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Thoughts 8/6/2015

The year is 2015. We, humanity, are at the pinnacle of our existence in some respects. There is greater access to technology and information than at any other point in human history. A 7 year old with an iPhone can access the same information as a student at Harvard or M.I.T. That is pretty incredible in itself. What is also incredible is that same 7 year old can gain access to just about any bit of information they can possibly conceive of searching for in Google. What will they do with this information? How will their mind process it? How will the viewing of this information affect their development as a human being?
As incredible as it is that there is limitless free information floating around on the internet for anyone to grab it is equally disconcerting because many people that can access this information might not have the cognitive toolkit necessary to utilize this information or process it in a way that will help them, or others, develop into productive members of society. For the last several years we, as a collective, have been given the keys to the city. The unfortunate thing is that, for the most part, we have no idea how to run the fuckin place.
There are “adults,” in the world today that go to Facebook and Twitter to learn about current events. They accept large portions of information at face value without ever questioning the source or their motives for sharing the story in the first place. The majority of people seem to be sleepwalking along the information super highway without any sort of awareness that the effects this zombieism has on them or those around them.
There are an infinite amount of distractions in this world, all designed to keep your eye off the ball in order for the person behind the distraction to make a buck or two. In my observations and conversations with people on a day-to-day basis I have noticed a very disturbing trend. People do not seem to read anymore. I would estimate at least 90% of the people I bump into over the course of living my life on a daily basis either don’t read books, e-books or even listen to audio books. Many times when I bring up the fact that I read to increase my knowledge of myself, and the world around me, I am looked upon as odd. This is the world we live in now. We live in a society that views the desire to develop the mind as peculiar. It is more normal now to be able to talk at length about dramatic events on social media or in entertainment news than it is to know anything about the coming presidential election and the candidates vying for the role of Leader of the Free World.
What the fuck is happening here? Why do people care more about a former Olympian wanting to get his genitalia switched out than they do about things that may have an actual affect on their jobs, their homes, and their families in the future? Have the powers that be done such an incredible job of manipulation by distraction that so many people no longer give a fuck about anything other than finding another butterfly to chase instead of focusing on how to improve their lives and the lives of those around them?
It seems that many people get so caught up in all of the distractions they forget to take care of the person they truly need to have the best relationship with. Themselves. You live inside your head 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Logic would dictate that having a good relationship with yourself would be a pretty high priority on the list of things that will help you succeed in life. Unfortunately that is not the case with most people. Little do most people know, through lack of study, not lack of intelligence, they tell us more through non verbal cues than they might ever understand. They have heard the term “90% of communication is nonverbal,” but they have not made an effort to understand it or what sort of thoughts and internal battles lead to this non-verbal communication.
My chosen profession is to help people. I am fortunate enough to have lived a life with many downs and many ups. I have made a concerted effort to learn from my mistakes, forgive myself for them, and move forward in an effort to help my fellow human beings understand that they too have the ability to overcome any challenge they are faced with. It is my belief that if we do not take the time to develop a serious understanding of ourselves; why we think what we think, say what we say, do what we do, and feel what we feel then we will never truly be able to understand another person to the best of our abilities.
I determined a couple of years ago that my goal in life is to help the men and woman of the world understand the incredible power they have lying dormant within them. I want to help people understand that the more we seek for ways to separate ourselves from our fellow man the less likely we are to succeed as a whole. We are all in this world together. We are all connected whether you choose to believe it or not. There is common ground with every single person on this earth; even it is as small as being a person on this earth. All we need is a starting point to move forward from. The separation and disconnection caused by a wide variety of belief systems; religious, political, national and so on and so forth have delayed the progress of humanity. We are divided by choice, not by necessity. A common strategy in battle is to divide your opponent’s forces in order to conquer them. Well, we live in a world with many divisions and many of the inhabitants in this world walk around as though they have been conquered and there is no hope.
The thing I have come to realize in the pursuit of my goal is that it is very difficult to help people when they refuse to admit there is a problem. We live in a society that views mistakes and admitting one’s flaws as a type of weakness. I believe that is an ass backwards way of thinking. I believe it takes great strength and courage to admit mistakes and flaws. If we do not admit that we are wrong then we do not open our minds to the information or guidance that can help us learn and grow. We have created a culture of fixed mindsets as opposed to growth, a culture of entitlement instead of a desire to earn, and a culture of complainers rather than people that appreciate the opportunity to live each day. I say we because every single one of us has or is contributing to this culture in some way shape or form. Until we make an effort to recognize our errors and our part in the creation and sustainment of this type of culture we will never be able to change it for the better. The first step to making progress is being open to the possibility that we are wrong. I am human. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I do not want to pretend to be perfect. I want to learn how to better myself in every way shape or form because if I am unwilling to put in the time and effort to better myself how can I ever expect or request the same effort and time from my fellow man. It will take all of us working together selflessly, not selfishly to help humanity reach new heights. The only place I can think of to start is with me. I will start from within and work to change the world from there.
As much as I allow it to wear me down at times I cannot shake my love for humanity. There is unlimited potential in each and every human being on this planet. There might not be a right way to live this life, but I believe there are some wrong ways. It is as simple as treating people the way you would like to be treated. Accept one another for our differences and understand that the world would be an extremely boring and uninteresting place if we were all the exact same. There are days I think about giving up my work towards my goal of changing the world, but then I stop and think about it. If I don’t put in the effort, then who will? We are all accountable for our thoughts, words, and actions whether we choose to admit it or not. Every thought I think, every word I say, and every action I take will be calculated and dedicated towards the betterment of mankind. I love you. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. My hope is that in some small way shape or form this will help you along your journey as much as typing this has helped me along mine.



