Don’t Settle

Don’t Settle

Don’t Accept Good Enough.3484457206_f75b936449_b

I was checking out this little podcast the other day hosted by Tim Ferriss, maybe you’ve heard of him? If not you should check him out, he typically has several interesting guests from Arnold to Tony Robbins, Kevin Costner, and many more…

Anyway, this particular podcast was on gymnastics strength training, mainly because it peaked my interest for the rings aspect, but I got so much more.

Right off the bat, several good quotes and thoughts for pondering, this alone made it worth a listen!

One of the many great quotes was “You find it acceptable you can’t lift your arms over your head anymore?” I kind of sat back, chuckled along with the podcast guest(who’s laugh was more out of disbelief than anything) and then thought to myself “Holy crap! People actually think like this!!”

And by people, I mean all of us…

My mind immediately jumped back to a time when I had another fitness instructor come to me for help on getting fit(funny right, no, this actually happens a lot!). The first warning sign should’ve been the words that came out of their mouth “nobody knows I’m doing this, and I don’t want anyone to find out.”

Hold The Phone.

Why is this a warning sign you may wonder… well, this could be for a few different reasons…

1.) They were embarrassed they had to go to someone to get back to somewhere she once got on her own. And I get that, but I’m open about the fact that I personally go and “get trained” by someone else on a somewhat regular basis, after all, if you’re not learning you’re not growing.

2.) They didn’t want anyone to remind them of their failure in case it actually happened.(and sadly, in this case, it did)

Now, this person set an ambitious goal, lose 60 pounds in about 5 months. The biggest problem here was not the goal, it’s never the goal that’s the problem… This came down to commitment, to taking personal responsibility to do what was required to lose that weight.

The initial attitude leading up to everything that caused the condition this person was remedying all stemmed from one thing, they let “good enough” be, well, good enough.

It’s like being up sh*t creek without a paddle, sitting back and hoping the current(which brought you here) would somehow magically reverse and take you back to a happy time and place where everything was perfect(probably never happened) and you get everything you want with no extra work, period.

Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.

Back to this example and why the podcast reminded me of something I’d almost entirely forgotten about(after all, my memory sucks, this is why I have notebooks!)

When we were going through the initial screen I do with all my new clients we had to stop before the first movement(an overhead squat with a wooden dowel. They couldn’t get their right arm over their head… in fact, they couldn’t even get their elbow past their shoulder!

What happened next floored me..

(I’ve paraphrased the actual conversation)

Them: That happened about 6 months ago.
Me: Anything specific that caused it?
Them: No, it just stopped working one day, and it hasn’t worked since…
Me: Did you to to the doctor to get it checked out?
Them: No

And basically overnight this became reality for them…

Don’t think I’m trying to demean anyone or say they’re a terrible human being or anything like that.

What my point is is this – we get to busy, too busy, and things that should take precedence fall by the wayside and get forgotten about without a hint of trying to do anything whatsoever to make a change.

Now, for this individuals full time job, they didn’t “need” that mobility, nor for their chosen fitness classes they ran due to the seated, pedaling nature of it.

The sad truth of all this is that we have a willingness to accept bad things as they happen to us and not do anything to get us out of the situation. You can look up all kinds of “reasons” this, go to any motivational speaker’s YouTube or talk to a psychologist and you’ll get a boat load of information, but it can be broken down quite simply into a single statement.

6745856509_ab796acc4f_bYou Have To Have Standards

“If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.” – Tony Robbins

Everyone has standards, and when it comes to our body, most everyone sets them low.

Something I heard a while ago is that if you really want something to change, you need to make it a must. After all, everyone has wants and needs, but not everyone has musts for themselves in the areas that count or could make a difference.

I’m far from the person to get all preachy about this whole thing, mainly because I am too hard on myself and don’t set my standards high enough most of the time. I realize this, and typically get someone else involved to start pushing me to change.

However you look at it, whatever words you want to use to describe it, you have to raise your standards or nothing will change.

If you’ve got nothing else from this post, take away the above statement. You’ll improve in your business, personal, spiritual, hell, any area of your life you want to improve will happen because of a change of mindset. An unwillingness to accept the fact that when things happen you have the power to change them and the excuses(“reasons”) you’ve been telling yourself are truly the only thing stopping you from improving… but you have to have standards or none of it matters.

 

Motivation means nothing without the right mindset, you can be motivated but telling yourself the wrong story about why you are where you are and nothing will change… you can be motivated and have a terrible strategy that doesn’t match your standards, and if you’re state(physical/emotional) is down & drab motivation won’t save you…

So, how do you get out of the killer mindset and find your way?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What am I going to focus on?
    -Focus = Feeling
    -Past/Present/Future
    -Self or others
  2. What does it mean?
    -Is it the end or the beginning? Are you being punished or rewarded?
  3. What are you going to do?
    -Are you going to give up or move forward?

