Don’t be a follower be a student.
When I was in my depression, I was going to college. I was taking a couple of psychology classes. At the same time I was doing my own research about human behavior and mental diseases. Some of the information I was learning in college simply did not make sense to me. It had a lot of contradictions about psychiatric drugs and people’s beliefs. Even though I was learning from school, it simply did not make sense. So I decided to continue my research, and I found out many people and even organizations are releasing the truth about psychiatric drugs, and they are fighting against this madness and making people aware of their danger and ineffectiveness.
Here is something funny:
I know that 1/3 of my readers will agree with what I am saying about psychiatric drugs, 1/3 will not be convinced and 1/3 will completely disagree with it. But my goal is not to convince you about the madness of psychiatric drugs. My message is simply that what did not make sense to me, I questioned instead of following what was being taught. The same I think will be good for you. It is important that you question all professionals and ascertain the teachers’ motives and beliefs and do your own research about the information you are getting. If you want to know that truth about anything, it is important that you do a whole unbiased research about the topic you are learning.
Before I used to follow advice from friends, professionals and other sources, such as the television, news programs and documentaries, without questioning their information. I really never learned anything because all I was doing was following instead of studying the information. I was lost trying to be other people by copying exactly what they said.
It was not until I started to question…
that I started to look for other sources of information and— adding what I think is the most important piece — meditating the information. Meditating the information not only made me curious about it, it also led me to more questions and to dig even deeper into other topics. By doing this it helped me find myself and be myself. I became passionate about helping people.
This is when I think magic started because by understanding myself I could start to understand others, empathize with them and understand why we make the decisions we make.
I started to forgive people who hurt me in the past, and I started to accept my mistakes and understand why I was selfish and hurt others. I think forgiveness is very important for the human being. When we forgive others, we get rid of many negative emotions that stop us from growing and make our life miserable.
I have the habit to continue learning…
and the habit of being skeptical, not because I don’t trust but because I like to learn. I usually gather information, meditate it and apply what I have concluded. This is a daily habit: read, meditate and apply the conclusion from the information taken.
Many people are not happy with themselves. Pay attention around you. Many of us are on our cell phone texting, talking, surfing the internet, on Facebook, listening to music, watching television or talking to someone most of the time. Many people don’t have even 10 minutes of silence because they are running away from what’s in their head. This is why they can’t have a moment of silence. And the question is, do you want to be with someone whom you don’t like? Once you find yourself, you are going to love yourself. Once you love yourself, you are going to start loving everyone else and live a happier life.
For me finding myself was one of the most important events…
It is like finding your child after looking for them desperately.
Anyway, there is a lot of myth about fitness and weight loss, a lot of contradictory information. Many times people, who hire me, come confused with so much information. I help them clear their thoughts, but what is more important, I teach them to be independent and start questioning anyone who calls himself authority. We can be persuade for money when we are giving and advise, we can honestly wrong because the information we learned is just wrong from text books and we can be ignorant. You will only discover the truth when you make your research and take time alone to find yourself and make your own conclusions. So don’t follow blinded, be curious and make your research.
Remember that is your health, life and body what you are putting in the line.
I have heard stories about people from other cultures who moved to the U.S. and started gaining weight. That generation and the ones that followed starting suffering from overweight problems including some of its diseases. Keep in mind that these immigrants had no overweight issues before moving. They adapt to the American life as they incorporate. After they move, it takes a couple of years before they start to gain weight.
The food they eat and the sedentary lifestyle they adopt are part of the problem…
We live in a first world country, and we are dealing with overweight issues even with all the resources we have to stay healthy. This leads me to think about other issues.
We live in a country with a lot of opportunities. The U.S. is one of the richest countries in the world. This is the land of opportunity. This makes me wonder: With so much opportunity, why do people still commit suicide? We have the highest rate of suicide, and we consume at least 80 percent of the cocaine in the world. This means that many people are not happy here, and they need to kill themselves or do some kind of drug to escape from reality.
Now, not everyone who comes to the U.S. or lives in the U.S. has overweight problems or kills themselves or does drugs. There are also many happy people. For example, my dad came to visit the U.S., and he was overweight. After 5 months he was in his best shape ever, losing 30 pounds.
When I moved to the U.S., I was lost. I was not happy. I was starting to get affected by the superficial messages television sends, society, and the lifestyle that many desire. I became jealous and found myself trying to fit into society. I started to buy things I could not afford such as brand-name clothes and went to restaurants that were out of my budget. The more I tried to copy other people’s lives, the more unhappy I became. To this add the lack of self-empathy and emotions from others. No wonder why people think about killing themselves and doing drugs. We feel unaccepted and out of place like there is something wrong with us.
