Healthy Spring

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With the coming of spring there is new life, new joy and hopefully a new start at healthy living. Those Christmas hams and Thanksgiving pies have stuffed most of us to the gills. Well, that is what should be expected when visiting family and friends. Your aunt would probably be upset if you didn’t eat her casserole. Gaining a few pounds over the holidays is normal. Losing it before spring break is exceptional.  Time to get back into the groove, back into the gym, and back on the mat.
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Gym memberships can be expensive if you want to workout in a top of the line facility. All the amenities could be worth it – depending on what you’re looking for in a gym. The most affordable packages – like what you would find in a place like Planet Fitness – could be great if you know specifically what you want to work out on and how long you would need to go at it. For instance, I’ve been a personal trainer and I could do over a dozen exercises to transform my body with just a bench, a 45 pound bar and two to four 45 pound plates. I’m good at getting a lot out of a little. If the treadmills are all filled up, grab a jump rope and get to skipping. It’s a better exercise in my opinion anyway.

High quality gyms will likely have everything from yoga classes, to spin classes, zumba, swimming pools, basketball courts, and maybe even a sauna. You’d be paying for a lot of that in your membership of course. Best to make the most out of it.  

Yoga is one of my favorite exercises. It’s simple to do do, it takes only 30 minutes to an hour. It’s low impact, and yes – it’s basically stretching. You won’t get super big arms or a wide chest by stretching on the mat but you will burn calories, gain flexibility and possibly even some peace of mind under the right yoga teacher.

Hit the floor. Push ups are my favorite although it now takes me about 100 reps to even begin feeling like I’m making gains. It’s free, you can do them virtually anywhere. Sit ups are about the same – takes a lot for me to feel gain. And pull ups are great although you can’t just do them anywhere. Calisthenics – that’s how your great grandfather got in shape and he was a tough old bird.

American men typically feel the pressure to have a perfected masculine body. Arms, abs, pecs, calves, thighs and whatever else makes women drop their jaws. What’s most important is that you have a body type that makes you feel happy and healthy. There are many routes to take but it’s up to you to travel the road to a healthier you. Don’t forget that you could even make a difference just by cutting out a lot of crappy foods from your diet. Think of all the beer, pizza, soda, and late night Junior bacon cheeseburgers that you could avoid to trim off a few pounds. Do it for your virility.

Don’t bore us

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Don’t be boring.  Don’t be unimaginative.  Doesn’t matter what you do, just don’t be bland, lifeless, un-human and boring.  The cow that’s chewing on its cud…that’s not your power animal.  Boring people are terrible to be around.  Sure, boring is safe, and it may be reasonable but it’s barely alive.

You can avoid being boring by becoming more interesting, by becoming more interested in the things and people around you.  People who go to bars and public spaces while staring at their phones the entire time are boring.  People who get off from work and park in front of the television for the rest of the day, are boring.  People whose only care is their compulsory selfies, self image, and personal agenda; you guessed it – boring.

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Being imaginative involves considering the many possibilities and backstories of the people you don’t know, the places you haven’t been and crafting stories of what might be and what could be.  You will only be limited by your imagination.  Your growth depends on it.  Think of what Oscar Wilde meant when he said, “Anyone who lives within their means, suffers from a lack of imagination.”

Being interesting and imaginative makes up for many things you could lack in financial or social resources.  It allows you be a better storyteller, makes you someone people want to be around, to help, to invest their time and emotion.  Imaginative children capture our hearts and remind us of the endless possibilities we once believed in.  Imaginative leaders rule the world.

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Be fun, because there aren’t ever enough interesting people in a given setting.  Your power animal should be more like a cat riding a unicorn flying over a rainbow.  That’s a power animal that’s virtually limitless.  Limited only to your imagination.  My power animal is a griffin that shoots laser beams out of it’s eyes, breathes fire and poops solid gold bars.  Yeah, I went there and you should too, perhaps even further if you can.  Be that guy who has a vast knowledge of the world and of people.  Be whatever you want to be.  Just don’t be boring for everyones sake.

Share your interests with the world and learn what other people are passionate about too.  There’s only one you that will ever be.  Be the greatest version of yourself imaginable.

Finish Strong

As you may have guessed, it’s not enough to start something, no matter how honest the intentions of completing, if you do not finish – and finish strong. Assuming that what you set out to do is noble, good and just – it may mean little to nothing if you do not finish.

