The Most Important Question of Your Life 0 1302

By : Chantal D

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

Everyone would like that — it’s easy to like that.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

 

How-to-get-hapiness-in-love-life

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is “what pain do you want in your life?” “What are you willing to struggle for”? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence — but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé boundaries of an endless cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.

Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship — but not everyone is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there. So they settle. They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years until the question morphs from “What if?” into “Was that it?” And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail they say, “What was that for?” if not for their lowered standards and expectations 20 years prior, then what for?

Because happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come roaring back to life.

At the core of all human behavior, our needs are more or less similar. Positive experience is easy to handle. Its negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.

People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

There’s a lot of crappy advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”

Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something enough. They just aren’t sure if it’s what they really want, if its what they want “enough” to sacrifice for.

Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also bare the costs. If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

Sometimes I ask people, “Why do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me, “me” and you, “you”. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work. First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money. Then, I needed to find the time. Then… and then nothing.

Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.

Music-Concert

I was in love with the result — the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I’m playing — but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. The entrepreneurial/start-up crowd would tell me that I chickened out on my dream and gave in to my conventional social conditioning. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or manifest or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that: I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friends.

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From fat to fit – In conversation with Chamara Kasthuriarchchi (lean_lk) 0 715

How does healthy eating affect your life?

From Fat to FitChamara, who is a diet, workout and nutrition consultant with many years of experience and has transformed many number of people from ‘fat to fit’, explains how healthy eating affects our body and mind.

I know that many of us love to eat fast food, but it catches up with us in the long run. While eating healthy would stop you from getting sick, and lower the cost of health care, healthy eating can enrich your body and prevent you from getting high doctor bills.

Eating healthy can be a challenge, Are you up to it?

Fat to Fit - 03

Taking care of your health should be a priority for every individual – and it is critically important for anyone struggling with obesity or diseases. Without good health life can be very difficult. For those who are naturally healthy, it is easy to ignore healthy eating habits because they tend to believe they are invisible. But, poor eating habits will catch up with you eventually.
Now is the time to pay attention and make necessary changes; As you search the web for the best foods to eat to build and sustain a healthy body, the answers may sound fairly simple – eat only foods that are good for your body. In fact, isn’t that a non-brainer?

But then, eating anything has its limits, anything excess is bad for the body, lifestyle advice should be appropriate, safe and effective. Everyone understands that proper nutrition is not only control of the calories and endless diet, but a complete diet, which must contain all the necessary products; meat, cereal, dairy, fruits and vegetables. People need to avoid ‘harmful’ biscuits, chocolate, semis and sugary sodas in large quantities. Often we eat what comes to hand: something we can buy and quickly reheat in the microwave. Sometimes there is no time to identify whether the product is harmful.

The main criterion of choice in food are tasty, fast, satisfying and cheap.Healthy lifestyle is a daily package of measures, which consists of a proper balance diet, exercise, avoiding harmful habits, a positive and balance view of the world. Healthy people wanting to lead a healthy life do not necessarily go to a dietitian and buy huge amounts of books on nutrition, which sometimes are frustrating and confusing. In order to feed themselves and their families with healthy and proper food, it is enough to follow a few rules of modern dietetics.

The most important rule is that, it is necessary to maximize enriching the meals we eat. It is desirable to increase the use of vegetables and fruits – then your body will not have a vitamin deficiency. Also it is necessary to reduce the amount of animal fats, partially replacing them with vegetable oils. Limit consumption of pure sugar and salt. It is better to substitute confectionery sweets with honey and dried fruits, salt – with spices.

Sticking to a healthy diet is very simple. To do this you need:

  • Learn how to cook healthy food.
  • Follow a few simple rules of eating.
  • Eat only fresh, healthy foods.

The main rules of healthy eating you should try to follow are;

  • Reduce animal fats.
  • Eat more foods rich in saturated fatty acids such as Omega 3 (red fish, vegetable oils, nuts).
  • Eat foods that contain fibre (cereal, vegetable, fruits, and dried fruits).
  • Eat freshly prepared dishes.
  • Do not fry in butter and completely eliminate margarine from the diet.
  • Abandon overly salty foods.
  • Instead of full cream milk use milk products (kefir, yogurt, fermented milk)
  • Meat, fish, poultry must be freshly cooked.
  • Every day eat a fresh vegetable salad or fresh fruit salad.

From my own experience I know that in order to follow the rules of a healthy diet, I need to limit eating the following foods: salt, sugar, smoked and fried food, fatty pork, pastry products, canned and preserved foods. Of course a complete rejection of harmful products require a huge effort of will. But a bad mood can become better after a piece of cake – do not worry. Stress is much more dangerous for the body than a piece of cake. Try to live without stress, in harmony with yourself – it is another important rule that shapes our healthy lifestyle.

The role of healthy food in a person’s life cannot be overstated. Almost all our health problems originate from the inability or unwillingness to organize regular diet. Healthy diet combined with regular exercise, reduces the risk of chronic disease and disorders such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pleasure and cancer.
Eat right, and the results will not keep you waiting!

Keys to Powerful Body Language 0 853

As a business owner, having to speak in front of large audiences is part of the entrepreneurial game. Though public speaking is empowering, it can also be difficult to manage. In my experience, how you should stand, have your hands, look or dress when giving a speech can be confusing.

After reading Sandy Linver’s Speak and Get Results, I have learned how to get my message across through powerful body language.

In her book, Sandy outlines three key areas for superb public speaking: You must transmit authority, energy and audience awareness. Authority refers to looking and sounding like you have something to say about the subject; energy refers to looking like the subject is important to you, and audience awareness is having an interaction with the audience so that they feel like they’re a part of the experience. Here’s a more intrinsic look at these key areas:

  • Authority
  • How do you transmit authority? I have learned that there are several ways in which your body language or non-verbal language can signal authority to the audience.
  • Visual Image: The clothes you chose to wear at 7 a.m. will have a big impact on how your audience judges you. Do you look the way an “expert” on your topic would look? If you’re speaking to an audience about business, you should always look the part.
  • Body Image: Feet should be wide apart, body balanced, gestures supporting the key moments of the speech— these actions convey confidence. There should be nothing distracting the audience from being able to engage your message. If you have your hands in your pocket, for example, it will look like you’re more interested in your car keys than your speech.
  • Voice: According to Sandy, there are five characteristics of a powerful voice:

01. Breathing – Relaxed, deep breaths give you projection and power

02. Articulation – Open your mouth and clearly pronounce the words; no mumbling and no “filler words” (i.e., um, ah, like)

03. Downward Inflection – In all languages, we tend to signal answers by terminating the statement with a downward inflection, and we signal questions by finishing the phrase with a raised tone. Many times nerves will drive us to use inflections incorrectly, which will confuse the audience. Slow down to emphasize the right points of your message.

04. Pauses – Include three-to-eight-second pauses at key moments; i.e., just before key statements or right after a story.

05. Projection and Resonance – When speaking in public, it’s best to use your whole diaphragm— the chest and lungs, as well as mouth and nose. A voice that comes from the chest will transmit powerfully.

Energy

Emitting the right energy during a speech is easy; all you have to do is look like you care about the subject on which you’re speaking. If the speaker doesn’t act like the subject is important, it will be impossible for the audience to engage the messaging.

Audience Awareness

Audience awareness is an integral part of the speaker’s responsibilities. By assessing the audience and determining whether people are engaged or not, the speaker will know what to emphasize and where to slow down. Usually, a quick glance at the audience or a pause in speech can show them that they matter to you.

There’s no hidden secret to excelling at public speaking; it just takes a lot of practice, determination and a willingness to adopt helpful habits. After reading Speak and Get Results, I’m confident I can continue to deliver powerful speeches to the people who are most important to me and my company.

By: Cameron Blake