by Sean Croxton
If there is one thing guaranteed about life, it is that we all evolve.
I can recall my early days as a personal trainer, when I considered exercise to be the solution for everything under the sun. I immersed myself in books, videos, and courses on fitness, strength, periodization, and anything else that could help me build the ultimate physical human machine.
Then I stumbled upon the work of Weston A. Price, Francis Marion Pottenger, and many other nutrition legends who convinced me that diet was a critical element of building not only a well-tuned physical body but one that enjoyed internal health as well.
As I learned more about nutrition, I became less enthusiastic about my personal training career. Since it was so different from anything else they had ever heard before, most clients seemed to be disinterested in my nutritional advice. They just wanted to work out. And since you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, I eventually hung up my stopwatch to become a nutrition consultant.
Working as a Metabolic Typing Advisor, I quickly learned that many of my clients had health challenges that went far beyond diet and exercise. Despite their much improved eating habits, things like insomnia, low libido, and digestive problems continued to persist. That is when I stumbled upon Reed Davis and the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) course.
FDN blew my mind. I learned all about steroidal hormone imbalances, detoxification pathways, intestinal pathogens and dysbiosis (bacterial overgrowth), and a bunch of other cool stuff. The best part is that I could run lab tests on my clients to see where the hidden internal dysfunctions resided. Once we found those dysfunctions, I had the pleasure of helping my clients correct them through natural protocols.
Once again, I immersed myself in information, reading everything I could within the realm of functional medicine and the endless connections amongst the body’s many systems. You have no idea how much fun this was (and still is)!
As my FDN practice grew, another missing piece of the puzzle became apparent — mindset. Some clients just seemed to think differently than others. After a while, I could almost sense who would follow the program and eventually resolve their health complaints, and who would not. It all revolved around mindset.
This reminds me of one of the other reasons I left personal training — I was tired of being everyone’s therapist! Some clients would spend their entire hour dumping their problems on me. Hours upon hours of negativity would often drain the life out of me. After a hard day’s work, all I could do was sit on the couch or lie in bed almost catatonic as a result of everyone else’s woes.
I wanted to be a personal trainer, not a full-time therapist.
But the honest truth is that, just like the overlapping systems of the human body, the mind is more connected to health, disease, and the outcomes of the various programs and diets we follow, than most of us would like to admit. There’s a reason why my training clients found it so easy to vent during their sessions. It is because the mind and body are not two separate entities. They are one. And it’s about time that we as health and wellness bloggers start recognizing it.
As you may have noticed lately, my tweets and FB posts are more about mindset than nutrition these days. My radio shows have taken a slight shift away from typical health topics, and moved toward personal development. And if you could see my Amazon receipts, very few of the books I order are actually about health.
No, I’m not abandoning the real food and health movement to become a self-help guru. Not at all. And I’m not about to get all “new-age” on you. Underground Wellness will go on. Rather, my new mission is to help others to help themselves by way of taking the word “holistic” to another level.
Holistic (adj.) – characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
After years of experience, progression, and personal exploration, it finally hit me a couple of weeks ago — a lightbulb moment, indeed. I was at the gym working out and listening to a lecture on my iPod by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of the infamous book Psycho-Cybernetics. As I sat on the bench, mesmerized by the content of Dr. Maltz’s talk and taking way too long in between sets, he said three words that made me pack up, leave the gym, and head home to brainstorm. Those words were…Professional Human Beings (PHB).
That was it, the missing piece of the puzzle that I have been trying to solve since my personal training days. Yes, we all want to be healthy. However, I also feel like each and every one of us would like to be pros at being human as well.
Think about it, is superior health possible if you’re in a perpetual state of unhappiness fueled by negative self-talk?
Thoughts determine our feelings.
Feelings determine our actions.
Actions determine our results.
Remember when everyone was calling the movie The Secret a bunch of baloney with its “thoughts become things” mantra? Well, it didn’t mean that we can just sit around thinking about stuff and it will suddenly appear in our lives. That’s ridiculous! What it meant was the three sentences above. When we take more responsibility for the way we think, we tend to act differently. When we act differently, we are more likely to achieve the outcomes we are striving for. But it all begins with what’s going on between our ears.
If your diet occurs to you like a big inconvenient pain in the butt, how does that make you feel? How do you act? What results do you eventually get?
See what I mean.
What I like most about Dr. Maltz’s PHB term is the word “professional”. A true professional is committed to his or her craft. To me, being human is the greatest craft of all. In my personal life, I have embraced the idea that anything can be learned — love, relationships, communication, etc. Anything we wish to achieve or become in our lives can be learned and mastered by way of diligent study, mentorship, and practice. The only requirement is commitment.
And this brings us to The PHB Quadrant, a concept I finalized this morning while doing inverted rows on the TRX. (I swear I get the best ideas when I’m at the gym.) To be a Professional Human Being, I believe that we must seek expertise in the following four areas of our lives:
Like the systems of the human body, all four of the above are interconnected. For example, mastery of self involves taking control of the mind and the thoughts that go through it. Remember, thoughts become feelings become actions become results. Sorry for repeating myself, but this one is key.
And let’s be honest, real food can be tough on the bank account. Lack of attention and focus on wealth, or the mastery of finances, can limit one’s options at the supermarket. No money. No healthy food. It’s an unfortunate reality, but still a reality. I don’t mean that you have to be super rich to afford real food, but wouldn’t it be nice to purchase grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, and free-range poultry without all of the stress and sacrifice?
The last component of the quadrant, Help Mastery, is by far my favorite. There is nothing more fulfilling, enriching, and rewarding than stepping outside of ourselves in service to others. As John Demartini says in THIS INTERVIEW, to accumulate wealth, you must find someone to serve and something to sell. My buddy Antonio Valladares of Healthy Urban Kitchen sent that audio file to me on November 29, 2008. I’ve listened to it so many times I can probably recite the whole thing to you.
Life is too short to hate our jobs, or to expect to get without giving, or to be an expert in a particular field while barely making ends meet, or to bang our heads against a wall as we try to follow some rigid diet and exercise program without the proper mindset to follow through.
So, I invite you to hang out with me on this blog, as I learn and share the art of becoming a Professional Human Being. You’ll learn all about my fascination with the human brain and its influence on success and achievement. You’ll learn how you can break free from a job you don’t love, and how you can move toward creating one that falls in line with your passions. You’ll learn how to create time freedom, as you stop trading your hours for dollars. You’ll learn how to read faster and retain more information. And I’m super excited to learn how we can use particular foods, herbs, and supplements to sleep deeper, think more clearly, and simply be more productive people in general.
Why would anyone not want to learn this stuff?
I’m getting pumped up just writing about it!!
This is my passion that I wish to share with the world. Be on the lookout for the debut of my spin-off radio show, on which I interview a who’s-who of success, personal development, wealth, and money management experts.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for the Real Food Summit coming this June. Because when it’s all said and done, it’s really all about Just Eating Real Food. JERF!!
So, what does being a Professional Human Being mean to you?
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.