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Why “Type A” People Die Before Everyone Else (And The 3-Step Type A Recovery Plan)

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I’ve got a confession for you here today.

EVERYTHING in my life that doesn’t go well is because of one negative personality trait that I have.

I’ve shared with you how perfectionism has ruined my life on many occasions here (finances, happiness, success, etc.), but today it’s something worse.

Way worse.

Everything has to be neatly arranged.

If people aren’t on time for appointments, I get mad (even though I’m late sometimes too).

If I splash ink on my paper, I throw out the entire page of notes and rewrite them.

And I constantly have this underlying ANGST in life – the feeling that I always need to get “there” even though I don’t really know where it is.

Hi, my name is Alex, and I’m Type A.

And I learned just yesterday, that even if we eat healthy, exercise, and have great genetics – Type A people die sooner than everyone else. Here’s why.

The Type A Study 

What He Found In the Study

Meyer Friedman was a cardiologist in San Francisco, and in the 1950’s he noticed similarities in his patients prone to heart disease.  It wasn’t just the obvious like diet or exercise, but how they led their lives.  These patients demonstrated:

“A particular complex of personality traits, including excessive competition drive, aggressiveness, impatience, and a harrying sense of time urgency. Individuals displaying this pattern seem to be engaged in a chronic, ceaseless, and often fruitless struggle — with themselves, with others, with circumstances, with time, sometimes with life itself.”

These people had a vastly increased chance of developing heart disease than other people – even people who had the same physical characteristics, exercise regimens, diets, and genetic histories.  Trying to figure out how he wanted to categorize this group and present it to the scientific community, he called it ” Type A.”

Isn’t that incredible?

They ate healthy.

They exercised.

They even had disease-fighting genetics.

Yet they still died young from heart-related events.

This takes the whole “mind, body, spirit” thing to an entirely new level. We can totally nurture the body… but if we neglect the mind and the spirit, the body can still suffer ill effects.

Well that’s great and all… but if we’re Type A control freaks, how do we actually STOP being type A?

The Type A Recovery Plan

1. Take the long view.

For example, I like clean cuts in my videos – I don’t like rambling or stuttering that you find on some videos or typically on youtube where people just push the camera and record. I actually rehearse to respect YOUR time, to make it short, to the point, and USEFUL.

In many of those videos I stutter or make mistakes… and the Type-A in me SCREAMS “WAIT! Stop. Edit it again. Shoot that all over.”

When I give in, I take the extra half hour to do that.

But if I take the long view – flash forwarding a year – I ask myself: “Will anyone else remember this besides me?”

If the answer is obviously no, just leave the little mistake. If it’s yes, then take the time to make it right.

99% of the time, it’s a big, fat “NO!” and thus I just get on with my life.

2. Remember that happiness you put off today can’t be stored for tomorrow.

We feverishly pursue success, working horrible long hours, to get to that mystical place “OVER THERE” – and when we get to the end of the board game, what happens?

We die.

Yup… that’s the end.

It’s so paradoxical, because we’re always trying to “get there” – but “there” is nothing. It’s the end. Gameover.

And we often sacrifice every single day to get there, not realizing that we don’t even get the rules of the game.


I’ve talked about this many many times here, that life, weight loss, happiness, success – they’re all processes.

They are the direction in which we’re traveling – and the more we TREAT them like processes (not expecting overnight results, taking it day-by-day, not treating one failed day/week as an ultimate failure), the faster we’ll reach our goals.

3. “The in-between” is not a waste of time.

I did a flow test for a month during a really unhappy part of my life – and guess what I found?

The in between moments were some of the most important parts of the day.

Sitting in the grass with my girlfriend, reading a great book on a Saturday in a coffee shop, looking out the window in the morning with coffee in hand.


It’s such a hard concept for most of us to wrap our heads around – life isn’t the two weeks when we’re in costa rica half naked on a beach. It’s also not the moments when we’re sitting on the stage holding our trophy, or the moments when we buy the big house or achieve the goal.

It’s every moment in between those things.

Today’s Tiny Habit

So for today, here’s your tiny habit: If you’re Type A, first understand that not only does it make you feel ridiculously insane – it’s also killing you even faster. Even if you do everything else right. Then, understand the idea of process. Life is process. Health is process. Success is process. Not “A” Process. It IS process.

What about you? Share below.

Want Some Help? Book a Free 30 Minute Call With Me

In this weight loss & energy kickstart call we’ll work together to come up with a step by step roadmap to you looking and feeling amazing in the next 90 days, we’ll figure out what you need to work on (that’s holding you back), and come up with a specific plan of action for the road ahead.

You can see if this is right for you and leave your information here – if you’re right, I’ll follow up with you within 48 hours.

– Alex

Have You Read My New Book Yet?

  Read more about this in my book Master The Day. You’ll learn the nine daily success habits I learned interviewing people that lost 100+ pounds and kept it off in a healthy way – by changing their habits. Plus, you’ll get a free $100 bonus video course if you show me your receipt. You can get the audiobook here too.

4 comments… add one

  1. I can only agree with you, 110%, whole-heartedly… I’m going to use a ‘cheesy’ over-used quote from John Lennon: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”… I understand this to mean the same thing as you write: “Life is process.” – something I wish I had understood better about 25 years ago, and am wanting to ‘pass on’ to my 5 kids.
    By the way: I stumbled across your website a year ago, looking for help with “runner’s knee” (you helped, big-time, by the way :)!) and haven’t looked back – I’m waaay older than you, but learning from you nevertheless :)…

    1. Hey Seagull,

      Hahah, glad it helped 🙂 And yes I totally feel you there… I am seriously type A and it needs fixin!

  2. This is an interesting topic! To be honest Alex, I never was a Type-A but these days I feel like I am becoming more of a Type-A than ever. I am stressed and competitive and striving for perfection in things these days. And I feel it’s negatively affecting me…like I said, I never used to feel this way, and the stress and anxiety are killing me. I think it has to do with living in Korea, where so much of my daily life is out of my direct control. (Example: I teach first graders, who don’t know English, and my Korean is poor, so how much can I really teach them?) So, I’ve decided to take up meditation and positive thinking and focusing on the long view as you suggested. In terms of happiness and productivity, if it’s okay, I’ve shared a TedTalk link that really put things into perspective for me.


    1. Haha, I wonder if the Korean way is rubbing off on you man – yep, the anxiety and stress is usually killing me too. Great shawn achor talk! He has some of the best books on happiness i’ve ever read.


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