A Tale from the Darker Side…

A Tale From The Dark Side-R

By Les Wallack

I have tried many things throughout my life and the many tried and failed attempts over the years – I have found – can oftentimes cloud your reality.

What does it take to wake you up?

There is that old statement or quote as described as the definition of insanity that goes something like this:

“Insanity is, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time”.

But we all know, should know or at least have heard…is that; “to bring about change in your life, you have to change yourself first”. The originator of that statement may have been Napoleon Hill but I’m not sure. (If you happen to know where that statement originated from, do let me know).

The point is this. I like to think of myself as a positive individual that is goal orientated. It is a bit painful to wake up one day and find out that what you think about yourself may not be all that true – after all! It is so very important that we realize just how our minds play a role in our lives. Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy and I have found – throughout life – that there are many people, whether by their own unconscious thought or by some illness, that one becomes convinced that the feedback he or she is getting from his conscious mind is correct.

I agree and always have that the human mind is an unnumbered “wonder of the world” and if used correctly, can and will make you or break you in your endeavors – whatever they may be.

I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist nor do I pretend to be but, I am convinced that the human mind is at the root of all that we do in our lives. I am also convinced that the “subjective” part of our brain or sub-conscious part of our mind is oftentimes ignored or at least is incorrectly interpreted.

It has been my observation that when you do receive a “subjective thought” upon awakening, and you begin to analyze it – it is vital that you must match that thought up with one or more of your current objectives in your life.

In an effort to help anyone else out of the “Gerbil on the wheel” syndrome that I have been dealing with, I would like to share my “Ah Ha” moment from this morning with you…that has compelled me to write this post.

Since 2009, I have been searching (and maybe even before that) for a means of total self-improvement and I’m talking about in ALL seven areas of my life and I have come so close to finding the “golden ring” so many times – but never all the way. If I achieve what I am attempting to achieve currently, you can count on the fact that I will be releasing a book that will go into details on the whole experience.

But this morning’s reality check that slapped me in the face and REALLY woke me up actually blew my mind. I thought of the old V-8 juice commercial where the person in the ad slaps himself on the forehead or a cartoon where it shows a light bulb going on!

In my first efforts of “losing a few pounds” and after studying what seemed to be hundreds of solid programs, diets, nutritional info and the like, I amassed a huge library on the subject and ended up spending thousands of dollars looking for the “Golden Ring”, the perfect plan or correct combination of programs to lose the fat. I finally narrowed down the best of the best and that along with other acquired information assisted me to lose a total of 87 pounds in 18 months! (No – I’m not attempting to sell anyone anything!) Even my own medical doctor said to me…”Les, I hear the same thing from so many patients about themselves but finally YOU actually did something about it”!

That was then and I forgot to mention one of the underlying reasons for the whole lifestyle change. I was diagnosed having the dreaded silent killer Type II Diabetes and even after losing the 87 pounds – although there was an improvement in my body chemistry I still did not eliminate the problem of having to take those dreaded statin drugs (medically prescribed). Yes my blood numbers and body stats looked good and were improving but I was still on those darn pills.

Another Hurdle…

I don’t want to get off the track too far but, January is a bad month for me in that we call it “Birthday Month” and we have 7 to 10 birthdays to celebrate in 31 days and keep in mind that January follows Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s festivities as well. I know, I know…all the experts say…”that’s okay, you just have to maintain control”.  Yeah Right!

Now back to the present time…

So here I am, working out at the gym now 6 or 7 days a week and weighing each and every scrap of food that I am putting into my body as a meal and investing more money on more programs and information. I even moved my first medical appointments of 2016 out another month to give me a little more time to get into better shape!

Here is my Ah Ha momentWhen I got up this morning after spending weeks writing new notes, designing new plans, purchasing more diets, I decided to pull out my “OLD” notes and “work out guides” and then I slapped myself on the forehead. I then saw the light! I already had the answers and the picture was right in front of me! My intention over the past 5 years has been to rid myself of my Type II Diabetes – and with all of the best laid plans…I did not follow my plan of action. Instead, I kept looking for some different solution. Always stay FOCUSED!

So, remember this….

