5 Tips to Help You Get In Shape

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Getting people in shape is what I do. At my gym I’ve helped many people lose weight. Some lost up to fifty, sixty, and even eighty pounds. As time goes by I continue to learn about what helps people get results and what keeps people from getting results. There is a fine line between being successful and failing and often the person who fails needs to tweak one thing and the results will come.

On my gym blog and in some of my books I have numerous posts or chapters about diet, exercise, sleep, and getting in shape. For awhile now, it’s bored me to write about it anymore but today I wanted to share some tips that will help you get in shape.

1. Believe in Yourself

I’m writing this first because without the belief that you can achieve successful results in your fitness journey, you’re not going to get anywhere. Believing in yourself is a powerful tool we fail to use and often our negative thoughts and fears prevent us from taking action. If you don’t believe in yourself you’ll end up skipping a workout and eating crap food. You must have a complete and total confidence in your abilities to get in shape. If you can dream about being fit, strong, sexy, and in shape then you can do it.

2. Ten Thousand Steps A Day

When new people come into my gym the first thing I find out is their current fitness level. Do they exercise daily? Do they do zumba, run, crossfit, walk, jiu jitsu? What I often find is that many people do nothing. They don’t even walk. Often the first tip I give them is to get their asses moving and get on their feet. I’m a big believer in the ten thousand step challenge I’ve seen around the internet. Basically all you need to do is walk and move throughout the day to get those steps. In today’s society we don’t walk as much as we should. In the morning we walk a few steps to the car and get to work. Once there we walk a few more and sit down for eight hours. By the time work is over we have maybe two thousand or three thousand steps. It’s not enough movement and not moving enough will kill you. Get up and walk. Grab a fitbit to help track your steps if needed.

3. Have More Sex

This is strange for people to hear but it’s the truth. People who enjoy a lot of sex and exercise are in better shape than those who don’t. Sex releases an array of feel good hormones and chemicals and they help you feel better, more confident, and full of energy. Sex helps relieve pain, reduces stress, boosts heart health, helps you sleep better and leaves you in a better mood. All of those effects are extremely valuable to you when you’re on a weight loss journey.

4. Find a Gym Buddy

Having a gym buddy to work out with is awesome. The two of you can help keep each other accountable and on track. When one starts to slow down and the other is going strong, a few motivating words can help you push through. Having a gym buddy with the same goals as you will also help you stay accountable with your nutrition, if you make that important. Setting times to workout together will help you show up and seeing your buddy work hard will help you work harder. Find someone you can train with and make sure you work together.

5. Meditate

I’ve been a big fan of meditation for quite some time now and have fell off the wagon for about a year. I recently added meditation time into my schedule again and so far the effects are noticeable. Meditation will help you relax and focus and knock away some stress in your life. All it takes is two minutes to start. The best time to start meditating is right now and you don’t need any special skills or talents to do it. Simply sit down, close your eyes, and breathe in and out. Don’t focus on an outcome or have expectations, just be. By adding meditation into your routine you help relax the body and clear the mind, which will leave plenty of room for action on the things that will help you get in shape.

The whole secret to getting in shape is to consistently apply what you learn about living a healthy life. There are no magic bullets and quick fixes. It’s going to take time to improve your endurance, to get stronger, to build muscle, and to tone up. But by persistently attacking the day with the positive steps needed to be successful, you will reach your goals. Now, go do it.

Don’t Let Your Thoughts Stop Your Results

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There I was sitting in front of the computer. I sat down ready to type up a new blog post to share with you when it hit me. I don’t know what to write about. I don’t know what to share. Writer’s block many people call it but what I see it as now is an excuse. Plain and simple, an excuse to not do the work. My mind was playing tricks on me. It was telling me that I didn’t know what to say, that I had nothing to share, and that I was blocked and should just quit. Since I listened, nothing got done.

