Is Health More Important Than Intelligence

Is Health More Important Than Intelligence

As I sit here in my office looking through the glass partition at our MSA National team who do amazing work, it strikes me daily how little of a role intelligence plays in our success. Don’t get me wrong, our team is competent and know their stuff, as I am sure you do, but is that enough for success these days?

The message is now very clear. To dominate in your field and build your career or business you don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. Not at all. You just need to have the most energy; to move, to think, to work, to love, to parent, to socialise, to inspire, to implement and to craft a life you are in love with. This ALL depends on the physical and emotional energy you bring to your day.

The First Mistake

Most people make the mistake of thinking how much they know is their point of difference. Let me tell you, information is everywhere these days and through the use of technology, everyone on the planet is working smarter than ever before. So I ask you, what is the difference between success and mediocrity? What is the difference between those who fail and those who thrive? We all have 24 hours in the day. So the difference between us all can only be our energy levels. There is no denying that energetic people are sharper, more engaging and have an attractive air of self-confidence about them.

The Second Mistake

Most people believe that energy levels come down to diet and exercise; yes, these do help, but did you know that your emotional happiness is 5,000 times more powerful than these two physical elements? Which means that how you feel and how you think impact your energy levels in a much more profound way. This in turn impacts your success in a profound way.

I am sharing these thoughts with the greatest respect to you. I too eat healthy and exercise religiously but I have learned that these are NOT the things that make me a successful human being. How we love, how we parent, how we play, how we sleep, what we focus on, the choices we make, who we spend time with, how we work, how we forgive, how we process fear, anger, rejection or failure, ALL impact our energy and ability to live the life we crave.

I hope my sharing these questions does not overwhelm you, I highlight them to demonstrate that life is complex and it is our ability to manage all these aspects that makes the difference between a magnificent life and a mediocre one. Sorry to put it like that but I am calling it like it is.

My Invitation to You

I wish success was as easy as listening to an uplifting YouTube viral video or a motivational meme. Our life is much more complex than that and deserves a more personalised approach and system for living; one that we were never taught at school and at work. If you want to learn how to live by a unique framework to upgrade every aspect of your life, install daily rituals, and grow your wealth, then you absolutely need to be in the room with me and a line-up of 10 leading global experts at Upgrade Your Life 2019.

Is Energy More Important Than Intelligence

Person A has no plan for health and happiness but he excelled at school and university and now has a great job. The education system and his parents taught him the notion that you work hard in the early years so you can ‘have-it-all’ later on in life. So he hops on the career treadmill and neglects his social life, playing sport, reading books, eating healthy, getting sunshine, sleeping optimally, loving his partner and bonding with his children. Meditation? What’s that? Napping on weekends? Huh? The worst part is that Person A does not even think that he has disfunction in his life. He accepts his busy life as ‘normal’. That’s the problem, this has become the norm in our society.

The results for person A are predictable. Dips in energy over time. Reliance on coffee and stimulants to get through the day, maybe even sleeping tablets at night. He has to work longer hours because his results are not as they should be. Someone younger, sharper and more energetic has joined his department and is outperforming him. He feels the pressure and anxiety creeps into the pit of his stomach. This feeling starts to linger and he may even need meds or reliance on alcohol to relax. The bags under his eyes get puffier every morning. He starts getting irritable at home and descends into arguments in front of the children. Not a pretty sight.

Experts all agree that, as a person’s health deteriorates so does their cognitive and work performance. 

Person B spends just as much time on her personal life as she does on her career. She works marginally less hours than person A but uses this time to exercise, to meditate for 10 mins and prime herself for gratitude, to write in her journal for 5 mins so she can plan her day and a fun social life. She has lunch in the park where she sends her partner a cheeky diary invite scheduling intimacy later that night.

The results for person B are also predictable. She may not outperform person A in the short term at work but in the medium to long term she definitely will. She will age slower, be happier and have better relationships. She is not perfect but she aims for progress not perfection.

