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"If You Want More, You Have To Become More!"

Ascension

 

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There is an inescapable rhythm my heart assumes as I approach an adventure. Something incomparable to anything else in life and can only be paralleled by loves first glance. There is no  regret, apologies, or ambitions. No dissident relationships. Just utter freedom to embrace the dark warrior. Ego is slowly dissolved by the immersion of the wild. The canopies of the evergreens embrace me like iron embraces the fire. Rock faces entice me like the seductiveness of love. As I take all this in on my approach, my heart pounds like a thousand drums  announcing war.

The trek up the mountain begins with sweat and gasps for air. The first mile is no doubt the challenge. Every single step is laborious and it never ceases to surprise me. The pack digs into my body and feels like a 100lbs. My legs get shaky and burn with the desire to quit..

After that first mile it becomes easier. I start to glide seamlessly over the rocks. Then it becomes a game of interference. How can I make this MORE difficult? When I had that thought it hit me. BOOM. A smack in the face. This is how all challenges in life go.

When we are stuck with a challenge it is often like these hikes I go on… they start out HARD. Huffing and puffing and wanting to quit. Most people do quit! But then it gets “easier.” It isn’t that the hike or, the challenge is easier. In fact, it gets harder. My PERCEPTION of the hike gets easier.

Before people reach that level of perception, they quit. By quit I mean, ignoring their problems, burying then until they show up again later, WORSE. Some freak out and amplify the challenge 100 times worse than it really is. Most people turn the challenge into a problem and when you think about things as a problem you start to get defensive and when you get defensive you cannot take action:

You can only react.

What if every hike I went on I thought of that first mile as a problem instead of a challenge? What if I reacted to my lungs burning and my legs shaking? I can tell you right now I would quit. I would find and easier hike. That is a mistake. If you think of every challenge in your life as a problem and you seek out the easiest way to resolve that “problem” then you will NEVER reach the promise land.

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The top of a mountain, interacting with bears, finding snakes, this is my spirituality. Sometimes it is tough but what I have learned by doing it is priceless. I am going to very quickly give you 6 things I learned from my adventures. 6 things to help you turn your “problems” into challenges.

 

  1. Listen more than you talk. Magic happens when you can be quiet and receptive to your surroundings. Nature is the best place to practice but when you can bring it back to your life that is when you will rise above the rest. Listen to your emotions before you react to them. Often times you won’t even need to react.
  2. Embrace the initial struggle, make later struggles a game. This is a weird one, I know. I am not fibbing when I say I Want to quit the first mile every hike. I learned to embrace it, let my body get used to it. When I get warmed up the other, often harder struggle towards the top turn into a game and guess what? GAMES ARE FUN.
  3. The ascent will hurt! You will fall and get scrapes. Your muscles will cramp. The summit is all worth it. When you have something that is truly important there will be times you hate it. Marriage is a great example. It is hard work. People these days are too quick to call it quits. We harp on things and let it deter us from reaching the summit!
  4. Look for ways to make it fun. I have a long standing tradition where I sprint down the mountain. Dangerous? Sure but it is some of the best fun I have ever had. When a challenge seems so hard and you want to quit. Take your mind off of the bad and focus on the good. Make it a game!
  5. Focus on what is in front of you. I am not one to look ahead too often. I want to live in the moment. When I hike I look down at my steps and when I reach a point of true beauty I stop and take it in. In life, you can’t look in the past and you can’t look too far forward. Be present. That is where the beauty lies.
  6. Don’t lose your imagination. As kids, we are almost fearless. I believe that has a lot to do with imagination. On a hike, I imagine a lot of things. Some would freak you out so I won’t go there but my imagination is so rampant I forget about fear. I am free. I try to bring that into my life as well. I will say that this is one of the reasons my son and I have such great adventures and he is only 2!

 

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” You are more than what you think if you believe there is more than what you know.

Unknown

25 May 2015

The Drift

The summer is looming. The romantic allure of the new year is over. Goals have long been forgotten or serve as a source of bitterness. Spring is here and that means schedules are hitting full steam. Kids have practice. Parties and social events are filling our weekends. May is a common time to drift. People begin to float heedlessly away from where they set out to get to. The reason is because we never seem to adorn our struggles.  We complain about why we can’t attain our goals instead of embracing the struggle and taking action to get there.

