The Spartan Race Sprint was held in Semenyih, Selangor. It was about 10km runs and 25 obstacles to conquer. This time, I tried to compete in the age group of age 25 to 29. My goal was to be in the top 10.  I finished 9th place within my age group.  I finish with the duration of 1hr 52 mins. I`m happy with the outcome. There are lots of hills, water obstacles, and trail run through the deep jungle.

I failed two obstacles. The famous Spear Throw also known as the burpee maker and the Monkey Bar 2.0. The Monkey Bar 2.0 is the newly introduced obstacles to Spartan Race. It is first used in Spartan Race Sprint Malaysia. Now that is a total of 60 burpees. I will train harder for the next Spartan Race.


Now I am going to share with you the top three toughest obstacles from the Spartan Race Sprint, Semenyih.

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Spartan Race is an obstacles race. The Spartan Race is not soft. The Spartan Race is for the gritty. The Spartan Race is for the strong-willed. The Spartan Race is for everyone! I have been running the Spartan Race for six times already. I completed the Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super, and the Spartan Beast. For me, the Spartan Race is a great platform to train your body which has a direct correlation to the mind. Spartan Race will sharpen your mind that any obstacle can be overcome. A stronger body, a stronger mind. All you need to do is just do!

Spartan Race

I am going to share with you my 10 commandments of running the Spartan Race. Let’s go! Aroo!!

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The BURPEE is the bread and butter for every Spartan Racer! Every time the Spartans failed an obstacle, they are required to do 30 burpees! If not, they are disqualified from the race! So, if you want to join the Spartan Race, you need to be burpee proof!

Spartan Tip: Commit to do a minimum of 30 burpees per day! 

Burpee is a full body workout! It will burn fat, build endurance and works your entire body so hard that exhausted athletes have been known to sto Read Full Article

I wrote about  5 GREAT REASONS WHY WE NEED TO SET GOALS. You can either work to achieve your own goals or work to achieve the goals of someone else.  Remember this;

GOALS: Godly Objectives Assure Lasting Success by Zig Ziglar

Now, get a piece of paper and start writing down the following steps. Write in term of bullet points. If you want, just copy and paste this into Microsoft Word document and write it down!  Your first draft steps will not be perfect. Just start and record it down. Then, later look at it again and adjust to fit your lifestyle. Alright, here are the 7 easy steps to set your goals!


Decide exactly what you want! Most people never do this and fail. Why? They think they already have a goal. But what they have are not goals. They are only wishes, hope, and dreams. A real goal is crystal clear and very specific. For example, you want to lose weight! How much weight do you plan to lose? Do I want 6 packs? What is the waistline you are targeting? Again be very very clear!

Sample: To lose weight from 100kg to 80kg. Decrease waistline from 40inch to 34inch. 


Imagine you are there grabbing your goal in your hand. What are the benefits you will gain? I am going to be happy. I am going to be healthier. I can spend time with my family. I will have more money. These are the rewards once you achieve your goal.  It acts as an anchor for you to work on your goal every day! Lets put it this way when you are struggling climbing a mountain, you just need to imagine the view at the top! That is the benefits once you achieve your goal! The most important thing is that your goal will make you fulfil and happy. 

Sample: To be healthier. More energy. To look great and build confident of self-image. To live longer so that I can spend time with my children.


Before you want to enjoy the view from the top of the mountain, you got to climb it. The mountains are the obstacles that you need to overcome to achieve your goal! Begin with questions. What are the obstacles that I need to overcome? What are the showstoppers? You need to list down all the obstacles that prevent you to achieve that goal!

Sample: Lack of discipline. Love sweet junk food. Unhealthy eating habit. Lazy to go to the gym. Not enough sleep within 8 hours.


Skills and knowledge are required for you need to reach your goal. These are the tools you need to beat the obstacles that you list out in the previous step. Always start with questions. What do I need to do to beat this obstacle? How can I be better so that the obstacles can be knock down? Who I need to seek help from? One question will lead to another. For every answer, write it down. Don`t worry about whether it is correct or not.  It is just your first draft.  You can even google it! Just search “How to avoid sweet junk food?”

Sample: Prepare a diet plan and follow through. Throw away the sweet junk food in your home. Buy healthy organic food. Get the right workout plan to lose weight.


Certain skills and knowledge you may not have to achieve your goal. Therefore, you need to get help. They can be your friends who are an already an expert in the field. They could be the people who you are inspired to reach. Lets us look case by case. You are struggling to get a healthy meal. You can google to find out whether there is a food outlet that can prepare a healthy meal for you or find out the recipe. Let’s just say you are to climb up a ladder in the corporate world.  It is a good strategy to have a mentor in the company to advise you on how to progress in the career world. Another key person that can help you is an accountability buddy. They are the one who will help to keep track on your progress. They need to be brutally honest and genuinely want to make sure you achieve your goal.

Sample: Healthy food outlet (Eg.FeedMe). Personal trainer. Fitness Website. Workout group. Marathon Event. Spartan Race. Accountability buddy, Alex.


 “Innovation is rewarded. Execution is worshiped.” Dr. Eric Thomas

Make a list! Write down everything you can think of that you could do to achieve a goal. It has to be in a form of action statement. The very act of making a list of everything you can think of achieving your goal increases your belief that the goal is attainable. The organized your list into a plan.  Arrange your list in sequences. Create a checklist, a list of all the steps that you will have to take to achieve your goal. Be sure your list is practical and it can be done within 24 hours.

Take action on your plan and learn to adjust accordingly, You need to make effort to execute the plan. That is when your plan counts! It is only counted when it was executed. 

