Water. Light. Movement.
Circadian rhythm influences many biological functions. To optimize circadian rhythm for performance, you need to add light and movement to the first twenty minutes upon waking up.
Most of us are chronically dehydrated, particularly in the morning. To start your hydration off right, drink the morning mineral cocktail to ensure you are getting adequate water and electrolytes.
We are highly sensitive to momentum. By starting your morning off with intention, you set your day off on an important positive trajectory.
Deep Breath, Deep Freeze
Chronic stress is literally killing us, and the traditional medical model offers us very little help to deal with it. Counterintuitively, one of the best ways to deal with chronic stress is to seek certain forms of acute stress. Through a process called hormesis, acute stress will help you adapt and become stronger.
Cold exposure is one of the best sources of acute stress, and can be accessed in showers, cold tubs, and cryotherapy. The cold also offers the opportunity to practice an essential life skill—what I call “mental override”—the ability to make yourself do something you don’t want to do.
The breath, when used in accordance with the Wim Hof method or other forms of intentional deep breathing, is an invaluable tool to modulate and adapt to acute stressors like cold shock, while also helping to melt away chronic stress on its own.
More Fat, Less Sugar, or Don’t Eat
The abundance of sugar in our diet is arguably the worst thing ever to happen to human health. Being aware of the many forms of sugar and minimizing sugar ingestion is key to managing the blood sugar swings that will throw off your day.
Dietary fat and cholesterol have been unfairly villainized. To restore metabolic health and optimize weight management, adding dietary fat back into the diet, starting with breakfast, is essential.
Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. If you don’t have good fats and protein available to you, rather than eat a bunch of sugary or starchy foods, you can skip breakfast and reap the benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss and longevity
There are two primary reasons to supplement: to remediate potential deficiencies, and to gain access to unusual or hard-to-find nutrients. You don’t need to think of supplements as something that comes in a capsule, either. Getting the right amount of sun, sleep, and food is itself a kind of supplementation, and the first line of defense.
The key things to consider supplementing are greens, probiotics, B vitamins, krill oil, vitamin D, and additional minerals.
While dietary supplements are generally safe, and more regulated than you might have heard, they are not all created equal. Look for companies that engage in clinical research on their products and use natural forms of ingredients when possible.
Drive Time, Alive Time
There is a fundamental choice when it comes to your commute. You can choose alive time where you are growing, learning, and improving, or dead time where at best you are wasting your time. Those who consistently choose alive time will have a significant advantage in life.
To expand your mind and gain actionable information during the commute, check out podcasts or audiobooks, which offer an opportunity to learn that is as valuable as any expensive education.
To combat the potential negative impact of the commute, as well as to practice greater presence and peace of mind, use conscious breathing techniques along with mindfulness practices like the wide peripheral gaze.
The Power Plants
Caffeine is ideal to alleviate sleepiness and improve your mood. To do it the right way, look for natural plant sources, make sure you don’t interrupt your sleep, and blend with fats to help slow down the release into your body.
Nicotine on its own can be beneficial to focus, attention, and the enjoyment of your day. The problems come with the delivery. Never inhale smoke! Instead, look for other means like vaping and absorption through the gums or the skin to get you in the zone.
Nootropics have been proven to assist with memory and cognitive performance. Huperzia serrata is a great place to start and is a part of one of the most rigorously tested formulas on the market. If you don’t know about nootropics, now’s the time to find out.
More important than enjoying every minute of the work you do is knowing why you are doing it. This is your mission, and being certain of that mission will allow you to flourish even in challenging situations.
To own your work, you have to own your space. This means cultivating optimal conditions for yourself within your environment by paying attention to your posture and movement, as well as the energetic and olfactory conditions of your workspace.
Working effectively means accomplishing your best work with the minimum amount of resistance. To do this, you need to minimize distraction, learn to say no, and develop a process of prioritizing what you need to tackle first.
Eat a Weird Lunch
Rather than counting your calories, focus on the nutrients you are putting into your body. You want to ingest plenty of macronutrients like proteins, fats, and fiber. Remember, you are what you eat ate, so source your macros well.
Micronutrients are abundant in a diverse diet. Seek out these “weird” foods and benefit from a host of protective and performance-enhancing nutrients.
Equally important as what you put into your body is what you keep out of it. Avoid antinutrients that come from highly processed, refined, burned, fried, or artificial foods and colorings. These are the succubi of the food world and are to be resisted.
The Binaural Power Nap
Ditch whatever you have been told about naps being for lazy people. Naps have been scientifically proven to be one of the most effective ways to stay alert and perform at a high level.
Binaural beats are a great way to get the benefits of napping without having to fully fall asleep. By entraining your brain waves to more restorative patterns, you activate that restorative parasympathetic response you are looking for.
