There was once a major war going on in the world, and the future of humanity depended on the outcome. One side of the fight had a set of horrific ideals and a master plan to spread its propaganda throughout the world. Within an occupied country of this regime, however, a small faction of the population began to resist and fight back against this tyranny. These people came from different nationalities, religions and classes for fighting for what is right knows not of race, color or creed. No matter the risk, these people would take every opportunity to sabotage the efforts of the enemy. While outrageously outnumbered in a world in which most were against them, these men and women bravely persisted for that which they believed. As a result of there underground efforts, these heroes became known as the Resistance.
Although it may not be as publicized, today there is another major war which holds of the future of humanity in the balance. Instead of territory, this war battles over the health and fitness of the world’s population. Again, one powerful side of the fight is armed with a marketing plan of propaganda. This time, however, this group is hell bent on softening the minds and fattening the bodies of as many people as possible. In our world of ever growing rates of obesity, cancer, diabetes, over-medication and sedentary lifestyles, a faction of men and women on the other side of the fight has begun to push back. While outrageously outnumbered in a world in which most people are against them, these men and women persist for that which they believe. These are the new heroes of the Resistance.
Fact:The world is not set up for you to live healthy. Actually, the world really doesn’t want you to be fit! Food has become less nutrient dense and there are daily meetings being held to make sure it continues. Right now there is a group figuring out how to create ways to keep our children more sedentary. As a result of this army’s efforts, self esteem, fitness and confidence are being hammered to an all-time low.
Fact:People living a fitness lifestyle are outnumbered. Actually, the world often portrays this minority of people interested in their caloric expenditure, workouts and body fat as “obsessed” or “insane.” These people meet opposition as a result of their beliefs and habits at every meal, family function and work environment. As a result of these crusader’s efforts, health and fitness still maintain a small, yet powerful foothold worldwide.
What’s the Password?
The Resistance is a clandestine operation. As you read this blog, perhaps you are unsure on which side of the fight you stand. Ask yourself the following ten questions. If you answer “yes” to 6 or more of them, consider yourself a member of the Resistance. If you answer “yes” to 8 or more, consider yourself known as “crazy” to anyone that is not a member. If you answer “yes” to all 10 questions, I am sure you did it with a defiant and proud smile.
1. Have you ever been made to feel guilty while ordering order a salad at a restaurant by your associates?
2. Are you excited that fish oil now comes in flavors other than rotted fish?
3. Do you hate having to explain yourself at family get-togethers about why you are not eating dessert?
4. Have you ever been pressured in a bar by friends because you aren’t drinking?
5. Do you hear “a little piece isn’t gonna kill you,” more than six times per year?
6. Would you be more excited to find out than Blueberries are 2 for 5 dollars instead of Big Macs?
7. Do you think a Friday night, holiday or vacation is a great time to get a workout, not skip one?
8. Are you the only person you know that doesn’t make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight?
9. Do you have a piece of exercise equipment in your house and actually use it.
10. Have you ever been negatively referred to as a “Health Nut”, “Fitness Freak”, or a “Gym Rat?”
Resistance Is Healthy
The questions above were created to do two things: remind you that you will experience negative reactions while pursuing a healthy lifestyle and that you are not alone. The resistance you receive shows you are doing the right thing. People are resisting you not because you are wrong, but because they feel guilty that they are not healthy. They have not reached their fitness goals so they will try their best to stop you from reaching yours.
You know resistance in the gym is healthy. You won’t get results without it. Resistance on the body is the most important thing you need to develop strength and growth. The whole point of training is learning how to apply it correctly. The same holds true for living a healthy lifestyle. Take the resistance you receive from the opposition and let it strengthen your character and resolve.
The Resistor’s Mindset
As a member of the Resistance, know it will be hard to stay the course. Difficult decisions will face you at every turn. You may feel like giving in. Here are three tips to be sure you are ready to fight the good fight of fitness.
1. Change Your “Got To’s” into “Get To’s”
So many unfortunately view working out or eating well as something that they have “got” to do. Members of the resistance, however, are better served when they view it as something that they “get” to do. Instead of thinking about these things as difficulties or challenges, choose instead to view them as luxuries and opportunities. When you switch your “got to’s” to “get to’s” I promise staying a member of the Resistance won’t be a hardship. It will be a privilege.
2. Add A “To” Onto Your “In”
When you attended school, were you “in” school or were you “into” school? The chances are that you were only in it. To be a member of the Resistance, however, you cannot be “in” fitness, you need to be “into” fitness. When you get “into” something, not only do you get interested, but your energy becomes contagious and gets other people interested too.
3. Don’t Be A “Nowhere” Man
The world doesn’t make living healthy easy. In fact, it is trying daily to convert you to the other side. How you view the seven letters above will perhaps determine if you are a lifelong member of the Resistance, or just a one-time member. When you can’t seem to find something healthy to eat or a place to workout, persist to do the right thing. When a healthy option seems “Nowhere” in sight, persist knowing that there is always an opportunity “Now Here.”
