6 Ways To Be a More Positive Person Today

Practice Gratitude

IMG_1520I love reading old birthday cards.

I love them so much that during an embarrassing emergency, I managed to run out of the house with only my license, keys and birthday cards.

Because apparently cards beat shoes in my world.

 

If putting yourself in a positive state of mind is something that you find difficult, this practice will be a game changer.

Everyone has something to be grateful for. If you’re in a dark place grasping for the smallest bit to appreciate, let’s start here: you are alive.

Now build on that and become the Scooby Doo of gratitude, sniffing out things that make your insides feel all warm and gooey like a Cinnabon fresh out of the oven whenever you think of them.

Carve out the time for this on a daily basis, ideally first thing in the morning. It could be as little as 30 seconds while you’re sitting on the toilet if you’re seriously that pressed for time.

Start with the present. What can you be grateful for right now?

Example: A strong and powerful body. My ability to write and connect with people. Having amazing friends and loved ones in my life.

Now, moonwalk to the past. What are some things you’ve experienced that you’re glad you did?

Example: Dancing like a complete fool to Kanye with my best friend Jerry at his wedding. Going to celebrate the cigar bar with John, Laura and Rob. Getting extra swole with Brian Patrick Murphy. Watching Lindsay absolutely nail her performance.

Finally, do your best ninja flip into the future. What are some things that you’re looking forward to taking part in?

Example: Competing in an upcoming jiujitsu tournament. Being in the wedding of one of my best friends. Getting to go to a comedy show with my boys.

Make your gratitude practice as general or specific as you want. I’ve found that deeper that I dive into specifics, the more I’m filled with a sense of happiness, so I urge you to use this as a time to Jacques Cousteau the shit out of your life. Old pictures, letters, conversations – everything and anything is fair game.

If you need a physical reminder, the Five Minute Journal is something I’ve used with much success.

Ready to level up your game even more? Express gratitude toward someone else.

It could be a thank you for something they’ve done, an e-mail/letter/carrier pigeon letting them know how they’ve impacted you, or an even more powerful in-person heart to heart conversation.

When in doubt, start with a quick hit of gratitude.

You’re uplifted by giving and they’re uplifted by receiving. Everyone wins.

Fill Your Cup First

You know that adorable pre-flight speech about sweet slides, conveniently located life vests and oxygen masks that nobody listens to while they diddle with their phones? It’s actually amazing advice.

I sat next to an anxious first time flyer and her precious baby boy, who by the smile on his face clearly had no idea that he was about to be hurtling through the sky in a metal tube of magic. As I’m talking to help calm her nerves, we hit a crazy patch of turbulence, and immediately my mind goes into “WHAT IF WE RUN OUT OF AIR?!” thinking.

Well, I’d be pretty useless to help those two if I were passed out in my seat like a doofus because I didn’t put my oxygen mask on first before tending to them.

Cup

The same concept applies to your state of mind. It’s hard to feel positive if you’re always running on empty.

Taking care of yourself, contrary to popular belief, isn’t selfish. Doing so actually puts you in the best position to help and serve the ones you care for. It sets the stage for you to be the best version of yourself, the fully pimped-out Batman instead of the asthmatic kid with broken glasses, narcolepsy, rickets, leprosy and 15 toes coming out of his face.

Your life is your cup. To fill it so that it overflows and puts you in a state of abundance, where you can give freely from that excess, identify activities that add to you and do them daily – your well-being is too important to lose it in the shuffle mundane tasks.

A few of mine are spending time with friends, stand-up comedy, martial arts, listening to podcasts, trying to put a smile on people’s faces and spending quality time alone.

Your list will be different.

Much like washing between your butt-cheeks, doing these things on a regular basis is non-negotiable, unless you want your life to resemble a crusty, crumpled up Dixie cup.

Choose Your Company Carefully

When I worked the front desk at the gym, I dreaded his arrival.

He’d walk in with the most downtrodden, Charlie Brown posture known to man; the look on his face resembling that of The Grinch’s while watching children play with puppies and unicorns in a field of flowers and sunshine.

For months on end, I listened to his tales of woe. There was always some new drama, some new thing that wasn’t going his way, some new person whose sole purpose in life was to destroy him. Never in my life have I wanted nothing more than to turn into an Alex Mack-esque puddle and slide out of a conversation.

Oh yeah, my point: be careful of who you let into your life, even casually.

DramaFree

As we tend to adopt the vibe of the company that we keep, the people in our lives have the power to uplift, challenging and helping us grow into the best version of ourselves, or they can act like an energetic punch straight to the crotch. The more we fill our lives with the former and distance ourselves from the latter, the more enthusiastic, free and capable we feel.

If your life were a movie, would you want to fill it Scar, Frank Underwood, Joffrey, Cruella de Vil and Vigo the Carpathian type characters? No.

Would you let someone run around your house projectile vomiting on every surface they could find before leaving, but not before promising to see you tomorrow so they could do it again? No.

This, however is a two-way street. To attract amazing people into your life, you also have to make sure that you’re the kind of person that they would want to spend their time with as well.

Embrace Your Emotions

Fear. Anger. Sadness. These are just a few of the wide range of emotions that we each have access to, every last one serving a purpose.

Emotions are like science, physics and other laws of the universe. They exist, and while you can refuse to believe their importance all you want, you can’t escape the very real consequences of doing so.

For the majority of 2015 I was in a state of depression. I deleted social media accounts. I stopped taking calls and texts. I let my e-mail build up and generally kept to myself. Part of the reason I stayed in it for so long was that I didn’t fully acknowledge the rough shape I was in.

I spent much of my life glossing over the “darker” emotions because I felt like they were bad and unnecessary, so when the time came to deal with them I was woefully unprepared.

I felt like shit, and I didn’t want to feel like shit, so the only logical solution was to skip past the shit and pretend like I felt amazing.

Wrong answer. Like trying to sprint on two freshly broken legs, it only made things worse.

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There will be days, maybe even a long stretch of them, where everything isn’t fine, where you don’t want to put a smile on your face and you’re seconds away from uppercutting someone if they make one more well-intentioned but asinine comment about “everything happening for a reason” and “one door closing so another one can open.”

