Born to Live Bred to Win: How to Keep the Faith and Conquer Adversity
There is a difference between religion and faith…
Religion is open to debate.
Some think religion is legitimate. Others consider it a scam.
One thing remains certain.
Faith is real. Faith is not a scam.
Faith simply means that you are a believer in something.
You must believe in something.
Whether you decide to practice a specific religion is your personal business.
But you must be a man of faith because a man without beliefs has no real purpose.
He does not live for anything.
He is not destined to thrive because there is no motivation to conquer.
He goes through life thinking that there a no consequences for his actions.
There are always consequences.
There are reasons why the strong prevail.
There are reasons why the winners achieve.
The reasons are many but the unifying force is faith.
And there are 3 faiths you must follow to conquer adversity.
1. You must have faith in yourself.
No one is going to step up to the plate and swing the bat for you.
Mommy and Daddy can only take you so far.
Eventually, you will have to go out into the world and make a name for yourself.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Life can be nasty.
It can be cruel.
There will be times when you feel powerless.
You will question yourself.
You might even lose hope.
The question is… How are you going to move forward?
The answer is to have faith in yourself.
Have faith that you can control your life.
Have faith that you and ONLY YOU can create the legacy you deserve.
Can your faith in God help you? Absolutely.
But you must believe in your own ability to take action and make it happen.
People often get confused and think that God will miraculously put in the hard work for you.
This is not true.
God will not build for you nor will he reconstruct for you.
You must put in the work.
Your faith in yourself is what will inspire you to improve.
And when life gets hard (and it will), your faith in yourself will tell you “Don’t you quit on me.”
2. You must have faith in the Universe.
You will never have complete control over your destiny.
You can control the actions you take and the choices you make.
The outcome is a different story.
There is a reason why certain events have transpired in your life up to this point.
There is a reason why you are reading this article right now.
Those reasons point to a higher power.
You must have faith in that higher power (the Universe).
Other than that, all you can really do is be the best man you can possibly be.
Build the best body.
Eat nutritious food.
Surround yourself with good people.
Have good intentions and a positive outlook.
Find your craft and execute.
That is all you can control.
The rest is up to the Universe.
Have faith that if you do those things and make good choices, the Universe will work in your favor.
3. You must have faith in the present.
That is not a typo.
Most people advise others to have faith in the future.
Faith in the future is a double-edged sword.
While it is great to have faith in a brighter future, many make the mistake of neglecting the present.
Those people are gamblers because they are banking on “someday.”
“Someday I will have money.”
“Someday I will be good enough for women.”
“Someday I will be that ideal version of myself.”
I had a friend in college who banked on someday.
He placed all of his faith in the future.
His mountaintop was for him to go on to medical school and become a surgeon.
He had the work ethic. He had the smarts.
However, he banked on someday.
Someday he would be rich and powerful.
Someday he would be good enough to get a beautiful wife.
His college years passed him by.
He never enjoyed himself because he neglected the present.
He punished his mind and spirit because of his faith in the future.
He did everything he could to make the process miserable.
He constantly compared himself to others.
He often referred to himself as being at the bottom but someday…
Someday never came for him and it never will.
Those days are gone for him.
That is not me and I hope that is not you.
Your long term goals will take time to achieve.
At some point in the future, you will get there if you put in the work.
You must understand that happiness is not some remote destination.
Happiness is right now.
Happiness is you broke, working a job and creating a side business.
Happiness is you in the gym at 4 AM trying to lose weight.
Happiness is you having the privilege to wake up every day with the opportunity to compete and win.
Sonny’s unwavering faith in the present…
Bodybuilding is my craft.
It has been my craft since 2006.
I have a job.
I am in the process of building my own website.
But I am a bodybuilder at heart.
I live for the iron game.
I often get asked to reflect on my gym experiences over the last 8 years.
“What was your craziest workout?”
“How has your training evolved over time?”
My personal favorite is “What are your best memories in the gym?”
I will take this opportunity to answer that one.
My best memories in the gym are when I first started working out during the summer of 2006.
I was 16 years old and about 150 pounds.
I remember my father signing me up for my first gym membership at Sunrise Fitness.
It has been closed for years but the memories are crystal clear.
I remember that young kid going to the gym.
I remember him busting his ass and refusing to quit.
Even in his early days, I remember him going for 15 reps on weighted dips and hammering out 17 just because he told himself “I’m a nasty motherfucker.”
I remember the increased motivation that came from those first noticeable gains.
I remember those early battles with the iron.
I remember it all.
Most of all, I remember my thought process.
I never put myself down.
I enjoyed every moment of my early days in the gym.
“What are my strengths?”
“What are my weak points?”
“What do I need to do to turn my weaknesses into strengths?”
I loved the discovery process.
I was patient.
I did not operate in “I want it now” mode.
I did not look for the easy way out to speed up the future.
I knew that I would continue to grow (physically and mentally) as long as I did things the right way.
I had faith in the present and the results speak for themselves.
Closing Thoughts and Dedication
I would like to dedicate this article to my father: Eddie Arvado.
I walk the walk and I do things the right way.
I am a competitor.
My father is responsible for that.
He is a strong man that taught me everything I know about life.
It was an honor to grow up in his household and learn how to be a man from him.
I may be big. I may be strong. I may be intimidating.
Nothing brings me greater pride than to be Eddie Arvado’s son.