A tourist in Paris walked up to a construction site and asked one of the workers “What are you doing?”
The man, breathing heavy from his labor and covered in sweat sarcastically replied “I’m laying bricks, what does it look like?”
The tourist moved on and saw another man laying bricks and asked the same question. “What are you doing?”
“I” the man, also covered in sweat and dust, proudly replied, “I am building a Cathedral”
Two men, same task, totally different perspective.
Who would you want building your masterpiece?
The way you train, the way you eat, how much sleep you get. These actions all contribute one way or another to the masterpiece that is your body, your health and ultimately the way you are able to enjoy life.
When you miss a workout, you are delaying your masterpiece.
When you only get 5 hours a sleep a night because you are “too busy” you are delaying your masterpiece.
When you fill your body with sugar and alcohol, you are delaying your masterpiece.
It’s really all about perspective, about vision.
You can have the perspective of one who merely “lays bricks”, or you can have the vision of an artist, and create the life you want.
It’s up to you.
I can’t remember from whom I first heard it, but this axiom has stuck with me ever since.
“Saying ‘Yes’ to something means saying ‘no’ to something else.”
Saying ‘Yes’ to being on another board means saying ‘No’ to that evening with my wife.
Saying ‘Yes’ to that early morning political meeting means saying ‘No’ to breakfast with my girls.
Saying ‘Yes’ to taking another training course means saying ‘No’ to some needed down time.
Saying ‘Yes’ to hitting the snooze button (again) means saying ‘No’ to a much needed workout.
Saying ‘Yes’ to a glass of wine every night means saying ‘No’ to optimal fat loss.
Are any of those ‘Yes’ answers “wrong”?
It’s not a matter of right and wrong, it’s often a matter of better and best.
Can it can be flipped around too?
Does saying ‘Yes’ to more fruits and veggies mean saying ‘No’ to filling up with more bread and pasta?
Does saying ‘Yes’ to getting to training mean saying ‘No’ to the effects of disease and aging?
Does saying ‘Yes’ to talking a walk with your wife and kids mean saying ‘No’ to sitting on the couch (like I did for so many years) and staying fat and lazy?
Yes, or No?
Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?
Or was it the other way around?
Heck, I can’t remember, I’ll look it up later. 🙂
Seriously though, did you know there is a “brain” reason why we tend to procrastinate?
Why eating the doughnut right now is much more desirable than fitting into your wedding dress in 6 months?
The good news is there is way we can start to break that vicious cycle.
We just recently finished a 6-week nutrition challenge at the gyms my wife and I own.
I have a love-hate relationship with short term challenges like these.
On the one hand they are awesome for getting people to focus on some changes they need to make in order to reach their goals.
On the other hand there is a “end” to the challenge, and that can be problematic. As soon as the challenge is over, for many there tends to be a gradual (or sometimes not so gradual) regressions back into old patterns of eating.
Which brings me to Shia LaBeouf’s monologue posted below.
While he make look a little crazy saying the words, what he actually says is some of the best advice I have ever heard.
What he says at the end is what caught my attention the most.
It applies to 6-week challenges, and so much more.
“If you’re tired of starting over, Stop, giving, up.”
In what ways do you organize your life?
I think that is a better question than “Are you an organized person?”
If you were to look at my desk you would conclude I am not very organized.
However if you were to take a peek inside my training log or food journal, you would probably conclude I am highly organized.
So which is it?
Am I an organized person or not?
I am organized in the areas of my life that are really important to me.
Date nights with my wife and outings with my kids are on my calendar.
My training logs are written and logged.
I know what I am going to eat for the day.
Business meetings are prepared for in advance.
The desk? Not as high on my priority list, so it’s not as highly organized.
Don’t put yourself in a box. The “organized” or “no organized” box.
Understand you only have so much time and energy to get things done.
So figure out your priorities.
And spend your time being organized there.
What are the limits you are placing on yourself?
If you have 20, or 30 or 50 pounds to lose, do you have the expectation that it will happen?
Your answer either way guarantees nothing, but having the expectations of success will likely create the action that leads to it.
Conversely if you expect nothing you will surely receive it.
Don’t let that voice in your head limit what you can do. It is just as easy to tell yourself you can do it as it is to tell yourself you can’t.
I tell myself I can’t only when what I really mean is I don’t want to.
The quote below sums up why I love being a coach:
“If we can help just one person refuse to accept false limits, we’ve made a contribution. If we can give people the education, the tools and the access they need to reach their goals, we’ve made a difference. And if we can help erase the systemic stories, traditions and policies that push entire groups of people to insist on less, we’ve changed the world. ” – Seth Godin
Consistent action, concordant with our goals, is key to real progress.
We want to complicate things too much.
Some of us are worse than others.
For example I often hear that “I am bored” with eating chicken, fish, and beef.
Aside from the fact there are thousands of ways to prepare the aforementioned foods, is that really the problem?
Or are we creating a problem because we don’t want to get down to the hard work of being consistent, for long enough, to see measurable progress?
“It starts in the mind”
“You have to believe it to achieve it”
“It’s all in your head”
True or False?
In her book “Mindset”, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck writes about the “Fixed” vs. “Growth” mindset.
Look at the graphic below (from Precision Nutrition Level 2 coaching course).
Can you see where it all begins?
A fixed mindset looks at intelligence as static, with the desire to look smart as the driving focus.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, views intelligence as something that can be developed, which in turn leads to a desire to learn.
Look at the graphic.
Can you identify your “mindset tendency”?
What is the benefit of one over the other?
It’s hard to focus.
There are so many “things” pulling on us in every direction.
I am sitting at my desk at 5:30 in the morning, and I am still struggling to remain focused on the task at hand.
Take a breath, clear your mind, and be present in what you are doing, right at this moment.
One thing at a time.
All the time.
What one thing are you going to do right now that will make your day better?
Have you ever set a goal, and then just kept it to yourself?
Did you reach that goal?
I have done it a hundred times. I set a goal, but then I just kinda kept it to myself. Less pressure that way, you know?
That was a bad plan for me, and I am guessing it wasn’t too helpful for you either.
In our latest challenge, S3 VIP, my team shared their goals with me, and many shared them with the entire team.
On top of that, we kept track of our progress and shared our successes too.
Turns out that sharing your progress is one of the best things you can do.
Check out this article that shows how participants in a weight loss challenge actually lost about 5x more when they shared how they were doing (including selfies of their progress!)
Like mom always said, sharing is fun!