I regularly read the musings of an entrepreneur, writer James Altucher. He seems to have a really good perspective and gives good advice.
How do you prepare for a good death?
I think we live in four dimensions at the same time.
The physical world, where we can get stabbed in the heart and bleed. The emotional world, where we can get stabbed in the heart and cry.
The mental world, where we can get stabbed in the head and get demented. And the spiritual world where we get stuck living in the past, filled with regret and anxiety.
Stress is the knife of the emotional world. Stress leads to inflammation of the cells (again, I’m a doctor).
The major causes of death in the US: heart attacks, cancer, strokes, Alzheimers – all caused by inflammation. And then diseases caused by smoking. Don’t smoke.
If all you do is work on ways to reduce stress, avoid time travel (obsessing on past and future), and of course, don’t smoke, then you will start preparing for a good death.
Everyone wraps themselves in their dramas: their friends, their family, their divorces, their failures. We build up a mythology of our misery. The pantheon of people who “did this to us”.
Can you take a break from that for today? Just today please. And then maybe tomorrow. If you can’t, then text me why.
Because the truth is:
Nobody did anything to you.
Except your mother.
I did a workshop with a great life coach more than a decade ago, which focused on how people create their personal narratives, and she said she had a rule that she would only tell a story to other people 3 times and after that she’d let it go because to keep re-telling gave it far too much weight and life and kept her from moving on. I try to remember that rule when there is drama in my life; it really does minimize stress, regret and anxiety.
“We’re successful if person by person we help make a difference in their lives.”
Read this article about Elizabeth Holmes, who has made medical history and is now one of the youngest billionaires based on her invention. What’s amazing about her story is she took a risk, a leap of faith supported by a passion and a purpose and it paid off.. (an understatement as she is a billionaire now).
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about following your passion and doing work that is meaningful to you and makes a difference in the world. When was the last time you sat down and really gave your life a good look, asking yourself if you are doing something that satisfies you and contributes to your happiness? For many of us – that sort of stuff changes, or we really have no clue what path we are meant to walk down. And I realize, in most cases life doesn’t allow us to just drop everything and try a bunch of different paths – but I do think we can choose to do something every day that gets us closer to figuring out what makes us happy.
Boxing 1 Hour
Today’s Reason to Workout = Improves Concentration
Dr. John Ratey, author of “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” says that exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterwards.
In the long term, it can even help starve off brain aging and Alzheimer’s. This works on the cellular level through neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to improve itself with blood flow and levels of brain-derived protein.
Everyone knows that person who leads with their tales of how life has done them wrong. You meet them, say hello –and within the second or third sentence, they have already begun to over share and you are left feeling a bit awkward. Or the person you’ve known that is the Eeyore of the world. Everything is Hard…(say that in the Eeyore voice). My advice to handle them — keep them at arm’s length and don’t let them dull your sparkle. If that’s not possible, then refer to my brother’s advice, given years ago to me: Treat them like a visiting ambassador in your home.
Whenever I start to lose my shit over someone, I try to put that saying into practice and realize the interaction, visit will soon be over.
Since I switched things up last night and went in for a boxing class, I took today as a rest day.
A huge part of staying fit is exercising your mind by constantly learning new things and challenging yourself. That can mean trying to master a new skill, learn a new subject or adopt a new behavior. Whatever it is — it’s jarring the established connections already made in your head. There’s a bunch of research out there about how learning new skills keeps your mind sharp while you age.
I’ve been doing research on what FREE online education classes are available. It’s no surprise that you can find practically any subject and topic imaginable. No Excuse List lists sites ranging from languages to cooking and Business Insider listed out The 12 Best Free Online Business Courses To Take This Fall. I encourage everyone out there to pick something they want to learn this Fall and go for it.
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Rest Day – Thursday
Boxing – Wednesday
This was written by my husband last year on 9/11:
Whenever I see the numbers 9 and 11, I remember.
Whenever I fly and go through airport security, I remember.
Whenever I drive past the Pentagon, I remember.
Whenever I see the New York City skyline, I remember.
Whenever someone says “Let’s Roll”, I remember.
Whenever I see the letters F.D.N.Y. or N.Y.P.D., I remember.
