Start Strong, Stay Strong – January 26, 2023 (32-35/365)

A Powerful Method To Make Your 2023 Legendary

Facilitated by Robin Sharma


Note that I’m encoding this, and taking down what Robin has to say, probably adding in stuff here and there, but at the end I’m definitely going back to the top to add what I have to add.

Intelligence is more valuable than knowledge, but focus is more valuable than intelligence. We’ve heard it too many times: Our smartphones are making us dumber. We need to go back to making sure our technology serves us, instead of the other way around.

Questions to consider:

What would the child you once were think of the adult you are today?

  • He’d probably be proud I have all the tech I only wished for before. He’d probably question me for why I now think so highly of Dad, Mom, and our Brothers, versus the experiences he had with them. He’d be excited that I have so much going on, but he’d probably also see how it’s not as good as he thought. Overall I think he’d be happy with me – The Christ who was with me then has only thrived in me ever since.

What is the biggest cost to you if you let this year slip away, and to let this year be like any other year? In terms of your self-respect, your family, your finances, and your health?

  • I’d certainly hate this year for everything I held off on doing. My family would just be there, my finances would have dwindled. My health may have been sustained but it could be better.

If not now, then when?

  • The answer to this question is the question.

We need to Start With Strong Habits. And the first item to consider in doing this is for us to (1) Start where you’re planted. Don’t wait until conditions are ideal – you can start today. Think of a habit that can lift other habits. Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end. If change was easy, then it isn’t change.

Everyone has a gift, and this gift is called neuroplasticity – the ability to adapt and to grow. By practicing a new habit, neuroplasticity helps us to establish new nerve connections.

This, however, is second to the first gift we’ve all been given, and that’s to receive eternal value in a finite world; Christ gives us the peace we need to understand why we’re planted where we are, and to move forth, aware of neuroplasticity or not, but definitely in peace beyond human definition, knowing that the Creator of Time never wastes His time, nor does He waste ours.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This verse speaks to the idea that God has a plan and a purpose for each person, and that we are equipped to fulfill that purpose. It suggests that we should make the most of our current circumstances and trust that God has placed us exactly where we need to be in order to accomplish His will.

The second item is to (2) Be in the micro-win game. It’s not what you do once a year that’s important, it’s what you do every day. As you craft your day, and not your year, so you craft your life. Over time, the daily stuff turns into a tsunami. Consistency is the mother of mastery. Is it waking up earlier? It is not sleeping late? Then start today.

Don’t be so caught up in all you have to do in a year. Start with a day. Heck, start with an hour, if you must – find the time frame you’re most comfortable in getting the most done, and then focus on staying consistent in increments of said time frame. Conquer the hour. Conquer the day. Do better the next hour if you must. Do better tomorrow, if you must. Win small, again and again, instead of fretting of trying to win big, only to lose.

Matthew 6:34 says: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” This verse speaks to the idea of focusing on the present moment and not worrying about the future. Instead of getting bogged down by big, long-term goals, it encourages us to focus on the small wins and accomplishments that we can achieve today. It reminds us to have trust in God’s provision and plan for our life, and that He will guide us on daily basis.

Then there’s (3) Practicing The Green Field Habit Mentality. Say you’re wanting to exercise every day, or you’re wanting to read an hour before sleeping.

We’re at the first year; It’s as if we’re walking on a fresh field. But the more we walk through the field, and we make a trail. Eventually the trail becomes a road. The green field is as it is, but through practice, you’ll eventually have highways. That’s how neuroplasticity works, and how it helps us.

Just as you know Christ is faithful to finish the work He began in you, so take that same consistency, celebrate that faithfulness by being faithful to your cause, yourself – Keep going back to your mission and vision. Clarify what you must, but step forth, being aware of them every time, until your own grass becomes a trail, until your trails become roads, and until your roads become highways.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” –Romans 12:2 NKJV

This verse speaks to the idea of changing the way we think, which is a fundamental aspect of neuroplasticity. The verse encourages us to not conform to the ways of the world, but instead to allow our minds to be renewed and transformed by God. It reminds us that renewing our mind will help us to understand and fulfill God’s will for our lives.

