What I've Been Thinking About...
I just finished listening to Malcolm X's autobiography and I would recommend this book to anyone. I read it or listen to it every couple of years and I feel that it is important because he is a man that was not afraid to admit his shortcomings. For most of his adult life, his teachings with The Nation of Islam spewed hate towards White people. Over time, he realized that some of those people in The Nation were living lives that did not jibe with their teachings and in a word, hypocrites. This did not sit well with him and he decided it was time to disassociate with The Nation.
Shortly after leaving he made a trip to Mecca, Islam's holiest city. While there, he saw men and women of all different colors believing in the same things, praying in the same way, and caring for each other. He even told a story about how after a long journey, they all fell asleep and he realized that skin color doesn't matter when it comes to snoring. We all snore in the same way!
Malcolm X realized it wasn't the color that defined the person but rather how that person lived their lives. This, I feel, is something that we can all agree on. We must not make blanket statements based off someones color, gender, family, etc.
Fitness Tip of the Week
I believe there are three factors involved in improving or maintaining our physical fitness. One is strength training, the other is cardiovascular training and the other aspect is non-exercise activity levels. This is how we spend our days outside of the gym. Are we sitting idle for most of the day or are we staying active, moving periodically, etc.
I recently came across a study that discussed the effects that walking has on your health. The average American walks between 5100 - 6500 steps per day. When the researchers compared those who walked 6,000 steps a day with those who walked 16,000, they found that the former group had a 126% increase in all cause mortality than the latter. That means that there chances of dying within the next 10 years were 126% greater. It is crazy to think about that when you consider that smoking increases your percentages by 70-80%! You can literally walk your way from an early grave.
If you think to yourself that 16,000 steps is not possible, there is still something that you can do to extend your life. The first step is to figure out how many steps you take each day. Then, if you are below 6000 steps, add walking into your routine until you reach that number. Then, when you get there, work to add 1000 steps to your daily routine. If you can do so, you will decrease your all cause mortality by 12%. If you continue repeating this process over and over, you will find yourself to be a much healthier and happier individual!
This weeks focus was on RESOLUTION. As Franklin puts it, "Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve." The definition of resolve is to decide firmly on a course of action and then follow through on it. I think in life, there are always things that can be done but are they the things that really NEED to be done? The distinction between the two is important as we work towards maximizing our time on this earth.
How do you do it? In my opinion, a great starting place is to eliminate the rubbish from your daily routine. This will free up time for you to do the things that matter. Then, create a schedule and a plan on how you will accomplish these things. Lastly, and here is the kicker, FOLLOW THROUGH ON THAT PLAN!
What I've Been Reading...
The Road to WIgan Pier by George Orwell
A few years ago I found myself going down a rabbit hole involving George Orwell and I am finding myself there once again. His book Animal Farm is one of my all-time favorites and his other writing is incredibly thought provoking. Orwell was one of those guys who lived his profession. In part one of this book, he worked down in the coal mines and visited the homes of the impoverished. He spent time learning about these people and viewing the conditions that they lived in. In part two, he discussed ways to improve their lot and whether or not the socialist movement would benefit them. Keep in mind this was written in 1937.
The craziest thing I found out about Orwell was when he decided to write about the Spanish Civil War. In order for him to understand all the circumstances surrounding it, he left England and joined forces with the Spanish Republic. During this time, not only did he live the life of a soldier but he was shot in the neck! A writer with courage is a rarity but no one can denied Orwell of that distinction!
Quote of the Week
"The machine has got to be accepted, but it is probably better to accept it rather as one accepts a drug- that is, grudgingly and suspiciously. Like a drug, the machine is useful, dangerous and habit forming. The oftener one surrenders to it the tighter its grip becomes" -- George Orwell
I hope you all have an awesome week!