Mediocrity is a trap easy to fall into.

It’s everywhere around us. We’ve been schooled in it since the day of our birth. And, inevitably so, as the population rises, there are even more mediocre humans attempting mediocre things.

What we aren’t shown is truly daring.

We don’t have examples of impressive audacity.

In our own lives, we can’t even dream about what that would look like.

So we set ‘big goals’, and 10x them, and increase the dollar amount, but we don’t live daring lives.

We don’t live in a way that would lead one to think that we have an understanding that our death is coming, sooner than we’d like to believe.

We live like time is infinite.

I mentioned earlier this year that I’m splitting up my reading into two parts:

  1. Marketing – something I need to get a lot better at.
  2. Greatness – men who’ve accomplished truly great things, both in our present time and in history.

So far, I’ve read about a lot of great men. Few of whom were born into a position of greatness. Even those who were born into power – like Alexander – did more with that power than any of them.

That’s a point that needs to be driven home…

We see some success stories and we search for advantages they had that we don’t. But we ignore that it’s our duty to do the best with what we have. That’s it.

Take Trump. People lambaste him for taking a $1 million loan from his old man. They say, “if I got a loan like that I’d be a billionaire too.” Odds are they wouldn’t. Not even close.

If you make $30k/year you’re in the top 1% in the world. And yet we choose to see ourselves as have nots rather than haves.

Hence, you and I have to study great men. We need to see what true greatness is, and how you don’t need a hand-out to attain it. Here are 3 guys you should study and the book’s to begin with:

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon became the emperor of the country that conquered his homeland. Think about that, first, then think about it in terms of title being everything during his time. The title you were born with was the title you would die with.

Yet, he had no title. Still, he become emperor of the very country that overtook his own. That would be like a Polish man ruling the Soviets during their reign, or an Indian becoming king of England when they ruled India. It’s incredible. The scope of his accomplishments need to be studied.

avoid mediocity by studying the life of napoleon bonaparte


James Cook

Cook, too, was born in a time when title and birthright determined what you would do with your life. He was born to a farming family. Yet he ended up becoming a Merchant Marine, gaining command of his own ship (which was a lucrative career back then), only to quit and join the Navy, starting again from the very bottom.

He worked his way up and got command of his own ship there, too. He did what no men did before him, and he did it all in the pursuit of adventure.

james cook - farther than any man book and avoid mediocrity


John D. Rockefeller

Rockefeller was born poor, dirt poor, but died the richest man in the world. Not only was he born poor, but his old man left his mother for another lady and another family.

He acquired wealth as much through audacity and daring as discipline. In fact, discipline was the main driver behind his insane ability to grow and gain power.

avoid mediocity - life of john rockefeller

Study great men as a means to get into their mind, their way of thinking, setting goals, and dreaming.

Mediocrity is all around you. You do not have to be a part of it.

Books can transport you to another time, another way of viewing the world. They’re a tool. Use books to understand what’s possible.


Be Legendary,

Chad Howse




Spend a few minutes thinking about the goal, and a few hours thinking about the process.

The other day I had a conversation with a buddy of mine. He’s a guy who’s, in part, accomplished what I want to accomplish, especially in the realm of business and family.

He’s an awesome dude.

We were talking about an aspect of my business. It’s a group that I’m building of guys that are really getting after it. We call it the Average 2 Alpha Tribe, and it’s not just about training or nutrition, though you’re taken through workouts that will change your body and your life and nutrition that will do the same, both boosting your testosterone levels at the same time, but I give you challenges to improve as a man and as a leader, books to read, all stuff that have helped me improve in my own life exponentially.

I had the goal of getting 1,000 guys into the tribe. It was in my mind as a big goal that would make a big difference.

We were talking about how the tribe is growing and he said sort of matter-of-factly that ya, having 10,000 guys in the tribe would be great.

It flipped my goal of 1,000 on its head.

After the call I took a step back and thought about other goals within my life and my business and realized I needed to spend a day to reassess where I was heading in life.

I needed to add a pinch of audacity to what I was trying to accomplish.

Setting the right goal is important.

