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Make sure you Focus on things you Can Control

There is tremendous power in controlling the focus of your mind. There is no capability difference between you and someone you consider to be an ultimate role model of success.

The only difference is, they learned to use their mind and body with more power on a consistent basis.

They’ve learned the manager state, they’ve learned to use their body effectively and they’ve learned to control their mental focus. Whatever we concentrate our focus on consistently and strive to learn from and make new distinctions about, we will get great at!

“Where attention goes, energy flows”

I don’t care what it is, if focused on something daily and you strive being better, you’re gonna make little distinctions that’ll make you more and more effective every single day.

So you better decide, what you wanna focus on in your life and what you wanna experience on a daily basis, cause that’s where your power is going to come from, that’s where your power is going to emit from, that’s the genesis of your power!

You gotta remember, whatever you focus on is what you get!

One of the things you’re gonna have to become great at, is letting all of the noise drift away into nothing and getting into laser focus on that thing you’re working on…

If you can do that, it will serve you so well in every single area of your life.

If you stick with it, stay with it, become obsessed with it, feed it every day I guarantee you, possibilities will take place!

You can be who you wanna be, you can do what you wanna do, see what you wanna see, it’s all in your power and no-one else’s, so go out and get it!

These are the 3 Things to do before work to increase Focus & Productivity

1. Wake up 1-2 hours before your day actually starts (make things happen giving yourself enough time and finish them completely instead of rushing out the door while still chewing your unfinished breakfast, running late or skipping your morning workout).

2. Start your morning the evening before. Evening routine is more powerful than morning routine, plus we don’t need to waste much of our will-power, avoiding decision fatigue, when our brain is just warming up at the start of the day.

3. Meditation by Gratitude visualization (experience & visualize gratitude). Close your eyes, if you’re not driving or walking of course and think of what you’re deeply grateful for. This could be being with your family, it could be memory of your achievements, whatever it may be. I want you to visualize, taking yourself back to that moment when you felt extremely grateful. It’s incredible how much gratitude can totally upgrade our life. When you start your day of with gratitude, you’re going look for opportunity, more than you’re for obstacles and visualizing these happy moments of your life will bring those positive emotions back again, sometimes with even more intensity, basically re-living the moment again…

I know this may sound unrealistic for some of you and I’m not saying I do all of these practices every day consistently, never sleeping in or practicing gratitude meditation daily, but at least I have something to aim for, and that’s a good start for everyone looking to improve their focus and attention span over time.

I can tell you from my own experience, I feel massive difference and its positive benefits on days or longer periods of time when I manage to stick with it more frequently…

It’s really important for athletes to be able to concentrate and stay focused in sports.

When athletes concentrate, they become totally involved in what they’re doing and feel as if time has stopped.

They don’t care about what’s happening around them, and they aren’t easily distracted.

They’re totally tuned in to what they’re doing.

This feeling is called being “ON” or “IN THE ZONE”.

Focus is one of the most powerful tools in sports psychology. Whatever sport you compete in, the ability to focus is essential to success.

When you’re in the middle of a practice or competition, does your mind ever wander? If so, your performance is taking a hit, because you aren’t completely focused on the task at hand.

You can improve your focus by following these 10 tips I put together for you based on my own research and seeking for self development consistently.

Number #1 Know what you need to focus on

The clearer you are about what you want to focus on, the more likely you’ll be able to stay focused on the factors that contribute to your success.

I suggest you have at least 2-3 short term and 3-5 long term goals you’re aiming for.

Write them down somewhere visible. In my case, it’s sticky notes on a bathroom mirror reminding myself what it is I need to focus on daily.

Number #2 Focus on what you can control

You have control over yourself and your own actions and attitudes — nothing more. Keep your focus here.

If you focus on outcomes (things you have no control over), you’re creating unnecessary anxiety.

Focus on the process and you increase the likelihood of positive results happening.

Number #3 Stay relaxed under pressure

When you’re stressed and anxious, your focus drops.

Find ways to stay calm in high-pressure situations, such as taking deep breaths, stretching muscles to loosen them, engaging in effective routines to keep your focus where it needs to be, or listening to music that keeps you centered.

Number #4 Present Moment Awareness

Athletes tend to lose their concentration when they pay attention to events and experiences that are in the future, in the past, out of their control, or otherwise irrelevant to the task.

Strategies to stay in the now include: focus on your breath, use a mantra, focus on your inner body, become hyper-aware of your environment, and surrender to the emotion you are feeling

Number #5 Use cue words

Cue words are simple words and phrases that remind you of your focus points. These words are a form of self-talk that are used to trigger a response. Cue words are especially useful when you are trying to vary or change a movement pattern. Repeating words and phrases such as relax, go hard, or quick feet will remind you to focus on what you need to do. If your mind is focused on your cue words, your body will follow.

Number #6 Develop effective routines

A routine is like a funnel — it channels your focus and gets you ready to compete. Your routines help you maintain your focus on the right things and prevent many potential distractions from entering your mind.

Routines can be used before and during an event to focus attention, reduce anxiety, eliminate distractions, and enhance confidence.

It can help structure the time before the performance and between performances so you can stay mentally focused when it comes time to perform.

For example, listen to two or three songs on your iPod before competing to get yourself ready, or eat a certain snack that gives you energy boost or calms you down.

Arrive at the playing field giving you enough time to get prepared, or go through a specific type of warm-up and stretching.

Number #7 Use mental imagery

Practice seeing yourself perform exactly as you want to perform, focusing exactly as you want to focus.

The more your train your mind to focus on the right things, the more it will respond.

Mental imagery is simply seeing yourself perform as you desire long before you even step on the field of play. Imagery prepares you to see how you’ll perform, trains you to think about what’s most important in great performance, and allows you to relax by being focused on things within your control, and that matters crucially when it comes to great performance.

Number #8 Rate your focus daily

Keep a journal in which you rate your level of focus before and after each practice or competition. Simple daily evaluations are critical to improving your focus.

By consistently being consciously aware of improving and evaluating your focus, you’ll automatically do so. This type of daily “mental muscle” work will gradually improve your focus in practice and games.

Number #9 Stop Being A Slave To Your Device

Your phone is a great tool, but it can also create negative attention patterns and be a distraction. If you want to get serious about concentration and focus, you must set your life up to support it.

Remove temptation by turning off notifications. You don’t need to be alerted about everything, all the time, do you?

Ideally, you want to engage with your phone when you want or actually need to. By always responding to the ding of somebody or something trying to get your attention, you are negatively training your mind and body to be distracted by irrelevant stimuli.

Turn off push notifications, put it on silent, turn your phone with the screen facing down so you don’t see it lit up when you receive a text and go through periods of putting your phone on airplane mode (especially at night).

Trust me, that message, unimportant missed call, and picture will all be there later…

Lastly, number #10 Create a Strategy to Help You Refocus

This is the most important step in dealing with distractions. Once you have identified the triggers that cause you to lose focus, you can figure out what helps you forget distractions and get back on task.

I recommend using a statement or mantra to help you regain your focus, such as “that’s not important, get open for the sweep” or “let it go, focus on the next move”, in this scenario, referring in terms of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Practice is the best time to work on focus and concentration. You may need to modify your approach before you put it into action in a game.

Every athlete has the power to concentrate on his or her sport. A big part of getting into the zone is learning how to ignore distractions and focus on the right things.

You can apply focus skills to improve your confidence and composure. Some of the best athletes in the world say that focus is the single most important mental skill an athlete can possess.

Learning any new skill takes time. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning a physical skill or a mental one; you need to practice in order to improve.

What techniques for improving your focus and productivity do you use and what do you do to stick with it long term?

Please share your thoughts with me using the comment box below, get in touch with me directly at @fighterpreneur on FB or IG.

I have some BIG NEWS to share with you guys! I wanted to announce and invite you to check out my new YT channel @Fighterpreneur’s Life, where I’ll be posting great motivational videos for more inspiration and happiness on regular basis.

I recently passed my first 1000 subscribers, so thank you all for your support and if you didn’t get a chance to watch any of my videos yet, you’re missing out…

Sooo, please go ahead and make sure you watch & subscribe, never missing these amazing videos I put together for you, to help you stay motivated and ideally remaining on top of our extraordinary lives we were all gifted with!

Here you go, that’s all from me on this topic, so hope you guys enjoyed reading this article and learned something new, actionable and useful again.

Stay strong & healthy you all, dream big and see you again in 2 weeks.

Peace out!

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Fighterpreneur

How To Achieve Lasting Happiness, Living The Best Life

Do you constantly wonder how can you achieve long-lasting happiness and living your best life?!

