Friday, 24 May 2013

More psychology, life, and smiling...

In French, it's called "Joie De Vivre." In Hebrew, "Simchas HaChaim." On, they refer to it as "Gladfulness" (there's no way that's an actual word).

Last Tuesday, I went to see Jillian Michaels as part of her "Maximize Your Life" tour. Aside from the life lessons, exercise advice, and nutrition tips I came away with, two aspects of the talk really stuck out for me.

The first, was this woman's energy. Don't get me wrong, I was hanging on her every word, but HOW she was delivering those words was almost as important as what she was saying. She is one of the most dynamic presenters I've ever seen. She utilized the stage more like a personal trainer than a motivational speaker - running and lunging from left to right, animated and chalk full of energy. But I'm not just talking about physical energy, but I'm referring to that new-agey, auric,  hipster, "You-Have-Good-Energy" type energy. The kind of energy you feed off of. And she SMILED! Holy crap did she smile! Big, huge, "I'M SO HAPPY TO BE HERE WITH YOU!!!!" smiles. She was engaged and engaging. She was up on the stage presenting as one of the most successful personalities in her industry, but at the same time, spoke as though she was just the girl next door - down to earth and relatable. She had this "joie de vivre" and "je ne sais quois" that made you want to listen. Even if you didn't agree with all her viewpoints, or didn't buy everything she was selling, the passion she exuded was what kept you listening.

I obviously can't speak to her personality off-stage or on the Biggest Loser set, but if she's anything in real life like she is on stage, then I urge you to look up the definition of "gladfulness" (I'm still lol'ing), write it down, and go seek out people who possess this quality. I'm not necessarily talking about friends who seem to always see the glass as half full, optimists, or the friends who are super peppy and perky all the time (though those are great people to have around). That's cool and everything, but there's more to it. I'm talking about those individuals who have a quality that starts bubbling from within and they're almost physically incapable of containing it within their body; it explodes (gently), and radiates onto others. You'll know it when you feel it because it's contagious... Infectious... Addictive! This kind of joy, a happiness just from BEING, is a condition of the soul, not the product of our external circumstances. Clue: These people smile for no reason.

I read a psychological study recently that spoke to the "contagiousness" of happiness. “Your happiness depends not just on your choices and actions, but also on the choices and actions of people you don’t even know who are one, two and three degrees removed from you,” said Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis, a physician and social scientist at Harvard Medical School and an author of the study. “There’s kind of an emotional quiet riot that occurs and takes on a life of its own, that people themselves may be unaware of. Emotions have a collective existence — they are not just an individual phenomenon.” These people make you happy, and your happiness affects others. How amazing is that?! By hanging around these people, you turn into a vehicle to pass that on to someone else! WILD!!!

"Energy generator" = A person who produces large amounts of energy; but it's that aura-type of energy, not actually bubbly crazy people. I read in some articles that these "Generators" are bottomless pits. They're called generators because they give, but never seem to lose power as a result. You know those times when you say to a friend, "I didn't tell you XYZ because I know you have a lot going on, and I didn't want you bring you down more." These generators aren't brought down by that - they're sympathetic and in your life for a reason: To help keep you going! Use them if you have them. Note: They may even be too energetic for you (but their heart is in the right place).

The reason this is relevant to bodybuilding is because like I said in my last post, our industry is often mistaken for being catty, self-absorbed, dog-eat-dog, selfish, and full of egotistical "energy vampires" (who are the opposite of the "energy generators" I'm talking about). While that's not EXACTLY the case, it's not entirely UNTRUE either. If you can hook up with a few solid people who make you feel good, regenerate you, and raise you up instead of bring you down, then you're so much more likely to succeed in your endeavors - whatever they may be. You're more likely to stick to a diet if you tell someone about it. You're more likely to follow through with a show if you have a support team behind you. You're more likely to go out and try something new (new class, new coach, new organization, etc.) if you know there are people who won't let you fall. THAT'S why this topic is relevant! So go out and find these people, these "energy generators" (that term was in a study, I don't own the rights to it :-P ), or spend time with the ones you have! YOU DESERVE TO SMILE/LAUGH/HAVE A GOOD TIME!

I'm saving the second point she made for my next Blog. That one I liked because, for me personally, it related to my bodybuilding journey. It's about worthiness and being deserving, and relates to a quote that goes something like: "Be one of the valiant few who looks at their dreams and says, instead of "Why me?" --> "Why NOT me?" and then goes for it!"

Here's the requisite "This-is-a-bodybuilding-blog-after-all" stuff:
Potentially 9 weeks out...

For my standards, I'm a little behind. I would've liked to be 3-4lbs leaner than what you see here. I know it sounds like an arbitrary number, but I'm sitting exactly where I was at the 9 week out mark from my last show... And we all know how that went. So if I could've just beat my conditioning by 3-4lbs at the same point for this show, then I'd be more content. Either way, still plugging along. Holla. Xo.

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