The difference between person A and person B is clear but what motivates them may not be. You see, person A is a victim of poor programming. Person A has a warped sense of what WEALTH is. In western society we are obsessed with having wealth and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong however is how we define our wealth.

This is a snapshot of how you should be defining your wealth, in order of priority:

1.     Having high energy, a strong body with great posture, a sharp mind, being emotionally solid, sleeping peacefully, the time to enjoy your food slowly and mindfully.

2.     Feeling attractive, wanted and being in an affectionate loving relationship. Deep down we all need touch by another person or even a pet.

3.     Having a great family dynamic, where you can connect uninterrupted by phones and media, and time to read, talk and play with your children (if you are a parent).

4.     Having a career or business that fulfils you emotionally and working in a comfortable uncompetitive environment that has a culture of purpose, inspiration, support, and humility.

5.     Having friends that make you laugh and support you.

6.     Growing your mind through learning, reading and networking with other like-minded people.

7.     Having the time to feel gratitude and the heart-space to want to help others and contribute to society.

Nothing on this list requires a fancy car, a big house or a Louis Vuitton bag. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against owning things, as long as they don’t own or define you. And as long as you do not go into debt to afford them. Debt is a form of slavery that forces you to work longer hours to pay for things you don’t really need or have time to enjoy, because you are too busy working to pay them off.

Next Steps?

Sit and take 5 minutes to define your wealth first. How do you do that? There is a technique that we use at A Higher Branch Success Academy. It is called “Not Negotiable”. At a very high level, the technique goes like this. What are you prepared to give up to save this part of your life? For example, would you be prepared to lose money over it? Would you give up all your assets to save your health, your marriage, your kids. Would you give up a career to make you happy? Would you let go of a client or a team member who is not aligned to your core values and standards even if it sets your business back?

What is your definition of wealth? What are your not negotiables?

Warm regards with love, respect and always with humility, thank you for reading this article. I enjoyed writing it and I hope it taught you something new or reconnected you with something your already know. Please feel free to share your own insights. It is only through sharing our ideas that we all grow together.

If you are looking for part 1 of this article, please click here

Why Do People Disengage at Work?

“A staggering 87% of people worldwide are disengaged at work” (Gallup Poll)

Many organisations are experiencing a crisis and aren’t even aware of it.

There is one truth that the poll leaves out: Almost all people start a job with enthusiasm and excitement but end up on a path to disengagement. Work then becomes a chore and ‘extracts’ the health and happiness out of them. This is tragic because work consumes at least 70% of our waking hours!

Why Does Disengagement Happen?

Is it because people dislike working? On the contrary, we are all born with an innate desire to express ourselves by working and creating value, no matter the job. Work fulfils us, gives us purpose, builds confidence, makes us feel valued and this improves our health – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Is it because the workplace is not good? Not likely. Working conditions over the past two decades has improved to comfortable levels never before experienced in human history. The workplace is healthier and more comfortable than ever before. And companies are looking after their people better than ever before.

So, what is the Real Reason why so many people are disengaged at work? THE STARTLING TRUTH. 

It has nothing to do with the job but everything to do with the person in the job. The sad truth is that people fail to take personal responsibility for their own engagement at work. People’s framework for living is fundamentally broken and this leads to dysfunction in their personal life, which, over time, leads to disengagement at work. In other words, people spoil their own engagement at work. Here’s why…

Human nature is such that people can grow to dislike and disengage from anything (even something they love and enjoy) if they neglect their health and wellbeing. Western society is locked into a pattern of perpetual obsession with one part of life to the exclusion of other parts. Early in adulthood we focus on education and neglect our health. Then we focus on the new lover and neglect our family and friends. Then we focus on our career and neglect our lover. Then we focus on our finances and neglect our family. Then our health suffers, our energy dips and we start to disengage at work. This intense focus on one part of our life to the exclusion of others is what leads to disengagement in all parts of our life at any given time in our life cycle. Why is this bad?

There is a symbiotic relationship between all parts of a person’s life. Neglect one and chances are you will start to fail in the others.

