I can’t believe I’ve not written a blog post about this yet! I am in the midst of writing my second book, which will be about this very topic and idea. (If you’re interested, then my first book – The Thought Gym – is available here)
Over the last decade I have progressively taken a deeper and deeper dive into personal development, mindset, NLP, nutrition, yoga, spirituality, meditation, positive psychology, various health practices, movement arts and more besides!
I used to think I was healthy. I was always athletic and fit. I’ve been doing some kind of organised exercise since I was 8 years old. Whether that was judo, karate, football, cricket or gymnastics when I was around that 8 – 12 age, to later on with athletics, basketball, cycling, the gym, swimming, running and a heap of other disciplines.
So I was pretty active, energised and fit. But fit does not equal healthy. I still ate junk from time to time. I felt the exercise would compensate for it. Trouble is, on the surface it might, but not deep down. Luckily I didn’t really get any health issues but as I hit 30 years old I realised I needed to make a few changes as my body couldn’t keep up with how I was treating it.
And then in 2011 I went along to a seminar run by Anthony Robbins‘ top trainer – Joseph McClendon III. He was rocking it on stage for 14 hours a day for two days straight. With the energy of a 2 year old. He looked (from where I was) about 35 years old. I later found out he was close to 60 years old!
I was curious. He shifted my paradigm on a number of things. Including what it meant to age. I spoke to some of his part participants on his programs and this set me off on a path of self-study for the next few years (continuing today). Since 2011, I have read over 200 books, been on over 35 live courses ranging from personal development seminars to 10 day silent meditation retreats to yoga teacher trainings, attended countless evening seminars, listened to over 2000 hours of training (in the form of audiobooks, audio courses and podcasts), watched over 70 documentaries, been on several retreats (even hosting one), undergone formal study in the areas of nutrition, NLP, EFT, Matrix Re-imprinting and more.
And in that time, I made many changes to my own life. Large and small. And saw my life go from what I call a human level, to a superhuman level.
What does superhuman mean? Is it about holding your breath for 22 minutes (yes, that’s a thing for someone out there! It’s a world record)? Is it about doing some crazy backflips down the street on the way to work? Is it about extreme sports?
No. It’s about starting to live your life to your fullest capabilities. It’s about imagining yourself on your best day – when you have the focus, resilience, joy, compassion, happiness, health, energy and vitality – and 10x-ing that.
It’s about waking up. It doesn’t mean you quit your day job, it just means that you aren’t operating sub-par when you are there. You’re not in a constant tired/stressed/frustrated state. It means that you don’t get taken out by the smallest of things. It means you have the energy to do what you want, when you want to do it. Whether that’s writing that book in the evening. Playing with the kids after work. Spending all day shopping with your significant other because it’s what makes them happy. And you feel great afterwards still.
For me, I have, since making the hundreds of small changes I have made, noticed that my health, vitality, energy, focus, productivity, relationships, passion have all increased dramatically.
That’s what I mean by superhuman. Does it mean you never get ill, for example? No, I still might get something. But I went from having 5 -6 seasonal “colds” a year, to not really having one since 2011. I’ll admit, I think I have caught something 2 or 3 times in the last 6 years in total. The difference being that it hasn’t hit me badly and I was able to recover quicker. But in terms of usual colds. That hasn’t happened. It’s not to say it won’t. But usually if I follow the principles in my methodology, I feel great.
What I thought after making hundreds of small changes is that they must it into some kind of pattern. I looked at everything I’d done since 2011, and wrote them down. Then I saw that they fell into 4 main areas. What I called The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model.
The reason is that the word B.E.A.T. is an acronym for the four areas to focus on. The reason it’s called The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model, is because of this reason. The foundation to great leadership is really great self-leadership. If you want to lead other people, you must first be able to lead yourself. Even if you don’t lead other people (but if you are a parent you are definitely leading others), you still need to lead yourself. We are all leaders.
To be the best leader you can be, the best self-leader, you must be “on point” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. That’s why the foundation to great leadership. In fact the foundation to everything is energy. In our case, it’s having the health, vitality, energy, mindset and resilience to be who you can be.
Doesn’t matter if you have all the strategies, techniques and skills in the world. If you don’t have the health, vitality and energy to execute on them. Forget it. You won’t get the results you could get.
So that’s why it’s called The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model.
What about the four areas? Most people when you ask about what it take to be fit and healthy will refer to exercise, then food and very possibly (if they are switched on), sleep.
There’s a lot more to it then that.
The first piece, is always the mindset. That’s why my first book was all about shifting the mindset. The Thought Gym book is designed to help someone shift their mindset first before taking on any health, fitness, diet challenge. Or any goal for that matter, as the process is largely the same.
So the first section is
B – Brain
A metaphor for your mindset, your psychology. It also incorporates the role that learning and evolving play in energising you and keeping you healthy. The first book – The Thought Gym – addressing a lot of what goes into the Brain section.
