Imaginary Difficulties are Impossible to Overcome

“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” —Theodore Vail.

Many times, it is our beliefs that create the barriers to our success. For example, if you convince yourself, you don’t have discipline or willpower than your mind will look for evidence to substantiate that belief. If you believe that something is impossible, then for you it is. We must be aware of our thoughts because our thoughts guide our decisions and actions.

If we want to cultivate more powerful thoughts, we must be cautious about the things we tell ourselves. What follows the words “I am,” will have a massive impact on your life. Of course, you cannot just say I am smart and do nothing to develop your mind. That type of nonsense is dilutional.

What I am suggesting is that you support your affirmations with concrete action. Consistent, disciplined actions will develop your belief. You must give yourself evidence to substantiate your opinion of yourself.

My worst subject at West Point was English, but I don’t let that stop me from writing. I keep writing with the belief that I can get better. Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well. I keep writing, so I can get through those first terrible 10,000 pages. What keeps me going is my dream of helping thousands of people to cross the abyss, between knowledge and action so they can live a healthier more fulfilling life.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

There is victory in pursuing a dream, whether it comes to fruition or not. The ultimate failure in life is not having a dream. People that aren’t pursuing their goals are only half alive. Don’t let that be you. Have a dream, have belief in yourself, believe that through hard work and dedication you can achieve it, and then give yourself more and more evidence to substantiate your belief. Good luck!

Learn more, Harness the Power of Identity – Become a Modern-Day Spartan and Why Some People Will Always Struggle with their Weight

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Why Some People Will Always Struggle with their Weight

Image by Ed Yourdon

Do you know anyone that says they are “big boned” or they are “happy being overweight?” Anyone whose identity or happiness is linked with being overweight will always struggle with their weight.

They might lose weight for an event, like a wedding, but inevitably they will return to their old weight because it is tied to who they are. Our identity is who we believe we are. If we believe we are destined to be overweight, because everyone in our family is, then that is what we will be. Genetics play a role, but we shouldn’t use it as an excuse. Many people from overweight families have lost weight and kept it off.

My grandfather died of a heart attack, related to being overweight, when he was in his forties. My father was overweight his entire life. He exercised regularly, but he also ate dessert regularly. I was overweight as a child, but when I committed to daily exercise and eliminating junk food from my diet, I lost the weight and have kept it off.

I never thought of myself as being genetically predisposed to being overweight. I believed that I could do what so many people have done and get in shape by working out regularly and simply eliminating junk food from my diet. In overweight families it is hard to tell how much of it is due to genetics and how much is due to the families’ attitude toward eating healthy and exercising. The fact that obesity rates continue to climb in developed countries indicates that eating behavior plays a larger role than genetics.

Our beliefs and actions are connected. Many times, we convince ourselves that we are happy with our weight, because we want to be happy. If our eating is causing us to be unhappy, we must either change our eating or change our definition of happiness.

Our mind seeks harmony between our attitudes and behaviors. The psychological term that describes a disharmony between attitude and behavior is called cognitive dissonance. When we perceive a divergence between our attitude and behavior we will either change our attitude, or our behavior to minimize the disharmony.

Bad habits provide instant gratification, so changing our attitude around the behavior is easier than changing the behavior. Changing the behavior would require sacrifice, while changing our attitude wouldn’t require anything but lying to ourselves. Changing our attitude allows us to continue indulging in the bad habit without any psychological angst.

Everyone knows that smoking is terrible for your health, but a smoker will reduce the conflict by convincing themselves that a longer life devoid of smoking isn’t worth living. They will identify themselves as a smoker. Their attitude is that smoking produces so much pleasure that a shorter lifespan is a price they are willing to pay.

Anyone who says they prefer being overweight to being thin is deceiving themselves. They simply equate more pleasure with eating unrestrained than being thin. I could be wrong, but I believe that if they asked themselves, “If I could eat whatever I wanted, and be thin, would I rather be overweight?” their answer would be thin.

Happiness requires our attitudes and behaviors to be in line. When they aren’t in alignment we get to choose which one to change. Bad habits persist because we have decided to change our attitude instead of our behavior.

Best wishes and best health.

Bad habits are only able to persist because we equate more PAIN with changing our habits than changing our attitude. Change your habits, change your life! 

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Printed Book Cover (09.08.17)

Book NOW Available on Amazon!

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

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Harness the Power of Identity – Become a Modern-Day Spartan

Photo of Spartan by Kit

spartan fit

 

Harness the power of identity to adopt a more disciplined lifestyle and overcome life’s challenges. While I choose to create my own personalized workouts, which focus on strength training and short cardio sessions, I found Joseph De Sena’s Spartan Fit! Very inspirational. I have incorporated some of the workout ideas into my training. Spartan Fit teaches you what it means to become a modern day Spartan. You learn how to eat, train, and live a more Spartan lifestyle.

