Jay Coughlan has been a CEO, a national keynote speaker, and a mentor to aspiring business leaders. He is also a convicted felon, and has spent time in prison. During this dark part of his life, he began developing a framework for dealing with the troubles that life inevitably brings.
Jay uses lessons gleaned from his own missteps to help change the paths of individuals and organizations. He has captured the energy from his true passion and combined it with his experience as a chief executive, creating TruBalanced™: Building Better Business Leaders.
“Don’t pray for easier lives, pray to be stronger men.” ~John F. Kennedy
1. Clarity is the Key to All Success
All success, whether it is in business, relationships, or health comes from clarity.
Imagine that we could rewind to the beginning of the new year and examine two different men.
One of them sets his new year’s resolutions with a simple statement “Get healthy”.
The other, clearly writes out his goals for his health, stating “I will go to the gym at least twice a week, working through a comprehensive weight lifting program with the goal of losing 10 lbs. of fat and adding 50 lbs. to all of my major lifts”
Which one do you think will be successful?
You see, without a clear roadmap for who we are and what we want to achieve, we will never find true success.
You must know exactly what you want, when you want it, and why you want it.
Without this clarity, you will find yourself wandering aimlessly for years, or even decades of your life and looking back, wishing that you’d had more direction.
2. Real Change is Predicated on Accountability
Anytime we set out to make real changes in our lives, whether it is overcoming an addiction, repairing a marriage, starting a business, or achieving our dream body, we need accountability.
Whenever you “go it alone” you are the only person who you can disappoint.
If you miss a workout, spend too much money on going out, or relapse into old habits of drugs, alcohol, and porn, then you are the only person there to catch you when you fall.
However, when you build a structure of accountability into your life and have other men who are willing to show up around you and hold you to a higher standard and help you up when you fall.
When you have men who you are accountable to, you have a support system that will not allow you to fail, a support system that will call you on your crap, and encourage you whenever you are doing it right.
No man is an island and the only true way to succeed is with a team of like-minded individuals around you.
3. Failure is Not an Option… It’s a Given
So often, you hear the phrase “Success is my only option, failure is not.”
As nice as that sentiment is, it is also wildly inaccurate.
Not only is failure an option, it is a given!
There is no way that you will succeed without failing on some level, it is simply a part of life.
But what defines a man and the legacy that he creates is not his failures, what defines a man is the way that he responds to failures.
Are you going to lie down and allow life to kick the motivation, joy, and passion out of you?
Or are you going to get up, look failure in the eyes, smile, and be grateful for the lessons that failure has taught you?
4. Life is a Marathon
All too often, men, and especially young men, feel the need to go, go go, pushing 60, 80, or even 100 hour weeks.
They work themselves bare to the bone, keeping their nose to the grindstone trying to “sprint” their way to success.
But you need to remember, life is a marathon.
You cannot just “sprint” your way to a balanced and fulfilling life.
A life of joy and happiness comes from years of doing the small things with excellence over and over and over again.
Working yourself into oblivion is your gateway to an early grave.
Pacing yourself and prioritizing the people and relationships in your life, on the other hand, is your gateway to success and fulfillment.
5. Remember 168
One of the only things in life that is truly fair is time.
Every single person has the same 168 hours in a week.
Bill Gates, Oprah, Elon Musk, all of these people have the same 168 hours in a week as you and me, the only difference is what they are doing with them.
Remember that each week you are given a gift, you are given 168 hours of precious time that you will never get back.
What are you going to do with those hours?
Are you going to invest them wisely ot build a legacy and create a life of love and joy?
Or are you going to squander them on television, video games, porn, and other traps?
The choice is yours.
Jeremy Cage’s life mission is to help unleash the full potential of as many businesses and as many people as he possibly can. His business experience spans three decades of delivering strong, profitable business growth for Procter & Gamble, Schering-Plough Healthcare, PepsiCo, The Lighting Science Group, and his own firm, The Cage Group.
He is a truly global citizen, having lived and worked in Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. He is also the author of All Dreams on Deck.
“Most of us will die full of potential because we dream vaguely and dread specifically”
1. Dream Specifically and Dread Vaguely
In our day to day lives, we get caught up in a trap of dreaming vaguely and dreading specifically.
We know that we want to travel the world, quit our jobs, start a company, and find the love of our lives.
If we travel the world, we run the risk of getting kidnapped by a nefarious terrorist group that will hold us in a cave inside of the mountains and keep us until someone pays our ransom of $5,000,000 or we die from malnutrition.
If we quit our jobs, we will lose exactly $7,500 a month in income, run the risk of never financially recovering, burn every bridge in the world, and …
The list goes on and on and on.
The reality is that we should be dreaming specifically and dreading vaguely.
The worst that can happen is rarely that bad, and if you get specific, you have an unlimited potential to achieve all of your dreams.
2. Climb the Ladder of Intention
Most of us have dreams, but we are not intentional about them.
We have these ideas in our head about things that would be “nice” to do.
We think that it would be “nice” to achieve the body of our dreams, have a passionate and loving marriage, earn 6 or 7-figures, backpack across Europe, go skydiving in New Zealand, or finally start up that line of awesome gym wear.
But we don’t act.
We don’t set the intention.
If you want to achieve your dreams, then you must start by climbing up the ladder of intentionality.
The first rung of the ladder, where most of us reside, is the rung of thought.
We think about what we would like, but we leave it at that. We relegate our dreams to the plain of our imagination and never move on from there.
Moving up the ladder, we then come to the rung of writing. This is where we take the first step in moving our dreams forward by writing them down with clear parameters and a specific deadline.
This can be as simple as writing down our goals in a journal or creating a comprehensive plan with step by step actions that we are going to take.
Then, once we have leveled up our intentions and written our dreams down, the third step is to actually state our dreams to the world.
Whether you tell your wife about your new intention of showing up as the best husband ever (and tangible steps you are going to take to achieve that goal) or make a statement on social media about when and why you will quit your job, this step makes your dreams more visceral.
You now have other people holding you accountable and expecting greatness from you.
It’s harder to back down on your dreams when your whole social circle is there holding you accountable for the intention that you set.
The final level of intention is to actually take action.
To leave the “what if’s” and “I cant’s” behind and to actually start making moves towards achieving what you want.
If you are serious about living your dream life, then you need to start by climbing the ladder of intention.
Imagine your goals in your mind, write them on paper, tell loved ones about your plans, and then take massive action to achieve it!
3. Create Dreams for Each of Your Grab Bags
Each of us has our own personal “grab bags” or areas of life that we hold dear.
For some of us its adventure for others its stability.
For some of us its intimacy and for others its excitement.
No matter what your personal grab bags are, you need to create and clearly articulate your dreams for each.
Is health a grab bag for you?
Then define your dream. Write out and climb the ladder of intention with your health, declare what you want your body to look and feel like and then go out and take the action necessary to make it happen.
Is your relationship with your wife a grab bag?
Then define your dreams for your relationship. How many times do you go out for dates? How do you treat her and speak to her? How do you show up as the passionate and loving man you have the potential to be?
If you want to die empty and truly live a 10/10 life, then you need to determine what is important to you and define your dreams for each area of your life.
Anna Akbari, PhD, is a sociologist, writer, and entrepreneur. She holds a PhD in sociology and has taught at NYU and Parsons. She is the founder of Sociology of Style, an image and life coaching company, and a partner in HVCK, a Silicon Valley innovation consultancy.
She is a frequent public speaker and media personality, and has written for and been featured by Forbes, CNN, The Atlantic, The Economist, TIME, The Financial Times, TED, Bulletproof Executive, New York Observer, DailyWorth, The Huffington Post, and dozens more.
“Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
1. True Happiness is Never the Goal
All too often in our modern Western culture, people chase happiness.
Happiness is something that they try to attain, it is a goal that they pursue, and in the end, it is this pursuit of happiness that ultimately leads to its demise.
True happiness doesn’t come from simply meditating, chanting a mantra, or looking at yourself in the mirror and saying “I am happy, I am happy, I am happy”.
True happiness is a multifaceted feeling that is derived from creating a multifaceted and fulfilling life.
I want you to imagine two men on their personal growth journey.
Man #1 spends his mornings meditating, screaming incantations about happiness, and journaling about how he wants to feel happy.
He is constantly chasing happiness, but finds that every time he experiences unhappiness, he spirals into a downward plunge thinking to himself “Why am I not happy? What am I doing wrong? Life sucks!”
Man #2 on the other hand, is not concerned with feeling happiness, but rather with creating an optimal life where happiness is the byproduct.
