How to Start a Grass-roots Podcast that breaks 1000 unique listeners in 6 months

Quarantine is forcing a serious uptick in content creation. People who would normally focus their productivity elsewhere are forced indoors with nothing left to do but think. My fellow extroverts the world over are craving an outlet to express themselves and interact with others in a world where they see the same scenery and people day in and day out. A lot of people have been reaching out to me about starting a podcast and asking questions about how to do so. After all there are so many different decisions that you have to make in terms of:

Where to host your feed?

What kind of microphone to buy?

What applications you should use to record your podcast?

Why you should start a Podcast

Most importantly it is your constitutional right to share any message you have with the world. This flow of information is a supplementary check to our government that is embedded within your first amendment right to free speech. After all yellow journalism and muck-raking were a severe check to our government and business in the early 19th century. The only way a movement gains footing is when the people are educated about it. 20 years ago there were severe obstacles and barriers to entry for people who wanted to share a message with the world. Now-a-days the gatekeeper is dead. You can literally click any of the links above start a podcast tomorrow and no one can stop you. We are in unprecedented times.

The growth of podcasting and projected growth is enough to make you want to hop in on the tidal wave. I met a random dude in a cigar shop who convinced me to quit bullshitting and start my podcast. His comment, “A rising tide raises all ships. If you bring more people to podcasting it helps me as a podcast producer and content creator.” Podcasting is growing extremely fast right now. Take these highlights for example

Podcasting has afforded me the opportunity to sit down for an hour uninterrupted and interview, Forbes 30 under 30 CEOs, Masters of Negotiation, Founding Directors of Centers for Psychological Research, and thought leaders. It’s an amazing opportunity to participate in and I’m thankful to have started mine a year ago.

Launch Right now

The tech world has discovered something amazing in terms of developing a process to deliver to clients and end users. Identify the minimum viable product and deliver it as soon as possible. Get it in front of users and ask them what they like, don’t like, and what they want. We don’t need to restrict this process to software delivery. I cover my theory for how to implement this in starting a podcast or applying it anywhere in life in “Leading an Agile Life.”

In the military we used a term, “we’re going to need to build this plan while we fly it.” Making it clear that time had priority and we needed to avoid planing and start taking action. There are absolutely times when you need to sit down and plan deliberate action. I don’t think content creation is one of those things. Your first episode is probably going to be awful. That is cool, it’s the only way you’re going to learn anything and find your voice.

I started PMP thinking it was going to focus on lessons learned from history and while I still do that, it is not the focus of the podcast. Instead I focus on sharing the life system that has made me successful as an individual. Health, Wealth, Relationships and the intersection of all three in order to help others find a sense of purpose, values, and belonging. My good friend Jim Gay, author and extremely fit dad, always told me “1000 small launches are always better than one gigantic launch.” He often followed up with, that one launch never happens. It’s never a good time to start a podcast with everything else you have going on. Just start putting content out and learn.

This is a test in marketing

With the 1,000,000 podcasts that exist in the world, you now need to have an extremely tight product to maintain the intentions of listeners. Joe Rogan is releasing 3 hour long episodes but experts are already predicting that podcasts will become shorter and shorter as time goes on. In the end you need to determine what you want to say no to, and what kind of content you want to put out to the world. If you want to talk for 3 hours that’s your right. Just make sure you market to those audiences who want to listen to something for an hour.

Tim Ferris taught me early on that we shouldn’t be obsessed with reaching everyone. Marketing experts call this niching down. Kevin Kelly (wired founder) refers to shooting for 1000 true fans at first. Then 10,000 then 100,000. Basically, you want to hyper define your audience. You don’t want to start a podcast. You want to start a podcast for young working professional and veteran males in between the ages of 25-35 who like self-improvement, fitness, finance, and interacting with people. This helps you to find out what kind of content to create, and how to reach this uber-defined audience.

Find out the things they like and reach out to them directly in places they already exist. If your lucky you’ll be able to find a podcast that already has captured the majority of that audience, go on the show, and share with them about your own show. In the end you want to create content that self-promotes. Content that people are recommending and sharing with their friends. That being said you still need to get out there and draw people’s attention to it. Otherwise it’s just going to sit out in the ether, unconsumed.

