The Number One Factor In Success, and You Control It


Hey all, just a short post today with a great video that rolled across my desk.

It’s only a minute and a half, so watch it. Ray Lewis, one of the greatest inside linebackers in history, talks about what’s made him successful and set him apart: Effort.

He makes a great point about how effort is “between you and you”. That’s the thing I’ve noticed most in this world. There’s lots of opportunities out there. Some people are handed opportunity. Some aren’t. Most everyone has a mix there. I know I’ve been given some gifts in my life and at the same time I’ve been denied others. I’m willing to bet that you’re in the same boat.

The question is… what have you done to be successful and take advantage of or even create those gifts?

Someone else can control a lot of things that happen to you, but nobody can control what you do with what comes your way. Most people just let others control them, but you don’t have to toe the line.

When I first moved back up North from the dark times down ‘South, I was a mess. I hadn’t really trained myself in over a year. I had gained over 50 lbs of fat. I was out of shape (to say the least). I was depressed. I was confused. Looked like shit. I felt like shit. Quite frankly, the way I was leading my life, I was shit.

I had $100 to my name, no job, no clients, no vehicle (a big issue in rural Maine), and I was freezing my ass off because I moved to the Great White North in December… leaving a place where I had a damned palm tree on my front lawn.

I gotta be honest, I actually still miss that tree.

I WAS fortunate in that I had a very supportive group of friends and family, and for that I’ll always be thankful.

But needless to say, I was in a bad place.

My mental state, like that of a lot of you guys out there, hinges on my physical condition. If I’m strong, in shape, and healthy, then my head is right. If I’m not in shape, then my head is a mess. I needed to turn something around or else I was going to spiral even further down. The problem was that I couldn’t go to the gym… I didn’t have a membership or a ride. These were issues I couldn’t control.

But there was something I could control…


I searched around my old man’s place (where I was crashing at the time). I found an old set of push-up handles and an ab wheel that I had back in the day. I found a set of 30 lb dumbbells that my brother used to throw around. I had an old barn that’s totally open to the elements (no doors) and full of farm equipment to work in. So from that pretty pitiful list… I got to work.

I used bodyweight exercises.

I did countless light dumbbell snatches.

I built a set of pull-up handles out of pipe on one of the beams in the barn. My father now hangs chain from them.

I made a sled out of an old junk tire I found in the corner.

I listened to old school Metallica and AC/DC blasting from an ancient TAPE DECK stereo that I “liberated” from my brother’s old stuff.

Did I go totally Rocky IV and forge myself into an animal in that barn before taking on the entire Socialist system?

Honestly no, I didn’t. After a few weeks I started training at a gym and got my life turned around a bit. However, it started in the barn. I went out there and began the process of rebuilding my body and my mind. Out there the problems didn’t matter. I wasn’t accountable to anyone but myself. Myself and my effort.

Effort and I were like old friends that hadn’t seen each other in a while. We took a little while to catch up, but before long we were closer than ever… and it didn’t matter what anyone else said or did. Effort was “between me and me”, just like it’s “between you and you”.

Wow… I didn’t intend for this post to go in the direction it did. Sometimes as a writer you find that the mind just takes you in a direction and things that need to be said come out through your fingertips. Fuck it. I’m going to keep what I said above. Please forgive any grammatical errors, I’m just going to post it “As Is”. That feels right today.

Now that you’ve got Effort in place, sign up on the right for strategies to harness that effort into a stronger, faster body and the lifestyle YOU dream of.

Comment below with how Effort has helped you overcome challenges in your life.

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January 26, 2012

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December 5, 2011

MOM @ 12:35 am #

Awesome post, Isaac. I know that “effort” is what has shaped where you are today.” Effort” energizes, motivates, and makes things happen when we choose to put it forth.It also fuels creativity and surprise! Keep up the great work! Love,MOM.

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