In her tremors she whispered, “Be somebody, Abe.”
The last five syllables ever spoken by Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln.
Allow me to probe you with a quick query:
What do Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemmingway, Albert Einstein, Peter Jennings, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Charles Darwin, Jimi Hendrix, Russell Crowe, and Abraham Lincoln all have in common?
Aside from their obvious reputations of greatness and virtuosity, they were all, to a large degree, self-educated, and self-directed learners. Many of these autodidacts were even formal education drop outs, sort of like my old friend “Fat Frankie.”
Except Fat Frankie didn’t go on and invent the light bulb, an airplane, or much of anything for that matter.
Well, wait... no.
I guess I spoke to soon.
Truth be told, Fat Frankie actually did discover that you can cook DiGiorno faster on broil, so long as you don’t mind soggy bottom pizza.
You want this... Don't you?
But I digress…
Moving back to point.
I truly believe that the perpetual desire to learn IS the interminable desire to grow and to thrive. All of the aforementioned revolutionaries clearly understood this as well, except of course, Fat Frankie, who for the most part, spends the majority of his time drinking diet soda from a straw and watching late night reruns of The Munsters.
Rationalize = "rational lies"
Stop learning and you start dying. It’s as simple as that.
I am a firm believer that the quality of life is directly correlated to our personal growth curve. The second we begin to let your growth curve level off is precisely when our god-given potential begins to depreciate.
In this musing, I’m going to make a strong case for autodidactism and present to you with an unconventional and oddly effective learning system for becoming an expert in any field of your choosing in 12 months or less.
First note that autodidactism, by definition, is self-directed learning, not learning all by yourself, or learning what somebody else tells you that you have to learn.
The big differentiation between autodidactism and formal education is that it stems from desire, not obligation. Desire, of course, is what we want to do. Obligation is what we have to do. Which do you think makes for a more effective learning experience?
Fat Frankie conceived his avant-garde pizza broiling system not at the bark of a teachers command, but through his manic desire to cut down the lag time between hunger and satiety.
So from this, one could also conclude that the art of autodidactism, or self-direct learning, is the proven path for learning and doing what you love in life… whatever that may be…
The vast majority (like the vast, vast majority) of success in my life has come from what I’ve taught myself, through my own desire to learn, not from institutional force-feedings. The funny thing is that if I actually “wanted” to learn everything I was “required” to learn in college, I now know that I still could have, and it would have been at the expense of a late charge fee at the local library, not $80,000 in student loans. In essence, I paid that $80,000 to force myself to learn material that I didn’t want to learn, only what I thought I needed to learn at the time.
Some would say that the joke’s on me for not picking a major that I enjoyed.
I think of it a little differently, however.
The way I see it, is that I paid the price of $80,000 to find out exactly what I never want to do with my life; and since then have never wasted another single second of my life trudging the path of other people’s expectations or the systems obligations.
When positioned like that, then it was an $80,000 well spent.
Before we go any further, this is not a petition against higher education. I’m not trying to talk you out of college, or convince you that your formal education, if you have one, was a waste of money. That’s for you to decide and you alone.
This is a culmination of my reflections. This is not a personal vendetta against compulsory teacher-directed learning, a topic, however, which I would consider myself eligible to speak intelligently upon having been a lifelong “A” student. Instead, I simply aim make a case for autodiactism, not against teacher-direct learning. I’ll let you all argue the latter out amongst yourselves in the comment section.
I submit that self-directed learners simply learn more and learn more deeply because they WANT to.
When you have no desire to learn, force-fed tutelage rarely sticks. You play the game, do what you gotta do to earn your marks, move on, and forget most it within a few weeks’ time.
This is known as taking a mental dump, and for the record, I know of no better cerebral laxative than federal and corporate taxation.
Redundancy and review, not true personal development, sums up the majority of my college experience. Sure enough this pony came out with a few more tricks than he went in with, but now I realize the true magnitude of the price, in terms of opportunity forgone, that I paid from walking the same old horse around the same old track for four years. My true education, and my true personal development, was a happening of its own accord.
