The Howard Stern method of dealing with critics

Was rapping with an industry colleague the other day about this whole email thing…

I subscribe to his email list.

Recently, he’d sent a note to his readers asking for *feedback* and *suggested topics*.

I hated it…even told him as much.

Here’s why: it’s not my job to supply the theme-of-the-day.  I’m a subscriber because I’m interested in what YOU have to say.  I wanna know what you’re passionate about; what inspires you.  If you’ve got an opinion, I want to hear it.  That’s interesting.

Not sanitizing your content so it appeals to everyone.

A listener once called The Howard Stern Show offering feedback, and Howard told him point blank, “not necessary.”  He went on to explain why a fan’s critique is irrelevant, and how if he’d listened to feedback, he’d have quit a long time ago.

“I don’t care what you think, I care what I think,” he told the stunned caller.

I recently attended a talk by another fitness guy, Harley Pasternak.

I thought most of his presentation was canned, catered to a general audience, and just plain vanilla (I personally like vanilla as a flavour, but the connotation is *boring*, in case you missed it).  It was basically the fitness equivalent of shoving a pacifier in the audience’s mouth.

But I liked the Q&A.

Why?

Because he dropped the niceties and plainly said what he thought.  For instance, he called all the fuss about gluten “the biggest load of crap.”  I don’t agree (read my recent take on gluten here), but I appreciated hearing it.

Anyway, my industry friend received my comment in the right spirit.  I think.

What’s this all mean for you?

I’m not sure what you do, but regardless, there’s never been a time in human history that begged for honest, sober dialogue, more than this one.  We’re too afraid of offending, and too easily deterred by negative feedback.  It’s turning us into a society of wimps and whiners.  Don’t be one!  Adding your voice to the chorus of mush out there might get you lots of likes on Fakebook, but it’ll make you entirely forgettable everywhere else.

Personal transparency is what fuels charisma.

Just my two cents.  Canadian, that is.  So more like one and half.

My latest video transformation tip explores this concept of SELF and how it impacts your inability to change.  Watch this brief video to find out why I think Oprah Winfrey struggles with her weight, despite how rich and successful she is…

Happy Feedback-Ignoring,

Conor Kelly
conorkelly.com

I tell jokes, therefore I am

One of my goals this year is to do a lot more keynotes.

So to *ease* myself into it, I signed up for a stand-up comedy class.

In my comedy set, I do a bit – yes I have *bits* now – about how I have a philosophy degree, hence the title of my post today.

(Don’t worry…I have funny material too.)

Anyway, I took the class for two reasons: (1) to challenge myself with something new (it’s out of my comfort zone), and (2) I thought it might help me continue to refine my speaking skills.

So far I’ve eaten my fair share of humble pie.

I’ve got a pretty good sense of humour.  However, being funny on demand is a different beast.  I’ve learned that about 80% of the game is being willing to make a joke and NOT hear laughter.  That’s how you find out what works; by throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks – or at least slides down slowly, leaving gooey skid marks.

There are certain patterns to it, but you can never know 100% what will make an audience laugh.  When they do laugh, you put a check-mark next to that one, and move on.

Top comedians have done a joke dozens of times before it ever airs on their Netflix special.

At the beginner level, everyone trembles when it’s their turn to take the stage.  Not one of us feels secure.  As I watch this unfold each week, I think “isn’t this amazing?  All of us out here, taking RISKS…”

This might be my inner masochist talking, but doing stand-up is a great way to experience failure in strident, painful, and repetitive ways, until you become immune to it.  It’s like a vaccine.  You take in small but concentrated doses of the stuff, and, in response, your immune system releases antibodies that immediately go to work on fear.

(I make it sound VERY appealing, I’m sure.)

There’s no evolution in sameness.

There’s only decay, deterioration, and RUST.  What’s true of all living things is that if we’re not growing, we’re dying.  Uncertainty and insecurity are passes to a virtual Disneyland of personal development.

AND…your opinion on what you can’t do isn’t usually based on facts.

With a bit of coaching, every single person in my stand-up class got funnier.

So risk.  Start today.  It doesn’t have to be stand-up, but put your name in the bucket to learn something new.