It also suggests that the transformation of our mind is a continuous process, like the concept of neuroplasticity.

When it comes to starting strong habits, we should (4) Make a keystone ritual vow. Monks make a vow of silence. It’s simple. What’s one habit you can turn into a vow? Don’t overthink it. Don’t make a whole bunch of vows, start with one. And again, think: What habit lifts your other habits?

One suggested habit at this time was to wake up early. Lots of the greats have been doing it apparently.. and most, if not all of them wake up early to work on themselves, before the rest of the world rushes in.

Not sure if this is a vow but I suppose I could suggest that those within my influence would vow to give some consideration and thought to Christ and His finished work. A vow of Christ, we’d call it?

I’d describe it as a Christ-awareness. Moving knowing that I am never alone, doing what I do knowing that Christ will never leave me. On the other hand, I do what I do from the knowledge, and the celebration of the unfading Truth that Christ is always with me. And the thing is, sometimes I’ll be aware of it, but most times I’d move, and I’d move unconsciously knowing I am loved and favored, knowing I am never going to be alone.

Is that even a vow? I mean, I don’t want to call it affirmation, but if it helps for us to be… what, ‘automatic’ about it, then for a period of time I suppose we’d have to be a lot more deliberate about it.

And maybe that’s what I need to lead. I can’t expect people to move if I don’t show them how I move – and that’s not as if I intend to show them… but I’d rather do the next best thing – as much as it is within my capacity and my influence to do so, I’d share my best practices.

Update: Okay, I asked ChatGPT about it and the AI mentioned that a ‘keystone ritual’ is something that you do to establish everything else that you do. As such, it’s usually done in the morning, just as Robin says. A keystone ritual vow, therefore, is an open proclamation of commitment to do said rituals. Finally, it suggested Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

(5) Understand the 66-Day Minimum. It takes roughly 66-Days of constant practice before you reach the point of automaticity, where it becomes easier for you to keep a habit than it is for you to lose it.

The key is to stick to your vow for at least 66 days. We’ve heard it too many times. Because it’s hard after a couple of days, people give up. But here’s where Robin comes, with great love and respect, in saying: Hard is easy. It’s definitely going to be hard at first, but it’ll take at most 66 days before it gets significantly easier. So stick to it!

ChatGPT suggested the following verses related to the concept of automaticity:

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

“Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV

You can change. You are built to change.

I’m thankful. Before I jumped into this I was agonizing over what to share to the Junior and Senior High Students. Now I find I have material for more than one Friday.

Now before I move on, I know I’ve been mentioning ChatGPT a lot these days. I want to be clear in saying that I intend to keep churning out my 1000 words here in this blog, coming from my own mind… It was tempting to employ the help of the AI but I still want to sharpen my own intelligence. Instead, I will be using the tool for the other website – the one for my ministry. That first set of five? I’m sharing that tomorrow, live and on the website, probably word per word. I’ll run the rest of these articles through the ChatGPT treatment and post them on the other website. Those won’t count for my 1000-word a day goal.

What are 5 habits to really focus on in the next 90 days?

Well, it’s not that we ought to wake up so early in the morning, more than we ought to (1) Install a great morning routine. The way your day begins sets up how the rest of the day unfolds. Try as much as you can not to jump on your phone first thing in the morning because that’s going to affect your focus for the rest of the day.

Robin suggests a 5:20 routine, 20 minutes of something at 5 in the morning: First 20 minutes is for you to get to moving. The second 20 minutes ought to be spent in reflection. And here, we don’t mean looking at our phone in reflection – it’s turned into a portal for us to get bite-sized satisfaction over us committing to deeper rewards.

