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“Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.”

May 23, 2024
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Believing The Messenger

May 22, 2024
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As ambitious and growth oriented individuals, an important skillset for us to develop is to be more influential. To influence means ‘to impact the way something happens’. Ultimately, we want to be a positive influence on others to hit our personal goals and shape the world around us.

The best thing we can do to be more influential is be the example. Your personal choices reflect your character, and the expression ‘actions speak louder than words’ is really true. When we live in a way that others respect and admire, people believe us more. It causes our message to get delivered with more authority and credibility.

The reason I mention this is because when giving guidance or advice, we must understand the order of operations: People must first believe in you, and only then will they consider what you have to say.

They will not hear the content of your message unless they think the content of the message is worth listening to.

So that’s the first step - If you don’t believe the messenger you won’t believe the message. No matter how good and sound the advice is, the evaluation of the person comes first.

I feel like this is the biggest point of conflict people have with authority figures. Bosses, parents, and others in superior positions try to influence others’ behavior. But if they’re not respected, trusted, or a living example of the mission they promote, then it creates resentment. 

In order to be a person others believe and want to follow, we need to hold ourselves to higher standards. We need to be disciplined and do what we say we’re going to do. We need to demonstrate the character traits and qualities others want to see in themselves. And that comes from showing up, day in and day out, for the betterment of ourselves and others.

Be a believable messenger.

And if you want to reach the levels of discipline and daily performance that other people will feel inspired to follow, I encourage you to learn about the 9 Super Habits. These are the small micro-actions and micro-routines that work behind the scenes to help you follow through on consistently making good health choices and increasing your daily productivity.

>> Click here to learn about the 9 Super Habits and how to implement each in 15 minutes a day!


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When To Push Through Resistance

May 21, 2024

We’re all going to face adversity and difficulty. Our path to having the health, career, personal life and relationships we desire is not perfectly smooth. We are often confronted with challenges that make our life and progress harder than we expected it to be.

It can be really tricky knowing how to navigate it. On one hand, there’s the growth-minded philosophy that “obstacles make us stronger”. We trust that the challenges are there to serve us in our personal evolution. But on the other hand, there’s an equally valid argument that resistance might be an indicator for us to try a different way.

So when do we know when to push through and when to change course?

Of course it’s entirely contextual, but there’s a larger framework to consider that connects to the two forms of stress. There’s ‘distress’, which is more harmful and does not contribute to our overall wellness, and then there’s ‘eustress’ which is the minor agitation of doing things outside of our comfort zone.

Resistance takes these two forms as well. One is helpful and one is not. Our approach should be to embrace the resistance that causes us to step up and grow, and not invest too much in resistance that is obtrusive to our goals.

So when you’re facing off with resistance, here’s a series of questions you can ask to figure out how to proceed:

1. Is there an easier or different way?

When you’re prompted to think through a present challenge, give yourself the perspective of the various ways to approach overcoming it. We often neglect to even know what our options are.

2. Is this resistance necessary?

There’s a psychological term called “learned helplessness” that causes us to tolerate something we don’t want because we’ve accepted a state of hopelessness. This puts your current path into question.

3. Does doing it this way maximize my character development?

Everything we do evolves our character in one way or another. There’s value in going through unnecessary hardship. But that’s why this question is powerful - If there’s a specific weakness that has been holding you back, then that’s the maximum opportunity and the resistance is serving you in addressing it.

Ultimately there’s no right answer. It’s intuitive. But when you ask better questions you can have better insight into the nature of the resistance and how it’s impacting you, so that you can shape your perspective accordingly.


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Elevate, Maintain, Or Step Back

May 20, 2024

As Tom Bilyeu of Impact Theory puts it, there’s a 4 step loop that he calls the physics of progress. You can check out a past podcast episode here, but in summary the 4 parts are:

1. You establish a goal to determine the desired outcome

2. You hypothesize a strategy that you think gives you the best chance to reach that goal

3. You run an experiment to see if the strategy worked

4. You evaluate the results.

With that information, now you’re in a position to update your goal and strategy based on what you learned.