Samples: I will commit to reducing the food portion in every meal especially high carb food.  I will not eat white bread, sweets, and junk food! I will workout in the gym 5 days a week. I will eat more fruits and drink more water in a day. I order food from a healthy food outlet since I do not have time to cook. I will hire a fitness trainer to coach me. I will commit to sleep 7 to 8 hours a day. I will run a marathon. I will join the SPARTAN RACE.


A deadline acts as a forcing system for your subconscious mind.  This allows you to set a target. From the time you write down your goal and set a deadline, you will be motivated to work, adjust and take the necessary step to achieve it.  Keep track on your goal.  You can check your progress in term of weekly, monthly or even quarterly.

What happens if you don`t achieve your goal by the deadline? Then, you need to set another deadline. Remember, there is no unrealistic goals, merely unrealistic deadline. If you change your deadline more than 3 times. You may need to check your plan of action again. Your deadline may be unrealistic or you are not doing the work. Be honest with yourself. 

Samples: (Assuming you start 1 January 2017) Weight from 100kg to 80kg by 31 December 2017. Each month, I need to lose 1.7kg of weight. If I did not achieve the monthly deadline. I need to adjust my workout program and my diet. 

Every morning you wake up in the morning, read the steps! Every night before you sleep, read the steps again.  Ask yourself this question;

  1. What did I do today to achieve my goal?
  2. How can I improve for tomorrow?
  3. Why do I do this?

Finally, express gratitude. “I did well today”


It is all about effort!! 




To lose weight from 100kg to 80kg. Decrease waistline from 40inch to 34inch.  To get 6 packs abs.


To be healthier. More energy. To look great and build confident of self-image. To live longer so that I can spend time with my children.


Lack of discipline. Love sweet junk food. Unhealthy eating habit. Lazy to go to the gym. Not enough sleep within 8 hours.


Prepare a diet plan and follow through. Throw away the sweet junk food in your home. Buy healthy organic food. Get the right workout plan to lose weight.


Healthy food outlet (Eg.FeedMe). Personal trainer. Fitness Website. Workout group. Marathon Event. Spartan Race. Accountability buddy, Alex.


I will commit to reducing the food portion in every meal, especially high carb food.  I will not eat white bread, sweets, and junk food! I will workout in the gym 5 days a week. I will eat more fruits and drink more water in a day. I order food from a healthy food outlet since I do not have time to cook. I will hire a fitness trainer to coach me. I will commit to sleep 7 to 8 hours a day. I will run a marathon. I will join the SPARTAN RACE


(Assuming you start 1 January 2017) Weight from 100kg to 80kg by 31 December 2017. Each month, I need to lose 1.7kg of weight. If I did not achieve the monthly deadline. I need to adjust my workout program and my diet. 

“A goal can be achieved if you break it down into enough small parts.” Henry Ford


In my previous post, I wrote about The 5 Destructive Effect of Fear! Please do check it out to understand the impact of letting your fear to control you. Now I am going to cover the recovery side of fear. Here are the 7 great steps to overcome fear!

1. Admit your Fears

You cannot overcome fear unless you first need to acknowledge them. What you should do, you need to make a list of your fear. If you are unable to do so, you may be still running from those feeling. Hence, you need to observe of your feeling. If your heart race for no reason, you feel paralysed into inaction and you feel nervous for no reason. These are the response due to fear. Do not overthink, write your fear down first! That is the first step.

2. Determine the Source of your Fears

James Thurber

All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running away from and to and why.

Fear also is known as False Expectations Appear Real.  Most people`s fear is based not on facts, but on feeling. You need to look beyond the irrational feeling you may possess and discover the expectation that lies beneath them. Guess what, it does not exist! It is an imagination that created by the mind!

3. Acknowledge that fears limit you

J.H Newman.

Fear not that your life will come to an end but that it will never have a beginning.

That is what can happen if you let fear take over your life. Honestly, most of our fear are baseless. The rest are simple things we must learn to live with it. There are no guarantees in life. People look for things to protect them. It could be alarms, umbrellas, smartphone, GPS system, and cars with ABS system. Here is the fact, life is dangerous, damaging your health, and will eventually kill you. So you might as well live life to the fullest. Take that risk to overcome that fear!

4. Accept that Fear is the price of Growth

Steve Harvey

Believe it or not, every successful person in this world has jumped!

One of the secrets of success is not letting what you cannot interfere with what you can do. A strong proponent of positive thinking, Stone said that the secret to making sales was going where you do not want to go and doing what you do not want to do. You need to take that leap into the fear. Most importantly, do not let your fear keep you from taking small steps in your development. You never know where they might lead. It may unlock your potential within you.

5. Change fear into desire

Cus D’Amato

The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and converts into fire.

Every negative emotion we feel can be converted into something positive to help us to grow in life.

Fear of poverty? Convert it to a positive work ethic.

Fear of greediness? Convert it to generosity.

Fear of rejection? Convert it to acceptance.

Fear of insignificance? Convert it to service of others.

People can turn their life around them by takings the very thing that once created fear and using the energy to do something positive and worthwhile.  It is an always a choice to make to change your decision for a better option.

6. Focus on Things You can Control

There are always things that you cannot control in life. Guess what, there is no good reason to worry about those things. It can be very energy draining.

Harold Stephens.

There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.

The right question to asked, What can I do to be a Problem Solver? Always focus on the things that you can control. To do that, there are 2 things. First is the attitude. As you interact with people, you cannot control their action. No matter how much you like it. But you can control your attitude. Boys react, men respond. The second part of it is your calendar. You may not be able to control today, but you can do your best to plan the time you have. Most people who fear the future so so because they do not prepare for it.

