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(VIDEO) Finding Success through Habit, Ritual and Routine with Jan Mühlfeit and Lisa Christen

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

The best of the best – the top performers in literally every field – know they need to develop great habits, routines & rituals in order to create their success.

Yet most of us struggle with following routines because we think it requires discipline and hard work. But that doesn’t have to be the case!

There is a secret to succeeding at creating habits, routines, and rituals that you’ll actually want to stick with – and we’ll tell you exactly how to do it. We’ll also share the most common mistakes people make, including not knowing the difference between the 3 and when to use which.

Join retired Chairman of Microsoft Europe / Olympic mental coach Jan Mühlfeit and top-rated CEO / Executive Coach Lisa Christen as we share best practices for setting the most effective daily habits, rituals, and routines that set you up for success.

For the full transcript:

Jan Muhlfeit 00:01
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

Lisa Christen 00:03
Hi everyone. Welcome.

Jan Muhlfeit 00:05
Welcome to our next session on habits, routines and rituals. You know,

Lisa Christen 00:13
I can’t get the pregame music out of my head here Jan and I always do a little dancing.

Jan Muhlfeit 00:17
Emma is the name of the, absolutely. Yeah. So guys, if you can be so calm because we are broadcasting on YouTube and LinkedIn as always, and if you can put in your comments that you can hear us and see us. Mica Is there a Finland Greece the world Good evening, every second. Thursday seems to be great heavy ritual routine. So

Lisa Christen 00:43
exactly. You’re already here. You already got a really good habit. I hope it’s a habit. But is it a routine? We’re going to find out here today? Yeah.

Jan Muhlfeit 00:51
Hello, check my LinkedIn whether it be able to be there.

Lisa Christen 01:00
Perfect.

Jan Muhlfeit 01:00
It looks like it. Yeah, it looks like it works. You know. So I know LinkedIn works also. So if you can, if you can also some guys are both working. Okay. If somebody from LinkedIn, surely, again, you know, put in comment and you can hear us and see us It looks like my LinkedIn on the phone or

Lisa Christen 01:20
Monica Tomas. They’re saying yes, yes, we can hear you. Let’s

Jan Muhlfeit 01:26
Let’s kick it up. So let’s say you’re sending me two very broad articles about those, you know, topics. And obviously, I have my own opinion. But you can you know, kick it off basically this discussion. I would love to

Lisa Christen 01:41
because here’s the thing. Not everybody knows the difference between a habit of routine a ritual and as Jan and I were discussing, what are the differences between these? Do we have a morning routine? Do we have morning habits? Is there a ritual in our practice, we started to realize, maybe we don’t even agree on the definitions. So we’re here to find out, I’m going to kick it off. And I’m going to tell you what are the differences between all three at least how I’m gonna define them here today. And then you can disagree in the comments. So a habit is something that comes and it happens for you, and it’s relatively unconscious. So when you go to the bathroom, what do you do right after? I hope wash your hands. It happens automatically. You don’t think it’s not an effort after you go to the bathroom? You don’t think oh, do I feel like washing my hands right now? No, it’s a routine you it’s a habit. You’re already doing it. A routine is something different. A routine takes mental energy to get you to do it. Yeah, you’ll have to think about it has to be conscious, because it’s kind of hard to do. Right? So if we’re talking about a routine, I have a morning routine where I take a cold shower, we always talk about the Wim Hof Method. i It is never a habit for me. Because every time I do it, I’m not just like Oh Allah, Allah, Allah, I have a warm shower now and make it a really cold shower. I go, Okay, be strong. You want this? You need this. So that is not a habit that is a routine because I have to consciously make the effort. And every morning I asked myself, Do I really want to do this? Are you sure don’t want to just skip one day like Isn’t today the day you don’t want to do it? Now, here’s where it starts to get tricky. rituals. Rituals are different from habits and routines. Maybe that’s what we’ll discuss. Because habits, routines habits are unconscious. We have them all day long, because our brain needs shortcuts, routines we decided and normally they’re all about times efficiency, performance, how do we get to the next level? How do we get better? How do we get the next career step? What do I need to do to break my record when I’m running? Spirituality is just the opposite. It’s not about connecting with the self. It’s not about the time it’s not about the efficiency. It’s about letting go. And when we’re letting go, we’re trying to connect with something maybe bigger. So for example, you might have a spiritual ritual, where you connect with nature. I don’t know. You might have a ritual where you welcome in the weekend, where you’re clearly separating the end of the working week to welcome in your time of relaxation. So rituals are not about efficiency and time and getting things done. They’re about letting go of needing to get things done. And they’re usually tied to something bigger not short term, I have a goal, but longer term connection to again, spirituality, nature, the community something more connected, more grand scheme. So how is that? What do you think? Yeah, and I see your deepest thought what’s going through your mind?

