Will You Pass the Deathbed Test? An Interview with Daniel Francis of Elite Man Academy
“Monitoring how you spend your time is one of the most important decisions you make.” – Daniel Francis
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Are you an effective human being? Do you get stuff done, or do you procrastinate? Do you focus on what you need to do to achieve your goals, or are you stopped in your tracks by every distraction, every phone notification and email? Do you live your life in a way that will cause your look back on your life, from your deathbed, and be proud of what you accomplished? Are you an elite person?
Regardless of where you stand on the road to becoming an elite human being, Daniel Francis is here to help you learn how to achieve the next level. This interview is packed with practical, step-by-step methods to get more out of your time on earth. Daniel is a master at clarifying the steps and the processes that need to be put in place for you to be truly satisfied with your output, not wasting time on frivolous and less worthwhile activities, and instead being ruthlessly dedicated to those things that will bring you true, lasting and fulfilling happiness.
Throughout, Daniel has a really visceral take on achieving lasting happiness in a life, from his detailed attention to his physical senses, to taking “cave time” for big decisions, to mastering his mornings and nurturing his evenings. His habit of turning his phone completely off, not just silencing it, shows his dedication to being truly present, and to ruthlessly accomplishing his goals.
Wherever you stand on the spectrum of a life truly optimized for happiness, fulfillment and achievement, you’ll get a lot out of this episode. If you’re looking for practical steps to build a better life on several different levels, you’ve come to the right place. So please join me on this journey of exploring the processes we can put in place to take our lives from average to awesome, with Daniel Francis, on this episode of the James Swanwick Show!
Notes on the Show:
When you get your communication with yourself sorted out, you start to communicate more effectively with the world around you as well
You can’t wait for things to happen to you. You must go out and make them happen
You have to be connected with your emotions to know what your calling and passion is. You have to connect with your senses and emotions
Use your senses more regularly. Focus on them
Take time to appreciate and be thankful for the world around you
Find people who are doing something similar to what you want to be doing, and then model them, and their behaviors
Look at the things that you feel obligated by, and ask yourself if it is all really necessary. Unnecessary obligations will trap you and keep you from going out and doing what you really want to do
Take “Cave Time,” where you go into isolation and ask yourself simple questions to help you gain clarity on life direction and decisions
Look for experiences that will bring you longer-term joy and increased happiness, rather than short spikes of pleasure
Be the master of your mornings. Consider not turning your phone on until later in the day
Use the nighttime, while you are sleeping, to program your subconscious. You can do this by focusing on important things right before going to sleep
Notifications, unanswered messages, etc, on your phone put a tremendous pull on your mind. If you can turn the phone all the way off at times, so that you’re not even getting those notifications, it will free your mind up
Daniel Francis’ Death-Bed Clarification Exercise:
Imagine yourself on your deathbed, and ask yourself two questions:
What would I be pissed at myself for not doing in my lifetime?
What would need to happen for me to get to this point, on my deathbed, and be ecstatic, fulfilled with peace, and ready to pass on
“Look at how your identity, who you’ve convinced yourself that you are, may have trapped you, and where you should step away from it.” – Daniel Francis
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Free Gift: FreeGiftFromDaniel.com – Confidence Equation
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James: All right. How do you create the life that you really want? Not the life that somebody else wants for you. Not a life that your mother or father wants for you or your husband or your wife or your friends, or what society wants of you. How do you create the life that you really want? What’s the step-by-step formula because maybe you’re listening or watching to this now and maybe you’re in your job and you’re not doing what you really know you want to be doing. Or, maybe you’re in a relationship you know you really should get out of. Maybe it’s a relationship you really want to get into but you’re not taking action on it. What do you really want to do in life, and then when you figure that out, how do you actually create it?
To figure that out, to give you the step-by-step formula on how we can do that, I brought in a men’s mentor. Even though he’s a men’s mentor, a lot of this stuff is going to require to women also. His name is Daniel Francis. He’s the founder of Elite Man Academy, and he’s been pursuing his passion for helping men become their best selves and written their own stories, create their own life, and he joins us now from London, England. Daniel Francis, welcome.
Daniel: Yeah thank you for having me, sir.
James: Feels great to have you. We’ve got an Australian accent talking to a British accent. The American listeners and viewers are probably scratching their head going Jesus what is going on. So, Daniel, you’re going to give us a step-by-step play here, a formula, on how we create the life we really want, but just give us a little bit of background on you. Where’d you grow up, what’s your background, you know, how did you get into this? Just let us know who you are.
Daniel: Yeah, definitely. So, I as you can hear from the accent, a Londoner. All the way from sunny London, England and for those of you who don’t know me, I’m a classically drawn actor. My background was I loved Shakespeare I was in love with being on the stage and really studying Shakespeare, but it didn’t always start like that. I was drawn, for a long period of time and struggled where I grew up I saw a lack of communication, poor communication, and was the cause of a lot of pain and a lot of wasted potential, and so when I got into acting, I’m going to use the acting world, it really was to figure out how to deal with a lot of pain and aggression and negative emotions that I was harboring and carrying from where I grew up. It was just kind of a vent and also a way to channel and understand that and to learn how to communicate effectively. Then, I got into the dating world. I was struggling and lonely and then surrounded by a lot of beautiful women and had no idea of how to really get the base that I wanted, and my own journey became a dating expert, a dating coach, and traveled the world teaching men how to improve their communication, how to build really solid relationships with women. That was the turning point for me because I realized that there was a lot of pain, and a lot of frustration that was coming from people not knowing how to create relationships, not knowing how to communicate with themselves effectively first, and then how to communicate with others. That really changed everything for me, being able to work that personally with men there.
James: And so, I mean, how did you feel about life when you were not living up to your potential? Like on a scale of 1-10, how did you feel? I’m sure, it doesn’t sound like you were like in the depths of despair. That everything was awful. It sounds like it was just okay. Maybe just not like you were just existing in the world, but how would you rate yourself out of 10?