A drift is when you  advance through the murky waters of idle goals. Withstanding the vibratory onslaughts of worry-thoughts only to end up bitter and unfulfilled. Provoking the steward of our lives to guide us through superficial endeavors so we don’t recognize that we are lost.

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I want to impart to you some wise words. I often hear them in my sleep.

Are you ready?

…… WAKE UP!!!!

We are halfway through the second quarter of the year. Where are you with your goal of fulfillment? Where are you with your body? Have you improved your life?

Busy doesn’t mean better. I remember when I was a kid, maybe 16 or 17. I was with my father running errands. I grew up in the woods. About 3 hours north of here so work was tough. On our trip to town we encountered an acquaintance and stopped to chat. The guy expressed how busy he was with his business. I don’t remember exactly what he did but it was something with cattle. My dad replied with “busy is good. Better than not being busy.”

I want to challenge that statement. I am sure if this wasn’t a written post that my dad would gladly engage in a back and forth duel but nevertheless you get my opinion.

The guy rambled off several examples of how he was busy: on a job early morning, had to meet his brother to help on the farm, went to another job, went to store, had to go back to store because part he bought wasn’t the right part, had to leave and go start a third job! After paying for all the resources he needed to get to accomplish his new jobs he barely escaped with more profit. Not to mention he liquidated his most important commodity, time.

That means no family time. No down time to reset. He burnt out and luckily got back his old jobs and is now happier. The point is, he was anything but EFFICIENT. I remember thinking even back then that this guy needs to take a step back.

I see this mistake every day. People think they are so busy when all they have to do is put themselves first. Create space. After that, the rest of your tasks fall into place. Lets forget about your goals for a second. Let us just look at the few things you can NEVER get back:

Time is number one. Once time is gone you have to spend more. Money comes and goes but time is irreplaceable. Does that resonate with you? I really want you to read that statement. It also means that if you aren’t spending time where it matters then you aren’t getting a return on your investment. In past posts I outlined how I changed my own mindset and systems and now I have more family time and a better business.

I have seen it with my students. Those who succeed in here manage time well and put themselves first.

Those that struggle have a glare of worry in their eyes. It is scary, I know. I am not disputing that. I also know that it is tough to change your habits. That is why I always put out these posts… to keep your feet to the fire.

Today I want you to simplify things. I am going to link to a form for you to fill out.  The form is simply a journal entry about what you want. An exploratory event of the self. The very act of writing it out and answering questions will force you to think about YOU. My hope is to get you motivated and put you in a position of power. I want you to remember what you said you wanted out of life and send you on your way to achieving it.

FILL OUT THE FORM:

 https://tfwropestone.wufoo.com/forms/what-do-you-want/

 

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18 May 2015

A Mom, A Family, A Job, & GREAT HEALTH

It was Mother’s Day…

Arguably one of the more important holidays. In my opinion, recognition of all that mothers do is more important than any holiday founded on tradition. Although I want to digress into a lesson with this post, I also want to send a heart felt thank you to all of the moms who read this.

There is no greater challenge than raising children and thus, no greater honor. I appreciate all of you.

Being in the business of facilitating change in people’s life; I come across a lot of moms. By far, the biggest struggle for moms is finding the time to celebrate themselves. It breaks my heart when I see someone come in and really want to change her life but decide that they just don’t have the time. I see the despair slowly creep over her face.

It is a look of reluctant acceptance of her current reality. A fabricated validation of the impossibility of her goals. “I can’t make it to those classes. I have to…” An assortment of self-fulfilling prophecies follow that statement.

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I found myself entertaining the idea that moms are destined to bear the brunt of life’s most important duty without any reward? I conjured up all sorts of reasons why our moms can’t enjoy life to the fullest. Why can’t they be in the best shape of their life? Why can’t they achieve the ultimate level of self-esteem? Fulfillment?

The honest truth is… THEY CAN!

With the rise of a culture change. Men embracing more feminine qualities and woman adapting the masculine, new moms are realizing this. They are able to balance work, raising children, and their health. Others struggle.

