Eight Righteous Practices

For those who might have missed my earlier piece “Five Ways to Move Mountains,” you can check it out HERE.

In a moment I’m going to outline eight more habits I adhere to in order to maintain productivity, staying power, and relationships.

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What follows is another set of simple observations that I consider foundational to my lifestyle and approach to pretty much everything.

These carry across the board for me, and can be applied in any and every situation.

Show up on time. 

If you’ve agreed to be somewhere or do something at a certain agreed on time, be there, or be early. 

There’s nothing that makes someone feel more disrespected as making something a priority and having you show them with your actions that you think your time means more than theirs.

This also goes for your own scheduling- if you’ve painstakingly set a timeframe for yourself to wake up, work out, meditate, whatever it is…then adhere to it.

It takes discipline to hit the mark on this kind of stuff, and its the sort of discipline that breeds more of itself and makes it easier each time to do things correctly.

I’ve dropped countless gym partners over this one, and absolutely refuse to work with anyone who is late more than a few times, no matter how many times their “alarm didn’t go off.”

Be a self starter. 

If you need someone always holding your hand or being an overseer, you’re automatically relinquishing your chance to be given more responsibilities or more trust.

If you need to be babied, don’t be surprised when you’re treated like one.

Individuals who are able to do for themselves, and be sharp enough and pay enough attention to get things going on their own will usually be successful in all areas they apply themselves.

Perhaps the biggest disparity between those who are productive and those who are not is this ability to see what needs to be done and then just…doing it. What a concept.

Maintain a high level of energy and effort.

You’ve heard the phrase “objects which are in motion tend to stay that way?” 

This holds true for people too.

If you’re remaining active, and staying on a roll, it is easy to stay that way. It’s much simpler to keep a heavy rock rolling than it is to get it started again. Just ask Sisyphus.

I’ve seen guys with brands or businesses “take a break” or set them down for a while, and it resulting in their never returning because they were too overwhelmed. Ditto for working out and exercising- plenty of dust on that home gym set-up, there, dad-bod.

You have to maintain conscious, sustained effort in all areas that are important to you. Your fitness, your relationships, your business- everything. 

Keep a good attitude.

This one pretty much goes without saying, but attitude and approach to things, especially the negative things that happen, determines a lot.

If there’s one factor you can control in any situation in life, it’s your attitude.

Keeping a stiff upper lip and handling tough shit with a tougher mentality will take you a long way in life. When everyone else is whimpering over the hard hand they’ve gotten dealt, you’ll be too busy figuring out how best to play the cards you’ve got to join them. 

Which reminds me: Develop staying power.

There’s plenty of people out there who can generate a lot of force one time, like a hail Mary pass, or a quick explosion.

The greats are those who can create energy that doesn’t dissipate rapidly, but begins to become a self sustaining dynamo. Burnout, quitting, “getting sick of things” and so on are all products of a lack of ability to stay at it.

Those who cannot find that calm, deep resonance within themselves that allows them to continue moving forward when others are falling by the wayside will fall themselves as soon as the going gets tough.

The key to this is to know when to push yourself and when to conserve your energy, and to keep a continual forward movement at a steady pace rather than working in cycles of action/inaction.

Be open to correction or teaching.

Often times in Jiu Jitsu, I’ve heard coaches talk about how someone could’ve been great at the sport if they were just “a little more coachable.”

We all like to think we’ve got it all figured out and know everything, but the fact is, there’s always someone who knows more than we do, or who we can learn something from.

This carries over to the idea of being confrontable as well, something I’ve talked about in the past as a critical factor in maintaining groups/tribes/organizations. 

If you refuse to be confronted about potential mistakes or shortcomings, you’ll never learn, and eventually, people will stop even trying to teach you. 

Exceed expectations, always.

Whatever you promised you’d do, do more. Again, this carries over to marriages, friendships, business exchanges, workouts, everything.

Get a reputation as someone who will not only never drop the ball, but will constantly go above and beyond the call of duty every time you undertake something.

It’s good sense, and it sets a precedent for you to continually look to outdo yourself in every arena you enter, which should be one of the points of a powerful existence.

Finally, that boy scout motto comes to mind: always be prepared.

It doesn’t take much to make sure you’ve looked over the information pertinent to the meeting, checked your gear and toolbar before a motorcycle run, or ensured you had what you needed for your gym session.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and not only will you save yourself a lot of time and frustration this way, you’ll maintain a sharpness and reliability among friends and associates as the guy or gal who is “always ready for anything.”

These are not an exhaustive list, and are in no way some kind of esoteric hidden wisdom, but I remain mildly surprised to see how many do not adhere to these fundamental practices- and find myself, at times, slipping on them.

Regardless, we all could use a reminder sometimes, and I’m no exception. 

I’m pulling for you.