As I get older, I am consistently organizing my life in order to accomplish my “bucket list.” For those not familiar with a “bucket list,” this represents the list of things you want to do in your lifetime before you “kick the bucket.” In a way, this list should be your ultimate record of personal goals. Unfortunately, I believe many people think instead of this list representing goals to achieve, the entries are seen as dreams that will probably never happen.
If you are familiar with the TFW Logo, you know that the Roman Colosseum is featured. Having always been inspired by this historic structure, it was at one time the number one remaining entry on my bucket list of places to visit. The day I pulled up in front of the ancient structure eerily lit by both flood lights and the moon, I was in awe. Of course I appreciated the fact that brave gladiators battled on its floors and by its sheer size and magnitude, but there was one thing that struck me even deeper. As I sat gazing on his structure, I realized that I was looking at a “number one” from someone else’s bucket list. I also recognized that this number one was much greater than mine. This mass of stone and ingenuity reminded me the first item on a bucket list should not be a place to visit or a thing to do or own, but instead to achieve something that will inspire and serve others for hundreds or thousands of years. This mass of architecture and engineering was my symbol that the best “mark” we can make is by making our “mark” on this world.
Everyone wants a sense of permanence. If not, why would there be pictures or yearbooks or gravestones? Having been all around the world, Rome is perhaps one of the best examples of what humanity can do in terms of tangible permanence. To watch people use elaborate technology to video buildings thousands of years old was intriguing. So many trekked from around the world to congregate in squares and basilicas to capture themselves on film. But for what? I say that it is to get a taste of that permanence for themselves. Although most may be captured by the elaborate designs of the architecture, what they may miss is the subtle fact that these wonders of construction were another person’s mark on the world. So rare are such achievements that we are forced to take out our cameras and celebrate them. But instead of sitting in awe of the work of others, why not scratch our own mark on time? Why are we compelled to believe that great works of art, music and technology are reserved for someone else?
I believe the human species was designed for action and achievement. When we are not centered on achieving what we personally consider a worthwhile goal, the stagnation only brings about depression, illness and disease. When our actions are aligned with our higher purpose, we possess boundless energy and enthusiasm. The challenge is not often in the pursuit of a goal, but in the development of the courage to set the goal in the first place. All too often, people have resigned to the idea that worthwhile goals are for “other” people. Unfortunately, these sad souls left their greatness inside them. The purpose of this blog is to make sure you don’t do the same.
How To Make Your Mark
Create Your Vision
Every mark on history starts with a vision. In the case of the Colosseum, the Emperor Vespasian had a vision thousands of years into the future. The only difference between him and you was perhaps the size of his vision.
What do you want to be remembered for? Until you ask this question, there is little chance of doing something great. Once you have answered this question, however, you have set a vision that can be the vehicle to put you on the path in the direction you need to go.
Define Your Mission
Once Rome had the vision of the Colosseum, it was time to figure out the plan which had the greatest opportunity to make this vision a reality.
Did you ever get in the car, turn the key and not know where you were going? Although that might sound crazy, it is no crazier than waking every day with the same dreams and no map to get there. Once you understand what it is you want, you will need definitive plans on exactly how to get there. This set of plans is your bucket list. Step 2 makes sure that you write the list that aligns with your vision.
Take Consistent Action
We have all heard Rome wasn’t built in a day. In fact, the Colosseum took over a decade and rest of Vespasian’s life to complete it.
This is the step that is not only most critical, but the step that stops most people. Once you are in the car, have turned the key and have directions, your actions are the small presses on the gas pedal which will give you forward momentum. Taking small steps each day in the direction of your bucket list will eventually get you there. The key in Step 3 is to just keep “picking them up and putting them down.”
Motivation for the Journey
You were designed to be great. You have limitless potential. You can choose to scratch the surface of history and do something iconic. My suggestion is that you scratch hard, scratch often and make that scrape across time as deep as possible so that the world will be unable to ignore you.
We all have opportunities to deepen our mark every day. Whether you are a coach helping someone to better themselves or a mother or father working as the architect of your children’s lives, every act is an opportunity for permanence. Enough of the right action added up over a lifetime and your work with stand the test of time. It does not matter your choice of vocation or interest, just make sure you pursue it with all your heart and use your efforts in service of others. If you choose to do something, choose to be legendary. Anything less is a waste of tremendous talent.
What is your Colosseum? What will be the masterstroke that will etch your name on the fabric of time?
It is time to gather your vision, write your list and start taking action.
I have found a secret to the fulfillment of life or the lack thereof. I call it the “Division.” Having worked with thousands of people over the years, I have realized that every person has a Division between where they currently are in life and where they would like to be. Some of these people have small Divisions and others have much larger ones. For instance, if you had no money in the bank and wanted to be rich, you would have a large Division in the financial area of your life. The same would hold true for the fitness area of your life if you had a high body fat percentage and longed to look lean. An example of a person with a small Division might be a writer who has just made the Best-Seller list in the professional area of his or her life. The interesting point about Divisions is that the larger they are, I have found the more unhappy and troubled a person becomes. The smaller the Division, however, the more fulfilled the person feels.
