Reading, exercise, and meditation are the three fundamentals to having a highly effective and successful body, mind, and spirit. These are activities which should be done every single day of the year.
Take the time to read through this and really gain a grasp on how these three habits can help you become successful.
What you’re in for: 4005 words, approximate reading time 15-20 minutes.
When was the last time you completely finished reading a book from front to back? A full book, a novel, whatever it may be; any substantial piece of literature.
If you are thinking, “hey I do read, I read all the time!” I don’t mean Tweets and social media posts or the back of the air freshener when you forgot to bring your phone into the toilet.
It’s important you stop what you are doing and fully engage for the next 5 minutes and find out how reading can benefit you. Reading is a tool that, unfortunately, few people have made the most of.
Studies show that by maintaining regular stimulation of our mind we benefit our future cognitive health. Progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is slowed down significantly and in some cases completely prevented depending on genetics and or frequency of mental stimulation.
What is mental stimulation? Playing chess, sudokus, or reading.
What this means is that you must use what you have or you will lose the ability to use it. Every muscle in the body follows this law and although the brain itself isn’t a muscle it makes sense that one make use of the brain to maintain its full potential and capability.
Reading is perfect for this if you are already an avid chess player 😉
When you become immersed in a book, whether it be on successful individuals or an adventure story about a hobbit, this present energy you have when reading will eradicate stress from your life. It doesn’t matter what you are worried about the moment the book has a grip on you, that becomes your reality. Stress will drain while your mind opens up to the ideas and possibilities the words have in store for you. So you must read more to de-stress.
Every sentence you read is an opportunity to learn something new, that is a powerful opportunity you are blessed with.
The more you read, the more likely you will expose your mind to new ideas, new concepts, new theories. Over time as you read more and more you will start to understand so much more about the world around you. Many concepts interlink into one another. The more you know about one thing, may mean you understand more about something else.
Knowledge is good, seek knowledge and never be contempt with the knowledge you currently have. Humble yourself through reading and open your mind to the unknown. Let your mind be a blank canvas and let the words from the book transmute to their own onto your canvas, through your personal lens.
Reading may very well be the most crucial aspect to success.
Most things in this world are physical, your car, your home, these are items, objects, which you can lose. Despite what you think your friends, even your family, in some cases aren’t forever.
What is beautiful about knowledge is that it’s something you can never lose. If you are reading this, you have been given the opportunity to gain knowledge at free will.
Don’t take this for granted.
Your exposure to new words expands as you read more. I could write another 10 benefits on the pros of having an expansive vocabulary. The main point is that the ability to be articulate provides you with an edge in this world. This may be professionally or purely in your ability to convey and exert your ideas into the world with conviction. Those who are more articulate are promoted quicker.
Fun fact: By reading more you also ameliorate your ability to pick up new languages.
To fully absorb a book’s concepts, ideas, plot twists, etc, you are required to dissect and memorize assortments of characters, nuances, how a book’s ideas intertwine together to overall create something you can comprehend.
Every memory that your brain manifests will create multiple synapses or pathways throughout the brain. What does this mean? By creating new synapses you are reinforcing the integrity of current ones.
This has the profound effect of stabilizing the way we feel and also a general improvement in short-term memory.
When you are exposed to more detailed and complex words your ability to publish the later will be affected. By observing various writing styles, your own will flourish. With the increase in vocabulary that comes with reading, your own style will also increase in quality. Masters of crafts such as artists or musicians tend to be influenced by various other masters. I believe that products of creation are rarely fully organic, rather they are the collection of influences.
The point is the more you’re exposed to others writing, the more inspiration you have for your own.
Our lifestyle today promotes the mastery of multi-tasking. Although multi-tasking can be a good trait, constant diversion of attention may prevent you from being centered on one specific task. This constant diversion of engagement leaves most with a slightly disengaged state of mind. Thinking about too many things at much increases cortisol levels and lowers our productivity.
Through reading books from front to back, your attention is 100% directed to one single task and in turn, you are extremely present and grounded.
I prefer hardcover books to e-books as you find yourself more immersed in the words, you’re more successful in taking in the information. However, audible books work great too. By focusing on being mindful and attentive and to do nothing but read, this focus and skill will cross over to the rest of your life and in theory, increases your productivity and lowers your stress.
Let’s take a mystery novel, this genre is a great example of how reading can be a useful analytical thinking tool. For example, many people can figure out the ending to a story while only half way through. You must put together pieces of evidence and information, sort of like a puzzle to be successful in figuring out who killed who (for example).
