(Breather) In this episode, I share key points from a brilliant article by Michael Simmons about compound time. He implores you to think outside the box and look at somewhat contradictory things that super successful people like Oprah and Warren Buffett do that seem counterintuitive to success.
Simmons proposes that this “counterintuitive” behavior, like slowing down, working less, taking some chill time, working on prioritizing and to-do lists, is actually extremely beneficial and maybe even the key to their success. Let’s break it down into 6 key tips:
Tip #1: Start keeping a journal today. It will change your life.
Many studies have shown the many benefits that come with keeping a journal each day, but why not try for a more active form of journaling, by using prompts, instead of just freewriting? Simmons cites Benjamin Franklin who asked himself, “What good shall I do this day?” every morning and ended his evenings by asking himself, “What good have I done today?” as well as Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey, who both start their days by counting their blessings and writing lists in their journals of what they are grateful for. And remember, journaling really isn’t just for gratitude lists – it’s just as good for you when you’re taking notes, writing down observations, sketching – literally whatever it is that helps you make sense of life. Leonardo DaVinci filled tens of thousands of pages with sketches of art, observations and notes, ideas. Albert Einstein filled 80,000 pages, and President John Adams had kept 51 journals by the end of his life. And have you ever noticed that after writing down your thoughts and experiences, you actually feel clearer and more focused? Well, researchers call this “writing to learn” – a process that helps bring order and meaning to our experiences. It’s a great tool for knowledge and discovery because our brain can only really manage three separate complexities at any given moment, so writing things in a journal really helps you see things in your life clearly. I’ve actually kept a workout log since I was a teenager since high school, but it doesn’t really matter which areas of your life you start keeping track of, just that you know that writing them down is an essential tool for noticing patterns and getting more focused in your daily life.
Tip #2: Nap’s are where it’s at! They dramatically increase learning, memory, awareness, creativity, and productivity.
According to nap researcher Sara Mednick, author of “Take A Nap! Change Your Life,” “With naps of an hour to an hour and a half… you get close to the same benefits in learning consolidation that you would from a full eight hour night’s sleep.” People who study in the morning do 30% better on an evening test (if they have taken an hour-long nap). In fact, taking afternoon naps might optimize evening sleep for those suffering from insomnia!
Unconvinced? Well, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Leonardo Da Vinci, Margaret Thatcher, and Bill Clinton are all famous nappers.
Additionally, studies show that napping doesn’t just boost your productivity, but your creativity as well. After all, Salvador Dali, chess grandmaster Josh Waitzkin, and Edgar Allen Poe were all fond of using naps to induce hypnagogia, a state of awareness existing between sleep and wakefulness that could take them to greater heights in their creativity.
Tip #3: Walk every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Most people forget how powerful the simple act of walking is, but trust me, you do not want to let yourself slide with this one! Just 15 minutes of walking does wonders for you, enhancing your brain function, immune function, and fat metabolism.
Charles Darwin, Beethoven, Charles Dickens, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Aristotle, and Winston Churchill were all were notable walkers. Also, we now have scientific data that proves that taking a walk literally does refresh your mind and body, as well as boost your creativity. Plus, it can even extend your lifespan! Check out this one 12-year study focusing adults over the age of 65, who walked for 15 minutes everyday, which reduced their mortality by 22%.
Tip #4: Reading is one of the most beneficial activities we can invest in.
Winston Churchill is one of many, many notable people who love to read. He spent several hours a day reading about history, philosophy, biographies, and economics. Unsurprisingly, the list of US presidents who were also bookworms is looong: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and Theodore Roosevelt of course, who would read one book in a day on a busy day, and two to three when he had enough time during a free evening.
Other notable readers? Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban (3+ hours a day), billionaire entrepreneur Arthur Blank (2+ hours a day), billionaire investor David Rubenstein (6 books a week), Disney CEO Bob Iger, who gets up every morning at 4:30 to read, and Oprah Winfrey, who credits reading for much of her success (and was so advanced as a young child because of her literacy level that she skipped two grades in school!).
Reading books isn’t just a pleasurable and educational activity, they improve your memory, increase your empathy, and de-stress you too. Bottom line: yes, reading books takes time, but it’s 100% time well spent.
Tip #5: Conversation partners lead to surprising breakthroughs.
Joshua Shenk makes a strong argument in his book Powers Of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs that the foundation of creativity is social, not individual. Citing academic research on innovation, Shenk focuses on famous creative partners like John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Marie and Pierre Curie, and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky actually began working on their then-new theory of behavioral economics (that won Kahneman the Nobel Prize) during long daily walks they used to take (which surely sparked their creativity and cognitive function), and J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to meet at a pub on Monday’s share their work and discuss writing with one another. Check out the book, and think about the people in your life who spark your creativity and really stimulate your mind…
Tip #6: Success is a direct result of the number of experiments you perform.
Mistakes feel, naturally, super discouraging. No one ever feels good after messing something up. But being discouraged never helps you. Failing is ok. Learn to love failure! Look at Thomas Edison: it took him 50,000 botched experiments until he had success with a model of the alkaline storage cell battery, and then 9,000 tries until he perfected the light bulb. When he died, he had almost 1,100 U.S. patents!
All you need to do is experiment. And then experiment some more. Try. Try again. And again. Einstein utilized thought experiments (for example, he would imagine himself chasing a light beam through space) as a method to help his imagination as he worked on creating scientific theories. And Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”
We live in a frantic world where most people are hyper-focused on work, work, work. But these “top performers” that Simmons refers to are deliberate in how they spend their time and where they put their focus. A lot of that focus is on compound time: the things that create the most long-term value.
Follow their example and invest just one hour out of your day on compound time: read a book, take a walk, sink down into a nap, call a friend and have a fun and interesting conversation…just do something. And don’t even dare to think you’re wasting your time, because that couldn’t be further from the truth! Stepping away from the things that stress you out is a great way you can invest in your future, and it also happens to be how some of the world’s greatest thinkers and leaders spend their time, so try it out – there’s clearly something to it.
Brad talks about the best use of your time in order to enhance productivity. [03:35]
Keep a journal. [05:57]
Overtraining can cause digestive system problems. [09:01]
Taking a nap will not compromise your evening sleep patterns. [11:46]
The big high energy workouts might not be as beneficial as taking a 15-minute walk. [17:01]
Reading is one of the most beneficial activities we can invest in [21:02]
Put down your phone and try face-to-face conversations with other people to make a solid social connection. [25:41]
Keep experimenting. Don’t be afraid of failing. [27:50]
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:08 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high stress modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 03:35 Let’s take a breather and learn about compound time. This is a concept conveyed in a brilliant article on the medium.com by Michael Simmons. I’ve talked about him before on the show. Nice job, lad. And this concept embodied by Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein in his day, and Oprah Winfrey, they all do this one thing outside of their to do list every day. He’s starting the article, uh, asking that question, why are there peak performers that keep going and making amazing breakthroughs while the rest of us struggle along, maybe plateau. And he, uh, proposes that these top performers do something that’s possibly counterintuitive. They slow down, work less, and invest in activities that have quoting longer term payoff in greater knowledge, creativity and energy. They take some chill time, they spend time organizing their to do list, prioritizing all that great stuff. So the article is going to give you, uh, an assortment of tips.
Brad: 04:39 Let’s see, I know, hang in there a five. You can handle six tips. Come on, not 27, it’s six, but he’s going to go through these wonderfully and give all these examples of peak performers, uh, doing what he calls compound time. So it’s the comparison to compound interest. So compound time builds, you spend one hour doing something highly productive and advocating for yourself, such as taking a nap and you get it returned in droves, in a multiples a the nap thing for sure. I’m so big on that. I notice, uh, at certain certain days, at certain points in the afternoon where I’m losing my productivity, my focus and my discipline to stay focused. So if I’m sitting there and somehow my browser and my mouse has drifted over to YouTube, but I’m watching a very entertaining YouTube video. Instead of doing work, I realize I’m losing my edge, man. And when you do that, when you discover that, close that lid, get up. If you can go take a nap, that’s great. If you’re in a a, a workplace situation, do something to uh, rejuvenate. It might be a five minute walk around the office courtyard or down three flights of stairs and back up. I know you can do it. I know you have time. No excuses because if you’re losing productivity, uh, everyone loses, right?
