Richard Branson Productivity Space

“The more you do, the more you’ll do.”

- Anonymous

On discovering the ultimate source of confidence & productivity…

Not long ago I attended an event with Sir Richard Branson and a bunch of other entrepreneurs. Something about his message and his presence brought clarity to a concept I’ve inherently known & practiced for years. Now that it’s clear, I’d like to share it.

It’s a topic I rarely write about, but it’s a huge part of every one of my days (often before I check an email, write my first sentence or even open my computer).

It’s the primary foundation of not only my own confidence and productivity, but that of almost every successful lifestyle entrepreneur and CEO on the planet.

“So, how do you get more done?”

Why is it that so many successful people seem to be able to do so much? How is it that the more accomplished the person, the more it seems they’re able to get done?

Shouldn’t it be the opposite?

How is a CEO of one company able to found another one on the side, while administering his charity and still taking the occasional family trip?

For years this has blown my mind. With how much effort it takes to do one thing well, I couldn’t imagine how people who seemed even ‘busier’ than me could produce magnitudes more results.

Then I figured it out.

Most Successful People Have One Thing in Common 

One day a handfull of people were on a small boat with Richard Branson heading out to his private island, Necker Island, for a few days (OK, maybe the boat wasn’t that small…). One of the guys on the boat asked something along the lines of “Richard, how can I be more productive?” Keep in mind, Richard is the founder and operator of a 400-company conglomerate. He also has dyslexia and a pretty piss poor academic track record.

Yet somehow, from space travel to deep sea exploration, to music and cell phones, this guy has literally been able to accomplish a bazillion times more than the average Joe. And he’s still only 61.

Hence, the crowd of boat passengers hung on the edge of their seat cushions in anticipation of what turned out to be an unbelievably simple answer…

Richard responded: “Work out.”

That was it.

And that has turned out to be the answer to so many seemingly ‘hard’ to solve problems:

  • How do I get more energy? Work out.
  • How do I get more confidence? Work out.
  • How do I keep from getting sick? Work out.
  • How do I find more time? Work out.
  • How do I stay focused? Work out.

And of course the obvious…

How do I look and feel better?

I’ll let you answer that one.

Most problems, and especially those related to motivation, come from inside ourselves – From our physical body and how much we do or do not respect it.

And Richard Branson is not the only one.

Look around you. Who are your idols and mentors? Who are the people who have absolutely crushed it in their industry? Open up the lastest edition of Forbes and check out the Forbes 400 richest men and women in the U.S. Look at our current and past Presidents. Look at Tony Robbins, Barack Obama, George Bush, Stephen Covey, Eckhart Tolle, Yvon Chouinard, Simon Sinek, Chip Conley, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Or even in the online world with Leo Babauta, Chris Guillebeau and Tim Ferriss, whom we talked about last week. The guys run marathons, constantly break their own records and push themselves physically almost daily.

And it has nothing to do with their actual business – at least not directly.

How many terribly overweight and unhealthy people do you see among the people who have knocked it out of the park – especially ones doing work they truly enjoy?

Sure there are some, but for the most part, the people who do well (by whatever measure) have realized that the more they respect their body, the better it will perform for them.

That is the holy grail.

inspired fitness

Why is fitness so damn powerful?

For me everything comes back to fitness. Losing weight, gaining muscle or looking fit is only the very tip. The magical part is what happens to your mind and your world as a result.

1. You are in complete control. There are very few things in life in which you are in total control. In business (and much of life), you can do things to stack the deck in your favor, but a prospect can still slam a door in your face. A girl can still backhand you for a poorly executed pickup line. A seemly trusted friend can still deceive you.

When it comes to the outside world, we are in less control than we think (aside from how we interpret what happens to us, which is a whole separate, and hugely powerful discussion).

But when it comes to fitness, we are in complete control. A new client can fire you, but no one can stop you from coming home that night and running a faster mile than you’ve ever run, or adding a few pounds onto your favorite lift. Do you have any idea how empowering it is to be in full control of something and actually use it to your advantage?

2. The impossible breeds the impossible. When you start to harness things you’re in control of, your confidence starts to strengthen. Think of what happens to your mind if all of a sudden you watch yourself shed 40 pounds, especially after people around you doubted it would happen. If you can lose 40 pounds, then why couldn’t you double sales in your business next here? Or finally quit that miserable job to do something that matters.

Do you know anyone who’s lost a ton of weight in the past years? What effect did it have on their outlook and confidence? Think about that for a minute.

