“If you don’t fix this, you will be a bitch for the rest of your life.” – Elliott Hulse
Eddy: Give us a quick, in a nutshell briefing about what you came from to where you are, right now.
Elliott: [00:41] Mmm, uh, I was introduced to strength training pretty early. My uncle– That’s when I was a kid and when I was about four years old. He had me and my brothers doing push-ups and chin-ups and stuff in the basement of my house, living on Long Island.
[00:57] I grew up on Long Island. I played football through college, through high school and college. After graduation, I decided to study exercise science because I loved it so much and it supported me since the time I was four years old. So, I decided to become a coach. Upon graduating and going to graduate school, my wife–well, at the time, it was my girlfriend–
Elliott: [1:15] We decided to get married. We had our first daughter and moved down to south Florida where I, ultimately, decided to start my own business from scratch. So, I was training people in the parks, out the back of my van with used strength equipment and garbage that I would find. I made sandbags and tires and we used ropes I found in junkyards and whatnot. We called it “Strength Camp” and, from “Strength Camp”, we moved into a small warehouse where I started making YouTube videos to promote my gym, which, ultimately, exploded, and allowed me to move into a greater and, yet, greater business, which is our new “Strength Camp” location, which is 8,000 square feet. And, uh, I continue to publish online content and to improvise.
Eddy: One of your stories that I liked from the video when you were explaining your jobs thing was that you ran outa gas and you had to push your van into a gas station parking lot and ask them if you could leave it there overnight, ‘cuz you didn’t have any money to put gas in it. That’s–that’s where you were starting at, just to kinda give people an idea. You just weren’t like the popular guy way back then. You had to push your gas–‘er, push your van–like–
Elliott: [2:39] [LAUGHS]
Eddy: [cont.] … manually. That’s some strength training, right there!
Elliott: [2:44] Yeah, I was about ninety-thousand dollars in debt, the wife and I. And we had four children. So, yeah. I gave you the brief overview, but there were lots of bumps and bruises along the way, and challenges. But, at this point, I’m glad I can be an inspiration to others who wanna start their own businesses and, uh, have that independence that we all crave, have that freedom that we all crave. If I can do it–an ADD kid from [LAUGHS] Long Island, who had no business experience, then, I’m pretty sure anybody who has the right determination and courage can do it.
Eddy: Was there any–like, you seem very confident in the persona that you have. It’s probably something you developed over time, as well, with more and more successes. But, was there ever any point when you actually had a very strong doubt? Where you’re kinda like, “Maybe this won’t work! It might not work. Am I actually doing the right thing or going the right direction?”
Elliott: [3:24] Hmm… Well, doubt would be the wrong word to use. Even if what I was doing at this particular time wasn’t going to work, something would work and I wasn’t going to give up. So, as far as doubt is concerned, I had no doubts that something was going to happen, something was going to be great because I was going to keep going until something did.
[4:06] Anxiety? Well, that’s another story. I almost had a–I think I had–I did have an ulcer! I had an ulcer, I had insomnia. So, I think all the anxiety associated with looking at circumstances but being compelled by the potential future and success? That disconnect? I think we can all relate to it. We know where we want to go, we can see it; we can almost taste it–if you embody it and we look around it’s like, “I gotta–“
[4:34] Chris– one of my partners, Chris, and I were talking about it today. It’s like, “I get it. We have to get ourselves into the vibration of that which we have created already.” As Abraham Hicks would say. But, we often then revert back to looking at our bills, we look at our current circumstances. We look at what we don’t have right now, as we speak, and that disconnect? I suff–well, I won’t say suffered, but I can definitely tell ya there was a tremendous amount of anxiety associated with the path and resisting that.
Eddy: Would you say, one of the differences, maybe, between you and some other people who kind of–they fail, they don’t go after their goals is the fact you keep your focus really strong? Like, you just mentioned right now, people focusing on the bills and all these other things that are wrong, that you don’t have right now, would that probably be the crucial difference for making success of the man?
