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How 60 Minutes on Sunday Can Change Your Life

By | Advice, Masterclass, Writing
Reading Time: 10 minutes

NOTE: I did a Quick Hit episode on this topic, which I’ve linked above. The audio is a simpler version of the in-depth process I’m sharing below, but can be a great companion to listen to.

How 60 Minutes on Sunday Can Change Your Life

Monday morning comes around —and there are typically two types of people out there:

95% of people wake up in a fog, scattered, and putting out fires. They have no clarity on where they’re going —they simply want to make it through the day as fast as they can, so they can come back, “relax” and/or lay on the couch, binge-watching Netflix.

(Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with Netflix…but distraction is usually a feedback mechanism for a lack of clarity and purpose.)

Then, there’s the 5% of people who wake up with intention —they’ve designed their day based on a broader desire or vision. Their actions, rituals, habits, and environments support where they’re headed. There’s a peace and calm, balanced with a deliberate focus to start their week.

Now, there’s no question who is more likely to create meaningful progress in their life and business between these two. But if you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or work for yourself in some capacity —this becomes even more important.

One of my most prized rituals which I teach all of my clients and constantly share on the podcast, here on the blog or social media is simple: If you do it right, taking 45-60 minutes on a Sunday to reflect, course correct, commit and prepare can and will change your life.

In this post, I’ll share the exact process I use and teach —as well as tools and resources to help you do the same. Because if you do, you’ll create the clarity and momentum most people wish for.

And as you know, wishing is never a strategy for success. But first, let’s get clear on why this matters in the first place.

tommy baker change your lifeWhere Will You Be One Year From Today?

Barring some type of physical catastrophe in your life —you’ll be waking up in one year. And you’re either going to be in a radically different place than where you find yourself today…

Or most likely —you’re going to be exactly where you are now, but worse. If you’re in a career that isn’t working, you’ll be worse off. If you’re finding yourself lacking momentum, you’ll be even more stuck. If you’re not making the money you want in your entrepreneurial or freelancing gigs…your bank account is bound to look the same.

The truth is: success is quite predictable, and sometimes even boringly predictable —look at someone’s mindset, behaviors, and habits and you’ll get a clear picture of where they’re likely to end up. Sure, there are outliers. But I’m not going to bank my life on unicorns, even if they’re kinda cute.

But there’s also another possibility: you wake up, and you’ve seen tremendous progress over the last year. The little decisions you made to adopt a morning routine, get clear around your goals and invest in some accountability are now paying off.

Remember: this Sunday routine, like anything else —can seem insignificant in the moment. Because this Sunday, if you do it or you don’t, you likely won’t see monumental change. But if you take this practice and compound it over a full year, you can be living a radically different life. You could have finally achieved the momentum you wanted, made the extra $20,000 you dreamed of —launched the platform or written your first book.

Like I said earlier, during the thousands of hours I’ve spent in the trenches obsessing over peak performance, human behavior change and results —the Sunday ritual came up time and time again.

Now let’s explore exactly what you’ll be doing on Sundays to maximize your success and never look back.

tommy baker change your liifeStep 1: Reflection

When was the last time you pushed the pause button on the freight train of your life and asked some deep questions, such as:

Am I on the right path, and do I know where I’m going?

What is my level of excitement and enthusiasm for life?

Why am I doing this all for anyway —what’s my bigger why?

Now, here’s what I’ve known to be true: we all ask these questions, but rarely create the necessary container to answer them. Meaning: we may contemplate these riding high above the clouds at 37,000 feet, but then we check our phones or fall asleep.

We may have a moment after a workout where we tap into something deeper —and then start our workday. Put simply: because we live in a shallow, caffeinated, non-stop stimulus world —true reflection is rare.

So the first step of your Sunday Reflection protocol is all about reflection —and taking the time to check in with yourself by asking yourself the following questions:

What was your biggest win(s) of the last week and how did you make them happen?

The first part of the reflection process of Sunday Reflection is about one thing: celebrating your wins. Because too often, we either conveniently forget the places we won, or choose to focus on what isn’t working. I don’t care how challenging, hard and scattered the last week was: there are wins in there, and plenty of them. It’s not about the magnitude of the wins, this is about celebrating yourself.

Once you’ve identified at least three wins, take a moment to de-construct how you made that happen. Think of how’d you teach someone else the principles and tools you used to bring it to life.

For example:

My biggest win this week was making a decision on my next project —and completing the research phase.

Deconstruction:

How I made this win happen was by setting boundaries and taking focused action —even with a busy week, I created the time by planning and saying “no” to other opportunities.

Or, let’s use another example:

My biggest win this week was connecting with my significant other and kids with an amazing date night experience where we laughed and were all fully present.

Deconstruction:

How I made this happen and the lesson I’d teach others is: if you don’t schedule something in, it probably won’t happen. I’d noticed we hadn’t done a proper date night in months, because we were “busy.” By planning it out in advance, I made it happen and it was incredible.

By doing this, you’re not only putting your focus on what’s working (which as we stated earlier, is rare), but you’re teaching yourself how you made it happen. This re-wires your neural circuitry in real time and will help you replicate these results in the future. This is the path to self-mastery where you build on your successes time and time again.

Now, it’s time to move on to the second key question:

What was your biggest challenge(es) of the last week and what did you learn through them?

Once we’ve celebrated your wins and de-constructed how you brought them to life —it’s time to identify your biggest challenge. I usually keep this to the one big stressor or adversity experienced during the week.

Often, we don’t face our challenges and take the proper time to reflect on them —missing out on valuable lessons and growth. Often, the act of releasing our challenges on paper (or digitally, if you prefer) means they lose their emotional charge on us. In fact, research has proven

The same process applies to the celebration phase, but now you will identify the challenge and de-construct the lesson and perspective it provided.

For example:

My biggest challenge this past week was not securing new revenue or clients in my business and feeling financial scarcity and stress.

Lesson:

Don’t focus on what’s not working. Most of the week I kept checking client proposals, and there was nothing there. I felt depleted and lost my confidence by placing my attention in the wrong places. Because of this, I didn’t make any new proposals or finish the marketing plan.

Or, another example:

My biggest challenge this past week was only doing my morning ritual two out of the seven days. I felt stressed and the kids were sick —and I reverted back to old habits.

Lesson:

Simplify the routine when there’s less time, and/or wake up 20 minutes earlier. I was able to see the contrast of when I do the routine, and when I don’t. I need this “me” time.

Can you recognize the power of reflection after reading the above? This is how you supercharge your learning and use your wins and challenges as catalysts to faster growth.

Lastly, the key here is to completely own your win(s) regardless of their size and scope —and do the same for your challenges. But instead of judging yourself for the challenges, seek the lesson they taught you.

Because now you’re wiser for them and have the ability to make a new choice.

Step 2: Course Correction

The second step of how 60 minutes on a Sunday can change your life is about course correction. Because often what I’ve noticed is after we set our targets and goals —we rarely take time to ask some crucial questions:

Given where I am today, am I still on the right trajectory?

Am I behind, on or ahead of schedule with my targets?

What is something that is working that I can double down on, or something I must delete?

There are two parts to course correction. One, you must know where you’re going —personally, I break this up into my North Star vision (you can learn more about that here) and current quarterly targets based on the vision.

For example, if my goal was to bring in $100K of revenue in my business this quarter and I’m 45 days in and sitting at $25K —I may need to course correct to ensure I get where I’m going.

tommy baker leap of your lifeStep 3: New Commitments

Once we’ve done the first two steps, it’s time to look forward to the upcoming week —and create our new commitments. Notice the word choice here: this is not a hope, a wish or something you’re merely interested in:

This is a commitment, and there needs to be a powerful intention to bring this to life. The system I teach is based on doing this same process with countless mentors of mine —as well as leading my own programs.

Diving our lives into 4 areas, we ask a simple question:

What am I committed to this week in regards to my business and career?
What am I committed to this week in regards to my relationships and connection?
What am I committed to this week in regards to my physical vitality and health?
What am I committed to this week in regards to my spiritual practice and growth?

The key with these, as you’ve likely heard with most goal setting is to ensure it’s specific, and connected to your quarterly (and yearly) targets.

Here are some examples:

What am I committed to this week in regards to my business and career?

I am committed to reviewing our marketing and crafting the new plan.

I am committed to making 50 sales calls and follow-ups to potential clients.

I am committed to recording 3 podcast episodes and releasing one blog post.

