3 Quick Hacks To Get Better At Being Your Best
If I do “my best” with this article, you’ll walk away (or click away) with a cool tool you can use to squeeze more out of your life. Just cross your fingers I don’t screw this up, deal?
Failure doesn’t really scare me. I’ve failed at a lot of things in my life and look forward to many more. Failure by itself doesn’t scare me at all. What scares me is failing because I didn’t do “my best” at something I think is important.
Here’s the thing. I can be lazy. I want instant gratification, low commitment and high excitement. I also want guaranteed success with the least effort possible. (Don’t judge me, you want that too).
And I am painfully aware when I’m not doing my “Best,” so that amplifies the painometer. I know when I’m taking the easy route and when I could give a lot more.
At the gym: I know I can do another set of weights or run an extra mile and I still create an excuse like “that’s enough” or “I’ll do extra tomorrow.” Fitness is important to me, so why don’t I “do my best?”
With my friends: when I’m on my iPhone instead of paying attention and contributing to the conversation. I know I’m not being the best friend or social companion I could be. Friends are a huge part of my life, so why don’t I “do my best?”
With my girlfriend: (see iPhone scenario above ) when I’m not giving all I could to the person I love. She’s one of the most important people in my life, so why don’t I “do my best?”
With my family: I could visit call and be more present, right? So why don’t I do my best?
With my finances: I could budget, spend wiser, get better advisors and pay close attention.
And in my business, I could chase less distractions, take more focused effort and get myself psyched to do my best work even if I feel like slacking off. Why don’t I do my best… all the time?
So if I COULD do my best in these situations, why don’t I? Why don’t you?
Fact 1: Everyone wants the best they can get for their life
Fact 2: Everyone can’t be the best at everything they do, but
Fact 3: Everyone can DO the best they can with what they’ve got to work with.
I believe there are two main reasons I don’t always do my best.
One, I don’t really know what my best would look and feel like if I did it.
Two, I don’t constantly ask myself if I’m doing my best in those moments.
Now I’m a huge student of personal development programs, books and mentors. I lead an “examined-life.” I’m proud of that. And I’ve done a lot of work trying to identify what I “want” from my life and strategies to get it.
But I’ve never come across this exercise yet (which doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist). And when I started doing it, things started to change. I started to change.
Step 1: What would an ideal business/career/love life/body/health/social-life/family-life, etc look like?
Ask yourself “what do I want?” in each of these areas? What’s the ideal outcome for you? What would you be proud to achieve in each?
Now before I get to Step 2, I have a little trick I like to use when it comes to hacking into my own brain. I talk about myself in the third person, it makes it less personal. So instead of saying, “I would do this or that,” I rephrase it as “Brad would do this or that.” Make sense?
Step 2: What would it look like if Brad Costanzo did his best…
- with his business?
- with his girlfriend?
- with his friends?
- with his family?
- with his health and fitness?
- etc, etc
So I answer these questions, in detail, picturing myself in each situation.
For instance: What would it look like if Brad Costanzo did his best at the gym?
His workout would be planned out. He would make sure he’s hydrated and has the energy to give it his all. When he gets to the gym he would step inside, turn on the music, focus and work. He would push himself to the point that he worked out intensely, and when he felt like quitting, he would notice that feeling for what it is, laugh and push past it. He would not skip cardio because he can “do it tomorrow” and he would make certain he did a little more than he thought he would when he walked in.
He would also stick to his schedule, not make excuses and go, even if he doesn’t feel totally up for it. Brad, if he were doing his best, would also pick the right food choices and supplements and stick to them rigidly. He would also measure his results, because he knows “that which gets measured gets improved.”
This is how Brad would be if he were doing the best he could do with what he’s got.
I recommend you try this, it was much easier talking about myself in the 3rd person than it would be saying “I would do this and that.”
Then I repeat this for all the parts of my life I consider worthy of my best.
The result of this step is that you actually know what your best would look like if you were doing it. And remember, that which gets measured gets improved. Bam!
Step 3: Both the easiest step and the hardest. When you’re in these daily situations, ask yourself if you’re doing your best.
When I do it, I instantly know if I am or not. Shining a spotlight on your effort like this usually causes me to immediately course-correct and avoid the path of least resistance.
That doesn’t mean I do my best in everything I can. Laziness and excuses still get me. Just not as much as they used to.
To sum it up:
- Decide what you want in all the specific areas of your life
- Describe what it would look like if you (3rd person) were doing your best
- Ask yourself daily if you’re doing your best or just good enough
If you were doing the best you could with what you’ve got… what would that look like.
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