If we take this into the context of a musical instrument, those who REALLY want to learn how to play the guitar practice often and relentlessly seek out the best instruction. It’s no different for those who REALLY want to learn accounting. Desire is desire Is desire.
Please take note of the following:
When I say “REALLY want to”, I’m talking about a deep, burning, and intrinsic desire; not just a knee-jerk inclination. There’s a difference; and a rather significant one at that.
Teacher-directed learning may get a degree, yes, but there are better (and cheaper) ways to learn.
Formal education may get you a job, yes, but there is so much more to that when it comes to living your life.
Jim Rohn, renowned business philosopher, once stated that formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune.
With that being said, I present to you Pat Flynn’s 8-step system for obtaining the equivalent of a Master’s degree in whatever you want, in 1/6 the time, and for less than the cost of dinner at Applebee’s. Now you can't beat that with a stick!
Your ability depends upon your desire to learn. There is no shortage of willingness to learn in this world, only a shortage (or better yet misallocation) of desire; the latter of which is a fundamental in the art of winning. A lack of internal drive endorses failure.
So, before we get into any of the methodologies of becoming an expert, you first have to WANT to become an expert. I am not the one to tell you WHAT you should want, only that you SHOULD want something!
For many folks, the desire and passion for making money, and all that they believe money can bring will be a common starting ground. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Again, I’m not telling you that there are any right or wrong desires, only that you MUST have a desire; otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
The next step in your journey towards mastery is a full commitment on your part to reading one book a month, on the subject matter of your choice, over the course of one year. Preferably start with the “classics” and the works from the men and women who are considered “the masters”.
Please don’t waste your time with “the trash”. Just because you might find a few crumbles of bread in the garbage can doesn’t mean you should go looking there.
And I don’t want to hear that this is too difficult. If you believe it’s too difficult, then you lack true desire and must regress.
To make this as painless as possible for all you “non-readers” out there, I highly suggest that you ritualize your reading sessions. For me, I commit to reading for one hour every night before I got to bed. No exceptions.
An under-read brain still has the absorbency of a dry and hungry sponge; but it ain’t gonna wet itself.
Sure, it's no Harvard. But it gets the job done.
The average American spends approximately three hours in their car every day.
That equates (roughly) to 45 days or 1095 hours a year.
And if you’re like most people, that’s 45 days of completely wasted time.
While he may be funny, Howard Stern provides zero utility towards your personal development or status as an “expert”.
To waste 1095 hours of your time (which you’ll never get back mind you) a year is both unacceptable and ignorant, and must be put to an end.
While I may not be able to free you from your daily commutes, I can help you make better use of that time.
Introducing Automobile University, where all students are accepted (regardless of their SAT scores or their financial upbringing), and the only rules, are those of the road!
Yes, I’m asking you to quite literally transform your car into a rolling university through the Investment of auditory learning programs (for obvious reasons, written materials are out of the question). It may sound like personal heresy, but I’m evening giving you permission to turn off AC/DC, in exchange for a recorded lecture. Chances are you’ve got Hells Bells memorized by now. Time to learn something new.
Invest in as many auditory learning programs on your subject matter as possible (lectures, seminars, workshops, etc) and listen to them every time you are in your vehicle. This simple tweak will transform a mindless, time-sucking commute into daily enlightenments and accelerate your personal development.
Everybody poops. So why not make the holiest of holy rituals an invaluable learning experience? Stuff your bathroom full of journals, books, magazines, and articles on the subject matter of your choice.
Unless you’re unusually stopped up, just about anyone can conquer any publication in a matter of days, so long as you commit to a few pages every time you plop your hambone down on the pot.
Go ahead. Take your time. “They” can wait.
Again, autodidactism does not mean you have to go it alone, it just means that you’re learning is self-directed. It would greatly behoove you to make friends with somebody already knows a lot more on the subject matter than you do. If you have trouble making friends, then hire a mentor.
Just trust me on this one; a good mentor is worth every penny.
