How To COMPLETELY CHANGE Your Life In 2023 (My Process For Achieving Goals) | Tom Bilyeu | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "How To COMPLETELY CHANGE Your Life In 2023 (My Process For Achieving Goals) | Tom Bilyeu".
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It's become so bizarre in society where we are celebrating people that are not pushing their physical limits. And I'm just telling you right now, I don't pass any moral judgment on anybody that decides that they don't want to do that. But I will tell you, 1,000% you are holding your life back. The reason most people fail to achieve their goals is twofold. Number one, they don't have a sufficient level of clarity. And number two, they don't want it badly enough. The statistic is that 92% of all people that set a New Year's resolution fail to stick with it. The way that you go from being in the 92% to being in the 8% is by having a freakish level of clarity and building so much desire in your life that nothing could stop you even if it tried. This is what you need to do. The clarity piece is really the most important thing that you can have in your life. And most people have a really vague sense of clarity, but because they can say in a sentence something like, "I'm going to win a gold medal." They think they have the clarity that they need. But the question I would ask somebody that told me that they wanted to win a gold medal is a gold medal in what? The Olympics? Yes, Tom, I want to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Amazing, which event? Swimming or tennis? Swimming, fantastic. The breaststroke, the freestyle medley, what's it going to be? You have to get so specific with your goal that you know what to do with the next 15 minutes of your life. Ultimately, success, accomplishing a goal, seeing things through, all come down to what you're doing with your time and what part of your potential you're turning into actual usable skill set. The only way to know how to spend your time transferring your potential into skill set is to have a truly granular level of clarity. You cannot stop at the high level and you can't do what a lot of people do, which is they, as the Brits say, they waffle. So when they're describing their goal, they either say something like, "I want to win a gold medal," which we just covered as hopelessly vague, or they say something that's even worse, which is, "You know, I really want to do something great with my life. I know that I'm capable." You know, I was really athletic when I was a kid. And I know that if I applied myself, I could probably really, you know, recapture what I was doing. That's how most people describe what they want to do in life. It is terrifying. You need to be able to state what your goal is in a single sentence with no commas, parentheticals, run-ons. It needs to be a very simple and direct goal, something like, "I'm going to win a gold medal in the Summer Olympics freestyle medley swimming event by 2028," whatever. Once you have a goal that is that specific, that contains the what you're going to do, the by when and the how much, then you know that you actually have a real goal and not a hope, not a vague idea, but you have something very concrete and specific that you can execute against. Now, remember, the goal is to translate that into what you're going to do with the next 15 minutes of your life, always and forever, on and on and on. When you have something so specific that you know how to break it down into those incremental steps, you can really begin to make progress. If you've ever heard the idea of the 10,000-hour principle, it's talking about how we go about actually achieving mastery in something. And the punchline is that you spend 10,000 hours applying yourself in a disciplined fashion towards your goal. The disciplined fashion is born out of the clarity. It's born out of the clarity of knowing precisely what you're trying to achieve and by when and knowing how to take advantage of, "I've tried something, it didn't quite work, I need to get a little bit better or this part of my game is weak, I need to focus on getting better at that thing." But again, all of that is born from clarity and being able to break down that clarity into action items, which is absolutely critical because action items are how we're going to turn our potential into skill set.
Personal Development And Self Improvement
Developing Self Awareness (03:56)
And that is the critical chain that you have to walk. And then from there, it's about developing the self-awareness that you need to know what part of you is improving and what part of you is not improving. So that brings us to the second thing. They don't want it badly enough. The reality is that most people, even if they can get the clarity that they want in their life, they really just don't want it that badly. Most people, myself, you, all of us, the things that we really want, the things that we want as badly as a drowning man wants their next breath of air. Those things, those you're going to get, the things where it's like, "Yeah, I want it, yeah, that will be cool. I promise you, it's going to get way too hard and you're not going to be able to achieve that." And the reason is that the second law of thermodynamics is that everything moves towards chaos. So everything is hard. That's the really simple way of saying it. And if we know that everything is going to be hard, then we have to have a reason that we're going to overcome that difficulty. We have to have a reason to keep fighting through the inevitable boredom that comes from trying to clock our 10,000 hours and to actually getting good at something. Or even if your goal is more modest than truly mastering something, no matter what it is, even if it's trying to read a book a week or something like that, inevitably, life gets in the way. Inevitably, we get sick. We get tired. Other things pop up. A goal cannot be the thing that you hope life doesn't get in the way of. A goal, if you want to be in that 8%, if you want to see things through, a goal has to be the thing that you absolutely demand of yourself that you achieve. And there unfortunately is no way around that. If you want to be successful, you have got to be willing to give it your everything. And that is really where we begin to separate people out. I have seen people far smarter than me with more natural talent than me achieve nothing compared to what I've achieved because they don't have the willingness to push through the boredom that goals demand. So again, let me restate it. You are only going to get what you absolutely demand of yourself. So you are going to have to put rules into your life. You are going to have to have an identity about yourself that does not allow you to give up, does not allow you to slow down or quit. And I'm talking whether you're sick or not. For years, I had hanging above my fireplace, the painting of Michael Jordan in the infamous flu game, where the greatest player of all time, even though he had, I believe, 102 or 103 degree temperature, continued playing in the finals of that series. They end up winning, taking on the championship ring. It's absolutely incredible, but it never would have been if he had had the kind of goal where, well, yeah, I'm sick, so I'm not going to show up. And look, I get it. A lot of people think that I'm crazy for pushing people too hard, but I'm telling you right now, this is how you accomplish it. So if you don't want your goal, fair enough, I don't make a moral judgment on people that don't want to achieve big, aggressive goals. I completely understand. If you would rather lay back and have a stress-free life, that's a completely fine moral, righteous way to live your life. Just be very clear about what you want. That goes back to point number one. Once you know what your goal is, that goal then makes demands, and you either live up to those demands or you don't. And the reality is that most people don't. So even when they have the clarity and they get into it and their kids wake them up in the middle of the night and then they're really tired the next day, they wake up late, they're rushing out of the door to get to work, they go, their boss is a dick to them, they come home, they're super stressed out through all of that, their goal suddenly becomes unimportant. And unfortunately, because life is hard and life is going to punch us in the face constantly over and over, the only way that you're going to achieve your goals is if in that moment you get more aggressive, that you have those rules in your life that are like, "I am doing this every day." I know that I'm trying to read X number of books, lose X number of pounds by this date, and that means by the end of this week, I need to have lost a pound or two pounds, or by the end of the month, I need to have lost five pounds.
Calculating What Action You Need to Take (08:17)
Whatever your goal demands, your goal ultimately will be translated into math. So it is very simple. What do you need to do on this day to achieve your goal? Do you do it or not? It really is that cut and dry. And if you're looking over your shoulder for somebody to save you, I can tell you right now they are not coming. No one is coming to help you. This is something that you have to do for yourself. And I hope in hearing all of this, you realize why 92% of people fall into the category of, "I gave up. I quit. I knew what my goal was." Or, "I didn't have enough clarity." But I didn't do the things that I needed to do in order to cross the finish line. It really is that simple. Now, the great news is, it really is that simple. If you just draw those bright lines in your life, if you make those demands of yourself, if you say, "I simply must do this to be the person that I want to be, and therefore I am going to do it, even when it's hard, even when it sucks, even when it's boring, I'm going to keep doing this." And let me tell you right now, even though what I'm talking about is achieving goals, I promise you one thing. If you set a goal and you achieve it, you will gain respect for yourself. And there is nothing that matters more. And I mean nothing. There is nothing that matters more than how you feel about yourself when you're by yourself. So if you structure your life in a way where you set a goal that is two things, exciting and honorable, exciting to you, you just want to do it. Other people don't have to tell you to do it. You just want to do it, right? It goes back to the whole thing. You've got to want it badly enough. And if you want it badly enough, then you're going to stick with it. And if you don't, then you won't. If it's exciting, then the second thing is that it has to be honorable. And by honorable, I simply mean that it uplifts both you and those around you. That's incredibly important because once you have that, you can give yourself over to it completely. You can build that desire in your life so that it is a raging inferno inside of you that your identity does not allow you to deviate from the rules and your life do not allow you to deviate from. And the sheer fact of how badly you want it doesn't allow you to deviate from. But you've got to go in and put in the time and energy to build that desire. And the way that you build desire is by telling yourself that you want it, telling other people that you want it, and embodying the emotion that you want to feel in order to cement that feeling inside your mind. Because if it isn't visceral, when you're bored, when you're tired, when life is hard, if when you say to yourself, "I really want this goal," if you don't actually feel something positive, if you don't actually want it, you will quit. If people ever tell you that quitting isn't an answer, you need to point to them and remind them that they are a liar because quitting is always an option. Quitting is the easiest answer. It is the answer that 92% of people take whenever they're setting a goal. If you don't want that to be you, then you've got to build desire and get a freakish amount of clarity. If you want to become a better person in one year, there are two things you're going to need to do.
How to become a better person this year (11:24)
Change your habits and define what you mean by better person. So this goes back to the idea that the most important thing anyone can have in their life is clarity. So who is it that you're actually trying to become? The important thing is to make sure that you know what your value system is, you know what you value, then we know what you're actually striving towards. Once you have a goal, that goal makes demands. So if you're trying to be the kind of person that gets up early so that you can see your kids before you send them off to school, then you need to be the kind of person that either deals with fatigue all the time, which I think is a terrible idea and I do not recommend, or you need to be the kind of person that goes to bed early. That's one of the myriad ways that your goal is going to mandate your behavior. So whatever it is that you value, write that down, figure out what your values are. Then we're going to build in habits that are going to help us actually become the kind of person that we want to become. So the reality is that you are a mixture of beliefs, habits, rules, and values. And once you get those things all put together, then you are doing the things that you want to do. And when you're doing the things that the person you want to be would do, you are the person you want to be. It's one of those things that it's easier said than done, but it really is that simple. So we want to map all of that out. We want to make sure that we have clarity. We want to write down what our values are. We want to write down, is there somebody that is like the kind of person you want to be, at least as you perceive them? If there is, what are the behaviors that they do that makes you feel they're the kind of person that you want to be? Are they the kind of person that goes to bed early? Are they the kind of person that gets up early? Are they the kind of person that takes their kids to school? Are they the kind of person that's striving to achieve their goals? Are they the kind of person that's driven, loving, kind, compassionate? Whatever those things are, you want to map them out into a set of behaviors. Once you have them mapped out into a set of behaviors, now we're going to begin putting routines and habits in place that are going to make sure that we're doing those things. So going down that list, if we want to get up early, we need to go to bed early. If we want to go to bed early, then we need to make sure that we have everything laid out. It's going to allow us to do that. So this is something that I've worked my ass off in my own life to make sure that all I have to do on a daily basis are follow my rules and my habits. So I'll walk you through what my routine looks like on a daily basis. So first of all, I have a rule in my life based on my goals, goals make demands. So my goal is that I'm trying to build the next Disney. To build the next Disney is going to take a Herculean effort. It's going to require us to generate a lot of revenue, to build out a lot of IP, all of that stuff, then makes demands on me. So to meet the needs of what I'm trying to build, Monday through Friday, if I'm awake, I'm either working or working out.
On the weekend.. (14:15)
Now, because my marriage is actually my highest value, which I've mapped out, since my marriage is my highest value on the weekends, then I'm going to spend my primary time being a husband. That's incredibly important for me to remember what my value system is. So when those two things are colliding, I know which is a priority. Now, I have three big priorities. You can think of number one as my marriage. Number two is my purpose, which is work. And then number three is my family. They're in that order and I execute against them in that way. It is not a mistake that my wife and I are building a company together. It was a way for me to integrate my wife into my purpose to make sure that when I was pursuing one, I was not pulling away from the other. So again, my goal made demands and I'm building habits around that. So habit number one is that from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed, Monday through Friday, I'm either working or working out. So I've got all of that laid out. So right next to my bed or my workout clothes, so that as soon as I wake up, I'm putting on my workout clothes. So there's not another step that's going to be required for me going and getting that workout in. More or less, the first thing that I do is I go and workout. So I get dressed, I head into the gym, I get my workout in. That way, the day is not going to get carried away because I found, if I had a habit of trying to work out later, that the day had a habit of getting in the way and making that very difficult and now I was competing with being tired at the end of the day and still trying to stick with the gym. So I'm being honest with myself about what I'm like and since I know that I'm likely to get fatigued as the day wears on, I created that habit of making sure that I got to work out first thing in the morning. Once I finish my workout, I have a whole thing around cognitive optimization. I'm not going to walk you through every detail, but I do the things that I need to do to be cognitively optimized, including meditation, fasting and things like that. But very quickly after I'm done working out, I'm going to get to work. And I have the things that I get to work.
The Important Things List (16:21)
I have another habit around that that I use that I call my important things list. I want to be in the habit of knowing what I'm going to be doing next. I don't want to be in a position where I'm having to think about what I should be doing next because when you're in that position, you're wasting time. So I spend some of my cognitive optimization time in meditation, which allows me to do something I call thinkation, which is basically where I'm letting my mind wander across a very specific problem that I have set for myself. And then I take notes on that. Part of that note taking often is making sure that my priorities are in the right order. And then when I'm done with that, I'm just executing. I'm going down that important things list, which are listed in order that they should be executed on. That is one of the most important habits you can build into your life is to not be afraid to prioritize, to keep that list in priority order. And so many people are afraid to say, this is number one, this is number two, and this is number three.
Short Priorities is a Lie (17:21)
So they start doing things like I have a three-way tie for the number one position. That is total BS. It absolutely does not work. I'm telling you right now, you must be completely unafraid to set priorities, to say this is more important than that. Until you can do that, you are going to struggle in your life to make progress, because the reality is that you cannot do two things at one time. You may be able to very rapidly shift between different tasks, but you're always going to be doing one thing at a time. And so you want to make sure that you're doing them in the right order. That again is one of the most important habits that you can get to. A big part of the success that I've had is because I am hyper-efficient with my time. In fact, it is very fair to say that I am obsessed with efficiency, that I am constantly looking at, am I doing things in the right order? If I do this thing, will it make thing number two and thing number three easier? That's often how I judge what should go in the number one position. But make sure that you're in the habit of breaking things down in priority order, and then executing relentlessly against those, and not allowing yourself to get distracted. This is exactly why I have that rule in my life where if I'm awake, I'm either working or working out. It creates a very bright line for me so that I know if I'm in accordance with what I should be doing or I'm not. And I'm never sitting there thinking of what I should be doing in those prime hours. Of course, at some point you have to think about it, but I saved those early hours for execution. I do not want to be trying to come up with a list of things to do. I want to be just boom right into execution mode. So that is the one of the most useful things that you can begin to put in your life. After that, you need to have an hour at which you allow the outside world to begin to come into your world. So I don't take my first meeting until 8.30 am. I used to have it even later than that, but we've gotten into a period now at the company where there's just too many things to do. And so I have let it encroach a little bit. But having said that, I'm up usually around 3.30 to 4.30 am. So I have four to five hours sometimes before I have my first meeting. And most days I actually don't take my first meeting until 9 or 10 o'clock. So I push that as late as I can. The reason that I do that and the reason that I think that this is one of the most important habits that you could put in your life if you're trying to improve yourself is because the odds of somebody other than you knowing what you should be doing with your time to achieve your custom-made goals is effectively zero. So if the first thing that you do is pick up your phone and check your email, you're saying, "Hey, I don't know what I should be doing with my time, so let me see what somebody else thinks I should be doing with my time."
Your Most Important Things (19:59)
Or if you pick up your phone and you start doom-scrolling right away, you're letting people take up your cognitive real estate. Using social media can be insanely powerful. I myself use it. I'm probably on social media at least an hour a day. But I have very specific moments when I allow myself to use it and I have very specific tasks that I go on there to do. Either to learn something or to broadcast something. So you want to make sure that you are being very thoughtful about once you let other people into your space, into your, either your mind or onto your to-do list, that it is at that point the right moment to do that because you've already moved your most important things through. You've already got your agenda moving as fast as it can. And then you're opening yourself up to the outside feedback. Now, depending on what you're trying to do in your life, that may not be at 8.30 or 9 or 10 in the morning. That might be at 4 or 5 p.m. Now I understand that most people, given the nature of your job, that's not going to be possible, but I just want to make sure that whatever you're trying to do, that you carve out time in the very beginning to be executing. Those are going to be your prime cognitive hours. You want to make sure that you get something done.
