The Life-Changing Magic of Fitness

As a gym owner and a personal trainer I have seen the magic of fitness and the life changes that come with getting the body moving. With today’s way of living, it’s easy to forget about exercise and getting involved in a routine. Many people push exercise aside as something they don’t need to, a waste of time, or because of laziness. Some of the most profitable and widely sold prescription drugs are antidepressants. We’re caught in a lifestyle that is not natural. As hunter-gatherers and foragers, sitting behind a desk and not having to exert much energy during the day, we’re slowly killing ourselves with our “new” way of life.

Technology has smacked our senses silly and the routines of life are far away from how they should be. It’s pretty safe to say that we’re never going back to walking for many miles each day to find food, sharing our kill or baskets of fruit and vegetables with each other, and living a nomadic life.

But if we continue with the trends of fast food, poor food supply, water that is polluted, watching television for many hours, and moving away from movement, we’re going to be in serious trouble.

That is where fitness comes into the picture. Across the country millions of men and women are exercising in daily routines, following better nutritional programs than the average American, and changing their life through fitness.

Millions are ditching the drugs and picking up kettlebells. An intense 10 or 15 minute workout can be the equivalent of taking one of the best-selling antidepressants. Farm raised meat, or naturally killed game, and organic foods are rising in stock. More and more people are pushing away boxed foods, canned foods, mass-produced and killed meats, as we should.

There is magic behind a workout. There is even more magic behind a healthy dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

As a coach I have helped several people who were depressed, angry, and simply upset with how they let their life go and by how out of shape they were. Nobody likes feeling out of shape. Even the most food addicted obese person doesn’t enjoy the feeling of heavy breathing and discomfort the extra weight causes. It’s not natural and that is why we often fall into depression or have major bouts of anxiety, anger, and sadness.

Exercise has been proven to help reduce the risk of diseases that are abundant in society. Heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes to name a few. Exercise also releases what Joe Rogan likes to call either his “inner bitch” or “monkey energy”. As animals and primates, one of the biggest traits we have carried through the millions of years of evolution is the animal instinct to move. Remember, as hunter gatherers and foragers we spent most of the day moving, walking, jumping, climbing, and running. Remove those natural tendencies from our lives and we’re more susceptible to mental, emotional, and physical disturbances.

When we keep our primal energy stored within, it manifests as anger, depression, cancer, gout, ulcers, stomach and digestive problems, and more. The life changing magic of fitness can probably be dialed into the fact that we need movement, and the releasing of primal energy.

If you feel like you don’t need to exercise or move to have a healthy and happy life, I beg to differ. The members of my gym all notice this change almost immediately. If you want to feel better, happier, and live a healthier life, start moving somehow every day. The life changing magic of fitness will take your mind and body into a whole new world.

46 Tips On Living Your Best Life

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

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

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

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

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

2. Your health is related to your mindset.

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

3. Be Okay With Day Dreaming.

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

4. Get Uncomfortable.

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

5. Set Positive Intentions.

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

6. Continue to Learn Daily.

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

7. Figure out your personality.

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

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

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

9. Quality over Quantity.

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

10. Find A Happy Place.

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

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

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

12. Find Your Inspiration.

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

13. Know What You Want.

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

14. Be A Child.

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

15. Be Willing To Fail.

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

16. Enjoy the Mundane Parts of Life.

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

17. Question Yourself.

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

18. Go The Extra Mile

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

19. Embrace The Suck

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

20. Accept The What If’s.

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

21. Overcome Fear of Failure.

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

22. Awaken the Truth of Life.

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

23. Use HOPE to Move Forward.

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

24. Share Your Knowledge.

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

25. Be Yourself.

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

26. Be An Action Taker.

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

27. Show Gratitude.

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

28. Enjoy Competition.

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

29. Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over.

