Transcendence Now!

7 Steps to Achieving Transcendence

What is the most powerful word you can think of? Is it love? Is it power? Perhaps it’s something else. For me, the most powerful word in the English language is transcendent. I don’t know of any other word that articulates the possibility of the human experience. From Merriam Webster dictionary:

  • Transcendent: exceeding usual limits :  surpassing, extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience; being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge; being beyond comprehension.
  • Being beyond comprehension! Doesn’t that pretty much sum up our experience in this universe? I believe it does. I cannot even fathom why we are here or what our destiny is as a species, except to say that I know humans tend to transcend the limits of what our perceived limitations are. In fact, I believe the purpose of life for all humans is to transcend- to push beyond. We are all destined to evolve, to grow into new beings. If this sounds too far out for you, consider this; do you want to be the exact same person, with the exact same consciousness, knowledge, philosophies, world view and relationships in 10 years? Stated differently, how will your life unfold if you believe the same things and act in the same ways for the next decade of you life? Will you grow? Will you achieve what you desire? What will be lacking in your life? These are questions I ask myself everyday and the answer to the questions always leads me to the same conclusion: I must transcend. I must grow.

 

  • What follows are Seven Steps to achieving transcendence. All of these are my opinion of course. However, I can confidently state that by following these steps I have grown into a completely new person in the last decade. I’m much more proud of who I am now, than who I was. I truly hope these steps will help you as much as they have me.

 

  1. Get a philosophy to deal with the daily occurrences in life. If daily events upset you and deter you path to growth, adopting a philosophy towards life will be incredibly beneficial for moving forward and growing your potential.

 

  • Stop blaming others. Take full ownership of your life.  In fact, stop wasting time blaming or complaining about anything or anyone who is outside of your control. The Stoics believed that we should divide the world into two categories; things that are in our control, and things we have no control over. Start figuring out what you can control and what you have to let go of and your life will transcend immediately.

 

  1. Read every single day. For thousands of years, humans have been writing about their experiences, problems, successes, triumphs, discoveries, adventures, failures and much more. There is not a problem you are experiencing now that someone throughout history has not faced and written about. Take the time to learn how they triumphed. Both success and failure leaves clues. Don’t be blind to them.

 

  1. Live with virtue. Having high moral standards is the only path to true fulfillment. If your destiny is to grow, you can only do so by treating others as you would have them treat you. This is known as The Golden Rule and it’s a philosophy that transcends all cultures and religions.

 

  1. Train yourself physically and mentally everyday. To transcend, you must train your body and mind to grow by experiencing and studying new things. My favorite quote about physical training comes from Socrates, “No one has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” So true

 

  1. Realize that you don’t know what you don’t know. And there is a ton that you do not know. If you believe you already know something, it becomes impossible for your mind to allow you to learn anything new about it. I like to say “there is always something to learn from everything and everyone. Sometimes it is learning what not to do.”

 

  1. Set the game of life up in a way you can win. We all experience certain emotions because of the rules and beliefs we have in life about certain things.   For instance, I feel fear when I believe that I may not fulfill my true potential. I do not feel fear if I see a spider, or a wild dog. I feel happy when I wake up and see my family, or a picture of them. I feel joy when I see someone smile. I’ve set up certain rules for the emotions I feel.   Most of us don’t believe so, but we are all responsible for the emotions we produce and the subsequent actions we engage in. Understanding that you are responsible for your life and that you can set up your rules and beliefs in a way that will serve you. If the only way you can be happy is making a billion dollars or having someone else treat you a certain way, I can promise that you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment.

 

  • Follow these seven steps and you may not become emperor or president or CEO, but you may transcend to the next level of understanding and fulfillment. (It all depends on you.)  At the very least, I hope that by adopting these actions you will find tranquility in your life.

 

In Health,

 

Sean

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Finding Balance

Finding Balance

What follows is a journal entry written to myself. If there is any value in it whatsoever for you, I’m grateful for that.

A fulfilling life is all about finding balance. So many of us live at the extremes of life, letting those emotions affect us negatively. Balance ensures mindfulness and control. Truly, the only thing we really have control over is our philosophy towards life, so let me suggest that you evaluate whether your personal philosophy contains balance in the extremes. Over-caution must be balanced with recklessness. Fear must be balanced with courage. Stress must be balanced out with contentment and joy. You must be determined to achieve something while also being mindful of why you do what you do. You must balance the desires and goals that drive you with gratitude and appreciation for what you already have. You must balance aggression with compassion. You must balance indifference with strong passions. You must balance strength with vulnerability. You must balance studying with teaching. You must balance good times with bad times.

You must balance the importance of what you are engaged in with the thought that “we are but a speck in the universe, spinning around and one day we will all be gone.” You must balance desires with restraint. You must balance the love you give unconditionally among all you love. You must balance earning with investing. Saving with spending. You must balance learning one side of an argument with the other (s). You must balance imposing your will with accepting others’ will. You must balance reading with writing. You must balance the idea that all lives are incredibly important with the idea that we are all fated with a death sentence. You must balance caring with not caring. You must balance giving with allowing yourself to receive. You must balance focusing on the future while remembering the past. You must balance what you know with what you don’t know. You must balance confidence with humility. You must balance the light with the dark. You must balance happiness with sadness. Sorrow and despair with hope, so that neither affect you adversely.

But, above all- you must balance emotion with reason.