Often times when I see myself or others getting frustrated with weightlifting I like to say “Hey, this is just exercise. Relax.” When I make this statement I am only telling a half-truth. It is just exercise in the literal sense, but it is capable of being so much more than that. When I see somebody missing a lift because they are obviously afraid or doubting themselves the empathetic part of my brain lights up. I can feel what they are going through because I have been through that as well. I know what it is like to get frustrated and slam the bar down or yell in anger after a missed lift. I made that same exact mistake hundreds of times before I realized how incredibly detrimental it was to my progress and the progress of those around me. This essay is meant to elaborate on why I coach the way I coach and to explain why I am so passionate about helping others understand that although this is “just exercise,” it is so much more than that at the exact same time.
When I first decided I wanted to improve in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting I had very little understanding of what improvement would actually entail. I would miss lifts on a regular basis and instead of keeping myself calm and learning from the lift I would lash out in anger or I would allow myself to be consumed by my fear of mistakes or self doubt. I created habits every time I did these things. The choices I made in those moments would inevitably affect the choices I would make in future moments when similar situations would present themselves to me. I was not making progress as quickly as I desired because I did not yet have an understanding that progress in this sport does not come quickly.
The barbell is a tool capable of teaching us exponentially more than how to be physically strong. This may seem extremely strange to people that do not challenge themselves when it comes to weightlifting or perhaps do not partake in this beautiful sport at all. In every lift we have an opportunity to teach ourselves how to overcome fear, how to trust what we know, how to be willing to make a mistake and look back on it after, how to blend patience with aggression, to build belief in ourselves, to trust that we are strong, and to create habits that will undoubtedly carry over into every other thing we do in this life.
If you string enough choice together you create what is known as a habit. A habit is literally defined as “ a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Human beings are creatures of habit whether we like it or not. When we take the time to reflect on our behavior and choices we have made throughout our day, week, month, year or life we can see what type of habits we have. This does not require a magnifying glass or microscope. It only requires that we are truthful with ourselves and those around us. Something much easier said than done for most.
I lifted with anger, impatience and fear when I first started Olympic Weightlifting. I did not truly understand how these habits I had already created throughout my life were affecting the way I approached the barbell. I was unaware that with each and every ounce of anger I allowed myself to have when I would make a mistake; that with every heavy lift I allowed myself to be consumed by fear I was playing into those bad habits I had unknowingly created throughout my life. It was never my intent to create those habits. The barbell exposed me. The barbell became not only a tool that would force me to confront these demons on a daily basis if I wanted to improve, but it became the tool capable of helping me to create new habits, teaching me how to overcome fear of mistakes or heavy weight and more importantly teaching me how to learn from my mistakes instead of allowing myself to be angered by them.
When High Road Barbell Club started all I wanted was to help people improve their weightlifting. They signed up for this Barbell Club because that is what they desired. What I started to notice though is that everybody seemed to carry around many of the bad habits that I myself had been carrying with me as well. As the leader of this team I could not allow myself to make those negative choices anymore. I could not allow myself to get angry, frustrated or down simply because a lift or a lifting session did not go the way I desired. Although I lifted in a relatively empty gym most of the time and nobody could see me, I could still see myself. I had to decide to lead by example even if nobody was looking. The further away I got from my bad habits the closer I got to creating good habits. I learned more about patience, I learned more about self-control and most importantly the barbell helped me practice overcoming fear and doubt. I’ve been inspired by every single person I have seen set foot in this gym day in and day out. Most people do not have the amount of time to work on these things or analyze their own behavior and approach to the barbell the way I do. I could see myself in them. I saw their fear as my fear, I saw their doubt as my doubt, and when I saw them succeed I wanted nothing more than for them to understand that every single lift they attempt is a success simply because they are willing to attempt something the majority of people are not.
After dedicating a large amount of time to establishing the correct movement patterns with Olympic Weightlifting good habits get created as far as that aspect of the sport is concerned. This requires much patience and attention to detail. The majority of people are able to achieve pretty good movement in a relatively short amount of time when given the proper amount of coaching and attention. Beyond that, we must lift heavy weight to find out when the mind gets in the way of the body and slows down/breaks down the movement leading to missed lifts. In the process of providing this challenge for the members of High Road Barbell Club I see some progress, but I also see a consistent repeat of the same mistakes, FEAR and DOUBT. I see individuals on a weekly basis getting to the point where they no longer trust themselves, trust what allowed them the opportunity to make a heavier attempt and it seems as though they no longer trust me. I see the look on their faces that I used to have on mine. I would become so consumed by fear of a mistake or a missed lift that I would totally lose focus on what was really important, creating the greatest opportunity for success. To create the greatest opportunity for success we must be as aggressive as we possibly can in order to exert the greatest amount of force to move the weight. Will the lifts always be perfect when we do this? Probably not, but this sport is not always about perfection in my opinion, it is about progress. In order to overcome fear and doubt we must establish new habits by making different choices than we have in the past. If you know you are missing lifts because of fear, frustration, doubt and/or any other mental roadblock then why would you continue to make that choice week in and week out? If there is 1 mistake and that mistake is not giving everything you have I believe it is a challenge to overcome, but you have the opportunity in each moment to overcome it and create a whole new habit eliminating that problem of being consumed by doubt and fear.
I coach with passion because I care about people, because I love people. I coach with passion because I BELIEVE IN PEOPLE. I believe everyone is capable of achieving anything they put their mind to if they are willing to commit to this goal and put in the required work. I coach with passion because I do not want to see people I care about make the same counterproductive choices I made in the past. For a long time I had nobody helping me, coaching me when it came to this sport. I never really knew how much fear was holding me back until my brother, an amazing coach and human being, called me out on it. He told me that I just had to decide whether or not I wanted to be afraid or be strong. This wasn’t just a commitment to being physically strong, but through that process I would have to commit to being stronger mentally as well. I see others going through this process and I want to help them overcome the self-imposed obstacles faster than I did. I address these issues and provide guidance as best I can. Guidance that I didn’t have for an extended period of time. The bad habits we practice in one aspect of life often bleed out into others. I make an effort to help people understand that because I am passionate about their success, but I can only do so much.
I want to challenge you to develop a new positive habit every time you touch the barbell. The habit of believing in yourself. The habit of recognizing fear or doubt and overcoming these negative thoughts. I challenge you to believe in yourself as much as I believe in you. I should not be more passionate about your success than you are, inside or outside of the gym. I want you to believe in yourself the way I believe in you. You have unlimited potential in every aspect of life. The only way to work towards it is to be willing to alter the habits you have created that have been holding you back and making a conscious effort to establish new habits that will help you achieve any goal you have ever had for yourself.

It is better to have the courage to admit that you are afraid and not mentally prepared to lift a certain weight than to lie to the world and have the barbell show everyone the truth.

