The other day my friend Nick Lynch and his family stopped over. Most of my friends are into fitness, so it was no surprise the portable pull up came up from the basement and Nick was showing me his progress on muscle ups. But it wasn’t just us enjoying the pull up bar:

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Which gets me to thinking about culture. These two kids are growing up in a culture of fitness, strength, and health. Some kids are growing up in a culture of weakness, obesity, and addiction. Not good.

Yet, culture must simply be a bundle of repeated and habitual thoughts, so that means they can be changed. And we can direct our gaze on the culture we aspire to–that’s a choice we have. I’ve been reading Brian Tracy’s Maximum Achievement and thinking through his points and reminding myself to dig into my thoughts more—especially with a newborn at home and the requisite fatigue that those little ones can cause. (With the fatigue comes potentially negatively impacted thoughts.)

Nora is growing up at home in a culture where her father is in shape and doesn’t sit on his ass and watch TV. She’ll see strength, flexibility, and hard work. If she didn’t see those things in her development stage, and later on sought to strive to be some of those things, she would have a bundle of thoughts  and beliefs to work through to attain it.

My grandpa showed me a gym when I was young and impressionable and he himself was a strong dude. Despite being in his 70’s, I suspect that he could probably handle his own with just about most people out there. He was a former golden gloves boxer and still retained his strength. That inspired me. So did Bruce Lee, and so I directed my thoughts towards being strong and flexible and able to do stuff like one legged squats.

Now I have this new little one here—baby 2—another human who will learn from me. Am I focused? Am I creating the right type of environment for her? What is the culture of the home life? These are important things to consider, not just when you have a newborn, but often enough until it becomes second nature to define who and what you want to be.

So, what’s it gonna be? Out of shape? Listless? Overweight? Slovenly? Or in shape, healthy, lean, and strong—with a good honest character to match? You might not have had the culture to unconsciously produce the correct outcomes, but you have the consciousness to redefine the outcomes you’ve attained and steer them in the direction you want to go.