Sean McCormick is a personal coach, podcast host, and wellness entrepreneur. He offers 1-on-1 coaching, workshops, and keynote presentations to C-suite executives, senior directors, and principals across diverse industries. McCormick is the host of the Optimal Performance Podcast.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in the burbs outside of Seattle. We played outside all day every day. In the rain and the gray days. I built up a tolerance for short, dreary days. I think it allowed me to get creative within my own imagination. My fun didn’t depend on the weather. I entertained myself in the mud and muck and dense woods of the Pacific Northwest. I recall getting lost in the woods a number of times with my cousins. We always found our way back (even if it was after dark). That composure in the uncertainty helped shape my mental and physical resilience into adulthood. Plus, the woods are magic. Literally.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

I wish I knew that I could create my own destiny later. As a kid, I was anchored to the idea of a predictable career and lots of money. I didn’t realize till my late 20s that I could create my own way – based on my will and creativity. We all need to be reminded of that. Each of us has the power to create something unique and special – and so it is.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

I’m not a fan of rigid frameworks. We are all unique, with differing traumas and talents. We learn in different ways too. We have to find what is right for each of us at this moment of our life. Taking an individualized approach to development is crucial. Personal development is personal. We just need to be shown the tools.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

When I founded my first brick and mortar business (a float tank center) I was met with massive resistance from the local health and building authority. I had sunk my life savings into a wellness business and the health department and building department halted the process to the point that we almost didn’t open. I was depressed. I was frustrated that they couldn’t understand the business we were creating. I was almost at a breaking point when I decided to switch from “ask for permission” to “beg for forgiveness.” I learned an important lesson that not everyone is going to understand your vision…and you should stick to your truth. It all worked out in the end.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

The biggest contributor to my success is my work rate and willingness to make mistakes. I’m ok failing. Working really hard, trying new things – failing…and trying again has been a recipe for success. If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.

What is your morning routine?

My morning routine is up at 5. The very first thing I do is to focus on gratitude. I think of one thing I’m thankful for. IT’S POWERFUL and takes under a minute. Then I take the dog outside barefoot to ground into the vibrations of the earth. Then I get the coffee started, do my breathwork, and a short meditation and spiritual work. Before coffee, I do 20 oz of 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon and Celtic sea salt with reverse osmosis and re-mineralized water. Then I  take my ESS60 oil, Udo’s oil. Then breakfast for my kids (I fast till 2 every day) and I’m working by 8:30 from my home office.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Meditation and breathwork are the most powerful personal practices bar none. Free, portable, and life affirming. If you take nothing else away from this start watching your breath 5 seconds in 5 seconds out and develop a meditation practice for at least 5 min a day.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I use a system for myself and my clients called the 6-item to-do list. Each night at the end of the workday I make a list of the top 6 things to do the next day ranked in order of importance. When I start my workday I only work on number 1. I don’t move forward to number 2 till 1 is done. And so on. Then I re-rank that night. It’s a GAMECHANGER. Notice that some items will hang around at the 5 or 6 for a few days. Consider letting them go, or delegating. Also, you’ll find that when you stick to this – items 1 and 2 will make 3 through 6 much easier to complete.

What book(s) influenced your life most? Why?

The single book that has made the most impact in my life is The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel. It’s one of the first manifestation guidebooks dating back to the 1930s. It’s a step-by-step how-to for creating yourself and the world around you. It involves practices that are mind-blowing. If you want to know how to use the power of your mind, I suggest you read it.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“He is fit to attain immortality who is serene and not afflicted by the sensations, but is the same in pleasure and pain.”

Bhagavad Gita II.15

I love this quote because it recognizes the super-power of being un-messwithable. Being unaffected by sensations allows you to remain focused on your purpose.