Daniel: Yeah, well, let me answer that by saying there was a point in my journey where I stood on the edge, and if anyone’s been to London Clapham Junction Station I was taking my mom to the airport, and I wasn’t thinking about how to take my life, I was contemplating, and I wouldn’t say whether or not to do it or not, I was saying how to do it and I was on the edge of this platform and I was going, “you know what, I don’t want to do, I don’t want to jump on the platform because that would be messy and I want to have an open coffin.” I thought about taking pills and I thought, “I don’t want to take pills because if I want to go out, I want to go out like a man, right?” So my ego was still kicking in me, but I was on the edge. I was literally on the edge. I hit rock bottom and I realized that essentially what it was, I felt so trapped by myself. There’s nothing else. It was what was going on in this mind of mine. I felt so trapped and frustrated by that and I couldn’t get out of that. I couldn’t communicate and express myself. So, that journey into the dating world where it really became, what I became known for as well, was that freedom of expression. Emotional freedom and being able to go for what you really wanted. I saw that it crossed over into so many different areas of the man’s life that once he got his communication with himself sorted out that he actually really started to communicate more effectively with the actual world as well.
James: So, what you’re talking about here is really having the confidence or understanding that you can create whatever world you want for yourself. I mean, speaking from my own experience, I’m Australian, not American, and when I was 23, I went over to London. I lived in London for four years because I was like, I was feeling a little bit stifled in Australia and I was like I need to get out. I want to go and see the world. Australians get to live and work in London for two years, so I went over there. I used the British pound to go traveling and I just went and saw the world. I went down to, ran with the bulls in Pompano in Spain, and I went down to the Canova do in Brazil, and after four years I went over to America because I wanted to go explore America, so I’ve always kind of had an inherent understanding that you can create whatever you want for yourself just by taking action. That’s what pretty much worked for me. Other things that I wished that I would have done better, absolutely, but did you believe, and like I always believed that I was destined for big things or I could make the world around me in whatever shape I wanted. When you were going through that depression, so to speak, is that taken off the table? Like is it just a situation of just like well I just can’t do this. I’ve got responsibilities or I don’t know how to do it like is that taken off the table so to speak?
Daniel: No. Do you know what it was? I had [??00:06:53] because I knew and completely [??00:06:55] enough I’ve shared that knowing that there was greatness in me. That there was something there. It was that seed of greatness that I could feel where I knew there was something bigger, but when the external, when you’re living a kind of condition-driven life, or condition-based life, living by the circumstances then it becomes very difficult to take control of your life. So, my whole thing was seeing the environment that I was in, having seen the results that I was getting, knowing that I was capable of more, knowing that I wanted more, and not knowing how to get about and go and do it, that was the frustration.
James: Right. We’re talking to Daniel Francis, who is the founder of Elite Man Academy, and as we’re recording this, we’re actually live on my Facebook page which is James Swanwick Official. So, if you are watching this as you are, as I see many people are at the moment are watching this on my Facebook live, please do post a question if you have a question for Daniel at any stage, and I’ll be sure to ask him that. If you’re listening to this on the podcast, be sure to like my official page, James Swanwick Official because I’ll be doing lots of live chats there. Also, just a reminder, we’re going to do a little Snapchat later, Daniel on [??0:08:10] where Daniel’s going to give us a little 10 second version of how to live your best life. So, make sure you follow me on Snapchat at James Swanwick. So, Daniel, let’s get into the nitty gritty here because the listener and the viewer wants to know how do they lead an extraordinary life. How do they do this? How do they put behind feelings of inadequacy or depression, or feeling of hopelessness and really push that aside? Have you got a formula that you can share with us?
Daniel: We can go through a few steps, and before we go into the kind of depths of it and the exercises of how to actually do that, and it takes a little understanding. The first thing that I always teach the people that I work with is that your mission or your purposes is, there’s two key things to it, one that is self-discovered. Now, what that means is, you’ve got to seek. I’ve met so many people they kind of wait for this apple to fall out of the tree and bump them on their head, and it doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to go searching and even, James as you were saying that you went traveling. I met so many Australians in London, it’s-.
James: I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Daniel, I know. We need to get out of there. They call us Jet Jeffers, just another f’n Aussie.
Daniel: I’ve met more in London than I did when I was over in Australia. It was fantastic. But you’ve got to go seeking. Self-discovered, and then the second part about it is self-determined which means that you’ve got to decide and for the most part it’s that decision, that moment of decision that changes everything. When someone takes that step, that sand they draw a line in the sand and they go this is what I’m going for. Right or wrong, whether it goes against what I’ve previously done, it’s not something I may have done before or it goes against what other people thing and that is a turning point when you say this is self-determined. I’ve learned to make a decision. So those two things are really important to internalize.
Then I look at what we call the three mission killers. The first one is what I call emotional numbness. Now, for me, this was huge. This was absolutely huge, and especially for a lot of men where we, you know, we told to man up and we’re told to hold our emotions not to express our emotions, but the mission, the purpose you get is a sense of purpose, a sense of mission, an emotional sense. The more cold and numb you are, the harder it is to understand what these emotions are. The harder it is to read them and say ah this is a calling for me or this is something that feels good or this is a pull in the right direction, or this is a pull in the wrong direction. So, the first thing is really to get your senses alive again. There is an exercise I give to some of my clients where if they’re having a lot of trouble with their sensory experiences is to use your senses more regularly. More consciously use your senses. [??00:11:16] one where we had to, he had to walk into a park any park they chose and just to put earplugs in and use his sight to just take in the details to start to train his sight to take in new details and things that he wouldn’t have picked up before. Suddenly, he started looking at the colors of leaves and really looking at the details of the actual leaf and the veins that run through it and looking at the bees or ants or whatever it was. Taking in sensory experiences, then to switch that up and then to you know put blindfold on or close your eyes in the park and just listen and just determine all of the different sounds and, you know, frequencies that you can pick up. You start to enrichen yourself again. Does that make sense?
