live to see your children grow up

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”

- Charles C. Noble

Many of us just got finished with possibly the most unhealthy (and fun) day of the year in an American’s life – Thanksgiving. And we are all about to dive into the most unhealthy few weeks of everyone’s year – the holidays.

I couldn’t imagine a better time to talk about the most powerful habit on the planet…

The One Habit That Will Get You Anything You Want

I believe health & fitness are the most powerful tools in the world.

I guess I’m kind of fanatical when it comes to the body…

Three weeks ago I attended a TEDxSF UCSF conference on Global Health. It’s so mind blowing and encouraging to see how many bad ass, smart, talented and motivated people are tackling such a huge problem.

Then two weeks ago I went on a run with world-champion ultra-runner Scott Jurek, author of the book Eat & Run, which was damn inspiring. In two weeks, I’ll be running our second-annual Accidental Marathon with a few close buddies.

It’s why I attempt all kinds of fitness challenges like running an ultra-marathon in Tahoe, doing 31 days of Bikram hot yoga in a row, swimming from Alcatraz and across the Golden Gate Bridge and the 12-hour Goruck Challenge.

It’s why I sometimes go to the Body Composition & Bone Density Center in Redwood City to get a DEXA body fat scan (the most accurate consumer-available way to measure body fat) so that I can compete in a body-fat loss challenge with my buddy Leo Babauta… just for fun.

It’s why my favorite way to get to know a new friend or catch up with an old friend is over a kettlebell swinging session or a hard run. In fact, Leo and my friendship first started over a 2-hour trail run along the SF coast.

My wife is a certified yoga teacher, personal trainer and Dailey Method manager and instructor.

We eat 90% plants (the other 10% is a little fish, cheese, pizza, wine, beer and the occasional Manhattan).

The Unexplained Power of Fitness…Explained

Health & fitness are the foundation of doing anything – and especially doing work you love.

That’s why Doing the Impossible is one of the three pillars of the Passionate Work Framework that I discussed in my recent TEDx talk (still waiting for that video to go live…).

Fitness creates a compounding confidence that can ripple across your whole world. 

When you show yourself you can run a 5k when you didn’t think you could walk around the block (or maybe a marathon when you only thought you could run the 5k), you start to build up confidence. That confidence begins to compound.

If you show yourself you can lose 50 pounds (or even five or 10), who’s to say you can’t double sales in your business next year or land that dream job?

New things become within reach.

The impossible starts to become our new normal.

We just have to start conditioning ourselves to do things we didn’t used to think we could do.

It can start ever so small – a single step or a meal at a time.

And that is what begins building the most powerful habit in the world…

You Must Control What You Can Control

There are so many things out of our control. You can’t control a recession, getting fired, being hit by a car or getting some forms of cancer. As much as we’d like to think otherwise, most things are out of our hands.

This is NOT one of them.

Fitness and how we treat our body is 100% in our control.

No one can tell you you can’t eat a salad for lunch or say no to the double slice of pie after dinner.

No one can keep you from hitting the trails for a little run before you start your day.

No one can stop you from pushing you own physical limits to see what your body is really capable of.

That’s the most beautiful thing about it.

Personal fitness is the single most important factor to living a meaningful life and it is 100% in our control. How f*$/ing awesome is that?!

But so much of the world pisses that power away.

That is NOT okay. It breaks my heart to see how commonplace it is.

They find excuse after excuse….

  • I’m too busy
  • I don’t have the money to buy organic
  • I can’t stick to my diet
  • I like sweets too much
  • I’m always rushed and on the go…

It’s a bunch of bullshit. If you care enough, you will find time.

If it were a matter of life or death, you would get your ass outside moving and breathing.

The scary thing is personal health is a matter of life or death. It’s just too long-term and back-weighted to motivate most people.

I mean have you ever noticed that many of the most successful people in the world all happen to be damn healthy?

And by “successful,” I mean the real definition. Not just money, but living a meaningful, fun and passionate life.

Sure, there will always be exceptions of the seemingly fulfilled author who’s 75 pounds overweight. But I bet if you could really see inside his brain, you’d realize he’s not quite as happy as he lets on.

Most smart and successful people are fit. 

