Sunday, March 28, 2010

Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep

Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep

If you haven't read Timothy Ferriss' Four Hour Work Week, I highly recommend it. Even if its not to use the techniques, it's one of those books that shows you what life can be and inpires you to wake up and do something. Up til a few minutes ago I didn't realize he had this blog up but I can tell its going to be a favorite. Check out this post on getting better sleep. I know sleep has always been a huge problem for me and I've tried quite a few things. I can tell you from experience that most of this is dead on. Some stuff I'm not sure I'd try though. An ice bath??

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is it time to pack away a few goals? - FitnessQuests

Is it time to pack away a few goals? - FitnessQuests

We constantly hear that we should make more goals. In order to be successful we must have lots of goals and practice it all day by day. What is rarely discussed are the negative aspects of this however. What about the fact that not only are we now jumping one foot to the next trying to accomplish multiple things, but then when we fail at all of them, we now have to deal with the fact that we now feel like complete losers. The reason why having goals works is because it sets a personal obligation. I think having obligations is a healthy thing personally but what about when you spread yourself thin with too many obligations?

For most of us, not only do we not accomplish any of them, the little we do accomplish is subpar. People that love us recieve less of our attention. We become closed off, stressed out, and generally no fun to be around. This article explores whether dropping a few of your goals might be just the thing to make your life a little better and more productive.

Find out here

Nice Skinsuit, Buddy! Tips on Training for an Ironman | The Art of Manliness

Nice Skinsuit, Buddy! Tips on Training for an Ironman | The Art of Manliness

The Ironman course is one of the toughest and most physically demanding events humans can aspire to endure. Anyone that has ever completed one has my full respect and I truly believe that anyone with the will to get through that could do anything. The following article was posted on one of my favorite blogs by a guy that went from a 300lb pack a day smoker to ironman in just over a year. I highly recommend you check out the article. Oh and guys, take a look around the site. There are some hugely valuable articles on the site about the actual art of manliness. You know, the type of man that the world actually needs more of...The gentleman, the role model, the loving father, the strong supporter, the protector. Just saying...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Balance your attention span

With the advent of websites such as Twitter that allow us to quickly move from one thought to the next, we lose something vital. Yes its true that in today's fast paces world we have to be able to multitask and be quick to be competitive but there is a trade off for this fast paced craziness; our attention spans are decreasing at a rapid rate.

Humans are hardwired for instant results. We want it now and this is why products geared toward fast results are in great demand. We want it all and we want it now. This is no accident either. This is an evolutionary concept that has lead to the survival of our race. In the days of the caveman, if you didn't value instant results, you died.

In today's world however, we don't have the same issues we did then. You don't have to be on your game 24/7 in order to survive. You don't have to constantly be at work in order to put food on the table. So you have a couple of choices with what to do with this excess time; you can flounder around accomplishing nothing great with your life, or you can devote yourself to being great and increasing the quality of your life. I would like to submit the idea that chasing instant results is another way of floundering around.

Almost any truly great accomplishment comes with years of planing, preparation, and hard work. If you decide to bypass this by instead chasing instant results you won't ever accomplish anything great. Even if you do get some results, they will never be as good as what you could have had. Another way of looking at this is to say that if every week you have an extra $100 after you pay for your bills and expenses, you could go right out and spend that money on something that for the moment would increase the value of your life. Something like a video game or some new clothes. However, if every time you have that money you go spend it, you will never have enough built up to do something really great and rewarding with it.

Its the paradigm of spending vs investing. Spend and get low grade immediate satisfaction, or invest it, grow it, and down the road you will be able to use what you have for something incredibly rewarding that could change the absolute true quality of your life.

So what do attention spans have to do with this? Simply put, if you train your brain to always be jumping from one thing to the next, your training it for the quick fix and therefore lowering your attention span. Great things take a lot of time and attention and if you get jittery at the idea of spending even two hours sitting down working on something, how will you ever be able to spend 5 to 10 years doing something great?

This is why I say balance your attention span. Do things that require you to be deeply involved. Read novels, take up chess, take up distance running, get a hobby, learn to draw or paint, restore a classic car, learn to program software. Just find something that you enjoy that requires deep involvement and time, and do it. Not only will it help your attention span, it will improve the quality of your life.

A Quote I Found Interesting. No Source :(

“I traded my dreams for this mess of memories and they just stopped working for me…and no one ever really likes getting older…all I want to do is believe.”

Three simple excerises to get you closer to finding your lifes purpose

A lot of people are talking about the importance of finding your life's purpose. It seems like it should be a very simple thing to do, people like Steve Pavlina says in his post "How to discover your life's purpose in about 20 minutes" that when you discover it, you will literally begin to cry an abundant amount of tears. I'm not much of a cryer myself so it seems to me that if this is that powerful, we should be closer to it than we are. It doesn't seem right that if its this powerful, so many of us would be roaming half aimlessly trying to find it. However no matter how much sense it may make, that's what most of us seem to be dong.

