This month’s blog is written by Greg Allen, a member of the Singleton Leadership Team.
Vaudeville gave us plate spinning. Spinning plates on the end of sticks. The goal was to spin as many plates in the air as possible without allowing any to crash to the ground. A balancing act and life metaphor. Balancing life seems to be the act of juggling the important. If ignored or neglected our work, home or relationships can suffer greatly.
I have been asked to give my opinion on well being or in other words a balanced life. Not sure if I qualify but over the last 4 years I have dedicated myself (some say with obsession) to defining being well.
In my ‘quest’ there have been a few experts that I refer to. Mark Sission (Primal lifestyle), Rob Wolf (research biochemist turned Paleo Chef), Dave Asprey (biohacker), Kelly Starrett (mobility expert) and Abel James (Fat burning specialist). These along with many others suggest that in order to have a life in balance there are a few “plates” to keep spinning.
1. Eat well. Eating real food not processed. Avoiding food from packages, and eating food that is nutritious, “nutritious” being the key word here. In my experience cravings stop when my body has been fed nutritious food. I believe that when the body has what it needs (more healthy fat) the cravings cease. Jack LaLayne said,”If man made it don’t eat it”. A bit extreme but worth thinking about.
2. Sleep well. Sleep allows the body to recover/reset physically, emotionally and mentally. Researchers know that if people don’t get adequate sleep, functionality decreases. I spoke to a sleep specialist who said that one of the reasons people neglect a good night’s sleep is because they have forgotten how refreshing it is. Proper sleep also keeps the food cravings away. Evening TV is enjoyable but an early night might be better.
3. Move well. A time to get the pulse rate up and blood flowing… regularly. This oxygenates the brain, lubricates the joints, helps the digestive system, and releases endorphins among other things.
4. Thinking well. How do we view our world? Is our self talk positive or negative? According to Huffington post people have between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts a day. A steady flow of negative thoughts will drag down best of us.
The apostle Paul said we are to keep things positive. Think on these things: Whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, what ever is excellent and of good report. Phil 4:8
He also said to take every thought into captivity (sounds like meditation or metacognition to me) 2 Cor 10:5
There are times when these are temporary out of balance which is understandable. For those of us who are looking to eat well, sleep well, move well and keep a positive outlook: the best advice I have read was from Mark Sission. He recommends that we focus on one of the above, study it and apply what we have learned continuously for a year. This has been the most effective way for me to effect sustainable change.
If we are mindful of the 4 ‘plates’, it will make a significant difference in our lives and play a major roll in keeping other plates (work/family) spinning effectively.