Many people with large Divisions in their life live in despair. Because they are so far from where they want to be or what it is they want to become, they are discouraged and lose faith in themselves. Do not be like these people. Instead of looking at your Divisions as a negative thing, view them as positive. These gaps are telling you exactly what you need to do and how far you have to go to become what you really want to be. Instead of shying away from the Divisions and giving up, you must realize that your life’s purpose is actually to close the gaps.
In addition to noticing that people with smaller Divisions are happier and more fulfilled, I have also realized that these people often have small Divisions in not one, but many areas of their life. This proves to me that closing the gap of a Division is not reserved to the rich, talented or lucky people of the world, but is available to anyone that knows the right strategy. Life, therefore is not fate or luck, but a result of strategy and skill.
Below is my simple 5-step process for helping you close the Divisions of your life. Pick certain areas of your life in which you would like to improve and apply this strategy for the next 21 days. Although I cannot promise success, I can guarantee the lack of it if you never make the attempt.
Step 1. Choose A Destination
Have you ever gotten in your car, started the ignition and had no idea where you were going? Although this question sounds silly, this is exactly what most people do with their lives everyday. We wake and struggle through the day without a true destination of where it is we exactly would like to go.
Spend some time tonight writing down specific goals you would like to attain in certain areas of your life. If you skip this step, beware: You cannot have Goal Getting if you skip Goal Setting.
Step 2. Take Responsibility
Simply stated, responsibility can be defined as your ability to “respond” to a goal. I think that accepting responsibility for the goals of your life is not only a major sign of maturity, but also a major requirement for closing the gap on who you want to become. You must realize that if you are not who, what or where you want to be, it is your fault. Only you can take the steps necessary to reach your dreams.
That being said, I also believe it is our responsibility to become the best that we can be. Anything else would be to sacrifice the gift of each day that we have been given. Spend the next few weeks reminding yourself that the achievement of your goals is up to you.
Step 3. Welcome Adversity
Adversity is part of life. If you are not meeting with daily challenges, then you are simply not living. If you look at the most popular books and movies you will learn that there is no great story that first does not begin fighting against large odds. The bigger the odds, the better the story! Now is the time for you to script the great story of your life.
I once heard that history is nothing more than “difficulty defeated by an eventual triumph of enthusiasm.” Life is going to constantly throw obstacles at us almost daily. The key is to take the obstacles head on and don’t stop until you have overcome them. This mindset is the difference between being a quitter and a warrior-champion.
Step 4. Take Action
Once you have accepted responsibility for your destination and have come to the realization that things will not always be easy, the next step toward closing your Division is taking daily action using all-out effort. Whether it is sport, business or life, action is everything. All too often, I see that most people are happy being mediocre and never really take the chance to be great at something. I believe that we were put here to do our best and that as long as you have gone all-out, you will never have regret.
The Division is a measure of the difference between what people want and what they possess. I find it interesting that everyone “wants” more, but few ever “do” the things that need to make those things happen. If you say you want something and then don’t put action behind it, you are simply delusional. You are fooling no one but yourself.
Step 5. Don’t Give Up
If life were easy, everyone would have small Divisions in every aspect of his or her life of fulfillment. Life, however, will neither be easy or fair at times. This fact is reality, but it is not a realistic reason to ever give up on your dreams. Oftentimes, people give up right before the big breakthrough was about to happen. Use this knowledge to stay the course and follow through until the day has been won.
We all have the ability to become more and now you know the strategy how to do it. The Warrior Challenge this week is to have the courage to take 5 Steps.
There was once a king that believed his kingdom could be on the decline as a result of the attitude of his people. To prove his theory that his people had lost inspiration, a king had a giant boulder placed on the only road into his city. Then, hidden and perched on a hill, he waited to see what would happen. First, some merchants came upon the rock and said, “Well, this boulder is blocking our path. Let’s turn around and go home. No work today!” And they turned around and left. Next a group of soldiers came upon the boulder. “This rock is blocking our path,” they said. “I guess no one will need our services today”, and they turned around and went home as well. The king watched person after person continue to come upon the rock, see it as an impasse or excuse and turn and go home. That was, until an old man came upon the rock. Instead of becoming discouraged like the others, he got excited by the presence of such a challenge. He first examined the huge boulder and tried to push it with all his might. He realized this would not work and began to think of other solutions. Then the quote from ancient mathematician Archimedes popped into his head, “If you give me a large enough lever and a fulcrum on which to place it, I shall move the world.” The old man was instantly inspired, and found a long wooden pole. He placed the pole under the boulder and using leverage, moved the boulder slightly. He repeated this process until the boulder was completely off the road. With his challenge finished, the inspired man was about to set off down the previously blocked path toward the city, but he noticed a bag lying where the boulder once stood. He looked around, picked up the bag and found inside a large amount of gold and a note. He carefully opened the note and read, “This gold is for you, since you know that great obstacles can lead to bigger opportunities.” The king, happy with the actions of this man, left his hiding place and went back to his castle with hope for his people.
