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Book Summary: T Is for Transformation – Unleash the 7 Superpowers to Help You Dig Deeper, Feel Stronger & Live Your Best Life

Shaun T, the popular fitness icon behind the Insanity workouts, has helped millions of people transform their lives. In his first book, “T is for Transformation,” T outlines a motivational program for fitness and mental strength. His program is based on the premise that happiness results from overcoming the mental obstacles that impede a positive life and creating a healthy and engaged lifestyle.

Become the best version of you.


  • Want to feel empowered rather than victimized
  • Want to transform your life but don’t know how to start
  • Are overwhelmed by how challenging and unpredictable life can be


Whether you’re stuck in a dead-end job, keep getting into bad relationships, or are wrecking your health with bad lifestyle choices, a lot of your harmful behaviors come from past events that shaped your beliefs about how the world works and what you’re capable of. Shaun T, the iconic fitness trainer, TV personality, and choreographer, understands from personal experience the power that your past can have over your future.

Book Summary: T Is for Transformation - Unleash the 7 Superpowers to Help You Dig Deeper, Feel Stronger & Live Your Best Life

T grew up in a crowded, one-room apartment in West Philadelphia with a violent, alcoholic stepfather who began abusing him at eight years old and offered little guidance on how to live his life. This difficult upbringing caused T to make a lot of mistakes on his journey to self-fulfillment. From gaining 50 pounds in college to keeping his sexuality a secret for too long, T had a hard time doing the right things for himself until he addressed the lingering mental obstacles to creating the healthy, engaged life that he lives today.

As a motivational mastermind, Shaun T has shared the lessons from his personal journey to help millions of people transform their lives for the better. He’s turned his traumatic experiences into a gift: the ability to seek out the right kind of relationships and take care of himself, all while helping others do the same. In this summary, you’ll learn how you can turn a painful past into a bright future by learning seven “superpowers”:

  • Be uncomfortable.
  • Be full out.
  • Be creative.
  • Be flexible.
  • Be selfish.
  • Be passionate.
  • Be bananas.

Whatever your painful memories are — whether they include an abusive relationship, a humiliating failure, or a struggle to get the resources you need — you can address them and commit to developing these superpowers. Then, you’ll be ready to move on to the best part of your life.

Be Uncomfortable

Shaun T learned the value of discomfort when he joined his high school’s track team in 1992. His coach pushed him past his limits, making him run sprint after sprint, no matter how much his lungs ached. Until that point, Shaun had enjoyed running but had never pushed himself to the point of discomfort. When he joined the track team, he learned how amazing it felt to pull off something he didn’t know he was capable of, and that he must practice at every opportunity if he wanted to reach his full potential.

For example, his coach challenged Shaun to get better at driving his knees high and pumping his arms during the last 70 meters of the 400 meter race. Shaun started practicing as often and as hard as he could, sometimes even running in place for 30 second “sprints” in the bathroom. It paid off: He made it to state championships in the 400 meter hurdles, but more importantly, he learned that if he put in the time and effort, he could see massive improvements.

Think of a challenge in your own life at work, home, or the gym. Are you afraid you’ll fail, look stupid, or feel uncomfortable? Now, think about the challenge differently: It’s a chance to surprise yourself and move your life into a new space, where you know you can do hard things. When you tackle one challenge, you’ll acquire superpowers that will help you for the next challenge. Get used to being uncomfortable. It’s the only way to create a life worth living.

Be Full Out

To improve your life, you need to embrace every aspect of who you’ve been in the past, who you are today, and who you want to become. If you don’t do this, you’ll feel like you have something to hide from the world, regardless of how much you improve your exterior.

When T began his fitness and dancing career, he was distracted by resentment and shame for the past versions of himself — the versions that were 50 pounds overweight, poor, or too scared to speak up for his rights. Although he was fit and successful in everyone else’s eyes, he felt like a fraud every time he looked in the mirror. However, by embracing radical self-acceptance and honesty, Shaun T learned to stop resenting the person he was during previous chapters of his life. Today, he loves the past versions of himself because that person enabled him to become who he is today.