Now food is a huge part of this equation. It's beyond the scope of this answer to really go deeply into that. But I will say any habit that cognitively optimizes you is going to be absolutely critical. So you want to make sure that you're getting sleep. You want to make sure that you're eating healthy and just all round that to whole food whenever humanly possible and do not eat sugar. Minimize that as much as humanly possible. And then meditate, exercise and workout. If you're doing that basket of things, you are going to be able to be at your best cognitively. Now for whatever reason, it's become so bizarre in society where we are celebrating people that are not pushing their physical limits. And I'm just telling you right now, I don't pass any moral judgment on anybody that decides that they don't want to do that. But I will tell you, 1000% you are holding your life back. You will not be able to think clearly. You will not be able to perform efficiently. You won't even be able to be pain free, which is going to be its own level of hell and distraction. 92% of people that set a New Year's goal fail to achieve it, which is why I've created a 90 day challenge designed specifically to ensure that you hit your goals. You really can radically transform yourself. Just click the link below to join me and the entire Impact Theory University community to kick off 2023 right with the Impact 90 Challenge. Alright guys, now back to the episode. And so while I don't think you're a better person if you work out, I certainly don't think you're a worse person if you don't, you are certainly not going to achieve all that you could achieve if you don't make massive demands of your body. You are having a biological experience. That is simply the truth of the matter. And I know that this bothers a lot of people, but that's just the reality. You're not going to get around it. And so if you ignore the biological reality of what you eat, how you exercise, how you sleep, taking care of your mental health, your meditation and eating well, which is arguably the most detrimental thing you can do to your mental health is eat poorly. I mean that from a depression standpoint, I mean that from an anxiety standpoint, I used to have profound debilitating anxiety. I thought it was going to be something that was happening in terms of the way I was thinking. As it turns out, it was from something I was drinking. So not alcohol, just diet, energy drinks were the bane of my existence. And I had no idea until I finally stopped drinking them and realized, oh my God, that was the root of 70 plus percent of my anxiety. And simply eliminating that from my diet had a profound impact on my performance. So be very thoughtful about habits around that. So ultimately it boils down to defining exactly who you want to be, what are the behaviors that the person who is like who you want to be would do, and then do those things. And the way to do that is to put rules and habits in your life to make sure that you execute against those. I gave you the ones that I use in my life. The last thing I will say is that I go to bed early and I don't use an alarm. So those are the things that roughly get you there. And then I will just say as a very oblique partying reference that don't fail to have people in your life that you love and that love you back. There is nothing sweeter despite all of my intensity around goals. And I think it's so amazing. There is a reason that my marriage is my number one priority and not even my purpose and accomplishment. So be very thoughtful about who you emulate. Be very thoughtful about what you decide to make a habit because the things you repeat really will become who you are. Once you get initially started in the pursuit of your goal of trying to improve yourself and become something more something better, the key is consistency and follow through. You become what you repeat. The reason that anybody successful becomes successful is because to quote Winston Churchill, they can go from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm. The problem is the human animal has chosen a tactic of using culture in order to have generational progress. So a horse will come out doing all the things that a horse can do in 20 minutes, but horse culture doesn't progress because they come hardwired with everything and they have for thousands of years and they make no progress. Whereas humans, a generation 10,000 years ago invented the wheel and we're all still using it now. But in taking that strategy, what ends up happening is that you really do become the thing that you repeat, the thing that you do consistently. And if you begin slacking off of that, then you don't end up making that progress. You certainly can't maintain that progress. So you have to be very, very thoughtful about what you repeat because it is going to have a profound impact on your life. Now, the vast majority of people end up just breaking. They end up quitting. The reason that I've had the kind of success that I've had in my life is simply because I understand that iteration is how we make cultural progress. It's what I call the physics of progress. Most people, when they're running the physics of progress, when they get to the point where they have to evaluate their results, they end up lying to themselves and making it somebody else's fault. Now, the physics of progress are really simple. It's the scientific method, recontextualized for whatever goal you're trying to achieve. And it goes like this. You come up with a hypothesis. If you have information that can inform that hypothesis, that is much better. But if you don't, when you're beginning, call it your best guess. You're taking your best guess is how you go from where you are to achieving your goal. There is inevitably going to be an obstacle in your way. And your best guess is about what do I need to do to overcome that obstacle to make meaningful progress towards my goal. Then you're going to turn that hypothesis into something that you can actually do. Then you're going to turn that, you're going to actually go do that thing. And then you're going to get a result from that thing. It is almost certainly going to fail to some extent, which is fine because failure is the most information rich data stream on planet Earth. But you have to learn from the failure. To learn from the failure, you have to be willing to admit that you made one. Most people will not admit that they made a mistake. And so they get stuck at that level. And in that moment, they say, "It was the world. It's because I was born in the wrong time. My parents were dumb. The world doesn't want somebody who looks like me to succeed." Whatever excuse they use to make it somebody else's fault. Now remember, the most terrifying thing about excuses is that they are valid. I'm not saying that those things aren't real. I'm not saying that the world isn't trying to hold some people back. I'm just saying it doesn't matter. You have to overcome it no matter what. So in the moment where you tried this thing and it didn't work, don't spend your time and energy focusing on how something else stopped you. Even though I will grant you, it's true. The world is trying to stop everybody from doing everything. It just is the reality. Accomplishing something meaningful is freakishly difficult. So don't focus on that it's more difficult for you. It just doesn't matter. You're just going to have to work harder. You either want to accomplish that thing in your life or you don't and you're going to give up. That's the reality. The people that get what they want are the people that absolutely demand that they're going to keep going until they get that thing. So in that moment when you're very tempted to focus on how other things have stopped you, you're not going to. What you need to do is be consistent. So in that moment you're going to say, what could I have done differently to get a better result? And that's when the physics of progress loops. Now you come up with a more informed hypothesis. You learned your lesson. You figure out what you need to do that's going to be a little bit better than last time. You turn that into a thing that you can do. You do that thing. It will fail to some extent. You stare nakedly at your inadequacies. You figure out what you need to do to make it a little bit better. And the process begins again. That is why you have to be consistent. But the reality is that most people break. Most people cannot go from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm. They end up breaking. They end up thinking that either there's something wrong with them or that the world is against them. And because they don't want to deal with the pain and suffering of having to face their own inadequacies or they give up because they just think the world is against them, they don't make progress. Because you have to be able to fail a lot to learn from those failures. If I'm right that humans as a species have chosen culture as the learning mechanism, then you have to run the loop that culture demands, which is to try something. It fails you iterate and you get better. That works at the societal level over millennia. It's the individual level in an acute thing where you just have to figure out why didn't that work and keep going. But the truth is difficulty, boredom, struggle, pain breaks almost everyone that it touches. And I will remind us all, 92% of people fail to achieve the goal they set for themselves. And the reason is that all of that difficulty just stops people because they don't have the right mindset. They don't realize that they need to fail. They don't realize that failure does not make them a failure. So you're going to have a ton of failure in your life. You have to contextualize it as the most advantageous thing that could happen to you. So when I fail, it stings, it sucks. I hate it. I want everything that I do to work the first time. And I want to make maximum progress as fast as humanly possible. But once I realized that just isn't the way that things work and even people like Elon Musk, who I think are abnormally intelligent, they realize, "Oh, I have to fail a lot. I have to try things and see what works and what didn't." There is no way around being in the messy middle. There's no way to think or hypothesize your way to what's going to work the best. You have to get in there and try things. Even somebody that's thinking philosophically has to be able to get in there and battle their ideas and take their ideas out to other people. Even Einstein went out and made sure that his ideas were battle tested not only through experimental physicists, but also just his friends that were other people that were able to beat up his ideas and poke holes in them. And if you're not willing to put your ideas to the test, if you're not willing to try things and see what fails, then you will forever be stuck thinking and not making any progress. You really want to be doing machine, somebody that's out there trying. But that means you have to risk embarrassment. And embarrassment is one of the things that destroys so many goals because people don't want to admit that they were struggling. People don't want to admit that they were having a hard time. And so they either don't tell people about the goal, which is a huge mistake. You want to tell as many people as you can, it's part of the process of building desire. You want to tell people, "I'm going to do this thing and it really matters to me. And I'm going to accomplish it by this date." Now, all eyes are on you. But that's one of the ways you're going to stick to what you're doing. And if the whole point is that you have to repeat, repeat, repeat, be resilient, be gritty, stick with it, try, fail, try, fail, over and over as you get better at overcoming those obstacles, then you have to be willing to push through all of that difficulty to know why you're doing the things you're doing and to understand that that's just the process. So guys, I'm telling you, if you really want to achieve something absolutely powerful in your life, you've got to be persistent.