The confidence is massively transferrable – So why not build it in a realm you have complete control over and then transfer it to an area you don’t? It’s the ultimate hack!

Just yesterday morning at the Crossfit gym in SF, I hit a new personal record for one of their main lifts (a hang-clean). Class was done at 8am, the sun was barely up, and I already felt on top of the world. Guess how hard I went after my writing and projects for the next 8 hours?

No matter what happened the rest of the day, I still had my workout (and the burning chest as a nice reminder).

No one could take that from me.

Once 8am rolled around, I couldn’t lose.

You play enough games like that, and you literally start to believe you can do anything.

Then you start doing it.

So why is fitness the first thing to go?

The sad thing is most of the above probably isn’t that new to you. But still so few people get off their ass and do something about it…

The problem is most the world works out not because they want to, but because they feel they should.

When you know you should do something, you immediately look for excuses.

And when it comes to fitness, excuses are everywhere.

Usually the winner is “I don’t have enough time.”

The world is missing the point. The fastest and best way to literally add minutes to your day is to get off your ass and start moving and breathing.

Busy people who don’t work out say they don’t have time. Busy people who do work out, swear they don’t have time not to.

Successful people don’t have time to work out because they’re successful. I’d argue they’re successful because they work out.

Ladies and gentleman, there is no putting this one off for later.

“I don’t have time” is a downright shitty excuse.

playful fitness

A simple way to start getting active:

Don’t over-think this. It’s time to realize the missing link.

I don’t care what you do. Just start doing something consistently and watch what happens.

1. Start small. If you try to go from running 0 miles a week to running 15, you are likely going to fail. Start ridiculously small. Just take your current level and add a bit more weight or a few more laps (or even just a few extra meters). If you don’t start small, you likely won’t start.

2. Build your team. Find a few active and motivated friends to join you. This will help a ton with accountability and making it way more fun. And if your buddies are anything like mine, you’ll push each other without even trying. If you can’t find anyone locally then get online. There are some great tools. By far my favorites are Runkeeper and Fitocracy – which happen to work really well together too. More on them below.

3. Pick your activity. Brainstorm a list of things you can do for a month (or more) using the following criteria: 1. It must be fun and exciting, 2. Can be done almost daily, and 3. It must be a stretch to accomplish. Remember, overcoming challenges is what builds confidence – that’s the point. A bonus would be that it teaches you a new skill. I listed some ideas below. Most gyms and workout classes have an introductory special that is a ridiculous deal. Even trying a new one of those each month works well. Plus, you may find your perfect activity in the process.

4. Create your schedule. Ideally first thing in the morning, because that gives it the best chance of actually happening.

5. Do it. No excuses. Keep each other motivated.

6. Track it. You have to have a baseline for progress. Measure and track everything. I always do before pictures (those are especially motivating) and after, as well as measure the main areas of your body (thighs, waist, arms, chest, butt). I tend to get a little crazy with this stuff and actually for the past couple months have been getting my body fat tested in Redwood City at the Body Composition Center (the same place that did all of Tim’s measurements for the 4-Hour Body). They have an insanely accurate $300k DEXA bone density scanner that also measures body fat. It’s only $69/scan and gives a great baseline. Whatever you do, just be sure to track progress somehow.

7. Celebrate. No accomplishment is complete without a victory dance.

8. Leverage technology: By far the two most motivating and fun technology tools for tracking fitness and workouts are Runkeeper (online and iPhone app) and Fitocracy (both totally free). Fitocracy is like the Facebook for fitness. It is so damn fun to use! You can compete and compare with your friends, enter into challenges and all kinds of other stuff. Many of my buddies and online friends track each other on this.

**Sign up code for Fitocracy: Fitocracy is still invite only (but is still totally free). You can sign up using my Live Your Legend invite code ‘T5VFN‘ when you go to this URL: I only have 100 invites so get registered and let’s start tracking each other! (These links have the code already in them so just click the link)

The Magical 30-Day Challenge

By far my favorite way to tackle fitness is through 30 and 60-day challenges.

Given our craving for variety and how quickly we get bored with the norm, especially with working out, I decided to break my activity into 30-day bursts. This allows me to try all kinds of adventures and to seriously go after the activity at hand without getting burned out. Plain and simple, it makes fitness fun.

I encourage you to use the above steps and apply them to a different 30-day challenge every month or two.

You can do anything for 30 days, right?

