Leap Day Challenge

I think today has its good and bad things. It sucks that leap year and the elections coincide as I hate the thought of seeing more political ranting in my news feed today. On the other hand, since the (summer) Olympics also coincide with leap year, its pretty awesome the athletes, and myself, get an extra day to CRUSH IT!

So here’s my challenge, and in true Socratic Warrior form, it is a question–What are your goals for the next FOUR years? That’s right. Where do you want to be in four years? I dare you to dream BIG and not only write them down, but share them! There’s nothing like letting people know what they are so you become more accountable. Go for it…what’s stopping YOU?

the Socratic Warrior Philosophy

To develop your unstoppable warrior mindset through relentless inquiry in order to achieve your epic mental, physical and spiritual goals.

A problem with seeking answers to your health, fitness and training questions on the Internet is that it provides ‘answers’ based on a few key words you typed into a ‘search’ box. It does not account for specific details regarding your individual circumstances. Magazines, friends and family, and unqualified ‘coaches’ may not be much better.

For example, if you type ‘weight loss’ into Google, in 0.56 seconds, it returns about 230 MILLION results; for ‘get strong’ it only takes 0.53 seconds to give you 1.45 BILLION results! For the most part, the Internet is a passive ‘answer’ to your problems.

The most successful people ask themselves the toughest questions in order to achieve their goals. If you do not know what you need to ask yourself, how do you expect to get the right answer? If you are not asking the right questions, then you need to have a compassionate person ask you them! So, are you ready for a dramatic change? If not now, then when?

The Socratic Warrior ‘follower’ is a person who…

  • desires change
  • competes against their former self…and hates to lose
  • does whatever it takes to succeed
  • realizes setbacks are just set-ups for comebacks
  • commits to leave behind a legacy
  • constantly faces and overcomes adversity
  • sucks it up and keeps going no matter what
  • steps out of his or her comfort zone
  • thinks outside of the box
  • takes constructive criticism
  • practices delayed gratification
  • gets the job done…NO EXCUSES!

They are NOT people who…

  • want to ‘tone up’ or ‘get in shape’ for the summer
  • hesitate to make an investment in their future
  • fail to set goals
  • take shortcuts, look for the easy way, or follow trends
  • shy away from hard work
  • care what others think
  • need to be part of a group or scared to go it alone
  • succumb to excuses or peer pressure
  • QUIT!

Socrates, arguably one of the most intelligent and controversial beings of all time – yet famous for admitting ‘I know that I know nothing’ – questioned everything. Although most of us recognize him for being one of the founding fathers of Western philosophy and his ultimate demise by drinking hemlock, few of us recall that he was an Athenian ‘hoplite’ (see below) who valiantly fought against the Spartans in the Peloponnesian War. Ironically, Socrates praised the Spartans, despite them eventually defeating the Greeks.

Therefore, Socrates was both an academic AND a warrior! In fact, he was associated with some of the most famous scholars and warriors of all time. They included Plato, who recorded many of Socrates’ dialogues and would later found the Academy, and his student Aristotle, who developed the Lyceum and later tutored Alexander the Great. Alcibiades, one of Athens’ most famous military leaders on land and sea, was a devote follower of Socrates.

The ‘Socratic method’ is basically a series of thought-provoking questions and in-depth discussions used to arrive at logical conclusions. In lieu of just following ‘any’ training program, diet, financial plan, academic schedule, or career progression, the Socratic Warrior goes above and beyond by asking compassionate questions, not by giving out generic answers!

The philosophy of ‘the Socratic Warrior’ is to employ the Socratic method of asking questions – often very direct and reminiscent of ‘tough love’ or what you need to hear, not what you want to hear – in order develop a well thought out plan of action to achieve your goals, not somebody else’s!

* Hoplites were ancient Greek citizen-warriors whose limited armament included spears and specially designed shields. They were victorious at the Battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea using their phalanx formation, which highlighted their impenetrable shields and long spears.