I love taking concepts within nutrition, training, and business, and turning them into philosophies for my clients and myself to apply to our lives in our search for more confidence, success, and fulfillment.
Over the last few years of coaching hundreds of people, reading dozens and dozens of books, and working with some amazing mentors, I've gradually crafted a few core philosophies you might take value from.
I want to disclaim: I’m not (nor do I want to be) a life coach. These are simply the principles I always come back to when I’m feeling anxious, burnt out, depressed, unmotivated, or unproductive - I review these most every day, which always seems to point me back in a positive, meaningful direction.
My hope is that at least a few of these principles will impact your life the way they have mine.
The more structure you can apply to something, the better/more successful said thing will be. This applies to training, business, nutrition, mindset, etc. Structure = freedom.
Is it a coincidence that everyone that is truly world-class at something also has an incredible amount of structure and routine built around whatever it is they're world-class at?
Olympic athletes have every tiny detail of their nutrition and training routines mapped out.
Conversely, the life of a monk - in deep harmony with themselves and the surrounding world - follows a rigid daily schedule.
Finally, we have Mozart - a creative genius and incredibly talented composer...
Surely someone as purely creative as Mozart wasn't shackled down by the inconvenience of a daily schedule, right?
...Wrong. Mozart was actually incredibly calculated with his day, planning every minute of his day from 6 a.m. - 1 a.m.
One of the biggest things that struck me from Robert Greene's Mastery, was the fact that every historical figure who's made a significant impact on the world - from Darwin to Henry Ford - was very structured with their time.
Let's relate this back to the problems most of us experience...
We want more out of ourselves.
We want to be better significant others. We want to be more successful at work. We want to be leaner, stronger, and more confident.
But... we just can't seem to find the TIME to accomplish all of this.
And there lies the fundamental truth that most of us are missing.
Despite what we tell ourselves - we're not bad, lazy, worthless people because we can't seem to accomplish these things we want. We just suck at managing our time.
Typically, instead of being proactive with our time by doing something like planning out our days in Google Calendar... we instead think of all the stuff we'll do in the future "when we have more time".
Reality check: there will always be something new filling your time - you'll likely never have more free time than you do right now.
Get more organized. Get more out of the time you have available.
This train of thought is not only something I apply heavily to my own life, but to my online coaching practice as well.
One of the biggest things I do to help so many of my online clients achieve their leanest, strongest bodies ever, is simply help them get super organized with their training and nutrition.
With a bit of organization, structure, and planning applied to your week, you don't unexpectedly "run out of time" to work out. You have food prepped ahead for situations where you won't have time to cook a meal that aligns with your goals. And suddenly, get leaner and stronger is much easier than ever before.
It's not that you don't want it. It's that your lack of organization always has you running out of time to accomplish the things you want.
Every choice we make will have two options - doing what's easiest right not/instant gratification vs. fulfillment/actually achieving something meaningful.
"Do what is meaningful, not what is expedient" is a quote I took from Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules For Life. I can't think of a better way to sum up the ideas I'm about to talk about than this.
It's really about happiness vs. fulfillment.
Every choice we make, we have the option to:
a.) Do what's pleasurable or easier in the short-term - (E.g. eating food that doesn't align with our goals or make us feel good, half-assing a training session, scrolling Instagram instead of writing that blog, etc.) Stuff that feels "better" in the moment than the alternative... but the pleasure is gone immediately after the act. Now you feel empty and disappointed in yourself.
Making a lot of decisions like this is always easier, but leaves you feeling unfulfilled and unaccomplished. It drains your confidence, as you seem to be the type of person who can't follow through or "put in the work".
b.) Do what's meaningful - This is the hard stuff you don't necessarily want to do (E.g. cooking a meal healthy meal, pushing hard in the gym when you're tired, going through the painstaking work of perfecting your client's new training program, etc.) This stuff isn't immediately gratifying - in fact it's usually very hard, painful, or boring in the short-term - but in the long game, it makes your life, your mental state, and your physical state much better.
Making a lot of choices like this seems to create a lot more fulfillment in your life. Choose this route often, and you'll have a constant sense of purpose. You'll be proud, knowing you've pushed yourself to accomplish what you're actually capable of. It builds your confidence. You know no matter what, you'll deliver - you don't let yourself down.
Essentially, every choice seems to be a trade-off between short-term happiness and long-term fulfillment.
We could talk about this concept for a long time. It applies to so many things:
Not skipping your cardio...
Being disciplined to journal every night - even when you're super tired...
Putting in the extra effort to educate your client more in that email, even though they wouldn't know if you didn't...
Going out of your way to hit your macros instead of settling for close enough...
Squeezing out that extra rep in the gym...
You get the idea.
Little choices where you feel like you're "letting yourself down" add up big time. They drain your confidence, and make you much less than the fulfilled, confident, successful person you're capable of being.
We love telling ourselves the story of how great we are, how much we've overcome, how we beat the odds. Shut up. The worst person you can flatter is yourself. Quit talking & thinking about what you WILL accomplish, and get to work actually creating or doing something that will help others.
Ryan Holiday's book Ego Is The Enemy is one of my all-time favorites.
Talking about what you're going to do, thinking about how great your business will be, daydreaming about how ripped you'll be six months from now... none of that shit is real. It amounts to nothing of real value to your life, or anyone around you.
I love repeating the phrase ego is the enemy in my head when I (frequently) get caught up in my own stories. All that actually matters is putting in the work.
Read this book.
If you really think about it, all of the things that you notice in other people are actually things that drive you crazy about yourself.
I remember first coming across this idea in Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.'s book The Mastery Of Self, and immediately being blown away by how damn true it was.
At the time, I was some who was constantly pointing out the flaws of everyone around me.
I was lonely and isolated, but I didn't really like anyone - there were very few people I saw as "good enough".
Ironically, I also had a deep feeling of distaste for who I was as a person.
Realizing that all my judgements of others were truly just the reflections of things I didn't like about myself was a life-changing moment for me. It's allowed my to build amazing relationships with so many people around me - and with myself - since
Now, don't get it confused - this is still something I struggle with. But I try to look at things that "trigger me" in others as a compass pointing me towards what I need to work on in myself.
Prioritize your physical health (sleep, training, nutrition) over everything else.
You can basically break your life up into four key areas:
When all of these are balanced, life is good.
This is exactly why I push the coaches I coach, along with many of my general population clients to set 90 day goals for each area: Body, Mind, Relationships, and Business. I do the exact same thing under the guidance of my mentor.
To grow, you must nurture each of these areas. Neglect any one too much, and the rest of your life will be thrown out of whack.
Thing is, neglecting your body seems to have a an disproportionately large negative impact on all the other areas.
No matter how much you meditate, if you don’t take care of your body, you’ll feel like awful - physically and mentally.
No matter how much money you make, you’ll still feel terrible physically.
Dying 20 years early is hard on your relationships, to say the least.
You get it.
When you don’t feel good physically, you bring a much worse version of yourself to all areas of your life - your mindset, your relationships, and your work suffer.
Funny thing is, we tend to push taking care of ourselves physically to the back-burner, when it should really be our #1 priority.
Seeing yourself turn into the disciplined, hard-working person it takes to get in great shape will make you more confident, more organized, and better able to experience life outside of the gym.
You feel strong. You feel good. You have more energy. You feel more self-belief. More capable.
Taking care of yourself physically has a carryover effect to every other area of your life.
This is why fitness has such transformative power in the lives of online clients, seeming to be the quickest way to totally transform you life and your confidence. It's not that you have abs now... it's that you most of us have been telling ourselves we'll get in shape for years now. Finally following through builds your confidence. Bringing a leaner, stronger, more energetic version of yourself to the world doesn't hurt your cause either.
Suddenly, you're saying, doing, and achieving things you never that possible.
↑Truly, nothing is more rewarding than watching online clients go through this transformation so much. This is where my deep love for coaching others comes from.
This is also why - despite being a coach myself - I have a coach that holds me accountable to my nutrition and training year rounds. It not only holds me accountable to stay in great shape year round... it helps me constantly bring the best version of myself to the world.
Nothing extraordinary comes without first being stupidly consistent at putting in the rep - usually for a really long time.
None of the things that we want comes from short bursts of insane effort - the overnight success, the natural creative genius, the 6-minute six-pack... none of that shit is real.
Most everything seems to come down to - whoever works at something the most consistently, for the longest, will eventually win.
Want to build a great body? Don't crash diet for two weeks like most do. Hit your macros every day, follow a smart training plan, and stay accountable for the next year, and then see where you're at.
Want to build a business off of your social media? Don't post for a few weeks, and then get frustrated with the lack of leads like most. Overwhelm your followers with free education and value for the next two years. You'll be the first person they think of when they need help.
There is truly no better investment than coaches, mentors, education courses, and books.
October 2018, I quit the gym I worked at full-time to go all in on my online business. I knew this was the route I had to take in order to impact millions of lives. This was the path to a bigger platform, and doing more of what I love - coaching others to becoming better, happier, more fulfilled versions of themselves.
So I quit the gym, hyped up at my potential, and what I would accomplish now....
...and my business dwindled. I was helping less people than before, and my credit card bill was climbing.
I was unorganized, I lacked accountability, and I was selling myself short on what I was genuinely capable of.
Something had to change - so I doubled down on my bet that I could make this happen, and I invested in myself.
I hired a mentor - someone I looked up to tremendously in the industry, to help me create more impact, to help more people, and to create the life I wanted.
With that scary investment in myself, a lot changed. The time since then has been the most uncomfortable, challenging, and rewarding period of growth I've ever experienced. I'm incredibly happy with the amount of people I've been able to empower to live better lives through education on nutrition and training - and how my on life has changed - since that decision.
Truly, this lesson has rung true over and over again in my life.
Every single time I've invested in myself, it's paid back tenfold.