Being full out also means being open with others about who you are. T experienced a huge personal breakthrough when he took a risk and told his mom and brother about the sexual abuse his stepfather made him endure, as well as the fact that he was gay. He’d worried for years about how his family would react when they learned about his sexual orientation. But he finally decided that enough was enough, and he needed to be full out about who he was and discuss the traumatic events that had shaped him into the resilient and caring person he’d become. It turned out that his big news wasn’t so big after all. His mom listened without judging him, and his brother was totally unfazed. By being honest with his family, T was able to fully embrace who he was and start focusing on what mattered most to him rather than on pretending to be somebody else.

There might be elements of who you are that are easy for you to identify and either embrace or address. However, there are probably elements of your identity that you’re in denial about. To be full out about who you are, you can take these steps:

  1. Have a doctor or therapist help you identify the areas of your physical or mental health that need to be improved. Together with a professional, identify a concrete goal, such as losing or gaining 10 pounds, committing to a sleep schedule, or addressing a specific psychological issue. Then, come up with a plan to achieve the goal.
  2. Review the meaningful relationships in your life. Who has bullied or abused you? Who has provided you with unconditional love? Catalogue the positive and negative and think about what made certain moments and relationships great and others painful.
  3. Release resentment you hold for others by making a list of people who held you back, didn’t believe in you, or hurt you. Consider why you let them block you, how they exerted their power over you, and how their influence still affects you today. Write them each a letter about how you really feel. Gather the letters together and then burn them, flush them down the toilet, or rip them into a million pieces. By doing so, you’ll send your brain the signal that it’s time to let go of the resentment and never look back.
  4. Let go of regrets. Learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself for them, and move on. Everyone has something they would do differently if they could go back in time, but if you focus on missed opportunities and mistakes, you won’t be able to see the opportunities ahead of you.

Be Creative and Flexible

When uncreative people are in a tough spot, they use their circumstances or personal limitations as an excuse to accept failure. But on the flip-side, when creative people find themselves in a tough spot, they brainstorm numerous paths to achieve a goal and often turn to others for help.

To cultivate a more creative mindset, give yourself permission to goof off. Doing things like drawing, reading magazines, or surfing the web can lead you to think differently and come up with ways to get unstuck and overcome the obstacles in front of you. Steve Jobs, who famously attributes his design of the iPhone to a calligraphy course, shows that creativity, combined with hard work, can make you wildly successful.

Things don’t always go according to plan; that’s why it’s important to both creative and also flexible. Accept that your “plan A” may not work, and instead of giving up, move on to “plan B,” “C,” or even “Z”! You can improve your mental flexibility by doing physical exercises like yoga or deliberately ditching the status quo for something new from time to time. For instance, you could take a new route to work, order takeout from a restaurant you’ve never tried before, or book an Airbnb in a nearby neighborhood you’ve never visited. By giving yourself different experiences, you’ll become more flexible and adaptable over time.

Another way to be more flexible is to get out of your small circle of friends and do something for someone who’s different from you. The more you see and understand other people’s problems, the more you’ll understand beyond your own prejudices and preconceived notions. Shaun T gained tremendous perspective as a teenager when his grandfather took him to deliver food to people in need. Even today, as a mentor, he is constantly learning from the people he helps.

Be Selfish

When Shaun T was 14, he did something that he felt was selfish: He went to live with his grandparents, abandoning his mom and brother so that he could escape his abusive stepfather. On his first night living with them, he sobbed with joy because he realized that he could finally sleep without worrying about being abused during the night. In that moment, he knew that he’d rescued himself, and that he was no longer a victim.

Selfishness gets a bad rap, but sometimes, you need to put yourself first so that you can help others in the future. If Shaun had stayed with his mom, brother, and stepfather, he would’ve remained a victim, and as a result, couldn’t have helped other people in the future. If you aren’t happy, thriving, and on your way to becoming the best version of yourself, nobody in your circle will be happy either because you won’t carry the necessary positive energy with you.