Brad: 05:57 So the first number one on the list of how to, uh, cash in on compound time. Michael Simmons article on medium.com. Keep a journal, Ben Franklin, the man back then every single day he asked himself, what good shall I do this day? And each evening he asked what good ;have I done today, Steve jobs did in front of the mirror every day and asked himself if this were the last day of my life, how should I spend it? A billionaires, media empire, people like Arianna Huffington, a report that they’d take a few minutes each morning to do the gratitude exercise. Might be a gratitude journal, might be a a meditation or something. It’s getting very, very popular. It must be something to that, people. What are you grateful for right now? Pause the recording. Cough up a few. I’m grateful for you and listening to the show. How about that for starters?
Brad: 06:53 You know what Oprah does at the start of the day? Uh, she opens up her gratitude journal and writes down five things she’s thankful for. Yes. Journaling can do many things outside the gratitude. Peter Drucker, legendary management consultant. Whenever he makes a big decision, he writes down what he expects to happen and then several months later goes back and compares the results so we can learn from whatever it was, his hubris, his accuracy, things that work, things that didn’t. Did you know that Leonardo DaVinci filled tens of thousands of pages with sketches and notes about his art, his inventions, his observations of the world, his ideas. Einstein filled 80,000 pages of notes in his lifetime. President John Adams took 50, kept 51 journals total. I guess someone must’ve found those. And uh, read through them to write a biography on John Adams. Wild times a Michael Simmons asks, ever notice that after writing your thoughts, plans, and experiences, you feel clearer and more focused. Researchers call this writing to learn. It helps bring order and meaning to our experiences and becomes a potent tool for knowledge and discovery. It augments our ability to think about complex topics that have dozens of interrelated parts because our brain by itself can only manage three complexities in any given moment.
Brad: 08:16 Interesting. And this is hyperlink. So you can read the research about this. So if you’re writing a journal and going through one complex thought to the next and putting them all together in a chain, you can sit back, take a look at it, see the patterns emerge. One example that I have is my, uh, exercise log. So I’ve kept this log of my workouts, uh, dating back to when I was a teenager running in high school. And yeah, you don’t want to get all wedded to the journal and be a slave to your training log going out there to try to put up numbers and feel like you’re being consistent. That’s a horrible mistake that a lot of athletes are guilty of is having an ego involved. Uh, this is sort of for me, uh, my discipline is to make it an after the fact observation that didn’t inform my decision.
Brad: 09:01 It just recorded the results. And it’s really great cause I can look back, uh, over a pattern. Let’s say in a month time. I usually summarize at the end of the month, uh, how many hours of cardiovascular activity did I deliver? How many high intensity workouts did I perform? What were some of the highlights, you know, some of the best things I did in the month. Uh, and what are some totals in comparison to my historical average. And one thing I discovered, I think I talked about this on a recent show, was I was feeling so great early in the summer of 2019 slamming these awesome high intensity strength training sessions and sprint workouts. And I talked about modifying my approach to high intensity workouts, the high intensity repeat training concept, uh, promoted by Dr. Craig Marker and how it transformed my approach to my sprint workouts such that I kept perform some really high quality sessions and recover much faster than I had for many, many years because my workouts were slightly too stressful.
Brad: 09:58 My sprints were too long in duration and in particular the uh, recovery time was too short. So I felt great doing it. I was jacked up, I was pumped up and then the next 24, 48 hours, I was really feeling it. So by lengthening the rest period, I was able to maintain high quality. And so I’m taking notes about these great sprint workouts going out there two or three days later and doing another one, going out and doing another one where typically for the previous, what 13 years, I would usually get in one sprint workout every seven to 10 days. That’s why Mark Sisson and I recommend exactly that in the Primal Blueprint that these things are tough. Take a while to recover. All of a sudden I’m a superstar. What the heck is going on? And I’ll tell you what the heck went on was I felt so great, got so pumped up that I ended up hitting the, um, the breaking point and I kinda fell apart and developed a digestive ailment of unknown specificity.