7. Feed the Good and Starve the Bad!

It is a battle between FEAR and FAITH. Either one will arise within you. It is your choice to choose which one will triumph. These emotions will always be presents in you. The emotion you continue to feed is the one that will control your life. You cannot expect fear to simply disappear. If you continue to focus on your fears and entertain them, they will increase. The way to handle it is to starve them. Do not give your fears any of your time or energy.  Do not feed them with gossip or negatives news. It can be very draining.

What you should do? Focus on your faith! Feed it with positive food. The more energy and time you give it. It will become stronger. At any point in time, if there is a spark of fear. Take action by go ahead and do it! By doing so, you are reprogramming your attitude. When there is fear, it means “GO” instead of “STOP”. When there is fear, it means “FIGHT HARDER” instead of “GIVE UP”.

Keep in mind, no matter how strong a hold fear may try to take on you, it can be overcome. Fear is just in mind and attitude can make a major difference.  Most importantly, do the work and take action!

If you are not in control of your fear, the fear are in control of you!



Get an accountability buddy to help you to beat that fear! He or She must not be afraid of the fear that you are facing. If you are afraid of heights, your buddy must not be afraid of heights. If you are afraid of thunder, your buddy must not be afraid of thunder as well.   Your buddy can help you to grow to faced fear. Your buddy can show you that it is alright to face it and the fear does not exist.

The content was taken from the Difference Makerwritten by John C. Maxwell and with a spice of my thought. Definitely, a book to read and highly recommended for those who want to learn to manage their attitude.

pull up by marvininspire.com

The HYPE at the start line of the Spartan Sprint!

The first Spartan Race in Malaysia for the year 2017. The Spartan Sprint! It was on the 12 March 2017. At first, I thought it was 5km run, but it was 8.9km! I said; Challenge accepted! I completed the race within 1hour 51minutes. I failed one obstacle out of 27 obstacles. It was was the Spear Throw! That was 30 burpees for me. My brother, Matthias and sister, Melissa also joined the Spartan Race Sprint 2017. It was Melissa`s first Spartan Race too. I was excited that she willing joined the Spartan Race! I am glad that I can inspire her to enter the Spartan Race. In this article, I would like to cover my top 3 toughest obstacles to beat!

Spartan Race Siblings Start

Myself, Melissa and Matthias


Spartan Race Spear Throw

Spear throw seems to be a simple obstacle, and it is considered one of the Spartan Race`s signature obstacles. All you need to do is walk up to a starting point, grab the spear with your firm hand, aim, and throw. Remember you got only one chance to throw the spear at the target. The spear must stick into the targets. If you miss, it is a failed attempt. If it hits and bounces off, it is a fail attempt. You need to get down to do the burpee! It may sound easy, keep in mind the Spear Throw was known to be the Burpee Maker!! It does not require any significant strength, but it requires techniques. In my previous Spartan Beast and Spartan Super, I successfully stick the spear into the target! I was overconfident as I grab the spear and throw the spear to the target. I missed! I had to do 30 burpees. Remember you got only one chance to throw the spear at the target.

My Workout for the Spear Throw: I made my own spear and practice, practice and practice.


Bucket Brigade Spartan Race

Bucket Brigade is one hell of an obstacle. My body took quite a toll after completing the obstacles and it will test your mind and will to keep moving.  I need to fill the bucket with gravels from the “bin” to a point above the line of holes in the bucket. Then, I need to carry the bucket through a small hill, through the jungle, muddy path, and over big tree roots. I need to return the bucket filled with gravel. Finally, I emptied the bucket back into the bin. It was tough! I had to stop three times to catch my breath. I had to walk for a few minute before I catch up my running pace. The Bucket Brigade is a mandatory obstacle. If I failed to execute, it not burpee. But, I need to perform the obstacle once again. Thank God I managed to complete it.

My Workout for the Bucket Brigade: Deadlift! Get a bucket, fill it with weight and walk! 


Spartan Multi Rig

The Spartan Race organiser loves to put The Multi Rig at the end of the race. The Multi Rig is my number 3 of my top three toughest obstacles. The Multi Rig is similar to a monkey bar, but the only difference it has gymnastic rings, pipes, rope and the traditional cow bell at the end of the obstacles. The Multi Rig test the strength and endurance of the upper body strength and coordination. I failed The Multi Rig in my Spartan Super 2016 Malaysia and Spartan Beast 2016 Malaysia. However, I conquered this obstacle in The Spartan Race Sprint 2017 Malaysia. Yeah!! There is definitely, room for improvement in the future! Aro!!

My workout for the Multi Rig: Monkey bar, dead hang and pull ups!

To recap, my top 3 toughest obstacles would be the Spear Throw aka The Burpee Maker, the Bucket Brigade which will wear down your body significantly, and finally, the Multi Rig which will test your upper body strength and endurance.Brigade which will wear down your body significantly, and finally, the Multi Rig which will test your upper body strength and endurance.

If you`re a Spartan, please share your toughest obstacles in your Spartan Race Journey. Please also share your workout to overcome it by commenting below.



Please check out THE 5 PHENOMENAL LESSONS FROM SPARTAN RACE!. To summarise, there are the focus on the finish line, be ready, choose your word wisely, take action, and most importantly helps others.

Spartan Race

My WHY is to inspire people to embrace the adversity of life.  A life without adversity is a life without growth. A life without growth is a life without meaning. A life without meaning is a life not worth living

Are you ready?!

Who am I?!

I am a Spartan!

Aro!! Aro!! Aro!!

Spartan go for Glory!!

Source: Spartan Race Youtube Channel

That is the ambient at the starting line of a Spartan Race. The experience was amazing with a rush of energy and inspiration was build within me! I ran the race with all of my might until I completed the race. I finished the Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super and finally the Spartan Beast! The question you may be asking; “What are the difference between Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super, and Spartan Beast?”.

Well, the name is very self-explanatory. All it means the race after the next will get tougher and further.


