• What Passions Can Do For Your Health


     

    Abstract:
     

    Recently, I wrote an article for the Elephant Journal, which got me thinking about what my passions have done for my health. I used to try and eat well and get into shape, but I never stuck with anything for long.
     

    These days, it’s easy to stick with my workout. I want to get strong and healthy, mostly so I can do archery and dance without injuring myself. I need the strength I’m building for my passions.
     

    Here’s how you can improve your health, too.
     
     

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    Task 1: Determine your health needs

     

    What’s your passion? Or if you’re a multi-passionate, what are your passions?
     

    It’s obvious when your passion includes physical activity, like my above examples. If you do a sport which uses one side, or one part of the body in particular, you might want to do strength training for the rest of your body to stay balanced. Or maybe you need endurance and stamina.
     

    Other passions require you to be healthy, too. Learning anything is based on a clear head and cognitive function – if you’re tired and foggy-brained, you won’t make much progress. Painting, writing or playing an instrument requires functional hands (I have experience with this!) and an absence of inflammation.
     

    Find your specific needs and make a note of them.
     

    your health
    Photo by Cel Lisboa on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Health for passions

     

    Your next step is to figure out a way to meet your health needs. I invite you to look at the following areas:
     

    1. Sleep/rest: How much rest do you need to be functional, clear-headed and energetic?
    2. Exercise: Exercise can do wonders for your mind and learning abilities (read “Spark!” by John J. Ratey) as well as your body.
    3. Food: Listen to your body to find out which foods make you sluggish and tired, and which make you feel alert and energetic.

     

    Your health is important, not as an abstract concept but as a path to your joy, through your passions. It’s fun to work on it!

  • Are You Truly Fearless?


     

    Abstract:
     

    Some people’s fears are easily identified: Fear of public speaking. Fear of going out on one’s own. Fear of the dark.
     

    Others tell me they’re completely fearless. I say that’s not true, and I’ll explain why I think so.
     

    Your mission today is to identify where your fears are, and how to make them work for you.
     
     

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    Task 1: Recognise your fear

     

    Psychologists are fond of pointing out that if anyone were truly fearless, they’d probably be dead. Fear is what prevents us from eating an unfamiliar berry or mushroom we find in the forest. This is exactly the function of fears: Survival.
     

    Some fears are hidden. To find yours, see what you don’t do as much of as others, or what areas in your life aren’t going so well.
     

    You may think you’re not afraid of other people, but you avoid going out and don’t speak to strangers unless you have to. I didn’t think I had a fear of visibility, but my lack of consistency in marketing my business told a different story.
     

    Fearless
    Photo by Jens Johnsson on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Instead of fearless, become fear-savvy

     

    Once you have pinpointed your fear – and trust me, every one of us has at least one – you have a choice. You could go into therapy and work extensively on overcoming your fear. Or you could use it to your advantage.
     

    When I found my own fear of visibility, I used it by opening up. I made myself vulnerable and shared more about my own weaknesses, the mistakes I’d made in my life etc. Funnily enough, these were always my most-read or watched features. People recognise authenticity, and they appreciate it. I became more visible and successful, and felt more secure at the same time.
     

    This process looks different for everyone. Be creative! If necessary, get help from a Coach. Who needs to be fearless, when fear is such a powerful force to work with?

  • Make Comparison Your Secret Weapon


     

    Abstract:
     

    Comparison can be a bad thing, especially when it comes to Social Media, where people display only the best of their lives. It can make you think that everyone has got their life together except for you.
     

    Others say you should instead compare yourself with who you were in the past. That’s definitely a good idea, but it’s not the whole story. Comparison can be a turbo propelling your whole life forward.
     
     

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    Task 1: Know your values

     

    Unlike beliefs, which are learned and can be unlearned too, values are deeply ingrained in your character. They show who you are at the deepest core.
     

    You can google to get a list of values. Take a look and spontaneously tick every value you relate to. Then, using the knockout principle, narrow it down to your five top values.
     
