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Transcript – Beginner’s Guide to Becoming Minimalist (10-Step Minimalism Checklist)
Shawn: Hello BioTrust Nation. We are back for another amazing episode. I’m Shawn Wells and I’m here with my co-host, Tim Skwiat.
Tim: Present. [chuckles]
Shawn: And accounted for [chuckles] And we’re going to get into changing your mindset. And we’re going to go through some really great tips from this article that we got from Medium.com. And it’s Suzanne Mountain, and she gets into this phenomenal list on a growth mindset. We’ve talked about living with abundance versus scarcity, and that is the way to grow, and being mindful and changing the way that you perceive your world and the way that you attack your goals. So, we’re going to get into that in just a second. But Tim’s going to hit a review.
Tim: Once again, we’ve got a 5-star review from iTunes that we’re going to start off the show with. And the reviewer, of course, is going to get a free product as a token of our appreciation. And this review is from carastian, and the title the review is Keep It Coming. “Always supplying great information. They are all great podcasts.”
Thank you so much carastian. We really appreciate people going out of their way to leave these reviews. It means a lot to Shawn and me, personally, and also to the show. It helps spread the word and helps magnify the impact that we can have across the fields of people that are interested in getting healthier.
Shawn: It’s crazy how many 5-star reviews we have and what people are saying. They’re not even just putting 5-star review, but they’re saying like the show is impacting them pretty profoundly, that it’s changing their lives, that they can’t get enough. I mean, it definitely helps Tim and I. It’s not an ego thing. Sometimes we just feel like we’re just [chuckles] talking into microphones in the studio and we don’t know where it goes in the ether. So, to get that feedback is super helpful.
And we would love if you give us ideas for the shows, like how you feel about the existing shows. Specifically, what you liked and what you didn’t like. One way to do that is at BioTrust.com/VIP in the VIP group. And if we ever read your question, we will give you a free product, as well. So, there’s multiple ways to get a free product. And we appreciate you for being a part of this community. This show is about you, for you, serving you, so thank you very much.
Let’s get into this list of top tips for developing a growth mindset. “No. 1: Cultivate a sense of purpose. Dweck’s research shows that people with a growth mindset have a sense of purpose. It is important to keep the big picture in mind, but not be so fixed to it that you can’t change your course should an opportunity arise. Think about how athletes work towards goals.” And I like this because that sense of purpose kind of goes back to some stuff that we’ve talked about before with knowing your WHY.
And so, once you have clarity on your WHY, everything gets so much more simple. I mean, literally almost every decision in life can be like “Is this serving my WHY or not serving my WHY? Am I moving closer to my goal or not moving closer to my goal? Is this giving me positive energy or not giving me positive energy?” And now you can say yep, this person should not be in my life. And this other person, I need to spend more time with. They’re going to help me with my WHY.
And you need to be helping other people with their WHY. If you have if you have gifts, if you have a way that you can help others, then apply that and give that to others. Be a mentor and be mentored. That’s one of the most important things that you can do in life.
Tim: Yeah, that’s awesome, Shawn. I think what this brought to mind for me is that when you look at like centenarians in the Blue Zones, one of the fundamental pillars of their longevity is their sense of purpose. It’s really interesting that having that sense of purpose can extend longevity. And think about it, if you have purpose. especially as you get later on life, there’s more likelihood that you’re going to live—not just live longer, but live healthier to increase that health span, actually.
Just one other quick kind of background thing here that the author mentioned “Dweck,” and that’s Carol Dweck, who’s a professor in psychology at Stanford. And she wrote a book called Mindset, and it really kind of Illustrated this growth mindset versus fixed mindset. So, you’ll hear those terms “growth” versus “fixed.” Fixed mindset basically means things like our character intelligence and creative abilities are static. They’re genetically inherent and we can’t change them. On the other hand, a growth mindset is basically the belief that you can grow and improve.
And I think that as a child or a very young child, we are blessed with a growth mindset, the belief that we have. That’s why we have this curiosity, that’s why we want to learn new things. But over time—and it happens at a very young age—that growth mindset gets blunted. And so, it starts young and we come into this fixed mindset where we’re told things, we’re not allowed to explore the way that we want to, and all these kinds of things. So, just keep those things in mind as we go through this.
