Happy Moments

Image ID : 53068853
Copyright : anyaberkut

All too often, we carry around feelings of negativity and allow them to color our days. If we are feeling anxious, dejected, or angry, then we will create that environment for the day. And then what happens? we may say, “well it figures” or “I knew this was gonna be a crappy day”, because it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, we will have to deal with bad days every now and then, but if we can start every single day with good intentions and a positive mental attitude, we’ve won half the battle against challenges and upsets.

So this is what I want you to do today, especially if your day is especially frustrating or challenging:

I want you to call to mind one of the happiest moments in your life, a moment in which you felt pure joy, pride, elation. Bring it into view. Remember how you felt.

Now I want you to carry that memory with you throughout your day. Allow yourself to bask in that moment, to reminisce. See how it changes your attitude towards the day. Take note of how you respond to minor irritations today.

You know something? You can take that happiness, carry it with you every day. If your happy moment had something to do with an accomplishment, then allow that feeling of pride to shine through, to empower you today.

We all have the power to transform our days, our lives. Simply by harnessing positive, happy thoughts, we become powerful, we become strong.


Sit Up Straight!

If you have a tendency to slouch in your seat, you need to pay attention! Poor posture has detrimental effects not only on the body, but also on one’s mood and general attitude.

Poor posture causes muscles in our neck and upper back to become overstretched, while causing other neck muscles and muscles in our torso and between our ribs to become cramped and overstimulated. The muscles in our chest become dominant, and pull our shoulders and upper arms inward and forward when we habitually adopt a stooped posture. This position puts a tremendous load on the diaphragm, and respiration suffers as a result. Even digestion becomes sluggish because the body cannot properly oxygenate and blood cannot circulate as well.

Poor posture can negatively impact your emotional state and confidence, not to mention how others perceive you. If you’re slouching right now, think of how you feel emotionally, mentally. Are you down, depressed? Now sit up straight and take a couple of nice, deep breaths. You should notice an immediate shift in attitude and mood.

Proper spinal alignment also has a positive effect on hormone levels. One Harvard study revealed that an erect posture, with shoulders back and spines nice and straight correlated with a 20 percent increase in testosterone levels and a 25 percent decrease in cortisol levels, while subjects who slouched experienced a 10 percent decrease in circulating testosterone levels and a 15 increase in cortisol.

Lastly, the way you carry yourself has immense bearing on how others perceive you. If you meet someone whose shoulders are pulled forward, your impression may be that the person isn’t the most motivated or energetic you’ve met. Yet if that person had a nice upright stance, with shoulders pulled down and back, your impression would probably be very different.

With some conscious effort, you can correct a hunched posture. Try this stretch at least a couple of times each day, and you will slowly begin to notice a correction in your posture. This is great for resetting the brain and creating more awareness of how you carry your body throughout the day.


Stand with your back to a wall, feet together with heels touching wall, and arms hanging at your sides. Relax your shoulders, then pull them back so that they make contact with the wall. Stand in this position for 30 to 60 seconds, taking slow, deep breaths.
When you are ready to step away from the wall, keep your shoulders in the same position. Be aware of how you are breathing, and how your back feels when your shoulders are kept back


You Got This!

In keeping with the fact that we are approaching the last NPC Pro Qualifier contest of the year in November, I figured it was a perfect time to talk about envisioning your goal, whether it be the attainment of a Pro Card or some other coveted prize. The key is to adopt the attitude that you have already reached your goal, because such an attitude carries immense power and forces you to adopt an “I won” attitude. I chased after a Pro Card for five years, and I honestly believed that it was only after I had adopted the attitude in 2013 that I already WAS a Pro that my energy truly changed.

Focus is not enough. In order to truly draw the proper energy, you need to envision already reaching your goal. You can always tell when a competitor is “on” because he or she will throw off sparks of “I got this” confidence. There is a glow about that person onstage which sets him or her apart from everyone else. It has less to do with a great suit or great posing (though those things help too) and everything to do with owning that “I won” attitude. I have seen it repeatedly and I also know I had that glow when I won my Pro Card.

