Understanding VS. Applying

Understanding Versus Applying

What separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom? After all, we are 65-95% the same genetically as most other creatures. Almost everything you can find in a human you can also find in a pig, or monkey. The answer here is obvious. What separates humankind from the rest of the animals on Earth is our mind. We use our mind to gather and process information and then pass that information along in the form of stories. Today, the world of information is literally at your fingertips. You can find out almost anything you wish. Learning has never been easier. So, why are there so many problems that exist even in the 21st century? With so much information on health, wealth, spirituality, science and endless other subjects, why are people still overweight? Why do so many struggle with finances and negative emotions? Similar problems have been solved and recorded by countless others. Their stories are easily accessible. Yet, humans are constantly plagued with recurring, solvable problems. I would content that most even understand how to solve their problems. So why do people still suffer?

I believe a major problem today is that people intellectually understand certain principles but don’t actively work towards applying them. It is one thing to understand a principle. It’s quite another to embody it. Lets just take the subject of health. So much information exists on how to prevent obesity, disease and immobility that a person with internet access who lives in civilization would have a hard time try to avoid such information. Endless articles on exercise and diet exist and the basic principles for healthy eating and proper movement and exercise are not new. I would argue most people who suffer from these health issues even know intellectually what they could do to fix them. Why do you think so many millions make New Year’s Resolutions to “go to the gym” or “stop eating sugar?” They know what to do! They understand it. The problem is they don’t apply the principles by taking massive action and building habits that benefit them.

Actions are important- maybe the most important thing in life because they can create habits. The word habit has a negative connotation. Most people think of bad habits when they hear the term. But habits are just actions that you repeat on a regular basis even if you are unaware of them. Do you drink everyday to unwind? That’s a habit. Do you yell at everyone around because you find those people incompetent? That’s a habit. You see, habits are actions we return to regularly because it serves some need we believe we have. Some drink, smoke, complain, overeat, blow their money shopping, lay on the couch, watch TV, spend all day on Facebook. Instead of letting negative habits control us, we can take principles and information and use action to implement habits that serve us. I believe people inherently know what is good and bad for them. The difference between those who suffer with solvable problems and those who rise above them is intelligent action. Education is not enough. You must take action with the education. Understanding something is not enough. You must embody it.

Don’t just understand something. That’s not enough. Don’t just say ” I get it”. If you come across information that is useful to you, apply the principles by taking MASSIVE action. Not just a little action. Not “oh, that’s a good idea, I should probably do that.” Take massive action and thrive. Build habits and rituals that serve you, not defeat you.

Why I’m a Libertarian. (And Why You Should Be One Also)

Why I’m a Libertarian in 800 Words (And Why You Should Be One Also)

Republicans hate me. Democrats loathe me. Why? I’m a staunch Libertarian and I have little tolerance for government intervention in our lives. Democrats and Republicans love government and see it as a tool to maintain power and control over others. They are statists. They worship the State. The State is their idol, their god. Both parties believe in the “Noble Lie” from Machiavelli. They believe it’s acceptable to lie to the people because most are too stupid for their own good. Statists believe they know how to spend your money better than you. They know what to teach your children. They know what types of food you should eat and how much of your income you should be left with. They know that they should have guns, nuclear weapons and drones because they are wise and you are stupid and dangerous. They know better than you because they are the elite. As Hegel put it, the state is all, a God walking on the Earth. The individual is nothing. This is what the “right and the left” believe- that the individual is secondary to the collective, to the State.

So, I’m a Libertarian because I believe that you own your own body and no one else including the State has a claim on it. I believe in private property rights. I believe taxation is theft. Taxation assumes the government owns the fruits of your labor and allows you to keep a certain percentage. If 100% taxation is slavery, at what point is it not? I believe that the world consists of only individuals and the terms society and collective diminish the value of the individual. I believe you have the right to defend yourself against aggression. I believe that the only laws that should exist would enforce private contracts and promote non-aggression towards others. I believe that government is force, nothing more. I believe that governments have murdered more people throughout history than any other entity. I believe that large group of people do not have superior rights than an individual and that democracies trample the liberties of men far more than monarchs. I reject the tyranny of the majority. I believe the State allows people to steal from their neighbors via the law.

