Sander Biehn is the author of the book “The Thirty Year Paycheck,” a novel which chronicles the tales of a fictional employee in corporate America. His book uses this character’s story as a back drop to helping people understand the problems corporate 9-5ers are facing and the possible solutions to ensure they come out on top. After nearly 20 years in a corporate sales job, Sander is now pursuing his passion in social media marketing and writing.
“Fortunis Audaces Luvat” – Latin phrase meaning fortune favors the bold.
1. Do Not Allow Money to Be Your Main Motivation.
It is often all to easy to allow a very benign seeming greed to fill our heads and cause us to waste the best years of our lives in careers we hate. Although money is essential to life, it is but one small piece of the puzzle that makes up a passion filled and vibrant existence.
We must never fall into the trap of doing that which we hate for a steady pay check. As Pablo Picasso so eloquently said, “Never permit dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.”
2. You Must Take Care of Yourself First so You can Take Care of Others.
As men, we tend to be (as a whole) rather unselfish when it comes to providing for our families. We are often placed in a situation where the well being of our families results in the detriment of our own lives, and we endure believing it is the best course.
What we do not realize, however, is that when we do not take time to look after our own needs physically, mentally, and emotionally, we operate on a low level of existence, depriving our loved ones of a full and authentic relationship. We do not understand that what is best for us, is by extension best for our loved ones, because it is when we are operating at our highest levels that we are able to serve them in the most meaningful ways possible.
3. Someday Has Got to be Now.
The average U.S. citizen has less than 28,000 days of life to live. 28,000 precious days that once they have passed, are gone forever. And yet, as a society, we live as if we are immortal, living uninspired lives, putting off our dreams and passions for that ever elusive “someday.” If we want to live lives fulls of purpose and joy, we must erase the “someday” notion from our head and make it “today.”
We can no longer put off that which we love for retirement, when our prime years have long since passed. We must seize the day and live as if today were our last day. Our last day to love, our last day to explore, our last day to adventure, and our last day to make a damns worth of a difference on this planet. We must live like we are dying.
4. Start Creating a Runway for Your Dreams.
If you have obligations to family (especially children) then it is rarely the best course of action to hand in your resignation and then begin building your life on your passion. It is essential that you first begin to create a runway that will ensure you have the momentum for success in your endeavors before you give up the income that sustains your family.
If you wish to blog, begin writing in your free time, build a following, and when you start turning a profit, quit your day job and go full time. If you love fitness, get your certification and begin working on the weekends, and when you have developed enough skill and recognition, move into making it your main stream of income.
Do not simply quit because you dislike your current circumstances, rather use your current situation as a springboard into the future that you want for yourself.
5. Live Below Your Means.
Regardless of whether you wish to run a multi million dollar podcast, own a tech startup or continue in your 9-5, your life will be much easier if you make a conscious effort to live below your means. This will make you less dependent on any one stream of income, and allow for you to take a pay decrease when starting a new venture without severely altering your lifestyle.
Even though a smaller house and slower car aren’t sexier, they are a path to the life that you truly desire, the life of your dreams.
As a young man, Dan Peña turned less than $1,000 investment into nearly half a billion. This lead him to create what is now the Quantum Leap Advantage. Dan Peña is the world’s leading high performance coach, having created over $50 billion in equity through his coaching. He is also the author of the book “Your First $100 Million.” Dan now runs high performance seminars at his castle in Scotland.
“Just fucking do it.” – Dan Peña
1. Stop thinking and pull the trigger.
We live in an age of abundant information. With the click of a button, one can download the ideas and thoughts of millions of individuals straight to their computer. Any issue you face can be solved by a quick Google search, and any history test can be aced with a glance at wikipedia.
However, this information has come at a cost. Now more than ever, individuals are in states of permanent planning, the gung-ho, ready, fire, aim mentality of past generations has vanished, replaced instead by an attitude of sparse action taken only after extensive research.
To achieve success, we must realize that experience is the best teacher of all, we must feel the fear of failure and take action anyways. No more sitting and waiting to have all the information, to have the perfect plan laid out. You must take action now!
