Fit For Success | Lessons On Achievement And Leading Your Best Life | Nick Shaw | Book Summary


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In Fit for Success, author Nick Shaw details the habits successful people have in common and how we can develop those same habits to thrive — despite our obstacles. Using what’s he’s learned over the past decade, Nick has helped top athletes and hundreds of thousands of people around the world through his company Renaissance Periodization to look, feel, and perform their best. But it wasn’t until 2020 when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and facing the fallout of treatment for months through COVID-19, that he had to really lean into the habits he was teaching and put them to the ultimate test. This book vividly outlines the lessons he’s learned, some valuable takeaways, and most importantly how you can use these habits to build your own path to success.


To make real changes you have to have both discipline and a positive mindset, which are two of the pillars focuses on the behaviors and the habits that can lead to success.



A person’s mindset is one of the key pillars of success. In fact, there are seven main habits to success, and a strong work ethic lays the foundation. That is where everything starts and where change can begin; however—as I learned—without the right mindset, it’s impossible for anyone to be successful, whether in sports, business, or battling cancer.



the hierarchical nature of the factors that lead to success. We view those hierarchies like a pyramid made up of different levels. The most fundamental factors form the base of the pyramid, while other necessary aspects tied to those fundamentals make up the middle sections. The least impactful factors—the ones that aren’t critical to general success but are crucial to obtain the best possible results— form the top of the pyramid.

Let’s take a closer look at the seven key habits to success that we’ll explore in greater detail in the chapters ahead, starting with the most significant components and working our way up the pyramid:



By definition, this is the most foundational habit for success in any venture. A strong work ethic is critical, since success itself is only possible through the application of hard work.



This is the belief that individuals—not external forces—have control over the outcomes of the events in their lives. Hard work is necessary for success, and it’s imperative to recognize that you are the one tasked with doing that work. It’s also important to recognize what you can and cannot change. That understanding will allow you to focus your hard work on the right initiatives.



You may be a hard worker with an exceptional locus of control, but it’s still possible that you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. You may even become pessimistic about your limited abilities and how much you think you can change. For those reasons, it’s important that you remain positive. An optimistic mindset actually increases your chances of success.



It’s not always going to be smooth sailing. Sometimes, you will have to really dig in to get things done, and that requires discipline.



Even with a positive mindset, a sharp locus of control, a strong work ethic, and plenty of discipline, things can derail you. In particular, you may find yourself getting off track and focusing on less important projects. Knowing your purpose will help you to target your productivity, making sure that you’re not simply doing things, but that you’re doing the right things. If, at some point during the process, you ask, “What am I grinding for?” your purpose will provide the answer. It will also help you to stay disciplined and to keep going.



You can be as disciplined as humanly possible, with a strong work ethic, a positive mindset, and a resolute focus on your purpose, yet there will be times when you will still fail. It’s just going to happen from time to time, but how you choose to deal with it can determine how successful you ultimately become.



All of this seems a bit draining, doesn’t it? The truth is, it can be. Even the most highly disciplined and driven folks can burn out. That is why it’s important to recharge. You can do this through exercise and nutrition, through personal growth, and through meditation and self-reflection. Now that you understand how the pyramid is structured, let’s examine each habit individually, including how you put them into practice.


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“Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.” —DWAYNE JOHNSON


Extent of how hard you work isn’t always commensurate with the amount of success you ultimately achieve. A construction worker who diligently applies himself and works hard every day is likely to earn a promotion. In that example, the level of success reflects the level of hard work that was applied. But is it also true that the most successful artists are the ones who also work the hardest? Almost certainly not. In fact, the best artists—in most cases —are the sculptors or painters who have the greatest amount of natural talent.



Hard work alone will not guarantee your success. But it plays two influential roles in determining the amount of success that you ultimately achieve. As you already know, success is the byproduct of several different factors; any success that you achieve as a result of those other factors is magnified by the amount of effort that you put in. If you’re talented, you’ll be more successful the harder you work. If you get lucky, hard work will capitalize on that luck and net even greater results. If you have a strong support network, then the harder you work, the more you can utilize that network to accomplish great things.


That’s the role that hard work plays as a supporting player.

Simply put, hard work is the only thing that actually creates success.

In a direct sense, work causes success.

The hard truth of the matter is this: if you want to be successful in the modern world, you have to work long and hard just to have a chance at it.



