True realism is a willingness to reveal and accept the truth.
Scientific studies, and my own bitter experiences, have shown me that one of the character traits necessary for a man / person to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong, stable, and resilient is Realism.
Being too pessimistic is depressing, being too optimistic means that you are easily disappointed and crushed, and being too idealistic is to search for unrealistic perfection. Being realistic means that you accept the reality of the world as it is, rather than as you imagine it to be.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects the wind to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ~ William Arthur Ward.
It seems that being realistic tends to mean that you’re also deep, grounded, mindful, compassionate, able to deal with adversity, are not easily disappointed, and recover quickly from whatever shit the world throws your way.
To be realistic is to be self-aware and be fully cognisant of your own wants, needs, desires, and dreams. Being fully self-aware means that you do not easily fall prey to self-deceit ~ you don’t much lie to yourself, nor to others.
Realistic people also have good situational awareness, they are grounded in the truth of any given situation, seeing things for what they actually are, rather than they would wish them to be. They have a solid sense of time and place. They read people easily, and they are not reliant on a specific other person for their happiness. Most people don’t have your happiness at the top of their agenda.
It is a healthy approach not to expect persons to turn out precisely how you would have wished. ~ Criss Jami
There are 3.2 billion women in the world, so why should a realistic guy tie their happiness to just one particular uncaring and unavailable woman ~ no matter what.
One key feature of a realistic person is that they will always have some sort of written plan / plans in place to achieve their wants, needs, desires, and dreams. Realists know that unless they do something then nothing happens. To live life you first have to show up. Realists make the very most of any opportunity that comes their way. Realists take action to make things happen, they do not wait for things to happen to them. Realists tend to devote enough time and effort to whatever task lies in front of them.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln.
A realist will also have more free will than any other type of person. This is because they are prepared to say ‘No’. Every time you blindly agree with other people means that you have taken away your own free will.
Realists have a particular type of personality ~ they are physical, sceptical, jealous of their own time and space, independent, practical, clear-headed, good in an emergency, objective, non-judgmental, taciturn, and easy going.
But you don’t have to possess all of those character traits to be a realist ~ perhaps they are attributes we should aspire to.
Some say that a realist believes that some things are worth fighting for. And, that a realist will have a flexible plan for winning their battles. All I know is that to be a realist means showing up for the fight ~ it means showing up for Life.
Practical Realism 1.01 ~ First Know Yourself.
remember you’re supposed to be draining the swamp, not fighting with the alligators
Luck is great, but most of Life is hard work.
The hard truth is that we make our own luck. If you want to be lucky enough to witness a brilliant sunrise, then you have to get yourself out of bed before dawn. If you want to be lucky enough live your life’s dreams you must first know what you want and then do something to get it. If you want to really live Life, then show up.
I want a better life, I need to be a better man, I want to live my dreams. A few short weeks ago I was in the depths of Hell. Walking the hard road up from yet another rock bottom, these are a Magnificent Seven Truths I have been shown. These things have helped me find my luck, perhaps they may help you too.
- Self-Awareness. Know yourself. Be congruent and grounded in your own truth. Know that you are unique and that you have unique skills and abilities. Understand your own power.
- Know where you want to go. Chart your course. Dream your dreams. Discover what you really need, want, and desire. Create a vision board, or mind map, or just make a list. If you don’t know what you want, then Be Brave. Stop asking others what you should do, and don’t do anything that others may want you to do if it doesn’t match your own truth. Change I should to I want.
- Do Something. Take some action. Get off your ass and do something to realise your wants, needs, desires, and dreams, even if it’s just making a plan, or writing a daily journal. ~ just don’t do things that you don’t need to do. Change should to could. If you can get others to do things for you then use their unique skills and talents. Let the Cosmos work for you too.
- Leverage the Magic. Use your dreams, thoughts, words, and deeds. Have the best attitude you possibly can. Nobody likes an impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, unforgiving and manipulative jerk.
- Believe in yourself. Be more congruent. Make certain that your inner beliefs match your needs, wants, desires, and dreams. If you don’t believe then you can’t achieve. If you don’t believe then you certainly will have no luck at all.
- Engage the Magic. Make a start on living your dreams. Do something positive, even if it’s just a very small thing. The greatest journey starts with that first baby step.
- Be adaptable. After you have taken some action, look at what happened. If what you did didn’t get you what you want, then do something else instead. If you do what you always did, then you will get what you always got. A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Scientifically, and mathematically there is no such thing as luck. So, if you want to be lucky in life, if you want to take advantage of random chances, if you want the good things to come to you, then work at living your dreams.
