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“Why meditation is important.” with Julia Brodska

Meditation: As mentioned earlier, this sets you up for the day, keeps you focused and calm. I always do an extra mini guided meditation session before any big presentation, speech or event that needs a high level of focus. As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, […]

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Meditation: As mentioned earlier, this sets you up for the day, keeps you focused and calm. I always do an extra mini guided meditation session before any big presentation, speech or event that needs a high level of focus.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Julia Brodska.

Best-selling author. Speaker. Entrepreneur. Julia Brodska is the owner of two successful businesses and regularly presents her Best Life-ing principles to audiences large and small as she travels the world. She is the living embodiment of a woman who lives her dream life. But it wasn’t always this way. Julia was once overweight, buried in $30,000 of credit card debt (plus a car loan) and filled with self-doubt. Mentors and positive role models helped turn her life around, and she documents this transformation in her #1 new release book Best Life-ing.

Julia’s mission is to do for you, what her teachers did for her — to inspire, instill confidence and provide a path to your dream life. Today, she helps young adults and corporate clients do just that.

Her meal prep business, Juu’s Kitchen, helps customers get healthy and lose weight using a gourmet meal prep plan that, when combined with exercise, helped her lose 30 pounds in one year. Her company Brosell Business Solutions teaches corporate employees how to achieve more in life and work, following her Best Life-ing framework.

When Julia isn’t running her businesses, you can find her practicing yoga or meditation, rollerblading or getting her sweat on at the gym, usually every day.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I’m originally from Ukraine. I moved to Australia when I was kid and today I live in my dream city — Miami, USA.

While it may sound like my life has been an amazing adventure, it hasn’t always been easy. I grew up in poverty in a war-torn country, and my father died while I was very young, leaving my mom to raise my sister and I alone.

Growing up in Australia was hard for me also, I didn’t know English, I was bullied in school and after my dad passed away, I dropped out, got into drugs, heavy partying, and a toxic relationship. Soon, I found myself in over $30k debt, overweight and depressed. I had a victim mentality and a bad attitude towards the world. Those emotions were so dark, sad and foggy. It makes me sad to think about how much I hated myself and the world back then. However, this is how I got into doing what I do today.

I attribute all of my success to the positive mentors and other authors that helped me turn my life around. Today, my team and I use the Best Life-ing 7 Areas of Life framework to do the same for others.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My transformation story really began when I suffered a major mental breakdown when I was 27. I was living in Sydney, Australia then, working at a corporate job, and just doing typical 20-something stuff like partying a lot and going out. On the outside I looked happy. I had a good job, lots of friends, designer clothes and what looked like material success, but the truth was I was overweight, $30,000 in debt and I just felt terrible inside.

Physically I wasn’t taking care of my health, I wasn’t sleeping enough, I was eating garbage. And mentally, I was scared to try new things, I believed that the lifestyle I had created made me happy, and chasing dreams was really not a possibility in my mind because I felt that

  • the world was unfair,
  • I didn’t have enough time, money, resources,
  • and bad things always happened to me.

Overall, I felt completely unfulfilled in my life — actually I felt like it was a big mess.

Luckily I had a great mentor, his name was Bernard Kelly. And for some reason he put up with me (and my negative attitude towards life), gave me time of day, and set me in the right direction.

He was my boss and friend, whom I’d known for nearly a decade. And he always encouraged me and believed in me, when no else did, including myself.

When I did have my mental breakdown, it was in front of Bernard. And while I can look at the experience as positive now, it was really terrible and embarrassing at the time.

You know, I was bawling uncontrollably and spilling all these negative emotions about myself and how I felt like such a big failure. And Bernard just listened, and then gave me the most powerful pep talk, so to speak, of my life.

He said, “Julia, you have created this mess and you can also fix this mess if you really want to.”

I won’t get into the full details of that conversation because we only have so much time. But basically, he empowered me with his words. Saying that I could do anything I wanted, I just needed to take responsibility for my life and start the right habits. And if I could do that, anything was possible.

At the time I had this fear, that the grass MAY NOT be greener on the other side, and this kept me stationary. I felt like I had something to lose, even though I was completely unhappy with what I had anyway, and the situation I had created for myself.

