We live in a world of Abundance and Lazy Consumption in the 21st Century. Pretty much everything we want is just a click away. Yet, our generation is more dissatisfied, more depressed and more unhealthy (physically, mentally, spiritually) than our previous generations. What are we doing wrong?

This is a list of uncommon, unchallenged ideas or habits we have in our time & age, that stop us from creating an extraordinary life. It’s a call out to the rebel in you to challenge each of these items.

Let’s start with an easy one 🙂

#1. Quality of life has only ONE KPI.

Money. Maybe 2 or 3 for some (answer this for yourself if you will). We give so much importance to financial success and almost nothing to any other area. And rightly so, many people give in everything to their jobs or businesses, anything that brings in money, and end up sacrificing all other areas of life.

What about your Intellectual life? Every animal on the planet has their strongest tool, Tigers have their Teeth, Eagles have their wings & sight, humans have their mind. We are not the strongest, nor the fastest, nor the biggest on the planet, yet we are the most dominant species on the planet because of our minds. What are we constantly doing to nurture our minds?

What about your Social Life? Studies show that number one factor that determines your happiness level, is your level of your social connections.

What about your Character? Your character will determine all the KPIs of your life anyway, how do we consciously focus to build it everyday?

What about your Spiritual Life? Humans have deep desire to be connected to a higher source, be it a religion, or Spirituality in general and connection to the universe? How do we grow as a spiritual being?

What about your Love Relationships? Over 40% of the couples divorce in America. One of the million amazing things Tony Robbin said was this “Love to me is not a feeling, it’s an Action”. What actions are you taking everyday to improve your love life?

A very interesting exercise to explore is Lifebook. Lifebook divides your life into 12 different areas (Financial life is #8 in that list), and create strategies for all of those 12 categories to create a more holistic life experience for ourselves.

#2. Fake Artificial Food Is Cheap And Real Organic Food Is Unaffordable.

“It would be so much easier (and cheaper) for the world to make organic food free, than to treat people for cancer for the last 20yrs of their lives”- Eric Edmeades

We are the smartest species on earth, but also we make the dumbest decisions about our own health.

The food marketing industry is more evil that tobacco industry and we don’t realise it.

Today we don’t even realise that we are sick, we have been sick for 15–20yrs because we were never supposed to be eating the stuff we have been eating all our lives.

So today when people have been obese all their lives, they just think it’s who they are.. If someone’s skin has been bad for 10 yrs, they don’t think it’s a problem anymore, it’s just who they are.

Our body’s survival software has been evolving & developing for millions of years, and it’s perfectly designed to make us survive the worst possible conditions imaginable. BUT, with the food choices we learn to make today..

  • Most people are overfed and under-nutritioned
  • Most people are constantly dehydrated with abundance of hydration sources 10 steps away (fruits, vegetables and water)
  • New diseases are popping up every decade.
  • How did we get to this point?

Here is a brilliant talk by Eric Edmeades who introduced me to this topic and has inspired thousands of people to make conscious decisions with their food. Do yourself a favour and watch this today:

Another recommendation, a book about understanding our body from an evolutionary stand point  – Why We Get Sick

Here’s an awesome testimonial of the book from Richard Dawkins (he is considered the modern age Charles Darwin): “Get two copies, and give one to your doctor”

#3. All "Drugs" Are Dangerous

All "Drugs" Are considered dangerous, but alcohol and smoking are acceptable everywhere.

In no way I am recommending to become a pothead or cokehead in life. But today, there is enough research available for us to understand that some substances (I am talking about Psychedelics) can have a therapeutic, and in some cases life-changing effect. People have to go to events like Burning man to be explore these things without being judged (not that I am complaining about Burning Man :)).

But people deserve to know exactly how psychedelics can benefit them and also potentially harm them.

If we categorise every substance in the world (except tobacco & alcohol) one category called “drugs”, and just have a taboo about all the “drugs” in the world, we don’t give people a chance to potentially change their lives in a certain area.

And the ones who are willing to explore this, might not get the best information about it because its not a popular subject to bring up with your friends and family.

