What are you waiting for?

what-are-you-waiting-for1

Like most of us I have deferred doing many things in my life. I tell myself maybe it’s not the right time, not just yet. I tell myself maybe it is too risky or beyond my abilities. I tell myself that it is too expensive or I just don’t have time for it. Unfortunately I have lied to myself and time marches on with me no closer to my dreams.

I tell myself there is lots of time to do that which I long to do in the future. I have focused my thoughts and desires to be something I will attain in the future. My mind does not live in the present it only focuses on the future. I make investments in myself, in others, sometimes financially or physically so that I will have a better future, or so I think. The irony is, there really is no guarantee of the future. The future has yet to happen and it is a figment of my imagination.

Ask yourself is there something you want to do? Maybe you would like to write a book, travel somewhere, have a relationship with someone, start a business, purchase a new home, or find a way to give something back to the world.

What are you waiting for?

Still Waiting

With no guarantee of the future, all of this waiting for the right time to begin to live the life you want is simply wrong. You don’t know how much time you have left on this earth, so why wait? Here are some examples of deferring to the future:

  • I’ll start that business or buy that thing when I have more than enough money saved, maybe 4 or 5 years from now. Are you really going to wait 4 or 5 years for something you really want to do? Are there no other options?
  • I will stop that addiction (smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling) sometime in the future when the time is just right. Have you noticed the time is never quite right? Will you be better of deferring being free from your addictions?
  • I don’t have time to work on that book I always wanted to write. I have far to many responsibilities to attend to. If you had all the time in the world what other excuse would you use? Have you ever thought that you have never prioritized your writing over all the other bullshit you think needs to be done?
  • I really would like a better relationship with my significant other, children, siblings, parents, friends, but I’m too busy to call or spend time with them. Do you really want to go to your grave not being present for the people you love?

These are yet a few examples from my own life that plague me; I’m sure you can come up with your own list.

Quit imagining that you have all the time in the world to do the things you want to do, because you don’t. Make at least some effort to prioritize what is important to you and do it. If that means you have to be a little selfish then so be it. Look at your habits and decide do I really need to sit there every night and watch 2 hours of television.

Decide right now that the future is an illusion; begin living in the present and start doing the things you want to do and I mean now!

Stop taking for granted all the wonderful things that are happening around you understanding that tomorrow they become a thing of the past. You cannot wait for something to happen to experience fulfillment, happiness, and joy in your life; decide that the time is now.

happiness-is-now

These things that you want to do or have, may or may not bring great satisfaction to your life, but by deferring them off to some future time you may never know.

As human beings we attempt to live our lives in the past, present, and future. We often work in soul crushing jobs so that we can enjoy two or three weeks off. Are you actually working yourself to death for a couple weeks off? You can have more than that, you were not created to defer your dreams.

It’s fine to think about what you want to become or have, but don’t stop by just dreaming about it; you must act and you must live in the now.

Namaste

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review – The 5 Second Rule

Mel Robbins

As I’ve mentioned before my book reviews are not meant to be a comprehensive dissertation about the book. I prefer to provide the simple premise and my own perspective about the writing.

5 second rule

The premise behind this book is that we have a tendency to talk ourselves out of pursuing good ideas because our primary focus is on protecting ourselves from things that take us out of our comfort zone. Mel Robbins talks about a hack that breaks this pattern of fear or procrastination by counting backwards from 5 to 1 and then taking action. This breaks the pattern of letting our mind talk ourselves out of doing something in response to the idea we have.

Most of this book is about having the courage to pursue your dreams and explaining all the ways to overcome sabotaging yourself. Let me say that for me the book was very inspirational, and may for you act as a trigger to start pursuing your dreams. She includes lots of quotes from readers on how they changed their life, and some pretty cool quotes on pages you can rip out and put on the wall in your home office for instance.

As much as I enjoyed the book, listening to her on a podcast or YouTube is equally enjoyable. Mel is an excellent public speaker. The YouTube video below is a good example of her excellent presentation skills:

It is an easy read that you could accomplish in a weekend, a little over 200 pages. I would certainly recommend it if you are considering making some changes in your life and need a little push in the right direction.

Namaste

 

 

Observations about “Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”

I recently started listening to the audio book A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. I’ve always loved Eckhart Tolle’s quotes, but have never read or listened to any of his work. This book from Audible.com is about 9 1/2 hours, which makes it great for my long daily commutes. This Audible version of Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose is actually narrated by Eckhart Tolle himself, which I really like because he is flat out brilliant.

