Pure, unadulterated peace.
But it wasn’t always like this; far from it actually.
And if you’ve read through my posts here, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about.
Many of you know that I spent 11 years in a career that I loathed and took much pleasure in writing about my journey out of cubicle hell from 2010-2013.
All I could think about what how badly I needed to be working for myself and doing meaningful work. It consumed me and I wrote hundreds of articles about it. A few of the most personal (and powerful) are here, here, and here.
The desire to have freedom over my time and my schedule was the fire that kept me going when things slowly fell apart around me. My writing was the one thing that was mine and nobody could take that away from me.
I still look back at my early writing and am amazed by what I created. It was born from passion, anger, frustration, and the will to beat the system.
And I did. Sort of..
Since starting this blog in 2010, my life has changed pretty much 180 degrees. I went from a stressed out, unhappily married, unhappily employed, and overall miserable man to who I am today.
No longer do I have a morning commute. No longer am I married. No longer am I doing meaningless and unfulfilling work. No longer do I dread Monday mornings.
Instead, I’m divorced, in a wonderfully supportive and loving relationship, my daughters and I are closer than ever before, I’m healthier than I’ve been in a decade, and I get to wake up each morning with a purpose.
I get to do what I love each day and that’s helping other dads get and stay healthy.
Life is good and I’m in a good place. Scratch that, I’m in a great place.
But it took work to get here…lots of it. And believe me, it wasn’t all fun and games.
And it was just a few short years ago, in 2014, that I broke free from my office prison and went to work in the field I’m most passionate about; fitness.
It was in that year I decided to carve out my own path and started a real live online business. FitDadNation.com was born and I went all in.
Yes, once I made the transition from corporate stooge to full fledged entrepreneur, I went in with both feet. I didn’t have any other option. It became a”sink or swim” situation and I had to hustle my ass off just to make enough to live.
I went from just having to be at work from 9-5 to working all day, every day. I loved what I was doing so it didn’t really feel like work, although those 15 hour days can wear a brother out..
And I’ll tell you straight up that not knowing when (or if) you’ll get paid again is a BIG motivator and what I once took for granted (lunch breaks, video games, wasting time) are no longer viable.
If I wasn’t creating, producing, or connecting, I was failing.
Eight hours of sleep was now a distant memory and surviving on Red Bulls and sugar was how I got through most of the early days. I was so busy in fact that I lost 20 pounds in just 4 months.
And that wasn’t a good thing since I’m not a big guy. At 6’0, I fell to a low of 162 pounds with my pants (and even boxers) falling off of me, and people wondering if I was “sick”..
No I didn’t have cancer, I just had more things to do than I had time.
And I think about all of you who are in the situation I was in for so many years; a situation I was able to get myself out of before it was too late.
And I want you to understand that leaving your job in order to pursue your passion is an amazing thing, but also one that needs to be fully understood before you try…because it’s going to be the most challenging thing you’ve ever done.
After spending over a decade grinding out a miserable job in finance, dreading Monday mornings, and being a slave to egotistical bosses and the almighty cubicle, I am now a different man in a much different place.
On a day like today; my birthday, it only makes sense to take stock of all the blessings I have in my life and be truly grateful for them all.
It’s not something that comes easy as the years of negativity and a strained marriage have taken its toll on my psyche.
But I feel good. In fact, better than I have in many, many years. And it’s because of all the decisions I’ve made in the last four years that led me to this moment.
You see, my life sucked just a few short years ago. My marriage was crumbling, my job was insanely unrewarding, and I thought all my dreams were destined to die along with me (probably at an early age due to a massive heart attack).
But then something happened.
I made the choice to not live the rest of my life for someone else and instead was gong to live it for me. I played the martyr long enough and sacrificed my happiness to keep the status quo going.
It wasn’t working.
And I knew that if I made changes; massive changes, that life would change as well. For me and for my daughters.
And I’d love to end this post by telling you that I have no stress, all the money I could ever want, and ride unicorns all day long, but that’s just not the case.
In fact, life in many ways, has presented more challenges.
Being an online entrepreneur sounds glamorous and sexy and many fall into the trap of thinking it’s a cake walk. And maybe for some, it is.
But for me, it’s a real struggle. Yes, it’s a struggle I love, but a struggle nonetheless.
The ironic thing about my story is that I spent SOOO much time thinking about how much I hated my job and how badly I wanted to run my own business, that I failed to really understand the magnitude of what actually goes into creating and running a successful online business.
I mean it looks so simple and there are so many “experts” that make it seem like success can happen from little more than starting a website and sharing your story.
But it’s been far from that for me. Really fucking far.
Since starting FitDadNation.com and my online business in 2014 (started as SingleDadFitDad.com), I’ve had my share of uphill battles and have doubted myself more times than I’ll admit to you.
I’ve shed tears of frustration, been on the verge of a total financial collapse, and considered just shutting it all down and going back to get a “real” job.
Pretty crazy, I know.
Why on Earth would I ever consider going back to a j-o-b when I finally have realized my dream of entrepreneurship?? Because it’s insanely fucking hard and there is nobody to hold you accountable…to anything. There are no schedules, no required hours, and no boss.
There are no paycheck every two weeks, no health benefits, and no 401k plan. There is nothing given to you and everything is earned. And if you don’t figure it out, you’ll soon find yourself deep in the shit.
Please understand that I am not complaining because although I still struggle almost every day with one thing or another, I love my life and my choices.
But I want you to understand that your desire to break free from your cushy office job in order to sit on a white, sandy beach with a laptop and a margarita isn’t exactly reality.
I was looking over some of the comments I’ve gotten on this blog over the years and noticed a interesting thing; more than 80% of the bloggers who were pursuing the laptop lifestyle are no longer doing it.
They’ve quit. They’ve gone back to the “safety” of their jobs. They gave up on their hopes and dreams of having a more fulfilling career. In short, they’ve settled.
Because it’s hard. There is a ton of negativity. It’s risky. It’s unforgiving. It requires great effort. Most fail. And those who don’t stand out, get chewed up.
I’m not here to discourage you. I’m just telling you how it is, for me at least. I’m all for pursuing your passions and living with purpose and I’d love nothing more than to hear your success story.
Hell, I’ll even share your story on here if you’d like.
But I want you to full understand the price you’ll pay for embarking on this journey. Be prepared to fail. And fail. And fail.
Be strong; stronger than your excuses or that little voice in your head telling you to quit.
It’ll be worth it…]]>
But yesterday was different.
Yesterday my girlfriend and I decided to head out into the city in the hopes of helping some of the local homeless in a small way. I had won $100 the night before playing poker at a friend’s house and wanted to give it away on Thanksgiving.
So we hopped in the car and drove around for awhile looking for people to donate a few bucks to and we come across a guy standing on a median and I handed him a $20 bill.
I see the surprise in his eyes for such a generous gift and I wish him a happy thanksgiving and drive off.
But I’m left wondering how much that will really help him in the grand scheme of things. I mean will $20 make a real difference for him?
So we decide to do something that we hadn’t planned on.
I flipped a u-turn, parked the car, and watched him for a few minutes to see what he would do. Would he walk across the street to the liquor store? Would he go buy some food?
And we watched with dismay as he crossed the street and walked right into a liquor store. I was disappointed to see that but was utterly surprised when I saw what he bought; a Pepsi.
And we watched as he walked back to an area where there were two other guys and we decided to go talk to them.
We ended up talking to them for more than half an hour and I was moved to hear about their struggles, their backgrounds, and how they make it through each day.
They shared how they struggled through drug and alcohol addictions, have saved each others lives, and even watched some of their friends freeze to death.
It was a humbling experience and I got to meet three good men named Jimmy, Norm, and Brian.
These guys have been living on the streets and in camps for 15 years and I was amazed at how positive they were. But even more so, how supportive they were of one another, like a real family.
They share everything from the donations they collect to the sleeping bags they sleep in and it was incredible to see such humanity.
We asked them what their biggest struggles were and they said it was living in the fear of freezing to death or starving to death.
So instead of giving them more money, we decided to head into Walmart and picked up blankets, sleeping bags, boots, shirts, sweatpants, propane tanks, canned goods, water, hand warmers, and a bunch of other stuff.
We even got them some mini baked pies to enjoy on Thanksgiving.
And as we drove back to the spot where these guys were staying, I saw Norm’s face light up. He probably thought he would never see us again..
I told him we had some stuff for them and that it was too much for him to carry back to their camp.
So he hopped in my car and I drove him to the camp and as we walked back into the woods where it was, I saw how they were living;
it was nothing more than a few tents and chairs, a makeshift grill, and some pots and pans, but it was their home.
They thanked us for our kindness and we wished them a Happy Thanksgiving. I gave them hugs, wished them well, and told them I’d see them again soon.
And I will.
I feel like this was such a wonderful way to spend this holiday and feel like we touched these guys lives. I know they touched mine.]]>
Life is nothing more than what we make of it.
We can either live a life that inspires nobody or we can chose to live a life that inspires many. We can live with no regrets or many. And we can choose to live in a way that makes us feel alive and makes us genuinely happy or we can go along with the quiet masses who choose to live a life of mediocrity.
In short, we can either choose to be awesome or choose to be ordinary. Neither is wrong, but you and I both have the choice to decide which it will be.
Being awesome doesn’t mean you are an arrogant prick or narcissistic. It means that you are living your life in the best way you are capable of. And let’s be honest, we ALL can become better people and live better lives.
Being awesome is about all the small decisions we make every day. Choosing good over bad, selfless over selfish, and honesty over deceit. It’s about adding to this world instead of taking from it.
Life is short, my friends. Much too short to live a life that’s expected and “normal”. If you aren’t doing these things on a daily basis, you aren’t growing enough.
Get out there take life by the balls and be awesome! You got this!]]>
In December, it will mark the three year anniversary since my initial separation and more than a year and a half since my divorce was made official. In that time, my life has literally turned 180 degrees and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. But it hasn’t come without cost.
Leading up to my life changing decisions, I was a different man; a shell of a man.
Some of you may already know my story, but I spent more than 8 years in a marriage that was full of struggle, stress, and heartache. I had converted to the Catholic faith prior to getting married and never considered divorce an option, especially since my parents split when I was 6 and it affected me deeply.
But there came a time when it seemed all but hopeless and life started to lose its meaning. Despair was followed by insomnia, which was followed by heart palpitations and night sweats, which was followed by me thinking I was literally going to die from a heart attack.
Months of counseling and workshops did little to help us better understand each others needs, and if they did, they didn’t help us actually do anything about it.
And in the end, it was an emotionless 30 minute conversation that felt more like a work luncheon that decided our fate and the decision was made to separate.
I share this with you not so I can relive all the painful memories, the sleepless nights, and the endless tears I cried, but to help you use what I’ve learned to make your life better.
As I said, my life has changed about as much as is humanly possible and I’m incredibly grateful for the new lease on life I was given. Scratch that; that I took.
To highlight some of the major life changes I’ve made in the last two years:
All I’m saying is that change is possible; huge changes are possible. For anyone.
I’ve spent a ton of time working through my emotional issues, learning more about myself, and growing as a person. I’ve thought about all the things I’ve learned throughout my marriage and now divorce and I’d like to share 6 of the most significant lessons I’ve learned.
This may sound selfish at first, but it’s not. It’ actually quite the opposite. So many men, including me, put their spouses and kids first and anything that’s left over is theirs. The problem is that there is rarely anything left for you at all.
All your work, energy, and time goes into making them happy and unfortunately, it comes at your expense. When we sweep our needs under the rug, and sometimes for many years, it builds up resentment, anger, and frustration. That emotion has to go somewhere and often it leads to passive aggressive behavior, guilting your spouse, and ultimately a huge disconnect between the two of you.
I love my kids more than anything in the world. I’d die for them without a second thought and have always put them first. And while you may be thinking “you’re supposed to do that, they’re your kids”, you have to look at it in a different way.
Yes, they will always be #1 in their father’s eyes. This is true for any good father. But when we focus so much on them, we neglect our own well-being. I believe there is a balance that must be found in order to be the best father you can be.
How can you or I be a great dad when we’re caught up in stress, anger, and emotional duress? We can’t. We have to get ourselves right and keep it that way in order to be the best and most effective parent we are capable of.
Does that mean neglect your children? Of course not, nor would any of us ever consider that. I’m talking about making time for your emotional and physical health and making it your priority.
If you are fucked up in the head, lost, down on yourself, or any of the other things that happen to us when we divorce, how can we reasonably expect to be at our best as a parent?
Make time for you. Do what makes you happiest, whether that’s playing Halo, being part of a fantasy football league, or shooting pool, you need it.
It was only at the end of my marriage that I found my passion. It was writing and sharing my journey with thousands of like minded people. I loved it and if my ex had been supportive of it, we might be having a different conversation right now.
Yes, it’s a cliche and we’ve all heard it a thousand times: Communication is the key to a successful relationship. Thank you Dr. Phil and Oprah.
I do believe open and honest communication is essential to a successful relationship and of those people I know who are in lousy marriages, they have poor skills when it comes to this area.
Let’s look at the effects on a relationship that has poor communication. I’ll use mine as a perfect example.
Going into the marriage, we had two totally different expectations about what married life was supposed to be like. I thought it would be an extension of the previous 5 years we had dated, and would only get better. I didn’t expect things like sex to change as a result of marriage.
Her expectation was far different. She looked at it from the Catholic viewpoint and planned to live as close to God as possible. Well I had just converted and religion up to that point was never present in my life. You can see where I’m going with this.
So as the marriage began, we each had different ideas of what a good marriage should be. We were way off. For example:
I could easily go on with 15 more strikes, but you get my point.
This isn’t her fault, nor is it mine. It was that we weren’t on the same page and never took the time to try to get there.
In my current relationship, nothing goes unsaid. This has its drawbacks as well as benefits, but being willing to talk about the hard things serves to make us stronger.
I’d advise you to do the same if/when you find yourself in a new relationship. We harbor many emotions from our past and if we don’t make a huge effort to do things differently than we did before, we are destines to end up the same way.
Being narcissistic is one thing but being physically fit is quite another.
When I got married, and I know this is true for many of you, I stopped caring about my appearance. The reason being is why do it? We had found the person we were going to spend the rest of our lives with and they would love us regardless if we looked like a tub of shit or not.
Clearly this is not the best way to look at it, but it does happen and often.
The problem, other than the obvious health reasons, is that this is terrible for our self esteem. When we stop caring about our appearance, the other things in our life start to lose their appeal as well. This is bad.
We also slowly start to lose our confidence, which really affects every part of our life from our competence in our jobs to our feelings of self worth as a man.
One my favorite quotes is “The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what others think of them”.
We are so consumed by what others think that we let it control how we feel about ourselves, how we act, and how far we get in life. And all if it may be based on complete bullshit!
This was very apparent in my life and for much of my marriage, I felt like a failure.
Sure I was providing a life for my family and as the sole bread winner, I took care of everything. And sure I woke up at 4:45am to train my clients before going to work from 9-5. And sure I worked my way up from a junior broker to a full fledged partner in a $300 million practice without having any financial background or experience prior.
But that didn’t mean shit to me. And for that matter, her.
All needed to hear was how fucking awesome I was and I would have felt 100X better. But that conversation never happened and over the course of 8 years, I started to believe I wasn’t much at all.
It got to the point where I had virtually no confidence in myself, despite all that I was doing and had accomplished. This is an awful place to be and I know many of you experienced something similar or are going though it now.
In order to protect your confidence, you have to first acknowledge that you, in fact, are fucking awesome. Then you need to surround yourself with people who agree. This doesn’t mean ass kissers, but rather people who believe in you and aren’t afraid to tell you about it.
These people are invaluable to your personal growth and can mean the difference between success and failure in anything you do.
When we are in a bad place, mentally and physically, we can’t help how we come across to our loved ones. Since we are knee deep in negative emotions, we are blind to it and often times those we love the most get hurt.
My daughters Georgia and Lily are the loves of my life and I’d never do anything to hurt them in any way. But when I look back on some of the worst years of my marriage, the years when I hated my job the most and things we going poorly at home, they suffered the fallout from it.
It wasn’t that I’d come home and yell at them or punish them, but looking back I think it was worse than that. I was silently miserable and everyone knew it. And while they never said anything to me, they had to see just how unhappy I was. I moped, sulked, and disengaged from most people and didn’t think of the consequences of how it might affect them.
They didn’t deserve to see their daddy so unhappy. They didn’t need to learn that this is how life should be or that a marriage should be nothing but a series of arguments and wise ass remarks to each other.
Now that I have cleared my head and can look back at how I was, I feel sad. Sad that they had to go through that and I blame myself for not recognizing it and doing better.
I also know that they do see a huge difference in me now and the day when my oldest made a comment of how much I laugh now and how much fun we all have together, it brought tears to my eyes.
That is what they need.
No, I’m not assessing blame on your ex. Both of you are responsible for your failings in your marriage and I fully understand my part in my divorce and accept my share of responsibility.
What I mean is that you are an amazing person, full of unique gifts, talents, and unlimited potential. And so am I. I just never saw it until I was with someone who made me see it.
Sadly, most of us chose a spouse that doesn’t see all that we are and all that we can become and it’s a real tragedy. It hurt me deeply knowing my ex didn’t believe in me. That’s extremely powerful stuff there and when the woman you chose to spend the rest of your life with doesn’t believe or support your dreams and passions, you have very little hope of succeeding.
In the infamous book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states that one of the biggest causes of failure is choosing the wrong spouse. It’s because they bring you down to their level instead of rising to yours.
You’ve also heard the quotes” If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” or “You become who you hang around” and these are very true statements. Be very careful with whom you spend your time. It can and will have a huge impact on your life.
And please remember this: At this very moment, you have everything you need to become incredibly successful and happy, whatever that looks like to you.
You just need to be in the right support system to let those gifts flourish.
How many married guys do you know that just appear to be going through the motions of life? Just go to any park on a Sunday, a Target store, or a shopping mall and you’ll inevitably see a dad slowly plodding behind his family, carrying all their shit and looking like he’d rather be anywhere else.
I see it all the time and it’s fucking depressing.
It seems to me that when many of us get married, we start to accept all the things we “have” to do and forget the things we “want” to do. We give up watching football for watching Dora the Explorer. We give up our poker nights with the guys for visiting the in-laws.
And I’m not saying these things are bad and do believe they are part of what having a family means, but I am saying that our personal sacrifices come at the expense of our personal happiness in many cases.
Of course not all marriages are like this and many of them are filled with laughter, fun, new experiences, and a sense of closeness.
Just not ours.
Laughter is one of the best antidotes for misery, just ask any unhappily married man. When I was married, I distinctly remember losing my sense of humor. I just didn’t find anything funny because I didn’t want to see it. I was miserable and the small things that most people find interesting or funny, seemed meaningless.
Only now, after a year and a half of dating my current girlfriend, am I really seeing the benefits of laughter and joy in my daily life. I can’t help but feel more positive, alive, and energetic when I find myself laughing so hard that tears are rolling down my cheeks. It just makes us feel good to experience that kind of healthy emotion.
So my advice is this: find a woman that is funnier than you are, goof off, bust each others balls, and be silly together. It’s really that important.
I don’t know your personal situation, but I’m going to assume that you are either separated or divorced if you’ve taken the time to read almost 3,000 words here today.
My hope in sharing so much of my personal life is to open your eyes to all the possibilities that lie in front of you and hopefully help you avoid making some of the same mistakes I made.
Our lives are only so long and the more time we spend doing things that don’t make us better, the less time we will have when we finally figure it out.]]>
Yes, EndingTheGrind.com was born on October 11, 2010 along with my hopes and dreams of one day becoming a blogging superstar standing next to the likes of Jon Morrow, Yaro Starak, and Darren Rowse.
Little did I know that my path would be so windy and have so many cliffs!
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve loved every minute of my blogging journey, even when things were looking bleak. I’ve had some big wins, crushing defeats, an truly found a home in the online realm.
Since starting my journey to creating a full-time income from my online exploits, I’ve managed to accrue the following:
So what stood out in this list?
It seems that someone desperately wanting to build an online business, doing all the right things, and talking to the right people would have something to sell, right?
I’ve seen it, read about it, and lived it; the fear of success in action along with a heaping side of paralysis by analysis.
After all the work I put into creating a brand, a personality, and a thriving community, I literally had nothing to sell. Now this isn’t a bad thing if blogging is intended to be a hobby, but for me, it was my dream to be an Internet Entrepreneur.
You know, they guy inspiring millions of people worldwide whilst sitting on his couch in his underwear, typing away.
Yea, that guy.
But times have changed and about 7 months ago, I started a second website called SingleDadFitDad.com. And since that time, I’ve poured almost all of my heart and soul into creating a resource for single dads looking to get their life back on track emotionally and physically.
And it’s working.