2. You are the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time.
“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” The words of John Kubleur ring true now more than ever, you cannot be a high achiever while associating with low performers. It is key that you seek out high quality relationships to fill your life with people who will push you, convict you, and challenge you to rise above mediocrity.
If you cannot find people in your area, then, as Charlie Munger put it, “make friends with the eminent dead.” Read classic works, fill your brain with the words of the wisest individuals past and present, because who you associate with will be the key to your future.
3. Schooling and money is not necessary for success.
The lack of a college degree is no excuse for poor performance. Some of the greatest businessmen and talents of our time deferred college in favor of pursuing their goals. You must realize that the keys to success are never external, but internal.
You can have every damn degree and accolade in the world, but without passion, without fire for what you are doing, you will never be a success. It is far better to be a high-school dropout willing to work 20 hour days to accomplish his dreams, than a Harvard graduate dreading every task before him.
4. Mentors Are Essential.
Mentors are the force multiplier on your path to success, they can direct you to where you want to go, and help you avoid the missteps that are so commonly made. When searching for a mentor, you must realize that it is there time, not their money that is the most valuable asset they have to offer.
You must also realize that you bring very little to the table for high caliber mentors that they do not already have, so you must make up for this lack of financial and business resources with a burning passion to succeed.
5. Focus on your passions.
All the money in the world isn’t worth a damn if you are forced to do things you hate to earn it. If you truly want to be a success in life, you must heed the old cliche and follow your passions. Find something that excites you so that you tap dance to work in the morning.
Find something you are so pumped for that you don’t need an alarm to get up, because you couldn’t even sleep knowing that there were missing out on time that you could have been pouring into your life’s dreams.
6. If an idea doesn’t work, pivot, don’t quit.
Many times over the course of your journey, you will fail. That is a simple fact of the game.
However, when something you have invested heavily in fails, don’t waste precious resources trying to salvage a lost cause, and don’t quit unnecessarily. Simply pivot. Tweak your business plan, your product, or your approach until you are able to achieve the success you’ve been working towards
7. Focus on the Few Not the Many.
With the excess of information and opportunities nowadays, it is quite easy to get sucked into the trap of multi-focus. You must learn to have single focus on your one important goal, business, task etx. if you hope to succeed. You only have 100% to give each day, so why not give all of it to the one thing that will change your life the most?
Focus on the 20% of tasks, that will get you the 80% of results and leave the rest to the dogs.
Paul Huljich was the Chairman CEO of Best Corporation a pioneering organic food company with a valuation of over $100 million during its lifetime. After working for decades to build the life of his dreams, Paul’s unchecked stress caught up with him and he suffered a severe mental breakdown. Losing his rights as a citizen and being made a ward of the state, Paul lost everything he had worked so hard to achieve.
After being told that his chronic stress was incurable by the top doctors in the field, Paul decided to take matters into his own hands, becoming a self described guinea pig in his quest to eliminate his stress. After years of research and testing, Paul conquered his stress and has been free from all stress medications for nearly 15 years. From these experiences, Paul wrote the book “Stress Pandemic” an Amazon bestseller that teaches people how to mitigate the stress in their life to live more fully and perform more optimally.
“Take control of your stress before it takes control of you” – Paul Hulijich
1. Optimum Health Is a Prerequisite.
The first key to managing stress is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, living in such a way that eliminates stress is fairly simple and does not require radical alterations to your lifestyle. This simple morning routine will reduce stress levels by optimizing neurochemicals and hormone levels.
~Wake early (before 7 am)
~Drink 1 liter of room temperature water after waking up
~ Take a brisk walk early shortly after rising
~Juice after your walk
2. Do your heavy lifting in the morning.
Another cornerstone habit to managing stress is to have a healthy sleep schedule. One of the habits that many high performers become sucked into is the past midnight work day. However, by working late at night, you reduce the quality of your sleep and increase the release of cortisol in your body.
3. Remove C.R.A.P. from your diet, replacing them with good mood foods.
Crap or: Caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, not only contributes to stress and obesity, but also releases chemicals in your body that can increase cortisol, estrogen and several other hormones that raise stress and prevent optimal performance. Exchanging CRAP for “good mood foods” such as all natural and organic meats, vegetables, and fruits will enhance your bodies hormonal balance, neurological function and aid in fat loss and muscle gain.
