What I've Been Watching...
A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend via email and they recommended that I check out a documentary titled Stutz. This film was directed by Jonah Hill and its goal was to highlight the psychological teachings of Phil Stutz, Hill's real like therapist. This film starts a bit slow with Hill asking his therapist a series of questions about his life, his techniques and other basic interview type questions. Around the 30 minute mark, they realize they need to make a change as it seems the film is going nowhere. After talking with Stutz, they decide that it was time to open up and become vulnerable. There will be no more hiding behind safe answers or sneaky production tricks. If they want this film to work, they must be authentic.
There are some tough moments for these men during filming. They discuss childhood struggles, share stories of losing their brothers, the relationships they had with their parents, whether or not the let love into their lives, and one of my personal favorites, their ability to crack jokes during tough times rather than feel the emotion of the moment (I suffer from this disease too!). As this film wraps up, you begin to see that these two men care deeply about one another. They dedicate the film to their brothers and in hindsight, the bond that they share is comparable to brotherhood. It was a very good film and one in which I plan on watching again.
Fitness Tip of the Week
The Aspen Institute's Project Play does a great job researching trends in physical activity levels in children in an effort to build healthy communities through sports. It is their belief that active communities do better and they have the data to support it. Some of the interested areas highlighted in their research is that they discovered that active communities have lower obesity rates, less smoking, less heart disease, higher property values and lower unemployment. So how do we get these benefits and improve the health of our communities?
To me, the biggest impact we can make in a community is through the children. Physically active children are usually associated with being influenced by physically active adults. If we want the future generation to be active, then we have to be active. If you are a parent, teacher, coach or in any other mentor-type of role, you have the ability to positively effect the activity levels of the children you work with. In turn, our community will benefit not only in the short term but for many years to come. Remember, what you prioritize in your everyday life, they (the kids) will prioritize. If we want to improve the health of our community, we need to lead by example and show these young bucks what healthy living is all about!
The benefits and motivation to be physically active goes way beyond looking healthy. In early childhood, physically active kids have been found to have higher test scores and improved self-efficacy. As they move through adolescence, these kids are 15% more likely to go to college, they're less likely to partake in risky behavior like smoking and drug use, and have higher self esteem. As they progress into adulthood, they become more productive at work, have higher earnings, and reduce the rate of disease. If we want a healthier, more productive community, it starts with us and the example we set forth!
For more, check out podcast episode 171: Active Communities do Better
What I've Been Thinking About...
Did you ever just wake up one morning and feel like you were in a funk? Nothing seems to be going right and you say things like, "it's just one of those days?" Well, I had one of those days last week and it happened to occur on the morning after watching the aforementioned documentary. When Stutz was a child, he and his father were on a plane and as they were taking off, Young Stutz was a little uncomfortable. The plane was surrounded by dark clouds and he worried that they might have to deal with it for the entire trip. If any of you have ever flown through storm clouds, you know it can get a little turbulent. His father tried to reassure him and let him know that the sun is just beyond those clouds. They had to experience some tough moments but soon, they will burst through the dark clouds and see the light. Those dark clouds will be a thing of the past, they just had to work through it.
As a therapist, he uses this plane story to help his clients understand that the "Black Cloud". The black cloud is that feeling I had when I woke up last week. At some point, in all our lives, we will all experience these thoughts. It may be there for short periods of time or it may stick around a little longer. One thing we must remember is that the sun is shining on the other side of those clouds. We just have to work to get there. To Stutz, the one thing that can help get you through those clouds sooner, rather than later, is gratitude. On these days, if you take a few moments periodically throughout the day to recite things you are grateful for, the sun will slowly start to appear. I tried this last week and it really helped. If you are having one of those days, give gratefulness a shot and see how it makes you feel!
Jesus in Disguise?
Over the past decade-plus, in my line of work, I have been fortunate to meet people from all walks of life. There have been members of both political parties, atheists, churchgoers, high income earners, low income earners, various ethnicities and more diverse encounters than one can count. I have learned that if you treat people reasonably well, they will most likely reciprocate. If you act is if everyone you encounter is a friend, the world becomes a much more pleasant place for all involved.
I recently heard a story involving Mother Theresa that really made an impact on my mindset. During her life, she served the poorest of the poor, the infirm, the homeless, practically anybody that was in dire need of assistance. As a result, she was awarded the Noble Peace Prize and was canonized posthumously. In her case, she treated everyone as if they were Jesus in disguise. She asked, if this sick person was Jesus, what would I do? She served every individual with incredible care and made them feel like they were the most important person in the world. The results of her work speak for itself. I like this approach!
Quote of the Week
"My biggest fear is not getting enough done before I die" -- Phil Stutz
I hope you all have an awesome week!