Business is easy, so let’s show an example of the spiritual side of things (however you may define this):

I am committed to 10 minutes of daily meditation and reading 10 pages a day.

I am committed to one floating tank session (sensory deprivation).

I am committed to journaling every single evening about my wins of the day.

Once you’ve identified your commitments for each bucket of life, you should have a clear vision for the week. You know what you’re going to be creating, and this should fill up a decent chunk of your week. Because now, you’re part of the 5% who have clarity around their priorities, have identified specific behaviors in line with those —and have put pen to paper (and paper to the calendar, as we’ll do here in a moment).

Now it’s time for the next step: daily integration.

Step 4: Integration

The last step of this process is simple: integration. What I mean by integration is ensuring all the work you’ve done is going to turn into the real world, tangible behaviors.

The version of integration I teach and my clients use is ensuring all of the above goes into their weekly calendar. I know this is where most people stop reading, but what doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done. At least not long term: and if you’ve never used a calendar, this will be painful.

But it’s also going to be worth it. Because when you prioritize every part of your life, you don’t have space for the clutter. You don’t have space, time or energy left for gossip, mindless information, useless meetings or idle time where you’re left anxious, scattered and stressed.

Here’s an example of mine:

Don’t get stressed: because within this calendar, I have plenty of time to recharge. The yellow block above in the afternoon is called afternoon white space: no one can schedule me in here, and I get to do what I please (benefit #111 of being an entrepreneur.)

What I do after I’ve done all of this is add the little things that aren’t priorities, but still have to be done: email stuff, social media, checking in with my team and other efforts.

How 60 Minutes on Sunday Can Change Your Life

Every single mentor I’ve ever learned from directly or from afar has created the space for reflection. They all create a ‘bookmark’ to their week —and it happens on Sundays.

Whether it was Robin Sharma, Brendon Burchard, Dr. John Demartini or countless others —this is a life-changing practice. While we covered a ton of ground here, what I’ve found to work best is spend the next 66 days (the time it takes to build your habit) with your Sunday Reflection using a specific system and then start to make it your own.

Below, I’ve listed some tools and resources that help me with my reflection, as well as some research I used to bring this post to life.

I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments or if you have any questions about how to maximize your time and harness the power of this Sunday practice.

Pre-Order The Leap Of Your Life!

tommy baker leap of your lifeIt’s time, it’s time…it’s time. There’s a bold decision you’ve been waiting to make —one that will change your life. Maybe it’s quitting the job that’s eating you up inside, asking him or her out, launching your own platform or taking the risk calling you.

But you’re waiting, and every day that passes is a missed opportunity.

My latest book, The Leap Of Your Life is designed to help you identify the bold decision, execute now and ensure you don’t wake up years down the line wondering what could have been.

Learn more here, or order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or support your local independent bookstore.

 

60 Minutes Can Change Your Life Research and Notes

  • Journaling about stressful events: effects of cognitive processing and emotional expression. “This study indicates that journaling about a personally experienced stressful or traumatic event may facilitate positive growth from the event.”
  • Study focuses on strategies for achieving goals and resolutions, including the power of sharing your goals with others for a 70 percent increase in results.
  • Cal Newport Blog: Deep Habits: Plan Your Week in Advance. 
  • Brendon Burchard, High-Performance Planner. One of my favorite tools that has a simplified version of the above and I always do both.
  • The 1% Rule. In this book, I also write about the Sunday Reflection process, why it matters and how to connect all the dots to reserve engineer your success.

The Best Self Development, Business and Personal Growth Books of 2018

By | Advice, Entrepreneurship, Writing
Reading Time: 12 minutes

The Best Self Development, Business and Personal Growth Books of 2018

Ahhhhh, the nerd inside me loves nothing more than to shut off the world and go deep into books. If you’ve ever followed my Instagram, you’d know I’m a little obsessive.

Okay, totally obsessive is more like it. Here’s why:

The knowledge, wisdom and reflective aspect of reading has transformed my life — and Barnes and Noble is my version of a delicious slice of heaven.

At the end of every year, I like to reflect and think back to the books I read and how they impacted me. On any given year, I’ll read between 50-100 books —depending on what I’m working on and which season of my life and business I may be in.

In other words, I read quite a lot. By the way, remember the 10 pages a day rule: if you read ten pages every single day, you’ll read around 12-20 books per year.

Start small, and watch what happens.

According to the Washington Post, only 19 percent of adults read for leisure these days. One of the best parts about reading books is what you don’t do when you make the decision to read: less television, social media and distraction.

So, what were my favorite books of 2018? This is a personal list I choose to share with you, and is not based on anything except my level of learning, enjoyment and connection to the material. This is not a list about literary genius, and all of these works are non-fiction.

These are in no particular order, and few of these authors have been on the Academy podcast which I’ll link to under each section.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

21 Lessons For The 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

best books 2018What is happening in the world today?
Who can we trust for objective information?
Are things as bad as people say they are?

These are all questions I’ve asked, and been frustrated in trying to answer. Part of me wants to ignore it altogether, and the other part wants to dive deep and see how I can contribute to a solution. But awareness is always the first step.

Enter Professor Yuval Noah Harari —author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, two bestselling and thrilling books examining where we came from and where we’re going.

In 21 Lessons For The 21st Century, he deep dives into where we are today to paint a clear picture and how today’s choices will shift us going forward. I love this work, because it makes me think. It challenges me. Nothing is off the table here, including the dominance of Big Data, AI, Religion and the future of life and work.

If you’re someone who feels lost in finding objective sources of information and want at least some clarity about where we are (and how that may impact you) —don’t miss out on this one.

In a world divulged by irrelevant information, clarity is power – Yuval Noah Harari

READ THIS IF:

You want an objective view of what’s happening in today’s world and want to spend time thinking about the world’s greatest problems and opportunities.

The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi

best books 2018I heard Tucker Max speak glowingly of The Courage To Be Disliked on the James Altucher podcast, and I had to get it. The title alone grabbed me, and I realized this book had already been a sensation in Japan.

Told through a conversation between a young Man and a aged philosopher, it’s a refreshing format on the topics of change, transformation, courage, relationships and finding joy in life. It speaks about what gets in the way of our growth and how to navigate our lives.

The backbone of the book’s philosophy comes from Adlerian philosophy, which was something I’d never heard of. A colleague of Freud, Alfred Adler believed in developing oneself individually while balancing the holistic nature of a connected community.

Looking back, I’m realizing I need to read this again: it’s a deep read, but the way it’s told allows it to be a fast one. There’s a lot of wisdom within each sentence. It’s a philosophy mets self development type of book, and absolutely worth reading.

The courage to be happy also includes the courage to be disliked. When you have gained that courage, your interpersonal relationships will all at once change into things of lightness. – Ichiro Kishimi

READ THIS IF:

You’re looking for a refreshing take on change, courage and navigating the complexities of life.

12 Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson

best books 2018

Jordan Peterson has become an online sensation —and for many, can be quite polarizing. While I’m not here to discuss the politics around him, there is no doubt he is smart, studied and produces great work that makes you think.

12 rules For Life is a blend of philosophy, history and advice strikes a chord for its simplicity and great examples to drive the point home. Chapter titles include “Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible for Helping” and “Set Your House in Perfect Order Before You Criticize the World”.

What I love about his work is how simple it truly is. However, as humans…we tend to complicate everything. Peterson’s advice that changing the world starts with cleaning our room may seem obvious, but is it really? I don’t think so: self-reliance is always the first step in authentic leadership. So many people want to change the world, but what about starting with the person in the mirror?

Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care with yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose your destination and articulate your being. – Jordan Peterson

READ THIS IF:

You want a blend of life advice with philosophy, history and all types of examples told in a meaningful way.

The Third Door by Alex Banayan

best books 2018I was standing there in Barnes and Noble (which is kind of my second home to be honest) when I saw the Third Door. And then I couldn’t put it down. Alex Banayan, who’s been on the show —has an incredible story of taking chances and putting himself on the line.

This allowed him to meet Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Steve Wozniak and countless others to distill the best advice on getting started with a career and a dream.

What caught me with this book was the powerful storytelling —combined with the raw enthusiasm jumping off the page. The premise is simple: in life, there are a few ways to operate:

One, we can do what everyone else does: waiting in line.
Two, we can be high rollers and VIP’s: we pay to skip the line.