Too often we set our sights far more moderately than we should. Why aim for 1,000 when you could aim for 10,000?

Why strive to accomplish what is easy when you could accomplish what is great?

No matter where you are in life, multiply what you’re trying to achieve by 10x.

Sprinkle your big goals with audacity and make them great goals.

The real magic, however, is in defining the process.


Having big, audacious goals is great. But the real magic is found in a clearly defined process.

Your process, your habits, your routine, will lead you to the promised land, and without them you won’t come close.

After I took a look at all of the goals in my life, I spent a couple hours a day determining what needed to be achieved to reach those goals, and then broke it down further into what I needed to do every day to make them a reality.

The time I need to wake up.

The first thing I need to do in the morning.

The primary focus of the business.

The books I need to read.

The attitude I need to have.

The people I need to talk to.

The food I need to eat.

The workouts I need to do.

Big, hairy, audacious goals excite us. They ignite a fire under our arse that leads us to work longer, more productive hours for a few days before we inevitably fizzle out and fall back into how we did things before our newfound inspiration.

It’s happened to me too often to fall back into that trap.

Victory takes a long time. It’s habitual, even boring sometimes. It consists of doing the things other people aren’t willing to do and doing them every day.

Set those massive goals.

Then spend even more time figuring out the process by which those dreams will become reality.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



Over the past week or so we’ve talked about what you need to do (discipline) and who you need to become (the code) to accomplish them.

… but what about the actual goals?

Too often we write down the first goals that come to mind. They’re the goals we think we want to accomplish but we don’t give ourselves enough time to really determine whether or not they align with our idea of our ideal life.

You may, for example, write down that you want to gross $1,000,000 this year, or $300k or $500k, but does your idea of your ideal life actually require you to earn that much?

There’s a lot you can put, but what are the best things to put as your goals?

 In the 12 Virtues we talk about finding clarity a lot.

Clarity comes when you know who you are, who you want to become, and what your values are.

It’s also something we’re almost completely missing in a society where true originals are few, and options are seemingly endless. We’re pulled in so many directions, told many narratives, that we end up following something, someone, or an idea without giving much thought about whether we really want it or not.

I run into this a lot.

When you read a lot, when you work a lot, it can be difficult to decipher which desires and ambitions are yours, and which are someone else’s.

So how do we find clarity on what we really want to accomplish?

1. You have to spend a week and form your ideal life.

Spend time every morning or night crafting your ideal life. Where will you live? What will your house look like, feel like? Who will you live with? How many horses and dogs will you have? What will your routine be?

Craft the story that you want to write. Determine what your life will be like on a daily basis, your routine, then add in a completely different narrative of what you do for fun, your adventures, your hobbies and other pursuits.

Form the life and the persona that will make you happy, give you purpose, and most importantly make you excited to get to work.

Take a week. Don’t try and do this in one sitting.

2. Do the math.

Figure out how much money you’ll need to earn and save to create this life.

Keep in mind that stuff is useless. I don’t need a new truck. My truck is just fine. So a new truck doesn’t make it into my dream life because I simply don’t care that much about getting a new one. A ranch, however, is something I definitely do want, and I’ve looked at the areas where I’d like to buy, the land I want to have, and I’ve found the prices of ranches and ranch land, along with how much I would have to put down, upkeep costs, mortgage payments, and so forth.

What you’ll find is, when you’re focusing on the most important things in life, you actually need to make a little less than you may think. (Read This: How to Spend Your Money Like a Winner)

Of course, you want to make millions, but you can create your genuinely perfect life with much less. Money is a measuring stick for how good you are at what you do, it can give you freedom, but as soon as you make it your be all end all and you attach meaning to things, money becomes a burden, it’s becomes a trap.

3. Times it by ten.

Multiply both the amount and the goal by ten. Just because this is what you need to create what you want, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t aim for more.

More is better. More, as in, asking more of yourself. The greater the goal, the more excited you’re going to be about setting out to accomplish it.