Like many Zen stories, at first, this may not to make sense, but upon deeper reflection it should start to be crystal clear. The previous story was used to remind you that taking the “easy way” is not always the best way. Oftentimes our own areas of weakness are not obstacles, but our biggest opportunities to learn and develop ourselves. You see, all too often we wish that our lives were easier. We dream of hitting the lottery, getting more to do less, or that somehow we can live a life without trouble. I am here to tell you that it is actually the difficulty of life that makes life great! Without the challenges, obstacles, troubles, tragedies, failures, mistakes, problems, dilemmas, conundrums, and even catastrophes, our lives would be less, not more. Once you come to understand this, you realize that the obstacle is the path.
I know what you might be thinking. You might believe that with less problems your life would be easier. Easier? Perhaps. Better? No. I believe that in most cases in life, people don’t really want easier, they want better. They want to have more. As I have stated over and over to the athletes with which I work, “If you want to have more you have to become more!” The only way to get there is by overcoming the obstacles that will be in your way. There is nothing more famous than the athlete that eventually sees an injury to overcome as a blessing or the person that was made stronger mentally by passing through tough times. Embracing this concept will give you the courage to move forward when turmoil inevitably knocks on your door.
The warrior challenge of the week is actually an obstacle in itself. This week’s challenge is to spend some time thinking about the biggest obstacle currently holding you back from what you want. Whether it is a skill you are missing at work, a percentage of body fat you want to reduce, or a relationship that you need to rekindle, you need to pick your main obstacle, attack it and pass it by. Once you have done this, pick out the next thing that stands in your way and attack again. I promise that if you keep this process up for the next year, the skills and traits you would develop would be amazing.
The key is identifying that obstacle and then having the courage to get on the path. The world and whatever you want from it can be yours as long as you are willing to go over, around, under or through enough obstacles. The key question is not what you really want, but how far are you willing to go to get there.
When you were born, your entry level job was to be happy and have fun. Your immediate job responsibility was about being happy or avoiding anything that made you upset. Under the watchful eye of many superiors, you learned important “on the job” skills like crying and smiling to reach your quarterly goals of maximum contentment. After a few years in this position, you took your first steps up the corporate ladder, when you started school. Even with your first introduction of a schedule and reporting systems, your main objective was still to be happy. High school brought on another advancement of position in your job. With a greater network of associates and freedom, you took more of a management role in your production of fun. In this managerial role, you were able to determine what produced your greatest happiness and you increased your creativity and skills in fun production. Your impressive resume lead to your final promotion to CEO when you reached college. This position required building a solid team of like-minded people on a mission to reach maximum happiness with a little studying thrown in there sometimes. Just as the ride at “Happiness Inc.” has hit its peak, however, something scary happened to your job security.
When college ended you were convinced by people of another “work force” that for some reason you needed to get a “new” job. This group asserted that it is acceptable and often a requirement to exchange your former payment currency of happiness for money. As a result of this new compensation package, your concept of a “job” transformed from doing things to have as much enjoyment as possible to represent whatever task you can perform to produce as much money as possible. In this new position you are expected to spend most of the rest of your life doing tasks you may not enjoy in order to produce enough money to do what makes you happy in the little spare time this new job offers. This career not only requires, but demands 5 stressful days per week. After trying to maximally enjoy Saturdays and Sundays for the next 50 years, you are ironically allowed to “retire” from this job and rejoin your original career at the young age of 65.
Does any of this sound familiar? I hope you see something terribly wrong with this way of thinking. If we are supposed to start off and end our lives having fun, why don’t many of us believe we can have fun in the middle? I suggest there is a better way to measure success than in houses, cars, flat screen TVs and money.
Rooney Rule: Success in life can be measured as the amount of time you spend doing what makes you happy with people that make you happy.
When most people hear this new idea, they say anyone that has a job that leads to happiness is lucky. Happiness is not something the lucky deserve, it is something the successful demand! Are you having as much fun as you deserve? If you aren’t as successful as you want to be according to the rule above, it is time to demand more. Time spent doing things you dread because the world said “that is how it is supposed to be” is a giant waste of your passion and gifts.
The Job Hunter’s Toolbelt
Here is my list of 4 tools you need to help pave a new career path. Since they are not always easy to use, I have recruited some of the best and brightest minds in history for some “on the job” training.
Tool 1: Belief
Belief is like a crowbar. You can use it to separate the “haves” and “have nots.” Most people do not believe that they are supposed to have a job that makes them happy. Use this tool to separate yourself from the competition.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.” Mahatma Gandhi
Tool 2: Responsibility
Responsibility is like a compass. Once it is set, it will tell you the direction you need to go. After you set it on something you believe makes you happy, then it is your choice whether or not to pursue it.
“…Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Victor Frankl
Tool 3: Inspiration
Inspiration is like industrial-strength glue. Once it has locked on, it is hard to separate it from its purpose. Once you have inspiration in place, you will be hard to pull off track.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali
Tool 4: Action
Action is like a hammer. It only produces a result when you use it. Instead of waiting for the “right” time, the best way to use this tool is to start swinging.
