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Happiness is THE Goal

Happiness is THE goal, and a continuous one at that.

Everything else is just a means to an end.

Why do you want a girlfriend/boyfriend? Because you think it will make you happy.

Why do you want a new car? Because you think it will make you happy.

Why do you go out and drink alcohol on Friday nights? Because you think it will make you happy. (Happy hour!)

Thinking this way is like chasing a nonexistent oasis. It is illusionary. You can buy that car, but the thirst will not be quenched. This leads to a vicious cycle that never addresses the root of happiness. No external thing (or person) can truly make you happy. It comes from within. And it is a choice.

You can choose to be happy right now.

Think about that. You determine your happiness. Empowering, right?

Everything else is a means to an end. Happiness is that end, and it is continuously produced from within.

The choice is up to you. Just do it.

And here’s a tea bag that I opened while writing this. Synchronicity at its finest.

 

What We Can Learn From Children

^yeah-dats-me

Children, before they become conditioned, retain what I call the essence of being. We’re pure Love/God/Energy/Consciousness (or whatever you wanna call it) inhabiting these human bodies. Children are indicative of that. Take any child before any sort of conditioning and they manifest pure love.  And as we grow up, we get assaulted with conditioning from every angle, covering up our true selves.

Take a minute and observe children (preferably not from an old, white van), then observe adults. 99 times out of 100, the kids are having wayyyy more fun doing whatever it is that they’re doing. And why are adults so damn serious? We can learn a lot more from children than our mature, civilized, egos think we can.

Be like children. Not childish, but child-like.

Here are some characteristics of children that us (so-called) adults can apply:

Be in the moment. Kids fully immerse themselves in whatever they’re doing. That is truly living. They don’t obsess over the past or future like adults do. The present is a gift, so act like a little kid on Christmas.

See everything with fresh eyes. Admire the beauty of everything around you. Be in perpetual wonder, not on cruise-control through life like so many grown-ups (sadly) are. Let go of your baggage and rigid belief systems; be open to new ideas.

Non-judgment. A young child will treat a CEO the same way they treat a janitor. You think most adults would do the same? Don’t let your conditioning and preconceived notions dictate how you think, feel, and act.

Express yourself. Children have very expressive reactions to everything. If they feel happy, they jump for joy. If they feel anger, they throw a temper tantrum. Either way, they get it out. As adults, we are taught to suppress and even ignore our feelings. Never expressing yourself results in so much dys-function and dis-ease, both physically and mentally. Quit internalizing everything. Find constructive outlets for your feelings and emotions.

Ditch the inhibitions. This goes hand-in-hand with the last point. If you have the urge to dance, then dance. If you feel like yelling just to hear the echo of your voice, do it. If you see a tree you want to climb, CLIMB THAT SHIT. We need to stop worrying about social norms and what other people think.

Play. Stop being boring and have some fun.

 

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Two Types of Routines

“Routines make up our day, so make ones that will only help you.”2 Meal Mike

In my opinion, there are two types of routines. The first is what I call complacency routines. These are based in fear, monotony, and, well…complacency. The second type is goal-oriented routines. These correlate with desire, change, and achievement.

I was also going to add a third category regarding things you “have to do.” But, on a fundamental level, do we really have to do anything?

It’s all our choice. Kinda empowering, right?

Let’s break down these routines.

Complacency routines:

  • Fear-based. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing.
  • Apathy
  • Laziness
  • Resistance to change
  • Associated with an uneventful, monotonous lifestyle

Example: Getting home from work and watching the same tv show every night. (Oh yeeeah, livin the dream)

Goal-oriented routines:

  • Desire-based
  • Used to achieve/improve something
  • Stimulates (hopefully positive) change

Example: A workout routine.

What we can take away from this is a bit (or a lot) of self-awareness. Life is in our control when we are conscious of our thoughts, emotions, and actions (routines). Once we are aware, we will come to the realization that we have the power of choice. We will consciously choose to get that mid-afternoon coffee (or not), instead of just doing it without thinking. This will naturally result in adding more goal-oriented routines to our lives, while minimizing the complacency routines.

If we become conscious of our routines (and what types they are), we will no longer coast through life as an automaton. There is no regular day. Every day is special. Every day is a miracle. Every day is precious. Every day is to be savored. We must remember that, and keep working towards living out our dreams.

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A Hidden Benefit of Social Media

Everyone is talking about how social media is changing the world. It most definitely is, and one aspect that has been under-discussed is what it does at a personal level.

Social media is an incentive to be awesome.

Provocation to do more cool things, be more interesting, and share useful information.

^My cover photo on tha Facebookz

Doing awesome things:

Social media can be viewed as a call to action. What are you going to post about if you sit around all day on the internet, playing video games, or watching tv? Go do something epic, then share it. Then people will appreciate what you have to contribute.

We all want to share great experiences, and social media is the perfect platform for it. Plus, to some extent, we all want to look cool, right?

Being awesome:

Social media is encouragement to be more interesting. To share useful information. To spread a positive message. To help others. To make people (and yourself) laugh. It’s a digital platform for you to express yourself and share your gifts.

And it also forces you to become more self-aware. Because everything is so transparent, you want to become the best version of yourself, and have your internet personality reflect that. Think about it this way. Who wants to read anything that a Negative Nancy posts? Not me, I’ll hit em with the unfriend button quicker than a squirrel video on fast forward.

So what it all comes down to is this…

You need to get up, get out and get somethin’, don’t let the days of your life pass by.

 

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Everything is Interconnected

Our reality is an invisible web. A pull on one place carries a subtle vibration to another; to all others.

