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How Self-Care Fuels Success

Episode #737

How does self-care contribute to sustained high performance?
What are some common misconceptions about self-care, and how do they affect individuals’ well-being and success?
This episode revolves around the challenge of neglecting self-care while striving for high performance. Tim and Arthur discuss how men often perceive self-care as a secondary priority, leading to a focus solely on work and external responsibilities. This neglect ultimately results in depleted energy levels, a lack of fulfillment, and strained relationships, posing a significant obstacle to achieving sustainable success and a balanced life.
In this episode, you’ll learn about the critical importance of prioritizing self-care as an act of self-love and its direct correlation to sustained high performance.
Tim and Arthur emphasize the significance of identifying and addressing energy drains while incorporating activities that fill one’s emotional, mental, and physical buckets. Moreover, they highlight the necessity of maintaining a rhythm of self-care, ensuring that individuals have ample capacity to navigate the demands of their personal and professional lives effectively.

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Tim Matthews  00:23

Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Powerful Man Show. I’m your host, Tim Matthews, with my co-host, the King, the one and only Arthur Magoulianiti.

Arthur Magoulianiti  00:35

Good morning. Good morning.

Tim Matthews  00:37

How you doing, brother?

Arthur Magoulianiti  00:38

I’m good, thank you.

Tim Matthews  00:39

Nice to be here again in the chair with you.

Arthur Magoulianiti  00:42

It’s awesome to be here.

Tim Matthews  00:43

Yeah. So what I want to talk to you about today, the topic on the table is how self-care fuels success. I’m curious, what’s your experience with self-care and the relationship between success? And obviously the opposite as well, both for yourself and also for the guys?

Arthur Magoulianiti  01:01

Yeah, well, it’s a big subject because this is something we often see with the guys, and this is something that a lot of people neglect. I like to go back to the whole idea of being a high performer, which is what we all try to aspire to, I believe. And high performance is really about being able to produce at a high level continuously. But where I see a lot of guys going is that they do these sprints and then they sort of fall off because they can’t sustain.

And as human beings, we can’t sustain continuous effort. And so what do we need to do? We need to look at life as a marathon and not a sprint. And if we break that all down, it comes down to looking after ourselves, to being able to manage our state and our energy, which then means, okay, so how do we do that? And we go all the way back to self-care. Self-care gives us that, let’s call it the ingredients to be able to show up in a way that. To live life large and without that, we just, on a slippery slope, just losing energy, showing up less powerfully, and then as a result, not getting the RESULTS  that we want.

Tim Matthews  02:14

I love that. I love what you said there. So I think it’d be smart just to define self-care right now. How would you define it?

Arthur Magoulianiti  02:20

So self-care is really filling your buckets. It’s meeting your own needs. Yes, we have needs that we get met through a relationship, but we all have our own needs that we can meet ourselves and satisfy ourselves. And so I call them as buckets call them, fuel buckets. Our own unique blend of energy requirements. So self-care could be whatever you feel you need so that you can recover, reenergize, and then hit the road again.

So it could be like practices, like I’ve used this often. One of mine is just walking along the beach in the morning before the day starts. I drop off the kids, I continue down to the beach, take a walk. Being in nature, that for me is an act of self-love. I am giving myself time for something that satisfies my needs.

Tim Matthews  03:15

So why do you think self-care fuels success? What’s the relationship there?

Arthur Magoulianiti  03:20

Well, the way I see it is we can only overflow into something or somebody. What do I mean by that? If we are empty, just like we’ve just been in Banff, and we spoke about the whole thing, about energy. And part of that explanation was you can have a high performance car, and it’s heavily engineered, it can break records. It’s better than any other car out know, arguably, depending on your status of cars or your belief in cars, but it can’t budge an inch without the right fuel.

And so, yeah, it can go fast, it can go far, but without the fuel, it can’t go anywhere. And it’s got to be the right kind of fuel, not like any kind of fuel. And so for ourselves, we got this unique blend of energy that will make us perform better or not. And so if we’re not looking after ourselves, if we’re not giving ourselves the ingredients of that right fuel, then we can’t show up powerfully. Our mental state won’t be at the highest level. Our body won’t be at the highest level. If we’re not getting enough sleep, for example, we’re going to show up tired. All of that just doesn’t bode well for a continuous high performance from us.