I personally call this the “Think, Plan, Do, Review” cycle which essentially mirrors the same 4 steps.

Tony Robbins says “happiness is progress”, and per Maslow’s theory of self-actualization ‘making progress’ is a core human need. But that doesn’t mean we need to be making progress in all areas at all times. In fact that could be slowing down our overall progress.

This is where I want to introduce the 3 options we have when deciding how we want to move forward at the end of this cycle: To elevate, maintain, and step back.

To elevate our goals and standards is traditionally what you think about when making progress. It’s improving the quality, quantity, efficiency, or output of whatever it is you want to do. It’s elevating your workout plan from 3 times a week to 4, or it’s improving your relationship with emails by checking only 2 times throughout the day rather than constantly. To ‘elevate’ adds more demand to your life to hit the new target.

But we can’t be elevating all things in our life at all times. That’s unsustainable. There are certain seasons that require that certain things are prioritized more, and that’s where the two other options come in:

You can choose to maintain.

That means you’re content with the level you’re currently doing things at. Especially when there’s a strain in your life like getting extra busy at work, or a transition like moving to a new town, maintenance is often the fair approach to supporting your overall wellness without overdoing it.

And sometimes, it even makes sense to step back.

Functionally this decreases the commitment you’ve made to something to create more space for yourself. This is necessary when the current demand is too high. This solves for that by choosing what you’re willing to compromise in the short-term in order to accommodate. This is choosing to decrease your working hours to make time for a sick family member, or taking it easier on your workout routine to recover from an injury.

All three options are perfectly acceptable. What’s most important is that you choose what you want to do.

When you choose to elevate, then you feel motivated to step up to the new standards you have for yourself.

When you maintain you accept that your current level is suitable for your goals.

And when you decide to step-back you can do it with less guilt, self-criticism, and self-judgment because you’re clear on why it’s the right thing to do.

At the end of the day, it’s all about being more intentional. It’s about thinking through in advance what you want, and what most serves you, so that you can take action in alignment with it. Having the humility to know that you don’t need to elevate everything at all times is itself an indication of growth!


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Weekend Recap 5/13 - 5/17

May 18, 2024
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Preferences Are A Type Of Belief

May 17, 2024

Perhaps the most powerful force that governs the decisions we make, the actions we take, and the results we get in our lives are our beliefs. Beliefs are the building blocks of identity and dictates how we show up in our lives.

Knowing this, something I’ve always struggled with is knowing what my beliefs are. We’re told on our growth journey to challenge our beliefs... But it’s impossible to do that if we’re not even aware of what our beliefs are in the first place.

Narrowing in from this much larger topic, let’s get a hands-on glimpse into what beliefs are by focusing on one type of them: Preferences.

Our preferences are simply what we prefer in our life. Or in different words, our preferences are an implicit understanding of what we like and what we don’t like.

When we think of our preferences they seem to be really superficial, like preferring vanilla to chocolate or sleeping in a cold room vs a warm room, which doesn’t seem to impact our lives that much...

But when we dive in a bit deeper you’ll see that your preferences are much more integrated in everything we do.

We have preferences for everything: The way we like to do things, the way we like to feel, the way we like to receive feedback, the way we like to make decisions… I could go on forever.

What’s underlying each of these preferences is it leans us toward a certain way of thinking and a certain way of acting. So what might seem like an arbitrary preference actually guides the direction of our lives.

Let me give a personal example that shows you just how far it ripples: I have a preference to feel productive with my time over not being productive.

This preference acts as an unconscious filter in everything I do. In many settings it is helpful to keep me on task, but in other settings it has consequences.

It leads to more disorganization because I don’t always invest the time in putting things away. It influences me to be less present in conversations when I’m running over time because I value being on schedule. And more fundamentally, it impacts my feelings of self-worth as I reflect on the quality of my day, potentially discrediting how good it was because I see all the things I didn’t get done.

This is happening constantly, unconsciously, and in everything we do. And this is just one example of how a preference influences everything else!

It’s harmless until it’s not because it steers your life completely off course.


