If you were in the audience at Vitality 2014, you would have seen Mac Gray crowned as Vi Model. And even if you weren’t there, you will likely read Mac’s story that has already inspired thousands of people. As a Vi Model, Mac represents the epitome of what it means to live and promote The Challenge. He’s an expert when it comes to losing weight, getting fit…and helping others do the same.
We asked Mac to share with the Vi Community his personal experiences and fitness expertise as well as provide some top tips for making the mind support the body in achieving results.
This is Mac’s story in his own words…
In the fitness world we often idolize people with an outstanding physical structure, but what resulted in that perfect physique? What directs our attention to their seemingly flawless appearance? Subconsciously we are motivated not just by how they look, but by the internal drive that ultimately created those physical results. I wrote this article to explain the correlation between mental capacity and physical dominance, and to show how your mindset can lead to physical transformation.
THE VALUE OF VISION
Now, I could give you some educational rant on the neurological sciences behind what causes us to grow (mentally and physically); instead, I would like to teach the way I truly know how—and that’s by focusing first on the importance of having vision.
Before I had ever stepped onto a national event stage, before I ran a marathon, before I interviewed for a job, before I had ever walked onto the sports field, I had always visualized my performance. I created a mental picture of what success looked like for me. Every time I look into the mirror I never see what is already there; instead I visualize what I plan to be there. This is a key difference in people who are average and those who are successful. The latter have clear vision. Successful people see what they want and then focus on getting it.
COMMIT WITH BOTH MIND AND BODY
Over the last year of promoting the The Challenge I have experienced working with those who are excited and those who are hesitant. I’ve found that people who expressed any kind of positive emotion when pursuing change often saw immediate results. The ones who felt skeptical before participating eventually fell off the map, changing nothing.
The reason why highly successful individuals can achieve astronomical results is because they connect their emotions to their experience every second of every hour of every day. They don’t just say or write their goal…they feel it. They think it. They fully commit. In other words, how they felt and what they thought drove their actions. And that has led to their success.
LOOK UP, NOT AROUND
I remember being told by numerous friends, family and others to set realistic goals. But, I soon found that my view about what was realistic for me was different than what others thought was realistic. It’s up to you to define your own reality and not be defined by circumstance or other people’s view of your strengths and weaknesses.
Sometimes you’ll receive push-back from them. When I tell them about my heroes, for example, and how I would one day like to follow in their footsteps, the response was: Well, that’s not realistic.So, you can’t do that. I was confused because other people had been able to achieve those goals; so, why was it out of the question for me? Why couldn’t I be just like my heroes? How was I different? It was then when I realized that there was no difference. I had the same mindset as my role models. I looked up and created my own reality, rather than looking around and letting others define it for me.
In high school, my step-mother once joked that on exams I should shoot for 100% and settle for 80%. To an extent there is some truth in that statement, because if you shoot for anything less than 100%, you set yourself up for failure. Create goals that are higher than you feel comfortable with. Think positively. Your mindset fuels your body. And a stronger mind creates a stronger body. It’s how the psychological is tied to the physical.
5 TIPS FOR DEVELOPING A STRONGER MINDSET
Here’s five simple tips for how to start focusing on what you know you want—and not on what others tell you to think you want.
- Establish your vision. Create a mental picture of who or what you want, and then focus daily on it.
- Set goals that are realistic but are also challenging. Don’t let others define your own goals.
- Educate yourself on the process of getting to where you want to be. Find the best way to get from point A to B, without getting lost. Create a step-by-step action plan for yourself.
- Take action with conviction. Always say what you mean, and mean what you say. And then go do it.
- Do not quit. (The moment you quit is the moment when your goal shifts from a reality to just a hypothetical.)
And remember, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mac Gray is a 22-year-old athlete, fitness trainer and Vi Model, with a lot behind him and a lifetime ahead. Fitness is his passion, and people are his purpose.