How Do You Handle Pressure?

On this episode of Investing With Purpose, Kyle discusses pressure. Kyle speaks about how to handle pressure, how to prepare for pressure, and how our reputations are built under pressure. Kyle talks about creating healthy habits that will help you remain neutral under pressure, as well as help your kids to not experience anxiety when they’re under pressure.

 

“Are you going to commit to preparing your mind, body, and spirit when things are good so that we can be prepared for what’s around the corner? Or are we going to wait and react only when we actually experience the pressure in our lives? Are you preparing or are you reacting?”

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

0:00 – Intro
0:41 – Kyle has seen a lot of positive things come into his life, from investing in himself
1:49 – We’re never expecting pressure to happen in our lives, so we must prepare
2:13 – Preparation takes intentionality, what are we practicing for in our daily lives to make sure we can handle what life throws at us?
3:52 – We need to have a sense of urgency around creating habits in our lives that are truly going to help us stay ready for battle
6:08 – When our mind is at peace we are much happier, we’re kinder and we’re more grateful
9:10 – Kyle speaks about journaling
10:27 – Kyle speaks about the importance of sleep when trying to create a healthy mind to handle pressure
13:34 – Kyle discusses the importance of keeping a healthy body
19:12 – Kyle talks about spirituality and states that being spiritual is about being centered
24:14 – Romans 5:3 “More than that we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character and charter produces hope and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit who has been given to us”
26:11 – Are you preparing or are you reacting?
27:03 – If you’re preparing for the pressure of life and you can remain calm and remain neutral, that is a lasting legacy that you can leave for your kids so that they don’t experience anxiety when the pressure hits
27:21 – It’s time to start getting prepared and staying prepared – we have to act with a sense of urgency and invest in our personal growth right now
27:52 – Reputation is built under pressure and that is why we have to invest in ourselves, invest in a true purpose and be prepared

 

FULL TRANSCRIPTION:

How do you handle pressure? How do you respond? That’s what we’re talking about today.

Do you feel like you just react to it or do you feel like you have the ability and tenacity to actually look pressure straight in the face and take it head-on. Today we’re taking a slightly different spin on investing with intention and purpose. And what we’re talking about is investing in ourselves, and I’m really passionate about this because not only have I made a huge transformational shift in my life by investing in myself, through investing in real estate, but really in just my entire mind, body, spirit, my health, and everything else that goes along with that. And that’s why I’m passionate about it. Because I’ve seen a lot of positive things come into my life when I’ve made this type of switch by investing in myself.

So we’re talking about investing in ourselves and preparation for what life brings us. So we don’t have to look far, 2020 brought out so much in people both good and bad. And in my opinion, all it really did was bring out our true character. So if you think about it, how did you handle your own household? Meaning did you let it, what was happening around you just take away from your joy.

Did you have these other factors in your life that were bringing fear into your life, or were you continuing to do what you could? Obviously, there were some restrictions that weren’t allowing us to travel or get out of our homes, but we could get out of our house. We could go outside, and we could still be with our family. 2020 brought on a ton of pressure for most of our society. And the biggest part of it all was no one was expecting it. And that’s the biggest thing about pressure in our lives is that we’re never expecting it to happen when it does.

And because of that, this is why it takes extreme intention and discipline to invest in ourselves on a daily basis to make sure that we’re prepared. And for me, the keyword there is prepared. This is kind of like one of my life words is preparation. Preparation takes intentionality. So this bodes the question, what are we preparing for in our lives? I was a former college athlete. I played baseball in college. So for me, it’s really easy to relate preparation with practice. And this is actually how I still relate it today. What are we practicing on a daily basis to make sure that we can handle what life throws at us? This is where preparation comes in.

So for most of us, we’re not playing professional sports, so we’re not practicing an actual sport, but we are professionals in other areas in our lives, such as professional corporate employees, professional doctors, nurses, or even professional parents, professional moms, and dads. No matter we do for a living or who we are living, we are called to be prepared to handle the pressures of our lives. And we have to make sure that we’re waking up every day, putting in the reps to make sure that our mind, body, and spirit is ready for that day.

