Shrugged Collective

10 big ideas that could change your life forever

We are often times ruled by unyielding expectations, false assumptions, stubborn default settings, or just a general lack of awareness. 

Sometimes all you need to make incredible progress in your life is to simply break the old patterns of behavior that have you chained up at a low altitude.

Isaac Asimov said it perfectly, as he so often did. “It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?”

What we need to do is find a mirror for ourselves. It could be nothing more than one new behavior, one new thought, or maybe just a fresh perspective on something old.

I don’t know exactly what you need to hear, no one does. But there are 10 big ideas that might point you in the right direction, initiate change, and raise your overall awareness up a notch or two.

It’s a start.


1. What’s your focus, really? 

First things first, if you’re not getting what you want out of your life or training then you must be willing to face yourself. It’s not a very pleasant thing to do, at least not at first, but it must happen if you’re going to change your life. 

Remember this above all else – You’re not what you say you are, you’re what you do. So, start your big change by being honest with yourself. What are you actually doing with your time? Where is your effort going? Are you trying to do too much? Are you spread too thin to really effect a real change? Maybe so. 

If your life looks generic, unfocused and undisciplined on paper then your life will follow. It doesn’t matter what you say you want. So, back up, reset, and commit fully to what matters most to you. If you find that something, anything is draining away your energy and focus then burn it down…Cut it back. Only then will you have the room and resource to actually grow. 

2. Set your pace deliberately.

It’s not about how hard you can push, it’s about your pace.

You’ve made your big commitment and weeded things away. You’ve got your plan. But none of that matters for shit if you cannot sustain the effort. So, be honest with yourself. How hard can you really push? What can you recover from? How much progress can you make daily, weekly, monthly without burning out? That’s what forms your timeline. 

Set a reasonable pace and keep it no matter what. You’ll be surprised at how far that takes you.

3. You need true partnership.

You can work towards your commitment all on your own, but you’ll get there much faster with help and support. Having great people around to share the load, hold accountability and to inspire you sure makes things easier. But you will only MAXIMIZE your progress by choosing real partners. 

If at all possible, surround yourself with ass-kicking human beings that are great at what you suck at! Together you’ll accomplish more than you could do on your own in 3 lifetimes. 

4. Forget about finding THE way.

There’s no such thing as an ideal path. There’s no perfect starting point. So, stop making judgements about what’s right and wrong. Just find out what works best for you, right now, and then accept the fact that this will change. Shed the burden of having to solve this big, complex puzzle. There is no fucking puzzle!

Without all that burden you can go much further, believe me. 

5. To be what you want, first set the conditions.

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it.” It sounds like a negative thing, right? Nobody wants to be a fake. But there’s an obvious and simple truth that we need to acknowledge – No matter how awesome, bad ass and successful a person becomes, their starting point is still at the bottom. They had to climb up from that place. 

If you want to make the climb faster, set your conditions carefully. For example, is your dream to become a national level weightlifter? Well, you can set a goal and then work like a dog. However, if you’re not living the life of a national level weightlifter then you will very likely never get there. 

It’s this simple…Find a great mentor and pay close attention to how they actually structure their days and manage their efforts. If you can organize your day and life in a similar way then your own evolution will accelerate. Your effort will carry you much further. 

Watch your habits.

A photo posted by Chris Moore (@barbellbuddha) on


6. Education doesn’t stop.

We get the question all the time. “Do I really need to go to college to be a great coach? What books should I read. What seminars should I attend?” These are all great things, but there are many more paths to ascension and success.

The number of options and things you could pursue is often paralyzing. You will only get past all that emotion and doubt once you accept a simple fact – Education is an everyday, lifelong endeavor. If you feel the need to go to college, if you have the resource, if you really want to do it, then by all means do it! But if that’s just not your path that’s fine. There’s so much more that you can do to get the knowledge you need.

Don’t worry about getting THE books, just start reading. Anything, everything that interests you. Read all you can, and keep at it! Listen to free podcasts. Email the coaches you admire most. Take the cash you have and go visit them. Hang out for awhile. Absorb the wisdom. Observe how the love daily…The options are endless.

You can learn anything you want. You can acquire any skill. And you don’t need money or good fortune to get there. You just have to have a huge thirst to know more and raise your standards. Make that a daily habit and you’ll be led down an amazing and unique path. Your very own path.

7. Ask less, give more.

It’s super easy to get caught up in the habit of searching and asking. That’s fine, but there’s a clear and obvious truth in this world – The more you give, the more you get.

Do not start by asking what you can get or make for your efforts. Instead, put 100% of your effort right now on providing maximum value and support to others. Volunteer often. Contribute in absolutely any way you can. Coach and assist others as often as possible. Focus on creating opportunities for other people. Think about what you are uniquely qualified to contribute.

