Want to live a more fulfilled life and give less fucks?
Want to age and grow old as mentally and physically fits as possible?
Want to know what diet that works best for you?
Want to be content with your body composition?
Want to know what is the best training regime for you?
Want to reduce stress and create more calm in your life?
Want to learn how to optimise your sleep
Want to be more productive?
Want to improve your relationships and ability to communicate?
Want to be able to identify, observe & better manage and curb your compulsive behaviours
& reign in destructive habits?
Want to become more resilient?
Want to identify & recalibrate your life-priorities?
Want to be in better control of your emotions?
Want to be able to identify what is important to you?
Want to improve you inner-cheerfulness?
Want to improve / change your career?
Want to forgive yourself, be less self-critical?
blah blah blah….

All this requires self-investment
This is self-awareness 101
This is mindfulness 101
This is your health-wealth 101
This is your philosophy
This is your process

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK,
BUT HOW YOU THINK.

 

The above quote comes from a hero of mine…free-thinker, atheist and member of The 4 Horseman (not of the Apocalypse), no, not the biblical reference, but four big-thinkers and proverbial shit-stirrers of the 21st Century who are/were Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C, Dennett and lastly, the man responsible for this weeks Gist title Christopher Hitchens. You don’t have to agree or even like Mr Hitchens, but I promise you’d find it impossible not to admire his intellect, his debating ability and his opponent-destructive sense of humour – a formidable individual, who sadly passed away in 2011.
 
[If you’re not familiar with him, take some time to watch this debate
with another man-crush of mine Stephen Fry (48min mark) who’s equally eloquent as “Hitch”]
If you’ve not already gleaned from previous posts, I’m a tad fascinated, or more precisely, totally preoccupied with the philosophical and psychological aspects of our wellbeing, and how best we can propagate the best health-wealth outcomes with an improved mindset, via the process of nurturing our own self-awareness.
How best can we fertilise and harvest our own bespoke internal-narratives, our disciplines and attention-abilities so that we’re both motivated to seek-out our potentiality, whilst taking the practical, purposeful pragmatic steps to take the best possible care of ourselves. 

Keeping in mind that, and using Manuel’s favourite line from Fawlty Towers “I know nothing”…at my current ignorant best, I am, at this time using the working-theory that ‘if’ we really, really want to achieve any sort of longterm health-wealth optimisation, and dare I say ‘life-fulfilment’ – then, I reckon, we need to get our mindset, our brain main-frame working for us, and not against us.

I know, I know...I’m not saying anything new here at all…we all ‘know’ that it’s our mindset that is either our accomplice or antagonist when it comes to our efforts & abilities to successfully navigate and orientate our way towards whatever goals we set ourselves. All the while taking the not-so-piss-easy route to have the courage to look within, forgive ourselves, and lead with our vulnerabilities with the view of sorting the shit out from the past, so it stops impacting our ‘now’. 

I guess a key strategy could be to identify what behaviours, habits and thinking is corrupting our ability to apply long term discipline…nah! 
Discipline of any kind, when our mindset is bankrupt, preoccupied, stressed, fatigued, hungover, angry, ……………… (<– insert counterproductive lifestyle/self-rewarding habit) is both challenging at best, and near-on impossible at it’s worst. I often think that, in the past, I subconsciously used my own self-rewarding behaviours to ‘blanket’ my vision to avoid the ‘obvious’ disciplines that I was (wanting) to ignore. 
Now though, when I observe my own ill-behaviours or ill-thoughts, I’ll will go and investigate why, rather that reach for the nośe.

Anyways, back to me and my ignorant best…
When it comes to pursuing and optimising our own mindset I believe, aka my current working theory, is that we’re required to take a two-pronged approach:
1) The Mechanics of Our Physical & Mental Wellbeing: Master the macros of your health – I’ll happily go blue in the face pontificating the critical importance of our everyday actions and behaviours that occupy the bulk of your energy and focus – our sleep, manage our stress, eat intelligently, gut health, move everyday, exercise, maintain lean muscle mass etc
Because I think it’s safe to say, that if any of these macros are missing, or are compromised, then not only will our general brain health be impacted, but our ability, motivations, desire and attention will be ‘hindered’, less optimised and supplanted by laziness, unintelligent food choices, insobriety, depression and other mood issues…behaviours that realistically only begets similar non-productive/destructive behaviours.

2) Our Self-Awareness: Know Yourself, to Choose for Yourself – this is the really fun part…not!
Firstly, lets get this out the way…I don’t think i need a Philosophy Degree from Trump University to say that we never get to fully know-oneself…which is equal parts exciting and humorously-exacerbating…I happily visualise myself at the age of 95, riding my bike, and having that “eureka” moment, that life-long-waited epiphany, when I say to myself “woo-hoo I think finally, after all this time, I’ve have sorted my shit-out”...then i drop dead with a content stupid grin on my face…#awesome

But, and its a big but…which is good for those of you that like big-buts (there’s a song there I’m sure of it) though the process to get to know yourself is totes confronting, I can’t possibly think of anything more rewarding, more self-inspiring…more self-motivating. 
AND…one of the biggest rewards from this never-ending self-auditing process, is that by default, your ability, capacity and desire to take better care of physical & mental self only gets easier.
Why?
Because you’re not only learning what you need, you’re learning what you don’t need.
You’re being kind to yourself, and through this self-care practice you not only understand how and what YOU need, but you begin to fiercely protect it and not allow nor tolerate crap in your life that steals your ability to maintain it.
Simply put, if we’re not commitment to embracing the mechanics of OUR physical and mental wellbeing – then, and again I’m over-simplifying, I believe that our ability, want, desire to improve our self-awareness will be subject to the life-distractions of our choosing. 

You Can’t Have One, Without The Other
I believe (at this time) it’s the ever-improving integration of our physical and mental wellbeing + our own self-awareness that lies the key to establishing the required present day life-habits to engage a long-term, fulfilling resilient upswing in our life-trajectory.  This is applicable to EVERY aspect of our life 
The more that these overlap and become intertwined, our life becomes more fulfilled, less distracted and simplified. The further apart, then we’ll constantly struggle with our physical and mental health, be a slave to the past, and constantly battle our compulsions, poor habits and thinking choices.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Call it…Philosophy (in action), thinking, reasoning, wisdom, thought, knowledge…
As philosopher Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) writes in his 1941 book “On My Philosophy”…“since philosophy is an individual struggle, we can philosophise only as individuals. We cannot turn to anybody else to tell us the truth; we must discover if for ourselves, by our own efforts.”
He continues…
“Although in this sense truth is something that we realise alone, it is in communication with others that we realise the fruits of our efforts and raise our consciousness beyond its limits.”
Jaspers considers his own philosophy “true” only so far as it aids communication with others. And while other people cannot provide us with a form of ‘ready-made-truth, philosophy remains a collective endeavour. For Jaspers, each individual’s search for truth is carried out in community with all those ‘companions in thought’ who have undergone the same personal struggle.
That…i reckon, is pretty neat.

Tether these two life-pursuits together 
And that is why, I currently believe, that for our own ability to know ourselves better, we each need to find and pursue not only a philosophy, a bespoke life-process that resonates, but is also intimately aligned with our daily pursuit and love to maintain our physical and mental wellbeing to the best of our ability.
These two very intimate personal truths, that we can all spend a lifetime learning & mastering (something I think is what profoundly ‘life is about’) is the key to not only pursing fulfilment, but being abundantly healthy & resilient in the process…and that is a formidable combination.
 

Life is barely long enough to get good at one thing.
So be careful what you get good at.
 
Peace

Luke
❤️