Managing You by Pat Brown
Heart, mind, body, spirit. The four pillars of you. It’s difficult to live fully if each pillar isn’t full. If yourself is lacking, you’ll feel like you have a cannon ball stuck to your ankle as you get after your purpose. Growing these areas is an art and takes discipline and intentionality. Each area fully embraced and taken care of will lead to a happier, fuller you.
Love; just about what every children's movie and romantic comedy has ever been about. This is something nearly all of us are after. We’ve touched upon the crucial importance of Agape love and community. You need to hold onto your friends for dear life because you need it and your friends need you. The people you are doing life with will bring laughter, fun, sadness, joy, all of the emotions that you’ll need. Isn’t there a saying like, “a place is only a place, it’s about the people in it”.
When I asked my dear friend Cia about what it meant to live a full life, she gave me a rockstar answer, “A full life is taking the joys and the sorrows - and experiencing them to the fullest. Life shouldn't be about avoiding suffering, for often times in our lows that we learn and grow in new ways”. Experience the emotions with your community fully, don’t push them to the side. Lean on your friends to pull them out of you.
We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn in school and then stop once we get out and get a job. However, the most successful people in the world are obsessed with learning. A key source of learning that you’ll see nearly every successful person do is read. It stimulates your brain to allow you to think at the level of the author you’re reading from. By reading their thoughts, you are learning to think like them through osmosis and therefore dream bigger. Your friends may have some smart things to say, but the people that have changed the course of history can probably be of some help. I’ve seen a drastic change in my life, especially financially, when I devoted time to reading and writing.
Here’s the science behind it. A study done by a neuroscientist named Stanislas Dehaene proves the critical impact reading has on the brain. When you read, you are stimulating your parietal and occipital lobe. The occipital lobe processes visual information. This helps active readers be more creative and better decision makers. Something that is key for your big dreaming. The Parietal lobe turns words into thoughts. This helps with writing, reading and your memory. The article writes, “Mental stimulation will improve brain function. Reading is clearly the best way to increase mental stimulation. The best part about mental stimulation is that it will develop new neurons, no matter how old the individual is the brain can still create and develop new neurons.” Stimulating your brain by reading helps you dream, make decisions, and increase your memory better.
Reading is just part of having a growth mindset. I was always told I am a terrible reader and writer, have ADHD and had an IEP all throughout high school. I had every excuse to not want to learn to read, but I did because it seemed clear, this is an important part to living a successful life. When I began reading, overtime, my pace picked up and I started cranking out a book a week. Swallowing books and my life changed with it.
I’ve always been tall and skinny and was nervous to go to the gym because I didn’t think I could pick up a 20lb dumbell. I remember the first time I laid down on the bench, my friend Rob said “Don’t be embarrassed you’re just lifting the bar, no one cares. They all want you to do well.” Slowly but surely, I grew and grew to the point I was the strongest kid in my fraternity.
Working out was great to look better, but it was always more mental for me. It's this mental game I play with myself. I sit down, look in the mirror and tell myself “If you don’t lift this, you’ll never be ____” Yes, a bit intense, but it always carried into my work day. I related greatly with the founder of Nike when I read his book “Shoe Dog”. He explains it beautifully in a pivotal run he went for when he was deciding to start Nike, “Maybe my Crazy Idea just might...work? Maybe. No, no, I thought, running faster, faster, running as if I were chasing someone and being chased all at the same time. It will work. By God I’ll make it work. No maybes about it.” His run emulated the emotion he felt towards his work. This level of endorphins will make you feel amazing by physically conquering mental boundaries and give a massive amount of energy for your work day. Without early exercise, you’ll be at 50% of what you could be.
When I was in Morocco in the middle of writing this book, I saw all walks of life living together. Our tour guide Mustafa was Muslim and was reminded to go pray five times a day when the gong would ring in the middle of the square. For the Moroccans, including the Jews and the Christians, their faith is much more spiritual and less religious. Their smiles all glowed far greater than what I was used to seeing back home in the states. Everyone, so excited to see each other, living as one in community.
Mustafa put it simply, “In Morocco, in the old part of Medina, there are four sections. The Muslims, the Jewish, the Christians, and the Andalus. But in Morocco, the rest doesn’t matter because first, you’re Moroccan”.
This is something I find to be a true shame in western culture. Yes there's the mental the physical and the emotional but there's also the spiritual. People are after full life and ignoring ¼ of their being. Religon is looked at as ____
Your spirit is like a muscle, something that lives in you. If its worked on, it will grow and you will change. If it’s not exercised, it will be very weak and have little to no effect. It’s the last element that is needed for a full life. A lot of people go their whole lives thinking filling ¾’s of them will bring full life and find when they get ¾’s full, they aren’t there yet. Without spiritual, you won’t be full.
You’ll see people that have that spiritual check mark and that spiritual fullness and think, “There's something different about them” You’ll see their love peace and joy in all seasons of life. The reason is, they are extracting that from a higher being.
Me personally, I’m a Christian. I believe in the evidence behind the recordings of Jesus, that He walked around, performed miracles, died on a cross, and rose three days later to walk around for the next 45 before He went to heaven. This man loved so radically that in just three years, rocked the course of history. The evidence and the love from the people I saw was enough for me to take the leap of faith to accept Jesus into my own life. As crazy as it felt at first, once I took that leap and saw the fruit in my life, it all made sense. I became filled with more life, more purpose, more love, more freedom than anything else I’ve ever experienced before. I’ve made plenty of money, fame, owned cool things and maintained great relationships all to realize, my faith is the one thing that tops them all. At first it seemed crazy. Now it feels crazy to do life without it.
Everything seems bonkers until you do it. Why would you put your body through physical pain lifting weights and not eating chocolate all the time? To grow. Why would I read when I have a 5th grade reading level and I’m 18; to learn. Why would I hang out with broken messed up people; because I need them and they need me. Working out, reading, community; all don’t make sense until you experience them. However, every area provides fruit once you commit.
A lot of people brush over faith and go “ah, its whatever” I feel a lot of people are scared to talk about it. Scared to ask questions. In the western culture, we are worried we won’t have “freedom” if we associate with a certain faith. Freedom is a funny word. Is being free to do whatever you want whenever you want true freedom? In reality, yes, you can drink wine from the time you wake up until time you go to bed, but is it good for you? Will it be good for your body, your purpose and your community? Indulging in non-value adding things actually prevents your freedom. Living within a value adding space is true freedom. Faith helps you do that.
I write this, not to convert or freak you out, but to be known, that your faith journey is not something that you should ever ignore. I don’t care what society and the world says, this is something truly crucial to your own fullness and you’ll spin your wheels your whole life trying to become full without it.
"“By opening our lives to God in Christ, we become new creatures. This experience, which Jesus spoke of as the new birth, is essential if we are to be transformed nonconformists . . . Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
This is your individual journey. It's your job to ask questions and figure it out. I encourage you to explore deep. Don’t just read one article and accept it as truth. Keep asking questions, keep diving and there you will find truth. Liberating truth. Compared to everything else we hope to convey through this program, this journey is the most life giving experiences you may ever encounter.
What cause are you interested in having serving be part of your life?
Do you see your work as service? How are you helping better the world?
Bettering the world doesn't have to be helping a billion people, it could be just greatly helping one. Whats one moment that helped for you?
Once you journal and chat with your Community Builder, we will pay you for you to go help a stranger of your choice for two hours that lives in your community.