We learn from our mistakes. We also learn from our successes and failures alike. 2011 has been a year filled with failures, successes, mistakes, and a whole lot of lessons.
It often takes time to learn from our mistakes. A step back to gain the necessary perspective needed to learn what we need to learn. Sometimes it’s a painful lesson. A lesson that shows us something about ourselves that me might not be proud of or willing to admit.
I’m a stubborn, driven, focused, and flawed man. I learn everyday because I fail and I make mistakes every day. Learning never ends. This year was filled with lessons that will stick with me for a lifetime.
This site is a resource. I put a lot of hours in to learning about the human body. Testing theories and methods on my own body so you don’t have to. Here are 32 lessons I learned in 2011 that you too can learn from.
For the comments section: What things did you learn in 2011?
Intensity in our training can make a bad program great. The best programs are one’s that create the right environment for intensity to flourish. Do what you need to do to have a legendary workout every time you hit the gym. Also, check out this article: How to Make Every Workout Legendary.
Fat isn’t the friend of body fat, it’s the enemy. Eating more fat and less carbs boosts our testosterone levels, but also helps us maintain muscle while burning fat.
The government (Canadian or American) is the worst source for nutritional advice on the planet.
I’ve learned to balance a fun, enjoyable lifestyle with a healthy one. This has allowed me to stay in great shape year-round. Too many people focus on ‘getting’ in shape for the summer season by bulking and then cutting. It’s much easier on the body to stay within the same weight (give or take 5 lbs) for the entire year.
Sleep is extremely important. I’ve tried different sleeping schedules this year. Some included 5 or 6 hours of sleep with the goal of getting more work and living done. But the schedule with 7-8 hours always resulted in higher quality, more focused work, greater recovery physically and mentally, and more happiness and laughter.
Extreme rep variation is the way to go. I really pushed variance in my reps this year and the results have been awesome. I break my training down into the 2-6, 8-12, and 20+ rep ranges. Try this free workout as an example: The Thor Workout.
Sprints are the best exercises for creating a ripped, muscular physique.
We can build and maintain a ripped physique year-round. And it’s a lot easier than we think. Much of it revolves around meal timing, rep variation, and intensity of our training. Not in dieting, training for hours upon hours, and living a life of deprivation.
Success. Business. Life.
Take your dreams very, very seriously. Some look at their dreams and don’t see that they can actually be accomplished. While others see their dreams as expectations. Even the most audacious dreams that we had when we were younger deserve our respect. I’ve learned to give my dreams that respect by writing them down and figuring out the steps I need to take to make them a reality.
It’s hard to focus when we have no definitive aim. So many of us wander through life doing what is expected of us, not what we want to be doing. I’ve learned that finding clarity in what I want my Legacy to be is one of the most important steps to take in order to live the life that I truly want to live and leave the impact I want to leave.
Enjoy and learn from people, everyone on the planet has a lesson that they can teach us.
There is an opportunity to learn in every situation. When things aren’t going well we often fail to see the bigger picture and the lesson we can learn from what we’re going through. When something isn’t going how I want it to go, I take a step back and try and see what I can learn from the situation. It’s rarely an easy thing to do. And sometimes it can be a painful lesson. But it’s a waste to make a mistake or go through a painful event without consciously learning from it.
Being present and in the moment is both one of the hardest things to accomplish on a regular basis, but also the most important. Being present mentally results in much higher work quality, relationship quality, greater learning, more fun and laughing, and it’s often something we learn too late in life.
Time yourself. This goes with the lesson above about being in the moment. I have started to time my work sessions using online-stopwatch.com. It’s a great tool to keep us focused for a pre-determined amount of time. Which is much easier than to focus for an undetermined amount of time.
Change is a great thing. Actively seeking and searching for change is a great way to innovate and stand out from the crowd. It’s also a great way to live an exciting life.
I’ve learned to seek out my fears and attack them head on. Getting out of our comfort zone is extremely important to our development in every area of life. Don’t just wait around for opportunities to push yourself, look for them. Seek them out and attack them.
You are a collection of the 6 people you hang around with the most. Are the people you hang out with the most good people? Are they ambitious and heading in the direction you want to be heading in? Or maybe they’re already there. Be around people that lift you up and push you to become better. Leave people behind that bring you down. That are toxic and have a very closed view of the world and what can be accomplished.
Understand that we all have a lot to be thankful for in our lives. I’m extremely lucky to have some great, lifelong friends. The more people I meet, the more I see that real, lifelong friends are very hard to come by.
Write it down. If you have a dream or a massive goal, write it down. That very task makes it more tangible.
Mistakes are invaluable. We learn from them more-so that we learn from our successes. But we can also read and learn from the mistakes of others. Thus, we can make less mistakes.
Listen to your market. I learned to really pay attention and document the emails and comments I get from you guys. The result has been more relevant articles done at a higher quality. In turn, you get more out of every article because they’re helping you achieve things you actually want to achieve, or solve problems that you actually have. No matter what our business, we all have a market. Pay attention to what they are saying, and build a better business that will help more people.
Dedicate 1 full day to goal setting, thinking, and learning each week. Having a clear idea of where we want to go and how we’re going to get there is necessary in any venture. Taking one full day each week to read, learn, think, and plan has helped me find this clarity and break through obstacles. If you can’t do it once every week, make sure you get it in at least once a month.
Always make time for spontaneity. No matter how strict your schedule, always be prepared to drop it all and go have a great time. I love working. I love grinding. But in the end, we’re going to remember those moments of spontaneity. The moments completely out of the norm.
The earlier you rise, the more time you have for fun. I’ve started waking up at 5am this past year. The result: much more free time in the afternoon to train, film, golf, have fun with friends, lounge, and enjoy life.
Thank God for unanswered prayers. Things don’t always work out as we want them to. Quite often this is actually a good thing. When we’re in the midst of a relationship, a job, striving for a goal, we don’t always see it’s flaws. We don’t see how it’s sending us down the wrong path. If something doesn’t work out, take a step back and try and figure out why. There’s usually some good in it.
No matter where you are in life, always be open to new opportunities. A very wise, old, and successful man told me this. He told me instances where he could have been more open to new ideas, but wasn’t, and so he missed the boat. Even though I know what I want in life, life might want something else that’s even better for me. It’s important to be alert and open to new ventures and opportunities. As much as we’d like to think it, we don’t always know best.
Scotch shouldn’t be cooled or consumed with ice. It dulls the flavours and numbs the taste.
Cuban’s arguably no longer make the best cigars. The Ashton VSG and the Padron Family Reserve Maduro are two of the best cigars I’ve had in a long, long time (neither are Cuban made).
Chianti is my favourite red wine.
Buy fewer clothes. Either spend a bit more on something that fits perfectly or go to a tailor.
The fit of an article of clothing is more important than the cost.
De-Clutter every 3 months. Too many possessions can get in the way of our progress. It can kill creativity. In the end, we really don’t need all of this stuff that we have. At least once a year go through all of your possessions and throw out the stuff that you don’t need, or don’t add to your success in business, fitness, or life in general.
What have you learned in 2011?
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