Guardian Academy Ten Commandments
Level 1 - ...And That's Okay
Welcome future Guardian!
Inside we go a mile deep exploring concepts to improve your health, wealth, and wisdom. But over the last 10+ years we have observed one constant with our members: people struggle with consistently applying the fundamentals. Whether it’s out of fear, greed, or hopium - they abandon the basics and chase the complicated stuff. This is when they blow themselves up and end up 10-steps back.
More people would be further along if they mastered the basics. So instead of hype & complicated stuff we're going to outline the ten most important things to learn. These are the Ten Guardian Academy Commandments.
Commandment 1: The Healthy Man Has 1000 Wants, The Sick Man Only Has One.
If you’re filthy rich but your body doesn’t work, your mind is a prison, and the only people around you are paid to be there… are you really wealthy?
Health is a top priority. And we mean both physical and psychological.
Your health will help you get rich, and it will help you stay wealthy. So carve out the time to focus on your health and wellness. It might seem like "now is the time to grind" - and it might be. But if you neglect your health and well-being for too long, you will blow yourself up and take yourself out of the game.
We have suggestions, frameworks, and experts that we use and recommend but the truth is this: we’re not overly dogmatic about how you do it. Choose whatever methods you are most likely to stick with consistently and start now.
Being unhealthy is a negative flywheel. The longer you act in an unhealthy way, the more deeply your bad habits become ingrained. The bad habits reduce your energy, and energy is what you need to change the habits. The longer you wait, the less vital reserve you have to dig yourself out of the hole.
And if you are unhealthy and rich, your ‘empire’ is fragile. All it takes is one kick in the teeth to knock you out of the game forever. We’ve been around long enough to know, everybody gets kicked at least once in their life.
When you choose health, you choose wealth. Health is a positive flywheel. Your healthy actions become healthy habits. They give you energy, and it doesn’t take energy to maintain the habits. You can allocate your energy to the worthwhile pursuits in your life. Your sense of purpose emerges and you don’t have to draw on your vital reserve. In fact, you have more energy to pursue what you value as being worthwhile.
If fitness is a huge focus for you, you can subscribe the Fitness Section of The Guardian Academy here.
Commandment 2: Walk The Earned Path. Nobody is going to do your pushups for you.
“Seeking dopamine without effort will destroy a person”
- Andrew Huberman.
Throughout the history of Moo Doe in East Asia, there have been two paths that a person can follow. One is “Chung Doe”, which they consider the "right path". The other is Pa Doe or the "wrong path".
Chung Doe is the most efficient path up the mountain for the strong and well-adapted. It is the path that leads to growth and development. The more contemporary and useful translation of Chung Doe is: "The Earned Path".
Pa Doe represents the man-made trail of convenience and weakness. It is the path of seeking pleasure or reward without effort. Pa Doe is the path of self-destruction through entitlement. In today's setting, Pa Doe represents entitlement.
The Guardian Academy walks the Earned Path. We do not seek cheap dopamine without effort. We do not walk the path of the Entitled.
This gives us a tremendous advantage to get ahead. It also gives our children an advantage.
In the year 2023, we see generations of adults trapped in perpetual childhood. They have been robbed of the opportunity to earn - they have become entitled. Walking the earned path gives you great power over your future. It also provides an example of posterity.
Carrying someone that is capable of learning how to walk is crippling them for life. The entitled traveler wants to be carried. And they carry others under the guise of "being nice". Crippling someone for life is not nice.
Do not rob people of their ability to earn.
We will not rob you of yours.
Commandment 3: Know Yourself. Everything Is a Mirror.
There is a wise man who has walked Chung Doe his whole life. One day, while on a hike outside his hometown he happens upon a traveler. The traveler asks him, “do you live in the town down there?” to which the man replies, “yes”. The traveler asks, “what are the people like in the town?” The wise man responds with a question, “what are the people like in the town from which you came?” And the traveler replies “they were all dishonest, selfish assholes”.
And the old man replied to the entitled traveler, “I’m sorry but you will find everyone in my town are also dishonest, selfish assholes.” Disheartened, the traveler took the fork in the path to bypass the town and continue looking out there.
