Advance Leadership

by Rich Bishop – Stop accepting mediocre!


Why I Started Biohacking and What I’ve Learned (So Far)

Why I Started Biohacking and What I Learned (So Far) | Advance LeadershipHow is your energy level during the day? Do you notice when it’s high versus when you need a bit of a boost? Energy is vital to your ability to be effective at home and at work. A low energy day can make it tough to get anything done, while having high energy can make it seem like the entire day was at your mercy. Most people fail to manage their energy because they simply don’t understand or pay attention to it. Is your energy a random act, or can you do certain things to impact it? The term “Energy management” is often seen as how often you reach for a cup of coffee.

This definitely used to be the case for me. I would sometimes notice when my energy level was high or low, but I felt like a passenger on the energy train. I felt as though I had no control over it. Over the years, I would go through periods of stress at work that kept me away from the gym. Work was taking so much of my energy that I wasn’t up for a 5k run (my preferred exercise routine), even when I did find the time to go. My coffee consumption went up. My diet turned toward fast food. My energy went down. I reached for another cup of coffee to manage it. It wasn’t a good cycle to be in. I have to be on my game every day because I’m in a position where there are lots of other people relying on my decision making – both at home and at work.

When I caught myself in those cycles, I started going out of my way to go for a run. If I was able to string together two or three days of exercise in a row, I noticed that my energy level shot way up and my eating would be better. I got to a point at the end of last year that I sat down and really put a lot of thought into the question – How do I become more intentional about how I manage my energy?

Hacking the Body

In January, I had set out to start eating healthier and working out more. That led me to start diving into research on personal energy management. What I stumbled into has completely changed my life (and energy levels!). What I found was that biohacking was the key to making the right changes.

Just as hackers figure out how computers work in order to get them to do something that the hacker wants, “biohacking” is doing that same thing but with your body. It’s about understanding what works for you and then doing more of it, while taking out the things that don’t work. This crosses the spectrum from exercise to eating, sleeping, learning, and more.

The main premise behind biohacking is that you can control how your mind, body, and spirit feel & act if you know what the various triggers are. Everyone has their own triggers like how much sleep is needed and what food allergies they have (and probably aren’t aware of).

If you feel like you could be doing more, learning more, and just plain ol’ kicking life’s butt… then this is for you. These next two weeks, I’m going to show let you in on what I’ve learned so that you can adapt it for yourself.  My exact formula isn’t yours, but you can certainly use it as a starting point if you’d like and tweak from there.

I’ll cover my recent experience with: Exercise, Eating, Sleep, Travel, Standing at Work, and Mindfulness. In the meantime, here are some things to think ask yourself:

  • Am I happy with my energy level throughout the day?
  • How many days a week do I grab a little extra coffee to get me through a lull?
  • Do I often wake up to the alarm, or am I up before the alarm goes off?
  • Do I find it hard to concentrate during the day?
  • Do I feel like I could be getting more from my mind or my body?

These are some of the things that biohacking seeks to enhance. I’ll start to dive into my formula next week so you can see what it’s like from a beginner’s perspective 3 months into the journey. If you think you can handle a couple of tweaks to your routine, then you could just see the massive benefits that I have already. Are you ready to get more from life?


Why You Have to Learn How to Learn

Why You Have to Learn How to Learn | Advance LeadershipI’ve been accused by people close to me of diving into new things too quickly. When I see something that I am enthusiastic about and want to learn more, I jump into it like there’s nothing else worth my time. I LOVE to learn. I am a lot like a little kid who sees something for the first time – I am completely mesmerized by all things new. John Maxwell once said what he wants on his tombstone, and I completely agree with him, “Here lies a man who learned something new every day of his life.”

I realize that most people don’t share this enthusiasm for doing something new. In fact, some people are completely scared away by the thought of it. It’s hard to learn “new tricks” for anyone, not just the old dog. It’s always uncomfortable to put yourself into new situations that you haven’t experienced before. You don’t want to feel like a fish out of water. Most people would be perfectly happy to live every day of their lives from the comfort of knowing.

I had a recent conversation with a close friend of mine who was trying something new with her health. She is the type that shies away from things that are uncomfortable. She was getting so frustrated at not having the answers that it brought her to tears. “I feel so stupid,” she said through the tears trickling down her face. Feeling “stupid” will either be your motivator or it will deter you. Which will it be?

Not Knowing Is A Motivation

Those that advance are motivated by not having the answers. Those that truly leaders in life are not the types to sit on the sidelines because their seat is comfortable. One of the greatest perspectives that I have ever heard came in one of my opening conversations with a coaching client. He and I were discussing a start-up idea that he had and we were talking about how his business was going to stretch him to do new things that he hadn’t yet in his career. He said, “I don’t know everything about how to do this, but what I do know is how to learn.” Knowing how to learn is probably more important than learning any other topic.

