Be Afraid

What is this thing called fearlessness? Tell me the bear defending it’s cubs from the wolves feels no fear. Tell me the Masai tribesman standing before the ferocious lion with nothing but a spear feels no fear. Tell me the wolverine defending it’s kill from a bear ten times it’s size feels no fear. Tell me the Spartans felt no fear when faced with an endless hoard ready to wash over them with the flesh and blood of every nation under Persian rule. No sane creature may be without fear. Our bodies are meant to feel fear. We are meant to be afraid. It keeps us alive. It focuses our body and mind on survival. Fear primes our muscles for action, draws blood from our skin so we will bleed less when cut, puts our senses into overdrive so we may better perceive threats. Fear is a chemical reaction within our body. Fear is meant to keep us alive. A creature that does not feel fear will die. Then what is fearlessness? It is an illusion. One may only appear fearless. Those on the outside do not understand, for they do not feel the fear. But you know… the fear is very real. Push forward despite the fear and you will be seen as fearless. Courage and Bravery are better words for what is called “fearlessness”. Achieving courage is simple, becoming brave is very straight forward, but by no means easy. Step 1: Be afraid. Face the lion that is your fear. Step 2: … Continue reading

The Iron Master

In days of old, men had their tools of war to turn to for training. Now, we have no such instrument with which to hone our abilities and train our minds for conflict. In the past, it was the sword, shield, spear, bow, javelin and sling to use in training for war. Daily, warriors would awake and train with these tools. They ate to grow stronger for war. They studied to grow more intelligent in things of war. Their entire lifestyle and philosophy of life was designed, in some form or fashion, to better prepare them for war. War, the physical fight and it’s tools, was the Iron Master of our ancestors. Wars change, warriors don’t. For the average man today, we do not have a force of bronze shields wielding spears and swords marching upon us. We do not have a neighboring, warring tribe that we must train our use of the bow to fight. Our war surrounds us, nearly invisible. It is seen in the soft and weak, in the depressed and hopeless. We are a people who run from challenge. A people in need of an Iron Master. Just as warriors of old needed to train the body, so must we. After all, that is where much of our war takes place, in our weak and sickly bodies. So our Iron Master must be one who trains the body. This fight, the conflict, this challenge, will train the body, mind and spirit to become as a warrior once again … Continue reading

The Art of Surrender

What do you fear? What holds you back? What do you want? Why aren’t you better? Why aren’t you stronger? Why aren’t you smarter? There is so much more you are capable of, yet you linger here, weak and afraid. You know what you want, whether you realize it or not. There is a passion inside of you for something greater. What do you fear? The world is before you, and yet here you remain. Is it failure you fear? Loneliness? Change? The unknown? Rejection? Pain? What holds you back? What are you holding on to? What is your excuse? You can never move forward if you hold onto what you are now. You can never step into the future if you linger in the past. Why is a wounded animal the most dangerous? Why is a hungry lion the one to fear? Because they are weak. Their weakness makes them fierce, it grants them a hunger for survival. Their comfort has been stripped from them, and they must fight to reattain it. Why did the Persians fear the Spartans after the battle of Thermopylae? Because the Spartans surrendered their right to life and victory in order to destroy as many as possible. They did not fight to win, they simply fought. They surrendered everything that held them back from ferosity, even victory, in order fight. They fought until their weapons failed them and they were left with their teeth and nails as weapons. What holds you back? What satisfies … Continue reading

The Secret of Motivation

Motivation is heavily misunderstood. When most aren’t happy with their lives, they blame it on a lack of motivation. When the motivation does come to improve their lives, they’ll jump up and start happily. However, the motivation fades and they are back to normal, or worse after seeing themself lose the motivation again. This can be seen with someone who is briefly motivated to lose weight. They will start going to the gym and trying to eat healthy. They will do fine for the first week or two, then they will begin dropping fast food places again “just this one time”, and a month later they are back when they started. Why does this happen? Because that is not how motivation works. Motivation is not a constant happy feeling about doing what you want to do. Motivation comes and goes. It gives you a push. It ignites a spark. It gets the ball rolling. Motivation can’t be relied upon. It will leave you. Instead, motivation must give way to discipline. When the motivation to continue eating right, shutting off the games, saying no the parties, and lifting weights has long left you, then what will you do? Become Disciplined. That’s the secret to motivation. Use it to jumpstart your life. It will keep you going for awhile, just as kindling keeps a small fire going for a moment. However, more fuel is soon required for a fire to grow. This additional fuel is discipline. Making yourself continue to do what … Continue reading

Inspiration Series Part 6: Firewall

Learning to be yourself is a subject I touch on quite often. It’s a challenge, because it is so easy to do what is expected and normal. But doing so leads to a dull life. However, discussing why we aren’t ourselves and why we should be isn’t the point of this post. I have discovered a song that describes the idea and act of being unique itself. It is from a song called Firewall, by Les Friction.   In particular, it is the second verse that inspires me, here are the lyrics: This force is in love with you It wants you safe It wants you well This force knows what you can do And what you can make With your tattered shell Faith in your device So quiet and precise Just when, not how You can feel it now Deep beneath the light A spark will now ignite And you will see me now This is our world now Although I don’t care to analyze the entire song and it’s original meaning, I will analyze this section. First of, the words “this force” and “it”, I interpret as meaning the real you. Deep within the shell we all think is us. It is your potential. Who you could be… and yet who you really are. So when the song says “this force is in love with you/it wants you safe/it wants you well”, I hear it meaning that You (capitalized You will stand for the inner you, normal you stands for… … Continue reading

