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Do you love what you do for a living?

When it comes to start-up investing, it has been said that one unicorn can make up for a dozen duds. What that means is that if you can find a company in its very early stages, like a Twitter or Apple or Google, you can make such a disproportionate amount of money from that one company, it can make up for dozens of investments that never worked out. Just a couple of those and you can be set for life. The challenge is that they are so rare and so hard to find, most people never reach that elite echelon of the few people that have had the insight, foresight, and luck to stumble upon a unicorn like that. Many people never even step in the kiddie pool of start-up investing (myself included), because they know the odds are significantly stacked against them.

Unfortunately, many people feel the same way about finding a career, occupation, or business they can fall in love with. Many of you are probably smirking right now about the idea of “falling in love” with your work. You might be thinking I am crazy for thinking it is possible to love your work. “It is work for crying out loud! It isn’t supposed to be fulfilling. It is supposed to fill the space between weekends. Am I right?!”

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Here is a fact, at least in my world: You should love what you do for a living. You are going to spend at least half of your waking day working. Count in travel back and forth, prep time, and planning, and it adds up to most of our day working. Why would you accept doing what you do not love?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not encouraging you to quit your job tomorrow if you decide that you don’t absolutely love it, but you should have a plan to create more fulfillment or a timeline for an exit strategy. You should be working on pursuing something you would love rather than settling for a lifetime of mediocrity.

When you look back on your life, it is really important to ask yourself a few questions.

#1 Will I be proud of what I accomplished in my life and the path I have chosen to live?

#2 If I could do it all over again, would I do something different?

#3 Will I regret any way that I have lived my life?

If you answered “no” to the first question or “yes” to the last two questions, it’s time to make a change. Don’t just sit back and wait for the life you would love to live. You have to make the tough decisions and get to work.

All the best,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

Churchill

Two Common Traits of the Ultra-Successful

After dozens of interviews with some really successful entrepreneurs, I find there are 2 universal traits that each one of them possesses. One of them is a no-brainer, but the other one may surprise you. The one common trait that none of them possesses as their number one motivation is the acquisition of wealth. The two things they all have in common is persistence and an unparalleled level of contribution.

Churchill

Courtesy of www.quotesgram.com

Contribution

A really interesting topic came up when I was speaking with an ultra-successful entrepreneur who is in the insurance business. He has built an extraordinary business from just a single agent to well over 350 agents and growing.

I just assumed because he was so busy that now he only worked with high net worth clients because of his time constraints and how busy his schedule was. He looked at me almost confused. He said, “Not at all. I will work with anyone that needs and wants my services. I would argue that the janitor in this building needs my help more than the millionaire.”

That is exactly why he has built the extraordinary business that he has created. His commitment to service is unparalleled. When I interviewed him for the podcast, he even shared his favorite quote by Winston Churchill which fits perfectly with his philosophy on life, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Growing up, I always had a desire to make a lot of money. I thought money would make me happy and money would solve any of my problems. I realized over time that money is just a tool – neither good nor bad. The thing that creates more fulfillment, joy, and happiness that anything else in the world is our ability to contribute to making other people’s lives around us better.

Persistence

We are getting sold everyday all over the internet that we can become healthy and wealthy while working only a few hours per week. We are sold that the idea of health and wealth is easy, and you must be stupid if you haven’t achieved financial freedom and a ridiculously high level of health. We are sold that if you just take this pill or do this 4 minute workout, you will have the health of your dreams. We are sold if we just spend a few hours a week working, we will build an extraordinary career or business. The only people getting rich off those ideas are the people selling it.

Success takes WORK. It takes a superior level of persistence. One of my favorite entrepreneurs and media personalities is Gary Vaynerchuk. He grew his father’s wine business from $4 million per year to $60 million per year. He also started a YouTube show called “Wine Library TV” back when YouTube was still in its infancy. That show grew his business tremendously and catapulted him to fame. That’s the outcome.

What is less known is the work he put in to get there. He was recording 5 shows per week for over 1.5 years before it really took off.

Philippines

Philippines

Most people try things once or twice and give up if it doesn’t work. Let me give you an example. I had been wanting to go from an unsupported “Crow” pose to a free-standing handstand for a long time. I decided I was going to be able to perform it no matter how long it took me. Once I finally got it, I performed it for a few people. The most common response was “Wow. It looks so easy for you. I could never do that.” They assumed I just figured it out one day and had it ever since. That was the assumption. Here is the truth.