Eckhart Tolle - Awakening to Your Lifes Purpose eckhart tolle picture1

At this time I’ve listened to about 4 hours or what amounts to several chapters in the book. While I never like to give away too much in these posts, as to not spoil it for the reader; I am really enjoying this audio book. Tolle spends a lot of time talking about how the ego has prevented us from being ourselves, from finding any sense of our true self. He also spends a lot of time discussing our material desires that are driven by ego or sense of a false self, and how we cling to roles that we so closely identify with as we feel they define ourselves by these roles.

This is really an incredible audio book because it makes you question everything you think you are and value. If you have questions about a world where we seek to divide groups of people, where material wealth is king, where we seek to feel superior to others, and live a life stroking our egos then you will really enjoy Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

Namaste

 

 

One of life’s greatest pleasures

never stop learning concept on blackboard

We spend a good part of our life looking for satisfaction by acquiring things like bigger homes, expensive cars, and other possessions. Our quest for these things becomes our focus, believing that they will bring us happiness and pleasure. I’m not sure where all of this came from, maybe it is a result of our culture, but it often leads to a misguided approach to life.

As human beings we have an innate need to learn, which leads to self improvement, and yes happiness. For me and so many others, one of life’s greatest pleasures is learning. Think about the times you have been really happy. Maybe this was when you were pursuing a degree, studying for a certification, or learning something from your own studies or work. Unlike acquiring some material possession your pursuit of knowledge can never be taken away from you, it will not erode or decay over time. The pleasure you get by learning doesn’t wear off, but instead provides an infinite source of gratification.

Most of us can agree that goals are a good thing, they provide focus and direction, but make sure that learning is one of your highest priority goals. In fact those other material things are often the result of learning. Sure it’s great to have a nice car, a comfortable home, electronic toys, and whatever else you enjoy possessing. Unfortunately as you focus on attaining these things, once acquired they leave you with a taste for more much like any other addiction. One should also weigh the cost of what you might have to give up to acquire all these things. While learning costs you very little, maybe the cost of the book, and an investment of your time.

Take a few moments today and think back on a time when you were not obsessed with things, but instead spent your time learning about subjects that interested you. Can you think of anything that brought you more pleasure? It is never too late to change the way you think, modify your goals, and focus on the one thing that can bring you great satisfaction, happiness, and pleasure.

The very act of learning about things that interest you opens the door to everything else, creating opportunities go grow and to contribute to this world. Don’t misunderstand me I am not advocating you become a monk; I have material goals, but most of my goals are centered around learning for personal or professional development, and these are the goals that that provide the most pleasure in my life.

Namaste

Giving OMAD a try – Day 2

OMAD 1

Actually yesterday was my second day of using the one meal a day (OMAD) intermittent fasting protocol. In two days I lost 4 pounds, had lots of energy, and ate a couple really big meals. So I was pretty determined that after I had fasted for 23 hours I was going to make sure I got in a lot of calories. The first day I ate just about anything without regard to the quality of the food, but the second day I was more selective having fish, lima beans, almonds, some high protein peanut butter, and a small plate of raw vegetables.

Well now it is Monday and I’m back to my 18:6 protocol, which is 18 hours of fasting and then eating lunch and dinner. The reason I did not continue with OMAD has more to do with being social and wanting to eat lunch with my co-workers than any real major downside to a 23 hour fast.

Overall I would rate my OMAD experience as a very positive experiment, one that I will probably do on weekends to stay trim and enhance the cleansing effect of fasting. To be honest I got pretty hungry after 20 hours or so, and I often felt cold, but my energy levels were high and my mood was very good. The only concern I would have and this may not be a big deal since my experiment only lasted two days is losing 4 pounds. I would worry that if I did this daily I might not be able to take in enough calories to maintain my weight.

As I mentioned my energy levels were high, allowing me to do yoga in the morning, weight training in the afternoon, and I even got in a 3 mile walk the first day when the weather permitted. Remember this doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition, like me you might decide it just doesn’t fit into your lifestyle during the week to skip lunch with your friends or co-workers. Don’t agonize over it; you can always go back to OMAD on the weekend. I just might try something a bit more radical next weekend like a 48 hour fast and see what happens.

Sorry I can’t help myself.

Namaste

Giving OMAD a try – Day 1

OMAD 1

Since the last time that I wrote about intermittent fasting I thought it would be fun to give one meal a day (OMAD) a try. This is day one, and I have decided to eat around 5 or 6 p.m., having eaten last night at about the same time. OMAD is really just another form of intermittent fasting where you fast for 23 hours and then have one hour window for eating. So why would I go from two meals a day to one meal a day?

All the benefits I mentioned in my last post are still true with OMAD. In fact they are all enhanced, which is why I am trying it. I’m particularly interested in gaining greater energy and mental clarity along with a longer detox period for my body. There are a lot of studies that show a strong relationship between fasting and longevity, so it is yet one more reason to give this a try.

