From the moment my beautiful girl sent me this video link, I have been excited to write this short blog post. For me this is so beautiful yet so typical of the battle millions of men worldwide suffer when they live beyond their partner. Watch the vid and let me flick out to you the lessons I learned from it. They really struck a chord for me…
Find your inspiration
Do you ever question why you are engaged in boring, monotonous tasks that give you no real pleasure? Do you feel like sometimes you are on a treadmill just jogging but never really getting the feeling of contentment or achievement? My suggestion is that you go back to your WHY…
Your WHY is the reason you are doing what you are doing. It might be a goal, it might be a dream or maybe an inspiration you have gotten externally. However without frequently revisiting your why, your life will seem to lack purpose.
My WHY for starting this website was my passion for wanting to help others. I felt that I had something I could give to make other men’s lives better in a small way and that provides me the inspiration to write until late at night. Even if only five people read each post, I feel like I have contributed and that feeds back into my WHY.
In the clip above, our main man found his why out of the loss of his partner. And while this is a devastating reality for many blokes worldwide every year, it proves that out of the deepest negatives, optimism, growth and strength can emerge. He dances for his wife and that makes him feel special and no doubt closer to her and that which he has lost. The message is powerful and illustrative of the true human resolve to go on.
Make ‘movement’ a concerted life choice
From a more practical perspective, I took from this the importance of engaging in movement you LOVE not just movement that you think of as traditional exercise. So long as you view exercise as cumbersome and boring, movement will never become a permanent part of your lifestyle. If you think it’s difficult now, wait until you are married with kids…so I’m told!
The benefits of incidental activity or non-traditional exercise are clear. Cycling to work, walking on the beach or as in this case dancing just because, are all examples of how exercise can be incorporated into your daily life with enjoyment and no conscious thought that you are indeed exercising. I believe this to be especially true as we age, where participation in team sports naturally drops away and often, so does one’s engagement in physical activity.
Find out what you love – from swimming to salsa, SUPing to surfing, if you love it you’re more likely to do it and more importantly, to enjoy it. This makes you a whole lot more likely to commit to a life of living and living strong!
Don’t let your job define you or your health
I am all about working to live not living to work however I am also a realist. I read these blogs saying ‘don’t like your job – quit today!’ and I think this kind of reactionary move is fraught with danger. You don’t want to go from being in a demotivating but somewhat stable and comfortable job to quitting and ending up with no work, no income and with a bunch of bills to pay.
So if you are miserable in your nine-to-five, ignore the ‘carpe diem’ crap and instead put the plans in motion for you to gradually improve your position. Talk to your boss, get working on your CV and empower yourself with the education to make a change if that move is necessary.
Watching the clip, I got the sense that like millions of men worlwide, work has become an unfulfilling means to an end that our protagonist powers through Monday to Friday just to see a weekend. This is not living. This is not good for your health both now and into your future.
The reality is that as we age, there is a general unwillingness by employers to take on older, more mature workers. This has major ramifications in the mental health of affected men as they begin to feel under-valued by society. It makes sense then to make continued education and skill development part of your life path. Keep reading, stay healthy, learn new skills and stay engaged in your community by creating mini-social networks that act as your supports in good times and bad.
Pets make great companions helping to avert loneliness and stress
When it comes to managing stress, a couple of common strategies come to mind: yoga, meditation, relaxation, even anti-depressants. Yet recent research is now backing up what pet owners have known for years – that man’s best friend, be it a dog, a cat or even a goldfish can play a huge role in stress relief and creating a feeling of companionship.
In addition too this, the science shows that pets can:
- Improve overall mood;
- Lower blood pressure in those who have stress-induced hypertension (high blood pressure);
- Improve engagement in exercise (true for dogs, not so true for pet goldfish…unless you are running around the tank playing hide and seek);
- Improve social engagement by making us more approachable to other people (think of that buddy of yours that bought a dog simply to pick up the babes);
- Stave off loneliness through unconditional love and an open ear – you may know the feeling of coming home to a dog that hasn’t seen you for 3 hours!
I did not grow up in a pet-aquainted household but I am surrounded by those that have. Like our gent in the clip, it’s clear how much that dog, cat or goldfish means to them and the zen-like influence they bring to the family.
Love as much as you can
If I were to die today, I would like to be remembered as a guy that was never embarrassed to show his real love for his mates. For me, this feeling and expression of love for friends, family and the natural world is the strongest emotion I experience. I really try my best to express this love as often as I can and I try every now and then to take stock, reflect and be grateful to have it in such abundance.
The paradox of love is that the more you express and experience it, the more it hurts when it is taken away from you like in the case of our man here. It is however through the acknowledgement of our own mortality, we can experience the true bliss of the present and all that it has to offer.
Take inspiration from this clip and get dancing! Feel the love people!
PHOTO CREDIT: Besser Visuals – http://besservisuals.com