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Here’s a radical concept: Begin Where You Are.

This morning I drove by a billboard for a Crossfit gym that read “Fitness is only earned.” To test this statement I took a quick inventory of the non-negotiables in my life.The term non-negotiables refers to our sacred life ingredients that cannot be removed or substituted.


Our five (or so) primary life ingredients form the basis of all success in our lives. My five non-negotiables are Soul, Vitality, Family, Art, & Work. Success is the continual expansion of each of my non-negotiables, and true to the billboard, fitness in each of these areas has only ever been earned.

Think of fitness as it applies to your spiritual, physical, familial, artistic, and vocational life. Chances are you feel extremely fit in some areas, and not-so-much in others.


That’s totally normal, and rather badass.


Here’s why: The perpetual calling toward fitness in each of these areas leads our lives forward. Nobody achieves perfection across all areas and then becomes exalted as a model of what the rest of us should aspire to. Their work continues.


Fitness can’t be bought, or deserved through waiting around.
Fitness isn’t won in the defeat of some real or
imagined adversary.
Fitness can only be earned through consistent, focused,
and accumulated effort.


Depending on your lens, the idea of “no shortcuts” can either be mercilessly aggravating, or inspiring.


If you honestly believe you deserve a shortcut, go gettem tiger! Maybe you can shove your way to the front, or whine loud enough to get the grease. Believing you deserve a shortcut, and actually being granted one are two different things.If you’ve ever run a marathon, birthed a child, or made it further in your life or career than anyone thought possible, it’s likely you’ve thanked the long, difficult road for the gifts (and fitness) it gave you. Certainly the next round was easier, and you become tougher and wiser.


Although marketers would have us think so, you cannot buy a shortcut down the road toward your objective. You can buy tools or knowledge that can help, but it’s a wasted investment unless you actually put the time in to integrate it.
Recently one of my most-respected mentors told me my concerns for my business were “at step #187”, and to even get there I’d need to start by focusing on where I currently am.

This is why we surround ourselves with brilliant people who have traveled the path, but DAMMMMNIT!!! Hahahahaha.

It’s in our infinite vision and desire that we can see all possibilities long before they manifest. But the goal here isn’t to die with our fifth symphony still inside us. We can easily jump way too far down the road, thinking we can hang with those who have put the work in.

I needed to take note, look directly around me, and right beneath my feet. We get so convinced that the grass is greener elsewhere, or anywhere beyond where we now stand. The depths of the work we need to do is too daunting.
What if the grass is greenest right beneath your feet? What if you’re currently nurturing a dream opportunity that is 100x bigger than that shiny carrot that keeps moving down the road?


The only way you’ll ever truly know is to begin where you now are. It’s easier than you think. Here are a few steps.


Here are 3 Things to Consider as you


1. Refine your circle of supporters. No one outside of you can determine where you are in your journey. Wherever others are is largely irrelevant, unless they are directly mentoring, or inspiring you. Are there people in your social feeds who induce what Charlie Gilkey calls “compare & despair” thoughts in you?  Block them, or unsubscribe. If they inspire you, bless them and offer to be their unpaid intern.

We’re all guilty of glossing up our personal brands, and/or sharing only the highlights. (Trust me, I’m happy that you do because sharing the mundane, negative crap is exponentially worse. Hahaha)

Remember that nobody gets a shortcut. They’re all working it out, just like you are.

2. BEGIN is the freakin’ operative word here professor! Take action. Enroll in classes, go buy the book, meet the people who have done what you’re trying to do. Literally get off of your ass or pick up the phone and call them. Begin right this second before you think of one more reason not to.Chances are, you’ve already begun long ago and finishing has been the problem. Willing the action necessary to begin again is a win. Never stop beginning again until this shit is in the can. Every mile of a marathon is a new beginning, even with 23 down and 3.2 to go.

3. Inventory your gratitude. Recognizing where you are and how far you’ve come naturally ratchets up gratitude. First, for ourselves as tenacious finishers, and then for the circle of champions around us.


FACT: All of us are currently living
out some prior dream we once
thought was impossible.

<— Click to Tweet –>


Acknowledging these wins and reverse-engineering them reminds us we have what it takes. No one can sell you on that. No one can take it away. It has been earned, and you own it.


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4 Responses

  1. Love the idea of defining non-negotiables. Your stuff has been so hard hitting lately KC. Thanks for the much-needed “kick in the happy pants”.

    I’ve been in a place of forgetting how much I’ve actually accomplished this year. Just always working on the next stuff, you know?

    Your approach to life, work, and family has me inspired to go deeper.

    And now back to my FITNESS regimen. : )


    1. Hey Stacy, thanks for the comment. I'll be going deeper into each of the non-negotiables in the coming days. Much love and have a great week.


  2. Love love love it. Life is a never ending cycle of new beginnings. Awesome insight and advice. Keep it coming brother.

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