A Quick History of Choices

It was nine years ago, in a small New Jersey town located fairly in the center of the state that my life would change forever. Somerset County to be exact. A Polish town called Manville. For most of my life, around 20 years, Manville was home. I moved into town the summer I started fourth grade. I was a nerdy kid. Glasses, braces, a pony tail, and I was like three feet tall, weighed maybe 60 pounds. I had some cousins who grew up in town and went to the same schools. I was picked on because I was the new kid and the cousin.

For the most part my life was pretty normal. I played sports like baseball and soccer and had several good friends. We were active kids too. Always riding bikes, building forts, playing pick up games of football and baseball. Our favorite was the home run derby we would play on our dead end road. The power lines that connected the house to the grid was used as the home run fence. The neighbors backyard was a football field in the summer and a hockey rink in the winter.

Somewhere along the line of growing up and graduating into the real world of life outside of Manville, my world drastically changed. My fears would ultimately control my life and ruin a great part of the “college years” of my life. I went for a semester to a local community college and decided it wasn’t for me. The professors weren’t open minded and creative thinkers. They were puppets to the man working off a curriculum and following orders. As sort of a free spirited person, I had no respect for them and knew I wouldn’t last in the walls of propaganda.

Instead I went to work and hid from the world. Inside I was dying of fear and outside I was pretending the world was great. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I knew I had to work but doing what and going where, no idea. People freaked me out, the rich were looked at as selfish and sinister, and I just wanted to hide away. In those six years of hiding and working minimum wage jobs, I became homeless and lost everything.

Nine years ago, I started life over, with nothing. I had no money, no car, no clothes, and no job. The path before me looked insane and filled with terror. Giving up often looked like the best option, but I’m still here and how times have changed. Today, kids across the state are graduating high school and walking into the real world. The comfort of being protected by the routine of family and high school is over and it’s time to stand tall and walk forward. Many will fail. Many will ruin their lives as I did, and others will succeed. The game is played however you choose though. You can try to succeed in school and create a successful life, or you run and hide from reality like I chose.

I started over when I was fed up with the decisions I was making. I started over with nothing, but I made it my goal to create a successful life. No matter what. The world is impartial to who we are, but the choices we make create the reality we live. One moment can turn everything around.

Decisions, Questions, and The Outcomes We Experience

We all have the ability to do whatever we conceive. The work it takes will always be different for everyone. The road to success is never unique and often has many curveballs ahead. The results we get are directly related to the thoughts we believe, the choices we make, the action we take. Many successful people have failed over and over again before they became “overnight” successes. The body won’t burn fat with an excess of energy, also known as calories, often known as too much food. The bank account doesn’t grow without proper budgeting and planning. Each outcome we wish for is in our own hands. We have the power to greatly influence that which occurs from our actions. Too often, we don’t slow down and embrace the moment, study the moment, or think before we act. We think and decide for a positive outcome, but when it comes to do the work we fail with procrastination or allow negative thoughts into our minds.

Get better results by writing down your goals, your plans, your thoughts and ideas. Make better decisions by asking better questions and focus on the answers. Take action when you clearly understand the path that you shall take.

My Life Changed Overnight and Here’s What I Learned

There’s nothing that can put life into perspective faster than an emergency situation. As we walk around our daily lives we consciously forget how fragile our lives are and how things can drastically change in the blink of an eye. One moment you’re enjoying smiles and fun and the next you’re in the ER scared to death. For all I have taken for granted, I am sorry. Stop time and feel your heart sink to the bottom of your stressed ocean and you will see the reality of this one life we get. Often we forget how delicate we are and how important it is to enjoy each moment. We bitch on Facebook about a white woman pretending she’s black while our kids are playing in the other room just waiting for Mommy or Daddy. We fight with our spouses or loved ones over miniscule matters when the big picture is pure love and beauty. We get caught up in fashion, NBA Finals, Instagram, Crossfit, and we forget about our dreams and the deeper reasons of why we matter and what we do daily life for.

There’s nothing that can change your life faster than thinking it’s about to be turned over, or having it turned over. Recently, I haven’t been the best husband or father and I regret every instance that I acted out of character or forgot the reality of what I’ve been given. Stop for a moment and look around at the very things you’ve attracted into your life and realize that those things can drift away faster then tomorrow comes.

