“…there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.”
I just finished reading one of my favorite books. “The five people you meet in heaven” by Mitch Albom.
I typically don’t re-read many books but there are a collection of five or so that I like to come back to. The messages in them are just way to powerful and really need to be re-taught every so often. Just wanted to touch on some of the themes from the book that can be applied.
We meet Eddie, the main character, on the day of his death. The story unfolds and teaches us a valuable lesson about life, well-being, and how it all has meaning.
1. There are no random acts in life: Essentially all our lives are intertwined in some way. From the middle finger you gave someone on the freeway this morning to the seventy-three cents you may have put in a homeless mans cup. Little do we know it but those acts resonate throughout the lives of many.
Someone may have seen you give that man seventy-three cents. Later in the day, whether they were thinking about it or not that act of kindness could have motivated them to do the same. Or pay-it-forward in some other way. Maybe they bought the person behind them in Starbucks a cup of coffee for no reason. Or maybe they stopped off at the florist and bought a loved one some flowers just because.
2. Forgiveness/Let go of anger: Anger simply ruins your happiness and possibly someone else’s. It’s ok to get pissed off every once in a while. But chill out for a minute and go through this process.
Why am I angry?
Chances are you may come to find that you are not really that upset with the other person or the incident. Were you already having a rough day and it translated over? Are you upset with what someone else did or are you really ticked of because you are interpreting the situation wrong?
The only real way to get answers and to learn is to ask questions. Before blowing the top off the tea-pot sit down and talk, communicate and ask questions to understand where the other person is coming from.
Be solution focused:
Probably best not to approach a situation trying to prove that another person is wrong. Don’t take my word for it but something tells me it may just create a bigger mess (subtle sarcasm here). Let the other person know what they can do in the future but also make sure to let them know how you plan to approach the situation differently
Stick to your values:
Chances are the same qualities you value and like in other people, conversation, and communication are the same as everyone else. Why approach are difficult situation swaying form those values. Would you want to be yelled at? Talked down to? Ignored? I’d put twenty on it in Vegas that says they don’t either.
Let go of anger. Has someone done you wrong? Are you holding on to it?
Just forget it. Here is a great quote from Nira Kavku; a reader over at Tiny Buddah
“Understand this: whether you like it or not, over time, you will stop feeling the pain, so why hold on to something that’s going to go away anyway”?
If you are still having a hard time. Go enjoy some relaxing activities. Surfing, rock climbing, jog, read, the list goes on…. What makes you come alive and puts a smile on your face.? Go do it!
3. Sacrifice: Often times a sacrifice you are making is for the good of another. Keep that in mind always. More often than not this will ring true.
“sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. you’re just passing it on to someone else.”
A little more on random acts
It can be justified both ways. Some will argue that there does exist some spontaneity, acting on impulse, or sheer random acts. I don’t totally dispute that but personally I believe everything is thought out in one way or another. Wether that is over a long period of time, in a quick Bon Jovi-ish blaze of glory, or somewhere in the middle.
In terms of kindness, “random acts” of kindness arise from an intention to be kind. Followed by the action of actually doing so. Although they may be directed towards someone who is a complete stranger, none-the-less the kindness first arises from a thought and desire to be kind.
Often times what we think of as random acts were actually ingrained in us at a young age. Think back for a minute. Do you remember seeing your parents give a stranger some money for gas, write your name on your lunch bag with some hearts surrounding it, or maybe rake the leaves or shovel the snow of a next door neighbor.
Now how many times have you repeated those same acts?
Maybe it was not even a close family member or friend that you saw do this. Ever remember watching someone help another out whose car may have broken down?
Don’t think for a second that those things don’t stay with you. They absolutely do. They help shape who we become.
Surround yourself with more goodness, happiness, and kindness and see what that does for you over a period of time.
So how does this relate to our health and nutrition.
Just like random acts our health habits are usually established early in our lives. We saw what our friends, family, and the rest of society was eating and doing to stay fit and we simply mimicked it because it was what the status quo was doing.
So in essence, our health is not random. It is something that has been established some time ago. Most often we take the easy road and stay with what we have been doing because it is easy and comfortable.
One amazing thing about life is that you can re-invent yourself at any moment. Just because you eat meat today doesn’t mean you can’t be vegetarian tomorrow. We all have the ability to change who we are over night.
The idea is to educate yourself. Experiment and see what works for you. Don’t just trust what you have been told by the majority. Go and seek answers for yourself.
Does anger or emotion influence how you exercise or eat.? I know personally that I can be a bit of an emotional eater. It’s not like I cry while I’m eating my almond butter but if I am having a rough day, or overly excited it can change my eating and exercising patterns. I may forget a meal or two, crave some sugar and go for the ice cream, or decide not to get my workout in so that I can play the worlds smallest violin just for me instead.
Embrace your emotions. Ask yourself why are you feeling this way. What can you do to prevent feeling this way again or if extremely happy how can you duplicate it? Become the master of your emotions and you become the master of your life (more on this in a later post).
What are you willing to sacrifice in order to be better today than yesterday? Are you willing to miss your favorite program in-order to get a good nights sleep? Are you willing to skip the nacho’s and beer with the fellas in order to drop the pounds?
Lets wrap this up
Boy, I sure to get carried away sometimes. I apologize for the length. To sum it up, are you willing to get to know yourself? To invest in yourself? To scrap everything you ever thought was right just because the majority said so and to educate yourself and learn as much as possible about YOU. What works for YOU and what doesn’t.
Long story short…. how can you perform an intentional act of kindness today for yourself and for someone else? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to be better today than you were yesterday?
I’d love to hear about any acts, sacrifices, or general thoughts. Give me a shout or throw them down here in the comments.
All the best in all you do,