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Possibly The Greatest Lifehack No One Talks About

Possibly The Greatest Lifehack No One Talks About

This post was both an easy and challenging one to write. I have written many pieces on productivity systems and habits that I use in my life but nothing like this.

Recently I was thinking and I realized I missed one of the most influential life hacks to impact my overall performance. I did a quick search and realized, almost nobody else really talks about this as a productivity or life hack either. Yet, it is all over society in successful entrepreneurs, executives, politicians you name it.

I think it is time.

The perfect spouse or partner can be the greatest life hack

A few years back I met the women who would go on to be my wife. She was very driven and busy in her own career, but given I was right in the midst of my own personal growth journey, I was up for the challenge.  It can be intimidating and difficult to pursue a partner like this. It requires a lot of patience, but is it worth it?

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Absolutely! She has helped shape and guide me in so many ways and together we have formed an amazing partnership. Some of my strong points are some of her weak points. On the other hand, my weak points are some of her strongest points. Together it creates a stronger version of both of us. Since we’ve been together we’ve traveled countless times, advanced our careers, strengthened our bond and recently picked up and moved our lives from Toronto to San Francisco.

Society tends to portray marriage as being tied down, especially from a guy’s perspective. You always hear the same jokes at bachelor parties. “You know it’s not too late to back out!”

Finding the right partner isn’t about becoming tied down. Instead, I personally feel it can help upgrade you to the next level.

Being able to work at 120% instead of 100%

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    My wife and I at Victoria Peak, Hong Kong.

    The image of the grinding entrepreneur we typically have is a lone man or women, on their laptop in a coffee shop or some exotic location. A lot of people chase this dream, I am also attracted to it but I want to crush the idea that you need to do it alone.

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    Finding the right partner isn’t going to drain you of your time or results but can actually help amplify you. They become an extension of you. Imagine being able to work at 120% instead of 100%. This is what surrounding you with the right partner can do. It’s about finding someone who constantly challenges you and motivates you to become your best.

    Having your own consultant

    Someone who will say “this is good, but you can do better”.  They inspire you with their own drive and ambition and it completely rubs off on you. Your partner will be the person you spend the majority of your time with. There should be an abundance of positive and motivating energy and this can keep you going, keep you focused and driven in times.

    They can provide amazing insight and viewpoints to problems or ideas you may never have gotten on your own. It’s like having your own consultant and editor right by your side.

    The business partner of your life

    Your spouse among many other things is the business partner of your life. If you are working on creating a new startup or project and your vision is not aligned with your business partner, it is probably not going to work. We see this all the time in the business world.

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    The same holds true for your spouse.

    For example, my wife and I are both fanatical about how we take care of our bodies, nutrition and fitness wise. We know that we probably wouldn’t work out with someone who doesn’t have the same level of obsession and importance we place on it. If you’re not on the same page, with the same vision it’s not really possible to be that loving, supporting motivator and challenger you want in a partner.

    Does this mean everything is sunshine and rainbows?

    No. You are going to spend a ton of time with this person and having the occasional argument is bound to happen.

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    Arguments can be productive

    It’s like backpacking Europe with a best friend for a couple months. We all know at some point you’re totally going to clash for a day or two, but after that, you’ll be back to being best friends.

    Arguments can be productive though and can help push both of you forward. If I had a check list of what to look for in a partner it would probably look like the following.

    • Does this person challenge you to always be better?
    • Do they inspire you to become your best self?
    • Do they have their own drive and ambition?
    • Do your core values align?

    Note that I purposely didn’t mention anything about love or romance here. While there are a ton of other aspects of finding an amazing spouse (and these are obviously needed), I only wanted to dive into what I consider to be a much-overlooked part. I’ve personally seen a number of relationships end because one partner set out on a journey to improve their self and the other partner either wasn’t supportive or interested.  Answering the questions above, I feel, may help prevent that before it ever occurs.

    Having an amazing spouse is also having an amazing business partner for life. If the checklist above lines up and the love and romance is there, then you have probably without even knowing it stumbled upon one of the greatest life hacks there is.

    Featured photo credit: Shutterstock 165529670 via shutterstock.com

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    Paul Milano

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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