Brad: 10:52 But a lot of times the digestive system is the first thing to go. I remember that happening to me frequently when I was training on the triathlon circuit and putting in many, many hours a day, you just start to feel funny in your digestive tract and that’s just a breakdown of your, uh, immune system, your resiliency, uh, as, uh, caused by over-training patterns. And then you start to have difficulty digesting and assimilating nutrients and recovering. So my, uh, enthusiasm cost me about a month of quality exercise because I was recovering for a long time and boy, Oh boy, when I whipped out that training journal back to the topic at hand, I could see everything playing out. Like what a ridiculous, uh, a pattern that happened. I think I did seven high intensity workouts in 11 days and didn’t even realize it. Uh, thanks to the the journal, I could slap myself in the face and get refocused.
Brad: 11:46 Okay. So number one is keep a journal. Number two, take a nap when you need one. Naps can dramatically increase learning, memory, awareness, creativity and productivity. There’s a book called taken up, change your life by nap researcher Sara Mednick. She’s now based at UC San Diego and I believe UC Riverside. Harvard trained a napping expert. I love the stuff that she talks about in her book, “Take a Nap, Change your Life”. Uh, pulling from a decade of experiments. Mednick boldly states that with naps of an hour to an hour and a half, you get close to the same benefits in learning consolidation that you would from a full eight hours night’s sleep. People who study in the morning do 30% better on an evening test if they had taken an hour long nap than if they don’t. I talk about this subject with so many people. I’m doing my own little research project. Hey, you take naps ever?
Brad: 12:41 And I find that most adults just don’t, they don’t have time. They offer up an excuse. Like, no, not at my, the nature of my job, my workplace, whatever, that doesn’t lend itself to it. Uh, I never need one on and on. We go. I don’t want to mess up my evening sleep, which is a concept that’s a widely held. Uh, but dr Mednick, uh, destroys this in her book. She says, if you have insomnia or trouble sleeping in the evening, a nap might just optimize your sleep and your ability to fall asleep because you’re not in that zombie mode or that stress hormone production coming from an overly stressful day. You didn’t take that break in the afternoon and then you lie down to sleep and it’s hard to, uh, an unwind from the high stress mode that you’ve been operating in. So she says, taking a nap absolutely will not compromise your evening sleep patterns.
Brad: 13:32 Now, 60 to 90 minutes. That’s a huge ask. I don’t think there’s too many people out there, uh, that can, uh, donate that, uh, to their busy daily schedule. Uh, I certainly did when I was racing, my typical nap period was, uh, between an hour and a half and two hours. Almost every afternoon, uh, you know, five or six days a week I was down for my nap. It was part of my day. It was part of my life. And without it, I could not have trained at the, uh, the level that I did. So it was precious to me. So today in a normal life, my policy is to take a nap when I feel like I need one. And it used to be, uh, quite frequently, maybe five days a week. Now it’s probably three or four, but there are definitely associated with a workout , energy output.
Brad: 14:20 So when I’ve had a good workout, I really love the idea of pairing that with a nap at some point on occasion. Um, all intuitive here, people, not, I’m not a robot, but on occasion I will come home from a sprint workout and just lie down in the sun for like five or six or seven minutes. And I feel like it has a huge impact on my ability to recover and pop up and feel good for the rest of the day rather than, uh, carry that fatigue along. But definitely pairing, let’s say a Saturday morning, high intensity workout. I like to go sprint on Saturday morning while Mia Moore goes to her hard class at the gym. Then we meet up after and nap time after a busy work week, Monday through Friday, the weekend comes fit and nap in. Oh boy. It will change your life. And all these people throughout history are so big time on the napping.