And that’s ok.

If you want to strengthen your optimistic outlook on life, these are the most important days.

Stay with the emotions. Don’t try to shortcut the process and skip them. Feel them fully, deeply and completely. Own them without censorship so they can run their course.

If you don’t, they’ll come back even stronger like a horror movie villain, popping up in your life in the strangest of ways: road rage, yelling at an old lady because she’s taking too long counting her change, cruelty to animals, destructive belief systems.

Embracing your emotions doesn’t mean dropping to your knees in the middle of the street, ripping your shirt open and crying to the sky as cars honk at you; there’s a time and place for everything.

It can be a quiet, inward process as well as an explosive outward one that requires help. Men, get in touch with the men in your life that you trust. Women, do the same with your women. If you’re really having trouble, don’t be afraid to find a therapist to help you work through them.

It can be a scary and vulnerable process, but also an empowering one. Once you work through and integrate the emotions, they lose their grip on you and you’re free to return to your happy baseline, only now you’ve added more tools to your tool belt.

Embracing your emotions doesn’t make you weak, a pussy or anything other than a complete human. The more you numb yourself from one emotion, the more you numb yourself from all emotions, including joy.

Now when you choose to adopt a positive mindset, it’s an active choice instead of it being the only option you actually have. That’s true strength and freedom – the ability to adjust your internal state to appropriately meet the demands of an external situation.

Get Into Your Body

It’s easy to have so many thoughts and worries bouncing around our heads that we actually forget we have a body.

You know, that awesome meat suit we experience everything awesome in this world through. That thing.

If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, move.

Go for an intense workout. Go for a softcore workout that would make the elderly point and laugh at you. Jump around like the Holy Spirit just invaded your bones. Take a leisurely walk. Meditate. Have sex. Do some jumping jacks. Sprint until you’re gasping for air. Dance to your favorite song. Stretch. Take 30 deep breaths.

Maury

It is through the body that we take action and through action which that we transform ourselves for the better.

It’s also a method that we can use to sharpen our intuition, developing the ability to hear and “trust our gut.”

I don’t know exactly why it works, but it does. Do it and I promise you will be in a better place than you were beforehand.

What If It Was a Gift?

In his book No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Robert Glover challenges the reader to ask themselves a simple question whenever they find themselves spinning their wheels and stuck in stagnation: what if it was a gift?

I lost a relationship with the woman I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. What if it was a gift? It lead me to develop a rock-solid sense of self-esteem. It showed me the importance of integrity, self-love, ]setting healthy boundaries and illuminated personal short comings that I can improve on.

I slipped into a depression that I didn’t think I would make it out of. What if it was a gift? I found several groups of men – something that before I had no idea that I needed – who are committed to growth and playing the game of life at a higher level. I learned to ask for help and that I don’t have to do everything alone. I discovered Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I developed a greater sense of empathy for the struggles, known and unknown, that we all go through.

I injured my knee badly. What if it were a gift? I stopped ignoring my restrictions, hired a coach and started to take my health and movement quality more seriously, setting myself up for a great quality of life further down the road.

Bless

Painful events happen and will continue to happen until the day we die. That is out of our control.

What is in our control, however, is how we respond and the meaning we extract from these events. It’s just as easy to paint everything that happens to us in a negative light as it is to draw conclusions that guide us in the direction of positivity and inward growth, and this exercise is a fantastic way to develop out ability to choose the latter on a consistent basis.

Further Resources

Everyone:
Find a mental health counselor

Men:
The School For Men
The Maintaining Alpha Facebook Group
The Sterling Institute For Men

Women:
Untame Yourself: Reconnect to the Lost Art, Power and Freedom of Being a Woman
Untame The Wild Soul Woman podcast

 

Compare More and Create More

StarsAs part of the Instagramed, hyperconnected culture we live in, comparison has gotten a bad rap lately, becoming as universally despised as stealing candy from babies or pushing the elderly down elevators shafts. I’ve even taken part in that conversation.

– Your friends are in relationships, eating wedding cake (mmmmmm!) and having all the sex while you stare wistfully out the window, waiting for your one true love to appear as a single tear rolls down your cheek.

–  You hit a personal record in the gym, only to watch someone warming up with your newfound max.

– You pull out of the lot after just buying a used car, only to have someone pull up next to you in your dream ride. For added insult they’re also making it rain like they’re the King of Zamunda.

But what if comparison could actually be used as a tool for growth?

We’re often told to avoid comparisons completely, but by doing so we take a major catalyst for our own evolution off the table.

1. Don’t use comparison as a tool to measure or define your self worth.

It’s unacceptable.

We only deal with the productive around these parts, and using comparison in this way is as unproductive (and messy) as trying to eat ice cream with your forehead.

You are great right now, as is. You are enough, as is.

This is your mantra. Come back to it as often as you need to. It’s absolutely true and is the basis for any self improvement going forward.

Now, let’s go about making great even greater.

2. Their success does not detract from yours.

Unless you’re one of the immortals from Highlander, that is.

Highlander

Life isn’t a zero-sum game where for you to win someone else has to lose.

My swole doesn’t take away from your swole. Her accomplishments don’t take away from his.

A scarcity mindset will grab your life by the neck and slam it face-first into the dirt if you let it.

There is enough out there for all of us.

The sooner you incorporate this into your daily operating system and stop focusing on what you don’t have, swimming in a pool of emo, finger pointing and excuse making, the sooner you can free up your mental and physical resources to cut loose, go out there and get yours.

Abundance: it’s more than a word describing dancing bread.

Now that my terrible pun is out of the way…

3. Comparison is rocket fuel for growth.

Two of my favorite writers are Julien Smith and Mark Manson.

From the seemingly effortless manner in which they convey messages sticks like Spiderman webbing, when I read their content I feel something stir inside me (insert dirty joke here) and I want to stop whatever I’m doing and write until the lead of my stubby little pencil snaps off.

