Even If Your Original Dreams Don’t Work Out, You Should Continue On Dreaming

Watching the happy faces of the German players after they had won the World Cup, I thought back to my childhood. Once I had dreams of being in their place, enjoying the emotions that they had been experiencing. I too had wanted to be a World Champion, to score the winning goal and to hold up the Cup for all the world to see.

Yet here I am, sitting at home, watching the television and realizing that most of the players on the field are younger than me. The dreams that I had in childhood never came to fruition. I think about it and imagine how close I had been. As a kid, I had been playing with similar types of players, outrunning them, outdribbling them, outplaying them… Even now, I have some basic prerequisites, which are better than theirs. I can confidently say that I am faster and stronger than most of the players that are on that field in Brazil. Yet here I am and they are there.

How did this happen? Growing up, we had different values in the family. Sport was seen as a good way to complement your life, not live it. The primary focus in our family was always given to studying. I played a lot of sports (especially focusing on basketball and track), but the primary goal was always seen as being good in academics.

I kind of regret some of the choices I had made in the past, but you cannot go back now. We can only move forward. I also had a lot of other hopes, dreams and goals, besides sports, that did not work out. I can’t do anything about that now. I can only move forward.

So I form new goals, ones based on the current circumstances. There are little goals, which are achievable with just a little effort, and there are some secret dreams that will require a lot of hard work and luck.

Don’t fret too much about the past. What is gone is gone and cannot come back. Instead focus on the now and the future. Where are you now and where do you want to be in the future?

These dreams can still come true. The good thing is that now you have a higher probability of your dreams coming true. You have a lifetime of learning behind you. You live and learn. Now you can look at what types of dreams you had, and why they did not come true.

You are wiser now and can prevent these mistakes from happening. That is why you are closer to achieving the dreams that you make now. Think about where you want to be. Imagine your secret dreams. Now imagine the path you need to take to achieve them.

Continue on dreaming, that is what life is about. Hope dies last and you should continue on holding on to your dreams until they come true.
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Who Do You Want To Be?

marcus aurelius, philosopher king, warrior, statue, horseman, Roman Emperor

marcus aurelius, philosopher king, warrior, statue, horseman, Roman Emperor

If you could be perfect, who would you be? Answering this rhetorical question can tell you a lot about yourself, your values and your goals. Just imagine in an ideal situation, how would you want to look like, what would you want to know, how would you like to behave?

I started this blog in order to share tips and things that I learned on gaining weight and bulking up, but on the way, I discovered that it’s more than that. There is a reason why people want to gain weight and muscles. It’s just a piece of a bigger part.

You need to know this bigger part in order to keep yourself motivated, even in such things as gaining weight. There is a reason why skinny people want to look bigger. For example they want to be respected or just be able to do things that they are not able to do in their skinny frames. They want to be big in order to do something else.

So getting big is just a subset of something bigger. It’s a part of self-development and growing yourself inside and out. That’s why I expanded this blog to cover other topics. You not only grow big on the outside, but the inside as well.

It’s actually a two way process. Knowing other things, gives you bigger self worth as a person, which then keeps you driven in areas such as fitness. Getting bigger physically, gives you more confidence and spills over to other areas of your life, which then means you are successful in those areas as well.

These things are interlinked in many ways and when being treated together, they reinforce the positive benefits you get from each individual area of your life. Human beings are more than a sum of their parts. The different areas of your life create a unique you.

We sometimes lose this overall perspective in the modern world. In order to survive, people have to become more and more specialized. Generalists are not valued anymore, only specialists are. In today’s world, people specialize more and more in very niche areas. That’s where the money is.

In the old days, people used to be much more well-rounded, both physically and mentally. Being well-rounded was actually encouraged. The most successful people were philosophers, athletes and warriors, all in one.

The world has changed over the years. We have discovered new things, the means of getting from one part of the globe to the other has changed and gotten exponentially faster. The ordinary person cannot keep up with all the knowledge that is being created. So specialization is the key to getting ahead now. However I believe that also having the generalist perspective on top of that, is still something important and to be valued.