Tim Matthews  04:34

I love that. So what are some examples of self-care? I know that you said here, walking on the beach, but what’s some other examples of self-care, in your opinion?

Arthur Magoulianiti  04:44

Sitting in silence is a great one for the masculine. Yeah, just sitting in silence with yourself, with your thoughts. Of course, an extension of that would be to be journaling as well. So journaling, which helps with reflection and planning. Others would be spending time, maybe doing a sauna, maybe doing a cold plunge. All of those help you and support you in showing up better. I mean, if you do a cold plunge in the morning, first thing, it’s not going to be nice, but you’re going to feel like a million bucks after that.

And that’s the point. The point is, how do you feel after you do these practices? You should be feeling energized. You should be feeling more full and ready to hit the world. So, yeah, so, cold plunges, saunas, working out. Big one for a lot of the guys, and including myself. What else? Meditation. That’s a great one.

We said about the walks, jogging, cycling, any sporting activity. But it can’t only be the sporting activity. A lot of people think, oh, I’ve worked out. I’ve taken care of myself. No, it’s not enough. It’s not enough. So you got to have. We’ve got the ARS. You’ve got to have a sequence of things that you do to target mental, physical example, the whole spiritual and the whole spectrum.

Tim Matthews  06:07

Yeah. It reminds me of that idea that if a plane was going down, you got to put your oxygen mask on first before you can help others. I think a lot of the high performers we work with, a lot of the CEOs, they often get into this habit of putting everybody else’s needs first and saving everybody else, be it the wife comes home, they listen to how her day was, and they do one or two.

In the beginning of working with us, I’ve seen them do one of two things. Either they just ask for their highlights, which doesn’t give the wife much time to actually be able to connect and unload and such. Or they listen, I think, and or both these two can occur, but they listen from the perspective of needing to solve. Right? Which the wife never wants them to do, and a lot of other people don’t want them to do either in their life.

But then they take on everyone’s problems, and because they’re so used to solving problems, and because a lot of them are very fast action takers, and also they can see solutions, they take it upon themselves to burden themselves with everybody else’s problems when they don’t need to. And they save people instead of leading people. A big part of what I’ve repeated to the people in our team time and time again, and even to the men, is save, don’t lead. Sorry? Lead, don’t save. Right?

And that could be leading by example, like the routines, it could be asking certain questions, but respecting that. Every person has their own journey. They get to learn their own lessons, they’ve got their own experience. So I think it’s a key perspective in maintaining self-care, not getting sucked in, and wanting to be the hero and solve everyone’s problems for them.

Arthur Magoulianiti  07:46

Yeah, 100%. And I’ll take it back to an earlier point that I made about filling your tanks so you can overflow in other people’s tanks. So if we are showing up and we are taking on too many things for ourselves, like other people’s happiness, like we spoke about yesterday, we’re going to empty those tanks quickly, and then we are on that slippery slope, okay? We don’t have our own needs met, and we’re still trying to help somebody else. And by trying to fix everything around us without fixing ourselves first, then we get ourselves into a spot of trouble.

So, yeah, we got to be clear on how we show up, what energizes that, and making sure that our tanks are full so that we can overflow into the right situations, not to every situation.

Tim Matthews  08:38

Yeah. I think it reminds me there’s a few things that come to mind right now. The first one is the idea that recovery, rest and recovery is a grit skill by performers. It really takes some discipline to make sure you actually allocate time to rest and recover, because so many, the high performance we work with, they could just keep going and going and going and going for many different reasons. Right? They love what they do. Usually they get a lot of their needs met. Significance, variety, contribution, all sorts. And also, a lot of guys spend more time there because they’re not getting their needs met outside of the business.

So, anyway, recovery being a grit skill is the first thing that comes to mind. Second thing that comes to mind is, like you said, the event we just did in Canada, the idea of drains versus boosts. I think a lot of guys, when they first come to us, and maybe even some guys in the movement, still have a hard time identifying the things that they have in their life currently that actually drain them.