  1. Never expect to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
  2. Have a definite “objective” in mind and keep it in sharp focus!
  3. Think and layout a definite “plan of action”; dates, times, people you must contact, etc.
  4. Follow the information that you have already discovered that works for you. Keep FOCUSED!

And, remember thisin this day in age it would be rare to find that someone has built a “better mouse trap” than the one you have been using successfully before. Stop and THINK before investing in additional information at additional expense to accomplish what you have successfully discovered before. Instead, look deeply into your objective and think about how you can and will improve it and then FOLLOW IT!

Please let me know what your thoughts are on this post.



The SECRET to Weight Loss & Anything Else

A Spring Walk-RIt was around 12:15 pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011 and I was preparing for my daily 5-Mile Trek when our daughter-in-law, Jamie arrived at our home to pick up my wife Suzan for some Sunday activities. One grandson and a granddaughter were waiting out in the van for their mom and grandma. I was all decked out in my hooded, bright yellow rain suit as it was 36° out with a 16 mph wind and a cold, hard steady rain. As my daughter-in-law Jamie, entered our home and saw me, I noticed her rolling her eyes with a half-smile and half-laugh on her face as she looked at my wife Suzan and commented “He’s determined”! I said, hello and see ya later as I walked out the door!

On the way out, I stopped at the van to say hello to my grandson Alex and (almost 11 year old) Meghan. Meghan exclaimed, “You’re not going out in this terrible weather—are you?” I replied by explaining that the weather is always beautiful as long as you dress properly for it. I then said goodbye to both of the grand-kids and off into our first spring thunder-snow-storm of the year I went! A Spring Surprise!

As I was trekking through the hard rain/snow mix that was slapping me in my face with all the fury that Mother Nature could muster up in her efforts and attempt to discourage me from accomplishing my “daily goal” of reaching my five miles, I began to ponder over the most recent reactions displayed by my family as I faced the elements to do my walk today. Then I thought of a lengthy conversation I had the night before with a co-worker (a nurse) who had recently purchased from me, one of my most popular diet programs. This young woman wanted to shed some weight and she was not experiencing any success. (This conversation will justify another article concerning personal commitment)

Both of these experienced conversations clearly demonstrated to me just how important “Self-Determination” is to any endeavor. You can offer the best and most complete information on proper nutrition including pre-planned “meal plans” and even an easy test on how to determine your own “Metabolic Type” and UNLESS the person is truly desiring the changes to occur in his or her life—it will never happen. And I mean that you must have a burning desire to achieve the results.

Should I wait for a 72° day with blue skies and birds chirping to get my 5 mile trek in? Well, if I did wait I would still look and feel like the “Pillsbury Dough Boy”! I would not have lost the 70+ pounds that I have lost over the last 15 months. All too many people (95% to 97%) fail to see the importance and the necessity to employ personal discipline that IS REQUIRED to develop and utilize the skill known as “Self-Determination”.

All Things Start Out As Dreams, Thoughts Or Wishes

How do you get from Point A to Point B? You take your dream, thought or wish and turn it into a GOAL. A Goal is nothing more than an accomplishment that is the end result of a Strategic Plan of Action (SPOA). If I would have attempted to lose over 70 pounds without converting it to a GOAL, it would have never happened. With a SPOA, you can take that 70 pounds and in your plan, know that it is only 4.67 pounds per month or 1.04 pounds per week or about 6-1/2 oz. per day of weight loss! Does that change the perspective? You bet it does.

People…need to become mentally strong in order to make their dreams or wishes come true. Not being determined is like trying to make beans and rice and forgetting to add the rice. Without following every detail of the RECIPE you’ll end up with just the beans!

Losing weight and becoming fit is more than just about knowing the right foods to eat and what type of exercises to do. It must have the following ingredients as well:

  • You must have a Strategic Plan of Action.
  • You must have a clearly defined “end result” in mind.
  • You must have an idea of all the resources that you will require and have access to them with books, audio, video and other people (mentors, coaches, etc.)
  • You must establish a “Date of Completion”.
  • Most Important: A Burning Desire and Focused Discipline to enforce your Self-Determination to move ahead – One Day at a Time, Step by Step. Success is a Cinch by the Inch and Hard by the Yard!