This doesn’t happen overnight unless you have already developed a following

We live in the amazon prime world. With that we think that we are going to receive a huge following immediately. After all, look at all of these other podcasts that reach 1 million downloads. They’re not you. You’re running your own race and they are not. This isn’t going to happen over night and you need to be ok with that. My good friend taught me that podcasting isn’t going to make you rich, so if you’re looking to get into this for the money you’re headed in the wrong direction.

You absolutely have an ability to monetize your podcast. I just doubt that will happen until you’ve really built up a loyal and consistent listenership. Start with a goal of 100 fans and go from there. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk to a lot of successful podcasters and I catalogued that in this post: Lessons learned from 3 wildly successful podcasting veterans.

I would recommend reading that and starting today.

Let’s Leave a Legacy!

About the Author

John McCarthy is the founder of the Post Modern Patriot blog and the host of our podcast. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer, Husband, father, and son. He is obsessed with individual performance in the realms of health, wealth, relationships, and the intersection of all three. He strives to share that with the world so that he can empower others to live boldly. Let’s leave a legacy!!!

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EP 48: My number one way to make yourself harder to kill

The past Four shows (linked to below) have been all about helping individuals make themselves harder to kill by improving their fitness. Two of the best ways to impact that rely on nutrition and metabolic conditioning. Why? because those are the two factors that lie at the bottom of the fitness pyramid. Yet, there is something even more important than fitness and nutrition in the effort to make you harder to kill. It is the foundation that the fitness pyramid is built on. It is sleep. Sleep is the one thing that will have the greatest impact on just about every single thing in your life. I know listeners will benefit from the lessons learned in this episode because they benefitted me the most. I used to constantly deprive myself of sleep, seeing it as a crutch and a point of vulnerability. Now-a-days I ensure I have a full 7-9 hour window for my body to engage in the most restorative action possible.

This the book I refer to in the show, Why We Sleep and Dream by Dr. Matthew Walker

Here is his argument for why sleep is important:

Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer, it enhances your memory, makes you more creative, makes you look more attractive, keeps you slim, lows food cravings, protects you from cancer and dementia. Wards of colds, and the flu, lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?

Podcast recommendation

The Indicator: Oil Less than zero.

What’s On Brew

Rook Peru Blend

Donate to the Aaron Red Foundation

Click here to donate or learn more about them.

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Fuel for a positive mindset in the pandemic

I absolutely detest when I hear individuals commenting on how things are worse than they ever have been. Here are the reasons why.

  1. There is an insane amount of data to support a scientific argument that proves right now, today, is the greatest time to be alive (See Factfulness by Hans Rosling, and Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker). It is worth noting that this factor is a global view and not solely an American view.
  2. Even if right now was the worst time to be alive, commenting on it is most likely a complaint. Complaining about things we cannot control is in fact a self destructive behavior (See Tim ferris and the No Complaining Rule). As Ferris says, “The vessel that contains acid always receives more destruction than anything else that acid will ever touch.”
  3. If you live in the United States of America you are a member of a nation of resilient people who have always overcome adversity. Start acting like it.

Number three is the basis for today’s post. Look upon the history of this nation and see the responses we have made to adversity. It should give you chills and fill you with pride. If it does not you don’t have a pulse.

When I was a little boy and those cowards took down the towers I came home and watched it on television. It was the first time I can remember seeing my father cry. It scared the shit out of me. In the days that followed I attended candle-light vigils. I watched my entire town cover their trees in yellow ribbons. Mothers and Fathers began putting up blue star flags in their windows. It’s unfortunate but eventually those blue stars would be replaced by gold stars. Men like Pat Tillman would go on to become men the rest of us would write books about. We rallied around the flag and united as a nation.

Awakening the Sleeping Giant

On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Our nation’s president referred to it as a day that would live in infamy. The man who planned the attacks was a Japanese Admiral by the name of Isoroku Yamamoto. It has never been confirmed that Yamamoto said the following quote in the days following the attack, yet it accurately depicts the American response.

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

Isoroku Yamamoto
Tora! Tora! Tora!

The American people completely mobilized in response to the attacks on Pearl Harbor and I’m not just talking about the military. Americas labor markets witnessed tens of millions of individuals leaving the service and agricultural sectors to support the industrial mobilization of the war effort. We need only look at the increase in tank production to demonstrate this.

Directly following Pearl Harbor, American Tank production increased by almost 6X what was produced the year prior. That number almost doubled the following year. Granted, we had a head start in 1942 due to the fact that a mad man was trying to kill an entire race of people half the world away. Yet at the conclusion of 1943 our nation had completely mobilized to support the war effort.

