231: How to Stay Motivated and On Track with Ed Latimore

By November 17, 2017Podcasts

 

Professional boxer and physics student Ed Latimore teaches how to stop caring about what other people think and stoke the fires of motivation.

You’ll Learn:

  1. How human behavior is subject to the laws of momentum
  2. How to find motivation when it seems elusive
  3. Why it’s better to focus on the process rather than the outcome

About Ed

Ed Latimore is a professional boxer, adult physics student at Duquesne University, a veteran of the United States Army National Guard, chess player, and author. Millions have learned from Ed’s insights at his blog, “The Mind and Fist” at mindandfist.com. He’s also very active on Twitter @EdLatimore.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Edward Latimore Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Ed, thanks so much for joining us here on the How To Be Awesome At Your Job podcast.

Edward Latimore
Hey, thank you for having me. I’m always grateful whenever someone reaches out and decides to listen to me talk for 45 minutes or an hour, so. You know, I never listen to myself on these podcasts because I’ve been listening to my voice for 33 years now, and I certainly don’t want to voluntarily hear it played back at me. But when people seem to get value on listening to things that I come up with on the fly, so I hope you pull out some great stuff from me, man. I’m excited.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, I hope so, too. And I’m excited too. And I think we’ve got a lot of little gems to share. And so, I got a kick out of it as we were doing the research here, learning a little bit about you. And a fun fact I discovered there was that you used to be afraid of being outside during lightning and storms. Can you give us the backstory and how did you overcome this fear?

Edward Latimore
You know, I don’t really know when the fear started, but I’ll tell you what, the things that people are afraid of, a lot of times they say, “Well, what you don’t understand you fear,” something like that. I used to be obsessed, I mean, I’m still obsessed. The only thing I’d ever go to grad school for is meteorology, and I really used to be obsessed with the weather all the way back as a kid.

I guess at some point that obsession got me terrified at being outside during severe weather, specifically lightning. And I can tell you stories of when I was a kid running, and burning myself up running, tripping and falling, because when you’re in a rush you hurt yourself. Or even like I had a girlfriend once, and we were outside, and lightning came out and I ran off and left her someplace.

It was a serious thing for a while. And then what ultimately got me over it was enlisting in the military, and I don’t know if you’ve served or not, or you went to basic or anything. Well, when you go through basic, you do what they say. You don’t jump out on, you don’t want to break ranks, as they say. And there were a few times, because I did my basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and then the weather in the Midwest, I mean, that’s plain rowdy.

And we’re marching and there’d be storms overhead, and I’d be like, “Well, I can’t break rank because I’m not going to go crazy and get in trouble.” So, I would march through there and I was getting better and better. And then we have these things during basic training called FTX, the field training exercises, three of them. For the last two, which are the longest ones, one for our overnight which I think is like a two-day march overnight, and another is a week out in the field.

Both of those were like some of the worst storms Missouri had seen. In fact, the second one broke the record for 24-hour rainfall because of how intense it was, and I was out there the whole time. And at that point, I was like, “Well, I’m still here. I’m not dead.” I know the odds of being struck by lightning but that’s why they’re called irrational fears because they go against what you rationally know.

And since then it hasn’t really bugged me, so that’s how I got over it before a long time. And it’s like a joke, people knew for like eating popcorn all the time and being afraid of lightning. Like those are my…

Pete Mockaitis
Some claims to fame. Oh, that’s good. Well, so now, you’re getting some more fame in interviews and such because you got a book out here called Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower. And I love the title so much, it just resonates with me like, “Yes, I concur wholeheartedly.” So, tell us, kind of what’s the main idea behind the book and why is it important?

Edward Latimore
Well, the main idea behind the book, so a lot of people will find me, you know, I won’t even walk you through the process, maybe we’ll get there. But the main idea of where this process came from and what it built, it built a collection of essays in the areas of my life where when I went from being, because I spent a lot of my 20’s just kind of a mess and a stumper, and I’m certainly not there now, and it was a conscious decision.