Some of my recent challenges include: 

  • 31 days of Bikram Hot Yoga in a month (this was last month’s January challenge). I also juiced veggies for breakfast and ate mostly plants the rest of the day to do a little New Year’s cleanse – Chelsea, my wife, is an insanely talented cook – check out her mostly plants veggie cooking blog Food-Life Balance. (Side note: I was in a body fat loss competition with my buddy – not because I felt I needed to necessarily lose weight, but just for the fun challenge).
  • See how much muscle I can gain in 2 months – that’s my Feb and March challenge, which involves a combo of Crossfit and Leo Costa’s Titan Training System (btw, the quality of the instruction at Kelly Starett’s San Francisco Crossfit gym is bar none. Also has a great view of the Golden Gate…).
  • Complete the Goruck Challenge with 8 friends this June.
  • Run a self-guided ‘Accidental Marathon’ with four friends.
  • Rock climbing (gym or outdoors) – pick a face the first day you hope to conquer by month’s end.
  • TRX Suspension training- whoever can get the most days in wins.
  • Swim Fast Escape from Alcatraz and across the Golden Gate swims – with a group of 12-year-olds.
  • Tahoe Rim Trail Ultra Marathon barefoot run- long runs and learning Chi Running as prep.
  • Pick a different staircase to run each day in San Francisco- we found a great guide book for this. Every city has countless stairs.
  • Summit Mt. Shasta or climb any mountain for that matter – this was actually what I did for my bachelor party…
  • Cross-country Crossfit (high intensity 10-20 minute workouts) – I did this challenge last year remotely with my buddy in the Navy in Maryland using his Crossfit website. Free workouts posted daily. What a fun way to keep up from afar. We compared times each morning.
  • P90X Extreme Home Fitness. The 13-week program is one of the best I’ve experienced for full body muscle, cardio and flexibility. Doing a month of it is a great start. I did the full 13-weeks and even gained just under 10lbs.
Take a second to think about what your first challenge will be.
victorious fitness

They do it for themselves…

I’m not the strongest guy at my gym.

I’m not the fastest guy in my running group.

I don’t win the races I enter.

I don’t do the things I do for some external trophy.

I do them because when I lift a little more weight, run a little farther, swim a little longer or eat a little healthier, I become a different person.

When I’m fit, I treat people better, I help people more and I’m capable of putting a bigger dent in the world.

I find new levels of confidence. I experience new heights of ambition.

I become powerful on an altogether different level.

And I absolutely love it.

The fit people don’t do what they do for those around them. They do it for themselves. 

They do it for the person it makes them and for the way they’ll be able to impact the world as a result.

There is no health benefit to being bigger, faster or stronger than the person checking himself out in the mirror next to you.

The power comes in knowing that you can control the things you can control.

That you have the discipline to move mountains.

Get in control of that, and you’ll start to surprise yourself.

Now go join the LYL group by signing up for Fitocracy using the free invite code ‘T5VFN’ and let’s have some fun! Remember there are only 100 invites available…


p.s. What benefits have you gained from regular fitness? Motivate us by sharing a sentence in the comments below. Thanks!


Upcoming project announcement: For the past two months I’ve been working on a top secret project. I think it’s going to be massively helpful to all you all and I think it’s going to make a pretty big splash in the “love your work” space (as well as the “quit a job you hate” space…). So far I haven’t seen anyone do something like this. I can’t wait to share it with you. I might even reach out directly to a few of you to test it out. Keep an ear to the street!


Note: Tim Ferriss and his lastest book The 4-Hour Body helped me add clarity to some of the above ideas. Thanks Tim!


  • Mike Schuricht

    I’ll help you with the outdoor rock climbing challenge if you like :)

    • Scott

      Ha ha. Love it! I might just take you up on that…

  • Noch Noch | be me. be natural.

    you know, the other day, my migraine hit. usually i’d lie in bed and try to fall asleep so it would go away. or least i won’t feel the pain

    but this one time, i decided to go to the gym and run on the treadmill. weird. the migraine went away

    work out!

    Noch Noch

    • Scott

      Best medicine of all!

  • Jacques van Heerden

    Great article Scott. Fitness is important and that is why I’m in the gym a hour a day. Energized, refreshed and ready to tackle anything in my way.

    P.s, you highlighted a point and made a spelling mistake, was late at night most probably :) star small = start small.

    Cheers man

    • Scott

      Thanks Jacques. Just fixed it!

