jon tyson 420512 unsplash

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


But have you seen I am Not Your Guru?

You’ve read ALL the personal productivity books, done the preliminary work, defined the goal.  Maybe you’ve even created an “offical” personal mission statement.  And yet, after weeks, months and even years, “success” (however you define it) is still just as far away a dream as it ever was.

You figured that your understanding of success as *not* being measured by the size of a bank account would somehow free you of the stain of greed, and that the Gods would now surely smile upon you and grant you the more “humble” of your desires.  A rockin’ bod, maybe.  An anxiety-free existence.  Bliss; happiness with a perfect smile.  Drama-free friends!

But alas, the Gods were not impressed.  So now you’re broke (or worse yet, in debt), and while everyone else you know is living the digital nomad life (check my IG; Thailand, bitches!), you’re pulling decaf espresso shots for skinny lattes and listening to hipsters fret about ethical lama welfare.

Damn, bro.  For you, there’s no more safe zones from triggering language; no more stress-relieving coloring stations.  No number of vision boards (and no matter how cleansed of any reference to “profit” those boards may be) can save you now.

The real world, it seems, only cares about production (how rude!), and production requires smart and dedicated action.  Day in and day out.


Welcome to the grind

All that talk about the “perfect day”?  The world could give a shit.  How about try to cobble together a string of 365 halfway decent days instead?  One grand slam every hundred at bats?  Fuck off.  Gimme the consistent .300 batter with a good glove every time.

Every.  Goddam.  Time.

Success, no matter how you ultimately define it, is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate.  And yeah, it doesn’t have to be about money in the bank.  But it certainly can be.  Or it can at least be a part of it.  The fact of the matter is, a certain amount of money in the bank (or stashed in Mason jars) is a stress reliever.  We didn’t ask for this system, we were born into it.  AND we have to navigate it.

That some people who have money can be dipshits is not a money problem, it’s a people problem.  In that sense, you can think of money like alcohol: it’s a personality intensifier.  If you’re an asshole sober, well…

So why is it most people will never be successful, even by their own measure?  Why aren’t you successful now?

Why haven’t most people evolved into those higher potentials they’ve set for themselves?  Why haven’t you?

Because most people spend too much time passively “learning” versus aggressively acting.  Like entrepreneurs waiting to go to market until their MVP (minimally viable product) is perfected.  Like a writer who cannot quit editing.  They’re always “fixin’ to”, as we say in the South.

And “fixin’ to” won’t ever “get ‘er done”.

Focus on what matters, on those things that “move the needle”

The more realized you become, the more focused you must be on those few things which matter most. Yet, as Jim Rohn has said, “A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.”

And I would add, they fail to act on those important things.  They won’t get in the ring and risk being bloodied.

Another way to put it: it’s a hell of a lot easier (and safer) to critique than it is to put your balls on the chopping block with a potential solution.  Action requires risk.  Action IS risk.

Being successful requires not just hard choices, but actually acting on those choices.

For instance, to be successful, you can’t continue wasting time with low-frequency people.  So why do you continually allow these types to vampire your time and energy?  Drop them, or quit bitching about not being able to progress.  You don’t have to be a prick about it, but you do have to make the hard choice.

You’ve read every goddamn study that’s rolled out on diet.  You watch every documentary.  You’ve got a damn biochem degree by proxy.  Yet, do you consistently *not* eat sugar and shitty refined carbs on the daily?

You don’t need a PhD for this folks.  You need to actually act on what you know.  Do you know everything?  CAN you know everything?  Of course not.  This is what continual monitoring and micro-adjusting is about.

Chop the damn wood; carry that mother fuckin’ water.  You ARE gonna trip, and you ARE gonna fall flat on your face.  Get up, dust yourself off, and continue on.  You’ve just learned more from that experience than you could from a year of passive study.

Grind in action

CT Fletcher is criticized in the more “highbrow” training circles as being a dumbass who doesn’t understand “science”.  Really?  If the goal is to be jacked, I’d say he pretty well hit the target.  And he didn’t do it by debating training technique on Reddit, if you get my drift.  He moved iron, — relentlessly and on the daily — for years.


You can debate the legitimacy of the goal, but you cannot deny that the goal was met.  The highbrow training crowd needs to admit that they don’t really want to be jacked, they just want to appear intelligent / regurgitate “facts” about the act of training. Which is cool… it’s just not the same goal.

Of course, the best of both worlds is informed, passionate action.  A rarity, as evidenced by so few area-specific, high achievers.

Another head-scratching example is that of the nutrition expert who, because of the paradox of choice, is stymied as to how to nudge compliance from clients in a basic supplementation regimen.

As I’ve talked about prior, 80% of health and wellness issues can be addressed via the most basic of interventions.

  • Clean diet (meat, veggies, nuts and seeds)
  • Simple exercise (deadlift and walk, for example)
  • Basic vitamin and mineral supplementation
  • Lifestyle modification (sleep, basic stress control)

That’s it.  So simple in fact that it seems unrealistic.  But try actually implementing that for a month straight and see what happens.

Can we improve upon that?  Fuck yeah — that’s where the other 20% / long tail comes into play.  But you can’t even allow yourself to think about that 20% until the “simple” bedrock has been established.  Because without the bedrock being in place, everything else will crumble.

And you can’t biohack your way out of a faulty bedrock.

I can give you the absolute best training regimen for your goal and situation.  But it’s useless if you can’t — or won’t — implement it.   Think you’ll PED or hormone “enhance” your way out of it?  Nope.  Time and iron, brother.  That’s the only thing that will work.

I’ve seen the finest supplementation programs built on gut and blood testing.  Next generation interventions.  Fucking next-level wizardry!  And I’ve seen those same interventions fail miserably.  Why?  The client couldn’t implement the procedure.  Too complicated.

And the above was pretty much a life/death situation.  If that can’t motivate you into action, what will?  More theory?  Need another study to prove the point?

This is what the Five Ts is all about.  Action > theory; doable > perfect.

This is why I still hear the comments about my basic workout routines.  “Really, after all these years?”

Yeah, after all these years.  Because my workouts are doable, on the daily, even in light of all the entrepreneurial chaos going on around me.

“Dude, you’re jacked!  You’re ripped!  What’s the secret?”

I eat clean, unprocessed foods.  I focus on protein and fat, and cycle carbs to fuel my training.  I go by feel.  I don’t eat sugar and grains.  I ditched my car because I felt myself getting lazy and car-dependent.  Can’t be tempted to drive, if that’s not even an option.  I move iron, in some form or fashion, just about every day.

It’s the most basic of processes.  And I’ve set it up so as to be able to do it every day.  And that means reducing the complexity of it all.

Complexity gives your whiny-ass self (we all have him living in the basement of our psyches) an out.  And we can’t rely on willpower, which is an extremely limited resource.  You have to make it stupid easy.

Look, I’m no better than anyone else.  What looks from the outside like “willpower” is having very simple systems and processes in place.  That’s it.

“We do not rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochus

“Dude, you’re never sick!  And you’re like reverse aging… like Benjamin Button!”

In addition to my basic workouts, clean eating and daily movement (all supported by easy-to-implement systems and processes), I:

  • Insist on getting 8+ hours of sleep per night
  • I don’t stress.  At least, not for long.  As soon as I realize its presence, I free myself from the loop.  I am the observer, not the drama.  I claim the right to choose.  I am never the victim.  Of others, or of circumstance.
  • My supplementation program is pinpointed, informed, and ever-evolving with legitimate science.  Without me having to do the work to keep up with it all.  AND the implementation is foolproof.

ID Nutrition

Solid systems and processes lead to action.  Action over time is what changes you.  And YOU are the force that changes the world.

Live up to that task.  Create the systems and processes you need to succeed.  Then do the work.  Every day.

It’s that simple.  Yet most will never even come close to actually doing it.

How you know you’re getting closer to the target

The more successful you become —  which is essentially balancing the few essential things (spiritual, relational, financial, physical, emotional, mental) in your life and ruthlessly removing everything else —  the less you can tolerate low quality.

The more focused you become, the more consistently your daily behaviors must be of ever increasingly higher quality, for you to feel satisfied.

And again, this isn’t about perfection.  It’s definitely not about being busy all the time.

Think about it: if your daily behaviors are consistently low quality, what do you expect your life’s output to be?

If you have all the best information available on a particular subject, yet fail to implement knowledge in the real world, what good is it?

Your choices must be of ever increasingly higher quality.  Your relationships must be of ever increasingly higher quality.  And you have to act.   Every day.

The closer to the mark you get, the more satisfied you’ll feel.

Each and every area of your life affects every other area of your life. Know that how you do anything is how you do everything. This is high-level thinking, and it only rings true to those who have removed everything from their lives they hate. To actually live this principle, your daily life can only be filled with those things you highly value.

The systems and processes you create have to include only the essentials.  You have to trim the fat. As Bruce Lee so famously said:

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease.  Hack away at the unessential”

When your days are filled with only those core essentials that mean the world to you, and you’re succeeding in those few areas, you will eventually dominate those areas of your life.  In time, the only things in remaining in your life will be the things you highly value. Everything else will have been extricated.

At this point, effortless momentum and balance will be yours.  And progress will be a natural consequence.

Set the goal.  Navigate by smart systems and processes.  Make those systems and processes stupid simple.  ACT!  Feel the feedback; adjust course as necessary.

Heal thyself, harden thyself, change the world –


Previous articleThe Meek Shall Inherit the Earth?
Next articleThe Continuous act of Becoming
Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.