In order to truly enjoy the wonderful benefits of this world, people should strive to be more well-rounded. You still need be a specialist in at least one area, because that’s just the reality of this world, but having a breadth of knowledge in other areas, and also having a healthy body, can only make you stronger and happier.
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You Are The Master Of Your Fate

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

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Have The Gym Become Your Sanctuary

sanctuary, clear your head, meditation, gain weight

We all need a sanctuary, somewhere where we can go and forget about the day’s problems and refocus our minds. Our lives are filled full of stress, broken dreams and daily failures. We need a place where we can just be, where all that counts is your own willpower and no one else determines your fate, but you.

The gym is the perfect place for that. What you do at the gym is determined by you and you alone. There is no one beating you over the head with reports, no one arguing with you, no one rejecting your kind words. You are there, in your own litle world, where everything you do and everything you achieve is only dependent on you and the effort you are willing to put in.

Whenever you are feeling down, you should go to your sanctuary and forget about everything. The gym allows you to focus on one goal, without any other distractions, without any naysayers and haters keeping you down. This is where your own willpower and your own inner strength can shine.

No one can take away the effort that you put in the gym and with hard work you will see results. These results are something you can be proud of. These results can help carry you over in other areas of life, where unfortunately you are not the master of your own fate and depend on what others think of you.

The world is a tough place and people can be despicable sometimes, so a sanctuary, somewhere where you only depend on yourself, is a must for anyone trying to survive and keep sane. The gym allows you to take pride in your own work and your own efforts. This pride can strengthen you in other areas of your own life.

In the gym you create confidence. You look at yourself in the mirror and can confidently say: “I am not such a bad guy. I have achieved something here and I can be proud of this achievement.” You create goals for yourself and it is you and only you who determines your progress.

There is no one to put you down, to make you feel like a loser. In the gym you are a winner. You have achieved something that the vast majority of the population cannot do. You have come and you have conquered.
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Personality Types: Why Are You The Way You Are? Part 1

The way we behave and communicate is determined by our mental filters. Each human responds to external stimuli differently and that makes us who we are. This has a great effect on what types of preferences we have, how we work, how we talk and how we get motivated. Since each human is unique, they also need a personalized strategy in order to succeed in life.

Before you embark on setting out your own strategy for success in life, you should first understand who you are, why you function the way you do and why you make the choices that you make. This will be the basis. You should then try to come up with what you want to achieve in life and where you want to be in the future. After you have these two points, then you need to link them and perform a gap analysis, looking at what is missing right now and what is preventing you from achieving your long-term vision.

There are different sets of tools that can help you do this. One set of tools comes from neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), a branch of psychology developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s in the US. They based their studies of human behavior on a hypothesis of a connection between the neurological processes of the brain, language and behavioral patterns that were learned through experience. These in their opinion are not set, but can be changed in order to achieve the things that you want to achieve in life.

The different tools that come out of NLP can not only be used to analyze yourself, but can also be used to analyze the people around you and help you understand them and communicate better with them.

One way of analyzing yourself and your behaviors is through the analysis of meta-programs. Meta-programs are mental processes that guide and direct other mental processes (hence the word “meta”). These meta-programs are one of the filters that determine how we process information, behave and communicate. Other filters include values, beliefs, attitudes,decisions and memories.

These mental filters then affect how we take in information through our senses and then delete, distort and generalize things. In this post I will focus on explaining what are meta-programs and how they work. I will try to get into the other filters in some later posts.

Meta-programs have a huge impact on how you do things and how you respond to things. They impact and determine your habits, motivation, perseverance, as well as many outside factors, such as your opinion of others.

Meta-programs filter our perception. They filter perception without regard to the specific content. They can be used in two basic ways: to guide personal change, and also in order to communicate with others. By learning about meta-programs you can better understand yourself, your behavior, as well as the behavior of others. They can also be used to predict the behavior and actions of yourself, as well as of the people around you.

Meta-programs determine how we behave, but they can also be changed. So in no way are they static. Also as they depend on the context, you can use one meta-program in one context, while using its opposite in another context. Each person is a combination of these meta-programs and so a person’s behavior and communication is usually not dependent on a single meta-program, but instead on a combination of them.