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I hope this blog a wake up call. If you are unhappy, there is more waiting for you. Find your calling and you will never “work” another day in your life. How do I know? Because it worked for me.
If you are like most people, you have a night time routine. This routine could include taking a shower, washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc. In any case, I am sure that at least one aspect of your night time routine involves a look or two in the mirror to make an assessment of yourself.
It is amazing to recognize all of the uses that we have for mirrors. Mirrors come in many shapes and sizes and are used in many ways in our daily life aside from personal grooming. Without mirrors, driving, going to the dentist, or taking a picture would become a much more difficult procedure. In addition to cars, cavities and cameras, mirrors are also used in telescopes, periscopes, and flashlights. Mirrors can be used to collect sunlight for solar power and reflect lasers to determine distance. Mirrors are also commonly found in architecture (on entire walls to make a room look bigger) and decoration (where would we have been in the 70’s without the Disco Ball?) In fact, some professions even depend on the mirror for success. Don’t believe it, just imagine trying to make a living as a barber or a magician.
There is one fact about mirrors that you may not have thought of: we as humans are the only species on the planet that use them! The legendary evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin recognized this fact and recorded an orangutan’s expressions when it looked into a mirror. He concluded that the animal was not aware it was looking at itself and this spurred further research in the 1970’s. As a result of his work with animals and mirrors, Gordon Gallup Jr. created the Mirror Test which is series of observations to determine if an animal has self-awareness. Today, only a few animals have been considered “self aware” and not one comes close to the awareness capabilities of human beings.
Unfortunately, I believe most people use the combination of awareness and a mirror negatively. When faced with a mirror, most people become their own worst critics and instead of limitless potential, they instead make themselves aware of miniscule flaws. The purpose of Training For Warriors is to help others “Bring Out The Warrior Within.” When people ask me what training equipment is best to do this, they are always surprised when I list a mirror along with barbells, medicine balls and weights. Since they think it could be narcissistic, only after I have explained why a mirror is so important in training do they recognize that it can be used as a powerful tool for success.
The Rooney Mirror Test
I have used a mirror to administer one test each day for the last 15 years of my life. As a result, I believe that I have enjoyed success in certain areas that would not have been possible without this test.
For all the apprehensive test takers out there, the good news is that this test only takes a minute, doesn’t have a risk of physical pain and can be taken anywhere. The bad news is that there are no “make-ups” and cheating is not allowed.
How to administer the test:
At the end of the day, while looking yourself in the eye in a mirror, ask yourself the following 5 questions:
1. Did I exercise and develop my body today?
2. Did I eat well today?
3. Did I learn something new today?
4. Did I make someone feel better today?
5. Did I take a positive step toward a major goal today?
The scoring of this test is simple. If you can answer “yes” to all 5 questions, you pass. If you answer “no” to any of the questions, you fail. Although my grading may seem harsh, I believe by you missing answers, you will be forced to work at what you missed the next day. I guarantee that if you can put weeks of passing days in a row, you will become more successful at whatever it is you desire. I also guarantee, however, that if you consistently have failing days, you will fall behind your competition and farther from what you want to achieve.
If you didn’t get the score you wanted, you can do one piece of extra work to make sure you pass the following day. You are to look yourself in the eye, tell yourself you can accomplish anything you set your mind to and then state exactly what you are going to do/accomplish tomorrow. By doing this, you have already given yourself the answers for the next test!
This test requires 5 characteristics of successful people: Discipline, Consistency, Honesty, Responsibility and Accountability. For the test to help you improve you must be disciplined enough to make it part of your routine and consistent in its daily application. By looking yourself in the eye, you must also be honest with your scoring and know that if you didn’t do your best with the day your were given, you must hold yourself responsible. Finally, by stating what you will accomplish on the following day, you get the opportunity to hold yourself accountable.
You do so many things each day in front of the mirror, but do you ever really see your true self? Use the mirror test not only to see where you are, but also to see what you can become. Each day is a test. This blog was just a reminder for you to treat it as such.
My name is Martin Rooney and I admit I have a problem. I am an addict and my addiction has been going on for years. I spend a lot of my day thinking about this addiction and will sacrifice almost anything to get it. In just a day or two going without it, I experience withdrawal symptoms that can only be remedied when I have another fix. Even after that fix, however, I am almost immediately consumed by thoughts of how I can have more. I constantly crave and even dream about my addiction. When I am unable to satisfy my habit, I feel irritable and become uncomfortable to be around. Many people around me don’t understand why I act and do the things that I do on a daily basis as a result of my addiction. To them, I am a real junkie. My addiction has removed people from my life and brought other characters that share my vice into it. I don’t really think I am doing anything wrong and although people have tried to make or convince me, this is not something I plan on ever giving up. I don’t want anyone’s help and am not looking for recovery…
You see, I am addicted to positive self development through physical training.
When people hear the word addiction, usually a negative thought is immediately brought to mind. Addictions are commonly associated with some terrible situation in which someone’s life has been destroyed because they could no longer control their actions. Classic negative behaviors like drinking, drugs or smoking have been made synonymous with the concept of addiction. When I think of addictions, however, positive situations come to mind. Instead of lives that have been destroyed, I think of men and women that have attained levels of greatness in many different vocations as a result of their addictions. Confused? Let me explain.
