Pivot & Go Cover
David Nurse

NBA Life Optimization Coach

Create Your Non-Negotiables

I can’t stress how important this is. This tip alone can be the difference in whether you have a happy marriage, if your kids grow up to be good human beings, and honestly if you have joy in your daily life. Yeah, it’s that powerful. By definition non-negotiable means: not open to discussion or modification. Discussion, that means it’s not even to be talked about. Not only is it not able to be changed but we don’t even talk about changing it. Yet, so many of us live our lives in the ‘negotiable.’ Instead of shutting off emails and work in the evening to spend time with our kids, we keep our laptop open just to get a little bit ahead. We have a dinner date planned with our wife, but an opportunity to meet a connect with a person we had been wanting to connect with for a while pops up. Date night over, wife second priority. You get what I mean. There are countless examples for this. If we allow our surroundings and others to dictate who we are, we open ourselves up for a whirlwind of out-of-controlness and chaos in our lives. Set your non-negotiables. And make them firm.

A list could look like this:
1. There is no such thing a quality time with your kids, there is just time (see more on this in the chapter There is No Such Thing as Quality Time)

2. There is no ‘right’ time to be with your kids, just make sure you are there with them! Carve out three hours every evening to spend talking to your kids, playing games together with them, just being with them. Date your significant other weekly. Keep pursuing your significant other. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean they don’t like a romantic dinner and alone time be affirmed in their love language.

3. All financial transactions over $100 discuss with your husband/wife Trust me on this, money can be a killer that drives married couples apart. But if you are both on the same page with decisions that are made in spending, the communication will drive a healthy relationship in this aspect.

These are just a few of the many non-negotiable options you can have. Make it a challenge to yourself to create your list of 5 non-negotiables. And stick by them. Not only will you be able to live your life with more peace and joy, the people around you will respect you more for having non-negotiables and placing value on where your time is spent. I’ve seen it happen too many times, when I share my non-negotiables with someone they immediately adopt the idea and implement it into their lives. You can do the same. Right now.

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Reinvest What You Have Gained INTO Others!

Reinvest what you have gained into others
My good friend, Jim Kwik (whom I often quote), said the ‘best way to learn something is to tell someone else what you learned. That way you learn it twice.’ There is a lot of truth to that on a personal development level. But even more powerful is the understanding that the knowledge we have is not for ourselves to hoard, but is our gift to share with others.

Most of us like to think that since we learned it, we should keep it to ourselves and not share with others in fear that we might lose any advantage we had gained. That is very common, and very sad. In the sports world this is all too prevalent. Arguably the best coach of all time in any sport and one of the most quoted people in history, John Wooden was known for sharing all of his coaching tips, tricks, secrets. He was an open book and more than willing to share any knowledge he obtained.

Coach Wooden firmly believed that each lesson people share as a mentor has the power to truly touch someone’s life, change their perspective, and encourage their spirit in a way that would outlast any accolades, fame or fortune. He believed in the power of reinvesting in others. Even his ‘Triangle of Success’ which was the foundation of his UCLA powerhouse teams that won 88 games in a row, he shared at any opportunity he could. Mentoring, or reinvesting, in others not only helped the people around him but also strengthened his ability to teach his players. No great coach, leader, or figure in history became great by hoarding secrets and absolutely no one became great by themselves. Whenever someone says they are a self-made man I laugh.

No one is self made. We all have had help along the way. So why not reinvest what you have learned into others and help change lives and in doing so leave a legacy. When we realize it’s not about competition, but instead about cooperation with others, that’s when greatness is achieved. ‘A mentor must always guide, never push. It was my job to listen to them, offer my perspective and encourage them to pursue the ideals they believed to be true.’ John Wooden

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Develop the 3 THINGS rule 


Develop the 3 THINGS rule 

How many times have you came to the end of the day and wondered to yourself, ‘what did I really get done today?’ And the answer was: ‘Well, I sent some emails, I made a few calls, I spent hours searching the best recipe for homemade scallop gnocchi.’  Daily production value, equivalent to that of a sloth. 

It happens to all of us. More than we would like to admit. 

The question is, how can we combat this? How can we ensure that we are productive and efficient every day? 

Very simple, it’s what I call the ‘3 Things Rule’.  This is not a to-do list where it keeps growing and growing with endless do the laundry type menial tasks. These are three things that you know when the day is over you have done that will improve yourself, your team at the office, your career, the ones you love the most. 

However, a lot of people fall into the trap of thinking these three things have to be goals accomplished or physical results. They don’t. Many times the most productive and efficient breakthroughs are not tangible. 

