Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Posted: 10 May 2010 08:23 AM PDT
Raise your hand if you desire to live a healthier and happier life. Fantastic! Now hands down.
I'm glad you recognize how integral good health is in designing a fulfilling, successful, and euphoric life. You realize that money isn't enough. You see the bigger picture - that a life of true "wealth" requires genuine happiness, peace-of-mind, dream-fulfillment, and more. Kudos to you!
But how do you construct such a life? Well, there aren't any "perfect" templates to conform to (thank goodness!). Amazing health is achieved through personal discovery and adaptation. It's unique to you. Be bold and creative.
However, like in life, there are harsh truths about health that you must understand if you are to improve your health (and life) experiences. Look for the Eureka! lessons - they'll help you!
- Nobody is responsible for your health but you
The quality of your health is not a responsibility you can delegate. Nor can you legitimately blame others for your unhealthy plights. Healthy lifestyle choices matter. And they're made by you alone.
Be mindful! Your health responsibilities aren't just regulated to food choices. You're equally responsible for keeping active, staying well-rested, reducing stress, having fun (very healthy!), and everything else that influences your overall health and wellness.
The Eureka! Lesson:
Yes, you're fully responsible for your health. But that means you're fully empowered too! Thus, your health responsibilities aren't burdens. They're gifts of opportunity and self-expression.
- Health (like life) is unfair
Unfortunately, all things health are not created equal. Some have better genetics than others. Some have received more meaningful health education than others. Some have better socio-economic conditions than others. Some are flat out luckier. And all of these things are excuses.
The Eureka! Lesson:
Fairness isn't the point. Opportunity is. America sines as "the land of opportunity", not the land of handouts. The same applies to your health. You have a chance for greatness. Just how great is up to you.
- Your health won't be perfect, ever
Is health perfection really the goal, or is health greatness? I vote greatness! After all, perfection doesn't guarantee greatness, and greatness isn't perfect.
Perfection is quicksand. It snares you in a devilish trap of illusion and frustration. It's too heavily nuanced with details, rules, false promises, and other venomous constraints. As a result, your enthusiasm and momentum for a healthy lifestyle will suffer, ween, and possibly die. How tragic.
The Eureka! Lesson:
Don't strive for perfection - strive for greatness! Greatness is a healthy attitude that inspires you to focus on the big picture, live unconventionally, and learn from missteps. It's about BIG thinking and BOLD living.
- You cannot out exercise poor nutrition
"It's 'okay' for me to eat this gluttonous cake wedge because I'm going to the gym later."
You cannot out exercise poor nutrition. First, losing fat, gaining muscle, and just getting healthier isn't only about "calories in, calories out". That's far too simplistic. Your nutrition choices affect your metabolism, sleep patterns, mental acuity, stamina, and happiness (just to name a few).
Second, such misguided beliefs ingrain the wrong health behaviors. Unhealthy indulgences aren't "rewards", they're unhealthy indulgences. Believing otherwise traps you in a vicious loop of stagnant health (at best) or a downward spiral of decaying health (at worst).
The Eureka! Lesson:
Certainly "reward" yourself for staying active. That's important! Just don't do it with crap food. Use pleasurable experiences, reasonable purchases, more quality family time, etc. instead.
- Pain is not gain
"No pain, no gain" - or so the saying goes. I disagree.
Pain is painful. Humans have a simple response to anything painful - we stop! So, isn't the whole "no pain, no gain" argument backwards? Pain incites de-motivation, resentment, rejection, even fear. Which of those promotes improved health and happiness? Try none.
The Eureka! Lesson:
Here's my version - less pain, more gain. Embrace your true health passions - those healthy pursuits that magnify joy and create meaning. That's the secret for maintaining awesome health! Skip the pain, it's for dummies.
- Unhealthy ignorance is not healthy bliss
Pretending our society's unhealthy plights don't exist exacerbates the problems. Ignorance is not bliss. It's an intellectual and human-decency crisis.
67% of US adults are overweight or obese. The US ranks 1st in health care costs (as % of GDP), but 49th in life expectancy. US health care costs are estimated to be $13,100 in 2018 for every man, woman, and child.
We cannot wish-away these facts. And the trends are getting worse.
The Eureka! Lesson:
Hope remains! We made this calamity, so we can unmake it. Knowing is half the battle. So, let’s learn these inconvenient truths and use them as calls-to-action for better health and happiness.
- There are no health bailouts
The US financial sector was recently rescued from their appalling behaviors by a shiny $700 billion government bailout. But appalling health behaviors cannot be similarly rescued. Why? Because poor health behaviors create health debts that cannot be neutralized by a pen stroke.