But once again, I found myself thinking waaaayyyy too much and producing too few results. But enough was enough and I finally told myself that if I don’t get my shit together right fucking now, I may as well go back to a 9-5 job.
So I set out to create something that would be useful, valuable, and targeted directly to those who need it.
And I did.
So I’m elated to share with you all the release of my first ever product called The Fit Dads Guide To Pre-Workout Supplements.
At $7, I’m not looking to set the world on fire or break any sales records, but I am hoping that it will help as many guys as possible avoid wasting time and money on supplements that don’t work.
In order to keep myself from becoming depressed at the fact that it’s taken me so long to create something capable of earning money, I like to look at this as the 5 year product launch.
Yes, it’s pretty anti-climactic, but I had to start somewhere.
It’s also a great lesson not only for me, but also for all of you who are interested in becoming a blogger/freelance writer/Internet entrepreneur/lifestyle designer, etc.
Make sure you set goals, take action towards them, and build a business. It’s far too easy to make this a hobby and as you’ve seen here, a month turns into half a decade in a blink of an eye.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have certainly taken a different path.
I hope this post has opened your eyes to a few things and of course, I’d love it if you purchased my book.
What are your thoughts on the fear of success, being caught up in too much thinking and too little action? Has it happened to you?]]>
The other night I woke up freezing cold, yet my shirt was soaked with sweat. I was disoriented and in a sort of deep fog, the kind where you’re not quite sure if you’re asleep or awake (or what year it is).
It was all I could not to freak out given the darkness of the room and the realness of the dream I had just awoken from. I don’t remember my dreams often and when I do, they rarely leave me wondering if I’m still alive.
This one did..
Some of you may remember the 1984 movie, Dreamscape, which was pretty fucking freaky. And although mine wasn’t quite that messed up or have giant snakemen, it still rattled me pretty good.
You’ve probably heard the old wives’ tale that if someone dies in their dream, they will die in real life. Most of us realize that it’s nothing more than superstition, but there is still a small part of us that is scared it might be true.
Well you can sleep easier knowing that I proved that theory wrong.
In my dream, I found myself in a makeshift bar and sitting in a booth with four guys I didn’t know. Most of the dream is pretty hazy now, but I distinctly remember swimming in a seemingly endless toxic lake and being pursued by something that resembled Predator.
But the next moment, I’m in the bar with these guys. And I’m pleading with the guy to my left because I realize I’m in a dream but can’t wake up. A dream in a dream if you will. And no matter what I try, I can’t wake from my dream.
And then he calmly tells me that yes, I am in fact, dead and that it was stress that killed me.
So you can imagine that when I actually do wake up, I’m tweaking out..
And while this dream freaked me out quite a bit and I never want to sleep again, it really has nothing to do with you or your life. But I got to thinking about it and realized the parallels between my dream, my current life, my former life, and my future.
And those things do have something to do with you. A lot actually.
You see, I was living a life like most of you are now. A 9-5 job, a marriage (that may or may not be all that good), a sizable mortgage, credit card debt, a heap of expenses, and a long road of struggle ahead.
Grinding out 40 years of this is some people’s idea of a great life. But not mine. And if you’re reading this, probably not yours either.
And although I have left the grind behind and made some HUGE advances in my life and with my personal fulfillment, I still have a grind. It’s not all fun and games being a business owner and not knowing when (or if) you’ll get paid again. I chose this life and I do love it, but it’s got every bit as much stress as being an employee.
I realized that I’ve been internalizing all my stress and apparently it has now manifested itself in the form of a morbid and all too real dream.
At 43, it has crossed my mind more than a few times of what might happen if I continue holding onto past (and present) stress. Yes, the dreaded thought of heart failure. And although I’m pretty fit and healthy, there is always the possibility of my heart just deciding to check out one day.
This is a reality for many middle aged people and sitting at your desk patiently waiting for retirement to come is killing you. The commutes, deadlines, passed over promotions, dick bosses, shitty coworkers, sedentary lifestyle, bad marriages, overwhelming debt and expenses, and fast food are shortening your life.
Maybe it only takes a freaky dream to snap you out of your current rut or maybe it takes a heart attack that nearly kills you. Or maybe it does kill you.
All I’m saying is that life is FULL of every type of stress imaginable and if we don’t learn how to deal with them, it is a very bad thing. There are a hundred ways to reduce stress and I want you to start finding them today.
Life is short enough, don’t make it any shorter…]]>
I realize just how much time I spent wishing, wanting, and hoping that my life would somehow miraculously become great. After all the years of struggling financially, emotionally, and personally, I just needed a break I told myself.
I felt like I was owed something by the Universe or whatever because of all the sacrifices I had made. I walked around with a false sense of entitlement like I deserved to be happy, successful, and wealthy.
Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.
I’ve seen this many times in many different people and it comes in all forms. Maybe it shows it’s ugly head in the form of a lazy employee who thinks he deserves a raise and is unwilling to work hard until he gets what’s owed.
Or maybe it comes in the form of an estranged and distant husband who uses passive aggressiveness to feel superior or more in control of his life.
I know because these were both me.
This is the not-so happy little place I called home for many years and looking back, it was an incredible waste of time. All the years I spent waiting for something to come to me could have been spent learning, creating, or bettering myself. Instead I chose to play the victim card and assume that life would deliver up a nice, juicy dose of success just because I thought I had put my time in and it was due.
