My inner thoughts….

My goal with this platform from now on is just to share my own little snippets of how I feel and these entries may or may not be regular. I’m writing to you from the inside of the barbershop I go to. Something that has been on my mind as of late is living in someone else’s dogma. Hang with me for a second…why do we do this to ourselves? With all of these tools at our disposal and the capabilities we have to do whatever we want, we still let our actions be filtered through someone else’s judgements. Who gives a shit what they think! It’s not their lives and who’s to say that they’re right? You’re given one life to live and if you spend it underneath someone’s thumb, then you have not and will not live life to its true potential. This is a hard implementation for people to grab hold of, but it is true. Do not give your one life away for the satisfaction of others. You are better than that! Good luck!

– Steve

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What is your why?

First of all I must apologize for not posting in a while. I’m a big believer that quality trumps quantity. With that being said, that’s why I haven’t posted. I only want to post what helps my readers. You deserve my BEST, and that’s what you’re going to get. Now, let’s get to it!

I often see people around my community who have a look in their eyes of regret and disdain. Clearly, they are unhappy. It’s common to hear them say, “Work is killing me”, or “I hate my job”. It leads one to ask, why did you choose that job? Then it occurred to me. Maybe, they have chosen a path based on the wrong idea and principles. Then you discover that these people often have a hard time waking up, making deadlines, and enjoying what they do. There’s a reason for this. They never discovered their WHY. When you have no direction, you will go nowhere.

You have to delve deep to discover what makes you happy. It may come to you in the form of a dream or just merely in coincidence. It is important that you stay open to new things and step into situations that may be intimidating. We can never change or grow if we stay in the same place forever. Life is about handling changes and breaking through to the other side of fear. There’s so many gratifying things on the OTHER SIDE of your fears.

Once you’ve found your why, you finally have direction!! From there you just have to step into who you want to become. I work in a CrossFit gym for a living, and when I first got into weightlifting I remember reading about Arnold Schwarzenegger. In every speech I’ve heard him give, he always mentions that he had a vision. He knew his why! After he visualized his dream, he did everything necessary to achieve it. It’s that simple.

Our society pushes us to get jobs and work to retirement no matter if you love your work or not. If time on earth is short, why spend it doing something that isn’t your true calling? Do what your heart yearns to do. When you’re happy about what you do, IT SHOWS, and people want to be around someone like that. No one wants to be around someone who looks like they are dead on the inside. Therefore, I challenge you to find your why. I don’t care how old you are, what you do, your financial situation, etc. Find what you love, and let it kill you.

– Steve

The Lottery Mindset

The Lottery Mindset

First of all, I want to start this entry by saying thank you to everyone who read, commented, and shared my post. It is a great feeling to know I’ve inspired you, because that is my ultimate goal. If I can leave the world richer in substance, then I have completed the ultimate mission. Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, it just comes down to heart.

The Lottery Mindset

These past few weeks have been riddled with all kinds of people buying lottery tickets and praying for miracles. It seemed that everyone was spending all of their hard earned money on something that was a long shot. When the lottery was at $800 million, the chances of someone winning was 1 in 292 million. I want to say that I’m not bashing people who decided to buy a ticket. I think it’s pretty cool that our country allows someone who may be having a hard time, to turn their misfortunes into a chance to live better and give back. With that being said, this is also what comes to my mind when I think of the lottery.

It gives people the mindset that you have a “chance” to get ahead without necessarily working for it. Unfortunately, it seems that my generation has adopted this mentality the most. It provokes the notion that you can get ahead by thinking you will get lucky and fortune will knock on your front door. That’s not real life. Life is, and always will be, a grind. It can also facilitate the thought that people who are successful may have been lucky. That’s, most of the time, not the case.

You must work hard for what you want and do whatever it takes to create opportunities for the dreams you are chasing. Life will NOT come knocking on your door willing to give you everything your heart desires. That’s just not the way it works. Instead, be willing to pour your heart and soul into capturing your dream. That, is the proven formula. There are no shortcuts or pipe dreams to success. Anything that keeps you up at night or dreaming during the day, is something that you must work to get to. Expect your journey to be hard, but have faith that it will be fruitful. I commend you in your journey and wish you the best.

– Steve

Resolutions aren’t Real

I typically don’t like writing about New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t believe in resolutions per say. I believe true change is done for a lifetime, or at least longer than a couple of months. With that being said, we are beginning our Outlier Challenge at Five Rivers CrossFit and CrossFit 423 this Monday. This annual challenge is done in hopes that we create lifestyle qualities that carry over for years and years. We’ve had quite a bit of success with this challenge because it has been strategically created to keep everyone accountable, consequently, leading participants to see fulfilling changes.

