The Competitive Spirit

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.

Enjoy it.

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.



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  1. August 15, 2014 at 10:57 am — Reply

    First of all, I’m sorry for my long long post. This is what I feel and just wanted to share it. If you dont want to read, I’ll resume it: You are right, not enjoying the present and hoping for the future is my greatest problem and I’m thankful for you posting this. I’ll fix it right away. Anyway, if you have time, please read. It doesn’t really change anything but I wanted yo share my thought about this.

    So I’ll begin. Wow. I feel some envy because of your great dad . I had a pretty good dad too. Sadly, he died when I was 12, so I never got the “man to son” talk.

    Anyway, I’m not sad about that. I am writing because I wanted to ask you how do you know what it means to operate in “I want it now” mode. I’m guessing that you experienced it. I’d like to ask how did you manage to get to enjoy going to the gym everyday so much. I mean, I almost never enjoyed doing hard work and learning how to do something.

    My life always was in “I want it now” mode. I never liked the present. Never.
    For example, I started the gym at 18 years old, but quitted in two months. I hated it.

    When I was a kid, I wanted to be older to do more fun things, like driving cars. When I was at kinder, i wanted to go to school. When I was at primary – elementary school, i wanted to go to highschool to learn more difficult things (I was / am smart, never had problems with studying). When I was at highschool, it sucked. I was bored, and I didn’t want to study that kind of things anymore (I would liked to study that before). I did highschool in auto-pilot mode. I was waiting for the university.
    Also, I wanted to drive a car so bad. When I was 18 and could get my license, I didn’t get it. I wasn’t interested anymore.
    Now, in the university, i wanted to advance to the later years, where you see interesting engineering stuff and not boring mathematics. Sometimes I wanted to begin working.

    Once, I tried to learn how to ski. But I got frustrated becuase it was fucking difficult. I hated skiing with all my might. Now I just dislike it a little.

    The worst part of my life was from 17 to 20, when I learned that I sucked with women. At first I wanted to learn how to do it and even enjoyed learning. When I didn’t get results, I got really really frustrated. Hands down, the greatest frustation of my life.

    Lately I started to enjoy university a little more, because i’m in the advanced years now. I think “Pay atention, these man are sharing their knowledge with you. They know a lot and wish to let you know too.”

    Anyway I’m not completely enjoying the present.

    This is my greatest weakness (for my mental health). I can endure the pain of not getting the objectives for a while, like a month, thanks to some discipline. Sometimes I get enough “happiness” or whatever when I reach a semi objective, like passing an exam or seeing a new muscle in the mirror, or lifting more than the last week.

    But that doesn’t last so long, and eventualy I become crazy and start doing things that I like, for example, watching porn, chatting, playing games, sleeping, not going to classes, etc.

    The way I think sucks. I am always hoping to do everything I have to do so I can get the stuff I want, and then be happy. But that drives you insane!!!! I dont remember being happy about the stuff I did. Most of the time I was wanting to be happy in the future.

    So… Yes, thanks for your post. I’ll figure out how to get happiness with my present actions. That would be something like “the joy of learning”, “The joy of embracing your path”. I remember someone saying that the funny thing is not to reach your destination, but driving your way to it. It’s like driving a car. I’ll start to think like that, and hope to bring some peace of mind to my brain.

    Also, this solves another of my problems: Fear of failure. If I enjoy the present, I’m enjoying the learning process. That means I don’t care if some chick rejects me or I fail some exam. It’s part of the present. If I only enjoy the future, that means I’m enjoying only when I get what I want, like passing an exam or fucking a girl. And for difficult things, this make you an unhappy bastard most of the time. I wonder if I had to do something really really dificult, like designing a new machine. My mind would end giving up.

    Right now I’m a little sad because I am figuring out that I was never happy, or I didn’t have a happy era, except early chilhood. I wonder if the past can be changed so I can enjoy it. I mean, seeing it another way.

    Also, your post reminded me of this song. ….So sad.

    Last question: Did you experience something like that, I mean, disliking the present so much?

    • August 16, 2014 at 4:02 am — Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to write that out.

      Your line of thinking is completely normal.

      In fact, I experience it myself from time to time.

      I spend a lot of time working on my site.

      I want more people to know about it.

      I know my website is developing into the best overall resource for men seeking all kinds of information.

      However, I must be patient. My time will come when I will be the top dawg. I’m just starting off now.

      And I’m enjoying every part of the process. I love it all.

      I love writing future blog posts at 3 AM before the workday. I love researching all the stuff I must know…. Because these are the times.

      I will look back some day and treasure these memories of me in my little house in South Austin doing everything I can to build the brand and bulldoze my way through life.

      Here’s a small/profound example:

      I once wrote a post on the importance of making a list of daily goals/tasks to accomplish.
      He’s the kicker…. There is no such thing as being finished. There just isn’t.

      There is always something to do… something to be accomplished.

      You need something to motivate you… something to live for. Just remember that you will never be done.

      Hope that helps.

      • August 16, 2014 at 8:02 am — Reply

        Thanks for reading and answering! Oh, about “you will never be done”, I have something to tell.