Reading in itself doesn’t necessarily build on analytical skills. Rather it is the type of reading you engage in. If you continuously question the ideas and concepts presented to you and then use them to form your own logical conclusions and opinions, this is practicing analytical thinking, otherwise known as ‘active reading’.
The benefits that will come with more reading are subjective to the genre of book. All books will benefit you in some way as some reading is better than no reading. However, if you center your reading on spiritual and self-development topics there is a sense of calm and tranquility that follows.
It has been shown that blood pressure levels may even decrease and by reading these sorts of books symptoms of depression may be alleviated.
It becomes free entertainment, it’s fun. Many people see reading as a chore and something that cannot be associated with fun.
But everybody who can read is going to have a style or a genre of a book that they really enjoy.
It is important to constantly explore authors and styles until you find what makes you click. Whether you like jokes, fashion, planes, biographies, spiritual development, books travel, there will be something out there for you. I urge you to cultivate a sense of urgency in doing so as the benefits are priceless.
All you need is yourself and a book to read. Lifehack has a great article on how to help you read more.
Open a book and immerse yourself in the wonders of words.
Running, jumping, lifting, also known as exercise, something most people do little of. These people are missing out on an integral part of life which is fundamental for overall vitality, your well-being.
Those that do exercise tend to do so to improve what they look like. Although some exercise, even if it is for vanity beats none. In an ideal world, it’s best to find a style of training which you can athletically progress in, whether it be running faster, getting stronger, gaining flexibility.
Let’s get straight to the point, here are 10 benefits of exercise.
Enjoy the article. Hopefully, this will summon some motivation so you tie your shoe laces and make your way to the gym.
By working out consistently you will start to feel better about yourself. Our population seems to face constant pressure on the way their bodies look. Over time one becomes comfortable with their body as it changes, as you start to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. Studies have shown that testosterone increases in men and women who regularly strength train. Even though testosterone is a male dominant hormone, increase of testosterone in both men and women leads to the same effects, including elevated energy levels, overall libido, and sex drive. What this achieves is self-explanatory and I won’t elaborate. Obviously, this is a key variable to having a successful life, whether you want to believe it or not.
What you should keep in mind is that for best results always prioritize multi-joint otherwise known as compound movements. These include: the squat, pull up, rows.
Endorphins are released when you perform an exercise. These are the same chemicals released which make us feel good, they are released in excess during drug use, so in many ways working out is like taking drugs but with rewards rather than pitfalls. An extreme example but it underlies one of the most important reasons why people need to exercise more.
If you go on a run, chances are you’re going to feel great after. Your mood is heightened and you will have a ‘natural high’.
The body and mind are connected. Improving your body improves your mind – science backs this. Studies show that on standardized tests the children who play are physically fit perform better. Even going for a walk boosts your brain activity. Steve jobs, would go on walks with his fellow employees to discuss new ideas and strategies for business.
Moving allows your mind to be free as your body is in motion. The increased circulation and overall improvement in health allow everything in the body to function better, this is no exception for your brain. Everyone wants to be successful in their work and exercise ironically provides a pathway to being successful outside of the gym as well as in the weight room.
Now you may be thinking confidence, sure… a six pack will make anyone confident. While this is true it’s not for the reason you think. In my opinion, true confidence will come from getting ripped and lean, but it’s the fact that you achieved the goal itself, rather than what your abs look like.
Allow me to explain.
When you promise yourself you’re going to achieve a goal and you accomplish it, this is what instills true confidence in an individual. The entire process and the successful feeling of finishing it is what gives you confidence, you gain confident in your ability to follow through with something until the end.
As time passes and you accomplish more and more goals, your confidence will continue to increase parallel to this.
This is especially evident in sports and exercise regimes such as Powerlifting/Olympic lifting, but almost any sport or workout which requires you to consistently beat an objective number. This could be your strength, agility, athleticism. The fact that you are constantly improving yourself allows a certain discipline to manifest and echo into being successful in the rest of your life, whether it be your work, a hobby.
If you consistently make a habit of working out and never skip a training session and are always improving, guess what? Chances are the latter is going to become a part of your identity.
This one is for my female audience: PMS is not the best time. Studies have conclusively shown that some exercise, despite how unappealing it may seem at the time will help a lot and reduce all symptoms associated with PMS.
This means less pain, greater relaxation and a significant reduction of depressive symptoms which occur during these cycles.
Here are some great yoga poses to ease menstrual cramps.
