I was recently asked by a prospective intern what I look to do best during the day while focusing on building Newell Strength. In truth, I like to learn by far the best and I like writing second, but if I had a choice, I’d sit on my butt, watch sitcom re-runs and eat pizza.
Don’t be confused, what I mean is that I, just like you, have a choice each and every day to decide what we want to do. I often think about what if any my next tattoo will be and I have decided it will be of a mule. Why a mule? Because it is the most efficient animal on the planet, just plodding along, getting the job done. Not that I have done anything remarkable such as some of the members of Newell Strength have, but I do realize that some of the college students that I speak to and have come to the gym for mentoring look up to what WE have created at Newell Strength. But I also realize the look of disappointment on their faces when they want me to tell them the secret and I respond: “The truth: any accomplishments I have had came slowly and painstakingly, that my success was the result of mule-like hard work and monkey like imitation.”
Just a year ago, I was working 100 hours per week, no that is not a mis-print, getting up before dawn each day, toiling through the night while my competitors, real or imagined, were sleeping. A few times actually working myself to such exhaustion that I had to take visits to the ER and which also led to this mug shot:
You may have seen it on my site before or on facebook and rather than being ashamed of it, I actually cherish it because that look, the picture, was a sacrifice I made to get to where I am today. I look ill and I was ill, chasing my dream well over the obstacles in which my body begged me to stop. Now, I am in a better place because I knew in my heart of hearts that that period would pass and all the hard work would pay off. I knew it was bad when I would wake up in the mornings and my first thought would be of fantasizing about possibly sneaking in a nap. Actually, I did do this during school hours on my lunch break while I was competing in bodybuilding, teaching and building up Newell Strength.
The roads I have used are the same roads that everyone has access too. Its just that some people use them to commute to jobs they hate, the bars, the clubs and getaways while I used them to go to the library (I used to do this every night before I started dating Devon), seminars all across the country and speaking engagements where there were two people listening to me.
Some of you will get this because you have been down the same road and already chose the path I chose. You know who you are and I follow in your lead, I commend you. There is no secret to those of you wondering what you want to BE(ing), the secret is that I work really hard, ALL the time. If you can’t do that like 99% of the people then it falls squarely on you.
Go after your dreams with a dogged determination, iron discipline, energy and desire and see where you end up. Plus, I never had the blue blood of thoroughbred☺