Sunday, May 17, 2015

Be First Class In Everything

I recently came across a sticker that read:
You can't have a first-class body while eating off the dollar menu

This truly resonated with me and in my journey to streamline all aspects of my life. How can I expect to have anything worth having if I don't commit my whole self to it? I have to be first class in everything I do so I can live the first class lifestyle.

There are plenty of celebrities who we see traveling in style and jet-setting in first class accommodations. The critics will criticize but, one thing is abundantly clear, you never see them eating off the dollar menu. Some of the wealthiest people have full-time live-in chefs that create daily menus. These celebrities make a concerted effort to eat well, take care of their bodies and create a daily routine that makes their well-being the centre of their activities.
Yes, they do get paid to take care of themselves. But in a way, you and I get paid to take care of ourselves too. We are the ones that have chosen the careers we have. We have chosen our mates, our homes, our cities our menu items, our routines or lack thereof.

In our every day lives we all pay a price to buy the things we want. We also pay a price for neglecting the things we don't take care of. In essence, if you don't take care of yourself and instead, you neglect yourself, you have a great chance of losing your given investment of health and well-being.

The actual cost is then measured in co-pays, drug side effects, insurance costs, time away from family, time away doing things you HAVE to do in order to make it through another day, phone calls with incompetent administrative clerks, mistakes, schedule changes and various other time suckers which would otherwise not exist in a healthy person's world.

The sicker we feel the less we are able to do for ourselves and I'm sure most of us have held a pity-party or two for those god-awful, can't get out of bed-days. So how do we come out of this comatose state of perpetual dis-ease? It starts with our mindset.

Mindset, or the things you tell yourself when there are no words coming out of your mouth, defines your life. 

Research has shown that 95%-97% of the choices we make during the day are made by the unconscious mind. That's a HUGE percentage! The number really has had an impact on me. I have made a vision board out onto one of the walls in my pilates room. Yes, I am that woman. My husband bought me a pilates reformer machine when we first moved to Kentucky. The entire room is dedicated to well-being. The wall that faces the machine is covered with images I would like to incorporate into my lifestyle. These images include, fit people, disciplined people, images of faraway, exotic travel locations, camping gear, fine dining, prayerful images, hopeful images and all the other daily moments that I want my 95%-97% to be influenced by. I visualize my life on paper through planning but I also visualize where I would like my life to go through an ever changing collage of images to give my brain clear guidelines on what to create. My path is created by my DELIBERATE efforts to coax my unconscious mind into purposefully select things that are good for me.  This is the first fundamental of being First Class in everything.
Create space in your life for your first-class lifestyle

How to create space in your life for deliberate living

The next step is eliminating anything that does not support that first-class lifestyle. Ratty t-shirts, clothing that never gets worn and only takes up space, miscellaneous items that clutter up space, books upon books of stories that have already been accessed and are sitting, lifeless on the shelves. These things take up space. They take up all the second and third class space you are willing to allow. 

Ever notice the main difference between first class and economy seating? More space. The nicer treatment is a plus, but what everyone is really after involves more space. First class lounges vs. economy lounges? More space. Fine dining vs fast food? More space (even in the kitchen). In cultures where space is at a premium, like the Japanese culture, you will find people eliminate a lot of other miscellaneous items to create the sense of space, which in turn, creates a sense of calm. Some sushi bars and ramen shacks are extremely tiny. People have to squeeze in. Nevertheless, every millimeter of space has been accounted for to create a space worth sharing or a space better left empty. Compare wealthy peoples' homes with those who complain about not having enough. Notice, I am not saying poor people.  Truly poor people have very few belongings. I am talking about those who complain about not having enough money and yet their homes are bulging with belongings. Why do all the home makeovers look so drastic when they are complete? Because they have created more space, either by building a bigger room or eliminating excess clutter.

Space give us a clean slate to do with that space whatever we want. I don't like filling up my walls with paintings or decor. Wall art is not decor for me. It's visual noise, even if it is a beautiful work of art. That bit of art is another artists's interpretation of how my wall should look ALL THE TIME. There is no room for me to bring in my own thought or interpretation. Blank walls, empty desks, or roomy airplane seats allow for breath and movement. This empty space will also allow for your mindset to shift. This is really the only way to provide yourself first class service in life. Always look for more space and if there isn't any, create it. My hero for creating space has been author Marie Kondo "KonMari." In her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" she gives the formulaic layout for creating space in your life FOR EVERYTHING. I highly recommend her book and her system to as the first step in understanding the process of being first class in everything.

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