Stop wasting time. Stop sleeping in. Start taking responsibility like your life depends on it – because it does. Here is the Beast Guide to Ruling Your Life – 21 Ways to Kick Tomorrow’s Ass.
1. Wake Up Earlier – Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do for the next 4 weeks. It’s not too drastic of a change that it will effect your sleep cycle too much…and you’d be surprised what you can get accomplished in that half hour. Like, you know, that breakfast you’ve been skipping? Yeah. Try and eat that. After 30 days, add another 30 minutes. Over the course of 4 months you will exponentially increase your productivity. I promise.
2. Read at Least 15 Minutes Every Day – This one is HUGE. You can always tell the success of someone by looking at their bookshelf. Find something that interests you that will increase your quality of life. For me, it’s anything that will improve my business, marketing knowledge, training knowledge, and stuff that I want to learn that I don’t know too much about yet. It’s never too late to learn something new, and no better time to start tomorrow. A couple of my favorites: Tony Robbins and Seth Godin.
3. Drink Black Coffee – If you don’t drink coffee, then find another blog. Just kidding. You should seriously start as it has a ton of benefits like tasting awesome and caffeine. Enough said. My favorite (non gourmet) coffee: Cafe Bustelo. You’ll find this yellow brick of liquid gold in your local food store. [Side note: If you’re Latino, you know about this. If you don’t…find another blog. I’m serious this time.]
4. Train Everyday – I don’t mean balls out sleeve pumping workouts every day of the week, but you damn well better move. I usually lift 3 days per week, do some sort of conditioning 3 days per week, and chase my 10 month old around on Sundays (shut up, it counts). The lifting works on strength and mass. The conditioning works that heart (which is surprisingly important as you get older…who would have thought?), explosiveness, and muscle endurance. Chasing a 10 month old around will prove to my daughter that her dad’s still got it even though my wife thinks I’m a washed up meathead.
5. Train Your Arms – Yes. I said it. The next one that says something like “bro…you just have to do total body movements – you know, like kipping pullups” is going to get throat punched. If you’re a man looking to build a huge, impressive upper body you do need direct arm training. Stop doing so many olympic lifts with 1 inch PVC pipes and do set of damn curls.
6. Eat Beef – Red meat is full of calories, iron, creatine, and animal fat. Eat it a few times a week and watch the gains follow. Because you ain’t gonna get huge eating tilapia.
7. Talk to Strangers – I don’t care what your parents taught you. Once you hit 25, the rule no longer applies. People are interesting. They all have stories, and you just might learn something by making small talk. This usually works best with a quick hello or a smile when running in and out of a convenience store. If you’re really feeling good that day, buy someones coffee…you’ll make their day, and probably yours as well. [Bonus points if you see me at Wawa and buy me a coffee.]
8. Thank a Veteran When You See One – If you get your face out of your phone for a few minutes, you can usually spot veterans all over the place in and out of uniform or just by their hats/jackets/bumper stickers. Thank them when you see them and shake their hand. They’re the reason you’re reading this blog, and why we have so many things we take for granted. Make their day by referring to #7. Bonus points if you do it in front of your kids.
9. Reframe your thoughts – I was naturally a negative person. I used to see the bad in things instead of the good. The truth is, whatever you think about a situation (bad or good), you’re right. For example, if you think an injury that is hindering your progress in the gym sucks, it’s true. If you look at the same injury and realize it is giving you the break that you need (that you were not too interested in giving yourself…which is why you got hurt), that’s true too. You’ll come back bigger and stronger when healed. Next time your thinking negative thoughts, catch yourself and reframe into a positive. You’ll be surprised how well this works.
10. Get Some Sleep – Sleep is not for the weak, its for the smart. Sleep is vital. If you’re not getting enough of it, something will suffer. You work, your training progress, your relationships. Something has to give. The reality is that we all get the same 24 hours a day. Try and sleep for 6-8 of them every night, and you’ll be well on your way to success. your mind will be more clear, your recovery will improve, and you will get more shit done being hyper focused. [Remember: If you’re waking up earlier, you need to go to bed earlier.]
11. Do Extra – Success is kinder and quicker to people who do the extra work behind closed doors. It’s easy to shoot buckets or lift during mandatory practices or workouts. But what about when the coach isn’t present? What about when you trainer isn’t in your kitchen watching you eat? What about when you can’t make it to the gym for your upper body session when you were supposed to? Do you do a few rounds of pushups and pullups to do something? Success is a culmination of the decisions you make when no one is watching.