Brad: 15:09 We got to talk about Albert Einstein because every day he’d come home from his office in Princeton, New Jersey, have lunch, take a nap, wake up with a cup of tea to start the afternoon. Thomas Edison napped for up to three hours per day. He also didn’t sleep much at night. If you look into that crazy stuff, he was like this multi-phase IX sleeper, polyphasic sleeper, Winston Churchill, you’ve probably heard about him and his, uh, a fixture in the napping scene. Uh, non-negotiable. Everything had to stop. The world had to stop. They, one of the world leaders for his afternoon nap. John F. Kennedy took a one to two hour nap in the afternoon. A DaVinci was known to take up to a dozen, 10 minute naps per day. Napoleon, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson, John Rockefeller, Margaret Thatcher, Arnold Swartzenager every afternoon, and bill Clinton for 15 to 60 minutes a day, all reported highly touted nappers how cool is that?
Brad: 16:09 And again, if you can only get 10 minutes and you have to go to your vehicle in the parking lot or a park bench and just sit outside, and even if you’re not inclined to try to fall asleep, I always fall asleep on my naps and I wake up feeling like it’s morning, I feel fantastic. But I’ve had to build this skill. I put on the rainfall app on my phone and I do these sort of ritual exercises to get my, uh, my brain in the napping mood. But especially developing the ability to just unplug and realize it’s okay that the world’s not gonna stop if you go take a nap. That’s a great skill because you’re, you tapping into that at other times in life too, such as when you’re going out to dinner in a social setting and you flip your phone face down and you realize that you’re allowed to unplug and just stay focused on the moment. So I think napping has a all peripheral benefits to besides just getting that rest at that time, getting good at unplugging.
Brad: 17:01 Hack number three, 15 minutes of walking per day can do wonders. There’s some interesting research that we put in the Keto for Life Book about walking and how it enhances brain function, immune function, fat metabolism to the extent that we’re so accustomed to counting our calories burned at these intense workouts and thinking that’s going to make the huge dent, uh, in a body fat goal and it’s not really true. Uh, there’s a concept called the compensation theory. I’ve talked about it on other shows where if you perform a high energy output workout, your body has assorted ways to compensate to get you back to a break even rather than this awesome caloric deficit that you achieve so you burn off extra body fat.
Brad: 17:49 So if you wake up at 6:00 AM and get your butt over to that spin class and burn 650 calories in a 40 minute spin class, I used to work for Spinning and they did research and found out how many calories you’re burning off during spin class. Guess what? You have an increased likelihood over the course of the day to consume around that many additional calories, uh, more than you might on a day where you don’t exercise. And it’s the compensation theory of restoring and replenishing, especially when you do a depleting workout like a high stress workout or you work out in a chronic pattern. Uh, the appetite hormones, the brain gets the message to, uh, restore and rejuvenate energy. It’s sort of a fight or flight response if you can imagine where, uh, depleting our, our cellular energy, depleting our muscle glycogen is an alarm system for the body because it could be life or death and primal times.
Brad: 18:42 If you run out of energy, Oh my gosh, you are going to be triggered to restock and refuel the tank. So the high intensity sessions, the, the big time stuff that you proudly write into your exercise log is not as important as just needing a more generally active daily lifestyle. When you sit, when you are still for as short as 20 minutes, you will have a measurable deficit in fat metabolism. You will have a measurable deficit in brain function and oxygen and brain circulate blood circulation in the brain. So keeping moving and going for that walk. Lots of support for that from the big shots of life, including Charles Darwin took two walks daily, one at noon, one at 4:00 PM .Beethoven took a long walk with his pencil and a sheet of music paper. If something clicked in for him, a Nicha said quote, it is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth.