Inspiration Series Part 5: Lindsey Stirling

I’ve already shown how I draw inspiration from fierce predators, courageous characters in stories, and real life strong lifters. I’ve also talked shown, in detail, why I am inspired by certain music. But for Part 5 of my Inspiration series, I shall talk about a different person entirely. This person doesn’t lift weights (that I know of). This person doesn’t go around shooting bad guys in an expensive piece of super armor. This person isn’t even a guy! But, she does make music. I introduce you to Lindsey Stirling:   She inspires me two ways, with her story and her music. And I will talk about them in that order as well. Lindsey Stirling has had several challenges. She once battled anorexia and when she did have her first big public appearance, she was told that her music sounded like “a bunch of rats being strangled”. Over the past several years, she has had an amazing turn around. She now has toured both the US and Europe, with sold out concerts. She has more views on Youtube than many Pop artists, and still retains the freedom of being unsigned. There is much more to her story, but I gave you a brief summary. The part about Lindsey’s story that inspires me the most is her determination in doing what she enjoys, and learning to act the way she believes she really wants to. Too many people these days are discouraged by being told to do something other than what they … Continue reading

Inspiration Series Part 4: Master Chief

Inspirations may be drawn from anywhere. For me, this next one is drawn from fantasy. He has a history, has fought battles, and saved lives, yet isn’t real. He is an icon in modern culture, especially amongst gamers. That is the trailer for Halo 3, and it features the Chief. Master Chief is famous for being a brave, skilled and faceless hero who speaks few words. This image can be very inspiring. Let me give a brief summary of his back story. At a young age (around 6 years old) a boy known as John was selected by the military for testing of a top secret program called SPARTAN-II. He was replaced by a clone who would later die in an accident, to hid the kidnapping. John was chosen for his physical capabilities (a head taller than other kids and very strong) as well as his mind and luck. He was then assigned the name John-117, and trained by the military until he was 14, when he was given cybernetic implants to increase speed, strength and intelligence. At this age, he had the body of an 18 year old, and after the implants, was able to easily take on several ODSTs (think Navy Seals of today), killing three, in hand to hand combat. When he received his armor, he finally looked like the Master Chief we see today. As a matter of fact, his full face has never been revealed. This adds to the mystery and even awe of the … Continue reading

Inspiration Series Part 3: Eminem’s “Not Afraid”

  I keep a lookout for information, wisdom and inspiration all the time. If I hear a useful tidbit or piece of advice I remember, regardless of who it’s from. If I draw inspiration from a music video outside the realm of my normal music, I don’t turn that away either. A particular music video did just this, and that is Eminem’s “Not Afraid” video: Note, video contains language that some may not approve of. Be warned. I will attempt to briefly explain one particular way I see the symbolism in this video, the reason it is so inspiring to me. Hopefully it will be for you too. The video starts with Eminem standing on the edge of a building in the middle of a city. And obviously, that looks dangerous. Looking at where he is now, we assume he is in danger and possible even suicidal. No sane person would stand on an edge like that, they could get hurt. It’s risky. There’s no security. It appears foolish. But this isn’t the whole story. We next see him in a small, dirty room. Alone… but safe and secure, right? He can’t fall from here. But he obviously doesn’t seem happy. I see this as the safe “box” we are taught to live in. (I’ll be showing the events in chronological order now, the video organizes it a bit different for dramatic effect). Eminem stays in this room, angry until he throws a chair at the wall and notices it … Continue reading

Who is your Tyler Durden?

I made a short video on this subject before writing this article, also titled “Who is Your Tyler Durden”. I got some of my basic ideas out on video before taking more time to write them here. Check it out: I may be a little late to the club, but in the year 2012 I have finally seen Fight Club. There were several interesting points in that movie, but one in particular stuck out. For those who have seen the movie, you will know the context of this quote, “People do it everyday, they talk to themselves… they see themselves as they’d like to be, they don’t have the courage you have, to just run with it.” This is spoken by the character played by Brad Pitt, known in the movie as Tyler Durden. He was talking to Jack, the movie’s main character, played by Edward Norton. Now the point I’m bringing up isn’t simply talking to yourself, although that may certainly be a part of it. What I am highlighting from that quote is the fact that we each have this self image of who we would “like to be“, who we wish we were, but are to afraid to pursue, or “just run with it“. Jack met Tyler on a plane, and they eventually became close friends who started fight clubs across the country. It took time for Jack to let go of his normal, consumerism lifestyle with the nice apartment, stable job, and nice suits. Jack had … Continue reading

Inspiration Series Part 2: The Lion

Inspirations come in all shapes and sizes. This one happens to be in the shape of a cat and weigh in at over 500lbs when fully grown. Yes, the lion. A few things about the lion, the first of which is obvious. It’s a predator. The top of it’s respective food chain. Second, it eats meat. Raw meat. Because of these two things, it is naturally a hunter whenever it isn’t stealing a kill. But hey, if you’re at the top, you can do that anyway in the animal kingdom! As a meat eating predator, the lion shares something in common with many other meat eating predators. That is being strong, lean and fast. It is this combination that inspires me to study lions and other creatures to emulate certain habits of theirs that could benefit me. An example is diet. Lions eat usually only once a day, sometimes even going several days without food if they got a big enough kill. They will feast on a carcass for hours if need be, and live of that until they are ready for their next meal. Putting this into people terms, it’s called intermittent fasting. “Intermittent fasting” is the natural state of being for most any predator I have studied. And these predators are often much leaner and faster then their prey counterparts. So if having fewer but larger meals works for the lion, why not us? Many have tried and succeeded at this. There are programs designed around this entire … Continue reading