The harder I practice, the luckier I get. ~ Gary Player
Here’s the thing, should I want to, I can win money playing cards. That isn’t because I’m lucky, it’s because I’ve studied Hoyle, probability theory, and statistics, I can work out odds in my head, and I’m a natural card-counter. Some say that’s cheating, it certainly isn’t luck.
Try to stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t get drawn into fighting the alligators when you really want to be draining the swamp.
Some say that life’s hard and nothing ever goes right for them. And, that they never have any luck, their whole life is a train wreck. All I know is that the harder and smarter I try, the luckier I get.
The road goes anywhere and everywhere you want, but you have to get out there and be prepared to enjoy the journey.
Create your own luck, and then ride it hard.
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.
In this modern world most of us are driven by results, we do things in order to achieve a desired outcome. In this modern world hardly anyone enjoys the journey, what most people want is to get to their destination as quickly as possible. And yet, psychologists know that what our mind and spirit seek most are experiences, and not results.
In my working life I was extremely results oriented, I always had innumerable written plans to ensure that each of my projects produced a specific outcome, with specific deliverables, on specific future dates.
Consequently I was always in a hurry, impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, and unforgiving. To a certain extent these character traits are useful in business, but I also carried these characteristics into my personal life. That may be natural, unavoidable, but it certainly isn’t useful, and it certainly wasn’t the true me.
Aggression only moves in one direction ~ it creates more aggression. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley
Nobody sane wants a good friend or partner who is always in a hurry, impatient, driven, aggressive, competitive, egotistical, and unforgiving. Oh, and I was also very manipulative…..
Because of my conflicted and driven life I was continually unhappy, and continually ill. I was also continually afraid of failure. My life was mostly joyless.
I no longer believe that it’s the outcome that matters most to our mind and spirit. What I believe is that it’s experiences that matter most to us, and not the eventual deliverables. In other words it’s the journey, and not the destination which teaches us the most. Like all things in Life this is probably not a yes / no, black / white, male / female thing.
The yin and the yang are opposite forces. Yet, they exist together in the harmony of a perfect orb. ~ R. A. Wise
I have come to believe that somewhere in between the yes and the no lies a place where either, none, and both exist simultaneously. I have come to believe that the past, present, and future exist simultaneously. And, I have come to believe that it is the journeys that really matter to our body, mind, and spirit ~ not the destinations.
In other words it’s how we live each moment that matters most, not what we eventually achieve.
Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things. ~ Robert Breault
Some say that life is somewhere between an experiment and an adventure. And, that if you follow all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun. All I know is that nothing is more important than this day, this hour, this minute…
The sun may not always shine, so enjoy it while you can.
Just a small town boy lost in one more lonely midnight.
I had lost all control
I need to make true changes
torn and conflicted I had no home
I had been filled with angry resentments
California Nights showed me I need new goals
when night comes again, I’ll be looking at the moon
yet you know I’ll be thinking of all those California Nights
just one more lonely night
but don’t stop believing
Feeling a greater sense of meaning and purpose in Life.
An American friend has sent me a most wonderful and thoughtful Christmas gift ~ which I have already opened!
It’s a book; Rituals for Living, Dreambook and Planner. When I say it’s a book it’s kind of a journal, and diary, and project planner. The project in this case being My Life.
Stop playing small and start seeing yourself as the magical creator that you are. You can create anything you want. We want to help ensure that what you’re creating reflects your highest potential and most authentic self. ~ thedragontree
It’s about connecting with what’s really important to me; identifying my core values, gifts, and life purpose.
It’s also about developing habits and rituals to help me to realise my dreams.
At heart I am an engineer, I like planning, I need to make plans before starting any new enterprise or project. Well, this is a new project, it’s the rest of my life. A big project that deserves some big plans.
We firmly believe that if you set out to achieve your goals while remaining steadfast on the necessity of playing, caring for yourself, connecting to family, friends, a higher power, and the natural world ~ you actually amplify your ability to succeed. ~ thedragontree
I firmly believe that this book, the gift my American friend has sent to me, will help me achieve my fullest potential and realise my dreams.
In part it’s about self-awareness and self-actualisation, and in part it’s about developing habits and rituals which will lead towards the fullest and most congruent realisation of my desires, dreams, and goals.
You know what? This is a wonderful gift, and I know it was sent to me with love.
One of the benefits of writing this blog is that I can publicly thank my friend for this wonderful Christmas gift. Oh, and the kind friend concerned also has a blog. https://therobynbirdsnest.com
There are a couple of websites which sort of go along with this life planner;
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A dog, a wife, and a walnut tree, they more you beat them the better they be.