Be like the guy who was asked if he can play the piano:

“I don’t know,” he said.

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I’ve never tried.”

Happy Risking,

Conor Kelly
conorkelly.com


The tiny gluten-free hinge that swings open BIG health doors

Just a thought, but this might be the most valuable note I post all year.

(I like to peak early – then coast.)

What if you could make a single commitment that would instantly remove MOST obstacles to weight loss?

If you did, that would be to embrace gluten-free living.

Gluten is a protein found in many grains.

It’s also used as a consolidating agent.  It fluffs up our burger buns, danishes, and pizza crusts, and helps them hold together.  It’s everywhere.  Even in ketchup.  We’re so heavily glutenized that more people are developing a condition known as Celiac’s Disease, an outright allergy to gluten.  Sufferers can’t tolerate even a bite of the stuff.  But among those of us who don’t have Celiac’s, at least 40% are intolerant to some degree.

Gluten is also the common denominator in many autoimmune disorders.

(If you have anything autoimmune going on you should immediately pull gluten out of your diet to see if it helps.)

Even if you’re not doubled over in pain at the first bite of a croissant…AND you don’t have any direct intolerance to it, regular consumption of gluten-y grains leads to a condition known as leaky gut, in which the junctions of your intestinal walls loosen and let microscopic food particles escape.

Your immune system reacts to these tiny rovers as foreign intruders and revs up the machinery of inflammation.

When inflammation is persistent, insulin resistance and cortisol resistance are likely.  This at best makes it nearly impossible for you to burn fat, and at worst, can render you foggy-headed, depressed, and unable to sleep.

But we do love our grains, don’t we?

You can love ‘em, but you don’t have to love what they do to you.

Like any other abusive relationship, there comes a time to strap on your walking boots.

And here’s the magic…

ONE decision, i.e. to nix gluten, eliminates so many fat loss hazards.  Pizza, baked goods, pasta, breads…adios, muchachos!  An adjustment to be sure, but all that’s left is to organize yourself around a single unifying principle.  No complicated learning curve.  No time-wasting.  Go for the jugular.

Rip out fat’s beating heart.

You’ll be tempted to think, “sounds good in theory, but hard in practice”.  Don’t.  If anything, it’s easier.  The beauty of doing things this way is it wipes out 80% of the thinking you’d need to do otherwise.  That creates a giant surplus of willpower reserves.

If you don’t believe me, try it.

Take 30 days.

Plan ahead, do whatever you have to, but for 30 days, not an ounce of gluten.  See how you feel.  Then decide if I’m right.

(By the way, that’s not carte blanche to load up on sugary gluten-free treats.  All the other rules of good eating still apply here.)

One choice – so many problems solved.

No need to thank me…

It’s all in a day’s work.

Happy Single-Choice-Making,

Conor Kelly
conorkelly.com

P.S. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.  My latest oratory masterpiece is about a famous TV show’s trademark success secret:

==>Click here to watch The Biggest Loser Rule.


How to get more AC/DC into your nutrition program

Before I got into lifting weights, my one big obsession was playing guitar.

I had two electric guitars, a bass, and an acoustic. I was basically gonna be Slash from GNR, but without the top hat, or the cigarette dangling from my mouth.

My first guitar teacher, Jean-Marc, taught me the pentatonic scale, and many others, both minor and major. He made me practice each one hundreds of times until they were hardwired into my brain.

In the beginning, I really resisted. Running scales felt repetitive and boring, like homework.

I’d be like, ‘I don’t want to learn scales. When are we gonna play some AC/DC?’

I knew I could crank out a decent rendition of *Back in Black*. But I’d really hear it from Jean-Marc if I didn’t practice my scales. Because HE knew, if I nailed the basics, I could play anything. He was right. I went on to win awards for both rock and classical performances. I was voted Best in Music at my high school graduation.

When I started coaching people on nutrition, I found the process was very much the same.

The #1 complaint I’d get is ‘not enough variety’. But until you establish the habits that are the foundation for your success, narrowing it to 1-3 options for each meal is the way to go.

It simplifies everything. Meal prep. Grocery shopping. You learn to identify portion sizes. You discover what foods you like that also work best with your plan. You find a system that’s effective, and also easy to stick to.

