Here’s an interesting fact. We’re all going to die. With this strong statement in mind, I would like to pinpoint your attention to your reason for being here? Don’t get me wrong it may seem obvious, but besides from the biological activity that caused your birth, what reason have you given yourself over time? What is your definite purpose in life? If you don’t have one, no big deal – it is not a prerequisite for a “successful life” whatever that is; however people who follow a definite path usually get what they desire. At the heart of this desire, doesn’t it make sense to keep great health throughout this pursuit? Some may argue otherwise.
It is a known fact that obtaining success is not always linked to supreme health, rather it has been linked to obsession, psychopathy and extreme dedication to a cause, things that can cause an effect on one’s state of health. But it can also be argued that over time, dependent on a person’s energy levels, their health may deteriorate more rapidly over time. Why may this be the case? It is a combination of multiple factors but the best way I describe it is based on how a person exerts their energy throughout the day. Over time, the energy fields you focus on will determine your state of health, whether that be mental, spiritual or physical.
There is this conundrum that people have in terms of the quality of life they should live versus their lifestyle choices. Should I eat this hamburger, or should I eat quinoa and a bowl full of salad? Should I go to sleep now and get my 8 hours or should I finish this work and go much later? Should I go to the gym or should I hang out with my mates in the pub? We could always argue that all of these things in doses is ok, but how do we know what doses to take when the majority of us do not track our activities? If you’ve read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, you’ll know exactly what I mean. What we do most, exponentially escalates and becomes dominant over time.
With this in mind let’s focus on these areas of food, exercise, sleep, recreation & connection and purpose.
Food is thy medicine…
You literally are what you eat therefore if you eat crap then… you guessed it! From a basic point of view when we eat food, we chew it and it is mechanically broken down and aided by saliva for it to easily pass down our oesophagus (food pipe) down into our stomachs, where it is broken down even more by acids and hormones. After this it passes down the small intestine where it is absorbed via finger-like projections called villi and the broken down components of the food is syphoned off to areas in the body where energy is depleted. This is an oversimplification but it is important to know this because every time you eat food, your thoughts should responsibly be aware of how the food is contributing to your body. The food you eat contributes to your mental potential and energetic capabilities. In other words, continuously eat rubbish and you will be rubbish. You have to determine what kind of life you want to live, i.e. it is all about balance and your overall aims. If you want to be as clean as possible with your food intake then you would be more regimented with your approach. If you don’t care as much but don’t want to damage your body, you would have a certain level of compromise… Here are some basics to be aware of:
- Avoid white sugar
- Avoid white flour
- Eat more vegetables and fruits
- Eat more nuts (if you are not allergic)
- Drink less flavoured drinks, fizzy drinks and avoid alcohol
- Eat around 3 – 6 times day
- Don’t overcrowd your plate with carbs
Please note I am not a medic, and this advice is an accumulation of knowledge generated from books, the NHS and my Medical Biochemistry degree. When making changes to your diet please consult a professional or your GP/dietician/nutritionist for advice.
Exercise is a great personal development tool
Next on the list is exercise, this does not include walking and taking the stairs. I am referring to conscious and dedicated active exercise. This can involve going to the gym, doing an individual or team sport, do home or park workout, aerobics etc. The thing to remember with exercise is that it needs to be measured. People miss the trick with this, the professionals track their progress against a plan, and they consistently workout, tracking progress and increasing the intensity when appropriate. If you do go to the gym or have just started, I would suggest the following:
- Find a local gym, big or small dependent on your needs
- Find a trusted gym buddy to go with, if you can’t then don’t worry about it
- Buy some wireless headphone dedicated to the gym
- Create a music playlist for your phone/mp3 player for the gym
- Decide on your purpose for going to the gym. Is it to lose weight? Bulk up? Stay toned and trim? With this in mind, find or purchase an exercise plan you can stick to 3 – 5 times a week dependent on your level
- The routine needs to have a warm-up, stretching, main exercises, and warm down as a basic structure
- Try to have a regular time to go to the gym
Hopefully, this is enough to get you going!
Sleep is not that hard
Here’s a quick question, how many hours do you sleep on average? 5, 6, 7 hours? Whatever it is you need to make sure you can wake up fresh for the next day. There are some quick tips for making sure you sleep well.
- Go to sleep at the same time every day
- Wake up at the same time every day
- Don’t drink water 90 mins before you go to sleep
- Buy an alarm clock to help you wake up
- Put your smartphone on blocking mode, 30 – 60 mins before your sleep time
- If you can’t sleep during the night, go to a seperate room and read a book or write a to-do list; you’ll eventually want to sleep
- Do not eat 120 – 180 minutes before your sleep time
- Avoid looking at any backlit screens 15 – 30 mins before sleep
- A bedside lamp may be useful to help you drift off to sleep 15 – 30 mins before your time
- Stop all phone call conversations 15 – 30 mins before bed
- Try not to sleep too near to a window, and make sure you have good curtains to block out any natural sunlight
- Use and wear appropriate bed sheets and bed wear
This is enough information for you to at least attempt to have a better night’s sleep. P.s. there are some people who use fitbits or their phone to monitor their sleep. This is totally up to you, but I would say don’t get too distracted by gadgets and gizmos, you just need to learn to sleep according to a routine!
Recreation leads to great Connection
Scientists have shown that when babies have more contact with their parents, they grow neuronal connections much faster, compared to when they don’t. This and many other forms of evidence show that humans crave human connection, regardless of what we say. We need to position ourselves so that we have a good strong environment that has appropriate people in it. Appropriate people refers to the energy levels these people carry, or how they contribute to your wider purpose in a constructive and measured way that is aligned with your desired results and ultimate goals. Being alone and not having the right people around you can cause mental health problems, insecurities, a lack of self-esteem and anxiety. Even if you don’t have a circle of solid friends, learn to build solid and strong relationships, making people feel like when you are with them they are the only people in the world that has your attention. In group settings, it is about being balanced and knowing how to exert your energy and character in such a way that it is not too threatening to anyone. You can’t please everyone, but using a utilitarian, empathetic and due-diligent approach you can form closer relationships. You can find people at business and networking events, big and small social gatherings, as well as in exercise and skills-building environments.
Define your purpose and make a mark
The last health intervention is the most important. It involves making sure that you are aligned and positioned against a direction that fits with your values, strengths and desires. Purpose is the framework for a person’s life. Without purpose, you are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. With purpose, you derive meaning, and your actions have value attached to them. Purpose can help you fulfil the other interventions to the best of your ability because you have something to aim for in life. A definite purpose, backed by a deep-rooted desire, is usually accompanied by an intelligent plan and environments that foster success. Purpose is derived usually from experimental realisations. However, if you feel you have no purpose, I suggest you don’t look for it. Rather experience as many things that you want to, and start to steer towards experimenting new ideas, upskilling yourself, or doing more things tailored towards your strengths. Begin learning more about yourself so that you can feel more confident in your skin, and make real decisions that will benefit you and others. Learning about yourself and others is a great way to help you to start forming your purpose in life. Your purpose is a decision you make that you are dedicated to, and it becomes your informal and formal life-work. To find out more about your life purpose and how you can find desire check out my latest books:
And that’s it! Remember health is not dependent only on what you eat and your exercises, but it is also dependent upon the connections you form and the state of mind you bring. Re-read this article again if you forget these health interventions.