I’ve been in the world of health, wellness, and human performance for close to 30 years. I’ve helped regular people find solutions to their injury and performance issues, and I’ve helped many professional and Olympic champions as well.
I’ve seen these people struggle with making the right choices, struggle with wading through the cascade of advice permeating the internet and their lives every day. I find myself asking this question:
Why do we do what others do instead of understanding our own personal solutions?
Everyone is different.
Every single one of us is unique.
Upon our birthday we came into this world with a map of our life and we began to follow it with our own intuition, the direction and influence of our parents and family, and as we grew older with the influences of society at large.
Each of us followed our own personal world map on a course that we designed completely with every choice we made.
Yes, even when much may seem to have been imposed upon us, there was always a choice in how we reacted to that imposition, how we framed it in our mind.
Nothing we do is without choice, even the moments in which we believe we make no choice, the decision not to choose is a choice in and of itself!
Today we are struggling more and more with making personal choices. We are bombarded every day with all the expert opinion telling us what we should do.
Just as an example, when we observe the world of physical well being today, there seems to be no end to the dogma on:
Which diets are the best?
What foods should and should not be eaten?
How much we should drink?
When we should drink?
When we should sleep?
How much we should sleep?
What workout we should be doing?
What training fad we must be following?
How to train to loose the most weight?
And on and on!
It seems we are some how out of our minds if we are not following today’s trends and so instead of choosing what’s best for us, we choose what everyone else is doing.
Should we feel bad when we are not doing what we are told, doing what everyone else is doing, or generally following the heard?
The answer is no, we should be choosing our solution, not someone else’s solution.
So when it comes to our health and wellbeing and the choices we make each day to eat, drink, exercise, sleep, meditate, journal, socialize, etc. ask yourself a few key questions before you embark on the journey of follow the leader.
Am I smiling on the inside?
Basically do I feel good when I am doing it or after I am finished doing it?
When you are training do you feel good, or does that good feeling come on when you’re done?
If the answer to these is no, then chances are you won’t keep doing it and that is the key to success. Find something else you like doing!
If you like doing Crossfit, HITTtraining, Tabata, Pilates, ballet barre, yoga, or any other of the myriad of training solutions, and you are in the gym every day training because of it, then do it. Do what you like to do!
But again, do you feel good during and after? Are you suffering pain afterwards? Are you getting therapy so you can go back the next day and start again?
Only you know the truthful answer to those questions.
How about when you eat a really rich meal, do you feel good while you are eating it? Do you feel good after you finish eating it? I bet some people reading this would say no to both questions, some would say yes to the first and no to the last, and then there are some who might say yes to both.
Bottom line: if you are smiling all the way through and beyond then go for it!
The key is the truthful answer. If you love rich, high calorie food when you are finished eating it, do you truly feel good? Do you revel in the sensations in your stomach and in your body? How do you really feel for the next few hours? How do you sleep? How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? What is your truth?
Your truth should drive your choice.
If you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, then regardless of whether you sleep ten hours or five hours, the amount of sleep is working for you. If not, then find the right amount of time so you do feel refreshed. You have two choices, go to bed earlier, or get up later. It’s a choice.
If you like to watch TV before you go to bed and you sleep like a bear, and in the morning you wake up, jump out of bed and get after it; then watch TV before you go to bed!
If it is working for you, keep doing it. If it’s not, try something else.
If you want to live a solutions driven life realize you always have a choice, and make choices that make you smile on the inside.
Originally published at medium.com