And part of that decision was deciding that I no longer cared about the appearance that I was going to have. Because I think a lot of times people want to change, and it’s not always laziness. A lot of times you’d kind of become a slave to the image you create within the social circle that you run with. And I decided that no more, I was not going to be the guy that was known for drinking heavy and being crazy and blacking out. I was not going to be known as the guy who was always working on something but never finished it.

I wanted to be the guy. I wanted to be a disciplined person. I wanted to be a guy with a stable, loving relationship as opposed to running around and chasing different kinds of women as my free time. So, what I did, I made a lot of key, hard changes too, because we’re not talking like, “Okay, some gradual change.” No.

One day, after a hard day and night of drinking, I was like, “No more.” I stopped the boozing. I was like, “This girl was definitely my girl. I want to be with her.” I really devoted myself to my academic studies and my boxing. I’ve been boxing at that point. And those are really the main points in the book, is that when you decide you want to be different, you’re going to have to stop caring about the person you are now.

You’re going to have to let them go. You’re going to have to have that ego death which is analogous to an actual death and then you get reborn which is analogous to a process that doesn’t happen. But you do get reborn and you live a different life. And then sometimes I do, I look back at how I lived and how it was, and I think like, “Man, am I dead right now? Did I die doing something really stupid?”

Because my life is so different than the projection it was on that I’m so grateful, but sometimes I feel like I must be in heaven, not because things are like super great or anything. They certainly are. But because they’re so different than the trajectory I was on, and that is because I decided to make changes. And that’s what the book is about, the areas of my life where I focused on making changes that I felt were most important – changing the standards, changing how I worked, change in the relationships, change my relationship with alcohol and time, everything about that. Those are like some of the main ideas in the book I discussed.

Pete Mockaitis
And I love what you said there in terms of it’s sort of like a two-parter there. One is you said, “It doesn’t matter what other people think about me and who I am and the character I was supposed to be based on if you associate, ‘Hey, I’m a boxer, therefore I must not play chess or be into physics.’” Like those are just false assumptions. And you say you’re going to do your thing that you’re going to do, so that’s really cool.

And I dug, you know, this kind of harkens back to we had Tom Bilyeu back in episode 209 talking about your identity is hugely powerful, like who you say you are as the kind of person you are, and thusly things just flow from that. So, did you have like a particular statement in terms of, “Who I am is this”? Or is it more just sort of, “Who I am is the kind of person that does this and does not do that”?

Edward Latimore
You know, I never formalized it in any sort of way, and I don’t think most people do. What I think is that human behavior is subject to the laws of momentum. I always think in terms of physics. Human behavior is like momentum. I mean, the more you do a thing the easier it is to do the thing next time. And, pretty soon, you have a habit and it’s just on autopilot.

I think about, for example, I used to make it a point to be done with practice by like 7:00 o’clock so I could go sit on the barstool. As comical as that sounds, you think about these guys that were sitting on barstools, these old men and just drink, I know it wasn’t quite like that, but my whole day was centered around, “We got to make sure that happens.” Right?

And it’s so weird even discussing it now because that seems like such a conscious choice, like, “All right, man, you’re going to go to practice and you’re going to go drink.” But it became who I was. It became who I was to the point where I made sure I knew where I was at. Where I was living, I had like three or four friends, and on different nights in a week, like I knew who could come out, who wouldn’t. I always had a person to be with, always had a person to go to because I felt like now I’m reinforcing the image that I just come to play.

Like I’m the guy to go see if you want to go out to the bar, right? He’ll always be down. And maybe some nights I didn’t want to go but it didn’t matter because now that’s my identity, now that’s what I built, and now everything I do on a small, in a micro level, it’s going to reinforce it.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, that’s powerful. And in a way, it’s funny because on the one hand, someone might say, “Well, that’s sort of a stupid identity. Like, why would you want that to be your identity?”