Thoughts 6/4/2015

THOUGHTS 6/4/2015

You are walking down a path. You have no idea how you got to this point along the path or how long you have been traveling. You are aware that you want to continue making progress along the path but you do not know which direction to go in order to make the progress you so desire. You are unable to see the end of the path in either direction. You look in front of you and see what appears to be an endless array of obstacles: jagged rocks, tangled limbs of tall trees, a strong and cold wind blowing through them, darkness and the faint outline of the sun setting far beyond the trees showing you just enough of it’s light so that you know it is possible to get there. You turn around to look in the other direction. You see a clear path that lacks character and obstructions that could potentially slow your momentum. You see no tall tress with gangly limbs hanging down. You see no jagged rocks and you see no signs of the strong cold wind that causes your bones to chill when you cast your gaze in the opposite direction. However, you also see no outline of the sun. You know this path will provide you with less resistance, but you also see no light. Which direction do you go? Will you travel the treacherous road leading you to the light or will you take the path that you can travel freely without any threat to your pace and precision of travel?
This is life, a never-ending presentation of paths, roads, ups, downs, and choices. Do we go left or do we go right? Do we embrace the challenge of the difficult route or do we take the easy way providing more immediate gratification? What is right and what is wrong? Is what is right for me the same thing as what is right for another?
Every choice we make in life is influenced by an infinite amount of factors. If we as a people are not aware of how we are influenced by internal and external forces how can we ever truly believe we are making a decision that is genuinely in line with who we are as a person and what we desire? To understand the choices we make we must first make an effort to understand ourselves.
I believe in order to begin the process of understanding the self we must do a little bit of reverse navigation. You find yourself standing at a point, but you do not know how you got there in that moment. You simply know you are in that moment. Perhaps it is time to hit the “pause,” button on life and take a moment to think about what lead you to this position. What choice did you make that put you here or there? Why did you make this choice? Why did you think this was the right choice to make? How did you feel when you made this choice? Why did you feel like that? So many questions, all with an individual and honest answer. Many times we answer these questions and we do not like the first answer. Occasionally that will lead us to tell ourselves a lie and give another answer that helps protect the idea of ourselves we like to present to the world. Is that really even the best idea? Is that even honest?
How can we truly be honest with others if we are so afraid of the truth that we lie to ourselves on a day-to-day basis? Correct me if I am wrong, but I think honesty is a key component of any successful/healthy relationship. We live inside our heads, inside our bodies 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If we do not love ourselves and treat ourselves with respect and honesty then how can we possibly hope to create a truly successful relationship with anybody else.
Success starts from within. My parents told me when I was a teenager that my inner world would determine my outer world. I was incapable of understanding such a profound statement at the age of 17 or 18. I had not experienced enough of the detriment my fractured inner world was causing the world outside of myself. I knew at the time that I didn’t like my self very much, the person I was becoming, or the negative effects my actions were having on others. The truly unfortunate thing is that I had no idea how to stop these things from happening. I felt helpless and I felt like my life was beyond my control. I never felt like any of the decisions I was making were right. It seemed like the majority of choices I made were producing some sort of emotional pain either for myself or the people involved in my life. What I did not understand was how to stop this freefall I was experiencing. It would be several years before I was introduced to the idea that peace within would lead to peace throughout. This is the path of the jagged rocks, the cold wind, and the thick dark forest that leads to the beautiful sunset. It takes courage and involves much pain, a productive pain, in order to be truly honest with ourselves in an effort to better serve the world around us and to protect the people we care about. Things like this are not easy; we will make mistakes, stumble and fall. These trials and tribulations only make coming out of the woods that much more rewarding.
I believe the thing about most people that makes accepting challenges and overcoming them in life so difficult of a concept to embrace is that they have been raised in comfort. Their parents love them so much they make every effort to protect them from all of the trials and experiences that hurt them so badly at the time, but also produced amazingly strong human beings emotionally, intellectually, and physically. I believe it is human nature to want to protect our offspring and provide them with as much comfort and support as possible. We do not want to see the people we love the most experience a single ounce of emotional or physical pain. This is both an amazing human characteristic and a critical flaw in our design. There has to be balance and balance is extremely difficult to achieve especially if we are not aware of the necessity of the aforementioned balance.
Many people seem to get so caught up in keeping those they care about wrapped in the arms of comfort that they start to compromise things like the truth, humility, and teaching a strong work ethic in order to keep the warm fuzzy feeling lasting as long as possible. One day though, winter will come for those we love and if we do not prepare them by helping them to grow strong and well rounded then it will eventually destroy them, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. They will be weak and when they stumble they will not know how to get up. They will choose to lie there on the ground as life passes them by. Some may make an effort to crawl. Those that truly have heart will look within and develop the strength to rise to their feet and travel along the cold windy road despite the best efforts of the elements to keep them down. Cases like this are few and far between, but they do come about every so often.
Although everyone is capable of picking him or herself up, not everyone believes in this inherent ability. We are creatures of habit. We learn many of our lifelong habits when we are very young. If we are surrounded by people that love us enough to challenge us and help us grow strong then we will have strong habits early on and a strong character to grow with them. Many are not so fortunate and will live a life of comfort. Along with this life of comfort comes a lack of human experience in the challenges the world will inevitably place in front of us. We will exist under the illusion that we are strong and wise but these will merely be superficial qualities. There will be no depth to that character. The majority will want to hold onto this illusion as if it were the truth. They will cover themselves and others creating layer upon layer of lies and half truths in order to protect themselves from accepting the real truth, that they are not yet strong, that they are not yet wise, that they must fall to the ground and earn their right to stand up. Illusions will last longer for some than others, but eventually they will all be washed away some how or some way.
One thing I find particularly interesting about the society I have grown up in, something I never questioned until I started to gain the courage to ask myself difficult questions, is how obsessed this culture is with the superficial. The things on the surface that are so easily seen. It truly seems as though the majority of people have no interest in finding out what is beneath the surface. They have fallen in love with the ease of taking in the immediate information our sense of sight provides. It seems like even when something happens that can shake or crack this illusory case they have placed around this ever-changing world they resist. They have no desire to pull on the thread and unravel the truth. This would require effort. This would require an open mind and a willingness to challenge ourselves and to be challenged by others in order to be the best versions of ourselves. Why are we so afraid of this as a collective? Is it because we were not taught properly? Or is it because we were not taught how to fend for ourselves when it comes to uncovering the truths of the world? Has it been forgotten that we can choose forever and ever to better ourselves through the pursuit of knowledge and experience?

4/23/2015 Reflections

4/23/2015 Reflections

What do you want each day to be? What do you want to accomplish?

Every single day of my life I want to make the choice to wake up focused and determined. I will have my goals for each day established before I even open my eyes. I will set a timeline for each of my goals, stay on task, and accomplish whatever it is I shift my focus towards.
I will wake up every morning excited and appreciative of the fact I woke up at all. I will do a better job of approaching every social interaction with an open mind and an open heart. Although I feel as though my honesty and openness with those around me is usually of great benefit I must also do a better job of being patient enough to accept that many people might not be prepared to handle such truth when they are accustomed to lying and being lied to for a majority of their days. They probably aren’t lying about much, but I have in the past, and I know many others have hidden their true thoughts and feelings in an effort to appease those around them. I will improve my understanding of the fact that even though my honesty and love are delivered with positivity and designed to produce more positivity that will, unfortunately, not always be the way my message is received or perceived.
We seem to live in a superficial world in which many people have little to no desire to look beneath the surface in order to improve themselves and the world around them. Perhaps I can serve humanity more effectively if I simply ask questions and wait for them to explain their thoughts to themselves. As I write this, my eyes become more open to the probability and likelihood that even if a person trusts me, believes in me, and knows I have their best interest at heart they might still be resistant to change or a new perspective. I’ve read the quote a thousand times “Change must come from within.” How can I help trigger change from within another if I am attempting to present them with a reality they have yet to discover on their own? Attempting to teach people about themselves ….As I transcribe this onto my computer from my notepad I realize how flawed that train of thought is in it of itself. The mistake I have been making is telling people what I see, what I have experienced, and what I believe. It is like shaking someone to wake him or her up. People do not want to be woken up when they are not ready. That is when resistance is encountered. I must make less of an attempt to push the truth onto people and make more of an effort to open my mind and find a way to help them learn how to let the truth flow through them. The unconscious want to wake up on their own terms and I must accept that. I can facilitate this process more effectively by asking questions when I am curious, and by answering questions when they are asked, not before they are asked. The more I learn about my fellow man the more I learn about myself and the world around me. I will research my experience. I will absorb what is useful. I will reject what is useless, and add what is specifically my own.
I will improve my patience. I will ask more questions. I will do a better job of listening to the answers. I will be patient enough to present my opinion when it is asked for. I must understand that when most people are truly ready to listen, they will ask for an answer.
I will continue to spend my days constantly working to improve myself in an effort to better serve humanity. I am but a very small piece in an ever-expanding world. If I do not put forth my best effort to do my part to improve it, how can I expect or help promote

