20 Things You Must Try

Trying and experiencing new things is really what makes life incredible. While we all need some level of certainty in life, it’s the variety that truly makes it worth living. Here is a list of 20 things that I believe everyone should experience in their lifetime.

1. Do some sort of physical challenge–Marathon, obstacle course, Iron Man, fitness competition, bodybuilding or physique show. Test yourself at least once in your life. Who knows? You may fall in love with it. You will surely appreciate your body and what it is capable of.
2. Learn to shoot a gun, bow, or crossbow. Marksmanship is a very useful skill and may come in handy one day. Target shooting is even an Olympic sport. It’s much more difficult than it looks and it may put you outside your comfort zone and force you to grow as a person.
3. Visit a foreign country where your native language is not widely spoken. Learning how to communicate with others from a completely different culture is a very fun and exhilarating experience. It will surely make you grow as a person and expand your understanding and compassion for others.
4. Learn to drive a car. This may seem obvious, but the most recent generation has the least percentage of licensed drivers than the previous ones. With Uber, Lyft and even self-driving cars all around now, don’t let yourself lose out on one of the most important rites of passage an adult can have.
5. Meditate every day for a month. Great leaders, historical contemplatives, and many successful business people all have one thing in common–they have some sort of reflection ritual in which they allow themselves to detach from their thoughts and analyze what they’ve done and where they are going. Call it prayer, reflection, meditation–all of them are practices that force one to calm the mind. Numerous studies show the health benefits from meditation.
6. Practice a martial art. Not only is it physically demanding, marital arts can be an incredible practice for self-confidence, strategy and resilience. Knowing how to defend yourself and others is also very useful.
7. Fall in love. You may have yet to truly fall in love with another. I suggest you allow yourself to experience what it feels like to put another’s needs, desires and hopes before your own. Falling in love is the greatest feeling in the world and though a relationship may not work out, the capacity to love is a huge part of what makes us human.
8. Join a social club or gym. Get out of your house and go to a place where like-minded people are doing what you are doing. You will meet new people, make new friends and though cooperation you may even achieve great things… together.
9. Stay a night in a very fancy and expensive hotel. If you have never done this, you will be amazed at the level of attention to every possible detail associated with your experience. From the architecture to the customer service to the bar to the bathroom–everything is focused on you. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need in life. Plus, you may meet exactly the right person you need in your life at that moment. You never know in a nice hotel.
10. Get into a debate. How do you know what you believe is true or if it’s serving you well in life? You will only find out by having to defend those beliefs logically against someone else doing the same. A healthy debate will sharpen your mind and increase your ability to communicate well with others.
11. Take something that changes your mental state. It can be as simple as a glass of wine, a pre-workout drink or an herb…but… WARNING: don’t do something stupid or get addicted to something unhealthy or illegal. However, I believe it is very important to understand that there are different states of consciousness and how you act while experiencing them. Likewise it’s important to educate yourself on substances that alter your mental state and their effects on your body. More information is always better than ignorance. BE SMART!
12. Perform for others on stage. I love the stage. I love delivering entertainment to others. This thought may scare you to death. Good. Get out of your comfort zone and experience what it’s like to perform on stage. You may love it. You may hate it. But hey, at least you did it.
13. Hold a newborn baby. If you want an experience that takes your breath away and allows you to examine the beauty and fragility, hold a newborn baby and look into their eyes. It may be the most beautiful experience in your lifetime.
14. Go to an art gallery. Experience the stories told by humans through their expression of making art. There is so much history, so much beauty, so much emotion. A good art gallery is an incredible adventure. Don’t miss out on it.
15. Learn a choreographed dance. This is really just another way of making art, but the challenge of learning a dance is not only physical and mental, it can also be very emotional. It will give you a healthy respect for professional dancers and performers. Plus, it might be incredibly fun.
16. Write a book, journal or blog. The written word is very powerful. It can be used to pass along stories, entertain and teach others, make something official. It is how many people best express their thoughts. Organizing your thoughts and writing them down makes the invisible visible, and that is something truly amazing.
17. Start a side business or invest in a company. “Wages will make you a living. Profits will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn. Experiencing what it’s like to put your capital to use in the marketplace to deliver value to customers in the hope of returning a profit is probably the most stress-filled, anxiety-ridden experience you will ever face. There are so many variables. So many unknowns. So much riding on the line. I’ve heard that its like staring into a dark void and jumping in. But like Space Mountain in Disneyland, it’s the most exciting ride because it’s fast and you can’t see what’s coming. That’s the marketplace, and it’s responsible for nearly everything we have in our lives from food to technology.
18. Give to charity. This is something that I feel has been somewhat overlooked in our society. Charity used to play a big part in communities, but now many look to the State to deliver services to the poor and disabled. They figure they are already being taxed for these services. While that may be true, I would argue there is nothing in life more satisfying that contributing beyond one’s self. Charity is an expression of your capacity to love others. It’s a vital part of our humanity.
19. Handwrite a personal letter and mail it to someone. The handwritten letter, even the physical mail, may seem out of style today, but I can assure you, there is something very, very special in receiving a handwritten letter from another. Try it. Though, if you haven’t physically written in a while, maybe work on your penmanship beforehand.
20. Get a philosophy for your life. I believe how your life turns out has more to do with your personal philosophy than what happens externally to you. You may not be able to control external events, but having a strong personal philosophy will allow you to control what those things mean to you. Philosophy can help you understand yourself, others, history and the world around you. It can be used as a set of rules for how to live and how to go after and get what you want in life. Think of philosophy as the set of the sail and you are the boat. Want to go further? You have to set a better sail, or refine your philosophy. Personally, I’ve been heavily influenced by the Stoics, Christian, Libertarians, Classic Liberalism, Austrian Economics, Humanism. I would say that from these schools of philosophy, I have developed my own philosophy, my own set of guidelines, rules and lenses for looking at the world and interpreting meaning. I can’t overstate the importance of having a strong philosophy in life. I will however offer a warning: test how useful your philosophy is by reflecting daily on your actions and thoughts. If you can sleep at night knowing that you have done your best to fill your potential and have not trampled the rights or property of others, your philosophy is likely working well for you. If not, it may be time to refine it. I personally have refined my philosophy at least four times in my life. I plan on doing it more as I grow as a person.