Forget about the job or the asshole next door or the clothes left on the floor, the dishes in the sink, the careless accident that could have been prevented and focus on the truth of what really matters. You and I are all people who matter and what we’ve been given is beyond precious. Enjoy it and embrace it. Be grateful.

Sleep, Morning Routines, and Writing.

A cup of hot morning Joe, in a somewhat quiet house, with a good night’s sleep does wonders for your creative genius. The mind is focused, ready to do the work, and the words come one after the other. No hesitation in thought, just writing at it’s finest. Everywhere I go when it comes to business and leadership podcasts, you hear guest after guest talk about their morning routine. They talk about how important it is to have a productive and energizing morning routine. Wake up, sit silently in meditation, do some affirmations, read a positive attitude based book, journal for a few minutes, maybe get some exercise or walk outdoors, shower, and then begin the day. Their rituals are tight, almost as if they’re military.

I’ve been thinking about my morning routine. Here’s how it goes. I wake up, grab a huge cup of water, turn the Keurig on, make coffee, get in the car, drive to the gym, do my affirmations, and train people for a few hours. If I wanted to have a better morning routine I’d have to slash an hour off of my sleep and I don’t get enough as is, so I’m fine with the way it is. But days when my coach takes over morning classes, like today, are a free for all. I didn’t get out of bed until 8:33 this morning and that is only because my daughter woke up asking to go potty. I may still be sleeping, it’s 9:12.

Back to writing at it’s finest. It’s days like this when my schedule isn’t packed with task after task or errand after errand that my creative mind works better. I have the desire to write. I return emails. I read without my ADD jumping off the page after each sentence. After having two kids I almost forgot what a good night’s sleep was like. The older my son gets, the more I am experiencing it again and it’s making me a better person. I write more, I love more, I train harder, I eat better, and more. If you’re tied up with poor sleep, just know it will get better and that when it happens you will feel like a new person.

There is no point to today’s post. Carry on now. Have a great day. Enjoy hot coffee, intense exercise, and good sleep.

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.

Seeing In Others, Seeing Within

When we become inspired by greatness we’re usually motivated to do something more. Whether it’s more workouts, more work, more education, or something else. When we see greatness in other people we are noticing it because of the greatness within ourselves. Th e greatness traits we pick out of other people are the same traits we are all born with. If we see anger in someone else, we’re noticing the anger within as well. It’s said that when ¬†we criticize another person, what we’re criticizing is actually a fault we find in our own lives. The world acts as a mirror of our life. We notice what we want and what we feel we’re lacking. We notice the goodness within ourselves in others. It’s said that like attracts like. In the book Dark Side of The Light Chaser, author Debbie Ford writes about imagining we have outlets on our chest with no plastic covers. They’re open and waiting for something to plug into it. When we problems with anger or sadness or guilt, we plug into others energy who also have problems with anger, sadness, and guilt. To get beyond this, we have to recognize those problems and accept them until they are gone . When the issues are resolved, the people who once plugged into our anger outlets mysteriously leave your life or become less noticeable as they once were.

Next time you judge someone or criticize a person, stop and look within and see if that which you’re pointing out and condemning is actually something that you’re missing from your life. When you notice a positive trait in someone else, look within and see that which you see in others is also within yourself.

How To Make It Easier To Accept Change In Your Life

Must of us fear change. We have routines set up to juggle our schedules, our hobbies, responsibilities, and obligations. We work, enjoy play, free time, and time with family. During the days that pass we set up our routines so that they’re nearly identical every week. Placed in the comfort zone of familiarity, this routine becomes hard to break and often creates stress when something new comes along. How many people have felt uneasy about joining a gym and starting a new fitness journey? The whole process is a dramatic change to our daily routine and often the stress of just thinking about creates fear which keeps us motionless in action. Accepting change is harder said than done, but one way to avoid failure and positive transformation is by allowing the change to happen naturally. When a new diet and workout begins, the change is a sudden jolt to our daily routine. Before we weren’t buying organic eggs at the farm that requires a detour on the way home from work. We weren’t taking that one hour of relaxing free time for gym time, it was spent reading, fishing, writing, or watching a favorite television show. The people who become successful in their fitness (or any new journey) are the people who accept the change and understand the reasons behind the new tasks and routine.