It took me months of practicing every day to get that pose. When I committed to it, there was no “Until.” I was going to practice it forever if I had to. I was COMMITTED. They didn’t know about the sore shoulders and beat up elbows from constant practice. They didn’t know about the thousands of failed attempts in my pursuit of this worthy goal. They didn’t see the many times I came crashing down on my side because I lost my balance. They only saw the outcome; the illusion that we all must resolve in our own minds on our path to personal mastery, wealth, health, or any worthy goal.

Final Thoughts

You need to DECIDE that you are going to do WHATEVER it takes to fulfill your highest values and desires. You need to being willing to wake up early and go to bed late because that is what it takes. You need to be enthusiastic about contributing more to other people than you can ever expect in return. You need to always look for ways to contribute, give, and make everyone’s life around you better, healthier, and happier.

Actually, you don’t NEED to do any of these things. It just depends what kind of life you want to live.

Keep achieving,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

Maldives from the Sea Plane

The Best Investment You Can Ever Make…

The first time I ever read about the best investment we can ever make that would provide us with the highest ROI (return on investment), I was expecting it to be a “How to Get Rich” article.

I was expecting sound principles like taking out 10% of your pay each and every week and paying yourself first no matter what is going on as instructed from The Richest Man in Babylon book. Many people scoff at this principle, thinking it is not possible to pay themselves 10% because then there would not be enough money left to pay the bills. Here is the reality though. If your taxes were automatically raised by 10% tomorrow, you would figure out a way to pay them? Do the same with yourself. Yet I didn’t find this in the article.

I also thought it was going to be an article on the power of compounding interest and the importance of making your money work for you by investing in a diversified portfolio of index funds and bonds as well as asset allocation and avoiding high fee funds such as many mutual funds. Yet I didn’t find this in the article either.

I thought it was also going to espouse the upside of managing the downside, as is accomplished with different types of insurance such as health insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance as well as some of the ways you can use these vehicles for wealth creation. Yet I didn’t find this in the article either.

While none of this was in the article, the one thing I learned from the article that has been more valuable to me than any of these things was the idea of investing money in MYSELF.

Maldives from the Sea Plane

Maldives from the Sea Plane

I would argue that $20 invested in a personal growth book has a much greater return than $20 invested in the stock market. I would also argue that $20 spent on high quality meat and vegetables is also better than $20 put in any other external financial vehicle. The list could go on and on how you could invest money in yourself. Not only would it include books and nutritious fuel but also audio programs, live seminars, physical fitness, mastermind groups, meals with great people, and travel.

Time and time again I have experienced in my own life that investing in myself has paid back extraordinary dividends not only in my finances but in my level of fulfilment, growth, and contribution to the people around me.

Let me give you a quick example. I was involved in a mastermind group where we would constantly be working on programs to strengthen and grow everything from relationships to meditation to public speaking. One of the programs we engaged in was an online public speaking course. It was $500 for the program. Some people thought I was crazy for paying so much for an online program, however, my return on the investment and my impact on other people’s lives, has been exponential. In honing my speaking skills, it has allowed me to “influence with integrity,” a term I learned from Tony Robbins, at a much higher level. It has allowed me to create extreme value in people’s lives where their lives are transformed. What good is public speaking if we can’t influence people to make positive changes in their lives?

There is no external investment that has provided me with the quality or quantity of return that investing in myself over the years has provided me. Skip the 3 lattes this week and invest in a book. Pull money out of your savings and invest in a program – live or online. Start saving for a trip to experience a different culture. If you need some direction, contact me and I’ll help you out.

When you invest in yourself, you begin to create more abundance in your life – financially, spiritually, socially, and you contribute to society in a much greater way which brings an extraordinary level of fulfillment into your life.

All The Best,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

Podcast cover page

A Great “New” Invention

One of the beautiful things about the 21st century is the ease at which we can access extraordinary amounts of information. We can access some of the brightest minds in the world with a simple click of a button. Do you want to listen to a legend like Anthony Robbins? In seconds you can listen to a wide range of his life changing principles that were once reserved for his live seminars and books. Do you want to listen to multi-millionaires and even billionaires talk about investing? It is also just a click away. Just turn on your computer and it is right there.