The next day, the man was on the path and happened on a second traveler who asked him the same set of questions. “Is this your town?” “Yes” “What are the people like?” “What were they like where you came from?” “They were wonderful! Healthy, wealthy, wise and they knew themselves!” Can you guess what the old man told this traveler?
Most people can't make money and find peace because they can't see the nature of reality. They can't see the nature of reality because they can't see themselves.
If you can't see yourself, what you believe to be reality is not reality, it is a reflection of yourself.
Imagine looking out a window and seeing everything that you love "out there". Now imagine looking out the same window and seeing everything you hate "out there". This is the perspective of an Entitled traveler; always looking out the window to see the world. What seems to be a window is actually a mirror. What we love or hate in others, we actually love or hate about ourselves.
The problems "out there" [the window] are actually problems "in here" [the mirror].
Until we are honest about what we are and what we are not, we are victims - and cannot walk the Earned path. We must work to break the delusion so we are no longer victims.
There are other advantages to knowing yourself. Your biggest advantage is unique to you. Until you truly understand yourself, you won't know what that advantage is.
This is another reason health and wellness is our number one priority. Physical challenge starts to crack the delusion of self.
You can hide from many of your insecurities, but you can’t hide from the fact that you’re out of breath and your hamstrings are tight. We must fight to keep a clear and accurate vision of ourselves so that we can see the nature of reality.
Break the delusion, before pointing fingers, look in the mirror. Learn to see the nature of reality.
Commandment 4: Don’t Choose The Certainty Of Misery
“Most prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty”
Imagine you’re faced with two doors:
Door #1: 100% chance of staying in a current situation, but you’re miserable
Door #2: 5% chance of being much happier
Which door would you pick? A zero percent chance of being happy? Or a five percent chance of being happy? The obvious choice seems to be door #2.
Most pick door #1, “The Devil You Know”.
Most people choose to stay miserable because it's familiar. The unfamiliar is scary. What if it’s worse than what I’ve got right now?
If you are going to choose to stay in a job, relationship, or partnership that is miserable, that’s OK. But the Guardian Academy is not the place for you.
You cannot be healthy, wealthy, or wise if you are choosing misery. Period. You must be able to embrace short-term uncertainty to improve your life.
Of course, some things need to be exited strategically and gracefully. But first, you have to make the choice to stop opting into the certainty of misery.
We will provide as many resources and as much support as we can.
But the choice has always been and will always be yours.
Commandment 5: Never Stop Learning
Truth is, most adults stopped learning a long time ago. Trying to protect their identity of being "smart" they stopped challenging themselves, intellectually.
But learning is not strictly intellectual. Learning is increasing your intelligence.
Our working definition of intelligence comes from Dr. Todd Snyder:
“Intelligence is the ability to get what you want.”
So, if something increases your ability to get what you want, it has made you more intelligent. Which means knowing a thing is not learning it. Learning is changing your behavior based on new information. If your behavior doesn’t change, you haven’t learned anything - your intelligence hasn’t increased.
We must approach learning as a behavior change model. Knowing stuff and saying smart stuff is great for impressing others on the Entitled Path. On the Earned Path, we want you to get the things you want in life. Not to know about things.
A few tricks to kickstart learning and increase intelligence:
Commandment 6: Raise The Floor
Your maximum achievability is not your maximum maintainability.
If the only way for you to succeed is to always be setting a personal best, you’re in for a harsh reality.
The easiest way to make rapid improvements is not to do better than your best. Most people are obsessed with hitting higher highs - bigger peaks. But if you went into the gym and maxed out every set, not only would you stop making progress, you’re also at higher risk of injury. You are not your highs, and chasing highs puts you at risk of being taken out of the game!
You are a rolling average, somewhere between your best days and your worst. If you want to improve your position, improve your rolling average.
The most efficient way to improve your average is to raise the floor.
Simply put, make your worst better.
Raising the floor is easier than doing better than your best. When your floor is almost as high as your ceiling you have become consistent. And you can develop consistency in 3-steps.
Step 1: Identify the bad days:
- the days you underperform the most
- the days you fall off the diet wagon and eat five whole pizzas
- the days you blow up and shout at your spouse and kids
- the workout sessions you missed completely
Step 2: Find out why they were bad days
You missed the workout session because you binge Netflix until 1am on Sunday and snooze your alarm 10 times Monday before work.
Step 3: Work to have less of them.
