Every year on my Birthday I write a massive list of things that have helped me throughout the year get healthier, happier, fitter and stronger.
1. Do things that make you harder to kill
One of my favourite films to watch is Zombieland. If you haven’t seen it yet, then I’m afraid we can’t be friends.
One of the best things about the film is the beginning scene which explains the rules of survival when it comes to a Zombie Apocalypse…
The first rule is Cardio.
“To escape a pursuing zombie you will need to out-run it, and this means being in good shape.”
It’s essential to do things daily that make you harder to kill and three of my big ones are Cardio, Lifting Weights and Getting in the Sea.
2. Cold Therapy is life changing.
Ever looked at those people that do cold showers and think they are off their tits?
That’s before I became one… and then started swimming in the ice-cold Sea every day. If you want to know why? go and do it watch how hard it is to stop smiling afterwards.
Anything that puts a smile on your face that you don’t really want to do is something you really should do more of.
3. Do things you don’t want to do each and every day.
People struggle to do things even when they know they need to do it. On this list is exercise, eating healthily and switching off social media from time to time.
Common sense, however, is not common practice and although doing things you enjoy doing is the path to success you also need to condition your mind to do the things you don’t want to do.
I don’t always want to go to the gym, and I certainly don’t want to jump each morning in the ice-cold Sea.
But doing things you know will make you live on this planet just a little bit longer even though you don’t want to do them is the real “secret to success.”
4. Not doing things you said you were going to do is like a knife in your side when you see others doing it. Don’t allow yourself to ever have that feeling often only as a reminder that you mustn’t give up so easily.
5. A self-made man does not exist. It takes support from those around you and a team of Picasso’s
I almost lost everything at the end of 2016 even though I had achieved everything that I set out to do.
That year I built a gym, wrote a best-selling book, broke a Guinness World Record and raised over ten grand for charity. It also nearly ruined my marriage and spiralled me into a deep depression that took quite a few months to get out of.
Make sure you appreciate and respect the people around you and use them for support.
Speaking of support, keep a lookout for “ Picasso’s”. They are the gifted, hard-working individuals that if employed you never let go of. It’s hard to find them as they are about 1 in 1000 and you will have to go through a lot of shit people to find them, but they do exist.
6. Have Zero Expectations From Others
There is a massive difference between getting support from people and relying on it. If you have zero expectations from another no one can let you down. Understand that human beings are strange creatures and will always look after number one. This doesn’t mean you mistreat people or seek revenge when others do you wrong; it means that you can empathise, understand and simply crack on building your empire without losing energy or momentum.
7. You don’t need to be so connected all of the time.
18 Months ago I switched my phone off for a week and went on holiday. It was the most fantastic feeling in the world being so connected to people around me without being distracted by social media. When I switched my phone back on, I almost didn’t want to, and I thought it was going to take me hours to catch up with the world
It took me 15 minutes…
If you want to reconnect with yourself and others, then learn to disconnect.
8. You can’t expect others to love and value you if you can’t love and appreciate yourself.
A narcissist has an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, a constant need for attention and praise, fantasies about power, a sense of entitlement, and a history of exploiting others for personal gain.
A person that loves themselves knows how important it is to look after themselves for the good of others around them, understands the earth orbits around the sun and not them, not everyone agrees with their point of view and knows that if they help other people become successful, they will become more successful themselves.
Please learn the difference between a narcissist and a person that loves themselves and use this to learn how to love yourself better.
9. Leave others better than you found them.
Please use this as an experiment this week. My challenge for you is to leave the next three people you meet better than you found them. It is your duty and your job to make them smile and feel better about themselves. Want to know the best thing about this challenge?
It will actually make you feel better too.
10. The Cure for Anything is Salt Water, Sweat, Tears or The Sea.
If you’re having a shit day, it can be cured by these three things. Have a cry, go for a run or to the gym and finally either walk by or get in the Sea.
11. You don’t need material things to make you happy.
When we are young at school, we don’t earn money so rely on our parents to buy us stuff.
Our sense of popularity can change overnight if we have a decent school bag or the latest designer shoes.
I believe we carry this materialistic view from childhood into adult life not knowing that most of the time we are buying shiny objects to impress people we don’t even know or like.
What has made me really happy the past year is spending time with my loved ones and spending time in the Sea. This does not cost money; it is free.
12. Embrace your weirdness
We are all pretty strange, and the worst thing you can do is hide it. Being openly weird can scare people off which is a good thing as it filters the real friends from the fake ones. Always remember to be “be yourself as everyone else is taken.”
13. There are two types of people in the world. Those that learn daily and idiots.
I remember that time before I started to read and listen daily. I couldn’t accept that others thought differently, I thought the world revolved around me and I was also struggling to make ends meet and pay my bills. Basically, I was an idiot.
It’s Amazing what reading and learning can do for you.
14. Waste time well
Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use or is worthless, defective and of no use. Probably the best explanation of time.
When time is gone, it’s worthless and defective and of no use as you never get it back.
Make sure you put it to good use doing things you enjoy.
15. Think about the last thing you were doing that made you full on belly laugh and try to do it more often.
16. Always Sharpen the Axe
Abraham Lincoln said, “If you gave me 6 hours to cut down a tree I would spend the first 4 sharpening the axe”. This is an incredible quote for several things in life.
When working out make sure you are stretching and mobilising to decrease your risk of injury and enable you to spend more time lifting weights. It might not feel like you are lifting more weights but when you become less injured and spend more time in the gym from doing so, you will.
17. Weak People Seek Revenge, Strong People Forgive, Intelligent people ignore
Life is far too short to waste any energy getting back at people. There is usually a reason someone is out to get you and it is most likely from jealousy or envy. Forgive and Ignore and carry on building your castle as that person has probably spent so much time trying to take down yours that they have entirely forgotten to build their own.