The burden of raising kids is too daunting to fit anything else in, at least comfortably.

That is the answer! Moms… you must get comfortable being uncomfortable. I Want to remind you that when woman first started to work in corporations and have careers it wasn’t comfortable. When woman started to have kids AND a career it was even less comfortable.

It is a matter of habit and perception. Lets look at some examples.

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The woman that succeed at balance are woman that put themselves first. This sounds selfish, I know, but it isn’t! You are entitled to have something. To get yourself healthy and energized to handle being the leader of the family. I will ask those of you that struggle with this idea: what is the cost if you don’t get yourself healthy? Physically and mentally.

The second mindset flip you need to make is to develop an “I will do whatever it takes” attitude. I know it seems impossible. It appears to be just a dream to have a great body and be healthy. You are right, when you have old habits and systems in place that you think you are tied to. For instance, when your routine is wake up- feed kids- put kids on bus- do chores- run errands- get kids off bus- make dinner- put kids to sleep- THEN HAVE ME TIME you are destined to fail.

All it takes is a mind-set switch. Let me give you a personal example. I used to make my wife do everything. I felt like I had to work all the time and I couldn’t squeeze it in. I was wrong. I made a conscious effort to change. Get home early some days. Leave late some days. Do whatever it took to take some of the burden off of her. I have also seen other people develop this system. It isn’t easy. You have to talk o bosses and arrange a new system. It is possible though. Some days you might have to get up at 5am for class. Some days you might miss dinner or have your husband cook. Like I said, not easy. haha. Nothing worth anything is easy. He will adapt.

I am willing to bet some of your spouses think the way I did. It is a guy trait. Remember that you are a team. Sit him down and genuinely ask him to share some responsibilities so you can sneak away to the gym one morning or night. Plan it out together. Heck, he might want to get on a system too!

There is no answer to one’s perception of time. There is no catch all solution to anything. I can say from experience and seeing many moms pass through my doors that it is possible. My hope was to motivate you to take action. If this article hit you in the gut then that is proof that you desire to change. Now go out and make it happen! It all starts with 2 questions. “Do I want to change?” “How am I going to make this happen?”

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11 May 2015

Movement + Mobility and How It’s Affecting Your Performance

If you are reading this right now and you are in a position where you can take a second and stand up, preferably in front of a mirror, and do an exercise with me right now let’s do it:

I want you to stand up nice and tall feet shoulder width apart. Then from there I want you to take a deep breath and sink into a deep squat and hold it for about 5 seconds. 1…2…3…4…5… Alright, now stand back up.

Awesome! Now I want you to ask yourself these 3 questions:
1) Were your thighs parallel to the ground?
2) Was there any pain with this movement?
3) Did you struggle getting into this position or maybe could not get all the way to parallel, but had no pain?

If you answered yes to question number one that is great. If you answered yes to question number two then something else is going on that you should probably get checked out. Lastly, if you answered yes to question three we have to talk. Many people don’t realize how a lack of mobility, not a lack of strength, is what is really holding back their performance and in hindsight holding them back from achieving their goals. As a coach at TFW Ropestone it’s great to see people squat heavy however it’s great to see people squat heavy when they can actually squat. Only going down about half way is only doing one thing training a half squat not a real full squat. In effect, it is only causing part of your muscle to be trained, not all of the muscle to be trained. People are so concerned with increasing weight on their squat or going to the bar on front squats instead of doing goblet, but yet the struggle to hold a squat with no weight in a “correct position” for 5 seconds is difficult. Adding weight to an immobilized squat would just create more problems if it hasn’t already. So this brings me to my next point… how do we get better squats and increase our mobility?

There are many ways to help with squat mobility; the first way is foam rolling. I know I know, this is painful, time consuming, and sometimes maybe boring. But if done correctly (slow NOT FAST), consistently, and actually spent more than 5 minutes on one muscle at a time instead of ten different muscles in 5 minutes, you gradually will see, and feel some changes in the way you move. Here is a link to learn more about foam rolling

The next is all the mobility and stretching drills done at the beginning of class. Sometimes it is like watching everybody compete to see who can get all these drills done as fast as possible. That is the exact opposite of what you are supposed to be doing. Drills like hip circles, wall slides, and sumo squats are meant to be performed SLOW, NOT FAST. One of their main purposes is to help increase your range of motion all at the same time dynamically stretching and working your muscles. By doing this correctly, overtime you will start to feel more mobile and not as restricted.

