Adam Smith | Habit Hacker and Health Expert

Adam-Smith

This post is based on High Speed Low Drag Podcast with Adam Smith.

High Speed Nation. John Lee Dumas here and I am fired up to bring you our feature guest today, Adam Smith. Adam, are you prepared to ignite?

Adam: Let’s burn this place down.

John: Yes. Adam is a habit hacker and health expert who assists people in changing their lives using focused daily actions. For over two years applying proven psychological principles he has impacted hundreds of lives turning dreams into reality. Adam, I’ve given our listeners just a little overview. So take a minute. Tell us about you personally because we want to get to know you then give us an overview of your business.

Adam: Basically as a child I was a very shy kid. I mean I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was known as the kid that does not talk because I was absolutely terrified of talking to anybody. And thank God my mom and my parents were so supportive and they always told me that if you want to change something just go ahead and change it. I mean you don’t have to wait for anybody to tell you to change something.

So overtime, I started to read more, read books about how to become more sociable, how to become less shy in public and by the end of high school I actually was dating what I thought was the most attractive girl in high school. I had a crush on her throughout middle school and high school. I’ve known her for 12 years and I was able to at the end of it I was able to finally get with her and I felt good around people because before I was very anxious.

And what I think was really important was the things I did every day. And I challenged — what I did I didn’t do. Instead of being shy I would actually just go up and talk to somebody. You know I felt the fear and I would go and do it anyway. So and then in the military I’m a CFL, a command fitness leader and a lot of people would join the military with different fitness habits than maybe the military would like.

So it’s my job to help sync their fitness lives with that of military. And I always tell people, you know, don’t try to change everything at once. We force you to do the exercise and all that, but it’s your job to eat right. You have to take the correct vitamins, minerals and you have to drink water. It’s the things that you do every day that really add up and count in the end.

Click here to listen to Adam Smith, Habit Hacker and Health Expert – High Speed Low Drag Podcast on Stitcher

Click here to listen to Adam Smith, Habit Hacker and Health Expert – High Speed Low Drag Podcast on iTunes

John: See, Adam, one quote that I used and I’ve used often in just the past seven episodes alone is what’s easy to do is also easy not to do. Like it’s really easy to drink water throughout the day, but it’s also easy not to do it. So because of that so many people choose just not to do it and it’s so easy to walk six to 8,000 steps a day, but it’s also easy not to do it.

So people sometimes chooses easy not to do and those decisions you’re making every single day add up to huge effects, six, eight, 12 months down the road in either positive or negative ways. So I love the theme that we’re developing here, Adam. Let’s continue to crush it with your success quote. So take it away.

Adam: So mine is from Tim Ferriss and it is the common sense rules of the “real world” are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions. And I love this because the more I’m diving into becoming an entrepreneur, the more I’m diving into just changing my life the more I hear people saying, “Can you do that? Is that possible?” And I’m like, “Yes, it is.” So I love this quote very much.

John: So let’s dive into this quote because I think it is a powerful one. Like can you bring up an example of maybe in real life where people have just had these socially reinforced illusions that just aren’t reality?

Adam: Yeah. You know I’ve had people that aren’t very fit and they just say to themselves every day, “Oh, I’m just not athletic.”

John: I have bad genes.

Adam: It’s I have bad genes, exactly. But you know your mind and body are so plastic. Plasticity last throughout your whole life. Sure, whenever you turn 25 it’s your brain slows down and things start to go downhill from there. But it’s a very steady slow decline. And actually as you age you become much better learner because learning is all about connections in the mind.

So I always like to tell people things like this because someone tells me, “Oh, my memory is not the way it used it to be.” It’s like, “Well, it’s actually you’re afraid of your memory becoming worse so that’s why it’s becoming worse.” If you think differently, then your memory would become better or you’ll become more fit or anything you want really.

12844121443_011ea73dd7_zJohn: Something I want to drill in on that’s so true and being a 34 year old male I can just speak to it with so much first-hand experience. When I was 25 years old there was a lot of things I could get away with, Adam. I could get away with drinking sugary drinks. I could get away with not exercising every day. I could get away with eating pizza and I could get away with a couple of things as long as I was fairly active and doing some of the right things some of the times and not turn into this kind of obese blob, but maintain some decent normalcy.

