Sunday, February 8, 2015

School of Life

So I decided to do my own "school of life" since I can't travel to London, England right now and don't have the cash to spend tons of money towards "self-help" classes, etc. So instead- I'm doing my own curriculum.  It's kind of how I'm also approaching my "writing" right now- self taught. 

So what did I accomplish this past week and what did I learn...

I watched several TED talks- free via You Tube.  If you have never heard of a TED talk you should check it out.  You can type in TED talks with a subject lets say "writing" into your google browser and all the different talks under that subject will appear for you to choose.  They are video mini presentation ranging from minutes long to around 18 minutes in length- the longest I've watched has been around 18 minutes, but many are around 12 minutes in length. 

I typed in TED talks "self-improvement" and watched the following...
"Why I read a book a day (and why you should too)" Tai Lopez
I thought the title was a tad misleading, because I felt like a. he really doesn't read a whole book through/day (not the way I define reading a book in a day- which is reading front cover to back cover, majority of words) and b. his talk was really to me about mentoring. His definition of reading a book/day appeared to be more skimming, picking out different chapters or words that sounded interesting and reading just that section.  However, I did like his point about books, they are "hidden treasures" and a way in which to be mentored by great people no longer living.  Reading their biographies, etc.  The main premise of the talk was about mentorship.  His rule for mentors is the rule of 33%: spend 33% of your time with those "below" or "lower" than you, 33% of time with your peers, and 33% of your time with people way ahead of you.  I really liked the following line...
Remember, everyone wants the good life but not everyone gets the good life because not everyone is willing to do what it takes.  You must be different. You must do what most won't.

Another one was titled "How to make healthy eating unbelievably easy".  I can't remember the speaker's name, he was a younger college kid who had broke his ankle during college and for two weeks after the break he rehabed and avoid walking all over campus by moving home.  He was majoring in a health science field of some sort and had some nutrition background in his studies.  He came home to find his 11 year old brother over weight and choosing food not healthy/nutritious.  So he worked on helping his brother change his eating habits and eating choices.  He did this by changing the environment to match the goal.  If you want to lose weight you have to create an environment that makes this possible: get rid of the junk food, replace it with vegetables, fruits, and other healthy choices.  If it isn't there you can't eat it.  He promoted setting up the environment to work for you, to allow you to be successful.  If you plan and set up the environment to support your goals you won't have to make so many difficult decisions.  Find out your trigger foods and rid them from your house.  Totally makes sense, and sounds so simple.   Easy strategy to help working towards a more healthy lifestyle.  I also thought this idea could be applied to other life situations- exercise, professional goals, and changing behaviors. 

I also spent some time with some great friends this week.  I learn so much from my friends and their wise advise always amazes me and makes such sense. 

One friend talked about "should" not being part of your vocabulary, but instead replace "I choose" with "I should".  Take ownership in your activities and decisions.  She also had the great idea of not multi-tasking.  Be in the moment, and focus on the task.  She talked about her one friend who always seemed to be so "present" in the moment and also happy.  My friend realized that this friend of hers was not one to multi-task.  If she was doing laundry she was doing laundry.  If she was having coffee with a friend she was having conversation with that friend, not checking her cell phone, or thinking in her head of all the "to do's" she has yet to do. 

Another friend and I talked about making the time and priority to do exercise/activity daily.  It seems so odd to me that for so many of us making the time daily to get your blood pumping and body sweating is such an issue.  Also it is always something that after the fact I'm glad I've done.  Now my active life has changed some and I'm still rehabbing and running minimally, but I'm able to do other things and should.  So I have to make the effort to regularly do something to get the blood pumping and body sweating. 

Lastly, I'm always on the quest to find answers to my religious/spiritual questions.  So I'm looking to books as a way in which to become better educated and figure out some of those answers.  I'm currently  reading "Exercising Your Soul" by Gary Jansen.  He writes "the premise of this book is to practice certain types of formal prayer so that you move toward a state of living in perpetual prayer"(38).  Sounds very challenging and I'm not one to pray much if at all so we will see how successful I am.  This book may challenge me.  One of my big questions is why do tough/bad/ sometime even horrific things happen to people who are spiritual and/or religious?  He answers this somewhat for me on page 18 "spiritual living doesn't make you immune to the troubles of life, but it does give you strength".  Not too far into the book so that's all I have for you right now.  

Besides the reading, watching, listening I've also tried to just practice this past week different lifestyle changes to help me be more present and also more reflective.  Writing down notes while watching, reading and listening helps me to journal this journey.  I don't think I will have all the answers, but I'm hoping that by immersing myself in some self-taught ideas on "school of life" I will be living a more full and happier life.  Onto finding some more "school of life" learning experiences. 

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