What does it take to live up to our full potential, if at all possible? I doubt there is someone who doesn’t care to know, I’m sure we can all agree on that…

How of Happiness

Happiness is the brass ring that mankind continues to search for, yet it invariably eludes him. It’s one of the hardest tasks in life to harness and to master. When the circumstances are dictating that there is little optimism to go around – our souls sink deeper into desolation and despondency.

Ultimately though, if we want to find happiness we need to be able to see that there is light in the dark. Many would find this advice stereotyped but the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, the Dalai Lama, wouldn’t agree. He is a giant among men who understands happiness- check his book below!

Highly Recommended Book

If you, like me, are fascinated by the human quest to understand the underpinnings of happiness, then this article and the 7th Episode of Fighterpreneur’s Life Podcast was created with you in mind.

(Listen Here)

In his book, The Art of Happiness, the Dalai Lama shares his secrets to a life of contentment.

I compiled a summarized overview of his insights on how to achieve lasting happiness, why compassion and intimacy are so important, and how you can overcome suffering and negative states of mind.

Let’s get started!

#1. Don’t Focus On External Circumstances.

Most people would readily agree that the purpose of life is to seek happiness. Yet, for some reason we often see happiness itself as something mysterious and hard to define, and we have a poor understanding of what makes us happy. According to the Dalai Lama, by training one’s mind it is possible to learn how to be happier.

External events can affect a person’s happiness in the short-term, but our level of happiness tends to revert back to a certain baseline soon after the event.

Happiness High

Winning the lottery only produces a short-lived happiness “high,” which subsides quickly. Similarly, people who face sudden and tragic health problems like a diagnosis of cancer or paralysis typically – after a period of grieving – recover their previous level of happiness.

Hence, it seems no specific external conditions can really affect our happiness in the long run.

Our mental state, however, constantly affects how we perceive the world. Consider, for example, how negative emotions skew our view of other people: when we’re angry, even dear friends can seem annoying, cold and hostile.

It is possible to train your mind, so that you identify and cultivate positive mental states while eliminating the negative ones. This eventually brings a calmness that allows you to live a happy, joyous life no matter what the external situation.

Do your very best focusing and paying attention only on what you can control, rather than reacting to outside circumstances we can’t influence.

#2. Cultivate Universal Compassion.

The Dalai Lama places great emphasis on developing and cultivating compassion. It is an important component of not only Buddhist spiritual development but also of robust, lasting happiness.

Compassion is a state of mind that is non-aggressive: a wish to see all other living creatures free from suffering. The mental and physical benefits range from experiencing an emotional “high” after helping others, to gaining a longer life expectancy yourself.

Cultivate Compassion

To cultivate compassion, try to be empathetic towards others and actively try to understand things from their perspective. An effective method for this is to understand their backgrounds and focus on the commonalities you share.

Say, for example, your cab driver tries to overcharge you. Instead of getting angry, you could think about what you and the driver have in common, like that you are both tired, hungry and want to get back to your families. Then, try to examine yourself in their shoes: How would you feel? This usually helps you develop empathy and reduce the anger you would feel, leading to more compassion and a happier life.

#3. Build Close, Intimate Relationships

Having close relationships with other people promotes both physical and mental well-being, but the Western viewpoint that deep intimacy can only be achieved through a romantic relationship can be problematic, since people who don’t find such a relationship often feel lonely and unhappy. Lasting relationships, on the other hand, are based on respect and appreciation of the other person.

Intimate Connection is Key

This kind of relationship requires knowing the deeper nature of the other person, which requires time. The Dalai Lama himself said he felt an intimate connection with a wide array of people around him (for example, his tutors and cooks). He even went as far as discussing state affairs with a cleaner sweeping the floors. By embracing the countless opportunities to connect to other people every day, we can lead happier lives.

#4. Find Your Way To Spirituality

The benefits of a strong religious conviction are well-documented in numerous studies and range from happier families to better health. But spirituality is not dependent on any specific religion; the Dalai Lama believes any of the world’s major religions can offer people a happier life. In fact, there is also a kind of spirituality that exists completely outside of the sphere of religious belief: it comprises basic human qualities like goodness, compassion and caring for one another, and it is therefore attainable by atheists and religious people alike.

For example, if you find yourself in a situation where you are tempted to insult someone, you can practice basic spirituality by challenging that wish and restraining yourself from indulging it. Embracing these qualities brings us closer to all of humanity, helping us become calmer, happier and more peaceful.

#5. Accept Suffering As a Natural Quality Of Life

Westerners tend not to understand that suffering is a part of life and often see themselves as victims of some malignant force when something goes wrong. But suffering is inevitable; all of us will grow old and die.

Eastern cultures seem to be more accepting of this fact, perhaps because people in Asia tend to live in closer proximity to poverty and daily suffering than their Western counterparts. Trying to avoid or ignore this fact is only a temporary solution.

Fighterpreneur’s Life YT Happiness is a state of Mind

When you inevitably do encounter suffering in one form or another, your mental attitude becomes of paramount importance. If you fear suffering as something unnatural and unfair, you will feel like a victim and assign blame when you should be trying to eliminate the mental root causes of suffering. Suffering may be natural, but we often inadvertently magnify it ourselves by actively subjecting ourselves to unnecessary anguish. By accepting that suffering is natural, you can confront and analyze its causes – including whether you may be partially creating it – and begin to lead a happier life.

#6. Eliminate Negative Attitudes And Feelings

The Dalai Lama believes that negative states of mind like anger and fear are obstructions that stop us from achieving our natural, happy state. They are poisons. But certain positive states of mind—love, compassion, patience, generosity—can act as antidotes to them, eliminating harmful emotions, attitudes and behaviors. Hence, to eliminate negativity, positive emotions and behaviors should be habitually cultivated.

Depressed people, for example, often have a distorted way of thinking: they may focus their thoughts exclusively on negative things, such as trouble at work or financial difficulties, and completely overlook the fact that they have much to be happy about, like good health and a charming, loving family. Studies have proven that correcting these distorted modes of thinking can make people happier.

We can eliminate negative attitudes, feelings and habits only through sustained effort and determination to change.

#7. Find The Good In Every Situation

When people encounter a negative situation, they tend to see it rigidly as 100% negative. Generally though, most situations contain both positive and negative elements and can be viewed from several alternative angles. For example, you might consider having to sit next to an annoying, flatulent person on a plane as a purely negative situation, or you could see it as an opportunity to practice patience and tolerance.

Such a switch can also help you find meaning in pain and suffering. When you next encounter obstacles in your life, do not wallow in self-pity and cry “Why me?!” but instead consider it a chance to become stronger. Find purpose in suffering, and thrive.

The ability to shift perspectives is facilitated by having a so-called supple mind: a certain mental flexibility. Anyone can develop this flexibility by deliberately trying to shift perspectives as we encounter unpleasant events in life.

#8. Get Rid Of Negative Feelings

Of all the negative mental states, anger and hatred are the greatest obstacles to happiness. When a feeling of anger or hatred arises in us, it rapidly destroys our peace of mind. It also obliterates our judgment, often leading us to take actions that only worsen the situation and make us even angrier.

Tolerance and Patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.

-Dalai Lama

Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated that tendencies toward anger, rage and hostility have negative health effects, too; for example, they substantially increase a person’s risk of heart disease. By applying such a logical appraisal to the anger, and by trying to replace negative feelings with thoughts of patience and tolerance, the anger often dilutes.

#9. Replace Negative Feelings With Positive Feelings

Anger and hatred cannot be overcome by simply suppressing them. On the other hand, venting anger (i.e. raging and shouting) tends to increase negative feelings, not reduce them. Hence, the correct response to anger is to learn how to use the antidotes of patience and tolerance against it, and to cultivate them—for example, through meditative exercises.

When you feel angry, the correct response in the eyes of both the Dalai Lama and Western scientific studies is to simply take a time-out: pause to analyze the situation. Where did the anger come from? What factors created it? Is it destructive or constructive?

Confront and analyze your feelings of anger and hatred, and replace them with patience and tolerance.

#10. Get Rid Of Anxiety And Low Self-esteem

Fear, anxiety and worry are things that all people experience from time to time – they are natural responses to certain circumstances – but when they become excessive or constant they can cause serious mental and even physical symptoms, such as weakened immune responses and heart disease.

Excessive anxiety is often related to poor self confidence, and the Dalai Lama feels the antidote for this is to be honest with yourself and others about your capabilities and limitations. If you’re comfortable with your own limits, you can confidently admit when you cannot do something or do not know something, without losing your self esteem in the process.

We’re all Unique!

Sometimes low self esteem can reach the extreme of self-hatred, where a person feels completely unworthy and may even contemplate suicide. The antidote to such an extreme mental state is to remind yourself of the marvelous intellect and potential for development within every single human being, including you.

