Chicken Fingers and French Fries

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This weekend we planned to go to the St. Patty’s Day parade in town but with sleepy kids and a long and very quiet and peaceful nap, it just didn’t happen. No problem. Sometimes it’s better to just hang out and do nothing. But my daughter was upset and I felt bad so I blurted out “Go in your room and get ready. You’re going on a date.”

My daughter was stoked. She smiled and ran and picked out a cute outfit. I was taking her to dinner. Just Her and Daddy. Since it was a last minute deal I decided to just bring her down to the local pizza joint. If you know me, a former fatty and still a fatty at heart, I love chicken parm sandwiches. So we get to the pizza place and I ask the girl “What do you want to eat?” “I want chicken fingers and I want french fries and I want milk please.”

Have to love it! We ordered, me getting a sub, and waited for the food. My daughter played with her purse and said she had lots of money. Probably about five dollars and sixty cents. She gets her milk and says to me “Daddy, I really love you.” Pretty good way to melt a man’s heart.

She walked into the pizza place with a fancy jacket on and her purse around her shoulder like she was twenty one and shopping in 90210. The questions were endless. “Daddy, what are they doing?” “They’re having a pizza party.” “Why?” “Because the season must be over.”

We get our food and mine is done in thirty seconds. I look over at my peanut and she’s dipping her fingers in marinara sauce. “Dip. Dip. Dip.”

“Hey, you need to eat.”

“No, I’m just going to dip and dip and dip.”

“and drink my milk.”

Whatever. She’s cool. No problem. But I tell her if she eats some of the food that we’ll go to a store.

She grabs a chicken finger and takes a bite.

“Target! I want to go to Target.”

“No, we’re going to another store where you can buy anything you want with your money.”

We finish up eating and I have to say, the waiter.. he was weird. I asked him a few questions about the food and he had no idea about any of it. He gave me a diet coke with like a drop of the last of the syrup and said “Yeah, I should have known it was done. Looked it.”

Cool story bro.

I still tipped him well because men tip well. No two dollar tips for lunch and always twenty percent or more. Bad tippers are assholes. And people remember people who tip well. Even at a bar. I watch derpheads order light beers and fruity drinks and they never tip. I just want to smack them and I know the bartender does too.

Here’s an important life lesson on bar etiquette: Tip for every drink and don’t be a clown who doesn’t. One buck a drink. Don’t be a cheapskate chump.

So we’re done eating and we leave to go to the store. She asks where we’re going and we walk down to the dollar store.

Kids.. big deal with the dollar store right?

Wrong. It was like she was in Disney.

I told her, go get whatever you want. And in no time, she was done. Walked right up to the register and told the lady “I’m going to buy these with my money.”

She got a flower for Mommy.

This lady was great. And patient.

I tried this one time with her at Target and the people behind me in line and the cashier gave off this unpleasant impatient vibe that kind of ruined it for me. The sigh of the cashier when my daughter fumbled through six one dollar bills made me want to bitch slap her. The young lady and her boyfriend or fiance or husband or just boy-friend behind us crossed their arms and leaned on their hips like they were tired from standing for thirty seconds. Again.. Stockton slap.

Anyway, the whole point of this story is this..

Dads… take your daughters on dates. Even if it’s to the pizza joint or the dollar store. They’re going to love every second of it and you’ll never forget those moments. You’ll never get another chance for your daughter at that age to experience that meal with you. Take the time to be a good man and show your daughter how her future man should act.

And when you hear “Daddy, I really love you.”, it makes your day.

 

Some of What I’ll Teach My Son

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Becoming a father wasn’t always in my life plan and I felt like having children was not something I’d be able to do.. or deal with. In my early twenties I was a race car going two hundred miles, the wrong way on the track, head on towards danger. Kids and being married probably crossed my mind once or twice and I shrugged it off as “That life isn’t me” and went about being a wild man.

Then one day I met the woman who would change my life and through the power of nature, I got married.

Our first year of marriage was a crash course in how to NOT do being married. I had no idea what I was doing but through the ups and downs all marriages go through, I came out a better man. We decided it was time to have a child. Several months later we had a beautiful little girl and my life changed again and that first year, of being a dad (or parents), wasn’t pretty. But once again, I came out a better man.

As my daughter grew and I became a better father, my wife and I decided to have another child. This time, a little boy.

When my son was born I was going through a tough time again. I juggled business ownership with being a father, and a husband, and a full-time employee at a job. To say the least, I didn’t do the best I could. Things got crazy again and I failed to live up to my end of the bargain. It wasn’t until my son was four or five months old that I realized, I was f*&king up. Again.

There were a lot of painful growing experiences from the point of marriage to the point of realizing that I was not being a good man. The problem was, I felt like I had nowhere to go with my struggles and inner battles and I felt that I needed to tuck my chin down and keep moving forward. I felt pressure to perform. I felt pressure to live up to expectations and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

I’m not alone. There are men out there who experience the same problems. Work, wife, kids, commutes, societal expectations, down time, stress, and living up to what it’s meant to be a man. Many of those men are lost without a plan. No road map of how to navigate the pressures of life. Men get married, buy homes, and start a family when their skill in handling these responsibilities is not there. I was one of them. I believe a percentage of divorces happen because men fail to meet these responsibilities to the degree they should. Some may be so overwhelmed with their situations that they check out and become distant, caught in routine cycles of destruction. Men often emotionally and physically abandon their women trying to make ends meet, to get ahead in life, to enjoy their hobbies and free time, and often never realize they’re doing so.