Edward Latimore
Right.

Pete Mockaitis
But on the other hand, it’s doing something for you. It’s like that is encouraging to people. It’s like, “Hey, that’s a friend that I can count on. That’s someone who’s fun. That’s someone who is interesting. That’s someone who is free,” you know.

Edward Latimore
People always forget that. Now it’s like a big meta-lesson when you are looking to try to understand a person. Every habit or every stupid choice a person makes that we see is destructive, at some point the person looked at it and went, “This is a good idea.” And they didn’t do it from a point of like, “Oh, man, let’s go be crazy and have a good story.”

Like, they did it because at some point it got them a benefit. And then when the benefit was no longer there, they’re at the point of diminishing returns or whatever, they still had to deal with the negative externalities of those choices and they forget that. And I forget that. Everyone is cool to be that guy when you’re like 19, not so much when you’re 26. But when you aren’t thinking and you just operate on habit, then you’d be surprised where you can end up.

Pete Mockaitis
Certainly. Well, so then, I’d love to hear, then, since you’ve sort of experienced both sides of things, what are some of the standards that you’ve set for yourself that have just really paid tremendous dividends in terms of because you say, “Hey, I’m the kind of person who does this”? And those activities and habits have just been tremendously beneficial and fruitful for you.

Edward Latimore
So, the big huge ones or like anyone can see, if it isn’t obvious in the conversation or when you read my book. I make sure I state it explicitly now is that I’m coming out of four years of sobriety.

Pete Mockaitis
Congratulations.

Edward Latimore
Thank you. That made a huge difference because that forced me to change. There’s like that keystone, that linchpin, right? You change that, the rest of your habits are going to fall in line with it. And that was the one thing for me. I changed that and everything else fell in line, right? It was going to the gym. I’m a pro boxer, I don’t need that. It wasn’t my studies. It wasn’t dealing my friendships better, no, or my relationships. It was taking care of that, and that’s the big macro idea, like the main one, the linchpin. I changed that.

On a personal level, what has made the biggest difference, because I’m always now in this kind of… I always feel things, right? And they don’t talk about this a lot when they talk about sobriety and what to do and what you’re going to experience. But a lot of times, when you are constantly drinking, you never learn to deal with your emotions because everything is like, “Let’s celebrate, want to drink. I’m depressed, let’s drink.” Right?

“Let’s meet up with friends. Let’s drink.” “Oh, man, my friend just says some mean shit. Let’s drink.” Right? So, there’s always a response. And when I got rid of that I was not only forced to deal with my emotions in the present because I’ve always been terrible with that, but I’ve gotten so much better, thank goodness. Not only because of being forced to deal with and forced in the present, but because of the relationship I developed, and that I still have with my girlfriend now, I’ve learned to communicate and express my emotions.

I’m not like whining or anything like that but I’m very much aware of when I say or do a thing, how that thing will be perceived. Now, whether I kind of calculate what the cost benefit of listening to certain reactions is, but now I’m aware of it. Just amazing how not aware you are of things when you constantly have what I called the fog of inebriation on. When you get rid of that, you’re like, “Whoa, we’re all good.”

So, emotional communication on a personal level, and that’s helped me really deal with people better and my relationships, and on a bigger level, get rid of the alcohol. There’s no other way, shape or form around that one.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay. Well, that’s great, and congratulations on progress there, and that’s great stuff. And so, I want to hear a little bit now, I guess, in those moments where the rubber meets the road, it’s like you’ve set forth a resolution, a goal, and then the moment comes where you got to do something, whether it’s sending email to start networking for a job, or go to the gym, or make a healthy meal, or whatever it is. You say, “This time I’m going to be doing this resolution.”

And then people often fall short. So, you’ve got some champion habits and discipline and motivation. Can you walk us through, how do we tap into big motivation and kind of power through when we just don’t feel like it?