Jan Muhlfeit 05:07
I gave you some reasoning, why, you know, routines, habits and rituals are so important in our lives, okay? Because our brain works like pattern recognition machine, our brain doesn’t like, you know, changes, our brain actually doesn’t like to think, Okay, we like it’s pretty lazy right? brain the brain function number one is survival, amygdala, basically right survival, fight, flee or freeze. And the second big, you know, task brain is having is energy budgeting, basically, right, whatever you do, and then everything else and because why pattern recognition machine, because whatever is happening around you, is like, you know, your senses because your brain is in the scalp, seeing hearing nothing, that’s why we have senses like, you know, our ears, eyes and so on, you know, right? So if we would not have senses, then you know, brain will be useless. Okay? So our senses are, in fact, bringing reality into the brain. Okay, now, what the brain is doing, actually, brain is not supposed to react to each and every situation differently. But our brain is basically predicting what happened in the past, you know, whatever is in your long term memory, okay? Whatever happened in the past, you know, our brain try to really recognize patterns and behave in that, you know, way. Okay, give me one example, before this session, I’ve got, you know, your ala heads guy is now 72 In the top 100. Tennis, you know, right. But there we would like to be in top 10 And it’s a huge jump, okay. And he already placed with some, you know, top players he trained at when I was with him, and when blood on him, he trained there with people like Chekhov, ah, and so on. But we need to be much more consistent, he’s able to beat them in one set or whatever, you know, those guys, but we need to be much more consistent with like, Gjakova age or you know, Citypass and all of those people, okay? And the question is how to really create you know, great habits, routines and rituals also to make sure that that performance is consistent, okay? Because with all respect to my pirate to here is a guy and guys 20 years old, if you compare him with nadal, nadal, again, yesterday almost lost the match. Alright, he was losing to zero. But he was able to return you know, back because of his great you know, routines and rituals, right? That’s why it is so important in our lives. Because I tell you what is happening, if you do you know how scale is built, and how scale is represented in your brain, okay? Scale equals more or less talent, those are genes you are born with, okay, maybe you have some more talent, somebody’s got less talent, whatever. Scale equals talent multiply by, by force, you know, right, how much force you will have. A lot of people think people like Ronaldo, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, they were like, you know, fantastic. And they were super talented guy. Those guys, they drain 1/3 more time than the other guys. Okay, that’s why I thought it was 1/3 Higher. And that’s why they created sooner. Well, we call Merlin’s Malan is basically the space between synapses. And it’s a very, it’s a very strong connection in your, you know, brains, call me in and you don’t need to, if you do something you like, very often men and it’s great. But you don’t need to remember what do you can remember if you have a lot of mailings, and that’s where you know, routines, habits and rituals are fitting, if you have a lot of mail in your brain, you can do that activity under huge pressure under the huge mental pressure number one, and you can do that activity very fast and it doesn’t matter whether you are surgery or you know athlete, or you know, speaker or singer or whatever, you this is it simply right. So for all of those repetition, repetition is a key. Okay, repetition is a key and now, let me mention the name. There is a guy, Professor Erickson and he talks about deliberative learning or deliberative training while you create the scales in the best way. Okay. And he talks about three F’s, there, you need to be focused, you need to be here and now. Okay, absolutely focused. You need to be in the flow. If you are in the flow, which means like, Hey, I’m absolutely concentrated. And I like what I do, you know, if you are in the flow, you are learning 450% faster. That’s the way you create malins faster. And last but not least, the third F is feedback, you need to get feedback, immediately focus, flow feedback, that’s,

Lisa Christen 10:21
I was waiting for the fourth F and we don’t want

Jan Muhlfeit 10:26
you know, training, if you will, right, then we can talk about how you can, you know, create routines or habits. I give you one example for me, like my morning, running is routine, because I need to think, hey, what will be, you know, my, you know, journey today, if it’s, you know, raining, what should I wear and so on. So, that’s routine. The habit is when I’m wearing something, it’s automatic. It’s like, for me, hey, I need to, you know, get it right. And, and then the ritual is that I really try, like every time to run different, you know, journey to to make sure that I’m you know, curious, you know, right? Because what I realized, guys, what I realized, in running, it’s not called flow. It’s called runner’s high. Okay? If you’re like, I’m 60 years old, so I can tell you, if I’m running in the morning, first five minutes, I’m really pissed off, like, I should stay at home, you know, I’m like, I should retire or whatever. No, but after like 1015 minutes, I’m getting to runner’s high, which means like, you really like what do you do, because endorphin is released. And this is about, you know, rituals really like, but you need to follow me. I need to create little bit, you know, different journey every day to get into that, you know, runner’s high. Yes.

Lisa Christen 11:49
Oh, my gosh, Jan, I’m so glad you said that. Because I still feel the same every time. It is also very hard work for me at the beginning of a run, so I feel better. But I love what you’re sharing here, because all of this is, in fact, in the brain. So that’s why so many people when we talk about, okay, you know, how do we know how athletes are so successful? And yet business people don’t always follow that. Things like visualization. We talk a lot about that athletes have constantly visualized, it would be crazy for them not to in business. Oh, that’s weird. Why would I visualize I just did a group training today. And they were like, Yeah, but this visualization thing I said, let me take you through it. And you see how you feel. And I walked them through a successful meeting. And they were like, wow, that’s powerful. Because you have to work with the mind. And habits, rituals, routines, work with the mind, habits, again, just happened naturally, that’s good if you can get into good habits and get into this flow state there. But routines are what you choose when you want to go in. And rituals are what you choose when you need to restore and recover. There’s a balance between it all that needs to happen. So before Jan and I share more about our rituals, routines, habits, maybe you type into the chat box, what about you all we always love to hear and we’ve got our global audience here because we have Ladislav in India joining us. Wow, I love it. I thank you for

Jan Muhlfeit 13:19
joining. Must be nice in India. Absolutely.

Lisa Christen 13:24
Exactly. And you know, you always hear about famous morning routines and met many people have asked for example, if Yun drinks a cup of coffee in the morning, for him that might be a routine might even be a habit, I don’t know, he kind of half wakes up and for me, it’s a ritual. Why? Because I wake up in the morning, and that’s the start to my day, and I take in the smell. I’m not just closing my eyes and going I need caffeine, I need caffeine. I’m actually smelling and enjoying and welcoming the day with that coffee. That’s why it’s so hard for me when I can’t drink a coffee in the morning. So for me, it’s it’s more of that ritual spiritual sense where I’m trying to connect with the day trying to connect with what’s going to happen. I’m not going okay, I got a meeting at nine so I gotta get a coffee in me here and I gotta get moving. And let me just go do you know, let me check my phone. None of that ritual is creating and carving out space. This is the piece that is missing from most people’s lives. We’ve often talked about we don’t have enough time to mentally restore and recover physically restore, recover, also spiritually right. And that’s why we need to build in rituals. Some of you of course, have rituals, how many of you celebrate a holiday? What do you do in Christmas, right? You have a celebration or and so we’ve built in from religious or sort of traditional culture items, we have some rituals. But I actively work with teams as a leader of a team as a part of a team. I actively ask what are your rituals as a team? What do you do as a team to celebrate your connection to, you know, bigger pictures or have something where the start of the new year how do you celebrate? Right? New Year’s resolutions, etc? Yeah, what? What about you? What are some of your habits and routines that worked really well for you? And what are some that haven’t worked really well, for? You?