I believe in non-aggression and if you haven’t aggressed against anyone, you are free to do what you desire including eating foods the State has deemed illegal. I believe you are free to do whatever you desire as long as you do not harm others. I believe that government is the antithesis of freedom and the larger it grows, the less free everyone is. I believe that so long as people see government as a tool other than force, they will continue to plunder individuals through taxation. I believe that more people than ever are reliant on the State and it’s destroying our humanity. I believe in the free market and as long as people do not commit fraud or harm, they are entitled to all the monies the marketplace delivers to them. I believe the courts are tools to increase government power. I believe in nullification- that jurors and communities of people can refuse to enforce laws that violate the non-aggression principle and private property laws. I believe that all laws that violate these principles are unjust and therefore should be null and void. I believe that if a gang of people got together and went around with guns taking money from people for whatever reason they claimed, people would see that as a violation of their natural rights and would fight back. I believe this is what the State does daily. I believe this violates the principles of liberty that all humans are born with. I believe you should take back your freedom. I believe that if you think you own your body and you are entitled to what your body’s labor produces, you are a libertarian. I believe if you smoke weed or do other “illegal” things and you’re not hurting anyone, you should be a Libertarian.

I believe that if you are a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew or any other religion that believes in non-aggression and the Golden Rule, you should be a Libertarian. I believe if you oppose theft, murder and rape, you should be a Libertarian. Finally, I believe that if you vote to steal from your neighbor because you are envious of them, you are a bad person. I believe the law should protect freedom not violate it. I believe that no one should be allowed to use the law to trample individual liberty. I believe if you agree with me on all of this because the arguments are rational and in line agreement with nature, you are a Libertarian. I believe if you want freedom, you must be a Libertarian.

 

Hard Work and Happiness

Hard Work and Happiness
When I think back on the times in my life when I’ve had a clear mind, unbothered with anxiety or worry, there is a common theme. My mind has been most clear when I’ve worked hard physically towards a goal I’ve wanted to achieve. I believe that physical exertion can free the mind of unwanted and unwelcome fear because your mind realizes that when the body takes action, it can accomplish nearly anything. In other words, action is the antidote to fear. This has certainly been true for me. Whenever I’m anxious, I tend to take massive action on something. What I’m doing is irrelevant. Just taking action is usually enough to clear my mind.
Taking action everyday, moving your body- working hard on something every single day is, I believe the antidote to worry and anxiety that holds so many millions down. Physical movement will change your mental state and break the chains that feel like so many tons upon your shoulders. But don’t take it from me. Try it for yourself! Exert yourself to the point of exhaustion. It will not feel like the “mental exhaustion” so many claim to have daily. In fact, when most people complain they are exhausted, what they are referring to is mental anxiety. Most are not really physically tired. Work yourself to the point of true physical fatigue and notice the flood of positive emotions and sense of accomplishment and well being that follows. Here are some tips when working hard:
-Be aware of your limitations and environment. We’re not talking about getting injured. We are talking about working hard.
-Focus on your breathing. Those who can control their breath can control their minds and bodies. This will also help oxygenate your body, leading to better energy levels and positive emotions.
-If possible, work on a hobby or goal. Bodybuilding, building a house, gardening, strongman competitions are all great examples of hard work towards some ideal. The sense of accomplishment that can be gained from goal –driven activities can cause an increase in well-being.
-You produce energy. Energy is not always something you have. So remember, you are capable of much more than you think you are. Remembering this is key to achieving any worthwhile goal.
To happiness and being exhausted!

Biggest Gym Fashion Faux Pas

The Biggest Fashion No-No’s at the Gym
With so many fitness apparel stores available to consumers now, it ‘s a wonder that so many people just don’t seem to care what they wear at the gym. Do you think no one is looking at you? They are. And they are wondering what makes you think it’s okay to show up to a training session looking like that. Here are the top Gym Fashion faux pas.
1. Men in spandex pants
Yes, we still see this from time to time and all we can ask is, “why?” With all the cool workout gear for men to wear, why on Earth would a guy still wear spandex at the club? It shows the curves we don’t want to see and frankly leaves too little to the imagination. Go get some Underarmor and Nike pants. They are better for training and you won’t be offending anyone. You’ll thank us when you do.