So what is it all about? Why is it so important for you to find your life's purpose? First, it makes you a stronger and more attractive person to all of those around you. When you know your life's purpose and are constantly working to achieve it, we tend to forget about the more remedial things in our life. The petty seems to go away. We can see with greater focus and clarity. A man or woman that is on their path is a force to be reckoned with.

Your path is the seed for all other things and its importance can scarcely be measured with words. More importantly, it can't be measured by the distractions. What I mean is that no amount of distracting world news, plastic trinkets, or status can take you off of it. It makes you real. People are always talking about just being themselves but its pretty hard to do when you have so many social pressures to be something else. I don't know about crying when you find it, but I do know that when you find it, you will be motivated beyond all else to fulfill it.

Magic things tend to happen with that much motivation. First you attract others to your cause without trying. You become a leader whether its your cause to be a leader or not. Those without a path will see your enthusiasm and will back you. Those people in your life will feel more comfortable around you. You will become transparent in your dealings and a new honesty will encompass your life. You will gain room in your life for goodwill toward others. Then benefits to both you and to the world around you when you are on your path are almost impossible to count.

So how do we discover our path? Well there are many ways to do it but you have to find the one that is right for you. I will make the suggestion however that simply sitting down to write a million lines of text on what your path could be will be futile if you have to overcome hundreds of layers of social programming. Unfortunately, this will be the case for all but the most transparent of us.

Here are some tips I've found that have helped me in coming closer to my goal of finding my ultimate purpose. Please try them and tell me your results.

1. Write out what you know to be true about yourself.

Sit in a quiet place alone, clear your mind, take a few deep breaths and be ready to be honest with yourself. As humans, we tend to be very hypocritical. We are very judgemental characters and we hate to label ourselves as the things we dislike. Problem is, normally the reason we can identify those things in others that we so dislike is because we can identify with them so well. They are a part of you. So be honest with yourself. List your family and friends and other healthy things but also list your guilty pleasures. Be honest about them and they will be honest with you. You don't have to show this to anyone so open up.

2. Make a list of the things you would do if you suddenly came up with $1 billion dollars.
There's a catch in this one. I want you to think about what you would do with it if nothing you did would effect other peoples opinion of you in ANY way at all. So for instance, some of us may say we'd buy a new designer wardrobe. Before you write that, remember that this is solely for you, in this exercise, no one cares about how you dress. It won't get you status, it won't get you dates, it won't even have the opposite sex checking you out. Similarly, if you said you'd give to charity, think of it as giving 100% anonymously. No one could EVER know that you gave the money, even the IRS. If you said travel, make sure there is no part of that is showing off the places you've been or even making yourself more worldly so you can fit in better. This is strictly about you. Now of course there are some fuzzy lines in this exercise because after all we are social creatures and our social nature will probably play a part in all of our overall purposes but try to only step over that line where absolutely necessary.

3. Write out where you would like to be in 5 years. Then ask yourself honestly, "Why do I want to be there?"

I wanted to save this one till after the two above because I wanted you to get in the habit of determining the difference in what you want, and what it is that you want because of other people. If you had a five year plan already, hopefully this made you question a few things that are on it.

I hope these exercises are as helpful to you as they have been for me. As of now I haven't been able to pinpoint my exact purpose but I must say that doing these exercises has gone a long way in stripping out the social pressure of my life and making me feel more in tune with who I am.

Until Next time,

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

How to Reclaim Your Attention | Zen Habits

One of my biggest problems lately seems to be that there are so many distractions. There are so many thing biding for MY time and attention. It seems I'm in sensory overload so much now that its becoming uncomfortable for me to not have five things in front of me. With the advent of smart phones now, the problem just seems to be getting worse. For those of you that are through and through multi-taskers maybe this is a good thing. For me and many others I talk to though, it seems to have become a problem of monumental proportions.

The following link is a great post from Zen Habits that dives deeper into this modern problem and gives some tips to help you solve it.

How to Reclaim Your Attention | Zen Habits

Monday, March 08, 2010

Building character in the gym

I'm a huge fitness junkie. It seems though that whenever I speak about this to people outside of my fitness circle I tend to get a lot of similar responses from people. This is especially true when I try to get others involved. The response is always regarding the vanity aspect of fitness. While in principle this is fine, one thing I always try to get across to people is that gym going is not just for vanity and really, to me, its more than just health. To me its about building character. Its that final push when your body is screaming at you to quit. Its about finding that last little ounce of enerfy in your body that you would otherwise swear to its nonexistance. Its about finding out what you have resting in your soul.

The following is an article from that talks about just that. It's a little long I warn you but completely worth the read.

Building character in the gym

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