How does your day start?

Do you ever commute to work and once you get there realize that you have been putting on a mean, frowning face your whole way there?

Do you ever commute to work and once you get there realize that you haven’t said a single word to anyone yet even after you walk to your desk and sit down to start your day?

There’s a lot of power in the phrase “start of your day”. Many people think that the start of your day begins when you start work in the morning, or when you get to the subway, or when you eat breakfast. But the start of your day begins the second you open your eyes in the morning.

And it’s how we act from that exact moment that can dictate your mood and behavior throughout the whole rest of the day.

I was commuting to work with a good friend of mine this morning and found myself laughing and smiling almost the whole way there. When I looked around, hardly anyone was doing the same, and I immediately pointed out that I was getting upset thinking about the people who don’t get to laugh in the morning. Now they may once they get into work, or they may not. But smiling and laughing from the moment your day starts – when you open your eyes – helps put me in a great mood even before 9am hits.

You may not have someone to commute with in the morning, and you may really enjoy a peaceful and personal start to your day and that is totally fine. But if you answered yes to either or both of the questions above, you may be craving that morning conversation and laughter that you’re not getting. 

So what do you do if you don’t commute with someone?
Call or text someone else who is on a similar schedule as you! Or, my personal favorite, start a conversation with a stranger. You never know who you might meet, the joy a new face can bring, and the quick and meaningful conversation that can bring happiness to someone else’s day because of it. Don’t you want to be the person someone refers to when they say: “Wow! That person was really nice!”

So make the start of your day meaningful from the second you open your eyes. Smile and laugh as early in the morning as you possibly can. It just may make you a healthier, stronger, and happier person because of it. 

 

[YouTube] Sticking to the Mission | Week 3

New YouTube video out now! Watch some lifts and listen to some of my thoughts on making short term sacrifices in order to become the strongest, healthiest, and happiest person you can be in the long term.

Bad Days at the Gym

What if I told you bad days at the gym are actually a good thing?
We all have those days where our minds are out of it, we’re tired, we’re feeling a little under the weather, and our training suffers because of it.

I challenge you to try to change the way you think and feel about these types of sessions. Why? Because you still showed up. You knew you were tired, you knew you had a lot going on, but you still got your butt to the gym to train, where others easily failed and said “I’ll just go tomorrow”.

Sure, you didn’t hit the numbers you wanted, sure you couldn’t run as fast as usual, but you made the effort despite suboptimal conditions you were facing before entering the gym. We shouldn’t be upset about these days, because you have a very important character trait that you should be proud of.

We may know that we are set up to fail, we may know that it is going to be a struggle and a fight the entire way through, but recognizing that altering the routine, sacrificing long-term benefits (i.e gains) and the lowered morale of quitting entirely without even trying, are not worth it.

With training and with many things in life we work hard for, we’re not expected to be 110% on 100% of the time. Life happens, and you should let it. But knowing that you even tried, when you could have easily said no, means that you’re on your way to achieving your goals and succeeding in your endeavor because you powered through knowing you were going to have to struggle more than usual, that you were entering a battle you weren’t prepared for and might lose, but you didn’t quit.

So understand that we’re all going to have our bad days in the gym and in life, but use that as fire to gather and prepare yourself for the next fight that you’ll conquer with ease because of all of those times you tried even when you knew you couldn’t win. 

Surprised by Kindness

I recently went on vacation with my family, and not long after arriving we couldn’t help but to point out how nice the people were who lived there.

I find this to be a very interesting thing that all of us seem to do, which is pointing out and even being surprised at the fact that a large group of people in a certain area or setting can be so nice. Specifically, there are two things I find fascinating and thought provoking when it comes to this situation that I’m sure all of us have been in.

1. Why are we so surprised that people can be NICE?
2. What does that say about who WE are?

I think it’s astounding that we live in a world where it is a surprise and it is something that needs to be pointed out when people are genuinely kind and nice to you. Why isn’t this the standard for how we live our lives? When can we live in a place where we’re more surprised by unpleasant, cold people than we are by kind, compassionate ones? This phenomenon is something I think about almost every day because I myself feel surprised when people are overwhelmingly nice, and I get so discouraged that I fall into this trap of being surprised, it’s just simply because it is true.

To my second point, I think this fact says a lot about who we are as a society, both locally and globally. I live my life attempting to be nice to anyone and everyone who passes my way, even if that means just a simple smile or thank you where one may not be necessary. I’m not saying that everyone doesn’t do this, but the mere fact that we point out when people are so nice tells me that most of us aren’t. And this says something about the places we travel to who all seem to be so nice. Different cultures, even within the U.S. alone act and behave differently, and in some cases, more pleasantly and kindly based on where you go. Sure, this is a generalization, but we do tend to notice this phenomenon, making it a fairly agreeable one.

