17 Ways To Rise Above - Chris McCombs
Chris McCombs

17 Ways To Rise Above

“Half of life is fucking up, the other half is dealing with it.”Old man and sea, nature vs. man.

Henry Rollins

It’s good to be able to look back at the things that happen to us in our life… see where we were wrong… what we learned… and move forward into re-birth

Life can be like that… one wild fucking ride… a roll coaster like comedian Bill Hicks used to say… sometimes it’s fun… but sometimes it’s scary… sometimes it’s sad … and sometimes it feels to have lost it’s meaning… sometimes it’s pretty damned funny… and it’s ALWAYS intense

Sometimes we sail along… Blue sky… Beautiful clouds… Perfect conditions … it seems like it’ll never end

But it does

The soul wants more for us… more lessons we need to learn… and when the soul is denied… it’ll beat us into submission if it has to, to get its way

The soul plays hardball

The storms can come in with such crushing power we’re not sure we’ll survive … yet in the midst of the of it all, we are called inward to safe ground

We are asked to grow

We are reminded of what’s important

It’s a time of lessons, insights and remembering

We can be offered a chance to become the most authentic version of ourselves we’ve ever been

Or be swept out to sea

The choice is ours

The following are 15 lessons I’ve learned along my journey

I hope these lessons and reminders help you on your way

“Get busy living… or get busy dying. That’s goddamn right.”

Red – Shawshank Redemption

A3BD260F-61CD-491B-872C-FDA5F582DEA01. Live in the Gap – Since this moment is all we have, stay here

Live in the Gap between your thoughts…. The Gap between your fears and anticipations

Between judgments of how others should behave… how YOU should behave… or be someone or something different from who you are

Wishing things would be some other way

Wondering what that person over there is thinking… are they judging you?

There’s nothing that is not now, not here, not this… it’s ALL THERE IS

If you can find anything that ISN’T this, please let me know… I’d love to hear about it

Sure, create goals of the “future now” you want to experience… feel good knowing that you’re on an adventure and great treasures and experiences lay ahead… along with a few dragons you’ll probably  have to slay… we all have our demons

But don’t let yourself be consumed with the world, the world changes, everything is coming and going… but the Now always Is

“All you really need to do is accept this moment fully. You are then at ease in the here and now and at ease with yourself.”

Eckhart Tolle


BC65BD38-D632-423B-B678-26C2ACE1005B2. Allow The IS

Whatever is … IS

Who you are right now… whatever you’re going through… whatever is happening in this moment

Allow it, accept it and embrace it

I’m not saying don’t work to change or improve things, but don’t deny what is… for denial is a direct line to misery

Acceptance is the key to the passageway of happiness

Resistance is the path of the fool.

It’s not what happens to us that really matters all that much… even though it seems like it matters… with a little time humans can bounce back from almost anything

It’s the frame… or the meaning… that we give things that matter

Don’t deny what arises

If there’s something in your life to be sad about, denying those feelings of sadness and pushing them down with drugs, alcohol, some obsession, something or someone to replace what losing whatever made you sad… or putting on a fake positive attitude and “Stepford Wife Smile”… will do more harm than good

I’m not saying to wallow in your sorrows and stay slouched on the proverbial pitty-pot

But if you wanna get back up on your feet and feel joy again…. feel the “down” while you’re there with everything in you

Experience it head on… look it in the eye and make peace with it

What you resist persists…

Face, Embrace, Erase 

When you deny what is, it grows in you and holds you back… embrace “What Is”, accept the stuff you don’t like, allow it to be, take any necessary actions and move the fuck on

There’s more than one human emotion.. there’s no such thing as feeling “happy” all the time… no one is always blissed-out

The happiest people also get sad… frustrated … and sometimes even depressed.

If you want to be able to fully feel love, joy and happiness… be willing to fully feel the other human emotions as well, even though they don’t feel good, by feeling them 100%, when you ARE happy and joyous, you’ll be able to experience those feelings 100% as well

“What is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”

Mark Twain

23FA4A82-756A-4295-961B-3A47AAC766D7(1)3. Do Cool Shit

We all need to make money, but life is about so much more

Spend most of your time doing the things you’re intrinsically motivated to do, are passionate about and get fulfilled by far more than just what you are getting paid to do…

… You’ll be much happier, enjoy your business or career way more and have a much bigger impact on far more people, than if you just do what you do for extrinsic motivation (like money)…

In the short term, the extrinsic stuff might pay more, but it can also rob you of happiness and rob the world of the gifts that come from you doing what you LOVE

Now, I realize if you have six kids to support, a house payment to make and a job you hate, but that job pays the bills and it’s all you know how to do… then this might seem tricky… or even impossible

It’s only impossible if you think it is

When you were a kid, maybe you were lucky enough to have someone tell you “You can be whatever you want when you grow up”

A few rare souls listened and used that advice as a compass

Other’s paths took longer… it took shitty jobs and learning what they DON’T want to do, to figure out what they WANT to do

And for others “Life Just Happened” … I hate that fucking phrase

The reality is it’s never too late… if you REALLY have something in your heart you want to do, fucking do it… find a way to make it happen

Now, not everyone has that kind of fire raging in their heart, and that’s cool… just working to make a check so you can provide is a highly noble thing to do

But if you’re a reader of this blog, chances are there’s something you LOVE doing… I urge you to find a way to make your living doing THAT… and if it’s not something you’re able to make a good living at, DON’T stop doing it, do it in your free time… whatever

Just make sure you do it

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”


iStock_000000467239XSmall4. There’s an AWESOME Life Waiting For You…  Just On The Other Side of That Shit You’re Afraid Of

Your greatest fears are the passageway to your deepest desires

The scary stuff in life, the part of our to-do list we keep ignoring… that’s the stuff that we should be doing FIRST… cuz without it, the other stuff really doesn’t matter

Once we walk through the fears, facing them head on… the things that scared us become less and less scary and no longer control us

We’re able to move from the passenger seat to the drivers seat

Many famous musicians, public speakers and comedians still suffer from some level of stage fright, but they get up there and do what needs to be done

They could be shaking like a leaf on the inside, but they don’t let it hold em’ back, otherwise they’d never be living their dream … they’d probably be working some normal job-type-job that they would HATE…

… Sitting in their cute little cubicle dreaming about being a musician or a comedian or a “fill in the blank”… instead of actually doin the awesome thing they do and sharing it with the world

Sometimes we may never be fully comfortable doin’ those things we currently fear, but the fear stops having power over us

We act in spite of it, it no longer paralyzes us, for we have risen above it… and now we have the power instead of the fear having the power over us… the fears have been converted into fuel that we burn up hauling ass down the road of our new life

The treasure is right there on the other side of the dragon… we must approach the dragon head on, feel it’s fiery breath and do what needs to be done

Hey I love watching my favorite TV shows at the end of a days work

But what needs to be done never happens sitting on the couch watching other people slay dragons…  we need to go out there slay our own dragons, and no one else can do this for us

Action Alleviates Anxiety… but only 100% of the time

In every industry, there is an edge. In your business or personal life, it doesn’t matter– somewhere, there is a cliff. Most people don’t want to get to close to it, because they’re afraid they’ll fall off.

Thing is, the edge is where all the cool stuff happens.

– Julien Smith

 iStock_000000231241XSmall5. You’re a Flawed Creature – So Fuck It, Let’s Have Some Flawed Soup!

We’re all screwed up… All of us

It’s by design… the beauty, the art and the laughs are in the flaws.

Be cool with the fact that you’re a flawed creature

Let’s face it, we aren’t all as cool as The Fonz and his leather jacket, Samuel Jackson with his awesome hair reciting Bible verses in Pulp Fiction, or Matthew McConaughey running along the beach being stalked by the paparazzi

Don’t worry about trying to be “Mr. Man of Perfection”

We all KNOW that we can’t be perfect… but how often do we compare ourselves to someone else because they’re more successful, fit or better looking?

Perfection is boring and flatline

If life was easy and we were all pretty, successful and in perfect shape… we’d find a way to fuck it up

Who would need God?

Who would need introspection and personal growth?

Who would need love?

We could just sit their in our own little mental masturbation… all day… stroking ourselves to glorious thoughts of how amazing we are

“I don’t want a perfect character, I want a character who has, as strange as it sounds, some humanity, some flaws, some needs”

Nicolas Cage

1888CB1A-03D2-4085-8110-2B64D3254EEE6. Since You’re Fucked Up … Use It To Your Advantage

Most artists are tormented

So are comedians

And I know quite a few millionaires, and they’re some of the most screwed up people I know… why do you think they feel the need to make so much damned money?