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

30. Use Affirmations Daily.

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

31. Give and Show Love.

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

32. Capture Your Dreams

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

33. Time Flies

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

34. Do the work

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

35. Befriend Your Inner Critic

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

36. Practice Visualization

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

37. Never Give Up

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

38. You’re Important

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

39. Realize Your Inner Strength

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

40. Be Creative

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

41. See The Truth of Happiness

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

42. Find Balance

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

43. Be a Warrior

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

44. Enjoy The Little Things

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

45. Find your passion.

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

46. Use The Best of Your Inner Energy.

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

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

 

Two Authors Who Inspire Me

The real world of writing has caught my eye recently. As I try to maintain two blog sites, my other at www.hackettstownfitness.com, I’ve come into a deep desire to form coherent sentences in a poetic way that can inspire others or draw hopes and dreams through what is read on the screen. Most of the time, the writing, my writing, is boring information that seems redundant, especially when we have read it from many other authors, bloggers, and other writers. But at other moments, it’s fresh, exciting, and slightly interesting.

To keep my mind fresh as I try to generate ideas, I walk around with a book. Everywhere I go I have a book close to me or at the least, my kindle app on the iPhone, which really doesn’t do anything for me. I’d rather flip the pages of a nice clean and crisp new book, almost like an addiction when I consider the smell, the way it feels, and how I can get lost from reality in the pages, like an illicit drug pouring through your veins.

For awhile the books were self help in nature, fitness, and some business material but as I continue to read and learn and change, I find myself drawn towards the better penmanship of legends. Most of the dribble spilled forth on the internet or in magazines these days is garbage. Free eBooks or .99 cent kindle books are a sham to the industry and real world of writing. Authors who spend an hour phone call talking about a subject and having the recording sent for transcription  in Thailand are placing garbage all over the internet, calling themselves writers.

Real writing, the kind of writing that makes you drop your jaw in awe, is hard to find outside of best selling novel writers. Some non-fiction writers can turn the words on a page into a magnificent imagination, but that seems to be rare these days.

Here are 2 of the greatest writers, in my opinion, who inspire me with their words and strokes of literary genius.

1. Hunter S Thompson

“Everybody has fast motorcycles these days. Some people go 150 miles an hour on two-lane blacktop roads, but not often. There are too many oncoming trucks and too many radar cops and too many stupid animals in the way. You have to be a little crazy to ride these super-torque high-speed crotch rockets anywhere except a racetrack – and even there, they will scare the whimpering shit out of you… There is, after all, not a pig’s eye worth of difference between going head-on into a Peterbilt or sideways into the bleachers. On some days you get what you want, and on others, you get what you need.”

The gonzo was an author who captivated his readers. His articles were in high demand, his novels made into movies, and his crazy attitude towards life the subject of several documentaries that can capture your attention for days. A writer. A wild man with no limits who went on his weird way and produced some appealing work with minutes to spare from the deadlines. Hunter S Thompson is by far my favorite writer. An inspiration to twist words that will tickle your panties and turn your heads upside down. Gonzo for Sheriff.

2. Stephen King

A funny man who writes terror filled and nightmarish novels. Stephen King was born a writer. Ever since he was a young chop in the schools of Maine he wrote. He used to see several sci-fi movies a week with friends and he nailed his rejection slips to a beam in his bedroom. Inspiring to never give up. To make it happen. Millions of words later and Mr. King can be considered one of the greatest writers of our time. Whether he writes about writing or a girl being bullied with supernatural powers, King’s writing mesmerizes the reader.

“So okay― there you are in your room with the shade down and the door shut and the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. You’ve blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want.”

Hunter Thompson and Stephen King’s writing is truly epic. If you haven’t had the pleasure to read any of their work, I highly suggest stopping by your local library, you know, a place with free books, and pick up one of their novels. Aside from the novels each writer has produced they also have some excellent non-fiction work. Hunter’s Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone is a hefty book you should consider buying through Amazon instead of punching out of the library. Stephen King’s On Writing is a must own book for anyone who wishes to learn how to write better as well.

Of the many great writers, I find my way towards these two legends and prefer their satire and flow of great work. Who are some of your favorite writers? Post a comment below!