What I’ll teach my son will be the building blocks of how to avoid this. How to avoid the trap of materialism and the problems of being a blindfolded go-getter. How to treat women, especially his mother and any of the future women he courts. How to make relationships thrive and if they don’t, how to grieve if needed.

My son will learn from me that it is okay to fail in life. We don’t always get it right. Failure is expected at points in life and we must remember that is safe to do so and we can’t be concerned with the opinions of others. We must stand back up and continue our journey with happiness while being grateful for the lessons life teaches us.

My son will learn that it is okay to ask other men for help and he MUST ask for help. We can’t do this alone and if you think so, you need to stop pretending. Men don’t like going to other men and expressing their emotions and feelings and hardships. But by doing so, we can understand that we learn from these experiences and have the strength, and courage, to move on.

My son will learn that when he is in a relationship the most important thing for him to do is to be present in the life of his woman. With millions of distractions around us all day in the forms of cell-phones, careers, sports, hobbies, friends, and entertainment, it’s easy for men to become distant from the woman in his life. Without a serious conscious effort to be aware, present, and understanding, he will run into problems. “Make her your queen and treat her as such.” will be the first advice I give him when things get serious with a woman. This means you give her your time and you give her your attention and never stop.

I will teach my son that his education never ends and that he should continue to learn new things each day. There are men (and women) who do not continue their education after formal schooling. Many people never read a book again. Some never read books about their careers, relationships, finances, and spirituality. Not doing so leaves you behind in the wake of life. To believe you know everything is foolish and to not educate yourself on all of the things you experience in life is a fast way to suffocate your growth. In the past year I have continued my education on many areas of life: Jiu-Jitsu, Fitness, Nutrition, Sex, Marriage, Manhood, Survival Skills, Finance, Politics, and more. It never ends.

If my son decides to one day become a father I want to teach him what it means to be a father, a dad, and not a child with a child. When I became a father the only thing I had to teach me what it meant to be a good dad was a book. I don’t want my son going into parenthood without knowledge of what makes a good man become a good father. I’ll teach him that the mother of his child will always be the most important person in his life and if that means making the child the most important person, you do it. You don’t get a second chance at being their for the mother of the child during the early years of a child’s life. Don’t make it harder than it should be. It’s teamwork. Never forget that. It’s also okay to fail at trying to be a good father, as long as you dust off your pants and try again. Nobody gets it right the first time. Not even Mom.

There is more to come on what I believe is important to teach my son, even my daughter, and I believe these things can help anyone in any stage of life. The journey is better when not alone and there is much to learn that we are unaware of. My son will learn many of the struggles I’ve been through and I can only hope the lessons help him become a better man than I will ever be.

Want to learn about being a better man, a better father, a better husband and lover? Check out the Free Online Group at The Activated Alliance to learn more and to join the conversation starting now!

On Living Your Life With Honesty

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Ask yourself this question: “Am I an honest person?”

If you’re like most people you answered yes. Now, ask yourself this question: “Am I honest with other people?”

You probably said yes and why wouldn’t you? Most of us are nice, caring, honest people. But there’s something that doesn’t sit right with me about saying we’re all honest people. Look around your life and see if there are some things that you notice that bother you and you fail to mention them. Why are we failing to mention those things?

For example, I know several people who are overweight. They drink hard almost every weekend. Some smoke. Some eat like children. I’m not an honest person. If I was, since I care about these people, I’d be honest with them. The truth is, I believe some of these people are going to die early preventable deaths. Why am I not speaking up for their well being and let them know I am concerned?

Sure, it’s none of my business, but the problem is- I’m afraid of being honest.

I’m not alone here either and it goes beyond what we see in other people.

In the gym I know how to get people results. I provide quality workouts for our members and give excellent, proven and tested, nutrition advice to them as well. There is absolutely no reason, besides not doing the work, that a member shouldn’t see results. What I hear from some is nothing but a legitimate lie. We’re ashamed of speaking the truth and embarrassed by failure and being vulnerable.

We have to get up and find the courage to admit the truth. When I see people talk about not knowing what to do to lose weight or why they’re not getting results, many times, they’re lying. They’re not being honest with themselves. A few questions can point that out quickly. What did you eat? What did you drink? When did you exercise?

Answering these questions truthfully and being vulnerable is the only way we’ll get results.

Living your life with honesty means that you do the work to ask yourself the hard questions, speak what’s on your mind, and never sugarcoat the situation.

Here are some quick questions to help you look within to see if you’re being honest with yourself. I’d take out a piece of paper and write the questions down and the answers. Nobody has to see this stuff. You can tear it out and burn it to the ground when you’re done, but the introspection of your life will help you with being honest and living your life honestly.

- Are you being true to the person inside?

- How much effort are you truly giving to your goals?

- Where is there room for improvement in my life and am I capable of doing it?

- Where am I lying to myself and others?

- Do the people you surround yourself with make you happy? If not, why are they still around? If so, do you tell them often?

