The One Thing You Can Do To Make Everything Better
health khaled allen productivity warrior spirit well-being
Way more productive: Working the same amount of time, I'm much more productive when I'm healthy, well-rested, and in good shape. Actually, I get more done in that state working fewer hours. I just see solutions more easily. I find the work easier to do. It's hard to explain, but it's worth the effort to make it a consistent way to work.
More playful: having more energy means I have more to spare. I've found I'm much more playful and curious on days I look after my health. When I don't, my mind sort of shies away from exploring the world, possibly as a way to conserve limited energy and resources.
Learning more: In college, I used to fall asleep in all my afternoon classes, no matter what. This meant that I was wasting my parents’ money, wasting my teachers’ time, and losing out all a great opportunity for educating myself. When I cut out all added sugars from my diet, this drowsiness stopped almost overnight. A good diet helped me get a lot more out of my education.
Being more creative: When I eat well and sleep enough, I am noticeably more creative. My writing gets much more insightful (if I do say so myself) and I notice that my unique voice comes through much more strongly.
Being more inspired to undertake projects: When you feel weak and tired physically, you feel weak and tired mentally, too. Getting enough rest and feeling strong, lean, and clean makes me feel like I can take on anything from writing a novel to teaching kids how to speak English for a year (which I’m doing in Korea now…scary thought).
Sense of safety: If you know you can run from danger, navigate tricky terrain, or manage hefty objects, you tend to feel safer, which in turn gives you the freedom to explore far and wide. Having more distant limits has given me the freedom to explore places I would otherwise avoid, like the sea cliffs in Peniche, Portugal. I didn’t like traveling before I was strong enough to carry my backpack without discomfort.
More durable: I'm functional even when certain things fall out of place. I can continue to work at a high level when I haven't eaten all day. I can stay alert and calm without enough sleep. Obviously, when too many things overlap, I fall apart, but I've noticed that my tolerance for discomfort has increased immensely since making health a priority.
Amazing sex: Diet and exercise make a huge difference in your sex life. This is pretty common knowledge at this point, but it’s kind of amazing to see first hand. It doesn’t take much muscle definition to set you apart, I’ve discovered, and being in good shape means that what would be exhausting for most people isn’t much of a workout for me, allowing me to focus on things besides wearing out.
Handle stress much better: I would say the biggest factor in how well I handle stress has to do with how together I feel physically, followed closely by how competent I feel mentally. It’s easy to stay calm and relaxed when facing a huge workload or a long trek home when you know you can rely on your body to get you through it.
Able to give to others: When I feel taken care of, I can take care of others. Having a deep reserve of strength and vitality means I have plenty to share with others. When my girlfriend has had a rough day and just wants to collapse at the end of it, I still have the energy to make her some tea, give her a massage, and help her unwind. And I can do so cheerfully.
Being more engaged with friends: When I’m healthy, I’m active and engaged. I’m wittier, funnier, more charming, and generally better company. You owe it to your friends to take care of yourself.
More confident: Feeling strong physically has made me more confident emotionally. When I’m also well-rested and have taken care of a good diet, I also tend to feel more secure, which translates to better, more productive contributions to social interactions. I actually make friends more easily now than when I wasn’t so health-conscious, and on days I let things slide, I find it difficult to approach new people and be well-received.
So, being healthy isn’t just about looking good. I don’t think there’s much point in pursuing health for its own sake. To me, and to the warriors I admire and follow, a strong, healthy body has always been a part of an integrated plan to accomplish great things; Rocky didn’t train so hard to have a nice body, he did it to accomplish a goal.
The body is our vehicle in this world; keeping it in good working order allows us to get to more places, where we can do more things, more effectively, and with less cost to ourselves.
Ultimately, life’s value is assessed by our mental faculties. Getting our mind to a place where it can enjoy life is what a healthy body is for. So, it’s worth the effort to avoid junk, processed foods, exercise with purpose, and really make an effort to get enough sleep.
Your body will thank you for it, and your general experience of life will improve. I guarantee it.
Why do you maintain a high standard of health? Or why don’t you?