Wk 2: 12 Seconds to Relax, Improve Your Reactions and Diets Made Simple


Which problem do you want?

The following comes from aa book I finished this week and it is undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve ever read: ‘Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown.

For me the biggest difference in this book from other self-development books is the emphasis on achieving success whilst ensuring family, friends and health are not sacrificed in the process.

For example, to get the point across a slightly drastic analogy is used, here is a bit from the book which is taken from an article “Laugh, Kookaburra” in the New Yorker.


“Imagine a four-burner stove. One burner represents your family, one is your friends, the third is your health and the fourth is your work. In order to be successful, you have to cut off one of your burners. And in order to be really successful, you have to cut off two.”

The book then states “…when faced with a decision where one option prioritises family and the other prioritises friends, health or work. We need to be prepared to ask, ‘Which problem do you want?'”

Practical: Think about the four burners in your life. Be strategic and thoughtful in each area and ensure we aren’t causing unnecessary problems for others or ourselves all to be what we may consider ‘really successful’.


Are you confused about all the current diets that are advertised for fat loss?

I don’t blame you. Hopefully this image shared this week ,via myoleanfitness.com, by top nutrition expert Alan Aragon and numerous others in the field, simplifies things for you and can reduce any mental energy you are wasting worrying about what diet to follow.


Please note the word ‘deficit’. Starving yourself isn’t the point they are emphasizing here. You still have to eat according to your individual needs and goals!

 Practical: Eat quality nutritious foods more often than not to fuel your day. If you are gaining weight, eat slightly less. Repeat until you reach your goal.

Is there more to it? Yes, but this appears to be the fundamental advice for a successful fat loss diet. Do this sensibly before worrying about the minor details.


Interested in having your money work for you over the long term?


Tony Robbins was recently at the JP Morgans investment conference, where you require a one billion dollars net worth to attend, and discussed on a recent podcast some interesting stats that were mentioned during that conference.

Tony spoke on the James Altucher podcast about long term investing strategies and with the S&P index averaging 8.2% interest over 20 years, he re-iterates that it is a very viable way of earning compound interest on your savings to serve you well in the distant future.

More interestingly though, he mentioned the lack of patience people have with a long term strategy, he cites an independent study that Schwab and JP Morgan did over 20 years which discovered that by pulling your money out to try and time the market there is consequences:

  • If you miss out on just the best 10 days of trading over 20 years you would get 4.5% interest rather than the 8.2%. Almost half!
  • If you miss the top 20 days you end up with just 2%
  • If you miss the top 30 days. Just 1 and a half days per year, you will lose money.

Practical: Invest in index funds with someone such as Vanguard and be patient, regardless of market movement. Pull it out for even a short time and you see the consequences above.

Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors of all time, is a strong advocate of this long term investment strategy.


There is extensive research on sleep and it’s absolutely clear that consistently getting the amount your body requires is essential for performance.


Brandon Marcello, is an expert performance specialist who has worked with top professional athletes, as well as being one of the co-founders of EXOS. This week Brandon spoke on the Pacey Performance podcast about sleep and performance.

Here are some of the key points:

  • Lack of sleep negatively effects reaction time
  • If your body needs 7 hours and you only get 6 hours then you are in 1 hour of sleep debt.
  • You must repay that sleep debt to maximize your ability to react efficiently
  • With regards to sports performance reaction time is a key factor for success.

Practical: Being able to react quickly and effectively is important in every industry. Sleep appears to be no longer prioritised by some as we choose one last look on social media or a late night TV show instead of an extra hour sleep. Weekend late nights tend to put people in sleep debt. Do you repay it? Does it take you a few days to feel at your best?

Try a sleep 30 day challenge. 7-8 hours sleep. Go to bed before 11pm each night and wake at the same time each morning.


If you are having a chaotic or stressful day and need some concentration then try ‘box breathing’  , which is often used by the U.S Navy Seals, to get your mind back on track.


Practical (Use the circle above to keep your breathing in time):

Step 1: Inhale for 4 seconds (circle gets bigger)

Step 2: Hold air in your lungs for 4 seconds (circle pauses)

Step 3: Exhale for 4 seconds, emptying all of the air in your lungs (circle gets smaller)

Step 4: Hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds (circle pauses)

Step 5: Repeat several times until you get to the state you desire

Week 2 Review:

  • Make sure you are in a calorie deficit if your goal is fat loss, regardless of the diet.
  • Learn more about index funds at someone like Vanguard and how they can give you a great return for your money in the long term: Be patient once invested!
  • Always consider your family, friends and health priorities whilst in your pursuit for success in work!
  • Get 7-8 hours sleep per night for 30 days. If you can’t then you must repay sleep debt!
  • Take at least 12 seconds to consciously breathe. Use the box breathing techniques used by US Navy Seals to become more alert, focused and relaxed.

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