Whenever I see Giuliani, or hear his name, I remember.
Whenever I see an American flag at half staff, I remember.
Whenever the Department of Homeland Security is mentioned, I remember.
Whenever I hear about a U.S. soldier being killed in action, I remember.
I remember seeing my yet to be born daughter for the first time via sonogram, and how happy I was. I remember the confusion going on in the doctor’s office as we were leaving, but not understanding why.
I remember my boss calling me as I drove to work late, and her telling me to turn around because they were evacuating the campus.
I remember being glued to the television, when the second plane hit the south tower, and I remember watching the footage over and over again until it was permanently etched into my brain.
I remember people hanging out the windows, and then falling/jumping to escape the fire.
I remember the shock of watching the south tower collapse.
I remember “All circuits are busy” when trying to use the phone.
I remember hearing false information about the Pentagon, and the White House.
I remember being scared and helpless when the north tower collapsed.
I remember footage of thousands of people walking out of the city, covered in grey ash.
I remember newscasters switching from talking about and showing the horror, to honoring and showing the heroes.
I remember reading the scroll at the bottom of the screen for hours and days.
I remember breaking down and sobbing in the middle of the night as I thought about all of those lives lost.
I remember mobile surface to air missile launchers deployed around Washington D.C.
I remember David Letterman, coming back on the air and not telling any jokes.
I remember New York City tourism grinding to a halt, and making it a point to show my support by visiting.
I remember seeing the gaping hole where the Twin Towers stood from the top of the Empire State Building, and the site still smoldering over a month after 9/11.
I remember walking all over the city with my pregnant wife, and having a great time.
I remember Shock and Awe.
I remember ignorant people saying horrible things about Muslims.
I remember having a great sense of Patriotism, and being thankful for the brave men and women who serve in our military.
I remember crazy conspiracy theories.
I remember President Bush standing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln with a banner that read “Mission Accomplished” in 2003.
I remember the U.S. soldiers that were killed in action.
I remember having a conversation with a young coworker about where we were when the planes hit, and he replied in middle school – I remember I am getting older.
I remember how precious life is, and how much I love my family and friends.
I remember that the world was forever changed.
You are damn right I remember……..everyday.
I came across a blog post by one of my CrossFit friends who runs Craic in MA – and it enhanced a previous blog post I wrote last week – how not judging others is one of the hardest behaviors for so many of us to do. Think about all the ways you judge things in the course of a day. A few examples like the weather, your outfit, how you feel, your hair – you make judgments on those things before you even leave you house in the morning. John writes:
“If your goal is lasting change then it’s going to take work. It doesn’t matter if you want the body of your dreams, more money in your bank account, a more fulfilling career, or in this case – to be more accepting of others for the choices they make.”
And that’s what I am trying to do — with a new job, new people to meet, I have decided to put my best foot forward and make some changes to how I react and respond in certain situations. The other day I was showing someone pictures from Facebook and they immediately made a comment about the way someone looked and I challenged them about it. It’s easy to sit back and decide who someone is without really considering what walking in their shoes may be like.
Here’s another good post about judging: Judge Not. Failing That? Learn A Lot. that may offer some insight. To be less judgmental day to day definitely takes awareness, practice and work, which is probably why many of us choose to focus on other goals.
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“Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul go into business together and this time it’s legal…barely. Find out what happens when Julia Louis-Dreyfus becomes a client, trying to offload television’s most coveted item, in this video starring three Emmy Award winners. ”
I still have Robin Williams on my mind. Reports say that he had been getting treatment for his depression but that it was too far gone to do any good. I’m not sure I am willing to believe that help at any point is not helpful. The entire situation is tragic and hurts. We hurt because he was a part of our lives. His movies mean something to us. He touched many of us deeply and many of us can relate to his mental health struggle. Russell Brand wrote a very poignant piece about Robin Williams and his struggle.
“When someone gets to 63 I imagined, hoped, I suppose, that maturity would grant an immunity to adolescent notions of suicide but today I read that suicide isn’t exclusively a young man’s game.“
Robin Williams was not a young kid – dealing with the struggles that sometimes hurt so badly that teens don’t know how to deal – he was what we would call a success! He had kids, a wife, money, career success. The stories about how kind and thoughtful he was continue to pour in… It really is true that no one knows what inner struggles another person faces day in and out. If we all remember that and approach our daily lives with kindness and patience – we all benefit.
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It’s Friday!! I had the weirdest dream last night and I think it was caused by reading about the horrific Malaysian airplane tragedy. I read an article about the crash site and witness accounts and my heart just dropped. Thinking about those people and the sheer fear and terror that must have overtaken them is unimaginable. I hope those stories you hear about your body going into shock and protective mode are true…
It’s another reminder of how precious life is and to stop wasting it on people and situations that don’t matter and cherish and appreciate those that do….
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Kacy Catanzaro at the 2014 Dallas Finals | American Ninja Warrior
Boxing (yes, again!)
My yoga instructor Tori continued the theme of Aparigraha (Non-Possessiveness) in yesterday’s class. According to wiki, Aparigraha “is the concept of non-possessiveness or non-greediness. The term usually means to limit possessions to what is necessary or important, which changes with the time period.”
I am getting a lot out of this theme personally. I have needed to de-clutter my house as well some long held beliefs and resentments that are not doing me any good at this point in my life. It’s not easy to just let go – it takes time to work through whatever caused you to hold on to it in the first place. I need to find time to go through all the closets in my house and get rid of clothes that don’t fit or that I don’t wear anymore. My closets are overflowing with unworn clothes that will probably never see the light of day, so why am I holding on to them? (rhetorical question of course!)
We all have things and beliefs in our lives that have been around for far too long. A sweater that you loved 10 years ago? A perception of who you are and why you can’t just drop everything and let loose… Things we hold on to in our life that may or may not serve us anymore. How often do we take a look at all “stuff” and clean house?
Think about de-cluttering or spring cleaning – it helps us feel more open to fresh ideas and refreshed and renewed – at least I know that’s how I feel! Tori suggested wearing our beliefs like loose clothing – where you aren’t constricted or constrained by them. You have the freedom to move, shift and let go of things that are holding us back.
By embracing the idea of Aparigraha, we can start to understand how our stuff controls us. We all want to live comfortably, but when you start to hold on to things (ie hoard) and/or obsess over what you have/don’t have, it starts to take control. This is also true when it comes to our opinions, habits and perceptions. We all need to regularly look over both the physical and internal stuff we are holding on to and get rid of the junk!
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Neil Young Sings “Fancy” with Crosby, Stills & Nash
Yesterday’s soccer game was so thrilling and even though the USA team lost to Belgium, I am still in awe of how awesome our players are. I had no idea how awesome soccer players are in general –great athletes and amazing to look at too. That’s a great combination for sure. I love when world sports’ teams compete –it brings out our national spirit. Everyone rallies together and cheers the team on. It’s unifying and exciting and it was much needed especially after the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby this week that clearly divided the country.
It was definitely tough getting up this morning for my Power Boxing class. I am enjoying it but it’s hard on my body at 6A, especially after a tough and hot yoga class yesterday. One thing I have begun to notice while boxing is the variety of intensity found among the boxers. There are a ton of newbies that are still not comfortable really beating the crap out of the heavy bag. At least I think they are newbies — I wonder how much benefit they are getting when they don’t hit hard or really move during the workout time. My feeling is that you are there to work – so go as hard as you can. Maybe that’s as hard as they can go but I doubt it — I think it’s as hard as their mind allows them to go. This is really where the CrossFit training and mentality serves me really well. I go at full intensity when it calls for it — and I don’t quit and I am finding that a lot of people outside of CF don’t necessarily subscribe to that.
Have you had a chance to read this NYT feature: Is Obesity Ok?. It’s such a touchy subject that is tied to so many emotions that it’s tough to really get to the heart of it. The health implications of obesity are not OK – but obese people are worthy of respect and kindness, just like everyone else out there. But does respect mean you don’t show sincere care for their well being and talk to them about addressing the issue? Obesity is a public health issue and causes a whole host of other health issues. Sometimes honest conversations can sting even though it’s coming from a place of concern, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t happen.
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