So I challenge you, both in your mind and the way you think, and your matter and how you present yourself to others, to be gentle and kind to all of those around you. You’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll make someone feel better about themselves, and you’ll be contributing to make our world a place where we aren’t thrown off when someone is genuinely and sincerely nice, and instead one where we are thrown off and want to correct those who act in any way other than with pure kindness.

The Importance of Gratitude

I recently went away on vacation with some friends and after no more than ten minutes upon arriving at the resort I could not stop telling myself how lucky I was. How lucky to have been able to afford a vacation like this, how lucky to have friends who could come with me, and just how lucky I am in general to be alive and have the life I have.

The volumes of gratitude that overcame me also made me extremely happy. Because it is so unbelievably important to recognize the things you have in life – all that you’ve been given, all of the help you’ve received along the way, and to have the ability to do the things you do. If we lose sight of where we came from, what we’ve been given, and what we have, we can become greedy, unappreciative, and unhappy. Expressing gratitude also makes us humble. We can understand that we did not do this all on our own. The help we’ve been given along the way made us who we are and has given us the opportunities that we have had. Most importantly, gratitude can help us recognize that not everyone has what you have.

The importance of this post is not only in gratitude for the material things like a vacation. It is about everything in life. Because if it is not material things, it may be good health, or happiness, or just your physical life in general. Being thankful for everything about your life gives you perspective. Every single one of us is extremely lucky to be here on this earth, but not everyone is lucky enough to go college, get a job, and live in an apartment in a major city. Not everyone is lucky enough to have good health, a family, and food on their table. Taking these things for granted if you have them will lead you to devalue what has been handed to you because you just expected it as the norm, and you will live life expecting these fortunes (your health, money, and whatever you have) to last forever, unchanged. If you’re lucky, they just might last forever, but for some, this will not be the case. And if that happens you won’t know how to make what you do have work, and you won’t be able to choose to be grateful for the other aspects of your life that you do have, because you have been taking them for granted the whole time.

If you’re feeling that you don’t have things to be grateful about, which right away I will tell you that you do because you’re alive in this world, there are many of ways in which you can create things to be grateful about. If it is money you seek to be grateful for, make attainable, realistic goals to gain wealth by dedicated hard work and persistence. If it is good health you seek, do just the same. If it is friends, again, do just the same. Dedicated hard work and persistence is the key to achieving any goal. It’s how and what you focus your hard work and persistence towards that dictates what you are going to achieve.

So be grateful. Don’t forget who has helped you every step of the way from birth to now, and thank them. And thank yourself for being a hard working, persistent individual who won’t stop until you get what you will be grateful for.

 

 

Why you shouldn’t care what people think

Here’s an important lesson that I try and and live by that I want to share with everyone. I truly believe in this and it is extremely important that everyone feel the same.

One of the keys to life is that we shouldn’t care about what others think of us. We often get caught up in thinking about what we may look like to other people if we do certain things, wear certain things, or act a certain way. While there are social and cultural norms that most of us should abide by, we often times give control of ourselves and our lives to other people, which is absolutely ridiculous. We are all here to live our own life, why should we let others dictate how we live it?

Not caring about what people think can help your life in a few ways.

1. It allows you to live the life you want and to have FUN

If we constantly try to please other people or do what we think others will like instead of acting and living the way we want to, we will not be able to unleash our full potential because we will always be held back by other peoples opinions.

2. It enables you to learn about your true self

Constantly caring about how your personality or style or whatever will be viewed by other people instead of doing it because you want to will only hide and suppress your own being and personality to be just another square living the same boring life everyone else is and you wont be able to flourish.

3. People tend to actually like it

I’ve found that when you don’t care what others think of you it is actually attractive and pleasing to others. Now, take this with a grain of salt here because I don’t mean well go walk around naked or swear in public because you don’t care, again I refer back to the social norm thing. But much else that you may do, be it dance silly in public, etc., people laugh and enjoy it. It is an envious character trait to not care about others opinions and often times those close to you will adopt your ways and you can create true and very meaningful relationships from it.


All I am trying to say here really is to just be yourselfIt’s extremely weird to think that it could be any other way, really. What’s the point of living if your aren’t going to live your own life and instead constantly worry about how other people view you or what other people think of you. Who cares? If you want to say something silly, say it. If you want to run around in the rain with others around, do it. Does that other person’s opinion really matter? For one thing, you’ll probably never see that stranger ever again in your life, and for another, if you do, what’s it to you?

So don’t hold back. Embrace your weirdness and live your own life and don’t care about what people think. When you are able to fully embrace this mentality you will be able to far outperform and exceed the average. Because everyone is anything BUT average, however we are taught to act like we are all the same and to worry about what others think and how we will be perceived, because we must mimic and act like all of the successful people in order to be successful and blah blah BLAH. Forget all that nonsense and LIVE.