With the amount of talk about the Mind/Body connection, you'd imagine that some of the mud being flung at the wall would be sticking.
Not always the case. Anything we do in life usually takes place first in the mind.
It begins as an idea. As we think about it, it begins to clarify and develop. Then perhaps we begin to regard with a bit more attention. Before we know it, we’re beginning to see it as a possiblility.
The next step is that it begins to become something we'd like in our lives, an aim, something we would like to do, or achieve, or see done.
But it starts in the mind. What’s important is that it starts as our own idea. Even if it’s a variation of what someone else is doing, it is our individual take on it that will make it ours. A lot of us tend too sit on our ideas, doing nothing with them.
This is why designers, engineers, authors, all copyright or patent their ideas. But because many think along similar lines, it isn't until we see someone else DO something with OUR idea, that that we begin to take it really seriously.
Because someone has started to do it, reinforces our belief in it. And because we believe in it, we want to do it.
That belief influences our thinking, not what we’re thinking about, but how we are thinking about it. And those thoughts affect their feelings. And so, the desire is generated.
The desire then influences our action and we begin to take steps to implement our idea.
And all this comes about from what may originally have been a nebulous, vague, rough idea of something we would like to do. But it is the force of the thought on our feelings that generates the action.
It's what the coaches call "motivation".
Observe your ideas. Don’t dismiss them because you think someone else might. Or because of what someone else might think about them.
Whether you implement them, or finally dismiss them, let the decision be yours and not the consequences of some imagined disapproval.
Nurture your ideas. Guard them well. If after due consideration, you feel strongly about them, believe in them, and in your ability and determination to see them through, honour them.
In the last post, I mentioned the advantages of Association when you embark on a project.
However, there's a caveat here.
Association is a forceful factor in any area of life.
We can have people who inspire, encourage and and help us grow into our aspirations. Or, we can be with people who belittle, discourage and suck the very life from our efforts.
Discouragement, like inspiration, can come from the most unexpected of sources. It can come in the plain and obvious form of bold, clear statements.
It can come in sugar-coated, whispered, oblique suggestions that are, consciously or not, designed to cause you to hesitate, question, and doubt your course of action.
Thus, any of us can be derailed in a perfectly good project for the want of not being true to our aims and beliefs.
This brings us back to the power, and the need for, a decision.
Being decisive in life simplifies things.
When you believe that you've given due consideration to a course of action, weighed it up, and then on the basis that you're right as far as you can see, and committed to that decision, your duty then is to honour your own judgement, stick with it, and do it.
If you're wrong, or if for some other reason, it doesn't work out, you're secure in the knowledge that everything possible has been done. Then, you can either change the action to suit the needs, or do something completely different. But the choice remains yours, and you'll have learned from taking that responsibility.
So, look closely to your associates. Let yourself become aware of those who tend to contribute to your achievements, and of those who can, intentionally or not, undermine them.
Most people, it's my belief, tend be helpful rather than malicious, but we do need to be realistic too, don't we?
Having a goal in life, shared with a fellow-human who understands what it may mean to you, and is loyal and supportive, can reinforce the value, and the reality, of that goal.
Back to how this affects your training: when you physically train with a like-minded individual, or a group, you tend to reinforce the impact of the training in the mind as well as in the body.
And if the companion is familiar with, and concerned in, your aims and your abilities, then it's much more valuable.
The truth is, change can be hard.
Change can be forbidding.
Because our results come from our actions.
Our actions stem from how we think.
How we think is driven by our beliefs.
To get different (and better) results we have to take different actions.
And that means that sometimes we have to change what we believe about life and ourselves, by making the effort to change what we may have believed about life and ourselves for many years.
So if you want radically different results from the average, typical, normal results you're getting at the moment, you may have to change from the average, typical, and “normal” thought patterns you're practising, or to be more precise, what we perceive to be "normal thinking".
And we all know what happens to those who are “different”, how their actions, ideas, concepts, can be viewed. That's frequently the biggest deterrent to making changes in life; "WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?", we ask ourselves .
Provided our actions don't intrude on the rights, property or freedom of others, we can pretty well decide to be, do, and have anything we want.
All we have to do is pay the price.