4/21/2015 An attempt at beng poetic

APRIL 21, 2015. An attempt at being poetic

What a great tragedy we all have sewn
Destroying the lives we could have known
Not thinking, not seeing
Believing in forces outside of ourselves
Never realizing the true power within
Not truly knowing until it’s the end

The masses are zombies moving without thought
In their faces, their eyes, a look so distraught
Empty smiles and endless forced grins
Attempting to hide all the pain within
Not thinking, not seeing
Believing in forces outside of ourselves
Never realizing the true power within
Not truly knowing until it’s the end

What is our purpose? Why are we here?
To produce negativity? To live in fear?
Making choices and not knowing why
Blindly following until you die
Not thinking, not seeing
Believing in forces outside of ourselves
Never realizing the true power within
Not truly knowing until it’s the end

Gifted with potential beyond our sight
Succumbing to fear and uncertainty
Giving up the fight
Our limits unknown
Do we desire to find
And know that who we were
Can be left behind

Our quantity of time in this world is smaller than we think
Do we fill it with quality or will we choose to sink
To the levels of the masses and that powers that be
With no care about you, and no care about me
Not thinking, not seeing
Believing in forces outside of ourselves
Never realizing the true power within
Not truly knowing until it’s the end

I believe in love and the power it wields
I will fight negativity with a relentless zeal
They will think me strange and different at times
I will keep following my heart and pay them no mind
My goal in life is to change the world
To help others realize their power within
I will never give up
Knowing that there is no end