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“Champions do daily what everyone else does occasionally.”

May 16, 2024
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Motivational speaker Inky Johnson shared an incredible quote that I wanted to expand on today. He says “Champions do daily what everyone else does occasionally.”

Regardless of if you aspire to be the very best at what you do or not, we have a lot to learn from champions.

They are the ones who achieve the highest level of excellence possible. They’re the ones who, though their performance, prove the exceptional ability they have cultivated over the course of years of preparation.

A champion wasn’t born that way, they earned it. And that’s what this quote gives insight into: How they did it.

“Champions do daily what everyone else does occasionally.”

Everyone has days where they show up. When they move the needle, improve, and make progress. But for most people these days only happen when they feel like it, when it’s convenient, when they’re full of motivation and connected to their reasons for doing it. In other words, they do it occasionally.

But on the days when they don’t feel like it, champions show up anyway.

They do not negotiate with what is required. They have a plan that they’re committed to and faith it’ll take them where they want to go. Just like anyone else they have convincing reasons why they should change course or take a break, but they do not let those reasons beat their commitment.

If you look at people at the highest levels of anything - Business, sports, self-respect - they all do the same thing in their own ways. They know the fundamentals and practice them religiously. 

So what’s our takeaway today as we use this example to inform our growth and development?

It’s a reminder of the power of consistency. If we want to excel in something, our path forward is to be disciplined and execute the fundamentals. And not just do it when we want to, but to show up every day regardless because daily incremental progress is what separates ‘good’ from ‘great’. 

In my years of studying high-performance I’ve found there are a few universal foundational elements that people must practice consistently to maximize their potential. It’s from this foundation that you can become great at whatever you desire.

Especially if lacking discipline has been holding you back from having the quality of health, career success, and relationships that you desire... I have identified 9 Super Habits that accelerate success behind the scenes, no matter what success looks like for you. 

If you’d like to learn what the Super Habits are and how to implement them consistently in just 15 minutes a day, this is for you!


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Choices, Actions, Results

May 15, 2024

As complicated as we try to make it sometimes, there’s a simple sequence of events that dictates what happens in our lives.

That sequence is: We make choices, that lead to actions, that produce results.

Now let’s walk through each step.

Choices are the bedrock of our sense of agency. Because we have personal freedom, it means that we have the opportunity to make choices in our lives. This is very empowering because at any given moment we can make a new choice that changes the trajectory of our life in big and small ways.

In fact, we are making choices in every moment of our life. But the majority of them are subconscious and driven by our unmet needs and belief system.

Then when you make a choice, it leads to a certain action. Another word for this is ‘behavior’. Both actions and behaviors are the external expression of the internal choice. It’s what causes your choices to actually impact the world within you and around you.

But not all actions are the same - Some are healthy, productive, and supportive of who we want to be, and some are not. Unconscious choices lead to unconscious actions, and conscious choices lead to conscious actions.

Which ultimately produce results. The actions we take interact with the world around us. We are incredibly powerful in that we underestimate the influence we have on the world and our world. Every action shifts the balance of things and in doing so, manifests in your life a certain outcome.

Now here’s the important part to understand. If we don’t like the results we’re getting right now, or want more of the good ones we’ve earned, we need to step our way backwards in the sequence.

That is only possible when we first clearly define the results we want (or don’t want)...

The from there, we can understand what actions we do or did not take to generate that certain result...

And gain insight into what underlying choices lead to each of those actions.

Now here’s one additional piece. In order to make high-quality choices more often, and steer ourselves away from the bias of our unconscious mind that keeps us in our comfort zone and reproduces the same results we’ve been getting…

We need to focus on cultivating more awareness.

When we raise the level of consciousness we live at, we become better aware of the choices we’re making, the actions we’re taking, and the outcomes that come as a result.

You’ll want to cultivate more awareness in your life, and supplement this foundational concept with other fundamentals that will accelerate your growth, I’ve put together some of the best episodes from the past that summarize the 7 Fundamentals to Self Improvement. Click here if you want to check those out!