Brad: 19:40 Wow. That’s pretty hardcore, huh? Okay. Um, Gandhi took a long walk every day. You know, the Twitter guy, Jack Dorsey is a considered a little bit of a goofball. He’s been on some podcasts and talking about his alternative lifestyle habits that the mainstream media loves to get fascinated about and uh, position him as a freak. He does his cold exposure every day and he walks to work. He walks to Twitter five miles every morning, uh, without apparently without a phone. I think he said that on some of his podcasts where he’s just walking, soaking in the city. I believe San Francisco. Yeah. So there’s a Walker right there running the operation, uh, changing tech culture. Steve Jobs took a long walk when it was time to have a serious talk and on and on. Aristotle, a Winston Churchill. So gosh, Churchill had his, a walking going and also his napping. Uh, but I thought he was a big, uh, out of shape guy and that was his caricature. Uh, I can’t remember, but anyway, at least he had some things going for him. Here’s the scientific data to prove what these geniuses intuited. Taking a walk refreshes the mind and body and increases creativity in one study that lasted 12 years of adults over age 65 walking 15 minutes a day, reduced mortality by 22%.
Brad: 21:02 Now we get to number four. Can you memorize what the first three were? Yes. Keep a journal, take naps, take a 15 minute walk per day at least. And number four, reading is one of the most beneficial activities we can invest in. Oh, I’d have to agree. And I’m so, uh, behind on my reading, I feel sad about it. I get tired at night after a long, busy day. Granted, I read a lot during the day for my job. Uh, but if you can find a little bit of time to crack open a book, not that cheesy, sleazy clickbait that we’re all accustomed to wasting time reading, but something of real value.
Brad: 21:42 Yeah. Again, Churchill was big time reading for several hours a day. Warren Buffett reading for huge chunks of time every single day. Bill Gates books. He claims is the number one favorite learning medium of mr tech guy. Interesting, huh? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, JFK were all voracious readers. Theodore Roosevelt read one book a day when he was busy and two or three books a day when he had more free time. Uh, Mark Cuban, uh, claimed to read three hours a day. That’s the Shark Tank guy, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks swash buckle and cool reality TV dude reading, building his skills, and uh, again going for that compound time. So yeah, reading books takes a while. Let’s say you spend five hours reading books. I can list on my, uh, many hands and toes the books that have changed my life. So imagine if I donated what, five or six hours to read.
Brad: 22:42 Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Go listen to the podcast if you don’t have time to read it. Uh, life changing from Dr. John Gray. Uh, the number one bestselling relationship author of all time, a popular new age author, Dan Millman, wrote way of the peaceful warrior back in the mid to late eighties. I picked up that book at the recommendation of my friend Johnny G, read it. Absolutely life changing. I’ve read it, and no less than 15 times. I read it once a year for years and years after that. Highly recommended. So think about that. And you know what? You’re allowed to bail out. I’m gonna give you that. Uh, if the book’s not doing it for you or the point has been made in the early pages, which is oftentimes the case and you’re getting it, you got it. It’s in your head. You got another big stack of books to read.
Brad: 23:28 Uh, try to be selective and make the most of your time. And of course, uh, fiction has many other, uh, benefits, uh, especially the unwinding benefits. So the sleep experts recommend in the evening hours that you read, uh, pleasure fiction rather than a or news or current events because those will have a different impact on your brain. The fiction will bring you down, make you sleepy, have a smooth transition right into a good night’s sleep. Oprah Winfrey credits books for much of her success. Elon Musk read two books per day when he was younger. Mark Zuckerberg reads books on a regular basis. Jeff Bezos read hundreds of science fiction novels by the time he was 13. And what’s the direct application to all that and succeeding in business? Well, we try to draw these linear lines all the time, but I think when you develop these skills of critical thinking and problem solving, you can access those in any direction.
Brad: 24:25 You can take art history as a college major and go right into the tech scene and start applying the same sort of general brain skills to many other goals. So it doesn’t have to be a book that’s gonna change your life right away. Uh, it might just be a pleasure read, but you build your reading skills, build your comprehension skills. Wonderful. Okay. I mean, here’s me saying this, where in high school I barely paid attention. I went to this crazy public high school in Los Angeles. There was a way to get through high school with very, very minimal effort. And somehow I was drawn, magnetized to that. Unlike some of my more studious friends who would take the proper classes, sit in the front row and actually learn chemistry. And most of my time in high school was spent reading the sports page. But I read that thing from cover to cover. S I was in, had an encyclopedic knowledge about all manner of sports and this served me in many different ways, way outside the realm of sports because it was just that, that passion, that enthusiasm, that reading comprehension, memorizing facts, organizing disparate pieces of knowledge. Yeah. So it just happened to be in the sports page. Go figure. Instead of the classic novels of our time that uh, now I’m kind of embarrassed to say I didn’t really get to in high school. Everyone’s like, well, you didn’t read Grapes of Wrath. I’m like, grapes of what?