With Malice toward none

The Civil War is the greatest loss of life our nation has ever witnessed. Brother killed brother, and blood poured out right here on American soil. It may be the darkest time in our nation’s history. Man fighting man over the right to enslave fellow man. Some of us would like to argue it was a war over states rights. However, history demonstrates that the confederacy created some of the largest sweeping legislations to enact federal power following their succession. I find it hard to believe a group of rebels heading to war against their brethren over anti-federalism would enact sweeping federal policy. If so, it is one of the biggest contradictions on earth.

The infant country that became too big for its britches should have crumbled under such horrid circumstances. Yet our leader, who would go on to become a martyr, took an opportunity during his second inaugural address (within days of Union victory) to set the tone for how American’s would respond to years of bloodshed they had no one to blame for but themselves.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Abraham Lincoln
Second Inaugural Address

Binding up the nation’s wounds wasn’t as easy as we all hoped it would be. Many would argue some of those wounds are still fresh. Regardless our nation overcame. We passed an amendment to protect the rights of citizens, To protect from discrimination based on race, color, and eventually sex. Yet Americans laid the foundation for being a group to persevere.

The Revolution

Many of us revere the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Others despise them as slave-holding Americans. I view them as individuals willing to take on an amazing responsibility in a desire to free their nation from oppression. Take for example the faits of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Of the 56 men that signed the Declaration:

Five were captured by the British as traitors.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned due to the War.

One lost two of his sons serving in the Continental Army.

One had two sons captured by the British as POWs.

Richard Stockton specifically was dragged from his bed by night by local Tories and imprisoned in New York City’s Provost Jail.

It is up for debate who he instructed (Washington or Lafayette) but Thomas Nelson had to urge troops to fire on his own home which had been captured by the British.

Sacrifice is something that has long been a part of American Culture because it initiated with these men. Who willingly put their nation in harms way in the hopes of a better outcome. One that resulted in a tiny nation taking on the greatest army in the world and giving them the taste of defeat.

Our History Will Demonstrate our Response

Our nation is on that unites under adversity. One that responds by taking action where they can have the greatest impact on changing outcomes. One that is willing to persevere and of course sacrifice when necessary. I have no fear that the American people will persevere through any outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic because I am a student of history.

Want some more strategies on persevering through the pandemic? Check these out:

About the Author

John McCarthy is the founder of the Post Modern Patriot blog and the host of our podcast. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer, Husband, father, and son. He is obsessed with individual performance in the realms of health, wealth, relationships, and the intersection of all three. He strives to share that with the world so that he can empower others to live boldly. Let’s leave a legacy!!!

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EP 47: Fitting Fitness into a busy life with Kevin Torres

On Today’s episode of the podcast I interview Kevin Torres the founder of Dad-bod-wod and host of the Dadbodwod podcast. Kevin is an ally in the war against Dad-bod and he has cornered the market on defeating excuses. I think the number one excuse I made to skip workouts when I had a new-born was, “I don’t have time for an hour long workout.” Kevin eradicates that excuse by providing 15-20 minute workouts to dad’s everywhere. I asked Kevin to come on the show to help dad’s with there fitness. It was an added bonus to hear about his service to our country after 9/11. What’s more the guy is an advocate for being a good husband and father. He’s a man who isn’t scared to set the example and I’m really happy to share his story with my listeners. Check out this amazing episode in our series that focuses on making you harder to kill.

Links from Today’s Show

Dadbodwod.net

Kevin’s free workout plan

Ramit Saiti on the Tim Ferris Show

I Can Teach You To Be Rich

Chasing Excellence

Chasing Excellence Podcast

Atomic Habits

Patrick Cummings

10 hero workouts you can do from home

This episode is part of my response to COVID-19

The current pandemic is paralyzing a lot of people with fear. If you want to learn more about dealing with fear in general check out this episode with Tony Blauer, host of the Knowfearpodcast. I believe fear is a sign to prepare. We can and should always view fear as a gift. Fear sends us a message. Right now if you are feeling fear, then I recommend recognizing and expressing that emotion. My response to the fear of a disease that is spreading around the world is to make myself as fit as possible. Or as I like to say, make yourself harder to kill. There are two ways to have the greatest impact possible on fitness and that is by focusing on nutrition and metabolic conditioning. My last two episodes focus on nutrition and I recommend checking them out at the links below. Today’s episode teaches you how to start adding metabolic conditioning into your life.