Jan Muhlfeit 15:37
Know, I heard you said, it’s pretty much true, I tell you, what I do, for example, I mean, I’ll share with you what I do, like me personally, and what I do with athletes, when there is then de D, for example, at the Olympic Games or in blood or whatever, you know, right. So, what is imponderable? Lisa said that, you know, radio is, you know, something, which is for you inspiration, something which is in your soul, basically, right. So, if you do something in the morning, which is very inspirational for you, chances are and you have like, great, you know, emotional connection to that, for example, I am, like recommending my athletes, if they are at the Olympic Games, and they have a kid at home, they should, you know, talk to the kids or at least watch some photos or whatever, because this is something they have, you know, family is something really big, okay? So, once you have like that spiritual energy, the chances are that your mental energy will be also uplifted, you will feel like, Hey, I feel really good. If your mental energy, the way you think you where you concentrate is good, the chances are, that your emotional energy will be good, and you will have a lot of positive, you know, emotions. And if your emotions are good, because your brain is like chemistry, you know, you that means that your body there will be fine, because you know, all of those endorphins and dopamine are released, and you will be fine. So don’t underestimate, you know, small things in the morning. Okay. What I do, for example, and I must tell you, I was like, 10 years ago, when I started to do it, it was like, you know, against my persuasion, okay, so this is not that bad. Basically, somebody told me, somebody told me, Hey, you don’t like yourself in order to like other people, you need to like yourself first. Okay? Go cyber Maximizer, whatever. So in the morning, I go, and I go, like, I’m saying the things. I like me, I love me, and I live in the present moment. Those are the three things I do. Okay. Then, then I start my day, I have like the vision, you know, vision board, whatever I do, like breathing techniques, and I do my running water. But this is how I start. And the same thing. I’m recommending other people, you they you need to make the right you know, chemical cocktail in your brain. Maybe you feel like, like for two days because I was you know, running it was quite fast. For two days. I’m feeling like pain in my back. Okay, but for me, like pain is privilege. Pain is not punishment, it’s a privilege, you know, to feel pain, right? If you don’t, I mean, I’m exaggerating a little bit I mean by not only physical, but also mental. Because if you learn something new, it’s painful, you know, right I mean, I learned so many things like during last two three years especially in the in the mental coaching you know, right but it’s it’s Yeah, it is painful you need to learn a lot of new things but this is it that’s what it that’s what it takes. But once you know you make that right cocktail in the morning, chances are that your day will be really you know, good tomorrow if it’s not the case and you will like immediately will study if your routine it’s really like I do emails on the toilet The first thing I do that’s not good through the you know,

Lisa Christen 19:00
everybody who’s watching today was like oh my god, how do you know when I do do that? Yeah,

Jan Muhlfeit 19:06
unfortunately because then your amygdala the you know, emotional battle brain is jumping on negative issues and you will or that’s going to be really bad day you know, right. So really start with something good. That’s number one. And if it’s like you know routine if you repeat it your brain likes very much structure your brain likes very much Hey, I do it like every day you know, that’s when the dopamine is released and dopamine and endorphins together. That’s a good you know, mix in the morning and then if you have like, you know, breakfast with your family and you praise each other serotonin is released and oxytocin which is the chemical and hormone for the laugh and the trust, and then then you go and nobody can miss you in your job.

Lisa Christen 19:58
Flying High School It

Jan Muhlfeit 20:01
is a little bit exaggerated, but it is like it that believe me, you can really you can, you know, make your own, you know, chemical, you know and hormonal mix in your brand, you are responsible for that, you know, right? Because people very often are saying, Hey, I’m pissed off because that guy behave in that way I have a really bad mood, but you are responsible for your mood because you are. There’s something which we call in psychology, freedom of choice, it’s your freedom of choice, how you will react if that guy is stupid, don’t be stupid, don’t have a stupid reaction, you know, go and work on something, you know else and is the same? Like, I very often was like trying to persuade somebody now I’m saying, hey, I want to work with the people who want to work with me. This is if no, life is very short, with no, to spend a lot of time with people. I mean, that’s fine. If you prefer somebody else, that’s absolutely okay. But we don’t need to waste time yet.

Lisa Christen 21:02
Exactly. And I think you know, what’s so hard for people because these three different things most of us really beforehand probably didn’t differentiate. It’s hard. We Oh, we always hear habits, you know, create are excellent. So everybody tries to create these wonderful habits exactly like you said, but here’s why most people fail. Because they don’t know a habit. Just you can make it automated, it will come naturally, some routines will never become a habit, they will always be difficult. I agree. And so people need to understand if you’re thinking oh, but this is hard. This is hard. This is hard, forget it, I give up. It’s always too hard. Change the way reset your expectations and change the way you look at that. It’s supposed to be hard. It takes a little bit of discipline, but it’s coming from a place of choice. And Jan said it’s so perfectly, it is easy when someone is yelling at you. And you know, for you to get defensive and want to yell back. That’s easy. That’s an automatic, that could be a habit that you have, it’s much harder to make a conscious choice to say, I’m just going to breathe, I’m going to be responsible for how I respond, and I’m going to move on, right. And that’s not necessarily a habit because it really takes a lot of work when you’re really triggered. So that is a routine, a routine will always take a little bit of work. So if you’re feeling like this is hard and yawns and then great, it’s a privilege to have that pain. It’s a privilege to have this be hard, because you can still choose to do it anyway. And routines can have that that’s normal for routine so you don’t have to expect it to get quote unquote easier or make everything a habit. Some things you can program, but other things you can’t so you know, let that expectation go.

