Jeff Spencer: Success Intoxication & The Champions Blueprint
By: Dave Asprey
April 21, 2015
Why you should listen –
Dr. Jeff Spencer comes on Bulletproof Radio today to discuss The Champions Blueprint and what it looks like, the value of the right corner man, the myth about reaching the top, and strategic coaching. Enjoy the show!
Jeff Spencer has been at the forefront of personal improvement and success for over 40 years. He has advanced degrees in health and wellness, and has worked with athletes in nearly all professional sports, Olympic gold medalists, and millionaire entrepreneurs. Jeff has also worked with some of the most respected organizations like Nascar, Le Tour de France, The Olympics, and the Discovery Channel. Jeff believes anyone has the power to be successful and become a champion.
What You Will Hear
- 0:09 – Welcome Dr. Jeff Spencer
- 0:16 – Personal success
- 0:55 – Working with top performers
- 2:29 – Champions blueprint
- 5:01 – Your corner man
- 9:24 – The human blueprint
- 11:27 – Top habits of a champion
- 11:50 – Jeff & Dave
- 14:35 – Top three recommendations for kicking more ass and being Bulletproof!
Questions for the podcast?
Leave your questions and responses in the comments section below. If you want your question to be featured on the next Q&A episode, submit it in the Podcast Question form! You can also ask your questions and engage with other listeners through The Bulletproof Forum, Twitter, and Facebook!
Speaker 4: Welcome, Dr. Jeff. You’ve been at the forefront of human performance and achievement for over 40 years. How have you found personal success?
Dr. Jeff: My way that I found personal success in so many different areas … I’ve been successful in healthcare. I’ve been successful in athletics. I’ve been successful in business. I can honestly say that, first off, I’ve always had a blueprint that I followed. It was able to show me where I am and where I’m headed. I also had really good mentors that were there to help me with technical decisions that I needed to make. Probably the most valuable person that I had was a cornerman. That was the person that was in my life that helped me with the life challenges of being able to move forward with confidence and certainty towards my bigger future.
Speaker 4: Beyond having been an Olympian yourself, you’ve worked with top-performing individuals like Sir Richard Branson, Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, and even U2. What did you learn about winning from people like this?
Dr. Jeff: What I’ve learned from the high performance people that I’ve worked with, U2, Maria Sharapova, Troy Glaus, it’s amazing what I’ve learned, but actually what I learned is this, is that they need help too, and they need really good guidance from people that really understand the process of what it takes to be able to create greatness, which is why I was there.
The other thing was is that success is never an accident. It’s the very deliberate outcome of very specific actions that are consistently applied. There are three things that are absolutely mandatory. Number one, you need a blueprint. You got to know where you are in the process so you can make good choices to be able to move forward. Number three, you’ve got to have a champion’s mindset. We’re not talking about positive affirmations. We’re talking about the ability to be able to capitalize and identify life’s best opportunities, and also avoid life’s worst nightmares. Finally, you need a cornerman, that person that can really guide you through the process that’s slightly different than a coach but sees the bigger picture that can tell you what you need to do in the more subtle moments that are the difference between extraordinary and good.
Speaker 4: Most people want to reach the top. Is there anything actually above the top?
Dr. Jeff: The top is actually just a little bit of a myth. It’s actually a false summit in a sense, that it gives us a sense that we’re playing with the big boys at the top but actually there’s two steps above the top, which are master and the champion, two levels above the top.
Speaker 4: What is the formula for a champion blueprint?
Dr. Jeff: The formula for a champion blueprint is this, is that history tells us, and history doesn’t lie, that there are eight very specific steps that every prolific performer goes through to be able to develop the capacity to be able to peak perform any place, any time, under any given set of circumstances. There are no exemptions from this. Everybody has to have these eight steps.
The secret to that is that when you have those eight steps that are in their proper capacity, then all of a sudden what happens is that they all come together and they create an output capacity greater than the sum of the parts, that’s often called the zone. That’s where the zone becomes your new normal.
