“The first and greatest victory is over self.”
Q: How do I not fall into the default category?
A: You begin your design discipline today.
Living life by design means you begin today:
· Reversing the mental meltdowns by engaging your mental metamorphosis.
· You lay down fresh thought patterns.
· You act on that design. (Thank you Pink for telling us to get up and “try”, but I like this, “DO!”
· Strive to untangle yourself from what holds you back and get wrapped up in what pushes you forward.
· Reverse being scatterbrained and streamline your emotions.
· Being content while simultaneously visionerring to advance.
· Eat clean (no fried foods, trans fats, false sweeteners, and add fruits & veggies).
· Chose people over profit.
· Challenge your current fitness level and put your body in motion.
Each day craft your methodical life pattern and add a little more color. The results will be a multi colored, multi-faceted skill set that others will find beautiful.
Be your own picture of health. The obtainable goal is not “out there,” visualize it and internalize it. It’s in you, and you are making daily strides to align your vision to your reality.
Have you taken steps in the last week to fashion your life according to your creative design? Are you working toward making your mark on your surroundings- your character, your family, your company and your world?
Reality check: In order to get where you want to go later, you have to bloom where you are planted now.
The definition for default is to “failure to fulfill an obligation.” An obligation. What is your real obligation? Everyone has a job description, roles to play and functions in society, but what is your real bottom line obligation? I would argue that It’s living life by your own creative design. Your obligation to your existence is to live by your own creative design. Defaulting on a loan is one thing, but are you defaulting on destiny? You are the lien holder. You are the investor. You write the bylaws and covenants. And you have to collect on your own goods.
Destress by Taming & Unifying
I overheard Dawn, one of our fitness specialists, mention the other day she is going to go ride her horse. She said that is therapeutic for her. I get that, the connection you can have with nature and animals. Swimming in open water or taking nature hikes does that for me. When she said that, my thoughts went to my childhood growing up in Kentucky. My grandparents owned a farm when I was little and I remember them having all kinds of animals. We lived in the city so it was exceptionally neat to visit them. I picked apples off a tree, grapes off the vine, pulled carrots out of the ground, chased chickens (good visual huh?), jumped out of the two story barn into a pile of hay, fished, and just all kinds of country goodness. I have a book on horses and fitness, and the author Linda Jones, talks a lot about how to train if you are a rider, but also how to understand the horse’s personality in her book. She also applies a lot of that wisdom to humans. She gives pictures of different looks the horse gives, or the swirls around its eyes, that give off the horse’s personality. For example, a horse with a large soft round eye indicates that he is generally at ease and trusts people. A horse with tight wrinkles about the eyes means he is worried or uneasy. Linda goes into ears, nose, etc. to explain what the horse is thinking and feeling. Her method for optimal connection is to get in touch with the animal on the outside and create a bond, a rhythm that is unified. So, our method of optimal connection with ourselves is about getting in touch with the “animal” inside, and creating a bond within yourself where all is unified and tamed.
Linda speaks of a gentleman who influenced her studies, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. We will say Dr. M for short. Dr. M was a master of martial arts, an athlete and a physicist. He had great writings on how to put mind and body together to live out your potential mentally and physically. He did this because later in life his knee stopped working, and he wasn’t going to allow that to happen. He claimed he was able to walk again by reeducating his leg through mind power and leg movement. Many dancers and artists use his methods to help remove limitations in movement. I want to help you remove any limitations in your thinking. Look a little further with me from what I found from Wikipedia:
“The Feldenkrais Method was originated by Dr Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a Ukrainian-born Jewish physicist and judo practitioner who moved to Israel and eventually became an Israeli. He presented a view that good health means functioning well---working well, having satisfying relationships with emotional maturity, able to access a full range of responses to any situation ("Awareness Through Movement") - this is opposed to the medical health as in not 'sick or disabled' or health in any abstract sense. He asserted that his method of body/mind exploration leads to improved functioning (health) through individuals becoming more aware and finding improved use; this focus on exploration and awareness is typified by his statement ‘What I am after is more flexible minds, not just more flexible bodies’.”
To me, that is very interesting. Think about the correlation between mind and muscle. As we develop and learn to function, early in life and later, we lay down patterns of habit with our brain and certain muscles. There is a direct relationship there. For example, if we learned to walk a certain way, that’s the way we will walk. If we learned to talk a certain way, that’s the way we will talk. Southerners talk differently than Northerners. People from one country may walk differently than people from another. We train our brains (neural responses) to program our muscles to act on those habits, according to our environment.