The premise that these meta-programs are not static, but can in fact be changed is very good news. Whenever you have a problem and ask for advice on how to solve it, you often hear people advise you: “just be yourself”. That is often not very good advice. If you keep on being yourself, then you will continue on having that problem. That is because some of the internal frames that we have, can prevent us from achieving what we want to achieve.

Instead the way you should move forward, is to see what you want to change and change it. You can use the concept of meta-programs in order to do that. You can change your own meta-programs. If you find that one of your internal meta-programs is limiting you in some way, you can adopt a course of action to change that meta-program. However first you need to find out which meta-programs are the ones driving you.

There are several main meta-programs (some people have come up with lists of over 60 or more meta-programs):

1) toward or away
2) options or procedures
3) in-time or through-time or between-time
4) passive or active
5) internal or external frame of reference
6) optimist or pessimist
7) centered on yourself or centered on others
8) specific or global
9) perception (emotion) or logic
10) sameness or differences
11) independent or cooperative
12) introvert or extrovert

Meta-programs are at the origin of your motivation and also your internal mental processes. People are combinations of different meta-programs, with very few people falling on the extremes of the spectrum. Keep in mind that there are no good or bad schemas of meta-programs, so the only way to judge the utility of the schema is to base it on your particular circumstances and the context.
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Keep On Fighting And Never Give Up

superhero life, gain weight, get superpowers

superhero life, gain weight, get superpowers

Unfortunately life sometimes throws curve balls at us. Some people are just born lucky, while others have to struggle in order to get somewhere. We don’t all have the same starting line, but that does not mean that those that weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth, won’t be able to achieve something. At least that is my hope. Even through the numerous curve balls that have been thrown at me throughout my life, I keep on believing. I keep on fighting and struggling.

Hope dies last and if you find yourself in a tough situation, don’t give up hope. You lose only if your mind breaks. You should never keep your mind away from your ultimate goal: happiness. We all have different things that make us happy and circumstances sometimes force us to redefine them, but happiness is something that we all strive for.

The road towards this ultimate goal is not easy. It oftentimes is winding and full of obstacles. Sometimes circumstances force you to fall off the road and go back to the beginning. If this happens, you shouldn’t say “f#*k this” and give up, but instead once again set off on the road you fell off from.
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How To Set Goals And Actually Accomplish Them

goal to gain weight and muscle fast

goal to gain weight and muscle fast

The setting of clear goals will be one of the key parts of achieving success. Being able to set goals and then carrying them out, will not only help you in being able to gain weight and lean muscle, but is also very important for all parts of your life.

Many people realize the importance of being able to set goals, but don’t really know how to do it. A lot of times, people have very vague goals, or even if they do have some clearer goals, they do not know what things they need to do in order to achieve them.
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Why I Train?

ID-10072397 (1)

There are moments when I get philosophical and try to contemplate why things are the way they are and why I do the things that I do. One fact of life is that you can never redo things, you can never go back in time. Time doesn’t stop, but keeps on going. A moment comes and then it goes, to be replaced by another moment. All we get left with is memories and even those sometimes fade. The moment is now, yet that too will soon be just a memory.

In my mind I often go back to things that have happened. At one point that was also “now”, the “moment”, with no way of knowing what the future will bring. I was running, thinking, eating, reading or doing a myriad of other activities. I had hopes and dreams and had no idea what will happen in the future. That was the moment, and then it was gone, to be replaced by another moment. Looking back at it, I now know that many of my hopes and dreams did not come true. Yet that does not stop me from living in the moment and creating new hopes and dreams, reflecting the current reality. I can only hope that those will turn out differently.

Life is about learning and trying to grab opportunities as they come. Unfortunately, many times things do not turn out as you want them to turn out. That’s why you need something to keep you focused, to keep you balanced. You need to strive and work on yourself. You cannot control outside forces, but what you can do is try to work on yourself, always striving to improve yourself, whether physically or intellectually. Training, lifting, doing sports, is one of those things that gives me balance, keeps me focused and helps me strive to achieve goals. It is an opportunity that I get to better myself.

