Jan. 26, 2023

From Revolution to Evolution: Ryan Holiday's Advice For Navigating the Path to Personal and Professional Transformation

Are you tired of setting goals and falling short? Do you find yourself constantly trying to make rapid transformations, only to fizzle out a few days later? You're not alone. In today's episode, we discuss how focusing on rapid transformations...

Are you tired of setting goals and falling short? Do you find yourself constantly trying to make rapid transformations, only to fizzle out a few days later? You're not alone. In today's episode of The Fit Mess podcast, we discuss how focusing on rapid transformations instead of a slower evolution may be holding you back.  

Here are some of the main concepts covered in the episode:

  • The importance of questioning what you believe and the stories you tell yourself
  • A new perspective on the idea of taking small steps toward constant improvement
  • The power of cumulative improvement and compounding returns

We also talked about the importance of taking small steps toward constant improvement. As the quote from Ryan Holiday's book, “Discipline is Destiny” states, "if the first step is just showing up, committing to doing something each day then the next step is finding something to focus on, getting better at each." This is where cumulative improvement meets compounding returns, and it's where we can harness one of the most powerful forces on earth.

By focusing on evolution instead of revolution, we can set ourselves up for success in the long term. It's important to remember that progress takes time and consistency, and that's what ultimately leads to success. So, next time you're setting a goal, remember to take it one step at a time and focus on the evolution, not the revolution.

Be sure to tune in to The Fit Mess podcast for more tips and strategies on how to achieve your goals and live your best life. And don't forget to subscribe to our show notes to stay updated on the latest episodes.

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If you enjoyed this episode check out:

How To Practice The 4 Virtues That Help You Live A Happier Life With Ryan Holiday



Zach: [00:00:00] Have you ever to a goal that you wanted to achieve and gone all in and then fizzled out two days later? 

Jeremy: Only about 1,048 times 

Zach: That's it. You're not trying hard. You're not trying hard. Oh, okay. this year. yes. Today we'll talk about how your focus on rapid transformation instead of a little bit slower evolution is probably what's holding you back. 

Jeremy: So, Zach, one of my favorite things that you talk about all the time, whether it's on our show or all The other shows that we go on, is the idea of questioning what you believe, questioning all the things that You tell yourself, the stories you've been hearing, all that stuff.

And I've been reading, uh, we talk about Ryan Holiday. He's my favorite author. I've been reading his most recent [00:01:00] book, discipline Is Destiny. And I read a passage in that book that gave me, a new perspective on a belief. So it didn't change my belief. , but it gave me a new perspective And a new way of sort of thinking about, again, something we talk about a lot, taking those small steps, like just constant improvement.

And so I'm just gonna read this to you. It's really quick. I don't like to read, you know, on the, on the microphone cuz it tends to be boring. This is quick revolution transformation. That's what amateurs chase. The pros are after evolution. If the first step is just showing up, committing to doing something each day then the next step is finding something to focus on.

Getting better at each. And in this where cumulative improvement meets compounding returns, we can harness one of the most powerful forces on earth. again, we talk about this all the time, just do a little better today than you did yesterday?

But this was one of those things, And we talk about this too, that you have to hear it at the, right time. the right words have to be said in the right way for it to like bust through that armor that you're resisting. [00:02:00] and I can't tell you how many times I've given this advice in a more poorly worded manner. , but it just shows up for me in so many ways. For example, reading that book, I've had that book on my shelf for months, and I kept telling myself, I'm going to read it.

Ryan Holiday's, my favorite author, I should read the book. He signed it for God's sake. Read the book, dummy. And I kept going, oh, I'll carve out, some time this weekend. I'll read a few chapter and, and so I finally put it on my calendar, read, you know, 10 to 15 pages. So I've been doing that. So I'm almost through the book.

