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Benjamin Steele Blog by Benjamin Steele - 5M ago

Blog #56

I’ve written about the subject of morning routines before, but as it is such an essential part of who I am as a person, I thought that it would be worth talking about again. You can read the original post here.

I’ve noticed that I spend a lot of time learning from people that I want to emulate. Some names that come to mind are Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jocko Willink, Casey Neistat, and Dwayne Johnson. A lot of entrepreneurs, podcasters and creatives. There’s also, Steve Prefontaine, Bill Bowerman, and Steve Jobs. I spend a lot of time learning from people I admire because I want to better myself. I figure that one of the best ways to achieve my own goals, is to learn from those who are already doing it.

One thing that I resoundingly find in-common between many of the names I mentioned above is their ability to win the morning. I believe the first few hours of a day are the most crucial. Because of this I’ve determined to start every day with a win by planning and following a successful morning routine.

For me, every morning goes about the same.
  • Wake up at 5:00 am.

  • Make my bed.

  • Go for a 3-5 mile run.

  • Spend 10-15 minutes on the pull-up bar or working abs.

  • Shower (usually ending a shower with cold water).

  • Get dressed.

  • Cook breakfast, which for me is four pieces of turkey bacon, 3-4 eggs, and a protein shake. Sometimes also with oatmeal and frozen blueberries.

  • Meditate 5-10 minutes.

  • Stretch 5-10 minutes.

  • Read, listen to a podcast, or go over the day’s plans for the remainder of the time until work or another commitment, which usually happens at around 8:00 am.

  • If I could add in an hour of surfing every morning around 8:00 am I think I would, but that might just have to wait until later in my professional life.

So what does an effective morning do for the day and more importantly for the soul?

When I have an effective morning, it’s like nothing can go wrong. An effective morning makes the entire day a success. It leaves me feeling satisfied with myself and prepared for whatever the day has to throw at me. Sometimes we can’t control what happens during a day and everything seems to go wrong. When I have a good morning though, even if the day is rough, I still feel that it was overall a success.

Travis Bradberry, an authority on emotional intelligence, talks about the impact that exercising in the morning can have on your day.

“Researchers at the University of Bristol found that people who exercise have more energy and a more positive outlook, which are both critical to getting things done,” he says. “Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses.”

I believe it’s so important to be a physically, mentally, and spiritually strong person. The balance is important. An effective morning routine will help in all three categories. It will allow you take a hold of your life and accomplish things that you dream of. It will positively impact careers, families and relationships.

There are many benefits of an effective morning routine.

Having an effective morning has its advantages, says Shanon Makekau, medical director of the Kaiser Permanente Sleep Lab in Hawaii.

“Morning people have been shown to be more proactive, which is linked to better job performance, career success, and higher wages, as well as more goal-oriented,” she says. “These people tend to be more in sync with the typical workday schedule, versus night owls who may be still be waking up at around lunchtime.”

Successful entrepreneur, marketer, and best-selling author, Gary Vaynerchuk, talks about how his morning routine helps him to get a head start on the day.

“By the time I step into that first meeting, so much is going through my head already. The day started the minute I opened my eyes,” he says.

Gary goes on to talk about how it maximizes the amount of time he has in a day. “For me, every minute counts, so my schedule is planned down to the second,” he says. “You have to use every second you get in a day.”

So, how to make it happen?

Retired Navy Seal Jocko Willink talks about his morning routine in an interview with Business Insider and gives some unique advice.

"Don't think in the morning," Jocko said. "That's a big mistake that people make. They wake up in the morning, and they start thinking."

Instead, as soon as his alarm clock goes off at 4:30 a.m. Jocko jumps out of bed and puts on the workout clothes he prepared the night before. He then starts to go through his to-do list, so he doesn't have to sip a coffee and wonder what he'll do that day.

Jocko heads straight to his garage gym for a workout that wakes up his mind and body far more intensely than checking emails and doing some light stretching ever could. By the time he's done with his morning routine, most people are just waking up.

Jocko said: "Don't think. Just execute the plan. The plan is the alarm clock goes off, you get up, you go work out. Get some."

So, what’s your morning routine? I would love to hear about it. Maybe you don’t enjoy working out in the morning or maybe you prefer reading in the evenings and that’s totally ok. Whatever works for you! What’s important is that you establish a routine that will help you win every day.

I am confident that developing and following an effective morning routine will help you in every capacity of your life.

Best of luck,

Ben

Here are the morning routines of some of the people I mentioned above:

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This blog couples with last week’s post “The Ultimate Military Workout Plan” and illustrates my personal outlook on nutrition. It is my experience that it is possible to eat in a way that enables you to gain muscle while keeping off the fat. I personally am more of a all-around fitness kind of guy rather than a bodybuilder, but I believe that my diet is doing good things for me.

Blog #55

Almost more important than the workouts is what happens outside of the gym. Obviously this includes recovery, but this post we’ll be talking about nutrition. I don’t follow any fancy diet and don’t count macros (although I probably should), but I do have a few fundamental keys to my eating:

1. The danger of pointless sugar. Avoid it!

Obviously there is a time and place for a little cheat desert, but I do my best to not eat sweets more than once or so a week. The way that I’m able to achieve this is simply by not buying sweets at the grocery market. I’ve found that if I don’t have them in the kitchen, then naturally I don’t eat them.

