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spiritual warrior

Busting Through Our Limitations with a Growth Mindset

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Busting Through Our Limitations with a Growth Mindset

My latest guest on the Spiritual Warriors Unite podcast was Jeremy Couch.  Jeremy is the Executive Director and Assistant Professor of Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a premier Christian university in Central Florida.  He is also a speaker, podcaster, leadership blogger and coach.  We discussed what it means to have a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.  Jeremy also shares some of his favorite books on spiritual and personal development and how we can always be learning and growing.  If you missed the podcast you can listen here.  Here are some of the highlights. 

Jeremy’s Scripture of Choice

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

FIXED MINDSET VS. GROWTH MINDSET

A fixed mindset is a limited mindset.  It’s when you don’t think you can improve your intelligence and your skills.   You think this is how I am born and this is who I am.  When you have a fixed mind set you don’t want to be challenged.  This type of person usually doesn’t like feedback.   A person with a fixed mind set ultimately has a very self-limiting belief about themselves. 

On the other hand a person with a growth mind set is defined by opportunity.   They feel like they can absolutely improve their intelligence and skills.   They embrace challenges and are always willing to put in an extra effort.  They welcome feedback because they know they can improve.   They are lifelong learners and get very comfortable being uncomfortable.    At their core they are humble.  It means they don’t have all of the answers and they are OK with that. 

TOP FOUR RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Circle Maker by Mark Batterson:  This book is about the power of intentional prayer and developing the perspective that God can do the impossible. 

Dare to Serve by Cheryl Bachelder:  This book is about servant leadership. 

Leadership and Self-Deception:  Getting out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute:  This book’s central insight states that the key to leadership lies not in what we do but in who we are.  It has powerful implications in organizational leadership and also in our personal lives as well. 

Soul Keeping by John Ortberg:  This book is all about taking care of our soul.  It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith. 

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE

A statistic Jeremy cited was that approximately 30 million people have gone to college and never finished their degree.   There are three key things to keep in mind when considering going back to complete your college degree.

  1. It’s very doable, but it’s not easy.

  2. First you have to know your why.  Know your purpose behind getting your degree.  Ask yourself this question, “What is God calling you to do and how will this degree move you towards your purpose?” 

  3. It’s all about the experience and personal growth that comes along with it.  

Having a growth mindset can lead to unlimited opportunities.  Learning and growing is the best way to always stay passionate about life.  When we challenge ourselves in new ways it keeps our fire burning inside. 

In today’s world of technology there is no shortage of ways to learn from podcasts, online courses, audiobooks and just good old fashioned reading.  The key is to be intentional about our learning and to be consistent.  Fifteen to twenty minutes a day of personal growth and development goes a long ways. 

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 one million men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors.  The journey to one million 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 Warriors Unite Newsletter and becoming a 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, Podcaster and Spiritual Warrior Coach

facebook.com/groups/spiritualwarriorsunite/

https://www.troyismir.com/

 

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Change the World with Love

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Change the World with Love

My heart is breaking! Sadly we live in a world where a man goes into a synagogue and randomly kills eleven people because he decides he hates Jews.

We live in a world where a doctor abuses his power and sexually abuses over one hundred women for his own pleasure.

Sadly we live in a world where there is still prejudice. Where we always think we are right and the other person is wrong and we won’t even listen to understand.

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It’s easy to throw up our hands and complain and join in on all of the rhetoric and hate. That is never going to solve the world’s problems.

What if we changed the world with love one person at a time? Not conditional love, but unconditional love to all people.

What if we as men step up to be the spiritual leaders we are called to be? What if we as men got in community with other men where we could be vulnerable and authentic and stop pretending to be someone we are not? What if we saw vulnerability as strength and not weakness?

I am sick and tired of this me against you attitude, us against them. What if we all partnered together as one nation under God and just showed up from a place of powerful love for the betterment of humanity? That would change the world. I am all in! How about you?

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Heart Transformation Happens in Community

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Heart Transformation Happens in Community

Is there ever a word that keeps showing up in your life over and over again?  It’s that tap on the shoulder, that voice in your head, that desire in your heart.   The word that keeps getting shown to me is community.  Which is kind of ironic as I have become a master of isolation over the course of a life time.  Isolation is my default button when I feel overwhelmed and don’t want to deal with the challenges in life.

What God is showing me is heart transformation happens in community.  Of course we need our alone time with God, I have been doing that consistently for over eight years now.   What I am learning is the importance of community.  A place to be authentic and vulnerable.  Without that component of non-judgmental accountability it will be very challenging to become the person God created us to be. 