But there’s also a third way: we can ditch the line altogether, reinvent the rules and play our own game to get what we want. This is the mindset of rebels, trailblazers and industry titans who chose to carve their own path, and The Third Door will inspire you to do the same.

If you actually want to make a difference in the world, if you want to live a life of inspiration, adventure, and wild success—you need to grab on to that exponential life—and hold on to it with all you’ve got. – Alex Banayan

READ THIS IF:

You’re wanting a page-turning adventure full of advice from some of the world’s best minds.

The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden

best books 2018If we want to launch a business, we need more motivation — right?
If we want to make more money, we need more motivation — right?
If we want to thrive in relationships, we need more motivation — right?

Wrong. This myth holds so many people back as they “wait” to feel like doing something, and if they’re not motivated…

They quit. This is why I loved The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden: we need more people who are dishing out the real advice around what it takes to succeed. Way too common is those who are relying on extrinsic motivation instead of choosing to create it every single day. Motivational videos are a dime a dozen, but can you execute on the days you want to stay in bed?

This core message is deeply in line with my work, and how I help people achieve results long term. Because if you think you always need motivation, you’ll miss out on the power of growing when you don’t feel like it.

The problem with waiting for motivation to strike is that it almost never comes with enough voltage to get you started. – Jeff Haden

READ THIS IF:

You’ve felt stuck relying on motivation to achieve your goals and dreams and need to get your power back.

Audience Of One by Srivinas Rao

best books 2018When we’re creating something —a message, our platform or any type of endeavor, we can get caught up in doing it for the wrong reasons. We can think we’re being selfless when we’re creating for others —but in Audience Of One, Srinivas Rao takes a different approach.

Using great stories of artists such as David Bowie, the book creates a compelling argument around creating for one person: ourselves. In other words, true creativity is found when we’re able to detach from others expectations and pour our heart and souls into the work.

One of the reasons I loved this book (along with his first one, How To Be Unmistakable) —the way the book is packaged and presented makes it an easy read.

The second half of the book acts like a “how to” on getting our creative work done in an ever distracted world. I was writing my next book when I read this and it helped me focus and re-center on what matters —and will do the same for you.

This includes great tips for focused work, using our environment and habits to shape our creativity and releasing the noise and pressure we so often put on ourselves.

We must learn to let go of our attachments and expectations if we’re going to derive satisfaction from our work and create art that we’re proud to put our signature on. – Srivinas Rao

READ THIS IF:

You’re feeling stuck creatively and spinning your wheels and/or can’t find the time to do the work you care about.

WILD Habits by Tara Mackey

best books 2018

Tara Mackey’s story is incredible: one of resilience, and overcoming adversity against all odds—including being put on 14 prescription drugs and choosing one day to quit.

Cold turkey.

Her podcast episode blew me away because of how she overcame a deeply troubling childhood to now inspire and empower women all over the world as a successful entrepreneur, author and CEO.

I’m always amazed at what people can create coming form having their back up against the wall. This is why I love bringing people on the Academy to dig into their stories, and show you it’s possible no matter what has happened.

Her second book, WILD Habits —is all about how to build this foundation for ourselves and step into who we really are. WILD stands for: willingness, intuition, love, and discipline.

In my coaching, I’ve found this acronym to be essential for not only achievement —but feeling inner freedom, peace and clarity. I especially love the inclusion of discipline which many people get wrong, to me it’s always been about not breaking promises to ourselves (and others.)

In short, your habits will determine the quality of your life, and if you and I can stack more powerful habits into our lives —the more likely we are to love our lives.

My habits used to get me in trouble, now my habits are building blocks that have shaped my life and helped me grow —responsible for every business achievement and my personal health and mental well being. – Tara Mackey

READ THIS IF:

You’re ready to get back to a place of deep alignment…and stop feeling stuck and like nothing is ever working.

The 1% Rule by Tommy Baker

best books 2018 tommy bakerWait, you’re going to promote your own book on this post!? Of course, because I believe in it. The 1% Rule was written for those who were tired of setting life-changing goals only to wake up a few weeks later with nothing to show for it but wasted enthusiasm.

Furthermore, I wanted to give people their power back. At the end of the day, the process is what makes you who you are, not the outcome. Any big outcome in life is momentary (and surprisingly anti-climatic.)

When you put something out into the world, you never know what’s going to happen. It’s been incredible to watch The 1% Rule impact so many people around the world and give them a blueprint to reverse engineer their success and believe in themselves and their dreams again.

When the what and the why are vivid, the how starts to reveal itself. – The 1% Rule

READ THIS IF:

You’re able to create a bold vision or goal(s) for your life —but lose all hope when you think of “HOW” to make those happen.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

When looking to change our behavior, we should stack a bunch of success habits on top of one another —right? Kind of. The problem with this approach is habit change takes time, and since our brains are wired for extreme efficiency —it becomes easy to revert back to normal.

best books 2018I consider Atomic Habits to be a more academic version of The 1% Rule, as we cover very similar topics. James Clear is a great writer and researcher who simplifies the complexities of behavioral change with topics such as making habits ridiculously easy, shifting your environment for success, and much more.

I loved the audio version of the book and finished it in a day. The book became a quick New York Times Bestseller, so that should tell you something.

What I love about it is the simplicity of say, tiny habits —why aiming to do 10 push-ups a day is better to create a fitness routine than starting CrossFit and doing 5 workouts a week.

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. – James Clear

READ THIS IF:

You want to put most of your successful decisions on auto-pilot and finally stick to behaviors long term.

A Tribe Called Bliss by Lori Harder

best books 2018One of the things I love doing is reading books intended for different target audiences. Why? Because I get to connect with other people who I seemingly have little in common with, and yet realize that’s not true at all.

This year, I’ve read more books intended for women than any other year: because I want to deepen my understanding of the unique challenges they go through, so I can do better too.

This includes how competitive women can be with one another, and feel isolated in their pursuits. Lori Harder flipped the script and in A Tribe Called Bliss, talks about why the old model isn’t working. It leaves women alone, frustrated and always in scarcity mode.

Recent research has shown the key to a successful marriage or partnership is each person has significant same-sex relationships they can lean on to share a safe space of trust and support. I’ve found this in my own life by surrounding myself with Men on similar paths.

No matter how much hope and validation you put on someone’s approval or a destination —those are not bliss. If bliss means getting things, permission, validation or reaching a destination, you’ll miss a lifetime full of it. – Lori Harder

READ THIS IF:

You’re feeling disconnected from having a support system or tribe and want to feel the power that comes from having a community of people who have your back.

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin

best books 2018Marketing. This vast world can be overwhelming, confusing and downright frightening —I know from experience of working with the biggest brands during my copywriting career. And if I’m being honest with you: I’m still trying to figure it all out.

Here’s the deal, though: marketing is the lifeblood of any business. You can be the best in the world —but if people don’t know about you, it’s going to be a matter of time until you’re forced to close up shop.

Enter Seth Godin, someone who has transformed my business life and view of marketing. His ideas, his thoughtful words and the way he challenges me to think deeper —are a complete gift. Classic books such as Tribes, Purple Cow and Linchpin are constantly on my must read lists.

This Is Marketing is another brilliant read, designed to empower you (instead of confuse you) to think bigger about your brand, product or service.

Marketers make change. We change people from one emotional state to another. We take people on a journey; we help them become the person they’ve dreamed of becoming, a little bit at a time. – Seth Godin

READ THIS IF:

You want to be empowered to understand marketing, influence and sharing your gifts with the world in an unconventional manner.

Living With The Monks by Jesse Itzler

best books 2018In a non-stop, microwavable, breaking news world —when do we ever stop? Everyone’s busy, you’ll rarely ask someone how they’re doing without them telling you about it. And yet, our personal satisfaction and connection seems to be at an all time low. Our obsession with smartphones means we’re connected externally, yet lacking something much deeper.

Enter Jesse Itzler, trailblazer, entrepreneur and full immersion author who felt burned out and chose to do something about it. But instead of taking a one day digital detox, he went to live with monks in upstate New York for two weeks. His writing is entertaining, fun and informative: it invites questions about our current routines and 24/7 connected culture.

I don’t know about you, but there are days I want to unplug. Living With The Monks becomes a trusted guide and reminder of what really matters —and how the world won’t end if you and I don’t check Instagram 47 times a day.

