Time to Read (using avg wpm): 8.5 mins
So Maddi and I were talking the other day and something came up that really intrigued us. We just couldn’t get over how absurd life is today.
People being treated like machines working on assembly lines. Jobs are just seen as ways to make money, not as ways to help others or develop your skills. Everywhere you look someone’s trying to get you to buy something. People are living day to day with no direction, hours spent either working or watching TV. Bright deadening phone light shining in our faces anytime we have a second to ourselves. Seemingly no escape from over-stimulation.
We as a people need to become more present, thoughtful, self-conscious and centered in our lives to be able to combat this overstimulated and monotonous lifestyle we have created.
Lifestyle Category Structure
Welcome to the Lifestyle portion of the Average Optimized blog. This Category will help to guide me and whoever wants to join me on the way to personal self-optimization.
I’ve broken it down into elements:
The rest of the post is made up of what kind of things to expect from each subcategory.
(P.S. Maddi is next to me right now and we are listening to this.)
Taking care of your body is very important not only to how you feel but to how you are able to think. Body and mind are connected.
Take posture, for example, it’s shown that when you arch forward with your shoulders in and your head down for a prolonged period, you feel more nervous and passive. Contrarily, when you stick your chest out and your shoulders back you feel more powerful and confident.
Also, in almost every episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dave Asprey (cool dude) and it doesn’t matter who his guest is, usually shows a connection between body and mind (Check out his bulletproof exec site for cool “bio hacks“)
I’m convinced that whatever goes on in your body has an effect on your mind and we will get into this more in detail in future posts.
I’d heard about presence before and how supposedly important it was to living a healthy and successful life, I just never really believed it could have the power it was said to have.
Well, recently I saw the potential. I have been meditating for a little while now, a week on and a month off. Not really with a purpose but just to kind of sit and relax and give myself time to think. I heard somewhere that when you are meditating, focus on your breath. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Consciously breathe. Visualize the air entering and exiting. Remain concentrated on the action of breathing and notice how relaxed and present you feel.
I tried it and I felt great afterward. It was tough to not get distracted by my thoughts but that’s the whole point of it. You do your best to focus on your breath and don’t think about anything else. It makes you practice controlling your thoughts and being present in the moment. I’ve been doing this every day now for about a month and I love the way it makes me feel.
Today actually I didn’t get much sleep, woke up a few times because of saddie Maddi, knew I wasn’t going to be at my max, knew I had a post to write (this one), knew I had a bunch of chores to get done, all while keeping Maddi happy and then I was time crunched because I work at 5. This was all swirling around in my head and I was sitting at my desk and I couldn’t focus. I was going to loose my marbles. I stopped. I took a deep breath. I grabbed my sleep mask and my headphones (to buff out external stimuli), I sat on the floor, played a 10 minute guided meditation soundtrack and meditated.
After it was over and I had focused on my presence and forgotten all the stress surrounding my chores and tasks and I slowly stood up, smiled and went and sat back at my desk. It was a huge destresser. All of the tasks were still ahead of me but I could address them with a clear head.
I could talk about meditation forever. I probably will too in future posts.
Attitude is a key player in your ability to interact with others but it is also a way to avoid stressing.
A good component to include in your disposition is gratitude. I hear this all the time, the best attitude is gratitude. It is certainly a joy to practice and it will keep you from stressing in most situations.
Just imagine this situation with person A and person B:
Person B: I hate my job. I have the worst job in the world. I wake up early just to come here and serve people french fries.
Person B is complaining and drawing attention to the negatives in their life. This puts negative stress on them and it almost definitely puts those around them in stress.
Person A: What do you mean? I love this job! I get to wake up early enough to catch the sunrise! I come to work and I give people food and make them smile, I make a difference in these people’s lives!
Person A doesn’t have to try and de-stress when he or she gets home, there’s no unhealthy stress to get rid of!
Your disposition makes a big difference in your everyday life from your ability to interact with people to how much energy you can bring to your day. Disposition will play a large role in the Life category.
Unless you are an enlightened 40-year meditation master, you will encounter stress in your life. It will creep up into your joints and muscles, make you tense and hinder your ability to respond rather than react. There are techniques to stress relief as well as stress avoidance, as we saw earlier.
Some tricks that I have used before to keep myself from stressing out in a tense situation are included here.
- Deep breath exercises
Other methods you can use preventatively:
- Singing (to help calm your CNS(central nervous system))
And many more!
Habits. I’m sure you’ve come across the idea that you are you and that’s that. Well, I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking.
I believe that the main components of who you are, how you can stand by yourself and have confidence in your abilities, are your habits.
Which is great because your habits are completely under your control.
You have the option to change your habits. Either to help you on your way to your optimal self or to hinder you and shepherd you back into the overstimulated instant gratification flock.
If your idea of your optimal self is someone who doesn’t have anxiety around others, someone who can dance really well and someone with a lot of money then you are going to want to develop habits to support your optimal self.
- to decrease anxiety in social settings practice talking to yourself in the mirror a certain amount of times a week
- to become better at dancing you would maybe practice a new dance a few times a week
- to become rich you need to pick habits that other rich people have like: devoting the first 2 hours of every day to work on your money making plan
You could see how scheduling these routines and getting into the habit of doing them could increase your performance in these areas.
Habits and routines will get plenty of attention in the Lifestyle category.
This will be comprised of random tricks and suggestions that I come across that help myself and others to stay motivated and on track.
- taking breaks throughout long periods while sitting or doing projects (that’s a great idea, I’m going to take one right now)
- associate your workspace with only work. Don’t play games in your workspace or you will prime your body to play when you plan on working.
- Don’t have 14 drinks the night before when you plan on jogging in the morning. (actually just don’t ever have 14 drinks)
Lots of these tips that I’ve come across have helped me stay more focused and get more done.
You are what you eat.
The activities and surroundings you embrace will affect you in 1 way or another. You can do activities that help you in the long run. Or not. Environment and external stimuli have a large ability to influence your success.
- Read books
- Have a room to work in without a TV to distract you
- Eat local organic healthy vegetables
Not Good Things
- Watch a whole season of a show without moving once (we’ve all done it)
- Have 14 drinks
- Keep quotes in your office that influence you to stop working
If you do these things often enough your body will make habits of them. If you have a habit of watching a whole season of a show without moving, then you will become very unhealthy physically and mentally. Your body will become used to instant gratification and immobility. These traits are not supportive to your optimal self.
Controlling your environment is certainly a key element to your success.
These Categories of Finance and Lifestyle may seem totally unrelated– but if you’ve read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv. Eker (one of my favorites!), you know they aren’t. When used in conjunction they will help you to get exactly what you want out of life.
I plan to use these tools myself, as you know if you read the about page, so the posts should be good, real, applicable resources to help you in your world domination and self-optimization endeavors.
Thanks for your support!
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