‘Man of Steel’ Delivers

So you’d like to take your family to see a really good movie with a bunch of really good actors about saving Mankind that’s New Age cataclysmic yet also heartfelt and Zen.

That’s easy.

MAN OF STEEL…it’s all that and more!

Not only does director Zach Snyder (300 and Sucker Punch) capture you visually and vividly like he always does, the amazing cast keeps you riveted and wanting more. Starting with the chiseled and Zen-ful Henry Cavill complemented by the beauty and charm of Amy Adams, the talent just keeps coming. There’s Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon (loved him in The Iceman), Laurence Fishburne, Ayelet Zurer and Christopher Meloni.

So give credit where credit is due, and go see Man of Steel. Because it Delivers – just like my Emmy award-winning sound engineer, Alex Wilkinson, did on my Audiobook. Kudos to Alex!

Here’s a clip that shines some light on my childhood and bartering ways in “The Barbershop”.

Enjoy – R

Keep the Drive Alive

Yoga masters Rich Tola and Jessi Harper teaching a charity class in Hollywood to benefit The Boulevard Zen Foundation
Yoga masters Rich Tola and Jessi Harper teaching a charity class in Hollywood to benefit The Boulevard Zen Foundation
Did you ever notice how quiet your fitness center is on Sunday mornings? That’s because Sundays are a day of rest, right?

Not in Father Time’s eyes.

And not in mine. Because whatever goals you set for yourself – such as getting leaner for the beach this summer or finding a more rewarding job – Keep the Drive Alive. That’s right, stay motivated every single day to move the ball up the field with your thoughts and actions.

Like getting your workout in on Sundays, or researching the internet and then canvassing your neighborhood for new opportunities. They’re all cumulative. And get you closer to your goals.

So no worries or self-sabotage about what you didn’t do this past week…just do it today!

Enjoy – R

My audiobook, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, now on iTunes
Rich Tola's Memoir on iTunes

Don’t Be Afraid to Jump

Rich Tola teaches Yoga at domestic violence shelter
Rich Tola teaches Yoga at the domestic violence shelter
Last weekend I decided it was time to move back to the beach – since I spent the summer of 1985 a few hundred yards from the ocean in beautiful Marina del Rey. However brief my first southern Cali beach experience lasted, I knew I’d be back.

But wait, don’t I need a “place to live” and a “job” and at least “get to know the area” before I just pack-up and move there?

Not at all, if I believe in myself and I’m not afraid to jump. Not literally, of course, but in way that describes what most people experience when they’re asked to commit to something new and challenging. Like Yoga. Or walking 2 miles every single morning before you take a shower. Or doing my 100 consecutive days of 5 Minute Fat Burning Workouts on YouTube (all of them, especially my AB ones!). Oftentimes we experience subtle fear and inward resistance usually followed by “rational” reasons for not doing it. Like “I can’t do Yoga because I’m not flexible”.

You know how many times I hear that phrase – about a dozen times a week. That’s right, because I usually talk fitness with people I meet and encourage them to embrace a daily fitness program that’s based on Yoga. Simple, effective and to the point. That’s my style, especially when it comes to respecting yourself with an arsenal of exercises that’ll stymie Father Time.

Muster the confidence to believe in yourself, and whatever you do, Don’t Be Afraid to Jump.

Enjoy – R

Here’s another book sample about helping others believe they can: Chapter 42 – Intervention

Be Thoughtful of Others

Being thoughtful of others can be quite elusive, especially when you’re dealing with some form of adversity in your life. Nevertheless, it’s something that makes for a better human experience, so always be conscious of how your actions – and inactions – will affect others.

Case in point: Yesterday I had the afternoon free and I was really looking forward to seeing the film Mud, with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon (I heard it was excellent!). And since my friend and I were running a bit late – which is usually the case in Los Angeles for a boatload of reasons – we knew we had minutes to spare once we got there. But as soon as we parked, my friend takes a call from her Mom.

Not good.

Because she proceeded to have a heated discussion with her with no regard for me or the start of the movie. So what did I do? I waved for her to meet me inside, then I darted off to buy the tickets. And to wait…which I did for the next 15 minutes until I refunded our unused tickets and went back to the car – where my non-thoughtful friend was still arguing with her Mom.

So whatever your situation, remember that your actions will affect others…so Be Thoughtful.

Enjoy – R

PS – here’s a thoughtful clip from my AudioBook, Chapter 54 – Mother’s Day

Never Assume it’s a Done-Deal

No matter what your “deal” is, never assume it’s a done-deal while it’s still a work-in-process.

Case in point: This morning I was advising a real estate broker friend on re-submitting a purchase offer on a piece of land in the Hamptons (a popular seaside resort in NY with some of the most expensive residential properties in the US) when I said, “Never assume it’s a done-deal”. He responded by explaining that last week the listing broker said the property owner accepted an offer from someone else, and that his bone fide buyer should just “wait and see”.

