What you should focus on NEXT

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One of the biggest invisible issues in self development is that people are trying to solve problems at a high level when they still have basic problems that need attention first.

As a coach, I often have clients coming to me for dating advice when they haven’t even secured full time employment, or haven’t sorted out their eating and exercise, or don’t even get enough sleep yet!

If you want to make progress, it’s important to understand the implications of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and how you should decide what to do next with your life to become more confident and successful.

In this video, I’ll give you a guide on all the different things you could focus on, and what order to do them in, so that you can easily identify what goals to work on next.

Dan’s Top Resources


Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:

  • The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
  • Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
  • The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle

Online courses

Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform

Full transcript (unedited)

Welcome back, everyone. So look, one of the biggest problems I see in the self development space is people essentially leaping ahead and trying to solve problems that they don’t need to be solving yet because they got much more pressing concerns that need to be solved first. You see, life works in a kind of linear fashion. If you’re familiar, say the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. There’s certain things that need to be achieved before other things can you need to get your health and safety sorted before you worry about your social life and so on. So I’m going to put together this quick video that’s going to ask you a series of questions. And if your answer to any of these questions is no, then that’s the next problem you need to work on. And you don’t need to worry about anything that comes after it until this problem is solved, or at least being sort of functionally maintained well enough for you to move on. So first and foremost, your survival needs. Now, it’s amazing to me how many people are trying to work on complex issues, like their mission or their social life, and their basic survival is not even guaranteed for the next month. So make sure you have these needs met before you even bother to tackle anything more complex. Question one are your basic survival needs being met. So you got a roof over your head guaranteed for at least the next month or so, you’ve got enough money for rent or mortgage payments, you’ve got backup accommodation options, if something happens, you’ve got heating and clothing and fresh water and food. Like you’re not going to die in the next month or be in some serious survival mode in the next month. If your answer is yes, then you can move on. Next one. Now this is where a lot of people actually trip up and they’re not doing the step for most of their life. Are you eating nutritious food? When we look at it as the 8020 rule, about 80% of what you eat should be healthy for you to be a healthy person. Now, most people are not meeting this. And yet they’re wondering why they’re stressed out of work or why they can’t find a partner. They’re not even taking care of the basic machine that’s going to get all those jobs done. So our four out of your five meals healthy, right? Low and saturated fat, low and salt, low and sugar, high and nutritious vitamins and so on proteins fiber? Are you eating good Whole Foods most of the time? Because if not stop here. Next question. Now this one’s a difficult one. But are you getting enough sleep? Now enough is a subjective term. Now there’s the old cliche that you need eight hours a night, but that’s not quite true. It depends on who you are. Some people don’t I personally don’t need much more than five. But you will know you’re not getting enough because you’re tired. And you can’t really control your sleep. So you might not actually have much of a say in this. But you should at least be giving yourself the opportunity to rest with your eyes closed for a long enough period to have energy throughout the day. If you’re not having that, then don’t go any further. Are your basic hygiene requirements being taken care of? Do you smell nice? Are you clean? Because I’ll tell you what your career and your social life is not going to flourish if you’re the smelly guy. Alright, to get that sorted. It’s not that hard, regular showers, brushing your teeth, washing your clothes frequently. These things, it’s amazing to me how many people neglect these things they don’t even know they have bad body odor and so on. And they’re wondering why other things aren’t working out for them? Are you getting regular exercise, you don’t need to be a fucking athlete to get on with your life. But you should be moving briskly at least once a day. Alright, minimum, we’re talking about 30 to 60 minutes of intense walking every day. You can do HIIT training really intense stuff for 10 minutes, or you can just be an active person and an active job. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exercises as commonly known. Maybe you’re an athlete, and you play on a sports team a few times a week or you’re doing martial arts, at least a few times a week, you should be sweating and getting the blood pumping and moving all your body and working on your fitness and your mobility and your strength. If you’re not again, stop here and get that sorted first. Here’s a tricky one. are you ensuring the minimal ingestion of harmful substances? Most people watching us probably binge on alcohol. You have no idea I won’t go into it now because I’ve got a whole other video on that. But you have no idea how much that is holding you back. Now, maybe you can get away with a few glasses of wine a week or something like that. But if you are getting drunk or you’re smoking a lot of weed, or you’re doing pills every other weekend or whatever it is that you’re taking even just really fatty and salty and sugary foods, often you’re wrecking the machine. And more importantly, you’re making your mind less functional. Okay, your brain has actually been damaged and not functioning highly. So how are you supposed to do well in your career and in your social life? If the main thing that controls everything is being mistreated and poisoned? Next one, are you adequately managing any sort of physical or mental health issues? Now some of these things are chronic and you can’t like wait to solve them to move on with your life, but you should be managing them. Well. If you have depression, are you seeing a therapist and getting medication? If you have a knee injury? Are you taking it easy on that leg and wearing a strap and doing everything you can to recover and doing a personal training or whatever? Right? Whatever injuries or health issues you have doing your best to maintain them. According to best practice, medical standards must be happening before you decide to move on to other areas of your life or otherwise, it’s like dragging an anchor behind you, especially mental health issues. How are you supposed to function well, in your career, with your values with your social life? If you’re just weighed down by a mental illness that’s untreated? Finally, are you controlling any unhealthy compulsions, porn, news, gaming, gambling, anything that maybe doesn’t fit the category of ingesting substances, but as surely a very bad use of your time, when done an excessively surely doing damage to your brain and your body to do these things excessively, or damage to your bank account. Anything where a behavior has become compulsive, where you’re worried you might be addicted, that should be sorted first. Now notice a lot of things I’ve said so far, you’re probably neglecting while trying to work on your career and try to work on your social life. Without realizing these are the things causing you problems in those areas. A very healthy well functioning person is going to find it much easier to travel in their career and in their social life, without having to fight all these burdens while working on those goals. So you can actually escalate the progress and other areas of your life by just getting your body and your brain sorted and focusing in on that. Okay, next we have safety and security needs. Are you protected against any immediate threats. If you’ve got something severe, like there’s somebody who’s after you and wants to hurt you, or you’re with an abusive partner, or your house is about to fall down, or your car’s brakes are about to fail, or there’s severe weather conditions coming up, make sure you got that stuff sorted before you try to work on other areas. Do you have stable income and finances, it kind of breaks my heart how many times people come to me for coaching with their confidence and their social skills, and they don’t even have a job that they can rely on, they don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from. It’s almost impossible to function well, when you don’t know where your resources are coming from where you don’t feel secure, that you’re going to be out to feed yourself and clothe yourself and do all the basics. So do yourself any simple, basic steady job at least before you start worrying about the more complicated stuff. Are you budgeting adequately. One of the number one invisible barriers people have to success is poor management of their money. They don’t see how it harms them, but it holds them back and all the other areas of your life. Budgeting is not that complicated. If you message me, I’ll send you a discount to my finances course my financial freedom course. Or you can just google how to budget simply and make sure you’re least not spending more than you earn. If nothing else. Are you protected against common risks? Do you have things like health insurance and access to medical care are you taking the medications you need for your heart condition? Are you living in a situation protects you as most as as good as possible. For example, if you’re living in a very bad neighborhood, really your next goal should be to move before you work on anything else. Make sure that you know you can’t escape risk. But you’ve made your situation as safe as you possibly can, with your kind of circumstances. Do you have a predictable daily routine, that doesn’t mean you need to be structured like a robot. But if you feel chaotic, if every day you wake up at a different time and go to bed at a different time and you have no idea what you’re going to eat each day. And nothing happens at the same time. On any day. That kind of chaos is going to make you very disordered mentally and make it very hard for you to achieve our goals. Your day should be so predictable that you can think about higher level stuff. And you don’t have to do all this fire putting out all the time. You don’t have to solve all these minus simple problems every day, simply because you don’t have a structure. Now we can move on to social needs. So you got to get all that stuff first. Before you should worry about social needs. All this stuff should at least be being worked on and making progress before you even think about your friend circle in your dating life. Step number one you got to weed the garden Have you removed all unhealthy and toxic connections from your life? These people take up space and they damage you. If nothing else, you should be all alone. That’s better than having bad people in your life. So your first step is to reject everyone who doesn’t improve your life. Are you taking care of your dependents? If you have children or you’re say taking care of an elderly parent or something? Is that being sorted, right? It kind of breaks my heart how many people will neglect their children to work on other goals? I don’t know how you live with yourself, right? If you brought people into the world, they’re your obligation, get