Over all of my years, I have learned that EVERYTHING starts with the muscle that all of us have between our ears—our BRAIN.

Our brain has unlimited capabilities and will take you wherever you want to go if you will only allow it to guide you. You are the only person that can stimulate your own self-discipline thus leading you to self-determination and accomplishing your Goal. Do you want to be victorious? It’s all up to you and YOU alone! (In weight loss, I guess a Loser is a Winner!)

Be prepared. Another observation I have made over my many years is that people such as me who have mastered the art of Self-Determination have a slight tendency of “standing out in the crowd” or appearing to be rather unique. Had I not been standing in my kitchen looking like a huge “canary” (in my rain gear), I probably would not have gotten the “eye-roll” from Jamie but there I was—looking like somewhat of a dork… I asked myself – but, how many other people while having a choice of either sitting in front of a warm, toasty fire watching a movie, or walking around the community dressed up like “Big Bird” – walking up and down hills with the cold wet rain slapping you in the face—would have make the choice I did?

Probably – not many. But then, there-in lies the difference between accomplishing your goal or not. I can (and did) sit in front of a cozy fire later as I stared at the numbers on my pedometer instead of “wishing” that I would have taken action!!

I was feeling SUCCESS!!

I was feeling SUCCESS!!

On another occasion, in another season – You would find me dressed similar to a Sherpa in the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet, trekking through 3 foot deep snowdrifts in a blizzard. I was not attempting any type of added “drama”. I was just “dressing for the weather.” However, it must have appeared somewhat dramatic as there were a few folks that did stop their vehicle and grab a photograph of me!

You know, it’s kind of funny when you think about it. I can go back over a half a century ago and think of when my Dad picked up a guitar for me that cost him a whole $7 because I indicated that I wanted to become a musician just as I entered my teens!

I actually remember my thoughts at that time in my life! Do understand that I completely appreciated receiving that instrument and I understood that the $7 invested in it was outside of my family’s budget…I remember the words that I constantly repeated over and over to myself every time I picked up that guitar to practice. I would repeat to myself these words: “If I can master playing this guitar with a neck like a log, just think how good I will be able to play a far more expensive one.”

When I think of the first time I have ever used any kind of or form of stimulation to motivate myself to reach for a goal…I think of myself at 13 years old sitting in my bedroom, practicing that old $7 guitar which I might add…did ultimately lead to bigger and better things as an accomplished musician in a popular R&B group….but that’s another story!

So, keep this in mind: “Self-motivation = Self-determination which will pave the way for Goal Setting which will equal accomplishing a Positive Objective in your life!

Let me know your thoughts on these principles and leave a comment please.

Change Your Bad Habits!

Les19-2cWe Welcome 2015 With Open Arms!

Another year is just about to come to a close in a matter of days. It’s so close; we could even measure it in hours and minutes! Christmas has come and gone and in no time at all New Year’s Eve of 2014 will silently slip into the New Year and 2014 will be a thing of the past – just a memory, nothing more! Each year we face the same old thing…out with the old and in with the new.

Each and every year we all reminisce over the great things that happened and fret over the not-so-great things be it; financial, health or fitness related and even personal relationships.

Change Your Bad Habits…

Did you know that most of the unhappy or less than pleasing situations that occurred over the past 12 months happened simply because of “bad habits”? I would like to help you turn things around and possibly make 2015 your best year ever!! Would you mind I if I shared some info with you that will change your life! Well if so…read on…

You probably guessed that I would discuss “Strategic Action Plans” and “setting dates and times up” describing beginning and ending times to “layout your goals.” Well, actually not at this time and here’s why: the most perfect system of planning and gold-setting will take you nowhere if you are anchored down by a “bad set of habits”.

Habits are funny little creatures and almost become invisible to you over even the shortest amount of time “being practiced”. For example – take what we normally call a “bad driver”, one who fails to use Turn Signal Indicators, or fails to stop for pedestrians in cross walks or even worse…parks in a handicap parking spot illegally or leaving a baby or a pet locked in a Hot vehicle on a Hot day for an extended amount of time (it could cause death). All of these are caused by allowing “Bad Habits” to control your actions.