According to the Webster’s dictionary, addiction is the act of putting oneself to a habit. Nowhere in this definition has an addiction been referred to as something negative or destructive. The key point to remember that an addiction is simply related to the habits you develop over time. A habit is defined as a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition. According to that definition, the development of positive addictions is as simple as repeating good behaviors until they become an unconscious pattern. This should help you to understand that you can choose to become addicted to good habits just as easily as bad since our behaviors are entirely up to us.
We all have goals, but may not realize that our habits may be getting in the way of them. For many of us, it may be difficult to really objectively examine our habits and see what is holding us back. Great advice would be to ask some people that you trust to help identify some of your habits that are helping you and some negative habits that are keeping you down. If you are not up for this challenge, I have created a quick list of 5 common good, bad, and ugly addictions in the areas of nutrition, exercise, and personal development to give you a quick snapshot of where you are doing well or where you can improve.
What are you addicted to?
1. Eating 4-6 small, clean meals per day
2. Drinking 8 glasses of water each day
3. Reading for 1 hour per day
4. Exercising 4 or more days per week
5. Getting 8 hours of sleep per night
1. Thinking and saying negative things about yourself
2. Watching an hour or more TV per day
3. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night
4. Getting less than two workouts per week
5. Never being on time for appointments
1. Daily Drinking of Alcohol/Soft Drinks
3. Eating Fast Food and Junk Food
4. Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle
5. Spending Yourself into Debt
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” Warren Buffet
We don’t always realize the impact our addictions have on our lives until it is too late. I believe that a person’s greatest mistake is to make the same mistake over and over. For instance, if you choose to eat improperly on skip training for one day you may not notice any negative consequences. As a result, this poor habit can easily become an addiction. These addictions caused by small repeated mistakes eventually lead to big problems like a lack of fitness, body fat gain, or low self esteem. Once these problems set in, they become difficult to reverse. But I remind you that you must not confuse the word “difficult” with “impossible.” I promise, however, that replacing your actions with a positive behavior can lead to the development of better habits which will change your addictions. It is that simple. Take your TV time and replace it with exercise. Replace the junk food with fruits and vegetables. You can do this! You just need to access the courage to start taking the correct action.
I guarantee this video will help you get a little more addicted to exercise…
Last week I was honored to present the TFW System and certify 29 new friends in Costa Mesa, California. Since I flew across the country, I booked a free day between the certification and the flight. When I planned this, I was not aware how I would need one day to clear my mind. With a growing business, family and demand to travel, outside pressure has increased. Although I enjoy the demands of my schedule, I was reminded we must recharge the batteries.
The constant access to email and people that cell phones provide can make even a “free” day seem overwhelming. I make it a point, therefore, to fill my free time with activities that calm my mind. Of the pastimes I enjoy, I have found fishing to be quite therapeutic. When I was offered the chance to spend a half day fishing, I couldn’t resist.After a scenic morning commute down the California coast, I reached Point Loma, a hilly peninsula bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the San Diego Bay, and the San Diego River. The area features impressive military facilities, a national cemetery, a university and a host of wildlife. As our boat cruised from the dock along the San Diego skyline, I was treated to Navy fighter jets and pelicans above, sea lions and submarines below, and my first view of a bullring off the coast of Mexico.
This trip reminded me of fishing with my father. Although I grew up having valuable conversations and experiences while fishing, I also realized we did not catch a lot of fish! My current journey educated me it wasn’t fish I was really after. While preparing to fish, I recognized a number of interesting steps necessary to hook the fish you wanted. After reflecting on the trip, I found the experience offered 7 Profound Lessons you can apply to catch the “big fish” of your life.
1. Bring The Right Bait
The boat offered a choice of a few different baits. What bait was chosen indicated what fish was wanted. Once the goal was specified, selecting the right bait to make that goal possible was easy.
If you want to land your big fish (money, job, spouse, house) in life, you better be sure you use the right bait. You must decide what you want in order to figure out what you need to get it. How you look, the degree you pursue, and the people around you are bait on your hook. Make sure they can attract what you desire.
2. Watch Out For Backlash
Once we began to fish, one overanxious fisherman dropped his bait too quickly without managing the line. The reel became a ball of knotted line called backlash, and kept him from fishing while he tried to undid the mess.
Even when you know your goals, racing too fast and or mismanagement of your actions can create backlash in your life. Like the line on a reel, backlash in your day is tough to unravel and costs you valuable time from the big fish.
3. Develop Good Sensitivity
Some people aboard the boat brought rods entirely too strong for the fish available. Without the ability to recognize the subtle tugs of a bite, these people were getting their bait stripped without hooking a fish.
If you are too rigid, you may miss the tiny opportunities available to catch your big fish. You need to stay sensitive to what happens in the lives of others around you and how your actions affect them. Being able to catch your fish with the right sensitivity makes the experience more rewarding.