The eight steps, this is in the champion’s blueprint that history has told us. Number one: legacy. You have to have a legacy statement at the start of the process that keeps you integrity. Step number two is vision. You got to have a vision to create the clarity to have a purpose to passionately get up to every day. Step number three is mindset. Mindset gives you the capacity to be able to commit to something and stick with it until it’s complete. Step number four is the base. This is where you build your resource capacity and your material resources that you’re going to need to safely and effectively get to the top, then on to master, then to become your champion.
Step number five is called the climb. The climb is like in Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours that it takes to create the capacity to perform at a level consistent with your ambition. Step number six is elevation. That’s once you’ve had your breakout performance where you perform at that level for the first time consistent with your ambition, you have to learn to be able to make that your new normal, because that’s not the top. That’s really a breakout. You’re still only a one-act wonder. Step sex, elevation, is to repeat the breakout performance so you own the technical process. Step number seven is adaptation. That’s where you are now playing with the big boys at the top. Most people aren’t ready for the acceleration and intensity and responsibility that’s required at the top. If they make it past the top, then they have mastered the process of success creation by merging their personal ability with their technical ability.
At that point, then you’re in step number eight, which is called ride the wave. This is where you have mastered the success process, where you can pick and choose your greatest ambitions. This is where you can add the most significant and most significant numbers of successes to your legacy.
Speaker 4: Once you’re riding the wave, is it typical to stay on the wave?
Dr. Jeff: Once you’re riding the wave, it is not difficult to stay on the wave if you have a cornerman, and if you know how to ride the wave. Because I can tell you this, is that many people have succumb to the seduction of success intoxication. The one thing that they were missing is they did not have a cornerman that told them that it was coming, which makes them vulnerable. That’s something every successful person should fear, the punch that they don’t see that’s going to take them out. That’s success intoxication.
Speaker 4: Tell us what is a cornerman and how does he or she help create a champion.
Dr. Jeff: A cornerman is very different than a coach. A cornerman is always there. A coach is there only at a specific time. A cornerman is interested in the bigger picture and interested in the principles, where the coach is only interested in the tactics and the plan. A cornerman is generally older, older than 60. You’ve got to have your scar tissue that you have gained in life’s process so that you can recognize the patterns as they show up and know what principle to apply to the pattern. It’s not a matter of just getting to the goal. It’s a matter of, in a very sophisticated way, negotiating that process. Those are the fundamental differences between a cornerman and a coach.
Speaker 4: How do you find a cornerman?
Dr. Jeff: How do you find a cornerman? Great question, because they are tough to find. Ten great coaches equal one cornerman. First thing is to ask other people: Who are you using to guide you through the process? Then you decide is that technical guidance or is it anytime, any place, under any given set of circumstances guidance. That’s what the cornerman does. If you find someone that meets that qualification, then you want to interview them, and let them know what your needs are, and what you’re looking for, and listen to their qualifications, and see if there’s a fit. If there is a fit, then you would likely hear from them at least some type of indication as to how they see the relationship moving forward. If it seems like there’s affinity, then you can at that time engage the process.
It’s possible to have different cornermen throughout your life, because there’s different decades that we go through that have different levels of importance. The cornerman again has an overall vision. He is interested in the whole where the coach is interested in the part. The coach is interested in the future where the cornerman is interested in the now. The main point is here is that there needs to be someone who is overseeing the entire process that could talk about any subject matter that has been successful in a variety of different things, that has helped people in a variety of different areas become extremely successful. That’s the criteria. As a person starts to lose their effectiveness, then you’re perhaps at a time where a new person to be able to take the new you needs to be now part of your team.
I have several cornermen right now that I work with. As a matter of fact, my very first cornerman I had when I was 18, and he was 75. He was a Victorian. It was a perfect fit, believe it or not, because he’s the guy that told me to turn right when I wanted to turn left. The guy saved my life. I owe to my cornerman everything: the Olympic team, the university training. The things that I have done of distinction I owe everything to my cornerman.
Speaker 4: Did you realize it at the time how valuable he was or is this age and length of time perspective looking back on your life that you realize what he did for you?