So there it is. 20 things I believe every one who is capable should do. What’s on your list?

In health,

Sean

For Auld Lang Syne

The New Year is upon us!!! What was awesome about your 2016? What didn’t work out so well for you? The questions you ask yourself and the evaluations you give to those questions will determine the quality of your life, not just for this new year, but forever. Most of us ask questions that trigger bad answers. Ask: Why am I fat? , your brain will say: “Because you’re lazy”. The reason for this, is because most of carry around our past failures with us. Instead, carry your victories with you. Ask better questions if you want better results. What are you proud of? What are you juiced about? What makes your feel good? Those questions will get you unbelievable results in the gym and in your life.

Sometimes it helps to think about areas of you life like fitness as if it were a car being driven along the road. What type of car do you want to drive? How fast are you reaching your destination? Do you have enough fuel? I like to remind people they are always driving somewhere, but often they’re looking in the wrong direction. While the rear view mirror is very useful, if that’s all you’re looking at while driving……CRASH!!!! Make sure you check it to see what’s behind you, but focus on the windshield so you can see what lies ahead. And what a bright future it can be if you let it.

Auld Lang Syne the tune many of us hear during the New Year was written in 1788 by a Scottish poet named Robert Burns. You know the tune, but do you know what it means? Auld Lang Syne means ‘for days of old’. The poet was talking about “talking a cup of kindness” for days of old. The song instructs us to think fondly of our past, not take our defeats with us. In other words, it’s good to reminisce, but only if you’re focusing on what was good and what you can  be grateful for.

So let’s change your focus in 2017 to your victories and not your defeats. Focus on what you love and not what you fear. Focus on your goals, but focus more on the reasons you want to achieve them. Remember, success leaves clues. Find out what you want, then figure out who has done it before you and get some coaching.

So what’s your real goals for 2017?

-Sean Covell

Conquer Fear Forever

What’s the biggest problem in your life right now? If you are like most people I know, the “problem” that you have probably isn’t as bad as the fear you have from what you believe will be the result of your problem. Sure, you may have a legitimate obstacle in your life, standing in the way of your desired outcome, but it is the perception of your problem, the fear you have that may be a bigger problem. In other words, people fear a certain outcome before it has even happened, causing them anxiety, worry, nervousness, even depression (the fear that you lack agency in your life, that you have no control over what happens to you or what you do about events in your life). All of these emotions are just fear manifesting itself. Stress is another code word for fear. We feel stressed because we fear something is not going to happen as we like it. I’m going to reveal a big secret here–fear is only possible because of… attachment. 