What are these health debts? The things that matter - quality of life, longevity of life, emotional health, disease prevention, psychological health, physical health, overall wellness, and more. These debts corrode your life as it's happening. And no bailout later in life can reverse time.
The Eureka! Lesson:
Your health is not "too big to fail". So don't wait! If your health needs bailing out, then bail it out NOW before things get worse. The rest of your life's health and happiness depends on it.
"Do not take life too seriously. You will not get out of it alive." - Elbert Hubbard
Context matters. Yes, these harsh truths are, well, harsh. Hence, I hope you regard them as calls-to-action to improve the awesomeness of your life. Your health is that powerful.
But don't go mental. Life is too precious and delicate to take too seriously. Enjoy your health and your life. Be creative. Be bold. Be unconventional. And (perhaps above all else) be a kid! If you unleash your inner-child you'll discover that a happy, healthy, and spectacular life is rather easy.
I don't contest that these seven truths represent an exhaustive list. But I have learned them from my own health adventures, many the hard way. I share them in the hopes that they help you with your health adventures!
Yes, you may disagree with a few. I hope you do and that you share your comments because health is too important and personal to be passively accepted and rendered mundane.
|Written on 5/10/2010 by Matt Gartland. Matt is a healthy lifestyle geek extraordinaire. He writes at Healthy Lifestyle Design (HLD), where he unleashes his passion for remarkable and unconventional living propelled by amazing health. Follow Matt on Twitter and join the HLD Tribe on Facebook.||Photo Credit: nertzy|
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Over the past 35 years, I've bounced back and forth on the pros and cons of a college degree.
When I was 15, I decided what I wanted to do and pursued it.
It did not require a degree. As a matter of fact, spending 4 years in college would have saddled me with debt and I would have been 4 years behind on my career path.
I was a radio disc jockey. Started in high school, and continued full time when I was 18. Worked my butt off, had fun, started a family, etc.
Then when I was 35, I walked away from it all, only to return to the radio world in 2003.
Except this time I was in advertising sales. Sure, I did advertising sales when I worked in radio in Detroit too, but this was different. This was a return but also something new.
As my own kids finished high school, most of them went away to college and two of the five have or will have degrees. That was their choice. Just like it was mine.
Harvey Mackay shares his thoughts:
- Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc., had no college education at all.
- Sir Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Brand of 360 companies, dropped out of school at age 16.
- Simon Cowell, American Idol host and music executive, left college early and eventually landed in the mailroom of a music publishing company.
- Barry Diller, chairman and CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Match.com, and other companies, dropped out of UCLA after one semester.
- Kirk Kerkorian, real estate investor worth approximately $15 billion, left school in eighth grade.
- Ralph Lauren, fashion designer, dropped out of business school after two years.
- Rachael Ray, celebrity chef and TV personality, started her adult career working at Macy's candy counter.
- And the most famous Harvard dropout of all is Bill Gates, Microsoft mogul and philanthropist extraordinaire.
- Be creative. Consider different ways to approach the work you do. Brainstorm with your team, or lacking a large group, brainstorm by yourself. Write down even the most unconventional and seemingly impossible solutions. Always, always be open to new ideas.
- Learn new skills. Identify what you want or need to learn to improve your worth. Set a goal to master a new skill with every project. It doesn't matter if that means learning another language or understanding a computer application. Just get yourself in the habit of adapting to the situation so you can be ready to contribute.
- Do the legwork. You want to convince people your idea will work? Hit them with facts. Do your homework. Find supporting research. Talk to co-workers.
- Don't sit on your ideas. Speak up if you have the idea and the supporting facts to back it up. Volunteer to lead the team or do the project yourself. Let your supervisors and co-workers know you are willing to take responsibility and evaluate progress, changing course if necessary.
- Try, try again. If your one idea didn't get an ok, don't be discouraged. Keep looking for other ideas, or reinvent your idea to overcome objections. Demonstrate your willingness to adapt.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
We'll never know.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This weeks tip is what I consider "old school".
7 years ago, when I started working for my group of radio stations, I had a desktop computer and we used Microsoft Outlook for our company email.
If I was away from my desk, on the other side of town, or at home, and I wanted to check for new email messages, I was out of luck.
If this is your situation, then this tip is for you.
Mail2Web.com allows you to log in to your company email account (in most circumstances) and check for new messages. You can also send messages from Mail2Web.com.
The cost? Free.