Tibetans contemplate this routinely in their daily meditations, which is most likely why self-hatred is a virtually unknown concept in their society.

To sum it up…

To combat any potential anxiety and low self-confidence, we must examine our thoughts, motives and capabilities honestly.

…And that would be it!

We can all achieve lasting happiness, but only through inner mental discipline – not as a result of external circumstances like wealth or good fortune.

Let’s make this agreement with ourselves and cultivate compassion, spirituality and a supple mind, as these supreme human qualities can significantly help us deal with pain and suffering when they arise.

Choose Joy!

Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help it but smile for no particular reason. You tend to be grateful for little things, you seem to be able to relate to strangers much easier and typically feel stronger inter-connectedness with other fellow human beings.

This is something that world could forever use to its greatest extent and yet, it still won’t be enough to spread across the whole population of our planet Earth with some 7.84 billion as of today- February 2021.

Decision is yours and it’s up to every single one of us to begin here and now, so let’s make the world a better place with more joy and happiness together!

By the way, what is your definition of happiness and what do you do to make it last?

Please share your thoughts with me using the comment box below, get in touch with me directly at @fighterpreneur on FB or IG.

I have some BIG NEWS to share with you guys! I wanted to announce and invite you to check out my new YT channel @Fighterpreneur’s Life, where I’ll be posting great motivational videos for more inspiration and happiness almost daily.

So, please go ahead and make sure you watch & subscribe- never missing these amazing videos I put together for you, to help you stay motivated and ideally remaining on top of our extraordinary lives we were all gifted with!

There you go, that’s all from me on topic of happiness, so hope you guys enjoyed reading this blog post or listening to my podcast and learned something new once again.

Stay healthy you all, dream big and see you again soon, where I’ll be talking about another key topic of major importance we all need more of in this short attention span and increasingly more and more distracted world, and that is nothing else but FOCUS.

Take care & Peace out!

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Fighterpreneur

Know Your WHY To Live Your Most Authentic Happy Self!

Hey guys, how are you all keeping? Lately, I’ve been feeling inspired more than ever before, even though there is still limited number of means for me to feel this way due to Covid-19 pandemic, with yet another lock-down restrictions and numbers of positive cases still rising.

I mean, the gyms still remain closed here in Ontario, Canada and since training almost everyday has always been a huge part of my life, as well as the major source of fulfillment and inspiration, I do my best to stay active, productive and creative. Of course we can all train outdoors in a small group of people, which is what I’ve been doing since the pandemic outbreak started back in March of last year. We can read good books, watch motivational videos or some UFC fights and consume all kind of inspiring content to keep our sanity in check, right?

Staying Positive!

I’m not saying all these things don’t help, it’s just not the same as being in the gym with your people, with your team mates and coaches, with your family or giving it your best at some competition, earning that well deserved gold or on the flip side, learning something new about yourself and exposing your weaknesses by loosing.

Whatever it takes, win or loose we all keep getting better and stronger in the process of doing things and taking necessary actions.

To share some of my own inspiration, I compiled audio of my favorite motivational speakers on this very topic to energize you, make you go over and think, what is your list of WHYs?!

What is your WHY?

Why do you do what you do, day-in, day-out, what’s your higher purpose, reason, what’s your very own WHY? Do you think about it ever? Do you write these down, so you can come back and evaluate your progress from time to time in order to stay on track or never?

Before you listen to these great, inspiring voices, let me share MY current list of WHYs, which can and most likely will change over time as I grow older and my priorities shift accordingly.


  1. So far, at this very moment I feel like I learned to recognize that great things never come from comfort zones and that’s why I keep pushing myself stepping out of my comfort zone as much and as often as possible.
  2. I learned that everything I’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear, so I decided to face my fears, one by one, day by day.
  3. I have a burning desire to become the best version of myself personally, professionally, physically and mentally, so that I can inspire others to take action and achieve their full potential, instead of living average, mediocre life.
  4. I learned that life isn’t about finding myself, it is about creating myself, so I set challenges to get better and create the best me I can be.
  5. A life worth living is living a life of no regrets and that’s why I surround myself only with people who are going to lift me higher. I find these kind of people to be in the martial arts, competition and all aspiring athletes the most of all.
  6. Lastly, I learned to more appreciate, that discipline really is gateway to freedom and my ultimate goal is to achieve it not only for myself, my spouse and my family, but for everybody who needs to start accepting this often counter-intuitive but simple fact.

Check out my ‘FL’ Podcast for more inspiration below!


There is so much to learn from others!

Just like one of my favorite speakers and New York time best selling authors Brendon Burchard always says, “common sense isn’t always a common practice”, I find it often to be true for so many, including myself of course!

Check one of my favorite books on High Performance Habits from Brendon below!

Highly recommend this book!

That’s all from me and now here is the promised audio compilation so enjoy listening & watching and let me know, what your list of WHYs is?

For more inspiration and motivational videos, follow my new YouTube channel here >>> Fighterpreneur’s Life, share and subscribe to my FL Podcast and as always, feel free to get in touch with me at @Fighterpreneur on Facebook or Instagram.

Stay STRONG, dream BIG and all the BEST in your endeavors!

Peace out

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Fighterpreneur

Health Benefits Of Breathing Exercise & Exposure To Cold

Did you know, that on average the human body can go 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water but only 3 minutes without air?

Breathing is something we do 23000 times a day and weight of all involved breathing muscles is around 10 pounds of our total body weight.

Cost of respiratory system accounts for 3-6 % of total VO2 Max, heavy exercise demands 10 % and maximal exercise adds up to 13-15 % of oxygen consumption.

What is VO2max

VO2 Max, also known as maximal oxygen uptake, is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise. It is a common measurement used to establish the aerobic endurance of an athlete prior to or during the course of training.

VO2 Max is generally regarded as the best indicator of cardio-respiratory fitness. The higher your VO2max, the better your conditioning and cardio levels.

VO2max men vs women

Let’s now shortly take a look at our hardest working muscle, called heart. It pumps out 2 ounces or 71 grams of blood at every heartbeat. Daily the heart pumps at least 2,500 gallons or 9,450 liters of blood.

human heart- hardest working human muscle
Heart- human hardest working muscle

The heart has the ability to beat over 3 billion times in a person’s life. Each beat of our heart is the result of interplay of the 2 branches of autonomic nervous system.

Sympathetic, which prepares the body for the “fight or flight” response during any potential danger in order to keep us safe. And on the other hand, Parasympathetic which inhibits the body from overworking and restores the body to a calm and composed state also known as “rest & digest”.

Different patterns of breathing change our feelings for better or worse, without us even realizing where it’s coming from and that’s HUGE in my opinion. Sympathetic breathing, that “quote & quote” running from the lion stressful breathing over a period of time will cause all kind of health issues. To name just a few and most frequent are acid reflux, migraines, lower back pain, anxiety, depression, erectile dysfunction and ibs or irritable bowel syndrome causing cramping, abdominal pain, bloating and constipation.

We can use our breath to realize how present we are. Shallow breathing equals to being distracted and on the other hand deep breathing means we are present and mindful. When we’re breathing very shallow, our body is in that state of panic, which triggers this sympathetic overdrive. Being always on the GO is robbing us of our ability to live emotionally rich life. This is why it’s essential taking a very brief break several times a day in order to interrupt the stress and breathing in a stressful way, minimizing those fight or flight signals to our body, with our full awareness and best intentions for our health, sounds good? It often takes pausing and taking 1 or 2 deep breaths to avoid tragedy, it is that important and I want you to really recognize this great gift we all have at our disposal 24hrs a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, until…our very last exhale.

Vagus nerve- body’s superhighway

Until then, breath affects our heart, brain, memory, sleep, digestion and immune system, so there is no doubt it is vital to master the proper breathing. This is where the Vagus nerve serves as the body’s superhighway, carrying information between the brain and the internal organs and controlling the body’s response in times of rest and relaxation. The large nerve originates in the brain and branches out in multiple directions to the neck and torso, where it’s responsible for actions such as carrying sensory information from the skin of the ear, controlling the muscles that you use to swallow and speak and influencing your immune system. Vagus nerve is essential for functioning of all our major organs including brain, heart, liver, kidneys and lungs.

When this nerve is activated it acts as a break pedal, slowing down an overstimulated nervous system. Every single breath activates the vagus nerve and the deeper the breath is the more powerfully activated the nerve becomes, promoting the health of organs. Deep breathing also stimulates the prefrontal cortex responsible for higher mental functioning essential for decision making, emotional control and social interactions.

Practice as simple as focusing our attention on our breath has the effect of enhancing our general awareness. It triggers that calming-parasympathetic nervous system, release of Oxytocin and overall well-being. We can use our breath to bypass our brain chemistry in situations that are typically very difficult to handle.