James: Absolutely. I mean I walk from, I have a four-and-a-half-minute walk from my Los Angeles apartment down to Sunset Boulevard and into the Crunch Gym at the Sunset Five Plaza here in Los Angeles and I was just saying on a live call I was doing for the people in my 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge yesterday that for the two minutes that it takes me to walk from down my street down to Sunset Boulevard, I look up and there are these big palm trees, three or four palm trees, and what I’ll do now in the morning is I’ll look up at the palm trees and watch the wind blowing through the palm trees and I’ll just appreciate them and I’ll just say, you know, gratitude. Wow, look at that. I live in southern California. I can see the wind going through those palm trees. Look at the color of the blue sky and the backdrop of those palm trees, and what that does is that it reinforces this idea of gratitude and it also takes you out of this constant like oh what am I going to do in the future or I can’t believe I did that in the past. It gets you very much in the now. There’s a great book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. In fact, I just started a meet-up group because I’m wanting to get some people to come and talk about the power of now.
So, if you’re in Los Angeles, go and look on meetup.com and join my group, and we’ll meet up and talk about it, but yeah just getting in that moment and being appreciative can get you out of that emotional numbness that you referred to.
James: Daniel, we do have a question here.
James: That’s coming from a live viewer on Facebook. Just a reminder, if you want to join the live call component of this, just go to my James Swanwick official Facebook page and like it and follow the page and you will automatically get updated when I do a live call. We’ve got a question here from Jeff Koonce, I hope that’s how I pronounce it correctly. This is his question for you, Daniel. “I live in a small mining town in northern Canada. I have a career that’s relatively good, but my passion is health and fitness. How do I transition and still pay my bills and support myself and fiancée while searching and creating something bigger for ourselves?”
Daniel: That’s a great question. That’s a fantastic question. Now, different people, what’s the gentleman’s name?
Daniel: Jeff. Jeff, thanks for the question. Different people often say as a starting point for the men that I work with is my starting point is always modeling. Just always to find people who are doing something that is similar to what it is that you want to do. So, there are fitness experts or fitness people who have fitness side businesses or whatever it is first to determine what it is you actually really want to do with the fitness or whatever you want to take it to, and then to find people who are actually doing it similar to the way that you want to do it and you model them. It’s the quickest, it’s absolutely the quickest way. Mentors for modeling for me has absolutely changed everything because it, you know, Tony Roberts used to say, “success leaves clues,” and when you find someone who has already done it and you then follow their footsteps, it shortcuts the learning curve. The other part of that [??00:15:20].
James: Yeah I was just going to say Picasso the great artist was very famous for saying a phrase which is, “good artists copy and great artists steal.”
James: So it’s like, you know, just follow. I mean I actually learned that from my mentor Tai Lopez who I speak about a lot here. He’s the creator of the 67 Steps and he’s taught me a lot of stuff to do with business. The mere fact that I’ve done a podcast or have a Snapchat or a YouTube is because I follow him. If you’re listening or watching this and you want to learn more about Tai Lopez, just go to jamesswanwick.com/67steps. So, you go to my website jamesswanwick.com/67steps and you can learn a little bit more about my mentor who helped me and certainly in business in the last couple of years.
You’re absolutely right, you know. I actually invested in learning from Tai because I know what I didn’t know and he was, and still is, a master of online marketing which is an industry that I wanted to get into. My criteria for investing in his coaching and training was is he ten years plus, does he have ten years or more experience, more experience than I do, in that field? The answer was yes, absolutely he does. So, therefore I’m like I’m going to learn from him. That’s a worthwhile investment.
Just yesterday I went and did a, they give you a free kick boxing session at Crunch Gym. First of all, I went in there and I asked, I’m thinking about doing kick boxing or boxing. I want to hire a personal trainer, not sure. And they said we’ll give you a complimentary free class with our top trainer guy called David and see how you like it. So, that’s what I did. I took the free class and in the end of it I’m like damn this is really good this is a good way for me to burn fat. This guy’s been doing it 15 years. You know he’s been doing martial arts training for 15 years. So, yesterday I’m learning stuff like where to hold the fists to protect the face and whenever my hands came down he’d give me a little tap on the face, not a punch, but like a little tap to remind me just keep it up, and then I was coming in with doing a jab with moving my elbow out to the right and he told me, no, keep it in to keep it nice and close. I’ve got somebody who’s got 15 years more experience than me, and now he’s coaching me and training me and now I’m just copying what he does. So, for Jeff, I’m sorry. Finish what you were going to say, Daniel, in this answer to Jeff’s question.
Daniel: What I would, that’s exactly what I would suggest. First and foremost, a mentor and a model, right? And then the second then becomes about how you manage your time because you’ve only got 24 hours in the day. The most successful people, you know, the most unsuccessful people whatever it is, we all share that. It becomes about taking time from different things. I was told something one mentor of mine years ago. He said that he earned a living between 9:00 and 5:00 P.M. and you get rich between 5:00 and 3:00 in the morning. So, you go [??00:18:21] between 5:00 and 3:00 in the morning, and so it really becomes about monitoring how you use your time. That is just so key. So, really say well what is important? What, how are you spending your times in the evenings after work now and where can you borrow time? The third thing I will say you got your, you said you had a fiancée? I think that was-.
James: Yeah he said he had a, he wants to support himself and his fiancée while searching and creating something bigger for themselves.
Daniel: Fantastic. There’s something that I talk about within the dating field about the relation, the man’s relationship with women can either do one of three things: Drive him, distract him, or destroy him. What it sounds like there is that you’ve got a great support network which is fantastic. To really leverage that and to bring her on board with your vision for something bigger and actually create that together and enroll her in that, the bigger thing that you want to build as well. It’s just, it’s fantastic. I love that.
James: Thank you for your question, Jeff, and thank you for your answer, Daniel. We’re talking to Daniel Francis who’s the founder of Elite Man Academy. Even though we’re speaking in the context of men here, we do have a lot of female, lot of women listeners and viewers, so of course the same, you know, give or take a few things, the same concept can really work for you as well so please stay with us. Great to have you here.
Daniel, you were talking about, we were going through a few steps here on how to create the life that you really want. You were talking about mentor, getting a mentor, modeling other people, monitoring your own time, looking out for emotional numbness. What else have we got, Daniel?
