Compare yourself to THIS person.

Image result for man pointing at YOU

In reading Jordan Peterson’s book Twelve Rules for Life I was struck by his fourth rule:

“Compare yourself to who YOU were yesterday, not to who someone ELSE is today”.

In my work in solar sales I visit beautiful homes all the time, and many homes are clearly much more expensive than the humble home I reside in. Most of my clients are married, and when I run their credit and ask them their household income sometime I’m shocked by the number… especially those folks who are earning over $400,000 per year as a couple!

What you don’t know is how much debt other folks are holding, you might see a neighbor driving a new Mercedes but they won’t tell you about their $700 per month lease payment. The same goes for that gorgeous million dollar home that’s propped up with a $950,000 mortgage balance!

We compare ourselves to others on social media as well, when folks post pics of cars and vacations… and then I look out my window at my humble little 2013 Chevy Volt…

But when I compare myself today to where I was a year ago a very different picture emerges. That Chevy in my driveway is PAID OFF today, but still had a loan balance one year ago… my solar team was just getting started a year ago… my income this past month was far higher than January one year ago…

My house is far closer to being paid off today compared to my mortgage balance one year ago. By comparing my 2019 self to my 2018 self I have a clear idea where I’m headed. Both guys are still single, but the 2019 version is more confident, more comfortable with dating, etc.

This concept of comparing one’s present self to past self is very useful in detecting decline as well. Do you weigh more today than you did before? Do you have more debt? Is your income lower today than it used to be? Is your health declining from lack of activity?

I was unhappy with my body weight after Christmas and started fasting 16 to 20 hours each day. Here I am about five weeks later and I’m a little thinner and feel better already. I know that I merely have to stay on track to hit my target weight of 175 pounds and then STAY at that weight.

Look at where you are today and compare yourself to where you were a month ago, a year ago, maybe even five years ago. If there is something you’re not happy about take action now, today.

Ben

February 4rth, 2019

 

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Cold water swims + Intermittent Fasting

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That’s NOT me in the pic above… got that from a random Google search.

She looks pretty chilly, eh?

The ambient temperature last night in Tampa was around 50 degrees, so the unheated pool in my subdivision was in the mid 50’s when I did 10 laps this afternoon.

Since January 1rst I’ve been doing an 18 to 22 hour daily fast (just eating dinner, really) and doing a daily cold water swim in the late afternoon, as my schedule permits.

I feel amazing, I’ve eliminated inches from my midsection and my chest and shoulders feel a bit bulkier. I’ve dropped 10 pounds, but some of that may have been muscle gains, hard to tell. My clothes fit looser, one of the signs that my weight is shifting in a healthier direction.

I’m dropping weight at the same rate I did when I used to run 4 miles each day, but with Intermittent Fasting I’m not tearing up my knees and ankles.

If you are not familiar with Intermittent Fasting there are many comprehensive videos about it on YouTube, and this is how I learned about it. If you’re overweight and feeling sub-optimal I’d encourage you to look into this.

There is a very specific level of mental sharpness that occurs towards the end of a fast. I’m actually experiencing that “high” right now as I write this. It’s 6PM and I haven’t had anything other than hot tea since midnight, which puts me at 18 hours fasting. I don’t feel hungry at all, but I’m going to dinner soon (with a lovely woman) and I’m sure the food will be as delicious as my companion…

I eat normal food for dinner, I’m not “keto” or vegetarian or any of that, I just try to eat a balanced dinner. I still drink some alcohol, but I’m keeping away from beer for the most part. The great part about fasting is the built in calorie restriction, even if I have a heavy meal of pasta and garlic bread that is mitigated by a much lower caloric intake before and after the meal.

When I hit the pool near the end of my fast I feel strong and razor sharp mentally. There is very little on the internet about fasting combined with cold water swimming, but the way I feel when doing both is frankly amazing.

I’m just under 200 pounds at this writing, my goal is to hit 175 and STAY there for the rest of my life. I think the swimming and daily fasting are a long term and sustainable way to make that happen.

Ben Alexander

January 23, 2019

Cool stuff I would teach my son.

Uncle Sam 2014

I was blessed to have 2 daughters, and they were very girly girls with feminine interests.

Growing up they had zero interest in flying airplanes, riding motorcycles or shooting carbon fiber arrows with my compound bow. When I bought a pair of drywall stilts and did the “Uncle Sam” gig for the 4rth of July they didn’t even want to learn how to walk on stilts!

That’s me above, with 2 beautiful ladies from the Wesley Chapel Rotary club.

So IF I had a son this is some stuff I would teach him:

#1. Start lifting weights in your teens and take advantage of all that extra testosterone. You’ll look good and feel good, but understand that your newfound strength should be used towards noble purposes only. I was a lifeguard and a volunteer firefighter from my teens until my college years. Your role as a strong young man is to PROTECT those who are weaker than you. If you see someone getting bullied step in and help them out, even if that puts you at a social disadvantage, even if you have to punch someone in the head.