It looks like a simple change to our diet, like eating a few walnuts a day, boosts our health in some amazing ways.
I’ve long thought that eating nuts was a good idea, and now some scientists at the Louisiana State University agree with me. After some experiments they say that eating a couple of ounces of walnuts a day improves your digestive health. Seems it’s all to do with prebiotics again, and that walnuts have their beneficial effects by nourishing the friendly bacteria in our gut, helping them to thrive and multiply.
These good bacteria have anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation is now thought to be central to the onset of arthritis, various cancers including prostate and breast cancer, depression, early aging, various heart / circulatory diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
It’s better to get the nutrients for healthy skin from food, not supplements. Salmon, walnuts, blueberries, spinach… lots of my favorite foods happen to be amazing for skin too. ~ Gail Simmons
Scientists and nutritionists say that the health of our digestive tract is central to the health of our whole body. Walnuts act as a prebiotic, meaning that eating these nuts helps keep our digestive system healthy.
Gut health is an emerging research area, but we are seeing greater bacterial diversity may be associated with better health outcomes, whereas low diversity has been linked to conditions such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. ~ Professor Lauri Byerley.
Walnuts and hazelnuts are just about the oldest tree foods known to man; their importance going at least at far back as 7,000 BC. Walnuts in particular;
- Help with weight loss.
- Improve good sleep if eaten late at night~ walnuts contain lots of melatonin.
- Are good for your hair, in fact eating walnuts may help prevent hair loss.
- Are very good for your heart and circulation.
- Help to lower your bad cholesterol.
- Help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Makes your skin healthier.
- Can keep senile dementia at bay.
- Help to prevent various cancers, especially breast and pancreatic cancers.
- Will help you to live a longer, healthier, and less stressful life.
Personally, I firmly believe that eating almost any type of nuts and seeds is a beneficial addition to one’s diet, but walnuts may be better than most as they are the only nut that contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acid. And, as we already know, omega-3 fatty acids are good for us. Walnuts also have a lot of protein, fibre, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in them.
Walnuts are a tree nut, along with Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts and pistachios ~ each of these has it’s own nutritional properties, (I can’t abide macadamia nuts and I hate pecan pie).
Walnuts have the vitally important amino acid l-arginine, which give loads of benefits to people with heart diseases, or who may become prone to suffering from heart and circulatory problems.
These almost magical nuts also contain neuroprotective compounds, such as vitamin E, folate, and melatonin. Research shows that eating a half a cup of walnuts a day may stave off senile dementia.
Allegedly, walnuts also make men more sexually potent, and are good for pregnant women…..
There is one nut which is not generally thought to be quite so healthy; peanuts. These are legumes anyhow, and basically legumes are either peas or cattle food. The main reason that early farmers grew legumes is that they improve the soil, and not because they’re good to eat.
Nevertheless, there are health benefits to be found from the humble peanut; they’re full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, the anti-aging molecule resveratrol, and phytosterols that help reduce bad cholesterol.
Nuts and seeds are a far better snack than the other disgusting crap many people munch on, especially late at night. So don’t snack on potato chips, crackers, popcorn, blue cheese, ice cream, doughnuts, pretzels, candy, chocolate, cookies, cake, s’mores… have some walnuts instead, or almonds, or hazelnuts, (or any nuts and seeds).
The good news is, that glass of red wine you like late at night is good for you too.
always buy organic walnuts
Good food begins and ends with good talk.
Some say that a Mediterranean diet is good for you. And, that if you eat a mostly Mediterranean diet you’ll be healthier and live longer. All I know is that you should always have a really good extra virgin olive oil.
From Greece, tzatziki is basically a mixture of yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and mint, and you can buy it from your local store, or you can even make your own. The Bojon Gourmet has this nice little farro and cucumber salad with feta, dill, and mint that not only would be nice with some tzatziki, but also combines its flavours. Both would go nicely with some grilled goat.
Farro and Cucumber Salad with Feta, Dill, and Mint
And now, from Heidi at foodiecrush we have this outrageous herbacious Mediterranean chickpea salad. (I had to include this just for the name of the dish.)
Outrageous Herbacious Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
From Heather Christo this week we have Mediterranean pasta with grilled swordfish, lemons and gremolata. Gremolata is also dead easy to make for yourself. (I love grilled swordfish, but some say we shouldn’t buy swordfish ~ I will go on eating it, because whatever I do won’t affect how much fish the Japanese rape from the sea.) This 25 minute dish is perfect for a barbecue with the kind of friend who doesn’t expect a burned burger in a cheap bun.
