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 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.


Don’t Categorize Yourself

Don’t put yourself in a box.

Every time you categorize yourself, you pigeonhole yourself. It’s self-imposed limitation, robbing yourself of infinite potential. Why do I have to be an American? Why not simply a human being? Or, better yet, why can’t I just BE?

If you categorize yourself as a nerd, are you going to strive to develop a strong, healthy body that is a positive reflection of yourself? Most likely not. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but that rigid classification of nerd will consciously and/or subconsciously make you gravitate away from things like health and fitness. Because that’s not what nerds do.

If you categorize yourself as a Christian, are you going to immerse yourself in topics that aren’t aligned with Christian views? Are you going to befriend people of other religions as readily as you would befriend Christians? Most likely not.

“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” -Bruce Lee

Why do we categorize ourselves?
Because we feel comfortable associating with groups, with attaching our name to something. It’s easier to fit in than to stand out. We’re conditioned to follow, and therefore, not completely trust in ourselves. We need to wake up and realize our full potential.

Also, society (or the elite who control society) keep us focused on our differences: (seen at the Sons of Liberty Academy)
-Political Parties
-Ethnic Background
-Social Status

This sets the scene for the ol’ divide and conquer scheme. By labeling ourselves, we essentially give up our power.

“We have to stop thinking in black and white and soften our rigid belief systems. This world is not black and white. Nothing is. If you have a rigid belief system that is not open to the endless subtleties of life, you become a manipulator’s party trick.” -David Icke

Categorizing yourself as a person blocks you off from infinite possibility. It is a form of attachment. A product of the ego.

What are some benefits of not categorizing ourselves?

  • The ability to draw information/experience from various diverse sources
  • The ability to form our own conclusions
  • The ability to relate to everyone and everything
  • Having an unbiased perspective
  • Building our own views, beliefs, and theories
  • Gaining a sense of power and genuine confidence
  • Not being easily manipulated
  • Eliminating limitations
  • Opening up to the world of infinite possibilities

Would you rather access one website, or the whole internet?

Would you rather be confined to an apartment, or have the freedom to explore the world around you?

Live without limits.

Don’t put yourself in a box.

*Notice that this post is in the “Uncategorized” category haha

UPDATE (10/6/2012):

I just came across this excerpt that is oh so relevant to this post.

“When people begin to soften their inflexible thoughts and responses, the influence the daily programming has upon them is diffused also. They begin to see the subtleties of mind manipulation in a way a rigid mind cannot. This mental switch is open to everyone, no matter how unyielding their minds might be now. It can happen in an instant, once you decide you want it to happen. Scanning the information and the views available to us and picking out those aspects which we each feel good about involves taking pieces from everywhere and fitting them together to form our own evolving truth. When we are asked to put a label on what we think and believe in these circumstances, we cannot answer. We are not ‘Left’, nor ‘Right’, nor ‘Centre’. We are not a ‘religion’. We just are. There are no instant labels for that. There are no labels at all. We refuse to be pigeon-holed because we are constantly seeking and evolving. If people can name an “ism” of any kind to describe what they believe, they are in some form of mental prison. The difference it makes when you let go of the labels and the off-the-peg opinions and views promoted by the “isms” is beyond words. You see the world so much more clearly. The smokescreens begin to disperse.”
-David Icke (And the Truth Shall Set You Free)

Starting the Day Off Right

How many of us enthusiastically jump out of bed in the morning, ready to attack our day?

…Yeah, me neither. It’s a tough transition from the comfort of your bed to the cold void of darkness beyond it, but it’s gotta happen at some point.

“If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” -Lou Holtz

It’s crucial to establish a morning routine to start fresh, clear the mind, and shake out the cobwebs in the body. We need to wake up and prepare both the mind and body for the upcoming day. I’ve been doing what is called a Bio-Energizer Warm Up (brainchild of Elliot Hulse) every morning for the last week. It’s the very first thing I do after getting out of bed, and it has me feeling like Superman sippin’ Starbucks before I even step in the shower.

