The Intelligent & Relentless Pursuit of Muscle™
Brotherhood of Iron
 
Some Thoughts
1
 

countingbeans
Level 2

Join date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20468

I was going to post this in the particular thread that sparked this train of thought, but I figured here it won't get lost in a sea of bullshit.

The beginning of all these threads are started with the quote they are started with for a reason. A reason I'm only really starting to truly understand as it applies to the iron, but it is a reason I fully understand in life.

You are not your job, you are not your car, you are not your numbers in the gym. You are not your designer sunglasses, you are not your lat spread. A man is not defined by his bank account, career or degree of 'fame'. There will come a day when you need to be able to look yourself in the eye, a day when integrity and acting like a man will mean more to you than anything else. make sure when that day comes, you are ready.

Make sure you never make enough progress to look down on others because of it.

Now I'm not saying don't shit on the jackasses, please god do. But if you see some fat kid working hard over in the corner, go over and give the fucker some encouragement. Help him succeed. You seen the same skinny kid coming in every day for 6 months and he is starting to make progress, let him know.

Being part of a brotherhood doesn't end with the people you are familiar and comfortable with. It extends beyond the people that post with you in a thread. Encourage people taking this serious, don't act like a condescending female because you perceive yourself as having made more progress. You very well might not have...

I'm gonna leave you with another great post, edited for relevance.

maraudermeat wrote:
The true elite don't give a fuck what everyone else is doing. They spend their entire time critiquing themselves. They will never live up to their own expectations.

Stop saying you are going to run away and come back in a year to show us all how great you've become. 1. we won't remember who you are when you do come back and 2. Who cares what anyone on an internet site thinks about you. It really is all about your own expectations of yourself.

You aren't special. None of us are. Trust me on this. I used to compete with the sole intention of beating others. That's all i cared about. Then one day the light bulb went off and i realized that there's always going to be someone stronger or bigger than you are. The only way to continue to enjoy what i was doing was to be better than i was previously. I now compete to beat my previous best numbers. I don't care what the other competitors are doing or what their numbers are.

I really hope you take some of what i've said to heart. There's no grey area here. I'm right and you are wrong.




Have some fucking integrity guys, in everything you do, internet included. One day, when you're old, you're gonna be pretty damn happy you did.

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Blaze_108
Level 1

Join date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2690

Great post Beans. I know that bigger people taking time to answer my questions in the gym really helped give me the motivation to keep at it.

Along the same lines, here's one of Alpha's best rants about the gym, progress, and life in general.


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On determination...

If you are reading this, I am going to assume that most of you have integrated training and diet into your lifestyles, and would not walk into the gym or go about your normal eating schedule without a plan. (if this isn't you, STOP infesting my log with stupidity and laziness and go make a plan) If things change and obstacles get in your way, you have two choices; Adapt or fail. But all too often we end up "worshiping" our plan or program because we have become so rigid in our thinking. The issue in doing this is that when something gets thrown in your path - you have to work late, or your car breaks down, or you pull your hamstring, etc. -the plan fails and you feel as if there are no choices left at all. Suddenly the issue stopping your plan has just become the "reason" why it is impossible to follow through and adapt.

By not evolving to the current situation --working with or around the obstacle and bending it to our advantage --- more likely than not, all we just did was find, what appears in our own minds, to be a perfectly good "reason" to drop the ball. It's just too bad that the word "reason" in all of these examples is synonymous with "excuses".

I would never say that, from time to time, things don't come up that truly are insurmountable or that choosing training over some other major priorities is correct. I am just saying that in many situations, we choose the easy road out and our "great" excuse to bail, in the end, is still just that...an excuse.
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Excuses are funny little things. We will create, brood over, and build up these little monsters until they seem so air tight that any other possible option just seems to be absolutely ludicrous. Our rationalizations become so embedded in our thinking that soon, we are convinced that not only is it a smarter idea, but now we DESERVE the break!

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"I shouldn't work my legs today anyway, I think I may be a little over-trained.", or

"Yeah, well, I tweeked my lat the other day so I'll just give it a little more time", or the classic,

"Well, it IS my high carb day! I need to replenish my glycogen!"...way to go fatass...
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Just remember that there are plenty of other people out there who ARE making the right choices and taking the high road each and every day who, more likely than not, are facing much tougher trials than you.
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Sometimes using excuses can be fun, but the problem is that, by choosing not to adapt to our situation, what we have really done is just mentally set ourselves up for failure, not only now but also in the future.