Exceptions to the rule are great leaders whose movements were seen through posthomously. But, this would not typically apply to every man, common or extraordinary that lives today. Finishing with gusto makes your accomplishments memorable. Finishing with honors makes your efforts noteworthy. And seeing a job through is what separates manager from leaders. It’s all in the execution. The follow through.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because even if you’ve never heard it before – there is surely something within you that knows that completing with gusto is where the glory lies. It’s where Flutie beats Miami. It’s where Tyson wins his first belt. Suppose it never occurred to you to not only finish, but to finish strong – take a gander at what it will take.
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1. An unrelenting desire to succeed : This means becoming obsessed with your desired outcome to the brink of insanity. You must finish, there’s no other option for you. You decide that you have to prevail in the face of all adversity that could possibly occur.

2. A commitment to whatever discipline it will take for you to be a champion. Cutting out friends, or vices, reading a new book, trying a new technique all in the name of victory. A “Whatever it takes” attitude is embedded in the DNA of every true champion. Boundaries and borders simply do not exist.
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3. A vision of yourself winning the gold, beating the champ, coming out alive and well. This means believing in yourself, in your training, and in your abilities. See it, believe it, then get out and do it.

4. Wrestling with fear : You should not pretend that you aren’t afraid, you should acknowledge it and then wrestle with it. Banish it into the farthest recesses of your mind. There will be fear that you will lose, fear that you will be embarrassed, fear that you will fail or lose the money that you borrowed, or begged for. Fear of letting your parents down or your children, or your employees. But you must wrestle with it, pin it down, and continue in the direction of your glory.
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And why do all of this? Why prepare so intensely? You know your reasons for doing what you do. If you don’t know your reasons why, then discover them now. Let them speak to you before you tuck yourself into bed at night. They can be selfish, they can be altruistic, they can be emotional, and they can be ideological. So long as they serve to spur you on when nothing is left ‘cept the will which says to them, hold on!

Step to the Champ

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I came in the ring with one thing.  On my mind, was the prize, and it was time.  Think you could ever block my shine??  Boy Please!  I’ll first round KO you, you’ll end up on your knees.  You’d better hope I slip and choke.  Because my jab jab cross, really aint no joke.  I can see you’re shook, look how you flinch when I dip, slip and hook.
Oh the pain won’t stop coming, and your cut man can’t save you.  This leather is flying and humming, these pop shots might daze you. 

You came to dance with the devil, but your feet can’t keep up.  I’ll pull when you push and meet with this right uppercut!  You’re wobbling and woozy.  This fight won’t last long.  This young man’s a doosey.  I can’t lose, I’m too strong!!  Light bulbs are flashing to capture the moment.  The world’s watching me beat and outclass my opponent.  Did you think you’d survive?  Here’s a story to tell.  You wouldn’t last a snowball’s best chance in hell.  Your nose is all bloody, your face starts to swell.  You’re stammering, I’m hammering, and countering well.  image

This shouldn’t go on, your corner should quit.  Just throw in the towel, you can’t chew all you’ve bit.  Now your breathing is harder, your punches are slower.  You’re back is on the ropes, you’re getting mowed over.  I’m pressing the gas, I’m gunning much harder.  This once was a fight, but now it’s a slaughter.  The crowd cheering on, they’re begging for more.  I connect with your chin and you crash to the floor.  The building goes crazy, the people all chant.  My corner’s ecstatic, they scream I’m the champ.  It was easy to me, was really no fuss.  Another one challenged, has bitten the dust.
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Speak Up!!

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Spit it out! Come on man, out with it already!  Just say what you’re thinking and say what you feel. You know the people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter don’t mind. This whole world is more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. Don’t be a little mouse, go ahead and roar if you’ve got it in you. And I know you have it in you, because it’s in all of us.
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Get your hands out of your pocket, look your audience in the eyes, and….speak. You don’t have to yell, but you certainly shouldn’t whisper. To command your language and to touch and influence people with your words is almost a God-like quality. Left in the wrong “hands” that power can have a catastrophic effect on everyone it touches. Properly wielded by a competent leader, it can raise us all to new heights. Just don’t sit there idle. Get up and contribute to the history of humanity by delivering your message to your people. Win them over again, and draw new members into your audience.

If you want to get better at public speaking or at leading your troops, convincing your friends, or influencing your co-workers; then you can try your hand at the helm of a public speaking group.
There you can master the skills necessary to be a wildly effective communicator. It is the most supportive place to fall flat on your face. People come holding on to notes, stumbling over words, and barely able to make eye contact with others. Only to emerge as master communicators able to shock, humor, and inspire an audience to dear nearly whatever they wish. When your skills are honed, they show up in other areas as well.
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A few weeks into the group, I stopped taking shit from my boss. As you would learn as well; to stick up for yourself, to lt yourself be heard; it automatically commands respect from those around you. You may also find that you have better luck with women. Making eye contact and being confident in what you’re saying, even if it’s just nonsense is apparently a turn on to women. Women who have been consistently approached by men who lack confidence in themselves, and even who don’t have the confidence to approach will see that you have a leg up on those communication puny’s.

