[AKN #76] Ew…I Can’t Believe I Am Saying This, But Let’s Talk Spiritual Health
LAUGH: Everyone Has COVID, LOVE: Read This In 10 Min And Know More About Kazakhstan Than 99% Of Your Friends
As I enter the New Year, I find myself with a reinvigorated take on improving my personal health.
I’m eating well, sleeping well, and exercising regularly.
Hell, I’m not even drinking alcohol this month. Which is big for me. Because as I have said before, while my body is a temple, I am fond of power washing the walls of that temple with Fireball.
Being healthy in America is an ongoing struggle.
Everywhere you turn, a new marketing campaign is trying to draw you into a fast food restaurant so you can fill the void in your life with their impressively caloric belly bomb.
They do it with deals.
Like Arby's new Diablo Dare sandwich is so spicy it comes with a free vanilla shake.
Great value, but I diablo dare you to leave that meal feeling good about yourself.
They do it by appealing to the healthy eating cause de’ jour.
Like KFC is now selling plant based fried chicken nationwide.
I always wanted my plants deep fried. Thanks, Colonel Sanders!
They even do it by attempting to convince you that they’re truly looking out for your health.
Like McDonald’s adding exercise bikes in some of their stores.
Of course, McDonald’s act of generosity is like an arsonist spitting on the wildfire they started, but at least we can burn 40 calories off of our 400 calorie fries!
It’s funny, but it’s important to notice because the never ending stream of marketing passing by our eyeballs changes our behavior whether we know it or not (just like the memes we consume.)
The only way to overcome this siren song of diners, drive ins, and dives is to be intentional about what you eat and committing to healthy values. Otherwise, you are destined to be pulled toward the cashier of every Arby’s by this ever changing media hell scape.
TL; DR - If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything.
On to the newsletter!
LIVE: Ew…I Can’t Believe I Am Saying This, But Let’s Talk Spiritual Health
The word “spiritual” makes me dizzy…because hearing it makes my eyes roll so fast in my skull that it induces vertigo.
Generally speaking, I don’t give “woo woo” things the time of day because they are bullshit. Something about people insisting that everyone needs a “purpose” in order to develop the motivation to do work really rubs me the wrong way. Especially when it is combined with discussions of “vibrating with the universe.”
However — in staying with the theme from last week’s newsletter — in order to apply The Power of Full Engagement principles into my life, I must “begin spiritually with a connection to purpose” because “our motivation to spend the energy we have is largely a spiritual issue.”
The authors say that “powerful transformations occur for our clients when they are able to shift their focus from filling deficits to cultivating deeper values and defining a vision for themselves.”
So I’ll sideline my internal skeptic for a minute and give this spirit stuff a shot.
Clearing Up My Spiritual Misconceptions
My fears are quelled when the authors don’t begin this spiritual soirée with a diatribe about how I should quit my job, travel, and full time work on saving the whales. A welcomed change from the rest of the new age spiritual literature.
They do a great job of reframing spiritual in a way I like when they define spirituality as “knowing our deepest selves and what is sacred to us.”
Something about that feels right.
They go on to explain that a “spiritual” person is one who has:
Strong character: The courage and conviction to live by their deeply held values, even when doing so requires personal sacrifice and hardship.
A purpose beyond one’s self-interest: Purpose creates a destination. It drives full engagement by prompting our desire to invest focused energy in a particular activity or goal. We become fully engaged only when we care deeply, when we feel that what we are doing really matters.
I can fuck with those definitions.
Basically, spiritual energy comes from actively using life as a vehicle through which you express your deepest values.
So it is not so much about the what you work on as much as it is the how you work on it.
Before And After Connecting To Spiritual Energy
The book goes through several case studies of people who went through the Full Engagement Process and connected with their deepest values.
One case study in particular resonated with me.
It was the story of “Andy” a man struggling with balancing physical health and achievement.
Andy’s description of life before defining his values sounded very familiar:
If my motivation for exercising hard had been fitting into the pants that I wore two years ago, that would have worked for a while, but it wouldn’t have lasted.
He then goes over how he defined his values and what that actually means for him:
Andy settled on five key values—persistence, integrity, excellence, creativity and commitment. They became his touchstone—and the source of his motivation for change. “All day, every day, whether I’m at work or I’m exercising or I’m with my family, I ask myself if what I’m doing is serving my values,” Andy explains.
He finished this off with how he expresses his values through his fitness:
When I’m on the treadmill now and I feel like getting off, what I think about is persistence, integrity and commitment. Without linking up to those values, I’d be asking myself “Why the hell am I doing this?” and I’d probably quit.
This case study resonated with me because sustained weight change is something I struggle with.
I am objectively excellent at losing weight, but I am unfortunately just as good at finding it again. Because just as easy as it was to hack my way to losing 20 pounds, it was similarly simple to find those 20 pounds again. Leaving me feeling destined to forever struggle to find the motivation to sustain any weight loss.
But I never considered this conscious process of values definition. Perhaps if I really began to identify health as a value rather than simply an outcome, I would find it easier to stick to that identity long term rather than coming to every New Years with a face full of Diablo Dare and a tummy full of shame.
How To Find Your Values
I’m not the person to ask this question. However, I have put a lot of thought into how I am going to try and find them.
So maybe there is value for you in following along with how I am going to go about it.
This journal was developed by one of the authors of the book and it is deliberately designed to help you create a credo or a statement of beliefs and values that guides thinking, decisions, and behaviors.
By the end of the book, the goal is for you to have your own personal source code or blueprint for strengthening your character.
The process of developing it involves reflecting on who you are, what you value and believe to be true, and what impact you want to have on the world around you.
Honestly, the routine to get there is no joke as it is a:
Significant time commitment: 10 minutes a day for 90 days.
Fairly heavy stuff to do in a morning journaling routine: For example, this morning I answered the prompt: “Write your eulogy.” Downer of a way to start the day!
However, I am enjoying the whole process. I am a few weeks into it and I can feel this is an important exercise which will yield important results.
Unfortunately, I don’t have those results now so we are going to have to put a pin in this one and check back in 13 weeks from now.
But boy let me tell you, AKN #89 is going to be lit! So much character development this season!
LAUGH: Everyone Has COVID
Two years into the pandemic, it finally happened: everyone has COVID or knows someone who has COVID.
Like look at this absurd curve!
At this point — while I agree we should continue to mask up and social distance to slow it down — infection is a mathematical inevitability unless you become a hermit…at which point whenever you bless us with your presence, you will immediately get COVID.
This is the shitty reality, but we might as well use humor the way it was designed: to rise above any shitty moment, if only for a second.
ON TESTING POSTIVE
ON EVEN GETTING A TEST
ON THE OVERALL GUIDANCE IN THIS MOMENT
LOVE: Read This In 10 Min And Know More About Kazakhstan Than 99% Of Your Friends
The thread below will give you a surprisingly strong understanding of the current conflict in Kazakhstan.
After you read it, you will be shocked that this is not a bigger story in US media.
You will learn:
What is happening in Kazakhstan
Why Russia is so invested in defending Kazakhstan
Why Russia blames the West for this conflict
Why it might turn into a NATO-Russia world power conflict
You don’t have to go home, but you can subscribe here:
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are strictly my own. Who else’s would they be?