From Nothing to Something: Going from Rock Bottom to Living Activated

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If we go back just ten years ago my life was very different from what it is now. Ten years ago I was hiding from the world around me. I literally was hiding from the law over a traffic violation that I failed to pay, which led to a warrant. I was young and afraid. The real world in front of me was a scary place and I had no clue how to deal with it and make it in a world of sharks and lions. I was terrified of trying and therefore, I hid. Unfortunately this did nothing good for my life and I ended up being homeless. At one point I delightfully gave up all of my possessions and moved forward with the clothes on my back and maybe ten other items.

Drifting through life with no plan was the order of the day and most of the time I was under the influence. Much of my time was spent like a hermit. I hardly went out, I had few friends, I didn’t care for my appearance or health, and I was broke. For awhile I was coasting through a shitty job as a lighting salesman slash stock boy slash driver slash cleaner. The job actually wasn’t shitty, but I would have rather been partying with my friends hiding from people. But I did what I had to do. Once I lost that job because of my lack of caring about anything, I was broke. I couldn’t afford food, I couldn’t afford car or health insurance, and I couldn’t afford a place to live. A few months was spent squatting in my Grandmother’s house that was for sale. I stayed until the last possible day. The heat was turned off and I slept on the hard floor with a sleeping bag I had from my days camping.

Once I was forced to leave because the sale of the home was finalized, I had nowhere to go. Twelve or so days was spent hanging out at my friend’s house on his recliner. His parents had no idea I was sleeping there. Once they found out, I was toast. A few nights were spent sleeping under a bridge and I came to a point of life or death. Do I march forward or quit like a whiny ass punk? Luckily I decided to move forward and caught a break when my Aunt allowed me to stay in her home.

Within a few days I got a job as a landscaper, doing mostly hardscaping work. Which for those who don’t know is the construction of paver patios, walkways, retaining walls, and such. It was hard work but looking back now, I miss it. Being outside in the hot sun working your ass off, sweating like a pig, lifting heavy objects for ten or twelve hours a day was brutal, but it built character and I never felt better. I was doing exactly what our biological DNA is built for. Working with your hands and heavy objects and the weather around you is good for the soul. Sure it sucked when it was a hundred degrees, but the ice cold beer and steak dinner afterwards always sat nice.

About a year of doing this while pretending I was a licensed driver, it was suspended because I failed to appear in court, it was time to face reality. I couldn’t keeping hiding and had to address the law. Thankfully, it was silly and the prosecutor actually laughed about it. My warrant was dismissed and I received a fifty or sixty dollar fine. That was a brutal lesson on why it’s important to get the job done right away and to face my unrealistic and blown out of proportion fears.

Once I got my license back and a car I started working for my mother. For quite awhile I enjoyed the air conditioning, the heat, the convenience of a kitchen and bathroom, and sitting by a computer. That quickly changed when I realized my primal nature was to be active and not sitting all day. I started to get a little stir crazy, even though I wouldn’t accept to believe it.

During my time as a medical biller I met my now wife and we quickly hit it off, got married, and bought a house. All while I wasn’t ready for any of it. Coming from what I went through in the previous years before meeting her, I wasn’t ready to be the man of the house, let alone have a house. But like the day I left my Grandmother’s house to become homeless, I rolled with it and went to work. As life as a new homeowner and married man unfolded I began to realize I wasn’t happy about my work. I didn’t want to be there but knew I had to be. I also knew there was more in store for me and more I can share with others, I had to figure it out.

So I spent most of the first year as a newly wed new homeowner working on becoming a personal trainer. I wanted to help people get in shape. For the past two years I was working out and lost about sixty pounds of fat. I thought I knew what I was doing and wanted a way out of the office and into a world of my “own thing” being my own boss.

Here’s the thing about training and having my own business… I knew nothing. I thought I knew everything but I quickly became aware of the fact that I was in for a big surprise. Through my focused efforts and intense studying I received my personal trainers certification and then promptly hid the fact, out of foolish fear, that I was a trainer. For several months I did nothing about. Finally after some pep talking from my wife, I decided to give it a go and offered my services as a personal trainer for free.