2. Men in Stringer Tank tops
Dude, we can see your nipples! Seriously, are you a bodybuilder from 1992? No. So, please go put on a tee or appropriate tank top. Not to mention, the lack of material you’re sporting doesn’t keep your sweat puddles off the machines. Please, we beg you, use them for cleaning rags and don’t sport them at the gym.
3.Wearing Jeans (or any other non-workout attire)
Everyday I see people in the club wearing jeans, loafers, flip flops and boots while working out. C’mon. Those clothes are not meant for training. Plus, what does it say about your mindset if you’re working out in loafers and jeans. Invest in a couple fitness outfits and start to dominate your workouts. We guarantee showing up in the same clothes you just came from on the job will not help you. Plus, it looks like you don’t care. Jeans are also terrible for upholstery.
4. VPL on Women
Yes ladies, we can clearly see the outline of your underwear because your pants are so tight. If you prefer to wear tights while working out, please make sure your undergarments are appropriate as well. Visible panty lines are not hot, and you wouldn’t want it at the office, so why would it be okay in the club. Invest in some Lululemon underwear. They are invisible under clothes and they look great also.
5. Clashing Colors
Are you really wearing an orange shirt with brown shorts at the gym? What about that highlighter color shirt with red pants. Honestly, do yourself a favor and look great at the club. Have a couple matching outfits. It will do wonders for your mindset and everyone around you will respect you for dressing up to train your butt off.
6. Wearing Garbage Bags or Sweatsuits
Are you trying to cut weight for a wrestling meet? No? Then don’t wear a garbage bag at the gym. Ever.

7. Leisure suits
Unless you’re 65 years old and your name is Vinny, Sonny, Bobby or some other name from Godfather or Goodfellas, you shouldn’t be wearing a leisure suit. Also, they don’t mix well with the sweat you create at the gym. Enough said.
8. Crop Tops on Men
Hideous. Seriously guys, no one cares that you might have a six-pack if you have it on display all the time. And if you don’t have a six-pack, you really shouldn’t be wearing crop tops. Spare us all from your happy trail. Thank you.

Embrace Pain-(and Grow)

Be Uncomfortable Most of The Time (and GROW)

I wonder if our human nature often works against us. We are programmed to move toward pleasure and away from pain. That programming in our DNA has worked well for Homo sapiens sapiens (humans) for over 200,000 years. But I pose the question, has the modern technological age made us soft? I believe it has. Pleasure and comforts are every where around us. For most humans, the true pain they feel is emotional, not physical. For those who do feel physical pain, an increasing percentage of that pain is due to overconsumption of food and lack of physical training. Perhaps it’s time to rewrite our human software and embrace pain or discomfort.

By embracing discomfort, putting yourself in situations that are uncomfortable physically and emotionally, we are more apt to grow and develop our true potential. Growth is a human need. Growth and contribution are the only two needs that fulfill us emotionally, yet humans work so hard to avoid pain and discomfort that we are limiting our ability to grow. By putting yourself in painful situations (situations that cause discomfort, not physical or emotional injury) you will develop a greater tolerance and soon those types of situations will not be uncomfortable. In other words, you force emotional growth. You develop your potential. By lifting progressively more weights in a proper movement pattern, your muscles are triggered to grow. The pain of muscle fatigue and soreness will lessen over time as your training frequency increases.

So start today! Don’t try to always avoid pain. Embrace it instead. Make a call that you know will cause discomfort. Instead of doing 12 repetitions of bicep curls, do 20. Or increase the weight and try 12 more. Do something everyday that scares you or makes you uncomfortable. Work against your human nature to avoid pain and force yourself to grow. Soon, you’ll find what used to be painful may become something that you are strong at. I never used to like conducting meetings. I talk loudly, I am very direct and I was afraid that people would be put off. Now I’ve done so many meetings, I’ve refined my craft and worked at it so many times that I find great pleasure in leading them. I also used to hate the Squat exercise. I have a fused spine, so it caused my great physical pain, plus it was physically exhausting. Once I saw my peers pack on pounds of muscle, and become faster and more flexible after being able to squat, I decided that I was going to make my weakest exercise one of my strongest. Now I can squat over 400 pounds without pain and I’m more flexible than I have been in years. So let me ask, what makes you uncomfortable? Confront your fears and make your weakness a strength by living in a state of discomfort- a state of constant growth.

Maximum Contraction

Maximum Contraction:
The best way to truly build up your body.

Do you ever notice how certain people have excellent body parts? It could be their biceps, chest, back, shoulders- butt. Let’s be honest, 2014 was the year of the butt. There’s even a new term “belfie” due to the phenomenon of people posting pictures of their firm butts on social media. Maybe you have a body part you’re really proud of. Maybe there are a few you don’t want to talk about. Today, we’ll talk about the best way to truly sculpt the body parts you want to improve.
The secret to building up stubborn body parts is one word: Contraction. While many lift weights and perform exercise they think will help sculpt their body, the likelihood is they are not contracting the target muscle for a long enough time to build it up. The other problem is likely the muscle is not fully shortened during the exercise. What’s fully shortened mean? Let me explain.
Fully shortening a muscle like the triceps for example would be pulling your elbows back behind your body and fully extending your arm. You see most people do triceps pushdowns with the cable in front of them and then extend down. They may feel their triceps, but they haven’t fully shortened or contracted the muscle. This process forces your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers because the muscle is very weak when fully shortened. So let’s start by laying out what you need to do to get maximum contraction.
Learn the Muscle’s Range of motion:
A key to this process of properly contracting a muscle is to learn what the true range of motion of the muscle itself it. As with the example of the triceps, the full range of motion is when the bicep if contracted (the triceps are fully stentched) and when the elbow is pulled all the way back and the arm is extended. With the chest, maximum contraction comes when your hands are pulled in towards each other. With the calves, point your toes up towards your knees as far as possible, then extend your toes down as far as possible (like a ballerina). Getting the idea? Take the time to figure out your body’s full range of motion!

Start by Contracting:
With any exercise, begin by contracting the muscle you intend to engage first. So, when doing a seated row for example, pull your hands away from each other first, thereby engaging the lats immediately. Then, follow throw with the movement by focusing on driving your elbows back and down. This will shorten the muscle and take it through its full range of motion, ensuring constant tension and stimulating your body to repair it bigger and stronger.
Slow the negative:
Super important! Slow down the negative part of the exercise. For example, after you do a bicep curl, control the weight slowly on the way down. Keep tension for as long as possible during a set of an exercise. Muscles only grow because of the tension placed on them. The weight you use should only be a tool to increase tension, but the truth is you can increase the tension just by activating the muscle, fully shortening it, and keeping it under tension through the duration of an exercise. In other words, leave your ego and attitude at home when weight training. You don’t need lots of weight to get amazing results.

Have a vision:
Yes, the mind-muscle connection is very real. It’s your brain that send signals to muscle fiber to contract and extend. Therefore, it’s imperative that you focus and the target muscle and squeeeeeeeeeze it to maximize the connection between your mind and the muscle. It’s true, you must get your head in the game when bringing up lagging body parts. So, have a vision for the body you want and then train wisely and efficiently to go and get it!

Conquer Worry

HOW TO CONQUER WORRY AND DOMINATE 2016

Watching the news today, one would think that humanity is on the brink of Armageddon. Sinking global stock prices, ISIS, global unrest and just overall bad news. If you are thinking about what the future holds and are uncertain about what to do to survive this global crisis. I urge you to think inward. Very few things in life are within our control, but they are the most important. Among these are time and health. The only thing we truly have is the time left in our lives and the quality of our life in the form of our health. With this in mind, let all of us focus on increasing the quality and length of our lives with the hope of bettering the world around us. The following are recommendations to help cope with stress, gain strength and maintain a positive attitude. Take heed of this advice and send this article to everyone you know who could use some help.

Fear

All stress, worry and anxiety is fear.  And there are really only two types of fear; 1. that you won’t be enough , 2. that no one will love you. Are you afraid of losing your job? Your wife? Your health? What if you did? What would happen. See,  those fears really boil down to the fear that if something bad happens, you’re not enough or others won’t love you.  These fears are easily banished by taking action.  The problem is that taking action requires discipline.  It takes the PAIN of disciplining yourself to confront fear and refuse to let it get a hold of you forever. Get better thoughts and emotions in your life. Decide to live in a great place whenever possible.  And yes, it’s possible to live in a great state when the world is falling down around you. It just takes tremendous discipline. So let’s get moving!

Exercise

If you are feeling down or lethargic ask yourself, “Am I working out 4 times a week? Am I sweating? Am I combining strength training with cardio exercise?” If you answered yes to all of these questions, really look inside and be honest with yourself. We’re talking about your life and if you are living in denial or making excuses as to why you can’t exercise, you’re inherently sabotaging yourself. Be honest. You need to exercise vigorously at least 4 days a week. No excuses and no whining.

Why?