Multiply both the life, the business goal, the income goal, the savings goal, and any other goal, by ten. Bigger is better when it comes to goals, as is shorter…(Read This: Before You Set Another Goal, Define Your Life)

4. Cut the time in half.

A year is too long. Five years is way too long. Aiming to achieve a MASSIVE goal in 6 months is scary, but it can often get accomplished if enough work is done. Actually, I’d say it’s more likely to get accomplished than an annual goal because 6 months enables greater clarity.

When you have a six month goal it becomes pretty clear as to what you need to do within six months to achieve it. Bringing it to 3 months doubles that clarity as you know precisely what you need to do and who you need to be to make this audacious life your reality.

I don’t have 2017 goals. I have goals that I will accomplish within six months, and others I’ll accomplish within three months.

When I set annual goals they never get accomplished, so I’m done with them. You should be too.

5. Figure out your ideal day with what you have and who you are right now.

With all of this daring ambition sprinkled into a goal-setting scenario, you also need to figure out what your ideal day is with what you have right now.

The ‘stuff’ you’re aiming to acquire really doesn’t matter. You should be able to live a great life with where you are right now. Greatness shouldn’t have to be something that you push into the future, that you have contingencies for.

When I get a million dollars, then I’ll live the life I want.

When I make a million bucks I’ll travel, write, live as ‘the man’.

That’s what we usually tell ourselves. Then a million bucks comes and we push it to two million, or 100 million, or a billion, and we spend our lives chasing a dollar amount when our ideal life, and our ideal self could have been realized on day one.

What’s your ideal day?

These steps should help you find clarity both in what you want to accomplish this year, who you want to become, eventually, and what your end game is.

Be daring. Be ambitious. But don’t wait to become the guy that these goals need you to become. Act like the billionaire now. Be the adventurer today.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –

Fighting Mediocrity: Mindset and Goal Setting

Fighting Mediocrity: Mindset and Goal Setting

It’s easy to do what you are told, what society expects you to do. You wind up in a job that pays the bills and provides you with a sense of security that you’re told will make you happy. Where’s the excitement in that though? Where’s the opportunity to be better than you’re expected to be? (Check This Out: The 7 Step Process to Being a Badass)

The truth? Your decisions and actions.

Every decision that you make ultimately leads to a consequence in your future, either positive or negative depending on the choice. Your quest to be better than average, great, even unstoppable, begins with the decisions you start making right now. The size of the decision that you make can vary from something as small as whether or not to eat a doughnut, all the way to the big decisions in life like, ‘is this the career path I really need to be on’. The decisions that you make need to align with who you really are. What do you stand for? What’s your why? Do you really know your absolute limit? Do you even have an idea of how great you really want to be and what you’re willing to do to get there?

Being great involves taking calculated risks and working tirelessly to get where you want to go. This isn’t some aimless chaotic spur of the moment decision. Once you know what you really want and every ounce of your being believes it, you ‘prioritize and execute’.  As it’s perfectly stated in Extreme Ownership, you have to ‘prioritize and execute’ in a manner that will help you organize a plan to get things done efficiently without overwhelming you. It can start with something as small as getting up the moment your alarm goes off and making your bed to start the day. Tasks one and two? Completed. On to the next. By the end of the day you’ll look back at what you’ve accomplished and realize that being average is just another term for being lazy. When you climb into a bed you made yourself that morning, you’ll get a shot of dopamine for knowing you did it on your own. Your mind will start racing with ways you can be even more prepared than you were the day before. You want more and fortunately it’s an addictive and incredibly productive cycle.

You have to be relentless in your approach. It won’t be easy. It’s not meant to be easy. If it were, everybody would be great. Let’s be honest here for a second though. All of this requires work, and who wants to put in more work than they’re already doing for a payoff that could take a lot of time and energy? This pessimistic attitude should sicken you for even making an appearance. Average people are really just weak people right? Too weak to change what they know is holding them back? Are you weak or just not confident enough in your abilities? Chew up that weakness, swallow it, and use it to fuel the war against mediocrity.