This is very common among us all today. We talk ourselves out of action. For one reason or another we come up with excuses as to why we can’t get shit done, why we fail at this thing or why we ignore another. Your thoughts are extremely powerful and they will make or break your results.

If you’re caught in moment where you find yourself playing down the importance of a workout, trying to dig up an excuse to sleep in or skip the night session and head straight home, you’re thinking is going to prevent you from doing what you want to do and what you know you should do. Negative self talk is one of the biggest factors in the prevention of success and getting results. It’s up there with fear. Most of the time negative self talk comes about because of fears we have running through our mind.

If you grab hold of a fear or a negative thought it’s like making cotton candy. First you start with the stick (fear) and then it goes into the machine where all the sugar (negative thoughts) is flying around. Soon the stick is full of plump sugar air, cotton candy (Excuses/Prevention/Non Action).

It takes a lot of brain power and energy to be aware of these situations and the thoughts that come up in our minds and therefore we often get crushed by them because the effort to fight through leaves us exhausted, or we don’t fight it because we’re already exhausted. You need to get out in front of this and start your day off right. Meditation or Affirmations are a great way to set yourself up for success and results.

When I wake up and head to the gym in the morning I listen to affirmation audiobooks. I’m putting positive thoughts into my mind and avoiding the common negative self talk such as “I hate going to work” “Why can’t I do this..” By jumping ahead of the negative thoughts that are definitely going to come, I’m building a barrier that will work to prevent it from capturing my thoughts and pushing on excuses.

You also don’t need a long time or a morning to stop the negative thoughts and fears from controlling you. All it takes is a body posture change, a scenery change, or hearing something that motivates you.

Your thoughts control your life. We think over fifty thousand or so a day. Make an effort to make the majority of them positive and productive thoughts and you will reach the results you desire easier and faster.

12 Ways To Activate Your Life Through Fitness Today

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Far too many Americans are not engaged in a physical activity on a weekly basis. There are people all over the world who do not exercise or care to follow a healthy diet. One of the biggest complaints and excuses I hear is that exercise is hard workout and eating healthy is boring. This way of thinking is not how you live an activated life. Living without exercise or healthy eating is a shortcut to an early death, a life of suffering, a life of sickness and dis-ease, and possibly unhappiness.

Exercise boosts your mind and body and makes you feel better.

Eating healthy is awesome and makes the body healthier and more efficient, which leads to more energy and an increased happiness.

There is absolutely no excuse for not exercising and eating well.

It’s childish.

It’s a shame.

It’s disrespectful to your body.

We don’t like hearing the word “fat”.

We don’t like hearing people tell us to move more and eat better and to put the fast food down.

The truth hurts and we often feel powerless.

We believe we can’t take control of our lives and we believe that we’re stuck in the routine we created.

Bullshit.

You can change the course of your life and the health of your body right now.

Here are 12 ways to Activate your Life through fitness and nutrition… right now!

1. Stop eating Fast Food.

It’s a given. You eat fast food, you eat too many calories and store those calories as fat. Cut it out.

2. Drink More Water.

It’s the essence of life. The matter that creates all of life and everything we are. Without it, we die.

If you drink a glass of water a day, you need to up it to three, then four, then five, and keep going.

3. Move More

Daily exercise is important. Even a five or ten minute workout is better than nothing.

You have the time. Set it aside and do it.

No more excuses. No more complaining. Just exercise.

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4. Eat More Vegetables

Today, eat a salad. If you don’t eat vegetables, you’re being a baby.

Veggies are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals we need to function properly.

Go to the store and buy some.

5. Cut out Added Sugar

Doing this can jumpstart your fat loss and health almost overnight.

Foods that are processed have added sugars.

Put the f**king cookie down! 

6. Get to Bed Earlier

Sleep is crucial for our health and well being.

7. Set a Goal

Goals help us stay accountable and on track.

When you have a goal to follow, you do better work.

8. Get a Solid Program

Far too often when people begin to exercise and eat better they don’t know what to do.

Find a coach or a program that has proof of results and follow it.

Do what others have done before you.

If it worked for them, it can definitely work for you.

9. Believe in Yourself

You can do this. As a coach and gym owner I’ve seen people who were in worse positions than you get in shape.

I’ve seen people who could hardly walk lose twenty or more pounds.

You are a human being and you’re capable of being successful.

Choose to believe in your strength and determination.

10. Read Books to Get Motivation

Motivational books or stories of success are a great way to boost your confidence and esteem.

When you need to activate your fitness routine reading the story of how someone just like you did it before can help you find the drive to get to work.

11. Stop Listening To Yourself

Your mind can be a goal crushing evil voice.

It will try to keep you from moving. It will try to make the workouts feel hard.

Your mind will bitch about eating spinach and chicken again and again.

But your body can handle it and you have the power to change your thinking..

Or at least stop allowing the negative thoughts to dictate your actions.

12. Commit

This is your one life. You get out of it what you make of it and what you put into it.

If you’re not happy with the way you look or the way you feel, you can change.

Commit to yourself that you will get to work and stick with it.

Motivation can come from someone who yells at you to DO IT..

But unless you pay a huge amount of money, they can’t be there all of the time.

Motivation therefore will come from within.

Use your fear, your anger, your sadness.. use it to drive you through the workouts.

Use those feelings to keep you centered with your healthy eating.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Let’s GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Getting Motivated to Show Up

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As I drove to the gym with my kids to get there an hour before my next scheduled class, I thought about the workout ahead. My mind was racing with numbers. How many sets of squats, what weight, how many reps was I going to do. Let’s do eight, no I’m exhausted let’s do three, no three isn’t enough, I’m going for five. Then I thought about the sled drags, the pull-ups, the dips, and how many reps I would do. When I arrived, I was mentally exhausted from thinking so much, all while trying to listen to a Joe Rogan Podcast episode.

The mind went on and on trying to get my body to accept something less than it’s capable of. We all have these thoughts. Many of the members of my gym never realize how strong and able they are until I make them show me. For me, it’s different though. I don’t have a coach with me. My two kids are running around and I need to be quick. The motivation to move doesn’t come easy.

There are definitely days I let the inner bitch win. It sucks, but it happens. Do I regret it or dwell on it? No, I just pick up the pieces the next time and get rolling. On the days where I need to motivate myself to lift heavy, when I’m sore or exhausted, I just think about the men and women in the gym and how hard they work. I stand there in front of them telling them what to do and they do it. If they can, I sure as hell can. Of course I need to be motivated. Some days I’ll see my daughter sitting down on the big blue mat with her gorgeous eyes and beautiful smile fixated on Daddy. She’s watching me. She wants to see what I do. If I quit, she’ll remember that Daddy didn’t do it. If I give it my best, she’ll see me try hard and remember that Daddy worked hard. That’s all the motivation I need to push beyond my mind’s limits.

When you feel stuck and you don’t have motivation to exercise or eat well, it’s often not a simple fix but it requires some work. We don’t like hearing that word. Work is seen in today’s world as something that is hard, boring, a nuisance, a hassle, and more. We’ve become comfortable in our day to day lives and while we work our nine to fives, anything before or after that is a big no-no. Many people race home from work to eat dinner and then unplug. This is excellent for the mind but when it’s everyday, it’s a death trap.

Our minds and bodies are physically, mentally, and emotionally drained throughout the day. This is why exercise first thing in the morning is a great idea. Once we are zapped for our mental and physical energy through the demands of work, family, and social media, we don’t have much left. Getting to move in the gym seems like “hard work” and we refuse to sweat, to get sore, and to feel “pain”.

I used to be the same way. The couch is my best friend and every chance I get to veg out, I will, but most of the times, I earned it. The lack of movement and physical effort in our country is ridiculous and something that requires attention. It’s a shame to go through life without testing the limits of physical strength and mental toughness.