Successful people have three related abilities in great abundance—the ability to work hard, the desire to do it, and the commitment to follow through on it. In many respects, the ability to do the work is dependent on talent or skill.


Ability is critical, but desire is the big magnifier.


Ability and desire are important factors, but you cannot overlook being committed to the work. You can have all the ability and desire in the world, but you must be capable of following through and committing to that work if you want to be successful.


A person’s desire to work hard acts like a volume knob on their success. The more they turn up their desire, the greater their success (or potential success) becomes. In other words, the stronger your desire for success, the more you’ll want to do the work that is needed to achieve it.



Create and use a daily to-do list: Making a to-do list for each day prioritizes your most important tasks and holds you accountable, which ensures that those tasks are completed. Make sure that you’re including tasks that are actually accomplishable that day. These daily to-do lists provide you with incremental successes each day, which create positive momentum to keep you going.



“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” —MARCUS AURELIUS


Internal locus of control is the degree to which people believe that they, rather than external forces, have control over the outcomes of the events that make up their lives.

There is always a lot of work to do, but knowing where and how to focus your efforts is crucial.

In his book Choice or Chance: Understanding Your Locus of Control and Why It Matters, Stephen Nowicki shares decades of research on the subject and reveals that people who think and believe that they have control over the outcomes of their lives suffer from fewer behavioral problems in school; live longer, healthier lives; are in better control of their finances; and tend to be happier and more satisfied.


An individual who is proactive rather than reactive takes a position of power. No matter the circumstances, they can shape how they feel about something.


“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times,”. “The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”


To achieve a flow state you must have goals to pursue (meaning) and you must ultimately accomplish them (achievement). In that way, a state of flow not only influences a person’s overall well-being, it also plays a role in determining a person’s level of success.


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Having an internal locus of control is important to success—but relinquishing some of that control to coworkers or subordinates is also a necessary step. To do so, you must trust the power of autonomy.


Intrinsic motivation is key to success because it’s literally what keeps people going. External motivations like money or material possessions are nice, but they have a shorter period of effectiveness. Intrinsic motivation, Pink argues, is more sustaining.



As you now understand, developing an internal locus of control shifts the ownership of any outcome back to you.


Successful people tend not to give away their control and power to others. They are not concerned with keeping up a certain look or appearance, especially when that money can be better spent on themselves or reinvesting in their own success.



Keep a journal of your largest obstacles to overcome: By jotting down the challenges or setbacks that you faced each day and whether or not you had control over them, you’ll begin to understand what outcomes you can control. Identifying that element of control will either focus your attention on solutions you can create, or it will reveal that those issues are out of your control. Knowing which issues are out of your control will allow you to focus your energy and attention on matters that are within your control.



“Whether you think you can or think you can’t —you’re right.” —HENRY FORD


Optimistic people generally live healthier lives and are less prone to getting sick than people who adopt a pessimistic point of view.



You must first believe in yourself before you can achieve success. Without belief in yourself, the chances that you will take that first step in the right direction are slim. It might sound gimmicky but it’s absolutely true—your ability to take action is powered by self-confidence.


“Mind is everything,” said Paavo Nurmi, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist and legendary Finnish distance runner. “All that I am, I am because of my mind.”


Alex Hutchinson’s book about human potential, Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, focuses on endurance athletes. It provides glimpses into the minds of successful runners and investigates how their self-belief leads them to success. Hutchinson explains that through high-intensity training, disciplined athletes can increase their pain tolerance. It stands to reason that if you are willing to spend hours and hours enduring pain, your mindset must be incredibly strong.


In fact, Hutchinson further connects a positive mindset with success by revealing that many unproven Kenyan runners simply show up at dirt tracks in Kenya to train alongside some of the country’s best runners. Not surprisingly, many of those Kenyans develop into elite runners themselves; that success stems from a level of self-belief that few others have.


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As a general rule, successful people share a similar mindset, one that is focused on self-improvement. These people constantly think about how they can improve every aspect of their lives. According to Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, these successful people possess a “growth mindset,” which is the belief that abilities are not innate and that they can be enhanced. If you adopt a growth mindset and discover that you are not inherently good at something right away, you’ll believe that you have the ability to improve. People with a growth mindset often seek out challenges that will allow them to learn and to grow, and they are generally more accepting of criticism and take inspiration from other people’s success.


