September 2, 2018
How’s my Spanish? I’ve been taking lessons online using Verbling. My instructor is from Colombia, but recently moved to Australia to continue her studies. She gets on my case because I don’t study enough between lessons, but I’m trying to that around.
Spanish lessons are one of the many efforts I’ve taken in the way of self-improvement. The others include waking up at 4:30am, doing 30 minutes of meditation, cutting pork and red meat from my diet, a workout regimen that includes swimming, biking, running and Jiu Jitsu, vivaciously reading and spending money in ways that aligns with my personal financial goals. I have also been working on building my first home on an empty lot in Clearlake, Ca and writing my first book.
For some time, my plate has been full as CEO of Mission Bit and Vice-President on the Board of Education. Outside of work, it’s also important to spend the time with family, partner and the young men that I’ve taken on as mentees.
Then I started to recognize a bit of a paradox. How was it that I had gotten more busy, but started to find more time? The answer was the shift in perspective that I placed on the value of time. I realized in order to be great, time needed to be my most valuable asset and making the best use of it became my highest priority.
Once I made a decision to make time my most valuable asset, I examined all the ways I was using it. I had to be intentional about finding a few more minutes in my day to get closer to achieving my goals.
Before you can change the world, you have to learn to make your bed
Several years ago, I saw a commencement speech at the University of Texas on YouTube by Admiral William McRaven about the power of making your bed. He speaks to how important it is to pay attention to the little things. I realized in my own life how much things started to change once I made a daily decision to make my bed. The practice has become so automatic that I do it every morning without fail. It doesn’t matter if I’m on vacation, the bed has to be made.
I had these aspirations to make a mark on the world, but I needed to start with setting my house in perfect order. This continues to be my journey and by no means have I arrived. But I have seen how small changes in my lifestyle has had compounding affects over the years.
I got rid of my television in 2012, I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking in 2013, I stopped eating pork and red meat in 2014, I stopped putting sugar in my coffee in 2015 (expect for the velvet hammer at Philz Coffee), I stopped drinking soda in 2016, I started taking cold showers in 2017. This year I deleted my social media accounts. I would also say that service, fellowship and being in a monogamous relationship has all resulted in finding more time.
I’m grateful for the room I’m created to learn and grow, but there are more opportunities to make small changes that can have compounding effects. I read about limiting your clothing options, eating the same foods throughout the week, outsourcing chorus, limiting the time I spend on email, intermittent fasting and having a standing desk at work.
Many of us want to do more with our lives, but we don’t know where to start. I would suggest checking out this short list of books and lectures that have been really eye opening for me.
- Stick With It by Sean Young
- Alan Watts on YouTube — start anywhere, you can’t go wrong
- As a Man Thinketh — James Allen
- All Marketers Are Liars — Seth Godin
- Way of The Wolf: Straight Line Selling — Jordan Bealfort
- Book of Five Rings — Miyamoto Musashi
- Up from Slavery — Booker T. Washington
This list is only a beginning. I don’t want to overwhelm the reader. Also, I share this list with caution as I know the power contained in these ideas. Please understand that these concepts are powerful and can be dangerous if in the wrong hands. The old adage of knowledge is power is really true. For if time is my most valuable asset, knowledge is a close second.
People that know how to use time, knowledge and have the courage to take action contain the power of life and death. They start to understand the extent of their potential. Like Neo, they have taken the red pill and have been thrusted out of the matrix. They start to see the wheel for what it is and become less satisfied with being a cog in it. If only more people knew about the transformative power of making their beds.
Do any of these changes sound interesting to you? If so, please comment or write me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s build a community of people committed to self-improvement and that understand the power of making their beds.