Don’t get me wrong. I love Nike.
But if you’re interested in achieving amazing things in your lifetime, and feeling a continuous sense of pride at your accomplishments… then you need to hear a little bit more than “Just Do It” ...
Suppose two women each set a goal to lose 30 lbs.
Over the next few months, one of them goes to the gym regularly, eats healthy, and watches her body change.
The other starts out strong, but loses momentum. She starts skipping workouts. She stops cooking dinner at home. Eventually she gives up altogether and gains back the 10 lbs she lost.
What’s the difference between these two?
On the surface, it looks like one “just did it,” and the other “just didn’t.”
The truth is, those actions are just the tip of a huge iceberg.
Are you curious about what’s going on under the surface?
(Here’s a hint: A LOT!)
Let’s think about Wim Hof (aka Iceman) -- that crazy dude climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in two days wearing nothing but shorts and a pair of shoes… Seriously.
He didn’t wake up one morning thinking, “You know what, today is the day. I always dreamed of this, so here goes nothing!”
He spent years training his body and mind. He did thousands of hours of yoga. He trained his body to regulate its own temperature, despite harsh surroundings. He gained mastery over his breathing.
By the time he was ready to “just do it”, he was really REALLY ready. Nothing could stop him.
Successful people understand that success begins at a deep level. They see the whole iceberg.
Imagine these two icebergs represent the weight loss journeys of the two women.
Which one would be which?
One of them is grounded. It has deep roots. It’s very stable. If a huge wave comes, it will wash right by.
The other is just floating. It’s subject to the whims of the waves. Anywhere the tide moves, there goes the ice. What if the current takes it south, to warmer waters? It would just melt. Done. Gone. Disappeared.
Above the water, they both look alike. Similarly, you can get great results despite a bad foundation — temporarily.
To truly make a lasting change in your life, you must be like that iceberg on the left.
You’ll notice that most of it has to do with your environment.
Maybe you haven't thought about it like this before...
Jim Bunch came up with something called the "9 Environments of Success." He covers everything that influences you, from finances, to your body, to your friends.
He says environment includes all the factors influencing your decisions. That means everything on the outside, and also everything on the inside.
For instance, your thoughts, beliefs, and cultural norms. These are internal, but you got them from something external. They came from your friends, parents, teachers, or the news or your favorite movie.
If your parents were always overweight, it affects your mindset around health. If all your friends struggle with money, there's a good chance you will too.
(Ok, not exactly… but it does slowly drain throughout the day, like your cell phone battery.)
There’s a part of your brain called the prefrontal cortex. This whole area produces advanced reasoning. That's the kind of thinking that makes humans more advanced than, say, kangaroos.
It lets us overcome instincts and fears and take calculated risks. Because of our evolved brains, we think about the future. We make choices to benefit our future selves, sometimes at the expense of comfort.
The cool thing is, when you visualize yourself attaining a goal, you activate the sophisticated brain regions. You can even silence your primitive brain (amygdala), if you think positively enough.
The amygdala is the primitive brain area most animals have. It’s a big worry-wart. Like a hovering parent, the amygdala would rather keep you safe than encourage you to take risks.
And, the amygdala is no wallflower. It likes attention. It’s like that one person on your Facebook who seems to dominate your news feed.
That’s why brain training is so important. If your amygdala is always in charge, you may be missing out on getting your dream life.
Ideally, you want to automate most things. You don’t want to leave important things to chance.
When you rely on motivation, and willpower — that’s exactly what you’re doing. You’re hoping that a shred of rational thought will overcome all the bad influences, emotions and habits.
It’s no wonder most people fail to lose weight. You have less control over your behaviors than you think.
When you’re surrounded by:
You’re pretty much screwed!
Sure you could try to “make better decisions.”
Or, you could exercise control over the things that influence your choices. You can decide to set yourself up for success the smart way.
Let’s make this mega-simple, and break it down to 3 categories:
(For a description of each of these categories, visit Jim’s site)
Now - don’t get overwhelmed.
Just think about one at a time. Start really simple! Jim Bunch recommends starting with the physical. That means everything around you.
Do you have a cluttered desk? Are there baby toys, or dog toys all over the living room? Maybe your bedroom is painted a shade of hot pink that really bugs you.
Your environment can do one of two things: inspire you, or expire you.
Even if you’re ready to gear up and “just do it,” stop and assess those 9 areas first. Your chances of succeeding increase significantly, when you get your environment working for you.
To get started, take that big hairy goal and break it down to tiny manageable steps. Take a few tiny steps, like making your bed, or putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
You’ll be amazed how much better you feel when your home or office is uncluttered!
Once you clear your physical space a bit, take the next steps.
Start a list, under each category, of improvements you want to make. You can break it down into 9 lists or 3, it’s up to you.
Just write down everything that comes to mind. Your toxic relationships, your limiting beliefs about money, your poor posture, etc. Big or small, if it causes you any distress, write it down. Even things like a chip in your baseboard. No such thing as too trivial here.
And be honest... It may be tough to admit to some of these negative influences
But you’ll thank yourself later.
* If you have a clear picture of your goals, that’s a bonus. If you don’t, it’s ok. You have an inkling deep down. Subconsciously, you know what helps you and what will sabotage you. *
Keep writing until you’ve exhausted every aspect of your life that isn’t serving you
It’s ok if your list is long, and contains things you don’t want to give up. No one’s telling you to be a Spartan warrior. You can succeed in life, and still enjoy yourself.
Once you have your full list, pat yourself on the back.
Next, get out a new piece of paper. Choose 3 things that you want to get done first. They could be the simplest, or the most important.
Take care of those 3 items, then cross them off both lists. If you attack your master list 3 items at a time, it won’t overwhelm you.
To hear a little more about this, you can watch a video we made.
So if you’re still reading that means you’re excited about taking action and actually getting things done the smart way, instead of just trying to “just do it” all the time.
And we made a handy little worksheet to help you out.
It breaks down the 9 environments into a simple series of questions to help you get clarity on your immediate priorities, obstacles and next action steps.
Click below to download it now.
Once you’ve isolated the negativity in your environment, you’re doin great. The next step is to clear it out so you have room for the positive.
To do that, get out a lighter and a bundle of sage. Burn the sage, reaching all four corners of each room. Once the smoke clears, you’re good to go forth and prosper!
In all seriousness: after you makeover your environment, you’re ready to do some real goal setting. To hit your target without shooting your foot in the process, set your goals up right from the beginning.
We created a FREE mini video course to share some proper goal setting techniques.
In the videos, we address things like why most people fail, how to simplify and automate your goals, and the “millionaire mentor question” ( answer that, and success is practically guaranteed).
If this sounds appealing, click here and move a few steps closer to your goals.
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NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.