No matter what you wish to become an expert in, chances are there are already multiple experts in that field that are already out and about offering lectures, seminars, and/or workshops. GO TO THEM! Not only to learn, but to pick brains like a monkey does fleas!
If you currently lack the financial wherewithal, don’t sweat it, there’s still a very viable option…
Everything that you need to succeed is already out there. Everything that you could ever possibly want to learn about anything is readily available, and for the most part, it’s all FREE! Lack of finances is no longer a valid excuse. Truth be told, it never was.
The sermons, the lectures, the seminars, the books, the mentors, the magazines, the podcasts, the journals, the coaches, are all ready for the taking.
Yet less than 3% of the population has a library card.
This proves once again, that there’s plenty of room at the top. All you have to do, is be willing to make the climb.
Go get a freaking library card.
And no, they don't deliver!
You didn't think that I was going to let you go become an expert without inserting at least ONE shameless product plug did you?Fitter, Happier, More Productive is an "all you can eat buffet in aggressive living". Many of the philosophies that I have shared with you in this post today are elaborated upon inside FHmP.Time to get the book and start the change! CLICK HERE!Please be sure to leave some love in the comment section, along with any questions or concerns!If you enjoyed this post, please "like" and share it with your friends!
They don’t make action figures out of people who suck – Brian Petty
Don't fret just yet.
Because I’m going to school you on how to not suck, and if you already do suck, then I’m going to instruct you on how to officially “unsuck” yourself.
Now years of formal suckitude can be hard to repeal, but if you follow these guidelines, then you will have a solid foundation from which to build a new character.
So where to begin?
First and foremost, you have to physically “unsuck” yourself. It doesn't matter if you don't suck on the inside, because if you suck on the outside then you still just suck. Exogenous suckage must be dealt with before we can correct any endogenous suckage.
So chances are if any of the following apply to you, then you physically suck.
1. You’re fat.
2. You’re weak.
3. You’re fat and weak – the ultimate suck
Well dang, I’ve been both of those before, so I can tell you first hand how much it sucks to suck the ultimate suck.
But the good news is that I was able to "unsuck" myself, and you can to!
I’m going to offer you comprehensive solutions to your sucky problems.
Let’s first address this pesky "I'm fat" issue.
First, you must ask yourself why are you fat?
Are you fat because you suck? Or do you suck because you’re fat?
A sick irony I know. Because I was both. I was fat because I sucked. And I sucked because I was fat.
So what do you do? Simple answer – stop eating foods that suck!
The simplest solution to this is to follow my Concentrated Carb Dosing Regimen! If you haven’t gotten your copy of my free eReport on this, head over to the Colloquium
(a place for people that don’t suck) and start to implement this right away. I promise that this will take care of your fat problem.
The great thing about the CCD regimen is that it doesn’t make you count calories, because we all know how much that sucks! Here's an interview I did discussing the benefits of Concentrated Carb Dosing.
Alright so sucky nutrition is taken care of. On to the more laborious part, which entails desuckifying your training routine!
First and foremost, you can’t unsuck your training routine if you don’t know how to train in the first place. That’s exactly why I put together my Introduction to Kettlebell and Barbell Strength training eBook
, which teaches you just about everything you need to know when it comes to how to pick heavy things up and put them back down, like bench pressing without your shoulders sucking, and deadlifting without sucking up your back!
So let's say you do have a solid foundation. Now it’s time to unsuck your routine by kicking it into a higher gear. Intensity and suckage are mutually exclusive for the most part, assuming your intensity is intelligent.
Take my Force Velocity Training for example. It’s incredibly intense, yet intelligent and purposeful. It covers just about every realm of athleticism, and these workouts will pulverize you straight into manhood and out of suckville.Catch my drift?Try these on for size.
One is an FVT Hip Dominant routine, the other a weight push up workout, and the last is a pulling and core routine.
What's the next step when it comes to "unsucking" yourself.
Well being successful at something can't hurt can it?
Now it took me a while, but I finally uncovered the formula for success, and if you apply it, then you will undoubtedly be successful in any and all endeavors.