Dr. M’s point was you can use your mind to not only break those old habits, but develop a new system of non-habit forming mind manipulation. It’s possible to improve your motor skills and physical limitations thru simultaneous strong mental focus and relevant exercises.
Your mind gives out before your muscles do, and your muscles will break plateaus with deeper focus. And with that, don’t think in terms of “psyche up to bulk up”, rather relate at a slow pace with balanced breathing, thinking while you are working the muscles. And that’s what Tai Chi exactly is. If you have not tried that class, please do so! Essud Fundcap is our instructor and he is phenomenal.
When you take time, energy and focus to connect your mind and muscle, you are also activating internal chemistry and hormones that amplify recovery and increased motivation. Design your own mental and muscular system. Do not allow atrophy thru living by default. You are indeed your own best trainer.
Next week we will dive into “brain tangles” and your brain on exercise.
Wednesday Wellness: Design vs. Default
Have you stopped to think if you are really living life by design and not default?
We talked two weeks ago about May being a battle month. First up was Inaction vs. Prevention. We dove into thinking of the consequences if we do nothing verses proactive steps that will add years to our life rather than allowing years to be eaten away unnecessarily. Next up is more of a philosophical battle, and deals not only with
preventatives, but how
we prevent. When we come to terms philosophically and solidify our core values, then we take shape and can be on our course. Today’s battle: Design vs. Default.
1. to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan
2. to conceive and plan out in the mind
3. to have as a purpose
4. to devise for a specific function or end
5. to indicate with a distinctive mark, sign, or name
6. to make a drawing, pattern, or sketch of, to draw the plans
1. Failure to fulfill an obligation, esp. to repay a loan
“Wellness” simply means “to live well.” It’s much more than curling a dumbbell and eating grilled chicken, living well implies a healthy holistic lifestyle. It’s bigger than a workout or routine, it’s about designing
lifestyle habits and patterns of thought that produce actions. Directing wellness is more about life coaching then it is simply losing weight.
Have you given thought to how your thoughts got in your head? What influencers laid them down? Have you taken a deep look to see the patterns and behaviors that have formed, if they are the ones you want to live with? Do you need to change your design? What colors would you like to add to live life more colorfully? How you think becomes who you are and translates into how you live.
Designs consist of patterns that have been compiled and formed over the course of a certain time. What type of lifestyle patterns have you compiled to make up who you are now? A good thing is that they are not permanent, they can be altered or added to if the design is not exactly fitting to the individual.
Patterns of thought, behaviors, eating habits, workout ethic, relationship formation & connections, and your responses to circumstance all make up your design. What kind of distinctive mark will your design hold? The challenge is to continually fashion and execute your design with authentic purpose
. Making it a part of your daily life until it becomes who you are.
It stands to reason that we are products of our environment. Not just our family or peers, but also the culture of the area and associations. For example, according to U.S News & World report, Mississippi is the fattest state in America
with 32.5 of adults being obese. That is a cultural issue my friends. People who grow up with triple southern fried, smothered & covered trans fats, and double death chocolate Sundays can easily fall into that default setting. The opposite is true as well, WebMD says Oregon is the most fit state in the county
. If we do what we can to get our kids addicted to the outdoors, plan hikes and trips to the lake, make walking trails and parks a weekly routine, practice eating clean at home, turn off the HD & small devices, get connected relationally, and be a constant coach to push their dreams out- we can help them live their life by design and not just a default pattern of living.
Notice the definition for default is “failure to fulfill an obligation.” An obligation… What is your real
obligation? Everyone has a job description, roles to play and functions in society, but what is your real bottom line obligation? I would argue that it’s living life by your own creative design. Your obligation to your existence is to live life by design and not default. Defaulting on a loan is one thing, but are you defaulting on destiny? You are the lien holder. You are the investor. You write the bylaws and covenants. And you have to collect on your own goods. Step 1: Your Mental Metamorphosis
If we have went thru a mental meltdown, become desensitized, lost good judgment, morally dropped out, or have found we have been living by too much default , it’s time for a mental metamorphosis.
“A change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means b: a striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances.”
Before your patterns become a design they go thru a filter. The filter is what needs attention and is in need of constant revision and analysis. The old phrase getting set in your ways it true for most, it gets increasingly difficult to change your design the older you get. However, we can all achieve improvements thru our mental metamorphosis.
