Every day we open our eyes and are confronted with the reality that we see and feel. For some of us, Monday morning looks like an alarm clock and jumping in the shower to get to work. For others, it looks like a blank canvas of creative time. Our perception is our reality. In this post, you will learn how to identify times when your perception holds you back, how to change your perception, and how to continue with ease to get things done.
On Sunday I had a lot of work to get done, and I needed to do a track workout that I had put off for two days. Instead of doing the track workout Friday, I took a two-hour dance class, and instead of doing it Saturday, I walked around the city with my best friend laughing and singing. I needed to do it Sunday. After working until 2 pm, I finally said, JOIA GO FOR A RUN! I realized that my perception of the run was what was holding me back. Some underlying emotions and feelings were preventing me from actually doing the workout.
I stopped myself and identified the emotions and feelings. I recognized where they were originating from and I sat with them. I felt them fully; I felt sick. I felt sick from the emotions that I was perceiving. The feelings were coming from other stuff in my life that had little relevance to the workout. I felt angry and upset about these other things. Of course, I didn’t want to do it; I felt sick! When I recognized that these emotions were causing my unease and preventing me from doing something I love, I evaluated the validity of them. Did I perceive this correctly? I love track workouts! Was I avoiding this exercise for two days because I didn’t want to feel these feelings? What was I so scared of? Why was I letting my emotions impact my behavior and what I love?
These questions are hard to answer for ourselves so a lot of times we completely skip over and ignore this stuff. A lot of times we let our perceptions run our lives. If something seems scary or daunting in the back of our head, we may never approach it. If something seems challenging and arduous, we may push it off forever. A lot of times, this is how people view physical activity or eating habits. We fall victim to our perceptions.
This week try to identify times where you feel emotions and feelings that are uncomfortable. Sit with the feelings. What are those feelings trying to tell you? What are they about? Who are they about? You may need to write these things down to get them off your chest. We are all allowed to feel the things we feel, but there is no excuse to let negative feelings run our life. We have control over what we feel. Once you get to the root of the feeling, identify if these perceptions are valid. If they aren’t, change your awareness. You have that power.
Once I went through identifying and re-evaluting, I laced up my sneakers. I reminded myself how much I love running, being outside smiling in the sunshine, blasting my music, my heart pumping, and being in the flow. That was the real understanding, the emotions and feelings clouded it. Those upsetting feelings didn’t disappear, but I was able to detach them from the current task at hand to get it done. I was able to separate the fact that my run was for me and whoever and whatever upset me had nothing to do with it. I'm using the example from Sunday to demonstrate that these things come up all the time for all of us.
Taking the time to sort through this is not only time, it includes painful and uncomfortable feelings. No one does it because of the painful part, but the truth is that your health depends on it. We need to sort through this stuff to think clearly, to be healthy, and most importantly to be happy. Once you can change your perception, you can change your moment. Imagine turning a million minutes into bliss! You can transform a time of dread into a time of enjoyment. You can be in a state of gratitude, instead of pain and discomfort.
I hold space for you this week to have a new awareness and stronger inner peace. Identify the perceptions that hold you back, correct them with truth and detach them from the false beliefs. Your life that is full of beauty, health, and joy is waiting for you. Change your mind to change your world. Be well.
I finished three audiobooks this month. The most recent one I completed within 24 hours, and after I had listened once, I started it again. It’s called Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable. This book was recommended to me by a good friend (a successful, high performer) after having many conversations about bettering ourselves. The book is written by Tim Grover, the coach of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade. He wasn’t the team coach; he was their personal coach. He didn’t sign up to be a life coach; he signed up to train professional athletes. He evolved into their life coach because of trust and his ability to prepare them mentally and how that translated to every part of their lives.
In this post, I want to open your mind to being mentally fit. Tim Grover calls the drive relentless. I call the drive devotion. The word relentless sounds so ruthless, though it means nonstop persistence. Devotion sounds noble and also means nonstop persistence. Being mentally fit means having control over your thoughts and actions all the time. Mentally fit means being resilient and recognizing when to change and then changing. No questions. No emotions. Identify what needs to change. Do it. Move on to the next. It means being devoted. It means being relentless.