Coaches, mentors, education courses, books - I can't recall a single one that I regret in the slightest. Each has helped me create more helpful content, impact more lives, and become a better coach.
So my advice here - if you're looking to grow, don't act out of scarcity. Investing in yourself increases your value.
Short-term, we rise to the level of our goals. Long-term we fall to the level of our environment.
No book has had more impact on how I think about life than James Clear's Atomic Habits. This is also the book I most frequently send to clients.
I could ramble all day about the power of environment design - in fact I wrote an entire blog about it HERE.
But the reality of life is, we're not nearly as in control as we think.
Willpower and self-control is very limited. When it runs out, we fall victim to our habits.
For most of us, the small things we hate about ourselves - the things that sap our confidence and make us unhappy - are habits.
Do you tell yourself every single night...
"I'm going to wake up early tomorrow morning to journal and meditate."
... only to hit snooze 5 times and show up late to work?
That's not your lack of willpower... it's a deeply ingrained habit.
The best thing you can do here?
Stop telling yourself...
"I'll force myself to make it happen tomorrow!"
In fact, you'll be stuck in this exact same cycle.. every.. single.. week.. until you remove willpower from the equation entirely, and change your environment.
What if you simply set your alarm across the room, and forced yourself to get up to shut it off?
Suddenly, it takes less willpower to do what you've wanted all along (get out of bed), than to stick with the habit you hate.
This is a prime example of "leveraging a situation". The idea is, you have to stop trying to be motivated, and look to external factors you can change to force yourself to act.
Instead of continuously trying (and failing) to change the hard-wiring of your brain, set up your environment to require less willpower.
This is why hiring a coach makes such a massive difference in your life, especially if you've been failing for years to build the lean, strong body you want.
The combination of financial investment, accountability, and fear of letting someone else down creates the leverage you need to finally follow through on getting what you want - it's less more painful to not take action than it is to succeed.
Truly, understanding this concept is like a cheat code for life.
Do something to:
Make it easier to act according to what you want
Make it very painful if you don't act according to what you want.
You CAN be leaner, stronger, more confident… whatever you desire. You’re not screwed due to your “lack of motivation”.
Just change your environment.
You know what gets in the way of just about everything you want in life?
The root cause of busyness, stress, procrastination, and living below your potential; is fear.
In my life I’ve built a lot of things up from fear, anger, and having something to prove.
That “me against the world” type of mentality.
But with that success more fears emerged. People think the more successful you become the less fear you have.
But actually you often become more fearful.
You don’t want to lose what you’ve built.
More people are looking to you and so you feel more pressure.
You feel like you have more to prove and more to lose.
The success is greater, and so the fall is greater if you fail, and too often the fear of failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to failure.
Living that way has taught me that working from fear is one thing that keeps people from their destiny.
So what’s the solution?
Before you go saying this is some “fufu” advice, hear me out.
Love is the antidote to the fear, busyness, and stress you feel.
Do not fear failing.
Do not fear losing clients.
Do not fear that you won’t be successful.
Do not fear that things won’t go your way.
Instead do everything with love & you will cast out fear, flow instead of stress, & you’ll create MORE success. Think about it, a master, a craftsman thinks about building his work from love & because he does, fear loses its power; and he’s able to do his best work.
With anything in life, focus on the love you have of building it rather than the fear of losing it.
Love the struggle because it makes you appreciate your accomplishments.
Love the challenge because they make you stronger.
Love competition it makes you better.
Love negative people because they make you positive.
Love those who have hurt you because they teach you forgiveness.
Love fear because it makes you courageous.
When I work from that place I create better, more meaningful things. And I enjoy doing it more.
Choose love my friends...
↑ I stumbled across this post from Luka Hocevar a long time ago, and immediately copy + pasted it into the notes in my phone. Since then, I've wrote the phrase "love not fear" into my journal, and read this quote, countless times.
I have no idea if Luka wrote this himself or not, but it's one of my favorite reminders of how I want to handle every situation.
Stress, anxiety, and lack of growth come from focusing on the wrong things.
I picked this up from Craig Ballantyne's book Unstoppable, and damn does this resonate with me.
As someone who is definitely a "high-stress individual", I have plenty of moments where I'm feeling stressed, anxious, unhappy, or burnt out.
I've realized that every I'm feeling these emotions, I've been focusing on the wrong things.
Re-centering to what truly makes me happy - educating as many people as possible on use nutrition and training to bring all-around better versions of themselves to the world - always brings a wave of happiness, purpose, and fulfillment.
This train of thought has been incredibly helpful over the last few years. When I focus on simply giving as much as possible, everything else works out - because truly, I just love empowering people to be better, happier versions of themselves.
On that note, I always want to provide you more free value and education. Consider this an open invitation to email me any nutrition or related questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org - I'll get back to you within 24 hours.
Jeremiah Bair is a certified nutrition coach, strength coach, and owner of the Online Coaching Business Bairfit. His Instagram is noticeably missing any calf pictures.
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