EMBRACE THE GRIND
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
Build your inner citadel; it is the foundation for everything in your life.
The book, ‘The Obstacle is The Way’ by Ryan Holiday, describes the story of 12-year-old Theodore Roosevelt the 26th US President who had crippling asthma. Roosevelt who was tall, gangly and frail, he couldn’t even walk upstairs without suffering from severe asthma attacks.. However, through discipline and hard physical training, instilled by his father, he worked the weakness out of his body and the result of this proved true as, by the time he had reached his 20’s he had overcome his asthma and thus prepared himself for a strenuous life. Through hard work and perseverance, he not only built a strong body but also developed a gritty mind. He was able to emotionally equip himself to deal with the many hard challenges in his life, he suffered through many tragedies, including losing his wife and mother in rapid succession, yet he through the tremendous pressure and stress of his personal life Roosevelt managed a progressive and successful 8-year Presidential run.
I have never seen a child that is born with a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger, the mind of Albert Einstein or the charisma of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. You need to build your spiritual strength, physical body and mental acuity through grinding repetition and life experience. I was gangly, weak and cripplingly shy through most of my childhood. My circumstances changed by competitive sports & training in the gym, by putting myself in more terrifying situations and grueling training sessions to help forge my body and mind, competing in competitive sports and rigorous training at the gym. I created a mindset of my own by choosing a path that forced me to develop courage over confidence and to push through and grow out of my own comfort zones.
The above examples hold the cure we are searching for, with finding our strength we can grow past our plateau and in the end we find out that the obstacle is the way and failure is the path we take. When we overcome an obstacle we grow in our self-esteem, our confidence, our strength, physically, emotionally and psychologically. The Physical Strength we gain will free our lives to do what we want for longer, freeing us from the shackles of our body and allowing us to run, jump and sprint when we want to. It will allow us to play with our kids and be a strong role model for others to on a similar path and building our self-esteem & hard physical training becomes catalyst for change
Strength is being able to lift heavy loads, to master moving our own body through space, to move with freedom & control. Strength is the expression of all human movement. Strength is also being confident in ourselves, backing ourselves and pursuing things we desire and having courage over confidence when we are terrified of the unknown.
Strength is also self-love and also having the ability to not worry about the trivial matters in life. Every time you get stressed over worrying about the small things like caring if someone likes you? Will people laugh at my post? Talk shit about a video? Stressing & second-guessing over things, over trivial shit that doesn’t matter affects this strength we develop within ourselves.
A large wise man called John Welbourn once said "Nothing destroys a body, a mind, a business, will or relationship like mediocrity." Don't be ordinary when extraordinary people get to have so much fun and go cool places. Fuck mediocrity”. The way I begin to understand this statement means that you need to have a mindset of abundance. Go for things you want in life without fear. If you are someone who has the resources to be reading this then there is literally nothing to stop you from doing what you want, so push and live a life of abundance.
“Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”
The mindset is to change it from playing not to lose but playing to win!
How does one overcome their natural inclination to fear failure so they can become more extraordinary? It all comes to building that inner citadel called your self-esteem. That will all start in your mind & body. Honestly, how do YOU speak to yourself? Do you tell yourself you are weak, dumb & ugly? Or do you tell yourself that you are the greatest thing that has walked the earth? Maybe it sounds obnoxious, self-aggrandizing and corny, but honestly, how do you speak to yourself? Do you feed yourself and do you train yourself? Understand, no matter how bad you fuck up, as long as your intent is good & true you are gonna be okay.
The best way to help yourself in your journey to being better inside and out is to form habits and actions to go along with your specific goals… It is no good to just say I want to be the strongest in the gym or the funniest person in the room if you don’t take steps needed to action what you say into reality. Take Jerry Seinfeld for example, he used to have a goal of writing a joke every day to become funnier, this will act to improve ones creative mind and look at Jerry now... Then there is Arnie who to get the biggest tear drop calves around used to make sure he completed up to 1000 Reps a day of heavy calf raises to build volume and mass in them. People who are great writers write 500 words a day every day no matter what.
To be in a greater emotional and mental state I try to complete these actions below and as much as possible, as in every day.
For the physiological self:
- Lift heavy, get strong and get that pump at the end. Cause who doesn’t wanna be jacked and tanned
- Sprint hard, do some lower intensity conditioning to move the blood & feel alive and get a hit of endorphins.
- Eat real food. Things that don’t need an ingredients list of 35 things you cannot pronounce and was created in a lab.
- Sleep 7-8 hours a night & take a nap if you can, do your best to eliminate stress. Trust me you’ll become bulletproof and eventually master mind control.
- Use a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to do some soft tissue work on a daily basis… or make a chiro/osteo/physio rich.
For the Mental self:
- Read 20min a day in whatever you are interested in. this will build your vocabulary and create new ideas. Cause you also want to break the mental sweat not just a physical sweat..
- Write 500 words a day, or even a 100 and build up as the days go on, get the creative juices flowing.
- Listen to a podcast a week to learn new ideas from people you want to be around. P.S. Joe Rogan Experience interviews all kinds of wild people and I highly recommend Tony Robbins podcasts, as they are amazing for developing mindset.
- Look at people who are doing what you want and emulate their steps… They say that success leaves clues.
- Complete education courses on language, improv comedy, short courses or simply read a book. Sharpen that mind.
For the Emotional self:
- Meditate 10min a day - Works amazingly for some, not so much for others. Depends on who you are and how open your mind is. Zen I know, but science says it works.
- Complete daily sentence stems… This worked brilliant for me over the past months, helping to change and create new mindsets, habits and behaviors. Rarely have I had a bad day since starting this task. Check out this post from Nathaniel Daniel where I got the idea from Sentence completion stems
The best way to create change is action. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result". If you are not happy with where you are at the moment, start enacting change and the best way to do this is accountability. Everyone needs a coach, coaches included. If you have physical goals, fitness goals, relationships goals, career goals; you need to find a mentor to help guide you along the way.
Books to read:
Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday
Mastery - Robert Greene
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#CK - Mark Mansen.
6 Pillars of Self-Esteem - Nathaniel Branden
On the Shortness of Life - Seneca
King (4 Layers of Strength) - Elliot Hulse