And you know that was just it though. It was a semi decent normalcy, but then when that clock started to tick and you’re now 34 years old if I was to go back and eat and drink and exercise the way that I do when I was 25 it would not be pretty because that’s just how the body progresses. But the reality is I’m glad that it progresses this way and that’s the mentality I think that a lot of listeners should have.

Be happy because what does that do now? That forces me to be disciplined, to get up every single morning, Adam, the first thing I do is go out for 5,000 steps. You know I’m crushing CrossFit many times a week. I’m eating a very paleo-focused diet right now because I just don’t want to bring in all these excess crap that could be out there. So I don’t mind that because I have to do that now otherwise I’d slip into a really bad place.

And so since I’m forced into that note I accept that role and step up and take it. But Adam, we’re not turning this into a big health food episode here, this episode about you, Adam Smith, so let’s take the spotlight, my friends. Let’s turn it to your time in the military and tell us a story, a story of your most pivotal moment that you’ve experienced in the military.

Adam: I had just finished boot camp and I was just finished my ATT which is a pre-A school and then I went to A school and they told us that if you got to the top of your class that you would be able to pick your orders to go wherever you wanted in the world. And I said, “I have a girlfriend and I want to go to Maryland with her.”

So I worked my ass of for four months, got to the top of the class and my list was Maryland and at the very bottom was Japan. So what happened of course they sent me to all the way across the other side of the world to Japan and it was a shocker, John. It was crazy.

I was depressed. My girlfriend broke up with me. I had nobody. I had no friends. I couldn’t because I just got there. I just got there literally a week. I couldn’t speak the language. I couldn’t connect with anybody. I felt like at work everyone was just — I felt like I just couldn’t connect with anyone. I was so alone.

But in that moment was it was so pivotal for me because I said, “Well, if she left me — she would have left me if I was a better person or I wouldn’t be so depressed if I just change my outlook on what’s going on here.” So it gave me — I poured myself into reading everything I could about becoming a better person all around and it really has impacted my — I would not be where I am today if that did not happen.

And the biggest lesson actually was two really big lessons I learned from that was a) you can do everything right and something will still go wrong and you just have to accept it and b) even the bad things in life will turn out good if you just have the right mindset.

If you’re not a victim then those really “bad” moments will actually become the best moments of your life.

John: I love that. Don’t be a victim, High Speed Nation, because you have that choice. Either choose to be a victim or to choose to be a conqueror and this is what this podcast is about is to show you the path to becoming that conqueror. And Adam, your story I mean wow. I hope it resonates with some listeners because it definitely resonates with me.

Real quick story on my end the first time I’ve told you on this podcast is I graduated in May of 2002. What does that mean? We were the first soldiers to graduate post 9/11. What does that mean? That means that on September 11th that was right at the time in the Pentagon that the US Army’s division down there was going through and assigning everybody their branches.

And I like you, Adam, was told, “Hey, if you finish in the top 5% of your overall class you will be able to choose your branch of service within the Army like pretty much hands down.” So I busted my butt, Adam. I went to our Army, our officer training school in Fort Lewis, Washington and came in the top 4% of that entire regimented camp over there.

Then I came back and just crushed it during my junior year and was in the top 5% going into that and then low and behold the Pentagon crash happened with a plane rams into the ROTC department within the Pentagon just incinerated all the records there and we basically got a memo like two months later saying the Army has no time to go back and have you reapply. You’re getting randomly assigned.

So my class of 2002 had a bunch of people randomly assigned and my happened to be Armor which was not even on my top 12 let alone top five. And it was a really depressing moment for me, but you know what I accepted it. I sucked it up and I decided not to be a victim and I went on to make the most of it and there were some ups and downs, but sometimes in life when it hands you a lemon make freaking lemonade, Adam. What do you think?

Adam: Hell, yeah. That’s what I’m talking about.

John: So Adam, let’s talk about your transition out of the military now. I mean you had to transition out now into the civilian world after going through a lot, having a lot of self-development within your time in the military. Take us to that transition out and show us some failures, challenges, obstacles that you face and then of course the lessons you learned.

Adam: So I am still currently transitioning, but I’m here in Germany visiting my uncle right now. I’m coming to you live from Germany.