There are many theories about what exactly the term “genetic” means…
While I believe that many of our behaviors, diseases and traits may be genetic, I also believe that all these are also affected by environment.
Genetic is a term that many of us misunderstand. The term has become dangerous. We think that genetic means that we are predetermined to a certain disease, behavior or even destiny because of our genes. There are many studies done now that show that genetic is something different than what we believe. To those who study genes it usually is a biological term to define how life is being affected. In other words, environment affects a gene at all times. So genes can be altered by environment, and to some degree environment affects our lives.
My point is that many people come with healthy genes to a different environment and start developing health and behavior issues. But not only that, our environment also affects the decisions we make. For example, acceptance is a human need, and for us to be accepted, we are willing to do anything it takes. This is one of the reasons why gangs exist, teens start drinking, we spend a lot of money on cars and clothes, we give up to sexual pressure and we make many decisions that go against our beliefs.
While it is true that many people who are affected by environment are predisposed to diseases or behaviors, it is also true that some are not. But that is another story.
The truth is that environment plays a big role in people’s lives…
and you can notice this if you have had the opportunity to observe how all cultures behave differently throughout the world and throughout time. They have different beliefs and problems to deal with.
I used to be very egocentric thinking only about my own benefit. My life has changed, and I now think about others. I think about the generations to come such as your children, animals, and whoever and whatever is going to inhabit this place. My goal does not have to be your goal, of course. But if you care about the health of others, it is very important to start thinking about each decision we make and understand that these decisions do affect the environment, which in turn will affect others’ lives.
I could tell you that I do this only for everyone else and our earth, but I would be lying. Even though I am not as egocentric as I used to be, I still think about me. Each time I help someone else, I feel better, I help my business and my health improves. In addition, each time I have problems the solutions come to me very easily because I think about everyone.
I am not sure if the psychology of it is real, but I have proven that the law of do unto others like you want to be done unto you is true. When I was egocentric and never helped with money or my time, it seemed like negative things were always happening. My car would break down when I needed it the most, and I had no money. I was broke most of the time. I did not like my job, and I was not happy. I never had a sense of progress.
My conscience is aware about the many decisions I make. I won’t feel successful or at peace if I see people suffering and don’t do anything. I can’t just be a spectator, buying an expensive car just because I want to feed my ego. I am not saying that buying an expensive car is wrong. I think many people deserve it because of the value they have put into this world, and my plan is to get a nice car one day, but I won’t get it until I feel I deserve it for helping so many animals, people and the earth overall.
My goal is to improve the environment where I live to improve other people’s lives…
It will not only help the generation to come, but it will also help me by making me feel great and leaving a legacy.
I come from a very poor family, and I raised myself starting from age 14. I used to sleep in cardboard. I used to make less than 5 dollars a day and survived on that. I wouldn’t think about buying a taco because I was afraid of the money I would have to spend. I had two sets of pants that I wore for more than 2 years. I never really had money. I was poor. But I was happy.
I moved to the U.S. and became rich. I had it all, things I never thought I would have. Back then the CD was the hot trend. I would buy all my favorite CDs, I could buy clothes, as many tacos as I wanted. I even bought a car. I had money. I literally became rich. The problem was that even though I did not have anything before, I still wanted more than what I had. I got a better job, made more money and get more material things, better trips, a better car and I would still feel empty.
No matter how much money I made and how many things I got, I would always want more.
Once I understood that I could decide what to think about the environment, I could take control of my thoughts, my actions and therefore my life. Many times my belief was that cancer could just strike anyone, and I was no exception. I thought that my body would adapt to chemicals and toxins and things that I was not supposed to eat or drink or be around. I was not responsible for my actions and usually blamed someone else for my situation.
One day, it just happened. I started to study human behavior, the environment, psychology, the power of the mind, cultures and I found out that yes, the environment affects everyone, but by the end you decide how you let the environment affect you. I was 28 when I made the realization.
However, it can be difficult for younger people…
who don’t have this knowledge and take adults as authorities — to control their thoughts and understand that the world they live in is not a set reality. Reality is what they decide to think about the environment. This is why so many young people can’t be successful in their lives and feel rejected, commit suicide or do drugs.
The better the environment we create for the next generation, the better our next generation will be, avoiding some suffering along the way and improving this world in general.
Let’s help the next generation to succeed by changing the environment for them and by changing ourselves, we change the environment.
I recently got two puppies, and I was potty training them. I am not an expert in the subject, and therefore my puppies had a lot of accidents in the house. I used the two usual training methods: punishment and reward. What I noticed is they learned faster when I gave them rewards than when I was punishing them. In fact, when they were punished, they even got confused and did not know what to do when I gave them rewards. However, confirming with them that they did something against the rules also helped them understand what they should be doing.
