Spiral into Rage? by max el-hag

Books of the Month

Kyle Ruth spent the week out here in Salt Lake City filming the exercise physiology course we are developing. During the course of the week, the content was accidentally deleted. As a result, I had to exercise a tremendous amount of control managing my emotions. My youthful tendencies would be to spiral into a rage, yell at someone, feel anxious about what needed to be done, and fall into a period of depression about how miserable life can be. I set out a long time ago to learn to control and mediate my emotional states and use my intellectual processes to cope with the changes in my emotions. As I was explaining the struggle I was going through, someone recommended a book to me. And so over the course of the week I read something that helped remind me how to manage this process. Given that I was short on time AND the coincidental timing of my reading the book, I felt it was a perfect time for a book review post.

The Champions Mind: How great athlete’s think, train, and thrive – Jim Afremow

The book was written from the standpoint of athletic development, however it can be relevant to success at completing ANY task. Whether you are in business development, sport development, a coach, an athlete, or just a person who wants to be better at something, this one is gold. It is a relatively quick read, it is simple and understandable, and provides takeaways you could put into practice right away. Most people mistakenly assume that they understand what it takes to succeed, thrive, or attain high levels of performance. But, the reality is much more complex and requires an enormous amount of persistent dedication to refine over the course of years. Don’t get lulled by instagram one liners, media crafted messaging, or over simplifications, and ensure that you are working on crafting your personal understanding of self. I would recommend that everyone read this book.

Question Your thinking Change the World – Byron Katie

This book was very ‘spiritual’/new-age based, but provides application for people who aren’t peaceful in their lives. Whether you struggle to stay committed, with depression, with anger problems, with anxiety, or any other mental disruptions, this book provides a program to detach from your thoughts. The book makes it clear that your thoughts create most of your un-happiness and then provides simple steps to help you deal with the mental stress you create. As with all sources of information and especially ‘self help’ books, there were aspects of the book I disagreed with. However, the overall message of the book was helpful and definitely something worth reading if you are willing to try to apply a new strategies when retraining your mind.

Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killian Wilber - Ken Wilber

From the time I was a child I was fascinated with death. I have come to understand that many people fear death, think of it as a taboo subject, or ignore it all together. Knowing that we are all headed to the same place…the “undiscovered country”, the fascination stayed with me into adulthood, but the interest has continued to morph. At this stage in my life, the thought of death acts as a guide in how I want to live the life I was given. Whenever I make decisions that have potentially significant consequences, I always ask myself, “…if I were to die tomorrow and had the chance to reflect on my life, would any of these worries matter?” And if they didn’t, would I beat myself up and regret that I didn’t have the gumption to pull the trigger. As a result of this way of thinking, I read many books about people dying, afterlife, near death experiences, and people coping with others’ deaths. This book is a combination of many aspects of death, and is written by an author I really enjoy. The perspective blends different religious thoughts, does not sugar coat the downsides of fighting a horrible form of cancer, and teaches you that no matter what the circumstances of your life, there is hope for an internal peace of mind. This book is definitely a tear-jerker, but also provides a powerful and inspiring way of looking at ‘bad situations’ in life.

I wish I had more time this week to give these books full reviews to give justice to their impact on my thinking and training methods. However, in the light of creating an educational system for trainers, gym owners, and athletes, I must exercise an aspect of communication that is not my forte… brevity. I hope that these books offer you something to reflect upon in order to stimulate personal growth and athletic development.

~ Max

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