I was reading this book called Working with the Law by Raymond Holliwell. One concept that particularly stood out to me was desire and expectation. I’ve read his book a bunch of times, but for some reason I was locked in today.
Back in the Day
I had a desire early to be on the cover of magazines. I've refer back to this frequently because I’ve oftentimes sounded crazy to people when I tell them what I want to accomplish. This was during the early 2000’s, when most guys on the cover are 220, shredded, and juiced up. The 180, lean physique, CrossFit physique, and natural bodybuilding physique wasn't popular like it is now. It just wasn't. My desire to be on the cover ran deep.
Raymond talks about expectation being a part of the puzzle. Not only do you have to desire it, but you have to expect that you can achieve it with something behind it. It takes an obsessive level of action. What’s the sauce? I desired it. I expected it to happen, no matter how long it was going to fucking take. The actions were consistent, obsessive and relentless.
I think about the time that I finally got the nod in ’05 or ’06 at GNC. They gave me a shot to shoot for Muscle & Body. Muscle & Body sits right on the table when you walk into the store. Sneaky big opportunity.
I was in a bulk phase, so I was forced to lean down quick. I wrote about this very event in The Mindset Manual. I messed up all kinds of shit on my diet because I just didn't know. Flew to California for a shoot. Didn't have my sodium right. Looked soft as a fucking marshmallow. I get to the photo shoot. Greg Plitt, who's been on 250 covers, is there killing a photo shoot and I'm after him and I looked like garbage. I'm talking garbage.
It’s so bad that 20 minutes into the photo shoot I just told the dude to stop. I was like, "Look, bro. I know you're trying. You're trying to light me. I look fucking terrible. I messed some stuff up." I said, "Give me another shot. I'll come back. Give me a year. I'm going to put it together. I'm going to come back on my own dime, will you shoot me?" He said, "You know what, dude? You hit me back up." He could tell I was fucking serious. "I'll shoot you no problem and we'll shop it to some magazines." I licked my fucking wounds, put my tail between my legs and dipped out of California.
Keep in mind, I flew to California for a photo shoot for a magazine cover. I'm in the room with basically the monster of the industry, Greg Plitt, who’s been on 200+ covers. He’s killing it, and basically shit on myself.
It Would Have Been Easy
I was obsessed. I expected to be in that spot, and I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t kill it. It was a nightmare. And you know what? It would have been easy to start doubting myself. To tell myself, “Maybe I'm just not really good enough for this.”
But you know what? I told myself, "Motherfucker, you were in the room. You were right there. You just don't know good enough what to do." I started thinking the opposite way. The desire was there, but I just wasn’t quite ready.
I went home and I fucking got it. When I was ready, I gave the photographer a phone call to tell him I was ready to come back out. I went back out in 2006, lean and nasty. I took my shirt off and he was like, "You came to fucking rock this time, didn't you?" I said, "Yes, sir. I appreciate the opportunity. Let's fucking ride." I shot my first cover.
Once again, that's 2006. That covered income until 2008. In the meantime, I shot two other covers that I told people were going to come out and never did. I still was obsessed about it. I still was relentless. I still expected it to happen. I wanted to feel what it felt like to take it off the stand at Barnes & Noble and hand it to my grandfather. I wanted that feeling. I felt it inside. I had the vision. It's one of those things where anytime that I've lined these things up in my life, some crazy shit has happened.
Are You Expecting?
You can desire to have the abs or desire to have a certain level of business or desire to dunk a basketball. But are you expecting that it's going to actually happen? Do you really fucking believe it? Motherfucker, I believed it and I believe it right now. Then I put the obsessive dedication around it, coupled with consistency. Then it's just a matter of time involved. It took a decade for the first one to fall.
One of my favorite covers was Fitness RX with my kids. It’s the same magazine that Arnold saw when I pitched him the first time. Seeing this cover reminds me of the pursuit. I was there expecting to get the deal done. I knew that the discipline that came from that gave me credibility, 100%. He told me it did. I don't have to guess or speculate. I'm telling you guys, line it up.
I expect to do exactly what I see in my head. I expect it to happen. You know why? Because I'm taking action. I'm putting in the time to learn. I'm putting the time in for trial and error. I’m putting in the work and time.
It’s the same thing with my pursuit to dunk. I wanted to have the same experience I had when I was 16 years old. I never ever forgot that feeling. I was obsessed with it.
I expect to do what I know I can do. I'm going to put the work in and then I'm going to fucking pack a lunch like I talk about and just put in the work. I'm not waiting for it to happen. I'm forcing it to happen. Do you actually believe it's going to happen? Do you expect it to happen?