Practice the Preaching ep11

Appreciation through Contrast

So there was a small issue this morning when embarking for my 5k walk, due to an oversight on my part my headphones were flat, I have to admit that I cannot actually remember when I last charged them and being a gadget freak of course I do not own a wired pair that I could have used in their place.

I decided to set off without the aid of music ( I sometimes listen to podcasts and audio books as well ) resigning myself to a walk that would feel longer and more arduous due to the lack of audio input.

The exact opposite happened and I found that without my normal distraction my mind was looking for other ways to stop thinking about the pain in my quads ( I trained legs the day before yesterday and they are sore, I am in agony ) and I was able to take in the scenery around me, I noticed Deer in a field and Rabbits started to cross the path in front of me, what with the birds singing in the trees it would only have taken a brief glimpse of a Disney princess to convince me I was still asleep and I should get up to go for my walk!

The Silence of an empty road

My point is this, I am a materialistic person, I like things, I like stuff, gadgets and watches, computers and cars, but they are hectic, they are thrilling in some cases and high maintenance in others, but without contrast they become noise, just faceless ordinary white noise, we get used to things too quickly and they lose their lustre, so we start looking for new things, shinier and in most cases more expensive, because there is lack of contrast, if we compare like for like we can only look to increase the value of what we have to effect change, if on the other hand you look to balance experiences with polar opposites your appreciation of both sides becomes exponentially heightened, and you will start to see the added value in each with a fresh prospective,

As an example take a concert, you go and see your favourite artist / band and it is loud and busy, you probably get bumped into frequently, and spend what seems like 90 percent of the time with somebody stood on your foot but I bet you still can’t get the smile off your face, you enjoy it and when it comes to an end you are gutted, it is over and you are on your way home, but when you reach home and sit down with the beverage of your choice you really appreciate the quiet and the stillness, it provides the same pleasure as the concert but in a polar opposite way, the same can be said for pretty much anything in life.

Sorry for the quality, digital zoom

The walk this morning, although it actually took longer, as I say my legs are less than optimal, felt like it went by quicker, it was easier somehow as I had been forced out of wireless headphones and the ability to choose which particular rabbit hole I put my consciousness into and I was forced to look at the world outside my front door at arguably one the most peaceful and beautiful times of the day, so if you are feeling tired or bored with your immediate surroundings my suggestion is to get up and pursue if only for a brief moment the exact opposite of your current environment rather than look to increase your experience of the norm, we grow and thrive on change and adaptation, and popping out to the countryside rather than going on the internet to look for a bigger TV will also help you to achieve financial goals, as it is a lot cheaper.

Again, smash it each day 100%, invest in yourself and before you know it you will wake up where you want to be.

Main Photo by sergio souza from Pexels.

Practice the Preaching ep10

So tenth episode, I have to confess that I wasn’t that sure where I was going with the episode idea but it seems to have worked out fairly well, there is an odd sense of obligation when you have stated in print for the world to see ( or at least the three followers I had at the time one of which was me and another my wife), and in fact I credit a lot of the habits I have built up in the past few weeks to my self-obligated reporting of my progress to you my readers (and the wife).

So I would like to encourage anybody struggling to start a new regime, or move their diet to a healthier one to write down their goals and keep it somewhere they will see it upon waking, although studies have shown that it can be 18 to 254 days to form a habit, in those early formative days you will need the written reinforcement to remind of your goal, bear in mind that if you are working toward productive healthy habits I would be willing to bet there are several bad destructive ones you have to break as well!

So for the first few episodes there are ones missing, some posted late (for various reasons in my defence) and as we go further they become more consistent, when I first started I picked 4:30am as a waking up time because it seemed to give me the right amount of time before work to take care of what I needed to do, and I nearly made it for the first few days but not quite, the snooze button was remarkably easy to find with tired eyes !

Now however I am waking up nearly the entire week before the alarm goes off! much to my wife’s relief she doesn’t need beauty sleep but she does like it !

I thought additionally this morning as it is a Yoga day I would share what YouTube videos I follow below.

I do look at others but have found these two to help the most at my level, and I am progressing quite well.

So keep up all the good work you are doing and always move forward even if it is only a little bit, I have taken quite literally tiny steps in my journey but now on reflection have travelled some distance, just remind yourself everyday of the changes you are making, through a written declaration to yourself and before you know it, they will be second nature and you will start to feel odd if for some reason you can’t complete a workout or study session, this in turn will make those activities more pleasurable and once you start to enjoy something you start to absorb it.