I also noticed in my career that people get courage and motivation when there is a reward…
and there is no better reward than achieving their goals. In addition, helping people understand their mistakes and how those mistakes are keeping them from getting to their goals is very helpful.
When there is punishment there is force, and when there is reward there is power. This is the topic that I am reading in a book call Force vs Power.
A train needs to be supplied with fuel to produce force to overcome inertia. As more force is produced, there is more resistance. So there is a constant fight that requires energy supply.
Gandhi use power against the force of Britain, Martin Luther King Jr. used power against the force of discrimination, and Jesus used power against the force of his enemies.
The point is it doesn’t matter how strong force is, power will always defeat it…
Force needs a constant energy supply, but power is just there. Power is smart, prepared, patient, decisive, persistent and peaceful. These are only some of the characteristics of Gandhi, Martin andJesus.
Many times when members start with our program they come very excited to change, or I help them to become very motivated about achieving their weight-loss goals. However, when we start creating a plan, I notice that many want to use force to achieve their goals. They want to follow a diet, a trend or a belief they don’t even understand. This is why many people can’t reach their goals — or when they do they end up regaining the weight — because of the constant energy required to produce force.
However, when we use power instead of force, losing weight becomes easier. You probably have read one of my articles or watched one of my videos where I suggest finding the real reasons you want to lose weight. When you are using your whys you start to use power, because now you are not just forcing yourself to follow a diet. Now you have reasons to change your eating. For example, one of my reasons to eat healthily is I want to preserve my body young, strong and healthy because I like how I feel and how I look. I don’t let myself get overweight or weak. I don’t use force to avoid processed foods — I use my reasoning (power) instead.
Another way you can use power is by understanding your real needs rather than your wants…
For example, you need four basic chemicals (dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin) to be happy, and you can produce every single one naturally. For instance, you can produce dopamine by exercising, endorphins by constantly progressing and achieving your goals, serotonin by mentoring and being mentored and oxytocin simply by loving or healthily bonding with others.
In these ways you are using power. Or you can use force, by using psychiatric drugs, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, irresponsible sex or video games, behaviors that will cause negative consequences to come into your life. And don’t misinterpret my meaning; I am not saying that playing videos games, for example, is bad. I am just saying that making these behaviors the source of your chemical will create an addiction, using force to get what you need to be happy.
I have helped many people to lose weight, and they continue with me losing weight, and others are capable enough to do it alone after they learn how to use power instead of force. Following a trendy diet or superficially having a reward is never better than the real reasons you are losing weight and the knowledge of understanding yourself. Power defeats force.
This year start with the right program and mindset with your weight-loss program. Find your power instead of your force.
When I reflect on my life I see that I always had a reason to wake up…
When I was lost the reason was very superficial, useless for me, for the community and for my family. I used to wake up for dating, to ride my car, to make more money, to party, to see my friends, to go shopping, to watch my cartoons, to play video games. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all those behaviors are wrong. It is part of life to do them, but when I just to wake up only for that my life had no purpose. But the truth is that there was always a reason for me to wake up.
You can imagine how difficult my day was. I joined the club of, “Not another Monday” and “Thank God it’s Friday.” There was no desire or passion toward any of those activities. I was a zombie. Think about it: How fulfilling can it be having a fast car? Or beating the game for the 50th time, or never finding the right girl because the cause was me? Or partying? Or shopping? Or watching cartoons? That was the ecstasy of my life. It’s true that many of these things would help me to wake up and I would find some joy in doing them, but soon it would dissipate, leaving me empty.
I really can’t believe I lived this life until I turned 28. But it is also true I did not know better than that.
Now my life is different. I wake up every day because my goal is to change this world into a better place. The goal is to add value to people’s lives and make them better. Not only that but also to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals and improve the condition of our planet.
I found my real purpose by accident and never completely developed a plan…
Each time I reach one goal, I set a higher one. It was not easy to find my purpose, and many people ask me the question of the year, “How can I find my purpose?” I understand that it is not easy and give an answer like, “Doing what you like to do is not enough.” That’s because many people like things that won’t add value to the world. Many people like sex, and I don’t see how sex alone will add value to the world. Other people like cigarettes, and I don’t understand how this can improve someone’s life. Other people like to put harmful chemicals on food, and I don’t see how that improves the world. How about gamboling?
We are biologically created to help each other…
There are two chemicals in the body released naturally that give us the best high, serotonin and oxytocin. Both are released when we help others (nothing like dopamine and endorphins that are released through self-serving acts, not that I’m saying that’s bad). If we want to feel fulfilled and complete, we must work on releasing serotonin and oxytocin.