This pretty much sums it up:




Watch Elliot demonstrating the Bio-Energizer Warm Up below…

There’s an article for it too, which you can read HERE

What are the benefits of having a morning routine like this:

  • Releasing tension- I find that the tension in my body is directly correlated with the tension in my mind. When one is tense, more often than not, the other is tense as well. So this is a great way to remove tension from both the body and mind. And there’s a whole host of benefits to releasing tension, which could be an article in and of itself.
  • Preparing the body and mind for the day- Clear mind, energized body. When I do the Bio-Energizer Warm Up, I feel a positive vibrational energy afterwards. The last exercise (Ground Pound) has a lot to do with this, and it’s a great feeling.
  • You get more excited for the day (even if it’s just a regular day at the office)
  • Improves mobility
  • Enhances recovery from strenuous exercise
  • It’s a form of dynamic meditation
  • Helps you to get ready faster (I can be a slow-motion-take-15-minutes-to-put-on-a-sock-zombie in the morning, and this speeds me up)
  • Makes a cold shower slightly less traumatizing afterward

Try it out, and let me know how it works for you.


Possessions vs Experiences: Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

I recently found this article on Quora, and it really piqued my interest. I’ve always had the opinion that spending money on experiences is far more rewarding than accumulating material goods, and this (supposed) billionaire has reinforced this in his answer to an almost unrelated question.

The question is “What does it feel like to be a self-made millionaire under the age of 25?”

And here’s the answer that caught my attention: (Note: I bolded my favorite sections)

“I’ve been featured on the homepage of Yahoo! as a millionaire, offered 3 separate reality TV shows – including that terrible Millionaire Dating one on Bravo. I bought a luxury car with cash on my 16th birthday, owned a house a few years later.

Hitting $1m was a non-event, I don’t even know the exact date it happened. The dividends just all of a sudden added up, and it was there. I celebrated by buying myself a used Rolex. A few years later I also did a vacation where I “tried to spend as much money as possible” – but I still found myself gravitating towards “values” on the wine list rather than blowing it all out by spending thousands on a bottle, which I thought was silly.

Hitting 8-figures was a bit more substantial, I knew it meant I’d never, ever have to work again unless something went terribly wrong. The closing call with the law firm was one of the biggest anti-climaxes of my life. I had already “owned” the money in my head years before hand, so seeing it crystallize on my bank statement didn’t make a huge difference, except that it freed me up to start tackling bucket-list items.

I had been postponing so many experiences with the idea of “doing it at some point in the future when I made it” that I just started tackling them one by one. Superbowl. Sundance. SobeFest. Africa. A month around Europe. 3-Star Michelin dining.

The only “awkward” thing I keep running into repeatedly, is other people’s comments about wealth or money. Whether it’s a tour guide pointing out a hotel that costs $1000/night and everybody in the tour bus gasps (and it’s where I’m staying) or taxi drivers making snarky comments about millionaires, or people suggesting it’s my “lucky day and I should buy a lotto ticket” – I run into it repeatedly and predictably, but I always tend to keep my mouth shut and not say anything.

Along the way, the most interesting phenomenon has been “adaptation”. Moving from a $300K apartment to a $1m one barely made a difference after the first month.

Jumping from that to something 60% bigger, and oceanfront (on the beach) that was worth over $2m barely made a blip after the first few weeks.

Buying a fancy, fast sports car – yes, I did it, but again people tend to massively overestimate the “joy” or “happiness” that a particular item will give them vs. reality. After a few weeks, it just sits there. The anticipation, wait and planning is almost better than the realization of the event itself.

When they say “it’s all about the journey, rather than the destination” that’s absolutely true. The part that I’ve most enjoyed is hanging out, meeting and become friends with amazing, successful, smart and ambitious entrepreneurs. It’s inspiring, invigorating, and just plain fun. 

I still don’t have a private plane or NetJets card, I fly economy-class around North America most of the time, I don’t even have a maid to do my cleaning. I prefer to buy clothes when they go on sale, and I cringe at people who waste thousands on Gucci-this or Prada-that. I upgrade my MacBook every few years, not every model. I still use an original iPad. I’ve never bought a new car (except for my parents). The biggest TV in my apartment is 42″.

Experiences, even when they cost thousands of dollars a day, so far have been my best investments. I’ve stopped postponing as much as I used to. The best time is “now”, but to be honest, I could have done many of these things much earlier, and on a lower-budget, and probably still had a great time.