Your habits can be altered by keeping yourself wrapped up around the right thoughts and actions. The reason it is said it takes 21 days to form a habit is because you have to detach from the old pattern as you are renewing a new one. It’s not good enough to simply add a new habit, you have to remove an old one. Untangle yourself from what holds you back and get wrapped up in what will push you forward
. It’s not an overnight process nor does training stop after 21 days. When it is not interrupted it can change. What you get going gets going, so create a snowball of powerful momentum. You will strengthen your strands of healthy habits that way!
The design you get going filters into your value system. Our family of companies is a great example of core values infused in the work culture. Whether personal or professional, don’t let interruptions come in as you are hiding your mind and wrapping it in truth!
Rick Jackson is a great example of someone who came from humble beginnings and yet decided to live his life by design and make his mark in this world. By doing so, what a legacy he has formed. Let that be a motivator for creative design, leaving a legacy that other designers can glean from and morph into. Think of how much of your design came from parents, teachers, leaders, mentors, coaches, etc; to create the mosaic that you are today. We all have the obligatory responsibility to live a colorful life so that future generations will have a bright future.
When I was in college I worked as a counselor at a group home for troubled teens. I worked 3rd shift, 2 or 3 nights a week. I figured I stayed up all night anyway most nights doing random stuff, so I might as well make some money and help kids out at the same time. I was in charge of one house that slept 7-8 teen boys. I have a lot of stories about that place, and lessons I learned that I will never forget. I remember this one teen named Bucky. He was 15 and had lived in foster and group homes all his life. He was a bright guy, but never had anyone to really help him develop his gifts. He had been “raised” by street smarts. He and another guy got into it and I had to break up the fight. After everything settled down and I wrote up a status report, we began to sit on the steps and talk. He began to open up because I took time to listen. His design pattern was raising his voice and resorting to violence, but we had a cordial conversation. The source of his anger were feelings of abandonment. After I listened to him pour out his issues, I said to him “You do have potential, you can set your life on the right course, I believe you can.” He said no one had ever looked him in the eye with conviction and told him they believed in him. He started to daily wrap his mind with those and other positive truths. Through the course of time he began to get in his cocoon, wrap his brain around who he was, the potential he had, what he was passionate about, what he had to offer the world, and he became a different person the next semester. He was able to control his impulsivity thru training his mind.
Your design is never so off color that it can’t be changed. Your life is of value, your efforts are worth it and you do make a difference.
Next week in part 2 we will learn about how much of our brain we actually use, why we should be a hot head, brain tangles, and mind habit formation to deepen your ambition that all produce fresh designs.
Q: How do I not fall into the default category?
A: You begin your design discipline today.
Begin your metamorphosis today by wrapping your head around these truths:
· Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
· Healthy change is gradual. It's about your commitment to patience and consistency.
· You can’t let your stagnant places make you stagnant. Push thru, don’t set up camp at the plateau.
· You have the power to construct your life according to the design you put forth
· What you get going gets going, so move in the right direction
· It’s not about things around me changing, it’s about things in me changing
· Your preparation determines you destination
Food for thought, literally…
It takes 3-5 years for your body to literally recreate itself. The regeneration process at the cellular level is interesting stuff and is always happening. Muscle tissue and organs are recreated faster than your bones, but all draw their nutrient value from what you put in your mouth. Deeper thinking to "you are what you eat..."
Eat only from what nature made, not from what a factory made.
Your liquid intake:
1. As soon as you feel thirsty your body is already 2-3% dehydrated. Always have water at your desk, and be double fisted. Meaning, whatever drink you are having alternate drinks with water.
2. How much water do you need? Take your body weight and cut that in half. That is the number of ounces you need per day.
3. If you drink coffee or tea, here is what to include if you are only drinking what nature made:
b. Sugar in the raw
d. All natural honey
e. Try fruit slices in your unsweat tea
f. DO NOT replace a soda with an “energy” drink. It is not the healthier alternative. More energy will come, without the post crash, when you focus on what came up thru the earth not what came out of a factory.
g. The average person can save 15 pounds per year simply by cutting out soda and sugary drinks. And your insulin levels will thank you for it!
h. It’s too easy to sabotage your diet by drinking excess sugars, salts, full fat dairy or alcohol. And you can’t out exercise a bad diet.