For me, it’s logical why it would be a good idea to avoid sugar. If my my body doesn’t have sugar or bad carbs (I’ll talk about that next) to burn then it will turn to fat instead.

2. Low carbs and good carbs when possible.

Carbs are a part of my diet and probably too much so in all honesty, although I do put in a significant effort to watch which carbs I’m putting into my body. One way that I’m able to achieve this is simply by not purchasing bread or other related carbs. Also, by avoiding to eat out too many times a week. These changes are usually pretty easy to implement and make a significant difference.

3. Eating the right amount of protein for building lean muscle.

Eating the right amount of protein is a conscious effort. I’ve found that I never eat the right amount of protein unless I really make a significant effort to do so. A few ways I make this happen is trying to implement protein into every meal as well as drinking a protein shake or two everyday.

Like I said right from the beginning, I am far from perfect, however, here’s an example of what a whole day of eating might look like for me (I’ll add in some fitness and some of my schedule in just to paint the picture)…

  • Wakeup: 5:00 am

  • Pre workout: Protein Shake

  • Workout: Run first thing in the morning (5-6 miles)

  • Breakfast:

    • Four slices of turkey bacon

    • Three whole eggs + egg whites

    • One cup oatmeal w/Blueberries + a banana + almond milk

  • Lunch:

    • Chicken salad with a variety of greens

    • Low fat dressing

  • Workout: 45 minutes in the gym

  • Post workout: Protein Shake

  • Dinner:

    • Ground turkey

    • Side of vegetables such as broccoli

    • Cup brown rice

    • Salsa or some type of sauce

This is generally my daily nutrition and is pretty consistent with what I eat day to day. At times I might replace a protein with a hamburger patty, steak or fish and the vegetables or mix of vegetables is obviously always replaceable.

One thing that I do which isn’t recommended is I drink skim milk with most of my meals as I was raised that way and have developed the habit, but I’m making an effort to replace it with water when possible. Everything I’ve ever read is adamant that drinking a proper amount of water is crucial to keeping lean and this is something that I typically do well.

Also, I do take a few supplements from Bare Performance Nutrition such as pre-workout a few times a week prior to the gym and the occasional dose of BCAAs and creatine. I also get my protein from BPN.

As you can tell from this blog post, my outlook on nutrition is pretty fundamental and simple. I obviously don’t know everything, nor do I follow a perfect plan, but do feel pretty satisfied with the path that I have taken. I’m convinced that the key to eating healthy is a solid direction, being self aware, and holding oneself accountable.

I wrote about a statistic that really surprised me in one of my previous blogs titled, “What does it mean to be fit?”. This is what I said:

According to a poll by Gallup, about 7 of every 10 American's are overweight or obese. Of those 7, only 36% actually believe that they have a weight problem. This means that not only is America ridiculously obese, but that many of them are in denial of that fact. This is simply unacceptable! 

I continue to have my opinion that it is very unfortunate that so many people are overweight and that so many people are unaware of that being overweight. I hope that this blog will serve as some inspiration to turn over a new leaf and make some changes. Please email me and let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Thank you,

Ben

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Through open experimentation and habitual training, I have come to believe that fitness is an essential aspect of my life and my happiness in general. I truly believe that if you are not consistently working out that you are missing something irreplaceable. Blog #47I have basically come to believe that being fit means to not only be physically healthy, but also mentally and spiritually.

What you're about to read may sound a little brutal, particularly if you are a little (or a lot) out of shape, but I wanted to speak as honestly as possible on this one. This post comes as a result of two things: (1) noticing more and more how people generally don't value physical fitness and health like they should and (2) how fitness has increased my own quality of life substantially. 

I firmly believe that people who fail to prioritize fitness and overall healthiness are often less happy, less confident and unable to experience all that life has to offer. I believe that fitness is an essential element to living a successful and healthy life and want others to find that for themselves as well. Studies have shown that being overweight not only effects happiness, but that it even effects the length of life. According to a study by Oxford University, 'Moderate Obesity' (which is now common), reduces life expectancy by about 3 years, and 'Severe Obesity' (which is still uncommon), can shorten a person's life by 10 years. That 10 year loss is equal to the effects of a lifetime of smoking cigarettes. 

So...if being in poor physical health has such a negative impact on our lives, why aren't more people prioritizing the preventative measures? Why aren't more people discussing the problem? Why has the culture of "it doesn't matter how you look" developed?

I can tell you from experience that a life incorporated with fitness is happier life than one without. I also can tell you that I am a firm believer that most people are physically able to become relatively healthy and fit, regardless of their genetics. Here are a few more thoughts on the subject:

  1. You do not need to be a body builder or a model to be fit and happy.

We all have different genetics and therefore we all have different abilities and different boundaries. It's true that some people simply don't have the ability to look as physically good as others, however, as mentioned before, this is not an excuse. I am convinced that if you consistently go to the gym or exercise and eat healthily, you will eventually lose weight and build muscle. Yes, you may not look like a body builder or a super model, but you will look and feel like your best self. Personal fitness is not about comparing yourself to others and their progress, but comparing yourself today to yourself the day before. As long as you are improving your best self every day, than you are on the right track.