Recently, a great “new” invention has made its way into my life that has been adding incredible value to me on a daily basis. I use the word “new” very loosely because it is not a new invention at all; however, I have just stumbled upon the wonders of this incredible form of knowledge and communication. This is the podcast.

Podcast cover page

For those of you who are much more technologically sound than me, you are most likely laughing at the thought of this being a new idea for me. However, there are probably many of you who have not capitalized on this extraordinary vehicle for information.

The beauty of the podcast is in its simplicity and automation. Even a technological neanderthal like myself could figure it out. All you do is download the podcast application on your phone if it isn’t already preloaded for you when you bought the phone. Next, you search and subscribe to podcasts that you are interested in. Then you click on any episodes you want to listen to and all of the new ones will automatically be loaded onto your phone. All you do is click and play.

I have been devouring podcasts over the past couple of months and it has been glorious. Hours of travel and working out have transformed into a breeding ground for learning and inspiration. I listen on my way to work and my way home from work. I listen while I get ready to go out. I listen while I am working out.

Three of my all time favorites so far have been The Tim Ferriss Show, Art of Charm, The School of Greatness, and soon-to-be my new podcast called The Ultimate Achievement Show. Stay tuned! ;)

If you are looking for a great show about health, check out Heal Yourself Radio. If creativity is your focus, the show Cracking Creativity is the one for you. Another great one for personal development and growth is The UNCoaching Podcast.

There are literally thousands of podcasts to choose from. Some are amazing and others are, well, not. The key is finding the ones that resonate with you. Ask around. Put in the work to get connected to programs that inspire you and then dive right in. Bathe your mind with the gift of knowledge and inspiration and watch your life follow suit.

Now get to work utilizing this great “new” invention.

All the best,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

Matt, Eric, Ana, and Me at her beautiful home in San Sebastian, Spain

What I learned from a grand mal seizure…

It was a beautiful Sunday morning and we were just driving back from a powerful leadership development weekend in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia. The three of us in the car were reeling after 2 days of growth and transformation. I was the co-founder of a leadership development organization and one of our projects was bringing a group of 30 people to a larger luxurious cabin in the mountains for a weekend of personal development. It was a perfect weekend and everything went off without a hitch; until that point.

As we were driving down the road with myself in the driver’s seat, my good friend Ana in the passenger seat, and our friend Matt in the backseat, I looked over at Ana and knew something was wrong. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head, she started shaking, and every muscle in her body contracted. I knew at that moment, Ana was having a seizure. I was astonished at how calm I was in the moment. I would’ve expected myself to freak out but I calmly told Matt that Ana was having a seizure and to please support her head and make sure she didn’t bite her tongue. Matt swiftly moved in to support her as I pulled the car over to the nearest gas station. We sat there calmly supporting her for what felt like an hour but was mostly likely just a few minutes until she finally came out of it.

I learned a lot from that experience.

Matt, Eric, Ana, and Me at her beautiful home in San Sebastian, Spain

Matt, Eric, Ana, and Me at her beautiful home in San Sebastian, Spain

I learned from Ana that we all possess a strength that we may not think we have. The fear that Ana must have felt all those years battling seizures and knowing that the next one could strike at any time must have been terrifying. Her seizures could literally hit her at any time and in any moment. Nothing was immune to it. It could have hit her in the middle of an exam, walking through the grocery store, or taking a shower. The strength and commitment that one must possess to overcome a challenge like that is extraordinary.

Ana taught me that when we have a challenge that seems insurmountable, we can all dig a bit deeper and persevere even when there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Ana taught me to be present and live in the moment. If she lived in anything but the moment, the fear of when a seizure would come would be an unbearable mental hurdle, but living in the moment is the only antidote for the mental virus that is worry.

Ana taught me about self-acceptance and love of thyself. She is extraordinary at seeing the perfection in the imperfections. She embraced her challenge as a gift to transform herself and transform the lives of those around her.

Ana taught me that our greatest opportunity is living in service to others. Every time I speak to her she is most passionate about using her lessons, life experiences, and unique challenges to elevate the people in her life.

We all want to know when we are going through a challenge that there is meaning behind the pain; meaning behind the suffering. Meaning can come from two places: from the individual experiencing the pain and the individual observing the pain. I think we both created an extraordinary meaning from that day. At least I know I did.

All the best,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

At a Tony Robbins seminar... Looking forward to joining him up there someday :)

Communication: Do you have what it takes?

There is no greater way to influence people than through communication.

Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated communication mastery with his “I Have A Dream Speech.” He mobilised millions of people to fight for equality. John F. Kennedy did the same thing with his “Man on the Moon” speech and in doing so did what was thought to be impossible at the time which was putting a man on the moon. Steve Job’s did so with his iconic new product launch presentations building one of the wealthiest and most influential companies in the world.

Communication is not only oratory in nature. It can also be accomplished through the written word. You have spiritual texts like the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, Koran, and Old Testament whose written word has inspired billions of people around the world. You have literary works like Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” that led to the decimation of millions of innocent people. And you have positive pieces like those of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Eckert Tolle, and Viktor Frankl whose literary masterpieces have led to millions of people transforming their lives in a positive way.

At a Tony Robbins seminar... Looking forward to joining him up there someday :)

At a Tony Robbins seminar… Looking forward to joining him up there someday!

Words are powerful. The ability to formulate and articulately present those words is priceless. When we can craft our communication, similarly to the manner in which Michelangelo and Van Gogh paint, we can literally change the world around us.

I just delivered a talk today for a great group of people on the topic of health. Before every talk, I have a routine where I remind myself, “With this opportunity, I have the potential to transform these people’s lives. Make it powerful.” I then follow that up with one of Tony Robbins incantations that he uses every time before he goes on stage which is “I now command my subconscious mind to direct me in helping as many people as possible today; by giving me the strength, the emotion, the humor, the brevity, whatever it takes to get these people to change their lives now.” I repeat that over and over again to influence my physiology and get myself in the maximum state to be present and be influential.

I make it a goal to be able to go to sleep each and every night knowing I gave every conversation, every interaction, and every presentation everything I have because the people I have the opportunity to serve deserve it.

I am certainly not perfect and fall short of my goal many times, but the journey never changes; the process never changes. It was always the goal in the past, is the goal currently, and will always be the goal into the future.

Are you working on YOUR communication?

All the best,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

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The LOWEST standard we can have – This may surprise you…

One of the biggest lies we can ever tell ourselves is the highest standard we have in our lives is perfection.

There are few things more devastating to our self-esteem and personal growth than expecting perfection from ourselves. There are few things more devastating to our relationships than expecting perfection from our partners. There are few things more devastating to our business and our companies than expecting perfection from our teams and our staff.

The lowest standard we can have in our lives is perfection.

 

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My first painting – the epitome of “imperfect” ;)

 

I sold myself that lie for many years. I wouldn’t start a project until I felt it was perfect. I would expect perfection from my significant other. I would expect perfection from my staff and the people around me.

Do you know what? It was exhausting to be me, and I know it was stressful and exhausting to be around me. I looked at perfection as the highest possible standard. Here is the thing. It is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve perfection and it is debilitating to your growth. By anchoring ourselves to the idea that everything and everyone in our life has to be “perfect,” we paralyze our growth and alienate the people we care about most.

Rather than expecting perfection, we should strive for excellence. We should learn and grow as much as we can and take imperfect action and keep refining and taking imperfect action until.

I know that last sentence appears to be fragmented at the end but I assure you it is not. There is no end because there is no perfection. There is only growth and better imperfect action.

When we begin to approach everything with this concept of optimal growth and imperfect action, the things that were once stressful become fun again.

When we lead our teams with optimal growth and imperfect action, they stop being scared to make a mistake and they become excited to contribute, make a difference, and do great work.

When we value our partner’s imperfections and unique gifts, we open up deeper channels for love and connection.

Stop trying to be perfect.

All the best,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

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Do you have the mindset of a champion?

Do you ever find yourself not even beginning something you would love to do because you feel you aren’t good enough? Do ever get down on yourself and give up because it just seems too difficult? Does this apply to your relationships, fitness, career, finances, business, or hobbies?

If this doesn’t apply to you, then you might as well close this article and pat yourself on the back for have life completely figured out. But seriously, we all possess this to some degree in certain areas of our life.

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Smiling Buddha, Bali

I was turned on to a great podcast lately called The Art of Charm where they interviewed an author of a bestselling book called Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck. In the interview, Dr. Dweck talked about the difference between having a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. I will let you read the book or listen to the interview if you would like to explore more in depth, but I wanted to discuss some powerful take-aways I got from the interview.