When Richard Branson was asked how he found the time and energy to start over 400 companies, his simple answer was “work out.”

Do you know what the following people have in common?

  • Albert Einstein
  • Steve Jobs
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Tony Robbins
  • Cesar Chavez
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Mark Twain
  • Thomas Edison

Figured it out yet?

They were all vegetarians or vegans. 

These guys were brilliant. They also thought more about health than most realize.

Just look at Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Leo Babauta, Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau or the late Stephen Covey. These guys are incredibly fit.

They will let nothing come between them and their workout.

Because they know that without a healthy, energetic and fit body, they will never be able to have even close to the impact they’re capable of having on the world.

Oh yeah, and they might die otherwise.

Fitness. Changes. Everything.

I’m not saying you need to become a vegan and start growing a garden in your kitchen. I’m also not saying you need to go run a marathon next weekend — although if someone had a gun to your head, I bet you could.

All I care about is that you take a stand to control what’s actually in your control.

Build the habit of reclaiming control of the most powerful practice of all time: fitness.

There are things that the majority of the world does every single day that are proven to kill them early.

How shitty would it be to die of a heart attack at age 54 and leave your wife and two girls to fend for themselves, when you could have avoided it completely if you would have just decided it mattered enough to you? If you would have adopted some simple fitness habits.

And it’s the simple habits that are at the root of everything.

Dr. Dean Ornish was one of the speakers at the recent TEDx Global Health conference I attended. It was probably my favorite talk of the 32 that day.

Dr. Ornish is the founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, CA and also heads up the preventive and integrative medicine programs at the University of California, San Francisco.

He is most known for directing a series of clinical research studies proving, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes could not only stop the progression of coronary artery disease, but could actually reverse it. These lifestyle changes included a whole foods, plant-based diet, smoking cessation, moderate exercise, stress management techniques including yoga and meditation, and psychosocial support.

This guy is my new hero.

We are in the middle of a national and global healthcare and obesity crisis, that has the potential to bankrupt the U.S. and destroy our families, and the solution to the whole damn thing is in the palm of every one of our hands. 

The question is, when are you going to do something about it?!

creating simple fitness habits

We Need A System to Train the Fitness Habits that Can Transform Our World

To help solve this problem, a few weeks ago a very close friend of mine (and big part of the Live Your Legend movement), Leo Babauta of ZenHabits, launched his Simple Fitness Habits course and community, which I think is going to help a lot of people. It actually already has with over a thousand private members, but now he’s offering it to the public.

Leo is one of my favorite workout buddies in town, and we’re constantly going on runs together, trading eating ideas, trying new Crossfit routines and doing crazy events together. He’s the one who talked me into The Goruck Challenge!

He’s so crazy about this stuff that he recently created a full home gym in (what used to be) his office. I’m hoping to get a workout in with him later this week. :)

But what I love most about his approach to fitness is not necessarily the tactics, routines and recipes. He has all of that down cold, but to be honest, anyone can put a diet and workout routine together.

I mean we all know how to get fit and healthy. The real problem is so few people actually build the right habits to create long-term change. 

That’s what I love about Leo’s approach. Everything he does revolves around very simple and proven habit change.

After all, the guy literally has the #1 single-author habit change blog on the planet! There’s a reason why Time Magazine consistently ranks him in the top 25 blogs on the web every year – he honestly helps people.

In the past few years Leo went from being an overweight, sedentary, pack-a-day meat-addicted chain smoker, to losing 70 pounds, giving up cigarettes and moving to a plant-based diet.

And he did it all through very simple, small habit changes over time. 

I actually collaborated with him a bit on the course, along with some other amazing experts. I cover the module on 30-day challenges and will be doing a Q&A for his community on the same topic in December. To be honest, if I wasn’t dedicating my life’s work to Live Your Legend, the next project for me would be health. No question.

And don’t worry if you don’t want to stop eating meat. This isn’t about becoming a vegan. It’s about building healthy sustainable habits. In fact one of Leo’s experts is Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, who’s a big paleo guy.

Anyway, I could not be more excited, especially given that most of us probably kicked off the sugar-loaded holidays by overindulging on Thanksgiving.

We need a plan to start making smarter long-term decisions. 