Daniel: Yeah, so looking at the obligations. That’s the next one. There are a lot of things that we feel obligated by things that really catch us whether it’s people, whether it’s the job, whether it’s these kind of prior commitments. A lot of the time it stops a lot of people from even venturing out to seek what it is that they want because they feel as if their trapped by these obligations. We have to monitor that and investigate it and say well what are the things that I feel have are stopping me? What are the obligations I have in my life that stop me from really going for what I want? We can get trapped by our identity of who we have been in the past whether it’s, you know, I remember when I was an actor, when I was just an actor and I was trapped by that identity because there were certain roles or certain behaviors, certain expectations that came with this actor, and therefore me going into business and me going into online marketing more into that world was outside of the realm of being an actor. Therefore, I was hesitant to go and venture right into it. So, we have to investigate. One of my clients, Steve, he was a trader for a long time. What he really wanted to do was be a musician. He wanted to write songs. He wanted to produce music, and his identity of trader, even though he was financially successful, [??00:21:41] he’s financially free, he still was about to go and build another trading company. I thought to myself I said Steve, what do you really want to do? He said well I want to go and do music, but I’m 43 man, like. I said right so we have to look at how the identity had trapped him and say we have to reinvent that. Not if you see yourself as this trader. If you see yourself as the actor. If you see yourself as the doctor, rather than seeing it as a component of what you do more and step away from the identity.
James: So I have a question relating to that. I want to grow my businesses. I’m the creator of the 30-day No Alcohol Challenge which inspires people to reduce or quit alcohol. I’m the host of the James Swanwick show podcast which interviews people like yourself, relationship experts, health experts, talk about my life. I’m the creator of Swannies Blue-Blocking Glasses which when you wear them an hour and a half before 9:00 they block the blue light and so it helps you sleep later on at night, makes you sleep better, burn fat, feel heathier and more refreshed in the morning, and all of these things are terrific. I get to build these businesses and it’s all in the health, self-development world, but you know what? I really want to sing. Not professionally, but I want to sing. Like I can’t sing a note, I can play guitar, and I can play the piano, but it frustrates me that I don’t, I can’t belt out a tune when I’m in the car with someone for fear that they’re going to go man your voice sucks. Which it does. So, my question really is, is that if I committed to say a lesson or two a week for three months, is that a good use of my time or am I better using that time in the pursuit of growing the bigger picture which is the businesses because I can inspire the most people with health by maybe instead of doing the hour of learning how to sing which is just a fun kind of thing, maybe I spend that same hour growing my podcast audience more or inspiring more people to listen to people like yourself, Daniel Francis, or buy more of the Swannies Glasses so I can help more people sleep? So, where do you draw the line and go obligation versus priorities versus fun versus mission? Like how do you figure that out?
Daniel: Fantastic, and that’s such a great question. The essentially, this is what, so one of the things that I teach men is the cave time, the one first step is cave time. This is where we go into isolation and we sit in silence where we are able to dial into what is speaking, what is calling from us. So, the simple question as, the question is simple as what would I love is really important. We have to ask that. To sit back. Where I’m set right now is my rocking chair. I just, I have a rocking chair because I was in at a spiritual retreat a few months back in Concord, Massachusetts and I had an opportunity to go to Ralph Walter Emerson’s house and where him and David Thoreau’s college was and I was with my mentor Mary Marcy. One of the things that kept popping up were, I saw rocking chairs in all of these houses. People used to sit and think and they used to have that space and that time to direct their consciousness and direct their thought and tap into their self-conscience mind and infinite intelligence.
So, we’ve got this voice which is just all of the time talking to us and it’s about us staring into it and listening to it. So, if you would just stop and say would I love to sing? What would I love to do? What would I really love to do right here? If the voice comes back to you and it says that would feed your soul. Then the fact of singing would probably, well I can’t say probably. It’s different for everyone, but what that would do for you and how that would translate into your businesses and the imaging and the enthusiasm that it would give you in a sense of new life it would give you, could actually, you know, infuse your listeners, infuse your business even more than if you were to just work on the business on its own. So you can re-defy that. Does that make sense?
James: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. That’s a good answer. So I should really be doing it because I can tell great stories and then I can teach me ’til I get out of my comfort zone, push myself so I can sing the Hills Are Alive with the sound of music in a public star search at one point, and then I can share and maybe inspire others to get out of their comfort zone.
Daniel: And singing, just to jump into it because I mean I trained classically as an actor and we had to do a lot of singing and do musicals and stuff. Singing is a high-tuned experience. It really is. It’s that heightened emotion experience, so I would, from a singer and I write songs as well, doing that for yourself, giving yourself that gift is fantastic, and you’re in LA so check out Roger Love or Peter Gergely. I’ll send over some details, but their fantastic musicians.
James: We’re talking to Daniel Francis, the founder of Elite Men Academy. He’s been pursuing his passion for helping men become their best selves and right their own stories. We have Yvonne Grace from New Zealand who is following us now on Facebook live. If you’re watching this on YouTube or listening to this in a podcast, let me remind you, just follow me at James Swanwick Official on Facebook and you can watch these interviews taking place live. That way you can ask questions, it’s more interactive. James Swanwick Official. You have to go to that page and follow me or like me and then you’ll get notifications on this. Yvonne or Jeff or Connie who are watching live at the moment, if you have questions for Daniel about your own life, please do ask them now and I’ll be sure to pass it on to Daniel and he will answer those for you.
We’re looking at our obligations and we’re asking ourselves what would I love? We’re getting in sync. We’re starting to develop a plan, a formula. We’re starting to kind of really understand what it is that would truly make us happy with our purposes. What are we doing now, Daniel? What’s the next step?
