July 12, 2022

71 : Invest in Your Health & Fitness Like You Invest In Your Money with Sean Alexander Hickle


Welcome to the Mindful FIRE Podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond.

On this episode I'm joined by my friend, Sean Alexander Hickle, entrepreneur and founder of SimpleApproach.US, an online personal training program.

In this episode, Sean and I explored the idea of thinking about our health and our fitness as an area of investment equal to that, of our finances or any other area of our life that we invest in.

Over the last five years, Sean has trained all kinds of people from actors and models to business people, and even billionaires on how to develop their physical fitness.

In today's conversation we discuss:

  • How Sean and I met randomly on a plane
  • Sean's backstory and fitness journey
  • How to think about health and fitness as an area of investment for your life
  • The Centenarian Olympics and thinking long term
  • How getting started with fitness doesn't need to be complex
  • Applying the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) to health & fitness
  • How Ockham's razor applies to health & fitness
  • How investing in your physical fitness affects other areas of your life
  • How building this habit impacts both self-confidence and work ethic?
  • How getting your reps in and thinking long term mirrors a meditation practice
  • Practicing solitude
  • Sean’s advice to people early on path to FI
  • Sean’s advice to people new to meditation

Connect with Sean Alexander Hickle

Books From The Episode

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Transcript

Adam Coelho: Welcome to the mindful fire podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond I'm your host, Adam Coelho. And I'm so glad you're here. 

On today's episode, I'm joined by my friend, Sean Alexander Hickle, the founder of simple approach.us an online personal . training program. 

Sean Alexander Hickle is 26 years old and was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas.

He's currently living in Austin, Texas studying exercise science at the University of Texas. Shawn describes himself as a certifiable fitness nut and he loves learning about the human body.

He's received his personal training accreditations from both ACE and I S S a and has been working professionally in the field for over five years.

His personal athletic and sporting background includes tennis, competitive gymnastics, and a short stint as a bodybuilder. And he recently ran his first marathon in 2021.

In this episode, Sean and I explored the idea of thinking about our health and our fitness as an area of investment equal to that, of our finances or any other area of our life that we invest in. 

Over the last five years, Sean has trained all kinds of people from actors and models to business people, and even billionaires on how to develop their physical fitness.

The thing I really like about Sean's perspective and approach is how it's not about changing your whole life and meal prepping and building complex plans.

But it's really about taking a longterm view and taking daily action in small ways like drinking water before you drink your coffee so that you can start to feel better.

You can find the full show notes for today's episode including any books links and resources we discuss in the episode@mindfulfire.org slash 71. 

I really enjoyed this conversation with Sean and feel empowered to take small steps to improve my health and fitness I think there's a ton of actionable advice here, and I hope that you enjoy it.

Please do reach out to me on Instagram to let me know what you thought of the episode.

Let's jump into today's episode. 

Sean welcome to the mindful fire podcast. I'm so glad to have you here.

Sean Alexander Hickle: Thank you so much for inviting me, man. I'm glad to be. 

Adam Coelho: Before we jump in, I just want to give an overview about how we met because it's funny, a lot of the people on the podcast I meet in very random ways and have a good connection with, and a great conversation and end up keeping in touch.

Sean and I met on a plane. We were sitting next to each other on a plane from San Francisco to New York, maybe like five years ago. I think you were on your way back from New Zealand, right? 

Sean Alexander Hickle: I was, I was, I just did a 31 day, no electronics, no communication with the outside world camp in a tent, kind of find myself journey and yeah, you were my plane buddy..

Adam Coelho: Yeah. And we got talking about that. Got talking about life. You were living in New York, you were a model living in like a house of models. Sounded like a crazy story. And then I invited you to what I call my legends dinners, which I haven't had in a while, but basically I invite everyone I know in New York to a dinner and bring everyone together and just have a great time.

 So I'm excited to chat with you on the podcast and have you share your journey with the audience. 

One of us was reading a book. I think it was a book that I was reading and you just leaned over and commented on it. 

 And it was like instant jibber-jabber from that moment forth, man, like same energy frequencies. 

Yeah, you're right. It was a book.

 So, Sean, let's start with you sharing a little bit about who you are, your journey and what you're up to these days. 

Sean Alexander Hickle: Yeah, man. So I am Sean Alexander Hickle I am 26 years old. I'm currently living in Austin, Texas for the last six days that just recently moved here. But, quick overview, born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. I went to high school college in the area, graduated with an associates and just bought a one way plane ticket to New York city.