And frequently the price isn't always to do with money. It can be family time, personal relationships, personal stress levels, sleepless nights, frazzled days, that get laid on the altar of success...we can end up achieving what we thought "success" to be, only to be physically, mentally and emotionally bankrupt.
What people think of that is their business. If that's the price we pay, and accept it as that, like a hangover after a wildly enjoyable night of revelry, then it's our business and we live with it.(And that’s a philosophy I share with you in Common Sense Wellness™).
Like it or not, our ultimate success or failure in our aims in life is largely up to us.
It’s our choice, and we’re free to make any choice we wish.
But, but, but, we’re NOT free to avoid the consequences of our choices.
What do you believe to be the most important elements of being fit, healthy and well?
Is it exercise?
Regularity in training?
Technique in performance?
Use of supplements?
Anatomical knowledge?, There are many more questions along that vein.
And they're all relevant.
But the one factor overlooked by so many, trainers and trainees alike, is rest.
Rest between exercise sessions is vital. That's when the body's repair system kicks in and lets Nature do the repair work on the body that's just been subjected to the assault of vigorous activity.
Taking the time to allow this to happen will double the effects of your efforts. It's how the body, and indeed the mind, refresh and revitalise. There are few sleeps as refreshing and restorative as those after physical exercise. Not only is the sleep usually deeper, it tends also to be continuous.
Seven to eight hours uninterrupted sleep helps rest the mind, revitalise the brain cells, and get rid of toxins that can accumulate in the brain, and thus impair cognitive use.
This is a vital aspect for living today. Rarely has the Human Race been so subjected to Mental and Emotional speed and engagement, while lacking the inbuilt physical activity to counteract the effects of these trends.
The result is that we have to schedule exercise into our lives, we have to plan our food intake if we don't want to stuff ourselves with junk, and we need to organise our lives to allow for rest as well.
No rest, no repair. No repair leads to fatigue, strain and burnout.
Look at your life and ask yourself, "How can I make the most of my training, food use and myself to maximise my way to sound fitness, constant wellness, and optimum health.?"
And when you're writing your answer, schedule in your time for "R &R", "Rest and Recreation".
And observe the word, "recreation". that's exactly what rest does. It allows your body, your mind, your nervous system to RE - CREATE themselves.
So, have a peaceful and a restful weekend.
In about three months from now it’ll be Christmas time.
We’ll either have done things we set out to do, or not done them.
Either way, the time will have passed.
Which is a good thought to have about how we can make the most of the next two or three months. We can do this without encroaching on anything else we do.
There’s a great deal of talk today about “making a difference”. However, if we want to make a difference of any kind, we need perhaps to begin with ourselves.
These are challenging and disruptive times.
We are all learning new ways to live. Some of the changes are small, some huge. None are insignificant.
Never more than now is the need for us to be able to adapt our bodies, our minds, and our emotions, to the demands of daily living.
Contrary to popular belief, these skills can be learnt and developed and mastered with relative ease. It’s a matter of understanding the principles and the fundamentals. Then putting them into practice on a frequent basis.
At any age, at any level of accomplishment, we can enhance our lives enormously by learning how to make the most of our personal resources, our abilities, and our talents.
That is the driving principle that informs the strategies and tactics of www.commonsensewellness.ie
If you haven’t looked recently, have a look at the website again here:
Let this be the first day of the rest of your wonderful life.
When Stirling Moss, in an out dated Lotus, trounced the Ferraris of Phil Hill and Richie Ginther at Monaco in 1962, the spectators remarked on how relaxed, how at ease, and perfectly comfortable he looked as he drove lap after exhausting lap on that tight and demanding circuit.
As a performance, it was a tour de force. In the eyes of many, it was Moss' Finest Hour.
DJ Carey, the Kilkenny hurler, and a breaker of many stalwart hearts, could waltz through a six-man defence group to billow opponents' nets with another of his blistering exhibitions of artistry.
A youthful Cassius Clay, in the 1960s, dazzled the entire world as he danced, jabbed, and bludgeoned his way to the throne of the Boxing World.
All accomplished men.
And they all had one thing in common: they practised, rehearsed, drilled, and internalised their basic movements.
They rehearsed their moves so that they not only got them right, but they couldn’t get them wrong.
I heard a story of Michael Jordan, the basketball player, who, in doing an ad for a soft drink company, had to consciously rehearse and practice missing a shot at the net before he could make the miss look natural. The story of the ad was that he then comforted himself with the soft drink.