So if you have been hitting the stage or the gym with a “Please pick me” attitude, you need to scrap that and truly own the attitude that you have already locked down the win. Even if you don’t nail down a Pro Card spot, you can take that attitude with you to future events and maximize your chances of getting high placings with your confidence.

Customer Service?

bad-serviceI went into a store today to make an exchange for products which I had purchased, and explained that I could not locate the receipt. The proprietor was rude and abrupt with me, responding to me with such derision that I came VERY close to telling him where to stick it and storming out of the store. However, I maintained a calm demeanor and continued to listen to his rant. He agreed to give me store credit for the items which was approximately 30% of what I had originally paid for the items, which I reluctantly agreed to. What bothered me was that I am sure he is quite accustomed to bartering in his homeland, but this is not something that is commonly practiced here in the United States. If I had the time to go to another store branch and deal with a nicer person, I would have, but I had to get this errand checked off my list.

I began asking him what he had in the store, and of course his store selection was a complete joke. He kept trying to sell me things I did not need, even when I showed him a LIST of items I was low on! I finally found one essential item which they had in stock (big surprise, it was the store brand), and when I asked what the price was, I almost fell over in shock. I flat out told him I could get that item (which was a BASIC item) online for a mere fraction of what he was charging. When I said that, I could see that he became immediately suspicious about my purchases, doubting whether I had truly purchased items from the store (YES, I had). I am not a liar and I don’t appreciate being accused of lying. His expression told me enough. Once again I wanted to walk out of that store.

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true...

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true…

I then asked him if he had a specific brand name product and he immediately tried to turn me to a product from a different brand which was not comparable to what I was asking about. He ARGUED with me, telling me that what he had in the store was the very same thing. I mentioned ingredients from both products to reveal the stark difference, but he persisted with his hard-sell attitude. It was very clear that he was accustomed to dealing with customers who didn’t know the first thing about the products he carried, and that he relied on feeding them convincing yet erroneous sales pitches to get them to spend a bundle of money on items they did not need.

One thing is for sure: the only way I would EVER step into that particular store is if I had an event there. In that scenario, I would be pleasant and would probably enjoy the look of confusion and embarrassment which would wash over the proprietor’s face. That would almost be worth the loss of money from the jacked up store credit I got from returning products I purchased there!

Fit For Stage…There Is A Difference

Original post can be found here: http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-life-inspiration-and-dedication/9699-fit-for-stage-there-is-a-difference.html
NY Pro Stage shot
We all know that the general population is pretty resistant to the idea of packing on the massive amounts of muscle which are seen in men’s and women’s bodybuilding. This has made the men’s physique and bikini divisions incredibly enticing since these divisions are represented by a lesser degree of muscularity. However, it drives me nuts when I hear people proclaim that they are going to jump onstage and compete simply because they are reasonably fit.

I am not referring to people who have realistic expectations and who understand that there is a tremendous amount of work and prep that must go into delivering a great package onstage. I am referring to the self-assured, short-sighted individual who thinks that he or she represents the division without recognizing areas which need to be fine-tuned.

I have recently heard a number of fit individuals tell me that they feel they are ready to hit the stage without any preparation or fine-tuning since, in their minds, there is no distinction between what they have to offer and what competitors work so hard to achieve. To me this is an extremely disrespectful approach to the sport.

Those of us who compete are constantly aware of the need to achieve a personal best and take being onstage and representing our divisions very seriously. We understand that the work needs to be put in if we need to round out pec development, work on taper, or fine tune our level of conditioning. So when some newbie comes along expecting to grab a spare pair of board shorts, slap on a Mystic tan and rock the stage, I can’t help but snicker. I know that the newbie who adopts such a cocky attitude can be found dejected post-contest, shocked that his fit body didn’t take down the rest of the competition.

If you have yet to compete and have yourself convinced that you have nothing to learn about the division or the culture, you need to abandon such an attitude and instead learn some humility. There are so many outstanding representatives of the sport who are willing to guide new competitors and offer constructive criticism that you would be foolish not to avail yourself of their experience and knowledge. Make the journey one in which you LEARN and GROW.