34: Adversity is a Gift with Marcus Aurelius Anderson

We are only as strong as the adversity we overcome.  If that is the case, then Marcus Aurelius Anderson is a StrongMan of character.  But facing adversity isn’t the only prerequisite for developing grit, you have to choose to use it as an opportunity for growth so you can adapt. It is not freedom from adversity, but it is the freedom, the power, the choice to take a stand and lean into your adversity.  Our stories are unique, but the struggle is universal.  To the strong, Adversity is a Gift

My guest is Marcus Aurelius Anderson. Marcus is an author, TedX Speaker, and Mindset Coach who, while preparing to deploy with the U.S. Army, suffered a severe spinal injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. His life was turned upside down, and after dying twice on the operating table, he was told he would never be able to walk or use his hands again. He discovered he was left with two choices, he could either be a victim, or change his mindset and become a Victor. Having no other option, he began looking for any lessons to be learned from his injury, and soon discovered that his set back was a gift. After being paralyzed and coming back from death, Marcus is here to help guide us not only out of adversity, but into it.

SHOW NOTES:

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

3:10 Who was Marcus prior to joining military at 38? Marcus the Younger

9:00  What he learned from his great uncle.  The power of intention and purpose. 

18:40  Joining the military at 38.

23:40  The concept of Arete and Ikigai

35:00 Knowing yourself – Temet Nosce

38:15  Grit – Dying and Paralysis – Movement is a Gift – the healing power of Gratitude

Genuine gratitude is not a buzzword, it is acting in a grateful manner.

57:34  You should be seeking out adversity, one in way shape or form. If you can have adversity as your compass, it will always direct you in the right direction, and for most people that are going through hardship, the answer they are looking for so desperately is found within the adversity that they are not facing.

58:30  Resiliency training – cold exposure – micro adversity 

1:05:50  Adversity Scale 

1:16:50  If you want to go beyond mediocrity, then you have to demand more from yourself. If you don’t demand something from you, life will start demanding things from you that you don’t want.

Misery loves company but not as much as mediocrity.

1:19:00 The meaning of service

1:22:30  Lessons from a failed marriage

1:31:17  Favorite quotes and books.

LINKS:

Book:  The Gift of Adversity: Overcoming Paralysis and Pain to find Purpose

Websites:  MarcusAureliusAnderson.com  TheSisuWay.com

Social Media:  @marcusaureliusanderson  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

Marcus’ Podcast: Epic Achiever 

The Sisu Way Podcast – PLEASE LEAVE AN ITUNES REVIEW IF YOU LISTEN TO THE SHOW

6: The Art of Living – Epictetus, Stoicism, & Serenity

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The Art of Living is the classical manual of Epictetus (a Stoic philosopher who lived from A.D. 55 to A.D. 135) on how to live a good and moral life. It has helped me effectively meet everyday challenges of life, deal with life’s inevitable major losses, disappointments, and adversity. It came at a time in my life when I did not have a philosophy of inner freedom and tranquility to follow.

It started me on a path to mastering my desires, performing my duties well, and learning to think clearly about myself (Temet Nosce) and my relationship with others. It gave me the ability to see that some things are in my control, and some things are not.  I can either accept things, or resent them, but most importantly, my will is always within my power.  Well there are some things are within our power, and some things are not.  Sometimes the things that are not come in the form of an unexpected violent cancer.

My Aunt, the one who gifted me this book many years ago, is in a fight for her life. She is fighting for her husband, her boys, her family, and her future grandkids. She is a warm ball of light stuck in a human body, and that human body is failing her.  There is not much I can do physically, but I don’t think it starts or ends there.  This is an opportunity and reminder that Strength is a Choice, and there is something I can do in her honor.  I can use this platform to pass along the gift that she gave me to you.

I give this book to people very frequently because it helps learn the art of living a good life. Since I cannot physically hand each of you a copy, I would like to take this opportunity to share the gift with you via the podcast in my Aunts honor. The Sisu Way podcast is telling a story, and this is part of the journey.

Vulnerability is Strength, so I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me. In following podcast I present, read, and paraphrase some of my favorite parts of the book with you. To begin, I open with The Serenity Prayer.