In sport, business, in the arts, in any undertaking in which a man or woman intends to be at the top level, they practice the basics.
Ernest Hemingway, no slouch when it came to raising the rafters and having the craic, in his own particular way, was at his desk by five or 6 am every morning, applying himself to his craft, regardless of the monumental hangovers he was reputed to have suffered.
“To speak well in public“, said author Howard spring, “we need to think well in private.“
And there is the secret to an effortless performance; practice, practice, practice.
The same goes for exercise, reading, relaxing, meditating, using food well, conducting ourselves through our lives.
Practice, the age old open secret.
Trust can be a poignant, sensitive, even delicate word.
It can rise all kinds of feelings within us. The word “trust“ summons up images of close friendship, dependability reliability, or it may suggest it’s a very opposite, mistrust, treachery, betrayal.
A lot of how we interpret the word will reflect our own experiences.
I’m often asked why I counsel people to keep their aims, goals, aspirations, to themselves, unless they are speaking to someone in whom they have complete trust, or who will support them 100%.
I do this because the reasons why people will undermine, discourage, even belittle the aims of someone else are myriad. If you have a friend who knows you as you are at this particular moment, and have been for many years, it can be very difficult for them to accept that you want to change something in both your lives. Because both lives do change when one life does.
If you have been shy, diffident, hesitant, because you don’t feel really well about yourself and how you appear to the world and you’re not really happy in yourself, the change for the better in your life may be a change for the worse in your friend’s life.
They may find it difficult to accept the new you. They may find it difficult when you become assertive, positive, confident in your presentation to the world. When that happens, you cease to be the predictable, hesitant, quiet and compliant person they knew.
Because they see you differently, they may find that they have to change their attitude and manner towards you, or lose your friendship.
I’ve seen this over the years, when a man or woman has lost weight, toned up, got a new wardrobe, and re-asserted herself or himself in life. Acquaintances suddenly find themselves taking that person more seriously, paying more attention to what they say, being aware of the emergence of a new person.
This can lead to huge discomfort on the part of acquaintances. They may become lost, unsure of themselves. It brings doubt, uncertainty into their lives. They have to figure out how to handle the change. They may be well out of their comfort zone.
But that’s not your fault, or anyone else’s, who decides ( that great word) that there is more to their life than what they’ve been tolerating for ages.
That’s why I counsel privacy, discretion, when you talk or think about your aspirations.
Let the ideas and plans you have build inside you. Let yourself become acquainted with them. Let them build in the Intensity and Force of your imagination till they express themselves in action, and not get leaked in dribs and drabs, to unappreciative and possibly damaging minds, where they can then get shredded, and ineffectively trail the ground at your heels.
Trust people by all means.
I was listening to a coach the other day saying that he hated the word “mindset”.
He didn’t explain why, and left his listeners with no idea why either.
Language is powerful. There are words that can lift us or bury us.
We are affected not just by the words used, but how they’re spoken.
That's what interpretation is about.
Our moods, our beliefs, our experiences of life, can give meanings to words that will be different to someone else's.
Most of us tend to speak as we think. Sometimes that can be very unhelpful.
We’re so keen to make our point that the words tumble out before we’ve had time to formulate them into a coherent sentence, or be aware of how they might sound to a listener
That’s when we can land ourselves in trouble. I imagine we’ve all experienced the feeling at times, when we hear ourselves speaking, and as the words fall into place, we listen to ourselves in wonder.
And then we find ourselves following up with “What I mean is…“, “That is to say…“, “You know what I mean…“. And of course it’s highly unlikely that anyone does know.
And that’s why it’s important for all of us to take time, consider what we're saying, and give ourselves time to choose helpful, simple, meaningful words.
And not always an easy one to fill. In any communication with our fellow humans, it's a simple expedient to consider how we sound. Being irritated by a missed phone call, an elusive parking spot, a traffic delay, can convey itself into an unintended tone, pitch and impression that undermine the best of intentions.
As an exercise in awareness, even if it doesn’t result in perfect communication, it may often give the necessary pause for thought that does prevent disaster.
This is one of the great benefits of regular meditation.