        I had an old CRT computer screen in bad condition that I had to wait it to get warm and then punch it, because sometimes missed the red / green colors.
        So, one day, after month of use, I opened to fix it (it was simple poor contact) . I had success fixing it, and I didn’t have to punch it anymore.

        Then, I felt so empty inside. Yeah, it was almost a joke, but… I completed my goal. Now what? This screen is working fine, what should I worry about now?

        Anyway, after a couple of days it broke (I think it was too damaged). But that is not the point, the point was that emptiness I felt, even that it was a silly one.

        So, what happens when you reach your goals? What do you have to worry about then? I am beginning to think that reaching your goals is not as happy and rewarding as someone would think. Maybe happiness is something else.

        Yes you will be happy when you see it working, but after that… Nothing more to do.

        Of course, if your goal is something like becoming rich, you can always have more. But if its something more obtainable… It stops there.

        • August 17, 2014 at 4:48 am — Reply

          That’s where long term goals come into play.

          Those are the ones that drive you everyday to get up and execute according to your long term game plan.

    • Costello
      August 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm — Reply

      I think one area you need to improve in is how you treat difficulty. From what I gather, everytime you get enthusiastic about something, the passion runs its course until you reach a point where it becomes tough, and that is where the interest drops off. Maybe you find people smarter than you are, and it demotivates you. Or you start at the gym and realise that lifting weights around is a chore. It is common to lose that energy once difficulty sets in, once it stops having that novelty of fun, but here is the secret. You do it cos it’s hard.

      One day you can’t put over 100 kilos of weight on your shoulders. Then one day you can. The pain is the process, and you learn to love that pain because it makes you stronger. People are smarter than you, and your ego takes a blow but realising you can learn from them and give that value back is a way to make forward steps. Sucking with girls is a harsh realisation, and it takes even more pain to broach the issue and improve, but you do improve.

      Friend, try to embrace difficulty. When you meet with something that challenges you there is an opportunity to grow.

      • August 17, 2014 at 4:46 am — Reply

        good points.

      • August 17, 2014 at 7:04 am — Reply

        Yes, its all true. In my university, studying engineering is one of the toughest things I have done. I had two serious “I don’t want to be an engineer anymore” times. The first was fucking hard. I remember googling about people that had chosen not to study

        But, after considering it, and choosing to continue anyway, its when you have passed the point of no return. And then, you had become strong. Because, this time, its not only about passion, its also because of your will and your choice.

        • August 18, 2014 at 6:22 am — Reply

          Yea man. I agree. Once you reach that point you have no choice but to keep going.

  2. August 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm — Reply

    Hello sir,
    Thank you for your nice posting.It is very interesting and informative site.It is common to lose that energy once difficulty sets in, once it stops having that novelty of fun, but here is the secret. You do it cos it’s hard.

    • August 18, 2014 at 6:12 am — Reply

      Def man. thanks.

    August 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm — Reply

    Same here with problems of staying in the present. I have the WORST time with discipline/persistence. I tried doing some of the turn back the clock stuff, but it’s too impractical and counter-productive for my life at the moment (looking for a job). You are quite the lucky one to have a father and other masculine figures to guide you that most guys do not have. I grew up with 3 sisters and my dad is masculine, but he treated me like another daughter and never taught me how to stand up for myself or to face my problems in the midst of fear. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great family, just lacking in this department.

    I think 2 of my biggest problems for achieving more in life is that:

    1. I don’t have that purpose or desire. In the Fall of 2012, I had huge desires to do stuff like getting good with women (even have an online log of it) and getting my body in better shape and I achieved both of those and it felt similar to how you described it, I was fully enjoying every moment of getting there. But since then I haven’t felt as strongly to achieve other goals.

    2. I feel like I’m never good enough to reach the goal. There’s always a way I can rationalize that I don’t deserve the goal and I’m stuck just fantasizing about having it instead of trying to get it. It really eats at me when I go to bed realizing that I’ve squandered the opportunity that day gave me.

    There’s really no excuse other than to just start working on the goals, right now I’m just trying to enjoy my 20’s and get the most out of these years to set me up for life. I really can’t move out of my parents’ place at the moment because I practically have $0 to my name, but as soon as I can, I’m out.

    Thanks for the amazing post

    • August 18, 2014 at 6:12 am — Reply

      Yea. Man seems like you’re starting to realize what’s important.

      do everything you can to get money and move out.

      Once you move out and can support yourself… you will feel free and empowered to leave your mark on the world.

  4. Florian
    August 18, 2014 at 3:23 am — Reply

    Great article, thanks for posting. Sometimes when things take longer than I thought, I get a bit worried of getting everything done. Experience tells me that eventually things will work out, but it is even better when I can remember that faith in myself, the universe/the process and the presence will get me through.

    Victor Pride once wrote: there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, only NOW. It fits in nicely with what you state here.

    Mike Danger from Danger and Play also suggested to treat the past like an illusion and your dreams as reality. That is actually very motivating as well, I find. Why be with one leg in the past, if you can instead already start walking towards your wishes and desires?

    One last question: with whom can I share this site? close friends and likeminded people? or on larger message boards as well?

    Best and thanks, Florian

    • August 18, 2014 at 6:08 am — Reply

      Share it with whoever you want brother.

      The more the better 😉


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