Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ogres are like onions

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I want to share my first value. If you haven't guessed, it's maintaining a positive outlook on life. Today, we'll see why that's so important, how it impacts many facets of your life, and what you can do to improve your HQ (happiness quotient).

With the proper inspiration in place, I sat down and identified my 8 core values. I'll be sharing them all in upcoming posts, but without an ounce of doubt, the first one is the most important to me. It is the driving force behind everything I do. It dictates who I want to work with, who I take on as clients, who I have as friends, and who I care about. The #1 core value of having a positive outlook on life is there to remind me that every day I spend breathing is a day to be enjoyed to the fullest.


"Onions have layers. Ogres have layers, onions have layers." If you've seen "Shrek," you're familiar with this line. With it, Mike Myers dropped some animated wisdom. No, I'm not admitting to being an ogre, though some of my clients may disagree after our workouts.

Last week I discussed the importance of identifying your core values. I explained how knowing what you value and identify with can make a drastic improvement in your health and happiness. Let's peel back the layers of our core values and dig a little deeper this week.

As I'm writing this I'm well aware that many people still don't buy what I'm selling. They see getting healthy as merely a physical routine. It's sweating through exercise. It may be going for a walk. It's eating better foods. It might even include getting better sleep. All are certainly important, but they all fail to take into account the most important factor.

What if you wake up on Monday and think to yourself, "Ugh, it's Monday. Here we go again." Are you giving yourself a good start to the day? Or are you instead providing doom and gloom to the dark cloud that's forming over your head before you've even brushed your teeth?

What if, before you pull out your phone to check Facebook and your email, you instead give yourself five minutes to smile? Sound corny? Try it. Right now. You can act like you're still reading, but just smile. Can you keep that smile on your face for a few minutes? If anybody asks, just tell them you're reading a funny story.

If you're like any human being on the planet, those few minutes of smiling will cause a direct cascade of feel-good hormones. You smile, so you feel good, so you smile some more. Crazy, huh?

What's awesome is that you can do this anywhere, anytime. Smiling is free. Feeling tired? Smile for a few minutes. You'll start to feel more energy. Upset about something? Smile, you'll soon shrug it off or realize a solution. This one simple act can begin to transform your life if you stick with it.

What in the world does smiling have to do with core values, onions and ogres? Well, the first core value that I identified for myself was the importance of having a positive outlook on life. I knew that maintaining an ever-present positivity would help me maneuver through most any problem that life presented.

How about you? Is it important to you to be positive? Do you want to be happy? I've never come across somebody who felt that being unhappy was critical to living a good life. But looking at some of the faces in the grocery store or the mall would make me second guess it.

But I get it, we're on autopilot. We are too busy thinking about what we have to do, about where we're heading next, or about why the person in front of us has 12 items even though they're clearly in the 10 items or less lane.

I still remember when a client told me her son -- who coincidentally is always smiling -- said he was intimidated by me because I never smiled. At that moment, I realized that even though I viewed myself as a positive person, I was spending too much time in my head. So much so that I had scared someone. Not good public relations.

It took me some time until I began identifying my core values. And even now, I'll catch myself looking too serious and I'll think, "Smile, you're alive!" It's taken time, but I can say that maintaining my 1st core value has made the biggest impact in my overall happiness, how I handle stress and how I relate to other people.

If you'd like to know more but haven't visited my blog yet, now's a great time. I pair each article with an expanded blog post to cover any additional details and offer up free tips and tools to take instant action. The blogs, like all of the videos, are all free. Visit and click "Happy and healthy" in the blog section to read more about how you can improve your happiness, and with it, your overall awesomeness.

Andy Frisch, NASM CPT, CES, PES, WFS, IFT, NESTA FNC, is a successful personal trainer and nutrition coach who enjoys working with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He currently train clients at Sports Village Fitness in Lebanon, works with clients online at

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