If you workout 2-3 times a week or less and eat unhealthily, then you have no room for excuses. If this is the case than it is ridiculous to blame your health on anything other than your lazy and unmotivated self.

Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "What we face may look insurmountable, but what I learned is that we are always stronger than we know." I agree with this quote. YOU are able to achieve more than you know. The only way you will discover the strength that you have is by pushing yourself in the first place. 

2. Going to the gym just a few times a week and giving a partial effort once you're there is NOT going to cut it!

If you want to look and feel great physically, I can guarantee that going into the gym just a few times a week for the month prior to beach season simply isn't going to cut it. I hear a lot of people claim that they are "trying to be healthy" because they occasionally eat chicken or salad and go to the gym a few times a week. If you really want to notice physical improvements, it's going to require MUCH more than a few times a week effort. To really see a difference, it will take attending the gym or exercising almost every day and eating healthily consistently. It's going to take doing these things for months on end. It's going to require jumping all the way in and committing, not just sampling the waters. 

"Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth." - Sylvester Stallone

3. Just because you are content with your weight doesn't mean that it's right.

Much of our society has fallen under the false assumption that it is "ok" to be overweight and unhealthy. That being overweight and unhealthy isn't necessarily anyone's fault, but that genetics are to blame. I'm telling you that in most cases this excuse is absolutely wrong!

Doing anything to shorten life and quality of life is wrong and should never be advertised as acceptable. One of the greatest gifts we have in life is our bodies and the freedom that they give us. I believe that it's almost disrespectful to God to not take care of ourselves. Not only that, but think about people who are actually unable to be completely healthy due to physical ailments or serious sicknesses. I'm sure they would do anything to be in our shoes and it's unfair to them to not take care of what we've been given. 

Try looking up healthy standards for someone your age and height to see how you compare. Once you know the baseline, record where you're at and make a plan improve. YOU are the only thing standing in the way of being in the best physical shape of your life. 

"Follow your dreams. If you have a goal, and you want to achieve it, then work hard and do everything you can to get there, and one day it will come true." - Linsdey Vonn 

You may feel that these things above are the basics; things that everyone should know. I would agree, but the data doesn't show this. According to a poll by Gallup, about 7 of every 10 American's are overweight or obese. Of those 7, only 36% actually believe that they have a weight problem. This means that not only is America ridiculously obese, but that many of them are in denial of that fact. This is simply unacceptable! 

I ran my first 10K when I was 11 years old and have been loved fitness ever since. Over the years I have tried a variety of exercises from running to lifting to CrossFit to martial arts to sports to hiking to skiing to military physical training and can tell you that they all types have impacted me positively. Setting aside just 45 minutes to an hour of your day everyday to do something physically challenging and controlling your diet will be two of the greatest decisions that you ever make in your life. Often starting is the most difficult step. Once you've been doing it as long as I have, it simply becomes a habit that I don't even have to think about anymore. Even after a long day of work it's not a question of if I'm going to exercise, it's just something that I do.  

"The real purpose of running isn't to win a race, it's to test the limits of the human heart." - Bill Bowerman

So this is my challenge to you. Take my words to heart and make a commitment to improve. If it helps, reach out to me (contactme@benjaminsteels.us) and I will do what I can to help you in your journey. If I have to email you every week to help, I'll be happy to do that. There are plenty of great places to get fitness and diet advice online, so let me know if you want any recommendations. I believe in you!

God bless, 

Ben

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How to workout and train like a United States Marine. This blog will be beneficial to those already in the service, those looking to join, and civilians looking to take their fitness to the next level. What will set this workout plan apart is a balance of body weight exercises, heavy lifts, and cardio.

Just before the OCS Endurance Course during the first three months of being in the military.

Blog #54

For those of you who have not already read my blog, my name is Ben Steele and I am an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Fitness has been an essential part of my life for as long as I can remember and becoming a Marine has only strengthened that resolve. One positive thing that the Marine Corps has done for me is that it has exposed me to elements of fitness that I didn’t regularly incorporate previously, such as HIIT workouts, CrossFit, martial arts, and pull-ups. Also, likely due to the many different Endurance Courses I have ran this past year, it has increased my appreciation for cardio.

I recently noticed that my own workout routine has become a little stagnant, so I decided to write this blog as motivation to revamp things. I will also do a breakdown of my nutrition, which I will post on this other article.

I’m going to write this blog in a weekly format from Monday to Sunday, but obviously it doesn’t have to be followed in that exact way. Personally, I like to run first thing every morning then lift at lunch if possible or after work, but obviously that might not work for everyone. If doing both is a conflict or if you don’t have time, you may have to choose between running or lifting each day. Also, the rep pattern of each exercise can and should be switched up from week to week.

If you like what you read, please let me know in the comments and subscribe to the email list for updates.