Daniel: One more mission killer to look out for is the distractions. The distractions of life. For men, I highlight three that I saw coming up constantly with my clients. No doubt, they cross onto women in some category or some aspect of it, but the three distractions, and this is about when we’re looking at seeking mission here. Number one is money. The pursuit of money can really detract from what’s really trying to come through us. Now, of course, you and I both know money is extremely important and the freedom that it can create, but I’ve seen a lot of men just get trapped by the pursuit of money in itself as if money is the outcome, money is the reward, and they forget the actual deeper purpose for them is. So that’s something to be aware of, and women. This coming from the industry that I was in. The constant, when guys get caught on the constant chase, the constant pursuit of new women and new gratification, it becomes, this chase becomes almost gratifying in itself. That can be a huge distraction. That brings a wired force. It’s wired for replication, so I can understand what the chase is in a sense of getting a new, you know, getting a new woman to share life and just for that chase purpose, the brain almost rewards it from a survival and replication perspective. That isn’t necessarily helping you fulfill the deeper purpose and the deeper mission.
What I’ve seen is when guys have a support base, having a woman in your life who is extremely supportive and who you think with and who actually gets it, and that is, there’s nothing actually better than that. The motivation that comes from having an amazing woman in your life is fantastic. Sensory gratification, another distraction of chasing, constantly chasing peak experiences for peak experience sake. Emotions pass, all right? These peak experiences pass, and a deeper sense of fulfillment comes from when we’re actually creating and when we’re serving. So, it’s easy to get caught in another fix. I want to do, you know, another peak experience. I want to go and climb another mountain, or jump out. Once again, it’s easy to get caught in that and feel like we’re really fulfilled, but it’s fleeting and it’s not lasting.
James: It’s funny, you know, you say that and it’s very interesting because I went to the Super Bowl recently. My Denver Broncos won and being a lifelong Denver Broncos fan I love them, and I’ve been to a lot, I’ve been to eight of the last nine Super Bowls which is amazing. Then I’ve also been to the last nine, or sorry, I think eight of the last 10 Sun Dance Film Festivals that takes place in Park City, Utah. Also, it takes place, well that takes place in January. Super Bowl is the first Sunday of February, so it’s around the same time. January is a pretty hectic month for me because of those two events. When you go to those events it’s like parties, like you meet new amazing people. It’s just one party to the next party to the next party. At the Super Bowl I went to the DirecTV party. I saw Run DMC, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, I met Vince Vaughn, I met Mark Cubin, the billionaire. I got chatting to Liam Hemsworth, the Australian Hollywood actor. Who else was there? Jeremy Rainer from the Bourne, one of the Bourne Identity movies and the X-Men movies was there. These celebrities and it’s like it’s giving me this little bit of a dopamine where I’m socializing with them. When I’m at Sun Dance Film Festival, same thing. I’ve met Jennifer Anniston when she was there. Reggie Bush, Kim Kardashian, like all these kind of cool things and you get the photo with them, you have a little chat and that gives me a little dopamine release, and it’s a great experience, but what I’ve certainly noticed in the last few years since I’ve been going to these same events is that the temporary rush that I get from that is awesome.
It’s a lot of fun, but what I’m finding is that I’m actually getting a longer more sustained pleasure from doing other seemingly less sexy things. Less celebrated things, such as going for a hike with whoever the woman in my life is. Like I went to Palm Springs a couple of weekends ago and I went hiking. It was beautiful and I saw these palm trees and this little oasis in the middle of the desert, and that was really, really fun just in the quite time. So, I’ve been kind of re-exploring my whole relationship with going to these events like the Oscars are coming up. There’ll be parties for the Oscars, the Academy Awards, and I’m going to go to them. It’s going to be fun, but I’m putting less importance on those events now and realizing that their all just temporary pleasures rather than long-term pleasures. Now, I just, before I get your take on this Daniel, I want to stress. This is not me knocking those events. This is, it’s not to the contrary like I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t have gone and done it and enjoyed those events. Going to the Super Bowl is fun as hell and the life is about like being happy and doing cool shit. That’s pretty damn cool. Meeting famous people and hanging out and getting in conversations is cool as hell. Going to the Golden Globes like I did is cool as hell.
In fact, if you’re watching this on YouTube or listening, if you go to my YouTube Channel, James Swanwick, you’ll see a video I posted there recently called how to meet celebrities at the Golden Globes. So, just type in James Swanwick, follow me on YouTube and you can see a video of me walking around on the Golden Globes red carpet. I’m laboring on this point, Daniel. Let me wrap it up, but the point I’m trying to make is that long-term things like relationships or walks in the park or looking at the wind blowing through the leaves and just stopping and smelling the roses so to speak actually gives me longer-term happiness than the short-term high that I get from going to these parties and doing really cool things. Does that make sense? Do you have any thoughts on that?
Daniel: Oh no I, well, absolutely. It’s like sugar. I liken it to the simple carbohydrates versus the complex carbohydrates. So if you, you know, you have a chocolate bar versus having a sweet potato or a [??00:35:29] and one’s going to burn for longer and is more consistent. It’s sustainable. That’s what it’s like and hey I love chocolate, so it’s not like chocolate is bad, but it’s everything in moderation to get more nutrients from it. So I completely agree with that and I think that what happens is over time the short little spikes, they start as big spikes in the beginning and then they start going. So the spikes aren’t as big and so people are still trying to do more extreme and extreme and extreme things in order to get the high that they once got, and it doesn’t come back.
James: I mean even just through a quite inter-romance I mean I’m 40 I’m not married. I don’t have kids. I’ve had some great single days in my 20s and 30s let me tell you about it. It was awesome, but I also got into my early 30s and realized that I was addicted to the rush of chasing. I was addicted to that little spike that in later years now in the past five years as I’ve started to mature obviously and I start to appreciate lengthier conversations, less trivial conversations. I savor relationships if you like rather than chasing like the grass is always greener. Now look, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t easily distracted by a pretty new woman or a woman’s beauty or something like that. I mean I do. It’s like anything it gives you a dopamine release, but it’s funny. Call it wisdom, call it experience, call it just getting older, calling it whatever you want, it’s amazing how you start to appreciate deeper longer term, more meaningful conversations or relationships more so than the constant chase, chase, chase.
Guys who are listening to this who are in their late teens wouldn’t understand and nor should you because if you’re in like your teenage or early 20s just go out there and sew your seeds.
