Want to be the healthiest person in the world?
Vibrant health comes down to a simple set of conscious choices. But in order to make those choices consistently you have to be able to take charge, stay awake, and push back against your own mind.
When it comes to being in the driver’s seat of their lives, most people are asleep at the wheel. They mindlessly slide through their precious years like sleeping robots. The decisions they make for what they eat and what they do are informed by trends and marketing, rather than acute sensitivity to their hearts and instincts.
The sad truth is that the average modern person is overweight, unhappy, and a complaining victim who refuses to take responsibility for themselves.
They are firmly plugged into the Matrix. They believe that the food they are sold on television is sensible nutrition. They think that brand name clothes, expensive dinners, and haircuts are what will get the love and attention of others. Their happiness is fragile and conditional, since they measure their success against external markers that are dictated and glorified by society.
Their attention is so enmeshed in technology and social media that they have zero capacity for introception – awareness of internal sensation, intuition, and the emotional body.
They are a walking battery… blindly fuelling the machine with no higher purpose or deeper emotional life. They are quietly desperate. They are angry, but sedate their repressed emotions with low-quality, dopamine-spiking food, pornography, masturbation, and compulsive screen time.
I’m here to tell you that things can change – easily. An entirely different life is waiting for you. It probably won’t be in 30 days. It will be an incremental process. But trust me, it is possible to look back just a year down the road and hardly recognize the person that you used to be. I see it all the time. I see it on the faces of the men in my men’s group all the time. I coach people through it all the time. And I live through my own evolutionary struggles and triumphs all the time.
At the end of the day, what you really need is to get frustrated enough with yourself and your current situation that you have no other choice but to adopt new habits and make a change. Without that, all of these forthcoming paragraphs will be useless.
Are you truly ready to change? Do you truly want something better? Something different?
Great. Then let’s get to it.
The First Step: Information Diet
Throw out the internet.
Obviously not literally, since you wouldn’t have found this article without it. By that I just mean limit your exposure to it drastically, and simplify, simplify, simplify.
Shut your eyes and ears to the endless assault of ideas, opinions, and latest prescriptions. All those are good for are creating confusion and paralysis. Go on an information diet.
– Kill your Facebook news feed entirely with this app
– Get comfortable saying no to people’s requests for your time
– Mass-unsubscribe from people’s email lists that you no longer receive value from
– Frequently leave your cell phone on airplane mode. Because you own your phone, it shouldn’t own you.
In the digital age, we are drowning in information. There are thousands of different diets and trends being sold as the silver bullet to ail your problems; all rooted in cutting edge research that we can’t even understand. But people love to regurgitate it at parties because it makes them seem “in the know” and like they’re potential pen pals with Tim Ferriss.
But most importantly… setting an information diet has a second purpose.
Because all of these podcasts, articles, YouTube videos, and Game of Thrones episodes are distracting from the most crucial thing of all:
Your inner world.
Health, in its fullness, is much more than diet and exercise. It’s about self-esteem, your relationships with friends and lovers, the capacity you have to recognize and change old reflexes and behaviours, and the little choices you make every day that lead you closer to, or further away from, the person you know you are capable of becoming within your lifetime.
Health and happiness are simple, in theory. But it takes consistent, uncomfortable work. Along the way, you will confront some deep pain and ugly truths behind self-sabotaging habits. But in order to truly change, you must walk through those fires to earn your way to the other side.
So, I ask: do you want to thrive? Or do you just want to pay your sense of aliveness lip service and stay where you are?
1. Integrity And Alignment
This is the first and most important point, because it is what will yield a deeper kind of happiness and confidence that is not based on how much sleep you’ve had, how many pull ups you can do, or how many zeros were on your last paycheque.
It is rooted in gratitude for being in the world, and pride in the way that you move through it.
If you’re out of alignment in your life, nothing will function well. As I’ve said before, aliveness comes from alignment.
What does alignment look like? It will be different for each person, but it means that your outer and inner worlds are congruent. It happens when your lived experience is a reflection of, or suited to, your inner desires, gifts, and talents.
Are you in a loveless relationship that you just stumbled into? Do you spend hours a week commuting with a twisted gut to a job that you hate, and have no exit plan out of it? Do you have dreams for creative projects, career, or travel that have spent years filed away in the “maybe someday” folder on your mind’s desktop? Have you resigned and given up on those visions ever being a reality?
Being in alignment means doing work that you love, spending your time doing things that light up your soul, and being around people who see you, love you, and challenge you.
Every baby step forward that you make in any of these domains makes it that much easier to get regular exercise or eat well, because you love and respect yourself. Self-care becomes a naturally automatic focus.
Integrity is saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and following through on what you say you’ll do.
Confidence and integrity are very tightly linked. If you jump on a sidewalk, you can have confidence in it supporting you and not crumbling or disappearing beneath your feet. Now how much self-confidence can you have if you, yourself, are not solid? If you’re always subtly lying to other people just to look good and please them, or rarely follow through on what you promise to do for yourself and other people?
Your thoughts, feelings, and actions need to be in alignment or everything will suffer. If your words and actions are in alignment with what your authentic thoughts, feelings and needs, you will cultivate steadfast happiness and vibrant, optimal health over time.
Your heart is always right. You can wrestle with it’s siren song as long as you want, but you’ll have to listen eventually.
We might act like robots sometimes, but we are (still) human beings. Your body and mind need sleep. This needs to be a non-negotiable priority in your life.