Cause I thought that I was smart enough at 21 years old with not even a bachelor's degree to my name. And yeah, like you had mentioned earlier, I got signed on to be a professional fitness model on actor through the most random serendipitous type, I just said yes to a really crazy opportunity scenario.

It was a guy at my local gym, said, I know an agent on Facebook, maybe, you should look into fitness modeling. So I just messaged my agent and I love this guy. He's a great guy. I mean, he got me jobs. He was reputable side note. He was pounds, five foot 10, balding head with missing teeth, not the idea of what you're picturing whenever I say fitness model agent. And like again, great guy. He took care of me, got me jobs, put me on my feet in New York city. 

But I'd never met him in person. He just lived in New Jersey and had this house of models out there. It was a whole crazy life situation that brought me to New Jersey lived out there and started personal training, coaching people built up a concierge, personal training company. 

Right around the time that I met Adam, the very first time on my way back from my month long sabbatical in New Zealand, my spirit journey, spirit quest, and started doing the full-time entrepreneur. Personal training journey got introduced to e-com did that for two years, basically sold rare coins on eBay, and it was a side hustle turned main gig, but again, no formal education.

So I wasn't incredibly successful at it. I wish I would have been better, but I didn't know how to organize, financial reports and a statement of cash flows and all the things that make a business actually run. I did not do it. So for two years it was basically break even revenue.

Only recently that I decided, okay, I'm going to shut all that down. Take my online coaching is 2022. There's plenty of online services. So now I can coach clients online, scalably, very involved, very personalized. So I've recently started doing that. I've moved down to Austin, Texas got accepted to the University of Texas, and now I'm getting my bachelor's in exercise, sports science with a minor in business to kind of tie a nice little bow on top of that, waterfall of a story right there.

Adam Coelho: Love it. I love the bias towards action that you have shown in that journey you put yourself out there, saw opportunities and kept going and just started walking down the path, not so worried about all the things that you didn't know. A lot of people know a lot of things and they don't do anything.

And so I really appreciate that story and that journey. I remember soon after we met you kind of took what you were doing, personal training one-on-one and formalized it into a business. And it was cool to see you evolve in that role and handle all the things that come along with that.

Interesting to see it kind of come back in a different online iteration now. 

Sean Alexander Hickle: Yeah. I never for a moment thought that fitness would be as relevant to my career my personal happiness in the health and my community relationships and friendships. Like it has been such a cornerstone for everything I've done. 

So yeah, it's really funny. Fitness is presented itself as a pinnacle piece of my life in multiple different facets and ways. 

Adam Coelho: That's a really interesting point. It is a part of everything you just described. It is not the case for my life.

Fitness has not been something that has been a constant in my life. There've been periods of time where I did a little bit here and there most recently when I had like a morning routine and I was trying to start small, but it is something that has alluded me.

That's why I wanted to have you on the podcast. As we talk on the podcast about building a life that you love and being intentional about the life that you're creating for yourself, obviously having a foundation of health and fitness is critical. I have focused a lot on the mental health aspect of things, mindfulness meditation, those types of things.

And I've also covered off on the financial side of things, getting my financial house in order. So that I don't have to worry as much about money and I can create the freedom down the road to be able to do the things that I want to do. But fitness and health has not been a focus for me.

And I realizing that it needs to be more of a focus because it is going to be the foundation of everything down the road. Doesn't matter how much money I save. If I can't have the energy and the strength to play with my son, as he grows up, it doesn't really matter. And so I wanted to invite you on the podcast and talk about health and fitness as an area of investment, just like we talk about investing in our finances. 

How do you think about health and fitness as an area of investment for your life?

Sean Alexander Hickle: Warren buffet said that compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. And it applies to finances. And the context that he said that he was talking about compound interest on a low risk index fund.

But yeah, you continue to put your principal in every single month. You pay those dues. And it's the same principle. You put your reps in, in the gym. The thing that I think so many people get caught up on is they're looking for that Bitcoin jump the three month period.

They're looking to jump in right at the beginning, buy low, sell high. And it's like, oh man, like you're looking at the three month goal as if that's the 60 year goal. You can't play that game. Your three month goal is not your 60 year goal. 


Sean Alexander Hickle: There's a guy, a longevity expert, Peter Attia that came out with this concept called the centenarian Olympics, which basically entails what are the day-to-day lifestyle, activities and things that I want to be able to do at a hundred years old on assisted. Ooh. Okay.

