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Ego: The Barrier to Progress

Two months ago, I went on a cruise with my family. While walking on deck one day, my brother looked at me and said, “Dude, you need to buy some bigger shirts. You are definitely not a ‘medium’ anymore.”

When I heard those words, I got defensive and upset. It hurt. It was a blow to my ego. But honestly, I knew he was right. For months, it looked like I had been smuggling a 10-pound bagel under my t-shirt. My pants were all tight… and not the good kind of tight. My chin was slowly disappearing and merging into my neck. I was becoming a person I did not want to be.

*Boop*

My brother’s comment was my wakeup call. It was time to start taking care of myself.

I began by making small changes. I started by doing yoga twice a week. I would not allow myself to go home on Tuesdays or Thursdays without first going to Yoga class.

A few weeks into yoga, I had a conversation with one of my instructors. “My arms and legs tingle when I hold some poses for a long time. Is there anything I can do about that?”

“You need to improve your circulation,” she said. “Start swapping one meal every day for a green smoothie.”

Step by step, I made little changes.

Three weeks ago, I quit my job and moved back home to Salt Lake City.  The first thing I did was make sure I had healthy food in the fridge, and then I found myself a gym.

Today’s workout was brutal. Out of everyone in the class (8 girls and 2 other guys), I was lifting the lowest weight… and I was struggling with it.

At this point, I have no ego left.

But, if I’ve learned one thing over the last few months, it’s that ego stands in the way of progress. It’s easy to cop out of a workout because you fear how other people will look at you. It’s easy to try to cheat on your reps so you can beat someone that you feel should be weaker than you. It’s easy to cave in to peer pressure and order junk when eating out with your friends because you don’t want anyone hassling you for ordering a salad.

Excuses are for those who need their ego as a crutch.

“I don’t have enough time.”

“It’s too expensive.”

“I don’t have a support system.”

“Life is short, I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.”

“It hurts too much.”

Ego is often the only thing standing between you and progress. Set it aside. Do something hard. Start small and work your way up. Fear of embarrassment cannot not be the barrier between you and your goals.

What goals is your ego standing in the way of? What is keeping you from pulling the trigger to change your life, start that project, or create that movement?

Victory!

The Loveumentary

The Loveumentary

“Are there many marriages that you look at that make you really excited about getting married? Do you ever see married couples and think, ‘Man, I really want what they have.’?”

That was the question I asked my best friends over dinner this weekend. Aside from a few notable exceptions, generally speaking, the answer was “no.”

Everyone knows a couple with an amazing relationship. Maybe they still flirt like honeymooners after being together for decades. Maybe they constantly spoil each other with acts of thoughtful kindness.  Maybe we catch them exchanging longing glances in even the most unromantic situations.

Amazing relationships like this exist, but it seems to me that more often than not, they are the exception to the rule rather than the standard.

At 28 years old, living in a very family-centric society, I get a lot of pressure to be earnestly on the lookout for my future spouse. Yet I look around at most marriages and I think, “Is that it? That’s what I’m ‘striving’ for?”

I don’t know if I want what most people have.

I mean. I want love… I want it desperately.

I long for companionship. I crave someone who will love me completely and unconditionally despite my many many flaws.

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wants anything other than that…

But I don’t want a mundane marriage. I fear monotony and boredom. I’m terrified of what has come to be the status quo… and I absolutely will not settle for it.

It’s because of these feelings and observations that I’ve decided to embark on a journey of discovery. I’m starting a project called “The Loveumentary.” I want to find out what it is that sets this small demographic of blissfully happy couples apart from everyone else. I want to know what it will take for me to have what they have… and similarly, what YOU need to do to have it.

It’s time for people to get the real answers to our questions about love and relationships. No more of this reality-TV-Hollywood-manufactured-plastic-surgeon-prescribed-Maxim-Magazine-endorsed bull crap that we’ve been fed our whole lives. I’m going to be tracking down real couples – the blissfully happy ones mentioned above – and asking them real questions in the hopes of getting real answers.

The site will be officially launching very soon. Before launching, I’d like to have a bit of content to show off… so if you know of any couples whom you admire and think would be willing to have a chat with me, I would love it if you’d drop me a line.

I’m really excited about this journey — first, for what I believe I will gain from it, but most importantly because there are so many others with my very same worries and questions. It’s my hope that we can all walk away with something we can do to improve our relationships with those we love. Thank you for your love and support as I take this plunge into a world I know very little about. I hope you join me on this journey to understand the types of relationships that only a lucky few have attained.

-Nate

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my Mom’s birthday. If you know my Mom, you know that (aside from her family) she loves to do nice things for people.

Since I can’t be there to give her a birthday hug, I decided to do the next best thing and show her how much I love her by doing something nice for others on her behalf… with dollar bills. But, being the poor, wandering nomad-of-a-child that I am, I need your help to make it happen.

I started a Charity Water campaign in my Mom’s name today. My goal is to raise $300 that will go straight to help people get clean drinking water. 100% of the funds raised go right to the families, villages, and communities who need it. It’s a really cool program.

Watch this video to figure it out… then donate. It would mean a lot to my mom… but even more to me.

Did I mention it’s a tax write-off? Cause it is.

Thanks for showing your love and spreading the love!