I’ve churned through over 150,000 emails, social media comments and messages, and blog comments in the last 6 years.
And that means I’ve fielded a ton of questions.
As you can imagine, some questions pop up more often than others, and I thought it might be helpful to take a little time every month to choose a few and record and share my answers.
So, in this round, I answer the following question:
- How Do You Increase Urgency and Necessity?
If you have a question you’d like me to answer, leave a comment below or if you want a faster response, send an email to [email protected].
Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!
Mentioned on the Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey, Mike Matthews here and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today. Now, as you can imagine, I have fielded a lot of communication and a lot of questions over the years. I’ve easily gone through over 200,000 emails, social media comments and messages and blog comments since I got into the fitness racket back in 2012.
Some questions pop up more often than others, and some are very topical. Sometimes they are related to things that a lot of people are talking about, and so I thought it would be helpful to take some time on the podcast now and then and answer questions that people are asking me. Ones that I think all of you out there.
Benefit from or may enjoy as well. So in this episode, I will answer the question, how do you build urgency and necessity into your routine? Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world, bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner.
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In select Barnes and Noble stores. And I should also mention that you can get any of the audio books 100% free when you sign up for an Audible account. And this is a great way to make those pockets of downtime like commuting, meal prepping, and cleaning more interesting, entertaining, and productive. And so if you want to take audible up on this offer, and if you want to get one of my audiobooks for free, just go to www.buy leg.
That’s B U Y legion.com/audible and sign up for your account. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you wanna see more of it, and if you wanna learn time proven and evidence-based strategies for losing fat, building muscle, and getting healthy, and strategies that work for anyone and everyone, regardless of age or circumstances, please do consider picking up one of my best selling books, bigger, leaner, stronger for Men, thinner, leaner.
For women and the shredded chef for my favorite fitness friendly recipe. All right, so there are many ways that this question could be answered, many ways that I could even go about answering it, but the most productive one, the one that means the most to me. May not be one that you are used to hearing.
Maybe you’ve never heard it before. If so, then go me because this is going to be a more interesting episode to you than if I simply rehashed the basic stop procrastinating 1 0 1 information out there. So for me, I have very clear goals that I work toward. Anybody who has followed me for a while knows that I’m that type of person, but why?
Why are those goals meaningful to me and why do they fill me with a sense of urgency and necessity? Well, it has nothing to do with what those goals will ultimately get me. It has nothing to do with getting money. Getting trinkets or getting recognition or status. The goals that I work toward every day are meaningful to me because they’re informed by a personal constitution of sorts.
And this is something I picked up from the book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which I have discussed in a book club episode some time ago. If you wanna hear my thoughts on that book and hear some of the key takeaways, the things that most resonated with. Than just search Highly effective people.
And if you go back far enough, it’s probably a couple years back now, you’ll find it. And in that book, the author calls this personal constitution a personal mission statement, and it focuses on three areas of our lives. It focuses on our character or who we want to be, our contribution, or what we want to do, and our achievements or the values or principles upon which being and doing.
Based, and those are his words. And if the achievements one doesn’t quite make sense, uh, I understand that’s not what you would expect under the heading of achievements. And it’s missing like actual things you want to experience and have. But I just think with that as well, really the, the framework that he’s using is be, do, and have, right?
So who do you want to be? What do you wanna do and what do you want to have as a result of being and doing? And why you want to be, and why you want to do, and why you want to have is of course, part of this little exercise. For example, in the book, the author gives some examples of items in a personal creed, like succeed at home, first, seek and merit divine help.
Never compromise with honesty. Remember the people involved, hear both sides. Before judging, obtain counsel, others, defend those who are absent. Be sincere, yet decisive, and develop one new proficiency per year. Now, the reason why this personal mission, Statement has been very helpful for me is it forces me to think about priorities and it forces me to set standards for who I want to be, the type of person I want to be.
And that, of course, informs what I want to do because one type of person acts one way and another type of person acts another way. And also what I want to have, uh, to tap a, a. Metaphor. Imagine that you are out at sea on a boat and you are voyaging to some far off destination, and then your boat springs a leak, and that of course then immediately becomes your priority.
You jump down, you start bailing water. You’re just trying to not go under, right? But. You then forget that nobody is left to navigate the ship. So one day after doing nothing but bailing water for who knows how long, you poke your head up over the bow and you wonder where the hell you are and how you got there.
That is a good metaphor for a life that is not guided by policies and principles and purposes that deeply resonate with us. That is how people. Become preoccupied with just staying afloat, and they fail to realize that nobody is at the helm of their life. So here is my personal mission statement, as it currently stands, it’s something that changes over time.