Instead of planning to work out at 6am Monday before work, watch the Netflix, sleep in and work out after work or another day.
Now you get better sleep, get your workout, and you don’t have to flex willpower to pull yourself away from Netflix (yet).
Your total progress will skyrocket - without needing to do better on your best days.
Focus on raising the floor eventually, it becomes on par with your ceiling. This is consistency.
Continue raising your floor and eventually, your floor is higher than everyone else's ceiling. This is legendary.Your ceiling tells us what you can achieve. Your floor tells us what you can maintain.
Raise the floor1.
It's not sexy. Until it is.
Commandment 7: Wealth Creation > Status Games
Those on the entitled path believe that “more” is the answer to everything. The pursuit of more can get you further away from what you actually want. Wealth, in our world, is getting the things that matter most to you in life.
Chasing more money can destroy your relationship with your kids.
Chasing more status can ruin a marriage.
Chasing more revenue can destroy your profits - or your life.
We are not saying that more money is bad. We are saying that our decisions must get us closer to the things that we want in life.
Trying to compete with others for “status” distracts us from the things that we value most.
Bigger stripe screenshots, better cars, and bigger social media followings mean nothing if they don’t get you closer to what matters to you.
What matters to you is unique to you. Only you know that is - another reason to know yourself.
Every decision you make should get you closer to what matters to you.
What other people want is irrelevant. Worrying about them inhibits you from actualizing your purpose.
Note: Wealth creation is about living the life that you want, not the life other people think you should want. There is no room for guilt, shame or positionality.
Wealth creation > status games.
Closer > more.
Commandment 8: No Insecurities Or Scarcity
Insecurity, jealousy, and scarcity are tools of the entitled traveler. Wealth is not zero-sum. Do you know why some smart people stay stuck? Because they believe someone else's gain is their loss.
If you are unhappy when someone else succeeds, you are on the entitled path. You should be happy if someone else has a massive success. Catch yourself if you are triggered by someone else's success because it's a sign that you are part of the problem.
If you catch yourself feeling negativity toward someone else doing well that's okay... because you caught it. Now turn it into excitement and support. There is a downside to negativity, there is no downside to supporting others in their success.
The earned path traveler is not combative with other travelers, but collaborative.
This carries over to our "labels". There will always be an "us vs them" - left vs right - a type of narrative. These labels are created to weaken people by dividing them.
Choosing sides and hating on someone because they have a different label is insecurity and weakness. It makes you feel strong in the moment, but it weakens us all.
We respect the labels that you carry.
Be sure they are unifying, not divisive.
Commandment 9: It Goes In Our Tank, Not Our Trunk
When you choose to walk the path of the Earned Traveler you will get scrutinized by the Entitled. They will be triggered by your getting better. It’s a reminder to them that they aren’t. They will attack using the two tyrants of leadership:
Scrutiny and Expectation.
First, they will scrutinize you, hoping to pull you back onto their path. When you start making better decisions for yourself, they will try to sabotage you. It's not because they don't like you, but because they don't like themselves.
They will use guilt, shame, and gossip to try and inhibit your progress. It's the ol' crabs in the bucket thing.
When you succeed, they will then expect a handout from you. Yep, the same people that tried to hold you down will ask - no expect - you to pull them up. It can be maddening - the good news is, we have tools to keep you from spinning out.
How To Diffuse The Entitled:
First, we have to make a decision. We are going to get scrutinized, there is no way around it. Are we going to drag it around in our trunk and let it weigh us down? Or are we going to put it in the tank and use it as fuel? Michael Jordan was a master of putting it in the tank.
Second, we never argue with them or justify our decisions. Simply invite them to join. They will say things like:
"I can't believe you're going to bed early and getting up so early to go to the gym. Can't you just come out and have fun like a normal person?"
To this, we would respond:
"Wanna come to the gym with me in the morning?"
That's it. Invite them along.
If they refuse, that’s okay. Our job is to handle our own business. Refusing to join you in the work nullifies their opinion. It also relieves you of any obligation to take them along with you - they opted out.
Put it in the tank.
Invite them to join.
Commandment 10: DALA
DALA stands for:
“Directions For Acting Like an Adult”
“Don't Act Like an Asshole”***
Acting Like an Asshole is behaving in a way that gets you further away from what you want. It's watering the weeds. It's pushing harder on the gas with a foot on the brake.
