According to an excerpt from one of my favorite reads “48 Laws of Power”, "All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely."  Anyone who has strived to become the best at what they do has probably encountered many enemies, or “haters” as we call them, along the way. Some people become so distracted by this “hate” (which is quite often the goal of the hater) that they lose sight of their goals and fall short of achieving their maximum potential. Why do we give a shit about what other people think so much? Is it because we only pursue greatness to please others? Do we secretly feel the venom spewed by the “hater” has some validity to it? Or, are we afraid of the consequences of being lonely high up on the top of the totem pole?

The answers to these queries are ultimately revealed when we realize that our greatest enemy is not the “hater”, but ourselves. Only when we release ourselves from the shackles of insecurity and fear can we think more clearly and steadfastly. The path to greatness is never an easy one and once it is achieved, the upkeep is overwhelming for most.

In my realm of fitness, I encounter people all the time who have goals and aspirations to become the best versions of themselves, ASAP! It is true that many demonstrate some success and realize the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Others…not so much. Either way, at some point in their lives they realized that they couldn’t reach their desired greatness without the help of an expert (me ;0)). Because of this, some of them are ridiculed by family, friends, and coworkers who don’t see the value in training, or don’t have the balls to make the commitment to a better lifestyle. I give credit to these people who give their “haters” the middle finger and better their lives anyway.

"Being the best you at anything you do requires some level of selfishness that will ultimately turn some people off!"

  -Joe Vega

"Who the fuck does he think he is?" He thinks he’s better than everyone else!" "He forgot where he came from!" I know I’ve heard some of these cold comments muttered behind my back on more than one occasion. I imagine if you call yourself, and you’re legitimately ambitious, you’ve heard it too.  It hurts sometimes when it comes from someone close to you. The circle of friends dwindles considerably as you progress towards your greatest potential. But they weren’t lying when they said its lonely at the top.