When I was a little kid, I used my family’s typewriter to print up advertisements for people to join my “business”. Mind you, I had no “business”, but by putting myself in the position to hire, I was making myself the boss.
Not long after, I began compulsively rolling my forearm in a downward motion against my abdomen-I was trying to “get things moving”, as it were, as if I could shit my way to a six-pack. At the same time, I’d day-dream about cutting off my excess skin with a long knife in an impromptu liposuction-like procedure.
As soon as I figured out how to use video-editing software (original iMovie was much better than today’s iMovie, IMO), I was like a mad-scientist in a lab: writing my own shorts, casting my friends and family, using GarageBand to score the films, and working editor’s magic to make a brief film. The one that stands out in my memory: I cast myself as a secret agent, of sorts, breaking into a compound to steal a CD-Rom of important data and return undetected (I was playing a lot of Splinter Cell, at the time).
In short, I dreamed of owning a business, being really jacked, and acting and creating. While those little efforts, day-dreams, and compulsions eventually subsided, I don’t believe they ever left me. Rather, I believe that I engrained them so deeply into my DNA that they have been manifesting themselves daily since their inception.
Fast forward 15 years, and I’m well on my way. What happened?
I’ll tell you: I took action.
The best-selling hit book The Secret preaches that if you put thoughts out into the world, the universe arranges itself to make those thoughts reality. That’s all well and good, and is nothing new (The Autobiography of a Yogi talked about similar principles 70 years ago), but what The Secret fails to account for is ACTION. Have vision, have ambition, but without work ethic and tenacity, day-dreams stay day-dreams.
I was tired of being fat. Tired of being bullied for my body, embarrassed by my shape, and not representing myself well. I took action by cutting my lunches in half, pushing my young body to its limits, and educating myself on how to build muscle and use food as fuel.
I wasn’t getting cast, and I wasn’t getting the attention I thought I deserved. I stopped blaming the system, started shutting my mouth and trusting directors, and stopped taking my ego into rehearsal. I had to get comfortable with taking risks, falling flat on my face, and starting again as if for the first time.
I was timid about entering the world of online fitness as a businessman. It’s crowded, there are a ton of people more jacked than I, and I second guessed myself about what I had to offer. I realized I’d regret not trying, so I built Hewitt Fitness, and the world is better for it. I love making oft misunderstood processes easy to digest, and love hearing about how I’ve helped trusted clients.
No one taught this to me in school. It’s no secret that school in our country teaches you nothing but how to be a good little boy who gets along with everyone and questions nothing.
I was fortunate to have mentors and role models who exemplified the other path: the path that a man could have a vision for himself and his life, and take action to make it happen.
I filled my mind with books, music, and movies that re-enforced these ideas, further engraining into my DNA the double-helix that been implanted there in my youth.
Along the way, I have fallen many, many times. However, there is nothing that I regret. Were I to go back 10 years, and do it all again “smarter”, the best possible outcomes would still have me exactly where I am today. That said, the only things I’d do over again would be to instill in my young self the mindset that I have today. I would’ve focused less on keg-stands, floozies, and bong rips and more on the craft it was my responsibility to learn at school; dialed in nutrition and focused on heavy compound lifts and brutal conditioning; pushed myself to take ideas from my head to reality sooner.
Hindsight is 20/20. Had I been so reckless and unfocused, I wouldn’t appreciate or be able to rely on the discipline that it took to reverse my course.
Continuously, I audit my skillset and evaluate my abilities, checking for blindspots and refining strengths. A long time ago, I saw a bunch of dots, floating separately; in my mind’s eye, I connected them. I knew they would complement each other, and that I could level myself up enough (over time) to bring them together.
I went (and am) all in on my vision. Every action of every day furthers me along.
I’ll be perfectly honest-it is terrifying, at first, to really make big plans. Every time the Demon of Mediocrity whispers in my ear that I could be content with a 6 figure office job, nice car, and boring life, I shut him up. Why?
Because I want an island. An island, and a yacht to take me there.
Money is not the goal. Stuff is not the goal. Those things are just that-things. Scorekeepers of a certain type of progress.
Feeling as though my effort matters and that I’m a valuable part of something, and am building everyday-that is the goal.
There’s a man at the grocery store in the small town I’m in for the summer. When I greet him, he says he’s “just makin’ it”, “hates this job, man”, or is “just looking for a ride home”. He asked me what I do, and I told him I’m an opera singer and online fitness consultant. We proceeded to talk about his fitness goals (he’s hired a coach, but has never talked to them, or, I presume, taken their advice) and I found out what his day is like:
Work the night shift loading boxes and crates
Find a ride home
Eat a bucket of fried chicken and have some soda
Crash in his recliner for the night
Wake up after 5 or 6 hours and do it again
Meanwhile, a mentor of mine is on his 150-yacht with all his friends watching Larry Ellison race boats.
What do I see? I see choice. One man talks the talk and never walks; the other had a Vision of The Self and took massive action to realize it.
And that has made all the difference.
Have a vision for yourselves, my friends. My words and this very site are proof that you don’t need to listen to haters, and that you are not alone in your grand plans. Take action and don’t waste another minute.