Because you are what you consume.
For a good portion of our lives, we’ve been told that “we are what we eat.”
When I was a child, my mom would sit me down and give me an earful before force-serving leafy greens onto my plate. The struggle to keep them down was real.
Now that I’m an adult, one might imagine that times have changed. But my mom hasn’t. She would still refuse to take no for an answer.
She’s right though. Our physical and mental well-being depends a lot on a healthy, balanced diet.
But, it isn’t the only thing that has the potential to define who we are and what we would become.
There are other things that are equally important.
Allow me to break them down as follows:
1) Food Consumption — the composition of your diet determines the composition of your body.
An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.
Confession: I can’t remember the last time I ate an apple.
But — hear me out. The last apple I intended to eat survived three whole weeks outside the fridge. When I did the math of its shelf-life, including the time it would have taken to reach a tropical country like mine — I vowed to never touch an apple again.
But the above saying can still stand — assuming that the apple is fresh.
A well-balanced, nutritious diet, with lots of greens and fruits, has the potential to keep the doctor away.
In fact, the first thing you need to fix for a healthy body, mind and soul, is your diet.
The nutritional content of what we eat — carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats — goes a long way, deep into our body. They determine our composition, from cell membranes to bone marrow, blood, hormones, tissue, organs, skin, and hair.
Dr. Steven Kelly, an Oxford scientist, goes a step further, and presents evidence to prove how our diet can even affect the composition of our genes.
Such is the importance of a healthy diet. But switching to it by breaking free from junk and processed food could sometimes be challenging — especially if you prefer the convenience of food on-the-go.
But the momentary convenience is not worth compromising your long-term health for — or your looks for that matter. Junk food actually has the potential to make you age before your time.
The good news is that a healthy diet is not a one-size-fits-all kinda diet. You have ample freedom to decorate your own plate, by picking from an endless list of healthy foods as you see fit. You only just have to stick to the recommended nutrient intake.
2) Content Consumption — ideas are not born out of thin air.
Content is what I call “brain food.” Your brain feeds on the stuff you watch, read and listen — converting them into energy to fuel your thinking.
Simply put: The quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. And the quality of your thoughts depends on the quality of the content you consume.
A paradigm shift in your thinking has the potential to resonate through everything you do in life. It is the one thing you need to drastically improve your life and shape who you could become.
Robin Sharma in his bestselling book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari says, ‘mind management is the essence of life management’ and that ‘all success in life, whether material or spiritual, starts with that twelve-pound mass sitting between your shoulders.’
He couldn’t have been more right. Thoughts have the power to make you or break you.
If you feed your brain with bland content, your thoughts will be bland too. So will your ideas. And ultimately, your life.
The book On Writing beautifully sums up Stephen King’s entire legacy. He candidly shares about the worldly things that inspired the seemingly otherworldly ideas of his books— simply through a process of weaving random thoughts together.
The best way to facilitate this process and tweak your brain is to read. Books have a copious amounts of insights that can trigger the dormant ideas in your brain.
Ever wondered how successful people made it?
- Warren Buffet spends 5 to 6 hours a day reading daily newspapers, magazines and annual reports.
- Elon Musk wasn’t born with a mind full of ideas. He learnt them by reading at least two books a day since he was a child.
- Jon Morrow, the self-made millionaire blogger, couldn’t walk or play. So he spent much of his childhood burying his nose in books.
- Bill Gates reads one book a week, nearly 50 a year.
- Mark Zuckerberg, despite his busy schedule and Facebook scandals, still finds time to read at least one book every fortnight.
This list could go on forever.
3) Energy Consumption — wasting energy can waste your life away.
This is by far the hardest and the most important of all.
Because it involves other people. People your energy is spent on.
It involves you gathering your wits and pulling the trigger — to call a relationship off or to cut a friend out of your life.
Anybody or anything that drains you out needs to go.
Or you will end up being the one to go…energy-broke instead.
Because energy is one of the most precious resources we’ve got. It is finite. It does not grow. It can only be managed.
Every relationship you form, every word you speak, every endeavor you take up on, consumes a portion of that energy.
Dandapani, the Hindu priest, entrepreneur and International speaker said it best.
“ Whatever I invest my energy in will start to grow. If I invest my energy in something positive it will grow and become more positive. If I invest my energy into something negative it will grow and become more negative.” — Dandapani
Dandapani discusses the importance of energy in most of his viral speeches, and how it should be spent frugally like money.
He divides people into 3 categories based on how they make us feel: uplifting people, neutral people, and not-uplifting people.
Five minutes in the company of uplifting people can make you feel energized and cheerful. The more you surround yourself with such people, the happier you would become.
Neutral people, on the other hand, won’t have any impact on your energy levels. They make you feel indifferent to their presence, and you might even consider them “boring” or “dull.”
But they’re still better than spending time with the last category of people: the not-uplifting people. These people are energy vampires who can make you feel drained and exhausted.
They are like thorns with the ability to pop and deflate your happy balloon.
If you want to make the most of your limited energy, you need to be cautious about the category of people you spend it on — by treating energy like an investment.
And directing it from people with a negative ROI, to someone you love, a business you want to start or a post you want to write.
Another important aspect of your energy management is determining your close circle.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn.
Tim Ferris and Steve Siebold commonly agree with the early Tony Robins mentor Jim Rohn.
They all believe that we become the average of the five people who consume most of our time and energy. They have the ability to shape who we are and who we would become.
Need more affirmations?
- Gary Vee advocates for dropping “a loser friend” every other day, and stresses on the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people.
- For Jeff Bezos, Amazon would not have been possible without his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos.
- Tim Ferris’s close circle comprises of a lead developer of WordPress, a serial entrepreneur and the founding executive editor of “Wired” magazine.
In short, nobody can do it all alone. Success is a collective effort that involves people.
But so is failure.
The power to choose who they are is entirely on us.
Transforming your life, will not, and cannot happen overnight. They are the results of subtle changes over time.
Start believing in the art of making subtle changes to your consumption across all aspects — and watch as they accumulate into a growing mountain of success.