I think because it was Bernard saying these words, someone who I trusted and respected, I think that’s why I took his advice to heart and connected with what he was saying. Especially since I was so vulnerable at the time.

Bernard helped me lay out my issues and he was very straight forward. Even though I didn’t want to hear it I needed it, and he really helped me every step of the way. Of course I still had my limiting beliefs, and made excuses for why I wasn’t living my version of success, but Bernard wasn’t having any of it.

He said, ‘if you want to fix your messed up life, it’s going to take work.’

I guess this made me realize, I didn’t have much of a choice, it was either stay where I am and be unhappy, or do something about it — regardless of what the conditions were.

From that point on, everything started to change. I began what became the craziest, most amazing and also incredibly difficult year of my life. I really changed my habits. I stopped partying, stopped my crazy spending sprees and saved about every penny I had.

I started working out, reading self-improvement books, hanging out with more positive people…. who believed in dreams, and they believed in me!

And then I opened a meal prep business called Juu’s Kitchen, that just took off. So by the end of the year, I had completely transformed myself. I paid down my entire $30K debt, lost 30lbs and had a business that allowed me to quit my job.

And this transformation and experience is what led me to where I am today and to the book I just released. I attribute all of my success to the people that helped me get there. No one is self-made, and it was the friends and mentors, plus authors of the books I read that helped me change my life.

My book and my Best Life-ing business were created because I want to do for others what Bernard did for me. And that is to inspire people, get them to believe in themselves and know that anything is possible if you start the right habits, surround yourself with the right people and go after your dreams.

My book Best Life-ing and the coaching, courses and events we offer at Best Lifeing.com are really tools designed to help people make that shift in thinking and habits, so that, ultimately, they can live their best life and do anything they set their mind to.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I always like to say ‘we all need other people to achieve success, no one is self-made.’

Bernard, was my friend, mentor and boss, and he was someone who truly believed in me, even when I didn’t. I’d be happy to read an excerpt from my book about my rock bottom moment where Bernard helped me take the first steps to transform my life.

Excerpt from Best Life-ing:

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a deep feeling that everything was just wrong? Even after trying to distract yourself and exhausting all of your positive-thinking methods, the feeling would still linger somewhere within your soul, right?

You might even think that this is just simply how your life is, or that life is just meant to be a grind. If I know one thing for sure, it is this: you are not alone. But it’s truly incredible how a single moment that seemingly has no significance while you’re in it, can change you forever.

I woke up one morning with a deep sense of emptiness and the feeling that every part of my life was a complete mess. Come to think about it now, I was waking up every morning with this feeling for a long time. I just did not notice it, because I became an expert in distracting myself from the unwanted emotions that I was feeling.

I finally got out of bed, had a shower, put my clothes on and reluctantly got in the car to drive to work. As if on autopilot, I put the radio on and blocked out the feeling inside of me. Today was just another mediocre day that had to happen before I had nothing else to do — when my days off finally came around.

I’d spend the rest of the day focusing upon something else: scrolling through Facebook, blaring loud music in my car or phoning a friend to complain about something. At work, my mindset was: what do I need to do today to convince myself that I had done enough work and could justify that it was time to go home.

As soon as I got in my car to leave the office, my only thought would be, “Who could I go have dinner with tonight?” Not so that I can enjoy their company or have a good meal, but ultimately so I could justify drinking wine — and a lot of it. This was my life Monday to Thursday; from Friday to Sunday that was a whole different story.

A night that changed my life

On this night I decided to call Bernard. Bernard was my boss, my friend and in many ways my mentor. Bernard was a boss who was always good to me; he gave me his trust and pretty much let me do what I do.

Bernard as a friend was always supportive of me and my sometimes-crazy self. Bernard as a mentor always gave me the right advice. I was lucky to have such a close friendship with a person like him; I would hate to imagine how bad my life would have been if he was not a part of it at that time. Looking back now, I don’t know how he had the patience to deal with me.

We had dinner and drank wine near my apartment, which was the norm; not because the food was that great, but because I was purely too lazy to go anywhere else. During dinner I spent the whole time trying to not talk about anything that would come anywhere near “deep and meaningful” — that would be simply too hard to deal with at the time.

