Exactly 17 months ago I walked away from a 17-year-long successful career working for big health care corporations as a marketing executive. I walked away because I got burnt out, my body hurt all over and I was unhappy. Yes, I did live on Wall Street in NYC and had a glamorous life, but that façade did not make me happy. I took a year off. I traveled around the world -- Europe and Asia -- mastering health and life.
I am sharing this because I am seeing many busy professionals being exactly at the same place -- they have a lot of success in their lives but they are unhappy and a majority of them unhealthy. Why is it that many people who are well off are not well? How should we live our lives so we can be healthy and happy and have it all? That became the purpose of my journey -- discovering simple truths behind "good health, good life."
I discovered there are seven habit shifts that everyone needs to make in order to have it all -- health, wealth and happiness:
1. Let go of the past. The first step is to truly understand our values and beliefs, and especially the limiting ones that have held us back. Perhaps we think, "If I lose those 15 pounds, then I will be beautiful." Or "When I get that new job, then I will be successful." In reality, once we get those things, then we want to lose another five pounds and need to get another promotion, and the target keeps moving further away and so does the state of happiness. This is often driven by our childhood experiences and expectations from our family and/or society. We need to learn how to release those limiting beliefs in order to set us free so we can achieve anything we want.
2. Be Positive. Be present. The second step is to live in the present moment, because that is all that's guaranteed to us. We often worry about the past and the future, and truly miss the present. The key to success is to switch off the worry! According to the laws of resonance, when positive thoughts are radiated to the environment, all thoughts on that morphogenetic field will be attracted. Like attracts like. In other words, when you worry, you attract more worrisome things into your life.
3. Manifest your future. Most of us never get to that stillness, the peace and quiet to truly figure out what we really do want in life. What are our true passions, talents -- things that come easily to us. We often keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome. Our mind is like GPS. It tells the body, the universe, which way we want to go. We need to get crystal clear what we truly want.
4. You are what you eat. We do need to listen to our body to figure out what we need, what satisfies us, and what leaves us empty and unfulfilled. There is no one diet that works for everybody. And, by the way, how many diets have you tried? We need to discover how to break free from that pattern of yo-yo dieting and enter a lifestyle of food for energy and nutrition. When we eat whole, real, unprocessed foods, we restore balance to hormones that control our metabolism and we naturally lose weight.
5. Move and sleep for energy. We do know we are meant to be moving every day and it doesn't have to be going to the gym five times a week. Studies show that just 30 minutes of physical activity every other day is all that's required to reap big benefits. The key is to do what you love! You must like it in order to stick with it. Resting is equally important to moving. Sleep is a hormone-dependent process and with all the variables in our lives that can affect proper hormone balance, it makes sense that most people suffer from lack of sleep. Most of us need seven to eight hours of sleep a night for optimal rest, fat loss and muscle growth. The key is to learn to relax your body and mind before bedtime.
6. Look good. We live in a physical world and like attracts like. So be the person whom you want to meet or people with whom you want to hang out. As we start becoming clear about who we are, our identity, what drives us, what makes us happy, we will start seeing ourselves in a different light. We may recognize, at this point, that it is time for a makeover because the old no longer serves the new identity. Remember, our perspectives create our reality, so if our perspectives are changing, be ready for the reality to change as well.
7. Practice self-care. Last but not least, our emotional state and well-being is the most important part of our lives. However, our emotions are a direct result of how we treat our mind and body. When we treat our mind and body well -- properly nourished, well rested, fit and filled with energy -- our emotions will be positive. We feel happy and joyful. When we treat our body like it's the least important thing on our agenda -- malnourished, sleep-deprived and stressed out -- our emotions will be negative. Mind, body and our emotions are integrally linked. One affects the other.
In summary, all the information about health and wellness always has been available to us, but we keep doing what we have always done. The only way to change our lives is to start making different choices and decisions. We need to take ourselves out of our comfort zone, start taking risks and only then change can happen.
They say, "When you learn to dance, you can finally hear the music!" I say, "When you learn to live, you can finally see the beauty!"