  • Sheyi

    Scott, funny enough, I opened my WP post page yesterday to write something about the Forbes American 400 rich list and I have a draft about how RB made it big in life (He actually started most things he knew nothing about) and today he is a person to reckon with.

    I love RB alot and his books has helped me too.


    • Scott

      Haha….Great minds ;). Good luck with your post!

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  • Timo Kiander

    Great stuff!

    I agree, it’s the exercising that really gives you a lot of energy to do stuff!

    On a daily basis, I’m spending time with my family (wife/son), build my blog, have a full-time day job, develop myself (reading) and also I’m a marathon runner/triathlete… so no, lack of time is doesn’t belong to my vocabulary :)

    I know that those last items on that list (exercising) give me energy to do other stuff too.


    • Scott

      Wow- that’s quite the list! If you can’t find an excuse then who can?!

  • Barrie/Live Bold and Bloom

    Amazing post Scott. And it punched me in the gut. I love my work so much that I’d rather write or coach than work out. :( But I know the truth of what you are reminding us. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

    • Scott

      Thanks Barrie. The funny thing is that more you dedicate to your body, the more you’ll be able to give your clients, readers and the world!

  • Nica Mandigma

    Great article. When I read the title from my inbox, I was expecting to read about some tool. But I was sorely mistaken.

    But this is timely. Tomorrow, March 1, starts my own personal fitness challenge to exercise and eat healthily. Our sofa and bed has been my best friend for far too long.

    • Scott

      Haha. Glad I caught you off guard. Be sure to sign up for a free Fitocracy account using the link in the post so we can all track each other. I was able to get some more invites and over 200 people have already signed up for the Live Your Legend Group! So much fun.

  • Mike Boldrick

    I *SO* agree with you Scott! Exercise/fitness/sport have always been central to my life and happiness. I’ve even had girlfriends tell me “You’re in a grumpy mood. You need to go for a run.” because they quickly learned how critical exercise is to my well-being.

    It has also provided me with huge boosts of confidence. I used to mentally calculate if I could finish Ironman in the allotted 17 hours. When I finally decided to enter, I trained in semi-panic mode for five months, not wanting the embarrassment of not finishing. I finished strong and have gone on to complete three others. I was on a high for a couple of years after the first finish. Whenever I question my ability to do something, physical or mental, I remind myself “I’m an Ironman!”

    • Scott

      WOW! And once an Iron Man, always and Iron Man. Hat’s off Mike. That is definitely on my list!

  • Kai

    Hi Scott,

    Awesome post – the benefits of exercise cannot be overstated yet so many of us continue to underestimate the the incredible advantage that exercise offers. As you pointed out, not only is working out good for us, but our personal engagement in exercise also benefits our people and ultimately our environment. Thanks for reminding us that respecting our bodies is respecting life.


    • Scott

      My pleasure Kai – It’s a reminder even I could use from time to time. Such a powerful simple thing…

  • Stewart

    “When you know you should do something, you immediately look for excuses.”

    This is one of the things I love about your articles. This statement applies ot so much more than fitness. As I start working on my new entreprenuership, I’ve noticed that I feel like I have to write and it becomes difficult to “find the time”. So, now, I can think about this quote everytime it feels like I “have to” write… or create.

    Another point to 3. Pick your activity. You don’t have to choose just one. When you’re just starting to Work Out, do a bunch of different things on alternate days.

    First, the visual results will be quicker since your body has no time to get used to things.

    Second, the “perfect activity” might be a combination. I love doing run / bike / run, now… much better than just running or just biking.

    Third, you’ll get better recovery if you’re not trying to do the same thing everyday. Better recovery means you’re less likely to just give up because it hurts.

    Once you’ve got a “work out” base, then pick which marathon you’re gonna do!


    • Scott

      Now we’re talking Stewart! I like the idea of varied activities. In fact I am totally that way. I’ll often run, do some crossfit, sprint some stairs and hit a little yoga all in one week. Variety is key.

  • Holly Em

    This is all so true. Working out makes you much more efficient both now and in the future (helps you to live longer and have more quality of life at old age). It also helps keep your brain young – studies have shown that it helps decrease the plaques that cause Alzheimers. It makes you feel better about yourself and look better as well. You are also right that it is the normally the first thing to go. I myself have been making that mistake, feeling that I have no time with my studies, mothering and freelance work. Once we move to Dubai in a month and are settled, that is the first thing that I’m putting back on the list!