Pain is weakness leaving the body…

Monday

Morning Run

  • 6 miles at moderate pace

Gym - Back and biceps

  • Warmup

    • Walk then jog: 10-15 minute treadmill

  • Bodyweight

    • Pull-ups: 5 sets max reps with 1 minute rest in between

  • Weights

    • Deadlifts: Weight progression 20 reps, 15, 12, 8, 5. For example, 135, 185, 225, 275, 315

    • Superset Machine Row & Barbell Bicep Curl: 3 sets of 8 reps each

    • Superset Single Arm Dumbbell Row & EZ Bar Curl: 3 sets of 8 reps each

    • Superset Back Extension and Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 8 reps each

  • Bodyweight

    • Chin-ups: 3 sets max reps with 1 minute rest in between

  • Cool-down

    • Jog slow then walk: 5-10 minutes on treadmill

Take time after the workout, like in the evening, to stretch, roll out and recover.

Tuesday

Morning Run

  • 3-4 miles faster pace

Chest and Triceps

  • Warmup

    • Walk then jog: 10-15 minutes on treadmill

  • Bodyweight

    • 50-100 burpees

  • Weights

    • Bench Press: Either weight progression or single weight. 5 sets. For example, 135x20, 155x15, 185x12, 225x8, and 235x5

    • Superset Incline Bench and Scull Crushers: 3 sets of 8 reps

    • Superset Chest Cable Flys and Tricep Kickbacks: 3 sets of 8 reps

    • Superset Flat Dumbbell Press and Cable Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 8 reps

  • Bodyweight

    • Dips: 50 (as many sets as it takes you to get there)

    • Push-ups: 50 (as many sets as it takes you to get there)

  • Cool-down

    • Jog slow then walk: 5-10 minutes on treadmill

Take time after the workout, like in the evening, to stretch, roll out and recover.

Wednesday

Cardio

  • Warmup

    • Walk: 5 minutes on treadmill

  • Cardio

    • Run / Row Machine / Stair Stepper: 30-45 minutes

  • Body Weight

    • Weighted Pull-ups: 3 sets max reps with 1 min rest

    • Abs (see suggested exercises below)

  • Stretch

    • Take some extra time for stretching and rolling out

Thursday

Morning Run

  • 6 miles at moderate pace

Legs

  • Warmup

    • Walk then jog: 10-15 minutes on treadmill

  • Bodyweight

    • 50-100 air squats

  • Weights

    • Back Squat: Either weight progression or single weight. 5 sets. For example, 135x20, 155x15, 185x12, 225x8, and 275x5

    • Front Squats with Barb-bell or KettleBells: 3 sets 8 reps

    • Lunges: With weighted vest or dumbbells 3 sets 8 reps

  • Cool-down

    • Jog slow then walk: 5-10 minutes on treadmill

Take time after the workout, like in the evening, to stretch, roll out and recover.

Friday

Morning Run

  • 3-4 miles at faster pace

Shoulders

  • Warmup

    • Walk then jog: 10-15 minutes on treadmill

  • Bodyweight

    • Pike / Wall Push-up: 30 reps

  • Weights

    • Hang Clean: 3 sets 8 reps

    • In and Out Arm Raises: 3 sets of 8 reps

    • Shrugs: 3 sets of 8 reps

    • Standing or Sitting Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 8 reps

    • Standing Upright Rows: 3 sets of 8 reps

  • Bodyweight

    • Pull-ups: 5 sets max reps with 1 minute rest in between

    • Abs (see suggested exercises below)

  • Cool-down

    • Jog slow then walk: 5-10 minutes on treadmill

Take time after the workout, like in the evening, to stretch, roll out and recover.

Saturday

Long-Run

  • Warmup

    • Walk: 5 minutes prior to running then slowly increase speed

  • Endurance

    • Run: 8-15 miles at a moderate pace depending on distance.

  • Stretch

    • Take extra time after the long run to stretch and roll out

Sunday

Recovery / Circuit

I typically don’t take a day off, but if you do Sunday is a good day. If not…

  • Warmup

    • Walk then jog: 10-15 minutes on treadmill

  • Circuit: 5 rounds

    • 25 burpees

    • 25 air squats

    • 25 crunches

    • 25 flutter kicks (count every fourth 1,2,3,1…1,2,3,2…1,2,3,3…)

    • 25 jumping jacks

  • Body Weight

    • Additional abs

  • Stretch

    • Take some extra time to stretch and roll out

Ab exercises that will make you look great

I try to hit my abs 2-3 times a week and generally work them in at the end of a workout. Some of my favorite ab exercises include: (1) chair knee raises, (2) hanging toe to bars, (3) flutter kicks, (4) heel touchers, (5) V-ups, and (6) plank. Abs should be treated like another muscle group and given appropriate attention, but also not over worked. Additionally, I have found that lifts such as front squats, hang cleans, and KB front squats really help work the core.

How physical exercise is good for you both mentally and physically

Fitness has had a profound effect on my life and I’ve witnessed it have similar positive effects on people around me. It’s made me more confident in who I am in a person as well as able to participate in almost any physical activity placed in front of me. It not only helps me look good, but it helps my mental stability as well.

Throughout the past year in the USMC, I have been faced with some incredibly challenging physical requirements, such as hiking 12+ miles with an incredibly heavy load as well as flak, kevlar and a weapon. Although I can’t say I have enjoyed all of these physical requirements, I can guarantee that I have become a better person because of them.

Just today I saw a video by retired Navy Seal David Goggins where he said that he had not missed a day of running since Dec 2016. I would love to have that statistic.