BE PERSISTENT (32:58)
If you haven't already, be sure to read the book "Grit" by Angela Duckworth. It's an amazing expose on how to be gritty if you're not already. The process that I use for achieving my goals is really simple. First and foremost, you want to make sure that you cognitively optimize. I cannot stress that enough.
COGNITIVELY OPTIMIZE (33:24)
So much of my life is about doing things to make sure that my brain is working well. They look like this.
GET SLEEP (33:30)
Number one, get sleep. Do not use an alarm. Most people set an alarm. Stop. I built three multi-million dollar companies, one of those being a billion dollar company all without setting an alarm. Do I occasionally set an emergency alarm for something like a 4am flight? Yes, but for the most part, I don't use an alarm. I'm talking like 99% of my days. I do not set an alarm. I want to make sure that I get all of the sleep that my body needs. Why? Because I'm able to be more efficient. People mistake grinding around the clock and becoming less efficient because they're tired with actually getting more done. What you want to do is make sure that you have a very high output of achievement per waking hour. So I check in with myself about every three hours to make sure that I'm being productive. If you're not being productive, nothing else matters.
go to bed early (34:21)
So go to bed early. I go to bed at 9pm. I don't use an alarm. I typically sleep six to seven hours. That's changed. If you've heard other content where I say five to six hours, right now I'm in a cycle where I'm sleeping closer to my average is probably just under seven hours. So I never know what that's going to be. It tends to be regulated by the amount of stress in my life. So I'm getting roughly seven hours of sleep. So that means that if I go to bed at 9pm, I'm up at 4am. I have a rule in my life that if I'm awake Monday through Friday, I'm either working or working out. I give myself only 10 minutes to get out of bed. Why? Because I struggle to get out of bed. Just is a thing. It's always been a thing for me. From the time I was a kid, my dad would have to drag me out of bed in the morning. There was a period in my early to mid 20s where I was laying in bed four to five hours a day and just could not bear to get out of bed. It's absolutely ridiculous. Even I am completely scandalized by the reality that to this day, despite all of the things that I've accomplished, I have to fight myself just to get out of bed. So that's a reality. I accept that.
Effective Goal Setting And Achievement
So I gave myself a rule that I had to be out of bed in 10 minutes or less. Right next to my bed, I keep headphones so I put my headphones on. I begin researching. The second I wake up. So I'm researching technically. This gets into a long thing. Right now I'm in a phase where I actually read while I sleep. Long story. I don't think you get things subliminally. That's not that. But I do find that it helps me stay asleep. I don't necessarily recommend that for everybody, but just by way of being completely transparent in terms of what my routine looks like for achieving my goals. From the second I wake up, I'm researching something that matters to me. I immediately put on my gym clothes.
I head to the gym right away. I work out. I then meditate. After I meditate, I do something I call "thinkitating."
The reason that I do these two things, one, meditation is a good way to get your stress and your anxiety down to zero. The reason you want to do this is cognitive optimization. If you are feeling frantic, if you are constantly in fight or flight, your brain is not going to function as a result. What is happening when you go into fight or flight is the blood is literally leaving your prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the seat of higher level cognition. It's where you future plan. It's where you maintain your discipline. When you're in that fight or flight stage, you don't have the blood in the prefrontal cortex in the way that you need to, which is why people end up cheating on their diet. It's why they end up not sticking with their goals and persevering. You want to make sure that you're taking the time to meditate to lower your stress, lower your anxiety. Then there's a hidden benefit to meditation, which is why I follow that almost seamlessly into thinkation, which is where I stay in that meditative posture. I keep my meditative breathing going. I'm staying in that cognitive space because when you are meditating, if you're just coming back to the breath, very simple practice. My meditation practice is dead simple. It's literally what I call just breathe. As my mind wanders, I remind myself to come back to the breath. To just breathe, my mind wanders again, back to the breath. Wanders, back to the breath. Wanders, back to the breath. It's tragic how rapidly my brain begins to wander, but I just keep bringing it back. Now, when I do that enough, I get into a calm and creative state. When I'm in a calm and creative state, unique areas of my brain begin to talk to each other. I will come up with very interesting solutions to problems that I won't get when I'm not in that state. This is why people will often say, "I need to sleep on that problem." Because your brain goes through that cycle that's very much like a meditative state as you're falling asleep and then waking up again. You pass through a very similar state. I will call that calm and creative. Once I'm in that calm and creative state, now I begin to get these, I give myself a problem to solve before I sit down to meditate. I know what I'm working on. It's tied to my important things, which we'll get to in a minute. I sit there and I know what the problem is going to be that I'm going to start working on when I'm in that calm and creative state. Then I will allow myself to take notes as interesting ideas come up. I'm going to journal on that, which I would not do during the meditative part where I'm just coming back to the breath, back to the breath, back to the breath. I do that for as long as I need to to get to zero stress, zero anxiety, calm, creative. Once I'm there, maybe five minutes, maybe 20 minutes, maybe 45 minutes, if I'm really stressed out. But once I'm there, then I move over into thinkitation and I begin noodling on those hard problems. Once I finish that, then I'm going to go into my important things. Now, how do I know when to stop thinkitating and move on to important things? I have found that at some point I begin running out of really fruitful novel ideas. And once I feel like I'm kind of trying to force it, then I'm like, "All right, let's just now move into executing on my important things." So now that I'm in my important things, which is a list that I keep constantly maintained, so I know what the top things are that I should be working on, so I'm not spending that time thinking about what I should be doing, I just go straight into execution mode. So then I start going down the list, doing them in order. Now, the way to execute on something is very much in order. So first thing, you're going to do everything on that thing that you can do until you've pushed it as far as you can go, and now you're waiting on other people, and then you're going to move on to the next thing, you're going to do everything that you can on that until you're waiting on other people, and then you're going to push it off so on and so forth down your list. Now, my important things list is predicated on my goals. So the very important thing to understand about the nature of goals is that they make demands. If you want to win a championship in swimming, then you need to do the things that a swimmer, trying to win a gold medal, by a certain date, would need to do. It's going to dictate how you eat, how you sleep, how you train, who you talk to, how you think, all of that stuff. And so you have to, one, get good at identifying what your goals demand, and then two, you have to be good at actually sticking to the things your goals demand, which this is where most people fall down because it gets boring, it gets difficult. So you've got to be able to push through. All right, so I work my way down my important things list. Once I've finished doing that, then I, because I'm the CEO of a company, at that point, then I'm going to begin to engage with my team. I'm usually working for about four to five hours on the things that I know that I should be doing to have the highest, most efficient impact on the company, and then because I know a big part of my job is orchestrating people, making sure that they're focused on the things that they should be, answering questions and the like, then I go and I engage with the company, and then I take meetings based on what's important and how time aligns, it just is what it is. I take meetings until 6 p.m. I try to cut off. There's one meeting that I have a week because we're dealing with a company in China that goes until 7.30 at 7.30. It's only one day a week that I do that most of the time my last meeting ends at 6. And then for the rest of the time, for the next three hours, I go back into my mode of controlling my time, making sure that I'm working on things that I need to do, including making sure that my important things list is up to date and that I'm working on all the loose ends for the day to make sure that everybody has what they need to start the next day, all that good stuff, which gives me the ability in the morning to take advantage of my peak cognitive ability. Now, one of the reasons that I've ended up structuring my day like that is because I found that in the morning I'm super sharp. I've got these creative ideas. I'm able to really make progress, create space for myself. Whereas in the evenings, I'm a little bit slower. I'm not quite as efficient as I am early in the day. And so it remains easy for me to be reactive, but it's much harder for me to be proactive. That's just me. Maybe you're the complete opposite. Structure your day around you. So in the evenings, I can remain very useful as I respond to people's questions and things like that as I come over my important things list. All of those things I find much easier to do in the evenings. And then the last hour before I go to bed, whenever I can, and this unfortunately breaks apart sometimes, but whenever I can, I want that last hour to be work, but to be something I'm really excited about. Now, you want to be very thoughtful about how you structure your life because you should love what you're working on. Now, I know that that can be very difficult as somebody who has it periods in my life absolutely hated my job. I completely understand, but you want to push yourself to get to the point where you at least have a part of your job that you absolutely love. So that's how I spend that last hour of my day is only working on when I can, something that I'm really excited about. And that helps combat fatigue, and it also helps me get ready for bed because you don't want to be dealing with something super stressful as you're getting ready for bed. And another thing that I do just by way of sleep hygiene is that I make sure that I am not getting blue light into my eyes towards the evenings. I think that's very important, so starting three hours before I go to bed, I'm wearing blue blocking glasses. My computer is set to go into night mode, so at sunrise the blue light comes back on, and at sunset the blue light turns off. I think that kind of thing can be very advantageous as for my diet, which is another key part of cognitively optimizing. I do intermittent fasting seven days a week, 365 days a year, including Christmas Day. And I do that because it makes me feel better. So it's not even for vanity or to be cool. It's just I feel better when I do that. So I do, I average, I track this for about 18 months every day. And it averaged 17 hours, including weekends, holidays and all that. So there are course times where that window is more narrow, but the least man, the least I knowingly go to is 14 hours. So that's the least amount of time that I'll go between my last meal and my first meal the next day. Like I said, even on a Christmas day or something like that, I'm going to have at least a 14 hour window. Again, just to protect my stomach and make sure that I feel great. And that will on the weekdays mean that I'll go sometimes 18, 19, sometimes 20 hours without a meal before I eat. And I eat my last meal at about 2 p.m. sometimes a little before, sometimes a little after, but that's roughly there. And then I don't have my next meal till 8, 9, sometimes 10, 11 o'clock. So that is my process. And I think that there's a lot of things that virtually everybody could use from that to build a very effective process. The truth is hitting your career goals is not easy. You have to be willing to go the extra mile to stand out and do hard things better than anybody else. But there are 10 steps I want to take you through that will 100 X your efficiency so you can crush your goals and get back more time into your day.
Tool for high achievers (45:13)
You'll not only get control of your time, you'll learn how to use that momentum to take on your next big goal. To help you do this, I've created a list of the 10 most impactful things that any high achiever needs to dominate. And you can download it for free by clicking the link in today's description. Alright, my friend, back to today's episode.
The problem with setting realistic goals (45:35)
If you want to really make progress in your life, one of the keys is going to be to track that process. Now, the way to think about getting better is you want to get incrementally better. The problem is if you're trying to get incrementally better, you're basically going to stand still. So you want to be asking the famous question that Peter Thiel asked, which is how do I make my 10-year plan happen in the next six months? When you start thinking like that, it really does shift your thinking into having a radically different approach. I think one of the big problems that people have when they're trying to make progress is they set a goal that's quote unquote realistic. And when it's realistic, it's not very exciting. I teach a whole class on the process of setting goals. And one of the things that I tell people is you have to set goals that are exciting. There's a whole bunch of research on this that shows the people that are most likely to stick with their goals are the people that set a goal that is truly exciting to them. The goals that are going to be exciting are going to be big goals. That's just the way the human mind is wired. I'm telling you right now, there is an evolutionary imperative that has been embedded in your brain and there's no way around it that demands that you do hard things. I think from an evolutionary perspective that makes sense because staying alive was hard. And if we didn't get an intrinsic emotional reward from doing hard things, we would have died out. So we are all the ancestors of people that got off a little bit on doing hard things. So when you don't do hard things, you don't get that positive feedback loop. You feel a sense of dis-ease. And so many people have that sense of unease and they think that I need to go retire and my life needs to be more relaxed. I need to be in a beach somewhere. This all sucks. It's not true at all. I'm telling you right now, the thing that you need to do is find meaning and purpose and go after it. Go after it in a big way. Set yourself a crazy goal that you really believe in, that you really think life would be better if I do this thing, if I achieve this. And even if I fail, man, I would have spent my life well trying to contribute to that. If you build your life around that and go all out, man, trying to make something that you really believe and come true, to bend the world to your will, to close your eyes and imagine a world that is better than this one, open your eyes and then execute to make that world come true, you will love your life. That's the key to find something that you really believe in and then go all out after it. Now, to track all of this progress, you really do want to be journaling, writing things down, checking things off. How many days did you stick to what you said you were going to do? This can be such an amazing way to gamify your own life, is to just have a calendar, digital or physical. Go through and mark off the date. Did you do what you said you were going to do, yes or no? And then tally up for the week, for the month, for the year. What percentage of days did I do what I said I was going to do? Now, in this moment, you can lie. 100% you can lie. But if you lie, when you look at that calendar, you're not going to feel the way you want to feel. You're going to feel like a liar. You're going to know that you're a fraud. The whole idea is to feel a certain way when you look at that calendar. To be like, I did the thing that I said I was going to do and I feel really awesome about that. So, it is truly one of those things. The only person that you're going to cheat if you're lying about this is yourself. So, come up with whatever way you can to track this stuff. Whether it's a spreadsheet, whether it's checking things off an calendar. If I'm completely honest about what I do, I check in with myself every three hours. I don't keep a written tally. But I do reward myself emotionally. Whenever I do the thing I said I was going to do, so the first one for me is, did I get out of bed in 10 minutes or less? If I did, I get to feel good about myself. If I didn't, two things happen. One, I don't get to feel good about myself. I give myself that jab in the ribs. You said you were going to do it and you did not do it. And the number two I will confess to my wife or here to the community out there that I didn't do that day. I didn't meet my goal. And so, by checking in with myself in real time, I'm able to see. The other is, when you're setting goals, it is absolutely critical that all of your goals have a metric associated with them so that you know the exact metric that you want to hit so you know if you're making progress. So often when people get into the physics of progress, they didn't set a metric by which they're going to judge their goal.
Why you must set quantifiable metrics (50:04)
So they don't actually know if they're making progress. You want your goals to be specific. You want your goals to have metrics. The reason that I emphasize that so much is most people avoid metrics. They avoid dates. They avoid those specifics because then they and others will know if they're actually making progress. If you don't want the specifics, it means you're not actually interested in the actual progress. You're interested in the fiction of feeling better about yourself by saying that you have this really cool goal. And so, one of the things that I'm constantly checking with myself is, did I live up to the rhetoric? Meaning, I'm telling people I want to do this cool thing, or did I actually show up and play to win? Did I leave it all out on the field? So, do not think that rhetoric is actual achievement. Talking about something is nothing. Did you actually make progress? And to be honest, even trying, even though I actually do think, and this is complex, but I actually do think you should emotionally reward yourself only for this sincere pursuit. But when you're thinking about tracking progress, you need to be naked and raw about whether you're actually making progress. Now, the reason it's so important to do that is if you're not making progress, you need to adjust. This goes back to the physics of progress. You're staring nakedly at your inadequacies. You're asking, "What could I have done differently to get a better result?" And if in that moment you don't have a metric to judge yourself against, you don't know how to better inform your next hypothesis. So, the goal of trying something is to learn something that gives you a better thing to do. And when you do that, you make more meaningful progress. And when you don't make that meaningful progress, you need to understand why. But it really does come down to what gets measured, gets improved. What gets measured, gets improved. If you don't have the measurement, you won't know whether you're making progress. You won't have the emotional sting that you need to force yourself to actually dig in and figure this out. So, gamify and make sure that you have metrics. You do those two things and you will make massive progress.