From dinner we wandered back to my apartment, and I plopped myself on the couch and poured another wine. Wrapped in a white woolen blanket, I sat with the heater blazing on my feet. I would usually continue to drink and talk about anything until the wine would do its job and get me sleepy. Bernard would then say his farewells and head home — this wine, dine, sedate routine happened more times than I could possibly remember.

This night was pretty much like every other, except the wine wasn’t doing its job and I couldn’t shake off the chronic feeling that everything was wrong. It was the deep, sad feeling running through my body all day and, with my now clouded judgement, it could not be held in for even one more second.

I started crying. Not just a tear or two, but the full-blown wailing out loud. You know that really ugly, uncontrollable type of crying? That was me. I sobbed, feeling broken and unworthy about the state of my life.

“What is wrong, Julia?” Bernard asked as a look of surprise began to emerge on his face.

It wasn’t that he didn’t know how to respond. On the contrary, there was a slight satisfaction in his expression, like he had been waiting a long time for this breakdown to arrive, and now it was finally here.

“This is not where I wanted to be at the age of 27 years old!”

“What do you mean?” Bernard asked, still puzzled as to how the conversation had transpired to this.

Only moments earlier, I had spent the entire night staying off any real emotional subjects. After all, deep down inside I knew that my self-destructive lifestyle and behavior were the cause of my misery, even though I wasn’t ready or willing to admit it.

“I’m overweight, I don’t fit in any of my clothes anymore, and I can’t afford new clothes. I am tired of my job, I have been doing pretty much the same thing my whole working life. It’s not that I hate it, but I have just lost the passion, and I’m tired of doing the same thing over and over. I’m in so much debt! The banks keep calling me, and to be honest I have nothing to pay them with.” I continued as a tidal wave of pent up emotions flooded out of me.

“I can never do anything to please my mom. I love my mom, but it just seems nothing I say and nothing I do can ever make her happy, let alone proud of me. I’m over my friends. That’s if I can really even call them friends. I really love them, but I have started to notice over and over again that they aren’t there for me when I need them, and they only call when it’s time to party. Everything is always going a million miles an hour. I’m so tired, and even on my days off I never feel like I have had any rest. The only thing that used to relax me was yoga, but now I can’t even afford that anymore! And I can’t really change any of it, because I don’t know how. Sometimes I think that I’m just not smart enough to ever make it in life.”

There it was. The moment I finally accepted and admitted that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. This is the first step in any form of successful change.

Even when I was sitting there with these things uncontrollably pouring out of my mouth, it was very clear that I felt like nothing was working out for me. Like many people I knew, I had created a false perception of where my life “should” be.

I had no idea how I had gained so much weight out of nowhere, but what made this worse was how terrible I felt inside; I had no energy and making change felt impossible. I truly believed I wasn’t strong enough, and every time I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I felt ashamed of who I had become.

Beyond this, I was deeply unfulfilled in my job. I had spent my whole working life building a career and climbing up the corporate ladder in business operations for a large company, you may have heard of it — McDonald’s. There were many joyful and exciting moments, but the feeling of inspiration or challenge didn’t exist anymore. And in my current victim state of mind, I couldn’t see the benefits that all of this knowledge could and later would bring me. My only focus was that with all this debt to pay back, I was permanently stuck in my job and could never move forward with my life.

Speaking of which, I had over $30,000 worth of debt (not including my car loan). Just think about that for a moment — $30,000 debt and simply nothing to show for it! This personal financial crisis was created by living a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford for over a decade.

I would build up debt, then make it the center of my attention, using most of my paycheck to pay some of it back. This pattern continued for years. I would rack up huge credit card bills without a care in the world; then I’d have a moment of panic and again try to repay it. But each time I built the debt back up, it became just that little bit harder to pay back, until eventually I just stopped caring. Before I knew it, l had let $5,000 turn into $10,000. And as the debt continued to snowball, I finally realized that I had a big problem — with everything combined, I owed more than half my annual salary before interest. Shit.

My priorities revolved around what people thought of me, and I measured my success by the material possessions I had gathered over the years. Outrageous amounts of money on clothes, designer bags, shoes, eating out and partying were dropped daily, without really contemplating how it would be paid back. These objects seemed so important to me at that time that I would have given anything to attain them.

