10 Ways to Lead A Positive Life

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When I looked around and saw all that I had and created, I wasn’t as happy as I should have been. In a moment of awakening I realized my mindset had drifted too far into the negative side of things. As a coach, I speak with enthusiasm for fitness, for nutrition, and living your life activated. But behind closed doors and the walls I built around myself, the truth was very different. While I did the movements and the training and I ate kind of well, I was far from being a positive person. My negative attitude was slowly crushing everything I worked hard for and everything I loved. I caught myself thinking outside of the person within and I drifted too far away from my center. With this negative attitude the help people needed in which they came to me for, couldn’t be done. I was faking it.

Luckily I realized there was a simple solution to “snap out of it” and recently I’ve been turning it around. What happened was that I stopped doing all of the things I knew needed to be done, the things I would do as I taught and helped and motivated others. I stopped doing exactly what I was telling others to do. This happens to many people, especially coaches and trainers. We often spend so much time helping other people that we forget to take care of ourselves. Our lives are non-stop action towards helping other people became fit, healthy, and happy. It’s easy for us to drift off into la-la land and forget about putting our own masks on first. When we do this, everything crashes.

Here are 10 Ways you can lead a positive life and keep from drifting too far and into the negative realm of thoughts and feelings.

1. Be Grateful

For the little things, for things we tend to overlook and often don’t truly appreciate. Be grateful that you are capable of reading this. Be grateful that you are alive and well. Even when things seem tough, there is something to be grateful for. Show it. Write it down. Tell someone you’re grateful for them. Gratitude is a powerful thing that can change your life. Appreciate it’s power and keep a gratitude journal to document the things in life you’re grateful for. Do it daily.

2. Release Your Expectations

There was a time in the recent past that I allowed my expectations to overcome my reality. I expected things from myself and from other people that were not possible or aligned with an activated life. I let my growing expectations create a false sense of failure and it bred my negative attitude to newer heights. Once I released those expectations, things settled down and got easier. Things became fun again and it opened my heart and mind to positive energy that created a greater sense of happiness and joy. Let go of what you expect from others first and then work on your own.

3. Have a Dump Day

Pick a day of the week where you simply don’t do anything but what you want and recharge your batteries. There are days where I let go of everything I’m “supposed” to do and do nothing, like watch Netflix shows for hours on end. Some days it’s simply relaxing and reading or hanging out with the kids and family. We have action packed lives where we go from one thing to the next without breathing. Stop and dump everything off your shoulders and relax. Make this time. It won’t just appear.

4. Exercise

This is without question one of the most important ways you can lead a positive life. In fact, without exercise, I think it would be pretty hard to live a fully activated and positive life. Exercise has the ability to make you feel better, more than any anti-depressant drug out on the market today. A quick ten minute workout is enough to create change in your mind and in your body. If you currently do not workout, start now by doing some simple exercise like walking. The release of positive feel good hormones in your body can lift your spirits when you’re down and crush the negative thinking that might be going on inside.

5. Remove Negative People From Your Life

I recently went through my Facebook news feed and unfollowed many people. The only reason I did so was that the majority of their posts were negative and a waste of mental energy. Before removing people from social media, I did so in “real life”. I do not have any room for people who are negative and those who bring nothing good to my life. It created a lot of space and thinned my social network but it’s for the best. I often see people at functions or getaways who are nothing but negative. They drown their lives in drinks and parties or by staying angry at whatever it is that affected their lives. Removing the negative people has helped me feel stronger and happier and leaves no room for people to bring you down. Some situations you encounter a negative person and they start bringing you down and what I do is change the subject or remove myself from the conversation. It’s unnecessary and not productive to my happiness. Do not be ashamed or upset or worried about their feelings when removing negative people, just do it.

6. Fill Your Mind With Positive Material

Lately to keep my positive attitude boosted I’ve been listening to audiotapes from Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, and reading Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. These books and tapes are keeping my mind set on success, opportunity, positive thinking, and the abundance that surrounds me. While many people are focused on the presidential elections and suffocated from the media filled nonsense that is trying to create tension and a doom and gloom feeling, I remain optimistic and positive about my life and the lives of people just like you. The more you fill your mind with negative bullshit, the darker your life is going to seem.

7. Accept Fear and Have Courage

Fear can be overwhelming to the point where you don’t take any action and have the courage to lead a positive life, which will make things harder then they should be. Or, fear can be used as a tool to overcome obstacles and create the motivation and courage to take action. When we accept fear as something that will always be within us, we can make the changes needed and by accepting fear we can realize that they negativity surrounding our fears does not have to consume our life.