So fucking wrong.
The irony is that I look at people today; people who I think are walking around with a sense of entitlement, and look down on them. “Lazy fucking bastards” I think. And it’s true. They are lazy. But so was I.
For those of you who believe in the principles behind the book/movie The Secret, I have news for you; it ain’t gonna happen. Well, not without a shit ton of hard work and discipline to get you where you want to go.
Thinking that good things will happen on your life just because you really, really want them is not the right way to look at life. In my opinion, anyway.
Now I’m all for having a positive mental attitude and believing that good things will happen. Good things do seem to happen when we believe they will and much of that is just our outlook on things. We can’t control the events in our lives but we can control how we view those events.
If you’re reading this, there is a good chance that your life sucks in some capacity. Most likely it’s your soul crushing 9-5 job, but it could be any number of shitty things.
You can be like I was and want and wish for things to change or you can make the decision to work for change. I started this blog in 2010 and over the years have seen the same story played out in so many different lives. It breaks my heart to read the things I’ve read and want desperately to grab each one of you and shake you and scream “wake the fuck up”!!
Your life is speeding by and you are no closer to being where you want in life than you were 5 years ago. You are now just older, fatter, balder, and more tired. It’s not going to get any easier, I promise you.
Now is your time to make it happen.
I’m telling you this not out of anger, but rather because I care. It might sound like I’m pissed off, but I only want you to take an honest look at yourself and what you want in life and then go after it with everything you’ve got.
If I was the same self serving douchebag I was 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. But I have changed.
Right now, I am following my passion, living on my terms, and am happier than I have been in over a decade. And it’s only because I decided to stop waiting for life to hook me up and I went after it.
Believe me, if you know my story then you know I was deep in the shit and if I can make a complete life change, you can too.
I’m here to help, so leave a comment or email me to let me know what I can do to get you closer to what you want.]]>
Ever since I read the book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, I have been brainstorming on how to really use my strongest skills and experiences to create a business that will not only help the right people, but allow me to pursue my passions as well.
And although it was staring me in the face the whole time, I never really thought about using my 17 years as a fitness coach to launch a website geared towards helping guys like me.
As a 43 year old father of two, I know all too well the struggles with trying to raise small children, hold a (miserable) job, pay the bills, find a moment or two for yourself, and trying to get or stay in shape.
And I know there are countless dad’s out there who are desperately looking to find a way to get into the kind of shape they once were and have been thinking about getting into since their college days. And I know how daunting it can feel to be out of shape, listless, crunched for time, and stressed to the max and wanting to feel healthy, vibrant, and alive.
Finding the motivation to start an exercise routine and stay consistent is far more challenging that you might think and I’ve decided to use my nearly two decades of fitness experience to be the push you need to get you started on the right path.
I like to think I’m pretty damn good at what I do and it’s got nothing to do with my certifications or knowledge. I’m good at it because I care about people. I care about my clients. And I care about you.
What I don’t care about is you losing 10 pounds. What I do care about is you losing 10 pounds and now having the courage to walk on the beach with confidence because of it. I’m not motivated to push you to drop three pant sizes. I’m motivated to push you to drop three pant sizes so you can reach your personal goal of wearing the same pants you did 20 years ago and you having an incredible feeling because of it.
So I decided to start a website with these things in mind to try to help as many men, and more specifically dad’s, as possible get into the best shape of their lives. It’s based on my personal experiences as a busy father, single parent, certified trainer and fitness coach, and exercise enthusiast.
It’s called SingleDadFitDad.com and I’m really excited to share it with you all. My plan is to help those who need it most and struggle with the time, energy, focus, knowledge, and motivation to start and stick with consistent exercise and healthy eating habits.
I want to break through all the excuses as to why you can’t be in phenomenal shape and give you the wake up call you are so in need of.
And while my focus will be on reaching guys like me, there will also be plenty of useful information and ideas for anyone looking to get fit and stay fit.
So where does that leave this site?
Back in early 2012, I shut down this blog to work on my marriage and when I returned to blogging earlier this year, I said that I wouldn’t leave it again. And I’m sticking to my word.
To be perfectly honest with you, I’m not entirely sure what the future of this blog will be but am strongly considering opening it up for a guest post or two per week. I still want this to be a great resource for people to find hope and inspiration and sharing personal accounts from those who have conquered their grinds will be a positive step towards doing that.
So if you would like to share your story of ending your grind or are working on breaking through your grind, please contact me and let me know a little bit about yourself. Please read the posting guidelines first to make sure it will be a good fit for the readers here.
And whether you’re a dad or not, I would love for you to stop by SingleDadFitDad and leave a comment or two. I honestly appreciate your feedback, good or bad, and welcome any suggestions on improving it in any way.
Looking forward to the future and sharing in many more conversations and experiences with you all…
Now let’s go get fit!
Lots of people spend lots of time looking for lots of scapegoats on which to pin their bullshit. They rustle up elaborate excuses for their failed or stalled dreams, lovingly weave them into self-soothing tall tales, then make the rounds trying to convince other people to buy what they’re barely selling to themselves.
They become little bullshit factories whose entire business plan is to soothe the ego, whose main product is false solace, whose board of directors is composed of the myriad devils on their shoulders.