The reason I said this is old school is because 6 1/2 years ago, I bought my first laptop and so now I have all of my work email with me everywhere I go. And with Blackberries and smartphones, many folks can check their email without a computer.
Here's the link: http://mail2web.com/
Monday, May 17, 2010
from the DLM blog:
Posted: 13 May 2010 06:47 AM PDT
Ever felt unmotivated and simply not in the mood to do anything?
Yeah, me too. Even though I'm always motivated and all ready to take action on my goals, I have times when I feel disconnected with my inner muse. No matter whether you are Seth Godin or Robert Kiyosaki, all of us have our own down times where we don't feel like doing anything. It happens. Our productivity plummets to an all-time personal low as we drag our feet around on things we should be doing. It can be frustrating.
When left unchecked, this lack of motivation can get out of hand. Rather than let your productivity yo-yo based on your mood, you should learn to get in control of the situation and counteract with self-motivation strategies. Below are my 9 strategies to deal with situations of low motivation, and they have been proven to work wonders for myself, my readers and my clients.
- Design your vision
One of the biggest reasons why we are not motivated is because we are not connected with our vision. Specifically, the vision of what we are trying to achieve. What are you working so hard for every day? What do you want to get out of this? What is your dream outcome? What are your end goals? What will excite and spur you to move forward?
While I'm busy writing and growing my blog, The Personal Excellence Blog, every day, I never lose sight of my end vision. My vision is to have a reader base of millions, travel around the world to speak to people, launch my books and touch the lives of people everywhere. I may not be there yet, but I know I'll reach there as long as I keep working hard. For example, after 1.5 years, The Personal Excellence Blog is now read by over 100,000 readers a month and I'm an established personal excellence coach and speaker in my country (Singapore). Even just typing about this now is making me feel very inspired by what's ahead. With a big vision, it spurs me to create endlessly, rather than settle for status quo.
- Get clear on the 'WHY'
Lack of motivation can come from losing sight of the "WHY" - why we do the things we do. We are so busy with work and managing different areas of our life that every day turns into a routine of activities. It becomes a race to get as much done, without consciously evaluating why we are doing all these things.
Why do you live? Why do you do the things you do? Why do you slough away at work? What is it for? What do you want to get out of it? These are all important questions to ask ourselves, and important questions to have answers to. If you don't have the answers, perhaps it's time to seek them out.
Discovering my life purpose in 2006 has given me endless drive in life. I discovered my passion in helping others to achieve excellence and live their best life. This realization has led me to make bold life decisions, such as quitting my regular, well paying job 2 years ago to pursue my passion in personal development. Since then, I have started The Personal Excellence Blog, coached hundreds to achieve excellence in their lives and started The School of Personal Excellence (my training school). This "WHY" drives me every day to reach greater heights and accomplish more.
- Have deadlines
Your goals should come with deadlines so that you will be spurred into action. After all, by Parkinson's Law, work takes as long as the amount of time we give to it. Not setting a date can cause us to slack off and dwindle on the task. If we set deadlines, we will be triggered to get things done by that date. Specifically when do you want to achieve this? What is your cut-off date? Subsequently, set the deadlines for your weekly and daily tasks too.
Some of my clients told me they don't want to set deadlines as they don't want to stress themselves into achieving the goals. That's a cop-out. Stress from deadlines is only because you attach yourself to the outcome. The deadlines for your goals are meant to be reference points so you can achieve them. You should strive to achieve them, but not beat yourself to a pulp if you don't achieve it. Commit to your deadlines, but don't attach yourself to them.
- Take a rest
Sometimes when we feel unmotivated, it's cue for a rest. Just like a car with no fuel needs to be refueled, if we run out of energy, we need rest. I was in a slump before and it took me a couple of months to realize it was because I wasn't resting at all. I was just working day-after-day and my mind and soul rebelled by taking a hiatus. I couldn't get new ideas for my writing and some items on my task list became chores rather than enjoyments.
So, stop doing whatever you are doing and take a breather. What are some of your hobbies? Spend some time doing them. Get away from your computer too. Engage yourself in things that interest you. Go take a walk in the park, hang out with friends, listen to music, rest, watch a movie, etc. Simply relax. It'll give you renewed focus and energy.
- Do things you love
Sometimes, lack of motivation is a sign from our subconscious that we're not doing things we love. Do you spend a good portion of your time doing things you don't like? This applies to anything, from hanging out with people you don't like, or doing work you are passionless towards.
