The world is built by inspired people. Why is this? The other day I wrote an article about Napoleon Bonaparte. One of the themes you’ll find in reading about Napoleon, is his boundless energy. When he wasn’t orating, he was studying. There weren’t days where he slept in. Where he was overwhelmed, or lazy.
His energy wasn’t the result of a caffein dependance. He didn’t have any tricks that allowed him to study more than anyone else, or to work harder, and with more passion that any of his comrades. His energy was the result of his inspiration.
Enthusiasm gives us super-powers. It’s always those who are incredibly motivated to reach great heights, that reach those heights. They do what’s necessary to get there, yes, but they’re aided by an unexplainable force. A force that made me jump out of bed this morning, and has helped me sit in the same seat for 4 hours, seemingly without blinking. It’s excitement, inspiration, and enthusiasm wrapped up in a perfect storm of kick-assery.
Are you reading this, wondering why the hell you’re not as enthusiastic about your job, or your life? Are you jealous of little old Napoleon? Well, my enthusiasm isn’t necessarily innate. It’s not something I’m born with, and the more I read up on Mr. Bonaparte, I realize it’s not something he’s born with either.
Energy, enthusiasm, and motivation is practiced. It can be perfected. But it doesn’t happen by chance. I didn’t have this same level of enthusiasm last week, because I wasn’t following the same routine. The same habits weren’t followed, so the results couldn’t exist.
Habitual Greatness: Writing the Legend of Your Life
Before I even started this article, or the newsletter that came before it, I spent 2 hours planning my life; writing my script. I woke up inspired, because I was excited to write and plan what I’m going to accomplish.
Knowing that you can accomplish anything, but having the humility to understand that the most important things in life take a crap load of work and dedication, is a great mindset to have.
But to know something, you need proof. And how are you going to truly know you can accomplish anything you truly set your mind to, unless you actually go out and do it? You won’t. You’ll have faith, which is a powerful thing, especially to any entrepreneur, or person embarking on a mission like transforming their body.
I relate building your ideal body to building a business. When you first start a business there’s a lot of risk. You know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and you have faith that your smarts and hard work will one day pay off, but a lot of times you’re on an island. Even the people who are closest to you might not fully see the upside, or the reason why you’re trying to take the road less travelled. But you do.
A quick story behind this picture – the other 2 photos in the sequence can be found on my facebook page:
To make a long story short, this is a man-made water slide on the side of a mountain on a nice man’s beautiful property in Maui. My reasoning: well, I may as well try and go as fast as I possibly can. Makes sense right? As you can see, I went flying off the side of the “slide” and proceeded to skid along the gravel that surrounded the man-made pool at the end of the slide.
The lesson: if you’re going to do something, you may as well go all out.
Ol’ Ebenezer Scrooge had a bit too much of it. But a healthy amount of greed – or ambition – is a good thing.
A Healthy Amount of Greed
An unhealthy amount of greed can ruin a life. It can blind a person to everything around them that is good, and fix their focus on wanting more of something they don’t need. But, a healthy amount of greed – which you could also call desire, or ambition – can help a person persevere and achieve all that they strive for. Healthy greed also means knowing when to quit.
Instead of reaching for the stars we often reach for the nearest branch.
Something that I’ve heard all throughout high school, college, and into the work force – that is also prevalent in the fitness industry – is that you should be setting ‘attainable’ goals. Bullshit.
When it comes to fitness, most things you desire are attainable if you’re truly prepared to put the work in, but also prepared to fail a lot, but continue to persevere.
The thing is, people rarely go after all that they want. They go after something that they want, yes, but a goal that won’t take too much dedication.
Am I saying to not set attainable goals? No. What I am saying is have an ultimate end goal, then set shorter, more attainable goals along the way. I’m also saying to not shortchange yourself. If you have an incredible dream, and you fall just short, you’re going to be a hell of a lot more satisfied and happy in failure, than you would be in achieving something that wasn’t all that hard to do.
You can’t wait for things to happen. If you want it, you have to take it.
I’m writing this from both personal experience and experiences with clients. There seems to be a few constants keeping all of us from reaching our goals. Once we change these obstacles it’s like we’ve broken through a wall, our training becomes more intense, we find it easier to follow our meal plans and we actually see our goals when we had previously fallen short.
1. You have a goal, but no reason.
Having a goal without a clearly defined and emotional reason to strive for it is useless, it’s empty. Goals and dreams are great and wonderful things to have, but unless we’re staying motivated, unless we understand why we’re working everyday to make them a reality, they have no meaning to them and they’ fizzle out.
Set a goal, write it down, then underneath write the emotional reason why you want more than anything else to reach this goal. Make it emotional, make it about life and death, about your family, about your greatest wants and desires, make it about those whom you care about most.
Having this emotional reason attached to a goal makes it much more than just something you want to get done. It makes it a mission that nothing will stop you from succeeding at.
I could’ve put a picture of Rocky Marciano here as well. I’m not sure if either him or Jack Dempsey ever took a step back in the ring.
“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards.”
I’m going to take a break from the “Build the Body Women Want” series and give you guys this article. I’ll be back with the chest and back part to that series later this week.
I think a lot of us look at the low points in our lives as the moments that are going to build our character, and they definitely are, but sometimes it’s those moments when things are going better than ever will ultimately show us more about what kind of person we are.
I’ve mentioned it before but I think it’s a great piece of advice from my Dad who has said it on numerous occasions, “don’t get too low when things are bad or too high when things are going well.” I think a lot of that speaks to what kind of character a person has. They are who they are whether or not they literally can’t lose, or if the shit’s hitting the fan.
You hear it all the time, people changing when they ‘make it’. When they get to where they’ve always wanted to be they feel as though they have to act like someone who has it all, and completely forget about the outlook on life and the values that got them to this successful period in their lives.
This can apply to work, social life, family and yes, training and fitness…
When a lot of us get the body we’ve always wanted, or get in great shape, we figure we’re done, we’re here and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Or when we begin to see some visible gains, we figure we’re allowed to cheat a bit more because, well, we’ve earned it. Read the rest of this entry »