Here’s what a curious (sometimes obsessed) guy like me knows about how to learn:

  • Dive in. Find all the material that you can about the new subject and read as much as you can. Want to eat healthier? Read all that you can about proteins, amino acids, and carbs. Want to start a blog? Study the most successful bloggers out there and find out what they do. Many of them will even tell you how they do it! The key is to dive into the info and purposely feel overwhelmed. This is how you start to truly absorb new things.
  • Be comfortable with not knowing all the answers. View it as a game to unlock the puzzle pieces. You can put it all together piece by piece, but you won’t ever start with the full picture. Be ok with gathering the beautiful picture one small piece at a time.
  • Just do it! The best way to learn something is to just get started. Too many people will research something to death, but wait until “the perfect time” to get going. There is no perfect time. You just have to go.
  • Learn from your mistakes (and you will make mistakes). Your one year old doesn’t one day find himself running up and down the hallway. He had to take an awkward step by himself and then fall. Then he got up again, only to fall again. This repeated itself over and over again. Sometimes he fell so hard that it hurt. He learned something new each time and made adjustments until he finally got it. It’s no different for you.

Learning is essential for anyone that wants to advance in their lives. Learning how to learn is probably the most important skill that you will ever teach yourself. Spend almost as much time learning how to learn as you do learning new skills and you will grow by leaps and bounds. If you like living in mediocrity, stay comfortable.


Why The Way You Talk to Yourself Matters More Than You Think

Why The Way You Talk to Yourself Matters More Than You ThinkIf you’re a parent, you know how important it is to encourage your kids. They are constantly looking to you for validation and approval of what they do, and there is nothing more effective to enforcing good behavior than showering them with praise.

When your child is learning how to walk and takes their first step… you encourage & praise them
When your child rides a bike for the first time… you encourage & praise them

The same continues throughout their lives. It also holds true for your spouse or other family members. That’s why we have graduation ceremonies from school. You want others to be proud of what they’ve accomplished or have added confidence in times of doubt.

Turn The Praise Inward

We spend all this time encouraging others, but do we speak that way to ourselves? If you’re like most, you wouldn’t dare talk to others the way that you talk to yourself. Could you imagine saying the things to your spouse that you thought of yourself the last time you did something wrong? Would you say the things to them that you said to yourself when you felt heavy and out of shape? Would you really come down on your kids when they make a mistake the way that you come down on yourself after one? Pause and think about that for a second. What words do you most often use to describe yourself, to yourself? “Fat?” “Stupid?” “You’ll never amount to anything?” You wouldn’t dare repeat those things to anyone else, so why is it ok to talk to yourself that way?

There is a great deal of research that points to the effect of self-talk on our performance. It turns out that the things you say to yourself will in fact come to be true. Not because you are fat or stupid, but because you SAY that you are. This isn’t a bunch of new-age psycho-babble, either. What you continue to say to yourself about yourself – both good and bad – will become true.

It can be a vicious cycle if you’re not aware enough to pull yourself out of it. You mess up, talk down to yourself, then mess up again because of what you said to yourself. The other side of that is that success breeds success. Perfect case-in-point is this amazing example is Michael Jackson.

Becoming The King of Pop

In 1979, Michael Jackson was 21. He had been a child star for years, but was struggling to be accepted as a relevant adult artist. If he was like most people, he would have said “I can’t do it” or “Maybe I am just a child star”. But that’s not what he said. In fact, he wrote himself a manifesto on the back of a tour flier:

“I should be a new, incredible actor/singer/dancer that will shock the world.
I will do no interviews. I will be magic.
I will be a perfectionist, a researcher, a trainer, a masterer.
I will be better than every great actor roped in one.
I must have the most incredible training system to dig and dig and dig…
I will study and look back on the whole world of entertainment and perfect it, take it steps further from where The Greats left off.”

You know the rest of the story. Did MJ talk to himself the way that most people do? No! Did MJ’s career look like most people’s? That goodness that answer is “no” too.

Perhaps there’s a correlation?

Maybe it’s time for you to start talking to yourself the way that Michael Jackson did. You ARE capable of amazing things. You DO have the ability to be much more than your family or financial situation would say you should. You CAN be great. You just have to say it to yourself first.

If this doesn’t come naturally to you, try talking to yourself positively for one week. That’s not much of a commitment. Just dedicate one week to being a “positive self-talk” week. Stop yourself when you have those negative thoughts and replace it with a positive. 7 days is all it takes to start building a habit that could dramatically change the course of your life. If you could change your life by giving it only one week of effort, would you do it? Now’s your chance. You can do it…

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