Here Goes Nothing! Aargh!

Life is rarely tidy. We have lots of really detailed, perfect plans, but life has other not-so-detailed plans for us.

And it's scary.

Who wants to look into an uncertain future? It's unnerving to say, "Here goes nothing." It takes courage to walk into the future knowing that you don't have all the details nailed down.

I don't even like the words: "Surprise me!"

Each day, our next step may be right, it may be wrong, it may lead us to nowhere; but, sometimes we have to take the leap, to close our eyes, and jump without a parachute, without an umbrella, and without all the plans.

Aargh!

The truth is that no one ever knows how it's all going to look and feel and turn out! But here's the good news—we don't need to see all the details to trust that we'll figure them out when the time is right. Really!

Life is passionate and mysterious. It has its own way of working things out. Everything of great value doesn't come gift-wrapped in a one-day-free-Amazon-delivery. There are times when life is awful, brutal and even ugly, but all of life has profound and thoughtful meaning. It all matters.

Maybe the thing that makes life a wonderful adventure is not knowing what comes next every time—and trusting that we will be okay. In fact, we may be better than ever.

Why is good posture so important?

When I was younger, I was forever being told to stand up straight. Come to think about it, I was told to do a lot of things when I was younger. However, when my mom told me to stand up straight, she was doing me favor. And of course, she was right!

The importance of correct posture, and more specifically, your awareness of your posture, cannot be overstated. Good posture means that all your body parts are held in the positions that put the least strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. You are more balanced, have more energy and can move and play and sing and dance!

On the other hand, poor posture makes a person tire more quickly. The strain from standing and moving incorrectly puts an abnormal pull on joints and bones. Some experts even claim that it crowds the lungs, leading to shallow, less-effective breathing, back pain, shoulder pain and more.

Why do we fail sometimes?

• We are afraid to stand out among the crowd
If we want to do something incredible, something that makes us stand in the spotlight, then we have to become comfortable being vulnerable. People will think we're crazy, selfish, arrogant, irresponsible, etc. We have to be resilient and confident with our own ideas and dreams.

• We're not persistent enough
Most of us give up on something we're passionate about too soon. And anyone who's been successful has a tale of struggle and perseverance to share. Per usual, nothing worth having comes easy.

• We think we know everything there is to know
Humility is knowing what you don't know, and turning to other people and resources for help. Most successful people are surrounded by other great people who provide them with incredible support, knowledge and wisdom—which they listen to and move on.

• We don't network enough and build strong relationships
Life is not meant to be lived alone. Creating a wealth of social and romantic relationships hinges on the ability to meet people and truly connect with them in a meaningful way. Research shows that living without regular social contact is as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes.

• We're too distracted
Social media, volunteering, working, family, friends—rinse and repeat! There's so much we can engage in, but what really matters to you, right now, right here, today?

• We don't take responsibility for what happens in our life
There are numerous situations in life which may seem completely unfair and insurmountable, but we can't have power over aspects of our life unless we take responsibility for them. It's tempting to blame our problems on some external factor, to insist that it was impossible, that it wasn't our fault, but…

• We don't believe it's possible
It takes a lot of courage and hope and confidence and hard work—but it's possible! Don't be afraid of failure or success!

What is micro-sleep?

Have you ever spaced out during a meeting, but been jolted back to reality by the sound of someone calling your name a few times? If you've ever been in this awkward situation, you might have experienced "micro-sleep."

This weird state of consciousness is characterized by brief bursts of sleep that happen while a person is awake — often while their eyes are open and they're either sitting upright, or even performing a task. During micro-sleep, parts of the brain go offline for a few seconds while the rest of the brain stays awake. And usually, people don't realize it's happening to them.

Researchers don't fully understand why certain parts of our brain switch off throughout the day. For now, the best way to prevent micro-sleep seems to be simply getting adequate amounts of good-quality sleep. The next best thing would be a nap after a night of tossing and turning.

Why should you do the most important thing first every day?

Disorder and chaos tend to increase as the day goes on. At the same time, the decisions and choices that we make throughout the day tend to drain our willpower. You're less likely to make a good decision at the end of the day than you are at the beginning.

If you do the most important thing first, each day will have more significance and be more productive—you'll always get something important done, even if everything doesn't go to plan.

How can we be resilient in the face of harsh criticism?

• Collect yourself.
Breathing deeply and slowly reminds you that you are safe. Are you hurt, scared, embarrassed, humiliated? The more mindful you are to these primary feelings, the less you become consumed with secondary effects like anger, defensiveness or exaggerated fear. Think about this: "If I made a mistake, it doesn't mean I am a mistake."

• Be curious.
Ask questions and ask for examples. And then just listen. Detach yourself from what is being said as though it is being said about a third person. That will help you bypass the need to evaluate what you're hearing. Simply act like a good reporter trying to understand the story.

• Recover.
Simply exit the conversation. Explain that you want some time to reflect and you'll respond when you have a chance to do so. You can end a challenging episode by simply saying, "It's important to me that I get this right. I need some time."

• Engage.
Examine what you were told and look for truth. If it's 90% fluff and 10% substance, look for the substance. There is almost always at least a kernel of truth in what people are telling you. Scour the message until you find it.

What are some exercises that will help you have the strength and mobility well into your eighties?

Building strength and mobility is important for athletics and play, but also for everyday health and fitness. I'd like to be able to unload groceries, haul suitcases when I travel, and run (walk) up and down steps well into my eighties. It shouldn't be complicated—so here are some essential exercises:

• Pull-Up
Pull-ups will strengthen the major muscles of the shoulders, upper back, and torso. They also enhance postural strength and core stability when performed properly.

Grip the bar with your palms facing out and hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up so your chin is above the bar. Hold for one second. Then extend all the way down so your arms are straight and elbows are locked. Throughout the movement, focus on keeping your core taut.

You'll know you're achieving this because your legs won't be swinging around.

• Squat with dumbbell
Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, feet pointing slightly out. Hold a dumbbell with palms facing up, close to your chest. Squat down, keeping your heels on the ground. At the lowest point, your butt should be parallel to or just below your knees. Then push up to a standing positioning, straightening your knees at the top.

This movement helps keep your body in alignment since the weight is held close to your chest. Not only is it a great tactile reminder to keep proper posture while squatting, but it also allows you to easily put the weight down if fatigued.

• Push-Up
A push-up is not only about strengthening your shoulders and chest, but also about strengthening your core; it's like a dynamic plank.

Begin with your chest down and palms pressing into the ground, thumbs at or a little outside of your armpits. Press up, locking your elbows at the top. Lower your back all the way down, so your chest hovers about a centimeter or two off the ground. Press up. Repeat.

Be sure to tuck in your stomach and keep your core tight throughout the movement so you have minimal arch in your spine.

• Standing Lunge
Lunges target multiple muscle groups and transfer to many movements in daily life. Stand straight, toes pointing forward, feet about six inches apart. Step forward with either foot so your knee is above your ankle. Push through the heel of the forward leg to return to an upright standing positioning. Repeat, this time stepping down with the opposite leg.