“Chance favors the prepared mind.” — Kenneth Stanley, Invest Like the Best: Greatness Without Goals
This is my final post of 2023. While only the 5th edition of the new Envision Endeavor, this project has been a long time in the making — with many failed attempts along the journey and quite a few dead ends — and one I cannot wait to build upon in 2024.
You’ve probably noticed this edition is dropping quite a bit later than normal. That is because I’m now on my 4th iteration of it. For this piece, I’m doing things a little differently. Each category is an attribute or skill I want to take with me into 2024 and advance over time. If you find something resonating, please share in the comments!
One of the hardest things about being my own boss, both at Envision Fitness and with this new endeavor, is a lack of accountability and that there is no one to report to or ask for help. It didn’t occur to me until writing this piece that this may be the single biggest reason I’m so drawn to podcasts — a search for mentors; people who’ve “been there”.
Many of you reading this have an annual review with your boss. Many of you have likely also conducted annual reviews with your team. What are they like? How do you get the best out of the people you lead? How do you like to be guided by the person who leads you? Do they get the best out of you? Better yet, how do you get the best out of yourself?
Imposter syndrome is very real. Even after almost 14 years of health coaching, I am still sometimes left in awe that so many of you place your trust in me to help you achieve the results you desire.
I mention this because, as I reflect on the previous year and the previous several years of what has transpired since the shroud of uncertainty that was COVID, there are so many things I am immensely grateful for. One of which is each and every member of Envision Fitness; past, present, and future. I absolutely love that I get to wake up each day and help you better yourself.
Curiosity as a State of Mind
How do you satiate unquenchable curiosity?
Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital — a firm famous for attacking really difficult problems — has this wonderfully simple question he asks when looking for realms of investability: “What sucks?” Unfortunately, in the world of health, there is still so much that sucks. As demonstrated in my piece last week, there is so much about health that even I do not know. Curiosity to the rescue!
Dr. Adam Grant and Dr. Andrew Huberman discussed this idea of growth mindsets, with an emphasis on the plural aspect. The idea is this: “Telling a person in a cage to have a growth mindset does no good because they’re still in a cage.” You need a culture of growth mindsets. An aspiration of mine is to inspire a growth mindset in everyone I interact with, regardless of who they are (my poor kids, they’re doomed). The idea behind Worth Listening To began in July 2022 on Twitter as a way of inspiring growth mindsets and curiosity by way of recommending the podcasts I was learning from.
My goal is for the Envision Endeavor to continue that journey and inspire more curiosity about what it means to be healthy.
Although an exciting project, in January of this year I ultimately failed to stay consistent with Worth Listening To. Almost one year ago. This is where I seek to improve the most in 2024 and the years that follow. Consistency and discipline are not simply core values of Envision Fitness. They are core values I strive to live up to but have always fallen short. They live in a vision of my future self.
Conversations with a Personal Trainer is another project. One that predates Worth Listening To. Again, I failed to stay consistent.
Maybe I’m too hard on myself? Perhaps. But if I want to achieve what I believe I’m capable of, I have to hold myself to a higher standard.
My eldest son, Wylder recently learned to walk. And my does he walk with such enthusiasm now! So much so that he seems to forgo all semblance of spatial awareness. When he falls (or inexplicably walks face-first into a closing elevator door) I always say to him, “What do we do when we fall? We get back up. Every time.”
Pursue What’s Interesting and Create More Steppingstones
In Greatness Without Goals, Kenneth Stanley proposes that seeking something distant that you can’t describe is futile and anxiety-inducing. He instead suggests we focus on our experiences and optimize for novelty. “Honor interestingness and recognize steppingstones when they snap into view.”
One of my objectives with the Envision Endeavor is to expand my surface area of luck. Sahil Bloom just released his final newsletter of 2023; in it he lists his 10 best ideas of the year. One of which is Dr. James Austin’s “4 Types of Luck”. Bloom concludes by saying, “When choosing between 2 paths, choose the one with the greater surface area of luck.” Publishing my thoughts, ideas, and strategies for improving health on the internet opens a doorway to the world in a way Envision Fitness simply cannot. I guess I’ll choose both paths.
Continue to Be of Service
Between Envision Fitness and here, I hope to expand my ability to help more people like you and me. There are so many people who do not have access to the knowledge necessary to be healthy. And while there may already be a saturation of health professionals online, just maybe these endeavors can change more than a few people’s lives.
And for each of you reading, thank you. I’m excited to see and hear about what you accomplish in the year ahead!
Progress is hard. Success is even harder because the goalposts are always moving. There will be obstacles; there will be challenges that you do not yet know are coming. But we always get back up. I will leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes from any movie:
“Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you persist?”
“Because I choose to.”
For the full newsletter edition, click HERE