Saturday, July 30, 2011


As I prepare for my 9th speech next week on Toastmaster, I wanted to cover the subject of investing at least 10% of time on yourself.

The Opening:
I was quite saddened to hear about Amy Winehouse, I looked her up and listened to some of her music, she had a deep soulful voice, one that would rival some of the past divas. Amy Winehouse had it all but she was found dead at a young age of 27 in her bedroom.  She had a long history of self-abuse through drugs, alcohol and depression. She had wealth and talent, but what good is that without peace of mind, sobriety & health?

This is a repeating saga, look at Elvis, Michael Hutchence, Marylin Munroe as other examples.

One can only give what one has, if one does not have health and peace of mind, what can one give?

The Problem
Our physical body is very intelligent, it tries takes care of all the abuse we hurl at it, but there is only so much that it can do without breaking down.

A car is required to be serviced at least every 5K, our body is a much more complicated "machinery", and also requires servicing.

The sad thing is that we pay more attention to our cars than our own body and mind.

God did not design us to eat junk and processed foods, or sit hunched over our computers all day looking down, or wake up using coffee, or relax using alcohol, or pop pills to resolve health problems.

The Solution
One needs to invest at least 10% of your time servicing oneself.  

We are complicated "machinery", which is not just physical.  Just like a car that has 4 wheels, unpacking ourselves broadly, this servicing needs to happen in 4 broad interrelated dimensions of ourselves:
- Spiritual
- Mental
- Emotional
- Physical

Not maintaining these wheels is akin to a car running with some wheels flat, overused or underused.  

If one has 24 hours in a day, and we take 8 hours out for sleep, one has 16 hours left to fit in everything else in.  10% of this is 1.6 hours.

One needs to dedicate at least 1.6 hours daily to oneself across this 4 areas.  Assuming it is a equal split that means at least 24 minutes in each of this areas daily.

- Spirituality could involve mediation, prayer and doing the right thing.
- Mental could involve taking a break from normal activity, and doing something interesting and also meditation, as meditation stabilizes the mind by narrowing its focus.
- Emotional could involve spending time on positive recharging emotions such as love and compassion, and spending time with friends and family.
- Physical could involve gym, yoga etc, also looking after your diet, drinking enough water and breathing deeply and uniformly.

The Closeout
Your body and mind is your best friend in life, without health of both of these, one cannot go too far in life.

Look after it, and it will serve you well, letting you enjoy the beauty of life and others to enjoy you as well.

Repeat this mantra 3 times:
My body and mind is my best friend, I will look after it well (better than my car), and it shall serve me well in return.

Until you have the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, external facilities and conditions will never bring the joy and happiness you seek. On the other hand, if you possess this inner quality, calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, even if you lack the various external factors that you would normally require to be happy, it will still be possible to live a happy and joyful life.
Dalai Lama (Facebook 10th Aug)

The following book is highly recommended, and is about the only book I have discovered that discusses these  concepts in a clear and detailed manner, even the free sample provided below is worth the reading effort.

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