John: Audio sounds like you’re right next door.

Adam: So I can foresee the challenges I will have which is I really just think I belong here in Germany in Munich and I’m going to have to learn German and apply to schools here and live here in a completely different culture which is very close to me because my mom is German. So those are obstacles I really see.

But I feel as well that with you know whenever you’re going to get out. So I think that it’s easy to prepare along the way. But one of the biggest challenge — another one of the biggest challenges is getting my business stable enough to withstand my chaotic life while I am transitioning out. So I’m looking really forward to it, but I’m also a little bit nervous.

John: Is there a girl involved. Does that has something to do with you staying in Germany?

Adam: Maybe.

John: I think I hit the nail on the head. It’s always Adam and the girls. I get it. Blushing.

Adam: You got me, John. You got me.

John: So Adam, you’re in the process in transitioning out. You’re dealing with that whole array of difficulties, of challenges. And if you could kind of step outside of that box right now and you can kind of look back to your time in the military and you could say something to the Adam Smith of yesteryear what would you say to him?

Adam: You’re on the right track. Keep going. Make sure you’re persistent and I would tell him to focus on the habits you do every day because it was not until I developed a work habit, AKA, I would not work in my home. I would go to an internet café and work in a little cubicle and I optimize like my sleep schedule and like what I ate and everything.

And I now plan my days the night before and I have a practice I do every morning. I would tell him, “Do that and keep reading and learning as much as possible.” And I think in time you’ll just have the aha moment and you’ll be ready to go much sooner than what it did take.

John: So have you had your aha moment for a direction you’re going to go in the civilian world?

Adam: So I went to a Vipassana meditation retreat a few months ago and that was the most difficult thing I have ever done. It’s ten days long. It’s all vegetarian meals. You can’t talk to anyone, zero — 4:30 in the morning to 2100 at night and you’re just meditating with a few breaks here and there for breakfast, lunch and tea time in the afternoon.

And I had to face myself and that was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, but whenever I came back from that I was in such a happy determined — I was so determined and I felt like nothing could stop me because I so much control over myself because before I went to the retreat I got back from a four month deployment extremely angry. It was just the worst deployment you could ever have. It was terrible.

John: Give a couple of examples which this was so bad.

Adam: We couldn’t pull in anywhere because we’ve mysteriously had an oil leak that was found out whenever we pull in the port. We had a helo crash and we were out to see for 45 plus days at a time just because we couldn’t pull in anywhere. So everyone was very tense and just — and I was on watch for 12 hours a day every day and it was just like, “Oh, my god. I cannot stand you people anymore.” It was crazy.

John: Wow.

Adam: The aha moment was I can control myself because after that the anger blinded me. I was like I was not my normal self where okay, I need to improve myself. And going to this meditation retreat just opened my eyes and it’s propelled me forward ever since.

John: Love that. So Adam, like going forward you know, having these aha moments and seeing that you’re in the process of transitioning like what do you foresee doing and what do you recommend to other High Speed Elite members here, people that are just listening and they’re trying to take this in. They’re maybe in a similar situation that you maybe a couple years behind or a couple years ahead. What would you say to them?

Warren BuffetAdam: Read as much as possible because Warren Buffet says the more you earn or the more you learn the more you earn and I like to take lessons from people that are much, much more successful than me. And whenever I started to reach much more and that’s how I discovered the habit thing and that really worked for me. So I’d say just keep searching and keep looking and don’t stop and that’s my advice.

John: I just love the overall theme that we’ve developed here about reading, about learning, about focusing, about getting to know yourself and have that self-development. I mean these are all such key skills and topics that we need to always be just drilling in upon, High Speed Nation.

I mean this is what it’s all about. It’s right there in front of you. Reach out, grab it and make it happen. And Adam, we’re about to enter the lightning round where you get to share incredible resources and mind blowing answers. That sound like a plan?

Adam: Sounds good to me, John.

John: What was the most difficult adjustment that you had to make to the civilian world?

Adam: I can foresee that it’s going to school in a foreign country and living here. That’s going to be the most difficult adjustment for me I think.

John: Hopefully your girlfriend will help you out.

Adam: I hope so.

John: What business advice would you pass along to those that are making the transition right now?