Jan Muhlfeit 23:00
Yep. So mica is saying I put it on the bring it up. Yeah, I’m gonna bring it up. Yeah, I absolutely love doing ice cold shower me Do you know straight after leaving the bed? Perfect. And on the way to work? I listened funny podcasts like Steve Harvey morning show. That’s a good one or alpha. blogs, podcasts? Yeah, this is good. You know, because I generally, you know, cold water will bring you much more, you know, energy and you feel really good. You know, right. And as the same as those two like morning shows, it’s really, you know, good to listen, something I usually listen, like 90 and 80 to 90% is some serious stuff. But it’s like, you know, personal development, if you will, by like, 20% probably once a week I listen, you know, some funny stuff. Also, you know,

Lisa Christen 23:54
you have to mix it up, you got to have some fun in life, we can’t always be all serious. And you know, a lot of times, yeah, I’m sure you feel the same a lot of times clients ask us about so how do we set these habits and routines? Because, you know, it’s very easy. It’s not like this is earth shattering new rocket science when we say hey, have a morning routine, don’t pick up your phone, you know that? Okay, you’ve heard it all. You know, everybody knows that. But we don’t do it. So the real trick is not knowing what to do, which is here. But the real trick is getting motivated to do it or how do I because it will if it’s a routine and not a habit, it will take motivation because you’ll have to read choose it it will feel uncomfortable, it will feel kind of hard. So how do we work on that motivation to say I really want to do that. And that is something that all of you you know, depending on what new habit or new routine you want to create. You have to get strongly committed and motivated so that if things get hard if you get knocked off track, you choose to come back. Otherwise you do things like quit smoking for a week. And then you’re like, Yeah, but I like smoking. So I’m just gonna go back. Right? I was eating healthy, it was really great. But I really want that chocolate chip cookie now. So forget it diets off.

Jan Muhlfeit 25:15
Absolutely. And a, you know, brain doesn’t work linear right brain works in associative way. So it’s easier for you to create a new habit and made a new habit connected to some existing habit or, okay, give you one stupid example. I wanted, like a year ago, I said, I’m not gonna to eat after 7pm Because, you know, I wanted to have a good energy in the morning, okay, now I bought, you know, like, a year ago, or our ink and aura is really tough. You know, if, yesterday, I was eating at a, we were having some dinner with some friends. And immediately, I I’m always like, optimal yesterday, this morning, I was good only because you’re, you know, your resting heart rate goes down, you know, much slower if you are eating you no longer right. So anyway, so what I did I because I like very much to like, use my electronic toothbrush, you know, right. So I’m like, you know, brushing my teeth, seven o’clock, and for me, which I like, and it’s a good, you know, habit. And I really like it. I don’t like to do it manually. But with that electronic, I love it. And seven outgoing, I do it like for five, seven minutes and seven o’clock. That means like, I’m not eating anymore. So and this more or less yesterday, it was, you know, with some exception, but more or less I created, you know, new habit, you know, which I connected to the existing habit, which I like very much, right? Because that’s a it is always, you know, tougher to repeat that you need to repeat, repeated, repeated. Absolutely.

Lisa Christen 27:07
Exactly. And so, you know, I love what you’re saying here, which is first tie it to something that already exists. To make it easy. One of the biggest hurdles to doing a new habit or routine is just we always your brain wants to we said survive, and it wants to conserve energy, it doesn’t want to spend a lot of new energy on something that might be a little bit hard. So it’s going to try to convince you do you really need to do that. Right? Our brains love to stay the same? Yeah. So do we really need to change something? So the answer is, yes. That’s why we said you have to find your motivation, right. So I know, I want to feel so good in the morning. I’m motivated by that. So I’m not going to eat late at night. Makes perfect sense. Now, then we tie it to something and make it just happened seven o’clock, this is what happens at seven o’clock, and I’m done. And even if one day it breaks because you have to go to dinner with friends, you come back not because oh, I have to force myself but you’d like it and you want it. It’s a habit for you.

Jan Muhlfeit 28:12
So when you said sorry, one important thing, and it’s about you know, our mental energy, your mental energy in the morning is much higher, obviously. So if you want to create something new, like exercise or running, it’s easier to do it in the morning. And I’m hearing you like saying, Hey, man, I’m sleeping in the morning because I’m working till the midnight whatever, you know, right? I can tell you, you can change that. And the other thing is if you create some habits, okay, whatever you whatever new you are, for example, this session with me and Lisa goes to your short term memory, if you want her to rewrote it, rewrite it to the long term memory, it takes some amount of the deep sleep okay, and the deep sleep is you know, if we are sleeping like 90 minutes, you know chunks, okay, where the deep sleep is represented mostly before midnight or after the midnight like in the morning if the two o’clock in the morning. It’s REM mainly already delights sleep, okay, so it’s good to go to the bed before midnight if you want to learn something new or you know, to get memorize something stuff like that and is the same as creating the habits right because your your mental energy is finite. So it’s it’s much tougher. If you are like tired if you go home to go I’m so tired and now I need to go to the gym or I need to go to the you know, around that end you need to be Daveed yourself and you need to have some buddy I call it accountability partner. Okay. That will be like if I would live in Zurich, or Lisa in Prague, and we would like to start talking I will go call each other Hey, we got we go because we are like dependent on one to each other we go this is accountability partner, right? He can you know, he keeps you accountable Hey, you promise that he can do a video or he just can challenge you? Hey, and by the way, while we agree, did you do it? You know, right? So.

Lisa Christen 30:20
And, by the way, don’t get a running buddy or an accountability buddy who then is like, should we not go the weather’s pretty bad because then you’re like, Yeah, we shouldn’t go but then they bring you down.

Jan Muhlfeit 30:36
Anyway, I know you both are busy about how about to make some podcasts together, I need something to listen on the way to work.

Lisa Christen 30:43
Very funny that you mentioned it Jan and I were talking about first of all, we’re going to see about making this a podcast so we can just sort of stream it out. And maybe we do it shorter and more often. I don’t know, I like that plan.

Jan Muhlfeit 30:56
I know that what you hear

Lisa Christen 30:58
over and over, when you hear it repeated again, it starts to sit in your brain the first time you hear it. Okay, the second time you hear it your brains like I remember that the third time. There’s something interesting. The fourth time is when you really start to say okay, maybe I’ll do something with that.

Jan Muhlfeit 31:15
I absolutely agree. I mean, I do a lot of like here, you know, I read a lot of like notes, you know, on my own right. But from those podcasts, I have my you know, recorder so I’m like recording whatever, like the key things, putting it down. And I can tell you, I’m like listening those podcasts. And then in one month, I listen to it again, you know, and it’s about synapses creating new, you know, synapses, and then you fill us in it second sort of time, you you suddenly start to use it, you know, right? Because there is something guys, which which is very important, like forming new habits or learning from the best, you know, you can learn I mean, everybody can learn, I spent like one month with Tim Grover, who was a personal coach for Michael Jordan. And he said, everybody can do it. Michael was like getting up four o’clock in the morning, then 430 He was in the gym, and it was like, you know, shooting the free flows and stuff like that, you know, right. So anyway, but what I wanted to say we have so called mirror neurons. So we are mirroring what is happening around us, okay, so if you watch or listen somebody, which was really, really, you know, good, suddenly, you will start to do it and use it. You know, that’s that’s the point.

Lisa Christen 32:33
We as humans, we like to do what we think is normal, right? Yeah, without even knowing it, we wait for permission, is this socially acceptable. So if you’re hanging out with a certain group of people who’s trying to bring you down, you go, okay, that’s not like, I can’t do that, oh, I don’t want to be the teacher’s pet. I’ll be you know, the one who’s failing classes. But if you start to hang around, and you start to have in your mind, and even a podcast, even if you have the people who are saying go more, do more, you can do this, take a rest, right, have make sure spirituality is a part of your practice, and it doesn’t it all of a sudden just becomes normal for you. This is how you start to develop risk tolerance. This is how you start to develop, you know going for bigger, developing your town, changing your routines, because it starts to become normalized. That’s why we wanted to know here, if anyone wants to share their routines, it’s not just Lisa and Jung who have routines or habits or rituals.

Jan Muhlfeit 33:31
Guys shared it as that it’s like setting people all together so Shana me now some of y’all, you know, routines or habits or rituals, you know, whatever you have, you know,

Lisa Christen 33:41
and before saying we got to cut off maybe and just say we’re gonna do it would be very fun. Well, that will have something to discuss after this

Jan Muhlfeit 33:52
if we if we talk about the impact of environment and other people on our, you know, routines, habits and rituals, okay. There is something called epigenetics, which means like, I mean, when I was in the school, we basically learn that genes are genes genes are like, this is your blueprint, and this is it. It’s not true. Actually, one of the first guy who basically showed that it’s quite, you know, different was my friend, Bruce Lipton. Bruce, by the way is coming to Prague, he will have a, you know, seminar, August 6, so I’ll meet him again is a public seminar. If you go to Bruce lipton.cs. You can, you know, go there, right. Anyway, so, Bruce, basically what he did, he took two identical genetical materials, but he put them into different environments, okay. And suddenly, you know, some cells were created in the first, you know, petri dish, and absolutely different cells in the other. So he figured out that it’s not a How the genes genes are not you know, starting themselves. But environment the way you think what do you do is starting like 95% of the genes, and that’s the same with the talent genes, by the way, your talent genes are on lead potential, unless you will train your talent, it will be never developed in the strength this is it, you know, right, you need to it’s all about repetition, right? Because all like Michael Jordan, for sure, he was talented. Okay. But he created legend, because he, you know, made a lot of repetition, but he made much more repetition than the other guys, you know, that’s for sure.

Lisa Christen 35:37
But you’re so right, that what is surrounding us actually influences our habits without us being conscious of it. So listen, again, if someone in your circle of friends, or even a friend of a friend gets divorced, you’re statistically more likely to start considering and get a divorce. Right. So a lot of what shapes what we do is actually unconscious, you will, if your friends are overweight, you will find it acceptable to become more overweight, and you’ll eat more. Right. So like, what is around us, what we surround ourselves with changes what we’re motivated to do. So hopefully, as you listen to Jan and me, and we’re talking about morning routines, and we’re talking about workouts, and we’re talking about not picking up your phone first thing in the morning, we’re hoping to normalize that for you and start to slowly change habits because here’s the thing, habits, routines, rituals, unless you have like a major life trauma, you’re probably not going to change everything all at once, right? Unless you you know, have a health scare, or you get a divorce or someone dies, it’s much better for you to say I’m gonna pick one thing, and I’m going to work on that. And just focus on that. So if you don’t have a morning routine, don’t worry about having 14 Different things added to your morning routine. And one thing, get used to that make it comfortable, have it become somewhat of a habit. And then you add one more thing. Absolutely. And if you do that, over time, you will incrementally and one year later, I promise you, if you start it’s July 7 2022, if you start a new check in July 7 2023. And every month, you’ve just changed one tiny thing, you’ll be a different person, we underestimate that incremental value