It is as follows:
Success = Passion + Commitment + Perseverance
Let's take a look at what success is not - (thanks in great part to my pal Cal Coolidge for making this very clear to me)
Talent - Many, many people have talent. But it is all too common to see wasted talent in this world. Talent without perseverance is worthless. All natural talent can do is give you a competitive edge. But unless you apply yourself, then your talent is utterly useless.
Education - It's great to be smart. And you can read every "how to" book in the world, graduate Summa Cum Laud from Harvard, and have an IQ higher than Sarah Palin ( Oh, wait a minute...). But just like talent, your education is only as good as your commitment and perseverance. Wasted and/or fully unrealized intelligence is also a sad commonality in America.
Merit - Just because you deserve something doesn't mean you will get it. Remember, success is where preparation meets opportunity.
You must be passionate about what you do.
Because intrinsic motivation > extrinsic motivation.
If you do what you do because you love to do it, rather than because you have to do it, you will experience a much greater deal of success and self-fulfillment. Intrinsic motivation fuels perseverance, and will see you through life's often grueling trials.
So I say if there is a way to monetize your passion, then see it done.
Learn how to further "unsuck" yourself in part 2 - coming soon!
In this installment, I will reveal to you the secrets behind how to be a sexy, elusive, and bad-ass Double 0 Agent.
Now look, being an irresistible secret operative isn't for everyone. Let's face it; the mortality rate of such agents is typically too high. So, whats the point of living the exotic, fast-paced, balls-to-the-wall lifestyle of a government spy if you wind up dead before you get to enjoy any of it?
Well I come bearing good news! I'm here to teach you how to live the part of James Bond, minus the whole getting shot in the face part! Sounds like a sure win-win to me.
Secret agents don't smile. They smirk.
License to Look Good NakedA secret agent must be able-bodied, there are no exceptions to this rule. Now I don't know where James Bond (specifically the Daniel Craig version) found the time between saving the world and seducing scantily clad women to hit the gym 5-6 times a week, but he certainly knew the importance of being physically fit. Let’s face it. Bond wouldn’t have had nearly as much success that he did (especially with the ladies) if he was packing his Walter PPK beneath his beer gut. The truth is, it’s easier to extract information from people when they are attracted to you. Bond knew the importance of this, and is exactly why he kept himself in tiptop shape. He never needed to know any fancy extraction techniques with those naughty ladies; all he ever had to do was get them alone, fix them a drink, take his shirt of, and voila! Instant access to a wealth of information that only a sexy henchwoman would know!
So what’s his secret? Obviously Bond didn’t have the time to drive down to the local Gold’s Gym 5-6 days a week, although that’s what Daniel Craig’s physique might have you believe. What Bond did was get his workouts in however he could. Often on the go and crunched for time, a 00-agent needs the total package of strength and conditioning in the least amount of time possible….get ready for it…because here comes a shameless product plug!
That’s right! James Bond himself was a huge advocate of metabolic conditioning, and his weapon of choice was non-other than the Russian Kettlebell. Believe it or not, he used a tool from one of the regimes that he combated and hated the most, but that’s because Mr. Bond is a smart dude. He knew that as far as bang for your buck strength and conditioning routines go, metcon via kettlebell complexes yield the quickest and most effective results. Any spy needs to stay both lean and strong, and short super-intense metcon style workouts hack off body fat, fortify mental toughness, amplify physical resilience, and tack on lean muscle in the least amount of time possible. For more on metabolic conditioning, check out my new eBook entitled "The Power of Complexes: Metabolic Conditioning for Superior Athleticism and Conditioning"
But just as Bond was never a “one woman man”, he was never committed to just a single piece of workout equipment either. Aside from his trusty cast iron 20kg kettlebell that he hauled from country to country, Bonds other favorite tool to up his levels of strength and conditioning was a weighted vest. Bet you could have guessed that one. Such a simple and effective tool, how could any secret operative leave home without one?
Why the slow concentric push up?