Here is my Brazilian Jiu-jitsu instructor Gabriel Gonzaga, a UFC heavyweight fighter, 4th degree blackbelt and a stand-in for the Rocky Mountains on the weekends.

TeamLink

On a regular basis I witness him and my other teammates perform moves that look straight out of a comic book – and I compare myself to every single one of them.

They’ve shown me another level of what’s possible in areas that are important to me, and I’m better because of it.

Ultimately, comparison can serve as a spark for asking better questions:

What do I admire about what they do and how they do it?

What lessons can I learn about myself? 

What virtues do they display that I can personally improve upon?

What inspiration/mojo can I glean from their feats that I can take back to my own unique practice?

As humans we are wired for growth and are happiest when we’re doing so.

When you surround yourself with and compare yourself to greatness, or at least those who are further along the path than you are, with the right mental framing the only option is motivation to step your own game up.

Don’t coddle yourself into living a life any less magnificent than the one you want to lead by refusing to stare wide-eyed into the accomplishments of others and turn inward.

Success in any area leaves crumbs, so eat ‘em up and get to work on bringing the best out of yourself as only you can.

“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you.

There are better writers than me out there, there are smarter writers, there are people who can plot better – there are all those kinds of things, but there’s nobody who can write a Neil Gaiman story like I can.” – Neil Gaiman

The Fuck Factory

Imagine that you run the most prestigious company in the world, Fuck Inc.

Your job as CEO is to deliver potent, pristine, high-powered fucks when they’re needed the most.

You’re the equivalent of Oprah in her prime.

You get a fuck, and YOU get a fuck, and you, so far in the back row that I’m not sure you can see me? I hope you’re ready to catch, because I’ve got a hot fuck coming your way!

You’re passing out fucks like you’re the Mayor of Fuckville.

Money is growing on trees, puppies are running into your arms like you’re a magnet for all things adorable, and steaks are cooking themselves and jumping into your mouth.

Life is good. Until it isn’t.

A sudden, unexpected demand of fucks comes across your desk and you’re caught with your pants down on a day you’re going commando.

You run downstairs into your Scrooge McDuck vault where you’ve stashed away a few hidden fucks for such an emergency.

Too bad it’s not enough, and your ration is quickly depleted. Your company is now forced to do something it has never done before: write fuck I.O.U.s

Like showing a starving man a picture of buttermilk pancakes, this does nothing for those whoneed them right now. You’re doubly screwed, compromising the quality of your once pristine product while simultaneously digging yourself into a fuck deficit the likes of which the world has never seen.

Soon you’re forced to shut down your once thriving business because you can no longer keep up with the demand.

So, how do we keep Fuck Inc. from closing its doors for good?

Know your value

Worth

This is the well from which all future fucks spring.

Your fucks are valuable, in limited supply and take time & energy to replenish, so don’t give them out to people and situations that don’t merit one.

Most things in life only require a damn, which you have a stockpile of at any given moment.

If you don’t value your fucks, then you’re sending signals to everyone else that they shouldn’t either.

Plug the holes

ByeFelicia

If you’re leaking fucks faster than a new Kanye album, it’s only a matter of time before you deplete your supply all over again, only this time it’s worse because you knew better.

Learn to say no.

To naysayers and doubters.

To expectations placed on you by others, both real and imagined.

To feeling like you have to eat all the food on your plate because if you don’t, some kid in China will starve.

To modes of exercise that make you want to stab yourself in the neck with a pencil.

To knowing (or worse, caring) about what’s going on in Kim Kardashian’s world; she gives approximately zero fucks about the happenings of yours.

This is your life. If you aren’t careful about what you give your energy to you’ll find yourself being pulled in a million directions like the last flat screen TV on Black Friday.

Everyone has a voice, but that doesn’t mean you should listen to their unfiltered jibbajabba. Don’t discount your self-awareness for the sake of prioritizing theirs.

The simple act of plugging your holes gives you an instant fuck boost. The fucks you do have now stay in your bucket waiting to be spent instead of immediately leaking out.

And the next time you sense a fuck-draining vampire scenario coming your way, lean back and dodge it like Neo in The Matrix.

Aggressive Fuck Redistribution

fuck-this-shit

You’ve patched up your leaks, started saying no to the bullshit and took back your power by hiring a bouncer to keep all the fuck thieves out of your party. Here’s where it starts to get mad delicious.

Now you get to say yes and actually choose where you spend your fucks.

The whole “zero fucks given” movement is misguided, the equivalent of hopping in your car and yelling “zero wheels needed” and then being upset that you’re not going anywhere.

Fucks are our rocket fuel, and to live a fulfilled life you actually do need them. Our attention is our most valuable resource, so it’s time to do the work and prioritize where you want to allocate that resource.

What are your values? Spend your fucks in a way that reinforces them daily.

Who do you love and want to serve? Spend your fucks in a way that supports them.

Who do you want to be? Cast your fuck ballot in a way that creates that person through action.

AFR: Aggressive Fuck redistribution.

Having your fucks siphoned of can leave you feeling, tired, dirty and worse for wear than if your browser history was made public.

On the other hand, actively choosing from moment to moment to allocate your fucks in a meaningful way is empowering.

Wisely spent fucks beget more fucks. Spend 1 and get 2 (or more) in return.

Congratulations – you’ve just turned yourself into a perpetual fuck machine.

When you feel like you’re running low on your fucks, that’s the time to do whatever you need to in order to bring them back to baseline – exercise, hang out with a friend, go sit in nature, eat some ice cream in the dark and fill the carton back up with your tears.

There is nothing noble about running yourself into the ground. All guts and glory will only get you so far. In the marathon of life, it’s a constant dance of knowing when to push like the Devil is hot on your ass and knowing when to lay back in the cut and recover.

From this moment on, a fuck deficit is no longer acceptable.

Do this by any means necessary, because if you wait until you’re truly at zero fucks, everyone loses – both you and the ones you love and serve.

4 Things I Learned From Going Old School

Phone

This is my cell phone.

