“Confidence is shunned in our society. It is not popular to get up and say, ‘HELL YES! I’m good enough.’ It almost seems more appropriate to say, ‘I’m not deserving of it’ or ‘I don’t belong.’ This negative thinking is bullshit.”
These are the words of Josh “JB” Bowen, one of the best personal trainers in the US. In his new book, Your Time Is Now, Josh’s words have such energy and passion that you feel inspired just by reading it. After I put the book down, I felt empowered. My spirits were suddenly lifted and my negative way of thinking had been challenged. I no longer fear failure like I did before and I am going to work harder than before to achieve my goals.
A real-life example of Bowen’s work ethic came when he decided to write this book for his best friend, and at the same time he took on the task of working a 24-hour training shift (alone I might add). Why did he work so long? He wanted to donate to his favorite charity, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. So, for 24-hours Bowen alone trained individuals or groups without resting. Men’s Health recognized him for his efforts and I share this story with anyone who will listen. I am a personal trainer and this is one of the most incredible feats I’ve ever known in the fitness industry. Hat’s off to Josh!
You may be wondering where Bowen gets his motivation from. Once, he was blindsided by a vehicle going 80mph while he was stopped at a red light. He walked away unscathed and the driver was never found. From that day forward Bowen has developed a new appreciation for time.
“Why do we waste time not doing the things we want to do in this world? Why do we waste time being with people who do not make us better? More importantly, why do we put off doing things that make us happy?”
It is clear that Bowen’s near-death experience has affected his way of thinking. He’s speaking from an experience that could have easily taken his life. I am reminded of a time when my dad showed me an article of a drunk driver who had taken someone’s life. I was not even of driving age, but the point was to learn from someone else’s tragedy and avoid ever making this type of mistake in life. I see a similar lesson in Bowen’s accident, although he was not at fault in any way. Don’t wait until a tragedy occurs to take life by the horns. Learn from his experience and take action. Your Time Is Now.
Of all the lessons taught in this book I enjoyed the ones on perfection more than all the others. It was here that I learned about something I’ve never heard of before, the Nirvana Fallacy. The Nirvana Fallacy occurs when you compare actual things with unrealistic, idealized alternatives. One example of this phenomenon is when someone says that drunk driving ads will not stop people from drinking and driving, so why even try? In fact, the objective is not to eradicate the problem but to simply reduce the number of people who drink and drive. As Bowen said, “perfection does not exist,” instead, “seek progress.” He even uses a quote from George Orwell to further support his ideology. “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.”
An equally important section of the book for me was “stop comparing yourself.” Like Josh, I hear it from my clients all the time. I want to look like so and so. I want her butt, her thighs, his abs, etc. I too have said or thought such things. I remember instances where I noticed that a guy standing next to me was lifting more weight than me. This often made me increase my weight before I was ready, because I was comparing myself physically to someone else. This can lead to injury. I have purchased vehicles I could not afford to keep up with the Jones’ because I was comparing myself financially and materially. This can lead to bad credit and years of paying off debt.
Instead of worrying about perfection, we should realize that everyone has their own struggles. We are all jealous of other people, no matter how “perfect” we may seem to be on the outside. The point is to keep trying to improve yourself. As long as you continue to improve and get closer to becoming the person you want to be then you are making progress.
“We all are born unique and different from everyone else. Therefore, we should celebrate our individuality and not worry about what anyone else is doing or what his or her life looks like.”