ISSUE #4: Beyond the Kale, Quiet Desperation, and Values

So far I’ve been focusing on the health side of health & wellness. This week I want to go beyond just eating more kale and touch on the wellness side of things. Why? Because you can eat all the kale in the world, but if you’re miserable in every other aspect of your life, you’re not going to very healthy.
During my journey toward better eating habits I’ve discovered one side benefit that I wasn’t expecting. It has to do with a renewed sense of purpose and wanting to get the most out of life. Maybe it’s a side effect of healthier eating, maybe it’s due to a recent health scare with my father, maybe it’s because I can see 50 on the horizon and it has me reflecting way more than when I turned 40.
Whatever the reason, I haven’t felt this way since I was in my 20s, reading self-help books and trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to be. I’m not sure I ever found the answers I was looking for 25-30 years ago. I think life got in the way and I sort of went with the flow. Luckily for me things have worked out pretty well. However, I think at times that’s in spite of me, rather than any actions on my part. Others aren’t so lucky.
Rich Roll often shares this quote by Henry David Thoreau, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.” If Thoreau thought that in the 1800s, I wonder what he’d write now. We’ll never know, but in the Foreward of the 2nd edition of his book, Finding Ultra,Roll writes, “Never before in the history of humankind have we been more depressed, obese, diseased, stressed, lethargic, medicated, generally unhappy, and more unfulfilled than we find ourselves today.” So much for the American dream.
Roll goes on to describe his story as “a hard-fought journey to reclaim my life. A life with purpose, personal meaning, and service to others… It’s a solution that begins with how you feed the body. Extends to how you fuel the mind. And concludes with how you nourish the soul.”
That’s all great, but again, it comes down to “how”? I’ve written a little bit about feeding the body, but what about fueling the mind and nourishing the soul? For me, one of the first steps was to define my values. I’d like to think that we all have some idea of what’s important to us. However, given Roll’s assessment of humankind, I’m not so sure. How concrete is your set of values? Can you rattle off your top 3-5 values if someone asks you? I know I couldn’t, not until I answered the questions on this FREE website.
By working through this exercise I was able to define 4 core values that lead toward one main goal. Best of all, by knowing these values I can line up my thoughts, words, and actions so that everything I think, say, and do is in alignment. Obviously, it’s a work in progress, but at least I have something to work with. And when that’s the case, a “life of quiet desperation” is not an option.
What I’ve been and listening to and reading: 
It doesn’t matter if like NBA basketball or sports in general, this conversation between Golden State Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, and Dr. Michael Gervais, is fantastic. Pay attention to their discussion on values (about 12 minutes into the show) and how Kerr relates them to his vision. One a side note, I didn’t realize that Kerr has won 8 NBA titles (5 as a player and 3 as a coach).
I recently read 11 Rings by Phil Jackson – another book I highly recommend – where he describes his coaching philosophy and what it was like to coach Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neil, and Kobe Bryant. Jackson’s 11 Rings are just from coaching. He also won 2 rings as a player. I’m not sure why he didn’t title the book 13 Rings. Superstition maybe?
Quote of the day: 
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Chad Austin