Tribe of Mentors Part 2

Tribe of Mentors was a book in which the author Tim Ferriss asked just 11 questions to the world’s best in different facets of life to look at commonalities and what made them successful.

I answered these questions here in 2018.

I honestly, had forgotten about this post. But when I came across it the other day, I thought it was prudent to revisit these questions to see how my answers may have changed in the last 6 years.

So as Tim would say… Without any further adieu, I give you part 2 of Josh’s Tribe of Mentors Questions and Answers:

1 – What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

I haven’t given a book as a gift. What a novel concept…

The first time I answered this question, I said “The Game” by Neil Strauss. Reading this book about pick-up artists ultimately made me click on a link in a fitness blog that led me to the idea of starting up an “Indoor Bootcamp” and ultimately provided me with the indefiniteness of purpose to change my life.

It feels like an appropriate character arc that a few years later, the book that has most greatly influenced my life now is the Bible. When I first answered these questions in 2018, I had just found God and wouldn’t have been as outspoken in my beliefs as I am now…

I’ve actually been given the Bible as a gift a few times now including one that was passed down through my family for a few generations (even though my parents didn’t raise us in any religion). It feels divine though that everything has come full circle now because my parents and siblings all have the Christian faith too.

So if anyone needs a gift now, I know what to give you 😉

2 – What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.

My body had accumulated a few imbalances over the years due to the natural asymmetry of the right and left side in the human body. (The lungs and diaphragm are bigger on the right side, there’s a heart on the left, a liver on the right, and more people are right handed because of the way our brains are wired with 2 hemispheres)…

How each individual manages this asymmetry can cause compensations and muscle imbalances over time depending on their habits. Unfortunately, I was so shifted into my right pelvis it had facilitated into substantial chronic joint pain for a number of years (2019-2023) despite going to so many local physiotherapist, chiropractors, therapists, acupuncture and knowing how to move my body…

Frustrated and not resigning to live in pain for the rest of my life, I took it upon myself to just figure it out and I came upon the conclusion that all my pain was driven by a tilted pelvis, which was creating, the knee pain, the back pain, the forearm pain, the shoulder pain, the achilles pain, and the bicep pain. I realized I had what’s called left AIC right BC pattern (explaining this is way beyond the scope of this blog post today), found the only therapist who is certified in Canada and paid him $120 for our first session. Since then, I’ll go to Jon for tune-ups every week or two to realign me and pick his brain so that I am more prepared at helping individuals in the gym who I see with this pattern.

Now, if you see me working out in the sessions more regularly (I absolutely love working out in the group sessions with you guys by the way), that’s from me putting in the work, using Jon as my resource, and taking the first course in PRI called Myokinematic Restoration.

3 – How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?

I failed a lot after university and got in a pretty bad rut. Unfortunately, being pre-med and having a Biology degree isn’t that marketable unless you’re looking to go to med school. (I did not want to go to med school). So I would say, all the job interviews (which probably weren’t a good fit for me anyways) I went to where I didn’t get the job set me up for later success, as this made me reassess what I was doing in my life, led me to get my personal training certification (because I wanted to get a job in the short term where I wasn’t paid minimum wage), while I completed post graduate studies at UBC… Fast forward a few years later, and I was working at a local gym in Langley and decided to abandon real estate appraisal for fitness because that was my passion. My degree has even come in handy, as it helps me understand the processes in the human body better and I was even permitted to take the CSCS certification, which you can only take if you have a degree in kinesiology or exercise science.

4 – If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it—metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions—what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

Wow, there’s so many directions I can go with this one… I would seriously want to take way longer in answering this question than I’m going to here due to its significance. But top of mind what I would say is:

Are you going to remain stuck in fear (with satan) or are you going to move forward in faith (with God).

5 – What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

Every workout, whether it was good or bad, was a chance to learn something about myself.
That investment in my time and energy was a chance to reinforce that I do the thing I said I would do despite my mood or emotions.