And this is for everyone, myself included. This is really how I thought about it several years ago was the mind-body-spirit connection and how that was affecting my day-to-day habits, my parenting, my job, at the time I was still working a corporate job when I decided to make a shift and really, truly invest in myself and my mind and my health. And I’ve always been healthy more or less in some regards, I’ve always been around the weight room and things like that, just growing up, playing baseball and sports. But this is different. We have to stay ready. We need to have a sense of urgency around creating habits in our lives that are truly going to help us stay ready for battle when the pressures of life come out of nowhere and hit us square in the face.

So, it’s different for everyone. Obviously, you have to find out what truly works for you, but we’ve all heard people talk about the connection between mind, body, and spirit. This is the most simple way that I can describe it and make it make sense for me. And one thing is that many people actually have a hazy interpretation of what it means, but to me, all it means is our mental, physical, and emotional health.

I think we can all notice that when something is, stressful or troubling or when pressure rises, we actually begin to manifest physical symptoms in our bodies, things like our heart racing, or we may sweat more than usual, or, we have a hard time sleeping. That’s something for me, because we keep thinking about the pressure we’re facing or the stress that we’re under. A really big one for me is we begin to feel lethargic and fatigued. This is huge for me. This is how really, when I have a really stressful day, even if I’m not on the phone all day or just, mentally, when I have a stressful day, this is what gets me, I get to the end of the day and I just want to sit on the couch and don’t do anything, but I can’t do that. I’ve got to be a husband, I’ve got to be a father. So how do you stay ready? How do we do that? And I’m still working on this every day because this is still something that I think is never-ending.

And this happens, this type of physical ailments happen when we have mental stressors because the mind, body and spirit are out of balance. So the key is how do we prepare our bodies and our minds to stay in balance and continue to be prepared.

So on the flip side, we talked about, the physicalities that come along with the stressors of our day or our life. But we’ve also seen when our mind is at peace, we are much happier or kinder or more grateful, and we’re not so embroiled from within. So physically we’re relaxed and we’re actually ready to kind of take on whatever life throws our way. There’s some days where I just wake up feeling so good, so refreshed that I feel like I’m kind of unstoppable for whatever is going to come into my life. And it’s inevitable that something is going to come try to derail me. And for me, because I’m a believer and I’m a Christian, I think that comes from the enemy that is trying to keep us from that close connection with our own spirit and with the Holy spirit.

So strengthening these areas and strengthening the connection takes effort. So how do we make sure our mind stays sharp and calm when pressure comes? How can we make sure we don’t just react and make dumb decisions like saying a dumb comment that we’ll regret later when we’re having an argument with our spouse or getting onto our kids?

So I recently read an article that someone said with a healthy mind, keeps the brain, sorry, someone with a healthy mind keeps the brain exercise regularly and stress and worry are kept at Bay by choice. So, I think we’ve all heard, think positive thoughts, but for me it’s more about thinking grateful thoughts. It’s more about gratitude. And I believe that gratitude leads to feeling of joy. And when there’s joy, we are in much better position to have that quote-unquote, no worries attitude. You know that Bob Marley, no worries, attitude and remaining calm under pressure.

And I just mentioned, I’m a believer, I’m a Christian. So the Bible is actually a good source for me. It’s kind of my foundation to look at how, Jesus and the disciples and the old Testament, how these people in this world really handled the day-to-day activities of their life. There’s so much context that needs to be said, but that’s not what this podcast is about. But what it says in Romans 5:3 is that we should actually rejoice in our suffering because we know that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope. And I just love that verse because I believe it’s one that we can build our confidence, knowing that our suffering or the pressure is producing that perseverance, which gives us the biblical hope, not the kind of hope that we’re hoping our circumstances change, but the hope that is built on a solid rock in faith.

So how do I practice this? A practical way that I’ve introduced this into my life. And I kind of pick this up from reading the book, the miracle morning from Hal Elrod was, I started journaling a few years ago. What I mainly journal about is really just getting the thoughts out of my head onto a piece of paper, but more specifically, I’m usually journaling about things that I’m grateful for. And it changes every day. Some days it kind of feels like maybe it’s a little monotonous, but it’s more importantly for me, I’m getting the thoughts out of my mind onto a piece of paper that I can see them physically.

