The 4 foundational habits

Given that your day job keeps you pretty busy… and you want to progress your career to partner (or just get promoted)…. and you want to have quality time with your family, it’s absolutely key that you can be at your best, pretty much every day. In order to be at your best each day, you need to have nailed the 4 foundational habits.

The 4 foundational habits

In the third edition of How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life we go deeper into the 4 foundational habits, the habits that you need to prioritise above all else, if you want to be at your best each day. Watch this video to learn more about them and how they impact your daily life and, ultimately, your road to partnership.
To buy your copy of the 3rd edition of How To Make Partner And Still Have A Life use this discount code ABMMPHL320 to get 20% off the new edition when you buy your copy direct from the publisher Kogan Page here 
Transcription:  Finally, the third edition of How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life is now published. In this short video, I wanted to touch on some of the reworked new parts of the book. Even if you’ve got edition one or edition two, there’s a lot of new stuff in here. So, what do I want to talk about? I want to talk about chapter five, and in the book, we always previously talked about alternative asset management, how to keep your body working at peak performance. But actually in the third edition, what we’ve addressed and what we’ve updated is the fact that your mind drives your body. It’s actually the power of your mind that drives the state of your body.

And, if you’re going to make it to partner, you’ve got to keep your mind and body healthy. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how you are doing it. If you do not have a healthy base on which to work on, I found that from the foundation it’s almost impossible to a.) be good at your job and b.) move your career forward. So this is why when we go into part two of the book, which is the foundation to build a successful and happy career, we start with how to keep your mind and your body in top performance. I wanted to touch upon something that I talk a lot in my work, on both sides of my business. It is about the four foundational habits.

Now, these four foundational habits are the habits that you need to prioritize above all else. Now, a lot of standard leadership theory says: “Hey, have a goal. Set the goal, and then you’ll be better”. But, if you don’t get these four habits right, it doesn’t matter how many goals you set yourself, you’re never going to get there. So what are the four foundational habits?

Well, the first one is about sleep, prioritizing getting good quality sleep.

Now, this isn’t about getting four hours, five hours typically. If you read the book, Matthew Walker’s book on why we sleep, you’ll identify that most of us need seven minimum of seven hours sleep a night. You might be saying: “well I get by on four, Maggie Thatcher got by on four, Ronald Reagan got by on four”. Well, let me tell you the truth now. I’m in the UK. Twenty-two people in the UK have a genetic disorder called DREC-2 and what a DREC-2 says is that they don’t need sleep. I met one of them, and he told me that out of the 22, 16 of them are related.

Now if you’ve crunched the numbers, you’ve got a more likely chance of getting hit by lightning than having this sleep disorder where you don’t need sleep. This guy that was talking to me said he needs to sleep about once every other day, but he also did tell me that the average age life expectancy for somebody with this disorder is 42.

Let me sink that in: for somebody that doesn’t get sleep, the average life expectancy is 42. Now, why is that? Well, first of all, when you sleep, your body repairs, it recharges, your bones heal, your cells heal, your brain flushes out of toxins. There’s a strong line of scientific thinking at the moment that says that if you’re not getting enough good quality deep sleep, you’re not flushing out the toxins of your brain. That’s a given. But some of those toxins are the plaque that forms on your brain that starts Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related degenerative diseases. If you’re not flushing out those toxins, you’re leaving the bad stuff. That’s why they think that most degenerative brain diseases start 20 years before the symptoms show.

So if you’re not getting enough sleep now, and this has been maybe a feature of your 20s and 30s, that’s going to catch up with you and your 50s and your 60s. If you don’t get enough sleep, it causes high blood pressure; it causes your blood sugars to swing, so you’re more likely to overeat, obesity, which then helps with diabetes. A lack of sleep leads to the big four big killers: cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia. Lack of sleep is the biggest one. When you’re tired, it’s really difficult to give in to impulses. This is why it’s so important that your first foundational habit is about sleep.

The second foundational habit is about getting the right kind of food and drink

If you don’t refuel yourself, how do you expect yourself to work at your best? When I talk about refuelling yourself, I’m not talking about choosing the best quality wine. I’m talking about foods that work for your body. For many of us, there’s a lot of food that inflame our bodies. I’m a coeliac. I really struggle. I’ve lost the ability to digest lactose. So I struggle with things like dairy. What they’ve discovered is that when your body’s inflamed, it stops your body to work at its best. But also that is the stuff that starts ageing your body. Y

ou wouldn’t put in poor quality fuel into a Ferrari, so why are you stuffing your body with poor quality food? You might get stuff full of unhealthy fats, most fats are good, but there are some, the processed trans fats, that are unhealthy. Why are you putting in stuff that’s high in sugar? That’s just a quick way to start being prediabetic. Actually, when they look it, when you’re diabetic or prediabetic, your more predisposed to the other three big killers: cancer, dementia, and cardiovascular disease.

Let’s look at the third foundational habit. It is about exercise or as a minimum: movement.

So why is this so important to us? Well, the first thing is that exercise or movement reduces inflammation in your body. The second thing is that exercise or movement actually reduces your body’s reaction to pressure. When your body comes under pressure, let’s call it “stress”, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in place, and it starts to fill your body through with adrenaline and cortisol. That’s fine if you’re trying to get rid of a sabre-tooth tiger by running away or fighting it, but that’s not fine for our daily life.

What is the impact of those two hormones? Well, first and foremost, they take blood away from the unnecessary organs, i.e. your stomach, and it puts your blood into your muscles to enable you to run fast. It puts your body into a state where all it’s trying to do is answer the one question, what do I need to do to survive? The problem is, is that if you don’t forcibly relax, which will help your body dissipate, adrenaline or exercise, because of course, the fight, it will accumulate in your body. What it does is that when you become over-adrenalised, that stops the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the precursor to deep sleep. If you don’t have enough melatonin, you’re going to have a poor quality night’s sleep. Therefore, you’re going to wake up tired the next day, and then, of course, the little things that wouldn’t have bothered you start to bother you.

So you start pressing the adrenaline button, which means you’ve got more chance of being over-adrenalised. So this is why exercise helps because a.) it helps dissipate adrenaline. Still, it also helps in many other ways: it helps your body form serotonin, which is one of your happy hormones. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin. Serotonin also helps your body and helps your mind think more clearly. So that’s why when you’ve got a difficult problem if you stop and take a 10-minute break and go for a walk, you’ll be amazed how much more clearly you can think. Your body wasn’t designed to sit still. That’s why exercise is excellent for helping you. I’m a great believer in exercising so I can enjoy a slice of cake, but everything in moderation.

Then, the fourth thing is about recharge time.

You wouldn’t run your car 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You would add in some preventive maintenance. You take it to the garage to get its oil changed, get its filters changed and you are just the same. You are a finely tuned machine. Allowing your brain to switch off, whether it’s through meditation, whether it’s doing something you love does a couple of things. First, when you’re on the go, when you’re wired, your brain is full of gamma waves.

When you’ve got these fast-moving waves running through your brain, what it means is that you cannot access the stuff in your subconscious and when you are at your best, you want to be able to access or have times when you can access what’s in your subconscious. When you start to relax, when you start to get in a more mindful state, your brain switches from gamma into alpha waves. When you’re in alpha waves, these are these slow waves, which means that you’ve got more access into the subconscious, that you can reach more stuff that has meaning for you.

So let me recap. I’ve just given you a taste of those four foundational habits that are of part two of the book, specifically chapter five. This part also goes in how to change what you do and sustainably set up your habits, but also what to do when things are not going your way. Sometimes life throws you curveballs and it also gives you some tips and techniques to handle that. So go and get your copy.

As I said, this third edition has been massively rewritten. If you go into the comments, if you go into the area below, you’ll find a promotional code, but also where to get it from the publisher and get 20% off using the discount code. To buy your copy of the 3rd edition of How To Make Partner And Still Have A Life use this discount code ABMMPHL320 to get 20% off the new edition when you buy your copy direct from the publisher Kogan Page here 

We have a great course in our subscriber-only site Progress to Partner called “How to Truly Commit to Moving your Career Forward“. It’s a game-changer and will get you focussed and help you to create the time and space to work a little on your career plan every.single.week.

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