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Transcript – 12 Unique New Year’s Resolutions
Shawn: Hello BioTrust Nation. We are back and it is your host, Shawn Wells, with the co-host with the most, Tim Skwiat.
Tim: We’re back, baby.
Shawn: And we’re here with some unique life resolutions to consider. We’re reviewing an article from BecomingMinimalist.com, written by Joshua Becker. We like the minimalist stuff and we thought this would be perfect for New Year’s resolutions. [laughs]
Tim: That’s right. It’s that time of year.
Shawn: It is that time of year. We can get into whether New Year’s resolutions make sense or not, but it’s definitely a good list to cover and we think it’s pretty cool. So, we’re going to get into that just a second, after Tim hits a review.
Tim: Yes gang, we love reading our iTunes reviews. We love that you take time out of your day to share your feelings in how we’ve been able to positively impact you and your lives, and we’re super-grateful for it. So, let’s start with a 5-star review from Deb 2018, titled, The Reviews: Compelling and Informative. And it says, “Love BioTrust and all this company has to offer, and Tim and Shawn are super. They are always very informative and offer great perspectives on every topic they cover. I truly enjoy listening and learning so much through these podcasts. Thank you all for your hard work.”
Thank You, Deb. And if you email us at [email protected], we’ll make sure you get hooked up with a free product as a token of our appreciation. That’s just a very humbling review. It’s always great for us to hear that we’re having an impact and it helps the show to boot, and together I feel we’re really making progress and impacting a lot of lives in a positive way.
Shawn: Yeah, huge. So, thank you very much. So, let’s get into this. This is 12 Unique Life Resolutions, habits, from BecomingMinimalist.com. And there’s a quote, “Change brings opportunity,” from Nido Qubein. I don’t know who that guy is.
Tim: You said that name pretty well.
Shawn: Thanks Tim. [laughs] Nido, it’s like Dido, right?
Tim: Yeah. [laughs]
Shawn: My tea’s gone cold. I’m wondering why. So anyway, that starts off the list perfectly.
Shawn: No. 1: Intentionally laughs every day.
Shawn: “Laughter release his stress, lowers blood pressure, and exercises muscles. More importantly, it changes our outlook on life and brings us joy and hope. It ought to be practiced every day. Put it on your to-do list.” That’s a really interesting thing to put on your to-do list. I like that idea. “And give yourself permission to laugh each day; especially during the hopeless days.”
I like this a lot. Obviously, it totally changes your demeanor. They talk about blood pressure and stress here, but I think the whole “fake it until you make it” kind of thing, like when you smile, when you laugh, man, it just changes your outlook, your mood, your mindset. Even if you’re faking it, it still feels good. Obviously, if it’s real, it’s better. [laughs]
Tim: [laughs] Right.
Shawn: I’ve told you before that before I go up on stage, I make myself laugh, and it changes my outlook. And I feel better, I feel less stressed. So, it does work. And I definitely believe that we should laugh every day. We should find the joy in life. There are so many things that are funny, that are that are enjoyable. And certainly, fellowship with other people can bring that joy. And to me, that’s important that we have those interactions with people, that we laugh with each other. I mean, you need to have friends that you can enjoy life with and share a laugh with, and smile. Hopefully all your relationships aren’t too serious. I mean, you don’t want to be mean to each other, but sometimes a little sarcastic ribbing is okay, right?
Tim: [laughs] Yeah.
Shawn: So, yeah, I think this is a huge one.
Tim: I agree, Shawn. And this list, in general, I love it because its behavior-based.
Tim: And we talked about behaviors versus outcomes. Most people get into the new year and they’re thinking weight loss, a certain number of weight loss, or get out of a certain amount of debt. These are long-term outcomes that are dictated by day‑to‑day behaviors; and the day-to-day behaviors are the things that we have control over. So, I love this list for that reason. Not only because they’re unique and a little outside the box, but because they are things that we have control over those behaviors. And this one is awesome. Like you talked about, I think we get into the habit of being too serious about ourselves, about life in general, and sometimes you have just got laugh.
Shawn: Especially on those hopeless days, like he mentioned.
Shawn: I mean, sometimes there’s humor in the hopelessness.
Tim: Yeah. And when you can do that, it kind of traces back to that abundance mindset to me too. We talk about my little low girl all the time. Well, I mean, she makes me laugh, so I’m fortunate to genuinely laugh every day. But there’s a lot of times when you just laugh to laugh. And when you do that, you cannot help but feel good. Like dude, stop right now, if you can, and just laugh.
Shawn: Right. [laughs]
Tim: A good old belly laugh, and just see what happens. And you’ll laugh at yourself for trying to laugh, and that creates this cascade of positive emotions. This also reminds me of a Jim Valvano, the basketball coach.
Shawn: Yeah. Don’t ever give up.