The power and temptations of the outside world are great. Train yourself from the distractions. They are the enemies of your goals. Learn to move past the distractions, and you will succeed. – Jesse Itzler

READ THIS IF:

You need a funny, riveting reminder of the power of unplugging —and know you need to create some space for yourself.

When by Daniel Pink

best books 2018Daniel Pink is one of my favorite authors on the topic of motivation and why we do what we do —and this is where When: The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing comes in, his latest book.

Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down: it breaks down why timing matters more than we think, and how to use this as leverage for our behavior.

For example, the book breaks down daily timing —when you and I should be doing our most important tasks. Pink’s example of your chances of parole being much, much higher in the morning, than say —before lunch is fascinating. For me personally, it was a reminder to not be so hard on myself and maximize my focused time (with ruthless boundaries.)

I have incredible energy to start my day and choose to use it wisely on things like focused work, writing and what I call big rocks in business. But around 2PM, I start to feel an intense dip —this book reminded me this is normal, and what to do during this time.

It also reminded me of the power of taking intentional breaks to re-charge, as opposed to say, checking email and Instagram, why naps are amazing for us and why niners (29, 39, 49) are more likely to make life changing decisions before a new decade.

Afternoons are the Bermuda Triangles of our days. Across many domains, the trough represents a danger zone for productivity, ethics, and health. – Daniel Pink

READ THIS IF:

You’re having trouble getting your most important work done and want to learn how to leverage timing for big results in life and business.

The Best Self Development, Business and Personal Growth Books of 2018

There’s something for everyone in here, and that’s the point: sometimes, we need a book to spark a creative insight —and sometimes we simply need to be woken up.

If you weren’t able to read a ton this year, don’t fret. Start in 2019 with 10 pages a day, and use Audible and audiobooks to help you learn while on the road.

I’d love to hear from you: which books impacted you the most in 2018?

The 6 Untold Secrets Of Entrepreneurs

By | Writing
Reading Time: 1 minute

Entrepreneurship is the coolest kid in class and you can’t spend much time in the business world without being exposed to it in some shape, way or form.

These days, everyone’s an entrepreneur — including your broke cousin living on your couch reselling cheap electronics on eBay.

Largely seen as a status symbol of people living passionate lives and breaking free of the corporate prison — rarely do the hard truths of entrepreneurship make it to the light.

The truth is most entrepreneurs are dying to tell someone their struggles, yet remain silent for fear of being judged, looking like a fraud or hell, simply self preservation.

In a world of nonstop Instagram I’ll Teach You How To Make Six Figures Instantly it’s important to look at the other side.

In this post, I’ll share 6 secrets most entrepreneurs won’t tell you and how they may help you be realistic with your expectations on your own journey, plus an action step to deal with each.

There’s a sense that they can’t talk about it, that it’s a weakness or a shame or something. (inc. magazine).

How Entrepreneurship Became Cool

I’ve always felt the entrepreneurship label should be earned, not self annointed.

Meaning, if someone wants to introduce me as an entrepreneur, that’s cool — but even after launching my brick and mortar fitness business, it felt odd to call myself an entrepreneur.

There’s no secret the rise of entrepreneurship has been meteoric since the 70’s — according to the Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship nonprofit, every month of the year welcomes 530,000 new business owners.

I remember the day I forced myself to get fired from my corporate job because I simply didn’t have the balls to face the music if I had quit…

And damn, that felt amazing — free, abundant and just the right of exhilarating liberation.

These days, with large personalities like Gary VaynerchukGrant CardoneJames Altucher and countless others, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur…it’s the new American dream.

And that’s fantastic, in so many ways — for people’s creativity, fulfillment and our economy.

As awesome as it all is, here’s what’s really happening.

We’re On A Nonstop Rollercoaster

Entrepreneurs base a lot of their self worth on the current state of their business, which is always fluctuating.

This happens at a micro and micro level — meaning, day to day fluctuations have a severe impact on our moods, emotions and how we feel about ourselves.

Brad Hart, investor and strategist, explains:

One day you’re king kong, next you’re one of those kong chew toys. One day you’re the windshield, the next you’re the bug.

Since emotional states are highly transient to begin with, coupled with the fact that a new, urgent problem can come up at any moment — many of those who surround entrepreneurs can can fall victim to these never ending emotional storms.

Sometimes, when you’re deciding on filling your gas tank or grabbing food the rest of the day — you don’t know whether to cry or laugh.

Asking an entrepreneur how their day is going is a truly loaded question and we’re conditioned to tell others we’re fine — many times, because we feel they won’t even understand.

Furthermore, it’s almost as if we don’t want to rock that boat — I’ve always wondered if it’s fair to even do so.

Tim Askew, a CEO who wrote the article “The Peculiar Loneliness of Entrepreneurship” expands:

They truly cannot understand the unique frisson of terror that many of us wake to every day as we rise to try to methodically slay our individual business dragons. And even if they could understand, is it really fair to burden them with our existential anxiety?

ACTION STEP: If you’re experiencing rollercoaster emotions, start to take planned breaks to separate yourself from your business in your daily and weekly schedule.

We Can Never Truly Shut Our Minds Off

I did my best, I truly did…meditation, fitness, walks in nature — yet it never fully worked.

Hell, I even spent an hour a week in a sensory deprivation tank, floating in tens of thousands of pounds of epsom salt in a futuristic, egg shaped bathtub.

As entrepreneurs, especially those who run teams and have full time employees whose livelihood depends on them, it’s a 24 hour mental whirlwind.

Our minds are always thinking…

What if our sales drop and I can’t make payroll?

What if we lose our biggest client and we’re late on rent?

What if a competitor opens up a few feet away or Facebook changes the algorithm?

It’s an exhausting process that can eat away at your mental and physical energy every single day.

I asked my buddy Kolby Kay, who runs The Healthy Primate and seems to launch a new business every week, to describe a typical day:

Scared, angry, frustrated, excited, happy, anxious — that’s all before lunch. This is hard and you have to know going in that you are going to be broke, tired, hungry and alone.

Yet when it all clicks and you can help someone, build something and make your first dollar — that entrepreneurial high carries you, at least past lunch.

ACTION STEP: Find your outlet, whether it’s a fitness session, walking in nature, journaling or being social — make this you time non-negotiable.

We Often Question It All

In closed doors conversations with almost any creator I know, they question what they’re doing all the time.

Especially those who have their back up against the wall or in the startup phase where belief is the only thing driving you forward, the doubts are ever present.

This questioning can wreak havoc on you for countless reasons, including feelings of being labeled a failure or not as dedicated to your craft as you’d like others to think.

Even once markers of success are achieved, entrepreneurs suffer from high levels of imposter syndrome — or the fear of getting found out.

Admitting to others that you do question your path and business model is absolutely normal and should be shared openly, instead of simply faking that you have unlimited courage and conviction.

ACTION STEP: Acknowledge that everyone questions their life path at times and don’t beat yourself up about it, discuss it openly with people you trust or in a mastermind setting.

We’re Lonely

There was a point when I was building my fitness business that I simply let all social connections slide that didn’t serve the direct goal of business growth.

Hell, even the ones that may have grown my business I didn’t pay attention to because I was so laser focused.

This wasn’t a grand plan, it started with a slow drip, declining invitations — then becoming my new norm.

I’d pride myself on working on the business on early mornings, sundays, weekends, national holidays — grinding away on a new marketing plan or working the financials.

Which means…long periods of isolation, which are never good for the psyche.

At some point, I came to the realization that more was not better…the proverbial glass of water was full and spilling over.

Part of this was simply finding it difficult to connect with people in my current social circle who I could open to about the frustrations of managing a team, having competitors open up 10 feet away and other intricate business stressors.

ACTION STEP: Do at least two social activities a week and have a group of like minded people you can share both strategy and frustrations with.

We Fantasize About Your 9–5

I’ll admit this openly: I often fantasize about doing some of the work my friends are doing.

I quickly come back to the realization that I value freedom and independence too much, but the thought still crosses my mind.

Sure, they may not be enthralled by it and are being micromanaged with endless office politics, but there’s something alluring about being able to clock in, and clock out — knowing the livelihood of the business is on someone else’s mind.

While 9–5ers may be fantasizing about the entrepreneurial freedom of being able to travel and work remotely, many entrepreneurs look at steady paychecks, less time and energy investment and AMEX expense accounts as a pretty sweet deal.

ACTION STEP: The grass isn’t always greener and there is nothing right or wrong about your chosen path as long as it’s important to you. Make a list of 50 benefits of what you’re doing right now.

