ONE OF THE realities of our time is the fact that majority of us are stuck in life. We are trapped. And we feel that all the options have been taken away from us.
James Altucher wrote; “The most dreadful thing in life is not dying. It is being born. Once you are born, you are screwed. For then you must fight to survive.”
Actually I’ve been digesting the ideas in his book “Choose Yourself” for the past two days. One remarkable ideas that keep hitting me as I roll the pages of the book is one that affects humanity tremendously.
In fact, it’s something I’ve written about sometime ago. The work is surely one of the many works lying around in my lappy.
It is what Stephen Covey of “The 7 habits…” would refer to as “sharpening the saw.” It was Abraham Lincoln who once said; “If I have 6 hours to chop down a tree, I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening my axe.
While the task is to chop down the tree, the condition of the tool for executing the task is more important. If I don’t get my saw sharpened, I will spend ages cutting at the base of the tree without much success.
How does this apply in our roles as humans living life?
We are overly more concerned about the business of living – achieving that and this – that we forget [sometimes, ignore] the need to sharpen the saw of our inner faculties.
I call it “The Foundation”. The base from which the best things of life proceed and is birthed forth in its purest form.
The basic error is attaching ourselves to external realities at the expense of what lie on the inside. We forget that what we see on the outside is only but the ripples of the ocean trapped within.
The fire that lights up your world and presents you as a beacon to humanity lie at the base of your inner core.
When you are stuck or feel trapped, it is “the foundation” – the base from where the business of living occurs – that should be revisited.
There are 4 dimensions to this base. And how we attend to these dimensions on a daily basis is what affects everything else in our lives.
You cannot live a full life from a position of ill-health. “The foundation” is about health and balance. It’s about creating an atmosphere within that propels you forward to live the life that you truly desire.
In sharing this idea, it is my desire to summarize the simple practices to maintain with regards to these 4 dimensions which naturally provokes results on the outside, and gets one unstuck.
1. The Spiritual Dimension
The key to spiritual health is to learn to practice two basic principles. The principle of GRATITUDE and SURRENDER.
For gratitude, each morning when you wake up, ask yourself, “What/who am I grateful for? Who are those I can call today to express gratitude to? The answer you get should motivate your action.
For surrender, it’s about reestablishing in your mind the fact that there are events in your life that you are not in control of, and perhaps, would never really be in control of. Your job then is to focus on the things you have immediate control over.
2. The Mental Dimension
Your mind always wants to boss you around. To keep you busy with unproductive tasks that translates into worry and despair much sooner than later.
The common prescription for mental health is to engage your mind early in the morning ever before it tries to get into the game of bossing you around. Provide it with large chunks of meaningful task to accomplish for the day that it would rarely have the time to wander off into unpleasant terrains.
3. The Emotional/Social Dimension
The key here is to do just two things – spend time doing only what you love, and spend time only with the people you love. Period. Anything else outside this two is the reason for the emotional baggages that laden us with stress and pain.
4. The Physical Dimension
Take care of your body it is the only mansion that houses your true content.
Three practices are important here.
Diet. Try to avoid junk foods. Eat enough fruits and vegetables. They contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that ward off free toxic oxides that bring about age-related macular degeneration.
Exercise. This doesn’t necessarily have to be anything traditional. It can be as simple as making a habit of taking a brisk long walk daily. Personally, I do push-ups once I jump out of bed in the morning and walk round the compound to allow natural air to rush through my nostrils and provide the blood system with the purest form of oxygen to do a good job of detoxification.
Rest. You need enough sleep, at least 8 hours per day. Sleep is not only good for your body but for your mind as well. A good sleep makes you wake up in the morning feeling like one who has just been born again. And if you’d asked me, I think that could pretty much be the idea behind the Creator’s invention of sleep.
Take care of the foundation. Wake up every morning with a basic understanding of what is required to keep you spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. With such daily disposition and practice, your best life has no option but to emerge to limelight.