The Essentialists: Brandon Marcello

Your relationships matter as much as your workouts for a healthy life.

“More” has become the religion of the 21st century. We assume more is better in training, in eating, and in our to-do lists. Commercials convince us that buying more will make us happy, and social media highlight reels give the illusion that everyone has that one thing you need to be content. Terms like FOMO (fear of missing out) have evolved to describe the anxiety of wanting to do everything at once. Never has there been a greater need for simplification. We must embrace the idea of addition by subtraction.

Life is a series of choices, and there is an opportunity cost to each choice. All great coaches and trainers understand the importance of optimizing their time and focusing their energy on those activities that give them the most bang for the littlest buck. Dan John created the One Lift a Day Plan in an effort to “do less, but better.” Max Shank’s Ultimate Athleticism program is a masterful look at how focusing on four exercises alone will unlock your greatest potential.

It’s in this vein that I’m beginning the Essentialist Series. Each week, I’ll release a short interview with some of training’s best minds. They’ll be forced to prioritize—to choose the one option they’d use to create the most momentum. As Greg McKeown explains in Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, this is what “priority” means—the “very first or prior thing.” It is singular. There is no such thing as priorities. My hope is that this series brings clarity and focus to your own personal development, while freeing you from the incessant pull to do more. As McKeown explains, Essentialism is about “discerning the vital few, from the trivial many.”

Essentialist Interview #4: Brandon Marcello

In this week’s interview, I speak again with Dr. Brandon Marcello. He and I first met when I saw him speak at the February 2016 Dallas Perform Better Conference. His resume could literally fill pages. He was the Director of Sports Performance at Stanford, co-creator of Athlete’s Performance (now Exos), Director of Performance for USA Softball’s gold medal 2006 and 2007 teams, and I could certainly go on.

Despite his immense knowledge and experience, he maintains a humility and inquisitiveness that we should all appreciate and strive towards. I know you will love his perspective and grow from his reminders about what really matters.

Tony Robbins has said “the quality of your life is the quality of your questions.” It’s a constant process working to refine our inquiries. If there is a question you’d like me to ask, or a better way of delivering a current question, please let me know in the comments below.