Start With WHY

I contemplated making sleep the first topic of this blog considering its importance in our outside the gym time. But discussing personal motivations would be a more appropriate start to this journey I think, and a more accurate reflection of my goal for this site. Don’t expect long, drawn-out posts every time. Today however, should take about 20 minutes of your time and it can be the most perspective-altering decision you make in a long time. Start With Why has become the first book I recommend to others, even ahead of my longtime favorite How to Win Friends and Influence People. Lucky for you, the author Simon Synek condensed his codified structure of long-term success and influence in an 18-minute TED talk. Yes, it’s 18 minutes. And it will be the most important video I ever pass on because without knowing our WHY we cannot begin to envision let alone pursue our personal potential (lol a little alliteration fer ya).

Click it —> How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Synek

Ok, so a quick recap…

The Golden Circle

WHAT: Every single company and organization on the planet knows WHAT they do. Everyone is easily able to describe the products or services a company sells or the job function they have within that system. Everyone also know what they are in a personal sense…a husband, wife, CrossFitter, etc.

HOW: Some companies and people know HOW they do WHAT they do. Whether you call them a differentiating value proposition, a proprietary process or a unique selling proposition, HOWs are often given to explain how something is different or better. Many think these are the differentiating or motivating factors in a decision. You haven’t gone deep enough yet.

WHY: Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do.

Our brains are structured for WHY – HOW – WHAT

By WHY Sinek means what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY do you feel driven to succeed, WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? An inspired leader, every single one of them, regardless of their size or their industry, thinks acts and communicates from the inside out.There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. For a long lasting and sustainable impact or relationship, you must choose inspiration.

With a little discipline, any leader or organization can inspire others, both inside and outside their circle of influence, to help advance their ideas and their vision. The individuals and organizations that naturally embody this pattern are the ones that start with Why.

The Golden Circle provides compelling evidence of how much more we can achieve if we remind ourselves to start everything we do by first asking Why. Yes it’s uncomfortable. Yes it will probably require behavioral changes. But it may be the most important question you ever ask yourself.

Matthew 5:14-16,  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Bedtime Bear Says Get Yer Butt To Bed

Let’s get the obligatory sleep post out of the way shall we? I am not going waste a ton of time talking about why we need sleep – we are all enlightened and overeducated and know what we are supposed to do. WHY the heck don’t we just do it?

Blah blah what else is new

“I need time to unwind after my day.” “I don’t have to get up in the morning.” “I can’t fall asleep that early.” Believe me, I’ve been there. If I’m being honest, the 3 hours of television may have provided a little “shut-off” time but I felt just as unfulfilled and dissatisfied after turning it off. AND I had missed out on beneficial relaxation time and sleep. An effective training program and instructor will stress sleep’s importance and role in athletic performance, hormonal regulation and overall function. What are your goals? Improved body composition? Regulated energy levels? Faster recovery so you can keep kicking butt? Put the deer antler down and do this first.

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I’ll never find a better sleeping puppy pic sorry

Psalm 127:2 states, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved in sleep.” I am the first to admit I love me some science, evidence and data. But one of the things I love about it is how it always comes full circle with Biblical principles. We have scientific evidence displaying how dangerous stress and insufficient sleep are to health; looks like David got there first. #FaithIsEdgy
Suck it science

Suck it science

Ok, so practical application time! Here are the most effective practices I have witnessed personally and in others that dramatically improve stress levels, recovery, and overall balance.

***Bedtime ritual***
This one was so life changing, I’m giving it a separate post later this week. For now, start wrapping your mind around an evening “wind-down” routine that will prepare you for sleep. Imagine you are about to get a 60-minute massage and you run in already late, it was cold outside, you’re stressed about a project you haven’t done enough work on…you start getting your wonderful rub on with Mr. Gabriel…and it takes 30 minutes until you’re even in a mental and physical place to get a benefit. I believe we too often treat sleep the same way. If we want full advantage of the amazing things that happen with a good night’s sleep, we have to prepare for it just like anything else worth having.

Shoot for 7-9 hours.
Everyone is different and may require more or less but that is a great start. If you’re a late bird, you don’t have to add 3 hours on your first night. Start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier and build yourself up in increments. The key is to start moving yourself towards relaxing earlier, so you have time to wind down and fall asleep. Read a book you media-crazed Americans.

Kick the blue light habit before bedtime.
No, seriously.
Stop it.
Don’t even climb into bed with that last minute work and think you can get away with a little blue light. This is a HARD one to kick but imagine a world where you know you cannot work on your computer late into the night – you are forced to be more productive during set aside work hours – all of a sudden instead of rushing home after training, cooking dinner, getting on the computer looking up and seeing it’s 10:00pm, you eat a leisurely meal, take a shower, get ready for bed, turn the lights down low, listen to soothing music…which scenario is more conducive to rest?

Blackout your room.
Not dark. I mean pitch black, so you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. Any ambient light will prevent you from producing melatonin, falling asleep and sleeping as deeply. Keep the temperature cool and if you don’t start looking forward to hitting your cave at night you can send me evil cat memes.

Natural supplements
I had to transition into a set sleeping routine from my bout with stress-induced insomnia with a little help, as do many others. I found a few natural supplements helpful for this transition and for recovery. Melatonin will help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Everyone has different responses however, so start with a low dose such as 1mg. Many people also enjoy an herbal product called Deep Sleep. I no longer take any aids for sleep, however I do highly recommend Advocare’s Nighttime Recovery and Magnesium Oil (topical magnesium provides best absorption) for help with recovery.  I wake up ready crush the world.

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Alright people, that’s a start! Have a wonderful evening and see ya in Dreamland! Well, hopefully not…that would be creepy. Don’t tell me if you do.