And I think one of the reasons I believe that is, is because they’ve become so used to having so many of those things in their lives, they’ve lost touch with what it feels like to have more adventure or more play or more fun, more boosts, right? So let’s just speak to that for a second, because I’m sure there’s people listening right now that are a bit curious, like, how well am I doing with self-care? Do I have many of those drains in my life? Am I filling my bucket or not?

Arthur Magoulianiti  10:09

Sure. We can have a shifted perspective, because if we have a lot of drains on life, we can just say, I’ve got a challenging life, and that’s just the way it is. But we can turn things on a dime. We know that. And so we got to shift our perspective first to understand that and see, actually this is not normal or it doesn’t have to be this way. It might be your current normal, doesn’t have to be the normal or the standard. We spoke about energy and boosts, energetic boosts and energetic drains. And drains can be anything that is obviously draining you of energy. It could be a recurring issue at work. It could be a relationship, and we see that often.

And it doesn’t have to be just your intimate partner. It could be your friends draining your energy. We look to improve our lives and increase, sort of raise our standards, but if we have a friend that constantly reduces us or drags us down, that’s a drain. So we want to be quite critical in looking at what are the drains in our lives and look at all the different areas. Friends, intimate relationships, things at work, things at home, you sitting on your phone the whole day just doom scrolling. That could be considered an energy drain.

Tim Matthews  11:22

Oh, big time.

Arthur Magoulianiti  11:23

Yeah. Although a lot of people do that to veg out even constant reading. If you are vegging out just reading a novel, that’s actually low grade energy drain. Yeah, you’re relaxing, so I guess that’s not bad. But from your mind, that’s just like junk food. And a lot of people escape to that. Whereas there would be better, more productive ways to sort of active recovery. That’s what we need to look at. It’s not just vegging out. That’s not self-care. Well, let’s call it the very low grade self-care. That’s not giving you the best. There’s active recovery, and those are things that you actually got to do a little bit of effort to just put you in a better state.

So it behooves us. There’s that word of love to do an audit regularly, whether weekly or monthly, to figure out, okay, in the past week, what has drained me, what has brought me down, and then seeing if there’s a reoccurring pattern there that then I can address and reconfigure.

Tim Matthews  12:28

Yeah, I think a great question that guys can ask themselves is, okay, if you were to have three days out of your business right now, you could not work for the next three days, what would you do? And I think if a lot of guys struggle to answer the question, I don’t expect guys to have an instant answer, but ideally, within 5, 10 minutes of reflection, they could think, okay, do you know what, I’m going to go and play the guitar or go for a walk on the beach or just having some kind of intuition around what they would like to do, to be and fill up and go be a hobby or whatever it may be adventure, right?

But I think the idea for a lot of guys of, hey, you cannot work for the next three days, would often fill them with dread and panic and worry. Like, what am I going to do? There’s be a restlessness there. And I think if you feel that way through the idea of this question, right, if you can’t work for the next three days, what would you do? I think it’s a telltale sign that your self-care probably gets to be looked at and you get to get clearer on what you would actually do to fill your cup. That isn’t just a check the box. Like, working out is great for self-care, right?

But as we’re talking here, there’s kind of three themes that come to mind for me. You’ve got your routines, so you’ve got your ARS, Alpha decompression within your ARS, you’ve got your working out, so you’ve got your key things that help to put some good fuels into the engine. You’ve then got your activities where you can fill your cup, right? So ideally, those activities wouldn’t be things necessarily that you do in your routines.

Okay, there’ll be some overlap there, right, because journaling, breath work, those kind of things working out, cold plunge, sauna, they’re going to put you in a nice state and make you feel good. But these cupfuling things that you get to do is kind of like going and dating yourself. Whether it’s for you smoking a cigar for an hour on your own, solitude, for me, mountaineering, whatever it may be. Right? And the third thing is rest and recovery. Right?

And again, there can be some overlap between these three. I don’t think these three exclusive of one another. There’s very much a sweet spot within each of these. But I think if all you’ve got is a routines and you’re not doing anything to take yourself off and fill your cup, or you’re not resting and recovering, you’re only going to be able to go so long, right?

The engine is going to begin to wear out, you’re going to get issues, the car is going to begin to have problems. There’s going to be warning signs that come on the dashboard unless you’re actually taking that car into the garage every so often and making sure it’s getting maintained. That’s the cup filling thing. Right? Or putting certain fuels in it and the rest and recovery.

Arthur Magoulianiti  15:20

Yeah, I love that. And I think there’s two points here. One is that and we see this often, guys do the ARS as a checkbox item. All right. Oh, they told me to do this, I got to do this tick. And for the most part, you still get the benefit, but not the complete benefit. If you’re seeing it as a task you have to do, you have to be enjoying what you do in order to get the full benefit and to fill your bucket completely. So that’s a key fact there. And so if you’re doing things just for a checkbox item, just to tick it off your list, shift it up, change it, what do you need to do to that thing so that you still enjoy doing it and then tick it off?

Tim Matthews  15:58

Yeah, that’s the other thing I was thinking of. Reminds me of the exercise, or one of the exercises we take the men through on day three of the reset, the idea of having them really take inventory of their life. And I think that’s what the listeners could do right now. Right? You were kind of alluding to it earlier. If you’re resonating with this, like Dougie Fresh always says, at the moment of insight, take massive action, obviously, pull over, save the podcast, whatever.

But I think what you get to do here is actually take inventory. Get a sheet of paper. I love this exercise. Sheet of paper, line down the middle, a plus in the left hand column, minus in the right hand column, and just reflect on what you have going on in your life, the people. So be it the conversations you’re in with those people, the people you have in your life in general. Could be personal, could be professional, whatever it may be, family, the projects that you have going on in your life, the hobbies and how you spending your free time and just continue to take inventory. You could even look at it from each of the five territories, right? Self-health, wealth, relationships and business.

And if you’re struggling, even go back, bring up your calendar for the past week, have a look at how you’ve spent your time, and then categorize these things. Is it the left hand column where it’s a plus? It’s a boost, essentially, right? Maybe you find that going and having lunch with a few friends on Thursday, like a business lunch, where you guys get to brainstorm and enjoy great food. Maybe that’s a plus, right?

However, maybe some of the projects you’re involved in or the role that you are playing in your company is a drain. You don’t like it, or you might find that some things are in the middle. Right? There’s a good portion of one particular thing, be it a project, a relationship, whatever it may be that fills you up. But there’s also some things of it that it’s a drain that goes in the middle, that’s on the fence. Once you’ve created this list, and I would very much encourage you to take some time to reflect on this. Right? I love doing this exercise. Have you done this?

Arthur Magoulianiti  18:14


Tim Matthews  18:15

Once you’ve taken some time to reflect on this, actually have a look at it, where are things allocated? How many things do you have on the charge, how many on the drain and how many on the fence? In my experience, most guys have a hell of a lot on the fence and a lot in the drain and a few in the charge.

And that’s key feedback, because let’s say you’re doing those three things. Let’s say you’ve got your routines dialed in. You are doing things sporadically to fill your cup, right? You’re taking some time to rest and recover. But if throughout the day, you are spending 80% of your time doing draining things, be it the people you’re around, the conversations you’re in, the projects you’re working on, whatever it may be, then it’s going to be very difficult. You’re always going to be playing catch up with your self-care. Right?

And I get it. Some guys will say, oh, well, you just don’t get it. I’m not able to get rid of those things out of my life. And I’m curious, what advice would you give to those people? Because I can think of several instances where guys have said, no, it’s just not possible for me to not be involved in that thing in my business, or that person has to be in my life, or, no, you just don’t get it. I just can’t change the conversations I’m in.

Arthur Magoulianiti  19:33

Yeah, well, I’d say everything is figureoutable. All right? Everything is figureoutable. And there’s always multiple options, even though you may not be able to see it right now. Great example is one of the things we love doing with guys is take off Friday. And I remember a great story with one of our previous clients. Right? It was just like, take Friday off. And when I mentioned it to him, he started laughing at me. He actually laughed in my face. He said, you don’t understand. There is no way I can take Friday off.