Robin doesn’t continue with the rest of the 20 minutes but he does suggest prayer, gratitude, and meditation. I’m brought to remember the chorus of that one song by Newsong, ‘Before The Day’:

Before the Day slips away

I want to stop and say I love you, I love you

Before the world rushes in again

I want to stop and say

There is none above you

There is none above you

I just be still and know that you are God

Be still and know that you are God

Notice how he sings so profoundly, choosing to say, at the first moments of the day, ‘before the day slips away’; It just goes to show how important the morning is in defining the rest of the day. Of course, I say we’re never alone, and that this all applies with or without our works, but I suppose it comes out of gratitude, for us to sing and to pray at these crucial moments.

Another habit to really consider is (2) The No Phone Until Noon Ideal, and (3) The Zero Distraction Workplace. We’ve talked a little on that second item earlier. Churchill had a dedicated place of focus. Find a place for you to focus. Find a place where you will not be distracted. Again, many of the greats have such a space. They’ve had caves, bunkers, residences, and it’s in these areas where they work, away from noise, digital and literal.

And I suppose that in our determining where our place of 100-percent focus and 0-percent distraction is, it’ll be great to have an actual physical place; the one guy from YouTube, the Bioneer – He suggests we should have our own Batcave, and I’ve been working on that for years now; but, I think we can have our Secret Place anywhere, as Christ – in whom we are alive, and who is alive in us – is alive in us. Where do we find our safety? Where do we find relief? Where can we find silence? Cheesy to say, and I’m still working on it personally… but we find it all and more, in Christ – Our Prince of Peace.

What we’re really saying is (2) treat tools as they are – tools, and (3) find rest in Christ alone.

The Fourth item is to consider (4) The Second Wind Workout. It’s a method Robin has been sharing for the longest time. Quickly put, if you think that exercise is such a good thing, then why do you do it just once a day? Why not do the habit on another iteration within a day? It’s sure to keep you consistent and/or multiplying your results, according to him.

Finally, we’ve been talking about the mornings a lot, but you may want to think about (5) Calibrating your last 3 hours of the day. Most of us don’t use our evenings well. We are still on our phones, and melatonin levels are frustrated. We need to sleep well – there’s an epidemic of poor sleepers around the world… and we shouldn’t be surprised that we’re all intimidated by waking up so early in the morning.

What can you do in the last 3 hours? Prepare your being for rest. Robin suggests, sleep in a cool room with a white noise machine as much as possible. Don’t have any devices; to be precise, don’t sleep with your phone next to you. Make sure your sleep area is distraction free. Meditate or pray before your sleep. And this may not be feasible, but consider an Epsom salt bath before sleeping; Roman generals make sure to clean up as much as possible before they rest.

“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, and a soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Those in the body of Christ ought to really take that in, simply because we are no longer existing in fear of death and bondage; Through Christ our hearts have been made new. Our hearts have been filled with grace. Also, as MLK just said, our souls have been made new… and, apparently, that’s a nice way to put it – our souls have been (re)generated by love; That is, a perfect love that casts out all fear.

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach.” – Ayn Rand

You may not be able to act on each and every spark that pops up on your mind… and sure, frustration may never be eliminated from your life. But that shouldn’t be where you stay. Again, those in the body of Christ ought to know that even in the most frustrating of times, we are given even more boldness to step out, and to step up simply because our constant is now living in favor with the One who is faithful to work all things for the good of those who love Him; This, contrasting with who we were, where even the most well-intentioned of ‘good’ we could do was less than nothing in the eyes of who mattered.

Robin points out that we are born into fire, until the world has its way with us – we lose our primal genius. But the world doesn’t stop there, because from there it relentlessly redefines our ‘fire’ into mediocrity. The world establishes blocks in all aspects of our lives.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” – William Hutchinson Murray

It’s a huge explanation for what we say when we say you aren’t doing anything until you take the first step. Ideas are nothing until we take action… and when we do have the boldness to take action, don’t be surprised if all sorts of other favorable conditions and situations pop up. I don’t think this is in any way proving or supporting the said ‘Law of Attraction’, but it’s simply how the world works. Jim Kwik likes to say that the mind grooves as the body moves – this is saying that’s not the only thing that grooves.

