Thursday, July 27, 2006

Finding Balance

Small minds gossip, complain and blame others for their problems. Average minds talk about possessions and money. Great minds exchange ideas. On any given day I might fall into any one
of these three categories. Old ways and habits are hard to break especially when life is hard. Being that apple near the tree combined with other demons from our past make it difficult to change. Each day we're dealt a different hand. Each day we have to figure out how we're going to play that hand. Life is like a poker game because the same hand can be played many different ways. Some days you've got a good poker face and others you want to fold. Great players are capable of winning often, even with lousy cards. People with every advantage in the world, still find ways to blow it.

What makes life so puzzling, is knowing what the right choices are, and not choosing them. I know that eight hours of sleep is necessary for me to have enough energy to handle the next day, but instead I stay up watching Napoleon Dynamite for the fifth time. I know that eating chocolate at 11:30 at night while watching Napoleon Dynamite for the fifth time is not in my best interests, but I do it anyway. How do I leave myself alone when my behavior is less than perfect? And why am I controlled by my interpretation of perfection? For me it's a desire to not appear weak in front of people who are used to seeing me strong. One of my biggest fears during one of these less than perfect periods, is not knowing how long it will it last? When I'm happy I can't conceive feeling low. When I'm sad I can't imagine ever feeling good again.

Does the inability to make smart choices come from childhood stuff, biorhythms, brain chemistry, fatigue, daily conflict, stress or a bad fish enchilada? Who the hell knows. The more time I spend trying to figure it all out, the longer it will take to turn it around. If I could just beat myself up less and let life be life then the quicker I'll find a place of balance. My hope is to embrace these ups and downs. See the process less like "fighting demons" and more like gifts that can better my life. I often hold on too tightly to my rules. As a result, I don't notice when the rules are changing. Sometimes five card stud becomes Texas Hold em in a matter of minutes. If the game changes, will I notice, and when I win and lose a few hands, will it still be okay. I hope so.


Renee said...

It will be ok.

Nick said...

During YogaX I think you mention something about feeling comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. No matter how much nonsensical mind chatter reverberates in our heads or demonic urges plague us, we still manage to somehow stay on the narrow path to inner peace and joy. Why is that? you may ask. Because there are bigger and better things awaiting us all at the end of that long path. Keep the faith, brutha!
Your friend in NYC,

Kurt P. said...


Angie, Denise, Brittany and I missed you AND the gang this year in NY. We were thinking about you guys though.

Today's blog is the real reason why we missed you. You are real. You are in touch with real human emotions. You truly inspire others to climb extraordinary mountains. Thank you for being you. I picked up this little line from the movie Hitch and I read it every day… “Life is not the amount of breathes you take. It’s the moments that take your breath away.”

Peace brother. Kurt P. from Indiana.

AlfaSunshine said...

Wow Tony very nice post. I love it when you let us inside your head even on the scary days. I'm taking a class right now called the mental journey to millions. It is a lot of fun and very challenging for me as I have really warped beliefs about money sometimes...anyway at friday's class one great thought that I have the hallucination is true was that nothing makes you feel bad except thinking thoughts of what you don't want. I suspect that when you focus on your rules you may be focusing on what it is that you don't want instead of focusing on what it is that you want. Knowing what you want and getting juice from that is what drives you towards it. It is a real discipline in thought to stay focused on what you want. You know how mind chatter is...protecting us from things that are not attacking us. You are an inspiration because you are the solution to obesity in America. Never forget that my friend. Feeling good it the ultimate goal and you Tony Horton know how to make ANYBODY feel good. Thank you Tony.

AlfaSunshine said...

oh I forgot one other thing.

mmmmmmmmmmm chocolate ;)

jarejil said...

so, are you by any chance going to Turbo camp this year????

marathonP said...


I wake up to your DVDs every morning and get pumped. I've gone from 175 lbs to 138 lbs and I'm ripped. I am walking out the door right now at 5am in San Francisco to run the marathon. This week I was in Wash DC and NY, and Tony Horton was working out with me every morning, keeping me going, inspiring me to be ripped and the best I can be.

You change lives brother. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me and so many others. That's an Ace in your sleeve you can pull out anytime.

:) phil

GreatDane said...

It is puzzling... why is it so easy somedays and then again others it's so hard to find that balance...

Wish I knew... but I don't always have the answers...

So I'm trying to live for the NOW and don't worry about the rest...

Thanks Tony for all that you do for so many of us... ~doris ;)

nick said...

While riding my bike over the hills of rural eastern Pennslyvania this weekend, I was thinking about a scene in the film "Apocalyse Now," in which Marlon Brando asks Martin Sheen, "Have you ever felt true freedom; freedom from self-criticism, freedom from the criticism of others, freedom from yourself?" I think that's what he asked him-- well, anyway, as I peddled up an unending hill in the July heat, an incredible wave of euphoria overtook me as I realized that I in that moment was truly free; free to enjoy life to its fullest, free to live it my way, and just simply free to enjoy the journey while getting closer to my destination.
Thanks for all your help, Tony.