First we need to differentiate between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Dr. Carol Dweck states:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

So many people I meet live their life with a fixed mindset. If things don’t come easy, they give up. If things don’t come natural to them, they give up. However, many people don’t even get to the point of giving up because they never even begin!

In Dr. Dweck’s quote about a growth mindset, she shares two very dirty ideas; ideas that most people avoid like the plague – dedication and hard work. In a world of immediate gratification where everything can be found in moments at the tips of our fingers, the concept of dedication and hard work has been removed from most of our society’s vernacular.

We need to get back to the days of dedication, commitment, and hard work. We need to fall in love with the climb. We need to be okay with failure and pick ourselves back up and forge forward. We need to quit being so sensitive and delicate and put ourselves out there for the world to judge and criticize us.

Or you can stay in the safety of your cocoon. It is up to you.

Keep Achieving,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

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Finding Calm in the Chaos…

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Amed, Bali

 I used to think that finding calmness in the chaos was impossible. I used to think there was a correlation between our physiology and our circumstances. I used to think a peaceful mind was the result of an easy life.

I find more and more that paradoxically the opposite to be true. I find that the people that have the most peace and calmness in their lives are the ones that have had to overcome the most adversity. I find that finding calm in the chaos is the path to resilience, and resilience is like a suit of armor against suffering.

As the ancient Buddhist proverb says, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”

I find the greatest gift we can give ourselves when we are going through a challenge, stressful event, or personal chaos is to get back to the breath. Our breath directly effects our physiology. Typical breathing we do when we are under stress is short and shallow breathing. This breathing activates our sympathetic nervous system and drives us deeper into a state of stress. This detrimental feedback loop continues until we break it. A simple way to break it is to come back to our breath. Take deep and intentional belly breaths. This takes us out of sympathetic dominance and into the parasympathetic zone.

When we get back to our breath, it accomplishes 2 things:

Number one is it takes us out of sympathetic dominance and relaxes our physiology.

Number two is it breaks our focus on the challenge and centers us in a present state. It is impossible to focus on two things at once. When we think we are focusing on two things at once, what we are really doing is bouncing back and forth between the two so quickly it only seems like we are focusing on both at the same time.

For example, right now in your mind, I want you to describe the room you are located in vivid detail. At the same time, I want you to think of your “to do” list for the day.

Got it?

Next time you’re going through a challenge and think there is no way out, get back to the breath.

As Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking used when we created them.”

You still have to do the work, but this is a great start.

Keep mindful,

Dr. Matt Westheimer

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To Hustle or Not To Hustle…

“To hustle or not to hustle, that is the question.”

I hope Shakespeare is not rolling over in his grave from my adaptation of his famous soliloquy from Hamlet.

I watched a great video the other day from a man I have been following for quite a while – Gary Vaynerchuk. In the video, he talked about the virtue of hustle.

Many people look at successful people and attribute much of their success to good luck. You see a man or woman with a multimillion dollar company and assume it was because they were really lucky. You see a great relationship and attribute it to them being lucky they just stumbled upon a great partner. You see someone with a great physique and assume much of it is due to great genetics.

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Rise early = Get more done

As a society, we make comments like that because it absolves us of responsibility. If we can convince ourselves that they are where they are because of good luck, and we are where we are because of bad luck, then it makes us feel better about our situation because IT’S NOT OUR FAULT.

While there are places around the world that are void of the kind of opportunities I am talking about, if you are lucky enough to read these words on your laptop or handphone, you have the opportunity to create the life that you attribute to others as just being “lucky.”

It all comes back to the HUSTLE. While you are watching TV, other people are hustling. While you are sleeping in until 10 or 11 am, other people are hustling. While you are giving up after one try, one article, or one project, there are people writing hundreds and thousands of articles, attempts, and projects before they get “lucky.”

I was listening to Amy Morin on The Art of Charm podcast and they were discussing her article, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, which went viral and many people thought she was just lucky but what they don’t realize was that she wrote thousands of articles before that one that did NOT go viral. What was the key? She hustled and continued to hustle.

Do you spend more time complaining and wasting time or are you in the trenches hustling?

Keep hustling,

Dr. Matt Westheimer