Being successful is not a matter of having a clear path, it’s a matter of slowly chipping at it, especially when the times are rough.
Choose your room carefully
Let’s start with a little reflexion here:
Who shows up the most frequently at the gym? The people who take classes.
Who procrastinates the least for work? The people who have co-workers.
Who reads the most? People who are part of a book club.
See the pattern?
If you want to achieve more, you need to surround yourself with like-minded people.
But that’s only the first step!
If you are the most active person in the room, you are in the wrong room. — Zdravko Cvijetic
Working With Even Harder Working People
I used to think that I was one of the hardest working people out there.
Back in Toronto, everyone works hard, but it wasn’t common for someone to do 12-hour days.
When I left Toronto to work in Cambodia, I realized I wasn’t alone. In fact, there were people working even harder than I was.
And I’m sure some of you work harder than me too.
At AngkorHUB, where I was working from, Jeff Laflamme, the owner of the place, and his partner Jan, were working at least 12 hours per day, 6 days a week. They enjoy what they do, but they also do it out of necessity, which makes them work even harder. The stakes are high.
Working with and alongside them changed me. I worked harder and more efficiently. They elevated my standards for hard work.
I achieved so much more simply because they were in the same room, literally.
Getting More Fit
In January, I had the crazy goal of gaining 5kg of mass while losing 3% body fat. For an ectomorph like myself, it’s near impossible. In fact, it was 8+% of my total body weight. I was eating 4500 calories of healthy food every day. To put that into perspective, Dwayne Johnson eats 5000. The guy is 3 times my size.
I reached my mass gain goal in 26 days. I ended up losing 2% body fat. I was already very lean, so I’m more than satisfied.
During that period of time, I inspired other people at the co-working space I worked from in Málaga to get fit as well. I accidentally started a “fitness squad” and we grew from 2 members to 15 in less than a month.
I certainly didn’t see myself as a leader, but they followed me. They saw my results. They want to achieve more. Everyone, without exception, achieved way more than they thought they could.
We did 100 pushups every day. Most people who started thought they could only do about 10. Everyone ended up doing more than 20 on their first session. Most reached over 60 over the course of the day.
These people were in the right room, following others who were more fit than them.
Getting Even More Fit
The problem with the fitness squad for me is that I was in the wrong room. And I knew it.
But this changed in February. I had started journaling.
I thought it would be dumb. I thought I’d have nothing to write. But every “successful” person mention how great it is, so I decided it would be one of the 3 skills I pick up this month.
I won’t go into the details, but needless to say, I had SO MUCH to write about. I journaled for two and a half hours at the beach. For the last 30 minutes or so, there was a guy who came stretching close to me. We both noticed each other, simply because we were both doing unusual things.
After my journaling session, I went to talk to him. Turns out I actually played Pádel with him the previous weekend!
Gerrit is a fit guy. He’s always been into fitness. I learned more about fitness in my hour-long chat with him than I learned in my entire life I think. I had finally found a guy way more fit than me abroad.
That happy accident made it so I now know where the right room is for me to achieve more in fitness.
What is it you want to achieve?
Look around yourself.
Can you think of anyone who does what you want to achieve, but at a greater level?
If not, how can you turn that around?
The power of peers is unquestionable. We see it everywhere, in health, at work, in our recreational activities, etc.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn
When we see people do, we do. When people do it better, we do it better. When we do it better, we want to do it even better.
When we achieve our goals, we have bigger goals. When we achieve bigger goals, we become unstoppable!
Be in the right room. Do more. Be better. Achieve more!
Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments below!
You can do this!
Thanks for reading, clapping and sharing ! :)
First published here: https://theascent.pub/how-to-perform-at-your-best-using-this-most-simple-concept-a8125e021668
Even the best of us procrastinate sometimes. We are not programmed to do things that are hard for us. We’re creatures of habit. Creatures of comfort.
Almost everything we do, we do it to be in a state of comfort. And when we reach a satisfactory level of comfort, we stay there. We procrastinate doing things out of our comfort zone.
I’ve been there.
You’ve been there.
We’ve all been there.
In the last 6 months or so, I can’t think of a time when I’ve procrastinated.
So many times, this happened organically without really thinking about it. I was lucky in some ways.
But that made me think deeper into why it was I stopped procrastinating, and it all came down to the 3 things that follow.
I should point out that none of these tips are new. Everyone talks about them. But I’ll share my own experience in hopes to illustrate just how good these tips are.
