Deserve It First

November 5, 2015

What do you deserve to have?Have you told yourself that you “deserve” something in an area of life which you currently don’t have?This is a quote from one of my mentors that I’ve always remembered…Design The Life You Deserve, because You Deserve The Life You DesignedMaybe you deserve more and if your effort and tenacity matches what you want – then you’ll get what you deserve sooner rather than later.I have a poster of this in my office for every time I start being sour about not “having what I deserve”, as it reminds me that I may have not “deposited” enough in the form of work to get that “withdrawal.”

Reap What You Sow

Coincidentally after writing an e-mail about this, my friend Max sent me content that may fit the Vigor blog. Coincidence? I think not!So today I’m handing of the blog to a good friend and someone I respect as he has earned and deserves where he is at (and in that case writing this as well) – Max Shank (you can read his bio at the bottom to be impressed); but I promise you this is more than worth the read.One thing I've grown fond of saying is that "you'll find life much easier if you simply try to deserve something before you get it."This is true for every aspect of your life; fitness, business, relationships --it's all the same.The problem, I think, is that people focus too much on the THING they want, rather than on what it takes to get there.The thing you want serves an important role as an aim point, but you have to put the primary focus on doing what it takes to deserve that thing.The other problem is that if you ask most anyone what they deserve, the answer will almost invariably be "more." Everyone thinks they are getting less than they deserve, but in general we all get pretty much exactly what we deserve based on our actions.I'll give you two prime examples of what this looks like.Hand-balancing.Business.From the outside looking in, people who are successful make whatever they are doing look easy. That's what mastery looks like.What you don't see is the countless hours working on the basics and educating yourself.

Hard Work

With hand-balancing, it takes a heck of a lot more than a couple handstands at the beginning of a workout to gain the skills to do them well. Now you can still work up to DOING a handstand--but it ain't gonna be anywhere near expert level. If you work on it every single day for a reasonable amount of time, you just might be surprised at the results.The same is true with business. Everyone I know who has success in business has the mentality of being a lifelong learner and constantly improving. This means getting coaching, reading a lot of books, and investing a significant amount of time.People just starting out spend five times as long looking for a shortcut as it would have taken to just take the normal (simple) road.My break-dancing teacher said he trains an average of 4-6 hours every day.He's also a break-dancing badass--and I don't think that's a coincidence.Focus on showing up and putting in the work.Focus on being consistent for a long time.Focus on daily improvement.The rest will take care of itself.One of the hardest things to do in life is to turn your powers of evaluation in on yourself.Ask yourself, "what have I done to deserve what I want?"When it comes to fitness, you see one or two outliers who seem to eat whatever they want, barely exercise and still be in fantastic shape--but you can't measure yourself against outliers. You have to look at the average and go by the numbers. The reality is, most people who are in great shape are active for at least an hour every day in some shape or form, and eat a rational amount of healthy food.It's not rocket science, if you eat pop tarts and play candy crush, the outcome is going to be a hell of a lot different than the guy eating spinach and training.So the challenge for you is the following:What am I doing right now?Is it enough for me to deserve what I want?Once you have that information you can start to make a change in any part of your life, whether that is professionally or training related.Lastly, and maybe most importantly; if you enjoy the process, you won't mind that it takes a while.Improving in any area is not just a question of set it and forget it. It's going to take constant attention for a long time to really see the benefits.This is especially true when it comes to building a skill like music, hand balancing, strength, etc.Here's a quick story to drive this point home.About 6 months ago I started taking guitar lessons.My teacher told me that everyone he has taught over 30 years has made excellent improvements within a year--which is great news.However 95% of people quit within the first six months.This makes consistency a superpower.At six months in, he said he's never seen anyone make so much progress so fast.They key has been daily practice and no excuses. Even when I recently went to Germany to teach workshops for 3 weeks, I borrowed a guitar so I could continue doing it every day.Lo and behold--daily improvement and a positive result. You have to put in the time consistently.Once you've committed to putting in a reasonable amount of time in, efficiency matters. This is where you maximize your output per unit of time. This economic idea of marrying efficiency and effectiveness is actually what led me to put Ultimate Athleticism together. It's not magic exercises, it's using the basic principles of economics to maximize your time and achieve the greatest level of success with that time.


Be consistent, learn from the best, and enjoy the process. Accept that greatness takes a while.Better every day,-Max is an author, coach, and owner of Ambition Athletics in Encinitas, CA. He also competes at a high level in a wide variety of sports ranging from Muay-Thai and Jiu-Jitsu to Scottish Highland Games. Max is probably the only athlete in the world to have competed at the Highland Games World Championships and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships one week apart from each other. His abilities as a coach run the full spectrum, being able to help both elite athletes and average joe’s get “better every day.”For all his athletic ability, Max champions an approach to training that emphasizes health, fun, and a lifetime of sustainable progress. His programs outline straightforward, practical methods that allow a beginner to make steady, yet dramatic progress--while providing strategies for even the most accomplished athletes to take their abilities to the next level. Max's desire to constantly improve his knowledge and personal skills has led him to be a sought after international presenter of his unique and pragmatic blend of strength, flexibility, health, and overall athleticism.


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