By essentially rewarding yourself for coming up with such a great excuse, instead of coming up with a great solution, you are laying down neurological pathways that make skipping your hill sprints, slouching on those last two reps, or choosing the leg press over front squats seem completely rational. And in doing such, you build a positive association to quitting, rather than creating a negative one. This, in turn, will make it more likely that you will repeat said pansy behavior.

The same rings true in all walks of life. Those who survive and succeed in the business world work hard, overcome obstacles, and just simply get it done when others say it cannot be done.

Marriage is another example, how many couples make it to their fiftieth anniversary without a substantial amount of hard work and determination to find solutions to their problems? Discipline and making the right choices pay big dividends in the end.

Why would seeing gains in the gym be any different? We have become "too" educated on so much of this stuff that we forgot the three biggest principals that make the biggest difference...

A. Work you ass off

B. Feed your body the foods it need to repair itself

C. Do this more consistently than not

Simply put...if you add "A" + "B" + "C" it will always = The gains you want...if you are giving ANY reason shy of the fact that you lost all of your limbs in Iraq, you need to look at yourself and say, "Am I being a Pussy?" Hell, even guys who have lost limbs are getting it done...What is so special that holds you back?
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The sheer fact that you are reading this proves that you are safe, wealthy (In relation), you have food, you have an education, can breathe and are healthy enough to train. WE ARE ALL truly blessed, much, much more than a LOT of others in the world.

It truly is sickening that in a situation this beautiful, we still find it easier to only see the worst in it.

It would seem we think it more comforting and fulfilling to whine and cry about what we can't do or possess rather than embrace the things we CAN do and ARE able to possess...

People, we are BETTER than that! Act like it!

This applies to everything in life, but please stop defiling our beautiful training with worthless excuses of why you can't do something!
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Survivors of this game of iron, and this game of life for that matter, are people who, rather than blaming their failures on others, take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. You are NOT a victim! If you skipped your deadlifts and prowler runs because your boss made you work late...Do them after the job's done. Or if your gym is closed by that time, hit them the next morning at 0500. It's your choice, which, if you miss out on your training, it makes it YOUR fault!

If you didn't prepare your meals for the week because you were too busy catching up on episodes of Family Guy while hungover ...It's YOUR fault! If you have been getting to the gym like you should, and have been eating the way that you know how, and now find yourself getting more attention from that hot bartender you are secretly stalking...guess what? THAT'S YOUR FAULT TOO!
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I will only say this once...The only difference between the person you are now, and the person you will be five years from now, is the collective mass of the choices you make.
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Take the wheel and stop letting other situations and people dictate who you are.

What you receive in this world is directly correlated to what you put in, and if you are not where you want to be in your training, life, job, or relationships; grow a pair, take some responsibility and MAKE A CHANGE. Those who are not willing to do something about their situation automatically forfeit the right to bitch about it.

Success is a habit, unfortunately so is bitching out. If you are cutting out those last few reps of squats, or not getting in your energy systems work, or Just plain ole' sucking at life, you are teaching yourself you continually repeat those actions again and again. Break the cycle, stop making excuses and just get out there and get it done.
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If you take one thing away from reading this rant, let it be the following: YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM! The world does not owe you anything, and there is not an automatic guarantee that you will not stumble, face pain/injuries, and be looked at as being different in a bad way.

We are part of a hedionistic culture, one that celebrates taking the easy road and choosing the path that is most followed. But if doing what we do was easy, everyone would do it! If you get to the top level of anything you strive for, in a way that you can be proud to tell you children about, I will bet you will see a path of hard work, blessings, and hard choices correctly made in your wake.

But those decisions start NOW, not later today, or next week, right NOW. If you read this and choose not to make any changes in how you are looking at your situation and the decisions you make in your life, I simply do not know what to tell you. Maybe it's not the right time for you - or maybe you're a lost cause...I don't know... Just know that the decision cannot be made for you. It is 100% yours.

You will never be able to control your circumstances, or the rough breaks that you have to take in life. But you can control you attitude about those things and CHOOSE how you will respond.
______________________________________________________________


- Weak minded individuals are selfish and apathetic - People of action get it done no matter the obstacle.

- Sheep roll over and die - The Elite lead and prosper.

- Victims blame the world and others - Survivors CHOOSE to overcome.

-Choose this day which type of individual you will be...
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So today when you walk out your door CHOOSE to eat right, do the best work you can possibly do, finish EVERY rep of your squats, run with that sled tied to you, show your loved ones you care about them, and go to bed empty, knowing that you chose to overcome today.



Strength & honor...