Once you can truthfully answer these questions it will be much easier to get in the right frame of mind and stop just accepting things as they happen to you. You will start thinking of new, creative, ways to have a breakthrough and continue to push yourself to new levels. If you chose not to, and are happy being content with an attitude of mediocrity, more power to you… but at least you have the tools you need to push through and explore your potential if you so choose.

Stay Strong My Friends!

~Justin

FAILURE. Why It’s Not As Bad As You Think(for your success)

Everyone gets knocked down every once in awhile

Some of us get knocked down more than others, heck, some of us even get kicked and beat down while we’re there.(I know it always seems like I’m part of this last group myself)

Even the word, “failure”, causes some physical discomfort in most of us just at the sound of it(or sight of it)!

But here’s the thing.

It doesn’t have to be that bad…

If truly want something, something so important to you that you couldn’t imagine your life without this “thing”, this goal, it’ just like breathing, you can’t give up…

If you really want something, there’s nothing that will stop you from accomplishing your goal. This goes for anything – Fitness, Business, Personal, Financial, Martial Arts(and this is where I learned from).

If you truly want it,you will find a way to endure through the knock downs, kicks to the face, insults, defeats, and negative thoughts to pull through stronger than when you started.

We’ve All Heard This From Every Motivational Speaker EVER…

…And it’s fairly common knowledge…

The Trick Is This.

It’s all in your thought process….

Most people quit before they even try.

So think about the act of just starting, this puts you ahead of the curve. Your chances of success are so much higher than you even think!

And therein lies the secret… that once you get started, you need to stay in the game long enough to see the results. If you think about it, out of the other people that started “at the same time” as you, most will quit at their first obstacle. Or the second, or heck, most people quit inches from the finish line!

So if you just keep moving, working through the obstacles, it will eventually put you right where you want to be.

I always tell everyone when we’re doing timed training sessions that right about the point you want to give up is when there’s only about 5 seconds left. So when I’m telling them “keep holding it” or “keep going, you’re almost there!” I’m not just saying it to make noise, it’s an analogy for life… right when you’re ready to quit, if you hold on just slightly(italicise) longer, whatever you’re experiencing will be over.

One of my favorite quotes is from Les Brown, and I have to remind myself of this(constantly)

“No matter how bad it is, or how bad it gets, I’m going to make it. Say that to yourself every day”

After all, there’s a reason these obstacles are in your way…

You need to become the “better” person you want to be after your goal is achieved BEFORE you get there.

And it happens in small steps, so miniscule you won’t notice a difference until one day you’re there, and it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was when you set out.

Nothing worth having in life is easy.

You may need to be more disciplined, more confident, a more creative thinker, increase your knowledge… really, there is so many things involved with succeeding at just ONE THING that it’s no wonder most people just give up at the first sign of trouble.

The one thing you should take away is this, it’s the ones that persevere who succeed. And to do that, you need to be comfortable with failing and being uncomfortable.

You need to learn to use your failures to your advantage by learning something every time you miss a goal or deadline. The great thing about fitness training is if we miss something we were going for, our body naturally prepares to do ‘more’ the next time you attempt it. It’s literally built into our dna, it’s as natural as breathing, you seriously don’t even need to think about it, it just happens!

“It’s not what we get that makes us happy, it’s who we become… how we live our life, who we are as a person, people can take away all the things, but who you become no one can take away”  -Tony Robins

We have 5 Tenants we work on in Hapkido that you would be wise to try embody.

Courtesy
Integrity
Perseverance
Self-Control
Indomitable Spirit

None is less important than the other.

If you are not courteous and lack integrity you will be alone on your journey. Sometimes when you’re down and out, you need someone there to encourage you. You can’t accomplish that if you’re a complete a$$ hole… just sayin.

You need to have Self-Control, so when your emotions take over you can remind yourself that it’s only one day, the sun will rise tomorrow morning and you will have a fresh opportunity to start new. Self-Control leads way to Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit…

Without Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit, you will never endure long enough through the rest of the setbacks, trash talkers, and general negativity of life.

Now, I am FAR from the absolute best person to speak on this subject, but I feel personally and professionally I’ve survived a lot, especially since opening PostFit(2 ½ years ago at the time of this writing).

I’ve had months where I couldn’t pay all my bills. Recently, a banking error put me out $800(plus late fees), and that wasn’t even my fault! But hey, things happen, and it put me behind (again) when this last summer has really been the only time I’ve been “ahead” since I opened. (ahead means no more living off Top Ramen, PB&J, and sneaking in healthy foods where I can afford them…)

After all, it was only a little less than a year ago I quit my second job and started supporting myself off what I built, so you can imagine it didn’t feel good to be almost back in that position again. But i’m still ahead, and I still love what I do and the people I get to work with.

And I really have my amazing girlfriend to thank for most of my success as of late, mainly because she helps me up when something knocks me down, and that’s huge. It definitely helps to have someone put things in perspective for you.

Never underestimate the power of someone encouraging you because they see the best in you. If you don’t have that person in your life, that needs to be your number one goal before you do anything else. Trust me, I’ve been kept from closing the doors on more than one occasion by encouraging words and some emotional support. You can get pretty low when you’ve missed your goals for so long.

In fact, not so long ago(okay, very recently) I spent a large sum of money and even larger amount of time on finally getting my kettlebell certification.

I worked like hell to get ready for that damn thing(5 days a week). I tore up my hands from training so hard, and aches and pains became a part of life(so did my kettlebell – I actually took it on trips with me so I didn’t miss any training). And even though I felt better than I have in a while about having the skills to pass the physical requirements, when it came time for the cert, I failed….

I was literally just a few kettlebell snatches away from holding my certificate and fancy instructor t-shirt in my hand and being able to say I did it…

Here’s the kicker.(and why I decided to write this)

I had a 14 ½ hour drive home after that because I couldn’t afford to fly to Philly for the weekend. I also couldn’t afford a hotel, so I camped(it wasn’t all bad, campground was on the Brandywine Creek). Honestly, I had just enough cash for fuel to make it back home with $10 to spare. (literally, that’s all I had left between my accounts and cash in hand).

Normally, that wouldn’t have bothered me, but imagine sitting by yourself for that long after failing at something you had worked so hard for, something that you put all of your spare time into working for so you could succeed only to fail… and then remember that on top of that, you’re near broke(thankfully bills were paid) AND you’re not where you planned on being with your business goals when you set out for this fun little adventure.

I was not a happy camper to say the least(no pun intended). I mean I really hate losing, more than anything else, it’s a flaw of mine I’ve been working on for a while, and I’ve had to walk away from some things in the past because it would’ve become an unhealthy obsession…

Naturally, I thought about quitting. I mean, after all, how can I expect the people I train to do something I cannot do myself? That’s how I think anyway… but after much time spent sulking and throwing the most epic pity party you can throw yourself in a VW Golf (and sitting through Chicago traffic!)…

I came to the decision that if I gave up on this, all the work I put in would be for naught and I just wasted the last 2 plus years of my life, and wasted everyone else’s time that I’ve worked with over the years… I also couldn’t bring myself to break promises to that many people that I’ve come to feel are like family to me…

Here’s where the real magic happened…

At some point, I reminded myself of WHY I started.

To help people.

Not for money, or bragging rights, or anything else stupid like that… I got into this to help people who, like me, aren’t always the first picked, most athletic, impressive looking(or performing) human beings, but they will work damn hard to get better than where they were yesterday…. and mainly, to help encourage them like very few others had done for me in the past. Come on, everyone needs a cheerleader sometimes!

Which Brings Us To The Last Thing – Be A Little Stubborn.

I’d like to think part of what got me to where I’m at now is being pig headed enough that no matter what I do, I HATE leaving things unfinished(quitting). It physically pains me and wakes me out of a dead sleep sometimes thinking of things I started and didn’t finish…

I hate losing, at anything(can you tell I hate losing?) – this is why I won’t go to casinos…

It might pay to have some of that same attitude and feeling of disgust toward failure that I have, although it can be unhealthy… But keep reminding yourself that it’s okay to miss a goal every once in awhile. Heck, I re-did my snatch test this past weekend and I’m officially certified level 1 instructor through Strong First…

So go ahead, suck for a while. Fail a bunch of times and find your weak points and try to improve on them.

“I’ll be happy when I just… just what? You’ve got to be a dreamer, you’ve got to see the future finished in advance. Happiness doesn’t come from big pieces of great success, but from small advantages hammered out day by day” – Jim Rohn

I always keep this in mind when training – You work on your weak points in practice, but you play with your strengths. If you elevate your absolute WORST qualities, everything else will get better(mine is kettlebell snatches…)

Pick one thing to improve from your last “failed” diet or workout program. Maybe you didn’t make it into the gym like you planned, so plan to go for less days, start with less time at the gym, set yourself up for success where you previously failed. Do the things you’re good at more often and use those habits to replace the bad ones then slowly start adding in the next best thing, then the next, then the next, until all of a sudden you’re there!

It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be consistent, and it has to make sense for you. After all, you’re who these goals are about anyway…

Stay Strong My Friends!

~Justin

P.S. If you read this far, here’s a link to the video I snagged some of these quotes from. I’d recommend checking some of these guys out(outside this video).