To be clear, we will never judge you for who you are or what you want. We will point out when your behavior is in diametric opposition to what you say you want. ie. the disconnect or dissonance between the two.
Most of us would be much further along in our journey had we made fewer mistakes in the past.
One of the greatest flaws of being human is that we fail to appreciate when bad things don’t happen. We celebrate when we put out fires, but do not celebrate when we avoid them. This creates an insidious incentive problem. It feels better to put out fires than to prevent them.
It’s also poor resource management/allocation.
Everyone is so focused on potential returns (the value that they expect) they don't appreciate risk-adjusted returns (the expected value). [Link to Expected Value is Not The value We Expect coming soon]
Or they're so focused on speed, they don't consider the velocity - the direction they are headed.
The first step to avoid being an asshole is to stop doing stupid stuff. Again, stupid stuff is stuff that gets you further away from what you want.
Step two is realizing that staying in bad situations is the same as making new stupid decisions every day.
Remember...“most prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty”.
Some tricks and tools:
The Investor Frame: Ask yourself, given what I know today, would I opt into this current situation?
Let's say you have a rental home. It used to be your primary and it was easier to rent it out than to sell it. Right now it's worth $350,000. The investor frame will ask:
"If I had $350,000 right now, would I buy this house as a rental property?"
If the answer is no, staying in it is violating your personal and economic principles. It was convenient at the time, but right now owning that home is violating your principles. DALA.
The next question is: “What would need to be true for me to say yes?”
Regardless of the answer, you have your action steps: make it a yes or get rid of it.
We got the Investor Frame concept from Dan Nicholson's book Rigging The Game. There will be much deeper dives into the nuances of the investor frame in the Guardian Academy.
Once you recapture the time, effort, and energy from violating your principles you can reallocate them to better things.
In short, you probably do not need more. You just need to recapture what you are wasting. Recapturing the waste and reallocating it to removing the next constraint will unlock the additional resources necessary. Rinse and repeat.
***DALA comes from Nicsmas 2021. It’s 16 hours of video if you dare click.
Bonus: Your Life Plan Should Exceed Your Life Span
Your life plan should exceed your life span. This is often considered "purpose" or "legacy"- something bigger than ourselves.
We’ve spent much of our professional lives making a lot of money fixing broken adults. Let’s face it, we’re all broken - and there were many things that we wish we knew much sooner.
Our purpose in Guardian Academy is to build generations of strong children.
We will never see the results of our work, but that’s the idea. That's the purpose, it's a reason to get up every day and keep us motivated, even as we get into old age.
That’s a life plan exceeding our life span.
You may not be in a place where you’re thinking beyond your lifespan - and that’s okay.
Don’t go looking for it.
Purpose cannot be made up or found somewhere. It's an emergent property - it emerges out of doing the work.
Counter to what is being taught in influencer-land, nobody starts with purpose. It emerges from intensity. Intensity is the unique stamp you put on your work. You can only put a unique stamp on your work if you have mastered the rules of your domain.
So it looks like this:
Frequency [mastering the rules through repetition] --> intensity [breaking the rules in a way only you can, your unique stamp] --> Purpose emerges.
If you're not clear on your purpose, that's okay. Get back to doing the work and let it emerge.
Underpinning: “Live To Learn. Give To Earn.”
This is not a commandment, it’s an underpinning principle. The Guardian Academy is built on the foundation of live to learn, give to earn - in that order.
First, you haven’t learned anything until you have done it. See commandment five. You might know something intellectually. But you are not it until you have improved your life by doing it. And until you are it, you have nothing to give to someone else. Focus on yourself.
Once you have fixed your own stuff you have contributed to the world in a positive way. Fixing your own stuff means you have stopped causing suffering for others. That’s a net positive. If you choose, you can “give to earn” - contribute to the Guardian Academy or any other community in a meaningful way. What you want to earn is up to you. If you prove competence, we are happy to help promote you to make you more money, get more authority or simply to give back.
Some of the companies built by TGA members from contributing to the community:
The Guardian Academy Structure explains how to piggyback off of us to get more of what you want. But you must do the work for yourself, first.
Walk the Earned Path.
….Luck does not favor the Entitled.
Live to learn. Give to earn.