Don’t think of sleep as just what happens at night. Admit when you are tired and get comfortable with napping during the day to supplement your daily intake of sleep.
Exercise is a miracle drug—you just need to take it. If you haven’t been training regularly, the key is to start slow and simply get moving. Even if you are a seasoned vet, mixing in some play can keep the enthusiasm for training high.
Conventional means of exercise are going to create conventional results. And if you go to your local mall and look around, that isn’t going to cut it. Try out unconventional equipment like kettlebells, clubs, maces, and ropes.
An ideal workout trains multiple power systems, including mobility, flexibility, endurance, cardio, power, and strength. Use the training pyramid as a model to ensure you are training in a well-rounded and sustainable manner.
Reset and Reconnect
Loneliness kills. But combating loneliness doesn’t mean having just anyone around you. It’s about forging deeper connections, with yourself first, and with your tribe.
To connect with yourself, don’t be shy about creating a little state shift. A puff of cannabis or a glass of wine after your workout and before dinner can be beneficial to the mind, while minimizing challenges to the body. Then, to really deepen the connection, pick up a musical instrument and learn to play.
To connect with others, collapse the judgments that separate you by seeing them as you living a different life. Then play some music, have a laugh, but most important, make the effort to cultivate the sense of community around you.
Eat Dinner Like a King
Don’t believe everything you have heard about food. First, it was probably wrong. Second, if you believe the bad advice, you will make it feel correct. The mind communicates through the body via your emotions surrounding your choices. Learn to harness the power of belief to your benefit rather than your detriment.
Digestion is the foundation of nutrition. It is what delivers the food you eat from your stomach into your cells. To optimize digestion, eat slow, chew hard, and increase levels of HCL and digestive enzymes. For peak sexual prowess with minimal gaseous distraction, eat pro-sex foods that contain nitric oxide.
If you are going to cheat, do it well. Learn to minimize the cost of an indulgent dessert or a high-carbohydrate meal by timing it after a workout and taking steps to mitigate the ensuing blood sugar spikes, like by taking a walk. If you want to indulge in a few extra adult beverages, add molybdenum-rich foods, hydrate, and boost levels of glutathione.
More, Better Sex
The tongue is the most important sex organ on the body. Not because you lick with it, but because you communicate with it. Let down your ego. Talk to your partner about your likes, dislikes, and fantasies. Laugh if something you didn’t expect happens. Don’t take it too seriously. Your sex does not define you.
If you enjoy your sex, you are going to have more of it. The more sex you have, the healthier you will be. Limit your indulgence in pornography, explore power exchange, be adventurous, and level up your sex game by mastering the squeeze.
Ensure you are creating favorable sex conditions by supporting hormone balance, and managing nitric oxide. Remember that sex begins with attraction, and attraction begins with the nose, so be careful with masking your natural smells and pheromones.
Turn Off, Tune In
If you don’t turn off, you won’t ever properly turn on. The stress of carrying the weight of the day into the night will compound over time and slow you down. Let your phone go.
One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is to pick up a pen or open a Google doc and start journaling. First you want to make sure you set your mission and objective for the following day. Then you want to purge anything you no longer want to carry, and memorialize those things you don’t want to forget but also don’t want to burden your psyche with.
The last hour before bed is time to really wind down and cuddle with yourself or someone you love. It’s the time for reading, a relaxing game, or maybe even your favorite show. Give your body some love with the personal care it needs, and get ready to sleep your face off.
We have made a mistake by thinking of sleep only in terms of hours per night. Instead, think about sleep as cycles per week. Understand that any form of polyphasic sleep, which includes napping, is a natural antidote to the anxiety of getting nighttime sleep, and a supplement to your daily recovery.
To play out any great act, you have to set the stage. When it comes to sleep, this means eliminating the blue lights, keeping distractions to a minimum, making your room cool and dark like you’re a cave bear, and adding some plants to push some oxygen into your life.
How you sleep will determine how you sleep. Generally aim for sleeping on your side, in a secure position. If you are waking up in the night, try to manage your bedtime hydration, including minerals and electrolytes.
Bring It Home
You need to give yourself every advantage when pushing up against resistance. The first and most important thing you can do is forgive yourself for any imperfections, any expectations you haven’t lived up to. All you can do is your best, determined moment by moment. Perfection is a myth. If you forgive yourself, you will begin to feel that you deserve to change for the better, and so you will.
Creating an ethos is a shortcut to mastering mental override. It prevents you from the anguish of deliberation over your choices and starts to define the person you want to be. Create your ethos and support yourself with positive self-talk.
We are social creatures, designed to live in community with others. It is no surprise that accountability and support from our tribe is essential to creating any form of lasting change. Pick the day you want to own, begin the process, and let everyone you love know about it. Ask for their support, hold yourself accountable to your word, and you won’t just own that day, you will be setting yourself on the path to owning your life.