8. Understand That Happiness is a Choice

You either make yourself happy or you don’t. Objects do not. Circumstances do not. While things can help, real happiness will always be a choice. Recently I was stuck in a stage of unhappiness. I had a lot of great things going for me. Family was good, business was good, and my personal lifestyle was good.. but I wasn’t happy. Why? I kept telling myself I was unhappy and the truth is, I was bullshitting myself. Happiness is always a choice. We can be happy with our life situations, or we can decide to not be happy. If you want to lead a positive life, choose happiness.

9. Keep on The Path of Growth

I read somewhere once “We’re either growing, or dying.” and that has stuck with me since. When we purposefully work on improving our lives, we grow and with growth comes opportunities and success. When we don’t work on growing ourselves personally and professionally, we wither away with the lack of direction and purpose. People often do not read books or listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I’m consistently working on learning something new every day. By working on our growth, we feel more awake and alive. Pick up a book or listen to a podcast. Make time each day to grow. Flowers always need sun.

10. Dream Bigger

Feel like life is stale or boring? Ever feel like things aren’t the way you hoped or imagined? Chances are you’re playing small and not dreaming big enough about what you want from life. One of the greatest things we can do for a positive and happy, and fulfilled, life is to work hard towards accomplishing big things. When I started out training people I dreamed of the day I’d have my own gym. Now that I have a gym, I’m dreaming big about the next step in our growth. Dream big, and then dream bigger.

I’ve Been Lying To Myself For Too Long

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You could see it in my posture. If you talked to me in person, you could tell. My shoulders were slumped, my face tense, and my eyes avoiding any sort of eye contact with anyone. It was reflected in my writing, or lack of writing, and it seeped into my business. My workouts were suffering, my diet was full of junk food and candy, and I made no positive moves for life and business. I was stuck and scared and I lied to everyone, including myself.

I’m a member of a mastermind for my personal and professional growth. I’ve been a part of the same group of men for nearly three years, maybe more I just can’t remember. I know these men. I believe in them, they believe in me and I trust them. But for too long now I’ve been lying through my teeth. Every few months we get together and talk business and life and what’s going on in the fitness industry, and how our families are doing. We usually each get up in front of the group and discuss a problem or opportunity or decision we need help with. Up until the most recent weekend with the guys, I ducked out of the last two meetings when it was getting close to my turn to be in front of the guys. I sincerely apologize for my lack of effort to help each other, but I couldn’t stand there and lie anymore. Instead, I ran.

See, the thing is, I was afraid of talking about the problems and opportunities that would actually matter. Things that would make more change than anything else. I didn’t need advice on coaching or gym scheduling or running new programs. I needed advice on how to get unstuck and out of my own head. For almost the entire year of 2015 I was drifting through my day with no passion and far from my purpose. This lack of initiative seeped into this year and has stuck with me like an infant Elephant. The force of being stuck and caught in my head was enough to set me back far in business, family, and more. I didn’t want to lie and I couldn’t gather up the guts to speak the truth.

Then I did. This past weekend I cut out the bullshit and bled on the table for the guys to see. I talked about my struggles with being a stay at home dad. I talked about the struggles of waking up so early every single day. I talked about my bullshit made up story of “writer’s block” and I let them know I needed help to overcome myself and get out of the quicksand that was slowly sinking me into a dark depression.

What I realized is that my tendency to hide my true thoughts and feelings is not healthy and in order to ever change, I needed to share that. We all need to share it. Keeping feelings and thoughts inside creates stress and tension and it will build up and either kill your health or make major problems in life. I was going through the motions wearing a smile on my face like shit was good. It wasn’t and I’m happy to honestly say that and to even be sharing it here. Today, I feel different. I feel awake and alive for the first time in several years. I’m finally writing again. I feel like I’m living my life activated, as I teach and write about it and my energy is through the roof.

I don’t know where to put my finger on the change but there are two things you need to know:

1. You need to be with people just like you. If you’re a man, you need time with men. If you’re a woman, you need time with other women. You need to use that time to talk about what ever the fuck you want. You just need to be recharged within the presence of people who are like you. Get together a group of men and bring up a problem and together, they will find an answer. I’m not sure if that works for women, but I assume so.

2. You need to open yourself up and let other people help you. We’re all stuck in our heads. We live in a society where it’s hard to say you’re not happy or that you need help. It’s hard to talk about sex or money or our dreams and goals, but we need to sack up and be the person we were meant to be. Without opening ourselves to others and ASKING for HELP, we will never live our life truly activated. Never.