Jan Muhlfeit 37:32
is some on sale, this is very interesting. It gives hope to people to test and push their potential. Absolutely. Because everybody got the genes data means that everybody got the talent, okay, and everybody, everybody in the world can achieve much more than he or she think, which can be achieved, because I tell you why there’s something called negative bias, our amygdala, which is, you know, emotional part of the brain is five to 10 times faster than your rational part of the brain logical part of the brain neocortex, which means that amygdala is telling you, you know, play it safe, you should not have those expectation plays say, what if the other day there is something called FOMO fear of other people’s opinion, right? Whoever was making some mistake in the past when we were living in those, you know, groups like hunters, and, you know, right in the groups, and somebody made some mistake, and they would push you out of the group, you would not survive. So we think that if other people would not accept us, they would die basically, that’s in our subconsciousness that’s why our amela is pushing our expectations, you know, down and that’s wrong, you know, right. Everybody should have dreams that we should have, you know, our goals and use the talents to achieve those goals and so on right now, and but this is it, this is definitely true. That, you know, everybody got you know, potential. I mean, if you think that if Ronaldo would decide when he was four years old, if Ronaldo would decide hey, I wanted to be singer maybe he would sink today somewhere in you know Madeira, you know, right in some pop or maybe baseball but no, no, he’s not sculpture is not engineer is not saying he’s not you know, scientists, his best football player in the world and one of the best now maybe right? So anyway, he decided, hey, I’m gonna follow my heart basically follow my talent. Well, this, you know, that’s a very inspirational story. We have many stories like that. I mean, people who are real legends, they are never legends because of the fact that they played a weaknesses. They played a talents only this they eliminated weaknesses in the way like, Okay, you will learn it on some way, but you’re weak. kinases can be eliminated by somebody else talents in the team and the other way around. Right? You know, you, you’re carrying it, but this is this is a huge chance are fortunately, majority of the people, even people who are like university degree, you know, educated, they don’t know about epigenetics they think they’re Hey, because my dad and my mom were like that and I was living in the, you know, village, come on, I was living in the village after 20 years, you know, oh, I was almost fired from the university. And then I worked 10 years with Bill Gates and I was one of the big guys, you know, in Microsoft and I do now guide interesting things. It’s, it’s all about, you know, your brain what you can, you know, imagine, and people sometimes are putting a lot of limitations in the brain, okay? I mean, my slogan, aim to the moon, if you miss the moon, you will still end up among the stars, and you don’t know, what is your moon? What are your stars, unless you try you know, we a lot of people they don’t try even you know, I try and you will see, you know, right, and

Lisa Christen 41:08
then it’s exactly that. I mean, all of us, we take our strengths, we take our talents, I love that, because I would have never been a great theoretical physicist, it just would not have happened. Yeah, but you double down on your strengths on your talent, but then you have to work your butt off. And this, this, you know, formula that you gave us at the beginning is exactly right. But the way that you work, not everything can be hard work for your brain, that everything can be all about willpower. Because willpower is like, on set by the end of the day, you’re exhausted, it’s very much energy draining. So when you can set habits and routines to get you focused, you don’t have to waste a lot of brain energy on that, because you just do it, you do it, you do it. And then the spiritual part is the letting go, okay, I can decompress, I can relax. And once you are focused, and I go and I do it, and then I have relaxed. That is how you can run your life to become the best and the best and the best. And there are so many stories. So you definitely, I mean, I can type into the chat box if you want to share your own stories there. But I have something similar to yawn, you know, I grew up outside of New York City in a nice suburban area. And everyone expected you know, it was nice, it was okay place to grow up. Everybody assumed I would be a lawyer or a doctor or you know, something like that something highly educated, but nothing like you know, shaking the earth. And now they go okay, but how did you build a business? And why are you No royalty coming to you for coaching advice? like who are you like a random girl from Long Island? Right? Like, why you? And the answer is just why not me. I found my strength, I found the talent and I developed it. And when we don’t have to follow in our parents footsteps. I mean, my dad was an English professor, I didn’t do anything in that academic space, right. But when you find your path, and you’re going to it, then the habits and the routines and the rituals also become a, you’re motivated, because it’s something that is self fulfilling you do it you do it, well, then you crave so I want to learn more, how can I do it even better. So when we said habits, rituals, routines, when they feel very hard, it’s because you’re not that connected to the motivation. Reconnect, get excited, get the goal, drive yourself towards something bigger, I get it if you have a corporate job that you kind of hate and you’re kind of miserable in your life and your relationships just okay. And it’s like, another day, I just need an escape, I just need to I can get I can see why people choose the zombie approach. But you need to understand this is your life and get motivated to take it back and follow