Edward Latimore
Okay. So, the thing about motivation, what’s really important is that you need to, one, get in touch with the reason you’re doing a thing, or rather the thing that makes you excited. For me it was always to be better than myself or my old self. I always like learning and mastering a new skill. I mean, that’s why I got into boxing and that’s why I’m studying physics of all things I could study, right? Because I want to see, “Am I good enough to do it?” And that’s, for me, personally.

Some people are excited about money. Some people are excited about attention. Some people are about making someone jealous. You know, get away from the good and bad, just think about what makes you act. And we can use that as kind of the emotional coal in the furnace of action, right? And that’s really important.

In terms of making things happen after that, the consistency, you kind of have to separate yourself from yourself. You got to look and go, “Okay, if we’re going to like run every day for three miles because we’re training for a 5K,” and that’s miserable. It is not going to be enjoyable especially if you don’t do that every day, and that initial pain will kind of make you want to shy away.

Well, first thing you got to remember, you really want to look good. Let’s say that’s your need, you want to look good with your shirt off. So, that’s like what’s going to get you out there. What’s going to keep you coming back after the pain, after all the hurt, is you’ve separated yourself and you said, “Okay, that guy, that person I was, who maybe did not look good with this shirt off, I’m not going to be him and I’m just going to keep chipping away, chipping away, chipping away.” And that comes with a time perspective. There’s other things that go into it, you’ve got to remember some things take a long time.

A lot of people will get so fixated on this idea of instant gratification or things coming quickly that it just derails them and eats them away when they see that, like, “Oh, I’ve been running for a week and I still can’t see my abs.” Well, no, you just keep at it. And what it’ll keep running along with that motivation, measuring little tiny improvements. If you can get a little quick success, I wish I could remember where I read this because I tried to Google it, so it makes me think maybe I made it up, but it sounds reasonable.

One of the reasons why children stick with piano, or apparently more children stick with piano than the violin. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to make the piano sound good. You grab a quick success, and you’re like, “If I’ve done that I can get some more successes.” And I’ve tried to learn to play the violin. Man, that is not cool on your neck, right?

It takes a long time to make the violin sound good, much longer than it takes to make the piano sound good. So, if I’m a kid, and I’m going to get excited, I’m going to be drawn to the piano, not because it’s easier, don’t focus on that, “I’m going to stay with the piano because I got a quick win. I immediately saw the results of my efforts.”

So, no matter what goal you’re trying to get towards, whatever thing you’re trying to improve, whatever you want to make, the rubber meets the road, you got to break it up into these little measurable points, little goal points. I mean, . . . “Okay, I see it’s working and I see it’s getting me a little closer. Now I’m not so discouraged.”

Because when people decide college is the worst, not at the beginning, not at the end, it is that middle where you’re too far long to see, that you’re too far long to quit but you’re not far enough along to see the end yet, so you got to have something to measure your goals and something to drive you along and to keep measuring them.

Pete Mockaitis
And I really like the way you really kind of kick it up a notch there when you talked about identity and standards, when you say, “I’m not going to be that guy who’s fat,” or whatever, instead of going to be this. And so, you’ve sort of taken identity and to put like the anti-identity on it, like, “I’m not going to be that. Instead I’m going to be this.” And you want to get a measurable improvement so you kind of build that motivation and keep it going and flowing.

And you’re right, I think it’s tricky there to merely think clearly about how are we going to measure the progress because it’s like, “I still can’t see my six pack. I still can’t see my six pack. I still can’t see my six pack,” isn’t really encouraging. But if you could say, “You know what, last time, when I ran one kilometer in this 5K training,” to use the metric system, “I was dead and gassed and fell to the floor.” I don’t know. “Whereas this time I was okay and I felt like I could go another half kilometer and it was all right.” And so that’s something. You can count it and celebrate it.

Edward Latimore
Not only that like maybe one day you go, “Oh, man, I got to use another hole in my belt.”

Pete Mockaitis
There you go.