Serotonin is released by supporting people and helping them achieve a goal. For example, when you help your child with homework and finish the task, there is a feeling of accomplishment by your child not only when the homework is done but when the homework is graded. The child feels proud of your help, giving you credit, and you feel proud of helping.
Oxytocin is released when we help other people just because we can. When you listen to a needy person or help the old lady cross the street or help someone change a flat tire, both of you get a shot of oxytocin.
These are the only unselfish ways to get these important chemicals. This is very important, because you will only feel truly fulfilled when you know you are helping others. You will enjoy your day when you know you are changing and helping other people’s lives in a positive way. Not only you will enjoy it, it feels so good that you become addicted to the good task.
If we add the fact that you like to work with your hands, mind, brain, creating, building, listening, alleviating pain, fixing …
you have found your purpose. Whatever you love to do, it should add value to others people’s lives and the world.
This how I found my purpose…
I have become various things: I am a personal trainer, health coach, philanthropist, writer, business marketer, speaker, motivator, mentor and teacher, yet I don’t identify myself as any of them because all I think about is adding value to people and this world.
I wake up not caring about what day it is and get to work because this purpose and these goals are very fulfilling.
Dreaming big is not a dream…
It is your reality. Yes, it might sound ridiculous for you to walk or run 50 miles when you can’t even complete 2 miles. However, as you train and become more familiar with running and achieving your goals you’ll add more miles to your training. You will see that 50 miles may not sound like too much by the time you are running 30 miles.
The same happens with your goals. Yes, if your goal is to save 10,000 children from human trafficking and abuse, it may sound too difficult, but as you create systems and start saving the first, before you know it, even 20,000 won’t seem difficult.
Gaining your financial freedom is the same way. However, this is only a secondary effect of the purposeful work you are doing. So my point here is to dream big and be ambitious with your goals and purpose. It might seem too far and difficult in the beginning, but it will get easier.
I read in Steve Jobs’ biography that his power to focus on his goals was so strong that he could ignore pain and other problems in his life when he was working at Apple. Also, I heard in an audio book called “Rhinoceros Success” that if you continue full charge towards your goals, the small problems will be like mosquitoes that you are leaving behind. You would not even feel them. Focusing does help to ignore some discomforts that don’t matter and don’t help us reach our goal.
I am always thinking my life is perfect…
There are times when everything just happens the way I planned it, and there are times for winter and storms and everything unpredictable. Many times in my life, I am having fun reaching my goals and having a great relationship with those around me, my financials are good, God is on my side, people appreciate what I do, my car is working just fine, I feel physically very strong and energetic and I am learning my lessons easily. However, other times it’s the opposite, but I don’t feel when everything hits me. It starts with a small argument with a family member, it goes to the whole car suspension, continues with spending more than my usual monthly budget, follows by not being able to focus at work and help our members the way they deserve, it moves to not feeling at peace and feeling tired and without energy and motivation. It seems like I am being followed by a grey cloud. All of a sudden, everything is going in the direction I did not plan.
But I learned to divide my life into areas and maintain all of them because this will allow me to bounce back easily. I never let go no matter how difficult it becomes. I continue working on all areas in my life and have faith. Let me explain a little more.
Dividing my life in 5 areas helps me understand where I am failing…
or what needs work and where I am doing great. I have my spiritual, health, family, professional and financial areas. Many times my life suffers in one area; I might not be my best on my health or my profession or my family area. Sometimes all suffer. But because I take care of all the areas when life is good, when a down time comes and one area does suffer, I can make it out without too much effort.
For example, I recuperated fairly quickly after my knee surgery for many reasons. One is because I exercise, so the muscles around the knee were already strong. Second is because I eat healthily, my immune system is strong. And third I don’t take medications, including pain killers, which allows my body to focus on healing instead of fighting foreign chemicals. The down phase was my knee surgery; my up phase is now when I have my health back. This can be applied to a small cold — it works just the same way.
Another example is when my both dogs suffered an accident and my car broke down. I had to spend around $10,000 out of pocket. Working, spending less than what I earn and saving money helps me during situations like that. I have learned how to deal with these down phases. Thinking that down phases don’t exist is being naïve. I need to be prepared for them just like I did in this example.
No matter how healthy I am, I am going to get sick, no matter how much money I have, I am going to have to spend money where I didn’t plan to, no matter how much I show my family how much I care and work on the relationship, I will have disagreements and inconveniences, and no matter how much I have learned to control my emotions and make very thoughtful decisions, I will be heartbroken and make dumb choices.
However, if I am healthy, have money saved, take care of my family and learn how to deal with emotions, I will be better off…
When down phases come, I will not go as far down as many will because they don’t take care of their basic needs.