Jan Muhlfeit 44:09
me on some Buddha about you know, potentially, as I said about, you know, motivation, right? I think if you if you connect your routines, habits and rituals to your meaning in your life, that’s the best then you have your routines, habits and rituals for the life basically, right? Because the meaning in in our lives is something which is really you know, our own engine. There are two books two good books, I can recommend lism and may recommend some other books. Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. The great book, Viktor Frankl survived it was a Jewish, psychiatric Austrian origin. He survived couple of Nazi camps, you know, and he wrote a nice book about the meaning in your life and it’s basically saying if you have a meaning in your life, you can survive everything and the Life is not about what is happening too, but about your reaction to what is happening to you. That’s he is basically the author of the concept of freedom of choice. It’s the freedom of choice, how you will read, I will react. And the second book is from Clay Christensen. Unfortunately, he passed away last year, he was a professor at Harvard, and the name of the book is how you will measure your life, okay? And remain thought of the book is well, okay, if you are like dying, and you go to the heaven, they will not ask you, how many cars did you drive? How many girlfriends? Did you have? You know, how much money you made? They ask you, how many people did you help? Okay. And the thing is, I had a privilege for 10 years to work with the guy who was the richest person in the world, you know, he was one of the most famous in the world. And I really studied, like, what success has to do with happiness. And I can tell you, that the happiest people are those who are making other people happy through something they love, okay, so something they really like, what is the meaning they can make happy other people through their own, you know, meaning this is it, if you will find a meaning in your life, this is it, you know, right. And now that is a small tool, it’s like free of charge, you know, for my book, the positive leader, how you can find your meaning it has to do with what some talks about potential and the talents, okay? You have the circles, talents, you know, right, you can figure it out talents, you can do the test from Gallup Strengths Finder, or you can just figure out, Hey, what is giving you energy, those are usually your talent. So talent is the first circle. The second circle is your passions, this is like, those are your talents. And this is how you use them to get you in the flow that through the difference to those are talents, those are patients, but you know, your flow does not mean yet this is my you know, meaning, okay? Because you need to represent other people there. So the third circle, it’s your personal values, because your personal values, reflecting what are reflecting what are you are admiring the other people, because we have those mirror neurons. So if you take like five people, and one thing that each and every person, those are your personal values, and when those three circles are overlapping, this is your mean is your meaning is like, what what is your flow? And how you are helping you know, other people through your own flow, you know, right, like, making other people have been through something you love. You know, that’s, that’s the that’s the meaning. And if you if you do it, if you do it, then your you know, habits, routines, and rituals around that are really easy to create. Because you feel that energy, you feel that energy.

Lisa Christen 47:46
Yes. And I mean, Jan and I both love this concept of peak performance. I think we’re both interested in it for ourselves, but we’d like to bring it to others. That’s what we coach on right is how to how to be at our best. And when we talk about what’s our potential, and how do we fulfill our potential, you have to do it with body and mind and nutrition and sleep. And, you know, it’s just not possible for you to fulfill your potential without that stuff. So it’s very easy, then when we’re really connected to that goal. It’s very easy to say after this, I’ve had a very long week, and I have another long day tomorrow. I’m gonna go to bed. It’ll be nine o’clock after this, which is like an old lady bedtime. And I’m super happy about that. Because I want that for myself. I’m not complaining, I’m not mad. I’m choosing. I’m excited because I’m so connected to the goal.

Jan Muhlfeit 48:37
Okay, thank you. Yeah.

Lisa Christen 48:43
And one of the sort of tests that I have for myself, when I’m in that mood when I don’t have willpower, and I don’t want to do something, is I just asked myself, when you look in the mirror at the end of the day, today, or at the end of the week, or within the month or at the end of your life, are you gonna be able to say I feel proud. So if I’m acting in a way where I don’t feel proud, I just have that noticing. Am I going to feel proud at the end of the day when I look in the mirror? If not, let me choose a different behavior. So if I’m yelling at my kids, I don’t feel proud about this. Okay. I’m tired and I want to quit, you know, doing something client work. And I’m like, No, I’m gonna get it done. I’m gonna feel proud that I’ve gotten this done. So for me, that’s one easy trick to help me to stick to a routine or something it is that I want to do even when my willpower wants to tell me you don’t want to do this. Come on, just quit. It’s yeah. I just say, Is this who I want to be? Does this make me proud? And you’d be surprised if you just check in with yourself. You can push yourself to new limits. And then by the way, it’s like, Oh, I was really tired, but I got that amazing thing done. Yes. then you are really proud. I have a bit of a routine where every once in a while I will celebrate Well, what are all the things that I accomplished, whether it’s a month or a quarter, it’s not so exact. But you have to look back and go, I was here and I got here. And you have to celebrate that because that will reinforce the habits are working, the routines are working, the rituals are working, and gives you again, that motivation, that sense of accomplishment, and it’s connected to a bigger purpose. What could be better?

Jan Muhlfeit 50:32
Look, now I returned from when blood on and one thing which Novak Djokovic was doing in the qualifying, he lost first two sets to Yannick Sinha that’s a great, you know, player from Italy. So he was losing to zero. Djokovic was losing 202 days ago. And he went to the toilet. Okay. And he had this you know, self talk against the mirror. Okay. And he said that was basically break point and he won the two okay, but he said, I talked to me like on mirror and I said, Hey, this is absolutely unacceptable, you know, performance, you need to go that and he started he beaten him you know, right. I mean, it is this is you know, amazing what, what you can do it’s, it’s basically not giving up and not accept you know, give you it’s in the Czech but I will you know, translated I put a post today on Instagram that if your if your internal voice is telling you you will not you know make it you don’t need to listen to your own internal voice and and then I’m saying then I said if you want to succeed in your life, you need to start to doubt about your doubts.

Lisa Christen 51:57
Yes, yes good. Why?

Jan Muhlfeit 51:59
Well guys, I mean if you think about it, if you think about your COVID Federer or you know Nadal Michael Jordan, they are a Masters in doubting the doubts. Okay, because the the thing is, I mean, they are like losing to zero which is like almost it’s like Best of the five right but anyway, so if you are losing normally if you are like if if it would be that would be normal to nominate Jacoby he wouldn’t be gone. Nadal would be gone now they’re like losing to zero which means like hey, warming up is finished. And we just add the work you know amazing I’m not I’m not like making fun out of that but I’ve got the other players but I’m just saying that they never except to like give up and they really play to the last ball and this is it it’s like life you know right? Because that’s the same thing.