Motivation And Persistence
The bar youre setting is TOO LOW (52:04)
If you want to know if you're setting the bar too high or too low when it comes to goal setting, I will just tell you this right now. You're setting the bar too low. Everybody's setting the bar too low. If you think about the crazy things that people have accomplished, whether it's in, I think it's 64 years or something, we went from the Wright brothers flying a plane for the first time to landing on the moon. 64 years. That's an impossibly small amount of time to think that somebody would have been alive at the time. Like you could have been 20 at the time the Wright brothers flown and said, "We're going to go to the moon by the time I'm 85." And been right. But imagine how many people would have told you that you were out of your mind. There is so much literature on this. It's just beyond reproach. The people that set the most aggressive goals are the ones that end up achieving their goals. Now, the reason is because there is complexity here. The reason is that it gets you excited enough to go out and pursue this thing, to be able to attract other people to your goal. That's a huge thing that you're going to learn. If you have a goal that's really exciting. And when people think about getting meaning and purpose in their life and they think about, "Oh my God! I could be a part of a team that takes us to the moon or I could be a part of a team that terra forms Mars, or I could be a part of a team that ends world hunger, or deals with climate change, whatever the thing is that gets you excited." When it is a gigantic goal, it actually motivates people. Now, you also, the people that achieve their goals, have a path to getting there. So it can't be a pipe dream. You have to actually know how you're going to march towards that thing. And if it's a business, you need to know how you're going to generate revenue all along the way. It is incredibly difficult. But you do want to make sure that you're setting a bar that is within the realm of physics. You don't want to be throwing something so far into the trees that it is literally impossible. If you have to invalidate the laws of physics, I will tell you that that's not very interesting. And then one thing that you want to also think through is, is it something that you could achieve in your lifetime? And if it's not something you could achieve in your lifetime, are you okay being somebody that's going to lay a brick towards building that thing? And there's that old adage that you want to plant trees under whose shade you will never sit. So there is very many honorable things that people could do that they're not going to reap the ultimate benefits of, that they understand that there are only going to be one brick in that wall. Think about all the people that have given their entire professional careers to solving cancer, which remains unsolved, countless, amazing, brilliant minds have given themselves over to that. Completely knowing all they're going to do is lay one brick in what will ultimately be the building that is that solution. But be honest, think about that. But make sure that you have a path to get there. That's the key. It's got to be exciting and you've got to see a path. But you want to make sure that you're really going after something that's going to inspire you for the long run. Because remember, the reason that most people quit is because they are broken by how boring and difficult things get. So when you ask yourself in the grips of that difficulty, that suffering that comes along with pursuing a goal you actually care about, you are going to ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this?" And if the answer isn't compelling, you're going to quit. So make sure that you come up with a goal that's big enough that when you ask why, you know exactly why and you'll keep pushing.
DO YOU WANT TO GIVE UP? - How to Get Out of A Rut During This Year (55:33)
It's inevitable when you're pursuing your goals that you're going to find yourself in a rut and you are not going to want to stick to what you're doing. The most important thing is to identify, "Is this a pattern in your life?" So many people love the beginning of something. They love that excitement, that initial fascination. When everything is new and it just feels limitless and everything feels possible. They haven't gotten that first punch in the mouth that comes with really trying to get good at something and accomplish something. When life is going to get complex, it's going to get in your way, you're going to fail, you're going to embarrass yourself, all that stuff. So in that moment, you've got to make sure that you are going to push yourself through that get out and get to the other side. It is inevitable that in your pursuit of a goal that you care about, you are going to end up getting in a rut. In that moment, most people give up. I'm going to tell you what you need to do if you want to be part of the 8% that actually sees their goals through. You need to fall back on process. So many people want to fall back on motivation. But the reality is that motivation is not going to be there for you. Just the vast majority of the time. The vast majority of the time. You're going to be bored, things are going to be hard, you're going to be tired, it's going to be complex. And in that moment, you just need to run a process. You need to have habits that you can rely on to get you through. I've talked about them before, but just to recap, you want to make sure that you're cognitively optimizing, you want to make sure that you have your important things list, you want to make sure that you're doing things in order, you want to make sure that you have rules in your life that you stick to, you want to be leveraging your identity, that you're the kind of person that sticks with things, and then you want to have habits and routines that you're just going to loop around day after day after day, that you know are moving you towards your goal. To get to your goal, it really is about persistence, consistency, metrics, so you know whether or not you're making progress. And then just running the physics of progress over and over and over. You have a hypothesis about how you're going to overcome the obstacle that stands between you and what you're trying to accomplish. You're going to do something to accomplish that thing, and you're going to see how much progress you made, which is going to give you more information for you to reformulate that hypothesis. If you fall back on that process, that is going to be the thing that carries you through. Never count on motivation because motivation really does come and go, so make sure that you have an air type process, and then everything else will fall into line. Alright everybody, that's it. If you follow those things, you really will be able to stick with your goals and make just about anything in your life come true.
SUMMARY - Stick To Your Goals (58:01)
It's about persistence, it's about process, it's about desire, it's about knowing what you want, specificity, and sticking with it. If you enjoyed this episode about changing your life in the upcoming year and achieving your goals, check out this clip about following your passion to live a life that you will love. Welcome to another episode of Impact Theory. Today, today my friends, we are talking about the age-old question.
CLIP - Millionaire Money Mindset: Ways To Stay Focused In Your Pursuits (58:32)
Following your passion, doing the thing that you most want to do in financial stability. Buckle up because this is something that a lot of people think about, and the roads are windy, so we're going to get into it right now. How can I get rid of the fear of following my passion, especially when the odds are against me? It's so hard to get over the false notion of permanent security. Okay, you're never going to get rid of the fear of following your passion. Let's start with that. As you said, there is no such thing as arriving in life, and this is one of the main ideas that I want people to really grapple with as you think about how to live your life well, is that there is no success big enough that you can stand in that success and that it will last forever. Really, this is a game of neurochemistry. This is how you feel. This is what stresses you out. This is what you love. This is an ever-changing roller coaster of emotions. And so understanding that you could fail at a job that you hate. I think this is Jim Carrey's advice to his father. That you could fail at a job that you hate, so you might as well at least try the one that you're going to love. Now, that doesn't mean that we just throw caution to the wind and we're going to get more into that with some of the subsequent questions, but recognizing that you will never reach a destination. The only destination in life is death, and that is not a worthy aim. You shouldn't be thinking about that or focusing on that or thinking in terms of, you know, "I just need to get to 95 or 150 or whatever age you're aiming at." This really is a question about how you want to feel every day, and once you understand that, that there are things that make you feel alive, those things you're passionate about, those things that give you more energy than they take, and then there are things that take more energy than they give. And so you want to be very careful to structure your life in a way that you're doing something that gives you more energy than it takes. Okay, so we know that we're never going to arrive. Because we know that we're never going to arrive, we understand that this is really just a game of emotional management. Because we know that this is a game of emotional management, then what we're asking is, "What is this thing that gives us passion? Is it giving us a neurochemistry that we want?" Or, is the thing that we're passionate about so high risk that even though it would be fun in the abstract, once I really commit to that and make it my job, it stops having that same sense of giving me energy. And that's the tension. This is where people end up not being able to make a decision because they have not yet figured out how to optimize their life in such a way that they can pursue that thing that they're passionate about without that sense of joy and excitement and that incredible thrill of getting better at something that you love doing. And that even when it's hard, it's giving you that energy. Because people can get lost in that, they get in there, they think this is going to be amazing, that passion turns into a job, and then they lose the enthusiasm, or there's so much stress and pressure around having to be successful at that passion, because you no longer have the safety net of a job or whatever the case may be, they don't recognize that just pursuing something that's your passion on paper isn't necessarily going to solve that problem. That the problem fundamentally is that life is an ever-changing roller coaster of emotion, and the name of the game is to manage those emotions well. Okay, so how do we set it up? If we have a passion and we want to follow that, how do we do it well? So we know that we're never going to get rid of the fear until we have predictability and stability in terms of the financial things that we need, and I would say we want to take care of that. We want to make sure that we have as much safety and security on the financial side as we can to give us the room to pursue the things that we're passionate about. Now the fastest way to do that is to cut your expenses to the quick. If you don't have an expensive lifestyle, this becomes a whole lot easier, and one of the mistakes that people make is they're living a lifestyle that's beyond their means, and so they have to keep making this massive monthly nut, and so it becomes very stressful to pursue that thing that they love. Okay, so we're either going to recognize that we have to reduce our expenses so that we don't have to worry so much about money, or if we already have a job that pays well, we have to pursue our passion in nights and weekends fashion, such that we can build that financial stability so that we can then progress. Okay, so getting that stability there I think is really important. The people that have the strongest home life take the biggest risks, and oftentimes pursuing that passion is going to be a risk. So instead of trying to eliminate the fear, we're going to structure our life in such a way that the things that trigger the fear aren't as high risk. Okay, that's a big part of this. Then we want to make sure that we're structuring our passion in such a way that it doesn't end up robbing us of the joy. So we want to experiment with what our passion looks like as a financial endeavor, and I think that's a very important experiment to run. Again, nights and weekends without making any major life choices is going to be very important. Now, if we're in a situation where the odds are stacked against you, this is where the first two things that we just walked through become incredibly important. You want to make sure that you've got your finances taken care of so that if this fails, that it doesn't drag you down, that will make it not fun. And again, there's no accomplishment so great that you can stand in that forever. So even if you were to be successful, you still have to deal with the emotional management. So do not put yourself in this hyper stressful situation where you're always living for the future because the success is not guaranteed, but the struggle is. So the key is to struggle well. That's the answer. Get after it.