No matter what form of habit it is: good, bad or indifferent, they are all nothing more than acquired behaviors. We all have them and they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. So for right now, take some time and think about some of your habits. Select 2 or 3 to start with, that you feel have the most negative impact on your goal setting and planning. (Hint) Remember that we all have the same amount of time, 168 hours, in a week. You have to become aware of what is creating your “stumbling blocks”.

  1. Become Aware of Your Habits; when do they occur, what are they, what’s the advantage as well as the disadvantages of that habit. What were the feelings you had before the habit kicked in? Your mind will want to create a “justification” that will encourage want to allow the habit to happen.
  2. Develop Alternate Thoughts; No justifying is allowed. Tell yourself that to reach your goal, you MUST stick with your original PLAN. There are no rewards except success itself. Avoid self-pity as nobody really cares if you had a good day or a bad day! If a stumbling block appears – simply jump over it.
  3. Develop Alternative Behavior; to change a bad habit requires you develop a “competing response”. A behavior that is incompatible with your bad habit. Stick to your guns and realize that this competing response will get easier and easier each time it is used.
  4. Build Good Habits; A good habit is the most effective competing response there is to a bad habit. Don’t worry if it is exactly the right thing to do – JUST DO IT! Be persistent. Remember, while the payoff for good habits is long term, it takes time to reach it. I have found that the best rule is to not try to second guess anything. Just keep on doing it and you’ll soon see the light at the end of the tunnel!
  5. Evaluate the Lapses as you are only Human; Sometimes you’ll slip or error in judgment. If you remember that a lapse does not a relapse make. Stay DETERMINED. Evaluate what caused the lapse and learn from it. You will be stronger next time.

I would really love to hear from you with your feelings concerning Bad Habits and how you feel they get started. Also, how you feel that you can become more productive in 2015 and get more mileage out of your resolutions.

Until next time,


The Dawn Of A New Day…


When I say that I've had a rough couple of weeks…I do not feel that I'm alone on this! I know just from chatting with so many others that we all experience “Up-Times” and “Down-Times” in our lives.

I've just recently learned from a current motivational program that I've been studying, that the flow of our lives is much the same as the way water flows. Sometimes; fast and sometimes not so fast. What causes the flow to change and what is the reason for the ups and downs in our everyday lives?

Let me begin with a recent quote I found by Stephen Richards, a self-help author as he wrote: “You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.” Read that over a few times and allow that to sink in!

In most all of my writings concerning health and nutrition and improving yourself in any of many ways, you'll always read the words that I use so often…“All that you do begins in your head.” In the bible, it says…”you reap what you sow” and there are so many philosophical quotes such as: “You become what you think about”, “you are what you think” and the list goes on.

This concept is mentioned way too often and in so many places and so many words that surely it cannot be ignored.

Getting back to the first sentence in this post…“I've had a rough couple of weeks”…can be taken quite literally. Each day when I get up it begins with making several entries in my personal Journal including notes on the weather, time I awoke , state of mind, things I've learned and experienced and where I am professionally. I won't get into details – any more than I have. Lately, I've been doing something a bit odd! I thought it would be interesting to look at last year's TODAY -exactly one year ago. Ironically – in my case, It threw me into a tailspin! I did not like what I found!

The point of this post is how you can MOVE YOURSELF FORWARD. So, let me fast forward to what inspired today's post.

As I was cleaning up my desk yesterday morning I came across a scrap of paper with some scribbled notes on it and across the top it said “Loving Yourself”! I do not remember where I got this info, what I may have been listening to or reading or watching but it made a whole lot of sense to me.  I wanted to share those notes with you because…if it's true that “you are or become what you think about” you best be feeling good about yourself and be thinking good thoughts and loving yourself like there is no tomorrow!

