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All too often, people want specific habits and strategies for self-improvement.
But these questions are inherently flawed.
Because the specific manifestation of a habit or strategy or not universally applicable…but the principles ARE
E.g. While everyone should adhere to the PRINCIPLE of staying physically fit, this will look different for every individual based on their background, body type, and lifestyle. One person might do well with a 5x5 weight lifting routine whereas another prefers a daily trail run.
Here are my 5 best improvement principle:
Principle #1 - Optimize Your Meat Vehicle
At birth, we are all given a vehicle through which we can explore, create, and engage with reality around us — our bodies (or as Joe Rogan calls it, “Your Meat Vehicle”)
And NOTHING, let me repeat…NOTHING will have a bigger impact on the quality and longevity of your life than the way you treat your body.
Therefore, the first and most important self-improvement principle you can follow is to optimize your meat vehicle…while finding a way to balance both performance and pleasure.
The specific way in which you go about optimization is (and should be) intensely personal.
Your body is unique. And for it to perform at the highest levels, the way you treat it must be equally unique.
However, inside of this overarching principle, there are a few “sub principles” to get you moving down the right path.
- Prioritize Recovery: Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night (ideally do a genetic test like 23AndMe or Self-Decoded to determine the exact number of hours you need to perform at your highest levels (and when you should get those hour)…yes, you can find this out by looking at your genes.
- Move More, More Better: I don’t just mean going to the gym and pumping iron (although that’s great). I mean prioritizing movement on a daily basis. Going on more walks, hanging from trees, doing handstands. Engaging every muscle in your body and learning how to efficiently move yourself through space. (Pick up a copy of The Align Method for some great strategies on this). You should work up a good sweat for at least 30-minutes a day, but think bigger than just your workouts.
- Eat Whole Foods: I recommend you do a gut biome test like Viome to get actionable insights into what your body needs. But if you don’t have the cash for something like this, start by simply eating only whole foods for 30-days. Then, as your body adjusts, start to pay attention to how specific foods make you feel and eliminate anything that makes you feel sluggish or low energy from your diet.
- More Nature, Less Bullshit: In your free time, one of the best things you can do for your body is to spend more time in nature. Go for a hike. Swim in a lake. Walk on the beach. Get out of your house and into the real world. The benefits are many.
Principle #2 - Relationships Money
The second overarching principle I encourage you to follow (based on my own experience with financial success and men in my network with 10-figure net worths) is that you should ALWAYS prioritize high-quality relationships over making money.
I don’t mean that you should not prioritize financial or professional success—you should.
Simply that it should never come at the expense of spending time with people you love.
When it’s all said and done, your relationships matter more than anything else (Harvard proved this empirically with the longest-running study of human behavior/fulfillment ever conducted).
Unless you’re below the poverty line, adding an extra 0 to your bank account won’t improve your life as much as finding the partner of your dreams, building a social circle filled with high caliber people, and going on regular adventures with people you love.
Make money, yes. But make friends, have lovers, and live your life.
You might be surprised to find that you actually make more money in the long run when you do this.
Principle #3 - Mastery is Everything
The simplest and fastest way to become successful is simple…
MASTER a high-income skill that you love.
Devote thousands of hours to honing your craft. Educate yourself on the best practices. Learn, learn, and then learn some more (more on this later).
When you have a highly refined skill that makes other people’s lives easier, you never have to worry about keeping food on the table.
If you can write words that sell…negotiate like an FBI agent…lead people to pursue a joint vision…speak in a way that moves others to action…
You’re set for life.
Find a skill you love and master it.
Master it for the sake of mastery, not for the sake of money. And with enough time, the money will come.
Principle #4 - Move TOWARD Adversity
Today, our lives are far too easy.
We live in comfortable climate-controlled boxes where things like boredom and discomfort are the exception, not the rule.
We can order food, find easy sex, watch endless streams of dopamine-producing content all with the click of a button.
And it’s slowly killing us.
People have become afraid to take risks…terrified of experiencing discomfort…and thrown off by the most minor of setback.
Don’t follow the masses.
Embrace discomfort and move toward adversity.
When you look at the pain you are experiencing in your life, it is ALWAYS a direct reflection of your willingness or unwillingness to embrace discomfort.
If you’re single and lonely…you’ve avoided the pain of rejection.
If you’re broke…you’ve avoided the pain of hard work and acquiring new skills.
If you’re sick and overweight…you’ve avoided the pain of discipline, exercise, and healthy living.
And by moving TOWARD the pain you’ve been avoiding, you can dissipate the pain you are currently experiencing.
No matter what, you have to face pain.
You can choose to face the pain caused by inaction…or the pain of taking action.
One path leads to ruin and regret. The other to liberation and joy.
Pick your pain wisely.
Principle #5 - Remain a Student
No matter who you are or how successful you become…always remain a student.
Never stop learning, growing, and challenging your beliefs and assumptions.
Pursue growth and expansion at every turn and NEVER rest on your laurels.
The perpetual student is alive, engaged with life, and filled by curiosity.
As Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
Hope this helps.