Written 3/16/2015

PERSPECTIVE. This is a word I have heard and seen more in the last few days than I have at any other point in my life. But what does it mean? Perspective that is, not the amount of times I have encountered the word recently. Perspective is defined as a particular attitude toward or a way of regarding something; a point of view. In short, it is the way we process information; situations, words, actions, successes, failures, and so on and so forth. Now, what determines an individual’s perspective/view of events taking place in the world? I believe every single moment of a human being’s life ultimately shapes their perspective, opinions, thoughts, feelings and actions. If time is linear it would seem as though we can not reach the end point without first traversing through the infinite number of points created from the very birth of the line until now. That seems like the most logical thing in the world to me, but to some it might seem totally ridiculous. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and thoughts on any situation.
In my opinion, not being open to other views is like shutting yourself off from the world. I feel like those that choose to limit their intake of perspectives are limiting their world. It is as though they are sitting inside of a house and only looking out at the world through a keyhole in a door when they could simply open the door and see everything in front of them. This allows a person to experience a much larger amount of life and also allows them the opportunity to decide what to do with the information and experiences they go through; to see why they think this about that, or feel that about this. Will we all see from the same point of view all of the time? Certainly not. None of us share the same eyes therefore making it impossible to see things the exact same way.
Let me put this into perspective. I sit here in my apartment writing in a notebook given to me by a friend because she likes to read what I write. This will probably never be published, and I am definitely not getting paid for it. In the eyes of many I have just wasted a couple of hours of my life, ink from my pen, and the paper in this book. To me, even if my words can help only one person then every simple stroke of my pen upon this paper has been worth it. The funny thing is that simply by writing this I have helped me to gain a better understanding of myself and therefore every moment has been put to good use before another person even lays their eyes upon this.
Now my mind takes me to a question about why people seem so much more willing to apply themselves with physical development and enhancement rather than continuing to grow emotionally or mentally. I believe it is due to the fact that it is much easier for others to see you than to actually take the time or make the effort to get to know you. It is unfortunate that the ability to communicate with people we do not know seems to be a diminishing skill and an increasing fear amongst the masses. Has our society turned into one so extremely materialistic and superficial that people would rather endure the physical pain of cosmetic surgery than to take the time to enhance or reconstruct themselves internally? If this is the case then I feel like we are slipping further and further from the truth that inner beauty can last a lifetime while the external will eventually fade away. Another truth, in my opinion, is we, humans, need each other in order to live life to the fullest. How can we maximize our ability to assist in the progress of our civilization if we do not first take steps towards helping ourselves? I do not speak of self-help or undertaking mere physical endeavors. I speak of challenging ourselves throughout 100% of our being across all planes of existence.
One of the things I find to be particularly interesting when I reflect and look at the world is how very little a majority of people seem to understand what shapes their viewpoint. Perhaps I should rephrase. It amazes me how little effort the majority of people put into understanding why they think what they think or why they feel what they feel? Correct me if I am wrong here, but isn’t one of life’s ultimate seemingly unanswerable questions, “Why are we here?” I believe another one is, “How did we get here?” These things interest me greatly.
I believe there is a serious hurdle to jump before I dive headlong into the topic of understanding and being open to the perspective others may have. How can we really truly ever comprehend and understand the perspective of another human being, or any creature for that matter, if we do not first take the time to learn how we reached our point of view in the first place. Are you the type of person that takes responsibility for your internal goings on or do you prefer to blame others? “Ted made me sad.” Did Ted make you feel sad or are you sad as a result of Ted’s actions not falling in line with the version of an optimal reality you created in your mind prior to him not asking you on a date that night?
Have you ever watched a movie and only seen the final 10 minutes? When this has happened you’re probably pretty confused. If questioned about the film you would have little to no idea how the old man ended up with a 22-year-old wife and 5 billion dollars in his bank account. When it comes to a movie you might not give a shit about how or why that happened. I mean, it’s a movie. What about your thoughts and feelings though? Do you ever take a moment to ask yourself how you created those thoughts or why you have those particular feelings?
Time to dig a little bit deeper into the topic of self-awareness and understanding of us. Like any good challenge the task of becoming honest with ourselves about thoughts, feelings, and such will not be without obstacles. The largest obstacle of all is our EGO. The way we want people to view us. Sometimes we fall into some bad habits in life. One of the most dangerous, in my experience is the creation of a person for the outside world different from our true self. This created an inordinate amount of internal conflict for me in the past. I was so busy trying to be what I thought I should be for everyone else that I would often make choices that went against my gut and initial intuition. I suppose I did it to maintain appearances. I did it so that people would like me. The thing was, I got so caught up in the mix of trying to get everyone else to like me that I wasn’t doing what it took to be happy with myself. I continuously made little compromises in order to please those around me. The worst thing I could compromise was the truth, and I did that often. I did it about trivial things. I will give one simple example here by sharing a personal experience with a type of compromise in order to relate to you more effectively. Early in my career as a personal trainer at 24Hr Fitness I cared far more about drinking and partying with my friends than I did about any of my clients. I was selfish and I was not committed to my work. I had only recently gotten out of the Army and I believe I was more focused on living the part of my life I felt I had missed out on with my friends that I had hardly seen over the last few years. I would find just about any excuse to cancel appointments with clients in order to go out on the town with my friends. The thing is, I would never tell them the truth about why I was cancelling. I recall a particular day in the summer of 2008 when I had cancelled my appointments in order to drink beer and watch soccer with my friends at Buffalo Wild Wings. I never really felt right when I did things like that, but I kept doing it because I didn’t want to get shit from my friends if I missed out on fun things. On the particular day I just mentioned I had actually forgotten to cancel on one of my clients. She called me on my cell phone while I was at the bar. I didn’t recognize the phone number and I answered the call. The caller said “Hey Josh, where are you right now?” I was drunk already and answered with, “At Buffalo Wild Wings. Where are you?” Obviously my client was not too happy with that response being that she was at the gym waiting for our 3pm appointment and me. Going against my gut in a simple situation like that created several more uncomfortable conversations and situations for me. That particular client no longer wanted to train with me and I nearly lost my job. All of that could have been avoided if I had simply done what I knew was right. Did I have to lie to my clients in order to go drink with my friends? Did I have to compromise my job simply because I didn’t want to get messed with by my buds? No, but at the time I chose to because I wasn’t concerned with what was in my best interest. I was so busy compromising in order to please others that I compromised my integrity and character in the process. This is only one instance in which I compromised the truth. There are far too many others to recount in this one short essay. I suppose some of this happened as a result of my insecurities and a lack of personal strength. I lacked the strength to be honest with others at the time. Not only that, I lacked the strength to be honest with myself. I had yet to develop an understanding of why I made the decisions I was making or felt certain things that I felt.
It would appear as though I have fallen into sharing my perspective, but I think that is what this is all about. Sharing perspective on perspective knowing all along there are roughly 7 billion other possible perspectives about what I have spent this time writing about.
Looking back, several years later, I guess I just wasn’t ready to understand yet. Apparently I had to dig a deep enough hole to truly decide I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I dug that hole with negative thoughts, negative words, and negative actions, but I didn’t believe I was a negative character. One day I decided, just like that, it was time to change. Instead of procrastinating and waiting around for a force to change me I decided to become the force and change myself. I started to behave like the person I wanted me to be instead of the person I thought I had to be or felt certain people wanted me to be. It is a challenge indeed, but pursuing my own development and progress as a human being has been one of the most worthwhile adventures I have ever gone on. I know that my work will never be done and I will constantly search for ways to improve mentally, emotionally, and physically every single day. Those three realms are connected and I do not believe we can truly fulfill our potential in one aspect without simultaneously working to improve the others. The more honest I became with myself the better I understood myself and the more honest and understanding I felt I could be with others.
Do you see what I am getting at here? Why don’t most people take the time to understand what has shaped their own perspective? Are they too caught up with school, work, and entertainment? Or is it simply because the vast majority have never been taught the skill of how to understand themselves? I think a larger issue that has presented itself to me in the last several years seems to be that many people have no interest in understanding themselves. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes honesty, pure, un-cut honesty. You know what they say; “the truth hurts,” and most of us do not like pain, emotional or physical. Conversely, society has developed the saying, “pain is weakness leaving the body.” Most of the time I see it used in reference to physical pain, but I think that is simply because most people are unwilling to put in the effort to apply it when it comes to progress emotionally, character development, and mental capacity.
Please allow me to take my perspective on perspective one step further. I know what it is like to go days on end without sleep. I experienced that many times when I was an Airborne Ranger. What do you think my thoughts are when someone complains to me about a 12-hour workday or being stuck in traffic? My thoughts are not those of disdain, but those of belief in you. Belief that if you change the way you view that day then it will seem as though it is more pleasurable than painful. The thing however that has helped my perspective the most when it comes to “challenges,” is knowing that there will always be people out there climbing a steeper mountain, traversing greater obstacles, and doing more with less than you or I ever have. Those thoughts help me to stay centered and I believe they can help you too. I can’t imagine what my Ranger Buddy Cory Remsburg would say to me if he ever heard me complain about any aspect of my life. Cory was basically blown up on October 1st, 2009 in Afghanistan. He was in a coma for nearly 4 months and was never supposed to wake up. But he did anyway. The doctors told him that he would never talk, walk, or really live a normal life again. 6 months after he awoke from the coma he was talking. Undergoing several hours of grueling rehab and physical therapy each day over the years he speaks more clearly and can walk on his own. PERSPECTIVE. What do I know about a challenge? I have never had to come back from the dead and learn how to live again. Do I know about challenges? Yes. More than many, but less than some. This is why I love the power of perspective, because when you understand how you got to the point you are at it makes it a lot easier to sympathize, empathize, and connect with others in order to see how they arrived at their point of view. I’m not always right and I’m not always wrong, but I will always love people and I will always believe in their potential to utilize the tool of perspective in order to mold any obstacle in their path into a sign helping to point them in the right direction.
The Law of Inertia states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. I mention this because the way I see it we are the objects. Not just our bodies, but our minds and our hearts as well. The thing separating us is that we as objects have all of the power to change our state of being at any given moment. We decide when we make the change from being an object at rest to becoming an object in motion. We decide at what speed we move. Will there constantly be external factors applying force that can potentially change our speed, direction, and overall state of being? Yes. Always. The unbelievably incredible fact is that based upon the way we see the world we have the power to manipulate that force and flow with it. I think one of the most heartbreaking things in the world is when people feel like they have to be sad, angry, jealous, selfish, petty, and any negative act or emotion you can think of. The funny thing is that none of those words would exist without their opposites. We would not have sad without happy, angry without calm, jealous without trusting, selfish without selfless, and petty without kind. What would happen if you thought of your emotional states as light switches? Simply flicking them on and off. Obviously it won’t always happen immediately. Sometimes it will take a little more time to flick the switch than others, occasionally if it is off it will be difficult to find, but eventually it will happen when the time is right. The sparks will fly and the bulb will turn on illuminating whatever it is you want to see.
Life as we know it is an incredible journey. There are infinite ups, downs, good times, and bad. The past will always exist in our minds and can hold us back if we allow it to. The future will never be definite as even the best-laid plans can collapse and slip away. The one thing that we can ultimately control is our mind and how we use it. It is the most powerful tool that we have and I believe we can maximize its effectiveness by understanding how to focus on the present moment. That is when we can truly decide how we perceive the world. Memories of past moments are tools that we can use to empower us in the present or break us down. Stressing about the future can be extremely harmful to our ability to live in the present. However, we can use that awareness that the future will eventually arrive to make decisions in the present to create the best possible future.
These could simply be illogical ramblings and nonsense to some, but all of these words thrown together like this seem to make sense to me. It is my hope they will make sense to you and have a positive impact on the way you perceive the world. I desire nothing more than to help everyone I come in contact with in some small way, shape, or form. I want to live the highest quality of life I can, and affect the lives of others with the quality of my words and actions. As long I can maintain a high quality of life, the quantity will not matter. The world is a beautiful place. I am aware of the ugly parts of it, but I make the choice to look past them in order to see the great potential of humanity. How do you see the world? How do you see yourself? Why?