That is great, but doesn’t this process take longer than 6 weeks? Yes, it does. I don’t want this to sound discouraging, but changing your lifestyle is a lengthy process. For a number of you, this is your opportunity to get started on a journey you want to complete, but haven’t taken your first steps towards. We all start this resolution by thinking “I want to change my body”, but we bypass the process’ true beginning. You can’t make true, lifelong changes without changing the mind. That, is the first step to creating the change you want.

When I was 19, I weighed 315 pounds and had no desires of changing a thing. I had been overweight all of my life and it was all I knew. If I had a bad day, I knew that food would be there to comfort me. When I had days of triumph, I knew that a meat lover’s pizza would be there to congratulate me. I was emotionally attached to a pallette of horrible food that would always be there for me, no matter the circumstances. It was my safe haven from a life that may not reward me with same feelings of comfort and safety. I loved those feelings.

There was one weekend, though, that I was laying on the couch due to being too dizzy to stand. I had become sick, but not from a virus or allergies. I had been to the doctor about a week before then, and she had informed me that my cholesterol was 225 and my blood pressure was constantly high. I was also informed that I had potential problems of hypothyroidism and diabetes. I knew the reason I felt sick was because of the bad choices to keep flooding my vessel with toxic foods and I had never slowed down in doing so. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to have 2-3 Mountain Dews, a whole pizza, an order of breadsticks, and a sub sandwich for dinner on a Friday night.

I had realized that day, after being sick, that I was destined for a very hard life if I didn’t change right then. I had been active with football all of my life, but at 19, that life was over. I had become sedentary while keeping the same bad habits. In other words, I was speeding toward a life of problems or an early grave, with nothing to stop me.

I remember laying on that couch and thinking about the people I looked up to. Why couldn’t I look like or perform like the athletes I was used to seeing in magazines and on television. What was different about them that made them better than me? That’s when it dawned on me, there is absolutely nothing different about us with the exception that they had worked hard for what they wanted. They realized their potential earlier than I had. Their mentality for personal success was very strong and they knew nothing would stop them from getting to that mecca of greatness. From that day on, I went to the gym and kept grinding until I saw what was in my mind. I created the success I wanted to see in my head, and then executed it in real life. Now, I couldn’t be dragged away from the gym :). This is the mentality it takes to achieve anything, even if it isn’t fitness related. I’m not telling you this for praise, but I want you to know that it’s possible, no matter the circumstances.

So, instead of thinking about changing your body, change your mind. See your goals, in your mind, and bring them to reality. There’s nothing that separates you from the people you look up to. Those people started their journey with the foresight that they would change their dreams into reality. Use your imagination and never let people or yourself talk you out of capturing your goals. This is what will take you where you want to go in any situation. Foresight, faith, and execution are the attributes that will take us to our dreams.

– Steve

Letting Go of Your Past

Letting Go of Your Past

We all have things in our past that come into our minds at some point in time to remind us that we failed or missed a great opportunity. You go through your life trying to live and then something comes along to trigger a painful memory within your psyche. Sometimes you may see a person or an object that takes you right back to that place and time that you don’t want to go to. Do not feel bad, this is a universal feeling.

If you believe in a higher power, you have to know that whatever you’ve done and are about to do have been set in stone already. We are human (not divine), and we make errors. Thus, it is our mistakes that guide us into the direction we are meant to go. In order for us to see our lives come into their complete fruition, we must trust that all mistakes we’ve made are just a gate in which we walk through. It isn’t any of our business as to how we get to where we’re supposed to go.

The only way to move forward, is to acknowledge the situation, forgive yourself, and continue living. I’ve seen great people get buried by things they’ve done in their pasts and have done nothing in their lives, but wallow in it. Why? Why do you take a life that God has given you to live, and throw it away? People die everyday, yet there are individuals walking around us who might as well be dead. Be thankful that you are still here and know that you have a purpose! You are here for a reason, and it is up to you to fulfill that role. Surround yourself with an atmosphere that provokes the best inner thoughts you possess. Try your best to stay away from the people that drag you down. Your energy and time is valuable, and you can’t waste it in negativity.

God does not allow you to live, so you can dwell on things he’s already taken care of. You must realize that the mistakes of your past is not the person you are now. Realize that you are different now, and that you will not be defined by your errors of old. Your offering is just as significant as anyone else’s, and you must make a commitment to yourself that you will find out what your purpose is, and attack it with all your might.

– Steve

Giving Up

Giving Up

It’s so easy to do. Giving up is something that we all think about doing when things get hard because it’s a natural feeling. Sadly, some of us quit when we are so close to making our dream a reality. We come right to the cusp of the breakthrough that we yearned for and then we stop. How come? Why is being average so easy? Even when we get the opportunity to be successful, we get scared of it. Life hits us so hard with disappointment after disappointment, that we succumb to the pressure and crumble.

There are a number of things that can give us the inspiration to go on. For me, my inspiration comes from faith and historical triumphs I’ve read about before. Events of adversity that propelled people to victory when it seemed like their hope was lost. I love to hear about battles filled with desperation. The Spartans were outnumbered 100 to 10,000 but they never gave up. Nelson Mandela lost 20+ years of his life to prison, but never gave up. I think of these heroic individuals and wonder why I even think about quitting.

Choosing to suffer isn’t popular, but it’s necessary in order to achieve what you want. Success doesn’t come to everyone, because it’s not easy to obtain. If you haven’t thought about quitting, then you are not aiming high enough. You can’t live in the shadows and try to obtain a big goal. You must come into the light and take your chance with faith. Life will be chocked full of disappointments, but when you reach your goal, you will understand that all of those setbacks were worth it!

Don’t ever give up, live your life like a lion. Lions do whatever it takes to survive. People who don’t give up actually learn what life is about. It’s about showing others what they are capable of. They need to know that the human spirit is capable of so much! You can’t quit when you know that people you care about are behind you and need you to be a light to them. They can become someone because you became someone! Never give up, no matter what! Giving up yields regret,  and that is the worst feeling of them all. Be a lion and have a good week!

– Steve

To Live Like a Child (An Ode to Deklyn)

To Live Like a Child (An Ode to Deklyn)

This is my 2 year old nephew, Deklyn. Well, January 2nd is his birthday to be exact, but I digress. I’m already more proud of him than he could ever know, like he was my own son. I envy the way he approaches his life with the wonder of a new being in a new atmosphere. He’s constantly exploring his surroundings with the intent of finding out what things are. Sometimes, I even see him in his crib tossing and turning with intensity while he sleeps. I know that he is dreaming and moving around without delay in whatever world he is inhabiting at that time. He has always been so intent on finding out what things are that he won’t be stopped in completing his task. He climbs way too high on objects, he tries things he isn’t supposed to, and often he just seems too adventurous for his own good. Most people would think that he is a handful and could potentially become a “problem child”. When in reality, the way he approaches life is the way we all should.

What am I referring to, you ask? In life, it seems we lose sight of what makes us human as we get older because of the societal pressures placed upon us. We continue to be conformed in order to make things “easier” on our teachers, authority figures, etc. This is the way life is supposed to be right? Aren’t we supposed to do what we’re told until the day we die? Not in the slightest. I believe with everything in my core, that we were meant to do more. We were meant to challenge the status quo, reach for something greater, and live beyond the boundaries that were set for us by society.

We are told as children to stay in school and that eventually we’ll get a “good” job. We’re encouraged to get married, have kids, and stay at this “good” job until retirement or death. It seems as though we are put into this “cookie cutter” lifestyle because it is normal. Normality is so boring, yet, we are all trying to fit in. The Pavlovic conditioning we all face is the number one reason we fall into mediocrity. If we could just do as kids do and follow our desires, our hearts, our humanistic traits, how could we go wrong? The answer is, we couldn’t.

Humans are one of the greatest beings to ever exist because we reach for the stars, push boundaries, and love with everything in us. We’ve come from inventing fire and the wheel, to creating ways to get to the moon and studying astrological miracles. We’ve created anomalies throughout all of history, yet we still find a way to box ourselves in. Television, social media, and a host of other things are to blame for the fact that we are not in touch with each other or the natural world itself. It’s a shame that things are this way, but that’s what has arisen from this once great world we were provided with.

With this being said, there is a way out for you. I want you to approach your life in the way that Deklyn does. Approach life with your heart and not your head. Forget what people think about you, and be free in what you were intended to be. Shake the shackles that were placed on you at birth and shed the overwhelming anxiety that life has covered you in. You are children of God and have so much potential. Do you think he wanted you to live in a proverbial box of false contentment? The answer is no. You were meant to follow your heart and live life to its fullest potential. It has filled my heart with joy to deliver this to you, because you deserve to hear these words. Have a good week!

– Steve