And some of the most spiritual people I know are that way because they were SO screwed up they HAD to turn to something greater

Great people… loving, caring, giving… FUCKED UP

Put the “fun” back into dysfunction and use your flaws to your advantage

For example, I’m OCD… and it’s allowed me to do some super cool stuff for a living… especially since my resume isn’t even good enough to get a job in charge of rings… onion rings that is

I’m just not a good fit for the 9-5, commute, cubicle life

So I blog about stuff that’s important to me, from home, getting up when I want, doing what I want, helping people via the interwebs, and I get to do this with my fiance and newborn right there in the next room

Use whatever it is… OCD, ADHD, personality disorders… or the fact that you randomly scream “Shit Fuck Shit” and twitch your head around uncontrollably while you growl at strangers on the street … whatever it is… USE IT

7. Go With Your Gut, It’s Always Right

There’s a part of you that knows what’s best… it KNOWS what path you should be on

I discussed this in detail in my Stranger Than Pulp Fiction Post including some pretty crazy things that happened to me

If someone or something feels wrong to you, or a project just doesn’t feel right… listen to what your intuition is telling you, it knows a helluva lot more than you do

If you’re having trouble getting in touch with that part of you that knows best… try meditating, going for more walks, praying for guidance… “Thy Will, Not Mine, Be Done” is a good one… also, consider quitting any substances that may be blocking or jamming up your inner compass… I know Fat Burners were one that really seemed to disconnect me from my soul

“We always know which is the best road to follow, but we follow only the road that we have become accustomed to.”

Paul Coelho

8.  Money, Status or Physical Appearance Won’t Fill The Hole Inside

This one can be a tough, I know it has been for me

Now… nothing against getting rich, getting lean and sexy or becoming famous

But money, looks and people thinking your “cool” has nothing to do with who you are at your core

And these things can change in an instant… the core of who you are NEVER changes

Whether you’re broke, ugly and no one knows who you are… or you’re living like Pitt… chiseled abs, square jaw, millions in the bank and wanted by millions of the opposite sex… either way… the TRUTH of who you REALLY are doesn’t change one bit

The ego loves to attach to things like appearance, financial success and notoriety as a way to compare yourself to others… your heart and your deeds are way better places to hedge your bets when it comes to defining who you are

Some of the happiest people are broke and some of the most miserable are rich… and vice versa

Money is a great tool, but the obsession for money, thinking that money… or a six-pack or a person or WHATEVER… will somehow fill the “hole” deep inside. a hole that nothing outside of you or ‘of this world’ can fill, is a direct line to misery… no matter how good you look or what kind of car you pull up in

Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 3.42.38 PM

9. Balance is Critical and Easy To Forget

Don’t neglect your health, spiritual practices, workouts, family or friendships… if you do these things you will suffer – 8 hours rest, 8 hours work and 8 hours for family, fun and self-improvement is a good guideline to shoot for

If you’re a total Type-A OCD and insist on working long hours, than take long vacations too

Stuff like prayer, meditation, exercise, time with loved ones, nurturing friendships… and not just business relationships… are paramount to staying balanced

Better to make $90K a year and have a balanced life, than $9,000,000 a year but be in bad health, have no real friends and no connection with your Creator

In fact, IMO, it’s better to be BROKE and balanced and happy… than rich and miserable

Fortunately we live in a time where making a few hundred thousand a year while living a balanced and fulfilling life isn’t all that hard to do

So why not have the best of both worlds?

“Without balance, a life is no longer worth the effort.”

Olen Steinhauer

10. Face The Chaos Head On

Life is chaotic

How many good movies have you seen that don’t have some sort of conflict?

How many heroes are there that didn’t need to overcome an insurmountable villain, challenge or foe?

Life is lived at ground zero… it’s intense and full of all kinds of craziness

large tornado over the road (3D rendring)Whining, complaining and wishing life would deal us a better hand is The Path of Mediocrity

The warrior moves forward in the face of uncertainty, taking in the challenges like Popeye takes his Spinach… as fuel

The tough times strengthen our character, our resolve and bring us closer to our soul… or they can turn us into whiny little bitches and beat us into submission

The choice is ours…. it all comes down to perception and action

What meaning do we give to our battles? Are they opportunities to learn about ourselves, about life and to grow?

Or are they just “one more damned thing we have to deal with” ?

Do we take right action, slaying our dragons, conquering our demons and living our Truth

Or do we retreat, cower under a rock and ask “Why?”

Drop “Why” for “How” or “What” ..

“How Can I Improve This Situation?” …. “What Can I Learn From This?”

“Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.”

Henry Adams

11. ABT … Always Be Training


Walking, jogging, surfing, lifting, skateboarding, CrossFit, Kettlebells, TRX, mountain biking… whatever is that you enjoy

It helps to clear the mind and make the body strong

There’s just something about getting the muscles moving… contracting and stretching… the blood flowing… the heart pumping… the lungs working… and the pores sweating

I’d say “physical movement” is one of the top 5 things that can affect one’s level of happiness

I like the way Henry Rollins puts it…

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

Henry Rollins

iStock_000007042359_ExtraSmall12. Those Eagle Dudes Were Right… ‘Take it Easy’

Life is hectic, chaotic and crazy

So how do you deal with it?

Sometimes you just gotta kick ass, but sometimes a warrior needs to sharpen his sword before the dawn

When you work, give it your all

But take time to just Breathe sometimes too

Take time off, time for yourself

Take days just to think and realign… to plan out, come up with new ideas and let the creative juices flow

Take walks

Enjoy a long shower

It’s so easy to get consumed by the to-do list, emails, text messages, Facebook, worries, appointments and expectations of others … as well as ourselves

Take hours, days and even weeks or months to clear the slate, look within and see what comes up

Some of my best ideas come in the shower or when I’m taking a walk… just that short break from the to-do list can open the clouded sky of the mind enough for true creativity to shine through

I’m amazed at how when I take just a few days off from the constant doing, accomplishing and producing… at just how many great ideas come through… I’ve had more come through in a single weekend than the previous six-months combined

When you work… give it everything you’ve got and kick ass like you’re fighting for your life

But take time to chill… it allows the genius inside you to come alive, strengthens your intuition and allows you to see the things that you never knew were there


Photo credit Shepard Fairey

13. Live Truth

Recently I did a blog post on the subject of Truth

If you want freedom from that which binds you…


Fight for TRUTH with every cell of your being

And live the TRUTH of who you are

NEVER be ashamed of what you stand for or who you are

Whatever you are, be that fully

Even if most people don’t like it, hell even if NO ONE likes it

If you’re right in your gut, you’ll know it… go with that

Go with TRUTH

Just as action alleviates anxiety, truth alleviates fear

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.


14. Life is about people

Want more happiness?  … Make other people happy

Put a smile on THEIR face and your bound to end up with one on yours

Life really is about other people… the more we embrace this and act from that space, the better off we’ll be

Plain and simply, your ability to connect with others is one of the more important things there is in life

So be cool to everyone

Create and nurture quality connections

Surrounded yourself with like minded people and ones you want to be like

Do something nice for a different person every day without expecting anything in return

Tell your Mom you love her ( BTW Love you Mom!… my Mom is one of my most loyal readers )

Treat the people who work for you real well

Find ways you can help people that fits your personality… if working the soup kitchen line ain’t your thing… start a blog!

The more people you can call on in times of need… from small stuff like needing a connection or a resource… to big stuff like leaning on people when you’ve lost a loved one … the better your life will be

Be the best friend you can be and love with everything in you

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Albert Camus


15. Fucking Jam Your Tunes Man… Even If You’re In a Garage Band

This goes back to #3… but deserves a second nod…

Stay true to yourself and do what you were born to do, all the money in the world won’t make you happy, and it’s better to do what you love and make less money than be financially successful but spend your days doing shit you don’t like doing or don’t find fulfilling

How you spend your time is more important than what you have in the bank… ideally you can have both, doing what you love AND financial success.

But if it’s out of the two, as long as you can keep a roof over your head and food on the table, ALWAYS spend your time doing what you love … ALWAYS

16. Laugh Every Chance You Get

Laugh your ass off

Watch funny movies, read funny blogs, watch funny YouTube Videos, laugh and joke with as many people as you can as often as you can

Surround yourself with funny friends

Life is too short to take serious… take your business serious, but not yourself

Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh … and then Laugh some more

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand”

Mark Twain

17. Turn to Your Creator

I’m not here to tell you what to believe when it comes to God… we’ve all had enough of that in our lifetimes and you’ve had decades to come to your own conclusions … but I can tell you from my experience, when I turn to God… I can withstand any storm

There’s not a marble floor in the world that could keep me down

Oh yeah, and if you REALLY wanna rise above, then subscribe my blog and I’ll send you all kinds of cool posts, just like this one, as I write em’ … you can subscribe here:

Talk soon,
Big Chris

P.S. If you liked this post, I’d love if you would push some of those social media sharing buttons like the Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Google Plus buttons at the top of this post and share it with your friends

Also, I’d love to hear your comments below

I do my best to respond to all comments.