Like if I was to make it to a hundred barring any outliers, what do I want to be able to do physically? I don't want to be decrepit at a hundred. I want to be able to lay down flat on my stomach, arms out and get back up on my feet unassisted.. That doesn't seem very challenging, but if you're not mobile, and ain't going to happen, if you want to have a million dollars guaranteed, when you're 65, but you're not putting in a principal of $330 into your Roth IRA and Vanguard at 8% interest over the next 45 years, it ain't going to happen.

It's a guaranteed, long-term delayed gratification investment. And for example, you're talking about, you want to play with your child. Okay. How about doing a goblet squat with good form to pick up your grandchild? And if you're like, man, what's a goblet squat, that would be the one where you're holding your hands in front of your chest, like picking up a 45 pound toddler.

I just want to be able to squat down and not throw my back out to. So you talked about how is investing in your body similar? Where's the overlap? It's everyday actions, I've got auto-draft on my bank account so that it's like, I make money. Boom. It's already gone.

I know only when you think about it, don't have to take action. It's just built into my routine and then it's manageable chunks. It's the same. It really is light for like, I'm not giving away 90% of my paycheck. I'm not out here pushing myself to do a hundred pushups every single day in one set from day one.

 My paycheck will grow as I make more money incrementally over time. My skill sets will grow as I continue to get my reps in and put that work in over the longterm. 

That's where the real education and progress comes from is once you handle the half dozen things that make up 80% of the output.

 It's like there's only a half dozen inputs that result in 80% of your results. So master the basics and apply them every day. 

And then it's like, okay, man, if I drank enough water got a decent amount of step count, didn't put food in my stomach and then go lay down horizontally where gravity and movement is not helping that food digest.

If I just go do some resisted weight training and make sure my muscles and joints stay healthy and injury free so I can continue to have daily inputs. Man, I think in 40 years, people would be amazed at how much they were able to progress. 

Same thing with financial security. I'm sure. Once you started a financial program for your house, how soon did it take once you got serious before you said. Honey, , look at the numbers.If you put in four to eight months in your physical vessel, you'd be standing butt naked in front of the mirror saying, honey, you know, it's like, it's no different, man. They're so similar. 

. So yeah, I think physical fitness is instrumental in a building discipline and, and finding those overlaps in every other area of your life, it starts with self to take care of you, you can take care of something else. 

Adam Coelho: I love it, man. You're absolutely right. On the financial side, I set it and forget it. I was overwhelmed by where to start. And a friend of mine said, Hey, read this book. The elements of investing, I read it, talked about index funds. That's what he was doing. Seemed like a low risk approach.

I just set it, my Vanguard account to invest every month took however much money I had saved, divided it by 24. And then I looked, two years later I was like, oh my God, this 

Sean Alexander Hickle: isn't, it's an amazing, 

Adam Coelho: I think you're, you're absolutely right.

It's the same thing. Health. But again, I think I'm at that point where I get overwhelmed, because I don't really know what I'm doing so much and there's so much information out there. It's just more. Where do I start 

Sean Alexander Hickle: It's information overload at this point. In 1995, it was where do you find it?

Adam Coelho: But now in 2022, the pendulum has swung. It's very tough to, sift through and find the needle in the haystack it's qualified, it's safe. Injury-free and it resonates in your brain in a way that it's like your internal soul gong just got wrung It sounds like It doesn't need to be some, very complicated process or approach.. It sounds like it's just the everyday actions that you want to be doing as your life goes on.

 I really liked that centenarian Olympics Olympics. yeah. Thinking about what you'd want to be able to do. walking, sitting up, getting up off the floor, 

Sean Alexander Hickle: stepping in and out of a canoe in shallow water.

Man, If you're completely decrepitude, Quasimodo, hunchback of Notre Dame with your cane and your Walker, and your O two, that could have been preventable and you don't even have to become a professional bodybuilder or track and field star or Michael Phelps to accomplish that.

That just takes doing and doing seems really hard, but it's not complicated. You get what you put into it. And so you got one body you might as well feel good with it and make it last a long time.

Adam Coelho: Absolutely. 

 You put this in one of your Instagram posts I saw, take care of your house. Our body is, where we live. And if we don't take care of it, it's going to fall apart, just like a house that you don't take care of. And so I've been trying to think about it in that way.

So Sean, we talked a little bit about how it doesn't have to be so complex to get started.

. So if you were coaching someone who maybe doesn't have much practice of physical exercise now, and just wants to get started maybe even just with their body weight, what would you suggest them do?

