by Ninja Master Mark Fisher
The plane is going down.
The pressure in the cabin is out of control, and your stomach is dropping with the distinct sensation of hurtling towards the earth. There’s a small child next to you crying hysterically and the oxygen masks have dropped. Your heart is pounding.
Now you have to make a choice.
At MFF, we always talk about “putting your own oxygen mask on first.” While it’s generally not quite as dramatic as the more literal example above, prioritizing self-care is possibly the ultimate act of rebellion in our modern society. (Tweet that SHIT!)
It’s human nature to think we’re doing the right thing by sacrificing ourselves. The plane is going down, so we put the mask on the child next to us. Then we pass out, and said child is left to fend off the wild tigers all by itself after you crash land. Doh!
How often in life do you put someone else first, thinking you’re being noble, only to find you’re unable to really be your best self? You have an obligation to take care of yourself FIRST. If you really want to make the world better, and if you really want to take care of your loved ones, you must develop the discipline to take the action steps to ensure you’re looking out for numero uno.
This is a mindfuck. It goes against a lot of deeply ingrained social practices. Even though it can feel almost selfish, that doesn’t make it any less true.
Are you justifying putting off your health and hotness because you’re in a job you hate that’s paying you well? Will you really be valuable to your loved ones when they have to take care of you as you struggle through a needlessly early old age?
Fear not! This article is for you workaholics who never seem to have enough time to take care of your body. Read on for some strategies to carve out time to for your health and hotness.
Health Is The First Wealth, Motherfuckers
Oftentimes we can rationalize why we have to work so many hours, why it’s ok to sleep five hours every night, and why it’s ok to eat predominantly take out. The tragedy here is it that’s it’s generally coming from a good place. We want to make a good income for our loved ones or we have a legitimate passion for our careers.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone from being a hustler. If there are specific periods where you work your balls off non-stop, I’m not going to argue with you. Based on your link of work, on occasion this may be entirely prudent for certain periods.
But if you spend decades of your working life in a high-stressed, under-sleeping, poorly-eating, no-exercising, workaholic lifestyle…you’re ensuring you will probably be a burden for your loved ones when they inevitably have to take care of you once you start falling apart after a few decades of neglect.
I know this is harsh. But don’t hate the playa, hate science.
What Are You Going To Stop Doing?
It can be hard to pull back on doing so much in our daily lives. And if you currently can’t fit in exercise, sleep, or eating well, we’ll need to cut some shit out. You’ll find a lot of tactics for getting the best results in the fastest amount of time on the MFF blog. But what if you can’t seem to find ANY time?
Let’s play a game!
Take out a piece of paper and write down everything you do in an average day. Include EVERYTHING. Meetings. Emails. Food prep. Commuting. TV and Facebook counts. Figure out about how long you spend on these tasks. Now look at those activities and spend a moment reflecting on how they contribute to your goals. You can’t do this wrong, because it depends on your personal priorities.
If achieving success in your job is cockblocking your fitness, let’s focus on getting excellent professional results first.
What are the three most important things you do every day in your job? For most of us, there are a few key activities that drive the majority of our success. Not only do we want to keep doing these, but upon reflection, you may find that these should be receiving MORE of your time and energy. By building clarity around what is contributing most to your life goals, you can start to trim the hedges a bit. What have you listed that you can stop altogether?
If you find there are no obvious low hanging fruit, and your day is ALL about work, I’ll bet there are activities you’re doing for work that are not majorly contributing to your professional success. What’s on that list that you can do less of? Are those 50 blogs you read REALLY providing enough education to warrant the time you spend checking them? Is it possible to not read ALL of the newspaper? Can you be more efficient in your use of meeting times? Are there projects you’re working on that you can just cancel?
I’m sure there are!
Humans are creatures of habits. This is a good thing, because if we create them thoughtfully, they allow us to get shit done without epic amounts of willpower. However, not all habits are helpful. When someone is not able to fit in the very basics of self-care, we need to take a look at our daily activities and prioritize.
We all get the same 24 hours per day. High achievers just use that time better. Doing less is rarely celebrated, but if doing less allows us to carve out the time for doing more important life endeavors, it should be! Unlike money or energy, time is not a renewable resource. Once a day is gone…it’s gone.
While one great strategy is to work your ass off and take frequent vacations, this is not a cure all. Some activities crucial for your long-term well-being need to be done on a very regular basis. You can’t brush your teeth once every two weeks for 30 minutes. If you’re not currently making time for your health and hotness, take a discerning look at how you’re currently spending your time. You will be able to find time you didn’t know you had and cut out activities that aren’t really helping with your goals. And as a sexy bonus, you will find things you’re currently doing that you can do more of!
Now take ten minutes and give this exercise a try. Then drop a note in the comments below and lemme know what you discovered!