Welcome to episode #100 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast! For the big 1-0-0 episode, instead of an interview, I decided to do a solo show and talk about some of the biggest things I’ve learned from my past guests. Talking points include morning routines, being intentional, handling challenges, your comfort zone and having fun. I hope you enjoy it!
Hey, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote, where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.
Hey guys, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast today is actually my 100th episode of the morning upgrade podcast. And so, to celebrate, I figured I would do a solo episode now; for full disclosure, I've never done a solo episode before. So I'm not sure how well this is going to go.
Fortunately, I do edit these. I have a guy named Alex who does a great job editing. So he's going to have his work cut out for him on this one. But yeah, I wanted to do a solo episode. I just felt right for the 100th episode. And what I want to do is I want to just kind of recap what I've learned over the last 99 episodes, not everything. Of course, I still want to keep this to a short episode. But I was trying to think, like, what am I pulling the most out of my guests? And whatever comes to mind first, that's what I jotted down so that my notes in front of me; I want to start off by just reminding everyone what my mission with Morning Upgrade is.
First, thank you for listening time is the one thing we can't get back. So I do take your time seriously. So you're taking 15-20 minutes to listen to these episodes? I do really appreciate it, and I do my best to put out really good content, both on the blog and this podcast. And so hopefully, every episode, every blog post you're pulling one or two nuggets from, that's my goal.
With Morning Upgrade, my mission is to raise awareness of personal development and morning routines. It's a passion project. It started off as a blog, then I added the podcast, and I got to that. I wrote a book, and then I created a morning routine product. And so I don't know where I'm just going down this journey and having fun with it, meeting new people building up the morning upgrade brand, I think in the future, maybe a mastermind.
So I'm really big into them, really big into masterminds. And it'd be, I think it'd be really cool to have my own and, and like a group of entrepreneurs where we're going over our morning routines and challenges and haven't fully thought it out, I think that would be really rewarding. And it would go back to like that ripple effect I talked about where you do one thing, and it creates a ripple effect is if we have a group of 10, 15, or 20 people, whatever, and we're all kind of growing together, you can imagine the ripple effect with their circle of influence, being influenced by them growing, etc, etc.
So I don't have a fully backed out yet. And that's kind of what I'm thinking. But in the meantime, I'm gonna keep on putting out good content, finding guests, you know, the blog, and just doing the best I can to, to put out the content into this world that helps people. And if you like this mission, what I'm going to ask is you leave a review on iTunes, if you could take a minute, if you go to ratethispodcast.com/morningupgrade, or just go to iTunes and just search for the Morning Upgrade podcast, I would be forever grateful. And then, if you are so willing to share a particular episode or blog that you find helpful with your social contexts on Facebook or wherever. Again, we'd be super grateful.
Okay, I want to start off by talking about morning routines. Obviously, that's a big part of the podcast; it's a question I always ask because I'm big into a morning routine. That's my pillar habit. What I've learned is that the book The Miracle Morning is what started it for me. Since then, I've crafted my own routine; it takes less than 30 minutes. And so it's like anything you play around with something long enough, you start to develop your own ways of doing things and what fills your cup and, and so that, you know, I've been doing morning routines for five years. And so I've got my own routine that that's pretty solid right now that I don't see changing for a while I'm not opposed to changing it because I think pivoting is okay if you find a better way of doing something. But right now, I'm pretty, pretty locked into it.
What I've learned is that there's so much variety in morning routines, and it makes me love them even more. There are traditional ways of doing things. A lot of this is in my morning routine, like meditation and journaling, and gratitude practice. But then, just from speaking to 99 guests so far, there are things that I would never have thought of, like red light therapy; I didn't even know what that was until I had to look it up, grounding. I've had a guest who goes outside in the morning and barefoot on the ground to get closer to nature. I even have one guest that is really neat. She would take her dog for a walk. So getting outside to get exercise bonding with her dog, she would walk around and pick up garbage to make her community cleaner. And that was part of her, literally her every morning. So it's just like really neat stuff. And so it just reminded me how much variety of elements you can add to your morning routine.
Even though I have the morning. I have grateful cards because I believe my routine, for many people, is a personal experience. You had to find out what fills your cup. What's important to you. Only we could find that out it's by experimenting. So I really encourage you to start a morning routine if you don't have one already. If you're listening to this podcast, there's a good chance you have one but for those listening, don't I really encourage you to start one even if you start super small, like 5-10 minutes just get that like the atomic habits theory like just starting really super small and then building because when you invest in yourself off?
Well, first off, investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Because goes back to that ripple effect, you show up differently, but it also changes your identity. And it influences your other behaviors. Not that we get things perfect by any means. But it does have an influence. Because if you're the type of person that gets up early in the morning to invest in yourself, it changes your identity, because then you're probably the type of person that will exercise more, eat better, not perfect, better, and just influences the type of content you consume. At least that's based on my experience and of the guests that I've spoken to.