What is physical fitness like in the Marine Corps?

Fitness is a very important topic in the USMC and I would guess that someone who isn’t physically strong would struggle to find much success as a leader in the organization. Personally, I haven’t seen many overweight Marines and I honestly do think it’s best that way.

In the USMC one can expect that physical training (PT) is primarily focuses around the Physical Fitness Test (PFT), which a Marine of any rank is expected to pass at least once a year. The PFT includes max pull-ups, max crunches in two minutes, and a three mile run. In order to get a perfect score, which is a 300, a Marine must do 23 strict pull-ups, 115 max crunches, and run a sub 18 minute three mile. A 300 score is the expectation, but it is difficult to achieve.

Organized group PT sessions will often focus on the PFT with lots of pull-ups, a variation of ab exercises, and lots of running. Most initial training phases of the USMC, such as Officer Candidates School (OCS), thrives on running and you literally run EVERYWHERE you go. OCS and The Basic School (TBS), both had challenging 4-5 miles Endurance Courses with varying obstacles that each candidate / Marine had to pass in order to graduate.

The first key to increasing pull-ups is as you guessed, doing more pull-ups, so that’s an exercise that I try to fit in at least three times a week. I’ve never been exceptional at pull-ups, so this is something I’ve tried to focus on.

In addition to PFT related workouts, I have also noticed that USMC training incorporates a good balance of CrossFit type of workouts, HIIT Training, martial arts, and of course hiking…lots of hiking.

If you or someone you know is considering to join the Marine Corps, then I would recommend you get in shape.

Final thoughts…

I hope that the above workout schedule will give you plenty of ideas on how to get started on your fitness journey to a more healthy and happy lifestyle. It really just comes down to writing your own plan and sticking to it no matter the costs. Fitness has helped my own life so much, I want to do literally anything I can to help you on your own journey. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Thank you,

Ben

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Blog #37

You've likely heard of Casey Neistat (the videographer legend from NYC), at least I know I've written about him briefly on this blog before. What you may not know, however, is Casey's story of becoming and also the positive impact that he makes in the world every day.

Most of the specific details in this blog I've gathered from different speeches where Casey describes his life, however, I do not claim to know Casey well or personally. I tried to be as accurate as I could and deeply apologize if anything is incorrect. Casey's videos have had a deep impact on my life and I simply wanted to share part of his story with you.

Casey dropped out of high-school at the age of 16 to support his newly born son Owen. At the time, future didn't look particularly bright for him. While in school, he struggled to pay attention and when he dropped out, he took a entry level job as a dish washer. Many people would have viewed young Casey as a screwup.

Eventually Casey moved to New York City to pursue his dream of being a film maker. Even before Youtube, Casey begun making videos as often as possible. He didn't find success or recognition right away, but still he put in 1000's of hours to master the industry. He bought a video camera on a credit card and on an early Apple Computer, begun editing his first videos on iMovie.

Casey wasn't trained professionally or given the best equipment, but over time he began to gain attention for his work. In my opinion, one of Casey's best talents is his ability to tell an effective and engaging story. Some of his best videos, such as "Bike Lanes by Casey Neistat", are filmed on simple point and shoot cameras, but still have millions of views.

After about 8 years of creating videos (around the year 2008 I believe), Casey and his brother Van received the opportunity to film a creative video series called "The Neistat Brothers".

"The Neistat Brothers" became an 8 episode series that basically tells short stories about the two brother's lives. It is autobiographical and told in first person.

Although I haven't seen the entire series myself (yet), what I have seen reminds me greatly of the Casey that I now can watch daily on Youtube.

After filming and editing the series, HBO became greatly impressed with Casey and Vans' work and ended up purchasing the video series from them for somewhere around 2,000,000. The show was aired on TV and won the brothers a few awards for their videography. Other than some of Casey's early videos which had gone viral, this television series was one of the first times that he received true recognition for his work.

In the 2000's, as technology began to change, sharing video became easier and easier. Youtube (founded in 2005), provided a platform for creators such as Casey to share content directly with their consumers rather then through a third party (such as HBO). This concept of interacting directly with people greatly excited Casey and started him down the path of becoming a Youtuber.

Now today (after more than 500 videos), Casey has nearly 4.5 million subscribers, over 1 billion video views and a dedicated community of fans who watch his vlogs almost daily (including myself). Not only is his presence significant on Youtube, but also on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr where he has a combined total of over 7 million followers. Just this past year he's won The Shorty Awards "Youtuber of the Year" award and was recently dubbed GQ's Man of The year. It is undeniable that Casey is one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of the past decade. His accomplishments are truly admirable.

Now let me explain why I believe that Casey is making such a difference in this world.

There are many celebrities and other people out there with great influence. In fact many of them have even a much greater reach than Casey. The difference between Casey and many of them, however, is how Casey chooses to use his influence in such a positive way. If you've ever watched Casey's content, then I'm sure you noticed how he is frequently interacting with and uplifting those around him. From what I can tell, Casey is kind to the postmen, a caring father, a driven boss, kind to strangers he meets in NY ( unless they're riding a motorcycle on the sidewalk ;) ), as well as a great influence to anyone that watches his videos. Contrary to many others, Casey uses his influence not just to help his own life, but more importantly to help others.