Thought of the Day: Doing vs. Watching

As I sat in the living room reading a book on building a business, just after I became a certified trainer, my wife said to me “You’re not a trainer until you have a client.” She was right! I was sitting on my couch “watching” other people do it, dreaming and wishing of what it was like to be a trainer and not, doing. I began the process of acquiring my first clients immediately after that statement. I stepped on my fears and walked forward on the path of doing. Offering my services for free jump started the entire Activate Fitness family. If it wasn’t for my wife’s “encouragement”, I don’t know how long I would’ve watched.

There is a big difference between doing and watching. Watchers sit around and gossip about the actions doers are taking. Of course, it’s often negative remarks but they know deep inside that doers are going somewhere. When a new member walks through the door at my gym, I know they’re doers. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be there.

Doers have dreams, a vision, and goals they are after. Watchers sit and complain or just sit and “do” nothing. If you want to be successful at anything, whether it’s weight loss, building an addition, or becoming rich and famous, you need to take actions that align with your dreams, vision, and goals.

One small step towards your goal makes you a doer, but being a doer isn’t something that lasts. You can become a watcher again, especially if you feel the fear and run to hide. To become a doer and stay a doer, you need self-control, a deep understanding of why you’re doing whatever it is, courage, and a plan.

Get started now with your reason and your plan and tomorrow, do it. Don’t sit by and watch life pass you by.

Thought of the Day: Doing the Work

There’s work to be done and the only way for it to get done is to just do it. Sometimes we feel like pushing the important things back for tomorrow. At times, we let the small, less important, tasks go on for days.

I had this rack in my gym that needed to be tightened. It sat there for over 2 weeks. Every time I walked into the gym I saw it and knew it had to be done. Instead, I chose to do something else, likely less meaningful or important.

Finally, after I had the wrenches in my Jeep for a week or so, I did it. Wow. What a relief. I thought about the fact that I waited so long to do such a small task and I realized there are many more important things I need to do, that like the rack, I keep pushing back.

It’s never going to get done that way.

Take a step back from your busy day and look around. Notice the things that need to be done. It could be picking up branches in your yard or tuning up the lawnmower for this coming summer. Maybe you have some information to enter in an important system for your business. How long have those things been sitting there, waiting for you to take action? We often feel like these mundane tasks will take up a lot of our time, when in reality, after 10 or 15 minutes, it’s done.

The same goes for your goals and dreams. If you want to learn how to jam on a guitar, you have to do the work. You won’t learn how to play Stairway to Heaven by practicing for an hour a week. You have to make the time to do the work, every day. Your business won’t build itself. You have to commit to the time it takes to not just work on or in your business, but to also learn about life, how the business world works, and many other topics. Reading is important, and it’s work, unless you’re reading Stephen King or Hunter Thompson for fun.

If you build it, they won’t come, unless YOU do the work to attract them. This goes for your personal development as well. If you attend a nutrition or training seminar, or a lifestyle event, nothing will change unless you do the work that’s taught. Many members of Activate Fitness have seen great results because they do the work I tell them they need to do.

Life is a grind. You can make it a struggle or you can make it an adventure. The choice is yours.

Thought of the Day: You’re Important

Nobody sees the world like you see it.

Nobody saw the world like Martin Luther King saw the world. Nobody saw the world like Bill Gates saw the world. Nobody saw the world like Nikola Tesla did either. Imagine, what would this world be like had any of these brave men decided to listen to their fears and not take any action towards their dreams?

Would every house in America have one or more personal computers?

Would every American citizen be judged by their character instead of the color of their skin?

Would North American homes be powered from head to toe with electricity for things like our air conditioners and televisions?

The thing is, we matter. Each of us. Every stupid dream we dream and every idea that we shake off as silly, can change the world. When you listen to your fears and decide to not act on your vision, you can possibly be preventing a major change to all of us and how we live. You never know what the power of your ideas can create. These men didn’t know that their works would change the way we live so many years later, but they did it anyway.