Mediterranean Pasta with Grilled Swordfish, Lemons, and Gremolata
Sardines are a quintessentially Mediterranean dish, and Petra from Food Eat Love has some super taste combinations in this dish of fresh sardines, roast baby beets with whipped avocado and feta. As you’d expect it’s the beetroot that going to take the longest to cook here.
Fresh Sardines, Roast baby Beets with Whipped Avocado and Feta
This is another Mediterranean dish I love, grilled lamb kebabs, this time from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. (Do you want to know my own secret ingredient for grilling Mediterranean style? 7Up ~ when the charcoal gets too hot and the meat looks like it might burn, I sprinkle 7Up over the grill.) Tieghan’s is a half-hour dish, but one should really marinade the lamb overnight.
Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Kebabs
Dana at The Minimalist Baker has the ultimate Mediterranean bowl, looks fabulous, and it’s easy, healthy, and gluten-free. However, I would definitely add a little more extra virgin olive oil.
The Ultimate Mediterranean Bowl
Cod Cherry Tomato and Green Olive Tray Roast
get yourself a cookery book
Life is not merely being alive, but being well.
If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only will you feel better, you will also add ten or more years to your life. But, what is a healthy lifestyle? Turns out that not smoking, (nor abusing prescription or street drugs), drinking booze only in pretty strict moderation, and keeping to a healthy weight are the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking and drinking may look cool, for a short while, but after a short while those pastimes will turn an attractive women into a cackling, wrinkled, old hag.
The reason fat men are good-natured is that they can neither fight nor run. ~ Theodore Roosevelt.
Personally, I would add another three things we should all do if we want to be fit and healthy well into our senior years; get plenty of good quality sleep, get plenty of appropriate exercise, and eat a good, healthy diet. Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer a horrible and early death, from this moment on you should;
- Stop smoking. Stop smoking weed too. Smoking is dirty, disgusting, anti-social, and it will kill you in a selection of particularly nasty ways.
- Drink only in moderation. If you regularly take more than a couple of drinks in an evening, if you empty a bottle of wine in a couple of days, if you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles of spirits ~ then you have a drink problem, and eventually it will make you very ill.
- Don’t be fat, don’t be obese. It is very easy to stuff yourself with burgers, take-outs, canned food, and other unhealthy crap calories. Type 2 diabetes will make you very ill, and then it will kill you. There are three foods / ingredients you should never, ever, knowingly have in your diet; sugar-free / diet soda, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, wheat flour, wheat products.
- Get plenty of good quality sleep. Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy. Lack of enough proper sleep causes accidents, makes you stupid, kills your sex drive, and puts you at greater risk of; heart disease, heart failure and heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
- Take enough appropriate exercise. Just a daily walk can add 7 years to your life. You don’t need to join an gym and lift heavy weights. Both yoga and tai chi have a myriad of health benefits, improving your balance, control, fitness, flexibility, reducing the risks of falls, sprains, and other injuries, easing pain, and reducing the symptoms of depression.
- Have a good quality and healthy diet. And, there are lots of cool diets to choose from; Atkins, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pritikin… The key is don’t eat junk, have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat slowly and chew your food properly, and don’t stuff yourself at every opportunity.
Americans and the British are much less likely to live long and healthy lives than do the inhabitants of most industrialised western countries, and it has nothing at all to do with the standards of medical care in the USA and the UK. In fact, the Japanese have the highest average healthy life expectancy in the world ~ and it doesn’t have anything to do with either sushi or rice.
Japanese people give attention to health in all aspects of their daily life. Professor Kenji Shibuya.
Some things you can do today to work towards that fitter, healthier, happier life in your senior years are;
- Change your attitude ~ tell yourself, convince yourself, that you will be fitter, healthier, stronger, more capable, filled with self-confidence, and more self-aware.
- Get your blood pressure checked.
- Eat a better diet ~ stop eating junk.
- Stop knocking back the booze in the evenings. Especially DO NOT drink just before you go to bed.
- Stop smoking.
- Start exercising. There are both mental and physical benefits to regular exercise ~ at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. Walk, (at least) 10,000 steps every day.
- Walk don’t drive. Learn to drive in a slower, calmer, more relaxed manner.
- Don’t get stressed. Practice meditation and mindfulness ~ just relax.
- Don’t hang out with people who eat junk, smoke, drink, and slob about just watching sports TV all day. Stay out of pubs, bars, and down-market restaurants. If you can’t do those things you need to get to an AA meeting.