Here are three things that I've learned from Casey's example:

  1. Social media is a powerful tool. Through it's mediums (Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter) great things can be accomplished. If you or your business don't yet take social media seriously, then you need to start.
  2. Anything is possible. Just as Casey went from a high school dropout to his life that he lives today, I believe that we all can accomplish great things. Especially if you're lucky enough to live in western civilization, anything is possible.
  3. Doing good to others brings good in return. I am always so impressed with Casey's positive attitude towards others and I'm sure that this has greatly helped his life. As we look for opportunities to help others, doors and opportunities will come our way.

Although your own sphere of influence may be much smaller than Casey's, I believe that we can still each make an impact on those around us in a positive way.

And remember to not be good out of the hope that you will get something in return. If you are good for the right reasons, that's when it makes a difference.

Thanks,

Ben

P.S. - I hope Casey sees this blog. I would love to connect with him down the road!

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Blog #35

During his commencement speech to Maharishi University in 2014, Jim Carrey said the following...

"I’ve often said that I wished people could realize all their dreams of wealth and fame so they could see that it’s not where you’ll find your sense of completion. I can tell you from experience that the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. How will you serve the world? What do they need, that your talent can provide? What will you be remembered for?"

All we need to do is find the talent that we can provide to society and start pursuing it.

We need to pursue this talent so passionately, that nothing can stand in our way.

When I think about the great athletes and successful entrepreneurs in this world, I think about their stories of becoming. Never is it because of free handouts or lucky breaks; no, it's because of their willingness to work.

The word GRIND comes to mind. They were will to GRIND it out, until they achieved their dreams.

So how are you going to contribute to society and are you willing to GRIND it out?

Thanks,

Ben

Macklemore: Don't let perfection stop you | TEDxPortland - YouTube
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Blog #33

When you pursue your dream you should be willing to do anything, anything to get ahead. Right?...

WRONG!

When you pursue your dream, of course you should do almost anything in your power to achieve it, however, you still need to have a few limitations. Most basic to these limitations, is that you need to play honestly. Being honest, shouldn't ever be an option!

As I've immersed myself in the world of business this past year, I've found it interesting how some businessmen and women, have a complete disregard to honesty and ethics.

I'll give you a small example. Three or Four months ago, I learned that another small-business in my area had bought all of the domain names similar to mine, but spelled differently (www.sirwilde.com, www.sirwild.com, www.sirwyld.com). They had bought the domains and redirected them to their own website. Because of this, if someone was looking for my company, but accidentally spelled the domain name incorrectly, they would find themselves at their site. Now, do I think this lost me customers? Probably not. But still...come on!

When I learned about this, I sent them an email and asked that they please pass me those domains. I explained that if they were going to steal my customers, I would prefer that they did it the honest way, rather than like this. They said something ridiculous about how they had set up the new domains so long ago that they forgot about them (even though I only had started my business 4-5 months before) and thankfully agreed to give them to me.

Was I upset? A little. More annoyed than anything. I was amazed about how people could play so dirty, especially to another small-business in their area.

Since having this experience, I have had others where I have had to question someone's honesty. I've learned about other businesses doing the exact same thing to their competitors here in Utah and much, much worse things.

Reason for me writing this is plain and simple. Be honest and don't be an asshole. Pursuing a dream is no excuse to get rid of the values that you have. I am confident that if you are honest and a good person, you will have a happier life. Not only will you achieve your dream, but you will be able to be proud of how you got there.

If you have a problem with another person in your space, approach them and deal with the problem honestly and openly. Don't set out to do equally dishonest things back to them. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Thanks,

Ben

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Benjamin Steele Blog by Benjamin Steele - 6M ago
The years come and go, but our progression through life is constant.

I’m not sure why I decided this photo with a horse should be the face of my 2018 review, but maybe it’s just because I’ve been really into Johnny Cash lately. (Boots - Tecovas)

Blog #53

Just made that quote at the top up and I think I quite like it. Anyways…

I recently took it upon myself to revamp this blog and while doing so realized that I had written both 2016 and 2017 “year in review” blogs. For the sake of tradition I figured that in revamping the blog, writing about 2018 was as good as place to start as any.

If you had talked to me on a random day in 2018, I likely would have explained how difficult the year had been overall (which it was). That being said, I can see so many positive things that came from 2018 and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Most of the challenges that I faced during the year have been foundational in making me who I am today and are experiences that I will never forget.

In 2018 I took a spur of the moment drive up to NYC and met the owners and founders of my favorite jacket brand, CockpitUSA. Through this trip I have been able to build a relationship with the owners and have done some content creation and consulting for the brand. It has been a major blessing.

Here are a few highlights from the year:

  1. I attended and successfully graduated from the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School therefore making me a 2nd Lieutenant in the USMC.

  2. While at OCS and among all the challenges there, I rekindled my faith in God and recommitted myself to developing spiritually.

  3. In March I begun the six month infantry focused training course at The Basic School for officers, which I would complete in September.

  4. While at TBS I made a few significant friendships and started rebuilding the muscle that I had lost at OCS. Here I became fairly proficient in some new aspects of fitness such as deadlifts, pull-ups, front squats and nutrition.