Being selfish in a good way doesn’t mean trampling over other people or forcing them to do something against their will. It just means setting aside the time, energy, and resources needed to take care of yourself and your goals. To be a little more selfish, identify areas of your life in which your concerns for others are trumping your ability to take care of yourself or make your dreams a reality. Then, create a plan to protect your goals, whether that’s by turning off your phone in the evening, putting your “me” time on the family calendar, or saying no to additional commitments.

Be Passionate

Identifying your passions and feeling them at their fullest is ultimately what determines success. If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, nothing seems impossible. To make new plans work and push through when challenges arise, you must be completely on board with what you set out to do. Here are three suggestions for how to get in touch with your passion:

First, figure out what really makes you mad. List four or five things that wind you up and see if there’s a theme that connects them. For example, if you absolutely hate your commute to work, your neighborhood, and the public transportation in your city, maybe your passion is efficiency and order or creating safe, livable public spaces for people. Or maybe your passion is making a lot of money, so you can live in a nicer part of town! Whatever you think your passion might be, build an action plan, such as volunteering for a neighborhood organization or changing your financial strategy so that you can afford to move in the future.

Second, locate other passionate people and spend time with them. If you’re hanging out with passive people, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle as you try to improve your life. But if you hang out with passionate people, you’ll be on a neverending journey to achieving your goals. Shaun T moved to Los Angeles because he wanted to be surrounded by people who are passionate about dancing and exercise. Once there, he built a close circle of friends who, to this day, constantly push him to try harder, do more, meet new people, and live a better life.

Third, fill in the blank in this sentence, “I can’t help it, I’m obsessed with _______.” Your nutty obsessions say a lot about who you are and what you like to do. For example, if you’re obsessed with the Kardashians and read every tweet, Instagram post, and tabloid, maybe you’re passionate about marketing or the future of entertainment. Do some research and find out if there’s a way to align your career and life with your weird obsessions. Then, build an action plan on how to test that out.

Be Bananas

When you’re in the process of pushing your life forward, there are bound to be surprises, disappointments, eye-openers, and other moments that make you scratch your head in disbelief. Being bananas means accepting that no matter how carefully you plan your life, there will always be a bit of chaos. Change isn’t just uncomfortable because it’s hard — it can also be uncomfortable because it’s crazy and unpredictable. Accept the craziness of life, enjoy it, learn from it, and move forward because of it.

One way to get better at embracing life’s chaos is to reduce a crazy situation down to individual elements and understand which components make you feel unsettled. Reach out to others who have been in your shoes before and take notes on what they can teach you about how to navigate the insanity.

Another way to deal with chaos is to concentrate on what you can control. When Shaun T was trying to launch his dance career in Los Angeles — a chaotic enterprise if there ever was one — he stuck to what he was good at in his spare time: teaching exercise classes. By doing so, he made enough money to stay afloat during the early years of his dancing career and kept himself in shape. When his dance career finally took off, he had the body to make it work!

Finally, you can deal with chaos by doing something that forces you to focus on your body and a rhythm, such as dance, exercise, yoga, or playing a musical instrument. These things force you to take a break from an obsessive focus on problems or worries about the outcome of a tough situation.

Chaos can be exhilarating once you begin to understand and resolve it. So be bananas and accept that chaos is part of what makes life worth living.


Shaun T’s story shows that no matter who you are today or what your past has been like, with the right mindset and determination, you can rescue yourself from damaging thoughts and victimhood in order to win big. In this summary, you’ve learned how to do just that through Shaun T’s advice to:

  • Be uncomfortable.
  • Be full out.
  • Be creative.
  • Be flexible.
  • Be selfish.
  • Be passionate.
  • Be bananas.

Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to become an expert at these superpowers overnight. If you can commit to getting a little better today, your efforts will be multiplied over a year, 10 years, and beyond. Eventually, your life will be transformed. Now that you’ve identified the superpowers you must possess in order to do that, you must commit to developing them, so you can handle whatever life throws your way.