Finding Your Dream Job (01:04:33)
Okay, next, please address the different aspects of transitioning from your regular job to your dream job. What mental strategies should I employ? How much financial cushion is enough? How much confidence do you need to have in that new venture? So one, taking the answers that I just gave in the first question, you want to make sure that you're structuring your life in such a way that you don't have these huge financial risks that you're not adding stress to yourself in that way. The second thing is you don't need to have a lot of confidence that the new venture is going to work given your current skill set and vision. What you need to have an obscene level of confidence in, what I call the arrogance of belief, is that you can get better over time. So if you put time and energy into something, you actually will get better at it. It's what I call the only belief that matters. Once you recognize that the human animal is designed to grow and improve through disciplined effort, so you go in, you're practicing something very specifically with the aim of improvement. So you're not just doing it randomly on repeat. You have a very structured approach to improving it. So once you have that and you believe that if you have that structured approach to improvement that you actually will improve, now you've got the confidence that you need to go into this. And if you have structured your life in such a way that you don't have these huge financial responsibilities looming over your head, now you're able to buy yourself the time that you need in order to get good enough to pull this off. I'm always telling people that the goal is to avoid a mortality event. You want to stay in business long enough to be able to figure it out. Then you can run what I call the physics of progress. If you don't know about the physics of progress, make sure you sign up for Impact Theory University. And by the way, if you are a legendary key holder, you get Impact Theory University for free. So definitely check that out. But getting into that loop where you are working, improving yourself, buying yourself the time that you need to improve, running the physics of progress so that you can iterate your way to success. Now you're going to be able to pull this off even if it's difficult, even if in the beginning you don't have the current knowledge and skill set that you're going to need. So many of the things that I've gone into in my life, when I first started it, I didn't have the ability to pull it off yet. And I just made sure that I bought myself the time to figure it out. In terms of how much cushion do you need, I would say six months. You need to have at least six months a year if you can pull it off. If you are hard working disciplined, you're going to be able to find a job that will cover your basic necessities within six months. For sure, you may not find your dream job, but you will certainly be able to find a job that will pay your bills. So six months to me is that bare minimum. Again, you can always cut your expenses back or make more money. Those are your two options. All right, now as I'm transitioning from my regular job to my dream job, personally, I would treat them exactly the same because I'm always trying to act as an intrapreneur. Right? So if I'm at a company, I know that my job description is just the things that I need to get done quickly so that I can find other things within the company to take on as responsibility and blow pieces. And that really is the path to success within a company is to do your job to an extraordinarily high level of quality and then to help other people to take on other responsibilities.
Hitting the Ground Running (01:08:00)
And as you do that and perform well there, you will find that you'll be able to move quickly through the company. Now, because I'm always doing that, I'm going to do that whether it's just the job that I'm doing to pay my bills because I know that that's the way one to love what you're doing, to progress, to get better every day. Like that's a huge thing. And also to be able to really get that progression through the organization as well through overperformance. So whether it's my dream job or normal job, I'm going to be doing that. So this is just about hitting the ground running, constantly getting better, doing your job extraordinarily well, having some element of that, you're trying to be the best in the world at, and then going beyond. Alright, the mental strategies that I employ, the key thing that you're going to have to avoid here is overwhelm. So you don't want to get into a situation, trying to go really hardcore, put a lot of pressure on yourself because this is your dream job. It's we're going to show up every day, we're going to play in a sustainable manner, we're going to act in a way that we can do forever. So I always tell people that I average 93 hours a week and the reason that it's 93 and not 94 is 93 is joyful and 94 is where I start to get diminishing returns. So whatever your number is, that's where you're going to put yourself and you want to work hard, smart, and long hours if you want to progress and get ahead, but you have to be very protective of your mental health. So long hours needs to be defined against where you stop having fun, where you stop being able to progress in a joyful manner. So joy is a huge metric, stress is a metric. You need to be watching these things because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is fulfillment pursued in a joyful manner. That doesn't mean that it's always going to be up. Fulfillment covers that difficulty, that they're going to be hard things. I use the word joy instead of happiness. Happiness to me feels far more ephemeral. Joy is that thing that you get out of doing something that really matters and making progress towards that. So there's no doubt that there are going to be times where things are hard. There's no doubt that there are going to be times where you start to feel that overwhelmed coming on. You need to stop that in its tracks. What I do is I always remind myself, I don't do overwhelmed. And I will literally say that. I don't do overwhelmed. Now, that does not mean that I can carry an infinite weight on my shoulders because I cannot. What it means is that I know that in those moments when you begin to feel yourself overwhelmed, you need to stop. You need to take a deep breath. You need to meditate. And you need to remember that doing less is always an option. Okay, this is from the hustle porn guy. The guy that's like, "Go hard. 93 hours. Here we go. Let's do it." I'm telling you right now, I can only do that because I exist within a framework where I know that if things for too many days are not joyful, they're too stressful. There's too much that doing less is always an option. That I can dial things back. And I like to remind myself that I always keep detachment in my back pocket. Now, what I mean by that is the Buddhist idea of detachment. That suffering comes from desire. It comes from wanting more, better, bigger. Now, I want all of those things. And I find that engagement is the juice of life for me. But I remember that at any time I can detach from that wanting, that reaching, and trying to do more. And because I have that in my back pocket, it allows me to relax in those moments where I can feel overwhelmed starting to build up. I just remind myself, now's the time to meditate. Now's the time to breathe from my diaphragm. Now is the time where I least feel like I have the time to relax, that I need to relax. And because I know that I can always slow down, take a step back, I never get overwhelmed. And because of that, I'm able to keep going and keep performing. But if I just tried to run in the red all the time, then I would stop having fun. I would not want to do it anymore. And I would give up. And the only thing that I have that's like a superpower is my relentlessness. And so I don't want that to be broken because I'm overplaying my hand and going way too hard. What's your suggestion for leaving corporate and pursuing my own business? I feel prepared to do the work. It's just upholding the house, car, and expenses that are a huge risk. I'm a single mother with two children. Any advice will help. First of all, thank you for your service. So having children is brutally difficult and I am so grateful that people are doing it, that love their kids, and that are doing their best to raise them. That's amazing. So you're definitely in a difficult situation here. You've got a lot of obligations. So what I will say here is that getting super efficient with your time is going to be incredibly important because we're going to not leave our corporate job. Not until we've got the bills taken care of from the other options. So if you're starting your own business, you want to start it, nights, and weekends. Now, this is advice that I have taken myself. So when we started Quest, we were also running a technology company. So we ran the technology company all day, and then nights and weekends we would work on Quest. And we did that for a long time until Quest got its feet under it. And so taking that strategy, while I know how sexy and cool it is to say burn the ships at the shore, and come on, there's no turning back. Like it's do or die. That puts a level of stress and pressure on you that is not going to be fun. And if it is true, that like I said in the first answer, there is no accomplishment so great that you can just stand in that moment forever. You will always and forever have ups and downs, moments of success, moments of failure, victories, defeats, moments where you look amazing, moments where you're embarrassed. They're all coming for you. And there is no get there and stay there forever. So this is about learning to do that dance well. It's about structuring your life so that you can survive when it gets hard or when you fail or when there's a downturn. So you need to be really thoughtful about how you structure that, especially given the fact that you have kids and you don't have anybody else to rely on. So we're going to do nights and weekends. We're going to get hyper-efficient with our time. That's incredibly important. And we're going to spend whatever time we can allocate because of course you're going to want to allocate a bunch of time to your kids. But we're also going to need to find time for you. And in that time for you, we're going to focus on building your new business. Now, this is why it does not make sense to build a business unless you are passionate about it. Unless you love the idea. Because if you love it and you have a strong why, there is a reason why you're doing all of this. Then you'll be able to push through all the hard times. You'll be able to stick it out. You'll have that desire. It will energize you and all will be well. But given that, we're still working to make sure that we're paying the bills. We have the tremendous responsibility of raising our kids and keeping a roof over their head and paying for the car and all of that stuff. So when we take time away from our kids or from just relaxing, we want to make sure that we're doing something that energizes us. That is critically important. So as you figure out what that business is going to be that you're growing, make sure that it's something that you would love doing every day, even if you were failing. That's the key. Something that you would love doing every day, even if you were failing. If you do that, now you've really got a shot. But if you don't, and you pick something that you think is going to make you rich, or it's going to allow you to exit your own life, or it's going to allow you to pay for your kid's college tuition. All of those things are going to set you up for failure. Because now you're not making decisions based on what you love and what you would struggle for and fight for. You're making decisions based on things you think are going to bring you a lot of money. And I will just repeat, the struggle is guaranteed, the success is not. The struggle is guaranteed. The success is a question mark. You may not ever make the kind of money off of this that you want to. So make sure that it's something that you believe in and you're passionate about. If you went back to your 20 year old self, knowing everything you know now, what would you tell yourself to have a fulfilling career?