Tim: Exactly. His famous, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up,” speech at the ESPYs, he summarized things by saying if you laugh, you cry, and you think every day. Those three things, then you’re living a you living a full, productive life.
Shawn: Man, that’s nice. That’s awesome, Tim. No. 2: Practice Solitude. “Find time alone, in quiet, on a regular basis. No books, no music, no outside voices” I’ll add “no cell phone.” That wasn’t here, but that’s a big one. “Just you alone with yourself. Your life will never ever be the same.”
This is a profound one and one that we are doing less and less in this modern day and age, because we have so many ways to be distracted. And I think because we feel depression, because we feel stress, that we find ways to just distract ourselves with our cellphones. Maybe with books, but that’s happening less and less. With music, with TV, with friends. I mean, it’s obviously important, like we just talked about, to have good friendships. But sometimes you need to be your own best friend and you need to listen to that voice inside. And sometimes you need to just unplug, relax and meditate, feel gratitude, do some deep breathing. These are things that we’re just not good at.
We’re shallow breathers, we’re mouth breathers, we seek sympathetic nervous system stimulation by going fast in our cars, by looking at our cell phones and getting the dopamine response of likes, and scrolling, and all the things that we do. And we can’t even just sit there. Like if we’re in an airport, we can’t sit there if we’re on the flight, sitting in the seat. We can’t sit there if someone gets up from the restaurant table and goes the bathroom. We can’t just sit there for a minute with our own thoughts. And what does that say? To me, it kind of says I don’t myself. If I’m going to think about it, sometimes you should be your own best friend. We talked about how if anyone talked to you talked to you, you wouldn’t be friends with them.
Shawn: That you need to be talking positively to yourself. You need to be taking time to truly relax. Instead, a lot of times we say, “I’m going to get home and relax,” [laughs] then you watch explosions and sports and have the volume turned up way loud and you’ve got your 4k HDR visual stimulation.
Shawn: Oh my god, you’re playing video games and you’re listening to music. I’m not saying any of those things are wrong from time-to-time, but it’s not relaxing, [chuckles] per se.
Shawn: I mean, there’s value to that at times, but we need time do just unplug and chill, and we just don’t do that very much. We don’t get that parasympathetic “rest and digest,” as you’ve said. We don’t get that enough, where we just unwind.
Tim: Yeah, beautiful, Shawn. And I want to highlight something. Before you even mentioned this one that says, “practice solitude,” one thing that I thought about was meditation, which you mentioned. And I think people may have an image of what meditation should look like. Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to look a Buddhist monk or something like mantras or anything that. For me, personally, it’s something that I’ve been working on, and it’s more breathwork. You mentioned it too, when you were talking about all those wonderful things you just said was that we’re shallow breathers. And since I’ve been doing some breathwork—which I’ll link to in the show notes—Wim Hof is one of the techniques that I’ve been practicing, just because there’s an actual technique and I like some guidance.
Since I’ve started doing that, I’ve really called attention to how shallow I am breathing. Sometimes I wonder if I’m even breathing because it’s so shallow compared to how deep I know that I can breathe. And once you start to tap into all that you can breathe, fill up your lungs, fill up your belly, fill up your head with air, and all those things. You’ll feel amazing, and you’ll get that parasympathetic activity when you need it. So, I encourage you to look up the Wim Hof Method. I’ll share in the show notes, but also right now just put this on pause and take a deep breath, and see how you can breathe.
Focus on filling up your belly and then fill up your lungs, and then even pull in a little bit more oxygen and try to take it to your head, and hold it for a count, and then just let it fall out. Don’t force it out. Just let that breath fall out. Feel how calm and relaxed you feel. And just keep that up 2, 3, 4 times, and then 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes. And just focus on your breath and focus on how your body’s feeling. Do you feel tension in your shoulders? Do you feel tension in your eyebrows? Do you feel tension anywhere in your body? And try to let that tension fall out with the breaths, over time.
Shawn: You know, that reminds me, I talked to a friend of mine who’s a chiropractor, this past weekend. And he talked about, “I can help. I can adjust you.” But one of the best things that you can do to keep proper alignment in your spine is breathwork because you relax the muscles and you go back to neutral. And when we’re shallow breathing and we’re in that sympathetic state—the fight-or-flight state—we tend to be hypertonic.
Shawn: More tense with our muscles. And I thought that was interesting that he, as a chiropractor, is basically saying [chuckles] adjustments actually isn’t the place I start. It’s actually with breath.
Tim: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Shawn: It’s kind of cool. It’s a big one.
