I often refer to ancient periods in our history to find cues as to how early humans thrived. We know they thrived because of the physical hardships they endured to continue the species to the next generation, which provided for us being here today. This is the basic premise upon which the popularized “primal” and “paleo” movements are based. I’m not going to align myself with either of those labels (though I largely support the work) because of the inevitable corruption that takes place once a structured program is labeled with a word that cannot be legally owned; as is the case with both paleo and primal. As mentioned here, the label will eventually become hijacked for personal agendas and profit. I’ve already seen decidedly non-primal and non-paleo elements creep into the teachings happening under these banners.
The “primal” concept was far better at promoting a lifestyle, as opposed to just a diet. But “paleo” began as a nutritional movement, and there it has largely stayed. Apart from the inevitable corruption of the labeled concepts, it’s easy to see how a “diet” all by itself, while helpful, isn’t going to make a dramatic or permanent change in a person’s level of life satisfaction. A “lifestyle” obviously comes closer, but we’re still in the physical realm and I’m sure it’s clear to you by now that the Quality Of Life that is available to all of us must include the quality of our thinking and our ability to fulfill our personal purpose in life.
So the first job of insuring a maximum Quality Of Life is to bridge the spiritual/mental and the physical. There is already some inherent crossover; for example, I could fall on either side of the debate over whether mental clarity lives in the physical or spiritual realm. For the sake of this discussion, let’s keep it in the spiritual realm so your soul doesn’t get lonely over there. I will also go so far as to say that every physical contribution to our QOL has one foot squarely in the spiritual realm. In other words, health (for example) will never be developed fully without addressing how we feel about ourselves, our world, and each other. It’s just the way that life works. The bottom line is that we cannot ignore the spiritual side of our humanity in the quest for the maximum experience of life, so even a wholesale lifestyle re-do will not address The Big Picture.
“Oh great!”.. you say. “I was already feeling overwhelmed by just having to make time in my day to get to the gym; now you’re telling me that taking care of my function is just a tiny fragment of what needs to be done if I hope for life to be the best possible experience?” Well…. yes and no.
Yes, creating and maintaining some integrity in the body is just a tiny fraction of what needs to be done, but, no, it will not add to the burden of making more time in your life. That last part is due to the fact that addressing each of those tiny fractions is actually much easier than you think it is, and perhaps even easier than the sum total of what you’re doing now. Exponentially greater results, for far less effort.
The Big Picture seems overwhelming because most of us gauge complexity and difficulty by the sheer volume of information that is available on a subject. Here’s the epiphany: the volume of available information has virtually no bearing on the complexity and/or difficulty of achieving the goal. Most of that information is superfluous to the task of producing the desired result. In fact, most of that volume of data on any given subject has been placed there not because it contributes to the goal, but in a conscious effort to make the subject more confusing than it needs to be for the sake of other agendas.
Some examples of those other agendas are a desire to become known as an expert on a subject for personal reasons, or (and this is the big one) because it opens an opportunity to profit from the subject by convincing others that we need to pay someone to help us get the result we seek. When you see the vast amounts of documentation on a subject, you will likely instantly buy into that last one because what you don’t know is that the majority of that info is unnecessary.
Here’s an example of how that can work:
If there is a contributor to the quality of your life that has produced a greater volume of data than the subject of “health” I can’t imagine what it would be. You may be among the many that believe that to truly be an expert on the subject of health, to a degree that will allow us to actually make a difference in your own life, you’d have to spend multiple lifetimes just to expose ourselves to the vast stores of data on the subject. But notice that I said “practical benefits from any single subject…”. The percentage of that data that is actually required for you to realize elite levels of health for yourself is a tiny fraction of what has been documented. This is a very different kind of “expert”, and the only kind that has any relevance to your life. And I could make you this kind of an expert with the data contained in a single chapter of a typical book. In fact, I have done so elsewhere in these writings.
The details of that chapter are unimportant to the message of this post: the message being that there is the stark contrast between what most of us believe we need to know and do to meaningfully improve our lives in every area, and that which we actually need to know and do. The difference is so great that even the work required to address every element of the quality of your life will be far less than the work required for the one or two you’re working on now in the old way.
I want you to not only be fully aware of the value to your life of looking at the Big Picture—those higher levels of thinking and doing that make the biggest difference in the lives we lead, but also your ability to actually accomplish that to a far greater degree than you have been lead to believe you can. The small thinking of the current paradigm actually produces vastly inferior results. And it will only get worse as the oceans of available information via the Internet expands.
This is where we talk about all of this. If you’ve been frustrated by the conflicting information in any area of your life that you’d like see some improvement (financial, thought, health, etc.) and don’t know where to turn, you’ve found it right here. The first thing that has to happen is the need to strip away the reams of useless information that is paralyzing you at the moment. Once we get down to some manageable data, it will be time to get to work. More of that will be here waiting for you soon. Hope you’ll join me in the journey.