I complain about the trend of overused, over-glorified peak performance tips and tricks.
How about this one: “Making your bed could change your life and increase productivity 10x!”
We get the spirit of the idea—that doing proactive stuff builds focus and discipline. Do we really need to exaggerate it to the level of a life-changing habit? Además, other research suggests that making your bed can trap microbes and pollutants all day, which is why many European cultures frequently leave the covers off all day to let the bed breathe.
Unfortunately, Make Bed, Trap Farts might not be a good title for a bestseller. Speaking of 10x, let’s maybe tone down the awesomeness of many other routine health and productivity practices are. Let’s save 10x for things that are really 10x, if there is any such thing? If so, you are probably pretty sorry ass to begin with, you know? Conversely, elite athletes in a variety of sports regularly express the goal of getting incrementally better each day. Athletes generally don’t traffic in exaggerations, because they know that blather doesn’t get them very far in the competitive arena.
Granted, I have been going off lately on my beloved chest freezer cold plunge, how it really does improve confidence and focus, because I have trained my brain to make the plunge an automatic behavior—a habit—with no will power or second guessing involved; how being submerged in ice water and counting out 20 slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths is a legit meditation session, and so on. However, I do indeed exit the tub after 6-7 minutes, dry off, and have to go make something of my day afterward. There is no magic here. For example, we’re told by the hippest among us that meditation is the key to being an evolved person, but if you feel inferior in this area, realize that meditation can happen any time, any place—including while sweeping the driveway or cold plunging!
Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior, one of my all-time favorite books, sets us straight when he says, “Actions define our lives; don’t get too caught up in thinking….Just do it!”
Brad looks at some peak performance advice that makes him want to puke!!
Does making your bed really make a big difference in your life? [00:00:45]
Is it important to have a glass of water and lemon in the morning for purification or to scrape your tongue? [00:03:20]
Should we keep a gratitude journal? [00:05:29]
Being in the moment. Going with the flow. These are the positive concepts that have structured Brad’s life. [00:07:52]
“I still exit the cold tub after 7 minutes, dry off, and have to go make something of my day afterward. There is no magic here.” – Brad Kearns
“Make Bed, Trap Farts might not be a good title for a bestseller” – Brad Kearns
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Welcome to the Get Over Yourself Podcast. This is Brad Kearns.
“I think making your bed is great. I pretty much do it every single day myself, just as a habit, but I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
Hey, it’s time for a fun, short show about this and that. How about I call it the breather show? So you can take a breather from your busy, hectic life. Sit back, relax, have some fun. Listen, take a breather from the formal, longer format shows that populate this channel as well. And let’s just talk about this or that, stuff on my mind, scratched on my notepad, things I want to talk about.
How about we start out with personal advice; peak performance insights that make me want to puke? Stuff that’s been bouncing around and somehow becoming popular and told and retold, and I don’t know. I think we need to take a step back and reflect a little bit.
One of my favorite ones that really bugs me is this concept about making your bed. I guess there’s a bestselling book from a famous general, probably a really good book. But the insight that making your bed makes a big difference in your life is a little bit nauseating. And I’m hearing people say that it totally transforms their life and they’re so much more productive and focused. Because, you see, if they take a few moments to make their bed, it shows that they have intentionality and prioritization skills and all that stuff.
I think making your bed is great. I pretty much do it every single day myself, just as a habit, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. I don’t think it’s going to have a 10x impact on my productivity. And that’s added to the list of things that make me want to puke. Is when you say this term, 10x or 5x or 100x. And this terminology gets bantered about so much that it has almost no literal meaning anymore, literal connection to anything. Like anything’s going to have a 10x impact on your productivity. Give me a break. Unless you’re starting from scratch and you’re sleeping all day and you get up and sweep your porch, then you just had a 10x impact on your daily productivity – if you made your bed before you went out to sweep your porch.
Speaking of that, making your bed. I remember a long time ago, I believe it was in this wonderful book called the Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity by Daniel Reid, which I read around the turn of the century, way back when. Maybe it was in there, maybe it was somewhere else, but I read that it’s common in European culture (maybe the European listeners can correct me). It’s common to not make your bed with the idea being that allowing your bed to breathe, allowing the covers to be open, lets the microbes and the pollutants escape from that trapped airspace where all kinds of stuff happens when you sleep overnight. So, maybe if you make your bed, you’re trapping farts all day. How about that come back for all the laudatory comments about making your bed?
Oh my gosh, and anything else that goes into that category of minor personal peak performance or behavior habits, having an absolutely transformative effect on your life and on your productivity. Let’s tone that down a little bit.
Yes, I’m throwing into that category, that important glass of water to hydrate as soon as you get up with a little bit of lemon and vinegar for the purification elements. Or even scraping your tongue or doing these personal hygiene matters. Hey man, I’m so big on the chest freezer. You might’ve seen the YouTube video, chest freezer cold therapy. You can search for that – Brad Kearns’ Chest Freezer Cold Therapy. But I’m really, really enjoying this as a part of my daily routine. Where I plunge into 33 degree water and do 20 deep diaphragmatic breaths. It takes about three minutes, not long. Not long enough to start shivering or get truly uncomfortable or compromise my immune function.
But instead, it gives me a boost of epinephrine, norepinephrine, boosting that brain neuron function, improving blood circulation and oxygen delivery throughout the body. A wonderful start to my day. I also feel like it does have some benefits in terms of being able to be disciplined and focused and to jump into the freezing cold water. When people are introduced to it the first time, they kind of freak out. They put their hand in and they say, “Oh my gosh, I could never do that.” But now that it’s part of my routine, I feel like it’s something that does help me improve my discipline, focus, confidence, all that great stuff.