Daniel: Absolutely, go balls to the wall.
James: It’s awesome. It really is awesome. Apologies to deeply religious people who, one person marriage, just live your life. Go crazy. You have my permission because it’s fun as hell. At some point you’ll get, hit that stage where you go you know what, now I understand that I’ve moved on from that stage.
Daniel: Yeah, well moving on from it and never having done it is two different things.
James: There you go.
Daniel: You’re absolutely right. I definitely believe in experiencing and then do it and I do love women and, James, I had the most incredible experience of my life thus far to-date. My baby sister had a baby today so my birthday was yesterday.
Daniel: Thank you thank you. My birthday was yesterday. We thought the baby was going to come on my birthday, but he wanted his own date and so I’ll tell you I don’t have any kids yet. I held that baby in my hands and I just cried. It was just the most incredible experience. There’s nothing like it. I think for, I mean women have the honor and the privilege and the pleasure of actually bringing that life through and bearing for a man. I’ve never loved, even though it’s my just my nephew and then he has a dad and they’ve got their family, the sense of responsibility, that I now feel just from seeing my baby sister’s baby and there’s nothing, no rush that I’ve experienced so far in my life that compares to what I felt today as I held that baby. It’s unmatchable. Not even close, you know? It’s really changed a lot of the ways that I think about this whole mission thing and what it means to live because I do think once we experience parenthood and bring kids through and that level of responsibility. For a man, there’s nothing more in molding of ourselves.
James: I share your feelings for children and things like that. My brother, Edward, he’s two years younger than me. He has two children. So, I’m an uncle to Sadie who’s about four, and Rex who is almost one I think, and I’ve spent some time with them in the last few months once I’m in Oxford where they’re based just outside of Oxford I should say in September and then again over the Christmas break back in my hometown of Gibson, Australia. I’ll tell you what, I realized that I really love kids and I also realized I’m pretty damn good with them too myself. Sadie loves me. I’m a huge fan of Sadie because she loves me. Rex smiles at me and giggles at me I’m sure he’s smiling and giggling at everyone, but it just makes you feel good to look into like a baby’s eyes or a little toddler’s eyes and they’re looking back at you with such fondness and affection. You just go man this is.
Daniel: And it’s so genuine it’s real, you know? They haven’t learned to mask. They haven’t learned to, it’s just pure because if they don’t like you they’ll also tell you as well. They’ll avoid you. So that’s fantastic.
James: Yeah and it’s funny going back to your suggestion of modeling and getting a mentor and modeling people who’ve done it before, one of the things I realized recently was that I don’t have any good mentors or models in my life of happily married people with kids, and I would like to have kids not sure about the marriage, but recently I’ve been reaching out to the people that I do know who are married and have kids and just seeking their advice. I had a very lengthy conversation with a dear friend of mine in San Francisco at the Super Bowl who was there. I actually sought him out and said hey, can we meet up and have breakfast together, and so we did. We met up and he’s married with three kids, was over in New York City. I asked him, tell me about married life. Tell me about being a father. What’s it like? I got great intel on that. Like it was great advice. I sought out another friend of mine who I haven’t seen in some time who’s married and has a young daughter and I’m meeting up with him next week to seek his advice so this is, again, any area of your life where you feel like you’re struggling with that you didn’t know about, seek them out. I realized that I don’t have any mentor. I’m not like actively friendly or hanging out all of the time with happily married couples, yet that’s something that I think that I want. So, what should I do? I should put myself in an environment where there are happily married couples with kids.
James: Makes sense right? We’re talking to Daniel Francis who is the founder of Elite Man Academy. He helps men. He’s a men’s mentor. We’ll take a question here from Yvonne Grace in New Zealand who asks, “how do you guys keep yourselves focused on your purpose daily? Do you write goals? Visualize? What’s your routine, please?
Daniel: All right, so this is probably hands down the most important part for me after I found out what it was and the daily rituals and the daily habits are just absolutely key. Goal setting is number one part of that. I have to know what I’m striving for, and then there’s two. Two things that changed a lot for me, and I call them [??00:43:18] of my mornings and nurture at night. Monster my mornings and nurture at night. So, my phone doesn’t go on until a certain point of the day. I’m trying to get it late even later back. Right now it doesn’t go until 11:00 A.M. in the morning. I’m pushing it back to trying to get it to 1:00 P.M., but really and truly, that morning time is so crucial to really set my day in motion especially working for myself and not having the schedule imposed on me by a job. You have to be so, even if you are in a job with my clients, that first hour to two hours is crucially important and what you do there. Have a ritual in terms of meditation. I have a ritual in terms of making sure that I drink enough water and fluids in the morning, and then also reading for either 30 to 60 minutes in whatever field so, now my interest is in business and marketing and that’s something I read in and focus on.
Whatever it is that you want to specialize in or wherever you want to take your life, that 30 to 60 minutes of reading, nourishing your mind in the morning and mastering your morning is really key. The nighttime. The subconscious mind is more easily programmed at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. Our brainwaves change, and as we’re about to go into sleep, what you put into your mind before you go to sleep, that’s got eight hours of turning over and going you’re suggesting to the mind that these are the things, these are the important things that you want to have stored and worked on. So, I protect my night. I know so many people who watch TV before they go to bed and they’re just running those images, or they play computer games before they go to bed. They’re running those images over and over while you’re sleep, the mind is just churning on that. Got to remember this, our mind, our body, these are intelligent systems within themselves. I couldn’t tell you how to grow hair. I couldn’t tell you how I’m growing my nails. I couldn’t tell you what is keeping my heart beating. Every time I want a reminder of how intelligent my body and this thing called life is that’s happening to me and through me, I put my finger on my pulse and I feel it. I think even if I wanted to with my mind, I could not stop this thing from beating. It’s not my choice, right? So this is intelligence that’s going on, and we have to nurture it with good food. We have to nurture, we nurture the body with good food. We have to nurture the mind with good new materials, so what are you putting in there? What books are you reading? You know, listening to James’s show and really getting great stuff in there. Nurture at night so those would be two key things, the two places I start.