Elliott: [5:34] It might be… I mean, one of the things that we often do–I heard this analogy once by John Assaraf. (I’m quoting all the woo-woo masters out there today.) [LAUGHS] But John Assaraf spoke a lot about neuroscience, actually, and he used this analogy of us planting an acorn. You plant the acorn and you plant the seed, and you cover it, and you water it, and you wait.
[6:04] But, the problem is, most people? They lose courage and then they lose faith, and then, they dig up the seed to see if anything’s happening and cover it back up and hope that it’s going to grow. But, each time we dig it up or each time we doubt, or each time that we mess with the natural process, we further ourselves. It takes longer. We create more resistance.
[6:24] So, I think a matter of practice for me has been set[ting] an intention and, essentially, forget about it. I set an intention–or I get clarity about it, whereas, in the past, I would immediately get started with, “Whaduh I gotta do now?” An activity–what has allowed me to navigate the journey with much more ease–I have learned this over time–has been to set the intention, maintain the intention, but get working on what’s important now, rather than trying to take some big action or do some big thing to get there.
[7:19] You know? We say we’re gonna crush it or anything like that. “Crushing”, sometimes–“crushing is your own nervous system, rather, that actually prevents you from getting anything done–and I’m familiar with that!
Eddy: Okay, so this is a long-term focus, right? I know a lot of people–it seems like it’s easy to fall off track, right, sSince you have this long-term focus but, a lot of people, for their focus, are focusing only on what’s wrong or–“crushing” it. Like it has to be all or nothing. One big leap–or nothing, right?
Elliott: [7:40] Right. Of course! We want it now! Where can I get it? How can I get it now, whereas, wisdom has taught me patience, to say it’s on its way. All these things are on their way. I think–well… Who said, “If the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”? I can’t remember who I’m quoting. [NOTE: Actual quote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill]
Eddy: Yes, I remember what it says. I think it maybe might’ve been in an article you wrote earlier. In it you’d said something that really resonated with me. I saw it quote a long time ago. You’d said, “Just be a machine.” Along the lines of what you are saying right now, too. You said, “Be a machine.” You just set an intention, you set it aside; you just keep doing the work. And, as a machine–like the machine’s not going to think how I feel today or if I feel like doing this right now, whereas, you already have your intention, you already have your goal, so you’re just going to do the work and you don’t worry about anything else at that point. A machine’s not going to think about all this other shit on the outside.
Elliott: [8:44] Yeah, and a machine’s not going to have emotions, about it, either. And that’s usually what throws us. I can only speak from my opinion and from the experience[s] of those who[m] I have coached, but it’s–[LOSES TRACK]
[8:53] Say it again. I’m sorry, I lost track. (I just got a massage, so what the hell!) [SMILES]
Eddy: [LAUGHS] You’re relaxed, though; that’s good! You don’t want to be stressed all the time.
You were talking about a machine.
Elliott: [5:18] Yeah, yeah. The thing about a machine is that there’s no emotion, so it doesn’t get thrown off by negative feelings, self-doubt, so on and so forth, if things just don’t show up right away. But, what a machine does do, is that it does what it’s set to do every single day whether it feels (‘cuz it doesn’t feel) or not.
[9:31] And I think when we set intentions–we can also begin by setting small, daily habits to bring that intention into reality, rather than having to go get something now or feeling like it all has to be manifest[ed] immediately.
[9:46] It’s what am I going to do? So, for example, good health begins with a simple act of brushing your teeth. Now, you’re not thinking you’re going to have magnificent teeth right away, but you know that you’re going to maintain it. If that’s one example, another example for me would be if I–if you’re going to write a book. In the past, I would just sit down and try to get the whole thing done and just go hard! Make myself nuts, have all kinds of conflicting shit going on, rather than commit[ting] to writing a certain number of words every day. That’s it! Just sit down and make sure you get this amount of words done. Don’t think too much about it, don’t over-analyze it. Just do it!