Now this was about five years ago from today. When I first started Activate Fitness, I was scared shitless. I was afraid of the other trainers in town, I was afraid of internet trainers, I was afraid I didn’t have the skills and knowledge to get the job done right. I was afraid of gym owners in a twenty mile radius. I absolutely did not want to take action on my dream. I was frozen in place and had zero dollars to make something from nothing.

But I said FUCK THAT and ultimately took control of my life and destiny and decided to do it anyway. Starting out training others for free or for five dollars is how I had to get things going. It took years for me to finally be able to open my own gym and when I did, I was just as broke as I was when I started. My wife was pregnant and we had no money to lose but we took the risk and I threw myself in the middle of the street, ready to help people change their lives.

I stood there in the arena and took my bumps and my bruises and kept coming back fighting. I failed hundreds of times during my years of owning Activate Fitness. I worked through competition opening all over the place and kept my vision pointed straight ahead, success or die. There is no room for failure. It’s do it or lose it. Mornings came when I said Fuck it and wanted to quit. I waited patiently and silently begging for my wife to throw in the towel on my dream and bring me back to safety. I cried because of the stress of dealing with others. I cried because the numbers weren’t good. I cried because I missed precious time with my family and neglected them, especially my wife, for years.

They can stab me with their sword and dare to declare victory but with courage and hope I won’t stop. I choose to live my life activated. I choose to live awake and alive. I choose to be the one in control and refuse to let others control my life, my way of being, my destiny. I stand here today a man who has seen rock bottom but a man who also braved battle and decided winning was the only option. I refuse to lose. I will not lose.

You can choose to live life activated.

You can choose to take control of your life.

You can choose to chase your dreams and gear up for the war you’ll definitely face.

You can choose to wake up and live awake and alive.

Will you?

Join us here for support and accountability in your journey to living your best life: Your Life Activated

Facing Reality

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Do you want to be happy and live the best life you can possibly live? You’re going to have to live in the truth of who you are and face reality. This means you’re going to have to take off your mask and stop hiding behind gimmicks and lies. Facing reality is needed for our success and well being. Take a stand now and face reality, face the truth, and be honest.

If we ever want to achieve our goals we’re going to have to understand the fact and face the reality that it is going to be hard. Some people don’t want to hear this. When I talk about weight loss and training, some people want to assume it’s going to be easy. They want to lose all of their extra weight, yesterday. They expect dieting to be easy. They expect the workouts to get easier. The expect the inches to fall off overnight. Then, when it comes to the work involved, they see it’s not easy.  Cooking healthy food takes time, waking up early for your workout is hard, and drinking enough water makes you need to use the bathroom nine times more than you used to, it’s hard.

We must face this reality and know what lies ahead of us. A great motivational speaker Les Brown once said “You’ve got to develop an appreciation for something that’s crucial if you want it, that it’s not going to be easy.” If I asked the men and women in the gym who lost over fifteen pounds in thirty days if it was easy what do you think they’d say? Hell no it wasn’t easy. It took discipline and commitment. It took energy and sacrifice.

The problem is many of us don’t want to face this reality. We want the Hollywood way. The commercial media way. The glitz, the glamour, and the convenience. I see young guys opening gyms and wondering why they’re not “crushing it” overnight. That’s because, it’s hard.

Facing reality is a shortcut to success. We must be critical of our goals and beliefs and look at what it’s actually going to take. Can we accomplish our goal with what we have, or are we going to need more? Can you really reach a goal of a strict pull-up if you’re not doing the work needed to be done to get there? No way.

It’s hard to talk about the difficulty you’re going to face when you want to reach a goal. Many people don’t expect it to be that hard. Many people do not want to hear that’s it’s going to be hard. It’s easier to sell someone a pill and tell them it’s going to help them lose ten pounds than it is to tell them losing weight is going to require discipline, energy, effort, planning, sacrifice, and redundancy. We don’t want to bleed, sweat, or cry.

Face reality today and understand it’s going to be hard and that you can do it, because you can do it. Remove the limitations you’ve set in your mind and see the true strength within you. Don’t allow yourself to go by without having the hard conversations and the difficult thoughts. There are many parts of life we choose to ignore or not be honest about. This is disaster and failure waiting in the background. Be honest with where you are, be honest with what you need to get the job done, and then be honest about doing it.