Comment Policy is that flaming will not be tolerated. Comments are moderated so give yours a little time to show up ok? – Thanks again!

Leave a Comment:

Shaun Brant says January 3, 2013

After reading this… the only word that comes to mind is WOW! I am blown away by the power and truth of your words. It is not common in life to come across something so real, true and liberating. Reading this was more than just words on some web page, this was a powerful message that spoke directly to my soul and stoked the burning fire within me. To help you understand how EPIC this was for me, let me put it down like this: My soul is like a ship sailing through a chaotic sea, and this post was like a burning beacon put there by a kind and generous soul who by the simple act of revealing this bright ray of truth, hope and powerful inspiration to help guide us lost ships to safer waters, and a better future. Things like this are a blessing and more precious and powerful than any sum of money or other materialistic bullshit. I feel like i just found a million bucks after reading this, and I just want to say thank you for taking the time to share this and having the will to help your fellow man. The world desperately needs more people like you, Big Chris. We should all strive to live life with the passion and truth that makes you such an amazing and real person.

Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

Hey thanks Shaun, your comment just made my night bro

    Chaitali says August 30, 2019

    Heyyyy chris

    I am Chaitali… Load of love from India! I happened to read this blog of yours, it actually made my day, refreshed my thoughts and gave a better way living life.
    I want to ask you that is it really ok if I am an adhd, though i am really not sure whether I am an adhd or not, the symtoms matches to me. I am very empathetic as well and catch on other’s vibes real quick. I am actually persuing my dream of becoming the best fine artist, but I lose concentration in only 15 mins maximum, I am an overthinker, i am too much of chaos difficult to understand myself. Though i want to achieve my dream badly!!
    Ps i always feel that everyone must be thinking that i am insane

    A big thankyou if you are reading this and i hope that you have something to say to me that will make me feel good about me…. Thankyouuu

      Chris McCombs says September 1, 2019

      Hi Chaitali, thanks for your kind words. As for whether you are ADHD you would definitely need to talk to a qualified physician. The fact that you’re seeking answers is huge. And ADHD isn’t a bad thing. Plenty of happy people (on or not-on meds) have it. One of my best friends is more ADD than anyone I know, he doesn’t take meds for it, and his biz does over $125 USD per year. To varying degreeds, most successful entrepenuers seem to have some version of ADD along with OCD, and it doesn’t hold them back. At least that’s been my observation. Thanks again!

Veronica says January 3, 2013

I just had my mind blown! This is a truly inspirational post. The fact that you are willing to share your trials and tribulations so that maybe others can take away life lessons and learn from them takes some balls… You have an enormous amount of wisdom to share and I hope you don’t ever stop sharing it with the world… In a world full of liars we need honest people like you:)

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Thank you so much for your super cool words, that means a lot (=

Kenneth Chavez says January 3, 2013

Thanks bro, this is awesome post at the perfect time. You’re on a roll with your latest writings, they really got me thinking in a positive way.

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Right on Kenneth, glad you like em’

    Anytime we can get to thinking in a positively way is definitely a good thing

Pam says January 3, 2013

I skimmed most of it and had to pass up the foul words but I did get a lot out it. No matter what, I need to press forward to make my business grow. I hate cubicles and never want to go back. Thanks for making it real.

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey Pam , we definitely share the dislike of cubicles…. evil little things they are

    thx for the kind words

Jason says January 3, 2013

Hey Chris, Deep stuff man and great words to read at 6.30 in the morning as I start my day, listing all the thing’s I’m grateful for in my life. It’s funny how life is so paradoxical that we must an can only experience “left” if we first have know “right”, and sometimes we live in the “up” but do not realize, and cannot really appreciate the “up” until we go “down” all the way only to bounce back even higher and harder.
have a great day mate J

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Wise words brother

    I start every day with some gratitude stuff myself, helps a ton

    How cool is that, I finish this thing up at 630 in the evening in California, and minutes later you’re reading all the way across the globe at 630 in the morning


    thanks for the words Jason

      Jason says January 4, 2013

      Hey Chris, Just got the e mail asking me to share with my face book, it would be my pleasure mate.

      I hear about the connecting Bro, you keep up the inspirational stuff people really need it at the moment

      Jason says January 4, 2013

      Hey Chris, Just got the e mail asking me to share with my face book, it would be my pleasure mate.


    Jason says January 4, 2013

    Hey Chris, Just got the e mail asking me to share with my face book, it would be my pleasure mate.


    P.s how can I put my avatar picture in the box next to my name (it good to meet face to face) I ain’t that pretty but I just think it’s polite if I know what look like you should know me mate

      Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

      Hey thanks a ton Jason

      About the avatar thing, man I “think” you have to have a wordpress account, and then you set it up under your profile setting… emphasis on “think”

      Appreciate you sharing bro, super cool of you

Jeanie Rocco says January 3, 2013

I thought this post was so well written. Live and Learn..and Live Life to the Fullest! Love what you do, and do it with passion and a zest for life! So many mindful things to take away from this blog. You are a true man to live up to your flaws and learn and share about your mistakes with the world. It takes guts, it takes balls and I admire a person who can educate others by his life experiences, good and bad. Thank you so much for sharing your story and wisdom, and educating others with your thoughts and views on how to live life to the fullest! Happy New Year Chris! 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 13, 2013

    Wow, so cool of you to say that stuff Jeanie (=

Rommel says January 3, 2013

I think you’re blogging is reaching a different level here. Great inspiration for me to write more like this, but simply just great inspiration! Thanks again for what you do!

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey Rommel, “reaching a new level” … super cool compliment, thanks a million man

Mik says January 3, 2013

This is going on my wall “There’s an AWESOME Life Waiting For You… Just On The Other Side of That Shit You’re Afraid Of” Chris McCombs

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Right on brother, it’s an honor to make your wall

WilsonFitnessCoach says January 3, 2013

I dont think you really…really realise the effect and impact of your thoughts and honesty on your audience. You are setting off a an explossion of inspiration all over the world Chris. this is no longer about workouts, personal training etc. this is about life.

Damn man…mmhhh. Thi is too much for me man. thank you man. really thank you. God speed.

Chad says January 3, 2013

I’d love to write a response that conveys ample gratitude… Impossible.

For me, personally, the timing of this article is ideal. The message. Your background. Writing. Everything. I really appreciate it, man. I’ll share this in my newsletter, fan page, everywhere. Great message here, everyone should read it.

PS. If you’re up for it, would love to touch base soon if you’re free. I sent you a book a couple years back, “Rat Bastards”, not sure if you remember… Anyway, would be great to connect.


    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey Chad, thanks a ton man

    Great blog you got there BTW … “Fuck Mediocrity and Become a Legend”

    killer Chad, seriously

      Tiago Nascimento says January 4, 2013

      I discovered your blog through chad’s newsletter. I discovered his blog through ” the art of manliness” (awesome site too), and I discovered “the art of … well and so on. You guys are the prove that good things attract things even better.

Peter says January 3, 2013

Damn.. Thank you Chris im 23 years old trying to find my way, this definately helped.

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey thanks Peter, I’m 42 and still trying to find my way

    I think it’s lifelong journey

    “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

Michael says January 3, 2013

This was one of the best things I could of read during this time in my life. I have a lot of dreams and sometimes I want to throw in the towel but reading your blog and especially this post has refreshed my mind. Thanks for all that you do!

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Thanks Michael… that means it’s doing it’s job (=

Philip hall says January 3, 2013

Damn Chris McCombs, your a BOSS ! That’s what’s up man, sick sick post right there.

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    thanks Philip… “sick sick post” is one of the highest compliments a person can give IMO… much appreciated

Justin says January 3, 2013

Hey Chris,

Im loving this blog! You talk the truth about everything, in a way that can only be described in words once you’ve been through the experience for real.

If you’ve not read it I’d recommend the book ‘Conversations With God’ by Donald Neale Walche – one of the best things I’ve ever read on this aspect of life and the soul (even though I’m not ‘religious’ as most would describe it)

Thanks again Chris for the inspiration that your words carry.

Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks


    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Love that book Justin… an all time fave

    I appreciate you reminding me of it

    Thanks for the nice comment J

Randy Woody says January 3, 2013

Great post Chris. Great insight on what “matters’ in the end. Too many caught up in the flash and not really living what little time they have here. Praise God for your “getting up, brushing off” and living life. Great read. Write a PG version so I can share it, like an AM station version LOL

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey thanks Big Randy

    this IS the PG version (=

      Randy says January 4, 2013

      You rock. LOL

        Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

        No Randy, YOU Rock, Like Halen did in the late 70’s early 80’s

Charlene Casey says January 3, 2013

I am not easily impressed nor inspired. I have to FEEL whatever things – inside my head – before I act. Your words, the in your faceness of it all – has touched me! I am going to follow or link or share or whatever to stay connected to the words and person behind them. I overcame huge hurdles over the past couple of years — I am stalwart in my dedication to myself – your words are like icing on the cake to my mindset for success. Bravo!!!

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey Charlene, thanks a ton Girl

    Congrats on overcoming your hurdles… that kind of stuff feels great don’t it?

    To be on the other side of the mountain

Dara says January 3, 2013

I loved reading this. I’m taking my business to the next level and I need all the inspiration I can get.
Thanks for the insight and motivation Chris. Keep it coming!

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Super Girl Fit

    love that name

    Thx Dara!

Lani says January 3, 2013

Again a wonderful blog to inspire to leave between fear, rejection and defeat. Today, I bought tickets to Brea Improv Club so I can laugh me ass off instead of dwelling on negativity.

Nathan Jordan says January 3, 2013

Big Chris,

I loved this post. Lots of inspiring stuff. I had never read the entire Henry Rollins quote. I am going to see if his stuff is on gtunes to start listening to his songs. We have been through similar things in our lives and it is awesome to read about these types of things. Face, Embrace, Erase and dealing with terrible things head on is great advice. It is so easy to get lost in drugs or drink when things seem like they could not be any worse but they can always be worse. I am glad I read this today. Thanks.

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey Nathan, check out his spoken word stuff

    His music’s ok, his spoken word stuff is insane though

Mark Greenwood says January 3, 2013

It’s always amazing how much of yourself you’re willing and able to give to show others there’s a new way, a different way, maybe even a better way of thinking, doing, being. Great stuff brother!

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Thank YOU Mark

    Proud of what you’ve built for yourself in your training biz bro

Leon Lavigne says January 3, 2013

Thanks for this post Chris! Its Fantastic!
I Love the Henry Rollins “steel” quote.
Meditation and exercise are truly a very powerful combination.
Also, thanks again for the inspiration…Iv been praying for it!
Keep em coming 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Hey Leon

    Meditation and exercise are a powerful one two punch

    I have to admit, Im more consistent with the workouts than my meditation

    Sometimes the workouts actually serve both purposes (=

    I like to get in some 20 min meditations too though

      Leon Lavigne says January 3, 2013

      I heard this one today: exercise keeps the body from sagging…meditation keeps the mind from sagging (going negative etc)

      I get my 15-20 min a day. it helps… 😀

        Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

        LOVE IT

Sako Yakinian says January 3, 2013

He’s back!!!

Loved this post brotha! Old school Chris speaking truth with nothing to hide. Perfect timing for this man, I really needed it. Glad you’re on it again. Thanks again for everything, I won’t ever forget it was you who helped get my business off the ground and to start the boot camps. I appreciate you and everything you do. Thank you

    Chris McCombs says January 3, 2013

    Sako you are a legend my friend

    All the trainers these days wanna be like “Sako” … and it’s no wonder why

    Proud of you brother

Ruston says January 3, 2013

Chris your ability to put yourself out there is unbelievable. I have been reading your blog and emails for a couple years now and I’ve never felt like I wanted to respond until this post. Your authenticity is what life should be about. I’ve been building my own business for several years now and feel like I should be reading this every morning to keep me motivated yet level headed about life 🙂

I would love to spend an hour with you and pick your brain…unbelievable honesty and bad assness (that’s not a word).

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Ruston, appreciate the comment, really do man

    And Bad-asaness IS a word brother, you just made it one!

Cassaundra says January 3, 2013

God does great things for those who share his Truth. Thank you for sharing His Word. You are a vessel that we don’t often see making the journey for God. So, thank you for taking this journey and sharing it with the rest of the world in such a cool way.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Why thank YOU Cassaundra (=

Ben Ballinger says January 3, 2013

This is amazing Chris. An eloquent, heart felt poetic beginning to a very enlightening post. The introduction is literally worthy of some sort of writing award… made the hair stand up on my neck. I echo Sako’s sentiments… glad to see the old Chris back. You’ve been greatly missed

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey thanks Ben, and you being one of the smartest people I know and saying the intro is worthy of a writing word just stoked me out soooo much man, sooooo soooo much

Escott says January 3, 2013

This is my first time reading your blog…was recommended to me by a friend.

I will definitely be back to read more. Thank you…I enjoyed your reflections immensely.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey thanks a ton Escott, glad to know it was shared with you and that you dug it

Brian Meisenburg says January 3, 2013


I love the new BLOG. Great format where you can really open up and be yourself. I love what you have overcome to be where your at now.

Rock On,

Brian Meisenburg

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    why thanks Brian… rock on as well brother

    ( I don’t think we “rock on” enough these days, I think i’ll start saying it more )

Luka Hocevar says January 3, 2013

Krebs told me I need to read this today and he was right. We’ve been through a lot of similar storms and this was very necessary. Appreciate you putting it out and being real Chris.

Appreciate you my friend.


    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Luka, you’ve always been a special dude ( I don’t mean that in a gay way)

    I could just tell, that’s why I grabbed you for lunch that one day at that event brother

    You got the fire baby, you got it burning bright

Scott Palangi says January 4, 2013

Wow, all of these speak to me, but “Do Cool Shit”? PERFECT. Not doing enough of that…. often only when things are “more clear”… just realized that aint gonna happen because I am up to something big… So the Chaos bit was perfect to read in the same sitting. So then, from reading this, Today… now… i will even “schedule” doing the Cool Shit that’s missing. Thanks again, always worth my time.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Yeah Scott, can never do enough cool shit

Lynn says January 4, 2013


Perfect medicine for my soul today – spot on, Brother! Especially the part about Living the Truth- I spoke the truth today, it was VERY unpopular, and will likely get me fired – Oddly enough, I have peace cause like you say, truth eliviates fear!!! Keep keeping it real and many thanks!

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    That is AWESOME

    I was in a situation earlier where it felt like a lie was the best way to go, the truth sounded like a pain in the ass, when contemplating, I could feel the fear and negativity coming up

    I went with Truth, and it IS gonna cause some hassle, but I’ll be free

Jo Bot says January 4, 2013

Having been a reader off and on of your blog throughout the last three years, I am compelled this time to actually say something. Directly after my wedding I decided to just go all out and apply as many of your ideas as possible to my personal training business and shit started to happen which gave me so much confidence. I now have my own fitness studio and have kept it afloat for the last year but my husband just left me in the last few months and I find myself in need of some inspiration and OMG, It’s here. This post has resonated and hit me hard, so much that I’ve reread parts two and three times already since yesterday. Thank you for being genuine and so insightful and sharing it with your readers. I look forward to meeting you someday when I’ve finally hit my stride and can come to one of the masterminds. Keep it up! Truly bang on in so many ways. <3

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Jo, this makes me smile

    Glad you re-read a few part, weird how that means a lot to me but it does (=

Jason says January 4, 2013

HOLY SHIT! I’ve been a follower for a long time, but damn dude this blog nailed it. I will be re-reading this several times in the new year….GREAT SHIT!!!! Thanks Chris!

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey thanks a ton Jason, glad it resonated my friend

Adam Dukes says January 4, 2013

Wow! Just an awesome post, Chris. I shared it on Facebook and am sending it to my friends (list)

This is what I wrote to my sister;
“One of the best things I’ve ever read on the Internet. Please take the time to check it out”

Very well written and look forward to your emails.

Thank YOU!

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Wow man, I’m about to crash out for the night, and your comments got me buzzing my friend, thank you so so much for your generous words Adam

Vikaash says January 4, 2013

Always uplifting to get good advice but more so during the beginning of the year when we are looking for motivation. Thanks a million Chris. Always nice to get a little boost to follow your dreams and get started with your goals. Happy New Year!

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Glad you like it Vikaash (=

    Happy New Year to You Too!

      Laurence says January 4, 2013

      Thanks for sharing the vulnerability in you man. Uplifting. Left me with a tear in the eyes and a bit more faith in my fellow man 🙂

        Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

        Anyday I can give someone a little more faith in their fellow man is a good day

        thanks Laurence

Greg Justice says January 4, 2013

Very well said, Chris, and another example that we are students of life, not graduates.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Always a student my friend, true that

Brian Ross says January 4, 2013

Thanks simple and direct, especially about intuition and truth they are one and the same.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey thanks Bill, glad it was direct, sometimes I worry I ramble, good to know

Holly says January 4, 2013

Chris – as I’m heading into huge changes in my life – currently in the midst of a terrible storm, you have provided me with the courage to move forward, to finally enjoy my life instead of simply going through the day-to-days….and have given me hope that there will be light at the end of this dark tunnel that is my life.

