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Men's Health Coach

The Making of a Leader

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The Making of a Leader

I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Steve Hoke on my Spiritual Warriors Unite podcast the other day.  There were so many great nuggets of information that I will be summarizing in this blog post.  To listen to the entire interview go here.

Steve is a leader development and strategic life coach.  His passion is helping front line men and women fall in love with Jesus so they can live a spirit filled life and operate in spiritual authority. 

The heart of effective leadership is character and integrity.   Steve recommends the book The Leadership Challenge written by Kouzes and Posner.   According to Kouzes and Posner the following are the five skills or practices of highly effective leaders.

FIVE SKILLS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE LEADERS

Be able to challenge the process:   Great leaders are not yes people.  They are willing to ask the hard questions and press against the existing status quo.

Inspiring a shared vision:  They lead by vision and inspiration.

Equip and release others to do their work:  They are great delegators.

Model the way:  They are goal oriented, but humble.  It’s not about them.

Encourage the heart:   They pay attention to the heart and the well-being of their people. 

SEEK OUT ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS

The biggest thing that has made a difference in Steve’s personal life is meeting with two to three men on a regular basis.   They ask each other the following questions:

  • What has God been doing in your life?

  • What are you learning?

  • Where are you struggling?

  • How can we help?

  • How can we pray for you?

Without being asked hard questions we don’t grow and transform.

DISCOVER YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS

God gave all of us a hand full of spiritual gifts.  Spiritual gifts are where the power of God rises up in us.   It’s important to discover your spiritual gifts so you can cooperate with God in the areas where you are most powerful.  A resource that Steve recommends to discovering your gifts is Leadership Grip

THREE THINGS TO START TO DO TODAY TO BE A BETTER LEADER

Model the focused life by following the leader, Jesus.  Fall in love with Jesus and follow him.  Commit yourself to putting into practice everything you learn from Jesus.

Find a godly mentor and spend time with him. 

Leaders read.  Absorb as much knowledge as possible and ask the Holy Spirit how to apply it. 

To get in touch with Steve you can send him an e-mail at steve.hoke@novo.org or call him at 909-319-8003.  Steve loves to meet with anyone who wants to go deeper with Jesus. 

I AM ON A MISSION

I am on a mission to build a movement of men who are willing to go on this journey with me of becoming a Spiritual Warrior.   My vision is to impact 1,000,000 men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors.   The journey to 1,000,000 men starts with one.  Will you be that one who is willing to take a chance on yourself so you can live the life of your dreams?    So you can live a life of purpose feeling fully alive. 

The first step to being part of this community is to sign up for my Spiritual Warrior’s Unite Newsletter and becoming part of our Spiritual Warriors Unite Facebook group. 

One thing we must never forget that what is done for ourselves will quickly be forgotten, but what we do for others will be remembered for eternity.   The choice is yours. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Speaker, Author and Spiritual Warrior Coach

facebook.com/groups/spiritualwarriorsunite/
https://www.troyismir.com/


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The Next Chapter

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The Next Chapter

It has been about two years since I left the comfort and security of my six figure pharmaceutical job and moved to Colorado after living in Orlando for the last twenty years of my life.   I left behind comfort, safety and security for the great unknown.  What a faith adventure God has me on. 

I would love to tell you since moving out here it has been all sunshine and rainbows.  It hasn’t been.  There have been many ups and downs along the way.   But I wouldn’t change this adventure for anything.

TRANSFORMING PEOPLE’S LIVES

My fitness ministry is impacting many lives as evidenced by this recent text message I received the other day.  “I know the workout is good for me, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.  Your class is a bright spot in my life right now and I appreciate that it’s available to me.” 

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When I get testimonials like that I know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  One of the challenges that I am facing is how to make this a sustainable business where I am making the impact in people’s lives that I desire while providing myself the financial means to have the quality of life I desire. 

CREATING ABUNDANCE

I know God does not want me to starve pursuing my passion.   I believe God is asking me to be creative in how I do my fitness ministry so I can I have the impact in this world while living in abundance.  My dream is to have financial and time freedom so I can have the impact that I want to make in the world. 

I think one of the things that holds people back from pursuing their passions and desires and staying in a job that is sucking the life right out of them is that attachment to comfort and security.  Trust me I get it.   We all need money to live, but as the old saying goes, money doesn’t buy happiness.    What good is it if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?

This is where the trust in God comes in to provide for all of our needs.   As Luke 12:7 reminds us, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” 

I am determined to make “pharmaceutical money” and then some living out my purpose and mission.  Yes, I believe God will provide, but I also believe that He is asking me to work hard, to go all in and be revolutionary in redefining how we are currently doing fitness and church.   I have to do my part while I am trusting God. 

GOING ALL IN

God gave me gifts, talents, dreams and desires and He is asking me to use them for His glory.  That means going all in.  That means never giving up, being creative and visionary.  And most importantly of all to keep working on my purpose and mission even if I don’t see the fruits of my labor right now.   For me, it’s all about fulfilling my purpose.  It’s about building my character along the way. 

I can honestly say that I can look in the mirror each and every morning and say to myself that I love the man that I am becoming.  There is no way I would be the man that I am today if I hadn’t had the courage to quit my job and pursue my dreams. 

What I am also learning the more risks we are willing to take, the bigger risks God asks us to take.    We are asked to dream big, not for our own self-centered purposes, but to change the world.   God is putting something so big on my heart that it scares me and I have found myself resisting.  But then this scripture keeps coming up over and over.  Hebrews 10:38 says, “And, but my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”  Wow, if that scripture doesn’t hit you between the eyes, I don’t know what will. 

What if we all went all in on our dreams God puts on our heart?  What if we all lived the lives that made us feel fully alive?  How would our lives be different and how would the world around us be different? 

As I am challenging myself every day to live the life God intended, I want to challenge you to do the same. 

LIVE EVERY DAY AS AN ADVENTURE

I want to challenge you to live every day as an adventure and take every chance you can to live the life God is asking you to live.  To live life boldly and with courage.  To be the man in the arena who is willing to get bloody and sweaty.  To live from a place that you are enough.  To live life like every day may be your last, because it just might be. 

As Henry David Thoreau says, “Live the life I have dreamed.”    In this next chapter of my life I am committed to going all in with my fitness ministry.  I think of all the lives that will be transformed through this ministry and what a disservice to the world it would be if I don’t go all in.  I am committed to living life with a sense of urgency.  I will create my dream life and live it every day!

How about you?  Are you ready to go all in?   Whatever you do, don’t go on this journey alone.  We all need people in our lives to spur us on to greatness.  This is a challenging road.  It is a very rewarding road, but there will be many bumps along the way. 

As your Spiritual Warrior Coach I will help you reach heights you never thought possible physically, mentally and spiritually.  I will help you get out of quiet desperation and live fully alive for the betterment of humanity. 

GOD IS RE-STORYING OUR LIFE

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“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17.  Can I get an Amen on that?  Please reach out to me at troy@troyismir.com so we can sharpen each other and move towards becoming the warriors we are called to be.  Live life with a sense of urgency. 

All of our stories are continuing to be written.   God is re-storying my life.  I know how the final chapter ends when I no longer walk this earth.  I will spend eternity with my heavenly Father.  What I don’t know is what will happen between the dashes.  But what I do know is that God is calling me to greatness and to leave a legacy that impacts this kingdom here on earth.   That is the next chapter in my life.  What is the next chapter in your life going to be?

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Does Life Really Have to be so Hard?

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Does Life Really Have to be so Hard?

DOES LIFE REALLY HAVE TO BE SO HARD?

Does life really have to be so “hard?”  Does it always have to be a struggle?  It seems in my own personal and professional life I have become really good at making things hard.   I have always been hard on myself.  I have always demanded perfectionism of myself and when I don’t live up to my own expectations I beat myself up mentally and yes sometimes even physically.  Damn, that’s a hard way to live life, no pun intended. 

CHALLENGING VS. HARD

My dear friend and coach recently pointed out to me that I use the word “hard” quite a bit in my vocabulary.  That was completely unbeknownst to me.  In fact, she was brazen enough to say I got real whiny when I started talking about how hard things are.  Believe me, nobody wants to be called whiny.  But that is exactly why I have a coach in my life, so I can be shown my blind spots.  So I can better understand my own places of resistance and move beyond them.  To become the best version of myself. 