Accept change into your life by being present with each new task of your routine. Try writing out your current routine. To the minute or every 5 minutes or whatever allows you to realize exactly how your time is spent. Then once the old routine is written down, write what your new routine will look like. What changes are being made? What areas will cause stress? What can you remove from your current routine to make the new one easier to roll into? Answer these simple questions and do this simple exercise and you’ll find it much easier to accept change.

46 Tips On Living Your Best Life

It’s hard for me to believe I’m writing a post on living your best life. It’s also hard for me to believe I wrote a book titled On Living Your Best Life: A Simple Guide to Being In Control. Life wasn’t always fun or even manageable. There were days when the towel was thrown in the ring and I gave up trying. There were depressed days and months, weeks and what seems like years. Happiness wasn’t always a part of who I am. Anger ruled my world. Depression sunk me into the couch and life wasn’t worth living. I felt useless and hopeless and could never see what good the future had in store for me. Even after I got my life back on track and began to make progress like most of you, I still hated life. I had everything I could ask for. A home, a job, a business of my own, a family, and money in the bank that helped my family thrive, but I wasn’t happy and I was ready to give it all up.

Not many people who know me believe this or even saw it, but the truth is, my best life was far from my eyes and what people thought was a happy life, was a miserable existence I self-created. All of the pain and depression I put myself through was out of line and what I failed to realize was the simple truth that I wouldn’t accept. Why was I unhappy? Why, when life was good to me, did I hate everything? The answer lies in the vision and the story I was telling myself. I created a false belief that didn’t exist and failed to see the true reality of my life.

When I noticed the problems of my own mind and the abundant joy in my reality, I made several changes. Along the way I wrote post after post after post about what I was learning. Here are 46 of those tips that I now use and accept to live my best life.

1. Pain means you’re alive. Use it for your own good.

Being in pain, mentally, emotionally, and even physically, you have a deep anger and a good power inside. Releasing this power in a positive way can be productive and used as motivation to drive forward. Keeping it in, hiding, under the skin and shadow of your true life can create an emotional imbalance that leads to problems. Use your pain for the good of people all around you.

2. Your health is related to your mindset.

If you feel lazy and exhausted, you might be thinking you’re lazy and exhausted. Get up and get in the gym and move your body. Let nature do amazing work by releasing hormones that create joy and pleasant experiences. The more we train, the better we feel.

3. Be Okay With Day Dreaming.

Find time in your busy life to sit aside from the commotion of everything around you and relax, day dream. Have no expectations or agendas. Just dream. Daydreaming is linked with creativity and improved mindset.

4. Get Uncomfortable.

Does working after work on your passion and dreams make you uncomfortable? Do it. Does exercise make you uncomfortable? Do it more. The more we push beyond our comfort zones, the better our results are in everything relating to our life.

5. Set Positive Intentions.

What do you want out of life? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Why? Answer the deeper questions in your mind and heart and when you find the truth, set the positive intention to make it happen and do good where you can. A life lived with intention on positive experiences is a life lived to the max.

6. Continue to Learn Daily.

Learning about new things, ideas, and experiences is one of my highest values. I can’t go a day without learning something new. The more we learn, the smarter we get, the better our life experiences get. Knowledge truly is power and with it you can open doors to amazing things and moments you never dreamed possible. Always be learning.

7. Figure out your personality.

Much of my mental and emotional problems and experiences were overcome when I found a simple test called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I am an introvert and I created a life that better suited an extrovert and when I got severely overwhelmed, it caused massive problems in my day to day functions. Find out your type, read about it, and see where you can make adjustments to better your life.

8. Be Careful of the People You Surround Yourself With.

The people around you have a great effect on how you live your life. If you are surrounded by negative people you will naturally and inevitably become a more negative person. If you are surrounded by successful, smart, motivated, and fit people you will begin to change your life to mirror them and make your own mark. The people we interact with have a greater effect on our life than we think. Make sure you surround yourself with positive and uplifting people.