The opposite of a growth mindset is one that is fixed. People with fixed mindsets believe that their skills and intelligence are pre-determined and unalterable. They often avoid challenges because they assume they cannot succeed. Because of that, they are less likely to take risks. They also receive criticism poorly and feel threatened by others’ success. Not surprisingly, a growth mindset is critical for success as it instills a perspective that embraces learning, adaptation, and evolution. If you don’t have a growth mindset and belief in yourself, you won’t be very likely to begin work on improving yourself.



If you see an opportunity present itself, do you first think of what could go right? Or do you immediately think about everything that could go wrong? If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to think a lot about what can go right, not the other way around. A successful mindset requires optimism in spades, especially if you have entrepreneurial ambitions.



Yes, it’s important to set goals. But just like optimism, there are pitfalls to goal setting. The first one is what psychologists describe as false-hope syndrome, and it pertains to setting goals—sometimes lofty goals—without factoring in the amount of hard work and dedication that will be required to achieve them.


Still, you shouldn’t shy away from setting really big goals. Lofty goals can play a positive role in creating your sense of identity and determining your purpose. Jim Collins, in his book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, calls them “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (or BHAGs). These far-reaching goals will help you to set the standard for yourself and/or your company and they’ll serve as a catalyst for you taking action.


George T. Doran created an acronym to help people in setting objectives. He called it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). If you want to be successful, it is paramount that you set goals that fit the SMART acronym.



If we know that a growth mindset leads to more success, why would anyone be resistant to outside opinions or unreceptive to constructive criticism? It’s because our egos get in the way. As author Ryan Holiday succinctly states, “Ego is the enemy.” A big ego prevents people from listening to feedback, accepting criticism with an open mind, or working as hard as their goals require them to. It also leads to a self-serving bias.



To develop a healthy and positive mindset, you must be judicious about what you’re consuming. This pertains to what you feed your body and what you feed your mind. As you likely know, nutrition plays a key role in maximizing a person’s physical performance and abilities.


The term “brain food” doesn’t mean that certain foods will improve your mindset. Instead, it refers to the things that we expose our minds to. The most successful people feed their minds with content that enriches their lives or allows them to grow as human beings.


Be careful what you’re consistently feeding your mind. If you are constantly engaging in negativity, that brain food could shape your explanatory style and promote a more pessimistic outlook. Elevate your mind and you will elevate yourself in the process!



Keep a journal of at least three good things that happen to you each day: Making note of the positive aspects of your life on a daily basis will not only help you to develop gratitude and appreciation for them, it will also help to keep things in perspective. It’s human nature to dwell on the negative things that we experience; too often we easily overlook the positive. By purposely identifying those favorable things—and writing them down—you’ll begin to train yourself to see and appreciate the positives when they occur.



“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” —JIM ROHN


“Discipline equals freedom.” In fact, they acknowledge that the most successful people that they’ve worked with also happen to be the most disciplined. That connection is no coincidence.


But discipline is still difficult to maintain. There is a reason that many people only talk of being successful. It’s easy to talk about the things you want to achieve when you’re not putting in the work to achieve them. It’s another thing entirely to put in the work to reach those goals.



A healthy dose of motivation can usually pick up the slack, but nobody is motivated all the time. The thing that differentiates successful people from the masses is discipline. It’s the commitment to do what is necessary no matter what.


Develop a system of habits that can help you to stay disciplined. Don’t be discouraged on days when you’re lacking motivation—instead, rely on your self-discipline to carry you through.


Discipline is the attribute that keeps you motivated, and learning how to hone in on self-discipline is as close to a superpower as anyone will ever have. Remember, being successful requires traveling down a difficult road, one where hard work is required at every turn. Self-discipline is what’s needed to get you to the finish line at the end of that road.



A long-term study in New Zealand revealed that people who possessed more self-control (and thereby, more discipline) were healthier and more financially secure. They even had better teeth.


Some of today’s most accomplished athletes are successful because they don’t lose focus on their long-term goals. “I realize that not every day will be a great day, but every day is an opportunity to get closer to where I want to be, whether I’m motivated or not,” says Annie Thorisdottir. “If you only work hard on the days where you feel like it, you will not experience progress long term.”


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If you’re going to stay dedicated to your long-term goals, you’ll need to be disciplined. In other words, you’re going to need grit—strength of character, perseverance, and passion for your long-term goals.


