A few days ago, a friend of mine informed me that someone I knew, happened to win a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe for taking part in a Race. I’m pretty sure he would earn anything in the range of $35,000 onwards if he sold it — which I am pretty sure he will.
However, I informed my friend — this victory would be short lived and eventually do more harm than good.
Confused — my friend asked me why?
In fact, I am pretty sure you also want to know why.
In fact, lets look at it logically:
- What is negative about winning a prize for hard-work?
- Shouldn’t he work harder to win more prizes?
- Isn’t it good when someone wins something through passion & hard-work?
My Answer: It depends.
It is a YES if:
- If he is a professional athlete whose livelihood depends on this activity.
- If he is taking it as a harmless hobby
- If he doesn’t go out of his way to achieve this
It is a NO if:
- He is a professional athlete whose body will get damaged over time (boxer, MMA fighter) and more money would go into old age
- He is taking his hobby too seriously where it impacts other areas of his life
- If it is taking his focus out of his core areas
The problem in winning a prize is that it:
- Gives you added motivation to work harder
- Makes you want to dedicate more time, more money, more effort and more resources into the competitive arena
- Makes you believe in yourself even more that anything and everything else is truly possible
So now — you may still say — SO??? What’s wrong?
In 2012, after nearly 6 years of quitting bodybuilding & powerlifting — I decided to get back to being fit once again. This is how I looked at my biggest, most powerful and most incredible.
I was a 125kgs of Muscle Mass, Strength and Power. I could leg-press 310kgs for 10 reps, Full Squat (legs) 225kgs for 10 reps, Deadlift (Back) 185kgs for 5 reps & Bench Press (Chest)150kgs for 5 reps. I was literally eating 2 full pieces of chicken per day — along with tons of other calories & supplements.
However, after constant wear and tear of my joints — which at a young age you don’t think happens to a ‘winners mindset’ — I ended up with multiple injuries and then from what you see above — I became…..
Well — so after nearly 16 years of bodybuilding — I ended up Fat, Unhealthy & now even worse than when I had started.
So now I began the journey to want to become ‘fit’ — you know more of those motivational stories “Fat to Fit” — more of the ‘Rocky’ Music themed stories.
So from then on, I tried everything — from intermittent fasting, to long walks, to running, to stretching, to yoga, to bodybuilding — to finally one day getting introduced to Endurance Running.
And much to everyone’s surprise — including my own — I decided to choose Barefoot Running and even managed to complete 21kms running barefoot.
It was by no means easy — but I did it. And yeah — it took me 2 years to achieve this feat — along with countless hours, supplements, hard work, sacrifice and dedication. However, that was when the competitive bug bit me and I wanted to get better and better. So from completing 21kms in 3 hours 35 minutes — I wanted to improve and get better scores than my competitors. So where my competitors were improving 5 minutes to 15 minutes every year — I wanted to show them something surprising.
So in came a Professional & Private Coach, 3 Days a week completely dedicated to Training, Change in Lifestyle, Change in Food Habits, Change in everything I did — and within 12 months — From running 21kms in 3 hours 35 minutes — I ran 21kms in 2 hours.
And I didn’t stop there — I kept pushing myself — until I ran my fastest that I had ever run in my life — 12kms in less than 58 minutes & 49 seconds — which for a guy who couldn’t walk 100 meters a few months before was nothing short of a miracle.
However, I wasn’t happy because I still believed I could do better. And then I decided to take up Swimming & Cycling. Why? Because now I wanted to push my boundaries and become — A TRIATHLETE
And lo and behold — within one year — I did it.
When I crossed the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon Series — it was a dream come true.
For a guy who couldn’t swim a few months ago, who couldn’t cycle, in fact who couldn’t run a few years ago — this was a miracle. I was suddenly the role model for so many people. My social media was flooded with praise, compliments and respect.
And then for the following year — I had even bigger plans. And I even invested money to buy a state of the art tri-bike — Argon 18 | E-119 Tri+ costing me a cool USD $9,500 + a New Coach costing me USD $12,000 per year + Supplements + new clothing line + Plus Plus Plus….I was in the best shape of my life and I was only getting better.
And then one fine day — out of the blue — I decided to leave Dubai, UAE for good as I saw the pending and looming danger of a massive recession. As I sat down with known clients, customers and industry experts — I kind of took stock of what I was doing, where I was headed — and the fact that I was headed to my 40th birthday.
I asked myself:
- What was important to me?
- How many more medals did I want to win?
- How many more races did I want to complete?
- What really mattered — racing? money? career? future?
And it was at that moment — I just stopped everything and focused on changing my life forever.
2 years since that day — this is how I currently look like…
Today all my exercise activities have stopped. There is one and only one focus — to earn money, to have a future for me and my wife and to build something worthwhile.
Now in hindsight, when I look back — I absolutely do not regret all the effort, intensity and the experience I put into the sport. In fact, if I could go back in time — I would love to relive that experience all over again — maybe this time more intensely and more passionately. However…. there is one thought that keeps bugging me — I need to do something that focuses on a long term objective — that focuses on what really matters — my vision, my purpose & my goal in life. And that is where ‘exercise’ doesn’t come in the picture.
Many years ago at the age of 20, I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. And I came across a very powerful analogy. If you have big rocks, medium sized rocks, small rocks, pebbles and fine sand all to fit into a bucket — first put the really big rocks, then the medium sized rocks and when you are about to put the small rocks — you shake the bucket a bit and the small rocks will settle in between the spaces, and do the same when you put the pebbles and then the fine sand — as you shake the bucket more and more — the rest of the smaller bits will fit in between the gaps of the big rocks.
I would use the same analogy — not only to my life but everyone else’s. Some where in our quest to enjoy life, to have a good time and do whatever it is we love — we lose sight of what really matters — our core priorities, our core responsibilities and our commitment to what truly matters — our vision, our purpose and our goals in life. And not just any goal — but the big ones.
When I look back on my life and see the amount of time, effort and money I spent into this sport of Body Building, Fitness, Sports — all in the name of a hobby — I sometimes wonder — how would it be if I had used — more than 20 years of all this money, time and effort into my A-List Priority goals — the Big Rocks in my life? Where would I have been now and what would I have been doing?
Each and every step, each and every transition of mine was me investing anything from 3 hours a day to sometimes 9 hours of training per day (alternate days — this is calculating travel, eating, plus 3 different session 3 times a week) to reach what I accomplished. And today — everything I did — is nothing but medals, trophies and certificates — catching the dust of time.
So during this 2018 — this new year — if you win something big — it can be a trophy or certificate or a praise or even a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe — ask yourself a very important question.
Is this something that really matters to me in terms of my Purpose, my Vision & my True Calling in life — or is this one of those distractions that will take me further away from My Big Rock? Because if it is not one of those big rocks — then this certificate, this trophy and this Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe is nothing but a Winner Curse which will one day manifest itself and then vanish — leaving you with nothing but the realization that you spent all those years chasing….an Illusion.