The great thing about foam rolling and these mobility drills is they can be done virtually ANYWHERE. They require little to no equipment, just a foam roller or lacrosse ball along with a little bit of floor and wall space. I am about quite sure most people live in a house with walls and floors. If your goal is to start front squatting with the bar like I demonstrated in the video, adding more weight onto your squat, or just to be able to move and squat better, then start spending more time on foam rolling and doing mobility drills correctly and efficiently. Overtime I promise you will see the changes. Remember the only limitations we have are self-imposed. Let’s not let mobility hold us back from reaching our potential levels of fitness and strength.

Watch this video to learn more about the squat:

8 May 2015

A Piece Of The Universe

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”

– Robert Frost

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At times we all feel what Frost illustrates. The universe challenges us. And in the war, the game that is life we are sometimes forced into submission. There are hours where we feel the sting of every second. There are days where we shield our minds from the coming of the morrow.

It might be because the pieces of our hearts are searching for meaning after touring the wilderness of love. It could be because of the pummeling confusion and uncertainty after a devastating loss.

There are no shortages of rain in our lives. There is no stopping the inevitability of the wind pushing our existence into a vast array of beauty and devastation.

As humans we are meant to feel. To experience. It is our deepest boon and greatest curse. To understand Frost’s poem is to understand that life comes with no contract. No expectations. Life is just energy and you can CHOOSE to take in that energy or you can choose to hide from it. To take in the energy means you can see truth in your life. It be the magical strokes of tranquility that follows a beautiful encounter or the deafening pain of loss. Some experience the pleasant feeling of a job well done and often become challenged by the overwhelming feeling of what is expected.

Yes. We all know how the flower felt. We all broach the surface of our emotions. To go deeper one must look deeper. I challenge you to look deeper.

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1. In every situation for the next week try not to react. If your kids or spouse send you into a state of rage absorb the emotion, stay calm and revisit it later with a positive attitude. Keep a notebook handy to jot down your positive focus.

2. Take a 20 minute break every day to meditate. Close your eyes and repeat the mantra: “my anxiety is my excitement.” Not as in depth as I wold like to go with this one but most people have anxiety (me included) and this is probably a good starting point.

3. Witness beauty 3 times per day. Once in your family, once in your job, and once in nature. Write it down and share it.

The biggest mistake in human development isn’t the invention of bombs, technology, or fast food. The biggest mistake is to forget that everything can be broken down into energy. Remember that the flower lay “lodged– though not dead.”

Bad things may happen. Often times it is out of our control. You may find yourself lodged… NOT DEAD

Great things may happen. Often times a direct reflection of your choices. Be present enough to recognize it and CELEBRATE that beauty.

A stone is cast into the depths of the ocean and in that cacophonous drift it is tossed, scraped, and ravaged. The stone is cut and shaped by the sand. It is buried and forgotten by the sea until one day it emerges on the beach… polished and soft. More beautiful than ever. Life is like the stone. We are challenged by the universe. You will experience great days of polarization. Days that will be filled with achievement and adversity. Days filled with momentous events and days with life-altering tragedy.

Just remember that you are the flower. Wilted and bent by the wind and rain but you will stand tall and beautiful again.

You are the stone. Cut, tossed, and shaped by the sea… but you will arise polished and smooth.

Accept that life isn’t perfect and strive for progress. Accept ALL energy good or bad and learn from it. If you can achieve this state of consciousness then you will undoubtedly conquer all of your dreams and inspire those around you to do the same.

5 May 2015

Cutting Calories or Cutting Longevity???

It is that time again. Time to get geeky. Time to wake you all up from the slumber induced by modern trends and media hype.

It’s time to talk nutrition!!!!

There is something that has been bothering me since I began this journey in the world of health:
That is caloric restriction methods to lose body fat.