Because that awareness precedes change….
Awareness of my mental state.
Awareness of my muscles.
Awareness of my posture.
Awareness of my recovery.
Awareness of my joints.
Every workout was a lesson and one to build upon.
Building my mind and building my body with the discipline that I’ve compounded since I was a kid.

6 – What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

I do PRI repositioning exercises while watching TV at night to realign my body. Sometimes…
If I’m into a song I’ll just listen to it on repeat for like an hour (what I’m doing right now as I write this).

7 – In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

I’m powered by faith now. Before I was powered by fear.

In addition, now I work on being present when I am around people and not go off to the next task or goal in my head.
(I have this pit bull mentality that I’m always trying to control as if I get locked into something I won’t stop until I get it or achieve it). For example, I’m writing this blog in bed at 2am on a Wednesday… Now Thursday cause I was listening to this song and it just fired me up to write and subsequently finish writing this blog.

As an aside to this, most people don’t believe in themselves enough. They don’t believe that they can lose weight or lift a weight or deserve love, or whatever it is… It won’t happen unless you believe that you are that person.

8 – What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

If I could get to them before they went to college, I’d say don’t go to college unless you want to delay your childhood or do something you actually need a degree for (doctor, lawyer, etc…). It’s just 4-5 extra years to extend your youth and be a kid, having fun, and learning to memorize shit you’ll forget. I mean that doesn’t sound that bad… other than the school side… Fun fact about me. I bought zero textbooks in my last year of university and skipped most of the classes and enlisted the help of friends in those classes to provide notes for me because I figured out that most professors are so inherently egotistical that if you just have their notes and what they said in the lectures, that was enough to pass the courses.

If they finished college, I would go with my previous response of not believing in a work life balance.

Because I believe if you view your work as a calling, it is a labor of love rather than laborious. When your work is a calling, you are not approaching the amount of hours you are working with a sense of dread. Your calling can become a life affirming engagement and can provide it’s own balance and spiritual nourishment and ironically… it takes a lot of hard work to achieve this! So when you’re in your 20’s YOU MUST WORK HARD! If you don’t work harder than everyone else, you will not get ahead. (You’ll have to be prepared to give so much to this that it’s everything). Also if you are looking for work life balance in your 20’s or 30’s you are most likely in the wrong career. If you’re doing something you love, you don’t want a work life balance, you want to do this thing that you love as often as possible for as long as you can do it. It’s now 2:30am…

9 –  What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Trying to force everyone to do an exercise that you personally like or is popular is a bad recommendation.

Every person is unique.
Every person has different limb lengths, muscle attachment sites, bone structure.
Some people have thin joints with thin tendons, other people have thick joints with thick tendons.
Some people have an injury history as long as this blog, some people are just happy to have stepped in the gym that day.

Forcing individuals to do exercises that are not right for THEIR body and not encouraging them TO LISTEN to their bodies if an exercise doesn’t feel right is not being an effective personal trainer.

And knowing when to help an individual push through the pain and those mental and physical barriers is the art and science of coaching and what makes a great personal trainer.

10 – In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

I’ve gotten better at saying no to doing things to build the business. I do what is right for people. I don’t try sell people personal training if they will get what they need in group training. I limit how much personal training I take on too because my role is to manage and guide the business and be there for everyone.

I’m getting better at saying no to myself if I catch myself being a bitch if someone asks me to do something that gets me out of my comfort zone (like giving a talk at a local business or something like that comes to mind).

I’m also getting better at being more authentic in my writing and writing to convey a message rather than pleasing my audience with generic fluff. I know I’m getting better at that when I get more unsubscribes from my newsletter 😉

11 – When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

I wrote an answer then deleted it because I thought that answer sucked…

I feel the key to that question and what makes it a great question was the part where it says what questions do you ask yourself?

With that in mind, if something is stressing me out or I’m unfocused or overwhelmed and don’t know how to make a decision, I just ask myself what’s the right thing to do here.

What is right?

You’re most likely not going to remember this moment 5 years from now, so just do what is right because nothing else matters other than that.

Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS

P.S. If you didn’t click above and were interested in seeing how my answers differed the first time I answered these questions, you can click here.

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