Shawn: No. 3: Make gratitude a discipline. I think we’ve talked a lot about gratitude. [laughs]
Tim: We’ve talked about gratitude once or twice. [laughs]
Shawn: But you can’t mention it enough. It’s reframing and we’ve talked about how important reframing things can be in your life, and giving you happiness. You have so much that’s good in your life. I don’t care who you are. You can be in prison. Nelson Mandela, I mean, you read about his works. He was in prison for decades and had incredible gratitude and positive thinking. And no matter where you’re at, you can be thankful. No matter what you’re doing, you can be thankful. There are things that are amazing in your life and you can reframe and you can be appreciative for them. And at the same time, I think it will shed light on the things that are not serving you well, too.
Shawn: And those are things you need to be aware of. Sometimes we make things way more complex than they need to be, when there’s things that just simply aren’t serving you and you should move away from. But there’s so many things, so many things that are amazing in your life right now. Take stock of them. Appreciate them. And if those are people in your life, then tell them, “Thank you. I appreciate you. What you do for me is amazing. My life wouldn’t be the same without you.” And if it’s a pet or a small child that maybe you can’t have a discussion with, then valuable time. And of course, this works for the people that you can have discussions with because that’s ultimately the greatest way to show gratitude is just valuable time. Take your dog for a walk, play with your cat, sit down on the rug with your child.
Shawn: And then, with your friend say, “Hey, let’s go see a movie. Let’s hang out. Let’s go walk the mall together, or whatever. I want to spend some quality time with you.” I mean, that’s what means everything. But this says, “Thank someone or something each day, every day. Gratitude refocuses our attention away from what we don’t have and redirects it towards what we do. As a result, it naturally causes contentment and generosity to spring up in our lives.”
Tim: Yeah, 100%. I mean, we talked about this a ton during the abundance versus scarcity mindset episode, which we’ll link in the show notes. And then we followed that up with everyday things that you can be grateful for. It’s not some kind of amazing blessing needs to be bestowed on you every single day, or some amazing new blessing needs to be bestowed on you. But there’s things all around us, many of which we take for granted. But this has been a huge one for me, just to kind of keep me present and mindful in the moment. I think that with this lesson, like to practice solitude and the practice gratitude, and that mindfulness and awareness is a big thing.
You’re not always going to be perfect and being able to practice gratitude every second of the day or be comfortable with yourself every second of the day alone. But the whole idea behind these things is to be mindful of how you’re reacting to situations and maybe catch yourself before you react, and just put yourself in more of a positive frame of mind, or positive way to handle the situation so you can respond more favorably. But these things, to me, have been more mindfulness-awareness types of tools. It feels almost like slowing the movie that’s playing through my head down, so I can catch myself before I might do something or I might respond in a less than desirable way to certain things. So, that that’s where I would say those things have been helpful for me, and both of these things have been very impactful for me.
Shawn: To me, those things are forms of meditation. That gratitude, if you’re focusing on gratitude and in this mind state of being thankful, you’re reframing. You are in a meditative state. It puts you in a different level of a brainwave, right? And same with mindfulness, which you mentioned. And mindfulness can be just as simple. It’s very grounding. Like I notice the things in the room. If you’re sitting in a room, I notice you here, Tim. I notice this table, I notice the recording equipment, I notice my laptop in front of me. Just taking stock of the world around you. Listening to the sounds.
I like to go through, with mindfulness, go through each sense one-by-one, because sometimes we’re not using our senses very deeply. And take stock. Close your eyes and listen for a second. Maybe you’re in your car and you hear maybe noises that you don’t necessarily love, but they’re okay when you’re in a mindfulness state, like “I hear that jackhammer. I hear the car horn. I hear the road noise. I hear these different things.” And now they just become different stimuli for your senses that you’re aware of. And then the smell of the leather in my car and the air conditioning. And just go through it. And now, you’re there. You’re grounded. You’re not lost in your sometimes counterproductive thoughts of, “I’m stressed. I need to get here. I need to get here. What am I going to do about this? He’s such a jerk to me.” You’re tearing yourself down with all these thoughts. And some of these things that may never even come to pass, you’re so worried about. Pull yourself back into the moment and feel yourself, present, and that’s mindfulness. Just going through the various senses of sight, of smell, of feel. Just take a second and chill.
Shawn: Those are all different forms of meditation. Like you said, I think people do get this idea of the cross-legged guy going, “Ohm.” [laughs] That you need to devote this time and be in a dark room and whatever. You can meditate in so many different ways, You can just do the deep breathing. You can do the gratitude. You can do the mindfulness and /presence and go through your senses. And there you are, you’re meditating. It doesn’t have to be some spiritualistic thing. It’s a good place to start to do those other things first, and maybe eventually you’ll get to the kind of more deeper meditative states.
Shawn: But sometimes that’s hard for people to just jump into. I know it was very hard for me.
Tim: What’s the name of that app? Mindspace?
Shawn: No, Headspace.
Shawn: Headspace is a really good one. And there’s another one called Calm. And Wim Hof does have an app, by the way, that’s really good.
