You probably do a pretty good job of controlling what goes in your mouth. If you’ve been reading my emails, exercising regularly, and engaging in healthy habits overall, you probably eat fairly well.
This is good because the food you eat has a big impact on your life.
Your daily intake is more than just food, though…
In fact, just in your head you have 6 more holes that connect you to the world!
Not surprisingly, a lackadaisical control of what you let into these other holes can have a dramatic impact on your life.
Actually, these inputs ARE your life.
Always simplify when possible. Your life is inputs and outputs. Fortunately because we have some freedom in most 1st world countries, you get to choose what BOTH of these are! Woohoo!
So you decide what goes in your mouth AND what comes out of it.
You decide what you see/read/focus on with your eyes.
You decide who/what you listen to – the sound of your environment.
You get to stop at smell the roses.
When a person smells bullshit, they get away from it. Yet, a lot of audio/visual bullshit is tolerated. I believe the effect of smelling literal bullshit is significantly less destructive to your body and mind than absorbing some of the visual or audio bullshit out there.
Think about that.
It’s easy to get caught in a trap of poisonous visual or auditory stimulus – and it can make life seem kind of crappy. You’d have to be a Zen-Master to tolerate listening to people yell all day while you stare at a tiny screen next to a cow pasture and still have a smile on your face. Of course I encourage seeking a path to that level of enlightenment. For now, let’s try to once again “stack the deck” in our favor.
Stay with me, because this all ultimately helps you perform better at literally everything and have a leaner body.
Your eyes are a window that reveals a universe completely unique to you, from your specific perspective. A hefty portion of what we would call “our lives” is what we see around us. This is controllable, up to a point. If your goal is to rest/recover your body/mind, my guess is that 30 minutes of stargazing beats 30 minutes of talk shows or scrolling any day.
Consider not only the actual objects around you, but the spectrum of colors that you are exposed to. Expose yourself to a wide variety of colors at a variety of speeds and distances. Look at something far away in the distance and juggle some colored balls to get a neurologically rich stimulus. If all you do is look at something stationary, 30 inches away, your eye-skills and equipment will deteriorate quickly.
The eyes can also be used to watch examples of success that you can mimic. Ranging from lifting heavy weights with fluidity, dancing, yoga, sports, or martial arts. There are mirror neurons that light up in your brain when you do something OR when you see it done.
This fact demonstrates the effectiveness of watching greatness as it relates to your own practice. Studies have been done where people improved their ability to shoot baskets without touching a basketball – using visualization only.
If you watch more people “move like water,” you’re more likely to do the same.
Monkey see, monkey do.
When it comes to sound, some of us are very sensitive. In fact, if you take your fingernails and scratch downward on a wall, my first inclination will be to destroy the cause of that excruciating sound.
There’s a big spectrum of sounds you can experiment with:
-Talking People (Talk show, etc)
-Music Listening (from hip hop to “hakuna matata” and back to classical)
-Silence (ear plugs)
You can shape your environment with sound, so pay close attention to how different things make you feel. You may find, as I did, that silence or music was far superior for exercising than listening to people talk.
The holes in your nose tell you a lot about what’s going on in your surroundings. For one, all breathing at a low effort level should be nasal–bottom line. If you’re mouth breathing, it’s going to send you straight into fight or flight mode, thinking you need more oxygen to handle a more demanding task. Second, smells can conjure powerful mental responses. For example, smelling your favorite meal cooking could make you happy. Peppermint oil can clear your nasal passageways, making breathing easier and leaving you feeling invigorated. We could also go down a long tangent about the importance of skilled, high capacity breathing. We utilize a wide variety of different types of breathing for both performance and meditation in the M3 Academy. It is most definitely a skill that can be cultivated.
Your fitness and health come down to basically 3 things. Your genetics, your inputs (food, view, smell, sound, feel…), and your outputs (actions including exercise and words you speak). Getting a clear and honest picture of all of these inputs and outputs are key to achieving what you want.
One of the key exercises we do at the Ultimate Athleticism Workshop is a pie chart of daily activities. Breaking down how you invest your time and seeing where you have opportunities to improve your efficiency and effectiveness is POWERFUL. It’s actually kind of crazy what happens when you plug your daily actions into a pie chart. We actually go through a series of habit based mental exercises like the pie-chart day to help get a clear strategy for the best actions one can take to improve their training (and life). The longer I coach people, the more I realize it is more about behaviors and human beings than about weights and exercises.
I strongly recommend you take an honest evaluation of ALL Head-Hole Inputs in your life and decide for yourself whether they are helpful or destructive. The next level is using the right inputs to hack your state and improve your results across the board. The ideal Pre-workout music could be very different than bedtime music. Pay close attention to the effect that these inputs have on your total system and use it to your advantage.
Your head is a really cool club, and you’re going to spend your life there, make sure you hire a smart bouncer to keep out the troublemakers.
If you nail your inputs, you’ll feel like a fully-energized super hero.