Personal Upkeep

davincishutterstockIt amazes me to this very day what an amazing machine the human body is. How perfect in form and function. How beautiful. And unlike man-made machines, organic machines such as ourselves have a wonderful ability to actually improve with use. This cannot be said about mechanics or electronics.

With that being said, the human body requires maintenance just the same as any other machine. This maintenance is not just a simple matter of eat, sleep, excrete.

Besides the usual eat/sleep/excrete, our bodies require exercise of some variety.

There was once a time when this was not necessary. Why? Because there was once a time when all people did physical labor for a living. They didn’t sit in a cubicle staring at a screen for hours on end. They were building houses, tending fields, raising cattle, lumbering, etc. That is the kind of work our bodies were designed to do. That was natures intention. We are not designed for sedentary work (in fact that was a contradiction).

Shout out to my blue-collar workers! This may not apply to you. You are gorgeous.

Sooo for the rest of us we have got to exercise to keep ticking. There are literally hundreds of ways we can do this. Whether your method of physical exertion is a sport of some kind, hitting the gym, or some kind of outdoor activity, find one that you like. I am certain you will find at least one.

Exercise does not stop with the physical body, no no. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves sharp mentally as well. There is both our physical and mental health to think of. It turns out there are just as many ways to exercise yourself mentally as physically. Read, play games, take on a constructive hobby. No matter how you do it you must constantly be learning. It is also important that you try new things often.

Now let’s go back to eat/sleep/excrete. I have nothing to say about excrete. But…

Eat – You wouldn’t fill our cars gas tank with alcohol assuming that since it’s flammable it is therefore a good substitute for gas. So don’t stuff your face with just any food, and assume that since it is “food” that your body is built to process and use it.

Sleep – Your body needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Yeah many of you can function on less. But merely functioning means you are not as focused as you could be, as sharp as you could be, as able to fight illness, as productive. Lack of sleep leads to just as many health problems as obesity, including obesity.

Too often do I see people put lots of time and effort to maintain their things. But they give no regard to their bodies, to their health. I once was walking down the street and noticed an obese man vigorously waxing his car. I can’t help but think: “Wow does this guy have his priorities completely out of whack”. He is putting the state of his vehicle over his health. And not even the functionality of his vehicle either. Just the look. He places cosmetics over his health/wellness. I see this all the time.

What could possibly be higher priority to someone than the health/wellness of them and their loved ones?

Don’t waste time judging others


Don’t waste time or mental energy analyzing other peoples actions and judging them based on your conclusions.

1) There is likely more to their story then you are aware of, and it is unfair to make a judgement without all the facts.

2) What are the fruits of this thought process anyway. You gain nothing.

Instead, take peoples actions at face value, and decide if that is something you would like to be exposed to. Simple.

If someone is negative, rude and/or obnoxious and adding no value in your life, lose them. That’s all. It’s not worth the mental digging to discover the “why” and then smack label on them.

it is a far better time and energy investment to judge yourself, and work toward surrounding yourself with people that are uplifting to help you develop a better you.

Always choose function over fashion

VacationPackingI’ll even take this a step further and say: live a life of function instead of fashion. To me, this is at the heart of what makes a minimalist in the first place.

A minimalist’s life is one of purpose, intent, function.

Most people walk through their lives just doing what they think their supposed to be doing; what is expected of them. This leads them to acquire possessions they don’t need, but keep just for the sake of “looks”. Just so they can appear to their peers and superiors (and therefore to themselves) that they are successful. Many even engage in unnecessary activities for the same reason. Many also establish meaningless relationships for the sake of status (just another word for looks or fashion). They spend so much time, effort, and money to basically market themselves because they want to be accepted, respected, and even admired.

But unfortunately for them it’s all an illusion. Why, because it is all cosmetic. It doesn’t make one a better person, and it certainly doesn’t buy happiness. Even after they have acquired the acceptance, respect, and admiration of everybody they are still unhappy. This is because they haven’t really filled a purpose. They have only spent their most valuable commodity (time) to buy an illusion to satisfy a society induced insecurity.

It is for this reason that to be a minimalist, one must be very secure in them-self. A minimalist’s possessions are tools used to serve a specific purpose. A minimalist’s time is used intentionally toward a purpose. And as long as one is using their time and money intentionally toward some meaningful end (using their time and money functionally), then they will find fulfillment; they will find happiness.

This all starts with making choices in life keeping “function over fashion” in mind. Too often do I see people make choices for the purpose of looks, thereby sacrificing function, and then being miserable for it.

Example: A friend of mine purchased a big pickup truck. He wanted it so bad because “I want a big truck!” (I guess it was a macho thing). When I asked him if he had need to haul mass quantities of heavy objects, he said “no ……. I just want a big truck”. I knew right then and there that there was no functional reason for this choice. So it was a choice for looks. Ok …..fine. As time went on, and we hung out more and more, on more than a few occasions I heard him complain about how much money he was spending on gas. “This is ridiculous Anthony, I’m dropping $50 to $70 a week on just gas”. I have no sympathy, none at all. Because in the end he sacrificed a piece of function in his life for the sake of fashion. He gave up probably $50 of his freedom (and lord knows how much extra for the initial vehicle purchase) because “I want a big truck!” For some it may be worth it, but this is obviously not the case for him otherwise he would not be complaining about it so much.

I see examples like this all the time.