Right around the start of the year I started using the tagline:
“Fitness from the Inside Out.” TM
But what does this mean?
What this means is that FITNESS STARTS ON THE INSIDE, NOT ON THE OUTSIDE.
You can be as buff as you want to on the outside, and still not be fit. I know many tough and fit people who have never been inside a gym. I know many people who are not physical powerhouses, not good-looking, and don’t have 6 pack abs, but who none - the - less are living the dream life and are completely fit.
In this post, I’m going to fill you in on how true fitness is built, from the inside out.
Specifically, this post will explain exactly how you can be fit from the inside out through:
Values, Goals, Projects & Habits
But first, a little background….and a little wake-up call.
The days of having someone else boss you around are over. You are in charge. You need to take over as CEO of your life.
Here’s one big reason why:
One of the great changes of the past 50 years has been the de-industrialization of America. This along with the rise of personalized technology and many other factors has led to stagnant wages and gloomy job prospects for many workers. Even the college-educated feel aggrieved, and the Bernie Sanders campaign for student loan debt relief garnered a huge amount of support among Gen. Y and millennials as they bear the brunt of the “Ponzi scheme” of sky - rocketing college education cost inflation, backed by the US govt. and US taxpayers.
Any way you cut it, the prospects for American workers and for the college-educated are not rosy. I’ve talked to dozens and dozens of people who are going through the same problems. The days of showing up at a job after college, or high school, and staying there a long time, are over for most people. The days of going to work, having someone tell you what to do, and clocking out at 5:01 pm are long gone.
Just a quick look at a few things:
- Manufacturing has been in decline, and this will more than likely continue.
- Corporate work is commonly now only contract work and requires independence.
- College tuition is going higher and higher, while wages and salaries are stagnant.
- The US savings rate is virtually non-existent. This means Americans are spending, but not saving. This means Americans think about today, but not about tomorrow.
- 50% of Americans don’t have any savings.
- 7/10 Americans have less than $1000.
- Wages for American workers have not increased, adjusted for inflation, since the late 1960s.
- The National Debt is spiraling larger and larger.
- The US govt. must keep spending more and more money to keep the economy afloat, and this continues to punish the middle class by reducing Consumer Banking Interest rates to 0%. In other words, Americans who save and invest for the future are being punished in the current monetary system, while the returns in the market will continue to flow to the top.
- The political rhetoric has shifted to promoting a “victim” mentality and an “aggrieved identity” politics for more and more people, which also vilifies entrepreneurship, self-reliance, and hard work, just as the economy is requiring more and more entrepreneurship, self-reliance, and hard work. This attitude of narcissistic victimhood is hurting those who need to be thinking differently the most.
- Public schools and even colleges are trapped in an industrial time-warp, preparing students to be obedient factory workers or corporate drones, when the skill-set they need is the exact opposite.
- Even though most employment opportunities in the US are low-wage service jobs, un-employment is even higher in Europe than in the US for low-wage work (Greece 25%, Spain 20% vs. 6% here in the US). For teenagers and young adults under 25, these numbers jump to 50% unemployment in Europe. With more and more socialism coming to the US, more than likely these type of unemployment numbers are heading our way.
To put it bluntly, for the most part, NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU.
You, my friends, are on your own. You can either…
- Stick your head in the sand and pretend this is not happening
- Blame the “System”, the government, men, corporations, rich people, or whoever else you want to blame for your problems, OR
So where does this leave us? What should we do? How should we manage this volatile situation?
It’s time for a new approach.
Every American needs to hear this.
The following should be taught in school.
If the following 4 questions were part of every school or formative experience, this would be a dramatically different and much more successful country.
Most people sleepwalk through life and never answer these questions, but they need to.
Every American needs to be aware of and answering these questions, particularly the young:
1) What are your values? What is most important to you? What do you want to look back on and be proud of at the end of your life? What do you love the most?
Examples: Family, Financial Security, God, Health, Adventure, Romance, Education, Physical Fitness, Cooking at Home, Healthy Food, etc.
2) What are your goals? What are you doing to reflect the values you listed in your life?
3) What projects are you going to work on which will help you complete your goals? Which specific things do I need to do to accomplish these goals?
4) What are the habits that you need in order to complete your projects? What are my bad habits now? Which habits do I need to develop in order to achieve my goals?
Now let’s go through an example:
Roberta, 32, wakes up one day and realizes she is going nowhere at her HR job. After 10 years, she still makes $33,000 per year, even though she has become proficient at spreadsheets and the hiring process and the company has profited millions. The people she works with are unethical, depressing, and catty. She hasn’t had a boyfriend since she was 26, and she has become addicted to reality TV. She never calls her old friends and rarely see her parents. She has not done any sort of charitable giving, volunteering, or exercise, for a long time. Roberta overeats when she is emotional.
BUT, when Roberta does this simple exercise of VALUES, GOALS, HABITS, PROJECTS, a series of light bulbs go off and she wants to live a fuller and more joyful life:
Value- My health
Goals: 1) Exercise Daily 2) Eat Better 3) Lose 10 Pounds
Projects & Habits:
- Cut out fried food, candy bars, soft drinks
- Lay out exercise clothing the night before
- Exercise in the morning before work
- Weigh myself every day
Goals: Spend more time with my family.
Projects & Habits:
- Call my family once a month
- Invite my family over once a month for dinner
Value- Travel and New Experiences
Goals: Get out and see something different once a month
Projects & Habits
- Visit local attractions and sites within a couple hour drive
- Buy a travel book on the state of Georgia
- Plan a once in a lifetime trip to somewhere grand
Goals: 1) Date more 2) Make new friends and stay in touch better with old friends
Projects & Habits
- Start a regular coffee hour with friends to catch up
- Join 3 social groups to meet more people
- Update wardrobe
- Get a better haircut
Value- Community Involvement
Goals- Volunteer Once a Month
Projects & Habits
- Research potential volunteer organizations
- Pick out 3 organizations and talk to them about helping out
- Pick 1 and commit to a schedule
Value- Career Advancement
Goals- Make $10,000 more per year
Projects & Habits
- Acquire 1 New Skill
- Ask for a raise
- Start a Side Business
- Read business books in the evening instead of watching reality TV
So there it is:
VALUES, GOALS, PROJECTS, HABITS… and at the end of every year, re-calibrate.
This formula allowed me to make an income I never would have dreamed possible, own my own gym for a time, serve in the military, write 2 books, get a Master’s degree, travel all over the world, study martial arts, exercise every day, cook, stay out of debt, read a lot and volunteer, and spend plenty of time with my family and friends.
It also allowed me to make some modifications and commit more time to spirituality and to skill acquisition. It also allowed to recalibrate when I get off track.
One thing I value is FOCUS, which for me, and I think a lot of people, is challenging so this one is a work in progress. I am naturally very intellectually curious so my mind can get sidetracked easily. I value FOCUS but do not always live that way, so I am working on improving this by deleting Facebook and other social media on my iphone.
Pass it on, spread the word, and let the world know.
This formula could change the world because we all need to be self-starters now.
If you don’t know what your values are, it’s time to spend some time alone. Take a piece of paper or a notebook up into the mountains and work on being alone and seeing what happens.
What’s important to you? What gets you excited? What interests you? For me, it is finding the truth.
That’s why philosophy, religion, politics, psychology, culture, family, economics, science, and spirituality get my juices going. These are the things I Iove and value the most.
What about you?
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