#AllProgressStartsWithTheTruth

Putting My Own Mask On First

 

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Driving down to the Jersey Shore is always a great time. The fact that you’re headed down to the water in itself is enough to relax the tense muscles of the neck, the shoulders, and the face. This past weekend I spent a few days around the Red Bank area with a bunch of men who help me grow, who help each other grow, both professionally and personally. Before I made the trip I was severely stressed out and filled with anxiety. The past few months have been taxing, even though I spent more time on vacation than I ever have. My mindset was drifting more and more into the negative state and my actions showed. My personal energy was faltering and I was losing control of so much.

On the way down I was listening to a podcast and Ryan Holiday, the guest of Lewis Howes, said something that struck a nerve in me and made me question why I was so closed down in my feelings and thoughts. He talked about a eulogy James Baldwin gave in which he said “Thou knowest the man, thou knowest not his wrestling.” That quote really moved me and broke down a barrier of defense I was using as a shield from the truth. The seminar I attended was just what I needed at this point in my life. Paul Reddick who runs the Sack Summit said the day I first met him, “all progress starts with the truth.” and I understood that but never applied it. I was scared. I am afraid of letting people know the wrestling I do.

As the meeting unfolded, my emotions began to shake and life was brought into a perspective. I felt my barriers and the walls I have built begin to crumble. The guys I was with I have known for many years and I never once shared what was really going on in my mind and my life. As we sat in small groups in which our task was to help each other grow as men, my shoulders tensed, my heart sunk, my nerves began to shatter. It was time I put my own mask on first, and I did.

Leading up to the split into groups I was thinking about the question I needed help with most in my business. I wanted to learn steps to help Activate Fitness grow and was ready to fire off an easy question. I was afraid of opening myself, my real self to those men who I sincerely trust and love. The time came for me to ask my question and as I looked around the table I knew these guys were here for me and would not judge me. I knew they were filled with love and ready to help me in any way I needed.

“Fuck it” I said, and broke the walls. I released a massive amount of tension that was building in my neck, my shoulders, my waist, my hips, and I let those men in on the truest feeling going on inside. Instantly I felt a wave of release and relief. They accepted my question and offered advice they would only hope to receive if faced with a similar situation.

Nothing changes if nothing changes and had I not put my own mask on first and asked for the help I deeply needed, nothing would have changed and I’d still be stuck right where I was, hiding behind the truth with no progress.

When I heard the quote of not knowing the man’s wrestling I began to think about all of the people in my life. My family, my friends, the people who trust me to help them and I understood clearly that I know nothing of what each battles and the only thing I can do is give. I can give of myself with love, caring, and understanding. I am very grateful that this trip was taken at the perfect moment and grateful that now I have cleared away the jungle hiding my trueness, for now I can fully give of myself in the way I was intended for.

We all face obstacles in life and another quote I heard is “obstacles are not in the way, but they are the way”, and when we are faced with obstacles in which we feel we can’t overcome, there is a way to climb over them or break through them and to grow from the journey and the fight of making it through.

The wrestling going on within is not a fight you need to take alone and there are people who you love and trust that are willing to listen and be there for you. Put your own mask on first and seek their guidance. The weight it will take off your shoulders will clear the path and show you the way through. Thank you Isaac, Jedd, Adam, Christian, and Pete.

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.

 

My Thoughts on What It Takes to Lose 50 Pounds in 6 Months.

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There are very few people who can pull off dramatic results. Like Tom who once lost 28 pounds in less than 30 days at Activate Fitness, or Deanna who lost over 50 pounds over her span of time at the gym. Debbie lost over 40 pounds in seven months and is headed to break the all time weight loss record for women at Activate Fitness. The truth is, to get results like this you need to be dedicated to not giving up. If you stick to the program, follow the guidelines, and try, you will get these results. Anybody can do. We can all talk about doing it, but it only happens when we get to work.

Here are a few steps to take to lose 50 Pounds in 6 Months.

*Note: Not everyone can get these results. Going at it fifty percent will not get you to 50 pounds lost in 6 months. Going at it seventy five percent won’t either. You need to be committed and follow a good nutrition program, consistently exercise, stay hydrated, and sleep. If you’re a hundred and thirty pounds, shooting for fifty isn’t possible, but following this advice will help you reach your body’s ideal weight.