If you get into a rhythm of deep breathing daily, you will heal faster and live a much healthier life. Breathing for healing supports this simple idea, where there is oxygen, there is life.

By proper breathing we’re detoxifying our body, delivering more nutrition to our cells that we’re giving it in our healthy diet…hopefully healthy hey?

Let’s invest 23000 times in our vitality and better health simply by fully functional breathing. Here is how it’s done!

What is a proper breathing technique?

Most of us use what breathing expert Dr. Belisa Vranich calls “vertical breathing.” When you breathe vertically, your shoulders go up during the inhale and everything in your torso stretches up vertically. When you exhale, your shoulders go back down.

While it may feel like you’re taking a full breath when you breathe vertically, you’re not. You’re primarily using the tops of your lungs, which are the smallest parts of these organs. By using less of your lungs to inhale, you’re depriving your body of the oxygen it needs to function at its best. Dysfunctional breathing is the respiratory equivalent of eating fast food, not once or twice but 23000 times a day.

proper breathing
Which one are you?

Shallow mouth breathing constricts airways and blood vessels, which decreases oxygen delivery to our muscles, tissues, heart and brain.

Deep nasal breathing has the opposite effect. It opens our airways and dilates blood vessels, which allow for better oxygen delivery. Nasal breathing also increases Nitric Oxide levels. Nitric oxide is the gas that we naturally create in our nasal cavity. It is a vessel dilator, which relaxes inner muscles of our blood vessels, causing our vessels to widen.

Another reason to breath through the nose is to avoid over breathing. The amount of oxygen our muscles and tissues are able to use is not solely dependent on the amount of oxygen in our blood. Our red blood cells are normally saturated with between 95-99 % of oxygen, which is more than enough our body needs for intense exercise. Since our blood is already full of oxygen, taking in more oxygen with bigger breaths, doesn’t increase the amount of oxygen our muscles are able to use. Instead it is important to get this oxygen out of our red blood cells, so it can be used by our muscles and tissues. Carbon dioxide is what allows for oxygen to release from the red blood cells. If we take large breaths through our mouth, we lose large amount of this precious carbon dioxide, which results in less oxygen reaching our muscles and tissues, makes more sense now? This physiological phenomenon is called the Bohr effect. Essentially, oxygen is carried by a protein inside red blood cells, called hemoglobin.

In increase of Co2(carbon dioxide) increases our blood’s PH levels and hemoglobin releases its load of oxygen, so that it can be used by our muscles and tissues. Decrease in Co2 has the opposite effect, it decreases our blood’s PH levels and causes hemoglobin to hold onto its load of oxygen. Another problem of over-breathing is that it can result in increased sensitivity and lower tolerance to Co2. When our sensitivity receptors to Co2 are out of whack due to over-breathing with mouth, we expel more Co2, and again this leads to hemoglobin to hold onto oxygen and we feel breathless even though we’re breathing more and heavy.

Hemoglobin

The result of this is sub-optimal endurance and a higher risk of injury. It is also helpful realizing, that breathing efficiency doesn’t always translate to fitness levels of an athlete.

Now, what’s the deal with HORIZONTAL/BELLY BREATHING?

So an improper breath is vertical. Does that mean a proper breath is horizontal?

Oh yes, it absolutely does!

Instead of breathing with your shoulders and chest, a correct breath uses your diaphragm muscles. And when you breathe with your diaphragm muscles, your belly moves in and out, while your chest and shoulders stay still.

Breathing efficiently means breathing light, quiet, effortless, soft, through the nose, diaphragmatic, rhythmic and gently paused on the exhale. This is how human beings breathed until the comforts of modern life changed everything, including our breathing.

By the way, have you heard of this vertical and horizontal breathing before? Frankly, I had no idea before I started researching material for this blog, including watching a ton of videos on YouTube. This just makes me realize how much wisdom there is to learn and improve upon from all this new knowledge gained…To be completely honest with you, it often feels quite overwhelming or even a little frustrating at times, but then I read something like this Chinese proverb and it helps me keep going again…

“To get through the hardest journey, we need to take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.”

Chinese proverb

You see, if there is nothing else that’s really good about writing this article, at least I’m learning something new all the time and hopefully you too guys!!! Please don’t forget to let me know how you’re liking this content and topics I’m covering here, but I honestly try my best to help you all, including myself of course to optimize our health, improving our performance and overall well-being and quality of life we live, on journey to become the best possible version of ourselves…

A Life worth breathing- book

Let me quote words of Max Strom from his Tedx talk, who is a spiritual teacher, breathes work master and author of a book A Life Worth Breathing’:

“Some doors only from the inside, breath is a way of accessing that door.”

Max Strom

Your breathing rate and pattern is a process within the autonomic nervous system that you can control to some extent to achieve different results. You may not be aware of your breath all the time, but through practice you can gain a greater awareness of your breath and learn how to manipulate it to your advantage.

The Wim Hof Method breathing techniques have been developed by Wim Hof, who is also known as ‘The Iceman’. He believes you can accomplish incredible feats by developing command over your body through use of specific breathing techniques.

Wim Hof

This is said to help you improve your productivity, performance, and overall well-being. Hof believes that learning to develop mastery over your nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems will help you be happier, stronger, and healthier.

Ways of exposing your body to cold and it’s positive health benefits

Although there is number of options these are the most common practices:

  • Cold shower: Cold showers are any showers with a water temperature below 70°F or 21 degrees Celsius. It has been used for centuries to take advantage of our body’s tendency to adapt to harsher conditions. As a result, our bodies become more resistant to stress.
  • Ice bath: In sports therapy, an ice bath is a training regimen usually following a period of intense exercise in which a substantial part of a human body is immersed in a bath of ice or ice-water for a limited duration.
  • Cryotherapy or cold therapy: This is a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures with the nitrogen gas as a cooling agent for several minutes ranging between -90 to -120 degrees Celsius. Cryotherapy can be delivered to just one area, or you can opt for whole-body cryotherapy by stepping into cryosauna cabin.

Spending just a few minutes in contact with the cold will bring you a multitude of benefits to your health, fitness and well-being.

What are the benefits of cold exposure in conjunction with proper breathing?

Lymphatic Circulation & Immune system

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that run throughout the body, helping take away waste, bacteria and microbes from your cells, essentially cleansing your body and boosting your immunity.

Cardiovascular Circulation

With poor cardiovascular circulation your blood flow is compromised and this, in turn, means your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body and to your organs. Cold water or cold exposure, encourages efficient blood circulation.

Weight Loss

Not only does cold water force our bodies to work harder to keep us warm, burning calories in the process and in the long run, boosting our metabolisms, it also has an unexpected impact on the type of fat we produce. Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue, is a special type of body fat that is turned on (activated) when you get cold. Brown fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions.

Brown fat contains many more mitochondria than does white fat. These mitochondria are the “engines” in brown fat, that burn calories to produce heat. By immersing our body in the cold shower, ice bath or whatever option you choose for cold exposure, we’re able to activate brown fat cells by 15 times resulting in 9lbs weight loss per year, incredible right?

Muscle Inflammation

It reduces the lactic acid in your muscles and aids recovery after a tough workout. DOMS be gone! To explain further, DOMS or Delayed-onset muscle soreness is muscle pain that begins after you’ve worked out. It normally starts a day or two after a workout so you won’t feel it during a workout. Pain felt during or immediately after a workout is a different kind of muscle soreness and it’s called acute muscle soreness.

Boosts Energy & Happiness Levels

Cold water triggers a flood of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, which make you feel happy.

Cold exposure can extend our life span

In other words, it increases our body’s master antioxidants, called endogenous antioxidants. These are the antioxidants from within our body produced by the cells, participating directly in the neutralization of free radicals and reactive oxygen compounds, as well as maintaining exogenous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E in their reduced active forms. These antioxidants slow down the process of cellular aging while at the same time, disease fighting white cells count increases. This can be viewed as an adaptation to repeated oxidative stress as a mechanism for body hardening. Hardening is the exposure to a natural thermal stimulus, resulting in an increased tolerance to stress and disease. Exposure to repeated intense short-term cold stimuli is often applied in hydrotherapy used in physical medicine for hardening.

Promotes Deeper, Rhythmic Breathing

The practice of regulating your breath and taking longer, deeper more quality breaths carries through to your everyday breathing.

Mental Resilience & Strong Willpower

Overcoming the cold is as much a mental exercise as it is physical. Tempering your thoughts and adapting to adversity will make you much more resilient and focused on endurance which is key for resistance training.

Other Benefits are:

  • Reduces anxiety and combats depression >>> The process helps cage the monkey mind and breathing assists this.
  • Increases alertness >>> You are uber clear and ‘on’.
  • Wakes you right up >>> Nothing says ‘good morning’ better than a cold-water shower.
  • Puts you to sleep >>> It also helps promote the creation of Melatonin, a vital component of healthy, restful sleep.