- And for goodness sake, stay out of hospital. Hospitals are incredibly unhealthy places to be for very long.
These are all simple lifestyle changes, and each one is pretty easy on it’s own. Taken together these lifestyle changes will make a massive difference to your health, fitness, and happiness. As a side effect you will stop throwing huge hunks of change down the drain.
A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~ Paul Dudley White.
Being angry, hateful, jealous, negative, stressed…, will all damage your physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of an early death by three-quarters.
Mens sana in corpore sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.
you can buy this book from Amazon
A gluten-free diet is more than just a fad.
Some say that gluten is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease. And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition. All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you. Especially genetically enhanced, chemical laden, pesticide sprayed, modern American wheat is really, really bad for you. If you have the sense your mother gave you, then you should stop eating anything made from wheat.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are direct results of American agriculture policy and, specifically, the government’s wading into the food arena. ~ Joel Salatin.
Gluten is what makes flour and water as sticky as glue. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like; wheat, spelt, rye, barley, bulgur, oats, and seitan. There is no gluten in either quinoa or rice. Nor is there any gluten in potato or beans. However gluten is found in almost all processed and packaged foods, sauces, and canned food.
Non celiac gluten sensitivity is poorly understood, and there are no specific medical tests of your blood, stool, or urine that can reliably diagnose gluten intolerance. You and your doctors can only reliably diagnose gluten intolerance by the symptoms and health problems you have. On the other hand, there are reliable diagnostic tests for full-blown celiac disease.
- Irritable bowl problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Irritation of the mouth and throat.
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, problematic memory.
- Frequent headaches.
- Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability.
- Low energy and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Muscle and joint pains. Osteoporosis.
- Peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
- Skin problems, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, skin rashes.
- Nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, anemia.
- Asthmatic attacks.
- Higher risk of learning problems including autism and ADHD.
- Sexual problems and in women missed periods.
- Gut autoimmunity, damage to the gut biome
Gluten intolerance will affect every single part of the body as the bacteria in your gut help to control everything from nutrient absorption, to hormone production, to metabolic function, to the way your brain works.
The problem is that gluten from wheat is found in just as many products as that other evil and unnatural food; high fructose corn syrup. One should read the labels before buying any food, and certainly avoid these foods
- bread, crackers, pizza, burritos, tortilla, cakes, cookies and the like
- beer, lager, stouts, ales
- barley malt
- packaged, store bought chicken broth
- malt vinegar ~ buy natural organic apple cider vinegar instead
- most salad dressings including mayonnaise
- veggie burgers unless they are certified gluten-free
- soy sauce
- packets of seasonings and spice mixes
- noodles unless they are rice noodles
- all pasta, (unless it’s marked gluten-free)
- most condiments
- non dairy creamer
- bullion cubes and stock cubes
- canned soups
- cheese spreads and other processed cheeses
- sausages and hot dogs
- ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk unless it’s from grass-fed cows.
- Sour cream, which may contain modified food starch.
If you are even mildly gluten intolerant you will need to be very careful when eating out. Eating out is fun, however,when eating out becomes the norm, and you find yourself eating out two, three, or more times a week, then eating out is no longer a healthy treat and is instead a bad habit. If you are gluten intolerant dining out is very bad for your health. The same goes for buying Chinese take-out which is likely to be stuffed with MSG, (Monosodium Glutamate). When eating out avoid fried foods, thickened sauces, and obviously bread. Only drink gluten-free booze such as cider, wine, spirits and liqueurs, (there are gluten-free beers). And, if you’re drinking spirits don’t have diet soda as your mixer ~ diet soda is also bad for you.
Some say that gluten intolerance might really be glyphosate poisoning. And that pre-harvest spraying of wheat and sugar cane with Roundup makes for an easier harvest. All I know is that I don’t want to eat food contaminated with weed-killer.
Glyphosate is for sure, in every bite of food that contains wheat. ~ Nancy S. Mure
As it goes, wheat flour and refined sugars are just so very bad for you that your best choice is to avoid them all together. The list of health problems caused by these two staple foods is both long and nasty.
You may want to look for non-gluten alternative foods and products, and there are lots of these if you make the effort. Personally I have merely given up anything made with wheat flour, including; bread, cakes, pizza, pasta, cookies, canned soups… ~ and I now also make an effort to read the labels on the stuff I buy at the supermarket.
For most of us, giving up bread and beer is a pretty easy and very beneficial thing to do.
If you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour, you know it makes sense.
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