On knowing when to quit, becoming wise, and perfecting technique

How do you know when it’s time to quit or when you should dig your heels in and keep going?

I’m not a big fan of quitting. In my experience, most people quit way too early, before they have even a chance of seeing any progress.

Progress takes time. Much more time, in fact, than most people think or are willing to give.

If you’re trying to lose weight, two weeks is not enough to see whether your diet is a good fit.

If you’re trying to build strength, one 30-day challenge will only get you so far.

Athletic skills — and most other things in life worth pursuing — take years to master. My personal handstand journey is proof: I’ve been on my hands for over seven years, and am just starting to feel the level of control and consistency that make me feel like I kind of know what I’m doing.

But that doesn’t mean quitting is never the answer.

Trying to achieve too much at once — not quitting anything, no matter what — can be more harmful than helpful.

The truth is, we can only do so much in our short lives. I’ve learned this the hard way, previously trying to focus on too many goals at once, eventually realizing that I was making progress on nothing. As a result, I’ve since simplified my life — and my goals — significantly.

The shift from viewing quitting as “giving up” to viewing it as simplifying and focusing is a game changer. With this approach, Quitting can become a hidden superpower.

After all, we only have so much attention and focus to devote to our goals and activities during any given day. We all have responsibilities, and we all need to sleep, eat, exercise, and have some social interaction and relaxation time on a daily and weekly basis. This gives us only a finite amount of time to pursue our bigger goals. Which means that in order to get to know ourselves better and find what really clicks, we need to learn to quit.

As Rich Kaarlgaard writes in Late Bloomers: The Hidden Strengths of Learning and Succeeding at Your Own Pace

“Quitting is power. Quitting, done for the right reason, is not giving up. It’s not submitting or throwing in the towel. It is saying that a job just doesn’t suit us. It is trying something and not liking it. In this way, quitting is actually part of the process of discovery. We define who we are by quitting, whether it’s a club, school, job, or hobby. Forced adherence or unquestioned devotion leads to atrophy—to slowly dying. But quitting is the process of growing, the process of living.”

Conscious quitting isn’t about giving up. It’s about getting clear about our priorities and our goals. It’s quitting one thing so that we can free up time and energy for something more important.

Read moreOn knowing when to quit, becoming wise, and perfecting technique

12-Minute Medicine Ball AMRAP Workout

Workout equipment: Medicine ball

Workout type: AMRAP

Read more12-Minute Medicine Ball AMRAP Workout

Heart-Racing Bodyweight Challenge Workout

Workout equipment: None

Workout type: Challenge

Read moreHeart-Racing Bodyweight Challenge Workout

Full Body Bar HIIT Workout

Workout equipment: Pull up bar, Box

Workout type: 12 Minute

Read moreFull Body Bar HIIT Workout

Boxing Strength + Conditioning HIIT Workout

Workout equipment: None

Workout type: 12 Minute

Read moreBoxing Strength + Conditioning HIIT Workout

Some of my favorite podcasts, in defense of thinking, and a core combo to try

I love learning, but I’m not great at sitting still. To continue learning without forcing myself to sit still for hours, I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

I listen to audiobooks and podcasts while I’m walking my dog, cleaning, or sometimes even while working out. It’s one of my favorite ways to learn.

Of course, there is so much content out there these days it can be hard to choose what to listen to, but here are some of my go-tos (in no particular order):

Finding Mastery: Conversations with Michael Gervais — Sports psychologist Michael Gervais interviews top performers across different fields on what it takes to become a high performer. Episodes are one to two hours long. (Listen on Apple podcasts)

The Rich Roll Podcast — Rich puts a ton of work into this podcast, and it shows. His conversations with some of the most forward thinking people in health, fitness, nutrition, art, and other areas are always thoughtful and interesting. Episodes are 2+ hours long. (Listen on Apple, Spotify, or YouTube)

Huberman Lab — I’ve been following Dr. Andrew Huberman, a professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford for over a year now, but his podcast is new as of this year. It’s absolutely fascinating and covers everything brain-related and how our brain controls our perceptions, our behaviors, and our health. Episodes are 2+ hours long. (Listen on Apple Podcasts)

The Tim Ferris Show —I’ve been following Ferris since he first released The 4-Hour Workweek over ten years ago. His podcast covers a large range of topics and I don’t end up listening to all of them, but some episodes are fascinating. Episodes are 2+ hours long. (Listen on Apple or Spotify)

Daily Stoic Podcast — I started listening to this first thing in the morning a few weeks into COVID after realizing that starting my day off with the news was making me overly anxious. Some days are better than others, but they always get me thinking and in a better headspace for the day ahead. Episodes are 2-5 minutes long. (Listen on Apple or Spotify)

Other podcasts I listen to:

The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Lex Fridman Podcast

Philosophize This!

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Deep Questions with Cal Newport

10 Percent Happier with Dan Harris

Read moreSome of my favorite podcasts, in defense of thinking, and a core combo to try

Outdoor Sprint + Bodyweight Workout

Workout equipment: None

Workout type: Challenge

Read moreOutdoor Sprint + Bodyweight Workout

Full Body Fiery Medicine Ball Workout

Workout equipment: Medicine ball

Workout type: 12 Minute

Read moreFull Body Fiery Medicine Ball Workout

Speedy Legs + Core HIIT Workout

Workout equipment: Box

Workout type: 12 Minute

Read moreSpeedy Legs + Core HIIT Workout

On the mental benefits of exercise, embracing lifelong learning, and breaking boards

On the mental health benefits of exercise

We all know that engaging in regular exercise is good for our bodies. Workouts keep our waistlines trim, and make our hearts, lungs, and doctors happy.

Most people also recognize that continuing to stay active will help keep us healthy, fit, and mobile as we age, so we can keep doing the things we love.

Those are all great reasons to exercise. But those reasons don’t address the undeniable mental benefits of consistent movement.

Because I don’t know about you, but when I exercise, I feel more human, period.

Exercise keeps me from throwing my computer out the window when I’m upset. It allows me to get my energy out, so I don’t unwittingly lash out at the people I love. It helps me get out of my head when I’m feeling anxious and overthinking life.

And there’s plenty of scientific research to back this up.

Research shows that a single bout of exercise can improve your mood. Regular exercise can lower feelings of depression and anxiety over time. Exercise can help you think better and be more creative, increasing your ability to focus and even learn better shortly after a workout.

Exercise can even increase feelings of hope, giving us perspective on what really matters and helping us have a more positive outlook on life.

So the next time you’re feeling anxious, in your head, or just need inspiration, get some exercise.

It doesn’t have to be a full-on intense HIIT workout every time — a walk, bike ride, stretch session, or playing tennis with a friend all counts.

Nine times out of ten, I bet you’ll feel like a new human, too.

Read moreOn the mental benefits of exercise, embracing lifelong learning, and breaking boards