And what’s my conclusion?

The cold as Wim suggests is merciless but righteous. I explored this topic in detail to give you a fully comprehensive overview of it.

Give it a shot, test it even for a few days and let me know how you got on with it. If you already experimented with cold exposure yourself or maybe you have a better system or hack that impacted your overall health in a positive way, give me a shout, so I could try that for a change…

Please as always, if you like this blog post article and find it useful, do me a favor by subscribing and sharing with those who might be interested in ways of improving their lives by implementing these simple tools and techniques.

Let me know what information you found most helpful by commenting or getting in touch with me @Fighterpreneur on Facebook or Instagram and also check out my new YouTube channel @Fighterpreneurs Life.

Lastly, don’t forget to tune in again for my next episode of Fighterpreneur’s Life podcast, where I’ll be talking about The Art of Happiness.

Stay strong & healthy y’all – Peace out!

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Fighterpreneur

Importance of Sleep & Recovery For Good Health and High Performance

In this post, I will be walking you through the different stages of sleep and share a few tips on how deep or REM sleep can help you maintain healthy lifestyle as well as speeding up your recovery when all healthy habits are properly implemented. Our bodies absolutely love rythm. In other words sleep/wake cycle also known as Cyrcadian rythms are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.

Circadian Rhythm

Let‘s first mention hormones released in the brain before, during and after sleep

Growth hormone >>> is essential for growth, tissue repair and overall physiological development

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) >>> prevents the production of dilute urine and its levels increase during sleep

Melatonine- >>> signals to the body it is time to sleep and realeases with increased darkness. It is antioxidant connected to repairing cells and restoring body.

Adenosine->>> are molecules that build up and make us sleepy while we’re awake, usually after 7-9hrs after our wake up time due to the brain’s drop in alertness.

Oxitocin- >>> is involved in childbirth, lactation and social behaviour and its levels peak after 5hrs of sleep. Levels may influence the content of our dreams

Lastly, it‘s Prolactin- >>> is involved in over 300 functions including lactation, metabolism and immune system regulation and its levels are higher during sleep than in day time…

Other hormones affecting and affected by our sleep are…

Cortisol->>>best knows as stress hormone that regulates blood sugar, aids in metabolism and is released daily as a part of our circadian rythm. Its levels peak in the morning and slowly decrease throughout the day & night. This is why it’s not recommended to workout after 7pm as cortisol levels increase during excercise, therefore melatonine gets supressed.

Leptin & Ghrelin->>> these 2 hormones play a major role in appetite regulation and ideally should be well balanced.

control of food intake and appetite regulation

Leptin– satiety hormone secreted by the adipocytes, and

Ghrelin– hunger hormone released primarily from stomach cells, are also influenced by sleep…

When we don’t sleep well or not enough, we experience we are hungrier and it’s harder to feel satiated. This is when we most likely don’t resist so called ‘hedonic eating’ or eating for pleasure. On average this can add up to around 300 more calories intake per day and I don’t think we want that on the journey to become the best version of ourselves, do we?

Well, all I know is, that no-one can decide for us what importance we give it, so I suggest you do what’s best for your personal & health goals, fair play?

I recommend you guys to read or listen to this book: The 5AM Club. Honestly it’s absolutely amazing and truly eye opening if you want to increase your productivity during the day, improve your life and sleep better at night. Through the enchanting story of an entrepreneur, an artist, and their eccentric billionaire mentor, The 5 AM Club (2018) shows how embracing a revolutionary morning routine can deliver epic results. It explains how you can use the first hour of your day to drive personal growth and get the most out of life. Take advantage of a 7-day free trial!

The 5 AM Club
Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life!

Let’s compare REM vs. Deep Sleep & see What’s The Difference

Understanding your sleep cycle is the key to better rest. Now more than ever, we can quantify exactly how good or bad our sleep patterns are. Smart beds, sleep trackers and wearables of all sorts help us track our sleep.

Each morning you can review your heart rate, breath rate and sleep graphs with information about how much light, deep and REM sleep you had last nigh.

But all that data only makes sense if you know what you’re aiming for and what it all means. Here’s how to decode your sleep cycles so you can make the most of your shut-eye.

Sleep Cycles

What Are Sleep Cycles?

By now, you probably already know humans sleep in cycles. Each cycle is about 90 minutes long and that sweet spot is when we hit 5 of them, which equals to 7.5-8hrs. The best known is REM, which stands for rapid eye movement, because your eyes move rapidly during this stage of sleep. In general, scientists and researchers divide the cycles into 2 broad categories: non-REM and REM sleep.

I’m going to break down non-REM sleep into 2 further categories that are often used by sleep trackers. I personally use Fitbit tracker, what about, do you have one too?

Let’s start with actual Beginning of Sleep…

As the brain begins to relax and slow down, slower waves known as alpha waves are produced. During this time when you are not quite asleep, you may experience strange and extremely vivid sensations known as hypnagogic hallucinations. Common examples of this phenomenon include feeling like you are falling or in my case it’s either missing a step or a ball flying toward my face, (ha-ha) definitely nothing pleasant right before falling asleep, you know what I’m saying?

Hypnagogic Hallucinations

Light sleep

It is the beginning of your sleep cycle and your body’s way of winding down. Breathing, heart rate and muscle changes prepare your body for the deeper sleep to come…

Light sleep is broken down into stages 1 and 2. The first stage is simply the act of transitioning from awake to asleep and makes up less than 5 percent(about 10-15minutes) of your nightly sleep cycles.

Stage 2 is where the light sleep gets to work. People become less aware of their surroundings, body temperature drops and breathing and heart rate become more regular.

Fully asleep, your brain activity slows but includes bursts of electrical activity…

Neuroscience research suggests that these spurts of electrical activity are a crucial part of your brain’s process of transferring information from short- to long-term memory. That’s why many scientists agree that sleeping after studying or learning new material helps you retain information at a higher rate.

Most people spend more time in stage 2 during long periods of sleep than any other stage, and that’s a good thing since it’s such an important part of brain health, promoting mental and physical restoration as well as emotional processing. According to the American Sleep Foundation, people spend approximately 50% of their total sleep in this stage of light sleep.

Deep sleep- stage 3

Is often confused with REM sleep, but the two are actually very different. Deep sleep is the part of your sleep cycle in which your body recovers from the day. Your body secretes growth hormones associated with cellular repair and rebuilding.

When you get enough deep sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed. Without enough, you’ll feel tired even if you got a full night of rest.

Deep sleep

Typically, you’ll see deep sleep on your sleep-tracking devices in the first half of your night. It happens in relatively long segments, while your heartbeat and breathing slow to their lowest levels.

This is the stage of sleep where it is most difficult to wake you up and also when sleepwalking tends to occur most often. I can‘t imagine this happening to me, OMG! Do you have any experience with sleepwalking yourself at all? Deep sleep is as important, if not more important, than REM sleep when it comes to physical rest, so keep an eye on this stage if you’re tracking your sleep patterns.

Optimal range for men of my age in early thirties is 12-23% and decreases as we get older.

REM sleep- stage 4

Is perhaps the most famous of the sleep cycles. REM sleep is very interesting and almost the stuff of sci-fi. Most people experience REM sleep around 90 minutes after falling asleep. REM sleep goes even deeper into brain recovery, dreaming and processing memories and emotions. Body becomes relaxed and immobilized. This is the sleep stage in which your eyes move rapidly. If you’ve ever caught your dog or cat in a REM stage, you’ll recognize the darting eyes.

Your brain waves in REM sleep are closer to wakefulness than deep sleep, and your breathing becomes irregular and speeds up. Blood pressure and heart rates also increase to near awake levels in REM sleep. It’s not surprising that with so much near-wakefulness, this stage is when most of your dreaming occurs. Dreams are often weird as neurons are sorting out through all the information they don’t need based on emotional attachment.

Fun Fact is that in REM sleep, your arm and leg muscles are temporarily paralyzed by two chemicals in your brain that prevent you from physically acting out your dreams and punching your partner in the face instead of that alien bad guy that’s relentlessly chasing you…

Listen to the summary of your favorite books

What’s the Sequence of Sleep Stages?

I don’t know how about you guys, but I pretty much assumed these stages must go nicely in 1 to 4 order.

It is important to realize that sleep does not progress through these stages in this sequence. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progresses into stages 2, and 3…

After stage 3 sleep, stage 2 sleep is repeated before entering REM sleep. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2 sleep. Sleep cycles through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night…

Why good night sleep Matters so much and why should you care?