The body, how it feels, the very physical experience of our existence, tends to become more comfortable, easy, less fazed. The mind becomes more quiet, calm, composed.
Meditating, or relaxing the mind, or doing a structured mindful exercise, frequently, usually results in a more comfortable body, and a clear mind.
And one of the benefits, just one of them, is how you may find, as you begin to get the habit, that your responses to life tribulations becomes less abrasive, and more effective.
But that assumes practice.
As we all know, Health is Wealth...well, it's a figure of speech, a telling one, because we all understand that if we don't have our health, everything else in our lives is diminished in value, even lost.
The peculiar thing is that Good Health is available to most of us.
Clinical illness apart, there is no excuse for being unhealthy. And it isn't because of pandemics, the economy, lack of education, no opportunity, exclusion, or any other of the myriad excuses we cough up in our defence that we don't have it. It's the decision to do nothing about it.
And no mistake, it IS a decision. Most of us know what to do if we want to get into reasonable shape. We even know how to do it. And that's where we score goals against ourselves; we fail to DO it.
According to the WHO, 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. According to a recent article in the Irish Times, Ireland ranks second in the overweight and obesity levels in the EU.
Something CAN be done about the condition. And a lot of people who feel tired, run down, out of sorts, can do much for themselves too.
It all starts with the decision, doesn't it? And there's the courageous acknowledgement of acceptance too, isn't there? Once we accept that we're in a particular condition, largely of our own making, then we can do something about it. If we've put ourselves in a frame, we can change the frame.
That's taking responsibility for our lives and our actions and ourselves. and once we do that, we start making progress. But until then, we're in the land of self-delusion, wishful thinking and denial.
Note that I use the word 'we', I've been heinously guilty of this myself at times. Ain't none of us perfect.
However, even in the depths of stagnation, we casn see that there may be a way out of our dilemma. And sometimes that's all we need; to know there's a way. Then we go about finding it.
Those of you who've studied the power and the simplicity of applying the Reticular Activating System will understand the logic of this.
That's why the system of using the Mind to direct the Body, which then reciprocates by reinforcing the Mind, is such an effective and simple way to do it.
If that appeals to you, click here for a simple course of action you may like to take.
But, whatever you do, DO DOMETHING
In 1859, Samuel smiles wrote in his iconic book on self development, appropriately called “Self Help“, “The worth of a nation is the worth of the men and women in it.”
Sound, common-sense principles never change. They’re as true today as they were in Roman times, Mediaeval times, and Modern times.
Any organisation, a football team, a business enterprise, a stage production, a community, is as good as the men and women in it.
Men and women give an undertaking the vitality, the energy, the human input that gives value to any inanimate policy, procedure, or method.
To this end, it’s vital that we are aware of our responsibility in being able to access our personal resources and personal abilities.
We need to be FIT for PURPOSE.
That’s our duty to ourselves, our community, those near and dear to us, and any activity of which we are privileged to be a part.
Are we agreed?
You may like to look at this...CLICK HERE
PS...And keep your mind on Friday, 29th., 9 am...Half Hour Friday...
you'll find a really useful agenda for the month of November...
If we are not clinically ill, there is no reason, no excuse, for not being at our best when we need to be.
This does not mean being always “on”. This isn't a paean to merciless obsession with perfection.
It’s a suggestion, based on personal, and others’ experience, that we can be more, do more, and contribute more, to our own lives, and those around us, with less stress, less pain, and more ease.
Everyone has their own idea of success.
Sometimes, bare survival is the pinnacle of success. It depends on the circumstances, and how they’re viewed, of each individual’s life.
But one thing is sure. If we’re tired, rundown, out of shape, anxious, tense, nervous, it’s probable that we won’t be making the most of who we are.
The solution is simple.
Not always easy, but simple.
Maybe, when we dodge the issue, what we fear is not failure, but success.
What do you think?
Belief changes everything.
We’ve all had beliefs turned upside down at sometime or other in life.
Perhaps the most dramatic for many was learning about Santa. We believed that the big fat, jolly, plump-cheeked man, saying ho ho ho, and distributing presents throughout the world on Christmas Eve, to be true.
Sometimes, because we were reaching the use of reason, and we were starting to figure things out for ourselves, it began to dawn on us slowly that there might not be a Santa.