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Bambi
Level

Join date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1427

All I'm going to say is this:
*warning serious cheese below*

In my experience in anything that is considered above and beyond 'average' or 'normal' you will get detractors. People do not know and understand, or want to know and understand, the effort and dedication involved. They'll make excuses such as 'yeah well you have genetics for it' or 'you're just crazy, you're not normal'. They will justify their own laziness and stupidity by making your actions out to be weird. When i swam at my peak nationally, when I trained I would always have people telling me that what I did was excessive, unhealthy and dangerous and by the way could I write them a diet and exercise plan?

You have to learn to avoid such people when shooting for a goal. Don't let them know about your goals because as soon as you tell someone your goals they will find a way to twist, distort and mock them. Take a goal, stick to it and achieve it. Every early night, every meal you force down your throat, is made sweeter by the reps and plates you know you are adding to the bar, or the times that are getting shorter. Whatever your goal is. Of course if you're the dude with the fauxhawk concentration curling with one arm while texting on the other and your goal is not to get icky big muscles, that is a derisory goal. But if someone is busting their ass and they want to train Crossfit, powerlifting, strongman, bodybuilding, Highland Games, athletics, WHATEVER, as long as they are doing 100% you should back them.

When I realised that the reason I was training was not to impress my friends or my family, not to pick up chicks at a club, but simply for myself and myself alone, to better myself, to improve myself and to push myself beyond the limits of what is normal, it was a revelation. I have maybe 60-70 more years on this Earth if God is kind to me and 10-20 to be the best I can be. In 100 years more likely than not I'll be forgotten apart from maybe a handful of people. Why waste this time that I have being told what I should be by others, letting other peoples boundaries of what is right and wrong impose upon my own?

I do know whatever I do I will not be the best. Years of coming 4th in races and being against true freaks has shown me that genetics at times, is not a dirty argument. At the truely top level tier, it is of paramount importance. But that is no excuse not to try for the majority of us. Those in the weightlifting game, or swimming, or football, who are set for greatness are there doing it. It is their bread and butter; from my experience Olympic level athletes do not go a single minute without thinking about training. For us, it is not genetics more often than not that is stopping us getting that rep, eating that extra meal, it is the mental limits that I need to break through.

When I look back on it, I just wish to say that I did well, and to the best of my ability. Beyond that I can't ask for more

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hungry4more
Level 2

Join date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6747

Great posts guys, and I actually read them lol...that's saying something for me.

Beans has it...integrity in all we do is paramount. We won't be remembered for what we did for ourselves...we'll be remembered for what we did to help, inspire, and enable those around us. In a world of assholes, just being a "decent person" is pretty much extraordinary.

Getting in the habit of thinking "How can I make the lives of the people around me a little easier/more memorable/happier" can do wonders.

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PSlave
Level 10

Join date: Aug 2004
Posts: 501

Amen.

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brauny96
Level 1

Join date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1464

I don't really have any inspirational stuff to write, I just have one thing to say

-If you are going to train on your days off from work with other people, show them some respect and be up to train, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE TEACHING YOU! I've had this useless mother fucker who goes to school with me who wants to get bigger and wants me to help him. Today he wanted me to help him with his squat. I called the kid at 11 to make sure he was up, no answer, texted him at 12, no answer, I went in a 1 for some recovery work, and the fucker calls me at 130 and said he just woke up and was now busy. Well looks like he doenst want to get bigger.

/rant

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Enders Drift
Level 2

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1377

Sounds like some of my friends Brauny.

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hungry4more
Level 2

Join date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6747

brauny96 wrote:
I don't really have any inspirational stuff to write, I just have one thing to say

-If you are going to train on your days off from work with other people, show them some respect and be up to train, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE TEACHING YOU! I've had this useless mother fucker who goes to school with me who wants to get bigger and wants me to help him. Today he wanted me to help him with his squat. I called the kid at 11 to make sure he was up, no answer, texted him at 12, no answer, I went in a 1 for some recovery work, and the fucker calls me at 130 and said he just woke up and was now busy. Well looks like he doenst want to get bigger.

/rant



I have that happen from time to time with people who wanna get "big, but not too big". So I just tell them "Ok I'll be at the gym at X time", and leave it at that, and it's on them. If they give bullshit excuses (besides working obviously) I just tell them if they really want it they'll make it happen.