So of course it mostly revolves around my family, but it also revolves around, really whatever I might have going on that day with our businesses or other friendships, or the support of my lives through, again my family, but also my mentors. So I practice this at least every week, day, Monday through Friday. The weekends, I tend to sleep in as much as I can. And just kind of wake up without a huge agenda, on Saturdays it seems like right now, we’ve just got several baseball games between both boys right now, and then a cheer competition sprinkled in there every other weekend. But it’s become part of my morning routine on a weekly basis.

Another big component of this for creating a healthy mind to handle pressure is, really making sure that we’re also prioritizing sleep. Which again, I kind of shifted the way that I’ve used sleep a few years ago and really started paying attention more to what was affecting my sleep. Like what was I eating or drinking or, and even the timing of it and how close to bed I was doing that.

Somebody out there who’s a big advocate for focusing on sleep health in general is a guy named Shawn Stevenson. And he wrote a book called sleep smarter. I actually, I haven’t read the book, but I have heard him enough on several podcasts interviews and everything else to know that he really kind of understands what he’s talking about. And he takes the science, he uses the science and the facts around how we can kind of hack our sleep to give us better sleeping techniques so that we can have deeper sleep, deeper REM. These are all things that are scientifically-backed people a lot smarter than me have done multiple studies on. So, I point you to these folks, I’ve figured out some things that work with me, and specifically, it’s what I mentioned, it’s paying attention to the stuff I eat or drink, what am I eating for dinner? The timing of dinner. I usually try to eat my last meal by seven and I’m not really trying to snack or anything. So I get, a full two hours. I’m usually trying to go to bed between 9.00 and 9.30. So I get a full two to two and a half hours of my meal actually digesting, so that my body’s not actually trying to work to digest the food while I’m actually trying to sleep. So it’s just something that I really hadn’t paid attention to until I learned that through paying attention to Sean Stephenson and Dave Asprey is another guy that talks a lot about sleep.

So I also got a whoop band. There’s also something called an Oura ring. All these are, are you know trackers. Basically, you wear them, you wear the Whoop band on your wrist, you wear the Oura ring on your finger and they track your sleep. They can track how much REM, how deep sleep, they have the full cycle, they take into consideration, like how much activity you did during the day, and kind of gives you a breakdown. What’s your recommended hours of sleep. What time do you need to go to bed. These are just a few things that can help us become more aware so that our brain is recovering every night the way that it should, and when it’s recovering the way it should, it’s going to ultimately lead to a healthy mind because it’s getting rest, it’s getting restored so that we can wake up ready to go.

So onto the second part, a healthy body, mind, body, spirit. So this is the body part. So, this one’s pretty, self-explanatory, it’s about the physical aspect of it. It’s about a healthy body is being, we know this it’s made possible by eating healthy and regular exercise. There’s no way around it.

And one thing that I’ve changed the way that I view food is, I hate the word diet. Diet seems like it’s just a one-time deal. We’re only going to do it for 30 days. We’re on a 30 day diet or whatever else. For me, it’s a way of life. The word diet has such a negative connotation with it. And what shifted for me and really my wife and our family is in 2010, she was actually diagnosed with something called Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease where your immune system basically attacks your thyroid, and your body can’t make enough thyroid hormones. So one of the biggest symptoms that she has is extreme fatigue and, long story short took long time for us to really figure out what was working best, countless hours of her own research, because she continued to not feel better. Even after multiple doctors gave her multiple prescriptions to try and help her feel better. But ultimately, she found out that the single biggest medicine for her body and her body to feel better was following a clean nutrition plan.

And this was in 2010 before our world really had much to offer for people who wanted to follow some type of gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free plan. Now you walk into whole foods and you see all this, which is still, you got to be careful because you really don’t know what’s in there. But at the end of the day, a lot of the stuff is still processed, which breaks down a lot of the components in there. And it’s a whole other topic for another day. But she was trying to eat this way back then when all this, essentially what she was having to doing was she was having to make all of her food, but it was worth it to her because that helped her feel the best.

