To master your mind you must master your body. Everything in our body is interconnected. To ignore the physical compromises the integrity of the mental.
"There is more wisdom in your body than your deepest philosophy."
First of all, to most people, the brain and mind are the same things. I’d like you to start to think about them as separate parts of your being.
Your mind is an experience and it is what makes us human. We experience external variables around us and internal variables such as thoughts. Our mind or consciousness is our experience of this awareness. In other words, who you are at your core, your deepest self or your ‘soul’.
Your brain is what all animals have, it is an organ which serves biological functions. The brain is located inside the skull, it is comprised of blood vessels, neurons, and synaptic pathways.
Furthermore, think of your brain and mind as having a complex relationship to each other and at the same time are very different.
The Significance Of Your Body
The relationship of the mind and body.
Our brain is part of our body. Chemicals that enter our body through food and movement contribute to changes in the brain and directly affect how it functions and how our mind perceives the changes.
Soft drinks, drugs, junk food all have an effect on dopamine and serotonin, chemicals responsible for feeling good. These are external substances which (at different extremities) change our state of mind when ‘under the influence’.
Your endorphins, adrenaline, and thyroid hormones are all affected by what we consume.
I won’t get too scientific, the point I want you to understand is that when all these hormones and chemicals in the brain are balanced, everything works better. Your brain, your body, your mind.
The Power Of Exercise
No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
Exercise is a huge part of this equation. Moving makes us feel good and thus the act really does go beyond attaining a muscular physique, getting stronger and getting fitter. I invite you to foresee the potential that exercise can give you if you are lacking in this discipline.
This should excite you as the possibilities for your mind are on equal and or greater to changes to your mind.
I always believed that the mind was all you needed to actualize your potential as a human.
The fact that we are conscious and can think of the past, future, present and be aware of ourselves is what makes us ‘unique’ and special, right?
I was wrong.
The body is where your life begins. To fail to master and understand the function and movement of your body to its greatest extent raises the question of whether you can actualize the strength of your mind.
Over the last few years, I have come to understand that there is a pattern with those that lack energy and the glint in the eye.
Actualizing Your Human Potential
There are three fundamental keys to being whole and being happy.
Those who lack a whole and happy energy are usually out of shape. They never exercise, eat garbage food and put no effort into improving their physical state.
What usually happens is due to a lack of a fundamental key there is the missing piece of the puzzle that needs to be filled.
The missing puzzle piece needs to replace the dopamine that would exercise would provide. This results in abuse of cigarettes, sugar, video games, etc. Chances are there is an activity that you use to kill time, one that is soul-sucking and creates a state of mind in a man that revolves around feeling good right now.
Exercise does just the opposite of this and this is why it can have such a huge influence on people’s lives outside of improving their bodies.
If you really pay attention you see this phenomenon everywhere. When somebody commits them to physical discipline, change is usually seen elsewhere. The previously faded glint in their eyes starts to become a little less gray as they instill an inner confidence they were longing for.
Your body is like a masculine trinity, a temple if you will. Buddha has told us that our health is our greatest gift, your body is the very core and center of this and thus it should be taken seriously and respected.
To master your body doesn’t necessarily mean to become the world’s best athlete. Quite to the contrary, it is more about having a solid understanding of how your body works.
This process is one which must include the following stages.
Hitting the gym isn’t enough. Diet and lifestyle are so important in the process of mastering your body. Improving your health, your sleep and exercising all merge together as a part of the journey to mastery.
There are so many negative influences (bad food, phones) which can deter us from achieving an overall healthier life through sleeping more, eating healthier. It’s vital to make sure all these needs are met.
You must establish a strong connection between your body and mind.
Rather than using your body as a tool, try and see your body as a vessel that carries your mind. If you experience a disconnect from your mind and body try yoga.
Yoga is great, not only for flexibility and recovery but as a tool to better understand how your body moves.
There’s emotional intelligence, IQ but I believe there is a third type of intelligence, your level of body awareness. This is your ability to know when you are energetic, calm, physically fatigued and to what extent.
Meditate, practice disciplines like yoga and try to connect your mind and body through your breathing to raise increase intelligence.
Nature is where we are meant to be.
I’m not telling you to become a nomad and live in the forest. I’m saying that a healthy dose of exposure to hiking, nature and escaping the noisy chaotic nature of our urban complexities is an incredible way to reestablish our innate connection with nature and mother earth.
Vitamin D is incredibly important to boost your mood and regulating your hormones.
A study actually showed that looking at a digital photo of nature (ironic I know) improves ones mood and energy, instantly.
Welcome to the harsh nature of reality. Never leave your body in comfort, when you find yourself comfortable with the stresses you are placing on your body, understand this is because you are being weak.
Life in general will be difficult and hard.
Don’t complain, accept this and endure this harshness and utilize it as a tool of resilience to build integrity in your body and character. If it’s cold outside, endure the cold, overcome your weakness that your body tells you to avoid (within reason) and cultivate a body that is able to be exposed to harsh conditions.
I hope you have begun to see how the physical is very connected to the mind. If you can endure the physical harshness life throws at you, the mental becomes a piece of cake.
- Push Your Body To Its Limit
Push yourself and progress. Never be content with where your body strength and conditioning is, because that moment is when you fail. Strive to conquer any limits you may have preconceived and force yourself to exert yourself through whichever path of exercise you have chosen.
Add weight to the iron and be disciplined in this intent. Through this, you will experience one of the highs of being a man — experiencing your maximum physical exertion.
It is a mind state that I personally feel is euphoric and few are fortunate enough to experience.
It is in these brief moments where everything is chaotic that everything feels right. In retrospect, my personal strength victories taught me that these moments are some of the few where you are able to feel truly invigorated with life.
Only those who exert their physical self to their potential understand this. Be one of the few.