Tim: Oh, cool.
Shawn: They go through all of his techniques in a plan. So those are some favorites of mine. And I definitely recommend a Binaural Beats app.
Tim: Which I think we talked about, too.
Shawn: Yeah, for meditating. That can help facilitate that. But Calm is really cool. I fly American Airlines all the time, and Calm just did a deal with American Airlines, where you can watch Calm videos or listen to Calm meditations. But it’ll have relaxing scenery and go through a guided meditation.
Shawn: So, you can do that on a plane.
Tim: That’s awesome.
Shawn: Yeah. Next one, No. 4: Stop speeding. [laughs] “You may need to plan in advance or choose to leave a little bit earlier. After all, you will be spending more time enroute, but slowing down intentionally allows extra opportunity to be with yourself, be present, and enjoy the journey.” [chuckles] This is what I was just saying, which is cool.
Shawn: “Life is not a race. Life is not meant to be lived hurriedly, rushing from one event to another. It is meant to be enjoyed and savored, and driving slower will remind you of that fact every time.” I am someone who loves to drive fast, but I agree with this. It’s better when you just drive fast with that being its own intention versus being late.
Shawn: And I’m not recommending that everyone just drive fast everywhere [Tim laughs] and get in accidents or anything. But I agree that leaving a little earlier, that allows you to just take time and enjoy. You can enjoy that podcast, you can notice those signs, you can do the mindfulness instead of being like, “Oh my god, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.” You know, checking the clock 20 times a minute. It’s still that same time, but you’re just checking the clock, checking the clock, checking the clock. It’s not healthy. Obviously, we can’t help being late sometimes, but most of the time we can. We can leave a couple minutes earlier. We can get up a few minutes earlier, so we can do some deep breathing, we can do a little gratitude, we can do a little mindfulness. And when you’re in your car, you can listen to that podcast and you can take a different route sometimes. If you have a little extra time, you don’t have to take the fastest route every single time.
Shawn: You can take some different routes and how pleasant is that?
Tim: Yeah, another thing this brought up to me too, Shawn, is that maybe we didn’t take inventory of all the tasks, responsibilities, things that we have. Maybe we’re just trying to do too much, which for some people that may be a microcosm of their life. And maybe that’s the reason why you’re late or why you always feel you’re in a hurry, is you’re just trying to do a little bit too much. And instead of trying to do everything—I forget what the saying is. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything, kind of thing. So maybe pare it back a little bit and think about how you can give yourself a little bit more time by doing less, putting less on your plate.
Yeah, and this is another one where an example we talked about gratitude and to practice solitude, and things like that, we tend to be “me” focused. And when you’re out there driving fast and usually maybe not driving as well as you should, think about being focused and how you would interpret that driving if someone else was doing it; cutting people off and just driving a little bit out of hand.
Shawn: Yeah, and you tend to skew your reality when you’re like, “Gosh, this guy. What’s the deal with his driver?” And he’s just driving normal, but because you’re late, you’re mad at everyone else, right?
Shawn: And who’s fault is this? It’s your fault.
Shawn: It’s not their fault.
Shawn: Because they’re driving normal, but you’re like, “Jerk, come on. Let’s go. Why didn’t you run that red light?” [laughs] He’s just driving normal. They’re not running 10 minutes late, so don’t blame them. Blame yourself.
Shawn: Next one. I’ll let you read this one, Tim, because it’s so Tim.
Tim: No. 5: Fast one day each month. It says, “There’s a reason nearly every religious tradition incorporates the use of fasting, which is the practice of not eating food for a specific length of time, such as 24 hours or sunrise to sunset. Fasting teaches us self‑control, self-denial, and sacrifice. It trains our mind to weather storms and temptations, and it heightens our senses. As a side-note. the purpose for practice fasting may be for spiritual purposes, but it doesn’t have to be. Your mind, body and soul will benefit, regardless.”
I love this explanation because we spend a lot of our time talking about intermittent fasting for health benefits, weight loss, blood sugar, inflammation, and things like that. And while those are all indeed potential side benefits, this is really important. Everything that Becker talks about here is really important. These are attachment to food, how prevalent food is in our environment. Again, this is all mindfulness, like “Wow, I’m actually not hungry. I don’t really need food, but I’m used to eating at this time, so I’m feeling like I should be eating,” or, “Everyone else is eating, so I feel like I should be eating,” or there’s a fast food. Well, not just one fast food on every corner, but dozens of fast food on every corner. And just becoming more aware of our environments and our behaviors, and things like that. So, there’s many different benefits of fasting. And I love how he talked about self-control and sacrifice being additional benefits.
Shawn: Yeah, exactly. And I like the bringing up that this is so integral to every religion. If you look through the Bible, if you look through Buddhism, Islam, it really is core to most religions, that you can get into that deeper spiritual mind state that we were talking about through breathing, through gratitude, mindfulness, also known as prayer.