I've been going to the gym and doing this anyways, but this CRI crystallized what I'm doing, is every time I look at the weights I lifted yesterday, can I lift more today? Can I lift more of that today? And for whatever reason, just transforming the way I think about this, from the focus on transformation of becoming the guy that goes to the gym, becoming somebody who's more fit, who's who eats better, whatever, focusing on just that, the, e. it removes [00:03:00] that burden of, oh shit, I have to do this for the rest of my life every day. I gotta come to this stupid gym every day. Oh, the drag, oh, the hassle of this, burden that I carry it. Just put it in this different light of, of almost a, it almost gamified it.

Like, How can what What points can I score better today than I scored yesterday? 

Zach: That's our show folks. I can't add anything else to it. Just kidding, but not kidding at all. I mean like that was really well said. just so everyone knows, like I talk about. what if what you believe isn't true? What if what you learned as a kid isn't true?

What if the societal norm that you believe wholeheartedly in isn't true? you know, for me, eating bread is okay, right? That's not true for me. Eating bread is not okay for me. and I always believed it was okay for me. that, that's the whole point of all of this is if you focus on the transformation.

If you focus on that humongous thing that you're gonna [00:04:00] have to go after, then it's a, it's drudgery to get there. It's really hard to get there. So have the goal, but really focus on, the individual steps, the little changes that you're gonna make along the way. 

Jeremy: And a couple of points that sort of highlight this and and like I said, you. know, this book that I've been meaning to, read, I'm now almost done with it because I read 10 pages, 15 pages a day. So that book will be done. And onto the next, where we'll talk about some other key concept in the book though, I mean, just to put a finer point on this.

The example he uses is Tom Brady. And you know, if, if you're not a fan of the nfl, turns out he's a pretty good quarterback. you know, the guy that throws the ball, the dude, the. dude Is older than me or maybe about my age. I think he's 45, 46 years old. And the the way that Ryan Holladay explains it in his book is this is a guy who has never settled for I'm good enough.

Like he is the best player to ever play that position in the and every day, he goes, what can I do to improve? How can I throw a little bit faster? How can I, you know, last a little longer, be a little bit stronger? That's [00:05:00] his focus every day is what little thing he can improve. And so again, like, going into the gym, I've been looking at, okay, how much did I lift yesterday?

Can I lift five more, five more pounds than I did yesterday? Let's try it. Let's see what happens. And it's amazing how quickly taking that perspective. Has accelerated the, uh, the amount that I'm lifting and moving around and and how much I'm pushing myself, and then how much better I feel because now I've challenged myself, I've done something really hard to start the day and I did something that, was harder than it was yesterday. and so again, we talk about, this just like building that body of evidence of can I do hard things? Yeah. can, I push through 'em and do even harder things tomorrow. Probably. Let's see how I feel when I wake up. But that's for tomorrow let's just improve one thing. And then what's cool is that you find out, oh wow, I lifted, you know, doing this workout. I, lifted more. Can I also lift more in this one? So now all of a sudden in, you know, five or six different things I'm doing, I'm lifting a little more because it just puts me in the frame of mind of can I do [00:06:00] better in every aspect? can I do something a little bit better in everything that I do in my. 

Zach: Yeah. And that, that hits it right there. It's, it's everything. It's not just lifting weights. It's not, meditation, like, it, it's everything. It's literally everything. I mean, I carried in six bags of groceries from my car the other day instead of five, and it was all of 'em, right? 

Jeremy: right. 

Zach: It goes everywhere, right?

You can, you can do a little bit more at work. You can get things done a little bit more efficiently. You can be a little more organized. There's always, there's always improvements everywhere. 

Jeremy: And if you and if you take the, like I was saying, like if you sort of gamify it, right? Like all of a sudden you're a com, you, it's, it is literally a competition against yourself. What points can I score, score better today than I did yesterday? So, again, for me right now, today, the example was the gym after this, it's probably going to be work.

How did I show up. better for my clients? How did I show up better for the company? How am I gonna show up better for my kids today? Like, what can I do to prepare for that What time can I carve out where I put the devices away? and I'm solely focused on that. What can I do [00:07:00] to manage my money? A little bit, like all of it.

It just is this cascading effect that once you unlock this, that what you're working towards, if you are on this, you know, self-development journey, whatever it is Once you unlock this, this idea that it is not about transformation, that it is about evolution again, like I just I'm so fired up about this because it has just been such a light bulb that crystallized something in a way that I again, I've been talking about it forever, but it just made it more meaningful and made it, uh, something more applic.

Uh, I hope is having the same effect for people that are hearing this right now. Uh, and I hope they'll read this book and and pick up on it. cuz it's, yeah. Again, I anything Ryan Holiday rights, I, I have to read. uh, but this has just been a, a major turning point for me.

Zach: anything he writes, you have to read, but clearly not right. 

Jeremy: Not right away. No. I have to think about it and put It off and plan that. I'm gonna read that over the weekend. One time when I got all this time to, you, know, not dad And not husband and [00:08:00] not, you know, all the other things. , 

Zach: Yeah. 

Jeremy: up an hour earlier every day, suddenly you have all this time and you're like, Hey, maybe, maybe I can read a few pages.

And there it? is.

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Zach: And just remember though, The transformation, right? The, that's like a huge spike, right? You're gonna try and change everything all at once, and then you're gonna fail it early and you're gonna come right back down. The evolution is.

also going to change you. It's going to, you know, you're gonna move up, but just remember like you're gonna have 80 20.

So even though you're trying to be better every single day than you were the day before, some days you're not. , you're just not gonna have it. Something's gonna hit you in the [00:09:00] side, like you're just gonna have a day where you don't read those 10 pages or you don't go to the gym or that weight's heavier than you.

You remember it being the day before, and you're gonna have those days and just remember, there's ups and downs and ups and downs, but as long as the trend is still going up, you're okay. So 80, just remember 80, 20, 20% of the time, you're not gonna be happy. 80% of the time you will. 

Jeremy: For example, yesterday I had a super, like, what? What should have been a pretty easy day. It worked into, turned into a stressful just zoom call marathon. By the end of the day, I was wiped out ch I just had nothing left in the tank and I, you know, fell back on my crutches of like, oh, I'm gonna eat some popcorn and watch some TV tonight and I'm just gonna veg out and play video games every now and then. you need that like, you need that reset and and whatever. But, but I definitely fell into old patterns that I could have beaten myself up about From there I turned back to this idea of it's just one. I can, I can do better tomorrow. I can, I can [00:10:00] rectify this tomorrow by making small changes to correct the path that I'm on and make sure that I stay the course. 

Zach: and just remember too, you're only competing with yourself. You're not compet. Anyone else here? Like I, I have always, for as long as I can remember, always tried to compete against other people and I never competed against myself. And that was, that was my major issue. 

Jeremy: and that's one of the challenges that I've really had to overcome is that when You start from a place of I'm not good enough, I can't, that's for other people, there is no competition because you don't feel, you don't feel you are a worthy adversary. Like there's not somebody, there's no, there's no reason to compete against that guy because he's not good enough.

He's not gonna show up. There's no points on the board to bother shooting against. So once you unlock that and figure out that you are worthy, that you are good enough, and you.

take one small step today, I mean, like I said, the the first step is showing up. Once you've been showing up [00:11:00] consistently, then the next step in that evolution is finding one thing to get better at every day. That has just Really? unlocked the ability to compete against myself to do better every day. And so I just hope that that is a message that resonates to you the listener, right now, for wherever you are in your journey. Hopefully you're hearing this in the way that, that I heard it and that it just sets you up for a better next step in your evolution away from focusing on the transformation.

And focusing on just what you can do a little better every day. 

Zach: Like I said, that's it. That's the show. I have no more to add. You said it beautiful. 

Jeremy: Well, I have more to add. No, actually, uh, it'll be in the newsletter. we'll save it for the newsletter. have you signed up for it yet? It's available right now. You can go to our website and sign up there. It is the fit mess.com. That's where we send you, uh, further elaboration on some of these key concepts.

And we're going to start offering, uh, bonus clips from various interviews that we have. So make sure you sign up for the newsletter that is available@thefitmask.com, and that is where we will be back in just a few days with a brand [00:12:00] new episode. Thanks so much for listening. 

Zach: See you.