-I started my business during a recession.
-I met my wife in a trailer park. (that would be a great country song)
-Some of the best times in my life were times when I’ve been exhausted, dirty, and in pain.
Why am I sharing all this weirdness with you? Because too many people let their circumstances determine their happiness and what they are able to accomplish.
They become victims of what is known as learned helplessness. This is a term coined by Martin Seligman, a psychologist who specializes in positive psychology. My kind of dude.
Learned helplessness is when someone repeatedly experiences something negative that they cannot escape or avoid. That leads to the person giving up even when they can escape or avoid the negatives in life. They feel like they have no control over the situation.
When bad things happen in your life, how do you react? Do you automatically give in and resign yourself to the outcome? Or are you prepared to fight and overcome?
You can begin escaping this helpless feeling by asking yourself 3 questions next time something bad happens. These are questions from Daniel H. Pink’s book “To Sell Is Human”.
Here are the questions with some bad and better responses for examples:
1. Is this permanent?
Bad response: Yes. I hurt my knee, I will never be able to exercise again.
Better response: No. I may have to scale things back, but I will be as active as I can until I recover.
2. Is this pervasive? (pervasive means it’s everywhere)
Bad response: Yes. Everyone who takes fitness classes is narcissistic and rude.
Better response: No. Maybe it was just that one particular lady I was next to in class.
3. Is this personal?
Bad response: Yes. My coach picked on me because he doesn’t like me.
Better response: No. My coach showed me extra attention today because he was helping me with my form.
The main point is take back control of your life. You do have control of a great many things in your life. Attitude and effort are two of the most important things you control.
Bloom where you are planted, stay positive, and don’t let life’s ups and downs that are out of your control keep you down. You never know what that bad thing in your life might lead to if you have the right attitude. Might even find love in the trailer park like all the greats do.
“If you can’ get out of your head, get into your body.”
That quote is not to be confused with that sweet, Billy Ocean song from back in the day.
Do you know what the most common mental disorder in America is? It is estimated that 40 million Americans (about 18% of our population) are effected by anxiety. That is a lot of worry going on out there!
This worrying can go from regular worrying (paying bills, kid’s grades, worried about being overweight, etc...) to worry and anxiety that can cripple you. For the crippling kind of worry, professional help is the best option for you.
But for the regular anxiety, I wanted to share two things that really help me. The first thing relates back to the quote I started this with. Get out and move!
For me, intense exercise can make me forget all of my troubles. When someone is trying to choke me in jiujitsu, I am not worried about paying my mortgage. For some people, going for a run is instant therapy. Try to turn your brain off and let your body take over, you will get some temporary relief at the very least.
The second thing I recommend is the AAA philosophy.
I have preached this for years because it works! When you worry about something, what happens? The problems gets bigger, uglier and more insurmountable. That is not helping anybody.
That is why you need to do something about it! Even something small, can make you feel so much better. Because now you are back in control. You are not passively letting life happen to you.
You can set one of those mini-goals that I talked about on Wednesday. You could start a food journal. You could go for a short walk. The main thing is to stop worrying and start doing.
I guarantee you will feel so much better because it will give you hope. And you can go a long way with just a little bit of hope.
Take action today.
I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast yesterday and he started talking about the importance of doing things you are not good at. He said it was crucial to become a beginner at something again.
That seems like a rough way to treat yourself, but I completely agree. It is good for you brain and your body to try things that are out of your comfort zone.
Never was this more alive to me than when I went sky diving for the first time last weekend. Check out that picture! Here is another one:
It was definitely out of my comfort zone, considering I don’t like heights or flying. But when your wife surprises you with the opportunity on your 40th birthday, you jump at the chance. No pun intended.
And it was amazing! That first picture is from the free fall, where you are flying through the air like Superman. An unreal feeling that I wish everyone could experience.
Was it comfortable? No. Was I nervous? My palms still sweat thinking about it. But I am so glad I did it. My life was literally in someone else’s hands and that someone was a stranger!
Stretching and growing isn’t easy, but it is worth it to get better. I had a speaking engagement a few days later and my wife asked me if I was nervous and I said, “I just jumped out of an airplane, this does not worry me now.”
What are you afraid to do because it is not in your comfort zone? Are you afraid to try something because you are afraid to fail? Don’t be! Look at it as a win, win. If you succeed, awesome! If you don’t, you learn from it.
Your homework for the weekend is take some time and figure out what you need to do to stretch and grow. Lift heavier weights? Try your first 5k? Learn how to swim as an adult? Take up kayaking?
Find something you are a beginner at, stick to it, and continue to challenge yourself! The hardest part is the beginning when you are not good at something. Persevere and you will so glad that you did.
I have just started to listening to the book Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg on CD. Shout out to the public library. It’s full of free stuff!
One story in the book was talked about techniques that recruits use to get through boot camp to become Marines. When things get the absolute worst the recruits are taught to ask each other questions that start with Why.
This sounds a little strange, but there is a method to the madness. Duhigg explains, ”If you can link something hard to a choice you care about, it makes the task easier, Quintanilla’s drill instructors had told him. That’s why they asked each other questions starting with “why.” Make a chore into a meaningful decision, and self-motivation will emerge.”
Quintanilla is a young man who is going through boot camp. During a grueling portion of boot camp called The Crucible his buddy asked him “Why are you doing this?” His reply was, “To become a Marine and build a better life for my family.”
