In my previous article on the impact of technology on our lives, I shared some of my thoughts with you on why I felt it was important to address this issue now rather than later. I believe that as we become more inactive we WILL pay a price for our future health and our lives will be lessened as a result. I see my future through the lens of health and fitness – not money or power. I know this world relies on technology in all its forms and also due to the nature of how complex our lives become, we may have lost sight of what IS really important to us until it becomes too late to change course.
When I ask a future audience what would they value most among time, money, family, work, or health, what do you think your answer would be if you were present with me that day? Which would you choose as your first priority? I would choose my health every time because without our health, nothing else becomes possible. All the money in the world could not restore you to health and your time be used up fighting to get it back. Money is an issue in all our lives but money can be acquired through our work and with our health in tact everything else becomes possible. Finally, we can’t serve others, including our families, if we can’t serve ourselves first.
I would like to explore this important subject a bit further because I believe it is that important to ALL our futures. I want my legacy to be one of having changed lives and I can only accomplish this mission IF I continue to change my OWN life. Today is all we have and my question is: What will we each do with it to insure a positive and healthy future for ourselves?
HABIT FORMATION & CHANGE
I view habits like the grooves in the Roman road called the Appian Way when over centuries the carts and wagons that travelled over that ancient highway carved “grooves” into the stone that can still be viewed today. The subconscious mind creates our individual reality. The “grooves in our minds” become “hardwired” over time and this is why it is so difficult to not only change our behavior – but create new ones.
I am “hardwired” to run and become stronger through years of repetition and commitment to this purpose. It is a habit I acquired over 6 decades (and nurtured) and because I stayed “available” to this important aspect of my life over the years it has most likely the main reason why I am still here today. This is an example of a habit that can have a huge impact on the quality of life going forward and it did just that in my case.
This past Easter, I was scheduled to spend time with my daughter and her family but our plans changed to today. I wanted to take a day off from running even before our plan changed and I kept with that plan. It “felt” like the right thing to do – I needed a break – and today I am glad I listened to my “inner voice”. I feel rested today. If I had an addictive behavior pattern with regards to exercise I would have felt tired today. I am happy to “change my mind” whenever it feels right. This is how positive change can occur in your life as well. Instead of the “grooves” in your subconscious ruling your world, YOU can DECIDE to change your course at any time but it must be because you “listened” to your “inner voice” first. This is true consciousness in action!
This pattern of behaving “without thought” is where we get into trouble and our habits become addictive behavior. Drinking alcohol, taking drugs, gambling, and any other habit has to start “somewhere” and once set in motion this pattern becomes a “grooved” path like those in the Appian Way. Examine your behavior through the choices you make. Is looking at your cell phone constantly what you REALLY want to be doing or can you change that pattern and create a healthier one for yourself?
We CAN change ANY pattern if we want to strongly enough, but it takes a consciousness that will accept the change we desire. Release repetitive behaviors for moments throughout your day and examine what happens. Do you feel anxious? Nervous? Good! That is step one in the process of changing your mind! We ARE becoming our choices when it comes to our technology and this appears (to me) to be taking us into an uncertain future when it comes to our overall well being.
THE WAY BACK
“The way back” as I am calling this thought is to become “the captain” of your “ship of life”. As the captain YOU have the power to determine your course and how you will handle the “winds of fortune” – or the “gales of strife” – that come your way. If you have behaved in a certain way over the course of your life, your “grooves” are well established and cannot be easily changed. It IS possible, however, through effort, and an “open ended” consciousness, coupled with a deep seated desire to change your path – and fortunes – in life.
This way back is the RECOGNITION that change is necessary if you are to become happy, healthy and fit. I desire NOTHING more than to make my own unique contribution to life before I die and this is WHY I am writing in advance of getting my speaking career going. I know in my heart if I can change and become more flexible and adaptable in my OWN life, then I can discuss this subject with audiences in the future and perhaps save someone from unnecessary suffering in THEIR future. Remember that I wrote “change one thing in one person’s life today” on the first page of my website? This was so I could remember WHY I am doing WHAT I am doing everyday! I won’t mind creating a new “groove” in my subconscious if it embodies such a thought!
With this in mind I would like to pose a question to you. What are the “grooves” in YOUR subconscious? What do they encompass? If you know what they are do you need to change them? As in the wagon’s grooves on the Appian Way carved over the centuries, they remain to show us “where we have been” but do not yet tell us ANYTHING about “where we are going”! Isn’t that a wonderful thought?. As we age and experience both the joys and sorrows of life we either create ways to protect ourselves from further hurt or open more doors to experience the good that MAY come to us over time.
I built a wall around my heart 36 years ago when my wife left me in the summer of 1982 and I am STILL trying to find a path forward, through – or around – this wall. This is the biggest groove I know of in my life to date – not letting myself get close to people (especially a close relationship where I am asked to be vulnerable). I pray everyday that the work I am doing NOW will finally bring it down! What walls have you built in your own life and do they need to finally come down now? Only you can answer this important question as I am attempting to do in my own life. It is true: You teach what you most need – or want – to learn! This is why I say I am a STUDENT first because life has way of humbling us and finally getting our attention.
It is very possible I will continue this line of questioning in my future writing going forward because I don’t see my thoughts on this subject ending with this particular discussion. I believe life is expanding exponentially and it is up to me to try and “stay up” with change. This is my primary job if I am to be – and remain – relevant in today’s world. Are you relevant and “up to speed” when it comes to HOW you are living your life or are you oblivious to the “grooves in you own life”?
Each new day brings with it the possibility of making changes to your life. If you resist change – you eventually die – maybe not physically but spiritually and emotionally. I want to live to my highest and best nature and so nothing is “ever off the table” and I am willing to examine whatever will bring me closer to joy, harmony, love, peace and prosperity. I am willing- are you? Let’s address the “grooves in our thinking and behavior” NOW so that we may have the best that life has to offer come into our experience. Are you ready? I KNOW I am!
Originally published on Healthy New Age. Reprinted with permission from Nicholas Prukop.
Nicholas Prukop is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer & a Health Coach, a fitness professional with over 25 years of experience whose passion for health and fitness comes from his boyhood in Hawaii where he grew up a swimmer on Maui. He found his calling in writing his first book “Healthy Aging & You: Your Journey to Becoming Happy, Healthy & Fit” and since then he has dedicated himself to empowering, inspiring and enabling people of all ages to reach for the best that is within them and become who they are meant to be – happy, healthy and fit – and be a part of a world where each person can contribute their own unique gifts to life.
If you need help in designing a fitness plan, you can contact Nicholas Prukop via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or read his inspiring book Healthy Aging & YOU.