Shawn: Yeah, that’s great. “No. 2: Focus on the experience as well as the end result. Enjoy the experience of what you learn whilst you are working toward your goal. It is not all about the end result.”
Tim: I think the author is from England, the United Kingdom.
Shawn: With the “whilst.”
Tim: Yes. So, we are going to do the rest of the podcast with a British accent. [laughs]
Tim: Just kidding [laughs] Yeah, I mean, this is the whole thing. It’s about the process. I went to grad school at University of Texas and they have a famous baseball coach, who unfortunately passed away not too long ago, but his name’s Augie Garrido. And he was all about teaching his athletes a process, and it’s all about the process. And we’ve talked about this before: the outcomes will come. The outcomes will happen if we emphasize the appropriate behaviors. And learning and being immersed in the process allows us to learn, allows us to grow, that allows us to experience those things. And so just fully immersing yourself instead of just focusing on that finish line, focusing on how you’re getting there and what you’re going through to get there in the process, because rarely is that a straight line. There’s going to be some ups and downs, and you can get the most out of those by being mindful of what’s happening.
Shawn: That’s nice, Tim. That kind of relaxes me. [chuckles]
Tim: Thanks, Bro. [chuckles]
Shawn: “No. 3: Acknowledge your imperfections. Hiding from your imperfections means that you will never grow. So, acknowledge them and recognize that it’s okay to be imperfect.” This is so true. People that make excuses for everything drive me insane, and it becomes a bad habit. And we’re all imperfect, and that’s okay. There’s beauty in the imperfections. The imperfections make us unique. And there’s things that, in certain situations, are an advantage, and in other situations are not. And you just have to recognize those things. But yeah, there’s no way that you can ever grow, that you can ever get better, if you don’t acknowledge these certain things in different situations.
One of those things, to me, is apologizing. Just knowing that you hurt someone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong all the time. I mean, there’s going to be times when you apologize but you were even right about whatever it is you were arguing about. But you just hurt someone’s feelings or it’s the way they perceive what you’re saying. And you can acknowledge that someone doesn’t feel good as a result of your actions and your words.
Tim: That’s awesome, Shawn. And I think this is really profound, too, for people that are in leadership positions, which is everyone. Everyone has a chance to be a leader. But I see this especially prevalent in the health and fitness community, where you have trainers or celebrities, especially with social media, portray themselves as being perfect all the time. And not only does it create this unrealistic set of expectations for someone else who’s trying to get in better shape or trying to eat better, or trying to exercise, but it also makes them feel bad. Those same people feel bad when they don’t get to that level that they think they should be because all they’re seeing are these six-pack abs and perfect meals all the time. They don’t see the mistakes. They don’t see the imperfections.
So, if you’re a health and fitness professional listening to this, then one of the most powerful things that you might be able to do to help your clientele is actually share your struggles, share your imperfections. It helps resonate with the people that you’re working with and it helps them understand that they don’t have to be perfect all the time. It’s not all or nothing. It’s most of the time. It’s about averages. Anyway, I just think it’s important for those of us who are in positions of power, so to speak, or leaders, to recognize imperfections, to make those people that we’re grooming build trust in themselves and in us.
Shawn: We love the hero’s journey. We love the story of the comeback. And we actually tend to praise the people that have been broken and fallen more than the people that never have, that come off as perfect. I mean, if you think about Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, just to name some athletes, but also people like Robert Downey Jr. There’s some of these people that we think are amazing, they’ve had some checkered pasts, right? They’ve dealt with trauma and addictions, and we still love them. And I dare say that we love the people that have been down and out and built themselves back up—and that includes falling from a very high place—than the people that are just in the high place. Let’s say like a Steph Curry [chuckles] or someone who comes off like so clean and perfect. And I’m saying Steph Curry’s a great guy. I’m not bashing him at all. I’m actually a huge fan of his.
But you know what I mean? We love the Rocky, the Rudy, the comeback. There’s something about that. Like as soon as we see someone’s down and out and they have their addiction, and people are jumping on them and thrashing them, we want to see the comeback.