The Spartan Sprint!

Distance: 5km+

Number of Obstacles: 20+


The Spartan Super!

Distance: 13km+

Number of Obstacles:  25+


The Spartan Beast!

Distance: 20km+

Number of Obstacles:  30+

These are the three main Spartan races! Once you have completed all three races, you earned the Trifecta Medal! It is consists of pieces of Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super and Spartan Beast connected like a jigsaw puzzle. The satisfaction to complete the Spartan Trifecta is just indescribable.  I will be joining the race again this year to earn another Trifecta.


My First Trifecta Medal

There are also Spartan Kids, Spartan Stadium, Spartan Ultra Beast, and Agoge.

Find out more from the Spartan Race Website.

Source: Spartan Race Youtube Channel

Spartan Race is more than getting the cool looking medal. For me, Spartan Race is more than just a race; it is a great reflection of life which filled with adversities and challenges. The feeling of overcoming the adversities is very fulfilling, beating the obstacles one at a time and crossing the finish line.

For each obstacle that I overcome, I thought of the life adversity that I faced daily. There were failure, fear, changes, disappointment, rejection, problem and losses. These are the things we cannot control. It is there now and will be there as long as you live. That is what life will offer, whether we like it or not. The question is “Do we choose to respond or react?”

You`re going to spend the rest of your life getting up more time, more time than you`re knocked down, so you`d better start getting used to it.

John Wayne from the movie; “The Train Robbers.”

I did a self-reflection throughout my runs in the Spartan Race. I am able to connect it to my life journey. The race taught me five phenomenal lessons to overcome the hardships of life! I am going to share it with you, and I hope you can learn from it as well!

Let’s go! Aro!!


They were two types of people running the race.

They are people who focus on the obstacles.

They are people who focus on the finish line.

The people who focus on the obstacles have the tendency to be negative and to be discouraged. They complained by saying; “I cannot do this!” “I give up!” “This is enough!” “I`m done!” and “This is tough!”.  They see the obstacle as a burden which will drag them down to the ground.

The people who focus the finish line have the tendency to be positive and to be encouraged. They encourage themselves by saying; “Let’s go!”  “One obstacle at a time bro!” “You can do it!”  “Come, let me help you to climb!”.  They see the obstacle as an opportunity to grow, and they know the finish line is closer and closer.

Can you see the mindset between these two groups of people?  The one who focuses on the finish line will have the fulfilment of the race. What did I do? I begin with my WHY. My WHY is to inspire others to embrace the adversity of life. A life without adversity is a life without growth. A life without growth is a life without meaning. A life without meaning is a life not worth living.  The life event that reinforced my “why” was during I lost my father due to cancer. That was the toughest adversity I went through. I use this event to strengthen my “why” as an anchor for me to push myself until I finish the race.

At the starting line of the race, I pictured myself jumping over the fire which was the last obstacle. I am going to have the most epic pose ever for jumping over the fire. I am going to sprint to get the finisher medal. That was what I focus on in my mind until the finish line.


The Fire Jump!!

The phenomenal lesson here is you must FOCUS ON THE GOAL! I had to work hard and smart, beating one obstacle at a time, getting down and dirty and finally cross the finish line to earn the finisher medal!  The question you may ask, how does is applicable in life? Every day you wake in the morning, I am very sure you have that particular goal in mind. There is a possibility that most of you are reluctant to go after it. One, because of the fear of failure. Two,  because of the fear of not be able to sustain it once you achieved it.  Trust me the sustaining part is the hardest.



There will be obstacles that will challenge you and even break you from achieving the goal that you desire. No matter what obstacles you faced, never lose sight of the goal. The next question that you may ask, how do I do that? Write it down in detail in your journal. Describe the goal, so well until you can feel it in your heart. What is the result that you want?

Let’s say you want to lose weight. How much weight do you want to lose? You`re now weighing 100kg, and you lost 1kg which is also a weight loss. State the number you want to achieve. Let’s say you want to make money. How much? 10USD per day? It is still money. Let’s say you want to spend time with family. How much time? Do you look at your phone when you are with your family? What is the activity you want to do? When do you want to do it? It must be crystal clear! Remember this;


The next thing is to start with WHY. The WHY will be an anchor for you to achieve that goal. It gives you the purpose of the goal! The WHY will fuel your drive to reach your goal!

For example, Anne`s goal is to live a healthy lifestyle by eating organic fresh food and to workout five times a week. She is willing to go through that routine every single day until her last breath. Her WHY was when her mother died due to a terminal disease which was caused by unhealthy eating and lifestyle. Her mother is missing all Anne`s significant life events like her wedding and her first-born daughter. The event became an anchor for her to be healthy. She must be there for her child`s wedding. She wants to be a grandmother and spend time with her grandchildren. The experience became an anchor and fuel for Anne to pursue her goal!

To live life, you have to be the person who focuses on the finish line. Do not be the person who focuses on the obstacles.


You have 24hours in a day. Use your 24hours to achieve a maximum of 3 life goals in one year. Be practical about it! Of course, depending on your capabilities. Ask yourself these five questions. These questions may guide you to determine the goal that you want.

  1. Is it truly my goal or it is another person’s opinion?
  2. Is it morally right and fair to everyone concerned?
  3. Will reaching this goal take me closer to or further from my major life objectives?
  4. Can I emotionally commit myself to start and finish this goal?
  5. Can I visualise myself reaching this goal?

If it is a YES for all five questions, let us look at two more questions;

  1. When I reach this goal, will it make me happier – healthier – more prosperous – win friends – give me peace of mind – make me more secure – improve my family relationships and give me hope?
  2. Most importantly, will reaching this goal contribute to a more balanced success?

Source: Over the Top by Zig Ziglar

If all is yes! Go for it. Let us look at the next lesson which is about being READY!