4. You Must Remain Aware of your actions and your state.
One of the greatest keys to success in all areas of your life is awareness and honest self evaluation. You must be aware of your environment and your responses to it and how they affect your stress levels to operate at levels of peak performance. An awareness of your own physiology and neurology will allow you to head off stress and other issues in your life before their effects become detrimental. The consequences of failing to develop self awareness can be as mild as poor performance or as severe as a mental breakdown similar to Paul’s.
Mark Lee Greenblatt is an attorney based in Washington D.C. having worked several high profile senate corruption cases. Mark spent 5 years and hundreds of hours investigating to gain the information for his book “Valor” which tells the stories of the unsung heroes of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Your either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.” – Eldridge Cleaver
1. Grace Under Pressure
In his book Valor, Mark shares a story about Chris Choay, who, while trying to lead his squad in a flanking maneuver, found himself completely alone and exposed only meters away from the enemies position.
Instead of retreating, Chris calmly raised his rifle and fired…only to find his gun had jammed. He now stood like a fish in a barrel; if any of the insurgents looked over and saw him, he was dead. Calmly lowering his weapon, Chris cleared the chamber, reloaded a new magazine, and engaged the threat, eliminating the remaining hostiles.
Through his actions, Chris demonstrated extreme courage and performance under incredible pressure. It is this grace under pressure, this resiliency to the surrounding environment that we can demonstrate in our own lives when our first world problems causing undue stress and frustration.
Simply take a deep breath and think about Chris and make the decision to face adversity with grace
2. Change your frame of reference
You are not at war, you don’t have enemies firing bullets and rockets over your head, and odds are you never will. In the western society, we often find it so easy to get angry at the smallest things.
When the wifi in our house isn’t as fast as we want it to be, we throw a fit, screaming and swearing at the lifeless modem. When the wait time at our favorite restaurant is longer than we want, we complain and whine about how terrible life is and how we don’t have the time for this (ignoring the four hours we wasted on netflix that afternoon).
However, as 1st world citizens, very few of us have ever experienced true adversity. Few of us will ever know true hunger, few of us will ever know true fear, and few of us will ever face anything in our entire lives that compares to a typical day in the office for guys like Chris Choay.
We need to remember this and see our issues for what they truly are.
3. Show humility
For his book, Mark interviewed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle for several hours. Chris is the most lethal sniper in U.S. history having over 150 confirmed kills (and reportedly as many as 240 total), several bronze and silver stars, and being nicknamed “The Legend” by the SEAL community.
However in all of his interview, Kyle never once mentioned any of these things. In the day of twitter and instagram, we struggle to cook a good steak without bragging about it to our entire social circle, however men of true character are humble in accomplishment and it is the exploits of men like Chris Kyle that remind us of this.
4. Push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of
The Navy SEALs are famous for what they call “hell week” which is 5 and a half days of nonstop mental and physical pain. During hell week, recruits are kept awake for nearly the entire week, receiving a maximum of four hours of sleep, they are forced to run over 200 miles, and sit in the freezing surf of the pacific ocean.
As a society, we have become used to soft living and mundane existences, therefore, whenever a challenge does present itself, we cower away from it, fearing the pain of growth.
As men, we must begin to seek challenge realizing that we are capable of far more than we could ever imagine, and that it is by doing the perceived impossible that we grow.
Dave Asprey is the host and CEO of the Bulletproof Executive podcast and brand. Dave has spent nearly decades as a Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur and has invested over $300,000 testing various bio hacks performance drugs.
Through his testing, Dave lost over 100 lbs. and raised his IQ 20 points. From his experiences Dave wrote the Bulletproof diet, which is focused on teaching normal people how to optimize their lives for top performance in all areas.
“The goal of life is not to accumulate power but to radiate it.”- Henry Miller
1. Success is about what you give, not what you get.
Society has taught us to believe that success comes when we “get” something. We have been told that we have achieved success when we have that new Ferrari, the house on the beach, the beautiful women, or the multi-million dollar business. In reality, success is about what you give. Success is about what you can contribute to society and how many lives you can change with your talents and passions. True success is selfless.
