You know that game where you flip a card, see the face and turn it back over, then try to find the match?
That’s the game we’re going to play…
Write down your values. I told Jairek mine. I had three.
Jairek is a life coach. And Tony Robbins is his dad. But that doesn’t matter. Because Tony didn’t invest in his son’s strengths. He invested in weakness. That’s key. That’s how you become a superhero.
“I didn’t really have an understanding of what real hard work was,” Jairek said.
So in college, Jairek went to Canada and stacked lumber.
“You’ve known me a long time,” I said. “What’s a weakness I have that you think I can work through?”
“I’ll tell you how we find those,” he said.
Step 1: Review your values
Jairek said, “Let’s do this right now. If I were to ask you what’s most important to you in life, what would you say?”
- “Humans…” That was number one. Connecting with people I care about.
- “Being an honest person who acts with integrity.”
- “And creativity.”
So here’s the card game… Imagine you have all the cards face down on the carpet. Every card has a match.
One shows your values. The other shows your time. You have to match them up to win.
Because values = time.
People say, “Time is money.”
Time is values.
But almost everyone struggles with this. I struggle with this. Jairek gave an example. But it made me wonder… maybe your brain’s idea of values is wrong.
Maybe your “values” are really your expectations… This is my experience: misery sinks in when expectations are higher than reality.
The example Jairek gave was of a guy who spent all his time doing business. His values were family and God. So I asked Jairek, “Could your brain be wrong?”
Maybe this guy’s calendar was right. Maybe he really valued business the most…
I’m not in his head. I don’t have a life coach. I have a therapist.
So if you’re reading this and thinking, “No he doesn’t,” then at least you know what’s true for you.
Step 2: Find a match
Log your time. Look at your day and your week. Jairek’s clients log their lives for seven days. But he also needs to know your thoughts. Which is harder to measure. “I don’t have a sensor for that yet,” he said. “It’s subjective.”
Jairek has helped thousands of people.
One client said, “Honestly, I wake up and the first thing through my head is, ‘Am I going to close that deal today?’ It’s always combing through my mind. Even at dinner. I’m thinking about the paperwork. My mind’s constantly turning. I’m not able to let go of what’s going on.’”
His home life was suffering.
So Jairek asked, “What’s your ritual to turn it off at the end of the day and walk away without having all those thoughts processing in your head?”
Most people don’t have a ritual. That’s the problem. “You need to disassociate from work,” he said. “Get it out of your nervous system.”
So here’s the formula: disconnect, then connect.
Part A) Disconnect:
“Some people go for a walk, other people breathe for 20 minutes. It’s different for everybody. You have to figure out the routine.”
Sometimes I’m emailing about work at midnight. That’s how habits start. They creep in when my guard is down, when I’m not connected to anything I love.
Part B) Connect
Jairek switched his coaching methods a few years ago. He used to coach on performance. Now it’s relationships. Because it’s the relationships in our lives that increase our performance.
“Right now, if you’re at work, and you think about your kids, your heart’s probably not gushing over them,” he said.”
“No, usually they suck and I’m annoyed at them.” I had plans to see them in a few hours.
Then Jairek hypnotized me.
“What’s the most precious and beautiful moment you have with one of your kids?” he said. “Go back way in the distance. Remember one of your earliest moments with them that just lit your heart up. And as a dad made you prouder than you could have ever imagined.”
He had me repeat the process. Catch a memory. Then another. You can do this about your spouse, family, someone who’s hurt your or you’ve hurt.
Then combine memories with music. Or look at a picture. “If you combine the visual, auditory and the feeling of it, and reconnect with those memories, then by the time you get home, you’re less likely to pick up a business call. Because your head’s not thinking about all the deals.”
I saw my kids that day. We laughed more than ever…
And when I flipped the cards, I found a match.
James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Image courtesy of DieterRobbins.