Think about it…

How can you perform at work if you are arguing with your partner at home?

How can you perform at work if your children are out of control?

How can you perform at work if you are not sleeping properly because of poor nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of sunshine and lack of social fun?

“If a person’s personal life is broken, so too will their work life”

In their publication “Firms of Endearment”, Wharton Business School discovered that companies who put purpose before profit ended up making the most profit. They outperformed the S & P 500 by a ratio of 9 to 1 over a period of 10 years.

What that study did not show or track is the health, wellbeing and engagement of the people that worked for these firms. How many of those people were still employed after 10 years? How many suffered from physical illness, broken relationships and mental health issues as a result of disengagement or burnout?

 “There is an inadvertent and unintentional ‘burn and churn’ of people in most companies” 


  • The answer lies NOT in the workplace but at home.
  • The answer lies NOT in the hands of companies. It lies in the hands of the individual that works in the company.
  • The answer lies NOT in a notion of work/life balance. That concept is as outdated as the fax machine. The answer lies in knowing HOW to live a complete life.

Businesses make the mistake of thinking that health and wellness ‘perks’ in the office makes for a ‘well’ and engaged individual; things like yoga and meditation classes, sleep pods, wellness seminars, massage etc…The reality is that such perks merely contribute to a pleasant and comfortable work environment. They do not fix the underlying cause of disengagement because they do not teach people a framework for living a complete life without neglecting any of its vital parts; like nutrition, exercise, sleep, socialising, love and intimacy, family and parenting, continuous learning and emotional wellbeing.

Would You Continue to Serve Alcohol to Somebody who is clearly drunk?

Companies can help by teaching their people a framework for living. Every business has processes and systems for working but never think about teaching their people systems for living.  And for very good reason. Its personal. It’s awkward. Its overstepping the mark. Or is it?

Government and business need to appreciate that the scope of OH & S needs to be broadened. There should be, and no doubt will be in the future, an obligation on business to ensure that people are not neglecting their health and personal life. This is no different to prohibiting the service of alcohol to a person that is clearly not drinking responsibly.

Is it ethical for a company to keep serving up unsustainable workloads to their people, only to sit back and watch them burnout? Some may argue that employees have a choice to say no. And in fact, some employees may request an extra workload and should have the freedom to do so. Right? Wrong. Again, I return to the analogy of the drunk at the bar. Has that person lost their choice to be served more? A better analogy is perhaps found on the football field where a person suffers a head concussion. They plead with their coach to stay on the field. But the coach and trainers make the decision to pull them off. Should business have that same right to send their people ‘off the field’? This may open up so many arguments on so many levels and ultimately lead to an assessment of weighing-up risk, social responsibility and a business’s right to profitability.

Smart companies however should see it as an opportunity. Over the long term, healthy and happy people who live a complete and holistic life are more energetic, more creative, more confident and highly engaged at work.

The ‘Higher Branch’ Method

A Higher Branch Success Academy has developed a highly successful framework and systems for living a holistic life that empowers people to become their own life architect. This helps them design and be in control of all 8 aspects of their life, including work. The framework includes a set of proprietary principles pioneered in the book ‘A Higher Branch’.

In January 2019, they are holding a 3-day event called Upgrade Your Life, in Sydney at the Hyatt Regency hotel to teach people and companies how to live a holistic life without compromising your performance at work. The program is unique and highly successful and represents the future of living and working.

For more information visit


Everyone is working hard and smart these days. But we are entering an era of competition where this is not enough. You need to be in top physical, mental and emotional condition. To achieve this you need to eat clean and think clean. Or dance on. Read on…

Eating Clean

Less coffee & fruit juice – more water & vege juices

Less oily fried food & more steamed or baked food

Less crackers, biscuits & cheese – more carrot, celery & fennel

Less potato, bread & pasta – more sweet potato, broccoli and pumpkin.

Less bacon and sausages – more fish.

Less chocolate – more berries.

Less nuts – more seeds.

