Losing is part of life’s journey

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If you’ve ever played sports or competed in something, besides winning, you’ve  experienced the feeling of losing. None of us like losing, but it’s part of life’s lessons that’s important to learn, especially for children.

As parents, it’s difficult watching our kids lose competition that’s clearly important to them at that time. 

My daughter Daylyn just went through a tearful loss of trying to win a position for a club volleyball team. There were hundreds of skilled players competing for only a few positions. She and many other girls were devastated after being cut from the team.

This was a moment in which parenting played an important role. We discussed every detail of where she gave full effort, and her possible weaknesses.

After going through a brief crying session and realizing there is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, we put to together a new plan to tryout for one last team.

First, I worked on her confidence, good sportsmanship and understanding to turn this into a positive learning experience. Then, we targeted weak skills to rebuild courage and determination.

On the day of tryouts, Daylyn walked in ready to own and conquer the practice. During the car ride, she visualized already winning a position. My little girl took no prisoners, and played at a whole new level.

So you know, she did make the team, but the lessons learned in losing out-weighed any victory she’s ever had.

To be a champion, you must learn from losing.

It’s not where you are, but where you started

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 

Recently, I was asked to join a small group of businessmen to give advice on a new exercise device that was about to come on the market. During our discussion, Grand Master Al Garza made the statement, “sometimes its’ not about where you are, but where you started”.

Boy, how true is that statement in every aspect of our lives? I give countless fitness and diet tips to people of all body types and ages. It’s very rewarding to witness the transformation most of these people  accomplish. Today, some of these people would just blend in with the average person on the street, but you would be shocked if you had seen where they started.

How about other areas in our lives? Are you in a better job creating more income today? Are you in a loving relationship with spouse and children? Have you become more spiritual? Are you saving for retirement? The list is endless according to your situation, but you must answer those questions honestly.

We’ve all made mistakes with some being more severe than others. Believe me, I’m somewhat ashamed at some of my past mistakes, but at this time in my life, I’ve accepted that it’s made me a better person today. Now, I don’t beat myself up over something that can’t be changed, and don’t regret anything I’ve done – good or bad. I only feel remorse for anyone I might have hurt along the way.

It doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past, or possibly where you are at today. Just know if you’re not happy with current status, you can start by making positive changes today.

Choose to be happy and be a better person with a purpose in life. Eventually, good things will happen to good people, if not now.

We are all in this amazing world together with the responsibility to make it a better place, and to live the life we deserve.

We should all be able to look back on our lives and say “wow, I’ve come a long way from where I was. I love me, and today was much better than yesterday.”

In sports or in life, what did you do next?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A common phrase I ask my children during their sport’s competition is, “what did you do next?”

We’ve all witnessed professional basketball players miss baskets and cry to the referee that someone fouled them, while the other team is hustling down the court to score. 

I told my son Dylan, who plays basketball for his high school team, that eventually someone will block your shot, and the opponent’s crowd will be screaming at you. But, it’s what you do next that will shut them up. It’s up to you to cry foul, or you can out-hustle, steal the ball back, and take another shot.

My daughter plays competitive volleyball, and sometimes she misses a block, dig, or has a bad serve. But, it’s what you do next that will determine the proceeding outcome. You can either show teammates a bad attitude or accept it’s part of the game, and make the next big play.

Over the past few years, my family uses the phrase, “what did you do next?” in all aspects of life. 

My kids have faced different levels of bullying and typical teenage drama, but they’ve become accustomed to handling those situations. 

What about you? Do you have challenging situations at work or home? When something happens to you, what’s your next action or words? Do you confront with professionalism and rationalism, or do you respond with anger and aggression? The later typically only makes the situation worse.  

Notice, people who stay cool and rational during adverse situations can diffuse problems peacefully. Also, these people typically receive occupational promotions and better life partners.

We all face challenges on a daily basis, but it’s how we respond to them that determines our true character. You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you respond.

So, next time you’re playing sports or are in challenging situations, ask yourself, “what do I do next”? I bet you’ll be the better person standing.

Improve life’s journey, and create a legacy for others to admire

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lately, I’ve really been thinking about if something happened to me, what type of legacy would I leave behind for my children to reflect on?

About 10 years ago, I made a conscious decision to change my thinking. At that time, life was throwing me some very difficult challenges.

I recognized all this was happening because I put myself in those situations. I owned it, and did not blame anyone else. When something bad happened it was really, in some kind of way, my fault for being there.

Once I started changing my thinking and putting only positive thoughts in my head, these thoughts became actions. My children and others around me would only see kindness and understanding. And, through time, these actions determined my character.

Now, this took some time and self-training. First, I changed my environment by eliminating negative people in my life. I only surrounded myself with positive thinkers and successful people, but really, spent most of the time alone. 

For almost 10 years, I had become a single father raising two young children practically on my own. I wanted to be the best role model possible, but this could only happen by changing me first.

I read countless motivational books and listened to numerous inspirational CDs. Once my mind was filled with only positive thoughts, there wasn’t room for any negativity. It was quite refreshing, peaceful and rewarding. 

This type of behavior seemed to spread amongst people I’d spend time with, especially my children. 

I recognized, the most important role as a parent, is to raise children to be good people in this world. This alone would be the best legacy I could ever leave them.

What about you? When you pass from this world, not only family members, but how will others speak of you? Really, only you can answer that question honestly.

Starting today, improve life’s journey, and create a legacy for others to admire for the rest of their lives. 

Just think, if everyone would embrace love and character, what a wonderful world we could live in.

If you want to lose weight, stop dieting

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, stop dieting. It seems like I give diet and fitness tips almost daily, but the problem is our definition of dieting.

Most people think of diets as a temporary reduction of food in order to lose weight. This definition is true except for the word “temporary.”

When it comes to losing weight, it should be a permanent change. Almost all of us have tried the many fad diet trends, but they don’t keep the weight off. There seems to be a diet war between all the choices. 

Remember Oprah Winfrey and the liquid diet? Her goal was to fit into a small size pair of Jordache jeans. She accomplished her goal, but we all witness the end results. Oprah said when she went back to her dressing room, she scarfed down a whole big bag of potato chips. Everyone I know who tried that diet became more overweight shortly after.  

When it comes to losing weight, you should be making a lifestyle change. Sometimes, my family thinks I’m kind of strange because I order grilled chicken salads when we are out to eat at a nice restaurant. I explained how much better and energetic I feel after a light, healthy dinner compared to the heavy, saturated meals.

Recently, my 14-year-old daughter decided to order the same light meals as me. To her surprise, the food was tasty, she felt full, and had a better overall feeling. 

The process of losing weight doesn’t have to be a burden. I find pleasure eating nature’s fresh foods. 

Without going into detail, here are a few quick lifestyle diet tips: avoid sodas and junk food, eat healthy snacks between meals to ward off hunger, eat breakfast, choose whole foods over processed, and, most of all, change your environment. 

Remember, if you don’t change lifestyle, the weight will always come back.

A clean diet doesn’t mean doing the dishes while eating chocolate cake.