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The Perspective Of A Wheelchair

May 14, 2024

Last week as part of a community session I led, I got to hear a beautiful story from one of my colleagues Henry.

As a member of the Rotary Club he does a lot of work in the community and shared about his experience with a special needs kickball match.

He then elaborated on how he supports a program that helps to refurbish old wheelchairs and ship them internationally so that people in need can have them. He said that it’s a dream come true for many of these people and gives them a freedom in their life that they never had.

It was a heartwarming moment, but then it got me reflecting on how differently I view a wheelchair. If someone were to provide me with a wheelchair, it would mean that I lost my ability to walk. It would mean that I was now confined to the limitations of what I could do in a wheelchair.

How interesting is it that the same reality of receiving a wheelchair could lead to so different outcomes...

For me it would appear to be a tragedy and for others it’s a blessing that helps them access a new quality of life.

This is the power of perspective.

Everything we perceive is just the meaning that we assign to a set of facts. We can control the narrative so that our life is filled with more positivity, hope, appreciation, and acceptance.

For example - Let’s say that I did go through something that took my ability to walk. I could feel sad, dejected, and like my life is over. Or I could choose to see the gratitude in my situation, where I have the resources many people don’t have to still live a full-life despite a disability.

This isn’t easy to do… But it is embedded in everything we do. Our reality is dictated by our perception, and this example of what being in a wheelchair means about the quality of someone’s life is a great example of it.

Whatever hardship, circumstances, or challenge you're facing or have faced, you can invite this perspective by asking these two questions:

#1 - What about this situation is really good compared to what it could be?

#2 - How could this be a great thing to have happened to me?

The quality of our life is highly-correlated by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves, so let’s ask better questions!


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Brutally Honest With Ourselves, Skillfully Honest With Others

May 13, 2024

A character trait that people really respect in others is honesty. Being honest is about being consistent with your version of the truth. And to be honest requires us to accept the way things are even when it’s painful or takes courage.

We’d all benefit, and the world would be a better place, if we became more honest.

But being honest isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. While the ‘honest’ thing to do is more black and white, the way that we deliver it is more variable. Certain settings have certain considerations, and we can be more effective with our honesty when we’re aware of those things.

A quote that I believe can be best attributed to leadership coach Kathleen Seeley goes - “Be brutally honest with yourself and skillfully honest with others.”

The most impactful thing we can hear from ourselves is the direct, unbiased, unfiltered version of what’s going on. Our mind naturally tries to protect us from anything that’s psychologically challenging, so we add fluff to mute the blow. But it comes at the expense of us knowing what’s required of us to grow through the challenge. 

It doesn’t mean to be so blunt that you become self-deprecating... But to give yourself grace as you accept what is most honest, especially when it’s hardest to admit.

Now when we deal with others, the same approach can become problematic. There’s a lot more context that comes into play when honesty involves someone else. That’s why Kathleen says it needs to be skillfully done.

We don't negotiate what the honest thing is - that’s cultivating a lie - but what we do is present what’s honest in a way that’s more likely to be well-received by others.

The recipient must be open to hearing what you have to say if you want it to be effective. So navigating honesty more delicately, with different layers to it that unfold over time or in a series of ways, allows the message to be less confrontational and more collaborative. 

Here’s a personal example:

Before meeting and marrying my wife Irene, I dated a girl who is great person but our paths were incompatible. Had I been more brutally honest with myself earlier, I would’ve acknowledged the issue sooner and advanced in my life sooner than I did. There are many areas of our life where this would serve us, but in this case I wouldn’t change a thing because the timing of it all led me to being with Irene!

Now what if I had a friend who was in the same circumstance, and had a glaring incompatibility with their partner. It wouldn’t be right to bluntly tell them that they need to break it off ASAP. There’s more to it than that, so I could be honest about my opinion but communicate it in a more indirect way.

What’s more appropriate is to encourage them to think about their relationship more long-term and give voice to the incompatibility I see, so that they can process it themselves. 

That’s the nuance: Brutally honest with yourself, skillfully honest with others. Honesty is non-negotiable, but the way you go about it is more so.


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