Discipline Leads to an Easier Life

The people I lead keep me disciplined and accountable.

It's impossible to lead high performers without living by example, yourself.

You cannot be average in mindset.
You cannot be average in health and fitness.
You cannot be average in relationships.
You cannot be average in influence and leadership.
You cannot be average in money.

I consistently make better decisions because I carry high standards, and I expect my clients to do the same. Hypocrisy is a choice you can avoid, based on your decisions.

I don't drink alcohol.
I don't smoke or vape.
I don't use drugs, psychedelics, or get high to escape reality.
I don't eat crap food.
I don't drink chemicals like sodas or energy drinks.

True high performers don't fill their tank with 87 octane, when 100+ octane is required for high performance.
Many people consider themselves high performers, but they usually only perform in a few areas. They ignore the areas that they are weaker in, hoping that everyone only notices the areas they are stronger in.

The fat dude hopes you notice his Ferrari, not his shape.
The fit dude hopes you notice his abs, not his empty bank account.
The weak mindset person will spend all day arguing on Facebook.
The low confidence person will hide from photos and spotlights.

Here's the truth about high performers. To outsiders, it seems like it would be difficult to live to these standards. In reality, it is actually easier to live to high performing standards, once you've achieved these levels. That's right, it is EASIER.

Life is easier when you are healthy and fit.
Life is easier when you are confident.
Life is easier when you have money.
Life is easier when you become influential and a leader.
Life is easier when your relationships are stronger.

You must make the decision to do something about your situation. Everything is possible.


What I Learned in My 40's


I turned 50 last week. Here's what I observed and learned in my 40's.

I kicked-off age 40 with several wins and some momentum. I had finally started taking my diet and fitness more seriously, and regularly went to the gym.

I had just accepted a role at Chevron earning $240K per year, and had a $38K signing bonus. I bought my first Rolex. People congratulated me. I also had the wheel business netting me 6-figures on the side. I was happy and felt good about my career path and future.

I enjoyed my project team, and mentoring some of the younger members. The job was challenging on a technical level, with many moving parts, international time frames, and big dollars. My signature authority was managing $200M of a $1B project.

It only took a few months within that role for me to realize that bigger companies move slower, and that I'd have hardly any real way to create impact there. It felt a bit limiting. I was just an employee ID on badge.

Most of the other managers greeted you for the first time while mentioning how many years they were with the company. It was clear that the culture valued tenure over talent. I've always been somewhat of a maverick, trying to improve organizational processes, efficiencies, and profits. Chevron didn't seem to value that effort. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it."

Between ages 41-43, I was fortunate to work for months in other countries. I worked in France, UK, Italy, Angola, and Republic of Congo. Working in other countries, living and commuting there for work, is an entirely different experience than just vacationing there. I observed cultural differences, and compared what the USA did well, and not so well. This broadened my global perspective about business and lifestyle.

The most impactful trips were the months I worked in Africa. I learned that the most extreme levels of poverty didn't automatically make people unhappy. I saw the opposite. I met and spoke with more happy locals in Africa, than I see here in the USA on a daily basis.

People everywhere are resilient, strong, hopeful, and make the best of what they have, regardless of income levels. I realized that the less people feel entitled, or behave and think someone "owes them", the happier they are. These people are more grateful about life. Money doesn't create happiness. Happiness is rooted within your soul, it is your choice, your outlook, your actions that create it.

I started to ponder my remaining 20+ career aged years ahead. Would I be happy waiting in line for desks in bigger offices to vacate? Would more Sr job titles and salary bumps really satisfy me? Was I pursuing executive titles out of ego and competitive nature? Likely yes. I was already earning more than most executives, with all I had built. I knew I had the skills and work ethic. It was just a time game, at that point. "Wait your turn."

At age 43, in 2015, there was a downturn in the oil/gas industry. The last year of my employment, there were several waves of layoffs. Our entire project team knew that we'd likely be laid off after completing the project. It was a testament of performing under pressure, not allowing emotions to dictate actions. At that point within operations, we were burning millions per day to execute. I completed my scope on time, and on budget.

I observed several unethical events on my way out of that industry. It was enough for me to realize that I didn't want to return to an industry that treated their loyal people so negatively.