We’re Often Seen As Unemployable

After I moved on from my brick and mortar fitness business, I had already started building a new business in the online space.

Yet, I wanted to test out the waters and see what was out there.

As Gary Vaynerchuk says, there is no shame being a #2, #3, #11 or #117 of an amazing organization.

In other words — once you’ve been #1 you understand that it’s a ton of pressure.

I started to look for employment in various firms, always making sure they were either startups or had a sense of entrepreneurial spirit within their core values.

I’d have these unbelievable, riveting conversations, often with CEO’s or close to — yet never hear a call back.

One day, after applying to run digital marketing and sales for a startup in Orange County, California — I had developed a pretty cool relationship with the COO.

He basically said…

Tommy, you’re a perfect fit…yet, our team thinks you’re unemployable. What we mean is that we don’t see you staying here longer than 12–18 months before you run off and start your own deal again.

I was blown away…yes, it was an amazing compliment but at the same time it was a stark reality:

I was in too deep, and I may never get out.

If you survive on your own for too long, you become unemployable. Well, maybe you can jump into something else entrepreneurial, like somebody else’s startup. But normal employers won’t want you — Tim Berry

ACTION STEP: It may be too late for you, seriously. However, if you are looking for an opportunity use your current network and be okay asking for help, honing on organizations who value your entrepreneurial skillset.

So, What Now?

Entrepreneurship is an amazing, riveting world that has provided me with endless experiences, skills and learning that will last me a lifetime.

I’ve been able to do everything from marketing, HR, staffing, leadership, client services, events and everything in between — helping me understand life at a deeper level than any other alternative.

And the freedom, there is nothing like setting your own schedule and creating on your own — that is priceless.

Yet, it’s important to be real and honest in a world where everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and the dream has never been sold more aggressively.

Talking openly about our struggles outside of own circles is the first step to being real about our own challenges and creating a culture of honesty, support and helping others do the same.

the 1% rule tommy baker

The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

By | Advice, Writing
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams

the 1% ruleIt’s time.

The 1% Rule, my brand new book is officially out and I couldn’t be more excited to share this with you.

I wrote this for you:

For the person out there who is sick and tired of spinning their wheels.
For the person who has set big goals and visions and nothing ever changed.
For the person who feels overwhelmed with the noise and has lost confidence.

The honest truth is:

The 1% Rule is the book I wish I had.

Because I’ve been where you’ve been —and needed a way out.

Fast.

I Tried Everything, and Felt Stuck

For years, I’d immerse myself in all types of powerful content. I’d go to seminars. I’d spend big money I didn’t have to learn from the world’s best.

And while each of those experiences served me deeply —I’d come home after being drenched in inspiration and nothing would change.

Except my bank account was dented and I’d start to blame myself for not achieving the results I’d been promised.

The results I knew I could create.
The results I knew were within me.
The results I dreamed all day about.

Has this ever happened to you?

Here’s what I learned after all of these years:

Setting a grand, inspiring and emotional vision is only step one.

I know it sounds obvious —but none of these programs or seminars ever taught me how to reverse engineer the process of success.

In other words, I was never taught how to close the gap between where I am today and where I believed I could go.

So I created my own system, and The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams is the system.

The system to help you get your power back, and your belief that you can do it too —regardless of what has happened in the past.

Because here’s what I know: every time you and I set a goal, target or outcome and don’t move towards it —we start to lose a fraction of our belief in ourselves.

Until one day it’s all gone and we become jaded, scattered or simply give up and give in.

Not here, not you.

Now that the book is officially out on Amazon or Audible —I wanted to share the official introduction with you.

The 1% Rule

Our current system isn’t working.

Specifically, our system for setting goals and staying motivated enough to not only see them to completion, but consistently break through new levels of achievement and fulfillment.

Over the course of the last half decade, I’ve immersed myself in answering a few basic questions and have gone down the rabbit hole to explore these answers.

These questions are simple, yet incredibly complex at the same time.

They include:

Why do some people achieve massive success in everything they do, while others can’t get out of their own way?

What separates those who get excited and inspired for a season, a quarter, a month or a week, and those who are consistently on fire?

What are the core principles, mindsets, habits, and rituals of those who execute ruthlessly, and those who sit on the sidelines pondering?

This led me on a personal quest of self-discovery and growth as I traveled the world to learn from the best. It led me to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in seminars, programs, courses, and mentors. It led me to launching my own content platform, podcast, and coaching and consulting business, and to writing my first book and leading my own intensive experiences.

Nothing was off limits. Instead of pursuing the answers to these questions in one context, I attacked them from all angles. Sometimes, it’d be in the realm of physical health and pushing my body to its limits. Another time it would be a deep spiritual retreat or a transformational experience. Many would be in the context of entrepreneurship and the principles of wealth production.

My thirst for this knowledge was unquenchable.

During this time, I started to uncover the answers to the questions I’d asked for so long. I also started to connect the dots between seemingly unrelated contexts. It all finally started to make sense.

Most importantly, I started to experience this shift in my own life, letting go of the old patterns of thinking and doing I’d created in order to step into new realities and experiences.

This led me to a powerful realization:

Nothing separates you and me from those whom we admire and look up to at the top of the mountain—we’re one and the same.

The only difference is the way they define and perceive success, their level of clarity around goal setting, and their associated behaviors and habits. I also realized there were crucial yet common myths we had to let go of in order to step into a place of powerful execution. Once we were able to adopt these new patterns, we too would become unstoppable.

These insights and realizations, discovered through a decade-long journey of both research and experiential training, led to the creation of the book you’re reading now.

My first book, UnResolution, was about dropping the mindset of waiting to achieve our goals, specifically the New Year’s myth. This new book is about a lifelong mindset that allows for incredible achievement and a deep-rooted fulfillment pertaining to the basic human desire of wanting to be better today than yesterday.

The 1% Rule was born from watching so many great people with amazing intentions never move the needle long enough to produce results. Ultimately, they would give up on their dreams, go back to their corporate offices, retreat on their health goals, disengage in their relationships, and cease all momentum.

Their dreams would become a distant memory as time passed. They’d stay stuck for years on end, feeling worse as each birthday passed until they ultimately gave up and decided they were destined to stay the same.

If this sounds familiar, don’t fret. No matter how out of touch you feel, there’s now a better way for you. The principles in this book are proven and tested on thousands of people from all life experiences and with varying desires, but with one core theme:

They want to close the gap between where they are today and where they envision they’re able to go.

If you want to do the same, this is your manifesto. If you’re here, I’ll assume this is not your first rodeo reading books like this—and I’m humbled. My mission is to give you a new perspective, release the immense pressure you’ve put on yourself, and give you a system you can use for the next year or decade, or for the rest of your life.

Your time is now because there is no such thing as “perfect timing.” If you’re reading this, it’s for a reason—and we have no time to waste.

The 1% Rule Book Trailer

Watch the official trailer of The 1% Rule below!

The 1% Rule Reviews

It’s been absolutely incredible to read the reviews about The 1% Rule, and I wanted to share some with you.

I am on a journey at the moment and am struggling to stay in track. This book helped me decide to take time out of my busy day this week and work on core outcomes, core processes and 1% processes. It inspired me to spend nearly two hours working on these things alone and I feel closer to bridging that gap between where I am at the moment and my original 6 month(now 4 month vision) because of it. Thank you Tommy Baker. – A Cahill

The best book I’ve read in a long time! The problem with most “self-help” books is that they contains a ton of great thoughts and theories without any actionable steps to take now. Not the case with this book. Tommy Baker does an excellent job at getting to the core of the problems, instilling motivation, and then giving action steps that can be taken right now to move forward and make progress. I highly recommend this book for anyone considering it. – Matt Olsen

This book delivers great tools both for personal development, business management and entrepreneurship. Very well written, focused and easy to understand, it is totally a “hands-on book” from the first chapter up to the last one. Don’t expect the ultra-fast get rich / get famous schemes. However, along the book there are many quick wins that, when used, will change your life immediately. – M Alcantara

Tommy Baker is my new favorite author and this is my new favorite book! I have implemented some of his suggestions (Pomodoro Technique), and see the difference in my daily routine already. I have no doubt that my business will look completely different in 90 Days. -Julie S

The 1% Rule Quotes & Links

You can buy The 1% Rule here:

Feel free to share these on social media and use them to help spread the word about The 1% Rule!

the 1% rule tommy baker

 

 

26 Lessons From Thrive 2016

By | Writing
Reading Time: 1 minute

If you want to live an extraordinary life, then you’re going to have to do the things most people simply aren’t willing to do.