My interview with Jim Frith, the man who patented the Eat As Much as you want system.

My Five nutrition tips that you can apply to any nutrition routine.

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Through Pain and Suffering comes spirit and discipline

I was a mere 20 years old when this phrase first came into my life. I was sure that I would be able to conquer the world in the following years. Alexander the Great took the throne at 20 years old. He led his men into battle at the center of the phalanx and soon I would too. The beauty of life is it has an amazing way of serving you a slice of humble pie just when you need it most. Pride goes before a great fall they say.

I was standing at the position of attention in my camouflage utilities with white name tapes stitched on them and a freshly shaved head. I could hear them before I could see them and it spiked my adrenaline. Something bad was coming and it would not go quietly. Every Marine Officer remembers “pick-up” day. The back door opened and a garbage can smashed across the freshly mopped and polished floor. Following that garbage can came four gigantic “Sergeant Instructors.” Gunnery Sergeants Butler, Hamilton, Skelton, and Rodriguez. This was about to be the most difficult 10 weeks of my life.

Gunnery Sergeant Butler was an interesting dude. He was covered in tattoos, uglier than sin, and he had braces. Which sucked for us because when he would scream at us his braces would rip his lips open and at the end of a dressing down he would have sprayed most of his blood across our faces. He would always tell us, “Y’all are gonna feel pain.” Then he would end his torture sessions by saying, “remember, through pain and suffering come spirit and discipline.”

It was like he was giving us a little morsel of sick, fucked up encouragement after he absolutely wrecked us every day. Yet those words had a profound impact on me and became a mantra I would repeat to myself and my fellow “candidates” very frequently. GySgt Butler admitted to us before we graduated that those words were the motto he lived his life by. He had them tattoo’d on his shoulder too, right next to his tattoo of the flag raising on Mt Suribachi in Iwo Jima. I’m pretty sure GySgt Butler tattoo’d those words on my soul.

The military teaches tons of slogans, mottos, and idioms to those who grace its ranks. Some are funny, some are idiotic, and they are all very well known. “This aint my hill to die on” and “The juice aint worth the squeeze on this one” or “two is one and one is none.” You don’t need to memorize them all or even go through the military to learn the worth of these mantras. I think this one though, the understanding of the benefit that exists within pain and suffering is something we all can relate to right now.

I don’t say this from a point of superiority. I say this like a guide taking you to the top of a mountain you have not gone up yet. These moments of quarantine, these moments of forced isolation, and facing adversity are an amazing lesson. No one on earth looks back and says, “remember when everything was easy?” “Remember how awesome it was when we had zero difficult obstacles to overcome?” No. No one says that, because we are human beings and we have evolved to adapt to and overcome the most difficult of situations.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin 1809

Our entire society has been given an amazing gift. One that requires us to respond to outside circumstances in a way that builds spirit and discipline. It takes discipline to not be the one to sit around and eat their feelings during these times. It takes discipline to engage in a routine when everything tells you it’s ok to make excuses for yourself. You have to craft spirit in the deepest parts of your heart to keep those around you going when limited excitement exists. Spirit is what keeps us going through an experience that does not have an obvious end date. Spirit is why our people have persevered through far more difficult times than this. It is why we can and will persevere through this time.

A Person who can absorb pain and endure suffering is strong. The difference between people who lead us out of hard times and people who follow is that the leaders turn negatives into positives. They absorb, and their insides become stronger, they develop grit, they create spirit and discipline. They are stronger having been through such tough times. What’s more is they inspire those around them to do the same. These tough times are crafting our capabilities to respond and to be better for it.

About the Author

John McCarthy is the founder of the Post Modern Patriot blog and the host of our podcast. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer, Husband, father, and son. He is obsessed with individual performance in the realms of health, wealth, relationships, and the intersection of all three. He strives to share that with the world so that he can empower others to live boldly. Let’s leave a legacy!!!