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brauny96
Level 1

Join date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1464

I also have another one- Patience

If your training a kid who is trying his hardest and is serious, be patient with them. I made this mistake. The kid I'm helping out showed up on time today ready to go. Today was his day to bench and he wanted to learn hoe to do it PL style. He was doing great and smoked 175 (he's 130 pounds with less that 4 months experience). I bumped the weight up to 190, and he was good for it, but he got scared and dumped the weight on himself. Being the hothead I was I chewed his ass.

Looking back I should have been more patient after this happened and calmly told him what he did wrong, and how to correct it. I apologized to him, but I still feel I did him wrong by that.

So please be patient if the person is serious about it.

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countingbeans
Level 2

Join date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20468

brauny96 wrote:
I also have another one- Patience

If your training a kid who is trying his hardest and is serious, be patient with them. I made this mistake. The kid I'm helping out showed up on time today ready to go. Today was his day to bench and he wanted to learn hoe to do it PL style. He was doing great and smoked 175 (he's 130 pounds with less that 4 months experience). I bumped the weight up to 190, and he was good for it, but he got scared and dumped the weight on himself. Being the hothead I was I chewed his ass.

Looking back I should have been more patient after this happened and calmly told him what he did wrong, and how to correct it. I apologized to him, but I still feel I did him wrong by that.

So please be patient if the person is serious about it.



LOL, this comes with age dude. And kids also help.

But yeah, the older you get, the slower you are to flip your shit typically.

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countingbeans
Level 2

Join date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20468

I have posted this elsewhere, got good responses so I figured I'd whore myself out in the hopes it helps someone.

This to me is where the rubber meets the road.

The measure of a man is what he does when no one is looking, what he does in the face of adversity, and how he deals with change. There are people that will never start because it is hard. There are people that will quit when it gets hard. And there are people that are going to push back into the face of hard, and kick hard's ass.



Hard is going to be relative to the individual. And kicking hard's ass doesn't have to mean grinding out every rep every workout, and squatting until your nose bleeds. I find change hard, switching gyms can set me back weeks. But then again, my max pull is in the low 500s and my first warm up set starts with 225, that doesn't mean someone who's max is 135 isn't kicking hard's ass too.

But, to get to the point. There comes a time, when you are doubled over, head spinning, and you think about stopping. You think you've done enough... And then, then something happens. The world slows down, life stops living you, a calm rush over comes you. A bead of sweat falls from your nose, and you hear the splash on the ground, you smell the sweet sent of victory, of pain, and of domination. In that moment you know you have more.

You can't manufacture this, and I think everyone is capable of getting there. It is just very few are willing to put in what it takes to get to that point. And then you realize you have. You gave blood and guts, time and pain to get here. You gave back, you punched the suck right in the mouth and shouldered every load you have had to bear. You realize you are the production of tens of thousands of years of evolution, and you'll be god damned if you aren't going to act like it.

Then you stand up, grab your heart, re-affirm its contents, and smash the life out of the next set, you make that bar your bitch, and smile every second of it...

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kaisermetal
Level 1

Join date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3748

this thread is inspiring as hell, everyday i'm feeling down i come here to motivate myself

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Blaze_108
Level 1

Join date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2690

Motivation from Dante (founder of DC training)

I get alot of emails and hear alot of personal stories from guys that are bummed out, depressed, feeling like they wont ever be that bodybuilder they want to become. I also see some personal accounts on these boards and I want to respond to some of the guys who are 140 to 210lbs and are really trying in bodybuilding but that I see are giving up hope. DONT EVER F****ING DOUBT YOURSELF! DONT YOU EVER F****ING DOUBT YOURSELF! If you put your nose to the grindstone and be persistent, consistent, and driven my promise to you is that you will make it to a very elite bodybuilder in the not to distant future.

I went 3.5 years once without missing a meal (6 a day)--if i did miss a meal i set my alarm clock at 3am and got up even when i was dead tired and cooked it and ate it. If you really want this bad, and have that "im going to get this shit done" attitude, I guarentee you that youll end up where you want. Will you be a pro? No and neither will 99.99% of everyone else out there. But if you push the limits and do what I have been trying to do with everyone for the last 4.5 years on the net (turn yourself into a fat burning, muscle building, blast furnace) you will get there.
I am noone special but I had people calling me "stickboy" and laughing how skinny I was in the beginning when I told them i was "trying to become a bodybuilder" with my ever present shopping bag with all my meals in it so I could eat every 2.5 hours. Screw those people! Guess who kisses my ass now when I go back to my old home town on the East Coast and go into my old gym. I dont want to see anyone in this forum thinking "man im never going to make something out of myself as a bodybuilder" BULLSHIT!!!! Yes you will and dont let anyone tell you otherwise! Prove them wrong. Pick the bodyweight you know you need to be at and eat up to that bodyweight while doing cardio and carb cuttoffs to keep lean. Eat like a massive 300lb monster and cardio like a guy who is 8% and your going to end up at 250 jacked!