    • Scott

      Sounds like a fun move you have coming up Holly! Was in Dubai for a couple weeks in 2007. Was amazing.

      I totally forgot about the Alzheimers link too. I read somewhere that the biggest proven ‘medicine’ to reduce the chances of Alzheimers was physical activity. Powerful stuff – and it’s free!

  • George Mihaly

    Great post Scott! Super timely as I am living abroad for a few months and have quite a bit more free time for exercise. Thanks for sharing some great resources too :) I have been following the work of gymnastics coach Chris Sommer for some time and highly recommend his workout of the day (WOD) forum for anyone who is looking to get serious about body weight training and increasing strength, flexibility, and mobility. Sommer´s approach is very well researched and comes from year´s of experience as a high level gymnastics coach. Thanks again -George

    • Scott

      Anyone who’s a high level gymnast is pretty worth listening to when it comes to fitness. Those guys and gals have some of the best physiques on the planet! They must be doing something right – or a lot of things right. I am definitely going to spend some time on that site. Seems like a great niche too.

      Thanks George!

  • Christina

    Super timely post. I’ve been exercising regularly in the last few weeks to shed some extra pounds, and just yesterday I found myself happier than I expected to be and even skipping at a job I don’t love. I realized that my regular exercise is the only thing that would make me feel that way. Thanks for another great post!

    • Scott

      When something gets you skipping to a job you don’t love, you know you are onto something. Love it Christina!

  • Michelle

    For the past eight weeks, I’ve been busting my ass training for a half marathon. This is my third attempt at the distance.

    It’s been the most tiring, difficult thing I’ve attempted in a long time. There have been SO many times that I’ve wanted to quit, but I’ve “dug deep” to find the motivation to keep putting myself out there six days every week.

    The race is in 1.5 weeks and I get tears in my eyes thinking about the fact that I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO COMPLETE it this time.

    I didn’t quit. I stuck with it even when I hated running and for that I am so proud of myself. It’s proven to me that I am so very capable of doing things I deem impossible. It’s also shown me the importance of keeping my nose to the grind even when I’m not seeing the results I want.

    It’s been amazing. Truly amazing.

    • Scott

      What an experience Michelle. After this weekend you are going to be a changed person. You will literally see the world from a totally new angle (actually it sounds like you already are). We’ll be thinking of you this weekend.

      Have fun with it!

  • Erick Widman

    Scott – I love how this came straight from Sir Branson, is not commonly understood as the “key” to productivity, but definitely rings true.

    At my old company, all of the top executives were fit and athletic. In high school, the scholar-athletes were the ones who got scholarships to Ivy leagues.

    Personally, the single most energizing thing I can do is work out while listening to a great audiobook. Cheers.

    • Scott

      Not a bad combo! I’ve done that a bit myself. Good call Erick.

  • Rose Byrd

    Scott, this is so very amazing. Such a serendipitous timing of this postwith my own increased physical workouts! The synapses just POP with creativity, efficiency and insights into all the people around us when we are physically fit. A true “high” in every sense of the word!

    • Scott

      Right on Rose! You actually reminded me of something I totally forgot to mention in the article. As I think back on different stages of my life. Nearly every single one of the biggest and best ideas I’ve had, came while up on a mountain, out on a run, or doing something else outdoors where a lot of moving and breathing was involved. Physical activity literally jump starts creativity and idea generation. That’s no small point to realize!

  • Brian Ball


    I was just taking today, Leap Day in 2012, to reboot. I’m going to make change (starting small). There’s a lot to do. There are manifestos to write, people to meet, and distractions to contend with. I had just asked @soniasimone via twitter about Kettle Bells. Then, I open my email and get this post.

    It’s a sign.. hahaha.. and an excellent post.

    Thanks for sharing. Maybe I’ll see you at CrossFit or at some challenge here in SF.


    • Scott

      Picking up a couple kettlebells is all you need. You can do so much with those. And they are free shipping on Amazon- at least in the US. I got a 35lb and 54lb for $111 delivered. That’s a damn good price.

  • Marion

    Hi Scott,

    Awesome post! Thank you so much!!!!

    I’ve been in the US for 6 months and I noticed that a lot of people run here, especially in the morning. I was really impressed so I decided to start running too although I’m not too fond of that. But then I was looking for reasons why I should start and couldn’t find one which would keep me motivated. After reading your article, there is no “should” anymore, I just “want” to run so I’ll buy good shoes tomorrow, first thing, and I’ll start running for myself, to be a better person.