My favorite public speaking group is Toastmasters. There you will find business owners, executives, and all sorts of leaders from varying backgrounds. Everyone there is invested in your success and will encourage you to apply yourself and sharpen your skills. Every once in a while, I like to try something that I’ve never done before. Whether it be an improv class, a painting class, or a yoga class I show up, because it’s just that one little thing added to your arsenal of skills and abilities that will continue to push you to the top. You’ll be more well rounded, fearless, bold, and unstoppable. Speak up.

The Importance of Appreciation

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Appreciation sets up the foundation for abundance. When you are appreciative for what you have, however little or however much, you become more receptive to the notion that you can have and deserve more. This is because your attitude changes and the possibility for abundance to enter your life is maximized.

Abundance is something you tap into. Appreciation for what you have makes you more cheerful. When you feel good, you are more productive. Money doesn’t make people happy – happy makes money. A miserable human being isn’t someone that strangers want to be around, let alone would like to do business with – thus the opportunity for growth can be stalled until you find something to get more excited about.
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Being appreciative is not the same as contention. Being content is a prescription for stagnation. For some people it is perfectly fine to be content, no 80 year old man wants to keep his nose to the grindstone in the hopes of totally transforming his surroundings. Hopefully the majority of his work is done and he’s built a strong foundation of abundance during his more fruitful years on earth. But being young and content is a sure prescription for things to remain the same for months and years to come. Perish the thought of contention but show your appreciation for your girlfriend, for your friends, for your livelihood, and for your family.

Being appreciative also deters you from taking things for granted. Don’t appreciate your girlfriends cooking? Don’t worry, it’ll happen less and less. Don’t appreciate your son telling you about his day? It’s cool, he grow up thinking you don’t care. Don’t appreciate your buddy who helps you out from time to time when it’s tough to make ends meet? It’s okay, he’ll start thinking you’re a jerk and undeserving. These scenarios may seem extreme but at their essence, they are cause and effect.
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When you appreciate your woman, she in turn bestows her love upon you even more. When you appreciate your son sharing the highlights of his day with you, he continues to look to you for guidance and does things because he wants to make you proud; you could lay the foundation for you two to become best friends. When you appreciate your friends and your network, it grows and so does your influence through them. When you appreciate life, you discover all the things that make life worth living. You see more of the beauty that’s been hiding in plain sight. It’s a matter of perspective which influences your actions which determine your outcome.

Dream Chasers

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The People who dare to think they can change the world are usually the ones who go about doing it. The collective ideas of a small band, when in harmony- harness the power to change perceptions and outcomes. They are the ones who push us forward through small practical steps and big goals and dreams. They are they people who make us believe in our dreams and ourselves as we believe in their leadership and mission.
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The wild ones, the crazy bunch, the dreamers and the dream chasers. Nothing of significance is ever done in the world without these people. For better or worse, it takes a collective vision and unified minds on a common goal to bring about the change we all know is possible of ourselves. When we instill that vision of ourselves through each other- that brighter, shimmering faith of a new day -we plant the seeds that will one day grow into a tree of life or knowledge that others can eat from, find shelter in, and find the courage to plant their own ideas on new ground; foreign or domestic.
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We lay the foundation for the generation behind us to believe that what has been possible for us, can be possible for them and much more. An army is lead into battle with the strength of ten thousand when their morale is high and their personnel is low. One hundred unified, focused, driven warriors can accomplish more in one swoop than 300 hundred simply trying to fulfill their own selfish desires. Or ten thousand fools without a plan, or aim, or direction.

The power in organizing your thoughts, your mission, and your team gives you a multiplying effect. Ask General Napoleon, “The morale is to the physical as three to one” , and disrupting the culture, shaking up the status quo requires the same spiritual, intensity as storming the beaches of Normandy and digging a trench on the frontline.
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The world is ours and the future belongs to those who believe they have a place in it and would dare muster the gall to see their sound plans play-out through action. We are the people who dare to think we can change the world, and it’s for that reason that we will. We are relentless, we are unstoppable, we are fearless and we cannot lose. We’ve come from nothing and have already risen over the deficit we were born into. We may be small, but we have the power of the hulk. We’ll set new standards and raise precedents – letting the world know that we have brighter days ahead.