Guest post by Matt Gartland of Healthy Lifestyle Design
The free pursuit of a healthy lifestyle is an empowering force that shatters the default life plan. This force builds your confidence, challenges the status quo, amplifies your passions and destroys conformity. But, like any force for good there’s also a dark side.
Enter the seven deadly sins of designing a healthy lifestyle. These seductive traps ensnare many in confusion and frustration. If left unchecked, they can wreak havoc on your pursuit of a rewarding, joyous and liberating life.
So how about you? Do you commit any of these seven deadly sins when designing your healthy life?
Have you ever achieved an amazing success without being wildly passionate about it? I doubt it.
That’s because dispassionate pursuits are destined for failure. And so it is with designing a remarkable and euphoric healthy lifestyle.
How so? Easy. Passion ignites your determination for a healthier life. Passion emboldens you to challenge the unhealthy status quo. Passion stimulates joy in all your healthy endeavors.
Simply put – passion is the elixir of a healthy lifestyle.
Without passion, apathy will curse you. Apathy is running uphill in lead boots with a parachute on your back. It cripples your momentum, resolve, and enjoyment of designing a healthier life.
Eventually, apathy will lock you in a suffocating submission hold. Game over.
So, break through the apathetic barriers of a conventionally healthy life (which isn’t really healthy at all) with your passion-imbued sledgehammer. Not only will it catapult your health to unbelievable new heights, but it’s damn fun too!
Unleashing your passion is wonderful! But passion without action is sinful. Why? Because your passion is wasted. Passion alone cannot conjure the magical results you seek. Passion is merely the fuel. You still need the engine.
Bold action is your engine. Without it you fall victim to sloth – the curse of doing nothing.
Sloth is abhorring the status quo but not doing a damn thing about it. Sloth is rejecting your mediocre health but not fighting to improve it. Sloth is relying upon “get-healthy-quick” gimmicks to transform your health.
Sorry, but “get-healthy-quick” solutions aren’t real. The only real solution is tenacious action.
But let’s be clear. This fight need not be boring, protracted or painful. If it is, sloth will conquer you in time.
So do the opposite. Fight for your remarkable life in a style that’s fun, focused and efficient. After all, the journey is the destination of designing a healthy lifestyle.
Many think passion and action will carve a perfect path to a healthy lifestyle.
Sorry, but your path won’t be “perfect”. Nor will it be “best”. That’s normal and should be expected. But many are blind to this.
Instead, they fall victim to unfairly comparing their health to others. This resentment is the seed of frustration, anger, even hate. Do you think these emotions are healthy and helpful?
Such spite blackens your heart and corrupts your spirit. And this sin not only harms you but also those in your toxic wake.
Spite can also be born from competition. Done right, competition is healthy and constructive. It strengthens your positive tenacity. It also forges powerful relationships. But competing past the point of reason is destructive. Understand the difference.
Overcome spite by welcoming positive failures and embracing others as role models, not rivals.
Selfishness is an especially deadly sin because it’s so deceptive. Yes, the pursuit of greatness requires intense convictions and self-motivations. But the line between such self-confidence and selfish arrogance is dangerously thin.
This tipping point hinges upon a simple question – is your lifestyle about giving or taking?
The choice is plain. You must give. Giving releases you to pursue the lifestyle of your dreams. It’s simple cause and effect – the more you give the more you receive.
This works because designing a healthy lifestyle is about creating meaning – meaning for yourself and those you care about. So by giving of your healthy self you motivate others and generate amazing life experiences. You learn and grow because of it. This sparks the uplifting cycle of Healthy Lifestyle Design.
By contrast, selfishness propels a downward spiral of isolation and despair. This sin fosters greed, dissolves your passion, and invites spite. It’s a path to the dark side.
I don’t think there’s anyone who has pursued a healthy lifestyle that hasn’t been frustrated with their progress at one moment or another – yours truly included.
It takes time to design the lifestyle of your dreams. This acknowledgment is vital to your sanity and success. Without it you’ll succumb to perpetual impatience. That’s bad.
Because impatience is a fiercely malevolent sin. It propels irritability and irrationality. It frays the fabric of your happiness. It undermines your passions and convictions. All told, impatience is the leading killer of healthy dreams.
Conquer this sin through patience. Patience is a powerful virtue that delivers a secret weapon – momentum. You won’t build your healthy lifestyle overnight. But you will be building momentum. And the healthier you become the more momentum you’ll generate.
With enough patience you’ll equip yourself with a wrecking ball of momentum capable of demolishing any obstacle on your pursuit of an awesome healthy life.
Think of all the legendary persons throughout history. What made them special? What made them memorable?
There will never be two Albert Einsteins. Or two George Washingtons. Or two Amelia Earharts. Or two Babe Ruths. Yes, these folks achieved greatness, but they did it their way.
So, when seeking your own greatness (of health and life), why should you conform to someone else’s template? You shouldn’t.
Why? Because conformity forces you to become a second-rate version of someone else instead of a first-rate version of yourself. Thus, it prevents you from living up to your full potential because you’re expected to “blend in” and preserve the status quo. This dissolves your self-identity and true passions.
So, if you want to achieve greatness of health and life, be unique. Your healthy lifestyle must stand alone – because it’s yours to define, build, nourish, and love. Be bold. Don’t compromise. Be great!
Fear is the master of all the deadly lifestyle design sins. And it’s a shapeless enemy. It attacks as self-doubt. It snipes as fear of nonacceptance. It besieges as fear of failure. But only if you let it.
How can you overcome these fears?
Do what any good student does – research your subject. What you’ll discover is that people fear what they don’t understand. That’s why fear is shapeless. So, by defining and understanding your lifestyle fears you can overcome them.
But fear isn’t always to be conquered. Fear can be an asset (no, I’m not crazy). Fear generates acute focus, energy, and discipline. It also provides direction – i.e. if you’re really fearful of something then you should learn about it. These attributes are powerful resources for your lifestyle pursuits.
In the end, a healthy lifestyle is not about living without fear – it’s about understanding and embracing fear.
Embolden your pursuit of a remarkably healthy life by avoiding these deadly sins. Ironically, they’re not so deadly once you learn about them.
Now you know. So go seize the day and design an amazing life! If you don’t, sloth with get you!
How do you overcome these seven deadly sins of a healthy lifestyle? What other deadly sins should be noted and explored? What do you think about using health as a means to freely pursue your ideal lifestyle?
Matt Gartland is a healthy lifestyle geek extraordinaire, blogger, world traveler, coffee fanatic, web techie, and more. He writes at Healthy Lifestyle Design, where he unleashes his passion for remarkable and unconventional living propelled by an amazing healthy lifestyle. Follow him on Twitter.
photo by alexandra_z