1) You can never be perfect, but why not try?

Unfortunately you can never be perfect. Perfection does not exist. There is always at least a small flaw that disturbs the balance. Yet that does not prevent one from trying to be perfect. Sometimes life gives you a bad hand and you have it harder than the guy who got “lucky” and got the genetics, got the money…etc. without having to work for them. That is unfortunate, yet even he is not perfect. In the game of life you should only race against yourself, because that is what counts.

I don’t understand the philosophy “be proud of the way you are”, at least in the way that it is often applied. Often that means, if you’re fat, then be proud of being fat. I think that type of philosophy just creates complacency. Except for a very small percentage of people who are fat because of medical reasons, the vast majority of people are fat, because they chose to be fat. Yet they do nothing about it and continue the bad habits that led them to their current state. You should not create excuses for yourself, but instead try to change it. Numerous people have done it, why not you? It does take hard work, but the final result will be worth it. Unfortunately most people take the easy path and do nothing.

In my head, I have a perfect image of myself, the state that I want to be in, and do everything that I can in order to achieve it. There are setbacks and unfortunately life throws you curveballs, for example injuries, which kill your progress. All you can do is ride it out and start over. Create that perfect image of yourself and set up goals on how to achieve that. Then go out and try your hardest to do that. You might fail, yet there is no shame in failing. We can never be perfect. The shame is in not trying.

2) Life is about challenging yourself

Progress only happens when you attempt to do something that you haven’t done and sometimes it works. That’s why you should always be challenging yourself and doing new things. You never know whether you can do something, unless you actually do it and put effort into doing it. You need to set up a goal and try to achieve it. Challenge yourself!

I never understood the typical “sports fan”, the guy with the pot belly and the beer in hand watching sports. When the team he is cheering for wins, he yells: “We won!” and feels some sort of satisfaction as if he achieved something and tries to show off the guys that cheered for the other team. Newsflash, but you did not win. The guys on the field won. You didn’t. All you did was sit in front of the television, drink beer and watch a bunch of guys run around the field. There is no challenge in that and there should be no sense of achievement. For me personally I don’t like to watch sports, I prefer to do them. When I watch something on the screen, I get the itch to be on the field, to actually be doing it.

Is there something that you want to do, but haven’t done. Then do it! Set up goals and try to achieve them. They might seem impossible to achieve, but therein lies the challenge. If you work hard you can achieve the things that you previously thought impossible. You just shouldn’t give up and when you fail, just try again! I set up challenges in the gym and try to achieve them.

3) You sometimes need to detach from everyday life

Unfortunately, a lot of things that happen in life are BS. I am sure you have been in BS types of situations before. You might sit at work every day for long hours, doing things that you do not particularly enjoy doing or ones that you feel are pointless. You might find yourself in situations where you have pointless arguments with colleagues over totally useless stuff. You might even have colleagues that make life a living hell for you.

That’s why you need a little sanctuary where you can go and detach yourself from the stress and other BS of everyday life. The gym is my way of doing that. You should forget about everything that is happening outside of the gym and focus on what you are doing in the gym. For that moment, life outside the gym does not exist. You are in there and control your own situation. You set your own goals and you are working on achieving them. It’s only you and no distractions.

4) Being strong lets you do things that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise

Training also gives you other benefits, for example physical. You have the strength or stamina to do things that others can’t. When you are a big buff dude, you get respect from other guys and they are less likely to pick on you. You can defend yourself and others. You can pick up heavy things or go long distances. You are also a lot more healthy than other people.

5) It gives you a sense of achievement and a good feeling

These are the fruits of your efforts, your real life achievements and they are pretty useful. You get a sense of pride when you achieve something that you set out to achieve. You look back at all the hard work it took, but that moment is worth it. Your mind feels elated and your body feels light and powerful. There is nothing that beats that feeling.

6) It’s fun

Besides training is fun! We all like to do things that are “fun” and for me training and doing sports is fun. There is the sense of competition, there is the sense of achievement and all those things translate to fun.

These are some of the reasons of why I train! What are yours?
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