Well, fast forward six months and he was taking Fridays off. Okay? And so a lot of the time we get caught up in a perspective that says it’s impossible. And so if we shift that perspective, there are multiple examples, thousands, where perspective shifts and then you see the way to do something. So, yeah, I’d say, okay, maybe 1% or 2% it’s not, but I think for most people it’s all figureoutable. But I want to just deviate quickly and make a point here that I’ve been wanting to say for a while. Self-care is an act of self-love.

Tim Matthews  20:41

Yes, I love that point.

Arthur Magoulianiti  20:42

And it’s how we love ourselves. And so a lot of guys find it difficult to prioritize self-care because they think, well, one, because they don’t think it’s at that important, and I hope we’ve addressed that. But two, it’s an act of self-love. So how do you love yourself? Right? This is how you love yourself, caring about yourself enough to prioritize yourself in your day, as opposed to prioritizing everybody else and everything else.

Tim Matthews  21:11

I love that. And I want to go back to that point you made at the beginning. When we show up to relationships, let’s say it’s with your wife, your partner, without self-care, you often look to that other person, or we often look to the other person to then fill us up.

And that’s the trap that a lot of guys find themselves in. And it’s a burden. The wife feels right. She doesn’t want to feel it. And the way the guys often then look for her to fill them up is through affection, attention, sex, whatever it may be. And it’s a very needy energy, and it comes across and it repels the wife, quite frankly. And it also repels success, too, if they were to show up that way in business. Right? Imagine taking that energy into negotiations. Imagine taking that energy into making key decisions. Imagine taking that energy into leading their teams. It’s going to have the same effect. It’s going to repel whatever it is they’re trying to do, not attract it.

Now, the inverse is also true for guys. Like you said, when they begin to do these acts of self-care and prioritize themselves, they begin to fill their cup, and their overflow then goes to everybody else. Be the staff, the family, whatever. People then get the best of them instead of the rest of them. Yes, I think it’s incredibly important because there’s a lot of faulty assumptions. I think a lot of men have when they first come to, well, come to us around self-care. I’m too busy. You just don’t get it. I just can’t do those things. I’m curious. What are there some faulty assumptions, you’ve heard the guys tell you about self-care?

Arthur Magoulianiti  23:00

Well, you mentioned one earlier on. It’s like, I don’t need to look after myself. I’m just a high performer. Was born that way.

Tim Matthews  23:08

I’ll out hustle anybody. I’ll outwork anybody.

Arthur Magoulianiti  23:10

Yeah. I love stress. I love working hard. I don’t need another one. I don’t need sleep. 3 hours of sleep is enough for me.

Tim Matthews  23:18

It used to be a badge of honor, right?

Arthur Magoulianiti  23:21

Yeah. It’s all this hustle mentality. And what I like to say is, you may think that, right, but biology suggests otherwise.

Tim Matthews  23:31


Arthur Magoulianiti  23:32

And you cannot beat biology. Right?

Tim Matthews  23:33

I think another key point there as well is they often tell themselves the story, okay, this is just a phase. When I get to this point, then it’ll change, and then I’ll stop. And obviously it goes goal post move, and it doesn’t become a phase, it becomes a lifestyle.

Arthur Magoulianiti  23:50

Yeah, exactly. I’m sure I’ve heard that from you as well. But, yeah, it’s like this is the norm, and it just cycles. We have to take a step back and get real with ourselves and get really serious and say, actually, is this a pattern that’s just repeating itself with intermittent breakdowns in between?

Tim Matthews  24:13

Yeah, I’ve definitely been guilty of that over the years. This is just a phase. When it gets to this point, then I’ll take my foot off the gas or I’ll do whatever. It’s funny, when I’ve had those conversations with Amelia, like, setting the expectation, okay, this is going to be, like, a busy six weeks or eight weeks. She looks at me. Sure, you sat down with me about six months ago and said the same thing, and it just seems to go from one thing to another. Yeah, okay, you’re right.

Arthur Magoulianiti  24:39

And the problem with that, for us and everyone out there, is that when the downward spiral comes, it’s not a recovery, it’s more like a burnout. And, yeah, you’ll recover from that, but you actually land up going a lot further down than you should have or needed to have done if you had managed your state.