My point is that if you take care of your basic needs, when down phases come, it will be easy to stand up again. But if you don’t take care of your basic needs, you may be trying to get of the hole for years or even your whole life.
I love going back and studying my past. I have made many mistakes, and while many of them are very painful, I love to learn and prevent myself from making the same mistakes. I realize I was in a winter time or down phase only after I am out of it. This is why I always think my life is great: I never notice the down phase thanks to my focus on my goals in all my life areas.
Learning how to focus, understanding how life works and dividing your life in areas that make sense to you that you can track is a smart way to approach life and live it happily.
Reading Helped me with my depression…
One of the habits that have completely changed my life and helped me become successful in many areas of my life is reading. When I was in depression, reading gave me the answer to overcome it. When I was failing in my business, reading gave me the answer to make it grow. When I was unsuccessful in my public relations, reading gave me the answer to improve it. When life is not working the way I want it to, reading gives me an explanation to understand or overcome such issues.
If I need an answer or to improve myself, reading is one of the keys. And one of the best books I have ever read and that has the best life instructions is the Bible. It is a difficult book to understand, but many theologists have helped me to understand many of the stories or parables.
I am by no means an expert on the Bible. And I think I will never be even though I’ve almost finished reading it. I am probably going to read the Bible many times before I die and still not understand it 100 percent. It has so many secrets, from the whole Bible story, to the individual books, to verse and parables. However, that does not mean that I am completely ignorant about it.
If you follow me, you probably have read the article Be Prepared For The Unpredictable (you can find it on the Post Independent website or my website, or simply search for it online). It talks about how life is not all happiness or all sadness, yet many of us think that when depression hits in any way or form that is how life will be forever. But that too “shall pass.”
This is what I think Jesus means when he says:
“Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their father treated the false prophets.”
That is important to know to be ready for bad times. I have noticed that many people do not prepare for bad times, and when bad times come, they become worried and irritated. They start getting desperate and make bad decisions.
For example, when someone has a good job and is making good money, they don’t save money for the future or for undesired events, and when the economy collapses, or they lose their jobs, or the car breaks down, their response is to be upset with life and borrow some money or sell their house to get out of debt and get their head above water. I have been there, and I know the feeling.
The same reasoning applies with their health. Many drink, eat junk food and processed foods, don’t exercise and make bad health decisions and years later become ill to the point they are desperate to find a cure for their illness.
Nevertheless the verse continues with this:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man.”
That also means that bad times will not be there forever, that the person who cried will also smile. So this is only a cycle. For instance, if you lost your job, you are ill or have family problems or any other issue, it means that is going to pass and you will get to smile again. That does not mean that you should not work to get out of the downside and put effort into it. It means that your life will change for the better soon and your effort will pay off.
The truth is that no one is exempt from these lows and highs — no matter your education, economic status, marital status, nationality, religion, age or anything.
One of the requirements of my career is listening to people and finding out why they have not achieved their goals. And this is one of the reasons: They can’t handle the down side of life. They forget that the moment, weeks, months or even years are only a part of their life, not their whole life, and they stop moving forward.
So if you’re having a storm of bad news…
think about it, and you will find that something similar happened at some point in your past and you overcame it. You will overcome it again, and you will be smiling. Also, when you are smiling, be ready for the downside of life, because it will come. The good news is that you will be ready for it, and it won’t be so painful.
There was a man who came to collect fruit from his fig tree every year…
but each time he came back the tree had no fruit to offer. By the third year the man was upset with the tree and asked his servant to cut it down because all it was doing was taking from the soil. The servant suggested to give the tree another chance and he would work on the soil, and if the tree doesn’t bear fruit by the fourth year, they will take it down.
Simon Sinek is a marketing expert, and he talks about an experiment he performed. He persuaded a homeless woman to change her sign that said something like, “I am homeless,” to, “If you only give once a month, think of me next time.” She made more money in two hours than she used to make all day. I saw a video with the same effect. There was a blind guy asking for money, and the sign said, “Help me. I am blind.” A lady stopped and changed his sign to, “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it.” Then this guy made more money, too.
In the past I remember working only for money. I wanted everyone to look at me and focus on my car and my clothes and to give me more, and I was not genuinely thankful for people’s services. I learned to say thank you, but it was from my teeth out.
Many of us think about our needs only and what others can do for us…
but never think about how we can contribute to others’ lives. This is what made the difference in the signs of the homeless people. While many of the homeless people focus on “help me” by writing “I am homeless,” “I have 5 children,” “I am a veteran” and so on, the new message in the signs focuses on others instead of themselves. Now the homeless person is doing a legitimate transaction. He or she is offering “feeling good for giving,” and we are giving the person money.