Career Fulfillment And Personal Change
Fulfilling Career (01:16:31)
I would tell myself to only do things that matter to me. In the beginning, I didn't have a why. And I lost almost a decade of my life, pursuing something without a why. And I will just tell you that it's utterly miserable. And once I finally said, I'm never pursuing anything ever again that doesn't have a strong why, then my life got a whole lot better. As a human, as a social creature, I'm telling you right now, it is very easy to wake up, to fight, to go to war for people that you love and care about. And to build something that's going to help them that you can do. But when you're showing up, just trying to make money, you're not going to make it. It is a brutal slog and no amount of money in the world can ever touch how you feel about yourself. And I'm telling you, the reason that I harp on fulfillment all the time is the formula for fulfillment is very simple. You're going to work very hard to gain a set of skills that matter to you, that are exciting to you. In service of a goal that's exciting and honorable. And by honorable, I mean that it serves not only you, but other people. Now, if you're doing all of that, now you're going to have that energy that you need to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep pursuing it. If you don't have that, it really becomes miserable. And since, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is joyful fulfillment, I wish that I could have spared myself that decade. So I would very much focus myself on that idea. I was so hardcore about wanting to get rich so that I could go build the thing that I wanted to build. But I didn't even know why I wanted to build a film studio. I just knew I loved film. That was it. But even that would have been way too hard to do without a reason why I wanted to do it. So creating is amazing, but I know plenty of people that are in the film industry that don't control their own destiny, that are extraordinarily frustrated. So even this thing that they love so much, there are so many other people that are involved with it, that even that can be a very difficult path. So you better have a really compelling reason why you want to tell those stories. Because if you have that reason when things are hard and you're asking yourself, "Why the hell am I doing this?" What is the point that you have an extraordinary answer? And if you have not yet read the book, "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl, read it. In fact, don't even finish this video. Go read "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl. It is extraordinarily important to get those ideas in your mind. This was somebody who survived Auschwitz, who watched this whole family be destroyed and realized that the only way to make it through what he was going through was to have meaning and purpose. To give his suffering meaning. Now once the suffering had meaning, he could endure it. There's a great Nietzsche quote. "Whoever has a strong enough why can endure almost any how." You need to know why you're doing this stuff. You need to know why you're fighting. Once you know that, everything gets a whole lot easier. But if you don't know that, you will give up. I would anchor myself around that. I came to the idea, but it took me way too long. Are humans wired to be subservient, making it so hard for us to commit and move towards what matters to us? What practices help you step into the fire and help you consistently embody your highest self? Are humans wired to be subservient? No. But we all have different personality types. I've heard it said that humans are 50% hardwired, meaning unchangeable and 50% malleable. To live life well, you need to recognize both of those things in yourself. So what do you like? The parts that are hardwired, that are going to be immutable or close to it. And once you understand that, then you can focus on the 50% that's malleable to make the adjustments that you need in order to be able to move towards your goals. Now, when you recognize that you may have a personality type that makes you better suited to be a number two or number three or number four, whatever in a company, rather than to be the CEO. If you can actually get comfortable with that, then you can begin to craft your life in a way that's going to give you energy.
Don't ignore the 50 percent you can change. (01:21:36)
But when you buy into narratives around what people are supposed to want, what is cool, then all of a sudden you find yourself crafting a life for yourself that ends up becoming a torture chamber. So it's pretty fascinating as people get older. They tend towards growing more peaceful with what they're really like. Now, that's about the 50% that's hardwired. I'm always saddened when people ignore the fact that they have this massive part of them that they can change and that their life would be unrecognizable if they did it. But to err on either side is to blind yourself to a fundamental truth that failing to acknowledge will worsen your life tremendously. So don't buy into a narrative that you need to run your own business or that you need to be an entrepreneur or anything like that. What you want to figure out is where will you love existing? Where can you chase fulfillment the hardest? Where can you engage with your passions most deeply? That's the question. And if that means that you are a mid-level engineer, in fact one of the most fascinating examples of this, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer with Steve Jobs. Steve wanted to be an engineer. He never wanted to get to the point where he was like the president of the company and dealing with business meetings all day. He wanted to engineer. He wanted to be in there, in the hardware, writing the code. That was the thing that gave him juice. And the fact that he had the self-awareness to understand, "I don't want you to keep promoting me until I'm running the company. I want to be here as an engineer in the thick of this solving these problems. That is going to be a joyful life for me." So recognizing what it is that you actually want, what speaks to your personality, where are you going to be most energized, where are you going to be the most alive? Then put yourself there and then pursue it with everything that you have in a joyful way, where progress is a key and that you can, as you say, step into the fire. But I want to make sure that people aren't blinding themselves to what they really want. The people are taking the time to develop that self-awareness. If you can't say in a single sentence what really fills your tank, what gives you that energy, what makes you feel alive, if you can't say that in a single sentence, you're in trouble. So journal, write about it, think about it, work on it. Because getting that right is critically important. And what I see a lot of times is people have a feeling. They never stop to ask what that feeling is. They never stop to ask where it came from, what it means. They just have a feeling that they should be doing x, y, z thing.
What you really want. (01:24:40)
And they go pursue it sometimes with their head down for a very long period of time. I know why I did that. Sometimes people never look up and they spend their whole career pursuing something that they don't love, they don't care about because they think they're supposed to. Either the world has given them that idea, right? We're living through a time where being an entrepreneur now is cool. Certainly not everybody is going to enjoy that. We're a social animal with a competence hierarchy and progress feels awesome. And so oftentimes people want to just progress blindly without thinking about, do I need to progress within the hierarchy of a company? Or do I just need to get better at something so that I can do things that other people can't do? Because it's very different. If you gave Steve Wozniak the lowest you called him the janitor, but he creates the next piece of game-changing technology. Does his title matter? Or did it matter to him that he got so good that he could actually create that groundbreaking piece of technology? Now, if you like the climb, amazing climb. But if the climb is misery and you're finding yourself in progressively jobs that suit you worse, which is why they say that people rise to the level of their incompetence. Because you end up getting promoted until you get to that job that you kind of suck at and then you just stop. So if you know what you love and want and where you fit in and whether you want to be the person that's leading or whether you want to be in a pack and part of a community, figure that out about yourself. And then figure out how within that framework, what do I need to improve to chase, to do all the things that I want to do that make me feel alive? That's the key. That's how you embody your high self. Be honest about the 50%. And then be honest about the 50% that you can change. Because your life will be unrecognizable. And I think Tony Robbins is right that a foundational pillar to human happiness is progress. All right. I'll leave you with that. That, my friends, is how to think about passion versus chasing that dream, taking risks, financial stability. It's all important. And while I would love to just tell you to ignite the ships on the shore and storm the castle, reality is that most people that do that end up dying. So one, make sure that the castle that you're trying to storm is the right castle and that the mere act of trying to storm it is going to be fun.
If you're still struggling to envision your goals, you might be experiencing burnout. Check out this next episode to find out what you can do. My friends, it is easy to mistake burnout for laziness, but let me tell you, right now, these are very different things and you've got to learn to tell the difference.