You’ll no doubt be fighting several battles at once, and the deeper you go, the more calculated you have to become. But these battles, not too dissimilar to how real battles shape men, teach you lessons that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. The armed forces, alpinism, and few other respectful careers can actually put a person in a life and death situation; one wrong step and you meet your maker. Very few people will actually operate on that thin line, but you have to work like your life actually depends on it.

Mark Twight in Kiss or Kill wrote, “Live with commitment. With emotional content. Live whatever life you choose honestly. Get to the guts of one thing; accept, without casuistry, the responsibility of making a choice. When you live honestly, you can not separate your mind from your body, or your thoughts from your actions.”

The minute details that were the battles of yesterday are the automatic deeds of today leaving you more time to focus on the present and most important task at hand. The automatic accomplishments that you set for yourself become the standard, and every day you raise that standard  a little bit more.

But being great doesn’t just mean getting up on time and making your bed every day. It means making the right choices, continuously, that align with who you are and the goals that you have set for yourself. Goals are the big piece to this puzzle. Seemingly too easy to put time and effort to it, most people fail to set goals for themselves, leaving an easy safety net to fall onto if the going gets too tough. An unconscious decision maybe, but your mind is making sure you have that escape route to get out when all hell breaks loose. John F. Kennedy said, “those who dare to fail greatly, can achieve greatly.’”Shouldn’t you be so determined to achieve your goal that you cut the rope so you have no other option?

You have something in mind right now; some big idea that you’ve had in mind for years and put off for various reasons that you make up in your own head. Too busy, too tired, not enough money, and the list goes on. That idea, that dream, could be the goal that you’ve been looking for. The one that would make you happy and fulfilled. Maybe it’s a long way off, one that will take years to work towards, but at least it gives you direction for something that you truly want to do. Now your life has some meaning, a purpose, a new direction that heads in a place you actually want to go. (Read This: Are You Living or Existing?)

Once you have your objective, small goals need to be set. Goals are just desired results and when you achieve them, you have to already have the next one in front of you. Failing to set objectives to reach on your way to your ultimate goal will tease you into the trap of being comfortable and pleased with your progress. Average will always be there to creep up on you when you aren’t paying attention, and being complacent with your progress is an easy road back to mediocrity. The path of least resistance is always there beckoning for you to take it.

You’ve set an ambitious goal, you begin chipping away, but progress slows because you aren’t as motivated as you were at the beginning. This, is the grind. The grind can make or break a man depending on their mental tenacity. You have to be ready for it because it will come. But because you’ve already mastered your own weakness, you can feel it coming up and know the tactics to beat it into submission. Your arsenal of motivational tactics is dynamic and will ebb and flow, but you’ve already got it locked and loaded, ready to unleash hell. You may even start to compete against yourself, proving that the you of today is stronger and more capable than the you of yesterday.

“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.” –Joe Paterno

The journey is a part of the experience that can make a man realize what in life really matters. You may be just shy of attaining what you’ve worked years for, and you miss the opportunity. There’s no reason to worry, no reason to revert to the sad purposeless lifestyle you once lived. Along the way you’ve learned about the discipline, commitment, and strength that you didn’t know you had or that you taught yourself. Randy Pausch, only a few months before his death at The Last Lecture said, ‘”experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted”. Challenge yourself on a journey like this and try and find some way that you don’t improve. It doesn’t happen. No matter the route you take, if you commit yourself to it fully and come up short, you’ll still learn something about yourself. Something you did better at than you’ve ever done before, or a weakness that you never knew you had, a fully dedicated life will reveal true strengths and weaknesses and leave it in your hands to change the future outcomes.

The completion of a long term goal is a feeling that can’t be described. Achieving your goal is empowering, a huge confidence boost due to the hurdles you’ve had to jump and the brick walls you’ve had to tear down. You’ve reached the top and the view is incredible. The ultimate reward followed by the thought of “what’s next”. Driven people rarely stop. By the time they reach the peak they already have their sights set on the next highest point no matter how distant it may be. It’s the attitude that the relentless person has and one that the average joe can’t handle.  That in itself can fuel the fire even more.