“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I`d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”

Abraham Lincoln

I had completed the Spartan Sprint and Spartan Super.  When I signed up for Spartan Beast Malaysia, I checked the description of the race. It stated 21km with 33 obstacles. It is a higher level of Spartan Race, compared to Spartan Sprint and Spartan Super. Spartan Beast is tougher and further! I had to prepare a different workout strategy for Spartan Beast! I need to build up my endurance and strength, especially the upper body. I seek help from a friend to help coach me. He gave me advice on what I should focus on during my workout. The workout focused on strength and endurance!

This lesson does not apply to Spartan Race only. BE READY is applicable for everyone who wants to do something in their life. Sports teams do it. Pilots do it. Musicians do it. Engineer do it. Doctors do it. Athletes do it.  They say you need a minimum of 10,000 hours to be skilled at what you do! It seems to be a long time. It may not show any progress. You need to accept the fact that preparation is one of the elements of Success.  I have to admit; it is not fun! Believe me, it will be worth it!

You can plan, prepare, expect, and make the commitment right where you are, doing exactly what you`re doing!

Zig Ziglar

The first step of preparation is to PLAN TO WIN!  I set up my mind that I will finish the Spartan Race! Same goes to you, in whatever goal that you want to achieve. Setup your mind that you will achieve victory! By taking action, it allows you to put yourself in a state of belief. A belief that you will break through and accomplish success. Hold the anchor that drive you to achieve those goals.


The next step is to SELF-ASSESS yourself. Where are you on the journey to reach your goal? Let go of your ego! Be honest with yourself!  Ask yourself the question “Am I progressing towards my goal?”. “What I need to change to progress forward?”, “What am I lacking?” and “Do I need an expert to help me?”. It is important to remind ourselves, why do I need to be there?

The third step is to COMMIT to the plan. Every single person on earth has 24 hours. What you do within your 24 hours will determine your whether you will achieve your goal!  Give it your all to commit and take action on them until you feel good about where you are. You need to work until you understand what you need to do to achieve it. Ask yourself the question “Do I know what it is I am trying to accomplish?”. If required, seek help from your friends, mentor, leaders and anybody whom you consider them an expert. Once you understand, you can continue to commit better with breadth and depth.

Plan to win! Self-Assess! Commit! That is the pathway to be prepared. John Wooden, basketball coach hall of fame. He said; “When Opportunity Comes, It is Too Late to Prepare”. Whatever your passion or goal is, keep working on it and show that commitment. One day, it will make a breakthrough and greatness will come! Let us look at the next lesson which is about the WORDS!

Spartan Quote #3 by marvininspire.com


The words are the most powerful tools that created by man!

The race tested both the physical endurance and the mental endurance. Physical endurance is a state of health, well-being, fitness and, more specifically, the ability to perform for a long duration. The challenging part would be the mental endurance! It is a measure of individual resilience in performing the particular sport with a given extended period of time. One of the ways to strengthen my mental endurance until I cross the finish line is to speak empowering words.

By doing so, I am locked-in and focus on how am I going to beat these obstacles and complete the race. I kept repeating these sentences, “I must not stop!”, “I must finish the race!”, “I must beat this obstacle!”, “I must keep going!” and “I can, I will, I must.” I always believe what we say has a direct bearing on your performance. The moment I crossed the finish line, I said: “I did it!”. Repeating these words reinforce my belief that I CAN DO IT!

Your word will be made flesh. This is applicable in life, especially when you are dealing with adversity. If you talk negatively, it will hurt you, it will discourage you, and it will weaken you. If you talk positively, it will heal you, it will encourage you, and it will strengthen you. My favourite tagline is “Man respond, boys react”. This allows me to step back, assess the situation and take the right action!

You may ask is that even enough? Saying an empowering word will get things done better? Well, of course not! It takes action too! I can say; “I can, I will and I must” and just looking at the obstacle. The obstacle will still be there until you take ACTION to overcome it.  However, compared to being negative, you will only hurt yourself. It does not do you any good, and being positive is always a choice. It works like a SPARK before starting a fire!

A positive mental attitude will not let you do everything. However, it can help you do anything better than you would if your attitude were negative!

John C. Maxwell

The next question you may ask; “What do I need to do learn these words?” You need to understand empowering words need to be fed into your mind first. It has to be every hourly and daily! This is to build an anchor of your empowering words and give meaning to you. There are two ways to do it.


You need to feed your mind with empowerment thought! You need to read great books that will add value to your life. Reading helps you to focus and learn experience from others. You should read books on inspiration, self-help, biography, novels or anything that can spark your interest and curiosity.  I would recommend you to read Over The Top by Zig Ziglar, One question by Ken Coleman and Second Chance by Robert Kiyosaki. These books are filled with knowledge and wisdom which you can use in your everyday life. If you are the type, who watch the video. Check out YOUTUBE! There are loads of talks and information there as well. Check out TED talk, etthehiphoppreacher, Les Brown, and of course Spartan Race. Besides that, you can listen to podcasts on your phone in your car. That is what I usually do. You should listen to The Secret to Success with CJ & Eric Thomas, The GaryVee Audio Experience, and The Ziglar Show. These podcasts will help and program your mind to be empowered and inspired.

What you feed your mind determines your appetite.

Tom Ziglar

You need to share the empowerment to others! Keeping your knowledge and wisdom it not sufficient. Moving to the next level, you need to share it with others. Joseph Joubert, a French moralist, and essayist said: “To teach is to learn twice”. When you share what you learn, it will reinforce the understanding. By doing so, it forces you to be accountable and not being a hypocrite.  I always believe, the greats inspire themselves, legends inspire others. Believe me; these people will remember you for a lifetime as you change their life. Who knows in that conversation, it challenges your belief and your understanding which create a quality discussion.