Thoughts on the 2013 Open

In exactly 1 week the CrossFit Games Open starts again. Last year I had only been doing CrossFit for about 3 and a half weeks when the first workout was released. I remember feeling so nervous and excited to see what it was. I also remember how I felt when I walked into Orange Coast CrossFit to perform the first workout. There were a ton of people there and all of them, based on their physical stature, appeared to be “better” than me. I knew that everyone there had more experience with CrossFit than I did, but the workout was 7 min of burpees so I didn’t let that get in my head. That day I did 129 burpees in 7 minutes, which was good enough to put me at 46th place after the first of five qualifying workouts for regionals (they took the top 60 athletes last year). On the ride home that day I truly believed that I had a shot at making it.
Experience didn’t matter; nothing that anyone else did mattered. All that mattered to me was that I was willing to give everything to achieve my goal. I was obsessed with it. The week before the 2nd workout I injured my foot in training. At the time I was so obsessed with my goal that I refused to rest, and continued to push. The 2nd workout of the open was a Snatch ladder. Snatches were an exercise that I had only done a few times so I was kind of nervous, but once again, nothing mattered but giving everything I had to work towards my goal (also beating my older brother that had been doing CrossFit for a few years already). I had a decent performance in that workout, but tweaked my shoulder due to my improper technique. Still, I did not rest. With my foot and shoulder injuries I was very limited in what I could do each week to prepare for the next workout. I couldn’t run, couldn’t jump rope, couldn’t do box jumps, and I could barely do any lifting. Basically, I was destroying myself. The thought of “failure” in reaching my goal was so horrible that I was willing to sacrifice my body in order to achieve success. With each of the following 3 workouts I started to feel my fitness level decreasing and my performance in each workout demonstrated that. The 3rd workout had box jumps and push press (extremely painful for my foot and shoulder), the 4th had double unders (killer on my foot), the 5th and final workout didn’t have anything that brought great pain to me, but I was in a poor mental state and my lung capacity had deteriorated so much that it totally destroyed me. I did not reach my goal of advancing to regionals and I refused to take solace in the fact that as inexperienced and as injured as I was, I managed to place 182nd out of around 2,000 male athletes in the SoCal region. I viewed it as failure.
With that in mind, I continued to train while injured. It was incredibly stupid. I didn’t take any time off of training until April. I only did that because my good friend Ben Heck had a serious talk with me and let me know I could never fulfill my potential if I was always hurt. I hadn’t been 100% in months, but I cared so much about what everyone I was trying to compete with was doing that I was making myself worse by trying to “keep up”. Over the course of the next few months I struggled with my mindset. Always getting down on myself when I couldn’t do things that athletes that had been doing this for years were doing. I was impatient, and thickheaded. I continued to be a dumb ass until August 25th, 2012. It was the first time I got to participate in a “real” CrossFit competition. It was a team competition and I was determined to show everybody that I was capable of keeping up with the top athletes in the region. The first workout of 3 was 3 rounds for time of 30 wall balls, 14 muscle ups, and 30 hang power snatches with a 14 minute time cap. The team was Matt Banwart, Gilly Smith, and I. We didn’t have a 2nd girl. Everything started great as we flew through the wall balls and muscle ups, and then came the hang power snatches (snatches have been my kryptonite since I started CrossFit). I saw Matt knock out about 12-15 unbroken and I was determined to do something similar. I got my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (my technique was terrible), I kept pushing. On my 5th hang power snatch I tried to get under the bar too fast and nailed myself in the forehead. It split it open and blood immediately started pouring out of my face. I didn’t care. When it was my turn to work again I didn’t let it stop me. I corrected my technique and continued to perform each exercise. It seemed like the people running the event wanted me to stop, but I ignored them. Gilly wanted me to stop, but I ignored her too. I had one goal, and that was to not let my teammates down and to show that I was capable of great things. I finished the workout bloody as hell and with a bandage on my head. For about 20 minutes afterwards I was feeling alright because my adrenaline was still pumping. When that wore off I pretty much fell to the ground and almost passed out. My friend Alex drove me to the emergency room. On the way there I pretty much puked my brains out. When we arrived I couldn’t stand up under my own power and had to be placed in a wheel chair. I looked so messed up that people in line for the ER actually let me go ahead of them. For the 15min I was waiting to get looked at I felt so horrible that all I could think was “oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” I ended up getting 5 stitches in my forehead and was diagnosed with a concussion. I felt embarrassed that day. I did not feel as though what I did was “bad ass,” or that I even did anything different than anyone else would have done. I thought it was the right thing to do.
When I went home that day there were a few people over. Ben was telling the story of what happened to a couple of our friends and I took it in such a negative way that I blew up on him. I felt horrible about it. The whole incident made me realize that I wasn’t focused on myself. I was focused on everybody else. I was using so much energy thinking about what other people were doing that it was taking away from me. The worst part about it was that CrossFit had stopped being fun for me. I took a few weeks off after that to, kind of, re-evaluate why I was doing what I was doing. It dawned on me that the less I cared about everyone else, like in the beginning, and the more I kept all of my own energy, the more fun I had and the better I felt physically.
Since that time I haven’t “competed” against anyone, but I have worked out with a ton of phenomenal athletes. I just focus on me and doing what I can do that day, in that workout, in that moment, and that is all that matters. I think that mindset translates to all aspects of life. The more you can focus on what you can control, and only on what you can control, the more simple life becomes. Stress melts away, negative energy drifts away, and only the positive thoughts remain. So now the 2013 Open is a week away. I’m not stressed, I’m not anxious, I am still kind of a dumb ass when it comes to pushing through things, but its for a different reason now. It’s because I want to find out what I am capable of. I will never know unless I continue to push. It is just in a much more positive way. I hope that reading this helps you to realize to focus on you and what you are doing, and not worry about other people or things outside of yourself that you have no control over. Because, in the end, that is all just wasted energy.

