I get caught up in “This is the most important project I should be working on!” And I forget. And then things go downhill: my mood changes (I feel rotten, don’t want to be around people, get sad more often), my attitude changes (“everything sticnks”), my drive and motivation change.
And then, one morning, I wake up and say, “Hey! I haven’t exercised all week.” What kind of example is this to clients that I’ve worked with? Whenever I’ve worked with a coaching client, he/she has “homework” between each session: a Body Exercise as well as a Mind Exercise. Ask any effective coach: the best progress for a client happens between sessions. When people are focused on gradual, deliberate change (often in the same time at the same place: more on this below). There is something to be said for consistency in life. What we do each day is what we can see as results in hindsight.
Whatever your choice of HOW is great as long as the choice is TO DO. I’ve just returned to my choice of TO DO. I cannot believe I dropped the ball on exercise.
Me who says it’s the second most important thing towards happiness here and here.
The last thought as I go back to the large project I’m working on is based on the research by Dr. Wendy Wood at Duke: a habit is something people do at the same time in the same place. Think of brushing your teeth: same time, same exact location. How can you make exercise a habit? For me, it’s running when I wake up, and running generally the same path, but with increasing the number of minutes each week. What’s your trick?
Great summer to you!
(Or winter if you’re in Oz or NZ). :)
Phil Maymin, an assistant professor of finance and risk engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, has crunched 50 years worth of stock-market data — along with more than 5,000 hit songs. And he says heâ€™s found an inverse correlation between stock-market volatility and whether the hot music of the moment is frenetic or steady.
… Whatâ€™s more, Maymin says that it appears as if musical tastes can predict future market volatility. A strategy based on predicting market volatility from past beat variance appears profitable, on average. â€œThe model predicts that realized volatility next year will be lower than it was this year,â€ he says. Read more here.
I went to see the Dalai Lama on July 17, 2008 at Radio City Music Hall in NY. It was completely packed, and the room has 5,933 seats. It seemed that about one third to half of the women, men, and children in the audience were dressed in Tibetan formal wear â€“ beautiful attire in exquisite print.
I was sitting in a good seat, part-way to the front, and as soon as the Dalai Lama let us know that that he would be answering some audience questions, I thought that since I had read most of his book on happiness, I would love to hear his impromptu thoughts on what makes him happiest. So I wrote on a piece of paper a question in large capital letters and gave it to a man collecting questions near our aisle.
Then many, many pieces of paper were brought to the translatorâ€™s desk on the stage. I donâ€™t know how many from about 6,000 people. It looked like a lot of pieces of paper, and I absolutely didnâ€™t think my question would be answered, but eventually after the first two questions â€“ one of which included a detailed answer to ‘who are the protesters outside the event?’ â€“ my question did come up. It was the third question out of four, and it was really delightful to hear the Dalai Lamaâ€™s answer.
Here is the question: â€œWhat makes you happiest? What makes you the most happy?â€
The Dalai Lamaâ€™s answer was first a joke along the lines of â€œI donâ€™t know.â€ And then he answered: â€œPeople make me happiest.â€ He pointed to the audience and to himself, and said that he thinks this kind of interaction â€“ people speaking to each other â€“ makes him happiest. He said it is â€œonly â€˜I,â€™ not â€˜we-them,â€™â€ implying that everyone â€“ himself and the audience â€“ are part of the same â€œI.â€
Then he ran through several additional things that make him happiest:
â€¢ Sleep â€“ He actually stayed on this topic for a few minutes, describing how he goes to bed around 7pm every evening, and wakes up at 3:30am to be able to meditate before a 5:30am breakfast. He even joked about how his brother makes fun of him for such an early wake-up.
â€¢ No dinner after lunch â€“ The Dalai Lama was quite firm about how he enjoys not eating in the evening after the mid-day meal. He said, â€œItâ€™s good. I donâ€™t get fat like man who looks like woman with baby [pregnant woman].â€ He mentioned that he always feels very hungry when it is time to eat.
â€¢ Vegetarian preference – Finally, the Dalai Lama mentioned that he prefers a vegetarian diet, and that he was vegetarian in 1965 for 20 months, and that he is now mainly vegetarian.
There’s a group I used to visit a lot that’s stopped having discussions recently (the Happiness Group), and in that group, there were a lot of discussions of what Happiness is. FYI, here’s an overview of the group’s best hits (Favorite Posts 1 and Favorite Posts 2)
I know there’s a lot here – choose one or two to check out. I just wanted to get the phrases and the links out for reference and because they’re about a time and a place.