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A Bigger Mindset

By | Business, Family, Investing, Travel | No Comments

As I walked down to Rockefeller Center from our hotel while in Manhattan last week, I realized that I need to have a bigger mindset to propel my family, businesses, and life forward. One of the things I love about New York is that everything is big. Really big. And one of the biggest things that has hindered growth in my family and in our business is our small mindsets. The fact is, we should be progressing every day in our minds. We should be looking at our world-view to see if it meets our vision for our future selves. We should be visualizing our life as bigger, better, and more of impactful. We should be looking at ways to grow and propel our future to a level that we can only imagine. “Our goals should be so bodacious that people look at us funny when we tell them.” [Tweet this!] You will hit the mark you set for yourself. I am going to work on setting my mind to be in a place that I can propel my business, family and personal life into a realm that I think is impossible.

So, for those of you who like lists, here are 3 keys to a bigger mindset:

1. Put yourself in new situations and environments. Think of newness as fuel for your vision. It stimulates your mind and puts it in a constant creative state that allows you to actually visualize bigger things for yourself.
2. Write your vision down. Writing it down gets it out of your head and on paper. This is important for those times when you catch yourself slipping back into your small mindset. Having your commitments written in ink is a helpful way to keep yourself accountable and help you get back on track.
3. Map it out. Create steps to hit your vision. Don’t expect to achieve a goal without clear and defined steps. Otherwise, all of your energy just goes in every direction, which moves you nowhere. Define your next steps, apply linear energy, and watch how it gets you further, faster.

“Dream it up and Chase it down.” [Tweet this!]

So basically you have to dream it up and chase it down. Its so easy to to just be ordinary, but being ordinary just pulls you down. Don’t get discouraged when you seem stuck in a rut or when people speak negatively about your goals. Just use this simple process to set yourself up for a bigger mindset and a better future.

Pace vs. Environment

By | Business, Family, Travel | 2 Comments

Matching the correct pace to the environment is very important, in family, life, and business!

Believe it or not you shouldn’t go “balls to the walls” every moment. Nothing gave me a clearer picture of that than today after leaving London with my family and arriving to the Villages of the Cotswolds. After touring London for a couple of days with my kids, while Abbi was working at an all-day book event, we were wired up. We were used to the big city life of riding the Tube, jumping across roads of speeding cabs, and eating in packed, loud diners.

That all came to a screeching halt upon our arrival to sprawling gardens, sheep grazing, strolling paths, chirping birds.  What would seem to be paradise was almost too much for us to handle. It was too much of a culture shift, and we didn’t know what to do, and we couldn’t figure out how to enjoy it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve matched the wrong pace with the environment. It takes getting your mind ready to understand the environment you’re about to step into. Had I done my research on where I was going, I could have prepared my mind during the two-hour car ride to transition myself to the calmer atmosphere.

“Bringing the wrong pace to a situation is like a mechanic bringing a wrench when he needs a hammer.”  [Tweet this!]

Bringing the wrong pace to a situation is like a mechanic bringing a wrench when he needs a hammer. Bringing the wrong pace to a presentation can be the end of a hopeful business relationship with a potential client. When I bring the wrong pace to an evening out with my wife, I can determine how the night is going to end! Pace is everything. It can totally make or break a situation in family, personal, or business life.  So the next time you’re getting ready for an adventure, vacation, or business meeting, think about pace. It will make or break you!

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Hunting for Red Stag in Australia

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In March, Abbi and I traveled to Australia. Because she would be working at a conference for a couple days, I decided this would be my opportunity to hunt Red Stag with Kingham Safaris.

Hunting for Red Stag in Australia is one of the most economical big game hunts you can do.While New Zealand is widely known for hunting Red Deer—a.k.a. “Red Stag”—what most people don’t know is Australia has some of the best Red Stag hunting on the planet. The English dignitaries introduced them to Australia in the 1800s and they have thrived ever since.

If you want to see Australia like few do, book a hunt with James and Andrew at Kingham Safaris. You will feel like Crocodile Dundee in the outback! The views out of the lodge are absolutely amazing and the cabins are extremely comfortable. Kingham Safaris is a family-run operation, so you can easily make it a trip for the whole family. James and Andrew’s Dad, Bill, even took time to tour me around the property and the barns. Bill is a character! He made the history of the land come alive, pointing out the artifacts and tools they had from the Aboriginal people. It was a one-of-a-kind experience I’ll never forget.

Of course, I didn’t leave without the Red Stag I was after. You can read more about my hunt on my post at fivestarman.com.

Here is a video of me taking the shot—it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Happy Hunting,

Keith

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Berlin – Traveling with Kids

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My wife, Abbi, and I travel all over the world for work. We are fortunate enough to explore some of the coolest cities, shop the most unique stores (Abbi), and hunt some of the worlds most remote places (me).

But, of all of our trips together, my favorite trips are during the summer when our kids can join in on the adventure. So when Abbi and I scheduled a trip to Berlin, Germany, at the end of the school year, I knew this was one for the whole family!

With book signings scheduled one after another around Berlin, Abbi was going to spend a lot of time working. Which meant it would be just me and the kids, in a new city, with tons of great things to see. Traveling can be intimidating and stressful with kids—period—let alone without the balancing act my wife and I play. She seems to always know when to follow up my “suck it up” comment with a nurturing one. But, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way to side-step the “train station meltdown” moments.