2. Challenge long held beliefs and experiment for yourself.
In his early 20’s, Dave was almost 100 lbs. overweight. Dave hired a personal trainer and began following all the conventional wisdom of eating fewer calories, and training for hours a day. After months of no results, Dave decided to take his health into his own hands and figure out how to hack his biology for optimal weight loss. After he finished his experimenting he was able to lose and keep off over 100 lbs. of fat. This taught Dave that conventional wisdom is often wrong and success often requires challenging long held beliefs and experimenting for yourself.
3. Eliminate as many unnecessary decisions as possible.
Willpower is a finite resource. Filling your day with unnecessary decisions like what to wear, when to eat, or other superfluous activity leads to poorer decision making later in the day. A key to success is to automate your life as much as possible, making unimportant decisions automatic and saving your willpower for more important issues. (as a side note, one way to increase cognitive function and improve decision making is to get more fat in your diet from sources like meat and coconut oil)
4. Eliminate as many “kryptonite” foods as possible.
There are a number of mainstream foods today that do absolutely nothing to enhance performance and are extremely detrimental to your physical and mental health. Examples of these “kryptonite” foods would be gluten, soy, processed sugars, and msg. Eliminating as many of these as possible will increase health, performance and longevity.
5. Try bulletproof intermittent fasting.
One of the most effective ways to shred fat and build lean muscle is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is the principle of having a 6-8 hour feeding window followed by a 16-18 hour period of fasting. Do this in conjunction with bulletproof coffee to eliminate crankiness and food cravings and you’ll be burning off those last 15 lbs. in no time.
6. Focus on making your body do what you want it to do, not what it was designed to do.
With all the modern chemicals and toxins that infect our food and water sources there is large focus put on staying “natural.” However this approach is often unbeneficial as it leads to us forgoing supplements and activities that can enhance performance, prevent aging, and optimize our natural functions. When deciding whether or not to utilize a certain supplement, nootropic etx. focus on how it effects your body and not whether it is “natural”
A key stone habit of hundreds of successful people throughout history, mediation allows you to get in touch with and gain greater control over both your mind and body. Implementing this habit for as little as 5-10 minutes a day can bring exponential returns in the long run.
Jake Ducey is a motivational speaker, author and youth role model. At 19 Jake dropped out of college and traveled the world writing the book “Into the Wind” shortly thereafter. Jake is the youngest published personal development author with Penguin Random House.
“Most of us are gambling on the biggest risk of all and that is to bet that one day we will be able to buy the freedom to do what we want later in life.” – Jake Ducey
“Write it down, make it happen”- Jack Canfield
1. It’s All Within Yourself
Jake traveled the world for six months, experiencing life in third world countries and during his travels he saw people who had absolutely nothing, yet they woke up every day with a smile on their face. It was through this experience that Jake came to the realization that everything you need is within yourself, you are enough.
You don’t need the house, the car, or the girl to make you complete as a man. Everything you need to live a full life is within you.
2. There is a difference between learning it and living it
We all know what we need to do to have success. To be financially independent, we need to save more than we spend. To be healthy, we need to eat clean and exercise more. And to have success in our dating and relationships, we need to be confident in ourselves and listen more.
Most every key to success is simple. So why are so many people broke, fat, and lonely? Because we aren’t living it! You must be willing to live out the lessons you have learned not merely read about others doing them. If you truly wish to be a success, what you need is not more information and more plans.
What you need is to start living out what you believe and become a man of action.
3. Most of our fears and anxieties aren’t real
As a society, we suffer from high rates of chronic anxiety and depression, allowing the mundane worries of our day to day grind to dictate how we live. However, the majority of our fears don’t even exist.
Our anxiety is simply a projection of what may happen at some unspecific time in the future if we fail at x, y, or z. In other words, most of our worries are bullcrap.
Even the worst thing that can happen to us is likely not half as life altering and world shattering as we may imagine. As soon as we embrace this mentality, we can begin to feel the fear and do it anyways. And that is when we begin to truly grow into the man we were meant to be.