- What self-destructive behaviors and habits do I have? How can I overcome them?

- What am I afraid of?

- Who am I angry at?

- Who made me feel sad, angry, and ashamed?

- Do I take my life seriously?

- What am I most passionate about?

- What would I do if I could do anything in the world? What’s stopping me?

- Am I willing to do the work needed to make that happened?

- Am I afraid of making decisions?

These questions are just a start. There are mountains of self-discovery questions you can ask yourself. The whole point is that to live an honest life, we must be honest with ourselves and have the discipline to stay honest and call ourselves out if needed. We must be ruthless and committed to the values we set, the words we talk, and the walk we walk. When we don’t live an honest life we release our power and the control over our own life. We let people walk over us and we allow things to happen that we’d never allow if we were honest. Remember, being honest takes fucking balls. It takes courage and it’s okay to be afraid and to cry and to feel pain. It’s a growing process and without going through it, we’ll stay right where we are.

5 Things Men Should Do Daily

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Last year I started getting on track with daily rituals. Meditation, exercise, writing, and more. Then I decided to stay at home with the kids and leave my job to focus on raising my children and avoid spending my paychecks on daycare while trying to grow my business. Well things changed pretty fast. My daily rituals were thrown out the door fast as I was left scrambling trying to stay on my feet. It’s hard to say this because I used to be homeless and things were pretty tough, but last year was one of the hardest years of my life. Between running the business and maintaining order in the household and keeping my kids safe until mom got home, I nearly lost my mind. Rituals? I had to laugh. Every day I would read a Facebook post or watch a video about establishing daily morning rituals and thought “What the fuck goes on their life that they could do that?” and realized the only way I could set morning rituals and do them was if I woke up at three in the morning everyday. Yeah, right on it.

I understand life is crazy and our schedules flop around so much that setting and sticking to rituals is very hard, if not unrealistic. Especially when there are kids in the picture. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create daily goals and unalterable terms we live by. Below is a list of five things I think all men should do daily. In daily, I don’t mean seven days a week. I mean daily like in “The kids are behaving and allowing me the opportunity to sit down and eat”.

1. Exercise

It’s well known that exercise releases a cocktail of feel good hormones that help people live happier, healthier lives. It’s also well known that the need for exercise (movement) is something that is part of our DNA. More importantly, men should exercise daily to help their production of testosterone. Test is linked to many qualities of men’s lives. Testosterone plays critical roles in men’s sex drive, bone mass, body fat, muscle tissue, and physical energy. A man lacking in testosterone is risking problems such as erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, low energy, weakness in muscle and bone, growth of breast tissue, and depression. Along with a proper diet, exercise can help combat these potential issues for years to come.

If you don’t exercise now, you should start and be smart about it. That could be a ten minute walk or a half hour in a swimming pool. The point is to start slow so that you can enjoy the process and make it a part of your daily life.

2. Self-Discovery

If you’re like most men you grew up with other men and family members teaching you how to do life. Every step of the way through being a young child until after you bought your first home (or still to this day) we have other men and even women, and now social media, telling us what to think, how to act, how to dress, how to treat women, where to go to school and work, why you should buy a home, what you should do with your money, and more. Nearly everything we do has been either a mirror reflection of the people surrounding our lives or the exact opposite.

Self-discovery is something we should work on each day through the means of learning about who we really are. Whether that is meditation, exercise, reading, listening to podcasts, attending seminars, or simply being, self-discovery is important to your happiness and livelihood. How many men do you know, and it could be you, that are angry at their current life situation? Maybe they followed the advice of their fathers, mothers, or best friends and when it boils down to self, they realize it’s not who they are. With all the input surrounding our lives on a constant basis, the most important information we can use for the best of our life comes from within.

3. Learn Something New

This could be considered part of number two and self-discovery but for this it’s beyond learning about who you are. In a world of abundance there is so much for us to get our hands on and things we can get into that learning should be a part of our daily life. This could be learning how to repair drywall, change the oil in a car, or who Teddy Roosevelt was. Maybe it’s learning how to keep a house plant alive, how to raise chickens on your property for eggs, or how to do a rear naked choke on a Jiu Jitsu mat or in self-defense. Learning something new everyday takes things into a new world and improves our lives in many ways. One of the best results of the continued practice of learning is the increase in self-confidence. In a world where many men are lacking confidence, there is great power in being someone who exudes confidence. By learning and practicing new things we add to power within.

4. Play

You have kids? Cool, get on the floor and play cowboys and robbers or hide and go seek. Have a wife or girlfriend? Get playful with her by flirting, dancing, doing silly shit that makes her laugh. Have a hobby? Make sure you do it daily or as much as you can each week.

For many men nowadays, especially those with kids and those who grew up in the Nintendo era, play means Xbox or Playstation. Call of Duty or whatever other game is popular right now. That’s cool. Don’t ever listen to someone who says you play too much unless you play more than an hour a day. Playing is important because it crushes the fucker called stress.

Stress will kill you, it’s probably killing you right now- unless you have a way to unload and release the day’s burdens. Hanging out with the family playing games, shooting gamers around the world in your Call of Duty world, or painting your model cars are all forms of stress relief disguised as hobbies. Do it more often.