The problem is, people are not motivated to give it one hundred percent. This goes right back to the demands of our jobs, families, and more but when you see other people busier than you who working out hard, in shape, eating well, you have to question what’s going on. It’s not the demands of our lives, it’s our mindsets and the only way to ever break out of a slump and get motivated to live activated is by changing our mindset.

The mind will naturally try to talk you out of exercise. The negative thoughts and feelings will pile up and crush any sign of hope when we continue to allow it. How many times have you said you were going to workout tonight and then when it got closer to the time, the mind started saying things like “I’m tired.” “Tomorrow instead.” “I just don’t want to feel the burn..” and more?

Ninety nine percent of the time, starting a workout sucks. The heart is comfortable, the muscles at ease, the lungs relaxed. Getting the machine running is much like warming up a car in the winter. You start it, turn the heat on, and let it warm up. The body works almost the same way. When you begin, you warm-up. You get the joints moving, the heart rate slowly increases, blood starts pumping faster, the breathing changes, and then before you know it, you’re warm and ready for exercise. You started. The hardest part is over.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s never easy to get moving and jumping into a hard workout. But the more we do it, the better we’ll feel and when we start off the workout right, it feels better. The hardest part of working out is showing up. When you show up, you already won. The mind is ready, the body is as well. When you fight yourself in your mind with the thoughts of skipping or the thoughts of difficulty, you’re exhausting yourself and only making it harder for you to show up. Next time, shower the mind with positive thoughts such as “I did it before I can do it again.” “I know I’m capable.” “I’m going to feel a hundred times better once I’m done.” “It’s only thirty minutes!”

Let’s GO!!!!!

Lead An Inspired Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For that is the reason you are who you are.

10 New Things I Will Teach My Daughter

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

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

1. Be Direct and Honest

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

2. Keep your friends close

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

3. Treat Food As An Energy Source

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

4. It’s Okay to Not Fit In

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

5. Learn the Real Story

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

6. Practice Self-Defense and Martial Arts

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

7. There is a Difference Between Men and Boys

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

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

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

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

9. Be “Outdoorsy”

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

10. Learn to Listen

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

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.

Be The Captain of Your Crusade

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Life is a journey from one point (birth) to another (death) and the journey is a crusade through valleys, up hills, and down rivers. You must be the captain of this crusade. Life will not bring you all that you seek and desire just because you wish. Life will throw you down, choke you out, and kick dirt over you. YOU must be the captain and you must lead the way.

Every now and then I see a post on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube that talks about being owed something, being tied down by the “forces”, being controlled by “my job”, and being “taken advantage of”. I see people complain that their hours at work are long, they’re underpaid, bored, and ready for the weekend. This is a cry for help.

The Captain is Lost!

As the Captain of your Crusade, you led yourself into the trap, the war, the battle, and the depressive situations. Nobody else. People who read your post may have empathy because they shared, or shared, similar experiences in their Crusade, but they’re not going to Captain the crusade through your journey. Only you can do that.

Often, because of lack of true life experiences and proper education on reality, we find ourselves stuck in these shitty situations. It’s nobody’s fault but your own. Rule number one: Accept 100% Responsibility for YOUR life. By pointing fingers and blaming others or circumstances, you’re trying to put that responsibility on somebody else, and it’s not theirs.

Be the Captain! Stand up, assume control, and do the work needed to bring you into the clear. It’s not going to be easy. It’s actually a lot of hard work, but you can do it. You know you can do it.

As the Captain, you make the decisions. If you’re married or involved or there are kids in the picture, you must consider that, but as you decide, it’s your job as Captain to do what is best.

If your job sucks, get a new one. Don’t make excuses or blame anybody else, just do the fucking work needed. Stop being a bitch and act. If your health is crap, you’re fat, out of shape, and winded from stairs, don’t blame your wife, your mother, your stressful job. It’s not their fault. It’s your choices. Own up to it like a champ and demand excellence out of yourself.