But for others it was a stark revelation, perhaps before reason could filter it, and was a devastating blow to a child’s world in which anything had been possible.
In the former case, because reason was involved, all kinds of explanations presented themselves to smooth the path and make the change acceptable.
In the latter case, what had been true up to then was now a lie. What ensued was the sense of being betrayed, lied to, and ridiculed.
Adults have experienced these feelings as well. It happens in relationships, in work, where politics intervene in the name of order, and in life in general when we may find that what we thought to be a truth was a misperception, and our beliefs lie strewn on the ground.
A hard fact to swallow.
But what’s important is how we cope with it.
And that’s a choice we all have. As long as we’re standing, there’s a way through.
When we believe we will cope, that’s what we begin to do. And that’s often the difference between staying afloat and sinking. The very fact that we know we’ll cope is often enough to lift the spirit, alter the mindset, and empower a useful attitude.
The time to practice survival is when everything’s going well. Just the same as Jonny Sexton and Joe Canning didn't wait till ten minutes before the big game to brush up on their technique. They'd put it into practice, long and often in between the events.
Or like the story I heard of David Beckham, who, after playing a wonderful game for Manchester United, with a convincing win, went back to the pitch, on his own, to delete from his mind a miskick, by him, that had resulted in an intercept by the opposition during the game. His team mates had been let, by the manager, off for the night, and had gone celebrating.
Diligent, intelligent, regular practice is what makes, not necessarily perfect, but a quality of performance, that, even imperfect, delivers. Listening to people, accomplished, successful people, worthy of every success they enjoy, it is salient to note that without exception, they all hold a strong allegiance to the belief in doing the simple things well, doing them with a will, and doing them consistently.
We can't but see that it's this belief in a solid work ethic, steadfast application, and a sound relentlessness, that brings results in life.
While there are no rehearsals for life, there ARE ideas, thoughts, viewpoints and actions, that can influence the run of events.
And it starts with the set of the mind, an attitude of courage, and the decision to do, and not just think and talk.
I hope you're well and healthy, and that you're ready to enjoy the long weekend starting this Friday evening.
And yes, I am aware that it isn't time off for everyone. Having operated in an industry for over 50 years where the practitioners were busiest when most of the rest of the world is off, has left me with no illusions about the significance of working hours.
However, we have our choices and the consequences, and we weigh up what we want, and where we compromise. For me, the privilege of doing what I did greatly outweighed what many would have seen as a disadvantage.
Part of what I worked in included the study of Breathwork, what it can do for us, and how it can be harnessed to improve, not to say transform, our lives.
I read a book last year by a man called James Nestor. It's about breathing and how it's being used now to bring health, well-being, energy and mental and emotional stability into many lives.
There was a documentary recently on the BBC, featuring this man, and I'm putting this link to it for your edification and use.
Some of you will recognise some of the the names I've mentioned to you over the years, in this interesting and enlightening piece.
Listen to it, and enjoy it.
The Documentary - The lost art of breathing - BBC Sounds
And DO it.
We need to give time now and again to what we feel we’re worth.
Our worth can be a lot. We can have attributes, qualities, and resources within us that are very worthy, and capable of great accomplishment.
But all that worth may lie dormant.
It isn’t until we DO something with those qualities, resources and attributes, that they become valuable.
Till we use them, they are a latent force within us. Much the same way as knowledge is mistakenly thought to be a powerful force in our lives.
Knowledge is only as powerful, or as good, as the use to which it’s put.
And as soon as we begin to use it, we benefit from that experience and reinforce the worth, and the power of knowledge, and add to their value.
This then does something else. It adds to our own sense of our own worth, and to our self-esteem.
So, it’s back to basics, isn’t it?
Real worth, real sense of self-esteem, is just like any other privilege in life, isn't it?
It's the potential for which we have to search, find, and develop.
And if you don't find the answer in a hair-do, you just might find one HERE.
Energy is the source of our life's happiness.
Energy is one resource over which we have more influence than we think.
Energy gives zest to the day.
It drives the mind. It awakens the body. It lifts the spirit.
It works on us like sunshine. See how we all brighten in the bath of sunlight.
Real, natural, creative energy comes from within.
We can make our own internal sunshine.
That's what Mindset, Attitude and Practice is about.
Accessing, and using, the Four Energies.
That's what makes the difference between living and existing.
