Driven
By Jason Munger

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What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.

Anthony Robbins

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Photography by Seth Dobie

We all have a brief window of opportunity in the vast continuum of time to leave an impression on the world. All of us must decide what we intend to do with this. Earl Nightingale has said “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” Each of us are the sum of the moments and experiences in our lives. With this in mind, are you driven to rise above the normality, monotony, and mediocrity to achieve something greater? Can you live with no regrets taking advantage of every moment, and creating opportunities to continually align yourself toward a definite purpose? What is it that makes you successful and fulfilled?

It is important to think about this as it becomes the very foundation and catalyst for the actions taken to achieve any goal – the motivation behind us. We all yearn to improve the state of our lives in one way or another. What one must understand is that success is of a deliberate and intentional nature. It begins with a belief and a faith that something is indeed within the grasp of your reality. Any doubt, fear or excuse must be cast aside as they only serve to distract and obstruct. Let go of your external locus of control and realize you in fact have the power to influence your own life and success. When looking at the habits of successful people in history, there are common attributes they all share. Among them include a vision for what they want, a carefully thought out plan to achieve it, an established routine for the effective use of their time, and a drive for continuous improvement. This, along with a strong work ethic and an unwavering faith, their ideas transmute to reality. There are many ways to move toward a goal. Each individual will have their own unique path and tools to accomplish this, but there exists a real-life application that demonstrates and utilizes the very same principles of success that you may not have thought of – fitness.

Jason before his transformation

Jason before his transformation

The benefits of fitness and exercise are well documented. To look and feel better through the improvement of health and body image is often a good motivation to start working out. However, it is ironic that even though there is a multi-billion dollar fitness industry, the obesity epidemic continues to increase worldwide. I would like to suggest an alternative motivation to begin fitness that lends itself to multiple lifelong benefits. Use fitness as a tool to align yourself toward your overall purpose and impending success. Transmute the external physical improvement to an all-encompassing mind, body, and spirit transformation that influences every aspect of life. Realize its transcendent potential as it demands the development of a mind-body connection to develop a stronger, more evolved individual. Through fitness you can cultivate a sense of value and self-respect allowing yourself to be more open and engaging to the ideas and people around you. In short, your body will become a physical manifestation of your character.

The pain and struggle felt in the gym is a perfect metaphor for life and the journey toward success that deserves more emphasis. Many approach pain and struggle as something to be feared and avoided. In the gym, pain is essential for growth and improvement. Your new body is forged beginning with a belief and a vision of where you want to be. Then, through pain, sweat, and exhaustion your goal is realized following a well-planned and properly executed routine. It is here that the ideals and principles of fitness overlap in your life and challenge yourself to achieve new goals. You must push through hardship to come out a stronger, more enlightened individual, even if it results in failure. Failure is temporary and necessary. For as the muscles tear and fatigue and are repaired to meet the new demand, your mental fortitude in times of stress and adversity will experience the same. You reach goals in the gym with every rep having the definite purpose of constantly redefining yourself. Lift your fear and anxiety; Use it as a catalyst for change. Pull yourself up off the ground with the weight of the world that constantly tries to hold you in place. Lift it up through the belief, faith, and drive and pull your way up closer to your success. If at any point you find yourself at a stand-still, employ new methods to keep moving forward.

The mind and body adapt over time to the information it brings in, therefore, you must expose it to more challenging stimuli to induce further growth. And, if left neglected and unused, the muscle will atrophy. Similarly, your purpose and potential that can be shared with the world will do the same if you allow yourself to settle for less than you know you are capable or be paralyzed by fear. Look for solutions to continually follow your purpose, embrace the pain along the way, and live at the edge of your comfort zone. As Bruce Lee has said, “There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

I want to propose a call to action to let go of short-term, superficial fixes to fulfillment and adopt fitness as a tool toward a long-term solution. Experience how the mind and body can be used synergistically to accomplish and overcome life’s goals and challenges by creating the foundational mindset and mental clarity to make this a reality. Understand that in the gym, as in life, your ultimate success or failure comes down to your own personal responsibility and the result reveals your true character. Go out into the world with an attitude of gratitude and humility always seeking truth. Use what gifts have been given to you to impact your world and fuel yourself from the motivation that comes for your core beliefs and values. Allow your ego to die and become the strength to lift up others when called upon. Look beyond creating a memory for an instantaneous moment in time only seeing a shadow of the person you once were and dreaming of what could have been. Create something others will remember for you and constantly be inspired because of you. Create a legacy.

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Jason today

About Jason Munger

Jason Munger was born in St.Petersburg, Florida but spent most of his childhood in North Carolina. He then attended the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and graduated with the highest honors in Mechanical Engineering.

During his time in college Munger fell into some bad habits and became overweight and unhappy with himself. Munger made a vow to “live life more fully and confidently while always striving to do the most good for himself and others.”

Jason now works at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California collaborating on projects such as components for the International Space Station and a new technology that will help us measure the Earth’s gravitational field with unprecedented accuracy.

Motivated, curious and diligent, Jason Munger is constantly improving his quality of life through fitness, exploration, and sharing knowledge which drives him towards an undoubtedly positive future.

Connect with Jason on Instagram @jmunger3

Bio Written by Adria Kelly for Tinsel Tokyo

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