I get 9 hours of talk time. Texting is horrible because I have to press a million buttons so I’m more likely to actually call you as reply. Every picture looks like the Blair Witch Project thanks to my 2.6 megapixel camera.If you tried to shoot me and take my Cinnabon, I could use it to deflect the bullet and then call the police to report you for being so rude

The Mysterious Case of The Great Half-Asser

I’m known for my legendary workouts.

Not legendary in the “his work ethic inspire the hopes and dreams of millions around the world” sense, but more like “he has been here for 2 hours and I don’t think I’ve seen him lift anything yet…is he even sweating? What the hell is he doing?!”

I’d walk in with the good intentions of crushing 6 exercises, but then I’d do some arm swings and check Facebook. Do a few chin-ups then scroll through Instagram. Warm up with some light weights before firing off some texts. Before I knew it, my 60 seconds of rest was long gone, stars exploded in a blaze of glory and a new President had been elected.

Since getting rid of my smart phone, the quality of my workouts has improved dramatically. I’m stronger, leaner and my cardio is better than it has been in at least a year, and it all comes down to focus.

For the best results inside the gym and out, a full-ass approach is required. A half-ass approached will yield exactly what you’d expect.

Phone_HalfMeasures

If I’m in the gym, I’m there with a single purpose: to give my best to the training at hand. If I’m diddling around on my phone between rest periods, while seemingly harmless, it IS taking away from my mental sharpness and commitment to my workout.

Does a lion stop to take a quick selfie because #beastmode right before pouncing on a gazelle? Does Lebron text some quick LOLs right before a championship game?

There’s a time and place for everything. Give your phone a time out in the gym for a month and see what happens both. You’re worth it.

From Good to Great Sex

I was in bed with my lady one night and she made an offhand comment that gave me a moment of pause: “you’re always on that thing.”

And when sitting there on the phone, I can’t say that she didn’t have a solid point.

It made me think back to the big moments of our relationship and what made it feel like a bag of magic and vanilla frosting 24/7. When we were together, we were really TOGETHER and not staring into the glowing box of infinite distraction. Looking back, we don’t have many pictures of us or the things we did because we were so in the moment that we didn’t think about trying to capture any of it.

A few years ago I heard Danielle LaPorte speak at a conference and she said something that always stuck with me: our presence and attention is the most important gift we can give to someone.

Girl, you just wait 'til we get home and I give you that good lovin. YOU GON LEARN TODAY!

Girl, you just wait ’til we get home and I give you that good lovin. YOU GON LEARN TODAY!

PREACH.

Good sex is fairly easy to come by. But great sex? That doesn’t happen by accident. One of the key ingredients of that sizzle pie is genuine connection, and there are opportunities for this connection in every moment if we’re open to them.

It’s like those couples you see out at dinner, unblinking eyes pressed up against their phone like they’re getting the most important retina scan of their lives. I bet they’re going to race home and set the bed on fire. I wish my sex life was like theirs…said no one ever.

So there were major improvements in that area, but also every other area where I was interacting with another awesome human being.

The Constant Itch

If I was by myself or I wanted to avoid doing something I’d whip out my phone and see what was happening in the Internet rabbit hole.

If I was out and there was a lull in the action or conversation, I’d browse the Internet as a reprieve from the boredom.

I found it increasingly difficult to keep my attention focused on one thing, from reading a book to writing to seeing a ridiculous thought in this crazy mind of mine through to completion.

In the background of every moment there was the quiet whisper that there was something, important or not, that I was missing out on and if I just reached in my pocket I could pull out this thing that would give me access to all of it, the present moment be damned.

Check the phone, my precious.

Check the phone, my precious.

Am I documenting this for my own benefit once my memory starts to fade, or am I doing it to share it with other people for who the hell knows what reason?

Now without it, I feel more like a sharper, more energized, creative version of myself.

When I’m bored, I can be with that boredom and see what, if anything, comes of it. When I’m talking with someone and the flow drops off, I can see that as an opportunity to resurrect the conversation like a conversation wizard instead of pressing the abort button by taking the easiest escape route – my phone.

I’m a Tool

A good 90% of the time I found my phone in my hand, I don’t even remember consciously reaching for it. It’s like in the horror movies where the terrified home owner burns the demonic doll, only to look up 5 minutes later and find it sitting on their bed, unscathed, eating Cheetos.

That’s when I knew I was screwed. It was no longer something I chose to do, but something that happened because it was a habit that ran on autopilot, with or without my consent.

Y'all got that WIFI?

Y’all got that WIFI?

The smart phone started off as a useful tool, and the problem with tools is never the tool itself, but the user. After becoming reliant on it and using it on a daily basis for so many things, came to the sad conclusion that this thing had a vice grip on me, not the other way around.

It’s like a full-blown crack head saying they’ll just have a little bit of crack, or a sex addict saying they just want to cuddle for a few minutes – it never works.

So I had to cut it off completely by getting a phone that can only do the basics, because if I left any window to my old habits open while trying to form new ones, they would just sneak up on me quicker than Michael Myers in a Prius.

Sound Familiar?

If any of this resonates with you and you want to stop yourself from going down the slippery slope, here are some steps you can take without going full old school.

  • Keep the phone in your locker or gym bag when training.
  • When you’re with others, leave it in the car or put it on silent/airplane mode.
  • Have designated times during the day/week when it’s completely out of your possession, especially when you’re working on a mentally challenging task.
  • Turn off all notifications.

I’m almost 2 months in and doubt I’ll go back anytime soon, if for no other reason than the look of disgust on people’s face when they see this relic, like I just showed them a pair of 100 year old balls, is priceless.

It’s Always Your Fault

ChrisBus

Imagine you’re the passenger on a bus. You pull the cord to let the driver know that your stop is coming up, but instead of slowing down they slam their foot on the gas and veer out of control as they turn to stare at you.

Their hair is disheveled, shirt filled with random stains and the funk of 1,000 years invades your nostrils. Their eyes are bloodshot and the last good tooth they had abandoned ship years ago. For all you know they may not even be wearing pants!

To say they’re methed out of their mind would be the understatement of the century.

And that’s when it finally hits you: wherever you want to go, this bus definitely isn’t getting you there.