Perfect timing – amazing words…

Thank-you — Holly

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Holly, I got all kinds of storms too these days, I think it’s how we deal with them and the meaning we give them that matters

    Thanks Holly

Tony says January 4, 2013

Riding in the subway in Australia, you hear this every time you enter and leave the rail car over the intercom “Mind The GAP” funny what that means to mean now after reading your latest post

“What will you be doing 5 minutes from now?”… live a life where you really don’t know or is it that you never really do and that’s what makes the journey interesting ….you have great stuff/stories and I am better for reading them when you share them.



    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Mind the Gap … awesome!

    Glad you liked the post Tony

    Thanks Man

Mark M. says January 4, 2013

I am truly impressed, amazed, and thankful for this post. With no doubt, I know this post has deeply affected me and will affect others in a positive way. This is by far one of the best pieces of writing I have ever read my life.This post is actually the first post, I have read from one, but you just gained another faithful follower. I will definitely send this link to my friends and family. Just amazingly and I’m looking forward to going back and reading more of your older posts and I’m anticipating your future ones. You have real talent.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    That is so cool

    Glad you enjoyed it Mark and thanks so much for sharing, means a lot

Earl W says January 4, 2013

Amazingly gifted. The way you use your passion to uplift others. I must say, i’ve been discouraged recently in my lack of progress with group training. I’ve purchased material and workbooks still to no avail. But I must say after, reading your post, I owe it to myself to give it one more try. Thanks

Earl W

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Earl, trudge forward brother, get it in your gut that nothing will stop you, and short of God’s Will, nothing will

    Get in your gut, take MASSIVE action… and keep moving forward

    thanks for your kind words Earl

    Kory says January 9, 2013

    From spending 10 years in the Navy and tours in The Middle East-you learn what is right vs wrong and what you want in your life vs being a hopeless nomad. I love fitness, but I love even more the idea that no matter yesterday or our past-we can change our thinking and our lives-thank you and God bless for being a warrior in the trenches

      Chris McCombs says January 10, 2013

      Right on Kory, thank you for serving… and taking the time to leave that cool comment

Tiago Nascimento says January 4, 2013

This is the first time that I visit your blog and I’m sure it will be the first of many. It made my day , I think you have a awesome writing and so much true in your words. Thank you so much.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey thanks Tiago, appreciate it and glad you liked it

Matthew Newnham says January 4, 2013

Hey Chris,

Wow – thank you…

You had me in the first 10 seconds, and seriously, this is one of the best things I’ve ever read online, right up there with Johnny B Truant, Jon Morrow, the Badass Project and Merlin Mann. Props to Adam Dukes for recommending you.

So much to love, resonate with and act on. Respect & gratitude at the highest level. I’m on board…

Very best wishes from sunny Scotland for an awesome 2013,


    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Matthew from Scotland, thanks so much

    Love Johnny B Truant and Jon Morrow, but putting me in the same class as them you are officially one of my favorite people in the whole world

tim says January 4, 2013

Thanks for this Chris Mccombs. I appreciate it. I run a 6 figure business, but in my heart of hearts I want to be an actor (i have since i was a kid) Fuck It today I’m gonna work my ass off at achieving that dream.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013


    Too many people settle

    Go after it Brother

Annette says January 4, 2013

Hey Chris thanks for the awesome post. I just shared it with my contact list and it routed to my Facebook fan page. 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Annette, thank you sooooo much for sharing, that means a ton to me, it really does

Bill Burns says January 4, 2013

Hey mate,

Really, really excellent post.
Dare I say – profound, even.

Now, Chris, may I bring up perhaps what is the next step?

There are two kinds of lessons in life – word lessons and world lessons ( concepts and experience).

Seems like you have had some powerful experiences (world lessons) that led to you sharing your word lessons in a very powerful way.

That’s like telling someone the benefits of “iron” – all well and good, and even motivating for some – but the real challenge is to create an environment where they can have that experience themselves – experiences are uninformative – aha! moments – which alter the experiencer – leaving a “different” world to interact with.

An example –

People with “phantom limb disorder” – feel pain in a limb – even though it has been ambulated.

There was no real treatment for this until

A Dr. who’s name I forget – did this:

Let’s say a man has had his left arm ambulated and complains of pain in the hand.

He has the man sit in a chair resting his right arm on a table.

He then puts up a mirror about a foot to the left of center several feet high.

He man – as he looks out – has the experience of seeing his right arm and hand – and in the mirror – his “left arm and hand”.

The DR. has the man go thru several clenching and unclenching exercises – and – according to what I have heard and read – the success rate for elimination of the pain is over 90%.

As you said – “why” is always a tricky subject – but one might posit that having the experience of “seeing” his left arm clench and unclench allows for the cramping to disappear in a way that nothing else would.

To take that analogy to your work – that would be the challenge – create an environment (the table and mirror setup) that allows one to have the kind of experiences that transform – rather than concepts. .

Hope this is clear.

I think you have it within you to take this to the next level and do some of that.



    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Bill, thanks man… basking in the joy of the compliment about the post being profound

    Ok, I’m back

    Dude, I got this shit down!

    Some of the time (=

    Others.. well , not so much

    Seems like a moment to moment thing… as long as I keep improving in these areas, that’s all that matters

    Progress, not perfection

    I appreciate you input Bill

Zan says January 4, 2013

Came across your blog from my local gym in Cornwall. I couldn’t stop reading and felt a huge mix of emotion. I thought about a friend in need of help who doesn’t want to talk so wont take my calls, I thought about running a marathon but I’m too scared I can’t, I thought about the sadness of things I definitely cannot achieve, but how I can still be happy. Blimey, great blog. Keep going.. who knows what we will all achieve when we share and believe.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Awesome Zan, anytime I can spark emotion in people, then I’ve accomplished my goal

    Appreciate it Zan

Andreas Sampson says January 4, 2013

I like what you said when it comes to motivation, I’ve found for myself that to be motivated towards something is often a lot more beneficial than to be be motivated by fear of something. Going towards something we want rather than away from something we don’t. Probably has something to do with what we’re focusing on thus creating in reality. Thanks for the post, it got me thinking 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey Andreas, that’s real good your carrot motivated, very easy to get caught up in stick motivation

    thx Andreas

Angel says January 4, 2013

Thanks a lot Chris. You not only made my day, but you opened by mind towards the future and the battles to come. I really appreciate this message.


    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey thanks Angel, means a lot

    Happy to be able to help open your mind (=

Andy Campbell says January 4, 2013

Chris, Brother, you don’t know me at all but I’ve seen your stuff in the past and followed you from afar. Truth be told I didn’t like you much and bear with me as I explain some more.

I train at Renegade Gym in New Jersey and I’m close with Jay Ferruggia. I quietly do some web/tech work for him behind-the-scenes. He spoke of you often and asked me to follow some of your stuff. I remember reading and thinking there had to be something more going on. I’m not questioning your success one bit – to the contrary I applaud you for your skill and acumen. For me something seemed off on the personal side of your posts – too polished, too perfect. And then I saw the pics of you rockin the Renegade T when you got back in shape and thought ‘holy shit this guy looks amazing’. I was definitely jealous and I’m not ashamed to admit that now. Like you I’m 42 and I bust my fucking ass in the gym but didn’t see anything near the gains you were making.

I asked Jay about the possibility of Steroids and he told me no way. I didn’t believe it. So I stopped following your stuff because it ate at me.

Flash forward to yesterday – you pop into my head for some unknown reason and I hunt down your blog on my phone in the car. I find this site and I am shocked as shit by this post. I was heading to class and couldn’t read the whole thing so I save it for today and get completely immersed in your site for the last hour or so.

Truth again – I came back looking at your site to see if you were still posting the same way. Came to it from a bad place. And as I read the post I did a complete 180. I am amazed and touched at the same time. I appreciate that you have shared your struggles and look forward to reading your journey more.

Talk about stranger than fiction, right?

There is more to it – like you I have my own demons. Things I’m still working on too. I put up a “public” image of myself for years that was not true. I lived a huge lie. It all came to a head the last two years – financial collapse, my marriage failed, deep depression & anxiety. It was hell. Maybe that is why I got the vibe I did from your site before – we can sniff out our own on what is genuine and not and at that time I was far from genuine myself.

Like you, as the dust settled I felt unburdened by the things I clung to before and work hard to live in the now or the gap as you say. I’m a fan of Eckhart Tolle’s book too – you are spot on with it. At the beginning of this year I asked myself a seemingly simple question ‘What do you want to do?’.

I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter. But I was afraid – not of the fire but of my own ability, my own mental character to do it. I lacked confidence. But then I realized I’ve worked for years in student services (and technology) helping people, often quietly & love fitness/strength/conditioning – and I’m pretty good at both of those. Fire Services is an extension of what I’ve already been doing – a melding of public service and fitness. So I jumped in and joined as a volunteer in my hometown. I finish Fire Academy this coming Tuesday – one more big exam to pass and I am a full fledged firefighter. The class, my classmates, the instructors, the members of the fire department I joined – all of it has been amazing. The whole journey has been 1000 times more rewarding than I ever expected. And I’m good at it – keep in mind I’m modest so that is tough for me to write but I see it clearly. And I can’t wait to learn more, keep training & help others.

I am thrilled to find your site and the real you. Best of luck on your journey Brother…I’ll be following along.

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    DAMN DUDE… that’s one helluva content

    Crazy how you found the post at the perfect time… I love when stuff lines up like that, it just gave me the chills

    Dude, there is A LOT of truth in your post

    And honestly, this blog is the first time I feel I’ve been 100% authentic in my writing

    What you’re saying makes perfect sense

    And dude, congrats on the Fire Academy, that is so cool and some tough shit I bet

    Thanks again for your super cool words, they mean more to me than you know ( that sounded a little mushy, but truth is I’m kind of a mushy guy )

Liz says January 4, 2013

That’s a pretty great post, but I am more inspired by the fact that you replied to nearly everyone’s post.
I just started reading your post actually. At first I just wrote them off because I didn’t see how they could help my Pilates studio. But I got to admit. I like your style. I look forward to more post. Thank you!

    Chris McCombs says January 4, 2013

    Hey thanks Liz, appreciate your kind words, that’s so cool you have a Pilates studio, must feel great to help all those people

Nat Carter says January 4, 2013

Glad I clicked your link to read that AWESOME post.

I try not to conform but as it happens you get consumed by things alon the way. Time to reset- thankyou

Your honesty is appreciated! Keep rising above x

sarah says January 4, 2013

Thank you, sincerely. I needed this today more than any other day.

Corey says January 4, 2013

Damn Chris, how good did that article feel to write? It always amazes me how transparent you are about your trials and, at the same time, willing you are to work your ass off and help others. Good shit bro. keep it up!

Paris Andreou says January 5, 2013

That was like 2 seminars, 10 books and 5 hours of therapy all in one blog post. So true man, when getting to your core, magic things start to happen!

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Paris, you’re a Mad Man… and this is coming from a guy who devours 2 seminars and 10 books before BREAKFAST… so you words mean a lot

    thanks a ton brother

Ralph says January 5, 2013

Man, I sit here with a tear in my eye, not ashamed to say, my inside roaring with a desire to push forward. I have 22 years military special operations to reflect upon, raised two wonderful kids, love a wonderful woman and train as hard today at 51 years of age as I did in my twenties (few more aches and pains) just recently moved close to the beach and military town we dreamed about for the past ten years. After reading these words I know God has trully blessed my life, thank you for expressing with words from deep within. My prayer for all reading this post is to read again and then read again, this is truth and the truth shall set you free.

    Kenneth Shuttleworth says January 5, 2013

    I will finish my story tomm after I get off duty,God bless Chris awsome and Through christ we can do anything………..Thanks for the great site and information,you send me.Means alot to me….4 years left and ill be 45 with 25 years of service as a firefighter and my Personal trainer buisness I opened up 5 months ago is doing well on my days off.I know $50 an hour isnt alot but just like you said you treat people with a smile and take care of the ones you got and it will pay for itself……..
    Peace out
    Kenneth Shuttleworth/Firefighter NASM CPT Biloxi Mississippi

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Wow Ralph, so awesome to hear your level of Gratitude for your life… BRAVO

    And this: “train as hard today at 51 years of age as I did in my twenties (few more aches and pains)” … is AWESOME

    thanks Ralph

Kenneth Shuttleworth says January 5, 2013

Man Chris, As I sit here at the Fire Station and work my 24 hour shift,Im blown away and its exactly how I felt for so many years after my dad died of a massive heart attack on December 12,1998 at the young age of 51 right after he retired. I normally dont tell alot of people this but for some reason I feel the power of god and he will wake you up when you think you can do it own your own,and I finally got the message…..I have been a full time firefighter for 21 years and I have seen Shit that just fuckin takes its toll on you mentally and physically.My father made good money and provided for my older brother sister and me but was a alchoholic while my mother was finishing nursing school.Always picking fights and was always gone.I struggled with school and excelled in sports but having add back then was a total di

Kenneth Shuttleworth says January 5, 2013

I got cut off sorry,but I had so much anger inside after he died,unsettled buisness,and mixed with crawling in burning fucking houses and seeing little children that I cut out of cars and seeing stuff like that takes its toll on you and all the fuckin iron you lift in the gym doesnt make the pain go away….So I thought I would turn to drinking to kill that pain and in 2004 just like you Im lying on my living room floor in 3000 sq ft house that I used to love gone..She left me and I know what its like and feels when your sto go is ripped out. Then as a Proffessional Firefighter I thought I was going to find her and talk to her and get pulled over and tried to fuckin take on about 10 cops and that wasnt to smart…Everything I had worked my ass off was fixing to be gone because I thought I was a bad ass ripped fireman and I could do it on my own Bull Shit!!!!!!!!I had to hit rock bottom and I thought I had made peace but I still kept thinking I could do it own my own,We reconciled and I talked and made myself think and her that It was going to be ok and that I made peace but I was lying to myself and bamm in 2005 August 29 the lord tried to wake me up again and Hurricane Katrina destroyed our house and we lived

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Wow Kenneth, this is a touching and powerful story

    I feel honored that you would share it here

    I can relate on a lot of level

    And this:

    “I normally dont tell alot of people this but for some reason I feel the power of god and he will wake you up when you think you can do it own your own,and I finally got the message”


Karridine says January 5, 2013

Jan 3, 1941… my parents are well aware of a looming WAR, and Dad was in the Army-AirCorps, but Mom loved him and they chose Jan 3 to pledge marriage vows… they used MANY of your axioms to make a wonderful, flawed life together, living their values and raising four children… this one learned Korean, got a Top Secret clearance, helped after the USS Pueblo incident, earned a doctorate, sang for friends, played guitar, helped sick to be healed and live healthy lives, learned Thai, studied life-self-responsibility… and was sent your linkie, here, by my Kiwi friend in New Zealand…

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey Karridine, what a touching story and great model of what’s possible

    Thanks for sharing

Chris says January 5, 2013

Big Chris. Man. This is heavy.

Like others, I have come here via both Chad Howse, and The Art of Manliness, and I believe you’ve very adequately encompassed several topics lost on our generation with this post.

I’ve often referred to myself as being born in the wrong timeline, or “a generation late,” based on my core values that I hold near and dear, and the way I deal with inner conflict in a way that’s constructive, or beneficial to my walk through life. Lately, however, all the shit has begun to pile up. My career imploded, friendships were cut loose, trying(and failing) to start a family, legal woe,- it’s been a trying year enough to reduce even the strongest men to a weepy mess.

Thanks for the inspiration to continue fighting the good fight. If you haven’t helped anyone, you’ve directly influenced me to keep pushing on with both middle fingers raised high.

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Wow Chris, dig it

    BTW, you are a true word smith… love the way your write, you’ve got some nice talent in that area my man

      Chris says January 5, 2013

      Thanks, man.

      Like yourself, nothing in school interested me like writing and physics. Fortunately, I was able to build a career in engineering, so I’m somewhat able to earn a living by doing something I marginally enjoy- but my writing has been placed firmly on the backburner for some time now.

      Perhaps the silver lining to this dark cloud over me now will be an opportunity to fully articulate what I’m experiencing – and the path that led me here – in an effort to help someone else just as you have. There’s no worse feeling than isolation during our trials, and hopefully my knowledge in overcoming hardship would prove beneficial to someone else.

      Alas, today I broke out my bike today and stoked the fire that had almost burned out. I blasted gnarly punk rock and thrash through my headphones, and heard Black Flag with new ears. Going back to that place in my youth that I’ve buried with bullshit like “trying to make it,” and “staying one step ahead,” I found myself, and everything that’s bern overlooked as of late. Hearing Ian Makaye scream “out of step! With the woorrrlld!”

      I am.

      ….and for the first time in over a decade, I’m not only ok with that, but I’m celebrating it.