  5. Upon graduating TBS I got orders to be a logistics officer and commenced the next training phase in North Carolina. While here I finally begun to have some control over my schedule again and therefore got back into a solid morning routine by working out, eating a big breakfast, and reading every morning.

  6. Also post OCS and TBS, I have been able to pursue my love of anything creative once again. I have begun to take photos wherever I go (sometimes for brands), consult a few different companies including CockpitUSA and Wrangler, build this blog and start a podcast called The Ben Steele Show.

  7. The end of 2018 left me with orders to San Diego CA, where I will be moving in less than a month. I am beyond excited for all that I hope to accomplish this next year. Believe me, it’s going to be the best yet.

I’m pretty proud of this photo from a TBS live fire range that I took off my GoPro. The military training that I had the opportunity to experience this past year was beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

Here are some things that I learned:

  1. I can do hard things. Even when you’re carrying a ridiculous amount of weight through the humid forests of Virginia with no end in site, anything is possible with enough mental fortitude.

  2. God is there and aware of our personal needs. I have always had a relationship with God, but this relationship got much stronger during 2018. During some of my most challenging moments I learned that he he cares and can support us.

  3. There are so many different amazing people in the world and that the population of wonderful people can never be defined by just one faith, occupation, or nationality. I am so grateful for the wonderful people that I got to meet in 2018. There are so many things that can be learned from everyone around us.

  4. Personal education is in my opinion the best kind of education. Also, it is an essential part to achieving happiness and success. I am often at my best when I am reading or listening to a book, listening to a podcast, watching an interview on YouTube, or reaching out to a friend with a marketing question.

  5. My personal calling is to be an entrepreneur in some capacity and look forward to the day when I can pursue something full-time again. Prior to 2018 I new that I was interested in the creative world and had dabbled in it before, but not until I no longer had it in my life did I truly know how much it meant to me.

  6. Above all, I learned that I am absolutely happiest in my life when I am thinking of others and serving them, rather than thinking of myself. Whether it’s something as small as saying hi to someone working at the local grocery store or if it’s sending a “thinking of you” card to a friend, without a doubt I am happiest when I am thinking of others and making a conscious effort to help them.

At first I wasn’t too excited to be in North Carolina for logistics training, but soon came to appreciate the great beauty that can be found there. I try to go to the beach every weekend if possible.

Here are some of my favorites of 2018:

  1. Podcasts: Similar to last year, “The Joe Rogan Experience”, “The Tim Ferris Show”, and Pat Flynn’s “Smart Passive Income”. Additionally The Bill Simmons Podcast “The Ringer” has been great. Also, of course, my own podcast, “The Ben Steele Show”.

  2. Early morning 4:30-5:00 am workouts during the week and long runs on that weekends. My running is a bit poor right now, but I’m committed to get back to 12-15 mile Saturdays.

  3. Chipolte. Always Chipolte. Also, unfortunately someone introduced me to Halo Top ice cream.

  4. Books: “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight is undoubtably one of the best books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Also, I have loved Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

  5. Music: According to Spotify, my top artists of the year were (1) Howard Shore because I listen to a ton of instrumental music while working, (2) Post Malone, (3) Imagine Dragons, (4) Florida Georgia Line, and (5) The Killers. I was a little surprised with a few names on this list, but am fairly satisfied with the list. A few noteworthy mentions in addition are Chris Stapleton, Drake, and Mumford & Sons. I really built my love for country music in 2018.

  6. Movies: “A Star Is Born” with Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa, “The Mule” with Clint Eastwood and again Bradley Cooper, and I actually really loved “Instant Family” with Mark Wahlberg and Isabela Moner.

  7. Television: “Ozark” gets the goat of this category with “Westworld” as a notable mention.

Another one for Cockpit in a beautiful town near where I live called New Bern.

2018 was a great year to learn about myself and who I want to become in the future. It wasn’t necessarily the happiest year of my life as much of it was spent completing difficult training in the USMC, but it was foundational to who I will be the rest of my life.

As far as the year to come, I won’t share my specific New Years Resolutions, however, I will say that I plan on making 2019 the best year of my life. I plan to care more, work harder, and grow in ways that I couldn’t even imagine. I plan to grow this blog and my podcast professionally and challenge myself personally and physically as well.

One of my favorite quotes by one of my life heroes Steve Prefontaine says, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” In 2019, I will give my best. Sure, I may still get beaten in one way or another, but at least I will know that I put it all out on the track.

If you are contemplating starting a new entrepreneurial venture of your own or are wondering how to take your life to the next level, feel free to reach out to me at contactme@benjaminsteele.us. I would love to hear your story and help where possible.

God bless,

Ben

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Blog #52

I recently heard about a famous author who said the key to his success was (in his own words) simply writing “200 lousy words a day”. He went on to explain that it was the process of starting to write that was often the most difficult for him. If he set aside the time to at least put 200 words down on paper, then inspiration would kick in and he would begin to really form something amazing, often writing for hours.

I’ve found that this is often how creativity and success for that matter happens in my own life. We don’t simply create amazing things right away, but it’s a process that we must work towards over time. I’ve found that if I set aside the time to do something creative (like writing this blog for example) even if it’s just for five minutes, than the simple act of starting on it will give me inspiration to eventually produce something great.