4. The Point of a goal is who you become in the process
The purpose of any goal, be it physical, experiential, or financial is not the achievement of the goal itself, its about the man you become in the process.
When you set out to transform your body, bank account or social life, you will find that the real reward you gain is the character and integrity from doing the difficult things.
You will find that the grit and tenacity that you have developed from challenging yourself is better than any car, house, or number in a bank account. And you will find that being a man of integrity, a man who says he will achieve something and damn well does it, is the greatest reward of all.
Bo Eason is a former safety of the Houston Oilers, now, a playwright, actor, and personal development coach. In 2009 Bo produced a daily talk show called the Bo Eason Show and his stage production “Runt of the Litter” is currently being played on several stages across the nation. Bo also runs a personal development company focused on teaching individuals and companies to share their stories in a more compelling way.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
1. Talent is a myth
In the modern age, we rarely get a glimpse into the trials and obstacles that many of the “overnight successes” face. We are lead to assume that they achieved success purely from talent. We are not shown the years of hard work and effort poured into their so called “instant success.” Talent is a myth, the only way to achieve greatly is to dare greatly and work harder than every single one of your competitors.
2. Mastery is a learned skill
The very act of learning is an aquirable skill. At an early age, Bo decided that he wanted to become the best safety in pro football. Despite several obstacles, he achieved his goal and was able to apply what he learned while mastering football to his new career as an actor and playwright. Mastery is a learned skill , if you can master one thing, you can master all things, and if you can master all things then the world is yours for the taking.
3. Obstacles are inevitable if you want success
When Bo decided to become a pro football player. Every odd was against him. He was shorter and slower than the typical safety, and did not get picked for the college he hoped to play at. However, despite being a walk on at a small university, he was still drafted into the NFL, going on to become one of the best in the league.
4. Learn to love obstacles
If obstacles are inevitable to success, then we must learn to love them. Accept challenges for what they are and take pride and pleasure in the process of becoming better. Don’t see obstacles as a negative but rather view them as a way for you to sharpen yourself as a performer in whatever field you choose.
5. To gain follows you must learn to tell a good story
Bo now runs seminars and key notes teaching people how to tell a convey their story in a memorable way. He has learned that all great leaders throughout history achieved their success because they were able to tell a story, they were able to cast a vision and create a reality for people to follow. If you wish to be successful in any endeavor you must learn how to tell your story.
6. Be a warrior and not a critic
This world doesn’t need another damn critic. This world needs warriors. This world needs people who are willing to face challenges, who are willing to do the impossible, who are willing to be uncomfortable and rejected to achieve great things. You must become a warrior. Become the kind of person who laughs at adversity, who welcomes obstacles and who makes the world in your own image. Be a warrior.
Phillip and Ishmael are the duo behind the band “William Pilgrim and the all Grows up.” They are social activists focused on bringing about societal change by spreading their message through music.. Phillip and Ish are also heavily involved in programs to help at risk teens by teaching them to express their struggles through music.
“Don’t give up before the miracle happens”
“If I stay ready I won’t have to get ready”
For several years, Ish was living on the streets, spending time with druggies and headed no where fast. After hearing “Not Afraid” on the radio Ish realized that he needed to get his life together and put an ad on Craig’s List for a day singing in the studio. Phillip responded to the ad and ”William Pilgrim and the All Grows Up” was born.
1. “Don’t quit ten feet from gold” – Napoleon Hill
Life will always throw challenges and adversity our way right before we accomplish our goals. Things often look worst right before a breakthrough, and the temptation to quit will become almost unbearable. The key is to persevere and not give up when the struggle gets hard but to face the trials until you succeed.
2. Approach all of your goals with intensity and determination.
If you want to have high levels of success in your life, you must be willing to put forth the same effort and resolve that our forbears did during movements like the American Revolution and Civil Rights Movement. Nothing worth having ever came easy, and the only way to ensure success is to pursue your goals with a fiery drive.
3. Accept the uncertainty of life and adapt to meet it.
Fate doesn’t care about plans. Life will always present unexpected circumstances and trials and the only way we can succeed in a world of constant uncertainty is to learn how to accept whatever happens and adapt your tactics.