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As a fitness icon and motivational mastermind, Shaun T has helped millions of people transform their bodies and their lives through his Hip Hop Abs, INSANITY, and CIZE workouts. But people who think of Shaun T as just a workout force are missing something. He has always focused on building inner strength first, then moving to the exterior. And that inner focus started in his own life. He became the man and motivator he is today after escaping from the abuse he suffered as a child, and fighting his way back from a 50-pound weight gain in his early 20s. He knows firsthand that you can’t drop weight or enjoy better health until you overcome the mental obstacles that cause bad choices in the first place.
In T is for Transformation, Shaun T unveils the 7 transformational principles that guided his progress through life and that are at the core of his incredibly successful workouts. T is for Transformation is a motivational master class as Shaun shows you how to become more flexible and resourceful, give everything you've got, and, most importantly, trust and believe in your path to success. The only real obstacles in life are the mental ones, and T is for Transformation can train you to achieve astonishing results in your own life, just as Shaun T has in his.
Under the Cover
An excerpt from T Is for Transformation
THE SEVEN SUPERPOWERS
This book isn't about me. It's about you.
I want to share my life story to show you what I've been through and how I handled it, so that you know that I've been there. I want you to believe that the lessons I learned from my challenges can cross over into the life you're living, and they can help you figure out where you want to go from here.
You have frustrations? So do I.
You've fallen short of your goals? Me, too.
You've been disappointed by the people closest to you? Read on.
But this isn't only about failures and screw-ups.
It's about that awesome feeling when you lose the first 4 £ds on a weight-loss journey.
Or, when you find a love that surprised you with its intensity.
Or, when your job provides rewards that go way beyond the paycheck.
You see where I'm going?
Shaun T has been there and done all of that–downside, and upside.
Sometimes, it feels like we're on a hamster wheel, running as fast as we can and ending up exhausted but in the same place as we've always been. Listen up: I know about rat racing. Neither of us should go there, and it's time to get off the wheel!
Unless . . . being a rodent is just a step along the way to an amazeballs outcome you couldn't have imagined; I actually played a rodent on stage (see ), and that experience taught me a lot. But more on that later.
It's past time to step off that wheel and make real progress. I'm not just talking about building a six pack or losing 100 £ds or shutting up your annoying sister-in-law. Here's what I want: for you to identify what's actually important to you, to find a way to achieve that, and to make your gains an authentic part of who you are. That kind of growth and progress will last the rest of your life, and nobody can ever take it away.
To help you build your transformation toolbox, I'll be giving you a test that will help you learn more about who you are, plus exercises to help you find pathways from where you are to where you want to be. I'll be asking what you want out of your life, and challenging you to figure out what's holding you back. I'll also suggest strategies and life experiments that can move you forward.
By the end of this book, you will have built interior strength–the only kind that really sticks with you–to fend off failures, answer the haters, and give you the energy to move upward. I'm also going to give you some tools to build your physical strength, because, sometimes, it helps to practice pushing yourself physically in order to get better at doing it mentally.
People always ask me: What is the key is to losing weight–exercise or diet? I always tell them: "Neither. The most important thing is your mind, and that's a muscle you can build just like any other."
I'm here to help you build yours, starting with two key truthbombs:
TRUTHBOMB: The only meaningful obstacles are mental ones.
TRUTHBOMB: Nothing looks as good as confidence feels.
Whatever your goal is–losing weight, finding your life's work, meeting The One, tapping into your passions–you're now on the path to achieving them.
The pathway of your life may wander a bit, and that's okay: It can go anywhere you want it to.
Mine has wandered . . . a lot. That's why I'm going to tell my story–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and I'm not going to hold anything back. It's the only way I know how to be.
Parts of my life story are embarrassing for me. But even the most difficult things that have happened to me have made me who I am today. If not for the bad parts, I never would have made it to the best parts. And the best parts are worth looking at, too, because they flow in a direct line from the worst. I'm not complaining about anything. I'm celebrating the good, and acknowledging how it sprang directly from my biggest struggles.
If you bury your painful experiences deep, or hide them in the closet, or deny them completely, you'll never be able to move past them.
I'll never do that again. It hasn't always been that way for me, as you'll see.
But right now, I'm asking: What are you hiding from yourself and others? What pain, embarrassment, or difficulty are you holding onto because letting go of it seems too hard? Trust me: I know what that struggle feels like.
If you're holding something back, it's holding you back–from true happiness now, from the better future you dream of. If you don't deal with the most difficult aspects of your life, past or present, you'll keep living them every day you have left.
TRUTHBOMB: You get stronger by unpacking the baggage, not by stuffing it into the closet.
People see me today, smiling on Facebook or leading a workout, and they're thinking, this is easy for him. I'm here to tell you, nothing was easy about getting Shaun T where he is today, and it still ain't easy.
