How badly do you want to build an outstanding physique? How hard are you willing to work to achieve the body you really want? Most importantly, what are you willing to sacrifice in order to earn the quality build you desire? Many people in this world want to have an extraordinary physique, but very few are willing to pay the price necessary to get it. How about you? Anything in life that is worth achieving comes with a price tag. In terms of your overall quality of life, what price are you willing to invest in order to achieve your bodybuilding goals? On a scale of 1-10 (1 being extremely difficult, 10 being totally fulfilling), would you live the next year at a “level 1” in order to enjoy the following four years at a level 10? Or, would you choose a more balanced approach and live all five years at a level 5 or 6 instead? This question is more than hypothetical. Whether you realize it or not, you are being asked this question every single day when it comes to your training. Are you doing all the things you know you need to do in order to reach your goals? Is there anything that’s holding you back?
As I talk to bodybuilders around the world, a universal complaint is that they are unable to find the time to dedicate themselves to the demanding bodybuilding lifestyle. They have too many things in their life that they are trying to focus on at one time. “I can’t do everything I need to do to reach my bodybuilding goals because I need to have balance in my life” is a pattern of thinking among many frustrated bodybuilders. Let me ask you a question: which is more accurate: They can’t or they choose not to? Striving for a balanced life may be robbing you of becoming truly outstanding at what you really want most in life—whether that’s bodybuilding, your career, family, personal relationships, or anything else that takes real effort. Many people dream of becoming outstanding at something they do in their lives. Maybe for you this one particular endeavor is building your physique.
Let me let you in on a little secret: Balance cannot be measured on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly scale. It just can’t be measured in such short time periods if you want to excel at bodybuilding or have an extraordinary quality of life. You must measure balance in life in longer time frames such as five-year spans or even decades.
If you really want to earn a great physique, you may need to give up the parties, eating out with friends, or spending your money on fancy cars or fun vacations for a period of time. You may need to invest your free time in reading books and magazines on training, nutrition, and supplementation. You may need to spend less time with your friends or save your money for massive amounts of quality food or expensive supplements like protein powder for a few years.
Isn’t this true in many other aspects of life also? If you plan to enjoy the “golden years,” won’t that luxury require you to sacrifice to some degree in your 20s, 30s, and 40s? If you want to live your later years being able to relax and travel around the world—without the pressure of working hard to pay the bills–aren’t you going to have to earn more money in your younger years, save money, and invest what money you have? Of course you will.
To have the benefit of looking at any accomplishment with real pride, it may be necessary to sacrifice many pleasures now. Mastering anything takes time and energy. One major obstacle many people face when trying to achieve things in life is juggling too many activities at the same time. Trying to focus on too many things at the same time will make it extremely difficult to become good at bodybuilding—or anything else for that matter. With the needs of our families, work or school, and friends competing for our attention, deciding where to spend our time and energy is an important decision. When we add other priorities, activities, goals, and aspirations, the challenge is greatly magnified.
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!” we are often warned by our concerned family and friends. But why wouldn’t you want to put all your eggs in one basket? A basket filled to the brim with eggs seems as if it would be a great thing to have, doesn’t it? Not if you drop it!
Oftentimes the reason we don’t totally go for our dreams is fear. We fear the possibility of suffering frustration and disappointment after spending our time and energy trying to achieve something of merit only to see our plans not work out. Could this be what’s holding you back from really going for your training goals and doing all the things you know you need to do to achieve them?
Decide what you want to accomplish with your bodybuilding. If we have truly decided what we want to accomplish but cannot seem to do what we need to do, our inability is usually based on our fears. We have the fear of missing out on other things in life. Instead of focusing on what we really want in life, we often dabble a little here and a little there. We usually don’t admit this to ourselves, however. We describe our actions as being “practical” or we are being “reasonable.” We become “pretty good” at this and “okay” at that. We never become great at anything. The last thing you want to do is reflect on your life and say, “I was okay at this, pretty good at that, and halfway decent at that other thing. Boy, I wish I had tried harder at bodybuilding! You know, I could have been good.”
Keep in mind that, even when you are determined to become the best bodybuilder you can be, you may question if you are spending your time wisely or are headed down the right path. I don’t care how dedicated and goal-oriented you are, sometimes you will question if what you are doing will actually pay off. “Am I doing the right thing? Is all this effort worth it to me? Am I missing out on other things I should be enjoying? These doubts will challenge your commitment from time to time. This is totally understandable, but it’s important to stick to your plan. Try not to focus on what you have to give up. Instead, focus on all the great achievements and the specific feelings you will enjoy when you have achieved your goals. Always remind yourself of what you really want for yourself. Never settle for anything less than you are truly capable of having in your life.