Edward Latimore
“Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, I’ve improved.” So little ways you can see the improvement, because everyone starts out fired up. I think people kind of lie to themselves about what fires them up because it sounds better, it sounds politically correct. No one wants to say, “I want to look better so I can make someone jealous.” Look, man, if that’s why you want to look good, that is all fine by me because the benefit you’re going to receive is going to outweigh any type of negative.

It will eventually, or I hope anyhow, you’ll get past that. But once you have the motivation fired up to keep that going, yeah, you’re going to measure the goals. And those little goals, it’s like throwing another coal in the fire, throwing another coal so it burns long enough to keep you moving along.

Pete Mockaitis
And I like what you said in terms of you got to tap into the thing that makes you excited. And I think part of – as I reflect on my own failures – the challenge there is sometimes you tap into something that get you kind of excited, it’s like, “Oh, that’d be sort of nice, yeah.” The metaphor I liked, we talked about the coal in the fire, it’s not really like inflamed, you know. It’s not like full strength, so, maybe you could give us some guidance here. How do you know if you’ve zeroed in on it? Like we talked about making somebody jealous. I mean, in a way that has its own risks because you might do all the stuff and then they don’t care.

Edward Latimore
And then you’re like, “What happened?”

Pete Mockaitis
Like, “Yeah, you got a great body. I still don’t care.”

Edward Latimore
“Pay attention to me!” Yeah, it didn’t happen. You know, if I was to say, “Well, how do I know I’ve zeroed in on it?” I knew that it was physics for me because my story of how I ended up studying physics, I was originally going to study math and then I enlisted into the military so I could get money for school, that’s my reason.

And as part of that training for my AIT, my Advanced Individual Training, my military occupation and specialty – boy, I’m using the acronyms and now I see why the Army has so many of them – I decided that I was going to become a 94 ALPHA. And what that required was going to something called BMET, the Basic Mechanic Electronic Theory. It’s a six-week course, class is, I think, 8:00 to 5:00 every day in Fort Lee, Virginia.

And there you learn the basics of electronics and repairing all that. And I said, “Wait a second. I think I want to be an electrical engineer.” So, I went back, I came back and I went and I studied, and I took the classes, gone into engineering and part of it is physics. And then I went and did the experiment with kinematic equations where you have to figure out where something is going to land based on just the influences of the initial velocity and the angle and gravity, and it landed where it was supposed to land.

And that fired me, I was like, “Wow, that’s like magic as silly as that sounds,” because I had this idea in my mind…

Pete Mockaitis
You know, you predicted the future. That’s exciting knowing what would happen.

Edward Latimore
Right. That’s so exciting to me and I think that’s why I like the weather as well. That’s what fired me up, I was like, “Wow, that’s like a sense of wonder. I really want to know how this works for everything goes.” And, for me, that’s what drove me. It was this sense of, “Huh, this is just cool.” And that sense of learning how things worked carried me through my physics classes.

Because if I was just in there for money, for example, I’d be like, “Oh, I got it but I’m want to be a trader or something, man. There’s more money there somehow.” Or if I was just in it, “Well, cool.” I’d be like, “Man, nobody cares about physics. Listen to me.” No, but I’m there because I like learning about the universe.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay.

Edward Latimore
So, with that, my story and we take that to general boom, right? You got to have something that touches you deep enough to where you would do it if no one else cared, if there is no one else around, no one looking. I tell guys, when they come into boxing gym, and I say, “You make sure you have a reason you’re doing this sport that no one can take from you because you’re not going to make a lot of money, if you make any money at all. You’re going to be hurting and you’re not going to feel like coming but you’re kind of got to because the other guys are hopefully doing the same. You got to compete.”

Your friends probably won’t care. Most people won’t care. And you’re going to be looked at a certain way by society, for better or worse, that can, once again, mostly negatively, at least it was my experience, influence how you see yourself. So, what are you doing it for? Well, I did boxing because I like the mastery. I like learning the thing, and no one can take that away from me just like no one can take away that sense of wonder I have when I understand, for example, the significance of the center of mass in a binary star, or I understand why the potential of a conservative field should be zero.