Food for thought right there. It’s simple. You’re important, and never think you’re not. Stop listening to fear and start acting on your dreams. We all might be depending on it.

Thought of the Day: April 20th, 2014

Finding Creativity.

Before my Thought of the Day posts started rolling out this past week, I was lost in a creative funk. It took a lot of grinding to get a blog post rolling out and even the emails I send to those who signed up at my other blog- www.hackettstownfitness.com. I felt as if I had nothing to say that was meaningful or relevant to anything I was doing, professionally and personally. But, what I noticed was that while I felt my creative self vanished, it was actually alive and well.

As a strength coach and fat loss trainer, my creativity was booming in the workouts I was writing and coaching. It was also going well with the vibes given off in the gym, the passion for helping people change their lives and get into great shape. My challenges and contests were doing well and people lost a lot of weight.

I even took some of my old writings, felt like putting them into a book (found here: http://tinyurl.com/mfpkbx5) and self published it through LuLu.com. You can go there and buy a copy if you’d like.

Creativity is a shy person who hides just behind the curtains. The only problem is, you can’t see their feet sticking out. You have to turn over every rock, look in every closet, and yell at the top of your lungs to find it. Never giving up in the quest for even the slightest piece of art.

Here’s the thing, we’re all creative beings. It lives within our minds and wants to come out. Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in day to day life that we fail to take notice of the creative things we do. When that happens, it’s possible that taking a step back and looking around will help. Everything we do has a spark of our creativity in it. From what is on our Facebook profile to the way our houses are decorated. Our subconscious mind is always there. We don’t think about it, but it’s there. The same goes with our artistic abilities and what we create.

As author Kurt Vonnegut once said, “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” Sit down, grind through the torture, throw away our fear, and let it all spill out- regardless of what anyone says, and hopefully, our art will walk out from behind the curtain.

 

Happy Birthday George!

 

Thought of the Day: April 15, 2014

Passion. Many people seem to lack or rather hide their true passion. As kids I am sure most of us didn’t dream of doing the job we’re doing right now. We had hobbies and interests that we dove into with all of our hearts, until it was time to get to work. Often, we listened to those around us who told us what to do, because “they’ve been there and done that.”

The dreamer inside of us becomes twisted in a knot and thrown in the junk drawer the minute it’s time to either, get to work, or get a higher education. Our days are filled with tasks that don’t go inline with our values, dreams, and plans. But, we continue to do it anyway. We’re told to or, with financial obligations, we don’t have a choice.

Inside each of us is a pure passion that fights to get out every day. Our minds know it but rather than face the situation and being prepared for battle, we listen to our other side. The ego that speaks of the pain and discomfort involved with chasing your passion. We see the big picture sitting way on top of this massive cliff and, standing there on the yellow brick road what seems like miles away, fear wins.

Instead of taking the few steps on the journey to the big picture, we just admire and wish it were easier.

Living with passion is hard work but it’s very rewarding. We need to accept that we have a passion and stop hiding it. Work with it. Do whatever it takes to spend even 20 minutes consumed by it. Without acting towards our passion, we bottle up emotions that create unnecessary distress in our lives. Let it go. Do the work. One step at a time.

A Lesson in “Doing the Work”.

This has proven to be quite hard recently. I’ve had much trouble trying to get things out of my mind and onto your screen. Most of my attention lately, when it comes to writing, has been shifted to my gym’s page at www.hackettstownfitness.com and on that gym page’s email newsletter. Even still, it has been quite like a form of torture. The words are dragging and the fight to release the tension inside the mind and veins has been nearly crippling. It’s been several weeks since my last post. I’m ready for something more, something new.

The problem is, I haven’t got the slightest clue what I want to write about. I enjoy helping people change their lives through fitness and motivation. At the Activate Fitness page there are over 200 posts on diet, exercise, and mindset. I can go back and tighten them up, switch a few pieces of work here and there, and make a new post- but that’s boring. It doesn’t need the muse and doesn’t fit the fancy of the pleasure I get from writing.

