1. Re-educating yourself.
Our education system needs radical change.
I am not against regular education. Do not get me wrong, but the whole system needs a shake up. My life went into beast mode when I started educating myself on the things that I am interested in. These days, with the internet and our friend Google, you really can teach yourself anything if you so wish.
The education system we have at present in majority of countries across the world is so outdated. The curriculum has really not changed much in the last 100 years. Imagine that, we are still basing the majority of what we do to get our young people to change the world on a system that is 100 years old..
When I decided to begin educating myself, I decided to do two things. Read as much as I could, and to stop listening to the drivel on the radio, watching the drivel on television, and the crap on the internet, Ok, maybe I am still partially guilty of going down the internet rabbit hole, but to a large degree, I try to limit that.
So on reading, I consider reading not only to be leafing through ye olde dusty novels from the library, but also audio books, my life changed when I discovered audio books, if you haven’t signed up for audible.com yet, go and do it now, and change your life.
I also consider ‘reading’ in audio form to be following courses online, I put aside a budget now every year to sign up to courses on things that I am interested. I have done courses online from everything from ‘starting an online course of your own’ to video editing, how to master google adwords, facebook marketing, photoshop, copywriting and many many more, another great resource is Lynda.com for all the creatives out there.
I have spent so many hours trawling the internet for articles and publications on my real favourite subject - nutrition. I spend all my extra time reading about this subject.
Within the ‘reading’ space I add podcasts into this category. Discovering podcasts was a life changing thing for me. Never again will I listen to the crap on the radio or ‘Confused News Network - CNN’
The best thing about podcasts is you can research and choose the podcasts you like. If you like painting toy soldiers or micro-brewing, I reckon there is a podcast for that. You can then download them and queue them for when you’re out on your walk, or at the gym, or on your commute. There is nothing better than using all this dead time in your day filling your head with the things you’re interested in!
Some of my favourite podcasts at the moment:
The Tim Ferriss Show - This is probably my all time favourite, Tim uses this show to analyse the world’s best performers. His questions are very well thought out and he lets his guests speak, uninterrupted. It lead Tim to author his fourth book, Tools of Titans which I have and I have read cover to cover, it is a well thought out resource of all these incredible minds, and actually that is how he encourages its use. Read it, and listen to this podcast. Some of my favourite episodes include Derek Sivers, BJ Miller, Cal Fusman, Arnie (The Governator), Jamie Foxx & Tony Robbins
The James Altucher Show - A show very similar to The Tim Ferriss show, but James is a master at getting to the meat and spuds of his interviewees. He does this very well by getting himself vulnerable first, he tells great stories and he has incredible guests. Well worth a listen! Listen to his interview of Chris Voss. Phenomenal!
The Art of Charm - Jordan Harbinger is the host of this show, in the beginning, when I first heard the title, I wasn’t convinced, but after a few episodes, I was hooked. These dudes are great at understanding social equity, and there are some incredible guests! Try episode 544 with Shep Gordon. It will leave you a better human.
The Joe Rogan Experience - Well this is a blast of a podcast, you can also watch it on youtube. Prepare to be blown away. Do not underestimate Rogan, he may like psychedelics, pot, fighting, bowhunting and dropping the eff bomb, but you will laugh and you will learn. Joe Rogan is my kinda dude, he says things the way they are, but he is objective and you will learn some cool shit! He is also a master at letting his guests speak! His show’s are long, so make sure you have some time put aside. His guests are so varied, Prepare for anything from gut busting laughter with a host of comedians like Joe Diaz, to awe inspiring physicists like Neil de Grasse Tyson, accelerated learning with none other that T ferriss, everything about being smarter and questioning shit with Sam Harris, man the list can get out of hand, but start with some of these. Jeez Joe, I love your show!
Freakonomics Radio - Get your freak on. Look Stephen Dubner is just super smart. Listen to everything they put out. A very polished and professional outfit, well edited, punchy, gets the message across quickly. Love the episode on Grit with Angela Duckworth, listen to it, get yourselves some grit people!
Entrepreneur on Fire - I just love John Lee Dumas, John wears his heart firmly on his sleeve. He interviews some of the world’s top entrepreneurs 7 days a week, so this is a great podcast to subscribe to. You will learn so much about GSD.
I must say here now though, albeit I love educational books, podcasts and courses, I make time for other books too, recently I revisited Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. That was 8 hours of my life I really enjoyed, so make time for stories too. The Alchemist is another one that I go do a re-read of every six months or so!
So on education, I think it so important to pursue what really interest you first, and then research all the methods you can find to make learning about that subject fun and entertaining.