It’s a living document. Of course, but I’m just gonna go through it and there are quite a few items here, but these are all things that I feel strongly about, some I feel more strongly about than others. I haven’t put this together in any particular order because I don’t think that’s necessary. But here, let’s just go through it.
So the first point here is to exemplify extreme orderliness. He who wants to keep his garden tidy, doesn’t reserve a plot for weeds. The next one is be willing to exert more effort in this age, which believes that there is a shortcut to everything. The greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is in the long run, the easiest always be growing.
You don’t attract what you want. You attract who you are. Always think long term. Your future hangs on every day that passes God’s in the details of many creations. One feels it could have been truly good if the maker’s appetite for suffering had been greater, and in case you’re wondering where the additional color comes from for each of these points, these are quotes that I’ve just picked up along the way.
Reading books mostly and finding things that I really liked and then incorporating them into this person. Mission statement. Anyway. Continuing stay positive. Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Make your own luck. The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.
Don’t fear failure. If you’re growing, you’re likely failing, and if you’re not failing, You’re likely not growing. Lead by example. Officers eat last. Leaders lead from the front. Don’t do this for me. Do this with me. Do unto others as they prefer to be done unto in the end. What matters most in life are the depth of your relationships with friends and family, and the sheer number of people you’ve helped along the way.
Don’t forget to have some fun. A complimentary Japanese concept is that of itchy go itchy E, which could be translated as this moment exists only now and won’t come again. It is heard most often in social gatherings as a reminder that each encounter, whether with friends, family, or strangers, is unique and will never be repeated.
Meaning that we should enjoy the moment and not lose ourselves in worries about the past or the. Make it go right. There’s nothing you can’t accomplish If you think creatively and have the character to do the difficult things. Be bold what you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius power and magic in it.
Refuse to complain. Savor both your struggles and your rewards. Don’t accept something as true unless it is true for you. Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self. Think for yourself, even if it runs a foul of orthodoxies. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Never comply out of cowardice. They’ve got us surrounded the poor bastar. Be truthful and sincere. Truth and sincerity have a certain distinguishing native luster about them, which cannot be perfectly counterfeited. They’re like fire in flame that cannot be painted. Be kind. Being right isn’t enough.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Results matter more than intentions. If all of it matters are our intentions, then we don’t have much of a reason to make ourselves better at doing. Seek good advice. Believable opinions are most likely to come from people, one who have successfully accomplished the thing in question at least three times, and two, who have great explanations of the cause effect relationships that lead them to their conclusions.
Don’t associate with people who don’t share your key values while there is nobody in the world who will share your point of view. Everything. There are people who will share your most important values and the ways in which you choose to live them out. Make sure you end up with those people, make a difference.
The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are refuse to make excuses. Nearly every problem has a solution. It’s just a fact. It might not be the solution you want, but there is a solution. Strive to understand the other. We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.
Stay humble. Whom the God’s wish to destroy they first call promising. Stay curious. The only way to enjoy life is to remain interested in it. Be temperate. A nation is born, stoic and dies epic. Curian don’t need praise, admiration, approval, or sympathy. Real self-respect comes from dominion over self from true independence.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Life is one long battle. We have to fight it every step. And Voltaire very rightly says that if we succeed, it is at the point of the sword and that we die with the weapon in our hand. Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today and you make your tomorrow do what’s right, even when it costs you something.
It can ruin your life only if it ruins your charact. Always be willing to change your mind. It’s not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Don’t do harmful things that you need to hide. Life is like an echo. We get from it what we put in it, and just like an echo.
It often gives us much more, give far more to people and society than you take that the. Who lives on the labor of others, not giving himself in return to the best of his ability, is really a consumer of human life, and therefore must be considered no better than a cannibal deal with reality as it is not as you wish it were.
The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the. Don’t hold grudges. He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. Help everyone on your team win. The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be successful. Giving people the opportunity to struggle rather than giving them the things they are struggling for will make them strong.
Earn your place every day. Part of respecting a way of life is passing it on, doing what you can to make sure it doesn’t die with you. Be worthy of freedom to get what you want. You have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.
Slug it out one inch at a time, day by day at the end of the. If you live long enough, most people get what they deserve. All right? That’s my personal mission statement pretty long. But each of those points mean something to me and mean enough to make it on my list. And so whenever I consider pursuing a goal, which then of course determines the things I do to accomplish that goal, which turns into habits, things I’m doing regularly.