Obvious, right?

Yet, so often — we tend to expect extraordinary results while engaging in average thinking and behaviors.

Achieving an average life is simple: follow the norm, do the bare minimum and spend your time complaining about why it’s not working out.

Here are 19 ways to stay average, feel stuck, and never reach your potential.

1. Wake up at the same time as everyone else does, and start your work at 9:00 AM.

No one has any time anymore — we’re all busy in an information overload, Instagram obsessed digital era.

Yet, the successful are up and at them early — understanding by simply waking up 60 minutes early every single day, you’ve created 7 more hours to your week.

2. Do the bare minimum — enough not to get noticed and never cause a stir.

The average escapes standing out — good or bad, by simply doing the bare minimum every single day.

This mindset is the exact roadblock in the way of them achieving any type of success, or getting noticed for a new and exciting opportunity.

3. Believe everyone is out to get you, and play the victim card as often as possible.

Playing the victim card in life is an easy out. It’s the fastest, most acceptable way to let ourselves off the hook from, you know — doing the real work.

It’s also accepted. But no matter what you’ve been through, there’s always someone who achieved greatness with much worse odds.

Ditch the victim card, once and for all.

4. Wait to “feel” like doing something before getting executing.

The average love to wait until they feel like doing something in order to execute.

High performers understand this is a surefire way to stay stuck, never see any progress — and ensure nothing changes. Instead, they know execution is the pre-cursor to those feelings.

5. Always search for the easiest path possible — looking for a shortcut to any result.

The average love the path of least resistance — it’s encoded in their DNA, while high performers love a great challenge.

The easy path, taking a shortcut — these are all missed opportunities to sharpen our minds and face resistance head on.

6. Never take personal responsibility and accountability, but blame others.

For the average, nothing is ever their fault. They’re the fastest to blame someone else — and will go to great lengths to convince themselves they’re right.

7. Gossip about the people around you, your boss, the ex that did you wrong 14 years ago.

The average love spending their time talking about people. It makes them feel better about their circumstances, however fleeting.

Specifically, they love talking about what person did them wrong, and why they’re the ones to blame for their lack of success or results.

8. Put yourself in rooms of average achievers — so you feel right at home.

The average won’t be found in uncomfortable rooms of world class achievers and those who challenge them to bring out nothing but their absolute best.

Why? Because this is a vulnerable state — and a stark reminder of what they haven’t done.

9. Consume useless information in the realms of celebrity news, sports gossip, and politics.

When you’ve decided to give up on thinking and acting big — you revert to the most consumable information available.

This includes anything in the realms of celebrity news, sports gossip, politics and more.

10. Never take action on what you really want — or get honest with yourself in the first place.

The average have all the ideas, yet nothing to show for it. They know what it takes to be successful, build a lean body, thriving relationship and achieve all their dreams.

Yet, it’s all a fantasy — because they never had the audacity to get started.

11. Bicker, complain and feel entitled when someone else gets the chance and achieves a win.

When the average see someone else win, they bicker and complain — instead of acknowledging their success.

It’s always because they knew someone, or had a special connection, or some other reason than the truth: they chose to go above and beyond.

12. Eat crappy foods, get high off sugar and wreck all of the mental and physical bandwidth available to you.

When asked about the most important habit for people to build their entrepreneurial dreams — mogul Richard Branson simply said “exercise.”

The average place a low value on their physical body, and instead chase pleasure with food that winds up making them feel tired, sluggish and repeats the endless cycle of feeling stuck.

13. Be a starter, but never finish. Allow circumstances to always get in the way, and make countless excuses.

Average people love starting. They love the dance party, motivational Red Bull seminar and declaring their dreams.

But they never finish — and often fold at the first sign of challenge and adversity.

14. Spend your precious time bringing others down — finding ways to spread negativity and criticism.

Average people love bringing other’s down — and spreading negativity in regards to how they achieved success.

They’ll find any way to discredit their hard work, grit and persistence — and rarely celebrate the accomplishments and wins of those in their circle.

15. Avoid tough conversations with others that must be had — and most importantly, with the person in the mirror.

The average don’t like to engage in tough conversations. They tend to avoid, distract or make excuses for these — because they’re afraid of what they may find.

Most importantly, they’re unwilling to have the honest conversations with themselves.

16. Instead of answering life’s toughest questions — distract yourself as soon as they come up and drown them out with noise.

Those who experience extraordinary success and results are usually growth mindset oriented — and never stop learning.

Part of this is the personal journey of discovery and always being humble enough to be the student.

17. Follow the herd constantly, instead of trusting your inner voice and guidance.

The average follow the herd, and adopt a mentality of seeking answer’s and guidance outside of themselves.

They don’t trust their own voice, and rarely spend time cultivating it through deep inner work, challenging conversations and experiences.

18. Let others define success for you, and live a life that someone else wanted for you — your parents, your social circle, society.

The average haven’t defined success for their lives — and often wind up stuck in no man’s land. There’s no clarity, passion or drive.

Life feels mundane in this place and they are one step from resigned.

19. Fall in love with (perceived) security and always take the ‘safe’ path — even though part of you is screaming not to.

For the average, the secure and safe path is what they’re seeking —and they live in a world of complacency.

The extraordinary know life is to be lived — and the adventure is what gives us the thrill of being alive.

Do you want to be average or extraordinary?

If these behaviors light you up — more power to you.

But here’s the truth:

A lot of people “want” to be extraordinary — until it’s time to do what extraordinary people do.

There’s a reason only 5% of people achieve any of their dreams, goals, and desires.

Because the rest aren’t willing to go above and beyond and do what’s required to live an extraordinary life.

5 Questions To Step Into Your Daily Power

By | Writing
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Q uestions are the most powerful tool we can use to increase abundance, outlook, achievement, and ultimately the level of fulfillment that we experience every day in our life. To quote Tony Robbins, John Demartini and other transformational leaders…

The quality of your life is based on the quality of the questions.

Many times, our own self-talk is limited, to say the least.

It’s limited in our beliefs, our reality of what we’re able to experience and largely influenced by childhood experiences from parents, teachers and anchoring experiences which taught us to dream a little less.

It Starts With Awareness

You wake up from a deep slumber and out of nowhere, thoughts start rushing to your mind with the speed and intensity of a freight train.

“How can I get through this day?”

“How can I afford to pay my bills?”

“Why are they getting the results that I’m not?”

“How can I get as fast as possible to Friday?”

“Why can’t I find my dream partner?

Notice the words I’ve italicized — they all share a common theme, forcing our mindsets to constrict and not expand.

If you study any type of science, any type of biology, any type of developmental psychology, you will understand that the purpose of life is growth.

If all of our questions are going directly against that purpose, then we’re doing ourselves a massive disservice, and it’s no wonder why most of us feel stuck.

As a student of NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, I’ve been fascinated with how the language we use on ourselves and others shapes our reality.

Below, we’ll go through 5 questions designed to open up your mind, leave your old self behind and craft a mindset designed to achieve any result you’d like.

What am I grateful for today?

This is the first question that I ask myself in the morning and teach all my clients to do exactly the same.

When we’re in deep, authentic gratitude — there is simply no space for stress, frustration or victim games.

Upon waking, most people immediately shift into a high stress mode, thinking of what’s missing, what they don’t have, what urgent, yet unimportant tasks have to be done.

What we focus on expands, which fills our headspace the rest of the day and is exactly why we can’t be present in a conversation a few hours later or at dinner with the family at night.

Use this question as a reminder that your biggest stressor in life is someone else’s dream luxury.

Who can I create value for today?

Life is all about creating value for other people — whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, this is an essential question to ask.

Shifting your attention away from yourself and instead on serving others is how you create impact, fulfillment and ultimately — financial abundance.

Adding value can be anything — going above and beyond for a co-worker, grabbing someone a coffee, a random act of kindness, helping an elderly person with the groceries or simply caring a little deeper.

As one of my good friends likes to eloquently say:

Give a shit.

In a world where few people actually care, you’ll feel more fulfilled and connect with a part of you designed to be part of a collective.

What is one action step I can do to move forward today?

What I see in most people who don’t move forward with something they want is a lack of trust in themselves to achieve completion.