Bonus points: Make quick switches:
a. Instead of candy, eat a piece of fruit
b. Instead of chips as a side with your turkey wrap, get sliced cucumbers and hummus
c. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
d. Switch your trigger point with an all nature alternative
e. Every bit counts, please don’t think it does not! Every time you replace a trigger point with a healthy alternative, you are laying down new lifestyle habits. Take that to the bank and cash that check every time!
As you are getting more natural foods and liquids in you, you are getting preservatives, sedatives, additives and chemically enhanced items out.
Your medicine should be your food and your food should be your medicine.
Wednesday Wellness: Inaction vs. Prevention
Let’s declare May a battle month. We have heard the phase pick & choose your battles, and that will be our focus - battling where it counts. Each week from now until the end of May we will encourage you to take up arms and energy, and apply them to the values in life that create fresh perspective and healthier action plans. For today and for the long haul…
First up on our battle list is inaction vs. prevention.
How do we go from knowing vs. doing? What will the stop sign be in our brain that allows wisdom to enter one ear and not exit out the other? What will it take to switch our focus from “I’ve been meaning to…” to “another season of training done, I feel great, and the doc says my numbers are where they need to be!”
As a starting point, think of the consequences of inaction. As parents, we talk to our kids about thinking thru choices, processing the aftereffects before a bad decision is made. We hope they get it, but what are we not getting in terms of our health goals? We must practice that principle. My challenge to us is to think of the aftereffects if we do nothing for our health & wellness.
Thought to action challenge: What will add years to your life instead of taking them away? Two points to begin with are:
1). Start today to eat cleaner, make sure you exercise for at least 30 minutes, and train your brain with positive empowerment.
2). What type of exam have you been putting off or which one is it time to schedule?
Personalize it. For example, my father passed away from colon cancer so I am up against a challenge of heredity. I turned 40 a few months ago, so it’s time for me to begin my annual exams. I met with a Gastroenterologist last Friday and I gathered information on how best to examine every organ in my digestive system. I had them draw blood to examine enzymes in my liver, etc., I scheduled a sonogram for certain organs and a colonoscopy. Hey, when it comes to your health, be overboard instead of under the radar!
60% of colon cancer causes might have been caught earlier with screening. Unviserty of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health.
Think of the consequences if you do nothing…
· If the smoker does nothing: take an average of 15 years off of life.
· If the sedentary does nothing: the chance for heart disease increases by 60%. Obesity, heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and hypertension are linked to a sedentary lifestyle.
o According to a poll of nearly 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, it's likely that you spend a stunning 56 hours a week planted like a lump on a log—staring at your computer screen, working the steering wheel, or being a chair potato in front of your high-def TV.
· If your cholesterol is high and you do nothing: you will experience plaque build up in your arteries, and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.
· If you have high blood pressure and you do nothing: you will experience damage to your arteries & brain.
· If your triglycerides are high and you do nothing: you increase your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, ischemic stroke, fatty liver, pancreatitis, and kidney disorders.
· If your body fat is high and you do nothing: women increase their risk of breast cancer, heart disease and negative effects of their hormonal structure. For men, the risks are heart disease, various types of cancers and diabetes. To learn more about where your body fat should be, check out the attached document. We have body fat counters in the Coliseum. Feel free to come down anytime, we are here for you!
· If the cynic does nothing: count on broken relationships and battling depression.
Make a detour and be on your way. Mark your path today with preventative measures.
More battles to come in May:
· Design vs. default
· Your brain on exercise vs. mental degeneration
· Body weight vs. body fat
o Living to eat vs. eating to live
· Anxiety vs. emotional mastery
· Fads & quick fixes vs. lifestyle habits
· Life balance vs. spinning plates
Your life, and the value therein, is at stake. Be proactive, never passive. Forage for not just financial profit, but for personal holistic wellness.
Switch your focus and expedite your goals. By tweaking our focus we can take off undo pressure and channel that into positive action & ambition. Here are 3 quick examples.
Example 1: Switch from focus on your body weight to what you can see, feel and fit into. Don’t let that number from the scales get into your psyche and serve as a demotivator. The scales can be manipulated by bone density, organ and muscle mass, water weight, etc. If you need numbers to go by, use your body fat % and measuring tape.
Example 2: Switch from a focus on fat to a concentration on clean eating. It’s not a war on fat, it’s about incorporating daily lifestyle habits of clean eating. If you switch your focus away from getting rid of your love handles to smarter shopping and cleaner eating, the fat will take care of itself.