Sunk Cost Bias
This is a powerful one, and really, everyone knows it, but maybe doesn’t recognize it enough.
A sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.
Think about memberships. A gym membership is a good example.
You know why a yearly membership at anything sucks?
A year is just too long a period for a brain to “remember” the sunk cost. That’s why when you sign up for the gym in January, you stop going one or two months after.
It’s not frequent enough. By paying monthly, you’re always reminded that you are sinking money into the membership, therefore you’re more prone to do it.
I signed up for the gym in January. I went to the priciest gym in Málaga. Truth be told, I couldn’t really afford it. And that’s the point.
I had to do it. I sacrificed spending money on other things so I could afford it. I had to go.
15 days in, I wanted to go. It wasn’t just that I needed to. Now that it’s expired, I miss it. But I’ve built so much momentum that I created a fitness routine for myself that I can do from home.
But think about it though.
Think about things you’ve spent money on vs things you haven’t. Which one were you more motivated to do.
And it doesn’t have to just be money either. Anything that’s high stakes for you. Money is easy since it’s measurable, but basically anything you don’t want to part with should work.
I’ve seen that almost on a daily basis back at the co-working space I was working from back in Málaga.
I accidentally started a fitness group last month.
I was so motivated in my fitness that I also did 100 pushups after work. That was a friend’s idea, which he had not executed on. But seeing me do it, he shortly joined in on my efforts.
Then people started joining. We grew from 2 “members” to 15 in one month.
And every morning, there was at least one person who didn’t feel like doing it. But then they see 7 other people go. And all of a sudden, they wanted to do it. They weren’t alone. The other’s motivation inspired them to also do it.
You see that effect in any team-based sport.
You see that effect in offices.
You see that everywhere.
A party where you’re alone is a freaking boring party. You just want to leave.
Surround with like-minded people. Be accountable. Accomplish things with other people. Share your victories.
The Point Of No Return
One of my favourite, but a harder one to pull off.
I’ll give three quick examples:
Getting a mortgage to buy a house;
Investing in your business or that of someone else; or
Having a baby.
Once you receive your mortgage, it’s go-time. You have to buy the house. The only way you’ll rid of the debt is by selling the house back. That requires a lot of time and effort.
It’s easier to go forward than go backward from there.
That is the key here. Going backward being the harder choice of the two.
If you open up a physical store, you have to buy all the equipment in order to be operational. As soon as you buy, the material depreciates in value. Selling it back comes at a cost you’re likely not willing to pay.
What are some of the points of no return you’ve had in your life?
Did you procrastinate?
Do you ever intentionally create points of no return for yourself?
So I challenge you here.
The next time you have a goal you’d like to accomplish but are prone to procrastinate working towards it, think about these 3 tips.
When planning for executing your goal, answer these questions:
Can you sink money, or something else you care for into the process of achieving your goal? Like a membership for examples.
Can you find a partner or a group of people to do it with?
Can you make it so it’s harder to go backward than to go forward?
If you can do all these 3 things, it’s almost guaranteed you won’t procrastinate.
You can do this!
Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)
How often do you procrastinate doing things?
Sometimes even the things we want to do, we can’t find the energy to actually do them.
I’d say this is a normal human behaviour. We are not programmed to do things out of our comfort zone.
Our inaction towards our goals is a major factor in us not attaining “success”, however you define the word.
But why do we not execute on the things we want to do?
After all, most of the time, we have a “clear” path to “success”. We know that to reach goal ‘x’, we must do action ‘y’. Yet we don’t do action ‘y’.
The problem is we don’t really know goal ‘x’ and action ‘y’. I mean, we don’t know their details. We don’t go deep enough.
To become a bodybuilder, we must workout at the gym.
Everyone knows that.
I would procrastinate like hell if that was my plan to become a bodybuilder!
The Six-Word Formula For Success
“Think things through, then follow through.” — Eddie Rickenbacker
Think things through, then follow through. Eddie Rickenbacker said it right.
When I first read that, I didn’t immediately get it. I mean, it’s obvious isn’t it?
But here’s the key in my opinion, and experience:
“Think things through”
Go freaking deep in your thinking.
Research every detail on how to reach your goal. Break everything down to the fundamentals.
Craft a solid plan of actionable items to reach your goal. Be precise with quantities and quality. Set a timeline. Make the deadlines hard, but achievable.
Execute consistently. Don’t skip a day. Measure your increments towards your goal. Every actionable item you tick is success towards your goal.
Adjust your plan as you go. It won’t be perfect on first try. Keep researching as you go.
Rinse and repeat.
By having a solid plan of action, you can’t help but follow through. I write a lot about gaining momentum. I’ll link to some stories at the bottom here.
We procrastinate because a task seems too hard to achieve. It requires too much energy. With carefully planned bite-sized actionable items, you are constantly winning.
Each task is so small and achievable that thinking-of-not-doing-it is almost harder than actually doing it.
And by having a timeline, you never want to push anything further. It’s a dreadful domino effect.
I set monthly goals personally. I never want to carry a goal over to the next month, because that means next month I’ll either have way too much on my plate, or I’ll have to drop other goals I may have.
It bears repeating:
“There’s a six-word formula for success: Think things through, then follow through.” — Eddie Rickenbacker
Craft a solid plan, and following through will instantly become easier. The doing is often times the easy part once you have a clear direction of where you’re going.
The more you follow through, the easier it gets. You build momentum and become unstoppable.
Think. Research. Break every down. Plan. Execute, execute, execute. Rinse and Repeat.
You can do this!
Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)
First published here:
As I frequently write about, I learn 3 new skills every month. It’s a “calculated” approach that helps improve different areas of the brain or body. I strongly encourage you to read it first, or bookmark it if you don’t have time to read it now.
Learning 3 new skills every month completely changed my life for the better. I’m a much better person than I was 5 months ago. And trust me, it’s not as hard as you think it is. In fact, most of us do learn 3 new skills every month without knowing it. Being aware of it makes all the difference.
However, the 3 skills a month approach is not without criticism. I’ve had the same questions multiple times, so I thought it might be interesting to write about. I narrowed it down to one question, which I hope answers all.
Why Are You Learning 3 New Skills Every Month?
Because They Are Useful
I will start by saying there are (almost) no useless skills.
Everything I aim to learn has a purpose. The first skills I chose were: classifying documents using Machine Learning, Drawing using Photoshop and Learning The Past and Future Tenses In Spanish.
In one of the current startups I’m working on right now requires my acquired ML skills.
When working on my game, I can now draw decent enough sketches/drafts for my artists to understand my vision.
I moved to Spain 2 months after learning the past and future tenses. I had no idea I would go to Spain at the time.
I use and improve these skills pretty much every day now. The progress has become organic.
I picked up storytelling, public speaking, conversational Spanish, bodybuilding for an ectomorph, dropshipping for eCommerce, investing smartly, photography, non-fiction writing, meditation, and more.
I’m currently working on Podcasting, Social Media Marketing, Learning Norwegian and Journaling.
In total, 20 new skills in 5 months.
Because I Build Stronger Connections
I work in co-working spaces. I work with people from all over the globe with different backgrounds. As such, it’s not always easy to have deep conversations if you have nothing in common.
By learning so many skills, there’s a much higher chance that I’m going to find something that unites me with another person.
I’ve connected with people I would never connect with normally, and these connections ended up being some of my strongest connections.
Because I Discover Hidden Talents Or Passions
I didn’t aim to write. I didn’t aim to take photos.
Yet I’m now getting paid to do both.
If I didn’t try them as new skills, I would never have known that 1. I’d be good enough at them, and 2. I’d really grow to like them.
As I mention in the other story, we pigeonhole ourselves into specific things that we are/do. I’m a software engineer. Most of the skills I learn are counter-intuitive to that.
Because The More You Know The Faster You Learn
I touch a bit on this subject in: this story.
And for me that is the best reason. Learning constantly, at a faster pace. There’s (almost) nothing I enjoy nothing I enjoy more in life than learning. It’s such a great feeling when you reach a level of mastery you never knew you could reach before.
Here are a few powerful quotes on learning:
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery
“Approach everything with an open mind, with a learning mind. You will never stop learning as long as you keep the mindset that everything works, because everything does work. There’s a time and a place for every single move. If you work on it enough, it will work.” — Conor McGregor
“The person who can learn from everything will beat out the person who judges harshly who and what to learn from.” — James Altucher
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
I’ve been doing for 5 months now.
I am more skilled;
I have stronger connections;
I have new passions; and
I learn much faster.
You want more skills, stronger connections, discover new talents and learn faster?
I strongly suggest you try the 3 new skills approach.
You’ll see, all aspects of your life will improve. Maybe not the first month, but you’ll build momentum and get there.
You can do this!
First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/improve-everything-in-your-life-by-learning-3-new-skills-every-month-3e021db83c36