People always want new or different. That’s what’s exciting. But the truth is, when you really break it down, success is routine and boring. It’s mechanical. It’s doing the right things well, and doing them repeatedly. In my experience, people who need a lot of variety from the word ‘go’ rarely develop the consistency to make the right nutrition a habit. But when you understand the basics, trying new things becomes second nature. You’re just expanding your repertoire.

Once I had every scale known to music at my fingertips, not only could I play AC/DC with more accuracy, but I could easily pull off new musical genres whenever I felt like it. If I’d never invested the time to “get my reps in” and play scales, I wouldn’t have accomplished most of what I did as a musician.

Get your reps in too. Learn the basics of whatever you want to be good at, and do it a thousand times over. Stick with simple, straightforward and repetitive until you get it right.

Once you master the basics, branching out is a logical next step you can enjoy without compromising your results.

Happy Transforming,

Conor Kelly

Put first things first

When I worked at Extreme Fitness, the company was a world leader in personal training sales.

Part of their sales process was to make you feel physically inadequate, so you’d realize you need a personal trainer.

Here’s an example:

The *consultant* as he or she was called, would ask you to squat while standing on a Bosu ball.  If you were shaky, they’d explain that this meant your stabilizers are weak.  You’re therefore (a) vulnerable to injury and (b) unlikely to progress much in your workouts without first addressing this problem.

Alas…this particular game is RIGGED.  The house always wins.  Everybody shakes.  That’s because it’s got little to do with your stabilizers.  Bosu ball squats are a skill.  Unless you’ve practiced them, you’re not going to be very good at them.

You probably can’t do the trapeze either.

That doesn’t mean you need the $3,000 Cirque Du Soleil package.

I can’t do a back flip.

I’ve lived with this handicap my entire life, and strangely, I don’t feel as though it’s held me back.  It hasn’t cost me any jobs due to discrimination.  I can legally marry.  And somehow, I even managed for many years as an elite strength athlete despite this glaring flaw – go figure.

Where am I going with this?

Your inability to squat on a Bosu probably hasn’t hurt you either.  It’s almost 98% irrelevant to your fitness goals.

Yet it’s human nature to fall for such gimmicks.

That’s IF…we’re not firmly rooted in PRINCIPLES.

Habit #3 of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is *put first things first*.  Bob Proctor says, “The main thing…is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”  In other words, if you want to lose fifty pounds it’s not about, e.g., what are the best kinds of yoghurt to eat.

Instead you should recognize that this change – if it’s going to last – has to begin with massive shifts in both your internal environment (thoughts, beliefs, emotions), and your external environment (which includes everything in your house or workplace, and in between).  These are shifts that need to be harmonized into enduring habits.

It’s about changing your lifestyle.

It’s setting priorities.

It’s committing to working on YOU, the person behind the body armor.

And this has more to do with THINKING and PLANNING than people generally realize.

I know, I know…you don’t want to think.  You’re too busy for that.  You just want someone to tell you what to do.  Or maybe you want me stop at what kind of yoghurt is best to eat.  But getting ever clearer on your intentions is the process of permanent change.

It’s the anatomy of transformation.

Make time for it, and your life will never be the same.

For more help with this, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

=>Click here to visit The Conz’ YouTube Channel.

I’ll be posting easily digestible 120-second clips thrice each week.

My latest includes a few examples for how to put to new patterns on auto-pilot.

Check it out.

And note to my industry: personal training is POWERFUL.  Own it.  If you’re purposeful about it, you won’t need gimmicks to convince your buyers.

Happy Back-Flipping,

Conor Kelly
conorkelly.com

How To Put New Patterns On Auto-Pilot

Let’s talk a little bit more about context changes…

I’d mentioned how manipulating conditions in your present environment to “handicap” your future self is really key, because it takes willpower out of the equation to a large extent.

So for instance, if you want to lose weight or improve your fitness, you can skip buying your monthly metropass and take up the habit of walking to and from work instead.  You can prepare healthy meals to bring to work with you and limit your choices.  You can STOP keeping foods that you have a hard time being moderate with in your house.