As always, there is never any pressure at all to buy the things I mention. I’m sharing Simple Fitness Habits with you because I know how many people struggle with this topic, and I believe in my soul that it’s the foundation for everything. And Leo flat out knows how to get results.

If you do decide to try it out, you will also be supporting LYL since we are affiliated with the course (thanks for contributing to our cause!). By now I hope you know that I endorse very few people and programs on the Internet. I only put my name behind people I know and trust because I see how powerfully they are changing the world.

Scott’s Bonus for You – A free copy of Live Off Your Passion ‘Lite’

If you’re one of the thousands of people who knows you need to take better care of your body but have had trouble sticking to something, making progress or even starting in the first place, I believe what Leo built will help in a meaningful way.

If you purchase Leo’s course through my affiliate link (which I do earn a commission from – this bonus is me saying thanks!I’ll give you a copy of the the ‘Lite’ version of our Live Off Your Passion career course, which includes a nearly 100-page written guide and associated workbooks full of exercises, activities and experiments for identifying your passion and building a career around it (The full LOYP course is $127).

I see health as absolutely fundamental to doing passionate work, so that makes Live Off Your Passion the perfect compliment to Leo’s course – there’s even a section on Fitness & Doing The Impossible as a module in LOYP!

How’s that for a fit?

In order to be get your free copy of Live Off Your Passion you must:

  1. Purchase the course through my affiliate link.
  2. Forward a copy of your receipt to [email protected] along with your name and best email address so I can send you the course download link.

Click Here to Purchase The Simple Fitness Habit Course by Leo Babauta.

You Have More Power Than You Realize

The question will always be – how will you decide to use it?

Or will you even use it at all?

Or maybe the better question is… How old will your son be when you die? Will you have taught him all you hoped to? Will your granddaughter really get to know you before you’re gone? What would your husband do if you left this world due to something you could have controlled?

What if you suffer a fate that could have easily been avoided?

I think about the people close to me and it terrifies me.

I can’t imagine what I’d do without my mother and father, two of my best friends. I know I’ll have to deal with it some day, but I hope so badly it’s not any earlier than it has to be. And that goes for everyone in my life  – including every one of you.

I ask you, not just for yourself, but for everyone around you. For the impact you could have on the world if you were your best self.

There are so few things in life we have control over. What you put in your mouth and how you treat your body is one of them. 

We must do everything in our power to control what we can – that is the habit that will change your world forever.

You can learn all about the Simple Fitness Habits course here.

And to be honest, if you decide not to invest in Leo’s course, that’s totally fine. Sure, it will be really helpful. But what I care about is that you be intentional and start doing the things you know you want to be doing. The things you know that can make all the difference. Tackle them on your own or get some guidance. All that really matters is that you do it.

Passion and fitness really do go hand-in-hand.

As always, I am here to help however I can. I mean that.

Now go have an awesome end of the week and get out and move and breathe a bit!

As for me, the rain just cleared so I’m off for a trail run with my buddy Nic.

To our health,


image credit 1 & 2

Leave a Reply

51 Responses to “The One Habit that Will Lose You 37 Pounds, Land Your Dream Job & Get You Anything You Want”

  1. Aaron Black says:

    About 3 years ago, at the age of 28, my doctor wanted to put me on prescription meds for hypertension. I weighed 225 lbs and I guess they figured it was easier to give me an RX than to tell me I was fat and needed to lose weight. I walked out of there knowing I couldn’t go on meds at 28.

    I realized it was life or death for me. “…build the right habits to create long-term change.” Habit’s are always the key to success. Everyone wants overnight success but it doesn’t exist. There’s a great book out there called The Slight Edge. The point is that the things that matter are the little things, the habits. There is to do, but they are also easy not to do.

    All that to say, habits are who you are. Thank’s for the great post.

    • Scott says:

      Wow Aaron. Thank you for sharing your story. And congrats on deciding to control what was in your control. Very inspiring!

  2. Kate says:

    Absolutely, 100% agree. This reminds me of the quote ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’ – if you take good care of yourself and only fuel your body with the best, you will do the same with relationships, work, and all of life. The best way I’ve ever found to understand how someone navigates through their life is to watch them exercise & workout. It’s amazing what cues you can pick up based on how someone approaches a physical challenge.

  3. Iris says:

    That’s some wake-up call! Would have loved to see some tips on how to start the habit or keep it going. Maybe that’s for another post?

    • Scott says:

      There will be plenty more on this topic in the months to come Iris. And that’s a big part of why I was so excited that Leo created his course because I know I could never do as good of a job on the habits topic as him. I love when I can point our community to the spot-on resource for something.

      But we will dabble more on this for sure!

  4. Taylor Evans says:

    I’ve always believed that you can tell so much about a person by the way they take care of their health. This is especially true with entrepreneurs. Working out and eating healthy takes dedication, perseverance, and discipline. Factors that are also crucial to success when self employed. There is a reason why almost every internet entrepreneur seems to be running a marathon or competing in some cross-fit competition now-a-days.

    I love the point you brought up about health being one of the few things we get to control in life. It is frustrating to hear all the excuses people give as to why they can’t stay fit. There are a million ways we could die that are totally out of our control. I refuse to let my health, that I control, be the reason I miss time with the people I love. It is really our responsibility to them that we take care of ourselves. If not we are living a selfish life.

    I need to start building my cardio habits again so I can keep up with you on a run one day!

    • Scott says:

      So true Taylor! Amazing what someone’s health (or lack thereof) can tell you about how they approach the rest of the world. Kind of like playing a round of golf with someone – you see who they really are by like the 4th hole!

  5. I loved this post and very much needed the reminder as fitness is the one thing I’ve let slide in recent months. And I want to share something interesting about motivation. This post, combined with a recent health issue has made me realize I need to reframe the story once and for all. So, this might seem unrelated, but recently I found out that I have PCOS (ovary problem) and that it might inhibit my ability to have children (I’m 34 and not ready yet). So…not even being someone who’s attached to the idea of motherhood…I nevertheless find the thought of Not Having a Choice really sucky. So I’m taking the naturopathic remedy Rx’ed to me religiously, even though it’s a pain in the ass. When I’ve suffered from things in the past like too much stress or whatever, and been prescribed something naturopathic, I’ve never consistently followed with instructions. Not sure why, but perhaps the ‘problem’ didn’t seem important enough. So now with this whole PCOS thing and my motivation to ensure I continue to have a choice in whether or not to start a family, it’s made me rethink how I can make consistently healthy choices in every other area of my life. I will eat well because I want to avoid disease and choose a long life. I’ll exercise more consistently because I want to have the option of running a race or doing a multi-day tough hike and not feel too out of shape to make an attempt. I will choose to maintain better health so that I can continue to exercise my right to choose! Thanks for a very cool post.

    • Scott says:

      Your story really does make a powerful point Heather. And it’s amazing what we are capable of once we find the right motivation. Tony Robbins calls it leverage – the one thing that puts you over the edge for the rest of your life.

      Like when the father tries his ‘hardest’ to quick smoking for decades. His wife begs, he knows he’s killing himself, but he can’t stop. Then one morning his six-year-old daughter comes into his office and says something to the tune of “daddy I really don’t want you to die before I’m 10.” He never lit another cigarette.


      You don’t always know where it’s going to come from but when it hits, there’s not looking back. We all need to search out the right leverage for our biggest challenges.

    • Susan B. says:

      Hi Heather,

      You should check out the blog Mark’s Daily Apple and search polycystic ovary syndrome. More than one woman has dramatically improved her condition by following a primal/paleo lifestyle (especially no grains, no legumes, no sugar and no vegetable oils). Best wishes.

  6. Harish says:

    Thank you for an awesome and inspirational post Scott!
    In the past, I had a habit of working out a few times a week (yoga, cardio etc) but then I realized that fitness was like brushing teeth and the maximum benefit is realized by working out everyday if possible! Now I do an early morning “Hour of Power” that includes my custom blend of intense cardio, yoga, pilates, breathwork and meditation. In the book- The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about creating or changing a keystone habit around which all other habits revolve. I must say that fitness and eating healthy is that habit for me.
    Thanks again for the post!