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There are two components to heart transformation.  A relationship with Jesus is the vertical component that helps us to become more like Christ.  The horizontal component to heart transformation is our relationship with other people.  Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

This played out recently on a personal level with me last week.  I lift weights once a week with a great friend.  Our workouts are as much about spiritual transformation as they are about physical transformation.  We have a relationship where we can be real and vulnerable with each other.  He spoke the truth into me and encouraged me based on some of the struggles I have shared with him over the past year.   

He showed me the love of Christ by speaking words of encouragement into my heart.  Of course I have taken this battle to God many times over, but there is something about sharing our battle with other believers that brings it home.  What I have discovered through being in community is so many of us our facing the same battles.  Why go it alone?

God recently put this strong desire on my heart to create a community for men where we can be completely real and vulnerable.   To me this is church.  It’s men showing brotherly love to each other.  Learning how to become more like Christ through scripture, prayer and shared struggles and victories.  It’s having our hearts transformed in community. 

This community is called Spiritual Warriors Unite that meets once a month at the gym I train at called The Body, which stands for the Body of Christ.  How cool is that?  Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 

We are developing a community or church at The Body that is caring for the Body of Christ.  After all the church is people.  It’s not a building or an institution.  It’s quite simply followers of Jesus serving and caring for others. 

Heart transformation happens in community, but so many people isolate themselves from community when they are hurting, depressed, struggling with sin and addiction or feel unworthy.   I totally get that as isolation has been my default for many years of my life.  I have learned the hard way that things never turn out good when we go into isolation mode. 

Here are three things I have learned to do to get out of isolation and into community for a heart transformation.

Find one or two guys you can be 100% real and vulnerable with:

This has been the biggest game changer in my life.  I have two guys in my life I can share my heart and soul with.  I know I can tell them anything and I will not be judged.  I can share my heart, my struggles and my dark side knowing that they will love me unconditionally. 

This is a rare thing especially for guys.  We talk about real matters of the heart.  We don’t try to fix each other.  We listen to each other, showing compassion and caring for one another.  If you don’t have somebody like this in your life you are missing that horizontal component of life change.  Pray and ask God to bring a brother in Christ into your life that can speak the words of truth and love into your life. 

Join a men’s Bible study: 

Being in the Word of God shoulder to shoulder with other brothers is transformative.  I recently joined a men’s Bible study at a local church.  At first I was hesitant to do so because I wanted a morning where I didn’t have to be somewhere at a certain time early in the morning. I also love my quiet time alone (there is that isolation piece shining through.)  I made myself go and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. 

The pastor is a masterful teacher of the Word.  The insights I have gained in a few short weeks has already transformed my heart.  I have also developed friendships with other men I never would have had the chance to know on a personal level.  Take a chance and join a men’s Bible study. It will transform you heart.

Be a spiritual mentor to someone else:  

As followers of Jesus we are called to love and serve others.  We are not meant to keep our faith to ourselves.  We are called to disciple other men.  This will transform our heart as well as the person we are mentoring. 

When we know we are making a difference in someone else’s life it changes us on the inside as well.  One of the best things we can do when we are hurting and suffering is to use our pain to do good.  That has been a basic principle in my life over the past eight years.  It’s amazing how God uses the suffering in our life to make a difference in other people’s lives. 

God has used my pain of divorce to mentor and counsel other people who have gone and are going through the trials of divorce.  He is using my story to help others to see that there is life after divorce.   “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28.

Isolation only leads to a dark and lonely place full of depression, sadness and despair.  Being in community leads to heart transformation, peace and love.  Find another guy you trust, join a men’s Bible study and be a mentor to another person and you will see heart transformation at its finest. 

Heart transformation happens in community.  Don’t go it alone.  Take that first step and reach out to me or another brother.  It takes courage and strength to put yourself out there and to create a new possibility for yourself.  Choose life not despair. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Spiritual Warrior Manifesto

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Spiritual Warrior Manifesto

I believe every man wants to live out his true purpose and live a life of significance.  I believe every man wants to step into his power and be the person he was created to be. 

Playing small and shrinking back is such a common theme among men in our world today.  We have been settling for mediocrity and the status quo. 

 “There is no passion to be found playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”-Nelson Mandela

As Spiritual Warriors we are called to rise up and push our limits of physical fitness, mental toughness and spiritual growth for the betterment of humanity. 

Many men are tolerating life and living in quiet desperation.  Boredom is a dangerous place for a man.  It is our enemy.  Life has a way of taking our sense of adventure away.  Our attachment to comfort and security is what limits most men from living powerful and passionate lives. 

Spiritual Warriors defy the status quo.   We train ourselves to be warriors because God may have an impossible mission he wants to do through us.  Spiritual Warriors are deeply dependent on God and embrace risk with courage. 

Many men fall into a life of self-centeredness, isolation and addiction.  A man’s addictions are the result of refusing our strengths.   Our addictions result from not living out our mission. 

Spiritual Warriors are called to live out our purpose and mission.  By aligning every part of our life towards our mission we will feel fully alive and free. 

Spiritual Warriors nourish our bodies with healthy food so we can have an abundance of energy and optimal health. 

We train physically so we can be strong and full of vitality. 

We strengthen our mind so we can overcome fear to make an impact in our world. 

We grow spiritually so we can be a source of light in a world that is full of darkness. 

Spiritual Warriors are called to live a life of freedom, simplicity and adventure.   We are called to be in community and live a life of service.   A quality of a true Spiritual Warrior is that we are in service to a purpose greater than ourselves. 

My mission is to build a social movement of men who are becoming Spiritual Warriors through fitness and physical adventure for the betterment of humanity.  

My vision is to be revolutionary in impacting men’s lives with fitness as the platform for growing spiritually. 

I invite you to go on this journey with me.   To be a part of our community of Spiritual Warriors.    Imagine the possibilities for yourself, your family, your community and the world when you step into being the man you were created to be and become a Spiritual Warrior!

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Exhausted

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Exhausted

It’s Monday morning at 5:15am.  After four bouts with the snooze alarm I was finally able to peel myself out of bed.  I am not a typical hit the snooze button kind of a guy, but this morning all I could do was muster up enough strength to roll over and hit the snooze button and hit it again and again and again. 

Can you relate to this?  That feeling of extreme fatigue.  I was talking to one of my clients this week and he said he was feeling  “fatiguey” that particular morning.  I think he should trademark that word as I am hearing more and more people suffering from “fatiguey”.

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I thought Monday was a fluke as I survived the day, but I felt even more exhausted on Tuesday and Wednesday.  As a trainer and coach a big part of my job is encouraging and inspiring people to be at their best.  Let me tell you it is next to impossible with the level of exhaustion I was feeling. 

On July 14th I did a 120 mile bike ride with over 10,000 feet of climbing and on August 4th I did an 80 mile bike ride with 6500 feet of climbing.  There were three weeks between the two events, but do you know how many days of rest and recovery I took between those two rides?   ZERO! 

The day after both of those rides I was exhausted.  I was tired and wired.  I was so tired, but I didn’t sleep well.  So as any good American would do I fueled myself with caffeine.  And true to my form I worked out first thing the next morning.  Push-ups, core work, pull-ups.  My story that I tell myself is that I always feel better after a workout.  Which is true when I am in the moment and right after, but this past week my body shut down.  Meaning I had no energy what so ever.

SURVIVAL MODE

I was on pure survival mode.  Just make it through the day.  No zest for life, no passion for my work.  Just make it through the day and crash on the couch the minute I got home.  I have always prided myself with the mantra no days off. 

That mantra has caught up with me this week and I have come to the realization that this mantra has to change to rest and recovery.  At 51 years of age I pride myself that I am still able to train with extreme intensity and love to show the 20 somethings how it’s done in the gym.  It’s time to kick pride out the window and listen to my body. 

What I have been shown this week is if I don’t rest and recover I am no good to anyone.  My clients, my family, my community and most importantly doing God’s work.  I failed myself and everyone else this week by not allowing my body to rest and recover. 

If I don’t rest and recover I am no good to anyone.

In listening to people and my clients one of the most common themes I hear are I am so tired.  Exhausted is a word I here often or the new word fatiguey.  How many of us are walking zombies?   Honestly, I didn’t even feel like a human being this week.  Extreme brain fog, severe allergies and lethargy were prevalent in my life. 

REST AND RECOVERY

What I believe God is showing me is that I need to rest my body.  At least once a week, but probably more like twice a week.  It doesn’t mean being sedentary, but do things that are more restorative such as going for an easy walk or some light yoga. 

What do you need to do to restore and rest?  Maybe it’s learn to say no so you aren’t so overscheduled and can have a relaxing evening at home and get to bed at a decent hour.  Maybe it’s to actually take a day of rest on the Sabbath and have a complete day of restoration.  It might be to build in some light movement instead of heavy intense exercise. 

ENERGY, VITALITY AND OPTIMAL HEALTH

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Whatever it is for you, listen to your body.  Allow your body time to be restored.  Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Find rest in God.  Take time to be still for that is the time we can truly draw closer to God. It’s in those moments where we will find rest for our soul. 

Imagine a life of energy, vitality and optimal health.  That is what I am going for.  It will be a shift in perspective for me, but I know that the only way I can do the work that God has called me to do is if I build in rest and restoration into my life.  Please join me in that possibility of slowing down so we can be more effective, energetic and joyful in our day to day life. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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