Eddy: Before we close here, along the same lines as well, what would you say when these emotions inevitably arise? Because–and, this is something that has helped me, myself, for getting work done or just working out in the morning and working numerous other tasks when I’m working on my business–is when those stupid emotions come up and, you know, maybe, old thinking–I kind of deal with it really fast–to deal with the emotions.
I say, “Wait a sec, this is something that’s rising up from old conditioning or whatever the case is.” (I had bad sleep or whatever.) And, then, I have some tools that I can use to (basically) calm that emotion down so I can follow through with the action. What do you do–or what could somebody listening do when their emotions arise or they don’t feel like it or, “Oh, I’m nervous” or whatever the case may be or whatever other kind of baggage pops up?
Elliott: [11:20] I think it’s–one of the habits–one of the rituals that I think we would all benefit from adding into our lives is meditation. Meditation is kind of the practice of letting go. And, with our emotions and feelings–they’re all very physical. Emotions are energy moving. Motion. Motion–it’s associated because it’s a movement of energy within the body. Emotion is sensual feelings, of course. It’s very sensual. What meditation has done for me is bring me back into sensation, with those spontaneous movements in the body. Emotion is spontaneous.
[12:01] So, as I’m meditating and I’m getting closer into contact with how my energy’s moving through my body, this is how I meditate: I focus on my breath, and sometimes I’ll visualize various patterns of energy moving through my body. So, in Chinese medicine, they talk about the downward flow of energy, down the front of the body and, then, the upward flow through the back.
So, just recognizing that flow–the relaxation down the front, the expanding of the rib cage, the dropping of the solar plexus, the expanding of the pelvic floor and belly, and, then, the release up top–if we can be in touch with that, on a daily basis, practicing that, when emotions arise, it’s that much easier to recognize the disturbance in the system and go back–go back to the breath, go back to circulating so the sensation doesn’t get stuck. And they do get stuck! They get stuck, chronically, and turn into our character (which is a totally different story).
[13:04] But a sensation can get stuck and then you begin to over think. You begin to wrestle with it. It doesn’t go away, we keep it there. (You see what I’m saying?) Then your emotion rises and, let’s just say you feel a sinking in your chest and you begin thinking about how you owe the IRS $50,000 (whatever the case may be). Then, it’s a perpetual cycle. Rather than thinking, “Well, something triggered this blockage of energy–this feeling–this sensation in my body and I’m clearly not breathing through it. I’m clearly not letting it process because I’m tangling with it” and allow it to circulate.
[14:01] There’s layers–layers upon layers of–I would say “unresourceful” emotion that we carry in our bodies that, when we allow our muscular system to relax and we just breathe through it, we resolve the pain blockage–Eckhart totally calls them “pain bodies”. The “pain bodies”–that’s a brilliant term! So, we not only let go of the pain bodies, but we also let go of any ideas associated with it, any thought or psychology associated with it. The body is the mind.
We can’t have a feeling and not simultaneously–we can’t rid ourselves–let me put it this way: we can’t get rid of emotion without also letting go of the thought that’s associated with it. Instead of tangling ourselves–this is just one of my ideas– Instead of tangling the thought–because this is where most of us go–we’ve been taught that intelligence is in our heads because we believe intelligence is here, where, if we actually just trust the unconscious intelligence–we trust the unconscious body–we trust the subtle intelligence of the body, we can let go without tangling rationally. We can let go of the pain bodies, we can let go of the resistance physically, first, and then, we transcend.
Eddy: It’s kind of like being an outside observer, basically. And, on that thought, we’ve come to a close here. [POSTLUDE] We don’t wanna go overtime too much. Thanks for coming on the show: that was very insightful.
Elliott: [15:43] Hey, yeah, you got it, Eddy. That was awesome.
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I'm the founder of Conquer & Win, and since 2011 I've been helping guys get into great relationships, build their core values as men, and become confident. I'm published on Lifehack, Order of Man, POF and many more. I want to help you get socially confident and live to your full potential. Feel free to contact me here.
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