It feels good to help. I have stopped to help people move their broken-down cars from the middle of traffic. I have helped people change their flat tire by the highway or load up their trucks when they lost equipment on the highway, I contribute monthly to different charities, and I look forward to see how I can help people who want and need help.
We always want something in exchange when we do something, and oftentimes the exchange for helping others is just the feeling we get from it. I am not only helping others because I want to be the nice guy and I want recognition. I am doing it because it makes me feel good. Not too long ago I went to the pool and I saw two guys struggling with the lockers. They lost their two quarters, and I had two extra ones. One guy was going to run downstairs and change his bill. I just told him that I had two extra quarters and gave them to him. The other guy told him to give me his one dollar bill. I know we’re talking about just two quarters. I told the guy to keep his bill. I almost wanted to tell him, “Don’t take my joy away. I prefer my joy than the extra 50 cents.” No matter if we do it with time, physical effort or money, we always end up buying the feeling of helping.
I learned that we release oxytocin when we help others…
This hormone contributes to our happiness. The best thing about helping others is that not only the person who is helping releases more oxytocin but so does the person who is being helped and the people watching the charitable event.
I can say that part of my success in life is thanks to practicing the act of helping others without expecting something in exchange. Our members at Custom Body Fitness can perceive my intentions, and therefore they trust us with their health.
When I was focusing only on me, I was miserable. I thought I was happy because I did not know better or how to improve my happiness. All I knew was taking from people. It was very hard to drop $2 in the church basket. Can you imagine giving $5? I was stuck. And no matter how hard I tried, I was always broke, and I felt unloved. I had three jobs where I was being paid well. But I spent my money either on partying, on material things that lose value, or fixing my car. I was like the fig tree. I was not giving fruit. Thank God He gave me another year to show that I can provide fruit.
Now, I don’t have these problems. Helping others not only makes me happy, it also helps me with the law of “what you sow is what you reap.” I can see myself progressing in life. In addition, many people accept me because they know I care about them, and being accepted is a human need.
I don’t think anymore about others serving me only. I think about how I can improve people’s lives. What can I do extra? What do I need to learn? How I can contribute to positively improve the community? Now it is mostly about others and not much about me.
When people are serving me in a restaurant, retail store or anywhere else, I appreciate their job, and I understand that what they do is not easy, and thanks to them I am getting the service or product that I need. We are all here to serve, and when we understand this, life is fulfilling.
When we don’t give fruit we end up like the fig tree, ready to be taken down. When we give fruit everyone likes us and they are ready to come to us and take our fruit to use it. This is the reason fruit trees exist and we exist: to provide for others.
I remember when I went to school to learn writing…
It was overwhelming (I bet that is what a person, who started a weight loss program, thinks as well). To write an essay of 500 words seemed to be impossible. Now I can write whole books. The same was true when I studied algebra. To learn how to factor and solve for x or y seemed very hard, but I learned.
The truth is that none of these are hard to do, but because we focus on the end results, it seems very difficult and we often get discouraged or afraid to start.
To be able to learn how to write, I needed to know what a sentence is and how to make one. Not only that but how to put my ideas in order, how to deliver the message and so on. The same happened with algebra: I needed to know when to subtract, add, divide, multiply, exchange character places, etc.
Like I said, if you see the whole algebra problem or the whole two pages of writing, it seems overwhelming. Nevertheless, if you focus on only one division or one sentence, it seems simple. This is how life works.
I have many goals in life, and I often get overwhelmed because I get stuck and don’t seem to move forward. I focus on the long-term goal and forget about the small tasks I do that help me get closer to my goal. You may focus on your car, house, business, weight loss, family or investments and become desperate to achieve what you want because it is taking time. But don’t forget about the process that is leading you to your goal.
The process is what matters.
To resolve an algebra problem or write a book takes a process. If you skip one of the steps it messes up the end results. For example, if you do one of the divisions for the algebra problem wrong or you divide instead of multiply, or move the variable to the wrong side, your results will be wrong. If you write an article without engaging your reader or lose your train of thought or don’t come to a conclusion, you lose the reader, and your ultimate goal is lost.
For example, many people who want to lose weight focus on the end results, and they are weighing themselves very often if not every day. They start exercising and they don’t eat healthily. By the end of the month or two months later they don’t see any changes on the scale. They get discouraged and stop making the effort to lose weight. This is like using only division in one of my algebra problems or checking my results each time I take a step without luck of getting the right answer.
