Thought of the day:
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Nelson Mandela
In this week's Dose, I share the 5 core things I did to get out of a slump and back to high performance.
When things are good, you're on FIRE.
You know EXACTLY where to focus your energy.
The objectives are clear, you know what you’re working toward.
Giving full effort & making decisions is easy.
But what happens when things start to feel off?
When it starts to feel like that same amount of effort just isn't cutting it anymore.
There's more stress, more fog, more frustration.
Answers don't come as easily as they used to.
And when we don't know WHY it's happening, we don't know HOW to handle it.
So we turn to things like working more, booze, social media, food, gambling, or ANYTHING that is a distraction.
The SAME energy within that makes you a high performer, turns into a nasty CRITIC when things get out of whack.
It gets LOUD.
It tells you you're a piece of shit.
It tells you to figure it out on your own.
It tells you that no one wants to hear you whine.
It says "See, told you this would happen."
I know that internal conversation well.
And I used to wish I never had that critic.
But now I actually don't see it as a bad thing.
I simply view it as a SIGNAL.
It's on us to do something about the signal we've been given.
In the last 3 years, I've read 90+ books, listened to 1,000+ hours of podcasts, and tried dozens of hacks to return to being the high performer I once was.
Plenty were a waste of time & money, but a few proved to be highly effective.
Here's what I did to get back to high performance after a 4-year slump:
First, I remodeled my mornings.
I used to take weed gummies at night, eat & watch TV until bedtime, and scroll social media in bed only to roll out of bed at 730am and feel foggy.
I no longer had energy or enthusiasm in the morning like I once did.
I knew THIS needed to change.
So I started:
- Waking up at 5am
- Making my bed
- Taking :60 cold showers
- No screens 60min after waking
- Reading, writing, & meditating for 5 mins each
I had read specific articles on all of these and figured I'd give it a try for 30 days.
Only about 3 days in did I feel a massive shift happening.
I felt like I was shot out of a cannon each morning.
This simple change affected my WHOLE day.
My routine became my rocket fuel.
Second, I started being intentional with who I wanted to BECOME.
NOT what I wanted to accomplish or acquire.
But WHO I wanted to be as a human.
I've shared before that my epiphany came when I learned all events in life are objectively neutral, only the mind makes them good or bad.
And that meant all of my struggles were because of how I THOUGHT and what I BELIEVED.
Not because of what happened. This blew my mind!
It was like someone hit the reset button and gave me a second chance.
I didn't know HOW to do it, but I knew I had to learn to re-wire my brain.
I wrote down 3 things every morning for a year:
- Check-In: How I'm feeling physically and mentally.
Was my leg sore? Did my stomach hurt? Did I feel recovered & energized? Or was I a little stressed out?
And why did I think that was the case?
This step was crucial in becoming highly attuned to my internal world.
- What I'm grateful for in my life.
Gratitude is buzzwordy, but it works.
By consciously focusing on what we're thankful for we slowly re-wire our mind to LOOK FOR things to BE thankful for.
This is leveraging our Reticular Activating System (RAS) which acts as a filter in our brain to show us more of the things we're looking for.
After a couple months, I found myself starting to see the good in situations by DEFAULT.
This was so freaking cool to experience.
- How I'd like to show up in my life today.
This was the main driver for me.
I started writing down exactly how I would show up in my life each day.
Kind, patient, confident, driven.
Someone who does the hard things in the face of fear.
Someone who didn't react to the driver who cut them off.
Someone who took their business seriously and committed to helping others.
All real things I worked on (plus a million more).
Know what happened next?
I started BEING that person. It was absolutely incredible.
And I still do this every day.
Third, I eliminated alcohol
It took me 2.5 years to go sober, but the simple choice to be intentional about alcohol was the first domino.
When my WHOOP told me a few drinks would affect my recovery for 4-5 nights, I knew I had to drink less.
When I'd wake up feeling unmotivated the morning after, I knew it wasn't supporting the life I wanted for myself.
Then, when I woke up with suicidal thoughts last August after having one beer with a friend, I knew that chapter of my life was behind me.
I used to worry what people would say, or how I'd go to sporting events, concerts, or family holidays without alcohol...
But the less I drank, the better I felt.
And the better I felt, the less I wanted to drink.
Then I thought "If this makes me feel my best, why the fuck do I care what someone else thinks?"
I never realized how much my life revolved around drinking until I got away from it.
There's a reason 100% of people who stop drinking say their life is insanely better without it.
Ultimately, it no longer aligned with the person I was becoming.
Fourth, I put my sleep first.
After reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, I was basically scared shitless to not prioritize my sleep.
He made it VERY clear that we are a shell of ourselves when our sleep suffers.
That, plus gamifying my health with WHOOP helped show me what I needed to get my best sleep.
- Consistent bedtime 7 days/wk
- No screens 60 min before bed
- No food 3 hours before bed
- No alcohol
And now I use a little piece of tape over my lips to ensure I breathe through my nose when I sleep.
As someone who went 9 years without sleeping through the night, my sleep has never been better.
I became more focused, alert, and energized which helped fuel my business.
I increased my time training jiu-jitsu from 3 days/wk to 6 days because I was recovering better.
And a sleep routine made getting up at 5am a HELL of a lot easier.
Fifth, I reevaluated my relationship with money.
Money had been driving my life for 9 years.
Felt like I always had to make more and buy nicer stuff.
Meanwhile, it never felt like enough - a voice inside me always wanted more.
Always finding a way to be stressed about it.
I had made good money in sales, but it clearly hadn't made me happy.
So I made a commitment to start putting MYSELF and what I wanted FIRST.
While becoming extremely clear on what I want to create for my life, money became a tool and not an end-all-be-all.
It was no longer a prerequisite for happiness, but just something that's traded for value.
I no longer bought into the lie that money = self-worth.
Or the game of chasing it.
Fuck that game.
I want to be happy.
- Remodeled my morning
- Intentional with who I wanted to become
- Eliminated alcohol
- Protected my sleep
- Reevaluated my relationship with money