Because the concentric or positive portion of a movement is what produces the most lactic acid. And the production of lactate leads to drastic increases in natural growth hormone. So while the eccentric portion is popular amongst bodybuilders because that is where the most muscle damage occurs, secret operatives are not bodybuilders! Secret operatives need to be strong, not necessarily big, so we will focus more on the concentric portion of the movement.
A staple of any Bond fitness regimen is to perform all exercises in a circuit fashion. There are a couple reasons for this.
1. Short rest intervals lead to an even greater production of lactate, which in turn leads to an even greater release of growth hormone. That being said, shortening rest intervals also ensures that you keep the system working as a whole which leads to a profound metabolic response.
2. Circuit training is best when it is kept short and intense. Performing circuit/metcon style workouts will save you a lot of time in the gym. This way, "not having enough time" is no longer an acceptable excuse to not get an effective workout in.
Your first mission, should you choose to accept it, is to perform the following:
3 rounds of the following weighted vest exercises. For the first round, perform each exercise for 30 seconds. Rest as little as possible, then run through the circuit again, but this time perform each exercise for 45 seconds. On your last time through, up the working time to one minute for each exercise.
This simple circuit is great even if you don't have a weighted vest, but if you do then you are in for a rude awakening.
Aside form being sinewy and strong, the work of a secret agent requires them to be mobile and flexible as well.
This is why I have comprised a few more weighted vest circuits that promote both strength and flexibility.
Enter the weighted vest bear crawl; just because you never know when you may be crawling around on all fours as a secret agent. This low butt version of the bear crawl is a fantastic quadrupedal movement that helps to develop hip mobility and shoulder strength.
You will superset these with walking staggered push ups.
This mission's far from over yet. Still think you have what it takes to be 00 status?
Next up comes what I like to call a leverage push up...or maybe I should called it a de-levered push up, because you are actually decreasing the leverage in order to make this movement more difficult. You do this by pushing your chest over your hands with each and every rep (see the video below). Again you will perform these back to back with walking lunges (another great locomotive movement that dynamically stretches your hip flexors while leaving your quads burning).
License to be Strong as Shit
Being conditioned and looking good naked is only going to get you half way to being a secret operative. On top of that, you need to be strong. Quite strong indeed. Remember that when skill sets are equal; the stronger and smarter competitor will always win. And while you may be pretty good at kicking ass, you won't always be the most technical or proficient fighter. So often you will have to rely on your wits and brute strength to emerge victorious.
Again, without access to a gym, we have to make do with what we got. So far, what we got are kettlebells, weighted vests, and our own bodyweight. Perfect.
Pulling strength is crucial for preventing what otherwise would be certain death. I don't have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times I've seen Bond hanging off a ledge. And the fact is that if Bond wasn't constantly greasing his pull up groove as much as he did, he'd have met his maker a long, long time ago.
Bodyweight pull ups are great. But let's up the ante. Throw on your weighted vest and start working the following pull up variations into your routine.
When Bond pulls, he also pushes. For upper body pushing strength, let's opt for the double clean and press with 2x24kg kettlebells. Oh, and lets keep that weighted vest on too :)
We got our vertical pull, our vertical push, and our hip dominant movement(double clean). So what we need now is a solid knee/quad dominant movement and some core work to round off our 00-agent strength routine.
So what better than the almighty pistol squat! The ultimate bodyweight leg-strengthening exercise. But wait, if you can already bang out 10 reps or so of bodyweight pistol squats then its time to put that weighted vest back on.
A spy can't always rely on body armor. This is why we are going to build some natural body armor, through the means of weighted vest ab roll-outs. Now I see a lot of people doing this exercise with a neutral spine or even an arch in their lumbar, but this is really the one time that I encourage people to round their back! Your abs are heavily responsible for lumbar flexion, so in order to really work your abs most effectively with this one be sure to maintain a mild amount of flexion in your back and a semi-hollowed out position.
There you have it. The secrets to looking and performing like a 00-agent, without the worries and stresses put upon you with being obligated to save the world.
As for the whole how to drive a super schweet car part...well let's just say I'm still trying to figure that one out myself.
- Pat Flynn