It seems like every few months, there is some pretty large change that occurs in my life. Of course, this does come with my age of 22. I’ve only been on this earth for a limited amount of time, and with that comes a limited amount of experience. Nonetheless, I do notice that life has a way of constantly evolving. This evolution of reality certainly bleeds into various aspects of my life as well.
One day I will be feeling the desire to own a Tesla. The next day I will be crossing it off my goals list. Feelings change. Goals change. Everything seems to change, and I’m starting to see a pattern. That pattern is that adaptability and balance are a necessity to hone.
With the very consistent changes that come along with the evolution of my life over time, adaptability and balance have never been so apparent as a requirement of my focus. To elaborate on my experience with this, I’ll give an example.
Most of my life, I had a lower-middle class family. I didn’t grow up with the latest video game console, and I didn’t grow up eating out at fancy restaurants. My parents don’t have the highest-paying jobs, and I always had to work odd jobs to buy the things I so desperately wanted. Those odd jobs included: raking a neighbor’s yard, helping my grandpa with a construction project, or care-taking some animals while a family I knew was out of town. Because of my life experience as a child, I never really had a lot of ‘things’. Therefore, I wanted a lot of things, because we all want what we don’t have, right?
However, as college came, and I got a full-time job, I finally had the chance to purchase a few ‘things’ that my childhood friends always got without doing any sort of chores or hardly even showing respect for their parents. After I started renting an apartment, buying some home decor items, and finally having the chance to buy a whole bottle of booze at the bar for my friends and I, I couldn’t really stop. I kept buying and buying, racking up the credit card bill assuming that I would cut back on spending after the next paycheck came in. The issue was that the next thing I bought never seemed to be enough.
Nowadays, after wiggling myself out of credit card debt about a year ago and graduating college with an even better paying job, I have even more of an ability to purchase so many other ‘things’ that I could’ve only dreamed of as a kid. But, now my values have changed. My values have evolved just as my life has evolved. I learned from my experiences that ‘things’ didn’t really make me happy. And another thing I learned was that it was actually ‘experiences’ that did make me happy!
I loved experiencing flying, traveling, learning new skills, and tasting new foods. I loved having beautiful conversations with total strangers about art, and taking moments to appreciate the marvelous nature within a local park. And with this newfound adoration of ‘experience’ somewhat the opposite of ‘things’, I realized that not everything I thought, believed, or desired in the past was necessarily relevant now. Life evolves, and with that, my methods needed to evolve.
So, with this revelation in perspective, it was clear that I needed to reevaluate how I was approaching my life. If I didn’t get any satisfaction from buying random little ‘things’, what did I need to change? Well, just last week I donated about 50% of wardrobe and only kept the essentials that I actually had worn in the last year. I started crossing the unnecessary things off of my list of goals including owning a Tesla. I even started looking at the viewed my health.
For years I have been a hardcore weightlifter with a heavy focus on always hitting my precise macronutrient ratio. However, over the past few months, I have not made any progress in any direction. I haven’t lost fat or gained muscle. In fact, I have even seen a gain of fat. Now I can correlate this fat gain to a number of different things like traveling, stress, work, or binging with my girlfriend on the weekends. But, I think the main thing was my perspective and approach to my nutrition that was causing my fat gain.
I wasn’t passionate about the food I was cooking. I was beginning to have lunch meetings more often than not. I also had a severe lack of time and ability at the end of the night to get in all my calories with my Intermittent Fasting approach. With this realization smacking me across the fact, it became so utterly apparent that I needed to evolve my approach. With that, I decided to change everything, but by only making small tweaks to see how I would respond. I decided to begin experimenting to see if something new could also be something better.
I began by running every morning, and it turns out that I love it. It helps me get outside and into nature. It helps me get my blood pumping first thing after waking up, and it gives me time to bring some mindfulness by normally experiencing thoughtlessness during most of my runs.
Then, I decided to try the Ketogenic Diet. I started cooking with foods that I always were thought to fatty, and even found myself loving all of the research that I was doing and things I was learning. My experiment with Keto turned out to give me less neuroticism surrounding my diet which actually helped improve my interactions with food in social situations.
Next, I even decided to experiment with eating at breakfast time. This change helped me better my personal relationship by being able to go out to brunch. On top of that, I discovered that eating breakfast gave me more time to cook in the day and with different foods, which immediately brought in an increased passion for the culinary arts. What a great side effect!
Lastly, I decided just over a week ago to stop weight training at the moment and to focus on recuperating my body as well as build body awareness. I began attending yoga classes, practicing at home, and even improving on my rest. I have never felt so relaxed, aware, and focused in my life.
The bottom line is this, with the evolution of reality comes the necessity to reassess your strategy to life and maintain balance. Not everything that worked yesterday is going to today let alone tomorrow. I felt a lot of friction in my life because my lifestyle choices were no longer appropriate. Business meetings with clients and associates didn’t allow for Intermittent Fasting. My consistent travel schedule no longer allowed for extended time periods in which I could weight train according to my same strict regimen.
Nevertheless, that didn’t matter. What did matter was simply that I needed to change my approach. I needed to reassess my strategy. I must evolve along with my life, along with my values, to feel joyfulness and experience fulfillment in my new reality. And to do so effectively, I needed to experiment with new things.
I believe this mindset of always remaining adaptable by consistent experimentation in order to maintain balance is something valuable that anybody can adopt. Perhaps you can even save yourself from extended periods of frustrations similar to what I just escaped from. After all, I think everyone would agree that nothing is static, everything in life is dynamic, and with that in mind, our approach to life needs to include experimentation if we wish to evolve alongside with it.