    Thank you for inspiring me…

    • Scott

      Wow Marion! Making the transition from ‘should’ to ‘want’ is absolutely game changing. Congrats and welcome to the US!

  • shawn

    Awesome article. Thanks for the fitocracy hookup, just signed up and like what I see.

    • Scott

      Can’t wait to trade some workouts on there. Glad you joined Shawn!

  • kirri

    Yes! Totally agree.
    The days that I get to the gym, take a dance class or go for a run are always the ones where I am more productive, focused,clear and freaking alive! Coupled with the power of gratitude, exercise is also my top tool for beating anxiety and depression :)

    • Scott

      How about gratitude while out on a run?? That’s something Tony Robbins as always included in his programs- start with 5 minutes of gratitude as you warm up and watch what happens.

  • Greg Denning

    Just like the confidence carries over, so does the self-discipline. I think that is one of the best things we get from vigorous, consistent exercise. You push yourself to exercise hard, and your self-discipline grows. That growth then starts to manifest in your education, your family and your business. Go Hard!
    I just got back from a really tough 11.5 miles through the mountains of Guatemala. It was awesome!
    Thanks man.

    • Scott

      I heard about this run from your wife I believe – hat’s off! Sounds like an amazing setting too!

  • Joy

    Nice:) I think those who work out are present to ‘self’ (not as in ego, but as in self); when one is present to self, empowerment is abundant, and with empowerment, everything is possible. As you point out, physically pushing edges also allows a person to contemplate pushing all edges. Thank you for the reflection!

    • Scott

      Expand one limit and they all start to expand. So true Joy!

  • Marnie

    Great post in general, however there’s one point I disagree with. You say:

    “But when it comes to fitness, we are in complete control. A new client can fire you, but no one can stop you from coming home that night and running a faster mile than you’ve ever run, or adding a few pounds onto your favorite lift.”

    We are not in complete control of our fitness. An unexpected injury can completely sideswipe you.

    For example, a torn ligament in your foot *can* keep you from coming home and running a few miles. Try running when you can’t even stand. That squat record? It’s going in the toilet when you can’t put weight on your foot.

    That’s what happened to me. Did I let it stop me from moving entirely? No. I couldn’t walk, so I took up cycling. (But not spin class – couldn’t stand on the pedals.) Did some upper body stuff from a seated position. Did pilates, because so much is done from a lying down position, rather than standing. But it totally changed how I viewed health and exercise. Suddenly I couldn’t just *do* things anymore. My goals went from increasing my deadlift weight, to walking down a flight of stairs like a normal human being.

    I share your opinions regarding the value of exercise. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking your are in any more control of your fitness than you are in any other part of your life. Sh*t happens in all aspects of life.

    • Scott

      I could not agree more Marnie. But do you realize what you just explained to me? Something out of your control happened so you took what was in your control (changing how you exercised) and you started doing that. That’s huge. The point is there is always something you can do. Even if you’re totally laid up on your back maybe you work on your grip or just your meditation. Realize what’s in your control and do something with it. That’s different for everyone and changes for everyone as life happens. Great point – thanks for brining it up and awesome work on taking control of what you could.

  • Lovely

    You’ve inspired me, Scott.

    I have a long story of how I went from slightly fat to fit to obese. You are so right about being fit giving you the confidence and energy to takeover the world.

    That’s what I want to feel again.

    Getting back to fit has been on my mind a lot in the last year — so much so that I reserved a URL where I intended to document my progress, good or bad, to hold myself accountable and find others who are in the same fat boat.

    What’s been holding me back? Fear of failure!

    Instead of fear, I should focus on the reward — energy to do the things I want to do!

    Thanks for the kick in the ass, Scott.

    • Scott

      Please share the URL with us as you get started. I’d love to see your progress. Or maybe join our group in Fitocracy using the free sign up details in the post. We’d love to track our progress together! Remember, the key is that first step…

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  • Dr Cory Annis


    You’ve just initiated a wonderful love/hate relationship.
    I LOVE this post. It’s sane, passionate and persuasive.
    I HATE this post. It’s much better than the one I was writing on exactly the same subject.

    Thanks for the lesson.
    Dr. Cory Annis
    The MD for Entrepreneurs
    *slinking back to keyboard to lick wounds and learn from a Master*

    • Scott

      Haha. You’re too kind Dr. Annis but really, the best thing about us all being able to write our own stuff online is that it’s all from a different perspective. I can only imagine how much more useful and different your info would be given that you’re an MD. Please publish and come back and share the link!