Why Victimhood Is Killing Your Gains

Have you ever felt like things were constantly happening to you and that you were just a passenger along for the ride?

It’s exactly like being on that bus, except way worse because it’s actually your life.

I’ve been there, and on any given day I can easily slip into right back into that passenger seat if I’m not careful. Blaming, defending, complaining – these are all tools of the trade.IMG_5119

And I get it. Sinking into that victim mentality and letting it run amuck has a certain seductive appeal to it.

When in that mode, it’s easy to think that you’ve got it all figured out and that if only those other people out there would get their act together, you wouldn’t be in this predicament.

You’d be in much better shape if your co-workers would stop bringing all sorts of treats and delectable fatty foods into the office…

You would have time to hit the gym if people stopped making so many demands on your time…

When dieting for a photoshoot, I felt myself mentally blaming friends I was going out to eat with – how could they order that when they know I’m trying to get mad sexy?

AND WHY ARE THESE FRENCH FRIES SO DELICIOUS? DOESN’T THIS RESTAURANT KNOW THEY’RE MY FAVORITE AND THAT I CAN’T POSSIBLY RESIST?!

On the outside, I played it cool. On the inside, I was whiney and had a pretty bad case of the emo.

It’s tempting to feel like you’re always the one in the right, making it easy to blame everything on something outside of you and keeping the pristine image of yourself intact.

That’s taking the easy, low-effort approach to living life.

Blaming others will never better you. It only ensures that you stay exactly where you are and miss out on the best parts of life

Whenever I find myself playing the victim, I tell myself one thing that never fails to pull me back from the brink of destruction…

It’s Always Your Fault

BreadHead

Are you not exercising as much as you’d like? It’s completely your fault.

Looking like Captain America pre-Super Soldier serum? Certainly your fault.

Do you feel like you can’t create the kind of relationship that you want to be in? It’s definitely your fault.

Are your eating habits spiraling out of control and it’s wrecking havoc on your mental and physical well-being? It’s for sure your fault.

If you’re anything like me, hearing that something is your fault can make a piece of you immediately want to jump on the defensive.

The goal here isn’t to send you down a self-critical rabbit hole of shame and doubt, but to empower you. This is all about self-acceptance with as little judgment as possible.

“It’s your fault” is a helpful mental shortcut capable of sneaking past all your hidden defense systems, leading to the end result of it being your responsibility.

Let’s say I kidnapped you and dropped you in a pile of quicksand (which I have on hand at all times).

It’s not your fault that I was a big ‘ol meanie and snatched you up while you were watching How I Met Your Mother, but if you want to live long enough to see another episode then it’s your responsibility to do something about getting out.

If something involves you, you play a role in the situation and bear the responsibility of bringing about change.

Own it all. The good, the bad, and the fugly.

When you stop looking for things outside of yourself to blame, you’re forced to look inward and search for ways to better yourself.

Instead of all of your resources going towards deflecting and complaining, they’re now funneled towards finding solutions to get you where you want to go.

Only by claiming responsibility can the process of true growth begin.

Be Your Own Hero

Hero

This is your life. Hold yourself accountable to it.

You are responsible for everything in it, from the look of your physique to how you make a living and the quality of your personal interactions.

Others can help you, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. It’s great if they do, but no one else is responsible for making anything happen in your life but you.

No one is coming to save you. Fully embrace this fact.

Stop the momentum dead in its tracks by asking this question: what’s one thing I can do in this moment to help myself?

No matter how small the answer that you come up with is, do that thing and then build off of it relentlessly.

Regardless of your situation, there are dozens of things that you can do today to snatch your power back from the claws of victimhood and actively create the life you want to live.

It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok not to have all the answers. It’s ok to say you don’t know but that you’re still looking.

It’s not ok to blame your problems and struggles on others.

Staring right now, you are no longer a victim.

Action and a deep, ever-evolving understanding of self. is the only thing that can and will save you.

Go forth and act boldly, even if it looks like a hot mess until you get the hang of it.

Men: Can Fitness Supercharge Your Sex Life?

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Image courtesy of Fred Johnson: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fredjohnson

 

Invest in your fitness and your sex life will improve dramatically.

It sounds like the biggest duh moment in the history of humanity, doesn’t it? Of course it will be better: you’re stronger, leaner, have rock hard abs and more stamina. You’ve just achieved the holy grail of sex appeal.

Not necessarily.

While these are nice additions, they’re far from necessary and aren’t close to the actual character traits that – in unison with these features – will drive your woman wild, connecting you two on an entirely new and meaningful level.

And these are traits that you can practice and develop daily, on your own, in less than 45 minutes.

  1. Commitment

With all that we have on our plates, taking care of our physical health is never convenient; there’s always something else that you could be doing. Then again, showing up for our woman fully in the relationship (and in the bedroom) isn’t always convenient, either.”

It would be easy, maybe even understandable, to let our physical health fall by the wayside of other responsibilities, to put in occasional effort here or there and pat ourselves on the back. But this small degree of effort only leads to mediocrity, and deep down inside you know you want more than the meager results it offers, and that she wants much more from you and of you.

What we commit to grows. What we commit to commands our full attention, focus and energy, and the things that we once thought were so important begin to fall lower on our priority list.

Your woman needs your complete commitment to be able to fully open to you. Even if you aren’t consciously aware of it, her Spider-Sense notices when you aren’t providing it, and over time this will serve as a barrier to your intimacy.

Choose a strength training program that’s appropriate for your current fitness level and commit to it fully for the next 12 weeks. From this day forward, like breathing, it is something that you unequivocally do. Create a backup plan for when obstacles get in the way, and then create a backup plan for that backup plan.

During these 12 weeks, it’s less about crushing it and more about flexing your commitment muscles, becoming a man who prioritizes and grows through his commitments.

  1. Connection

To connect fully with her, you must first connect fully with yourself.

The gym, or wherever you are building your body, is the ultimate training ground for self-discovery. It gives you the chance to get out of your own logical head and into your body.

Feel how your body responds as you grind out the last repetition of your set – did you have more in your tank?

Observe that sensation in your gut as your body fatigues mid-workout – does it make you want to dig deep or to call it quits?

The best things in life must be felt, not philosophized.

Would you trust with your goals a personal trainer who had never trained a client or exercised effectively in his life? Or a professed surgeon who only took a quick look at Yahoo Answers before opening up your chest?

Your body is your tool and it is your responsibility to understand it well, as a knight knows his blade. The more in tune you are with all of its inner workings, the more connected you can be to hers.

  1. Presence & Intention

Millions of people around the world watched Michael Jordan play basketball because they knew from the moment that he stepped onto the court that this was not a game.

He wasn’t thinking about what his momma ate for dinner, nor how many thousands of dollars he just made in the last few minutes from Air Jordan sales. Every thought and movement was intensely directed towards a single objective; fully in the moment, he responded intuitively to the ever-changing landscape, wasting not an ounce of movement.

He didn’t come merely to win – he played like he was saving the world (and thus Space Jam was a biopic).

Are you fully in the moment when making love to your woman, able to sense what she needs and giving it to her even before she even knows that she does?

Or are you distracted, thinking about the argument you had with your boss, or mentally drafting your next tweet?

You can either tweet, or you can fuck – pick which one is more important.

When you’re at the gym, you’re at the gym. Leave your phone and any distractions in the car and immerse yourself in your sessions, over time developing the same immersion with your lady.

  1. Passion

When was the last time that you truly ravished your woman? I’m talking lifting her out of the shower, throwing her over your shoulder and lovingly, passionately, bending her over the kitchen counter kind of sex?

Society tames us to a large degree, dulling our edges for the sake of group cohesion, but the bedroom (or backseat), the intimate space for you and your partner, is the last place that you want to be civilized – it’s not in your basic nature to be.

That desire to give all you’ve got to your woman springs from the same part of you that would risk your life to protect her from harm. The woman wants to surrender to you and to the direction you provide – but only she trusts that you can handle it all.

Don’t waltz your way through your gym sessions. Bring intensity to each repetition no matter how tired you are. Don’t worry, it won’t kill you. In fact, through strength training, you are literally overcoming resistance with every push and pull, identifying your weaknesses and bolstering your strengths with decisive action.

Each time you grab the weight, you’re slightly better than you were before.

She wants the passionate, unbridled animal inside of you. The lion that snuggles and is affectionate with his lioness is the same creature that’s capable of fighting tooth and nail anything that would bring harm to her and their cubs.

By approaching your workouts in the manner laid out above, in due time you will develop the ability to give her just that.

Fat Loss & Muscle Building Supplements

Dear fantastic and loyal reader,I get a lot of email about which supplements are great for muscle building and fat loss. In person, once people find out what I do for a living, I get asked even more (so now I tell them I’m a janitor).I’ve got nothing but love for you, so when you read this please hear it from that place of love.

Fuck supplements. Fuck them right in their silly asses.

Imagine that your body is a car, whatever your glorious mind can conjure up (mine is Speed Racer’s Mach 5).

You know the body, wheels, breaks, engine, pedals, doors, windows, ignition, and anything else required for a car to actually run and not suck? In your body, this is represented by your diet and training.

Want to know the role that supplements play in this car? They’re solid gold pair of balls hanging from the license plate – nice to have but unnecessary, costly and ultimately pretty damn useless.

Supplements are meant to do just that – supplement a solid diet and training program. If you don’t have that base established, no supplement in the world can help you.

Returning to the car example, no matter how many pairs of solid gold balls you have, if you don’t have the actual car to attach them to, now you just look like a silly person carrying around a bunch of solid gold balls for no reason.

At the end of the day ALWAYS look at your diet and training. I’ve trained hundreds of clients and from my own experience with them and myself, 99.99999999% of supplements don’t do a thing but give you a false sense of confidence and progress, taking your money and making your bank account cry tears of agony.

Your bank on supplements

Your bank on supplements

99.999999999999999999999% of your results will come from dialing in your diet and training, aligning them with your goals. Then, and only then, will supplements even potentially, possibly, perhaps add something to the mix, but even then it’s extremely negligible.For muscle gain and fat loss, here are the only supplements I’ll ever recommend to the general trainee, but even then these are in addition to a dialed in diet and training program.1) Creatine Monohydrate (nothing else).

2) Caffeine (because with more energy you’ll train harder, but look at your sleep levels first).

3) A quality protein powder IF you need to boost your protein intake/for convenience, but whole foods trump all powder.

4) Sex. Lots of it. Preferably with someone you really love and care about.*

*don’t pay for this supplement – it defeats the purpose.

That’s it. No fat burners, sprays, wraps, herbal mixes, anything with some fancy name or really awesome charts and graphs on its packaging.

Now if you’re tempted to go spend your hard earned money on supplements that promote building muscle and losing fat at any point within the next 5-75 years, please just deposit that money into my bank account instead, because I will go buy a delicious steak, bite the shit out of it, and praise your name as I absorb its glorious flesh into my body.

Want to make sure that you have your training and nutrition base locked in and directed towards your goals? Click here.

StoneColdMeme

 

How To Use Your Gaming Skills For Fitness Success

RogLawSSJYou’re in an enviable position, like Liam Neeson in Taken (AKA The Greatest Film Of All Time). You have a particular set of skills that make you a force to be reckoned with.

You’re a gamer, and it’s time the world hears you roar.

Life is the ultimate role playing game. Sure, there MIGHT not be dragon, and you MIGHT not be able to effortlessly deliver 9,999 points of damage to your enemies (yet), but much like Cloud, Samus, Master Chief and Lara Croft, you’re the hero of your own story.

Everyday that you wake up is a new chance to use the lessons learned from your experiences to create the future that you desire.

Now here’s the kicker: no one can do this for you. No one can tackle the necessary work required to change your world for the better. Frightening? Maybe. Exciting? You can bet your sweet hit points that it is! As a gamer, you innately understand this. Regardless of the game you play, you’re thrust into the role of the hero, shoes that only you can fill.

The princess (or prince – that’s right, ladies!) is in another castle and you’re their only hope.

