George Strait taught us via song there is a difference between living and living well! (yes, we will share the song here, but first lets dive into the difference between living and living well)
Are you just living?
Are you just living? Are you just existing thru life? Are you settling for less than you are capable of and then justifying that it’s ok? Have you given up on your dreams? If you have answered yes to any one of these questions, than I would recommend taking a step back and reassess your life. If we sat down to have a heart to heart conversation, I would never want to hear from you, I wish I could have… or I really should have…
If you want to change course of your life from what and where you have been going then you will need the courage to honestly ask yourselves, what do I do daily that makes up the majority of my lifes action and how can improve those actions and more importantly, what do I need to STOP doing so I have the time to dedicate to not just living but to living well. Let me suggest, more TV, more candy and more video games are not on the list of things to increase to improve your life.
I want to change, but I dont know how to change?
We know from Darren Hardy’s great book, the Compound Effect,
“The only path to success is through a continuum of mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time.”
I wish I could tell you to take the magic pill, and complete success would come washing over you and everything you touched would turn out successfully or turn to gold (even better, eh?) but like most of the general public which puts its dreams of success and fortune in the playing of the local lottery, it is not the recipe of success.
But Im always failing at everything?
Precisely, that is the point. Eric Greiten, the modern day super hero/ ex Navy seal/ Rhodes Scholar and boxing champion in his wonderful work, Resilience, says
“You will fail. Especially in the beginning. You will fail. And that’s not just OK, it’s essential. Without resilience, the first failure is also the last—because it’s final. Those who are excellent at their work have learned to comfortably coexist with failure. The excellent fail more often than the mediocre. They begin more. They attempt more. They attack more. Mastery lives quietly atop a mountain of mistakes. The exceptional artist throws away hundreds of photographs. The exceptional writer wears out the eraser. The exceptional investor puts money into losing ventures. If every risk you take pays off, then you probably aren’t actually taking risks. We don’t want to excuse recklessness and foolishness as “just taking risks,” but we should understand that those who have built true excellence in their lives are always fighting at the edges of their ability. What distinguishes the exceptional from the unexceptional? A willingness to fail, and an exceptional ability to learn from every failure.”
How powerful! How hopeful! Want to live an exceptional life? Start failing! Heres to failing our way to success!
How to live well?
The first thing and most important practice you need to adopt to live well, is to move your body. I know shocker huh? No one in our society needs this explained to them again, but perhaps this quote from a great book will help make the point another way
“An impressive study of physical activity was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999. The researchers recruited men and women fifty years old and over, all of them suffering from clinical depression, and divided them randomly into three groups. The first group was assigned to four months of aerobic exercise, the second group to four months of antidepressant medication (Zoloft), and the third group to both. The assigned exercise involved three supervised forty-five-minute sessions per week of cycling or walking/jogging at moderate to high intensity. Remarkably, by the end of the four-month intervention period, all three groups had experienced their depressions lift and reported fewer dysfunctional attitudes and increased happiness and self-esteem. Aerobic exercise was just as effective at treating depression as was Zoloft, or as a combination of exercise and Zoloft. Yet exercise is a lot less expensive, usually with no side effects apart from soreness. Perhaps even more remarkably, six months later, participants who had “remitted” (recovered) from their depressions were less likely to relapse if they had been in the exercise group (six months ago!) than if they had been in the medication group.” ~ from The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
How INCREDIBLE! Before you start beating yourself up on the pitfalls, bad days, sucky jobs, bad relationships, and debt up to eye balls that we have entered into let me suggest just go move your body for 20-30 minutes, get the heart rate elevated and get a good sweat on to get your mind clear and then you can reassess your successes and failures with a much more of an ACCURATE and CLEAR picture of your state in life!
So lets recap, the difference between living and living well is:
1. Do the unsexy, mundane habits of everyday life and do them everyday to help you compound your actions
2. Know that life isnt fair and that you will fail. the more your fail often the faster you can succeed.
3. Get your body moving for more than 10 minutes a day, perferably 30-60 minutes a day and be consistent about it.
Now back to George Strait! He has this great song that inspired me to write this blog piece so my recommendation is to take these suggestions, listen to some George Strait and then go with gazelle-like-speed to implement them into your life. When you live at the peak of performance, you will find that you will share your enthusiasm with others around you.
(In the spirit of George Strait) Raising a glass to you….heres to living and living well!