A recent article from the Mayo Clinic reports on the mental benefits from exercise. The release of endorphins via exercise can cause an elevation in mood and reduce stress. Regular exercise forces us to concentrate on ourselves rather than the situation of the world. In addition, working out can reduce the symptoms of mild depression. Perhaps the most important mental aspect of working out is the boost in self-confidence. There is a mind-muscle connection in which the mind controls the body. But this connection works the other way around as well. While many sit and complain about how they are “not in the mood to workout”, they forget that working out the body will improve the mood. Next time you’re not in the mood, go lift some weights and see if your attitude improves. I guarantee you will feel stronger, more energetic and more confident.

Bottom line: Stop sabotaging yourself! Go train your body and improve your take on life.

Diet

The food you are taking in could very well be causing your mood to sink. Fast food and restaurant food contain large amounts of sugar, flour, hydrogenation and trans fats, which cause an inflammatory response in the body. This will cause your mood and your body to sink faster than a rock (result: food coma). Moreover, intake of these types of substances is devastating to the liver and kidney, which filter out toxins and synthesize amino acids and other compounds. Fast food and highly processed foods are the equivalent of a tiny bomb going off inside your body. I point to Morgan Spurlock’s documentary film nside your body. I point to Morgan Spurlock’s documentary film “Supersize Me” as evidence of what can happen from constantly bombarding your body with these types of foods.

I can’t even tell you the amount of times I have heard clients say, “I don’t eat this stuff all the time.” What they really mean is, “I don’t have McDonalds for every meal.” Sometimes it’s McDonald’s for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch and Jack in the Box for dinner. Get the point? We must eat clean in order to properly manage our lives and our well-being. If we don’t prepare our own meals and eat nutrient dense foods, we are consuming large amounts of flour, sugar, alcohol, saturated fats and other elements that destroy the body. If so, we are THINKING WITH OUR TONGUES RATHER THAN OUR BRAINS! To maintain a healthy, positive attitude, we must think logically and give our bodies what they need, not what our tongues want.

Reading

Turn off the news and read a book. This author used to work in the media early in life and my arthritis began to give him more trouble than ever. The constant flow of negative information and geo-political problems can cause people to wonder why they should even try to carry on. Turn off the radio and TV and stop listening to pundits and analysts who claim to be experts. Rather, pick up a copy of “Think and Grow Rich” or “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Learn how to heal yourself. The point is this: all the problems that you are facing in your life have been dealt with and written down by others. Take the time to read and learn how you can use the experience of others to improve your own life. The written word contains the secrets to life. All you have to do is be willing to seek the information out.

Supplementation

When we are under a lot of stress, particularly financial stress, we tend to cut back on purchases we deem are non-essential. Unfortunately, many of us will eliminate or cut back on the things we need the most to prepare us to deal with stressful times. Two things that come to mind are gym memberships and our supplement regimen. Stress left unchecked will eventually exhibit itself in the form of disease, both mental and physical. The best way to combat both is to give our body and mind the nutrition and proper exercise it needs to work towards developing a healthy mind/body relationship.

We all know there are times when we justify purchasing that 99-cent hamburger on the sweetened white flour bun in order to save money, rather than opting for something healthier, which may cost a little more. The problem with doing that is, once you have put that idea in your head, you will soon develop a lifestyle habit that will ultimately cost you much more in the way of compromised health. If you live the fast food lifestyle, it is even more important for you to maintain a healthy supplement regimen to make sure your body and your brain are receiving all of the nutrients they need, not only to run efficiently, but also to fight off disease and depression. A high quality multi-supplement containing nutrients like essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s from fish oil and B vitamins with powerful antioxidants like alpha lipoic acid and green tea extract, can go a long way toward nourishing and protecting your most valuable assets– your body and your brain.

If you are too busy to prepare or buy a healthy breakfast or lunch, you can at least add water to a healthy and delicious protein shake rather than consume a jelly doughnut. If you don’t know what supplements to take, look it up! The world is at your fingertips.

No one knows what the future holds, but it makes sense to prepare ourselves physically and mentally for whatever may come our way. If indeed we are headed for a long economic downturn, allowing ourselves to become physically and emotionally ill will only paralyze us in our own personal depression, making us even more of a victim. Remember, great things were accomplished during this country’s Great Depression era of the 1930s, such as building the Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building. Don’t let the worry about what might happen paralyze you into inaction. Take control of your thoughts—that, in turn, will lead to control of your actions. Prepare yourself to conquer worry and whatever challenges may come your way by exercising and nourishing your body and your mind. DOMINATE 2016!

-Sean Covell