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EP 46: 5 tips for executing a successful nutrition plan

If you follow me on instagram you probably saw I posted a 60 day transformation photo. I have also been discussing why right now is the greatest lesson we could ever receive in maximizing nutrition and metabolic conditioning in order to make us harder to kill. On today’s episode I’m sharing my 5 nutrition tips that you can apply to any nutrition plan (diet) so that you can be as successful as possible. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that we need to reduce our lifestyle decisions that make it easier for us to kill. Obesity makes us a lot easier to kill. Check out this episode where I share useful tips you can employ today to shred up and make yourself harder to kill.

Want to hear more about nutrition and receive my 10 free workouts you can do from home?

click this link or the button below

Links from today’s show

Renaissance Periodization Programming

Agile Life

Fear and Resillience

Viktor Frankl Episode

Mindset training

Podcast recommendation for the week

Alive time vs Dead time with Tim Ferris and Ryan Holiday

Whats on Tap

Rook’s Guatemala Roast

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10 Hero Workouts you can do from home

Last night I had an awesome opportunity to be a guest on the Dad-Bod-Wod Podcast. Kevin Torres who runs the show and an instagram page that shares workouts you can do anywhere in 15-20 minutes is an awesome individual. Kevin was in high school in manhattan the day that the towers came down. He put his money where is mouth was and signed up for the army after that and did two combat tours with the 101st airborne division. Now he’s a Vice Principle of a middle school and he’s running a high energy podcast, and website where he provides 18 workouts and a free e-book to people who subscribe to his e-mail list.

Kevin will also be coming on my podcast in the next two weeks and because he is a fellow vet and he shared some awesome workouts with me that are his go to burners. He inspired me to provide my viewers and listeners with 10 Hero Workouts they can do from home this week and here are three reasons why.

Adversity

Veterans and military personnel are very familiar at dealing with adversity. I think Andy Stumpf did a great job of explaining this concept on Joe Rogan’s podcast that you can listen to here. While we shouldn’t look to veterans for advice in a lot of areas, I think dealing with adversity is an area where we should embrace best practices developed in the military. I’ve been saying it for weeks now on the blog and the podcast. Let’s shrink our sight picture of the world around us and consider the small chunks of time we are forced to deal with during this pandemic.

Stumpf points that when he was a BUDS instructor he had the fortune of interviewing people who quit Navy Seal training during “hell week.” Many of these people left division one scholarships, dream jobs on wall street, etc, in order to pursue what they believed was their purpose in life. Then when things reached the precipice of difficulty they would quit. When he would ask them why they did that the majority of them would respond, “I lost sight of what is important.” Take this as a lesson. Find what is important for you to focus on right now and do it.

Fitness is a great way to ground yourself

Fitness is my preferred method for grounding myself in the moment. It’s a great way to express emotion. It’s a great way to create a chemical change in your body that can increase your mood. There is something about pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion that reminds you of your mortality and at the same time that you are not made of glass. We all need this reminder from time to time. Many of us get caught in thought loops that we cannot break out of. Fitness is an excellent way to introduce an interruption to said loop and readjust to our surroundings.

It can always be worse

This is a mantra of mine when things get tough. It’s harder to say to people now more than ever. I am finally hearing of friends who are passing away from this pandemic. I sat in line for groceries the other day and spoke with a man who was laid off and wasn’t sure how he would pay for everything. I know for some of us we are left wondering how it could be worse. I promise, it can always be worse.

Perhaps doing these hero workouts, for individuals who lost their lives in service of our nation will remind you of the following; If you’re reading this you’re probably sleeping in a warm bed tonight. You are probably going to get to eat a warm meal. You have shelter to be thankful for that will keep you dry and warm. You will most likely see some if not all of your loved ones at the end of this pandemic. These hero’s had none of these comforts before passing on. It does help for us to think of others and pull ourselves out of our own pity at times. So hit one of these 10 workouts and ground yourself.


10. Zachary Tellier

For Time

10 Burpees

10 Burpees

25 Push-Ups

10 Burpees

25 Push-Ups

50 Lunges

10 Burpees

25 Push-Ups

50 Lunges

100 Sit-Ups

10 Burpees

25 Push-Ups

50 Lunges

100 Sit-Ups

150 Air Squats


9. Shawn

Run 5 Miles

Every 5 minutes on the minute complete 50 squats and 50 pushups before beginning the next interval.