What would you suggest they do to start building the habit? 

Sean Alexander Hickle: So funny, you keep saying simple. I just recently launched a new coaching company. It's just me coaching all my clients online. And the whole concept is it's the simple approach. So my, like my website literally is simple approach.us.

 It's not complicated. I think everyone wants to think, okay, well, if I'm going to get started, I have to cut my chicken up and meal prep into six different Tupperware containers for the whole week.

And that's going to be 42 different Tupperware containers. And I don't want to have the same thing every day, but I got to get it all prepped on Sundays and it's like, holy shit, man. I wouldn't want to do. Matter of fact, I would never do that. I don't know that I would be fit.

Like that's so much effort now here's the reality. If you want to be a competitive bodybuilder on a stage at 0.02% body fat, then it's going to take that amount of work, but that's completely dependent on your goal. So if your goal is, it feels overwhelming right now, but I just want to get started.

I work a regular job. I have a regular life. I have kids and a family and I take care of people. Where do I start? Well, man just ease up. It's really not that tough guys. Breathe. It's okay. We just said it. You're not trying to be a competitive bodybuilder. Where can you start drink more water? And it's like, but Sean, that's so simple. Give me something more complex. I know we didn't ask for the whole plan all at once we asked, where do we get started?

Stick to the basics. You don't hang the chandelier before you've laid the foundation. You can't put the cart in front of the horse and go anywhere. 

And so this is my biggest tip I got to the Pareto principal and Ockham's razor. Okay. 

Pareto principle says a half dozen inputs make out 80% of your output.

Meaning there's only about six things. That'll give you 80% of the results. And then that final little icing on top the cherry on top, that's all the 20%. That's the fluff that you don't need to worry about. One more little analogy. If you're want to be a guitar player, I can't play guitar at all, but here, let me tell you I'll name them. I want a strum. I want to finger pick. I want to finger individual notes. I want to finger chords and I want to have general musicality and be able to keep rhythm. Okay.

Sean Alexander Hickle: That's five things. it's not even more than five things. Nail those five things, right? Master those five things.

Master the fundamentals of fitness and I say, oh, drink water. And people like, give me something more complex.

The reality is physiologically it's calories in calories out. If you have a weight goal, meaning you have a problem with the weight on the scale, stick to the basics. 

Drink more water. It's going to help my food. Be digested, nutrients, get absorbed. It's not just going to sit like a lump of bricks in my stomach. Chew your food more. People chronically under chew their food all the time. So start with the basics. Have better digestion. It doesn't matter if you're 2% body fat or 30.

If your stomach is bloated and distended, you don't look good. You don't feel good. It does not matter if you have abs you got a little turtle shell poking out and yeah, you got abs, but you feel like crap. That's not what you're aiming for either.

Drink more water, help yourself digest that food. Stick to the absolute, most fundamental, basic tips. If you're trying to lose weight, calories in calories out, you don't need to drop your calories by 5, 6, 700. It's drop your calories by 150 to 300 calories per day. That's about one big apple, less per day. And that's the longterm strategy till you reach your weight goal.

Hydrate before you caffeinate in the morning. Slam 30 ounces of water. First thing in the morning. But Sean, it makes my belly hurt. I didn't ask, but Sean, I have to pee more. I didn't ask. Right? You want simple, drink, more water. Eat one less apple per day.

Sean Alexander Hickle: Get a Fitbit and if you have an average of 6,000 steps for the last month, make it 6,500. Make it 62 50. Even if it's just 250 steps, more per day walking up and down your hallway till you get to go to sleep at night, make it happen.

It's so simple. Compound that like your Vanguard over 60 years, you'll be doing a goblet squat and stepping in and out of a canoe, probably clicking your heels. It's not complicated, it's not tough. It just takes doing. And that's where I think so many people want to make it overwhelming.

 You don't build Rome in a day is just, tiny step by tiny step.

Adam Coelho: I really liked that. The last time I had any sort of regular fitness practice, it was before my son was born and it was when I had a morning routine. There's this book called the miracle morning it's interesting. It definitely interesting. It's it's basically like waking up an hour earlier, so you can exercise, meditate, journal, read, write, and something else, maybe affirmations or something.

I kind of adapted it for my own purposes, but really what I found so useful, I used to have this story that I couldn't stick to anything. Going to sleep early, eating healthy. It was just not a very helpful story, but the first thing I was able to stick to is meditation. And when I realized, wow, I can use this as an anchor for other things.

I started tying pushups to meditation. So I'd meditate. Then I do pushups. And I started building that out a little bit more and I moved it before my meditation, if I am short on time, I'm always going to meditate, but I'm not going to necessarily do the exercise. And I feel good when I do the exercise.

 And so it was just small things It was like 10 minutes, like one yoga sequence, pushups, crunches. That was it. 

And honestly, after a while I felt great and people were even commenting like, oh, did you lose weight? And I didn't notice that. I just felt better.

 What I think is powerful about what you're talking about is how you build these small steps in. And I think what you said about the coffee. You mentioned that to me, when we caught up the other day and I invite you on the podcast, you just mentioned that. And I was like, I can do that. 

Sean Alexander Hickle: How would you eat an elephant one bite at a time? I've never even an elephant. But, how would you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

 Even if you've never eaten an elephant, if you're imagining right now, what it would be like to eat an elephant, how would you do it is one way to do it. Yeah, man. 

Oh, and for the record, I mentioned it never got to close the door on this one. Ockham's razor, second principle guys, ask yourself, is there anything that I'm doing right now that I could stop doing that would benefit my life. Ockham's razor simplest answer is probably the one that's right.

Okay. Well then stop doing that thing. Like whatever came to mind, stop doing that thing. Like it's the simplest answer that takes the least amount of assumptions to get there. Stop doing that thing.

Right. Self-sabotaging like stop it. And whether it's negative self-talk or an actual physical expression of, binge eating or drinking sodas. And you're like, oh, but diet doesn't taste as good. And it's like, Okay. Did I ask? Are you very serious about your goal? Oh, but diet doesn't taste good.

Yes. I want to have a six pack. Okay. Like pick, you don't need a personal trainer to tell you to stop eating cheesecake before you go to bed. Right. let's cut out the simple stuff first. 

Adam Coelho: You mentioned earlier that investing in your physical fitness has had far reaching impacts into every area of your life. I would love to have you talk a little bit more about those impacts.

Sean Alexander Hickle: I feel better. I feel physically capable. I feel physically strong and not strong. Like ooga, booga, I'm a caveman. I can, you know, me lift. well, a little bit of that, but like, I just feel good in my own body. 

Other people respect someone who takes care of themselves in a way that someone who has not ever taken care of themselves can't appreciate. 

Maybe you can empathize. Maybe you're an empath. You can put yourself in that position and it would be, but it's not even like a glorified way. It's like the one commodity that can't be bought. No one has any respect for the Ken doll guy that got 8,000 plastic surgeries to look like Ken, no one respects the Barbie girl that got the boob implants, but implants, thigh implants, AB implant.

Like there's no respect for people. This is the craziest thing because I wasn't always a super, super fit guy. Right? This is something that you develop and come into and the experiences that you are on the receiving end of develop. As you live in the physical body. You have fortune 500 many times over multi-millionaires couple billionaire.

Actually that's crazy to say out loud, I have trained multiple B with a B billionaires. That's crazy. Have so much respect for me, which was wild because I didn't have a college degree is the training, this multiple billionaire over at the Harvard club in Manhattan. And he's asking me questions about movement patterns, and how to make sure that X, Y Z know movement isn't going to hurt his elbow, but he still gets big biceps.

And, oh, he'd love to drop his body fat and yada yada yada. And it put you into this position of authority. And it's like, man, I don't have a PhD. I don't. But even if you have a PhD that earns you credibility because you have that piece of paper. But if you're out of shape, it's like a respiratory therapist that smoked cigarettes.

Like you have no respect for that person as a role model. . Even just being physically fit. I have so many of my clients. Eight months down the road say, yeah, but Adam, you even said it just 10 minutes ago. Yeah. People were noticing, oh my God, people are asking me, what do I do with my workouts?

I've lost weight. Like what protein powder am I taking? I'm the fitness guy in my friend group. And it's like, whoa, they can't even believe it. 

And the transition happens faster than you would believe. And all of a sudden it's like you are this well-respected human being just based on the physical showcase that I take care of myself, the outward physical expression that, Hey, I have pride in who I am.

And then my dad told me a really important thing that goes hand in hand with that. Let it be the least interesting thing about you. Let it go people can tell you look nice. Let it go. And so you talk about what's the implication of social relationships. I look really great. I try to leave my ego behind.

Okay, great. I don't need to show off in tank tops that let my nipples hang out and let everybody know. It's like, great. Just shut up about it now. And people have so much respect because it is a sign of power and authority and like accomplishment for guys and girls alike, whether or not you're a bodybuilder or just, Hey, that guy takes care of himself.