Here are the notes as they were transcribed:

  1. Loving Your Self: Stop berating or criticizing yourself. Accept yourself as you are. Believe in yourself as well as believing that you can improve yourself on a continuous basis. Every problem that you encounter; emotional, health-healing, physical, mental can be healed by simply loving yourself. No, this is not an ego thing nor is it a bad trait even though you’ll encounter other people saying things like: “boy, does he ever love himself”, or…”who does he think he is?” “Man, is he ever conceited.” Try this simple experiment on yourself for a few weeks’ worth of days: Stand in front of a mirror, look into the mirror and look deeply into your own eyes and say (out loud) “I Love You”!
  2. Focus: Your focus must be positive! Dis-empowering thoughts – No-No-Never! Focus on “Empowering Thoughts”. Focus on the thought (pretend) that you have already achieved your goal or objective. Remember that the meaning that you give to your goal is generated in your own mind.
  3. Body: Endorphin's, neurotransmitters charge up your physiology. Exercise every day, look positive and maintain a positive air about you. Identify yourself in your posture and continuously condition your mind.

My next couple of posts are going to be focusing on personal motivation and self-determination and I felt that today's post would prove to be a good springboard to that topic.

As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome and essential to me as the person posting on this blog. In other words…I would really appreciate any discussion and all comments on this topic. Thanks in advance…


3 Things You’ll Need: To Lose Weight and Gain Everything Else You Want!

Three things you must do to Get Yourself Fit!
Three things you must do to Get Yourself Fit!

I keep a Daily Journal and have adapted that practice several years back. A concept I picked up from one of my mentors. One of the many benefits of keeping a Journal is that you can use it to measure the progress on any of your “active” goals or self-improvement programs or campaigns.

I am however, like a “Ping-Pong ball”; I tend to bounce all over the place when I attempt to put my mind to things. It’s not as bad as being a “yo-yo dieter” but it does cause about the same disgruntling and dissatisfaction in one’s life!

I talk and write a lot about healthy foods and exercising a lot but my main fault is…I am only human! And, we call ourselves the superior creature on the food chain! I mean that I tend to beat myself up when I miss my mark. Do you ever do that to yourself? Just the other day, I checked back to see how things went a year ago “to the date” of my current Journal Entry I was writing. It was then that my “balloon of hope and pride” quickly deflated – in fact it outright popped! (I hate that when that happens)…I’m sure you can relate to that.

You see, we as humans tend to either follow a plan or not follow a plan – it’s our choice. Animals do not make plans or set goals – they simply can’t. Their activities are merely to survive and they live out of habit and necessity, sameness and instinct. Now, domesticated animals or pets are a bit different. They have the ability to act and react in certain ways, that allow themselves to obtain certain things that they want, or have learned to want (we humans are responsible for that) they have to do certain things to get those special treats. And this is the paradox. Domesticated pets are more advanced than squirrels, ducks, beavers and raccoons. Beavers and raccoons live to survive and survive to live naturally whereby our “pets” have really learned to adapt to a life-style similar to ours without the assistance of speech, goal setting or reasoning. They are taught and have adopted actions they can perform in order to be awarded or rewarded.

How many of us “award ourselves” with little awards and rewards for accomplishments throughout the day, week, month or other periods of time. Isn’t it really easy and almost unnoticeable for those rewards to silently turn into habits and worse… into addictions?

Getting back to my “Ping-Pong lifestyle”…My weight has not changed appreciably in 12 months, in fact it’s not changed hardly at all and I know you could care less if I was fat or thin but put yourself in this same place or predicament. How would you feel?

There are 3 INGREDIANTS that are required to “soar like an eagle” when it comes to achieving certain improvements in your life. Call them Natural Laws if you will. They are; 1) eat a sensible diet, 2) get the correct amount and type of exercise and 3) most important; understand the definition of Self-Discipline and how to apply it to your life 24-7.

It is my goal and objective that through my blog, using myself as a guinea pig, I will be able to help others to realize a better lifestyle through improved health, wealth and happiness. Answer this if you will: Did you ever wonder why throughout history, man has maintained the same ratio in its species; 3% to 5 % healthy, wealthy and happy compared to 95% to 97% not healthy, not wealthy and very unhappy!

Post your comments and let me know what you think and I'll put your name and e-mail on a “pre-publishers list” to receive a FREE copy of my e-book on How to Build Your Self-Determination.