Friday, June 29, 2012

Don't take life too seriously

How are you doing with your new Paleo habits? Are you steadily eating away at that elephant? Remember you need to keep reminding yourself until it becomes automatic.

Here's your last Lifestyle habit. (Yes!)

When you feel comfortable, then it's time to work on the next step. But not before.  Don't rush this. Remember Kaizen is about changing your life one tiny step at a time.

You should work on these habits only once all the 10 easy steps to becoming a Permanent Paleo Eater  are an automatic part of your everyday life.  Don't try to do everything at once or you will feel overwhelmed.

Check the list below. If you are still working on some of these habits then keep doing that until you no longer need to think about them.  Only then are you ready to move on.  Nobody is rushing you and nobody is keeping track.  This is YOUR plan and you decide when you're ready.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step"

. .... then another, and another.... Take your time, do it right, and you'll build a solid base for a lifetime of easy and healthy Paleo living.



Habit # 10 :  I don't take life too seriously

This is the last life habit, and in a lot of ways the hardest one, but also the most important.  Oscar Wilde said "Life is too important to be taken seriously." and most intelligent thinking people tend to agree with him.

Living healthy is important.  Eating healthy is even more important.  And making the most of your life is definitely the most important thing of all, but that might not mean what you think it means.

A lot of people treat life like some kind of game or race which they have to win.  It's all about having the most money, the most toys, and the most Facebook friends.  But when you think about it, isn't that all a pretty sad way to live? After all, why is it that your really want those things?  Doesn't it all boil down to Happiness and Love?

Yes, I know we all like nice clothes and luxury cars and beautiful homes.  And there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't let getting these things become too important.

For most of us, at the end of the day, it's the challenges we've overcome, the way we've made the best use of our talents, the people who we love and who love us, and how we have given back to make the world a better place, that really give us the most value and make our lives meaningful.

And like many self-help gurus are fond of telling us, it really is all about the journey.  I believe life is full of lessons we have to learn, but I also believe that it's meant to be enjoyed.  There are lots of ways to do things, so why not choose the most enjoyable way?  While you're working why not try to have fun as well?

I think it's all about getting your priorities straight and my oldest son has always been a perfect example of that for me.  He, like many people, has always wanted to travel.  But unlike most, he has always followed his dream.  When he finished school, instead of immediately tying himself down with a 9 to 5 job like many of his friends, he looked for work that would give him the leeway to travel, and even though he worked hard and did without many of the things others had, he spent part of every year travelling to places others only dream about.

He has benefited tremendously from these experiences, and while he now has taken on more work responsibilities, he continues to make sure his lifestyle is one that he loves. He has found that happy balance between work and play that makes his life a constant source of inspiration.  Isn't that the ideal way to live?

To often we don't spend enough time appreciating the wonders of the world around us. Life can be difficult and we can end up being way too serious about it.  And too dogmatic about how we think things should be. We forget that there are many ways and many roads and they will all eventually lead us to the same place.

So now that I've given you all the rules for eating and living, it's time to remind you that rules are made to be broken.  Live responsibly and do the best you can, but allow yourself some leeway to be human.  Throw away the rule book sometimes and just enjoy life.  Do your best, but every once in a while allow yourself to let loose and just do what you want to do.

I'm sure when Mark Sisson came up with the 80/20 rule in the Primal Blueprint, this is what he had in mind.  He's a lifestyle guru for many, but he also enjoys his life.  And I'm sure he means for all of us to do the same. As he is fond of saying :

 "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

Certainly I am just as guilty of forgetting this as anyone else.  One particularly stressful year I really was trying to do too much and putting too much emphasis on the wrong things. My usual philosophy in life is "Live and let live."  I don't believe in trying to convert anyone. I believe that example is the best way to teach anything, and everyone has a right to choose their own behaviour and beliefs.  However when it comes to my children I am often guilty of forget that rule.

One of my many projects was a crusade to improve my youngest son's eating habits and I was pretty relentless.  Now I'm not talking about a young child here.  My son was in his early twenties and living a responsible life away from home. I just felt that he could do better.

Even though he's a good kid and does at least listen to my advice before ignoring it, I'm sure he found the constant lectures very (to put it politely) tiresome.  He has always had a great sense of humour when it comes to looking at life, and after several months of being badgered by me, he gave me this birthday card. It now has a permanent place on my office bulletin board to remind me not to take life too seriously.

As any parent knows, sometimes your children are your biggest teachers.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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