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The new possibility that was proposed to me was to take the word hard out of my vocabulary and replace it with challenging.   I have always been good at striving, at trying harder to force things to happen.  It’s has been a big part of my life that has made me successful, but the unfortunate piece of this it has come at a cost of peace, joy and happiness.  Not an ideal way to live life.  It sure takes the fun out of life.   What I am being shown is that I don’t have to struggle to serve God. 

The new way of thinking is to challenge myself.  Of course, there are going to be challenges in life.  That is what makes life interesting.  If we are never challenged we would be bored out of our mind. 

That is the main reason I left the pharmaceutical industry is because I wasn’t being challenged.  I was bored.  When something is challenging it tests our ability, determination and willingness to push pass the quit.   It’s a completely different connotation than “why is everything so hard?”

CHALLENGE OURSELVES THROUGH PHYSICAL ADVENTURE

When we challenge ourselves it becomes about building our character and making ourselves a better person.  One way I love to do that personally is through physical fitness and adventure challenges. 

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Last Saturday I participated in a 110 mile gravel bike race in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I had no idea how challenging it was going to be.   

We started the race in a torrential downpour with the temperature hovering right around 45 degrees or so.  I was completely soaked 5 miles into the race with another 105 miles to go.     Frozen toes and frozen fingers were the theme for the day. 

It challenged me mentally more than anything.  Yes, of course there was physical fatigue, but the whole point was to challenge myself and the weather conditions just added to that.   I am proud to say that after about nine hours on the bike I crossed the finish line.  I know I am a better person and cyclist because I rose to the challenge. 

INVITING A NEW POSSIBILITY

I want to invite you to find ways that you can challenge yourself.  Not to make your life harder, but to make your life better and more adventurous.   If we aren’t challenging ourselves on a regular basis we become comfortable, complacent and quite honestly bored with our life and the saddest thing of all is we aren’t growing as a person. 

What is that challenge for you?  It doesn’t have to be physical, but I think as men we are hard-wired to need physical challenges in our lives.  That is how God created us.  We aren’t meant to sit on the couch and watch TV.  We aren’t meant to be spectators in life. 

Go out and challenge yourself so you can become a better person.  Develop stronger character along the way and inspire others to join in the fun. 

My next challenge is the Tour de Steamboat which is a 116 mile road ride in the beautiful country of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  I am going to get the hard out of my vocabulary and embrace the challenge.  I am a work in progress in this area of my life.    I am going to enjoy the challenges that come my way in life and know that I don’t always have to struggle and make things hard.  Maybe sometimes life can just be fun and easy.  Isn’t that a novel thought?

BECOME THE ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL WARRIOR

If you are looking for new ways to challenge yourself physically, mentally and spiritually and need some guidance, coaching, wisdom and expertise, I specialize in helping men reclaim their inner warrior to become the ultimate spiritual warrior.  Do NOT go on this journey alone.  I will be with you every step of the way as you transform your life and become the man you always wanted to be.   Please reach out to me at troy@troyismir.com and be challenged to reclaim your inner warrior. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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I Am A Spiritual Warrior Coach

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I Am A Spiritual Warrior Coach

What is it about taking risks that scares us so much?  What is it about being so concerned with what people think of us?   I have been ensnared in the safety and comfort zone trap my whole life.  I have been bogged down by wanting people to like me as long as I can remember.  It’s an exhausting and soul killing way to live.  It has made me shrink back and play small out of fear of what people think about me. 

Here is my recent battle as small as it may seem, it’s a really big deal to me.   Over the course of the last year I have been developing and growing my fitness ministry.  As I dig into my work and listen to the desires God is putting on my heart, I am realizing more and more my ministry is centering on men’s discipleship.  This is where my heart feels fully alive.  This is where I feel I can make the biggest impact for the Kingdom of God. 

When people ask me what I do for a living, I have been giving them a safe answer of, “I am a personal trainer.”  Of course there is nothing wrong with being a personal trainer.  I believe helping people with their health and fitness is a very noble thing to do. 

But what I realize and what I am truly stepping into is I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.  I help men to reclaim their inner warrior through physical fitness and fitness adventures for the betterment of humanity.   Fitness is merely the platform to help men become stronger spiritual leaders.  To re-learn how to be a lover and a warrior as Jesus calls us to be. 

