Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

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Do You Want to Reach the Next Level?

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It has been awhile since I’ve posted anything new but there were good reasons. I’ve been doing a great deal of research and analysis about what it would take to achieve a higher level of self improvement.

There are several great resources that can help a person improve their lives and increase their happiness but there doesn’t appear to be a single source that brings it all together.

There are resources that focus on physical fitness and other resources that focus on mental fitness but I have yet to find a single resource that successfully integrates both development paths.

The mind and body are not independent systems. They are integrated and developing one system often requires that you develop the other. You can’t expect to lose weight and keep it off if there is no improvement in your mindset. On the flip side your mood can be improved by doing regular physical exercise.

To improve your physical fitness you must perform physical exercise and eat clean. To improve your mental fitness you must perform mental exercises and think positively. In future posts I would like to share ideas on how to develop both your body and mind.

The methods to develop your body are relatively simple to learn – it is the implementation that takes extraordinary discipline. It is the same for the mind. The methods are simple and easy to learn but you the level of commitment required can be difficult to maintain.

In future posts I plan to share what I’ve learned. Skeptics are welcome. I will provide links to resources that you can refer to.

No matter where you are in your life, it is important to know that you never stop growing. There are those who had lost all hope  that have changed how they think to live happy and rewarding lives. Even if you think you are relatively content, you can always improve your mental state. You will never reach a state of perfect mind and body perfection. It is the process that will be the most rewarding not the achievement of some impossible end state.

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Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

July 30, 2014 at 10:52 pm

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Obesity Is a Crisis We Must Resolve

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In 2010, in Chile, a cave collapsed and trapped 33 miners. Nations reacted and did what was needed to rescue them. Over 1 billion people watched on live TV as the miners were rescued. A third of the expense was paid for by private donations. The outpouring of support from people across the world was inspiring.

Today, right now, over 200 million people worldwide are obese. This amount of suffering is incalculable but the public outcry is minimal and the effort to address is a pitiful, disorganized and poorly funded mess. In the United States, we have the first lady going on talk shows and making speeches. While I applaud her efforts, it is not enough. A crisis of this scale should be handled by the President directly and other world leaders as well.

In the private sector, many are getting rich exploiting the obesity crisis. With the amount of money being made in the health and fitness industry you would think obesity would be rare. The truth is that people are spending their money on products and services but are not getting results.

Some time ago, I decided to do my part in helping to combat obesity. When my wife and I were dealing with our own obesity issues, we realized that the problem is much more complicated than what we could address using just our willpower. We had to tackle the problem from multiple angles. We learned that to beat obesity, we had to drastically change our lives. The amount of effort was beyond anything we had ever done before but it was well worth it.

One thing we learned was that the solution was not a single product or service from the health and fitness industry. While we do use products and services from the industry, we hold onto our skepticism and trust only our own efforts.

While I try to give sensible advice based on proven results, I am just a small voice in a crowd of people promising “Fast six pack abs” or “10 Super Foods to Turbo-charge Your Fat Loss”. I get that people need to make money and sell what sells, but I believe they are missing out on offering something truly valuable to those looking for help.

The most influential brands in the health and fitness industry, are truly in the entertainment business. They product or service they offer is just fantasy. People purchase what they sell because they believe they can have the type of body or lifestyle they see in the advertisements. I know this because I’ve bought many products based on the fantasy being presented. It wasn’t until I faced the ugly truth about the effort and change required that I lost the weight and got fit.

I am asking anyone in the health and fitness industry to think beyond just profit and do more to help those who need it. Go ahead and publish your quick-fix articles and sell your “fat-burning” supplements, but also contribute a small amount of your time and energy to really trying to help fight obesity. Use the platform you have to make a real difference. Ask yourself, “What can I do to truly help fight worldwide obesity?”