We’re all guilty of this. I freely admit that I’m the first person to hand out reasons why my latest venture didn’t succeed or my newest hare-brained idea flopped. When I’m particularly disappointed or embarrassed, I’ll look for comfort from any corner, spinning my sadsack story to whichever poor sap I can find. I practically canvass the neighborhood.
It’s all ego, of course. You feel crappy about your failure, loss, defeat, retreat or whatever, so you make up for it by crafting an elaborate story as a defense mechanism. The more people you can share your story with, the more people who will sympathetically nod their heads, the more people you now feel are corroborating your story and making it true. Consequently, the less you have to feel the sting of your mistake.
Unfortunately, this is hands-down the WORST strategy for dealing with failure. In the short term, it makes you feel a lot better, especially paired with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, a bottle of red or a Netflix marathon (or all three). In the long run, though, this is a soul-sucking, dream-wrecking habit that you should quit yesterday if you want to get anywhere in life.
You don’t have to look far for proof that egos constantly sabotage the best of intentions. Bookshelves, TED talks and blogs galore all extol the virtue of failure as a teaching mechanism and just trying as the best way to succeed. We practically worship at the feet of the successful, looking for chinks in their armor and begging for the stories of Before They Were Hot Shit. Yet typically, we don’t take their advice (shut up and keep working, generally) to heart.
We’re so afraid of feeling another blast to our self-esteem that we give up on the book deal/coaching business/Etsy shop/nonprofit dream/overseas move. Instead we dig in and begin to spend our energy convincing ourselves we don’t really mind, this is what we wanted all along, we’re not that young anymore, who were we kidding anyway?
The ego’s fear of looking stupid or slipping up puts the kibosh on future possibly idiotic (possibly brilliant) ideas, and there you have it: Dream over.
Okay, fine, you’re thinking, you’ve diagnosed the problem of weenies everywhere. But what do we do about it??
Glad you asked. I’m no expert, of course, but in the last year I’ve born a child, started a business, kept another going, lost my chance at a book deal, launched a website, worked for free and for hire, told everyone about my dreams and regretted it, told everyone about my dreams and been glad, expanded my offerings, reduced my offerings, completely changed my offerings, spun self-aggrandizing and self-soothing stories galore, and basically learned more than I cared to.
Through it all, my ego’s been there, pushing hard for me to just crawl into a safe hole where only ice cream and people that love me are allowed. So far, I haven’t given in, but I do know a thing or two about the ego’s absolute and utter heinousness when it comes to chasing dreams. I’d like to share that with you in the hopes that you can avoid even one of my mistakes … possibly more.
Glory is elusive and stupid. Investing your blood, sweat and tears in any enterprise for the sake of glory is like doing it because you might win a million dollars, or Angelina Jolie might notice and fall in love with you, or pigs might fly and liberate themselves from stockyards everywhere. Your probably aren’t among the infinitesimal percentage of people who will achieve it. I’m not either. Get over it.
Unfortunately, letting your ego pull a big, fuzzy glory blanket over everything clouds your judgment and limits your enjoyment of life. Small victories get lost because they aren’t big victories. You have a harder time taking pleasure in the process.
You base your decisions on moronic metrics like how much something will buy, or how great it will be when you rub everyone’s face in your success at the high school reunion. It’s shallow and ultimately unfulfilling, and in the meantime you bounce around from one half-baked idea to another waiting for the glory to appear.
Unfortunately, it isn’t going to until you decide to invest in something for its own sake. Maybe not even then. And if that’s a problem, then you and happiness may not be made for one another.
Other people suck. They’re happy to laugh when you’re doing poorly, and they’ll rain on your parade when you’re doing well. We do this to other people too, and even the nicest among us get a funny feeling about others’ success. That makes us suck, which sucks harder.
The cure? Stop listening. Stop caring when other people have something you want. And when other people don’t support you, screw it. If you aren’t enough support for yourself, then stop reading this article and call your insurance company to see if they cover therapy. (I’m serious.)
If you try for something worthwhile, you will fail along the way. You will work hard with little progress, and you will suffer waiting for results that aren’t coming fast enough for you. Too bad. Spending your time replaying nasty comments or inventing the zingers people are unleashing behind your back (because they are) is pointless.
Spend that energy developing your craft, honing your writing, pounding the pavement, networking like a boss, whatever.
Okay, fine, so some whims you should definitely quell and move on from before they ruin you. This includes binge drinking on a Tuesday afternoon, sleeping with your best friend’s ex, experimenting with hard drugs, abandoning your children (what?? I would never), and any and all ideas that involve plastic explosives.
But some whims are great. Unfortunately, once you’ve followed a whole bunch of them and they haven’t yet resulted in a golden egg, your enthusiasm can start to flag a bit. Don’t let it. If you’re still experimenting, then do so with abandon. Painting, making small Sculpey models of American presidents, starting a blog about the unrecognized merits of the common garden snail … whatever works for you, go for it.
And for God’s sake, cut yourself a break. If you don’t, you’ll never get the gumption to go for that dream. Don’t do it. Take all that wasted energy your asshat ego wants you to spend making it feel better, and put it into something that matters.
If that dream fails, avoid the temptation to lick your wounds and just repeat the process. There’s a reason everyone loves to hear stories of agonizing failure from the Now Successful: because it happens to all of us. Square your shoulders, remind yourself of that, and tell your ego to shut the hell up.
One day, it will thank you.