You can’t take that away from me. So, you’ve got to find something that no one can take away from you, or, more importantly, no one, or to put it differently, no one can deny you. Like we were talking about that jealousy thing. Well, what if they don’t care? What are you going to do? Stop? Right? So, while it’s a great initial, put a big hunk of coal in the fire, the coal to keep is sustained that touch deep, that burn best maybe, those are the ones that no one can take out the fire. No one can take away from you.

Pete Mockaitis
I like that. I like that. And can you give us a final thought maybe on confidence in terms of you’ve entered some situations that are kind of scary, right? I’m sure you’ve overcome some fears along the way. What are your pro tips for making that happen?

Edward Latimore
You know, if you’ve got some time you take the Mithridatic method where you expose yourself to a little bit of danger over time and you build up your tolerance. If you don’t have that and you’re someone who’s probably in an area where you need to perform, or you need to protect, or you need to defend, the best thing I would tell you is to remember that the worst thing that’s going to happen in a situation is you’re going to die, right? And that sounds crazy because that’s what people are afraid of.

But when you see situations like that it puts most things in serious perspective like public speaking, for example. If the worst thing that can happen is you’re going to die and you consider the chances that you’ll die speaking, and you can really do this, you can go, “Wow, okay, so I’m not going to die for talking to these people,” you can relax and you might even laugh a little and lighten up and laugh at how silly you were.

Or you want to go talk to some like girls, if you’re freaked out about that. And remember, the worst thing that can happen is they can pull out a gun and shoot you. What are the odds of that happening though, right? You’re going to walk away from the encounter with your life and with some lessons too. So, that’s my tip for confidence, and really how I got it for lightning, too, is when I realized, “Well, I’m still here, and the odds of me disappearing or the odds of me being struck by lightning are so low that I just need to not think about it.”

And I’m not saying that’s easy. You kind of got to experience some rough tumbles for you to go, “Wow, I’m still here. It’s not going to kill me.” But that’ll be my biggest secret to confidence, is remember, the worst thing that can happen is you’re going to die.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, so I like that system. So, let’s see, the worst thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to die, and then it is extremely improbable that’s going to happen so you can laugh it off, so that’s a nice little mental pattern. I guess, I’m thinking, let’s imagine that speaking example, you think, “Okay. Well, the worst thing that’s going to happen is I’m going to die. That’s not going to happen. But what’s more likely is that they’ll think I’m really stupid, and that I am not management or executive material, and I’ll stagnant in my job or get fired, and not reach my dream.”

So, I think that we can quickly recognize, “Okay, I’m not going to die but something else really bad that I don’t want to happen can happen.” So, in the mental gymnastics of that sort of, “How does Ed fight back?”

Edward Latimore
Ed remembers and Ed always focuses on the process. You tricked me into referring to myself in the third person, man. But, yeah, a lot of times what we fear, we’re going to be more concrete about like that public speaking example, and they might think, “I’m immaterial for management all of a sudden.” Well, how badly do you want to be that material? You do want to be an executive, right? And they’re going to decide you’re not worth it.

Well, here’s what you do get out of this. If you’re focused on the process not the outcome, you get a lesson, you get to learn, “How can I be better because this terrible thing happened? And I didn’t get the result I wanted but I’m learning what I can learn from this to come back.” You know, a lot of our fears and the reason we’re not confident about situations because we get so focused on the outcome and we neglect the most important part – the process.

Because, remember, this is going to blow your mind, man, because it blew mine when I thought about it real tight. You can’t control the outcome. No matter how well you prepare, crazy things happen and all your preparations could be thrown out the window. And you’d be like, “What happened? How did it go this way?” Or someone could just decide to pull power or something and override whatever the work you did, and you’re like, “Man, that’s messed up, that’s crazy, that’s corrupt.” Yeah, but that’s life.