Next up we have
E – Elements
The Elements section is all about how you nourish your body. From both inside and outside. The five elements of Ancient Greek culture are Air, Water, Earth, Fire and Aether. These are metaphors for what to focus on.
Air – the power and importance of proper structured breathing. Most people don’t breath optimally. There’s a lot to breathing – even though we’ve been doing it from birth. In fact, each of these sections could warrant a couple of PhD’s in themselves.
Water – is all about the intricacies of water, and hydration. It’s not as simple as just drinking water. Water could be explored for many many months. But suffice it to know that most people are chronically dehydrated. Contrary to some “experts” out there who say that our bodies have a thirst mechanism and that if you are thirsty then drink. If you’re not thirsty then you’re not dehydrated. My approach is simply this. If your pee is not clear or very close to clear. You are dehydrated.
Earth – is about our relationship to the Earth. It’s about food, and also how we interact with the earth, via Grounding or Earthing – see this blog post on that. The short idea on food (my philosophy is called PANLO 80/20 found here), is this. EAT REAL FOOD. If man made it, bin it. If nature made it, eat it (unless poison berries, of course!). If it’s made by plants, eat it. If it’s made in a plant – don’t. If it’s built for shelf-life instead of self-life, bin it. If it has a celebrity endorsement, ad campaign, marketing budget, comes in a package, then probably avoid it.
Fire – is a metaphor for our relationship to the sun and being outdoors and into nature. We spend too much time indoors. Most people are vitamin D deficient (even when living in sunny cultures). We also need to spend more time outside and in nature. It’s called Shinrin-yoku (or Forest Bathing)
[UPDATED 17.02.2017 – this fifth element is an addition I’ve been meaning to make for a while to the Elements section, and have just been now comfortable with how to position it]
Aether – is a metaphor for our relationship to our environment. What surrounds us and what becomes part of our environment. Ideas such as EMF’s (electromagnetic frequencies), your physical environment that you engage in each day, and also the products you clean with and put on your body (like lotions, shampoos etc). How do these effect you.
A – Activity
Most people think that this refers to exercise. Well, it incorporates exercise, but really it’s all about what you do in a day. Exercise is important. More important is movement. Regular movement throughout the day. But also, Activity is about the people you spend time with – energy Angels or Vampires? PSPC (do you have passion, service, purpose and connection) in your life? Do you have fun and laugh?
And then lastly, we have a section that many people miss out completely.
T – Tranquility
This is all about how you rest, restore, renew and rejuvenate your body. Most people miss this out. Or they might think it’s about sleep. That’s super important. There are other things that aid to tranquility. Massage, fasting, meditation, floating, digital nutrition & dieting (not just digital detoxing), holidays, time off and more.
Like I said. You can go super deep into each section and sub-section. On the face of it though, The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model is quite simple. I live it day by day. Hour by hour.
I have realised that while some people can be successful, even healthy (to a degree) by focussing on just a small part of this model. If they don’t look at all sections at some point they will unravel. Maybe it will be 6 months, 6 years or 60 years, but it will happen.
Is this a guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to you? No, of course not. All you can do is stack the cards in your favour. We have way more control over what happens to us in terms of our health, vitality and energy than we think. The field of epigenetics is showing us that.
How to Use The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model?
The question I ask myself is this
Am I feeling on, or off, B.E.A.T. right now?
If I’m feeling off B.E.A.T., then where do I need to focus within the B, E, A or T right now?
As I have taken a deep dive into all these areas, and I know the practices that work, I can assess and rebalance myself. Indeed, the online course I have goes into that depth for you. I’m also writing the book to accompany The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model. It’s going to go deeper into each section so you know the best of the material and practices out there. My intention is that it becomes the one bible of a guide for you to living, leading and longevity. What I’ve found is that some experts out there tend to have niched too much into one aspect of health, vitality or energy but missed the bigger picture.
It’s never just one thing that is the solution. No silver bullets. Sorry. It’s more like a whole machine gun full of bullets.
That’s the beauty of my approach. I’ve experimented, researched and curated the best from a wealth of other experts. Within The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model is the best of the best. A cross-section of practices, ideas and approaches that all need to be known and incorporated to give you a health and happy life. (In my opinion and experience, at least). You can access the online course here: The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model
Even knowing what you know now is enough. The prompts below will help you. Print them out and keep in front of you by your desk. It will be enough to start with. For more, either come to my events, register for the online course, subscribe to my YouTube channel, and mailing list, and buy the new book when it’s out (or The Thought Gym right now for more focus on the BRAIN part).
This blog could be the most important one you ever read. So thank you for making it to the end. Spreading this message is becoming my life’s work. I know that the knowledge, ideas and applications held within The Leadership B.E.A.T. Model has the potential to help millions of people. I’m happy to start with one – YOU!
Find out more about becoming SUPER here:
http://harikalymnios.com (FREE book chapters)
http://thethoughtgym.com (FREE Video series)
http://youtube.com/thethoughtgym (FREE Weekly videos)