Grit and a positive explanatory outlook go hand in hand. That relationship is something that Angela Duckworth extrapolates on in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. It is difficult to persevere and to think about the long term if you aren’t optimistic that you can reach your goals. Having grit is having the ability to look failure in the face, get back up, and keep going after setbacks or failures. It is the relentless pursuit of your goals, holding those long-term goals in such high regard that you are willing to do just about anything to reach them.


Gritty individuals show up to practice early with an open mind. They are committed to their long-term goals and are willing to put in however much time and practice is required to learn and improve.


“There are almost more days I don’t necessarily feel like training or eating as I should than days where I do,” she continues, “so it’s just learning to be uncomfortable and do things I may not want to do.”


In Flourish, Martin Seligman references studies on grit that were conducted by Duckworth. She concluded that a person’s grittiness— their ability and willingness to buckle down and to stay committed to a task—was more important than their level of intelligence. People with lower IQs but more grit regularly outperformed those who had higher IQs but less grit. Those studies reinforce a popular saying that we now know to be true: hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.



The act of getting better—no matter what activity or endeavor— requires not just practice, but deliberate practice. As outlined in the book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, deliberate practice differs from ordinary practice in seven important ways:


It usually requires an objective way to measure performance and track the standouts.

It requires a coach who can take you further using training that is defined by purpose and meaning.


Deliberate practice pushes you outside of your comfort zone.

It relies on clearly defined goals and objectives for each practice session.


It includes timely feedback on where you can improve.

It trains you to create mental representations. Over time, this will allow you to monitor yourself internally, which means you won’t need as much external coaching as you might have in the beginning.


Deliberate practice allows you to develop new and specific skills that enhance the ability you already have.


Deliberate practice is hard—that’s why so many people resign themselves to just being “good enough,” instead of working to be the very best that they can be.



“Successful people aren’t born that way,” says author Don Marquis. “They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people do not like to do. The successful people do not always like doing these things themselves, they just get on and do them.”


The first time we work to complete any new task, our brains are working harder than normal to process all of the information that is required to do that work. Over time, as we repeat the steps necessary to complete that task, the brain begins to automate the

process. This forms the basis of a habit, and those habits allow us to be more efficient with our energy usage throughout the day.


Aristotle believed that we are what we repeatedly do. “Excellence, then,” echoed Will Durant, an American historian and philosopher, “is not an act, but a habit.”


Being disciplined—and staying disciplined— is ridiculously hard, but developing habits over time will allow you to reduce the amount of mental energy that is needed to stay on task and to do the right things.


Remember, success doesn’t come from working hard on just anything, it comes from working hard on very specific things and for a very specific reason. Only that reason will allow you to know which specific things are worthy of your attention and the subsequent hard work that you will devote to them.



Make specific plans for the goals that you want to accomplish and the habits that you want to create.


It’s important that you make detailed plans for the actions that you want to take. Committing to those details will hold you accountable, and they’ll make it easier for you to develop better discipline.



“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” —VIKTOR FRANKL


True happiness is rooted in a person’s sense of purpose and the achievements that they make by doing what they love to do.



Simon Sinek champions the idea that every person has the right to fulfillment, that experiencing that sense of fulfillment is something that everyone can control.


Ultimately, you should find your passion and harness your energy toward a goal, but you must not lose sight of the work that must be done today to reach that goal. Your focus must remain on the work that you do today—but use your passion and your greater purpose as the compass to lead you in the right direction.



Make a list of your core values—personal and/or professional— and place them somewhere you’ll see them frequently.


Many days you won’t need a reminder of why you’re putting in the work or what specifically you’re working for, but there will be times when you’ll grow frustrated, overwhelmed, or discouraged. On those days, this reminder will provide a necessary boost of morale to overcome any challenges that have temporarily gotten the better of you.


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“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” —OPRAH WINFREY


As you pursue your goals you will occasionally be met by failure. It’s almost inevitable that your journey will include moments of failure at one time or another. We are all human. We’re not infallible. Mistakes happen and failures occur, but how you respond to those failures can dictate whether or not you eventually find success. It takes a special person to take failure on the chin, check their ego at the door, and to learn from their mistakes. But oftentimes that is what’s required to be successful.


Human beings learn best from trial and error. We make mistakes but we figure out how to correct them, and we do this from a very young age. A toddler who is learning to walk will stumble and fall, but they’ll pick themselves up and keep trying. In time, they’ll be walking with steadiness. And they’ll soon learn to run by following this same process. It is part of the human condition to learn from mistakes. “


Yet, when we get older, we go to school and we’re taught that making mistakes is bad, that mistakes are a sign of weakness or a mark of inferiority. We lose points on tests for the mistakes that we make, and after at least a dozen years of schooling, we’re conditioned to equate mistakes with poor performance. Not surprisingly, people become scared of failure; they certainly don’t believe that failure begets success.