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

June 20, 2014 at 8:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Ido Portal Tells Us To Move

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I just watched the YouTube video below where Ido Portal, a man I’ve never heard of before, talks about our need to move. Beyond this video, I know nothing about Ido Portal but I found what he says in this video inspiring and thought provoking. He makes me wonder if my ideas about fitness are too limiting. Don’t get me wrong – I know what I do is great for staying in shape but there’s a mental aspect of fitness that needs to be explored as well.

I believe being in great shape is just a side effect of letting ourselves explore the physical limits of our bodies. Nobody is going to stick with a fitness routine if they don’t find something deep and meaningful in the movements they perform. As punishing as weight training can be, there’s something beautiful and fulfilling in using the full extent of our muscles to perform a basic movement. If we don’t explore and try to appreciate that beauty, the path to fitness can become too arduous to stay on for too long.

 

Fitness is a small, small, small world within the universe of movement

– Ido Portal

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

April 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Fitness, Life, Uncategorized

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Train Your Brain Like You Train Your Body

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Like your body, your brain needs exercise.  Create a workout schedule that includes brain building routines. Study a topic your are interested in, do math problems, learn how to program a computer, play chess – whatever it is, it should be something that challenges you. Go heavy or go home.

There are people who crush it in the gym but if they try reading a book they pass out after a few pages. They think it is boring, tedious and uncomfortable to sit and read. Well, just like working out the body, start out slow, increase the volume and intensity over time, and don’t quit because it hurts. We all know we want to go where the discomfort is and embrace the struggle.

You can have the best looking body in the world, but if you have a weak brain, people won’t respect you. A person with a strong body and a strong mind is unstoppable.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

April 23, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Planet Fitness Ads Are Funny But Misguided

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Planet Fitness has a number of commercials that poke fun at people who (they think) take fitness too seriously. They claim that Planet Fitness is a “Judgement Free Zone” but how can that be true if they discourage certain behaviors. They label people who act in certain ways as “lunks”. No judgement? Seriously?

One commercial  shows attractive looking women in a locker room saying how hot they look while an average looking women looks on in disgust. Sure the “hot” women sound vapid and shallow, but they are not doing anything to the ordinary looking woman so what’s her problem? Is she offended by attractive women because she’s unattractive? Didn’t she join a gym so she could eventually look like the women she despises?

Most of their commercials are making fun of fit people doing what fit people do. They will grunt when lifting weights. They will pose in front of the mirror. They will compliment their fitness friends on their appearance. They will lift things up and put them down. They will push each other to do more and push harder.

Most “lunks” I have known are the nicest people who would sooner help someone starting out than make fun of them. They may go to extremes that can be intimidating to your average couch potato but if you want to get in great shape you have to hang around people in great shape. Rather than be intimidated by their muscles and lean stomach, be inspired.

I’m in pretty good shape but I see others that are at a higher level of fitness. I may never get to their level, but it gives me something to shoot  for. Rather than hating them, I admire them.

I’m sure Planet Fitness is a good gym that caters to regular people. There may some truth to their commercials as some extreme fitness freaks can be oblivious or uncaring about how their behavior appears to other people. One lunk behavior that I’ve always hated is the act of dropping weights on the floor loudly. Unless, you’ve reserved the gym for your own use, dropping weights on the floor is dangerous and disruptive to others.

The video below shows a fitness trainer screaming at a woman. I don’t know about her, but I would love to have this guy pushing during my workouts.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

March 21, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Today Was a Good Day

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Today I woke up, had breakfast, showered, dressed, kissed my wife and daughter, went to work, did good work, came home, worked out, ate dinner with family, chatted with family and now I’m lying in bed writing this before I sleep.

Everything clicked as it does most days. A person’s life is like a work of art. It needs to be developed with an image of what it should be in that person’s mind. The strife and stresses in my life didn’t go away until I first had an image of what I wanted my life to be.

I also had to learn that it was better to focus on what I wanted to give than on what I wanted to get. Finding your purpose in life and directing your actions to fulfilling that purpose is the way to happiness.