Here is a interview of Tim Ferriss with a guy that studied psychedelics as a researcher for over 19yrs.

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide — Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT USE ANY DRUGS OR SUBSTANCES WITHOUT CONSULTING A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL…

tim.blog

Get well informed, and make decisions for yourselves.

#4. Meditation Is Considered A Hoax or Woo Woo Stuff.

I hope most of the people reading this don’t feel that way, but a lot of people still think it’s fluffy stuff and sure.. you can use it to calm your mind. It is much powerful than that.

I mentioned in point #1, the tool of strength for humans, is the mind. It’s the reason why humans are the most dominant species on the planet. We gotta keep this tool sharp and in our control.

There are only 2 scenarios when it comes to mind control — either you control it, or the random world around you does. It’s better to have it under your control.

It should be done everyday, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Cool thing is we sometimes do it without even knowing, it just needs to be a daily practice.

Think of it this way, you wake up, you brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, eat good breakfast etc and that’s your way of taking care of your body.

Meditation is taking care of the mind.

Here’s a few ideas to start:

  1. Practice any kind of specific breathing in the morning- try Pranayama. Start with 5 mins a day.
  2. Practice visualisation in the morning — you can do guided or just by yourself.
  3. Find a way to observe your thoughts or practice presence in the morning

I highly recommend mornings, because that sets the tone for the day. Here is my morning routine.

#5. Our Memory is Considered Useless

Why use memory when I have all the technology in the world.

Phones are getting smarter and people, not so much..

Using memory is considered a waste of time and unproductive, and is replaced by technology.

Here’s a common argument:

Why in an age of smartphones, Google, Wikipedia, and ever present internet access, WHY would I bother training my memory?

Why do I want to remember names and phone numbers, my app does it for me?

Why do I have to calculate manually when my calculator in my computer works just fine?

Why should I invest in learning a new language, I will never need it now that Google glass and other advanced translating tech are already available?

Because when you stop using your brain, it starts becoming useless.

Boosting your memory has a direct relation with your creativity. Great thinkers of the ancient world recognise that creativity, focus and critical analysis could only happen in the minds of a well-trained memory practitioner.

Boosting memory and constantly learning new stuff is excellent for mental health. Better memory practitioners reduce their chances of Alzheimer by half.

“There is no learning without memory improvement.” Harry Lorayne, Father of Memory Improvement

Need more convincing, check these out:

The Father of Modern Memory Improvement Harry Lorayne: 60 Years of Mnemonics

Greetings, SuperFriends. Welcome to a very special episode of this week’s show. Today, we’ve managed to book, without…

www.becomingasuperhuman.com

#6. The Education System

We want the latest Operating System even if the previous one had just come out a year ago, but the Education system can be a few hundred years old.

I refuse to follow that. I studied Computer Science Engineering at university. While in university, I was interested in Event Management, People Management, Sales & Marketing and Exploring new cultures. I studied all of that on my own time with my own dime.

Today, I am a Personal Transformation Enthusiast with the goal of creating the Disneyland of Personal Growth, Learning and Education. None if this came from my school/university.

Some of my smartest people I know are putting their lives on the line, taking a massive study loan over $100,000 to join the some university for a year or two.

In an age of exponential technologies, new models of work and entrepreneurship, location independence, and new definitions of what it means to lead a meaningful life — it’s time to rethink university. Here’s an alternative that a company that I work with is experimenting right now:

#7. The Overstimulation By The Media & Entertainment Industry

"The future will belong not only to the educated man, but to the man who is educated to use his leisure wisely" - C.K. Brightbill

Stick with me here for a minute..

Mihaly, best selling author of “Flow”, explains that we experience the optimal experience a.k.a “state of flow” when our mind is met with a challenge that just matches our skills.

The natural state of mind is chaos. It is neither useful nor enjoyable.

And state of flow is overcoming the “natural” state of the mind (chaos or psychic entropy).

With the massive growth in the media and entertainment industry, we can easily distract our mind with a passive leisure activity (the biggest example is Television).