My mom and I argued often about anything and everything; she had a good idea of the financial situation I was in (because I often called to borrow money), but she didn’t quite know the magnitude of it. I didn’t see her as frequently as I would have liked to, because it was easier to avoid these conversations at all costs.

I felt that many of my friends often let me down — I was fun to party with, but it usually didn’t go deeper than that.

Constantly running around to every event I was invited to also took its toll on me. I never made time for myself or took a moment to think, knowing that if I did, I would be bombarded with my own thoughts and negativity.

When I was in a room with people smarter than me, I could hardly hold the conversation. I would get shy and extremely nervous because I felt self-conscious that I would be judged. This made me constantly think and believe that I would never achieve success myself, because I simply wasn’t smart enough.

My emotional explosion slowed down, and the twenty minutes of dribble about how messed up my life was, was slowly coming to an end.

Bernard responded in a way that I will never forget…

“Julia, you have created this mess and you can also fix this mess if you really want to.” He declared firmly, “If you want your life to be different, it is time to make some changes. These changes are not going to be easy and they are going to take some work.”

The idea of more work wasn’t exactly appealing at the time. After all, that’s all that life felt to be — hard work. As I began to calm down, Bernard helped me realize that I had full control in the creation of my current life, and that I was very capable of creating the life I aspired to live, at any moment.

I knew Bernard was right. It was time to make some changes and these changes were going to take work. The vision of what this “work” would entail, felt as if it were a place so far away from where I was standing. I had no idea where to begin, and being so full of self-doubt, it looked to be the longest road.

“Where do I start to fix my messed-up life, Bernard?” I felt defeated.

“Julia, there are many things I could suggest for you to do, but the only way you will really gain progress is if you start with doing the very basic things every single day,” Bernard answered.

“Easy to say!” I responded.

“You need to read books to build your knowledge, and every day take 10 minutes for silence to clear your head and a 30-minute walk to improve your fitness.” He simplified, “Cook your own food instead of eating out, to save some money and repay some of this debt.”

“Bernard, I don’t have enough time for all that,” I interrupted.

“If you haven’t got time for the basics, stop complaining about your messed-up life!” Bernard replied firmly in a tone I had not heard aimed at me before. This stopped the excuses and captured all of my attention.

Transformation begins with reflection

Bernard’s words were like a cold splash of water to the face. They snapped me out of what seemed like a trance, and sparked questions within me, “How did I get here? Was I ready to change? Could I really give up my current lifestyle, with only a hope that it could get better?”

Even though I could acknowledge it wasn’t working, the fear that the grass might not be greener made it seem that I had a lot to lose.

What I didn’t know then, was that action builds momentum, and momentum brings more action through self-belief and empowerment. Accomplishment gives you a healthy hit of dopamine, which makes you want more. Soon, you begin to amaze even yourself — it’s truly incredible what the human mind can push the body to achieve.

There was so much more to get out of my day and, ultimately, my life. And on this evening, I was ready, I was able and I was determined to make a change.

But to do that I would first need to reflect on where I’ve been and where things went wrong. And that started when I was just a child, in a world and country far different than where I lived now…

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

In my whole career, there are so many! Here’s one of the most recent ones to help demonstrate that no matter how far you’ve come, or who you are, we all still always have fears. We just get better at dealing with them.

It was the weekend before my book was about to be published. The thing is, I was writing because I enjoyed writing the whole time, in fact I only really got through it because I told myself, if I didn’t want to in the end, I just wouldn’t put it out there. My book is full of very personal stories (many of which I wouldn’t want my mother to read), but the day crept up on me. Before I knew it, it was too late to back out.

The night before Best Life-ing was scheduled to be published, I was petrified. I was freaking out, worrying about if anyone except me would like it, why was I bringing unnecessary attention to myself, what if it was a complete failure and a bunch of other things! I could hardly sleep. What if this was about to become the biggest regret of my life?

In less than 24 hours, Best Life-ing became an Amazon No1 New Release, then best seller, and then international best seller in less than 3 weeks.

The only regret I have is spending all that time stressing about it.

