“La Pasión” Passion
You will never regret a decision you make because of passion. Unless of course it’s cheating on your significant other, with your long lost lover from spain…
No, but seriously, indulge your passions. If you can be passionate about your work, do it! It will make the daily grind that much easier. That’s how people “work” without working.
I know what you’re thinking, “but David I hate my job, I spend all day dealing with people’s shit.” Find a way to incorporate something you are passionate about into your job. For example you could collect achievements or rank up every time you have to shovel manure, or you could stop cleaning porta-potties. You could gamify your job to help keep motivation high.
Most people have a practical skill they are passionate about that you may be able to incorporate into your work. For example I am passionate about photoshop/video editing and I’ve been able to incorporate it into my work by making logos and business cards.
The bottom line is indulge your passions. They make you happy, they make you a unique individual. People will respect your passion and be awed by it. Many woman say they find men who are passionate, extremely attractive. (It goes the other way too ;P )
At the most fundamental basic level of our physiology we were born to run. Our very evolution and survival of our species was dependent upon bipedalism and sweating. If you are not sweating you are denying our evolutionary legacy.
Seriously though, healthy body, healthy mind. In today’s society we have so much emphasis on training the mind, but the body needs to be trained as well.
I can link the happiest and most productive periods of my life to the times when I did the most physical activity.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week.
Most people aren’t meeting the requirements. Are you? Get out there and run, it’s okay to be a cardio bunny.
This one seems pretty straightforward, but there is more to it. I firmly believe that a fundamental aspect of mental health is having a sense of purpose.
Individuals lacking a sense of purpose are often unhappy and may be depressed. When you lack a sense of purpose you may feel like it doesn’t matter what you do. When you have a sense of purpose you feel like an integral part of something important.
Everybody wants to belong, and feel valued. We all want to be “irreplaceable.” While I’m sure you’re all irreplaceable in your own special way; the jobs we have to do in society are designed to make us replaceable.
Jobs provide the main sense of purpose in many people’s lives. Often a lack of purpose results in burnout, or a midlife crisis. If your job doesn’t provide you with a sense of purpose you need to find other ways have purpose. Often people do this through hobbies or having children.
Warning: Your job will take up most of your time for most of your life. Having a purposeless job is dangerous for your mental health. You might not be able to tough it out for as long as you think you can. Find a job where you have purpose.
I maintain my sense of purpose through my work, my relationships with others, and my soccer. I feel valued and tied to the people and places around me.
Maintain Your Social Network
People constantly underestimate their social network. Your circle of friends and acquaintances are treated as distractions, to be ignored when anything important needs to be done.
This can actually be a mal-adaptive behavior. Humans are intrinsically social creatures. Our evolution was dependent upon group dynamics. There have been some really ground breaking studies that have found your social network is a better predictor of health than a lot of other things. In fact chronic loneliness is now a recognized carcinogen.
I have found that many people undervalue Facebook, it can be a great tool to stay connected with friends and family. Post quality content that enables people to connect with you. Stop bitching about the weather and re-sharing “funny” images.
The newest buzzword coming out of health psychology, mindfulness is sweeping the Yoga nation.
Mindfulness is that strange period at the end of Yoga where you are told to lie down and close your eyes but not sleep. The key to mindfulness is being awake.
(And no, listening to Katy Perry is not the answer.)
Are you really awake? Are you aware of your surroundings and the decisions you make
“I think, therefore I am.”
Often we can get so busy that life flies by. We feel like Adam Sandler in Click. One day we wake up and think “where did the last 2 weeks of my life go?”
Being Mindful is all about being aware of the moment. It’s sorta in the same vein of logic as the whole “YOLO” movement. You need to live in the now, because we might not get tomorrow. Okay that’s a bit dramatic and might be a pitbull quote, but the point is we need to appreciate what we have, and where we are, instead of always looking to the future.
The best part of Mindfulness is that it reinforces the aforementioned ideas. When you take the time to think things through, and appreciate the complexity of everything you gain an appreciation for the underlying structures. I believe the 5 points I’ve laid out here are the underlying structures. If you can take some time and reflect on these 5 things, and how they play into your life you can get a better understanding of yourself.
I challenge you to take a bit of time every day and think about what makes you happy. What makes you passionate, what gives you purpose. Isolate these things and focus on them. You won’t regret it, I promise. Just stop bitching about the weather, please.