Being able to adapt, to grow, and to change based on the results of our actions is paramount. Charles Darwin proved this through his discovery and subsequent study of evolution. It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, Darwin observed. Instead, the ones most responsive to change are the ones that succeed. This concept of adaptation reflects back on the notion that a growth mindset is more valuable than one that is fixed. If you have a growth mindset, you see failure and obstacles as ways to learn and expand. But if you have a fixed mindset, even the thought of failure is terrifying.


Anyone who doubts the validity of this association only needs to consider the career of one of the most successful professional athletes of all time. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career,” Michael Jordan once acknowledged. “I have lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I have been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”



This notion that obstacles, failures, and crises can be beneficial in the business world is an idea supported by Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel. “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis,” he explains. “Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.” To improve during difficult times, you must first identify your areas of weakness and then devote time and resources to them. Even during challenging times, you can choose where you focus your time, energy, money, and other resources. Many situations are just that—situations. In most cases they’re neither inherently good nor bad; it’s up to us to determine that based on how we perceive them.


Oftentimes, the obstacles that you encounter will reveal a distinct, slightly different path than the one you were originally on; but that new path is the one that will lead to success, or at least get you closer to it. Contemporary author Ryan Holiday emphasizes this point in his book The Obstacle Is the Way, in which he explains that the challenge that stands in your path today will eventually become the way for you to move forward. This perception is borrowed from Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who declared during his reign from 161 to 180 AD: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”



The world that we live in is chaotic and unpredictable. The coronavirus pandemic certainly proved that. Even the world’s best super forecasters are wrong the majority of the time. What does all of this mean for those of us who aren’t exceptionally skilled at

predicting the future? It means we are bound to be wrong a lot of the time.


Because the world we live in is often crazy and unpredictable, the best way to learn is simply through trial and error. That’s the message that author Tim Harford shares in his book Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure.


Think of your ideas as different species. Then consider what we now know about natural selection and evolution. Survival of the fittest means that many of your ideas are going to fail. But it also means that the best ideas and the best adaptations of failed ideas will rise to the top. Those ideas and adaptations represent success, or at least the pathway to it.


Just remember, this process of change and adaptation never stops. The moment you think you can stop is likely the moment that your competition will pass you by.

If you want to improve, you must be open to feedback. Peter Palchinsky, a brilliant engineer who worked for the now-defunct Soviet Union, conceived of three principles related to failure and adaptation, which Harford outlines in his aforementioned book. Those three principles are: Seek out new ideas and try new things.


Make your first attempts small when you can, so you can survive if they don’t succeed.

Seek out feedback and learn from your mistakes.



“Your first try will be wrong,” says Aza Raskin, the creative lead at Mozilla Corporation, which developed the Firefox internet browser. “Budget and design for it.”

As authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein write in their book Nudge: “Learning is most likely if people get immediate, clear feedback after each try.”


As Daniel Kahneman explains in Thinking, Fast and Slow, human beings are averse to loss, which means we are more likely to hold onto a bad idea (or one that has failed) thinking that we can turn things around. Doing so prevents us from acknowledging that we failed. But remember that failure is sometimes necessary to achieve success.



To continually iterate is to acknowledge that what you’re doing now is better than what you did before. But, it also comes with the understanding that what you’re doing now won’t be as good as what you are likely to do in the future. You want to embrace sending your ideas out in the world for that real-life feedback. Receiving that feedback and subsequently iterating based on what you learn is a tried-and-true formula for positive achievements. “The real measure of success,” Thomas Edison once said, “is the number of experiments that can be crowded into twenty-four hours.”



Creating a culture at work that supports learning and improvement via feedback—in other words, a culture that acknowledges that failures are part of the process—can enhance businesses’ ultimate success.


A big component to success is being able to handle the dichotomy of too much and too little ego. Those who are successful tend to have an ego, but they use it to funnel themselves in the right direction.


Success does not happen overnight. Instead, it is cultivated by the repetition of high-level effort and redirection when failure occurs. At the end of the day, the act of success requires a whole lot of work —work that is done in an uncertain, always-changing environment, and work that is done without any guarantee of accomplishment. In fact, that work only guarantees at least some, occasional failure.


