The First Pillar: Developing the Proper Mindset

By Terry Grant

“Men and women are not prisoners of fate,
but only prisoners of their own minds.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

“When the ties that bind a human mind are broken,
A man is introduced to himself- the real self that has no limitations.”
– Napoleon Hill

When I first started lifting I really underestimated the importance of a proper mindset. By proper mindset, I mean a mind that is calm, assertive, driven, optimistic, confident, persistent, disciplined, and determined to realize the goals, dreams, and purpose that it somehow conjures up, whatever they be.

In fact, when I first started lifting I was anything but those things. Instead of calm I was angry, instead of assertive, I was passive-aggressive, instead of driven I was lazy, instead of optimistic I was pessimistic, instead of confident I was full of doubt. Basically I wasn’t a man, but a boy.

Then again, I had a dream and a goal and that’s more than some people ever have.

However, this is largely the reason why I believe it took me over ten long years before I started to really achieve the goals I set for myself. I could have achieved these goals a long time ago, if I had a proper and focused mindset from the beginning. Yet, the past is the past and I have no regrets… every mistake you make today yields a lesson for tomorrow.

a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger doing a double front bicep pose

What I failed to realize then is that your success at rapidly transforming your body and/or your life is largely determined by your mindset and your adherence to several universal principles. It has taken me years to discover these values and principles and most importantly reprogram my mind to think in the proper way that produces success. To be honest, it is a process that is still underway, but one that I have made great strides in. I’ve come a long way, Bay-BEEE!!!!

One of the greatest things about lifting weights and martial arts is how these activities not only change your body, but can alter your thinking and mindset as well. If you currently don’t have the proper mindset, it is encouraging to know that this transformational journey can act as a stimulus to reprogram your mind over time. If you make up your mind that no matter what, you will not give up…EVER… even if you fail once, twice, a hundred times… I guarantee you that your body and your life will transform over the long haul. It may take years, decades even, but eventually you will succeed if you are persistent and never quit. It also helps to have realistic, attainable goals, but we’ll talk about that later on.

Conditioning the Mind for Success

Those who make the fastest transformations are those rare individuals who in addition to their physical training, also incorporate strategies and techniques designed to reprogram their minds and subconscious beliefs to achieve success. In other words, they take the time to develop the proper mindset that is a necessity to achieving their desired outcome.

You must understand that your mind, thoughts, beliefs, and imagination are the internal creative forces, which literally cause your external reality to take shape around you. Read that again slowly!

Most people get this backwards. They think that something out there in the world is the cause of their failure or undesired predicament. Whether they blame fate, bad luck, their parents, their genetics, their spouse, their past mistakes, their country, government, age, lack of money, or whatever the common excuse is today. They have an external locus of control.

Those that have an internal locus of control realize something very profound; that we are in control of our own lives and how they turn out. They realize that all of the responsibility is on us because ultimately, we become what we think about all day long.

“We become what we think about” – Napoleon Hill

Take a quick look at everything around you. If you’re sitting at a desk you might contemplate the desk, your computer, a pencil, pen, calculator, your chair, even the building that holds all of these things. What do they all have in common?

a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger posing onstage

Well considering the list I gave you I’m sure you could come up with a couple of things they have in common… but the specific answer I’m looking for is that before they were ever made, invented or created… they all existed as a thought in someone’s mind. Before they became tangible items that you could hold or use, they were first intangible items that were simply an idea is someone’s head. In fact, everything in the world was first a thought, before it became a thing. If not in the mind of man, then in the mind of a higher intelligence.

Your life is also a product of your mind, it is the sum of every thought and experience you have ever had. Therefore, it is extremely important to get crystal clear about what you want your life to be like. You are either creating your life consciously or unconsciously, but either way your thoughts are always creating.

In this blog, I will reveal the proven strategies and techniques that have been passed down by the most successful leaders, businessmen, athletes, and philosophers in the world. If you use these techniques daily, they will help you to attain the proper mindset that guarantees success and save you many years of wasted time. Yet, they will work only if you have the intelligence to use them frequently, and to apply them and to believe in them without doubt, through the sometimes gruelling transitional period that they require.

You need to realize that I am not promising you a quick fix. The integration of these practices will not instantly transform your life and that’s why most people abandon them. You will also recognize that you may have heard of some of these strategies before. The key is to use these methods over time to condition your mind to think in a positive, optimistic way. To condition your mind to think only of what you DO want and NOT of what you DON’T want.