Shawn: We want to see them ascend back to their former greatness, and there’s something beautiful about when that happens. Because then we believe that we can do it.
Shawn: Now this person is like they’re not perfect. They’re more like me than I thought. And then they can fall to a place lower than me and then come back. I can do anything. And we love that story. So yeah, I love acknowledging your imperfections because our favorite heroes are imperfect.
Tim: Just to tack onto that story, too, Shawn, or that aspect of it is that we develop a level of disdain or lack of trust for those people who don’t acknowledge their imperfections. And an example that comes to mind for me is like baseball and guys that denied using steroids, but then came to realize that they did, they’re just neglected now. But there were other players that used performance-enhancing drugs during the same periods of time and said, “Yep, you know what? I made a mistake. I did it.” And not only did we completely forget about it, but now we brought them back into the game and we love them and we cheer for them. And so acknowledging those imperfections, that’s kind of a grand example. But denying them is really harmful.
Shawn: Totally. And actually, just me thinking of Robert Downey Jr, who plays Ironman in the Marvel movies, and Stan Lee, who is the creator of all these amazing Marvel characters just recently passed away in his 90s with a heck of a legacy. I was reading about the way he created all of his characters, and he said the one thing he did very different from the DC Universe—which I don’t know if people know DC versus Marvel, but DC is like Superman, Batman, and some of those characters. Marvel, he said, with every character that he created, he focused on the imperfections as well as their superhero abilities. And he said that made them more identifiable characters.
And if you look through like all the Marvel characters, they all have blindness or addiction or some kind of thing. Whereas he felt like Superman was just kind of like godlike, and he wanted to give his characters a little bit more humanity and a little bit more struggle. And it’s an interesting thing, and all these characters are so beloved now. They’re basically our modern-day mythology. Very similar to Greek or Roman or Norse mythology, that we have our modern mythology with these characters, and they are imperfect. So, very cool.
Shawn: “No. 4: Stop assuming that imperfect is not good enough. Many of us fail to make progress because we fear failure and want to get everything 100% correct. However, this can mean that we never try doing anything new and this can lead to us automatically failing to achieve all we could.”
Tim: You know that image where it’s [chuckles] where its this big circle and this picture that says, “You are in the circle” and the big circle where you are is the comfort zone and there’s an arrow out there and the arrow is pointing to where the magic happens.
Tim: We just need to step outside of our comfort zone. We’ve talked about that so many times on the show that we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. These stressors that we come up with, whether they’re hormetic stressors, fasting, cold therapy, exercise, and things like that, in the right amount can have a highly beneficial effect on us. And that’s the same thing in any kind of personal development is getting outside of our comfort zone and learning. Yeah, just stepping outside that safe zone can have a profound positive impact.
We always think about—you’ve said this before—we always think about what if. What if in the bad way, we’ll flip that around. What else can happen? Like what could really happen, beneficially, if I do this? Think about all the what-ifs on the positive side, not just the what-ifs on the negative side.
Shawn: And if you don’t try, you’ll never get there. You’ll just be someone, like you said, that’s just living with regrets for not having tried. And just discard the stupid word “failure” because there’s just no such thing. There’s no such thing as mistakes or failure. You live, you win, you learn. It’s one or the other. You win or you learn. And we’ve talked about that successful people view everything as experiments, and that’s it. You win or you learn. You either hit it, like you hit the jackpot, like “Oh man, this is now my new business. This is now a big hit. Like this is what I was looking for.” Maybe it even surpassed what I was looking for. Or you’re like, “You know what? That wasn’t it. But I’m out here trying and I’m onto the next experiment.” Beautiful. So, don’t beat yourself up. You win or you learn.
Shawn: “No. 5: View challenges as opportunities for growth. Each time you try something new, you will learn and grow. If you keep going with the cycle, do, reflect, learn, redo, reflect, learn, you will be improving each time.” I swear this is so uncanny.
Shawn: I’m not even reading ahead. [laughs] It’s uncanny, how in-line with our thinking this article is. [laughs]
Tim: It’s right on point. And we’ve talked about the difference between wearing your success‑filtered glasses versus your failure‑filtered glasses. And instead of viewing challenges as obstacles, and wanting to avoid them, put on those success‑filtered glasses and look at those things, attack them as opportunities. Like, “I cannot wait to try this.” If you just change your language about these things and say I got this, I can, this is the way I’m going to do, or whatever, it changes everything. Just changing your language on things.