      Again. Thank you.

        Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

        Right on Chris

        Love Ian Mackaye… Minor Threat… Fugazi… great stuff … he speaks a lot of Truth

          Chris says January 6, 2013

          Three huge X’s on my left shin, ankle to knee, confirms that Ian had a signifigant impact on my 15-28 years.

          Still, I have had my issues with addiction, but as you stated before, to fully appreciate the highs, you have to first experience the darkest of the lows.

          Chris McCombs says January 6, 2013

          Awesome man

          I got my Rise Above Tat, in fact it’s in the header of my site now!

christy feaver says January 5, 2013

Thank you for sharing your story, your words, your heart and your soul. This touched me deeply tonight in a very sad place. Thank you and blessings!

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey Christy, I know all about sad places

    Without em though we wouldn’t know Joy

    I used to really embrace my sadness, crank some Elliot Smith and George Strait and just feel it

    Must sound weird for a 6’6″ 300 something pound man huh

    True story

    Thanks doe your words Christy

Frieda says January 5, 2013

I admire the outlook… Isn’t so easy to think this positive… I battle with wanting to live a full life against living the right life… what is the right life ? I too ask myself… I find myself boggled with many things day in and day out and wonder if I even should be… but the fact that I’m just wondering scares me… I’m 24 and still wondering…. hahaha.. I shud be out there… However, I must say I enjoyed reading you stuff and am going to read some more… Inspired I am

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey Frieda, I’m still wondering too, in fact, I think the most full lives are full of wonder

    I actually think one can have a full life and right live at the same time

    Sure mistakes will still be made

    And it won’t always feel like we’re living fully, but that makes us strive, and that’s a good thing

Steve MacCormack says January 5, 2013

I discovered your new blog just a couple days ago, I have no idea how new it is but I’m glad I found it. I started my own blog back in July, trying to find my true voice, and then in September my younger brother took his own life. I used to get up every morning at 5 am to write but after he died nothing seemed worth writing about. None of the writers I’d been reading inspired me anymore bro…I came across this post from a referral, I think it was J. Ferruggia or Chad Howse, can’t remember. Doesn’t matter, what does matter is that after reading your “about” page I’ve been getting up early and writing again. This post killed it as well! I just want to say thank you for waking me up. I look forward to reading all your posts in the future. Thanks for starting your “new” blog Big Chris…means the world bro.

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey Steve, wow, sorry to hear about your brother

    Some of the best writers and artists have the most pain in their hearts

    Glad you’re writing again … I’m sure if you stick with it and just let it flow out of you, you’ll more and more in touch with your true voice

    Thanks for your kind words brother

Judy T. says January 5, 2013

I can’t express how much I LOVED this!!! Thank you so very much for sharing it with us! It’s so inspiring!! I am going to read it all again! Straight up and REAL!!!!!

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey thanks Judy, happy it inspires you (=

stev says January 5, 2013

wow!! this was just what i needed. im 16 yrs old 6ft tall 130lbs and im suffering from depression and anxiety and porn.. it sucks! im a good looking guy i just messed things up, for anyone looking for motivation or inspiration i look at bold and determined.com, chad howse,strengthcamp (youtube), buakaw (muay thai),greg plitt, and i just found this blog. thanks a lot man 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey Steve, it’s super cool you’re reading such good stuff at age 16 … Chad Howse definitely has some good stuff

    And don’t be hard on yourself… I think depression, anxiety and porn are normal at your age… at least they were for me… even when much older as well

    The 17 things in this post can help a lot … keep reading good stuff

    Check out this one too http://inoveryourhead.net/

    You might like it, it sure is one of my favorites

    thanks for chiming in brother

PG says January 5, 2013

You speak the Truth… very insightful and humble tome.

As far as “Jam Your Tunes Man” –

I’ve always found that some of the lyrics of the music I grew up listing to expressed simple yet profound Truths that many people missed seeing over the music itself. But for me I always took great pleasure in listening to those Truth’s wrapped in a sea of great music that felt like a roller coaster ride to listen to.

The one that always stuck out the most for me was on Robin Trower’s –
Bridge Of Sighs Album… Little Bit Of Sympathy:

“The light is strong and the man is weak
And the world walks in between
So rise above on the wings of love
See and let yourself be seen ”

Thanks for doing that!


    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey PG, damn those are some great lyrics

    Yeah, I LOVE when songs have lyrics that really resonate of a higher Truth

    thanks for sharing

Leslie says January 5, 2013

Awesome stuff as usual man. I’m trying to rebuild my life and that of my kids’ to the best of my ability. I’ve been in survival mode for several years and have realized I don’t have all that much time left. I’m going to send this to my son who’s been battling depression and see if it resonates with him as it did with me. Happy New Year to your wonderful expanding family 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    Hey Leslie, I am HONORED that you would send this to your son, HONORED

Kasia says January 5, 2013

Hey Chris, I believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you once last year at a event I attended with Ben Ballinger, who is my boyfriend. He shared this link with me, and I will always be grateful for him sharing this and for you awesome attitude about life. This is very inspiring and I will def have to quote some of your thoughts. Amazing!

    Chris McCombs says January 5, 2013

    I remember!

    Ben is awesome, smart mofo… and good looking too… I call him “Good Looking Ben”

    Thanks for the kind words Kasia

Genny says January 6, 2013

Words of living life… You have learned much in this life I can see through your words…touched my heart and soul…share on Brother, this world needs this positive influx…. This life is not fair, and we truly need to learn that it is not all about “me” when this can learned, maybe things can change….but only through learning to truly love unconditionally and always BELIEVE…. GOD BLESS YOU<3

    Chris McCombs says January 6, 2013

    Thanks Genny … well said (=

Donovan Owens says January 6, 2013

Thank you. It’s all I can possibly say right now. Thank you!

    Chris McCombs says January 6, 2013

    thank YOU Donavan, been a while, hope you’re good man

tina says January 6, 2013

Good read and a personal eye opener for me. Last year I went through soooo much bad stuff and a break-up with my husband and remember feeling in exactly the same place as you describe at the beginning. When it came to the end of the year I took a little time to evaluate my year, as I always do and searched hard to find out why I had been put through all of these challenges. I couldn’t find any reason why?! So I just put it down to ‘a bad year’

Reading this made me realise that I’d learned almost every one of the lessons you state right here in that year. I am a totally different person now, for the better – the year wasn’t in vain, it was the most important year of my life!

Thanks for this, keep up the good work dude 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 6, 2013

    Right on Tina, glad you made it out a stronger and better person on the other side

    I appreciate your openness and kind words

Amanda Trog says January 6, 2013

A friend liked a post on facebook that led me here, and the timing it absolutely perfect.
I’ve been having trouble remembering #2 lately but sometimes all a person needs is a reminder that someone, somewhere has been through/is going through something exactly the same or even more difficult.
Reading this post made me think about a lot of things I’ve been forgetting the past few weeks.

Thank you.

    Chris McCombs says January 6, 2013

    Thanks Amanda, half the reason I write this stuff is to remind me of what’s important and keep myself in check

Ed says January 6, 2013


An amazing blog and such terrific advice. You have inspired my year!

    Chris McCombs says January 6, 2013

    Thanks Ed!

Jon Poland says January 7, 2013

Chris — You and your story are inspiring and you have me “rethinking” some of the things I am doing with my business and my life. The Paul Coelho quote: “We always know which is the best road to follow, but we follow only the road that we have become accustomed to”……really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing it.

    Chris McCombs says January 7, 2013

    Right on Jon, glad it resonated, thanks Man

Andrea Rowley says January 7, 2013

Just as I lay on the floor a like minded man posted this on my wall…..and so I thank you both

    Chris McCombs says January 7, 2013

    cool Andrea, I love the way you said that

James Borne says January 7, 2013

Loved tee whole read, very true all over. helped me get through a lonely Monday 🙂

    Chris McCombs says January 7, 2013

    Glad it helped james (=

Monday Motivational Reads! « Show Me Strength says January 7, 2013

[…] 17 Ways to Rise Above by Chris Mccombs- This was one of the most thorough yet simple motivational pieces I’ve seen in a long time. Chris does a tremendous job of driving home some of the necessary traits that we must possess to live an incredible life. A funny, no BS, straight forward look into how awesomeness can be achieved is what this article is all about. Do yourself a favor and take some of these pointers to heart. […]

January 7th Recap | Adam Dukes | Life as a Solopreneur in Sin City says January 11, 2013

[…] 17 Ways To Rise Above – This is possibly the best thing I have ever read online. Seriously, please take the time to check this post out. Read the first few sentences and if it doesn’t suck you in, move on. I’ll bet you’ll be hooked after the first couple sentences. […]

Renae Hilton says January 13, 2013

This is some seriously insightful stuff. I’ve just finished a psych degree and feel like I’ve come out as a qualified scientist, not a clinician who knows how to help people with life’s problems, but this pretty much summarizes everything an actual psychologist preaches yet they don’t teach you any of this as part of the degree! Just wondering whether you work in the field or are interested in it?