As humans, we need constant proof that they are moving forward and inching closer — even a little sign of progress is powerful.

What this question opens up is the power of Kaizen — the Japanese concept of steady, continuous improvement focused on playing the long game.

In a world of instant gratification and social media, the long game truly wins and can set us up for a day full of success, simply by taking a simple action every day.

The key word is simple; launching your bestseller tomorrow is highly unlikely.

However, blocking out 30 minutes of undistracted writing time on your outline is very realistic.

Or maybe you want to be a public speaker and get paid $10,000 for a speech.

Today’s step may be to research a local Toastmaster’s club or attend your first meeting.

How do I want to be remembered?

This is a deeper, legacy-based question — because in the day to day to day life, we forget that life is fleeting and this experience will be over soon.

Steve Jobs harnessed this reminder, saying:

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

So, how do you want to remembered?

List those traits out and answer the question, then consciously choose to operate in that way…today.

The purpose of this question is to dream bigger — have the audacity to know you can pull it off, while understanding you can work towards that at this very moment.

Did I give everything I had today?

Reflection is an important part of growth because many times we go through life at a mile a minute, and never really spend time reflecting.

That’s why I teach my Sunday Reflection to countless people — because celebrating our wins and setting the path for the next week is of utmost importance.

Asking this question at the end of the day is powerful and knowing that if you showed up with full intention and effort, despite the outcome — is what truly matters.

In other words, it’s a practice of detachment and allows you to let go and surrender at the end of the day.

The Question Challenge

Asking the right questions, like anything else — takes practice and is like working a muscle in the gym.

Imagine if you could train yourself to think abundantly in every situation, so much so that it became your standard way of operating.

To do this, write down 20 questions that open up your vision, abundance, creativity and possibility every single day for the next 7 days and see how this begins to shift your worldview.

You’ll become more creative, resourceful, fun to be around and oh yeah — way less stressed.

We cling to celebrity stories and shocking break-ups.

We get high off sports teams victories and get crushed at losses.

We identify with political campaigns and a us vs. them mentality.

…all because we’re filling a void that must be filled.

A universal law states that nature will fill a vacuum, so where there’s space — something will go in.

If your life’s purpose can’t be identified, or you’re simply going through the motions — something is going to fill it and the lowest denominator are things like sports, gossip, reality TV and politics because you need to feel like you’re living a dream, even if it’s someone else’s.

Wherever You Are, Be There

I was in Sedona with my girlfriend recently and we were in the beginning stages of our awesome relationship.

Sedona is a spiritual mecca of sorts — a work of beauty and a place where people go to achieve higher levels of consciousness, unplug or do some type of adventure or retreat.

We’re sitting at a quaint, typical Sedona wine bar — full of culture and glorious people watching, and of course, some deep conversation.

The wine is flowing and we’re having an absolute blast.

Out of nowhere, a table of 15 people roar, hands flailing in the air — many stand up and everyone’s looking in our direction.

“We’re cool, but not that cool…”, I thought — wondering what this could be.

We both turn around and there’s a tiny, low definition television playing a March Madness basketball game, you know — where 19 year olds are playing out their dreams.

We glance for a second, shrug — and go back to our conversation.

To me, this was a fantastic sign of having a deeper connection and a mindset alignment with someone but it also taught me a valuable lesson on purpose.

It was shocking to me how much energy was created in that moment towards a 19 year old kid living out his dream thousands of miles away.

Breaking Free From The Matrix

This post may sound like it’s coming from judgement, but it’s not.

See, like many others, I used to live the life above — spending countless hours consuming information with stuff that really didn’t fucking matter.

I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with sports, hell, I’ve learned some amazing lessons from athletes as I grew up about work ethic, passion and being a pro.

But if you ask yourself the question others aren’t willing to, such as:

Is consuming this information serving me, i.e. getting me closer to what I want or not serving me, i.e. getting me furtheraway to what I want?

If you answer truthfully and the answer is no, then you’ve got to make a decision.

We talk a lot about the nutrition we fuel our bodies with but rarely mention the information that you know, shapes our brains.

It’s no surprise that we live in a culture based on fear — because even if we’re not consciously consuming it, this information is rewiring our brains to operate from that place.

First Steps

It begins with a choice of understanding that you can create a new reality for yourself right now — this moment.

Here are 3 powerful practical exercises that can move you towards your deeper purpose and help you live a more inspired life on a daily basis.

Create a vision and visualize every last detail.

Wake up 10 years from now in 2026 and imagine you’ve achieved your wildest dreams, don’t hold back. Imagine what it’s like to wake up in this place, who you’re with, what you’re thinking and doing and the environment that surrounds you. Write everything down that comes to mind without judgement or feelings of “I can’t do that…”

Write a letter to yourself.

Write yourself a letter from the place above. Imagine telling the you right now all the lessons, experiences, opportunities, hardships that you encountered along the way and how fulfilling it feels to have lived your vision out loud.

Take one tiny step, and then another.

Every single day, take one action that moves you closer to the above. If you’ve crafted a vision (which puts you in the 5%) then you have a dot on the map you can move towards, which is 100x more powerful than winging it and all it takes is one step to build massive amounts of momentum.

The 30 Day Challenge

I’ll admit it, the above isn’t easy.

It wasn’t until I was moving apartments that I looked at my TV on the ground and thought to myself…

Should I even hang that up?

I didn’t — and the next 9 months were the most immersive, rewarding and chock full of learning that I had ever experienced.

So, if you’re ready — I urge you to take the 30 day challenge which entails no TV for 30 days.

It’s going to be hard at first but once you go a week without and see who you’re becoming — you’ll never look back.

The Uninspired Life Of Television

By | Writing
Reading Time: 1 minute

J oe is sitting on the edge of his seat as the clock counts down for the last few seconds and the team he’s a devoted fan of has one last chance to kick a game-tying field goal. His palms are sweating, heart racing a mile a minute and he’s pacing around the room, living in that moment between anxiousness and excitement.

The team lines up to for the kick and he stares intensely and with extreme focus as the ball is snapped and the kick is up in the air in what seems like slow motion.

As the football goes through the uprights, he roars in delight — feeling free, powerful and on top of the world — his favorite team won.

His wife notices and plays along, smiling, a few high fives but deep down thinks to herself:

Wow, I haven’t seen that passion for life in years and years.

Inspiration Through Pixels

Joe’s story is quite common and most people can relate to an instance similar to the above.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with viewing sports — but the question becomes:

Do you live vicariously through sports, celebrities and politics?

Many of us feel a lack on a day to day basis, we’ve been conditioned that certain things will make us happy — jobs, cars, relationships, you know — external objects.

And we work our asses off for these things while experiencing the true joys of life on the side, almost a byproduct of our striving to accumulate the above.

This constant pursuit of the external is so imbedded as the fabric of our culture that we bypass and willfully ignore practices, insights and the journey of going within.

After years and years, we get there and then realize, wow — it feels good for moments, but overall, it’s a fleeting feeling.

It’s not what we expected … and that can crush us, leading to questions such as:

This is what I gave up everything for?

Let’s look at why this happens.

Happiness, Defined

Aristotle described the two types of happiness:

 Momentary happiness, experienced through a large sum of cash, a cold beer, headed to a vacation, sex, adventure, etc.

→ Long term happiness, experienced through pursuing a chief aim in line with one’s values, contribution, working on oneself, longevity.

There’s clear distinctions between these two and most people spend their days trying to fill their cup with momentary happiness because of what it does to our brains.

Long term happiness is that deep fulfillment that wakes us up inspired and grounded with a sense that we’re contributing to this experience called life.

The former is the hollow feeling of knowing that can’t last, leaving us to cling on to the feeling and rationalize why we don’t feel as good as we thought we would.

So we get back to the point of living through other people’s dreams.

We internalize a sports team or an athlete’s journey, their own Hero’s Journey and make it our own because we lack that passion, fire and pursuit of what Napoleon Hill called a chief aim in our own lives.

We cling to celebrity stories and shocking break-ups.

We get high off sports teams victories and get crushed at losses.

We identify with political campaigns and a us vs. them mentality.

…all because we’re filling a void that must be filled.

A universal law states that nature will fill a vacuum, so where there’s space — something will go in.

If your life’s purpose can’t be identified, or you’re simply going through the motions — something is going to fill it and the lowest denominator are things like sports, gossip, reality TV and politics because you need to feel like you’re living a dream, even if it’s someone else’s.

