Living the proactive Life
- Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Most people that I see in life are in a state of constant reaction and are not in control their lives fully. Now, I do not believe that there is any possibility of having one-hundred percent control of ones’ life. Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control and when such events do come around, often the best we can do is adapt. These adverse events generally have silver linings to them if you look hard enough.
However, I do believe that you can live a life of greater pro-activity vs being continually reactive to your body and your environment.
I spent the majority of my life in a complete state of reactivity. I always reacted to the food I was eating, the media, the news, other people’s emotional states etc., and I had very little awareness over how something I did, something I ate or something I listened to affected my life. It was only until seven years ago that I started to “bio hack” my life through knowledge and evolution, where I went on a mission to become as close to one-hundred percent proactive and in control of my life.
Now unfortunately for me, the cards I was issued to at birth weren’t ideal. I spent my entire life chronically ill and went through a great deal of continually pain. We all get given certain cards, some better than others, and we have to do the best with what we have.
Every single day is a working process. I have personally never had as much control and energy over my life as I do today.
Of course, this process isn’t easy at all; in fact it is very difficult and involves saying no and having the strength to continually pushing back on peer pressure and the status quo. Regrettably most people do not possess this strength or clarity over who they are and stand for as a person to say no.
In the modern age, there are so many external stimuli and distractions, especially in the area of advertisements, media and propaganda that basically attempts to govern and manipulate and mind control our lives through fear. We’ve been convinced that life must be led a certain way, constantly on the go, or else we are simply wasting it or not living correctly. The effect has caused a society of emotionally detached and disconnected people. These same people turn on the television for news, look through their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds, and see a tragedy or some horrific and cannot help by becoming somewhat emotionally engaged. For most of us, however, detaching our emotions from our actions causes a host of reactions that we may not be able to deal with appropriately.
We live in a turbulent society with a number of health epidemics nearly everywhere one looks, absurd incident rate rise in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, viruses, the cold and flu, allergies and anti-biotic resistant bacteria – the list goes on and on. Our food and water supply, as well as our air, is contaminated and we are continuously bombarded with external toxins that impact our abilities to fully control our emotions, physical well-being, energy and sleep patterns, amongst others. We’re becoming complete slaves to our environment.
The statistics for diagnosed anxiety, depression and stress-related issues are at an all-time high and are not getting better for the foreseeable future. According to the 2010 APA study of stress in America, most Americans suffer from moderate to high stress, with forty-nine percent of the causes being attributed to job security, the economy and other factors. Children are also feeling the unfortunate side effects of the cacophony of our society. One third in the aforementioned study reported symptoms that are physical manifestations of stress.
People are not dealing with the problems caused by the increase in distractions, toxins and stress factors.
The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) states quite clearly that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting some forty-million adults aged eighteen and older. Despite them being highly treatable, many continue to put self-care on the backburner for themselves and the ADAA states only one-third of those who are suffering from it ever seek out treatment. With the rest of the turbulence of society, for those suffering from anxiety or depression, it is more than likely that they will be even more detached, apathetic and stuck in an unforgiving limbo due to being consistently low on energy, motivation and many times being unable to cope with the pressures put on them by peers and society alike.
In short, with our society operating as it currently does and people constantly being in a reactive mode rather than being proactive, adopting healthier lifestyles and self-care has become a personal thing wherein people need to engage on so called self-directed apprenticeships in hacking/optimising their own bodies. Unfortunately no one knows your health like you do and you are really going to have to be in charge of guiding your own health. Ultimately you are going to have to b come strong enough to be an advocate of your own health.
We have our telephones on our watch, thousands of applications to take care of– we are continuously connected to the grid in one way or another. Our attention-spans and focus face constant bombardment and the same bombardment is attributed to contributing greatly to the heightened anxiety levels now commonly experienced.