He meditates in the morning, says his affirmations in the mirror, and writes in his journal, sure.
But he is focused on something bigger.
He is building a business, growing a family, taking care of his body, and putting himself into flow every day.
And as a result of these actions, he experiences true and recurring happiness.
Stop chasing happiness and let it come to you.
2. Develop Your Personal Rulebook
There is an old saying that “Life doesn’t come with an owners manual”.
Life is unpredictable and we are often left confused and clueless about what we should do.
However, the only way that we can truly experience any level of consistency in this crazy thing called life is to hold ourselves (the only thing that we are truly in control of) accountable to our own set or rules and values.
In other words, to create our own personal rule book for what we will allow in our lives and what we won’t, how we will act and how we will not, what we will and will not tolerate, and most importantly, who we will show up as every single day of the week.
Life may not come with an owners manual, but whenver you create rules for your life, you don’t need one.
You don’t have to look outside of yourself for the answer to problems that you face.
Instead, you approach each and every hour, minute, and second of your life through a set of lenses that you have created and determined.
If you have created a rule for yourself that you will prioritize family over finances, then you don’t have to worry about whether you should take the higher paying job or continue working at a lower pay grade so that you can continue spending time with your children.
If you have a personal rule that you do not drink, smoke, or snort cocaine, then you aren’t going to have to wonder whether you should try it “just this once” when you are out with your friends, because you have a set of rules that you abide by.
The thing is, outside of the basic moral fibers that constitute and uphold our society, there are no “wrong” rules.
For some of you, finances might be the biggest priority in your life, for others it might be your health or your spirituality.
Some of you are totally ok having an occasional cigarette and drinking a glass of wine each night and some of you have highly addictive personalities and can’t touch the stuff.
Know yourself, know your worth, and create your rules accordingly.
3. Prioritize Your Social Life to Optimize the Rest of Your Life
Many men put off creating and maintaining a healthy social life in favor of relentlessly pursuing their financial and career goals.
This is a mistake.
What most men do not realize is that a healthy social life is actually one of the biggest keys to having a healthy life, period.
Social connection, love, and friendship are so important that if you are not cultivating strong relationships in your life, you are doing the same damage to your body as if you were smoking a pack of cigarettes a day!
It is hardwired into our genes and our psyche to seek out companionship and relationships and to build communities of our own.
And in our “hyper-connected” world, we seem to forget the importance of real human interaction.
If you want to instantly boost your happiness, health, and success, then seek out new friendships with positive people, and cultivate those relationships on a daily basis.
Whether you simply have coffee with a friend before work, go to the gym every day with your significant other, or host weekly dinner parties, it is important that you get off of your devices and into real interaction.
4.It is NEVER too Early or Late to Pivot Your Life
Whenever you ask someone why they are unwilling to make a drastic change in their life, they will often tell you that they feel they are too young or too old.
Let me tell you right now, you are never too young or too old to pivot and achieve the life that you want.
It doesn’t matter whether you are 15 or 95, you can make the conscious decision today to make a pivot, to make a change, and to start living a life on your terms.
5. Remember that Life is Created in Our Moments of Play and Introspection
Two of the key components of true happiness that are often entirely ignored by the modern man are play and introspection.
Life is a journey, and it’s supposed to be a fun one.
You weren’t put on this planet to constantly be serious and miserable, you were put here to make an impact and have fun while you do it.
If you want to be happier, then stop taking yourself so damn seriously!
Relax, enjoy the simpler things in life, and just play around. Be goofy, be spontaneous, be funny, be ridiculous, just play.
The funny thing that you will find is that your moments of play often bring about the greatest ideas and epiphanies to shape the rest of your life.
However, as you work hard and play harder, never forget to take time to pause and reflect.
Take time away from the noise for introspection. Think, reflect, and ponder your own existence, your own purpose, and your own character.
Your moments of introspection will equip you with the power and the self-knowledge that you need to truly show up in every area of your life.
Born in Egypt, Dr. Nour left Cairo in 1977 after graduating in the top of his class at the Medical School of Cairo University. Looking for the freedom to study medical subjects of interest to him in the U.S., he made his way to London but got caught in three year immigration process.
After many years of private Neurology practice in the Midwest and due only to an allergy to Canadian Geese, which flourish in large populations there, Dr. Nour moved to Southern California. Happily married with two daughters in college, he is now semi-retired. He is an accomplished painting artist, videographer, photographer and a graphic designer.
