Who is ready to get motivated and amped up today?!!!

I just finished reading a great inspirational book called “Three Feet from Gold,” by Greg Reid and Sharon Lechter. I usually try to read at least one success/business book each month and this was a very fun and motivating read. The principles that the book goes through are based off of the classic “Think and Grow Rich,” one of my favorite books of all time and sure to be found on pretty much any successful person’s top five list. Three Feet puts these principles into story form and goes through the adventure of a character who is initially struggling with his life, and follows him as he changes his outlook and begins to transform his life into happiness and success. It follows him as he travels around interviewing many different successful people (these are real people who gave real insight for the book) about their own stories and wisdom; stories about overcoming adversity with passion and commitment to achieve success and happiness. In a nutshell, if you read this and are not totally motivated to go full force into working on a passion or goal of yours, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Anyhow, the book gives out principles of success as the story goes on. It is my goal with this article to highlight some of my favorites that I took from it and elaborate on how they can potentially help you or how they’ve played a part in my journey thus far.

The first one is two points that I am combining because they go together well.

The most common cause of failure is quitting. Before great success comes, you will surely meet with temporary defeat.”

This is as straight forward as it comes and something that one would think would be common sense; however, the majority of people out there continually let temporary defeats beat them and they quit before they even give themselves a chance. Fitness is a great example here. Someone starts working out. Lets call him Bob. Bob wants to lose 10 pounds of fat and build some muscle. He trains for one month and he is no better. He gets frustrated and claims that working out doesn’t work and he can’t get in shape. 3 months go by and he again decides to give this fitness thing a shot. This time he works out for 2 months and drops a couple pounds of fat. Well with two whole months of training, he should surely be down at least 10, right?! He quits again because he just can’t seem to make it happen. Think about this: What if he hadn’t quit for 3 months and had been training for the full 6 months without a break. Imagine where he could have been then. This is what TONS of people do and it goes into another great point from the book.

“To succeed, you must have STICKABILITY.”

Whether you are talking about reaching a fitness goal or succeeding in a business venture, this is essential. “It takes years to become an overnight success.” Being in great shape takes more than days or months. It takes years of dedication and perseverance. When people aren’t magazine material after 2 months, they lose all hope and just quit. If they would stay with it, they would blow past their initial goal before the next time they decide to start over again after quitting. Careers and businesses take time to develop and grow. When I first started out training people after college, I had around 2 to 3 in home clients, with not a lot of income. I then started working out of a gym and GRADUALLY built up clientele. I KNEW that I wasn’t going to have my own facility with boatloads of clients coming through the door in the first month or even the first FEW YEARS. However, I had an end goal in mind and knew that I would make things happen. Fast forward to current day. We just passed our one year anniversary at my facility and we have a long ways to go with it. If we do a little bit each day to get better, it will compound over time. I’m sticking with it.

I overheard one of my coaches the other day, Dan Zwirlein, talking to some clients about his journey to where he is at with his training and body. Dan is a pretty big guy (and lean) and probably one of the best lifters in the country. Many people probably just assume that he is just naturally “big.” Dan explained how its taken years of hard work and dedication with training and diet to get where he is at. He has stickability; and it shows.

“The Knowing- There is a big difference between believing in something and knowing it.”

As I stated just above, I KNEW that I was going to make my dream happen. I had and have confidence in my abilities in this field and continue to better myself every day. So even though I wasn’t making tons of money or training superstar athletes right away, I just kept honing my craft and kept doing what I’m passionate about: helping the great clients and amazing people that I did have. If you do that good enough, then more people are going to follow. When I had my injury that kept me out of competition and heavy lifting for awhile, I KNEW that I’d get back to a high level again.  I did everything possible to get past the injury and come back stronger than ever.  When Dan injured his shoulder and was told he might not be able to lift again, he never once thought about quitting.  He worked his ass off to get back under a bar and never looked back.  Professional athletes don’t just magically end up in a prime time game.  They have a vision and a dream and they do everything necessary to make that vision a reality.  Every single successful fat loss client that I’ve ever worked with KNEW they’d transform their bodies and lives.  Don’t just believe, Know.

If you are venturing into your journey of transforming your body, KNOW that you will succeed. The mind controls everything. If you know that you’re going to make it, you will. Want to Deadlift 2 or maybe even 3 times your bodyweight? KNOW that you are going to get there and friggin smash it. Successful people in any endeavor don’t know what doubt is. They just go to war and don’t look back.

“Seek counsel, not opinions, and then pass it on.”
    There is a great point with this one about the difference between opinions and counsel. “Opinions are usually based on ignorance, or lack of knowledge, whereas counsel is based on wisdom and experience.” Lets go back to our friend Bob. While he is on his great quest to get in shape, he has plenty of negative “friends” giving their OPINIONS about A. how he is a clown for trying to get in shape, B. how he can’t get in shape; its just too hard C. how he needs to run tons of miles and do lots of cardio to get in shape (insert any other unfounded misinformation about training here). Most people that he knows give their opinions, which have no rationalized knowledge or experience behind them.

What Bob needs to do is seek out COUNSEL from an expert who A. KNOWS that Bob can reach his goal, B. Has actual KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM and EXPERIENCE with training and truly understands how to get him from point a to point b, and C. Supports him on his quest rather than ridicules him for trying to do something positive with his life.  Once he does this, he needs to pass on his new knowledge and wisdom to others who are in his original position. Not only will this help those who he counsels, but it will help him to grow and get even better himself.   I’ve learned this first hand through teaching interns and doing continuing ed material.

Back to the ridicule point…..I can’t begin to fathom why some people have close family and friends who literally make fun of them for trying to change their lives and get in shape (or start a business or make a career change, etc.) It is absolutely ridiculous yet it happens all of the time, which brings me to my next point.

“Run from people with negative attitudes.”

“People take in the nature and the habits and the power of thought of those with whom they associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony.” In other words, if you hang around negative deadbeats, you will probably be somewhat of a negative deadbeat yourself. Want to be a successful, positive person? Then hang around other successful, positive people. Want to get freakishly strong? Then train with freakishly strong people. Want to run a great business? Spend some time picking the brains of people who run great businesses. I think you catch the trend.

If the people you surround yourself with most do nothing but bring you down and stress you out, then maybe its time to change who you surround yourself with. Whether you are trying to change your body, your career, a relationship, etc. you have to be surrounded by the right people or it won’t happen. I have been fortunate enough to have many great mentors and many great colleagues, friends and partners over the years and I would not be where I am today without their help. If someone has a negative attitude, I run. If someone comes into my facility with a negative attitude, we try to change it. If its the rare case where we can’t change it, they’re gone. One negative attitude can disrupt ten positive attitudes. Can’t have it; plain and simple.

“Accentuate the positive and illuminate the negative.”

This is a big one. Many people tend to do just the opposite. They shun the positive aspects of a venture aside and accentuate the negative things. I have worked with hundreds of clients over the years and a common thing that I tend to see with people who are still on the beginning end of their training is that they focus on all of the things that they still HAVEN’T accomplished and totally disregard all of the great things that they HAVE accomplished.

For example, I might get someone who trains for 3 to 4 months and loses, lets say, 5% bodyfat and has gained good strength on most of their big movements, like front squats, deadlifts and pushups. They have also reached 6 new short term goals with their nutrition and are making great progress overall. However, instead of appreciating these good things that, if given the chance to compound, will turn into amazing, great, awesome things, they only look at the fact that their scale weight (oh dear don’t get me started) is only down 2 pounds, they still can’t see their abz all the way, they don’t feel perfect in those pants they bought, etc. etc. They focus on the things that they HAVEN’T accomplished.

What they need to do is appreciate all of the positive things that they HAVE accomplished, realize that there is still work that needs to be done and use it as motivation to CONTINUE to get better. As I said before, success doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been training myself for around 15 years and I’ve still got a ways to go; however, I am very proud of the things that I have accomplished while realizing there is still more for me to improve upon. It is a great journey that I embrace fully. I’ve been training clients in some capacity for 7 to 8 years and continually try to improve. I’ve had my own facility for just over one year and am happy with what I’ve accomplished while still appreciating the fact that there are many improvements to be made. Its all about mini victories and continual improvement.  Appreciate the positives with what you have done but stay humble and strive for more at the same time.

We have some clients at our gym who I’ve worked with for multiple YEARS. They have literally transformed their bodies and lives. They appreciate what they’ve done. In light of that, they then find new goals to strive for and take things to another level. If you want to get to that other level, you need to appreciate each step and improvement that you make, because if all you do is dwell on what you haven’t done, you will never get to that higher level.

KNOW that you will get there and that you are killing PR’s and FEEL your body and your mind change and improve.

CHERISH the journey and become GREAT!
While there are a number of other things that I could cover from this motivational book, there is one more message I will use that really sums it all up. Give everyday your all and never quit on your dream or goal, because you just might be THREE FEET FROM GOLD.

Definitely give the book a read….And if you have any kind of goal or dream in mind, friggin go out tomorrow and start making it a reality.  Nothing can stop you but yourself.




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