3 Minute Monday
There’s a concept I was introduced to by former Special Forces Operative Ollie Ollerton this year.
It relates to how the Special Forces guys get ready for action.
Once they’ve landed, they’ll have to either fight or sneak their way to the objective.
Before breaching a room or a building all the team will stack up outside the entrance.
They’ll take a moment to collect themselves.
Breathe, slow the heart rate down, consider the plan and get ready for what’s about to happen.
This interlude between two periods of frantic chaos is called a breakpoint.
It’s an opportunity to reset objectives, remove assumptions and refocus on what matters.
Since returning from a month in Dubai, I’ve been reflecting on why I feel so different back home right now.
I’m probably the happiest I’ve been at home all year.
I’m more energised, more positive, with better clarity.
I’m not getting overwhelmed by high volumes of tasks or challenges, I’m just dealing with whatever is in front of me.
Urgent tasks are giving way to important ones.
And I’ve got a much broader vision for the scope of what I can achieve in the future.
It feels like a Personal Breakpoint.
Honestly, if I could bottle the effect of the last week, I’d be a billionaire.
Naturally I’ve become curious about why this has happened.
I’ve been away a lot, 10+ countries last year, so it’s not just just getting a bit of sun that’s done this.
What was different about this trip?
Here’s a few elements that I think contributed to an effective Personal Breakpoint…
The length of time away was significant.
Most trips are a few days to a week in length.
This isn’t long enough to pattern-interrupt the thoughts, assumptions and habits you’ve embedded.
It feels like a pause from your normal life, rather than the chance to sink into a new one.
My routine was different but not totally altered.
Most holidays bear no resemblance to your normal life.
What applicable lessons can you learn from living in a completely alternate reality as a beach bum for 7 days?
My trip was a working holiday.
The podcast, sponsorships, contact with business partners, emails and everything else continued as normal.
So the gap to leap between how I operated out there, and how I operate at home was reduced.
I had regular, open conversations about life, my industry & my goals.
I was about 100x more social than I usually am.
I kid you not.
If I wasn’t working, I was with someone, constantly.
Typically you will spend a trip mostly talking to the people you already know about the topics you always do.
I spoke to Millionaires, Billionaires, CEOs, Ultra Endurance Athletes, Podcasters, YouTubers and everyone in between.
It was a pharmaceutical grade dose of varied, experienced, big-picture opinions.
This forced me to be reflective and rigorous about my beliefs and iterate multiple times per day.
Discuss > Have beliefs challenged > Update operating system > Repeat.
So yes… all that and more contributed to this Personal Breakpoint.
Many of the thought patterns that I usually obsess over are still there.
But the volume has been turned down.
And they’re framed against a very different worldview.
I think you could probably achieve this in around 2 weeks or so if you iterated hard on reflecting and spent less time on your phone than I did.
Perhaps the answer to your thought loops is to interrupt them with something so novel they can’t be heard any more.
A month-long trip to Dubai might not be the answer, but I’m pretty sure the principles are right.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Rory Sutherland returns. The man is a force of nature. If you only listen to one podcast I publish this year, make sure it’s this. Hilarious insights about the world of marketing, behaviour, culture & more.
Nims Purja MBE climbed the 14 highest mountains on the planet in under 7 months. Brutal, inspiring, relentless and motivational.
Not sure yet. Maybe Harold McGee on the science of how smells work.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
China can tell who you are by how you walk.
“Gait recognition” software can identify individuals by their body shape and the way they move.
This is true even if your face is covered.
And it’s 94% accurate.
Zoom has made people want to have cosmetic surgery.
There has been a significant increase in people wanting surgery due to looking at themselves on video calls in 2020.
“Zoom Boom” is a real thing.
As is “Lockdown Face” apparently.
Save Face has seen a 40% increase in enquiries since the beginning of lockdown.
AirPods are very good.
If Apple AirPods was a standalone business, it would probably be the most valuable startup in the world.
Founded in 2016.
Steve is smiling down.
You don’t need caffeine when you wake up.
Upon waking most people have a coffee.
Caffeine works on the adenosine system.
But your adenosine system isn’t dominant within the first 90 minutes of waking.
Your adrenal system is.
Instead of coffee, try having lemon juice and a teaspoon of salt in pint of cold water.
If you want to turn pro, go for a proper Salt Drink like LMNT or Jigsaw Health’s Adrenal Cocktail.
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