4. Practice Your Knots
While fishing the bottom, my friend snagged his line. After trying to retrieve the line, he decided to snap it, reel in and set another rig. He quickly and masterfully added another baited rig with perfect knots and was immediately fishing again.
Tying a knot is an important fishing skill that takes time and practice to develop. In your career, there will be numerous skills you will call upon when you hook a snag in the plan. When your line breaks during your hunt, the skills you have ingrained with diligent practice will be your way to get back in the game.
5. Use Your Superiors
Although there were deck hands ready to help, many people tried to do everything themselves. As a consequence, one man tried to get a sand bass off the hook and got some dorsal fin spines in his hand instead.
Moral: You can skip a painful lesson by allowing more experienced people help you on your quest. That is, after all, the job of a superior and you should value their experience. Seek out great people that know what to do and eventually you will too.
6. Look To The Horizon
After an hour of riding big ocean swells, I got seasick. Each time I took an anchovy from the live tank, I turned another shade of green. Only by looking at the horizon was I able to steady myself.
Sometimes the many tasks in front of you can make you sick. This is why long term goals are important. Make sure you occasionally look to where you are going. When you plan ahead and keep an eye on the prize, you will feel more stable.
7. Find Your Focus
After a short time intently watching my line, I became relaxed. With bait in the water, one is filled with a potent combination of focus and hope. Although the task was simple, being hyperfocused on that line helped me forget about everything else.
You may get lost in your day with the work ahead. It may often seem like five voices are talking in your head at once and you can’t relax even when you have “nothing” to do. What is your method of hyperfocus? It could be reading, martial arts, or working out. Whatever it is, schedule some time to give your mind a break.
Eventually, just like mine, your fishing trip will come to an end. Someday you will reel in for the last time whether there is a fish on or not. The wake you have left behind will eventually disappear. When you disembark for the last time, your life will be measured less by the fish you caught than the preparation and adventures you had along the way to get them. This serves as your reminder to enjoy the quest.
2012 ended for me in exhilarating fashion. I was honored to corner fighter Jim Miller at UFC 155. Not only did he win “Fight of the Night” as a result of his impressive performance, but he also became the winningest lightweight division fighter in UFC history. A few hours before showtime, I sat in my room at the MGM Grand Casino staring out the window thinking about how best to motivate Jim for the fight. I was looking for a “sign” and immediately found one. On the side of the building, there was a huge advertisement for the magician David Copperfield that read, “Alter Your Reality.” Those three words gave me what I needed.
In the last decade “reality shows” have become some of the most watched shows on TV. From Candid Camera where it all started to the Real World, American Idol and Jersey Shore, people have become both attracted to and consumed by the drama of reality television. But is this really reality? Unfortunately for everyone watching to be more interested in someone else’s reality than their own, that sounds more like fantasy to me.
I am not sure why we are so attracted to the trials and tribulations of other people’s lives instead of our own, but I do understand people are drawn to the ridiculous. Hey, if you want to spend a little time and brainpower watching Honey Boo-Boo eat straight from the soft-serve ice cream machine or Snooki get arrested in a drunken stupor, that is your prerogative. Just make sure you worry about the direction of your reality show before that of the Swamp People. If you don’t think you are familiar with Reality TV, answer these questions and see if your own show should be higher in the ratings:
Are you more concerned about who “The Donald” will fire next, than if your own job is in jeopardy?
Do you waste time wondering how the Duck Dynasty and Kardashian families have so much fun together or do you invest time to improve the relationships of your own?
Have you sat and relaxed watching the Biggest Loser instead of taking a stand by working hard to make sure you don’t become one?
Did you ever complain how much money the Real Wives of Beverly Hills have, or do you see “Who wants to be a millionaire” as a personal challenge.
Not happy with some of your answers?Here are 8 tips to make sure your Reality Show becomes the next big hit:
1. Remember The Camera Is Always On
People are always watching how you act and how you act influences the world’s treatment of you. Since people act differently when the camera is on them, make sure it brings out your best. If you are going to act, might as well be sure that the camera captures your “good” side.
2. Become An Instant Celebrity
So many people are spectators in his or her own show. So many people are afraid to ask life for more. We all have wants and dreams, but are often content not to have them. Average people have become instant celebrities because they are part of a reality show. If these ordinary people can do it, why can’t you? Imagine you are a celebrity and you’ll start having different expectations for yourself.
3. Cut The Drama
Most people major in the minor things of life. People get themselves upset now over little things they surely won’t be worried about later. Instead of looking for crises, look for the good in the situations you experience. One way to make sure your show stays positive is to remember one can make you sad or upset but you. Your reactions to other people’s behaviors that makes that happen and those are under your direction.
4. Get Real
Growing up, the odds are that you have been typecast into a certain “role.” Instead of following convention, follow your dreams and be the person you want to be, not the person someone else wants. Don’t typecast yourself. Break the mold and remember that the hardest character to grow up and play is often yourself.