Well, I’m sure you can clearly see and feel the difference on days when you really slept well, right? We are so much more motivated, creative, our brain functions quicker, we’re faster, more disciplined, laser focused, sharper and able to perform at our very best.

On the other hand, when we get in the loop of sleep shortages, it’s like a massive domino effect. We’re lazy, slow, depressed, unhappy, we’re aging at much higher rate and tend to prefer those unhealthy eating habits, why? Because it’s easier, we have no energy and we care less, simple as that…unfortunately, for most!

Let’s talk about main benefits of Deep Sleep

Glucose metabolism in the brain increases during deep sleep, supporting short-term and long-term memory as well as overall learning.

Deep sleep is also when the pituitary gland secretes important hormones, like human growth hormone(HGH), leading to growth and development of our body.

Human Growth Hormone

Other benefits of deep sleep include:

  • energy restoration
  • cell regeneration
  • increasing blood supply to muscles
  • promoting growth and repair of tissues and bones
  • strengthening the immune system and brain clean up from its daily waste

How Much Deep Sleep Do We actually Need?

We spend roughly 75% of our night in non-REM sleep and the other 25% in REM sleep. Of this, around 13%-23% of our total sleep is a deep sleep.

That said, deep sleep decreases with age. If you’re under age of 30, you may get two hours of deep sleep each night. If you’re over age of 65, on the other hand, you may only get a half hour of deep sleep each night, or none at all.

There’s no specific requirement for deep sleep, but younger people may need more because it promotes growth and development. Older people still need deep sleep, but not getting as much doesn’t necessarily indicate a sleep disorder.

Let‘s consider this madness

I remember I often used to think about how much more I could get done if I could only function on just 4-5 hrs of sleep as efficiently and consistently as on full recommended 8hrs.

If you‘re like me, always active, busy working on some project, one man show trying to get multiple business of the ground and aspiring athlete, you can imagine why I wished to sleep less without sacrificing my health and relationships…

The book The 4 hour Body by Tim Ferriss, definitely gave me a whole new perspective and made me realize there are options to do this safely, of course if we‘re willing to experiment a little…

The 4-Hour Body book
Learn some wicked body hacks!

In this book, Tim suggests that there are 2 main ways of sleep and probably 99% of humans would choose or only are aware of the 1st one and that is Monophasic Sleep, where full 8hrs of core sleep is quote & quote „wasted“

2nd one, for me unheard of until I read this book is Polyphasic Sleep.

This way of sleep has 5 different variants to pick from and maybe test it out for yourself.

Let‘s see, so here is „The Siesta“ consisting of one 20 minute nap and 6hrs of core sleep adding up to 6,3 total hours.

Then there is „The Everyman 2“ consisting of two 20 minute naps and 4,5hrs core sleep allowing us to only „waste‘ 5,2 total hours.

Next one is „Everyman 3“ with three 20 minute naps and 3hrs core sleep of total 4hrs of sleep.

Another one is „The Everyman 4“ with four or five 20 minute naps and just 1,5hrs of core sleep.

And the last one is „The Uberman“ consisting of six 20 minute naps and no core sleep at all, how about that?

Though you might find this interesting, because I surely did, although never managed to go further than ‚The Everyman 2“ with 2 naps and 4,5hrs of core sleep and it actually worked for me, for period of my life when I temporarily needed to make certain adjustments…

Why Sleep for Recovery?

Without any question, the brain and central nervous system play the most significant role in optimal physical performance. Every movement emanates from brain CNS(central nervous system) impulses. For an elite athlete, the CNS controls every aspect of performance potential, including function of skills, biomechanical exact movements, the firing sequences of muscles during activity, reflexes and reactions, and countless interrelated physiological functions, including both the central system (heart and lungs), and the peripheral system, our muscles.

Central Nervous System

The most significant factor in the brain and CNS functioning at an optimal level is that it is well rested. Getting enough quality and quantity of sleep is near the top of the list for athlete recovery strategies.

Minimal sleep (six hours or less) for four days has been shown to affect cognitive thinking function- which is our thinking, mood and weight gain of up to 2lbs just due to sleep deprivation.

All sport requires the ability to process information very quickly and react. Athletes also need to have high levels of focus and motivation. These functions will be impaired without adequate sleep.

Minimal sleep can also decrease glucose metabolism, causing insulin insensitivity by 30%, which fuels the brain and the body for mental and physical performance. Immune function can also be impaired which puts athletes at a greater risk for sickness and injuries.

If an athlete pulls an “all nighter”, speed, power and endurance capacities will decrease. When athletes fail to sleep enough (less than 8 hours per night), the body fails to produce the adequate amount of testosterone. Anabolic activity goes down by 30% due to just 2hrs less sleep a night. An average man can easily gain 14lbs or more just by 1hr sleep shortage itself in a period of 1 year.

Testosterone effects

Testosterone is a hormone which allows athletes to build muscle and gain training effect from difficult workouts. Muscles are broken down during a workout and with testosterone, are rebuilt larger and stronger. This is why athletes gain muscles when they lift weights or train correctly. This gain in muscle, also called training effect, is decreased without the testosterone to recover from intense physical activity…

Final Thoughts

There’s a common theme in the lives of billionaire entrepreneurs and top performing athletes. They place an incredible amount of importance on their personal health and ability to deliver. Through exercise, diet, strong relationships, and proactive healthy habits, the most influential entrepreneurs understand that they can only deliver extraordinary results when their bodies are able to provide extraordinary output.

You can’t change the world when you’re not running at maximum capacity so make sure to fix your sleep if you often feel drained.

Thanks again for taking time reading this post or listening to Fighterpreneur’s Life podcast and I hope you learned something new or helpful for your personal & professional development, so let me know and stay strong!

I would love to hear back from you, so please shoot me a message at @fighterpreneur on Instagram or Facebook or get in touch here on my blog by commenting below…

Lastly, if you could do me a favor by sharing this post and my podcast with all those that need to read or hear this information, that would be amazing!

Appreciate you guys and DO NOT FORGET to check out my next podcast episode at the bottom of this post, where I talk about Top 5 challenges Aspiring Athletes Face before becoming professionals STAY TUNED for the next episode on Health benefits of cold exposure and breathing techniques so popularized by Wim Hof AKA ‘The Ice Man’!

Take care of yourself ya’ll!

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Staying Motivated As An Aspiring Athlete

Motivation is the foundation of all athletic effort and accomplishment. Without your desire and determination to improve your sports performances, all of the other mental factors, confidence, intensity, focus, and emotions, are meaningless. To become the best athlete you can be, you must be motivated to do what it takes to maximize your ability and achieve your goals.

In this article, we will take a look at how to stay motivated as aspiring athletes and also recommend some diets to maintain optimal levels. 

What Is Motivation?

Motivation, simply defined, is the ability to initiate and persist at a task. To perform your best, you must want to begin the process of developing as an athlete and you must be willing to maintain your efforts until you have achieved your goals. Motivation in sports is so important because you must be willing to work hard in the face of fatigue, boredom, pain, and the desire to do other things. 

Motivation will impact everything that influences your sports performance: physical conditioning, technical and tactical training, mental preparation, and general lifestyle including sleep, diet, school or work, and relationships.

The reason motivation is so important is that it is the only contributor to sports performance over which we actually have control. There are three things that affect how well you perform.

First, your ability, which includes your physical, technical, tactical, and mental capabilities. Second, the difficulty of the competition influences performance. Contributors to difficulty include the ability of the opponent and external factors such as an “away game” crowd and weather conditions such as temperature, wind, sun or other important elements. Whether your coach or team mates are coaching you or not, if for some reason they couldn’t make it, can also impact the outcome… Unfortunately, we have no control over these factors.

Finally, motivation will significantly impact our performance. It is also the only factor over which we have control. Motivation will directly impact the level of success that you ultimately achieve. If you are highly motivated to improve your performances, then you will put in the time and effort necessary. 

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

– George Bernard Shaw

Motivation will also influence the level of performance when you begin a competition. If you’re competing against someone of nearly equal skill, it will not be ability that will determine the outcome. Rather, it will be the athlete who works the hardest, who doesn’t give up, and who performs his or her best when it counts. In other words, the athlete who is most motivated to win.

Set actionable, specific goals

A common pattern observed in top athletes when training is that they set actionable, specific goals. These goals are not vague, such as ‘I want to run faster’ – instead, they set extremely specific goals such as ‘Today at mile three, I will push myself extra hard and achieve a six-minute mile.’ Focusing on specific activities will help you concentrate on the present moment, taking your mind off the overwhelming challenges of your larger goal.

Trick your brain: Talk yourself through challenges

When athletes undergo grueling training, their bodies are pushed to the brink of exhaustion. At this point, their body will try to conserve resources. Aspiring athletes must constantly tell themselves that they will make it, even when their body feels like it’s going to fail, essentially tricking our minds to continue functioning. 

Self-improvement over winning

Setting personal milestones for yourself and recording your achievements can help fuel your fitness routine.

Have a training partner

It’s hard to stay motivated all the time on your own, and research has shown that obligation to another can serve as a strong source of motivation. When you have someone there alongside you, pushing you, you will automatically work harder. The person can be a trainer, friend or parent – what’s important is that you have a regular training partner who is about the same level of ability and who shares similar training goals with you. Knowing that someone is counting on you to show up will get you out of bed and on the way to the gym!

Recommended Diets To Support The Best Performance

Food is the fuel that helps athletes perform their best. Without it, endurance, strength and overall performance will be down. If you want to get the most out of your workouts and athletic capabilities, your diet should be a top priority in your fitness efforts.

As your body puts out energy through exercise and training, you need to replenish those lost nutrients, which can be done by choosing the right foods. Here are recommended diets to support your performance:

  • Berries
  • Salmon
  • Beans/Legumes
  • Pasta
  • Bananas
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Milk (Even Chocolate Milk!)
  • Hydrating Foods
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Whey Protein
  • Flax seed, Olive and Coconut Oil
  • Cherries

Intermittent Fasting: Pros & Cons

All diets achieve weight loss through the same equation — you take in less food energy each day than your body burns for normal activity. Intermittent fasting achieves this goal by severely limiting calories during certain days of the week or during specified hours during the day. The theory is that intermittent fasting will help decrease appetite by slowing the body’s metabolism.

Pros

  • Promotion health and weight loss
  • Reduces fat free mass
  • Increases brain function
  • Promotes & improves body composition

Cons

  • It might make you feel sick or fatigued in the morning, especially if you work out first thing.
  • You might feel way hungrier
  • It doesn’t always play nice with other diets
  • Fasting diets are rigid and rule-based
  • It may lead to low sugar level
  • It doesn’t always help you create mindful eating habits

What About Keto Diet?

Keto diet is an eating strategy where you power your system on fat, rather than carbohydrates. A standard ketogenic diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates, though there is some room for modification to meet your personal goals.

Pros

  • Can help you with weight loss
  • May improve cognitive functioning
  • May slow various cancers
  • May reduce inflammation from high blood sugar
  • Helps you to kick the sugar habit

Cons

  • Long-term research is limited
  • The diet may trigger brain fog
  • Going keto limit your fruits and vegetables intake
  • Easy to accidentally eat unhealthy foods

What are some of your favorite ways to motivate yourself? Share your thoughts with me using the comment box below

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Top 5 Business Ideas of 2020 for Achieving Ultimate Freedom

Escape The Rat Race And Live A Radically Free Life!

As you read this article, you might be sitting at your home office desk, working from home due to pandemic Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, thinking and dreaming of living a freer lifestyle, as being seriously financially affected or laid off completely…

Throughout our lives, many of us in the west are told that we’ll be happy if we go to college, get a corporate job, settle down, and work from 9 to 5 for forty years until we retire.

Unfortunately, the reality is that this lifestyle isn’t all that appealing to many people – nearly everyone wants to escape the rat race and change their lives for better, don’t you?!

It’s difficult to pin down the moment you joined the rat race. It just sort of…happened. When you were in college, you probably didn’t have much money. You split the rent for your crappy apartment with roommates, you didn’t have a fancy car, and you sustain yourself on ramen noodles or some other unhealthy fast food option. Whatever money you had left bought you some beer or a dinner out with friends. Yet, most people look back on those days fondly.

I hope you guys realize, this race isn’t worth winning!

Then you entered the workforce and started making real money. Suddenly, you needed a nice car to take clients around town and a big house to demonstrate your newfound success. But these things you accumulated didn’t do anything to improve your quality of life. In fact, the more money you make, the more stuff you needed. When you get a promotion, you still can’t get ahead because your burn rate keeps pace with what you make.

The problem with the rat race is that there’s no finish line. There’s nobody waiting at the end to give you a medal and dump a cooler of Gatorade over your head. The wheel just keeps spinning. And the longer you’re caught in this cycle of consumption, the more natural it becomes. You forget that it wasn’t always like that.

How to Get off the Wheel?

The first step toward escaping the rat race is being able to see the rat race. When you’re just trying to keep up, it’s easy to saddle yourself with a hefty mortgage and an expensive car payment and then convince yourself that’s what will make you happy, but it’s important to realize that your stressors are entirely self-inflicted.

The good news is that you got yourself onto the wheel, which means you can get yourself off of it.

With all these current circumstances happening, more and more people are surely realizing how major impact such unpredictable world-wide events can become and how much it can ‘screw us’ helpless, especially when relying on that stable & secure job.

#1. Create An E-commerce Online Store Selling Your Own Products or Services (Shopify)

Shopify is an all-in-one commerce platform to start, run and grow a business. Whether you’re selling online, in retail stores, or on the go, Shopify has got you covered!

If you talk to a rat who has been running the wheel for years, he’ll tell you that he earns 10 times what he used to, but his quality of life has not improved. The more he works, the more he spends, and the faster his income disappears. If you want to escape this vicious cycle, create an e-commerce store and sell your own products or services.

Creating an e-commerce store on Shopify will help you sock some money away to accumulate for the future.

#2. Building Your Own Website To Blog Or Promote Other People’s Product- affiliate marketing (BlueHost)

Affiliate marketing is a popular tactic to drive sales and generate significant online revenue. Extremely beneficial to both brands and affiliate marketers, the new push towards less traditional marketing tactics has paid off.

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make. The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another. You can use Bluehost to build your website.

Bluehost is one of the best web hosting platforms in the world. Bluehost offers a range of solutions to help you get started with your website or e-commerce store; from web hosting, cloud and WordPress hosting to website builder tools. They have a special focus on meeting the digital marketing and training needs of small businesses.

#3. Promoting Amazon Products Through Their Partner Program- writing reviews on products you own or books you read

It’s no secret that Amazon is a pioneer in e-books and expanding opportunities for indie authors. But Amazon also led the way in online affiliate marketing. In 1996, Amazon was a small online book retailer run from Jeff Bezos’ garage. With a limited marketing budget, Amazon decided to tap into readers’ love of books to help spread the word.

Instead of having an initial outlay of money to buy advertising, Amazon paid people a commission when they referred buying customers to Amazon. This commission was paid after the customer bought, eliminating upfront marketing costs. This creates an opportunity to make money. You can write reviews on products you own or books you read and at the end of the end smile to the bank.

#4. Ride-share Driving (Uber) Even Without Owning Eligible Car-(Autzu-rental)

Ride-share driving is an essential part of accelerating your financial journey. You can save money all day long and limit your spending. The reality is that you will cut out so much. Thanks to Autzu, you’re allowed to earn with Uber without owning a vehicle, so the fact that you save significant amount of money on insurance, maintenance and other expenses that come with a vehicle ownership makes huge difference! Real game changer to tell you the truth. Frankly, even though earning potential is surely less than it used to be, there is still money to be made when you have no better option with same flexibility and connections this could potentially provide you with.

Drive-sharing is here and you have nothing to lose to try it out!

The 9-to-5 grind is gospel in the rat race, but it’s not the best way to put money in the bank. Instead of focusing on putting out fires and generating immediate results, consider dedicating your time to activities that build on your quality of life.

You’ve probably heard of Uber or Autzu. They’re technically called transportation network companies but more commonly known as ride-sharing companies. They use online links or smartphone apps to connect passengers with drivers who use their personal vehicles as alternative taxicabs.

Autzu provides you fully insured and well maintained vehicles ready-to-drive on ride-sharing services, at an hourly rate starting at $4/hr. You can start driving without any upfront costs. Autzu’s hourly rental fees are automatically deducted from your Uber earnings and deposited into your bank account weekly.

#5. Drop-shipping- Selling Other Businesses’ Products For a Commission (Printful)

Next on the list of business ideas is to start drop-shipping business. Drop-shipping is a practice of order fulfillment where a manufacturer/distributor ships a product to a consumer on behalf of the retailer.

Drop-shipping can be very attractive because it helps to minimize risk and cost while offering convenience and practicality. To make good profit, only sell products or services that are in vague.

Printful is the easiest order fulfillment system you’ll ever use, free to set up, and with no monthly fees! You sell products on your store, Printful automatically processes and fulfill them when orders come through, and ship them out to your customer. Easy as that!

With Printful, you can sell other businesses’ custom design products online with print-on-demand drop-shipping. Sign up for free, give it a shot and start making money.

Take Away

Once you escape the rat race, you’ll be able to move freely and appreciate the world around you without getting dizzy. Remember: Life is a journey, not the destination, and you don’t want to spend that journey on a treadmill going nowhere…

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Fighterpreneur

5 Big Struggles Aspiring Athletes Must Overcome on Their Journey

One of the hallmarks of aspiring athletes is the desire to improve themselves and a professional in the long run. Athletes at all levels use mental training and sports psychology to become better athletes, and overcome their mental game challenges. Mental training helps athletes perform more consistently, find the zone more often, keep a winning streak alive, and learn how to think well under pressure.

Georges St-Pierre before stepping into the octagon for his UFC fight

If you are an aspiring athlete but don’t know the challenges you are likely to face before becoming a professional, relax, you have made the right step by reading this post. In this post, I will walk you through the 5 major struggles aspiring athletes like you face before becoming a professional. 

Let’s get started…

#1. Time Management

The first factor that negatively hinders aspiring athletes is poor time management skills. Inability to properly find time to combine full-time employment, academics, and athletics is the leading cause of aspiring athletes’ failure. Being too devoted to their sport, aspiring athletes are inattentive to schoolwork or corporate life. Between classes, homework, practices, games, and travel, it can be a challenge to fit everything in. However, with great time management strategies, aspiring athletes can juggle all the responsibilities and accomplish academic and athletic goals.

#2. Lack Of Sponsors

Like musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs, aspiring athletes have big dreams. But unfortunately, many lack the necessary funding and sponsorships to help realize their audacious goals. A sponsor will certainly look to get associated with someone they have heard about. They would certainly want to get their money’s worth. Aspiring athletes often do not define the pathway and that makes it difficult to attract sponsors. In return for backing sports endeavors, sponsors have the potential to receive a variety of rewards and the feeling that they’ve helped aspiring athletes along the path to success. If you are currently struggling with getting sponsors, you can try out these platforms – Rallyme, SportFunder, and www.sponsor.me 

#3. Diet To Maintain Optimal Health And Fitness Levels

Many aspiring athletes will find it difficult to achieve sound nutritional practices to optimize their sports performance. Factors include poor nutrition knowledge, dietary extremism, poor practical skills in choosing or preparing meals, and reduced access to food due to a busy lifestyle and frequent travel.

Education in nutrition for the athlete needs to be practical, so as to address eating strategies and key food and fluid choices that will help to achieve the goals of sound nutrition. Strategies that can achieve a number of nutritional goals simultaneously are most useful, since aspiring athletes often find it difficult to integrate separate issues. Try using MyFitnessPal where they know very well that fitness starts with what we eat.

#4. Inability To Get Motivated To Train

Motivation is the mental process that initiates, sustains or guides an aspiring athlete’s behavior (training, approach to competition, managing adversity, performance). There are two types of motivation in sports: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Cardio is king. Importance of strong will to keeping excellent fitness level and working out on regular basis is key to success.

If you are struggling to get excited about training, you may need to reevaluate your intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Plus, you can combat this challenge by writing down your main performance goals and the exact training regimen necessary to achieve each. Also, keep track of your progress in training with something like Fitbit.

#5. Disregarding Injuries

A mistake that many aspiring athletes make is not giving their bodies a chance to completely heal from injury before continuing in competition.  The notion of “no pain…no gain” is archaic. When you disregard injuries, it will become a cog in the wheel of your progress. Therefore, get diagnosed early and be patient with rehab before returning.  Stop thinking about the time you’re missing, the disappointment in your coach, etc., and instead, focus on your long term plan to become even better once you are completely healed.

And that would be it! If you are an aspiring athlete, you need to keep these challenges in mind and find ways to resolve them so that you can become a professional athlete in the coming months.

For more great inspiration, check my video on Discipline below to stay on top of your A GAME!

What challenges are you currently struggling with as an aspiring athlete? Share your thoughts with us via the comment box below.

Stay strong & healthy!

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Fighterpreneur

Proven Ways & Strategies To Make Money From Anywhere You Live

The idea of making money from anywhere you live seemed like a novel concept just a few years. Working from wherever you want, being your own boss, and having supreme flexibility sounded great. But it just wasn’t realistic for most people.

But things have changed. There are now more options than ever, making the Internet a viable source of income. In fact, 56.7 million Americans freelanced in 2018 — up from 3.7 million in 2014.

5 ways to make money online in 2020

In this post, we’re going to take a deep dive into 5 proven strategies that fit people of all different interests levels and skill sets. We’ll discuss the specifics on how each method works, how to get started and provide helpful resources.

Now let’s get right down to it. Here’s how to make money from anywhere you live in no particular order.

#1. Virtual Assistant

This is a wide umbrella that consists of many different tasks. Virtual assistants (VAs) may:

  • Handle customer support
  • Process orders
  • Perform data entry
  • Work in project management
  • Perform content research
  • Proofread blog posts
  • Format WordPress content

The list goes on.

And there’s a huge demand for VAs. Many business owners have a ton of work but don’t have the time to handle it in-house. So they outsource to VAs for extra help to keep the workflow moving.

You’ll usually need to have some level of experience in the niche you choose. So we recommend starting with something you’re familiar with. For instance, you may be adept at using WordPress and could target gigs that involve content formatting and adding media to WordPress posts.

Once you get a few projects under your belt and start to build relationships, you can move on and expand.

How to Find VA Jobs

There are three sites we suggest checking out initially:

Upwork

Guru

CloudPeeps

You’ll need to sign up, create a profile and list your skills.

#2. Freelance Writer

Freelance writing has never been bigger. Peruse most major job boards, and you’ll inevitably find businesses seeking writers to handle a wide variety of content needs. So there are plenty of opportunities available.

And many people are making freelance writing a permanent, long-term profession. According to a 2017 survey by FreelanceWriting.com, “Over 83 percent of respondents reported they expect to continue to write for at least five years.”

As you might imagine, there’s a big disparity in terms of how much freelance writers earn, which involves several factors like experience, industry, content complexity and the number of hours worked per week.

But there’s certainly money to be made. With $25 free credit, I recommend you to check out Freelancer.com to either use for your own projects or sign up to help others and make money with your own skills. Build a nice portfolio of clients, and you can earn a nice living working completely remotely.

#3. Teach English Online

About 20 percent of the world’s population speaks English. And many more are looking to learn. Countries like China, South Korea and The Philippines in particular are looking to teach their students this language from a young age.

So there’s a good demand for English language instructors online.

There are two main criteria required for this type of work. First, you need to be fluent in English. Second, you’ll usually need to have a bachelor’s degree. Some companies may also require some type of certification such as TESOL, TEFL or CELTA as well.

In terms of earning potential, you’re usually looking at somewhere around $28 USD per hour. Schedules are flexible, but most companies will want you to commit to a set number of hours each week.

I recommend the following companies:

#4. Create an Online Course

This is another way to earn money through teaching — only it involves building your own online course around a topic you’re an expert in.

Here’s how it works.

You sign up with a company like Udemy — they’re one of the best — and check out their course development options. For instance, Udemy has a section called “Become an Instructor.”

From there, you’ll be able to plan your course and create videos and other educational content.

You can build a course around pretty much anything. Everything from business and marketing to photography to personal development — whatever you’re an expert at.

#5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate products are a common way authority site owners monetize their content.

This revolves around the practice of affiliate marketing, which Entrepreneur defines as, “A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s product for a commission.”

As an affiliate, you’re basically referring people to another company’s products, and you make a commission for every product that’s purchased through you. It’s a win-win because you’re making money without having to create an actual product yourself and deal with all of the logistics of order fulfillment, and the company is increasing their sales volume.

Here’s how it works:

Say you have a website that focuses on specialty dieting like the Paleo and Ketogenic diets. You could sell cookbooks on recipes featuring these diets.

You would first sign up for an affiliate program, most common these days is Amazon of course, but there are plenty others to choose from. Once you submit your associate profile and get approved, you can start promoting links to products with your affiliate code to your site. Any time someone buys through your site or however you decide to promote your unique personal link, you receive a percentage of this sale plus everything else that’s purchased while shopping through your referral, sounds good?

Note that you don’t necessarily have to have a website, although if you decide to create your very own online presence, I highly vouch for Bluehost as your home base. You can also promote through your social media, guest blogging or anywhere you can feature an affiliate link. It’s just that having a site is nice because you’ve already got a built-in audience and trust, which tends to make it easier to convert.

Using Your Creativity and Skills to Make Money Online

As you’ve just learned, there are many ways to make money online. Some techniques can potentially provide a full-time income, while others are more of a side hustle. However, they’re all are legitimate and strategies that we can vouch for.

Crushing it with these techniques is all about figuring out what you’re good at and passionate about and aligning it with your personal business goals.

Can you think of any other ways to make money online from anywhere you live? Please let us know using the comment box below.

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