There are tons of factors that go into getting deep, quality rest:
– Cool your room to 15-19*C (60-67*F)
– Put up blackout curtains to block street lamps and early sunlight
– Avoid screens and electronics at least an hour before bed (or at least wear blue light blocking sunglasses)
– Read fiction to soften your mind and relax your eyes
– Take magnesium bisglycinate and/or melatonin supplements shortly before bed time
– Cuddle and/or have sex to relax your body
– Journal out thoughts to calm your anxious mind
– Stretch and foam roll to relieve tension and soreness
The importance of your sleep quality can not be overstated.
Having a consistent bed time and a few wind-down rituals will make huge changes in your overall health and state of mind.
Along with sleep, there’s a high price to pay if you’re not eating well. You need to realize that 99% of the shit that our society calls “food” is trash, specifically engineered to last longer, taste better, cost less, and literally keep you addicted to it.
Similar to loving yourself, eating well these days is almost an act of rebellion.
You have to go out of your way to put good stuff into your body and feel confident telling your friends and co-workers, “Nah, I don’t want to eat there. But I can meet back up in half an hour after I grab something down the street.”
Diet doesn’t have to be complicated or cutting edge.
Just eat whole, unprocessed, natural foods, most of the time. To me, indulging once in a while is part of living well. When you shop at the grocery store, stick to the outside walls (lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, fermented foods, fruits, and lots of colourful vegetables) and avoid the middle aisles where all the processed and packaged stuff resides.
– Drinking lots of water
– Cutting out the cheap processed bullshit
– Keeping lots of easy, healthy snack options around the house
– Planning meals ahead so you don’t have to compromise in a pinch
The human body is a fucking intergalactic super-car. Treat it accordingly and it will reward you in kind.
Like food, water, and air, movement is an essential need for the body.
Dance, walk, run, go rock climbing, go to the gym. Do whatever the fuck makes you sweat and is legitimately fun for you. And then do it a few times per week.
Feeling fit boosts your confidence but also optimizes your hormones and boosts testosterone production in the process.
A successful person knows when they have to ask for help to achieve results. Are you better off being externally accountable? Then team up with a friend/workout buddy/trainer to help keep you on track.
One of the highest forms of punishment in prison is being socially isolated for long periods of time with zero natural light.
On the cellular level, light is food for your body. If you go without it for long periods of time, your mind, mood, and body will feel the absence.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t get ample light year round, you may want to consider getting a light therapy box and/or a near infrared/red light therapy device.
Personally, living in the Pacific Northwest of Canada, I use both.
I use the light therapy box during the winter months to ward off seasonal affective disorder.
And I use a combination red light therapy/near infrared device for 10-20 minutes every day for skin health and overall energy levels.
Ever since I started using it, I’ve noticed a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, dry skin, eczema, sun spots, and skin roughness, and an increase in my energy levels, sex drive, creativity, and muscle recovery times. The science on red light and NIR therapy backs up all of these aforementioned benefits, so I’m far from alone.
6. Social connection
Humans are a social species. We need each other in order to thrive.
There are proven increased health risks with being chronically isolated.
If you don’t have a sense of community… of being surrounded by people you love who love you back, then this could potentially take years off of your life. Motivation enough for you? This stuff matters. Your sense of social connection is the single greatest contributing factor to your day to day happiness and sense of well being.
7. Emotional Work
A fulfilling life isn’t about feeling better, it’s about getting better at feeling. If you want to feel alive, you need to feel it all.
Men especially tend to develop chronic emotionally suppressive reflexes. We tend to clamp down on our hurt, sadness, and loneliness. It takes time to drive in a wedge and pry them loose. Though you can do this alone, I really recommend finding a skilled therapist that you can trust. They will take you places and open you up in ways that you couldn’t possibly imagine.
Emotion is energy in motion. But when it gets stuck, it wreaks havoc in the system and saps energy. Busting this shit loose will give you a whole new lease on life.
Your body has many essential things that it needs to function optimally. Sex/physical touch is one of them. Whether you’re in a relationship or not is irrelevant.
If you have a partner, lean into being present, loving, and attentive with them as often as possible. If you live with them, try being sexual with each other every day for a full 30 day streak. I dare you. See what happens. Or try engaging in slow sex. Or trading off spoiling sessions. It all works.
If you’re single, practice conscious self-pleasure at least once per week. Set aside an hour, set the scene, and explore your body. Use warm coconut oil, toys and try new techniques. Do all of the things. Try weird new things. Really get to know yourself.
You are a sexual being. You have physical needs. Embrace them all.
If you’re single, feeling lonely, and want that dose of physical touch from another person, get massages and/or regular haircuts with scalp massages. When I was single (and hurting after a break up) I booked 2-3 massages per week just to fill up my touch quota. It felt amazing and deeply self-nurturing.
Or just hug your friends and family members more. The people around you love you and want you to know it. An extra long hug isn’t too much to ask. In fact, hugs the last for 20 seconds have been scientifically proven to release oxytocin – the cuddle hormone – which creates feelings of bonding and comfort. Alternatively, work out an arrangement with a platonic cuddle buddy to literally just “Netflix and chill.”
This is all you need to do to have an outstanding presence.
You already know most of these things are good for you. It’s time to make them non-negotiable. Treat your body as well as you would treat your car or smart phone. Those things are replaceable and don’t have even a fraction of the impact on your livelihood.
Epic health is just a few simple choices away. It’s your life and your decision. Get committed to being your best self and stick with it. Once you flip that switch, things will be better than you’ve ever dreamed they could be.
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. If you enjoyed reading this article, you’ll also love checking out: