How can you level up your life starting today? Author Steve Kamb, founder of www.nerdfitness.com, went from an unmotivated scrawny nerd playing video games during most of his free time to a fitness coach and avid world traveller. Steve embraces his nerdy/geek side of playing video games, and watching and reading science fiction, and fantasy movies and books and alludes to them to illustrate various analogies to help you level up your life. This is a step-by-step guide to the fundamental changes that need to be made in your life to level up starting from the beginning. He discusses the importance of having a good diet, being physically active, ways to be motivated, and having a supportive social network. The premise of the book is to look at your own life as a character in your own game which is an interesting spin to traditional motivational/transformational books Here are some of the points to the book:
1. There’s never a better time to begin other than now. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be completed today, but what this does mean though is to get started now! Quit with the excuses as that only leads to, as American author and poet Henry Thoreau says, a life of quiet desperation. Those who have become successful didn’t let excuses stop them so don’t let it stop you either. “The truth is that there is never a better time to start than right now. I can promise you that ‘eventually’ never happens, and that ‘someday’ never comes. I receive emails every day from people who say things like: ‘I’ve done the research, I know what I’m supposed to do, but I don’t have the motivation to start on my journey. Can you give me some please?’ Unfortunately, I can’t. We’ll cover the fallacy of motivation later in the book, but for now I’ll tell you that the desire to change, live better, look better, feel better, and then have the guts to try things out and see what works has to come from within you. Phase 2 is about the ability to fail repeatedly and continue to attempt new and different ways to succeed. As Winston Churchill declared, ‘Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.’“
2. Throughout your life, you’ll face some sort of regret. However, the question though is would you rather regret doing something or not doing something? Personally, I would rather regret doing something than regret not doing something. If you’re in a situation where you don’t like the circumstances, use it to fuel your motivation to get out of it rather than just sit and do nothing but complain. “In the book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, the #1 regret voiced by those on their deathbeds, having the crystal-clear ability to look back at what they had done or not done over the course of their lives, is that they wished they’d had the courage to live lives true to themselves, as opposed to the lives of others expected of them. Let that sink in for a moment. These are not philosophical or hypothetical ponderings, but rather real-life reflections from people who know they’re down to their last quarter in the arcade, so to speak. These people didn’t live the lives they wanted to live; they felt a call to adventure or a call for a path that challenged and fulfilled them, and yet refused the call because they didn’t want to ruffle any feathers or were scared of what that path might reveal. They instead chose the easy, safe, nonconflicting path; a life that others expected them to live, and they would give anything now for an extra life or to try again and take the more adventurous route.“
3. Ever since I started reading and my journey on personal development, I feel like the knowledge I have gained has enabled me to get out of “the Matrix”. Look around, the majority of people will work or currently works a job that they dislike to buy products that don’t really bring fulfilling happiness to them (as science has shown repeatedly) or to drown away their dislike for the job with alcohol. They’re essentially stuck in the matrix perpetuating their dislike for their current position by working a job to blow that money away at meaningless things. “I’ll never forget that jaw-dropping scene from The Matrix in which the story’s hero, Neo, learns what the Matrix is. He wakes up in the real world and discovers he’s been living his entire life inside a computer program designed to keep him prisoner. Although the movie is now well over a decade old, I still think about my own life in the Matrix and how I can help others break free from it. Most of us are trapped in it without our knowledge: we’ve all be programmed to follow a specific set of rules that govern how we exist. For the past 80-plus years, that’s gone something like this: get a job for the most money you can, buy the biggest house you can, the nicest car, the biggest television, and work your ass off for 40-plus years until you retire at 65 to finally enjoy the good life. This is the wool that has been pulled over our eyes to keep us complacent and subdued. We’re taught and told by everybody around us that this is just the way things are, and we’re supposed to follow along and not cause any trouble.“
4. Dominate your fears or your fears will dominate you. Those who are successful are the ones who were able to dominate their fears and not let it control them. In the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, he talks about how your wealth zone is equivalent to your comfort zone. The more comfortable you get with doing certain things, that will translate in to an increase in your wealth. “All heroes in all games and movies must confront their innermost fears. The fear of not accomplishing the quest. The fear of disappointing others. The fear of public ridicule or shame. Fear is constant and unavoidable. And that’s completely normal. As the late, legendary trainer Cus D’Amato said: ‘The hero and the coward both feel the same thing: fear; it’s what they do with that fear that separates them.’ I don’t believe there’s a better example in nerd culture of facing one’s fears and using them to improve your life than the story of Bruce Wayne and Batman, and specifically what Christopher Nolan did with the franchise. Remember the scene in which a young Bruce fell down a well? He encountered a swarm of bats that would haunt him for a good portion of his young life. Eventually, Bruce decides to remove the power the bats had over him and instead channeled that fear to strike terror in the hearts of his enemies. By choosing to confront one of his greatest fears-bats-he was able to create a symbol for the protector of Gotham. If you’re going to reach epic status, you’ll need to confront your fears, too.“
By Ryan Lee
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