Shawn: The obstacle is the way.
Tim: That’s right. [chuckles]
Shawn: I mean, there’s a reason that people climb Mount Everest. There’s a reason that people do skydiving or things that they fear. Because once you do those things, everything else in your life seems easier, seems less insurmountable. That word “impossible” kind of fades away and you start realizing that the obstacle is the way. This is how I improve my life. This is how I get stronger, smarter, faster, better is by—like you said—going outside of that comfort zone.
The comfort zone means you’re slowly devolving. You’re not getting better. You’re just getting complacent and you’re not growing. You’re going backwards. By doing nothing, you’re going backwards. To get better, you have to constantly keep moving forward. You have to constantly reinvent yourself, and that takes work. But when you’re clear on your WHY and you’re in your flow, and it doesn’t feel like work.
Shawn: One of the things that I came to realization on—this is a little bit of an aside—but I was just at the School of Greatness Mastermind I’m in with Lewis Howes, and I stood up and talked about this, is that I’ve always been a hustle and grind person. You know, you hear like Gary Vee and all these people talk about that like hustle and grind, get out there and grind, work real hard. And I can tell you that that will break you down over time. And I started thinking about that word “grind,” and that it means friction and it means working against something, pushing against your will and breaking down over time. Yes, you’re moving it forward, but little pieces and bits are breaking off. So, grinding isn’t the way forward, long‑term. Yes, there’s times you’ve got to push through a little bit. But being in the flow is frictionless. That’s when you’re going with the energy, you have the clarity, you’re letting the current carry you forward.
And yes, again, there’s going to be times you have to push through and maybe there’s a little eddy—to use a little river term [chuckles]—a little swirl that you have to get through and push your oar through. But this is just a realization, to me, that I have to stop pushing as hard and letting things come to me a little bit. The biggest thing is being clear on your WHY. Having the clarity, having the simplicity, having the right people around you, having the right energy that serves you, and things start falling into place. You don’t have to push as hard. People start coming into your life. When you make the time, when your head’s up, when you have the energy, and you’re actually looking, instead of your head down, negative energy, overwhelmed, things become very different, and the right things come into your life. And maybe sometimes the right things have been in your life but you were too overwhelming to even notice.
Shawn: And now all the sudden you’re noticing, “Oh goodness. Like it’s crazy how everything’s just falling into place for me.” That’s because you’re letting them fall into place. That’s because you’re going with the flow. You’re letting the energy come to you.
Tim: That’s super profound. Just one thing that came to mind, real quick Shawn, was that we think about how overwhelmed we are with our lives and we talk about how people have a hard time setting boundaries. But if you think about it, how many times those same people—myself included—have probably said no to those opportunities that would help them flow with the current and at a less grind-full pace.
Shawn: That’s interesting, too, yeah. There are times that we’ve got to say no, and there’s times that we’ve got to say yes. And sometimes we’re overwhelmed because we’re not saying no. But sometimes we’re not growing because we’re not saying yes.
Shawn: Yeah, that’s a good point. “No. 6: Learn to hear and name your fixed mindset voice. Everyone has a fixed mindset sometimes. We are all a mixture of both. Recognize when you’re coming from a fixed mindset position and challenge yourself to reframe your thoughts.” Hey, they used the term “reframe.” Love it. “For example, your inner head tapes might say to you, ‘What if you fail? You’ll be a failure.’ Then you replace it with a growth mindset statement such as, ‘Most people have failed at some time and at least I will have tried. I will also learn something during the process.’” There you go.
Shawn: You win or you learn.
Tim: We just talked about how like your language can change everything. But again, we talk about mindfulness so many different times. And this is a big part of shifting that. And like she said here, it’s not you’re either/or. It’s a spectrum of growth versus fixed mindset. But just becoming mindful of the language that you’re using or your patterns of behavior is a huge, huge step in the process of shifting more towards that growth end of the spectrum. So, this is a big one. So, think about how you’re talking to yourself. And like we talked about before, if you talked to yourself the way—how do you say that, Shawn? [laughs] If you talked to others the way that you talked to yourself, you would not be that person’s friend, right?