So are you going to go to bed tonight with a plan to fight the path of mediocrity tomorrow morning? Do you have goals to give you a direction to head in no matter how many easy paths tempt you along your way? It’s normal to be mediocre. If you choose that route, you are a part of the high percentage of sheep that are being herded blindly towards a predetermined future. You’ll live… for a while. But at what cost? If you crave more, and dare to test your own capabilities, the choices you make starting right now will determine the speed that you’ll reach the place you want to go. No matter how high you set your goals, your decisions and your actions, both positive and negative will determine your future.

About The Author

Josh Lawson is a husband, father, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Southern University. Prior to Southern University, Josh was a strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana State University for 5 years after earning his exercise science degree from Appalachian State University.

You can contact him at –

Instagram @TheCoachLawson
The Ultimate Guide to Setting Life-Changing Goals

The Ultimate Guide to Setting Life-Changing Goals

There’s a pull that I can’t shake. I’m sitting at my dinner table writing while Teddy lounges at the base of the bay window that’s only a few feet from me and looks out onto my porch and then onto the cul-de-sac that I’m near the entrance of.

I’m in a house that I love, doing work that I’m passionate about, and yet this tug and lack of satisfaction compounds everyday. I want to be elsewhere doing more important things. I want to be in new places that scare me a little. I want to be hiking, hunting, camping, shooting, exploring, but I, like many of you, have shit that needs to get done and the more I work the more work seems to come into my life. (Read This: Adventure is Air for The Soul)

I love it. It’s a necessity and without work I’d have little meaning in my life. This pull has a few parts.

  1. There’s the distaste for mediocrity, for what “life” has become and what’s expected of me – of us.
  2. There’s the lack of satisfaction for what I’m creating, my work, and who I am. I’m not being enough, let alone doing enough.
  3. There’s the pull toward something, and it’s something I’ve experienced while I was in Italy and Argentina and Uruguay. It’s exploration that doesn’t need to occur halfway around the world or near its bottom, but it’s exploration that brings you to the present and allows you to appreciate it.

This gnawing on my soul is so strong that at times it makes me useless. I’m so preoccupied with what’s out there that I’m neglectful of what’s here.

I don’t think this attraction to the audacious and unknown is a bad thing at all. Most people have this even if they’re not fully aware of it.

Steven Pressfield has one of the best descriptions of ambition I’ve ever read when he writes:

Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundamental of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.”

Ambition is our soul telling us what will bring us meaning and purpose and value and true happiness in life, it’s something we cannot ignore. Ambition, however, or the realizing of our ambitions require far more from us than whatever it is we’re currently doing and more importantly, whoever we are in this moment.

Who we are right now is the reason for what we have – whether that’s good or bad. That’s to say, the man I am right now has led to this powerful thirst for more because he’s only produced a fraction of what my soul wants for sustenance.

As I am right now, writing on my desk that’s in my house that’s in a wonderful neighborhood, has given me what I have right now and what I can do right now. But what I have and what I’m doing on a daily basis is not nearly enough. So it’s the man, me, who must improve if I’m going to provide my soul with the nourishment that will bring me a feeling of excellence, of accomplishment, a feeling that I’m doing what I was put here to do as the man I was destined to become. (Read This: Become The Man You’re Obsessed With Being)

Life changing goals start with a vision.

The vision is ‘your unique calling’. It’s that voice that may be but a whisper that tells you to travel or to start a business or to write a book. You may push it down because it sounds unrealistic. You may even crush it because to follow it would mean turning your life, everything you’ve done to this point, upside down. But in stomping it and tempering it and killing it you’re also imprisoning the single thing that will make you feel alive, and there are few of us in this world that truly feel alive.

They then depend on the person.

The second step to real life-changing goals is figuring out who you must become to accomplish them. I immediately think of Adam Brown, the Navy SEAL who went from drug addict to husband and father of two who was also one of the world’s most elite warriors. (Read This: 9 Lessons I Learned From True American Hero, Adam Brown)

It’s an easy example because the elite warrior could not also be the drug addict. The father could not also be strung out on drugs, heroin to be exact. And if a man can go from being completely addicted to heroin to becoming a member of SEAL Team 6, then there’s no valid reason why a fella who runs a web site can’t write best-selling books or embark on adventures worth writing about. There’s no reason why a plumber can’t start his own business that finally leads to financial freedom or a school teacher can’t start selling things online, working from anywhere she damn well pleases.