5. Be Alone

Man, if there is one thing I miss in my life before I started staying home with the kids it’s alone time. When I was at my job I had a half hour commute each way. That was perfect for my alone time. Luckily there was never traffic unless a farmer was driving his tractor down the road, so it was smooth sailing the whole way and the perfect atmosphere for learning something new everyday by listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Besides the commute, I worked from home some days while the kids were in daycare. I was alone and it was quiet and it was joyous.

Extroverts might not understand but I think all men enjoy a bit of quiet and privacy. Nowadays we’re so plugged in with society that nearly every waking hour we’re getting input from millions of directions and sources. We have burdens with finances, job responsibilities, family responsibilities, and society expectations. The phone rings, the emails dings, the kids scream, the wife asks for help, your mother calls, your buddy texts, and the game is on. All of this information overload can drive you bananas if you don’t control it and the best way to handle it…

Alone time in stillness and solitude.

10 Minutes. 20 Minutes. 1 Hour. Whatever it is, find it and learn how to enjoy sitting alone in solitude. Here’s a quote about the importance and power of solitude: “In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.” -Laurence Sterne

It’s easy to say that all men should do these things daily, what’s hard is actually doing them yourself. I truly believe in walking the walk and practicing what I preach and I genuinely try to make all of these a part of my daily life. I have found the harder I work on learning who I am, about the world, the more I try to play and enjoy hobbies, the harder I try to consistently exercise, and the making an effort for a glimpse of momentary solitude, the more I enjoy life and the people I surround myself with. There are absolutely days where all of these things are thrown out the door, but more so than not, they’re a part of who you see when I smile and what you read when I write. Find your daily things to do and help allow them to activate your life.

5 Books All Men Should Read

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One of my favorite things in life is reading. I enjoy reading almost anything and find great pleasure in continuing to learn something new. In fact, I believe we all strive to continue to learn something new every single day. There is so much out there in the world that we’ve never noticed, heard about, or considered. We are also all fucked up. Me included. One of the best things we can do about that issue is to educate ourselves about life, women, beer, fitness, culture, depression, psychology, and more, including how to be a better man.

Over the past few years I have read a great number of books about being a better man. I really believe that there is much for each of us to discover about who we are, why we act the way we do, and why we experience certain issues. Self-discovery is one of the drives that pushes me forward every day and I think that might be the same for you and other people you know.

I’ve read books about being a father, a husband, a business owner, a lover, a man, a writer, an athlete, a martial artist and much more. With every book that gets read and put down another is quickly picked up and started. Below are a list of five of the best books I think all men should read. I am going to gift them to men I know. I am going to have my son read them when he’s old enough. I want my friends and brothers and other men in my life to read them.

There is much to find out about how we operate as men and these five books are where we should all start. I also highly suggest that women read these books as well. Especially number three. You will learn a lot about your sons, your husbands, your brothers, fathers, or boyfriends.

1. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

This book was written by Meg Meeker, a woman, and she opened my eyes to just how important the men in a woman’s life are. Whether it’s her father or the man she loves, men are important to women, but none more important than her Father. In fact, Meeker suggests that a girl’s father is the most important person in her life. More so than Mom. Although the book does have some religious factors, the principle is what matters. So if you’re offended by God talk, suck it up chump.

Through the course of the book Meeker goes through ten “secrets” all fathers should know. If you’re not a father or are a father but don’t have a daughter, I still suggest you read this book. It will help you understand more about the women in your life. One of the ideas in the book that stuck with me the most is probably one of the greatest tools we can have to living our lives activated and being the best man we can be, the idea that Fathers should be the man they would want their daughter to marry. This is a great self-development tool and when taken seriously, can make the world of change in our lives.

(By the way, Meg Meeker also wrote a book called Strong Mothers, Strong Sons. I’ve yet to read it but it’s on the list. Ladies, get to work.)

2. The Way Of The Superior Man

There is only one book I have ever read twice. This is it. If you read one book from this list, make it this book written by David Deida. The way of the superior man is one of the best books I have ever picked up. It’s full of short chapters that are useful for just about anything in life. The book discusses thoughts about our purpose in life, being a man of purpose, sexual energy and techniques, how to be a great lover, and the difference between masculine energy and feminine energy. One thing he wrote about is how when a man lacks in masculine energy, the woman will increase her masculine energy and this creates problems. A woman with masculine energy trying to bridge the gap between the yin and yang of the relationship is a woman who can’t relax. A not relaxed woman is a not sexual woman. It is the man’s responsibility to polarize the energy and keep it that way. Ladies, I’d definitely read this book as well, buy it today for your husband or boyfriend.

This book will push you out of your comfort zone and give you several aha moments.

3. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

Probably the best-selling relationship book of all-time. Dr. John Gray writes about the difference between Men and Women and why we need to know and accept and embrace these differences. If you ever thought to yourself “I have no idea what goes through her head or why she acts the way she acts when I do this or that”, read this book.

As men, we have “caves” as Gray calls them that we retreat to. After a long day of work and being super stressed out, we retreat to our caves. We want to sit down and unwind with a beer, a book, or a game on the television. Women on the other hand want to talk about their day. When men have problems, they retreat to their cave. When women have problems, they want to talk about them. Most people don’t understand this and when they do, tensions and useless arguments can be avoided.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus helps us understand the differences between the “rubber band” energy that men have the “wave” energy that women have. It also discusses meeting emotional needs, avoiding arguments, communicating difficult feelings, scoring points with the opposite sex, and keeping the magic in the relationship alive.