            Fear always results from feelings or beliefs of attachment to something or someone. Attachment to success leads to the fear of ridicule. Attachment to loved ones leads to the fear of loss or death. Attachment to wealth leads to the fear of poverty. Attachment to a career or project leads to fear of loss of that work. Attachment to a relationship or romantic partner leads to the fear of adultery or rejection. Attachment to beauty and youth leads to a fear of old age. Attachment to a certain outcome leads to the fear of failure and ridicule. Attachment to your own life leads to a fear of death and discomfort. Above all, attachment to things that are not in our control leads to the fear of lack of fulfillment and eventual disappointment. It is clear, to me at least, that fear is only possible with attachment. This leads us to the inescapable conclusion that the answer to conquering fear forever is to remove any attachment that we have in our lives. Right? Right… easier said than done.

As social beings, we have the natural tendency to allow ourselves to feel attachment to others. We develop attachments to things and people and develop strong emotional ties to them throughout our lives. While strong relationships and physical objects that improve our lifestyle are necessary, attachments to people, outcomes and objects is not necessary, nor do I believe it is healthy. Yet, most of us do it anyway. Opinions differ on why this occurs, but I believe, as do many philosophers and psychologists, that we form attachments because of a perceived lack or void within ourselves. The belief that we are not enough leads us to feelings of attachment. Feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and emptiness are all terms we use to explain the void. Therefore, the only way to avoid attachment that leads to fear is to accept that we are the void. Loneliness, emptiness and the like are natural to the human experience and you do not need to validate yourself with anyone or anything else. When we accept something, we can stop running from it and begin to reason as to what is in our control and what is not.

There are some tools that exist to help us deal with attachment and eliminate the fear that holds so many in prisons within their own minds. The most powerful, in my opinion, comes from the ancient Stoics who used negative visualization–daily meditation on the impermanence of all things and people. By constantly reminding ourselves that “this too shall pass”, we keep from becoming overly attached because nothing lasts. The beauty of impermanence is that is can remind us that life is short, so how we spend our time matters a great deal. Relationships with others can become stronger using this technique too. If you remind yourself that every moment matters, you will be less likely engaging others in triviality, choosing instead to savor every moment with that person. The most important aspect of negative visualization is that it reminds us that we truly do not own anyone or anything, including our own lives. Everything is on loan to us. We are the void. We have nothing. And someone who has nothing has nothing to fear.

The other most effective tool for controlling attachment and therefore fear is developing the ability to recognize what you have control over and what you have no control over. In modern society with the abundance of food choices, you mostly have control over your diet. Therefore, you have some control over your body and physique. You do not, however, have control over whether someone is leaner or more attractive than you. Thus, envy, jealously and the fear that you are not enough is irrational because you cannot control others. Another external factor that humans have a tendency to form attachment to are the outcomes of events. Take a sporting tournament. You may believe that you have control over how you train yourself and therefore how well you will do in the tournament. You may then develop certain expectations for the outcome of the tournament. However, whether you win the tournament is actually outside your control for the reason that you have no control over others and how well they have trained for this event. Therefore, developing an attachment to winning the tournament should not be the goal, but rather focusing on performing as well as possible. By focusing on what is in your control (your performance), rather than what is outside it (the outcome of the tournament), you may in fact win the tournament. Most people develop anxiety and nervousness from competition. By realizing that you only have control over yourself, you will spare yourself the fear of failure and disappointment that comes from attachment to an outcome. The irony here is that by focusing on your performance alone, you are more likely to win the tournament than allowing yourself to become anxious or nervous.

Fear is something that all humans battle throughout life because it is in our nature to form attachments. By remembering that we own nothing and that even our own lives are on loan to us from nature, despite our best efforts to increase our lifespan and quality of life, we can allow all attachments and the fear that accompanies them to fall away. Additionally, by reasoning what is in our control and what is not, we can better focus our energy and time on what we can work to improve, rather than allow ourselves to worry over external events. (Hint: if you look closely, there is always some control you have in any situation, starting with your beliefs about the situation.) My hope is that these tools are of some use to you while navigating through life. Remember, these tools, (negative visualization and reasoning what you have control over and what you do not) are always at your disposal. They are sitting in your tool bag at all times. Whether or not you decide to use them is up to you. As I often remind my wife, most projects that fail do so because the proper tools were not used. I hope this is not your fate.