And, growing up, playing baseball, and playing baseball in college, I had always been aware of eating healthy, but her experience and knowledge turned me on to this whole new world where it took eating clean and healthy to a new level outside of just the mainstream dieting. That’s what I always knew of it was this diet. So through this experience, this is where I developed a hate for the word diet, because my wife and I don’t diet, it’s a way of life for us. And it’s out of necessity for her body, which is why we do it. So I go back to the fact that it’s a way of life. This is how we eat.

Are there slip-ups? Yes. Like I said, we’ve been doing this since 2010. We’ve been really eating this way. It’s a lot of grass-fed meat, grass-fed this, organic this, it’s stuff that a lot of us are aware of, but we just don’t do it for whatever reason. And for us, like I said, it’s just a way of life. This is how we eat. Our grocery bills are a little bit higher than normal, but on the flip side, we don’t need out. So, we’re spending more money on groceries, but we don’t eat out as much as we used to because, we do on occasion, believe me, we have a lot of friends. We go to, social dinners and things like that, but we definitely try to eat at home more so than eating out.

As far as physical activity, most of us know that we all need to do some type of physical activity, and we all have access to some type of physical activity. And we can do it for either a very low or no cost. I always laugh because my gym membership here in the Houston area is $10 a month. And it has everything that I personally need. It’s not just some hole in the wall place. It’s a big box, regional gym, and that’s what works for me. But if you have a bigger budget, if you need more motivation, if you need four pools, if you need a rock climbing gym that you’ll never use, if you need a cafe that you’ll never eat at, and 20 people at the front office, then maybe lifetime is a good fit for you. Maybe you can pay that money, but I don’t need that. So I can go pay $10 a month and get access to all the machines and the weights and the free weights that I want.

And If you need community, there’s all kinds of places popping up. CrossFit was a big change-maker in this space where they really develop these workouts around community. But now there’s just all kinds of things popping up. There’s these kickboxing classes, there’s F 45 is a big one. So if you need community to motivate you, there’s something for everybody. And then on the flip side, if you’re on a tight budget, all you got to do is put on some sneakers, walk outside and just start running. You don’t even need anything other than a little bit of motivation to get it done. And really this is just a mindset shift.

So maintaining physical health is probably the easiest of the three to control. We can control what we put in our mouth. We can control what we do for exercise. Ultimately, we just need to do it.

So the third part of it, we talked about mind, we talked to the body, and now we talk about the spirit. So this is where we might lose some people, I hope you’re staying with me on this, but there’s no hokey about it. I’ve experienced this firsthand for myself, being spiritual is About being centered. I think there is something to be said about, all religions, regardless of your faith, where I think we can all agree that we want to be centered. I think that’s a word that could essentially simplify this whole approach to being quote-unquote spiritual. So, being spiritual is being centered and having an understanding of that is, Is really just, there’s something much bigger than yourself.

So for me, as a Christian, the way I do this is the way that I think about this is really just through my relationship with God. Facilitating a healthy spirit is closely related to how we train our minds, but I believe it’s based on biblical practices. This isn’t a sermon, but again, because my foundation is rooted in Christ, I use scripture as a way of life for me and my family in cultivating a healthy soul.

James 4:8 says, draw near to God and he will draw near to you. So how do we draw near to God? A simple one is through prayer and meditation. That’s something we can start right away. Prayer allows us to be vulnerable. And when we’re vulnerable, we are showing humility. And this is submitting to something bigger than ourselves, which is ultimately allowing us to feel the peace and comfort we desire from God. And we are encountering pressure excuse me when we are encountering pressure situations.

So if we aren’t actively spending time with God through prayer meditation, when we’re not doing this, the pressures of life are going to cave on us much greater than they would if we’re prepared for it. Then when we actually encounter pressure, if we are having this time with God, it’s going to be much easier for us to find peace. Instead when pressures come, if we’re out of alignment and we’re not spending time, we’re not praying, we’re not reading our Bibles. And something happens, maybe a family member is sick or maybe something else. Maybe we got laid off and now we’re trying to pray, make up for all this last time. Now we’re trying to pray because now things are hard, but we can’t do that. God’s going to be there, but it’s about us and our perspective, seeing that God is going to be there before the pressures come into our lives.