I was laid off while still working in Paris. I never made it back to my Houston office, nor did I get to say goodbye to my team. I felt exhausted and underappreciated. I flew Lisa over, and we spent a few weeks driving around France, unwinding from a stressful year. We both were focused on "What next?" during those weeks.

I just knew that I wanted to create more impact in this world, but I wasn't certain which path it would be. At that point, I had the right thoughts and intentions, but I lacked urgency. I was burned out.

Urgency arrived in December 2015. I had a near-death experience while racing a car at the drag strip. I hit a concrete wall at 130 mph. I had no major injuries, but that moment before impact reframed my entire perception of time.

What if I had died? How would I be remembered? Was my imagined eulogy good enough? No, it wasn't. I'd have been remembered as "Nice rich guy, cool cars, gone too soon."

Up until that point in my life, I always tried to lead by example and mentor/help those around me, but I was also playing very small. Unless you were within proximity to me, you'd never experience the benefits I could provide. I've helped and mentored several friends to become highly successful... but how come I wasn't expanding my effort to the world?

It's because I was insecure about stepping into any spotlight. I was comfortable being the MVP behind the logos, behind the people I helped. I had built a very comfortable life without putting myself out there. I didn't like being on camera, photos, or recordings.

You see, that accident made me realize I was hiding. I was putting fear of criticism and judgment ahead of my true purpose. I had all the convenient excuses to deploy, just like many of you still do. "I'm too busy for that." "I have a family that takes up my free time." "I don't need to do that" It was all just lies I told myself, to avoid being uncomfortable. Sound familiar?

In 2017 I started writing my first book, Side Hustle Millionaire. It launched in 2018 and sold over a thousand copies the first week. It hit #1 on Amazon in several large categories, against most of the books you've likely read.

I weathered a small wave of critics, haters, and naysayers. Some of them I'd even known for years. Even had someone try to sabotage my business. I removed those people from my life. I'm grateful they exposed themselves.

Later in 2018 the 365 Driven podcast launched. Now we are 277 episodes in, and it is globally ranked in the Top-1% of all podcasts.

I've helped thousands of people find their confidence, learn business principles, and pursue their own dreams. I've advised clients with 7 and 8 figure exits, reduce their stress levels, and find more time freedom for themselves.

I no longer fear stages. I no longer fear cameras. I've invested heavily into myself to become the required character to pursue my mission and purpose. I no longer fear death, as it is inevitable.

My 40's were about living with intention, gaining awareness of the world and my innermost beliefs. It was an era of discovery and unveilings when it comes to other people and their weak intentions and false friendships.

My core values drive me, daily. I'm motivated by showing you all what is possible. I'm physically and mentally stronger than at any point previous of my life.

As a man of focused legacy and impact, I'm no longer impressed purely by someone's wealth or their internet flex. I admire the positive global impact that individuals create, regardless of their wealth.

I am now excited by uncertainty and the unknown. I look forward to what my 50's bring. 🧡


I Graduated Improv Comedy School

I just graduated from improv comedy school. 🙃

Here's what I learned from the last 12 months.

The very nature of improv comedy is that it is improvisational, unscripted, and has zero predictability or certainty. This alone would strike fear into the hearts of most people.

While most people talk about "stepping out of your comfort zone" by sharing memes and inspirational words about the topic, enrolling in comedy school actually best exemplifies practicing what you preach.

Compared to public speaking, Toastmasters, standing on stages with thousands in attendance, doing improv is far more challenging and uncomfortable. That's why I signed up!

Here's why improv is more challenging than public speaking.

When you practice public speaking, you get to plan your opening statement, plan your stories, and plan your closing segments. You also are continually refining your voice, your character, your persona, thus your brand.

While these exact same things exist in doing stand-up, scripted comedy, none of that exists in improv.
With improv, you don't get to pick your character, your persona, your voice, or the storyline. Most of those get assigned to you by your stage mates, and then you must build the story together, on the fly. Sometimes you might play the role of an elderly grandmother, a small child, or even an inanimate object... and have to act those roles out.

Improv forces you to become an effective listener. You must listen for details and clues from your stage mate, and be able to weave those details into a narrative and expand upon them. This alone has made me a better podcast host. I actively listen for details when guests speak, and expand further on topics or ideas.

As with any skill, there are too many strategies, tactics, and lessons to share in a simple post, but my main takeaways are that improv will force you out of your comfort zone, force you to become a detailed listener, force you to think quicker, force you to be more creative and think abstractly about ideas others won't see.

The end result is that when you know you can become confident stepping on that comedy stage, owning whatever character gets thrown your way, embracing uncertainty, this makes it much easier for you to accept your true self and who you are, in the more scripted/planned areas of your life.

If the thought of this scares you, that's the reason you should do it.


If you are in the Houston Texas area, this is the school I attended: Station Theater

Don't Tolerate Them Just Because...

You likely share common interests or hobbies with negative or toxic people. This doesn't mean you should remain friends with them.

As I approach age 50, this has been one of my more recent realizations over the last few years. I'm not sure why it took me so long to come to this conclusion, so I hope this helps you reach the awareness much sooner.

It's common for us to find others with similar interests, and we initially enjoy those early conversations, events, and activities with these people. We don't know much about them, other than we have something in common, so we think they must be cool, too.

That's not always the case. In every group of people, there will always be a few that lack integrity, are dishonest, envious, manipulators, unethical, thieves, and any other negatives you might think of. The good/bad ratios aren't any different from a normal population of people.

For some reason, we tend to tolerate the negative behaviors, actions, and words more, from those we share interests with. Is it because we feel like we are part of a tribe, and don't want to lose access to the tribe? Perhaps.

In the past, I used to tolerate fellow car enthusiasts and racers. Some of these connections were 20+ years deep. I knew some of them weren't good people, but I didn't want to rock any boats.

Nowadays I assess each person in my life and my proximity, on an individual basis. I couldn't give one shit what we have in common.

If I see too many negative words, actions, and behaviors, that's a pattern. It reveals your character, your insecurities, and your intentions. I don't tolerate it, and I'll create boundaries and remove you.

I hope this message raises your awareness. Don't hold onto people based on how long you've known them. Don't hold onto people because you share an interest. People change, and you should also change - by improving.


An Average Childhood

I had an average childhood. I grew up in a small home, on a small street, in a small suburb town near Houston. Japanese immigrant mom, US Marine Vietnam veteran dad.

I was average at sports but had above average grades for being in sports. I've always enjoyed learning things, applying what I learned, and being tested.

I had a neighborhood bully in grade school that would torment me and call me all sorts of Asian race-related words, and would sometimes beat me up or push me off my bike while I was riding past his house. I didn't retaliate until 7th grade. Then he left me alone.

There were numerous cute girls I had crushes on, who wouldn't give me the time of day. I was shy around them. I recall the sting of asking them to school dances and being turned down. I don't regret asking, however.

I was never voted "Most likely to succeed." Hell, I was never voted for anything. I sort of just blended in. I was likeable, and got along with nearly everyone. I just never considered myself "popular" like some of the others who always garnered attention and adoration.

Not much of my childhood applies to my current life, but there are still a few things I can look back on that remain unchanged.

I've always had discipline, determination, and patience to learn new skills and pursue mastery in the the subjects and activities I love. In my life, this has applied to skateboarding, billiards, art, photography, racing cars, writing, leadership, engineering, money, business, relationships. I've never put in half effort when it comes to things I enjoy.

I've always been curious and inquisitive. I ask questions from those who know more than I do. I study videos, read endless books, join coaching groups, hire mentors. I do crazy amounts of research in subjects that interest me. I question everything, especially subjects where I'm being told what to do. I hate being told what to do.

I've always been an adrenaline addict. I used to want to be a stuntman, fighter pilot, or race car driver. I enjoyed martial arts, full-contact sports, BMX, skateboarding, roller hockey, wrestling, bar fights, racing over 200 mph. I've always had a desire for living on the edge, or way past the edge. I've learned to control my violent side, but it's still inside me. I love taking risks.

Here's the thing; You can lead an average life, or you can do things that inspire you, challenge you, and force yourself to evolve and improve. It's your choice. Just because you may have had an average childhood, an average adulthood up until now, it doesn't mean you have to continue on that same, predictable path.

Do something. This isn't a practice life. That timer isn't going to pause for you. Live at wide open throttle. 🤩


We Simply Outgrow Some People

We simply outgrow some people 😲

Those of us who choose a lifelong journey of self-improvement and creating impact, will be met with this realization.

In our quest for more knowledge, fitness, and success, we will meet thousands of people who don't understand us.

They may be nice people, but their subconscious programming will prohibit them from understanding your growth perspective.