    • Scott says:

      Very cool to hear Harish. I have my own hour of power most mornings as well. It starts with 20 minutes of seated meditation and then it’s usually out for some serious moving and breathing!

  7. Frantzich says:

    Superb read, I just handed down this upon a friend who was performing a little researching on which usually. And he quite bought everyone lunch because I found it just for him teeth So let me rephrase that: Thank you lunch!

  8. Everything you discussed here (and more) are the reasons why I made the first program I launched about health and wellness. What we put in our mouths affects how we look and feel physically and emotionally and that drives EVERYTHING in our lives.

    By looking at health through the lens of mindfulness, it’s easier to break things down and incorporate something healthier in our days. I blatantly included Leo’s tips on creating new habits in my program because, hey, he really knows his stuff there.

    Figuring out how to make things fun helps but the biggest driver to making wellness happen is understanding your WHY. No one will change anything if their underlying reason isn’t strong enough for them. This is why general motivation tips generally don’t work. The WHY has to have deep emotional meaning (either reward or punishment) for each person in order to lasting change to happen. Like Aaron said above, it was life or death for him.

    I’m hoping that my Mindful Body program is part of this movement to reverse the current statistic that says that we will be the first generation to outlive our children. Everything we do sets an example for our kids. Our problems are their problems. This is one of my big WHY’s for staying in the best shape possible as I raise my three little ones.

    I’m really glad you’re going to continue the discussion in this area. It’s soooo important!

  9. Fab says:

    Hi Scott,

    great post! Passionate and enthusiastic, as usual!

    In other words and above all in few words:

    “Mensa Sana, in Corpore Sano”, Old Latin Saying.

    which means:

    “A sound mind in a sound body.”

  10. was gonna that fast.” by Jerry Coleman.|”The wisest mind has something yet to learn.” by George Santayana.|”I am an old man and have a great many troubles, But most of them never happened.” by Mark Twain.|”If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal. Not to people or things.” by Albert Einstein.|”Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.” by Albert Einstein.|”I’ll let you be in my dreams if I

  11. Fab says:

    As far as the Mediterranean Diet, the popular version around the world is the bastard version in which there are lots of high carbo foods: pasta, pizza and son on.

    But the authentic version is pretty different and the effects are far healthier:

  12. Fab says:

    In few words:un pò di tutto = a little bit of everything!!

    In further words:

    “A master in any art avoids what is too much and what is too little; they search for the mean and choose it.” — Aristotle

    All the best!

    Fab, greetings from Italy.

  13. Fab says:

    A last note!

    For those who like smart experiments in this field:

  14. Fab says:


    Not: “For those who like smart experiments in this field:…”


    “For those who like experiments to hack their own biology:..”

  15. Eugene says:

    Hi Scott!

    I’m so glad you mentioned Dr Ornish. His work is very powerful because it keeps coming back to the basics. Have you seen his TED Talk?


  16. Fab says:

    Hi Scott,

    you’re keen on physical extreme adventures and you’re an avid reader at the same time, hence, you may like to read:

    In 2007, Chrissie Wellington shocked the triathlon world by winning the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. As a newcomer to the sport and a complete unknown to the press, Chrissie’s win shook up the sport. A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS is the story of her rise to the top, a journey that has taken her around the world, from a childhood in England, to the mountains of Nepal, to the oceans of New Zealand, and the trails of Argentina, and first across the finish line….

    ( there is also the paper version )



  17. Jeffrey Bunn says:

    Great post Scott! And great timing…I’ve had problems with having a consistent workout schedule for years.

    Starting Nov 1 this month I decided to workout everyday for the month of November. 29 days in so far, I’ve been successful – and feel great! I’ll definitely be continuing this challenge.

    The best part…taking the time to workout has given me the energy to finally launch my blog project, a side business, and get a new job!

