‘EAR, NEWS, AND THROAT’
Why I’ll Take a Page From‘Tools of Titans’ PLANNING FOR A BRIGHT 2018
A new year means New Year’s resolutions. Over the last few years, I’ve started off the year with a list of 10 resolutions. By December, I usually have three resolutions I successfully achieved, two that I kept up for a while, and five I managed for just a single day. At a glance, this might look like only 30 percent success, but that 30 percent lends itself to some real changes. Plus, as I go into the next year, I can look at the resolutions I didn’t achieve, think about why I didn’t get them done, and adjust my plans going forward. I made one of my most successful New Year’s resolutions back when I was still a resident. At the time, I wasn’t eating great and realized I was pretty out of shape. To motivate myself to exercise, I paid for a membership to Gold’s Gym, forcing myself to put my money where my mouth was. With that extra kick, I got myself to hit the gym three times a week and ended up in the best shape of my life!
That’s why this year I’ll be taking advice from Tim Ferriss’ book, “Tools of Titans.” Ferriss interviewed over 200 successful people from various industries and compiled their advice into his book. One of those people was Chade-Meng “Meng” Tan, a former software engineer and Google pioneer turned motivational speaker who aims to teach the world how to be happy. Meng says happiness is a state of mind and advocates for mental practices that can “program” our brains to be happier. In “Tools of Titans,” Meng describes a 10-second exercise he calls “loving- kindness,” which I thought was pretty cool. The idea is, every hour, as you go about your day, look at someone nearby and think to yourself, “I wish for this person to be happy.” You don’t have to do or say anything. Just quietly wish them well. It might be you co-worker whose desk is next to yours, the bus driver on your morning commute, or a random stranger in the coffee shop. It sounds silly at first, but the thought behind loving-kindness is that you start to think empathetically about other people. Thinking about the happiness of others can inspire us to feel happier. People who have adopted Meng’s technique as a daily habit report they do feel happier themselves, myself included. After reading “Tools of Titans,” I began to practice loving-kindness, and I really did feel happier. Along with going to the gym, wishing people well will also be on my 2018 resolution list. There are a lot of opportunities to make positive personal changes and achieve success in the new year. If you are making New Year’s resolutions, I hope you are able to achieve them, too.
I should probably adopt that resolution again in 2018. Last year, I fell off the fitness wagon. It was much easier to get myself to the gym each day when I was a resident, though, because there was no one waiting for me at home. Now my wife and baby are there, and I want to see them as soon as possible! Physical health is a common theme in New Year’s resolutions, but I believe mental health is equally important.
“Physical health is a common theme in New Year’s resolutions, but I believe mental health is equally important. ”
–Dr. Seth Evans
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