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July 17, 2012

31 Life Insights Learned Over 31 Years

Another birthday, and another opportunity to take inventory. Where I have I been, where am I going. A lot has happened in the last 365 days since last year’s birthday post. And I am happy to share with you a new license pic, one where I look sober and showered :) As opposed to last year’s, here. PS I promise I won’t write a birthday post every year!

For this year’s birthday post, I thought I’d share a quick run-down of some of my favorite insights and lessons that I currently use as a framework for how I love my life. Once again, I don’t have all the answers. I only know what has worked for me, and I am, as always, a work in progress. Here goes:

1] Give up trying to convince people that what you’re doing is worthwhile. And just do it. They are your dreams, you don’t have to justify them to anyone :)

2] The one thing you can control is your attitude. How you choose to perceive the world around you is 100% up to you.

3] Oh–you can also control your effort. And effort will win out every time over talent.

4] Create your life, exactly the way you want. You can always do something to improve your happiness, whether its starting a blog, connecting with new people or starting a business on the side. There’s no reason in today’s day that we shouldn’t be able to do exactly what makes us happy. And of course, “Stop doing shit you hate.” –Jason Ferruggia :)

5] Positivity beats negativity every time. Positive attitudes bring about positive outcomes.

6] Criticism can be a gift. It doesn’t mean we have to agree or change what we’re doing. It’s simply a useful PRACTICE for us to define our truth & build our resiliency. Don’t surround yourself with people who always agree with you. Stick your neck out, and then fall in love with your struggles.

7] Read. Everything you can get your hands on. Exposure increases awareness and possibilities.

8] Don’t take things personally (one of The Four Agreements). Hard to implement, but a complete game-changer.

9] It doesn’t hurt you to give people the benefit of the doubt. And it is the most incredible gift you can give someone else.

10] Practice independent thinking. Ask questions. Be the contrarian. Question authority. It helps to build critical thinking, encourages innovation & besides, it’s fun :)

11] “Push until you can’t, rest until you can.” –Metabolic Effect/Jade Teta. I use this in all things: exercise, life, relationships, business. Taking down-time/recovery time allows for us to recharge focus and productivity. Without the rests, we can’t push as hard.

12] Eat chocolate. Because it’s awesome. Oh yeah–and there are plenty of health benefits to cocoa. But mostly because it’s awesome. And while you’re at it, go ahead and make these.

13] Don’t not do something because you think there are people out there who can do it better than you. Of course there are! But don’t let it stop you. There will also be someone more knowledgable, more well-read, with more experience or more talent. Who cares. You need to start somewhere in order to get better and grow. Besides, why NOT you? Kill the Impostor Syndrome.

14] Willpower is exhaustible. Anyone can harness willpower for 12 weeks and follow a strict diet & exercise plan. But long-lasting fat loss mindset shifts and lifestyle changes take time, practice and finding short-cuts. Couple of recommended reads: ‘The Willpower Instinct’ by Kelly McGonigal, ‘Switch’ by Chip & Dan Heath, ‘The Happiness Advantage’ by Shawn Achor. Stop relying on willpower, it’s only a band-aid.

15] There’s enough happiness, success and money to go around.

16] Want abs? Do track sprints and keep your eating clean as a whistle. Abs are made in the kitchen.

17] Think big. You have to think anyway–it’s the same difference. “Big thinkers are never satisfied with what they already know. They are always visiting new places, reading new books, meeting new people, learning new skills.” –John C. Maxwell. When you think big, you attract big opportunities, big people and big pay offs.

18] Eating tilapia and asparagus for 12 weeks is no way to live your life.

19] Bacon has magical powers. And yes, food can be fun, just don’t make the mistake of looking to food to solve your problems, help you “relax” or as a reward for hard work. Foods aren’t inherently “bad” or “good,” it’s just that some move us down the spectrum towards fat loss, while other up the spectrum towards fat storage.

20] Never let someone who’s not invested in the outcome, influence your decision. Putting skin in the game counts.

21] “Long-duration, moderate-intensity exercise does not make you gain fat. It simply makes it more difficult to stay on a tight nutrition plan due to compensatory hunger and cravings.” –Jade Teta/Metabolic Effect

22] Be open to outcomes, not attached to them. Nothing is predictable, linear or certain. All you can expect is to do your best. And that is good enough. It has to be. Because it’s all you can do :)

23] Conventional broccoli beats an organic cookie any day when it comes to fat loss and health. Keep it simple.

24] People will always do what they do. Stop being surprised. All you can control are your own actions.

25] You can be alone without being lonely. And the idea that we need someone else to “complete us” is absurd. We are whole as is, as individuals. And if you are lucky enough to find an incredible partner in this world, it’s fun to come together to create something bigger!

26] You are the average of the 5 closest people you surround yourself with. Want a positive existence, seek out positive people. Want to be successful, seek out people doing it better than you. Want to get lean? Follow people who are living a lean lifestyle.

27 ] Love what is. When people say, “It is what it is” this is the absolute truth. Reality is what is. And our feelings and disappointment about what should be only causes us stress. Expectations can get us in trouble–it certainly has me. So I gave them up!

28] Be grateful. It’s the fastest way to a good mood. Besides, things don’t happen to us, they happen for us. There are lessons everywhere.

29] Stop hoarding your stuff for fear of copycats. Put it all out there, share like crazy. And then when your ideas show up somewhere else, be grateful that someone was inspired enough by your thoughts and insights to create something similar. The more you give, the more it comes back to you.

30] The person who challenges you the most is your greatest teacher.

31] Don’t confuse being busy with being productive. Being busy for busy’s sake is a waste. Get focused, develop your vision and work hard for short period of time. “Don’t mistake movement for achievement.” –Jim Rohn

Ya’ll are the best! Thank you for reading this blog and for your support for what we do! YOU are the best birthday present of all! :) ox Jill

Related: 8 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love

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