James: Yeah, it’s funny. I have been experimenting with my mornings now for man 12, 18 months and to be honest with you, it’s always changing. I don’t have the winning formula yet. What I started with two days ago as an experiment was this, wake up at 6:30. From 6:30 until 6:45 I write in a gratitude diary and I do ten, I’m sorry let me rephrase that. From 6:30 to 6:40 I’ll do meditation. Ten minutes of the headspace up, and then from 10:40, sorry 6:40 to 6:45 until about 5:00 to 7:00 I will write in a gratitude diary. I have this thing called the Five Minute Journal. I find that writing in that just helps me stay positive and gets me into a positive frame of mind, gets me thinking about opportunity rather than obstacles, and then I’ll sit down at my, on my sofa and I will read until the bottom of the hour which is 7:30.
Yesterday, I was reading a book called Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. Just from reading that, I came up with this amazing strategy, if you like or little game to prove that if you are a multitasker then you’re not being very effective with your time. So, I learned this technique, and then yesterday on my Facebook live, I recorded a video teaching other people this, and then I’ve subsequently am about to stick it on YouTube. When you start listening to this it’ll already be on YouTube and it was called You’re Dumb if You Multitask. So it’s a really catchy title.
The point I’m trying to make is by creating that 30, 35 minutes to read, I came up with a new way of being more productive in my day. Like I realized oh my God I’m slaughtering much of my day from jumping from project to project to project to project rather than just staying on one project, finishing it and then moving on to the next one. Then at 7:30, I created this habit of going into my closed Facebook Group of the 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge. These are paid members who, you join, you’re doing the challenge, and I was being a little bit sloppy in a sense of I would go in there a few times a day or sometimes I wouldn’t go in there for three or four days I wouldn’t comment and then I quickly sort of try to do three or four days’ worth of comments and work and I’m like you know what I’ve got to make this a daily habit. Just 15 minutes, 7:30 to 7:45, go in there and answer people’s questions and do that every day rather than like you know. Then after 7:45, don’t go back in there for the rest of the day. Don’t go back in. Wait until tomorrow morning.
Now, I did that and that was a hell of a productive day. Having said that, today it was completely the opposite. I slept in until 7:30 I was in a rush to go to the gym. I had breakfast today. Usually I don’t eat breakfast because I’ve been doing intermittent fasting. It was just a mess. So, I know what is the best formula for me, but I can tell you, even though I know that’s the best formula and most of the time I do what is most effective for me. I’m also a human being. I’ve also got a bad case of ADD, and sometimes, I get derailed. I look at it this way. I eat Paleo style, I’m a Paleo enthusiast, and I say it this way, 85% of the time, I eat Paleo. I eat pretty well. Fifteen percent of the time, I will go to town and eat ice cream. I will eat lime flavored chili flavored Doritos, not Doritos, Cheetos. Not Cheetos. What are they called? I don’t know they sell them now at my gas station, they’re delicious. They’re so bad for you. I would eat that crap, but that’s okay because 85% of the time I’m doing it all right, so just to wrap this up, experiment with a morning routine, but whatever you do, don’t turn on your damn cell phone because then the emails starts coming in. The “what’s up” starts coming in. The little red notification from Facebook comes in, and you will blow down a rabbit whole, and you want to get out of it. So, I’m trying to get better about that as well like just no way I’m not turning on the damn phone for the first hour and a half of the day. You know, and reading.
Daniel: I find that, you know, just what I’d do, I put my phone on airplane mode at night so it’s not on so I don’t have because there’s a thing with it on mine that we hate nature [??00:51:00] is a vacuum and the human mind hates an open loop, right? So, when we’ve got if there’s something that’s been opened. Let’s say for example, you ask someone a question and they don’t answer. You notice the pull that is created within you. Like when you send someone a text message. You send a woman a text message and she doesn’t reply back. There’s this void that is created and our mind just can’t hack it. So, if you see an unread message on your phone or an unanswered email it, the pull on the mind is incredible, so, I don’t want to see them at all. So, when I put my phone on airplane mode before I go to bed, so that when I wake up there isn’t a ton of things on the screen that I-.
James: I do exactly the same thing. I do exactly the same. I started doing it months ago. It’s not very good for all of those women who are calling you late at night for booty calls then. You’ve got to start your voice message. I’ve had that complaint from one particular woman.
Daniel: I had a booty call for you what happened?
James: She’s like I don’t, I tried to call you and it went straight to voice message. What were you doing? I was like I was sleeping. Why were you trying to call me at 1:15 in the morning? She’s like um. I know what you’re up to.
Daniel: A bunch of women you know they are trying to booty call you, it’s not the best strategy to get your booty calls, but it’s great for productivity and for mastering your morning.
James: Absolutely. Listen, let’s wrap this up. We’ve been going 52 and a half minutes Daniel, so we want to do a little good book map to this or a bookshelf, whatever it is to try and close this up because we’ve talked about a few things. We talked about emotional numbness, making sure you get a mentor, modeling other people, how to monitor your time, how you spend your time after work, looking at your obligations, asking yourself what would you love. For men in particular, pursuing money for money’s sake is a big distraction. Pursuing a new array of women or different women is a big distraction and constantly seeking peak experiences all of the time just gives you temporary little feels is also a big distraction from your day of fulfillment. Do you want to just wrap all of this up, Daniel? Then we’ll, you and I are going to do a little Snapchat. We’ll say goodbye to our Facebook live viewers because I’m going to need the phone back to do the Snapchat. But yeah just wrap this up for us Daniel.
Daniel: Absolutely, so what I would say, one thing for me in terms of starting to, because those, these are the precursor to actually digging into self and finding your mission. For me, and for my clients I’ve worked with, the biggest way that I start to dial into what is really important is, and I call it the great clarifier and it is death. It sounds grim. It sounds like his enemies are about to take a nose dive, but death is a great clarifier and it gives urgency. So, there’s two projections I do. I call it the deathbed projection. As human beings, we have this unique pursuit that is incredible which is the gift of our imagination. We’re already using our imaginations. Some people say I don’t have a good imagination, but we do. If you ever have feared anything, then you’ve been using your imagination because most of the time we think about what’s going to happen and you imagine things happening in the future that are negative and therefore it paralyzes us. So, when we start to command our imagination and use it for our advantage, it’s enormously powerful.
So, this meditation that I do, you get still. Again, if you got a rocking chair at home, just sit back and rock away. Close your eyes, and we can project forward to the point of the end. I imagine going to my death moment and I see and I go there. I fully go there and experience it as if I’m seeing it through my eyes. I’m laying on my deathbed. I’m looking out my, just so happens though, the place that I want to be is in my, on the ocean front looking. I love the ocean, and from that place, I’ve projected forward and I start to ask from two different perspectives. One motivated by pain and one motivated by pleasure, and each individual will have a different response to either pain or pleasure. So, the pain I ask what would I be pissed off or whatever it is so disappointed that I didn’t do in my lifetime? What needs to come forward? What would I be pissed off that I didn’t do in my lifetime? That’s more of the pain. The regret. The other side of that is saying what would need to happen for me to get to this point and be ecstatic and ready to crossover with peace and feeling like I’ve done it all? Everything I need to the important things that I’ve done it. So we’re looking at pain and pleasure.
That for me is the great clarifier and it adds urgency. That’s how I would. There are other ways to do it, but that’s one of the most powerful ways.
James: Yeah, we’re all going to die you just when you come to terms with them and just accept it, then it’s all of a sudden you’ve got a time constraint. [??00:56:12] just do it bluntly all of the time. It’s like you’ve got 20 minutes to take up this offer or it’s gone forever. You know it’s like oh if you’re running up 20 minutes. Just thinking the other day, work out how many days left of your life you have left. With the average man I think lives to about 77, so figure out how old you are now, figure out how many days you’ve got left and when you put in into days you go damn. So, I’m 40, let’s just say I’ll live another 33 years I’m already pass it. I’ve already lived long than what I’ve got left. Thirty-three years times 365, I’ve only got 12,045 days left.
James: And tomorrow it’s 12,044, and then the day after it’s only 12,043.
Daniel: That off every time. What I mean is if you take that off every day and it just brings that level of urgency. I did something similar where I said the age that I wanted to get to and in a meditative state, I found the date and I, the date of my death as it were and as I just sat there, I said this isn’t forever, Dan. This is not forever. Do it now.
James: Yeah. Do it now. Do it now. Do it now. Very good. Well, Daniel Francis, thank you so much. Daniel Francis, the founder of Elite Man Academy. If you have enjoyed listening to Daniel, you’ll like what he has to say. Do go to elitemanacademy.com. Where else, Daniel, before you and I do a, where else can I find you?
Daniel: Absolutely I’ve got, and just for the free listeners as well, if you go to freegiftfromdaniel.com, and you can get hold of what I call it the confidence equation because a lot of things that really stops us from really driving for the things that we want is about confidence. So, we’ve got a formula there that really helps to build that confidence in four very key and in specific steps as well.
James: Freegiftfromdaniel.com. Freegiftfromdaniel.com. So, thank you. We’re going to say goodbye now to our live Facebook followers. So, I thank you so much to those who asked questions including Yvonne Grace and Jeff Koonce I appreciate that. Thank you Connie Blackow who was there. She couldn’t make it she was on a work call. She said she’s going to watch the replay. Just a reminder, you can watch the replay of this, the video component of this on my Facebook page or you can watch this on YouTube. Yvonne Grace is actually saying, “Awesome. Thank you for motivating. Why isn’t this taught in schools?” That’s valuable insight. Thank you very much, Yvonne. So, goodbye to the Facebook viewers now. I’m just going to shut off, farewell. Just a reminder before we go, make sure to the Facebook followers, make sure you do follow me on Snapchat because I’ll be doing little live things. You can follow my life 10 seconds at a time, 10 second videos at a time. I’ll do about six or seven a day so that you can see kind of some of the cool people I’m meeting and what I’m doing and how I live my life. So, do follow me on Snapchat. It’s James Swanwick, S-W-A-N-W-I-C-K. Thanks for watching. See you later Facebook live.
Okay, we’re just ending that live video now. If you’re still listening to the podcast, stick around because Daniel is about to give us a 10 second version of how to live your best life and you can watch this on Snapchat as well. Let’s just do this, hang on one second. We’re just going to wrap it up here. Okay, cool. So there you go. Now you’re on my Facebook live page. If you want to watch the replay now you can go and follow me at James Swanwick and you can see that there. Let’s move to Snapchat. If you’re listening or watching this Snapchat, my Snapchat is James Swanwick. If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, I was a reluctant user of it up until very recently when I started. Now, I realize the power of it because you can take little 10 second videos of your life and people can come in and can follow your story throughout the day, so you can see cool little things that people you are following are doing. I follow people like Tai Lopez, Gary Vaynerchuk, Joan Ramanello(sp?), Louis Hamilton the race car driver. It’s really cool. It’s like a little TV series that you can watch of people’s lives throughout the day.
Cool, so here we go. We’re going to record this. I’m going to say Daniel Francis Men’s Mentor, what’s the number one way for leading an extraordinary life, and then you’re going to give me like a five second version. It should be one sentence because it’s only 10 seconds are you ready?
James: Great here we go. Daniel Francis Men’s Mentor, how do we lead an extraordinary life?
Daniel: Ask yourself what would you love and then figure out what’s topping you from doing it and then take them out the picture.
James: All right let’s see if we made that here . There we go.
Daniel: It’s real.
James: There we go. We cut off the last part, but that’s going on Snapchat now, so thank you very much for that. Daniel Francis, this has been great. Remember to go to Elite Man Academy or freegiftfromdaniel.com and continued health and continued success to you, Daniel.
Daniel: Fantastic and thank you for what you’re doing as well James it’s brilliant. I love seeing you and watching you and seeing what you’re doing it’s the energy is fantastic.
James: Thank you so much I really appreciate it, and thank you to the listener for listening. Thank you to the viewer for watching and I will catch you on the next one.