by David DeFord
Many years ago, the buzz-phrase “You are what you eat” appeared everywhere. The saying reminded us that the foods we eat break down into elements that our bodies absorb. What we eat becomes part of us.
This premise rings true in our non-physical selves as well—the reading, listening, and viewing material we ingest becomes a part of our being. Our physical health requires consistent nourishment of foods and drink; likewise successful living depends on constant nourishment.
The quality of what we ingest affects the quality of our health.
Each healthy food has a purpose: some improve our immune systems and help us fight off potential illnesses; some foods boost our energy levels; others build muscles, bones, improve eyesight, and even keep us regular (if you know what I mean).
If we plan to hike several miles on a weekend, we can prepare by eating foods that will prolong our energy. If a virus spreads at our workplace, or more seriously, our grandkids are coming to visit, we can boost our immune systems by eating certain foods or taking certain herbs.
In times of high activity and stress, we can adjust our food intake to better handle the strain.
Fad diet proponents teach their adherents to concentrate intensely on a narrow selection of foods (i.e. grapefruit, high carbs, low carbs, pineapple). Yet nutritionists encourage the balanced eating of foods from each food group. If we need to lose weight, we moderately adjust our food balance in favor of foods low in calories and fat.
Some foods provide empty calories. They make few constructive contributions to our well-being. We should limit our intake of these empty-calorie foods. However, occasional use of these foods adds enjoyment and variety to our lives. But over use of them can hurt our health.
Now, what does all this food talk have to do with our personal development? We can greatly affect our own successes by improving what we feed our minds and our hearts.
A balanced variety of print, audio, and video materials can enhance our lives, keep us focused on the major aspects of our lives, and inspire us to improvements.
I do not advocate studying solely personal development materials (although mine are excellent). I encourage you to spend more time bulking up yourselves where you are weak. If you find yourself having leadership challenges, study leadership. If you fear technology, study it. If you can’t motivate yourself to move in the direction of your dreams, read my stuff.
Just as marathon competitors eat differently than gymnasts, we can tailor our mental nourishment to make improvements where we need them. I encourage you to evaluate your goals, dreams, and even your weaknesses, and find materials to ingest that will help you move toward your desired destinations.
But remember that variety and balance add spice to life, reading an occasional novel, enjoying a favorite television show or ballgame will enhance your life experiences. But a total diet of such will make your mind flabby and leave you unsatisfied.
Also, nourishment without adequate exercise makes us fat. Studying good material will do nothing for us if we do not convert what we learn to action. We accomplish no goal by only reading about them (unless the reading was the goal). Accomplishment follows activity.
You really are what you eat, study, and do.
Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune. Jim Rohn
The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. George Clason
Nourish the mind like you would your body. The mind cannot survive on junk food. Jim Rohn
You are the same today as you will be five years from now except for two things…the people you meet and the books you read. Charles E. Jones
Many times the reading of a book has made the future of a man. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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- As a Man Thinketh by James Allen,
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