Mens Sana In Corpore Sano . . .
Getting Healthy – Part 4 of 6
Recently seen on Facebook . . .
“What you put up with, you end up with.”
“We judge people for not having a cell phone but we don’t judge people for not having a purpose…”
Body, Mind, Spirit – we need health in all 3 areas. I define a sound mind or mindset as one that supports me being my best self – having integrity, setting boundaries, being present, giving and receiving love, seeking wisdom, fostering connectedness, and evolving. For me, happiness derives from productivity guided by a sense of purpose. I believe that since I am blessed with this amazingly unique thing called life, I am called to employ it to the fullest and that requires commitment to stretching myself. Sure I have sad days, confused days, disappointed days, frustrated days, and uninspired days. But I try to recognize them, embrace them, listen to their subtle teachings, and then return to the mode where I learn, strive, and give. Perhaps developing a sound mind may be as simple as fostering curiosity and the willingness to pursue answers to the question, “Why?”
Why do some people seem satisfied and others feel like their lives are failures, and what can I do to fall in the first camp? Why do some people seem so successful and popular and others at odds with everything and everyone, and what can I do to emulate the first group? Why do some people seem filled with joy and contentment even when it seems their life is hard and how can I become as gracious? Why are some people blessed with family and friends and others are alone and lonely, and is there a way I can court abundance? Why are some people mean, lazy, crude, selfish, nasty, bitter, narrow-minded, bigoted, dishonest . . . and other negative adjectives? Am I willing to be introspective enough to acknowledge those attributes in myself and courageous enough to address them and change my bad habits so I can become the person I’d like to be?
One of my favorite blogs on introspection is http://www.marcandangel.com. Consider these headlines:
– 9 Things You Need to Stop Caring About
– 10 Things You Should Never Say About Yourself
– 10 Risks Happy People Take Everyday
I could go on; they’ve been writing for years. I find tremendous comfort in reading their thoughtful, wise insights into the frailties and triumphs we humans share.
I believe frailties, if acknowledged, can be overcome with effort. I am old enough – or old-school enough – to believe that hardship builds character and maturity and that there are some 8-year-olds more mature than many 40 year olds. It bothers me that maturity and standards of excellence seem to have lost their value. I am not here to judge anyone else. I am here to raise my own standards and try to meet them. I suggest, though, that a sound mind comes first from a healthy body – one that gets enough sleep, nutrition, and exercise and is not subject to alcohol, tobacco, excessive empty calories, or other drugs and societal crutches. A sound mind then comes from focus and discipline and high expectations. I don’t mean for you to attain success at the expense of stabbing someone else in the back. I mean learn to set a goal, find a mentor to help you attain that goal, accept the responsibility to form the habits and do the work, plan to develop yourself to lose the co-dependencies and to believe you are worthy of receiving much in life, and prepare to leave behind bad influences and peers who don’t share your vision.
I acknowledge that I can’t speak to mental health as a professional, that I have no understanding of mental health problems – in other words, I don’t know what it’s like to truly suffer from a brain that doesn’t function “normally.” I am close to people who try to describe it to me, who caution me that real mental health problems are not something you can deal with by “just sucking it up and pushing harder.” I know there is controversy over addressing depression with medication or without. I know there are studies that show poor nutrition increases violent behavior. I know where I stand on the meteoric rise of the use of Ritalin and similar drugs and the implications that has for healthy functioning brains decades later. When I discuss striving for a healthy mind and mindset it is with the full recognition that professional help may be needed (and those who need it most may have the most difficulty accessing and utilizing care.) That is beyond the scope of today’s article.
Jeffery Combs, a speaker and coach, offers guidance for those of us fortunate enough to benefit from introspection, willpower, and discipline (https://www.facebook.com/JeffCombsFan.) Here are just a few of his truisms:
• If your identity is based on giving, serving and taking care of others, you will have challenges attracting highly productive people into your life.
• Co-dependence is a condition based on past behaviors that keeps you saying “Yes” when you mean “No.” Learn how to ask, deserve and receive without feeling guilty.
• To cross the “I Will Not Be Denied” bridge you must be willing to commit daily to new skills and habits. You cannot wing it to success, miracles aren’t going to happen and you will not get lucky. You will pay the price of success or the pain of regret. The intestinal fortitude you require comes the commitment to succeed despite any and all obstacles.
If you want to be successful in business and life it is imperative that you develop a healthy attitude, one that invites you to know your baseline, know where you’re going, and develop the mindset and habits that will take you from where you are now to where you want to go. Skills can be learned – if you have the discipline to practice. Knowledge can be gained if you are open to recognizing your deficiencies and working to address them. Be humble enough to ask for help and bold enough to dare to succeed wildly. Make a decision to strive for excellence, to seek the satisfaction of contribution. Take action to form habits and be disciplined, and develop yourself through intentionally seeking the company of people who force you to raise the bar. It’s all easier said than done and the stumbling blocks include perfectionism, procrastination, a dysfunctional relationship with money, low self worth, and just plain bad habits. You can blame these on your childhood or circumstances only for so long; at some point you have to own your life, stop playing the victim, and take charge. Nobody says it will be easy but it will be worth it. Make the decision. Then take action. Get started now! Here is your recipe for action:
1. Consciously eat nutritionally dense food
2. Commit to exercising daily
3. Turn off the flow of negativity – no TV, news, social media commentary
4. Consciously select your friends, your peers, your mentors
5. Don’t engage with the family drama – if you can’t change it, extract yourself
6. Focus, focus, focus – when you help yourself, when you elevate your standards, you inspire those around you and show others they, too, can help themselves
7. Read voraciously – here are some titles to get you started
a. Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
b. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
c. The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
d. The War of Art – Stephen Pressfield
e. Start Over! Start Now! – Jamie Wolf
As you commit to nurturing a healthy body and mind, keep this concept at the forefront; move towards your endpoint rather than away from your starting point. There’s a subtle yet powerful difference. Rather than using energy to eliminate the negatives, instead use energy to create the positive. I’m positive you’ll love the results!
Beaufort resident Jamie Wolf is the author of “Start Over! Start Now! Ten Keys to Success in Business and Life” available on Amazon with 10 accompanying guidebooks. She has started over a number of times and now focuses on helping people who are ready to Start Over with their health
and wealth through getting fit, feeling fabulous, and becoming financially free. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org