9. Quality over Quantity.

I am a big fan of beer and I enjoy good beer. That is why I choose craft beers that are highly rated and well reviewed. I don’t drink often but when I do, I want to have the best quality beer around. The same goes for everything we do in life. More is never better. Better is always better.

10. Find A Happy Place.

I love going to my in-laws lake house. It’s peaceful. It’s surrounded by water and it’s ultra relaxing. Being there releases tension in my body and removes the stresses of reality. It’s a great place to enjoy friends and family and it’s even better when you are alone with just your thoughts. Find a happy place and visit it as often as you can. Another happy place for me is the Float Tank.

11. Don’t Get Caught Up in Material Possessions.

“I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger, I wish that..” One of the most life alerting lessons I learned is that more is not better and that being caught in a trap of materialism can create unneeded stress and problems in many area of life. Buying the next best, the latest gadget, a new car every three years, and a house bigger than you need is not what’s best for living your highest life. Think like Gandhi. He owned less than 1o things when he died.

12. Find Your Inspiration.

What inspires you in life to wake up everyday and try harder? This could be your kids, your job, your boss, your spouse, your coach, a group of people who you share your life with. Capture that inspiration and use it when you need a helping hand.

13. Know What You Want.

And then go get it. If you want a million dollars and a vacation home, go get it. Do not disregard your desires. There is truth and power in knowing what you want, accepting it, and believing you can have it. Don’t wait for someone to tell you you can have it, just go after it right away.

14. Be A Child.

Kids are crazy, fun, and very zen like. They love everything about life. They smile all the time. They brighten our days and are excited to experience everything life puts in front of their moments. Be a child and relax and enjoy the awesome present moments we are gifted.

15. Be Willing To Fail.

Fear of failure will stop you from ever trying and will keep you exactly where you are right now. Accept that failure happens and there are great lessons in failing. Go and do the work with the acceptance that it might not work out.

16. Enjoy the Mundane Parts of Life.

Wake up, get dressed, get coffee, drive to work. These redundant and mundane tasks can drive us nuts if we let it. Instead, try to enjoy them and feel the present moment and make a fun routine out of it. Driving to work is a powerful time to learn by listening to podcasts or audiobooks.

17. Question Yourself.

Did you try hard enough? What do I do next? Questioning yourself is a great way to see your true intentions and to find out if you’re working to your potential. It will also help motivate you when you feel down.

18. Go The Extra Mile

How often do we accept our half best? How often do we stop just before the moment of a breakthrough experience? Go the extra mile when it comes to your work, your family, and taking care of your life. The extra mile is the road less traveled and it’s the road to greatness.

19. Embrace The Suck

Life is going to throw curveballs and you will go through trials that test your wits and what you’re made of. The same goes for exercise. It’s hard work and exhausting, but by embracing the suck you will persevere.

20. Accept The What If’s.

What if I fail? What if I die trying? What if I lose all of my money? What if I hurt myself? These questions stop us from trying. To go further and live your best life, you have to accept that whatever happens, happens for a reason.

21. Overcome Fear of Failure.

The only way to overcome fear of failure is to get and take giant steps and do the work. Accept it as possible, embrace the suck, accept the what if’s, and walk through fire by trying your best.

22. Awaken the Truth of Life.

Many of us are brainwashed by media and propaganda. This isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s fact. Awaken the truth about life by being open to change and continue to learn about all things in life. Meditate, read different books, ask questions. Find your greatness that is inside.

23. Use HOPE to Move Forward.

Hope gives us the energy to move forward. Hope gives us the power to overcome our fears. Hope helps us stay motivated that things will always work out. Hope changes the way you think and act. Go forward with the power of hope.

24. Share Your Knowledge.

Continue to learn everyday and then share that knowledge with others if it will benefit their life. Keeping in what we learn is a scarcity mindset move. Pay it forward and bring those behind you up front.

25. Be Yourself.

If you’re a rockstar and you’re hiding the truth of the music inside of you, you need to let it out and be yourself. Do not try to make up a story about who you are. Be the real person inside and show it off to the world.

