Let’s just say that I didn’t have the best childhood in the world. My parents divorced when I was five years old and that destroyed my life. I developed a severe case of anxiety. What did I do to cope with the pain? I ate. And I ate a lot.
I became the fat kid of the class who sucked at sports. Do you remember the guy that got picked last for sports? That was my childhood. I got picked on at school and life at home was not the best. I soon started feeling like I had no control over my life. This sense of being powerless made me develop a stutter.
By the time I was 14 I had lost complete control over my life and I was thinking about ending it.
For some reason I decided to join a gym on a New Year’s Resolution and that was it. That became my escape.
It took me 7 years of GRINDING to get where I am now but the lessons that I learned where priceless.
Lesson 1 – Don’t be afraid to create your own path
I’ve always been a nerd so it was natural for me to approach the gym with science. I started counting macronutrients when I was 15. There were no applications or programs for me to use back then.
I would constantly carry notebook and a calculator making calculations concerning the foods I was eating. I needed to make sure that I was consuming the EXACT amount of protein, carbs and fat in each of my meals.
I also had to make sure I was eating my meals at the exact times of the day. Everyone looked at me weird for doing this. I didn’t care. I knew that with time this was going to pay off.
Lesson 2 – Work your ass off
I lived by the following motto: “I don’t care if you’re better than me. I will work a hundred times harder than you. If I lose, it will not be because someone worked harder than me”
Every day at 3:15 I would raise my hand in class and run to my locker and get my pre workout meal. I would go eat it in the bathroom. Why? I wanted to have the exact amount of carbohydrates exactly 45 minutes before I was going to work out.
Every little detail counted. In the gym I worked out until I was about to faint. During my free time I would spend hours and hours researching every single aspect of training and nutrition.
Fridays were my favorite day of the week. Why? I could workout for 2 extra hours cause there wasn’t any school the next day.
Lesson 3 – Losing everything makes you stronger
I realized I was motivated to compete in bodybuilding my senior year in high school. But there was one problem.
I was born with a deformity where my chest bone and rib cage sank into my body. This did not look pretty at all and gave my entire upper body a very weird look.
I was so determined to accomplish my goal that I went through a surgery where they inserted a metal bar underneath my chest bone to push the entire rib cage outwards.
Imagine braces but for your chest bone and rib cage. I couldn’t work out for 6 months and my recovery was almost a year. I lost every single pound of muscle I had ever gained.
Do you think my friends supported me? They would constantly remind me that I looked anorexic.
Recovering from that surgery and gaining all my muscle back gave me the confidence to know that I could lose it all and would still manage to find the way to gain everything back.
That experience gave me more confidence than anything else. And yes. I still have a metal bar in my chest.
Lesson 4 – Embrace the haters
Everyone around me told me I wasn’t going to make it. Everyone around me told me that my tactics were weird and wrong. Trainers at my gym would mock me and tell me I would never get anywhere without steroids.
I took all of this as fuel to the fire. I knew that one day they were going to blush at what I was going to attain.
Prove people wrong just once and you will NEVER doubt yourself again. You will start believing you can do anything.
Lesson 5 – Each Day Counts
How fast you accomplish your goals is completely up to you. Each you have an opportunity to do one more thing that will get you closer towards your vision.
Christmas parties? I took my own meals to every single Christmas party and every single birthday. I refused to break my diet no matter the occasion.
I will admit that I went to a few parties throughout high school but I would always end up leaving towards the middle to go buy some yogurt from a gas station.
What happened with my stutter?
At age 19 I realized how much I had overcome. I realized that I finally had the power to control the course of my life.
This realization made me realize that I too had control over my speech. After one week of confidently talking to people, my stutter disappeared.
It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.
Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.
None of this was intentional.
I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.
As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’
I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.
I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.
I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.
One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”
I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.
I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.
Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.
I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.
I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.
But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.
So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.
On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.
It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.
I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.
“Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”
It’s not about the bad day.
Bad days will happen.
It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.
I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”
Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.
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This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.
Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.
Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.
The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.
Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.
Here’s how you can make your country better:
Use your voice
When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.
It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.
Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.
The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.
By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.
Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.
It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.
In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.
It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.
The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.
Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.
A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.
There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.
Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.
The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.
We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.
Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.
Pick up the trash
This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.
I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.
When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.
Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.
Don’t think you can’t make your country better
A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.
There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.
The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.
The people that change their country believe they can.
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