We are about to embark on a rant for the ages. I apologize ahead of time because this is going to hurt some of you. I promise, it is for your own good. Last week someone talked my ear off about coconut water and all its benefits and how ionized water is better than some other water. Honestly, I lost interest. Someone else a couple days ago wanted to engage in a conversation about the efficacy of doing shoulder presses in the gym. Just today one of my students was talking about how many sit-ups one needs to do to burn a lot of fat.
MY EYES ARE GLAZING OVER
I want to save you all a lot of time and energy with guru knowledge and pointless chatter. First off, if you are arguing the difference between ionized water and coconut water you are lost my friends. I was there too. Don’t be too offended. Sometimes we let our ego get in the way of actually doing work. Trainers always want to be the guy/girl with the most knowledge and then we think that knowledge makes us better than everyone. This phenomena extends past the gym and to you guys too. I hear it all the time in public or even with friends.
“P90X is the best because there is multi-joint exercises that challenge the type 2 muscles.”
“Insanity is so great because it utilizes muscle confusion and keeps your body guessing”
“Weight training makes you bulky, body weight is the way to go”
The problem with all this talk about how to keep your body guessing and what is the better, the push-up or the bench press is that people are so busy being the “expert” they forget to actually do the stuff.
I will say something that will make most coaches and trainers shriek: The science doesn’t really matter.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you should do intermittent fasting or lift weights. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t committed to getting better and doing the work. You can cut 500 calories out of your diet and run in a circle for an hour and lose weight. It isn’t rocket science people! The thing that does matter is how committed you are. The rest is just icing on the cake. Here is a tale of 3 real students I had over the years.
1. This guy lost about 50lbs before he even came in. He was dedicated and did it all through nutrition and he said flat out: ” I am a changed man and I need guidance now.” We went on to completely transform him and he still comes in today.
2. A person came in and lost 70lbs. Most committed person I have seen (at least up there in the top 10). One day I don’t see her and I can’t tell you how she is doing now.
3. This person came in and stayed for a long time. NEVER lost any real fat. They just couldn’t put the food down.
All the guru knowledge and fitness journals can’t save you. All the books and new crazy workouts won’t save you. If you don’t change in your head, you won’t change in your body. It is a fact. Even if you do a crash diet and train your ass off and lose a ton of weight, if you don’t change mentally you will gain it all back. Person number 1 changed mentally. He was ready to crush life. Are you?
My expertise doesn’t lie in the latest Precision Nutrition certification or how many kilocalories are burned on every rep of the deadlift. My expertise lies in the fact that I am impervious to bullshit.
Below are the keys to the kingdom. I am giving away the secrets of TFW Ropestone’s success. Ready?
If you don’t perform, I will call you out. If you don’t do the work, I will call you out. It is that simple.
ACCESS — ACCOUNTABILITY— ASSOCIATION
What does that mean? If you want to get results then this is what you need to do:
1. Find a gym that you like. There is so much debate over Crossfit, bootcamps, personal training. I DON’T GIVE A HOOT. I have nothing against any of it. I just want you to find a place you resonate with because that is how you will get things done. Just be sure they know what they are talking about.
2. You need to be held accountable. Some people need different levels of accountability but someone to hold you to your word: DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO
3. Work with a team. We call it a familia at TFW. Who is your team???
This post is meant to scare you.
I aim to challenge you to step up. Entertain the idea you have more to offer. Look within yourself and ask if you can do better?
I want you to have the courage to admit to yourself that perhaps you are held back by intellectual restraints. Metaphorical chains that were unknowingly placed on you at an early age.
Your thoughts dictate your words. Your words dictate your actions, and your actions determine your legacy.
“I may sit here and think but those thoughts may not determine who I am.” In recent months I have dedicated quite a bit of time separating my being from my brain. Simply put: my brain is separate from my heart, or spirituality as one might put it.