You don't need to do things you don't like to do. If you feel dead towards something, then stop doing it. There's no point doing things you don't love. Life is too short to be spending it that way. Create an action plan to get out of things you don't like and move towards things you love. As long as you keep yourself stuck with things you feel dead towards, you will forever be held back by them.
For example, after working 2 years at my last job, I reached a state where I completely dreaded work. I was working in brand management and skincare, which was very different from my passion to help others grow. I loved weekends and hated Mondays. I would be hauling myself out of bed and dreading my feet to work during weekdays. Finally, I told myself - this was it. I submitted my resignation letter and left in Sep '08. I never looked back ever since.
- Soak yourself in motivational materials
Surround yourself in inspirational materials, such as self help books, podcasts, inspirational stories of people, inspirational speeches, motivational quotes and personal development blogs like Dumb Little Man, Zenhabits, Lifehack and Seth Godin's blog. Every morning, I set aside some time to read personal development blogs as well as people who inspire me. In my room, I have motivational quotes plastered on my noticeboard, and I have my vision board of my biggest dreams and goals in life. Just looking at them is a simple reminder why I do the things I do (tip #2).
Here are some inspirational materials you can start off with:
* The Way to Happiness
* Steve Job's famous Standford Commencement Speech
* Randy Pausch's Last Lecture
* Philosopher's Notes is a great podcast resource - it condenses the wisdom of self help books into short podcasts
* 101 Inspiring Quotes of All Time (free ebook with over 300+ quotes - Most Inspiring Quotes of All Time)
- Surround yourself with competition
One of the best ways to motivate yourself into action is through competition. When you are in lone man's island, it's easy to descend into a mode of stagnancy. However, when in the face of competition, you will push yourself to do better and better. Look at your goals, and see how you can spice things up with competition. Trying to lose weight? Get friends with similar goals to join in and see who can reach the goal the fastest. Want to grow your business? Benchmark yourself with some of the top people in the industry.
- Hang out with motivated people
As Jim Rohn says, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Do you notice that when you are around positive people, you become more positive afterward, even when you are by yourself? Similarly, when you hang around motivated people, their vibes will rub off you naturally too. It's kind of like diffusion. You will get motivated and be triggered to take action.
When I'm around higher consciousness people, I consequently get more ideas and feel more stirred than usual to act on my goals. This is why I make it a point to surround myself with positive friends. Even my browser favorites are filled up with blogs and writings of positive people. Reading them almost always give me added inspiration.
- Remind yourself of things you are grateful for
What are the things you are grateful for in your life? Your family? Your friends? Your health? Your life? What are the things that make you happy to be alive and motivate you to live? There are so many things I'm grateful for that the list is endless. I love being alive. I love living my passion, exercising, nightfall, the morning air, sunrises, my friends, my room, my elmo (a birthday gift when I was 15), living a vegan lifestyle, and many, many more. Being aware of these inspires me live life to the fullest.
List down all the things that you feel grateful for in a document somewhere. Feel the gratitude and love for those things that you have. Chances are, there is at least someone in this world who wants this but is unable to get it. Whenever you feel unmotivated, look at this list. It'll remind you of things worth living for.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I've tried to follow his example as a Dad and one of these days as a Grandpa.
In reality, I've had a lot of practice, as I have a step-grandson who is on the verge of turning 12 and I've know him since he was 2.
Fathers day is always the 3rd Sunday in June and while fatherhood is a huge part of being a guy, there are other parts that are just as important.
A few years ago, I discovered a blog, the Art of Manliness which has daily updates, some of which I repost here.
Now, they are offering a free book of Manliness wisdom:
Download the Lessons in Manliness eBook
Edit: The download link should be working now.
Back in March we did a group writing project here on AoM where we asked readers to submit essays on the lessons in manliness they’ve learned from a man in their life. We received 46 submissions from men who shared stories about the grandfathers, friends, and mentors who have lived lives that showcase the very best in being an honorable man.
I’ve finally put all the submissions into a nicely formatted eBook so that everyone can enjoy and hopefully learn from the lives of ordinary men who have helped pass the art of manliness on to others. At over 100 pages long, it’s pretty substantial for an eBook. And it’s completely free.
So download the FREE Lessons in Manliness eBook now! Please share it with as many people as you want.
I hope you enjoy it, and if you missed out on submitting a Lessons in Manliness essay this time around, we’ll probably be doing this again in a year. So stay tuned.
Finally, a big thank you goes out to all those who contributed to this project. Kate and I really enjoyed reading your submissions and were inspired and touched by the men you wrote about. Thank you for taking the time to honor these men and for sharing their stories with the men of AoM.