There and back again

Oh hi! I imagine every blog on the net will at some point have a post that starts with “So it’s been a while”, and so it has and will be again.

The past year (!) I’ve still been writing a lot, yet not so much on here. Someone gifted me a booklet which I’ve been filling with thoughts, experiences and ideas. It has proven very fruitful and useful, but they were stories for me, not for this blog. The process of it though, has led to me sitting here once more, squinting at my screen in the summer sun, writing an actual blog post. Continue reading

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My #1 life hack.

Straight up: it’s exercise. Done deal. I’ve mentioned it countless times already but realised I have never dedicated a full post to it, so here we go. It is my greatest life hack.

First, a little backstory, to understand why exercise is so important to me and why I advocate it so. So get comfy kids, it’s story time!

Over the years I’ve had my ups and downs when it comes to being physically active and healthy. From a young age my dad encouraged me to play sports and I tried quite a few. The ones that appealed most were badminton, basketball and football. (Although the latter was mostly high school peer pressure). I was never really athletic in any way and lacked a real sportsman’s spirit, yet I enjoyed it somehow and kept at it. At some point during high school I simply got better at sports. I was never the best but had no aspiration to be the best either. I started getting good grades and most importantly, I started to really enjoy it. Luckily, that development stuck with me.

For a long while the reason I played sports and exercised was because I hated it when people called me ‘skinny’. I wanted to build muscles, hoping that in turn I’d become more confident as well. A common problem among young guys I’m sure, and while there is nothing demonstrably wrong with the motive, it wasn’t the right one for me. It didn’t motivate me enough to keep  at it. The only motivation I ever found to work for me was to enjoy it. As soon as I really started enjoying working on my body and becoming more healthy and fit, motivation was no longer a question. Looking more fit became a bonus, not the goal.

The end.

There’s more! Through being active I realised the importance of it all. I had heard all the stereotypical statements and quotes from people before and have heard them countless times since. It’s so true though.. Exercising is good for you, period.

“Take care of your body, you’re going to need it.”
– Tim Minchin

I don’t mean you have to pump iron or to go for a run every day, you have to decide for yourself how you are going to stay healthy and fit. I am merely talking about the benefits of it all and how I experienced it. Like with all posts on this blog, it’s what you do with the information that’s important. The decision to become more active, get in shape and to take care of my body has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. That’s why I call it the #1 life hack, it has given me nothing but confidence and joy. Back then I had no idea of the benefits and how much positive energy it would bring me. Furthermore, it enables you to face and deal with stress, setbacks and adversities more. You can take on the world.

On a more scientific note, working out releases endorphins. Maybe you’ve ever been on a run or you’ve done a heavy exercise and at some point the physical exhaustion  got to you, but it made you feel great and euphoric nonetheless. This is due to your body’s endorphins. It’s a chemical with just one goal: masking physical pain. You feel great because of the other chemicals that have been released and because endorphins make sure you don’t feel the pain. This also happens when you laugh so much it hurts, your body simply runs out of endorphins. (Without endorphins in our bodies, laughter would always hurt).

If you’re having trouble keeping up with exercising schedules or simply can’t be bothered most of the time, here’s the tip: find a sport/exercise that you love to do. As soon as you start liking it, the question is no longer ‘if you work out’ but ‘when you do the next one’. If running is not for you, don’t feel like you need to run anyway. There’s plenty of alternatives. Exercise is supposed to be exciting, not just another obligation on your to do list. Whatever your goal is, make enjoying it your priority and the goal will become the bonus.

What could help for some people is having an accountability buddy (or a group of people like in team sports). Go do sports/workouts together and push each other forward. If someone else knows your goal they’ll hold you accountable if you don’t show up or don’t do the work. Another way that could help is having a goal you want to work towards, sign up for a running competition or football tournament three months from now, and know you have to work hard to perform well. Again, it’s simply a way to get you moving and active, you’ll start liking it after a while. That hurdle is the first and biggest one. Might not work with the first thing you try, but have a go anyway. I’ve heard countless stories of people who eventually cleared (or literally jumped) that hurdle and none of them regret it.

I prefer working out alone, got my own tempo, music and reasons, and I love it. Also, I haven’t really played a team sport since the Spice Girls broke up so it’s hard to compare the two. But now that I’m more fit, I’d be more up to try something, because I’m confident I could bring something to a team or sport.

So there you go. If you need me, I’ll just be over by the phone waiting for Wenger to call ;-).

What have you done to CHANGE lately?

Think about it for a second, reflect and look back. What have you done to change lately? With change I mean something new, something you grow from and/or something that deviates from your usual routine. Change brings variety in our lives, variety keeps us on our toes and makes us excited. Being more excited more often leads to a more enjoyable lifestyle. You see; change is important.

Riddle me this: Continue reading

Find your edge

Try something new. Find your edge. Challenge yourself.

I am not an innate competitive man, nor do I think I ever will be. I have one main challenger in everything I do, and that is myself. Of all the challenge(r)s in my life, I am the strict one. I had to learn to push myself, to go beyond what I thought I was capable of. Everyone has to, on any level. I’ve heard a friend talking about climbing Everest as a goal, but another friend who took a class in painting nude models just to experience something new. Both challenges but on different levels. In theory, you could do it all.

Challenging myself is where it started. To go further, to learn, to grow and to try new things is a constant exciting battle which I enjoy every day. Continue reading

What are you looking forward to?

Sometimes your days are just filled with things you don’t want to do. Work, most often, can be one of them. Not everyone likes his or her job but you do it anyway. If you’ve ever been unemployed for a longer period than you’re probably quite happy you have a job to begin with. It can still be a drag though. What I’ve noticed lately, is how people deal with this.

Whatever it is that you spend the most time on during a week, it is likely that you’re not always up for it. Sometimes all you want to do is not go or ‘to not deal with it’. It happens to everyone. Now I’ve noticed people (including myself) saying that and nine out of ten times it all went alright and people weren’t too bothered once they actually started. You know, the “Ah it’s not that bad once I start and get in a flow.” or “When I’m actually there it’s not too bad.” comments. It’s just the thought of having to spend eight or how many hours at a place you don’t necessarily want to be. That can’t be the spirit, can it? Continue reading

The way of the superior –

The actual title, and that of my source, is ‘The Way of the Superior Man’ by David Deida. This book is not meant just for men however, (although some chapters are aimed at men) it´s man in general. This book is meant as a tranformation tool, or a set guidelines, to becoming a superior person. I’ve always remembered some of the lessons, and printed a couple of quotes which are stuck to my bedroom door. I went through it again before typing this post, just to see if I missed out on some. Either way, I want to address some of the quotes, and the ones that have helped me throughout the last couple of years. Continue reading

Confidently complementing confidence

“Hey there awesome person! You look great today!”

Confidence brings positivity, and vice versa. If you have the confidence to pay someone a compliment, whether a friend or a stranger, you radiate positivity. We all have that friend who is super positive most of the time and is overall generous in his or her praise. If you read that and didn’t relate it to yourself, do so. You can be that friend to others just as that person is to you. That person is generally likeable, and people feed off on that. It is an upward spiral of positivity, and I suggest you take steps toward it.

Some people are naturally confident, others have to work on it and perhaps learn it from others. No biggie, that’s just the way people are built. I had to work on it a lot as well, and both my peers and myself now consider me a confident person. Couple of years ago I never thought I could be as confident as I am today, yet here I am. It can be a long road, but it is oh so worth it.

Now, there are many ways to improve your confidence, Continue reading