The Examined Life

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It started back in 2011 when I truly began to examine my life. I opened a brand new book called The Secret and dove in. Immediately I was enthralled by the book and devoured every word in less than a few days. This moment would open a new world to me and little did I know that learning, reading, and self-examination would become a huge part of my life. Each day there are a few things I must do and learning is one of them. Whether I watch a video, read some of a book, or get my hands dirty, learning is at the forefront of who I am.

The examined life is a life where we do not settle for what is told to us, instead we seek the truth for ourselves. For a few years I spent a lot of time seeking for the truth from things such as mastermind groups, books, videos, movies, and more. What I failed to see is that the examined life starts and ends within. Mostly everything we need to know can be discovered from ourselves, in our mind. While books and groups are an invaluable way to learn and discover, the truth will come from within. I wonder if this is why meditation is a huge part of life for many people? In meditation you focus on nothing, try to at least, but what often happens (to me) is the examination of thought, emotion, and feeling.

For me, self-examination is a way to consciously realize who I am and why I am the way I am. I wonder what makes my mind tick. I’m fulfilled when I can sit quietly and seek answers through what my mind is telling me. I also enjoy looking into the actions I take and figuring out how I can get better. How can I become a better husband? A better father? How can I increase my endurance for Jiu-Jitsu and my energy levels for everyday life activities? What makes my mind focus on the past problems instead of enjoying the present moment?

Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it will be shown or given to you. The only way to truly discover who we are is to examine the little things that make up our large days. What kind of worker are you? What kind of lover? What kind of father or mother, sister or brother are you? What makes you angry and how can you overcome that? What do I want for my life, my family’s life, in the next five years?

The best thing we can do to understand this is… write. If you go through many of my blog posts you’ll discover a sort of journal. Every post I write is a reminder to myself. Eat better, sleep more, train harder, be a better father, find out why I get angry and why I cycle through emotions, and more. Writing down our thoughts, feelings, and emotions for different situations in our life is the best way to improve our actions and understand what makes us act the way we do.

“The life unexamined life is not worth living” according to Socrates and in my opinion, I agree.

 

How Giving Energy Affects My Mind and Body

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Some days you wake up and you’re ready to tackle the world. The feet hit the ground fast, the alarm is off after the first alert instead of six snoozes, and your eyes are opened wide. The energy is flowing through your shoulders, your chest, your core, and finally through your legs and feet. You feel invincible. These days are special because they’re days you feel happy and get the best work done. You cherish these moments because you’re not sure the next time you’ll wake up feeling so good.

Other days are a disaster as soon as the alarm beeps for the first time. The forty five minutes of extra alerts you have set go off and you don’t give a shit. You don’t want to open your eyes and the inner dialogue goes something like this “Fuck this. I don’t want to get up. Why do I have to get up? Fuck this.” It’s a struggle and you know it. People who don’t understand or experience this think “What’s the matter cupcake? Suck it up buttercup.” But to you, it’s a battle that’s going to take every ounce of energy within. These days you don’t want to look at people. You don’t smile. You don’t feel motivated. You just want to fall and not get up.

As a business owner, a generally positive person, and a self motivated man, I experience exactly what I wrote above. Some days are awesome and some days I wish I didn’t have to leave my bedroom. Some days being a stay at home father are the greatest days ever and an absolute joy and other days I feel like running away. I go through ups and downs and it affects everything in my life. Some months business is good and others, when I’m down, it sucks. There are days when I run classes and I am on fire and super positive. There are also days when I don’t want to be there or look at anyone in class. During the down days I’ll listen to positive affirmation tapes on the way to the gym but often, it doesn’t help. I use techniques I learned from Tony Robbins about changing my state, and it doesn’t help. I just do my best to make sure everyone enjoys their workout.

Some days you can’t peel me off the couch. I simply do not want to get up. Other days I get massive amounts of work done. Some days I’m super nice to my wife and others, she hates my guts because I’m an asshole. I’m not the only one who goes through this and there are many business owners I know who feel the same way. Is it the stress, the work that needs to be done, or the unknown about future business? In my opinion, it’s energy.

Inside of each of us there is energy that we have that fuels our life. Introverts often use their energy up faster than extroverts and they each recharge their energy in different ways. Introverts recharge by being alone and in solitude (I am an introvert). Extroverts recharge by being with other people and doing things. But when you are a person who has many people looking to you for knowledge, love, direction, motivation, purpose, passion, and energy, it’s a different story.

Imagine yourself, if you’re in the position of having many people’s eyes on you, as an outlet in the wall. You get your energy from the battery that nobody sees. It’s tucked behind the wall and it runs from solar power. Each day the cells from the solar panels recharge the energy (Being alone, meditating, exercising, therapy, etc). People, whether they’re clients, kids, a spouse, or friends and family all plug into your sockets. They need energy to refuel their motivation, or their love, or their passion, or their direction, and you are the one they have chosen as that source. It’s a huge responsibility. Picture a power plant and everything that goes on in the daily operations. Millions of people, their homes, refrigerators, and more are depending on the plants ability to provide their needs. When you are a chosen one, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a high energy level. You need to recharge and often, it doesn’t happen fast enough.

Part of my problem with being up and down is that I generally do not get a long enough break to recharge my power. I do very well when I am alone, with quiet, and can relax. I say no when I should say yes, but if I did say yes I’d create more leaks of valuable energy. One place I recharge my energy is at Sakura Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Dover. I find the physical nature of Jiu Jitsu and the challenging tasks we face in each class as a great way to recharge my energy. Why? I plug in to an outlet of energy. Nobody is plugged into my outlet and my battery is draining of the stored energy. I’m connected to a source of energy entirely separate from my power plant. This is why people come to exercise at Activate Fitness. They unplug and connect to me, giving their power plants a rest.

We all are givers and receivers of energy and it is in the recharging our own personal energy that will make our lives the best they can be. If you don’t recharge with clean burning fuel, the downs you experience will be the most significant part of your life. Clean fuel is exercise, healthy eating, meditation, floatation, ice baths, Epson salt baths, grounding in nature, camping, hiking, and anything with complete solitude. The way we operate is directly related to our energy levels and how those energy levels are is related directly to how much time you have to recharge yourself.

The more plugs in our sockets, the more energy we give away. Failing to recover and recharge will drain your soul energy and cause you to wear out faster than normal people do. Burn out in entrepreneurs and high level jobs (and parenthood) is very common because we forget to recharge. We must learn how to say NO and be okay with that. It’s not selfish, it’s vital for health. If someone were to say it’s selfish, they are the one being selfish. They want your energy and can’t appreciate the fact that you need to recover. Learn how to recharge your energy and make it a priority. This is a major problem in my life that I am working on. As a stay at home dad, a husband, and a business owner it’s hard for me to find time that I spend alone. Looking back through the past year or two with the fluctuations in my energy, I can see that I haven’t given myself enough time to recharge. I completely believe in the saying “Put your own mask on first” and in order to fully live activated and awake and alive, I must do such. We all must put our masks on first. Without doing so, we’ll never be able to give of ourselves completely.

Find time in your life to do what you need to do to be activated and your best. Remember, it’s okay to say NO. Actually it’s vital to your happiness and well being.

Reminders For Living An Activated Life

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As the day unfolds you’ll be pulled in many directions. Maintaining a vision for the outcomes you desire will help you steer your ship in the direction towards the end result. There will be people who need you. Be there for them. But make time for yourself and be sure to always put your own mask on first. There are many responsibilities to face each day and you must do them with purpose, honesty, and integrity. Do not kid yourself and lie to yourself. You must remain honest, even when that honesty hurts and creates emotional situations. You’ll never get anywhere in life if you’re not being honest about your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and feelings. Each day you are the captain of your ship and you can either do what’s needed for an activated life or you don’t. Each choice is entirely your own and each decision has a result. Choose wisely. Accept failure as part of the journey as well. Do not be discouraged by failure. Use it as a tool to learn and to improve.

Here are your reminders for living an activated life.

- Be Disciplined in everything you do.

Whether it’s your workouts, your work, or your family. Be disciplined to get the job done.

- Meditate

Do not go too long without being alone in solitude to meditate on your day and life. Always make room and be disciplined with it.

- Work Hard each day

In your workouts, in your jiu jitsu, for your wife and your kids. Work hard in all aspects of life.

- Exercise

Do not go many days in a row without sweating and exercising. For your mind and body exercise is a drug. Use it to fuel your passion and align your thinking. Your health depends on how you treat your body. Discipline yourself to stay committed.

- Eat Healthy Foods

Sure you like chips and salsa and good craft beer. It’s okay to enjoy the fruits of your labor and unwind with snacks and beer, but discipline yourself to maintain a healthy nutritional plan for ninety percent of your days. Eat greens every day. Eat fruits every day. Enjoy fat and meat. Reduce as much added sugar as possible.

- Love your family

Above all else in your daily routine, love your family and show it. Be there for your kids. Listen well to your wife. Make time to spend with them quietly and enjoy time away from routine. Family is always first. Work, friends, hobbies come after. Family is everything.

- Be Prepared

Like your hike in the mountains, you brought a snake bite kit and saw a deadly venomous snake. You were prepared. Be prepared for anything to happen and make sure your family is as well. Prepare yourself for the day. Prepare yourself for your nutrition. Maintain discipline to always have what’s needed.

- Be Simple with your things

You don’t need fancy toys. You never enjoy them and there are more important things in your life. Be simple with your purchases and take care of them. Know how to fix things like you did your furnace. Do not spend more than you make. Discipline yourself and practice the minimalist way.

- Practice Jiu Jitsu

Always make time to practice your art of choice. You feel better after a good session. You learn and quiet your mind. You meditate and release monkey energy. Jiu Jitsu changed your life. Honor that.

- Write Daily

Writing is a meditative tool for you. You release many thoughts in your introverted mind and get them on paper. This is good. Continue to do so and be disciplined with it. Even on vacations. Practice each day and reach your goal of five hundred words a day.

- Keep Working To Improve Your Sleep

You’ll only be as healthy and activated as possible if you sleep well. For years you have sacrificed sleep to help others. It’s time to put your mask on first and do what’s best for your mind, heart, and body. You’re a better person when you sleep enough. You never operate at your best when you lack sleep. Keep practicing and working hard to make more time.

- Read daily

Reading is a meditative tool but it’s also important for your growth as a person. Living an activated life requires a commitment to learning. The best place for you to learn right now is through the books on your shelf. Make time every day to relentlessly read.

- Share Your Wisdom

What good is learning and understanding something if you don’t share it? You are here to help others. Share the things you learn through your reading, writing, experience, and meditations.

- Guide Your Kids

You know what’s it like to hit rock bottom and you know what it’s like to pick yourself up. You learned from mistakes you’ve made and right decisions you’ve made. Guide your kids with your wisdom of experience but do not push.

- Enjoy Your Life

Have fun with friends and family. Throw parties. Go to parties. Make time for the outdoors or sporting events. Have a picnic with your family. Throw a surprise party for a friend or loved one. Have fun every day and laugh. Go to a comedy show or rock concert. Enjoy life.

- Live the lifestyle of a Warrior

And continue to study the art of warriors.

- Show Your Gratitude

Journal your appreciation for the good and simple things in life, as well as the trials and tribulations. Make time to write each day what you are grateful for.

- Set Goals and Dream

Be disciplined in each day to reach the goals you envision. Dream on and dream always as dreams are what creates reality when you apply action. Never say it’s impossible, you never know what can happen with effort.

 

Reflections From The Woods

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For the past ten days I have been tucked away in the woods, vacationing with my family. We spent a few days at the lake and then drifted down to beach country for more days of camping. Both places hidden by tall trees, green leaves, the sounds of nature, and peacefulness. Being in the woods, in nature, for ten days is a rejuvenating experience. The clean air, the removal of self from the hustle and bustle of reality, and the chance to stop and unwind is fulfilling and something we should all do occasionally.

As I camped I had a few thoughts that seemed interested. One is about our reality. Our grind. The rat race we find ourselves in. Many of us wake up with an alarm clock to start days at ridiculously silly hours of the night. Immediately upon arising, we jump into life full steam ahead. Not much for a moment of reflection or a place for Zen. Through the centuries we developed life into a routine so far from who we are as beings, it’s easy to see why we have troubles in mind, body, and spirit.

I brought a notepad to write in on my trip and a jump rope to do some exercise. I did neither. It was perfect. I removed myself as much as I could from the life I’ve created with business and goals and simply spent time being with my family. We didn’t care what was going on, we just lived. The more time I spent alone in the woods, the more I realized it’s exactly where we should be. Settled with giant trees towering above, bugs flying and playing and living, birds signing their favorite tunes, and raccoon’s trying to find a bite on the ground.

When you sit next to a camp fire you lose yourself in the flames and the hot red coals, hot enough to catch any timber on fire in an instant. Glancing into the flames pondering life is a natural past time for millions of years. Men used to hunt or fish and gather during the day and then come back to where family called home and completely remove themselves from anything by sitting near the open flames of relaxation.

Nowadays we do things similar. We work all day hunting and gathering a paycheck to come home and lose ourselves in the latest television shows or iPhone apps. We consume commercials after commercials and television shows that brainwash into believing more is better and they breed jealously within the mind. We want and want.

As I relaxed by the fire one day before we cooked a dinner on a cast iron pan above the open flames of a wood fire I was reading a book by David Hawkins. There was one line that fascinated me. He wrote ” The fewer the ‘wants’, the greater are the ease and satisfaction of life.” This spoke to me on many levels as I’ve been trying to eliminate most wants and instead to appreciate all that already have. The way most of life works in America is chasing the ego’s desire for more, better, and bigger. Instead of simply being grateful for the things we do have, we continue in the race for what we don’t. This causes much unnecessary stress, scheduling, debt, overtime, and more.

Being in the woods in a plain rustic cabin I began to appreciate the simplicity. No fancy gadgets, no television or appliances, no rushing through the day from one thing to the next. Basic at the core, perfect as a whole. Satisfied with so little.

Spending time in the woods should be on everyone’s schedule. If you can’t make it happen, or you dislike camping, then find a beach to go to or a park and take your shoes off and embrace the Earth energy. Listen to the sounds around you. Appreciate the simple life of insects, animals, and lizards. Thoreau once wrote “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” You can find that truth in the woods.

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

4 Must Use Apps For An Awesome Life

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Today we live in a world that is packed with awesome technology. Things we couldn’t even imagine only thirty years ago. We’ve gone so far from the first cars to now having a phone the size of a wallet that has in it the power to show us everything we ever need to know, the power to inform us of everything that has ever happened noteworthy in the history of time. A click of a button and we can read about events from the fifteen hundreds. We can order a cab ride, a pizza, book a hotel room, and have a six pack waiting at the reception desk for us.

There are apps for everything. How many steps we take each day, apps to mix music, apps to stream music, face swap apps, social media apps, beer finder apps, and so much more.

But there’s a problem.

They probably aren’t the best apps for our health.

That’s where these must use apps come in. They’ll help keep you happy and healthy. You’ll enjoy life more. You’ll laugh more.

You’ll have more fun!

Four Must Use Apps for An Awesome Life:

1.  GymLife

GymLife can be found in nearly any town in the country. Unfortunately it can’t be found on your smart phone. GymLife requires you to put the phone down and get into an actual gym. Once there, the gymlife app will boost feel good hormones, build muscle, burn fat, toast calories, and leave you feeling awesome.

With GymLife you can meet new people, engage in conversation, possibly find new friends that last a lifetime, and you’ll enjoy a great workout.

2. FriendsLite

FriendsLite is also something you won’t find on a phone, but this powerful application is a huge factor in your health and happiness and living an awesome life. FriendsLite is your real social network. The people you see in person and hang out. The best part, it’s free. You don’t need to pay for friends and if you do, you’re doing it wrong.

Hanging out with your friends and making time for them is key to an awesome and happy life.

When you use FriendsLite, make sure the phone is tucked away. The fake apps can wait.

3. CampFire pro

Probably the most powerful app in the world. CampFire Pro has the ability to help you lose yourself and allow the mind to settle and clear. CampFire Pro is known to eliminate stress and helps almost anyone relax.

CampFire Pro can be found in backyards and campgrounds around the world.

CampFire Pro goes great with FriendsLite and also ReadMeDude.

4. ReadMeDude

ReadMeDude is the most underused app in the world. More than half of all American adults do not use ReadMeDude after they are done with formal schooling. ReadMeDude can be found in libraries, bookstores, and second hand shops across the world.

What is ReadMeDude? It’s that book you ordered or bought and never picked up. It’s the book you were given by a friend by never read.

Books are one of the greatest tools we can use to live an awesome and activated life.

ReadMeDude goes great with CampFire Pro and reading will you increase your knowledge, help you relax, and help you grow as a person.

Make the time to read every day.

And don’t use your Kindle App either. Grab the paperback and relax.

 

These four apps will always do more for your life than any technologically advanced smartphone app will ever do. There are powerful tools in life that are not electronic and we must make the time to use them on a frequent basis. Put away the phone and computer and get in the gym, train hard and then go hang with some friends, have a fire, or if you just want to kick back by yourself and unwind, read a book.

You don’t need an App to live an awesome life!

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.

Being Ruthless In Your Actions

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3 Ways To Fight Low Self Esteem

I can remember the day when I became a certified personal trainer. It was much like the day I received my driver’s license on my seventeenth birthday. Two tests that I was able to pass. Two tests that showed to me my low self-esteem.

When I left the division of motor vehicle with my father, now a licensed driver, I told him I didn’t want to drive. I was afraid I wasn’t a good enough driver yet, which might have been true, and my chest sunk in and my shoulders dropped as I sat in the passenger seat defeated by my self-esteem.

The day I became a personal trainer changed nothing in my life, except it gave me credentials, credentials I felt I did not deserve. There was no excitement in actually knowing I passed. I was thrilled that I didn’t fail but not overjoyed that I was doing something I wanted to do. For several months after, I stayed stuck and defeated. My self-esteem and even body image problem kept me from taking action on a new career I was dying to get started.

Over the course of about one year I read many books on self-improvement and self-esteem and doing the work needed to fulfill your goals. I finally got the courage to apply myself to the field of personal training and submitted about thirty different applications in my area. Out of the thirty places, thirty called me back willing to interview me. Again, my self-esteem and body image issue kept me from taking action and I ignored them all. Here I was trying to get into the fitness industry with thirty local gyms and fitness businesses willing to take time out of their day to have me come in, and I threw them in the fire.

It was then that I knew I had an issue with more than just my self-esteem but the only way I’d be able to do what I really wanted to do was by just doing it. After burning the bridges of the local gyms, I entered the fitness industry with no experience and got to work. It was truly a difficult time in my life. I felt like I did not deserve to be considered a trainer and that people wouldn’t pay me to help get them fit. Through the negative self talk and low self-esteem, I stepped onto the battlefield of life and fought my way to a higher self-esteem.

Even still, my self-esteem is not a level I’d like to be at. The Dalai Lama said it was a shame for anyone to feel low about their self. In the Tibetan language they don’t even have a word for it. When he first heard of such a thing, he couldn’t understand what was being told to him. It took awhile before translators could get him to understand what they were telling him. This is because by nature we are each powerful and highly capable people. Able to do whatever we put our minds to. The locks and chains of low self-esteem has kept many great things from ever being discovered and has prevented all of us from doing or saying something we deeply desire to.

In my books and the Your Life Activated community, it is my mission to help others see the vast awesomeness within and to really believe that we are capable of such powerful and life changing things. We must recognize our self-esteem problems and admit the truth of such in order to be victorious over the negative talk that goes through our minds. To fight low self-esteem we need to take action on several areas of our life.

The conversations we tell ourselves in our minds can be a big reason why we might have low self-esteem. When I said to myself that I wasn’t capable of helping people lose weight, that was what my reality brought. I had no clients and no drive to do something about it. When I said to myself that I couldn’t drive a car, out of fear, I couldn’t drive a car and asked for others to drive. When we say things to ourselves in a pessimistic way, like “I know I’m going to fail”, that is what usually happens, we fail. Gaining control of the negative self talk within the mind is the first step in the fight against low self-esteem. We can’t predict the future so why bother creating it with negative thoughts?

When I finally decided that enough was enough and it was time for me to lace up my trainer sneakers and get my hands dirty, I made a commitment to myself that I would try my hardest and put in the work and if I failed, I failed, and that would be the end of it. I had decided to become willing to fail in my journey. When we fight our thoughts and go back and forth over making a decision to do something of importance, being willing to fail is a powerful tool to help persuade yourself that you can do it. Making the choice of being willing to fail has helped me do more things since that time than I could ever have imagined. Use this choice to help you fight low self-esteem.

I am a trainer. I am powerful. I am a great person. I am universal and infinite. I am in charge of my life. What you read there are affirmations, another great tool to help you overcome self-esteem. To combat the negative thinking we all go through in our minds, affirmations can be used to help you build the value of who you are and what you are capable of. I began using affirmations shortly after deciding I was willing to fail and have used them every single day since. You can search the internet and YouTube for videos, books, and articles detailing affirmations and how to use them. I highly suggest blasting away your low self-esteem with positive affirmation ammunition. I wrote this article that you can reference: 20 Daily Affirmations 

Above are only three of the many ways you can fight low self-esteem. There are infinite amounts of ways you can increase your self-esteem and in time, with work, you will see the changes. The truth is, you must make an effort to see this increase. You must be willing to do the things on a daily basis because like everything, without practice you won’t learn and by applying these three things into your life you add traction and through practice you create mastery and in time, you are an individual with high self-esteem. To learn more about self-esteem and self growth, check out the free Facebook group Your Life Activated. If you want help or have questions, comment below in the comment section or fill out the contact form.

Why We All Need Relaxation Therapy

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On my ideal day off there would be several relaxation based therapeutic moments. First, I’d go workout to get some energy blown off and set the tone for having a positive and uplifting day. Then I’d go to a floatation center and do a ninety minute float, maybe even two hours or more. After my float therapy was complete, I’d get some coffee and write in my book or a blog post. After I came to an end of my writing energy, I’d go visit Bonnie at Healing Energy to clear and open my chakras and fully release my vibrant positive energy. I’d finish my day out with a movie and head home to read.

It seems like a boring day for many people, especially extroverts who love being around other people, but as an introvert this is my ideal day off and alone time. There is a lot of power in the schedule I just mentioned. There is a lot of energy increasing and relaxing moments and this is something we all need more of. How often do we truly kick our feet up and relax? It’s not often that we take a day to be alone and rejuvenate. If you ask many people, they’d say they don’t need it and floating or healing touch may sound stupid to them. However, relaxation Therapy is a must.

We’re often overwhelmed with work and different tasks. We are made up of energy and we give and take energy from everything around us all the time. An overworked father of three who commutes several hours each day is killing himself with stress and unhealthy practices. A stay at home mom of two who doesn’t work out, doesn’t get to shower, doesn’t get to leave to see other people, doesn’t get alone time, and is constantly being sucked of her energy is also slowly killing herself with stress and unhealthy practices.

The body is like a gas tank of energy. You only store so much fuel. I’m not talking about fuel from food and exercise that helps the blood pump and the body operate. I’m talking about energy.

Bonnie the other day told me that my kids have their etherical umbilical cords attached to me and my wife all the time. They are consistently draining us of our vital energy and without replenishing it, we don’t operate at our best self. The same goes for the members of my gym, or anyone’s clients or employees. They are attaching to your outlet of energy and borrowing it. If you’re a manager or a CEO or a daycare employee or a very busy consultant you are being sucked of your energy much more than other people, but we’re all giving and taking. The problem comes when there is nothing left to take or give.

This is where relaxation therapy comes in. As I am a big fan of what many people would call “woo-woo” practices, I understand the importance of floatation, healing touch, meditation, and bioenergetic release. My relaxation therapy is few and far between but when I do set the time aside, I’m much better emotionally, mentally, and feel better physically.

In order to fill your fuel tank with energy that is vital to living your best life you must set time aside for relaxation therapy. Especially introverted people. Most introverted people refuel their body with energy by staying home instead of going to the party. They might sit down and read a book or take a nap or just go for a walk alone without interacting with anybody. This is an excellent way to reclaim your lost energy but, relaxation therapeutic practices can fill you with much more positive and vibrant energy.

Meditation is the easiest relaxation therapy practice you can do. It’s essentially free and you can do it anywhere. If you don’t have time or money to visit a float center, a healing touch location, or other energy increasing practices, then meditation is something you should do. Even if it’s for a minute or two. The more time you have to sit quietly and meditate the better, but if you’re swamped with time, a minute can make a positive change in how you feel.

Relaxation therapy is often seen as behavioral therapy to combat stress and fatigue, but it goes beyond the physical. We are energetic beings and just like a light bulb, we can dim over time and lose our vibrant energy. Many people suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and chronic fatigue would benefit greatly from relaxing and not just by themselves but with a trainer or therapist or other person. Staying home alone to regroup is good but if you have underlying problems, I highly suggest seeing a professional.

I often see posts written about the importance of relaxing. If you want to be successful, they say relax. If you want to achieve greatness, they say relax. If you want to feel better and get stronger or lose weight, they say relax. But how often do we listen to this advice and intentionally DO something about it? Our scope of relaxation is the couch, beer, and the television or a book. That’s good but we must actively seek other ways to relax and refuel our energy.

My personal favorites, as mentioned, are meditation, floatation, and healing touch. QiGong, Tai Chi, Anger Release Therapy, Acupuncture, Massage, Yoga, Exercise, Walking In Nature, and Direct Writing are other methods of relaxation therapy. For more information on how to relax or other thoughts about helping you live your best life, fill out the form below.

3 Ways to Build Self Confidence

Spending time in the gym after many years away from the iron was definitely a step out of my comfort zone. For seven years I forgot what it was like to lift weights. I forgot the smell of the gym, the people you see when training, and the feel of going, kicking ass and then knowing you did your best. This was around eight maybe nine years ago. I was fat. My health was horrible and I knew it was time to grab hold of the weights again. When I walked into the gym I had no confidence about my strength, my ability, and my chances of seeing great results. This lack of self confidence played a factor in my results as it took over a year and a half to lose ten pounds.

It took me longer than most to understand that the belief we have of ourselves is the most powerful force we can use to reach our goals and live our best life. Self-confidence hides from the view of our actions and thoughts and for many, the lack of self-confidence we operate with is enough to keep us exactly where we are. With no room or desire to grow.

In today’s society we see many advertisements, television shows, and social media material that can negatively affect our self confidence. We see friends or family at different stages of success or development and it hits our jealously which in turn dwindles the self-confidence we have for ourselves. Rejection from a group, work, family, a job opportunity and more hit us below the belt and we feel the emotions it creates, most of the time hiding them and storing those emotions deep within. All of this impacts our self confidence.

Confidence is a crucial tool for living our best life. We must practice the growth of our confidence. It won’t magically appear one morning. You need to believe it’s possible to improve your confidence. You must want to boost your confidence. Here are three ways to build your self confidence:

1. Meditate and Get to Know The Real YOU

Far too often we find ourselves thinking about what others think about us or looking for input from people like our husbands and wives. We yearn for something positive to come from our loved ones mouth and when we don’t get, we allow it to affect our confidence. We focus on mass media news and highlights and instead of doing some inner work, we wish and dream of something that comes from outside of us. Meditating is a great tool to help you build confidence by focusing on the real you within. Meditate on confidence and you will find answers to your problems. Pathways will open for you to take that will add a layer to your confidence. Instead of “needing” input from outward, you get all the “needed” input from your true self, your heart, your mind.. you.

2. Set Small Goals and Make Notches on Your Timeline

I remember trying to lose the sixty pounds I lost when I got my ass in gear. I tried to get abs overnight. I tried every program in the books for a week hoping to get those results. I tried to “sprint a marathon” and fell flat on my face. This crushed my confidence and hurt my feeling. Then, I decided I would set small goals, like lose 5 pounds in a month, and let them add up. Notches on the timeline of success. When we try to leap from point A to point B, we fail to enjoy the process and we rush through the days unconsciously. How can you ever expect to get results or build confidence that way? It’s hard. Instead, set a big goal that can be the bread and butter of your journey and then work backwards with smaller goals along the way. When you achieve a goal at the first small step, you build your confidence and as you continue to “win” you continue to build your confidence.

3. Practice Gratitude and Be Happy

How important to do you think gratitude is to building confidence? For me, it’s probably one of THE most important things you can do for happiness and confidence. Being grateful for the things in your life is critical to build your confidence. How can you possibly build confidence if you are not appreciative of everything you have in life, or of life itself? Your happiness will be in direct proportion of how grateful you are for what you experience each day. Take five minutes everyday to find something you are grateful for and write it down. Keep a journal. Write down all the things you find that day, that moment, to be grateful for and don’t neglect the power of this practice. Within no time at all you will see your confidence, and happiness, rise.