Steve Silverston

The December Challenge…

Wow! Where do I start? The December Challenge for me really didn’t start in December. It actually started July 22nd in the Lifebook Lounge, and the “December Challenge” for me represents another critical signpost and experience in the transformational journey I’ve been so blessed to embark on this past 6 months.

The December Challenge reminded and reinforced in me the fact that if I’m not growing and engaged in life and living, I’m dying. It has again elevated my consciousness and behavior.

So you can understand, let me begin by taking you back to July 22, 2010. I entered the Lifebook Lounge and it was immediately transformational. In the first day I had the realization that I was dying, literally! The last few years have been very difficult times for many people. For me they have been the most difficult years of my life, and the toll it was taking on me and everyone around me was increasingly apparent.

I’ve heard one of my mentors, Dr Patrick Gentempo, say countless times, ”contradictions lead to destruction and the size of the destruction is based on the magnitude of the contradictions…” Well, I’d been living a life full of contradictions for longer than I’d like to admit, some of them were huge, and the destruction was mounting and becoming glaringly apparent in the last couple of years.

Decades of neglect and abuse carefully hidden under a well designed façade of a “successful” life. Inconsistencies, incongruities, and contradictions in my life had been accumulating and now the façade was crumbling…

Before Lifebook I was literally dying.  I was at least 40 lbs overweight, unfit, experiencing chest pains, in the prior year I had spontaneously torn both biceps ligaments disabling me from working for a couple of months, I severely injured my back, and a chronic hip problem was  progressively worsening. My business, my marriage, and my life was steadily declining. I was so stressed out that I was physically, mentally, and emotionally breaking down.  I was waking up sweating in the morning. I was struggling with everything, and felt like everything I had worked for was slipping through my fingers. I felt like I was losing everything. My health, my marriage, and my business.

Lifebook woke me up to the fact that my health and fitness was foundational and needed to be addressed. From the first day I made the decision to turn things around in this area, and made the commitment to regain my health and fitness. I set a goal in the Lifebook lounge with the help of my Lifebook family (with a special thank you to Andrea) to lose 4 inches off my waist and “get a 6 pack” (which I’ve never had) by 12/31/2101.  I built out that goal with intention and clarity like I have never done before. Then I asked the entire group to be my accountability partner. I promised that if I didn’t fulfill my goal I would pay each person $100. There were 21 people in the group. Sandra (our facilitator) quickly chimed in and said she wanted in too, so I was on the line for $2200. I further promised that when I did achieve my goal, I would whisk my wife away for a romantic weekend with that money (so that way, if I were to fail, I would be taking that away from her too). One of my highest values is my family so this was big for me. I never told my wife about the penalty/reward until the goal was already accomplished sometime around October. It was a wonderful moment for us.

Right from the start I was inspired, supported, and uplifted by my Lifebook family.  For approximately 150 days straight I didn’t miss a single day of exercise and transformed my relationship with food. The amazing thing was that because of the Lifebook experience of getting clear on my premises, etc., achieving my goal was fun and easy! I wouldn’t say it was effortless because it definitely required some effort but it felt effortless because it was fun, exciting, exhilarating, and it was what I actually wanted (and I had absolute clarity about that now). It feels so good to have clarity, make conscious choices, and exercise my will over how I live. When I even considered not working out, or eating something that just wasn’t congruent with what I wanted, I would just think about the commitment I made, the Lifebook crew, and my “why” for doing what I do (my wife and kids).  It just made everything easy. I’m currently down almost 40 pounds now and I feel like I’m just getting started with where I’m headed with this. My energy and vitality keeps expanding. I haven’t felt so good since I was a teenager (and I’ll be 48 next month).

Once I hit my health and fitness goal (around October/November), an old premise came up. That is, that if I work hard, then I deserve to  “reward” myself by engaging in indulgent/destructive behavior (like eating foods that make me stupid, fat, and ugly, or by not exercising my body, etc…)  or that now that I did something positive, I deserved to “COAST”!

The December Challenge was the spark that made me realize coasting is NOT an option for me. Coasting is never again what I want! Coasting only takes me in one direction, and that is eventually down. After gaining all that positive momentum the last thing I wanted to do was go backwards.