 Greek_warrior,_Spartan_hoplite_phalanx (1)

It was fascinating to learn that the Spartans were not always renowned for their discipline and toughness. Sparta was unremarkable from the other Greek city-states; before the Lycurgus Reforms. Lycurgus imposed many reforms that helped create a disciplined, warrior society in which the individual was secondary to the state. Children were raised by their parents until the age of seven, then they were raised and educated by the state in the famed Agoge until the age of seventeen. The role of each man was to win in battle or die in service to Sparta. Unlike the women of other Greek city-states, Spartan women were encouraged to learn, exercise and display bravery, so that they could pass these characteristics onto their children. Producing the next generation of Spartan warriors was a woman’s primary role in Spartan society. The only citizens that earned a headstone in Spartan society were men that fell in battle alongside their comrades and women that died during childbirth.

Arguably one of the most impactful reforms was the creation of common messes in which all Spartan citizens, including the king, would share a common meal. Each member of the mess would contribute food, including any game they had hunted, to the mess. Each new member had to receive the unanimous vote of the mess. Lycurgus’ justification for the creation of the mess was to ‘prevent them from spending time at home, being waited on by confectioners and chefs, fattening up in the dark like gluttonous animals, and ruining themselves physically as well as morally, by giving free rein to every craving of excess.’[i] It sounds like the ancient Spartans had to contend with many of the same temptations that we grapple with today. Plutarch says these messes lined a common road in Sparta. Boys also ate at the mess to learn how to speak and conduct themselves like men. [ii] Everything the Spartans did was organized to create a fearsome fighting force. Spartans were taught to fight as a unit because as a unit they were much stronger. No man should break the ranks. They should fight side by side. The purpose of their shield was to protect their brother beside them, as much as it was to protect them.

His reforms didn’t immediately produce the well trained and disciplined soldiers that would make the famed Battle of Thermopylae possible centuries later, but they are universally credited with creating the system that would eventually produce the elite warriors for which they were renowned. After instituting all his reforms, Lycurgus visited the Oracle at Delphi, who said that by adhering to the laws he had created, Sparta would enjoy a brilliant reputation. Lycurgus made a decision to starve himself to death to inspire his people to adhere to his laws. His sacrifice would not be in vain. His laws would endure for more than 300 years. All the ancients agreed that the Spartan way was best, but few wanted to implement the reforms necessary to adopt the Spartan system.

The Spartans believed that they were direct descendants of Heracles. Identifying themselves as descendants of Heracles would strengthen their belief that they innately possessed superior skill, strength, and toughness than their adversaries. This empowering identity would be used as one more weapon on the battlefield. Identity is powerful. Some of the most powerful words you will ever speak follow the words, “I AM.” What you place after those two simple words will have a huge impact on who you become, and what you invite into your life. Be very careful about what follows those words. Choose those words wisely. Exert control over your thoughts to ward off all the negative influences of your environment so you can choose words that empower you. If you are a former soldier, athlete, or anything else that required physical toughness, you can make your journey easier by reconnecting with that identity. A former soldier, might think of themselves as a retired Spartan, reconnecting to the old disciplines in order to regain their strength and toughness so they can defend their family and be an example to them. So they can be their child’s hero. How you see yourself influences your attitudes, behaviors, and decisions. Small shifts in your thinking can produce profound impacts over time.

How you see yourself can give you that little extra push you need. When I am running, I like to think of myself as a machine. I am just pumping my arms and legs like a machine. I feel no pain, no fatigue, I am a machine. When I begin my day, I have found it helpful to think about the person I need to be in order to get everything done, instead of the tasks themselves. It is a subtle shift in mindset, but it really makes a difference. I see myself as a discipline person, focused on the task at hand, knocking it out as efficiently as possible. Again, I am a machine. I work. I focus. I get it done. Empowering identity and disciplined action lead to massive success.

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep moving towards our goals. Change your habits, change your life!

If you enjoyed this article, please LIKE and SHARE. Our Book is NOW Available on Amazon!

Best wishes and Best Health!

Print Book Cover 09.25.2017

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to take action. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger.

Follow us on Facebook

Book Now Available on Amazon!

Book Introduction

The book contains:

  • 7 Change Strategies for Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
  • A Flexible Diet Program that Doesn’t Put Any Foods Off-limit,  including Alcohol
  • 20-Week Workout Log with Progress Assessments (Downloadable PDF)
  • 3 Strategies for Resetting your Body Weight Setpointto Keep the Weight Off
  • A Nutrition and Training Program Based on Science, not Bro Science.

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

Our BOOK The Fat Loss Habit is NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!!! We would greatly appreciate a brief REVIEW. Your feedback is our best marketing tool, and it will help us to make a better product. Your review will help other people who want to make a positive change by helping them to find our book.

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Book Introduction

[i] Joe De Sena, and‎ John Durant, Spartan Fit!: 30 Days. Transform Your Mind. Transform Your Body. Commit to Grit.; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (August 2, 2016).