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Hi there,
In the words of Bon Jovi,

Woah, we're half way there
Woah, livin' on a prayer


The 50th edition of this newsletter brings us to the midpoint of 2020.

I reflected on the first six months of 2020 and looked to the second half of the year. Normally, I enjoy this process, but this one was sobering. It took some time to take ownership. The first six months felt out of control, while the latter half of the year feels outside my control.

Initially, I wanted to blame COVID for everything that had gone wrong, but did it prevent me from writing consistently? Publishing? Reaching out to others? Absolutely not. I can blame COVID for canceling our formal wedding ceremony and the Big Sur marathon. That's TWO days.

Now, it wasn't all negative:
  • I married Tiffany on our two year anniversary.
  • We completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and are on our way to being debt-free.
  • I became a certified professional in talent development (CPTD).
  • I ran more than 600 miles (after running 670 ALL of last year).
  • I published 19 newsletters and 5 blog posts.
  • I provided high-quality customer service and training to Orange County Employees.
  • I mulched the yard, repaired multiple shelves, and wall-papered my wife's office. (These are great accomplishments...post upcoming.)
The common thread through the things that were successful was an accountability mechanism, either a person or a deadline, and they clearly connected with my life purpose. The goals of just writing "x" or accomplishing "y" without a clear outcome, accountability, or deadline failed. Miserably.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” In my case, I've spent too much of this year livin' on a prayer.

Beyond a disappointing first half of the year, I'm coming to terms with the reality that I will not achieve my original goals for the second half, either. It increasingly appears like there will be no wedding (for a second time this year) and my personal goals are being sidelined by the Army's call to duty.

The current challenge is to identify the goals I can control. And creating plans to ensure they happen. That means stepping back and setting more conservative goals for the second half of 2020:
  • Be increasingly intentional: design each day and review the results. Am I doing what I say I'm going to do?
  • Write for at least 10 minutes every day to reinforce the habit and belief that I'm a writer. With a tracker to maintain accountability.
  • Complete the GVRAT 1000K by August 31. It's nearly time for the dramatic comeback.
  • Uphold the Noncommissioned officer's (NCO) Creed: My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind – accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers.
Have you taken the time to review the first half of the year? The reality may not be pretty, but it could be the wake-up call to something that's been missing. What can you do to adjust for a successful second half?

Woah, we're half way there
Woah, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Woah, livin' on a prayer
 
Hugh Jackman with Tim Ferris

I liked Hugh Jackman, the actor. I'm now a big fan of Hugh Jackman, the person.

Here are five insights:

On planning, Jackman designs his day each morning. He writes a past tense text of his day as if it's already happened and sends it to an accountability partner. He'll look at later that night or the next morning and evaluate the day, whether it was good or “Oh, wow. Shit. That was a four out of 10. That day did not turn out at all like that.

On effort, he advocates for the 85 percent rule from a study of 100-meter sprinter Carl Lewis. Lewis was usually last at 40 meters but would win by 10 meters in the end. A researcher realized at the 50-60 meter mark, while most sprinters were baring down, Lewis had exactly the same expression from the start. He was comfortable, relaxed, and running at optimal effort. Doing anything at 100% effort is a pressure cooker and leads to the blow-up. If you want to be your best, aim for 85 percent.

On relationships, Jackman and his wife read to each other for 30 minutes each morning. "So I find the first thing in the morning—you know, we’ll be five minutes into reading ... and we might just stop and say, 'Hey, I’m worried about this.' Could be something about the kids or stuff, or, 'Stuff’s on my mind.' And then we’ll just end up talking about that, you know?"

On religion, Jackman mentioned a time when he wanted to put a Christian fish sticker on his father's car and was told no. People should know you’re a Christian through your actions,” is so much more powerful. If someone eventually comes up to you and says, you know, “There’s something about you, man. I don’t know what it is, but I’d love to know where I can get it.”

On coaches, Jackman raved that his life coach has been life-changing. "Why wouldn’t you want the help? Like Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time, and he has a full-time coach."
 
GRVAT Update

I'm running virtually across Tennessee in the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000k (GRVAT). 634 miles (5 miles/day) between May 1 until August 31st.

Trending in the wrong direction! Saturday fun day led to a Sunday lazy day!

Wed: 6.15
Thur: 1.76
Fri: 4.04
Sat: 12.69
Sun: 0
Mon: 0
Tues: 4.1 

Total Miles this Week: 28.74 miles (back-to-back sub-30 weeks)
Cumulative Miles: 332.44 miles
Beat the Buzzard: -16.06 miles
 
Quote of the Week

"There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” 

- Bishop Desmond Tutu, h/t Tim Ferris
Until next week, stay safe, sane, and intentional.

Scott
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