Be Negative!

The Importance of Thinking Negative

 

Despite popular belief amongst my family, friends and employees, I am not a very positive person. Actually, I don’t believe in positive thinking–believing that everything will always work out because you want it to be a certain way. No, the truth is that you don’t get what you want in life. You get what you tolerate. You get your standards. Bad stuff happens all the time, even to good people. That’s the way of the universe. Don’t ask me why. I wasn’t included in the board meeting during the master plan to create this reality. I have a belief that nature is clueless and could care less about your desires. You operate in nature, not the other way around. Sure, you can alter nature slightly, using your mind and body to invent and create things that improve your standard of living, but I think it’s always best to be mindful of the reality of nature. Hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquake, fires, accidents– these are all a natural part of life. No amount of positive thinking is going to make all that go away.

So do we walk around moping all the time and murmuring about how hard life is? Absolutely not! Though I don’t believe in positive thinking, I do believe in accurate thinking–seeing things as they are, but not worse than what they are. For some odd reason, humans have the tendency to create stories about occurrences in everyday life that lead to the conclusion that all hell will break lose, or that no one will love us, or we will never be enough. Accurate thinking, or what the Stoics called Reason, is a tool unique to humans and we can use it to examine the world around us, and make choices that positively affect our lives. Conversely, only thinking about things in a positive way hinders us from being able to correctly identify obstacles and formulate plans to overcome them using reason. What I’m contending here is that seeing the downside to a plan, being able to negatively visualize an outcome is an incredible tool for preventing pain and can actually help you grow as a person. Moreover, not being blindsided by some negative event may allow you to maintain tranquility. I believe the ability to identify possible problems is a crucial part to survival.

Is the glass half full or half empty? This question missed the entire point. Reason would tell us that the glass is filled to half of its capacity. The glass is halfway filled up. This type of thinking is not new. In fact, it’s thousands of years old. The school of philosophy called Stoicism and it’s teachers spoke about using reason to control your emotions and maintain tranquility. Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius also suggested that we use negative visualization as not only a way to identify possible problems before hand, but also to better appreciate the things and people we have in our lives. Here, these philosophers argued that in addition to seeing things as they are, rather than how we’d like them to be, we should also envision the worst-case scenario on occasion. Why? Suppose that in your interactions with others, you envision that this is the last time you might see them because something terrible will happen to you or them. How will you treat them? Will you yell and roll your eyes at them like some of us do? What are the thoughts that will enter your head? Will they be thoughts of malice and hate? Or will they perhaps be thoughts of regret? Regret that you didn’t make more of the time you had together.  What of your possessions?  By imagining you may lose them all, you may develop a better appreciation for what your already have rather than seeking pleasure in acquiring new things.

The point of this exercise is to remind us that eventually there will be a last time for something. Our time is limited and that what is makes it special. Pretending that every time you kiss your wife or kids is the last time may sound depressing, but let me suggest that engaging in this practice radically changes the way you act towards people. By constantly reminding ourselves that our lives are on loan to us and that everything we have will come to and end, we can become driven to do the things that really matter. Also, the way we act towards others will become more positive because few want our last memory of something to be negative-so we being to cherish the relationships that mean something to us even more. Thinking about the negative in this situation can actually cause us to become happier and more fulfilled.

In conclusion, being constantly cheery while ignoring problems is no way to go through life. Happiness is not necessarily our default emotion. Our brains were not designed to make us happy. They certainly can, but their primary purpose is to evaluate the world around us and help us identify obstacles and the solutions to them. Our brains are wired for survival, not necessarily joy. So, if you don’t wake up happy or walk around with a permanent smile, don’t worry. You’re not abnormal. Just be sure that you see things as they are but not worse than what they are. Walking into your garden and chanting “there’s no weeds” will not make the weeds go away. But by thinking “positively” and ignoring them, they might just grow right up over your feet. See things as they really are, not better than they are, not worse than they are. Once you know the reality, you can begin to improve it. And remember too, that we all fated with a death sentence. We all have very limited time. So spend it wisely!

 

In Health,

 

 

Sean

 

 

 

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

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.

Who Will Make It This Year?