So there’s lost time not being spent cultivating a relationship with God. I believe reading the Bible is the next step. So prayer meditation, and then actually reading the Bible is the next step. When we start learning more about who God is and who Jesus is, then that allows our hearts and our minds to be able to become more aware of the living God we experienced in modern times. We start to have a better understanding of faith, joy, peace, compassion, hope, wisdom, all of it. And if we wait to encounter pressure, if we wait to do this, if we wait to read our Bibles until we encounter pressure, then it’s going to be much harder to remain calm when things get tight and pressure looms over our household.

I just told the story about my wife going through that diagnosis. If you can imagine how stressful that was for us as a family, I didn’t even talk about the financial pressures that we’ve faced and everything else, because I was starting a new corporate job. She had to quit her job. So we were on a single income and I was barely making any money because I was in a sales position. It was more heavily weighted on commissions. And I was just trying to start a new territory. So I know what it’s like. I’ve been there. I’ve had all these other factors around there. And frankly, when I was going through it, I didn’t feel like I was really handling it well at the time. But what I know is looking back on it is I had the only thing that I had was faith that things were going to get better for us.

And I bring that back to the fact that I was reading my Bible. I was praying and meditating most days, even before that. So in a way, even though I feel like I could probably been much better and had a much deeper relationship with God, I was still prepared for that season of my life.

I go back to Romans 5:3, which I paraphrased earlier, but here’s a whole verse. More than that we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy spirit who’s been given to us.

This verse has been speaking to me for over the last five months, and I’ve shared it with multiple people who are in the thick of it. But the way that I feel God is using this verse in my life, goes back to the preparation of our own soul and the alignment that we have with Jesus Christ. If we’re out of alignment, that we’re not going to be able to have this gift of hope. And I mentioned earlier, not the kind of hope that we’re hoping our circumstances change, but the hope that is built on the solid rock and faith, which fills our souls with the Holy spirit.

This verse is a reminder that if we can find joy, even in our sufferings, then our relationship with the Holy spirit is capable of being on another level. And the only way to truly feel this when pressure arises is by preparing our hearts and our minds, by having an active relationship with God, that’s true alignment. And when true alignment happens, we have true peace and true peace will appear in our lives.

So again, I’m sure I might’ve lost some people, but that’s how I feel like I get prepared with the mind-body-spirit connection and handling the pressures of my life.

So to wrap this up, all this being said comes down to one thing and really that’s commitment. Are you going to commit to preparing your mind, body, and spirit when things are good so that we can be prepared for what’s around the corner? Or are we going to wait and react only when we actually experienced the pressure in our lives? Are you preparing or are you reacting? Where do you stand? My buddy and mentor, Steve Weatherford always says that amateurs operate on feelings, but professionals operate on commitment. If we aren’t careful, the single biggest thing that will keep us from being committed and that’s committed to hitting our goals, our business goals, or having deeper relationships, or really just leveling up in our lives in general, comes down to one thing that will keep us from being committed and that’s apathy and unawareness.

We can’t agree on much in society today, but I think we can all agree that we only have one shot at life and we’re all going to die. It sounds morbid, but you’re going to die. I’m going to die. And how we handle pressure is going to leave a lasting effect on our loved ones when we’re gone. That’s true legacy, how you handle that is and if you’re handling it in a good way, if you’re preparing for the pressures of your life and you can remain calm and remain neutral, that is a lasting legacy that you can leave for your kids. So they don’t experience anxiety and depression when pressure hits.

It’s time to start getting prepared and staying prepared. We set the tone, we set the temperature. We have to act with a sense of urgency, and we have to invest in our personal growth now. It’s a never-ending journey. That’s what it is. A journey is a journey it’s never-ending. So don’t be afraid of work that never ends and invest in yourself. Start now, plan today for what actions and habits you want to create in your life that are going to become a way of life for you.

Reputation is built under pressure. When things are fine and going well, no one cares. And this is why we have to invest in ourselves, invest in a true purpose and be prepared.

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