You-have-enemiesLet me begin this with a short disclaimer: ***What follows is in no way meant to make you feel small, angry, upset, judged, or wrong. This is only meant to be a small manifesto about what I am focused on, what I am interested in, what matters to me, and how I plan to continue forth in my pursuits. These are purely my opinions based on what I acknowledge is a limited amount of experience at my age of 21. However this doesn't discredit the conclusion and lessons I have learned. I am in no way trying to judge the way you live your life, your priorities, or your values.***

Now that we have that out of the way let me begin this thing with saying that the fact that I feel the need to write the above disclaimer pisses me off and is one of the largest problems in this world.

Not everyone is going to share your same beliefs, manners, or values.

Big fucking deal.

Accept it, agree to disagree, and get back to working on you.

You don't have to excommunicate these people from your world either. Having friends with diverse beliefs and viewpoints gives you the opportunity to experience the true treasures of this life.

I got to focus this post because if I don't this is going to soon spin out of control and who knows what you will be reading about in another 150 words.

Kelsey and I rented (thank you Redbox for the free movie) Fury and watched it last night.

I give it two thumbs up. I thought it was well directed, well written, and portrayed, what I can only imagine, a realistic account of how war must be. I don't want to get to deep into a movie review here because that is not the point of bringing it up so I'll leave my comments at that.

However the final scenes in the movie center around the main characters digging in for their last stand at a crossroads against a much larger, well-trained force. This is sort of a recurring theme in a lot of heroic stories (fiction and non-fiction) such as Captain John Miller's defense of the bridge, the Fellowship's stand at Helms Deep, and James Bowie and the Alamo.

Some of these stories end in victory, others tragedy, and many more somewhere between the two, but they all have one common thread. They are a product of a group of people demonstrating courage (which in my opinion can only be displayed in situations of overwhelming odds or certain defeat) by standing firmly for what they believe in and fighting to make it a reality.

This idea of a Last Stand really resonated throughout my being last night and had my wheels turning.

I know or at the least hope that I will never have to make the kind of last stand that has the outcomes of life or death, but I feel there is something of a parallel to this idea in how life is lead, how we interact with others, and what we leave behind in this world.

I guess I feel this more and more as I have grown increasingly frustrated with the people and the world around me.

I am deciding to make my stand for what I believe in.

I am not talking about ticky tacky things like whether or not to the toilet paper should be pulled over or under or whether or not to post selfies, but rather big overarching principles of how to live.

I'd like to share these with you. Partly in the hopes that you may agree and feel as if you aren't alone in this, but also so you might understand myself, my brand and my content a bit clearer.

I will stand for truth.

I'll let my buddy Henry David Thoreau sum this one up for me:

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."

I will stand for love.

Not just romantic mushy-gushy, touchy-feely love, but Philos Love. Love for other human beings and who they are as individuals. I will demonstrate this through speaking kindly, sharing generously, and being empathic.

I will stand for self development.

I don't mean sitting around raiding the self help book section. I mean striving to be the best you can be living the best your best life as defined by you. This means seeking out opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Putting yourself in situations which you are uncomfortable. Constantly doing introspection to gain a better understanding of yourself and your motivation. It isn't about being perfect, but about striving for excellence for yourself and making progress towards this best you and best life. This will require challenging myself both physical and mentally. Opening myself up to new and contradictory ideas. It will require testing my limitations. But doing this will be worth it because it will be honoring the gift of life and not taking it for granted.

I will stand for seamlessness (a thank you to Dan John for this idea).

I mean to be consistent in all areas of my life. If I am striving to be determined, disciplined, honest, authentic, passionate, and so much more in my personal life then I will strive to be this way in my professional life as well. I will not have an on and off switch I will be on all the time. You will not be able to tell where trait is and isn't. I will be seamless.

I will stand for being a human being first and foremost.

I fill many roles. I am a coach, a son, a soon-to-be husband, a brother, a friend, a student, and a business owner. However I will always remind myself that I am also a human being and so is everyone else. We all share the same struggles and triumphs. We are all dealing with problems. We are all seeking to connect and feel apart. I will keep this at the forefront of my mind in all my interactions and I will strive to treat others as human beings (as I want to be treated) and not another client, customer, employee, friend, or co-worker.

I will stand for honest and open communication.

I will speak clear. I will say what I mean and I will mean what I say. I won't be scared to say what others don't want to hear, but need to. I give honest advice. I will not placate others with my words. I won't manipulate or deceive. I will seek to speak in a way that makes others feel heard and understood. I will do this in to create real and lasting relationships that are built on more than transactions and favors.

I will stand for placing more value on time than money.

I can always make more money, but I can never make or buy more time.

I will stand for placing relationships above materials.

Having a lot of stuff is cool, but it never leaves you feeling content only always yearning for more. However forming life long bonds and friendships to other humans gives you true fulfillment and contentment. I will always seek out opportunities to create an abundance of relationships not an abundance of stuff.

These things all sound rather straight forward right?

You may even be sitting their nodding your head in agreement and "asking doesn't everyone stand by these things," but the truth is I don't know if they do. However I see less and less people actually demonstrating these things in daily life and more and more people trying to persuade us away from these ideas.

This is where I am planting my flag and making my stand. I won't yield on these things. I won't back down from defending them. Not against one person. Not against the world. I will stand by and live out these ideas with my entire being in all things I do and create. I won't force them on others. I don't expect others to internalize them. I just ask that people respect them and accept me as I am.

I'm not really sure that you will agree that this can relate directly to training and nutrition, but in my mind it does because training and nutrition is about improving yourself physically and mentally. It is a means by which to live a better life and in my world this stand I am making is also about living my best life.

I would challenge you to make a stand and fight for the things you believe are necessary to live your best life. You can trust that regardless of where that stand is and for I will be ready to respect it and accept you for you. All I care is that you are being the best you you can be and living your best life.

And if you are worried about polarizing people against you because they don't see things the way you did well first I'd tell you to stop wasting your energy on them and second to listen to the great Winston Churchill.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

Happy moving and heavy lifting!

Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training