their shit sorted and then work on your own. This doesn’t mean self sacrifice. does mean if you’ve obliged yourself to take care of someone, there is a minimum standard of care that you need to be providing before you work on your higher level goals. Now, let’s get socializing. Are you meeting new people, that if you already have a really well established social circle, this might not apply that much. However, social circles ebb and change over time, right? You go through these phases, suddenly everyone gets married, and you lose a bunch of friends. And suddenly everyone has kids and you lose a bunch of friends. Suddenly, you make all this progress philosophically, and people just aren’t right for you anymore. So you should be constantly, at least on a very low level, bringing new people into your life going to hobbies and events and meeting new people, just to make sure that you have the ability to make new friends, which will make you feel socially abundant for the rest of your life. If you know that you can always find new people, you don’t get so needy and worried about keeping the ones you have. Are you developing deep connections? Right? So you’ve got a social life? That’s great. But are you intimate with people? Do you share deep and personal stuff with them? Are you open and honest, and this is reciprocated? Do you feel respected? Do you feel like you can trust the people in your life, whatever connections you have need to get them to a deep level or find new people that you can create their deep level with before worrying about more complicated stuff? And then you can think about, Do I have a satisfying sex life? Do I have a satisfying romantic life? Many of my clients try to find a partner and get into dating and they can’t even make guy friends. So no, no, get good at making friends deep personal connections with humans, you’re not attracted to first. And then developing sexual relationships will be a breeze. If you fall, if you jump, that step, and you try to focus on sexual relationships is going to be very needy and kind of creepy. Because no girls kind of want to be with a guy doesn’t have any mates. It’s just bizarre, no healthy guy should say, and do you have a stable and supportive social circle. So once you’ve meeting new people, and building deep connections, and you’ve got a love life going, you need to hunker down, choose the best people and really sort of build deep connections with them for long lasting sort of loyalty and long term experience, right? You want to build your little core circle of intimate friendships that might last for the rest of your life in now, now, you might ask yourself the question, Am I a leader? Once you have a flourishing healthy social life, you can start thinking about leadership roles. Now, not everyone wants to go this passage is an optional step. But if you do, first, you should be someone who’s very socially healthy. It’s amazing to me how many people try to take on leadership or management roles. And they’re not even good at making friends or communicating connecting with people deeply. They don’t even have a healthy relationship with their partner. So did you’ve gone way too far ahead, you should know how to connect with people at a basic level before you start telling them what to do. So once you’ve got your health needs met, your safety and security and income met and your social life flourishing. Now you can start to think about the deep inner work of confidence building. Do you set goals? Do you sort of plan out where you want to be in the next three months or a year? And not in terms of getting outcomes, but as more like a compass to aim towards? What would it look like for you to be the person you want to be? And how do you get closer to being that person? Now’s the time to start setting goals. You might have had practical goals before going to get a job and meet new people. Now we’re talking about goals that work on yourself, do you participate in hobbies. Now actually, you might start doing hobbies a lot earlier on in the process. And that’s fine. It’s a great way to meet people. But at this point of the process, you should be starting to think about passion activities, things that really kind of encourage you to build your skills and challenge you and you feel like you’re deeply passionate about these things. And they mean a lot to you. Now’s the time stop filling your calendar with this stuff, then we really level up. Are you consistently succeeding and achieving? Actually, I should be asking, Are you consistently failing upwards. So once you build the confidence, where you’re like achieving goals, and you’re really working on yourself, and you got a flourishing life full of great activities. Now it’s time to really start trying to level up all the time. All right? I don’t mean that endless ambition. We’re never satisfied, but just constantly challenging yourself and growing so that you never get into a plateau. So you never get complacent so that entropy doesn’t ruin your life. It’s kind of like working out with no end game in mind. It should always be lifting more weight, just so that you’re never like plateauing and going downhill. So you should be asking yourself, like how do I make this even harder today? Next question, Are you now engaging in ongoing coaching or mentoring or education of some kind? Because once you got all the foundation of your life said it’s time to keep this thing improving. Coaching and Mentoring comes in about here. Now I do work with people and coaches like me do work with people earlier on in the process, but the people who get the most out of coaching, the ones who’ve got most of the shit sorted and now they really want to level up into the stratosphere. They want to become people who have exceptional lives. About here’s where it happens, and it’s bound. Now you might ask yourself, what philosophy Do I believe in and want to study more? You know, where can I get more wisdom from? Now you start studying ideas, you start studying concepts, you start following people who think outside the box and challenge the truth about life. And this is where you start to build your own philosophy, you know, what do I believe in what do I think is the meaning of life? And you start to develop there from here, once you’ve got your basic needs met? Then we start to talk about self respect. Do you consistently set boundaries and confront people? Are you generally a kind of disagreeable person and that not that you contrarian, but given that most people are kind of deceptive and manipulative, most of the time, a truly confident person is going to be confronting a lot. They’re not going to play along with social harmony and try to fit in and people please, don’t won’t do any of that. So by the time you become really confident, you should become quite confrontational doesn’t mean you have a big emotional conflicts, but it means you’re constantly calling out bullshit, setting boundaries, never allowing disrespect or dishonesty to come into your fortress. And finally, if you’ve got all that shit sorted, it’s time to develop a mission. So mission is all about meaning and life. So once you’ve got your needs met, it’s time to create a meaning in life. So first question is, do you express your true self creatively? Now, this might be artistic in some form, it could be engineering and building and trades in some way. Are you showing who you are through what you do? Are you creating is an expression of your personal individual self? As Christian? Do you know intimately your core values? What do you stand for? What do you stand against? What do you wish all people were? What do you wish none of them? Were essentially asking the question, what does integrity mean for you personally? And the next natural question is, are you consistently living by these core values? I’d say 70 to 80% is about a reasonable before you can move on from the step. So you should know your core values, you should be measuring your behavior accurately and being able to say, look, most of the time I live with integrity, I am a role model to others. The next step is do you practice essentialism and minimalism? In other words, do you cut out everything in your life that isn’t truly valuable? Don’t mess me in a little bit. I mean, you’re left with only like 10% of wonderful things, people activities, stuff, you cut out anything that isn’t truly valuable. You’re willing to let go of anything that does not serve in a massive way. So even neutral stuff gets current, even if you have an OK friend, you stop seeing them. You only hang out with the best people, you only do the most valuable activities, you only eat the most nutritious food. This is where you get really high standards. And you might think I’ve left this one quite late. But do you have a highly satisfying vocation? Well, I think throughout this whole process we’ve been talking about you should be developing your career. It’s about the point where you’re really confident that you start asking yourself, What should I really be doing for a living? Because it’s at this point in time that you can answer that question safely and effectively. Most time we’ve been asked what should I do for a job? It’s their financial insecurity that answers the question. Once you’ve overcome your insecurities, or most of them or know how to manage them, you can start asking yourself, what what should I really be doing with my time, and you’re going to have the bold answers the ones that you were too scared to go for before? Now’s the time to go for it. Almost at the end. Now, do you consistently express yourself honestly, and shamelessly Are you in that top 1% of people who are honest, are you radically honest where nothing about yourself as hidden none of your intentions ahead? And there’s no manipulation left? You don’t give a fuck what people think about you. You don’t you’ll show your weaknesses and your weirdness and everything all the time to anybody, because fuck them, you like you. And that’s all that matters. Finally, are you engaged in a powerful mission. So once you’re fully living by your values, and shameless and you’ve got this wonderful life, it’s time to have an impact on the world. Now you can start thinking about what you want to do that will have a lasting and sustaining impact, and leave a legacy. And this should not even be considered until you’re really confident person. I mean, you can build up to it. Certainly your career will be a huge part of their maybe your social life, too. But really, you shouldn’t worry about fixing other people’s lives and having a big impact on the world until you’ve got your own shit sorted first, right? And now, now you can worry about making a difference in the world. Now, I know some of you are not going to follow the rules on this video, and that’s fine. I break them sometimes myself. The key is just to understand that if you’re struggling with your goals, audits, because you’ve neglected a stage earlier in the process, right? It’s amazing to me how many people don’t realize that their struggles socially are actually physical issues that they need to get sorted or mental issues that they need to get sorted. You know, the reason that they can’t create their entrepreneurship Have dreamers because they haven’t even figured out who the fuck they are yet. So this is just a waste of time. All right, it’s better off to just work in McDonald’s for cheap living, give yourself time to think about who you are. So I suggest if you’re struggling in life, go through the checklist I just made and when as soon as you hit a no to one of those questions, stop there and fix that problem until it’s a yes and then move on. And you’ll find that this is not only easier, but it’ll help you make sure that you’re focused on what needs to be done next, rather than what should be done 10 steps ahead. course if you do want coaching and support with moving through the spectrum, get in touch I’ll see you next time.

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