Men need this book because, honestly, when was the last time you were taught how to be in a good relationship? Women as well.

4. No More Mr. Nice Guy

Nice guys finish last. We’ve heard it before, we’ve shaken it off as nonsense, we’ve been friend zoned, we’ve experienced it, the truth is Nice Guys finish last. Dr. Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy, started support groups for men and was a nice guy. He was going through all the problems Nice Guys experience in relationships and as we was recovering from being a Nice Guy, he wrote this book. Are you a nice guy who always appears to be nice and do you avoid conflicts at all costs? This book is for you.

If not, this book is for you too.

Glover writes about men being conditioned by our childhoods and society to believe that in order to have a great relationship, good things in life, and a happy life, we need to be nice, make everyone else happy, and avoid any problems at all costs. Men don’t need approval. Nice Guys try to find it. This creates self-loathing and frustration.

One main thing repeated in the book is how men have needs and wants and often they brush them off to please other people first and create a conflict free environment. This is what Glover calls “Nice Guy Syndrome”. The book goes into great detail about how men must embrace, develop, understand, and grow their masculine traits instead of being afraid of them and suppressing them.

This is the book I just read. I wish I read this when I was a teenager and I will definitely have my son read this book. This will become only the second book I have ever read over. There are issues all Nice Guys have that relate back to our childhood that are important to work through. Glover states that Nice Guys are givers, fixers, caretakers, approval seekers, repressors of feelings, and conflict avoiders. Operating out of these states can bring disaster to relationships, work, and happiness. This book has the steps to take to work through them and become the best man we’re meant to be.

Next to The Way of The Superior Man, this is the most brilliant book for all men to read in their life. Better now than later.

5. The War of Art

Steven Pressfield wrote a gem, a best-selling, no-nonsense book about crushing resistance and doing the work we should all be doing. There are many fears we have about action. Whether that is starting a workout routine, creating a new business, improving a relationship, starting a new hobby, or sitting down to read these five books. We have a resistance that makes us lazy and afraid. Afraid of what to do next, the unexpected, the unknown, and being too lazy to get up a little earlier to workout, too lazy to cook good healthy food and too lazy to romance the woman in your life.

While the book is a lot about the creative process and starting something new that we’re scared to start, there are many principles in the book that we can use and put into work in our lives that will help us become better men and people. We have the talent, the ability, and the desire to do what we choose to do and want to do, but we allow things to stand in our way of ACTION.

Pressfield writes about overcoming that resistance from a writer and writing perspective, but you’re smart enough to understand the principle.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ― Albert Einstein

Now you have a list of five books I believe all men should read in their life. It’s close to being a should read, but that choice is yours. Only you can decide what to do with your life but in my opinion, these books will make you a better man, a better lover, a better husband or boyfriend, a better worker, and a happier person who lives their life activated.

 

Being Ruthless In Your Actions

Many people I know, read about, or have met struggle with the inner voice that is often referred to as resistance, the lazy chump, the inner bitch, the negative Nancy, and there are many days I too struggle with the resistance within. Millions of people have failed to reach their goals or live a good life because they allow this inner bitch, the inner chump, to control their thinking and actions. When we have a worthy goal to accomplish it’s easy to resist the efforts needed to achieve the goal. It’s easy to find excuses as to why we can’t do something we’ve never done before. The fear wins and the heart loses.

In the battles we go through every day, like do we take the trash out now or later or do we get the oil change today or wait another three weeks, are all tests of our virtues, our purpose, our drive, our desire, and our mindset. I heard Aubrey Marcus talk about fear of spiders once on a podcast. He said that when we let that fear get so strong that we can’t even look at it or we freak out, what we’re doing is actually losing the battle to many other choices, decisions, and actions ahead in our days. When the Spartans used to train they had to run Marathons with a mouth full of water. Once they ran the twenty-six plus miles, they had to spit it out. By doing this, they tested their fortitude, their accountability, their fear, and their purpose. They defeated the inner bitch who screamed for water.

Taking it to that extreme is probably no longer needed but the principle behind it still very much so.

When you start out on a new goal, say losing 10 pounds, and you create the plan to follow, sticking to it is a must. One failed action step is enough to completely devalue everything involved with the goal. If part of your plan is to wake up at four in the morning three days a week and exercise and one day you say “I know I have to exercise now, but sleep wins today”, what you’re saying is you’re not worth it, the goal isn’t worth it, the resistance wins.

As hard as it seems to grasp these thoughts and process the truth, it’s very much true that what we do or don’t do makes up everything we are. Finding an excuse to not exercise one morning can lead you to finding an excuse to call out of work on an important day at your job. Finding a reason to cheat on your diet and going through it is enough to completely set you up for failure. Taking shortcuts in your work or projects is enough to allow you to accept deceit.

When you don’t “stick to your guns” you’re allowing the resistance to win and proving to yourself that your values are weak. This will only hurt you in the long run. The need to be ruthless with your actions is critical. When we decide that we will do as we say and follow through with ruthless action, we respect our lives, our path and the values we try to live by. Being ruthless with your actions will help you achieve your goals quickly as you live your life activated.

 

10 Rules All Men Should Live By

Having rules sucks. Most of us don’t want to follow them anyway, but sometimes, we need them. There is a lot of shaky stuff going on in the world today and a lot of embarrassing stuff. We see former basketball pros going bankrupt, ODing at strip clubs, guys who bitch all day on stupid posts that don’t change the world, or their lives, on facebook, and “leaders” who have no balls or guts.

We’ve come a long way from the good old days of when being a man meant something more than it is today. We often see men sucked into a life that slowly kills them. Men who are defeated and deflated by the pressures of family, careers, and hobbies. Many men willingly run away from family time for alone time or golf time or bar time instead of being there when duty calls. I’ve heard more this past year about men who don’t change shitty diapers than ever before. I’ve heard of men who neglect and distance themselves from their wives and kids. I see grown ass men with a little extra weight around the belly eating fast food garbage. Grown men who don’t know how to eat properly and grown men who don’t exercise.

Ridiculous.

There is a big problem in the world today when it comes to men. We’ve lost many of the great values that defined the American family or the American male. That’s why I put this list together. 10 Rules All Men Should Live by:

Rule #1:

Exercise.

A man who doesn’t exercise is a man who doesn’t know what he is missing. Testosterone levels are dropping. Waists are expanded. More and more young men are dying early from preventable diseases. And being strong seems almost like a circus act. Rarely do we see men who are strong and in shape. It is my opinion that a man who doesn’t exercise and try to get in or stay in shape is not doing the best he can for his family. There is no excuse to not exercise. Ten minutes a day can help. Rule number one, exercise.

Rule #2

Learn how to love.

Loving our family, our wives, our kids is something we’re not taught. Learning what women want is something we don’t learn. Learning how to be romantic, appreciative, and supportive of women in our lives is another thing we’re not taught. But just because we’re not taught how to love doesn’t mean we need to be dumb asses about it. Go to the book store and get a book about love like Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus or Sex at Dawn.

Rule #3

Eat healthy foods.

A grown man who eats shit food all the time is a child who failed to grow up. If your diet consists of McDonald’s, beer, pizza, wings, subway, and Five Guys more than three percent of the time, you need to get your shit together. Men should never fail to eat healthy foods the majority of their diet. Men should never waste their lives away eating fried foods more than they do spinach. This is ridiculous and embarrassing. Find a nutrition program that consists of healthy foods like greens, lean meats, and fruits and get to work. There is no excuse to not eating healthy.

Rule #4

Have some survival skills.

If you went into the middle of the woods and had to spend the night alone, would you survive? Would you be able to find shelter, start a fire, and keep yourself safe from predators? Sadly, most men don’t know have any survival skills. When Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey and left power out for days, many men went bananas looking for food and gas. Lines a few blocks long were seen all over town. Grown men fought for the last of the gas so they can light their homes a little while longer. Many of them had no survival skills. When we lost power and the roads opened, I secured the safety of my pregnant wife and made sure she was okay with what she needed. I spent seven days in my home with no heat, electricity, and six chicken legs with a grill. I managed to survive without having to go get gas. I didn’t need a generator. I believe my experience camping as a kid and into adulthood helped. But more importantly, I relaxed in a serious situation. Men must have basic survival skills and if you don’t, learn right now.

Rule #5

Respect the woman in your life.

If you search through this blog you’ll find a few posts were I openly admit I was a horrible and neglectful husband. I was consumed with other things and left my relationship in the back of my life. I disrespected my wife and our vows. Far too many men put careers and success over their family. There are men in my life who have told me family first who don’t put their family first. A woman has her needs and they’re easy for you to meet. All you need to do is be consciously aware of them. The routine of work and life catches up to us when we stop and notice that we’ve actually forgotten our wife’s birthday or we haven’t taken her out on a date in months. When our wives are talking, are we listening? Are we looking for a solution instead of being a quiet support? Your wife deserves respect in the most honorable way. Learn how to treat a lady well.

Rule #6

Have a bigger library than your TV.

I have a 65 inch television in my living room. It was a gift. I enjoy it but my books when put together take up more space than my television. Every good man, every good leader, every successful person has a bigger library than a television. Books help you learn and can help improve life and create a better future. Television is a mind trap. A waste of time. A way to escape reality and zone out on important matters. That’s not bad once in a while like any given Sunday, but daily time spent watching television is time you can be spending rolling on the floor with kids, flirting with your wife, cleaning, writing, working, and improving. Ditch the hours of television time and replace it with better used time.

Rule #7

Pull Your Load At Home.

Dishes are dirty, kids need a bath, bills need to be paid, work needs to be done on the landscaping, and the floor needs to be vacuumed. Do it. It’s hard to grasp the fact that many men I know have never changed a diaper or given the kids a bath. I don’t understand why some men don’t clean up their kitchens or living rooms and fold the clothes once in awhile. If you think it’s the woman’s job, you’re a dickhead. Pull your load at home and do your part to have a functioning home where daily life stress is reduced and the atmosphere is pleasurable. Maybe you’ll get to shoot your load more often.