The lesson here is most of the time, our fears are just an imaginary vision of the future, which in most cases, doesn’t ever become reality. Jump in, dive head first and go for it! Or just don’t think about it until it’s too late to back out — that always works for me when I’m too scared to do something I know I should, or may be good for me in the long run.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

That’s a tough question. There’s so many things I touch on in the book that could help others, from overcoming limiting beliefs, to finding your why…but if I had to choose one, I think it would be to surround yourself with the right people.

People who believe in you and inspire you to be, do and have whatever you want. People who support your goals, and energize you rather than drain your energy.

The truth is, Your only limitation in this world can only ever be you. What you tell yourself you can and can’t do will ultimately be your reality. You have to delusionally believe in yourself, and don’t let anything or anyone stop you from achieving your dreams.

You’ve probably heard the saying “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with,” and while this phrase may sound a bit cliche, it has made the biggest impact in my life, out of any of the lessons I teach.

This saying is illustrated in my book throughout the entire story, from when I was in middle school hanging around with the cool, but trouble-maker type kids, to when I was in my 20s and surrounding myself with party goers who were unmotivated and had this “I don’t give a shit” kind of attitude. These people had such an incredible, negative impact on my mindset and my actions.

And my friend Bernard was like this lighthouse for me. If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably still be in Australia, stuck in the same old job and feeling terrible about my life. But once Bernard set me straight during my mental breakdown, I began hanging around with inspiring people who believed in me and challenged me, and this had a powerful transformational impact on my life.

Really quick, I also want to emphasize that the people I was hanging around with before my talk with Bernard, are not bad people. Even though this old group of friends didn’t believe in me or support my dreams, they weren’t doing that to purposefully harm me. In their minds, they were trying to protect me from getting hurt because they loved me and truly believed that if I chased my dreams I would fail and become broken hearted. So their intentions weren’t bad, they were just stuck in their own limiting beliefs and were projecting those beliefs on to me.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Esther, Jerry & Abraham Hicks — The Law of Attraction. This book is all about taking accountability and control of your life. The life that you have manifested today, is a reflection of your thoughts and can be altered at any moment. This book and all of their teachings have had a profound impact on my life.

When I was 10 years old, my father passed away and I didn’t cope with this well. I was a very negative person, lived with a victim-mentality and blamed the world for my problems. Once I realized that I had created the mess I called life, then I was able to shift my mindset and create the life of my dreams.

The Law of Attraction teaches that whether we do it consciously or not, we choose and attract everything into our experience. This leaves two choices: blame and complain, or create change. I’ll choose the latter any day, whether it’s proven to be true or just imagination, it sure makes life more fun and feels better to know you have all the control!

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

I have so many! Here’s my top 3:

  1. Life has no limitations, except the ones you make
  2. The best way to predict the future is to create it
  3. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will

They are empowering, they give me full control of my life, they eliminate excuses and make me accountable

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

We are currently using our platform to organize a fundraiser event to help single mothers and children who are homeless this Christmas and our event will be broadcasted live by Lifestyle Network. More information https://www.bestlifeing.com/event-details/the-3rd-annual-saving-families-holiday-fundraiser-best-life-ing-edition or donate here: http://gf.me/u/y6zdij

Also, we are currently doing a free Best Life-ing clarity call for anyone that wants to overcome limiting beliefs, live their dreams and create fulfillment in the 7 areas of life. This hour-long coaching call includes determining where you are in each of the areas, where you want to be, and creating a tangible plan to get you there. The 7 areas of life are: social, physical, spiritual, financial, intellectual, vocational, and relational.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

As humans our brains often operate on autopilot, repeating the things we do regularly which become habits. Habits will form regardless and they are extremely powerful because they create neurological cravings. Your brain/body will ask for more of what you give it. That’s why good habits are the ones you want your brain and body to be craving, because they will serve you in a beneficial way rather than slow you down.

Create good habits lead to massive action, as they become something that you do without thinking about it. Action then leads to progress, and progress gives you a healthy hit of confidence, which turns in momentum. And it’s truly incredible how fast and far you can achieve anything you want with just a little bit of momentum.

Habits also replace the need for motivation, once you have your routine, you don’t need any outside motivators to get you doing them because they are naturally ingrained in your brain. And the best part; if your habits aren’t working for you, the good news is that you can always change them!