There is a calming interconnectedness between your being and the universe. When you are present with yourself in a state of awareness then you feel an esoteric elation. Something not even capable of being explained. We have all had glimpses of it. But that is it… a glimpse, a momentary shift in power. The mind and ego are overtaken by the subdued power of our being for a brief moment. We can experience a real, raw, relevant joy but unfortunately, the mind is quick to reel you back in.
The experience one feels doing something great in sports… followed by the dread of living up to that new standard.
winning an award… followed by the good old: “ahh I got lucky.”
The true bliss of a happy moment with your spouse… followed by the self-fulfilling prophecy of the next fight.
Whatever your individual poison may be, I can say with almost certainty that your brain and your being are struggling for power. Our brain will shift to what is easy, not what is good. Look at this situation: A man comes home from work and is exhausted. He comes home to a wife that is equally exhausted from taking care of the kids and working. She wants to do dishes and laundry and make the nest a place of comfort and the man is a more practical entity so he wants to unwind on the couch and save that stuff for later. A fight ensues because neither wants to compromise. She is crazy and overbearing and he is lazy!
Who is right?
I will have you consider that no one is right. They are both just acting from commands that their brain is putting forth. The feminine being wants to fill space. If there is a bare wall then she must hang a picture. If there is silence then she wants to talk or be active. A masculine being wants to do only what is practical and needed so if he is tired then he wants to rest. If he does not have anything to say then he is silent.
Here is the interesting part. If they had both been in touch with their being then they would have been present enough to realize what was happening. Their minds were trying to control the situation. If they were self-aware and identified with their being then they could have said hello to their thoughts and intrinsically decided to alter their paths. The man and woman would have done the dishes together had some laughs and everyone is happy. The man gets to unwind with his wife by laughing and the woman gets the dishes done and saves the laundry for tomorrow. BOOM.
This situation was my situation. That is why I know it works. We are conditioned to identify with our thinking brain rather than our being and that is why we act on impulse and react to emotions. One can alter this path by recognizing a situation like the one above before it turns into the fight. The catch is, you have to do the work.
What is the work? I am glad you asked…
We will start with these 3 simple but challenging tasks:
1. Practice being aware of yourself daily. Keep a journal. When you feel yourself fill up with emotion and go to react to it. DON’T. That is a brain reaction. Notice that you are feeling the emotion, say hi to it and let it pass. I used to practice this with road rage. Then I practiced at home. Then I even practiced with happy emotions. Keep a journal if you can because you will see a pattern develop.
2. Go outside your comfort zone. Do things you wouldn’t normally do. I mean this with all my heart. I used to think I was the busiest person in the world. I honestly thought I had no time for dishes or anything else. I WAS WRONG. I started to listen to my being and not my brain and I found time. Many philosophers and erudite thinkers have said: “time is just a matter of perception.” I am LIVING PROOF.
3. Confront your fears. This is the one a lot of people won’t do. Flat out refuse. In fact, most people refuse to admit they have fears. I am not talking spiders and snakes here. I am talking childhood issues. Marital issues, abnormal stress, whatever YOUR fear is… confront it! Put it out there. Say hi to it and it will slowly cease to have power. The more you confront your problems the faster they dissolve. They might not go away, you can’t fix everything but the more in tune with yourself you become the less you care about “problems” and the more you care about what matters.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – Henry David Thoreau
I spent the first portion of my life’s work telling people it isn’t too late to change your fitness level, it isn’t too late to get fit. Eat right. BLAH BLAH BLAH. It is immensely important to have a healthy lifestyle but that isn’t where we start. Where we start is getting your head right. Learning how to implement habits. Retrain your brain to dissolve strife, not avoid it. To embrace the deep punch in the gut you feel when you embark on a new journey towards what you want. It isn’t easy work. It isn’t without fear or pain. It is where we see you transform from a person existing to a person thriving.
Take the next step, learn more about our Orca Excursions and how to be present: https://tfwropestone.wufoo.com/forms/orca-empire-1-day-excursion-application/
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?”
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:
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
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.