The globalized marketplace has changed so much that millions of workers and business owners are struggling to keep up with the changing times. The marketplace now consists of billions of workers, many of whom are able to telecommute, and work in multiple countries from anywhere in the world. Employers seek out skills from not only their local community, but from around the globe. Millions of workers still struggle with this fact and have been slow to adapt. Worse, with rising debt across the globe, nations are forced to extract more wealth from producers, making it even more difficult to prosper. Inflation of the money supply only amplifies the problems. The U.S. dollar is worth only 3% of what it was back in 1913. So what needs to happen? Who will make it in the coming years and decades? Here are my predictions about who will thrive in the new economy.

-Business owners who are intent on taking their customers to the next level. Also, employees who will take their companies to the next level will thrive. As the competition for great labor increases, employers will look to hire only those that can further their businesses. They will not spend time training average employees.

-Those who do not have to be told (or reminded) to perform tasks required of their job. Those who perform at a high level are those who do not need to be told what to do after they have been trained. They instinctively know what is right for them and the marketplace.

-Those who would wake up early, work late and grind out hard work rather than party with friends. So many people believe their job is not part of their “real life,” so they don’t play full out and make excuses for why they don’t succeed. I’m here to tell you that as long as you’re working, your job is part of your “real life,” so show up early, stay late and outperform those around you.

-People dedicated to self-improvement. The marketplace is not welcoming of stagnation. Only people who want to go to the next level will make it.

-People who get obsessed with delivering value to others. Those who love their clients, coworkers and purpose will thrive.

-Individuals who work harder than they get paid for. If your boss says work starts at 9am, those who show up at 8:45 will find they still have a place in the business when and if cuts to labor are necessary. Those who show up late will be cut without hesitation.

-People who seek out opportunities—to invest, to grow, to have more responsibilities. Those who are okay with the status quo will be left choking on dust of self-pity and regret.

-Those who read daily to improve their skill set, enhance creativity and build the discipline of study will do well.

-Those who sleep when they are done, not when they are tired. I find that many people today would rather sleep, drink and party than go out and take action. Rest is fine, when you are done. Rest is not the reason you were put here on Earth. Although it feels good to stay in bed, what does it say about you if that is your favorite thing to do? Not much.

-Those who hold self-reliance in high regard. The highest form of success is truly self-reliance. It’s a lost art today, but it must be instilled into everyone that they must produce in the world so that others and themselves may benefit. The real way to love your fellow man is to work hard to enhance their life by performing in the marketplace.

-Those who play full out, with massive energy and positive attitude. These are things that all employers, lovers and partners are looking for.

-People who pride themselves on doing better and adapting themselves every single day. Our globalized marketplace changes so often and sometimes without notice, only those who seek to do better every single day will be able to adapt quickly enough to succeed.

-Those who do not complain about what is happening in their life, but instead work daily to improve upon the things they can change.

-People who smile and show up well dressed and ready to work. Rolling out of bed, looking like a slob will not have a place in the new economy. Unless you are a genius hacker or coder, I suggest you shower, put on decent clothes and make it a point to smile. I’ve never seen someone not get the job for dressing too nice.

-Those who surround themselves with people who are better than they are at something. I believe firmly that you become the sum of the five people you most associate with. Could it be that it’s time to be a bit more discerning about who you spend time with?

-Lastly, those who are obsessed and have a purpose. Only those with some form of obsession towards improving themselves and hitting goals will make it in the new economy. Those who are indifferent, would rather hang out with friends, be distracted and watch TV will be left behind. They will always wonder why others are doing well while they struggle.

That’s my list. Maybe it’s time to evaluate where you are. As a business owner, I know that I do. I never stop thinking about how I can evolve. I suggest you do the same.

In liberty and health,
Sean

Give Me Problems

One thing that I’ve learned in life is to not ask for fewer problems. Life is too dynamic, the universe too unstable for us as humans not to experience problems. No, problems will come. Everyday. I will no doubt encounter some obstacle that I have to overcome to reach an outcome. So, I’ve learned to not ask for fewer problems—to do so is pointless. I do, however, ask that I experience newer problems. You see, I hate old problems. They frustrate me to no end. They show me that I haven’t grown as a person, or that I just have not cared enough or put enough effort in to getting the old problem solved. Old problems stop me from fulfilling my potential, my greatest fear.

New problems, on the other hand, show me that I am in fact growing. I love new challenges, new obstacles waiting for me to overcome. I want new problems every single day and I believe you should as well. You may be thinking that you want a life free from problems. One doesn’t exist. In fact, as you grow and as you take on more responsibilities in your life, you will encounter even more problems. That’s the formula: the more you grow, the more problems you will face. Just ask that they be NEW problems, not the same old ones. That’s the true measure of growth. As an exercise (and just for fun) I’ve listed many old problems below and then what a new problem would be instead. You see, they are both problems, but which ones would you rather face?