Wherever You Are, Be There

I was in Sedona with my girlfriend recently and we were in the beginning stages of our awesome relationship.

Sedona is a spiritual mecca of sorts — a work of beauty and a place where people go to achieve higher levels of consciousness, unplug or do some type of adventure or retreat.

We’re sitting at a quaint, typical Sedona wine bar — full of culture and glorious people watching, and of course, some deep conversation.

The wine is flowing and we’re having an absolute blast.

Out of nowhere, a table of 15 people roar, hands flailing in the air — many stand up and everyone’s looking in our direction.

“We’re cool, but not that cool…”, I thought — wondering what this could be.

We both turn around and there’s a tiny, low definition television playing a March Madness basketball game, you know — where 19 year olds are playing out their dreams.

We glance for a second, shrug — and go back to our conversation.

To me, this was a fantastic sign of having a deeper connection and a mindset alignment with someone but it also taught me a valuable lesson on purpose.

It was shocking to me how much energy was created in that moment towards a 19 year old kid living out his dream thousands of miles away.

Breaking Free From The Matrix

This post may sound like it’s coming from judgement, but it’s not.

See, like many others, I used to live the life above — spending countless hours consuming information with stuff that really didn’t fucking matter.

I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with sports, hell, I’ve learned some amazing lessons from athletes as I grew up about work ethic, passion and being a pro.

But if you ask yourself the question others aren’t willing to, such as:

Is consuming this information serving me, i.e. getting me closer to what I want or not serving me, i.e. getting me furtheraway to what I want?

If you answer truthfully and the answer is no, then you’ve got to make a decision.

We talk a lot about the nutrition we fuel our bodies with but rarely mention the information that you know, shapes our brains.

It’s no surprise that we live in a culture based on fear — because even if we’re not consciously consuming it, this information is rewiring our brains to operate from that place.

First Steps

It begins with a choice of understanding that you can create a new reality for yourself right now — this moment.

Here are 3 powerful practical exercises that can move you towards your deeper purpose and help you live a more inspired life on a daily basis.

Create a vision and visualize every last detail.

Wake up 10 years from now in 2026 and imagine you’ve achieved your wildest dreams, don’t hold back. Imagine what it’s like to wake up in this place, who you’re with, what you’re thinking and doing and the environment that surrounds you. Write everything down that comes to mind without judgement or feelings of “I can’t do that…”

Write a letter to yourself.

Write yourself a letter from the place above. Imagine telling the you right now all the lessons, experiences, opportunities, hardships that you encountered along the way and how fulfilling it feels to have lived your vision out loud.

Take one tiny step, and then another.

Every single day, take one action that moves you closer to the above. If you’ve crafted a vision (which puts you in the 5%) then you have a dot on the map you can move towards, which is 100x more powerful than winging it and all it takes is one step to build massive amounts of momentum.

The 30 Day Challenge

I’ll admit it, the above isn’t easy.

It wasn’t until I was moving apartments that I looked at my TV on the ground and thought to myself…

Should I even hang that up?

I didn’t — and the next 9 months were the most immersive, rewarding and chock full of learning that I had ever experienced.

So, if you’re ready — I urge you to take the 30 day challenge which entails no TV for 30 days.

It’s going to be hard at first but once you go a week without and see who you’re becoming — you’ll never look back.

The Time I Got Asked If I Had Drugs For Lunch

By | Writing
Reading Time: 1 minute

A couple years ago, I met up with an old friend. It was one of those meet ups where you know better, but you follow through for nostalgic reasons. In the past 4–5 years, my circle of “friends” has gone from pretty large, to medium, to now relatively small.

Maybe it was Drake who so eloquently stated, “I got a small circle, I’m not with different crews” — yep, that just happened.

Looking back at a time when I had a larger circle, I’m not sure how many I would actually categorize as “real” friends.

My requirements for a friend these days are quite rigorous, and just because we had a connection in the past doesn’t mean much anymore.

You can call it changing, growing or simply:

Raising your fucking standards.

Environment Matters

As I stated above, what I look for in connections, friendships and even one-time associations (or as Fight Club calls them, single serving friends) has grown exponentially.

If you don’t fit the bill, I’m out — and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way but rather, in a way that I respect my time and your time enough to not waste it.

There’s a universal law that states that nature abhors a vacuum — simply put, if you don’t your life with positive, inspiring people that push you to grow then it’ll be filled with whatever’s left.

Usually that’s going to be the lowest common denominator, which are negative, scarcity-minded, gossip practicing people.

Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter how driven or passionate you are…environment matters.

I can take the most positive, uplifting person and insert them in a room with 99 negative, pissed off people.

The first day, week or couple months they may be the same person — but check back in a year and there is no doubt they would have taken on other’s energy, worldview and habits.

Redefining Friendship

We all need to be hanging around people who challenge, support, inspire, question and connect with us on deeper levels.

From a biological standpoint, we understand we are primed for growth at the union of support and challenge.

Having a circle that supports what you do and lifts you up is important.

Even more so, having those that hold you accountable and see your potential so intensely and vividly that they’ll ask the tough questions…that’s power.

Demanding our friends call us out is the ultimate sign of respect and ultimately — love.

This means if I told someone that I would launch a new business or get a certain guest on my Podcast and it hasn’t happened — I want them to ask me why.

And I know they won’t believe my excuses or stories.

We have each other’s backs, in a very real way — that’s rare these days.

Go To Your Inspiration

Going to a bar to watch a sports game with a bunch of dudes to complain about relationships, work and life just doesn’t cut it for me…at all.

If that’s your cup of tea right, it’s all good, but ask yourself:

Does this serve me?

Years ago, I found out I can’t fake that anymore.

Instead, I’ll crush a hike in nature with someone who I can have an open discussion about aspirations, current challenges or roadblocks.

Or we’ll experience an event together and talk about spirituality, business, how it can be applied to our lives.

Maybe we’ll hit an an intense workout and get on a whiteboard and ask tough questions about where we’re going in life and see if we can find some new perspective.

Dude, What Drug Are You On?

Let’s get back to the meet up with the old friend, whom I met for lunch.

I’m always hesitant with these meetings, because talking about the past and reliving the glory days is something I’m over.

I’ve got too much to be excited about right now and I much rather talk about that.

I decided to do it because I had been working so hard on myself and my business and told my mentor I’d say yes to more social outings.

I carved out time in my schedule and decided to make it happen.

We’re sitting down, ordering food and catching up, the usual. We described what we were both doing, current projects, future plans, etc.

Without judging, let’s just say he didn’t have a ton going on in his life and seemed stuck in the prior decade.

And that’s fine too — we can’t expect everyone to be at that point all the time, everyone’s on a journey.

I got asked about what I’m doing, and I naturally lit up, spoke louder, got excited, animated, that’s the norm for me.

When you talk about something you love, you see an uptick in energy and enthusiasm no matter who you are and for me it’s like rocket fuel.

That’s what happens when you live in power, are inspired and know that the only limit on your expansion is yourself.

Halfway through the conversation as I’m detailing what I am doing he stops me and asks…

“Dude, hold on…are you on something? On some sort of drug right now?”

He was absolutely dead serious.

I was stopped halfway through a sentence and wasn’t sure how to answer.

“Uh…no, what are you talking about? I’m pumped about what I do”.

There was an awkward pause, a few moments of silence and it completely killed the conversation from that point on.

He was either so used to people who have such low energy or don’t care about anything that when I lit up it completely startled and shocked him.

To me, it was a splash of cold water in the face to wake me up to never hang out with people like that again.

Cutting The Cord

I was on a coaching call the other day and we basically agreed that…

Everyone is starving for connection.

However, we are ultimately left unfulfilled with most connections because they lack depth and conviction.

As hard as it may sound, if your network and circle are lacking right now you simply need to start cutting the cord.

Once you start create new pockets of space and energy for new people to come in, plus putting yourself in environments where they are — you’ll naturally attract them into your life.

One by one, you’ll start building up a new circle.

It takes a little time, patience and vulnerability — but trust me, it’s worth it.

I look at my circle right now and it’s full of incredible conversations, connections and those that inspire me when I’m on 3 hours sleep.

You can have that too.

Last Words

Look at your life right now.

Is there any area in which you could raise your standards or quality of your relationships?

Remember: you have the power to choose who you surround yourself with every single day.

Choose wisely.

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Written by Tommy Baker.
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