I want to talk about that a little more on another breather show because it’s so important to me and I have some great insights from other people that are into cold therapy. But the reason I brought it up now is because, hey, this is great. It’s new. I’ve been doing it just for the year 2018, so several months of momentum. But it’s not transformative. I’m the same guy. It’s not magic. It’s just fun stuff to talk about and consider integrating into your life.
So, I want to make sure that we don’t blow things out of proportion, especially me because I’m a rah-rah guy. I’m a promoter. I like to build consensus and get people excited about things, just my natural personality. But I am going to back up a bit and try to tone some of this stuff down. Starting with making the bed and even extending to the awesome chest freezer cold therapy.
Some of the other stuff too, how about a gratitude journal? I’m hearing everybody talking about that, and it seems like a really great idea. And I do think it’s interesting to shift from thoughts floating around in your mind to actually putting them on pen and paper. A lot of psychological support showing that there’s increased significance. But look, I don’t keep a gratitude journal, I’m sorry. But I am very grateful that I’m smiling even when I don’t have a gratitude journal.
Same with meditation, and everyone’s using that meditation app. And at least making the effort is such a wonderful stand in the name of personal health, personal growth. However, if you’re just not inclined, if your knees don’t fold sideways well, like many old time distance runners will complain about, including me, don’t worry about it. Because we have to acknowledge that it’s possible to meditate anytime, anyplace with anything you’re doing.
So if you’re sweeping the porch, like the guy we talked about with the 10x improvement in productivity, that is a form of meditation. If you’re completely focused on the experience and there are not thoughts floating around your mind, taking you elsewhere. I really liked the chest freezer for that. Months into it, I realized, “Oh my gosh, I’m actually meditating.” Because it’s so cold that I learned from experience that I couldn’t carry on a phone conversation on speaker phone. I couldn’t even listen to a podcast, because it would sort of be disturbing. I needed to focus and just focus on my breathing so that I could make it through the three-minute duration without complaining about the cold or feeling uncomfortable about stepping in in the first place. So, my opportunity to meditate happens to occur in 33 degree water. I think those go hand in hand really interestingly.
I know Wim Hof talks about this a lot and his breathing techniques are designed to get you into that meditative, completely mindful state. I think that’s the best way to endure cold water, rather than imagining yourself in the sauna. You just get all entirely with it. Let your mind go quiet, focus on your breathing and I promise you, coming from one of the biggest cold wimps in the world, you will acclimate and you’ll become really good at jumping into cold water as a daily routine.
What else? Since I’ve been complaining about personal advice that wants to make me puke, how about some good stuff? How about some great stuff? Are you familiar with Dan Millman? He is the author of probably my favorite book of all time; the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Written back in the ‘80s. There was a movie made out of it. I remember reading the book like once a year for probably a dozen years in a row after it came out. And it was just absolutely a wonderful story. Part fiction, part nonfiction. Everybody wants to know the distinction points and I know Dan, when he does his live lecture says, “That’s not the point, don’t worry about it, just read the book, learn the lessons.”
It’s all the kind of new age concepts that are so popular today. Being in the moment, going with the flow, getting over yourself, all that kind of great stuff. So, here’s this guy who’s gone on to a great career as a new age spiritual guru and maybe the last guy you’d think to remind us to cut through the bladder, but here he was giving this awesome quote on a podcast. And he said, “Actions define our lives. Don’t get too caught up in your thoughts or mindfulness, just do it. Trust the process of life unfolding. Don’t second guess. Even misfortune, don’t look back.” And finally, “Be a little kinder even if you’re not feeling it.” Just simple, practical advice and very memorable. So, that’s Dan Millman. Check out his book, if you want. I’ll try to get him on the podcast, how about that?
Okay, thanks for listening to the breather show. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback, suggestions, questions, constructive criticism, whatever you want. I appreciate you listening and also taking the time to write a review on iTunes or wherever you consume your podcast information. As you know, we’re a new podcast trying to spread the word, have some fun, get over ourselves together. Have a great day.
Yeah, this is a cool newsletter; how to produce a successful pod … Are you recording yet? No, don’t push record yet, I want to read through this. Let me know what you think. It says, “If you’re going to read an advertisement, make sure it’s authentic. Otherwise, you’ll harm your credibility.” Yeah, that makes sense. And oh, it says, “If you’re asking your audience for a call to action, be sincere. Thank them from the bottom of your heart and make it short.” So let’s try that. Okay, yeah, hit that red button, record. Yeah, right there. Okay.
Hey, this is Brad Kearns. Thank you for listening to the show. You know this show is fairly new, so it would be a huge, massive help if you could visit iTunes for a second or wherever you consume podcast, and leave a positive review for the show. This is how shows attract more attention and get new listeners, so I can brainwash them to subscribe for life with this wonderful compelling content.
Thank you so much for doing that. I know it’s a big hassle, but if you do it, and then you go over and email me; email@example.com, I will mail you a dollar. No, I won’t do that man. That would be a huge hassle. Talk about a hassle. But you know what I’ll do? I’ll thank you from the bottom of my heart and I’ll enter you into a draw and put your address on there too. And I’ll do like 10 grand prizes. Something cool like primal kitchen, extra virgin avocado oil to drizzle on your salads, something. I promise you. Thank you so much for leaving a review.
It’s time to spread the word about the Get Over Yourself Podcast. And speaking of advertising, I promise you at all times, I will be talking about only stuff that’s super cool, awesome. That I use and appreciate in daily life and would recommend to you or think that might help you. I know you can always push that 32nd forward button and skip the ads, but I want to do some cool stuff. I appreciate you listening, if it’s value to you.
Please, participate in the show. Send me your constructive feedback or otherwise, suggestions, comments to that wonderful lengthy email, but unforgettable; firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening. This is Brad Kearns.
Okay, hit stop right there and then it’ll stop. Yeah.