Earlier this week I had tweeted this:
Everything in life is a trade off. Some of us are born with high aptitude for learning and some with physical skills. All of us are unique. We humans are widely diverse. Practise, effort and attitude are what make some people accomplish more. Most of us are in the middle of the bell curve. We may have our strength and weaknesses but we are pretty average at most things. We can then say that it is a complete statistical improbability that any single person can be an extraordinary performer in all areas of their life, or even many areas of their life. There are no ‘Superman’ in real life. The most successful businessman might have a screwed up family life. I have seen some great athletes who are plain dumb. Most of us are average people. It’s the people in the extreme sides of bell curve. who get the publicity. So to be a mediocre as an output is absolutely ok. The problem is media shows only the extreme news. The student who secured 99.9% marks or the student who killed 20 children in a school shoot out in US. We start to measure our life with those benchmarks. And start to feel bad about our life. As a starting point for learning positive self-talk, I recommend learning to use the word “yet” and that comes from this Janelle Monáe song.
Watch this five minute video of exceptional human feats. The crazy thing is that every single person in this video, for their five seconds of incredible footage, likely spent years and years and years practicing their craft as well as dozens of hours of recording to just get that perfect five-second spot. And most of us will not even watch the whole video and even if we do. may not remember a single moment by the end of the day. Most of the celebrities and people, who have achieved greatness, keep saying each and every one of us can be extraordinary. We all deserve greatness. Being ‘average’ has become the new standard of failure.
Rarely anyone likes eating boiled broccoli (My grand daughter is one of those. She just loves it). It tastes bad. Really bad. But when you eat it, your body responds positively. You get lot of necessary micro nutrients. Similarly accepting the fact that “you’re actually pretty average in the grand scheme of things”, will release stress and anxiety of feeling inadequate. That constant pressure to always be ‘something amazing’, to be ‘the next big thing’, will be lifted off your back.
Start measuring yourself through life’s simple pleasures – friends around you, your health, helping someone, reading a good book, playing with your children, taking your parents out for dinner, going on nature walks with some one you love. Everyday there are opportunities to be extraordinary in life. Make the most of it.
Image from Internet
Most of life’s struggles begin perhaps when we don’t stop and analyse the situation and accept it.
Have you heard of ‘drown-proofing’, a part of Navy SEAL training? As part of ‘drown-proofing’ exercise, one is dumped in a 9-foot-deep pool with hands tied behind the back and feet tied together. The challenge is to survive for five minutes in the pool. Most candidates fail in this test. The first lesson of drown-proofing is paradoxical: the more you struggle to keep your head above water, the more likely you are to sink.
With your arms and legs bound, it’s nearly impossible to maintain yourself at the surface for the full five minutes. Even worse, your limited attempts to keep your body afloat will only cause you to sink faster. So what’s the trick to drown-proof in this situation? The trick is to actually let yourself sink to the bottom of the pool. From there, you lightly push yourself off the pool floor and let your momentum carry you back to the surface. Once there, you can grab a quick breath of air and repeat the whole process, again and again. Strangely, surviving drown-proofing requires no superhuman strength or endurance. It doesn’t even require that you know how to swim. On the contrary, it requires the ability to not swim. Instead of resisting the physics that would normally kill you, you must surrender to it and use it to save your own life.
This example of Navy Seal holds true for most of the issues that govern our life psychologically. Pursuing happiness takes you further away from it. Attempts at greater emotional control only remove us from it. The desire for greater freedom is often what causes us to feel trapped. The need to be loved and accepted prevents us from loving and accepting ourselves.
In the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Mark Manson wonderfully explains that desiring a positive experience is itself a negative experience; accepting a negative experience is a positive experience.
He further explains this in his book. To achieve the best things that matter in life, you have to Bottom – bounce like successful Navy Seals. The most fundamental components of our psychology are paradoxical.
- Control – The more we try to control our feelings, the more stuck or powerless we feel. Accepting our feelings aids our ability to process them better.
- Freedom – We truly exercise our freedom by limiting ourselves–to choose and committ to certain things in life. We lose our freedom when we surround ourselves with tons of things, assignments and commitments.
- Happiness – Have you ever observed that ‘trying’ to be happy makes us less happier? Accepting that unhappiness is also part of our life makes us truly appreciate and enjoy happiness.
- Security – Trying hard to make ourselves feel as secure as possible generates more insecurity. Being comfortable with uncertainty is what allows us to feel secure and helps us deal better with uncertainty.