Robin says, “I believe in grace, I believe the Universe supports those who do the work”; Contrast this with what we say – God supports us because Christ did all the work. The grace we speak of is apparently different from how they share it in this reality.

Robin wraps this video up with ‘Rules For Owning This Year’, and he appears to hit hard off the bat with (1) Goals or phone, not both; You can materialize your goals, you can play with your phone, you can’t do both. Your phone is costing you your fortune. Your phone is costing you intimacy with your genius. Your phone is costing you relationships and focus… and so much more.

Say you’re in a gym, and you’re focused on your reps and your sets and your overall workout, when suddenly you get a phone call, and even an important one that you need to answer right away. It’s sad that the chances of you gluing yourself to your phone after your call are significantly high – that’s how dangerous it is to give in to it. It’s not that technology is bad, but when it becomes your God instead of you mastering it, well, that’s when it literally drains your life – and it’s sad because these are precisely the times that we need to live life and allow it to flow out of us for others to see!

Robin keeps it coming with a harsh rule up next: (2) The World Owes You Nothing.

There’s almost an entitlement culture materializing, where a whole bunch of people demand world class without doing what world class requires. That’s magical thinking.

Even here, the adage we’ve been talking about in church applies: Right believing leads to right living. Robin elaborates on this, saying that when you run the right routines and maintain a right mindset, we shift from CBE (Complaint-Blame-Excuse) to what heroes do: APR (Absolute Personal Responsibility); Mother Teresa says, clean your own doorsteps. Ultimately, Robin is saying you need to get the work done.

The third Rule that Robin mentions is (3) The 95/5% Performance Multiplier. What is this? Simply put, to have the results that 5% of people have, you need to do what 95% of people aren’t willing to do. And this oftentimes requires confidence and boldness, sure, but we should always make sure we do our homework.

These are things like installing a morning ritual, or learning a “‘weekly design system’ for the weekly creation of beautiful weeks”, something else that Robin is advertising. I’m gathering from what he did share that our weeks are just as important as our days, and I’m probably assuming that part of what he says that comprises of a weekly design system involves how to start it and how to end it – The first day versus the last day of the week, just as how he points out the mornings and evenings are important.

For some reason at this point I’m led to recall how the Jews don’t end their days, but consider their evenings as the start of the day. Their preparation for sleep, and the sleep itself, is their beginning when it’s the end according to other cultures (what, 95% of them?) – It’s one thing to consider that, sure, but I’m bringing this up in consideration of when we say we start and end our week. Is it to work 6 days, and rest on the 7th? It probably still is the same way for the Jews, but one thing I think is that our 6th day – or even the last moments of the 6th day – should be spent with us preparing for the rest, just as we would prepare for sleep.

Something to consider, personally.

Learn how to schedule. Learn how to communicate. Learn the principles and mindsets of folks you consider successful.

The fourth rule presented is to (4) Manage Your Energy Over Your Time. This hits me hard, personally. We’re so wrapped up in time management when we fail to consider energy management. Sure, the smartest person has the higher chance of winning, but it’s the one with the most energy and stamina that certainly wins. We can have the inspiration and ambition, but if we don’t have the traction, nothing happens. We easily give in to digital dementia and digital overwhelm, and we’re easily exhausted. The toxic and the meaningless drain our energy quite a lot.

The fifth and final rule is to (5) ‘Schedulize’ to realize / ritualize; Get your schedule right, learn how to plan so you get big things done.

There’s more, apparently. Robin suggests the following five books to read over the next 90 Days:

  • Spark by John Ratey
  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz / ‘Your expectations turn into self-fulfilling prophecies’
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (I’ve read this one, it’s pretty good but you’d have to keep on reading it)
  • The 5AM Club & The Everyday Hero Manifesto by Robin Sharma (of course) / Apparently you get up early to pray, meditate, exercise, and look at your goals, possibly among other things.

