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Life moves really fast, especially when you’re bombarded with the daily activities of life! I can remember like it was yesterday, my mother telling me to wake up for school by clanging and banging dishes and pots in the kitchen! Ugh, I hated that! She always made me eat breakfast, said it was for brain health and whatever, I definitely appreciate what she did more now than I did then.

But speaking of health, let’s add work into the mix of your adult life. You’re making moves, hustling, shaking hands, and kissing babies (via zoom more than likely), jumping through hoops, putting out fires, basically kicking ass and claiming titles! All those things are great, but without the realization of putting your health first, if you drop dead later it won’t mean a thing! Burnout is
real, just as real as death and no one knows how or what happened to you! But you probably missed a bunch of warning signs your body was screaming for you to notice! When you’re moving, hustling, and getting things done, you sincerely don’t notice those warning signs or you ignore them to get the job done. Well, let me tell you, that is absolutely the worst reasoning! Around this time last year I was emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually checked out! I ignored it for quite some time and it had disastrous effects on me. Spiritual and health issues were far greater than I had even imagined! Multiple problems with my throat, leading to me almost choking to death on my own saliva made me go for a checkup! Not the pain in my lower back, the stiffness in my neck, the cold feet and hands, blurred vision, hair thinning, random difficulties breathing, horrible year-long dealing with acid reflux, or multiple back injuries at work, none of these warning signs stopped me from getting the job done. I had to move up, had to help others, had to be locked in, had to do this and do that despite my own well-being. Despite my patience wearing down, despite the fact I hadn’t even prayed or meditated in almost a year, despite becoming a different person in my relationship with my girlfriend at the time, unfortunately for the worse! I still had to get the job done. I was 280 pounds, obese, and malnutriented in every other aspect of my life! Gradualism, oh man, gradualism is one deadly animal.

Gradualism is the silent but deadly assassin that has no expiration. Gradualism is designed to chip away at you in all aspects of your life, a little here, a little off the top, a little off the bottom, and viola! Finito! You never saw it coming because the hit came so slow that your brain never processed that slow-moving object as a threat! If it had come at you fast, then you would’ve evaded the object! But if it comes at a pace so slow that it doesn’t seem like it’s moving, then the illusion tricks you into thinking that you’re the one moving and that you still have control, until it’s too late! You’ve become so comfortable and confident that you can just move, that you don’t see it coming. Gradualism is the hitman no one talks about until it’s too late. Which is why I am talking about it. Jocko Willink said that during challenging times he learned to take a step back to see the whole picture because you can’t see everything on the field if you’re in the thick of it! So we need to adjust ourselves and take a step back to truly understand what is happening around us, and with ourselves so we can construct a plan that will move us in the right direction with quantifiable solutions

Family and friends, love them all! But sometimes, and I mean sometimes it’s family and friends that hold us back, but let’s be real, it is of our own accord that holds us back from achieving goals, tasting the fruits that we’ve been nurturing, or missing out on opportunities that we are clearly suited for! So many things can hold us back, for family and friends I’ve discovered that sometimes you have to let them go for a bit, cut them out of the chapter of your life where you need to grow! They don’t have to be in every chapter! You truly need to focus on yourself, your goals, and your aspirations! You have to be relentless when striving to achieve your goals. Now that doesn’t mean you neglect the things discussed above, but you need to be seriously invested in yourself and your life! Daily self-check-ins are non-negotiable, they must happen. If not, our sneaky hunter of life will gradually consume us. So many chapters to write in your book, your life’s work, your masterpiece, your manifesto, you are the one deciding what is and what isn’t, you decide what character you want to be, I’d suggest something original, I’d suggest you!

Your mental health, what a subject, a touchy one these days with suicide being the 12th leading cause of death according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. And burnout is widespread across the globe. A new study by Asana looked at over 10,000 knowledge workers across seven countries and found approximately 70% of people experienced burnout in the last year. Another sign of mental health is quite quitting, but sidebar – no one talks about companies that quiet fire, which can cause a lot of mental anguish to employees. OK, back to what I was saying – Mental health is at the top of the list these days in terms of self-help! Napoleon Hill said,” What you think, you become!” And I became just what I thought of myself after a while, after gradually telling myself all the negative things in the world, things I would never ever tell another human soul! Dying in silence is a dishonorable death! You dishonor yourself with every single negative blow you deal to yourself! Changing your scenery, friends, family, books you
read or don’t, perhaps the beliefs you grew up knowing need to be unlearned, but wherever the negativity comes from, the root cause of it needs to be uprooted, and new, positive enriching seeds should be planted and nurtured. Don’t knock seeing a therapist, just talking to someone that is a neutral party really replenishes the soul through detoxing! It’s like a mental and emotional dump, every computer needs to be cleaned up every once in and while. Treat yourself with the respect you treat others each day, you matter, your life matters, and what you have to bring to the table matters as well. You are loved, and you are appreciated! Find the table that is best suited for you, or build the table and invite those that you choose to it.