Dr. Jeff: I knew exactly the value of my cornerman because the last time I saw my dad, I was 13, and I found out that he died homeless on the streets of New York City, but he was a genius. The lesson is here is that will and talent are not enough. It never has been and it never will be. There needs to be the voice of sobriety that’s guiding the process. I knew immediately that he was the person because I was willing and I was coachable, and I knew that I couldn’t win alone, that I needed that level of guidance. I needed somebody more than a technical coach. I needed somebody that understood the process of life to be able to guide me at a very vulnerable time in my life where I had every strike against me, and I could have gone in many directions, and the good lord put him in my life at the right time that made the difference.
Speaker 4: How does the mind of a champion differ from the mind of somebody struggling to achieve?
Dr. Jeff: The mindset difference between a champion and someone in process that’s struggling is quite different. We all have a critic inside of us which is called the human blueprint that we’re born with that gets every dibs at every bit of information first. It’s the critic that wants to talk us out of everything. If we listen to it then there is no chance that we can have anything better than repeating history.
Champions really aren’t born; they’re coached and they’re bred. They have learned to apply a set of responses to life’s circumstances that guarantee that they will be able to move forward unimpeded towards their bigger future. Really the champion’s mindset is more than just positive thinking. It’s about applying proven actions and principles to circumstances that historically have needed a correct solution that they knew the answer to, and that’s the difference. The only way that you can maintain that is really through its application. You cannot think your way to a better space. You can only achieve your way through the actions that you apply day in and day out.
Speaker 4: Are you saying that it’s possible for absolutely everyone to become a champion?
Dr. Jeff: It is absolutely possible for everyone to become a champion. Let’s look at the reality of this. There’s 7 billion people on this planet right now and there’s only one of you. I don’t know when the first footprint got put on this earth until now but there’s still only one of you in all of creation, as it is for all of us. All of us do have the capacity to become a champion. It doesn’t mean that we’re in the environment that has encouraged us to become one. It doesn’t mean that we have the belief that we can, but those are academic things that can be basically worked out. It’s really simply a matter of matching our talents with the right ambition and having the right environment, plus the blueprint. That’s the magic prescription for us to be able to craft and bring our genius so that our champion can emerge and that can be our life platform.
Speaker 4: What are the top three habits of a champion?
Dr. Jeff: The first of the top three habits of a champion, number one, you got to show up. The second one is that you have to 100% be coachable. The third thing is is that if you’re in trouble you better call your cornerman, because the cornerman is the voice of reason and sanity when you’re in trouble, and you don’t need to step off the cliff. It’s always better to be proactive.
Dave: Hey, Jeff. Sorry to interrupt, man.
Dr. Jeff: Dave, what are you doing? How you doing, brother?
Dave: I just heard you saying you got to have someone in your corner. You’re in my corner, man.
Dr. Jeff: Always have been. What’s happening?
Dave: Someone kind of whacked me on the back really hard earlier and I’ve got a vertebrae, one of the rib beds is out and it’s just killing me. I’m getting a headache from it and I got to perform the rest of the conference.
Dr. Jeff: It sounds like we got to do something about it. Let’s do this. Let’s have you sit down, legs straight facing that direction. There you go.
Dave: I didn’t plan this. It was really cool that you were talking about having someone in your corner. I just texted you…
Dr. Jeff: I’ve always been there in the past. You know that.
Dave: You didn’t respond when I texted you but it’s because we were filming you. It’s up a little higher, a little higher and to the right.
Dr. Jeff: Is this where it is? Dave, no wonder. I can’t believe that you’re actually walking with this.
Dave: I’m limping.
Dr. Jeff: Let’s put your hand behind your head. Good. I’m going to lean you back here a little bit. There you go. This is one of my favorite World Wrestling Federation moves here. I’m going to ask you to take a breath in. Good, and let it out. Oh my gosh. Did you hear that?
Dave: Yeah, like four of them. Wow, that feels better already.
Dr. Jeff: You know what, we still got a little something up here in the next. Let’s have you sit up, if you would, and sit in the chair here. You’re moving a lot better there.
Dave: Yeah, actually, it feels different already but you’re right. The neck is still out.
Dr. Jeff: Hold on here. Actually feels like your neck is welded shut here.
Dave: It was fine this morning. It’s really interesting how fast it changed.
Dr. Jeff: Just drop your head there. There your go. Oh my gosh. Did you hear that?
Dr. Jeff: That was like a seismic event. Unbelievable. That was like an epicenter here. Let’s try this side here.
Dave: The other side isn’t quite balanced now.
Dr. Jeff: I always love the self-diagnosing patient. It makes my job so much easier. We got number two here for sure. Just gently, good, drop. Turn over here. There we go like that.
Dave: There we go.
Dr. Jeff: Oh gosh, that was perfect. All right, brother. I think you’re ready.
Dave: Thank you.
Dr. Jeff: You know what to do, eh?
Dave: I’m so glad you were at the conference and I’m glad you’re my cornerman.
Dr. Jeff: all right, man. Always at your service. See you, brother.
Dave: I don’t know how far into this interview you are because you’ve been doing this in the new format. What’s our next question?
Speaker 4: The top three …
Speaker 7: Top 3 recommendations for kicking ass in life.
Speaker 4: Yep. How do you kick ass?
Dave: We didn’t script this at all. I literally…
Dr. Jeff: This is always where the best stuff shows up.
Dave: Can you guys hear me okay to ask the final question?
Speaker 8: Yes.
Dave: Okay, cool. Top three recommendations for kicking more assess. We’ve been working together for a while. I think I probably could guess but I want you to just tell the audience top three things.
Dr. Jeff: Number one, you got to start the day off strong. For me, we always start it with the Bulletproof stuff. This isn’t kissing your butt or giving you a pitch, but we’re just saying what it really is. You got to start off with good nutrition.
Dave: Fuel yourself right.
Dr. Jeff: Yeah, you got to make sure that you got staying power throughout the rest of the day. That’s number one. Number two is that you got to show up and you got to have a schedule. Don’t try to make it up as you go. You got to be really precise about what you do. You got to show up and you got to get the job done. Don’t feel like doing it, just show up and get the job done. Number three: you’ve got to debrief and you got to make sure that you have good people around you that are bringing you new ideas and new technologies, because if you can’t stay abreast of the technologies you’re going to get left behind and you may get left behind forever.
Dave: That’s an Amazon list, and it’s almost like you prepared that for the conference. Did you?
Dr. Jeff: Dave, you just showed up here. We’re making this up.
Dave: One of the reasons I’m doing the conference, which is an enormous amount of work … You’ve seen how big it is this year.
Dr. Jeff: It’s crazy. Congratulations. What an amazing success.
Dave: Thank you. I need that for my own performance. I’ve got all the people I wanted to be around. The energy is palpable, so that’s number three there. I’m doing that in as big a way as I know how, because it helps a lot of people but it helps me, too. It’s kind of cool.
Dr. Jeff: You’re the leader of this, and I can honestly say, Dave, that you’re a pioneer and a visionary. We’ve done some work together behind the veil. What I do know is that you’re ahead of the curve, but now people are starting to catch up to you.
Dave: That’s I want.
Dr. Jeff: It’s an amazing thing to be able to see the acknowledgement that you so well deserve coming your way, now just in little trickles, but now we’re talking tsunami. Great to see that.
Dave: Thank you. You probably haven’t heard this yet but we signed the lease on our first coffee shop in the west side in L.A. last night.
Dr. Jeff: Congratulations, man.
Dave: In Santa Monica and Venice, so it’s happening.
Dr. Jeff: Congratulation, man. All right, brother.
Dave: We’ll connect some more. I got to go to my next meeting and you have more of your interview I think.
Dr. Jeff: Understood. Thanks for stopping by.
Dave: Thanks, man. Super.
Dr. Jeff: Always a pleasure, bro.
Dave: All right.
Dr. Jeff: All right. Be well.