24 Things I've Learned Since Turning 24
With today marking my 24th Birthday I thought we'd kick off the morning with a slightly different style of article...
Here you'll find 24 things I've discovered, techniques I've implemented and mindset shifts I've had since venturing into fitness, self improvement and online business from the age of 17 (in no particular order).
1 - Mental Toughness Is The Key To Success
In order to build a killer physique, a successful online business and survive the day to day adversity we face mental toughness is key.
Talent, luck and intelligence all fade away in the face of adversity.
You're only lucky until you're not lucky, you're only skilled until you're attempting to go above and beyond your current skill set... when that time comes mental toughness will see you through.
2 - Momentum Is Real
You've heard the cliche quote before, the first step is always the hardest.
Getting yourself to the gym for that first workout, putting ink to paper and writing your first word on that essay... we delay and procrastinate starting.
Once we've started things become a hell of a lot easier!
Once you've got going don't slow down.
3 - It Takes 21 Days To Implement A Habit
Be it cold showering, starting each day with a green juice or sitting down to write a 1,000 word blog post - it'll take around 21 days of conscious effort before the habit is locked in.
During the first few weeks of implementing a new habit make no concessions.
Don't miss a day or two, whether it's the weekend, your birthday or -5 degrees outside.
Once you've skipped it once, once you've made a concession you'll be that much more likely to do it again.
4 - Start The Day With A Morning Routine And You'll Be Unstoppable
Start your day the right way and the rest of the day will follow that suit, if you wake up and do the wrong thing from the get go you're going to be fighting an uphill battle from the get go.
Exercising, reading, drinking a green juice - these are all habits I implement in my morning routine that prepare me to tackle the day.
5 - My Workouts Are Far More Intense When I Train Fasted
After years of eating before I trained I decided to give fasted training a go - I literally have not looked back since.
Both my cardio sessions and my lifting sessions are now performed fasted.
I feel lighter, more energetic and get in a great workout every time.
Some people swear by eating before they train, others notice no improvement... it's something you have to try for yourself.
This is one of those things that you can't take advice from a fitness magazine or website on, if you feel and train poorly with 30 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbs in your system before your workout then don't do it.
Trial and error is the only way to find your ideal pre-workout nutrition.
6 - Intermittent Fasting Is An Entrepreneur's Best Friend (Increase Your Productivity!)
When you've eaten a big meal you're lethargic and unproductive, you're far from sharp - you're ready to hibernate like a bear for the winter.
When you're fasted you're on the hunt, you're a lion looking for the kill... the kill is the task infront of you - be it training, working or brainstorming.
Want to eliminate the afternoon slump experienced in offices around the world? Eat a small lunch or fast through the afternoon.
An 8 hour eating window and a 16 hour fast has worked wonders for me.
7 - The #1 Way To Increase Your Intensity In The Gym Is To Get A Training Partner On The Same Level As You
Pre-workouts supplements are great, as are watching motivational videos before storming into the gym... but a training partner to battle yourself against is the ultimate way to increase your workout intensity and motivation.
Being able to confidently bang out those last few reps without fear of the barbell crushing your chest, giving you the physical and mental assistance you need to blast through your plateaus.
The friendly rivalry of a training partner will also keep you reliable and accountable - not feeling like hitting the gym today, thinking about skipping it? Your training partner will know.
8 - Set Deadlines For EVERYTHING
Your cutting phase, your website creation, your savings goal... these things should all have deadlines.
Without a deadline there's no urgency, there's no fire under your ass motivating you to get it done.
A deadline keeps you both reliable and accountable.
9 - Wealth Influences Happiness Through Freedom, Not Meaningless Possessions
There always has been debate over the 'money buys happiness' statement and always will be.
Over the last few years as I've built my online businesses I've found that money can buy or at least influence happiness via freedom.
When you have money you don't have to do things that you would have to otherwise, you aren't stuck in one location, you can travel where you want and outsource things you don't want to do.
If however you expect to find happiness by buying big houses or new cars, well you've stepped on the hedonic treadmill and there's no getting off.
10 - The Supplement Industry Is Full Of Shit (Building A Body Is Simple)
Powders, potions and ridiculous claims all form the beast that is the weight loss and bodybuilding supplement industry.
It's not until you look at studies, learn proper training techniques and understanding caloric manipulation that you can see just how crook the industry really is.
Zinc, fish oil, vitamin D and whey protein are all I need.
Forget the testosterone boosters and micronized creatine.
11 - The #1 Habit All Successful People Share Is They Read
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Charlie Munger... all recommend reading, daily.
12 - You Don't Realize How Much Adversity Someone Has Faced Until You Read Their Biography
"I'm not as talented as Michael Jordan" and "I didn't have the prestigious upbringing that Arnold Schwarzenegger had" quickly fade away as soon as you realize what these men, who have made it to the upper echelon of success have gone through.
They faced more than you'd ever imagine but it's not until we delve into the backstory, into their biography that we see that.
We merely see their success in their chosen field, their multitude of sponsors, endorsements and 8 figure income in the media.
We often forget that it wasn't always this way.
They started out just like you or I.
13 - Time Is Either Your Best Friend Or Your Enemy (Depending On How YOU Play YOUR Cards!)
Make the right decisions when it comes to eating, training and managing your finances (and start early!) and time will be an allied force.
Day by day as your body is in a caloric deficit you'll lose weight, stay strict with your workout regime and you'll gain muscle and strength as the days go by, invest your money wisely into an index fund for years and as the years tick by before your very eyes you'll have built an empire.
Time compounds positive actions.
A shredded, muscular physique, a 7 figure net worth.
Anyone can achieve these things with discipline and time.
As easy as it is to do this it's even easier to not do these things.
Time compounds poor decisions.
Credit card debt increases with time, your caloric surplus that has you gaining weight will continue to see you packing on unwanted pounds in a downward spiral.
14 - We Always Overestimate Our Discipline
"Do not put off for tomorrow that which can be done today."
If it takes less than 5 minutes do it right now, be it making that phone call or taking out the rubbish.
Later becomes never.
15 - If You Want Unbreakable Grip & Forearm Strength Start Rock Climbing Regularly
Rock climbing is the ultimate builder of forearm and grip strength, get good at rock climbing and bouldering and you'll never encounter issues with strapless deadlifting and the like.
Climbing 1 - 2x per week has done wonders for my grip strength on weighted pull-ups over the last year.
16 - Every Book Contains 1 Or 2 'Golden Nuggets'
The majority of books there's a lot of 'padding' so to speak.
The author generally has 1, 2 or perhaps 3 'golden nuggets' pieces of information that're extremely insightful and new, that you can implement in your life, however an author can't write and publish a 10 page book!
17 - Cardio is Easier With Music - Your Perceived Effort Is Far Lower
Listening to up-beat music makes our body want to move, and move fast by default.
When you're hitting your deadmill sprints or your jump rope workout I recommend listening to some upbeat music as studies have proven you'll push yourself harder as our perceived effort is lower.
18 - Age Doesn't Mean A Thing (Young Success, Old Failure)
Today with the endless opportunities to learn and build thanks to the internet age doesn't mean a thing.
The more people I meet the more I get constant confirmation of this...
There are 18 year olds out there with iron willpower, shredded physiques and e-commerce stores raking in 5 figures a month.
At the same time there are 40 year olds that've squandered their time, remain immature and resent the successful.
Age means zilch, it's how the individual has grown and matured during the time they've had.
19 - Body Fat Can Be 100% Manipulated By Your Caloric Intake
When it comes down to it you don't need cardio or fat burners, body fat is a game of calories in vs. calories out.
Place your body in a caloric deficit and you'll lose fat.
Cardio and fat burners are tools used to assist the creation and size of this caloric deficit.
The supplement industry will never tell you that though!
20 - Progression Is Never Linear (You MUST Endure The Dip)
Seth Godin calls it the dip, the extended period of time that you're grinding away and seeing little if anything in terms of results.
Most people quit in the dip, when they fail to see a tangible result for the effort they've expended they're discouraged and throw in the towel.
The dip is the test, if you want it bad enough and endure the dip you'll be greatly rewarded on the other side.
21 - Take Actions Based On Your Values, Not Your Feelings
Success comes down to discipline and value based decision making.
Emotion will send you off course, emotion will self-sabotage you.
When it comes to selling copywriters and advertisers know this, they play on your emotions to get you to sign on the dotted line.
Take actions and make decisions based on your values, not your feelings.
The loser dismisses and avoids putting in the work because he wakes up and doesn’t ‘feel’ like doing it, maybe they’re tired, sad or de-motivated…
The winner takes action based upon his values, he doesn’t give a fuck whether he’s tired, sad or de-motivated…
He knows that these temporary, negative feelings will soon be eradicated by getting that hard task done because it falls in-line with his goals.
22 - People Want You To Do Well Until You're Doing Better Than Them
"You should lose weight" and "You should start your own business" is often preached advice by those doing better than you.
But as you build momentum and grind away, seeing amazing results those opinions quickly change.
People begin to resent you, your results make them look bad, your expenditure of effort, compared to their lazy and lethargic nature is too much to handle.
23 - You'll Never Get Rich Working The 9 - 5 (Scale, Outsource Or Own Rights)
This was a hard truth for me.
You won't get rich working for someone else, sales being the only real exception here.
An hourly wage or a yearly salary, albeit even a large fixed salary will not make you rich.
At what point would you consider someone rich? Perhaps at the 2 million dollar net worth mark?
If so, with a $200,000 salary and 50% savings you're going to take 20 years of saving to get to that mark, not to mention the amount of stress and expectations from the corporation that's dishing you out those 6 figures.
Real wealth isn't tied to a clock, real wealth comes through ownership.
Owning in demand domain names, owning the rights to a published book, owning real estate... this is where real wealth comes from.
You're no longer clocking in and out of an office, your assets are doing the work for you.
24 - M0st People Don't Understand The Concept Of Opportunity Cost (If You Do This You Can't Do That)
You may save $5 filling up the gas tank in your car by driving to the other side of town to go to the cheapest fuel station, but that $5 saving is costing your an hour of your time.
Unless you value your time at $5 an hour you're actually losing out.
I no longer shop around, I aim for convenience.
I'm paying for it I know, but that time is more precious to me.
That time could be better spent training, reading or writing instead of sitting in a line of cars waiting for discounted fuel or a slight discount on the new iPhone.