One story is that I never used to read books. I made up every excuse for why: no time, no money, can’t concentrate and so on. The truth was, I just didn’t see the value in reading books. Then my friend inspired me to read just 1 hour a day, soon this became a habit. The average book is 5 hours long, in one month I was reading and listening to audiobooks and was able to consistently read/listen to a minimum of 5 books a month. Make it a habit and your excuses will become redundant.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

  • Wake up early: I personally feel more powerful and get the most out of my day when I wake up between 6 and 7am.
  • Meditation 10mins every morning: this creates gaps in the mind, allows for more oxygen to enter your body, centers and focuses you, and allows for your mind to get some conscious silence. Once you create stillness in your inner world, your outer world naturally becomes calmer too.
  • Sleep guided meditation audios: Going to sleep with guided meditation or hypnosis audios sends positive messages and information to your subconscious mind.
  • Reading books and finishing them: creates discipline and builds your knowledge. You can learn decades or even a lifetime of someone’s mistakes, success stories and experiences in the 5 hours it takes to read a book.
  • Meal-prepping: cooking my own food keeps me healthy, strong and energized. Meal prepping in advance ensures I don’t eat take out when I’m feeling tired, lazy or busy. There is a big difference in eating out for the ambience and social aspects (for example) rather than because you are simply unprepared.
  • Exercising: Keeps me fit and energized also, this energy fuels me for the rest of my busy day.
  • Gratitude: This allows me to feel good for what I have already achieved, stay thankful and appreciative, and brings more things to be grateful for into my experience. Grateful people are also more pleasant to be around, so it helps me surround myself with more like-minded people and we flourish in all the things we have to be grateful for.
  • Plan my day/week/month & set clear goals: this helps me stay aligned with what I want and what I don’t want, and it reduces needless stress and complexity out of my decision making process.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

  • Figure out where you are at and where you want to be, then list the habits you need to implement into your life to achieve this.
  • Start small, don’t try to change everything at once, this will be overwhelming and maya become a reason to give up
  • Add your new habit to an existing habit. For example, after brushing your teeth every morning I will go through my gratitude list
  • Use sticky notes as reminders around the house
  • Write them down on your daily to do list. For example, at first I would write: wake up 6am, meditate 10mins, get ready, etc. This not only helps you remember but also, writing it down has a powerful effect on making things happen.
  • Celebrate everything! Make your wins (small or big) a huge celebration

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Eat well and move your body: I used to be 30lb heavier than I am today and my version of a healthy meal was pouring a bottle of sauce on a rack of ribs and calling it “homemade”. Exercise was incredibly hard for me, I was always lethargic and getting out of bed felt difficult for me. I started with short 30min walks and cooking (not tasty) but healthy food, i.e. chicken and broccoli. Needless to say this wasn’t enjoyable, which led me to doing a bit of research and learning how to create my own delicious gourmet meals. With a bit of trial and error, I learnt what foods and flavours went well together, as well as what I was putting into my body. The daily walks started to pay off too. 30mins turned into an hour and then soon enough I joined a gym.

Food and fitness isn’t just about weight or looking good, it completely changes how you feel, perform and focus. You get natural energy by treating your body right, and you give it fuel to function at its best also.

2. Plan: A plan helps you put down and visualize your day. By writing your plan down you avoid having to remember everything and you can prioritize what is important first. Your plan should include your physical and mental wellness objectives, it will help your performance as you wont be steered or tempted in different directions that are not aligned with your goals, and it’s easier to focus as if you get off track it is written down and you can simply refer back to your plan.

3. Meditation: Stillness on the inside equals stillness on the outside. I meditate daily to start each day with a clear mind, it helps me reset and focus. I’ll also add an extra meditation session if I am feeling overwhelmed or anxious about something and this ultimately increases my performance. If you can’t control something, don’t focus on it, meditation can help you shift your mindset onto something else. Move your mind into the positive. And remember, if it’s not going to matter 5 years from now, don’t spend 5 mins thinking about it. That’s a waste of your precious time.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

The best way I have found is to start your day a little earlier to make time for these habits. It only takes 10mins to get a decent meditation in (do more if you want to or are feeling stressed) and it takes 10–20mins to plan your day. This is very possible for anyone to achieve, wake up 30mins earlier to make it happen.