So when the December Challenge came it jolted me a little because I was already slipping into that, “now I can coast” mentality, and I wasn’t even conscious of it! I had pretty much plateaued in my progress, was pleased with my accomplishment, and insidiously started to slip into those old habits of making excuses for why I shouldn’t or didn’t have to work as hard, etc. , which in actuality meant not pressing forward for what I really wanted which is more vibrant energy, excellent health, total conditioning, and a better life! The December Challenge awakened me, to pick up my game again, and continue on my journey towards fulfilling my destiny and living my best life. When Jon said 20-30% more intensity, 20-30% less consumption, and enjoy it, it was so right on. I thought, “Of course! That’s it! That’s what I REALLY want!” It helped me choose to forge forward with my progress instead of allowing the “coast” mentality to take hold and take me backwards and downwards. So December was awesome! I stayed conscious of my consumption with the intention of eating for sustenance vs. pleasure, I kicked up my training intensity, and I chose not to allow “the holidays” to be an excuse to sabotage my progress (and life)!  Reading the Lifebook blog, and everyone’s commitments, experiences and accomplishments also helped me stay focused. And the best part… it wasn’t “hard”, it wasn’t “torture”, etc. It was actually exciting, fun, and stimulating. It is actually MORE rewarding to exercise my will, live consciously, and make great choices about how I govern myself, than it is to indulge myself, and it tastes sooo much sweeter than sugar!

My current (self devised) challenge for the month of January is getting up at 4 AM every day and watching NO TV for the entire month! That’s right; zero, zilch, nada! (Now you have to understand my old premise is that I deserve to  spend (waste) the last few hours of every day “relaxing” and watching TV, and I’ve been doing this for at least the past 20 years quite consistently). It’s been about a week so far and I must admit I feel a little withdrawal at times, but the pleasure of self discipline is far outweighing the pain of withdrawal. My thinking is clearer, my energy is exploding as is my enthusiasm and optimism for life, and I’m feeling about 1000 times more productive!!! Oh, and I’m getting amazing feedback from my family. As I spend more quality time with my 10 year old son, he makes comments like, “Dad, we have to do this more often”. It is priceless!

When I told a friend  about my current personal challenge and invited him to join me (I’ve made it very public what I am doing so that it creates more leverage and accountability for myself which is so helpful in any moments of potential weakness), he said “Wow, will you at least take a break on the weekends”?  After pausing a moment to think about it I said, “Why? Why would I want to sabotage myself, interrupt my rhythms, make it harder to succeed and stay consistent … why would I want to ”have just a little cyanide in my soup”?  The reality is I’m having a blast being disciplined now because my premises are clear. It’s making doing the right things effortless and rewarding, not “painful sacrifice”. I actually look forward to getting up early and fully engaging in LIFE now. It feels like I’m a little kid with the excitement/anticipation of getting up Christmas morning. It’s so awesome, and I am so grateful to Lifebook and everyone involved for helping me turn on and grow this consciousness! What an extraordinary way to LIVE!

Every area of my life is improving. My relationship with my wife and my kids, and the energy I have for them has totally transformed. I can’t even express how much this means to me. This is the greatest blessing.

Now I’m also working on using the Lifebook process to rebuild and transform my business.

My mind is expanding. My ability to think is expanding. I’m getting clearer on my premises!

My belief that I can think and deal with and overcome the challenges of life is expanding, my belief that I deserve to and can design an amazing life of my choosing, and enjoy the fruits of my labor, and everything else that life has to offer is expanding. My belief and conviction that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to is expanding.

My belief that I can have everything I IMAGINE is expanding!

For the first time in my life I can truthfully say that I’m thankful for my difficulties, for the battle’s lost, and for mistakes which seemed to charge an overwhelming cost! For years I learned to say those words, but never REALLY embraced them. Now I am excited about facing life head on. I’m excited about WHATEVER life brings! Bring it on baby! Because I am unstoppable!!!

The December challenge represents a pivotal lesson to me, and that is that as long as I have a breath of life in me, I will not “coast”. I will not spend my life trying to get comfortable. I will continually grow, expand, experience, and LIVE!

I certainly have a lot to do. This magnificent journey is far from over, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to fully engage in life again, and for… the “December Challenge”.

Here’s to living the lives we’ve imagined…


With love and gratitude,


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