What I've Been Thinking About...
I was listening to an interview with author Steven Pressfield and he shared a story from one of his books involving Alexander the Great. On the quest to rule the world, Alexander and his lieutenants were stopped in their tracks by four men sitting in meditation. After refusing to move, one of Alexander's henchmen lost his cool. He looked at them and said, “This man (Alexander The Great) has conquered the world! What have you done?” The philosopher replied with no hesitation, “I have conquered the need to conquer the world.” Alexander marveled at this response and said laughingly, if I wasn't the man I am today, it is this man I would aspire to be.
I absolutely love this response. These yogi's were all warriors at some point in their lives but they moved on. They no longer fight the external foes that come with battle but rather focus on the internal conflicts associated with life. These men found peace with their former self and no longer have the desire to fight, to destroy, to pillage. This is a powerful thing. The inability to do this is why we see so many people who seemingly "have it all" struggle with depression, addiction, suicide and other mental health issues. They continue to try and conquer to prove one's worth and in the end, it destroys them. The cars, the money, and the drugs offer nothing but short term pleasure and a distraction from the real work which is working on one's self.
Fitness Tip of the Week
I am a firm believer in the idea that their are seasons for everything. Just as the weather changes, so too should your physical training. Throughout the year, an optimal training program will have periods of time where we are trying to accomplish a challenge, periods of learning, and periods of just checking the box making sure we do something physically active each and every day.
What I've Been Listening To...
This week I was reminded of a Linkin Park song and after going down the rabbit hole known as YouTube, I came across this performance of One More Light. To give a quick backstory, the lead singer Chester Bennington was very close with Chris Cornell who, one day prior to this performance, took his own life. I remember the day Cornell died as I was a big fan and was a bit heart broken. I am not one to get caught up in celebrity deaths but this one effected me for some reason. Cornell was special in the way he can emote through his music with that once in a lifetime type of voice. Same can be said of Bennington from Linkin Park. I don't love all their music but to hear their front man sing you have to admit, the dudes got some pipes!
At the end of the performance, he loses it a bit and I don't blame him. To make matters even worse, Bennington took his own life two short months after dedicating this song to his friend. On the surface, one might think these men had it all. They were known throughout the world for their voice and had crowds eating out of the palm of their hands. Their talent allowed them to dominate the music charts but, like so many others, their gift came from a place of pain. It is this pain that made them special. It was this pain that they were not able to overcome. It is a beautiful song with a great message.
A Few Random Thoughts from a Parent
I came to a realization recently about our role as parents and the impact it has on our children. The things that you prioritize are going to be the things that they prioritize. If all you talk about is fancy clothes, then they are going to want fancy clothes. If you make fun of someone for the way they look, then they are going to make fun of the way people look. If all you talk about is winning at all costs, then the child is going to do the same thing. To think otherwise is foolish. What you say and do matters. There are no free lunches as the saying goes. Everything has a consequence, intended or not. Being a parent is the greatest responsibility that one will ever have. Take it serious and choose your actions wisely!
Quote of the Week
“The hardship of the exercises is intended less to strengthen the back than to toughen the mind.” -- Gates of Fire
I hope you all have an awesome week!