Old Problem: sales or income are flat. New Problem: the cash register is overflowing.

Old Problem: My car won’t start and it’s filthy. New Problem: I can’t decide which car to buy.

Old Problem: I can’t keep a relationship. New Problem: Everyone wants to date me.

Old Problem: My strength is lacking. New Problem: It takes too long to re-rack all the weight plates after my sets.

Old Problem: There’s dirt all over my room. New Problem: It smells so clean I can’t stand it.

Old Problem: I don’t communicate well. New Problem: People won’t stop talking to me.

Old Problem: I can’t lose fat. New Problem: I have to spend hundreds for new, smaller clothes.

Don’t ask for fewer problems into your life. Ask for newer ones.

In health,

Sean

The Quiz On Life

Want to evaluate your philosophy towards life?  Take the quiz….

The Quiz on Life
1. The number 1 factor in your success and fulfillment in life is:
a. Your family history
b. The amount of money you make
c. How many friends you have
d. Your personal philosophy
2. The number #1 reason for failure in any endeavor is:
a. Fear
b. Lack of persistence
c. Complaining
d. Lack of confidence
3. The biggest reason for failure in an organization or relationship is:
a. Anger
b. Shyness
c. Poor thinking habits
d. Lack of harmony
4. You are responsible for everything that happens in your life
True / False
5. If you want to earn more money:
a. work harder
b. think better
c. add more value to yourself and the marketplace
d. stay at a job for a long time

6. Great leaders:
a. take extreme ownership
b. are compassionate
c. understand what others’ needs are
d.have vision
e. all the above
f. a and b only
7. Don’t ask for it to be easier:
a. ask that you become better
b. ask that others help you
c. ask “why did this happen to me”?
d. just keep going
8. There are only 3 things you have total control over in life
TRUE / FALSE
9. You can learn the most from someone by learning:
a. their family history
b. what they do for a living
c. what their metaphor for life is
d. what they majored in
10. Focus, Meaning, “What Do I Do Now” are:
a. the only three things you have total control over
b. total B.S.
c. a product of your upbringing
d. none of the above

11. You may not be at fault for something:
a. so you shouldn’t worry
b. it’s the Democrats fault
c. Republicans are racists
d. You still should take responsibility for it
e. always blame others
12. Your life is affected mostly by:
a. your past
b. your purpose
c. how you think things are, not how they are
d. what you watch on TV
13. You are your thoughts
TRUE / FALSE
14. In business:
a. a “broken window” can cause great damage
b. the culture of the business is extremely important
c. cash-flows and production matter a great deal
d. the customer’s perception is the reality
e. a spirit of harmony must exist among all associates
f. a burning desire to achieve an outcome matters most
g. all of the above
h. none of the above

15. Biography equals destiny
a. true
b. false
c. if you let it
d. the future matters more than the past
15. Success is a science and fulfillment is an art.
TRUE / FALSE
16. Even if terrible things happen to you:
a. suffering is your choice
b. life’s a bitch
c. it’s because you’re a bad person
d. others will never understand you
17. Life is both a miracle and a struggle for some, but:
a. it all depends on what your personal philosophy is
b. No, it’s just a struggle
c. Life is easy
d. Life has no purpose
e. how people think about life determines how happy they will be
f. A and E
g. A and C
18. It’s best to ignore the bad in life and think about only the positive
a. Yes, that is correct
b. Depressed people focus only on the bad
c. You must recognize the negative and deal with it
d. It’s best to see life as it is, but not worse than as it is.
e. A and B
f. C and D
19. Bad things happen in life and that means there is no God and no purpose to anything.
a. if you believe that, it is true for you
b. expect bad things, but don’t focus on them only if you want happiness
c. to be fulfilled in life, acknowledge that problems are a part of life, but not all of it
d. None of the above
e. All of the above
20. Lack of following up:
a. is a major problem in business, parenting and relationships
b. following up is someone else’s job
c. don’t bother me, I’m busy
21. If you want to increase your value to others and the marketplace
a. work harder on your self than you do on your job
b. work more than you get paid for
c. you reap what you sow
d. the law of compensation is an immutable law over time
e. All of the above.
22. Stress, anxiety, worry, are all code words for

