As a young boy, I was always told to aim high and be the best that I could possibly be. I was told to work harder than anyone else in the room, apply myself to strive for excellence. Be the best Brad Carroll I could possibly be. When I look back at myself, was I the hardest worker? No. Did I strive for excellence? Not all the time. Did I quit on things? Yes. But it is those mistakes and errors that made me into the person I am today. I am far from perfect but in the end, I am content on where I am today. I don’t have a big house or a fancy car, I don’t have millions of dollars and I do not have a dinosaur like 3 year old Brad wanted if he ever became a millionaire…But I am a winner. I refuse to be anything else.
How many of you have looked at your life at 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old and thought to yourself, “Geez, if I did this or not done that, I’d be in a better place right now.” We all do it. We get jealous at meathead AFL players that get paid 10 million dollars over 10 years to kick a bit of leather around. I personally lose about 20 IQ points (And I don’t have a lot to lose at the best of times) thinking about how in the world the Kardashian’s became famous. In the end, all you have control over is what you do with your life. You have 24 hours in a day and you can do whatever you desire with those 24 hours. If you want to sleep 14 hours, go for it. If you want to get blind drunk on the weekend and spend the next 2 days feeling sick and sorry for yourself, by all means, do it! If you want to walk down the beach in nothing but a bikini for the girls and boardies for the guys and feel amazing doing it, then now is your time. Winter is finished and so are the days of feeling sorry for yourself. As the sun rises, so shall you. This is your time to shine.
You need something to strive for. You need a goal. You need source of inspiration. For some people, it might be an organized event like a “Tough Mudder” or a marathon. It might be to work out every day for 3 months or it might be to run 5km without stopping. It might be as simple as having more happy days than sad days or it might be to take the family out a few times a week. Either way, you need to reap the rewards of your hard work and prove to yourself that you can do whatever it is you desire if you put your mind to it. Set a goal every day, every week, every month. Set goals for a year down the track. Think to yourself “Where do I want to be” and “Who do I want to be.” Aim high and move heaven and earth to get to your goals. My Mum always used to say to me “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be amongst the stars.” To which I used to reply “Where you will be forced to drift aimlessly further into space until you succumb to the lack of food, water and oxygen”…I was always a little bit pessimistic growing up. She had a point though. You can set goals and come up short but in the end but if you did everything you possibly could, you can hold your head up high and be classified as a winner regardless of your shortcomings.
On a personal note, after the 8 week challenge where I lost about 7kg of body fat, I decided to set the bar higher and do a 12 week, Australia wide body transformation. My goal? Win. It’s as simple as that. Beat everyone in Australia. The challenge is brutal and countless times I have thought of quitting. It’s a difficult thing to explain to people why I will not eat carbs with certain meals, why I cannot have a drink or two with dinner or why I am insane enough to do 20 consecutive weeks of intense exercise and strict diet. I just love the challenge. I love the physical pain and mental grind of pushing your body and mind to its breaking point…and then going again. Anyone who has ever trained with me knows that I like to get into people’s minds and I am a strong believer that a strong mind can overcome physical limitations. When it comes to myself training clients, how many times have I said that you are almost there when you are not even close to finishing? How many times have I threw out something like a 1 minute drill and simply said “Do it until YOU decide to quit” How many times have I given you an easy way out of a hard exercise and how many of you actually have taken it? In two years of being here, I can count the times on one hand. It’s actually a running joke with a lot of my stubborn long term clients. I know they aren’t going to shortcut their success but I throw it in to keep them on their toes. It’s a little bit patronizing but very cerebral none the less.
You need goals, however you need to chase them down with a relentless hunger and drive to be the best that you can be. Do not compare yourself to another as they are on their own journey and you cannot control what they are doing and how hard they are working. All you can focus on is what you can do in the 24 hours that you have today. Every day you waste is a day that you will never get back and you are one day closer to the end. So why settle for mediocrity and unhappiness? Strive for happiness and do whatever it takes to get there. Set that bar high and if you achieve your goal, look back on it and be proud of what you have done. Look at those old pictures and those old videos and see how far you have come. You may or may not have seen the changes in your body physically but I guarantee that you will be stronger mentally for having the courage to set a goal and following it through. Be brave and never give up.
Life will tear you down at times and beat you down if you let it but even against all odds, we can never give up because we all can overcome anything if we just believe.
Personal Trainer @ 4 U Body Fitness