I recently went back home to Puerto Rico and spent some time with my father. He told me some of the latest events in the family and recounted a lot of what has happened in our family. I could see a man of 76 years who was taking the long view and evaluating his life. He then showed me his workout routine and asked for some pointers. He mentioned that since only “little old ladies” train at the gym he goes to, whenever he puts 100lbs in the lat pulldown machine they ask “Who’s the gorilla stacking 100lbs in this machine?” As we were cracking up with that and other stories, he stops, looks at me and asks, “Are you happy with YOUR life?”
I noticed right away that he said “with your life” as opposed to the traditional “are you happy?” I looked at him and said “Yes, I am happy with my life. I just got promoted to Lieutenant Commander, I have a beautiful family whom I love very very much, my books and courses are starting to take off, so yes, I have every reason to be happy with my life.” While this is all true I could see that this question really deserves some more thought. While it is true that you are as happy as you make up your mind to be, the quality of your life is determined by the choices you make. We all need the COURAGE and resiliency to make those choices and live up to them.
Most of us need to really analyze who we are and what we think because otherwise we stand to repeat the same patterns and be just like those we grew up around with to include our family and group of friends. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this if you grew up in a decent home and got the traditional belief system of study hard, work hard, get a good job, etc., at the end of YOUR life you really have to be HONEST with yourself and answer the question “Are you happy with YOUR life?” Remember that, YOUR life and not somebody else’s. For some it will really mean departing the patterns that seem familiar and adopt new lifestyle habits or even a new life.
The simplest example of this is health. During my visit my father wanted to relay to me all the “diseases” to which he claims I may have a genetic predisposition based on his medical history. I rejected this concept in my mind while I listened patiently and then I informed him that the newest findings in medical science prove that while genetics account for 15% of the predisposition of disease, lifestyle accounts for the 85% that determines if the predisposition actually manifests.
I remember one time my father telling me that when he lived in Hungary he thought he was going to die at 65 because all men seemed to die at that age in Hungary. Now that he is 76 he recognizes that it was the lifestyle and poor eating habits that killed people at an early age in Hungary. Yes, eating fried chicken skins and fatty goose livers along with extra sweet pastries with little or no raw fruits and vegetables is a recipe for a shortened life even if it is masked in cultural tradition. My father’s eating habits changed greatly when he escaped Hungary and this change has granted him over 11 years of life from his previous estimate. Now he works everyday in his farm and this makes him happy and constantly grounded and connected to the Schumann frequency of the Earth which is also extending his life. During a previous trip to Puerto Rico he walked all the way to the top of the tallest point in El Yunque tropical rain forest and never skipped a beat. He kept pace with me the whole time while talking and cracking jokes. I know many men half his age that would be huffing and puffing and asking for breaks every 30 minutes of this two hour uphill nature hike.
The point of this is that to be happy with YOUR life you need two things. First, to make sure that you are living YOUR life as opposed to your parents desires, society’s expectations for you, or some other EXTERNALLY driven mechanism for guiding your life.
The second thing you need is a body that is strong and healthy enough to allow you to exercise your will once you decide what you want to do with your life. It starts with a DECISION to be strong and healthy so that your vehicle has all the power and longevity to allow your authenticity to come out.
The first point will require a LOT of INTROSPECTION because there is no one out there that can tell YOU what YOUR life is supposed to be about. The more you spend time with yourself and strip away all the easy answers: “find a good job, make a lot money, have a great family, etc.” the more you will find yourself aligning with your true purpose. The clearer you are with what you are really all about then the bolder you can be in how you CHOOSE to live your life so that you are closer to being in INTEGRITY with yourself 100% of the time.
One great way to do this is to start dedicating some time specifically for this purpose. Think, ponder, reflect and journal on who you are and who you want to be. An example in my personal case that changed my life was WRITING the book Listen Up! The energy in that book clearly speaks to self-reliance and listening to your inner voice. Once I started down that path I KNEW that is what will make me happy and is the KEY to my LIFE becoming my own. I suggest you read the book and use it as a guidepost for inspiration if you are looking to make a change.
To keep your body going on strong for a LONG time you need to have FULL use of your body. The simplest and most direct route that ANYONE can do is to implement FULL Mobility as a part of their everyday life. If you currently are UNABLE to mobilize all your joints then you have a problem that will bring you many health hazards and stop you from being happy down the road. It took me three full months of working on this daily to regain full use of all my joints at the basic level. FULL Mobility training is one of the keys to longevity and living a happy life because you will OWN your body and allow you to make INDEPENDENT decisions.
Of course adding a workout program is also extremely IMPORTANT in having a vehicle that implements your will. There are 1,000 ways to achieve this ranging from walking two miles a day everyday of your life to becoming an elite athlete in your chosen sport. An ideal situation would have you in a discipline or sport where you can grow and also have a social element to it. If you would like to implement ONE way of the many you can find, then I highly recommend Extreme Military Fitness because it will give you a body you can depend on and requires minimal space and only one tool, a kettlebell, to get you on the path to having a body you can depend on.
In the end, you WILL have to answer the question for yourself, “Are you happy with YOUR life?” Make sure that it’s a life-affirming “YES!” by living your own life and not somebody else’s.
All my best,