Lately I’ve been watching a lot of videos regarding self improvement and living a healthy lifestyle. My goal, like many others, was to improve my day to day life and generally be healthier. At first I thought it would be a simple endeavor but soon realized it required a discipline I had not really cultivated outside of writing. I had to learn to make a conscious effort to keep these new habits in place. What was surprising though was how much easier it became to sit down and write.
It started with eating healthier. My girlfriend slowly started encouraging me to cook and eat healthier meals during the week. Of course I still ate a significant amount of fast food like McDonald’s and Church’s Chicken. I can’t resist that delicious fried chicken. But recently we tried going on a plant-based diet (a vegan diet essentially) to try and eat healthier. I was convinced to try it after looking up Rich Roll who is an ultra athlete on a plant based diet. Now I don’t know whether or not actually being on this diet has made me healthier based on its food, but I can’t deny that the fact that it’s stopped me from eating fast foods which has made me feel dramatically better. It’s no longer a slog for me to get up every morning and write for three hours before work. I don’t even need as much coffee as I used to. It’s become so much easier to get my thoughts out and write.
What else has helped is focusing on a sort of meditative trance to clear my mind and focus on writing. I’ve heard about this before but never really gave it much thought as my mind races from one thought to another so much that focus felt impossible. However I then saw a video about Dandapani and the idea of controlling your mind. It got me to think about what it was I was focusing on and why I was focusing on it rather than writing. It helped me to stop allowing my mind to wander so frequently but I still struggled with directing my mind to the task at hand. I wanted to be able to sit and focus on writing without being pulled away every five minutes or so.
As many things, I picked up this insight from a Joe Rogan podcast with Firas Zahabi. It was when I learned about the idea of entering into a Flow State. The basic principle is that you become so engrossed in what you’re doing that time just flies by and you just accomplish more without even thinking about it. The idea sounded great at first, but I still couldn’t understand how to do it really. It wasn’t until one day at the gym that I realized that I had the focus then and there. When there’s nothing else to focus on, the task at hand becomes all there is. When I got home I set up a separate desk where only my laptop was, plugged my headphones in, and started writing. Going from two screens to one made it harder to watch YouTube or anything else while writing so I could only rely on my music. When all I could do was write, it helped focus on solely writing and I felt so much more productive than I had before.
It might sound redundant to point out but it really does come down to a healthier lifestyle mentally and physically. Focus and discipline comes a lot easier and smoother I find which then translates into progress for writing. To me, that is an invaluable benefit that I can’t give up.
Hope this helps! 🙂