Once the Euphoria Hits you’ll know why life is Awesome

Become a cyclical diet artist (CDA). It’s an ART FORM to align the cyclical roller-coaster with your journey.

Some days you might eat a little extra and that’s just fine. Some days you’ll eat a little less and that’s okay too. What counts is that you had the special sense to know what you needed and when.

AHHHH…. What a beautiful wave you’ve created!

AND YOU SHALL RIDE IT!

How Do I become a CDA?

For me some days it is as simple as lowering intake through good meal spacing (such as intermittent fasting) paired with lower carbohydrate intake. So yes I do get a good portion of complete proteins (such as steak, pork, chicken or whole eggs) paired with fats that I love (Kerry gold butter, coconut oil, avocado, dairy fat such as in whole fat cottage cheese, half and half in my coffee, the fat in eggs and also in meats).

It’s pretty nice to feel my general level of focus and concentration rise during these lower intake periods (as we have an evolutionary trait to get things done when resources are a bit lower.. I like to call it the HUNTER’S FOCUS)

Just a few days later I might notice something, the focus might wane and my desire to ENJOY MORE comes right through me. For this I get in a hard work out or a set of sprints followed by a larger meal and even some dessert of something I truly enjoy. Although my focus subsides out comes the rise of those social hormones and perhaps it’s time for a night out on the town.

WOW IT’S GONNA BE A PARTY TONIGHT, HUH?

There will be no weak end to this Weekend..

Cause it’s a WeCan Weekend.

and we will

and we can

WE CAN WEEKEND!

Just about the time the party ends I have a strange desire to get back to work and feel that focus again. What has happened here is the reward of the weekend became the driving force that propelled me through all of life’s to dos. Also, made them quite enjoyable and that’s the key here for a CDA. Whether you’re out being social, crushing work or doing something you love to do it should all be fun and enjoyable.

Being a CDA is a vehicle that enhances the life you choose to live.

You don’t have to diet like me but consider tailoring what works for you and become your own CDA.

Perhaps it will be a cold hard truth once the euphoria hits that life is awesome.

Anything else?

Oh yeah.. one more thing. Don’t forget to smile.

We want to see that Duchenne Duchenzo.

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<THIS COULD BE ANYBODY>

Natural resources research gave me more insight into a cyclical dieting

When doing some research into natural resources/precious metals it seems clear that humans have a “relentless pursuit of growth” ..

You might see this as a gift and a curse. A lot of the great things or advancements you see in technology or consumption stem from this “relentless pursuit”.

The other side is people’s “relentless desire” to consume more and more resources. Part of this has to do with more disposable income, great marketing and smart product life cycles (yes most of what you buy is designed to become “trash” at some point)

Not to mention the mind has a unique way of de-sensitizing itself to these material goods and the only fix is that.. bigger or better goods.

There is nothing wrong with “enjoying more” but it comes with a cost.. your time and psychic energy to acquire and consume more material things.

So what to do? It seems that having a lifestyle that a mix of moderate consumption that is rich in good times is best for the good life.

Beyond your ideal lifestyle, additional income has shown a negligible impact on happiness. Abstaining from the fun isn’t the way to go either.. after all everyone wants to “live it up”.

So it really comes down to what you define as “ideal” in terms consumption based goods. Perhaps by shifting resources elsewhere you can free up the most valuable resource of all..your time.

One good example that comes to mind is a cyclical lifestyle where you can have bouts of consuming a little less than you normally would for a few days followed by a day or so of enjoying more.

This should prove beneficial from a body composition, savings account and a mental appreciation aspect. Usually when you can have a little less of something intermittently it makes you appreciate it more when it comes back into your life.

So from a diet perspective:
-Consider eating a little less than you normally would for a few days paired with lower carbohydrate intake. Being in a slight caloric reduction will be ideal for fat loss.
-After a few days get a real hard workout in and “enjoy more” of something you really want. Sweet potato fries? Why not. This will prove to be a great way to gain or preserve muscle and reset and metabolic slow down that might have occurred during your previous diet stint. Not to mention that “eating up” every few days is a lot of fun and serves a great reminder that “life is good.”

-From an investment perspective
-Consider curtailing spending a few days a week or saying no to that one impulse purchase. This will allow you to save for more meaningful investment decisions that can pay back dividends. Also, over time you should be able to have more “Free time” with more saved money as it’s not an issue to “Get ahead” as you’ve saved over time.

Ride the wave however you choose.

Simple Fun

Finding momentum among positive and negative thoughts

Within this post..

  • We all feel a wide range of emotions including positive and negative ones
  • Being thankful/grateful strikes upon your positive memory nodes
  • Positive memories lead to social cohesion and growing ones network

Lets take a look at positive and negative thoughts from within.  I say within because these are envisioned scenarios that don’t actually manifest.  Even though an event doesn’t actually occur how can we channel the mind among these thoughts to have more meaningful days and nights?

Things could turn dark*..

You have a thought, a belief that something is wrong.  However this worry never manifests.   Why stress yourself for no reason?

or it could lighten up..


On the other side you envision the greatness of a euphoric scenario.  You believe it’s going to happen but as time passes it never truly manifests.  Was this a pipe dream that you just spent time fabricating in your mind?


Even a positive person with good luck experiences some sort of roller coaster of emotions.  So what can we make of the ups and downs within? 


Even the strongest of mental ninjas can’t turn away the occasional un-ideal thought.  But one thing can be agreed upon and that is to be thankful and grateful for the positive points and experiences of your life.


Being thankful & grateful goes alot deeper than coming off as an appreciative person on the surface.  It actually wires your brain to bring up positive memories more frequently.


So by being thankful you are actually training your brain (the world within) to have a more positive environment.


Further, being thankful/grateful is a great way to grow one’s network.  Good times are contagious and people generally want to be around someone else who is having a good time/thankful for what they have.


This in turn leads to a better support cast making one’s life more enjoyable.


So the way I see it is you need to be thankful/grateful what you do have and this will in turn unravel a lot of the negative thoughts within and replace them with positive ones.  Once your mind is right and you start doing things (whatever it is you enjoy to do) it will further enhance social cohesion and the journey you choose.


So let it be known that being thankful opens up the mind, opens up doors and lets you get that feeling inside that life is good.




Bonus: the other side
What if you aren’t okay with your current situation?  Perhaps you want something more socially or economically to live your ideal lifestyle.  This isn’t a bad thing and one of the pathways is feeling good is the feeling of going or growing somewhere.


There would still have to be some sort of balance within to appreciate the road on the way up.  With out this you might find yourself in a re-occurring set of hedonic or epicurean loops that lead back to the same place within.  Since the mind seems to de-senstivie itself to the situation at hand, even a bigger fix or accomplishment over time would be needed to get the same feeling as the old one.


Seems like you can’t win within even if you have it all on the outside.  This goes back to the point of this article in that you need to be thankful and find a balance at some point.


So shoot for success but not at the expense of your own happiness and definitely be thankful on your journey to wherever it is you choose.
Oh and one more thing..
THANK YOU.




 *I’d like to make a note about things turning dark.  If you live in a world where you never had a down day (or felt salty) how would you be able to distinguish being happy from the normalcy.  So instead of pouting consider that you just up-regulated your sensitivity to the good times.


After all a hard Tuesday at work makes you appreciate a fun Friday even more.

Now that’s something!

 

They said you had nothing..

So you decided to make something out of nothing.

You were quite grateful for your ability to build your castle from within.

It wasn’t just metaphorical bricks and mortar that you created..

Thoughts of home,who you are, your being, your essence.

Were they  inward thoughts that propelled you into a state of momentum?

Instead of contemplating of what is and what isn’t you went with your instincts.

Doing what feels right.  And to feel right you must do what feels right.

So you led down your draw bridge, crossed the moat and entered the outside world.

You’ve became an energetic champion..

Forming a harmonious relationship with the world as we know it.

Now that’s something!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can all learn from the Fall leaves

We can all learn something from the fall leaves. It’s a beautiful sight to see the hues and shades representing the change from fall to summer. Beyond the beauty many will be excited for what fall brings; Football, pumpkin spice, flannels and maybe even some extra carbs now that summer has faded.

The leaves can teach us to appreciate change. In fact, it’s a key element to enjoying life or being successful on a diet/lifestyle. By creating changes to either the amount you eat or what you eat you keep your mind sensitive to what works for you.

Here is a case study that proves out this logic. When working down in Florida on a work project I spoke of Memorial Day Weekend and the excitement to return to Long Island for one of the most monumental weekends of the year. My team in Florida was surprised that people in the northeast make such a big deal of it. To them it was merely just another weekend.

And this was exactly my point. All of that nice weather had de-sensitized the team to summer or “key weekends within summer”. I further explained how the term MDW wasn’t just a weekend but symbolized getting through a winter, preparing the mind and body for summer and where anticipation meets reality.

The passion in my voice seemed to garner up some laughter as everyone seemed to think I sounded a little nuts. From here I proceeded to give a presentation on why “Mondays” actually make us appreciate “Fridays” more so. This received more of a warm welcome to the “Monday to Friday at 5 Grind away crew” than my passionate ranting about northeast tip of the summer holidays.

However, the basis of my argument was exactly the same. This brings me back to we can all learn something from the leaves on those trees. They tell us to appreciate change. This doesn’t mean you need to live in an area with four seasons. In fact, more sun light usually means less depression and studies show this.

My point is to change it up and find unique ways to keep your diet, work outs, social life and mindset fresh. Oh and by the way.. I am excited for MDW.. already. Changing it up can work by two specific mechanisms. For one, you might actually discover or learn something new that you truly enjoy (this can involve your diet or any aspect of life).

Secondly, it can be used to up-regulate “what already works for you”. Meaning, you already know what it is you like to do or what you like to eat. When you change it up, it re-sensitizes the mind to that specific activity or meal.

So next time you’re on a walk gazing over some awesome trees take it as a reminder that you too can change it up.

A few examples:

If you watch a lot of TV.. read a book.
If you’ve been low-carb for a few days.. Eat some carbs .. Post-workout.
If you’ve been working hard.. go out on the town.
If you’ve had a long weekend… get back to work.
If you’ve ate too much.. consider going on a fast.
If you’ve fasted for long… enjoy a feast.

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As you can see I keep track of my meals, thoughts and experiences as it helps me figure out what works best for me. Further it helps me find intrinsic rewards in some of the simpler things of life also known as enjoying the journey.

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“Flow” makes us happy

Are you going to have a negentropic or entropic type of day?

Do you find yourself looking inward towards that inner voice telling yourself that order needs to be restored and change needs to be made? (i.e do you tell yourself I’m bored, anxious or overwhelmed)

Psychic entropy is a state of disorder in the self system that results in decreased efficiency of that system, inasmuch as less attention is left over to relate to new information(1).

Or do you find a sense of clarity where you can just focus on the outside world taking on the situation at hand in a deep state of fascination known as negentropy?

The self system is in harmony, and no attention needs to be allocated to its internal functioning. If attention is turned inward, it is done so voluntarily to reflect or to plan, not to negotiate inner conflict. The subjective experiences of psychic negentropy are what we call fun, involvement, enjoyment, serenity; and they are characterized by lack of involuntary self- consciousness(1).

Turns out, you probably do a lot of entropy and maybe if you are lucky you
might run into some negentropic situations during your day depending on a few factors.

The one key factor that leads to a negentropic state is when you match your skill to the situation at hand.

When the skills and challenges balance each other, the situation usually produces flow. As a result, a flow activity is able to provide a self-contained little world in which a person can act with total involvement and without self-doubts. The most obvious example of a flow activity is an athletic context, such as a football game(1).

“Flow” can happen beyond the athletic field.  In fact, you may experience flow at work or in social settings.

Have you ever solved a really hard problem at work and you were so locked into finding the solution where you felt a trance like state? That’s flow!

Have you ever had a conversation or interaction with a person you found beautiful or fascinating where you blocked out all other distractions? That’s flow!

These euphoric states of trance are not just a way to use your absolute focus but also represent pivotal points in growing our minds! This in turn allows for  life enjoyment and expansion of your world knowledge.  Some say to be truly happy you must grow.  This is because we de-sensitize ourself to the experience or find the challenge boring.  There is nothing wrong with hedonic (pleasure based) or epicurean (peaceful) moments but also realize that having a flow grow journey feels good too!

So my point is this: It is okay talking to yourself as it’s probably an attempt to restore order and make a change.  This is where creativity comes from!

Learn to appreciate the things that cause you to reach the state of ultra focus and make them a part of your life. Perhaps you need to challenge yourself more at work, during a physical journey or in social situations.

When you find your perfect mix you’ll learn a lot more about yourself, the world around you which lead to more happiness both in the moment and in future endeavors.

When skill matches the challenge you evolve into a better, stronger and happier person. At times we want to relax, take the easy job or avoid going outside our comfort zone.

However, what makes putting your feet up here and there say in a hammock tied to some palm trees is that it’s in leu of the challenges you’ve conquered.  It’s about finding a balance!

So finding just the right amount of challenge at work, in workouts and in social settings also makes you appreciate the simpler things in life and that’s the real win here.

Find your balance between “flow” and looking within.

Reference:

1) Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. “Learning,“flow,” and happiness.” Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education. Springer Netherlands, 2014. 153-172.

Good Times are Contagious

“The rich get richer…and the happy get happier.”

Why So??

Happy people are more attractive: . If you see someone having a great time, you’re going to get interested.   There is a sense of attraction to someone smiling having a great time (1).  It’s one of the primary factors that influences facial attractiveness as we find a smiling face to be rewarding (2) and to be associated with well-being (3).

They got momentum:  There is a correlation between the intensity of the smile (such as a Duchenne Smile) and attractiveness(1).  This is great news as TMF (too much fun) is a turn on.  So let the good time momentum build.

They don’t fake it: Be careful as too much fake smiling is associated with negative affect (4).  So instead of worrying about smiling all the time do the actions that make you happy.

They’re paid to smile: Let Duchenne Duchenzos flow and you’ll look more trust-worthy which leads to bigger pay days.(5)

img004The “Hangin’ n Bangin'” circus knew their good times were contagious.

Something about that Duchenne smile made everyone want to be a part of their party.

References:

1) Golle, Jessika, Fred W. Mast, and Janek S. Lobmaier. “Something to smile about: The interrelationship between attractiveness and emotional expression.” Cognition & emotion 28.2 (2014): 298-310

2) O’Doherty, J., Winston, J., Critchley, H., Perrett, D.,Burt, D. M., & Dolan, R. J. (2003). Beauty in a smile: The role of medial orbitofrontal cortex in facial attractiveness. Neuropsychologia, 41, 147_155. doi:10.1016/S0028-3932(02)00145-8

3)Schwarz, Norbert, and Gerald L. Clore. “Mood, misattribution, and judgments of well-being: Informative and directive functions of affective states.” Journal of personality and social psychology 45.3 (1983): 513.

4) Labroo, Aparna A., Anirban Mukhopadhyay, and Ping Dong. “Not always the best medicine: Why frequent smiling can reduce wellbeing.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 53 (2014): 156-162.

5) Centorrino, Samuele, et al. “Honest signalling in trust interactions: smiles rated as genuine induce trust and signal higher earnings opportunities.” Evolution and Human Behavior (2014).