Thursday, September 01, 2005

Real Burden

As a trainer I take on various rolls to help encourage, motivate or inspire my clients. I've learned that saying the right thing the right way is the key to getting results. I'm passionate about fitness but at the same time I don't treat it like rocket science. I like to make it fun, interesting or at least tolerable, so that people can stay with it for a lifetime. I've also learned that certain people need different kinds of encouragement to help them through their workouts. Someone who is first starting out needs lots of positive reinforcement because their fear factor is high. Other folks want tons information right away because the more they know the more they can understand the path to success. The opposite of that are the people who say, "Just hurt me & tell me what to do!" I need to be a caretaker, therapist & drill sergeant with different clients on different days because the "my way or the highway" technique will alienate most people.

One of the greatest lessons I'm learning in this life, is to be aware of the truth of what's happening in my world from moment to moment. This is only possible when I really listen to what people are saying combined with how I react to it. I have a tendency to try to manipulate a situation (with humor, bravado & sarcasm) so that the perceived future outcome is positive, for me. When I break the rules I lose touch with the other persons need to be heard or understood. My ego and need to appear a certain way becomes more important than the truth of the moment. In other words, I'm trying to appear to be something or someone that I'm not. And at the same time I'm denying others to be connected to their truth in that moment.

This leads me to Law # 6 of the 11 Laws of Health & Fitness...Reality. Reality is that thing that is happening to you right now. Reality is that feeling in your gut and that state of your mind before, during and after everything you do. Reality is the truth of every moment, not the manipulated or fantasy versions we put out there for others to see. Being real requires letting all of your defenses down. Exposing yourself to the truth of who you are right now. If you can do that simple thing, you can remove many of life's burdens. One way to practice this is to risk bearing your own burdens. My friend Scott Fifer lives by this philosophy. The man never complains or tries to manipulate a situation. He is honest and fair and clear and he never focuses on the problem. He gathers information and plows ahead.

*Risk bearing your own burdens. The weight of your problems is determined by how much you fear them. But the only weight any fear can have is determined by how much you try to push it away. Risk not "sharing" (pissing, moaning, blaming & complaining) your burdens. Stop pushing them on others. The less you burden other people (especially loved ones) with your problems, the less of a burden they'll be for you. Letting your defences down while at the same time learning to focus on answers and solutions is the key to becoming clear, productive and real.


AlfaSunshine said...

hmmm....dunno if I can live up to this one or agree completely. I kinda live for denial and fantasy in my personal life. I'm not tooo big of a pisser and moaner I don't think. I'm a little too simple minded to be anything but honest, so I am commenting because I want you to know that I do read your blog. I may not get this one but I must say it is a good one just the same. I know quite a few people who focus on problems instead of solutions. Dunno if they read your blog, but I will find out. I guess my question is what about the old addage that says somehting like a burden shared is halved? Sometimes I think when I am listening to my friends delimas that is what being a friend is.

RickW23 said...

I think I understand what is being said...

From my own experience, I tend to be a bit of an optimist. A 'glass half full' kind of person. Sometimes my realities a bias towards whatever reality I HOPED for myself. Sometimes, your view of reality is murky and the truth is that it isn't as clear and perfect as you thought. Those falsehoods cannot be good for your overall life success. If you want to succeed, you must remain positive, but you also have to be real. There is sometimes a fine line between the two of those.

Maybe I see Tony's point because we are both Cancers and born on July 2nd. But I think I captured what he was saying to me.


absmom said...

I like this post.
I like food for thought.
I like clarity. and honest evaluations...
I don't think it's a matter of not "burdening" others with your problems though- I think it's more of an issue of not taking things (yourself) quite so seriously- not always thinking that what's going on that you don't like or agree with isn't necessarily a problem or a burden- it's just something you don't necessarily like or agree with!!

That of course is not to say many people aren't without problems or burdens but I suspect that what some people consider issues/problems are often a far cry from what a real burden or issue might be...often a matter of perspective. It might be fair to say that we must walk a mile in another man's shoes to understand his journey.
A little empathy is a good thing.

Mary Mc said...


I definitely agree that different kinds of encouragement need to be used depending on who you're working with. I find the same things are true when I work with patients at work (I'm a nurse for mothers and their new babies).

It is sometimes quite difficult to really listen to people so you can understand their needs and then help them instead of reacting in a manner that benefits you rather than the person you're wanting to help. It sounds like you are really tuning into this, which helps to explain why you have such great success as a coach, trainer, and motivator.

Reality is a hard concept to focus on. Everyone likes to live in their own dream world. It's difficult to tune in to the truth and then face it, but that's necesssary if a person really wants to improve to the best of their ability. Focusing on the positive (solutions and not the problem) is really the key to success.

Great post, Tony! :-)

Mary Mc

Mary Cecy said...

Once again... good post. I really understand. We make so many excuses for ourselves to do something that only comes naturally for others. You are good at listening and sharing what you know. You are a coach, a friend, a psychologist, a nutritionist, a son, a brother, an uncle, a caretaker and a "father" to many others. Most of all you do things from the heart. It is so wonderful to see how much you put yourself out there. It is hard to be in the customer service business. It is not easy. You hear the same questions, you give the same answers. Sometimes deliver in different ways as we all learn differently.

You give a lot of yourself and I know how happy it makes you to see others achieve success. Making it and keeping it real is very hard for many. Once you spend a little bit of time with you, it seems effortless and so easy... I sometimes wonder: Why we fight the systems so much? It is there and it has work for so many others. It is all about faith. Faith in what you are doing. Getting over the fears and just taking things, embracing them and doing what we can with what we have.

Choices are good with the reality you talk so much about. It is not easy to not share. I would never want to be a burden on others but I know how important it is to share to be able to help. It is hard yet so rewarding.

Thanks and I appreciate all you have done for me and for so many others.

XO peace

Anonymous said...

Destiny here.... you don't know me.. but i wanted to respond to this blog... (through lauren/alfa/nubia)

Burdens........ touchy subject... i'm not too sure if i understand all of what you were saying.. and thats just cuz i don't get to talk to you like others do...
dusteknee: I may just be going off the deep end here and talking out of my arse, but..... you've made these ppl
what they are Tony. You've put yourself out there and given so much that they come to expect it. Not everyone can be 100% all the time. It's human to fail. Maybe not all the time, but human enough. If you don't feel like taking on the burden one day then DON'T. Your family of BB'ers should understand that. But, you can't keep doing it if your heart and body are telling you NO, because then it just becomes a pain in the ARSE! No one wants you to go down that road.
dusteknee: I do a lot of complaining. (about life, love, happiness, health) and since you have made these ppl what they are, it comes easy to complain-- because they listen so well and care so much.
But, I also give that back two-fold. I am there for my friends and don't think that its a b!tch session. When they call on me for help, it makes me feel special.
dusteknee: So, to answer your post Tony~~ Suck it up! Work it up! Live it up! and keep your head up! Get intimate baby! lol

I know, who the he!! is this Destiny? Come now Tony. Remember the name..... You'll be looking for me in due time.... ((((((((((((((((((TonyHorton))))))))))))))))))))

Hey... i think i missed my calling... there's no one that can understand this mess.... lol


Neeeena said...

I love Scott Fifer.

longin2bslim said...

Hi Tony,

This is my first time reading any of your blogs, and of course my first time responding. Today is 2 day of Power 90. This blog came at the right time for me!

Today I did cardio 1 & 2 for the first time, and when I finished, I cried! Why did I cry? Reality set in. I realized that I was overweight, unhappy, and out of shape. The truth hurts! Today I realized the truth. I did not believe I let myself get to this point, and it all hit me hard.

Reading what you wrote, helped me because I’m constantly pissing, moaning, blaming & complaining over my weight to my husband, but yet never doing anything about it. I need to stop complaining and start doing. It was me who got me into this mess, and I have to get myself out. End of story! I need to do this time what I have set out to do many times. I need to complete power 90 so that the reality of being overweight will not continue to bring me down.

For everyone that seem to be having a hard time trying to understand what Tony is trying to say, I do understand! Its not that we can't share in one another's burdens, but it comes to a point when we complain about our situations, and in doing so it helps us to make excuses for our problems. Sometimes it makes one live in denial. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to see clearly, and find solutions to my problems. I think what Tony is trying to say is taking responsibility, and control, of your problem, and fix it! No one else can fix it for you!

Thanks Tony!!!

Ellen said...

I've been learning through folks like Tony Horton, Dr. Wayne Dyer
and Don Miguel Ruiz is that: 1. Look at everything that comes into your life with gratitude - it's manifests itself for some reason.
2. The more you condemn something, or complain about it - the more of it you attract into your life.
3. Be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personal, don't make assumptions and always do your best.
And from Monty Python I've learned..... always look at the bright side of life.... :) (couldn't resist!)

supermel said...

PMA - positive mental attitude!!! Mel from Santa Monica. You have a choice every morning, how are you going to live your day? How are you going to react? Listen to yourself, your heart. I know what I want, I know I want to live healthy, block out the static, be true to you! thanks tony. Hugs, Mel

Anonymous said...

While I absolutely appreciate this post and may have an alternate interpretation that does not coincide with your intentions, I don't agree completely with all the aspects you covered in this article. I believe that if a person wants to "Get Real", part of that includes complaining or sharing some of your problems, concerns, stresses with close love ones from time to time. I do think that bearing your burdens and coming to terms with them is important, and yes most burdens are easily handled but there are some that need to be shared for health and "being real" sake. A personal example for me is that I used to follow this model exactly: I kept all my complaints to myself, all my stresses, my blaming, and I was constantly doing and focusing on my goals. During this period of taking on responsibility and not "burdening" other people with my negative emotions/complaints, little did I realize I developed an eating disorder and felt like mostly a shell of myself, and never truly like the messy real emotional being God made me. Luckily, through some kick ass psychologists kicking my ass I really learned what "being real" was all about. This included complaining every now and then, telling people how you feel-even when it's negative. It's hard to feel completely connected to someone who never complains, because face it-they seem inhuman and not in a good way. In my experiences and through multiple psychologists I've learned that not sharing your negative feelings (even blame, shame, complaints, etc) is just a way to not allow yourself to be truly raw/real and vulnerable, it is ultimately a means of controlling who you really are-to the point of losing yourself even. It's a defense, it's a wall. Now taking responsibility for reality is great, and limiting the small things we complain about is not a bad idea..but every now and then bad things happen and sharing it can help us see the picture and find solutions, allow more chances for connections, and release some natural human negativity. Negative emotions are not burdens, they are reality. Reality is bright and it is also dark. Now if you're ALWAYS negative then you might need to cut back and evaluate why that might be. But I feel MODERATION of all emotions is the most real and human a person can be. AND as I've learned personally and through the provacative teachings from multiple psychologists the HEALTHIEST way to be emotionally.

Again, I do appreciate your thoughts and I am still in the process of contemplating them completely.Just had a few questions and disagreements as I read your entry. Thought I'd share them.

Best wishes!