You can’t be physically fit without mental fitness. I started running around my block when I was 12 or 13. My block was 1.2 miles. I remember my childhood friend would ask to stop and we would stop and walk. I decided to go on my own, and I told myself, don’t stop. I didn’t stop. That’s the first time I learned that running was mental. The challenge increased. Joia, don’t stop during three miles, then five miles. And now I’m a five-time marathoner. To become physically fit, to get anything you want in life, you need to be mentally fit.
You need to face the challenge, push yourself out of your comfort zone and learn to stay with the uncomfortable feelings until it's done.
Most people quit (whatever they are doing) when it starts to feel uncomfortable. That’s when it gets real. Whether it produces fear, doubt, or worry, these things are mental weakness taking control of your thoughts and actions. We all feel fear, doubt, and worry; this is not unique to you. The ones who succeed at their goals are the one who proceeds through the fear anyway. They have mental fitness to know that the uncomfortable is only temporary. They know the fear will pass. They know that by enduring, success will come.
When I find a challenge that scares me, I ask, “what would devotion do?” If I am devoted, what would I do? By asking what devotion would do helps me stay honest with myself. This question helps weed through the trivial time wasting tasks. If devotion wouldn’t do it, then I won’t do it. Devotion helps me show up, be prepared, work hard, listen, learn, and stay focused. In the book, Tim Grover talks about being relentless in the same way; show up, work hard, and listen. Maybe your word isn’t relentless or devotion. Think about what your word is, the word that describes your drive. Is it more light-hearted, like joy, love, or enthusiasm, or something a little more hardcore like the Marine Corps motto, always faithful? Whatever drives you, LISTEN TO IT. Obey it.
I give my examples so you can see that this is something that is humanly possible. If it’s possible for me to train my mind to overcome challenges, then it’s possible for you. It’s possible for you to change your life, become healthy, and live out your dreams. You will be scared; you’ll be uncomfortable, withstand pressure, get dirty, but all of that will pass, and success will be waiting for you. You will fail, you will mess up, you will have setbacks. Failing is a part of the learning process. It’s a part of achieving success.
How you do one thing in life, is how you do everything.
I wish you a wonderful week full of drive. Be well, show up, work hard, and listen.
I am so inspired by my passion and purpose. I’m eager to share this blog post with you. First, I keep thinking about a conversation that I had over the holidays with my dad. His recommendations largely influence my audiobook selection (which I've been crushing, by the way, my rate is 2-3 books/ month right now). As you can imagine, we have some interesting conversations. The conversation that keeps popping into my mind questioned our purpose here on earth and where we are headed as the human race. In this blog, I am going to share my perspective on purpose and address how integrating the idea of purpose into your life can create a wellspring of joy.
Recently, my dad and I both finished the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind. I texted him, and I told him the book was changing my life. It was changing my perspective on how I see the world in regards to emotion, health, business, and purpose. The history of becoming the most dominant race of Homo’s triggered my brain to consider new meanings of everything that I already perceived. I highly encourage you to read (or listen) to the book and develop your insight.
We are constantly trying to advance or enhance things to make our lives easier. It’s what homo sapiens do. In the meantime, as we were “making our lives easier,” we have lost sight of some major things. Although our lives are “easier,” are we healthier? Are we happier? Are we more ethical?
The human race’s purpose is to evolve. It may very well be to make our lives easier. I believe the purpose is simply to evolve. We continue the cycle of life and humans continue to progress into the most advanced beings that we continually prove to become. We evolved from hunter-gatherers; we evolved from farming; we evolved into industrious cities, and we evolved into a culture governed by technology.
Individually, we only live on average around 75 years. So, we only witness those years we are alive, which doesn’t provide us with all that much of a window of change. I believe that individually we each have a purpose. For years we are here on the planet, we play a part in the evolution process. Deep down you know what your purpose is. It’s not always easy to access. For me, it’s was not easy to identify, however, I was still able to access it. Some people go their entire life not identifying their purpose.
There is an excellent description of the book “What Color is Your Parachute.” I love this book for many reasons, especially the title and that it’s what helped me clearly identify my life’s purpose. If you were to complete the statement “when I finish my life, I want there to be more _________ in the world because I lived.” What would you fill in? Pause here and ask yourself. Jot down your answer.
In the book, they break down purpose (& mission) into nine kingdoms.
The first is the mind. That blank up there would say something like knowledge, truth, and clarity.
The second is the body. That blank would be something along the lines of wholeness, fitness, and health.
The third is the eyes and other senses, and that blank would resonate with beauty and the arts.
