Last week I attended a Tony Robbins conference. For those of who you aren’t familiar with Tony Robbins, he is a motivational speaker and self-help coach. He also is a business coach to CEOs of some of the most successful companies in the world. The guy is an unstoppable force, as he would put it. He’s also 6’8″… which helps when working a crowd. The conference was an extremely positive experience. I’m happy to say that I live a very fulfilling life, and I felt extremely fortunate during some of the events that took place that weekend, which revealed a desperate desire to change for many of the 6,000 people there. All of them there for different reasons, but all had a desire to help bring more fulfillment and happiness to their lives. One of the things that Tony talked about, and that I will elaborate on in my blog, is the concept of high standards.
In this blog section, I talk a lot about the importance of pushing yourself to new limits; pushing beyond where you are comfortable. I even talk about using competition as a way for you to help motivate you to reach new heights. Competition driven by people that you see as similar to yourself or people that you aspire to be is a powerful force. We want to measure up to people around us. If we see someone experiencing something that we want to experience ourselves, it is an excellent stimulus for us to push ourselves to reach that level as well. Even more powerful than that, though, is the competition that you have with yourself.
This brings in the concept of having high standards. Now when I say high standards, I don’t mean having high standards in comparison to everyone else. I mean high standards as if you were going head to head with the best version of yourself every day, and the work that you would have to put in in order for you to be able to tie or defeat the best version of yourself, day after day after day. It isn’t enough to push the limit once in a while. You need to push your limit on a consistent basis, as often as you (or as often as your body) can. You need to think to yourself: what is the best version of myself doing right now and how can I beat him?
The only way for you to measure up to that best version of yourself, then, is having high standards. Having high standards for when you train, having high standards for when you approach life and business, and having high standards in the amount of passion that you exert. That brings about the question: Why don’t all of us have high standards? Why wouldn’t everyone in the world have as high standards as they possibly could, so that they could be the best versions of themselves?
The answer is that people fear pain. They fear the pain of rejection. The pain of failure. They fear the pain of not measuring up and letting down their loved ones. They live a life with minimal expectations, comfort, and easily attainable happiness, rather than put themselves through pain. Some of those people may eventually reach a breaking point, where they say “no more!” and begin to make drastic improvements in their lives. But the majority don’t. The majority plow on through their mediocrity, making excuses for themselves; excuses along the lines of: “At least I have a job. At least I’m not alone. At least I have my car. At least I can walk.” They set crap standards for themselves to feel better.
That’s where the motivator comes in. I’m the guy (or Tony, in the case of this past weekend) that gets you off your fucking ass and says, “YOU DESERVE BETTER. You have people that depend on you. Stop dragging them down. Because they deserve better, too.” More specifically, I’m the guy that comes in and says, “You’re not even 50. Are you seriously going to accept having back pain just moving throughout the day? Are you really going to give up on your body because yoga is “hard”, or you didn’t succeed the first time?”
Do you think I succeeded the first time? Did I get the job I wanted out of college, despite putting in more effort than my peers, learning 3 languages, and triple majoring? Did my life work out as I had planned when I was 19? Did I quit when I hurt my knee the first, second or third time? What about my ankle? Chronic shoulder tightness? Fuck no.As my mom said – LIFE is a struggle. If you’re not struggling, you’re not living. Here’s what I’m trying to tell you.
1) Set high standards for yourself.
2) Find something worth struggling for.
3) GO FUCKING GET IT.
And then be proud of yourself knowing that you’re struggling for something that you care about. We find meaning in our lives through purpose. For me, it’s getting people to do yoga to help them improve the way that they physically feel. It’s to allow them to live pain free. It’s to give them the body want. It’s to help them perform better in sports so that they can go to college with a D1 scholarship. It’s to help them live longer lives and be able to play with their grandkids when they get older and see the family that they were able to help create.
Your body is the only one that you will ever receive. Ever. You do not get a freebie for a new one. Do yoga. Get physical therapy. Put in the hours, and fix yourself. I have had knee issues my whole life. I haven’t been 100% in 4 months! But I’m not going to give up and resign myself to the couch for the rest of my life. I have a purpose in life, and the struggle that I will go through for others will always be greater than the struggle that I will exert on my own behalf.
I hope that you now feel like attempting to slay a dragon. I hope that that’s how you feel every day when you wake up!