When I was 25 years old, I became a gym junkie. I went four times a week and trained hard with a personal trainer. During that time of my life, I was chasing the physical appearance benefits of going to the gym and training.
I remember feeling really good after every workout. Whenever I felt stressed or upset, going to the gym helped me.
Then my life crashed: I stopped.
About two years in, everything in my life went horribly wrong. I ended up leaving a business and starting all over again. I sold everything I had and so I could no longer justify paying a personal trainer. I stopped going to the gym not long after too.
Here’s the harsh truth.
Since that day when I quit the gym all those years ago, I’ve never felt the same. The rush that you get from putting your body under pressure and sweating profusely can’t be matched. A few weeks ago, I began reading this book that included a chapter on physical training.
The benefits were highlighted to me again. You’ll increase your endorphin levels triggering a positive response in your body; you’ll increase cardiac volume; you’ll increase insulin sensitivity and that will put you in a better mental state. Oh, and it makes you smarter too.
Endorphins make you smarter by improving blood flow to the brain and boosting growth hormones that produce new nerve cells. They even help release brain chemicals like dopamine, glutamine and serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you happy.
So obviously going to the gym and having these endorphin things are good for you. Imagine what newfound energy this will bring to your passions in life.
What caused me to go back to the gym?
I’d been feeling low on energy despite my healthy diet and I was getting a few headaches. This was literally killing my dreams because I didn’t have the energy I needed to write inspirational content.
I came home from the gym and felt on fire!
After my first session back at the gym, I came home and felt on fire. I wrote five blog posts in a matter of hours – they were some of my best work. My mental state was changed and the low energy I was experiencing went away.
The food I ate began to change.
When you increase the endorphin levels in your body, I found, that I no longer wanted to eat junk food. I’ve seen the same change in my friends who have gone this route as well. Training at the gym makes you want to refuel and recharge with proper food.
All of a sudden a big greasy pizza just doesn’t feel appealing anymore. You start to crave fruit, vegetables, tofu, seafood and anything that will nourish you and help you train again the next day.
I know this sounds nuts and I promise you it’s true!
It’s not just the endorphins.
The endorphin rush is not the only benefit I got from the gym. There were added side benefits that I didn’t even think of.
It’s the discipline you get.
It’s the goals you set.
It’s the changes you see.
It’s the people you meet at the gym.
What starts to happen is that you become focused on being just that little bit better each day. Instead of staying the same and not growing in any way, your mindset changes.
“You look for ways to improve your life and the gym becomes the catalyst for it”
It’s only after some deep, meditative thought that I came to this conclusion. Lucky I read that book hey?
And wait, there’s more.
I started to smile more. With my mental state changing for the better, I no longer found myself disappointed or pissed off for not having the energy I craved, to live my life.
With all of this extra thinking space, I found myself smiling more. Looking after yourself feels good. If nothing else, it gives you something to be happy about.
Anger and stress decreased.
During the first week of gym training, I had a few negative situations I was dealing with at work.
They were really annoying me and I found myself being angry.
This anger led to stress that I hadn’t experienced for a while.
“The gym became an outlet for me to get out of my own head because I was forced to concentrate on the pain and focus needed to do the exercises I had committed to”
Combining the gym with a bit of meditation also helped too.
Don’t forget that three letter word (you thought I was going to say Tim but I mean sex baby!)
So far I’ve only spoken about the gym – don’t forget sex as well. Sex releases endorphins. If you want more endorphins, then have more sex!
Now you have two sources of endorphins to play with (pardon the pun).
I know what you’re thinking – because I am Gandhi (joking) – “Tim I already knew all of this. Of course going to the gym is good for you.”
That’s the issue right there. We know lots of stuff and most of the time we still don’t take action on what is good for us. The best way to take action on tasks like going to the gym is to hear someone else’s story.
Stories will inspire you to take action, not knowledge.
Now you’ve heard my story, it’s time to take action. Drag your ass to the gym and start exercising. Don’t forget to sexercise as well (insert wink emoji here)!
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.
Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.
None of this was intentional.
I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.
As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’
I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.
I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.
I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.
One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”
I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.
I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.
Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.
I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.
I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.
But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.
So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.
On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.
It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.
I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.
“Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”
It’s not about the bad day.
Bad days will happen.
It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.
I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”
Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.
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This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.
Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.
Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.
The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.
Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.
Here’s how you can make your country better:
Use your voice
When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.
It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.
Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.
The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.
By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.
Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.
It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.
In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.
It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.
The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.
Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.
A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.
There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.
Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.
The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.
We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.
Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.
Pick up the trash
This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.
I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.
When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.
Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.
Don’t think you can’t make your country better
A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.
There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.
The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.
The people that change their country believe they can.
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