Thoughts on Filling The Void in Your Life

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The wiser I get through knowledge, action, failure, and success, and experience, the more I begin to see how foolish some people are in their way of life, their vision of reality. I’m included in those people. Life is strange and the way we live is even stranger. Working, waking up at four in the morning, consuming more food than we need, more gas than we need, shelter too big for what’s needed, resources, and materialistic garbage is not for me. I realized very early in my business that I don’t want to be a fancy materialism based facility. I don’t, and you don’t, need towels, water fountains, showers, fancy art work, hardwood floors, and shiny objects when what you are coming for is a workout. The point of coming to the gym is to train and anything beyond the essential tools is pointless. The same goes with my life. I have way too much shit right now and getting rid of it is a big priority. I don’t need it, I don’t want it. It’s useless. What I need in my home is love, companionship, happiness, and fun. Beyond the basic needs of food and water, there is nothing more that I need. Filling it with useless material junk is a waste of energy, money, and space.

A Zen Buddhist quote says “To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is Bliss.”  The seeking of things beyond essential needs is an ego related matter and often times we fill it because of a lack of knowing who we are within or to fill a void we feel is left by something beyond our own self. Men around the world seek to fill pieces of their self through cars, cigars, homes, boats, electronics, and drugs. Women around the world seek to fill pieces of their self through shoes, make-up, boob jobs, and more. Often times when we seek something, say through a possession, we find that the void in our lives we wish to fill is still empty. That is because things that money buy can’t fill your heart and soul with what you really desire. What you really desire is purpose, truth, and love. Some times people who were never loved as a child, told they are beautiful or enough, have lives in which they obsess about a particular thing, like sex, money, a perfect body, drugs, cars, music shows, and more. They want to fill the whole in their heart. Sadly they don’t realize or understand that the whole in their heart needs to be filled from within first and by giving fully of who they truly are.

Buddha once said “Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.” Look at that through action instead of word. Better than a thousand hollow actions is one action that brings peace. That brings YOU peace. Often our actions are not aligned with our true self. Our actions can sometimes be cries for help. Drug addicts are crying for help. They have shame and embarrassment and often don’t know how to ask for help. There are times when the help they get isn’t what they need. A drug addict who is in deep emotional and mental pain will not be cured of their addiction through rehab and most talk therapy. They need to confront the pain within and find a way to accept it, own it, and become bigger than it. A hollow action (rehab) won’t end the suffering, but one look within to see the pain may. It is your actions that form your life.

If you don’t feel loved you can act by becoming promiscuous to fill the void of love, but often you’ll find that being promiscuous doesn’t do the trick. Instead of acting through sex, act through giving love to something else. Confront the demon of why you don’t feel loved and work at that point to make change. We can’t put gum in the cracks of our lives. You have to mend the cracks with both pieces and apply acceptance.

Accepting the pain of emptiness one might feel is a stepping stone to improvement and fulfillment. Rather than using things like a big home or alcohol to feel fulfilled, attack the feeling of not being fulfilled and accept it and then thank it and then work on filling it with self love. If we look close enough and wad through the deep mud of pain we will find enough self love to drastically change our lives. Objects can’t make you happy unless you accept that happiness is already a part of who you are. If you feel you need more money, fancy jobs, bigger houses, or longer vacations, the first place to look for those needs is going to be your mind and your heart. It’s hard to battle the feelings and thoughts that cause pain, loneliness, and emptiness but you’ll never live activated and in charge if you don’t sweat a little. You have the courage and the strength to hold your sword out front and defend and attack. Now act.

BETTER TO SIT ALL NIGHT THAN GO TO BED WITH A DRAGON. Zen Proverb.

Thoughts on Starting a Business, Life, and Character

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I built my business through sacrifice. Through pure determination to not fail. I neglected more important parts of my life and live with that, and the endless days of digging my feet into the mud put scars on my life that I can’t change.

There were days that I wanted to quit and admit failure. Days in which I cried. I didn’t cry because I was a failure, but because my passion to make a good life was hard on my soul. Many men and women around the world push aside things that matter more to make something for the future and while it’s not a shame, it’s virtuous.

The long days of putting myself on the line and accepting the responsibility to help others has paid off more to who I’ve become and who I’ve helped than to what I’ve done. Before my efforts in the battle for success, I was a wimp, a whiner, and a fool. Today I am changed by the defeats and the pain, but I’m stronger and fulfilled.