26. Be An Action Taker.

You can read, listen, and watch everything and learn a ton but without taking action you will never move forward in life. Take daily actions to your goals and dreams. When you feel like you don’t want to go to the gym, go to the gym. When you feel like eating fast food instead of cooking good food, cook the good food instead.

27. Show Gratitude.

When you wake up in the morning, you are lucky. When you have a job to go to that pays the bills, you are lucky. When you have the ability to walk and talk, you are fortunate. There are many people in the world who are suffering more than we are. Be grateful for all of the goodness in your life. Be grateful for the people, the food, the water that you have and release that gratitude to the universe. I am grateful for you.

28. Enjoy Competition.

Whether it’s watching baseball or football on television or playing a pick up game of basketball, enjoy the energy of being competitive. Famous author and publisher Louise Hay says there is no competition, only collaboration, but the competition of trying to excel while others are as well is motivating and greatly energizing.

29. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over.

At one point in my life, I lost everything I ever owned. I walked away with the clothes on my back and started my life over. It happens to many people. Starting over can be a blessing. Maybe you had a business that failed because it wasn’t a part of your true destiny. But now you have another idea. Don’t be afraid to take action and start all over.

30. Use Affirmations Daily.

Affirmations are a powerful tool to help you stay motivated and centered. Using affirmations can help you attract that which you are seeking and bring about an inner peacefulness. Practice using affirmations whenever you are alone and focus on the energy they bring you.

31. Give and Show Love.

Love is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. The energy of love and the vibrations are love can change your life. If you lack giving love to other people, make it a practice to share your love with those you encounter. Love the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the people in your life.

32. Capture Your Dreams

It’s easy to dream of a life where we have everything we ever wanted or where we live to our full potential, but it’s hard to actually capture those dreams and make them happen. Too often we don’t “do it” and just watch as others do. To live your best life, dream big dreams and then get to work.

33. Time Flies

We’ve all heard the expression “Time flies when you’re having fun.” but it also flies when you’re not. Make the most of the time we have whether it’s boring or fun and find the best parts of each moment. The time of our life is always now and we only have right now. Enjoy it to the fullest.

34. Do the work

There will always be work that needs to be done. We have household duties, job responsibilities, self improvement tasks, and more. A major part of living your best life is doing the work you have in front of you to capture the moments and bring out of them the best experiences of your life. If you want to increase your finances, do the work. If you want to lose weight, do the work.

35. Befriend Your Inner Critic

My inner critic is responsible for over 400,000 words never published in any format. That’s four major novels worth of writing that I have allowed to either sit silently in the dark or it’s deleted. The inner critic can stop you from taking action and destroy your dreams faster than anything else. We know it’s there and we know it’s afraid. Befriend the inner critic and accept the opinion within. Weigh the options and then, push forward. Your work is good enough.

36. Practice Visualization

One thing I’ve done in my business that has spurred growth and success is visualize the outcome I am looking for. I just moved to a new location for my gym. This is the third time since I started in my driveway. Each time, in each new facility, I quietly sat or stood there and visualized a full gym. I imagined the type of people I wanted training, the hours, the music, the exercises, the size of each class and then I went to work on all of my important tasks. This practice has helped me reach my goals and they continue to improve. I also use this for weight loss. When I won the beat the trainer challenge at my gym, I visualized myself winning and losing enough weight to capture the prize.

37. Never Give Up

Never giving up on your dreams and goals is one of the most important things we can do to live our best life yet. Through failure and difficulty we become smarter and stronger, therefore we must never give up trying to accomplish what we set out for. There have been hundreds of times where I felt like quitting writing, training, being a coach, and more, but each time those thoughts of failure and extreme difficultly came to mind, I rose above the negative beliefs and kept trying. What’s there to lose?

38. You’re Important

Some feel their life isn’t important. If you have a friend, a boss, a co-worker, a family, or people who like you, you’re important. We’re all important. You never know who you really are until you really try to find out. Look at some of the brightest inventors of our time. If they sat there feeling like their life wasn’t important, we may never have cars, light bulbs, coffee creamer, and MRI machines. You are here for a purpose. Believe it.

