A Forgotten Key to Personal Growth

A Forgotten Key to Personal Growth

If you want tips on how to become more productive, how to increase your motivation or even just how to become more confident, there are more than enough resources out there. Many of us feel that all of these little steps ‘improve’ who we are and take us to the next level and in some ways I guess that’s true. On the other hand, I don’t like to think of this advice as changing us as people, but more like exposing who we really are.

Some people get obsessed with self growth and get hooked on looking for the next ‘secret’ and ‘tactic’ they can use to take their life, or just their personality, to the next level. Today I want to cover a personal growth key you may be totally neglecting, and one that probably has more effect on you than any other. What is that key, you ask? That’s easy: your health. As with productivity, motivation, confidence or any other aspects of life you feel are necessary to work on, there’s tons of information out there about your health. So much so in fact, that I’m sure you were already thinking that before my last statement. However, most of the health advice you read is about:

  • Living longer
  • Looking younger
  • Becoming more attractive

and so on. What you might not realise, is that your health, or more specifically what you do and what you eat, can have a huge effect on things like:

  • Your concentration levels
  • Your mood
  • Your focus
  • Your energy

and lots more. In turn, these things naturally increase your confidence, your social skills, your productivity and many other things. Don’t forget that while working on your health can make you appear younger and improve your life span, it can also improve your quality of life and other areas you struggle to improve upon. With this covered, I want to show some of what I believe are the most important health tips out there that may dramatically improve your personal growth.

Drink More Water

I’m sure you’ve heard drinking more water is good for you more times than you care to remember, but like most things that are repeated in the health department, there’s a good reason for it. Around 70% of our bodies are made of water and research suggests that the majority of Americans are dehydrated on a daily basis. This dehydration can cause headaches, tiredness, and other issues that might crop up in daily life. A good guide to drinking enough water is to take in around 8 – 8oz glasses throughout the day. I like to give this figure a ‘kick start’ by ritually drinking 2 pints (one litre in total) every morning when I wake up. It helps your liver process body toxins and even just after a week of doing this, you’ll feel great.

Get An Allergy Test

It’s very possible that even whilst you think you’re eating healthily, you could be putting foods into your body that it simple doesn’t want you to eat. I had an allergy test recently because of another condition and although the results came back that I was fine, I’m glad I had it done. These tests are relatively inexpensive and your GP can have one performed if you feel that it is necessary and so can a nutritionist. If you don’t want to go down that route, there’s also a kit that you can buy online which is self-administered (I have tried this and it’s quick and easy) which costs around $70.

Exercise Regularly

For many people, even just the thought of exercising gives them negative emotions. Or, even if they can muster up the ability to go a few times, their motivation eventually dies down. I used to be in the same position, but these days I love nothing more than my gym days. In fact, if there we no such thing as ‘overtraining,’ then I would probably be there on a daily basis. What changed for me? Well, it’s all about your motivation. If you’re not motivated to go to the gym and exercise, why should you bother? Never forget that your health is probably the most important asset you have. There will be a time when no amount of money or material possessions can make up for your fading form if you never took care of it. Write down a list of all the benefits you could receive from going to the gym such as:

  • Looking more attractive to the opposite sex
  • Using excess energy you may have
  • Letting out negative emotions such as anger and stress
  • Being able to sleep better at night (the gym effort will make you more tired)
  • Prolong your life expectancy
  • Feel great in everyday life and that you’re working towards something great

These are just some from the top of my head, but I’m sure you can think of some that are personal to you and can keep you in shape. If you read this list everyday you’re looking to skip a gym session, then it will likely spur you into action.

Meditate

This is very simple, but I feel the results are profound. With meditation, I have been able to practically eliminate most daily stress in my life and improve my concentration levels throughout the day. I find it best to do this for around 20 minutes in the morning and it improves the rest of my day. I certainly feel a sense of lack when I forget to implement this habit.

There are many forms of meditation, but I prefer the most basic. Simply sit somewhere comfortable (you may want to sit in the Lotus position) and focus on your breathing. Notice your chest rise when you breath in and fall when you breath out and give all attention to your breathing. You’ll soon find that it’s very hard to concentrate on your breath and other thoughts will come in. That’s fine, that’s normal. Try doing this for 5 minutes one day, then 10 the next, then 15 and so on until you can perform around 20 minutes easily each day. The more you do this, the easier it will get and the bigger the effect it will have on your life.

So, are you still going to let this personal growth key remain absent in your life?

Photo by Adria Richards

Justin

This article was written by Justin who is training to become a personal fitness instructor.

Latest posts by Justin (see all)

16 Comments

  1. Great thoughts, Justin! I especially like your observation that “people get obsessed with self growth and get hooked on looking for the next ’secret’ and ‘tactic’ they can use to take their life, or just their personality, to the next level.”

    The “self,” in my humble opinion, is not something that can be “improved” — it is something that already exists as “potential.” So many people are looking for answers outside of the self to improve the self. It’s really ironic.