Men in today’s culture are perceived as weak, passive or overly aggressive.   In many cases we have lost the ability to be strong spiritual leaders.  I believe God is asking me to step up and take on the role of modeling what it looks like to be a strong spiritual leader. 

If there is one regret in my life is that I was not the spiritual leader in my family as my kids were growing up.  God was not central in my life at that time and therefore it wasn’t something I modeled on a regular basis.  I was an engaged father to my kids, but it centered on athletics and school and not what it meant to be a Christ follower.

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I do know this though.  It’s never too late.  As my faith grows and I believe in myself more, I am stepping up to be the leader God is calling me to be.   A leader in my family, my church and my community.  It has not been an easy path, nor will it ever be an easy path.   As Christians we are asked to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, no matter the cost.   That has been a work in progress for me.  Sometimes my soul is on fire and there are other times I want to go back to my old easy life.

So what exactly is a spiritual warrior?  Here are the traits that I believe exudes what a true spiritual warrior made in the image of God looks like:

·         LIVES A LIFE OF ADVENTURE

·         EMBRACES UNCERTAINTY AS THE THEME OF OUR LIFE

·         GOES INTO THE UNKNOWN WITH GOD

·         LIVES A LIFE FULL OF PASSION AND COURAGE

·         IS DISCIPLINED INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY

·         HAS MENTAL FOCUS

·         HAS AN ATTITUDE OF PERSEVERANCE

·         TRAINS PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY EVERY DAY

·         LIVES TO GLORIFY GOD IN ALL WE DO

·         WE LIVE FOR A TRANSCENDENT CAUSE GREATER THAN OURSELVES

One thing I have realized on this journey is we are all warriors in training.  We never arrive.  We are never perfect.  We will always be learning and growing.  Most importantly, we need to surround ourselves with other godly men to go on this journey with. 

That is why I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.   As men, we need support, encouragement and a safe place to be vulnerable and courageous.  Too many of us are living in quiet desperation.  We are afraid to take off the body armor and show up truly as we are.  We are afraid of failing, being seen and therefore we shrink back and become passive or overly aggressive.

Men, it’s time to change that.  Your first courageous step is to reach out for help.  If you are still struggling with the same things you have been struggling with for the past months, years or maybe even decades, maybe it’s time to do something different.  Maybe it’s time to reach out to a spiritual warrior coach. 

I am seeing lives being transformed through the work God is doing in me and through me.  Be strong and courageous and most importantly take a chance on yourself.  Imagine the possibilities when you reclaim your inner warrior and live the life you are created to live.   Imagine what will happen when you get out of your quiet desperation and start to live fully alive. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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The Man in the Arena (Getting his Ass Kicked a Little Bit)

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The Man in the Arena (Getting his Ass Kicked a Little Bit)

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 “Get in the arena, show up, do your thing and don’t be afraid to get your ass kicked a little bit.” –Brene Brown

Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, months or even years where you just want to quit?  Where you don’t want to get in the arena anymore and keep getting your ass kicked? When you get to the point in your life where you want to say screw it and run away from reality?

I had one of those weeks not too long ago.  I wanted to quit everything.  Quit trying to grow a fitness ministry that I feel less than qualified to lead because of all of my glaring weaknesses.  Quit leading my men’s Bible and Barbells and Spiritual Warriors Unite men’s discipleship programs.  I wanted to run and hide and never come back.  I am an expert at isolation.  That is a behavior I have down pat. 

When I left my six figure job and my comfortable surroundings I had lived in for twenty years in Orlando about a year and a half ago, I knew things were going to be hard as I jumped in with both feet to become a Kingdom building entrepreneur.   I just didn’t know all of the things that would show up in my life.  Areas of personal development and growth that I have been avoiding for years, probably more subconsciously than anything else. 

I have always been a fly under the radar kind of a guy.  You know the guy that says my actions speak for themselves.  The strong, silent type.  Stoic and composed.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those character traits, but sometimes we need to be heard and seen and that means speaking up and playing big. 

Even as a star athlete in high school, I shunned the lime light.  When I saw a sports reporter coming my way, I conveniently headed the other direction.  I never really liked talking about myself.  It felt self-serving, conceited and egotistical. 

