Just recently I’ve been working a bit too hard.
My passion for getting the “lifestyle” message out there and helping people avoid the intense suffering I went through, means I sometimes neglect my own message!
OK it doesn’t happen very often but when it does, the truth of it is brought into sharp relief. We all know the effect of a few late nights combined with poor diet.
It’s really easy to take our eye off the ball and forget that health should be number one — top priority. Healthy living should be the thing at the top of our list of things-to-do…
Learning from children
As my son was growing up, it became really clear to me that even a child — and children generally have much more vitality than adults, cannot cope well with lack of sleep or irregular meals. They have less self-control and so when their lifestyle isn’t right, you see it! Bad behavior!
I’ve noticed there are three main causes of bad behavior in children:
- Lack of sleep
- Missed meals
- Sugar highs and lows
What state are you in?
Quite often when we feel bad, especially if it’s chronic low level “badness,” it’s easy to miss the lifestyle connection. “Am I feeling bad because I haven’t had enough sleep?” “Have I been eating well?” “Have I been exercising?” We blame the traffic, the unkind word from a partner or colleague, whatever… but the causes of feeling bad are unlikely to be the external ones.
The way you feel right now is your “state.” What state are you in? It’s the result of checking or not checking health boxes yesterday, the day before that, the last 5 years, the last 20 years!
The deepest law
Probably the deepest health law is that of cause and effect. The “effect” is your state right now and the cause is “health boxes.” How many have you been checking consistently in the last year?
When our ancestors were “natural” beings, their lifestyle was taken care of. They had to exercise to find food, they had to eat from nature, they lived outdoors and so on. And so to mirror our natural lives, we need to be proactive.
Now we live outside of the rules of nature, we will suffer if we don’t give our bodies what they evolved for. There’s short-term suffering, like lack of sleep and then there’s long-term suffering — disease, generally caused by not providing the basic needs of our bodies.
You are not a car
When things go wrong, we naturally look for a fix. We think of our body parts as if it were a car. Oh my liver went wrong, my skin is bad, I have heart disease and so-on. But the environment that caused the problem to show up is affecting every part of you, every single part. It just broke in this one place first — your “weak link.”
Two of my favorite maxims are:
Once you know something, you see it everywhere.
Everything affects everything else.
You just can’t separate your annoyance with the traffic and whether you slept well. That’s fairly easy to understand. What’s perhaps more difficult is that you also can’t separate whether you get cancer with how many health boxes you checked for the last 20 years.
Body parts don’t break — like a car. Biology is not the same as mechanics. And there is not a pill that exists that can replace healthy living. Happiness is not available in a pill. Nor can a pill cure anything.
A pill for your ill?
You might be reeling at that last statement but a cure is only possible when the underlying cause of why the problem showed up is rectified. Do pills do this? How can they?
A pill cannot resolve 20 years of no exercise and a poor diet.
Healthy habits = happy life
The solution to happiness is lifestyle. The prevention of disease is lifestyle. And your lifestyle is the sum of your habits.
Habits are at the root of health, happiness and your “state” right now. Because it’s daily habits that create the “cause” of health. There’s no other way.
There’s no other way to do what it takes without making it into habits. It ain’t happening. You won’t randomly wake up one day after years of poor living and suddenly have a healthy and happy day. Not a chance.
The importance of lifestyle cannot be overstated. Health and happiness, what we ALL want, the ONLY thing we all want — to feel GOOD, is based on solid habits day-in-day out and nothing else.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
Or get the paperback…
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