People will question the effort and ask if it’s worth it. You don’t know if it’ll be worth it, but in doing you find who you really are. What I am can only be defined by those who care. The critic can put you down but the fan, the follower, the listener and doer can only tell the truth of what you’ve become. Do I wish for more? Certainly. But I also appreciate all I’ve been through and the experiences I’ve created. One can sit on the sideline and think about the actions and easily criticize, but it’s the people who sweat and make the sacrifices that can only know for sure if its noble.

I live with humility that I am not my best self. I live with humility that there are people better than me, smarter than me, and who live more activated than I. Building a business isn’t a worthy cause unless you impact the lives of others and share the truest purpose of your heart. I don’t look for recognition, instead I try to help others realize their trueness. Their strength and their purpose.

What I’ve done is nothing compared to those who have listened to what I say. And what I say is only a reminder to myself that I need to act and make and do. My work is a reminder to myself of the direction one should take to live fully. What I need to do now is to learn how to love fully. For my love is shadowed by fear and the courage to show that is small compared to loved ones around me.

The simple actions of standing up and doing the work aren’t simple unless you accept that which you cannot change. Some days you win and some days you lose. What matters is what you do the next moment. For you can sit and blame and wallow or you can try and do. That choice is a choice we all have. That choice is a choice we all have the strength and courage to make. My purpose is to help you see that and live it. Not just to read it and say Uh huh, but to actually put yourself on the line and take an arrow or two. You’ll only realize the greatness inside if you allow failure and heartache into your life and then try again to improve. Grow each day or decay. Accept that and you’ll find the path to living the activated life.

My advice is only wise if it aligns with your values and only you can decide if they fit. But what my advice does do is speaks the truth of what it takes to put yourself in front of fear and stand strong.

A Personal Hard Truth

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An inside look into the struggle I’ve gone through..

This was in my drafts folder.

It was written on 1/29/2014

I never posted it or finished it.

I laid my guts out in a moment of reflection and the act of writing it changed my life..

This was what I was going through in January of 2014.

A personal inside reflection..

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It’s easy to stand behind the stopwatch and yell out coaching cues while helping others get in shape. It’s easy to tell them what to eat and when to eat. It’s easy to side tracked and thrown under the bus when you have a hectic schedule..

And it’s easy to understand the frustration of your clients who aren’t losing weight when you yourself are slacking like Winnie the Pooh.

Here’s something you don’t know and don’t see..

I’m being honest..

And I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. It’s honesty.

I’m slacking big time in the kitchen and I’m addicted to junk food.

Ice cream sundaes and whole bags of tortilla chips and salsa are consumed weekly.

Hamburgers and French Fries when out to eat..

I’ve gained 30 pounds in since Thanksgiving..

And I’m fat.

But right here, and right now..

It’s over. I’m done with the excuses and temptations.

I can’t go on lying to myself and not practicing what I preach.

…………………………………..

At that time I was closing in on 200 pounds.

Today I’m 180 and with more muscle which means I lost over 30 pounds of fat.

I go up and down and I battle the food temptations all the time.

I still battle the struggle of wanting to skip workouts and slack off like Winnie the Pooh.

One day at a time though. That’s how I look at it.

Make the right choice at this moment and worry about the next when it arrives. That’s what I try to say to myself.

BUT.. I didn’t workout for 10 days on vacation. I did a few pullups, chopped a little wood, and ate like a pig. Drank like a fish.

Getting back into the swing of things is killing me.

Doing 20 Push Ups feels like 50 burpees.

One day at a time.

One rep at a time.

One meal at a time.

You’re never alone in your struggles and you never know who else is fighting through the tough battles.

Look Up, Get Up, and Don’t Ever Give Up!

Let’s GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Showing My Kids The Warrior Side

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In the gym it was Eight in the morning. I got my kids in, grabbed my coffee and water and proceeded to the squat rack. A few leg swings, deep squats, hip mobility movements, bird dogs, and squat jumps and I was ready to go. Training time. Some days it’s comes good, some days it’s a fight. Most days a little built up energy and anger helps me get through the movements. Most of the time I’m training the kids are wild. They run around the gym, play with the jump ropes, grab the five pound weights and do heavy carries, mimic the burpees I do, or play with the cars I have. Sometimes my daughter puts on the boxing gloves and goes to town on the heavy bag.