Brad: 25:41 And okay, so number five, conversation connection can lead to surprising breakthroughs. Uh, here’s a quote from author Joshua Shank. He says, the foundation of creativity is social, not individual. And he has a book called the Powers of Two, finding the essence of innovation in creative pairs and talking about how many a great innovators did. So with a partners or people to bounce things off of, sometimes of disparate points of view. Who was the executive that was famous for hiring a disparate voices rather than a yes people, maybe it was Steve Jobs. He’s listed in here also. So many examples of Batman and Robin, people who shared ideas shared their work. Uh, J R R token and CS Lewis, the great authors set aside Mondays to meet at a pub and talk about their work. Remember, Crick and Watson, the co discoverers of DNA, great scientists. They battled ideas back and forth relentlessly, uh, both in their shared office and during daily lunches. If Crick presented a flawed idea, quote, Watson would tell me no one certain terms that this was nonsense and vice versa. Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett took two hours every morning to recount the previous days, artistic activities in detail. Oh, on and on. Cool stuff.
Brad: 27:09 Find some time to connect to put those phones down. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burrows were some cool dudes that hung out a lot together. Maybe you recognize some of those last names from the automotive industry. They took road trips each summer, camping, climbing and sitting around the campfire discussing the various scientific and business ventures and debating the pressing issues of the day. Oh my gosh, I lost art today. Really miss that stuff. Even in my own life with my buddies and all the time we spent and when we were young, I can recall in high school and college when there were no screens in front of our faces constantly, we spent hours and hours talking. Yeah. Okay. Try to find a way to get back to that.
Brad: 27:50 And finally we get to number six, success is a direct result of the number of experiments you perform. And uh, going hand in hand with that is the idea that failing is okay. Failing is pushing you forward. Dave Rossi, remember I did that show with him. Go back and listen to it. He’s a leadership seminar expert and I remember he got face to face with me one on one. This was during his weekend retreat, but we were just casually talking at lunch and he was processing me about my fears and redirecting my fears to uh, my passion and purpose. Remember those great insights from the Dave Rossi show. And somehow he got me down, pinned me into the corner and, and said, um, Oh, I was afraid of failing. And he says, what about this? What about that? And I said, well, what if I fail? And he goes, tell me any a time in your life when you’ve ever failed. Uh, well, Oh, well that, Oh yeah. That led to that, uh, that led to that, that quote unquote failure and led to that.
Brad: 28:48 And how can you call these failures? It was your destiny as your path. And maybe it wasn’t a pleasant, enjoyable or successful by conventional standards, but everything we’ve been through, uh, led us to where we are today. So you can’t really call it a failure. You can if you want and get stuck in a rut of a negative mindset, but there’s another way and, uh, doing these experiments. Who does that? Who’s big on that? Jeff Bezos. Mr. Rich guy. Huh? That was a pretty heavy stat that we heard during the, uh, presidential debates that the three richest people in America have more wealth than the bottom 50%. It’s pretty crazy. I think it’s Bezos, Buffett, and Bill Gates or something might be wrong, but the concentration of wealth is pretty stunning. Uh, what does it, the top 1%, the 1%, so to speak, have more wealth than the bottom 90%.
Brad: 29:46 Hey, I probably need a fact check on this show that reminds me to give a plug for this, uh, great podcasts I recently discovered from Dax Shepherd. You know, the actor, funny guy, uh, best known by me anyway for his amazing role in the classic movie idiocrasy but he’s done many more great things, but he started this podcast and it’s been a critically claimed. It talks to a lot of Hollywood celebrities and, uh, it’s called Armchair Expert because he professes to be an expert on all this stuff. And then the last several minutes of the show are dedicated to he and his assistant going through all the stuff he spouted in the show and, uh, finding out, researching for the accuracy and correcting things. Pretty funny. Armchair expert, Dax Shepard, good podcast, uh, and Dax, tell your listeners to come listen to Get Over Yourself, too. He’s really on that wavelength and love that guy.