About the author

Shaun T is a fitness icon, businessman, television personality, choreographer, and motivational mastermind. He’s helped millions of people transform their bodies and their lives through his T25, Hip Hop Abs, Insanity, and Cize workouts. In addition to helping people take control of their fitness and health, Shaun helps people build their inner strength through transformational master classes, publications, and his podcast Trust & Believe with Shaun T.

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.


Personal Growth, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Ab Workouts, Motivational, Self-Help, Personal Transformation, Personal Development, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, Adult

Table of Contents

An Invitation to Transformation 1
Chapter 1 The Seven Superpowers 3
Chapter 2 My Black Buddy 10
Chapter 3 Learning How to Breathe 21
Chapter 4 The Rule of Seven 34
Chapter 5 Coming Out (Not That Way … Yet) 47
Chapter 6 The Freshman 50 60
Chapter 7 TransformaShaun Time 80
Chapter 8 Learning to Live In the Eights 100
Chapter 9 The Hot-Doo-Doo-Mess Career Plan 118
Chapter 10 Shaun T, The Musical 133
Chapter 11 My Audition in the Bedroom 154
Chapter 12 Look Good Naked 172
Chapter 13 Before the “Before,” and After the “After” 188
Chapter 14 Loving (And Hating) Shaun T Live 210
Chapter 15 The Last 70 Meters 226
Chapter 16 Running Straight Through the Finish Line 240
Appendix: Feel the Work! 252
Index 259


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.


“I know Shaun T as the tough love motivator and butt kicker behind my favorite workout videos. His workouts are HARD, but I always feel amazing after them—I can’t believe I survived, and I can’t believe that my body can do all that crazy stuff. But I had no idea where Shaun learned the techniques that help to inspire, push, heal, and help me (and the millions of others who have gotten fit along with him).” —Serena Williams, 4-time Olympic gold medalist and 23-time Grand Slam champion

“Shaun T has motivated millions to change their lives and it has little to do with his chiseled physique. It is through his courageous truth, overcoming childhood abuse and insurmountable challenges that you realize it starts with mind-set. T is for Transformation is for everyone who is ready to face their truths, move past their pasts, reclaim the greatness that was always inside of them, and take control of their lives! —Chalene Johnson, New York Times bestselling author, host of podcast The Chalene Show, and creator of SmartSuccess

“Shaun is a unicorn. He’s super fit, an incredible motivator, and dances better than Shakira. He’s helped millions of people transform their bodies and change their lives. And he’s the most genuine, down-to-earth dude you’ll ever meet. I feel blessed to know him and to be able to call him a friend. And I can’t recommend this book enough to people who want to take control of their lives and maximize what they’ve got.” —BJ Gaddour, Men’s Health Fitness Director

“Shaun T’s new book was a game changer for me! I knew Shaun would help me guide my fitness, but I had no idea that he could also inspire my personal success goals so greatly!” —Cody Alan, host of Country Music Television’s CMT Hot 20 Countdown

“Not only has Shaun inspired millions of people to transform their bodies, his incredible personal transformation in this book will no doubt help millions more transform their souls and hearts as well.” —Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and New York Times bestselling author of The Body Reset Diet

“T is for Transformation is so much more than just a personal memoir. I finished the book feeling like a better version of me. I’ve been lucky enough to have Shaun T as personal mentor and friend for years, so it was no surprise to FEEL his motivation exploding out the pages of his book.” —Bob Ruff, host of the Truth & Justice podcast

“Shaun T is the most caring person in this world, and his book will be life changing for those who truly want to dig deep and transform even if they’ve had a rough go at life so far. You just gotta Trust and Believe in Shaun T and he will show you the way.” —Drew Manning, New York Times bestselling author of Fit2Fat2Fit