    The self simply needs to discovered or “uncovered” and your post on health, in this regard, works well. Thanks…

    “One’s only rival is one’s own potentialities. One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities.” ~ Abraham Maslow

    Reply
  2. Hi Justin .. good ideas .. as you say our own health is our life .. if we don’t have health .. well we’re just not here ..we need to learn to drink water while we’re younger, so that we don’t think about as we get old – one of the major challenges of old age.

    Eat at the times of day that suit you .. not society .. or expectations .. if I eat in the morning, or at lunchtime I feel sluggish for the rest of the day and you can write me off .. obviously I have fruit, or a salad and v little else .. coffee to start the day off, after that water ..

    Re allergies .. we need to ensure we get a mix of foods, not get ingrained with the same things day in day out, eat fresh too – no junk.

    Re meditation .. I’m getting there –
    Thanks good really good points
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

    Reply
  3. I actually believe that if you try to meditate every day or in other ways try hold a clean mental health, you will avoid a lot things like allergies and other physical conditions.

    Reply
  4. Working out regularly is very essential to living a great long life.
    If you want to live long you must work your body out. Plus working out can be fun and provide peace of mind.

    Top 3 prioritizes in life

    1. Health
    2.Family
    3. Finances

    Reply
  5. Hey Justin,
    You’re bang on when you say that people get obsessed with self growth and then keep looking for next secret…like there’s a big secret. It the same information delivered by different sources. This is actually a good thing because what 1 person may get out of a program or speech, another just won’t connect with. So, the same basic information, reformatted, repackaged wtih a unique twist.

    The problem is, when people go from one quick fix to another, it’s usually because they’re not taking the time to just “be”, but rather just continue “doing”. That’s not where the growth is. It’s in the being part of personal growth.

    Also Justin, wanted to extend kudos for bringing up the importance of health in our growth and success. It’s basic foundational stuff that isn’t talked about very often. How many people’s lives have you seen changed when they improved their health? I’ve seen amazing transformations in personal and professional lives when their health became a priority.

    Excellent info Justin!

    Reply
  6. Good, simple tips. Thanks. I’ve found that releasing and expanding awareness is it–everything else follows naturally. Meditating-that’s it, but meditation is an on-going thing, not just a 30 minute sit-down.

    Reply
  7. If anything, there’s too much information. Find something that resonates with you personally and go with that.

    Reply
  8. Since I realize that ME is my best resource, I no longer find it difficult to look after myself and to listen to what I want and what is good for me.

    I practice moderation of good and bad things. I do like my morning coffee but I make sure I fully enjoy the experience and don’t make it a rush job. The same with Pilates, I am fully present and enjoy the sensations of stretching and the flexibility I now have. I make sure I am aware of the difference it is making.

    For me it is choosing whatever I am doing and that mindfulness stops all the excess in my life and is making me a lot healthier too.

    Reply
  9. You’re right about personal development becoming an obsession – I find it all a bit exhausting. What we can forget is that everything is as it should be – it’s all unfolding perfectly well and we need to relax into life and enjoy the journey. Life should be like a walk in the countryside, not like climbing a mountain!

    Reply
  10. Working out definitely changed my life. When I miss a work out I’m sluggish and less energetic. Nutrition plays a role in my well being. I eat healthy but once in a while I eat junk food. Exercising and nutrition are nourishment for my journey to success.

    Reply
  11. Fabulous post. As much as I work on personal growth, my health is often something I don’t focus on very much and it’s definitely tied in with personal growth. In general, the happier I feel, the healthier I feel but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m taking care of my body the way I should. This post was a great eye-opener for me to take some time to think about how to be healthier. Thanks!

    Reply
  12. I very much like your post – I think we tend more often than not to forget that health is an enabler in so many areas of our lives, just as you mentioned (mood, focus, energy, life span etc.).
    For me personally, excercising is pretty important (I still do not exercise enough ;) ) since it clears your ‘energy’ and gives you more power in daily life. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
    • @Erik,

      How many times a week do you exercise? What is your goal?

      Reply
  13. @jonathan: my goal would be to exercise at least three times a week for at least half an hour. My only exercise at the moment are my trips with the bike through town. I usually drive pretty fast so this is a good training but not enough in my book. I did some jogging these last weeks (between 45 to 60 minutes and 4 to 7 kilometers) which felt pretty good.
    How about you? How often do you train or want to train?

    Reply
  14. Hey Justin, I agree with what you said. At this moment I exercise almost every day and I must say this habit radically changed my whole life, from sleep to productivity.

    Reply
  15. I play in a basketball league on weekends so this serves as part of my exercise. I also try to make it out for a three mile run at least 2-3 times a week. However, with my work schedule as of late, I have not been keeping up with this (and I should be). I can’t begin to tell you how relaxing it feels!

    And another thing I should be doing (well, I’ve been doing fairly well here) is drinking more water to ensure that I stay hydrated.

    Reply

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