Reciprocation is a powerful force. It’s a primate thing, baby. If you ask less and give more, you’ll find all the opportunity you can handle.

8. Know that other people feel just like you do.

How do you feel right now? Are you worried over the future, anxious, impatient, frustrated, maybe overly self-aware? Does it feel like you’ll never quite get to where you’d like to go? Well, welcome to the club!

You are human, which means you feel just about the same as everyone else. We all have our baggage and self doubts. We all carry the same basic emotions. Once you accept that you can shed the burden of feeling not good enough.

It’s OK and quite normal to feel that way. Drop the burden. Return that effort and focus towards your commitment. It will pay off big-time.

9. Rhythm makes things possible, but all the magic is found at the edges.

Remember when you laid down that firm commitment and plan? Yeah, here’s the thing. In time, you WILL get a little wayward. You might fall into a rut. You might get a little bored from time to time, or maybe you’ll lose sight of why you started to begin with.

You can avoid the ruts by making time for experiment. Make yourself uncomfortable frequently. Strive for something better, the higher standard. Find out where your edge is, then go just beyond it. Challenge yourself. You might find reward, you might find pain. But! I can promise that you will be better off no matter what happens.

10. Know that suffering is optional.

Life is a giant winding wheel with built in ups and downs. There will always be struggle and a fight to be had. And other times, usually right on time, there will be reward and joy. We know that. So, this begs the question…Why are we so hard on ourselves when things don’t go as planned? Why suffer when we know that this is a temporary state?

It really is a choice. If you fail, fall short, or misstep who cares? So what if things get tough, you knew they would eventually, right?

The very next time you throw a pity party for yourself during a tough workout, tight project, or just general bad time, remind yourself that pain and discomfort are not bad. They are necessary! Take Helen Keller’s words to heart. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

I hope these ideas are helpful for you. Press on, baby. You’re going to be just fine.




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Chris Moore is a writer, recovering meathead, fledgling raconteur and rabid imbiber. He's also cohost and resident potty mouth on Barbell Shrugged, a weekly podcast devoted to Crossfit, strength, fitness and all things brash. His experience is drawn from over twenty-years spent training for and competing in American Football, Powerlifting, a bit of strongman and a dash of mixed martial arts. Also, it's possible that he's had one too many cups of coffee. A caffeine fever is a hell of a thing, you know?


  • Great article!! I really appreciate all your articles and the time you put into everthing you do, you really are inspiring to me

  • Great article Chris! Some great motivation for Monday. I do health coaching, so I’m sure some of my people will love it and hopefully I can start the spark in others! Cheers.

  • I struggle with setting pace. I get a “good” idea, and charge forward until I burn out. That is an area I really need to work on ironing out, so I can put in reasonable effort over time to make that “good” idea great.

  • I’ve only just discovered this site / podcast, and already listened to literally every one on iTunes. Im new to Crossfit and Lifting in general (34 yrs old, office worker, drink too much and sleep too little), but listening to the podcasts and reading the site is great motivation to keep on track with my programme. The 10 ideas are absolutely bang – on – take control and responsibility, evaluate, and change it if you aren’t happy. Love it.

  • Your keyboard must have just melted because you undoubtedly just lit a fire under a lot of rear-ends with this article. Extremely well done, sir.

  • Really appreciating these dailies lately (more than the podcast even). I love how they crossover into business/life and are not purely predicated upon fitness. I feel that if you keep putting these together with clear and concise thoughts you will get to the point that you realize you have a book in you. Thanks again Chris.

  • I’ve been having a lot of trouble keeping up with Crossfit and Olympic lifting due to very bad vertigo I’ve had since I was a child. Lately I’ve been thinking of trying strong man and powerlifting…..any suggestions.

  • It’s all about PROGRESS! Right? Read the book by Chris and remember:
    The person responsible for your progress can always be found standing behind the bathroom sink. Go ahead, see for youself. (That is, of course, unless you have a window over the sink. In that case, I don’t know who that person is and maybe you should call the police or something…)

  • This is a fantastic piece. It is written with a voice of priceless experience. I felt like every word was speaking directly to me. I am projecting a career change in the next 18 months and this affirmed my thoughts, enlightened my direction, and calmed my nerves. Thank you for your thoughts Chris and keep them coming.

    • Jon, this is a guests article. It’s not ours. We don’t exclude points of view. What’s the point of that? You don’t beed so much attitude in your comments. Ease up.

  • Love the points of your article. I have a 17 year old that listens to your podcast all the time. (He has me listening now as well) He and I are going to read this article and talk about how it can shape his training but more importantly how it can help shape him as a person and a student. Thanks – Mike

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