In terms of fitness, the easiest way to be consistent is to find something that you actually enjoy doing. Fitness does not have to be a treadmill or lifting weights at the gym. If you don’t enjoy doing it, it will not be sustainable for you. Instead, try tennis, join a soccer or football team, play tennis, walk, run on the beach, try boxing, do yoga, get an app and do home workouts. There are so many different ways to get moving, find the ones you enjoy.

With food, I suggest you either allocate one day to meal prepping, or have batches of different things made up, then mix and match. Another way I do this is when I am making dinner, I make something extra for lunch the next day. Easy go to recipes are a saviour too, or try out your local meal prep company. We have a whole holistic approach to the physical area of life through teaching about food, fitness and feelings in our Gourmet Guide to Best Life-ing program.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Allow extra time for everything: this helps you underpromise and overdeliver. Clients, and leaders will respect you and be impressed if you get things done early. Allowing extra time also means you wont fall behind if a distraction occurs or urgent task needs to take priority.
  2. Ask for help: It’s better to ask for help than to do it wrong and have to fix it. This costs you time and the business money. If you’re unsure don’t be afraid to ask questions and clarify the task at hand.
  3. Always proof-read and double check your work: No one likes sloppy work. It may come across as rushed if your boss finds mistakes. Also, if you consistently submit projects or work with mistakes or missing information, your boss and colleagues may get the impression that you don’t care.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

  • Be open and honest about how much time you need taking into account your buffer
  • Communicate clearly
  • Plan time to plan
  • Keep a to do list and mark off tasks as they are completed
  • Consider delegating tasks (if possible) or asking for help if deadlines are not going to be met
  • Offer help to others
  • Ask someone to proof-read your work, use a spell/grammar check system, proof yourself before submitting work.
  • Write questions down so you don’t forget anything important
  • Don’t rush, never underestimate the importance of attention to detail.
  • Listen and take notes in meetings or group sessions
  • Develop your knowledge outside of work
  • Read books on topics that you wouldn’t consider a strength

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Meditation: As mentioned earlier, this sets you up for the day, keeps you focused and calm. I always do an extra mini guided meditation session before any big presentation, speech or event that needs a high level of focus.
  2. Zone in and remove any distractions: Put away your phone or put it on silent, switch off email and any other notifications. Allocate specific time for other things and plan time when colleagues can meet with you (if applicable).
  3. Work on only one thing at a time: Trying to do multiple tasks at the same time will slow you down. I always teach that there is no such thing as effective multitasking. Finish one task then move on to another.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

  • Put phone in your bag, away from your workspace or on DND
  • Shut down tabs that are not needed for task at hand
  • Take notes for tasks that arise but are not urgent/important
  • Use the time management quadrants for tasks
  • Set clear goals and time frames
  • Speak to team members and explain that you need this allocated time to focus and will be unavailable unless something is urgent.
  • Start your day with a 10min meditation

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

  • Knowing your values
  • Understanding your strengths and opportunities
  • Linking jobs that you may not necessarily enjoy to your future goals
  • Linking all tasks to your values
  • Do everything as if it were for your own business
  • Spend more time on things that you enjoy, focus on the mind, body and the thoughts you have while completing certain tasks. Use your emotions as your guidance system to determine what feels good or no-so-good.
  • Leverage your memory & visualization skills: think about previous successes and imagine what the future could bring

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

For people to overcome limiting beliefs and live their dreams by creating fulfillment in the 7 areas of life. This is the whole purpose of my book. I truly believe that people who are genuinely fulfilled have no need to complain, or cause harm to others, instead they find their joy in helping others do the same. This stems from a person overcoming their own limitations, and believing in themselves, which in turn ultimately leads to dreams being fulfilled. And dreams are not only for the benefit of the dreamer, they create expansion and can be shared in the service of others.

Creating this movement we would reduce anger, cynicism, and the whole concept of victim. People would understand that their lives and experiences are in their control, they would take accountability, and they would feel compassion towards others who are different from them.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

It would be my dream to have lunch with Esther Hicks, Elon Musk and/or Eckhart Tolle

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Instagram @bestlife.ing or www.bestlifeing.com

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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