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

10 Statements For Your Success

Want to be the best you can be? Print out these 10 Success Statements and look at them daily to remind you of how great you are and can be.

  1. Do what you fear most and you will thrive and grow. Discomfort is how we grow.
  2. You are capable of more than you think you are.
  3. There are only 4 levels of action: retreat, staying still, normal action and massive action. Move forward whenever possible to advance yourself.
  4. Progress equals happiness–to be happy you must be progressing forward.
  5. The best return on investment you can do with your time in the gym is to lift weights and lift intense.
  6. Fear is what holds most people back but fear, like everything, runs in cycles.
  7. Nothing lasts forever–cherish what you love while you still have it.
  8. If you want an increased quality of life, raise your standards.
  9. You become what you think about most of the time. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t.
  10. Love and gratitude are the antidotes to fear and depression. You cannot be truly grateful and depressed at the same time.

How to Get Anything You Want

“You become what you think about most of the time.” – Earl Nightingale

We live in an age where people point fingers at others, blaming them for lack in their own lives. The attitude and politics of envy are prevalent and are only getting worse. Let me be the first to say, if you have something that others want, you are not a bad person. Likewise, if you don’t have something that someone else has–money, great looks, a great body, awesome style, etc.–you are not lacking it because someone else has it. Stated differently, someone else is not evil because they have something you want. If you are overweight and a good person, getting six-pack abs does not make you a bad person. If you have very little money and are a good person, gaining wealth will not suddenly make you evil.

So this begs the real question, “How are some able to achieve so much–incredible physiques, great wealth, a positive attitude–while others struggle with achievement and fulfillment?” The answer is so simple that most reading this will discount it immediately without really considering the implications of the following words: “You become what you think about most of the time.” People who achieve their goals spend most of their time thinking about exactly what they want and they keep their mind off of what they DO NOT WANT. As someone who used to focus on the problems and the lack in my life, I can tell you this is true. Having the great privilege of training hundreds of people over the last decade, I’ve seen firsthand that most people focus their thoughts on lack rather than abundance, pain rather than pleasure, problems rather than goals, and expectation rather than appreciation.

Thoughts form the character and therefore the actions of all humans. Thoughts are things. They have physical energy that can create a physiological response in humans. Excess stress can kill you. Likewise, excess enthusiasm can cause great feats to be accomplished. This concept, that your dominating thoughts and desires will determine the outcome of your life is so simple that it’s a wonder why so few people focus on what they want rather than the opposite. I believe the answer comes down to: what is easy to do is easy not to do. As a culture, we believe that anything so simple must not be correct. We are used to having things be complicated. We cannot believe that a simple low-sugar diet and weight lifting can literally transform bodies and put disease in remission. No, it must be more complicated than that. Well, I’m here to tell you, IT’S NOT. Success is simple. Getting the body you want is simple. It’s not always easy for people, but the strategies are simple. Complexity is the enemy of execution.

In closing, to get what you want, focus on what you want and keep your mind off what you don’t want. It’s important to evaluate the downside to a decision, but only focusing on problems will result in you never getting what you want.  Remember, keep it simple, focus on exactly what you want, and then take massive action to go get it. Along the way, don’t let the little negative voice in your head deter you. Yes it’s simple advice. What can I say? I’m a simple guy. My favorite phrase? KISS. (Keep it simple, Stupid).

To your health and success,

Sean

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

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 only 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 groups of people do not have more 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. 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 to enrich themselves other than a force, they will continue to steal wealth from others 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. 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.

I believe that gay, married couples should be able to protect their children and marijuana farms with fully automatic firearms because no other authority has the right to tell them they can’t. That is why I am a Libertarian.

 

Attack! (Your Thoughts)

How I Attack Negative Thoughts Every Day

            “I’m lazy.” “What the hell am I doing?” “Why am I so stupid?” “Why me?” Why did they leave me?” “Why does God let this happen?”

If you’re alive, you’re probably had one or more of these thoughts pop into your head. Maybe it even turned your stomach or turned your smile into a look of concern. Your brow may have been furrowed. Negative thoughts are something that everyone has almost daily and probably will forever. Aren’t you glad you’re reading this positive article? The point is, you cannot control every thought that pops into your head, but you can control both how you let it affect you and how long you allow it to stay in your mind.

“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.” Revelation: 12:7

LIFE IS A BATTLE

Everyone has a metaphor for what life is to them. I have many. Life is a party. Life is a gift. It’s a Wonderful Life (my favorite movie). But, life is also a battle. There is a constant battle going on in the world and in your body. It’s not necessarily good versus evil, but it is a battle within nature itself. In your body, even at the cellular level, there are bacterium and viruses trying to invade and destroy your own cells. You even have precancerous cells that are trying to avoid your immune systems’ efforts to kill them. The negative thoughts you have daily and the battle you face to rid yourself of them are no different than your immune system trying to kill unwanted invaders. Therefore, the answer to a negative emotion is that you must attack it. Your enemies must be attacked or they will conquer. You must attack the weeds or they will take the garden. It’s a fight that we’re in, just as there was in heaven. Times haven’t changed.

YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS

The first way to attack negative thoughts is to face them head on and remember that you are not your thoughts. You are the one listening to them. The fastest way to attack the bad thoughts is to say out loud, “Thanks for sharing.” By saying that phrase out loud, you are actively reminding yourself that you have control. You get to choose where you live emotionally, but you must exercise control over yourself to make that happen. It’s no different than training in the gym. You must train yourself to attack your negative thoughts.

REPLACE THEM AND CHANGE FOCUS

You become what you think about most of the time. So, you must attack bad thoughts and replace them with good ones. What are you grateful for? Who do you love? Who loves you? Who makes you laugh? What was the best time of your life? Just by shifting your focus and asking better questions, you will flood your mind with incredible thoughts and memories. One way to think of thoughts is to think of light. Negative thoughts are like darkness. Positive thoughts are light. No amount of darkness can prevail if there is even a bit of light. The light will always win.

USE YOUR BODY

Exercise is a must. It’s by far the most researched and best antidepressant there is. But there are other things I do to keep a mind of positivity. One way is to expose myself to intense cold. Every morning I start by taking a warm shower and then turn it to cold and force myself to focus on my breathing while the water races over my skin. I’ve learned to not only tolerate it, but I now love it. I realize there isn’t a negative though in my head when I’m near freezing. You don’t have time to be sad when your body is being pushed physically.

Another big weapon in my arsenal against negative thoughts is breathing. I forcefully breathe deep, hold it for a four count and then exhale. I try to repeat this thirty times in a row. By deeply oxygenating my body, my mind begins to flood with happy thoughts. It’s amazing how breathing differently can positively change your life. It changed mine. For more information on this, research Iceman Wim Hoff. The man is literally a superhuman.

The last thing I do to attack negative thoughts is to force extreme discomfort to my body. The effect is similar to cold therapy, but I choose to use deep tissue massage and lying on a spike mat. Yes, a mat with sharp plastic spikes. What deep massage and spike mats force me to do is to control my body through my mind. It forces me to control my breath and therefore my thoughts. I recommend the Spoonk mat for 10 minutes a day.

Remember, you want to be able to say you fought for what you loved and kept the faith. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in others. And remember, it’s a fight we’re in. Fight for your mind every day.