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Obviously to elicit a fat loss effect one must expend more calories than they consume BUT that does not mean you have to restrict your energy intake to the point of detriment. Calories are energy. Food is fuel. We need energy to be healthy.

Before I get into the science behind this I want to describe some case studies I have seen over the years.

Person x is 36 years old. She decides she is “fat” so she enlists my help and to her credit works really hard. 4 days/ week for a year. However, she also decides that eating healthy sucks so against my will she joins one of those supplement things (I can’t remember which one they are all the same) and restricts her calories to 900/day. She quickly dropped jeans sizes, lost a ton of fat.

Sounds great???

about 6 months into this she didn’t feel right: lethargic, cranky, disengaged, cramps, muscle spasms, injuries, the list went on. She went to get her blood work done and SURPRISE….

Her hormones were off, especially her estrogen. The Journal of Nutrition published a study a while back showing how energy restriction negatively affects not only estrogen levels but also bone mass.

Person x thought that because she worked out she could balance her hormones and bone mass with the super low calorie diet to “get her on track” and then eat healthy.

Key phrase: “and then…”

Any time you have to result to a drastic decision as a reaction to something you dislike, it is ALWAYS going to be a bad decision.

Smart people don’t react. They know where they want to go and form a plan to get there. Once you start reacting, it tends to lead to one bad decision after the other.

Person x would later binge eat. She gained 10lbs more than where she started. She continued to train. Not only that she would try her 900 calorie diet again!

Let us look at the facts about super caloric restriction meal plans for fat loss:

Yes. You will lose fat.
You will not feel good.
Your hormones will be negatively affected
your bone density will be negatively affected.

That is a 75% negative affect to a 25% positive outcome.

I know a lot of want our results fast. In our day and age we want everything fast. Information needs to be instantaneous but I am here to warn you that if you submit to those fad diets and those pill diets, or heavy supplement- based diets you will suffer the consequences in the long run.

don’t react to a vision you have of yourself. Make a plan to get there. Stick to that plan. The results will come if you put the work in.

And, you know what? You will not only lose fat but you will feel good, build strong tissue that will help fight disease, have a strong immune system, and be healthy to play with your grand kids.

I am going to keep bringing you these little nutrition lessons every week so take advantage of them!!!

30 April 2015

The Wise Man, The Giant, & The Guardian

There is an ancient legend. A part of antiquity often reflected within, songs and stories. Poems forged with fiery ink and plays portrayed with raw emotion. As adept as we are at analyzing and depicting the great deeds of our legends, we still have no skill at implementing the lessons.

The legend goes like this…

A wise entity once meandered the earth as a man. His mission was to expose true character. On his travels he encountered a giant. The giant was rampant with rage and drunk with strength as he smashed houses and tossed men like they were puppets.
The wise man strolled up to the giant and said:

“excuse me, are you certain about what you’re doing?”

The Giant roared with laughter and said he was the strongest giant to ever live and he will spend his life smashing things.

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The wise man said again: “are you certain sir?”

The giant looked curious and stammered: “OF COURSE I’M CERTAIN!!!”

The wise man said again but this time looked the giant straight in the eye: “Are… You… Certain?”

The giant threw his hands up in the air and sulked off ranting a raving to himself.

The wise man wasn’t finished. He wandered into the village next. The villagers were scared and hiding. As he continued to walk he came upon a guardian, a man standing tall in front of his house protecting his family.

This guardian had his nose in the air and his hands behind his back. The wise man walked up closer to him and asked: ” Sir, Are you certain?”

The guardian who was protecting his house smiled at him and replied:

” Sir, do you value your life?”

The wise man surely replied: “yes, I do.”

The guardian said: ” then do not step any closer or you step into your grave.”

The man who guards his house stood so confident with a raging giant about the village because he knew his house was guarded. He had dug a deadfall around the perimeter of his home. He was certain that he gave his family the best possible protection and his steadfast gaze provided the certainty that made the wise entity second guess his question and look within himself for answers.

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Certainty
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Most of us think we know who we are or what we want. Most of us even think we are confident…
Until we are forced to answer a few deep questions. Then we fall apart like the giant.

I will have you consider the possibility that we can all be like the guardian. Chivalrous and steadfast in his defense. His defense of the only thing he has control of: his ability to act. To take action in accordance with his beliefs and goals. Certainty.