You don't need big muscles to, to get that. . Cause you can tell him, you know, picture Harry at 40 and Harry at 40, one that takes care of himself. And one that doesn't. You can just tell, so it doesn't need to be this like super muscle, anything it's just like the aura and energy of a person who has intentional effort in themselves is one that just radiates, this desire and energy that you just can't help, but want to connect with.

So I've been on the receiving end of that, just recognizing damn people that are way more powerful than me are looking at me as a subject of authority inspiration or what have you. So some type of middle ground there for what? Just because I take care of myself, like that's pretty powerful.

Adam Coelho: Absolutely. 

 So that's the impact of taking care of yourself. On the respect you receive from other people. 

What about you? I know you said it has a large impact on your own self-confidence, which I would imagine is related to that, but also your work discipline or your, work ethic.

How does building this habit impact both self-confidence and work ethic? 

Sean Alexander Hickle: You learn what real work ethic is, and it's an instant feedback system where you go and get pumped up in the gym and your muscles for the five minutes. You're at the gym. Look a little bit bigger. That's cool, man. You don't get to go work five calculus problems and then immediately get a higher rate.

And the class. it's delayed feedback, even if it's just every month. I have three exams for the semester. Every month I get to compound all of the results from all my hard work working problems. And then at the exam, I see where I landed. 

The gym is different. It's right here right now, 45 minutes later, you're going to look like big booties, Judy walking out of this gym, like it's, you know, a noticeable, visible difference.

And so I really loved that. And then it fades very quickly. You ever do your a hundred pushups or whatever it is, your chest looks good. And then 30 minutes later, you're kind of deflated. And it's like, damn, if I could just look like that, I like the big Mia heads of the gym because that's how 

I started working out. At the time it was like, you're always chasing your pump body.

 I'm always chasing me pump, it's just me a little bit like. The deal is it fades. And then you come back the next day and you do it with a different muscle group and you get that little instant gratification and then, it fades away. The discipline that it taught me is okay.

I see the instant plus one to my experience there, plus one in the gym right there, and then it kind of fades away, but I could see I did something. And if you compound that, and then nine months later, you have bigger biceps or a bigger booty, or your back feels better. Your chest is broad or whatever .

 Find the metrics that matter nine months later, and you realize, damn, I'm going to simplify this down to its essence.

All I did was just get reps. Damn two years later, my bank account looks like that. And my Vanguard Roth IRA, low risk index fund. 

All I did was set it and forget it. Right? Auto draft. Every month I got my financial reps in.

It's tough. You might even pull a muscle because you did something wrong. Learning moment. Let's rest recover, come back stronger and smarter. That's hard work. 

I don't have to be the most naturally gifted if I just did more reps and did them better and came in with the soul of a student.

 You got from novice to beginner, revert back to ground level and work through every single module again, back up master room and then revert back to ground zero.

And you're an intermediate beautiful. I'm really happy for you. Start back, master your pushup. Y because now it's going to be not just, okay, basic movement patterns. Let's get a little more micro, every level I advance. I get to revert back to the sole of the student beginner level and then work it back up.

And so I don't know the physical progression of strength and of improvement that you get that instant feedback for that translates into interdisciplinary study skills and work discipline across the board. It all starts with self and or at least for me, that was a really easy overlap. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah. I really liked that the get your reps in, right.

That can be applied to everything, right? I like how you tied it directly to the financial success, but also to the studying, working. Really that's the situation. That's how it works. We get our reps in with whatever we're trying to achieve, and the success takes care of itself just by showing up and doing it.

Sean Alexander Hickle: That's the mentality. Maybe that's an over-exaggeration, but that's, it 

Adam Coelho: you'd be in a good place. You'd be in a really good 

Sean Alexander Hickle: place, certainly better than if you 

Adam Coelho: didn't do the pushups. Absolutely. 

You just helped me realize something, how this ties back to the practice of meditation.

You know, I don't think about meditation as a practice that I'm going to do for three months or a week or two weeks, and then have some fantastic result. I look at it as a lifelong practice and I feel like, I should be looking at fitness the same way rather than looking for a particular outcome in the near term.

What kind of physical practice can I do with my body that will enable me to do it for the rest of my life is really what I think my goal could be. 

Sean Alexander Hickle: Walk and walk backwards. There's my two answers walking because it's walking, you don't need to complicate it and do the crazy bungee cord TRX super MC twist 360 double backflip bicep curl.