The other day I tried an exercise to get the words flowing. I had no idea what I was writing about, except, in the back of my mind- the exact idea of what to write about. Here is what came out in it’s first draft…

“Stuffed up, stuck, crazy and unknown. Blank, dark, hot or cold. The world is rough. The streets are tough. Life isn’t a game, it’s a challenge. Face your fears or face the consequences. Broke, tired, bored, lonely, poverty stricken. Shame. Unknown thoughts and dreams spun around like a crazy web of gooey substances. Dark lights and Hammered Angels. Rides to the park, not in the dark, cold and wet, sunny and humid. Faced the consequence, fell to my feet. Knees buckled, people laughed, tired.. of being sick and tired. Poor me, poor shoes. Poor me, poor foods. It’s not my fault you see. Blind as a bat. It’s the man. Striking his hand. Fists to the face. Floored with emotions. Longing for more. Will it ever be?”

A work of writer’s block and an exercise to find the muse and get back to work. To help those who need a lift, an inspiration, help they may not find elsewhere. Pure subconscious firing out of the void as you can see the words “The world is rough. The streets are tough.” For it once was in my life like that and life is indeed a challenge. We’re here to learn something, whatever it is, and it’s our job to face the challenge and keep moving ever so slightly forward until we find out.. why?

Facing your fears is a must if you hope to evolve. Without facing them, you will surely find that the world is rough and the streets are tough. I once fell a victim to my fears. Who am I kidding? Once? Ha. Try once a day, maybe even once an hour. But when those particular fears were victorious over my true self and became friends with Mr. Ego, it was easy to lay down defeated. I hid my passions, I hid my knowledge, and I hid in the darkest of all pits, smack dab on Rock Bottom.

Unknown thoughts spun around like a crazy web. Writer’s block. Mental exhaustion. The muse is on vacation. Or is it the writer, the hand in charge, finding an excuse to just not sit down and do the work? Steven Pressfield says to put your ass where your heart is and right now, it is, but it’s a lot more difficult than many can imagine. Steven King demands one to two thousand words a day, on paper, regardless of what is going on in life. Resistance, as Pressfield calls it, seems to win much more often than the Muse. A war of wits, passion, patience, commitment and doing the work.

How can the Muse defeat Resistance when all he or she wants to do is kick back on the island, smoking a fat Cuban, with a Corona in hand?

“Poor me, poor shoes. Poor me, poor foods.” Another glimpse of the deep subconscious. When I let resistance win and let fear over take my life I allowed the consequences of my actions to destroy me. What came out of the deep mind in those eight words was recollection of when I had no job or money and my sneakers were basically falling apart. The same time when my meals were 99 cent bags of Doritos or a frozen meal for about the same cost. But why would it come out so many years later? What is the subconscious, or maybe even the muse, trying to tell me?

Sounds insane and like a bunch of flubber bullshit but the fact remains that I keep making excuses for NOT sitting down and writing. Every time I do, I keep making excuses as to “Not knowing what to write about.” But this time was different. I had no idea what I wanted to blog about, but I just let it flow. It seems that when resistance has a strong hold of your work, it suffers a lot.. until you actually fight back and just act like a fool.

This doesn’t mean much, but I do believe there is a lesson in this 15 minutes I have sat down in front of the computer. The lesson seems to be that deep inside the subconscious mind there is a whole world of content, of art, of powerful words and memories that want to come out. I feel an isolation tank visit is in order to try and file all of the thoughts into some neat drawers. I think I know where I go forward from here with the writing I find so hard to let go of. My past, the story of who I was, where and how deep I went, and why I decided to crawl out has a powerful message for others. It’s time to let go of the fear of ridicule or looking like an ass. It’s time for me to let you know who I truly am and what I was, but hated and despised.

15 minutes and a whole new vision was released. I said my prayer to the muse before I started and they didn’t let me down. I see you’re back from your vacation. It was a long trip, I hope you stay for awhile.

Here is a post I wrote the other day I never really published: The Muse is on Vacation