And I guess he has another ‘final’ Five. Nice. Here are his 5 Tactics Of The Heroic Superstars:

(1) Read for an hour every day. Before he elaborates, I think I’ve attempted this, only to be won over by my phone every time, eventually. But if we’re to treat our phone for what it is I suppose that hour would be a whole lot easier than I’m initially thinking. Anyway Robin says he calls it the ’60-Minute Student’.

Robin is the second person I’ve heard (the first being Dan Koe) who says he isn’t a fan of the ‘hustle and grind’ culture which they claim is prevalent in today’s social media channels. Rest is not a luxury, but a necessity. In Robin’s words, elite performance without deep renewal is an empty victory. There’s nothing wrong with resting. John Lennon is quoted in saying, ‘Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time’.

We need to allow ourselves to relax and have fun. Haruki Murakami says, ‘My next novel is writing itself when I am resting.’

A lot of people are suffering from broken focus, and again, it’s quite painful to commit to an hour – READING, and not audiobooks.

(2) Honor The 25/25/1 Expert’s Principle. Robin describes this methodology as follows: For 25 months, spend 25 minutes a day mastering one subject, that if you mastered the subject would allow you to dominate your domain.

On a personal note I suppose this is why I’m sticking to writing. This is why I chose to get back to 1000 words a day for 365 days of another year, because even if a year down is already a gargantuan feat, Robin is saying that true mastery comes from us giving even more time. You can say this is my second wind when it comes to writing.

And take note, it’s not necessarily out of my own noggin. Sometimes it’s going to be like this. Yesterday I checked in 2000 words based on what Pastor Joedy had to say – It’s not all from him, but I did need him to help me out with a topic. Here, also, Robin is helping me with the quantity, sure – but the quality is still mine to practice and oversee.

“Be so good at when you do that they cannot ignore you.” – Steve Martin

Stop worrying about the global economy, and what’s going on around the world, and build a monopoly and an economy built out of your mastery. When’s the last time you saw a master in action? All masters have one thing in common – they have a white-belt, beginner mentality, always willing to learn. With that sort of mindset the time we spend daily over an extended period of time will just fly through, and before we know it, we’d be astronomically better compared to where we were before we took the first step, or before we hit the first day.

(3) Review Your Morning HVT (High Value Targets). Clarity breeds mastery. You need to have a clear answer before being asked, if you can. Set your goals, and don’t stop learning how to set them. Don’t just set game charts, but review your ‘big five’ priorities you project to complete in a year.

(4) Have A Weekly Digital Sabbath and (5) No Devices 3 Hours Before Sleep. I hear you loud and clear, Robin. Recovery is important. Even God rested, and it’s not out of exhaustion, but to allow things to grow, naturally. But that’s a stretch to say we have zero technology in a day – worth it, I suppose.

Until the next post, God bless you.

3 thoughts on “Start Strong, Stay Strong – January 26, 2023 (32-35/365)

Add yours

  1. Your articles are like drugs,you know. It is so addicting to read. I prayed to God what He wants me to do before I go to sleep and out of the sudden,your article popped in to my mind. 😊 Focus is what I need right now. Thats why I am planning to do the 60 day rule without soc med esp facebook. 😁 I also need to meditate myself. In fact,I am in the midst of my sorrows as of the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoa I know all of that stuff on focus sounds good but I have to be honest, I am pretty intimidated by the whole initiative of lessening social media and technology – I’m praying though, because I’m going to be sharing these with students next month, and I want to practice what I preach, and preach what I practice… I’m sure any effort we put into it would benefit us! I’m praying for you Elle, continue to enjoy the love and grace of God in your life, through Christ!


      1. Good luck on your preaching. 😊 Dont worry, I am going to be alright, its just that I need to detached myself from unhelpful things or people. And listening to christian songs gives me more energy to fight. 😊 Knowing that God is there. Just like what Psalms 28:7 says “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
        My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him”. 😊


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