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Car guy, psych guy, former president

By: Michael Blankenship |

“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.”
~Marcus Aurelius

Greetings from LA and Hawaii.

This week we interviewed a million-dollar “car guy”, watched Jordan Peterson make a thoughtful return to the public eye, and read about Obama’s rise to power. Our challenge is for you to spend 5-10 minutes meditating for at least 3 days.

Author, speaker, car guy

Tony Whatley founded LS1Tech, now one of the largest niche “car guy” communities on the internet. After it grew to 300,000 users and $400,000 in yearly profit, Tony duplicated the business model and created PerformanceTrucks.net. He sold both of those “side hustles” (his words) for millions of dollars.

He’s also the author of SideHustle Millionaire, a book that’s sold tens of thousands of copies. Now Tony is a keynote speaker, podcast host, and business growth consultant.

When we asked Tony what qualities have contributed to his success, he said,

“Consistency and discipline. I was raised by two highly-disciplinary parents… I simply show up and do the work every day. I don’t complain about it. I never have. I focus on the goal, identify the steps, and I execute. Just like the Project Manager I once was. I still feel the emotion of fear at times, but I push it aside just like the daredevil kid I grew up being. I put another brick under the wood bicycle ramp, and I jump it going twice as fast.”

In terms of practical strategies for building consistency and discipline, Tony recommended,

“Start with planning and living every single day using a calendar app, such as Gmail calendar. Plan at least 45-60 days out in advance. Schedule every waking hour with the task you should be focused on during that hour. Even if that is a normal job, put it on your daily calendar hour by hour to build a habit of using the calendar. This will quickly shoot holes in the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse that is so common, once you begin to measure and monitor your time usage during the day.”

That, or an accountability group…

“Another free strategy is to form a strong accountability group that consists of 4-5 people, max. This group should be respectful and friendly, but not ideally a group of your friends. Friends cut each other slack too often, and won’t share the hard truths with you because they value the friendship more than results. Schedule weekly meetings that last one hour. Commit to the group the task(s) you will complete that week, and hold each other accountable by sending reminder texts or emails, and not taking any excuses from each other. Teamwork!

“The paid strategy involves joining an accountability coaching group, such as a guided mastermind, or hiring a personal coach to help you push harder to get results. These investments should also not be inexpensive to you, otherwise you’ll take them less seriously and you won’t participate or show up as well as you should. Find a coach for your fitness, relationships, business, or career – whichever areas you feel are lacking or stagnant.”

When we asked Tony what key advice he’d give a student of his, he said,

“It is important to identify those who bring you energy, and those who rob your energy, no matter their relation to you. Once you identify the people that leave you feeling less with each interaction, you must create boundaries and try to move them out of your life. Delete them from social media, stop taking their calls and texts, and stop hanging out with them. Most people understand the importance of this, but very few ever take the actions and follow through with these tasks.”

“Find a group of people that resonate with you, support you, encourage you, and mentor you. They don’t need to be in your city or your zip code, they likely don’t exist there, anyways. Online communities are much better at sifting out the trash and identifying the best of the best. I’ve witnessed over 20 years of building online communities and how they can change people’s lives, in both automotive and entrepreneurship groups. Find your people. Participate with them. Challenge yourself and take an active role among them. It will change your life.”

When it comes to setting boundaries with toxic people, Tony recommended,

“Truthfully, it is difficult to sever most relationships, even those we deem toxic. We don’t want to hurt feelings, we don’t like being impolite, and we generally avoid situations which could result in conflict. Humans are pack animals, and it goes against our survival instincts to reduce our quantity of pack members…”

“Peel off the Band-Aid. It will bleed a bit before it heals. There isn’t any easy way to do this. You will go through weeks, potentially a few months of mourning the loss of those relationships. You’ll question if it was actually them doing something wrong, or if it is just you. It isn’t you, if you are the victim of their toxic words, actions, and behaviors. Until you have the courage to remove those people from your life, you should understand that you deserve the consequences they bring. You have a choice. You have control. Your life is too short to settle for less.”

If you want to learn more from Tony, follow him on Instagram or check out his online entrepreneurial community: 365 Driven

Jorden Peterson Strikes Back

Jordan Peterson fell out of view in 2019 due to illnesses that he and his wife endured. But now he’s back in the public eye, discussing cancel culture, the necessity of merit, and how order and chaos guide the universe on a micro as well as a macro level. Here are two recent interviews he’s done that we enjoyed listening to.

Jordan Peterson on Rules for Life, Psychedelics, The Bible, and Much More | The Tim Ferriss Show

An Emotional Return & 12 More Rules for Life | Jordan Peterson | POLITICS | Rubin Report

Obama’s Rise To Power

We’re not die-hard advocates for every presidential memoir on the shelves — especially since publishing a book with your smiling face on the cover seems to now be a pre-requisite to claiming the presidency — but Obama’s A Promised Land was a fascinating (if slightly longwinded) book about what it takes to become U.S. president, what the job requires, and how broken some of our systems have become (like Congress’ strangely revered filibuster). We appreciated Obama’s honest, behind-the-scenes breakdown of things like the war in Iraq, the 2008 recession, his own failures and successes, and how the media so skilfully distorts what’s really happening in government buildings.

Here’s one passage that stuck with us, where during his first church service as president-elect, Obama’s thoughts strayed to a harrowing handover the night before…

“For his sermon that morning, Reverend Jakes drew on the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel, describing how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, faithful to God despite their service in the royal court, refused to kneel before King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol; how as a result the three men were thrown into a blazing furnace; and yet how because of their faithfulness, God protected them, helping them to emerge from the furnace unscathed.

In assuming the presidency during such turbulent times, Reverend Jakes explained, I too was being thrown into the flames. The flames of war. The flames of economic collapse. But so long as I stayed true to God and to doing what was right, I too had nothing to fear.

The pastor spoke in a majestic baritone, his broad, dark face smiling down on me from the pulpit. ‘God is with you,’ he said, ‘in the furnace.’

Some in the church began to applaud, and I smiled in acknowledgment of his words. But my mind was drifting back to the previous evening, when after dinner I had excused myself from my family, walked upstairs to one of Blair House’s many rooms, and received a briefing from the director of the White House Military Office on the ‘football’ — the small leather-jacketed suitcase needed to launch a nuclear strike. One of the military aides responsible for carrying the football explained the protocols as calmly and methodically as someone might describe how to program a DVR. The subtext was obvious.

I would soon be vested with the authority to blow up the world.”

Extra Stuff

The 30 Best Dumbbell Exercises of All Time by Men’s Journal

Most People Don’t Actively Seek to Share Fake News by Scientific American

How to Quiet Your Buzzing Brain in 5 Minutes by Inc.

The Psychology Of Wearing Fragrance When No One Can Smell You by Refinery29

Neuroscientists have identified how exactly a deep breath changes your mind by Quartz 

Weekly Challenge

Meditation is a powerful tool for reducing anxiety and clarifying the mind. This week, meditate for 5-10 minutes at least 3 days. Here’s a great guide if you’re new to meditation. And if you want guided meditation, then check out Headspace.

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