As a life long practitioner of personal development, I research and try out personal development strategies and tactics continuously. It’s actually my job as a life coach. Some work, others don’t, and a few work so well that they almost grant you X-Men like super powers Better yet, since I opened my coaching practice in 2017, I have had the privilege of exploring these interventions at scale with my clients. This means that I have had dozens of conversations every week where people share their own success strategies with me. The result is a lot of practical data and experience for understanding which interventions help people grow the most.
I want to share with you today the very best discoveries of 2018 so far. I have included three interventions which make a massive difference to life and success.
A word of warming, the first two interventions are hard hard hard. It seems that the things in life which give you the most gold are usually the ones which require you to face the most fear or put in the most effort.
Wake Up early
I was always a late riser. I reasoned that as long as I slept for 9 hours and was awake for 15, it makes no difference whether this happens late in the day or not. I was wrong. There’s a magical quality in the morning, and when you embrace it, you bring a practical boost into your day. Many of my clients report that the early morning is the most productive part of their day. They say they are not disturbed and have the space to work on their most important projects. For the rest of the day this ability is hampered by the drip-drip of interruptions from others.
There is a psychological edge for rising early too. Knowing that you are delivering on goals while others are still sleeping generates a boost to deep self-esteem. It’s also hard to wake up early. You know it, and your peers know it. I have seen a flooding of pride in my clients when they report how disciplined they have been with their early wake ups. By learning to rise early you invest in your capacity for discipline, and this meta-skill is one of the critical pillars of delivering anything effectively.
For all you commuters, the incentive to rise early is even stronger. Not only will you impress your colleagues and boss by getting into the office before even the cleaners, but you will have cut your commute time to a fraction as you travel on quiet pre-rush hour roads.
Some of the greatest men and women in history were early risers. You will find yourself in excellent company if you integrate this practice into your life.
The puritanical notion of shunning masturbation always struck me as an archaic prejudice – rather like burning witches or denouncing people who don’t eat fish on Fridays. I was wrong about this too.
I discovered NoFap on YouTube around the Summer of 2018. NoFap is an community of guys and girls who have given up masturbation for self-improvement reasons. Never one to shy away from a good old self-improvement practice, I decided to give it a go, and oh my gosh did this one pack a punch.
To speak frankly, reversing the momentum of a whole life of self-gratification is bloody hard! Pornography is always one tab away from access, quick and easy dating services are just one swipe away, and the rest of the media is using sex to sell us over-stimulated Westerners more ‘stuff’ whenever they can squeeze it in. This intervention was one of the most challenging I ever implemented. My clients all struggled too.
Here’s what we found. If you practice NoFap, you feel an immense surge in energy and motivation; anxiety plummets (and a couple of my clients with full blown anxiety disorders were completely cured by this); charisma grows; the opposite gender takes much more interest in you; your work output increases and with greater creativity; your efforts in the gym are rewarded with more lean muscle mass growth.
Does this sound too good to be true? Try it, and see for yourself. It’s a hard thing to resist temptation, but if you can manage your life will change. Mine did.
Switching Snacks to Seeds and Nuts
This one sounds a little obscure, but it changed my life. If any of you are practitioners of healthy eating, you will know that food is either nutritious or convenient, but virtually never both. Not so with nuts and seeds! Things like macadamia nuts of Brazil nuts are listed by some health experts as superfoods owing to their abundance of healthy fats, minerals and fibre.
Finding foods that are incredibly healthy is not new, but the new insight was finding foods that just sit in a packet and can be eaten in an instant wherever you are. Not only does this satiate hunger, but it provides real macronutrient and micronutrient value for your day.
Having spent many hours helping my clients keep their diet on track, I notice that getting hungry and reaching for a convenient snack is the most likely way someone might fall short on their healthy eating goals. Carry around a collection of 4 or 5 different nuts and seeds, and you will have super nutritious and delicious and convenient food with you at any point in the day.
For my own taste and ketogenic diet restrictions, I have found the following snacks excellent: macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts.
Don’t calorie count here – eat as much as you can.