When you find yourself denying any problems, when clearly they are there, and you don’t own up the responsibility to fix the problem, you are not being the Captain of your Crusade. Well, technically you are and you’re leading your ship into dangerous territory where you’re going to get slaughtered, captured, and destroyed.

A Captain accepts responsibility.

A Captain welcomes adversity.

A Captain stands tall in battle and pushes forward.

A Captain acts with the best of interests and doesn’t lie about what those interests are. A deceitful captain is a coward and a liar.

A Captain fights off intruders who try to take control of their Crusade.

A shipwrecked or defeated Captain owns that result and seeks the help of others with honor and dignity and the willingness to listen and learn.

Be responsible for the journey of your life and command control. You know where you want to go. So go there. Now.

What I’ve Learned About Being A Man

I don’t want to use that term lightly. Being a man is something beyond having a penis and some facial hair. It’s beyond construction boots and lifted trucks. It’s bigger than fishing and hunting or football or martial arts. All of these things, besides the penis, women can do as well. Being a man is more about what goes on within ourselves, then in appearances or hobbies.

Recently I’ve been reading some books recommended to me about men, manhood, masculinity, and other men topics. I’ve also listened to several podcasts and audiobooks, and as I cut through the facade, because there is a huge facade, of bullshit talk and the actual walk, I’ve come to learn quite a few things that ring bells. As I go into the list below, I want to make it known that in my life, I have probably gone against almost everything you’re going to read. It wasn’t until recently that I found my grip on things, on the real world, on why things happen the way they happen and more. For a long time in my life I’ve been the little boy, afraid of the big bad wolf, and the consequences of those actions have smacked me dead in the face and given me many wake up calls. The journey is individualistic in nature and everyone is different. What you experienced as a child has a lasting impact on who you are today and for many decades now, Moms and Dads have been getting it wrong. We’re in a situation now where our little boys are being turned into pussies, scaredy cats, and Momma Boys. It’s a hard truth that men and women both need to realize, so that this generation of boys can grow into Wild Men, real men, and their true self.

Here’s what I’ve learned about being a man:

- Men make decisions

You want to go out to dinner with your wife? Don’t ask her where, or IF, she wants to go. Just make the decision and do it. Men are decisive. When there is doubt, it’s unattractive and creates tension. As leaders men need to make fast decisions based on their values, their feelings, and their wants. What a man wants is important and when he’s decisive on his wants, his confidence shines and he stands with authority.

- Men need to be initiated into manhood

In aboriginal cultures, South American cultures, and many other countries around the world, especially in tribal communities, boys are initiated into manhood. This is something the American culture has forgotten and it creates many problems as the boy grows into an adult. An uninitiated man is indecisive, not confident, worrisome, and operates from a little boy perspective.

- Men help out around the house and are active with their children

A man in the house who doesn’t change diapers, feed a child, cook for the family, do the dishes and laundry, and clean the house is a man who doesn’t have his priorities straight. Men help out around the house to let their wives relax when needed and they play with their children. They read books to their children. They run around the house like a nut with their children. They punish when needed and coddle when needed. A man puts his family first in everything he does, and within that family, he puts his wife first.

- Men need to be a part of a Men’s Group

There are a lot of men who don’t have quality male mentors in their lives. Some men feel they don’t have anyone to talk to you about important topics or men who will hold them accountable and push them to develop their skills to become the best man they can be. Men’s Groups are critical for the livelihood of men and their positive mental attitudes. There are thousands of men’s groups across the country that are helping men grow, give, perform, and continue to be happy. Men need a sacred circle of guys they trust who will not bullshit them, who will help them, guide them, and listen to them. Men also need men’s groups for outings such as camping, fishing, beer drinking, poker games, fitness events, and more. Here is an online Men’s Group you can join Free: Your Life Alpha