You have to have a Why in your life too. I want to lose weight is not enough. Dig deeper!
-Why do you want to lose weight? To fit back into that dress I haven’t worn in years.
-Why? To feel better about myself.
-Why? So my husband will be attracted to me again. Ding, ding, ding! This is the real Why.
That is a real example that I have experienced. When you get to that deep of a Why, you are almost guaranteed to be successful.
Tie your Why to the mundane task of chopping vegetables, prepping food for the week, or planning meals. Remember your Why when it is cold, your bed is warm but your workout is waiting. Remember your Why when you are shopping for groceries or trying to get through that last set of pushups.
The actual workout part is physical but the mental side is what will keep you going. Put the work in, it is worth your time to discover your true Why.
I had just finished teaching my 830am boot camp, picked up a few groceries, and was getting ready to take nap. Then the phone rang, so I grudgingly got up and answered it.
It was a robo-call from the school that I was only halfway listening to, until it said my son’s name. The message said he was absent from school that day.
My heart almost stopped because it was 10am and my son rides his bike to school every day. He had left the house at 720 that morning. All the doomsday scenarios were running through my head as I hurriedly called the school.
The secretary picked up and confirmed that he was marked as missing from school, but she would send a student aide to his classroom to double check. That was the longest 5 minutes of my life. All I could think of was we should have set up way to know if he gets to school every day and now it was too late.
The secretary gets back on the line and tells me it was a mistake and that the wrong child got marked absent. Such. A. Relief.
I felt like we were given a second chance and now we have a way to know immediately when he is not at school on time. We were able to take action to prevent something bad from happening.
Have you been through something similar with your health? Have you been told by a doctor you need to be more active or ________ will happen? Are you starting to see your strength, mobility, and vitality decline? Do you just feel like crap all the time?
It is not too late to fix that! Heed the warning signs and take action.
So where do you start? Start with this quote:
What is something you do (or don’t do) every day that needs to change? Start there, improve your daily routine, and you will improve your future no matter what condition you are in now.
60%. Almost 2 out of every 3 women has this thought run through her head every single day:
“I am not _________ enough.”
Fill in your own blank, chances are you do this too. I’m not smart enough. I’m not skinny enough. I’m. Not. Enough.
That has to end! Your thoughts become your reality, so why not build yourself up? It is doing you absolutely no good to talk down to yourself.
That is step one, stopping the negative self-talk. And part of step one is catching yourself when you say those things. When you catch yourself, correct it right away.
If it is such a part of your daily routine that you can’t stop saying these negative things, try this. When you say “I am not ______ enough.” Just start adding “Yet” on the end of that sentence.
Step two is your homework. One of the best ways to develop confidence in yourself is to accomplish something you weren’t sure you could do. An unexpected benefit people get from our boot camps is a big confidence boost. They weren’t sure they could make it four weeks, so when they do it is a big deal and something to be celebrated.
What is something you want to do, but you’re not sure you can do it? This is not something you have to do tomorrow. Maybe it is complete your first 5K, get your Master’s degree, or start your own business.
With those goals it is not going to happen overnight. You need to put the time, money, and effort into making it happen. But think about how awesome you would feel when you made it happen!
Why not you? I guarantee you have overcome some hardships and obstacles you weren’t sure you could overcome. Why not you and why not start right now?
You are enough.
Napoleon Hill is probably the third most famous Napoleon, behind only Bonaparte and Dynamite. Napoleon Hill is best known for his book “Think and Grow Rich”.
Included in the book are his six steps for turning your desire for money into actual money. In reading it, I couldn’t help but notice it is also the perfect plan for weight loss .
Like many things, the mental side of weight loss is often the hardest part. I just changed Hill’s money part into a weight loss goal setting plan.
Try these 6 steps to get your mind right, get a game plan, and to increase your chances for success:
First. Fix in your mind the exact amount of weight you desire to lose. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want to lose weight." Be definite as to the amount.
Second. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the weight loss you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.")
Third. Establish a definite date when you intend to lose the weight you desire.
Fourth. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
Fifth. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of weight you intend to lose, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the weight loss, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to lose it.
Sixth. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. AS YOU READ, SEE AND FEEL AND BELIEVE YOURSELF ALREADY HAVING LOST THE WEIGHT.
You can tell this book was written in 1937, but the principles still stand true today. There is tremendous power in following the steps that he laid out. Give them a try and I guarantee you will get results.
See if this sounds familiar to you. You are in your workout, feeling good, and then you hit a wall. You get to where you can’t do another rep or take another step without resting.
Then you beat yourself up for being out of shape. You’re not out of shape, you just found out your limit. You achieved failure.
That may sound weird to achieve failure because that word has such a negative connotation. But when you are talking failure in exercise, that just means you are working hard!
In our boot camp classes we do exercise for time, rather than repetitions. That way someone who has been exercising for 20 years can workout next to someone who has been sedentary for 20 years. In the first week the sedentary person might have to stop before the 30 seconds is up. That is fine! We always encourage people to go at their own pace and work on their level.
This flips the mindset around and allows people to redefine that stopping point. If they stopped at 20 seconds in the first week, then they continue to work, get better, and in a few weeks they are blasting through multiple sets of 30 seconds.
You need to get a little uncomfortable to make changes, but never get down on yourself because you had to stop in the middle of an exercise. Next time you do that exercise if you get one more repetition, take one more step, or go one more second longer you have progressed. Keep achieving failure and redefining your limits you will get to where you want to be.