Practice the Preaching ep9

It is probably obvious by now that, I am attempting a virtual 180 on my life so far, and a big part of this is physical, I got to the stage that I couldn’t do much really, even laying down in bed hurt my lower legs and I couldn’t keep up with my children when out and about, so I threw myself into going back to the gym, and now 7 and a half stone lighter and 11 months down the line I feel like I am more fine tuning my diet and exercise routine than trying to crack a rock with a toffee hammer like I was for the first 9 months or so,

As a result and as a demonstration of a way of making time rather than trying to find the time, I thought I would share what my workout program is starting to look like, I will start to expand on this shortly and go much further into the knowledge I have gained but for now, this is pretty much how it is starting to look.

Gym – Resistance training

Essentially as I am never sure if I can go on a regular scheduled basis, I decided instead to just break it down to body parts per session and make sure that they all followed each other, so I do the following,

  • Back and Biceps – Staple exercises are Deadlifts, Lat Pulldowns, Straight bar Curls and Preacher Curls, as well as two more exercises on each muscle group depending on how I feel.
  • Chest and Triceps – Staple exercises are Bench Press, Flat Dumbell Flies, Incline Dumbell Press, Tricep Pressdowns and behind the head Dumbell Extensions, again another two more on each muscle group.
  • Legs – Staple exercises are Front Squat, Leg Press, Leg Extension and Curl, Stiff Leg Deadlifts and Calf raises, I will try and incorporate lunges and Sissy Squats as my knees allow.
  • Shoulders – Staples are Dumbell Press Overhead, Side lateral, Rear Laterals, Front raises either with Cables or Dumbells.

On Gym days I will do my cardio first thing in the morning (4:30am when I manage to get up 5:00am when not) and that has become a 5k walk as I was originally spending 70 minutes on a treadmill on incline 7 at the end of my workout but this was taking up too much time from my Kids and bedtimes, so I moved it too the morning when they are sound asleep, it is worth noting that I did start running in the morning but that seemed to halt the downward trend of the scales for some reason so I stopped.

Non Gym Days

On days when I am not going to be at they gym I will do a full Yoga flow in the mornings, I still go out for a swift walk but I like to concentrate on Yoga because the benefits so far have been exponential, my posture, strength, flexibility and I would even go so far as my mental state as well as my ability to cope with stressful sometimes inflammatory situations at work and family life, I really cannot stress enough how much I have come to value Yoga and am always looking to increase my practice of it and advance as much as I can.

Everyday

Additionally on every day I always do a 20 minute flexibility routine, one thing that has always plagued me is flexibility and so when I put all my ill informed misconceptions about Yoga to one side and started to practice it I started to become more flexible and found that this alone made everyday life more comfortable.

And I always do a mini plank workout, a simple standard Plank followed by each side and a back Plank held for one minute and repeated 3 times in each position, I actually credit this for getting rid of the largest part of my back problems due to being sat at a desk all day.

In the future

Moving from here I am going to start incorporating intermittent fasting as well as tying down a more regular Yoga routine of my own design to provide something to really concentrate on practising to find progression, I am also going to put a day of more power lifting / strength training into my gym routine, that will include Farmers Walk, Deadlifts, and Tyre Flipping that type of thing, to try and pull my physique in tighter.

Fragility of Dreams

Chasing Freedom Through Adversity

Firstly let’s get this out of the way, making millions on the internet is like winning the lottery in more ways than one, sure they both feel good and they both set you free and normally happen very fast, a lottery win means you go to bed one night not a millionaire and when you wake up you are (assuming you hit the jackpot of course) and the story appears to be very much the same with the internet, you work seemingly at nothing for a period of time and then you hit that one formula or niche that then sends you sky-rocketing.

But they also share another trait, the desire to participate is a personal decision and anybody who has bought a lottery ticket, just like watching the next “How I became a Millionaire in 7 short days” video, I would be willing to bet has sat and daydreamed about what their life would be like if that money was theirs.

It is our personal dream, our vision and our desire that we follow, and others (usually our closest friends and family) that start to question us as we spend more time researching and looking into how to start and what to do and start watching videos of people sounding very positive and in a lot of cases talking what appears to be non-sense about lifestyles and possessions reserved only for celebrities.

