I wake up in a great mood. Know Why? Because I have a Reason.
The earlier the better. I love opening my eyes when it’s still dark outside. It’s like awakening to find you’re at the head of the line. The reward for your discipline is crushing a few hours of quality work before most have found the snooze button.
I’ve learned to cherish everything about waking up. The first splash of cold water on my face. The smell of fresh coffee. The comfortable padding of my office chair as I get set to work on my Reason.
Having a Reason is what makes the work you do worth it. Beyond the money and the stock options and certainly the social media validation.
It’s different for everyone. Two guys can have identical work-lives in terms of pay, commute, and office politics. Yet one is satisfied and content, while the other feels lost and adrift, an ineffectual cog in a complicated 9-6 matrix.
It’s because the first guy has found his Reason.
Some people discover their Reason early on. Some never do.
But people can change. I never considered myself the type that valued “making a difference.”
As I got older though (and married someone very motivated that way), my values changed. Then I found my Reason.
But that’s a lie. I didn’t need to find my Reason.
You guys told me.
Every day I get email – some days a lot — from guys who want more out of their training. And life. While every message is different, the theme is similar:
“I’m 30 (or 40, or 50) and have been training for 5 (or 10, even 20) years. I love it, but I just don’t have much to show for it.
“I’m told I look fit. Guys at the gym say I’m strong. Still, I don’t like what I see. I don’t look muscular.
“I realize I’m at an age where my health should be priority #1. But why can’t I have both? Why can’t I enjoy good health and but also look like I train?”
It’s not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight, but there is a best version of “you.” It’s just waiting for you to follow the correct approach.
So that’s my Reason, to help guys achieve this. Or at least inspire them to. Either through words or coaching.
Yet I resisted accepting that this was my life’s work. It seemed superficial. Like a Kardashian stressing about size of her backyard swimming pool when the State is suffering a water shortage.
However, my friend Shawn Phillips helped me get past this. For years Shawn’s said that when a man takes control of his physical state, he takes control of a lot more. He regains his freedom.
The way Shawn puts it, by age 40 most men are pushing a heavy wheelbarrow of regret, loss, burden, and misplaced, bottomless duty.
Life has increased in speed, complexity, and obligation, and they’re in scramble mode.
It manifests at the gym when they can’t get their body strong. But it’s not just because they can’t lift right or are “beat up” — they can’t even see the target. Forget what they need, they can’t figure out what they want.
The solution isn’t a bunch of exercises or a diet or a program. It’s not more “information.” There’s already more than enough. It’s not helping.
Piling more facts, more conflicting information, more ego-serving “rants” into an overwhelmed, overstressed mind has a negative affect.
“Do I eat fat or not? What about the glycemic index versus the satiety index? Why do I keep hearing about green coffee beans? It must be important, otherwise people wouldn’t talk about it, right?”
The result is many men just shut down:
“I don’t have time to wade through all this bullshit. I have a job to do and people to look after.”
“Maybe someday they’ll quit arguing and just tell me what to do.”
Which never happens of course. So men just continue to spiral in a widening gyre, their center slowly losing hold. Until they’ve checked out of the process altogether.
Guys need a reboot. And it starts like this.
First, stop taking on more obligations. You need to stop the bleeding. When your sink is overflowing, you shut off the tap before working on the clog.
Then take full responsibility. You’re where you’re at due to the choices you made. Even if some stuff was well beyond your control, own it anyway. Then you can learn from it and grow.
Next, eliminate all those that “should” on you. As in people who insist on telling you what you “should” be doing. They don’t know you as well as you do. Most don’t even know themselves.
Now focus on creating a new future, one that begins with working on just “you.” What’s important to you? What do you want to achieve? What do you want your legacy to be?
Don’t be afraid to seek professional help with this. Spending time with someone trained to ask the right questions could be the most important work you ever do. It opens doors in your mind that you boarded up years ago to clear room for career and family and duty and “role playing.”
This last step is not easy – it’s damn difficult — but it’s rewarding. It’s your pathway to freeing yourself from society’s shackles and developing a “limitless mind.”
I want to help you find your way – whether it’s training, diet, lifestyle, or even just figuring out your own Reason.
So I hope you contact me.
But I’d be lying if I claimed to be an expert at this. I’m just an overgrown meathead who should maybe grow up a little.
Lucky thing I don’t do “shoulds” anymore either.
Photo Credit: Gregor/flickr