If you need help, I actually created a big monster blog post with 54 ideas of things you could do in your morning routine, based on my experience and based on the guests that I spoke to; it's 54. It's a pretty long blog post, but you could skim through it; if you go to morningupgrade.com, there's a morning routine tab or link on the main navigation drops down, and then just click on 54 ideas that will get you started. There's a lot there to chew on. Okay, so that's the first thing.
The second thing is a lot of my guests are just very intentional. You know, they're very intentional with their days; they all have most of them had goals and things they want to achieve a vision, you want to call that of the person they want to be. And they're very intentional with their days; we all have the same 24 hours is how we use those 24 hours. And so a lot of my guests were just they would get up, and they didn't just like, What am I gonna do today, I'm not really sure I just kind of walked with like a leaf in the wind, they had clear to-do lists or structure to their day or time blocking calendar blocking, or whatever worked for them. To get the most out of those 24 hours.
I'm reading a book by Ed my let you know, I sound like a fanboy because I was mentioned to him, but I just think his contents really good. And he has a book called The Power More. And I'm like, I don't know, 80 pages into it. But he talks about the way he structures his day. And I mean, he's a pretty intense guy. But he breaks his 24 hours into like 6 am to 12 and 12 pm to 6 pm, and \ six to midnight. So I guess he goes to bed at midnight and wakes up at six. So he's basically structuring his days to fit three days into one now that's like, that's like next level very intense, you know, that works for him. It's very successful, but it's not for everyone, but just giving you ideas of ways to think of this is he structures his days into three days, those those those six-hour buckets, he's working or doing something with his family, wherever if those 18 hours, and then sleeping for six, that's a really concrete way of how intentional someone is with their days is to find out what works best for you.
But the idea and the things I pulled from my guests is that they are very intentional. They wake up, and they know what they need to do. They know what they want to do. And they take action, your habits, and the decisions you make every day that largely determines your results. It's really as simple as that. It's not easy, but it's as simple as that. It's not easy being consistent every day. But it is a simple formula; your habits and your decisions every day determine your results, mostly.
And then the third thing, and I'm going to add my own little thing here to wrap it up. The third thing because I always like talking about challenges from someone that used to shy away from challenges. I've worked on myself for that to get better at it. And so I like to ask about challenges like how they handle them, especially because most of the people I talk to are running businesses. And so, of course, they face challenges you do whether you have a business or not. And so I like to ask how they face them and whatnot. And the thing I'm getting from my guests is that they don't shy away from the challenges; they face them head-on. Because like I've said in the past, when you ignore challenges, as I've done in the past, they become like a screaming toddler that just gets louder and louder and louder. So you really have to pay attention to them. If you ignore them for too long, they're not gonna go away, and they're probably gonna get worse. My guess just they deal with the challenges head-on. And honestly, like, dealing with them head-on, it gets easier the more you face them. It's like anything. Everything is hard until it's not. My daughter dances competitively some of the things she has to do and just getting on stage. She was, like, petrified in the beginning. And now she's not as much it's because it's like anything you put in the reps, and it gets easier and easier.
I remember back in my days, my early days at Ballantine, my family’s marketing agency, I remember going on sales calls where I was very uncomfortable felt very awkward in those sales meetings, my suit on and just like I just didn't feel like I belong there. I felt whatever it was in my head, and I would get a little bit nervous, but the worst part is I would get sweaty, like my face, unfortunately, my face not like my like where you can see like armpits or whatever it would be my face. And so I remember being in meetings with literally sweat beads of sweat dripping down my face was very hard to give him someone to work with you, and you've got just water all of your face dripping down. And so it was I have like memories of that it's horrible. But I kept on going to the meetings, and I got more confident. I got more comfortable. What was uncomfortable became normal. And then it just got easier now like.
Obviously, it was like 20 years later, but after a half doesn't sales meetings, I stopped getting the sweaty face, which, which helped a lot. So think of it as personal development and your morning routine. One of my guests mentioned that he considers his morning routine like his mental armor developed for dealing with change challenges. And so he's just, he's more equipped to handle them not that they don't bother him or not that they're not uncomfortable, but he's just more equipped to stay calm and during the challenge, and just keep a clear head and like,
Okay, here's what's happening. So he looks at his morning routine as mental armor, which I thought was really a good way to frame it. If you need more motivation to do the morning routine, I think that's a good one. The bottom line is, don't give up. I think don't give up applies to many things. But you might be closer than you think to resolving the challenge; you might be closer than you think to achieve whatever goal you're trying to achieve. So just don't give up.
Don't be afraid to pivot. Pivoting and giving up are two different things you might need to pivot if something's not working, but just don't give up. And then the last thing tied to this challenging part of it is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. We talked about this a lot. And so I needed to mention it on this 100th episode recap. Look for opportunities to push yourself out of your comfort zone; it is a mental workout. A lot of my guests will look for things or don't shy away from things in their life that push them out of their comfort zone because it does build a callus to other things that might push them out of their comfort zone.