Rule #8

Take Responsibility For Your Own Life.

Nobody owes you anything. Nobody is going to pay your mortgage and comb your hair. You’re a grown man and it’s your job to be responsible for your life. If you don’t exercise and eat well, you’re not being responsible. If there are problems in your life, it’s your responsibility to figure them out and ask for help where needed. Do the work to become more confident, stronger, have a higher self-esteem, and greater wealth. Don’t expect anything to be laid out for you. Just get it done until it becomes natural.

Rule #9

Have a hobby.

When was the last time you spent a few hours doing something you loved? While it’s important to work and be there for family, it’s also important for men to have time away from it doing something that relaxes the mind and body. For many men that means Golf, or movies, or fishing. If you’re not spending time away from the routine of life at least every few days, you’re not opening up to living your best life. A relaxed and rejuvenated man is a better man.

Rule #10

Be Man Enough to Tell The Truth

I greatly dislike people who can’t speak the truth. You have something to say, say it and don’t sugarcoat anything. If you fucked up and you lie to try to cover your ass, you’re being an immature asshole. So many men are babies when it comes to telling the truth. Let’s say your best friend is overweight by at least a hundred pounds and you’re scared for his health and he eats like a kid, junk food every day, pizza, chips, crap and garbage food and you sit there and hang out with him and don’t tell him the truth, you’re an asshole. No matter what they say about being happier that way or offended or scared, tell them the truth. If you’re unhappy at home, instead of looking elsewhere for love, tell the truth and don’t be scared. The truth is important to you, it matters enough for you to say it, and if they can’t respect that then you need to leave. Don’t be that guy who can’t handle the truth. Handle it like a man.

Releasing Built Up Energy For A Happier Life

As an introvert, I get drained from being around many people. It’s nothing bad or something I should be ashamed of, it just is. During my grand opening event this past weekend I had the opportunity to surround myself with great people and great events. The day was a success and we had a lot of fun. By one o’clock in the afternoon I was home and my day was over. There was nothing left inside of me to give to anyone else and all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and lose myself in a book. This happens quite often and it’s a normal characteristic of introverted people. However, even though my physical energy is drained and my mental energy close by with a quarter tank left, my emotional energy is full and in need of a serious release. Sometimes I can empty that emotional energy when I’m alone, but it’s tough to be alone when you have two kids and a wife. Other times this energy is released through hard workouts or writing creatively. But, there are definitely many days when this energy builds up and releases negative emotions. Hurtful words, angry outbursts, depressed feelings, lazy legs, and more.

How do you release this built up energy in a positive way? Simple. Let your animal out. Sounds crazy and if you watch someone do it you’d think they’re crazy but the truth is, we have to release our energy in ways that make us look like savages. After all we are animals, barbarians, and savages when it comes down to our evolutionary DNA.

Here are a few ways I let go of my maniac inside:

1. Jam to heavy and hard, loud, music.

Turn it up all the way and freak out.

2. Grab a Bat and Hit Things.

Not a person or material things you don’t want broken.. but one of the best ways we can release these built up emotional energies is by hitting something with a bat or a racket, or something similar. Grab a few pillows and pile them up on your bed. Take the racket or bat and beat those pillows up while pulling your rage and energy from below the belly button up into your upper body and scream while hulk smashing your comfortable pillows.

3. Jump Up and Down

Do this while grunting or screaming and let go of all restrictions you have place to hold your emotional energies in. Jam out while doing this as well. Pull the dark energies inside that you are hiding and express them to the universe as you savagely release your animal self.

These negative energies are killing us and they will manifest as disease, pain, or other issues in your body and life. Find them and let them loose. When we ignore the truth of these energies we can experience depression, creative blocks, laziness, and no motivation. Embrace this part of who you are and escape the prison you’ve created inside that hold your darkness in.

On Life, Effort, Risks, Goals, and Teaching My Daughter About Hulk Hogan

This week has been awesome. Tuesday I taught my daughter how to give me the pound and she’s loving it. Just the week before I taught her how to mimic Mike Myers in Austin Powers with the famous Fat Bastard line: “Get in my belly.”. The little things really do make the days better and more enjoyable. Today I taught her “Whatcha gonna do BROOOOTHER?” The world famous Hulk Hogan quote that brought him to wrestling stardom. Now I just need to watch everything else I do.

I officially received word that my town accepted my application to expand my gym into a new location that triples the training floor space. This is one of those moves in life that is risky. I’m freaked out by the decision but it’s necessary and from it’s either sink or swim, and I only accept swim. When I sit back and think about the journey I’ve been on in the gym business and life itself, I see that we really do manifest our reality. For the past year I knew it was time to expand the gym. Whether I had the membership base to afford it or not, it was time. All year I spent working hard to grow the business and find a new location. The law of attraction is spontaneous. Out of nowhere the thought came to me to inquire about space at a local warehouse park. Fortunately the timing was perfect and the opportunity was given to me. I’m running with it. Running with fear latched onto my heart and my nerves on edge but nonetheless, full steam ahead.

