Between the long hours, stressful jobs, barbecues, teenagers, traffic jams, political shenanigans ozone depletion, and 700 calorie sugar-laced Frappuchinos – it’s a wonder anybody lives to see fifty. The fact that some people do is akin to the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richard’s ability to still tour with the band at age 77.
The essential elements collect, combine, and interact to shape your life. The parts are inseparable. You cannot unmake a cake. The elements that make up a cake combine to create something that is no longer simply the sum of its parts. Your life is a mosaic of the choices that you make.
Rest comes in many forms – our daily sleep patterns, including nighttime sleep for most of us, as well as napping. Rest also includes morning rituals, meditation, breathing exercises, mealtimes and evening rituals. Rejuvenation patterns include our time-off, breaks and vacations (most people are severely ‘vacation deficient’).
The key to finding balance in your life is tied to the choices that you make in the daily management of your limited resources. If you ask ten people to describe what would constitute a ‘state of wellness’ in regards to the SPARK domain of their life, you’d probably get ten different answers.
Think of your well being as if it were a checking account or an investment portfolio. You will make deposits and withdrawals regularly with the decisions that you make every day in your lifestyle. Some lifestyle choices build wealth (health) and some choices build debt (sickness). Healthy lifestyle patterns make deposits into your health and well-being account.
In order to have an extraordinary life, you have to make extraordinary choices. Seek out the ‘rubs’ – the insecurities and the limitations. Our strength is in our flexibility. Increasing flexibility requires will, skill, and trust. You’ll be stronger, even a little sore, a little uncomfortable. But isn’t that the idea?
The Cumulative Effect: Good habits add together, and we get healthier. Bad habits add together, and we get sicker. This is true inside of each lifestyle domain and, more importantly, across all three domains. You should approach the following checklist as a ‘lifestyle to do list’ in the Fuel domain.
Love is not a sentiment. Love should not be reduced to simply the way someone makes us feel. Of course, love comes with tremendous emotion and real feelings. But it is so much more. Love is a decision. It is something that we choose to give and receive, not something that we wait to experience.
We are programmed to seek pleasure, move away from pain, and do it all with the greatest economy of energy. The idea of running a marathon, on the surface, is preposterous. Unless there is food under that dumbbell, you are not programmed to pick it up. If there was a crocodile in the pool with you, it would make sense to swim as fast as you can.
There are natural laws that we must follow to be healthy, happy human beings. We should be eating the foods that were available to thousands of generations of our ancestors – it’s what our bodies, our physiology, our cells expect. If we veer from these selections, our cells get confused and our bodies get sick.