3 ways to use sleep for more success.

If you want to climb a mountain you have to take all the steps to get to the top. There is no way around that. The higher and steeper the mountain, the more effort is required. There is no elevator, escalator, or Wonavator to the summit. Sorry, Charlie.

To make sure you are prepared to do the work you need to take care of your personal machinery. That means getting good exercise and eating well. But there is a third pillar of hard work that is not to be ignored, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

Sleep

Getting good sleep is one of the most underrated ingredients of success. A good night of sleep is the first step to preparing for a day of hard work, be it mental or physical, like Olivia Newton-John, or Dua Lipa.

It is valuable to run your own sleep experiments to determine 3-important numbers in your personal sleep arsenal.

  1. Your optimal amount of sleep. This is your perfect night of sleep for optimal performance. Which means you wake up fully refreshed and energized. For most people, this is 6 to 9 hours. I insist on getting my optimal amount of sleep on Sunday nights in order to start my work week at full charge.
  2. Your working minimum. This is your sustainable nightly sleep total that will enable you to function at a high level.  This could be a couple of hours less than your optimal sleep. For example, my optimal sleep is 7.5 hours. I can’t remember the last year I slept a night longer than that. But my working minimum is 5 hours. I can crush it for several days on 5 nightly hours of sleep.
  3. Your absolute minimum. This is the minimum amount of sleep you must-have to be able to put in a full day of work. It is useful to know this number for times when you really need to push yourself because of extreme demands or massive opportunities. My number is 4 hours. But there were times when I was first launching my business (The Weaponry) as a night and weekend project that I was sleeping for only 2 or 3 hours at night. I was loving the business progress and the results. While the absolute minimum pace is not sustainable, it is good to know you can do it if you need to.

Sleep-Food Substitution

Sleep is like food for your mind and body. A night of sleep or a nap refreshes and energizes you as if you were eating a meal. In fact, I consider food and sleep interchangeable. In situations where I am tired and can’t sleep, I eat. In situations where I am low on energy but can’t or don’t want to eat, I sleep to reenergize. This simple substitution has helped me recharge and power through many a low-energy crisis. I encourage you to add this technique to your personal energy policy.

Key Takeaway:

Serious achievement requires serious work. Keep your mind, body and spirit strong through regular exercise, nutrition and sleep. Understand your own personal sleep/performance needs. Then prioritize your sleep accordingly. Because every great day starts the night before.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Are you listening to the right people right now?

When we were young we learned about proper nutrition in school. We learned about nutrients like vitamins, proteins and calcium. Foods were sorted into cliques called food groups. We discovered that our favorite foods like cotton candy, donuts and Cheez Whiz were nutritional ghost towns. While spinach, which was among the un-coolest foods, were the nutritional equivalent to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Cue the Mariah Carey meltdown.

Eating the right things has a major impact on how we feel. As adults we know which foods we should and shouldn’t eat. We know which foods help us feel good, and which ones make us feel bad. #waferthinmint

But it is just as important to recognize the nutritional value of what you listen to. The music you listen to while lying in a hammock is different from the music on your workout playlist. Because what you listen to has a major impact on how you feel.

We all get to choose what we listen to. And who we listen to. And how much we consume.

Take a moment to evaluate your listening habits.

  • Are you listening to the right things right now?
  • Are you listening to the right people?
  • Are you hearing things that make you feel better or worse?
  • Is it helping or hurting your fortitude?
  • Is it positively impacting your mood?
  • Is it making you want to charge the hill or crawl in hole?
  • It is providing answers?
  • Is it inspiring good ideas?
  • Is it calming?
  • It is me you’re looking for? (Lionel Richie wants to know)

Selective Hearing

I have developed highly selective hearing. I have a hard time hearing that which doesn’t help. That which doesn’t get me closer to the answers, make me feel better, or give me something actionable to do. You can do the same thing. And it extremely helpful during challenging times like these.

Key Takeaway

Pay close attention to what you are listening to right now. And who you are listening to. Become a picky listener. Listen to learn. Listen to become energized and inspired. Listen for the good stories. Listen for the positive outlook and the great advice. Remember, You get to choose what you tune in and what you tune out. And the results are significant.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.