Vanity metrics. They’re everywhere. Followers, likes, comments, friends, retweets. Those are just the ones on social media. Trust me, there are hundreds more.
How often do you think we find ourselves caring about something that is actually detrimental? Detrimental to our health, self esteem, self worth, self value, happiness, courage, confidence, you name it. I would say that we do this every day.
How often do you find yourself checking your Instagram post to see how many likes you’ve gotten? Did you hit triple digits yet? Did you get more than last time? Did your crush like it? Did anyone make a compliment in the comments section?
How about this… Try asking yourself something productive instead. Try asking yourself “why do I care?” Maybe ask “does it make a difference?” Or perhaps ask “what really matters to me?” I guarantee you’ll get a much different and much more positive outcome.
Too often did I find myself chasing the vanity metrics of social media. But the same actually applied to real life. In college, I felt so self conscious about the fact that more people in my fraternity got invited to sorority date parties. I was jealous that the seemingly popular group was not my own. I cared so much about things like the fact that I wasn’t elected homecoming king, or ridiculous little things like that.
The reason I make these examples is to make a point. We tend to care about the wrong things. The things that everybody cares about. The things that everybody is bragging about and telling you to worry about. What if they were wrong? (FYI… They are wrong!)
Instead, we need to focus on what really matters. We need to focus on the things that actually make us feel good. The things that bring joy to our day and a smile to our faces. We need to focus on the metrics that will actually create fulfillment and help us live a beautiful life. Ones that we control.
What could those be? I will make the argument that there are 3 areas that are most important to focus on. These 3 main areas are all under our control. They consist of things we can tweak, track, and include in our daily lives that will lead to improved wellbeing. After all, aren’t we simply trying to make the right choices to improve our wellbeing to live a happy life?
These 3 areas are critical, and I imagine most of us subconsciously try to manage them every day. This collection of manageable items will breed progress, incremental progress, in a positive direction. These areas are: nutrition, physical fitness, and mindfulness/happiness training.
Nutrition is important because it is the fuel that our bodies run on. For instance, can you imagine how your gasoline engine car would run off of diesel? Not very well, right? So, now can you imagine how your body would run off of cheap foods that have had the minerals and nutrients processed out of them? Or could you imagine how your body would run off of foods that have been pumped full of hormones or artificial colors and preservatives?
The point I’m trying to make is that “you are what you eat”. Your body converts whatever you eat into fuel that creates every cell in your body. Eating right for you and your health is the biggest part of the equation to create your optimal level of wellbeing.
Physical fitness plays a huge role because your body needs stimulation. Your body needs to be active if you wish to be energetic. If you train your body through some type of physical practice, then your body will adapt by becoming more efficient by building muscle. If you have more muscle and you have trained to work better when under stress (in your physical training sessions), then you will naturally be able to endure more physical stress in your daily life.
Also, physical activity naturally causes healthy, positive endorphin release. Our bodies have literally adapted to reinforce the behavior of physical fitness. Go ahead. Look it up. Or better yet, try it yourself. I can almost guarantee that you will leave wherever feeling positive emotions like confidence, energy, joy, the list goes on.
Mindfulness practice or happiness rituals are necessary because they are the last 10% or so of the pie. They lead to the completion of the entire solution. The last variable to the best equation for an optimum level of wellbeing. This practice/ritual is essential if you are to breed satisfaction, present-state awareness, consistent joyfulness, and feelings of fulfillment.
These rituals can include anything from meditation to cooking. Running to reading. Drinking your favorite cocktail while watching a fire, or staring at nature while drinking your morning coffee. Rituals are vital. Rituals keep you in a routine. A routine to help keep you stable when life gets rough or appreciate more the best moments that come. Without a consistent ritual or practice that is unselfishly selfish in the sense that it simply makes you feel happy, you will always be missing the last piece.
I hope that while you read this article that you felt a few revelations. I hope that you came to a few realizations. I hope that you decided to really focus only on what actually matters. There are so many areas of life that can bring you joy and fulfillment, but when it comes to general wellbeing, arguably the most important thing to focus on in order to provide a firm foundation for every other area in life, nutrition, physical fitness, and mindfulness are the main areas you need to focus on. If you effectively manage these, I promise you will so much closer if not experiencing the best in life.