You see our dreams are fragile because we haven’t got anything to show for it yet, nothing physical to stand in our corner when people question what we are doing, what we hope to achieve and in the face of the age old question “if it was that easy wouldn’t everybody be doing it?” you have to protect that dream and hold on to it for dear life, because that is what we are buying, our lives back from the world.

It is so much harder to listen to and defend against negative views and comments from loved ones than the rest of the world, people outside our trusted social circle are easy to dismiss, they don’t know us, they don’t know anything about what we have achieved in the past or what the situation is now, so what possible value could their un-informed comment have?

But our closest circle, have listened to our plans (if you are anything like me probably at length and very enthusiastically), they do know us because the live with us or we see and speak to them on a very regular basis, and finally they are aware of what we have achieved in our lives so far, so their opinion cannot be dismissed so easily can it?

Well here is an odd way to think about it but try this, unless you are lucky enough to have a significant other/spouse, or an enthusiastic business partner that is following your progress and learning and has the same dream as you, then you need to cut them a break, don’t get angry when they question what you are doing and what the chances are, or how much do others make, even “well I don’t see how you can make money from it, it’s just [insert social media here] or why would people buy from you on [insert chosen affiliate program here]” sit down and calmly explain it to them, after all if you do not have the answers to hand then it is a valid question, if you don’t know what you are chasing then is it obtainable ? and if you do have the answers to hand, reciting them and educating your audience will only serve to further strengthen your resolve and cement the process in your own mind.

You cannot explain what it feels like to take off handcuffs for the first time, but you can vocalise the freedom of moving your arms.

Be patient with the people closest to you always, they only see the extra time and the stress and sometimes the disappointment caused by a set back or a plan deviation, a wife/husband may also see the bank balance going down with nothing coming in, and children can pick up on all this and more, when this happens STOP and think back to your images of success, look closely at the faces of the people in the images and make sure you do not alienate them because if you really think about it, those images without those faces are pretty grim.

Money in solitude is toxic, it turns in on us, chase freedom chase life and success, money will follow.

Photo by Bayu jefri from Pexels

Practice the Preaching ep7

Morning All! , I have had a bit of a milestone this morning and I would like to share, my training has up until now been a little, shall we say “instinctive” by which of course, I mean that I pretty much did what I felt like doing, with a few things that were a constant, but the problem with that is that is is difficult to measure progress without any baseline to compare against, so I began running/jogging/fast walk, as alluded to in a previous episode, and today I reached what is seen (I think) as a bit of a Milestone target of 5k, now before I share my stats don’t get too excited as they need improvement but I managed it in 41mins 48seconds at an average pace of 8:05/km (according to Strava), I then figured a good accompaniment to this would be some stretching so followed a 20 min yoga stretching routine from PsycheTruth on YouTube.

One thing this journey has done so far is improve my confidence in all the paths of my life and I am shocked at the elevated mood that you get after running so will be keeping it up, I will be able to try some natural methods of increasing aerobic capacity and report on my findings there as well now, see if I can prove/disprove some myths or hidden wisdom often circulated around the NET.

So to anybody reading this (and I pray there is at least two!) have an awesome day and just like me this morning puffing, looking a little pale and wanting to be sick try and break into a metaphorical jog as often as you can and sit down tonight having achieved everything you set out to do today.

P.S or physical jog if you happen to be out for some exercise.

Practice the Preaching ep6

Do Real things for Real results

So up for a run this morning and it made me think a couple of things, one the world is a beautiful place and I can’t believe sometimes how much we humans have been known to take it for granted, and two just how much harder running in real life is compared to a session on the treadmill.

Yesterday at the gym I did 45 minutes running at 7.5km/h at an incline of 7, I burned (according to the probably highly inaccurate) calories counter just over 500 calories, and afterwards I had a minute to calm down and then I happily wandered to my car to pick up my daughter from her club she attends.

Today, I ran 2.5Km at a pace of 8km/h and burned 375 calories in 21 minutes (according to strava, I am not sure about the accuracy of their metric either but that works on the same information I fed into the treadmill) and the really awkward truth about this is that in all activities, making money, bodybuilding, getting fit, and I can now add running to that list in bold and underlined, we get better results if we don’t look for the easy path in, sure you should always consult a doctor and make sure you are healthy enough to push yourself, the goal here is to live long and healthy and if possible not to die trying, but a real walk in the real world will always beat a slow jog on a treadmill, free weights are always better than machines and coming up with a method to make money is always better than trying mimic somebody who has already made it, use these easier methods to educate you and help you up to the first steps but always think and feel for yourself.

And smash it every single day.

Feeling Strong ?

Self-help and motivation has become very dear to my heart in recent years and I personally find it comforting that there a lot of people out there that do genuinely want to help, from the big names that fill auditoriums to the YouTube warriors that post incessantly, some with good intentions and morals and some with questionable motives largely found reciting industry standard rhetoric to a backdrop of a couple of piles of cash and some royalty free inspirational music, no names are required as we all have experienced these differing styles and their respective protagonists I imagine many times over.

Something happened to me specifically today, I had a moment of fear, a moment when the slow pace of progress closes round you like a cold encompassing blanket and seems to choke the energy right out of you, where all the carefully thought out plans and schemes suddenly seem unobtainable and you freeze unable to see a way forward.

Fear hits us all, I don’t care who or where you are, male or female, young or old, it is how we deal with it that counts and it is how we deal with it that will determine the pace at which you achieve your goals and in some cases if you ever do.

I have read a couple of books that are starting to suggest that we should maybe try and look for the good in what we have and not try to attain anything more, while this leaves me conflicted I do think it is a flawed and potentially harmful message, I mean people look to these places and people for inspiration and motivation, only to be told to not try to hard and look at the prospect of just being content with what you have, it must be a huge disappointment and for some difficult to recover from.

So here is a little mid-week motivation and each word is not only from my heart but it is fresh in my mind as I have gone through those emotions just today.

Feel strong, don’t question it just feel it look out into the open and just feel strong, remember that unless whatever is your main focus of concern is stood right in front of you with inevitable consequence, you have the opportunity to re-route your path, Think Slow Act Fast easy to say not easy to do when fear grips at your heart strings then climbs like an icicle up through your brain clouding your thoughts and play hide and seek with your emotion, but again stop and look around, things are almost always exactly the same as they were the moment before your fear went into overdrive, so whatever you do slow down your thoughts be methodical and then put those thoughts into action with the speed precision and purpose that only a razor sharp plan of action can command. Smash 100 percent everyday and in every action if you think slow forget fear and push your thoughts through to action with every ounce of strength you have you will move forward there is no two ways about it believe in your self and you are 80 percent there.

There is nothing wrong with being happy with the way things are, we are all searching for happiness and if you find it in getting by then that is genuinely awesome, however if that were the case I doubt you would be reading this blog.

Celebrate your husbands/wives/children and cherish them for what they are, your strength, motivation, the rock to cling to during a storm and the precious cargo you must protect as you set sail to a sunnier, happier less stressful land.

Everything else is just leverage.

Owning Demons

In this world it is no longer enough to face your demons, you have to face them, sit them down put chains round their necks and make them work for you, inner demons are not some mythical entity whispering to at night, or at least for me they weren’t ! they are the moments just before you do something and you stop because you feel silly or out of place or conspicuous.

Once you sit down and think about as I did these Demons are not entirely against you, in fact like me if you listen to them and take time to digest their message they will tell you so much about where you are and where you need to be, crucially they can sometimes be almost precognitive in nature, so thus simply facing them is not enough, to face something is to accept it’s existence to own it is to bend it to your will.

To attempt to be a superhuman without demons is to strive for the impossible, the two situations simply cannot co-exist, There are many but for me these were the main ones.

Embarrassment

One of the main ones that manifests in a number of ways, usually when starting something new or when trying to perform something for the first time in front of others, a good example of this is my returning to the gym, see I trained religiously from when I was 14 to when I was 21, I achieved quite a lot in that time, I became quite strong and was in really quite good shape at the end, then due to allowing laziness to overcome me and through losing sight of my goal I stopped, I didn’t train down or adjust my diet accordingly I just stopped, and the results were devastating I went from 23 stone with a 34 inch waist to 25 stone with a 56 inch waist in a matter of a year and a half, I was a mess I could hardly move and I was unhappy, really unhappy, this went up and down for a while as I started diets and stopped them when I didn’t lose weight immediately and eventually it started to really affect my physical well being, fast forward a couple of years and what I really needed was a comeback I needed to get back into the gym or start some kind of physical activity to save myself, but I was embarrassed, I didn’t want to be out in public because of how I looked I din’t want to do anything that drew attention to myself because of how I felt, many times I faced that demon and started something but didn’t ever see it through because the message was not understood.

If you stub your toe it hurts, and you curse, then you sit down take some deep breaths and the pain subsides then you just carry on about your daily business until you stub your toe again, that is because the pain left it subsided and you calmed down, owning this particular demon means that when the pain is applied instead of stopping and having a minute you use the constant nagging doubting voice to propel you forward because that is the only way to chain and silence the demon for ever, and every minute on a treadmill or every weight I lift the demon fades and my embarrassment with it.

Persistence

Already touched on previously this particular demon plays on our need to have instant gratification and has many helpers in the modern switched on social media savvy world, I suspect that this one is as old as time to be fair (as impatience appears to be part of the human conditon) this is the voice in the back of your head when you have eaten clean all week and the scale has not moved or the waistband on your pants is still as tight, with absolutely no exception change takes time and the further you are down the road the longer it takes to walk back, but we are bombarded every minute of every day with get rich quick schemes, fat loss programs that offer the body of your dreams in weeks instead of years, here is a real kick in the ass from reality there is no shortcut and it takes effort, and effort takes energy, so many times I listened to this demon and considered quitting what I was doing after all it was right wasn’t it I had tried and tried and got nowhere, but effort compounds and time creates change what this demon is actually saying is you haven’t been doing it long enough yet and you can either quit or keep going, I finally realised this and I kept going owning that taunting voice and making it work for me reminding me that I should not expect overnight results but rather baton down the hatch for the long haul, after all it took more than one night to get to where I was !

Fear of the unknown

This one is simple and I would imagine is a demon everybody is familiar with, trying something new is sometimes a hurdle in itself and usually you come up with a million and one different reasons why it won’t work, this is the shortest of my demons to discuss because it is so straightforward, the best example for me is yoga, I had never given it a second thought as something for me to do, after all I was a bodybuilder what did I want with yoga? , then later on I was massively overweight and completely inflexible so what did I want with yoga and how would I even start ?, of course what I should have been thinking by owning this demon and listening to what it was actually saying is “Everything I have done so far has made me what I am, so am I happy with what I am ? ” the answer predictably was no, you cannot expect to do the same thing every day and get a different outcome, somebody much more prophetic than me once said that and it is true, so instead of using this voice to stop me trying new exercises new nutrition and new experiences I used it as a marker that this was something I haven’t done before and so could not lead back to the same unhappy place I was currently in.

In Summary

It is too easy to say that life is what you make it and you get out what you put in, but I can honestly say that for me that is pretty much the truth, hopefully the above will help as it helped me to use our inner voice of dissension to drive us forward rather than keep us down, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be manipulated by anybody, let alone yourself !

Additionally I have included the first pictures of me at the top of this post, taken five months apart and with 6 stone lost, I am quite proud to say that I have owned the above demons for a while now!

The Beginning and some History

I have (along with others) Spent not countless hours but a good few looking at the things that interest me on Social Media, And like many others I have been jealous of these peoples “Lifestyles”,

The problem with Social Media is it has provided a platform that is addictive and as with any anything addictive we as humans will try and manipulate that for our own gains, now I am not going to start banging on about the evils of the internet as these have been well documented in publications that have far more credibility than mine !

And I am not going to start talking about conspiracy theories and what the information that we supply to social media is used for, again this has been well documented by popular traditional media when it has occurred ,

I also do not like to practice any kind of hypocrisy so I cannot start telling people to get off the internet through a medium that is based on the internet.

So I have set out to see if any of the “bright light, promise the world” claims are true, because if they are the Internet could just hold the key to becoming Superhuman (or thereabouts).

So I will look at many sources of information out there and where they seem to have merit will catalogue, on here my experience with the teachings and what it has brought me good or bad, as part of this I will of course be looking to make money so I will as time goes on, and if I find anything I can advocate add the odd affiliate link which I would be grateful if anybody were to use.

So the goals are as follows,

  • Wealth – We all want to have more money
  • Mental Fitness – we need to be able to learn quicker in order to earn more (not a tagline, a fact)
  • Physical Fitness – Live as long and as healthy as possible
  • Family Harmony – Self explanatory and at the end of the list as I believe the lack of progress on the top three causes this one to be difficult if not impossible

undefined So Let’s Begin