Since being a Marine Officer I have found it more difficult to create or be creative than I had before. Part of this is due to the greater lack of time and part of it is because the military isn’t exactly the most creative organization in general. I suppose it’s also because these creative side projects are no longer a necessity to ‘sustain’ myself as they were before because of the steady income I now have. I’m sure it would be easy for me to simply stop trying to be creative and just be satisfied with my 7-9 job, but I know that would in the end leave me disappointed and empty inside.

I believe that it is crucial that we all find ways to continue our creativity, no matter what our daily occupation is or how difficult it may seem. Even if it seems unnatural at first, making time to be creative will be the secret sauce to help us achieve our dreams. This creativity can obviously come in many different forms. Just some ways that I see people developing creativity around me today are:

  • Blogging

  • Photography

  • Videography

  • Writing

  • Programming

  • Design

  • Music

  • Art

Creativity can even take place in the more traditional workroom (if you’re lucky to work in this type of environment), like a team manager coming up with a creative solution to build unity with his colleagues or even an intern thinking of the next big marketing plan. One key benefit of creativity is that it fully engages our minds, which leads to true growth. There aren’t many things more boring than just going through the motions.

I’m always a fan of someone who starts a ‘side hustle’ to fuel their passions and creativity. I am especially impressed when that side hustle eventually becomes his or her main source of income. A lot of podcasters and bloggers such as Pat Flynn and Tim Ferris are this way. They started creating content without huge expectations of what it would become and then eventually saw remarkable results and actually made a lot of money from their work.

Some people say that the only way to turn something you love into something you hate is to do it for a living, but to be honest I completely disagree with that statement. Although the process of monetizing your passion will not be perfect, I am a firm believer that working for oneself in an industry that you are passionate about is FAR better than working for someone else in a job you dislike. I would just recommend that you do it for the right reasons (because it’s something you love) and that you be patient with how and when the money comes.

There are really so many different ways to make a living these days it’s pretty incredible. I myself have been mind blown this past week when learning more about the professional gaming community that has really started to grow over the past few years. I am impressed that gamers can make good or even great incomes doing something that may have been viewed as simply a waste of time just years ago. Some people may still hate on this form of work and say that it’s “easy” or “lazy”, but again I disagree. Any gamer who makes money one day took the initiative to set up their streaming room and stream for hours daily until their audiences formed and the sponsorships arrived. Just like starting anything new, I’m sure that their journeys weren’t easy. In my mind they deserve it. Any skill and passion that can generate an income is a good thing! Also, if you’ve seen Ninja play Fortnight, it’s pretty incredible.

So…what is the purpose of this post?

Challenge yourself to be creative every day. I am positive that it will reap results. Maybe you’ll find a new way to make money. Maybe you’ll grow as a person. All it takes is 200 lousy words a day, or 15 simple minutes.

Thanks for reading. Please subscribe to the email list,

Ben

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Blog #51

This is one of those blogs that I won’t likely advertise, but that one day I might look back on fondly.

I’m currently sitting in my Airbnb apartment (in between places due to Marine Corps training) having drunk a little too much gin and all I can think about is the future and the positives that I can see. I seriously need to make something incredible happen and I am hungry to make it happen.

I’ve been blessed with a great life (as much of us have). Good parents, a good education and opportunities to make it. America is the land of opportunity and those opportunities are there. This blog will serve as my vow to do something incredible in life.

I’m reminded of the scene from “The Social Network” where a young Mark Zuckerburg (I might have spelt that wrong) starts creating an app to compare girls in his school to farm animals while drinking beer. Yes, he might have been just having a good time, but he makes a website that gains so much traffic that it crashes the Harvard network. Mark was a visionary.

I want to do something amazing. A few steps that I’m taking to get there…

  1. Starting a podcast. Hopefully this weekend about creative people and how they live their lives differently than others. I’m intrigued with the unique people of society that actually make an impact on the world.

  2. Blogging / creating photo content more. I need to do better at this haha.

  3. Working to better myself. Be a better / nicer person and contribute to society the best I can. I’m grateful for the US Marine Corps for the opportunities it gives me at this.

I wish I had a audience. Just some people to listen to the message. So how do you get an audience? Consistency I suppose? Having something unique to say?

I love the new move “A Star Is Born”. In the movie Bradley Cooper’s character, Jack, talks about having people listen to what you have to say. That’s all I wish. If I had people listen to what I say. If I did, I would say to be a better person…to work harder…to serve more…to wake up earlier…to love more. Maybe I’m prideful, but I actually feel that I have one or two good things to say to people, it’s just about finding an audience to say them to.

As for now, I’m going to go to bed at a reasonable price because I work out at 0500 am. I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast while listening to Tim Ferris, Joe Rogan or Jocko Willink and I’m going to go to my training as a USMC Logistics Officer. I’m going to work my hardest during the 10+ hour day and I’m going to return home content that I’ve tried my hardest. When home I’m going to start taking steps to move forward in the creative world that I love.

I’m currently listening to Post Malone. The perfect example of someone ‘normal’ who accomplished something amazing. I honestly believe that anyone can achieve this.

God bless you all. Don’t stop. Make it count.

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