Less salt, sugar & mayonnaise – more herbs, spices, lemon and olive oil.

Less processed – more raw

Less excuses and less “cheat days”.

Thinking Clean

Most people fail in any industry because they take rejection personally and start indulging in toxic self-talk, like “I am not good enough”, “people don’t like me”, “I should quit and get an easy secure job”.

Your thoughts affect your feelings and your feelings in turn affect your thoughts. This partnership between your head and your heart can either work for you or against you. It’s either a positive loop or a vicious circle. 

If you feel angry, you will have angry thoughts. And when you have angry thoughts, you will feel angry. And the cycle repeats. Conversely if you feel good, you start thinking clearly. Goals and creative ideas start flowing and this in turn makes you feel good. This is the circle you need to dance in.

Here are three powers and one superpower to help you “think clean”.

 1.             The Power of Exercise. How you feel is much more powerful than your thoughts. Try thinking yourself out of being angry or anxious. Next to impossible, right? Your feelings release potent hormones that overpower your thoughts. So you need to change your feelings first.  The simple and best way is to exercise! Exercise releases the right ‘feel-good’ hormones.

2.             The Power of Words. We watch what we say to others but think nothing of our own self-talk. Is it inspirational and uplifting or is it demoralising? Write down the qualities that you and others most love about you. Recite them on waking and just before sleep. And most importantly when you experience a rejection or failure. It takes you out of the toxic thinking zone.

 3.             The Power of Meditation. Meditation de-clutters the brain and gives you clarity in a world full of distractions. It is a daily detox for the mind. I could ask you to cancel your social media accounts, disable notifications and stop listening to the news but you probable would not do that. So you need meditation to quite the mind. Meditation is a life-long skill that takes practice. So don’t quit because you get impatient or find it irritating to sit there. The benefit is not in achieving total control. The magic is in noticing when your mind strays and you return to the breath.

4.             The Superpower of Visualisation. Your creative imagination is a gift to help you materialize the life of your dreams not your worst nightmares. The most successful people on the planet use this gift to visualise very clearly what goals they want to kick. If you are in sales imagine how you want the presentation to go before you meet with your next customer. Prime yourself for the experience before you enter the room. Close your eyes if you can. All it takes is a few minutes or even just a flash of an image that makes you feel like “I’ve got this!” In quantum physics you attract what you visualise. It really is that simple. Please don’t waste this superpower.

Dance On

When all else fails, you can always dance-on. Dancing is one of the most potent antidotes to any negative human condition. It provides an ample flow of mood-enhancing chemicals that is unmatched by any other activity or drug. When was the last time you went dancing? Harvard Study on Dancing.  

Join me and my team at A Higher Branch Success Academy’s annual Upgrade Your Life, 2019 event of the year and enjoy three parties by night with like-minded people and 17 sessions by day with the best thought leaders on the planet who will help you design a wellness plan for 2019. Click Here For More Information. If you belong to an industry association you may qualify for a $500 discount code. Please contact us to enquire.


Attracting good things and good people to you can only happen when you learn to tap into your mojo. Your mojo is more important than you think. Its more important than what you say and do. It’s an invisible force that cannot be explained, only witnessed. We are all born with it but lose it on the way to adulthood. We may experience glimpses of it here and there by accident but it is illusive and vanishes quickly. Finding and hanging onto your mojo happens when your physical, psychological and emotional energies are aligned. Here’s how you align them…

1.    Keep a ‘Hero’ File (emotional) Treasure and file away all the cool stuff people say about you. Whether it’s an outstanding school report, a testimonial from a client or a beautifully written card from a friend or partner. We all indulge in negative self-talk. A hero file helps you snap out of it.

2.    Go Fearless (psychological) In sport and in business if you start batting on the back foot, you will stop scoring runs and eventually be bowled out. You are most successful when you work like you have nothing to lose. How do you do that? Build up enough savings that can help you get through six months of the toughest financial times. Having this safety net gives you a fearless mindset.

3.    Get Out of Your Head (psychological and physical) You will never find your mojo if you are constantly thinking and using your mind as a storage device. Do a daily ‘brain dump’ in your diary. Keep nothing in your head. This will help you sleep better and get you into the zone of creativity. The other thing you can do is exercise and meditate. Both these activities get you to focus on your breath and therefore on your body.

4.    It’s NOT about Money (emotional) Never ever make your life about making money and material things. Your primary purpose as a human being is to serve and inspire others. Your customers, your colleagues, your friends, your family …How do you do that? Listen more empathically and give more than expected. Your mojo lives in that space called compassion.

5.    Go Green inside and Out (physical and emotional) The colour green on your eyes lowers blood pressure and dissipates stress. Walk in the park daily, go for a hike on weekends. Surround yourself with plants at home. (Book: ‘Plant Style’ by Alana Langan). Drink green smoothie’s and eat at least two green salads daily. Besides being healthy, plant foods are full of life force that give you that attractive glow.

6.    Look your Best (physical and psychological) How you look impacts the way you feel. When you dress and look your best, you will simply feel more confident and ‘with it’. (Caution: you cannot eat like crap and cover it up with clothes and make-up. You still need to eat clean and stay lean). Choose clothes that is true to your personality. Stay away from fads. Get a style coach. Read, ‘Women in Clothes” by Sheila Heti. And, ‘Off the Cuff: The Guys Guide to Looking Good’ by Carson Kressley.

7.    Don’t Stress About Stress (psychological) External stress is everywhere. It only affects your mojo when it consumes you. Some people live through war and take it in stride. Others go into melt down when someone cuts them off on the road. Seriously? Stop trying to make your external surroundings perfect. Stop putting high demands on yourself and the people around you. Life will never be 100% your way. Not even 50%.

“The people who walk around with their mojo intact are the ones who accept that external discomforts are a part of living and that the only people not stressed are dead. “

8.    You Gotta Have Fun (emotional) When we were children, our whole existence was about exploring and having fun. Consequently our creativity was limitless. The few that carry this fun and playfulness into adult life went on to invent and create the most amazing of human discoveries. Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, to name a couple. So my advice is to stop feeling guilty whenever you get the urge to do nothing, or day dream or hang out with friends. Have fun whenever you get the chance. Your mojo loves to have fun.

9.    Savour your Food (physical and emotional) Your appetite for food parallels your appetite for life. Food that is full of flavour not only nourishes the body but brings passion to the surface. They call it ‘soul food’ for a reason. Enjoy the variety of foods out there but try and eat true to your cultural heritage. There is nothing more satisfying than eating food that your parents and grandparents cooked. Savour what you eat slowly, focusing on the smells, texture, colour and taste. Eat outdoors, eat with your hands, eat with friends, and above all please do NOT eat in front of the TV.

10. Change your environment, often (psychological) New route, new destination, new friends, new experiences. These all keep your five senses engaged. When you do the same thing every day, your senses become dull. Parts of your brain consequently shut down. Scientists are now realising that Alzheimer’s and dementia is a simple case of ‘use it or lose it’ (Google ‘The Nun Study’). New perspectives, new sights, new smells, new favours, all keep your brain firing and your mojo dancing. There is a difference between being alive and living…

Find out how to get your mojo back by attending Upgrade Your Life, 2019. It’s the event of the year.

If want to learn how to get your mojo back then you absolutely need to be in the room with me and a line-up of 10 leading global experts at Upgrade Your Life 2019, January 18-20 at The Hyatt Regency in Sydney Australia.

Tickets are limited to 200 people and we are already sold 70% of our ticket allocation so I strongly encourage you to not defer or procrastinate and make the decision that you’ll look back on as the single most important decision in your life.

Honestly, the way I look at it, being in the room with these amazing speakers is actually priceless and is an investment that you’ll make back MANY times over…

Snap up one of the remaining seats here before they’re all gone.

Take action and live the life we both know you deserve.

With love + respect,

Sam Makhoul