Does your mind and body hum with energy and enthusiasm, or are you sputtering along on low grade fuel and living on creaking joints, weakening muscles, and brittle bones? Do you think clearly and have a zest for living, or are you resigned to living the life of the stereotypical over sixty adult? Whichever you are, you will enjoy this series of Energy Bites that I’m writing for you over the next nine weeks.
A number of years ago, I created what I termed The Personal Energy Formula. It consists of your Mind and Attitude as one part of the formula, and your Body as the other. Nine vitality elements make up the formula. Five relate to your “Attitude” and four relate your “Body”. These nine vitality elements are simply my breakdown of all the principles and factors that go into creating and enjoying a “sound mind in a sound body”, even as you get older. You’ll find a short synopsis of the nine elements in this post. You’ll discover all the benefits to each, and how to apply them to your own life in the weeks to come.
These nine vitality elements are: Acceptance, Willingness, Purpose, Enthusiasm, and Action on the Attitude side of the formula, and Fuel, Movement, Posture and Bearing and Sleep, Rest and Recovery on the Body side. Here’s a quick rundown of these nine vitality elements. They’ll each be coming to you over the next nine weeks as stand-alone posts.
- Acceptance: Acceptance begins with a brutally honest self-appraisal of your current reality. Who are you now, really? What is your attitude toward your life in general? Are you totally satisfied with where you are, or would you prefer to see greater possibilities opened to you as you get older? Whatever your current reality about life is now, you must be willing to accept “what is” before you can move forward to any sort of new reality. You are who you are. Accept it.
- Willingness: If you are not totally satisfied with your current reality, are you willing to define and create a new reality for yourself? You can you know. You can transform your current reality in an instant and begin your journey into a totally new reality of your choosing. That’s part of what The Come Alive Project is all about.
- Purpose: Do you have a reason to get out of bed in the morning? In Dan Buettner’s book, Blue Zones, he identifies locations in the world where people have lived longer, healthier lives than anywhere else on earth. He identified a number of principles that each group had in common. The main common denominator for longevity in all the Blue Zones was having a purpose for living. In Okinawa, for example, they use the term “Ikigai” which translated, means “Reason for getting up in the morning.” For most seniors . . . “There’s more to getting older than getting old. There’s a Come Alive Attitude bottled up inside your ‘seniorhood’ that keeps yelling, ‘I want out! Show me the possibilities! Show me the way!’” – Me . . . and that’s what The Come Alive Project is all about. You’ll be learning plenty about this fundamental vitality element in a couple of weeks.
- Enthusiasm: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. That’s what Ralph Waldo Emerson said about enthusiasm. Some call it Passion. Whatever you call it, it reflects a vital spirit within you that provides you with the energy and vitality to make things happen. In fact, the very word Enthusiasm is derived from the Greek “En Theos”, which translates to “The Spirit Within” or “The God Within” if you like. Doing what you do with passion or enthusiasm will keep you mentally and emotionally young and balanced. Combine passion with purpose and you’re unstoppable. You’ll get an entire post about the power of Enthusiasm and how to generate it in just a few weeks.
- Action: The final element on the Attitude side of the formula is Action. All else is nothing unless some sort of action is associated with it. Thoughts are dormant until you take action. It all starts with the way you’re thinking. One of the classic writings on the power of thought is the short booklet, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. You can find it online. Read it. It takes about forty-five minutes to read. But starting with a thought by itself doesn’t translate into action. In a couple of weeks I’ll blog about the power of turning thoughts into action and how to do it.
How about the four vitality elements that make up the Body, or Physical, side of the Personal Energy Formula? Here’s a quick preview.
- Fuel: What do you use to fuel your body, high octane or low grade fuel? You fuel your body through the sun, air, water and food. These are the raw necessities for life on earth. You must get them in proper proportion. You can’t live long without any of them. Why is sun included? I’ll explain in another Energy Bite why this is such a critical fuel for life. I’ll have future posts on how best to fuel and refuel your body for health, energy and vitality and eliminate much of the ever-increasing confusion about the kinds and quality of the fuels you use to power yourself.
- Movement: Some call this exercise, but movement is a lot more than exercise. Our bodies are meant to function in certain ways. We are designed to be able to push, pull, lift and carry, bend and twist, balance, and move from point A to point B under our own steam, no matter what our age. But most exercise programs are filled with movements that apply more to resolving vanity problems, or to being a performance athlete? In most cases, these don’t apply to seniors who are much more interested in being healthy, active, functional beings. You’ll get plenty of useful and valuable information about functional and practical exercise and movement in future blog posts.
- Posture and Bearing: This is what others see. How you stand, how you move, your gestures and facial expressions make up your physical presence. Your posture and bearing convey to others, your overall outlook on life in general as well as your approach to life’s possibilities. This is what Seminar Leader Tony Robbins calls your “Physiology”. Your posture and bearing reflect on the outside, the way you feel on the inside. I’ll be writing a major post on Posture and Bearing in a few weeks.
- Sleep, Rest and Recovery: Your body must recover after exercise and as a result of the ongoing events and stress of your typical day. This requires adequate rest and sleep. Sleep patterns vary but you’ll learn the general rules that apply. Your muscles and organs actually renew and rebuild during recovery periods rather than during actual periods of exercise. You’ll get complete details during a future stand-alone post.
These nine vitality elements are critical to your own personal health and vitality. If you apply them to your own life, you’ll Come Alive with energy and vitality. If you don’t . . . Hmm? Well, it’s your life.
I hope you enjoy and benefit from these useful and information packed posts over the weeks to come.