Adam: I would say if you’re not really planning that much or you don’t really know what to do start making a plan right now and just keep looking at it every day and you’ll slowly start to clarify and keep asking yourself questions and just keep digging and digging and find the answer.

John: Preparation, Adam, has been one of the biggest themes that’s come up over these interviews. It’s so incredibly important. And Adam, what is one of your habits that you believe contributes to your success?

Adam: I have a morning practice where I meditate for 20 minutes and I read that absolutely.

John: What book would you recommend if you’d only recommend one to our listeners?

your-brain-at-workAdam: Your Brain at Work by David Rock because if you don’t know — this book is so powerful because it teaches you how your brain works and how to work more effectively and not you know if you’re really stressed out don’t keep pushing and it teaches you all these things. It’s so important for the entrepreneur especially the solopreneur who doesn’t — who it’s so important to have a fine tuned mind and such a good connection with yourself to keep working and pushing through it.

John: So Adam, if you woke up tomorrow morning and it was the day after you transitioned to the civilian world. You have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. You have seven days in front of you. What would you do in those seven days?

Adam: I would get on clarity and contact the highest or the most popular person that you think you can connect with, schedule a clarity call with that person and start connecting with them because Chris Brogan I did that with him and he’s helped me out incredibly. He’s incredible.

John: Wow. Give an example on that.

Adam: For instance, I was just kind of talk to him about like a business idea and he’s like, “Yeah, I think this will work, like it’s really good.” And that was I was like, “Whoa, Chris Brogan –”

John: Okay. So let’s step back for a second. So High Speed Elite, clarity.fm is a great opportunity for you to go on, for you to look at entrepreneurs that are absolutely crushing it and are definitely not able to be contacted through normal means, but you can contact them through other means and you actually pay them by the minute. So what does it cost to talk to Chris Brogan for a minute?

Adam: About eight dollars.

John: Eight dollars per minute and did you set up a specific number of minutes or does it just go until you’re done?

Adam: I set up 15, but it just kind of went until I was finished. I felt like I was ready, good to go.

John: And so you didn’t get the whole 15 or you didn’t go the whole 15?

Adam: Usually it’s more than 15.

John: Oh, so you went more than 15.

Adam: Uhm.

John: And so what was Chris Brogan saying? Like what was the thing that like — what are the conversation, like what was it like?

Adam: First, he just said, “What are you looking from me, Adam?” I said, “Well, you know here’s my business idea. I really have no idea what I’m doing. This is my first time.” And he just listened very quietly and he just helped clarify, gave me like action steps to do next, but it was more than just reading it on a blog like, “Hey, do this next and do this. Oh, yeah.”

Because it came from someone that’s already done it and it’s very successful and that gives you so much confidence. I mean it really does. If you’re stuck this is the most important thing you could do because if you get that advice from someone who’s already done it, it makes it so much more powerful and you can’t help but take action.

I was seriously whenever I was off the call with Chris I was like squealing like a little — I was like jumping like all right, let’s get to work. It was great.

John: Invest in yourself, High Speed Nation. When I first started and I invested in a mentor it wasn’t easy to outlay $1,000 a month for a mentor at that point in time when I wasn’t monetizing my brand, my business. But it was the best investment that I’ve ever made and it’s paid back 100-fold literally in real dollars over and over again.

And Adam, just thank you for being so open, so inspiring with High Speed Elite today. Share with us one parting piece of guidance the best way that we can connect with you and then we’ll say goodbye.

Adam: All right. Well, my blog is the best place to reach me. It’s adsmith.me or you can reach me on Twitter @AdamDaveSmith.

John: One parting piece of guidance.

Adam: Believe in yourself and make sure you develop that daily practice every day.

John: High Speed Nation, you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with and you have been hanging out with Adam and myself today so keep up the heat. And Adam, thank you for being so generous with your time, expertise and experience. High Speed Nation salutes you and will catch you on the flipside.

Adam: Thanks, John. Have a nice day.

Click here to listen to Adam Smith, Habit Hacker and Health Expert – High Speed Low Drag Podcast on Stitcher

Click here to listen to Adam Smith, Habit Hacker and Health Expert – High Speed Low Drag Podcast on iTunes