Let’s start with the obvious. Nutrition. In order for someone to get great weight loss results they need to have a solid nutrition program and follow it. Eating lean cuisines and weight watcher gimmick foods won’t help you. You need to eat real quality foods. Stuff like broccoli, chicken, asparagus, salads, nuts, and lean meats. The best thing to do is start by eliminating added sugars. Do not be fooled by processed foods that use taglines and gimmicks that say “organic and all-nautral”. Sure it’s organic, but it’s still processed with added sugar. Many companies hide the sugar under different names like Agave Nectar or Honey or Organic Cane Sugar. These foods need to be tossed.

A good nutrition plan has very few basic foods. You can say it’s boring, but the goal is to lose fifty pounds right? Good quality foods and a good nutrition program will have foods you eat nearly every day. This is good. By using recipes and spices you can mix it up and you can also cook them differently. Grilled chicken is a lot different than baked chicken. Steamed broccoli is very different from roasted broccoli.

The few basic foods you should eat are simple: Greens, Fruits, Other vegetables, Lean meats, nuts, seeds, butters, and fish. There are many different combinations you can create and quality healthy food is freaking delicious. Maintain a ninety percent compliance to healthy foods and enjoy some time and meals with friends and family. In my opinion, I wouldn’t have cheat meals unless I earned them. Working out once or twice a week and picking at snack foods or larger portions is not earning a cheat meal. Be disciplined.

Once you clear your nutrition out and replace it with foods that grow out of the ground, foods that walk, swim, and fly, then you need to focus on sleep. If you’re sleeping four to six hours a night, things are going to be difficult. Your body works very hard during sleep to make you healthier and combined with good nutrition and exercise, sleep will help you burn a lot of fat. You should be focusing on seven to nine hours and improving the quality of the sleep you get. Using a sleep mask is great. Turning off electronics an hour before bed is also a great way to improve the quality of whatever sleep you get. Keep the room temperature cooler than the whole house. Use a fan. Eliminate blue light. This is very hard for new parents who have monitors and people (like me) who use their phone as an alarm clock. Clean up your sleep, get more of it, and you’ll burn more fat.

Now that nutrition and sleep is said, water is the next thing I must mention. You know one thing about the people who get great results that is common? They drink water. They stay hydrated with water throughout the day. Some people claim the bodyweight in half is the amount of ounces one should drink. Others say a gallon. Some even say to drink only when thirsty. In my opinion, I drink as much as I can. Water makes me feel better, especially since I slack in getting enough sleep. I normally drink about thirty two ounces upon waking up. Throughout the day I use the same cup or bottle and have anywhere from four to seven servings. If you drink twelve ounces of water a day, you need more. If you hate water, be disciplined like an adult and drink more. Start with an extra twelve ounces and work up from there. Make a conscious effort to always have water within an arms reach.

Finally, we get to the best part and also what many consider the hardest part. Exercise. Without exercise you can lose weight but you’ll never feel as good or lose more weight than you will with a good exercise program. What do the people who have lost over fifty pounds in six months have in common? They train hard. They train consistently. They ditch the excuses about working out and show up. It was never easy for them and it still gets tough, but being disciplined to show up and do the work is how you get results. The people who win our weight loss challenges work out the most in the gym. They’re always there. I see them every day. When we special workouts, they show up. When we have challenges, they do them. When we have events inside, outside, or other events not part of the gym.. they show up. The only way exercise will help is if you show up and do your best job. What you can do is the only thing that matters. What someone else is doing is none of your business or concern. The only person you are responsible for and the only person who can get you results is YOU. Take control and act.

Losing fifty pounds in six months is a hard task for anyone to accomplish. It takes great commitment and purpose to get through the work but anybody can do it. You can do it. Follow these guidelines along with a positive attitude and you can’t fail. Being positive that you are strong enough and capable of getting results is a cornerstone for success. If you believe you can’t do it, you won’t do it. If you believe you’re going to fail, you’re going to fail. Another thing about winners in the weight loss challenges we have is that they EXPECT to win. They can’t lose. They don’t accept the belief of possibly losing. Whether they win or lose doesn’t matter, it’s the fact that they run through their days with the positive mindset that they are winners and will be successful. Moping around, wallowing in negative attitudes, and making excuses is not how you get results. You have to ditch that mindset. Turn the switch on in your mind that we all have and ignite the fire in your belly and you can’t fail. I know you are able to be successful. I know you want to be successful. Now, all YOU need to do, is the work.

Will you do it? I’m in it with you. I’ll do it with you. Let’s GO!!!!!!!