      Btw, I just checked out your site- I love the design and branding of it. Very powerful niche! Nicely done.

  • Olivia

    Great topic! I just ran my first triathlon last week and now feel so motivated to see what other challenges I can overcome. And thanks for the link to Chelsea’s website, it looks amazing, I can’t wait to try out her recipes!

    • Scott

      CONGRATS on crushing your first marathon. That’s huge Olivia! Maybe you can cook up some fun stuff from Chelsea’s site to nourish you a bit ;). I am a lucky husband!

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  • Ben

    Nice article, Scott. I like your approach on fitness and the simple start ideas you share because they’ll start building momentum without leading to burnout.

    • Scott

      One you get the momentum, anything’s possible Ben. How do you plan to get started??

  • Anne-Sophie

    Amen to that! It is amazing how many excuses people find not to work out.

    But I couldn’t agree more with you that this is not only a secret to a healthy lifestyle, but also energizes you and gives you a sense of accomplishment even on the worst of your days.

    However, there is a limit to how much you should work out and you have to be careful not to let an exercise routine take over your life. I have struggled with exercise addiction for 14 years. Now, I am at a point where I have found a balance, but I’d never want to miss my daily workouts, be it Yoga, dancing or running.

    I find that working out also clears your head and I never fail to come back home full of ideas and inspiration.

    • Scott

      You bring up a very good point Anne. It can start to take over your life if you’re not careful. But I guess I’d rather be at risk of that than at risk of never leaving the couch…. But I do agree with you. Consistency is huge but so is moderation. I love my days off and I love a nice meal of beer and pizza every now and again just to savor a little something different :)

  • Scott Bovard

    Scott, I followed the link to the GoRuck Challenge and am stoked to be signed up for the event in SF on June 1. Thank you for the exposure to your learning…I really appreciate your work. Maybe we will meet at GoRuck.

    • Scott

      That’s what I’m talking about Scott! The teams are only 30 people so we will definitely be spending some time together at the Goruck. Fun stuff. Now it’s time to start training!

      • Scott Bovard

        Good meeting you at Zeitgeist. How’d the GRC go for you? Are you now officially tough? Did Mario’s shoes work out OK? How about your shoes?

        • Scott Bovard

          Oops, I just read your June 5th post about the GoRuck Challenge. Congratulations.

  • soul sista shakti ~ nyc

    i suffer from an almost debilitating form of complex ptsd – unless, that is, i don’t exercise. i get severely depressed and anxiety-ridden otherwise.

    my mountain bike that i have traveled all over the country with got stolen here in NYC a few months ago…totally bummed me out. i bought a pair of rollerblades :)

    • Scott

      Sorry about the bike but good to hear you’re still moving! I think I have about the same connection to fitness as you do. It’s just gotta happen or I’m not whole.

  • Alex

    Great post – thanks.

    I ran my first 10k this morning. Soon after starting I felt really bad, like I was going to be sick, but gritted my teeth and kept going and managed to finish in sub-45 mins which I was relatively happy with given how shitty I felt. Subsequently found out I had food poisoning at the time and have been pretty ill for the rest of the day! While in retrospect running in that state was probably not a great idea, the confidence and satisfaction it gives to have kept going despite feeling terrible is fantastic. I completely agree that it makes you feel like you “have the discipline to move mountains”. Now I can’t wait for my next healthy run! Also just bought a copy of Chi Running – thanks for the link.

    Take care,

    • Scott

      That’s a great time Alex – and with food poisoning no less! It’s amazing what we can do if we don’t realize we aren’t ‘supposed to’. I imagine your run would have been cut a little short if someone told you you had food poisoning at mile 3.

      Nice finish!

  • Robert Live Life Happy

    Great post. Was wondering if you could share a motivational quote with my community. Thanks Scott

    • Scott

      My pleasure Robert. Do you think you could pull one from the above article? Maybe the one about running farther making me a different person. Thoughts?

  • Caroline

    Great article Scott! I couldn’t agree more with how who you are improves with movement. Our bodies were built to move and I had resisted for a long time, thinking I had to run or lift weights or something that doesn’t at all interest me but when I realized I could dance all night long, go for long walks on the beach or ride my bike for the sheer thrill of feeling the wind in my hair AND watch my body transform into something more beautiful, delightful and move effortlessly through the world, I found the confidence to move joyously and effortlessly in other facets of my life. My world changed and everything became possible. Thanks again for your article!