Humbly,

Scott McGee

TheSisuWay.com

5: Val Voboril – Strength is a Choice

 

 Val Voboril is the everyday woman with super-powered fitness.  She is a mother, 4th Grade teacher, and a 6-time CrossFit Games Athlete.  But these titles do not define her. The quality of her character is shown through her resilient spirit, her unconquerable soul, and her commitment to teaching kids that they have the power to choose strength.

Val’s successes has not come without a dip, a trial of “failure.” Despite her almost super-human powers, in 2015 at the CrossFit Games California Regional, Val doubted herself and felt the fear of disappointing others by failing to meet certain standards. This is a place we have all been. We have all been knocked down, but that’s not where we have to stay.  She thought about the kind of message she wanted to send to her daughter, her students, fans, and the community.

Her dad asked her:

What do you want the story to be to tell your daughter? That you pulled through, gave up, or persevered when it was hard?

When faced with adversity, we have a choice. Val found strength in having fun and connecting to the community. She used strength and love to conquer. Val remembered to smile. Through this simple act, Val showed the power of having fun. That Health is Wealth. In turn, through her unconquerable spirit she prevailed in competition and triumphed over her own adversity.

Val is not only a role model to the CrossFit community, she leads the way by teaching her students the importance of a positive attitude and how to get themselves out of a dip. This mindset and indomitable spirit is why we at The Sisu Way are proud to welcome Val as our first guest.

Vals website: Just Val

Instagrams to follow: @valvoboril  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

Books: The Art of Living

Daily Stoic

Temet Nosce – Know Thyself

4: Health is Wealth – Memento Mori – Movement is a Gift

Health is Wealth” is one of the tag-lines of The Sisu Way, but if I were to make the title of this episode longer it would say, “Health is Wealth, Movement is a Gift, and Your Will is Within Your Power.”

Without health, all the perceived wealth in the world is irrelevant. We all have health, if you didn’t you would not be able to listen to this podcast. If you can’t hear this podcast then be grateful you can read these words. If you have the ability and resources to purchase whatever device you are listening to it from you have health.  We also live in countries that allow podcasts, and other peoples opinions can be heard.  These are all gifts.

There is a latin phrase, Memento Mori, which means remember death, or remember that you will die. This stoic practice of reflection on mortality is an opportunity to reflect on the temporary state of our being and to appreciate what we have in the moment… health, the gift of movement, the freedom and opportunity to choose strength, and the gratitude for it.

Buddha said: To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

To go a bit further, beyond just a healthy you….is a healthy you full of appreciation, gratitude, and a resilient mind to see the gifts in the world instead of what you don’t have. The ability to wake up from wants and needs and appreciate what you have right now. Remember to forgive and love yourself, and take a moment to really appreciate the ability to see, hear, and talk with your loved ones.

For more info and episodes go to: TheSisuWay.com

Instagram: @thesisuway

Personal: @1scottmcgee

Be a Good Man

In my last article, Be the Light, I wrote about Martin Luther King Jr’s sermon called, “Loving Your Enemies.” I wrote that we can do better, we just need to open ourselves up and actually listen to each other.  In order to heal, we should begin by analyzing ourselves, taking ownership of our own actions, utilizing purposeful/healthy communication, and learning to forgive.  What I am seeing is “sides” that want to prove they are right. Sides that want to defeat, point fingers, or share things on social media that are aimed at defeating instead of healing.  I see people sharing what they think is for the greater good, but in fact it is adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Spreading hate and negativity multiplies hate and negativity and I see what it is doing to us.  This is a spiral of destruction that is rooted in darkness. It corrodes our thoughts. This is not the path to the mountaintop. 

Social media posts and what people share have consequences.

Pointing out how the strong person stumbles is not the way. The credit belongs to the people who are actually in the arena, trying to be good people. They stumble.  We stumble. The way to help each other is to be good people and to support others.  To stand up in the storm and have compassion for those who fail. This starts with us. We always have a choice when it comes to our actions. I would like you to consider this when on social media. Think to yourself: Is what I’m about to post going to help or hurt anyone?  Is this going to spread love or hate?  Sometimes hate is deceptive.  It’s easy to spread hate disguised as love, because you might not even realize it.  The devil is deceitful. Mind your words because they matter. You don’t know who you are affecting.  Continue reading