It’s 5:30 in the morning. I am sitting at my desk in my home office. Juliana is in front of me doing her morning workout. The back door is open and the cool Florida air is gently flowing into the room.
I’m ready for a new day. I am ready to win this day. I feel so good. I feel focused.
There has been a calm mood at Stodzy this week. There is a cerebral feeling in which everyone reflects on what they have done so far, thinks about how we can do things better, and plans out their domination plan for 2018. The last few days, I have had some time for some real self reflection.
I have been asking myself about my own principles. How is it that I command my life? What is it that I believe in that I consider to be a life mantra?
Yesterday, I was writing in my notebook and I was journaling my principles. This all came very natural to me. I feel like at this point in my life I have a good understanding of myself, and I would like to share these principles with you.
Reflect and Plan Your Day
If I could credit one thing to the success I have had, it would be my nightly habit of taking 20 minutes to reflect on my day in my notebook and plan my next day out accordingly.
I was blessed that my mother was a writer and even more blessed that she handed her amazing gift down to me. Notebooks reveal your true self. When you are writing your thoughts in a notebook every night, it is very difficult to lie.
So every night, almost without fail, I write an honest account of my day. I write what I didn’t do well, but I also write what I think I did do well because I don’t want to beat myself up.
After that, I create my list for the next day. I write my power list. I write 5-10 critical tasks that need to be accomplished. I keep it simple. Every one of these tasks mean something. So if there is some shit that should be assumed I need to do (like clean the counter or take the trash out) I keep it off the list. Everything I do has the purpose of bringing me a little further than I was the day before. If it doesn’t help me grow physically, mentally, financially, emotionally or spiritually than it doesn’t go on the list.
And then every day, I attack that fucker. When I finish tasks, I cross them off with ferocity. I scratch them out completely so that there are no remnants remaining.
I do it again the next day, and the next day, and every day. It works.
Earn Your Rest
For the first few years of my business journey, I pushed myself very very hard. I would feel so tired and burned out. I would call my father to complain and he would say…
“so let me get this straight. You want to own your own business and make lots of money and not have a boss but you aren’t willing to be tired all the time?”
My dad always has a way of putting things into perspective.
The point is, I did eventually get to a point where I needed to start making some changes. I wasn’t eating enough, I would get anxiety because it would be Friday night and all my friends would be having fun and all I could think about was work. I knew I needed to start incorporating rest and leisure into my life.
I didn’t know how to do that. A big fear of mine is that I will get comfortable and I will start to slack off and ten years will go by and I won’t be where I want to be. Then I would have to look back at those moments for the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if I just kept on pushing.
I have no intentions of slowing down. So I came up with a concept.
I need to earn my rest. I need to earn my leisure. I plan out my day and if there is anything left to do, then I do it. But if I finish my daily tasks, I have earned the right to relax. This way, I can hold myself accountable as well as find a good middle ground to actually enjoy my life and the people in it.
I’ll play Starcraft. I’ll watch Netflix with Juliana. I’ll go out to dinner. I can do anything I want as long as I have earned the right to do so.
This mentality changed everything for me. Now there is no guilt in relaxing because I know that I took care of everything and I am continuously progressing. But there is no fear because I know that I am still going hard and I am enjoying my life in the process.
Years ago when I first started getting into running, I was having a real hard time with the ends of my runs. I was trying to keep a pace that was unattainable for me.
My mentor was also a runner and he taught me about pace. He taught me how as our bodies warm up, we naturally move faster. Our joints are lubricated and we hit that “stride” that every runner dreams about.
He told me that you always want to “finish strong.”
That lesson carried with me well beyond running. I have learned that it is more important to be steady and methodical throughout the majority of your work and to make sure that you finish with intent and purpose.
Most people are great starters. Most people get excited. They run as fast as they can. They feel good the first mile or so. They think to themselves “man I feel great I can do this forever.”
But they can’t. Your body is a machine and it requires fuel. Eventually, your body will break down if you keep too high a pace. The place to catch anyone or anything is in the last mile. If you finish strong, you will win more races than you lose.
This is true in life, business, fitness, money and in anything that requires you to keep a pace. This is why I am always confident that I will win. I’m not interested in sprinting. I am interested in stamina. I believe that you will quit before I will.
Every one needs their own principles.
What are yours?
I am an intense person. I have a hard time doing anything in moderation. These principles keep me relatively balanced and I know they can do the same for you.
Yet not everyone is an entrepreneur. Some people are parents first. Some of you may run a non profit. Whatever you do, you need to have principles that guide your behavior and your mentality. You need to know why you are doing what you are doing.
So I challenge you to come up with your own principles. How is it that you live your life? What do you believe in?