Shawn: Essentially, yeah.
Tim: That’s a jumbled mess, that’s for sure. [laughs]
Shawn: [laughs] Yeah. [laughs] Yes, I think if you let others speak to you like you speak to you…
Tim: There you go.
Shawn: …you wouldn’t be their friend. “No. 7: Use the word ‘yet.’ Within this concept, ‘yet’ is a very powerful word, as is full of opportunity and potential. There’s a big difference between, ‘I can’t speak French,’ and, ‘I can’t speak French, yet.’” That is powerful. What if we put that in front of everything that we said, where we said I can’t? “I can’t run the marathon, yet. I’m not a millionaire, yet. I haven’t had children, yet. I haven’t traveled to Australia, yet.” What if we put this in front of everything? Our life would then seem full of potential; limitless potential. And maybe you’re 60 and you can say “I didn’t get into Harvard, yet.” I mean, why limit yourself. These are things that you think are cool, think are interesting, think are things that could serve you? You know, maybe it’s not right, right now. But why not throw “yet” on there and start transforming your language to believe that when it does serve you, when you do have the time, when you do put your energy towards it, you can achieve it. You’re just not focused on that specific thing right now, but it’s possible. It’s just something you haven’t achieved yet. Tim? [laughs]
Tim: [laughs] I thought that just reserved a moment of silence for people to think about it. But also realize that that’s just the first step in the process, right?
Tim: Like you need to then get the action plan going. Or maybe you’re in the process. And so that’s a way for you to buffer maybe negative feedback. If someone’s saying, “You can’t speak French,” say “I can’t speak French yet, but I’m working on it. And I plan to do it by such and such a date and I’m going to Paris,” and there you go.
Shawn: Yeah, so stick it.
Tim: Yeah, buddy. Au revoir.
Shawn: [laughs] “No. 8: Accept feedback. Take any feedback you’re given and look at it carefully. What can you learn from it? What could you do differently next time? What feedback would you give yourself? Being able to give yourself constructive criticism is an important part of a growth mindset.” Absolutely. I would say sometimes you need to look at the people giving you feedback, and think about the way that they’re giving you feedback dictates a lot about their personality and whether they have a place in your life. Yes, and just be careful about who’s giving you feedback.
Shawn: And make sure this is someone that has your best interests in mind, and that this feedback is honest and it is constructive. And certainly, there are times when you should listen to yourself, as long as you’re not self-abusing and just your expectations are ridiculous on yourself. You can’t be perfect. And if you have that win or you learn mindset, and you have the right people around you and you have mentors, and you have positive affirmations of words that you say to yourself, and you practice gratitude and mindfulness, then yes, you can be in a place of good feedback. And if you meditate on what you just went through and what you just tried to accomplish and sit there and think about it in a positive mind state where you’re relaxed, then maybe you can give yourself good feedback.
But sometimes when you’re right in that moment, it may not be the best feedback. You may beat yourself up a little bit and maybe sometimes the people around you might be beating you up a little bit, if it’s in that given moment. So, I would say be careful about who’s giving you the feedback, but certainly if you want to achieve growth, there’s no way that you can do it without feedback. And there’s no way you can do it without just taking stock of what it is you just tried to accomplish, and why it didn’t work.
Tim: Yeah 100%, Shawn. And I like the word “feedback” here because I think it’s all feedback. Even constructive criticism. Criticism tends to be viewed negatively, and we tend to—not everyone—we can tend to have a negative response to that and take it personally. But even criticism is feedback, if we view it the right way. And if our purpose is to really grow and improve, then criticism from the appropriate source is actually extremely helpful. Feedback, a pat on the back, recognition, “Good job. Yeah. Way to go,” is always good. But even then, if you’re giving feedback to someone, try to be as specific as possible. Say, “You did great on this.” Or, like you talked about, the John Wooden sandwiches, give giving the good feedback to buffer any kind of criticism that could be potentially viewed negatively. But in either case, whether it’s positive or constructive feedback, if you’re giving it, I think it’s important to be as specific as possible. And then try to separate your emotions from criticism, as much as you can. Because there’s probably some truth to it in there that you can apply to getting better.