It's not important. You don't have to be bench, press squat or deadlift. Like that's not even super important. You just got to do an activity and just stick with it. Movement and activity is more important than the specific type of movement.

It almost doesn't matter what you do. Just walk forward, walk back, do one every single day. You want to add something, one pushup, one pushup, get to the very end. And you're like, oh Sean, one pushup. Isn't tough. I'm going to do like 50 pushups. Why don't we just do one pushup and maybe.

As slow as you physically can possibly do it on the way down, hold it. And then as slow as you can physically come up on the way up the challenge, you make it a one minute pushup, 30 seconds down, touch your nose to the floor, evenly paced, 30 seconds back up. You won't want to do two pushups, right? That's not complicated.

If you do that every single day, you pretty well be healthy. And if you got more specific goals, that's where you maybe do some YouTube research. Do you go to Google academy? You know, find a personal trainer.

Hey guys, my name is Sean. Simple approach. It's really that simple.

Adam Coelho: All right, Sean, let's switch gears into what I call the mindful fire. Final four. Are you ready? 

Sean Alexander Hickle: All right, dude, I love it. Thanks again for letting me be on here, man. I really appreciate it. This is a lot of fun. 

Adam Coelho: Okay. So the first question is

About solitude. You mentioned that something that you like to practice is being in solitude in a world that's constantly connected either physically or digitally. 

Sean Alexander Hickle: Yes. I recently read a book. It all starts with a book.

Yeah, read a book because I found myself living alone for the first time in my entire life. And I was constantly trying to be out and be social with people. Or I was at my house and I would be on my phone and I'm texting people or emailing or Instagram, DM messaging, or keeping up with my virtual clients or, I mean, the list goes on and on and on, and I'm never alone.

And in this book it's called solitude, finding peace in a crazy world or something like that. The book cover is a guy in a kayak, in a blue ocean. It's just him. So if you're looking for the book, solitude blue cover and you'll find it basically it says, look, you should dress up and decorate the interior of your brain in such a way that you would feel content to just sit there alone by yourself.

And if guests and company come like you're more than happy to welcome them, but when they inevitably leave, you are also equally as content in the inner workings of your own brain and mental instead. Okay. I really liked that. And then it talked about a poem written by Walt Whitman Mack in like 1860 or something around there.

And Walt Whitman wrote about the perverse intrusion of his privacy. That was a train horn in the far away distance. Like, if that doesn't make your jaw drop, and then the followup was- Walt Whitman's idea of solitude vanished forever . He called a train horn, a perverse intrusion of his privacy.

And it just got me thinking, my God, I've never in my life had privacy like that. And so it just kind of breaks down that being alone and being lonely are very different things. We need to be alone. We need to be in solitude and love it. That's where a lot of growth comes from is me being completely content as myself being a whole, as one as me.

 And so I think solitude was a recent discovery of mine that I'm still trying to work on.

I got to put my phone down. I got to get away from. And, and digital connection is in vain. We got so many people trying to vibe for our attention all the time. It's like, man, we're only one man, one woman, and we only have 24 hours in a day and you gotta take some for you. And so actually it's funny. I mentioned one of my new year's resolutions was a monthly average daily step count of over 10,000 steps a day

 One was 365 day streak of 10 minutes of meditation. And so I haven't meditated yet today, but today is the 14th. I haven't missed a single day yet. So I'm two weeks down, moved into a new place and it's so nice to just reset, be alone, focus on some breath work and let my soul kind of, resettle into my own body.

 And I dunno, it's been really, really nice to try to focus a little bit more on that side of my development.

Adam Coelho: Yeah. I love being a party of one and I love extending the party to whoever wants to party, but obviously from my chatty Cathy nature on the plane. But it really is important. You know, it's critical that we can be with ourselves because it's like a line in that book.

Oh, the places you'll go. It says being alone is something you'll be quite a lot. And it's true. If you're constantly seeking that external stimuli, you are never going to be complete just by yourself.


Adam Coelho: All right. The second question is what piece of advice would you give to someone early on their path to financial independence 

Sean Alexander Hickle: Get started

same thing with physical fitness though. I mean, so many overlaps momentum is more important than direction get started. It doesn't matter what you do, set it and forget it. You said something at the very beginning of our conversation. Some people know it all and still don't do anything.