For example: My ‘3 Big Things’ could look like this (written in my morning journal while sipping a beaming hot cup of the world’s best coffee) 

  • Write two chapters in the current book I am working on 
  • Practice my keynote motivational talk once fully through and each section individually with short breaks in between
  • Connect with one person I know can help grow myself either personally or in my career

Simple as that. And now I know I have clear direction going into my day of what three things I can do to move the needle forward in my life. It’s the essence of the 1%-er. Taking daily steps forward improving yourself so that you can help improve others. 

Think about where you will be three months from now if you continue to do your ‘3 Things’ daily. Six months? One year? Five years? Twenty years? 

The power of the ‘3 Things’ holds exponential potential. 

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Nothing is 24 Hours

Nothing is 24 Hours We tend to look at our days in 24 hour blocks. Understandably so, that’s of course the amount of hours in a day. Why wouldn’t we look at it that way? However, there is no magic ‘stop’ button at midnight that signals the body and the mind to erase everything from the day before and start new. Twenty four hours is our human need to put each day in a box. And yes, it definitely has it benefits. There is no denying that. But, what if we look at our nutrition lifestyle without the restrictions of the 24 hours? Think about this, when we overeat we feel horrible and we usually feel horrible about ourselves. But instead of thinking, ‘ok I lost that day,’ we can make it up the next day. There is no magic calculator saying we can only eat 2,000 calories each day. If we eat 2,5000 we can balance it out the next day with 1,500 or even better scale it out the next two days with 1,750 per day. I’m just giving caloric numbers as an example, but you get the point. Same thing with any decision that we beat ourselves up for. If it’s not spending enough time with our wife and kids one day because we had to work late. Make it up the next day and take off work earlier. Or, if you don’t have this luxury; instead of spending a weekend on the golf course after a long week of work, spend it on a complete weekend retreat with your family – a camping vacation, camping in the backyard, camping in the living room. As you can see we don’t have to beat ourselves up just because we had an off day. Off days happen to everyone, trust me! We are not production machines 24/7. But we have the understanding that we can make it up the next day, or if needed in some cases scale it down the next day. This is one of the most freeing mindsets you can have. Fully grasping that nothing is truly 24 hours based will keep you from a lot of future beating yourself up. Yiannis Kouros is hands down the greatest 24+ hour ultramarathoner in history. He holds the records for the 24 hour, the 48 hour, and the six-day races. But if he ate the same way every day his performance would be greatly diminished. During a six-day race from Sydney to Melbourne, Kouros’ intake was monitored. He was said to have managed to take in 15,000 calories the first day, 12,000 the next, and 7,000 the third day. He targeted to get to around 35,000 calories in the first three days. Now Yiannis got to enjoy himself a little bit too, considering he was burning so many calories, he consumed half of his calories as Greek sweets, eating every 20 minutes, and enjoying baklava, fresh creamy custard, and honey cookies. He says he doesn’t eat too much fat, using mostly carbohydrates and only loses weight in races if he wants to, even gaining weight in some. (https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20843753/on-the-trail-with-yiannis-kouros/) No let’s say he ate like that everyday, probably wouldn’t be a great athlete. But what Yiannis fully understands: nothing is 24 hours. Yiannis harnesses this power to be arguably the greatest runner of all time, but we can use it under the same principal – whatever decision we feel like beating ourselves up for within a 24 hour time block, don’t. Let it go. We are the sum of our next choice.

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Invest in YOURSELF


Invest in yourself 

Have you ever wondered how those beyond way to wealthy, own multiple yachts, and even an own personal island people somehow were able to be early investors in Google, Facebook, Uber, and every other startup that hit that jackpot? 

Or how Warren Buffet and other stock gurus strike it beyond rich through the volatility of the markets? 

‘Wouldn’t it be nice to be one of those people,’ we often think to ourselves. 

Why is investing so scary? Well, for starters, it’s a risk. It’s a risk that we don’t have an already predetermined outcome. Fair enough. Ok, I’ll give you a predetermined outcome – if you don’t invest in yourself, you will never succeed. 

I don’t care if you don’t invest in the stock market or don’t try to hit it big with an angel investment into some tech company. A 13 year old Stanford drop out started, but what you do have to understand is that the best investment you can ever make is the investment in yourself. 

(That is of course, if you believe in yourself) 

The safe route. It just feels comfortable saying that. Play it safe and you will be ok. Or will you? I know plenty of people who thought they were playing it safe and wound up losing everything. The person that knew they were in a field that made a good living but wound up on their deathbed with a whole hospital size regret. Or the person who stayed with their significant other because it was the easy thing to do when deep down they both knew they weren’t compatible for each other. Fear of taking a risk, making the leap, investing in ourselves, it stranglehold us all. If we let it. 

Elon Musk. You all know the name. But would you have if he would have been content in his creation of the company Zip2, in which he sold netting 22 million, eventually becoming PayPal. A Stanford Phd dropout in his twenties with generational money, he was set. For multiple lifetimes. 

