“TO FACE STRUGGLE IS TO BE ALIVE; TO ACCEPT STRUGGLE IS TO BE CONTENT; TO SEEK STRUGGLE IS TO BE FREE.”
ASRV MINDSET TRAINING
This will be an ongoing newsletter sharing the ASRV mindset and documenting our team’s exploration into optimal human performance. It’s an open newsletter for our internal team members and any other like-minded individuals out there obsessed with progress, innovation, and challenge-seeking in all areas of life. There are no clubs to join, no programs to buy, and we only measure our success against the versions of ourselves from yesterday. Each newsletter will include discussions around the ASRV mindset of welcoming challenges, info about what our team is currently experimenting with for our own optimal performance, and highlights of relevant concepts to consider from religion, spirituality, neuroscience, and anything in between.
THE ASRV MINDSET
Looking around the office or at some of our products, one might notice the sentence, “Only those who risk are free.” This single phrase is a perfect summary of the ASRV Mindset, with lots of meaning packed into the two words “risk” and “free.” Risk is dangerous, it is exposed. It is going against our biological drive to remain safe and comfortable. It is following a different instinct. The instinct that led our ancestors to cross oceans without maps, in boats made of scraps. There are those of us who still know that the only thing we’re promised in life is the opportunity for adventure, for progress, for growth, and we celebrate those who are willing to embrace the risk to seek it. Freedom is the ultimate desire of every soul. To be free is to choose our own life. To not go the way of the masses. To master our basic biological instincts. To reconnect with the curiosity we had as kids to endlessly try new things and poke the box, through all successes and failures. So the complete phrase, “Only those who risk are free,” encapsulates our philosophy that our ultimate fulfillment as humans is achieved through the repeated and relentless seeking of new challenges, with the ultimate goal of maximizing our potential as unique and creative individuals.
One of the things we talk about a lot internally at the office and externally through our video concepts and Instagram captions is this phenomenon known as “flow.” Flow is the state of consciousness we enter when we are completely absorbed in a task or activity, our minds are fully immersed and free of distraction, and time seems to flow by without us noticing. We access flow when we are working on something we find worthwhile and when the level of challenge is perfectly aligned with our current level of skill, so it takes all of our focus to be successful. Flow is a truly addicting state of mind to be in, and the amount of time a person spends in flow is directly correlated with how happy and fulfilled the person is. Most of us first discovered an analogous state of mind known more commonly as “the zone” at a young age through athletics. Flow is the same concept, but it isn’t isolated to sports. So for a small team of athletes turned creatives, flow is now the thing we chase everyday. The beautiful thing about flow, and the way it relates to challenge-seeking and high performance, is that its parameters are dynamic, ever-changing, and have progress innately built in. In order to reach a state of flow, our challenge level must align with our skill level. While spending time in flow, our skill level increases, so the next time we want to enter flow we must increase the level of challenge. We will continue to discuss the magic of this process in future issues, but if you are interested in reading more about this subject on your own, check below for the first resource in this week’s Neurostack.
Every new employee at ASRV gets a welcome packet that states, “At ASRV, we don't just build the best products in the world, we focus on creating the best people in the world,” and anyone who has worked here understands what this means. The ASRV mindset is the most important part of this company, more important than products or sales. Our emphasis on uncovering each person’s innate gifts, paired with a mindset of growth and challenge-seeking, has created a culture that allows us to continually create and innovate at an unparalleled pace.
Message from the FounderASRV was founded 6 years ago with a simple mission: I wanted to create a brand and company that better fit the mindset and culture of fitness athletes.
Growing up playing sports at a high level, I fell in love with the discipline it took to outperform my competition. I became obsessed with ways to find an edge, practicing on weekends and completely immersing myself in the sport. I found myself being attracted to the brands and companies that spoke my language, and when I was wearing the right apparel and equipment I found myself performing better and feeling a part of something bigger than myself. In my teens, I was convinced I would either be a professional baseball player or professional snowboarder, but after countless injuries I finally had to accept the fact that that wasn’t my path. I picked up running and lifting in college to fill my exercise void, and I quickly became just as obsessed with these as I had been with sports. But there was one main difference:
While playing sports, my discipline and progression were driven by wanting to beat my competition; with weight lifting, my discipline and progression had to be completely motivated from within. There was no competition, no coach, and no promise of a championship after all the hard work was done.
This practice of discipline and this idea that my results were completely dependent on the decisions that I made began to leak over into other areas of my life. I started seeking growth and progress for my mind; I began to read instead of watch TV, I started meditating, and I was skipping the weekend parties to learn new skills.
I truly believe that the mindset I learned through fitness is one of the key factors that has allowed me to be a successful entrepreneur, and to build a team of people at ASRV who inspire me everyday to continue to see what my mind and body are capable of. In recent years, I have become obsessed with training my mind the same way I train my body. And I believe our mental diets, training routines, and discipline are just as crucial as their physical counterparts. This idea led us to our Mindset Training concept, a place where we get to explore how to see our minds less like a passive entity that was hardwired at birth, but a muscle that needs to be fed properly and exercised regularly.
Mind and body harmony is an endless frontier that has no finish line, no finite goals, just infinite growth. This journal will not lead us to finite happiness... but I can guarantee you that it will bring us closer to who we truly are. I believe that each human individual has unique and extraordinary abilities, but these talents must be brought out of us. And much like the years we put into physical training, this process takes time, discipline, and effort.
We can all become the person we look up to.
NEUROSTACK OF THE WEEKEach newsletter will include an updated Neurostack, which is our ongoing list of Mindset Training techniques or resources we are currently using that we find worth sharing.
FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE
This book is the ultimate resource to learn more about the phenomenon of flow and the concept of “optimal experience.”
Ten minute meditation each morning to focus your mind for the day. Sit somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes. Breathe naturally. Focus on the breath and become aware of the rising and falling of your chest. Notice any other movement that occurs with the breath. As your mind begins to wander, gently bring your attention back to the breath.”
Try something new that you are interested in to reconnect with flow, preferably a challenging activity like swimming or boxing, or a more creative activity such as music, painting, or sculpting. Notice how it feels to try something you aren’t already good at, and see if the new challenge causes you to enter a flow state.