I thought I would share a progress photo. First picture is from 10/31/14. Second picture is from 3/12/15. I still have a ways to go and goals to meet, but I’m feeling good about the work I’ve done in the past few months.

Looking back at you…you’re 20 and you hated your life. You were a pro soccer prodigy kid with a cocky attitude and you were about to make it. One motorcycle crash and you lost it all. Then came the drugs. The drinking. The depression. You gave your life to something and it suddenly slipped out of your hands. You’re scared I know. You’re starting to feel like you’re not worthy. You’re with a girl who’s cheating on you but you won’t leave her because you’re scared to hurt her. You’re used. A tool. You have no direction. You’ve given up.

You decide to get to the gym and do some bench press. You haven’t been inside a gym since your soccer days. You throw on some weight to warm up. You do one rep and your collar bone snaps back in half. You get back in a cast and fail to complete the semester of school because you feel so sorry for yourself. You’re a failure.

You had just turned 21 in this pic, kid. Looking rough. What is that, a treasure trail? Nice work. I know you won’t believe this, but listen up.

By age 23 you’re going to be on the cover and centerfold of an international magazine that produced over 2,000,000 copies. Pretty cool man. You’re going to be plastered all over Cellucor.com. They make that new c4 stuff you seem to like. You’re going to be featured on bodybuilding.com and countless websites. People are going to interview you and ask you lots of questions. You’ll take 2nd in a bodybuilding competition, you’ll place inside the top10 in an international fitness model competition, and you’ll start two businesses. You’re going to travel outside of the county with Cellucor dude! Your first time out of the country. How cool is that?

By 24, you’ll land another cover, a centerfold, start another business, become an internationally published author, write an ebook, get signed by the same modeling agency that made Channing Tatum, and land work for sports authority, sketchers, and more. You’ll find the girl of your dreams, you’ll quit drinking yourself to sleep, and you’ll find happiness. You’ll change lives and help others love themselves. You’ll inspire hundreds of thousands of people and you’ll do it all while being a good person. Get to work… You have a lot of shoulder raises to do.

Keep your head up kid. I’ll see you on the other side. It’s fun over here, but we’re just getting started. PS - when you wanted to, but you were too scared to… Kiss her.

Despite going to bed at midnight, I still got up at 4:30 this morning to hit the gym. Most people think I’m crazy, but I just think I’m dedicated. I know what I want, and I know what it will take to get it. I have things I want to accomplish and I’m willing to sacrifice to get where I want to be. You have to decide what it is in life you want, whether it be to climb a mountain, or learn to play an instrument, or land your dream job. Then you have to make that goal a priority. It’s not easy because most people won’t understand, and probably less will support you. But it’s not their dream, and it’s not their sacrifice. Every day wake up and make a 100% effort to get yourself closer to achieving whatever it is that you want. Once you climb that mountain, you won’t think twice about whatever it is you “missed out on” because you’ll be too busy enjoying your accomplishments. 

So get up, drink a cup of coffee, and go kick some ass today, because you deserve to be great. You are not (inherently) exceptional; now go be exceptional. 

Somebody asked me to share the changes I made in the first year. I was so proud of that conditioning. More proud of the smile. Wish I could go back and watch myself. That was the hardest I’ve worked in my entire life. I wanted something so I took it.

I’ll be sharing my entire story with pictures on my blog. It’s already typed up online at benwilliamsongroundup.blogspot.com but I’m transferring it to my website for you guys to get inspired.