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16 February 2021

Small, consistent actions: Podcast interview with Sam Demma

Jairek Robbins

Sam Demma of the High Performing Student podcast recently hosted Jairek Robbins during a live session. We bring you the highlights.

What are the major categories in life and why should we focus on them?

People have their priorities in life, and everyone will have to figure out what’s most important to them. That said, there are some majors which could cut across for everyone and some that would carry less weight before some individuals as compared to others.

To determine your majors, ask yourself is it good for me? Is it good for other people? This is important because life isn’t all about you. Number three, does it feel good?

This third question is vital because you may come across something that is good for you, good for other people, but feels horrible! 

Number four, is it good for the greater good of humanity as a whole? Here, we are seeking those things that will serve much longer after we are gone. 

If you examine the things you do through the lens of those four questions, chances are high that some things will not check those boxes. If you have these, ask yourself whether they aren’t simply distractions which are numbing you from something not right in your life.

You can also think about the majors in terms of their categories. For instance, is being healthy (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually) a bad idea? It is difficult to find someone who thinks great health isn’t good. 

Secondly, you also need to have a job, tradable skill or a way to offer value so that you can earn the money you need to buy the things you need to sustain and enjoy life.

Another major is relationships. No matter how much value you offer society or how much money you make, if you don’t have anyone to share it with, it isn’t worth much. 

Another possible major is focus. For instance, if you spend your entire life feeling bad about the one thing that isn’t good in your life, then you will be miserable and that isn’t good for anyone. You therefore need to know how to shift your focus to the things that add value to your life. Know how to focus your time, resources and energy.

There’s lots of categories and each person has to sort through them in a way that makes sense in their life.

What is the difference between fulfillment and taking every day actions?

I often say that the difference between fulfillment and pleasure is that pleasure is something which feels great in the moment but quickly goes away. Fulfillment on the other hand refers to something that feels good today and when you look back after 10 years it will still feel good. 

For example, pleasurable could refer to someone going to a party and getting really wild by drinking lots of alcohol accompanied by a huge amount of junk food. They just trash their body. In the moment, they might say it feels great to do what they are doing. But the next day they may start to feel horrible as the hangover kicks in and the sleep deprivation takes its toll. 12 years later, they will think what they did back then wasn’t so smart after all.

So, to know the difference between pleasure and fulfillment, ask yourself if what you want to do will feel great now and 20 or so years later. If you aren’t sure, find something else which will meet those requirements! Use your creativity.

How do you protect yourself against other people’s opinions if those people are close to you or your peers?

I read a quote saying something to the effect that one should be able to quiet the chatter and go for what they are genuinely called to do. Another says depression is your avatar getting tired of wearing a mask! 

People who are tired, depressed and sad often spend so much time doing something they are not, something that doesn’t resonate with them. 

Have three buckets labelled, I am enough, I have enough and I am loved enough. You can fill the blanks of the details for each of those categories.

For example, I have enough because I can breathe on my own, etc. Some people are on life-support for extended durations and can only hope and pray for a chance to breathe on their own!

The bucket titled I am loved enough refers to an inside game. There’s no one in the world who can make you love yourself if you don’t love yourself. When was the last time you turned your phone to selfie mode and looked deep into your soul through your eyes before mentioning three things you love about yourself?

Most people have never done that. Question is, how will it be possible to pour love into the people around you if you’ve never poured love into yourself? You can’t pour from an empty cup; you’ve got to fill up your cup every day. But then again, why use a cup when you can go big and use a bucket? 

Imagine what would happen if you filled your three buckets every day and went about pouring good stuff into other people. I have noticed that each time you see someone not happy, doing things that aren’t right and other such negative stuff, the most likely reason is that one of those three buckets isn’t full, or is actually empty.

Related: Habit Building 101: 10 Tips to Build New Habits

How do you find your purpose? I know you have a wonderful story about someone you met in Uganda and how they created their purpose. Can you share about the leaves?

One of the things I promised myself that I would do while living in that village in Jinja, Uganda is that every morning, I would wake up and see the sunrise. While doing this morning ritual every day, I noticed that there was this old man who would come out of the village clinic nearby and do the same exact thing I was doing. He would never miss a day and I was like wow, this dude must really have a trusted alarm clock.

He would sweep the leaves off the path to the main road on a daily basis and after watching his consistency for three months, I just had to talk to him and learn his story.

I didn’t speak Luganda, his language, and he didn’t speak English, so I got a friend to act as an interpreter. After a lot of questions from my friend, the old man eventually lit up and said that he does what he does because he believes that every one, whether they are a baby about to enter this world, or an old sick person about to leave this world, they each deserve a clean path to do so.

I was speechless! This old man had figured out his purpose and was living it, yet there are so many young people who are clueless about what their purpose is. What if it is just as simple as finding something to do each day that gives you deep joy in your heart? 

We live in a society that would question whether that is all there is to it, but this old man found immense joy and his purpose in sweeping leaves off a path. In our society, people have a lot of stuff and still feel they have nothing and their life is empty. This old man lived in a broom closet and the biggest source of pride was that he lived in a place which had a wire connected to electricity. The only place like that in the whole village. And he had a hat collection, having three hats and he thought that was cool! When I was leaving, I gifted him my hat to add to his collection and he thought that was cool. Think about that.

Wow, so many stories and nuggets you have shared with us here. My question is, where can people connect with you, buy your book Live It! and get more of what you share?

Sure, the easiest place to find our book worldwide is on Amazon. If you want to go through one of our programs on how to be happy, healthy and more fulfilled, go to Udemy and enter the code highperformancekw.com. We give away that program cheaply on Udemy for about $10 bucks and we have more than 5,000 students from more than 100 countries around the world doing that course. You can also connect with me on social media, such as Instagram. We just try to push out good thoughts every day to help people live healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives.

To Your Success,

Jairek Robbins



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