Inside Quest: Firas Zahabi Interview Notes

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Firas Zahabi talks about MMA, mental toughness, virtues, happiness, strengths, and more in the conversation with Tom Bilyeu on Inside Quest.

Firas Zahabi (@firas_zahabi) is a mixed martial arts (MMA) and grappling coach at TriStar Gym in Montreal, Québec, Canada. He is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Black Belt under John Danaher. Firas is well-known as the trainer of Georges St-Pierre, one of the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time. Some of his other students include Rory McDonald, Miguel Torres, and Denis Kang.

Enjoy the takeaways of the conversation drafted concisely in this Inside Quest Firas Zahabi Interview Notes.

Key Takeaways

  • There is nothing more demanding than wrestling, according to Firas Zahabi.
  • Dan Gable said – “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”
  • A person who is successful intellectually but poor physically is not successful according to Firas Zahabi.
  • Ancient Romans physically trained young people before giving them philosophical training.
  • A strong physical foundation must be laid before the foundation for the mind is undertaken.
  • Firas Zahabi has a degree in philosophy which he puts to use while training people at his gym.
  • Mental toughness is seeing the good in everything.
  • Winners see a bad situation as temporary.
  • Emotions stop you from seeing the world as it is.
  • The human psyche will always be healthy if it is based on principles.
  • Firas Zahabi took up martial arts to defend himself from the bullies at school.
  • Everyone should at least have a blue belt in BJJ to be able to beat bigger, stronger, and untrained opponents – according to Helio Gracie.
  • Will is a commodity. It is finite. You must find the flow. Flow energizes you and will make you do more than a person doing only out of the will.
  • The pinnacle in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is self-actualization which is to exploit one’s potential to the maximum.
  • Enthusiasm is at the highest level of human experience.

Firas Zahabi Quotes

  • “Mental toughness for me is you see only good in everything. Even if something catastrophic happens, you only see the good.”
  • “Your thoughts are what you soak your mind in. The dye you soak your mind in and how you see the world all depends on your thoughts.”
  • “Winners see a bad situation as temporary. No matter how down and out you are, it’s temporary.”
  • “There is no BS in fighting.”
  • “If you push your potential to the maximum, you’re worth more. And, if you’re worth more, the world will reward you.”
  • “The greatest thing you could teach somebody in life is to be proactive.”
  • “A life well-lived is what makes you enthusiastic. Find enthusiasm and you’re at the highest level of the human experience. The path to happiness is enthusiasm.”

The Mind-Body Connection

Firas Zahabi is a proponent of overall healthy well-being. He believes that a person who is only intellectually successful is not successful.

  • Both the mind and body have to be trained and kept in good condition.
  • Ancient Romans physically trained young people first before giving them philosophical training.
  • Once when a youngster asked Aristotle to show him the truth, Aristotle shoved his head into the water nearly drowning him and pulled out saying that he can come back when he wants to know the truth as bad as he wanted to breathe while being drowned.

Mental Toughness, Emotions, and Virtues

  • Mental toughness is seeing the good in everything.
  • Winners see a bad situation as only temporary.
  • Socrates says that emotions stop you from seeing the world as it is.
  • According to Plato, the greatest virtue is being good.
  • Being good means not being corrupted.

MMA and Philosophy

  • Firas Zahabi took up martial arts to defend himself against bullies at school.
  • Helio Gracie says that one must at least reach the level of blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is the level where one can beat bigger, stronger, and untrained opponents.
  • More than will, finding the flow is important. Will is a finite commodity. Flow energizes and enables us to do more than a person who does things only out of the will.
  • Self-actualization is the pinnacle in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is to exploit your potential to the maximum.

Happiness and Definition of Life Well Lived

  • Tom Bilyeu is all about delivering happiness – doing things that make people happy and eventually those around them happy. Quest Nutrition and Inside Quest are aligned with this passion of his.
  • A life well-lived is what makes you enthusiastic.
  • The path to happiness is enthusiasm.

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