These people are those who have become complacent within their own lives. Living on repeat for decades. Stuck in a dull routine. Going through the motions. They are the same people they were a year ago, maybe even a decade ago.

Many of these people reached some level of comfortable financial status that they never dreamed possible for themselves. So, they figure they've "made it" and they no longer take on challenge.

The hard truth is that most people like this cannot stand to see others continually climb. Even if they throw you the occasional golf-clap or post like.

It isn't you that they dislike. It is themselves. They know they are falling short in at least one major area of their own lives, whether that is financial, fitness, mindset, relationships, education, or world experiences.

When they see you growing, improving, and doing what you say you will do, it makes them resent you through their fake smiles.

Your bright light gets brighter. That same light starts to illuminate the insecurities within them, which they prefer to keep in the dark. It is easier to criticize or ridicule you, in hopes of bringing you down, so they don't have to grow along with you.

The passive-aggressive comments start to appear:

"Must be nice."
"That's easy for you to say."
"I wish I was that lucky."
"You are too old to dress like that."

Those with low self-worth will label you with words such as "narcissist" or "snob". They will namedrop around you. They will one-up your stories, or humble-brag about their possessions.

The jealous will always challenge you, even if they agree with you. They seek your attention, but do so negatively in hopes to create a higher status for themselves, at your expense.

The lazy will make fun of your gym check-in posts.

The uneducated will smirk about the books you read, or the education courses you signed up for.

The obscure and unknown will roll their eyes any time you get public attention.

The miserable and unhappy will do whatever they can to bring down your level of joy.

Be aware of these things.

Be grateful when someone shows you who they truly are.

Keep climbing. There are always better and more supportive people to be found along your journey.


$154 Million & Why It Bothers You

$154 Million & Why it Bothers You.😡

It's Monday morning, and people are preparing for another day at work. For just about everyone else in this world, that means going to a job that pays much, much less than the deal LeBron James just signed with the Lakers. $154MM over 4 years.

So, the Facebook feed is buzzing with this discussion, with the vast majority of people trying to tell us LeBron isn't worth it. That nobody is worth that.

Why does it eat people up to see other people earning so much more than they could even dream about? More than people will earn over an entire lifetime. They know how hard they have to work, just to have a tiny fraction of the dollar amount that just showed up for James.

It is the scarcity mindset that makes people think this way. The same thing that makes people think that if someone else gains more success, then somehow they lose some piece of potential success for themselves. They want to compare their own situation with these superstars, rather than understand that there is no relationship.

They want to talk about how some more important occupations are so severely underpaid, and how this isn't fair. LeBron could have chosen to become a fireman. A teacher. Life certainly isn't fair, but not everyone makes the best choices to arrive at some mega-salary that was within their own potential. LeBron simply did.

Here is the hard truth about this subject. The market determines your worth. These are business transactions, not favoritism or "being fair". The company, the LA Lakers in this case, has determined what they feel they will earn from having James on their team. They wanted the best player in the NBA, because they obviously feel he will bring them much, much more profit than what his paycheck costs them. It really is this simple. It is no different than what your current company values you at, and what the industry determines you are worth. Your current job, or the business you own, all have prices set on supply vs demand.

I'll never speak negatively on what someone has carved out for themselves, what they have earned. The market determines that. I applaud anyone that pursues their potential. There is plenty of success to go around, where I don't have to be concerned with the success of others. I want each of you to earn up to your potential, and I'll be happy to see you succeed.

So, you don't have to like LeBron James. You don't even have to respect him. But, you shouldn't hold onto that scarcity mindset. It will never serve you well, in life. Go get yours!

Two Types of Happiness

When I was a kid, my family couldn't afford much. Brand-label clothes for school? Not for me and my sister. My mom was good with a sewing machine, she actually made our clothes even into jr high. Nike shoes? Nope, we had some off-brand. Even though these clothes didn't have the logos on them, I was proud of what I had. It was the best we could afford.

I just wanted to fit in, to be like the other kids. When you come from less, you strive to be average. I felt I finally caught up to being average in high school, because I had a job at McDonalds through most of it, and could actually buy my own stuff by then. I had a car, played sports, and a girlfriend. I never really did things to make myself stand out, having worked so hard just to feel accepted within the crowd.

In my 20's, I struggled with college and finances. I'm pretty sure I was broke for at least 10 years. I knew the right path to take with my engineering degree, but that didn't make it easier. It was a slow, arduous process. I finally graduated, while working full-time to pay for it all myself. I did find time in between to gain more social confidence, largely from working in the restaurant industry on weekends.

In my 30's, I focused on my career, and building income. I was sick of my trajectory of becoming average. I spent many months per year working offshore, or away from home. The oil industry has a way of doing that to you. The lure of large paychecks can keep us on the ocean, or in remote areas of the world that most would deem undesirable. I started building companies in my spare time, teaching myself new skills that could also be monetized. I became very, very driven in my 30s. I began to dream bigger, to set crazier goals, and take more action. It worked. I've achieved far more already, than I ever thought would be possible.

Now in my 40's, I've had more time to reflect on things. I've had the fancy cars, big house, international travel lifestyle. Those are great goals to motivate you. But, I've also learned that these things never keep you happy. You always want more, you always want something new, something better. The buzz of happiness that you feel when you achieve something, or hit a financial goal is great - but it is short-lived. It might last a few days. Maybe a week. I've never had any buzz last longer than a month. Seriously. This isn't about being ungrateful, it is just admitting reality. These things are what I now consider a temporary dose of happiness. Nothing wrong with it, but trust me - you will find no end to that chase. It doesn't sustain.

What truly makes me happy, then? I enjoy helping other people achieve their own goals. I enjoy teaching others. I enjoy sharing the knowledge that I continuously come across, if it will help someone. I celebrate their accomplishments, as if they were my own. I enjoy being the connector of people, and someone that people ask advice from. This is what makes me the happiest. I've done this my entire life, but I always thought it would be the material things and personal goals that would bring me the most happiness. I'm finding that incorrect, in recent years.

By all means, certainly pursue those luxuries that make you happy. It is great to set goals throughout your life. It is wonderful to celebrate accomplishments, and reward yourself. Chase those without guilt or regret. Just be aware of the temporary happiness that they provide. Learn the distinction between these spikes of happiness, vs permanent sources of happiness. But do both.

Your happiness, and your life will not be measured by the material things you attain. It will be measured by the number of people that you positively touch. Always remember this.


A Message To All Graduates

I still remember my graduation like it was yesterday. It was over 30 years ago. When my son just graduated recently, it brought those feelings rushing back.

I remember feeling glad that school was over. Those last few weeks were unproductive. I remember feeling like I must have accomplished something big, based on the emotions I saw on the faces of my family that day. I certainly wasn't used to all of that attention, but I rolled with it. I maintained a smile, when others had tears.

I remember feeling optimistic, yet scared about my future. I had some ideas for a career path, but nothing was solidified. It is difficult to feel certain, at age 18. There are so many unknowns, which would only come to unlock with experience.

I remember all the suggestions and advice received from others. It was a flood of ideas, of hope. Well-wishes. I remember feeling the anxiety of not wanting to let others down. I remember thinking to myself, "could I really do something great?"

I was saddened by silly thoughts, that I realized I'd never experience again. High-fives and hugs with friends in the hallways between class bells. The teachers that influenced me, or scolded me. Not seeing all my friends on a daily basis. We'd soon be scattered to the wind, to pursue our own paths. Many of those paths never cross, again.

If I could offer one piece of advice to you, something I wish I had known back then, it would be this. Dream! Dream bigger than merely aspiring for average. Believe in yourself, and never let anyone try to hold you back with their words. Set goals so high that they seem ridiculous, and make others doubt you. Do not settle, just because the majority do.

You may not have that confidence yet. Keep practicing. Confidence is purely a decision. It is simply a choice to be confident, it isn't something genetic. You may not have yourself figured out yet. That is okay, you have time. There is no rushing to discover your purpose in life. It will eventually come to you. It could be decades later. You are here for a reason. Never give up searching to find it.

In 5 years, you will not be the same person that you are today. In 25 years, you will not be the same person, either. Understand that we go through several phases of our lives. We get to constantly redefine who we are, and adapt to new things. This never ends. Always embrace positive change, and keep learning.

Most of all, be helpful to others. Always give more than you ask. Give a hand when you have nothing left. Teach others what you know. Strive to become better, every single day. Seek to positively impact the world, and all of its people. This will serve you so much in life, as the return is immeasurable.

Tony Whatley, Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author. (dreams can come true!)