Or many people when they start their weight loss program focus on everything they need to do to get results, such as cooking, being aware of whole foods, weight lifting 3 times a week, walking 3 times a week, waking up earlier, taking time from other practices, getting a gym subscription, hiring a personal trainer, learning about healthy food choices, delegating tasks to the family, driving to the gym and so on. To them it seems a lot. Just like when I started to write a page essay. It was a lot. What was I supposed to say? Who can write so much? Who is going to read it? Who can I explain it to? How can I start? What is going to be my conclusion? Is it going to take a lot of my time? I might need to rewrite a sentence many times? I need to think, and it’s boring.
When we focus on the whole process it is overwhelming just like when we focus only on the results without seeing them.
Once again we forget that we need to take every single step and do it right to get results…
For example, in an algebra problem, instead of thinking about all the division, addition, etc., we start by distributing the negative sign to the numbers needed and then we can add like terms and so on. We are following a process step by step. It is not overwhelming anymore. If we continue taking the right steps we will get the right results without having to be checking every time we take a step forward.
The same applies to weight loss…
Instead of thinking about all the things we need to do to lose weight we can start with the basics, such as cooking every day, eating breakfast, and going for a 30 minute walk 3 times a week. If we continue taking the right steps without checking the scale every day, just as with the algebra problem, we will get the results we desire.
When we get overwhelmed and start thinking about the results only, we lose sight of the small tasks we do to get the results. Can you imagine an athlete thinking about only her next match and being desperate for it without focusing on her training regimen, doing anything at anytime whenever she wants and not tracking her progress? What do you think would be the results?
To get real results it is very important to focus on the small tasks, because they add up to the results we get in the end. If we don’t, chances are that our results will be the wrong ones.
When I was young I wasted my time playing video games for hours. I could play all day and night. I love challenging games. I like games that have different levels and quests to accomplish. One of the reasons I played all day is because I would not stop until I defeated the game. No matter how many times I got defeated in the game I would try it again and again until I won. Video games did not add value to my life in any way, but I discovered that I have a useful trait.
In Mexico I was a public transportation driver. I started at 17 years old. I learned how to drive when I was 16. I am coming from a very poor family. My family and I barely could bring food to the table. We had no money for a bicycle let alone a car.
I started to hang out with people who work driving public transportation vans. When they were not on the road, I would beg them to teach me how to drive every time. They would always say no, and they called me annoying or stubborn, often in a mean way. When they did this, I felt rejected and mistreated. However, something inside me told me not to stop. Finally one day, some of them gave up and let me try. That was the beginning of my driving experience, and this is how I learned to drive.
The reason I could play video games for so many hours and enjoy it was because there was a challenge involved, and I have a virtue that I used when playing video games: persistence. I would not stop no matter how many times the game defeated me. This is also why I learned how to drive at an early age when the possibility to learn was minimal.
Life continued, and I noticed that many people don’t like my persistence because it is annoying. I let my persistence go for a while, and during that time I did not achieve anything meaningful in my life. At 28 years old I got into learning again, and I started to study. I found out that my persistence is what got me what I wanted. Therefore, I continue being persistent even if other people don’t like it. However, this time I needed to be smart by applying my persistence toward meaningful acts. This is how many people became successful in their lives.
I read about Silvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison and others who are part of our history, especially Mother Teresa. I read her story, saw her documentary and found out how persistent she was about getting people to support her cause.
For me, being “annoying” or “stubborn” is a virtue. Persistence shows that you really want what you are being persistent about. Persistence means that you won’t stop until you achieve your goal. Persistence is the mother of all disciplines. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge one has if there is persistence to succeed. Persistence is only for serious people who are willing to be rejected, get many “no’s” and fail many times.
I have been persistent in my career, and I am proud of it. It has helped me achieve many of my goals. Also, I think about the mistakes I made by not being persistent. “If only I had tried one more time,” “if only I would have had one more chance,” “If only I would have stayed longer,” “If only I could try it again.”
The other day, I was hiking and saw an ant pulling an insect bigger than itself. I stopped and contemplated him. The ant had many obstacles to overcome to take the insect to his refuge. The ant philosophy is very simple. They don’t stop no matter the obstacles. They get to their destination with their reward. If there is something blocking their path, they go up, left, right under and wherever it takes to get past it. What a great philosophy to learn from.
Persistence is one virtue I can tell has helped me get so far in my life. I have applied it everywhere in my life where I want to achieve anything, and it works.
Don’t be afraid of being rejected. If you really want to achieve your goal or dream, don’t stop until you get it. You will regret for not trying, but you will not regret for being persistent.
I have being paying close attention to how our body and our life transforms about every 7 years. For example, our cells are replaced every 7 years, our bones are replaced every 7 years and we are programmed for life in our first 7 years. I remember reading in a book by Carlos Cuauhtémoc Sanchez where he mentions that if we go back and check our pictures from seven years ago we will have changed our way of dressing, our facial futures, our hair style and other features.
