experience the profound Silence of the natural world. Take walks, go hiking/camping, or simply sit and observe the beauty of your surroundings. I am 100% sure nature provides a tranquil backdrop for quiet contemplation and renewal.
  • Practice Gratitude: Cultivate gratitude for moments of Silence and stillness, no matter how brief it may be. Pause throughout the day to appreciate the Silence and the beauty of this life.

I am really enjoying doing the research and writing about this series. I hope you are, too. I am convinced that in every aspect of our business and life, having the proper mental game will make all the difference in the world. As for Silence, I really believe if you can implement Silence into your daily life, it can have transformative effects on your well-being…maybe fostering a greater sense of peace, bringing more clarity and purpose, or even providing fulfillment. I think it’s a powerful practice that can enrich us, from mental and emotional health to creativity and a sense of purpose. All from doing nothing and being in Silence. So, let’s take a deep breath, embrace the Silence, and once in a while, scare the crap out of your kids in the middle of the night.

Oh, by the way, if you want to dive deeper into learning more about Silence, here’s an award-winning documentary you might be interested in.

Have a great week!


Here’s the link to watch the entire film.


What Are You Thinking About?

Circumstances are facts of life. Whatever circumstance you are in right now is what it is. You might have some thoughts about it, but the truth remains: You are in it, and you can’t control it.

Now, the thoughts in your head can be very different. Thoughts are sentences in your head and those sentences can range in every different direction. Many people have many different thoughts about the same circumstance that they might be in.

Are you still with me?

Thoughts cause feelings. Feelings are emotions. Thoughts cause your emotions…always.

Do you know what causes you to do something or not do something? Feelings. Action (what you do or don’t do) is fueled by your feelings.

Finally, every action you take or don’t take will result in some type of result. Results are the consequences or outcomes of your actions, inactions, or reactions.

So, let’s sum it up.

Circumstances are neutral. But your thoughts about that specific circumstance evoke some type of feeling, which fuels you to do something about it and take some type of action. Whatever you do will end up with some type of result. This is the ultimate formula called the “Model Framework,” and people use this framework to help them process, navigate, and win in life.


Great question. The answer has everything to do with “The Mental Game.” which is the current series we are on. Before we get into it, this is what we covered so far on the subject.

  • Process vs Outcome: One of the mental game techniques is focusing on the process rather than fixating on outcomes. Individuals can maintain motivation, reduce anxiety, and ultimately achieve greater success and fulfillment. READ MORE

Going back to the questions on how the model framework above can help me win in life, well…if you read the summary above, the initial kickstart of this formula that you CAN control is thoughts. If you can control the right type of thoughts, they will lead to certain types of feelings, which will help you take certain types of actions, which can help your result be what you want. So, would you agree that the most important part of this formula is Thoughts?

The truth is, we have lots of thoughts. Lots and lots of internal conversations in our heads every single day, every single minute, every single second; we are thinking, thinking, thinking. In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article summarizing research on human thoughts per day. It was found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. And guess what else they found? 80% of those thoughts were negative, and 95% were the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. I think I fit more in the 60,000 statistic. LOL.

It was also found that there’s power in our thoughts. It’s been proven over and over again with near-death circumstances or incredible triumphant moments in sports history filled with people who had vivid thoughts of survival and winning. In fact, if you ever get a chance, watch the ESPN documentary called Survive & Advance. It will move you to tears and also help you realize the power of thoughts. Coach Valvano was an NCAA basketball coach who desperately wanted his team to think about how he thought about the team…as the national champions. He wanted them to taste the goodness of the win and think and know they could achieve this. He believed this so much that he would have the team practice cutting down the net during practice. (Cutting down the net is a tradition that started in basketball after winning a significant match, the team would cut the net down to commemorate the win and keep it as a souvenir). He was reprogramming their thoughts to be champions. Here’s a 1:30 minute clip you need to watch.

So the ultimate question is, how do we change our daily internal dialogue, especially if it is 80% negative? Because our daily dialogue (thoughts) encompasses our beliefs and interpretations about us…our abilities, and the world around us. How we do this plays a crucial role in shaping our mindset and performance in sports, business, and life.

Here are some techniques:

  • Listen: Before you come to a conclusion about your thoughts, be calm and listen to your thoughts. Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself and believing about yourself. Listening is the key to change. It will help you recognize patterns.
  • Challenge: Once you identify your negative thoughts, challenge them. Question their validity. Is there evidence to support the negative thought, or is it only based on assumptions, past experiences, or someone else’s opinions? Consider the alternative, the more positive and truthful interpretations of the circumstances.
  • Visualize: Imagine yourself succeeding. Visualize positive outcomes and picture yourself at your best. This will build confidence and change your thought patterns, just like Coach V did with his team.

So, that’s it? 1-2-3, done? Nope. Not at all. It’s a life-long process; for most, it’s a difficult journey of reprogramming what’s already been programmed in your mind. The way we were brought up, the trauma we endured, the environment we lived in, and the experiences we’ve lived all affect the way we think. But be encouraged, with each step you take, you will awaken the strength and resilience within, ready to take on obstacles and embrace the fullness of your potential. I think this is where the true joy comes in. Focus on the process of each step. You’ll start seeing the change. I believe in you.