He enjoys opera, sailing, tennis, bicycling, and learning about other cultures through travel, all while still enjoying helping patients with complex neurological disorders.
“With persistence, you can achieve anything your heart desires.”
1. “Love” is a Scientific Series of Processes that Occur in Four Distinct Phases
1. Mate Choice
The first phase of love is mate choice. At it’s most basic level, this is the process of meeting someone and (subconsciously) deciding that they are a good match for you and your potential offspring on a genetic level. This phase happens almost instantly.
2. Falling in Love
The process that Hollywood and pop culture have used and abused. This is the phase in a relationship where the two individuals will feel massive attraction for one another and experience a heightened increase in certain pleasure chemicals. This phase will typically last 1-3 years.
3. Falling Out of Love
A necessary part of finding true love, the third phase of love is where you effectively experience the proverbial “come down” from the neurochemical high that you experienced during phase two. During this phase of the process, you will begin struggling in your relationship and find your partner less appealing than you did before. This phase will typically last around a year.
4. True Love
This is where the rubber meets the road. During the final stage of love, “True Love”, you have experienced falling out of love, made a conscious and informed decision that your current partner is right for you, and you now experience a release of a new set of pleasure chemicals that are slower forming but longer lasting, leading to the much desired “Happily ever after”.
2. Falling Out of Love is Essential to True Love
Many people assume that if they are falling out of love with their partner it is a bad thing.
However, they should actually get excited.
Falling out of love is an essential, if not the most essential part of the four phases of true love.
You see, the first two phases of love cause people to experience such an overwhelm of pleasure chemicals being released in the brain that they quite literally cannot see the other person for what they really are.
Thus the phrase “Love is blind”.
However, because your genes are hardwired to help ensure that you are able to survive and procreate with the highest levels of success possible, phase two begins.
During this phase, your genes are working behind the scenes to help you determine whether the person you are with is truly the best match for you in the long run.
If you do not have this phase, you cannot have true love.
Read that again and write it down.
Unless you fall out of love with your partner, you will scientifically never be able to experience true and lasting love.
This is not an easy reality to stomach, but the knowledge and foresight of what is to come will allow you to make informed decisions about your relationships and truly determine what is best for you in the future.
3. If You Do Not Fall Out of Love with Somebody You Cannot Fall in Love With Someone New
Many men beat themselves up and feel battered down because they are unable to move on after a bad breakup or divorce.
Gentlemen, I have good news for you.
It is not your fault.
Despite what we have been lead to believe by the pop culture surrounding masculinity, on a chemical and neurological level, you cannot just get over it whenever you experience a traumatizing separation.
You see, whenever you are caught in the second phase of love and your partner ends the relationship (often because they reached the third phase and did not know how to handle it), you are still caught in love on a chemical level.
Your brain will literally not allow you to move on until you have experienced the biological and neurological effects of falling out of love.
So what does this mean for you?
If your wife or girlfriend ends things while you are mid-phase 2 are you doomed to an eternity of lovelessness?
Even though your brain and genes are working “against” you, it is possible to recover.
Typically this will occur whenever you maintain an amiable (or nonamiable) relationship with your previous partner and allow yourself to naturally fall out of love with them.
If they have been removed from your life completely, you will often need to seek professional help to truly recover and move on to your next love in a healthy way.
4. Love and Sex Are Not the Same Thing
A common fallacy among the uninformed is that love and sex are the same things.
They are not.
While love and sex are complimentary in their nature, they serve two completely different purposes.
Think about it this way.
Sex is all about satiation.
It’s about achieving the goal of orgasm and there is a set amount of sex that any given person can handle before they are done.
Love, on the other hand, does not have an inherent goal or “climax”. It is an ongoing process that can and should feel like a bottomless well.
Have you ever heard anyone say “No thanks, I don’t want any more love today. You can take your love and go give it to someone else.”?
However, love makes sex more intense and emotional and sex makes loves more binding.
Like a doctor and a nurse, they work together, but serve very separate roles.
5. Your Capacity for Love Depends on Your Genes
And now, the big one.
This particular point will be uncomfortable for many of you and might even make some of you angry.
But like the famous scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, “The great thing about science is that it is true whether you agree with it or not”.
Your capacity for true love, connection, and monogamy are all highly dependent on your genes.
There are some people who due to their genetic variations quite literally cannot experience true love.
The chemicals are there, but the genetic wiring to receive the “true love” chemicals are not.
This is a hard pill for many to swallow.
The fact that monogamy, fidelity, and the quality of your relationships can actually have anything to do with your genes, let alone everything to do with them, is not something that most members of society understand and accept.
And while this truth may not be comfortable, it is the truth and it’s important that you remember this on your quest to find your own true love.
A former SpaceX employee turned social powerhouse, Michael Knight is the author of “Understanding the Fundamentals of Female Dynamics”, a world traveler, and a master of authentic social interaction.
Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.” ~Ray Bradbury
1. Persistent Small Action will Get You the Results
On your path to greatness, one thing and one thing alone will be responsible for your results.
The consistent and persistent action that you take over time in pursuit of your dreams.
It is like Bruce Lee said, “Long term consistency trumps short term intensity”.
If you decide that you want to revolutionize your health and your physique, then going to the gym for 6 days straight, working out three hours each time, and taking $100s of dollars of supplements in the first week will do very little to help you achieve your goals.
However, even going to the gym a mere 3 times a week over the course of six months, training for an hour, and taking only two supplements but taking the right supplements will result in the ultimate success you desire.
If you want to build a successful online business, then publishing 7 articles a week for a month and working 16 hour days for the first five days will actually prove counter-productive.
However, persisting through the challenges and consistently generating new content and products over 12-36 months will give you a platform that will provide success and financial freedom for years to come.
The same is true of your interactions with women.
If you want to get better with women, then you need to be persistent and take small action over time.
As you grow and build your skills, you will become more successful and your success will compound until eventually, you reach your desired level.
2. Reset Your Definition of Success
If you want to be truly successful with women, then reset your definition of success.
Most men think that they are only successful if they leave their venue with a hot girl wrapped around their arm begging him to call a taxi and take her back to his place.
But the truth is, achieving success on a social level simply requires that you take action.
Did you go over and talk to the pretty girl?
Did you say hello?
If so, then congratulations! You are successful.
As soon as you make this mental shift, all of your interactions will be viewed through a different set of lenses.
Instead of seeing rejection as a failure, you will see the fact that you even tried as a success.
And when you reset your definition of success, you will find yourself having more fun and enjoying your social time on a whole new level.
You will be able to let loose and enjoy a night with friends without being outcome dependent.
And ironically, this almost always increases your success with women.
3.Remember that You are a Gold Miner
Whenever you are put into a social situation and you are looking for companionship platonic or otherwise, you need to remember that you are not there to barter for attention.
You aren’t at the bar, club, networking event, or restaurant to woo others or to buy affection.
You are there to mine the crowd to find those one or two individuals who you genuinely connect with and who you feel comfortable spending time with.
Even if buying women drinks always lead to sex, would you really want those kinds of relationships?
Wouldn’t it be better if you were rejected by 99 women, but found that 1 girl who you could talk to for hours?
The girl who interested you, who captivated your attention, who respected you, and who genuinely enjoyed your presence… not just your cash?
That should be your end goal anytime you find yourself in a social interaction.
You and panning and filtering for gold, and not shedding a tear when your pan comes up muddy.
4. You Attract What You Are
If you have found yourself consistently attracting low-quality women, winding up in relationships with “crazies”, and getting sucked into petty drama and trivial bullshit with your significant other, then it’s time to take a look in the mirror.
Who you attract into your life is almost always a direct reflection of the kind of man you are and the kind of behavior that you are willing to tolerate.
If you find yourself with whiny, clingy women, it is because you are not showing up as a man.
You are not setting the standards from the word “go” and you are allowing these women to act in a certain manner around you.
If you want to attract a higher quality of woman, then become a higher quality man.
5. Women Crave Confidence and Congruence in Men
All women want two things from their men.
Confidence and congruence.
Women want you to show up in the world with a grin on your face, no matter how challenging the circumstances are around you. They want a man who knows that he can handle anything the world throws at him.
They want a man who is confident in himself and in who he is becoming.
They also want a man who is congruent. A man who is who he says he is. A man whose words and actions are in alignment.
If you can show up in the world as a man who is confident in who he is and what he believes and maintain a strong congruence in your thoughts, words, and deeds, then the sky is the limit.
And not just with women, but in all areas of your life.