Normally I give out a list. 3 things to get you started on your goals.

7 steps to improving your fitness.

Since most of us can’t even answer simple questions about ourselves I am going to leave you with 1 ACTION STEP.

That means, yes. You have to actually do it to see the results.

If you want personal power and to create space, or level up as we call it then you must first find out who you really are.

Start by composing a list of your core values. It is much harder than it sounds because inevitably you will start with a list of things you like. My first list had things like:

Good nutrition
Honesty
Adventure

I am not saying these things can’t be core values but I am saying that a core value is something you feel at your deepest level. Something that is so irrevocably true about you that it is apparent in your day to day life. A code you live by.

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To create core values you must look deep within yourself and it is scary. We live our lives based on what we think about the most. We feed thoughts which dictate the actions we take. In my experience you are in life exactly where you should be. You deserve where you are as a result of the thoughts, actions, and character you have built. The good news is that if you want to, you can change.

You have to be:

REAL – RAW – RELEVANT in order to get RESULTS

When you accomplish this first thing, creating your core values then we can talk about the next step.

28 April 2015

What Defines You?

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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It is not so uncommon to mistake safety for happiness, companionship for love, a job for fulfillment…

It is absurdly common to define one’s self in a descriptive manner. I know that sounds confusing, let me elaborate.

I always struggled with questions like: “who are you Ken?” or “what do you do?” or any question that serves as a platform to define me. I believe as human beings we are indefinable.

Sure, we all possess traits that describe us: Loyalty, Honor, Deceitful, Malicious, Brash, Intrepid, and the list goes on. Some are good and some are bad, depending on your world view. But these are not us. One cannot mistake description for definition. These things only define us if we limit ourselves to the idea that we are measurable. If we define ourselves with some sort of narrative about our past then we are imprisoning our imagination and our instincts.

What if Leonardo da Vinci only became an artist and not an inventor, philosopher, and real life super hero??? What if Abraham Lincoln was only a politician and not a wrestler, amazing writer, and real life super hero???

What if Hellen Keller let her impairments define her? She would not have inspired the world.

All of us have fire inside of us. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you see the person you love, that’s fire. That feeling you get when you start a new venture or activity, that’s fire. Unfortunately, we spend more time suppressing our fire than we do embracing it. Better put, we spend a lot of time reacting to our fire than we do initiating it.

Great people in the world recognized their spirit, or fire and lived their life initiating it and spreading it. Most of the rest of us are either scared of the fire because it goes against the status quo or we misdirect it.

The silver lining is that what you have done in the past and what you are going to do in the future doesn’t define you, not matter how great or how terrible those acts may be. They are mere expressions of what does define you… your fire.

Have you ever heard of Alfred Nobel? Yeah, the guy responsible for the Nobel Peace Prize. Did you know that he was also known as “The Angel of Death” because of his invention of dynamite? You see, he didn’t let that define him. Instead he took his fire and initiated a movement. This movement sparked acts of good across the world and Alfred’s legacy has become enduring.

My own past isn’t exactly chivalrous. I have done things which I am proud of and I have done things which make me shake my head. Things have happened to me that left scares. I made things happen that inspired a tribe. What I have come to learn is that none of it defines me. My past does not determine my future and my future is what I make of it. What does define me, what I hope people say about me when I am gone is “he had passion.”

All I mean when I talk about fire is passion. When you have passion and you embrace it then you challenge the status quo. You take risks. You cringe at the thought of the comfort zone.

AKA: TV, slumbering, video games, sedation, shopping just to shop, eating just to eat, etc. This is our current status quo and most people are content to live in it. In fact, most people will fight to the teeth to protect it. I experience a lot of push back in my life. People telling me I am crazy. Why did I shoot that video? Why do I train so much? OMG, you need to go out and cut loose!

These are the people who are scared of their fire. These are the people that know all the reality shows, know the menus of all the best restaurants by heart, and have every new show on the market.

HMMMMM, I think I will embrace my fire and inspire others instead. As appealing as the Housewives of Atlanta are, they don’t push me to do great things in life.

WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP

I wrote that 6 times because studies show that it takes 6-12 contacts before someone is receptive to your message. Guys, you are wasting your minutes. Time is a finite thing. You experiences are treasured legacy’s. Opportunities knock daily, stop ignoring them.

You are defined by passion. You don’t have to be Da Vinci or Keller to be remarkable.

I know a woman, she comes to my dojo. She gets excited about everything. EVERYTHING. It is such a pleasure to watch. She is always talking about how she pushed her son to join a school in Texas, she pushes her colleagues, her energy inspires me to be more on fire.

Do you know what she is called? A leader…

If you decide to stop hiding from your fire, your passion you will become a leader as well. You will inspire your co-workers, your family, your friends. That is exciting. Now compare that to what the Housewives are doing. What sounds like more fun?

Now, TAKE ACTION!

IF you guys need a push or even some guidance then fill out a contact application and get to TFW Ropestone. We are filled with leaders. We are filled with people challenging the status quo.

15 April 2015

What Assassin Is Hunting You?

I was reading Edgar Allen Poe’s short story: “The Black Cat” the other day. It is a dark and disturbing story to say the least but it is also beautifully melancholy. As with all great writers, Poe creates a story with many levels and many lessons. His subject in this story was a man who began his life on a benevolent path and ended up with clouded vision and distorted perception that led him to terrible acts. This is a situation to lament but not overlook. There is a great opportunity to learn. What is the lesson you ask?

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To be Happy, Create Space
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Simple, yes. It is also dauntingly difficult. I won’t ruin the story because I know all of you are going to go out and read this story of emotional torture, all 6 pages of it! I will, however elaborate on the theory of space and how easy it is to lose it and how difficult it is to find once lost.

The thing is, the human brain has infinite potential but we are stifled by a limited perception of our world. We are easily influenced. We are seductively guided by irrelevance into the quandary of ” I have no time.” A loose translation of having no time can also read: “I have no space.” These thoughts can then most commonly be liberated through:

– irritation
– anger
– judgment
– self-destruction
– sadness
– depression
– worry
– hunger
– work
– drugs and alcohol

Let us take a look at an example of a boy. This boy grew up as a precocious kid, always doing “weird” things. It did not take long for the other kids to label him as “weird.” It took even less time for his hypersensitive mother to start yelling at him for doing these “weird” things. The boy did what any adolescent would do and he embraced his title. He actually took solace in the fact that he stood out and was notorious. His “weirdness” became an important ally. It drove him to study and discover things all the other kids didn’t bother with. In fact, it got him into a great college and later a great job.

Although he built on paper a great life for himself, he never actually developed the skills to interact. He was an introvert by association, not by birthright. What I mean is he associated himself with the idea that he was different, or “weird” and this caused him great stress growing up. Yes, it drove him to accomplish great things but it subtlety began to kill his spirit. He began to drink as a way to comfort himself. He began to fail to meet deadlines at work because he lacked the time to complete them. His production steadily declined as his mind steadily increased with stress. He began to worry about work. He even stopped drinking but he still couldn’t find the time to get his production back up.

Worry. Worry. Worry.

Thought after thought about how he wasn’t getting it done!

AKA: clouded head and distorted perception.

The unfortunate truth is that his problem wasn’t his drinking, it wasn’t his work ethic. It was his label that was imposed upon him as a child. It slowly embedded itself in his brain. It became him and he embraced it. BUT because never actually wanted this label, it became an assassin. This killer had one intention; destroy the only thing we have that is irreplaceable… TIME.

As he got older there was no more space for relationships. There was no more space for what he actually wanted to do, what he liked to do. This label, his assassin became not only his intellectual demise but it killed his soul. The label made him perceive he wasn’t good enough. “You don’t belong in the gym playing basketball.” “You don’t belong at social clubs interacting.” It made him perceive that he wasn’t fit for a relationship. It made him perceive, despite being an erudite, diligent worker, that he was bad at his job.

It made him think he had no time and no space. No purpose.

I have gone through this problem myself. I lived it. Not in the way this boy did, I suffered my own traumas. My own indignities. I was able to learn to create space and dissolve my problems instead of letting them carry me down the road our boy went.