Sarah Moore is an illustrator, writer and creativity sleuth aiming to find the best ways to stay happy, healthy and inspired at work and play. You can find her at Positively Dreaming, where she helps people dress up their online presence so they always feel their best.]]>
I am a Misfit Rebel Maverick… always have been, always will be. I have cut off my limbs to fit into “other people’s boxes” and now I say “NO MORE!” for all of us.
What tripped me off and caused me to go through years of cutting off my limbs and fitting in a box was not knowing what was possible for me, and how I could express myself – fully and unapologetically – without ending up on the street…
Even before I started my own business, I had always be a sucker for creativity and individuality. I studied design at Yale College and went onto getting my Master’s of Architecture degree from Harvard University. I explored photography and did graphic design. When I got out of school, I followed the “traditional path” got a job at some prestigious New York City architecture firm and started my life as cubicle-dweller.
I was miserable.
I was not cut out to sit at the desk from 9 – 9 executing other people’s ideas while breathing in recirculated air. I sucked at my job. I got pink-slipped when the economy tanked. But I didn’t know better because “job after school” was all I was knew… so I went on to look for another job, and ended up in the online marketing agency world for 9 years. I learned a lot during that time, but my inability to sit tight at a desk executing other people’s ideas became painfully apparent.
I could not do it anymore. I walked away from a 6-figure New York City ad agency job and started my health coaching business. It was a big jump – there is zero entrepreneurial blood in my family and I had no idea what I was getting into. But it was inspiring, and it suited my adventurous personality. Even with my extensive design background and experience working in creative projects, my years as an entrepreneur are definitely one of my most creative times.
I soon found out that I am very good at identifying opportunity, synthesizing information and developing creative solution. I left my health coaching business and started a successful venture to help coaches build their businesses.
Looking back, I pat myself on the back for having the GUTS to walk away from “what I am supposed to be doing because of my trainings and certification” to blasting a trail that allows me to fully deploy my Superpowers.
As time went on and my business was plugging along nicely, something was bugging me. I loved marketing and was doing it quite well to promote my business. Like many entrepreneurs, I took trainings and programs to help me grow my business. The more I did so, however, the more I felt like I was being put on some factory assembly line called “guru” programs.
Learning about business and marketing turned into a chore, and my business started to feel more like a J.O.B.
I was spoon fed a bunch of information and told to execute (“just do it!”) without asking – where was ME in this whole picture? I was given blueprints but because of my maverick rebel personality I could rarely “do as they say” and when things didn’t work well, I fell into the comparison trap and blamed myself for being “too creative.”
Like, geez, why can’t I just be like everyone else and be happy with what I get?
My good intention of furthering my business through trainings was stifling my creativity and growth! Something was not right. I was doing what everyone else was doing and no longer felt the FIRE because my individuality was suppressed!
I missed that fire, the excitement, the drive – what got it all started. My mission, vision, and passion got diluted along the way. I realized that
Even though my business was going well, a big part of me wanted to create something more, something innovative, something to help others build a fulfilling businesses from a different place, a different perspective.
I realized that buying another $297 training program was not the answer. There is no magic bullet and I cannot look outside of me for the answer. To live loudly, colorfully and unapologetically through my business, I have to do the inner work, muster the GUTS, come up with the strength – and pull myself through to the other side.
Staying within the confines of a prescribed way of doing things was oppressive. After a load of gut-spilling and soul-digging, I made a scary decision to stop listening to what others say, and listen to my own Heart and Guts.
I decided to take the leap and put all of me in my business. I decided to stop chasing my tail on the hamster wheel – even though the fears of not knowing enough or missing out creeps up from time to time. I decided that there would be no compromise. I decided to jump off the cliff while still looking for the “how to make a parachute” manual. I decided to walk away from what has been working and create something new and different.
When I took the leap, I had NO idea what the next iteration of my business was going to look like. I still don’t – not fully – maybe I never will. It is unfolding and in a way and I am enjoying the possibilities offered by the uncertainty.
I have by no means “got-it-all-figured-out” and sitting pretty somewhere on a pedestal. I am knee deep in this whole process that will keep evolving. I am ready to face plant and be proud of it.
During this process, I learned that mustering up the guts to jump off the cliff and letting go of the “what is supposed to be” is where the real challenge is. The taking action and marketing bit happens after there is inner alignment and clarity.
The more inner work I do, the more I marry personal growth with my business, the faster both grow. This experience has been life-changing for me, and I have coined “Business Soulwork” for the work/ magic/ transformative journey that has become my schtick today.
There is a paradigm shift in the way we do business – it’s no longer about following a blueprint, banging out some stuff so you can “get away with it.” Success does not come in a blueprint and system with no soul.
Becoming an entrepreneur is an EXPERIENCE – it is as much the outcome as what happens and how to do YOU during the process.
Now that I have jumped off the cliff and proved that I didn’t die – I am here to invite you to take a leap. Being on the other side is very empowering and rewarding – both personally and financially.
Ling offers “Business Soulwork + Marketing Activation” that embodies her “Heart & Guts” approach. She helps the Maverick Entrepreneurs supercharge their actions not only through smart strategies and practical tools, but also through their personal growth and development – so they not only grow their business, but also LET THEIR BUSINESS GROW THEM.
You can find Ling and download her free “Reignite Your Fire” Soul-Bomb session at business-soulwork.com.]]>