- Men need to channel their Warrior Spirit

There is warrior energy in every man. In today’s society we think of those in the Armed Forces as Warriors, or movie stars and Mixed Martial Art Champions, or National Football League All-Pros. But the truth is, we all have a warrior spirit and many men are uncomfortable with it. Ever since the industrial revolution the warrior energy has been suppressed in men all over the world. The warrior energy inside of every man is the energy that pushes them to fight for their lives, their successes, their families, their finances, and their health. Many people fear the warrior because they feel men will use it to be abusive and angry. Men have been afraid of channeling the warrior within because they want to be Mr. Nice Guy. But the warrior energy channeled properly will help men become confident, purposeful, aggressive in a sense of action not violence, and able to survive the obstacles that life throws our way. Channel this energy through physical action such as martial arts, exercise, hiking, boxing, and also self-improvement.

- Men have boundaries and Defend Them

Sometimes men need to be the bad guy and stand up to their beliefs and values. An example of boundaries might be at work when you are already working overtime and your boss pushes more onto your desk. You have an event to go to that your kid is in and if you stay you’ll miss it again, but this time you say no and tell the boss that your family comes first and that you must go. Worrying about getting fired is weakness. Standing up to your values is strength. Men do not let others take advantage of them. They control their lives and act accordingly to what they believe in and value. Men don’t accept boundary pushers and do not allow them in their lives or space.

- Men are leaders

A man must be a leader. Whether it’s leading at home with his family, at work in his department, or in a group of friends, a man needs to be a good leader. What makes a good leader? They’re honest, dependable, smart, decisive, ambitious, and able to control situations. Many men are afraid of being the leader in their home or career. They don’t want the awesome responsibility of making decisions and being honest with their feelings. Men that are good leaders are not lazy. They handle their business effectively and create a positive atmosphere. Being a good leader, men are not manipulated by their wives, co-workers, friends, and other family members. Men that are leaders initiate and act on their feelings without asking for permission and they do so out of love. Men can’t be good leaders if they are not leading by example either. Men must lead by backing up the talk with walking the walk.

- Men have discipline, confidence, and are dependable

Men are not babies and don’t make excuses. They have discipline. With their fitness men are disciplined to make it to the gym and get the work done. They have discipline to eat healthy foods more than they eat like shit. In their work they are disciplined to do the tasks needed to get the job done. They are disciplined in how they treat their vehicles and their home. As they use discipline to help them succeed in life, they do so with confidence. A man has confidence in his appearance, his thoughts, his work, his ability to be a leader in his home, career, and community, and they are dependable. A man doesn’t say they will be there, wherever that is, and not show up. They get there early.

- Men have a purpose driven life

Men don’t go to work and come home to sit their asses on the couch and sink into the pollution of television. Men have a purpose and they follow it with confidence. Men work hard and have a plan for that work. They know where they want to go and they work hard to get there. Thomas Carlyle once said “A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.” If you don’t have a purpose, or know it, all you need to do is ask yourself “What do I want from life?” And then go fucking get it.

- Men are life learners

Men spend more time learning new things then they do wasting their time in Facebook and through television. I heard Tony Robbins once say “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” Men who have no growth game in their life are dying and wasting away. If you want to make more money, you need to learn how to do it. If you want to lose twenty pounds, you need to learn how to do it. Men who know what they want in life are learning about how to get it right now while the little boys are playing xBox, watching mindless television crap, or down at the bar drinking for the third night in a row.