Example 3: Switch from quick fixes to overall healthy living. Sometimes the wellness industry & culture can pressure us into false ideas. It’s not about diet fads, quick fixes, energy drinks, fat burning pills, the new ways to workout, drinking the new rich antioxidant cancer fighting plant leaves from the gardens of the new Eden, nor is it about the new self-help workshop. Again, it’s not a war on fat, it’s a war on holistic healthy living. It’s about consistency and finding your rhythm in clean eating, mental empowerment, guarding your heart, regular sleeping habits, daily steps to keep stress down, relationship formation, positive attitude, maximizing your potential at the office, etc. It’s about preventative measures rather than treatments.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easier than regaining one.
1. Bring and hand over (a letter, parcel, or ordered goods) to the proper recipient or address.
2. Formally hand over (someone).
hand over - rescue
What are you delivering today? Allow me to encourage you to bring in and hand over your potential. Deliver your goods today. And the proper recipient is not just your manager or client, it’s you. By hand delivering your true skill set, you are handing yourself to personal fulfillment. You also rescue your talent by not allowing it remain stagnant. It grows as you give it room to grow.
Engage today. Be involved. Don’t shrink back. Step up. Deliver.
The only person you have to better than is the one you were yesterday.
Some Quick Nuggets to Strengthen Your Resolutions:
*You can’t out exercise a bad diet.
*By know what you can eat- rather than focusing on what you can’t- you’ll discover endless meals that help you drop body fat.
*Focus on categories not calories:
o Lean proteins (low fat dairy included)
o Whole grains
*40%- less likely to die of cancer if you maintain a healthy weight.
*12%- less likely to have a stroke when you lower your body fat by just 2%.
*57%- less likely to die of heart disease if you have a lean belly.
*69%- decrease in development of type 2 diabetes when you lower your body fat (not body weight, body fat).
*40%- less likely to develop arthritis of the hips or knees when you drop 5 pounds of fat.
You are who you hang with.
Not just relationally, but also mentally & emotionally. What ideas do your thoughts hang around? What emotions do you tend to sit near?
Resilience is the ability to deal with life events effectively, without resorting to self-destructive behaviors.
I love this definition.
I must be growing up because I am right now on a Saturday night sitting in Barnes and Noble reading and blogging. Dear Lord, the yesteryear me would be looking for a hot spot with good drinks and pretty ladies, yes post divorce me talking... But now my hot spots are finding my sweet spot, flowing in my gift zone and empowering other people. That takes me higher than any atmosphere.
Wow, the ability to deal with life events effectively. Not just deal with life, nor life events, but life events effectively. That encompasses the events that we cause and ones that are out of our control. Oh, the out of our control ones are tough. Especially when we didn't ask for nor cause the pain and drama we find ourselves wrapped up in like a blanket.
Events effectively. An event many times is a "pop up". It would be great to just "disallow" or prevent pop ups in life, like we can our computer, but that is just not the case. So my thoughts on this topic first go to prevention.
In order to prevent the self destructiveness patterns to play out, we have to be prepared in order to prevent. What I have found is that my best lessons I have put in place to be prepared have come from my lack of preparation from the past. My failure has beat me to a place of preparation. It has shown me it's not worth it. Addiction therapy is a lot about consequences over the pleasure principle, short and long term. Once you lay down, however that happens, positive traits that cause wholesomeness, you are at a place where you can prevent. It takes unraveling destructive strongholds and retraining bad attitudes. It's a process and a daily action.
We need to go back to get better. Put a finger on why you do what you do. How did that destructive trigger pattern get put in place? Why is it there? What events, people, circumstance or gene caused it to be? Once you have got your finger on it, you can start to unravel it and redirect it.
Q: Who will win between the old destructive forces and the new healthy habits?
A: The one you feed the most.
It's like the Navy Seals training for secret missions. The mission will come. The challenge is inevitable. All the hard training and simulation WILL be put to the test at some point. Such is our own life training. Your character and resilience will be tested. I love this proverb for our training: "Hope for the best, plan for the worst and trust God for the victory." Shakespeare said "Love all, do wrong to none and trust only a few."
What kind of resolve will come from your resilience?
Aristotle said "Know thyself" and Socrates charges us that "The 1st and greatest victory is over self."
To conclude this post, let me give you a Lenism paraphrase: "# 1, you have to deal with your life events, then deal with them effectively, and afterward do not allow them to mess you up." My favorite life quote is "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." Reacting better now, efforts to control impulsivity and catching a bad attitude before it gets out are great keys to new resilience.