5. Choose New Cast Members
If your current cast is either driving you nuts or keeping you down, it is time for a casting call. Your show will be determined in part by the strength and depth of its cast members. Since you are the director of this show, make sure you know when it is time to replace some hacks with some fresh talent.
6. Pick Out Your Prize
Many reality shows use the concept of a game or have some sort of “prize” as the conclusion. This prize is often the motivation to make the stars do incredible things. What’s the prize for which you strive? You need to create it, set a deadline and go for it as if the whole world was watching.
7. Throw Out The Script
Many of us were given a script by our parents or community to follow. The way you carry out this script can affect your thoughts, actions and destiny. If you are unhappy with your lines, you have the freedom to go ahead and write your own. The most famous shows in history started with a fresh slate.
8. Change the Channel
Today there are hundreds of channels available for many tastes and interests. If you don’t like your current career or life focus, you can always change the channel to what stimulates you more. Reality shows have proven people can make money when they follow and surround themselves with their passion. You can do that at any time. It is as simple as that.
Do you have a favorite sports team? Assuming that you do, I want to give you a scenario and then ask you a question.
Scenario: Imagine that your favorite sports team has made an unbelievable run at the end of the season. In what no expert could have predicted, your team won game after game in nail-biting fashion to arrive at a best-of-seven championship series against a much heavily-favored powerhouse. During the series, against all odds, your favorite team ties the series at three games apiece. That night, in the most incredible game you have ever seen, your favorite team wins the championship by the narrowest of margins.
Question: That next morning at work, your friend, who did not see the game, asks you what happened. What do you say?
Whenever I have asked this question during a speech, most people answer with “WE won!” Although none of the people played in that game, their answer seemed as if they did. They have so strongly affiliated themselves with that team, they have partly convinced themselves that the victory was part their’s as well. This victory, in which they had nothing to do with, has affected their behaviors, thoughts and even physiology.
Human beings are social animals. Throughout the history of our species “we” have survived and thrived as a result of our social affiliations. Whether you realize it or not, we crave affiliation with others and use that connection to shape our own beliefs and behaviors. Now in a day and age of “social” media and “social” networking, “we” may have ironically become blind to the fact that “we” cannot exist without a constant stream of connections with other people, products and ideas. To illustrate the importance of affiliation, think about prison. Even though being imprisoned can take away some of a person’s freedoms, there is still the possibility for social interaction. The worst punishment a prisoner can deliver, however, is solitary confinement. Only there has a person been stripped of his or her most important need: affiliation with others.
The previous examples were to sell you on the idea that affiliation is your most basic human craving. Now I want to sell you on another one: Your “we” can determine your health, financial success and future well-being in life. Although this may be something you have never thought of before, the following two questions about your most powerful affiliations will prove this fact to you:
Where Do You Hang and Who’s In Your Gang?
Where do you Hang?
Where you spend most of your time will tell you a lot about who you are and your priorities in life. For an easy illustration, take a look at a college student. If he or she spends more time in the bar than the library, you not only get a good look at his or her priorities, but probably their future success as well. Even though it may be harder to visualize, your current choices of where you spend your time can influence your future in the same way.
The food chains you frequent, the places you tend to often find yourself, and the websites you visit will paint a profound picture of your future. Are you headed in the direction of better each time you surf the web, or are the waves leading you for an eventually wipeout? The web or TV can be a most powerful tool for learning or your most dangerous time killer and income reducer. The time you spend on fantasy football or watching some one else’s reality on TV is not getting you any closer to your life goals. Perhaps it is time to leave fantasy land and make sure to start focusing and affiliating with your own reality instead.
The great news is that changing your common locale can help you to create the life you desire. Want to be fit? Get your butt in the gym. Want more money? Spend time where you develop more skills. Can changing your life by changing where you hang be that simple? The answer is “yes.”
Action Step: Review this week and make a list of where you spend your time. Evaluate if this has been time well spent or if it is instead time for a change of scenery.
Who is in your Gang?
Who you spend most of your time with will tell you a lot about the habits you will develop and the direction you are going in life. Why do people join gangs? Because people want to become part of something bigger than themselves. Believe it or not, we have all chosen to be members of different gangs. Although you may not specifically wear a leather jacket and ride a motorcycle to celebrate this fact, you have placed yourself in different gangs nonetheless. These gangs are represented by your friends, family and the people or groups you follow and admire.
Your friends are incredibly powerful in determining your future. If your closest friends are fit and and financially successful, the odds are that you will be exposed to the strategies to be fit and successful too. If that circle, however, contains drugs, delinquency or bad habits, don’t be surprised of they become part of your regular routine. Choose your associates wisely for when birds go to sleep with bats, they wake up upside down too.
Although you may not have a choice of family, this affiliation gave you your culture, customs and history. Unfortunately, it may have also given you your biases, beliefs and bad habits. How you may eat, behave toward others, and think about money may stem from your family. Don’t like some of the aspects you have been given? Well, you may not be able to change your family, but you can always affiliate with a new group of ideals.
Action Step: Review this week and make a list of the people and groups with which you spend your time. Examine if your closest associates are strengthening your roots, or if it is time to cut the dead wood.