And anyway, easy isn't the point.
The pain is.
The work is.
The process is.
And finally, the progress is.
THERE'S NO BETTER PLACE TO STUDY human motivation than a workout studio. I've led thousands of workouts in my life, so I'm super-sensitive to what holds people back, and also what allows them to break through. The people who fail do it in the same old ways–negative self-talk, not showing up, excuse-making–and those who succeed show similar strengths: scheduling workouts, setting goals, recruiting a supportive posse. Just as developing certain muscle groups and cardio endurance can help you get through an INSANITY session, developing certain skills can help you move on to a whole new life. And that means helping you to help yourself.
Think about that word "core" for a minute. You've heard thousands of exercise coaches talk about the need for core strength. I talk about it a lot, too. But what I really care most about is your personal core–the values that drive your choices, the people you surround yourself with, your attitude toward yourself. The same way strong abs and back muscles support every move you make, a strong personal core can help you move decisively into your future. It's your choice: You'll either suffer with every move, or go strong into the future.
That's why you have to learn:
What's important to you.
Who's important to you.
What's driving you forward.
What's promising to take you to that place you've only dreamed about, but didn't dare expect for yourself.
There are core exercises that can give you a six pack, and there are core exercises that can give you the strength to absorb the gut punches life delivers. I've shaped plenty of abdomens in the last 20 years. Now, I want to empower you to reshape your life by working at what's most important to you. Your core values.
Change has knocked me sideways plenty of times, but then, success is seldom a straight line. You can zig and zag your way to the promised land. In fact, there's no other way to get there.
BAD TIMES ARE LIKE BOOT CAMP. You go through them to build up strength–to reach a better place. Every tough step you take moves you forward, and the tougher they are, the more strength you build and the greater the leap you can make.
I'll help you find the purpose to your pitfalls, as you learn about my hard times, too. Like I say in my workouts: Use your own body to build your body. It's the same with every difficult thing you've done and experienced. Use your life–whatever it brings–to build your life. When strength comes from within, nobody can take it from you.
Not the relative who molested you.
Not the spouse who beat you.
Not the boss who harassed you.
Not the mean kids who bullied you.
Not the people who counted you out, told you that you didn't matter, brushed you aside.
When you build the strength to move past those people, or climb over an obstacle, you have a new superpower nobody can take from you. I've been building new superpowers since I was a little kid, and now I use them everywhere I go. When another big challenge or problem comes up, I deploy what I need to overcome it or make it disappear.
Maybe you don't even realize it, but you're building superpowers, too. That's another reason I wrote this book: To help you realize just how strong you are already. It's amazing what you'll accomplish when you start pulling out the tools whenever you need them.
This book is about finding out who you really are, how much you trust yourself, and what you truly believe you can do.
I've boiled down all of the lessons I've learned into what I think of as the seven superpowers of personal transformation. I've lived them and used them, and I want you to build and use yours as well.
You and I probably have a lot more in common than you think. If you pay attention to what went down with Shaun T, you'll get some ideas about how to bring about your own happily-ever-afters, too.
Let's run through the inventory of the T Is for Transformation superpowers that can help you survive the zigs and accelerate through the zags.
In order to advance, it helps to be . . .
UNCOMFORTABLE: Wait. What? Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. And that's fine, if you're willing to plan for and take smart risks.
FULL OUT: Here's your force multiplier–the enthusiasm, excitement, and commitment you put into every plan that can drive you forward.
CREATIVE: You can find (or make!) the tools you need to cut your way out of personal traps, and you can identify helping hands that can lift you up.
FLEXIBLE: You can swerve through the twists and turns, and accelerate through changes to reach for the life you really want.
SELFISH: That's right. Shaun T is giving you permission to be the center of your universe, but in a good way.
FEELIN' IT: You identify your passions and feel them all the way, because that's ultimately what determines success.
BANANAS: When you're pushing your life forward, there are bound to be surprises, disappointments, eye-openers, and other WTF moments. Plan for them, accept them, enjoy them, learn from them, and move forward because of them
I know you can make these seven superpowers work in your life and bring incredible change. How do I know that? Because I did it. And I wouldn't ask you to try anything that hasn't worked for me, first.
Starting after , you'll find ways to test your superpowers, plus specific exercises that will help you practice using them.
Ready? Press "Play" on the next awesome phase of your life.
Shaun T is the creator of revolutionary workout programs Hip Hop Abs, Rockin’ Body, INSANITY, T25, INSANITY Max: 30, and CIZE.All told, these workout programs have rolled up a mind-blowing billion dollars in sales, and transformed the lives of millions of people worldwide. Through his wildly successful infomercials, workout programs, personal appearances, and Trust and Believe with Shaun T podcast, he challenges people mentally, physically, and emotionally, so that they can clear obstacles and become their best selves. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and travels the world and the internet to connect with his legions of fans and followers.