Lisa Christen 52:52
Yes, stay connected to your goals to your motivation, tie your habits there and tie your routines your discipline there

Jan Muhlfeit 53:01
because your habits are connected to the present moment that because you whatever you will do in your life you need to be an if you want to have a peak performance in sport in business in medicine, science whatever you know right you need to be concentrated you need to be in the present moment right and if you want her to be in the present moment routines habits and rituals are right thing to do because it’s like you know automatic even though like routines you need to think about it but it’s because you do it so many times you know it is this is it this is it exactly because there is a there is a great you know peace I just did some you know training on mental toughness for the for the tennis tennis coaches and and the guy explained the concept that you know, expectations are very often killing your self confidence and I think it’s very much true Okay, it’s good to have like high expectations from your life, but if you for example play or if you present you need to concentrate on the process you know, if you constantly hey, if your expectation is I need to you know win right then suddenly this Oh, okay, I need to win that means for me, I should not play that aggressive I may be you know, right. And I should not miss any, any you will not be concentrated and you are done. You know, like the way do you do way how you build your inner self confidence is to concentrate one point after the other concentrate on the process. I mean, our predecessors, they were not stupid at all. If you if you look at the stoics a couple of 1000 years ago, there were saying in your life, you should concentrate only on the things you can really influence okay, if you know Nadal or Djokovic they go and they play with somebody as they are getting crushes hate that guy is playing really like fantastic. It will be very tough match for you. They’re usually saying I cannot influence the other guy performance or the You know, Empire performance, I can influence only my performance. So I’ll play you know, my best. And even though they are not playing always like 100% they are winning because they trust them. So they trust the nine 90% or 80% I can still be with my 80% 100% of the oh my god, this is it, this is it. This is it. And it is really about rituals habits. And, and, you know, I mean, what both Rafa is doing, you know, right with his like, with his T shirt, with the shorts, with those bottles, putting him back into the present moment.

Lisa Christen 55:42
But that’s exactly it. And one other tip for all of you who are wondering how do I set up this new habit routine? How do I get to this present moment? How do I have a Nadal moment, tie into some music, that’s why Jan and I are always dancing right before we’re in here, right? It’s given you an energy, it gives you an energy but it also gives you a cue. So a few of you have heard of Pavlov’s dogs, they used to ring a bell and then feed the dogs ring a bell, he’s the dog’s ring a bell. And then they would ring a bell and the dogs would be salivating because they know what to expect. So use music in the same way for yourself at your bedtime routine, when you get to your toothbrushing stage, if you want to start calming down, have a music playlist, that’s for bedtime, and you just put it on your You will train your body that will become

Jan Muhlfeit 56:36
awesome. I mean, very often I would not exercise with like, you know, weights and with some, you know, other stuff, if I would not have a music then music is like giving me you know, energy and I immediately I very often I have one YouTube, like, you know, I switch off the route, you know, right? I see only people and I have you know, on my background, I have another you know, music, that’s what I do usually. And it’s it’s really it’s really good on my you know, I have like stationary, I do a lot of biking, you know outside, but during the winter, I have a stationary bike and it’s like go for one or one and a half hours. It’s tough. But if you have like you know, some music, some you know, TV, watching and doing something else. It’s perfect.

Lisa Christen 57:24
Yes, exactly. And your muscles, remember that so you can tie your habits. Again, don’t make it feel hard, make it easy. When you hear a pump up music, your body’s automatically going to pump up it’s going to remember the last time you were on a bike, it’s going to start sending right your brain is smart. It’s a prediction machine, it’s predicting you’re going to need some energy for you know to pump some iron or whatever. And then you feel ready. So again, if it feels hard, find easy ways to cue your body to make it happen. Same for when when I have to go for a run and I’m really tired. I’ll say you just have to put on the workout clothes. And then if you don’t want to go you don’t have to go. But once I put them on, okay, just has to put the shoes on. Okay, but once the shoe is around, the body is pumping, right? So

Jan Muhlfeit 58:12
listen, listen, here’s the point. I used to I used to have like excuse if it was like raining I said, Well, I have those nice, you know shoes and it’s like raining. I’d like deepers for person I’m running. Okay, now, I have like two raining shoes. If it’s really raining heavily. Those are my shoes and one shoes if it’s like, you know, raining, so I add on anyway. So

Lisa Christen 58:37
that’s it. So if you want to stick to your routines and your habits, this is such a great closing we haven’t discussed yet. Make a plan for when you’re going to try to wiggle out of it. Oh, well, it’s raining. I don’t want to ruin my shoes. Perfect. How can you solve for that? I’ll get rain shoes. Right? Often when I’m working with coaching clients. And we’re talking about accountabilities one of the major questions that I’ll ask is, okay, what are you committed to doing? What’s your intention? Great. What’s the most likely thing that’s going to stop you from actually doing this? Right? Oh, well, I’m not going to have time and my wife is going to want this from me. And great. Now let’s talk through it. So we have an action plan for when those things come up. So they don’t stop you. Once you start to realize it’s actually not that hard to build a new habit and a routine, you just get motivated. You figure out the roadblocks in advance and you just do it. You start to realize I can do this. And then you’re motivated to do that more and more and more and more and more and all of a sudden, you have these amazing habits, routines, and very important build rituals into your life as well. Exactly. And you will find your way to success and you’ll find your way to restoration, which ultimately is what will give you peak performance above and beyond what others are doing.

Jan Muhlfeit 1:00:02
Perfect. That was great conclusion. So guys, thank you very much and we’ll see you in two weeks. As Lisa said, Lisa is kind enough and she will she agreed that she will prepare some podcasts out of those. All right. You will create some intro and so we will do it step by step we will get there.

Lisa Christen 1:00:27
It’s coming your way. Alright everyone, have a have a great night and thanks to our friends in India. Have a very great night go to sleep.

Jan Muhlfeit 1:00:34
Oh yeah, absolutely. Bye bye.

Lisa Christen 1:00:36
See you soon.

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