This is your life, dont listen to those people doubting you, they are going nowhere themselves and want to keep you at their level. Shore up all holes in your regimen. Training, supplementation, diet, sleep, stretching, consistency in all of those is the key. There is no doubt in my mind that I can turn anyone (and i mean anyone) into something special if they are willing to be meticulous, steadfast, and stay the course 100%. Alot of you keep jumping around and doing different things but if you really sit back in your chair and think it all out--YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO DO!

Almost every single guy reading this right now can turn themselves into one of the 5 best bodybuilders in their gym. DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER! I had a pack of friends when I was 20 years old I used to hang with. They dwarfed me. I had by far the worst genetics but I had 50 times the willpower of those guys. One was muscular and naturally shredded, one had incredible genetics and looked like a bodybuilder anyway but when he lifted he got pretty incredible looking, one was 250lbs and a big monster with very limited lifting (lazy), one had slightly better genetics than me and he was also pretty determined. I bypassed all of them in spades, every single one of them because I have a "no fucking way am I going to fail" drive to this sport. The next time you look in the mirror and doubt yourself and get bummed out because your not where you want to be, I want you to remember this post. If you want something bad enough and go at it with the best of your abilities and smarts, you might not become the best, or pro, or top of the class at it, but you will become PRETTY DAMN INCREDIBLE at it, because of your fortitude and hard work. Dont let any son of a bitch tell you otherwise--this is your life-Get in that freaking powerack, make that logbook your bitch AND GET IT DONE!

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DeltaOne
Level

Join date: May 2010
Posts: 1555

I think I'll learn a great deal with this thread. Thanks Beans and everyone for posting it.

Who cares what anyone on an internet site thinks about you. It really is all about your own expectations of yourself.


This, particularly, is something I need to remember from time to time.

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trav123456
Level

Join date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4626

I have to agree about the part about life changes being the most challenging to deal with. Went from going to school and working part time at a liquor store to working 40+ hours/wk of shift work where I'm busting my ass, and on top of that just before I moved to my new job I injured my lower back and was in pain all day everyday until just recently. Luckily I've had some family to help me out up here but yeah the last few months were pretty demotivating.

Not whining at all, you've got to do what you've got to do and many have had it much worse. Nice thing about this job is I'm making more coin than ever which helps alot.

Ask any accomplished lifter about going through "hard times" and they'll probably tell you a story that'll make you feel like a pussy.


I might be behind where I was for a while but I'll bounce back, same with anyone that has life and injuries/health problems (if they're not too debilitating) temporarily get in the way of their lifting.
Quitters never prosper.

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countingbeans
Level 2

Join date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20468

trav123456 wrote:

Quitters never prosper.


And winners never finish.

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jak3_dude
Level

Join date: Dec 2009
Posts: 522

This thread is awesome

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito (Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it)

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countingbeans
Level 2

Join date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20468

johndylan15 wrote:

Change

Change has many meanings to different people but when put in perspective its something that most fear. We fear change mainly because of what it is and what it stands for. We leave something, someone or some place behind us that we have become accustomed too.

We fear that the change will not be positive, we continue to be scared to step away from our comforts but at what cost? How much are you giving up just for things to stay the same? It is a very tragic event that the narrow mindedness of people leaves them in a warm, comfortable shell their entire life.

We are creatures of repetition and there is nothing wrong with that, I mean in order to master something you have to be repetitive, but what if that repetition, that same thing you continually, day after day is doing nothing but merely holding you back from greatness?

Not greatness in the since of being famous, but greatness in a sense of pure happiness that cant be bought or uncovered by someone else. That one thing that will change your life forever and make you truly happy and secure enough in yourself to not be envious of others. We have to accept change we have to invite change into our lives because without, we are the same mediocre person we were yesterday. We should not fear change, but rather fear mediocrity.

The problem I have is if we are not progressing as a nation, culture, and individuals then we are regressing. We are scared of change and risk, but at what cost. The cost is to never be the person you imagined, you have one shot, one opportunity to be the one person you dreamed to be and if you refuse that chance because of fear of change then you become another one of the millions of individuals who let that fear, live and control their life.

Day after day if we remain the same, we shall look back one day on our life and realized we sacrificed the greatness we could have become for the safe, mediocre person that we remain!


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