But instead of playing it safe or even playing it halfway safe, Elon invested in himself. He knew he wouldn’t be content with only creating Zip2, he knew he had so much more potential inside of him and so much more to offer the world. So he bet it all, all the chips in on himself. By the time PayPal had sold to Ebay, Elon found himself with north of 180 million dollars. 165 million dollars that he almost lost all of. 

Tesla. Could the electric car actually become a mainstay in society. The oil industry is a juggernaut in itself, and one that can often be very political and dangerous. But Elon went all in, investing everything he had in himself, in the confidence that his vision for Tesla would come to life and chance the way people drove cars and viewed the environment in general. Elon knew he could change the world, and he wasn’t about to settle for safe. 

in 2008 amidst a divorce and all his money tied up into Tesla and another ‘pipe dream’ (according to everyone in society) SpaceX, Elon was bankrupt. Nothing. Completely out of cash.  

However, NASA saw promise in the genius of Elon, and even more so in his unwavering belief in himself. NASA needed an overhaul of the space program and knew Elon could be just the person crazy enough to make it happen. 

Two days before Christmas and Elon nearl on the streets, NASA offered him 1.5 Billion (with a B!) to develop SpaceX. Tesla investors saw this commitment and belief from NASA and poured more investment into Elon and Tesla. 

Now worth 21 billion, it’s safe to say the risk paid off. The investment in himself not just financially but his self belief in his abilities, and the mission he was on was the driving force to convince NASA to invest in him. 

Think about if Elon had just packed it in after he sold Zip2 in his twenties, built a mansion on an island and drifted off into the sunset. What would this world be? Nothing like it is today. 

We all have amazing gifts and abilities inside of us, maybe they won’t make 21 billion dollars and change entire industries, but maybe they will. 

All I know is if you don’t take the risk and invest in yourself you will never know. 

And what’s worse than not succeeding? Living with the regret of never trying.

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‘It takes just as much energy to scheme up a small dream as it does a big dream.’ 

Anyone can set goals. Literally anyone. But it takes guts to set ‘BIG CRAZY WILD OUT OF THIS WORLD DREAM GOALS!’ 

Most of us are afraid to express what we really want to do with our lives in fear that we will be rejected, made fun of, and told there is no way we can ever achieve that. 

Here’s the thing, do you think anyone who achieved greatness and achieved their dreams had everyone agreeing they could from the start? No chance. 

If the Wright Brothers told people they were going to create the first airplane from scrap on that December 7th, 1903 day in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina do you think people would have believed them? If Thomas Edison said, ‘I am going to create something called the light bulb so everyone can have light no matter what time of day it is,’ don’t you think people would have called him nuts and laughed at him.  Do you think when Michael Jordan didn’t make the Varsity High School team as a sophomore people believed him when he told everyone he was going to be the greatest basketball player to ever play the game?  

I think you see the common theme here. To achieve greatness, even to achieve your goals you have to set ‘big crazy wild out of this world dream goals.’  The worst tragedy in life you can have is if you set your expectations so low of yourself and you hit them. Then what? Living a life of regret sure doesn’t sound like a life I want to live. Or you want to live for that matter! Waking up every day with the knowledge that you didn’t even try to achieve your goals is downright heartbreaking. 

‘David, I hear you and all, but what if you set these big crazy goals and dont hit them? What then?’  Then at least you tried! And I can guarantee you that it led you down a path that was far greater than where you would have been if you didn’t try. More than likely it put you on a path for something even greater than you could have imagined! 

But you’ll never know if you don’t try! And the good news, the silver lining is always good news that everyone overlooks or doesn’t want to admit, if you try and get rejected, turned down, your goals don’t work out, guess what? You are in the exact same place as you were when you started. Nothing lost. Only dreams to gain. 

Steven Spielberg, widely regarded as the most prominent and successful movie director of all time wasn’t handed a step by step ‘dream on a platter’ to achieve what he has. His cinematic output has grossed more than 9 billion (with a b) dollars. He was turned down not just once, but twice by USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.  

What if he would have said ‘yeah, you’re right USC, my dreams are just far too big. I should look into something else.’ 

Walt Disney was fired as a newspaper editor because he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas.’ Hmm… I think the rest of the story doesn’t even need to be told. What if Walt would have listened to his boss? What if he would have packed it in and went to work at the mill? 

So far we would be down ET, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Schindler’s List, and a whole entire theme park, multi-multi-billion dollar entertainment juggernaut. 

Broke, divorced, depressed, a single mother with absolutely nothing going for her. As she told people about the novel she was writing based on a Wizard who went to a place called Hogwartz, how well do you think that was received? 

Now one of the richest women in the world worth nearly 1 billion, would tell you she didn’t listen when people said her goals and dreams were too crazy. 

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