A little bit, often done long enough can achieve great things, right? So when I’m considering a goal, I see how it aligns with that mission statement, and I’m generally looking for goals that lead to activities that allow me to embody several or many of my values. And so this way, I’m making choices driven by who I want to be and not by other factors like what other people think about me or maybe expect of me, or maybe some sort of hole in me that needs to be filled with praise, money, status, or whatever.
For example, my work checks quite a few of those boxes exemplify extreme orderliness. Be willing to exert more effort. Always be growing. Stay positive. Make your own luck. Don’t fear failure. Make it go right. Refuse to complain. Keep your word once given. Refuse to make excuses and. More, quite a few of them actually, and so do other things that I regularly do, like working out and reading and spending time with my family, and even golfing, which I recently took up.
Again, it is not as meaningful to me as my work, for example, or. Well reading or spending time with my family, but it is me not forgetting to have some fun, and it is me being willing to exert effort. Golf is a pain in the ass if you are going to try to get actually good at it. It is a way to exemplify orderliness and do some of the other things that I want to do and to personify some of the ideals I want to represent.
Now by the same token, Many things that I don’t do much of or don’t do any of, just don’t align with my personal mission statement. They don’t align with my principles. For example, I don’t watch much TV because I don’t really see the purpose. I’ll watch some here and there, but it’s not a regular thing that I do.
I’d rather read, for example. Same thing with surfing the internet, not something I do much of, very little of, uh, if any at all. I don’t play video games. I don’t scroll around on social media or I rarely do. And if I do, it’s maybe, I don’t know, three minutes max, five minutes. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t use drugs.
I don’t look at porn. I’m not into conspicuous consumption and so on. And so this framework that I’ve put together for myself fills me with urgency and necessity because it provides both a, a great carrot and. A great stick as far as positive inducement goes. I drive a lot of satisfaction from using my time to do these things and to pursue these ideals and to work toward perfecting myself even though perfection is not attainable.
That is part of the fun I think, of pursuing it because you know you’re never gonna get there, but the question is, how close to perfected can you become? And so since I have taken the time to put some thought into this personal mission statement and to find things that resonate with me emotionally, and that’s a a key tip, if you are going to work on something like this yourself, you define.
That spark some feeling in you. Not that just sound good or sound rational or sound like something you should put on the list. It doesn’t work like that. You have to find the things that stir something deep in you, and chances are, while you may have light many of my items and maybe even agreed with them, they didn’t produce that feeling in you.
They didn’t move you. They didn’t make you think, yes, that’s for. So again, if you are going to do this exercise, just make sure you are doing it for you only put down things that mean something to you. Don’t put down things that you think you should put there or that somebody else would expect you to put there.
You don’t have to show this to anybody ever if you don’t want to. And if you do take the time to think about these things and work out your priorities and figure out who you really want to be and what you really want to do and what you really wanna have, what you want to leave behind is another way of looking at that.
And then you start aligning your day-to-day life. To what you have put together. I think that you will find, if you don’t currently feel much urgency or necessity to do much of anything, that will change naturally. You won’t have to force it on yourself. You will be drawn to goals that align with your.
Mission statement, and you’ll be drawn to using the majority of your time to pursue those goals. And speaking personally, one of the benefits I’ve really enjoyed of living this way is it makes life more fun from the outside looking in. Somebody could think that I must have a lot of. Pressure on me to work as much as I do, and to always write the next article and record the next podcast and write the next book and work on the next Legion Project.
And it’s Sunday at 9:00 PM and I’m working on something, I’m doing something that’s in alignment with goals that are. Patterned on my personal mission statement, but it doesn’t feel stressful to me. It is not always fun, of course, no game is always fun or it wouldn’t be a great game, but I am generally enjoying myself a lot more than not enjoying myself.
And just like with diet and training, enjoyment is a major factor. If you don’t like your. You are not going to be able to stick to it over the long term, and therefore you are not going to get the results you want. If you don’t like your workouts, you are not going to be able to maintain good consistency and good compliance over the long term, and so it’s important to find the diet that you like.
That also works and find the training program that you like that also works that allows you to achieve your goals. And the same principle applies to achieving any other goal. If it takes more than a week or two to get there, you’re gonna have to find a way to like, The process a lot more than you dislike it.
And for me, using a personal mission statement to vet goals and being picky with the goals that I choose to pursue has allowed me to set myself up for enjoyment. It doesn’t always work out as planned, but it allows me to do a lot better than average in that. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful.
And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or. Wherever you’re listening to me from, in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility. And thus, it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well.
And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live. Simply subscribe to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff. And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for life.com. Just muscle f o r life.com and share your thoughts on how I can do this better.
I read everything myself, and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. Even if it is criticism, I’m open. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email. That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at muscle life.com.
And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.