     

    Task 2: Use comparison on your progress

     

    Now it comes to using the secret weapon, comparison. You can do this in two ways:
     

    1. Compare yourself to your past self, as mentioned above. Where were you years, months ago, or even one week ago? See how far you’ve come.
    2. Compare yourself against your top values from Task 1. Look at the people around you, your work, and how you spend your time. How aligned is all of this with your values?

    It’s rare to get 100% alignment, but if anything you do goes directly against any one of your values, you’re heading for trouble, possibly even physical illness. The price of working against yourself is way too high, so do look into making changes in that case.
     

    comparison
    Photo by Adrien Tutin on unsplash.com

     

    Task 3: Determine the necessary changes

     

    If you’ve done Task 2, it should be fairly obvious where you need to make changes, or progress further. Write down the next step you need to take in each area you’ve identified.
     

    Make it just the one step, and take that step (or at least, get started) within 24 hours from now. Aligned action is incredibly powerful.

  • When The People Around You Just Don’t Get It


     

    Abstract:
     

    Years ago, long before I ever discovered Coaching, a good friend of mine trained to be a Coach. I’d just been made permanent in a job and for the first time in my life, felt the comfort of a regular salary.
     

    She was gushing about being self-employed, while I was in a completely different place. We navigated the differences, but it often felt weird. At worst, this type of situation can feel like your environment is holding you back.
     

    Your mission is to learn how to handle people who are in a different phase.
     
     

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    Task 1: Understand life’s natural cycles

     

    To start off with, it helps to realise that life is cyclical. The seasons follow each other; no tree blossoms all year around. Similarly, we go through phases of passion and joy, energy and enthusiasm, followed by quieter periods of “maintenance”. There are even periods where we’re distracted, where life just happens and demands our attention elsewhere.
     

    Realise that the other person might not be in the same phase. This also helps you have more compassion with yourself when you’re less motivated. Your passion might require consistency, but don’t expect yourself to be equally motivated all the time. Simply develop the dedication needed to stick with it through the hard times.
     

    When The People Around you Just Don't Get It
    Photo by rawpixel on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Sanitise your environment

     

    At the same time, if someone around you is openly negative or ridicules you, it can seriously impact your progress and your happiness. Call it out in a non-confrontational way; tell them how their attitude makes you feel.
     

    If nothing changes, you need, for your own sanity, remove yourself from their influence. If you can’t kick them out of your life altogether, create pockets of alone time for yourself where you can pursue your passion. Talk about other things; don’t confide in them concerning the phase you’re in.
     

    Protect your space, but be understanding, too. We all walk our own paths.

  • Self-Discipline Doesn’t Work – Try Self-Indulgence


     

    Abstract:
     

    Our society tends to celebrate self-discipline. People who are seen as disciplined are shining examples, whilst we look down on those we perceive as undisciplined.
     

    Your mission is to find out which type of person you are in terms of self-discipline, and what you can do in order to be more successful.
     
     

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    Task 1: Which type are you?

     

    a) Iron discipline. You push yourself relentlessly, without regard for yourself. You’re probably very successful and have achieved a lot in life. Typically, this type also has at least one area in their lives where they’re incapable of discipline. This could be anything, such as food habits or needing a glass of wine to relax.
     

    b) No discipline. These people don’t even try anything that requires discipline. They describe themselves as lazy or failures. What they often overlook, is the dedication and consistency they apply when they’re truly interested in something: They know their favourite books by heart, or know every last detail about their favourite movie or band.
     

    c) Attempting discipline. These are people who have the nagging feeling they should be more disciplined. Every now and then, they pursue a goal with a lot of discipline. Typically, this won’t last very long and then their self-confidence takes a beating.
     

    Self-Discipline
    Photo by Ugur Akdemir on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Self-discipline or self-indulgence?

     

    There’s a better way! You’re not a machine. Our lives aren’t meant to be led like a military operation, they’re meant to be lived.
     

    Instead of self-discipline, try self indulgence: Ask yourself what you truly need and want at this moment, and provide it. Take your own needs seriously. Do what lights you up.
     

    Whenever you fail at discipline, it’s because the voice of your own true needs has won. Once you regularly listen to that voice, your needs are fulfilled and you’ll have the capacity to develop discipline in the areas where it’s needed.

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