What really caught my attention was a video of Bruce Lipton explaining how what we experience in our first 7 years influences how we are going to behave for our rest of our life (unless we do something about it). He further explains that our genes do not have any control over our future.
For example, if in his first 7 years of life a child has been taught to live in fear and he has been overprotected, he will behave like that for the rest of his life. If the child was abused or was taught violence for those 7 years, the child will become a violent adult. This will become his blueprint for life.
This is why it is so difficult to help people change their ways when they’re adults. They’re already programmed to be the way they are. This is the subconscious program that kicks in every time. Many people blame their behavior on their genes, but really it was the behavior that they were taught starting at birth, and because our parents are the ones with such behavior, we think it’s genetic.
It is like a machine that is controlled by a program. It will do only what the software or the program is commanding. To help the machine behave differently, a different program needs to be downloaded.
People who want to change their life do have an option to be happy instead of negative or to be in shape instead of overweight. People who don’t have a successful relationship can have one. People who are alcoholic can become sober. This is a matter of choice, and I will disclose what I have discovered in a moment.
Let’s go back to the 7 year period. Like I said in the beginning, every 7 years we are a completely different person depending on our environment, food, beliefs, acts and other things.
For example, let’s say that all you eat is junk food the first 7 years. By the time you’re 7 you have already developed a disease, or you are overweight. Or let’s say that your parents are negative and that is what you learned in your first 7 years. By age 7 you are already negative about your life.
To begin with, junk food is tasty and addicting (or if all you know is being negative) and you believe that is who you are and you don’t see your behavior, it will be very difficult to change the way you are eating (or your thought pattern).
Nevertheless, you may become aware of the harm junk food is doing to you and understand that to succeed in life and be happy what you need to do is be optimistic and that you have a choice about it. When you decide you would like to change your way, it’s the first step and the most important one you need to make. Now, I am only saying you have done this for 7 years. There are people who have done it for their whole life — 25, 40 or 60 years. The faster you find the behavior the easier it is to change. The longer you practice the behavior the harder it will be to change it.
In the past I was a mentally lazy person, an impulsive shopper, an alcoholic, addicted to cigarettes and destructive relationships, and quick to get angry or emotional in general. I did not know better. I honestly thought I was that way and I could never change my personality. I did not change for 28 years until I understood that I could be better, and if I wanted to be happy I needed to change my life. There is when I made the change. Even though I was changing every 7 years before my real change, the previous changes didn’t amount to much because I was continuing practicing many of the same behaviors.
It was not until I started reading, being conscious of my actions, listening to people who are more capable than me, meditating, eating healthily, setting goals, planning, saving money, forgetting about materialism and caring about others that I started to change, and my life reflects the change compared to 7 years ago (Many people don’t believe who I used to be when I tell them, and people who know me from my past don’t believe the change I’ve made).
Do this experiment: Go back to your picture collection and compare your pictures every 7 years, and you will notice the difference. If you compare pictures that are 2 or 3 years apart there will not be a big difference.
Here is the key to changing your life. You need to be aware and make an effort to do the things that are difficult for you. For example, if you never exercise and you quit a week after you start every time, you need to understand that you will be quitting every time unless you make a conscious effort not to; it will be difficult to exercise unless you decide to do it no matter what stands in your way. When your subconscious takes over, you will quit again, but when you consciously think you need to start exercising again, you will. This will be a fight until your new behavior gets recorded in your subconscious, and then you won’t have to fight any longer because it is a new habit.
If you have a negative thinking pattern, you can start recording your thoughts, or you can ask people around you to tell you when you are negative and you need to change one of those thoughts to a positive one or focus on the positive. For sure, you will relapse and think negatively again, but you need to consciously think positively again. It will take time before you change your thinking, but once again, once you have done it long enough, the fight you had in the beginning will be there no more.
All your fights will be difficult at first, but after a while you will need no effort once your subconscious has recorded the new program. It will take a lot of repetition and persistence to do it, but it will happen.
So if you want to change your way and be a better person, lose weight, have a successful relationship, have a job that you love or open your own business, be healthy, stop living paycheck to paycheck, be optimistic, and be successful in all areas of your life, you need to start practicing new habits. You need to start now; you will relapse many times, but you will be on your way to being a different person in 7 years.
I personally can tell you I am so happy I have changed my life for a better one even though it was difficult in the beginning. The only thing I regret is that I did not do it 7 or 14 years earlier; I would be in a better place now.
It is never too late to start enjoying your life, but don’t waste any more time living a life that you don’t truly enjoy. Stop blaming it on your genes and take responsibility for your happiness. When you’re 7 years older you will be glad you did.