33 Lessons from Boxing, Book Writing, Building a Business and Being a Dad

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Another year has come and gone.  Looking back, as cliche as it sounds, time really does fly by when you’re working your ass off.  The past year has had its fair share of wins, challenges, breakthroughs, ups, downs and moments where I wanted to quit everything.  Everything has been amazing and everything has sucked. This blog is a gathering of my thoughts and lessons from my 33rd year on this planet – I hope you enjoy them.

1. I took up boxing about halfway through year 33. I’ve always been a fan of the sport, but I never jumped into actually learning the sweet science.  Life is too short to avoid trying new, challenging and uncomfortable things. It’s been an incredible undertaking to learn the basics and master the beginner levels of boxing.  I must say I am quite happy that I decided to start. After working out for 20 years the feeling of being a beginner is truly refreshing.

2. Writing a book was a goal I wrote down for 2018.  I did it, but it wasn’t easy. The best advice I can give for such a big goal is to write daily.  That’s it. Just write daily. Don’t skip a day.

3. I love coaching people.  But there are times where people aren’t coachable.  This past year I’ve worked with quite a few amazing individuals as well as a few really bad apples. Allowing people with no morals, zero integrity and poor work ethic into my coaching program was a massive mistake.  For all you coaches reading this – be thorough when it comes to your client selection process.

4. Do what you say you’re going to do.  That mantra has been replaying over and over in my head all year.  It hasn’t been easy to do everything I’ve said I’d do – but aiming to follow through on it all has made a world of a difference.

5. In boxing you’re going to get in the face.  Sometimes you’ll see it coming and other times you won’t.  What you decide to do after that will change the course of your progression forever.  The same is true in business or life for that matter. My suggestion? Shake it off and keep going.

6. Being a decent father is challenging.  Being an incredible father is monumental.  My focus continues to be on showing up as a great dad every single day.


7. Building anything great takes time.  That goes for your body, business, relationships or Instagram followers (Follow me here).  Rushing the process tends to leave you susceptible to making big mistakes. Take your time.  What’s the rush anyway?

 

8. Many books have been written on many topics.  At times, as I was writing my book, I began to doubt myself.  After all, many great minds have written on the power of nutrition before me.  Why should I consider myself special? It wasn’t until I saw the movie “A Star is Born” and Bradley Cooper says “ Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.” that I realized my message matters.

9. Rough housing with my boys is truly one of my favorite things.  It brings our bond to new levels of strength very quickly. Putting my phone away and being present with them is incredibly refreshing.  Do yourself a massive favor and get rid of distractions for at least an hour per day.


10. Helping people each day is the fastest way to grow a business that is both profitable and fulfilling.  I get messages daily from people all around the world that have been impacted by my podcast, blog, YouTube videos, or coaching programs.  Help people more and your life will improve.

11. Boxing is both an art and a science.  The same is true with getting in shape, being a great husband, father or friend, or becoming successful.  Learning the science is super important, but putting your own spin on things is where you really get to new levels.


12. Eating healthy food is tremendously important.  When you’re constantly creating a demand for mental clarity and focus your food choices have to align with those needs. The more jam packed my schedule gets – the more I notice the positive effects of high quality food sources.

13. Shadow boxing is phenomenal cardio, but sparring is a completely different animal.  Practice is important, but don’t be surprised when real life feels much more difficult (that’s because it is).

14. My kids ask a million questions.  They are infinitely curious. It’s a reminder to never stop learning.  Learning, for me at least, keeps me mentally in the game and reminds me that there’s so much more to explore in this world.

15. The power of habits and routines was never more evident than when I was writing my book. The daily habit of putting words on paper led to an incredible accomplishment of finishing Diets Suck.

16. Having a team is necessary no matter what your goals are.  Want to be a good father ? I suggest you surround yourself with other good fathers.  My wife and I are a team when it comes to our boys. My business isn’t just me – it’s a combination of different team members who all contribute to the goal. Boxing is no different. Top boxers have a huge team of people who work together to ensure the final product is successful.  

17. One of the fastest ways to learn is to teach others.  When I learn something new – I immediately teach it to someone else.  This helps tremendously when it comes to gaining a better understanding of what you’ve learned.

18. One of the best pieces of advice I heard this past year on raising my boys is to picture them as younger versions of you.  It’s easy to lose your patience but when you imagine they are just tiny little versions of you who haven’t experienced all that you’ve experienced – it changes perspective. I’ve noticed a massive shift in my level of patience after hearing this advice.

19. Sleep is not overrated.  In fact, I consider it the beginning of my day.  If I don’t start my day with 7-8 hours of sleep, I know I won’t be 100% on top of my game.  I’m sure there are people who will argue that they don’t need a lot of sleep. Good for them. Personally, sleep is an incredible tool.

20. Writing my book was an amazing accomplishment, but it’s not what I’m most proud of.  Honestly, I’m most proud of my marriage and my family. These days it’s not easy to stay married and raise two boys, especially while growing multiple businesses and staying in shape.  My family is something I’m very proud of.

21. In boxing – the better counter puncher usually dominates.  You must have patience and be calculated with your punches in order to beat your opponent.  The same is true in life. Don’t overreact to life – be proactive and patient.

22. My boys are already imitating everything I do.  Want a wake up call? Have kids. They’ll mimic all your bad habits – which, if you’re anything like me, will drive you to correct yourself quickly.

23. I’m going to get vulnerable with lesson #23.  I’m scared as hell of death. Not because I don’t have faith in God, but because I love my family so much.  The idea of leaving them behind is truly agonizing. I am a Christian and I believe in Heaven, but I’ve never been there nor has anyone else. How am I dealing with this? By simply praying and living as best I can each day to ensure my family feels loved.

24. Reading is my secret super power.  Ever since I was a kid, the more I read – the better my life gets.  I read all types of books and I encourage you to do the same.

25. I’ve avoided watching the news this entire year.  I haven’t missed it at all. I still catch the big headlines, but I don’t get sucked into the petty crap that only distracts me from getting things done.

26. My sparring partners in boxing aren’t afraid to jab me in the face.  In life, you need people in your corner who will keep it real with you.  I’m thankful for my sparring partners in all areas of my life.

27. This past year I had my first ever major surgery.  More than anything this reminded me of the importance of health. I was out of commission for almost a week and it drove me nuts.  Take care of your health – it’s the most important thing we have.

28. Day dates with my wife saved our relationship this past year.  Date nights weren’t possible for an extended stretch – so we opted to take a day off every few weeks and spend it together while the kids were in school.  I highly suggest you give it a shot.

29. I stopped taking myself so seriously this past year.  It’s important to laugh at yourself from time to time.  After all we do some really weird and wild things.

30. The more I take time to be grateful for what I have – the more abundance comes into my life.  When I’ve focused on what I don’t have – that’s when things get worse. Appreciate the blessings you have and life will improve.

31. Don’t avoid doing the little things you’ve always wanted to do.  I’m starting a movie review company in 2019. Why? I’ve always wanted to do it.  Life’s too short to not do what I dream of doing.

32. Writing my book gave me ideas for 10 more books to write.  Yes, 10 more. Sometimes tackling a huge project gives you incredible clarity on how to tackle even bigger ones.

 

33. I’ve created a life motto to live by and I want to share it with you:  Hug and kiss the people you love, stay active, eat well, laugh daily and remember – life moves fast so make it count.  

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