So if you're going through a challenge, and it's really making you uncomfortable, the next challenge is going to be a little bit easier because you're building up that callus. That's been my experience. And a lot of my guests they've confirmed that that's been their experience as well. Look at pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. And the challenge is you go through a sort of a mental workout; you go to the gym to work out your physical form.
Well, you know, meditation, gratitude practice, and then pushing through challenges pushing out of your comfort zone, well, that's your mental workout. So frame it that way. And then it gets a lot easier to tackle them head-on because there's a reason why you're doing it, there's a benefit to why you're going through the challenge or, or the out of your comfort zone situation.
So those are the things that stood out to me. And then I want to add my own little thing, the little cherry on top here. This is something that I may have mentioned a couple of times in some of the episodes or some of the podcasts I've been interviewed on. But what's really top of mind for me right now besides everything, we just thought we just talked about that. Maybe it's because I'm 43. So I guess I don't know what the average lifespan of a man is. But I think I'm like halfway there. Right? So I've been thinking about this more and more, especially as my kids are getting older, and just, I don't know, it's where my head is wandering at, at the moment, or most recently is being present and mindful.
I'm reading a book right now called Peace in Every Step. Yes, I do read multiple books, but I read a little bit every day. So it's not like all I'm doing is reading I just love bite-size chunks. It's fantastic. Just last night, I bought three of his other books that are coming in a couple of days. So it's all about mindfulness being present. Because I think with technology, I don't think I know it technology and just all the distractions we have. It's so hard to be present, myself included. And so, every morning and as part of my morning routine, I write down how I want to show up for the day. And I always write down be present because I have a hard time with it. And so I'm reading this reading these books and just the concept of being mindful, being present, stopping just to look around and just snap yourself out of the computer screen, that phone screen takes practice. So it's very difficult. Just keep on putting the reps put in the reps. And hopefully, they'll get easier. The other thing is having fun and looking for experiences.
What's the purpose of we're not having fun that at least not reckless, of course, and you need to work hard, okay? But if you're going to work hard, you need to have fun with whatever that looks like for you. It's different for everyone. To find out what you have fun doing. And then be intentional going back to that word that is sprinkling in. That's really top of mind. Top of mind for me, a lot is tied to experiences.
I'm lucky that I'm married to a wife, and it was Jill. She's really into that as well. Like she plans the road trips. And like we have, and we're grateful enough fortunate enough to go on an Alaskan cruise this year. And she booked it during COVID When they were running all these crazy deals. And I remember like it was like two years ago or 18 months ago, I saw one of the first charges on our card. I'm like, Hey, Jill, what is this? She Oh, yeah, we're going to Alaska on a cruise like, Oh, okay. Did not know that.
So she has plans these things, you know, but it's awesome. And so, find that version of you. Like, find that version for you like having fun experiences and just be intentional. But sprinkle them in I think it'll find I think you'll find I hate to use the word should not try to shun you. I'm just speaking based on my experiences. I think you'll find it fills your cup. And then the last thing is, just don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to speak to people you want to meet. Don't be afraid to do things you want to do. I mean, life is short. We're here for a very short period of time, a lot shorter than we think. And so, you know, I've my, you know, back in my early years, I was pretty shy. And so I avoided a lot of things, I avoided parties, I avoided networking events, I just avoided mine out of my comfort zone. You know, I wish I had started on this stuff earlier. Because not that I have regrets. I mean, life is still good. And everything happens for a reason, right? But I'm just trying to convey that you should not be afraid to go for what you want to go for. And just do what you want to do and craft the life that really fulfills your cup and impacts those around you. I think that's like, the highest form of winning, the highest form of living.
If you ask me, you know, the meaning of life question, I ask my guests a lot. So I'm going in there; what's next for Morning Upgrade? I think I've kind of touched upon this in the beginning. So I'm not going to go too much longer here. But I'm just going to keep on putting out podcast content; I'm going to keep on putting out blog content. I recently started doing book summaries of personal growth-related books. That's the newest addition to my content; I think I have three or four at the time in this recording. And so that's like, I'm always looking for little tweaks. And I was like, oh, I should write I should write book summaries for people that want to read the book, but they don't want to read the full book. And so my summaries are like 1000 to 1500 words. So it gives you the gist of the book. But I haven't read the whole book. And so that's a new thing.
So I'm always looking for little tweaks like that. So I will continue to do that. And like I mentioned, maybe the mastermind, but you know, I have to see how that shakes out with my time and schedule and all that, but I see that being like the near future maybe like the next level of mourning upgrade and the impact that I'm trying to have to ask you one more time. If you like what I'm doing here, please consider leaving me an iTunes review. If you go to ratethispodcast.com/morningupgrade, or just go to iTunes, search for the Morning Upgrade podcast. I'd be forever grateful. And then, anytime I put something out on an episode or blog that really resonates with you, if you share it on your social again, I will be forever grateful. Thanks for listening, and have a great day.
Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don't forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.