The Mental Game

I was having a conversation with a good friend the other day about my golf game. Well, I was mostly talking; he was just listening…I think. As you might have read from my past article, I’ve been trying to pass the PAT (Player Ability Test) to become a PGA Teaching Professional. You must shoot a score of 158 or less for 36 holes to pass. It’s a personal goal and dream to someday (when I am retired) help elite high school and college-age athletes to be even better athletes competing at the highest level. Also, I want to teach my grandkids (which I don’t have yet) and give them access to all the global PGA resources that might come with my credentials. But I keep failing the stupid test. I failed it eight straight times if you are counting. I eventually told myself that on the 10th try, if I still don’t succeed, it’s time to move on. Chalk it up as I tried my best, genuinely put all my heart and effort into it, and be okay with the outcome even though it wasn’t what I wanted. I was beginning to accept the sad but current reality of the situation.

My ninth try was similar to the first eight. I woke up early, drove to the course, signed in, warmed up, shook hands with the players I would be playing with for the day, and went to my designated hole to start the 36-hole marathon. What was different that day was my head space from the book I just finished reading on the mental game of golf. It gave me some new concepts and perspectives to work on and some practical things to focus on while playing. 

One key concept emphasizes focusing solely on the process or the controllable factors within one’s control rather than fixating on the outcome or result. You can only control what you can control, so focus on that and stop worrying about the outcome. The author suggests that athletes should concentrate on executing their techniques, strategies, and mental routines to the best of their abilities rather than becoming overly concerned with winning or losing. By focusing on the process, athletes can maintain a more consistent level of performance and reduce anxiety or pressure associated with the outcome. So, what practical thing did I decide to do? Don’t keep a score in my head. The score is the outcome of my process. So, focus on the process and don’t worry about the score. Be in the moment and take it one shot at a time…and whatever happens, happens. 

I passed.

I shot 158. I shot the exact score to pass. On the drive home, I thought that if I kept score in my head and knew that I had to make the very last 5-foot putt to shoot 158, Would I have made it? There would have been so much pressure to make it, and I would be so anxious and playing in my head how upset I would have been if I had missed it. With all that pressure I put on myself for that putt, I am pretty sure I would have missed it.

I told my friend, who was still listening, “It’s crazy how mental game is so important in the game of golf…some people say it’s 90% of the game, but why is it that we don’t work on it, learn about it or even implement it into our game?” He responded with something that made me want to dedicate our next series to it. He said, “The importance of mental game is not just for sports; it’s for business and life.” Whoa!! 

So, guess what? This is our new series called “The Mental Game.” I want to offer some mental insights that can be applied beyond the realm of sports and directly relate to business and life. For instance, let’s look at the process vs. outcome scenario that helped me pass my PAT. What are some practical examples of focusing on the process rather than fixating on outcomes?

  • Business Sales Targets:
    • Instead of obsessing over reaching a specific revenue target, focus on the daily activities that contribute to sales success, such as making a certain number of cold calls, sending out personalized emails, or attending networking events.
    • Set process-oriented goals, such as improving product knowledge, enhancing communication skills, or building stronger client relationships, ultimately leading to increased sales performance.
  • Career Advancement:
    • Rather than solely fixating on achieving a promotion or salary increase, concentrate on developing new skills, expanding your professional network, and consistently delivering high-quality work.
    • Set process-oriented goals for continuous learning, seeking feedback from mentors or supervisors, and taking on challenging projects that contribute to your professional growth and development.
  • Fitness and Health:
    • Instead of achieving a specific weight or body image, focus on adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercising regularly, eating nutritious foods, and getting enough sleep.
    • Set process-oriented goals, such as committing to a workout schedule, tracking daily food intake, or practicing stress-reduction techniques, contributing to overall well-being and long-term health outcomes.
  • Entrepreneurship:
    • Rather than being solely driven by the desire for financial success, concentrate on building a solid foundation for your business, nurturing customer relationships, and delivering value through your products or services.
    • Set process-oriented goals related to market research, product development, marketing strategies, and customer satisfaction, which are essential for sustainable growth and success in entrepreneurship.
  • Personal Development:
    • Instead of fixating on achieving a specific outcome, such as becoming fluent in a new language or mastering a musical instrument, focus on the daily practice and consistent effort required to improve.
    • Set process-oriented goals, such as dedicating a certain amount of time each day to practice, seeking feedback from instructors or peers, and celebrating small milestones, which contribute to gradual progress and skill development.

These examples emphasize identifying the controllable actions and behaviors that contribute to desired outcomes and committing to consistent effort and improvement in those areas. By focusing on the process rather than fixating on outcomes, individuals can maintain motivation, reduce anxiety, and ultimately achieve greater success and fulfillment in their endeavors.

See, I told you. Or, my friend told you. The importance of mental games is not just for sports; it’s for business and it’s for life. I look forward to sharing more insights on what I am learning. 

In the meantime, have a great week. As my friend April always says in her email, “Cheering you on!”

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