Brad: 30:34 He’s a recovering addict. He talks about his sobriety and his vulnerability had Bernee Brown on there hitting some really important talking points while being super funny. So what a great thing to aspire to. Huh? So yeah. Bezos it’s all about at Amazon is performing experiments. He says our success is an at Amazon as a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day, and continuing bayzos uh, his business philosophy, uh, given a 10% chance of a hundred times payoff. You should take that bet every time, but you’re still going to be wrong nine times out of 10. How about the Mark Sisson interview, the ultimate Mark Sisson interview, one of the early shows on the Get Over Yourself podcast channel. He was talking about his entrepreneurial journey and his, a foundational belief that all you need is one home run and to make up for all the fits and starts and business failures and struggles because you keep swinging for the fences.
Brad: 31:35 We all know that if you swing for the fences, this is now a author of the article, Michael Simmons opining if you swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out in a lot, but you’re also going to hit some home runs. The difference between baseball and business is that baseball has a truncated outcome distribution. When you swing, no matter how well you connect with the ball, the most runs you get is a four. If there’s people on base in business, every once in a while you step up to the plate and you can score a thousand runs. Oh, excuse me, that was a quote from Bezos. So obviously they tried a lot of stuff at Amazon, did some crazy stuff, and here they are taking over the world for better or for worse. Huge success. Same with Edison. He had 50,000 botched experiments before he invented the alkaline storage cell battery and he had 9,000 failed experiments before he perfected the light bulb.
Brad: 32:24 So whatever that means for you. Obviously you’re not in a must of us are not in a scientific laboratory performing experiments, but there’s so many other ways to, uh, interpret this and take some chances in life. Do some new stuff. Try some new things out. See what happens. Realize that a big success can come when you take the big risks and manage your risk accordingly. See where it takes you. Huh? Standup comics are notorious for this. Most of us audience members don’t even realize this, but when a comic is putting together their bit, their routine that’s going to be on the HBO special, they prepare for months and months and test it out on small, obscure audiences all over the place. They’ll just pop randomly into, uh, uh, comedy clubs or nightclubs to try out their material. Uh, famous comedy store in LA is known for just having a big time.
Brad: 33:23 Guy will just show up and take the mic one night. You’ll get lucky and you’ll hear Adam Sandler working at his new stuff. Uh, Chris Rock has mentioned in this article I just heard Kevin Hart on the Joe Rogan podcast talk about, uh, hitting the road and going to these random small clubs in Denver or Atlanta, uh, working on his stuff, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and then piecing together the masterful, uh, hour long comedy special that’s ready for prime time. So experimenting, failing, assessing, moving on even works in comedy as well as for Jeff Bezos, uh, having Amazon take over the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson, no less than Ralph Waldo Emerson said, quote, all life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. So we have your taking a nap. Oh, excuse me. Keeping a journal, taking a nap, taking a 15 minute walk per day, reading to expand your knowledge, getting a partner in conversation, socializing, connecting to be more creative.
Brad: 34:31 And then finally, feel free to experiment. You’re putting it all together. You’re getting compounded time in a world where frantic work is the focus. Top performers should focus deliberately on learning and rest. Slow down, work less, learn more and think long term. Great finish, great article. Take some time. Every day devoted to the nap, the walk, reading the book, having a conversation and author Michael Simmons says, you may doubt yourself, feel guilty or even worry that you’re wasting time. You’re not step away from your to do list just for an hour and invest in your future. This approach has worked for some of the world’s greatest minds and it can work for you too. Thank you for listening to this show. Hey, this counts. This counts, right? You took a half an hour out. Tell him, listen to the breather. Good job. Put it to work.
Brad: 35:30 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love it if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars and it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to. Thanks for doing it.