Don't be that person, be the ignorant idiot that moves do things it takes doing start. You can learn later, you can learn tomorrow, get smarter. Don't renege on what you did yesterday just course correct tomorrow, right? An hour from now, after you got done watching a YouTube video, go open a Vanguard account. If you have a kid and you're listening to this, I mean, I'm 26, but like go to Utah, five to nine, open up an account for their college savings and deposit $10 into it. You got the account. Now go open Vanguard, you know, and like it's those little action steps where now you've removed the barrier to entry to have the mobile banking where you can set up an auto-draft and then it's easy.

But if you don't get started, if you don't have a gym membership. If you don't just Do something, man. I think Chris rock actually told a story. One time he was trying to change the tire on his car. He had a blow out on the highway and he's out, he's flagging people down. He got his trunk open. He's trying to stop somebody, nobody stops.

And he finally gets fed up. Five cars, drove by those gloves on the ground. He's upset. He just goes behind and he starts pushing his car by himself. And before he even had a chance to look up, three cars stopped behind them and they were all getting out to help him push his car. People help those who help themselves.

You got to get moving momentum first direction. Second.

Adam Coelho: I love it, man. I love it. And it's, it's amazing how that applies to everything in our lives. I didn't know anything about podcasting and I'm still learning. But as I started walking the path.

I started to see what I didn't know. And I would learn as I went and get a little bit better each time. And that is the same thing for finances as well. So I appreciate that advice. 

So the third question, Sean is what piece of advice would you give to someone getting started with meditation and or mindfulness? 

Sean Alexander Hickle: You're not doing it wrong. It's okay. Whatever's going on in your brain? It's all good. Like, no one's doing it better or worse. Just back to breath work in one out two in one out two, inhale exhale, 1, 2, 3, 4, up to 10.

Kill it. Less impressed. More involved. Get back in the moment. Matthew McConaughey said that it always stuck with me.

Less impressed, more involved. Oh wow. I'm feeling it. No, I'm impressed. I forgot to breathe right now. Less impressed. Stop focusing on the experience and get back into it. Get involved in the moment.

Focus on your breath. Work. The rest is going to come watch some videos. Wim Hoff is a great resource. I'm sure you've talked about a bunch of other resources, some guided meditations. I've tried Headspace. Try the calm app. I think they're all great resources and you can't really go wrong because it reverts back to in one out two inhale, exhale.

You're not doing it wrong. Oh my God. My toes are tingling. Less impressed, more involved in one hour. 

Adam Coelho: That's my advice. Yeah. And if you're listening to this for the first time, I have a ton of free guided meditations that are available at mindfulfire.org or wherever you're listening to this.

You can find all of the guided meditations I've done there. 

And if you'd like to join us to meditate in community you can sign up for that at mindful fire.org/meditate. 

Okay so the final question is how can people connect with you online and learn more about simple approach coaching, or just keep up with what you're doing in the.

Sean Alexander Hickle: So I'm on social media. My Instagram is Shawn Alexander R so S E a N a L E X a N D E R R. I think I have a tick talk, but I've never posted once on it, but I'm kind of considering maybe getting onto that my take dog zero post on it today, but check it out with Sean Alexander, our with forearms, because two RS and three were both taken. So we've got four Rs on there. And then my website is www dot simple approach dot U S. I know it's not.com 

so yeah, simple approach .us, go check that out. And you can actually just book a call. I'm not going to sell you anything, but you got something to say or you want to continue the conversation, just submit an application, leave me a little note and I'm happy to get connected. 

Adam Coelho: Very cool. 

I'll put links to all of that in the show notes. So people can connect with you by looking up these show notes wherever you're listening to this. There'll be links to Sean's Instagram and his website as well. So you can get connected and learn more about what he's doing. 

Sean Alexander Hickle: All right. Thank you so much.

I really appreciate it being here. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah, it was a pleasure, man. Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your knowledge with the audience. 

Thanks so much for joining me on today's episode of the mindful fire podcast

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Sean Alexander Hickle, founder of The Simple Approach, personal training program. 

If you got value from today's episode, please hit subscribe wherever you're listening to this, this just lets the platforms know you're getting value from the episodes and you want to be here when I produce additional content. 

If you're listening to this podcast and living mindfully and intentionally is important to you, I invite you to join our weekly community meditation.

We meet every Friday at 2:30 PM Eastern time. And you can sign up for free at mindful fire.org/meditate. 

As a reminder, you can find the full show notes for today's episode, including any books, links, or resources we mentioned. At mindful fire.org/ 71. Thanks again and i'll catch you next time on the mindful fire podcast.