Choose your word well as it is the bearing of your performance. Feed your mind with empowerment thought. It will change your belief and start up your SPARK to initiate the FIRE!Let us look at the next lesson which is about ACTION!

pull up by marvininspire.com


We talked about FOCUS ON THE GOAL, BE READY and CHOOSE YOUR WORD WISELY. The next phenomenal lesson is to TAKE ACTION!  Once you are in the race, you had one job which is to cross the finish line! For you to do that action is needed. You need to run, jump, climb, carry, crawl, hold, swing, throw and get down and dirty. If you failed an obstacle, you need to do 30 burpees. Guess what? You are accountable for all of these actions for you to reach the finish line.

Now how does that apply to life? In lesson one, we talked about the focus on the goal. To make your goal a reality, you must take accountability and full ownership! No one else will do it for you but you. You need to realise the goal is only a dream if it is not a reality. Hence, the action is required. Standing still in the middle of the race will not make you cross the finish line. You run the race, not the race runs you.  It is you have to grind and hustle to run towards the finish line!

Anthony Robbin, one of the successful life coach. He develops a tool known as RPM of goal setting. R is for Results. P is for Purpose. M is for Massive Action. Just to recap, results are the goal you want to achieve. You must describe your goal with clarity. Your goal must have a purpose. It is the anchor to achieve your goal. Finally, taking the Massive Action is the key to make your goal into a reality. The tool that you can use is P.D.C.A. Which means, Plan-Do-Check-Adjust. It is a cycle of continuous improvement to complete a particular task.


You need to PLAN your big goal backwards by breaking it down into smaller goals. Map out the goal that you want to achieve up to where you are today! Your big goal could be one year to five years’ time. Then, break it down into yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. Write down a simplified to-do list daily, which can be done within your 24 hours in a day. DO and commit to execute the task and make sure it connects to your big goal! Every night before you go to bed, spend 15minutes to CHECK where you are on the list. Ask yourself, “What did I do well?”, “What I did not do well?”, “What can I learn from the things that I did not do well?” and “How can I change that?”. Be honest with yourself when you are answering these questions. You are accountable for it. You have to be flexible to ADJUST your daily tasks to achieve your goal. Then, you need to PLAN for the next day. The cycle continues with persistence until you reach your goal.  In a month, perform a major CHECK and ADJUSTMENT on where you are in your journey to achieve your goal. Let us look at the next lesson which is about HELP!

Average people have great ideas, legends have great execution.

Dr Eric Thomas

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I joined the competitive category of the Spartan Beast. In a way, it is still a competition, and I am trying to get the best time to gauge my performance. However, I encountered some participants having trouble overcoming some of the obstacles. I decided to help them to overcome the obstacles, despite the fact that I wanted to get the best time. I discovered the pleasure of helping other Spartan to complete the obstacles. Here are Spartans that I help throughout the race.


The Atlas Carry

He was struggling to carry the Atlas ball!

As I was running, I saw the next obstacle to overcome the Atlas Carry. I love to deadlift, so this obstacle quite easy for me. I lifted the 60kg cement ball up and walked to the other side and did five burpees and carry it back. Then, I saw a middle-aged look man who was struggling to lift the Altas ball weighing 60kg after his five burpees. I believe he exhausted all his energy. I went over and helped him to carry until at the end of the obstacles. I was telling him, “All good bro?” He said: “Yea, thanks, man!”. He sat on the ground and taking his breath. I carried on to the next obstacle.

She can`t pull herself up!

I continued my run; then I saw another obstacle which was the Inverted Wall.  A young girl was struggling to climb over the Inverted Wall.  She was unable to pull herself up. I said; “Hello, come and step on my shoulder!”. She managed to pull herself up. She shouted; “Thank you!” once she was on the other side of the wall. She went her way.

No man left behind!

I believe it was about last 8 kilometres of the race. I saw a guy in front of me was shouting in pain. He seems to experience pain in this right ankle as he was holding his right ankle. Another Spartan and I came and helped to carry him with the human crutch posture to the nearby water station. He received the required medical aid. He said: “Thank you and sorry to slow you down”. I just replied, “Don`t worry about it, get yourself fixed. Cool?”.  I said thanks to the others Spartan who help me to carry him too. Both of us continue with the race.

She was slipping from the wall!

After the Hercules Hoist obstacle, it was the Slip Wall. I manage to climb to the top. A lady in red beside me was slipping and struggling to pull herself up. Furthermore, it was raining. So, I offered my hand to her. I managed to pull her up until she is capable of handling on her own. The Slip Wall was approximately 200meter before the finish line. Imagined the 20.8km run, this was one last few obstacles.  I have to say it was exhausting. Once, I managed to pull her up. She said; “Thank you!’.

Helping her to overcome the Slip Wall

They are strangers. However, we have ONE common goal which is to finish the race. It gave meaning to complete the race knowing that I helped other Spartans to finish the race. The final phenomenal lesson here is to remember to HELP OTHERS. Do you know by helping others, you are helping yourselves?  Helping others will make you happy. It will boost your self-confidence. It will give you a sense of purpose and give you the feeling of belonging to a community. You will feel fulfilled by helping others to achieve their goal.

One of the best leadership books that I read, Leaders Eat Last written by Simon Sinek. When we serve others, there are hormones which are known as The Selfless Chemicals. There known to as the Serotonin and Oxytocin. Theses hormone helps to form bonds of trust and friendship so that we look out for each other. It acts as a grease of the social machine. Let us break it down! Theses hormone helps to form bonds of trust and friendship so that we look out for each other. It acts as a grease of the social machine. Let us break it down!

