Doing Pushups



One of my favorite things lately has been listening to my friends talk about their ideas and goals. If I can, I give them advice and I enjoy brainstorming about whatever ideas come up.


On Saturday, my friend Clodel called me up and we went for a walk in the park near my Brooklyn apartment. He’s developing a product and I asked him about it. He told me that he’s reaching out to engineers to help him build a prototype and a factory to help him produce it. Enthused, I asked him if he had thought about blogging; he’s a smart guy with a unique perspective and I think the way his mind works could inspire a lot of people.

He told me that he wanted to wait until he had a company and was making progress with his invention. I suggested that he start right away so that he could build up his blogging skills now while there’s nothing at stake. “To get good at pushups, you have to start doing pushups.”


My point was that I think I’m a terrible blogger. But I’m doing it anyway because, right now, there’s nothing at stake for me, either. In a few months, I’ll have products and — I hope — customers. But now, it’s just me rambling about whatever pops into my head. He agreed. And I want to see his blog. I’ll link to it when he starts one because I believe in him and his idea and I think you will, too.


I know I promised to write a blog about daily practice, so I might as well mention it.


In James Altucher‘s book, Choose Yourself, he suggests writing down ten ideas per day in order to build your brain into an idea machine. It feels a lot like pushups for the brain and I do it every day, in a notebook I carry around. I start while I’m sleeping and jot them down all day. I won’t let myself sleep again until I have at least ten. I’ve been doing this for just a few weeks and, already, I have billion dollar ideas pouring out of me like water. The ones I can’t use, I suggest to friends who can use them. I don’t ask for anything in return.


cat-1551810_1920Speaking of sleep, every night, I try to get 8 hours of sleep. Some nights, I wake up after 6 and some mornings I can stretch it out beyond 8. Sleep keeps the brain and body healthy and refreshed, allowing optimal performance.


Most of the time, I eat healthy and I try not to eat before bedtime. I drink water like an MMA fighter in training camp (gallons). I meditate at least 15 minutes per day. I try to spend at least 20 solid minutes moving my body, sweating when I can. I know I need to exercise more. My gut tells me this with it’s puffy shape. Still, I have enough energy to be relentless and that’s a start.


On my daily commute (about an hour each way), I read books and go through 1-2 per week. Every weekend, I make time to paint until I’m exhausted; and while I paint, I dialogue with myself about my ideas, what my failures and obstacles are able to teach me, and things I need to work on.


Every morning and every night, I bow at my Kami altar and thank the whatever-it-is for the blessings I have in this life and express gratitude. I don’t know if there is anything listening, but I notice pleasant synchronicities more in my life and my “spirit” feels healthier, so I continue this practice. I also take time at the altar to state my goals explicitly with time deadlines.


At least 3 times per week, I meet up with smart people (artists, writers, entrepreneurs, etc) and brainstorm with them. I try to focus on helping my friends think through their ideas and encourage them when I think their ideas and plans will work or at least make sense. And I don’t hold back when I think they’re wrong or missing something.


And every day, I make sure to move at least one inch toward my goals. If I’m having a terrible day and everything is going to hell, I can reassure myself that I got my inch. I feel that success is a game of inches and that if you move at least an inch a day, you’ll get where you need to go. Of course, I love those days where I make big strides, but the bad days have to produce, too.


Why do I structure my life this way? Because I can always get better. And because my goals are important to me. If you want to get good at doing pushups, start doing lots of pushups. And don’t stop doing them. You’ll get great at doing pushups.


A daily practice that incorporates and builds physical, mental, and spiritual health, and builds your social and economic circles is basically the secret to getting what you want in life. Excuses are easier to make than effort. Guess which one will lead you to the end of the rainbow?


If you have anything you’d like me to write about, please leave a comment!

Leave a Comment