We are all very capable of capturing our dreams and making them come true. Our thoughts are here for reason and we can’t ignore them. Each time I had a thought about moving into a gym they were so strong I couldn’t think of anything else. The nervousness that comes with it too is not fun at times. On occasion it feels like I need to vomit and I often ask myself if this is real. But the powerful thought of knowing I want to do this is so strong that I work to make it happen. I don’t let it go and think it’s a foolish idea. No matter what, if I fail or succeed, it is what it is and the next thought will come and I’ll continue on this journey.

Being able to do all of this and spend much quality time with my children is amazing. Two of three days a week I get to spend the entire day cleaning up poop, spilled milk, and strawberries mushed into the rug. I also get to look into the eyes of joy and feel the connection of human love. Then there’s teaching my daughter the many joys of embracing the little things. Today we trained. I did a circuit of five sets. Five burpees, ten push ups, ten squats, ten kettlebell swings, and twenty flutterkicks each leg. At the third set my daughter said: “Oh boy. I’m done.” She’s two and a half. I said “No way. Let’s go! Two more rounds.” She held the kettlebell for a few seconds, did some funny looking burpees, and tried to squat. She kept going and I had to push her. I wonder if she realizes it, probably not, but I just taught her a valuable lesson. One I will continue to teach her until I’m done in this life.

That’s how it’s been with writing and my gym as well. For a long time there hasn’t been many readers of my work. Now I’m close to 500 blog posts since I started writing and there are over 300 that have only been read once or twice. Some classes at my gym have one or two people and last summer there were many that nobody came to. But I keep going, not quitting, doing the reps one motion at a time. What good would it have been if I gave up the first time nobody read a blog post or the first class nobody showed up to?

We are all capable of moving forward towards our dreams. Along the way there are days and weeks and months and even years that are hard. Filled with brutal work and endless days. Failure after failure after failure. Haters, negative people, competition making fun of you, being upset, sad, depressed, let down, and angry. These are the haymakers that are thrown our way that are meant to ask us one question. “Are you strong enough?” And the answer is always yes. One foot at a time.

My friend commented on another friend’s post today “That is sharpening the sword.” “Sharpen the sword for life.”

To me this means that through failure, through trials and tribulations, when we move forward and keep going, we’re working on forging our strongest self. We’re working on becoming the self that our inner core screams for us to notice and let loose on life. Yesterday I spoke to some co-workers about I felt my writing and podcasts were a little dry because I feel I’m not being my true self. I’m holding back my true opinions and the immense knowledge within my mind. I don’t want to rock the boat. I’m afraid that people will see the true man I am, where I’ve come from, and not accept me. I’m not alone here either. WE ALL have those feelings. Each day I try to do one thing to learn how to accept that part of me and I work on finding the reasons I MUST let it out in my writing, coaching, podcasting and more.

Moving forward I accept my role as the Bumblebee.

The Limits and Fears We Settle For

This morning on my drive into the office I was listening to a Louise Hay audiobook. The totality of possibilities. She spoke of the many limitations we place on our own lives. The voices we hear that tell us we can’t do something and how silly it is to listen. Thinking back on life, I see all of the limitations I put on my shoulders and actions and realize they were placed there out of fear. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of criticism. Fear of the unknown. Fear of death.

When my wife and I decided it was time to try and have a baby and add to our family I was afraid. For the previous twenty something years of my life before that moment, I swore I’d never have kids. Growing up and living, I saw how children, babies, acted. Needing to be fed, changed, burped, and more. It was insane to think I could ever do that. Insane to think I’d ever want to do that. I thought it was impossible for me to be a good father, able to care for an infant.

Before we decided to have a baby I was working on becoming a fitness trainer. When I began my studies on the human body and movement and fitness, I was afraid. Inside I thought I was stupid. Too dumb to ever read a book, remember what was taught, and not good enough to pass a test. The days leading up to the test were some of the most stressful moments of my life. It’s not like the bar exam or a becoming a doctor, it’s just a CPT test, but the fear of failing was killing me. I passed with a near perfect mark. Certified trainer. Now, it was time to get to work.

For six months after I passed my test I sat in a pile of fear and limitations of impossibilities. Fear and my limiting beliefs told me I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve the opportunity to help someone get into shape. I sat quietly and dreamed of being a trainer. Applications after applications were sent in to local fitness facilities and they all requested interviews with me. Some called back every single day eager to meet me. Instead, I told myself that I wouldn’t get the job and other trainers already working there would laugh at me. A few months later and I was a business owner with my own training company.

Why do we listen to the powerful and restrictive voice within? We settle for less. Our capabilities are limitless and we stand still and watch the moments of life pass us by. We drink fear for breakfast and become intoxicated by our visions of failure or ridicule. We unconsciously choose to not try and settle for whatever we’re dealt by the mighty rivers of life. Powerful thoughts, negative in nature, cripple our dreams and suffocate our true beliefs. It’s hard to speak the truth. Even today as I write this practice session, I’m afraid of speaking the reality of my thoughts. You’ll judge me. You’ll leave my gym and walk elsewhere because “I weirded you out.” We call esoteric beliefs and possibilities “woo-woo” garbage because we’re afraid of looking within for the truth. The immense power of nature and the universe is so strong we’d rather ignore it and settle for the impossible.

Why do we listen?

Why not stand up and push back and tell the truth?

What do we have to lose?

We’re all in this together.

We’re all going to the grave.