Unexpected Advice: Shrug it Off

CEO and Founder at Tramazing, former President of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, and former Executive Vice President of Sandler Corporate Training, Michael Norton has helped companies accelerate their growth by elevating their talent through learning and development programs. Michael has had the pleasure of working with world-class companies such as Siemens Healthcare, WebMD, 7-Up, Cardinal Health, Cemex, Boral, HPE, Indeed, Lonza, KONE, Evonik, Quest Software, Dell, Anixter, and many more. for 30+ years he has developed, written, delivered, reinforced, and sold sales and sales management training programs that deliver real ROI while fitting into a company's culture, processes, daily sales workflow, and budget.


A friend of mine has spent most of his life in a gym. He has gone from body building to power lifting and then back to body building. He is now in maintenance mode like many his age.

But even now, his shoulders are still very broad and sculpted. When I asked him what he has done over all these years to get that kind of definition and maintain it, he shared this, “I shrug it off.”

At first, I looked at him a bit puzzled. When I asked him to share more about, shrugging it off, and what that meant, I found his answer and philosophy interesting and worth sharing.

Since we were talking about shoulders and working out, I had assumed he meant that he did an exercise known as shoulder shrugs. This is an exercise where we pick up a barbell or dumbbells and raise our shoulders using only our shoulder muscles and not our arms. The move is basically exactly how it is stated, we shrug our shoulders.

He shared that he has always done a lot of shoulder shrugs over the years, and he was very committed to working through several exercises that developed his neck, shoulders and back.

But then he shared something that he believed was necessary to provide his muscles the room to grow and become more defined, and that was equally, if not more important, than working out. He created the “space” in his body by removing the tension and stress that was holding him back. He shrugged them off…

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