As well as our constant reaction to the said grid, the expectations of societal conformities also make it difficult for us to place ourselves in positions where we are actually in control. The “American dream” as one example is ideally thought of as: a mortgage for a nice house, two cars, college, a career, etc. Naturally, with the economy still struggling, it is obvious to see how simple obtaining those things would lead to a lack of control, whether it is through expectations or debt and the resulting stress from failing to meet expectations and having a lack of money in a society that places heavy importance on money. That mentality leads to us constantly attempting to conform, earn respect and avoid disappointing those that are watching – this mentality has a heavy impact on the quality of our lives and health, without question.
One of the largest issues that many have brought up is the unrealistic ideal of beauty. There is an expectation for every kind of person with every kind of identity out there. Over one-half of women and a third of men have been estimated as having eating disorders. Worse still is that the death toll of people afflicted with eating disorders either due to psychiatric disorders or due to societal pressures ranges in the area of twenty percent – between height, weight and the way in which society perceives these factors, many psychological experts have stated that it is something that is slowly killing society.
When placed in the proverbial hamster wheel running for the prize, the pain of not being able to experience change exceeds the pain of not being able to change before anyone takes action. “Many exist in this continuous limbo where they are reacting to their environment while running that wheel towards what society deems is worth running”, said gauntlet. A.P.J Abdul Kalam once stated: “A characteristic feature of the authoritarianism in our society is its insidious ability to addict people to the endless pursuit of rewards, wealth, prestige, position, promotion, approval of one’s lifestyle by others, ceremonial honors and status symbols of all kinds”. In the same speech, he would go on to say, “Life is a difficult game. You can only win by retaining your birthright to be a person”.
Though, if you put yourself out there and seek what you look for, serendipity will kick in and you will ultimately find the real prize.
If I am to summarizing things, there are only two truths in the matter;
- Something or someone either makes us better, energises us, makes us more positive and empowers our immunity, or
- Something does the exact opposite and detracts from all of these.
It either makes you better, or it does not – and in the end it is all about being proactive and reactive. The more reactive we become, the less energy and focus we have. The more proactive we become, the more we can focus our energies on improving all aspects of our lives.
If we change our entire life focus towards growth, then we will never be bored. To live the most fulfilling life possible, we have to make every step count and doing so involves being as proactive as possible.
As such, will any person that I meet, anything that I eat or anything I do improve the overall value of my life or detract from it?
- When I meet someone – do they make me better? Will they add to the overall quality of my life? Do they possess the right type of positive energy to improve and complement my energy? Are they inspiring as an individual?
- When I eat something – will it give me more sustained energy or will it cause me to ultimately slump energy like a yo-yo e.g. sugar, carbs and alcohol etc. Will this empower my immune system or detract from it? Will it increase the toxicities in my body or decrease it?
- When I do anything – is the said act moving towards achieving my superordinate vision or steering me away from it?
We have one life to live, and we should live it to our full potential.
Most people are completely out of tune with their own bodies. They are bombarding their bodies with so much junk and they become numb or desensitized to the pain. It is not that they do not feel it or that the thing that they have ingested doesn’t have an effect on them, it is merely that they have become used to the repercussions. This is a classic reactivity play.
Take some time to self-reflect on your daily tasks, distractions and issues. Ask yourself what kind of issues are reoccurring or regular – this allows for you to take the necessary steps to stop them in advance and develop plans for handling them if they come up regardless. There is something to be said for the magical grey area between running the constant rat race and lazily following the rhythms of life without any goal in mind. While neither or all may work for some people, in the middle exists a firm hand that one can use to push their ship towards something that truly matters to them. Even if it is just as small as taking up something that interests you, just for the sake of having taken it up, you still will have made a move to add to your energy and improve your focus.
Being proactive is one of the best steps you can take to ensure you achieve your superordinate vision and reach your full potential as a human being. Our minds are delicate and as such we should be careful who we let influence our thought process.
Original photo from Matteo Bagnoli – https://www.flickr.com/photos/matteo_bagnoli/5030486811/ – and compiled quote from BK – https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/.