Every morning people wake up and head to work (or school) to undergo the same daily routine that they have come to expect. At this point, life begins to lose its color. Now imagine that those same people woke up to the same routine, except with a goal in mind. They would wake up excited to see how that day would bring them closer to the accomplishment of their goals. This might allow them to get through the less desired aspects of their life more easily.
I follow some inspirational figures on social media. One of those figures is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. A couple months ago he posted a video describing “the anchor”. The anchor is that activity or goal that drives you to wake up and feel like conquering your day. Here is the video:
#OurAnchor A lil' reminder we always gotta protect the thing that allows us to do what we do. For me, two important anchors are my family & training. When I have both of those things balanced in a strong way – I can work non-stop and keep chasin' that greatness. As long as I have my anchors. Find your anchor and protect it – you'll find your success. Excuse me, while I go raiseth thy hell. #WolfsDen #MyAnchor
The problem arises when our brain convinces us that we are incapable of accomplishing what we desire. The anchor can be that one thing that you look forward to each day which also carries many other benefits. The “trickle down” effect of this activity allows you to focus on your goals with more drive, clarity and structure. This effectively mutes that pessimistic voice inside. When this inner voice is muted, we focus on our goals. Even though we might not possess the skills required to achieve our goals, we can begin to do the necessary work to build those skills. The pursuit of building those skills can also be considered a very effective anchor to your day.
Positive habits are a major pillar of success. The key to developing a strong foundation of habits is starting small. When looking at introducing new eating habits, you could decide to: cut junk food, reduce carbs, drink 3 liters of water each day, count calories and meal prep. That list looks monstrous! What if instead, you decided to cut junk food in the first week and then decided what more to do the next week. Your future success will be the sum of the small efforts that you put into realizing your goals.
I recently read a great book which outlined how the sum of these small efforts, compounded over time, can lead you to success and help you to perform better in every other aspect of your life. The book is called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. In the book, the author describes a fictional person who overeats 125 Calories daily and how this habit has a ripple effect throughout the rest of his life. After a year of overeating this character begins to feel sluggish which causes him to be less productive at work, which garners some discouraging feedback from his boss. As a result, he is more irritated by the drive home so when he gets home, he goes after more comfort food. This depressing attitude causes him to spend less time with his family.  The story continues to escalate and goes on for a couple pages but it really demonstrates how a bad habit can have a ripple effect throughout the rest of one’s life.
However, the same can be said about positive habits. The positive ripple effect will also become evident throughout the rest of your life. This is why I try my best to convey the value of healthy eating habits to people. Although it might take more time to prepare wholesome meals, it will allow you to perform better in every other aspect of life, therefore saving you time.
Eating For Health & Performance
Finding motivation to accomplish goals that you’ve put aside can drive you to improve all aspects of your life. The one activity that I try to persuade everyone I know to find motivation for, is healthy eating. Healthy eating becomes a habit when the results start to become evident. It is at this phase that the activity becomes effortless. Unfortunately, getting to this phase is very challenging. People are busy and cannot visualize the positive effects of healthy eating. Most people end up retreating to a diet of predominantly carbohydrates because of the convenience and quickness.
The rise of refined carbohydrates has saved many people the inconvenience of creating wholesome meals. Most now settle for things like instant noodles, sandwiches and pizza because they are quick and easy. Unfortunately, the rise of refined carbohydrates like flour and sugar are fairly recent.
White flour and sugar did not start to become common until the mid 19th century.  When looked at from this perspective, these foods really haven’t had enough time to be studied thoroughly enough.
Coincidentally, now that almost every western food practice contains primarily sugar and/or white flour, we see a rise in cancer rates, alzheimer rates, diabetes rates, on and on and on! Although there are many contributing factors to these increases, research is beginning to show how these diseases are metabolic diseases. Fixing our dietary habits can have a major impact on the proper regulation of our metabolism.
Fixing these dietary habits may decrease our risk of these diseases by a significant percentage. What’s there to lose if not? But if disease prevention doesn’t appeal to people, wouldn’t everyone want to fix their dietary habits for increased energy? This increase in energy can pay off huge!
Metabolism is a very complex system of interaction between processes in the body which regulate the creation of energy or the expenditure of energy. Eating properly ensures that these processes work properly. This ensures that your body is provided with the maximum possible energy from the food that is taken in. In a state where metabolism is broken, seemingly “energy-rich” foods don’t result in any energy that you can feel. You still feel groggy and unmotivated.
Eating properly means that you have the right balance between your macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). These depend on your genetics and require a certain amount of fine tuning to get right. When the intake of the proper foods is figured out, your hormonal, adrenal and nervous systems begin to correct themselves, PROVIDING YOU WITH MORE ENERGY! More energy means that your brain can function the way it should.
Imagine that your body wasn’t being provided with appropriate amounts of energy. Your hormonal systems would stop working properly to save energy. This would end up interfering with your brain’s ability to produce (as an example) serotonin (the happy hormone). As a result, you feel unhappy! This is one example of many! The brain uses 25% of your body’s total energy requirements. Failing to provide a healthy metabolism which provides sufficient energy will cause you to feel unmotivated, tired, incapable of physical exertion, etc.
It is for this reason that I feel everyone needs to find their motivation to eat properly, if they haven’t already. It can change one’s outlook on life and provide the prerequisites for a better quality of life. The possibilities are endless.
[Cover Photo] Quotes Gram. “Quotes on Being Priority”. [Online]. Available: http://quotesgram.com/quotes-on-being-priority/
 D. Hardy, “The Compound Effect in Action,” in The Compound Effect, 1st ed. Boston, MA, USA: SUCCESS Media, 2010, ch. 1, pp. 14-16.
G. Taubes “Diseases of Civilization,” in Good Calories, Bad Calories, 1st ed. New York, NY, USA: Anchor Books, 2008, ch. 5, pp. 96-97.