I couldn’t believe that there was a 2x speed button on audio books, podcasts & youtube. Things got hairy for me when I discovered this.
If I ever meet Tim Ferriss, I will be like ‘Man I thought you spoke a lot quicker than that…’
Essentially once you are used to it you will never want to listen to anything on a slower speed again, except maybe stories.
So prepare to be able to consume at least twice the amount of content.
Once I discovered speed listening, the natural progression was obviously speed reading. I would be reading the story to myself slowly in my head, telling myself the story, talking to myself, really slowly, and I would think, this doesn’t make sense, why must I talk to myself, no wonder it takes eons to read a novel. Why can I not 5x this reading shit. So I did.
Check out Jim Kwik’s work on accelerated learning and reading, yes that is his name, cool huh? Check it out here.
2. Say No more often.
I must credit Derek Sivers, mentioned above for this.
In his first interview with Tim he tells a story about Fuck yeah or No, go and listen to it, it is hysterical, but also makes so much sense.
So now, if something is not a Fuck yeah, it is a no. It sorts out that decision making easily.
Walk around the lake this morning? Fuck yeah!
Write a cool blog post? Fuck yeah!
You get the picture...
I find if you say yes to too many things, you get overwhelmed, everything is watered down, you don’t get the benefit of really enjoying the fewer things you are really interested in.
I get offered opportunities for all sorts of things, business ventures, projects, collaborations, JV’s, and if I am luke warm at all, or if it isn’t simply a ‘fuck yeah!’ It doesn’t happen.
So there is number 2 on the list of things to make you happier. Say no to more shit. Trust me it is a game changer. Thanks Tim & Derek.
3. Stop worrying.
Like riding a rocking horse, it’ll keep you busy, but get you nowhere.
I have had many sleepless nights worrying about my businesses, my restaurants, nightclubs, catering companies, joint ventures, launches and many more things. All of the worst things I worried about never came to be.
The world isn’t watching your every move waiting for you to fuck up, so stop worrying about it, and get busy living.
On the flip side, if you want to do something, take up a project, a new challenge whatever it may be and you’re worrying about failure, or not succeeding, or what your parents might say, or the world will think, stop, just go ahead and take the first step, then the next step, and stop worrying, I promise all will be good, and you will learn so much from that first project or creative endeavour.
Learning to stop worrying is so important for health in general, stop stressing. Stress will kill you! It starts with being a worryier. So stop it now.
Getting good restful sleep will help, so will exercise, meditation if you can get your head wrapped around it or something meditative, like walking. Meditation will make you happier though, so if you can, check this app out, it works a bomb!
I know the world is flogging this gratitude thing at the moment, but trust me, once you decide to become more grateful, and start thinking very deeply about your actions and how they might affect people around you, the world becomes a much better place.
If you need to journal, then journal.
If writing it down is easier for you you then write it down in a book or journal and keep it somewhere safe and private. Telling yourself why you are so grateful for things in your life is a powerful reminder to you to always live a purposeful life. It will remind you why your decisions are so important.
If you were given a terminal prognosis in your doctor's office, what would the very next thing you do be?
Would you rush back to the office to finish that presentation before Monday morning? Would you check the stock exchange to see if you got the extra 10%?
Maybe you would book a flight to see your parents rather, or your brother, your nephew or niece?
Maybe you would rather book the trip to Patagonia.
So I like to think about that scenario more often and then think of all the many things I love in my life, and how deeply grateful I am for them. I promise you, do this regularly for a month and watch your perspective change. You will see the world through an entirely different lense. Your idea of love and appreciation will be heightened to a feeling you will find difficult to describe. You will hug people more and your inner being will feel nourished.
I know this is simply a no brainer, but I come across more people than you would care to know about who do not have a bull’s notion about proper nutrition.
You will not become the very best version of yourself if you do not educate yourself even a tiny bit on proper eating and nutrition.
I am firmly in the ketogenic lower carbohydrate camp, because, well it fucking works. Clinically proven, it works! It lowers your triglycerides and it elevates HDL, the two main markers when checking your blood lipid panel, but I am now going to go into that now.
What I will say is, eat from the outside of the supermarket.
We need to eat things that grow, not things that need to come in a box. Period.
Avoid processed foods, refined flour and refined sugar and you are almost 90 percent of the way there.
Eat more healthy saturated and monounsaturated fats. Trust me. Fill up on olive oil, cheeses, fatty grass fed or pasture raised meats, free range eggs, butter, ghee, avocados, coconut oil, butter, cream, nuts and seeds. Do not combine these foods with processed sugars or carbs though. Do this and your life will become easier and better.