I heard some other great examples recently…

These are from Harley Pasternak.  He’s encouraging people to move more, and said as a busy person, what he’s done is to get rid of his coffee machine at home, so he has to walk four blocks to get his morning coffee.  Also, when meeting with someone, instead of just meeting at his office, he’ll say let’s walk and talk; your mind is in more of a creative state anyway.

I’ve talked about public speaking

One of the best things you can do to get yourself going with that is join a group; something like toastmasters.  You’ll pick up a few tips.  But most importantly it gets you up in front of people each week.   And remember, DOING is the path to BEING.  If you want to be decent, let alone great at anything, you need to do it, and do it often.

So this year, when I decided to get back into the flow of speaking (as I emerge weary-eyed from behind my laptop where I spent the last few months of 2016) one of the things I did was sign up for a stand up comedy class.  Now, I have no ambitions of becoming a comic…

But doing the stand up thing is definitely different from the speaking I’ve done over the years.  It’s a little out of my comfort zone, and that’s the point.  It’s got me thinking about humour, and how to add more of that to my presentations.  Mostly, it keeps me in front of people each week and it’s an opportunity to continue to refine my communication skills.

The other thing I did was commit to a monthly interview on ThatChannel.com.  Same idea, forces me to really button up my content, as well as practice being interviewed.

Finally, doing these videos was the third context change.   Each one is like a mini talk, so it forces me to clarify my ideas, and I’m getting practice at communicating them as well.

That’s really it.  That’s how it’s done.  That’s how I’m doing it.  That’s how you can use my concept of context changes to effectively automate any good behavior you want more of.  As I’ve said before, put some thought into what you want to accomplish.  Be clear on your intention.  Then be ruthless about organizing your life in ways that make it a lot harder for you to NOT do the positive new patterns you’re creating for yourself. 

Edit your daily method of operation, and your environment, so it becomes second nature.

With a just little bit of thought, I’m sure you can find ways to do this.

For a lot more ideas, to help you along the road to being EVEN more, and accomplishing EVEN more, be sure to sign up for my email tips by clicking the graphic in the right column.

Thanks for watching, and happy transforming.

Conor Kelly

Video: Conor explains how people change

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; make the iron hot by striking.”

There are three ways people change.

Usually the person is experiencing a symptom of some kind (like being overweight), or has a desire to do something like make more money.

The first type, are merely try to change it by willing themselves to.

They say they’re gonna go to the gym more, or start a new business.  But there’s no real plan so they don’t gain very much traction and eventually it’s status quo and the whole idea is history.

This is what happens to most new year’s resolutions, for example.

The second type will have a breakthrough of some kind.

This is usually something external.  They get a stern warning from their doctor about the health consequences of their current lifestyle.  They get fired from their jobs.   And of course you hear stories of people who say when they lost their job, they thought it was the worst thing ever, but it was a blessing in disguise because it forced them to go start the business they’ve always wanted to.

And as a trainer, I’d often get people who had a recent health scare or bad diagnosis.  They’d commit to a program, go through a period of what I call massive re-organization, but they soon find themselves in a “new normal” or plateau.  They’re definitely better off, but they never really take it any further.  They’re the person who needed to 70 pounds, but lost 20 and never really made past there.

Then there’s a third type.  This type might experience the initial breakthrough or not.  But they find a way, at every plateau, to do the reorganization stage so they can keep progressing.  They keep finding new ways of reinventing their lifestyle until they achieve total transformation.  They lose 50, 60, or a hundred pounds.  They go on to build huge businesses from scratch.

So what’s the person in the third category doing that the others are not?

They are in fact orchestrating their own breakthroughs.

change3

They’re reversing the order of breakthrough and organization.  By not waiting for a breakthrough, but instead consistently doing re-organization, they’re taking charge of their own transformational destiny.  They’ve hired a business coach.  They’ve committed the first hour of every day to marketing their services.  They’ve committed to eliminating certain foods from their diet, and don’t keep them in their house.  Ever.  They don’t suffer plateaus for very long.

The rule is the re-organization stage is where most of your energy needs to go.

Don’t wait for life to give you the breakthroughs.

Chip away at life until it’s forced to give itself over to your desires.

Happy Re-Organizing,

Conor Kelly

P.S. Subscribe to my email tips by clicking the “transformation” graphic in the right side bar!