With countries all over the world opening up, for now at least, the issue will be less about Covid-19 and more about the economic aftermath. Hertz, Neiman Marcus, J Crew, JC Penny, and Thai Airways have all filed for bankruptcy, along with an incredible 100k small business closing forever in NY. Nevertheless, life does go on.
Over here in Japan, with schools having been shut down for three months and people self-isolating for close to two, the government has succeeded in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. People are eager to get back to work, as am I.
I have enjoyed being able to spend six weeks almost entirely with my family, but I’m glad to know his swimming lessons have started again and school will be in full swing come the middle of June. I’ll miss the little pitter-patter of feet throughout the house, and the kids crying outside, but for all our sakes, we need to get back to our daily routines.
I mentioned previously that I’ve started a new daily workout, worked on a few projects, been a guest on a few podcasts and read, and reread, a few books. One book I decided to reread was Darren Hardy’s excellent book, “The Compound Effect.” A simple, but powerful premise – our actions, behavior, and habits determine the direction of our lives.
Early on in the book, he uses a graph to illustrate this concept. Three people start out at the same place and over the course of two years end up in dramatically different places depending on those three things.
The person with good habits moves up, the person with bad habits moves down, and the third person is stuck in the middle. Unfortunately, I feel that this graph doesn’t tell the whole picture because there needs to be a fourth person.
Naturally, I agree with the effects that good and bad habits on someone, but what’s misleading is the person that remains in the middle. It isn’t what many people might think. It’s not that they aren’t doing anything, they are. The problem is they’re doing just enough to stay afloat. The person who does nothing goes down as well, though not as dramatically as the one with bad habits.
I’ll use food to illustrate my point.
– Person 1 eats a salad every day.
– Person 2 eats a few veggies every day.
– Person 3 doesn’t eat veggies.
– Person 4 eats junk food.
I used to be person 2. My mother insisted that I ate my vegetables every day, but despite being a good cook, many Western people aren’t famous for their vegetable cookery. Most of us from the West view vegetables as just something on the side, a necessity but not something to be enjoyed. I remember in my college cafeteria seeing one of the biggest salad bars I’d seen. Just one problem – it all tasted the same. Cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, carrots, you name it – they were bland.
Truth be told, food was of the reasons that made me want to do a study abroad program, the food at my college was seriously that bad some nights.
Then I came to Japan and everything changed. Tomatoes tasted divine. Cucumbers had flavor. Eggplants were lightly pickled. Spinach tasted amazing in miso soup. I’ve learned that it’s worth paying extra for good quality produce. It makes a world of difference.
I can honestly say that health-wise I’m in much better shape than I was in my 20s and that’s 90% thanks to the food I eat. When I first take on a new client, I need to know where their trouble points are. I ask to see their list of goals. I ask for their journals and planners. I want to know their daily routine as well as any exercise they do. I also ask them to write down their food for an entire week as well as their intake of liquids which often surprises them, but as you might be aware of now, one thing I often say is “You can only be as productive as you feel.”
While I’m all for tactics and strategies about maximizing our time at the office, it all begins with our stomachs. Good food does wonders for our bodies and it’s something we should never overlook.
As we venture out into the world again, let’s make sure our bodies are ready for the rigors of daily life. You’ll thank yourselves later.
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