The Ironmen concept has lived for hundreds if not thousands of years, yet now more than ever seems to be relevant and necessary for men today. Here are some stories of men who have enjoyed the fruits of successful Ironmen fellowships of their own.
I have been participating in an Ironmen group for a little more than a year now. I look back to that first awkward meeting, not knowing what in the world we were doing, and laugh. My skepticism of the potential results was significant to say the least. But, at that particular moment in my life, I was ready…ready for a change, ready to be better, ready to work on improving my life. And so it began. We met each week, fumbling around with concepts we read about, attempting to use the information, and each other, to our benefit. Week by week, little by little, the group began to progress. Like any great evolution, most of the progress was not perceptible from week to week.
Jon Gedde – Las Vegas, NV
When I wake up before the sun is out, I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach. This feeling is difficult to describe, but it’s somewhat comparable to when you experience victory. Every Monday I wake up at 5:30 am and I meet my two closets confidants in a group we call Ironmen. We prepare for battle.
The three of us use this meeting as a platform to catalyze our weeks, but most importantly our lives. The purpose of these meetings are to help each other grow, to use each other as bounce boards for new ideas, and as a support system that helps each one of us stay true to ourselves. These early morning meetings have had a tremendous impact on not only who I am as a person, but on the success I’ve experienced in my young career.
Since graduating from USC, I can confidently attribute starting my company, learning how to negotiate a 47% raise, as well as learning how to pitch my ideas (trust me, I have many!) to our group. The two gentlemen I have had the pleasure with meeting for over two years, have had added a great deal of positive influence in my life, as I have to theirs.
Eric Gallegos – Los Angeles, CA
All for one and one for all, Three Muskateers chant has never made much sense to me until Ironmen. I have been able to learn and grow with a group of two other men to improve my life. They have different insights and approaches to situations, my situations. I have been able to have the accumulated knowledge of us all aid in directing my life. At the same time, I’ve been able to impact the others to make a unified group fully vested in each other’s lives and interests.
I can see how one’s emotions has affected and altered his logical thinking. A very obvious conclusion in my mind I can relay to him. In turn, he can assess calmly issues that are emotion-filled in my life. Yet, the greatest moments are those in which all three of us are completely engaged in conversation that expands my thinking. I get a visceral sensation of a heightened state of awareness as we contemplate some of the most complex theoretical and practical topics of careers, personal development, and relationships.
Ironmen has helped me navigate my early to mid twenties through a deep understanding of who I am, an understanding that could only be learned through the constant interaction with two men who are as committed to my growth as I am. This greater sense of awareness has led me through the tumultuous time of post-graduate life, including a major career change, starting a company, a heart-wrenching breakup, and life-threatening illnesses of family members.
To summarize, the greatest thing Ironmen has done is enable me to acquire an exponential growth in self-awareness.
Clifton Smith – Los Angeles, CA
I so strongly agree with the message and the importance of developing these disciplines and habits. Dave and I have often discussed “trajectory”, and how minor adjustmentsnow, to that trajectory, will produce lifelong benefits/blessings to you and those around you.
I was not much of a believer in the whole goal setting thing early on, my mistake. Not sure why I had this mindset, maybe I was guilty of being too much of a dreamer than doer early on. Trust me when I say, “doing vs dreaming is far more productive!” But the “Doing” and “Being” parts really go hand in hand. If you don’t know who you are, it’s tough knowing who to be. That sounds a bit silly, but I was never really challenged early on, to figure out who I was, who I wanted to become, who I was capable of becoming. It takes some effort, energy, time and I really wasn’t motivated to exert that energy, my mistake. Once you have a handle on that, the doing and being are tied together. Who you be, (yes, ebonics) is partly determined by what you spend your time doing, just like what you do, has a lot to do with who you be. Make sense?
Waste your time sitting around watching TV -vs- Read a book, go for a walk, play with your child, talk with your wife, set some goals? Go to the Sports Bar and hang out drinking beers with the boys -vs- Take a night class, develop a hobby, start a side business. It makes all the difference in who you are and what you become, but doesn’t really take that much more effort or time, really.
I really love the Teddy Roosevelt quote “the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”… I’ve done my fair share of the “next best things” but that’s far better than doing nothing! I’ve known quite a few folks that are so fearful of trying something and failing, that they end up doing NOTHING. Trust me, you’ll learn far more in failing than you’ll ever learn in doing nothing and guess what, every now and then, you’ll succeed. Either way, you’ll grow, learn, develop more confidence and understanding in who you are, what you’re capable of and become more of the person you most want to be.
Greg Fast – Littleton, CO