On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
Something I notice. My wife and I own a fitness and nutrition business and help people of all ability and experience levels. For us to help our clients, we need to know their habits and routines. Often, people are embarrassed when seeking our help and they withhold information as a result. Other times, people are brutally honest, and we get the complete story warts and all. Of these two, the people who are honest always get remarkable results.
For someone to be helped, they must first start by being honest with themselves and identify areas that need improvement. If that step does not happen, it will not matter what comes after because in my experience it will not work. Whether it’s the need to get in better shape physically, financially, in business, or anything else; having the courage to assess yourself and admit you need help is step one. Then, through an honest assessment of your history, habits, and routine you can begin to develop methods that lead to lasting changes in these areas. As I say to my wife all the time “I don’t care how bad it is, if someone is honest then we can help them.”
An interesting interaction. I had a conversation with a gentleman recently that is typical of one I have often. This man is a nice person but went on and on about how I should start slowing down with my exercise, running, etc. that I write about in these posts. He’s 20 years older than me and barely active himself, but kept going on about how because of my age this was important (I’m 46) in his opinion.
Too often, we are encouraged to simply give up once we reach a certain age or milestone. I do not believe in that. Our bodies are meant to be used and our lives to be lived. Does the way I train, my intensity, and the races I do put pressure on my body? Of course, but it would be far worse to sit on my couch eating all day and doing nothing.
My choice is to try to utilize my mind and body to their fullest potential. This involves challenging myself to do things that are hard and to repeat that process again and again. If my body is a vehicle, I hope when I die, I roll in with the tank well past empty, four flat tires and smoke coming out of the engine. My desire is to have a well-worn body with plenty of scars that tell stories. Giving up on challenging myself because I’m “too old” or out of fear of getting hurt is not in the cards for me. I’m never careless with my health or body but I intend to push myself as hard as I can for as long as possible.
An important question. I talk to dozens of patients each day. As a result, they tell me things that they love all the time. These can be certain foods, types of exercise, activities, ways of doing things, you name it. A question I often ask when they tell me these things is “does it love you back?”
Just like a relationship needs two loving and willing partners to succeed, the things you love should love you back by providing benefit to you. Anything that makes you healthier mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually I would say loves you back. Conversely, things that damage you in these areas are not showing you love in return even if you continue to do them. Do yourself a favor and examine your most common habits, routines, and actions by asking yourself “does it love me back?” If it does, keep it rolling but if it does not, make a change.
Something I think of daily. There is a saying often attributed to Native American cultures (among others) that I ran across 6-7 years ago that states “Today is a good day to die.” The meaning of this phrase is not that you hope to die but that if you were to, that you would have no regrets.
From the second I saw this statement; it became important to me. My goal is to behave and live my life in such a manner that if I were to pass away, I would be content with how things stood. Specifically, I want my relationships with those important to me to be in good standing, my actions to be honest and well-intentioned, and my efforts in all I do to be as high as possible. I often repeat this phrase to myself at times in the morning as a reminder to behave in this manner. We never know when we’ll go but I believe it’s good practice to try and live so that if today were the day, that we’d be proud of where we left off.
Some quotes I love.
“Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.” – Jocko Willink
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Every bite of food you eat is a short-term investment in how you feel, a mid-term investment in how you look, and a long-term investment in your freedom from disease.” – Joe De Sena
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.” – Jordan Peterson
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