    Chris McCombs says January 13, 2013

    Hi Renae, thanks for chiming in

    Nope, never worked as one, not really something that resonates. I just like writing about personal experiences and lessons I’ve learned ( and learn as I go )

    I truly appreciate your kind words and feel kind of honored actually by them (=

Chris McCombs says January 14, 2013

Hey thanks Keith

Man I know how rocky the road can be when one has addictions

Happy that you fought your way back to life Keith

Awesome comment, much appreciated

Sabina says January 15, 2013

Man, this is awesome – so glad I found you!

    Chris McCombs says January 15, 2013

    Glad you like it Sabina (=

    Thanks for you cool words

Martin says January 23, 2013


Came to this article via a friends facebook post; See the 11 ways to live your life with BALLS. Read through that, subscribed to your blog and got directed to read this.

I just wanted to say Thanks.

My life was pretty dark. After reading both those articles theres now a light on and somebody is home.

Motivational, Inspirational and exactly what I needed.

    Chris McCombs says January 23, 2013

    Hey Martin, so happy it resonated with you

    I know “dark” all too well

    Use it as your launching pad into the light brother

Ion says January 27, 2013

I’m not an english speaker, but I’ll try to expres my ideas.
Think this article have a great power. It is motivational. and… I’m going to do what I really thought to do, and not what I must do.
Great thanks!!!

    Chris McCombs says January 27, 2013

    Glad you liked it Ion


Steven says January 28, 2013

Hey Chris,
Great post as always. Definately relate to Martin’s comments above. Living in darkness is tough. And often following your true course in life is extremely challenging. Take it one day at a time and give it your all. Thanks for the enlightening words brother!

    Chris McCombs says January 28, 2013

    Thank YOU Steven

Pete James says April 19, 2013

Aw right Chris, you have been given alot of good words for such a young man, I responded to you in many affirmatives, we agree about much…I am grateful for your thoughts and in some ways Heartened by the fact that you are my son’s age, I would like to commend you ona well thought out piece of writing and the powerful and positive response that you have received on your Blog. To me, this is all notable of Something, …What? You must Receive the next Something Christopher ‘The Christ Bearer’, you have been heard….

    Chris McCombs says April 19, 2013

    hey thanks peter, especially for calling me a young man

    I’m 42 and haven’t been called that in like 20 years


    thanks Pete

Dave says May 2, 2013

thanks to twitter, I’ve been turned on to some good stuff. your blog is no exception. thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts in print. your words are common sense, but sometimes people (me) are too wrapped up in the 9-5, hectic-ness of daily life to just sit back and ‘take it easy’. seeing it in print, reading and re-reading it over and over, just makes sense. sort of like a mantra. solid stuff.

Jason says May 3, 2013

Just caught up with you via a crossfit site I like. Wow man. You’ve got gift. HereI was sitting here tonight thinking about some things and I find your blog. Interesting how things are brought to you atthe right time. So I read your stuff and it helped me realign some priorities and find some things I’d forgotten. Thanks for the direction tonight and realignment. We all need it sometime right. I can tell you’re a guy Id probably get along well with
Rock on my man

    Chris McCombs says May 3, 2013

    Hey Jason, I LOVE when stuff plops in front of your face at the right time

    glad you found it helpful

    here’s a post you may like about, the, um, plopping https://chrismccombs.net/serendipity/

Heavy D says May 3, 2013

Hi Chris,

I came across your blog today through a friend of mine. I just spent the last hour reading your About Me section and a few of your posts. When I was reading your personal story, it literally brought me to tears. We all have our demons, and reading about yours reminded me that we’re all human. We’re all in this together. Only Light can drive out the darkness.

I’ve been going through a pretty rough patch in my life lately, but reading your stuff is the swift kick in the ass that I’ve been in serious need of. Reading particularly about waking up on the Marble Floor thinking to yourself that you ruined the past decade of your sobriety, but having the fucking balls to pick yourself up and dust yourself off—that’s the stuff of legends, my friend.

Thank you for having the courage to push through. And thank you for having the courage to share your downfalls with the rest of the world. Through your strength, others are finding their own. Tonight, I’m grateful to count myself among them.

Take care, brother.

    Chris McCombs says May 5, 2013

    Hey Right on Heavy, I’m glad it resonated

    I’ve made some MASSIVE mistakes, but am determined to use them for good in anyway I can, one way is by sharing them and what I’ve learned from them on this blog

    So happy you’re getting something out of it, that shit makes me wanna keep on going with all this

Tommy Gill says May 16, 2013

Hey Chris… I read this post at the right time. I have a lot of crap coming at me– work related, family, and financial… But none of it is insurmountable and this post helped me put that back into perspective. I always refer back to this Winston Churchill quote when I feel like I am getting pounded: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” With that said, I just passed my NASM exam today so I am really on my way to building my fitness business. So with a little hard work lights do shine at the end of those dark and lonely tunnels and nothing killed me… Again, thanks for your help, advice, and words of wisdom.

    Chris McCombs says May 17, 2013

    Hey Tommy right on man, training is the shit. I actually did NASM, congrats on passing

    check out this free ebook if you haven’t to help with your training career http://www.kickbacklife.com/free-gift-2/

    And this…

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

    Is awesome, so true

Va says June 12, 2013

You are an inspiration to every soul trying to find its way in this world. Thank you for your wisdom, humor and deep thoughts! I may let my child read these posts when she’s 21 🙂 Hahaha!

    Chris McCombs says June 12, 2013

    ha ha, that’s funny

    For boys, 14
    For girls, 25

    that’s the protective father in me (=

Eivind F S says June 22, 2013

Quality writing, brother – and thanks for reminding me to really get intimate with the tough times I’m going through. There is strength in facing the dragons head on. Thanks for the inspiration!

Brian Manning says June 27, 2013

This is my first time posting, but I have been reading the archives for about a month now as I just discovered the site. I LOVE the articles and greatly appreciate your authentic viewpoints on life and everything you write about. You’re a very talented talented writer.

#4 in this post: “Action Alleviates Anxiety… but only 100% of the time”

Nicely put. I couldn’t agree more. You could probably dedicate an entire year of posts just to the topics that could be created and written on the content of #4.

I recently heard someone say “Action erases fear” and it’s closely related to what you said. Funny how our minds are drawn right to the things that are always atop of it.

Anyway, great post. I loved this one.

    Chris McCombs says June 28, 2013

    Hey thanks Brian, funny how that works

    Wed I was reading Jenna Jamesons’ book about her life

    I put it down to see what Tim Ferriss was up to on his blog

    Lo and behold, it was an interview with neil about creativity and book publishing, just mind kind of thing

    It took me a few minutes to realize that the book about Jenna was written by neil strauss, I mean I knew that, it’s why I bought it, but it occured to me how everything is related

    At that moment in the video, tim goes “I know we’re jumping all over the place, but it’s all related”

    so cool

anna says July 5, 2013

Thanks, having a tough time x

    Chris McCombs says July 8, 2013

    you’ll get through a better person Anna

Heath Karau says December 30, 2013

THANK YOU! So, very much for this amazing article. I wish I would’ve read it a year ago when It was posted originally. A good buddy of mine posted this today. I always knew all of those points, just never had it put together so awesome as you’ve done with it. I will be passing this on to my clients without a doubt.

alison says February 5, 2014

thank you. A connection born of humanity.

Andy says August 5, 2014

Rollins has a point with his first and second half quote, but I believe successful people have a different way of looking at it. The first third is fucking up. The second third is coming to grips with it and trying to understand what happened while you develop spirituality. I didn’t say or mean religion, I said what I meant. Spirituality. The final third is making good shit happen and understanding what you did thus giving satisfaction and happiness from a life well lived.

Jackson says August 26, 2014

Classic McCombs! Been following the “Be cool to everyone”, thing. Turning out solid.

Gerlyn Sahoy says April 4, 2016

Thanks so much for this. Your words motivated me to go through life and strive to be the best person I can be 🙂 God bless!

Latifa says November 2, 2016

Hey Chris stumbled across your blog and no regrets one bit. Love the expressions and truth in what you say, and be reminded how great life can be. What you say is serious but so funny! Cracked me up 🙂 but I got it! Thank you so much! Hope to continue reading your blogs…on my way to work 🙂

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