Designing An Incredible Life (Part 1)
So, we're coming to that magic time of year, the end of the year. This is when naturally all of our thoughts seem to go towards the New Year, or maybe reflecting on the prior year and looking at the New Year.
So I thought I'd do a three-part series here for you around the New Year and around planning and around achievement and creating a life you want. Because the word that's on my mind right now— we'll see how these thee end up being—but the word that's on my mind right now is Intention.
You know, when I started out 22 years ago when I started my business—and I'm sure you've heard the story by now—it was pretty much rags to riches. We weren't in rags, but we were really struggling. I hadn't made any money; had zero income for probably about five or six years. I was a stay-at-home dad taking care of the kids.
Now I've got this multimillion-dollar business. I've had a multimillion-dollar business for many years. I'm a leader in the industry. I've got a best-selling book, and on and on and on. I have thousands and thousands of clients. I have these huge events. Life has turned around. By my measures I've been extremely successful.
And when I think back on how did this shift happen, I think back to way back in 1996, and 1995, really. That was when it was all starting to happen for me, or just taking my baby steps. At that time I heard Tony Robbins, who I had just gotten to know, or I just learned of. He used this phrase called “Design Your Life,” or “Designing a Life.” And at that point I was not very empowered within my life. I was sort of drifting along. I had a good marriage. I had a baby—a new baby, so there were some great things going on in my life, but I really didn't feel like I had much power in my life. And then, I heard that idea of Designing a Life, and I was like, “Wow, does that actually work?” So I started to chip away at it and I started to come up with strategies to change different areas of my life.
What I've learned over all these years … As I look back, I've gotten to know a lot of super, super-successful people, amazingly successful people. I look at the commonalities among them and the commonalities among people that I see that aren't having that much success.
What I see tends to be—well, there's a lot of different things—but one of them is this idea, this realization, that you actually can change your circumstances, whatever they are. And if you're going to change your circumstances, I think the best way to do it is through intention. It's actually looking at your life and the areas in your life and saying, “What do I want my life to look like in that area? What do I want my health to look like? What do I want my relationships to look like? What do I want my love relationships to look like? What do I want my friendships to look like? What do I want my business to look like? What do I want my income to look like?” And then, start to create a vision in each of those areas for what you want. So that vision, what I'm talking about, that's what I mean by intention, acting intentionally.
If we look right now, the world is getting really, really great at pulling our intention away from us, at controlling what our experience of the world is. We have these technology companies, like Facebook, like Google, and there's plenty of others that have thousands of engineers that are spending all their time trying to create an environment for you where they grab your attention, and then they control your attention. This isn't to make them evil, it's just—that's their job. We're in this attention economy where you get paid the more attention that you can hold. That's the way those companies make their money, through advertising and through holding you on their site, or in their App.
So they are extremely intentional about creating super-immersive environments that are addictive environments. That's what they have planned for you. So in a way that we've never seen before in the world, a group of engineers, a group of people, are working so hard to grab your attention and have you move through your day, zombie-like. I mean, people are better at it than they have ever been. The only way you can fight that is by putting as much effort into designing your life and intentionally living your life and your experiences throughout your day, putting as much effort into that as they are putting into grabbing your attention, or holding your attention.
So, like I said, I've got three videos. Maybe we'll go deeper. Who knows. We'll see.
I'll give you one example of intention that I've had. It's been almost two years. So I've been doing this thing that's called “Intermittent Fasting,” and what that means is that on most days I'll go usually around 14 hours without eating. Sometimes it's 12 hours. Sometimes it's 16 hours. Sometimes 18 hours. Basically, it's super simple. All I do is, when I eat my meal in the evening I stop eating and then I go 12, 14, 16 hours until I eat the next day.
I'm not a doctor. I'm not saying you should do this; it's just something I've been doing. I'm not the world's greatest expert on this. Lots of other people are experts on this. I'm not the only person doing this, but I'm just sharing. I'm not doing it to lose weight; I'm doing it for overall long-term health, that I'm convinced that it might help my overall long-term health.
But, what I've noticed is it's made me super-intentional about food. Because before, I'd eat my meal in the evening and then maybe I'd do some snacking throughout the evening and then in the morning I'd get up and maybe I'd do a little bit of grazing and then I'd eat breakfast. Well, now I know that once I stop eating in the evening, then if I do any more snacking that evening that's going to delay when I can eat the next day.
So, let's say I eat dinner at 6 p.m., and then there's some nuts; that I'm thinking about having some nuts, or some ice cream, or whatever, at 8 p.m. I know if I have that at 8 p.m. that means I have to wait two more hours the next morning to eat, so it just makes me think about what I'm putting in my mouth instead of just grabbing something and putting it in my mouth. So, I've become more intentional about food; I'm more intentional about what I put in my mouth.
And the thing about being intentional is, being intentional in one area leads to intentionality in each area, and it becomes a snowball. So, instead of just grabbing your phone and instantly opening up Instagram, opening up Facebook, and then all of a sudden 30 minutes has gone as you flip through these photos and flip through these things. And you know what? You probably don't feel any better after you spend that half hour. So, what I'm saying is as you get more intentional in one area you end up becoming more intentional in every area.
So, that's what I've got for you today. I invite you, as we come into this end of this year, and this New Year, to be intentional about your reflection on the past year. Reflect back and say, “What worked well and what do I want to do differently next year?” And then, I suggest you might think about being intentional for next year and planning out what is going to change, or what you want to bring more of, what you want to attract into your life in the coming year.
So, I'm Jeff Walker. Wherever you're watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me, and I'll get you the next episode next week.