Hello BWCF Family,
I, along with my mom (Dee Dee), recently had the privilege of attending Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar, and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had. It was truly a life-changing event particularly because it forced me to be completely honest with myself in terms of why I am not where I want to be. By most people’s standards I would be considered successful and I would agree to some degree. But when I examine the lives of the people whom I wish to emulate (Tony Robbins, Ray Dalio, Tim Ferriss) one thing becomes very clear—the folks I want to be like are not smarter, nor do they work harder, but their standards are higher than mine. If I want to get where I believe I deserve to be, I must raise my standards. I have to replace can’t from my vocabulary with the word “must”. Instead of “I could never do that”, it becomes “I must do that’.
I learned many powerful tools and lessons at the Unleash the Power Within event, and I would be remiss to not share those insights with my BWCF family. First, the difference between first and second, success and failure, is often less than 2 millimeters. Let me explain. If you ask a plastic surgeon what the difference between “ideal beauty” and the average is, they will say “2 millimeters”. You tweak the nose, or the lips or the eyes subtly, but it’s not a complete restructuring of the face as we might think. When you apply this logic to elite athletes, you notice the difference between gold and silver, or world champion and runner-up is often very small. I would argue that the victor in most, if not all cases, wins because she/he possesses a psychological advantage. This advantage is gained through habits or patterns that elite athletes do every single day. Marion Jones was on the track the day after giving birth to a child. Tiger Woods practiced his game every day regardless of what else was going on in the world. Kobe Bryant will not leave the gym until he makes 300 shots. All of these athletes are similar because of their discipline, but more importantly they all saw themselves as champions well before they actually were. They all saw their respective training regiments not as a chore, but as a means to being one step closer to their goal of being the best.
I know, you’re asking, “What does this have to do with me?” “I’m just an ordinary person that likes to work out.” Bullshit! All of you have made a conscious decision to be Crossfit athletes. We are elite fitness. No one at BWCF is average. All of us have a deep desire to grow and become better. What I am going to propose is a “2 mm” shift in our habits and patterns so that we gain an advantage not only in the gym, but in every other aspect of your life. It begins with morning routines. I recognize that some of us are shift workers so you will have to plug these recommendations into your schedule however it fits for you.
Tony has a technique he calls “Priming”. Essentially, it’s about starting your day in the best physiological state, as well as the best emotional/psychological state. The body is comprised of 70 percent water. If you recall from your high school chemistry class, one-third of water is oxygen. If you increase your oxygen, i.e. breathing, you can increase your energy level immediately, as well as change your emotional state. Upon awakening preferably before 5:30), my suggestion is to do a breathing exercise. With your hands out to your side as if your about to complete a push press, you quickly raise your arms overhead while breathing in through the nose. As soon as your arms reach overhead, you bring them down to the starting position while breathing out. It’s a fast, somewhat aggressive motion. I know it sounds corny and it is, but try it 3 sets 30 breaths, and tell me if it does not change how you feel in a positive manner.
From breathing, we move to the cold shower. Yes, I hear y’all now. I’m not going to take a cold shower. That’s fine. What if I told you that an ice bath, or a 5-minute cold shower has proven to reduce body fat. Check out Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body for a further explanation. My point is not to get you to lose body fat, which is an added bonus—my point is that a cold shower will wake your ass up much quicker than a cup of coffee (more on coffee later). Studies also have shown that cold showers strengthen the immune system and help to soothe and relax the body and mind. Still further, I do cold showers because everyone else doesn’t—it gives me a psychological edge.
Once your frozen ass has hopped out of the shower, it’s time to spend 10 minutes focusing on the mind. You can either find a quiet place in your house and use this time to mediate, or if that’s not your cup of tree, put your gettin’ shoes on and go for a 10-minute walk. Whatever you decide is cool, but you need to break the 10 minutes up into 3 parts. The first 3 minutes need to be focused on gratitude. Tony says to focus on 3 things your grateful for. It can be your family, a job opportunity, your awesome BWCF staff, etc. This is important as Tony notes, “because you cannot be grateful and have fear at the same time.” This technique allows us to be in control of our thoughts. If you do it correctly it will put you in a positive state. The second 3-minute increment needs to focus on “the three-to-thrive” in which you focus on the 3 most important things you need to do that day to feel like it was a successful day. And finally, the last 3-4 minute increment needs to be focused on you and where you want to be in a year, in five years, and in 10 years. Why? You are what you focus your thoughts on. If you ask any highly successful/productive person, whether it be a professional athlete, a top hedge fund manager, or somewhat like Tony Robbins, they will all tell you they visualized themselves being successful well before they actually were. What separates these individuals from everyone else is the intensity in which they believe their success is certain, as well as the measures they go to in order to accomplish their dreams. To quote Tony, “ Knowledge is not power. Knowledge with massive action is power.”
Ten minutes is all it takes to gain an edge, and to transform yourself to a higher standard. No one can tell me they don’t have 10 minutes. We all do, and if we don’t we need to find 10 minutes for ourselves. If you do this every day for 10 days I guarantee you will not go back to the old you. It seems so simple, yet most people don’t do it—remember “2 millimeters” is what we’re trying to accomplish. There are other techniques that I will elaborate on in the next post, which will be part of a larger 10-day challenge issued to all of my BWCF family. One thing I do want to recommend is writing for five minutes a day. It can be about anything you want and you can throw it away afterwards if you want. I like to try and write 10 ideas down a day. I borrowed this from James Althucher. Think about that. Not every idea is going to be good, but 10 new ideas times 365 days is a lot of freaking ideas and one or two are going to be great ideas that lead to new businesses, new relationships, new opportunities. With that said, I will follow up in the coming days with a detailed 10-day challenge for all of those interested in challenging themselves further. For now, I want to encourage everyone to try the “priming” technique taught by Uncle Tony. It works.