Life is simple.
I know that goes against the grain, but really, it is. We all want more of just three things, right? Health, happiness, and prosperity.
If you listen to the so-called experts, you’d think these are complicated matters that require special, insider knowledge. Maybe connections with the right people or groups. Or money spent on the right products and services.
My philosophy is straightforward. It’s easy to understand and easy to implement, no matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you have.
You could sum it up in nine words: Live simpler. Aim bigger. Be thankful. Do it now.
I don’t offer any scientific proof for any of these, and I’m not a doctor or financial person. These are just 21 ideas that have worked for me, and might work for you, too.
Let’s start with health, because if you don’t have that, nothing else matters.
21. The 80/20 rule of eating
Eat whatever you want 20% of the time, within reason. Be vigilant about eating really healthy 80% of the time. No diets, no yo-yo weight swings, no deprivation.
Give your body and digestive system a rest once in a while. Skip a meal every now and then, or even better, skip an entire day of eating. Fasting pushes the reset button physically and mentally.
19. Get some sun
Not only get some sun, do it without sun screen. Radical idea, hey? Most of the world doesn’t use sun screen, and they don’t have the skin cancer epidemic we have in this country. A little bit of sun and Vitamin D on a daily basis is good for you.
18. Hang upside down
This is my secret weapon, and I won’t begin to get into the science behind it. All I know is that my Teeter Hang ups® inversion table is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Hanging upside down for 5-10 minutes at a time, twice a day, keeps me stretched out, thinking clearly, and free of back pain that I used to have.
17. Lift slow and run fast
Most people run (or bike, swim, or row …) long and slow. Witness the treadmill zombies at health clubs and the second-boom marathon craze going on right now.
And people who lift weights tend to do a lot of fast sets (it makes it seem like you’re working harder) or P90X or Insanity-style workouts.
All good, but if your goal is simply to be in good shape, there are more efficient, safer, and more effective ways to do it that are sustainable over the long haul.
Try the opposite. Instead of plodding along doing your daily “cardio,” just twice a week go really hard for 30-60 seconds, then rest for the same amount of time. Repeat 5-10 times, and you’re done. Total time per week: 20 minutes, you’ll be in better shape, and your joints will thank you ten years from now.
Same thing with lifting. Just twice a week pick seven exercises to do, and use the “Super Slow” method of pushing out slowly for 10 seconds, then back for 10 seconds. Use a weight that you can lift in a very slow and controlled way, until you can’t possibly push any more, then go to the next exercise. Total time per week: 40 minutes. Total time for all the strength training and heart-training you’ll ever need: One hour per week.
16.Exercise your mind
Deep-thinking non-fiction reading and intelligent conversations with sharp people are two of my favorites.
15. Eat smaller portions and less often
This goes along with #21 and #20. I’ll get a lot of flack for this one, but breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day in my book, and unless you’re training for a marathon or Ironman triathlon (see #17), an Olympic swimmer, or a professional body builder, there’s no need to eat five or six small meals a day. I eat two meals a day, and breakfast usually isn’t one of them. I’ve run 3:30 marathons on an empty stomach, so you don’t need it to jump-start your day either.
14. Travel more
Your life will be richer if you get off the beaten path and explore. You don’t need tons of money to travel either. It’s all a matter of priorities.
13. Be your own reality show
Stop living vicariously through other people on reality TV. Live your life as an adventure that other people would want to watch.
12. Be thankful
Of the 7 billion people on the planet, you probably have it better than at least 6 billion. You’re already in the top 14%. Keep doing these 21 things, and you’ll soon be in the top 5%, or 1%. Yes, I said it. The 1%.
11. Hang with people you like
Surround yourself with other sharp, upbeat, big-thinking people with big hearts. Avoid toxic people at all costs.
10. Have big goals and a strong emotional purpose
You’ll accomplish more when your purpose is bigger than yourself.
9. De-clutter and live simpler
Ever notice that the more you give away, the more productive you become? Something about streamlining your life that unleashes more creative ideas.
8. More face-to-face time, less “connected” time
Can we all get back to more meaningful conversations? Technology is great, and I’m as connected as anyone, but text messages, tweets, and Facebook posts are no substitute for good old fashioned phone and in-person meetings.
7. Generate ideas
We get paid for generating ideas for our clients that either save them time or make them money. Get good at brainstorming ideas and sharing them.
6. Get your ideas spinning
In addition to generating ideas for your clients, start implementing your own ideas. Will they all work? No, but they don’t do any good in your head or on paper. Put your ideas into action.
5. Build a business
Being a freelancer is great. You have time and lifestyle freedom. But if you want to create true wealth, you need to structure a real business with systems that will work with or without you in the picture. Plan to become wealthy.
4. Improve your communication skills
Get better at communicating your ideas in writing, on the phone, and in person. The keys? Become a good copywriter and a good speaker. Listen, observe, and develop the art of asking effective questions.
3. Don’t vilify the rich
Instead, become one of them. Get rid of all negative associations you may have of the “1%.” In fact, don’t ever use the term “the 1%”! It has the connotation that somehow the rich got that way by ill-begotten means, and that these people somehow control the universe and your life, which is complete hogwash. I say aspire to be in the 1% yourself and do good in the world.
2. Stop worrying about what others have
Look, we all do it. I covet my neighbor’s truck, house, and lifestyle as much as anyone. But what does it matter how much someone else has? Why do we give it any thought? Do we have less because someone else has more? That’s absurd.
Life isn’t a zero-sum game. There’s not one big pie with everyone fighting for their slice. You can expand the pie and have as much as you want! It’s a mindset, but it’s also a law of the universe.
1. Give it away
I can’t explain this one any more than the others. I just know that when I give my time, talents, and resources, all is right with the world. Give it a try, and see if the floodgates of abundance don’t pour out to you in return.
Want more health, happiness, and prosperity in your life? Let me know which ones you’re putting into action (and which ones you think are off the mark) in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.