Advice from a Dentist: Rest Is The #1 Overlooked Ingredient for Entrepreneurial Success

Today I decided to blog about my favourite but most difficult to obtain ingredient for entrepreneurial success. REST!

Working to hard not enough rest

I try to keep a close eye on me health but am often distracted by the wholly grail of business: Money! If times are down I work inefficiently around the clock to try to “fix” the problem. I times are good I constantly check in and am overwhelmed by the success. In some cases I avoid outsourcing to feel more secure about my business. These thoughts happened to spill out at my last dentist appointment over in Edmonton.

Dentists have to have a bit on an entrepreneurial mindset themselves. They place a huge investment in their schooling and spend years and years before they get the big payoff. There is a lot of work to be done but how do you survive? This topic came up with my dentist when I went in to get an Invisalign treatment done. Something I too had procrastinated on. He asked me how things were going and noticed I was showing signs of stress aka grinding my teeth. I explained my scattered work pace where Ide go a day or two without work then end up spending 72 hours straight working.

He proceed to explain, the only way he survived getting through med school and reaching his goals was having a daily schedule that included elements that led to better rest. The big ones: scheduling social time and a specific wind down routine that would break him away form sitting on his computer till 4 am. (something I am absolutely guilty of.

First, scheduling social time. Too often student and entrepreneurs isolate themselves. Not only is success not found in a vacuum, but isolation can lead to all sorts of health problems. This dentist suggested having at least 3 scheduled monthly activities that are with completely different social groups that DO NOT INVOLVE DRINKING 😉 His were band practice twice a month, pool league and a round of golf with his University buddies.

Second: The Wind Down Routine. Personally this one changed my daily schedule. Previously, I would attempt to not be distracted by work and constantly check my emails on my phone right up to the moment I fell asleep. The signs were showing in my face and overall health. Something had to change. The dentist recommended the following. No screens for at least 2 hours before bed. For many this is extremely difficult as our cultures entertainment now revolves around screens. Instead, he suggested (perhaps an extreme sounding routine) 1 full hour of yoga or stretching, a small snack and a book to release your mind and get a full deep sleep. Here’s a video i’ve been using nightly.

Rest is often overlooked and not nearly as valued as it should be in western culture

A simple google search for tips to be a good entrepreneur will lead you to believe the following:

You are someone that is doing a job you really love and enjoy every second of the experience. Many will in fact tell you the key to success is following your passion…is this really the case. Perhaps another blog post will be needed here.

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What are you?

I recently listened to a radio segment describing one aspect of the money rat race that we don’t always consider. The line went something like this:

“You spend the first half of your life chasing financial goals and pushing to make as much money as possible, you spend the second half of your life spending that money to get back your youth”

 

What a god damn conundrum that is.

 

It’s the model that’s set out for what I like to call the average commoditized citizen.

 

What do I mean by commoditized citizen?

 

You walk into a room, you are asked a simple question. What do you do? Roughly translated to “What is the value that you add to society” “How much are you worth” “What are you contributing to the rat race game?”

 

From here most proceed to give a canned answer, “I’m a lawyer, I’m a CPA, I’m a vet, I’m a roofer”

 

IT’s innocent and an expected part of society. We have commoditized ourselves to this one role in the game.

There’s nothing wrong with this but it raises an interesting thought when we consider how I started this post….do we really want to spend our money earning days being a commodity to the system?

 

I say fuck no.

 

I say you have an option..leverage the system or be leveraged.

To Leverage or to be leveraged

This is where values and beliefs come in…personally, I found a mentor that had similar values and beliefs. I leveraged the 20 years of knowledge he had. Put together the blueprint I leveraged from his experience and found a way to not commoditize myself, rather commoditize my knowledge to produce the desired result faster, without spending my time serving as lawyer, CPA, VET or roofer…we all have a choice, what will you choose.

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Why Do Humans Do What Humans Do?

It’s pretty simple when you think about it. What really makes us do anything. We are either appoarching something or avoiding something. In psychological study they breakdown this behavior even further to the following behaviours:

 

Approach/Approach

Approach/Avoidance

Avoidance/Approach

Avoidance/Avoidance

 

In simpler terms: humans either pursue pleasure or avoid pain. Let’s go through an example and imagine which situation would cause you to take action.

 

 

Imagine you are a 350lb overweight unhealthy person that has never decided to take action and get your health in order. You’ve spent your life indulging watching every new hbo series that comes out and find it difficult to ismply drive past the local fast food options.

 

One day, you go for your annual checkup. You are expecting the usual, yu’re very unhealthy, if you continue this way you will do serious damage to your body. Except there is one thing different this time. You are told firmly and convincingly by your doctor that if you don’t lose 80lbs you’re like to lose you ability walk as your spine is showing sign of buldging discs and some other terrible sign of trouble form carrying the weight.

 

You take fast action, join a gym, get your diet in order and drop the 80lbs. You had 10 years of appointment hearing how your life would be better if you lost the weight, you would have more pleasure, you would feel better, BUT YOU NEVER TO ACTION.

 

Why is this?

 

Why wouldn’t you take action, lose the weight and enjoy a healthier life.

 

This is because our figurative overweight man had a greater drive to avoid the future pain of losing his ability to talk and spinal pain over his drive to approach a more pleasureable life as a man at a healthy weight.

 

Great, so what does this mean?

 

Fine and dandy you say? I’m not overweight you say. Well look at it another way…

 

Imagine you could foresee the pain and use that to drive you to act daily consistently toward your goals. We, as humans are cursed and blessed by freedom of choice. The most successful look far ahead into the future, see the pain points, and take action before they become real.

Drive and Passion

Let’s say our figurative overweight man had purchased 10 training and dieting programs over the years…he spent the time and money on obtaining everything he needed but then he just never followed through…why?

 

The results were wanted.

Why wouldn’t he follow through?

 

PAIN

 

Our guy saw the PAIN of working out and sticking to a diet to be greater than the pleasure of being in shape and having a healthy body. Think about how this could apply to your life?

 

Do you have a shitty job?

 

You’ve been planning to leave and find something new for a long time. But why haven’t you done it?

 

Because you believe the pain of going out and applying for a new job will be so great that you avoid it indefinitely despite the pleasure it will allow you in freeing you from your current position in life.

Continue reading Why Do Humans Do What Humans Do?