39. Realize Your Inner Strength

Strength doesn’t just mean that which relates to physical exertion. There are times when our physical strength means nothing and our emotional and mental strength mean the world. We are all stronger than we believe in every facet of our lives. We are all capable and equipped to withstand great adversity if the time comes. We may feel exhausted and unable to train for fitness but the truth is, you have the strength to push through a workout and get the job done. Push yourself so that you find that strength.

40. Be Creative

Each of us have unique opinions, beliefs, and perspectives, and they matter. There is no better way for us to relay our thoughts and ideas than by being creative. Whether this is writing, art, music, construction, design, photography, or sports, letting out our creative expression will help us live our best life. Silence the inner critic, do the work, and let your “art” out.

41. See The Truth of Happiness

Happiness is not something we can chase. We can’t find it, buy it, sleep with it, eat it, train for it, and we can’t see it. The only thing we can do for happiness is to choose to be happy. The truth is, we’re all capable of being happy. It’s inside of us right now.

42. Find Balance

There are many things we have to do in life and many responsibilities to take care of. To live our best life and avoid extreme exhaustion or overload, we must find balance. Our days are going faster and faster and we keep loading obligations onto our plates. The best thing we can do for balance is cut out unnecessary things from our life and focus on the few very important parts.

43. Be a Warrior

While a warrior is said to be a fighter or solider, the truth is, a warrior is also a strong, brave, and fearless man or woman. You don’t need a sword or machine gun to consider yourself a warrior. A warrior follows a creed of life that sharpens the edges and defines courage. Warriors follow their dreams, remove themselves from the masses of life, and are determined to succeed at their mission.

44. Enjoy The Little Things

I stopped the car the other day right in the middle of the road to watch a black beer rummage through a neighbors yard. I stopped the car the other day to witness this years baby geese at the pond down the road. Last year, there was one. This year, I’m excited to see there are three. I saw a flower nearing the state of blooming and stopped to enjoy the beauty and amazing laws of nature in action. I watched closely as my daughter ran around my gym without a care in the world. Worrying or thinking of nothing but experiencing the moment. That is where the true beauty of life lives.

45. Find your passion.

Do you like to mountain bike for sport? Write articles about living your best life? Draw pictures of nature? Whatever it is that you love, and we all know deep inside what we truly love, capture it and participate in your passion. Too many people are stuck in jobs and positions they hate and it’s slowly killing them just as life is slowly leaving all of us. Don’t waste the time you’ve been given. Make the most of it by living your passion.

46. Use The Best of Your Inner Energy.

Inner energy, inner strength, inner self. Inside of us is a power we’ve never fully understood. Our body heals itself. Our subconscious mind breathes, thinks, pumps blood, and digests food without our control. We never stop functioning as an awesome animal. Treat that inner energy well by feeding yourself good foods and exercising with a purpose.

Living your best life starts and ends with the energy you’re made of.

 

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.

4 Mindset Tools That Can Improve Your Life

I would always struggle to find my smile. There are days when I can’t stand the fact that I need to get out of bed. Sometimes, I just want to give up. Some days, I manifest stress onto my shoulders by thinking about the struggles I face. It’s hard to always smile and be the face of an organization, a leader to many, and at the same time, a father and husband. There are times when I ask myself if I can handle it. Like I wasn’t designed to do this.

The winter was brutal. The long dark nights and dull days block the sunshine and the coldness that sinks into the bones pushes you further into the darkness. That’s behind us now. Today is the opening day for Major League Baseball and it’s gorgeous outside. The sun shines brightly, hardly a cloud in the sky, the geese have landed and will soon have goslings with them, protecting each movement, the male goose laying close eye on his partner. Everywhere she steps, he steps and always has his head up, alert of the danger around. Each year they land at the pond down the road. Each year I wonder how they survive. In the distance on clear nights you can the fox and coyote cries. Some nights it sounds like they’re right outside the bedroom window. Where do the geese hide at night, or do they? Each year their young survive. One year there were five. Last year, only one. It’s a great day when you see the newly born gosling. You know the warmth is around the corner.