8. Bert

For Time

50 Burpees

400 meter Run

100 Push-Ups

400 meter Run

150 Walking Lunges

400 meter Run

200 Air Squats

400 meter Run

150 Walking Lunges

400 meter Run

100 Push-Ups

400 meter Run

50 Burpees


7. JT

21-15-9 Reps for time

Hand Stand Push-ups*

Ring Dips**

Push-UPs

*Sub pike pushups or dive bombers for HSPU

** If you don’t have rings put two chairs next to each other. No excuses.


6. Griff

For time

800 Meter Run

400 Meter Run (Backwards)

800 Meter Run

400 Meter Run (backwards)


5. Riley

Run 1.5 Miles

150 Burpees

Run 1.5 miles


4. Terry

1 Mile Run

100 Push-ups

100 meter Bear Crawl

1 Mile Run

100 Meter Bear Crawl

100 Push-ups

1 Mile Run


3. Gunny

1 Mile weighted run

50 push-ups

50 sit-ups

1 mile weighted run

50 push-ups

50 sit-ups

1 mile weighted run

Wear a Weight Vest, Body armor, Loaded pack or what ever is needed to load yourself with 50 lbs for the runs.


2. Murph

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run


1. Loredo

6 Rounds For time

24 Squats

24 push-ups

24 walking lunge steps

Run 400m


Share this with a fellow fitness buff !!!

I didn’t pick these in any order except number one is what was recommended to me by Kevin Torres over at Dad-bod-wod and I wanted that to be a top recommendation of mine.

Ep 45: Jim Frith and the Diet that isn’t a fad

This week in my first IGTV video I confirmed for the world why increasing our fitness makes us harder to kill. What is the greatest way to impact your fitness? Dial in your nutrition. My Guest on today’s show, Jim Frith, is an entrepreneur, the founder of TopFitPros, author of End the Yo-Yo; the EAMAYW® System, Certified Personal Trainer and Advanced Sports Nutrition Specialist. I think what I love most about him is that he was a state wrestling champion in high school and he went on to Harvard. I’m generally skeptical of nutritionists because I feel like the field is highly convoluted. Jim cuts through a lot of the nonsense, which is why he’s on my show.

 End the Yo-Yo; the EAMAYW® System cracks the code to sustainable weight loss and long-term health. The title of his study simply sets out to end short-term dieting, fasting, and starvation (aka the yo-yo of short-term changes) that comes with trending weight loss solutions. On the contrary, Frith’s work contains actual solutions to lasting results without compromising your health. His system, EAMAYW, allows you to lose weight without ever being hungry. Standing for- eat. as. much. as. you. want. It can be accessed on his website www.topfitpros.com/end-yo-yo/

Follow Top Fit Pros

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/topfitpros/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TopFitPros

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TopFitPros

Links From Today’s Show

Ikigai The little book on the habits of centenarians

The intersection of mental toughness and physical fitness

Why competition is important

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EP 44: What we really should be doing about the COVID 19 Pandemic

On Today’s Episode I cover the questions we really should be asking during this time. I focus on some things that I believe shed a positive life on the response we all should have to the pandemic. It’s about impacting the things we can impact right now and not focusing on the things we do not have the ability to change. I know you will enjoy this short form episode. If you take one thing from this episode let it be this: Everything will be ok and as a nation we will return to our previous strength.

Recommended Podcast Episode

Andy Stumpf on the Joe Rogan Podcast

What Brew is On Tap?

Rook Coffee Company, The small business I promise you will not regret supporting.

Links from today’s Show

The Obstacle is the Way

EP 39: with Dr. Brackett on Emotional Intelligence and Having the Permission to Feel

Jim Collins Good To Great

Rubin Hurricane Carter

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Is Quarantine Giving us All a Lesson in Gratitude?

Craving Comfort

I can remember most of the amazing comforts, treats, and coping mechanisms that I would crave most during trying times in my life. My situation in life has at various times forced me to go without various things for a multitude of reasons. While cutting weight for my first North American Grappling Association tournament I went without food period. During my days as a crossfit competitor who drank the paleo Kool-aid, it was going without carbs. Then came the litany of things I went without during my time in the Marine Corps.

For some reason, while cutting weight or following a strict diet I always seemed to crave taco bell. At those times I thought I was being tested, and that I was treating myself to a cheesy gordita crunch with extra spicy sauce. Then I felt real pain. Nights out in the tree-line in sub-freezing and at times subzero temperatures. Days without a moment to myself. Weeks without showers and only eating MREs. Needless to say, bowl movements were few and far between at the end of those stints.

