Category Archives: Inspiration

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.

Love yourself first and the world’s beauty will shine before you

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 

Recently, my son asked, “is it really true that there’s someone for everyone?” My response was, “absolutely, and as a matter of fact, there are lots of people who will match up to each of us.”

You see, we are all mentally wired different when it comes to attraction. Everyone is attracted to different body types, races and cultures. That’s the beauty of the human race. There is an abundance of people to fall in love with. 

So, are you happy with your body? Are you hard on yourself for certain body parts that were inherited? Isn’t it funny, how someone with curly hair wants straight hair or vice versa? 

We all wish we had something different about us — typically height, weight, facial features or hair color. 

Don’t be hard and cruel on yourself. Look in the mirror and recognize the beauty you truly possess. Remember, there are plenty of people who find you attractive and sexy. 

Yes, we all need to take care of our bodies with better diets and exercise, but there is no reason to be excessive. Don’t worry about the extra weight. You only want to feel better, so you can enjoy each day and live a happier, healthier and more energetic life. 

All you need to do is be confident, and attack the world as if you own it. Walk through life like you’re ready to conquer anything that crosses your path. You should float around the room and be kind to all, not stumble and hide. 

As I’ve written before, now that I’m older and understand the world better, I see beauty in everyone. It’s really a cool feeling to love all the amazing people I meet each day.

Just know, when we meet, one of my first thoughts is “what a beautiful person is standing in front of me. I hope they are living the life they deserve.”

Love yourself first and the world’s beauty will shine before you.

If you’re wishing for gold, you better be digging some dirt

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I once read, “you can wish for gold, but unless you’re digging some dirt, you’re not going to find any.”

This message is for all parts of life. Don’t we all want to make more money, find that perfect job, lose weight and get in better shape?

I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “I need to lose this gut.” I’ve led countless people to diet and exercise programs, but unless you’re digging some dirt, you’re going to stay fat. We’ve all heard, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” 

It’s your body, your life, and it’s your destiny. You are the only one who has full control. 

I’m going on 54 years of age, and have grown a passion to inspire and motivate people in their business and personal lives. 

The Daily News has given me a wonderful opportunity to reach people with hopes of changing lives. I receive numerous emails of how my articles have done just that. 

Because of your emails and motivational speaking, my passion has strengthened, so I’m digging lots of dirt to pursue additional opportunities.

I’ve contacted other well-known newspapers, made phone calls, written emails, letters and sent packages to broadcasting stations. I’ve Linkedin with high-profile professionals for stronger connections.

Sooner or later, from all the digging, someone will give me the opportunity to reach a broader base of people. 

What do you really want out of life? Remember, you are never too old or too young. My children started a foundation when they were only 8 and 10 years old. They’ve helped thousands of families through The Dekeday Foundation — www.dekedayfoundation.com.

You can no longer control what happened yesterday, but you can start making steps forward right now.

Start by taking action, dig up some dirt and discover gold. The true reward is within you to have the body and life you wish for.

Go from good to great in your life

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

During my kids’ sports seasons, we had a serious discussion. I wanted them to recognize their potential skill level in order to improve their game.

I let them know that they are really good players like most of their teammates. But, now it’s time to separate yourself and become one of the great players. 

Great players fight to the end, no matter what the score reflects. Even if your team is getting slaughtered, you should be the leader that never gives up. Be the player who wants the ball with seconds left, and defend like your life depended on it.

You want to walk away knowing you put in every effort possible. That my friend, will earn you respect from players and coaches. 

We should all take that “great” attitude into our adult lives in order to truly accomplish goals. Are you a good or great employee, spouse or parent? 

If you’re trying to improve health, do you exercise and diet sometimes or every day? 

Who’s the leader in your family, work place or community? 

Challenge yourself, step up your game, and attack each day with full focus on the tasks at hand. Develop the habit of winning and not accepting defeat. You only fail when you give up. 

When life becomes a challenge, it’s your opportunity to develop strong character. 

Don’t tip-toe through life and settle on being just good at something. Learn to go from good to great. 

As the late, great Zig Ziglar always stated, “see you at the top.”

Seek a mentor and accomplish your goals

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

Do you want to lose weight, start a business, write a book, or accomplish something completely out of your knowledge?

We all have a specific set of goals needing attention. The problem is, sometimes, we really don’t know how to get started.

I found the best path to reaching my goals was to find a mentor. There’s always someone who’s been down your path that has mastered your goals. 

Seek out that person, tell them your passion, and ask for advice. I promise, everyone enjoys feeling like the expert, and will gladly give tips and pointers. 

Now, don’t make the mistake and ask someone to take you under their wing and show you the ropes. That old “saying” needs be thrown away. Nobody has time for that. You should only ask a mentor for a few tips or one big piece of advice. Make sure, your very next step is exactly what they advised you to do. Otherwise, don’t bother them again. No one wants to keep giving advice to someone not putting their words into action. 

I desperately needed help when first starting my column for The Daily News. Sports editor James LaCombe became my mentor. He helped adjust my writing skills to format a newspaper. Believe me, in the beginning, he had to correct plenty of mistakes. Now, he barely has to correct any, if at all.

James told me it takes lots and lots of practice, so that’s what I do. I practice writing my columns every day. I’ve actually written many others that may never get published.  

How passionately do you really want to accomplish your goals? Seek out a mentor and pursue your dreams. Get out of your comfort zone and have the life you want and deserve.

Don’t waste time in the gym, add intensity

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

I have several friends who are competitive body builders, fitness and figure professionals. It’s quite remarkable to watch them prepare for an upcoming competition show. The intensity, dedication and extreme diet they go through is almost indescribable.

My friend Frances Field, NPC Figure Champion, happened to be training and preparing in the gym recently. I typically strike up a conversation with Frances and her husband, but that day was not the day. She would have eaten me up.

Frances was frantically performing speed drills on different cardio machines, then sprinted through the gym, followed by push-ups and jumping jacks, then sprinted back to the cardio machines, only to repeat the process over and over.

I promise, everyone, got out of her way, for she had the “eye of the tiger.”

Her intensity, made me think about my own workouts. I sometimes find myself just going through the motions, watching the clock, not putting in much effort and practically wasting my time.

After observing Frances, I decided to kick up my intensity a few notches. I was lifting weights, so I added heavier weights with less rest in between sets. Within a few minutes, sweat was pouring out, my heart rate was up, the endorphins were kicking in, and I was feeling like Superman. Well, maybe more like Superman’s father. I am getting a little older, but you get my point.

Next time you’re starting any type of exercise, try using competitive intensity, and psych yourself up with a purpose of accomplishing goals.

One famous philosophy of the great Jhoon Rhee, father of American Tae Kwon Do — “It’s not how much time you put into it, but how much you put into the time.”

Think about it.

Accomplish goals using power of attraction

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

I once had the opportunity to judge the long-jump event for track and field day at an elementary school.There was a very athletic fifth grade girl named Jackie, who was expected to break the school record.

After her first attempt, Jackie landed about four inches shy of the record. She asked me to show her where the school record was located and to mark it. Jackie starred at the marked record for a few seconds then prepared for her next jump. She eventually smashed the school record by nearly seven inches.

It took me a few years to understand how Jackie accomplished that feat. We all have mental goals for different parts of our lives. But, unless we can truly see them and feel them, our goals typically won’t be accomplished.

What are your goals in life? Be that of ideal-weight, running a marathon, dream job, life partners, or maybe an expensive house or car. Everyone has a different list.

Write down your goals, find pictures of them, and place them on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, dashboard of your car, and on your office desk.

You need these as constant reminders of what you want to accomplish. Do not look at them as a want or wish list, but produce the feeling as if you have already accomplished them. Walk through your daily lives as if you own those possessions, have that dream job, or ideal body weight.

When you can feel the presence of each goal, you will attract them into your lives. Don’t worry about how and when it will happen, just know it manifests through your intense power.

There’s a young lady named Cortney, who wanted to lose weight. I had her cut out pictures of herself when she was much thinner and place them around her house as a constant visual reminder of what she really looks like. Over the past several months, Cortney has lost over 20 pounds.

Use your “power of attraction” and place your goals all around you. I bet you’ll fly through the air and smash records like a fifth grade girl named Jackie

A lesson in focusing on task at hand

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

Late last year while exercising in my local gym, I noticed a woman, probably in her 40s, training a young lady who had to be around 20 years of age. It was obvious that the younger lady was mentally challenged, for she never smiled, never talked or made eye contact with anyone.

Because of my curiosity, I struck a conversation to enquire about their situation. The older woman’s name was Vickie, and she told me that she had recently become Sarah’s guardian. Vickie also mentioned that since she regularly worked out in the gym, she decided to start taking Sarah with her.

Well, about five months had passed before we crossed paths again. Oh my goodness, I was in complete shock. Sarah had transformed her body into what looked like an Olympic athlete. She had lost most of her body fat and replaced it with muscle.

I expressed my surprise and joy to Vickie, then asked how Sarah, under her circumstances, was able to accomplish this transformation?

Vickie’s reply was that due to Sarah’s disability, she can only focus on one task at a time and gives it 100 percent effort. This is part of her mentality that helps her function in life.

Sarah noticed I was complimenting her because she looked deep into my eyes and produced a huge smile. My heart melted, and all I could do in return was to nod my head with a warming grin.

There are two “take-aways” from Sarah’s story. First, if we could all learn to give 100 percent focus on the task at hand, how more productive and organized our lives would be — be that occupational, educational, projects, relationships, spiritual, fitness and diet.

Second, I don’t have a PHD, but how many other mentally or physically challenged people would benefit from the use of a gym?

One thing I do know for certain, getting yourself in better shape produces confidence and endorphins.

Because of my crazy workout schedule, I haven’t seen Vickie and Sarah since then. But, the lesson learned from Sarah, will last me a lifetime.