So, here it is, 5 Ways to Make Travel with Kids Simple for Dads:

1. Don’t try to be the hero.
This isn’t the time to be overly adventurous. Pay for a guide and/or an interpreter who knows transportation routes. Or, best case scenario, hire a driver who also can point out some great options. Choose sit-down restaurants and allow the kids to take a breather between monuments and museums. Be willing to eat at Hard Rock, aka “normal food,” once they’ve experienced some of the culture’s food. If you’re like me, I want to create feature films of our family excursions, but limit the amount of extra equipment you carry.

2. Be aware of emotions.
When mom’s not around, take it from me, yelling “just act like a human” is not the answer to everything. Consider the emotions your kids are experiencing. So when situations arise you need to be sensitive to—especially for your daughters—you’re not caught off guard.

3. Try to understand their perspective.
Although Frederick the Great’s castle is one of the greatest things on the planet for you—your daughters may prefer Cinderella’s castle. Your kids may not thank you for showing them around the museums and historical landmarks, so consider it from their perspective and try to make these sites worth their time.

4. Balance education with some lighthearted fun. 
There is so much to learn in a new city it can become overwhelming for your kids. Balance the intensive educational tours with lighthearted fun—no thinking required!

5. Just make it memorable for your family.
Everyone experiences cities differently, remember this trip isn’t about checking off the must see list from Travel Guide. It’s about experiencing the city with your kids. So, leave some downtime for spontaneous moments to happen. They’ll thank you for it later.

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Alaskan Adventure, Pt. 2

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In our search for the perfect backdrop for filming the FiveStarMan curriculum, we headed south out of Anchorage down the beautiful 127-mile stretch known as Seward Highway. Named as one of National Geographic’s “Drives of a Lifetime,” Seward Highway offers the most breathtaking view that alternates from sea to mountains to sea across the Kenai Peninsula.

Usually one of the most difficult aspects of filming is finding a location worthy of a backdrop. But not in Alaska. And particularly not along Seward Highway, where with every bend in the road you find another photographic moment. As you leave behind the comforts of city life in Anchorage along the Seward route and enter the Chugach Mountain Range, you are overtaken by a panorama of vast peaks and amazing scenery. The Chugach Mountain Range is 250 miles long and 60 miles wide and is protected by the Chugach State Park and Chugach National Forest. As you can imagine, Chugach is a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking and climbing in the summer, and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. About halfway down the Seward route at mile marker 79, we made a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to get up close and personal with some of Alaska’s native animals, including bears, elk, wood bison, and eagles—most of which have been rescued and brought to AWCC for rehabilitation.

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We decided to detour off Seward Highway onto the Protage Glacier Highway to check out the Whittier Tunnel. The Whittier is a one-way tunnel for cars and trains that runs under Maynard Mountain and is the longest tunnel of its kind in North America. Cars are only allowed to pass through about every 30 minutes, so be prepared for delays! Once on the other side of the mountain, the tunnel opens up to the majestic Prince William Sound. We pulled up and immediately spotted sea otters and other marine life playing in the frigid waters. The pristine waters of Prince William Sound are home to many of Alaska’s favorite marine mammals including killer whales (Orcas), humpback whales, sea lions, and harbor porpoises. We wrapped up our day of filming and drove back to Anchorage in time to see another amazing Alaskan sunset disappear behind the mountains.

 

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I definitely recommend taking the drive along the Seward Highway if you ever have the opportunity to experience Alaska. Just one more reason why it’s one of my most favorite places on earth!

 

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Alaskan Adventure, Pt. 1

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For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Alaska with my friend and mentor Neil Kennedy. Neil is an author and the founder of an organization calledFiveStarMan. I feel so honored that he allows me to be a part of such an incredible organization that exists to inspire and instruct men in their pursuit of the Creator’s purpose for their life.

When Neil invited me to come along on this particular trip to help film a video teaching curriculum among the Alaskan scenery, of course I said “yes!”  Alaska is one of my most favorite places in the world. I’ve always been drawn to the rawness and natural beauty of the undisturbed Alaskan terrain. Neil’s son, Chase, joined us on the trip to assist in filming as well. Chase is an incredible editor and videographer and has an impeccable eye for capturing his surroundings on film like no one I’ve ever seen. It was Chase’s first trip to Alaska and I wanted him to see Denali, aka Mount McKinley, up close and personal, so we chartered a Cessna 206 bush plane from Trail Ridge Air out of Anchorage with pilot Casey Hill (one of the coolest guys on the planet!). When we pulled up to the plane shed we saw two DeHavilland Beaver float planes sitting out front. Casey explained that because of the complexity and expense in changing out the floats for skis, the Beavers are only operated during the summer to carry fly fisherman or climbers and their supplies to the interior to begin their excursions.

I could feel a sense of adventure welling up in me as we prepared to take off from the frozen lake. As soon as the skis lifted from the ice of Lake Hood, we were immediately surrounded by some of the most amazing landscape you will ever see. Because of the massive size of Denali, it looked like we should be there within about five minutes of takeoff. But it was only after flying for about an hour that I began to get a sense of the sheer vastness of this mountain.

The weather was beautiful, and the winds that would normally keep a plane from getting that close were mild that day, so we were able to view Denali from every angle, feeling as if we could almost reach out and touch it. Towering at 23,000 feet above the glacier floor, Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Our small Cessna was only able to ascend to about half the distance of the mountain’s peak. That’s when it hit me…people climb this thing on their feet!

We spent about an hour touring the surrounding mountain and glacier ranges ofDenali National Park, including Mount Foraker and Ruth Glacier, where the famous “Moose’s Tooth” rock climbing route is located. (I also recommend that you stop in at the Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria in Anchorage named for this famous rock peak to try some of the best food in Alaska!)

 

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