12. Train in Silence – Try it. Seriously. I do this quite a bit, and the results are ridiculous. Clear mind, clear thoughts. Hyper focused on the lift and not on singing “Ruff Ryders Anthem”. When you can focus on the weights without distraction, you’ll be more focused on completing ALL reps without skipping the songs you don’t like. [For those who use headphones as a ‘gym douche’ deterrent – just put the plug of your headphones in your pocket, problem solved.]
13. Get Rid of Negative People – Unsubscribe to anyone with a political agenda on Facebook, stop texting that one friend who drains your positivity, (politely) leave the room at the Christmas party when you’ve had enough of that negative family member’s bullshit. You don’t owe anyone anything, not even family members who sap your flow. Get rid of ’em.
14. Take a Shot of Bourbon Before Bed – Does this really need explanation? It’s bourbon.
15. Do Something That Scares the Shit Out of You Every Single Day – Comfort leads to an early death. If you want success, you need to take risks. You might be unsure of the outcome. You might be scared to jump. you might be afraid of what people may think. The thing to remember is THIS: No successful person ever did anything great without nervousness, uncertainty, self-doubt, ridicule, or haters. These feelings, thoughts, and people come and go. Fear is just your body’s way of saying your on the right track. Doubt is just how your body reacts to things you’ve never done before. (Think about it…if you were a pro already, you wouldn’t doubt yourself would you?) and Haters? They are too busy focusing on the set of balls you have to go after what you want. Chances are they want it too but they’re too scared to take the lumps, scrapes, and bruises that come with the territory. If you don’t have haters, you’re already dead.
16. Don’t Ever Hesitate – React. Go with your gut. You hesitate, you blow the game-winning 3 pointer. Every. Single. Time. If you just take the shot when you see the opening, and let your body react, you’ve got a much better chance at being the hero and winning the game. Hesitation is often a by-product of #15 above. If you learn how to cope with doing stuff that scares you, you’ll get better in the clutch.
17. Learn to Give Up – Hear me out. There are times in life when you do things because others think you should. Because society thinks you should. Because you don’t want to let anyone done. Fuck that. You only have so much room in your life for things that matter. If I didn’t ‘give up’ on my previous job in the movie industry, I wouldn’t own a business. If I didn’t give up on Engineering School, I would have been a miserable number-crunching asshole. [I do hate math, but I’m a savage when it comes to adding plates on the bar.] Bottom line, don’t clutter your mind or your heart with things that don’t. Give them up. Let them go. When you start giving up on the mediocre, you start working on the amazing.
18. Don’t Be an Asshole, Because It Will Come Right Back – Whether you know it or not, most people you deal with every day mirror how YOU treat them. Remember that customer service lady you chewed out about your crazy high cell phone bill? Yeah. She wasn’t willing to help you because (whether justified or not) you were being an asshole. She was mirroring what you were dishing out. Next time, chill out, be respectful, and ask for her help, and there’s a really good chance she’ll be willing to help you reduce the bill to keep you a happy customer. Just a thought. [I actually just went through this exact scenario. 2005 Chris would have flipped out and went nuts on the phone. 2016 handled it like a gentleman and she managed to make numerous phone calls out of her way to drop the contract fees. It works.]
19. Don’t Be a ‘Taker’ – Give more than what is given to you. If you don’t believe in karma, you’re missing out and your probably one of the people I talk about in #13. This life is about giving. Not taking. Takers never win. Givers have more friends like them, are generally happier people, and are more successful because of the attitude that they don’t NEED anything. If you constantly ‘take’ without giving, you’re not contributing anything to the world. We don’t need anymore people like that. It’s like cutting down trees without ever planting any replacements. The math doesn’t add up, and eventually the world will get way fucked up because if it.
20. Speak Your Mind – We live in a word of safe-spaces, micro-aggressions, and participation trophies. We’re afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or disagree with anyone because of who we are or how we may feel about something. Say what you’re thinking. Now, I’m not saying be an asshole, but there is nothing wrong with friendly disagreement. There is a quick fix to this one. Say what you mean, and mean what you say – but don’t get offended when others do the same.
21. Start Taking Responsibility – You’re responsible for the outcome of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Act like it. Your life is YOURS, and it’s too short to be mediocre. Grab it by the balls. You’ll get out of it what you put in. You’ll get out of people what you invest in them. Make sure you give more than you get. Don’t be shaken by fear. Learn to give up. Squash negativity. Speak your mind. Thank those who put their lives on the line for your freedom, and finish the day by yelling ‘Merica out your bedroom window and downing a shot of bourbon. Your life starts tomorrow. Get on it.