Tim: [laughs] Right.
Shawn: And when you’re in these states, sometimes it’s in states of continual praying, continual gratitude, mindfulness, where you do that over a long period of time. And what doesn’t fit in there or doesn’t make much sense is eating. You can stay focused on this meditation, this prayer. And again, like it says, self-control, self-denial, sacrifice, being in that state, that’s special when you can do that. It’s very hard to do, and it takes time, again, to get there. To become disciplined at it, to hone that skill. It’s not easy to meditate over a long period of time.
I know when I first tried to do it, I was at some yoga event. I forget what it was. And I was in a room full of people and they were all with their eyes closed and doing their deep breathing and meditating, and I I’m looking around. After a couple minutes I’m like, “What’s this person doing, what’s that person doing?” [laughs]
Tim: [laughs] Right.
Shawn: It’s hard. It’s really hard. If you’re someone who is distracted and living a fast life, don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself a chance to get into this. And like I said, start with just mindfulness, and then start with some deep breathing and just do that, and then do some of these guided meditations using a Headspace or a Calm or whatever. It’s not easy.
But I will say this. Going back to what my friend said with chiropractic, when I did do it in that session, I finally was able to do it for a couple minutes. And I was doing the deep breathing and my eyes were closed, and all of a sudden two vertebrae in my neck moved.
Shawn: Yeah, popped. And never in my life have I had that happen without an adjustment.
Shawn: So, literally, the breath and me relaxing allowed for vertebrae to move into place. I didn’t even think about that in relation to what my friend said, but it’s true.
Tim: That’s amazing.
Shawn: Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. So, I do think there’s something to prayer. There was actually a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that they showed, irrespective of the religion, that when people were prayed over—and this is across continents—I think there was people in North America praying for someone that was ill in Europe, let’s say, that when they were prayed for, they had better outcomes.
Shawn: So, fascinating. I think when we get into these mind states there’s power to it. When we’re focused, were connected, we’re connected to ourselves, and then we’re connected to our surroundings instead of in this distracted state. There’s real power to it.
Shawn: We can change our lives and we can change other people’s lives when we’re in that state, that unique state. So, just something to think about.
Tim: I joke around with my wife. I feel like she has a direct line to God. When she fully invests herself and her intentions in prayer, it seems like things happen. I wouldn’t say the way that she always wants them to, but the way that they should.
Shawn: And some people call it the universe and manifesting.
Shawn: The fact is, and not to go against any religion, but obviously there’s power, I think, in religion and there’s power in people just being spiritual. And studies have shown that either way. Whatever your path, there’s value to doing this kind of thing.
Shawn: So, there is value to setting up your vision board and meditating on it, and manifesting a better life for yourself. I mean, it’s just it just makes sense. So, No. 6: Adopt a do it now mentality. “The opposite of procrastination is to simply do it now instead. And seeing as how procrastination results in an unnecessary amount of stress in our lives, doing it now is an appropriate life habit for many of us to resolve. Make that a new mindset for your life in 2019. Repeat the mantra often and then just do it now, whatever it may be.”
Tim: Yeah, I love this. We talked about do it now and procrastination before. I think one layer that I would add here is that “do it now” may involve multiple steps. So, whatever that big thing that’s hanging over you; whether it’s cleaning the garage or whether it’s your big business goal, just the first part of do it now may be having a plan of action. Like how are you going to break this down into more manageable chunks. If it’s, for example, cleaning the garage, what’s the first step going to be if you only have an hour or two to do it? So, you can break it down into more manageable pieces. If you want to be successful in business, what does that actually mean? What can you do today, right now? What’s the top priority that you can get closer to that goal? So, I think that’s sometimes the hesitation or that sometimes is the procrastination impetus, it’s just a lot of times these things, these results that you want are big. And so, if we can start breaking down into more manageable pieces, then do it now becomes more feasible.
Shawn: That’s beautiful. No. 7: Eat more vegetables. And Tim and I love this as I am a dietician, Tim as a nutritionist. “Eating more vegetables is a better, simpler and oftentimes more measurable approach to your weight loss goal than simply deciding to eat less. Eating vegetables at each meal or as snacks in-between them naturally reduces the amount of unhealthy food that we put into our body. Additionally, it gives us more energy, more self-esteem, and more opportunity to fight off illness and disease.” [laughs] Yeah, I don’t really have much to add to that. That’s pretty good. I agree with that.
Tim: Two things that really stood out to me was, again, behavior-based is instead of relying on the scale all the time, this is one of those non-scale victories where you can say I’m going to eat one serving of vegetables at each meal or one serving vegetables each day is something that you can quantify and measure and tick off the list each day, so he mentioned that. But the other thing is some of the called dietary displacement. If I focus on adding more vegetables by addition, by subtraction you’re getting rid of a lot of the junk food.