Everything is like a ripple on the surface of a pond. Ripples might originate from different places, but they spread everywhere.

Nothing is completely independent of everything.

Every action spurs a chain of events.

Reality is a snowball effect.

One snowflake has the potential to initiate an avalanche.

One domino has the potential to knock down the rest.

Any light eliminates all darkness.

A thought becomes reality.

Positive intentions bring about positive circumstances.

Good habits improve other (seemingly unrelated) aspects of life.

Helping others creates a “pay it forward” snowball effect.

We have more power and influence than we’re conditioned to think. Use it wisely.

Feel good, feel great, and spread it around like peanut butter.

P!

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9 Words, 90% of Your Health and Body Composition Goals

9 Words, 90% of Your Health and Body Composition Goals…

-Eat real, unprocessed foods
-Exercise according to your goals

Whoomp! There it is.

That’s it. That’s what it all comes down to. The basis for everything health and body composition related.

“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.” -Martin Henry Fischer

Here’s a little elaboration celebration…

These days, people are plagued with “paralysis by analysis.” There is an overwhelming amount of information out there. And instead of sticking to the basics and working consistently, people sit there and debate what the best methods are (without actually doing anything). Keep it simple, take action, and be consistent. It’s really a lot less complicated than everyone makes it out to be.

What do I mean by real, unprocessed foods?

Fruits, vegetables, animals, fish, plant, seeds, nuts…etc. Foods that, you know, naturally occur on Earth. Have you ever seen a pop-tart tree?

A “Paleo template” should, ideally, be the foundation of everyone’s eating habits. Notice I use the words “template” and “foundation”, because the last thing we need is to impose any more rigid rules/systems on ourselves.

Another way to look at it is if a food only has one ingredient (which is THAT food), it’s probably good for you.

In the word of the late, great Jack Lalane, “If man made it, don’t eat it.”

And with that being said, I think the 80/20 principle works well with what you eat. If you eat real food 80% of the time, you’ll be alright. No need to be fanatical and deprive yourself of ice cream for all eternity. Where’s the fun in that?

Exercise:

This should be a combination of low-intensity exercise (think walking), and short, high-intensity exercise (sprinting, resistance training…etc). Not those, long, drawn out jogging sessions. Why? Because that’s what’s most effective, and it’s how we’re meant to move. We evolved to walk all day, and occasionally sprint or lift something heavy (including our bodies). Mark Scisson summarizes this beautifully in this article.

The Final 10%: (Tailored to your specific goal)
The methods will obviously vary depending on what someone is trying to achieve. For the final 10%, you need more specific and advanced methods tailored to your specific goal(s). The final 10% for a 60 year-old trying to get off cholesterol meds will vary greatly from a 20 year old wanting to pack on muscle.

This is where all of those *insert superlative* dietary and training techniques come into play. Carb cycling, intermittent fasting, progressive overload, 5×5 lifting…etc. These will all help you achieve that final 10%, assuming you choose one that aligns with your goals.

More food for thought:
If you want to do something like get really lean (<8% bodyfat), or pack on 50lbs of muscle, it’s slightly unnatural. And this means you will have to do slightly unnatural things to get there. Remember that. You still need have that foundation of eating real, unprocessed foods and exercising according to your goals (not jogging, don’t be a hamster). And that final 10% is up to you.

The Deathbed Question

Ok, the title seems a bit morbid, but we’re going in the opposite direction here. The + side of the battery, if you will.

When evaluating the “life importance” of an activity, ask yourself, “If I was on my deathbed, would I wish I had done more of it?”

This will allow you to truly prioritize everything in life, and put things into perspective.

Think about how ludicrous it would be for someone to say “I wish I had spent more time at work” on their deathbed. Or “I wish I did a little more binge drinking.”

“At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important. Have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer.” -Lee Jampolsky

Here are the things that are the most important to me: (in no particular order)

  • Personal growth/improvement
  • Spiritual growth
  • Health
  • Fitness/Exercising
  • Family
  • Good friends
  • Connecting with people
  • Love in various forms (family, friends, intimate relationships)
  • Helping people
  • Life experiences
  • Acquiring skills
  • Gaining knowledge and wisdom (reading, learning, applying)
  • Having fun
  • Laughing
  • Creating memories
  • Having ways to express myself
  • Leaving a legacy
  • Travel/Exploring new places

These are my priorities. The things I need to spend time and energy on if I want to continue to be happy, achieve my goals, and live without regrets. Notice how there are no material things here. And even though some of these might cost money (travel), the vast majority are absolutely free. What does that tell you? We don’t really need all the stuff that we think we need. And it ties back to my possessions vs experiences post.

What’s really important to you? Ask yourself that. It could take you from simply existing, to truly living, with no regrets.

3 Simple Ways to Get Through One of Those Work Days

We all have those days. Those days at work when the hours seem to drag…on…by…way…too…slowly.

Here’s 3 simple strategies (that I personally use) to go from 0 to awesome when that feeling hits:

Whatever you’re doing, think of it as a challenge.
Make a game out of it. Trust me, this makes everything (including life in general) easier and more enjoyable.

Have something to look forward to (no matter how small), and take breaks.
Go out for lunch. Take a walk outside. Go get a cup of water from the kitchen. Do something you love after work. Plan an awesome, healthy dinner for later. Remember, this too shall pass.

Laugh.
Laugh with coworkers. Laugh with yourself. Call someone up and share a laugh. Find a reason to laugh for no reason at all. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Apply these simple strategies on those dragging days and it’ll be (the proverbial) 5 o’clock before you know it.