    Thanks for the great content :)

  18. Bendig says:

    Habe ein Note1 und baldyour das Note2 und finde dieyour Verarbeitung vom Note1 auch sehr gutyour.Hatte vorher das Galaxy1+2.Trotzdem kouml;nnte Samsung mehr Metall verbauen undyour weniger Plastik.Ich weiszlig;,das Plastik leichter ist,aber halt auchyour ,,billiger,,

  19. Angela says:

    Hey Scott, I love, love, love this post! I’m going to keep it to re-read over and over. I hope you are planning to write more about your run with Scott Jurek. I was so excited for you when you posted about having the opportunity to meet and run with him. I wanted so much to be there but could not make it happen this time. I first heard about Scott when I read Born to Run and loved the fact that he was vegan and pretty much one of the top long distance runners in the world. I bought his book Eat&Run as soon as it came out. You and Scott have both inspired me in different aspects of my life and I just love the fact that two of the game changers in my life have met. It reminds me of how interconnected we all are. Thanks again for this Epic post!

  20. Lulu says:

    Scott, I’ve tried to comment on youtube on your AWESOME TEDx talk, and to tweet you, but had no luck on either front!

    I loved your TEDx talk, and totally agree with what you say!

    Enjoyed it so much, that I’ve written a blog post about it, and linked to your site and your video.

    Keep inspiring people, we all need it…

  21. iconictech says:

    cpyelvDq Cheap ha ha ha

  22. WOW! This is such a reminder to get my habits straight and my lifestyle right. You’re right on to say that some of the most successful people are the healthy ones. Thanks for this push, Scott!

  23. WOW! This is such a reminder to get my habits straight and my lifestyle right. You’re right on to say that some of the most successful people are the healthy ones.

  24. Paul says:

    It is so timely to see your message framed in this light. 5 years ago I graduated from business school and have struggled with so many of the issues you study and talk about. When I look back over the last ten years, the days and stretches when I felt the most alive were when I was most physically fit.

    The effect that sitting at a cubicle 2,000 hours a year has had a profound effect on my body, my mental function overall mood. Over 5 years, that’s 10,000 hours. If you’ve read any Malcolm Gladwell, he discusses in Outliers the idea that you can become proficient/expert at something with 10,000 perfect hours of practice. To think of how differently I could have spent those 10,000 hours.

    I couldn’t agree more that building a strong foundation of fitness will be so integral in finding success in other parts of life.

  25. Mike says:

    Yep. This is right. The more I exercise and the better I eat (we just blogged our Whole30 journey a few weeks back) the better I perform in every other facet of life.

    I ran a 10K at Thanksgiving and since then got really busy at work and haven’t done enough PT or ate well. You’ve inspired me. Back on the horse!

  26. Savvy Scot says:

    Hey… First time visiting LYL, but I love your passion for health and fitness – I too have been trying to spread the message of the importance of health and intend to keep preaching this until I die!!

  27. Janelle says:

    Hi Scott,

    This was just the read I needed today. I’ve been slacking in my workout for the past two weeks, so it’s time to get back to it!

    I’d like to share a story to help inspire people:
    Three years ago I got a “great” job that required me to commute 3 hours a day for half the week, plus the daily 10 hour work day. Needless to say, I gained weight. While it may not sound like a lot, that 20 lbs made me prediabetic and prehypertension and that scared the hell out of me.

    Less than a year later, I lost all 20 lbs plus an extra 5. How? By doing something active every day, even for just 10 mins. The point was to develop the habit of doing something, then I took it to the next level. Every time I got bored, I did something new: CrossFit, Running, 5k, 10k, 15k, cycling. Fitness is like creativity, you have to show up to get results.

    I’d also like to say that I fully recognize that not everyone is blessed with an able body to do these activities. Do what is in your control.

  28. Janelle says:

    P.S. I ended up quitting that “great” job. Life is good.

  29. brand says:

    I must admit, this is not a topic that I am usually interested in reading about, but once I began reading, I thought it to be a really interesting read.

  30. brand says:

    lez lan bunlar ne bole

  31. brand says:

    gutlanhdcuekjwml casino on line epngqni

  32. There’s definately a great deal to find out about this issue. I like all the points you have made.

  33. Isabelle says:

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am genuinely
    pleassant to read everthing at one place.

  34. coached diet says:

    I read this piece οf writing fullу about the resemblance оf lateѕt аnd previous technologies, іt’s amazing article.

  35. Lyndon says:

    What’s up, I log on to your new stuff daily. Your humoristic style is witty, keep doing
    what you’re doing!

  36. WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for how to get rid of
    belly fat

Leave a comment