By exercising more you’ll be able to sleep better. Having a higher level of activity during the day will fatigue your body and you will sleep much better as you have exerted the energy you had, rather than having energy stored up and using it to scroll through Facebook late at night.
As long as you don’t exercise too close to bedtime, it will benefit your quality of sleep.
As I have a rather bad case of the iron bug, it’s strange to me that most people seem to choose cardio over lifting. I guess cardio what people associate exercise with. Although cardio is great, it doesn’t increase your strength and thus increasing the integrity of your bones, which is extremely important for longevity in life. Everyone should be doing both strength training and cardio, people need to understand that strength training has an array of benefits for the young and old (especially old); male and female.
Fun Fact: Lifting weights is actually superior to cardio for fat loss.
“Exercising on a regular basis may act as a cognitive enhancer promoting successful creativity in inexpensive and healthy ways,” study, successful researcher Lorenza Colzato says. Specifically, this means that regular exercise raises divergent and convergent cognition. These types of cognitive thinking patterns are thought to be the two halves of what forms successful ‘creative’ thinking.
Right now I am working on my first book, I sometimes I struggle to be successful with new creative ideas, however, I find awesome ideas and plans popping into my head in between sets of deadlifts (ha!).
The science backs this up and I can personally attest to exercising allowing your mind to be successful in raising your creative potential.
Exercising on a regular basis will increase your standard of living and overall happiness. If you aren’t exercising, or aren’t doing it enough, do something. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and get onto it because you will gain so much by doing so.
Socrates – “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.”
Comment below and let me know what you love about working out.
For me personally, exercise out of the three has probably been the most important to being successful. I want you to treat all three with equal importance, but one will generally flourish as your innate aptitudes are drawn towards certain habits.
You can experience the benefits of meditation anywhere at any time.
It may very well be the greatest and purest source of well-being. Anyone can become contempt and successful internally just by meditating.
Meditation is something you can do for free. meditation holds a powerful ability to manage our happiness, our level of present energy and grounding in the world. many even claim it can be a life-changing practice, giving you new perspectives on the world around you and your day to day life.
Deep stuff right? In all seriousness meditation is something everyone should be doing as it’s free, it takes little to no time, and the benefits are priceless.
One of the insights I gained while meditating was that in life today one generally depends on logical and rational reasons for starting something, whether it be gaining money, reputation, whatever it may be. Our world today almost provokes an innate need to de-stress, there are so many distractions which flood our conscious thoughts, it’s important to take the time to one’s self and reflect, just because you aren’t stressed, or need a new perspective on the world doesn’t mean you shouldn’t meditate.
Here are 10 profound benefits that meditation will give you.
Generally, when one can’t sleep it is due to the relentless thoughts which scatter your mind and don’t seem to go away, they distract you from relaxing and clearing your mind and thus falling into sleep. During meditation, it feels as if you are watching your thoughts float by in the third person, once they float away, you erase your worries and stresses so that when it’s time to sleep your mind has nothing to relentlessly persist and ponder on, this will result in a successful and restful sleep.
Because our mind is cleared when we sleep you clear you to mind before resting through meditation you give your body and mind a chance to really slip into a deep and rejuvenating sleep.
Admit it, you have 5000 thoughts crossing your mind every day, now think about this are you truly consciously aware of each thought you are having or is it subconscious.
Meditation will close the gap between the sub-conscious and the fully aware. Over time you are able to pick out and decipher more and more of the thousands of thoughts you have per day and thus you start to truly gain a greater sense of self-awareness and understanding of how your own mind works. Really think about how important this is and it may revolutionize the way you go about your day, the way you speak.
Knowing yourself is probably one of the biggest keys to also understanding others.
I could really write 10 more benefits for having more self-awareness.
Once deep in a meditative state, you really become disconnected from the physical world around you. This sounds extreme, but here me out. You almost become a third person observer of your reality, almost watching your thoughts float by. The more you meditate the more you can free yourself from being trapped in introspective thought loops and the more you can start to appreciate the world around you and thus really gaining a strong sense of grounding. Instead of your ego pulling you in certain directions your higher self-aligns closer with your physical actions.
In layman’s terms, you are able to understand your thoughts better, you stop analyzing them as much and thus are grounded with what is occurring around you.
Think about your room or home, when it’s clean and organized everything runs smoothly, you feel better. When rubbish gathers up everything is unorganized. For most people this is unfavorable.
Think about your body like your room; rubbish will accumulate, these can be compared to thoughts. Just like your room you must clean your mind and organize it so it works at its best.
Meditation allows you to sort through your mind and understand how to organize it. If you allow your mind to accumulate junk too often it becomes hard to clean, meditating on a regular basis is like cleaning your mind.
I swear meditation makes you successful! Maybe not by itself, but the more I meditate the greater understanding I have for the interconnections of everything and my own ability to become successful. Some call this consciousness. I’m talking about the people, the animals, everything. Now I’m starting to sound like a hippy, which I’m not.
For you more practical people out there – having greater conscious awareness means that you can put 2 and 2 together with greater ease.
Meditation allows your energy to vibrates at a higher frequency. Your emotions have less grip over you as you become more logical in your understanding of the way every variable in life intertwines together. I thin having a high vibrating energy will anyone in becoming successful.
There’s a book out there which you may have heard of called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of these habits is called Sharpen The Saw.
Stephens habit of ‘sharpening the saw’ is in reference to the metaphor of trying to cut trees down without a saw which is always sharp. The translation is the saw being your brain, the trees being your obstacles in life, through meditation you are able to sharpen your saw and cut down obstacles with ease.
We are physical beings, however, we are composed of energy. Our body has 7 main centers of energy, these are also known as chakras. Due to certain issues in life one or more of these chakras, many be prevented from flourishing, or simply, they are partially blocked. We all have the potential to have all 7 chakras opened and when this happens energy around your body can flow better, everything works in synergy to provide you with the best energy your body has the potential of providing you.
Meditating clears these blockages, despite meditation being a relaxing event, ironically it re-energizes you.
When you are grounded the world around you, your reality becomes more apparent, or present. Instead of being distracted by past events or what the future entails you better understand what is happening in front of you. The more you do it, the more common it is for you to be present. Your full potential is brought to the surface when you are in this state of mind, in many ways I personally think this present mindset is key to obtaining a successful mindset.
The more present you are the greater potential of being successful you have.
When your mind isn’t wandering your attention will peak, your focus will be on point. Your alertness and receptiveness are just plain better.
Being mindful, which is what meditation is all about will make your workouts amazing. Your best lifts or workout sessions are always done when you aren’t thinking. It’s you, the barbell and nothing but the present moment if we’re talking about weightlifting, or you and the distance to the next lamp post, if you’re running. Through practicing mindfulness you can tap into a mindful state more frequently, you can then apply this to your workouts when you are not in the ‘zone’. Read this if you are interested in how Meditation will benefit you in the gym.
This point is just speculation, I guess it becomes difficult to quantify a benefit like the inspiration for such a subjective topic. The way I see it now that I’ve meditated for a while is that we use considerably less of what our brain is capable of. I’m not calling people dumb, I’m just saying to anybody that doesn’t meditate there is, without a doubt so much more potential that resides in their subconscious. I am purely saying this out of my personal experience. Although I may be wrong, I know that for myself, meditation has been an imperative part of my personal cultivation of inspiration in my day to day life. If we understand the way our brain works we are able to answer solutions to problems we have, renew ideas.
Most of us are probably using only about 10% of our brain. This 10% is what’s controllable by our physical selves and our ego. The remaining 90% of our intelligence resides in our subconscious mind. This 99%, and not the 1%, is where the most powerful ideas lie. This is where we get our inspiration, our greatest ideas, our best solutions to problems.
Through meditation, we attune ourselves to that 90% which we shut out in our physical life. This is like a secret pass toward instant new ideas and solutions which we couldn’t have generated with our conscious mind. If you have a frustrating dilemma you cannot resolve, or you are looking for new ideas for something you are working on, try meditating on them and see what you get.
If you’re the type of person who strives to improve themselves, it’s always great to start with the basics and meditation is one of them. So just do it.
Our brains never stop working. Becoming proficient at meditation allows your conscious thought process to rest for a brief moment in time so that you can let go of your ego and meditate and increase your fulfillment of life.
Give it a go. You’re not going to become some hippy. You’ll just live a more grounded, present life, as a more spiritually aware human – There really are no downsides to meditation.
Let me know how it goes and share your thoughts on meditation down below.
To conclude, I’ll make it clear that yes, obviously there are many many factors which make or break success in an individual.
However, I picked the 3 fundamentals of a successful body, mind, and spirit as the latter as they are extremely powerful AND most importantly anyone can include them in their life, despite their circumstances. So there is no excuse.
Now you know why the 3 fundamentals of a successful body, mind, and spirit include reading.