Shawn: Well, The Four Agreements talks about never taking it personal.
Shawn: And I think that’s important with the feedback, is think about if you were someone else and that this advice was given, would it make sense. If you pull your personal connection out of it, does it still make sense. And then, let it be what it is. Sometimes you need to take that step back. But yes, I think pulling the personal emotion out of it is sometimes important. And sometimes you can be that person, that if you’re addicted to the positive, the fame, the adulation, the people saying all these great things about you, of course it feels good to hear good things. I enjoy that and anyone would. But if you’re someone that seeks it out constantly, then you’re someone who’s going to take criticism very personally as well. So, sometimes you need to take that step back and be rational.
“No. 9: Celebrate growth. Acknowledge your progress and celebrate your growth with others. Doing this will encourage you to keep going when it gets tough.” Yes, we don’t celebrate enough and if you’re going to stay in a growth mindset and you’re going to continue to grow, you need to celebrate your growth, step-by-step. And if the way to achieve growth is through steps forward, then celebrate each step and take time and say, “Yes, I have learned and I have won.” It’s both; the things that didn’t serve me were learning, and the things that did serve me is winning. And acknowledging both is winning. You’re moving further along, down your life path, and you’re growing. You’re not moving in the opposite direction. You’re not shrinking and you’re not becoming less of a person. You’re not heading backwards. So, the growth mindset definitely I think a big part of that, to be sustainable, certainly is celebrating it.
Tim: Yeah, and I think we have a tendency to really emphasize the negatives or again, the failures, so to speak. But if we flip the script and reframe, then those are actually growth things to celebrate anyway. But I think a phrase that comes to mind to me is “highlight the bright spots,” and I don’t think we spend enough time focusing on that. When there’s all kinds of growth going on daily, I think we tend to focus on that one thing that might have not gone according to plan or not gone right. So, not only reframing and looking at it in a healthier way, but also taking a minute to look at what actually went right. Not that everyone deserves a ribbon or anything like that, but there are growth steps every single day.
Shawn: If you believe that there’s only two things, that there isn’t loss, that you win or you learn, then the only way to not grow—because both winning and learning is growth—then the only way to not grow is to not try. If you’re trying, you’re growing, and you need to think of that. Celebrate the fact that you’re trying. If you’re trying, you’re winning, you’re growing. So, good for you if you’re doing it. And that’s something you need to focus on.
“No. 10: Celebrate success. Always take a moment to celebrate your success. Too often we move on to the next thing without acknowledging the hard work we have put into it. When you are ready to move to the next goal.” Hmm, yes. So, what do you think? Celebrate your success.
Tim: I think it’s huge. I think taking time to reflect on all those types of things is really important, but success to me seems like an outcome, and we’ve talked about how the behaviors, those growth behaviors lead to that outcome. So, take time to reflect about the process. Kind of going back to what we talked about initially. Take time to reflect on the process and everything that you teased out. Because that success, that outcome, there’s actually a ton of wins and successes within that one success.
Yeah, I mean, we got it. We have to celebrate. We have to take time before we move on to the next thing. We often make metaphors with sports. And you think about the team just won the championship. Do you think they just go right back to practice the next day? Probably not right away. But LeBron, Jordan, and those guys probably went and started working out shortly thereafter. But no, there’s a period of celebration and reflection, and acknowledgement, and accolades that go with that. And it’s important to do that throughout our lives. It doesn’t have to be necessarily every day. But when you get a big feather in your cap, it’s worth celebrating, and celebrating with others who helped you along the way.
Shawn: Yeah, if you want others to believe in you, if you want to be that leader, that role model, that one that people look to, you have to look to yourself. You have to believe in yourself. You have to be proud of yourself. You have to love yourself. No one else is going to look to you and love you and believe in you if you don’t. So, it starts with you. So, celebrate your successes.
And with that, Tim and I do love you, and we really appreciate you. We’re thankful to you. This is a community and this starts and this is for you, so thank you very much for listening, and we’ll see you again soon.
Tim: Keep working on getting better, every day. Bye guys.