You can make this the month in which you HELP YOURSELF.
Then you have the energy and drive to help all the others you feel you'd like to.
That's how we can all play our part, make the contribution, make the difference.
Learn how over the next few weeks.
Energy is expressed in various forms. The fundamental energy is physical.
It allows us breathe, move, digest. It’s the foundation that permits us to think, feel, and express ourselves.
Many people lack physical energy. They feel tired, rundown, off form. This can make for difficult living. It turns even the simplest of chores into hard work.
It has an impact on the life of the individual. We may have the best of intentions, a clear and achievable goal, and a meticulously planned strategy, but if we don’t have good physical energy, our plans may amount to nothing.
All the energies are inter-dependent. But physical energy is what allows the others to function.
The mind, the emotions, and the spirit of every human being, assume a fundamental health and wellness.
To ignore this basic fact is like sitting in a car in preparation for a journey and having no fuel in the tank.
All aspects of the journey like route planning, designated stops, and estimated time of arrival, become irrelevant.
First rule for the car journey: fill the tank.
First rule for the journey of life: fill the tank.
Take the necessary steps.
Go to the sources that are available to anyone and apply them to your life.
These are simple steps. They’re available to anyone sound in wind and limb.
“Where does he get his energy?”
“I just don’t have the energy for it”
“It’s not worth the hassle”
Now, “ trouble” and “hassle”, are two words we hear a lot of today, particularly in relation to things and stuff we need to get done.
Trouble and hassle use energy. They demand energy. You need Physical energy, Mental energy, Emotional energy and Spiritual energy.
The energies are inter-dependent. We can be fired up with an idea. We can be ignited by a feeling. We can be consumed by a belief.
But if we don’t have the physical energy to act on what's needed, the fire, the ignition, and the consuming drive count for nothing.
Rule one; source your physical energy.
We need to know what to do, how to do it, and then, as my dear wife once told me about a project I had in mind, we need to shut up and do it.
We source our energy from within. We make sure that we have an adequate amount of nutrients, water, and oxygen in our bodies. We make sure we exercise our limbs and our internal environment. And we commit to an adequate amount of rest.
That will do for a start. When we observe these simple principles they affect our bodies, our minds, and how we feel with an impact that improves our lives, sometimes, beyond recognition.
Simple means. Ordinary powers. Applied with extraordinary consistency.
That's where a system comes in. Just like running a business, doing a job, writing a book, practising a sport, learning a course, organising a life.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be reviewing the essentials for creating energy...from within, what the energies are, how they can be developed, how to apply them in daily life.
When did you last talk to yourself?
Most say, “last year, ten years ago, can’t remember” and give other similar answers.
Well, you’ve never stopped talking to yourself.
Self talk, as it’s known in sport psychology, is one of the contributory factors to success.
We talk ourselves in and out of wins and losses every day.
“I’d never manage that.“
“I haven’t the time.“
“It’s the wrong time.”
“It’s too dear.”
“It’s too cheap.”
“What will the neighbours say?”
“What would my colleagues think?”
“I’m not qualified”
“I’m not educated enough.”
“I can do this.“
“I’ll make the time.“
“There is no time like the present.“
“That’s great value!“
“What a bargain!“
This won’t to bother anyone but me.“
“ Time to put my money where my mouth is.“
“I just know I can do this.“
“I’ll start and commit, and I’ll learn as I go…“
See those statements.
Ask what you say to yourself.
Learn the awareness of your self-talk.
Acknowledge the results.
Or the consequences.
Now talk to yourself as a friend.
'Firefighting' is a term we hear a lot of these days. People seem to be caught up in the speed of the world, and in the high tempo of everything that once was simple.
It isn't that we get more done; we tend to be doing more and getting less done.
The reasons are many; fast transport, instant communications, the relentless bombardment of the senses, they all accumulate into a wave of overwhelm on the individual.
And the individual can become swamped.
So, what can an individual do?
She can take a DECISION. He can make time. Then they can keep to it.
Small, regular times of peace, quiet, solitude break the pattern of GO, GO, GO. GET, GET, GET. HAVE, HAVE, HAVE.
Time to let go.
Be at ease.
But, like anything, it needs to be done. We need to do it. We need to DECIDE.
|Common Sense Wellness®||