Shawn: Yeah. No. 8: Read classical books from different centuries. “Books that have lasted centuries tend to do so for a very good reason. They contain wisdom. They speak to timeless human truths that bind us together. Though our culture and world look entirely different today than they did 200 years ago, the human spirit is the same. Life still includes sorrow, joy, hope, and trial. And we would benefit greatly from rediscovering how men and women approach lives hundreds of years ago.”
Totally agree with this. There’s that kind of the unplugged thing we’re talking about. I mean, certainly when you sit down with a book, you’re unplugging. But you need to unplug and reframe in a way that when you just hear someone talk about life as it were hundreds of years ago, it can help put things in perspective. A lot of the things that we’re stressed out about, a lot of the things we’re focused on, a lot of the things that we want so desperately really aren’t important. They’re not core to human life. And when you go back in time, you tend to see things more that are that are core to human life. And we’ve filled our lives with so many distractions.
I love the simpleness. I used to love watching Little House on the Prairie when I was a kid. And there is just beauty of how this family interacted with each other. Whenever I thought of what a man is, I always thought of Pa [chuckles] on the show. That he was just such a good man. And that an alpha male is actually someone who is a good man, but makes decisions and thinks about the people around him, and is not selfish, and is strong and acts. When no one else will act, this man steps up. Alpha male isn’t someone who’s a jerk, who’s violent, who’s brash, who’s braggart. It’s none of those things. That’s not what I think of with alpha male. I feel alpha males been kind of maligned and beaten to the ground. I think an alpha male is someone who is willing. You know, “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” We always think oh I want to be that guy. Do you?
Tim: Do you?
Shawn: Do you? There’s a lot of weight to being that guy. If you’re being the right guy and you’re taking the brunt and you’re the filter for all those that you care about, heavy is the head that wears the crown. So, it’s not easy. If you’re doing things right, it’s not easy. And that a little bit of an aside from reading classical books, but I know, as a man, that’s a lot of what I would pull out of classical books, is that wisdom and how to be a better man. And I think that’s important for me.
Tim: And even though it’s the phrase is alpha male, it’s not just men, right? Anyone can be an alpha male.
Tim: It’s a leader. To me, this is someone who’s a leader, who people can trust in, who people will empower, or who can empower others, and who has a heart to care about others.
Shawn: Absolutely, it can be male or female. It’s just frustrating to me now that that I feel men are kind of not living up to their standards.
Shawn: It’s sad to me. Any men out there listening right now, step up. It’s time. It’s time to be the man that you wish you had in your life when you were young. Be that person.
Tim: I just have one more thing to add to this one, Shawn, that read classical books.
Tim: And this came up when I was talking with my father-in-law this past weekend. And this one is not about reading books, per se, but going back generations and talking with your mother, your grandparents and asking them questions about themselves.
Tim: It could be something as simple as what their favorite color is or what kind of music they like. But just digging into maybe even their history, when they were kids, when they were growing up. When I spend time around my grandparents or my wife’s grandparents, that’s what I to do is just kind of understanding what life was for them. And they’re people too and they like for you [chuckle] to ask them questions. So this is a real life classical book to me, when you can go to older generations and ask them questions, personal questions about their growing up and things like that.
Shawn: I worked in nursing homes for about 10 years and I used to love talking to the residents. It was amazing. Some of them, what they lived through. Some of them grew up without electricity.
Shawn: Or like a horse and buggy and different things when they lived out in the country. It’s just a very different life. And yeah, it’s fascinating. It’s fascinating to learn from them and hear about the things that they went through and the sacrifices they made, and the things that they maybe regret but also are proud of. And it’s just a beautiful thing. I agree.
This next one is one that that might hit home for some listening. I think it’s somewhat controversial but very powerful. We could do a whole show on this and maybe at some point we should, if someone maybe would give us some feedback on this, I would love that. No. 9: Remove pornography. “Pornography limits our capacity to appreciate the real world and people within it. It clouds our mind with unrealistic and unhealthy assumptions about sexuality and our relationships with others. Because of that, it never fully satisfies its consumer, but always leaves them desiring more. Sacrifice the temporal pleasure of pornography for a life that can better appreciate the simple joys of the people and relationships around you right now.”
This one is tough. I mean, I can say just being open, as a man, as someone who has access to the Internet, that I have viewed pornography. And we have, as men especially, I think just this visual desire sometimes that are powerful. Testosterone, it’s just you have powerful thoughts for sex, and it’s hard to overcome those at times. And I agree with this though, that it can become extremely unhealthy and the expectations do become unrealistic. You can go down these rabbit holes, so to speak, where you can develop fetishes that are unhealthy and that are unrealistic.