Serotonin is the feeling of pride. It is the feeling you get when you perceive that others like to respect you. It makes you feel strong and confident like you can do anything in the world. It makes you feel rise above all. You know that feeling when you help someone struggling to solve their problem. They said; “Thank you” to you. You feel good, right? That is a surge of Serotonin injected into your veins. It reinforces the bond between you and the person that you helped. That was the same feeling that I received when I helped them to overcome the obstacles.

Oxytocin was known to be chemical of love. It sparks the feeling of friendship, love, deep trust and loyalty. It will inspire us to do nice things for others. It is the feeling we get when we are in the company of our closest friends or trusted colleagues. It is the feeling we get when we do something nice for someone, or someone does something nice for us. Oxytocin is injected into your body when you do good deeds to others. The other person also receives oxytocin as they receive the good deed. Hence, trust and relationship are formed.

The more we give of ourselves to see others succeed, the greater out value to the team and more respect the offer us. The more respect and recognition we receive, the higher our status in the team and the more incentive we have to continue to give to the team.

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.”

Zig Ziglar.

The key message here is developing a relationship with others. I always believe together is better! Together Everyone Achieve More! A TEAM! The first step to develop a relationship is to offer help and add value to others. You need to be genuine about it. I was listening to a podcast titled; “A Keynote: Haste and Hustle Ontario 2017” from Gary Vee Audio Experience. “Gary Vee said; “When you give with expectation in return, you lost!”. It means you need to give values first; then it will come back to you. You never know the person that you helped will give back to you ten times fold.


Let’s get started, how can we help others? There are many ways we can help others.  You can start with a smile and be friendly, volunteer for a charity, make a donation, teach, give free coaching session, help them to take action, buy lunch for them, and show appreciation. These little things can go a long way.

Any talents or skill you have, please do share it with others. You can help them to reach their goal. Let’s say you are an expert in fitness, you can lift heavy, and you look great with six packs abs and all. Another person who is overweight seeks your help to lose weight, and he or she wants to learn to eat healthily. You can spend some time to help them to be a better version of themselves. You can look at it as an investment. You can learn and understand why people did not take care of their health. Then, it becomes a two-way relationship together they are embarking on a journey of healthy living.

With all the energy, you have to make an effort to HELP OTHERS. You will feel fulfilled as it gave you a purpose in life.

Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure.

Anthony Robbin


These are all the five phenomenal lessons from Spartan Race. Let’s recapped!






Through Spartan Race, I discovered my WHY. My message to all the reader is to find ways to be uncomfortable. That is where growth happens. It does not have to be Spartan Race. It can be a marathon, sprinting, weight lifting, cycling, strongman and climbing a mountain. Find what works for you that will test your body and mind to handle life`s adversity!

My “why” is to inspire others to embrace the adversity of life. A life without adversity is a life without growth. A life without growth is a life without meaning. A life without meaning is a life not worth living.

Whatever obstacles come your way; failure, rejection, disappointment, losses, fear, problem, discouragement, and changes, always FOCUS on the finish line. BE READY for any opportunity and obstacle! You need to choose the RIGHT WORD to encourage yourselves and TAKE ACTION! Most importantly, HELP OTHERS to overcome their obstacles!


Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.


Left side, the year 2015, before I know Spartan Race. Right side, the year 2016, after I know Spartan Race

To know more!!

  1. The Reebok Spartan Race Website.
  2. Spartan Race Youtube Channel
  3. Over the Top by Zig Ziglar
  4. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  5. The Difference Maker by John C. Maxwell.


The problem occurs when things do not go the way you want it to be. Everyone will experience the problem.  It can happen anywhere, anytime and most of the time it will happen the least you expect it to happen! There are just inescapable!

People`s perspective makes a huge difference in how a person approach their problem. If we look at negative perspective. Problems are unsolvable, problems are permanent, problems there control us and problems stop us. If we look at the positive perspective, problems are solvable, problems are temporary, problems challenge us and problems stretch us.


How we look at the problem at the first place makes the difference whether we can solve it or not. It is best to look at the positive side by facing the problem, assessing the problem and taking action to address it. I am going to share the key principles to handle problems which I read about from The Difference Maker by John C. Maxwell.

  1. Identify the problem!

The first thing we need to do is to determine if it is really a problem. There is a difference between a problem or a predicament. A problem is something you can resolve because there is a solution. If there is no solution, it is not a problem. It is known as a predicament. The predicament is a difficult situation that a person needs to endure. The issue here is when people treat their predicament as a problem. They become frustrated, angry and even depressed. They make the wrong decision, waste their energy and fail. In the end, they begin to nurture the victim mindset in them. So, how do we differentiate these two?

This is based on my own experience. My father was called by God on the 28 May 2015 due to cancer. This is something I cannot solve. However, I have to learn to live with it and move on with life because crying about it will do more damage. That is a predicament. There is no way a person can resurrect a person from the dead unless he is God. It is a difficult journey, but I have to move on.

my late father

My late father and I

Another example, last year, 2016 the oil price had drop from approximately 90USD/barrel to 40USD/barrel. You are working in an oil and gas company. The company have to make a tough decision to reduce cost significantly to earn hard cash. The company announced a reorganization process whereby there will be massive lay off. Unfortunately, you got the hit. That is already a predicament. Are you going to drain your energy to complain about it? It is alright to vent out for a short period of time. But, are you doing to stay down? Instead, you have to learn to accept it and spend your energy to hunt for a new job or even starting a business. People with a victor-mindset will use it as an opportunity to transition to something better.

How do we define the problem? John C. Maxwell structured P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S as follows:

Predictors – helping to mould our future.

Reminders – showing us that we cannot succeed alone.

Opportunities – pulling us out of ruts and prompting us to think creatively.