If you haven’t realized this yet, then engrain this in your mind now: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.” If at the deepest level of your being you do not believe you can rapidly transform your body, then that small ounce of doubt will find a way to sabotage your efforts and derail your progress over and over.

Know that it can be done and then do it, eliminate fear and doubt and keep your mind focused only on your purpose. Take inspired action. This is vital! If you meet with undesired results, do not despair or lose heart. Simply, look for the hidden lesson that is to be found in any problem, failure, or adversity that comes your way. Learn the lesson and then make another attempt. Rinse and repeat until you succeed. Keep your eye on the prize! You never fail until you quit trying.

Whenever you have conflicting or contradictory thoughts they immediately put a halt to any and all progress. How can you achieve the goals you want, if you secretly or subconsciously doubt that you can obtain them or don’t deserve to have them? You cannot. And that is the point of these techniques; to make your thoughts, words, and actions congruent with what you say you desire. Without that congruency, success will always elude you… always.

The Spiritual Aspect of Training

In addition to these mental strategies, those who make the most rapid transformations of all, also consider the spiritual component to their training. Many do this without even realizing that these are spiritual concepts. They do this by learning to live in accordance with certain universal laws and principles. It is these laws that govern the very interaction of all human civilizations on Earth, even the stars, planets, galaxies, and the universe itself must obey. Now that’s power!

a picture of a very lean set of abs on a male

These laws are not new and on some level you may even recognize them as they are interwoven into the fabric of the world and taught in many different ways, in many different forms, and by many different people in many different cultures. And yet, the majority of humankind fails to apply them directly and deliberately to their aims and purpose in life. Sad but true.

Now, if you are courageous and conscious enough to make this journey, you’ll effectively become one of the five men out of a hundred that achieves true success in life.

Unfortunately, 95% of the population will not, because:

  • One, they are stuck and deluded on the level of form or the physical dimension. In other words they are concerned ONLY with materiality, the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.
  • Two, they underestimate the power and influence of the human mind to shape the creation of their reality and experience of life. They do not read, learn, or cultivate the human mind to its fullest potential or to even a quarter of its potential.
  • And three, they have lost their inherent connection with nature and the divine intelligence that allows all things to be. Further, many deny the existence of such a force altogether or through years of various social, cultural and religious dogma (aka brainwashing) fail to grasp the true nature of spirit.

Although, I will tell you this: those that master this truth and live in total harmony with the various universal laws go on to achieve a level of transformation that is well beyond the physical transformations of gaining muscle or losing fat that we talk about on this website. Mastery at this level will allow you to transform the lives of thousands, and millions of people… not just your own.

We’re talking the likes of people like Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Morihei Ueshiba, and other enlightened beings, in other words, less than 1% of the population.

However, mastery is not required to reap the benefits of universal laws. Even making small, consistent changes in your daily habits that help bring you into alignment with these principles will carry with them great changes into your life.

I can attest to that. I am by no means a master of living in such a way, but by embracing these laws, little by little, my entire life has changed as a result and continues to do so the more I align my thoughts, words, and actions with them. So I encourage you to learn more about them as well.

As we discuss the First Pillar of Body Transformation over the next few weeks, I will present more in-depth information on the following aspects of developing the proper mindset:

1. Character Values
2. Universal Laws
3. Goal Setting
4. Meditation
5. Affirmations
6. Visualizations

The first two topics cover more aspects of developing the proper mindset, while the remaining four topics are the strategies and techniques you can use to condition your mind for the realization of your goals.

It’s important to realize that these techniques and strategies alone will not bring you much success, unless that is, you combine them with inspired action. More specifically to our quest here, you cannot focus on the first pillar alone. You must use the four pillars together in order to make a rapid body transformation. It will do you little good to visualize the body you want to have, unless you also get to the gym, lift some weights, have a post workout shake, eat healthy meals, as well as, get eight hours of sound, quality sleep. The four pillars work together in a synchronistic fashion, but each pillar brings with it its own personal benefits.

Hope you have a great week!

Terry Grant features a free email class covering the basic principles of training naturally, eating a nutritious, muscle-building diet, and understanding the truth about supplements. The website is filled with free articles, videos, and the programs you need to create your ideal body.
Please visit us at

© 2009, Hardgainer Muscle Building. All rights in all media reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *