If we break it down simply, it is the emotional state we are in at any particular time that will determine the level of motivation and effort we put forth. What I've come to realize is my emotional state at a particular time is the biggest factor that determines whether I really go for it or I avoid doing what I should do to become the best bodybuilder I can be. I also realized that it can change from not only month to month, week to week, and day to day; it can change in a matter of hours.

The trick to harnessing the tremendous power of your mind and controlling your emotions is understanding how your own brain works. If you can understand why you do the actions you do, then you have a better chance of doing positive goal­oriented things on a more consistent basis. Just as valuable as that type of self­awareness about your actions, understanding why you don't do them gives you a better chance of correcting those negative behavioral patterns.

To help you achieve your bodybuilding goals, I have always shared my feelings about the challenges I face-without my ego getting in the way or any unnecessary bravado. Why am I so adamant about being open and honest? I believe that keeping this outlook will accomplish three things:

1. Help you realize that the mental challenges you face are normal. Even champions go through tough times.

2. Help you understand that you have the power within you to overcome your challenges and take control of your own bodybuilding destiny. It isn't that champions don't have challenges; it's what they do when they are faced with those challenges that help them succeed.

3. Provide you with a way of thinking and the successful strategies that have helped me overcome the challenges we all face as bodybuilders.

With those objectives in mind, this is what I've discovered about myself as I strive for my bodybuilding goals.

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