Thoughts on Filling The Void in Your Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts on Starting a Business, Life, and Character

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Be Strong, Happy, and In Control

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In my early twenties my life was filled with parties, late nights, junk food, and a million excuses as to why acting like a kid was more important than living in your real world. I ate fast food on a daily basis, sometimes twice. I drank and hung out until the sun came up and then did it all over again. My goals looked nothing like they do now. Back then, goals looked something like this “Have enough money left over at the end of the week to eat.”

I thought I was happy. I was hanging out with my best friends all the time. I worked, bills were paid, and even though I didn’t know where I would sleep, I still thought life was awesome. Then it got old and I realized I was stuck in a life threatening loop of danger. I wasn’t a teenager anymore and I needed to change before something bad happened, and the way things were going.. it was going to happen.

After struggling to make it through the days and realizing I wasn’t happy, it was time for a change. It was time for me to get control of my life. At this time I wasn’t strong or in control. I was fat, sick, and on my way to an early death if I didn’t shape up.

When we’re faced with a situation like this there are two things we do. First we either correct it and take control and make positive changes or secondly, we accept it as fate and wither away to nothingness. Luckily, I wanted more for my life and decided to grab the reigns and take charge.

After I met my now wife I knew I had to do something about my body and mind and make corrective measures to heal and flourish. I started a workout program and began to exercise four or five days a week. I started lifting weights and doing cardio on machines at the gym. The exercise worked well for my body and combined with the nutritional changes I made, my mind also improved. At the time I also began reading more than I ever have. Self-help books, relationship books, and exercise books took up my time. Through this process of daily action and a commitment to success, I got control of life and found the happiness that was already there.

How to be strong-

Becoming strong in the physical sense is a process that takes time. I am still nowhere near where I should be in terms of strength, but daily actions are improving it everyday. Being strong in an emotional and mental sense is something we all are and the only way to see it is by needing it. When I was homeless and had no hopes for the future, it was my inner strength that helped me tackle the obstacle and continue on the way.

Getting strong physically is done by doing exercise. Lift weights, climb, roll, jump, and run. Focus on bodyweight exercises first if you’ve never trained before. Do push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats, lunges, and crawl. Graduate to dumbbells and kettlebells and then grab a barbell. The basic exercises are and will always be the best thing for us. They’re not sexy and doing it over and over can get boring, but so fucking what. Do it anyway. Squats, presses, deadlifts, and carries. Train three or four days a week. Do some other types of exercise other days if desired. Walk, run, swim, do jiu jitsu or karate, or box.

Finding inner mental and emotional strength will be easier when your body is strong. You can dig up some of the strength within by talking to yourself in a positive way. Motivate yourself through movies, books, people in your life, and talk yourself up. Ditch the negative style of thinking we often fall into and see the true nature of your powerful self. Do this daily.

How to be Happy-

You can either be happy or unhappy and it’s entirely your choice. Nobody or no thing can dictate your happiness. You can choose to be happy and grateful to be alive and where you are right now or you can choose to be miserable, angry, and depressed, unhappy with where you are.

Often people tend to turn towards things outside of themselves to find happiness. Some people turn to other people and think relationships will make them happy. Some turn to drugs. People turn to sex to find happiness and some chase the dollar and end up workaholics trying to find happiness. Many times we put different objects in our mind and say “That’s the thing that’ll make me happy.” Maybe it’s a house, a car, a vacation, a concert to see your favorite band, or a movie you want to see.

By looking externally for happiness you push away the true happiness within you right now. It’s all perspective. You can dread your life situation or you can be grateful you have it better than someone else. Be happy by appreciating your life, your thoughts, your ability to choose your destiny, and then make shit happen.

Nothing will ever make you as happy as accepting your life and accepting that you are strong, powerful, and capable of doing anything you wish.

How to be in control-

Stop letting the negative thoughts crush your hopes. Be strong in every way and practice your gratitude and appreciation. Set goals for your life and stick to them. Make them happen. Get your hands dirty and don’t wait for anyone to tell you it’s okay. Just fucking do it, now. Be in control by becoming the captain of your ship. Do not put your destiny in the hands of politicians or employers. Choose to be the leader of your life.

Start right now and write down what you want in life. Write down what a perfect day would look like. Be specific. Write down what time you’d want to wake up, where you’d want to wake up and next to who. Write down what you would love to happen when you woke up and then keep going through the entire day.

If you write it, you can do it and it WILL happen.. If you do the work. And you are strong enough and capable enough to do the work. So go fucking do it. Stop letting others control your life. Grab the wheel and do not let go. You are in charge now. You are in control. Make it happen!

Live Your Life ACTIVATED!

Get Your Health in Order

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Stop being lazy and get your health in order. No more running around like a teenager on a Friday night eating ice cream and crap. It’s time you stand up and get your shit together. Throw away the cookies, the candy, the chips, and all the pastas. Stop eating added sugar and fix your health through the foods you should be eating.

Get off your ass and start to move, every day. No more excuses about exercise. It’s time you get up and put the effort in to fix your health. Walk every day, do a fitness class a few times a week, go to the gym and lift. Do something. You never know how needed exercise is until you’re in the hospital staring at the ceiling with your clothes ripped open.

You have loved ones that need you around. You have loved ones who wouldn’t know what to do if your health took a devastating blow. You are the captain of your life and nobody can make you do anything, but wouldn’t you feel better about yourself and life if you exercised and ate well?

Damn right you would. When you exercise, your body releases feel good hormones and operates better. When you eat well, you burn fat, build muscle, and your body feels better.

It’s time to stop acting like a lazy lump and take control of your health and ditch the excuses. There is nobody that is too busy or too out of shape for exercise and good nutrition. Start with a walk and a salad. Do it again tomorrow and then do it the next day. Find a professional to help you if needed. Go buy food at a farm instead of the Quickie Mart. Stop eating sugary snacks and say you have cravings.

When you don’t control your cravings, it’s weakness that doesn’t need to be there and shouldn’t be either. You can grab a healthy snack instead of cookies, but you choose not to. Stop making childish choices and act your age. I don’t want to come off as harsh but instead, honest and straight forward. What I am writing here you already know and there are days when you think about that. You know a healthy food from a shitty food. You know walking is good for your body and mind. You know exercise gets easier when you practice.

Why don’t you do these things?

I’ve seen people who were walking heart attack risks turn their lives around and completely change their life. It wasn’t easy, but they did it and they didn’t give up. They asked for help. They asked questions. They made sacrifices. They saw results.

You can do this too. You have the power, the energy, and the willpower to do it. Stop defeating yourself before you get started and tackle this journey. There are people close to you who can help you. There are people close to you who want to help you. ASK. Get your health in order, right now.. before it’s too late!

You Need to Be Strong

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We need to be strong. Strength is a key to living an activated life. Whether it’s physical or mental strength, we need. Most of us don’t train the body to be strong. The nation is filled with couch potatoes and office workers who don’t get physical with fitness and it’s the weak who feel the burn of dis-ease, discomfort, pain, and unhappiness. Getting physical in a gym, outdoors, or other form of activity is a key to happiness and living a strong activated life.

To be weak is a disservice and in my opinion a disgrace to the hard men who fought for our freedom and continue to do so this day. They sweat and bled for our freedom and for us to live comfortable lives. We must be strong and courageous as a form of gratitude for their hard work and for our gratitude to be free beings.

Strength is your ticket to a fun ride through life. Being weak means being stuck, hurt, sick, and overwhelmed. By training for physical strength we increase our mental strength and that helps in other areas of life. Mental strength is also something we don’t recognize we already have within our minds and bodies. Pregnant women don’t know how strong they are until they go through labor and delivery. Moms and Dads don’t know how strong they are until they get through long sleepless nights that turn into days and weeks. Wives and husbands never know how strong they are until they need to stand by their loved ones side and be the strength they need.

We often don’t test our strength or mope through days feeling weak. The truth is, a change of state of mind can quickly show your strength. We also must find ways to test our strength. Some do it in the gym, others do it on the farm. Some people run Spartan races and others roll in Jiu Jitsu class. The test of strength improves ones strength.

If you don’t feel strong in your mind and body then you need to work on it, today. Lift weights, run a mile, hike a mountain, go volunteer, do something that shows you your strength and then, improve it. Daily.

Lifting weights makes the body strong. Meditation can make the mind strong but testing your emotional, physical, and mental strength will make you stronger everywhere. Some women come in the gym and ask for the three or five pound weights. We don’t have any. Those weights are for my not even four year old daughter. She lifts them overhead and walks a hundred feet. What the women find out quickly is that they’re stronger than they think they are and I’m going to make them stronger.

If you believe you are weak then you’re going to be weak. Develop a tougher mindset through challenges. Make commitments that scare the fuck out of you and then do them. Challenge yourself in the gym and break past any comfort zones you have set up for yourself. Be strong for yourself and be strong for others. Somebody needs you to be strong, do not fail them. Make a promise to yourself to improve your strength and do it now.