Tim Matthews  25:03

Yeah, an interesting thing when you say that. So, we did a podcast a while ago, Doug and I, the idea of work life balance, and we spoke about how it’s a myth, and instead it’s more about rhythms. Right? Which I think is an important point to just pick up on because I don’t want people listening to this to think, okay, well, I should always be in this perfect stake. That’s what self-care looks like, right?

So I think that point of managing your stair, let’s just elaborate on that a little bit. So it can feed into that idea of the rhythm versus the balance, where everything is always the same. It’s never going to change because the seasons. Right? There’ll be times when things do need to get done and you’ve got to spend more time in the business or more time in the relationship or whatever it may be.

Arthur Magoulianiti  25:44

Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, I agree. There’s no such thing as balance. There will be times that you have to devote more effort into one of the five areas that we look at, whether it’s business or relationship or whatever. And so I love the concept of having a rhythm. And it’s what I was saying earlier on. We are in a marathon and not in a sprint. And in a marathon, at times, you might take a little bit easier, you might go a little bit faster, you got a pace. And I think what we’re saying here is not that you need to take your foot off the accelerator. What we’re saying here is by self-care, you actually got more speed. If you want to put it into that simple analogy, you got more capacity, but you cannot be redlining it continuously.

And the other side, just going back to the previous point where we say, guys love to drive and all of that, and that’s great, and just make sure it’s coming from ample capacity and not from your tanks being empty, because you can get caught in habits and think, that’s just me. That’s just me. But actually what you’re doing is you’re just wearing yourself down.

Tim Matthews  26:52

Reminds me of like, having a pit crew as well, in your life. Right? Finding, surrounding yourself with a group of people that help you with your self-care, be it surrounding. By surrounding yourself with a group of quality men who you can turn to and confide in and share things with. Be it finding people you can surround yourself with in your health, be it a trainer, a chiropractor, a sports therapist, whatever it may be to help keep your body attuned, finding people going back to health.

In fact, it could be the right doctors right to get your bloods done and to look at testosterone levels, whatever it may be that feeds into that, that you might need in the moment. And there can be a whole host of other people. But I think having that pit crew as well, in your life, of people you surround yourself with, keeps you in the conversation of self-care and helps put some real good practices in your life.

Arthur Magoulianiti  27:42

Yeah. And we see that every day with the guys that are involved with us and in the groups and all of that, a person will come up and said, I tried this, it was amazing. And suddenly you got eight other people trying that. And yeah, you’re right. We need a support crew, because the opposite of that is we loan wolfing it.

And if you loan wolfing it, it’s just too much to carry. Life is going so fast, moving so fast, we can’t possibly do it on our own. And so having a team is going to help you keep up with the world. Not that you have to keep up with the Joneses or anything like that, but keep up with the developments in the world that are going to help you perform better.

Tim Matthews  28:21

Beautiful. Well, guys, you’ve heard it from the King himself, Mr. Magoulianiti. Like Dougie Fresh always says, at the moment of insight, take massive action. Until next time, have a great week. We’ll see you again on the Powerful Man Show.

Doug Holt  28:38

All right, guys, that’s a wrap for this episode. But as I always say in the moment of insight, take massive action. You see, there are two types of men that listen to a podcast like this, those that go on from one podcast or show to another just hoping things are going to change and realizing that they’re going to be in the same place month after month, year after year.

You see, I was this guy so I completely get it. You may just not be ready. But there’s also a second man, a second man that listens to a show just like this. And this is a guy who takes massive action so they can shorten the learning curve, compress time, and get RESULTS to be the WOLF. See, WOLF is an acronym for Wise, Open, Loving, and Fierce.

Now ask yourself, which one am I? And just be honest with yourself there. And there’s no judgment on my end. But if you’re ready to move from deactivated DEER mode, which is Defend, Excuse, Explain, and React to activated WOLF, Wise, Open, Loving and Fierce, then go over to thepowerfulman.com/grow. And go there now. In fact, I’ll make it super easy for you. I will even put the link right in the description here so you can just click it and go over there now to learn more. Guys, in the moment of insight, take massive action. Go from deactivated to activated, because like I said, life is too short for average and I’ll see you on the next episode!