2017 of Everything.
This is the year to make it all happen.
I’m going for everything and I’m not holding anything back. Last year I started off on fire but it started to dwindle towards the end.
My thoughts started to hold me back. My emotions controlled my actions. Normal experiences for an average person.
I was not okay with that.
2017 is different. 2017 is the year to have it all.
The only obstacle lies within and I will cure this sway into mediocrity the same way I cure all of my problems.
Take massive action until I get everything that I want. I will obsess over the details and I will outwork every single person until I am dripping in the hard-earned sweat that only comes with glorious success.
Anything less is normal. It is average. It is unacceptable.
Not this year. This year I will have it all.
♦ Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Yes, it’s a YA dystopian novel based on a kid that has all-kinds-of-character-flaws that-goes-through-a-heroes -journey-and-transforms-into-ultra-powerful savior. So what? Red Rising is the first in a series of novels where the Reds must rise against the Golds, led by a Red who is gifted with unique skills because of his upbringing in a mine operating heavy equipment while fighting off pit vipers. For some reason, this book resonated with me. I liked the underlying theme: those in power spend their time learning how to influence people. They spend their time fine tuning their ability to manipulate, to craft, to formulate, to strategize. People with power are masters of control. At its core, that is what Red Rising is about.“We Golds have the lower colors to do our research. We need not study chemistry or physics. We have computers and others to do that. What we must study is humanity. In order to rule, ours must be the study of political, psychological, and behavioral science– how desperate human beings react to one another and why, how packs form, how armies function, how things fall apart and why.”
♦ The Keys by DJ Khaled. This book will probably be one the most read pieces of literature in the entertainment industry. It’s small and easy to consume. It’s powerful and hard to put down. My favorite part of the book is when Khaled recounts his rise to the top, staying true to his vision every step of the way. DJ Khaled is one of the most recognized names in all of music today, yet he doesn’t rap or sing. However, what he does do is more important. “Becoming the best is not a product of luck or magic. It takes dedication, blood, sweat, tears, and some serious hardship. Just don’t give up. Never surrender. I may have been up and down over the years but each time the stakes got higher and I made sure to gain a little more ground with each win.”
Major Key: Win, Win, Win, No Matter What.
♦ The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. I spent over a month on this book for The Outwork Book Club. It wasn’t that hard of a read, but I kept stopping to look into all of the research that Doidge was referencing. In short, it was all so very fascinating. The book is all about one thing: neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections. Or even more simply, the brain’s ability to change itself. This concept is mind-blowing because the brain was considered to be unchangeable for most of the 20th century. It was thought of as a warehouse for our mind. But Doidge proves, through several different studies of different magnitudes measuring different things, that the brain can reorganize and adapt to meet new and emerging demands. It is capable of adapting to a person’s thoughts, producing real, synaptic changes. My post for The Outwork Book Club is here.
Fair warning: everything you thought you once knew about how your brain works will be forever changed. The science presented by Doidge reinvigorates the idea of self-development. You can become whatever you want to be and your brain will physically change upon your command.
♦ 10-Minute Toughness by Jason Selk. I read this book as a primer for a shooting competition that I was about to enter. I wasn’t confident in myself and I wanted to figure out a quick way to fix my mindset prior to the competition. 10-Minute toughness was designed for professional athletes with similar issues. It is actually an all-encompassing mental training program but Selk’s thoughts on getting primed mentally are especially crucial in the moments right before execution. In 10 minutes, you will calm yourself down, use a performance statement to get you in the right frame of mind, play a highlight reel centered on yourself as a dominating force, and another centering breath to bring you back down. It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right moment. The power of mental training has no limits.
♦ Jump Attack by Tim Grover. Grover’s claim to fame is simple. He is Michael Jordan’s personal trainer. That’s it. But that is enough. His relentless pursuit of excellence mirrors that of MJ. The same work ethic that built the world’s greatest basketball player. Jordan was relentless in every single aspect of his training regimen and Grover’s book talks about the system that he used to keep Jordan flying for so many years. There is nothing exactly mind blowing here and it’s value is in making an athlete more explosive. What I found interesting is how he goes about doing that. You won’t find tons of explosive drills in this book. Grover seems to favor methods like holds and pumps (long, slow concentric phase). It makes sense that for athletic longevity you would avoid too much explosive and plyometric training. The hidden value in this book and one that makes it noteworthy is Grover’s rules for relentless training. The same guiding principles that Jordan used every single day. Nothing compares to a commitment to excellence; show up, work hard, crave the results, and get comfortable being uncomfortable. Worth noting is Grover’s follow up book fittingly titled Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable.
♦ 1% Fitness by Mike Sheridan. Sheridan is an understudy of one of the most respected names in the world of fitness: Charles Poliquin. Google Strength Sensei and you’ll discover why I decided to include this book in my quest for physical perfection. It is jam-packed with solid, proven, and time-tested training principles. The program is easy to follow and laid out in a way that builds on itself. Not all programs do this. It is a complete resource and explains in-depth what it is you are working to achieve. Ideas like Time Under Tension have been working its way around the fitness industry for decades but I didn’t really understand how important it was to manipulate this principle until after I read this book. Truly a good starting point for any fitness enthusiast and a good developmental tool for someone that is looking to expand on their working knowledge of the physical domain.
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