In 1908, the book 'The Way to Live' was released.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book:
"It is a well known fact that the majority of men today are relatively weak, whereas the struggle for existence demands now more than at any previous epoch that we should all be strong!"
I assume back then, MANY thought George Hackenschmidt, aka The Russian Lion, was crazy, strange and weird.... you know, all the good words people tend to use when describing anyone who isn't fitting in with everyone else.
Trust me, I've been there before and still am today, considered strange or weird by many because of how I aggressively pursue achieving success in all areas of my life.
When you Become stronger, harder working, more passionate, more motivated, etc than the norm you are now considered "crazy". Following the norms has never been the way to achieve success in any endeavor, remember that.
Oddly enough, the information from this book that is over 100 years old rings more true today than ever before. If you focus on becoming a stronger man, in the physical, mental, spiritual and business senses, people will have negative things to say about you. You MUST go against the grain and still push to become a better YOU.
Here is WHY you must focus on strength in ALL facets of your life, explained by this quote from George "The Russian Lion" Hackenschmidt:
"The frequent employment of one's will power masters all organs of movement and trains them to perform feats which otherwise would have been difficult, painful, and even impossible.
The man becomes independent and self reliant; He will never be a coward, and, when real danger threatens, he is the one who is looked up to by others. The knowledge of one's strength entails a real mastery over oneself; it breeds energy and courage, helps one over the most difficult tasks of life, and procures contentment and true enjoyment of living."
Do NOT conform to what "normal people" expect of you, instead, do something every day that makes you better and brings your closer to your goals. take responsibility for your own success AND failures.
NO finger pointing.
Do the work, in the physical, mental and life sense. 'The Way To Live' encourages and makes no excuses or lies about what it takes to succeed in strength. It's a straight to the point TRUTH about working hard, heavy and consistently to achieve success.
This is why I find myself AND lose myself while reading the old school books and magazines. I have a strong spiritual connection when I learn from the strongest men in the world who simply trained in a garage or on the old school muscle pit on Muscle Beach in Venice, Ca.
I can relate to training with nothing but a barbell, a squat rack and a bench. Simple training yet powerful results.
I can relate to training alone, no one over my shoulder to motivate me, push me, tell me to go heavier or tell me to work harder. Like George Hackenschmidt, I learned that a strong body requires a strong mind and vice versa, the two go hand in hand. I learned that hard work in training teaches one to succeed in life, with hard work and strong, confident mind being at the forefront of what it takes to rise to the top.
When I am asked to critique workouts, I see the problem that I see when a Strength Coach asks me "How can I build my business?"
The hard work is missing....
The basics are missing...
The TRUTH is missing....
The will to go above beyond the norm is missing....
"Lots of people ask me whether they can become strong. Most certainly! You all can acquire great strength, if you have the will and proper guidance.
But before all you MUST cultivate will power, and this first lesson is the most important one.
If physical exercises alone, without your will and mind, were all that was needful, everyone could become a strong man, whether he be a brain or muscle worker. The labourer, however, who never particularly uses his mind while he strains all his muscles in hard toil, and every day lifts weights, does not necessarily augment his strength."
If you don't fully understand the quote above by George Hackenschmidt, the gist is simple: The mind MUST be connected and fully immersed into what you do if you want to achieve results. Will Power is the most important trait, which will drive you to want to work hard, and in fact, you will not view this as "hard work". You will find joy in pushing your body to the limits and beyond.
I will leave you with one more of Hack's quotes, this is the bottom line.....
"DO YOU WISH TO BECOME STRONG?"
"Certainly, you will answer, that is my intention, that is my wish; to which I should reply that a simple wishing will not do it.
You must want to - in other words, you must act."
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