18. In an open marketplace for attention, darker emotions attract more eyeballs than positive and constructive thoughts ~ Cal Newport.
It might seem like a good idea creating drama and anger online especially if it’s getting you lots of likes and followers. This will come back to bite you in the ass as you have now become a pawn in other people’s messy and dramatic lives.
19. If you’re struggling with something, try to do the opposite of what you are currently doing.
20. You have the key to the door of your thoughts and can choose who you let in and turn away.
You are in full control of your mind and how you react to things. You also don’t have to let people in there. If someone tells you that you “ought to be ashamed of yourself” you have to accept that shame to feel it. Newsflash you don’t!
21. The Outcome is not the Outcome because there is no end.
In 2012 I was made redundant from my job. At the time it was the worst Outcome that had ever happened to me. 7 years later I remind myself that being made redundant was the turning point in my life that allowed me to follow my passion and live the life that I do now.
You might be going through some shit at the moment, but if you get through this, I promise you that you will be thankful for it.
How do we expect to become happy without gratitude and perspective? We gain these things from the bad times not the good.
22. Relax, we’re all fucking winging it.
A quote I use every day is “Floating like a Duck and Paddling like Fuck”. People might look like they have their shit together on the outside, but I promise you they don’t.
We are all winging it in this thing called life, and as long as you remember this, it should help you with your confidence and some perspective.
23. You can’t change the past so don’t allow it to affect your future.
We have all fucked up in the past, and so many people hang onto those failures and convince themselves that they don’t deserve a second go of it. Yes, you do!
24. Life is like a game of poker. Sometimes you get dealt a shit hand but that doesn’t mean you can’t win the game, it’s all about strategy.
I read a similar quote from Mark Manson’s book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”, and it’s so true. Some of us get dealt better hands than others, boo-hoo that’s life.
You have to play the cards you are dealt with and learn new ways to better win the game with these cards. Life is all about strategy.
25. Treat Your Mind Like a Hotel.
When you go to a hotel you Check-in to your room. When we go to our minds, we can spend days or even months without doing so.
When we leave a hotel, we check-out. The person at the desk asks us “how was your stay?” and we reflect and say it was excellent.
(not always but you get the drift)
Spend a little time each day reflecting on your day before you go to sleep
26. Be genuinely interested in others and what they have to say. Do this enough, and you will be an incredibly successful person.
Going back to my conversation about people having a natural tendency to think that the earth orbits around themselves you can cause a severe pattern disrupt to others if you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
It’s much easier to do this if you are not on your mobile phone so remember this next time when you are having a conversation.
27. No One Cares
Didn’t go to the gym today?
No one cares
Ate a million calories today?
No One Cares
Didn’t get much sleep because you spent all night arguing with strangers on social media?
No One Cares.
The reality about life is the only thing that matters is what you think about the things that you do or don’t do.
If you place high importance on the things you know will have a positive impact on your life (sleep, exercise, friendships), then you will start to care more about them if you miss them.
And if you do miss them? It’s only you that can do something about it because…
No one cares
28. It’s what you do when no one is looking that makes the difference in life.
What you practice in private you are rewarded for in public. If I could only show you how hard I work behind closed doors, it would make you feel tired just watching. To quote Thomas Edison “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
29. An Evening routine might actually be more important than a morning routine.
So many people talk about their morning routines. Getting up early, stretching and mapping out their day but you rarely hear people talk about their evening routines.
I would argue this is much more important so here’s a little insight into mine.
No Social Media After 8pm, In Bed Before 10pm and Reading a Paper Back Book in Bed. It’s been a huge game changer for me to get more sleep and to have a more productive following day.
30. Treat Yourself, you’ve earned it.
It can be hard for you to treat yourself especially if you have been working hard. Work Hard and Play Harder is not just a cheesy quote; it should be something that is preached and practised. This doesn’t mean buying expensive shiny objects beyond your financial means but treating yourself to a spa for the day, a mini break away or even a night out with the lads and not feeling the least bit guilty for doing so.
31. Sunrises are free
I go down the beach each morning to watch the sunrise. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, and it’s free. We, unfortunately, do not value free and if you had to pay to watch a sunrise, there would be the biggest queue you have ever seen paying crazy amounts of money just to catch a glimpse. If there is one thing I challenge you to do this week it’s get up early and watch it rise, don’t worry this one on me…
32. Learn how to frame things correctly.
When someone treats you like shit or says something hurtful, it’s quite easy to respond with the same feelings. This, however, is a vicious circle and not the right way of truly understanding the power of reciprocity.
Those who shout hate usually need help, and if you can spark some positivity from a negative situation and even help that person turn that frown upside down, you’ll be playing a very successful game in the future.
33. Routines and Rituals get Results.
Small things done daily produce incredible results.
I have a ritual where I do 7 pull-ups each day I go for a walk. This 5-second ritual has seen my back-thickness increase and my overall strength too. When you break it all down, it’s pretty easy to understand why.
7 Pull-Ups of a 90kg body for 265 days is the same volume as a Boeing 747 jet!
Find some of your own rituals that you do each and every day without expecting a result from them. If you’re consistent, it’s only a matter of time before you start to reap the benefits.
34. Last Hour Thinking
Imagine you only have an hour left to live. Who would you call and what would you do?
As scary as this sounds one day this will come true for everyone reading this
Don’t live your life with an “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality, be confident and sure about what you want from your life and who you want to spend it with.
The reason life is incredible is one day it will be gone. Never forget that and make sure you have a good one.
Hope you have enjoyed reading my 34 things at 34. Off to have a completely selfish day of indulgence because I’ve earned it!