When I was a teenager struggling with my weight, I used to think there was some “secret” to weight loss being kept from me. I’d obsess over every book, magazine, and article I could find for this “secret.” I’d copy people, ask questions, try new diets, supplements, and programs that promised some holy grail of fitness.
As I progressed through the years, eventually I figured out what those “secrets” were, and how to go from chubby and completely out of shape, to lean, mean, fighting shape. And if I’m being honest, it was disappointing.
After the countless rabbit holes, money wasted, and hundreds of hours spent trying every novel solution, potion, and ab exercise I could find, I discovered that the one secret weapon the fittest, top performing, people on earth had that other people didn’t was this – an obsession with fundamentals. And a mind-numbingly boring, unsexy, consistent execution of those fundamentals.
This is why the top performing people in every area seem to give the worst advice. Want to be a millionaire? Warren Buffett says save your money. Want to write a best-seller? Stephen King says write every day. Want to be a martial arts master? Bruce Lee says, “Fear not the man who’s practiced 10,000 kicks once, fear the one who’s practiced one kick 10,000 times.” We shake our fists thinking, “C’mon man! Give us the good stuff! The tricks only the ‘insiders’ know!” This isn’t what we want to hear, so we yawn and keep looking for something brighter and shinier.
After 16 years of training clients, I’ve realized that most people who struggle to get results are trying to get the reward with tactics, while avoiding fundamentals. Achieving world-class fitness comes down to three levers: nutrition, training, and lifestyle.
Applied to health and body transformation, this means a sound diet, consistent exercise, proper rest/sleep/recovery, sufficient hydration, and a weekly ritual that allows for it all. From here, any good coach can tweak and optimize each of those levers to accelerate and amplify your results – but only if the fundamentals are in place.
The problem is, when I tell people these things, they say, “Oh I already know that.” Sure, they know it, but their diet is terrible, they don’t exercise consistently, sleep, drink water, and have poor time management. Like me, they are holding out for some other “secret” that is being kept from them. In reality, the truth feels too boring (or painful) to be true.
I listened to a podcast the other day that said something really powerful: To achieve success, we don’t need to be taught; we need to be reminded.
Chances are you know 99% of what you need to do to get results, you just aren’t ready to do it. Have you ever avoided someone because you weren’t ready to change? It’s the pastor, or parent, friend, or coach who sees your potential and sees your desire to become more, so they nag you and call you on your B.S., but you know you’re not ready to change, so you hide.
This illustrates an interesting fact about human behavior; we already have the results we truly want. Sure, we can talk all we want about what we claim to want, but our true desires are spoken through our actions. Because If we truly wanted something different, we’d drop the excuses and make the (painful) changes we need to make. We’d save our money. We’d write everyday. We’d practice one kick 10,000 times. We’d do whatever it takes.
So, if you’re not where you wanna be, why not? What fundamentals are you lacking? What changes are you avoiding that hold you back?
The answers to those questions might not be what you want to hear, but they’re the key to becoming who you’re meant to be.