Physical health coincides with mental health! As stated previously, I was 280lbs last year around this time, felt like straight crap, like…I felt HORRIBLE! And was still trying to eat like I didn’t have enough energy stored throughout my body that I could use. I was depressed, repressed, suppressed, I was just pressed! It took a while, but I got myself up and started walking about two miles a day, then jogging and progressed to sprinting, got back in the gym and stopped eating sugars, refined foods, and just changed to an overall clean diet! And boom, confidence started coming back in ways like no other! But still was not feeling great, but gradually (there is that word again) I knew I would get to my goal body, and I am still actively on that journey. But something else significantly increased, my overall joy in life, and my thoughts started to change. There are a bunch of statements from studies on how physical activity correlates to better mental health, especially for those that were overweight/obese prior. This is from the Mayo

How do exercise help depression and anxiety?

Woman in sportswear doing planks exercising outdoors

Regular exercise may help ease depression and anxiety by

  • Releasing feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids), and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being
  • Taking your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety

Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you

  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost
    your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the
    chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting
    as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage depression or anxiety
    is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how
    you feel, or hoping depression or anxiety will go away on its own can lead to
    worsening symptoms

If you want to read the full article you can here. The proof is in the hard work, sweat, and tears, so I implore you to get out there and get moving if you’re feeling low, feeling absolutely like crap, down in the dumps, don’t think life is worth living anymore, get out there in the sun, in the water, in nature and get moving! Get a good sweat and tell me you don’t feel better after! Oh and do all of that with a smile!

Some of the last things I learned during this time off from everything is that you don’t want to move slow, you don’t want to move fast, and you want to move right! That’s it, you want to make the right moves, that’s what you need to tend to, making each move the right move. Measure twice and cut once! If I were to take a year off from everything again, I would spend less time thinking about things in general and just doing them. I questioned life, religion, friends, family, the world, and its whole meaning. I looked for answers to those questions in books, the internet, etc. But let me tell you, the answers are out there in the macro and micro.

In the micro – The fact that you’re reading this is a privilege, a blessing some may say, to read and write, have both arms, listen to music, dance, have both parents, get to speak to grandparents and learn from them, choosing what you’ll eat, being able to just breathe! There are many other micros that contribute to your ability to find the answers to your questions.

In the macro – The ability to travel to other countries and have the opportunity to converse and learn with and about other cultures in sheer freedom! You get to expound on the micro privileges. The opportunity to help your fellow brother or sister globally during natural disasters, bring your cultural endeavors abroad to share with others to enable global growth. The privilege to love on a grander scale is undeniably unfathomable because we as humans still don’t understand the deepest conceptions of what love is! So you have to share the experience with others so that they get a glimpse of what can be accomplished together. The answers lie within these micro and macro privileges I fully believe, and I got a good taste of these beliefs this past year. Giving is so much more fulfilling than receiving.

I’ve made sure to give during this time off, by giving my time to those I love, and those that I barely know. Time is something we can’t get back, money can be made again, but time is a special commodity that doesn’t come back for us. But something special about time, we remember the times that were enjoyable and were not. When we reflect on the good times, it’s something that moves inside of us to turn a frown into a smile, a shaken soul into a glowing and prosperous spirit. Spend time with your loved ones, for you never know when their time is up on this earth, or when yours is up. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I spent a month with my friend who is sick, she has ALS, and although this last trip in April was inconvenient, that was minuscule to what I received in return just by seeing her and my friend, see a smile on their faces and feel them rejoicing in their hearts, that gives you all the answers you need to keep living, to do more, to help more, to be more, to treat yourself with respect and love as well.

Tender love, self-respect, patience, and compassion are what I truly learned after a year of being off. Some may say that I already displayed those characteristics, but I never did to myself. We can love others, but we must love ourselves in the end. Micro. We must love our global family, and do what we can in giving as well. Macro. The returns we receive from those investments are unquantifiable. Always stay moving, always keep growing, always find time for yourself, always and I mean always, choose love over hate in every aspect of your life. If you need to take a year off, I implore you to travel, spend time with loved ones, and be present in life, don’t live in the past nor in the future, just be present.

If you would like me to dig deeper into something I wrote, please don’t hesitate to contact me at I always look forward to hearing from you all! As always, if I can help out by providing some advice in your life, I will always help out to the best of my abilities! Please don’t hesitate to contact me, sometimes it’s good just to write things out as well