Take a Look Back and Count Your Blessings


Owning a business is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

At each turn, there is a new challenge for which the previous one has prepared you. Abraham Lincoln said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

When I am faced with difficulty, this is how I cope:

  1. I thank God that I am not on a train to Auschwitz in 1943. It could always be worse, right?
  2. I look back. I reflect on the reasons I started whatever challenge is before me and focus on the accomplishments I’ve made along the way.
  3. I look forward. I make a plan. I see the good in the trial and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
  4. I work. The only way out is through. While stress can paralyze you, you have to put your nose to the grindstone to get through it.
  5. I count my blessings. I have more to be grateful for than 99% of the world’s population. I remember that life isn’t fair, I have it way better than everyone else!

It is easier than ever to look back. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or a personal journal, pretty much everyone can figure out what they were doing one year ago today. While I do keep a journal and I have a Facebook account, I find Instagram the best way to look back. It is a photo journal of one’s life and you can always scroll back to 52W ago.

Today, I did that and this is what followed…

  • 52W: I was on my way to London for the trip of a lifetime with dear friends.
  • 51W: I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
  • 49W: Taught Culinary Ninjas at CrossFit Blizzard, Truckee, California.
  • 47W: Taught Culinary Ninjas in New Hampton, New Hampshire, ate clams in Maine.
  • 45W: Visited Santa Cruz Boardwalk Amusement Park, go skiing with “The Bro!” and visit Sardine Lake.
  • 43W: Shot cooking videos in my garage, travel to Los Angeles to plant freezers for Ice Age Meals.
  • 41W: Taught Culinary Ninjas at Max Oxygen CrossFit in Ames, IA and CrossFit Uffda in Eden Prarie, MN.
  • 39W: Traveled to Sacramento with my family. Taught Culinary Ninjas at Hybrid Athletics in Langley, B.C.
  • 38W: Traveled to Los Angeles and planted freezers for Ice Age Meals up the coast of California.
  • 37W: Traveled to Crossville, TN for Power Monkey Camp 3.0.
  • 35W: Traveled to Playa Maderas, Nicaragua for Paleo Nica 2015 and my 34th birthday.
  • 33W: Taught “The Bro’s” 1st grade class how to make omelettes.
  • 31W: Signed a lease on The Paleo Test Kitchen, Taught Culinary Ninjas at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe.
  • 30W: Taught Culinary Ninjas at CrossFit Mt. Lebanon in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • 29W: Father’s Day Camping Trip
  • 28W: Taught Culinary Ninjas at SnoRidge CrossFit in Snoqualmie, WA.
  • 26W: Traveled to Minnesota for a family summer vacation on Lake Lizzie.
  • 25W-23W: Prepped for, traveled to and executed 20,000 meals for the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games.
  • 22W: Traveled to Keystone, CO for a family vacation/wedding.
  • 20W: Fall vacation to Redwoods with family.
  • 19W: Traveled to Crossville, TN to cook for Redfoo’s 40th birthday.
  • 17W: Taught Culinary Ninjas at CrossFit Headquarters.
  • 15W: Traveled to Los Angeles to meet with gyms carrying Ice Age Meals.
  • 13W: Traveled to Crossville, TN for Power Monkey Camp 4.0.
  • 11W: Built a treehouse “Fort Massie” and traveled to Santa Cruz with family and Ice Age Meals staff.
  • 8W: Traveled to San Diego/Temecula for Turn 2 Turf Wars.
  • 7W: Taught Culinary Ninjas at Reebok CrossFit One in Boston, MA. Saw Plymouth Rock and The Mayflower II.
  • 6W: Traveled to Las Vegas for Family Thanksgiving.
  • 5W: Remodeled Paleo Test Kitchen Studio and shot cooking videos.
  • 3W: Launched IceAgeMeals.net
  • 2W: Christmas Staycation with extended family.

Whew! That was quite an exercise. There was a lot of teaching, traveling, working, meeting new people, and spending time with friends.

Each time I returned home, I was greeted with hugs and kisses from my amazing family.

I have a lot to be thankful for and many experiences to build on in the coming year.

There will be plenty of challenges for me and for you. I want to encourage you to find a way to cope with them and hope that the above exercise is as beneficial for you as it was for me.

I’ve shared this before and I’ll share it now:

“The pursuit of long-term goals can resemble climbing a mountain in a dense fog. Imagine climbing through a fog so thick that you cannot see beyond your next step. You have no idea how much farther there is to go. Under these conditions, the key is simply to make each step a sound one, and to keep going. Never cease moving upward, because your next step may be the one that places you on the summit.”

Life is a long-term goal, guys! Be encouraged today, count your blessings and “Keep It Paleo along the way.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

With “The Other Paleo Nick” in one of my favorite pictures of the year

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