What you can do, what you always have control is the process and how you prepare, how you learn, how you see a situation. So, if you always remember you’re going to get some kind of lesson, whether the outcome is what you wanted, if you get some kind of lesson from the process, that should quell a lot of your fears because you’re going to be focused not on achieving, which is always good to focus on, or rather achieving is always a good thing, but the process of learning so you can always improve and get better even if only by an infinitesimally small amount, it’s still better than you were before.

And so many people don’t focus on it. They get so caught up in, “Did I get it?” or, “Did I make it? Did I get a score?” Okay, yeah, I mean, those are all fine and dandy and that’s how we measure the world, but I know that, ultimately, I don’t have control over that. I only have control over what I process and what I can do. And I think, if you can remember that, then you can kind of be confident there.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s good. That’s good. Well, tell me, Ed, is there anything else you want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and talk about some of your favorite things?

Edward Latimore
You know, I just want to reiterate the process and the internal portion of any goal or any activity is so important, that’s why I stress, and some of the kids I may tutor or teach boxing stuff to, that I always stress, “Find a reason that people can’t take away, and focus on the process. These are all internal things. And you have to find something that motivates and moves you internally. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of the world.”

Pete Mockaitis
All right. Perfect. Well, now, can you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Edward Latimore
I don’t know any quotes in particular. But I’ll tell you what, I love listening or I love the book The Art of Learning which is like I’m not affiliated at all. It’s like years old. I don’t even know if you’ve read it. Have you ever read it?

Pete Mockaitis
Is that Josh Waitzkin?

Edward Latimore
Yeah. Yes, I love that book because he breaks down how he learns and what he learns from it in a really interesting way. He shows how his mentor and physical activities influence his emotions and vice versa, and the most motivating idea. I tell people I love that book. I love that book. You should read that book. Because if you can get any kind of control in how you think and how you react to a situation, you’ve got something to work on.

You have something to interrupt the habit. Anything. And I think that will make a person more aware of how they go about doing things. And it’s only when you become aware of something that you can start to work on it and influence it. So, yeah, I don’t remember a quote but I would say everyone should read The Art of Learning.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s good. Thank you.

Edward Latimore
And my book, but definitely The Art of Learning.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s good. And how about a favorite tool, something you use often that helps you flourish?

Edward Latimore
Oh, man. Let me see, I’ve got two that immediately came to mind.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, we can use two. That’s fair.

Edward Latimore
Okay. So, note cards. You can’t see but there’s like two or three stacks of unopened, plus the ones I’m using now, while I study. That’s my favorite tool. Period. And I know it’s a little old-school. I know there’s like Trello and different apps like that where you can write it digitally. But there is something to be said about the physical connection of writing notes and going back through them later and flicking through them and just seeing that. So, yeah, note cards to learn, note cards to jot out ideas for. For posts, I put it on my site. I love note cards.

Pete Mockaitis
All right.

Edward Latimore
The other thing, the other tool is explaining things to people who are not necessarily from that discipline and making sure they understand it. Because if I can make someone who – because my girlfriend who does work in International Studies. If I can get her to understand that the Broglie wavelength and why physical things have a wave-like characteristic, then that means I understand it because she has no clue.

But if she goes, “Yeah, I guess I get that,” that means I did a good enough job of breaking things down. And I think that’s called the Feynman technique of explanation maybe. So, those are my two favorite tools – note cards and the Feynman technique. If it wasn’t for that, well, boxing, writing, physics, who knows where I would be. It’s helped me learn so much and I think it’s a very powerful tool for anyone who are looking to add new skills or develop or create something new in their lives.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, cool. Thank you. And how about a favorite habit, a personal practice of yours that makes all the difference?

Edward Latimore
I am really a big fan of waking up early, and not so early that like I’m not one of those guys that’s up at like I’m referring to Jocko Willink. But he’s always up and he flashes his watch, and I’m like, “Man, thank goodness you are protecting our country, man, because I love getting up early but I could never do it.” But I do like to beat the sun up. That’s like my goal no matter what time of year it is because I really think there’s something magical about those hours.