Finding a Great Partner

The Importance of a Good Partner

Humans are social creatures. We exist and persist for and because of each other. We frequent health clubs, bars, restaurants and movie theaters so that we may feed off of the energy of others. Being around others reminds us that we are alive. It’s the elixir of vitality-human connection. But while great benefits occur from being around others, the inevitable problems that arise from such encounters lead us to believe that on some things, “we must go it alone.” Let me suggest that instead of going it alone, you seek out a partner to take with you on your journey. I believe there is incredible power and fulfillment in having another person by your side for most undertakings. A special relationship with another person is incredibly beneficial when it comes to physical training. Let me explain…

As a health club owner, I’ve clocked thousands of workouts by myself. Some have been incredible, but most paled in comparison to when I was training with a partner. Two people dedicated to one common goal, expanding each others physical potential and establishing routines that revitalize the body, can accomplish much more than one person on their own. Having a partner to push you, be honest with you, motivate you and and help you overcome the pain of resistance in the gym (and in life) is so important to fulfilling your potential in my opinion. I’ve had some incredible training partners in my life. My father was my first. We still train together when possible. My best friend Chris is another. Our mutual love for the iron began after a painful breakup. My ex’s best friend happened to be his girlfriend at the time. I walked out of the room after being dumped, Chris saw my face, and I said with an angry look, “Tomorrow we are doing squats together.” This was 11th grade. As a remember I squatted 315 pounds for reps out of sheer anger and adrenaline. A friendship was forged for life. We both own fitness companies today.

Currently, my training partner is my wife Holly. We have been together over 12 years, but it’s only been the last two years that we started working out with each other instead of doing our own routines. Like many women, she was intimidated by lifting heavy weights and preferred to “sweat it out” doing cardio. However, after our second child was born, Holly dedicated herself to not only getting her pre-baby body back, but surpassing it. I can tell you confidently, that after grueling workout sessions, heavy weight (315 pound deadlifts) and simple diet modifications, she has accomplished her goal. She’s been absolutely incredible through this process, pushing herself to new levels, but also pushing me to get stronger and more flexible. I have ankylosing spondylitis, leaving partial fusion throughout my whole spine. Despite that, with my partner’s help I have been able to move more freely and with less pain that anytime in the last 10 years. I attribute this to having a partner that has my best interest at heart. I suspect she attributes her successes to the same. She’s the best partner I’ve had in life and in the gym.

I believe strongly in the mastermind principle- where two or more like-minded people get together regularly and plan out future actions in the spirit of perfect harmony. It’s truly amazing what mankind has achieved through cooperation. More than that, I believe that true fulfillment comes through having a great partner is various aspects of life. A great partner can really help you to become better, give you compassion and understanding when needed and help you to overcome obstacles in the weight room and in life. My advice here is to look at the various areas of your life and see where a partner can really help you to grow and become more. Find someone you can be in harmony with and go deep. Gold and diamonds are found at great depths. The same is true with a partner. Their value comes from going deep with them. Commit to them and make sure they are committed to you and your goals. Find yourself a partner for life.

In health,

Sean

Democracy- The Big Lie

The Great Lie of Democracy

“Democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else.” -Hans Herman Hoppe

I felt obligated to write this after watching the news coverage on this election day, 2016. Everywhere I turn, I hear the word democracy. The word democracy is something thrown around in the culture today as if it were the true ideal for any society. It’s supposed to be something that is virtuous and synonymous with freedom. In the United States, school children are mistakenly taught that America is a democracy. In fact, the founders of the United States understood democracy to be something to be avoided. Most of them detested the word. Why? Because they understood that democracy is tyranny of the majority. The majority rule ethic of democracy allows certain people to have their rights and property taken from them because a majority of the people decided so. Jefferson, Madison and others understood that the true ideal is individual liberty and that a majority can and will easily violate the rights of the minority if allowed to do so. Instead, they attempted to establish a Constitutional Republic- one in which representatives are elected into a government, but are restrained by limitations on their powers as well as term limits. Other Amendments to the Constitution were written to ensure that individual and state rights were not trampled upon by the legislators who assumed power. The State was supposed to have it’s power “shackled” by the Constitution. Our founders failed us.

Unfortunately, America has come to a point where the majority of the citizens are now on some assistance from the State, meaning that the majority of the people have succeeded in plundering the rest as a way to survive. This plunder is done in the name of democracy through taxation, bonds, fees and inflation of the money supply. You may know these programs as “entitlements, social security, fair share taxation and monetary easing”. Regardless of the name they go by, they all have one thing in common: certain groups are being plundered so that others may prosper. The law is being used to aggress against others and take from them-not protect them as laws are supposed to do. Yet, we are told to believe that because most of the people want it, it must be ethical. We are told by politicians they have a mandate from the people. Obviously this logic, if followed through to it’s conclusion has scary implications for groups who disagree with the majority. I believe Leo Tolstoy summed it up best, “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”

Democracy was never the ideal in America until very recently. In fact, Liberty was the ideal. Liberty runs counter to democracy because it favors private property rights and non-aggression- which basically says that one cannot initiate violence against you, your party or your property even through legislative means. Let me suggest to you that we return to the ideal of liberty rather than entitlement. Self reliance rather than plunder. Hard work rather than state assistance. Some will read this and no doubt say that I am cold hearted. The opposite is true. The larger the State becomes, the less free it’s citizens are, even if a majority has elected the government. Without freedom, we cannot fulfill our potential as humans. Without liberty, we are stripped of our humanity. It’s democracy that is cold-hearted. It’s democracy that strips away individual rights. It’s the leviathan of the state that we must be wary of. So on this election day, ask yourself, “what have I done to make myself and my family more free?” If your reply is that you participated in this great democracy, you have chosen to use force against your fellow citizen. Choose liberty over force.  Choose individual rights over the majority rule.

In Liberty,