Don’t forget that the boy may have become a man but he was too scared to address the one thing that paralyzed his growth… his boyhood trauma. I learned that in order to grow as a person and discover what it truly means to be happy one must deal with the very things that scare us the most. We all have them.

They might be childhood traumas. They might be grave misbehaviors that we are ashamed of. It might be as simple as being called weird or as complex as being abused. The point is that if you take a minute, recognize that you do have haunting issues. Say hi to them and let those issues know that you are watching them.

THEY CEASE TO HAVE POWER

Step 1. Become aware
Step 2. Take away power by dealing with the problem, realize that you are responsible for your happiness.
Step 3. Take control.

Overcome-business-setback

I don’t know much about the human brain. I don’t even know much about therapy. I teach what I go through in life. I do know this… we are scared of what we give power to. If you bury your problems and refuse to recognize them then they will creep up and destroy us eventually. It might be so subtle that you don’t even know why or what is destroying you because you are clouded with depression or anger.

There is one last example I Want to give you. If this hits you in the gut then you might take heed to my warnings. Are you irritated when you wake up? Do you argue with your spouse weekly? Do you loathe the job you once took pride in? Do you drink for fun or stress relief? Warriors, if you answered yes to these or if these questions inspired another problem you might have then I urge you to become aware of them! Take control and you will have power!

To create space and discover that time is infinite, you must first learn to be present. Learn to let emotions and fears flow through you. See them, don’t hide from them. That takes away their power and empowers you! How?

BE REAL- RAW- RELEVANT with yourself. Then with your family.

I challenge you guys to look at your lives. How irritated are you? How many fights per week do you have with family and friends? What is your level of happiness because if it isn’t a 10 then I have news for you… IT CAN BE.

Before you can achieve all the things you want in life you have to kill the assassin!

There is a saying from Fight Club that I love. Before you read it I will ask you how you are spending your minutes?

” this is your life… and it’s ending one minute at a time.”

30 March 2015

My 2 Yr Old Is Smarter Than Me

Dear Warriors!

I am fired up today. I was at Jumping Jakes recently with my son. He loves it there. He likes to interact with all the kids. Probably because he is an only child. The funny thing is he only likes the older kids.

It warms my heart to see him get so excited and try to play with them. Most of them ignore him but he doesn’t care. He runs into the mix without a fear or care in the world.

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WARNING: About to get deep
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I had never seen him in a situation where people were to mean to him until this experience.

IMG_0026

Like I said, he was trying to play with the older kids so he would grab the ball they were playing with and run with it laughing. They would get mad and jump on him and yank the ball away and push him.

After a while anytime he stood up they would throw him down. He would just laugh and…

GET UP.

There was one girl, about 5 years old. She was evil! She was pulling his hair, hitting him, and throwing him around.

I almost went in there but then I saw it…

I saw my son, Hollin. He knew something that I didn’t.

Every time she pushed him or pulled his hair he would just look at her in her eye and smile. It wasn’t even a “haha” smile, it was an empathetic gesture. He kept going back.

Lacking the communication skills to express his feelings he talked with his body language. He liked her!

Her mom finally caught wind and came rushing over apologetic but I just said ” no worries, I learned a lot just now.” She looked at me like I was a crazy man.

This was a week ago but I wanted to let it simmer. I had to discover that esoteric knowledge Hollin had so I could share it with you guys.

Then it came to me while working with my Get Serious students.

****He knew what he wanted****

Hollin was confident and he knew exactly what he wanted and there was nothing anyone could do to upset him. He took some hard shots to the face and he just kept coming. IMG_0024

He was rejected all day and still he smiled. Still he pushed forward.

This is the secret sauce guys:

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Be Certain
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Know who you are, what you want, and do whatever it takes to get there…

All the bumps along the way is just the universe challenging you to see if you are serious.

There were kids there that cried and ran out of the play houses. There were kids there scared to grab the ball, scared to use the slide and they suffered the slings of sorrow.

I watched them in awe of how their day was spoiled over and over because they let someone else affect their desires.

I am proud of my son for how he didn’t let anything stop him.

He taught me something at age 2. Now I am teaching you….

LISTEN!!!!

23 March 2015
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