Let’s Talk About Success First – Ryan E Sanders – Medium

It’s interesting, after that first post, my wife let me know she read it. I’m really appreciative of her for this as she has been working really long hours that last 3–4 weeks, service as an admin to some really cranky, unthoughtful and overbearing individuals within her department. One thing she said to me really stuck out… “Ryan, that was a tough one to get through” as she smiled at me hesitantly wondering how I would respond.

It Was Tough To Get Through…

Well my wife was spot on, those were some deep, hard times in my life and writing through those experiences definitely brought up some old and deep routed emotions for me. Being beaten to a point where I felt I was within inches of losing my life… was tough. Never achieving success in sports and accepting to myself that I never was going to be a pro in sports… was tough. Lighting a fire of success in my own personal fitness, seeing insane results and then later falling off miserably… was tough.

The Pain May Endure For A Season

In reality, we all have experiences that are really tough to deal with. My challenges may resemble yours in ways or they may be in stark contrast. Regardless, they only endure for a season. To whatever extent that may be, who is to say but they are definitely finite. That’s why I wanted to get into the areas of success. For me, that first pivotal moment came based of inspiration. I was inspired to move towards a goal I had never accomplished before. It was fun, challenging, had many unknowns and resulted in yielding many fruits for me at the end of 8 months.

Let’s Talk Success

In my initial start towards achieving the best physical fitness and physique I had ever achieved (pictured below), the fact that this was all new to me was the same reason I remained engaged. I had no prior knowledge or expectations other than being told “follow this series of programs and you will yield results similar to these over here.” So that’s what I did and here’s where I landed. Sounds simple right?

Progress — End of May 2013

Let’s Go Deeper On This Simple Thing

I want you to stop and think about a journey in your life that required a significant period of time to achieve results and position you to feel like you were successful. Maybe it was school, successfully graduating high school, college, graduate school or even a PhD. Perhaps it was many hard and long years of climbing the corporate ladder or taking the headlong dive into the entrepreneurial world, either of which you’ve found yourself in a place of success. It could be something deeper, like battling infertility to start a family or fighting cancer and overcoming those heavy burdens you endured to reach that benchmark of accomplishment and success. How long did that event take? How many hours, days, weeks, months and years did it take for you to arrive to a point of success?

It Takes Time

Many of you may be thinking at this point, ‘Ryan I wasn’t successful and I’m stuck right now!’ Well as far as fitness, health and overall lifestyle change, hang in there, I’ll talk about falling short another time. (I want to keep this one upbeat). Simply, your path to success takes time. Remember how I said that each journey has a finish line, we just don’t know when we’ll get there exactly? Kinda like a Spartan Race, you heard of those? Generally, you are given an range of miles you’ll run and an estimate number of obstacles, but you have absolutely no idea how many hills, water obstacles or other challenges are along the path. Plus depending on where you run, the weather could change on you drastically as well… trust me, I know as I’ve run several of them.

Spartan Race Results — Finished 10 Between 2015 & 2016

There Will Be Storms Along The Way Too

The point is this, when I set out to obtain this new, top fit and healthy body, I didn’t know where my hills, water obstacles or other challenges were along the way. I definitely wasn’t expecting the severe weather that came along either. Yet I trusted the process and keep looking to challenge myself to be a better version of me.

What I Learned From This Experience

It was GREAT to have a body I had always dreamed of having. I could do so much more in fitness, like hiking hills/mountains tirelessly, running at quicker paces for longer periods, and pushing so much harder in my workouts. I also saw gains in confidence, primarily at work which translated to raises and a promotion (which was another raise). What stood out most was the value of DISCIPLINE.

A Ship Lost at Sea Without a Rudder

Without discipline, I would not have achieved. Without discipline, I would not have made the decision to pursue a better life via fitness. Without discipline, I would not have finished those 10 crazy spartan races. My desire was definitely important, but it took discipline to live it out. The commitment was necessary, but without discipline it would’ve faltered. Success does not come without discipline and that’s what I value most about the 8 months I spent transforming my body to something new… and it was so worth it!

So How Do You Start The Process Towards Change

Simple. As the company I use to coach for would say often, “Decide. Commit. Succeed.” ‘Ryan, there’s no way it’s that simple!!’ Well, it is. It’s why I’m developing a program right now to address the every obstacle possible that will get in your way of achieving the body you most desire. It’s why, for you, I’m creating a program that’s so simple, it almost leaves you in disbelief. The reason why this process becomes difficult is because we’ve started to lose belief. For whatever reason, trial or obstacle in life, we get knocked down along the way and decide that ‘we can’t get up anymore.’

You Can Get Up and I’m Here To Help You

I’ve been there so many times, starting a new program, even professing to the world that I was going to start again and telling my audience to “stay tuned” only to fall off 2–3 weeks later. It was embarrassing! But…If you remember from my last post, I said that ‘When My Mindset Changed, I Changed.” I’ll cover this later as well, but for now, think about what it is you truly want and ask yourself why you want it. Once you have that drilled down, ask yourself how you’re going to achieve that goal (say gain 5 pounds of lean muscle mass by going to the gym to lift weights with a friend 3 days/week). Finally, ask yourself what it is you truly seek. If you focus on the ‘why’ and really make it something that’s worth a lifetime (for example ‘being a great example for your spouse or kids or maintaining a lifestyle that helps you lead in your job/community), the how and what will come in time. Stick with this and know I’m here to help, it’s a long journey, but believe me it’s worth it!

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