The three areas to focus on
Ten years ago, I was asked what the meaning of life is. My response was, ‘make an impact on the world and allow the world to make an impact on you’. I’m not sure at this moment how much this has changed, but it certainly does nod to what I feel is a very important concept.
It can be argued that almost every good result we have in terms of our health, wealth, relationship success, and, indeed, happiness comes down to three core factors. What we take in, what we work on, and what we put out into the world. We can label these three as 1) Input 2) Processing and 3) Output.
To survive, our bodies need the input of water and food. The healthier our diet is; the heather we are. What we eat and drink plays a large part in determining not just our physical health but also our mental health.
To thrive, our minds need the input of useful and inspiring information. There are two things we should be inputting. Things that make us feel better. Things that make us know better. It’s vital to pay attention to where our attention is and make sure we are allocating attention to the right things.
We also need to be cognizant of the people we surround ourselves with. We are very much influenced by the people we are with and how they influence our minds and bodies. As Lisa Feldman Barrett has said, ‘The best thing for your nervous system is another human, and the worst thing for your nervous system is another human.’
To function as effectively as possible, we need to process the calories we consume. This means moving, exercising, and resting. The more we move regularly and exercise consistently, the healthier our bodies and minds will be. The more we sleep well and rest well, the better condition we will be in.
To be at our best mentally, we need to process the experiences we take in. We must master finding the most empowering and helpful meaning from our experiences. This involves taking charge of the stories we tell ourselves. It means being better at how we think, learning psychological skills such as mindfulness, NLP, and CBT, and taking control of how we believe what we believe.
To succeed as well as we must, we need to take the actions necessary to get the kind of results that we want. We must channel our actions to build the kind of life and future we desire. This involves building habits that move us forward and making decisions that help us succeed in what we want to achieve. It’s about learning to strategize to reach where we want to be.
To be at our best, we must allow our creative potential to flourish. We must be authentic and true to ourselves. This means finding our voice and point of view and what we want to say and making a difference to other people. It is about making an impact on the world. The world is full of the most incredible inventions, literature, art, and technology that were only made possible because of the output of humans.
So, how do we start taking charge of these three factors? Well, I have six suggestions:
1) Eat healthy, unprocessed foods. Drink three liters of water per day. Sleep well (7-8 hours a night). Exercise 3-5 times a week. Move every hour.
2) Create an attention budget and allocate most of your attention to things that make you feel good or learn something valuable.
3) Spend more time around people that make you feel good and help you become better and less time around people that make you feel bad and influence you to become worse.
4) Work on how you think. Learn the skills needed to change your mind and challenge your assumptions. Become better at telling yourself stories that empower and inspire you to succeed.
5) Build habits for success. Be vigilant in maintaining the habits you want to keep and the actions that will take you toward the future you want. Prioritize taking action and moving forward, and let every setback educate you to succeed next time.
6) Create something. Do something new. Make a difference to someone’s day. Make a difference to the world. Be yourself and let people experience you.
These six suggestions are not rocket science, but each one can make a huge difference to your life.
P.S. Have you watched or listened to this week’s podcast episode yet? If not, you can check it out here – an interesting one where I explore how you can make better decisions – part one.