MetaHMN | Pete MK McManus
Residing in New York City, Pete' MK' McManus is today's featured MetaHMN. Working as an actor and director of runway shows and commercials, he's no stranger to living on form. With a meticulous routine, all focused around human performance, he takes us on a 'day in the life' and pinpoints the habits and behaviours that facilitate his fast-paced life. We catch up with MK and ask him about his routine. What does performance mean to you? For me, performance means personal output. How much can I give to any situation in front of me? You have heard people say give 100 per cent to everything you do; I want to be able to do that consistently. After most shoots or productions I work on, there is always a reflective moment without ego where I look at what I did and search for lessons on how to improve my performance. Performing as an actor, as a director and as a gentle human to my family and friends, means progress! Constant and never-ending improvement to a worthy ideal. How vital are daily habits to your sense of well-being, and which are your key ones? Lockdown and has been very challenging for everyone. For me, lockdown forced me to go inside and dig through myself and kill my ego and personal demons with the goal to better myself. The only way I could do this was through solid daily habits and the results were clear; I'm a better person when I do these things repeatedly. This might be a long answer, but I've tried multiple versions over the years, but it's my daily habits that unlock my inner power. The goal? To make my thoughts, my best friends. Get up early, get up. No snooze. Make sure I get up every day at the same time. I get up at 5:30 am and its a fantastic gentle time of the day. Don't forget to make your bed. First thing I do before my feet touch the floor is ask myself; "How is my life awesome?" this beautifully simple question is a simple point to gratitude. Let the answers flow with no judgment; you might love your new socks, or you had a great time last night. Whatever it is, just let it flow. Yoga/stretching, I've started this way too late in life, If could go back in time to my younger self, I would say "breath and also stretch your hamstrings." Meditate!!!! Go for it; no one is good at it, it takes time, and it will unlock some very cool odd thoughts. Treat these thoughts like passing cars and just let them go by. I usually meditate for 25 to 45 minutes every morning. Read! the goal is to fill your mind with interesting "fire starters" of thought. I read some poetry, Bukowski, he's a bit miserable, but I love reading it. Then some stoicism and finish off with Inward by Yung Pueblo. Then the cornerstone of my morning. Journalling! I write from the heart; no one cares; no one will read it. The joke is, you will read it, in the future and see just how far you have come. Three pages minimum! Coffee! At this point, I think I'm in love with coffee, and honestly every day this is a treat for me. This is a ritual, the morning coffee, I normally make it lovingly and look out the window at New York with the sun coming up and cheers the skyline. Day planner: Write your day out; be disciplined, be organized. Self-help / Learning; One hour every morning to better yourself. Learn something new; I love this! This could be something to further your passion project or something you would love to learn. One hour, every morning, fueled by coffee. That's it! Everything else after my morning is golden. That's daily habits, a solid morning routine. They are all crucial, and I can't live without them. How does discipline play a part in your day to day life and how important do you see it in achieving your goals? Again, great question and as you can tell by my "Key" daily habits, they are all about discipline. I used to feel like I wanted to rebel against .discipline as if I didn't need it or I was different. Maybe it was something leftover from my art school days, to be rebellious for no reason. Unfortunately however uncool I used to think discipline is, it truly is the way to unlock your potential to achieve your goals. For me, discipline is everything and everywhere! from making my bed to my diet, controlling my negative thoughts, and training. The best part about discipline is that it builds and feeds off itself. "I was disciplined in making my bed this morning; maybe I'll dress up a tad for work? Yeah, that feels good. Maybe I'll treat my body to healthy fuel, yeah that feels great, maybe Steve from work isn't being mean to me, and I could look at things from his side" It bleeds into everything, and I love it. I write a plan down for how I would like to achieve my goals, and then discipline is a tool I used to help me smash the plan. Define the roles of training, movement and nutrition in your life? Ultimate potential, what am I capable of learning and doing? My life is made up of movement and training. This is a massive beautiful part of my world. I have recently been exploring the concept of time through training and using it in my life. Take, for instance, my Jiu-Jitsu training, (best sport in the world by the way) There is no other sport where you get to play with the best when you are simply a beginner. You can start today and roll with some of the best in the world and learn. Your ego will be smashed to pieces! Some 5-foot kid from the midwest will feed you your own foot for 6 minutes and all of a sudden you are not the "big bad I am" you thought you were. It would be like going to play rugby in the 90s, and Jonah Lomu is there, and you get to feel the raw talent when you know very little, next to nothing. You end up understanding the concept of time, training and process. Don't even think about that belt or the end goal, instead, work on that pass that you like right now, in the moment. I take that and apply it to my life, I've not won an Oscar yet, and that's not the point I would rather be capable of an oscar-winning performance. But right now I have to work on my American accent as it's poo. I take this same concept of training time and process and apply to my nutrition as well. Would I like to able to achieve something in the future physically? What can I right now today to help me get there over time. I will also try to enjoy the process, enjoy working on that one pass, or get better form in the gym or tweak to the nutrition and seeing slow increasing results, feels amazing! What is more important to you, being purposeful or happy, and how do you relate the two to each other? Great question! Firstly I would love to address the concept of being happy. I worry that most people I meet are trying so hard to chase happiness as if it is a constant mood that one must be in 24/7. When the reality is, life is very tough, and happiness is fleeting, as it should be! Living purposefully is the truth as is exists to you, and if you enjoy living purposefully, you will have happy moments, and over time you will hopefully find inner peace. I talked to my close friend who was struggling to find his "purpose", and I told him that living on purpose is not a task, it's not one job with a price tag. Living on purpose is how can you be your most genuine self. What makes your heartbeat fastest? And then do that! There is no one like you out there, and your purpose in this world is to be you. What does human potential mean to you and how far are you towards fulfilling yours? My human potential is my main focus; I wish I had started earlier in life. Perhaps I needed to go through what I went through to prepare me for life right now. Human potential for me is the constant improvement of myself through studying, training and time in hopes of reaching the limit. I used to believe my human potential was connected to my physical body; what can I do? What can I learn or achieve but lately, I see it as all facets of the human experience with the biggest being love and understanding? The more I love and understand, the larger I can do everything else. My little brother once said this about having his first child:
"Your heart is like an engine, and you think it is capable of a certain amount of love, like a 2 litre love motor, you can only love a certain amount, but as soon as you hold your child in your arms, your little engine suddenly becomes a supercharged tuned-up machine capable of so much more love."Every one of my life experiences, both good or bad, have allowed me the opportunity to grow, get my engine bigger and each time I surprise myself with what I am truly capable of. What keeps you awake at night, and what gets you out of bed in the morning? Truthfully? What keeps me awake at night is the feeling I didn't give my all to the day, or I didn't help others. I've sent myself such massive goals and plans that each day, although mega fun and jam-packed, there are always tasks that get bumped to the next day. This tends to lead me feeling somewhat unproductive. What gets me out of bed in the morning? I used to not what to get out of bed at all. I've been in some dark places with my mother passing a few years ago and even danced mentally with the idea of just ending it all. I think it's now beautiful that I see how short and fragile life is. I heard a quote that rattled me in dark times. "We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one." From then on, I started living with purpose, killing the ego, getting super quiet and listening to whats going on in your own head and being very grateful we get to this silly adventure called life. I now live each day like it is a mini life and give it 100 per cent of my heart to it and the people I meet.