“If you want to be a better human, let Shaun T be your guide. This groundbreaking book is a crash course on how to thrive in a world so often stacked against us. With your newfound superpowers and Shaun on your side, your obstacles don’t stand a chance.” —Abel James, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning host of Fat-Burning Man

“Shaun T is in a class by himself and knows the struggles we all face day-to-day. Having been fortunate enough to work with him on set, this book T is for Transformation encompasses all the magic and positivity he exudes in person, while giving the mental tools we all need to succeed.”
—Albert Bianchini, executive producer, Milojo Productions

“T is for Transformation is a testament to the fact that within every obstacle there is opportunity. Shaun T is a life changer—I dare you to read this book and not want to take on the world.” —Andrea Boehlke, Survivor contestant and host of PEOPLE Now

“Shaun T’s raw and authentic energy is like a wildfire that will sweep over all your excuses and transform you into the unstoppable sexy beast you’ve always had within you. Trust and Believe that Shaun T will be sweating, burning and digging deeper right there next to you every step of the way.” —Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Olympic gold medalist and 8-time Grand Slam Champion

“Not long ago I tweeted that at 43 I found myself in the parking lot of a gym, contemplating the fact that I had been dieting and exercising to lose weight since I was 9 years old. It was a sobering and ultimately demoralizing realization and, if anything, really undermined any motivation I had to keep at it. But Shaun’s book T is For Transformation and his message changed my perception of what the struggle really needed to be about. His Truthbombs, “It isn’t about the weight, fit isn’t about a number, if you’re chasing a number you’ll never catch it” made me pause and reexamine what my goals of the last 30-plus years have been. His message to simply do better each day than the previous day with consistency is what I really needed to hear. Focusing on how the journey makes you feel versus arbitrary numbers on a scale is the mindshift I’ve needed to think about fitness not as unachievable, but as something I can achieve every single day by simply moving my body and putting good things in it. Shaun shares his personal stories of struggle and the mental breakthroughs that help him overcome them, which means he knows what we are going through and is not lecturing from a pedestal. I know that I’ll visit and revisit this book for years to come, every time I need a pick-me-up and a voice telling me to keep going!” —Rabia Chaudry, New York Times bestselling author of Adnan’s Story and co-host and co-producer of the podcast Undisclosed

“As someone who knows Shaun T well, I still found myself deep into this book finding out even more about him than I knew before and being motivated and inspired in new ways. I finished this book feeling inspired to take action, ready to tackle my life, and motivated to truly trust and believe in who I am.” —Danielle Natoni, creator of Fit & Funky and Beachbody LIVE Master Trainer

“This one touches my soul to the very core! Being authentically and unapologetically me is something that I pride myself on… but also something that takes an immense amount of hard work and perseverance. As someone who is a people pleaser and a Yes Girl, it’s easy to fall into the trap of compromise… compromising your true self.

I can’t even begin to imagine what little Shauny endured for so many years. To see him fight his way out of that dark place not only inspires me to be braver, it shows me that no matter what life has in store for us, we can all have a Secret Backpack. We can unleash our superpowers whenever we are faced with life struggles and challenges.

I’m so proud of him for all that he has overcome and accomplished and am extremely grateful to have been impacted by his strength, courage, friendship, and love!” —Tania Baron, founder of Team Machine and Beachbody LIVE Master Trainer

“I expected this book to be about the body. How to get fitter and stronger, but it is so much more. Almost autobiographical, it creates pathways for your journey, body and mind.

Many of us remember “Come on” from the Insanity program. I keep hearing “Dig Deep.” This is a perfect way to get the tools necessary to understand that nothing comes easy but as long as you know how to focus, anything is possible. It is NOT a book about Shaun T—it is a book about you. He and his life story are a conduit through which you can achieve your dreams.

Find out how the kid who never knew his birth father and built up protective barriers against the world grew to become one of the most powerful forces in self-improvement and one of the nicest and inspirational people I have ever interviewed. Now I have some answers, and so will you.” —Eddie Nestor, host of BBC Radio London’s Drivetime with Eddie Nestor

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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.

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