First full week

This first week back from school I’ve been the most productive I’ve ever been while at Villanova.

My classes don’t start until 11:30 and 1:30 PM on the 4 days I have class,

But I got up before 9 AM every day.

I did my morning routine, which consists of making my bed, “washroom essentials,” checking my laptop + email, meditating for 15 minutes, and then writing down my goals for the day. On some of the days, I also wrote my blog post in the morning, which is why you might’ve received emails around 10 AM.

Today I didn’t have class. I have 3 day weekends every week because I made sure I have no classes on Friday.

But I still got up at 9 AM, did my morning routine, and then I worked out for 1-hour. (In honesty, I didn’t know what I was doing at the gym though. I just lifted some weights, looked at myself in the mirror, took a picture, and called it a day).

This first full week has made me feel so good about myself and I really want to continue these habits. Habits I want to keep for my entire life.

It takes 66-days to build a habit.

I guess I’m 61-days out.

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Life in a nutshell

Life in a nutshell to me is a series of events and encounters

The encounter practice theory is that every encounter (small moments) and event (bigger moments) in our life is what shapes us.

Encounters with people.

But some people can cause events.

Some books are encounters, some books are events.

It’s the age-old saying of “getting knocked off the horse”

So if encounters and events shape us, and propels us forward in life, either in the right or the wrong direction, then we have “life in a nutshell”.

Seek out more encounters.

Seek out more events.

Both in the most literal and figurative sense.

 

 

Justice

Justice is always the right thing to do

A good person is just

A kind person is just

And therefore there is never a substitute for being a good and kind person.

Those who see justice as a weakness are weak themselves

Live to trade another day

Often when I’m day trading stocks and I profit for the day, I want to keep going. I want to use the positive momentum. But what I’ve learned is that often in those instances I start trading with emotion and I end up losing partially the gains I made earlier in the day.

Even with day-trading stocks, it’s important to understand that life isn’t a sprint… it’s a marathon. And you want to be consistent and show up every morning. Take it one step at a time; live to trade another day.

Book for 2019: The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness

I was inspired by my high school teacher to share the books I’ve been reading and plan to read for 2019 here on my blog. Last year I finished 50 books, and although I did discuss a few of them, I think it would be good for me to reflect on each book I finish.

Meditation is weird because people often think that it is difficult (as I did too), which is a paradox. Meditation is perhaps the only time during the day that I actively try to DO NOTHING and allow my mind to be free.

This book, written by the Founder of Headspace, was a great introduction to the world of meditation and mindfulness and is also one of Bill Gates’ top 5 books of 2018.

As I’ve been using the Headspace app for the past 3 months (almost daily), I did already know many of the teachings that were written in this book. So, for those that don’t currently meditate, and would like to dive into the world of mindfulness and Headspace, I would totally recommend you pick up this book to learn more and hopefully drive you to continue on this path.

I would have to say that meditation and mindfulness practice has been the best habit I’ve picked up recently, and I will no doubt continue to consider this one of the best habits of my lifestyle that I hope may continue for many years. It’s amazing how 10-minutes a day can change your life.

Get it here on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MbiCLl

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Balance

Does balance exist?  

We all know someone who is getting perfect grades, competing in a team sport, volunteering for the local animal shelter, plays the violin, and writes a food blog. 

But a part of me thinks that this type of person has to be sacrificing something, right? 

You’ve probably seen the 4 pillars of life before: physical health, social health, mental/creative health, and emotional/spiritual health. 

Physical health includes exercise, diet, and sleep. What measures do you do to take care of your physical body?

Social health is how well you manage your relationships and ability to have meaningful social interactions.

Mental/Creative health considers how you satiate your “creative” side. Maybe you write poetry, play an instrument, or perform theater; either way, we all need some type of outlet.

Emotional/Spiritual Health is, in a general sense, how you take care of your “soul.” Are you emotionally stable? Are you in tune with your mind and body? Religions often see this as a type of spiritual health.

I’d have to imagine that all 4 of these pillars are equally important in their own right. I can also see how there may be debates for each pillar as being more important than the rest, depending on the type of lifestyle you live. Perhaps a professional athlete at their prime would rank physical health over anything else, while professional theater performers might willingly (or unwillingly) have to sacrifice social relationships and physical health to achieve mastery in their profession.

My question is: is there a way to perfect balance all 4?

Is there really some way for all of us to get 8 hours of sleep while exercising 3-4x a week, have healthy relationships with their family and friends (and potential significant other), write poetry and play an instrument, emotionally stable and emotionally intelligent and meditates + practice mindfulness?

I can confidently say that I have maybe 2 pillars down, maybe 2.5.

For me, at least, this idea of balance is something I want to achieve. It seems like an ideal lifestyle for me, because I see the merit in dedicating effort to fulfilling each pillar. I see that each pillar can contribute to my overall lifestyle and happiness.

But the real question not just for me but the world in general is: do you seek this type of balance?

Or is a “balanced” life really a myth? The myth of balance is that the most successful people in their field are those who sacrificed balance to instead focus on specialization; they are the best in their field because they sacrificed the opportunity to be good at other things in life.

To be successful, do we have to sacrifice one or even several of these integral life pillars?

Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are often put in the same boat but in reality they are separate.

Meditation is the practice of mindfulness; however, you can live every day without meditation but still be mindful about your life.

Mindfulness is a state of peace one achieves by being able to live in harmony with the mind, body, and soul.

Do you ever walk a few blocks to go home and then end up arriving at your doorstep without any recollection of the last 10 minutes? Your body was walking, while your mind is elsewhere.

Daydreamers… procrastinators… and unenthusiastic people (or unenthusiastic situations) often lead to a lack of mindfulness

But it’s important to be more conscious of what you are doing.

A connection between the thought and the action is important because it allows us to be in the “zone”

Athletes know this. You can’t perform at your best if you don’t have this mindfulness–if you mind is wandering off while you’re trying to run down the court. It’s why Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan both practiced meditation extensively.

The top performers in life, the most successful people I follow, all practice meditation to achieve better mindfulness. A few names include: Bill Gates, Tim Ferriss, and Ray Dalio

I’ve been meditating nearly every day for the past 3 months and I can already see the small subtle benefits. It’s no wonder that people who have been practicing meditation and mindfulness for years are able to succeed in life in every sense of that word.