But it’s a very poor substitute for “attention invested in real challenges” like creating something or investing in our skill development.

With so much distraction around us, our attention, in a way, is getting controlled by way too much useless external stimuli.

What can we do?

Once we understand why this happens to us, we can overcome our mind being controlled by the world around us.

Our mind is always seeking something to overcome it’s natural state of chaos or entropy, and overstimulation of external stimuli (which we have little control on) can temporarily fulfil that need.

And also understand that we can consciously choose how to consistently experience “the state of flow” through experiences that actually contribute to our personal development

Here’s an excerpt from the book “The Flow”, that conveys my point perfectly:

“Instead of using our physical and mental energy to have flow experiences, we spend hours each week watching celebrated athletes on TV, instead of making music, we listen to platinum records cut by millionaire musicians. Instead of making art we go to museum to admire paintings that brought in the highest bids. We don’t run the risk of acting on our beliefs but spend hours each week watching actors who pretend to have adventures, engaged in mock-meaningful action.

This vicarious participation is able to mask, atleast temporarily , the underlying emptiness of wasted time. But is a very pale substitute for attention invested in real challenges.

The flow experience that results from the use of skills, leads to growth; passive entertainment leads nowhere”

The lesson here is to use our free time wisely, not only because it leads to our personal growth, but also because it gets us in the Flow state.

Interested in reading more on the subject, read the book, “Flow” by Mihaly Csicszentmihalyi

#8. Waking up with Social Media

We all want to have total control over our lives, our emotions, our our goals etc, BUT we start everyday with the total opposite.

Most people wake up and the first thing they do in the morning is… you guessed it right.. check their social media.

Your mornings are the single most important determiner of how your day will unfold, and you give the control to Emails, Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat etc..

Here’s why it’s a bad idea:

  • It takes your focus away
  • It can prime you with negative emotions, because you don’t know what you will find in social media.
  • It produces stress & anxiety
  • Lastly.. surprise surprise.. it makes you lose control over how you want your day to go.

If this information is totally new to you (I hope not), here is a really interesting article for you 🙂

What can we do?

The answer is simple (but not easy): Have a morning routine.

The most effective people in the world have morning routines (all of them), because it’s the most important part of the day..

Tony Robins starts his morning with a ritual to prime himself for success..

Robin Sharma created the 5am club which is followed by thousands of people today (I am still at 5:20am)

Here is a cool article that you will like about the recipe for creating the perfect day, everyday.

Biggest Myth About Having A Perfect Day

In a conversation with a friend about daily routine, she gave me a long argument that went something like this:

medium.com

#9. The “Follow Your Passion” Advice

Follow your passion and create the career you love..

..there is just one problem with that, this can be slightly misleading. Let me break down the “The Passion Hypothesis” ..

The Passion Hypothesis: The key to occupational happiness is to first figure out what you’re passionate about and then find a job that matches this passion.

People are often misguided by just rolling with this idea, and here’s why:

In the book ‘So Good, They Can’t Ignore You’, Cal Newport gives the following 3 conclusions from studying and negating passion hypothesis from closer look:

  • Career passions are rare  – most “passions” are really hobbies
  • Passion takes time  – a study showed that the strongest predictor for someone seeing their work as a calling, was number of years spent at the job. i.e. the more experience the person had, the more likelihood was to love their work.
  • Passion is a side effect of Mastery  – the better you get at something, the more it becomes a “passion”

With that said, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to turn our hobbies into our dream careers, but even the most successful musicians, artists etc don’t have the “Passion Mindset”..

They adopt something called the “Craftsmen Mindset” and focus only on the process of mastering their craft. Understanding this difference can help a lot of people make better decisions. Read the detailed description here:

#1 Misleading Advice in the name of Passion

In June 2005, Steve Jobs took the podium at Stanford Stadium to give the commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating…

medium.com

And that’s it. I hope this inspires some ideas on how you can start shifting your life in the direction you want. Would love to know your thoughts below 🙂

Love,
Gautam