I had a great conversation with my barber yesterday. I entered the barbershop, greeted by the sound of the door ringing, announcing my presence, and by the smile of my barber. We said hi to each other and I took my number and awaited my turn to get my much needed haircut. I sat down and listened to a podcast until my buzzer went off and then I got up and made my way to his chair.

Like any great barber, he’s great with conversation. I believe that’s a vital skill for being a barber. If you can make your customer feel at home with a good chat and provide a great service, then you’ve got what it takes to be a great barber. Joe had that in the bag.

He asked me about my phone, he had noticed me watching my podcast on it and wanted to know what kind it was. I told him it was the iPhone SE, and that the reason why I had chosen to go with that iPhone was because it wasn’t as bulky as the newer ones and because I was kind of cheap. I took it out and showed it to him. The screen lit up and he saw the picture of my daughter on my lock screen.

“Oh, is that your daughter,” Joe asked me. “She’s a cutie, man.” I smiled and thanked him for the compliment, and he proceeded to tell me that he had triplets and twins, all girls! What a saint. I couldn’t imagine being so outnumbered by girls like that. We started talking about our girls and he mentioned that one of his daughters was a personal trainer and that got us talking about the gym.

Joe told me that he had noticed a difference in people who go to the gym and those who don’t. “What’s that,” I asked him as he clipped away at my hair. “Well,” he said “people who go to the gym are building energy up, always building it up and letting that bad energy go.” “They’re usually happier and more humble too.”

My eyes lit up. What an great observation! I had recognized the same thing, but when he put it into words like that it really resonated with me. Joe was right. Most of the people that I know who exercise regularly aren’t the ones who are in a bad mood or low on energy. Those people are the ones who don’t exercise, who live their lives attached to a screen and feed off of drama.

The gym-goers I know are, for the most part, very kind and laid back people. They have good energy and they are the type to say hi to you when they see you and congratulate you when they see you accomplish something. They’ve built their energy up and they’re confident in themselves.

The regular exercisers aren’t looking to put other people down, often times they used to be in a place where they weren’t too happy with themselves either, and they’re sympathetic to those who haven’t gotten out of that place. What they did was exercise and built their own energy up and let that energy that was holding them down out when they worked themselves out. It’s like what Drake said, When problems hit the gym, they all work out.

We are electrical beings. We need to be building up charge and discharging energy that is stagnant or harmful. That’s what we’re doing when we work out. There has been many a time when I was feeling down in the dumps or stressed out, but I dragged myself to the gym and as soon as I started working out I started feeling better, and by the time I left the gym I was feeling great.

Most of the guys I knew at the MMA gym who were absolute terrors on the mats are some of the most humble and kind people I’ve ever known. They would tear me apart and then fist-bump me and smile and tell me I did a good job. Those kind of people have gone to war with themselves by putting themselves through tough exercise everyday and came out of it defeating their demons, and what was left over was a kind and humble human being that could tear your head off if they wanted to. Through war on themselves, they found peace.

Hard work recognizes hard work. There is a great comradery between athletes. They all aspire to do their best and want the same for each other. Even athletes on opposing teams have respect for each other. Sure, there’s a few bad apples in the bunch, but overall I’ve found that most athletes will cheer each other on because they recognize each others hard work and respect it.

You’ll hardly ever find a high-performance, successful individual who doesn’t take care of their bodies. I know that when I see a man who is highly successful and is also jacked I think, oh that makes sense. It doesn’t surprise me that someone who is physically successful is also successful in other areas of life.

Exercising and building your body and mind to be better than they were before isn’t easy, and when you’ve done that yourself you start wanting it for other people. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve been at the gym and asked someone stronger than me for a spot. They didn’t put me down because I didn’t lift as much as they did. No, they cheered me on and pushed me to go harder.

I’d see that same person outside of the gym and they would greet me like a long time friend. We have similar goals, similar struggles and we see another person putting themselves through difficulty to be better. We understand each other to a certain degree without ever speaking more than a few words to one another because we’re putting ourselves through the same challenges and that creates a sort of brotherhood and mutual respect.

I’ve been on the other side of that coin myself as well. If I go to the gym with someone who is a beginner or isn’t as experienced as I am, all I do is encourage them. I would never look down on anyone would can’t lift as much as I can. Most people can’t even get themselves to the gym and I would never discourage anyone who does because that in itself is an accomplishment.

It can be embarrassing starting off and seeing all these beasts of human beings doing incredible things in the gym around you. I know it was for me. But I’ve seen many people keep up with it and not only did they change physically, but mentally as well. They’re happier, more confident in themselves, and they have a lot more energy.

The people I know who don’t exercise are typically low energy, negative and unhappy. Their energy is stagnant and doesn’t get circulated very well and it leads to all kinds of problems. They’re usually the type to be on a screen all day or to get into internet battles, telling everyone that they suck without turning to look at themselves. I’ll see it all too often, someone on the internet talking crap to an athlete or someone working to be better, even shaming their bodies and then I’ll look at their profile and see an unhealthy, out of shape man or woman who obviously isn’t happy with themselves and is taking it out on other people. Its sad and pathetic.

Build your energy up, and work that bad energy out. Finding a way to improve your mood and your life in general can be a simple as exercising. You don’t have to be a fitness model. Start wherever you are and focus on improvement and you’ll start to see improvement in all areas of your life.

There’s a difference in energy between those who exercise and those who don’t. Maybe you’ve noticed it too, and if you haven’t then observe the people around you and see what you find. Notice not only the physical differences, but the mental and emotional ones as well. The difference is real and its up to you to decide which side you want to be on.


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