The fourth is the heart, and that blank would incorporate love and compassion.
Fifth is the will or conscience, and that blank would sound like morality, justice, righteousness, and honesty.
Sixth is the spirit, and that blank would be filled with faith, compassion, forgiveness, love for a higher power and the human race and all of its facets.
The seventh is entertainment, and that blank would be more laughter, less stress, more perspective, helping people forget their worries.
Eight is our possessions, and the blank would be filled with simplicity, quality rather than quantity, less emphasis on material things.
And ninth is the earth, and the blank would say something like protecting the environment, more exploration of the universe, less exploitation of our resources, more renewable energy.
Go back to what you wrote down. Does it sound like one of these nine?
Your kingdom is the one that resonates the most with you. There may be a few that you are drawn to, or there may be none. Which one suits you best? And if the answer is still none, then I strongly encourage you to explore and write down your philosophy on life.
Based on my past experiences and what naturally draws my attention, I fall into the second kingdom, the body. I am forever going to be in the wheelhouse of making people healthy and whole. Health is what captures me. Finally understanding this for myself was liberating. I didn’t have to focus on everything and anything anymore. All I had to do was hone my skills and strengths to this one purpose. It was a relief. I didn’t have to pretend I was interested in law or politics. I could release myself from spending energy on things that weren’t my purpose and mission. I could focus all of my energy on what I love and what I care about.
We live in a world where we are overstimulated and exhausted. Did you see this show, watch this press conference, read this article, sign up for this newsreel? The list goes on forever. Release yourself from the non-mission and focus on your mission. That is why you are here. You are here to accomplish the mission. Say it out loud. “When I finish my life, I want there to be more _________ in the world because I lived.” And that is where you focus. Your mission is where you invest your time and energy. That is where you set yourself free. That is where you find the wellspring of joy.
If currently you aren’t aligned with that mission, ask yourself how hard it would be to get aligned. Re-aligning is hard and involves a lot of determination. Unless you want that relief and fulfillment in life, you may not see the value of aligning with your mission. And that is okay. If you want to re-align, I am here to help you get there. I am here to help you find that source of joy.
I think of purpose to be something so beautifully profound. The people who have discovered it and aligned themselves with it are the people who are courageous enough to change the world. They are the people who are focused and successful. They are the people who are champions at what they do.
I believe you have a purpose. I know you’re capable of being a champion. I know it’s inside of you. And I will continue to believe that for you until you believe it yourself. You’re highly evolved, and you’re here for a reason.
I am wishing you all a beautiful day full of insight and delight. I hope you feel awe and wonder and may you reflect on your purpose and calling throughout the rest of the month. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything or have questions.
Also, if you liked this post, sign up for the newsletter! I send out weekly letters that provide the motivation and focus you need to stay healthy and happy.
With all my heart,
Artificial intelligence is something very fascinating to think about when it comes to health. As humans, we are constantly trying to make our lives more efficient. We continue to invent and refine things in our lives that allow our lives to appear and seem easier. As we advance in technology and the area of health, it makes me wonder. I can imagine a world where people are continually connected to devices that are monitoring absolutely everything about them. The devices won’t be big. They will be discreet but bountiful. For example, you would look at your watch and know how much energy you have by the accumulated data of sleep, nourishment, and environmental factors.
We are not far from this reality. We see A.I. enter all areas of the healthcare space. A company called Health Tap which allows access to physicians via facetime on demand came out with Ask Dr. A.I. Marketed as “your personal AI-powered physician.” It’s a tool that lets you answer questions about yourself and a database, with intelligence, can gather information on your symptoms and then express the likelihood of having diagnoses. Some databases are building to collect as many data as possible to be able to allow computers, and robots to access the information and present it back to us in the most efficient manner.
Will we soon have our personal assistance robots? Will we be able to buy them for our homes? Will they be able to function as a doctor and as a maid depending on their program? We continue to add this technology into our lives because we believe it will make us more efficient. Is it going to make our lives better, though?
I am skeptical about how much joy and health it will bring into our lives. Will people miraculously become healthy because they have a personal assistant robot? Will they be able to prevent depression because they have a robot? Based off what I do know and what I do have experience, we have so much information at our fingertips already, and we’re all not healthy and happy. It’s 2017, and we have had the internet around for almost 30 years. We have people suffering every day from chronic illnesses perpetuated by their behavior and drowning in depression. Having the information at our fingertips may have made it easier for some, but not all.
