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Secure the Future

“It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war.”

  • Strengthen your body (train)
  • Strengthen your mind (read)
  • Have many children (with a spouse)
  • Raise them to be strong and honorable
  • Remove dependence on the system (create your own income, stop watching tv)
  • Learn to fight

That last one is a biggie. It can accomplish most or all of these simple steps at the same time (you may meet a future spouse on the mats!)

I have a lot of varied interests, and because of that, I often jump from hobby to hobby without ever getting too deep into any of them. This prevents me from any sort of mastery, and it is a constant struggle.

When I started training in mixed martial arts, all those other hobbies seemed to just fade away. The clarity of vision and sense of completeness before, during, and after training is unique.

And you must focus. If you stroll into sparring with a wandering mind, it could be a rough day for you. I’ve experienced that.

The system tells us to relax, have a good time, stop having kids, avoid stress, and leave life up to the authorities.

Don’t worry about your future- it’s in good hands.

Instead, let’s keep it simple. Be George Costanza.

Do the opposite.

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Build Your Foundation

“AT LEAST YOU HAVE YOUR HEALTH”

Isn’t this the typical response when misfortune strikes and others seek to console you in the barest minimum way possible? I’ve heard it too many times to count. Everything falls apart, everybody sucks….but at least you have your health.

But, do you?

If the standard of “health” is “drawing enough oxygen to support a pulse”, then yes, you have your health. Is that the standard we should hold ourselves to? I don’t think so.

Far more common is to be clearly UNhealthy and either be void of possessions or have an excess of them. I bet if you took the vast majority of big, shiny vehicles or houses you see and compared them to the physical state of their owners, you’d see the stark contrast. The “toys” are immaculately kept and the owners are one can of pop away from massive heart attack.

People are willing to bury themselves up to their eyeballs in high-interest debt to live what they’ve been told is a good life, yet sacrifice the most essential ingredient of living a good life- LIVING.

What good are all those toys if you keel over and die climbing into your $60,000 truck? Sure, your kids (or dogs and cats, these days; children take away from selfish pursuits) could inherit them, but likely all they’ve gained is a pile of depreciated goods, a mountain of debt, and poor lifestyle habits.

If buying shiny toys is your thing, fine. But why not care for your body as well? Invest time in your physical well-being and live long enough to enjoy the rewards of all your hard work.

Your body is the foundation of who you are. If you are religious, then the body is the vessel for the soul. If you are a Darwinian, then consciousness is simply the result of random brain activity….which is part of the body, so it pays to keep it functioning until the lights go out. Its part of the foundation. Any way you cut it, it all starts with physical well-being.

Being healthier physically strengthens you mentally, both in self-image and fortitude. Once you’ve endured the physical strain and discipline required to change your body, life’s little stresses seem far less critical. You become capable of dealing with much more.

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Versus the World

Wake up before everyone else.

This is a way to get a major edge in your training, and your life. If you work a day shift, get up before the sun and get your workout done for the day. Take your shower. Have your coffee. Check all your news. By the time you get to work, it feels like you’ve paid yourself first, because you have. YOU get first dibs on your time, not your job.

You should try to get a lot of sleep, but sometimes life does its thing and you get to bed late. Get up early anyway. During these less-than-stellar mornings where motivation lags, I always have a go-to motivation: it’s me versus the world, and my enemies are asleep while I’m getting better.

Obviously, (most) people aren’t my enemies, but when I adopt this mindset, it kicks in the drive and I’m 100% invested in the workout, despite how tired I am.

This also applies if I’m on an afternoon shift. Getting off work at midnight, it’s tempting to crack a beer and collapse in front of the tv. Instead, I lift and sprint. While my enemies are getting fatter, weaker, and more unhealthy, I am improving. Plus, there’s something extremely peaceful about completing 20 hill sprints under the stars.

While you may have different motivational triggers, remember this: very few people actually care about your situation. Most people are indifferent at best, despite their feigned interest on social media. Additionally, most major industries actively (and handsomely) profit by making you and keeping you broke, indebted, weak, and unhealthy.

So it IS essentially you versus the world, from a certain point of view.

Make sure you have the edge you need to win.

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The Hardest Step

“All I see are a bunch of low foreheads who think they can change the world with dreams and talk. If you’re not ready to act, give me a break, and shut up.” – Benjamin A. Richards

The above quote is a favorite of mine. It can be applied to every aspect of our lives. Anytime I find myself hemming and hawing and wavering on a decision (which is far more than I’d like), I think of this quote.

No matter how good you plan, how well you prepare, how perfect your setup is, it’s all worthless unless you ACT. This is true in relationships, business, and especially fitness. You can make all sorts of plans for the New Year, or the beach body, or bulking over the winter, but if you don’t act on them, or quit after a week, they’re worthless. Typically, obsessing over perfection is a convenient excuse to cover for your fear of action. I know, I have done it.

So don’t obsess over needing to have everything perfect in a workout plan. At the end of the day, the only one that works for you is the one you stick with.

So choose a path, (or by all means, find a guide!) and act on the plan. Sometimes the hardest step is that first step. Take it.

Find Your Path