The dream that’s dependent on the man, however, must be won in habits.

You are your habits. We know this. I know this. It’s my habits that don’t allow me to become the man that my most audacious ambitions require.

Let’s set the goal-setting aside for a minute and think about those dreams.

Why Aim for Average?

So we have this thing called a life. We’re given a canvas on which we can paint whatever we like, which is this world. And almost every one of us chooses – and yes it is a choice – to aspire for things that do nothing for us.

Rather than writing down the thing or things that gnaw at our very being we push them down and suppress them, only allowing them to breathe when we lay our heads down at night and dream.

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” ~ T.E. Lawrence

It sounds so foolish when you write it down. We have two choices, follow our ambitions or follow the mindless path that our society has set up for us and most of us choose to follow the path already laid out, and it makes sense.

The path already laid out requires little risk and less effort. We can be lazy and scared, we can lack discipline and persistence and still “win” at this path. We can buy the things we don’t need to impress people whom we should not aim to impress. We can rise in this path with some ease if we so choose.

However, while this path requires less risk and effort and persistence, it’s also asterisked with a guarantee that we will not feel fulfilled, happy, as though we’re living a purposeful life. We will not feel alive.

Thus, the choice to run from your ambitions and toward the monotony and emptiness of a life lived to garner the compliments and envy of others is incredibly stupid. It guarantees a life that’s never truly lived. It puts you from the womb immediately into purgatory where you wait out an entire lifetime to die and hopefully enter heaven.

Let that resonate. There is no wrong time to start living. There is no “too late” to hunt down your ambitions like you were Theodore Roosevelt in the African Savanna. Death is the constant. You will be dead and all that you will have done will have come and gone so why in God’s name would you not do what your soul begs and pleads with you to do?

And so, that pull must not be fought but fed.

Taking Action on Life

And so I get to writing…

I write down a couple things.

  1. I write down things I can do during the week – things I must do habitually during the week – that will feed my soul.

Things like shooting the rifle, the shotgun, or the bow and arrow. Hiking. Camping. Taking Teddy out to different areas outside of town at the foot of the Rockies.

  1. I write down things that I have to habitually work on.

1,000 words a day on the book – no days off. Aspects of the business that need improvement to get it to where I want it to be and what I want it to be doing.

  1. I write down the big goals and dreams and trips.

They’re dependent on habits, but if you don’t write them down you’ll have no clue what kind of habits you need to develop.

From there I work on the daily routine, which is the most important aspect of this plan, this map to life.

The habits that you need to be the man that you’re required to be if you’re to reach your goals have to be daily. You can’t take days off. Start small, then add more.

This part is on you, figuring out what you need to do to become who you need to become. After that it’s just a matter of being that guy every damn day and seizing opportunities as they present themselves.

Final Notes

If you have the goal of traveling, book the trip now then force yourself to earn it. I booked Italy for 3 months on credit, and forced myself to be financially secure by the time the trip embarked, which was 3 months later.

If you have the goal of building a business, start now, start something now. You don’t have to quit your job. When I first started this business I kept my training business for a good two years. I woke up very early and stayed up late to work on this thing. I finally needed to quit my main source of income to remove the safety net that would allow me to work on this business. (Read This: How to Get Shit Done)

A few habits that I have in my day that will help me become the man I need to become to live the life I’m being called to live:

  1. Read 37 pages a day.
  2. Wake up early everyday (even weekends). My time is 4:30am. Your time may be different. I can’t see how life can be won if you’re not winning your mornings though.
  3. Train everyday, even when I don’t want to. It should read, especially when I don’t want to. This can include running or hill sprints if I’m not lifting, but something that brings pain and something that I have to force myself to do must occur daily or life’s just too easy to get tough enough to become the man I need to become.

What habits have you incorporated recently?

What’s your big dream?

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
You can contact him at –