Eat like this for four weeks and get in touch, I promise you, you will thank me.
Breakfast - Scrambled eggs in a tablespoon of butter from grass fed cows, or bacon & eggs, or a cheeses omelette.
Lunch, sardines and green salad, or cold meats, or roasted chicken legs and thighs, or avocado and salmon.
Dinner, fatty rib steak and creamy peppercorn sauce with cheesy cauliflower, or chicken wings and hot sauce with blue cheese aioli and sauerkraut, or salmon steak with lemon butter cream and broccoli, or belly pork with chilli clams…
It’s not difficult, and if you feel like you must snack, try roasted almond, a piece of full fat unprocessed cheese or a few olives.
If you can get into ketosis, well then you’ll find out how close it is to being superman or wonder women. I promise you.
If you can clean up your eating, lose those pesky extra few pounds, stop having hunger cravings and carb crashes, you will start kicking more ass.
Do something three times a week that can induce a hormetic stress response.
Hormesis is biological phenomenon where you get a positive result, whether health, longevity, strength, tolerance and so forth after being exposed to low level doses of stress or something potentially harmful. In this instance the high intensity exercise or resistance training.
This might be some high intensity intervals or maybe a tabata style exercise regime, it doesn’t need to take to long, 10 - 15 minutes is more often that not enough. Go to your local sports field and run like a machete wielding zombie is chasing you until you cannot run anymore, then catch your breath, and pretend he is back on your heals again, and run again, do this until you are about to puke. It will probably only take 10 minutes if you do it properly and your zombie is scary.
Pretend that the feeling of wanting to be sick makes the zombie go away.
You might also consider doing some squats or deadlifts, a standard kettle bell swing. There are a number of exercises that are perfect for a quick burst and won’t derail your whole day or week to include into your schedule.
Usually a good indicator of your choice of exercise is that you really do not want to do it. Kettle bell swings being point in case, but once you are finished, you feel outstanding!
This goes without say, and there is some excellent research out there on what to do to get a better night's rest, but I find the following to be invaluable.
Make sure your room is cool.
Stop electronic shit of all types one hour before bed, and do not bring the phone or iPad into the bedroom. Bedrooms are for sleep, and other fun activities, but not iphones or Facebook.
Exercise three times a week.
Cut out caffeine no later than early afternoon say around 2ish.
I do not succeed at doing all of the above all of the time, but if I get even 80% of it right, I find I can get 7 - 8 hours of peaceful slumber and then I can really bring the A-game the next day!
8. Make meaningful relationships.
A lot of the talk around, certainly from a number of podcast hosts, and also a number of authors is that you become the sum of the company you keep.
Tim & JLD often say you are the sum of the five closest people’s company you keep, or something like that, I’m sure you get the point.
This is very true. Stay away from cynical shysters and negative people!
Make a point of getting all of these types of people out of your life. The rule above, fuck yeah No applies well here. If you are not super excited to meet the person for a get together, business meeting, mentoring class, chat, hug, laugh, then they are probably not worth having in your circles.
Go out of your way to make great relationships with people you really look up to. This doesn’t always have to be in person, use the web, use social platforms. Reach out to people via email.
There is a rule here though. Do not ask before you have given, and given, and given some more.
Usually if you give enough, you will not need to ask, it will be offered. This I can promise you.
Try to never be the smart one in the room, and close your mouth as much as you can and listen. I found this very difficult, always wanting to talk and be the smart arse, but when I started listening more, things went into the red for my relationships!
9. Get out of your comfort zone.
Nothing meaningful has been created from the cotton wool wrapped comfort and safety of your comfort zone.
You need to step into the arena and have a go. Yes you will have the piss kicked out of you, yes you will feel like the world is laughing at you, yes there will be narrow minded trolls calling you out from the safety of their keyboards, yes you will say, I am never trying that again, I am never exposing myself to that ridicule again, you will want to hide in your bedroom under the covers I know, but this is a learned skill and it is what separates the ‘A’ players from the people in the gallery looking on in amazement saying how lucky you got.
So get your armor on, and step into the arena and play.
Try to do something uncomfortable every day. Make that sales call, email that person who think will turn you down, write that article, make that podcast, call that boy or girl, draw that picture.
Take your works of art and creativity and put it into the world, so you can learn, and give.
It is not an exhaustive list, and there are other things that I do do in my life that are important, but these are the 9 things that I must focus on all the time to make my life better. It never fails. I have changed everything in my life exponentially since I made these 9 things a priority.
Give it a try for a month, focus on these things and then let me know what happened or changed, if at all, but my bet is it will.
Be good and smile more.
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