 For me it was much safer to play it small and not take risks.  To put on my body armor and not let anybody in.  To play it safe and fly under the radar. 

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What I have learned recently, that if I keep myself small, keep hiding behind the scenes, I am not going to make the impact in the world that God is calling me to make.   God will not be able to use me fully if I am not willing to be vulnerable and get into the arena and get bloodied and sweaty. 

I am learning that great leaders are vulnerable.  They are willing to admit that they aren’t perfect and don’t have all of the answers.  They share what’s on their heart and are not concerned about what people think about them. 

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I get how Moses felt inadequate to do what God called him to do. He came up with every excuse in the book not to fulfill the mission God gave him from I am not good enough, I am a terrible public speaker and I am not qualified. I have told myself all of those things, unfortunately many times.

My work is asking me to be more vulnerable.  To open myself up to failure, criticism and the great unknown.  And quite honestly that scares the hell out of me.  I am a master at control, but I am being asked to let go of certainty and embrace uncertainty as the main theme of my life and that means being vulnerable. 

Everything in me says quit and run the other way, but I am going to get in the arena.  I may come out bloody, but that’s OK.  The man who says I failed is ten times more of a man that says what if. 

I am going to step into the arena and dare greatly.  I know I am going to mess up along the way, and fact if I don’t, I am not taking big enough risks for God.    My intention is to be a leader of men and show what being vulnerable and courageous is all about.   My hope and prayer is that leads to greater connection, love, self-worth and belonging.  I am going to get in the arena and dare greatly even if I fall short again and again. How about you?

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Rewire Your Brain Back to Perfection

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Rewire Your Brain Back to Perfection

I want to change the world.  I want to show people what is possible when we fully step into who we are created to be.  What I have realized is I will never be able to do this with my current self-limiting beliefs.  I will never become the person God created me to be with my history of toxic thinking. 

That’s why I recently embarked on a journey of renewing my mind.  I decided I was going to put as much effort into my mental training as my physical and spiritual training.    I am learning that they all work together.  If one of those areas is under-developed we will fall short of who we are called to be and what we are called to do. 

I have been completely geeking out on quantum physics, neuroscience and epigenetics.  I am channeling my inner geek to learn as much as possible about my mind and the power that we have been given to control our thoughts and ultimately change our brain and pattern of toxic thinking. 

One of my favorite authors and neuroscientist is Dr. Caroline Leaf.  I just finished reading her book for the second time called, Switch on Your Brain:  The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health.    She has a 21 day brain detox program that I have been going through. 

One thing she said that I thought was really profound is we have the capability of rewiring our brain back to its original state.  We can rewire our brain back to perfection.  Wow!  How amazing is that. 

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One of the scriptures that really ties into that thought is 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!”

We are born again when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  We have a new life in Christ.  The old Troy is gone and the new Troy is here.  But, here is the thing I am learning.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Yes, we are saved, but our life isn’t automatically transformed.  It takes time, patience and perseverance. 

I have committed to rewiring my brain back to perfection.  To renewing my mind every single day and sometimes minute by minute if I have to.  I am meditating daily, journaling, memorizing scripture and taking every thought captive.   I am determined to get rid of toxic thinking once and for all.  Toxic thinking actually leads to brain damage. 

I am reading as much as I can to help me understand how powerful our God given mind is.  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life.”  How powerful is that.   The enemy wants us to shrink back and believe his lies.  No more!  I will only believe the truth and what God says about me. 

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Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us in advance to do.”  That is the truth.  It is up to me and you to let that sink into our hearts and actually believe it and live out our life that way. 

What toxic thoughts are you struggling with?  Imagine the possibilities in your life if you started to rewire your brain back to perfection.  If you got rid of those destructive thoughts that you believe about yourself.  It takes time, consistent effort and perseverance. I am learning it is worth every second I am investing into my thought life as I can already see the difference in my life and how I am showing up in the world.  I am ready to be that world changer that God is calling me to be. 

How about you?  Are you ready to step into being the person you are called to be?  Don’t go it alone.  I specialize in helping men reclaim their inner warrior by strengthening their mind, body and spirit.  Transformational changes happens in community.   You can reach me at troy@troyismir.com to explore what it would look like for us to do some spiritual warrior coaching together.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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