I look forward to seeing them arrive and I’m confident that the young will survive. I have a positive attitude and confidence on their survival. It’s that attitude and confidence that we need to take forward from this story to improve our life. Many of us get knocked down in the winter. Throughout history it’s been brutal living in frigid climates during winter and seasonal depression is very real. But we can stand tall and live our best life year round. It just takes a few tools that we should have in stock. Like the snow needing a shovel or oil needed to heat our homes, we need some mindset tools to maintain focus. Below are four mindset tools that can improve your life:

1. Gratitude

If you were to search the sites of many top motivational speakers, bloggers, and authors you’d surely see something about gratitude. This is because gratitude is certainly one of the most powerful mindset tools we have. When I lost everything nine years ago, I had no gratitude for any part of my life. I was angry at circumstance, I was angry with my actions, and I was angry at what life dealt me. I failed to see the things in life I should have been grateful for. While I had no home and no change of clothes, I still had friends that gave me food. I still had a place to hang out and a glass of water to drink when thirsty. They may have been few and far between, but it was still there. I didn’t have to walk many miles to find water from a well or go more than a day without eating something. That is enough to be grateful for. When you don’t know what it’s like to go without food, water, or a comfortable bed, you can see the true awesomeness of our simple pleasures. Waking up in a home, that’s your own, is enough to be grateful for and enough to set yourself up for a great day. Practice writing down things you are grateful for. Three things every morning or each night.

2. The Power of Thought

Each night when I would walk back to the bridge where I’d stay for the night, I thought about how bad my life was. I thought about what troubles I’ve been dealt and why I would ever put myself in this situation. I thought about the rich people with big homes and nice cars and how horrible it was that people like me had nothing, when they seemed to have everything. What I didn’t think about was what to do to get myself out of that hell hole and how to find a way to improve of my life. My energy was focused on my hardships and not my talents or skills and ability to do something with my life. Thought is everything around us. Our life is the result of our thinking. Spend it dwelling on poor circumstances and those circumstances get worse or drag along. Focus on improving and think about developing better skills and talents and your actions follow your thinking. The power of thought is a great mindset tool we all need to take very seriously. Many of the world’s greatest men and women contribute their success to positive and constructive thinking. Use the power of your thought to improve your life. Start right now. Write down 10 things you can do to make life better, or spend some quiet time alone thinking about those 10 things.

3. The Power of Attitude

Authors and Speakers like Zig Ziglar and John Maxwell write and speak about a positive attitude being a foundation for a great life. With a great gratitude for life and the power of thought, attitude is essential to make them work. Whether we have a negative attitude or a positive attitude, our results follow that which our attitude creates. While spending my nights under a bridge I would dwell on life and proceeded for several days sulking with a negative attitude towards everything. After I got a second chance and my attitude brighten a little, I began to see many things in life with a positive attitude. I became happier, I started exercising again, and my outlook on life began to change. No longer did I wish to die. Instead, I was positive that good things were coming my way, and sure enough, after a year or two, the best things in my life yet began to arrive in front of me. Attitude takes you places. Have a good attitude toward life and you will be pleasantly surprised at how things change. Start now by writing down a few things you’d like to achieve or acquire. Once you write those down, firmly believe in your heart that you can achieve them or get those things and maintain that attitude that which you seek is coming to you.

4. Being Present

Lately I’ve been putting a lot of stress on my shoulders. For awhile my gym wasn’t growing and there were many ups and downs. I constantly worried about this. Will I make a living being a strength coach or am I wasting my time? What needs to happen in order for me to make this work? And many other negative thoughts about the growth and sustainability of the gym consumed my thoughts. I was focused on the future and did nothing in the present to contribute to the growth. My mindset was on the worst that could happen and not on what I could do in the moment or what we had in moment that make it great. I tried to force the future results to come in when I should have been just allowing them to naturally come. My actions worked against my goals and ideas. I kept pushing back everything I was working for, making it harder to come by. My vision of the future and the negative thinking about it took about half of the power of the present moment. Instead of stressing over what is to come eventually and forcing through the unknown, allow what is now to be what is now. There is power and truth in the statement “it is what it is”.

When you’re stuck in a rut, thinking the world sucks and everything is working against you, try to switch the way you’re looking at life. Some days the sky is black but life is still good. See the positive things you are experiencing in the moment and use that to build yourself up and improve your life. One moment at a time.