And then that becomes an expectation maybe of your partner, or then your partner falls short of these expectations. And they can’t live up to something that’s a fetish. and they don’t even know what you’ve been pursuing, secretly.
Shawn: And then it creates this rift in your relationship and it can just become extremely unhealthy. And this is all like that that dopamine instant gratification, but then it leaves you empty and hurting afterwards.
Shawn: How often, if you’ve viewed pornography, maybe you feel some thrill in the moment, but how often do you feel great 30 minutes later, an hour later, the next day? Do you? It’s something to think about. I mean, this is almost the equivalent of eating that—I don’t know—that fast food or chocolate cake or something. I’m not saying those things are quite that unhealthy, but that it’s gratification in the moment, but maybe it’s not so fulfilling later.
Tim: Yeah, I think that we may even have talked about this before, but the research on pornography and having to get more and more and more to get that same dopamine rush, like you talked about, and basically completely blunting your sex drive in real life because it can never match up to what you’ve experienced visually. But I think the other thing I would add to this is that maybe it’s not just pornography that’s your vice, but maybe there’s other things that could be your vice. And when we talk about fasting, and we talk a lot about fasting food, but maybe you start by sometimes saying, “I’m going to remove this forever”; whether it’s pornography or cigarettes or alcohol, or whatever it is that could be a vice. Sometimes just a specified period of time, so going on a I guess porn fast, or alcohol fast, or smoking fast. It could be the start to a serious change in your life.
Shawn: And trying to replace it with a positive behavior.
Shawn: Kind of like the vegetables thing was. The more vegetables you eat, the less other stuff that you’re not eating. You know, going for walks, you spending time with friends, you connecting more deeply with the people you care about, you having gratitude, you slowing down, you De-stressing. Sometimes we use pornography just because we’re stressed.
Shawn: Or alcohol, or junk food, or all these things. It’s just it can be a way to de-stress quickly.
Shawn: So, trying to remove some of that stress by connecting with people more deeply and taking a little extra time before you leave and all those kinds of things might help, like the deep breathing. Anyway, that’s a good discussion. And again, if people really want us to cover that as a topic for a show, we can do that. If there’s interest, please let us know. It is an interesting topic.
No. 10: Go to bed earlier. “Changing just the first hour of your day changes the remaining 23. And the best way to change the first hour of your day is to get a good night’s sleep. So, make a practice this year to move your bedtime up. You may just be surprised at how small that change will naturally benefit other areas of your life.”
We’ve talked about how almost all successful people do two things. They have some kind of meditation, morning practice with gratitude. Again, be it prayer, be it meditation, or whatever. And then they also reframe where they view “failure” as learning experiments. But interestingly, again, the morning routine sets the tone for the day. And nearly every super successful person has a great morning routine, where they do things, like they practice deep breathing. They do get up a little earlier. They do take a walk. They do practice mindfulness or gratitude where they use a gratitude journal or all these things. You’ve talked about this before, that even though that morning sets the tone for the whole day, your morning can start the night before in how you prepare for your morning.
Shawn: So, going to bed a little earlier can give you a better night’s sleep and can allow you to get up a little earlier, which allows you to do 15-30 minutes of taking time, breathing, gratitude journal, easing your way to work, having a cup of coffee, talking to your significant other. All these kinds of things that are super healthy, you now allow time for and you feel rested for.
Tim: Yeah, I love that he says going to bed earlier as opposed to getting up earlier. A lot of people have that morning time, what time they wake up is a little less non-negotiable, or a little less negotiable than the nighttime, right? Like this is the latest time that you can wake up in order to get your kids to school, get to work, or whatever you need to do. But you do tend to have more control over the nighttime. And so, I that he emphasizes that.
A couple other things that come to mind here is I’ve heard Shawn Stevenson, who does a podcast called The Model Health Show. I heard him talk about how our magic time for sleep is between 10 and 12. And I think if anyone’s going to bed at midnight or later, if they tried to go to bed at 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock, 11:30 even, I think they would notice a pretty significant difference in the quality of sleep. Even the same number of hours. That’s been pretty profound to me is just noticing that difference.
And then the third thing that came to mind here is Bedros Keuilian. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Bedros, but he talks about if you’re hitting the snooze button in the morning, you’re basically saying no to yourself. You’re saying no to that 15 to 30 minutes that could be the biggest priority for you and your day. And by I going to bed earlier, it’s less likely that you’re going to hit that snooze button and more likely they’re going to say yes to yourself.
Shawn: I never understood the snooze button. [Tim laughs] It’s weird to me that some people set their alarm intentionally to hit the snooze button. I don’t understand that mentality. That one just confuses me so much. Just get up later, so you get quality sleep. I don’t understand that mindset. Yeah, I always just get up. [chuckles] When the alarm goes off, I get up.
