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4 Reasons You Should Want More Control Over Your Lifestyle

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4 Reasons You Should Want More Control Over Your Lifestyle

If you are reading this article, you have probably been asking yourself: is there more I could be doing with my life?

Are you satisfied with your work or do you complain about your work?  Does your body feel good or do you take medication and are in daily pain and discomfort?  Are your relationships positive not only with others but with yourself or do you spend most of your time in conflict?  Are you growing more financially secure or insecure?

Your mental attitude and emotions determine your decisions and actions in your life.  How do you want to be remembered at the end of your life?  Are you living the life you want to be remembered for?

1. Have a more purpose-driven life for less stress and better health.

Many people have been trained to live a life of work.  They have not been trained to work a life they enjoy.  There is a palpable, noticeable, tangible difference when you meet someone who is passionate about who they are, what they do, and what they accomplish compared to everyone else.  These individuals have come to live out what they desire.  Their actions are in alignment with their thoughts and their desires in life.  The most successful individuals live a life that benefits others.

Why is it important to know what you enjoy and to pursue it relentlessly?  It is because you otherwise live a life of conflict not knowing what you want and not feeling confident about your accomplishments.  This is one major source of stress and disease in human beings.

“…[T]he more engaged and connected you and your team are to the work itself, the lower your stress levels will be. Not because the work is easier—not at all. But because your response to stress won’t be the same as someone who’s just in it for the paycheck (who will buckle or bail when things get tough because there’s nothing else holding her up—or there).”  See http://www.forbes.com/sites/janbruce/2013/09/24/the-purpose-driven-business-why-your-mission-matters/

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New research indicates that stress activates genes related with inflammation, which normally would help heal wounds and fight off those infections. However, when these genes are over-stimulated, they can cause tissue damage and increases the risk of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes.

One’s sense of purpose affects these genes even more.

“The researchers were surprised to find that the two types of happiness influenced gene expression in different ways. People with a meaning-based or purpose-based outlook had favorable gene-expression profiles, whereas hedonic well-being, when it occurred on its own, was associated with profiles similar to those seen in individuals facing adversity.”  See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-happiness-boosts-the-immune-system

If you want control over your health, align your passion and interests with the rest of your actions.

2. Stronger, positive relationships enhance your happiness and reduces stress – lead yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is formed by the absence or presence of traumas and your environment including your family, community and your culture.  The good news is that whatever has happened to you in the past, you have the ability to control your present and future.  You choose to make yourself happy or sad.  No matter what your circumstances, the only thing that no one can touch is what is deep in your mind, unless you allow someone to do so.

The people in your life are a reflection of who you are.  If you are not satisfied with who you are around, change who you spend time with.  If you’re spending more time complaining and being unhappy about who you are with, now is the time to take action to be with someone else, even if your only choice is to just be with yourself.

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At a high level, people who choose to become leaders of themselves and others are best positioned to influence and direct their lives where they desire.

Why be a leader?  To create a strong community around yourself for mutual support and strength.

Furthermore, researchers are finding that when leaders use positive thoughts and emotions to communicate with people, they cause a specific neuroendocrine reaction in others to make them more teachable and willing to listen.

“Boyatzis, a faculty member at Weatherhead School of Management, and Jack, director of the university’s Brain, Mind and Consciousness Lab, say coaches should seek to arouse a Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA), which causes positive emotion and arouses neuroendocrine systems that stimulate better cognitive functioning and increased perceptual accuracy and openness in the person being coached, taught or advised.”

Your positive leadership will lead to others feeling better which leads back to you feeling better.

“We know that people respond much better to a coach they find inspiring and who shows compassion for them, rather than one who they perceive to be judging them. Sure enough, we found a trend in the same direction even for the neutral questions. Students tended to activate the areas associated with visioning more with the compassionate coach, even when the topics they were thinking about weren’t so positive,” Jack said.”  See http://blog.case.edu/think/2010/11/15/coaching_with_compassion_can_alight_upa_human_thoughts

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Cultivating positive relationships requires a great deal of self-awareness and control to temper and adjust one’s words, actions and reactions to different people around them.  The best leaders know themselves, are decisive, are passionate about their purpose, and have the ability to communicate and inspire a wide variety of people.

3. Prioritize your health and longevity.

How expensive is it to receive medical care?  How many people receive medical care but still are not one hundred percent healthy afterwards?  How much do people spend on medication and contend with the resulting side effects?

I have trained students this year who were billed $11,000 for a heart stent, $60,000 for a heart attack, $1000 a month on diabetes medication, and $1.2 million for an extreme, life-threatening bone infection that required 4 months of hospitalization.

“Terry Miller, 62, a businessman in the Bay Area, got a bill for $117,000 for a two-night stay at California Pacific Medical Center to place a stent to open one of his heart’s clogged arteries — a charge that did not include fees for the cardiologist and radiologist. According to the Medicare database, California Pacific Medical Center charged $43,679 for hospitalization to treat a simple pneumonia and $96,642 to treat a stroke; the Medicare payments for those illnesses were $8,046 and $9,583.” See

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html)

You will pay for your mental and physical health one way or another.  You either treat your mind and body as even more valuable than your house or car and spend the time and effort to keep them strong, or you eventually expend money and suffer trying to patch them up.

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When you are hospitalized, the doctors work hard to fix you up and send you home. However, just because you get to go home doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy.

High-level, traditional martial arts instructors can train students to have the martial arts lifestyle where you use forms and movements to build your health and energy and reduce stress to have the kind of health that allows you to do anything.  You learn to repair yourself without the side effects that come with medication and surgery.

4. Being in control of your life can lead to wealth.

Gaining more wealth requires willpower.  How much will does one have to do extra work that would earn a raise?  How much will does one have to gain additional education to gain a better-paying job?  How much will does an entrepreneur have to do the necessary steps it takes to obtain more customers for their business?

For middle class Americans, having a college education can better ensure the ability to maintain or move up the income ladder.  Obtaining a college education requires the willpower to earn the grades, the financing and all the work.

“Thirty-nine percent raised in the middle of the family income ladder who do not get a college degree fall from the middle, compared with less than a quarter (22 percent) of those with a degree. Similarly, 39 percent raised in the middle of the family wealth ladder who do not earn a degree fall down the wealth ladder, compared with 19 percent with a degree.”  See http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2012/Pursuing_American_Dream.pdf

Take your vision, make a decision, and use your willpower to take action.  Move ahead.  Don’t fall back.

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Life will be challenging.  Control life or be victimized by it.  Take control!

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4 Reasons You Should Want More Control Over Your Lifestyle

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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