Anniversary Thoughts

I am sitting here at CrossFit High Road. It is 9:30p.m. On Monday February 23, 2015. It has been exactly 364 days since we opened our doors for our first day of business. For the last several days I have been putting forth my best effort to think of something to write about the occasion. I have wanted to write my thoughts and feelings about this gym in so many different ways that I have been unable to pinpoint exactly how to describe the way I view this place. The way I feel about it. The way I experience it. Tonight I was on the phone with a friend when she asked me, “Why are you so deep in thought today?” That was the very moment it hit me. I wanted to write something about this gym, my home, because the members that come to us each day deserve to know just how much I truly do love them and genuinely appreciate each and every second they spend in here. They deserve to know how much they have helped me to improve, not just as a coach or business owner, but also as a human being. I wake up each and every morning to take steps towards bettering myself in order to help the people I care about in a better way.
Here I am, only on the second paragraph of this essay and I am already becoming scatterbrained. I will just get straight to the point again and again. The transitions will not be seamless. My thoughts might not end up being very well organized, and I will definitely be throwing in some profanity here and there. This essay will not be the most grammatically correct piece of work you have ever taken the time to read, and for that I apologize. I am not a smart man. I never have been and I never will be. I am not a talented man. I never have been and I never will be. I have never been the fastest, the strongest, the anythingest. None of that was in the genetic lottery for me. One thing I have realized at this point in my life is that I love helping people. Love might not even be a word strong enough to describe how I feel in regards to helping somebody do something they have never done or never thought they could do.
I started writing a bunch of other stuff right here and realized something. I can explain why I love helping people so much in a few short words. I love helping people to learn how to believe in themselves and to overcome fear because I know exactly what it is like to not believe in myself and to be afraid of so many things. Afraid of looking foolish, afraid of making mistakes, afraid of letting others down, and afraid of letting myself down. I feel like I can see pieces of myself in every single person that walks through our doors.
When I first began CrossFit I was not patient. When I first started to make the effort to improve at Olympic Weightlifting I was not patient. My lack of patience held me back in so many ways it was unbelievable, or so I thought. Turns out, in order to help people learn how to be patient I had to experience impatience, frustration, and anger. I came to the conclusion that although none of us will ever be the best at anything; we can always put forth our best effort at everything we do. When we do this we create the greatest possibility for long-term success. To appreciate that we must be patient, and that is why patience is a skill and requires practice.
My best friend once told me “you can’t do better than your best, and that might change from one moment to the next.” Pretty profound shit for somebody in their early 20’s, but he was right. If we can look ourselves in the mirror at the end of each night and honestly tell ourselves we gave our best in every aspect of life then we should not be disappointed at all because we did everything to maximize our chances of success.
I told Vanessa a couple of years ago that since I was never going to be the best at CrossFit I was going to be the best at coaching it. Not only that, I told her I was going to be the best at loving the people that I coach and doing everything in my power each and every day to help them believe in themselves as much as I believe in them. I told her I was going to share my heart with the entire world and give the best of myself each and every day. By doing this I could get one step closer to my goal each day.
My definite chief aim in life for a couple of years now has been to help the men and women of this earth discover the powerful forces that lie sleeping within them. By doing this I believe I can help them to help change the world for the better. Every day, every hour, every moment is a chance to make a positive impact on the world.
I promise that as long as I am a part of this gym and as long as we have members I will never stop pushing myself to achieve my goal. I will take steps every second of every day to better myself so that I can better serve you. Although it might not seem like it at times I want you all to know that I genuinely love each of you as people and want nothing more than to help you trust and believe that you can do anything.
Every thought I think, every word I say, and every action I take is designed to work towards my goal of helping people. I might get outsmarted at times, I might get outcoached every once in a while, and I will definitely not take first in every workout or lifting competition, but I will swear on everything that there will never ever be anybody as dedicated to your success and as determined to help you believe in yourself as I am.
I will always be honest with you and I will always do my best to give you all of the tools you need to reach whatever goals you might have inside and outside of the gym.
It has been 364 days since we first opened our doors. There have been ups and downs and lefts and rights. There is no way in fuck I would change a single moment because ultimately they have all brought us together, and that is a beautiful thing.
My life hasn’t always run smoothly, there will always be challenges in front of all of us, mental and physical. I will give you everything I have to help you overcome them because I love you and I believe in you.
I know this is just about the sappiest thing I have ever written, but it is 100% honesty top to bottom. I want to make sure that every single one of our members knows why I wake up with a smile on my face each and every day, and go to sleep at night looking forward to the next morning’s sunrise.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives. You push me to be a better person each and every day, and for that I cannot thank you enough. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY CROSSFIT HIGH ROAD

For Barbell Club

Dear Barbell Club,

I think you all learned a lot today when we tested Heavy Single Snatch and Heavy Single Clean & Jerk. If you learned absolutely nothing today then I have either failed you as a coach, or you simply do not listen or pay attention to anything that happened in that room today. The thing I believe most of you are failing to understand is a Heavy Single day is not an automatic PR day. What it looks like is that some of you expect to PR because you have put in the time during the cycle. PR’s are not and never will be automatic. They must be earned. You do not earn them by becoming impatient and altering your technique. You do not earn them by being afraid when there is a challenging weight on the bar. You earn them through discipline when it comes to your technique. You earn them through developing a patience and understanding of yourself when it comes to this whole weightlifting experience. If weightlifting were easy then everyone would have perfect form. If weightlifting were easy then we would PR everyday. If you do not respect and appreciate the process you will fail. You will fail miserably and you will drag the team down with you. I will not allow that. I do not give two flying fucks about whether or not you PR on days like today. All I give a fuck about is that you push yourself to overcome fear. All I care about is whether or not you develop the courage to remain calm in the face of a challenge. I want to see you remain positive when you miss a lift. No more of this moping sad face bullshit. I understand why it happens because I used to do it as well, but it was so detrimental to my development that I can’t willingly sit back and not say anything when I see any of you making that same negative choice I was making; the choice to hold yourself back by succumbing to frustration instead of learning. NEWS FLASH!! Missed lifts are part of the process. They are just as important, if not more important than made lifts. It is my duty to you to educate you on why you miss lifts so that you can learn how to make those lifts in the future. I will never stop coaching you. I will never be less than 100% honest about what I see out there. I will be loud, I will be a smart ass, and I will probably make a lot of crass/inappropriate jokes. This is who I am. I am someone that has made a ton of mistakes and is willing to share those experiences with you in an effort to help you avoid making those same mistakes yourselves. If you do not like being coached, if you do not like being challenged, if you want to choose fear, if you want choose frustration, if you choose to be impatient then you will not enjoy High Road Barbell Club. I will coach you with everything I have in me because I see, not where you are, but where you are capable of going. You can choose to fight against what I say. You can choose to take all of the joy and beauty out of this process, or you can appreciate and enjoy what it truly is. A recreational activity that allows us as people to challenge ourselves to push beyond know boundaries, not just physically, but mentally as well. I am here to help you find your potential. My mission is to help you understand that fear is a choice you do not have to make. Patience is a transferable skill in all aspects of life. Being a positive influence on the people around you might be the most important practice in the world. We will not make every lift. We will miss lifts, and make mistakes. We are imperfect creatures living in an imperfectly perfect world. Lets enjoy the experiences as a group of individuals coming together for something more. Let us raise the bar, not just for ourselves, but for each other.

With all of the love in my heart,
Joshua Baumgarten



You say you have goals. You talk about them all the time. I want to do this, I want to do that. I hear you every time. Where are you when it is time to get in the game and step up to the plate? You don’t even have the courage to get into the fuckin batter’s box, do you? Why are you even in the dugout? Why are you standing here telling me that you want to make the big play? How are you ok with blatantly lying to me and everyone else about your “goals,”? How did our society get to this point where the majority of people are more willing to talk about goals than actually taking the actions to achieve them? Fuck that. I want it to stop, and I am no longer willing to sit back in the stands and watch this continue to happen. I am storming the field. I am taking the mound and throwing a 100mph fast ball right down the middle. I am telling you I am going to do it. Do you have the heart to step up to the plate knowing what is about to happen? Do you have it in you to take a fucking swing at all? Does the possibility that you might miss frighten you so much that you are unwilling to put forth your best effort? Or are you going to be part of the minority that actually has the guts and the grit to step up to the plate and strike out over, and over, and over again believing that at some point one of these swings is going to knock that fucking ball into orbit? This article is about how I no longer desire to hear about the goals that you are more willing to speak about than you are willing to work towards.
Now, I know this isn’t like my usual stuff, which involves me saying how much I love everyone and how much potential everybody has. Those two things are still true, but I am taking a different angle on this whole pep talk thing. Instead of staying calm and talking to you like you can hear me, I am smacking you in the face and yelling so loud that you can’t help but listen. I am going to be so loud that there is no way that the coward that lives in the back of your mind, the stupid little bastard that has been conditioned by society to cower when confronted with a challenge can’t here me. I am here to tell you that you can achieve your goals, but I am also here to tell you to SHUT THE FUCK UP if you are not 100% committed. I pay enough attention to the tone of your voice, I pay enough attention to your body language and your actions to know when you are full of shit. Why are you even telling people that you have these goals? Do you think that your friends and family will think more highly of you when you tell them about the great things you want to achieve? I’ve been there. I have been in your shoes. I would talk about my goals all the time, but that little fucker in the back of my mind would always have a fail-safe mechanism to save my stupid ass ego from being destroyed when I didn’t achieve them. That is what happens when something isn’t a real goal FYI. You start by saying that you will try to do things. As cliché’ as it sounds, trying really is doing something with the intent to fail.
If something really is a goal of yours, whether it is to get in better shape, get a promotion, get your masters, do whatever the fuck. If something really is your goal you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. You will obsess about it. It is not unhealthy to embrace challenges and hard work. Many people in today’s society will “hate,” on your efforts because (whether they are aware of it or not) your hard work and dedication affects their image of themselves. If they talk shit about whatever it is that you have to do to achieve your goal then you should probably turn a def ear to that person. Different people have different goals. I support every goal that people have as long as it doesn’t involve being negative to other people in any way shape or form. Something I do not support, however, is the story telling that people do. The people that talk about their goals and they never take a single step in that direction, or they start towards their goal and the second something doesn’t go right, or they are faced with a challenge they tuck their tail between their legs and run away. FUCK YOU. STEP YOUR MOTHER FUCKING GAME UP. YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING. YOU ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE IN SO MANY WAYS THAT YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY COMPREHEND OR KNOW ABOUT THEM UNTIL YOU CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO FIND OUT HOW AMAZING YOU ARE CAPABLE OF BEING. FUCK YOU FOR BACKING DOWN. YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE THAT CHOICE. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO RISE UP. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO PUSH FORWARD. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO STAND UP WHEN THE ODDS ARE AGAINST YOU, AND BLOW THE OPPOSITION OUT OF THE WATER. YOU ARE INFINITELY POWERFUL. YOU JUST HAVE TO BE WILLING TO PUT IN THE WORK. IT IS NOT OK TO BE AFRAID ANYMORE. JUST BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF SOCIETY IS AFRAID OF HARD WORK AND VIEWS IT AS A NEGATIVE, THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT THE RIGHT. You get what I am saying here?

200 years ago the vast majority of people in the United States still thought that it was cool to enslave other human beings because of the color of their skin. Pretty much the dumbest shit ever. Have you ever thought that 200 years from now (if human beings haven’t wiped themselves out by then) future society will look back on what the majority accepts today and laugh about how ignorant most of us are? We live in a world in which more people know and care about what is going on in the entertainment industry more than they care about their next-door neighbor. We live in a society that would rather lower the standards to help people meet them instead of putting in the work to help lift people up. I view that as a problem. I agree that hard work is much more challenging than taking shortcuts for immediate gratification. That does not make it right. I agree that it is easier in today’s society to omit the truth or compromise it in some way so that other people feel comfortable about whatever the subject is that their ego can’t handle. That does not make it right.

Why the fuck is it so socially acceptable to talk about goals and not put in the work to achieve them? Why are people surrounding themselves with other people that play into their bullshit instead of calling them out and holding them accountable? Oh yeah, because it is easier to compromise than to be honest. It is easier to be afraid than lower your defenses and show your heart to the world and risk whatever pain might come with that. Guess what sometimes pain isn’t a bad thing, you can learn from it. Mistakes aren’t bad all of the time, you can learn from those to. DO NOT BE SO AFRAID OF FAILURE THAT YOU NEVER STEP UP TO THE PLATE. DO NOT BE SO AFRAID OF MAKING A MISTAKE THAT YOU ARE UNWILLING TO PUT IN THE EFFORT.

I have made countless mistakes in my life and I am happy that I did. I had to make those mistakes so that I could learn from them. Like I said, I used to make the mistake of talking about goals before I was willing to work towards achieving them. I am happy to admit that I was just flat out wrong. Once I started holding myself accountable, once I made an effort to dissolve my ego and open myself up to mistakes and challenges, I started to achieve so much more. I am not special in any way shape or form. Every single person on this mother fucking planet is capable of greatness. WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. WE ARE ALL IN THIS WORLD TOGETHER. START LIFTING EACH OTHER UP INSTEAD OF PUTTING EACH OTHER DOWN. STOP COMPROMISING YOUR INTEGRITY AND THE INTEGRITY OF OTHERS BY TELLING HALF TRUTHS AND GIVING HALF HEARTED EFFORTS. STEP THE FUCK UP BECAUSE YOU ARE BETTER THAN ALL OF THAT BULLSHIT.

Anyways, back to the original topic. Don’t talk about goals if you are unwilling to do what it takes to achieve them. If everyone knew that you were full of shit do you think they would still want to listen? Do you think that everyone wants to hear your sorry ass excuses about why you didn’t do this or that or the other thing? There are reasons shit doesn’t happen and there are excuses. I am not infallible, nobody is, sometimes things simply do not go the way that we intend them to. That is ok. That is when reasons come into play. Excuses are obstacles that people put in front of themselves to trip over because they are unwilling to do what it takes to reach their “desired,” destination. BE WILLING TO HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE WHEN YOU HEAR YOURSELF MAKING EXCUSES.

I do not expect anyone to be perfect. I myself am far from it, but I am always going to make an effort to learn and grow as a human being and my goal in life is to help other people do the same in whatever way I can. MY GOAL IN LIFE IS TO HELP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE EACH AND EVERY DAY. If you do not see me putting in the effort to do so, TELL ME. I need to be put in check sometimes too, because I am a person, and I make mistakes. Just like you, and every other person. I hope this article helped you to think about things in a different way. Maybe it will help someone you know. All I know is that I wrote it with a message of love behind it because I believe that it can help at least one person today, and that is another step in the direction of my goal. I love you