This subtle mindset shift, from victim to hero, is what allows gamers to excel at anything we set our minds to, with fitness being custom-made for our particularly awesome skill set.

Enjoy The Grind

When it takes longer to level up, and more challenging to accumulate valuable experience points.

When skills become harder to acquire and progress all but grinds to a depressingly screeching halt.

Welcome to The Grind.

Everyone who has done anything worth doing has come face to face with it, but luckily you’re more familiar than anyone else with this part of the game, and it’s high time you use this to your advantage.

Lifting and nutrition is a battle of attrition, wearing down bad habits, uninspired moments and fighting the natural human urge to look for the path of least resistance (hello McDonald’s drive-thru). If there’s anything I can say with absolute confidence after working with hundreds of clients it’s this: there is no magic bullet.

These things take time, and those who are most successful find a way to enjoy this necessary part of the journey.

Grind

It’s like staring down a long corridor with a giant boss glaring at you dubiously from across the room. The hallway has many doorways, all containing something useful, all serving only as a distraction from your main quest.

No matter what you do, the only way forward is to do the work, to defeat the boss.

The latest fad diet.

The newest workout that promises to adorn you with muscle and cut slabs of fat off like thick-sliced bacon in record time.

Hopping from one program or diet to the next in search of the “secret” that will fast-track your results is just another way of trying to circumvent the grind.

This is where dreams go to die.

This is where many people spin their wheels for months or years on end, not moving any closer to their goal than when they started.

But what about gamers? Not a chance! You know the meaning of hard work and sacrifice, viewing the grind as a necessary part of the path towards completing your quest. You know how to keep your goal the goal. Find what works and milk it for all it’s worth before exploring other options.

With this firmly entrenched in your brain, it’s becomes not a matter of if you’ll reach your destination, but when.

Progress, Rewards And The Pursuit Of Awesomeness

Let’s talk about loot, gear, rewards and treasure.

If you think this whole health and fitness thing has to be head down, powering through difficulty after difficulty until the end of time sort of deal, I invite you to consider another perspective.

As someone who once believed such dogma, this couldn’t be further from the truth, and buying into it can actually make it even more challenging to accomplish great deeds.

Games have a fantastic reward system built into them that we can apply to our own pursuit of happiness. Complete a quest, get a new item. Perform a certain task, unlock a new area of the world. All of these are ways of keeping us motivated and moving forward, focusing our eyes on the proverbial prize and feeling great for doing so.

We play games for the enjoyment that they bring, so why not treat our lives the same way?

LevelUp

Nobody said that this had to suck. Identify an area where you’re struggling and build a quest and reward system around it – you can even draw your own avatar if you’re feeling particularly sassy.  If you’re struggling with getting to the gym, set a weekly or monthly goal for the number of sessions you want to make. Each time you go to the gym, give yourself a certain number of experience points and once you have enough to “level up”, reward yourself.

The same goes for nutrition. Do you usually order fries when you go out to dinner, but this week you subbed them out for veggies a few times? BAM – that’s a win.Treat yourself for new personal records, consistency streaks, and pretty much everything that you can.

The key to success is pushing yourself consistently in small doses that make you slightly uncomfortable. As you get more wins beneath your belt, your confidence in your ability to overcome anything that comes your way grows.

Keep this mantra in mind: as you can do better, do better.

Growth and progress happens in small spurts. Of course it would be daunting as a level 1 noob to step into a level 99 dungeon, but it becomes less so after you work your way up to that point. Every once in awhile you’ll have the opportunity to do something very difficult that will level you up in a big bad way – take these chances whenever you can.

Fail Forward

Dying sucks.

For some, seeing the dreaded “Game Over” screen after several hours of work is enough to make you wanna throw yourself on the floor and flop around like a fish that’s having a seizure. But first, calm down, playa.

Dying means you took a risk.

Failing means that you went for it but didn’t quite make the mark, and that’s perfectly fine.

Game Over

The great thing about failing in game, much like real life, is that you always get a second chance – mistakes aren’t permanent. Using the knowledge gained from your setback, you can jump into the fray and try again, stronger and wiser from your defeat.

If you fall off your diet, identify what happened (was it stress related, poor planning, or just one of those days?) and confidently hop back on, knowing that when the scenario presents itself again you’ll be prepared.

Get Your Hack On

Like Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix or learning kung-fu in 5 seconds, a hack is a way of manipulating your environment to serve your needs by looking for opportunities to make any difficult task less challenging and thus easier to comply with, increasing your chances of long term success. If devices like the Game Genie and Game Shark exist for consoles, then why not apply the same principles to get your sexy on and take control of your health?

Neo Dodge

If you’re constantly running into a wall with your diet because of poor food planning one hack would be choosing 2 days a week where you prep the majority of your food for the week so that you eliminate this issue before it becomes a problem. Another even more awesome, albeit it more costly, way would be to hire a company that prepares and delivers your meals right to your doorstep.

Can’t find the time to make it to the gym? Sit down, find out the reasons why and set up a system that removes a particular barrier from the equation. If you’re always sleeping through your alarm, set 5 of them at different intervals. If you forget to take your gym clothes to work, keep a spare pair in the trunk of your car and in a locker at the gym.

Getting a grip on your health and manipulating how you look and feel through sheer force of will and your own efforts is about as life changing and magical as you can get without a wizard’s wand or gryffin.

You only live once, and when your world is in peril, failure isn’t an option. Suit up and get ready for battle, hero.

Flotation Tank: A Quick & Easy Way To Beat Stress

JREI first heard about the flotation tank (also known as the isolation or sensory deprivation tank) from being a regular listener of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. As someone looking for ways to better manage stress both from life and the gym, and is always looking for new experiences, I decided to give it a try.

Little known fact: I’m afraid of water AND the dark AND am unreasonably worried about accidentally drowning in the bath tub or a small rain puddle, so I was extremely hesitant about this experience – to this day I haven’t successfully floated in any other body of water.