Recently I started pushing a little harder during the workouts. It’s eight o’clock and I have class at nine. I need to get done before people start showing up. It’s fascinating to see how little one must truly rest. I used to see guys resting three, four, or five minutes after doing a sub maximal load movement like it was a heavy deadlift and they needed to fully recharge. My rest periods are thirty seconds. Some times less. First I do the main movement whether it’s squats or deadlifts and then I go into the accessory work. I super set everything. It helps me get done, keeps the heart pumping, and by the time I finish the last set I have enough time to wipe the sweat from my face and start class.

If I didn’t train before my nine o’clock class I would find every excuse in the book to skip it. I’ve learned to get moving when the mind doesn’t want to. The days I train I am up at four in the morning. I usually don’t roll out of bed for twenty minutes and hate getting started. The lack of sleep has caught up with me and anyone who says sleep is for pussies is an asshole. Sleep is crucial and when you don’t get enough, you miss it. I get to the gym to open up for my five o’clock class and by the time I’m done with the early morning sessions, I’m shot. I want my bed, I want to close my eyes, I want more sleep. I get home and grab a smoothie and coffee and the kids and head right back for my time.

Lifting weights is more than physical appearance or strength. It’s like a drug. The body creates “feel good” hormones and the negative thoughts fade away. There’s nothing like testing your body through physical movement and resistance. Heavy squats bring more than physical strength. They bring mental toughness and feelings of accomplishment. Heavy carries, sled drags, pull-ups, and dips build muscle, strength, and they conquer the inner bitch in the mind that tries to settle for comfort. When the training starts to feel easy, you know you’re drifting into the comfort zone and convenience. It’s time to change a thing or two.

Training with the kids in the gym is fun but at times ridiculous. When your less than two year old walks under the bar of your heavy squats when in the deep position you kind of freak out a little. What if he grabs my leg? What if the plates slide off since I don’t clip them when training alone? But when he gets close it’s a surge of Adrenaline. I love having my kids in the gym with me. They watch me test myself three times or more a week. They see me put my body through the stress of resistance training. They hear me grunt, curse, sweat, and scream. They see me breathe heavily and give it one more shot. Then they get to watch me work, like the old days when men would bring their sons to the field, the farm, the shop, the railway, or the mines. Kids used to see their fathers bust their ass and I’m grateful mine see it almost everyday. They see me crush weakness and build strength. They see me fight the inner bitch. They see me act with courage and fight fear as I add more weight. Then they see me help other people. I couldn’t ask for anything more. At times it’s crazy but looking at the big picture, it’s beautiful.

Attack Life With A Warrior’s Heart Part 1

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If I could go back in time to visit my twenty year old self, I’d first throw a nasty punch right in the face of who he was becoming. Then I’d tell him this..

Attack Life With A Warrior’s Heart

What does that mean?

What is a “warrior’s heart”?

A warrior in my opinion isn’t just an Army solider or a Navy Seal nor a Samurai Solider. A warrior is anyone who is fighting the fight to live life activated and in control. Someone trying to better themselves and someone who is taking full responsibility for their life.

Attacking life with a warrior’s heart is the way of the warrior. The way to the top, to fulfillment and purpose. A warrior strives to do and be their best and the battles they face each day help make them who they are.. stronger, healthier, wiser.

A warrior has strength, courage, and determination. They see the good that can come out of struggle and hardship.

A warrior isn’t looking to tell their excuses, even though they may have some, but they’re looking for ways to defeat them.

Attacking life with a warrior’s heart is the only way to live if you want to make the most out of this short journey. It’s the only way to become activated and to be your best.

There are different situations in life that test our heart. Do we all have the heart of a warrior?

I believe so. I believe that deep within each of us is the longing to be our best. The strength to give it our all. The courage to stand in the face of fear and the determination to never give up.

Is the warrior’s heart something we’re born with?

I think so. I think we are all warrior’s. Life is hard sometimes and there are many struggles and a lot of suffering. Somehow life goes on and we continue to try. This is from the warrior within.

A warrior’s heart is strengthened or weakened in every action of life. If we quit, it softens. If we struggle through and come out on top, it strengthens.

So how do you attack life with a warrior’s heart?

I’ll start with fitness since that is what I do. We all know diet and exercise is important. We all know that fast food and junk food is not good for our health and over-consumption can lead to weight gain. We know that exercise helps us feel better, burns calories, and optimizes our hormone production among other things.

Then why do so many people fail to grasp those facts and do something about it?

Most likely the reason is because they never allowed the warrior’s heart to strengthen by practicing good nutrition and exercising often. They feel the battle is not worth the fight or they feel fear when in the heat of the battle. When you decide to skip a workout, your warrior heart loses a battle. If you have the time, or made the time, to exercise and instead you pass it up to do something different, you’re telling the warrior within that exercise is not important. That action chips away at the bulletproof armor your warrior heart wears.

Attack exercise and good nutrition with a warrior’s heart. The warrior makes the time to exercise and sticks with it. The warrior feels like resting his or her head and skipping the workout, but gets up and does it anyway. The warrior is disciplined in their commitments to living activated.

It’s hard for many people to understand this and then actually do something about it. I blame society and then I blame their parents. It might not be the full fault of parents, but they had the chance to change what they were taught. Good nutrition and exercise does not just happen, unless there were extreme situations like a man abused by his father or a man whose father never told him he was good enough. Men in these situations tend to be perfectionists with many things in their lives. Good nutrition and exercise should be taught to all young and not just through words. Actually showing those kids what it means to be a warrior through fitness.

Attacking diet and exercise with a warrior’s heart is simple. Commit to doing it. Make it a non-negotiable part of your life. Schedule the workouts in your week and then show up. Commit to eating well and then act like an adult and do the hard work. The warrior may not want to cook chicken and broccoli for the third night in a row, but the warrior knows it helps and he’s grateful for even having the course available.

Relationships

Many people are in relationships and many people do not attack those relationships like a warrior should. Yes the lover in you is different from the warrior within but without the warrior’s heart, the courage, and determination- a lover won’t do their best. Relationships take work.That work won’t be done unless you operate from the warrior’s heart.

A warrior makes time for their love. They have the strength to do the hard work ahead. A warrior is also very giving in their time and energy. An example of the warrior heart in relationships is when a man or woman gives their time and energy with no expectations. The dishes get done, the laundry done, the meals prepped. The male warrior sees the mess and instead of leaving it for the female warrior, he cleans it. The male warrior knows the female warrior needs a break and he stands up and offers to make it happen, to care for whatever she needs cared for during her time alone.

The warrior’s heart is most importantly- giving. There need not be expectations of sex, validation, or affirmation for the job done, just love and gratitude. The warrior in relationships makes the commitment to love the other fully and fulfill the loved ones needs through action. When you know you should get flowers or a six pack of beer, you stop and get it. The warrior doesn’t make excuses, he or she cares for their loved one and therefore they stop and do what needs to be done.

Get up and Act

Attack life with a warrior’s heart and you will watch the suffering within you start to disappear. You will see that the struggles and hardships become easier to overcome. A warrior takes the bumps and bruises but stays course. Attacking life with the heart of a warrior means you attack the hard things in life with strength, courage, determination, and purpose. The warrior within is waiting to be trained and needs you to activate your life. Commit to your life like a warrior, commit to winning the battle and live in the strength you have within you.

Stay tuned for Part 2

Lead An Inspired Life

blog1Living an inspired life is a life full of action, effort, dreams, goal setting, and fulfillment. If you look around the world today you can that we’re living dull, uninspired, and unfulfilled lives. Many people turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, television, fast food, and more to hide the pain and feel comfortable in living. People also cry for attention through social media outlets, protests, political forums, and much more.

When you hear someone say “live an inspired life” you often first think about helping other people by being vocal and being known through whatever means it may be, like a professional athlete, a talk show host, a senator, a CEO, or an actor. But you don’t need to be any of those to live an inspired life. An inspired life is a life that you feel happiness, purpose, joy, hope, and your heart is fulfilled because you are doing what you want to do.

Far too often we got caught up in the routine of work, bills, paying the bills, rinse, and repeat. It’s easy to see why we are caught up in that mess. Most of us have been taught that that is how you’re supposed to live. Get a college education so you can get a good job and work hard for forty years. That way of life, that line of thinking, is gone. It’s been gone for a long time. Some people caught in this mess are depressed, sad, angry, and they look for a way out. Few of them escape by drinking, doing drugs, and being violent. Others escape by settling in with “that’s the way it’s supposed to be.” This is uninspired living.