Tim: But that’s what Bedros is saying and it makes so much sense is because we set our alarm at an earlier time probably because there’s something that’s important to us, or that we think is important to us, that we’d want to do with those extra 10 or 15 minutes or a half hour, or whatever we’ve allotted for ourselves. And we’re saying no to that by hitting the snooze button. And then we’re getting up when we have to, in order to do the things that we have to.
Shawn: One of the reasons you might be hitting the snooze button is that it’s just the thought of whatever it is that you need to do is overwhelming.
Shawn: But if you break it down, if you have a journal, if you have some goals and you have it broken down into little steps, it’s not as overwhelming.
Tim: Do it now, dude.
Shawn: So you need to plan it. Yeah, you need to do it now. And plan it and just take it in little steps. One step forward is still better than no steps forward.
Shawn: Give yourself credit for just taking that step forward.
No. 11: Give to a charity. “Pick a cause that you believe in strongly. Poverty, education, orphan care, animals, or the environment, just to name a few. And then write a check. You’ll be glad you did. They’ll be glad you did. The cause they serve will be glad you did. And if you can spread that much joy by filling out a check, just imagine the joy you’ll spread if you volunteer your time and talents.”
You know, you want to feel connected, you want to feel gratitude, some of the things we talked about earlier. If you give your time to a charity, if you work with a church if you go to school and are part of the PTA, or you do some bake sale, or you do Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or you go to the animal shelter and give time, you’ll see things. You’ll see kids that are orphaned that maybe have had a really difficult life. You’ll see at the school, the special education children; at the animal shelter you’ll see animals that have been abused and neglected, and are hurt and broken. And if that doesn’t put things in perspective, then I don’t know what to tell you. But when you hand out soup at a shelter with people that are homeless, or when you help out with the environment and you see just trash all over the place.
I mean, this stuff really brings you back to what’s real. And what’s real is where we live and who we live in it with is so important. We share this world with each other, so take care of the world and take care of each other. Pretty simple.
Tim: The only thing I would add to that is I love that you talked about, it’s not just money—and you mentioned this—it’s time.
Tim: But I think one of the things that I’m most proud about with BioTrust is our commitment to giving back through Make-A-Wish, through No Kid Hungry. Over 3 million meals so far, over $2 million to Make-A-Wish. And those are things that I could never help out with, to that degree, on my own. And so being a part of something bigger, and thanks to the generous support of our customers and VIP members, we’re able to make things that happen and give kids that need a meal, breakfast at school, lunch at school and things like that. So, that’s something that feels really good to me and that we’re proud of.
Shawn: The vision of the owners, Josh Bezoni and Joel Marion, to support that from the beginning, so that’s beautiful.
Tim: Last but not least on the list, No. 12: Date your spouse. “Take your spouse, partner on a date at least once per month. You’ll have fun, you’ll reconnect, your union will be stronger because of it.” And if you think it’ll cost a bunch of money, you’re just not being creative enough. I know this is something that’s really important to me and my wife, Amy. We have a 2-1/2-year-old daughter and so this is hard.
Shawn: For you to make that priority.
Tim: We’re best buds and when you have a little munchkin come into your life, that time, that love, it doesn’t get split in half. A lot more gets allocated to the little one, and you don’t have time at nighttime all the time to download and reconnect the way you do, so you really have to make time for those kinds of things and it’s something that we do okay at. But to be honest with you, if I was to make a New Year’s resolution, this would be something that would be on my list.
Shawn: Yeah, and these are cool. Look, these things aren’t too hard to do, as far as resolutions. Like Tim said, you can talk about wanting to lose x pounds or reduce your debt by x amount, but these are behaviors that will radically change your life. And I guarantee if you’re to do these things, your debt would resolve itself, your weight would resolve itself, just because your behaviors are now so much healthier that you’re de-stressing, that you’re enjoying the people around you, that you’re giving yourself, that you have gratitude. I mean, these things are just profound in terms of the impact it would make on the life you’re living. And everything else would fall into place. I’m sure of it. So, I agree with Tim, in terms of just changing these behaviors, and it’ll affect everything else.
So, hopefully this is helpful. Hopefully you do apply some of these things. You don’t have to apply all these things. Just think about some things that you could do fairly quickly, and you don’t have to wait until January 1st to do it. And if it’s after January 1st, so be it. [chuckles] No matter what it is, just like the one that says, “Do it, do it now” mentality, I agree with the resolutions being approached that way.
Shawn: Do it now. I mean, start now. Whenever you’re like “I really admire that person,” then whatever it is you admire about them, 1. tell them; 2. do it. Start doing whatever that is that you admire about them.
Shawn: Why wait? And it’s not that hard to start putting things into place that you admire, that you notice. Well then, exemplify that. So, we love you and we appreciate you. Thanks everyone and we’ll talk to you soon.