Tinkerhell said...

I would think the pressure to be "perfect" would be incredibly intense for a fitness leader and role model. Lord knows I'm a regular ol' gal and I put enough pressure on myself ... I dunno how I'd do if I had the eyes of the world upon me.

But the thing is, we're all human (even a dynamo like you, Tony!). Sometimes we stay up late. Sometimes we indulge a little in no-nos. And sometimes we watch silly movies instead of doing something more productive.

I think our bodies and minds need a break sometimes. It's good to chill and be "bad," in moderation.

In my opinion, the good thing about these little deviations from our normal routines is that because we're usually attentive to our bodies' needs, they don't take such a toll on us. In fact, sometimes we can come back even stronger, both physically and mentally.

Thanks for the wonderful post. :-)

HULA77 said...

Ahhhh yes, the incessant mind chatter. I think it's impossible to figure it out, so I always try to "put it out" and move on. Things always have a way of working themselves out Tony, one way or another. Today will be a better day.

Looking forward to meeting you at the Chi-town camp!

Lis. (HULA7762)

Dusk said...

Well next time its stupid movie night and there's chocolate to be eaten, just call. GOSH!

Anonymous said...

That's why we love you so much, Tony! You're a real person who's honest and shares his ups and downs with us all. We appreciate that about you! Can't wait to see you in Chicago to thank you in person for being "real"! We appreciate all you do for us to "lift us up" on our bad days. I hope we can do the same for you! Take care and stop by my BB support thread, "Canadians are Bringing It" sometime. (That's an official invite! ;) )

Lori J

Tony B said...

Hey T,
I couldn't agree with you more.. No one is perfect and I would not expect anyone to be..I was a big sugar head and I still am but I can control it..
I PICK MY BATTLES.......There is so much CR@P out there to eat I look at it and if it looks good I'll taste it.. I mean taste it.. If it's not really really good.I PASS........That's the way I get by..It's real easy to stuff your face with anything you can get your hands on.. Controling my cravings and temptations is the way I do it.. Also, eating Very good and tastey food a better % of the time keeps you pretty full..
I can't say I have no guilt afterward but like I said no one is perfect....We can just be the best we can be for the given moment..We all have weaknesses that we cave in to occasionally but once you have accepted this lifestyle it's not as hard to get back on track..
Through all the time that goes by I keep a focus on the reasons and events that brought me to these crossroads in the first place and I smile knowing no matter what I am never going back to where I was before..My journey has made a lot of twists and turns but it has not and never will turn and go back where I started.

psyknife said...

It's good to know that even Superman has his down times ;-)
Seriously, though... I understand what you mean... even on the boards if we see someone who is kicking butt with the program we may have a tendancy to really put them up on a pedestal and expect nothing but the best from them... sometimes we may be that person up on the pedestal who feels like they are letting others down if we are having an off week.
I never knew I was one who was put on a pedestal, but when I put out a call for motivational help I found out that some people did view me that way... then I felt as if I had fallens, somehow, which made me feel worse.
Good news, though... I got out of that funk.
I know that Mark feels the same way... he asks me why people view him as being this hardcore & not quite real person (well, those who haven't met him)... I guess it's just hard to really see someone as a real person until you see them visually as a real person... I guess.
Maybe I'm just rambling.
Peace out... see you in Chicago... and you can eat chocolate in front of me... I may join you! Hahah ;-)

Anonymous said...


I can identify in a way with you, especially about the sleep part. I know I gotta have more sleep, but do stupid stuff instead of getting the rest I need. It throws me off my schedule, messes with my eating, etc. It annoys me! But, I am trying to chose to better option.

Thanks for being real for us! You programs have made my life better and seeing the "weakness" of a person makes me feel better able to try to accomplish what they have.

Thank you for your genuine concern for those who have used your products. I look forward to one day being able to meet you in person!

Keith Williams

momac35 said...

Oh my God Tony have you been reading my thoughts. I was at a red light today and this thought popped into my head

"Stop taking yourself so seriously" Sometimes I get freaked about my kids futures, my diet, my workouts, my husband, and totally lose the forest through the trees. I'm trying my best everyday. And putting myself in situations where I meet wonderful people like yourself and all the NY campers (WAHOO for us) and I know I'm blessed and will keep working hard and pursuing what is best for me and keep asking questions and learning.

Like my grandfater said "You can't beat fun" I had the most fun that I can remember in a very long time with you and all the great people at the NY Camp.

Anyone reading this who is on the fence or even thinking about it - DO IT it is the best gift you can give to yourself and I tell you almost 3 weeks later I am still

Thanks Tony for being so real yet being so inspiring.

Lots of Love
Maureen McAdams

Tony Horton said...


You people rock! I'm done giving advice. I'll just "let it all hang out" from now on. What an amazing response. It's so funny how things shift with time. Nothing has really changed, but life seems easier somehow after a little while.

The New York camp was such a high that coming home to the same old day to day stuff was a downer. The mojo is risen again with the LA camp around the corner, so get ready because I am pumped and ready to have some fun!

Peace...of mind.


Moodle said...

Here is my take.

You seem to be experiencing the subtle unglamorous reality of human nature. Despite our best efforts and no matter how lofty our intentions and desires are, there is the subtle truth written onto our hearts and minds that we are flawed beings. It's experienced by the alcoholic looking down at the bottom of his seventh vodka bottle, the teenager contemplating suicide, the person who feels empty after a roll in the sack with a total stranger, a mom who feels unsatisfied despite her best efforts to carry a household and raise children right all across the way to the fitness minded individual who battles with maintaining their own ideal about feeling good and staying healthy. Everyone everywhere struggles with "the self". We have fancy ways of denying that its there, dealing with it, and changing it but the reality is regardless of what we think, or feel about it, it's still there!!

That's why the people who are happiest in the world are those who sacrifice themselves for an idea other than: themselves. If we tend to always look inward the reality is we will almost never like what we see, there will always be some form of discontent, and something we will always want to change and that is because none of us can claim perfection. We might market perfection and be quite skilled at managing it around other people but in the end we all know there is a void inside of us. You speak of reality, well the reality is that if any of us were totally honest about ourselves we would have to admit we are problematic beings.

Two years ago I thought fitness was the answer to all my frustration at life, and on some level getting back into shape did make me feel better, more adjusted to my world, helped me to cope, gave me some confidence, but when the good feeling subsided suprise suprise I was the same discontent frustrated average chump regardless of how I looked or appeared to anyone. I still had the same behaviors, still did the same stupid things, and still had the same struggles. Not that I am knocking the fitness, because I do believe it is a wonderful tool for life, but...

Here is what I think.. I think we desire to perfect ourself because we are made in the image of our Creator who is also perfect, but we are obviously not, so that divine existence is always tempting us but never achievable, despite even our greatest efforts.. this is why people at the top of the world as you said above can blow it in a day ( ala Mel Gibson.. or the Tour De France dude Floyd Landis ). Maybe, just maybe and this is completely my humble opinion there might be an ideal to life or more to life than that which we can see, touch, experience, or have fun with. FOr me that has been my faith, which has helped immeaurably give a beautiful context ( that you even allude to in the P90 infomercial ) to how I even view fitness. Fitness, rather than being the end all of my existence is a fitting peice of a larger puzzle govered by the context of a higher ideal that is not all about myself. It is there that I rest my heart, mind, and soul and have the greatest peace and happiness. Something to think about!!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!!


Tony Horton said...

Moodle on Fire!
Thanks for sharing your deepest thoughts.

T. Horton

traci morrow said...

Tony & Moodle:
Well said. You've put your finger on the pulse of exactly what I believe. The *key* to finding out and truly loving who you are is to stop striving to be perfect for show, but to really allow the Creator of our very being to mold and shape his creation, and to work at becoming not THE best, but HIS best. That means opening myself up to being vulnerable and showing that I NEED to be molded and shaped.
A lump of clay does not look at the hands of the potter and say "I am beautiful just as I am. Stick a couple of decorative pinwheels in me and there's nothing more to do here!" No. But through an uncomfortable process of kneading the clay, cutting away the excess that is not a part of the finished art, watering, masterfully shaping, molding, watering some more, spinning, etc., the potter takes that lump of clay and makes of it what HE wants it to be. A lovely work of art that will never be duplicated.
Shall a beautifully formed clay lamp compare itself to a beautifully formed clay vase and be discontent? I should hope not.
So we accept that we are like that clay lump - a work in progress, with the potential to be something unique and great - and delight in the gentle hands of the potter, trusting that one day he will find us lovely, and worthy of sitting up on a hill to light it up. :)

A bit to abstract? Maybe, maybe not. I appreciate both of you men sharing your hearts for all to see. Though at different places, you are becoming lovely in the process....

love! :)

AlfaSunshine said...

Ummm ya but....I kinda am working on living by design rather than by formula scripture is "delight thyself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart". Free will is a quandry. You MUST take complete responibility for your experience. We are co-creators. There is work required for our faith to be complete. I believe the work is wrapped up in the humility of being able to be perfect if we choose to be. Victimhood is so attractive because we can say we were made imperfect so we have to live with it...well that ain't quite so. We are able to be perfect as He is perfect if we so choose. I haven't quite lived up to it but I am starting to get quite excited by the grace that allows it. What a great life this is!!

Browneyedgirlalt said...

Thanks so much for taking the Time to answer my questions on the Chat monday night! It was great to finally talk to you and understand some more things. I am really working hard at this and do not want to cheat myself by just giving in to temptation in eating. Thanks for sharing your heart on here and letting us see you are someone who fails also but gets right back up agian. I really think that you are right when you say"its not what you do but how you do it" and not to count calories or be obsessed with it, but to make a plan and stick to the plan! Its been better! thanks agian!
I really think my Husband is going to try P90x with me after I am done you think I should do the Masters series first or move right to P90X? Just a question

Browneyedgirlalt said...

Hey are you ever going to do a camp somewhere in the south, like Alabama, or Georgia?

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