The TV in the Background Analogy

The cravings at those times were things I thought about only briefly. Yet, I tried very hard not to dwell on them for too long out of a fear of softening. Craving the warmth of a bed while trying to sleep at night on ground that is frozen solid is rarely good for the brain. It was as if the thoughts of what I desired loomed in the background of my mind. They were more like the TV at the bar playing the sports game I was not interested in as opposed to the person I was having a conversation with. Background noise that I was aware of yet, I refrained from allowing it to fully consume my attention.

Then, I would return. I would come back home, or end my diet, finish my competition. It was as if the closer I got to the end of the challenge consuming me the volume on the tv increased more and more and the game became something you could not look away from. A match that culminated in double overtime or penalty kicks. It didn’t matter what distractions would arise, that same force that existed within me and allowed me to ignore the tv also allowed me to focus solely on my desires and drown out everything else.

My cravings and focus were always drawn to the opposite of whatever deprivation I had faced recently. After coming home from Jordan I drank an entire pot of coffee and ate an entire package of bacon once in the confines of my home. The cold always ended in a hot shower and a night of sleeping in and under more layers and blankets than necessary. I always knew what was coming the moment I got home and the volume of desire playing in the background would increase.

Here we are today and I’m sure many of us know exactly what that thing is we will not take for granted once this quarantine is over. I’m sure for most it has to do with the friends and family that just don’t look the same over a screen. It’s the restaurant or bar you love to go to that may have great takeout right now, but the atmosphere was always what drew you in anyway. For some of us it may be solitude. For others it is community. Whatever it is I am sure you have a thought in your mind of what you miss most and hope to indulge in as soon as possible.

I hope that you heed my words when I say that you can and must take the time right now to cement this feeling into your soul. Consider the pain of the deprivation that you feel and force it to make you grateful for all of the things you once took for granted in life.

Forgetting Pain is in Our DNA

If you don’t, I can promise you that one day you will forget this pain and you will return to taking the things you love most in life for granted. How do I know? Well first of all, our ability to forget pain is a part of our DNA. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky proved it in their study of Peak-End rule (more on that here). More importantly thought I have experienced it myself. During my time as an infantry officer I very frequently would be back home watching people lose their shit over the simplest mistakes. For some reason my focus was always drawn into the way that people would freak out if their order got messed up at Starbucks.

I would love to watch people explode about the fact that they received a latte with soy instead of almond milk or what have you. I would pity them for their inability to realize that their comfort level in life had grown so high, that they failed to realize that they were able to afford a 3 dollar cup of coffee in the first place. Many of us fail to realize that the fact that we can walk about freely to the coffee place is a gift in itself, until now. Then one day a few years later I was in a rush to get to class when I put in an order at Starbucks via my mobile app for a black coffee to pick up on the way to class. I was on a tight timeline so I couldn’t afford to wait in line.

I arrived only to fine that the Barista had forgotten my order. It took everything I had not to blow up on this college kid making coffee. I was incensed and outraged. A day later I reflected on this moment and I was so disappointed in myself. Had my level of comfort grown so high that I failed to appreciate all that I had? Yes it had. Now, in many situations this is a place where an individual tells you some awesome story about how this was the moment in life when they cast aside the expectations of society and followed a new path.

Taking Action

I had already done that when I graduated college and signed up to be a Marine. Instead I chose to start practicing as much gratitude as possible. I began ensuring I was as thankful as I could be for all of the things I had in my life even if it was only food, shelter, and water. Ben Bergeron, famed coach of some of the fittest people on earth has a practice he and his family engage in every day. Every single person at dinner in Ben’s house states three things they are thankful for, one thing they did very well that day, and one thing they could do better.

This is how they practice gratitude for all that they have. It’s also a great starting question for journaling. What am I grateful for? I think that everyone who reads this should take the time to journal the three things they will not take for granted after being quarantined. Write a compelling argument for why you won’t take them for granted and store it away. Months from now when you’re about to blow up on the barista who forgot your order, grab that journal and flip to that page. I promise you won’t give a shit about your coffee.

About the Author

John McCarthy is the founder of the Post Modern Patriot blog and the host of our podcast. He is a former Marine Infantry Officer, Husband, father, and son. He is obsessed with individual performance in the realms of health, wealth, relationships, and the intersection of all three. He strives to share that with the world so that he can empower others to live boldly. Let’s leave a legacy!!!

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