This may sound like I’m romanticizing but there is actually scientific evidence that supports the value of having a purpose. I’ll provide more detail in future posts.

I’ll leave you with a question to ponder. Does the self define it’s purpose or does the purpose define the self?

 

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

January 29, 2014 at 11:41 pm

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There is No Secret to Success

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I’ve written quite a bit about what it takes to succeed in life. For the most part, I’ve probably been pointing out things most people already know or would eventually figure out for themselves if they put in the time and effort at whatever it is they want to achieve. The ideas I share can help others get there faster.

Whenever I try to learn something new, I find out how others have done it before me. Where are the potholes that I need to avoid, are there alternate routes I can take if there are obstacles in the way?

In the end, it really is just about hard work. The idea of hard work scares people – I know it scared me in the past. I used to think about the things I wanted to accomplish but then the idea of having to work hard would make me hesitate or stop working toward a goal. I used to think there has to be an easy way and if something was too hard it must be the wrong way or the wrong goal.

It took me a long time to realize that just because I was unwilling to do the work, the desire to accomplish a goal did not go away. I would pretend that the goal was not worth it but eventually I would try again. Once I finally gave up the idea of giving up, I would put in the work and the goal would be attained. The hard work I was so reluctant to do, was not so bad after all. The fear of hard work is worse than the work itself.

The self-help books I’ve read or the speakers I’ve listen to were often too polite or did not emphasize hard work enough. We often get speakers who just tell us to believe in ourselves or to think positively and everything will turn out all right. Those ideas are important and valid but they are tailored for those who are desperate and have lost hope. For those of us, who already have the confidence and positive mindset are left wondering, “What now?”

Self confidence and positive thinking are the tools for success but once you have them you have to put them to work. Once I had the tools my life started to turn out all right, the bills were paid, I got a good job and I could ask for a better family. But then things sort of went on autopilot for awhile. I was living comfortably but I wasn’t growing.

The worst thing to happen to a goal setter, is that they achieve their goals. Once you get that fire in your belly for overcoming difficult obstacles you want more challenges. The problem is that the effort and persistence that gets a person to a modest level of success is only a fraction of what is needed to move to the next level.

I once read a book by this Get-rich guru who said “The hardest thing I ever did was to earn my first million, the easiest thing was the second million.” The idea is that once you learn the tricks, the rest is easy. As it turns out, this wealth guru lost a lot of his wealth and was hounded by the IRS until he died.

The same tricks and mindset that you use to achieve one level of success may not work for the next level. The Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80-20 rule, is in effect. Only 20% of the population will reach the first level of success. To make it to the next level, you need to be the top 20% of that 20% and to do that requires different actions and a different mindset that got you to that first level otherwise everyone would continue to succeed.

Regardless of the techniques and mindset, a person needs to maintain their values. Any success achieved by swindling  or taking advantage of others is not real success. Liars and crooks are notoriously miserable people with few friends they can really trust. We have all heard about whistle-blowers who turn on their bosses. I believe those cases we hear about on the news are those rare situations where a person was able to lie, cheat and steal their way to enormous wealth but are then caught when a trusted associate turns on them. Despite the media coverage, these are rare because very few people will make it to the top if they don’t have solid values backing them up. Even in these rare cases, it is only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down. Before the inevitable crash, they will lead miserable lives filled with fear and distrust.

I will admit that my road to success has been slowed (still slow) by my determination to stay true to my values. I accept this slow progress because each step has been a solid step forward. I have no fear that my peers will learn that I’m a fraud or that someone I trust will turn on me. There are no skeletons in my closet that will come bursting out to bring me down. The person I am in public is who I am in my heart.

Solid values and hard work. That’s it and it is not a secret. Leaders have been preaching these concepts since the beginning of civilization. People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates appear to have been lucky but in the beginning each of them were fanatically hard workers. There were times when people questioned the morals and values of Bill Gates but his record-breaking contributions to charity show the true foundation of his success.

Build your foundation of values and be prepared to work hard.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

July 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized