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Live your life following these 2 tips from the 6th Century BC

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Live your life following these 2 tips from the 6th Century BC

All we do all day is to make choices. Should I eat this, or that for breakfast? Should I cut gluten and dairy? Should I use this route or that one to drive to work? Should I register to a fitness class or hire a personal trainer to keep me accountable to my workouts? Should I keep dating this guy that doesn't really seem to be into me?  Should I apply for this promotion or should I remain in my current role? Should I start my own business? Should I buy the blue outfit or the black one?

We tend to have many different reasons to question ourselves daily. Weather it is a big decision or not, it is quite impressive the amount of time we spend arguing the pros and cons in our head.

How can we make decisions quickly and, most of all, be sure about the direction we are going? Confidence in our choices is also giving us tremendous peace of mind and we can focus our attention to move forward in which ever direction we decided, as opposed to stay stuck and feel a road block is keeping us from growing and achieving what we are supposed to be doing with our life.

On the temple of Apollo from the 6th Century before Christ, in Delphi, Greece, we can find these two inscriptions: "Know Thyself" and "Nothing in Excess".

Know Thyself

According to the Greek Encyclopedia of knowledge, the proverb is a warning to pay no attention to the multitude. We tend to seek advice for all the choices we need to make and somehow, we could just look inside and find the answers we need.

The brain is the most complex structure in the universe. It creates different neurological pathways that will generate our behaviors. The coding was made as we grew up between the age of 0 and 7 years old at the imprint stage of our life, as we were sponges, absorbing everything. Then, between the age of 8 and 13, got introduced to modeling as we copied what we saw, heard and felt. Later on, between the age of 14 and 21, our relationships influenced the formation of our values as we got introduced to socialism.

These values are now ruling our decisions and our behaviors at an unconscious level. When our actions are aligned with our values, we feel great and we know for sure that we are doing the right thing. It is when our behaviors don't match our values that we feel that we have a problem. Have you ever been in a position where everybody is telling you the same thing? You know what is the "obvious" thing to do and it looks great on paper, but your gut is telling you something else? Your "gut talk" comes from your values. And sometimes, even if it looks great on paper, it is not aligned with your values. So if you chose without consulting your values, what is really important to you, you will run into challenges and experience negative emotions around it. For example, there is a great job available and you can have it, great salary, great prestige, etc. It looks great on paper. However, your most important value is family and this new career will imply that you spend most of your time away from home. Knowing your value will help you make a clear decision. Deciding without hesitation, without regrets, with full assurance.

Nothing in Excess

The second rule is quite general and it can apply to every area of our life.

In the health and fitness segment of our life, we can apply this rule to nutrition and exercise. The reason why most people are overweight and unhealthy is very often related to the portion size or the number of times they chose to indulge. We know the rules. If you eat well 80% of the time, and eat healthy on a regular basis, you will be fine. Now eating healthy doesn't mean eating too much healthy food either. You can eat too much quinoa and avocado, even if I consider them healthy.

What about exercise? Can you exercise too much? If you keep your fitness as a whole and observe your exercise on a global health point of view, yes you can exercise too much. Too much impact exercise might affect your joints. Too much upper body exercise and not enough lower body work might create imbalance in your overall strength and create back problems or other related challenges. Too much cardio might put un-necessary stress on your heart.  Too much exercise altogether could lead to fatigue if you don't compensate with the proper amount of nutrition.

Now who can relate to work-o-holism? The idea that implies that, if you are not the first one to arrive in the morning and the last one to leave at night, is true, can be creating imbalances in your life. Work can be done in excess. Working in search for what?

Money. And more likely, when you have more, you need more. We tend to have this never-ending search for more so that we can buy bigger houses to put more stuff that we don't need. Nothing in excess.

To the opposite, can you play too much? Could you be avoiding responsibilities and experiencing stress, as you are not able to make ends meet and play too much? Indulging in fun can lead to addictions and all the negative emotions related to feeling helpless.

Know yourself. Listen to your values. Eat well 80% of the time, exercise to be healthy, work to make a living and obtain achievement, make money to buy what you need, not all that you want and enjoy life! Have fun! And not too much!

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