23. You are in control of mind:
a. if you want to be
b. you are not
c. you can only control it if you’re rich
d. it’s the only thing that humans have over other animals
e. none of the above
f. A and D

24. There are two basic fears that hold us back from accomplishing ANYTHING
a. the fear of death
b. the fear of poverty
c. the fear that I won’t be loved
d. the fear that I’m not enough
e. the fear of what others think
f. A and B
g. A and C
h. C and E
i. C and D

BONUS
ANYONE IS CAPABLE OF ANYTHING BECAUSE:
a. even billionaires and bums have the same 24 hours in a day
b. there is no limit on the value you can add to others and yourself
c. by choosing a Definite Chief Aim, you control the course of your life
d. true, but you have to be wise and careful
e. true, but you have to acknowledge problems while identifying solutions
f. yes, but only if you focus on an outcome and make decisions accordingly
g. of course, but you have to take ownership of everything in you life first
h. only if you can stop complaining and blaming others
i. humans can choose which direction they want to go, we are not geese
j. success leaves clues
k. ALL of the above
l. None of the above
m. A, D only

EXTRA BONUS
The biggest “addiction” problem in America is:
a. People addicted to alcohol
b. People addicted to narcotics
c. People addicted to prescription drugs
d. People addicted to their problems

Blueprint for an Incredible Workplace and Business

What follows are the notes I delivered to my staff. I think they are worth sharing and I’d like to give people some insight into my life as and entrepreneur and owner. If you can learn something as a staff member, manager or partner, I’ve done my job. For my clients, I’d like to even give you all a behind the scenes sneak peak of the philosophies that go into the business.

Fitness System meetings are anything but normal. I take pride in that. I don’t want there to be anything normal about us as a company. I want us to be remarkable. Incredible. Outstanding. Therefore, here are the notes from the last meeting. Follow these principles and we will all thrive and have an incredible workplace and life!

A. Outcome: It’s imperative that all associates know and work toward achieving their desired outcome every single day, every single shift. Outcome based work will yield immense results, while focusing on trivialities will destroy morale. (Example: Clean toilets = incredible environment. So cleaning the toilet is done with the outcome of providing an incredible experience.)

B. Focus: Most people focus on their problems and what is wrong. They focus on themselves and their own needs. I would suggest that focusing on how to deliver more value to others will give everyone a greater sense of accomplishment and well being.

C. Values and Adding Value: What are your values as a person? What is your personal philosophy? What are you doing to add value to others? WE DON’T GET PAID FOR OUR TIME. WE GET PAID FOR THE VALUE WE PROVIDE TO THE MARKETPLACE.

D. 3 Triads That Drive Everything in Life and Business:

1. Character, Positive Attitude and Willingness to Learn—These are the 3 traits of an excellent coworker

2. State Story and Strategy—The story you tell yourself about your job, your coworkers and your clients along with the physical state you bring to work and the strategies you employ will determine how successful and fulfilled you are.

3. Confidence Energy and Enthusiasm—All three are necessary to provide MAKE-YOU-HAPPY CUSTOMER SERVICE.

All of the above require all three parts of the triad to work. Without one, they are a two-legged stool. With all three triads working, you will be living in an incredible state and have and incredible work experience and life. You will also be adding incredible value to everyone around you.

E. Operating by the Golden Rule Principle: Who you are and what you do to provide the value to your coworkers, managers and customers that you wish they would reciprocate to you. “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Don’t expect your co-workers to perform if you are not willing to step up for them.

F. What Destroys a Workplace: Negativity, Gossip, Focusing on Problems, Lack of Harmony, Lack of Discipline among ALL staff, AND ABOVE ALL—not getting enough leverage on yourself to make sure you do what you say you will do. In other words, what are the consequences for not achieving something? Those with massive leverage accomplish a great deal.

“The path of least resistance makes all rivers and most men crooked.” Most take the easy road. These choices lead to a lack of self-discipline that begins to destroy a person’s humanity.

Words to Know:

Entropy: a lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. All businesses, relationships and people will naturally turn to disorder and chaos unless there is deliberate action to avoid it.

Habituation: the diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus. Whatever we do repeatedly we get used to and we get bored or tired of. This is true for most people in a workplace, a relationship or even with something like driving a car. Habituation causes us to stop paying close attention to things and allow entropy to ensue.