Seven Habits of Truly Healthy People

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Today I’m going to write about my experiences with the seven habits for truly healthy people, as defined by Mind Pump, These are the habits on top of the three pillars of health which will always be at the top of the tree, being sleep, nutrition and exercise. It goes without saying that these three pillars need to be covered first before you start to define the more nuanced habits below:

1./ Disconnect from all media.

I have been writing for many years about the value of disconnecting from social and corporate media. My disconnection from corporate media particularly has freed up so much space in my brain to achieve and learn more things.

Disconnection from all social media is something I also regularly do. With the knowledge of knowing how companies manipulate the algorithms to literally addict your brains, I can easily go days without a single scroll of Facebook or Instagram (my two social media accounts). I also notice very quickly how my brain is reengaged as soon as I begin a scroll, which automatically makes me close the app and turn it off.

However, what the Mind Pump boys discuss is the disconnection from all electronic devices and media, which is something I have never done. It’s this last zenith that I will attempt to reach in the coming years to ensure I build fixed times into my schedule where I completely disconnect from everything.

Self rating: 8/10

2./ Eat dinner with your family.

With my working life being in Hong Kong and fighting to survive this crazy city, I missed dinner with my family for too many years. I arguably missed all dinners with my two eldest sons who are now 29 and 21. Time I will never get back. It hurts thinking about it, which is why I always encourage parents with young children to focus on this over and above your work for a company who will never love you like your children do. 

Fortunately the past three years I have focused hard on this to ensure I have dinner with my youngest who is now 17, and about to leave home this summer.

The importance of eating with your family cannot be underestimated. It ensures natural and open communications. It gives you all a chance to share your day’s events, and allows opportunities to discuss things which may not be discussed at any other time.

Yes I understand work is important. We live in a city which is built by hard working people. It is in our DNA. But most of you are working for other people’s businesses. You are working for them to become richer. And believe me, the owner of the company you work for will not be the ones sitting on your deathbed at the end of your life. It will be your family and your kids. 

You will NEVER get that time back with your children. Never. Sure you can always work towards making up for past mistakes. But if you are lucky enough to have young children now, and are being told this now, then don’t make the mistakes of older wiser parents such as me. 

Also be sure to be present at your family dinners. Put your phones away, and focus on the discussions being had together. It truly is invaluable and something you will never regret.

Self rating: Pre 2021 1/10. Post 2021 8/10

3./ Seek coaching or therapy.

Mental Health

Having a busy executive life can be incredibly stressful and often lonely. From a male’s perspective, mental health is something we are terrible at handling as we tend to bottle everything up and move on quietly.

Spending time with other male friends is one way to offload this pressure. But not everyone has that option or that close friend they can share with. 

BetterHelp is a great way to get affordable online therapy. Having therapy does not mean you have failed. The most successful people I know have a therapist, Jordan Harbinger, Max Lugavere, Chris Williamson all talk about their therapy openly. So why not try this yourself. Admittedly I have not personally used a mental health therapist. But arguably I have that with my monthly meet up with my best friend, as well as the open discussions I have with my sons. I also have my yoga coach who is some kind of spiritual therapist for me. So I have plenty of help on the mental health side.

Do not think you have to be alone. Reach out to BetterHelp who allows you to change therapists easily and find the right person for you to talk to.

Physical Health

If you are embarking on any physical health improvement journey, the number one investment you should look for is a good coach.

I have been through multiple coaches over the past 8 years, with every one of them being valuable for me at that point in my journey. If athletes and sportsmen at the top of their games have coaches, it makes it logical that you as a beginner should find a good coach.

My current coach Ebegale Wong is precisely who I need right now. I am very lucky to have found somebody I align with for my current spiritual and physical practices. And for sure the right coach is out there for you. If you search and are open. If you observe and talk to people, you will find the right person to help you on your physical improvement journey.

Self rating: 9/10

4./ Spend lots of time outdoors.

We are animals. We are built to be outdoors. We feel better after spending time outdoors in the sun, away from electronics and in nature.

Think of kids and how irritable they become after a day on their devices stuck indoors. Then think how open and playful they are after a day outdoors playing.

This is how we are supposed to be. The vitamin D from the sun, the fresh air, the colours and smells of nature. All of those things are important to us as an organism, and all of those things make us feel better mentally and physically.

In Hong Kong we are surrounded by nature trails. There is so much natural beauty around us which we take for granted. And I for one do not get outdoors anywhere near as much as I should. There is so much opportunity for improvement in our health by simply going for a walk in nature, unplugged and free of mind.

Self rating: 3/10.

5./ Volunteer your time.

Happiness comes from giving your time to somebody else for free. Helping somebody feel better for no other reason than you can, is an incredibly purposeful feeling.

When you help somebody, or when you simply give a compliment to somebody with a few words, you can see the joy in their faces. 

All successful people do this. And yes, Hong Kong is not exactly built for this. But there are ways to volunteer your time. It does not have to be with official charity groups. It can be done individually with your staff as an example. By reaching out at random times to talk and let people know you notice them, know you care, show your interest in their lives and struggles. These are little things which take minimal time, but can help others feel cared for and noticed.

Giving your time for free brings you a sense of purpose you cannot get from any other pursuit, and can lift others up who could very well be struggling with life.

Self rating: 6/10

6./ Live well below your means.

It’s easy in Hong Kong to fall off this wagon and spend frivolously to enjoy one’s life. But having done this recently, I know only too well the downside of such a living practice.

Coming from incredibly humble working class roots and making a success of myself after 35 years of grind and work, I found myself spending for spending sakes. For the first time in my life I was able to do this.

But I felt uncomfortable. There was something gnawing at me from the inside I did not like. I actually didn’t know what it was until I noticed it and pulled back from the frivolousness. Once I pulled back to who I truly am, to get back to my roots of living below my means, the way I had lived the whole of my life, I felt far more at peace.

This allows me the space to give back to others if needs be. To have the freedom to do more of point number five and help others less fortunate.

Plan your budget and aim to live below that budget. Save for the future because you never know what’s coming.

Self rating: 7/10 

7./ Follow a spiritual practice.

Let’s go woo-woo for a moment. Spiritual or religious practices are something I dumped when I moved to Hong Kong as I focused on the glory of working hard for success.

But recently as I grow as a person. As I learn from good successful people, I find myself becoming more spiritual than ever.

Being thankful is being spiritual. It can start with small things like taking a moment before you eat, to thank the animals who gave their life for the food you are about to ingest. Before you sleep, take a moment to thank the people you met that day. When you are out and about, take a moment to appreciate where you are and the amazing place you live.

These are all small things which take little practice, but can bring immense meaning to your soul.

Recently with my coach Ebegale I have taken the spiritual practice further. I have been able to open up my spiritual pathways and am beginning to connect with the internal chakras within the body, the points of energy we all have which have been passed down through generations of spiritual leaders, and which our modern world is forgetting and foregoing.

I have connected with my third eye chakra specifically in recent training sessions, which has brought me an incredible and immense amount of momentary peace.

This goes back to point number three of seeking a coach. Because without my coach, I would never have been able to discover this new spiritual direction and pathways of interest. Pathways which were previously blocked but have now been opened so I can continue to dig deeper and discover more.

Self rating: 7/10

Resources

In Mind Pump podcast 2300, Sal, Adam and Justin discuss these seven practices and why they are so valuable for anybody with a growth mindset who wants to bring the most out of their life. As always there are valuable tips and ideas as to how this can be achieved, as well as the usual laughs and light entertainment along the way.

Listen in to learn how to grow, how to reach the heights of a truly healthy person so you can Live Stronger and Live Longer.

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