Wait and see…forgettaboutit!

How about speaking with your buyer and determining whether or not they could sweeten their bid by changing a deal point – like the deposit money or contingencies or closing date – I said. Because a real estate deal is never done until title to the property transfers and the money is in the bank (or better yet, your bank, since that means the deal closed and you got paid).

So whatever you do, Don’t Make Assumptions. It doesn’t serve you well and only leads to futurizing, i.e., obsessing over something that hasn’t happened yet and quite possibly may never happen. Focus on the present, and don’t defeat yourself with a done-deal attitude.

Enjoy – R

PS – Audio-Book for my memoir COMING SOON!

Avoid Complacency Like the Plague

When you look up the word complacency in the dictionary you’ll learn the following meaning:  self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation or condition.

So whatever you do in life, AVOID it like the plague! Because in order to improve upon your existing situation – or physical well-being, for that matter – it’s always best to “stay hungry” for perfection so you can better yourself and your condition. And never be smug about it!

Regardless of your situation, always strive to better yourself and seek the higher ground.

As a kid growing up in a poor Sicilian family, my parents taught me to always strive for perfection and to believe in myself in whatever I did. Whether it was playing baseball on my unbeaten 12 year-old All-Star team, or attending auditions in the “nobody makes it here world of Hollywood”. I do my best and never get complacent with my abilities or achievements.

That’s why over the past six years since I arrived here in February 2007, I’ve been creating and innovating as much as I can. Like my more than 100 free Yoga & fitness videos posted to the Internet and new Audio-book for my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. I didn’t just settle with the paperback and digital versions. No. I wanted to make my life’s wild and inspiring journey about pursing my Hollywood calling and persevering against the odds – however great they may be against you – available on all platforms, including Audio.

So in two weeks I’ll be the proud father of another creation narrated and produced by me. Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Enjoy – R

Mindful Meditation in Everything You Do

Have you read the recent articles about how mindful meditation can improve test scores?

Mindfulness studies were done at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where “researchers found that after a group of undergraduates went through a two-week intensive mindfulness training program, their mind-wandering decreased and their working memory capacity improved. They also performed better on a reading comprehension test — a section from the Graduate Record Examination, or G.R.E.”

And if you know a thing or two about meditation – it can be done anywhere. Although the best results may be achieved by following the secular pillars of the practice, including sitting in an upright posture with legs crossed and gaze lowered, you can incorporate mindful meditation into all aspects of your life…including your workout regime.Rich Tola

Because when it comes to clearing your mind and strengthening your body with a Daily Fitness Program, it’s always best to keep your thoughts – and feelings – focused on the exercise at hand. Don’t obsess about the past or futurize about what you have to do later that day.

Make it a moving meditation. Stay purposeful, focused and relaxed (breathe), and BE PRESENT in everything you do.

Enjoy – R

RIP Margaret Thatcher

Sit Tall in the Saddle

COMING SOON in AUDIO BOOK
COMING SOON in AUDIO BOOK
The past few days I’ve been in the studio recording the Audio Book (coming soon) for my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, and had a chance to reflect on one of my favorite lessons learned on Wall Street.

Chapter 21 – Sit Tall in the Saddle, tells about when I interned with a top broker at Prudential Securities:

“The day I arrived, the first thing he did was hand me a framed picture of a cowboy sitting on a horse looking sternly off into the distance. Beneath the picture the caption read, ‘When you ride alone, you must sit tall in the saddle’. I just looked at him and smiled, while he looked at me with a serious face and said, ‘Always remember that and you’ll be fine.’ To this day, I can’t help but think how the little things I learned from some of Wall Street’s million dollar men continue to inspire me.”

So Sit Tall in the Saddle in whatever you do today…and don’t forget your Daily Fitness Program!

Enjoy – R

Boost your Self-Confidence with Good Posture and Balance

Yoga Master, Rich Tola
Yoga Master, Rich Tola
This weekend I spent time with a bunch of twenty-something year-olds talking about exercise and the importance of a Daily Fitness Program – a concept as foreign to them as The Jack LaLanne Show.

When I said “good posture and balance will boost your self-confidence”, they looked at me like I had three heads!

Because good posture and balance (and NOT slouching) exudes self-confidence to everyone around you as well as: 1) properly aligns your spine and puts less stress on your joints, 2) helps the bones, muscles and ligaments in the spine to move smoothly and pain-free in everything you do, 3) improves your breathing by making it easier for your lungs and diaphragm to expand, and 4) engages your abdominals at all times enabling a strong core and flatter midsection – and better looking Abs!

So get your Yoga groove on today and improve your posture and balance like I did with Ardha Chandrasana (Half-Moon pose) in the beautiful sculpture gardens at The Huntington Library.

Enjoy – R