And I know that’s like the most unscientific thing but I really think that if you can learn to be productive when most people aren’t, you’re automatically going to just look at the world differently. If you know that you’re up at 5:00 o’clock working on maybe you want to write a book, or you want to learn a new language, or just running because you want to improve your health, and you’re out and you know that most people are asleep, that’s going to change over time how you see yourself relative to the world.

You’re going to go, “I’m a person. I’m a different. I’m willing to put the work in. I know that I can get past not only where everyone else but where I am now because I’m willing to do something that I can look around and see most people aren’t willing to do.” And that’ll give you confidence. That’s another source of confidence.

Pete Mockaitis
And, tell me, is there a particular nugget or piece that you share that really seems to connect and resonate with folks? They retweet you, they quote you, they start taking notes when you say it.

Edward Latimore
My most popular tweet is something I just said just combining my life experience and making a joke, but I guess it was a good point. And I always tell people, because the crackheads will work four days straight to get enough money to get high. And if a crackhead is willing to put that kind of effort in, how are you working on your goals? What are you working towards? Do you want to get outworked by a crackhead?

And I was just joking but that turned in, and it’s really blown up. And I guess it is true. What I did is put it in a different way than people were expecting and, “Don’t get outworked by a crackhead.”

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I could see why it’s re-tweeted because it’s just so original. I cannot conceive of a quote I’ve heard that’s similar. I guess there’s that ancient, what is it, a riddle, or allegory or an illustrative tale. A fable, that’s what I’m looking for. The word is fable. About the guy who puts the person’s head in the sea, and then says, “What did you want?” “I wanted to breathe.” “Oh. Well, then, you’ve got to want your goals that bad.” Well, I mean, you stated it much more succinctly and delightfully so I’m going to go with the crackhead instead of the breathing underwater fable.

Edward Latimore
Don’t get outworked by a crackhead. And you know what’s funny, I’ll tell you about where I came from. You know, I grew up in the projects, and I remember one day we were out, it was like 9:00 in the morning, I was like nine, maybe ten. And we were on our way to the bus stop, me and my sister and my mom, and there were these two junkies.

I remember they came scuttering by, and my mom said, “Yeah, I haven’t seen these ones. They’ve been out for like three to four days straight chasing that rock.” And that always stuck with me for years. And so, one day I just combined that to some hard work, and really, yeah, people get the idea, “Don’t get outworked by a crackhead.”

Pete Mockaitis
Right. Thank you. Well, Ed, if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Edward Latimore
Definitely my website www.EdLatimore.com, and my Twitter handle EdLatimore. Those are where I’m most active.

Pete Mockaitis
All right. And do you have a final challenge or call to action you’d issue to folks seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Edward Latimore
Yeah, there’s probably something you’re putting off right now. I’m speaking loud like I’m talking to a group of people, I just realized. But, yeah, there’s probably something that you’re putting off right now that you know will make a difference. And usually the more you put it off the bigger difference it’ll make. So, whatever you’re putting off, look at it and then go, “Okay, I’m going to go and get this done. Whatever it is.”

It might be something personal, it might be something business, but whatever it is, do it and see how your life improves. Maybe it improves by a bigger margin than you thought, maybe by less. But the point is, now it is done and you’re able to look at it, and go, “I did that.” And that builds confidence. We keep going back to that confidence idea. That builds confidence that you can get things done, and that you’re not a slave to procrastination.

Pete Mockaitis
Awesome. Well, Ed, this has been a whole lot of fun and insightful and enjoyable, so thank you for taking this time, and I wish you tons of luck in boxing, in physics, in chess and all the stuff you do.

Edward Latimore
All right. Hey, thank you for having me, man. I really appreciate it and very grateful, like I said, for anyone who takes the time to listen to me ramble about some of my ideas.

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