More and more studies demonstrate socially engineering health. Social engineering means they are creating spaces, both physical and non-physical platforms, where influencing your health is social. Groups are going to change together. You’re more liable to be overweight if your friends are overweight, and you’re more likely to be healthy if your friends are healthy. We have started to recognize that companion power is stronger than will power. By making your life and your health social, allows people to be more aware of the changes they need to make and holds them accountable to making the changes. So, if we are such emotional beings that need this type of human interaction influence to change our lives, will a robot be able to affect the same thing?
Human interaction is something that a robot may never be able to replace in our day and age. We may not see it in our lifetimes, but one day, there might be a time when robots can have human interactions. They could look and feel like a human and to consciously think like one. The future is limitless. The possibilities are endless.
I have spent years, almost my entire 28 years, paying attention to the meaning of happiness and joy. I suppose that’s what happens when you’re named a feeling, an emotion, that is powerful enough to move mountains. I’m not quite sure most people understand the difference between the two. I also don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. There are a lot of definitions on the internet. There are also dedicated psychologists that study happiness. The two words could potentially be interchangeable, but I will tell you what they mean to me.
Joy is something we are born with. Joy is a deep feeling that we feel because we are born with that ability. It is a feeling that provides the foundation for happiness and is the precursor to all sorts of positive emotions. Joy is a huge part of me. It is my name, it is my character, it is my life. If I was not Joia, I wouldn’t feel as strongly about this, but I came into this world and my lovely parents named me Joia. I am joyful, it is by my nature. I don’t think that I’m the chosen one where I was born with joy, I think everyone is born with joy. I think everyone can feel these deep joyful positive emotions. I keep using the word deep to describe joy. Its deep because it’s something you feel in your heart and in your bones. It is a visceral feeling.
Happiness is more of the quick access emotion. Happiness is something that can come and go quickly. Happiness is something that is not always accessible to people. I know this because we have many people prescribed and taking antidepressants. Happiness is something that can come up and put a smile on your face, but may be gone only minutes later. Happiness is something that most people look outside themselves to find. This person makes me happy, this food makes me happy, this book, this dog, this whatever makes me happy. It’s all outside. It’s not coming from within. Happiness is something that we always are trying to grasp on to. That made me happy so I’m going to do that again. A lot of times, addictions arise from this state. Drinking made me feel happier in that situation, so I’m going to go have a few drinks to feel that way again. We seek to escape our current reality to find happiness or a happier state.
So, if joy is deeply embedded inside us, and happiness seems to be this fleeting thing on the surface, are they really the same or connected? Do I need to feel happiness to access my joy? They are still connected. The more in touch you are with your inner joy, the more happiness you will feel and for longer. The happiness on the outside is not going to get you to feel your inner joy. Your inner joy is only going to come from inner. It’s only going to come from paying attention to your own inner voice and it’s only going to speak to you if you’re ready to listen.
So, how do we access our inner joy? This all comes back to being healthy. Accessing our inner joy is directly related to how healthy we are. Are we following our dreams? Do we exercise and fuel our bodies well? Do we have supportive, loving relationships? Do we feel valued? Do we have a purpose in our communities or in the world? Accessing your inner joy is paying attention to these questions and understanding how to maximize them. Start simple. Start with exercise and fuel. Do you consistently move your body in a way that brings your happiness? Do you get those endorphins pumping? Do you feed your body fuel rather than whatever food is available?
Accessing your inner joy means taking your life seriously. It means finding out what your soul wants and then doing everything in your power to work towards that life. Some people call it a dream life; some people call it the only way to live. The way to access your inner joy is to get rid of all the noise and BS in your life that doesn’t bring you immediate happiness. Get rid of what no longer suits you. Spend more time asking yourself what is it that you need. Spend more time meditating. Spend more time listening to your inner self.
This blog post and IG post were inspired by one of my favorite meditation proctors. Her name is Sarah Blondin and I listen to her meditations called Live Awake on Insight Timer (which is a meditation app that I’ve been using for a few years now and have accrued over 125 hours of meditation, both guided and unguided). She recently came out with one called “Our Call to Presence” and it’s all about how being present is how we access our happiness. I agree with this. I agree that being present with yourself is the only way to access your happiness.
Be present with yourself. Be honest with yourself. Be alive with yourself. Your heart depends on it.