Thankfully the staff was knowledgeable and friendly enough to answer my questions, one of which was if I would be the first person in the history of the world to go bye bye in the tank, and if so could they make up a way cooler, heroic story to tell my mom, preferably one where I died saving a bus filled with orphaned puppies from a deranged serial killer.

I was shown to the tank and given the preliminaries – session length, what to do in case I panicked or needed help, putting wax inside my ears to prevent water from getting in, etc. Once I was left on my own, I did the only thing that made sense: get nekkid.

Stick with me here. I’m not being creepy.

You can enter the tank in a bathing suit or swimming trunks, but the main benefit is the sensation of nothingness, so if you do that then the feeling of material pressing against or clinging to your skin might take away from the flotation experience, so butt nekkid is the way to go, people.

From there I opened the hatch, descending into darkness, closing the door behind me.

And then there was nothing.

flotation-tank

As a 6 foot tall gentleman of considerable thickness, the inside was spacious enough to allow me to move my body around the tank without feeling too constricted. It did however take awhile for me to stop tensing my body up, preparing for inevitable moment when science failed me and I started to sink. Then came the business of finding the most comfortable resting position: do I go beachside hands-behind-my-head style, or do I cross my arms like I’m a vampire in a coffin waiting for sunset?

My first time was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. No sensation of feeling anything against my skin, no sound and no light; the closest thing that I can liken it to would be meditating while floating on your back through outer space if suddenly all the lights in the universe turned off.

With this physical stimulus gone, the only thing that remained was mental chatter, and there was a ton of it. I thought about what I was going to eat for dinner, if I accidentally forgot to lock my apartment door, if there was anyway that I could become a taste tester for Cinnabon, and if there were any creepy infrared cameras spying on my less-than-presentable dangler.

For the first 10 to 15 minutes, it felt like I was sitting in a room filled with a bunch of people who were having 20 different conversations at the same time and all I wanted to do was tell them to shut their silly faces.

I breathed into my stomach and out my nose at a slow and controlled pace. Once I did, the thoughts started to subside as I focused less on them and more on my breath. After a few minutes of this, I began to experience the most relaxed sense of prolonged peace that I can ever recall having.

Time felt like it was slowing down and speeding up simultaneously; the more relaxed I was, sinking into the experience and letting go of any expectations that I had, the faster time seemed to go. I watched thoughts flow in and out of my head. If one came in that I was particularly interesting to me, I held on to it for a bit and once it was no longer useful to do so I let it go, sending it on it’s merry way.

After what seemed like just a few minutes in this state, I was stirred by a knock on the tank door – my hour was up.

The rest of my day was extremely relaxed. Situations that would’ve annoyed the hell out of me just rolled off my back, and this feeling of “ahhhhhhhhhhh” carried well into the rest of my week.

Each experience is profoundly different. Some sessions I used to surrender and let go of as many thoughts as possible, and others I used as uninterrupted problem solving time for any particular issue I was having.

Even if you just do it once a month, you can’t put a price on an hour of uninterrupted solitude – no voices, no text alerts, no email swooshes or people looking for you to do something for them.

Since making it a regular part of my life, I can’t speak highly enough of this experience. If you’re the type of person who is easily overwhelmed, is filled with anxiety or can’t seem to pull yourself out of “GO GO GO!” mode, you owe yourself to give this a try.

Float Questions

What are the benefits?

To name a few:

  • Quick reduction in stress levels
  • Decrease in stress related pains & anxiety
  • Can help with depression
  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced creativity via shift in brainwave activity
  • Make your skin feel like magic

Where can I find a flotation tank?

There are hundreds of locations worldwide. Here are a few sites you can use to find one in your area.

http://www.floatation.com/wheretofloat.html

http://www.where-to-float.com/

http://floatationlocations.com/where-to-float/

Will I drown?

Nope. Thanks to 800+ lbs of Epsom salt in about 9 inches of water, it’s impossible to drown due to the density of water. The only way I can think of is if you fall asleep and mysteriously flop over onto your stomach…so don’t do that.

Will I run out of air?

Nay. Fresh air is constantly being circulated through the tank. If you feel claustrophobic, you can always get out at any time.

Rog, you got naked. Is it clean in there, or do you now have Ebola?

Quiet, you! You’re required to shower before entering the tank, and the tank is cleaned after each session through a variety of methods to ensure that those nasty microbes don’t live to see the light of day.

How long should I float?

A typical session lasts anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes. You choose the length, and can get out when needed.

Any last words of advice?

Avoid caffeine or other stimulants a few hours before you float, otherwise it can impact your ability to relax. Make sure that you don’t have any open cuts, because this salt is not a game and you will pay dearly for it.

Also, if your eye itches, DO NOT SCRATCH IT!

Audio Lovin

Photo by: Spiros Politis

I’ve done a slew of podcasts over the last few months, so instead of the normal weekly writing I wanted to give your eyes a break and make sweet, sweet audio lovin to your ears.

Full Disclosure Fitness

http://fulldisclosurefitness.com/fdf-episode-061-rog-law-of-rog-law-fitness/

The FitCast

Part 1: http://thefitcast.com/episode-304-roglaws-rules-of-fit-living-part-i

Part 2: http://thefitcast.com/episode-305-roglaws-rules-of-fit-living-part-ii

Fit Smart

This is the podcast that I record with my partner in crime JC Deen.

Our internet home: http://fitsmartcrew.com/

iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-fitsmart-podcast/id506717061?mt=2

Muscle For Life

http://www.muscleforlife.com/rog-law-fitness-interview/

The Damian Brown Show

http://www.damianbrown.com/podcast-episode-1-lifes-too-short-not-to-be-awesome

The Kryptonite Report

http://www.kryptonitereport.com/episode-23-with-rog-law-sexification/

The Joe Rogan Experience

The episode in all its glory.

Training Music Bonus

I’ve been known to go to the gym every now and then, and when I do I like to make sure that my ears are thoroughly assaulted by the finest of tunes. Here’s my personal playlist that gets me through my sessions.

The Art of War

Please know that if Beyonce pops up in the middle of a heavy set of squats and you crumble to the ground, questioning everything that you know and love about me, I regret nothing.