#2. Take on responsibility and grow into it. As a lifeguard I had to make sure little kids did NOT drown and this had life and death consequences. Society trusted me to take on this responsibility, at $9 per hour! When you are granted responsibility take this very seriously, you won’t become a man until you can be trusted with responsibility.

#3. Don’t grow facial hair if it barely comes in and looks wispy. Horrible look. I didn’t let me facial hair grow in until I was in my 30’s. Shaving your face daily decreases acne because the razor defoliates the skin. I shave in the shower, less nicks. Also, keep your nails clipped and neat. Use deodorant and shower often or you’ll smell like a used gym sock. Just be impeccably clean as much as possible, the ladies will like you for it.

#4. On that note… always be kind and gentle with women. You might be strong but you don’t have to be rough. My Mom is 70 years old, I always kiss her on the cheek when I see her, and also when I leave. Hold doors for everyone, if you’re walking with a girl walk on the side of the sidewalk that faces the street. If you ever see a woman being mistreated by a man step in and knock him out if needed. It probably won’t come to that, but I’ll gladly pay your bail money.

#5. Totally avoid people who do drugs and drink excessively, they’ll drag you down into their world, and it leads nowhere. Surround yourself with the kids in your class who are the top students, top achievers, the kids who have big goals. That peer group will lift you up and encourage you to be your absolute BEST.

#6. Learn how basic mechanical things work; internal combustion engines, motorcycles, airplanes, HVAC systems, solar, etc. I started buying used tools when I was a 13 year old kid working for an auctioneer, I still have those tools today and use them! Learn how to chop down a tree with an ax. Think about the skills you would need if we lived in a post apocalyptic world and learn those skills! At some point take a construction or manual labor job and work your ass off. You’ll learn valuable skills and feel great (but tired) at the end of each day.

#7. Don’t neglect your intellect. Make sure you read books outside of your school assignments. It can be science fiction, history, biographies, etc. The leaders in your generation will be the young men who are readers today. Your mind should be a giant curious sponge. Read up on Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, the Founding Fathers, Jesus of Nazareth, etc. Reading about the great moral leaders of the last 2,000 years and think about how YOU could be a leader in your generation, in your school, in your community.

#8. Decide to be a man of character and integrity. Lying is complicated and leads nowhere, decide early on to adopt radical integrity into your life. Do the right thing even if that is not always the easiest thing.

#9. Set some BIG goals for your life and work like a dog towards those goals on a regular basis. My business partner was a Navy SEAL. He had big goals as a teen and went to the Naval Academy, became a SEAL and retired as a full Commander! Now he runs a successful company because of a goal he had 30 years ago. If you want to become President of the United States set that goal NOW and work towards it.

… this is just a short list, I’ll add more later.

Ben Alexander

Jan 18 / 2019

Fasting works.

Image result for IF clock image

About six months ago I came across the concept of Intermittent Fasting on YouTube.

Basically this: just don’t eat from bedtime until later the next day. I cut out breakfast and ate a later lunch. Fasting is anti-aging, it also triggers more testosterone and HGH production in the body, which all men need after the age of 40.

If I have a day when I eat breakfast or lunch I’ll go back to IF the next day. I ate too much on New Year’s Eve, on January 1rst I started 2019 with a 24 hour fast.

When I tried fasting six months ago I made the mistake of having coffee with cream and sugar in the morning, this messed up my results.

I switched to JUST black tea in the morning (with no sugar or cream) and extended my fasts 16 to 20 hours. It took some time to do this, If I get past 1PM without eating I can go until 9PM that night, easy.

My and my sister Andrea decided to drop 15% of our body weight. She’s up in NJ, I’m down here in Florida, we text each other to stay accountable.

I ate dinner last night at 8PM, I will eat nothing today until 5:30PM, so that will be a 20 hour fast. I feel really great. The longest fast I tried thus far was 24 hours, I’m going to try a 36 hour fast in the next few weeks. The more you fast (and get rid of stomach bloat) the more you get used to it.

I’ve lost over 10 pounds of FAT, the spare tire is getting smaller.

I’ve also noticed that my workouts are BETTER at the end of a 16 or even 20 hour fast. I’ll hit a 55 degree pool this afternoon for about 10 laps, and feel like a million bucks after I get out of the pool.

Check out the YouTube videos from Wim Hof to learn about the benefits of cold water immersion, I’ve been swimming in an unheated pool year round since 2011. Tony Robbins is a big adherent to this philosophy as well.

Ben

January 2019

 

The Theory of Extenuating Externalities.

couple

The main challenge with relationships is that we seek to control things that we NEVER will control: whether the other person likes us, their level of integrity and character, their mental health, the other people they might be dating, etc.

In thinking about this, and in planning for 2019 I realized that the goals I set for myself by have to be totally apart from my social life.