Try this as a test–

Make a list of all physical things you would buy if you had $10 million. Let your mind roam free. Don’t limit yourself to the reasonable.

It’s not that long, is it?

And if you worked a decade, or more to earn that money, you’d cross 90% off the items off that list anyway. There’s amazingly few physical things that are worth spending money off once you’ve covered the basics. If I gave you $100K in cash and told you to spend it in a day, you’d be hard pressed unless you bought jewellery, or a car.

Gadgets? Clothes? A bigger TV? Unless money fell from the sky into your lap, you’re probably going to be quite pragmatic about what you invest in. There’s a reason why most lottery winners end up bankrupt within a few years.

The utility of money once you get past a certain threshold is very limited. And I honestly think that most people who want to be “rich” don’t really mean it. What they are really saying is that they’d like someone to hand them a check.

But when push comes to shove, and there’s hard work, sacrifices, and tears involved, they’d rather spend 4-hours a day watching TV along with the rest of America.”


Life Pyramid

The Life Pyramid is a little diagram I came up with to illustrate our relationship with ourselves and the world around us. Here’s the explanation:

Mind/Body/Soul: The foundation of everything in life

These are, by far, the things we have the most control of. Everything that happens externally is a reflection of what’s happening internally.

What is a strong mind? Being the master of your thoughts and emotions, not a slave to them. Using your mind to project positivity, visualize a goal, and have the willpower necessary to attain goals.

What is a strong body? In harmony, free of dysfunction. Free of tension. Reliable. Able to perform tasks with relative ease. The temple. A vehicle to make life easier more enjoyable.

What about the soul/spirit? The intangible, omnipotent force that resides behind your conscious mind. Pure energy. Pure love. Pure consciousness. When you stop becoming a slave to your thoughts, you open yourself up to the universe and the soul/spirit starts working it’s magic. When you’re in touch with it, situations arise, people come into your life to guide you, and you realize how malleable reality is.

Aura: The energy you project

This is the result of the mind/body/soul being in a positive state and acting harmoniously. It’s the vibe you get from people, and people get from you. It’s when you’re operating at the right frequency. It’s the energy you project to the world. When people gravitate towards you because of your amicable disposition. When strangers ask you for advice because you seem approachable. When people feel at ease around you. It’s all of those unspoken, intangible things that are conveyed externally from your inner self.

Interactions: What you do and how you interact with the world around you

These are the actions you take throughout life. The choices you make. What you say. What you do. Interactions affect others and the world around you, as well as yourself. A person who has mastered everything described above interacts with reality in a way that benefits the world around them, and brings happiness to themselves and others.

Legacy: The intangibles you leave behind in this reality

This is how you affect this reality during your time here. What you leave behind. Your mark on this plane of existence. It is the culmination of everything else in the Life Pyramid.


Promising Origins

How it all started:

When asked “How are you?” I often found myself saying Feelin good, feelin great. Feelin great, feelin good. How are you? (See the video above if you’re not getting this. Great song too btw.)

As my life progresses, it’s becoming more and more apparent that I have a knack for feeling awesome, both physically and mentally. And I think this is a skill/behavior that I can share with others.

What it’s all about:

The general purpose of FGFG (yeah, that’s the acronym) is to simplify health, fitness, and spiritual principles for the continuous enhancement of overall well-being. (See the “Mission Statement” page for more details as well)

Helping people is one of the best feelings. When someone thanks you and shows gratitude for something helpful you’ve done, it’s an intrinsic form of happiness. You help yourself by helping others.

I actually found this on my teabag the other night. How fitting, right?

*Let’s break it down*
What is feeling great?
It’s when the mind, body, and spirit are in harmony.When they are operating without interruption or dysfunction. It’s pure happiness.

Why do we want to feel great?
When you’re mind, body, and soul are continuously improving and working harmoniously, this carries over into every aspect of life. What good is a strong mind if your body is falling apart? What good is a strong body if you have no control over your mind state? What good is spirituality if you neglect physical reality? The mind, body, and spiritual connection is the foundation of a great, happy life. And doesn’t everyone ultimately want happiness? That’s what feelin good, feelin great is.