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The sixth and final action to R.E.M.O.T.E. lessons learned while the leading SEALs in submarines are there Exercise. As simple as it may seem, exercise is the most important action you can take in the face of mountains of uncertainty and isolation. All the actions I’ve shared with you over the last few weeks have been aimed at focusing on a few things we can control. In fact, what is SEAL training: mastering what I call “managed”. As part of basic underwater wear / sealing (BUD / S) training, one of the top ten we teach is an understanding of the platform of our weapon, it’s just our mental, emotional and physical capabilities. I call this platform of action in my most recent book: INCREDIBLE TEAMS: 4 basic actions of high-performance management. How we think, what we believe in, and our subsequent abilities to act determine our direction and represent the only important pillar of how we behave.
Suspect, when you first hear the word “exercise,” you try to think, “Oh great, another Navy IDP is talking about drills that I will never be able to do.” In fact, the opposite is true. You know entrepreneurship is a sporting event. Seriously. Have you ever worn a heart rate monitor when presenting it on calls? How about trying to raise capital? Or maybe reporting difficult news or deciding to “bet”? I’ve worn one for all of these occasions, but I have a few, and definitely have on calls. In the 90-minute sales step I actually talked to for 60 minutes, guess what my heart rate was: 129 beats per minute on average at a high 152 beats per minute!
At one time I was 48 years old, that heart rate became the 65th percentile of my maximum rate. Burn the range recommended by aerobic endurance trainers (and fat burning!). The fact is that even though your muscles don’t perform traditional workout movements, your heart and head tolerate a significant amount of stress, and your body knows the difference.
But wait, rather, more!
Entrepreneurship is a sport that is more like running marathons day after day and completing the physical component. How about the energy needed for your fuel brain to make decisions? Every entrepreneur I know always starts themselves as a decision maker, and only after some time and a little success can they hire people to help them make better decisions. The amount of energy your brain needs to solve the huge number of problems that need to be solved – from market strategy and intermodal supply chain challenges, to the development and production and monitoring of cash flows – can think in terms of taxes.
Guess what helps nourish your brain and can literally make you smarter over time? Yes, you guessed it: exercise. For more information about the science of exercise and our cognitive abilities, read the book SPARK: A new revolutionary science of exercises and brains from Dr. John Rethey, MD. The fact is that exercise helps not only physically but also morally.
But wait, even more!
One thing the entrepreneurial class didn’t mention when I was in business school is the emotional affair he can take for a person. In particular, depression. The fact is that entrepreneurship can be very lonely, and even lonely, if the decisions you make are wrong. Coping with failure is difficult physically, morally and emotionally. Exercise can help you fend off those demons of doubt that knock in the darkest hours when asking about yourself, your path, and your cause. Did you know that approximately 80 percent of all Americans experience depression at some point in their lives? And guess what can help compensate for up to 50 percent of most forms of depression? Yes: exercises.
In my first book Be impregnable: 8 basic actions to succeed in anything, I compare exercise to a magic pill and ask a series of questions regarding the value of this “magic” pill that helps you work better, feel better, think better, look better and live better (exercise is also proven to fight off a wide variety of ailments). Then I suggest the fact that in order for the pills to work, you need to make 30 minutes a day. Often, speaking with keynote speeches, I ask the audience what they will pay for such a magical pill. Persecuted people scream up to a million dollars!
Exercise really is our own magic pill when we are ready to commit. There are three basic tips for understanding. The priority of classes is frequency, duration, and then intensity. To date, the most important action you can take is to perform an exercise frequency. Experts recommend exercising in the morning because it boosts your metabolism, feels great during the day and avoids daily tasks that interfere with future work. Once you’ve figured it out often, here are a few steps to help you indulge in the lessons:
Choose the exercises you like: walking, yoga, cycling, hiking, swimming, weightlifting, etc.
Do the exercises what you look forward to doing; use music and team up with others to save you.
Put it on your calendar. Think of exercise as a work day; this should be considered a daily task.
When you start, make your routine doable. If you fight too hard and fight through it, chances are you will find ways to avoid it in the future.
Forget about scale and focus on enjoying the impressions. Even if weight loss is part of your goal, let weight be the center of attention
Remember that the first three weeks are the hardest to create a new one habitat. However, when you make physical, mental, and emotional improvements, you will help professionally and personally find opportunities in the uncertainty we face. I often say: Take control of your body and continue to control your life. I promise that if you focus on controlling what you manage, you will succeed. Later, success comes from perseverance and guess what are the forces of perseverance? RESULTS!