For instance, you can’t really set any type of relationship goal because the other person represents an extenuating externality. I might be able to slightly influence the opposite gender, but the only factor I really have any control over is Ben Alexander.

In realizing this I was able to totally let go of any worries about dating, whether she likes me or not, even the question of whether there is someone out there who matches me.

For 2019 I’ve set three main goals:

#1. Help my sales team hit $1 million a month in closed deals. Our best month so far has been $624,000. We’ll hit the million mark, we’re 62% there.

#2. Pay off my humble little home. The sooner I get to the FIRST goal the sooner this goal will be accomplished.

#3. Treat fitness and health like a HOBBY and get into the best shape of my life. I’ve already lost 10 pounds since Christmas, and I feel like a million bucks.


-Ben Alexander

January 2019

A vision for a marriage.

 

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Please share this post, if my future wife reads this because YOU shared it I’ll invite you to the wedding, but DON’T share this unless you agree with the next few paragraphs.


I believe that VISION matters. When I was 29 years old I had a vision for a national company, within 5 years that business was in 17 cities across the USA.

2 years ago I was determined to get into the solar business. Last month my solar company sold over $600,000 in residential solar installs.

The vision that I have today is for the marriage I want to have for the rest of my life. I believe that we can speak (or write) our future into existence. The reason I need your help is that the woman I’m meant to be with might not KNOW me yet, so here goes…

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I’m going to be married again, to a wonderful woman that I will cherish until the day I die. I’m going to completely give her my heart, and she will know every single day how much I love her.

I’m going to hold her every night, and do small things each day to show her she is loved. We’ll be that 85 year-old couple that’s still holding hands and laughing together.  

I believe that passion can last a lifetime, if the couple is determined to keep that passion alive and burning.

From the first day we meet I’m going to have the utmost integrity and character with her, I will NEVER give her a reason to NOT trust me and she will know that my word is my bond.

I have a tremendous work ethic, and my finances are rock solid. My wife will never have to worry about the bills getting paid. Financial stress does not exist when you earn two or three times what you spend!  

I will be her rock, her center, her protector. She will feel safe with me by her side, and she’ll have my back as well, knowing that 2 people in a great marriage are much stronger when in alignment.

We’ll read and travel the world and try new things together, sharing a life of abundance and intellectual curiosity and community service. The world will be better because of the business, charity or investment that we put together and implement. We will always have an interesting project in the works, even when I’m 75 years old… it won’t get dull, that’s for sure!

I’ll grow close with her family and she’ll grow close with mine, and as we get older we’ll have some wonderful memories with the kids and grandkids and siblings and cousins and that entire crazy mix of folks we call family.

When we’ve been married 30 years people will see us together and they will know we have something really special, it will still be obvious in the way I look at her, talk to her, hold her hand….

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Ok folks. That’s my vision. I probably haven’t met her YET. Maybe she is somewhere in my social network; the friend of a friend… who knows?

Thanks for sharing!

Ben Alexander

TampaBaySolar.com

January 2019

 

 

Masculine / Feminine Energy

Image result for yin yang

In my personal exploration of dating it was inevitable that my studies would circle back to the role of masculine and feminine energy and how that flows within relationships.

There is a widespread societal messaging that “masculine” is bad, toxic, negative etc.

Masculine energy is really just a tool, I can take a hammer and frame up a house, or I can use that same hammer to smash a window and start a riot. Masculine energy devoid of honor or decency becomes the rapist, the stalker, the predator.

Masculine energy in the right direction can protect society, get work done, and forge amazing leaders. Think about soldiers, firefighters and police, and leaders like FDR, MLK Jr, Ronald Reagan, etc.

In the last 40 years the feminist movement has championed the concept of strong and independent women, so now we have women channeling masculine energy, and the highest divorce rate in human history!

I have 2 daughters, and I want them to be strong, independent women… but I think we’ve gone a little too far in encouraging women to be MORE masculine, while encouraging our boys to be less.

We all know the married couple in which the wife is dominant and masculine, she runs the show… and her emasculated (weak) husband just follows along.

This is the couple that hasn’t slept together in the last year…

When a man maintains his masculine energy in the relationship the woman will respect him and desire him, when that respect diminishes so does her desire for that man.

If I’m on a date with a woman and I sense that she’s channeling 100% masculine energy I ask for the check and leave. I’m looking for a partner who embraces her feminine side, and I have no problem bringing my masculine energy to that relationship.

I’m not saying that a man should be domineering or controlling, a great marriage is a partnership, but the man should be the rock and a source of centered strength for his woman, and the woman should allow herself to be feminine within the arms of her man.

The 50 year married couples that I’ve known in my life has effectively channeled both energies and maintained respect for each other over the years. If I’m blessed enough to be married again I’m going to do whatever is needed to earn the respect of my wife, while at the same time working with her to build a wonderful life together.

Ben Alexander

Jan 8 / 2019