If you want to have ultimate happiness, look within your heart and mind and see what it is that you want and what makes you come alive. To hide that is devastating to your life. The saying goes something like this “The wealthiest place in the world is the cemetery. Because millions of people die with their greatness still inside.” That is uninspired living. Lead an inspired life by being committed to you. This is your life and while you may have responsibilities to other people, it’s your life. If you want to try something, do it.

There was a time in my life where I was very unfulfilled and uninspired.

My days were spent waking up, going to work, coming home, and repeating daily. There was not much fun about it, except the escapes of reality every weekend and a lovely woman. My heart was beating with messages that I was wasting my life doing something I didn’t want to do and wasting my good by not following my dream. I decided one morning to say “fuck it” and I followed my dream.

I started a training business and never stopped. What keeps me moving forward is the inspiration that I am the creator of my destiny and that anything I want, I can attain. The effort to do my best is there, the passion for helping others is alive and well, and I give my energy to others to help them improve. This inspires me and my life.

There is something deep inside of you that is begging for your attention. We push the noise away because we’re so busy keeping up with our routine that we forget to stop and listen to what it’s trying to say, for just a minute. That noise is powerful and it can change your life overnight. Stop for that minute and listen to what it’s been trying to say for years. Once you realize the truth within, the negative thoughts and noise will start creeping in and make it seem like a fairy tale, an impossibility, and you will forget about it…. UNLESS you look up, get up, and get to work.

You have the strength, the courage, and the energy to be inspired. Release that inspiration and share it.

For that is the reason you are who you are.

You Can

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You have what it takes.

If you want to be successful..

If you want to be strong..

If you want to live your best life..

You already have what it takes to get the job done. By simply desiring something more than what you have or where you are now is proof enough that you have what it takes to do it, to chase the dream, to make things happen, to be your best self. The mind can’t conceive of things beyond your ability level. If you think about being a millionaire, you have the ability to become a millionaire. If you think about losing sixty pounds, you have the ability to lose that weight.

You are stronger than you’ll ever know and credit yourself with.

The mind is amazing and the things it can help you do are limitless. I often hear women at my gym talk about lifting weights and how the dumbbells aren’t light enough, how they can’t lift the tire, pull the sled, or do a deadlift. I give them no other choice but to do it because I know that it will help them get stronger and more fit and I know they can do it. Their doubt is shown in their posture, facial expressions, and movement but I know, by simple mechanics and grit, they can do the work. I wouldn’t even ask them if I thought they couldn’t.

You have what it takes to become the best version of yourself. You have the strength, the courage, and the desire. We all want better for our lives. We want more money, a healthier body, a sharper mind, and more happiness. All of those things are within you right now. If you want money, you can earn it. Your mind and your efforts can, and will, make it happen.

You want to be happier? Just say the words to yourself and you’ll realize that happiness comes from within and all the happiness you’ll ever want or need is created through yourself.

People get caught up in negative beliefs and a poor attitude, or negative mindset. These negatives beliefs can weigh you down and castrate your life forever. Many people live unfulfilled lives because they don’t see the power they have inside of themselves. I never want the people around me to feel that way. If you’re reading this… I know you are capable of great things. We all are.

Nobody has it any differently. We’re all human. We wake up and take a piss. It’s what we do.

We wake up and have the choice of taking action on our dreams and goals or not. It’s all up to you. Many people think they need something special to become something special. The special thing is this… effort.

You will never rise above the level you’re living at until you step over the wall in front of you. And that wall isn’t fifty feet in the air. It’s the difference between making a left or making a right at the stop sign. You can either step over your limiting beliefs or you can stand at the wall looking up forever.

If you want to live activated and be your best remember this..

The truth is… You can.

10 New Things I Will Teach My Daughter

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Two years ago I wrote a post titled 10 Things I will Teach my Daughter and in the time that has passed I’ve learned and experienced a few things I want her to know when she becomes a young lady. Over the past year I have the fortunate opportunity to spend most of my time with her and my son. As they grow I can see some of the things I teach them finally cementing into who they are. The journey has been crazy but worth it.