- Love – The more we try to make others accept us, the less they will. More importantly, our focus should be to love and accept ourselves.
- Respect – Demanding or seeking respect from others doesn’t work. The more we demand, the lesser respect we will receive. To receive respect, we have to be first be mindful to respect others.
- Trust – Just like demanding respect, the more we try to make people trust us, the less inclined they will be to do so. Winning their trust begins with our trusting them.
- Confidence – Pretending to be confident creates more insecurity and anxiety. The more we accept our flaws and weaknesses, the more comfortable and confident we will feel.
- Change – Desperately wanting to change ourselves results in a constant feeling of ‘not being enough’. Whereas, the more we accept ourselves, the more we will grow and evolve.
- Meaning – The more we focus on pursuing purpose of our lives, the more self-obsessed and shallow we become. When we try to add meaning to others’ lives, you will feel its profound impact.
1. Keep a regular schedule. Our bodies like regularity. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times. With a regular schedule, your body will know when to release calming hormones before bed, and stimulating hormones to wake up.
2. Keep alcohol and caffeine moderate. Both will interfere with sleep. Try to avoid caffeine within 8-9 hours of your bedtime.
3. Eat and drink appropriately. A regular to smallish-sized meal about 2-3 hours before bed, one that is balanced in nutrients, can help facilitate sleep. Try not to drink too much liquid in the hours before bed, which will help you avoid waking up for bathroom breaks.
4. Do a brain dump. Take a few minutes to write out a list of whatever is bugging you. Whatever is in your brain, get it out and on to paper.
5. Turn off electronics. Digital devices stimulate our brain. We recommend unplugging from all screens at least 30 minutes before bed. This includes television, computers, and smartphones. The screens release a blue light that prevents our brain from preparing for sleep.
6. Stretch / read / de-stress before bed. Consider trying some yoga poses, reading, or meditation.
7. Go to bed before midnight. This is better aligned with natural light cycles.
8. Set an alarm to go to bed. Work backwards and add buffer time: If you need to wake up at 6 AM and want to be in bed for 7 hours, start moving towards bed around 10:30 PM with lights out by 11.
9. Exercise regularly. Physical movement (especially outdoors) can promote restful sleep at night.
10. Take a bath or shower. A warm bath can promote restful sleep.
11. Keep the room dark. This means curtains, shades, and / or a sleep mask.
12. Have a stress-free / clutter-free bedroom. Get rid of stacks of mail, boxes, clothes strewn about, etc.
13. Keep it cool. Anywhere from 16-20 C appears to work best at night.
14. Use white noise. It helps many people fall asleep fast.
15. Get outside in the sunlight and fresh air during the day. Or, if you work night shift, try to get lots of bright light and movement when you should normally be awake.
The more slow runs you do the more mitochondria you develop.
But, Why is Mitochondrial development important?
Put very simply, Mitochondria produce energy for cells. In the presence of oxygen, mitochondria breakdown carbohydrate, fat, and protein into usable energy. Therefore, the more mitochondria you have, and the greater their density, the more energy you can generate during exercise, and hopefully the faster you will be able to run.
S0, by running slow you build up your body’s ability to produce more energy, so that when you run fast your body can meet the energy demands of running fast.
The best athletes in the world train light 90% of the time. Purposefully performing below their potential. Not pushing their limits. Morgan Housel, in his regular column compares the same about investing. The most important investing question is not, “What are the highest returns I can earn?” It’s, “What are the best returns I can sustain for the longest period of time?”
He adds further:
So many investors over the last five years have gone out of their way to maximize annual returns, squeezing every potential penny out of every opportunity they could find. The highest-risk investments, often fueled with leverage.
They did that because the opportunities were everywhere – everything seemed to go up, every asset, month after month.
It felt great. Always does.
But now I think we’ll see that a lot of, even the best investors were the equivalent of an athlete who pushed to 110% in every training session, and now they’re burnt out.
For a period of time they felt like champions. But over time they’ll be lapped by the guy who casually jogs each day way below his potential, who can sustain his training and build a body that can adapt and recover for the next day.
Remember the old age lesson: Slow and steady wins the race.
Don’t burn out soon.
The way technology and artificial intelligence is taking over medical science this day many not be far away…
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We have also archived all the old issues and you can access them at www.sandeepmall.com They contain some very good tool kits to take charge of your health.
See you next week