Whenever the new year rolls around there are always questions and proclamations about resolutions, with the adage ‘new year, new me’ gracing every social media post. Personally I find it rather cliched to sit down at the new year to think about resolutions but I often get asked what my new year resolutions are, the answer is I simply don’t do them. Rather, I continuously set goals sporadically throughout the year depending on my situation. One thing I do every January however, is reflect upon all I’ve achieved the past year, specifically in four key areas of my life; health, wealth, happiness and business and I’d like to ruminate on each of these with you now.
With regards to health, my main aim is relatively simple – whatever I am doing throughout the day I want to be as energetic and focussed as I possibly can be, whilst adding as much value as I possibly can. The only way I can achieve this aim is to be at my physical peak meaning I am constantly researching new ways to get the most out of my body and upscale myself. You’re not really given an instruction manual on your body when you’re younger and I never really knew how to get the most out of it, rather what I’ve found is that you have to push yourself and find what works for you, do research, listen to the physicians, personal trainers, the scientists and other professionals to find new ways to get more out of the body. I’m very passionate about finding the newest and most cutting edge ways to maximise my body, and one such way I’ve been doing for years is meditation. I meditate at least twice every single day, once when I wake up and another just before turning in. I’ve recently completed a 3 day course on Vedic meditation run by Cam Cooney, an instructor in Glasgow, absolutely incredible, highly recommend looking him up. The feeling of calm and serenity you experience afterwards is like nothing else. I do my Wim Hof breathing exercises once a day in the morning. The immediate feeling after is beautiful and the health benefits from oxygenating your body is just amazing. I eat a very clean diet without any processed food, refined carbohydrates, no added sugars, no fizzy drinks and I only drink water. I also practise intermittent fasting, meaning I don’t eat until between 2 and 4 in the afternoon which really helps my alertness level. All of these practises combined make me very energetic, clear and focussed throughout the day. An additional benefit is the strengthening of your immune system – I never get sick, I couldn’t honestly tell you the last time I caught a cold. All in all, there are a great many body upscales, as I like to call them, that I focus on. Once I’ve mastered one I simply move to the next. At the moment I’m still really focussed on this Vedic meditation and the Wim Hof breathing alongside my usual weekly workouts, namely; strength training 2-3 times a week and cardio 2-3 times a week also. I love lifting weights, I don’t do it to become a bodybuilder, my aim is just to stay fit, healthy and strong. On top of that I follow Peter Attia, a physician who has fascinating tactics and strategies for longevity and optimising cognitive, physical and emotional health. Health is incredibly important to me because if I turn up hungover, fatigued, dehydrated or unfocussed nothing worthwhile is going to happen and my business will not grow, whereas if I turn up and I’m energetic, focussed, attentive, mentally and physically on top of my game then I will succeed at whatever my day brings.
We live in a consumer society, simply put, things cost money. Another of my focusses is building wealth for my old age and my family. I spend a part of every morning, about half an hour to an hour researching investments. It really is such a wonderful feeling knowing you’ve money set aside and invested. I think my first ever delve into the stock market world was an investment of £100 and I really had to grind to save that. Now my initial investments and those that have come after have really grown arms and legs and I’m grateful I’m able to invest more than that, knowing that now I’ve put the work in, I’m no longer living mouth to mouth or paycheck to paycheck. That feeling of security, financial security, that’s with me throughout the day is pretty amazing and allows me to plan for the future even more.
My podcast of the moment is called ‘The Diary of a CEO’ with Steven Bartlett, if you’ve never listened to it go subscribe and I can promise you, the insights you will gain from his conversations are powerful. An episode back in October was with Mo Gawdat, an inspiring human being, not to mention a highly successful businessman, which was all about happiness. I do a lot of research into happiness myself, and Gawdat has created a mathematical formula for happiness which essentially boils it down to expectations, if life meets or exceeds your expectations then happiness occurs and the opposite is true of the reverse. He uses an example of rain which in itself does not evoke any strong emotions unless you’re wanting it to rain or not to rain. If you want it to rain because your plants will be watered then that creates happiness, but if you’re wanting to sunbathe then it would create unhappiness. So it’s all about expectations. Fascinating. As I continue on my daily journey to be happier my research continually shows me that it’s about understanding what makes others happy as well as myself as an individual. Happiness is adding value with the more value you add and give to others, the happier you are within yourself. It’s exceedingly rare you find someone who is both self involved and truly happy. Conversely, those people who are selfless, add value to others lives and aren’t self indulgent tend to be the happiest people I’ve ever met. In addition to practising this form of mindfulness, my meditation also helps me with the pursuit of happiness. I’ve truly found meditation to be a game changer in my life, it’s not only made me more focussed and more positive as a person, but also kinder, more generous and happier. I can’t recommend meditation highly enough in continuing on that journey of increasing happiness.
Our business has been really affected by Covid-19 and has had to pivot a number of times, naturally putting a large strain on the company and our people over the last couple years. However, out the other side (hopefully) we have the most resilient, ambitious and energetic team I’ve ever had the good fortune to work with. I look at the last 24 months as a bootcamp for entrepreneurship in life, with everyone who’s come out the other side (pending any further lockdowns or variants) having learned so much from both the good and the bad times. We made the impossible possible and the fact we’ve gone from strength to strength with our businesses sends such a huge sense of belief and confidence across the teams and the individuals. That kind of confidence or self belief really cannot be bought, it has to be earned by making it through the hard times. Some people turn tail and run for the hills, spending their lives jumping from pan to pan as soon as things get dicey but they never learn resilience nor get anywhere in life. Whereas those folk who learn resilience and figure out a way to overcome those challenges, obstacles or negatives by finding coping mechanisms, inner strength, inner power and the hero inside of them, they overcome to the awaiting greatness on the other side. We have a team full of heroes. Going forward into 2022 everyone is super motivated and passionate with this undercurrent of inner belief and confidence that will propel them over the next 5-10 years. Although this pandemic continues to be a tough time for many, we need to focus on the positives going forward rather than dwelling on the negatives of the past.
While I sit and reflect on the year gone, I think about what is next for my health, what is next for my wealth, what is next for my happiness and what is next for my business. The world is ever changing, ever developing, ever evolving and ever progressing around us and we need to be able to respond in such a way that we’re not left behind. I truly believe that in order to get the most out of life we have to stay one step ahead in all of these focusses. Gary Vee talks about how us being born is a chance of 1 in 4 trillion, so make the most of what you have. I wake every morning between 5 and 6, I get up, meditate, do my breathing, have a coffee and get to work because I want to make absolutely sure that by the time I rest my head on the pillow that evening, I have achieved the best I possibly can with the most energy, focus, added value and passion.
Keep smashing it,
What I’m listening to:
The Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett
The Peter Attia Drive with Peter Attia