- Men avoid Domestication

Domestication is a hard word for people to hear, especially little boys. They don’t believe they’re being domesticated by being told what to do and what to think and what to buy, but it happens everywhere. Not only does corporate America try to domesticate men, but women do as well. When a man gets married it’s not uncommon to hear his wife’s lady friends or mothers, aunts, and other female relatives say something like “So you’ve got him domesticated now!” Like it is something special and noteworthy. Women can begin to “domesticate” their men after marriage by playing with their emotions, their decisiveness, their ability to lead, and their hobbies. A woman can begin to “not accept” that her husband stays out on Friday playing poker with the boys, and when he does, she gets “angry and upset” and shows those emotions through tears and refusal of sex. Men don’t allow them to do this. They call out their childish behavior and stand up to them. Little boys try to “make it up” to them or beg for forgiveness. Men also don’t allow anyone to tell them what to think, buy, say, and feel.

Today I continue my learning on becoming a better man, a better husband, better at everything. I have learned much through my failures as both a business owner and a husband, as well as a father. The thing is, I see much of what I did wrong happening in the lives of other men and I see a great need to help them and others become their best self. That is why I created the free Facebook group found here: Your Life Alpha. Check it out and let me know what you’ve learned about being a man.

Live Your Life Like A Pro

I’m an amateur in this one life we get. I find excuses to skip writing, I ignore emails, find excuses to eat shitty foods, I sleep in instead of going to open mat Jiu Jitsu on Sundays, and there is always a reason to skip a workout. I’m hardly a pro. I let my hair and my facial hair go too long. I find reasons not to shave and sometimes do it once a week. I let my clothes pile up. I don’t give away old clothes and remove clutter like I should and often find myself scratching my head looking inside the refrigerator for something to eat. I skip the grocery store because being an amateur, I find excuses. In the words of Joe Rogan, I let my Inner Bitch win the day far too often.

I’m human and we all do those things. We all forget to shop for food, go a little too long without an oil change, and sleep in when we should get up and train. It happens, but when it happens more than it should, we’re amateur and we let that inner bitch win. When we let the resistance win and allow ourselves to stay in amateur mode too long, we fail to succeed at our goals and we allow ourselves to feel horrible.

So, how do we live like a pro and silence the inner bitch?

(By the way ladies, no offense with using the word “bitch”. I could say wuss, sissy, pussy, chump, clown, ego, resistance, or whatever else I could think of, but inner bitch when put in the context I’m using sounds better.)

Living like a pro takes guts. It takes action. It takes purpose and drive and conscious effort.

A pro is someone who looks at the excuses and still does the work.

A pro is someone who sees the difficulty ahead but still moves forward and acts.

A pro has balls and courage.

A pro still has fear and anxiety, but also has faith in themselves.

Living like a pro means when the excuse to skip a workout comes up, we accept that it’s there but find the courage and purpose and do the work anyway.

The inner bitch will always find a reason to not work hard, to not shave, to not eat the right foods, and it will fill your mind and body with stress, anger, depression, and weakness. A pro, or the pro mindset knows this and acts before the inner bitch has a chance to flood the mind with negativity. Before the mind and body get exhausted from the day, the pro trains and releases feel good chemicals that make us feel better.

To live your life like a pro, it’s best to set non-negotiable terms for your life. A non-negotiable term is something that you will always do regardless of what others say and regardless of what occurs in the day. Here are a few of mine:

- I write everyday. Regardless of what happens, I write at least 150 words every day.

- I train several times a week. Sometimes its four days, sometimes its six. No matter what, I make sure I move my body.

- I learn something new everyday. Whether it’s a blog post, a Facebook status, an email, a book, or a podcast I constantly improve my knowledge.

- I tell my wife and kids that I love them very much every single day. No matter what. I never forget.

- I ask one person every day how they are feeling and if they need help with anything.

Find your non-negotiable terms in life. By setting these terms you crush the inner bitch, the resistance, the little chump inside before he or she ever gets to act and stops you from being a pro. Write them down until you completely know them by heart and they’re a solidified part of your daily life. Having terms like this will help you stay motivated and dedicated to living your life activated. You can either be an amateur that gives in to the difficulties and problems of life’s experience, or you can be a professional who works hard to living their best life. Which route do you choose?