This path can become exhausting, and if you’re going to travel down it long enough to see eventual success, you’ll need ways to shed this fatigue and to recharge your pursuit.



“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.” —JIM LOEHR


First, acknowledge your limits and the need to recharge. Anyone who’s looking to achieve success must realize that keeping their foot on the gas pedal will eventually leave their tank empty.



Nutrition is a fundamental key to recharging. If you want to perform at your best, you need to dial in your nutrition habits. A Ferrari owner would never fuel up with regular unleaded gasoline. They’d only select super premium at the pumps, knowing that their sports car won’t perform the way it should at 200-mile-per-hour speeds if its gas tank is full of low-quality fuel. Your body and mind work the same way.

A well-balanced diet is the goal. Achieving that requires an understanding of six nutritional priorities for healthy eating.


Nutritional Priority #1 – Calorie Balance:

Calorie balance plays the biggest role in your nutritional strides for better longevity, since it has the largest impact on your weight.

Nutritional Priority #2 – Food Quality: The best way to maintain a healthy bodyweight while consuming fewer calories is by eating high-quality foods.

Nutritional Priority #3 – Macronutrients: When you eat for health, first and foremost you must focus on the amount of protein in your diet.

Nutritional Priority #4 – Nutrient Timing: When you’re eating for health, the timing of when you eat barely matters. Eating a regimented diet of high-quality foods and sticking to a healthy caloric intake each day are the most important steps.

Nutritional Priority #5 – Hydration: While obesity is a legitimate concern in the United States, dehydration is not. If you’re making sure to drink when you feel thirsty, you’re generally on the right track.

Nutritional Priority #6 – Supplements:

because we live busy lives, it’s not always possible to eat well-balanced meals all the time. In those instances, supplementing with a basic multivitamin and fish oil can fill in the holes. They can act as an insurance policy if you do have lapses in your diet from time to time.



The same basic principles of good nutrition also apply to exercise.

Strength and resistance training with weights has been shown to offer many health benefits, including reduced likelihood of osteoporosis and increased overall quality of life in a person’s later years.


To perform at our best, we must take care of ourselves physically. Exercise and nutrition are two key components of that.


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Meditation is a great tool for reducing the amount of stress in your life. Sitting quietly and just being aware helps you to become more in tune with your thoughts and emotions. When you consistently practice mindfulness, you gain the ability to slow things down. That provides clarity and minimizes the impact that our emotions can have on the decisions that we make. Meditation can help people avoid the common pitfalls of cognitive biases. In fact, mediation has even been said to help increase creativity and the brain’s efficiency.



Journaling, as mentioned above, represents one of many outlets for “passive recovery,”

Additional examples of passive recovery tactics include the following: reading; watching television or a movie; listening to music; spending time with friends, family, and pets; playing a musical instrument; practicing some forms of yoga; or cooking and enjoying a good meal.


The moral here is that periods of relaxation (in whatever form appeals most to you) are crucial if you want to be feeling your best and ready to tackle the next day’s tasks. We cannot burn the candle from both ends; the more time that you can devote to relaxation (while still accomplishing all that you need to), the better off you will be.



Not allowing your body to recharge impacts your mind, which also impacts your results—no matter the endeavor. As doctors James Hoffmann, Mike Israetel, and Melissa Davis outline in their book Recovering from Training, sleep is vital to success. “Sleep is a major regulator of autonomic balance,” they write. “Sleep is thought to restore immunological and endocrine function, increase parasympathetic activity, and enhance memory consolidation, among other benefits. Larger amounts of growth hormone can also be released during sleep than during wakefulness, and this is thought to aid in tissue regeneration.”



Getting a head start on the day is generally beneficial, but there’s no mandatory wake-up time that every successful person adheres to. It really is a personal preference. You have to figure out what works best for you, given your schedule and demands.


You want to find a balance: working as hard as you need to without overdoing it. Pushing yourself and constantly making important decisions is draining. But if you can devote some time to focus on yourself—even if it seems next to impossible—you will emerge more productive. Remember, you must fix yourself before you can fix the world.



“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed.” —TONY ROBBINS


I’ve learned that people are always looking for a secret to success or a way to bypass a lot of the hard work. What I have discovered about the secret to success, however, is that there is no secret. Instead, it requires a relentless commitment to the basics. The sooner you learn and believe that, the faster you will achieve your own success (so long as you put in the hard work to get there).


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