Here is a short video on some of the benefits of OMAD.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done a 23 to 24 hour fast, but I’m going to give it a try for a week or so and report back on my results. In the past I was pretty hungry at about 21 to 22 hours of fasting. If you decide you want to try this, please be advised that you should already be following an intermittent fasting protocol where you are eating two meals a day. I wouldn’t advise going from the traditional three meals a day to one without first getting used to some form of fasting.

As of this moment I have 8 more hours before my next meal. I’ll report back tomorrow and let you know how I feel and how my body and mind are adapting to this new approach to intermittent fasting.

Namaste

 

My experience with intermittent fasting

intermittent fasting meme1

I’ve been using intermittent fasting for a couple of years on and off. In the past 4 months I’ve been a little more disciplined about it and do it 5 or 6 days a week. Let me first state that I don’t consider intermittent fasting a diet. I consider intermittent fasting to be a tool that is part of your arsenal for obtaining an optimal level of health.

So what is intermittent fasting? In its simplest form it means going without any type of food or beverage that contains calories for 16-20 hours. So a typical cycle might be eating your last meal at before 8 p.m. and then not eating again until noon 12:00 p.m. the next day, which would mean about 16 hours of fasting. The graphic below illustrates a 16:8 protocol or 16 hours of fasting and an 8 hour eating window:

intermittent fasting 16x8

There are many benefits to intermittent fasting which can be obtained by almost anyone. Even if you decide you just want to lose a few pounds or stay at a specific weight, intermittent fasting can help you achieve those goals.

Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • Promotes a release of human growth hormone (HGH), which is a hormone that declines with age. Intermittent fasting can increase HGH by as much as 1000%. HGH has an anti aging effect on the human body, so naturally producing more of it can be good for your overall health.
  • It gives your body and organs a break from having to digest foods around the clock and help purify the body of toxins. This is why even doing a 24 hour fast from time to time is good for your health. So intermittent fasting helps you detoxify your body, allowing your liver to recover and rebuild and clear your colon.
  • Improved muscle tone and function will most certainly be a result of intermittent fasting especially when you couple this with strength training and high intensity training (HIT) like sprinting. As mentioned above in a fasted state your body actually increases the production of good hormones like HGH and by coupling it with strength training or HIT you ramp up the production of HGH and testosterone even more.
  • You are likely to lose a few pounds during your first week of intermittent fasting, and there is a high probability that  you will keep the weight off as long as you continue to do intermittent fasting. Don’t mistake this for a silver bullet you still need to have a good diet and not over eat.
  • Intermittent fasting can help normalize insulin sensitivity. Spiking blood sugar levels caused by eating cause insulin to increase, which has effects on storing additional fat and disrupting healthy hormone levels.

My experience

The first week or two can be difficult if you are typically eating 3 meals a day. For me I just skip breakfast and after a few days you become accustomed to not eating and the fasting becomes less difficult. Instead of eating breakfast I drink some coffee when I get up and go on with my day. I personally do not find a 16:8 or 18:6 fasting protocol to be difficult to implement and after a week or two it just becomes a habit.

I did not suffer any adverse effects from intermittent fasting; quite the opposite I feel more energetic, lost a few pounds, and improved my body composition becoming leaner and more muscular. I also changed my diet to be more Paleo like, eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean protein meats and fish. You don’t need to intermittent fast every day of the week, but the more disciplined you are the greater the benefits. You will likely find times where you eat a little earlier in the day, say maybe an early lunch so maybe you only fasted for 15 hours, or you had a late dinner the night before. Give yourself a break, these minor deviations in the program will not effect the overall outcome, so be flexible.

Remember when you are fasting you should be taking in zero calories, so stick to drinking coffee, tea, or water. Don’t use creamer or sugar in your coffee or tea. If you need to sweeten it up you can try a little Stevia, but even with Stevia the jury is still out on whether that causes an insulin response in the body.

A final tip for improving your results is the longer you prolong the fasting phase the greater your results. This means if you can stop eating the night before by 7:00 p.m. and not eat your first meal until 1:00 p.m. you have been in a fasted state for 18 hours and this means HGH levels are still increasing, fat is being burned for energy, and the detoxification process is in high gear. If you really want to ramp it up, then you might consider a 24 hour fast once every week or two, which will provide even greater results.

The following video is a good primer on intermittent fasting, but you can find all kinds of great videos on YouTube that address various aspects of this type of fasting:

If you are looking for a way to increase your energy levels, detoxify your organs, increase HGH and other good hormones, or lose a few pounds, give intermittent fasting a try.

Namaste