Blessing – opening doors we would otherwise not go through.

Lessons – providing instruction with each new challenge.

Everywhere – telling us that no one is excluded from difficulties.

Messages – warning us about potential disasters.

Solvable –  reminding us that every problem has a solution.

I would suggest you write this down and stick it up somewhere that can be easily accessed. If you encounter a problem, look through this list. I believe it will help to motivate you to respond to the problem.

If you are able to distinguish between predicaments from problems, then you are able to put yourself in a better position to endure the predicaments and determine the solution for the problem.

  1. Be ever ready to face the problem.

Al Davis, owner of NFL`s Oakland Raiders

A great leader doesn`t treat problems as special. He treats them as normal.

The moment you drive your car for a long ride, expect problems like a flat tire. When you have your wedding reception, expect problems like the microphone will be faulty or even out of battery. If you are working at the office, expect a problem like being shouted by another colleague for no reason. We need to be ever ready when comes to deal with a problem.

A problem not anticipated is a problem. A problem anticipated is an opportunity.

Facing the problem can be a struggle, believe me. Based on John C. Maxwell experience, they are 4 groups of people when dealing with life adversity.

#1: Flee it – they try to run away, but the problems always follow.

#2: Forget it –they hope the problem will go away, but problem left alone only get worse.

#3: Fight it –they resist, but the problem still persists.

#4: Face it– they look at the problem realistically and finds ways to solve it.

It is good to do self-assessment to determine which group you are usually in. If you are in the #1, #2, and #3, you need to change your mindset. Divert your mentality into the fourth group, FACE IT! The right question to ask, “How can I solve this problem effectively?”. Use positive word to divert your mindset from a victim minded to a victor minded. Remember, the first step to solving the problem is to have the courage to face it and understand the problem.

  1. Every problem is a potential opportunity

Negative minded people will see an obstacle as a burden. Positive minded people will see the obstacle as an opportunity. President John F. Kennedy was asked how he becomes a war hero.  He answered: “It was quite easy. Someone sunk my boat!”. Most of the time, adversity paves the way for success. All the invention around us begins with a problem. It is the affirmative action that a person to resolve the problem that makes the difference.

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur. Both of them opened a bicycle shop and they focus on repairing and selling bicycles. They were also had a passion for flight. However, that time there were no airplane like what we had now. They identified the problem and took matters into action. From a bicycle mechanic to an aircraft mechanic. It was a contrast transition. However, with their positive attitude they continue to pursue their passion. They learned, experiment, made mistakes and modified their prototype until they succeed. On the 17 December 1903. (Source: Eye Witness to History)  Orville Wright took the first flight 20 feet above a wind-swept beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted for 12 seconds. He traveled for 120 feet. Although they succeed that time, they continued to try again to improve. There were three more flights made that day. The best recorded flight was 59 seconds over a distance of 852 feet. That was the mark of flight revolution. The Wright brothers were the game changer of flight by unlocking their abilities from building a bicycle to building an airplane.

Wilbur Wright

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.”

Problems are alarm-clock for creativity and innovation. If we choose to wake up and get up, problems will notify us to use our unlocked abilities. You will be surprised with what you can do with that mindset.


  1. List of all the of the potential solution to the problem

We have to program our mind stating that to every problem, there is already a solution whether you know what it is or not. Fire up the creative and innovative mind to attack the problem. Pull in the available resources. There could be information from the internet or people who are expert with experience that can help you. Use the network you have to tackle the problem.  Good thinkers always have more than one way to solve a problem. We tend to make a mistake when there is only one solution to any problem. Keep on thinking and grinding through to determine the solution.

 No problem can stand the attack of sustain of the solution.

The question is the key to unlocking the world greatest mystery. The right question will give you the right answer. Use the famous fundamental question specifically why, how, what, who, when and where. It will direct the problem to the right solution.

  1. Take action and refocus on the right solution.

Having a list of a solution of a problem is meaningless if action is not taken. We all have that fear of not taking action because we do not know will it work. Once there are options, the next step is to determine the best solution. Then, make the plan to a reality by take the action and concentrate on it. Let us look at it this way, Alex is not taking a decision on the list of solution due to fear of making wrong decision and Zoe is taking the action on the list of possible solution. Zoe does not know the solution will it solve the problem, but she just executes it. Between Alex and Zoe, which person has a higher probability to succeed? Definitely, Zoe! Alex already failed as he did not take action because he is waiting and waiting and the problem still persist.

Thomas Edison

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all human management affair.

In your problem-solving journey, you may make a mistake, do not chase after it. Do not try to defend it, instead learn from it. Take a step back and refocus on the solution of the problem. Move to the next solution which potentially may solve the problem. That is the beauty once you have the list of a solution of a problem. Always keep an eye on the goal that you want to achieve and visualised it. Let us say, Zoe made the wrong choice. She found out that 1 out of 10 solutions does not work and this allows her to eliminate the failed option. She can move on the next potential solution. Learn, refocus on the situation and keep attacking the problem until the goal is achieved.

John Foster Dulles

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.

The key is to focus on what you are learning, not on what you are losing. If you do that, then you will open the door to future possibilities. A positive attitude can help you to do that. It helps you to learn from the present and focus on the future. Positive thinking is how you think about a problem. Enthusiasm is how you feel about the problem. Put these two together, it will determine what you do about the problem.

To summarise the principles, we need to identify the problem first. We need to be ever ready to face the problem. Keep in mind, every problem is a potential opportunity. Write down a list of all the of the possible solution to the problem. Most importantly, take action and refocus on the right solution. All the best and go solve that problem!

The content was taken from the Difference Makerwritten by John C. Maxwell and with a spice of my thought. Definitely, a book to read and highly recommended for those who want to learn to manage their attitude.