There are few people in the health and wellness industry that I trust like I do Charles R. Poliquin (maybe you know him as the Strength Sensei). While I have never met or connected with him personally, I have used his services and am a part of his online community. In a word, Poliquin is effective.
In the NYT Best Seller Extreme Ownership, my friend Leif Babin captured one of the best thoughts on this exact notion I have ever heard.
The only meaningful measure for a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails. For all the definitions, descriptions, and characterizations of leaders, there are only two that matter: effective and ineffective. Effective leaders lead successful teams that accomplish their mission and win. Ineffective leaders do not.
So with this in mind, let's read how Poliquin breaks down the driving force behind being effective.
Pulling for you,
There is no such thing as discipline. There is only love. Love is the most powerful creative force in the universe. You are the result of what you love most.
You either love finely etched muscular abs more than donuts or you love donuts more than wash board abs you could do your laundry on. It is as simple as that. Don’t beat yourself up that you have no discipline or further drown yourself in a sea of refined carbs out of guilt. Admit that you like crappy food more than you love strength.
Or ask yourself this, what do you really love? Self-esteem is the reflection of self-judgment. One of the best ways to raise self-esteem is to make truly loving choices that lead to increased strength of body and mind. No need for discipline there. For example, if you truly love yourself in the gym, you choose the full squat with chains over the leg extension machine. At the restaurant, if you truly love yourself, you pass on the heavenly smelling basket of bread and creamy butter, and ask for some more limes for the water. Limes alkalize your body which in turn helps your bones, muscles and your ability to deal with stress.
When you are faced with difficult choices, ask yourself, in context of course, what would a loving knowledgeable expert recommend? For example, when working chest, would a loving strength coach recommend the pec deck, or full range dumbbell presses. When choosing desserts, would the loving nutritionist recommend a bowl of berries or the gluten rich pro-inflammatory triple decker brownie submerged under melting vanilla ice cream.
How to free yourself from the outdated concept of discipline:
- Accept that all your choices are reflections of what you truly love.
- Love is the greatest creative force of the Universe. Use it wisely.
- Choose to love yourself more than external things.
- Treating yourself well accelerates the growth of your self-esteem. When is the last time you went for a massage?
- When people comment on your results and say things like “Wow you have a lot discipline” answer “No, I just make loving choices for myself. Reinforcing your own positive behavior will help you grow in strength.
- What you appreciate appreciates. Whenever you make a truly loving choice, say to yourself ‘Thank you for taking care of me in a loving way”. The more you talk to yourself like a loving parent, the faster you will grow. Let’s say, for example, you just did a single on the squat with a load you didn’t feel like doing. Say: “Wow! I am impressed with your strength of mind, that’s why you are a champion”. By documenting and rewarding your successes, they will grow in magnitude and frequency. Whenever I meet a goal, I reward myself with positive things like a vacation or a new piece of equipment. When I get something better, I make the choice of giving away the old piece to someone who will appreciate it. Living a clutter free life allows for more growth.
- The more you believe in yourself, the more objectively you will be able to take the advice of authority figures.
- “Use your faults” was French singer Edith Piaf’s motto. I don’t like to stretch athletes. It is too time consuming and requires too much energy. Using that fault, I developed the Kinetic Chain Enhancement modules, which is a system that uses a myriad of body work techniques such as acupressure points that instantly give increases in flexibility.
- Always reward behavior/effort not qualities. For example, you made a better a choice, and you say to yourself “You are great”. There is a better approach. Instead, say to yourself: “ I am
impressed with the ability to make the right choice out of love for yourself”. One the best books you could ever read is “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck. Contrary to most fluffy self-help books, she uses peer reviewed research to provide her advice.
- Learn on how to meditate. I always knew meditation was good, but not THAT good. Actually, to be completely truthful, it is one of the things where you wished you had actually listened to people. Thanks to Janet “The Passion Test” Attwood, I got to learn transcendental meditation along with Brendan Burchard and Joe Polish. The invested 20 minutes twice a day, has already paid off as in fatherhood, teaching leader, and of course in the weight room.
There is an old Hindhu saying: “The World is as we are”. Are you tired of seeing the condition of the world around you? Start by changing yourself- be the change you want to see in world. Be what you want to attract more in your life. Being loving to yourself is the fastest way to enjoy a more fun and productive life.
Coach Charles R. Poliquin