Cutting right to the chase, here are ten new things I will teach my daughter.

1. Be Direct and Honest

There is a lot of sugarcoating in the world. A lot of political correctness that hides the truth. Many people are afraid to speak their minds and say what they really want to say. I want my daughter to not hide her truth and the realness of her feelings and opinions. If there is something bothering her, I want her to say so and not hide around metaphors or hidden messages. Just be direct and be honest and confront the fears of doing so. Too many people lie to others about what they are thinking or feeling and try to hide it behind a mask, a cloak, or propaganda. Be direct. Be honest.

2. Keep your friends close

There is nothing more important to the success and happiness to both men and women than good friendships. As she grows she will undoubtedly move from friendship to friendship but it’s important to keep your friends close. As she gets older and moves onto a career and family, I want her to know the importance of having good friends and being with them regularly.

3. Treat Food As An Energy Source

Developing a good relationship with sound nutrition is something to embrace. During the childhood years it’s easy to wants cookies, ice cream, chips, and all kinds of junk foods and candies. While your body may be able to handle it when you are young, you will come to a point where it doesn’t. Developing a good relationship with food will help you stay healthy, active, and happy. Poor nutrition will lead to problems that can be prevented with a good diet. Treat food as an energy source for your livelihood.

4. It’s Okay to Not Fit In

As a coach I’ve seen my share of women who have problems with their body image. In fact, we all do and if you say you don’t, you’re a liar. But, part of the problem of poor esteem and self-beliefs about our body image is created by society, media, and expectations of those around us. You want to be healthy and that is all that matters. A tummy tuck, a crash diet, purple lipstick, the latest fashion trends do not. These messages that we are bombarded with daily are not positive messages and you’d be best to ignore them. It’s okay to not fit in to society’s expectations. Be the real woman you are, no matter what “they” may say.

5. Learn the Real Story

As you grow through the years and you continue to learn in schools or wherever you choose, learn to be objective and to question what you’re learning. There is always the story and then the real story. It’s okay to stand up and question the truth of the story you are learning. The facts matter more than the opinions. If the real facts don’t match what you’re learning, find out why. Even if you get sent to the office.

6. Practice Self-Defense and Martial Arts

And not just to be able to fight if needed. Practice martial arts because of the lessons it will teach you about life. Practice martial arts for the education you will receive in your strengths and weaknesses. Practice martial arts to help you find a clearer path to the real you.

7. There is a Difference Between Men and Boys

If I could go back to the day I asked my wife to marry me I’d tell her to say no. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t a man. I was a little boy, scared of the real world, of real responsibility, and I hadn’t taken my bumps and bruises fully yet. I was learning but nowhere near ready to take her hand in marriage. If my daughter decides to marry a man one day I want her to be sure that he has passed the stage of boyhood and developed into a man. A real man and not a broken child. This is going to be hard. There are many problems with the raising of boys today and if it continues the way it has for years, boys may never become real men.

8. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure.. or trying.

You know what stops most people from living their life activated? Fear.

Fear of failure and fear of the unknown stop us from ever getting to where we want to go. I want my daughter to know that we all fail and there is nothing wrong with failing. Don’t ever be so afraid to try that you don’t DO. Act and if you fail, dust yourself off and TRY again.

9. Be “Outdoorsy”

There is nothing finer than fresh air and being outside in nature. As the technological advances in society continue to change the way we live, remember that you are an animal and your real habitat is outside, under the sun, in the grass, in the river, up the tree, wherever the dirt and trees grow. Fishing is fun and relaxing. Camping is quiet, peaceful, and rejuvenating. Floating down the river in a tub is refreshing. Do it often.

10. Learn to Listen

Yeah I know you’re young now and don’t listen to anything I tell you, but what I’m talking about is learning to listen to other people when they talk to you. Listen to your friends, their problems, their dreams and share your own. Listen to the weatherman. Listen to your father when he tells you to pack extra clothes. Listen to your teacher when she tells you to try harder. Listen to your mother when she tells you women things. Listen to your doctor when they advise you. Listen to your coaches, they’ll help make you better. Advice, education, and information will come from every direction. Some of it is wise and some of it isn’t. Listen to it but the most important thing to listen to is your heart. It won’t lie to you.