    • Scott

      My pleasure Caroline. And you’re right, it doesn’t matter a bit what you do to get out and move and breathe. All that matters is you do SOMETHING. Congrats on finding your something!

  • Helmar

    Thanks, Scott! Excellent article, and right up my alley. One aspect, however, that is commonly overlooked is breathing. The moment you stop and consciously breathe, you regain control of the physical, emotional and mental elements of your life. And if you then know that it makes a difference whether you breathe through the left or the right nostril, then you’re even further.

    As for myself, I do free handstands at gym, and my level of fitness is largely measured by the number of times I can lower and push up myself. Great combo of strength, flexibility and coordination. The 5 Tibetans round off and otherwise pretty ordinary gym routine.

    And funny enough, when I took up weight exercises back in 1985, the entire world around me changed as a result of my body changing – and with it my elevated level of self-confidence.

    • Scott

      It does all come back to breathing Helmar. Good point. I did a challenge last month where I meditated for at least 5-10 minutes every day and of course it all came back to the breath. Funny you mention hand stands. I was out taking some sun with my wife last weekend and ended up doing some handstands on the grass. I actually love doing them – they’re a ton of fun. But a free standing handstand push up?? That’s a whole new level. I’m not there yet (getting close though ;). Nicely done!

  • Helmar

    PS: Some semi-shameless plug, but after 40 years my life changed 180 degrees when I stumbled across the “Master Key System” by Charles F. Haanel. Written in 1912, until recently appreciated only be a select few, it made all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place for me and answered the four elemental questions:

    1. Who is this big thing we call God or the Univeresal Consciousness?
    2. Who am I (and what am I here for)?
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    4. How can I utilise this connection?

    Since then I made it my calling & passion to promote the MKS in the German-speaking world, and do a little English stuff too, coz I live in Cape Town, South Africa. So I’m now “living the legend”, and I’m changing the world by loving the work I do. (And the work loves me, too! :) )

    (Scott, if you’re interested in a guest article on this subject, just shout.)

    • Scott

      Thanks for sharing and congrats on Living Your Legend! I might have to investigate MKS a little as I’d never heard of it. Keep doing what you’re doing Helmar!

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  • Matt Brown

    Scott –

    Great article. One sentence cannot really do justice to the impact fitness has had on my life. I started doing CrossFit last year and it has been a huge catalyst of change – my views on health, fitness, nutrition, and what is truly important to me in life have all been directly impacted as a result of my participation in CrossFit. So much so that I am trying to run with this passion and create a business around it. I cannot overstate how finding the right fitness program changed my life for the better!

    • Scott

      So true Matt. I am having a pretty powerful experience with Crossfit right now too. I really like the focus my gym as had made on mobility and understanding the movements and not just about eating a bunch of meat, paleo style, and lifting heavy weights. They cover a lot more than I was expecting. Hat’s off to your transition!

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  • Stefan Pylarinos from Project Life Mastery

    Totally agree, I personally love working out and fitness – health & fitness is #1 for me. Without it, nothing else is possible. Not only that, but I get this amazing high from it that you can’t get anywhere else – it sets up your day with a success and a win. Once you have an awesome workout, everything else in the day becomes easy.

    I’m competing in a fitness competition on June 23rd, and I’ve been tracking everything and my progress on my blog – it’s going to be awesome.

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  • Mehul Desai

    I totally agree with the concept – do want to point out though that one of the people that you mention, Steve Jobs, never moved a muscle for what can be called a physical work out. He did maintain very healthy/strange eating habits.

  • Lizzie

    This is a great post and it finally pushed me over the edge to start working out again. I wanted to print it and post it, or at least get my husband to read it, but it doesn’t print very well. Page breaks eat at least several lines. Can you suggest how I can get it to print better?
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    Got directed here from Nerd Fitness, great article! And I am incredibly jealous that you go to K-Star’s Crossfit SF.

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  • Ron King

    Hello Scott,

    I just listened to TED video on finding work you love which led me to this site, which in turn led me to read this particular article. I have to say that it is extremely inspiring to read Mr. Branson’s words because I recently have lost a lot of weight. Much of what is mentioned here I have also chronicled on my own blog, which I recently started to help others. Thanks for this post it is a real boost! If you have a moment please stop by and check out my blog. I also posted before and after pictures of myself. Be Motivated! Be Inspired!

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